Sunday, April 27, 2008

Orange Crush Mystery, Part 3!

A few days early,but I'm leaving tomorrow for St Petersburg Fl....I thought I'd gift you with the next step of Orange Crush tonight!

In this step we will be making HALF split 4 patch units.

Remember when I said we would need the easy angle ruler, and NOT the companion angle ruler for this mystery?? I forgot there were half blocks involved! So if you do have the companion angle handy, you can use it in this step. If you don't, never fear, I'm going to give you regular rotary cutting directions for the pieces. Several of you who have done the Carolina Crossroads Mystery will already have the companion angle in your ruler collection. It wasn't until I sat down to do these half blocks that I realized they would come in handy!

This is a small easy step, which is a good break from the big steps we've had so far. Instructions are for 44 units, 22 facing right, 22 facing left :c)

I hope you are all having as much fun with this project as I am! :cD


Saturday, April 26, 2008

LIberty, NC Antiques Festival!

I played hooky! I mean, I REALLY played hooky!

Thursday afternoon I got a call from my friend Mary in Asheboro asking me to come stay the night, and drive to Liberty with her to see the Liberty Antiques Festival yesterday. One look at the flyer she sent and BAM...I knew had to go! I had no clue what to expect, but felt like I wanted a play day off, so I threw my overnight bag into the car, brought along some quilts to bind (Hey, she said she'd help me bind, so what's not to like about that!?) and off I went.

Asheboro is about an hour's drive from my house. Not bad...and it takes me on back country roads which I love. I love driving past plowed fields and old country houses with front porches, and little country gas stations with general stores and bait. I do HATE seeing the gas prices go up and up and up,but I wasn't going to let that stop me from driving to have some FUN!

The antiques festival started at 8am. I think we got there about 8:30 and the place was PACKED! Rows of tents and booths as far as the eye could see, all placed on this grassy pasture at a 100 acre farm. We were in heaven! I have SO MUCH eye candy and pictures that I can't post them all here. But it will give me blog fodder for a while, and hopefully goodies for you to come back and see what we saw.

Here are my bargains of the day! A saw you ask? Yes! A saw! I wish I could show you Mary's house. She has it decorated up SO cute with little quilts everywhere, and I was admiring the way she displays them. I asked her help in finding things that would give me fun ways to display quilts. She has a saw like this hanging in her kitchen, and a darling quilt draped over the middle rail of the saw with the blade pointing up. It is so rustic looking! So..I bought a beat up antique saw. :c) The blade is still nicely covered with newspaper so I don't shred myself or the other quilty finds...Price of saw? $15.00.

An old wooden bobbin and shuttle! This was a bargain and a half since it came WITH the bobbin in place inside the shuttle. I love stuff like this! Price of shuttle and bobbin? $5.00!

Piece of cutter quilt with incredible cheddar, turquoise (OH MY!) and home dyed brown with a bit of poison green on the edge, and incredible funky quilting in navy thread..perfect for accent piece or table runner, not to mention I LOVE the block pattern! Price of quilt piece? $15.00

Hand woven beat up rag rug runner to go in front of the porch swing on the front porch. Very old, very rustic, very musty, but a must have! A bargain at $20.00.

THE find of the day! Pine Burr Quilt in wonderful blues and reds with some well worn shredding, but still great for display and terrific graphic appeal! Price of pine burr quilt? $10.00!!!

Lovely 1920's beat up country style broken dishes quilt with lots of blue and pink. (Mary's hubby said...oh. That's A LOT of pink. Yep!) Price of quilt? $35.00

Really funky wire egg basket? This is Mary's push. She promised me I will love it to display things in, and have a little quilt tucked inside, and coming out over the edge of the basket. It's a one of a kind, and even the wire has a "dresden plate" pattern in it. I DO love it's rustic wonkiness! This was at the same booth as the broken dishes quilt. Price of funky basket? $35.00

Price of spending a wonderful spring day with a friend walking through a huge antiques festival? PRICELESS!! Thanks Mary, I had a great day and really needed a hooky day off!

So today I'm a bit sunburned....we didn't realize it would be so sunny and hot, the weather has just not been cooperating around here, until YESTERDAY! Next time we will bring our wheelie carts to pull our purchases. You can tell the seasoned shoppers by their carts and wagons! And we will remember sunscreen and a cooler with drinks and snacks, cuz it took all day. Next Festival? September 26th, 2008! I'm putting it on my calendar!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Boxy Stars Sample..

I finished the lap sized version of Boxy Stars that I need for two workshops coming up! The last one I did went to charity..so...guess who had to make ANOTHER class sample? I like doing that when it's an easy quilt to remake (Ie..no figuring, I already know what to do...no brainer!) and I get to try different colors! This one I did color controlled, where the previous one was completely scrappy.

Pinks and browns....all pieces cut from 2.5" strips! (Yes, this pattern would work great with Jelly Rolls...)

It was a challenge for me to try to use up some outdated fabric as well as the new stuff I was wanting to slice into. I went to the 2.5" strip bins first..pulled everything brown and pink. Then I pulled 2.5" neutral squares from the squares bin. I MADE myself use those pink cutesy heart prints from 1987! And you know what? They don't look half bad when mixed with some of the new wonderful browns and double pinks that are out there. So the next time you make a scrap quilt, dare yourself to mix in some oldies but moldies with your new stuff. Let those old fabrics find a home. Better in a quilt, than still nagging you from the scrap bins!

I quilted this quickly with "Wild At Heart" panto by Willowleaf Studios. I love their designs. I really was never one for the cutesy heart stuff (Even though I still had that pink dotted heart fabric in my stash from 1987!) but THIS I like...I think I'll use the same one on the quilt for my sister's new baby. It will go great with the bright fabrics I used in it.

I've got 5 quilts to bind..and the next one to finish piecing for the book is a denim thing! The ultimate recycle quilt! I've been working very closely with my editor (she is AWESOME!) and I think we make a good team!

I'm thinking of binding this one in pink....but NO PINK HEARTS! In small amounts I can stand..but no pink heart binding, I just can't do it! :cÞ

Buddy had his 2 week post-surgery check up yesterday. He is doing WONDERFUL. His vet is such a nice man, and everyone at the office fawns over buddy. The splint cast came off, and we removed all the staples. I'm sure Buddy was happy to have those out. All seems to be healing just fine. 2 more weeks of splint cast, and he should be good to go. He may be limpy for quite a while after this, and I can tell there is some muscle atrophy in the leg,but that is to be expected. I'm just glad he is doing so well!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Log Cabin Love....

What's not to love about this 1800's beauty??

This is a quilt that we found in the antique mall in MD. What I love about it...is that the "light" side of each courthouse steps block isn't really light at all...it's striped, with a medium or dark, and a muslin alternating...usually we think of log cabins as being light on one side and dark on the other...but this one is so striking the way the light sides are striped.

And aren't the fabrics just fabulous?? The price on this baby? over $900.00..so all I could do was pet it and drool and take pictures. Maybe someday I'll be inspired enough to recreate this quilt.

I'd really like to! It had the double print black/greens, and madders...purples...double pinks, it is just awesome!

Things are plugging along here. I've got 3 quilts to bind...a couple more samples to make. Instructions to finish writing, my nose is to the grindstone! I'm home until the 28th when I head off to St Petersburg, Florida!

Monday, April 21, 2008

24 Hours of Booty!

Raising Booty for Cancer, that is!

Each year my husband Dave participates in cycling events to raise money for MS, Diabetes, or cancer research. Since moving to North Carolina a couple months ago, he has accepted the challenge of participating in "24 Hours of Booty". 24 Hours of Booty conducts annual 24 hour cycling events , which increase public awareness for cancer support and programs while raising funds to support the LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION and local cancer organizations.

I am asking you to help by supporting our fundraising efforts with a donation. Your tax deductible gift will make a real difference in the cancer community. It is faster and easier than ever to support us as a 24 Hours of Booty participant- you can make your donation online by simply clicking this link!

Click here to visit team Bootylicious! Here's to wishing Steve, Gene, Dave, Stephanie & Will a successful ride in 2008!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Market, MD

Nothing going on here noteworthy the past couple of days. It's been raining....but not too hard, and not too cold. I love hearing the rain through an open window. Mmmmm Bliss!

I'm still working my way through the photos of last week's trip to Maryland! New Market has a wonderful stretch of old buildings that are largely antique and tourist type shops now, perfect for browsing. The first little shop we hit was a little pottery shop. CUTE CUTE stuff in there! I love stuff with sayings, and of course anything quilting or sewing related has to come home with me...I loved this Stitch & Bitch club sign! *LOL* How true, there is NOTHING that a little needling won't fix!

My partner in crime, Kay, and I had a great time wandering through and seeing everything this little shop had to offer. I also bought a hand painted ceramic switch plate cover for the light switch in my studio down here. It's got a cat with moon and stars on it. Very folky, very fun! I look for things like this in lieu of bringing home MORE fabric, but even then, some fabric finds it's way coming home. One of the guilds was helping a gentleman who's wife has taken ill with Alzheimer's clear out her stash. They kitted up her fabrics and paired it with books and notions and it was going for about $1 a yard. Yep. Did some damage there.

Down the road from the pottery shop was an old drug store that had been converted into a candy shop/gift shop/deli! Remember all those old candies you loved as a kid but couldn't stomach them now if you tried? Wax lips? wax pop bottles? all that funny stuff? They had it ALL! It was fun to wander around and remember all the things we used to buy for a nickle. I bought some teaberry gum. Somehow it was not what I remembered either! But it was a fun trip through memory lane.

The sun even came out that day, but it was still not very warm. Sweater weather is fine by me, I'd rather have that than scorching hot any day. Up the road was a stained glass shop, and a little restaurant where we had a delicious lunch. It was a perfect wandering around day before I had to appear at another guild that evening, the calm before the storm!

The antique shops weren't open that day,but I'd love to go back again and check it out.

For those telling me to slow down and take time to catch up? I finally did today. Sunday afternoon naps are balm for the soul. Did you get yours?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Taylor Noel is home!

My darling new niece is home from the hospital! My nephew Mikey wrote the cutest school essay about her arrival. Poor Mikey. He is the oldest child, the only boy of 4! I know he was hoping for a brother, but he seems to have gotten over the disappointment quickly, if there ever was any.

Can you see that quilt in the background? That was pre-long arm! I loved that quilt...I totally forgot about it. It is fun for me to see my quilts all over my sibling's houses. And yes yes...poor Taylor..she is still waiting for her baby quilt..hmmm...bad busy Auntie Bonnie!

Friday AM...pre-gym update!

It's a gorgeous morning here in NC....

I remember a song from my childhood "In the leafy tree tops the birds sing good morning...." I have leafy tree tops!

Yesterday DH took the day off, stayed home to fix some things, and we grilled out. Instead of grumbling about carrying all the picnic stuff down to the grove by the creek where we put the picnic table, DS Jeff thought he was quite ingenious loading up the little trailer that pulls behind the riding lawn mower, and rode it down to the creek to deliver the picnic goods..*LOL* It was a lovely supper! We ate surrounded by dogwoods and the burble of the brook next to us.

Here's a couple pics from my MD trip last week! The pic of me in the house quilt was taken by quilting pirate at our Sunday workshop. FUN! Her house pics are in a previous post, and she was using wild Halloween prints. I thought of Tonya when she was making these, I know she would have loved these houses!

The bathroom pic?!?!? It's at a Taco Bell somewhere on the way between Richmond VA and MD! *LOL* Quilting ideas abound everywhere you look. The toilet of course, is optional :c) Wouldn't this be an amazing border for quilt?

I also heard from my editor that the book has an official title now! How exciting is that? The title is:

Scraps & Shirt Tails!
(reuse, repurpose, recycle..the art of quilting

I am just so tickled and how this is coming together. The recycle hints everyone sent will be put in little individual boxes on each page and spread throughout the book.

I've got the photography shoot under works....I was asked what kind of setting I wanted, and I said RUSTIC RUSTIC! Old barns, old fences, old furniture,and I'm not even opposed to an old outhouse! *LOL* I think it will fit the feel of the old plaids and recycled fabrics perfectly. I'm anxious to see what they come up with for the photos.

I've also got an illustrator who is going to do the drawings of all my steps. It won't be the same as having photos for each step as on the website...but hopefully he can draw examples FROM my photos because I am not a drawing artist. That's what got me to use the photos for steps in the first place....can't draw a stick person!

Today's special set-apart time? Taking the laptop down to the picnic table in the grove and writing some more book instructions while enjoying the out of doors. The world is my office....it doesn't get much better than this!

It's 9am...gym time. I hope everyone has a lovely day, and on into the weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Countdown.

I know I know..I usually post in the mornings, but I have had to put myself on a streamlined schedule here in Quiltville, NC. The first thing I did this morning was take time for ME!! I know I have to do this. I can't put going to the gym at the end of the day. It just doesn't work. Something will always take that spot and I won't go at all, something else ALWAYS makes it easy for me to NOT go.

So I went to the gym! It was a gorgeous walk, again, be gone for a week and really see how things have changed when you get back! Those beautiful bradford pears on my walk ARE all gone to leaf. Not a blossom in sight..but the dogwoods and the azaleas and the redbuds..wow. It was good for my SOUL to be out today. I walked to the lady's circuit gym, did my 30 minute work out,and walked back.

Being the ADHD type that I am I have to WRITE a schedule, and tackle things one thing at a time. Sometimes that is hard for me to do. I find myself spinning in circles (and yes, it's documented and diagnosed!) If you always wondered where my energy comes from, believe me, it has it's benefits. I think of it as an extra-ability, rather than a dis-ability. I just have to work to reign it in!

I have a list....but only put ONE thing on the list at a time! *LOL* When that one thing is crossed off, I can add another! I tell you, it's the only way I get anything done here, or I'm flighty flighty.

Today's job is quilting my "Swing Your Partner" for the book. In an earth conscious way, I'm trying this batting! It's a bamboo blend! Has anyone used it? I hope it works..cuz I love this quilt,and I don't want it to be...ehhh...you know? When I find something I like I have a hard time trying something new. In other words, if it ain't broken, don't fix it?? So. I'm quilting with bamboo today. I just unrolled it, and it feels a lot like warm and natural. It has that "scrim" to it....I wonder how it will wash up, or if it will be like quilting through cardboard, the way warm and natural is. Time will tell!

A couple weeks ago I finished my class sample for the next boxy stars workshop. I've got two of these coming up, and wanted to play with my pinks and browns...so here it is! Just needs borders, and that's on hold. It might go to the workshop as just a TOP because there are too many things on the quilting list.

I got the borders added to my "Hand-Me-Downs" Stars last night. Got the back pieced. This is the next one to be quilted.

One thing at a time....uhhuh...I can do it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Orange Crush, Part Deux!

A day late, a few hours sleep short..but here it is gang, I know you've been waiting for it. All that talking of recycling ideas, etc didn't deter you from the knowledge that I PROMISED I would post part 2 as soon as I got back from MD...well here it is...sew your hearts out! :cD

I think of these little gems as a "split four patch"! You can do all kinds of things with them. They play nicely with other units of the same size! There are all kinds of different ways to sew these,but I find the simplest is also the best and most accurate for me. For this step we will be using the easy angle ruler. I love this ruler, and you've heard me say it a million times. If your tools give you accurate cutting, and you and your machine have mastered your accurate piecing skills, there is nothing better! Cutting with this ruler to sew these units saves me the time it would take to cut rectangles from a size of strip that I don't usually keep on hand. I'd have to make a template guide, and stop and draw lines on the rectangles. I just want to SEW!! Since I can cut all the pieces from strips I keep on hand, and use the ruler to give me the pieces I need with accurate results, I can simply sew!

If you don't have the easy angle ruler, you can click HERE for the regular rotary cutting directions for this unit. Pieces are given to make a single block unit, you will need 142 units just like everyone else!

The next step is a couple weeks away yet, so you have time to jump into the mystery if you haven't started yet.

I'm off to run Buddy to the vet for his post-op check up :c) After that, it's a couple errands, and try to figure out what to do for dinner. You know? Mom's home now...they expect me to COOK!?? :c}

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nifty Thrifty's Quilting is Done!

I had three goals to meet today. I needed to get my NC driver's license..Yes, the SS# card arrived in the mail while I was gone last week....and I had some bank/tax stuff that HAD to be done today. I got those errands done,and spent the rest of the day quilting on Nifty Thrifty!

I love how it turned out. I was going to do a panto on it to call it done....a lot of heavy quilting just doesn't suit utility quilts like I am striving for,but this just begged for more. And it shows up, quite well in spite of what I was thinking!

There is an interesting story to the back. In SC I had Merry Maids come every 2 weeks to help me keep on top of things while I was doing massage full time and quilting on the side. Oh how I miss them! *LOL* My two little Hispanic house cleaners loved my quilts,always curious to see what was on the machine. One lady didn't speak much english. One day she came with two huge trash bags of FABRIC for me to use. SHE was decluttering...and I was the recipient!

There were two pieces of madras plaid in the bags. I don't know the age, I just know that they feel terrific and they are cotton. I used them both up in the back of this quilt. Fabric gifts come from surprising places!

It's midnight. I'm off to bed. Orange Crush step #2 is CLOSE to being ready to upload..I just need a couple more hours, but my eyes are too blurry to continue on...*yawn*