Sunday, October 31, 2010

My entry in Blogger's Quilt Festival

I'm sharing this quilt for Blogger's Quilt Festival because 1) it's finished except for the label, 2) I was able to get a picture of the whole thing between wind gusts yesterday and 3) I had lots of fun putting it together.

The pattern is Girlfriends Galore by Kathy Doughty from Material Obsession's first book.  I had bought a couple yards of Philip Jacob's print "Daffodils and Dogwood" around the same time I bought the Material Obsession book. I was planning on making a different pattern from the book, but these two insisted on meeting. The rest of the fabrics were pulled from my stash. I didn't have enough yardage of any one fabric so I used several fat quarters of similar colors to make up the yardage.

The different piecing sections made the quilt fun to work on. I get bored doing the same thing over and over. With this quilt there was the Lone Star center, a few set-in seams, then a triangle border, some four-patches and some half-square triangles.   

Maggi Honeyman of Texas did the machine quilting on this. I hope that you can see in the picture how great her quilting is. Each section is done differently to complement the piecing. Because I used a solid backing it looks like a whole cloth quilt. That makes it reversible and is why it doesn't have a label. I'm not sure what to do because it should be documented (I regret not putting labels on some of my earlier quilts), but I want to be able to use it with either side showing. Suggestions appreciated.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why my husband rocks!

The sewing room has been undergoing a major rearranging and installation of new shelving and a bigger design wall. Thanks to my husband, this is now the best sewing room I've ever had. Here are some before and afters:

The design wall moved to where the bookcase was and got taller (no vent on this wall) and a bit wider. The design wall is batting stretched over a wooden frame and mounted to the wall. I've used this kind of design wall for years, and it works well. The fuzzier the batting, the better the sticking power.

The sewing table faces the window. Much better feng shui, and I can see what the neighbors are up to, nosy woman that I am. My husband put in a shelf for the TV, and I took out the table it was on, giving me more room.

The red drawers were under the sewing table, and now they're stacked in the corner, filled with UFOs and binding for tops that need quilting. Maybe having a tower of UFOs will remind me to pull one out when I'm ready for something different. Who am I kidding? I'd rather start something new! My goal should be to not let the number of UFOs exceed the capacity of the tower.

Where the design wall and a shelving unit were, I've got new custom shelving thanks to my husband. Everything in the old shelves and bookcase fits in the new shelving. I also managed to squeeze in a few things from the closet.

I have saved too many magazines! I need to get rid of them to make room for fabric from the closet. Any ideas what to do with old quilt magazines?

In the closet I have fabric sorted by color. (More or less. It's a mess at the moment.) In these new shelves I have fabric that isn't one partcular color, novelty prints, and stacks of fabric I put together and thought would make a great quilt once I figure out what pattern to use. Some of these stacks have been waiting years for the right pattern to come along. Maybe I should look through those old magazines before I get rid of them. ... Oh, a new project. As long as it doesn't become a new UFO. There's no room in the tower.

Happy Halloween

A Halloween card from my Japanese pen pal. She always sends great cards. I love the owl and bat. I wonder where I can find something like this in the States.

Wishing you all lots of treats and no tricks!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rounding up

I've been busy around here, but not with quilting. The only quilting was yesterday when I tried to work on my Aboriginal blocks. I should have known better than to attempt anything with this head cold. An entire day of sewing and unsewing and only managed one block. (Hope this post goes more smoothly.)

Positano, Italy.

Mostly I have been busy with vacation. My friend and I went to Italy for a Cooking Vacation, and it was amazing! Our week was filled with excursions and classes. We had three hands-on cooking classes in restaurant kitchens with Positano chefs as well as trips to Pompeii, Ravello and Capri.

The cooking classes were fabulous. We made arancini, gnocchi, ravioli, pizza and mozarella among other dishes. (I'm inspired now to find my pasta maker.) After cooking, we ate the multicourse meals and drank wine. Fortunately, Positano is known as the Vertical City so we had no problem working off all those incredible meals. The city is a virtual Stairmaster!

We were all surprised that the chefs used peanut oil to cook with and olive oil as more of a garnish. They said it was because the peanut oil handled high heat better than olive oil. The chefs also chopped vegetables with some pretty small knives. Not at all what we were expecting.

Basilica, Pompeii.

How amazing is this floor mosaic?  

A quilt pattern in the House of the Faun, Pompeii.

Pompeii was unbelievable. I guess I was expecting a museum, and I think there is one there, but mostly you walk around the excavated city and see what has been uncovered. The surviving paintings and the mosaics are incredible, both that they survived at all and look so great, but also because you can walk right up to them.

2009 Richardson Farm Corn Maze taken from a small plane.

After I got home, my husband's brother and his wife came for a brief visit. We took them to the World's Largest Corn Maze. Unfortunately, I think all the pictures are on my brother-in-law's camera. So here's a couple of pictures from last year's maze, which I never did blog about. Last year's had a Lincoln theme. This year they are celebrating 100 years of Scouting, and they have a new Farm Scene Investigation game to go along with one of the mazes. That was a lot of fun. We didn't make it to all the checkpoints this year because we ran out of daylight and didn't have flashlights.

My husband pretending to be lost in the maze. 
Photo taken from the top of one of the bridges. Otherwise, all you can see is corn!