Postings and ponderings of a quilting and knitting addict!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Have You Missed Me?

I've been so busy quilting I just have not taken the time to post! I had planned on posting pictures of what I've been up to, but I don't post customer quilts without getting their permission first, and I have been unable to contact her! I'm sure she won't mind, so once she gives the OK I'll post pictures of the custom feathering I did on a small red/white quilt. It was a very simple pattern - just 9-patches and bow ties, but the way it was set together created a very interesting flow of one block into another. You'll understand when you see the pictures.

It seemed like it took forever to quilt because we have been having thundershowers move through this area almost every day, so about the time I would get going well on it, a thunderstorm would move through and I would have to shut down the machine. That seems to cause me to lose all momentum for the day, and it is very difficult to get started up again. I think it actually took me 3 days to finish this quilt with the storm interruptions!

I love the creative flow of custom quilting, but I don't do much custom quilting for customers (and I'm not complaining... I just don't make any money on those because I am slow and meticulous, which means I make about $3/hour!).

Also done this week was a very old star quilt (probably 60s fabrics), hand-pieced. It was really a challenge because it was coming apart in many places. The quilting won't win any awards, but I was able to stabilize the quilt to where hopefully it will last for a long time with gentle care.

And then I've also done 3 quilts with pantographs last week. So you see, I really HAVE been busy!!

Now... off to pin in another quilt. I don't plan on quilting any more today, but the next one will be ready and waiting!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Win a Book!

And not just ANY book, but the new Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston book, Freddy and Gwen Colaborate Again! I love their bright colors and cheerful patterns. Enter to win by leaving a comment HERE.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Retreat Finishes

Who "frogged" (rippit! rippit!) the most at our retreat? Brinda! She won a basket of goodies and a cute apron embroidered by Kathy A.

And speaking of Kathy A., here she is with one of her projects, a cute snowman wall quilt.

Barrett and her cute baby quilt from "Stack the Deck".

Judy B. and her beautiful fussy-cut flower blocks.

Pat and her log cabin and star blocks from Civil War fabrics.

Mary Anne and her French braid quilt. Yes, it is the same pattern that I used, but I like HERS better than mine!

Carolyn and her Split 9-Patch.

Brinda and her Split 9-Patch.

Jo Ann and her Split 9-Patch.

Barbara and 2 cute baby quilts.

Suzanne and her Stash Pot Pie quilt.

Linda and her Split 9-Patch quilt.

Lara and her burp cloths... I did not get photos of the cute pillowcases and blankets she made to go with them. Sorry, Lara!

Barrett and her "Martha's Wedding Quilt".

I hope you enjoyed your "virtual retreat". Come again next year!



I know, I know... you are thinking, "She's begging for followers, and then she stops posting!". Please accept my apology if you are one of my new followers and are SICK of looking at the FOOD pictures from retreat!

I promise THIS AFTERNOON I will load the quilt-finishes pictures from retreat and WOW will you have some eye-candy!

Of course, that will be AFTER a busy day of quilting... I think I have customer quilts stacked everywhere, and I must do something about that today! Because...

My SIL TWISTED MY ARM and is MAKING me go on a mini-shop hop tomorrow. (Yeah... right...HAHA!) The invitation was to join her and my niece on this trip. We will visit 3 not-so-local quilt shops and then make a run to "the Big City" to visit Sam's Club... My list is long.

Truthfully, I need more fabric like I need a hole in my head, BUT... the fellowship will be fun, I'm sure we will find a great place to EAT, and I can window shop (SURE!!!! You KNOW I won't buy anything! HAHA!).

So... off to quilt. I'll post again late this evening and share retreat finishes.

Have a wonderful day, enjoy this little bit of cooler weather, and count your blessings today.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Give-Away Winner!

I'm coming up from my "white tornado" cleaning spree (I work best under pressure... company is coming!), just long enought to draw for the winner of my goodies. Since entries were on 2 different posts, I started the numbering on the first post (June 28th, 4 entries) and then added the 22 posts on the July 2 post. I used the random.org # generator for 26 entries and the winner is:

#1 - Renee G said...
I love surprises, so I would love to be entered in your giveaway. It sounds like a lot of fabric fun.

I have emailed Renee and as soon as I get a mailing address the rainbow bowl, 5 coordinating fat quarters, and 1 yard of hand-painted fabric will be zooming her way.

Thanks to all who entered, and thank you all for putting up with me and my meandering posts. Please continue to check in with me, and if you enjoy my blog, please tell others!!

The remaining pictures of our retreat will be posted sometime this weekend... I just don't have time to deal with it today!

Congrats to Renee G!!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Too Pooped to Post

Retreating has worn me out, so although I am at home I won't try to post pictures tonight or do the blog give-away drawing. Those things will be done either tomorrow or this weekend. Company is coming tomorrow, so I'll see if I have time.

Now... off to rest. See ya' tomorrow in Blogville.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Food For Thought...

Well actually, for EATING! Here is what Chef Charles has cooked for us today. It was all WONDERFUL!
Breakfast: Country Frittata, cinnamon chip coffee cake, mixed fruit

Lunch Menu: Chicken club sandwich rings, rainbow slaw with pineapple, strawberry shortcake

Dinner Menu (OK... it is SUPPER where I come from!): Southern Meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, zesty French salad, butter batter bread, chocolate cobbler (super-YUM!).

Neat little gadget: Can you guess what this is for?

It is a thread cutter to use when you chain piece. Just set this baby on the table and run the chain thread through the cutter to separate your pieces. SOOOO much quicker and easier than using scissors to cut them apart!

And here is my first finish... This quilt uses a Moda Swanky jelly roll, a little yardage for the borders, and a lot of time and pressing. I got the pattern from the Moda web site. See, Dear... I really HAVE been busy and not JUST playing on the internet!!

Tomorrow I will post LOTS of finishes... our group has really kicked it into gear today and lots of things are up on the "finish" wall.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Jungle Is Jumping Tonight!

We are having a BLAST! I have taken lots of wonderfully incriminating pictures to share with you. Tomorrow I will share more project pictures. It seems everyone started new projects on this retreat so we are a little slow getting things finished, but tomorrow will see lots of things completed.

Today we have... gone to a quilt shop in Montgomery, TX, ate at the Rabbit Run Cafe (YUM!). Since returning we have done a lot of quilting. And tonight was our first meal cooked by Chef Charles... YUMMO! I'll try to remember to take a picture of the meals tomorrow... he REALLY does do a great job of feeding us.
And this is his wife, Janet. She checks in with us during the day, admires our projects, and talks about very interesting things. Tonight we found out about "letterboxing", one of their hobbies.

BUT the highlight of the evening was the "jungle dance". Each evening at some point decided by Fearless Leader, the music to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is played. Remember this is the SEWFARI, so the music is our theme song. When the music starts, we are all SUPPOSED to get on our feet and dance. Yesterday it was an animal imitation dance, and each participant got a tiny animal to place on the top of their sewing machine. Tonight, participants in the Congo Line got animal tattoos! Note I said PARTICIPANTS.... (A COUPLE of us did not get a tatoo... no play, no tattoo!) This event was captured on video... now if I can just figure out how to load it...YOU'LL get to see it, too!

We posed for group pictures, and now back to quilting into the wee small hours of the morning. Tomorrow will totally be for quilting... no Fabric Aquisition Road Trips (FART for short) are planned. Tomorrow I will also share more great blackmail, ummm... I mean CANDID photos. Stay tuned!


Monday, July 13, 2009

We're Here!!

We've arrived and the fun has begun! Coldspring, TX is NOT living up to its name of cold... we are thankful for good AC, because it is about 103 degrees outside. We are on a SEWFARI, and missing one of our most creative members (who came up with this theme and other goodies that will not yet be disclosed! But she had to go welcome Miss Rylee into the world... IMAGINE... choosing a baby over us???). It did not take long for 12 of us to get moved in, set up, and down to serious business. Several others will be coming to join us tomorrow.

This is Linda, our fearless leader. She has not quite gotten down to the "fun" side of retreating, but she will soon. Thanks, Linda, for organizing, collecting money, and TRYING to control this crazy group!

This is my SIL Mary Anne. She wasted no time in getting down to business... bindings must be done! This cute beach memory quilt will be checked off her to-do list soon.

Here we are, SERIOUSLY working. No completed projects yet, but I know we will have some tomorrow when I post.

I think Suzanne is very serious about all of this, but check out the BOX sitting next to her...CHOCOLATE SHOP! HMMM... I think she brought her own stash (and not fabric, either). Just kidding... my guess is she is hiding quilt blocks in these boxes.

Most of us brought the new-fangled machines, but Pat is sewing on her trusty Featherweight... go Pat!

And of course, serious quilting requires serious eating! We must keep up our strength for the fun ahead. Tonight was a picnic, featuring fried chicken and fresh veggies. Tomorrow Charles will start feeding us his wonderful cooking, complete with home-made rolls.

This is a part of the barn that we don't plan on using until late tonight! The bedrooms here are so pretty with a quilt on each bed, and wonderful decorations. We LOVE coming here.
Got to run... FUN is calling me. I am working on a quilt using a jelly roll. I've already made good progress and hope to have the body of the quilt together tomorrow!
Please visit us again tomorrow evening when I will give you another full report on our day of fun!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

And We're Off!

Tomorrow morning about 16 of the "Sew Crafty Quilters" will gather at a local spot and then head to East TX. Our destination (after several stops) will be the Red Barn Retreat in Coldspring, TX. We have been going here for about 6 or 7 years, and we all look forward to this get-away.

We will spend 4 days and 3 nights quilting, eating, laughing... the usual for women who leave responsibilities behind for fun, food, and quilting into the wee small hours of the morning. They (Charles and Janet Watson) cook, they clean, they keep the coffee pot full... WONDERFUL!

My plans are to take the laptop and give you all updates on our accomplishments and fun as we go along. So, YOU ARE INVITED to attend this cyber-retreat!! Come along with us, please. We would love to have you meet us here each evening as I post what we have been up to that day.

Now if I can just get the rest of my stuff packed to go, and get some sleep tonight. It reminds me of trying to sleep the night before I went off to summer camp as a kid... too excited to rest!

See you tomorrow evening!


Friday, July 10, 2009


Late this afternoon I remembered that I was supposed to paint fabric for the give-away! So here are pictures (not very good ones, because it was late and I had to use the flash) of 4 different pieces I painted today.

It was lots of fun, but I had to wrestle with a couple of cats when I laid this out on the screen porch to dry... sure hope they are not curled up on it napping tonight! The blobs you see in the pictures are rock salt... this causes the paint to really be intense where the salt sits.

Tomorrow when it is dry I will take the salt off and heat set the paints with my iron. I may also add some glitz to one or two of them with a sea sponge and some pearlescent gold or silver paint... just a little is all that is needed to add interest and slight sparkle to the fabric. Then it will need to dry and be heat set once more. Then they are ready to be washed. Once washed they have the same hand as regular fabric.

I was really pleased with the colors... hope you like them too.

Does this look like something YOU would like to have? One of the rainbow colored ones will be given away so be sure and sign up below on the July 2 post.

The give-away includes the rainbow basket from the earlier post, 1 yard of rainbow painted fabric, and 5 coordinated fat quarters.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fabric Bowl for Give-Away

Would you like to have this? Hot off the machine, I made my second fabric bowl today using the techniques I learned in a class taught by Jamie Wallen. I really like the rainbow progression! I also decided to leave off the handles on this one. It is stitched with metallic gold thread in the bobbin and Pixelles neon in the top (the "top" actually becomes the inside of the bowl).

Jamie's technique is really easy and neat because there are no raw edges! These are really fun to make! He is working now on a DVD that teaches his method. I'll let you know when they are out because as part of our class we will get one.

Interested in having this basket in YOUR sewing room? Register for the give-away on the July 2nd post to my blog. More goodies to come... I'm planning on painting fabric on Friday.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Fabric Painting Made Simple

I LOVE fabric painting! It (to me) is more controlable than dyes, what you see is what you get, and is also less mess with no face mask necessary. The other plus for fabric painting is that you have 2 different sides to the fabric. I tend to usually like the "wrong" side of the fabric best because it is a little lighter in intensity and details.

Patricia asked the question about good books to learn fabric painting techniques. There are lots of great books out there on painting fabrics; it seems to really be growing in popularity. Here are the ones I have used. I have had these for quite a while, so whether they are still in print or not I do not know.

"Off-the-Shelf Fabric Painting", by Sue Beevers. Subtitled "30 Simple Recipes for Gourmet Results". A very good book with step-by-step procedures. I used this book when I taught fabric painting at the not-so-local quilt shop. Publisher: C & T Publishing

"Fabric Painting, a Simple Approach" by Ginny Eckley. Another GREAT book with tons of information, patterns, and a great gallery of painted fabrics and projects. Publisher: Martingale & Co.

My favorite fabric to paint on is 200 thread count white fabric. I don't usually get the PFD (prepared for dying) fabric because the thread count is not as nice as the 200 thread count. When you are done painting on the 200 stuff your fabrics LOOKS like commercial batiks. Now that is impressive!!! HOWEVER, I can now order the PFD wholesale, so that may be what I use once my supply of 200 count is gone.

Type of fabric paints: I like to use the Setacolor Textile Paints, transparent. I also have some of the Shimmer paints... very nice addition to fabric that didn't quite turn out the way you wanted.... just paint some sparkle on it and it will look fabulous anyway! I have never used the opaque paints so I have no experience with them. The transparent Setacolor can also be used for sun printing, which is another really neat technique.

Source of paints: Two places that I have ordered from are: Pro Chemical & Dye (they have GREAT customer service and a very nice selection of supplies), and Dharma Trading Co. (another great company to work with, they have a larger selection of supplies. ANYTHING for painting or dying, they've got it!)

I hope to be doing a little fabric painting the later part of this week and I will take some pictures to post. I was going to post pics of some of the things I have previously painted, but that means I have to FIND THEM... cleaning out my quilting and office/sewing rooms are on my list to be done this week, also (IF I can tear myself away from the really beautiful fabric basket I am working on).

SHAMELESS PLUG: Don't forget to sign up for my drawing on the July 2 post... you could win 1 yard of painted fabric plus other goodies.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have and I will try to answer them.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pat's Give-away

Pat's drawing has already been held and my SIL won!!! Way to go, MAR!!

Want to win some really neat stuff? Head over to Silver Thimble Talk and register here. Pat is wanting NEW FOLLOWERS for her blog, so please sign up to follow... the drawing won't happen until she gets 10 more of us! You will LOVE her blog... she has a great sense of humor, and she has a "quilt boy" (You'll have to read some of her earlier post to find out who that is!).

AND DON'T FORGET ABOUT MY DRAWING... ENTER BELOW. I'm upping the offerings as I come across things that might sweeten the pot, so keep checking me out.

ALSO: Post about my giveaway on YOUR blog and get an extra entry. Just leave a post (on the July 2 entry below) and let me know you have done so, also leave the link so I can read about it.

Become a follower of my blog and get ANOTHER extra entry! Already a follower? I'm not leaving you out of the fun! Just leave a comment and let me know you already follow, and you will also be given the 3rd entry.

Have a wonderful 4th of July!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blog Giveaway Items

Would you like to win 1/2 1 yard of painted fabric? This is what I made in Jamie Wallen's workshop I took this week. You won't be getting this exact piece, but I will be painting some more in a few days and one piece will be given away.

Would you like to win a fabric bowl (another technique I learned from Jamie)? Sorry for the washed out colors, but it really is beautiful! I will be making another one in a few days using a color progression, and I know it will really be nice. THAT is the one I will be giving away.

And I found some beautiful fat quarters at the Painted Pony 'n Quilts. If you are ever in the La Porte, TX area (SE of Houston) you MUST go there! It is a FABULOUS quilt shop!!!These will also go to the winner of the drawing.
And you say, "Is that all?" Nope... I'm doing some clean-up and I know I will have a book or 2 to add, plus other assorted items I may find in my sorting through. So keep checking back, the list will be growing. Sorry for my unorganization, but such is my life!

So start putting your name in the hat (by replying to this post). Those that have already entered on the previous post will also be included.

PLEASE let others know about this giveaway on your blog. I would love for LOTS of people to be included in the drawing. Post about MY giveaway on YOUR blog and get an extra entry... just leave a comment here letting me know you have posted, provide a link so I can check out your blog, and then you are entered again!
So how about a 3rd chance to win? Become a follower of my blog and get an extra entry! Just post here and let me know once you are signed up to follow. Are you already a follower? I'm not leaving you out of the extra fun... Just post here and let me know that you already follow, and YOU will also be given an extra entry.
Be sure to give me an email address if you don't use a blogger identity when posting.

Remember... this contest will end July 16th at 5PM, central time.
Good luck to all!

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