Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baby Shower Quilt

While I would like to say that I have all the time in the world to sew or quilt...that certainly isn't the case. So when an opportunity presents itself, such as a baby shower, I jump at the chance to get out my sewing machine. One of my dearest friends is having her first child in August and this past Sunday was her shower.

I knew for a while that I was going to make her a newborn quilt and was pulling together ideas when I came across Red Pepper Quilts. A blogger from Australia who creates the most beautiful and modern quilts that I've seen recently and I encourage all who enjoy this art to start following her blog...you'll fall in love with her designs.

Here is the quilt that I made for my friend.

It's a mix of various cotton prints paired with natural linen fabric. At first I thought this was going to be a simple quilt to make; but it turned out that the actual "quilting" was a headache. I still am not 100% comfortable quilting quilts. I can make beautiful quilt tops; but I completely stress out when I have to quilt them. Lucky for me, I like using cotton batting and tossing things in the dryer; which gives that antique look; but also hides flaws that most of the time only I can see.

In the end this quilt was a big winner. Thanks Red Pepper Quilts for giving me the inspiration.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flickr Quilting Bee - Sew Scrappy Sew Happy

So some of you might already be participating in a Virtual Quilting Bee; but I just discovered them earlier this week and immediately wanted to find out more. Of course, these things fill up fast as you can imagine so I thought, what better way to jump in with both feet than to start my own.

For those of you who don't already know what a Quilting Bee is, here is a brief synopsis. It's a group of quilters who agree to participate for an entire year by making a total of 11 blocks (1 for each of the other members). Each member is assigned a month. If it's your month you send out to the other 11 members, fabric and instructions as to the block you would like made. The other 11 members cut, sew and send back the block within a month. This process continues for the entire year. Hopefully by the time your month is over, you'll have received 11 blocks + the one you hopefully will have made for yourself...this is enough to start you on your way to a quilt of your very own. There are quilting bees that are specific such as those who use only a certain designer's fabrics, or a certain color combination, and of course there are those bees which are a mix of everything.

Earlier this week, I created Sew Scrappy Sew Happy. It's a Flickr group; which you can find here. Currently we have 6 members; but I'm hoping for a solid 12 by week's end.

If you can quilt and would like to participate, I encourage you to apply. Otherwise, you can find out more about Quilting Bees here from Quilting Bee Blocks...and maybe start one of your own.

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Memorial Day...a bit late

This past Memorial Day weekend, I took a few extra days off as the weather was supposed to be beautiful and I had a lot of things on my plate.

One of the items that I finally was able to take care of was installing new mounting hardware for my flag. I found a lovely old American Flag at an antique mall and had been wanting to use it on my front porch for some time; but couldn't find the proper pole since most of them already came with a cheepy flag (probably made in China) and I needed something to support the grommets in my flag. I finally found it and we got the flag up in time to support not only Memorial Day; but a few days prior as well.
One of the other items on my To-Do list was to paint the wood beam and siding that surrounded my sunporch. If you recall, this is what it looked like back in 2008.
The individual vertical panels were pretty beaten up and covered in mold from years of being untreated. One of the projects I took on some time ago was to remove all of the individual boards and install something that would be better suited to this area. Also because all of this wood was untreated, it was easy prey for a Carpenter Bee infestitation that I am happy to report (due to my Dad's DIY-trap) is no longer a problem.
Here is what the side yard looks like now, painted and pretty...okay, so ignore the big pile of branches in the middle of the pic; but otherwise things look more cohesive. I've said it a million times before; but I am amazed at what a coat of paint can do.

We also gave my stone foundation a good solid coat of paint too. I had previously patched it with morter mix and we were waiting for a nice day as we knew it would take several hours to get that task done.
I love crossing things off of my list.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In Bad Taste

Walking through my local antique mall, I came across a whole bunch of Country Living Magazines from 1990 and 1991. The vendor was only asking like 50 cents apiece and I thought it would be interesting to look through them and maybe pick up some ideas. I of course took the chance that the magazines were not already ripped apart.

These magazines sat for almost a month on my counter; but this past weekend I finally had some time to look through them. When I finished the 1st magazine, I was disappointed; but figured that it might have been that month...so I picked up the next, and the next and the next.

After I went through all of them, I was horrified. Ugh!! if I see one more group of dried plants hanging from the kitchen, I'm gonna scream. Country-style in the 90s was horrific. Now I realize that I'm looking at this with 2010 eyes; but now I understand why all of us are ripping out what the previous owners' did.

I unfortunately don't have photos to share; but I can easily paint a picture for you. Let me preface this by saying that while all of these things separately or in appropriate moderation are acceptable, the combination was just plain ugly.
  • Groups of dried flowers/plants hanging near every window in the kitchen scenes
  • Red and Black plaid comforter, throws, pillows, rug, etc
  • Cheesy gold-flake knick-knacks sat on every horizontal surface
  • Sponge-painted walls
  • Stenciling around every window and door frame, on every stair riser, etc.

Needless to say I ripped out only 3 pages in nearly a year's worth of magazines.