Quilting ... Crafts ... and Life ...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Organizing to start the New Year

Wow did this year go by fast!
I can not believe that 2011 is coming to an end and tomorrow is 2012!!

My new years "Quilty" resolution is to FINISH things!

SO to get a better work space flow
I took some time to rearraign my sewing room (again!)
I think I like it now here are a few pictures of my new work space.


This is what my sewing room looks like when you walk in.
I have my cutting area separated from my sewing / computer area.


I had them together creating a big island in the middle of the room -
but it took up the entire room so I've split them up ...
I think it makes the room (11 x 13) look a bit bigger.

This is what I see when sitting at my sewing machine - the doorway and my TV!!

When I stand in front of my cutting table I now get a clear view of
the doorway, my fabric closet, the TV and my library
(I have way too many books!)


My Fabric Closet
This is just my Batiks, Kaffe, Amy Butler, Japanese and funky fabrics!!
I have more fabric in the basement stored in plastic bins!
My friends call it Janet's Quilt Shop!
They can find almost anything there!!

I created an "L" shape for my sewing/computer/printer area
so far it is working out well

This is my "Inspiration Quilt" !!
I WON this quilt in a 2010 raffle for the
Friends4Kenya / Urembo Basket Program.
I bought one ticket!
I LOVE the way the ladies are dancing - it gives off such great energy!
The quilt was made by Sharon Monahan and quilted by Celine Spada.

Now that I'm organized for 2012....
 I can work on finishing all the projects I started in 2011!!!
Happy New Quilty Year


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Birdie Stitch Blocks....

I have just finished my 12 Birdie Stitch blocks!
Since I LOVE blue birds....
I stitched my Birdies in blue and a red/pink color!

Here they are....













For the pattern check here
I just loved these way too cute little birdies!
Now onto deciding what to sash and boarder them with???
Hmmm... time to go Stash Shopping!
I just love swimming in fabric!
If  I'm not back soon - I've drowned in my fabric...
please send a quilty life raft!!

Another new project....

Yes I know ... I need another new (long term project)
like I need a hole in my head!!
But I just could not resist!! I'm a sucker for hand stitching.
I found this pattern from Crab-apple Hill

last year at A Quilter's Gathering and was just taken by the beauty of it.
This year I saw it again and made up my mind to jump in and get it started!




The pattern uses Seasons (#8049)Cosmo
embroidery floss by Lecien ... made in Japan.
I love this floss it is a variegated from a
light taupe/green to olive green to a darker silver muted evergreen color.
Absolutely beautiful!

Here is block #1
If you notice on the edges the pattern stops ....
Once it is sewn in next to a pieced block
 the embroidery will continue onto that pieced block!

I used two different stitches
the back stitch was used on the
 evergreen trees to give a fluffier look,
like they were covered with snow.
For everything else I used a running outline type stitch,
to give a thinner crisper look.

Fabric selection for the pieced blocks....
well it just had to be from my Japanese Taupe collection!!
 

I searched my stash of Japanese taupe's
and selected these for the project. 

I just love it all stacked up!
All though I hate to cut into these fabrics
I think this is the perfect project for them.

I want this quilt to hang in my dining room
during the winter months.
New England winters are full of cool crispy snowy air and
I think this quilt with these colors will be perfect!

I hope to have it done for next Christmas!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Busy "Quilty" Fall

 October and November have been  very busy "Quilty" Months for me!
Three of my quilts were accepted into
The Quilter's Gathering Quilt Show in Nashua NH!
That is always such an honor -
to have your quilts accepted into a show... and to have three!
Oh My Gosh I was so thrilled!

SO of course my Mom and I drove up for
the weekend to ogle at all to the beautiful
quilts and do a little shopping!

This is Mom and I in front of "Fiesta" - now this is
a quilt that will definitely wake you up in the morning!!


 "Experimental Iris" looked a bit lonely way up there!

Received lots of compliments on my "Blue Hibiscus" quilt.
I think she's my favorite! 

The Yankee Quilters of Franklin and
The Proper Bostonian Quilters of West Roxbury
asked me to come and speak at there guilds!
How cool is that!

What a thrill it was to share Sashiko with all of the women of these guilds,
best of all - they really seemed to like it!
I so did not want to be one of those "boring" speakers!!!


This piece I designed using two different patterns,
minimizing one and blowing up the other!
For transferring this pattern onto the indigo fabric
 the pattern was traced onto "Golden Threads" paper - I like
this paper - I can see through it and that way I can get good placement.
Using Clover's Chaco paper and a clover Tracing pen
the design was transferred onto the fabric - worked like a charm!

Everyone in attendance received a small kit of a moon flower.


Each guild member got to do some hands-on Sashiko
Lots of fun!

and once they finished they could take it home and make
a way too cute Mug Rug!!

This is what it looks like start to finish!

I had been stitching up these squares that I purchased at
the Lowell Quilt Museum and wasn't sure exactly how I
would use them .... until I saw an idea in a magazine....
now I have a beautiful table runner!

This was supposed to be the side of a tote bag,
but just could not do it ... and I'm a bag lady!
So I made a small table topper and gave it to my
sister this past spring for her birthday ...
she let me borrow it back for my lectures!
She also sent it with a note that said it was strictly a LOAN!
Gosh Darn It - I guess I'll give it back !!


Plus .... I finished up 2 Tahiti Totes pattern from Pink Sand Beach Designs
for a class I'll be teaching this winter at Quilter's Stash

This one is Mom's she picked beautiful Fall purple leave fabric....
and then I told her she couldn't have it until the Spring!!

Mine of course has the jazzy colors and trim!

Now it's time sit rest up and get ready for
Thanksgiving and Christmas - my favorite time of the year!




Monday, October 31, 2011

Blue bird of Sunshine - Applique style!

I love Bluebirds! They make me smile!
Not sure why ... maybe it's because they are ... blue!
And with winter coming to New England I definately need
my little Bluebird of Sunshine

My brother-in-law takes Fabulous photo's
and this photo of his
was the inspiration for my applique Bluebird below.
Last spring I took an applique class from Marie Lage
(she is fabulous) and I have finally (almost) finish my little Bluebird
(except for his feet!)

Not sure what I'm going to do with him now, or how I'm going to quilt him ...
Maybe just leave him as a mini quilt for my sewing room.
That way I'll have happiness and sunshine all year round,
even during a freezing snowy New England winter!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Silver City Quilt Guild Show

Wow - we had a wonderful quilt show. Lot's of fabulous quilts made by some incredible quilters! And my little quilts did very well for themselves - receiving 6 ribbons! I was so excited!!

Blue Hibiscus received FOUR ribbons! Oh My Gosh!
We had the opportunity to have our quilts judged by Holice Turnbow  
two ribbons were from the judged category!
First Place Small Bed
Best Hand Quilting
First Place Viewer's Choice
Second Place Guild Choice

This quilt was a true labor of love - it took a year and a half to do all of the
needle turn applique and hand quilting (Hawaiian Echo style)


Fiesta Won a Third Place Small Bed - Judged category


 Sashiko Bamboo and Hibiscus won 
Second Place in the Judged Wall hanging division


 And my little Experimental Iris was just so darn Cute!
But her binding needs work!
So I plan on removing the binding, re blocking her
and reattaching the binding on a bit better this time!

Even my Mom's vest won a ribbon!
Second Place -Other in the Judged Category!!
She was so excited!
As she put it ... "I'm 86 and this is the first ribbon I've ever won"!!
It was really special!

Now that the show is over - I'm taking a small breather!
Lining up my next few projects.
But on the top of the list is my daughter's T-shirt quilt
which I MUST have done by Christmas!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Vacation and Quilting

I've taken some time away from my blog to enjoy the summer (and quilt)!
This summer we spent 2 weeks in Chatham - very relaxing. 
I love the beach ... I love walking the beach, watching the waves and collecting shells.


Stephen and I saw the whales and seals off shore - no sharks.

This is a photo of three seals swimming next to each other off of
Light House Beach in Chatham.

All though my son Matt, caught a 12 inch baby sand shark while fishing off the beach!
Yes - we had been swimming there earlier!
And I thought it was a crab that was nibbling at my toe!


Victoria and I had a wonderful day on Nantucket


With vacation over the rest of the summer has been spent getting quilts
ready for the Sliver City Quilt Guild show in September.

I'm working on a hand quilted Hawaiian quilt my "Blue Hawaiian"

I'm down to the very edge and almost done - then it will be time to block and bind!
This has been a two year project and I've loved every minute of it!
I love the ease of applique and hand quilting - no machines ... just me and the fabric!
OH ... and cheater glasses and a good light!


Then machine quilting my "Fiesta" quilt which is made up of mostly all
New York Beauty blocks - which I of course had to machine quilt myself!

Unfortunately my Bernina's BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) and I are not getting along!
After many attempts and many skipped stitched I took it off my machine and
threw it across the sewing room - well in my mind I did!
Anyway it's off and I'm trying to get into a quilting groove....
I think my stitches are coming out OK.

Here is one of the blocks .... What do you think?


This block is my favorite it looks like little Christmas trees!!
Only a few more blocks to go!!!
But I have time ... 3 weeks!
No problem ... I just wont sleep!

Oh I just realized this is my 50th blog post!
Whoo-Hoo!!
Hope you all have enjoyed them.
Happy Quilting!