19 March 2011

Sewing of the green...

The Divas/Ladies community group from People's Church had its St. Patrick's celebration on Friday evening. All the foods were green: spinach dip, pistachio pudding, guacamole, pickles, kiwis, green salad with cucumbers, lime sherbet punch, and St. Patty's confetti cake! I had this nutty idea I'd make recycled shopping bags (environmentally green) for everyone. The germ of this idea took root a couple of years ago. I noticed the packaging of the dry cat food we buy changed. Many were made of DuraWeave®, a woven plastic/laminated fabric. I've saved a couple dozen of these bags and finally got around to cutting and sewing them into totes for books, groceries, projects, getting stuff out of your car, etc. I love the cat food bags' bright colors! I also made ones from dog food bag, and bird seed bags.

I premiered the bags at my book club meeting Thursday night. There were four other ladies present at the first club meeting I attended last month. I had to decide—do I take only four, and they'd just get what they got. Or do I take the baker's dozen of the ones I'd made so far and let them choose? Luckily I took all 13. Much to my surprise, there were five more ladies there this time! Oh, my stars and garters—I would have been so embarrassed if I didn't have enough for everyone. Whew—disaster averted! Everyone got to choose the bag they liked, except for Naomi. I made her take the bird seed one with all the birdie drawings. I wanted her to have it because I love the way SHE draws birds!

I came home after book club with my four remaining bags and cut/prepped another 10 bags to get sewn sometime Friday before Divas community group. I went into full assembly line mode and got them done with a whole hour to spare. Whew! I pestered Winnie (Divas hostess) a couple of times about a final head count. I wanted to have an extra one or two but wound up taking 14 bags and there were 14 ladies in attendance! Thank you, Jesus! Hope everyone finds a purpose for theirs. It was fun making them and even more fun sharing them with two groups of truly incredible women!

16 March 2011

Another fabric store...

Eight new Fat Quarters: roses, ferns, flowers, batiks, and turnips!
It's often said we least appreciate that which is in our own back yard. Fair enough. But what if we don't know it's in our backyard—or down the street just one mile away? I had the extreme pleasure of discovering Savage Quilter, 6815 North May Avenue, 840-1466. They have no Web presence to speak of. My intention was to stop in at the Bernina store and laugh at their prices. I saw SQ next door and decided to pop my head in. Oh, my stars and garters! I literally stood there agape for at least 15 seconds. I love Quiltworks, but sometimes it's just fun seeing all that fiber love someplace else! The prices were comparable. One group of fabric that I especially loved was the food prints—bananas, leafy greens, pomegranates, potatoes, etc. I got the turnips fat quarter because of the purple and green together. My friend Naomi mentioned something I probably noticed but couldn't put my finger on—they could use better lighting.

That said, I'll be off to Quiltworks tomorrow! They're having a 25% off bolt prices all day. National Quilting Day is 19 March, so I suppose they're celebrating a couple of days early.

Anyway, I am excited to find a new source for fabric!

11 March 2011

Block of the Month Quilt...

Tea Leaf Block
First steps... I got my mitts on my first month's fabrics/pattern last week. This is a 10-month project called Stars Over Bali Skies. Its finished size is approximately 68" x 76", so this is my biggest undertaking so far, in size and number of pieces. In addition to getting these four main blocks done, I've fondled and cataloged the additional strips to make up the big quilt's background. Tonight I saw the finished piece at Oklahoma Quiltworks. I've seen pictures online, but seeing it full size and in person about took my breath away! The last time I checked the classroom, only about 1/3 of the top was done. How am I going to stay patient until the end of the year!? Sigh.

Hope someday mine looks THIS good!

When I went to pick up my packet last Thursday, I was pleasantly surprised to see my friend Becky at the shop. I also discovered she is doing this same BOM (Block of the Month), too! She's a far more experienced quilter than I so I look forward to see how hers comes along over time.

I started out early with a BIG mistake—piecing blocks together when I was tired. We had an unusually long Sunday, so when I started later that night, I didn't realize how tired I was until I started making a series of little mistakes that grew into a sloppy block. It kinda looked okay but would not square up properly. The next day, I bought replacement fabric in purples and gold for that block and the second try at the Puzzle block turned out much better.
My favorite block, Indian Star, this time around has got to be the one with all the oranges! It contains four Flying Geese and I'd never done that before. I like the swirls in the light fabric and the bold dots peppering the orange. Or maybe I just like the warm colors.

The Milky Way block was easy enough and the first to incorporate joined strips cut to make one-inch squares.

Looking down the road, I suspect this will be a quilt top I send out to be professionally stitched together. I've got until January to have to make a decision (and save up to pay for it).

In case you didn't know, I use my computer extensively in planning and reporting on my quilt projects. Several months ago, I discovered my laptop computer's screen cracked. Note to self: Do not lay a pen on top of your laptop's keyboard and apply pressure via cat or stack of papers/books. When Tom started doing some work at home and I got my iPad, we got a new, more powerful wireless router. Now our Wi-Fi connection fills the whole house. This week I sent off my laptop to have its screen repaired and expect to get it back next week. I look forward to working on the quilt files right where I have all my fabric instead of bouncing back and forth between my office and my studio areas. Tah dah!