Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bee Blocks

After driving Pete to the airport this morning at zero dark thirty, and then a quick nap, I worked on some bee blocks. The RI Modern Quilt Guild just started our first bee. For the first month, Suzanne chose these adorable Sunshine Star blocks from 42 Quilts

When I started clicking around the 42 Quilts blog, I was excited to see all 64 blocks that Jennifer designed for her Modern Monday series. I think I might make a bunch of these to replace the Farmer's Wife blocks I'm really not crazy about. I'm such a rebel!

I'm off to an EQ7 class. Have a great day!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Family Time

 With Pete home for the weekend, we decided to make the most of our one day together before Julia left for her semester abroad. We wanted to go on a hike, so Julia brought us to Norman Bird Sanctuary where she worked this summer. This picture was taken at the top of Hanging Rock, high above Gardiner Pond and Third Beach.

I just can't resist taking a picture of them on the trail every time we hike together. This is my new favorite trail. There's a little bit of scrambling up rocks, but the views are well worth it.

The crazy kids did some rock climbing, too.

We drove Julia to New York on Sunday for her flight to Tanzania via Amsterdam. She had to prove to herself that she could handle all her own bags. JFK's international terminal is the best place for people-watching.

As we were leaving the airport, we got a weather alert about flash flooding. A few minutes later, I was driving through the worst downpour I have ever seen. We could barely see the road as we crawled along at 20mph. There was one giant puddle to drive around that caused some traffic backup. A few miles later, we were crossing the Whitestone Bridge and a rainbow appeared. That's always a good sign!

I got an iMessage from Julia at 2am our time. She was waiting at the gate in Amsterdam and was very excited! I've been tracking her flight all morning and she just touched down in Tanzania a few minutes ago.

Pete heads back to North Carolina tomorrow and our nest will be empty again. It will be a busy Fall for all of us, so before you know it, we'll be together again.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Luggage Tags

 The world traveler needed some new luggage tags to match her new luggage.

I cut out some scrap paper to size and grabbed the bag of turquoise scraps. I turned on the AC and sat down at the Featherweight. It was fun to make each one different.

 Using the tutorials by Skip to My Lou, these four tags were done in no time (especially if you don't count the ripping off of a piece of vinyl that I stitched to the wrong side).

You can't tell, but there is a piece of clear vinyl on the striped side of each tag. I'll print out business cards with her info to slip in.

She's almost ready to go. Am I ready?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Seaside Laptop Case

 As Julia started packing for her term abroad, we realized that the laptop case I made for her two years ago was rather worn out. One of our errands yesterday was to pick up some fabric for a new one. She chose this adorable beachy print from Dear Stella. She wants to take a little bit of home with her to Tanzania!

The lining is a Riley Blake medium navy chevron that I had in my stash. I layered the main print with batting and quilted it with parallel wavy lines. (I was corrected. "Straight stitched wavy lines" is an oxymoron.) In retrospect, I wish I had quilted the lining, too. When I was almost done, I decided to add another layer of batting, which was quite a chore.

I used a trick I learned from Kindred Quilters and used basting tape to hold the zipper in place as I stitched.

After I had the first side of the zipper done, I couldn't find the tape. After about 10 minutes of searching high and low, I picked up my pieces and found the tape stuck to the back!

I haven't mastered stitching the junction of the zipper and bag side. This one is better than the first one I made, so maybe the next one will be better still.

All done! About a four hour job, including a lunch break.

I can't believe I forgot to stitch one of my new labels into the lining. I'll have to stitch it in by hand later.

Edit 7pm: There. That's better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WIP Wednesday

 It's been a little busy around here as the summer winds down, so there's not much sewing happening.

I finished the applique on my class project from last week. I'll get this Hawaiian pillow layered and quilted soon.

I'm still not completely happy with my inside curves and points, but they are getting better.

Julia is gearing up for her term abroad in Tanzania. Way back in June, she bought fabric and elastic to make these skirts. They were finally sewn up this week. Julia always dresses modestly, but her old skirts were a little too short.

I got to use my new labels even though she did most of the work.

I'm looking for a big chunk of time to start working on the star points of the wedding ring quilt. Maybe tomorrow?

Have a great day!


Thursday, August 14, 2014


 I attended a guild workshop yesterday taught by my friend, Janet Elia. It was a fun, laid back Hawaiian quilting class. No pressure, slow stitching, perfect for the end of summer.

Janet provided a simple bread fruit pattern, but the over achiever in me reared her ugly head. Bill purchased four Hawaiian pillow patterns for me on one of his business trips to Hawaii more than 20 years ago. It was finally time to use one!

I decided to celebrate the Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. I used the small orchid pattern with Kona Crocus.

It took me hours to baste this sucker! By bedtime, I had finished appliqueing 3/4 of the piece. I was enjoying the process so much, I couldn't stop!

It was a fun day with friends, and I think I'm going to love this pillow. Thanks, Janet!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to our little corner of the world in Rhode Island. I was invited to participate in this hop by Helen at Till We Quilt Again.  She's been secretly following me for a while, but she's out of the closet now! We were provided with some prompts to guide these posts, so here we go.

What and I working on?

If you've visited recently, you are probably sick of seeing pics of the latest wedding ring quilt in progress. It is the fourth in a series of wedding ring quilts for nieces and nephews. You can see the others here and here. For this one, the bride asked for blue, and the groom (a Syracuse alumnus) wanted to include some orange. I was only too happy to oblige! The arcs are done (all 160 of them) so I will start working on the star points this week. I am using the Bali Wedding Star pattern by Judy Niemeyer.

When I need a break from this project, I piece a few Farmer's Wife blocks from this book.

 How does my work differ from others?

That's a tough question! I've been quilting for almost 24 years, so I've tried just about every new technique and style. I enjoy quick piecing techniques, especially paper piecing. But I don't mind some occasional handwork like hand binding, applique and English Paper Piecing. I love the aesthetic of the Modern Quilting movement, so I have been trying to combine those fabrics and ideas with the skills I have acquired. 

Why do I create what I do?

There are class projects, 

gifts and swaps,

and ideas that just need to get out!

And now it's time to hop on to a couple of friends who will have you traveling around the world in opposite directions: Northwest US and Munich, Germany. I hope you will visit Debbie and Rike for their posts next Monday, August 18.
 I met Debbie of A Quilter's Table in 2011 when she made this amazing quilt for me as part of the For the Love of Solids Swap. I chose Kona Mango as the focus color and she went above and beyond! You can find her tutorial for this block here

 Rike of Quilts und andere schöne Sachen (Quilts and other beautiful stuff) is a blogger I'd like to introduce you to. Don't worry, she blogs in both German and English. She got married just last week, so do visit and share the love!

Have a wonderful day. I'm off to the beach!