Friday, June 29, 2012

Assembly has begun!

Is it hot where you live?  I'm sure glad I got to help out at the quilt shop today - it's air conditioned, and my house is not!  Mid 90's and humid here in northern PA today, and tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter.  Back to Needles tomorrow for more cool air!

Somehow, in the midst of all the visits and celebrations of the past week, I've managed to get a good start on my "Haberdashery" quilt that I mentioned in my last post.  Everything except the red sashing fabric is made from re-purposed men's clothes.  Each block is made using 4 different ties, and the grey & cream diagonals are made from men's trousers.  Even the cornerstones are fussy-cut from a shirt.  The blocks are all foundation pieced using a pattern called Eagle's Wings by Laundry Basket Quilts only I've added sashing and cornerstones to mine.  Now I just have to remove all the paper from the back of the blocks - ugggg..... then decide on a border fabric...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - Celebrations Galore!

I promised you a post filled with pictures this week and I don't think you'll be disappointed!  Our grandson's birthday was the highlight of the week and we had a great time with him, and it was so fun watching both of our grandkids getting to know each other.  They are only four months apart and I'm sure they'll be best buddies in no time, if we can get them together often enough.  Difficult task, considering they live on opposite ends of the country...  But we'll do our best...

Birthday Boy was ready for bed before he opened his gifts, but his mom peeked later and loved these, and I'm sure he does too.  These tiny guys are only 4 inches high, and the pattern pieces are the tiniest I've ever worked with, but I love how they turned out.  I used this pattern by Heather Bailey and it's really well written.  It always amazes me how much stuffing these little guys take!
The day after the Birthday Party, all our kids got together and somehow managed to surprise us with a  Fabulous Brunch to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary.  They took over our kitchen on Saturday morning and got everything started while I was in the shower.  We had no idea what was going on until the last minute.  I would have put another leaf in the table if I'd known what they were up to, but we all squeezed in, including 2 highchairs, and it was GREAT!  They made a delicious omelet-type dish from Barefoot Contessa (click here if you want the recipe - it's delish!), fresh fruit salad, pancakes and bacon.  What a feast!  Even fresh roses for the centerpiece.
Now on to the sewing projects...  I finished both of the quilts using more of my re-purposed oxford shirts, previously blogged about here.  This one is for a baby girl, and I just love the old-weathered look it has, combined with the lavender batik  I quilted it with straight rows of stitches in grey thread.  Very simple, but I love it.

I also promised you more details about this quilt once the recipient received it.  I shipped it off to her last week and she has it now, so I'd like to take this opportunity to share her story with you.  We became fast friends in high school and she's one of the sweetest people I know.  My heart broke for her when I got an email from her in March saying she had just lost her 20 year old son.  I was working with these oxford shirt fabrics at that time, and when I saw that their last family photo was taken on a beach, I couldn't help but think of how suitable one of these "beachy-looking" quilts would be for them.  And as a quilter, I know how comforting a quilt can be, at least to me they are.  So I made the decision to make her a quilt, and left it up to her to decide whether to keep the quilt for her family to enjoy, or possibly donate it to the organization she is actively involved with to help raise funds to help students avoid drugs.  You see, her son died of an accidental heroin overdose.  As they struggle with their loss, they have come forward with their story to try and help other families.  She wrote an article for her local newspaper and has agreed to let me share it here.  The story is very sad, but they hope that they can help others through their experience, and if sharing this story helps just one person, it's worth it.  If you'd like to read her story, here's a link.  And here is the Comfort Quilt.

Now on to a happier topic - my Tasting Table!  What's on it today???  Hopefully, my entry to my local quilt guild's Quilt Exhibit which is coming up in September.  I started this quilt years ago (I hate to say how many...) and finally decided it was time to get this UFO finished.  It's actually a continuation of these oxford shirt quilts, because at the time I collected the shirts from my engineering coworkers, I also collected their old neckties.  I made 35 blocks out of the ties, but then put them away and forgot about them.  So they've been brought out and I've started assembling them into a quilt.  I hope to have some pictures to share in the next couple of days, so stay tuned as I attempt to make something wonderful out of this vintage batch of ties.  Cheers!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday

All sewing has been put on the back burner this week, because our grandson is in town!  He came all the way from Florida and we don't see him often, so we're making the most of the opportunity to spend some time with him.  He's celebrating his first birthday this week and I just finished making his birthday gift.  Can't wait to share pics of that with you, but I don't want to spoil the surprise since his mom follows my blog.  So that will have to wait until next week.  But be prepared to "ahhhh" when you see it - it's SOOO adorable!!!

And our granddaughter will be here with her parents this weekend as well, so we'll have both grandchildren at the same time, and that rarely happens - hopefully I'll have some pictures of them both to share next week as well.

Nothing else new on my Tasting Table right now though, but I finished the Cube Mates quilt, and I'm mailing it to my friend tomorrow, so I'll share pictures with you after she receives it.  It's a surprise, and it wouldn't be fair for you to see it before she does.  And the other Oxford Shirt quilt with the lavender batik is on my basting wall right now.  So I might have that one finished before next Tuesday's post as well.

So no pictures today, but be prepared for picture overload in next week's post, if not sooner.
Now it's time to enjoy a glass of wine with my hubby...  Enjoy your Tuesday!  Cheers!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Now it feels like summertime is finally here.  Our backyard is green and lush right now and the Queen Anne's Lace is popping up in my patch of Silver Beacon, but it's so pretty I don't have the heart to cut it down.  (I'm not much of a gardener, so if I've named them wrong, feel free to correct me.)

I took these pictures just before we left for the lake, and the mottled sunlight was just right.  I wonder how I can make these into a quilt... hmmm...  now there's a thought!

We had a rainy day while we were there, which left me plenty of time to experiment with my Zentangles.  I think I'm hooked!  I started out just copying some of the doodles in my books so I could get the feel of it, then I started trying to create my own.  I'm the type of person who likes to have everything planned out in advance, so it's a real challenge for me to just doodle without a plan.  But I think it's also good mental exercise for me to wander outside my comfort zone once in a while.  So I plodded along and I'm pretty happy with my first attempts.  I've got a long ways to go yet, but I'm enjoying the process.

I didn't realize there was a shadow across every one of these shots till after I downloaded them, but I think it was my own shadow.  Oops!  As I mentioned in my last post, hubby and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary while we were away, so of course I had to do a Zentangle to commemorate the event.

Then when I got home and picked up the mail, look what I found!
There were 4 1/2 yards of this gorgeous batik left on the bolt at the shop where I bought my first 1 1/2 yards, and they were nice enough to pop it in the mail for me.

And I also ordered this before I left...
MY VERY OWN KONA SOLID SWATCH CARD!!!!  This is the new one with their 28 new colors added.  I've seen them popping up on lots of other blogs lately, and I just HAD to have one.  Now if only I had a yard or two of every color on the card!  Right...  Dream on, Kathy!!!  But at least when I order some yardage now, I'll know exactly which color I want for each project.  I bought mine from Fat Quarter Shop, and they're less than $20.  Totally worth every penny!

Now I've got some hand-sewing to finish up, so I'm headed outdoors to sit and sew in this pretty sunshine.  It's a beautiful day in Pennsylvania!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - home away from home

If Blogger publishes this post as I scheduled it, I'm either out on the lake fishing, or enjoying a glass of wine on the deck as you read this.  This is our first trip up to the lake this summer and although it's a lot of work to open up the trailer for the season, it's also good to be back at our home-away-from-home.  Tomorrow is our 25th wedding anniversary, so we might even splurge and buy a bottle of the "good stuff" while we're here...  Cheers!
Every year, a pair of osprey nest in the very top of the tree on the left, on a little rocky island.  The young birds squawk at us constantly while we fish nearby.  We love to watch the parents as they swoop in to feed them.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Taking a week off...

I got LOTS of work accomplished this past week, and that's a good thing, because I'm taking the next 5 days off.  There won't be any sewing going on, but maybe a little Zentangle'ing instead.  Check my next Tasting Table Tuesday post to see where I am (assuming Blogger follows my instructions and publishes my post as scheduled).  In the meantime, here's a hint...  And yes - some days I feel like I'm as crazy as one of these...  Cheers!  And I'll be back on-line soon!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - at Needles!

I was working at a different Tasting Table today.  I'm helping out at Needles Quilt Shop for most of the week, and it's almost like going to a quilting retreat - in between customers, Katie and I can visit, sew, chat, sew, have lunch together, sew, and even run across the street for ice cream whenever we feel like it - cappuccino crunch - ummmm!!!  Katie is working on a shop sample quilt using Walnut Hill Farm by Charlotte Lyons for Blend Fabrics.  It's a really nostalgic looking piece that she's piecing as one full panel, with borders - it would make a great tablecloth, or maybe a vintage-looking "I Spy" quilt for little ones.
And I'm busy making another shop sample.  It's a baby quilt using a pattern I designed for the shop last year.  I spent today working on the half-square triangles for the pinwheel blocks, which I hope to assemble tomorrow.  I'll post a finished picture when it's done, with more information about the pattern at that time.
I've made some good progress with the two oxford shirt quilts I started last week, but since I'll be at the shop all week, my home projects will only get worked on in the evenings, so this week will be a little slower going than normal.  But I finished piecing both quilts before we left for a weekend away, and I got one of them basted last night.  I REALLY, REALLY love my basting wall.  I know I've raved about this before, but it feels so good to be able to baste an entire quilt without having to get on my knees!  (sorry for the dull colors on this one, but I took it late last night and didn't take the time to "tweak" it before posting.)
 I'm so happy with the batik fabric chosen to go with these shirt fabrics (thanks for spotting it Sue!)  It's just the perfect shade of dusty lavender that compliments the shirtings, while still providing a little contrast.  I bought it on a recent trip to Ithaca NY, at Homespun Boutique, and I only bought enough for this one quilt, yet I still have lots of these shirt fabrics left.  Why, Why, Why - didn't I buy more???  I've been thinking about it for days and finally mailed a swatch to the shop to see if they have any more of it that they can ship to me.  Knowing my luck, it will be gone, because there wasn't much left on the bolt, but I've got my fingers crossed.  One of these days I might learn my lesson - ALWAYS buy more than you think you need!
So that's what's new on my Tasting Table this week.  What's on yours???