Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - Home at Last

Hope you all had a great week.  We had LOTS of rain, wind and cold, but there's nothing like a trip to the local quilt shop to make up for the bad weather :)
Now it's time to get back to my assembly line of laptop sleeves...  I'll post pictures when they're done.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - A Production Line!

Remember this laptop sleeve I made for my daughter?  With this pattern by KeykaLou?
Well, it was a hit.  She loves it - and so do all the other teachers she works with!
So I need to make more - LOTS more!  :)

I'm making fifteen of them - a few more than I think we'll need, but that will give the teachers more of a selection to choose from.  Whatever is left over - if any - will get listed in my Etsy shop.  I'll mention it here on my blog if I have any left over to list - probably in mid/late October.

It's really been fun picking out all the fabric combinations for these sleeves.  I already had some of them in my stash, and I bought several new ones during my shopping trip last week.  I can't pick a favorite - I love them all!  (I know I should list what each fabric is, but I'm too tired to go downstairs and write them all down tonight.  But if you'd like to know what any of them are, just leave a comment and ask - I'd be happy to identify them for you.  The smaller fabric in each picture is the lining.)
One of the teachers is male, so I even ordered a piece from the Curious Nature collection by Parson Gray/David Butler (third row far right).  I've admired that entire collection since it came out and this will be a perfect use for it.  Very modern and masculine at the same time.  I think I'll line it with a bright solid - maybe orange or teal...  Or course, he might pick one of the other "non-girly" ones, and one of the women might pick the Curious Nature one.  Who knows!
So as you can see, my Tasting Table is pretty much buried in laptop sleeves of various stages of completion this week, and it will stay that way for the next few days because if Blogger posts this when I told him to, I'm fishing while you're reading this.  It's hard to believe that summer has come to an end already and it's time to close up our fish camp for the year.  Hopefully we'll catch our limit first, and enjoy some nice weather before we have to head home...  Then it's back to the production line...  and sew and sew...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Trip Report - Quilt Shops Review

I'm back from my shopping trip to Reading PA.  Found a few bargains and ran up my credit card bill a little, but not too bad this time.  We stopped at Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley on the way down, and found lots of great fabric.  I didn't price every bolt in the shop, but I bought several pieces and all of them were priced less than $8 per yard.  And they have a basket full of "fat scraps" that are slightly undersized fat quarters that are all $1 each!  I don't know about all of them, but the ones I bought aren't more than a quarter inch small, if that!  Great bargain if you don't need an exact fat quarter.
And Bob was really nice and helpful.  Good prices and good service - what more can you ask for!  I'll definitely stop there again to stock up next time I'm in the area - worth the trip!

We found another quilt shop on our way home - Rose of Sharin' in Danville.  It's a very nice little shop right on the main street in downtown Danville.  The people were very warm and friendly and made us feel right at home.  They have a good selection, and a great little remnant room in the back.  Ran up the balance on my credit card a little more here too.  :)

Now for the funny part of our trip...  One of the "must do" stops each year is JoAnns Fabrics.  We always take our coupons with us and stock up on notions, interfacing, and whatever else is on our list.  Well, this year we drove into the parking lot and found NO JoAnns!  The building was vacant with a "for rent" sign in the window!  Can't be!!!  We've got coupons to use!  So we went to the other stores on our list, then drove to the hotel to check in to our room before dinner.  Guess what we could see from our room?
Do you see what I see???  I zoomed in to take the picture, but we were within walking distance if it weren't for the traffic!  We had a good laugh over that one, and of course, stopped to check out their new location and use our coupons.  So we had a fun girls trip and are looking forward to next year...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - traveling AGAIN!

Just as I was getting some work accomplished - I'm running off on another mini-trip.  This is an annual shopping trip to the outlets in Reading PA that I make with a long-time friend.  We've lost track of how many years we've been doing this (who's counting anyway) and we always have a good time.  Whether we find good bargains or not, it's fun to just get away for a couple of "girl's days".  Shopping - seafood - a little wine...  FUN!

We're planning on stopping at Ladyfingers Sewing Studio on the way and I've got my shopping list all packed.  It's been a few years since we've been there and I can't wait to see what kind of goodies I can find!  It's a very nice quilt shop, owned by Gail Kessler, who's the Marketing Director for Andover Fabrics in NYC.  She's also a fabric designer, and I'm curious to see her new fabrics...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Another New Project

I've had this Zip Pocket Pouch pattern for quite a while now, but had yet to try it.  It's another one of KeykaLou's Patterns (Michelle's Patterns).  The pattern includes 3 sizes and this is the medium.  It's about 4" x 6" and includes a zippered pocket for cash, credit cards, or anything else you want to store securely, plus a slip pocket that's the perfect size for a cell phone.  (I don't have an iPhone, but made a cardboard mockup that's the same size as an actual iPhone so you can see how it fits).  There's plenty of room, so I'm pretty sure this would also work for some of the larger phones.  The top folds down and the whole thing stays securely closed with a velcro flap, so there's no chance of loosing anything.  I really like this pattern and will probably make some to go along with the laptop sleeves I showed you earlier this week.  I'll post the details here when I have some ready to list in my Etsy shop.

Fabrics are from Joel Dewberry's Aviary2 collection - Lodge Lattice & Damask.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Such a Good Girl!

After my rant on a previous post about my temperamental Juki, I felt it was only fair to report that she's being SUCH A GOOD GIRL today!!!
Just doing a simple all-over meander on this one, but it's such a joy to quilt when my machine behaves.  I'm about 75% done and not had one problem (yet).  Maybe I'll keep her...  :)  Hope you're having a "happy quilting day" too!

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Laptop Sleeve

My daughter asked me to make a sleeve for her new laptop computer.  It seemed like a simple enough project that I could probably design something myself, but then I saw this pattern and thought "Why reinvent the wheel?".  Michelle (also known as KeykaLou) had already designed a very nice looking sleeve and for just a few dollars I could have  her pattern downloaded in a matter of minutes and save myself tons of time.  I'm so glad I did, because I really like the looks of this sleeve.  As usual, Michelle's pattern is easy to follow, and very stylish.  I've used several of her patterns, and haven't been disappointed yet.

The pattern is designed for a 13" MacBook Pro, but will fit a variety of brands as long as the dimensions are close in size.  I love the dart detail in the corners - makes it lay nice and flat so it's easy to insert the computer into the sleeve.  I used fabrics from Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 collection - Damask for the outside, and Lodge Lattice for the lining.  Now I just have to drop this in the mail, and hope my daughter likes it!
I'm thinking about making some of these to list in my Etsy Shop - do you think they'd sell???

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - Quilted Buttons

Bright Caribbean Colors...
Soft Neutrals...
Rusty Earth Tones...
A Smorgasbord of Neckwarmer Scarves...
Listed here on Etsy.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Finished Quilt

It seems like it's been ages since I've finished anything, but it's been a crazy summer.  And it's September already!  But I finally spent some time at the sewing machine and finished this quilt.  I've called it "Sweet Dreams".
I'm so pleased with how this quilt turned out.  The soft palette of gray & cream is so soothing and perfect for a gender-neutral baby quilt.
I tried something new in the quilting process this time.  The design is from my new book by Charlotte Warr Andersen, called "One Line at a Time - 24 Geometric Machine-Quilting Designs Made Easy".  As much as I like free-motion quilting, there's just something about precise straight lines that I love.  I guess it's my engineering background, but I like precision.  Her instructions teach you how to mask off the design area with 1" wide painters tape that serves as your guidelines, but the design of my blocks gave me the exact guidelines I needed, only on a 2" scale, instead of 1".  So there was absolutely no marking, no templates - nothing - just stitch and go - so easy!  I have to admit, it took a little concentration to make sure I didn't make any wrong turns, but it wasn't hard.  And it's continuous - edge to edge - so no thread breaks either!  Now I'm ready to try some more of the designs in this book.  

I wanted to get a little more creative with my photos for my Etsy listing, with the hopes that a good photograph might create some more interest.  Being a baby quilt, I thought of skies, clouds, and of course - the new windmills that have been popping up in our area.  So on our Sunday afternoon drive today, I took my quilt and my camera along and stopped along the roadside for a little photo shoot.  Unfortunately, I wasn't happy with the photos of the quilt with the windmills in the background, but with the help of PicMonkey.com, I was able to work with some of the others.  If you'd like to see the five finalists I picked, they're on my Etsy listing here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Quilt Exhibit

The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild Exhibit is almost here!  See a Sneak Peek here.  Don't forget to stop and see this wonderful exhibit if you're in the Wellsboro PA area in September.  The exhibit runs all month.