Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Super-Duper, Awesome News!

I won a giveaway on Bumble Beans blog today! Woo-hoo! What a fantastic way for me to start the morning.

Bumble Beans is written by V, who lives in Manhattan, but is originally from Minnesota-- not too far from me. Be sure to check out her blog, because she has all kinds of great stuff on it. She's awesome-- from quilting to tae kwon do to cooking to costume/garment sewing to raising a very cute daughter, she does it all. I wish I could wiggle my nose and spend the afternoon shopping for fabrics with her in the garment district. That would be phenomenal!

My treat includes super-cool, funky fabric that might make it's way into the Funky Boxes that I'm working on right now, adorable buttons, homemade soap (LOVE!), a book about The Tenney Quilt (coincidence that I live 1 block from Tenney Park?) and lots more fun things!

Thank you, V. You rock! =)

Monday, September 29, 2008


I've been chugging along on the Funky Boxes. One day last week, I completed 20 boxes (my record!). Right now I have 66 of the 157 blocks complete and I'm trying to keep the momentum going. Unfortunately work got in the way this weekend. Today I have another 20 lined up and ready to sew.

Here is the pile of blocks and trimmings from last week:

And here are today's little soldiers all lined up, waiting to be sewn:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Addiction!

This week I started on a baby quilt for my friend Jessica. They are having their first child (a girl) in December. I had bought a half yard of fun big polka dots on a brown background last spring at the Sun Prairie quilt show. When I started to brainstorm about what to make for Jessica, I thought this fabric matched her sense of style. It's bold and funky and a little bit mod/retro. When I asked her what colors or themes she was going to use in the baby's room, she said "no real theme" and mentioned some colors. I knew this fabric was right in line with what she was talking about and showed it to her. She agreed and the next step was a pattern.

Earlier I posted about the book Glorious Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett and how I was "gathering" fabrics at the Quilt Expo. Here is the book and my collection of fabrics that I'm going to use:

I started this week on the blocks and have found it EXTREMELY difficult to stop. They are super addictive. I've found myself saying, "I'll stop after this one. Just one more. One more piece." and on and on.

So far, I'm 25% done with the blocks and am have tons of fun doing them.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Star BOM #4

This block went together nicely. The hardest part was which fabric to use in the checkerboard. I wanted to use the gold fabric and the ovally print, but the gold doesn't have enough contrast with the background for my taste.

And here are my first 4 Star Blocks. =)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Quilt Expo - Day 3: The End!

Day 3 at the Quilt Expo! It was just as fun as the prior days. I picked up some fabric: more bright, funky stuff for Jessica's baby quilt, a fantastic soft black for my Star BOM and a lovely brown that I want an entire bolt of --it's that nice!

I met my mom and some of her friends there. My mom attended a lecture on how you can gadgets from the hardware store and other places to use as notions in your sewing room.

After lunch, I decided that I had spent enough time and $$ in the shopping area, so I could attend a lecture. I picked, "My Dear Jane Journey" by Sharlene Snellman. It was lovely.

But before my talk started, I had a little bit of extra time, so I participated in the sit and sew and donate. UW Health was promoting heart health at the expo and they (along with Nancy's Notions) sponsored a project where you can sew a block that will go into a quilt that will be auctioned off. The proceeds will go to The American Heart Association.

OK, back to the lecture-- The speaker brought her Dear Jane quilt (done in civil war repro fabrics) and wore a period dress. She talked about how she got started making this quilt (something she never thought she would do!) and everything she has learned along the way. She's been to a special retreat in Vermont where Jane Stickle lived and even had lunch in her house. The talk inspired me to start on this project sometime soon (January?).
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All in all, this year's expo was a lot of fun and I'm already looking forward to next year. =)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quilt Expo - Day 2: My Spoils

Here is a pic of what I got today at the Quilt Expo. Several fat quarters. Some are for the funky baby quilt I'm making for my friend Jessica (lower right corner). Some are lime green Christmas fabric. I've got a few other FQ's in those colors and love them, but I don't have a plan for them-- yet! Inspiration will strike someday, but I know that I like that style today. =) Also in my shopping bag were a small William Morris notebook, a 12" add-a-quarter ruler, a yd of lime green dragonfly fabric, 1/2 yd of soft black for my BOM and this really big carabiner. It's designed to hold shopping bags or clip your purse to things. It has a spongy grip and worked great today. One use for it is to carry plastic shopping bags comfortably, but it can be used with anything (water bottle, purse, canvas bags, etc.)

This is a shot of the action as seen from my post at the Main Stage. I volunteered as an assistant there from 11.30 to 3. It was fun. Lots of things kept me on my toes (sound system troubles, a presenter was running late, figuring out the camera/projecter), so the time went relatively quickly. It was a good spot to be at, because I saw several people that I knew.

I'll be back on Saturday. The pace is nice this year. I can relax and take everything in slowly. In past years, it was much more frantic, trying to fit everything in one day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quilt Expo - Day 1

Today I volunteered to help set up at Quilt Expo. It was totally fun! Work started at 7 am (I managed to get there close to 7-- very early for me!). There were about 15-20 volunteers and our job was to hang the quilts that were entered in the contest. This was a fantastic job, because we got to handle and admire the quilts up close. Normally I get de-sensitized to quilts hanging in quilt shows. Everything is amazing and after a while, I fall into sensory overload. But while hanging, we were distracted by the job at hand and it slowed me down enough to be able to appreciate all the wonderful quilts.

Unfortunately, I left my camera in the car. I wasn't sure if I would be doing a job that it would get in the way and I figured that I could always run out to get it. But then when you are in the middle of something, the parking lot seems too far away. Tomorrow I'll definitely take pictures. I'm volunteering at the "Main Stage" from 11-2.30 and it should be a great time.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Star BOM #3

I finished my third Star Block of the Month. It turned out nice, but I ended up re-working the center. Originally, I choose black for the background of the pinwheel. After constructing it, I felt the dark tone was too much, especially compared to the first 2 blocks. So I swapped the black out for smoky grey. Another good thing about re-doing it was I somehow had my pinwheel spinning backwards on the first attempt. Oops! Now my pinwheel is conforming to the pattern.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Glorious Patchwork

My order from Amazon.com arrived today (one day early!) that included Glorious Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett. I was eagerly anticipating this book and came across it by accident. While in a bathroom at a local quilt shop, I snapped a photo of a quilt on a poster. It was a whimsical pattern that might work for a baby quilt that I'm planning for a friend. In the photo, there was enough text that I could google and figure out the pattern name and designer. This book was originally published in 1997, and Amazon was selling the hardcover edition at a clearance price of $13! Hurrah!

I have gathered some fun, bright, funky fabrics to use for this quilt, but I'm planning on doing more gathering at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo next week. Last night I signed up to be a volunteer. I'll be helping set up on Wednesday and work as a stage assistant on Thursday. I also plan on attending Saturday with my mom, her friends and a friend from work. It should be fun!