Thursday, August 25, 2011

What a week!

I tell you, it's getting crazy out there. Earthquakes in Virginia and a possible hurricane in Maine. I think I'm just gonna batten down the hatches and sew!

But first a reminder of spring. We remember Spring right? This is Barbara's quilt, I think the pattern name is Lovebird Lane.
She does great machine applique and the kit comes with some really cute pre-printed details like windows, street signs and little quilts within a quilt..

And now since we are all going to stay snug inside and sew here is clue number 7...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pets on Quilts

This is my entry for the Pets on Quilts Show and the story of a quilt that was meant to be. Once upon a time the lovely and wonderful SewCal Gal teamed up with her friend EQ the Mouse (mascot of The Electric Quilt Company) and had a contest. The challenge was to design a quilt using Electric Quilt that EQ the Mouse would like. Well, not one to pass-up a chance to play with explore the things EQ can do, I designed this quilt.
Lo, and behold, I WON. And what was the prize? A lovely stack of 5" squares from SewCal Gal's private stash. Even better, when I told her what I would be doing with my winnings, she generously sent charm squares in various cat & dog prints.

You see, every year I make a quilt for the local animal shelter, The Ark, for their list of raffle items. This year, I made a disappearing 9-patch with the pet prints I had won.

And now it's time for the quilt to be entered in the Pets on Quilts Show. Seems like a full circle. I didn't get a picture of Leggs & Emmie giving the Ark Quilt it's official "cat scan" but they do test most quilts at some point... sometimes while still on the longarm.
Or when the binding is being made...
They help organize strips and scraps
 And supervise the cutting table
So there you have my entry for Pets on Quilts. Hope you enjoy the show and remember to check out all the entries and vote for your favorites this Saturday and Sunday . 

Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends
Tell me where to get more wax!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Thursday

Are we all ready for Step 6? I know back to school is starting for some folks and as we can all sing with the  Staples commercial ... It's the most wonderful time of the year... for parents at least! So there is another pretty easy week this week

But first I'd like to give out a bit of eye candy. This quilt had lots of visitors before and while it was on the frame. It is made from the book Japanese Taupe Quilts: 125 Blocks in Calm Neutral Colors by Susan Briscoe .

To give you an idea of how amazing this quilt is... those are all 9" blocks! It was hard to pick my favorites.

The light part of the Greek key is only 1/4" wide. I think there was more seam allowance than what actually showed.

There is lots of quilting in the center blocks, but it is all stitch-in-the-ditch so it doesn't show unless the light is just right.
The whole style of the quilt is so elegant and understated the only place that the quilting shows is in the borders.

And in the pillow tuck

Now, wipe the drool off your keyboard and click through to get this weeks clue. And after seeing this piecing, the clue is a walk in the park...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Scrap Basket Mystery Step 5

It's Thursday again! Everybody caught up? It's time to start putting some of those pieces together...
But first, (and above the jump for people who don't want to see the clue) is a bit of quilty goodness compliments of  two customers.

First is Joyce's Starry Sampler from class last spring.

I love seeing a design that started in my head actually turn into a quilt. And in class, even though everyone does the same pattern, the quilts are all so different. This quilt is so cheerful and spring-like. I used a new quilting design on this. It's actually an oriental design called 7-Treasures, but overall interlocking rings looks good anywhere.

Fran's Autumn Butterflies is another recent one. It's a great quilt, but I'm not ready for fall quite yet. There's butterflies in the fabric and quilted butterflies in the border. I'll try to find the detail picture.

OK, so now for this week's clue...

Monday, August 08, 2011

Small things day 2

So, you thought I'd wimp out the second day didn't you? Well, I really really want this renovation done. I have a dream of having a holiday open house, so time is NOT on my side.

I confess today's small thing is not much, but it's one of the little luxuries I planned for the studio. It is an in-the-floor electric receptacle. It goes right under the longarm. That's right, no more tripping over the cord, no more extension cords, just a plug just where I need it. Yes, I have given much amusement to several electricians, but they are men and don't quilt, how could they EVER understand?

It's pretty much like a regular outlet, you cut a hole and put in the box, wire in the outlet and tighten it down

The cool part is the gaskets and brass cover that keeps dust, threads, water and stuff out. Like there will be any of that stuff around...

All tightened down with the brass plugs off. The outlets always look like little faces to me... Shocked little faces... That's an electrical joke...

See, all sealed and waiting. Tomorrow it will get hooked up.

As a surprise, while I was fishing wire under the floor I found something kinda cool, no, not hidden money (I wish) but close.

A canceled check from 1947 written by George Frye. The name painted on the safe is E.M. Frye & Co. I think there is some local history research in my future. 

Quilty stuff tomorrow, I promise.

Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends
Tell me where to get more wax!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Baby Steps

The building my shop is in was built sometime in the 1850's... I think.

It has been the office for a shipyard (yep, where they built 4-masted schooners) the office for a lumber yard, a real estate office, an antique shop and now a longarm quilter's shop. But, somehow through all of that the upstairs has never been finished.  

Anybody who knows me (and even some people who don't) have been hearing about my "new studio" plans for ages. They must be really tired of it by now. My plan is to move all the messy stuff upstairs- the longarm, my sewing machines, cutting table, everything. That will leave the downstairs for a retail and quilt take-in area that is (mostly) free of thread, lint, dust, batting scraps, fabric trimmings... you know the stuff that is just a part of working. The problem is, I am cheap, and like doing the work myself, so the progress has been really really slow.
Today that changes...

I still don't have great gobs of time to do things, but if I can do just one small thing every day I just might get this done... and some progress is better than none... Hopefully the momentum will build. So, today's small thing is a door latch for the upstairs door.  See the second floor porch... great place to sit and do hand work, don'tcha think?

This is how the door was held closed up until now... A BIG bolt stuck in a hole at an angle. Effective, yes, but not quite in keeping with the workspace I am trying to create.

So first...drill a hole through the door

Then put in the lock cylinder and tighten down the plate

See, nice and pretty on the outside. Yes, the door needs painting, but these are baby steps.
Then attach the catch/strike plate on the door frame...

 Mount the lock on the inside of the door

Push the door closed, listen to the solid, comforting, thunk of the door closing and latching

Pat myself on the back for taking one small step toward a new studio. Oh yes, I'm hiding a key outside on the porch. There's no knob on the outside of the door and it is the door to the second floor porch. Locking myself out would mean climbing down the first floor porch roof... not a good idea...

All told, about an hour and a half, including finding tools (the big drill bit was hiding). We will see what tomorrow's project will be.

Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends
Tell me where to get more wax!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Step 4

So here we are again on a Thursday morning... well, if I figured out the scheduling thing it's still morning...
Since you have been working so diligently on the first 3 steps we'll take an easy one this week. 

And, in my continuing technical education, I am attempting to add a link box so everyone out there can show us your progress. If you have a blog or photo album online, please add a link so we can see what you've done so far. Let's see those scraps! It is below the jump so anyone who doesn't want to see doesn't need to hide their eyes.