Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Candy Bar Pinwheels! Yum!!

May LePetite- Candy Bar Pinwheels

Memorial Day weekend was a great time to be finishing this small quilt for LePetite!  I really wanted to use fabrics from my stash on this one, especially for the border.  It seemed like the perfect place to use one of those prints that I intended to use for a border someday, but didn't buy quite enough of it to use on a big quilt.  The fabric I chose to use from my stash was America the Beautiful from Clothworks.  All I know about it is what I can read from the selvage, so let me know if I'm wrong about that.  This worked well with other fabrics from my stash since I have made a few red and blue quilts in the past few years, which of course leads to plenty of red and blue scraps. Don't get me wrong though, I did buy a few new fabrics to add to the mix!

Stash fabrics in use!
My Fit to be Geese ruler came in handy here.  Although most of my scraps weren't wide enough to use following the directions that came with the ruler, I did use it to trim up some flying geese that got a little wonky making them the usual way. Trimming up pieces as I go along, is something I have recently started doing, as recommended in many of the Schnibbles patterns.  It does take a little more time, but with better results in the end. I like having my point and seams match up just right!

Candy Bar Pinwheels, designed by Doug Leko from Antler Quilt designs, was fun and easy to make.  The directions call for a Moda Candy Bar Bundle, but I thought it was a great one for fabrics from my stash.  If you don't know who Doug is be sure to learn more about him! How fun to make a quilt designed by such a young quilt designer!

As always, be sure to stop by and see the LePetite parade at Sherri and Sinta's blogs in the next few days to see more beautiful quilts!  I have already seen some wonderful versions out there!  Thanks to Sherri and Sinta for taking the time to put the parade together!  I'm off for a bike ride!  Enjoy your evening!   

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Finally, My New Cordless Iron and Charming Girls Goals!

My neighbors to each other:  "Why is Michele outside in the driveway taking a picture of an iron on a sheet?" 

My new iron arrived of Friday and I've been busy trying it out, but first I want to get to my long overdue Charming Girls Club Goals for May and June.

  • In May and June I'd like to get some more tops quilted!  I have a stack of lonely quilt tops waiting to be quilted, bound and finished!  I have backing, batting, binding and everything ready to go, I just need to get inspired and get them done.  I did well with part of this goal in March and April, by quilting some charity quilts to get warmed up again. Now I just need to continue quilting and get some of those tops quilted!  
Quilt backings and bindings ready to go!

Let's get quilting!

  • Pillowcases!  I'm making some for Carol with patriotic fabrics. If you haven't read about this project for her friend yet, it's not too late.  Please go visit her blog and find out how you can help.  A sports pillowcase for my younger son, made with some fun soccer fabric from my stash is also on my list of projects to complete.

Pillowcase plans.

Blessings from the Hollow blocks.

  • Le Petite for May is almost done.  It had better be......its May 28th!  But doesn't this look like a great project to work on during Memorial Day weekend?  I'll be sure to post a picture when I'm done.  This border fabric from my stash was what inspired the quilt.  I used the Fit To Be Geese ruler to trim down some of the flying geese but I didn't use the extra fabric that the ruler calls for, but more on that in another post.  The kids will be out of school in June and things will be busy, so LePetite for the month may or may not be finished by July!  Is that really a goal or is it more of a disclaimer?

LePetite in progress.

  • Use this new iron as much a possible!!  Quilting only of course, no ironing clothes will be done here!  LOL!! So far I'm loving this iron.  I really  needed a new one.  If you missed the story about the demise of my last cordless iron read about it here.  My new iron is the Panasonic Cordless 360 Degree Freestyle Iron which can iron in both directions!  What makes this possible is a curved soleplate.  Pretty cool.....let's hope not, it's an iron! LOL!!  Sorry, I couldn't resist after I typed "pretty cool"!  So far I've only ironed small pieces with it while working on my LePetite project last night and today, so I'll have to get back to you on how it works on longer seams.  It is on the small side, but I'm finding that works well with a small project.   Check back soon and I'll let you know how that ironing in both directions thing works out.        

The curved soleplate lets you iron in both directions.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Linda Gave Me The Versatile Blogger Award!

I'd like to thank my friend Linda from The Quilted Pineapple for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award!  Thanks so much Linda!  What an honor!  This is such a fun award because it involves learning more about blog friends and sharing seven things about myself that you probably don't know.  And maybe didn't want to know!  LOL!!  Well here it goes.....
  • I won first place in the Challenge Quilt category of my local quilt show the first time I entered!  Needless to say I was shocked when I got the phone call.  At first I was speechless, then I asked if they were sure! It turns out that the last lady that won the Challenge Quilt category the year before had won the last fifteen years in a row! It created quite a stir in our quilting community that she had not won, and a newcomer like me had taken that spot.  I had no idea all this was going on.  I just wanted to try to make my first challenge quilt!

Pinata Garden Challenge Quilt 

  • I have snorkled in caves in Cozmel Mexico.  It was very, very cold and dark, but I was determined to do it!

 The brave one was in front of me.

  • I'm a Tar Heel!  I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Go Tarheels!

  • My favorite shows are Modern Family, House Hunters International, The Next Food Network Star and Deadliest Catch.  I'll bet you didn't see that last one coming!

  • We are huge fans of Disney Cruise Line!  We have traveled all over the Caribbean with Mickey and friends.  Castaway Cay is a blast!

No, this is not our ship, LOL.  This is the Flying Dutchman from Pirates  of the Caribbean.

This is the Disney Magic.  The name says it all.

  • Before we moved to Florida, we lived in Maine when my DH was in the Navy.  It's very, very cold and snowy there in the winter, as if you didn't know that!  Shocking for a girl from North Carolina!  When we pulled into town in the middle of January it was -15F.  I was not a happy camper.  The summers were beautiful, but still pretty cold!

Shoveling was fun.......for awhile.

  • My favorite foods are thin crust and Chicago style pizza, both made by my DH. Spicy food is another favorite category.  I love Mexican food and I put jalapeno peppers on my pizza.  Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies are my favorite!

I am happy to pass this award along to some of my blogging friends! Here's how it works:

-Thank the person who gave the award to you and link back to them.

-Be sure to pass the award along to some newly discovered blogging pals.

-Tell us seven things about yourself that we may not know.

Drumroll.....The award goes to......

LeAnn from Sewing Straight Stitches

Izzy from Dizzy Quilts

Jen from Miss Punkie Pie

Jodi from Come Tarry With Me

Tonya from Discombobulated Ripples


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Checking In!

I love these colors!
After a hot Saturday at the soccer fields I'm just checking in with my progress during the Friday Night Sew-In.  One charity quilt quilted and two more Blessings from the Hollow blocks finished, not too bad for a Friday night. Thanks again to Heidi and Bobbi for organizing the Sew-In. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stop by to visit again soon!

More lovely Lilac Hill fabric.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In and a few other fun things

Tonight is the Friday Night Sew-In. Maybe I can get a few things done. Well maybe not done as in finished, but progress on a few quilting projects this evening would be great! I'd like to finish quilting the quilts for the children's hospital and work on a few more blocks for Blessings From the Hollow. Picking out fabrics for May's LePetite project, Candy Bar Pinwheels, is also on my list of things to do, but I'm not sure that I'll get to that tonight. Have you started it yet?  I do want go for a bike ride with my family after dinner this evening, since it's such a beautiful day. And after that I'll get down to sewing!

Last week I won the Versatile Blogger Award from Linda!   Check back soon to learn more about me and the award.  It's so fun!  I can't wait to do the post about it next week!

Also, I finally took the plunge and ordered my new iron today.  Thanks for all of your suggestions and iron experiences. Some of the comments from that post and my last Wordless Wednesday post are still missing due to the Blogger troubles earlier in the month.  Is anyone else still missing comments? Anyway I've decided to go with the new Panasonic Cordless 360 Degree Multidirectional Iron.  Because of the unique shape of the soleplate, they say you can iron in any direction.  This could come in handy when I'm ironing a quilt with lots of seams!  I'll let you know how it goes.

Strips for Blessings From the Hollow ready for the Friday Night Sew-In!

Oh, one other thing!  Kim has a great video on her blog.  I had never heard of a Jelly Roll race before!  If you haven't seen it yet you should go have a look.  What a way to make a quick quilt!  

Have a happy Friday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Spring 2011

I'd like to share the quilt "Test Pattern" that I'm putting in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival.  It's an original design found in the background of my blog.  I created this quilt for the Challenge Quilt category of our local quilt show, "New Dimensions in Quilting" in 2008.  We had to use the three fabrics included in the packet, which were the striped circles, the dots, and the pink stripes, and create an original wall hanging incorporating a square, a triangle, a circle and a free-form shape, all easily recognizable.

"Test Pattern" by Michele

In the comment section of the entry form I wrote, "Our ideas about quilting have certainly expanded since test patterns were commonly seen on TV.  Creating four different shapes out of a few vibrant and diverse fabrics gives a modern look to a favorite 'pattern'.  This challenge quilt encouraged me to stretch to a whole new dimension in quilting!"

Quilting detail

Three dimensional shapes added with quilting.

Thanks for letting me share this special quilt with you and also thank you to Amy for putting the Bloggers' Quilt Festival together! Be sure to visit the Festival and check out some amazing quilts!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Quilting for Good Causes.....Spreading the Word

Are you ready to bind these Mary Pat?

My friend Mary Pat and I have been working on charity quilts for hospitalized children together for about a year now.  Mary Pat pieces and binds the quilts and I do the quilting. Quilts for Kids was the starting point, but since there's a children's hospital in our area, it is working out well for Mary Pat to take the quilts directly to our local hospital.  If you're interested in finding a way to use your quilting skills to help others, be sure to check out Quilts For Kids to see the wonderful work that this organization is doing through quilting.  Maybe it is something you would like to become involved in to give comfort to children in need.

Dragonfly and swirl quilting to add some more fun to this quilt.

Words add another element for an older child or teen.

Mary Pat always chooses a variety of great fabrics for these projects.  The last batch that I quilted were mostly Easter prints and themes. This one included a Florida Gator quilt, two blue star themed quilts, a lively green and red quilt, and a more muted red and yellow quilt best suited for an older child or teen.  The last one is on the frame ready for me to start after I'm done with this post!  The quilting that I do on these usually involves both words and fun shapes related to the fabric that Mary Pat has chosen, to appeal to both older and younger children and teens too. Quilting for children in need of comfort brings joy to my heart.

I'm ready to get started on some pillowcases!
Have you read about Carol's request for patriotic pillowcases?  Mary Pat and I are planning to make some to send to her. It's not too late to help in this wonderful quest to thank our service members for all that they do for our country.  Let them know we are thankful.  Take a moment to read her story and see if you can lend your support, if you haven't already.  As a former Navy wife, I know the sacrifices that servicemen and women make for our country. Let's help Carol's friend give out lots of pillowcases this year!

Please leave a comment and let me know what quilting projects you have done for those in need in the past or those that you are involved in now.  Create your own post letting other quilters know about how they can become involved in a charity quilting project.  Spread the word about different ways quilting can bring comfort to others!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday....more or less

 Blessings From The Hollow blocks from Scrap Basket Sensations, with Lilac Hill fabric. 

Here and there I've been working on Blessings From the Hollow blocks from Scrap Basket Sensations, with Lilac Hill fabric. There is the next one cut and ready to go!  The paper plates keep my pieces organized before sewing.  These blocks are quick and fun to put together. Oh! My son needs the computer right now for Social Studies homework, so I guess I'll call this an almost Wordless Wednesday post and go make some more blocks!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Melting Under Pressure

Inside of my toasted iron.  Rather graphic.

My cordless iron had a meltdown when I was finishing up my Brocante for LePetite last week. I left the room for a moment with the iron on the base and when I came back, I could smell melted plastic.  Thinking that I had possibly put it down on a pattern bag or something before I put it on the base, I lifted it up to have the sole plate drop off like this!! Yikes! It was definitely toast! I couldn't even tell exactly how this could have happened!   It smelled so bad that I took it outside to cool down and got out my trusty old older backup iron and kept on piecing.  It was Friday, the day before my LePetite had to be finished for the parade and I couldn't stop!  I wonder if it just got tired of working so much and gave up? I have been thinking I should get a new one for awhile. The bottom coating was wearing off and catching on the fabric sometimes, but I really liked this one and didn't want to give it up. Now I don't have a choice!  I tend to use things until they wear out.  This one sure did!      

Do you think it's time for a new one?

A few days later when my DH and I opened it up again just to take a look, my 11 year old son said, "Now there's your problem!" He went on to explain that the soleplate must have gotten so hot that the screw that held the soleplate on melted the plastic above, causing the soleplate to come off.  I suppose the blue sparks that I thought I saw the night before between the base and the iron, should have tipped me off that something was wrong. I dismissed it because I only thought I saw them.  It was late, I was in a hurry to get the project done, and the sparks didn't appear again so I forgot about it until the final meltdown! 

Saying goodbye to a trusted friend.

Anyway, here's how you can help me.  I'm obviously shopping for a new iron now.  What kind of iron do you use and why do you like it or not like it?  I'm pretty sure I want a cordless, so I'm not wrestling with the cord like an alligator (I'm in Florida and there are lots of alligators around, although I really haven't wrestled any). If you could leave a comment for me about the iron you use I'd really appreciate it! Cordless or not I'm interested in what you are using.  Thanks so much for you help.  It's time to buy a new iron!