Sunday, July 31, 2011

Go Bananas!!

Go Bananas!

I just finished George, the LePetite project for the month of July!  The fabrics I used were Wee Woodlands and Lollipop Charm Packs.  In the pattern Carrie mentions that she named the pattern after George the monkey,  because the name of the quilt block in this pattern is Monkey Wrench.

How many times do you use banana fabric in a quilt?

As I was sewing away, admiring the banana fabrics and thinking that they were a lot of fun, I realized how well they went with this quilt! Banana fabrics in a monkey quilt!  How funny is that? And I didn't even mean to do it!  Really, I didn't!  Now the search is on for some monkey or banana fabric for the backing.  I hope I can find something fun to make it all work together. My son named this quilt Go Bananas!  A perfect fit!   

More bananas!!  You can't have too many in a quilt pattern called George!

Be sure to stop by and visit Sinta and Sherri in the next few days to see the rest of the LePetite projects in the parade this month.  Thanks so much ladies for taking the time to put the parade together!  Lots of blogging fun!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Look at me!!

In between working on George, buying school supplies, and finishing up some summer fun, I've been quilting the Candy Bar Pinwheels quilt. I was just about to sit down for an evening of hand sewing to attach the binding to the back, when I thought it would be a good time to share a picture or two.  Two, because Copper insisted on getting in the picture, which totally took the focus off the quilt!

Who cares about George or the Pinwheel quilt?  Look at me!!

I really enjoy sewing the binding on the back by hand, but I know many of you prefer to sew it on by machine.  I have just never mastered that method and I really enjoy hand sewing to finish off a quilt.  I find it very relaxing.  Do you attach bindings to the back by hand or by machine? Please leave a comment and let me know.  I've been wondering which way is more popular right now.    

Quilt picture, but you can't see the quilting!  I'll give it another try when the lighting is better. 

I thought this picture would show off the quilting a little, but as you can see it didn't turn out that way!  I'll try to take another when the quilt is totally done and I'll show the backing too. I love the backing of this quilt. Plenty of stars..... on the backing and the quilting!  I like the back to coordinate with the top in some way, but not match exactly.  Know what I mean?

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your sewing time!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pictures From Friday Night!!

The Le Petite project George, designed by Carrie Nelson, was my project for the Friday Night Sew In yesterday.  Did you work on anything?  I was glad to have an excuse to focus on a quilt for the evening, thanks to Heidi and Bobbi!  Here is a look at my productive evening in pictures.

Picking out color combinations for the blocks.

 Moving on to the HST's for the corners. 

Do these combinations look right like I want them to?

A few of the finished blocks!

I combined Moda Wee Woodland and Lollipop fabrics.  I like mixing charm packs for some quilts to get a scrappier and not quite totally matched look. A few of the fabric combinations in the blocks were a little more 'off' than I was comfortable with, but I made myself push through this "try to make it all match just right" moment......okay it was longer than a moment, but I'm working on it.........and I started sewing anyway and I love the result!  It was so tempting for me to try to make it all match perfectly, but sometimes the fabric combinations that are unexpected really make the quilt pop.  Don't you think?     

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lots Of Sewing Fun To Join, And Fun Mail Too!

What fun treats from Michelle!  Thank you!

While I was on vacation, I found out was the lucky winner of a giveaway by my blog friend Michelle of L7 Quilt Company! She wrote a sweet post about blog friendship for the giveaway, and divided a fat quarter bundle up among three lucky blog friends. I was one of them! Part of the fun was finding out which fabrics would arrive in my mailbox. Look at this selection! A fun new bag made of these fabrics might just have to be in my sewing future! The cute charm, that now has a home on one of my sewing baskets, was a sweet surprise. I just had to include that cute card with all those fun circles in the picture too! Thanks so much, Michelle!

Come join the party!
A 'new to me' blog that I discovered earlier in the week is Sew Many Ways. Right now Karen has a Craft Party going on, where bloggers are sharing tons of different things like recipes, knitting, sewing, remodeling projects, vacation pictures, quilts and all kinds of other fun activities that you might want to check out, or maybe even add some yourself. If you are looking for some new blogs to read or fun projects to do......we can't have too many of might want to go over to Karen's blog and take a look!  I chose one of my vacation picture posts to share, since I haven't been doing much quilting lately due to summer break, golf tournaments, carpooling to soccer camp, a Hawaiian vacation, yard work, bike riding, beautiful weather, swimming, that new movie that just came out and......the list goes on and on!  Are there any summer activities keeping you away from your sewing machine?

Anyway, I do have a few projects going on right now, and I just signed up for the Friday Night Sew In tomorrow, so I can set aside time to work on quilt projects! If you'd like to join in, sign up here! I'll include a few pictures of my progress in a post this weekend. There are still a few Hawaii pictures left to look forward to also! Until then, happy sewing!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Volcanoes, Tsunamis, Warning Signs and Black Sand

Well, I'm back with more vacation pictures from Hawaii! I had no idea how many of you lucky bloggers have had the chance to live in this beautiful state!

  Now we're on the Big Island, well, really we are at home in Florida.....I wish we were on the Big Island right now, but we are in these pictures.  

Moments before this picture was taken it was really raining hard. We had traveled so far from Florida to see lava and volcanoes and it was rainy and cold......Really??  A small meltdown and $160 worth of Volcanoes National Park windbreakers later, we were ready to go see the park.  Here we are by a steam vent.  It was rainy, but the mist you see is hot steam from boiling water just a few feet below in that hole.  Yes, it was hot by the steam vent.  I am the second to the right in this picture. Not the second tallest in the family anymore.  Before I know it I will be the shortest....maybe I'm shrinking??  Surely those boys are not growing that fast?     

 More steam from the ground.  It was amazing.

 This is a crevice where lava once shot 1900' up in the air.  In 1974, I believe.

An interesting spot in the lava flow.  I expected to have to look to find lava.  Boy was I wrong!  There is hardened lava everywhere you turn!

The end of Chain Of Craters Road was covered by a lava flow in 2000.

 No caption needed!

 The sea arch, also at the end of.....well now it's the end...... of Chain Of Craters Road.  An amazing sight!

 Cliffs of lava.

 That night we came back to the park to see the glow of molten lava in the crater. Maybe a once in a lifetime view.  Can you believe that people used to go right up to the crater believing they could determine when it would blow?  Yikes!!  We saw pictures of wedding ceremonies being performed by the edge!  

 Yes, this picture is very similar, but it was such an amazing sight to see at night I had to put them both in.  You can't see any glow during daylight hours.

 Back at our resort, birds were up chirping outside, loudly I might add, before the sun came up!  They weren't doing all of the activities that we were to be getting up that early!

 I had never seen a sign like this before.

 Note the surfboard.  I'm sure that wasn't the original purpose of the sign!

One evening we took the Saddle Road to the Mauna Kea Visitors Center, elevation 9,200', to watch the sunset and see the stars after dark.  We didn't go all the way to the summit because anyone under 16 years old was not advised to go any further than the Visitor's Center due to the lack of oxygen at the high altitude, and the drive was treacherous for our 4x4 rental SUV.  The most sophisticated collection of astronomy facilities in the world are located at the top.     

The view from the Visitor's Center is amazing!  It is above the clouds! After dark we could see more stars than I ever thought there were in the sky.  There was absolutely no light pollution. Volunteers from the University of Hawaii had telescopes set up for visitors to use.  The night sky was just unbelievable.    It's location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean makes it an excellent place to view the night sky.  Mauna Kea is 13,796' above sea level and is sacred to Native Hawaiians.   When measured from the ocean floor, it is significantly taller that Mt. Everest.

 Should you really be seeing this many warning signs while you are on vacation? One day we hiked down the Pololu Trail to a black sand beach.  It was very, very steep, but totally worth it! 

The view of the black sand beach from the beginning....or top...of the trail.

 Didn't I say it was worth it?

A black crab on the black sand beach.  The sand was just amazing.

  At some points we were the only people on this beautiful beach.

 This was the scene behind the beach.  Beauty everywhere you turned!

 A view from the trail of the northern end of Hawaii. We thought the land in the distance was youngest son was sure it wasn't.  There was no convincing him.  It's a good thing we didn't change his mind because he was right!  It was still Hawaii!

I'm glad so many of you are enjoying memories of times in Hawaii through my pictures. I hope you share pictures of your travels this summer too.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Aloha!! I'm back from vacation in Hawaii.....

We had a wonderful time on vacation in Hawaii! After spending many, many hours......about airplanes and airports on the trip from Florida, we made it to Honolulu!  Thank goodness for in-flight movies! I was able to watch three on the way out. No sleep on the flights for us, we were too excited!  We would regret that later....       

The view from our room on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu.

 Another view from our room of Honolulu.

 Some of us love to dig holes, deep holes, in the sand......on every beach they can find.

 Sea kayaking out to an island bird sanctuary was challenging.  4.5 miles without an outboard!

 Seriously?? From here to that island on the left?  In a kayak?

Everyone has to learn to surf while they are in Hawaii.  Well okay, everyone but me!  Someone needs to be in charge of the camera right?

My little guy tackling the big waves.

A view of Hunauma Bay.  I was amazed by the colors of the water.  Look at all of the coral.

One of the many scenic points where you can stop on a drive around Oahu.

 A moving visit to the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.

 My submariners on the USS Bowfin.

 A view of Diamond Head Crater from the top.  Kayaking, hiking one mile up a volcano with a 99 step stairway, when do I start vacation?

 We didn't remove any coral or lava, but we did take lots of pictures (The Brady Bunch curse scared us).  This picture is from Bonsai Pipeline Beach in Oahu on the North Shore.  Can you see how the grains of sand are so rounded? Nothing like the black sand we would see later on the island of Hawaii.  Check back soon to look at those pictures. We also took some time to drive around the island and we stopped and ate at a Shrimp Shack that had been featured on HGTV.

After exploring Oahu we flew to the big island of Hawaii and saw plenty of lava, many sea turtles, a black sand beach and Volcanoes National Park.  I have lots more I'd love to share with you!  I'm sure you would love nothing more than looking at my vacation pictures!  LOL!!  I'll split them up in a few posts, including one about my visit to Quilt Passions, a quilt store in Kailua Kona, Hawaii that was featured in the latest Quilt Sampler magazine!