Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Little Forest Quilt-Along Update

I'm just a tad behind on the Little Forest Quilt-Along...I've got all the trees sewn but don't have the trunks on yet. After that, I have to sew them all together in rows with the 'blank' blocks and then sew the rows together. My classes are starting tomorrow(!) so I've been busily trying to catch up with my course prep and so haven't been working on the trees.

But, given that Mama Pea is my quilting mentors, I've been following her lead and I've started another project! I know, right! What am I thinking?

Here are the fabrics:

I was blog hopping the other night (I remember when the phrase I used to use was "I was bar hopping the other night") and found an adorable quick little project for Halloween. Problem is, I can't remember where I saw it. (Interestingly, memory problems were also an issue when I was a bar hopper.) It is so easy, I don't need to go back to it, but I would like to give the gal credit, so I'll try to find it before I finish the project.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Progressing on the Little Forest Quilt

I love that Stephanie (Little Forest Quilt Along hostess) is not only giving us deadlines but she is also having give-aways for meeting them! And, there is not much time between deadlines, which means this is a rapid-fire-get-it-done project! It's totally keeping me engaged.

Here's what I have so far.

Here's a close-up of two blocks.

And here's a reminder of the inspiration for the project, the model.

Mine won't look nearly as crisp and modern because I'm using darker green for the trees, maroon for the trunks, and off-white for the background. And I'll have almost no variation in the shades, at least not at this point.

I've got half my trees pieced (unless I decide my hanging looks sparse, and I make more), so I'm on track. Our assignment for this week is to piece the rest of the trees, and then sew them into rows, and then sew the rows together. Essentially, we're supposed to finish the top. I'd like to keep sewing tonight, but BonnieBlue and Rhett are both sleeping and my machine is too loud (and right next to their rooms) so I can't. :-(

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Goodies in the Mail & Little Forest Quilt Along

Last week, Alamosa Quilter informed me that I won her first give away! I found Alamosa Quilter via my friend, Mama Pea, and her blog. Alamosa Quilter is also participating in the Little Forest Quilt Along that I'm enjoying.

I was expecting the delivery of my 'win' to be a "squishy package" (what Mama Pea calls packages that have fabric or other items she won or ordered or are a part of her design team projects), so I wasn't even excited when I got the smallish box and opened it, thinking it would my new phone cover/case I had just ordered. Much to my delight, I pulled out this!

This is a beautiful knitted pot holder or mug rug. Why oh why does it have to be so pretty! I'm not going to want to use it because I'm not going to want to get anything on it! It actually will come in handy. I drink tall cups of ice water while I'm crafting, so this will be nice to sit the cup on to catch the sweat.

Here, though, is what came in that package that really tripped my trigger!

A pin cushion thread catcher made with the most beautiful fabrics of the most beautiful shade of blue EVER! Wow.  It's wrinkled in the pic so it doesn't look nearly as good here as I see it in real life hanging from my craft table.


Thank you, Alamosa Quilter Lynn! You rock! This was my first blog give away win; hopefully, it won't be my last, but if it is - well worth it!

In Little Forest Quilt Along news, I've finished cutting the trees. I almost forgot about the "blank" blocks I need. I will have to do those another day. But here are my trees waiting to be pieced.

I have to sew half the trees to be on track for this week. I was going to do that tonight, but I'm beat. It looks like it might be tedious, but I'm grateful to Mama Pea who posted a video tutorial of the process here. This is the only way I'll be able to do it right the first time. I have enough cut out to make 16 trees so I have to sew 8 of them. I haven't sketched out my design yet (and really wasn't planning to), but if there aren't enough, I was thinking I might add something to the other blocks. If I do it, it will be a surprise so I won't say what now, but it could be really cute if I can pull it off.

And because one of my readers only peruses for pictures of Bonnie Blue, here is one from before vacation - specifically before I cut her hair. I'll blog about that another day, but isn't she just all full of vim and vigor here?! Cracks me up.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I won Alamosa Quilter's 1st give-away!

Lynn over at Alamosa Quilter decided to have a give-away series to celebrate  her 500th post - what a great idea! And I won! Go here to see what I won (I will post a picture of it when it arrives).

Her first give-away was embedded in a post about a friend I first met in August of 2002 and with whom I recently reconnected via blogging. That friend is Stephanie, aka Mama Pea at Peas in a Pod. Mama Pea was in fact my inspiration for beginning a blog, which fortunately has been relatively self-sustaining as fewer than 4 people read my blog (that I know of).

So anyhoo, I was reading the post about Stephanie and the give-away, and decided to enter only because I had something to say about Stephanie (one of THE nicest people you'd ever want to me; I aspire to that level of niceness!). So in a way, I have Stephanie to thank for winning. But of course, more importantly, THANK YOU, LYNN!

I won a really cute pin cushion-thread catcher. I am so new at sewing that I have almost nothing like this. No, I don't even have a pin cushion. The fact that it's handmade by someone as talented as Lynn will surely inspire me to finish my newest project, The Little Forest Quilt Along. I'm going to get started on cutting as soon as I unpack from vacation!

It's really interesting, this blogging thing, especially the quilting blogging thing. I follow (officially and unofficially) a few non-quilting, non-crafting blogs. Crafty ones have absoluletly lovely commenters whereas other blogs seem to have trolls who hang out with the implicit purpose of raking the blogger over the coals. I've read such incredibly mean comments! But you never, EVER read anything remotely mean from commenters on the quilting blogs. Quilting Bloggers and their readers are so incredibly supportive that reading their blogs and comments are like reading what a mother would say to her daughter to encourage her! It's a perfectly lovely respite from the ugliness of the world and especially the ugliness of the rest of the blogging world. So, to all you quilting bloggers (and readers) out there - You rock!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Emerald Isle

We've been in NC at Emerald Isle for our annual beach vacation. It's been great to be able to come just after "high season" at the beach: over Labor Day weekend and week. But next year, BonnieBlue will be starting Kindergarten and OSU will be starting a semester calendar, so we'll both be in school earlier in the year, making a Labor Day vacation unlikely. Cost for these beachfront locations are quite high during the summer months, so unless we find a family to share with, we won't be back for awhile. I am kinda' thinking that maybe Disney World next year might be an option instead.

Here's where we stayed both this year and last.
We're on the 3rd floor on the right.

Here's the view from the dining room. Nice!

It's a great little condo development, with two pools, which came in handy this year because the surf was a bit choppy as Hurricane Irene headed out and Hurricane Katia headed in. In the photo below, our building is the one all the way to the right, closest to the beach. That's Bogue Sound on the other side. EI is quite the narrow island, right?

I love the beach, and the ocean. Being here recharges me. There is absolutely nothing like the starry sky on a clear night at the beach. Breathtaking.

BonnieBlue had a ton of fun. The only thing missing is someone her age to play with. We desperately want to find a family with a girl her age to come to the beach with us.

Sunday, we had our friend (Aunt Reesie) and my work colleague over for dinner. Her family has a beachfront cottage here on EI that has been in their family since the middle of the century. She spends several weeks every summer here, and our visit usually overlaps with her stay. BonnieBlue took this pic.

We always stop at Willis' fish market for Vesta's homemade key lime pie and fresh shrimp and scallops. Next door is this gift shop.

We take quite a few day trips when we're in NC. On Saturday we went to Cape Lookout National Seashore. BonnieBlue is too little to go up in the lighthouse yet. Maybe next time!
On Sunday, we went to Harker's Island for sacrament meeting. Harker's Island has a strong Mormon heritage and current population. Russ drove out there last year (approx. 40 min drive) when we were here and met Mattie at the Core Sound Museum, and when she found out he was Mormon, she gave him a book called, Strengthened By the Storm: The Coming of the Mormons to Harker's Island. I'm reading it now while I'm here. Wonderful story! I love that there is a turn-of-the-century "pioneer" heritage here on the East Coast, as I find it hard to relate to the westward trek stories that saturate the LDS history and culture.

Today, our last day, is rainy as Hurricane Katia moves closer in. She is supposed to skirt landfall, but we've gotten quite a lot of rain this morning just the same. As I type, it looks as if it might clear up for a little while.

Tomorrow we'll drive all day (12 hours!) to make it back home. I am already missing the beach. Sigh.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Little Forest Quilt Along

I'm hooking up with the Little Forest Quilt Along that my friend, Mama Pea (at Peas in a Pod), and her sister (Aunt Pea) are hosting. It's for this quilt/wall hanging that they found at www.purlbee.com/.

I'm going to make at least one quilt and maybe a wall hanging. I have wall space next to my back door that I'd like to utilize as a quilt wall hanging display wall, and this might be the first to occupy it. All my walls are empty except for the wall adjacent to this area I'm thinking of (it has a picture of Christ). We've been in our house for 5 years and I just can't get Rhett to commit to putting holes in the wall. I so married my father.

The quilt along started yesterday and will end October 7. That's a fast quilt along! There's also a great give-away for finishing the week 1 assignments and posting photos. Unfortunately, I'm on vacation and out of town until after the deadline so I'll miss out...maybe. We'll see. I found an adorable little quilt shop in the next town over and am planning a visit on Tuesday. Crossing fingers!

If you want to join in the Little Forest Quilt Along, here's the link. But here are our assignments for week one:

1.Go to http://www.purlbee.com/little-forest-quilt/ and download the cutting and sewing instructions. It's not exactly apparent where those are. There are two orange links, with bullets next to them. They say "cutting" and "sewing." Download those pdf files and keep them handy. Also, you might want to bookmark the page, because you also need the instructions on the page.

2.Decide what size you want to make. Linda, over at Little Bits and Pieces, shows you some different sizes. You can do that, or something completely different.

3.Decide if you're going to make your trees like in the pattern or without the seam down the middle. Again, see Linda, over at Little Bits and Pieces, to link to a tutorial for making blocks without the seams going up the middle. You'll get a fatter tree if you don't do the seam in the middle.
DONE! I'm doing the seam down the middle. Frankly, the triangle in the square seems a lot more complicated. And I really like the dissonance of the cut in the same fabric.

4.Pick out all your fabrics. Get your greens, browns, and whites (or whatever colors you're going to use ready).
ALMOST DONE! I'm going to stop by the cute quilt store in Morehead City (NC) Tuesday. I've also been asking friends for their green scraps to make the quilt more interesting and fun. I'm going with dark greens for the trees and browns and maroons for the trunks. I'm going to try to mix it up a bit with off-whites and light tans for the background. I haven't decided on the binding yet, but it will probably be a maroon. The backing will be strips of leftover fabric.

5. Make sure you have thread, supplies, etc. all ready.
ALMOST DONE! I'll pick up green, maroon, and off-white thread at the quilt store Tuesday.

6.If you haven't done so, please join our Flickr group so you can get your photos posted. We all want to ooohh and aaaahhh over your work. And, you will want to be eligible for the prizes!

I'm so excited about the Little Forest Quilt Along!