Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Marion!

If you see my friend Marion today (January 30th), please wish her a Happy Birthday!

Marion, this is what I told Merwyn that you wanted for your birthday.

And if he couldn't afford the dark green Jaguar, he could always try this...

Happy Birthday Marion! Thanks for being such a great friend!
Pugs and kisses (and lots of chocolate cake and fabric),


New Year's Resolutions

What do you think about New Year's Resolutions? Are resolutions like potato chips? You just can't make one? Or, are resolutions more like advice? Mom says, "I don't give advice. Smart people don't need it, and stupid people don't take it." (My Mom has a way with words. Yes, she's a writer, too.)

I like to make resolutions, but I think of them more as guidelines rather than the ten commandments. For the last couple of years, I've had fun making quilting resolutions. My primary quilting resolution has been to concentrate on projects that were close to being finished, so that I could complete them and move on. As a professional project manager, I must finish my clients' projects or face the wrath of my boss. However, as a quilter, I experience the freedom of starting as many projects as I want...

I spent last weekend quilting with my buddies, so I queried them to find out if they made quilting resolutions too...here's my report.

From Kim P.
My 2013 quilt resolution is to finish my three Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt WIPs (works in progress):
  1. Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll
  2. Orca Bay
  3. Easy Street
Kim is well on her way to finishing Easy Street!
From Kim G.
Reduce, reuse and recycle! Trim down my stash and my body (Hey, this would be a good one for me!)! Be able to close the lid on my fabric boxes and the top button on my jeans!

Go Kim! You have our support! Maybe we can
connect your sewing machine to your treadmill?
From Terri
Finish my Millennium Quilt that I started in 2000. It has 2,000 pieces.
Note: This is NOT the Millennium Quilt.
From Joan
To sew more than rip!
From Lori
To make a quilt for George Clooney that he'll actually accept. (I think she's kidding, but with Lori you never know...)
Sorry George, this quilt in progress is not for you. It is for Lori's niece.
From Karen
Use up my scraps to make room for more fabric!
From Debbie
Not start new projects until I finish my old projects.

From Lexine
Start making my holiday gifts earlier!

From JoAnn
Put bindings on my almost completed quilts that date back to the 1980s.
From Joannie
Finish my Bonnie Hunter Easy Street Mystery and then do a scrappy Bonnie Hunter pattern.
Is Joannie saving these scraps for her next Bonnie Hunter project?
From Pat
Stop doing projects for everyone else and do the projects I want to do for myself!
Not only does Pat make lots of things for other people,
her daughters often volunteer her to make things too!
And then there's me
My first quilting resolution is: To shop my stash first! To date, I've found a nice piece of red fabric for a quilt back and nine fat quarters for our Right Left Center game this coming weekend at the Cape. I'm going to make more pieced quilt backs like my good friend Marion.

My second quilting resolution is to try and avoid over-committing myself. Last year I completed 69 projects and gave away 58 of them. This year, I have three projects that I have to finish: my friend Anna's wedding quilt (she got married last May), a twin size quilt for my sister-in-law Diane's niece (a Bat Mitzvah gift) and a bed quilt for my new sister-in-law, Susan, who doesn't have a quilt from me yet (she picked out the pattern and I bought the fabric two years ago). Other than these three projects, I'm going to try and do more things that I want to do (like my friend Pat).
Happiness is a lap full of pugs!
From left to right: Romeo, Larry and Elvis.
What's your New Year's Quilting Resolution?

Check back in December and we'll see how all the girls made out!

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, January 25, 2013

MLK Weekend 2013, Part 2

We had 17 attendees at our weekend this year which adds up to a lot of photos! I may have missed a few of the works in progress, but I do try to get photos of any finished projects or quilt tops for the blog.

My friend Pat made two bags this weekend as well as a cuddly little blanket for her grandson, Matthew. No slouch in the speedy sewing department, the previous week she made an adorable outfit for Matthew's Christening, finishing it up on Friday for Sunday's big event (Pat works well under pressure).
This fabric became a gorgeous duffel bag!
I don't have a photo of the finished project--bummer!
This awesome pink zebra bag was a surprise gift for me! YEAH!

Lori made this pretty lap quilt as a gift for her niece.
She also made water bottle holders for her parents. She got the idea on the Pink Chalk Studios blog here.

Paula, on the right, finished the top of her gi-normous Trip Around the World quilt top, done up in Patriotic fabrics and Red Sox fabric.
Lexine was cranking out table runners as fast as Joannie usually makes placemats, but I did get a picture of one.

Lexine was also working on this super cute Teddy Bear quilt. The bears have dimensional ears. Not to be outdone, Lexine's table mates, Jo Ann, Debbie and Valerie were also cranking out the projects.
This is Debbie's completed 2012 Birthday Block quilt.
I love it and want to steal it.

Debbie's Tumblers in batik.

Val picked up this kit at the Houston Quilt Festival
when she went to visit sister, Kathy.

Jo Ann was working on an appliqued baby quilt.

Joan S. was working on a lovely flannel quilt (no photo, sorry) and this lovely Kaffe quilt.

A lot of fun was had by all! A special thank you to Terri for the delicious French Toast in a crockpot breakfast on Saturday and to Lori for the most chocolately-delicious brownies.

Pugs and kisses,

MLK Weekend 2013, Part 1

My quilt group, the Brown Baggers, has been holding an MLK quilt weekend for so long now that I've lost track. At least 18 years would be my guess. We happily sew from Friday to Sunday, and those of us that are lucky enough to have Monday off have a day to recuperate before returning to the work world.

I reported in with the first finished project at around 11 am on Friday. This small fleece blanket has already been promised to a customer. Sadly, the Patriots lost their game on Sunday night and will not be going to the Super Bowl.

Aside from the fleece blanket, I only brought one project to work on which is unusual for me. I like to break it up and work on a lot of different things. This is one corner of Anna's wedding quilt. There is still a ways to go, but I've told myself that I can't work on anything else until this is done. Anna got married last May so I'm trying to finish the quilt before her first anniversary. I'm in love with the colors.

Here is Kim G. Kim is one of our most prolific quilters. She is FAST! And on top of being a super fast quilter, she also runs her own business, travels the world, and is the Mom to two teen-age daughters. Kim is pretty much always in motion. Kim finished at least four quilt tops, and had two more on her design wall by the time she left on Sunday.

This is Kim's train quilt. She created the
pattern from a coloring book. Super cute!

Kim's kaleidoscope star, a Bethany Reynold's pattern,
in cool winter tones. Doesn't it look like giant snowflakes?

Bento Box in oriental prints.

A Brown Bagger favorite...Yellow Brick Road.
You will probably see these blocks become two finished quilt
tops next week when the Brown Baggers head to the Cape.
Cordula finished this gorgeous Asian quilt, which is her own original design. She was inspired by the center panel.
Here are some wonderful quilts by Karen. An engineer by day and a talented quilt designer by night, you can find out more about Karen and her patterns on her website, QuiltLily Designs.
One of Karen's original patterns. You can purchase this pattern on Karen's website.

Happy Turkey Day!

Love the colors in this bag. We call this bag, the Schlep Bag.
This pattern has been around for a long time. I'm not sure of the actual pattern
name. It's kind of like potato chips, you just can't make one.
Kim and Karen are sisters who both love to quilt. Their Mom, Carolyn, is also a quilter. Kim spent the whole weekend working on her Bonnie Hunter Easy Street Mystery. She is the furthest ahead on the Brown Bagger Easy Street Mystery Team and we expect her quilt to be all put together next weekend at the Cape.

Joannie, at left, and Kim, show off two of Kim's completed blocks.
Can you count the one zillion pieces in each? Looks great Kim!
We kicked off the year right with our new 2013 birthday blocks and a birthday party for Marion. Each year we choose a pattern (participation optional) and make blocks for each other in the birthday girl's choice of colors.
This year, each participant will receive two different blocks--a square
in a square and a pinwheel. Marion provided the pale blue batik background print.
Notice that she is wearing a coordinating sweater to her birthday blocks.
She did that all weekend, wearing an outfit that matched her project. She claims it was an accident.
This is Marion's birthday loot. Don't they look pretty?
Marion spent most of the weekend working on her Easy Street Mystery Quilt. By the end of the weekend, she had finished step 5. There are 8 steps in total.
Here is Marion happily sewing away!

I almost forgot that Marion and I did work on another project--we finished
the top of the baseball t-shirt quilt. This is a custom order for a high
school graduation gift. It made a very big quilt!
Joannie, Sally and Terri, also members of the Brown Bagger Bonnie Hunter Easy Street Mystery Team, spent the weekend working on their quilt tops. Sally has also finished through step 5, Joannie has finished through step 6 and Terri is ready to start assembling block 1.
Sally, the President of the Ironing Club, shows off her technique

Joannie at work

Blocks are in position

Have rotary cutter, will cut!
The Easy Street Mystery Team!
Part 2 to follow soon!

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Sew Many Ways and Richard and Tanya Quilts. These are great blogs, go check them out!

Pugs and kisses,