Great end to my first week

Friday, April 23, 2010

Well ... I didn't get any quilting week done this week as I started my new job ... but I did finish out the week in a great way ...

I had dinner tonight with 8 new friends from the Seattle Modern Quilting Guild!  It was great to spend some time with other quilters ... and thanks to Sandy, Katie and Ara Jane for sharing some of their fabrics and scraps ... I look forward to being able to share in kind at the next meeting. 

I'm also at a decision point ... I've been piecing and quilting with my 30-year-old Pfaff sewing machine since I started quilting last May.  All along, saying that I would get a quilting machine when I started work.  It happens to coincide with my birthday ... so my husband has been pushing me to go ahead and splurge.  I've found the machine that I want ... JUKI TL-98Q.  But before I splurge, I want to make sure that the quilting bug continues now that I'm back at work ...

So my question to you ... how do you balance working and quilting ... and do you have any other suggestions on new machines?

All the best

Color Stripes

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I feel another scrappy stripe quilt in my future ... I made this one about a month ago just for me ... and I have been using it every night ... I love it! 

One more stripe to go (this one in browns) and I'll be ready to put this one together! 

Somehow ... no energy at night this week ... but maybe this weekend ;-)

All the best

Four solids and a print

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Continue to be amazed at what you can do with a limited supply of fabric!  This quilt is comprised of 4 solids (green, cream, rust and brown) and one print (Rings by Brandon Mably).  I first came up with this pattern when I made my cabin quilt.  After washing, it ended up 60" x 51" ... perfect for a snooze on the couch!

The back is very simple - solid Kona Chocolate with a few stripes of color from the front.  I love how the meandering quilting thread looks against the chocolate!

And what a perfect day for photos!

I head back to work tomorrow after a FABULOUS 381 day-vacation!  It's been an amazing year ... when I resigned last spring, I planned to take the summer off and find a new opportunity in the fall.  I kept true to the first half of my plan ... I had a fabulous summer with my husband, spent tons of time at our new cabin, learned to quilt and really enjoying life a little.  I was wrong about finding something in the fall ... the economy just wasn't ready.  But in the end, I have found a great job, with a strong company and am looking forward to rejoining the workforce (well ... for the most part ;-).  Quilting will take a back seat ... and I am holding off on getting that new machine I want until I am sure that I will continue to quilt once my time is limited ...

This quilt is off to another friend, Teresa, next week ... she's a recruiter ... and if it was tough for those of us looking for jobs last year, it was even tougher for recruiters as they got laid off in droves.  Teresa took her considerable knowledge in recruiting and formed a networking group to help others better understand what recruiters are looking for.  She gave enormously of herself in a time when her bank account was suffering ... hard to figure out how to repay her for that ... but hopefully the quilt were remind her of the new friends that she made this past year.

All the best

Progress & Relaxation

Monday, April 5, 2010

I made some progress in Teresa's quilt this weekend.  I'm using my Corner Block Cabin Quilt design -- which uses 5 different fabrics (4 solids and one print) in 5 different blocks (tutorial).  I now have 13 of the needed 25 blocks complete. 

When I went to make this quilt, I looked at the confusion I created in my first tutorial and cleaned it up a bit.

The rest of the quilting will have to wait a few days ... the dogs are off to the "doggy spa" and John and I are off on a 4-night wine-tasting relaxing trip to eastern Washington.  Starting in Yakima, then down to Walla Walla and then following the Columbia River bake to Hood River. 

For those of you not from the west coast ... in addition to the apple crops that Washington state has become famous for, there are some fantastic wines coming from the eastern (read dry, desert like) half of the state. 

Hope you all have a fun and productive week!

All the best

Love that Craig guy ...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Another fabulous find on Craigs List! 

Gosh ... I have become such a fan of that web site!  We're not sure if it's original or a replica ... but it's super heavy and even if a replica, they used original wood in it's creation.  The clasp on the front is iron and you can see the detail in the wood, including what appears to be a keyhole for an old lock in the bottom right of the photo below.

The drawers have iron rings for handles, held in by an iron pin.  The drawers are comprised of old, worm eaten wood that really brings a touch of authenticity to the piece. 

While a little hard to see, the hinge is comprised of two iron i-bolts hammered into place. 

When we bought it, the shelves had been removed and the back was cut out for a very large TV.  Because it's so heavy, the missing back made it very unstable.  Recently, John was able to find some great reclaimed wood at RE Store, that was about 1" thick.  We squared it back up and replaced the back and then he built several shelves for the inside.  A little bit of stain ... and we have a great pantry for the cabin.

We are huge fans of Craigs List ... it takes diligence and you can't expect to find what you want the first time you log on ... but we continue to furnish the cabin with great finds and love both the cost and the recycle element. 

Oh yes ... and this armoire, including the extra wood and stain for the back and shelves $214.75!  Compare that to the $1100 the cabinet supplier wanted for a 36" cabinet to put in it's place ... oh and this has so much more character!

All the best.

A little Hope Valley ... very little ...

Over the past year there have been a few fabulous friends who have helped keep me grounded, spirits up and focused on finding the next right job.  Jeannine got her quilt when she landed her job back in January (my first corner block improv quilt), I am working on Teresa's right now, and this one is for Lisa B. 

Lisa is in the midst of remodeling her combined living and dining room area and adding a small deck off the living room to take advantage of her great city and water views.  Her new paint scheme is a very pale green and when I saw subtle colors of the grays/greens of the Hope Valley fabrics ... I knew it was perfect.

As you've probably gathered ... I haven't built out a stash of fabulous fabrics ... in part because I've been limited on cash this past year, and in part, because I really like the value that solids bring.  So I've used patterns for effect, but typically they take second position ... this quilt is no exception!

I was able to pick up 9 FQs of Denise Schmydt's Hope Valley for 20% off at my local QS and I recon I will get 2 quilts out of it. 

This is laying on the bed in my room ... but I like the way that it looks with green slate around the fireplace. 

I made the back a little darker intentionally so it can be pulled out onto the new deck in the evenings ... in Seattle, we have fabulous summer temperatures, rarely rising above the mid-80's.  However, our nights cool down dramatically as soon as the sun sets ... partly why we wear so much fleece ;-).

I'm still in love with negative space ...don't think it's a phase ... I just really like the naked quilting on an empty white canvas ...

I love how it came out and can't wait until her remodel is complete and we can sit out on the new deck with a glass of wine and her wrapped up in her new quilt with her kids!

All the best
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