Thursday, September 30, 2010

Very excited about our planned trip back east this month!  We will be spending time in both NYC and Toronto.  I am really interested in going to some local quilt shops in both towns ... so suggestions are definitely welcome!  Thanks in advance if you've got any ideas!

All the best

9-Patch x 2

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yes ... there are 2 ...  I've been wanting to make nine-patch ever since I saw this quilt on Flickr -- it was lovingly made by a grandmother for her grandchild out of dresses her daughter wore as a child  ... that's the type of quilt-history I love to hear!

The quilt top on the left is made from my stash with fabrics left from this quilt.  It is for my Aunt ... a fabulous woman who will turn 78 in November.  She's been a special person to me and this is "just because" ...  

The second quilt top is for my friend Matt and his new bride Astrid.  They were married on the beach in Hawaii back in May (yes, I am extremely tardy) and  I tried to bring the colors of the outdoors into the pallette, offset by the off white that I think really lightens it all up.

I laid it over the end of my bed (also known as my 'design wall') and decided that this is a "have-to-have" quilt for the cabin.  Looks like I now have a winter project ;-)

I hope they both see much use for many years to come ...

All the best

Holiday Pillows

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Last year I made 8 lap quilts for family members for Christmas ... and this year I promised myself not to do that again ;-).

My promise to myself was to go smaller ... and sooner ... 

So I've been investigating some pillow options over the past week and have found a few inspirations ... trees ... trees ... words ... lights ... and presents ...

My tree attempt failed miserably ... well actually, the applique part came off brilliantly, but the size and placement of my trees just didn't work ... although I do have a 2nd try under development. 

But I'm pretty happy with the presents and think they might make some nice holiday gifts for a few family members.   

Fixins:  3/8 yard fabric for each, 1-2 yards of ribbon (depending on the pillow) and a 14" x 14" pillow form.  While I typically prefer the Home Elegance pillow forms at JoAnns, they currently have Soft & Crafty on sale, and since they are really for decoration, and won't really undergo the wear and tear from sitting all year on a sofa, I figured I couldn't afford to pass up the 50% off sale. 

They were simple to make, about 1 1/2 hours for the two of them.  The ribbon is sewn on, the bows are pinned, but I may change that, as I'm not thrilled with the pinning right now.  I may try a few variations this week ... but I do like the simplicity of them. 

Hope your have a good week!

All the best

Lesson's learned ...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Last month ... I saw a few posts from other quilters (here and here) that made me VERY aware of the dangers of my rotary cutter ... fortunately, it sounds like both ladies fingers are healing nicely. 

I thought I would share a few of my learnings from today ... that while they are in no way dangerous ... they are definitely annoying! 

Lesson #1:  Don't iron on your cutting mat ...

Lesson #2:  Don't have more than one white out at a time, or you run the risk of cutting into the wrong white ... (the off-white on the right is the correct color)...

Hopefully, this will help someone else from making the same mistakes ...

And here's a quick peek at the growing 9-patch ...

Wordless Wednesday ...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Such a beautiful place ...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Had a fabulous weekend meeting new people, drinking good wine and enjoying the beauty of the "Everbrown" side of the "Evergreen" state.

Western Washington, where I live and where we have our cabin, sits between two mountain ranges (the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east). The micro-climate caused by these two ranges means we get a LOT of rain and very temperate weather. Go east of the Cascades into eastern Washington, however, and you will find high desert and very dry and arid weather with large temperature extremes. But boy is it beautiful!!! Enjoy ...

All the best

In memory ...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

of the souls lost 9 years ago today and the 6,807 US and International soldiers lost since then in the war on terrorism ... including the two lost this week in Iraq in my brother's battallion ... we are humbled and forever in your debt.

Always remember


Best ginger snaps ... ever

Friday, September 10, 2010

We are heading off to Walla Walla, Washington (isn't that fun to say) early tomorrow morning with my cousin and his wife and a few of their friends for a weekend of wine tasting!  They have planned a picnic lunch and a dinner on the grill by the river for Saturday!  How fun does that sound!  For dinner, each couple brings their meat for the grill and then a side dish to share with the group. 

In addition to John's fabulous contributions (see below), this gives me a chance to pull out my favorite cookie recipe in the world!  I found this recipe on David Lebovitz' blog and it's from Alice Waters at Chez Panisse (which probably means more to the folks from California). 

I typically make them when we're out at the cabin to serve with home-made ice cream.  Every time I have made and served them, someone has asked me for the recipe.  Last month, I found the guests had raided the kitchen in the morning and eaten the left overs from the previous night before I even got the first pot of coffee on!  They are pretty simple to make, and I find the more spices I throw at them the more I like them.

John made a fabulous cheese, pepper and egg tart for an appetizer

And finally ... a zucchini bread with zucchini straight from the garden ...

So some good people, good wine and good food.  I think it's going to be a great weekend ;-).

All the best

A complete set

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It's a complete set and it's finally finished!!! 

This set is for my 11-year-old niece M.  As I blogged here, she's a relatively new member of our family and she's been through a lot of change over the past few months.  This is for her new bedroom in her new house.  (photos are on a trundle bed in my guest room).

First, my inspiration ... I found this fabulous quilt set on flickr by Kati from the blue chair (it's from Oh Franssons quilt pattern 12+ 2 = Q).  It won't take you long to see the similarities in my version to it all! 

Sue, who has an 11 year-old daughter, and works at my LQS, helped me pick out the fabrics.  M loves pink, but I also wanted to find some fabrics that would grow up with her and not be tied to 'little-girl' years.

I modified the Elizabeth's 12 + 2 = Q pattern slightly to create a top that is better suited to a twin bed; making the patterned strips a little more narrow and then creating 2 new strips down the sides at the bottom of the drop just above the binding. 

Then I got creative and made some pillows ... the photo from the inspiration quilt gave me the idea.  These two were planned and both bear the "missing block".

The third pillow came from a failure at my first attempt at a pillow sham ...

I also loved the extra strip on the back which I copied from my inspiration photo.

The finished quilt measures 65" x 88".  I used Kona White on the front and Kona Ochre on the back and binding.  The quilt was quilted using a tight meandering pattern while the pillows were quilted with various versions of straight line (my first attempt). 

This took nearly a month to complete ... but I am very happy with how it came out and I hope that M feels the same way!

All the best

I'm a 2 machine girl !!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

For those of you who've been following my blog for awhile ... I was contemplating a new machine last spring ...

My Pfaff 1199 which was a high-school graduation present from my parents over 30 years ago.  It got pulled out ocassionally ... when bursts of creativity struck.  But more often than not ... it was in the basement collecting dust ... until last May when I took up quilting. 

The Pfaff 1199 is a portable machine, strictly mechanical, no fancy computer capabilities (remember, it's over 30 years old).  It's worked fabulous for the last year of quilting ... but there were a few additional capabilities I wanted:  1) a walking foot, 2) a larger opening under the arm and 3) a little more speed. 

Then Allison at Pioneer Valley Girl told me I could buy a walking foot ... problem #1 solved.  I also met a woman at my LQS who has a long arm I can rent for $15 per hour (after a $50 lesson) which means I have somewhere to quilt the 6 queen size plus that I may some day make ... problem #2 solved.  And problem #3 ... well ... how often was machine speed the limiting factor???

So I've been watching e-Bay and last week I bid on and won a Pfaff 1209 for $199. 

It's almost identical to my Pfaff 1199, but it has a built in walking foot

So now I have a cabin machine and a Seattle machine!!!  It's brilliant to have a 2nd machine that is virtually identical to the other ... no question on what lever to pull or what button to push.

I'm so excited ... now all I need is a second iron ...

Hope you all had a great weekend!

All the best

and the quilting is now complete ...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wow ... and it's only a twin ... not sure what I'll do when I get to the queen top that's 60% complete ... quilting is NOT my favorite part of the process ... hence the fascination with pillows over the past week ... they were actually a diversion ;-)

I did get the pillow sham completed ...

and the cake ...

We have company this weekend ... our neighbors (and best man at our wedding) from when we lived on an little tiny island many moons ago (another story for another day) are coming down from Canada to spend the weekend with us out at the cabin. So no quilting, but lots of fun visiting will be in store for us ... that and a little lemon cake.

Summer is winding down here ... I hope that everyone has a great weekend (and my eastern US readers remain safe and dry).

All the best
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