Thursday, March 28, 2013

You always pay!

When you take a couple of days off from work and there is no one to do your job. I am so tired this week trying to get caught up. Quiltmaker has finally posted pictures from the Block Party and there is one ghastly one of me - but it does illustrate a good point...

... if you really, really concentrate - you can win the centerpiece as a prize! We were given instructions to draw a nine patch block, put a heart in the center, put X's in the corner blocks, and do something else in the other blocks and then finally to draw a sashing around the whole block. My table decided that mine was the closest. So below is what I what the centerpiece looked like and what I won.

Thank you Red Rooster Fabrics and Gudrun Erla!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day Three of Block Party

Today I had another class with Julie Herman - she had missed dinner last night because she wasn't feeling well and her voice was very hoarse. Today was Boxed In and she had us bring a number of choices for the two sashing materials to demonstrate how to pick a material that would make your blocks stand out. You had to take pictures of the various combinations because it can be easier to see the best choice that way. And yes, that is my finger in a number of pictures - new camera that I am still not used to.
Purple and Green

Red and Green

Brown and Purple

Brown and Green

White and Purple (hard to see in this one)

Purple and Red

Brown and Red

I told Julie it was hopeless but with her help I picked out White and Purple. My sewing machine decided not to cooperate and it would not feed the material through. I finally had to turn it off and back on and then it worked. It did this three more times so I only got a few blocks sewn together. I said good bye to Julie and the Quiltmaker ladies and left early so I could visit with Cheryl and Lyle. I did manage to get four blocks put together at their place.

Julie's pattern is a 51 1/2 by 51 1/2 square lap quilt with nine purple squares and four white square with partial white squares on the sides, top and bottom.  One person in the class had emailed her and asked for a larger, rectangular size so that is what I will probably make. Once you get going it goes pretty fast.

Day Two of the Block Party

Day two of the Block Party in Portland was a class with Gudrun Erla called Strip to be Square. Gudrun showed us a number of her gorgeous quilts during class.

The jelly roll I used was Kate Spain's Cuzco - quite a departure for me with bright orange and gold.
I managed to complete 4 blocks even though I was in so much pain from my right arm and shoulder I was almost in tears by 10:30 am and class went until 4:30.

I think I am going to really like this quilt - and it is really very easy - as long as you pay attention to what you are doing.

At dinner we received a package of really nice Ty Pennington fat quarters. I also won the table centerpiece material which was from Gudrun Erla's new fabric line for Red Rooster Fabrics which will be in stores in June. It was four 1/2 yard pieces - so two yards of material total. She gave us a preview of the line and I can't wait until it comes out.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Quiltmaker Block Party ~ Portland, Oregon

Thursday at Block Party I took a class from Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts called Hex n More. The first part of the class was learning to use her new ruler which cuts triangles, hexagons, half hexagons, and jewel shapes each in four sizes.

Here are all the class blocks - mine is on the upper left partially hanging off and upper right partially off the board.

The last half of the class we chose one of five patterns and brought material to make that quilt. Since I forgot this part of the class until a couple days before I chose the new pattern which was released on the class day - we were the first to see it.

Here are the four block I got done - I chose fabric colors I don't normally use.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lost and Found

Cutting boards found last night when I was putting groceries away - in pantry between cabinet and wall. Grocery list found in the middle of my desk at work this morning. What will I lose next?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Back Home

I got home from Sequim in good time and now can't find my grocery list - perhaps it is where I put my large cutting board. I got a lot accomplished yesterday - I finished the last four light green star pieces, sewed and trimmed the sixteen dark green star pieces, and then sewed the 32 light and dark red star pieces.

I also discovered late last night that I forgot all about the material for the ruler class. The first part is learning how to use the rulers, the second part is using the class kit to make something, and the final part was to pick out one of five patterns and bring material to make it. I am using up my stash again but do need to buy some contrasting fabric. So it is off to JoAnn's which is 1.7 miles from the house before I go to the grocery store.I probably have something in storage in Sequim but I had the other material at the house in Kent. It would be nice to have everything all together.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Getting Ready for the Block Party!

I am taking classes next week in Portland put on by Quiltmaker magazine. They have had one set of classes on the east coast in Wilmington, Delaware and then the second set of classes is in Portland, Oregon. The classes are taught by various quilt designers. The Block Party starts Wednesday, March 20th in the evening, but I won't be there until Thursday morning since I am driving down after work. I am taking two classes from Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts and one class from Gudrun Erla of GE Designs. Julie used to live in Philadelphia and last year moved with her parents to California to be closer to her brother and his family. Gudrun was born and raised in Iceland and moved in 2003 to Minnesota. As of Wednesday I got the last of the material cut for classes.

Below is the pattern and material for the Strip to Be Square class by Gudrun Erla.

My background with be a mottled blue and the squares are strips from Cuzco by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics.

I am taking two classes from Julie Herman.
The first class has to do with using a new ruler she has designed to cut geometric designs of various shapes and sizes. We will get a class kit for that one. Hex N More

The second class is from her book "Skip the Borders" and the quilt is called Boxed In.

 Boxed In
I am using Moda fabric called Enchanted Garden by Sentimental Studios. We need two fabrics for the sashing but have to bring at least four fabrics and Julie will teach us how different contrasting fabrics change the entire appearance of the quilt.

The down side of taking next Thursday and Friday off from work is that I will get drastically behind and my piles of paper will just get bigger ~

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Tough Assistant

I stopped by the store last night and picked up box cutters. When I got home I found out that Stan Lee had been sleeping on the Nu-foam all day long - a sure sign that it is super comfortable because Stan Lee goes for the ultimate in comfort.

Stan was eager to get started cutting out the two pieces for the cushions I am making for the bench at the end of my bed. I think he may be planning on it for a future napping area.

He had only a small bit of difficulty picking up the box cutter. He has no trouble picking up the Glad storage container for his treats in his teeth and using his teeth and paws to pry it open - should that fail he just tosses it to the floor and hopes it will break open. The box cutter was something new though.

Undaunted Stan Lee prevails - I don't know about his jaws but my right arm just aches from cutting the stuff last night - two 22.5 inch cuts and one 33 inch cut. The muscles right above my elbow are just killing me.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Baby and Me

Nicole and I went shopping weekend before last for material to make seat cushions for her window seats and pillows for her couch.

She had her first sewing lesson last Sunday. The cushion material is on the left. The first of four cushions has been cut out. She got the piping sewn on the top of a cushion and the piping is pinned to the bottom and is ready to sew. She has made a good start!

I decided that I might as well start on the cushions I want to make for the bench at the end of my bed. I found the material when we were out shopping and then picked it up last week.

Now days they don't just use the regular old white or green foam ~ they use "Nu-foam" to make cushions ~ and it is a "densified" material. I think that "densified" translates to "foam that is harder than hell to cut" because that is what it is. After I finished cutting out my cushion material last night I decided that I would cut the "Nu-foam" for Nicole's cushion. I had watched the guy at Jo-Ann's struggle with the scissors and the other fabric cutters there said that scissors were the only thing that worked although 'a customer had suggested a box cutter.' Rotary Cutter - No; Utility Knife - No; Scissors - Sort Of; Box Cutter (skinny type from U-haul) did work the best. I was experimenting with the blade length and it broke - so now - no box cutter. After I started cutting, I swear the two inches of densified foam seemed more like four inches of steel.

My Sleeping Companions ~

Here is a picture of my sleeping companions - Puddy Tat, Stan Lee, Ice Pack, and Heat Pack(s).

Such an exciting life I lead....

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A No Progress Report

I thought I should post real time pictures of my craft room. Unfortunately, it is not as neat as it was because I still have the category stuff to put away. It is all sorted into piles by category waiting to be put into ScrapRack pages. I will do another sort of each pile to see what else I can give to Ronald McDonald House.

Every flat surface is covered.

Sadly I must report "organizing" injuries. My right shoulder hurts so bad from sorting that I need to give it a couple of weeks to recover. My last day working on it was Tuesday. I have been taking Ibuprofen because it really hurts. Too much standing has caused my knee to swell to twice the size of the other knee so I go to bed with a hot pack on my shoulder and a cold pack on my knee. You do what you have to!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tomorrow I meet with a Volunteer...

....from Ronald McDonald House in Seattle who is taking my "excess" for the craft room at Ronald McDonald House. There are stickers, shapes, alphabets, embellishments - things for kids of all ages. Some of the children have to stay for weeks so hopefully this will help them pass the time. After I have knee surgery and am literally "back on my feet", I would also like to buy some other types of craft projects for them.

There are eight paper totes sorted by color and category; five Creative Memories binders with alphabets, borders, stickers, embellishments and paper strips and rectangles; three clear plastic bins with embellishments; and a large legal size tote with paper packs and albums. I later added a container of paper punches.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Truly a Week from Hell

It was just a horrible week at work all around and to top it off Teresa was on vacation so we were covering for her also. I went home exhausted every night.

I did get my room picked up and figured out which ScrapRack pages I still needed more of and what I had that I didn't need. I sent them off for exchange on Wednesday and had my new items back on Saturday.

Saturday I went to the Sew Expo at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. It is either the biggest or one of the biggest in the country. In my Double Wedding Ring Table Runner class I sat next to a lady who had flown in from San Antonio, Texas to attend it. The class was the first time I attempted sewing on a curve and it went much better than I had thought it would. The instructor packed everything but the instructions so it was slower going than it should have been because you couldn't read ahead to see what to do next.

The Classroom with brand new Pfaff sewing machines - their #2 machine.

Double Wedding Ring Table Runners

I also took the Floor Mat class from Beach Garden Quilts on Bainbridge Island - I already have the supplies except for the paste wax.

Today Nicole and I went shopping for material to make cushions for her four window seats. I bought some coordinating material to make a matching floor mat for her front door. Next weekend I teach her how to sew!