Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I've Been Bitten.....

….by the quilting bug.  
Oh my goodness.  What am I thinking yet again!  I recently went to the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach and fell in love with the fabrics, patterns, colors and textures of quilting.  At the time, the only thing that I had ever quilted were four mug rugs (oversized coasters) and I really wasn’t that interested in doing anything else.  It looked sooo time consuming and all the seams are little and all that cutting and ironing…sheesh.
Well….that all has changed.  My good friends and blogger buddies - Regena, Amy and Karen -  are all quilters so I have been forced jumped on the quilting adventure bandwagon because, hey I need another hobby/craft project like I need another hole in my head.  I kept hearing conversations revolving around “layer cakes, jelly rolls, honey buns and charm packs; sashing and pearl floss; backing and binding.  I felt left out and lonely during our chats.  Like a red-headed stepchild where I didn’t fit in. 
So I bought a Charm Pack in Halloween fabric.  What is a charm pack?  It is a collection of 42, pre-cut 5”x5” squares in a fabric line, in this case Halloween.  There are 2-3 pieces of each fabric.  I then found a quilt block pattern that I thought looked pretty easy for a newbie and decided that I was only going to do a table runner to start with.  Not too big of a project.  The quilt block pattern is called a “Disappearing 9-Patch.”    I also purchased black fabric for the sashing (strips between and around the quilt blocks) and orange fabric for back of the runner. 

Last Wednesday I got started. My husband went on his annual fishing trip and would be gone for three days so I figured that I would have plenty of uninterrupted after-work sewing time while he was gone.  I stayed up that Wednesday night until 11:30 sewing!  I also work a full-time job outside the home, so let me tell you - that is waaayyyy past my bedtime!
I arranged and re-arranged and arranged again the little squares of fabric until I decided how I wanted them and then sewed them into 3x3 blocks.

Then came the hard part.  It was time to cut the big squares into quarters!  Yikes! What if I messed up? What if my ruler and rotary cutter slipped?!  All that hard work!  But I bit the bullet and cut them into quarters.

once they were cut I moved the quarters into a different format within the same square, sewed them together and ended up with these three new blocks! Easy Peasy!

Except like I said - I stayed up until 11:30 that night so this was as far as I got on Wednesday.

On Thursday night after karate, I measured, cut and added the black sashing between and around the blocks.
Then added purple sashing around the black and pinned it to the batting and the backing. Whew!  It was another late night!

On Friday night I began the quilting process.  I sewed around each of the fabric pieces and added decorative sewing to some of the squares.  Above is a spider web.
And here is a witch's hat.  I should have clipped the strings before I took the picture!  LOL!
and another spider web. They all turned out pretty cute!
I also added a bat and here's what he looks like on the backside of the runner. 
The web on the left and the hat on the right - what they look like on the back of the runner. The fabric is orange with black polka dots, but the dots look purple here.

Last night I pinned and sewed the borders and FINALLY finished the runner. 
I am soooo proud of myself and can't stop looking at it!  Here is the finished runner!  Not too bad for a newbie who had no clue what she was doing and didn't really have a pattern for the runner part of the design.  I kinda winged that part!

This was a really fun project.  I've been told that I am now a "quilter."
Hmmmm.............what will my next project be?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Crafty Chicas

Last weekend I went to Long Beach with my friend Regena and we met (finally) two of our most favorite blog buddies ever - Amy and Karen!  We had a grand time.  Both of them were absolutely wonderful, over-the-top hostessess.  We ate and talked and ate and sewed and ate and went to the International Quilt Show in Long Beach and did I mention that we.....ate!  Had scrum-dilly-icious meals for four - count em' - FOUR days!  Here are a few of the highlights of a most fab weekend that will definately need to be repeated!

This is M&L Fabrics - the biggest fabric store I have ever seen.  We spent about 2.5 hours here.  Lots of bargains and wonderful, beautiful fabrics.  These pictures only show a portion of the store.
Regena in fabric heaven and Amy and Karen.

At the Quilt Show: Karen, Regena, Me and Amy

My purchases.  Shhhh....don't tell Chris... :o)

A beautiful pansy quilt that was over the top beautiful

I Love Cows and this was one of my favorite quilts.

My husband is an avid cyclist so I had to take a picture of this quilt for him. It's hard to see, but there were tires quilted in the dark border of this quilt.

One of my favorite booths. The fabrics were fun and bright and cheerful.

The quilts were beautiful and amazing and it's so awesome how these works of art are created with fabric and thread and stitches.

Sewing lots of fun projects

 Regena and Amy making fried chicken, homemade biscuits and mashed potatoes and gravy. YUMMO!

I bought this beautiful fabric and turned it into......

...a little zipper pouch to hold my crochet hooks. If you want to make one, pop on over to Karen's blog - sew much 2 luv - and check out the tutorial.  It's super easy peasy.

and an awesome ginormous sewing tote bag!

With pockets on the inside.  I love this bag! I am going to use it mostly to tote my cross-stitch projects to and from wherever I take them.  Thanks Karen for the pattern!

We all had an amazing time. It was fun to finally meet these terrific women and I know that I have sisters for life. 
Thank you again Karen and Amy for a wonderful weekend! You are the best!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

....Helicopter, Helicopter.....
....nuff said......

Have a GREAT Wednesday!