Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CQC FQ Challenge Day 1 and Four Weeks in Colorado

This week will mark four weeks that I have been in Colorado. It really is a beautiful state even with all the tragedy they have recently experienced.

I have been spending time trying to get our apartment livable and organizing my sewing room. So far, not too bad though there are piles hidden in closets, the garage, etc. You get to a point where you say, Enough! So instead, Elizabeth and I are starting to really get back in the swing of things quilty and are working on some designs that have been on hold due to said move. So we have two patterns that are really coming along- designs for four more ready and just waiting on directions and fabric. It is exciting to get back in the quilting saddle.

Last Saturday, I went with my new quilting friend Shirley to the Colorado Quilting Council monthly meeting down in Canon City. It is about a two hour drive from here. The CQC usually has a national speaker at their monthly meetings. This month it was Rob Appell. I would post pictures of the great quilts he showed us, but unfortunately my camera died! So check out his website to see some of the great things he does. He is a dynamic speaker; lots of fun.

While we were at the meeting, they handed out two FQs to everyone as a gift from the Royal Gorge Quilt Council. Hmmm.. what to do? I could just add them to the huge stack of FQs littering the sewing room but I decided instead to do a little self challenge.

So here are the fat quarters I received at the meeting. Not really fabrics I would normally choose, but I like the stripe. I searched thru my stash and found some fabrics to go with them. Three of the fabrics I found are FQs and the green is a 1/4 yard cut.

So, I made a couple of mug rugs. One has green for a binding and one has red.

What do you think? I used the striped fabric is on the back.

And a variegated thread and a cute squiggly stitch to machine quilt them.

What shall I make next? I am not planning ahead with this so I may end up with a pile of one fabric and not much of anything else. The only plan is to make something each day this week until the fabric runs out!Stop by tomorrow and see what I do!

And keep checking back here. We are going to do a "Moving to Colorado" giveaway soon and maybe even  a tutorial later  in September on a quilt we showed here a while back.

In the meantime,
Happy quilting

Monday, July 23, 2012


My oldest son Sean and his new wife Rea came to visit us this weekend. It was great to see them. They have a very busy month coming up and then they leave for Scotland! And the plan is that they will be there for at least 4 years.
We probably won't see them again before they leave. It was so good to see them. So sad to say goodby.

While they were here, we took them on a few rides to see the area and then we took them up to Estes Park to the Rocky Mountain National Park to go hiking. What a great day. We got there nice and early and started hiking by 8am. We were only going to go to Dream Lake but then we decided to venture on and go to Lake Haiyaha which is higher up. It was quite a climb for some of us (me!), but we were so glad we did it. Isn't it just beautiful?

The lake is surrounded by boulders so you have to climb on and around them to get close to the lake; so worth the effort. All in all, it was a good day and we managed to get up to 10,000 feet!

Next post will include some quilting stuff but for now... off to update my passport so I can plan a trip to Scotland!

Happy quilting,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Almost finished

A few friends and I are doing a block swap. When Elizabeth first mentioned it, I thought "Oh, that sounds like fun! I have always wanted to participate in a block swap!" Then she mentioned that you make 9 blocks each month! Nine! Was she nuts?

Apparently so I am because I said Yes. And it is not bad- the blocks are fairly simple and they are only 6" square. You put 9 into a larger block which ends up (quilter math anyone? yes I really mean 6 1/2" unfinished...) 18" square. Each month you make 9 blocks of the same pattern. They can all be the same, they can be all different, or some of this and some of that... it doesn't matter, because everyone gets only 1 block from each of the other quilters. Our only stipulation for this swap is batiks.  

We started in Feb and I have gotten back blocks for the months of Feb thru June. So yesterday I started putting the blocks together.

Here is Feb:

And March:




They look great don't they? So far, my favorite is April. Though March is a close second. Using one type of fabric really ties the whole thing together. Elizabeth did this swap with her guild a few years ago and they used Civil war fabrics. I am a new fan of them and think that would be fun too!

I also made this quilt top. It was made using the pattern Surf Club by Sweetwater and a layer cake of their fabric line Lucy' s Crab Shack. The link is for the website Lily Bella Fabrics who still has the layer cakes. And she has them for $35.00 instead of the usual $39.00.

I did change the pattern a little- my friend Charmion and I wanted to make the quilt larger, so I added a inner border of white to float the center pieces, and then added a pieced border of 4 1/2" squares around the outside. Cute, huh?

The problem with living in smaller apartment is (smaller in that it is smaller than my old house) there is no where to take pictures of the larger quilts. Hmmm... this will take some thought.

Off to plan the quilting for Little Lucy.

Happy quilting,

Sunday, July 15, 2012


A while back, actually a long while back but we won't discuss how long, I started a list of MUFs. Masterpieces Under Fermentation. I have quite the list. And I am sorry to say, I have not completed anything on that list. And not everything is even on the list because I thought it would look bad!

However, it does not mean that I have not moved on to other projects and completed those first!

I finished one "business quilt" but I can't show that one yet. Not till the pattern is really done and the final version made. This was just test version #1.

Sneak peak... maybe you can guess what season?

Here is one I just did for fun. For me. It was a present from Elizabeth and I love it! The pattern is by Susan Rooney and it is called Daisy Duo. Elizabeth picked up the kit in Syracuse when she went there after our quilting weekend back in June. Not sure what store she got it at, but maybe she will comment on this post and let you all know. Because it is too stinking cute.

And it was quick! I did follow the pattern (I usually don't!) except my thread for the cute curlicues is white not yellow or green. And I added a couple of green button centers to my flowers. I wanted to add a bee button, but I have not found one I like yet. Still looking. I love daisies- one of my favorite flowers along with pink tulips.

Yesterday, my hubby and I went to 2 sewing/quilt shows! Sorry Jim, but he offered! First we went up to Denver and went to the Rocky Mountain Sew Expo. A nice lady at the Show Offs booth gave us VIP tickets so we got in for free! How nice was that?

So many fun things to see. And, surprise, surprise, I did buy something. Only one thing.

My new sewing room in our apartment is actually bigger than the room at our old house. However, the rest  of the old house was much bigger! More rooms to store things in. And an attic. And a basement. So while the room is bigger, there is now more stuff in it! Thank goodness for the closet!

So with the cutting table, the sewing table (actually our old kitchen table), and a desk (my old sewing table that is an old counter on legs from Ikea), there is no room for the ironing table. Except in front of the door.

So, my purchase yesterday is this great, small, portable ironing table from sewNgo. And I think it will work very well.

I have to finish adding the velcro to my adorable cover (you get to pick your cover. I did good! It even matches the pin cushion and thread catcher I made with all it's purples and greens) and we will be all set. It is hard to reach my bookcase, but that is better than blocking the door!

And did I mention that I saw lots of machines there? Sewing, quilting, long arm.... oh what fun. I was really struck by a Janome I saw, the Horizon- don't tell Vicky (my Viking machine!).

Then we went north to Loveland and the Quilt Colorado 2012 Quilt Show. More fun vendors and some great quilts. Inspiration for sure. And I kept my $$ in my pocket. Except for a raffle ticket. Aren't you impressed? I have so many projects in the hopper, I needed to be good. Not that I wasn't tempted.

So off to play with more MUFs. Which one next? Maybe I can get Lily to pick- she has been hanging out here on the deck helping me blog.

I hope whatever you are doing, you are having fun.

Happy quilting,

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It has been a month since I last posted and what a month it has been! After coming out to Colorado to meet the moving van and unpack boxes (oh so many boxes!), I flew back to Connecticut to see some friends and say my goodbyes.

First up was Nantucket with my book club gals. 
Don't we look like we are having fun?
Of course, what is not to love in Nantucket? A great weekend and many thanks to Diane for opening her wonderful home to us to enjoy.

Then it was back to CT for a few days and then off to
NY with Elizabeth and her buddies Sharon and
Lorraine. We met up in Syracuse and then traveled
down to Watkins Glen to O'Susannah's Quilts & Gifts
shop. We stayed in her Upstairs Inn and had a great
sewing weekend! If you have never been, definitely
a great time.

Isn't it the cutest place?

On my way back to CT from NY, I stopped in Massachusetts to hang out with my college buddies Diane and Robin. We spent the day in and around the  Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge area and had a great time. 

It just wasn't long enough! But we look great!

Once I got back to CT, it was almost time for the big trip to Colorado. My friend Charmion was coming with me so I did not have to drive alone and we had a great trip! We encountered rain, lightening, wind and heat, drove 2122 miles but we still managed to have fun.  We made some fun stops on the way and spent too much money but...

 First we stopped at some great quilt shops in the Lancaster area: Sauders and Burkholders in Denver, Zooks and the Old Country Store and Quilt Museum in Intercourse, PA as well as the local yarn shop.

After PA, it was on to Columbus to see Charmion's daughter Monique. We were so lucky: many of the hotels had no power on no rooms available but we had a reservation and power! Lucky us!

Then we drove to St Louis and stayed with Robin and went to see the Cathedral Basilica of St Louis. It was amazing. There are no words to describe the impact of seeing the mosaics in person. Truly worth a trip.

After St Louis, we drove to Independence and took in the sights with a tour of President Truman's home and a quick run thru his museum and library. So interesting, even on such a hot day! Poor Charmion- I made her walk 5 blocks in 105 degree heat- what was I thinking? We were dripping! Still, it was fun.

After Independence, it was the big push on to Colorado. We drove across Kansas and into Colorado. In case you didn't know, Kansas is a little flat. Actually, pretty flat. But we had a great sunset one night and made it to Colorado in time for dinner on the 4th.

So here I am, in Colorado. Hoping to learn more about my new home and make some friends. I am pretty sure quilters make good friends, so I am optimistic I will meet some! Off to go play in my new sewing room!

Happy quilting,