Yeeeehaw! My quilts are going to smell like swine by the end of next week. It’ll be worth it if I win the top prize of 7 bucks. I could almost buy an elephant ear with that on the midway.
Here’s what I took in: I entered my only completed queen-size quilt finshed to date: Wedding Stars, aka, Wedding Spectacularrrrr (you’ve really got to roll your “r’s” when you say it though or it just won’t come out right). It was a gift to my sister-in-law and her new husband just over a year ago.
Wedding Spectaularrr, One Year Later

I also ended up entering the first quilt I made that was finished in 2002. I hadn’t planned on using my second entry since the other wedding quilt that I’m still finishing (I’m getting close!) isn’t done yet. I didn’t want to waste the quarter that I paid to enter a second quilt (yes, I’m cheap). From far away it doesn’t look too bad:
Ben's Quilt

But when you get up close to it, you can really tell that I had no idea what I was doing. I hadn’t read a book, talked my quilting Granny, looked anything up online…. nothing. I remember when I put it on the floor to baste my quilt sandwich, my mom was standing there and her comment was, “It looks nice, but it kinda looks like an elephant sat on it.” The thing doesn’t even come close to being squared up. And when I started to quilt it (I hand quilted this one too) I had no idea that you could just pull the knot through the fabric and slip it into the batting….noo. I wiggled my arm all the way up to the middle and started my needle between the quilt sandwich. I got a book about 5 squares into it and suddenly realized, “oh! That’s how I do it.”
Band Hand Quilting and Puckering

Just look at that puckering and stinky hand quilting! On the up side, it does have a four-leaf clover fabric in it that could look like a 4-H logo. I’m hoping to win some of the judges over that way.

My Denyse Schmidt Quilts book arrived in the mail yesterday and I found this on page 172:

Weblog Shout-Out!

I am so flattered! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Denyse!
I had a few people tell me it was in there, but it was still so cool to actually see it there, in print! Now I’m in the process of showing everyone who’s even remotly willing to look at it. (Most people already know I’m crazy, so if I start flapping a book at them while jumping up and down, they’re usually not too weirded out anymore…)

What do you do on a 90 degree day? I make quilts, of course. I didn’t know I could work up such a sweat using my sewing machine. Today is better though; it’s much cooler and the breeze is nice. (I’m no longer trying to cool the entire house with one wee window air conditioner.) I’ve been working on this for the last few days:

Almost Finished Top

Sorry for the bad picture. I tried and that was the best I could get. The top is almost done but I’ve pretty much wiped out the last of my white fabric and will need to get more before I can finish it. I do have a question for the more knowlegable quilters though: Can I technically call this a charm quilt? There’s no two pieces of print fabrics the same in it, despite the white. I didn’t know. The machine piecing is going well though. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with it now. I’d like to try tackling machine quilting too, but I think I’m going to need to get a walking foot before I hit that.
Today’s big project is to add a hanging device to Wedding Spectacularrr (last summer’s quilting drama). I’m taking it to the fair on Friday (to be judged along side of the cows and pigs) and I think it needs to be able to be hung. We’ll see how it goes. I have a feeling that I’m not up to fair standards though–like my friend Steve told me, there’s no way I’ll win since there’s no chickens, sheep or 4-H logos appliqued anywhere (everywhere) on it! County Fair Pride!
I’m reconsidering my decision on doing the Eclipse quilt for the Modern Quilt-Along. I just don’t think it’s going to work. Once my book gets here I’m going to rethink the project a bit.
Off to have lunch with my birthday husband!

Anyone Up For A Quilt-Along?

Would anyone be up for doing a Denyse Schmidt quilt-along? I know there’s a lot of people who are really excited about the new Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Patterns book (including myself!!) and this could be a great way for all of us to encourage and learn from what we’re all doing. If you’re intimidated by doing a big quilt don’t worry–there’s lots of other small paterns included in the book that you could participate with.
I’m thinking that we’ll start sometime after the first week of August. That’ll let people have some time to think about what they’d like to get started with, and pick up a copy of the book (I just ordered mine yesterday!). There’s no deadline and no pressure to finish your projects by a certain date.
If you’re interested in joining in, leave a comment or drop me an e-mail!

I’ve started another new quilt (this is in addition to my Modern Quilt-Along Quilt). I have my reasons though. I’m planning on machine piecing the Eclipse quilt, and most (like 99%) of the piecing I do is by hand. And since the Eclipse quilt has curved piecing (which I don’t mind doing by hand) I felt like I needed to at least get the sewing machine out and practice. So this new project is a practice quilt. I got the idea from Hillary’s awsome coin quilt, and so far, this is what I have put together:

Charm Quilt

The dog was in the spot where I was going to take the picture at. I’m actually really excited about this quilt, because another part of the reason for making it is to put this really pretty fabric I’ve had for several years to use:
Backing Fabric

It reminds me of a Monet painting! Just so far, nothing has really made me want to use it yet. I was really moving on it this afternoon, but I had to stop when the sun was reflecting off my sewing machine into my eyes like a blinding laser. That made sewing not as much fun really.
But as I’ve been working on this, I’ve been re-thinking my color choices for the Eclipse project. I was feeling really set on the red, pink, orange and yellow combination, but I just don’t think it’s going to work. I think I can probably leave in yellow and maybe pink, but I’m having a lot of trouble finding fabric that would really work for red and orange. I don’t really want to have a pink and yellow quilt either (too girly for my taste). It’s not that I don’t like the colors in the original pattern, it’s just that I’d like to do something different with it.
And if these projects weren’t enough, I know I’m going to have to start more new projects as soon as I’m able to order this:
AHH!  It's OUT!

I can’t wait to get my copy! Exciting!

Say Hi To Eddie!

Sock Monkey Eddie!

I’m happy to say, I have finally created a softie to submit to A Month of Softies. I’ve been wanting to do this for months, and I just haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. I’m really pleased with my first attempt.
Now on to quilting! I’ve been trying to decide on my color scheme for my Eclipse quilt, and I think I’ve decided on red, pink, yellow and orange. Here’s Fun Quilt’s version first:
Fun Quilts: Eclipse

Here’s some of the fabrics I have pulled up so far:
Eclipse Fabric

I’m just not sure how I’m going to work this though. I want this project to be as much about making the right fabric choices as the quality of my quilting. I think my fabric is really going to be lacking in the lighter hues, especially in the reds and oranges. Does anyone have any good tips for me, or would be willing to do some fabric swaping for some of those lighter colors? Let me know.
And since my kitchen is still taking up the majority of my life lately, (it’s so cool to see everything starting to look like a real kitchen!) here’s another look at the same wall that I showed in the last post. We have cabinets, a microwave, and a fridge that isn’t in the living room anymore! It’s so exciting!
It's A Real Kitchen!

I’ve been meaning to update for days now, and I’m finally going to sit down and do it. We have been so busy this month, and I’ve had so little time to do anything quilt related. Ben and I have spent most evenings and late nights for the past several weeks hanging drywall, plastering, painting, scraping and laying tile in our kitchen. We gutted the whole thing, and turned an awful, ugly, once covered completly in nasty wood panneling into a halfway decent room!
Here’s before:


Here’s the same wall now:
Becoming Less Barf Like!

The cabinets just came in today, and tomorrow night we’ll hang all of the uppers. I’m so excited to have a kitchen again! Do you have any idea how much of a freak it makes you look like to have your fridge sit in the middle of your living room? It’s bad.
And so after that’s all finished, I’m looking forward to finally going back to quilting full force. I haven’t worked on my wedding quilt in weeks; it’s been impossible to with all of our other work, plus with the heat here in Michigan this summer. And since I love starting new projects, I’ve signed myself up to participate in Dioramarama’s Modern Quilt-Along! I’m so excited! I wish I could spend the money splurge this month on The Modern Quilt Workshop, but with all of our kitchen expenses right now I think I’ll hold off. I’ll instead be working on the Eclipse quilt. I love piecing curves, but I usually piece by hand and I think I might go ahead and try this one on the machine. I’m looking at this project as a chance to improve my machine skills, as well as make a cool quilt. I’m still thinking about colors, but I’d like to try to do a mix of both solids and prints. I have a lot of fabrics that I’d love to use, and haven’t had a use for yet, so I may be able to find a home for it in this project. There’s still a lot to think about!
And before the month is up, I really want to find the time to participate in Loobylu’s A Month of Softies. This month’s theme is Sock Monkeys! How freaking cool is that! Now I just have to find time to make one….