Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fabric shopping or stash busting?

Need some good reasons to go fabric shopping?
Reason #1...... I need fabric to join in on Stitch-a-long with Linda.
Reason #2 ...... because it's Friday (fill in the day of your choice)
Reason #3 ...... I heard there was a sale (there's always a sale somewhere)
Reason #4....... the fabric I have doesn't fit anymore
Reason #5........ I need one more fabric to go with the others I'm using in the Stitch-a-long with Linda
Reason # 6....... to help stimulate the economy
Reason # 7 ...... because it's there
Reason #8 ....... I don't have enough fabric (only if you can say this with a straight face)
Reason #9 ....... I need to go buy some thread, so while I'm there.....
Reason # 10...... I better stock up now while the weather is good
Reason # 11.... there's some great links posted here.......
Fat Quarter Shoppe, Stitchin' heavenSuzannes quilts, Ericas, Country Crossroads,
Cotton Patch quilt shop, Quilt Lovers Hangout, Sew Studio, My Quilt shop,
Jo-Ann's fabrics, pink chalk fabrics, glorious color.
That should get you started......
If those reasons don't help, you can also dig into your fabric "stash" a.k.a. "collection".
The quilt top that we'll be making in the Stitch-a-long is going to finish around 40" x 60" and it uses at least 7 fabrics so it doesn't take a whole bunch of any one fabric. It's an easy to make design and so it's a good project for beginners or a stress free, quick project for more experienced quilters. The yardage you'll need is listed below. To help get you started I'll show you the fabrics I'm using from my "collection" and why I chose them.
I chose this print "focus" fabric because it has a good variety of colors in the print.
We'll be making two sizes of 4-patch units in the quilt and so I chose a light and a dark to go with the larger print.....

We'll also be making some strip pieced units and I chose another 4 fabrics for those. I like to vary the scale and visual textures in my fabric choices to add interest. I also like to add a very light fabric and a dark fabric instead of using all mid-tone value fabrics....

So here are the fabrics I'm going to use..... I'm not sure which one I'll use for the binding yet.

Here is another "collection" I pulled together out of my stash that I may use when I make this quilt again.
 I hope that gives you some inspiration to begin gathering or buying your fabrics for the Stitch-a-long!

Here's the yardage you'll need for the Stitch-a-long with Linda quilt top. Have fun shopping!
*yardage is based on 44" fabric width

1-1/4 yards of a print focus fabric 
1/2 yard of a dark (I'm using the red)
1/4 yard of a light (I'm using the pink & white check)
1/4 yard EACH of 4 other fabrics  (I'm using an orange print, 2 greens prints and a pink dot)
Buy another 1/3 yard of one of the fabrics for your binding.
 Fabric needed for the backing is 1-3/4 yards
*There is also an optional step in this Stitch -a-long that will require another fabric that will contrast somewhat with the rest. You'll need about 3/4 yard.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

frog weather

Sounds like tomorrow is going to be great weather for frogs......

fungi ..........

bumpershoots .......

 and staying inside and stitching!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Now that's a root ball.....

September in Florida means it's time to plant the veggies again. That's because it's too blasted hot to grow them in the summer! DH helped me dump the soil out of my Earthboxes from last season so we could spread it all out on some black plastic, cover it, and bake it in the sun to sterilize it. One of my Earthboxes had a bell pepper plant that was planted from seed 2 (maybe 3) years ago. I was told I should start over and so we took it out and WOW what a root ball!

OMG -the entire load of soil lifted out in one piece. Needless to say we had to break it up and pick all the roots out. 
This year I am going to add Brussell sprouts to the garden. We both really like them so hopefully they will do well.

I am also looking forward to the garden fresh spinach again - yummo!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

how to traumatize a quilter - day two

Did you really think I was going to stop at day one???? (see my August 24th posting if you missed day one of how to traumatize a quilter)

I find this is becoming a very cathartic experience. Today I also began the process of starting anew by choosing the fabrics for the quilt that will supplant the %#@* quilt.

In the meantime my DH was helping out his nephew by working on his truck. I think they put new rotors on or something to that effect. I'm usually the go-fer for my DH when he has a big project going on. In this case he had a helper but I wanted to contribute somehow so......

I let him borrow the %#@^* quilt to lay on while he worked on the truck.
I figured it would be much more comfy than the concrete driveway- don't ya think?

Hmmmm, not sure if that grease is going to come out.  Now ask me if I care- LOL
I am feeling more liberated by the day!
Do you ever feel the need to liberate yourself from a bothersome project?????

 I returned to my studio and continued pulling some fabrics from my stash. Here's what I have so far....

If you want, you can stitch along with me as I go.  It's a great stash busting project and you'll have a cozy little quilt in time for the chillier days ahead or to donate to your favorite charity. If you're worried you won't keep up, rest easy. I have a lot going on right now and this isn't going to be done at a lightning pace. I'll  be posting the yardage needed this week.

Next I'll be cutting the fabrics and...... who knows what else!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Quilt retreat wrapup

Back home from another exhilarating quilt retreat and I have finally made some time to download the few pics I took to share with you.
 Welcome to quilt retreat.....
Here's a stunning Southwest style quilt that Brenda was working on....
This is a lovely wall hanging that Marcia started. It is Brodiere Perse applique and done by hand as that is her favorite the fabrics. She had  moved away from the area but flew in  to join us at retreat.  It was so nice to have her there again.

Jo was busy making quilts  to donate to the Women's Shelter.....Hooray for Jo!

Betty was busy free motion quilting this King size quilt for her home.... she does awesome free motion quilting.

Marlene made this whimsical kitty quilt.... it's so Marlene!

We celebrated Cheryl's (center) birthday and she shared the spotlight with other "near" Birthday friends (Bonnie, Jo, Cheryl, Sandra, Linda) and we all helped them get rid of the cake LOL

Karen whipped up this very cool mini quilt for the mini quilt auction out guild holds annually.
For someone that doesn't paper piece she did fabulous! I will be bidding on this one....

Ferne was working on this very pretty Kaleidoscope quilt.....I love the colors.

Sandra was busy making mountains of 9-patches for a king size quilt..... She got them all done too.

Nancy made this striking red and white quilt ... my birthday is in November Nancy....

Another cute donation quilt by Jo.......

Cathi mentioned she wanted her hair trimmed so I told her I would cut it....she looks awfully worried don't you think???

Grace worked on this fabulous Kaleidoscope quilt......

Bonnie made this adorable Halloween Pumpkin.....

Karen took the plunge and made her first "art " piece....more on that soon......

As always the time flew by very quickly we stayed up too late, had ice cream every night, and laughed until it hurt. So all in all it was as it should be - fun.
Can't wait for the next one.
 I confess that on this retreat I was a lazy bones about shooting pics, but I was just having too much fun visiting with everyone and stitching. I had to remind myself to take pictures, so I guess I'm just not a born photographer like my dad is (my pictures speak for themselves).
At retreat I was paging through an issue of Artful Blogging that one of my BFF's brought along and that made my lack of blog skills all too apparent. Page after page show beautiful photos of adorable and inspiring things and bloggers are pouring out their hearts, sharing deep thoughtful insights and writing with exquisite style and grace.
Oh well, I will continue to share anyway and if it brings a smile to your face then that's going to be reward enough for me.
Wish you all could have been with us on retreat.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fruit of the dragon?????

We have a cactus that has been growing on one of our trees for sometime now and just this summer it has bloomed. Turns out it is a night bloomer like our other cactus in the yard (night blooming cereus). This vine growing cactus is the Pitaya cactus and about a week after the bloom dropped there was this awesome looking large fruit!
According to legend and lore during a battle the dragon fruit was the last thing that came out of the mouth of the fire breathing dragon. The fruit was then presented to the emperor as a coveted treasure.

I had heard dragon fruit before but never saw one. We harvested it and then I looked it up online to make sure it was edible - always a good idea don't you think?
We put in in the fridge to chill because I read it was better cold. Then one evening when friends were over we cut into it and gave it a try. It was actually very much like kiwi but more mild in flavor. The numerous black seeds are crunchy and easy to chew. Apparently they are quite expensive if you buy them in a store. They are also supposed to be very nutritious.
So far we have only had one fruit this summer. Hopefully next season will bring more blooms and hence more fruit of the dragon.

Now I have to go get busy packing for QUILT RETREAT!!!!!!!
No I'm not at all excited - HA
As always I will take too many projects, but you surely don't want to run out of things to do!
I will take pics and share when I get back.....

Play like you mean it.....