Friday, August 31, 2012

Quilt shop travels

I am home from all my travels.  The laundry is done so it must be time to recap my quilt store booty from traveling out west. 

First store I hit was Big Sky Quilts in Great Falls, Montana.  Big Sky Quilts has a web site which you can access by clicking on the link. 

I loved this shop, the ladies were so darn friendly.  I had to call for directions as the address in Yelp was listed incorrectly.  But it was worth the search!  I got so many cool patterns and I really hope I get to make all of them some day, I need to refresh some of my kitchen linens.  I also went a little wild and bought some fabric plus a panel with bison.  Yes, bison.  No, I am not quite sure what I will use it for but my daughter has a friend who is nuts for bison so maybe she will get a surprise apron in the mail.  I also picked up some fat quarter batiks to donate to a basket at my quilt guild.  Plus a bit of yellow with black but I may just be able to use it with my others.  I also picked up the pattern for a quilt that I can use with the 25 million grey and yellow fabrics I have purchased. 

 Our next stop was Bozeman, MT which we used as our base for visiting Yellowstone National Park and which I loved for its restaurants and store.  I went to Main Street quilts.  Main Street Quilts does not have a web site but the link will get you to its Yelp reviews, address, etc.

I loved the physical layout of the store itself and I got a book, a magazine and some yellow and grey fabrics.  I was obviously not a regular there and while everyone was cordial, it was not an effusive welcome to our store. 

I am sure my lower purchase amount reflected this.  When you feel like old friends like I did in Great Falls, you just naturally buy more!
  Our third stop was Pocatello, Idaho, home to Sage Creek Quilts.  Here is their website.  Sage Creek Quilts

What a fabulous quilt store, just chock full of amazing fabrics - what a selection and a great balance between traditional and modern.  They had all kinds of grey and yellow!  I was in heaven.  Also picked up some Kaffe Fassett and a print to go with solids.  Also, 4 checked dishtowels to decorate and a book.

This was such a great store with a place for machine quilting, friendly clerk, it just had it all.  Of all the quilt stores I have visited on my travels this one is in my top three.  The other two are one in Hannibal, MO and the one I visited next!

After our trip out west we went to LaCrosse, WI for a wedding.  This is the top one of my top three in the county.  Olive Juice Quilt Store

It is just an over the top fun store of abundance.  It is visually appealing, fresh, clean and light filled with whimsy and new fabrics.  I got two kits and some more, you guessed it, yellow and grey fabrics!

I was so happy to go to the wonderful wedding and so excited I got to visit Olive Juice quilt store again!

Once we got home I had to slam myself into my new part time Adjunct job.  I was up there for training two days and spent the rest of the time doing my syllabi for my two classes.  This will take time away from my blog! 

I started this blog when my class didn't fill last fall and I needed some structure to my days.  It really helped focus me!  Now that I am working again, I will probably post just once a week.  I hope to have some good progress on the heart quilts.  And I want to start the grey and yellow quilt for my grand daughter who is due in December.  I seriously have enough fabric for about 20 grey and yellow quilts so we shall see where all that leads!

I am going to keep trying to sew or knit four hours a day I just won't be writing about it every day.  We'll talk just not every day!

Sew happy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thoughts before hitting the road

 One of the things I love about social media is that you can steal, I mean borrow, all kinds of fun pictures.

This one was me on Saturday night, I was just all out of sorts.  Didn't win at cards, didn't get to spend any time with Shelby, didn't get to see the meteors, cranky with my hubby.  It was just a cranky kind of day.

Doesn't this little picture sum it up?
 Today I had a cranky hangover.  I wasn't cranky any more but boy did I need coffee.

Then I saw this!



Today was a much better day.  Had a nice breakfast with my hubz and saw former students.  Boy, those former students can make my life's work just seem so meaningful.  They are so very kind to me with their words and making sure they see me.

It does a body good, to get some gratitude!

I loved this little picture also.

I will get a chance to read, big time, as Cliff and I are hitting the road.  He has a business trip to terminals in Great Falls, Montana and Pocatello, Idaho.  In between, we are going to stop at Yellowstone National Park.  Fun!  The minute we get home, we are leaving for a wedding in La Crosse, WI.

So no blogs for about two weeks.  I will be back the week of September 27th.  I hope I have visited some quilt stores and hey, maybe even made some sewing progress!

Enjoy the end of your summer!

Sew happy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

City Quilting

 When I travel, I love to visit Quilt stores.  Two years ago I was in NYC with my friend, Vicki, to attend the White Coat ceremony of her daughter.

Lucky for me, Vicki indulged me by visiting The City Quilter.  I had read about it a Quilt magazine.  Here's a link to it

Did I mention that I am really bad at directions?  So not only did Hayley and Vicki go with me, they actually led me there!
 I loved this shop!

Right in the middle of NYC there is this oasis of fabric and thread.  What a great way for people who live in the city to continue quilting and buying fabric without having to drive a great distance or order fabric by mail.

Here you can see myself and Vicki in August of 2010 when I was lucky enough to visit here.

I know what you are thinking, are there quilt stores in the city near where you live?
Since I live in the suburbs, I had only visited fabric stores, not quilt stores in Chicago.

So I looked on the internet and by golly there is a quilt store in Chicago.  Here is a link to it Quilt store in Chicago  I will have to check it out some time, it is called Quiltology.  Any readers ever been there?

Which begs the question, what is the theme of this blog post?  Well if you look at this picture, you get an idea of how my brain works.  So I started with The City Quilter in NYC and ended with a store I have never been to.

Pretty cool, yes?  If you are a quilter, I think you understand!

I am working on the Hot for Chocolate tops and will post next week before we leave for Cliff's business trip.

Sew happy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hot for Chocolate rows, part 2

 Remember yesterday's post?

I discussed how I was able to strip piece the blocks on the sashing.

Here's another picture of me doing that. 

I also posted a picture of the 4 blocks of the second strip sewn together.

We ended with cutting a brown sashing strip into 8.5 inch strips.  I cut four of them.

Then I take three of them and strip piece them onto a 2.5 inch strip of the corner stone fabric.
 See here they are!

Yes, it is a quarter inch seam.

I do love the quarter inch foot I have for my Bernina.

I get emails from the Bernina people all the time, webinars, videos, etc. are all available to me because I registered my Bernina when I bought it.  Maybe this winter I will have time to watch some!
 After I have sewn all the brown strips onto the pink corner stone fabric, I cut them apart.

I sew three of them onto the pink fabric.  The fourth one doesn't have a cornerstone.  I know, it seems a bit odd to me also.

But I decided to make the quilt like the pattern shows it as I like it.

I am just tinkering with the sashing directions.
 I sew the four strips together.

Then I press them towards the brown strips or lay the cornerstones flat, spread out.  This will match up with the block pieces being pressed in.

It will make the seams lay flat.  Yes, sometimes I forget which way to press things and then I make it up as I go along, always looking.  But I have this down, block strips versus sashing strips I always press this way.

There is the first row with the sashing row attached.  I am going to attach the sashing row to the second row and then combine the two.

But right now, that is as far as I have gotten!

When I get a chunk more done, I will blog about it.  I hope to have this top done before we leave on a business trip of Cliff's next week.  Maybe I will be able to visit some quilt stores!

Sew happy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

First two rows of Hot for Chocolate part 1

 Here is the first row of the Hot for Chocolate quilt.

I love it! 

Remember I have to do two tops and each top has 5 rows so this is 10% of assembling the rows.  Plus the sashing on the top and sides does not have cornerstones and will be added after all of these are assembled.

How did I assemble this row?
 Let's start the second row.

I attach 3 squares to a strip of the brown.

I can line them up and zip them on pretty fast.

Yes, of course, these are 1/4" seams, we are quilting after all.
 Then I cut them apart.

This is a little hard to see.

The pattern has you cut the strips into 8/5 inch strips but I think it is easier to sew them on and then cut them.

Hey, you can do it either way when you are making your quilt!
 I line up the 3 that now have a brown piece of sashing on them and I sew them in a line.

I add a fourth one that has nothing on the side.

Since this quilt has sashing without cornerstones, those ends will be added like a border.

Once all four are joined, I flip them over and iron the seams into the sashing. 
See, it is laying there waiting for the row with the cornerstones.

To make that row, I do cut 8.5 inch pieces of the sashing.

OK, that's all for today.

We will continue tomorrow.  But don't worry, there is a happy ending to this story!

I was away in NYC and my return flight was canceled so I spent an extra night and dropped some money on a hotel room just to sleep nearby and return for a 6:30 am flight.  Grr, I could have spent that money on fabric.  Flying just isn't as much fun as it used to be!  I spent all of yesterday just drooling and recovering so this top might not get put together as quickly as you might expect!  I was pooped and a bit stressed out.  I am glad to be home and thinking about quilting but before that, I did have a great time!

Sew happy!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Downton Abbey and Sewing

 My husband and I just finished a two week marathon of watching Season One and Two of Downton Abbey.  Oh, fine, we did sometimes try to speak with British accents after watching say three episodes in one night.

Now I know what you are thinking, there was no quilting in this program.

Sadly, you are correct.

But there was sewing!

The servants did the necessary sewing.
 And the family members did decorative stitching.

I would love to know who actually did that stitching.

Do you think Cora could really sew?  I mean, I like her, I do!  Well, most of the time.  (When she isn't being hoodwinked by O'Brien.)

But what are her talents?  I don't hear her singing, playing an instrument or really anything.

Maybe stitching is her main talent!

In this period soap opera there is at least that, they do more than just drink beverages and change clothes. 
 Why here they are having a regular sewing bee!  Probably making something we will never see finished on the show.

I will miss Maggie Smith, she was a hoot!  She was at least consistent and had some of the best lines.
 Boo, hiss, here is the evil O'Brien.

Sure she redeemed herself every now and then in the second season but hardly enough to wipe out all her evil doings in the first season.

Plus don't you think it is handy the way that they label the villains?  They smoke!  Yes, she and Thomas are always puffing away.

This show was probably NOT sponsored by any tobacco companies!

She is doing a little stitching here but probably more plotting!

Is Ethel sewing here?

And how about the moral tale with her?

Whoa, did she pay for her wild oats!

I wonder if there will be more developments with her next season and more importantly, will she sew more?

If you haven't watched Downton Abbey I tried to not put any spoilers in this blog entry.

We will have to wait and see what happens next season, this fall in Britain but not until January for us!

In the meantime, I am going to NYC tomorrow to see plays with friends in the city on Saturday.  No quilting adventures but plenty of fun.

Sew happy!