AmandaCarlisleDesign - Widget
Monday, July 23, 2012

Charity Quilt and Machine Quilting

Well, not much got done in the way of Swoon-binding this weekend, b/c as I was in the middle of a marathon house-cleaning day on Saturday, I ran across this quilt kit that my MIL found at a thrift shop and gave to me.

I never really knew what to do with it, who to make it for, or give it to (if someone wanted to learn to quilt).. so it was loitering in the closet, buried under some other fabrics.

It was on my mind all day.  I kept thinking about this CAUSE and then Saturday night, my sewing mojo came flying back and smacked me in the face.  It's been AWOL for sometime, and I've only managed to sew a few Bee Blocks here and there in the last several months.  But not anymore!  I forgot how relaxing it is to sit and sew long straight seams of borders. lol  I sewed the top up in a couple of hours.  Of course I goofed a couple of times, but it was fixable..  The kit includes the binding and backing fabric, too.

In order to get it done fairly quickly and donated to Julie's project, I decided to quilt it myself.. on my machine.  (yikes.. I am very unskilled and have only done straight lines a couple of times.)

Another first in 2012:  Spray basting.  I have a hard time with pin basting, so I thought I'd try this.  Well, I don't think it's too bad for my first try, but the back was a little wrinkly.  The front was much better so I think I figured out a way to improve. I was able to smooth some out, also. Overall, I will def. be using the spray again.  Just need to get better at it.

Started on the quilting last night, and have been working on it a little today.  Off to swimming lessons in a bit, though, but here is what I have done so far.  With my walking foot and feed dogs up. I haven't found a darning foot yet, and can't make even stitches with the feed dogs down..  Not too bad though, for a newbie like me.. so far I'm happy with how it's turning out.  Hopefully one of the families who lost their home in a wildfire will have a baby/toddler that will give it a loving home.

Random wavy lines in the blue borders:

The green checked border with diamonds:

Outlined the triangles (that took the longest):

And quilting a giant sun pattern into the middle of the Noah's Ark panel:

Here's where I'll be later tonight:

Monday Night Sew-In anyone?  This needs to be a before-Friday-finish, as we are supposed to go out of town to my inlaws again on Friday.  Hope you're all off to a good week! :)

P.S. If you have a minute, and haven't heard about Julie's project, go and read this article explaining it at Phoenix Quilts.
Happy Monday!

Friday, July 20, 2012

SWOON quilting preview..

A couple of weekends ago, I picked up my SWOON quilt from the machine quilter in Sonoma. For that huge quilt, she charged me next to nothing, and I have to show you some pics of her quilting.  A preview if you will.. since I don't want to post a pic of the whole thing until I get the binding done. :)

She does it all by freehand, no computerized quilting or anything.  And occasionally she quilts a little surprise into it for you..

Take a look..

Do you see the dragon fly?  Here is a closer look.

And I don't know if this was intentional..the quilter herself wasn't at the quilt shop to talk to when I picked it up.  But this kind of reminds me of a butterfly and only appears a couple of times in the quilt as well..

Maybe I am just imagining it..

I'm so glad I didn't attempt to do this one myself, on my little machine.  I love how it turned out and can't wait to finish the binding.  I think I have enough of the backing left to bind it, so the binding will be red dots.

Here are a couple more pics of the quilting.

I'm so happy with how it turned out, and can't wait to finish the binding and post a full picture of it. 

Also, I have to tell you about the yummy appetizers we made while at my MIL's.  You all probably already do this..  I saw it on pinterest..  You take mozzarella cheese (we got it fresh from the farmer's market from Petaluma.. soo good!) and you cube it, and put it on skewers with fresh tomatoes, and a basil leaf.  Tomatoes were from the farmer's market as well, and the basil leaves from my MIL's plant.  Then you drizzle them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar..  sooooo good!  And they look so pretty.  And so easy too! And check out those cute reusable picks that my MIL had.. never know what I'm going to find there!

These were for her.. she doesn't like tomatoes, which I find incredibly ironic considering she is half Italian and half Mexican. I mean.. what gives? lol

It was such a fun weekend.. we are looking forward to going back in a couple of weeks.  And I might just have to stop by that quilt shop again on the way.. :o)

Buster is getting used to hanging out in the parking lot with my hubby while I hang out inside with my son. 

And my son is getting used to running around the inside of the store taking pics with my phone. Here is one he took of the train table that they have there to play with, another favorite of his.. 

I love a family routine that involves stopping at a quilt shop!!

Have a great weekend everyone!
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To Bee or Not To Bee

I've said it before and will  probably say it many times over again.. What took me so long to join a Bee?!?  All the usual reasons were looping through my head, I suppose..

  • I'm not as talented as everyone else.
  • I don't have time.
  • What if the recipients don't like what I make?
  • I don't like to be under deadlines, pressure, etc.

The actual reason, I guess, boils down to my own insecurity.  But then one day I commented on Cat's blog about how gorgeous her Bee Blocks were, and she answered and told me round two was coming up and asked if I'd be keen to join.  In a moment of complete and reckless abandon, I said yes.  And the rest is history.  So glad I decided to try something new in 2012! :o) And so glad Cat asked me to join. Quilters and esp. quilt bloggers are soo kind.

I had no idea how the Bee was going to work.. pick colors?  Focus and Background?  Pick a block?  Cat and Leonie were so kind to answer all of my questions.  I'm such a greenhorn.

I also had no idea at the time that I was the only one from the U.S.  Everyone else comes from AUS or NZ so the international mail excitement factor at our house has been through the roof.  It's so exciting every time a block comes! I mean, it's exciting to get any quilty mail, but esp. quilty mail from around the world!

I say all this to say.. if you haven't joined a Bee, or have been hesitant for some reason, just DO IT!  You won't regret it.  Wait.. I was probably the last person on earth who hadn't joined a Bee.. ever in life.  Which makes this whole post silly.. :o)  Nevermind.  Just ignore my mindless babbling.

I do want to share a photo or two of the Bee goodness that I have been blessed to receive.  I may have posted photos of each one when it rolled in, but the other night I put them on the floor all together, and took some pics. I was in love. So glad I picked bright rainbow colors and gray background (b/c I didn't know what else to put down as my colors-hadn't given it a lot of thought..*greenhorn, remember?*) Each one is so unique and cool.  Thanks Hive-mates!! 

And since I took that photo, two more arrived.. one I showed you a pic of in my last post, and one just came today.  Here they are together.  

I CANNOT. WAIT. to put all of these into a quilt when I collect/make enough of them.  I am so grateful that this Bee found me.  Or I stumbled into it.. or however it happened. :o)  Thanks Cat and Leonie for organizing it!
I promise not to be the broken-record-girl that only blogs about the same Bee blocks over and over. But that's what's on my mind right now.  So thankful to have this particular Bee to be my first one, and have it be such a pleasant experience, and *meet* such nice people.  Here's to casting aside the silly voices in your head that tell you not to try new things!!

Happy Wednesday!  

P.S. You know how little kids love bright and colorful things?  Well, this one has loved each and every arrival of a new block.  "OH, I LIKE that one, MOM!!" :o) And insisted on being in a photo with them.

P.P.S. Here he is with his magic courage-giving swimming goggles. 

See what I mean?  :o) He's jumping to his teacher.. so proud of his braveness.. I was such a chicken about water when I was a little girl!

Now, if he can just learn to swim by the end of the session, that will be fab!
Sunday, July 15, 2012


Friday Night Sew-In sure does sneak up on a person..  I've been such a bad blogger this spring/summer.. so much busyness going on.. but I just happened to read a couple of blogs one day last week, and noticed that FNSI was coming up.. just as I had cut out a bee block.. so that is what I worked on.  Friday was an extremely busy day, though, and I faded before finishing it, so I finished it yesterday..

This block is called Pathways and is from the Modern Blocks book.

It's the block I chose to make for Cat's Modern Sampler Bee-round two. This block is the last one I had to complete for it.. it is my block, so I went all haphazard with the scraps.  The colors I chose were bright rainbow-y colors, with gray as the background.

That's it for my FNSI accomplishment.. :/  Sad, I know.  But in other Bee news..

Here are the last two -- prior to that-- that I had to make for round two.  Honeysuckle and mustard with cream background, and pink, blue, yellow and green with white background.  I hope they like them.

Round two was so much fun, I promptly signed up for round three.  Because of.. you know, all the free time I have. lol  But, I chose a fairly simple block this time.  Riverbank from the Modern Blocks book. They went together so fast, that I have all four of the Bee blocks done, along with my own block, too!  Five blocks.  In two weeks time.  It's a miracle!

Two people chose bright rainbow-y colors this time (I also stuck with my original color choices) so I made two blocks, and then used the leftovers from those blocks to make my block..  fun times!!
I love the randomness of this block.
I think that's why I was able to sew them up so fast.. not a lot of measuring..

And.. Ta-Da!  I used the leftovers from each of the blocks to make my own block.  So simple and I love love LOVE the bright colors!!

Here is the one that goes with the pink, yellow, green and blue color palette.

And this one requested word print with a mix of solids.. I had a hard time with this one as I haven't worked with solids very much at all, but I enjoyed the challenge, and hope the recipient likes it.  I had lots of fun making these blocks!

And last but not least.. my mailbox has gotten some love from the Southern Hemisphere this last week!  WHY did it take me until this year to join a Bee?  It is soo much FUN!  And everyone is so nice!  This block is from Debra.. THANK YOU thank you Debra.. I love it!

And this one from Nin.. Swoon! Thank you Nin!

In other news..  my Swoon top is quilted!  Picked it up last weekend.. Lit off fireworks this year with my son for the first time (hubs was working) and didn't burn the house down! :) Little Mister started swimming lessons four days a week.. Have been doing a couple of other crafty things.. Pics of these things will most likely show up in future posts.  The next time I crawl out from under my rock to write a post! Again, if you made it to the end, thanks for reading!  I miss all of you!!  Sorry I haven't responded to comments lately, and I hope to be a better reader/commenter myself VERY soon!!

Happy Summer!
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