It’s my day on the Be a Diamond blog hop hosted by Just Let Me Quilt. Huge thanks to Carol who keeps letting me play along!I’ve been working on UFOs this year and I knew I had a Lone Star that only lacked a couple of setting pieces and some borders. It was a really good plan – stick and easy. Except I can’t find that project! So, I went with a backup UFO, a second Lone Star that wasn’t nearly as far along. It was here..And when the diamonds were done, there was some serious auditions for background.The black won and I stayed up way past bedtime to get this together.It’s an awful photo and I’ll replace it in the morningbut be sure to hop over to my other friends and see their diamond delights. Mine may be a bit of a diamond in the rough but I’m excited to have brought it this close to being a top!
I have this theory that for every day of a vacation, it takes two to catch up. And we came back to a full- steam- ahead schedule. First, my stepdaughter’s wedding. A beautiful, small ceremony at the Portland Chinese Garden.
It was a beautiful night despite the rain and I had the joy of seeing these four beauties all together for the first time in years. And speaking of first time in years, I wore a dress!
I love this picture of me and the handsome husband (aka father of the bride. )
I did make one small sewing contribution to the wedding with the ring pillow.
Which was carried by the adorable new granddaughter! It was a two-fer wedding as the groom brought a bonus child into our lives!
Now, on a more quilty note, I believe we’re all in agreement that diets and vacations don’t go together, right?
Which holds true of fabric diets as well and the USS Frankenbatt did store some cargo in Australia!
And like any diet, it was a little hard to get back on the straight and narrow when I got home.
Tula Pink’s Pinkerville arrived mysteriously and a customer at the candy shop mentioned seeing Statue of Liberty fabric at my favorite thrift store… sigh.
What’s that old saying, “Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself!”
(By the way, the handsome first mate of my ship doesn’t read my blog… which may be a good thing!”
And, I got a package from the Just Wanna Quilt Squad with some pretties to make something with and send back.
However, I’m back on the straight and narrow and excited for my party in the diamond blog hop this week. I’ll be sharing one of a pair of UFOs that fit the bill. Here’s a sneaky peak
So, a Happy Easter to all and more to share tomorrow!
Oh strings… when I first “met” Bonnie Hunter I wasn’t all that excited about strings. Then I started piecing Bonnie’s Jamestown Landing and I really liked using odd bits to make blocks.
I had some string blocks donated that my cousin helped me assemble into donor quilts. Hmmm, pretty cool.
I took a class with Bonnie and made string blocks again.
This time they were colorful and even more fun.
I snuck a few little string block into this quilt.
And by then, I was hooked. Even more so when I discovered that string blocks make great leader/ender blocks! I started making blocks that were 9.5 inches square. Lots of them. Then I decided to see how many blocks were hiding in a bag of scraps. This bag.
I thought 10 blocks, or so.
Boy was I wrong! A total of over 44 blocks were hiding in that bag along with some scrap vortex sections. So I’m well on my way to a second string quilt. Here’s a photo of my first string top.
I hoped to get it done in time for the hop but it’s still in the flimsy stage. I’m having a little internal debate about borders or not but now that 2.0 has nearly all its blocks done, I’m thinking one of each!
Many thanks to Carla at Creatin’ in the Sticks for putting this together! Pop over to her blog to enter for a terrific Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate and visit my fellow hoppers to see even more stringy inspiration. Then, grab some strings (check out Bonnie Hunter’s website for great string tutorials) and put together some string blocks. They’re like potato chips…I best you can’t stop at one!
We’re having the time of our lives here in Australia! We fed kangaroos at the Healsville Animal Sanctuary
Saw penguins three different times… only one time that I could photograph and I could not use a flash.
We survived high winds at the 12 Apostles and Lockhard Gorge.
And now we’re settled in our Sydney hotel.
But, that’s not all the excitement! The strings blog hop is going on and there’s sew much to see!
Be sure to check out today’s great hoppers! The whole schedule is at
Just a few quick pictures from Australia. We’re unable to get wifi in our hotel on Phillip Island so a few quick pictures and not so many words…
Needless to say, we are having an amazing time! More later!
So, I happen to have six cats…. and a husband, so I always tell my husband that we’re the Crazy Cat Couple. With so many felines in my life they show up a lot in my pictures and they sneak both into and onto my quilts. Below is a selection of the kitties that have been in and on my quilts over the last few years.
I’m sure if I had a tiara, it would have a few threads and cat hairs hanging from it! Now, I was hoping to be witty and funny in this post but I’m tapping this out in LAX as I get ready to fly to Melborne (the one in Australia) and my swipe is getting about every third word wrong! In addition, I’m worried about the whole time-change-date-line thing so I’m going to go ahead and post early…. just in case!
Be sure to visit the other hoppers and see what they’re crazy about! And thanks to Marian from Seams to be Sew for her amazing “cat- herding” talents!
Also, there’s an awesome giveaway from the Fat Quarter Shop! Two $35 gift certificates! Enter here.
So, I thought I’d talk a little about something that’s been on my mind. Quilt shops are closing left and right. In the last year, my local shopping area lost Fabric Depot which was a huge destination fabric store and several smaller quilt shops have closed their doors. I’m seeing this theme repeated in my online groups, too. Some blame the internet, some the size of our stashes. Some blame that Tidying Up lady…but every piece of fabric I touch brings me joy so that’s not an issue to me! I am cruising through my year on the USS Frankenbatt (UFO’s, Stash and Scraps) so I admit even I’m not buying like I used to. So, how do we get our shops to stick around? Well, I don’t know about you, but I think the answer is….wait for it…more quilters!!!
No, I’m serious. How many people have you introduced to quilting? (I like to joke that I should have “contagious” tattooed on my forehead!) Currently, I’m mentoring two friends through some of their first few quilt projects and I’m setting up an informal class after Spring Break to teach 3 friends and co-workers some basic skills. I’ve taught my daughters, my daycare kids, my exchange students and lots of friends how to quilt over the years. Now, not all of them will develop a love of the craft but some will. Now, the benefits to “growing your own” quilty friends?
- It’s fun! And you can never have too many quilty friends!
- They finally understand why you want to go to the quilt shop.
- You don’t have to take classes alone.
- You can plan weekends away with sewing machines.
- There’s nothing quite like seeing someone “click” with quilting.
- They win…you win. Every quilt they finish is like a vicarious UFO!
- More quilters means more fun but it also helps sustain the entire quilting ecosystem.
All of the quilts above were ones that I was blessed to be able to coach on. It’s just super fun to know you helped someone achieve something they may not have known they could do. Is there someone in your life who has been admiring your quilts but thinks they “can’t do that?” Consider finding a couple of prospective quilters among your friends and acquaintences and see if you can help mentor them along. You win, they win and, who knows, maybe your favorite quilt shop will be able to stay around longer because of it!
Just a thought because sometimes you just need to throw your thoughts out there to the universe and hope they click with someone else.
This week’s challenge for Project Quilting 10.5 was abcededarious. I have to admit, I had a hard time getting into this one. Now, just for clarity…I don’t participate to win, just to challenge myself to step a little out of my zone and set aside some time that is just for me. As I’ve said before, my cruise theme for this year is the USS Frankenbatt with USS standing for UFO’s, Scraps and Stash. I had a small pile of pink left over from the tub I rescued the flying geese from and there was a biggish 1.5″ in strip in a nice bright pink. So, I scaled down the letter B pattern from an alphabet hop that Moda did a few years ago to accommodate the strip size and then did a little improve piecing around it. Then, I quilted it with B-words. B-words like brave, brash, bold, beauty, busy, bossy, belle, blissful, beloved and, finally, with my name, Beth. This little piece (just about 15×13) will hang in my sewing room.
There’s just a few pieces left in the bin the flying geese were in..
and I think they are ready to transfer to the scrap vortex parts department. Which means I will have successfully completed a UFO, used some scraps (including the binding piece which was in the binding bits bin and emptied a tub! This cruise is off to an exciting start! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next few months! Also, I’ll be skipping the next Project Quilting Challenge as I’ll be in Australia! The USS Frankenbatt will have to suspend it’s policy on fabric buying for a couple of weeks…but I will try for moderation (after all, my suitcase is pretty small!)
Last weekend, the USS Frankenbatt cruised into San Diego Diego celebrate my mom’s 87th birthday.
We had a great time and, like all vacations, diets sometimes fall by the wayside… there was some of this…
A trip to the Whaley House in Old Town where it was rather disappointing that these were only for display…
A fun quilt shop find in Solana Beach…
With a small smackeral of fabric that came home with me (souvenirs, right?)
I also got the very exciting news that I won this wonderful Maywood bundle in the Project Quilting Challenge drawing!
I have a longer cruise coming up… my husband and I are traveling to…. wait for it…AUSTRALIA! So I needed a hand project for all those sitting times and I ordered a fabric kit for Violet Craft’s EPP lion pattern. I was really impressed with this kit from Fabric Bubb.
All the fabric was already set up in color order which made the swatch process easy… right up until I tipped the whole thing off my lap. I’ve got all my pieces in bags by color and now need to get them basted as I can’t take my scissors on the plane with me.
So, with 496 things to do, I’m still excited to see what tomorrow’s project quilting challenge will be.
Are you playing along?
I just love a good blog hop and Miss Carol from Just Let Me Quilt always hosts a lovely one! As I mentioned last time, I’m sailing through this year on the USS Frankenbatt (USS stands for UFO’s, Stash and Scraps. I’m even trying to embrace a “fabric diet”. All of this is to give me a chance at the studio of my dreams…I already have the space, I just need to “sew it clean” a bit. (Well, a really big bit, like a couple hundred quilts worth is my guess but…ok, just stop snickering…a girl can dream!)
So when Carol mentioned flying geese, I immediately thought of these geese leftover from a project from, um, well, more than a decade ago.
A I mentioned, I’m very fond of both my stash and my UFO’s and since I suffer from abnormally high levels of optimism, I really believe that someday I can finish all of them! (Don’t bother trying to rain on my parade…as I stated before, I really have very abnormally high levels of optimism.)
So, I decided to give these little guys a permanent home and went searching for some compatible fabrics. I ended up with this one for the star centers…it’s kitschy and vintage-y and it’s not my normal style but I had two fat quarters and that was just enough!
I had quite the audition session for pinks that would work and one of these is actually the back of the fabric. Sandy Ray used to say, “You pay for both sides of your fabric so you get to use both sides.” I decided to cap the number of star blocks at twelve and let the rest of the geese play in the border.
I didn’t get time to quilt this one because I want to play with my new ruler and maybe some feathers in the border but here’s my finished top…successfully moved from the parts department to the tops department!
I love the soft, springy colors. I have no idea where this one will go but I think I may keep it for me!
Be sure to check out all my feathered friends today! Lots of great inspiration around and it’s sure to raise your spirits!
And, just because I can’t help myself…here’s a cute picture of Gizmo to brighten your day!