Nov 25, 2009

::WIP Wednesday -- Secret Project::

Person in leather gloves looking in filing cabinet marked 'Top Secret'


I can't show my work in progress--no more peeks until my swap partner receives her winter mini. I hope she likes it, but if not she can send it back (I like it!)

I am a little behind schedule due to this monster cold--I can't remember the last time I had one last a week! Praying it will dramatically improve before Sunday when I'm playing flute in church (deep breathing is kind of essential for that :)

 My best wishes to everyone out there for a Happy Thanksgiving! We are looking forward to game day with 2 teenage boys before going to Grandma & Grandpa for a big supper! Have a blessed day doing something you want!

Gratitudes
The beginning of holidays!
Relative health (achoo!)
Sunday I can start playing all my Christmas CDs at work :)

Nov 20, 2009

Sew-n-Tell Friday

The Good, the Bad, and the . . . .


Actually, there is no ugly, unless you count the cold I seem to be finally catching (and maybe the state of my house at the end of the week).

Anywho, let's start with the GOOD--this sweet block from the Scrappy Christmas Block Swap came clear from England! I have a pair of teddy bear blocks in classic Christmas colors, and since none of my swapped pairs go with each other, I've quilted these two into mini quilts, just right for a candle or candy dish. Rafael's Mum did a beautiful piecing job, which my quilting made a little wonky, but I think my friend in Japan will just love this little table topper.


Next, I have two doll quilts for her daughters, fluffy bunnies, fluffy batting, and plenty of ric rac. I finished these last spring, but now they're ready to go into a box and sail across the ocean.

With 2 boys, I love having little girlfriends for whom to sew! And, I'm thrilled to have this package ready--I often miss deadlines when it comes to Christmas, and this wonderful lady was my 16 year old's first baby sitter when she was a Japanese student here in Iowa. She didn't know he could crawl for 2 weeks because she usually held him the entire time I was teaching! She is a sweetheart and a great mom.

Now for the BAD --none of these things can be crossed off my list of UFOs to complete for the JOY Challenge or even off my list of Christmas gift must-haves--because they weren't ever on  a list!

Where is my sense of priority? 
Where is my self-discipline? 
(Just possibly I have never possessed these 2 gifts.) I admit, finishing is the hardest part for me, and right now I REALLY want to start a completely new project--which would be totally insane. Oh well, I am who I am.

Instead, if I manage to spend a couple hours this morning cleaning the bathroom and grocery shopping, I will give myself some sewing time this afternoon, finishing up my November Swap quilty. It's been  a lot of fun to work on so far, but no show until my partner receives it! I hope to get it in the mail by Monday.

Check out more Sew-n-Tell Fridays here!

Gratitudes
  • The sun continues to shine in Iowa in November
  • I have the entire day off! First Friday in weeks
  • I am blessed to be able to spend time making things I love for people I love. Wouldn't life be boring otherwise?

Nov 15, 2009

Sunday STUD


::November:: Swap Til You Drop (STUD!) Quilty Received!
Thanks to my swap partner for this sweet little quilt. The theme is winter with a twist~it had to have 3 of these 4: something sweet (candy cane fabric), something soft (flannel mittens), something sparkly (snowflakes & gold quilting), and something vintage.

I think she did a great job~and check out the goodies she included: scraps from this quilt, some nice hot things to drink on a winter's eve, a coaster & a notebook. A lovely package all around. And she's so speedy! THANK YOU!!

As soon as it snows, I'll be hanging this up in my office!

I love these swaps~like the sew-n-tell, they really motivate me to get a little somethin' done. It's fun to ponder what to make my partner, and it's fun to receive such a nice surprise. My November SWAP is coming along--probably done this Friday. I can't show you what it is until she receives it. :)

Gratitudes
  • Quilting projects to keep me insane
  • A sweet DH who makes me coffee EVERY morning
  • The cutest (if not stinkiest) corgi mix who follows me around as if I'm the center of the universe--unless someone else has some food.
Have a great week! The best time of year is coming soon!

Nov 13, 2009

Sew & Tell Friday 3

Actually, the title should read Sew & Tell Friday 3.

This is the Saga of the Quilt That Wouldn't Finish





Monday All week I have been struggling with this little bugger. I've been waiting a week to pin the layers together. I drew the back out 3 TIMES before I sewed it together. I finally get a chance to do the sandwich and the back is twice as big as the front--which turned out to be just too puny to be a lap quilt, especially for my dad.

Wednesday Then I hear the rest of the family will be together for Thanksgiving, so I think if I hurry, I could get it in the mail with their other little gifts so they could open them together (why not show off the quilt to everyone instead of just him?). So I cut off part of the backing to make an additional border on the top. I take it all to work so I can pin baste it on the big tables--now the top is much bigger than the back (I probably had enough for both but I just whacked off one section of the back instead of measuring).

Thursday I go to the fabric shop for just 1.5 yards more of the green dragonflies--no one can find the green dragonflies. "We have a big bolt." "Where did it go?" The computer shows 7 yds inventory left. I spend an hour (during employee sewing night) eating cupcakes and searching for the green dragonflies. Finally, 5 minutes before leaving, I find a 3yd piece in the remnant stack, on the bottom, shoved back out of sight.

Friday I will try to get the back repieced so tomorrow when I'm at the shop with the BIG tables I can get it pin basted. Unfortunately, because I'm working Saturday and have extra stuff Sunday, I probably won't have time to quilt it IN THE SIMPLEST WAY POSSIBLE until next Friday.

*sigh* At least it's progress. After all this UFO WIP is only 2 years old!

For much more pleasant Sew & Tell, goes to Amy's website.

Gratitudes
Found the green dragonflies!
The aroma of minestrone soup just waiting for DH to get home.
Getting closer to ADVENT, my favorite time of year.

Nov 8, 2009

Sunday Stash 3



Here's what I'm thinkin' about for my November STUD swap--I need something soft (?), something sparkly, something sweet, and something vintage--or at least 3 out of 4. The soft one has me stumped, but I think I have the rest covered. The theme is winter/holiday.

Gratitudes
  • Mostly recovered from Friday's lock-in with 24 middle school students--they were so good!
  • Enjoying so much sunshine after such a rainy October.
  • Happy to have a plan for Christmas gifts/WIPS--it lowers the stress considerably!

Have a great week!
Kolleen

Nov 4, 2009

::WIP Wednesday:: JOY!


Ok, so I'm ready to find some JOY in the New Year by WIP-ing my UFOs into shape! Today is the day I accept Tall Grass Prairie Studio's challenge. I have at least an even dozen, that's 12, UFOs. Actually, I'm gonna call these Works In Progress--more positive.

And I'm kinda excited because my new-found swaps have really helped me set some goals and stick with the progress I can make, without freakin' out over missed deadlines. Deep, huh? My hope is that my stash will shrink considerably. And there's more good news there in the form of inspiration from an article (Fabric Guilt) in the Int'l Quilt Fest: Quilt Scene mag by Charlotte Angotti. She has officially given us permission to buy bits of fabric to make those UFOs SING--after all, they are all UFOs for a reason.

So this is a long way of saying, I can fall in love with all that stuff all over again. Maybe in January I can start some of the projects that are not technically unfinished or even in-progress--just bags of fabric with a pattern, sitting lonely in the closet. I think I've gone toward TMI at this point.

Hope you are inspired this Wednesday!

Gratitudes
More lovely fall weather!
Getting a quilt basted at lunch.
Sweet teenage boys busy learning the ways of the world--are they really mine?

Nov 3, 2009

Lucky Me -- Mini Shopping Spree!


I was so happy to receive my birthday gift from my husband--a mini shopping spree at Pink Chalk Fabrics. I'd been waiting for a couple days!
  • The new Quilt Festival Quilt Scene magazine--a nice combo of projects and show details--some beautiful quilts at Houston, of course. 
  • Some August Fields Fresh Start in Tangerine--really a nice home decor weight (can't wait to find something to go with it and make a new bag). 
  • Finally, some Folklorico Azucar in Spice--Day of the Dead fabric (appropriate for my birthday). It has wonderful glitter outlines everywhere. I plan to make something for DH with it--he loves that stuff.
My brain has been spinning with ideas for the Swap Until You Drop November swap. I told my partner blue and white for the winter theme, but now I'm thinkin' . . . .

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Gratitudes
Nice quiet birthdays with a long nap after work.
Lots of sunshine after a cloudy, rainy October.
More quilting projects to think about than I could possibly DO!

Nov 1, 2009

Sunday Stash 11022009



I went shopping stashing! Today's Sunday Stash are my picks for the 4 little girls bags (see Santa's list) I'm making for Christmas.
  1. For the yellow bag the main fabric is flowers by Lakehouse
  2. For the blue bag, I found this cute goldfish print--maybe it's Japanese--possibly Kona Bay? 
  3. For the purple, I'm going to try this Robert Kaufman
  4. and for the pink, some Michael Miller
For each bag I think I'll use either a solid or a grosgrain ribbon for the straps. And I think the pockets will need a little dudin up, like an appliqued flower or goldfish. To keep it all easy, I'll be using the ever popular Poochie Bag from Happy Zombie as my basic pattern. This pattern is so cute, and doesn't really even take full fat quarters! Thank you, Happy Zombie! Time to get to work!

Gratitudes
A beautiful, sunny day.
The chance to sew ALL afternoon!
The fact that my upcoming birthday (tomorrow!) is not quite a milestone! (And as one of my friends said, we look at least as good as our mothers at this age.)