Sunday, March 30, 2008

Little Bitty Blocks

Wow, it's been two weeks since I last posted! I've still been busy at work but I have also been busy handpiecing my Inklingo hexagons won in Tilde's giveaway. I've pieced all of the hexagons and now I'm trying to decide how to put them together. Do I put them "on point" as in the picture below, if so, I need to make some half hexagons to fill in the edges, I think. I have 50 hexagons (should have been 52 but I seem to have lost a couple little pieces so I only have 50 complete), not all are pictured here.

OR, do I set them in a hexagon shape as below? With this one I would either finish it as is but that leaves me with a few left over. Or, do I applique it to a background piece and scatter the remaining hexagons around it? I'm leaning more in this direction but would love your input, pretty please!?

Now that I've finished piecing those blocks, the little tin that came with the kit was empty. It is the perfect size for carrying little handpiecing projects so this is what is in it now.

The template for this tiny bow tie, 2.5 inches, came with an order from Come Quilt With Me. I had ordered the 3" tumbler template to cut tumbler shapes out of my scraps for an ongoing charm quilt and the templates for the little bow tie came with it. Sweet! I love little bitty blocks.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Annual Reports, Big Winds, and No Quilting

Whew, what a week! I've done very little quilting in the past week. Primarily because we have our first big annual report due for our new grant. It's actually due to the NIH on April 1 but we had an internal due date of March 14 in order to review everything, test the electronic upload, and all those last minute "oh I forgot" things. This grant encompasses quite a few programs across my university as well as other Atlanta area institutions so it's a big deal to gather information from all the programs and partners. Needless to say I was working some long days last week and when I got home was too tired to sew. Oh well, that's life in the working world!

My second excuse for little quilting this week started Friday night when a tornado hit downtown Atlanta. The first one to hit the downtown area ever. Given that it caused damage to the CNN Center, I know it was on the national news! There is a lot of damage downtown, windows blown out of high rise hotels and office buildings, signs ripped off buildings and wrapped around trees and poles. Most cars in the area had window damage. A lot of people were in the area for the SEC basketball games, a dental convention, and the normal tourism crowds. It's absolutely amazing that there were no fatalities although there have been some serious injuries. In addition to this damage homes in the Cabbagetown area just east of downtown, a delightful artsy, historic area that has been in a period of renovation and rebuilding had major damage to many homes. The lofts in the old Fulton Cotton Bag Mill suffered serious damage with roofs torn off and floors pancaking in on themselves. Again, no fatalities...if you see the pictures you would be amazed. I don't have any pictures to post but if you want to see check out the Atlanta Journal Constitution website. And I'm sure the CNN website also has pictures.

I live just north of the downtown area and had only very heavy rain and some small hail. In fact, I didn't even know about the tornado until I checked the weather channel early Saturday morning when another storm was coming through. Several lines of storms continued to move across the Atlanta metro area on Saturday, first north of the city then across us again and finally moving south of the city. Many other neighborhoods and cities/towns across the metro area and other parts of Georgia suffered serious storms, tornados, hail, and sadly even a couple of fatalities. It was a nasty day for Georgia.

I had planned to hit one of the quilt shops and do some heavy quilting on Saturday to celebrate National Quilting Day but ended up glued to the TV and weather reports most of the day! I'm fascinated by weather but also have a very healthy respect for the power of Mother Nature so I kept my eyes and ears open! At one point the local weathermen were following a potential tornado again moving toward downtown. Even had video from the cameras at the about scary! But it seems to have dissipated before hitting downtown again.

Anyway, this is getting too wordy! If you've stuck with me to this point, I can report that I'm sewing today. I've been working on the circles from this post with some of my new fabrics from my shop hop adventures! So no pictures today but it sure has been interesting around here!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Pincushions and Hexagons

I love pincushions! I used to participate in pincushion swaps on a list years ago (don't even remember the name of the list). My collection is put away for now but I'll get it out and take some pictures later...I received some adorable pincushions! Anyway, Blueberry Lane is having a giveaway of Lynette Andersons out of print pincushion book. She's asking everyone to share a picture of their favorite/most used pincushion and leave a comment on her or Lynette's blog. Lynette also has a cute new Noah's Ark BOM free stitchery posted. So hop on over and check it out!

In the meantime, here is a picture of the two that I use most often. Both are wrist style pincushions but I hardly ever wear them. Instead the larger one sits on or next to Bernie for catching pins when machine piecing. It was a gift from Melinda when I took a Blooming Nine Patch class that she taught at Tiny Stitches. I should put up a picture of that top too! It's still just a top, I don't want to hand quilt it with so many seams so I need to have it quilted or brave machine quilting myself on Bernie...can't decide.

The little one I bought at Hancock's (I think) and I use it when hand piecing. It's just too cute!

I also got a treat in the mail this week. This copy of Australian Patchwork and Quilting with the Insanity Quilt! You know how I love hexagons so I fell in love with this quilt and a new blogger friend Lissa sent me a copy, along with some yummy chocolate of course! I'm not going to start on this quilt yet. I need to make some decisions on colors first. Do I use 30s prints with white? I have a ton of them! Do I do it in Civil War repros? Lissa's idea... Or do I do it in controlled scrappy? Maybe blues and lavender? Red and green? Blue and yellow? ARGH! So I think I need to let this one marinate a while in my head while I decide. That's okay, it's not like I don't have anything else to do!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Quiltathon Day 2

Day 2 of the Quiltathon started off on a sour note. I realized when I started to work this morning that I had the wrong center in my Carolina Crossroad block. ACK! I guess I was more tired than I thought last night. So my day began with a little frog stitching - thank goodness I had only sewn two this way. Those two are now fixed but the rest of the day has gone slowly.

I have my third panel of the bargello cut into strips and ready to sew back together but I haven't done that yet. I guess I was more fatigued after being sick than I realized. I've spent a good part of today napping off and on. Oh well, I have done some sewing and if I can stay awake for a little longer tonight I'll do some hand work while watching the end of the NASCAR race. And I really enjoyed my day yesterday, even though I'm tired today it was worth it!

Quiltathon - Evening of Day 1

Well, after my morning and afternoon of shop hopping you would think I would be too tired to sew. And truthfully I did need to take a break for dinner and a bit of a rest but then off to the machine I went. I was able to get another set of 32 strips sewn together for my scrappy bargello, this is panel 3. I've started on the strips for panel 4 and my plan for tomorrow is to complete the last two panels so I will have the center done. Then I will need to think about borders.

And as the leader/ender of this bargello I've been working on my Carolina Crossroads mystery. I finally have one of the blocks done! I haven't done the half square triangles for the star block yet, maybe I can do some of those tomorrow so I can put one of those blocks together. This has been a slow project but I plan on at least completing the top before the next mystery starts in April.

And finally, when I was tired of working at the machine I did some more hand piecing on these little hexagon blocks. I didn't do all these tonight (3 done tonight) but rather have been working on them off and on for the last couple of weeks.

Anyway, that's my Quiltathon update for Saturday (I see from the clock that it will already be Sunday when I post this! I am such a night owl!) More tomorrow!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hop, hop, hop

Well I made it to five of the 13 (not 12 as I thought in my previous post!) shops on the shop hop today. One more than I had planned but hey, I was close so may as well go, right!? I started out the morning going to a shop that is new to me. It's the longest distance from home but OH BOY! It's Heritage Quilts and Fabrics in Newnan, GA. If you are ever traveling south on Interstate 85 make plans to stop by, it's not far from the interstate. She has a great selection of reproductions (19th century, 1930's) especially Jo Mortons. The shop itself is right off the little town square and there are a lot of other interesting looking shops right around the square. A nice little town. I then moved on to Quilts & Fixins, Sweet Home Quilt Co. (also a great selection of reproductions and in a neat old house, very nicely laid out!), Patricks, and Intown Quilters. And here is what followed me home...doesn't look like much does it?

But just lookie at what is in those bags! 3 books, some beautiful reproduction fabrics (mostly Jo Morton but some others as well), goodies from the goodie bags each shop gave out (candy, free patterns, fat quarters, charm squares) batting that I need for Grandma's quilt, much needed needles, a triangle ruler, and some DMC for a couple of stitchery projects.

One thing didn't make it into the pictures and that is the bags of a major quilting necessity (at least in this household!) - CHOCOLATE! From Patricks, Chocolate Crunch Logs and Chocolate covered orange cremes. Whoo Hoo....a great day for me and Petey (that's my loverly little PT Cruiser, she came with the quilt shop sniffer addition - she never fails to find one!). A much needed girls day out.

And now, on to Quiltathoning! More later on my sewing progress for the day.