Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Things have been very busy lately which is why there has been a delay in posting.  Last weekend I was at Pieceable Retreat which is held annually in White Oak by the Quilters of South Carolina.  What a lovely weekend we had - and a special hello to the ladies who took my class:  Fun Techniques Using the X-Blocks Ruler!

I came back from retreat and did some more follow up on my search for a new dog.  I hope no one thinks we disrespect our dog or loved her any less because of this, but my way to heal is to give a good home to another dog in need of a family.  We truly loved our dog and miss her still.  I will admit that this is the first time I have selected a rescue dog.  We always purchased a purebred puppy prior to this.  However, I discovered and was on my way.  You can type in the type of animal you want, age, breed, sex, and special members of your household - in my case, cat - and also can ask for one that is already house trained.  Chances are the pet you find will already have her shots, been dewormed, and had a little bit of training as well.  (I had lots of motivation to do this because I adopted a cat about a year and a half ago after finding him on and he is the best behaved and most beautiful cat I have ever owned!)

Fast forward and you will see that we now have Sydney!  She is about 6-8 months old and comes from Diamond in the Ruff in Seneca, SC.   The CEO of the rescue group not only rescues but also rehabilitates dogs.  Sydney came to them from a shelter.  I adopted her with most of her health needs taken care of - she had her Rabies shot, is spayed, had been microchipped, etc. and she is sweet, willing, and anxious to please.   I can tell that this will be another success story.  If you are looking for a pet, please consider adopting a pet in need of a home.  Sydney and my family wish you a Happy Halloween!

More on the quilting front:  I said I would try to continue reviewing patterns and books regularly so you could read about them.  This time my book is Nickel Quilts & Borders by Pat Speth.  I heard about this book at the retreat that I went to in North Carolina several weeks ago.  I was especially interested in buying it because I am in a round robin group and it will be a big help in trying to decide on my round to be attached.

The book contains 7 quilts designs and 260 border designs all based on using 5" squares.  I can't imagine not being able to find something that will work with each quilt that comes to me now.  The hard part will be picking out which one to use and deciding on colors.
Until next time, happy quilting!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Slice 'Em & Dice 'Em

It was a very sad week last week with the loss of our dog.  For two days I was far too miserable to get anything done.  After my injury 4 weeks ago and all the stress of our sick dog, I have a long "to-do list" to deal with!  However, my husband and I went to the S.C. State Fair on Friday.  It was a beautiful day, but was it ever crowded!  It seemed like we sat in traffic forever before we got to park.  Congratulations to my many quilting friends who won ribbons.

I said I would try to review a pattern or book each week so I photographed the cover of one of my favorite books yesterday and will write a little about it.  It is Slice 'Em & Dice 'Em by Nancy Brenan Daniel.

These techniques are similar to what you may know as the Split 9 Patch or Disappearing 9 Patch.  Some are pretty simple in terms of how they are cut and sewn and some are more complicated.  The sizes of the quilts vary quite a bit and I like that there are some in the book that can be made rather quickly to use as a gift. The patterns include:

Easy Does It
Jelly Beans
Scrap Bag Shadow Boxes
The Village
Trip Around the Scrap Basket
Arizona Road Trip
Spring Baskets (the quilt shown on the cover)
Watermelon Baskets
Autumn Stars
Small Medallion
Blue Medallion
Blue OP
Floating Grid
Large Blue Star
Tuscan Stars
Nautical Stars
Plaid Stars
Provincial Stars

I have used the pattern for "Nautical Stars" several times.  It was the pattern I selected when making quilts for my newborn grandsons.  I like that it has a large panel of fabric in the center which was great to show off the Dr. Seuss fabric we chose.  The quilt finishes up at 33 1/2 x 33 1/2" - a great size for a baby quilt.  Here is a picture of one of the quilts that I made using the "Nautical Stars" pattern.

I definitely plan to try out some of the other patterns in the book.
I hope that everyone has a good week ahead!

Monday, October 10, 2011

NC Retreat at Camp Cheerio

The Quilt Forum on GardenWeb has a retreat each fall and I returned from that beautiful location yesterday.  We have a wonderful time sewing, playing games, eating wonderful food, and sharing our lives and quilts.  I thought you would like to see a few pictures from this year.

This is the building where we sew.  We have the entire second floor and on Saturday afternoon the quilts are hung outside for a beautiful quilt show.  As you can see, the weather is very cooperative!

One of the ladies who came this year was able to sketch the scene and it will be framed and presented to the camp.  We do something special for them each year because they are so good to us.

Here is a group picture of the ladies who were there this year.  We also had two husbands who came along with their wives and we couldn't do without them.  They were so good about carrying our many quilting supplies, fabric, and sewing machines up and down the stairs.  Bless them.  Can you imagine how much stuff we brought?

I wanted to list the good things first.  However, some of you read about how sick my dog has been only to rally and then do worse and then a little better.  Anyway, by last evening we had to make the decision to have her put to sleep today.  She had a good life and will be missed so much.  Golden Retrievers are truly the best!  Thank you for all the wonderful memories, Crystal.  Rest peacefully until we see you again.  The tears have been flowing all day.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What am I working on now?

My fall two weeks ago has resulted in lots of sewing.  I can't do a lot outdoors right now although I sure wish I could!
Over the past two days I sewed two of the birthday blocks for the Quilt Forum Birthday Block Exchange on GardenWeb (I'm not showing those because they need to be surprises...) and sewed some of the items I need to take to the N.C. retreat at Camp Cheerio later this week and now I am making a place mat from the pattern Sweet Liberty by Patricia Pepe (  This pattern has been a lot of fun to work with.  I should be able to finish this place mat tomorrow.

In order to make it, you need to have two corresponding sizes of the X-Block Rulers.  This one is being made using the 7.5 X-Block Ruler and the Mini 7.5.  If scrappy is not your thing, you can make these patterns using fabric that is not so scrappy.  However, the pattern picture shows it being rather scrappy and that's the way I am going with it.

My plan is to try to highlight and discuss a pattern or a book every week from now on.  That's another thing I have been doing since I got hurt - browsing online and yes, some books already arrived and I have some new fabric on order, too!  I love books about quilting.  You should see how full my bookshelves are!
I will try to take my laptop with me to Camp Cheerio (assuming there is room) and post from there a time or two.  I have plans to get a lot done at this retreat, but sometimes my optimism is  too great!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fabric Books - Completed!

The fabric books for my grandsons are not only completed, but they have been washed and mailed!  Making them was definitely an adventure, but they washed really well and I think the boys will really enjoy them.

Once I completed them I made the center for a round robin that I will be participating in and finished that late last night.  The border is the brown fabric that you see... I simply put a decorative edge on the photo that I posted.  I thought long and hard about fabrics and designs and finally went with something that said "Fall"  (...and not the kind that I had two weeks ago!)  The round robin will involve 4 people plus the originating quilter so once my round robin comes home, I will post another picture of how it turned out.
I still have way too many projects ahead of me so I'd better get back to work on my  fall endeavors.
Have a good weekend!