Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Package in the Mail

Look what arrived in my mailbox over the weekend. This big, totally unexpected bunch of silk ribbons from Pat Winters. I order from Pat whenever I can as her ribbons are beautifully colored and oh, so soft and silky -- not to mention the wonderful lavender scent that all her packages have. Pat always sends a little extra something and when I thanked her for the extras and told her how I was sharing it with some of my newbies on CQForNewbies, this was her response. This beautiful package of ribbons to share.

The ribbons on the left are what Pat calls "Bits." These are lots of shorter pieces, perfect if you make flowers from gathering ribbons, etc. The ones on the right are long lengths of all of her colors, even some organza in there. And this organza is soooo soft. Not like that stiff stuff you find in the craft stores and that I have fought with for the last time (g).

She also sent me these:

Aren't those little fairies on the ribbon tags so adorable? I will be having a give-away for some of this ribbon in the very near future.
For now, first dibs on the ribbons will go to members of my list, CQForNewbies. I know there are several gals on there that would like to do silk ribbon embroidery but just can't afford the supplies right now. After that, stay tuned for the give-away, probably next month.
If you don't want to wait or take your chances, then go to Pat's etsy shop -- there are still some ribbons left in there. But I wouldn't wait -- when she does dye her ribbons and put them in the shop, they go pretty dang fast.
Thank you again Pat!! I appreciate it and I know the recipients of these ribbons will also.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

At the Library and New Block

I stopped by the library the other night and went into the bookstore they have there. I don't know if your library has one of these, but if they do you should go and check them out. Lots of books for low, low prices and they even have craft/quilt/sewing/gardening -- well, all the kinds of books that the regular library has.

Look at this cute book -- this is a little doll quilt. (I know the pic is a little fuzzy -- move on down for a better one). I would have bought it for the nice clear, sharp pictures alone but then -- WAIT! In the back of the book are little patterns drawn on muslin so you can either embroider or draw patterns and make an old fashioned appliqued quilt just like the book. This book is by Janet Bolton and tells of her grandmother making this quilt as a little girl. She drew all her patterns on paper and then transferred them to fabric and appliqued the whole while. All this for only $4.

My new CQ block is one done for our Hearts and Flowers Shower on CQForNewbies. These blocks are made to give comfort to any of your members who have suffered a loss and also to help celebrate when something great happens. This block is for Linda who has suffered the loss of her newborn grand-daughter. It was suggested the blocks be pastels but when I saw this piece of angel fabric in my stash, I knew I had to do this for Linda. So I kept the block mostly white on white (the colors are a little strange here on my monitor, the lace is really ecru not the yellowish color it looks).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Weekend Fun

It was hot, hot, hot in my area of the world over the weekend. So a good time to stay inside and sew. (This is Maddie through the window watching me water). The previous weekend I went out of town with a friend and found THE most wonderful fabric and quilt shop -- a REAL fabric shop -- not a craft store with a few bolts of fabric. Miles and miles of fabrics and the most beautiful quilt samples hanging on the walls. I was really inspired by two of the quilts, one a New York Beauty version and the other a Drunkard's Path.

As some of you may know, I am the List Owner of CQForNewbies, a crazy quilting group. I love my crazy quilting but I also love sane quilts, especially traditional quilts with a twist. This is what I did with the Drunkard's Path block. I drafted my own pattern (took two versions, the first one was too large) and then started pulling my fabrics.

For this pattern, I actually FORCED myself to use all my fabrics -- even those that I have had for years but they're too pretty to cut. You know which ones I'm talking about, you have them too, we all do. Fabric we ooohhhed and ahhhed over and couldn't wait to buy. Then we fold it up nicely and put it away. Each time we go to our fabric stash, we pull it out and look at it again and think, oh no, I don't want to use this, this quilt isn't special enough, good enough, I'm not sure it will look right, if I use it then it will all be gone -- all those excuses we make to ourselves and then we fold the special fabric back up and put it away again.

NO MORE! I'm using it. What if the world ended tomorrow (or next week, or next month or next year?) There would be that special fabric just sitting around and I would have never had the pleasure of using it, of seeing how it looks in a quilt block. Ever wonder why all your quilt blocks and tops all look the same? It's probably because you keep using the same old fabric in your stash, never breaking out that special stuff.
So here are my Drunkard's Path blocks -- an explosion of color. I've used all the brighest fabrics I could find, including my batiks and my fun novelty fabrics. I first put these together using color families for the circles (i.e., all blues together, all reds together) but found I didn't like it. I like the explosion of color idea and will just throw the pieces up in the air and let them fall where they may.

I had attempted Drunkard's Path a long time ago and really made a mess with the curved piecing. Now with the new sewing machine and the walking foot, this pattern is a breeze. I only pin at the beginning and end and by sewing slowly and carefully, I can zip right around that curve and have a perfect curved seam.