Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Decisions, Decisions....

Project ModernI recently joined a new quilt group, Triangle Modern Quilt Guild, that is based on the new national movement, The Modern Quilt Guild.  I had stopped being active in my local guild when my son was born and I really didn't have time for sewing, better yet meetings about sewing. Recently, I have really gotten back into my crafting (hence this blog) and when I came across the TMQG I knew I needed to give it a chance, and boy am I glad I did.  I have met some wonderful people that are not only my age (I always felt like the little kid at the big kids table at CQG) but they make quilts that look like what I would make (except better). It just feels right.
I would say the biggest issue I run into is how talented everyone else is! There are some heavy hitters in our quilt group that produce some fantastic quilts. I have yet to have the gumption to bring any of my own work, I am not worthy - yet. However, I did sign-up to be part of our Glam Garden Gala Challenge which given a free layer cake of Glam Garden (and seriously who can turn down free fabric) I am to make something.  Everything I come up with is just not good enough, and I don't know what to do.  My top contenders are:

Wonky Log Cabin
via Quilt Dad
Maverick Stars
possibly a combination of both?!?!
or a

Liberated Cross Quilt
Anniversary Crosses

I even started to design a quilt of my own, but i just don't know what I can actually get done in less than a month.  Should I "Go Big or Go Home?" or should I play it safe?  I just don't know. But I need to make up my mind soon!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Gardening

Ok, in spite of the calendar, it's not *really* Fall here yet, but the Fall Garden is in place, and so far so good! Our summer garden was totally stink-o this year. Between the Squash Vine Borers, Flea Beetles on my eggplants, deer eating my tomatoes, and general malaise afflicting my bell peppers, it was not a very productive summer! There was a sh!t-ton of work that went into that doggone garden for very little output. Oh, well, I did get a buttload of chili peppers, but only because no bugs eat chili peppers. So my hard work this summer has yielded... hot sauce. Poo.
Anyhoo.. Fall. A few weeks back, we ripped up the summer stock and planted neat little rows of cabbage, romaine lettuce, broccoli and collard greens! Additionally, we'd planted some pumpkins and gourds a few weeks prior, along with some carrots. As you can see, these babies are doing SOO much better! Now if I can just keep it well-watered during this dry spell and these 90 DEGREE "Fall" days!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Beach Quilt

One of the issues that I always run into as a crafter is that anytime I see something even remotely handmade, I feel like instead of buying it - I should make it.  I end up never making them, or making it and spending about three times the price.  This is one of those times that I actually think I made out better. I had been browsing through the Pottery Barn Catalog a few years ago (~8) and saw a great quilt with a Hawaiian theme. I had been wanting to make a heavy duty quilt that we could take to the beach our use as a picnic blanket and wanted to replicate the look and feel of the one in the catalog.
I bought my fabrics at my first excursion to Mary Jo's, the fabric mecca of the Greater Charlotte Area, while visiting my parents. If you have never been to Mary Jo's it is quite an experience, and although I strongly support my local quilt shops, I love getting a good deal at Mary Jo's. Anyways, back to the quilt.  This was the first time I didn't follow a pattern and decided to make my own. I used a few big square blocks, but mostly I cut thick strips of fabric and created a modified log cabin. Instead of ending with square log cabin blocks, I would stop one or two strips short with a rectangle. I sewed these together to make rows and then voila! A finished quilt top! I free-motion quilted it and outlined a few flowers in the fabrics to vary it a little. I am happy with the results, and even though I would pick different fabrics now, it has held up quite well. It isn't a beach vacation without it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What's old is new again

I have several nametags for my little man, James. They go on lunchboxes, backpacks, whatever. The first one I ever made for him (still my favorite) just happened to be the one I grabbed for his camp backpack this summer. Camp.. in the woods, lots of dirt, got taken EVERYWHERE....
Needless to say, it did not weather the summer very well! It was in much need of repair, and I'm happy to say that I took care of that over the past week.

Here's what it looked like when it was new, back in 2007.. I made it specifically to go on his big boy backpack when he went to preschool:

Here's what it looked like post-camp:

.. and after the restoration:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mystery Quilts

One of my goals this year was to work on my UFOs (Unfinished Objects) that I had taking up space in my craft room. I started a Mystery Quilt over  years ago, and never really put it together. A Mystery Quilt is a great concept, and a perfect way to stretch your quilting skills. Some stores do Mystery Quilts, or even online magazines, but this Mystery Quilt was created by a member of my MIL quilt group. We were all given a list of all the fabrics we would need for the whole quilt and every month we would receive one step of the process, never really knowing what the end result would look like.  The goal is to finish each step every moth, so that at the end you have a finished quilt.

I came across the main pinwheel blocks a few months ago and decided to actually finish this project. Its funny to see how far I have grown in my piecing skills (or deteriorated, since they everything doesn't match well :)  I have to say I'm glad this was a Mystery Quilt, because I don't think I would have ever gotten this pattern knowing how many triangles I would have to make (I stopped counting after 300).

I hope to finish this up in the next few weeks. My quilt room is such a disaster I have moved my sewing machine to the dining room, and I think my husband would like the space back.