Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Doll Quilt Swap 11

Look at the beautiful doll quilt I received from TLC Stitches!

It’s just so bright and happy.  The stars all have fussy cut centers which show off the fabric.  I always loved to swing when I was a little girl.  I could do it for hours!  I just love this little block.

And you know I wouldn’t think any home was really complete without a canine companion.

She also sent me a couple of very pretty Civil War reproduction fabrics.  (And you know how I love those).

Even the card she sent is a work of art!

Isn’t it just beautiful?

I am just so happy with my doll quilt!  Thank you, Trisha! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Go! Hexagons and Triangles

The Doll Quilt Swap is one of my favorite swaps.  It’s so fun to see the creativity of all the quilts being made.  And it’s fun to watch all the photos being posted wondering which once of them will be coming to you!  I really loved making up the one I just mailed out today.  (And sure hope my partner likes it – she wanted bright and fun and contemporary, so I hope this fits the bill!)

I got the idea from two quilts I saw posted on line.  First, there’s the full size Moda Bake Shop tutorial posted here.  And a slight variation that was here.  I just made it up doll quilt size.  I think it measures about 14" by 16 1/2". 

Of course, just as it is supposed to, the AccuQuilt Go! made this much easier.  I used the Hexagon and Triangles dies. 

The triangle points are trimmed which makes sewing this up a breeze.  Here’s adding the triangles to a hexagon.

And sewing the hexagon/triangle units together.

Which makes for very nice seam intersections.

This was just a fun little quilt to make up!

I also made up another one of the cute pincushions that use these dies as well.

I included something else in the package that got mailed today, but just on the off chance my swappee might stumble by here, I can’t show it since it would likely give the surprise away. 

So, there it is.  One swap quilt out the door and headed across the deep blue seas.  Another to begin. 

Rainbows, rainbows, rainbows.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So-o-o-o-o Happy!

Which must be my mother’s genes coming through.  Or perhaps vigorous childhood training.  A good cleaning makes me happy.  Which I presume makes my mother happy, even in the afterlife (what she thinks about the state of my kitchen we won’t go into). 

So, what’s the fuss?  This: 

Ahh.  A newly painted and cleaned office.  I know: it’s not going to win any home decorating awards, but it is clean and functional and organized.  (So-o-o-o-o happy!)

The colors in the photo above are a bit off; the walls are actually a soft green (an upcoming photo is closer).  All because of the new table mat, which meant I needed (needed) to paint the room.  It’s very close to the color it was, just a little purer in tone and a hint of teal.  I stayed close to the original because the soft green walls make for a very soothing and non-distracting place to read and work.

Instead of making up a new quilt for the wall, like I originally thought I would, I put up a couple of my little minis and the wonderful quilt I received for Doll Quilt Swap 10.  The photo doesn’t really do this justice.  They look very sweet hanging out there.

Since I took out all the books and files and knick-knacks to paint the room, I made my mother proud and sorted through everything before it went back in.  I purged some books (these are my quilting and writing books so not a whole lot) and some of the knick-knacks as well.  I was a little more ruthless going through  my files.  I took a big old stack of paper to recycle.  The result: my file drawers are thoroughly organized and I actually have (a little) bookshelf room to grow. 

I made new curtains for the windows, bought frames for the art work (finally). 

That wall color is much closer to the green it is.  I found this great tutorial from A Spoonful of Sugar and sewed up this cute little basket to hold my keys.  (Notice Jane Austen hanging out in the photo above: she’s there to offer inspiration, support, and the occasional satiric comment).

And then, that felt so good, the purging gathered momentum.  I finally tackled my downstairs bookshelves.  These are where all my general reading books are, fiction, non-fiction, literature, romance, fantasy, sci-fi, drama.  Some of those books go wa-a-ay  back.  I was ruthless and purged hundreds of books.  Two carloads of books went to Goodwill – one trunkload in the Accord and another in the Civic -- with the back seat down, it was stuffed with bags.  Wow. 

The result.  I have empty book shelves.  I still have a lot of filled book shelves, too, of course.  But still.  Empty book shelves (four of them).  I don’t remember the last time I had empty book shelves.  Many many years.  Decades. 

I felt a pang getting rid of some of the books since there is a lot of history connected to them: the college age immersion in Beat literature, my twenties fascination with diaries and autobiographies, my thirties exploration of the short story and contemporary literary novel. 

Looking at all those books on the shelves was a little like looking at a diary; there was so much personal history on display there.  But, hey, the fact is, I keep a diary and have for closing in on forty years now.  Now those books can go become part of someone else’s history and be read and alive again.  (I don’t see me reading The Dharma Bums again). 

Of course, there are certain books that are sacrosanct and going nowhere without me.  Those Georgette Heyers may be in shady shape, with yellowed pages and broken bindings, but they are dear friends.  Some authors just have to remain purge proof (Barbara Michaels, Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips,  Raymond Carver, Pat Barker, Michael Ondaatje . . . ).

AND, today I tackled another job I put off for months – hooking up my printer as a wireless instead of using the usb.  Now, the nice sales clerk in Best Buy told us way back in April when we bought the printer that it would be super easy to engage the wireless.  Uh-huh.  I’m glad I waited.  It took me three hours this afternoon, forty minutes of that spent with on line chat with technical support.  But, hey, the support really was terrific and got the job done. 

So, yup, step one of getting ready for the start of the semester is done: my office is ready to go. 

Now?  It’s back to working on the Doll Quilt Swap 11 quilt which got neglected as I went into my paint and purge frenzy.  Since it has to go in the mail early next week, I’d say it’s time I get back to it.  Don’t you think?  Pictures forthcoming.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Look What I Got!

I received my Pretty Little Pouch Swap package and aren’t I just the lucky one?

Once again, I received not one but two great little pouches.  Isn’t the little snap pouch perfection?  I love it.  It is exactly to my taste!

The larger pouch is because BeachGirl Sews read my blog where I said I wanted to make a larger pouch for myself to carry papers – so she made one for me!  How sweet is that?

I love the fabrics she chose and the linen with hand stitching.  It’s all perfection, really.

The snap pouch is even perfect on the back.  Look at this:

She even mailed it more creatively than I’ve ever seen.  I’ve blocked off the addresses but look at the envelope she made!

Seriously.  How cool is that?

So, thank you BeachGirlSews.  I love what you sent!

Meanwhile, the pouch I made has been mailed off.  I found a great tutorial on using the AccuQuilt Go! hexagon and equilateral triangle dies to make up a pincushion, so I dashed off one of those and included it in the package.  I believe I have to make a few more of these, I think. 

I’m so impressed by everyone who comes up with such creative uses for the Go! dies.

Meanwhile, I’ve got more stuff coming up.  Remember how I mentioned last post (or so) that I needed to paint the office.  I did.  The color is so close to the previous wall color you probably won’t notice much difference, though it is a little purer in color and a little more teal.  What it mostly is though is a whole lot less dingy!  (Yeah!)  I want to make up new wall quilts to go up there, so I’ll have new projects to show soon (I hope).

Meanwhile, today my own true love and I are off to his company picnic – and it’s going to be hot!  Think cool thoughts . . .