Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crazy Quilt Along at the Old Red Barn Co.

On Tuesday, I am starting a Crazy Quilt Along at the Old Red Barn Quilt Along site on flickr!!! Have you seen this group? Every other month or so there is a different quilt along at the site and the old tutorials stay posted so you can go back at any time and quilt along. Love it!

Gearing up to leading the 10th round of the quilt along has been an experience in if-you-ask-they-will-say-yes. When I emailed Dana, the site's founder, about doing a round about crazy quilting she immediately said yes. I didn't really think she would! They have had some big name quilt along leaders and I...well...not so big. But here I am!!!!!

The next month I saw that Allie Aller had recently wrote a book called Crazy Quilting: Modern Piecing & Embellishing Techniques for Joyful Stitching. I emailed her and asked if she would donate a copy so I could kick off the Crazy Quilt Along with a giveaway. She immediately said, "Yes!" Squeal!!!

Here are some additional pictures from her book that she sent me.

Her first full sized crazy quilt:

Crazy in the Desert by Allie Aller

And look at those beautiful flowers! She spends a whole chapter showing how to make them in her book. Amazing!

Crazy Happy Flowers by Allie Aller

Who would have thought that just asking could go so far? I sure didn't. Humm...maybe I should have asked for a copy of Allie's book for myself! :)

If you want to be entered to win a copy of the book and learn more about Allie go on over to the Old Red Barn Co.'s site and leave a comment.

I will be starting the Crazy Quilt Along on Tuesday with a post on fabrics. See you then!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dear Barbara,

I thought of writing you this letter while piecing the last two Civil War blocks. You know I LOVE your blog and I am grateful for the work you have put into your new Civil War blog, right? Amazing stories, great blocks!

So, I hate to sound whiny and ungrateful, but why? Why Barbara, did you choose 8 inch instead of 12 inch blocks? The teeny-tiny pieces are killing me! The sometimes kooky measurements strain my eyesight and cutting skills. I know, I is making me a better piecer and I will thank you later, and yes, I will eat my greens and exercise... :)

All joking aside though, I really have noticed improvement in my skills already. Take a look at the Kansas Troubles block. No really, look hard at those 1 inch finished HST!

Most of the points are perfect! Not all, but not bad considering the size.

The block size is also killing me because it makes it hard to choose fabrics. That is really my own fault though. I wanted to use my bright happy Meadowsweet fabrics for the project and the scale of the prints is really too big for the blocks. You can hardly see the flowers in the Kansas Troubles block, but I think I am getting the hang of finding prints and solids that will work in the blocks.

In my not so humble opinion, I think the color selection of the Richmond block turned out quite well. Instead of doing a four patch in the middle/outer sections I did a ... well, I don't know what it is, but not a four patch, and I rather like the pattern it makes.

So Barbara, I will probably still mumble under my breath as I make teeny tiny triangles this year, but the growth and the feelings of pride when I see the finished blocks totally make up for any frustration I feel in the process. This is going to be an amazing quilt and an amazing year.

Thanks again,

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Happy Place

I don't know whether it was the abrupt transition from relaxing in the sun and listening to the waves on the beach to cleaning and listening to whining or the fact that it has been @#$*&! COLD here, but this has not been my best week ever.

Yesterday afternoon, I took some time to cut out teeny-tiny pieces of fabric for my civil war blocks. After dinner I stole away for a few minutes to start these wavy bee blocks for Jen who wanted wavy blocks using this tutorial. It was sooo calming.

I played around with cool colors.

And warm colors.

This morning I went back downstairs. The children were playing nicely and I just sewed and cut and sewed again. It was so therapeutic just to play with beautiful colors of fabric and see what I could make.

Somehow, while I am working I am able to just focus on what I am making and ignore all of the toys and scraps of fabric strewn on the floor. I just step over it all as I move from the sewing machine to the ironing board and back again.

I realized this morning that sewing is my happy place.
Thank goodness I can sew.
And thank goodness it will be in the 40's and 50's next week.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Every year my husband has to go on a few week long work trips to places like Chile, Mexico, Hawaii and Las Vegas. It's a rough job, eh? They really do work hard but I can't work up too much sympathy while I am stuck at home with 4 kids and a blizzard.

So this year we flew my mom up to watch the kids and I went with him for a week in Mexico. While he was out looking at corn, I lounged by the pool. I brought a bunch of hexagons with me but hardly touched them. Really it was just wonderful to be out in the sun.

In fact, I finished more flowers on the way home than I made my whole trip.

Because of a mix up, we got to the airport WAY too early. How early? Early enough for me to finish these two flowers by the time we finished our airport brunch at Carl's Jr.

The trip was so relaxing we may have to make it a tradition, but for now, back to reality!