09 November 2009

Super-size Me

I love the macro feature on my camera.  
There's something about getting up close and right into my subject.  
I also love how the background blurs into a wonderful palette of color.
I got a chance to play with my macro feature this weekend, getting the last vestiges of autumn color before the snow comes.  
Of course, then I'll have a whole new subject to photograph.

19 October 2009

Community Photo Challenge - The Colors of Autumn

I recently took a trip to the Pacific Northwest and wanted to share some of the Colors of Autumn I encountered:

Thank you!

05 September 2009

Breaking Trails

I've lived in Buffalo for almost 3 years now, and I just found a new bike path that I never knew existed. It runs along Ellicott Creek east from the "Boulevard" to the UB campus. We went for a bike ride today and came across it by happenstance. Glad I brought my camera. You never know what you're going to come across...

04 August 2009


I am moving my quilting blog to a new site:

This Squirrel's a Quiltin'

Come join me as I continue this strange new journey through fabric and thread......

24 July 2009

In the Good Ol' Summertime Mini Quilt Swap, Part III

In the Good Ol’ Summertime Mini Quilt Swap
I just wanted to post some pics...

Nice bright strips of fabric, the camera doesn't do them justice.

Now, what are we going to do with these squares, I wonder?

Is that a rose I see, or something entirely different?

Keep watching this space! More to come...

21 July 2009

In the Good Ol' Summertime Mini Quilt Swap, Part II

In the Good Ol’ Summertime Mini Quilt Swap

I have finally gotten around to thinking about my Mini-quilt for the swap. Part of my problem was that I had bought the perfect fabrics without knowing what my partner would want... and they are the type of fabrics they asked for. Then I just needed the pattern. After my magazine run on Sunday, I found the perfect pattern. Now I just need to get to cutting... more sneak peaks to follow....

19 July 2009

Brown Bear Elmer

I love teddy bears; always have. I found "The Teddy Bear Making Book" by Brian and Donna Gibbs several years ago in a discount book store for $5, and I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with it. I just knew that I liked teddy bears, and one day I might like to sew one.

Fast forward to this spring when I bought my sewing machine, and I decided to try my hand at making my first bear. I later made a second one for my husband's birthday to go along with the quilt I made him.

This weekend I finished my third. I will call him, "Elmer." Don't know why. Just looks like an Elmer to me.
Elmer will be gracing my shelf and watching over me as I sew. I had planned him as a gift, but he's just so masculine looking. Look at those shoulders. Not at all cute enough for a 3 year old.

I guess I will just have to start looking at fabric for bear #4.

15 July 2009

A New Find, A Great Giveaway

I was reading my list of favorite quilter blog sites (posted on the right side of my blog here) and started following some links within their blogs. I came across this great site Dye Candy by a woman named Chris, and she's having a Giveaway to boot!

This is from her collection... isn't it yummy? Almost too pretty to cut... almost.
Here are the links to her sites, enjoy!

Dye Candy Giveaway Link
Shady Grove Studios on Etsy - quilt block jewelry
Dye Candy on Etsy - her gorgeous fabrics

Good luck!

12 July 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like... Not Really

As I sit here in 80 degree weather with high humidity, it's hard to think about the cool snowy days of December. That is, until I received a package in the mail the other day... It's the Crazy Eight fabric by Sandy Gervais for Moda.

I had found a pattern in the book "Scrap Basket Surprises" by Kim Brackett called "Christmas Ribbons" that I really liked and began to think about the fabrics I would use.

I love reindeer (all my Christmas decorations have a reindeer theme including the whole "Reindeer" dinnerware collection from Pottery Barn) and had been fabric "window browsing" online when I saw this fabric.

Voila! Pattern and fabric... what a perfect blend.

I am busy trying to finish several other projects, but as soon as I start laying out fabric and cutting I will add this to the project list.... till then, I'll just stare at it on the shelf... daydreaming... thinking of colder weather....

09 July 2009

In the Good Ol' Summertime Mini Quilt

In the Good Ol’ Summertime Mini Quilt Swap

I am participating in the Mini Quilt Swap being put on by the Quilting Gallery Website. I just got my Swap partner name today... so exciting! They put that they wanted something with bright colors, and I think I can mention that my mini quilt will be sent overseas... that's not giving too much away. I had found this really fun fabric that I think really reflects summer, so I am thrilled this person wants bright colors!

I will post little clues as to what I am creating. Can't wait to see everyone elses!

03 July 2009

Project #2 - Block of the Month - Hopscotch, Part 2

I finished another 4 blocks on my Buggy Barn Hopscotch BOM quilt. I even did my first applique. Yes, I know from following some other people's work, like Karen's Baltimore Quilt, that my excitement over placing a simple five-pointed star in the middle of my block really doesn't compare, but as a seriously beginning quilter I was excited.

So, I thought I was almost done and just needed to work on some fillers. Then I read the directions for Block #10 - Goose Tracks... make 36! Uhh.. guess I better start cutting as I will be working on this for a while yet.

01 July 2009

Staying Organized

I am back to working my usual 12 hour shifts this month so I have very little time most days to sew. I did manage to make a few blocks over the weekend, and am working on my fish for the Up a Lazy River Quilt. They look sooo good! Posting soon.

I thought I would take a sec and show how I have my sewing area set up. Living in an apartment is hard on space. Within the next two years I will finally have a house and be able to set up my dedicated craft room. Until then, here's my work corner...
I made a hanging organize
r for my rulers and grids out of some leftover materials so I could keep them out of the way... when I remember to put them away :) I used a desk organizer for my sewing supplies. I can't believe I have almost filled it!
cleaned off a couple of shelves in a book case for my fabrics and books.

I found these great baskets on sale at Target and these letter holders were in Target's dollar area.
I didn't have a use for them until I started sewing. Now when I start cutting my pieces, I just pile them into the boxes to keep them organized, and as I work on one project or the other, I just pull out the letter holder I need. Keeps everything together.

Another thing that I do is put a
Post-it on magazines or books as I start to read through them for the first time. It marks projects I am interested in, or patterns I want to try. I like the look of all the little flags in my growing library... that's a lot of creative sewing just waiting to happen.
I'm able to keep my sewing machine to the side of this work table when I am cutting, and I have an ironing board I dr
op to the level of the table and put at my side when I am doing my piecing.

And, there
it is! I would love to hear how you keep yourself organized?!?!

27 June 2009

Coco Pink Twin Stars, Project #8

Twin Stars pattern from the book "Jelly Roll Quilts" by Pam & Nicky Lintott
using a jelly roll of Coco Pink batik fabric I found at Walmart
& remnant fabrics I found at JoAnn's Fabrics for the background flying geese parts
The tan-colored fabric has flecks of gold throughout which I felt gave it a "sandy" feel, almost like a Southwestern desert.

I finally finished all my blocks and sewed the center together. Now I just need to decide on a border and finish the top. I've decided to give this to my goddaughter for her birthday in August, so hopefully I'll be able to get it all done and quilted by then!,

Up a Lazy River, Project #7, Part II

Up a Lazy River Project by Carolyn Griffin
using Neptune by Tula Pink for Moda
& Bruce Evans/Ghost Artists for Quilting Treasures fabrics

Have finished all the cutting, and I am starting to piece the fish together. I ran out of fabric for the bodies and tails, so I made two scrappy fish for the center blocks, and will have different, what I like to call "party-colored" fish in the corners. We'll see how things develop, but at least I am finally getting these fish pieced!

25 June 2009

A Treasured Find

My husband and I are in the midst of combining households. Having been moving back and forth across the country for the last 5 years, things are starting to get mixed up. In case you're confused, for economic reasons we have mostly lived apart. In about another year we should be finally together in one place.

Anyway, I was cleaning up my second bedroom (as I stated in my previous post) to make myself a nicer sewing area and take advantage of the larger desk space when I came across one of his containers. He's left all of his "winter stuff" with me because Atlanta doesn't get as cold as Buffalo. Look what I found inside:

It's a quilt from his childhood. He was born and raised on farm in Northern Alabama, and I can tell that the fabric is composed of pieces of shirts. There are various strips, some solids, some fabric that looks like poplin. And, it weighs a ton! There are some worn sections on the binding, and I can see that the batting is super thick. It's tied with green yarn, and I can imagine that no sewing machine would be able to handle that batting. I know that sometimes flour sacks were used for fabric. This backing feels thicker and coarser. His family grew cotton, and I wonder if the fabric is from the cotton collection sacks.
It's a bit yellowed and slightly musty. If you have any ideas on this quilt I would love to hear them. Does anyone have any suggestions for cleaning and restoring this? Thanks in advance! I would love to hear about your treasured finds!

21 June 2009

Catching Up...

Since I took the time this weekend to clean up my second bedroom and reset my sewing supplies up there, I thought I would catch everyone up on what I’ve been working on the last several months. Funny how you start a project, get interrupted by another, find something else, etc.

I find that I am a little more distractible than most. Maybe that’s why I am in the field I am in… I get very bored doing the same thing again and again. So, I have a lot of things going on at once. If I get tired of one thing I do another. Deadlines are great for me because they force me to finish something on time. Otherwise, I fuss with this, fuss with that, find something else that catches my interest.

I will keep this list updated and refer to it as projects are started, worked on, completed. I will post the hyperlink to it on the sidebar titled “What’s In the Works.” Enjoy!

Oh, and sometimes I don’t know what to do because some of my earlier works were experiments gone awry, so I appreciate any suggestions or hints!

Project #1 – ChrysanthemumsFlower of the Month Fabric by Ro Gregg

Status: Layered, needs to be quilted

Project #2 – Hopscotch BOM

Status: Piecing, on block 7/10

Update 7/3/09

Project #3 – Jeweled Log Cabin

Status: Pieced, need to add borders

Project #4 – Civil War Hexagons

Status: Piecing

Project #5 – Jerry’s Birthday Bear Quilt

Status: Completed

Project #6 – Mother’s Day Lavender Quilt

Status: Completed

Project #7 – Neptune Up a Lazy River

Status: Cutting pieces
Update 6/27/09

Project #8 - Coco Pink Twin Stars
Status: Piecing Block Rows
Update 6/27/09

18 June 2009

A Little Side Trip

So, I had to attend a class about 30 miles away from work yesterday, and since I was already so far out of my area, I figured I would make a day of it and check out some local quilting shops. I Googled "quilt" on my GPS and up popped several choices. The closest one was still another 20 miles away in the opposite direction but off the road I was already on, so I figured "why not?"

What a find! I ended up at Mt. Pleasant Quilting Company.
The owner Barb has put together a homey, comfortable shopping and class experience at one end of her own home.
One minute I was driving along a long country road, the next I was turning thinking my GPS must be wrong when I spied a home with several women coming out of it carrying bags and packages. Then I saw the small sign.
I walked up the driveway and entered the store finding myself in a warm inviting environment. I was immediately welcomed in and given a brief description of the layout then left to browse at will. I could have spent hours going through this store, but I started to feel a little overwhelmed by all the colors and fabrics and quilting patterns and ideas.

I could go on and on about this store, but moreso I just wanted to share this delightful little find. Although it's over a 90 minute drive for me, I know that I will be back; especially in September for their full weekend "Tent Sale" Celebration that I was told was going to be quite something! By then I should have saved up my pennies and made up for my "impulse buys".... eek! Repeat to self, "No more fabric!"

16 June 2009

Goin' Fishing - Up a Lazy River - Neptune

I am new to quilting, so I have spent a LOT of time on the internet checking out this site and that site; following link to link to link. I came across multiple patterns, read articles, collected a book or two, just so I could learn the basics. I spent some time walking around the fabric aisles and bought a bunch of remnants so I could practice on. I also bought a pattern or two that I thought was especially interesting.

I love anything having to do with fish or the sea, so I was excited to see this one pattern called "Up a Lazy River" by Carolyn Griffin. I thought it looked pretty easy to make, and didn't seem to involve a lot of intricate cutting or sewing. I bought it with no idea of what I was going to do with it, or what fabric I would use to sew my fish.I was thinking that I might never find a fabric style that I would like to use for the fish until I ended up skimming through different fabrics at this website and came across the Neptune Collection by Tula Pink for Moda. I thought it was some of the prettiest fabric. I loved the colors and the patterns, but as a beginner, I couldn't see myself jumping into a huge expenditure without feeling confident in my skills.
So now, 4 months later I gave in. I had kept checking the website periodically to make sure the fabric was still available, a pack of fat quarters, a layer cake and a jelly roll. Plus I knew I couldn't make the quilt without using the same fabric as backing. I saved up my pennies and placed my order. It just arrived this weekend. What a difference in the quality and feel of the fabric. It's so beautiful I don't even want to imagine cutting it, but I am looking forward to finally starting that quilt.

Will take pics of my progress as I go along. To be sure I will be measuring 10x before I cut once.

14 June 2009

Happy Birthday to My Hubby Bear!

Today is my husband's birthday, and for the last 4 months I have been working on a quilt for him. Finally I can reveal it!

The thought for the quilt was bears since that is a nickname I have for him. I found this great "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" fabric at the quilt store and started off with that as my basis for the quilt. Of course, I had to make a "bear claw" pattern for the corners so this was the first block:

After making the four corners, I started to think about the rest of the blocks and the center. I came up with a heart to encircle two bears. Then I found this amazing pattern for pine trees:
I started thinking about bears and how Ursa major and minor were some of the first constellations that I learned about. So that got me thinking about stars, and I found this very cool star pattern that was sort of easy to piece. It just took cutting up and sewing together lots of triangles. And then since I was an expert at triangles, it was no stretch to put together four pairs and make pinwheels to complete the sides. From there it was just piecing the borders, putting together the backing, and sewing everything together. It turned out to be rather large (about 106 x 106 inches) and will look nice when we get a queen sized bed as the sides will just drape over.

Whew! I'm really going to need a bigger quilting sewing machine if I am going to keep doing this....
I included a slide show of all the different parts. Enjoy!

p.s. yes, I made the stuffed bear at the top of the page as well and included it in his birthday box