Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday -- At Sea!

Although our Sailors work long, long hours when they are at sea, they do get some time off! Just before their current patrol, a shipmate of My Little Sailor bought a sewing machine. She wanted to learn to quilt! Lucky for her, MLS was a 4-H member who made quilts for several years as a member of the 4-H Wildcats club.

I immediately mailed fabric and a pattern. Their Chief agreed to let her bring the sewing machine on the summer patrol aboard the USS George Washington. Early in their "cruise," I received an email. "BK is working on her quarter-inch seams."

I'm a child of the Cold War. My first thought was "the spies who read all our email are surely wondering what THAT is code for!"

This morning I received another email, subject "BK Gets to Quilting." With photos! (After all, they work in the Media Shop.) Jacob reports:

BK started work on her first quilt today! She’s enjoying it & loves the batiks. She says thanks and even let me take photos of her to show you. =P

She’s learning really quick. Did you precut some of the strips or did it come that way as a kit? Either way—thanks, it helped a lot, I wasn’t up for cutting 42” widths on a 30” cutting mat!

She’s definitely got the right idea—measure twice, cut once. She also laid out all her strips and grouped them so she wouldn’t duplicate any colors in a single block. It’s really cool to see it ‘click’ for her as she realizes how this is going to go together. It helps that she can sew a straight ¼” seam.

Isn't it handy that the Media/Printshop work table is the perfect height for a cutting table? 

Of course, the fun part is seeing how the colors work together!

In case you're wondering, yes, she sewed on stripes for Sailors who were promoted during the first half of the patrol.

I can't remember what pattern I sent, so I'm also looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

I think this one should be the "photo of the week" for the ship!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. I bet they've never seen photos like these!

A quilter is born! Thanks for the photos, Jacob. Quilt on, BK!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, October 7, 2013


Being the first Monday of the month, today is Block-of-the-Month Day. I have so many BOMs in progress, I should devote every Monday to BOMs!

Today I started a new Patchwork Party project. The 2013 Patchwork Party blocks are pre-cut and ready to sew. I couldn't resist testing out the laser-cut blocks, and my first block, from Stitchin' Heaven in Texas, has convinced me to buy the rest.

The slightly darkened edges of the pieces are the result of the laser used to cut the pieces precisely.

The pieces went together flawlessly and quickly. What a great idea, to pre-cut the pieces!

Next up was the newest Mystery BOM from Ruth's Stitchery. Sonya created this project and presents a brief tutorial in the shop the First Thursday of each month. This month all we made was 22 half-square triangles (perfect thanks to the Bloc-Loc ruler!).

 Our Vintage Memories block party is nearly finished. This month is the center block:

I'm up to block 8 on Toes in the Sand. This quilt is made with Julie Herman's Hex N More ruler. I can't wait to see how the quilt comes together!

Only five  more BOM projects for this month!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Stash -- Road Trip Report

You know it's a good day when you visit not one, but three shops you've never visited before!

My friend and fellow Front Range Modern Quilt Guild member, Chrystal, recently opened a new sewing shop in Loveland, Colorado. Since I resisted attending the Taos Wool Festival with BFF Mary, I took myself on a little road trip to Northern Colorado.

The first stop of the day was Greeley, and a fairly new shop, Sew Downtown. Greeley has recovered from the September floods, and the view of the Front Range is incredible. It was fun to eavesdrop on the Girl Scout (I think) sewing class that was happening in the back of the shop!

Next, a lovely drive through the Colorado countryside to Quilter's Stash in Windsor. I can't show you what I bought because it's for a mystery project. Let's just say I'm well on my way to my "you shop here too often" reward! (Psst -- if you're searching for the bunny with the FabShopHop, Quilter's Stash is a participating shop!)

Totally worth the drive!

"Cotton Candy Sewing Shop" is going to be a big hit, I'm sure. My "acid test" for a quilt shop is "does it have something I can't get anywhere else?" Well, Cotton Candy Sewing Shop has that -- in spades! Cotton Candy carries lines by designers Anna Maria Horner, Heather Ross and other lines from Michael Miller, Art Gallery and Robert Kaufman Fabrics. 

Of course, the shop MUST have one wall painted "cotton candy pink."

Anna Maria Horner -- fabrics not easy to find in Colorado. And fabrics by Free Spirit, also not something a lot of shops here stock.

I failed to ask Chrystal is she is the maker of this stunning quilt -- but look, it has a ribbon from the Larimer County Fair!

Update, Chrystal writes:

My grandma Dorothy made it, so the ribbon is from the Madison county fair in Nebraska. It's a pattern that she said is from a book called Bargello Quilts by Marge Edie but I just looked thru it and I couldn't find a heart pattern like hers, so i don't know how reliable that is. It is machine pieced and hand quilted, and that is her old treadle machine in the picture.

I was so pleased to find some Valorie Wells "Cocoon" voile in my "Japan trip" colors:

I bought one yard of "Effervescence" by Amelia Caruso for Robert Kaufman, just because Amelia is from Ft. Collins, Colorado. I didn't know what to make with it, but looking at her website, I see custom-made bags fashioned from this fun fabric. Score!

And Some Yarn!

Since I was "almost there," I dropped into the Loopy Ewe in Ft. Collins. They were my favorite yarn shop before they moved to Colorado -- now I can visit and fondle the yarn in person.

I recently cast on for a hat pattern called "Wurm" that needed a yarn with long, long color repeats. The yarn I was using was nice, but the repeats aren't long enough to make the stripes. On my last turn around the Loopy shelves, I spied:

Exactly the yarn used in one of the finished hats on Ravelry! This one's for me, baby! (Note: if you don't belong to Ravelry, it's free. Join so you can see this cool pattern!)

When I went to check out, Lynne told me I had a $16 credit -- who knew? Then while she was ringing up my sale, her assistant "dinged" the counter top bell. "That's for you," says Lynne. I won a free Loopy Ewe bag and skein of gorgeous Sweetgeorgiayarn tough love sock yarn. The bag also had some Tootsie Rolls in it, but, umm, they're gone now.

My last stop of the day was at Trelotta on South Broadway. I missed the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild meeting that was held at the shop -- WHAT a mistake! Look at these lovely Liberty prints I scored:

Tomorrow is BOM-Day. I have a new BOM to begin sewing tomorrow, come back and see what it is!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature