Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Scrap Destash!

*thanks guys! these are all sold!  And I'll contact those of you who said you were interested in the other colors not shown.  I went through the pinks, yellows, whites and greys tonight...still need to get through the orange and red!*

I'm sort of drowning in scraps over here.  We're in a smaller temporary condo for the near future and my tower of scraps is taking up valuable real estate.

tower of scraps

I've made a big dent in using scraps lately with my bottled rainbow quilt.  And I have a month in a bee coming up that I will be sending out all scraps for...and my new bee starting in October will be a stash buster.  So I feel that I've done my scraps justice.  And it's time for me to finally move on to my other beautiful fabrics.  It's never a good thing to feel burdened by your fabric.  And my scraps are begging to go to someone else and have a happy home.

So I'm slowly making my way through my drawers of colors and pulling out most of my scraps.  I'm ready to pass them along to some of you.  So far I've made it through the blues, greens and purples.  All the rest of the colors are yet to come.  I've filled a flat rate mailing envelope with each color and am selling each envelope for $10 plus shipping (US is $5, international is more...).  I'm happy to ship anywhere.  There are all kinds of wonderful scraps from small sizes to almost fat quarters.  I've photographed a small sampling of the scraps you will receive in your package.  Please contact me if you are interested! (You can do that by leaving a comment or contacting me privately via my email)  These would be perfect for anyone hoping to gather more scraps for their own bottled rainbow quilt!

(2) Green Scrap Stash
(sold! thank you!)

Green Scrap Destash

Aqua Scrap Stash
(sold! Thank you!)

Aqua scrap destash

Blue Scrap Stash
(sold! Thank you!)

Blue Scrap Destash

Purple Scrap Stash
(Sold! Thank you!)

Purple Scrap Destash

The envelopes are stuffed full and ready to go!

bags full of scraps

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sprucing up the Condo

We can't live anywhere without making it more beautiful and more of a home.  It doesn't  matter that this condo we are living in is not ours...we're living here now and so it must become more functional and beautiful.  In fact, we even have a family mission statement about that.

So we've been sprucing up here and there.  We desperately needed more privacy in the family room.  There are large sliding doors that look out to the joint "backyard" of all the condos...the pool especially.  We needed more than the random piece of fabric we threw up there one night in an attempt to cover at least part of the door.  Over a month later and I've completed some drapes!

County Fair Drapes Complete

I've made a lot of curtains in my day, but these were definitely a project.  These drapes use 9 yards of fabric all seamed into one piece and are fully lined.  Plus for the first time, I used a header tape.  It was just slightly trickier to use than I planned, but I LOVE how it turned out!  The directions were particularly non helpful. ;)

Header Tape!

The header tape helps give you the great "rolls" to the drapes.  They are always there!

Drapes made from County Fair Fabric

Then we finally bought a piece of molding long enough and some cup hooks to create a little yet LONG curtain rod for the kitchen.  94"!  So I was finally able to put up my little curtains in the kitchen to help make it look like we care.  I think that it is sweet and looks sort of a like a skirt for the window.

Kitchen Window "skirt"

We even did a little sprucing up outdoors near the entrance to the condo.  The grounds crew is supposed to do all that, but sometimes you need to take things into your own hands. ;)  So we got 10 bags of river rocks, some mums and a new hydrangea to add to the rocks already there.  I meant to take a before picture of the lovely perfectly trimmed DEAD bush, but alas forgot.  So you just get the after shots.  They're the pretty ones anyway.

Garden sprucing

Trust me when I say that it looks a 1000 times better!

new mums!

Maybe someone will actually want to buy this place from my brother after we move out!

Garden Edge

And I bought a play kitchen for Caitlyn from the consignment store and I feel it needs some curtains. ;)  Because everything is better when you throw some fabric on it! lol.  So that is in my eye line for the future.  No rush...but I thankfully found the MOST perfect fabric color wise for the curtains...it's an Anna Maria Horner fabric from Innocent Crush.  It's not even a fabric that I like all that much, but here's a clear case of using the right fabric for the right project...and that fabric turns out to be perfect.  So yay for swapping for that fabric at some point in my life. ;)  

So much more to share, but I'll save some for later!  I've been working hard on my projects.  Project Zig Zag is the next on the list!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Christmas Pickles from New Orleans

Now how's that for a blog title?!  I bet you think I'm about to show you pictures of large red and green pickles. ;)  Nope...this is still a blog about quilting.  Although if anyone makes some red pickles, that would be pretty funny.

No, I have the great pleasure of sharing with you a beautiful quilt that my friend Karen,
precious Karenfrom the New Orleans Modern Quilt Guild, made for me! Karen was part of our feisty group and fit right in with her attention to detail and her quirky love of all things Christmas fabric!  I'm not sure how many Christmas quilts she has made, but this lady loves her some christmas fabric.

Christmas Pickles - made for ME by Karen!

Karen started this quilt for me back when I still lived in New Orleans and I was able to give her a bunch of fabric to include.  I didn't have many Christmas fabrics in particular, but I had plenty of red and green.  So I gave her some Sherbet Pips red puppy dogs, some Jennifer Paganelli green and white stripes, some Hideaway and lots of others!  Then Karen pulled some special fabrics from her own stash to add in.  I particularly love how she added the aqua color to the whole colorscheme.

Christmas Pickles - made for ME by Karen!

I had seen Karen make this same pattern for another friend of hers and I fell in love with the simple geometry of it.  It's just so perfectly quilty!  I casually mentioned that I would love one of these myself, never dreaming that she would take me up on it.  But as she said, it's nice to give a quilt to someone you know will love it.  I think we can all understand that.

Christmas Pickles - made for ME by Karen!

It's not all that often that a quilter makes another quilter a quilt.  After all, we all know that we could make one for ourselves if so choose.  But it's really such a wonderful gift to give!  I was thrilled when my quilt arrived in the mail last week and I could snuggle with it. (as did little miss!)

Christmas Pickles - made for ME by Karen!

I forget why Karen named this quilt pattern Pickles...I think perhaps her first friend either loved or hated pickles...and she was making a joke. ;)  But then this was a Christmas version and so it is named Christmas Pickles.  My husband gave me a baffled look when I told him her name, but he just doesn't understand the fun you can have pickling...errr...picking out a name for a quilt.

Christmas Pickles - made for ME by Karen!

The fabric I gave her for the backing is a flea market fancy look alike but in green!  I adore it and got it at a great price (like $3 a yard) at some point.  So I had enough to be the backing for this whole quilt.   It looks just great on the back.  And I love the flannel fabrics that Karen included throughout the top as well.  Plus she put in some of her precious munki munki fabrics!

Christmas Pickles - made for ME by Karen!

It's so precious to me Karen!  And it will always be a wonderful reminder of the great times we all had together in New Orleans.  Now grab Kaelin and come up and visit me!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sky Mobiles

lights and mobiles

Recently I made these mobiles as an attempt to add some much needed color and whimsy to the building for my friend's wedding reception.  I was heavily inspired by the lovely example HERE.  But I needed to do something on a much larger scale and with a different color scheme. ;)  And thus, my project was born.

The original example uses all vellum paper I believe and I did put some of that in there, but in retrospect I'm not sure I would do that again.  It probably depends on how soon you are going to use the mobiles after making them.  But I wasn't going to be using these for at least week after I made them...and most of that time they were already hung from the ceiling of the builing.  Instead I bought a number of packs of card stock in the scrapbooking aisles of a craft store.  I opted to go with premixed colors of blue simply for budget reasons. ;)  I chopped them up in different widths and mixed in some white vellum and white cardstock.

making decorations

The original directions recommended a small weight at the bottom of the strands of paper.  However, I think because I used the cardstock I didn't need anything.  But that is what I purchased that sparkly beads for.  I still think that they would have looked lovely twinkling from the ends of the paper mobiles, but I had to let that go.  The beads found a happy home in the fish bowls, adding a little sparkle to the fishes' lives.  (Oh and for those of you worried about the fate of the fish, don't be.  They have a very happy home in my mom's pond!)

the ring of power

I found these fabulous predrilled rings at Michael's craft stores made from Hardy board.  I was able to use cording to create a way to hang the rings.  And then I tied the ends of the strings of paper evenly around the ring.  I ended up using three strands per ring...four was too many with the width of the paper.  I also found that I liked the smaller cut paper (I cut widths between 2.5" - 4").  The larger pieces just did not "dance" as well.  I needed lengths of paper strands about 6' long for my particular project.

Making hanging mobiles for a friend's wedding

For easy transport I bundled up each strand and wrapped them with some vellum paper.  That way I could transport them from my house to the building to the ceiling!  I also chose to wrap the rings with tulle for that extra bridal effect and to disguise the color of the original ring and blend in with the ceiling.  I had a very helpful little girl hanging out with me while I had the supplies out.  Let's just say that she is all girl.

someone likes tulle!

I swear I didn't pose her for this picture.  She did it all on her own.  lol.  She'll be a beautiful bride some day if she chooses.  I'll be saving this picture until then. ;)

a glimpse at the future?

The bride was thrilled with the blue decorations and a lot of people loved how graphic and simple they were but with high impact.  I would definitely recommend this as a way to decorate for any of you.  If you have a sewing machine, you can definitely do this!  Just make sure to have a long stitch length so you don't over perforate the paper and change your needle afterwards...all that paper will dull it.  But go for it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vote for Lee!

Lee, over at Freshly Pieced, has designed a fabric for a contest on Connecting Threads.  And she needs your votes!  She's currently in second place, but the race is tight.  So if you could hop over there and show her design some love it would be great.  Her pattern is called Flourish and it's fun and fresh.  And I can guarantee that any further patterns in this collection would be as well.  She has great style.

You can vote for her HERE.  Her design is in the fourth row on the far right.  

It would be so exciting to see her win!!

Quilting Around the World - Featuring Alia

quilting around the world

Welcome to the second installation of Quilting Around the World.  Today I'm delighted to share with you Alia who blogs over at Coffeebeans Dailies about her very interesting life in the Middle East.  I find her quilting life to be just fascinating.  I hope you all ready what she ahs to say.  I'm learning so much already and this is just the second interview of the series.

 Hi.  My name is Alia Ghulam.  I was born in Bogota’, Colombia in South America and moved to the United States as a baby.  I grew up in St. Louis and started working when the love bug hit me and now I am living    in Muscat, Oman with my Omani husband and two beautiful kids; one tortoise; two Persian kitties; and one wild little man that lives outside.  I recently realized that both my Spanish grandmother's were seamstresses.  They made clothing mostly and that is how they survived in Colombian and the United States!

Where in the World are You?
 I live in Muscat, Oman in the Middle East.

How long have you been sewing/quilting?  How did you become interested in quilting?
 When my husband proposed, I told a childhood friend whom was living in Florida with her family at the time and she flew to St. Louis and we met at her Mom’s house.  Her Mom took out all these quilts and I was smitten!  I have had a needle in my hand since the age of 9 and had never looked at Quilts before.  From this weekend with this family; I learned that I could not get past the color in the past.  What I did not like was the deep burgundys, forest green, dark beige, dark blues that is so typical of Middle America.  Mom G. had yellow and white quilts, pink and white and many ohers and then I was interested in the patterns.  I learned that color inspires me.  Then only did I see patterns.  So, I needed a wedding gift for my husband and decided to make a small wall hanging.  It was a nightmare!  I had no idea about an accurate 1/4” seam allowance, let alone a scant one!  I had no idea about bleeding fabrics.  It had 10 fabrics in it and Phillipa Naylor was the President of the Saudi Arabian quilt group that I belonged to a couple of years later and she commented on my color choices.  She said she would NEVER put those together but she really liked them.
Anyway, when we were setting up our first apartment here in Muscat, we were trying to hand it behind the bed on the wall and the quilt rippled so badly that we could see each other in full head shots and I was so upset!  I ended up using the quilt for my daughter to lay on when she was just tiny.  I ended up taking it apart and it is still in pieces all these years later! The quilt did make it into a calendar for the company my husband worked at though!  So, in answer to this question, I have been quilting for the last 17 years!
Book Cover

Is quilting common in your area or are you a lone crafter?
  The Middle East has a huge expatriate population.  We have a very strong group of quilters in Muscat.  Americans are the minority here, funny enough.  The Omani women, or at least from one family forms a very  strong and dynamic portion of our guild.  We have ladies from England,FranceIndiaCanadaAustraliaBelgiumOman, South America, the United States and more.  I belong to groups but do most of my work on my own. 

Ruffle Pillow

Do you find it difficult to get quilting supplies and fabric in your area? 
 We have a couple of stores here that sell Japanese cottons and American cottons.  The American cottons are like the industry’s rejects, if you will.  They end up here and believe me ladies, we pay a fraction of what you are paying in the US!  Sometimes there will be a blemish, sometimes you just can not see it so therefore I always think I hit the jackpot.  The thing is that we can’t get bundles or complete, the proper terminology has escaped me right now; complete sets or pieces of a collection. Most of the ladies here don’t care about collections; they match up what they can get with what is available!  We have in Dubai two quilting stores now and one of them has a representative here in Muscat that we can order stuff from so we are lucky in that respect.  We have lovely Maya that travels frequently to America and brings back fabric and notions to sell.  The hottest thing is batting.  That is so hard to come by and once you have a favorite; you always want that!   Most of the expats get to go to their home countries once or twice a year so they stock up on supplies.  Lots of ladies can travel easily to Dubai and shop there.  We are always helping each other out so it all works out in the end!  Oh, then there are people like me whom order online a lot! 
Perspective Quilt

What designer/designs are you exposed to the most as a result of living where you do?
 As I mentioned above, most ladies don’t pay attention to designers and when we do get quilting cottons, they are lone pieces up to 4 pieces of a collection!  I have been lucky to find Riley Blake recently and just washed and ironed the piece and put it carefully with my other fabrics!  I get such a thrill finding designer names in the bolts! 
Jacobean Applique

What is your favorite part about the international nature of the online quilting community?
 Oh my!  Seeing all the different blogs and how the ladies use color and what they are doing and the tutorials and help one gets is amazing.  The inspiration really!

Spiderweb Quilt

How good are you at filling out customs forms for the postal service?

If you could own any fabric at all in the world, what would it be?
 Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips
 Sandy Henderson's Farmer's Market
 Kate Spain's Central Park


What sewing machine do you own?  Do you love it or hate it?!
 Janome Memory Craft 4400.  I love it but not for quilting, hence the....
 Bernina Aurora 440 Quilter's Edition, IN LOVE!!!

Footstool Pincushion 

What does a typical sewing session look like for you?
Well, with it being summer and Ramadan over here in the Muslim world; I don't have much time to myself.  I am too easily distracted so all I have been working on is my Hardanger Bargello Table Runner.  I need to make Eid Mubarak (Happy Eid) banners for the entire family which I will start to cut out the letters TODAY and then I have so many projects lined up.  But, to answer this question more precisely, I like to either put on the iPod or watch something on my laptop; have a cup of coffee or tea and a big glass of ice water nearby and clean the workspace and get going!!  I am very organized when I do start a project and oh, I love to have my kitties around me too.  If it is just me in my studio and home; they both will come in and find a place to rest and hang out.  Love it! 

 All done!

Thank you Alia for sharing a glimpse into your life with all of us.  It's just amazing how a single craft pulls together so many people from all over the world.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Wedding Arrangement

Well today was the big day for my friend!  She's now officially a Mrs.  And though I still need to go back in few days to the reception building, for the most part the decorations are complete!  And I think the fish were definitely a hit!


The wedding colors were cobalt blue and orange, so the fish definitely worked right into the color scheme perfectly.  Goldfish with some variations of blue stones and few crystals were the talk of the reception.  There were 30 fish and I think we only had one casualty.  Not bad!

small fish arrangement

I ended up putting the fish where I thought small children would have the least access to them. ;)  I think that helped with the lack of casualties.  So there were fish in the main bar room, along two bar areas and on the head bridal table.  Don't worry, the kids saw the fish quite a lot...they were just more supervised in those areas.

fish, drink and floral arrangements

I made these larger floral arrangements as centerpieces for the food tables.

large centerpieces

With black table cloths, they are simple and effective decorations for a room filled with total beige.

Food tables ready to go

I found these blue and white ceramic vases at Hobby Lobby on clearance for 80% off.  Woohoo!  Bargain shopping!  And then I made all the arrangements with silk flowers in the pots.  I didn't even know I could do that.  I've never been particularly good with floral arrangements before.   But I studied up on it a lot and bought the right supplies I think.

Wedding Arrangements for a friend

Flower Arrangement - small

Flower Arrangements

The arrangements looked beautiful behind the bar with some more fish bowls and tulle!

florals and fish

florals behind the bar

I continued the blue theme throughout the hall with simple decorations of multi colored blue water.

bar glasses with shades of blue water

blue water and lights

blue water centerpieces

A few clever folks picked up on the fact that I am a quilter, because they realized that the orange fabric I used on some guest tables and the bridal table is a lovely quilting fabric actually from Joann's.  The bride loved it!  I was originally going to do a Joel Dewberry fabric, but it was simpler for me to get the Joann's fabric....and here it is!

quilting fabric making an appearance

some centerpieces, lights and mobiles

And then there were the large mobiles I made for over the dance floor.  I'll share my inspiration and instructions later, but for now...here's the finished product!

lights and mobiles

See why I am tired? ;)


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