still around...

It was a crazy weekend.  To and from Las Vegas for business and not much fun.  No surprise really...Vegas just isn't my style.  All that plus the ka-billion things that were going on at home made for some head-spinning. 

I haven't touched my machine since Thursday...how sad! And I won't be able to touch it again until tomorrow night...how more sad!! 

I did start quilting the postage stamp quilt, though.  And I hope to have it finished and bound by the weekend.  Not sure of that goal, though, since I fly out (again!) on Friday.  This time for a half-marathon with my bestie.  We're running the Disney Princess half...tiara and all.  :)

Just she and I, no kids, no hubbies.  On Saturday we're going to stroll through EPCOT and eat at all the countries - carbing up, of course - because the men never will...LOL!!  It's going to be fun and relaxing and I just can't wait.

But back to quilting... :)

The best part about the postage stamp quilt is it now has an intended owner!  I started it because I wanted to participate in Rachel's quilt-along and really had no idea who it was for.  Halfway through the top, I thought about splitting it into lap and crib quilts, but now the plan has changed.  As it turns out, my mom came over last week and was updating me on my grandma, who has been struggling lately.  They just got her a hospital bed for her apartment and were looking for sheets/blankets, etc.  *ding ding ding*  I ran downstairs, grabbed the quilt top and said, "What about this?!?!".   It's uncanny how much the quilt is just "her".  Perfect.


So, I added two more rows to the lap make it 50 x 80 (the bed is a long-twin) and my  friend Claire saved the day and let me borrow some batting since there was not any on sale around here.  I got it basted (500+ pins!!) and started quilting on Thursday.

I'm echoing the seams on either side in white...I tried to take a picture today, but my battery was dead.  I knew I wanted to have horizontal/vertical lines and I saw this photo on the Red Pepper Quilts blog and decided that it was exactly the look I wanted.  I think it will be beautiful.



the view from here

In October, my office moved from a small three-story building to a high rise.  Well, into a "high rise" by North Carolina standards, at least.  I went from a second-floor dreary, dark cubicle (*gag*) to a wonderful, window office on the 21st floor, facing west.  I'm not sure what I'm more excited about...the view or the fact that I now have floor-to-ceiling walls!  (Ah, the little things....).

My office is actually higher than the neighboring building (haha!) and I there is a pair of hawks that will often play in the air currents between the two buildings.  You can also see the Appalachian Mountains in horizon, though they aren't showing up quite as well as I had hoped.  Thanks to a couple of late-afternoon conference calls, I've actually seen some amazing sunsets.  No pics of them, though...sorry.


Since moving in, I often find myself gazing at the window, watching the activity below.  I'm not in a bustling city, but there is still quite a bit going on.  I hear sirens several times a day and I'm, quite literally, right beside Interstate 40, so the crazy drivers traffic always gives me something fun to watch.  Below you can see our new baseball field right in the center.  Just to the upper right of it is the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center...oy, say that five times fast.  I actually work for them, but my department is off the main campus.


My favorite view however, is this one, just north of west...


Yup... I love it.  

For the non locals, this is Pilot Mountain.  If you are lucky enough to have grown up watching The Andy Griffith Show, you'll recognize the name "Mount Pilot".  This is it.  The fictional town of Mayberry was based on a real town called Mt. Airy, which is near Pilot Mountain.  My grandmother lives in King, a city near Mt. Airy, and when we would travel to see her my mom would always make a game out of who saw the mountain first.  I still hear the chant, "I see Pilot Mountain! I see Pilot Mountain!" ringing in my ear.

Right in front of the mountain is Wait Chapel, on the campus of Wake Forest University.  Wake is my alma mater and very dear to my heart.  Pair that with the childhood memories and you've got one awesome view.  I can gaze at it seemingly forever.  

Finally, just to give an idea of the height, I've got one last picture... the view down.  


Yeah.  I don't get too close to the window...and I certainly don't lean on it.  I wish there was a person down there for scale, but the trees kinda help.

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my daytime world!



glasses case

At my last visit to the eye doctor, I was hit square in the face with a harsh reality.

When she first mentioned them, I laughed and told her I was fine, and that I would at least like to turn 40 before I broke down and got the darn things. She agreed and had me read some small text with and without the magnification. My heart sank as the truth stared me right in the face - I could read better with them. *sigh*

While waiting for the glasses to come in, I went ahead and got some readers to wear when I have in my contacts. The eyeglass cases were averaging about $20 - which is about what I paid for the readers themselves! The cheapie in me said, "I can do that and make it exactly how I want it." 

I got home and searched for some tutorials, but never really found one I loved, so I made note of some tips from a couple of blogs and then did my own thing.  Here's the result...


This fabric was one of those so-beautiful-I-have-no-clue-how-I'll-use-it-but-I'm-gonna-buy-it fabrics.  I found it at a local quilt shop when I was searching for the backing on my girly-girl quilt.  I thought it would be too much for an entire back, but I just had to have it.  I think I bought a whole yard...which is a lot for this fat-quarter girl.  

The inside, which you can't really see, is a scrap of the fabric leftover from the quilt I made my mom.  Her quilt was a ribbon star on the front with a super-soft hydrangea fabric on the back.  It almost has the feel of velvet, but it's not velvet.  Brushed cotton, maybe?  Either way, it was perfect for not scratching my glasses and I always think of her when I see it.


The quilting is simple straight-lines, a little more than a quarter-inch apart.  I used the ever so exact method of making the lines as far apart as the width of my walking foot...LOL.  White cotton thread, maximum stitch length, which is about 4.5 on my machine.  (I admit - I have no clue 4.5 of what, but I'm guessing millimeters.)

So, in summary, no real money spent - everything was from my stash, even the batting - and I have a one-of-a-kind glasses case.  Take that, Walgreens...LOL!  :)


table runner

I've mentioned several times that I am working on a table runner. I have one completed (see my Finished Projects) and wanted to finish this one as it has more of a winter feel. It is actually the January kit from last year's Table Runner of the Month Club over at FQS. 

We finally had a sunny day today, so I took it outside to snap some pictures.

Check out the blue sky in the background...whoo-whee! :)

As you can see, I've started quilting it. Truth be told, I need the pins so I can baste Trenton's quilt. Yes, it would be easier to just go buy more pins, and I may eventually, but keeping my number of pins low helps me to finish projects. Or, finished pinned projects at least.

Here is a close up.


You can see where I have quilted some and then taken my stitches out in a few places.  I started with a diagonal along the red/white nine patches, but then I realized that it was taking away from the hex-shaped area around the snowball, which I wanted to highlight.  So, I've slowly been taking out the diagonal line - a bit at a time so I don't have to repin - so I can get the stitches the way I want them.  

Eventually, there will be a double line in each shape, with the lines being about half an inch apart.  Then the white borders will be done with vertical/horizontal lines.  Binding is with the red fabric.   

It's gonna be pretty, for sure... and maybe even finished by next January... LOL!


planning and piecing

Can you guess what this is?

This is the "pattern" I made for Trenton's quilt back.  I'm showing it to you so you can see how easy...although somewhat tedious...planning a quilt can be. Can you see all the eraser marks??  LOL!  You certainly have to be willing to make mistakes when doing this. 

I've started seeing more and more pieced backs lately, and I really like them.  To me, they tend to tie in elements of the front quilt and, in a way, make them reversible.  It is a little more difficult - let's face it, I could have had the back pieces and the darn thing mostly basted in the time it took for me to make this layout - but I think it is worth it.  Given that the back often winds up being visible when it's used, I like the idea of it not being a single fabric.

For this, I plan on using my scraps that were leftover from the rectangles on the front and maybe even mixing in a few of the fabrics from the original bundle that I didn't use.  The one long rectangle in the middle will be chocolate brown, which is also what I'm doing with the binding.  The large areas will be the guitar fabric.   :)

Getting down to the business of cutting now.  I'm not really sure how long this will take me to piece.  I already have the colored squares, as I cut 2-1/2 inch squares out of my scraps as I go.  I am planning on a scrap quilt one day, so I'm cutting ahead of time.  Hopefully I'll have it pieced either today or tomorrow.  As happy as I am that it's getting warmer, I would like to have this done before Spring arrives.



The past few days have been very busy, so I haven't been doing much in my sewing room. I started quilting my January table runner (no pics, yet), but didn't like it, so proceeded to take it out.  I do have an idea, though, of what I want so it just a matter of getting down there.

I've been working on an idea for Trenton's guitar quilt.  Matt made the fabulous suggestion to somehow work in music symbols and, working off of his idea I contacted a friend who also suggested guitar chords.  I've since found stencils of a treble clef, bass clef, guitar, eighth note and sixteenth notes.  I think I will chalk around these and put them in the rectangles.  The guitar chords aren't really stencil-able (is that a word?).  I'll be free-handing them, but they are mostly straight lines anyway, so it shouldn't be too bad.  I'm actually starting to get pretty excited about it.

As a general rule, the quilting process is very difficult for me. In fact, it's usually where I get tripped up the most. I don't know if it is my perfectionist tendencies or what, but so many of my projects sit forever - quilt top finished, ready to baste - and nothing happens. I love piecing, and find it difficult to let a project go during that stage. Quilting, though...the thought alone makes me lock up.

I see so many beautiful designs out there, but I don't have the guts to try them.  I even have access to a long-arm machine (a friend rents it to me), but even that doesn't help.  I just don't have confidence in that area yet.  Maybe it will come with time.

For now, straight line quilting seems to be my answer.  I like how it looks in so many of the modern-style quilts I see online.  It's quick, too, and I can do it easily on my machine.

Maybe one day I'll branch out.


quilt top done!

Look what I finished tonight...

While I was finishing the borders, I thought about piecing the back, but I have no fabrics leftover (other than the solids) to do that with.  Looks like it will be guitars only on the back.  But that's still ok.

I need to buy more pins.  Don't have enough to baste.
Wouldn't be a problem if I could finished the two basted projects...LOL!

Maybe Trenton will have his new quilt by the weekend!



I'm starting to add things to my "Finished Projects" page, but as I do, I want to highlight each one.  They all have their own story, some short, some long.

Today, I start with the one closest to my heart.

*  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *  -  *

* Soarin' * 
(Paper Airplane Quilt)
For: Tanner, my oldest son
Finished: June 2010

This is by far one of my favorite quilts ever.
Not for the quilt itself, but who it is for.

Tanner has always been a paper airplane fanatic. We've often joked that no piece of paper is safe around him. From standard paper to little 3" x 3" post-it notes, he has made paper airplane out of almost everything. He's even been called on by friends wanting him to teach them how to make them. He's like a paper-airplane pro.

(I keep encouraging him to follow the path to real airplanes... aviation engineering, my boy!)

This quilt started out as a homemade pattern using a basic T-block and a flying geese block. I picked out fabric for the front out of various vintage airplane fabrics, with a red solid, and started cutting a gazillion little triangles. (oh, the humanity!)

Like most normal (**cough**) people, I soon began to hate triangles and, whatdayaknow, I couldn't get the darn things to line up for a block. Not a smart choice for a new quilter.

So, I stopped.

Fast forward a year or two.

I finally came to terms with the fact that I never, ever, ever, ever, ever wanted to touch those tiny little triangles again. E-V-E-R. About the same time, though, I had taken and finished the quilt top for my girly-girl quilt.

So I sat down with Tanner and broke the news. The airplanes had to go. The back (paper airplanes) would now be the front. He could get his heart set on the vintage planes and probably be 40 before he got his quilt or he could let me change patterns, put the paper on the front and call it good.

We called it good. And I'm sooooo glad I did.

Within a few weeks, I had the blocks pieced and ready. Then, it was off to the long-arm (a friend of mine rents out her machine...*squeal*). I quilted the girly-girl one first as a practice run, then this one.

I wanted to do a loop-de-loop pattern on the front, resembling the way plane movements are drawn out in comics and stuff. Kim (the long-arm quilter) and I decided to use a variegated thread I had on the blue areas, but a clear thread on the paper airplanes. Oh, it turned out so good! We used the clear so we wouldn't detract from the planes themselves, and it rocked.

Tanner himself picked out the backing. A nice fabric of Air Force jets (even though we'd prefer him to be a Navy pilot). The Navy fabric had ships on it too, so it lost out on the deal. The back thread is solid navy blue (ha - there you go, Navy!) and clear, so the navy thread wouldn't pop up on the front where the planes were.

Binding, as with all my work, is machine stitched to the front and hand stitched on the back. I finished the binding while we were at the beach, after he would go to bed, and then gave it to him for his 10th birthday, our last day at the beach.

I had prepped myself for a not-so-big reaction, as he is quite the easy-going kid. When he looked up at me and asked if we could put it on his bed that night, our last night in the house, I melted, and knew he loved it.

Still makes me smile. 



My name is Angie, and I have a problem.


It's impossible.

During my visit yesterday, Ashley and I headed out to Thimble Pleasures and I knew I wouldn't get out of there for free. Sure enough, the first thing I spot is a Central Park jelly roll. 


It's like they knew I was coming.
(Ash - did you call them ahead of time?)

To justify my purchase, I bought an additional 4 yards of Kona Solids (in white) and the backing and binding for Sierra's quilt.  Yet another quilt I haven't started yet.

And what of the jelly roll??
Well - I am planning on Rachel Griffith's new pattern, Flipside.

I think this makes Rachel guilty of enabling my habit. 
Just sayin'.

In fact, I had successfully avoided purchasing Central Park for nearly a month until she released her pattern.

I mean, seriously...have you seen her photos?

Totally her fault.

(Bless her heart...)

The colors are just screaming at me, and the white makes the quilt just pop.  But, alas, I can't start right away. Once again, I didn't check first - I need two jelly rolls.  I only bought one.

Darn - more shopping.

So, it's off to Fat Quarter Shop or Above All Fabric to order the rest of my supplies.
I think FQS is out of the Central Park JRs right now...not that I stalk them or anything...

Now, what did I do with that Visa check-card??

[ photos copyright Rachel Griffith, used with permission - thanks, Rachel! ]
[ And yes, it is your fault. :) ] 



Last night was not good.
Last night was bad.
Real bad.

I had to rip out seams.


A little over an hour into assembling Trenton's quilt top, a thought occured to me.
"I should check the pattern."
Oh, if that had only had that thought a little earlier...

Turns out I had sewn together 5 strips without the background fabric in between.


Not happy.

So, in my frustration, I tossed it aside to cool off.

I did work a bit on my Christmas Tree Skirt, but only a little.

Then I headed upstairs with hubby, turned on Big Bang Theory, and proceeded to rip.
And rip.
And rip.

Oh, it makes me sad just thinking about it. :(


But - I can't put it together wrong.  I just can't.

Lesson learned - check the pattern.
Every. Single. Time.


Have you seen my UFO page??

All my unfinished work, posted there in shameless glory.
Consider it accountability, if you will.  I'm hoping it will help.
Next up - a page for my finished quilts.




Since finishing the quilt top on Monday, I've not been able to get downstairs and sew any more. I know, I know...that was only three days ago, but for me it seems like an eternity.
The decision, though, is what to work on next. My unfinished projects are stacking up.

I think I'll spend a little time on the smaller quilt that I'm making with my leftover postage-stamp blocks. I have a wonderfully sweet little girl in my life who is about to turn one. What a cute birthday gift it will make. :)

The problem with finishing is finding my backing fabric. Since the jelly roll ("Sunshine" by Moda) is a couple of years old, finding a fabric in that line may be next to impossible. All I can seem to find online are fat quarters.  Because of that, I'm toying with solid white and a few of the leftover blocks on the back of the bigger quilt.  That's easy enough since it is intended for an adult.  But a mostly-white quilt back for a toddler....ummmm...No.
I think I may try to find a coordinating fabric - maybe with some hot pink flowers or something - to put on the back.  Something fun, but not too baby-ish.  I want her to be able to use this for several years. 

Then, of course, there is Trenton's quilt. It's hanging in strips waiting to be attached. 


Truth be told, it will be quick to finish at this point. Maybe in a week or so, if I would get down to it. He let me know last night that it would have been a good night for him to have his quilt - as he sat up on the couch with a fever. Poor kid...what a slack Mamma he has!

I'm working on a couple of pages to attach to this blog - one on unfinished projects and one on finished projects (guess which will have more...LOL!).
I'm even thinking on creating a tutorial to share. That will be fun. :)

We have a race this weekend - the Krispy Kreme Challenge - in Raleigh, NC. We're running it with our friends Donnie and Ashley. Matt and Donnie are in the challenger part, where they have to down a dozen KKDs in the middle of the race. Ash and I are in the more sane group - eat a doughnut if you want, but it's not required. (We do get a box of KKDs, though, which I promise will be eaten later!).

All that to say, not much quilting planned over the weekend. Maybe I can get down there for a bit tonight. Which leads me back to the original topic... next?!




It's done!!!

Arranging the blocks...

A few more stitches....and.... DONE!!  Just in time, too.  The deadline for the drawing is today!  Eeek!

Finished size of the quilt top (not backed or bound, yet) is about 72 x 60. Not bad. I even have enough to make a crib-size quilt, too...and I know just who is getting it!  :)

Now, cross your fingers with me.  $100 of Moda fabric sure would be nice.

**I hope I win* *I hope I win* *I hope I win**