Sunday, January 31, 2010

Retail Therapy is Good For You and Good for the Economy, Too!

I've done the math. A visit to the shrink costs about $150 for an hour. You see a shrink about once a week. More if you are really bad off. That's about $600 a month. If you are lucky enough to have good insurance, they might cover about %40. So that leaves $360 out of your pocket.

How do you feel after visiting the shrink? Sometimes better, sometimes worse.

If I go to the fabric shop I always feel better even if I don't buy anything.

I get a break from my problems and when I am on my way home, I find new solutions to my issues and feel good.

If I manage to find something I like, I think about all the things I will make from that fabric. The inspiration makes me feel good and I'm not thinking about my problems. Problems will always be there. Getting a respite from them is important. Getting some distance from them, helps resolve them or find new approaches to deal with them.

Quilting is very good therapy and much cheaper than a shrink. Plus you meet nice people, visit new and exciting places looking for fabrics and in the end you get to have nice quilts.

ttfn :) Yuki

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fabric shopping addiction

I don't know what it is about buying fabric that makes me want to buy even more! Yesterday, I was debating whether or not to buy a collection of FQ's from (and did order it--we'll see if they arrive, since won't know if they still have it available when they fulfill the order). Then, today, I had to drive my sister over to Bellevue, so I stopped at Quiltworks Northwest, which I haven't visited in months. I was very restrained, in that I only bought orange fabrics, and one other to complete a set for Jill H's retirement gift. I forgot to take Jenny's green floral UFO to look for a darker green for border and/or binding! I am worried that I am spending "too much" on fabric in Jan/Feb, since it is likely that I'll do some fabric shopping in Maui. On our vacation, I plan to work on the orange "T" blocks, and to make Frank's vest.

Do I need to reduce my fabric shopping? I was just going through my fabrics to put together the gift for Jill H (they are all Asian prints, and will include a pattern) and I thought == why do I have so much fabric and where did all these cat prints come from? (the cat prints are in the same box as the Asian prints). at this point, some of you are saying, no, you must not have that much fabric if the cat prints and the Asian prints fit into one box.

From grey and gloomy Seattle. Hope everyone in Wash DC is surviving the snow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wool felt class project

This is my Swedish woven heart project from the class I took with Kim F. last Sunday. The heart actually would hold a Hershey's kiss although I'm more inclined to Lindor truffles. The acrylic felt has a finish which made the project heard to photograph. The class was so much fun that I now have a portable project for my Mazatlán trip - of course, that means my needlepoint projects will languish for the next little bit!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

next three UFOs for Jenny

Well, I'm finally getting around to putting the next three UFOs up.

4. This one comes out of a book I picked up in Morton, WA, while on travel. Unfortunately I wasn't impressed with the book's quality of editing or binding but this project has been fun. I have eight of the twelve planned stars completed and a couple more underway.

5. Another one inspired by Kaffe Fassett - this is one of four floral quilts I started in April 2008 based on his designs. I cut out the pieces for all four projects at one time to speed up the process. The whole thing started when I realized how many florals I had that I'd never even cut. The other three quilts are complete but this one's about half done.

6. This one started with the large panel (which I think was a fat quarter from Yuki). I couldn't stand the thought of cutting it up so when I saw a couple of Kaffe Fassett quilt projects built around a large center square or rectangle, I decided to use it that way. The borders are a mix of florals and various solid greens. I think I need at least three more borders to make it a decent size (lap quilt probably).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Previous Valentine Projects

These are some Valentines projects I have made in previous years. I have to get these posted, since the class that Jenny and I took this Saturday (wool felt applique) has inspired many more new projects! I will post some of those results later.

Marlon thinks this mantle cover was made just for him!

This is a little stuffed heart made of chenille - I actually bought new chenille at the fabric store. Stitch and Bitch members were amazed!

This little pillow was made from pillow ticking.

I did not make many of these - the lace was a pain to get on correctly.

I just glued little felt hearts onto ribbon for this garland. I try to have a garland like this for each holiday - they drive Nathan crazy since they hit him in the head each time he walks through the door. This make it all worthwhile :)

The are little painted wooden hearts - perfect for my stick! They are so much fun to paint because there is no wrong way to do it - pink, white, and red paint, glitter, beads, etc. Lots of fun.

Now to get back to my wool felt applique - also lots of fun!
Kim F

Jan 2010 stitch & bitch

Clara looking remarkably well, after a stressful two weeks after her house fire.

Lori with her leg in a boot, and un-sewing quilting in her table runner.

Yuki with Jenny's new cat, Bosco.

Thank you to Jenny for hosting. Glad that I could come, even if I didn't do any stitching. Did I do any bitching?

Jenny's floral UFO

The top is all together now. I am trying to decide whether to put a small border (green print) to stabilize the bias edge. there isn't enough of the green print to do both a small border AND binding, but the binding could be a contrasting fabric.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

first three UFOs for Jenny

I plan to put 15 on the list eventually but rather than depress myself too much, I'll just add three today. To cut down on the possible entries (since there are many more than I really want to admit having underway), I'm not including any project that only requires the final borders or uses the waste scraps from other projects - such as crumbs or strings; or the various threadsaver blocks that I make to have something to make a quilt in a hurry.

1. Amish Hopscotch - started this in April 2009 along with several other Amish-style tops. The block comes from the EQ5 block library. I hope to use it as a wedding gift so it needs to be completed by July 2010. I have 17 out of 49 blocks completed.

2. Amish Crosses - begun at the same time as UFO#1 and uses the same size pieces (how's that for thinking?!?) The block is a modification of the quilt on the cover of Karin Renaud's Quilts from the Heart - it's a great block. This is the third quilt I've made using a variation of the block. I think I'm about halfway through this one.

3. This one comes from Evelyn Sloppy's Strips and Strings although I adjusted the size to use pieces I had left over from other projects. I'm about 75% complete with the top - it's the 9-patches that I'm lacking. If anyone has a suggestion for a name, let me know.

Fourteen UFOs and I stopped counting!

It did not seem possible to finish more than 14 this year - so I just quit looking. The following are my UFOs -

1) Sky Scrapper Quilt - designed off of a ABC ad in the New York Times and hanging on my design wall. The top is pretty far along

2) Crazy Quilt wall hanging - intended for the upstairs landing in our house. I have been working on this one for years! I think I just need one or two more squares then I can assemble the top.

3) Penny quilts - I have two that were going to be Christmas presents, I have to finish those first. Then I want to do one for our house - that one may be next year!

4) Fancy log cabin quilt - this one is from a class that Jenny and I took at the Smithsonian. I am using the little bits of embroidery that I buy at estate sales for the center and then solid purple and yellow around the edges. I did not have a specific project or recipient in mind when i started, but a couple days ago I realized it would be perfect for a friend who lost her mother last fall. So I am making it a lap quilt size. More on this in the next post.

5) Pinwheel quilt - this one is with string triangles and lots of solid colors for the pin wheels. I was going strong on it, until I realized I was doing it backwards so the pinwheels did not work! That brought everything to a halt. I just need to get back to it.

6) Wacky Square quilt - based on a design I saw in the "Quilt National" book. Blues, purples, and oranges with something unique in the middle. I haven't decided what the "unique" thing will be!

7) Blue Jean Circle quilt - I am actually pretty far along on this one. Lots of blue jeans from Jennie and my family have given their lives for this quilt! If any one has blue jeans they don't want I have a use for them!

8) Men's ties project - Several years ago a neighbor gave me two boxes of men's ties. I have sorted the really ugly one out, taken them apart, washed and ironed them. Now I just need to figure out what to do with them. I was thinking shoulder bags or maybe a funky quilts. For now they are in a basket on my shelf.

9) Flying Geese Quilt - based on a piece of Indian pottery I saw. This is all tiny black and white triangles - what was I thinking? It should look great when it is finished, but yikes!

10) Stairwell quilt - Everyone in Stitch and Bitch is sick of hearing about this one! The idea is to make a long narrow quilt to hang in my stair well that looks like the ocean underwater. Lighter blues at the top, grading to dark blues and purples at the bottom, with coral, jelly fish etc. appliqued on the top. I have lots of fabric for this one, but haven't made one cut yet. Mainly because I have no idea how to do this.

11) 3 - 6 - 9 Quilt - I think this is actually like the turning twenty quilts, but it is based on a quilt I saw in Indiana before I knew about the turning twenty idea. I have cut lots of pieces that are all in multiples of 3. The fabric is all satins, velvets, etc. It will be a bitch to sew but I think it will look great.

12) 1930's quilt - I have been collecting 30"s fabric scraps from antique stores and estate sales and have bought new "30s" fabric. I have no idea what pattern I will use, but I love the design and colors in the fabric.

There are also three completed quilt tops and backs that need to be pinned and sent off for quilting. I am not going to count those because pinning doesn't seem like real quilting, however, I would love to get those out this year also.

So now I should get back to work on number 4!

Kim F

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Raffle quilt for Phinney Neigh Center, Dec 2009

This is the quilt in a nearly complete stage that my quilt group in Ballard, "Stashbusters", made for the Phinney Neighborhood Center. The raffle was held at the annual Winterfest in December. The money is used to benefit the PNC. I can't remember how much was raised. I made the friendship star blocks (there are cats and dogs in the centers of the stars).

Since I rarely get to "stitch and bitch" with you, the Stashbusters is my regular quilting group.

October 2009 Houston, TX

here are some photos from the International Quilt show with Jenny, Martha, Marge, and Catherine (friend of Michelle's). We stayed in Sugarland, at Aunt Em's lovely house and drove into downtown Houston (all day parking was $5) on Friday and Saturday. We stayed each day from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

I am currently working on one of Jenny's UFO's (floral with light green, diagonally set), but didn't take a photo of it!

UFO's Unfinished Objects

Do you have UFO's ?

Our quilty group is called Stitch and Bitch.

We have been getting together to sew since 1990. We call our group Stitch and Bitch. Some of our members have been with us since the very beginning. Some have moved away, gotten married and had children or otherwise went on to lead normal lives.

We have all kinds of jobs and all kinds of interests but we all like to sew. Quilting is a very creative outlet quite different from our normal day to day work activities.

We try to get together once a month to sew and bitch. Sometimes, you just gotta vent. We talk about everything. This blog is for our members to write about anything.

Ok, back to UFO's. We are trying to complete UFO's this year. So, I started taking photos of mine. I could find 20, which means I know I have others that I just could not find. oh well

This is one of my oldest UFO's. It's a 12 Days of Christmas, BOM. I wanted to learn to do applique but the blocks were so small about 8 inches. I enlarged and "adjusted" the pattern so the blocks are about 15 inches. I like the bigger squares better.

This one is not so old. It's another BOM. I just finished block 6 at S&B. 6 more to go. Yippee!

This is the beginning of a pair of pillow covers.

These star blocks are from an Alex Anderson class back in 1998.

The beige blocks are also from an Alex Anderson class.

These square in a square blocks are from a template that I bought at a show. I just had to test it on something and got carried away.

This is yet another BOM. Don' know why I love those BOM's.

I have lots more to show but will leave space for someone else to post.

ttfn :) Yuki