26 March 2012

Of birthdays, bags and blocks

Another birthday has come and gone.  I've reached an age where birthdays are quietly celebrated, and I value a relaxing day off from domestic duties more than anything else.  To that end, my husband, who knows me so well, arranged for a friend to watch the little guy all day, as well as shuttle the older kids home from school and to their various sports activities.

With no responsibilities to see to, my husband and I drove down to Monterey and whiled away the morning at an antique mall.  From there we went to Carmel for lunch and an afternoon wandering the quaint downtown area and footpath along the beach.  It's very rare that my husband and I have time to ourselves, so this was the perfect way to spend the day. 

Before we left on the birthday jaunt, I received a package from my FTLOS Swap partner.  As soon as I saw the point of origin on the envelope, I knew the contents held this gorgeous bag and mini wall-hanging I was hoping against hope were for me as soon as I saw them in the swap photo pool.

The bag is ideal for library books (with three kids we usually check out loads of books) or sewing projects, and the wall-hanging is the first handmade to grace my (tiny) sewing area.  Louise at lululollylegs got it just right.  She even (unknowingly) timed the package to arrive on my birthday!

The last week of the month brings the usual flurry of work on bee blocks and guild projects.  For this month's Piece Bee With You block, Jacqueline requested cat blocks.  I wanted to do something a little different, so I settled on the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.  He's meant to look like he's disappearing, leaving his grin and facial features.  My children think it's a little spooky- Martina described it as haunting.  Hope Jacqueline doesn't find it too creepy.

The rest of the week's tasks are settling on a project for the BAMQG Echo challenge, choosing a block for the 3x6 Mini Sampler bee, and some prep work for the guild's Q2 charity quilts.  I've fallen hopelessly behind on the A-Z Quilt-along, so I'll just do the letters for April and catch up later.

19 March 2012

Slow but steady

It was so nice to knock out a few projects and blocks last week.  As I've noted before, nothing like knowing I should be resting to get me in front of my machine!  Despite a slow-healing elbow, slight lingering headaches and back pain resulting from my fall, I was able to start (and even finish) a few things.

For the do. Good Stitches Love Circle block, March hostess Natalie chose improv chevrons in turquoise and robin’s egg blues paired with oranges, yellows, and greys.  Luckily, with these hues my stash overfloweth.  These blocks, as all other improv blocks I've done so far, came out looking very planned and more precisely cut and pieced than I would have wished.  But I still love the end result.  A great block design with a beautiful color palette.

Leona, one of the Aqua and Red queen bees for March (I'm the other), sent lovely aqua and red 4" charm squares and pointed us to this tutorial to make a Reverse Starburst block.  This was my first attempt at a wonky star, and I'm wondering why I haven't tried one before now.  It was great fun and I love the result. 

And, as blogged in the previous post,  FTLOS mini-quilt and potholder were finished and sent off to Camille of Hermit Goodness.  Check out her blog to see them in their new home.

Lastly, I've started the block for Piece Bee With You.  Jacqueline requested cat blocks for March, and after working in fits and starts, I've settled on a design and have started the cutting.  Here's a little peek at what I'm up to:

Lots of cutting left to do, so off I go!

11 March 2012

Tardis, anyone?

After resting most of the week due to minor injuries incurred from a slip on the stairs, I'm almost feeling myself again.  This couldn't have happened at a worse time- For the Love of Solids Swap ship deadline was imminent and neither my big item nor small item were finished.  The big item, a mini-quilt, needed quilting and binding, and the small item was still just an half-formed idea.  I sucked it up this weekend and got back to work on my swap items.

The small item is something my partner indicated she could use in one of the umpteen threads in the swap discussions.  I made a Tardis potholder because she is a huge Dr Who fan.

And here's the back-

I decided to quilt the front in a way that would highlight the pieced panels on the call box, which resulted in the Tardis in relief on the back.  Love it!

I'm pretty pleased with it considering how quickly it came together after deciding to make it late Friday evening.  I think more time was spent drafting the pattern than actually making the thing.  And then there was the burying of more knots than I cared to count.

The big item, a mini-quilt, is based on the first quilt design I ever put to paper.  The original was sketched out as a throw quilt in jewel tones, but I scaled it down to 24" x 24" and changed the color palette to fit my partner's chosen colors.   

Everything is ready to ship, just in time.  Really hoping my partner likes her package!