Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bird/Squirrel Feeding

Thanks to some precocious squirrels, I had set up a new bird feeding center. I moved my shepherd's hook that holds my thistle and hummingbird feeders to this new location. I plan to clean the bed up some and plant Purple Coneflower in the area behind it to help attract the goldfinches ~ and because I like them.

I had to set up the new location, because the squirrels would jump up from the hedge that was right next to the feeder in it's old location, and they ate right through the side of it (and this is not the first time this has happened).

In what is probably a feeble attempt to thwart them, I've added a squirrel baffle that I didn't have up before, and as long as my hook is not within jumping range of the fence, I hope to get more than a month out of this thistle feeder.

We feed a variety of other birds on this feeder (this is the area where I used to have the shepherds hook feeders as well). I love birds in the garden, and even the squirrels ~ although we'd get along much better if they'd just snack on the seed and not eat the feeders :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Little Gardening in the Sewing Room

I'm taking a little break from Christmas in July and getting back to summer time things. This is a sneak peek at a little baby quilt that I'm designing called "Daisy Bug".

This one is a mock up made with fabrics from my stash. I plan on making a couple more versions, and since the pattern is Jelly Roll friendly I have picked a couple of Jelly Rolls to try it out in too. That will give it a more scrappy look.

The borders aren't a mistake, they are wavy on purpose :) I used the Wavy Edge ruler to give them a soft curve. I can't wait to quilt this up and give it a washing to make it all soft and cuddly!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Sunday, June 28, 2009

From Tops to Quilts

The String tops from our Mountain Baby Blankets Sew In are all quilts now! Char Werner brought them back into the shop yesterday afternoon after she did this lovely quilting job on them, and she even did the binding!

She used a great variegated thread to do a meandering all over.

The binding and backings that she chose are wonderful!

The colors that the ladies chose for the "strings" in these blocks just pop!

There are so many different prints, they are kind of like "Eye Spy" quilts ~ Very fun for kids!

Our box is getting full ~ we'll be ready to ship off box #2 to the Christian Appalachian Project very soon thanks to Char and the other ladies who helped to make these quilts :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gingerbread in June?

Yesterday was quite possibly the hottest day of the year so far here (or at least up there near the hottest) and I was making Gingerbread Men. I made the top for this cute table runner from Pat Sloan's pattern called Gran's Gingerbread. It's a pretty good sized table runner measuring 20 x 42".

I embellished the little guys with buttons, but the smallest buttons I had were just too big for their eyes...so I'm deciding if I need to embroider little eyes, or just leave them as is. Suggestions are welcome :)

We're getting ready for our Christmas in July event at the shop coming up on July 10 - 12th, so we've all been working like little elves on some Christmas projects and cutting kits for them.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Time for the Jo Morton Club

Last night we finished up our Jo Morton Little Womens Club Session 8 with a little show and tell of our Patriotic Minis. Little show and tell is the operative term ~ with several of our members traveling and other summer things going on, we only had three ladies make the meeting. But we had some good visiting anyway ~ and of course shopping :) Above is Val Sanford's Patriotic Mini quilt top. She found a cute fabric that she added in with the Jo Mortons' that worked really well with this project.

This is Phyllis Miller's all quilted up. She intends to add some more quilting in the borders to have it more to her liking. My little Patriotic Mini is hanging on the design wall behind her. It's just like Phyllis' ~ only not quilted yet ('not quilt yet' seems to be a trend with me).

Karen Gladfelter didn't get in last month, so she just got her pattern for the Patriotic Mini last night, but she had this great summer bag that she made, and I just had to take a picture of it. The pattern is called The X Bag, and I just love the fabrics that she used, so fresh for the summer!

We're taking a little summer break and will resume Jo Morton Meetings in September. Keep an eye on the shop website for information on upcoming activities.

Now that I'm in a Patriotic mood, I've put the Patriotic/Americana items in my ebay store on sale through July 10th! Check them out soon, they are selling fast!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quilts to See and Some New Fabrics In the Shop

Yesterday we had our Sloanies club, and while we don't have anything new to show because we are still toiling away on our Walk in the Moonlight and Slice of Summer Quilts, Ruth Green brought in two other machine appliqued quilts for us to see. The one above is from Country Lore Designs called "A Slice of Summer". I have this quilt top made too, but I don't have it quilted yet. I love to see how Ruth quilts her backgrounds with the wavy grid work.

Ruth also did this quilt from Nancy Halverson's book called Calendar Quilts and Stitcheries. It's a really cute little quilt that can be done like a block of the month and she has embellished it with the button set that can be purchased through Just Another Button Company.

I love quilts that combine applique and stitchery. Thanks for sharing them Ruth!

Then in the afternoon, I opened some boxes of fabric for the shop and it was like Christmas! For you Jo Morton fans, we now have Harmonies in the house!

...And also from Andover is Stone Cottage designed by Renee Nanneman of Need'l Love.

I'll be loading all of these new fabrics on the shop website today. I can't wait to cut into some of these bolts, I definitely see a handbag somewhere in here :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday ~ Happy Birthday Mom! In honor of my mom, I thought I'd show and tell some of the quilts that she's made. I already showed you the pink Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt that she made years ago that I have, but if you missed that post, it's here. She has made a couple of Cathedral Window quilts over the years too ~ all by hand.

This quilt was done as a block of the month. Remarkably, Mom does most of her piecing by hand although she does have a sewing machine. She has a large quilt frame and does just about all of her quilting by hand too.

This is a little cuddle quilt that she made for Elsie when she was born.

This is a memory quilt she made for my brother after he graduated from nursing school. There are some pictures of him at his graduation in the quilt.

This is another block of the month that mom has made. I liked the colors in this one so much, she helped me put together a complete set of blocks, so I have this one in the wings to make. later.

My mom inspires me to always try new things. As I was growing up, she would see something in a book or magazine and decide to set out to make it in her spare time. I remember her doing beautiful paper quilling, tatting, crocheting, cross stitch and even woodworking ~ she was always busy with something. She carved a huge great seal of America that hung on our wall for years that I was in awe of. She built living room furniture in our house, and made me a Barbie doll house that was my favorite toy of all time. She laminated layers of cardboard together to create "wood" and furnished my doll house, complete with a fireplace. Along with her quilts, now she is also doing ceramics. After years of living in Maryland and raising her children, she moved back home to Kentucky to help her parents, went back to school, got her degree and became an Accountant. Then she wanted to try a life long dream of owning horses, so she bought some land, had a house built and had a horse farm! Just by doing, mom has taught me that if you want to do something ~ You Can. Just try it! Thanks Mom :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, June 22, 2009

A New Project & Another Blog to Read

Do I really need to start a new project? Well no, it's not a 'need', but I'm doing it anyway. Maria O'Haver is teaching a sweatshirt jacket at the shop and I've decided to take her class. I've never made a one, so I thought it'd be fun to learn the process.

These pictures are a sneak peek at the beginnings of my jacket. I had already bought the pattern after seeing one that a lady had made last year at Quilt Market. It's called "Dressed to the Nines" from Moonlight Designs. Maria's class is a great catalyst to get me to make it. I'm using all batiks (that were already in my stash except for the focus fabric that you see on the bottom), and I'm being pretty random with it. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Also, I found a new blog to read and she's holding a giveaway this week. Sheree's Alchemy is a very interesting read. She designs some great kids clothing (which even though I haven't made clothes for years, I've been picking up patterns here and there to make some pieces for Elsie ~ there's so much cute stuff out there now). Sheree also has a lot going on with getting a new studio and her upcoming first booth at Fall Quilt Market. Best Wishes & Good Luck Sherree!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Road Trip

Heather and I were coming down to Virginia this weekend to babysit Elsie, and we decided to make a road trip out of it and visit some quilt shops that we've never been to before on the way down. The first stop on our very rainy road trip started yesterday morning at The Artful Quilter in Burke Virginia. As soon as you walk in the door, you're greeted by this cozy sitting area. Their shop is very bright and inviting.

They had lots of very creative display space and packaged things in ways that just made them look "yummy". This shop was so Heather, and she bought some great Vicki Payne fabric for a bag she's going to make, and I got just the perfect variegated thread to quilt my Walk in the Moonlight quilt, along with various fat eighths and a magazine.
Then it was on to Historic Occoquan in the pouring down rain, but being the hearty souls that we are, and knowing that there was a quilt shop somewhere on Mill Street, we decided to brave the weather on foot.

And the reward was Epicurean Crafts. This shop was more my style with lots of country collectibles and gifts intermingled with the fabric. I got some great cuts here on sale, and found a wonderful hand dyed piece of wool just the right color for something I have in mind.

Eventually the rain subsided, and we got to watch some of the 3rd Annual Duck Race that was going on this weekend. Yes these are rubber ducks that are numbered, and apparently it's done for charity. We didn't hang around for the winner as the tide was moving very slowly and watching a rubber duck race was much like watching paint dry, but now I can say that I've seen one :)

This is Heather and I enjoying the little bit of sunshine that came out for us. We walked the entire town, it's very quaint and definitely worth a trip if you are in the area. The shops are full of character and there are inviting little nooks around every corner.

The town hall is in a building that was once a Methodist Church that has a real gas lantern out front, and we enjoyed this cute gazebo and garden that led down to the wharf.

After having lunch in a great little bakery in town, we headed off to Stafford and ended our road trip with this little ray of sunshine.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Ketchup" Day

This weekend Pat Sloan is having a "Ketchup Challenge" to take a project and bring it forward. I started today because Heather and I are taking a little road trip tomorrow to hit some quilt shops in Burke and Occoquan Virginia, and then to spend the night babysitting Elsie. So my "Ketchup Weekend" was a "Ketchup Day".

I started with my Walk in the Moonlight pieced background, and today I got all of the rest of the applique fused down.

I think I have about half of the blanket stitching done, so Monday will be a marathon blanket stitching day!

By the end of the day, this is what my "Ketchup Project" looked like :)

This pattern can be found in the book "Learn to Applique with Pat Sloan". Have a great "Ketchup Weekend"!

~ Dawn

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Perfect Day

What constitutes a perfect day in my book? Well first, yesterday I spent the day at work getting caught up marking things off of my "To Do" list ~ I make lists so that I can have the satisfaction of marking items off the list :) Then, after getting my list caught up, I got to sew! Above is a sneak peek at the little table topper that I made for the July Thimbleberries Club's extra project. Hopefully I can get it quilted up today.

...Then, from work I headed straight to my Baltimore Applique Society meeting. This was the last meeting of the year, and they held a "Bizarre Bazaar" where members brought in and sold quilt related items that they no longer wanted. This is the pile of loot that I left with. I got two great out of print books by Elly Sienkiewicz that I didn't have in my collection, a boxed set of Susan McKelvey's Baltimore's Country Cousins BOM, some ultra suade, and various cuts/fat quarters in great Baltimore Applique colors.

At the meeting, they drew the winner's name for the Mercier Raffle quilt that benifitted the Howard County Historical Society. The winner was a lady from New Jersey (I had made block A-3 in that quilt). They also reminded everyone to check out the Marie Webster auction quilts that are on the BAS website. They are up through July 10th I think, and then they will be going to the Quilter's Hall of Fame to end the auction with all proceeds to benifit the QHOF. Check them out, the work is wonderful, I've seen all these in person. We want to send them all up with at least a minimum bid on each. Some have already been sold for full price! (I didn't get to make a Marie Webster quilt as they were doing them when I was in the middle of my last magazine deadline, so I passed on taking one of these on.)

So that was my perfect day, catching up, sewing, shopping, and not cooking any dinner! What is your perfect day? Go ahead, dream a little, sometimes the stars just align and it happens :)

Enjoy your day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Works In Progress in the Garden

We have had rain/storms here just about every night for the last two weeks, so when we got a little reprieve on Sunday afternoon I had to get out into the garden to do a little grooming. These are the sunflower seeds that I planted on Mother's Day, they're really jumping up and the marigolds have filled right in. I can't wait until the Sunflowers bloom, they are going to look so happy!

...And we're starting to get bounty! Stuffed Peppers soon :) I have a couple of little tomatoes starting too.

I have to make a trip to the garden center for some more herbs to fill in the far center box, and as you can see we still have some of the brick walkway to finish (we were re-using our old brick and ran out). Just like my quilting, the gardening always has "works in progress". I think that's part of the fun.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Taking Time to Smell the Roses

I don't seem to do very well with roses in my garden. When my Tea Rose didn't "wake up" this Spring, I decided not to replace it yet again, but to go with a stand of Black Eyed Susans instead. I still love roses though, so learning to make Ruched Roses at my Baltimore Applique class this month was a real treat. The above pink rose is my first practice piece.

I made this red rose to go on a block in my quilt. They are kind of addicting, once you get to making these. I'll be in the practicing phase of making these flowers for a while, but I'll definitely still use my practices! I want to get ahold of some great silk ribbon to make some now!

This is the finished block, although it's not been rinsed and pressed yet. I had already done much of the work on the leaves before hand, so this month I was able to finish it really early. Now to go back and put all of the finishing touches to last month's block. It's almost there, and I should be able to get some handwork done later this weekend when I go to Virginia and stay overnight to babysit Elsie. Hopefully I will be able to catch up on my Baltimore Applique blocks soon and to get back to my Tisket a Tasket blocks that I'm behind on!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn