Friday, July 27, 2012

~ Friday Finish ~

I finally finished my Retreat Quilt 2 (I know, not much of a name, right?). I had mixed feelings while making this quilt. In the end, with lots of encouragement from my mom, sister, and quilty friends, I fell back in love with both the fabric and the actual quilt.  And let me say, I was REALLY loving it last night cuddled up on the couch watching Silence of the Lambs ;-)
The weather really interferred with my photo shoot...severe thunderstorms
all afternoon!!!

After the thunderstorms passed, I enlisted my granddaughter's help with the picture taking.

Bless her heart, she wasn't quite tall enough and her arms were not quite long enough, but we got it done!

I purchased the fabric, Flora Lane, at last year's retreat.

It took me a year to decide what to do with it. After much internal debating, I decided to make Elizabeth Hartman's Kitchen Window, really hoping to showcase the prints I fell in love with.

I quilted it using a meandering stitch, which went quickly after a thread color change. The first thread was a little too dark for my liking.

I pieced the back with left over yardage. I am really loving pieced backs...I don't know why it took so long for me to wise up ;-)

I pulled out the striped yardage from the collection for the it ;-)

I did get one outdoor shot before the rain hit...

Quilt Stats:

Size: 52 x 68
Fabric: Windows: Flora Lane by Laura Berringer
   Window panes: Kona Earth
           Background: Kona Raffia
Backing: Pieced with Flora Lane and Kona Earth
Pattern: Kitchen Window by Elizabeth Hartman

I am linking up to Sarah's Can I get a Whoop Whoop and Amy's Sew and Tell Friday.

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!!
~ Michelle ~

Thursday, July 19, 2012

~ Attitude Adjustment ~

Today is a new day, complete with a new, better attitude ;-)

Yes, I WILL sleep with every quilt I meet...even one that temporarily loses its appeal. Poor thing, what kind of mother does not like her own creation??? Shame on me ;-)

So, I've got my quilt back under the machine to finish quilting. Thanks to all for the wonderful and much needed pep talk and advice! I have changed to a lighter thread, and I feel sure that once completed I will remember why I fell in love with fabric.

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!
~ Michelle ~

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

~ Full Disclosure ~

I bought this shirt for my husband, not because he has a bad attitude, but because he loves to fish ;-)
I, however, went to bed last night, and woke up this morning, feeling pretty much like this fish!

I hate it when my attitude is less than positive!!

I've been working on my retreat quilt.
I.Hate.It :-(
I got it basted yesterday morning and started quilting it later that day.
A simple meandering stitch (not shown).

This quilt has really shaken my confidence!!
I love the fabric collection, love the pattern, but...

Just not feeling it.

I'm hoping that a change in thread color will help. I was using a brownish color which matches the backing fabric. But the stitches are showing up too much on the sashing and border fabric. So, maybe a lighter color will ease my pain some.

How do you determine the color of thread used for quilting?
What do you do when working on a quilt that you just don't like?
Any suggestions on quilting to make this quilt a little less unlovable?

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!!
~ Michelle ~

Friday, July 13, 2012

~ A Gift for My Sister ~

My sister, Rene', just celebrated a birthday...a very special birthday...a milestone birthday. But I won't mention any numbers ;-) I made her a wall quilt. It has become somewhat of a tradition that I make her a smallish quilty gift...easier to fit in her suitcase. This picture was taken somewhere between Montana and Washington.

The pattern, Fiesta Wall Quilt, is from the book Quilting Modern, by Jaquie Gering and Katie Pedersen.
The fabrics selected were:

Center block: Couture French Dress by Laura Berringer for Marcus Brothers Fabrics
Inner Border: Kona Teal Blue
Center Border: Kona Azure
Outer Border: Kona Aqua

I enjoy giving quilty gifts to my sister; however, the process of making the gifts is difficult for me. Rene' and I talk almost daily about mainly quilt related topics, and I rely heavily on her input while making quilts. I still need a little hand holding ;-)

With this project, I followed the pattern very carefully, and I used any and all suggestions provided in the book. For arranging the strips, I placed painters tape on my design wall as suggested.

I used their pairing method for sewing the strips together. Since I am directionally challenged, I numbered the columns using the blue painters tape, which helped keep me straight.

I kept the book open during the entire process, knowing how I often mix things up ;-)

I somehow muddled my way through with only a few vague calls/questions to Rene' and a couple of emails to my friend Doris. Once completed, my Frustration and I were beat ;-)

I gave the wall quilt to my sister at our Gruber's retreat. 

My first pieced back :-)

I am pleased to say that Rene' loved her birthday gift! Whew!!!!!

I am linking up to Sarah's Can I get a Whoop Whoop.

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!
~ Michelle ~

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

~ Retreat! ~

I've just returned from another awesome retreat at Gruber's. This retreat has become the highlight of my summer!! There is no way I can find the words to describe what retreating with this amazing group of ladies does for my quilty soul, but I know that I feel very blessed to be included, once again, with them all!

(front row) Cindy, Amanda Jean, Stephanie
(back row) Doris, me, Rene, Terri, and Mary.

I am, to be quite honest, exhausted (in a very good way), so I'd like to just share some pics of the eye candy I received and purchased this trip.

Here is a collection of "happies" I, fun, fun. I just LOVE happies ;-)

Aren't they awesome!!!

Although I quilted hard, I think I shopped even harder!! Gruber's is!!

Here is a "group picture" of my purchases:

What eye candy!! I think they deserve a little individual attention...

Yardage purchased on sale :)

Loved this last year...bought it this year ;-)

Another item from the sales section.

Isn't she pretty???

While retreating, I worked on, but did not finish, a quilt top. I am hoping to finish it up this week, but here is a preview.

On my wall...not the best picture.

I think once it is all finished and quilted it will look lovely.

I also gave my sister, Rene', a wall quilt for her birthday. As I was finishing the binding while traveling, I don't have a picture of the completed quilt. But, here is a sneak peek of the quilt while still in progress:

I have to admit (and you will rarely hear this from me) that this wall quilt looked pretty darn good! Hope to show it to you soon!! And for any of my fellow retreaters reading today's post...please feel free to forward any pictures...I did a lousy job of taking pictures ;-)

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!!

~ Michelle ~

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

~ Back and Forth ~

With two days left until I leave for my retreat, I am still struggling with what project to take with me. I decided months ago what fabric I wanted to use...Flora Lane by Laura Berringer, which I purchased at last year's retreat at Gruber's.

But what to do with it??? This past year I have looked at numerous patterns for lap size quilts, wall hangings, you name it...but could not find anything which I felt would really showcase the beautiful prints. At first, I thought I would make a quilt using a shoo fly pattern. I even ordered a coordinating solid to go with the prints. For whatever reason (I can't remember), I decided against this. Then, I thought I would do another Kitchen Window quilt like I made for my son.

I certainly wouldn't mind a do-over with this one!!

Again, for whatever reason which I now can't remember, I decided against this one as well.

Maybe another Hullabaloo quilt...

Yes...that's the one (I thought).

As I'm laying on the floor, literally, as my son is looking at me like I've lost my mind,
I pulled out the fabric and my Kona Color Card, needing to select one more coordinating solid.

Fortunately, Hobby Lobby (which is now my new best friend) had just what I needed...Kona Earth.

So as I'm pressing my fabric this morning in preparation of cutting, I decided, nope...not Hullabaloo.

I guess I better get to cutting before I change my mind again. Any guesses as to what I decided????

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!

~ Michelle ~