Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bag lady

I seem to be on a bag kick. You'll recall the red and brown Sweet Treat Bag I made a couple of months ago.

And the grocery bags I made at quilt camp.

Well, I also made these that I haven't shown you yet.

Those are the standard size Two Hour Tulip bags (see, there's that fabric I told you would be back on the blog soon). Here's an inside view of each of them:

I managed to assemble both of them in about two and half hours, but it took about twice that long to cut out all the pieces and fuse everything. There's fusible fleece on the wrong side of the outer fabric and fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the lining fabric. But they're so darned cute!

So I might have cut out and fused pieces for a couple (or four) more:

And in an effort to cull the fabric stash, I just might have cut out another eight or so grocery bags.

Yes, there are a dozen of them there. The four along the bottom are the ones I cut out before quilt camp but never put together. Not pictured is one I cut out after the picture was taken, from some fabric I got from a lady at my once-a-month quilt night.

In kitty news, Max had two more teeth pulled a week ago Friday. Poor little guy doesn't have many left. Doesn't keep him from eating, though.

"Why has Mama been calling me 'Gummy'?"

Princess Emma had a busy day today. First she "helped" me make the bed:

I thought throwing the sheet on her would make her move. Not so much.

Then she got busted cuddling with those "stupid, stinky kittens."

"This isn't what it looks like, Mama!"

One last odd thing. I went out to dinner a while ago on my way to knit night. As I was leaving, I asked for some more iced tea in a to-go cup so I'd have something to drink while I was knitting. They gave me this:


Monday, June 14, 2010

The Ugly

I know some of you have been anxiously awaiting an update to this blog. All I can say is - be careful what you wish for. You have been warned. :-)

Flashback: July 2001. A group of my college friends (aka The Lunch Bunch) went on vacation together in New England.

Lunch Bunch + The Next Generation, Cambridge, MA, July 4 2001

Wow, look how little the kids were! The oldest of them only has one year of high school left now. I feel really old.....

Anyway, while we were "in the neighborhood", the four quilters of the bunch went to the Keepsake Quilting tent sale....

Ann, Sarah, Julie and me (I was younger and thinner then)

...where we spent too much money on grab bags of discounted fabric. We each went through our grab bags, pulled out the fabrics we liked and put the rest in a pile. I think we each picked through the pile and grabbed things we liked. This left a pile of fabrics that no one really wanted and didn't go together. At All. Someone came up with the brilliant idea of cutting up the fabric into 6-1/2" squares and dividing them up between the four of us. The challenge was to make quilts out of them, to be used as picnic/outdoor quilts. We wouldn't mind throwing them on the ground, because they'd already be ugly, see?

We were allowed to add fabric from our stashes and maybe buy one piece of new fabric as a neutral. I was happy to share some of my ugly stash fabrics with my friends - you know, the "what was I thinking??" and "free fat quarter w/purchase" fabrics that shops throw in because no one wants to spend money on them.

I think Sarah finished hers first. She made a bunch of half-square triangles and tied it with some pre-quilted fabric as the batting/backing. Julie was next. She made braids and put strips of some fabric that she inherited from her DH's grandma (I think) in between them and tied hers, too. That quilt is better-traveled than I am, since Julie and family like to take long, cross-country vacations. Last I heard, Ann's was partially quilted, but I can't remember what pattern she used - something with stars, I think. Maybe she'll comment with the answer.

Here is mine (I warned you):

Behold, The Ugly!

I used the Autumn Stretched Star pattern from Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth and Charlene Thode. You cut squares 1/2 the size of your main squares and sew them on the diagonal in opposite corners. I hated to waste the bonus half-square triangle units, so I made pinwheels out of them for the border.

I must say that not all the fabrics in this quilt are ugly. In fact, this is one my favorite fabrics, which you've seen in this posting from last year, and will see again soon.

These, on the other hand:

I think these are both from Julie's inherited stash. The one on the left, for sure.

I bought this one thinking it would make a good Stack & Whack quilt. I was wrong.

When I was done cutting up 6-1/2" squares, I was left with a pretty big pile of scraps that I hated to throw away. I'm sure you can guess where this is going. I pieced them all together for the back.

And you thought the *front* was ugly!

A few highlights of the back. Three leftover blocks from a guild community service project:

Julie's DH said these were ugly when I made the kits for them.

The "Elvis-in-a-blender" block. Sarah was going to make a Stack & Whack quilt out of this fabric for her mother-in-law, but couldn't stomach it. She ended up putting one block on a sweatshirt and shared a block's worth of pieces with the rest of us. Thanks, Sarah! ;-)

The pink border adds something, no? No.

Again, on the back there are the rare nice fabrics. This is a scrap of fabric that we also got on that trip. It went into the quilt for Mikey, which is seen in this post. There are bits of the dark green and cream fabrics from that quilt on the front, too.

See? Very nice.

There's an outdoor concert Wednesday night, and if some of my knitting friends decide to go to it, the quilt might get it's first official use then.

Of course, Emma says she used it first when she helped me put the binding on.

"I'm making sure it doesn't get away, Mama!"

She's such a helpful girl.