Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yipeeee skipee! Quilt Show here we come!!

I am soooooooo excited! Tomorrow my bee friend Linda and I are heading to Hampton for the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show! I've not been to this show since it moved from Williamsburg a few years ago. Everyone who has been to it in this new Hampton location has been pleased. I remember how crowded and narrow the aisles were in the various rooms in the Williamsburg location, so we are anxious to see all that gorgeous fabric in a place with some space to stand back and drool!
It seems like every year when this show is on, the weather between here and there is snow or ice, so we never want to get out in that! It's supposed to be 70 there tomorrow!! But, let's be serious for a we're going for the weather!!! NOT!! I've got a list of some fabrics to look for to complete some projects and hope to find some new patterns, as well. I also am always on the lookout for new gadgets and tools....good deals on thread and sterling silver quilt charms for my bracelet. What do you get the most excited about at quilt shows? Leave me a comment and let me know!! I always come back so inspired and ready to sew!!! See ya in a couple of days! God Bless! Polly :-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I love these big grommets!

I finished the second purse using those giant curtain rings and really like it! It is a perfect size for my junk and I like the ability to be able to change the way the handles behave. I used only fabrics from my stash and used a coupon at Joann's to get the grommets.

I love mixing black and white with multiple bright colors in a print for a purse. That way, it works for wearing jeans- which I live in daily as well as more chic clothing. I don't have the time or inclination to change purse very you??

I am soooo excited about going to the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show this weekend. There were three of us going originally but one of my dear bee friends is now ill, so she can't go...sigh. So the two of us will have to shop more to make up the difference!! :0) It's good for the economy, right?

Went to mass this morning at 6:30 and got ashes for Ash Wednesday. And because we eat no meat today, I'm trying out a new French bread recipe in the bread machine I found online to liven up our meal of linguine with vodka sauce and salad. Keeping my fingers crossed that it comes out good!! If it is, I'll share it next time! God Bless! Polly :0)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Skinny Beach Quilt Class

Today's skinny beach quilt class went well, I think. Everyone seemed to enjoy the class and most all either completed the wall hanging sans embellishment and binding or were real close! I consider that a success!
And if they didn't enjoy the sewing, at least they had home-made iced brownies, fresh coffee and soothing music! Working with wonderful batiks and tropical ocean colored fabrics in itself is quite therapeutic in the middle of a cold winter day!

The groups of ladies were so fun and so into their creations that it was a thrill to watch as they chose their layers of fabric to depict their personal versions of the ocean as the color changed from shallow at the sand to deepest blue at the horizon! Such fun and no right or wrong way! No quilt police allowed!! Sewing and quilting is my personal therapy and bliss, so I don't want anything including unbendable rules to interfere with students enjoying not only the process of quilting but the product, as well.

Now, I hope to get back to my crooked cabin quilt tomorrow after work. I am LOVING the way the blocks are turning out and especially the self-made fabric made by sewing strips of various widths of different fabrics together then cutting it into strips to piece into the quilt between blocks. So fun and absolutely gorgeous made with Westminster florals in rich jewel tones. YUMM! This is my center focus fabric for the blocks.

I've also got a new purse cut out for myself, again using the large grommets like the one I made last week...but I'm thinking it will be a better size for all the junk I carry around! Here's the pattern I'm making by Indigo Junction.

Then I've got to make a purse sample from the newest Quilts and More magazine- the cute on on the front. If it turns out well, I hope to teach it at the shop in the spring.

Well, that's it for now! Time to watch the red carpet part of the Oscars then what red blooded women would miss seeing the sexiest man in the world host the Oscars???? Hugh Jackman.... true eye candy! Woohoo! :0)

How can you NOT have a fun evening!?? Take care! God Bless! Polly

Friday, February 20, 2009


What a long week...soooooooo happy it's Friday! Sleepin' in tomorrow!! But do have lots of stuff to accomplish tomorrow. I teach a class Sunday afternoon at the quilt shop. The sample is hanging in the shop but tomorrow I need to make some partial samples to explain the process. And I want to work on my crooked cabin quilt, too. Here's the quilt I'm teaching on Sunday.

You use lace to create the foam from the surf and sew real shells on, too.

It's from a book called Skinny Quilts. It's a great book with lots of gorgeous projects in it!
My Westie is feeling better after his ACL surgery. One more week of no stairs and we can put the baby gates back in storage in the basement. Yippee!! He will need a drastic grooming in awhile... his whole right rear leg is 2 inches shorter than the rest!! Isn't he a cutie??? My third son now, as we are empty nesters....

Well, that's it for the moment! Have a great evening! God Bless! Polly :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Drawers Galore!

So, now you've seen my tiny stash and my sewing room in general. I was just wondering how many drawers I have in my sewing room... ummm ....well, there are 44 drawers in my sewing room. That sure does seem like allot, huh? I love the plastic drawer sets you buy so cheaply these days. I am an anal organization freak, so every machine accessory, ruler, tool, thread, hoop, embellishment, fastener, pin, needle scissor, cutter, button and marking pen has to have a place to live. The small 3 drawer tabletop sets are perfect for saving scraps that are cut into squares and strips for quick scrappy quilts.

I have two sets of bigger three drawer units stacked on top of one another and they are exactly the right size for pattern storage and also for embroidery supplies for my Bernina 640. and I have some baskets on the floor nearby for storing quilt kits, magazines and bundles.

I have two larger three drawer units that fit perfectly under the back side of my sewing table that I use for scrap and coordinated quilt fabrics in bundles. They are on rollers so can be moved out if needed.

I have several drawers in the white cutting station in the corner. They are larger so my embroidery machine hoops and larger supplies fit nicely in there.

The handiest drawers in close reach for accessories and tools are under the left side of my sewing table. My sewing machine feet, scissors, tools, thread, bobbins, machine needles and such are all stored there nearby.

And both of these drawer units are also on wheels and can be moved out so I can store my rolling sewing machine cases back behind them.

It is a pleasure to be able to sew and just turn and reach easily a different foot or a tool right next to me. One of my favorite storage containers is my green craft bag with the carousel that allows it to rotate. When I need to pack up stuff for a class or retreat, all I have to do is pick it up and put it in my tote and everything I use the most is right there!! What a find!
So, now you know how VERY anal a sewer can be! Hope you don't catch it looking at my 44 drawers! Jeez...44 IS allot, isn't it? YIKES!
Have a great night! God Bless! Polly :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where do you stash your STASH?

OK, you gotta promise not to blackmail me by sending these stash photos to my dear husband...OK? Promise? Do you wait until your husband is asleep to bring in newly bought fabric from the trunk of your car into your sewing room? You have no idea how often we hear that while working at the quilt shop! So, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! :-) Here's my stash closet.... look familiar??

So, back to the question at DO you organize your stash? By color? By theme? Bundled per quilt to made from it? I actually do all three!

My general blender type fabrics are in stacks by color. Then I have a whole shelf just for florals, but still divided into main colors in each stack.

Then I have a half shelf for Halloween and favorite season by far! And the other half is Christmas and snowmen. I have a shelf with novelty prints and stripes, plaids, and polka dots. A shelf for garden themes and overflow of greens...have more greens than anything. I have a shelf for decor fabric and a whole shelf unit for clothing fabrics, flannels and such. At the top of my stash closet I have clear plastic tubs turned on their ends and they are full of fabrics bundled by quilt project and large pieces of fabrics for backings.

I also have collected a small basket of old hankies and several small baskets of fabric panels...I just love those! I just made a top from a cute snowman panel... they go so quick! Gotta quilt it, though and my shoulder is not quite ready for quilting yet.

I have my fat quarters stored atop my black metal shelf unit in an old antique drawer unit that I removed the drawers from, so it's like little cubbies!

I have my jelly rolls and some other fat quarter bundles stored in a black media cabinet with my chick flick DVD's and VHS tapes.

I've got plastic drawer units for other supplies and scraps, too, but that discussion is for tomorrow! So, now it's your turn! Tell me all about your stash storage system! I love to hear how others store and organize their treasures!! Please do leave me a comment and share!! Your idea might just be exactly what will aslo work for me! God Bless! Polly :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Take a peek at my sewing room!

Let's talk about sewing rooms! I'd love to see yours! I have lots of books on setting up your perfect sewing room... and I love to read magazine articles on sewing room organization... especially ones with lots of pictures!! This is the first house in which I have my own sewing room. Even if it IS the smallest room in the house- it's all mine!! It does have a big closet where I keep my stash.

An applique quilt I made years ago with a sewing theme was the jumping off point for deciding how to decorate my sewing room. I have always loved Mary Engelbreit with her adorable little children prints and use of bright colors with black and white checks and such.

So my sewing room is all Mary Engelbreit...from the window valance to the cover on my big board ironing board and the applique quilt on the wall...and lots of knick-knacks and pin cushions from her line, as well.

I have a Quilter's Dream sewing table by Horn for my Bernina 640E. I have an inexpensive cutting cabinet/table from Joann's and my husband made my big board for my ironing board. My Westie Yogi has a dog bed up on the table so he can look at the squirrels on the deck out the window. And one wall is covered with a felted batting for a design wall. My Target bookcase is full of quilting, sewing and embroidery books. And my Walmart black media cabinet is full of chick flicks in both DVD and VHS formats. I have a black metal 4 shelf unit with my TV/VCR/DVD and other supplies, as well as three mini-drawer sets for scraps and an antique drawer unit on the top for my fat quarters.

My room has evolved over time. I keep finding new ways to store stuff. Tomorrow, I'll share my stash closet and supplies and scrap drawers! I'm fine tuning an idea for starting a scrap quilting group at the quilt shop...and would LOOOVVEE your ideas and input from your own experiences with that topic, too! So let me hear from you!! Don't be shy! All thoughts are welcome! God Bless! Polly

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Day Off!

Well, what a nice day off from work! We slept in until 8:00am....what a treat! Had second cups of coffee while watching last week's "Medium" TV show episode on TIVO. Loovvveeeee easy going slow starting lazy days!!! Can't wait to retire!

I did my weekly grocery shopping, got my nails done and was able to even sew a bit! The guild workshop I took yesterday afternoon with Pat Sloan was great. She is just so fun to learn from! It is so nice to see famous teachers whose quilts grace the front of our favorite quilting magazines and find out they are wonderful people, too. She taught us her Crooked Cabin quilting technique. Here we are holding my favorite one called "Summer".
There were 14 ladies from our Centreville Quilters Unlimited guild at the workshop with Pat. It is so fun to see what fabrics everyone chooses to make their project from... no two had the same fabrics.

I brought my Kaffe Fassett and other Westminster fabric designers. Others had florals, Easter baskets, bright children's prints, Christmas prints, signature blocks, motorcycle novelty prints and Loralie nurse prints.

Today my older son and his girlfriend came for dinner. Whoever's birthday it is gets to pick the meal to be made, so she picked Angel Chicken (crockpot) and a family nick-named nut pastry we call "Worms". Well, they are down in the basement- which is lovingly called "The Man-Cave"...with my husband playing Bond 007 on Playstation 3, while I'm up here writing this post! I hope to keep working on my Pat Sloan project tomorrow night, after work. I'll include photos as I go...will take a while to complete this one, I think. Her Crooked Cabins technique is very artsy and the project sort of develops as it goes. The fabrics I'm using are stunning, so I hope the finished project will be, too.

Well, that's it for now! Hope you have a wonderful night! God Bless! Polly

Saturday, February 14, 2009

TAADAA! Two posts in one day!!

Can you believe I'm posting TWICE in one day! Amazing for me!! Well, I spent the afternoon making the purse with the big grommets for the quilt shop sample for the upcoming spring class I'll be teaching. It went together quickly, but I am disappointed in how small it is! It sure would not fit all my stuff in it!! But fabric is cute and quite springy! Love the black grommets, too. Super easy to make.

The pattern also includes a simple wallet made of two pieces of fabric from purse scraps fused together back to back then zigzagged around and stitched up the sides. Very quick and super simple...but just really for dollar bills or such.

Tonight for Valentine's Day, my husband and I went out to my favorite local Chinese restaurant- Charlie Chiang's. YUM! I had honey chicken and brought home enough for lunch tomorrow!! What a deal! And no cooking or dishwashing is ALWAYS a treat for me!! :-) Hope you had a wonderfully sweet day!!

Now, tomorrow morning I've got to get my Kaffe Fassett fabrics pulled from my stash and packed up for my Crooked Cabin workshop with Pat Sloan in the afternoon. Should be fun as my guild friends are always a treat to be with and add playing with fabric to the mix and what's not to love??

Well, it's movie time! We're going to watch "Nights in Rodanthe"...hope it's a good one. Have a restful evening! God Bless! Polly :-)

All done! Ready for next project!

Well, I can't believe it's been a week since I posted....well considering the week I had, it's really no surprise!! Thank goodness it's over! But, one good thing came out of it! Another project completed...and actually hanging on the wall!! :-) I finished the snowman wall hanging including lots of button embellishments and a scarf! It was a fun project and if my day job didn't get in the way of my sewing, it could have been done so much quicker! I quilted holly leaves and berries in the long green rectangles and some echo and ditch stitching in the rest of it. You can buy this pattern from the Clotilde website.

Well, let's say a big "AMEN" to having a 3 day weekend! Yessssss! I am sitting in my big red recliner with my sweet Westie Yogi snuggled on my legs and a cup of hot coffee at my elbow while posting this.
I do have an agenda for the next few days! Today I will make a sample purse for a class I'll be teaching at the quilt shop in the spring, then start a quilt with a Kaffe Fassett "jelly roll" my bee friend Lorraine gave me for Christmas. I love his fabric and have almost all of them... I actually took a class with him at the Artful Quilter shop here in Centreville, Virginia a few years back. What a handsome and charming man with a keen eye for texture and color! I'll take a photo of the quilt from that class ands post it soon! He actually signed my label for it!

Anyhoo, last Thursday night, my quilt guild had Pat Sloan for our speaker. She is a terrific speaker and showed some of her many famous quilts. What a nice husband she has, too. He has quite a system for displaying her quilts as she speaks about them... he must have been exhausted when it was over! She is giving a workshop here for our guild on Sunday afternoon on her "Crooked Cabin" quilt technique and I can't wait!
I'll take a photo to post! I think I'll be doing mine with Kaffe scraps from my stash. I'm always happy to find projects to thin out my scrap drawers! I am trying to organize a scrap quilting club here at my local quilt shop starting in the spring. I would love to hear what you do with your fabric scraps.... leave me a comment and share your strategies for thinning out your scrap bin!!

So, here's the purse I'm going upstairs to my sewing room to make-

It seems like a pretty quick project and I love the look of the large grommets...which are actually made to use on shower curtains! I'll let you know how it goes! Hopefully tomorrow!! Wish me luck!! God bless! Polly

Friday, February 6, 2009


This has sure been a longgggggg week! I am so ready for the weekend! I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow morning. Saturday is my one day a week I can sleep late....of course, late to me is 7:30! :-) So glad it's Friday finally!

I spent 2 hours last night quilting my snowman wallhanging... and paid for it with shoulder pain the rest of the night. That was the first time I've done any free motion quilting since I had my shoulder surgery at Christmas. Sewing and piecing does not hurt much at all, but quilting is different. I had physical therapy this afternoon and was hurting before I even got there! YIKES! Will definitely have to do it in shorter increments for now. And that stinks because I have a bunch of samples for classes at the quilt shop I need to make and quilt so they can be displayed in time for class sign-ups.

I bought a new quilt rack in December off eBay. I didn't put it together and display it until after all the Christmas decorations were put away, as my family room tree was in the way. But now it's up with 6 quilts on it. I think I could actually put 2 quilts on each bar for storage should I need to. I really like it!

It sits close to the wall, which I really like! And I always need more places to store quilts! I have them on an old antique ladder and in a pie safe, too. I'm always looking for more ways to display and store quilts. How do you store your quilts? I'd love to hear your ideas! Leave a comment! :-)

Well, my Westie Yogi is feeling better. It's now been 10 days since his torn ACL was repaired surgically. He goes to the vet tomorrow to get his staples out... I don't want to be holding him when they do that....YEOW! Now that his morphine patch has worn out, he is feisty again and thinks he is superdog. He is not to be jumping on stairs or furniture and I'm having to watch him like a toddler... Our bed is really high off the floor and he is used to sleeping with my husband and I and will launch himself off the bed in the night if he hears a sound, so he must now sleep in his dog bed on the floor and he is mad about that, too. But he is feeling better, so that is a good! God Bless! Polly :-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Piecing Is Done!

I finally got back to sewing on the snowman wallhanging tonight after dinner. I finished sewing all the veritcal rows, then pressed the seams flat. A tip- when sewing the second set of rows, flip the seam allowance- one up and one down as you stitch to reduce bulk at seams. Here's a close-up view.

Here's what it looks like from the right side! Now I've added batting and backing and will quilt it tomorrow night, I hope. It also requires embellishments including an orange carrot nose, black button eyes and mouth and 2 big buttons on his tummy, as well as an added 3-D scarf. Can't wait to get it done and up on my kitchen wall!!
I was hoping for a snow day today, but no dice! We did get an inch of snow but the roads were fine so off to school we went! We've only used one snow day so far and still have 2 more days to use built into our school year... so there's still hope!!
Well, gotta go watch American Idol. Love TIVOing it and then watching it later and fast-forwarding through the commercials and boring parts! I also TIVO quilting shows while I'm at work and watch them later, too. What an awesome invention! Hope you all have it, too! God Bless! Polly :-)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl Sewing

My hubby and I are watching the Superbowl as I write this. We are N.Y. Jets fans, so really don't care who wins....although we tend to hope the underdog wins! Speaking of dogs, my Westie Yogi is doing better today after his ACL surgery 5 days ago! Whew! It's really hard to see such a feisty active dog laying around and limping on 3 feet, but he is beginning to put it down more often and is actually putting some weight on it! YESSSSSS! :-) Here he's snoozing in my sewing room!

Every Sunday, we go to 7:30 am mass then on to breakfast at the local's our weekly "date"... he reads the paper while I read whatever novel I'm into while savoring steaming mugs of coffee and pancakes and eggs! My two sons (23 and 27) tell us we are becoming old folks!! :-) But we love our Sunday mornings!!

I hit the sewing room mid-morning and finished cutting the 2" squares for my snowman wallhanging I'm making using the fusible Pellon quilter's grid. This is what it looks like when all the squares are fused onto the grid.

Next, you sew all the seams going in one direction. I sewed all the horizontal seams first. Here's what it looks like from the back.
Now, before I can sew the vertical seams, I have to clip the sewn folded seam allowances up to the stitching. Hope you can see this in the photo.

This is as far as I got today! Hope to do more tomorrow evening after work. I've done some sewing and piecing since my shoulder surgery on 12/24/08, but have not done any quilting....that takes some serious shoulder moving for sure, so doing this small piece will be a good experiment.
Hope everyone is having a fun evening and is cozy warm! They are forecasting snow here on maybe we'll get a snowday and I can finish this project! Keeping my fingers crossed! God Bless! Polly