Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hubby rocks - My Talavera Tile Mirror

No ordinary builder bland oval powder room mirror would do for us when we built this house 3 years ago.  I had other ideas. I wanted something a lot more interesting and eye catching. 

I had a vision. I hunted for the just the right tiles and finally found beautiful hand painted Mexican Talavera Tiles and then placed the order.  Next I painted the room a matching Terra Cotta paint at 3/4 intensity that really worked well. 

Then it was up to hubby to make my vision a reality and here is the end result. 
This was the original layout but we tweaked if a bit before he adhered them to the board. 
He added the mirror and quarter round painted moulding to cover the seams and the outside edge and it got hung in the room today. 
Love it!  It is exactly what I had hoped for and it really gives the room some personality. 
I found the perfect shade of Blue and Terra Cotta hand towels and now I need to find a few other little trinkets and then the room will be finished. It always amazes me how just the right accessory can bring together a whole room.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

MQX East - Day 1

Let me just 1st say....MQX East was fabulous!
I had a great time, learned A LOT and am already planning next year's trip.

My adventure started about noon on Tuesday when I picked up my car trip companion Mandy Leins who blogs at Mandalei. I got in touch with her because I was taking her Free Craftsy class A New Way to Look at Longarm Quilting and happened to noticed in her profile that she lives nearby.  It was great to share the drive and learn so much during along the way. And in case you haven't heard yet, Mandy also has a 2nd Craftsy class, Creative Longarm Quilting that I'm going to take too.

We made great time on the road, arrived around 4pm, stopped at the convention hotel to register and get our festival totes and then headed to our hotel a few blocks away to check in and then grab some dinner. Lesson learned - book my reservation at the convention hotel ASAP (I'm doing it today) so I don't miss out at being in the same location as the show. Mexican food at a great tiny local place was terrific btw.

Bright and early Wednesday morning we were back at the Radisson for our day of classes. This is the banner that greeted me when I walked into the lobby. I had finally arrived!
My 1st class was Introduction to Free Motion Quilting taught by Barbara Persing. It was a 4 hour hands on class and a great way to dip my feet in the water and help erase my nervousness. The class focused on the true basics - meandering, loops and spikes, which was about getting used to quick changes of direction. Here is my 1st meandering pass.
It took a very short amount of time before I got used to the machine and achieved pretty good randomness and density.
My loops didn't look to shabby either and I actually got praise from the instructor which of course felt good. These spikes weren't the greatest but I liked my boxes better. More practice needed!
Towards the end of the class I tried something different and worked on elongated spikes and some other shapes. Overall I was very pleased with the class and would recommend it to someone just starting.
I did consider taking the full day 8 hour Intro class with Linda Taylor but am very glad that I didn't go that route. To me 4 hours was plenty for 1 class, but of course that is just my humble opinion.

My 2nd class of the day was Creating Alternating Quilting Spaces with DeLoa Jones. This class was about sectioning off quilting areas into smaller spaces so that you can create some variety in the designs that you quilt in them. She showcased and discussed the quilts done by her daughter Jessica, many that can be viewed on her website here.

My last class of the day was not what a few of us expected it to be but it was still enjoyable. Then it was onto the show preview that was open only to registered students. Of course I took lots (over 300) of pictures during the trip to share with you. I promise not to post them all but I know you will enjoy seeing these.

Wish Upon a Star, pieced and appliqued by Janet Watson, quilted by Kim Norton.
Look at this detail. Isn't it gorgeous?
Rosie's Bomb, pieced and quilted by Marlene Oddie.
Tutu Cute, pieced and quilted by Marie Coady.
This one is stunning.
Paradox, pieced and quilted by Lee Vause.
The white thread work is jaw dropping.
There was a special exhibit Flora Bota'nica which showcased the awesome work of Andrea Brokenshire. Her use of color was amazing.

How can you not just stare at this fabulous work?
Andrea's floral quilts are so lifelike. It was hard to tell that they weren't just great photos.
One after another, the beautiful quilts were just astounding.

This quilt won 1st Place for Quilting Among Friends and Embroidery at It's Best. It is Take 3 Fabrics, Just Add Thread and was pieced by Mary Reinhardt, Jan Malmquist, Dee Legvold and Page Johnson and quilted by Page Johnson.
You had to know that this particular quilt would grab my attention quick and it did. Not only is it truly wonderful but the subject matter is close to my heart. I wish I could get my hands on it. It would look fantastic hanging in my foyer. 
It is A Quilt With the Dragon Tatoo and it was pieced and quilted by Nancy Arseneault. It won one of the Judge's Choice Awards, deservedly so.
The detail of the quilting speaks for itself. I can only hope to be this good some day.

Part of me could have stayed and ooggled over the quilts for hours but the other part of me was exhausted and tomorrow was going to be another long day starting with another early 4 hour hands on class so off to bed I went.

There's more to come!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday

I know! It isn't Sunday, it is Tuesday.
But between unpacking on Sunday from my trip, tackling the huge piles of laundry and a neighborhood Easter egg hunt on Sunday, I never got the chance to do this post and I didn't want you to miss out seeing all the beautiful quilting I saw recently while hopping around blogs.

I have a TON of pictures to download off of my camera and share from MQX East and I'll be working on those posts throughout the week. Plus there are a few hundred thousand Kate Spain charms to sort and get in the mail. It is sure going to be one busy week.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Primary Bee Blocks - the photo shoot

Since I'm in class all day and won't get a chance to write up a recap of all that happened until late tonight or early tomorrow morning, I'm sharing something else today.
Sunshine was the Bee Princess for The Primary Bee in March.
She chose the Bento Box block in Light Pink, Pink and Purple. Here are the blocks she has received from her bee mates so far.
From Sarah who's mom Heather blogs over at A reformed heath'n came this adorable block.
From France made by Pippa's daughter Amelia she received this one.
Monkey who's mom Nikita blogs over at Monkey and I sent this one with awesome Princess and castle fabric in it.
The gang from Muddy Spring sent these two. This is the one was created by Tiny.
And Mawg made this one.
She wanted to see what all of them look like together so we laid them all out on the floor.
Don't they look great together? This Quilt will be so much fun to put together with Sunshine. In the next few weeks she'll make her block and Jammer will do the same and as soon as we receive the rest of the blocks from her bee mates we can start deciding how to arrange them for the final layout. To say that she is excited each time an envelope arrives with her name on it is putting it mildly. I know that the look on her face when the quilt is finally done will be priceless.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pretty electronics accessories

I recently got myself one of these.
It qualifies as my Mother's Day gift this year.
Hubs has one and I finally decided that I like the smaller and lighter weight size compared to our laptop and for my trip to MQX, upcoming vacations and normal activities like sitting at swim lessons and gymnastics this will be so much better.
But of course, I didn't want any plain ole case for it.

I wanted one that is prettier and so much more me.
This is what I got. You like?
While getting everything together for MQX, I realized that I have a bunch of electronics accessories that I need to take with phone charger, my IPad charger, my camera cable/charger, etc and now I needed a way to keep them all together. I needed a pouch.
I looked up a few tutorials and chose to use the Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Tutorial.
 The sample used scraps but that isn't the way I wanted to go. I pulled out these, a charm pack of Simply Color and a mini charm pack of Simply Style.
The way I decided to put this together meant that I only needed to use 4 charms and 8 mini charms. This is the group that I chose for the front of the pouch.
And these will be for the back.
The tutorial was easy to follow and this is the result. Love it! 
This is what the back looks like. As you can see, on the front I put the mini charms at the top and on the back, I put them on the bottom.
A bit of Denise Schmidt I pulled from my stash worked well for the lining.
So now I'm all set with a cute little pouch to hold all my various electronics accessories.
Traveling in style is so much more fun!