Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Treasure Shop Hop Day #4

Day #4 found Beth, my 2 boys and I taking a little road trip north, to the mountains!  Our first stop of the morning was at Stitch n' Snip in Garden Valley, ID, an approximate hour and a half drive.  This was a small shop packed full of goodness!

Another hour and 45 minute drive to McCall, ID and we visited Granny's Attic and Huckleberry Patches.  At Huckleberry Patches, I found this beautiful Yuletide Magic panel that I absolutely love - I cannot wait to turn into something wonderful (hopefully).  I decided I'm a sucker for Christmas fabric, I really could have purchased a fat quarter bundle (or more) of the coordinating fabrics in this line.  I haven't noticed this fabric at any of my local quilt shops, but I haven't actually looked, I just happened upon it while in McCall.  I'm either going to have to search down here or find an excuse to go visit this shop again.

Thanks for joining me on our Shop Hop journey.  Next year I'm thinking we'll get crazy with it, maybe have more interested members from our quilt group go with us, do all shops in a weekend and stay in a motel somewhere overnight, dress up - crazy hats, huge sunglasses, sequins...I'm not sure.  I just think it would be fun to get as crazy as we want with a large group of people.  Though, don't get me wrong, I really did love the quality time with Sara and Beth on day 1 (and Beth on day #2 and #4) - we've been friends awhile, but it has been a long time since we've spent so much time together and it was fabulous!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Treasure Shop Hop Day #2/#3

So, my Day #1 post was titled Treasure Valley Shop Hop because that's what I thought it was...turns out, I included the "Valley" on my own (we do live in the Treasure Valley so I thought that's what it was).  Anyway, Day #2 (Monday, April 18th) consisted of my friend Beth and I traveling to Kuna, ID (not much of a travel really, Beth lives about 2 minutes away) where we went to Knit One Quilt Too (no website that I could locate), a quaint little shop that is great for knitters and quilters alike.  Of course, wouldn't you know I didn't take any photos of the local quilt shops...I guess because they're closer I didn't think about it.  Next we went to Nancy's Quilts and More (again, no website) - you might remember me talking about the shop in this post.  After Nancy's we thought we'd take some of the back roads to get to downtown Nampa, ID (Nancy's has a Nampa address too, it's just out in the country).  We figured it was going to be an easy trip and surely we could figure it out despite the fact that neither of us had ever been this way.  This is another reason I really wish I had a camera with me (we did have our phones, but thought about taking photos after the fact): we got lost!  It didn't seem like we were driving for very long (time-wise) but we ended up about 10 miles from where we wanted to be, though, probably drove an extra 20 or so at least to get there.  Well, we weren't really lost, we just ended up taking the back roads, the more scenic route.  We were driving around something neither of us had ever heard about - the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge and it was really quite peaceful.  I happened to glance out of the window and saw a huge body of water of which I couldn't see the other side...I had thought, up until this point, that it was just a swampy/marshy area.  I exclaimed, probably rather loudly, "is that a giant body of water?!!!!" And Beth just started laughing hysterically - that was a yes.  It was such a memorable moment and I wish we would have taken our pictures by some of the Wildlife Refuge signs.  
We were just assuming at this point that we were at Lake Lowell - it was the only body of water in that area that we could have been at, unless of course we had drive a whole lot further than we thought.  Stop #3 of the day was Bluebird Quilt Studio in downtown Nampa.  This is definitely not my favorite shop for fabric but everyone is nice and they seem to do a lot of classes, and block of the month type projects that seem fun.

Day #3 was Tuesday, April 19th.  My friend Sara (different than Day #1 Sara) and I were able to go to the 2 shops in Boise, Quilt Expressions and The Quilt Crossing, while my 5 year old was in school (I dropped him off at 1230 and had to pick him up at 3...I was late).  I love Quilt Expressions - it's huge, has a great selection of fabric and my dream is to take their longarm class so that I would be able to rent time on the machines (they have like 5 or so in their shop).  The Quilt Crossing is also fabulous - great selection of fabric and I had 2 gift cards from my Birthday, and I only used one that day!

Join me again to hear about the final day and last 3 shops!

Dream Big

Help this family bring home their adopted baby, Sergey.  Go to the blog to find out about their baby Sergey and how your $10 (or more, or less, whichever) donation can help bring him home and possibly win you one of several great prizes - though the real prize is getting Sergey home to his family.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So Much To Look At

I was holding up the backing of this quilt asking my husband which row was the shortest and he said there was so much to look at he couldn't figure out where I was asking him to look.  I told him, it's a Dr. Suess/Cat in the Hat quilt...it's supposed to be crazy!  Tell me I'm right.

Quilt top - blocks made by members of my local quilt group.  We're so original, we call ourselves The Quilt Block Ladies 
The Back - made by me

Something I read this week over at The Bitchy Stitcher  that totally fits this quilt:
(don't go if you can't handle the language, but I laugh at every post)
Babies need stimulation and perfectly straight lines are far too stultifying for young minds. This kid will be a fuckin' genius, no doubt."

I'm going to be working on getting this quilted in the next day or so.  I'm not sure yet how I'm going to do it - straight lines because that's all I'm comfortable with, but not sure what to follow.  Any suggestions?  I was thinking just 1/4 inch from the seams of the large blocks on the top, maybe 2 rounds...if that makes any sense.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Treasure Valley Shop Hop Day #1

This past weekend was the start of the 10th Annual Treasure Shop Hop.  Last year a friend and I just happened upon the Shop Hop while in a local shop and once we found about it, we were hooked and we visited all of the local shops that didn't require more than a 20 minute drive (because there are also some in Oregon and McCall, ID up to 3 hours away). When we found out that the grand prize for visiting all 16 shops and getting your passport stamped was a $50 gift certificate from each shop (that's $800 in quilt shop money, people!) we knew we'd have to get serious about it this year.

Unfortunately that friend is only 2 weeks away from her due date with her second baby and I think she decided it might not be a good time to drive 3 hours from home in remote areas that we're all unfamiliar with. Though, don't get me wrong, we were prepared - we had talked about a plan for delivering the baby in the car, she was even going to bring sterile scissors for cutting the umbilical cord. We had invited all 12 of the ladies in our local quilt group but most couldn't make the trip, which I think was okay because not really knowing where we were going etc, this gave us a chance to test out the route we were taking and decide if it was the best plan of attack (which, I think it is not). It was kind of a trial run of the entire Shop Hop (which, this year consists of 14 shops) and it was fun, but I think next year we'll be doing things a little differently, as far as driving routes, etc.

Here are a few pictures from our adventures on day #1 - we left about 7:30am and were back at 5pm - lots of miles...I can't remember how many, nearly 300 I think.  I won't explain pictures all in great detail as that may be a bit boring for most of you and I do not want to bore you!

(my traveling companions and good friends Beth and Sara at a rest stop in who knows where)

(stop #1 - Quilts Plus in Halfway, OR)

(Sara at stop #2, Traditions Quilt Shop in Baker City, OR - this was followed by stop #3 at LaDonna's FiberArts, also in Baker City, OR)

(Stop #4 - Charm Shack Quilt Shop in Ontario, OR)

Stop #5 - Marilynn's Pickets and Patchwork in Nyssa, OR
Stop #6 - Cindy's Quilt Shop in Caldwell, ID

It's definitely an experience to visit so many quilt shops, some most have very nice people and others you kind of get the feeling that if you're not a regular, or perhaps fit a certain stereotype, you don't feel as welcome.  Sometimes you go into a shop and wonder how in the world they are still in business.  Some share their space with antiques, coffee shops, and bakeries.  More than one of these 6 shops listed were directly next to a "hole in the wall" type of bar...hmm....

Every shop created and sold kits for a block.  They were all similar in that they used batiks, but other than that I wasn't really impressed with the coordination of the blocks.  Each block is sold for $5 and $2 of that goes to Project Linus.  It's maybe kind of hard to visualize in the picture but these are the blocks from the first 6 shops.  A local blogger has made all of the blocks and posted them on her blog - check it out!  I'm not going to be making all of these blocks.  They are going to be distributed to my quilt group and we'll put them all together for a charity quilt.

Maybe, before too long, I'll post about visiting shops #7-14!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

...and the Boys

I feel like I've really been blogging about quilting and knitting only lately and just wanted to get back to the "and the Boys" part of my blog because I'm not sure what you're here for, but it's fun to mix things up every now and then, right? So, here are a few pictures of the boys!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

On Monday, my friend Beth and I hit a few of the local shops on the Treasure Valley Shop Hop (more to come on our big Saturday trip soon). One of the stops was Nancy's Quilts and More (no website) - I love this shop, it might be my favorite local shop. Nancy has her shop in her home, she has one room dedicated to Christmas fabrics, another room for baby fabrics (and some Valentine's Day and Halloween mixed in) as well as a couple other rooms of all of the "other stuff." Now, when I tell you the shop is in her home, I mean it is IN HER HOME! The cashier table is set up in the kitchen...where she cooks food...in fact, she was pulling cinnamon rolls out of the oven, cinnamon rolls that she shares with her customers (and they were delish)!!

While at Nancy's, I decided to buy 2 charm packs of Chrysalis. I had NO IDEA what I was going to do with it, but thought I needed to have it - maybe she puts something in those cinnamon rolls that makes you want to buy things you don't really need ;). Didn't I just post recently about needing to know who for and what I was going to use precuts for before buying some?
I got these charm packs home and still didn't know what to use them for. I was thinking of adding something to them to make a larger quilt but, because I didn't have anything on hand, I just started sewing the squares together randomly, 10 rows of 8 to make the 'what.'
A baby quilt top:
I decided that I love using precuts. Obviously because you don't have to spend the time cutting them. It was nice that there were not threads fraying all over the place. Most of all, I think I discovered that my inaccuracies must come from cutting because nearly every single one of these corners match up beautifully and that is abnormal for me. I see more precuts in my future, after answering "who?" and "what?".

I still have no idea about the 'who' on this quilt top but it will be nice to have this on hand for the next baby girl I know. I'm not sure when I'll get around to finishing the quilt, I guess I was in need of a quick project and was so excited about using the precuts that I whipped this quilt top out in no time at all (a few hours including cooking dinner and getting the kids ready for bed).

I've kind of been thinking lately about my projects, quilts, knitting, even things like cleaning my house. I've decided I may be somewhat A.D.D. about them and I like to move on quickly so big (time consuming) projects aren't my thing. I love doing bee blocks for this reason, they are done quick. My 4 inch section of an Oddball knit blankets is nothing....but don't even ask about the progress of this blanket! So, the above quilt top will be put away for awhile (especially because I really need to pack - also and A.D.D. task for me), but hopefully I can finish it soon, especially being on the smaller scale of quilts, it may be just what I need someday for a quick project - especially to test out my quilting skills, as I've only machine quilted one quilt (straight lines...no free motion quilting here yet).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rose Petals

The latest Oddball blanket I worked on is Rose Petals:

I sent it on for its border. You can keep up with the progress of our blankets here!

Friday, April 1, 2011

An Assortment of Blocks

Today I finished 2 blocks for Just One Block (I hope that isn't a rule to do just one block, because as I said...I did 2 - I'm sure they take whatever you want to give). I can't remember where I first read about Just One Block, it's been posted on so many blogs. Click on the link to learn more about these blocks (including the pattern) and the quilts they will be used in for service members/veterans. I challenged my local quilt group ladies to make blocks and we'll be sending them all together.

Speaking of my quilt group ladies, they've started returning blocks to me and, although I still have several to get back, here's a peek of what I have so far:

My group members are making me blocks based on the tutorial at Oh, Fransson!
Stay tuned to see how things come together!