Sunday, April 28, 2013

Instant Gratification Sunday ~~ coloring !!!!!

Coloring had ALWAYS been a favorite past time of mine !!!  From my Barbie doll days (which actually lasted a little longer than they should have ..... I was a bit slow on the adolescent development scene) ....... through my college years ( coloring saved my sanity on more than one all nighter studying for finals marathon ........ UGH!  ) ........ through my kids' child hoods (where I would beg my kids to please color another picture with mommy)....... and now , as a sanity saver through my endless hours of laptop work for the day job.   Coloring has ALWAYS been one of my best therapies !!!!!I recommend it highly !!!!!   Lately I prefer colored pencils to crayons ...... especially brand new ones right out of the box with the nice sharp points !!!  (not like the ones in these pictures which have quite a few miles on them).

So, as you can see,  this weekend I did some impromptu, mind wandering "sanity saving" drawing/scribble designing and coloring while I was supposed to be typing up evaluations, progress notes , and discharge summaries on my work laptop ....... I have to say it sure did give me some Instant Gratification !!!!  (maybe one of these days, these scribbles will turn into quilts !  ..........maybe)

Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday ~~getting there ~~ one piece at a time !

WHAT !!! Another week has gone by ???  (and I'm not getting any younger ! .... neither is this long suffering scrap project that I started back when "big hair" was in the first time  ..... not really, just seems like it's been that long ......)
Anyhow, since it's "Scrap Basket Sunday" compliments of


 ......I thought , since this is a hand piecing scrap project, it would (theoretically) fit in here and there throughout my work week  (theoretically ......) are some of the blocks I've made in the past ..... with lots of different scraps .... (I put in the last few stitches on that block in the bottom right corner of the picture just today when I was supposed to be doing something else .....)

This is the pattern I'm following:  "Hexagon Chain" , a hand piecing pattern by Therese Wadell in Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine (volume 12, No2) .....  which was out at least 6 or 7 years ago.

.......and, I finished up the "machine quilt as you go"  block I started last Sunday .... 

.....and here's what the quilting looks like on the back . I'm really tickled pink with how it came out !!!!   I left about an inch unquilted all the way around the edges of the block so I have room to join it with other quilted blocks later (which I haven't tried yet ..... will let you know how that goes..... eventually !)

......AND,  I started (barely ) another machine quilt as you go block from my "Sweetwater Noteworthy" scrap pile.
So,   a teensy bit of progress here and there from my scrap basket ......  that, and chocolate, are SUCH good therapy !!!!
Also,  thank you all so much for your nice comments on my last post about my "machine quilt as you go" block.  I'll be around to visit everybody else's blogs soon (when I'm supposed to be doing something else , I'm sure !)
Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Instant Gratification Sunday ~~ Scrap basket Sunday !!!

A "Fruit Salad" pile of scraps is on the menu today for "Instant Gratification Sunday".  Makes my mouth water just looking at them !!! Mango, strawberries, lemon, kiwi, and blueberries !   A few days ago, while procrastinating instead of working, I happened to come across ........

Scrap Basket Sunday       "Scrap Basket Sunday"  on  a fun quilting  blog called Kim's Big Quilting Adventure.   Her idea is to meet up on Sundays and show a project that you are making out of scraps ........ hence the name "Scrap Basket Sunday" !!    So...... I thought this might be the perfect opportunity for an "Instant Gratification Sunday" project !!! ........ you know ...... a kind of  "Instant Gratification Scrap Basket Sunday "      And, it just so happens that I have  been digging through the archives around here and  ........

found my original notebook from the very first quilting class I ever took ......and it was AWHILE ago let me tell ya !!!  like back in 1986 !!!!  YIKES !!!!  (how do you like those  1986 fabrics on my class sample!   guess they're "vintage" now .....aaaaack !!! can click on the pictures to enlarge them to see them better )  Anyway, that was back when Georgia Bonesteel first came out with her "Lap Quilting"  book ...... which is the method the class was based on .    So, since lately I've been totally overwhelmed with work from the day job, and trying to work on a big project just seems impossible,  I thought a "quilt as you go quilt "  might just be the ticket  ....... you know,  piece and quilt one block at a time ..... in managable bite size pieces !!!   but, instead of hand quilting (which in my other life where I actually would have time for that ,  and would LOVE it)  I will be machine quilting it ...... (but not free motion , which , again, in my other life where I actually would have time to practice that and get good at it ..... which I would also LOVE) .

Anyhow, so here we go !!!!  I cut out  a 12" backing piece, and a 12" piece of batting ....... then I dove into my basket of Sweetwater  "Noteworthy"
scraps  and started happily stitching /quilting away !!!  (basically a log cabin block).
 .....and adding more pieces, then quilting each piece down .

.....and still building the block , piecing and quilting at the same time (but as Georgia Bonesteel instructs in her book, keep the quilting 1/2 to 1 inch away from the outer edges of the block so you have room to join the quilted blocks together.)

....and here's the back so far .....

......and I think this fun orange polka dot will be the next scrap added to this block .......then maybe another blue , then a pink then DONE with this block ..... INCLUDING THE QUILTING !!!!!   INSTANT GRATIFICATION !!!!!    (even on my procrastinators time frame ,  this block is getting  done FAST !!! ). 
So, here's my plan ...... work on these blocks 5 minutes here,  15 minutes there (during the many aggravating   times when my work laptop freezes ..... or when my brain /attention span needs a vacation ) ........ and maybe next Sunday I'll have another block or two finished  for "Scrap Basket Sunday" !  

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Instant gratification Sunday - - Fabric Hoarding :)

So .... as usual ..... this is my Sunday (and  a good part of most days ....... stuck typing and typing and typing on my laptop trying , in vain, to catch up on the endless documentation that goes with the day job ......)  So, once again, no time for fun stuff like sewing.  But, in my continuous quest for instant gratification and staying connected with the sewing/quilting/ fabric world,  I continue to covet and buy FABRIC !!!!   YES ...... LOTS OF PRETTY FABRIC !!!  But, then of course, the problem becomes where to put all of it ........ could go with the Lucy /Ethel strategy of stuffing it in the back of the trunk of the car  or shoving it on a shelf in the back of some closet in the basement .......however,  no matter how sneaky you are with your fabric hiding techniques, you still risk ......

........being discovered .......(sigh)   (this cute cartoon was on Free Quilt Patterns  facebook page)

   Therefore,  you should always be prepared with this list of rationalizations,  reasons why your latest (and all previous) fabric purchases are well justified !  (this list is borrowed from Love, Heart, Home facebook page;  you can click on it to enlarge it )

  ......and, I for one will be using all of those reasons listed above to justify this current purchase of fun Italy themed fabrics (Va Bene by Dear Stella ) !!!  I have a major longing to go to Italy (my mother's parents came over "on the boat" from Italy and left many relatives there).  I LOVE and have watched "Under the Tuscan Sun" a zillion times and dream of staying in an Italian villa like in the movie. 

  Here's a close up of the Tuscany country side fabric .

 ......and some Italian villas.

....oh look !!! There's me zippping along on my Vespa through the Italian  countryside !!

.....oops .... still zipping along on the Vespa (because I can't seem to get this duplicate picture to delete ....)
ANYHOW,  so much for my instant gratification Sunday ..... time to get back to type, type, typing and trying , trying, trying to get caught up before Monday adds even more to the already huge stack of work I'm drowning in !  (UGH !!!)
Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)