26 June 2012

Quiilters and sew-ers UNIITE!

Just got done my very first participation in Talking Tuesdays (#talknt) hosted by @CaraQuilts on Twitter. Seriously fun. Lovely like-minded people from all over. Lots of great projects during show & share. I've got my calendar set to remind me every Tuesday night at about 5:45pm PT so I can make sure I've got a fresh Vitamin Water and have made a potty run.

"Met" some interesting people that I hope to be able to share ideas and interesting conversation with again. (@ghquilting, @QuilterPatSloan, @BariJ, @LolaPink_Jen, @lolapinkfabric, and @SewingOverPins just to name a few.)

Other exciting Tuesday news (assuming I actually have anything exciting that might resemble news): the baby quilt I finished for a co-worker's surprise baby shower today seemed to be a hit. Always nice to see people enjoy what I make. No pictures of the finished quilt ('cuz I'm a 'tard and forgot to take any) but here's the pre-quilted top and the label I made that got adhered to the light purple (almost lavender) Minkee back.

My server host helped me figure out what my major damage was with the personal domain. Apparently my password had expired. Imagine that, and after only about 10 or 12 years ... :) Password has been changed so I'm good to go. Maybe during the few days of vacation I'm taking Thurs/Fri/Mon I'll get motivated to do a little more updating. When it's in a little bit better shape, I'll let y'all know. :)

My favorite quilting companion (aka Harold the Large - seen in the photo right below the words About Me above and to the right) is trying to tell me it's time to run him a hot bubble bath. Oh, he doesn't actually take a bath, he just likes to drink the hot water. He's kinda psycho that way. Whenever anyone heats up water for tea or coffee, you can find him winding around ankles and loudly demanding his portion. He also comes running for opening individual string cheese plastic and refrigerator doors. He's apparently upset with me at the moment for not moving fast enough for him. How do I know? He's sitting in the doorway back to me. Eh, he'll live (even though he doesn't seem to think so). He's more like a dog than the dog is (Eureka the "cat" is the photo above Harold in the upper right). Two fools in a pod. And I love 'em both.

Have you hugged your pet today?

-Biird-

23 June 2012

Craptastiicness

I'm attempting to upload a whole butt-load (technical term donchaknow) of images to the domain I own so I can use that to host them instead of blogger. I've got a trial version of SmartFTP which was working for a while but stopped. Not a clue why, the trial time isn't up and the house internet connection is fine. I pulled the latest FileZilla. Can't even get a connection. Sigh. Well, at least I can continue to build up a long list (or large folder) of stuff to upload when I finally get something to work.

Grrr ... not how I want to start my Saturday when I have plans to upload things.

-Biird-

22 June 2012

Late niight musings

I've been catching up on older Epbot.com posts.

I love Jen Yates' quirky sense of humor. I found her a few years ago via Cake Wrecks. When I caught up on CakeWrecks to where she branched out into a non-cake focused blog, her 3G Spot (Geekery, Girliness, & Goofing off), I had to check it out.

I've read every post, enjoyed her stories of the things that her very handy and caring husband John does for and with her, and virtually shared oohs, ahhs, awws and hysterical giggling as well as anxiety and even a couple of tears. Even though I've never commented on either blog, Jen's writing is something I look forward to. She's inspired me to push myself a little bit further out there.

Jen, if you're out there reading this, I want to thank you. As well as let you know that you have more people in your corner cheering you on in every new and scary thing you do than you realize. (And some day, maybe I'll leave a comment.)

-Biird-

21 June 2012

Rediiscovery

I'm making a baby quilt for a co-worker. While trying to figure out the label for it I rediscovered some fun things that I don't use very often:
  • Quilt Label Collective cd
  • June Tailor printable iron-on label fabric
  • Sulky KK2000 temporary spray adhesive
  • Gingher pinking shears

How the heck did I use all of these things when making a quilt label? Well, let me tell ya...

First I design my label in Photoshop. I found the basic label design I wanted for this one on my Quilt Label Collective cd. Some really great black and white line drawings ranging from cute to classy. My favorite place to start when making my quilt labels. I use a lot of layers in order to get the colors and text the way I want it. Many layers makes it easier to move, add, and remove items without disturbing other things.

Once I've got the design made, colored, and sized the way I want it, I print it in color to see if I like it. At this point I can still make tweaks and changes or just plain start over with something else entirely if I don't like what's printed and not waste the expensive iron-on stuff.

Once it's "perfected" (as if anything I do is even remotely close to perfect) and I have a clean print out, I dig out the printable iron-on label fabric and cut a rectangle approx an inch to inch and a half larger in both length and width than the label design. For example, the label I've been working on tonight is 3 1/2 inches by approx 2 1/4 inches. The iron-on label fabric rectangle I cut was about 4 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches.

My next step is to spray the back of the rectangle I just cut and center it horizontally and vertically over the printed label design, making sure it's firmly attached to the paper.

Then I put the paper into the paper tray making sure it's going to print right side up exactly where it printed before. And go back to the laptop and hit Print.

Once it's come out of the printer (and it looks just how I want it to), I carefully peel the iron-on fabric off of the paper. I then grab my trusty Gingher pinking shears and cut along all 4 edges of the label approx half an inch or so outside of the design.

From there it's follow the directions on the iron-on fabric package to affix it to the quilt and we're done.

As I didn't take pictures of the different steps, I'll have to remember to when I do more labels and add the pictures later.

I really like the way this label came out. And it was a nice way to do a little creative de-stressing after a crazy day at work.

-Biird-

17 June 2012

16 June 2012

Waiting for Labels and Quiilting

I found and took pictures of some more quilts that only need labels (and names) in order to be fully finished. I'm sure there are more around the house ('cause we're usin' 'em) which I'll get washed and photographed eventually. :)


pattern used: some kit with Spa in the title from JoAnn's
Current thoughts for a name:


pattern used: Peaceable Strips
Current thoughts for a name:
For some reason the name Burnished Peaches just popped into my head when I was looking at the pic tonight.


This was the result of my playing with batiks and Strips and Curves.
pattern used: book "Strips and Curves"
Current thoughts for a name:
Lunar Landing
Moonscape
Radioactive Violet


This is the back of the Strips and Curves one. I like how the leftovers came together on the back. Worked out well.


pattern used: This one came out of a book, but I don't remember which one
Current thoughts for a name:
Not a clue

I also found some completed tops that still need to have backs made and to be quilted:
1. 2.
1. my favorite pattern - Irish Chain - made in my favorite color batik scraps - GREEN
2. made while goofing around with a jelly roll - baby sized

3. 4.
3. smaller practice block from Celtic Pieced Illusions for the border challenge block - probably end up as a pillow with #4
4. smaller practice block from Celtic Pieced Illusions for the border challenge block - probably end up as a pillow with #3

5. 6.
5. from Celtic Pieced Illusions - made to play with the process - used as the center block of a border challenge with Mom and Andrea
6. found this pattern in a magazine but can't remember which one - I'm sure I'll find it again ... :) - baby sized

7. 8.
7. goofing around with the rest of the jelly roll used for #2 - table runner / dresser runner for a kids room?
8. loved these fabrics and the drunkards path block seemed just right - baby sized

9. 10.
9. my favorite Irish Chain in a kid sized quilt
10. from a beginning quilting class - we never got to the actual quilting but did a little bit of applique and learned a few techniques - kid/baby sized

11. 12.
11. playing around with some paper piecing patterns that I enlarged - probably closer kid than baby sized
12. back of #11

13. 14.
13. dark jelly roll scraps - about the right size for a doll quilt or one side of a small dog or cat cushion/bed
14. paper pieced blocks made into an octagonal table topper - pinned and ready for quilting

15. 16.
15. very frakkin' cute whale/fish print that I was goofing around with - needed something so I'm auditioning the purple octopi as possible applique additions - kid sized
16. Peaceable Strips made with gold and black sunflower printed batiks - working on just the right quilting design for it - bed sized

And this doesn't include the finished non-quilts that I found and took pictures of.

Like before, if you've got any suggestions for names or comments about the current thoughts for names, leave me a comment and let me know.

-Biird-

UFOs Biirdstyle

Okay, found almost all of my UFOs (UnFinished Objects) / WIPs (Works In Progress) / PIGS (Projects In Grocery Sacks) and made a list using the pattern title and brief description for the time being. I'm sure I'm missing a few (a chef themed drunkards path comes to mind) but I've got the vast majority. When I find the rest I'll add 'em to the list.
  • Point / Counterpoint - black & white & red
  • Indian Summer from the book "Simple Quilts" - bright batiks
  • West Wind Throw - beige background with various marble-like colors
  • Snail Trail blocks (no pattern) - red and beige print
  • Space Kids
  • some Christmas thing I can't find the pattern for - Christmas prints
  • something out of the book "Nickle Quilts" (but can't remember which one) - medium range batiks and light lavender-grey
  • Hip to be Square - VERY bright batiks
  • A Cat for All Seasons (applique)
  • Let Sleeping Cats Lie - batiks (I know it's around here somewhere)
  • drunkards path blocks - chefs and veg
  • modified Twisted Ribbons - left overs from the quilt I made for Katie - currently marked up and rolled on the frame for quilting

I was hoping to get an urge to complete something while I was going through everything. Sadly, that didn't happen.

I also found the stuff that I've kitted (picked out all materials for and put in a project box with the pattern) and made a list of THOSE.

  • Let Sleeping Dogs Lie - same fabrics as (leftovers from) the UFO Let Sleeping Cats Lie
  • Forest Reflection - Christmas Fabrics
  • Mini Miranda Bag (purse) - batiks in greys and browns
  • Tree Lot - Christmas fabrics
  • Spicy Spiral Table Runner - pink elephants
  • Jelly Roll Jacket (jacket, duh) - batiks
  • Go With The Flow - marbles and butterflies
  • Buckeye Beauty - purples with light blue and/or light green
  • Served with a Twist (table runner & placemats) - Halloween prints
  • Batik Stars - A Sew Batik kit purchased at IPQF - brights
  • Magic Carpet - a Sew Batik kit purchased at IPQF - browns and neutrals
  • pillow cases - Christmas Elves
  • pillow cases - Cowboys

Nothing here struck me as "OMG I have to do this NOW" either. Sigh.

Tomorrow's another day.

-Biird-

14 June 2012

They're BAAaack! (and QUIILTED!)

As some have seen via Twitter or FaceBook, I've got some of my quilts back - QUILTED! My next step (and next to last step to being finished) is labeling them. Part of labeling is naming. And for that, I need help. Take a look and let me know in the comments what comes to mind for names.

The pictures were taken by the Maine end of the quilt assembly and finishing crew. A couple of them were photographed in a manner other than right side up. :)

Quilt #1

pattern used: Magic Tiles
Current thoughts for a name:
Fractured Funny Farm
if you can't tell that the fabrics have sheep, pigs, and cows on them, check out the pillow cases made of the same fabrics here

Quilt #2

pattern used: Bento Box
Current thoughts for a name:
Ch-ch-changes
Boxing Day

Quilt #3

no pattern used
Current thoughts for a name:
Midnight on the Big Island
Hawaiian Nights
Hawaiian Mosaic
Loc-tite Luau

Quilt #4

the right side is actually the top of the quilt - it was probably easier to hang this way
pattern used: 21 Strip Salute
Current thoughts for a name:
I got nothin'. I've been calling it by the pattern name "21 Strip Salute" ... I think I'd like something different for it. I could call it "Almost Stolen" since it was practically kidnapped prior to being put into the box ... TWICE!!! And then, in California, again it's safety was in question when I was showing folks at the office. :) I could call it "Jail Time" 'cause that's what someone will get if they swipe it! (Temptation?)

Quilt #5

the quilt is hanging upside down - ooopps :)
pattern used: Quilt in a Day Flying Geese book
Current thoughts for a name:
iSpotted Geese
Flying South
Going My Way

Quilt #6

pattern used: Elongated Diamonds
Current thoughts for a name:
Diamond Jubilee
A Giirl's Best Friend

Any suggestions for any of them? Leave me a comment and let me know. I'll be sure to post the final decisions.

(I've got other "almost finished" quilts that need labels and names. I'll do this again when I get around to getting pictures of them.)

-Biird-

11 June 2012

Giirly Biird

Another busy weekend for me. What did I do? Well, I:
  • sorted quilting magazines and put them in magazine holders by title and issue
  • put together the back of the red and black quilt I recently finished
  • made a quilt top from a favorite pattern

I realized that I have WAAAYYYY too many magazines - a BUNCH of duplicates (the equivalent of about 10 reams of paper). I really need to get them cut back. At some point, if I'm smart, I'll get a list of which issues of which magazines I have to make it easier to find when I'm looking for stuff.

(and this isn't even all of them)

Had fun putting together the back of the black and red quilt (pattern from the book Geared for Guys by Crazy Old Ladies Quilts) that I recently blogged about. LOVE it as it's own quilt top even. It definitely will look good either side up.

I've also been thinking about what to call the black and red quilt. Some of the names running through my head are:

  • Scarlet Tempest
  • Scarlet Tornado
  • Scarlet Purgatory
  • Scarlet ... something (are you sensing a theme here?)
Nothing's really hitting hard (except the scarlet thing) and I'm open to more suggestions.

Dug out some strips I'd previously stitched together and one of my favorite quick & easy Jelly Roll / fat quarter patterns by Atkinson Designs (Anything Goes from the book Take Two and Add A Few) and made what I'm tentatively calling "Anything Giirly Girl Wants". I was thinking about possibly something with Princess or Pastel or Cotton Candy in the name but couldn't come up with anything that rolled off the tongue well. It's a pattern I use a LOT for baby quilts - quick, easy, and oh-so-cute with an applique that goes with the fabrics used and backed with Minkee or something equally as soft and snuggly.

Now I'm trying to figure out what to work on next ... Probably should compile my UFO/WIP list so I know what I've had waiting in the wings for awhile. I either need to find a fabric I REALLY want to use or a pattern that I really want to do. And I'm going to do everything I can to NOT have to purchase more fabric. We'll see how good I do. :)

-Biird-

06 June 2012

On a Wiing and a Prayer

Just heard from the shipper (aka Mom) for my quilter (aka Andrea the Sister-Unit). I have 6 (SIX) completed quilts winging their way to me via UPS. All I have to do when they arrive is label 'em (Mom squares and binds for ice cream, fat quarters, and binding scraps).

I can't wait!

They will be coming to the office and should arrive Tues/Wed. I've been reassured that a favorite of theirs has actually made it INTO the box and didn't get "stuck" on someone's bed and miss it's flight. I've also heard that one we all like and find amusing wasn't appreciated in the boonies. No sense of humor those people. (And some are curious as to why I didn't move back to ME with M&A way back when.)

Got some GREAT photos from Mom yesterday of an eagle, turkey vulture, and possibly some hawks in her back yard. I'll try to get them posted in the next few days.

I'm so excited and can't wait to get my quilts!!

-Biird-

p.s. I just realized we shipped 6 quilts on 6-6 ... ominous? I don't think so ... :)

02 June 2012

Singin' Like a Biird

Sugarland concert last night ... AWESOME!

Opening for Sugarland was Canaan Smith (@cannansmith). Fresh blood on the music scene. Not quite as country as I would have expected but good. He dressed like "The Kid" right down to the skater shoes and saggy pants.

Then came Lauren Alaina (@Lauren_Alaina). The 17 year old "Georgia Peaches" songstress was a bouncy peppy bundle of vocal chords and charisma on stage. She brought a young man from the audience on stage with her, gave a shout out to her mom who was in the audience, and seemed to be having a GREAT time singing and dancing. Unfortunately I didn't manage to catch a good picture of Lauren and the guy from the audience.

Then came the headliner - SUGARLAND!!
(@SugarlandMusic, @KristianBush, @JenniferNettles)

They were much fantastic! The tour is called "in Your Hands" since they were taking requests via Twitter , text voting, and signage. One of the songs they sang as a request was Tennessee. Jennifer brought onto the stage the young man who made the sign requesting it.

Some of the other songs they did:

  • Stay
  • Little Miss
  • Settlin'
  • Baby Girl (with a local girl who did an AWESOME job)
  • Incredible Machine
  • Sugarland
  • and lots more, even a little George Michael (Faith)

All in all, a wonderful night.

-Biird-