Monday, July 28, 2014

A Beau-TEA-ful Treat!!

So yesterday, I showed you the Round Robin tea-themed quilt that was completed over the last year by my fellow quilt team members. At the conclusion I eluded that there was another tea-related surprise that I got this weekend and here it is ...

We had quite the active weekend, playing at the park, swimming, an Astros Baseball game, and more. While out and about my husband asked if I wanted to stop at a local consignment store, Consign-It, to see if they had any cabinets or hutches because we'd been trying to find something to display my tea cup collection since we first got married, 10 years ago. (Serious, nothing seemed like it would survive Army movers!)

When we got there we found two beautiful cabinets and after some discussions and comparisons, we decided to go with this one ...

After the baseball game, I spent a few hours unpacking my tea cup collections and tea sets and arranging them. 

Between my collection, the glass pieces and china we inherited from George's grandmother and my great-grandmother, the cabinet was filled in no time. About 2/3 of the pieces fit, so we'll have to come up with some other display methods.

Until our next cup of tea ...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Waiting with Anticipation ...

Editor's Note: I had wanted to post this yesterday, but had to wait for my mom to return from the Quilt Retreat where they revealed the Round Robin quilts to the owners. I was unable to make it and since she didn't return until nearly 10 p.m., this post is going out today instead.

This week I finished my first Quilting Round Robin. Last November my Mom and a group of quilting friends needed another person to fill out their Round Robin, which was part of 3 other groups of 6. Since we started a meeting behind and one person short, we needed to attend our first meeting, their second meeting, with our medallion block and one border.

This was my medallion, is Sweet Tea Cottage Block of the Sweetheart Cottages in the Follow Your Heart Pattern by The Quilt Company. It was the first pieced quilt block like this. It was not as hard as I thought it would be and look forward to trying other patterns in the future.

Then I added a checker board style border and solid to bring out more of the green accents in the medallion.
The Shabby Chic look and soft pinks and greens are something that I have always loved though it was not the dream George had in mind for a home when we got married, so I never really decorated the home in that theme. But when I saw the Sweet Tea Cottage Block, I know it had to be the centerpoint of my quilt.
As far as my first Round Robin experience, I would have to say it was very intimidating. I am a novice quilter, at best, mostly making large repeating blocks. I have been exploring with Quiltsmart's printed interfacing, but I have very little confidence in my own skills. It was a big hindrance because despite the support and encouragement of the other quilts in my team and the others in the group, I still felt like I would be the person to mess up these beautiful quilts for everyone else and it soon prevented me from having fun. I learned a lot from the other participants and really enjoyed the experience, but after some thought I decided to continue in the Round Robin ... but solo. That just means each meeting I will work on a quilt and add a border, it will just be one quilt - mine. That way if I ruin it, or waste fabric trying to do something new, or any of the other worries I had, it will be at a cost to me, not another quilter. In fact, it will be the one I wrote about in my last post.
But regardless, last night was amazing. My mom arrived, as I said, pretty late. We had just come back from an Astros (MLB) baseball game and was trying to get the 4-year-old to settle down after copious amounts of junk food and sugary treats.
She arrived, ready to reveal my quilt and this is what greeted me ...
A few close ups of the various borders ...

Absolutely beautiful! I just keep opening it up and looking at it ... only to find something new to fall in love with. {sigh}

I will probably add another border or two to finish it off, and then hopefully get it quilted. But this wasn't the only tea-themed surprise this weekend. Come back later to learn what else I got to feed my obsession!

Until our next cup of tea ...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Quilting with Quiltsmart

So I just finished the last of the quilts from the Round Robin I participated in this past year (post on that coming tomorrow). But during that time I have been wanting to just saddle up the the sewing machine and get creative with some of the Quiltsmart interfacing I've got in my QS box in my sewing room. It sits there staring at me, begging to be inspiring but with so much on my plate lately and the commitments that I'd made didn't allow me to just be creative at the sewing machine. In fact, sometimes I was stressed trying to get to the projects on my list!

But, the Round Robin quilt that I finished on Tuesday was the final project to be complete! So excited!! Even though I am in the final frenzied weeks of the Fall Quilt Issue at TEAinTEXAS, I did spend my lunch hour "playing". 

I had previously started working on a Princess Feather pattern. The first border is not necessarily a border as much as turning the medallion on point. Something that I am scared to do because of the math involved and the potiental to waste fabric getting it right. But turning it on point using the grid interfacing and 2-in squares. Previously I had cut the squares and ironed them to the interfacing hoping for time to sew them ... but then my sewing machine broke.

But my dear sweet husband surprised me with a Husquvarna Viking Opal 670 in May and now I am in heaven!! So today, I finally had the time to get some stitching done, so off I went, getting started on my waiting Quiltsmart project!

Oh, did I mention it's Christmas themed!?! I have never made a quilt with the holiday theme or colors. I have always been hesitant because it was a little intimidating to make a quilt that was Christmas-y without being childish or "country", I wasn't sure if I could make one that was elegant and holiday-insired. But I am up for the challenge!! 

So let's see where this journey takes us!!

I am also in the early stages of working on a secret Quiltsmart project, something that I'd been thinking of and making notes on for about a year now. I'll post some sneak peeks of it, but am hoping that I can have the full vision complete by Christmas for a big reveal. Fingers crossed! 

Until our next cup of tea ...