Friday, April 6, 2012

Will you help me decide? (giveaway)

My sister called with something akin to panic in her voice, wondering if I had dropped off the face of the earth.  Apparently, I haven't posted anything on my blog for a while.  OK, sis, I get the hint.  It's just that I haven't done anything new lately, and I don't want to bore anyone, myself included.

But seriously, I have made significant progress hand quilting my Charm lap/baby quilt.  I'm hoping to have it done this weekend. I like the meander around the polka dots on the backing, but it isn't the fastest way to quilt. 
The back - I'm quilting from the back with the dots as a guide

The front - makes me even more diligent about making sure my stitches are even since it is the back of my quilting that will be on the front of my quilt!

For my next hand quilting project, I want to do something even simpler, something with straight lines, either a crosshatch or outline stitch.  And I would like my next quilt that I finish to be one that is big enough to sleep under.  So, I pulled out my quilt tops and selected the bed-sized ones that could conceivably look nice with simple, straight line stitching. 

I can't decide which to quilt first, so I'm hoping you all will help me decide.  There will be a fabric surprise in store for one lucky commenter - I plan to use some credit at a quilt shop next week to buy some batting, and I'm willing to use some of that credit on one of you.  Let me know which of the following quilts YOU think I should quilt next, and if you want to suggest a quilting motif, too, even better!  Next Tuesday (4/10/12), I'll choose a random commenter and find out what kind of fabric that person would like me to find for him/her at the quilt shop next week.  Just consider me your personal shopper!

Anyway, here are the options, with names that I am trying out for now.  Feel free to suggest better names if you think of something. (ignore the wrinkles - the poor tops have been squirreled away in an armoire for months, or even YEARS, in some cases.  I swear I could hear them breathe a sigh of relief to see the light of day when I pulled them out!):

A. Plaid Dresden
It isn't really as washed out looking as it appears in this bright sunlight
B. Ribbon of Hope
Flapping in the breeze - this quilt just wouldn't stay still for a photo!  It was like photographing one of my children!
C. Star Power
I completely forgot I had made this top!
D. Lincoln Logs
I thought you were supposed to photograph your quilts in natural light - why do all mine seem so washed out?
E. Make Mine Nine
Just pretend this is a decent photo - I despair of ever getting a good-looking shot of these quilts!
Got an opinion about which I should plan to quilt next?  I'd love to hear it!

Some of you may be wondering what I've been doing since I haven't whipped out anything new or finished anything old lately.  Honestly, I've been reading.  Somehow I completely missed that Jennifer Chiaverini's Sonomo Rose came out, so that's what I'm reading now.  I didn't even realize it was an Elm Creek Quilts book since it doesn't have "quilt" in the name, like all the others do!  I also discovered a new-to-me cozy mystery series.  Some of you know I grew up (mostly) in Maine and that I majored in Archaeology in college.  Dana Cameron writes a series of mysteries with a female archaeologist from Maine named Emma Fielding as the protagonist.  I picked up the first book in the series, Site Unseen, at a used book store last weekend and blazed through it, thoroughly enjoying it.  The only thing that could have made it better is some quilts.  And lucky me, there are 5 more books to enjoy in the series!  I ordered the 2nd and 3rd in the series from paperbackswap.com.  Which of you introduced me to that site, anyway?  I have yet to properly thank you - I LOVE IT!  It is my go-to location when I am looking to acquire new books, and such a great way to unload the books I have that I don't want to keep.

I've also been playing basketball.  Me, the 5 foot tall soccer player (well, 25 years ago, anyway) who has never played an organized game of basketball in my life!  I got together a team of women (we called ourselves the I Team - I for Ibruprofen!) who also work at the University where I work, and we've played a game every week for the last 5 weeks against some sorority girls, also known as tall, quick, lithe, energizer bunnies half our age.  We beat them the first 4 times out, but last night, we just couldn't keep up and lost.  I can't wait to play again next year!  My bruises should have faded by then...

The chicken coop is coming together slowly.  Unfortunately, I approached its construction much like I do my quilts, with a general idea of what I want, but no pattern.  I've discovered it is easier to fudge things with fabric than with wood.  And my kids have the attention span of gnats, so they only ever want to work on it for about 20 minutes before they lose interest and want to skateboard or ride bikes or do anything other than build.  We might not have chickens for a long time...

I've also been busy with Cub Scouts.  We've been working on Language and Culture Belt Loops and Pins, which included a trip to a Mexican restaurant in town with some native speakers and a performance of a skit/song at last night's pack meeting where I was the ONLY ONE SINGING!  The little twerps left me hanging out to dry, which was unfair since they were wearing homemade Elephant masks to disguise themselves and I was just myself.  We've also been working on Art Belt Loops and Pins, which included a visit to an art gallery with lots of western (read Cowboys and Indians) art that the boys loved.  And finally, we've been working on Disability Awareness Belt Loops and Pins, which included a trip to a Special Olympics event and a visit from a blind Eagle Scout who shared with us his guide dog, his cane, his talking computer, his braille, and his Goalball.  Goalball is a Paralypmics sport, and he was on a world championship 19-and-under team, and is still playing now on the US National Team.  Needless to say, not only were the boys rapt, but so were the parents!  Cub Scouts is a lot of time and effort and work for me, but it is one of the most rewarding things that I do!

As of last weekend, it is Drive-In Movie season again.  I'm still on the Board of Directors, and still the Volunteer Coordinator, so that is keeping me busy, too.  We'll be heading there tonight for a double feature of kids movies - The Adventures of TinTin and We Bought A Zoo.  I'm not sure who's more excited, the kids or me!

Finally, I'm still teaching karate once a week, as well as taking classes myself.  I find it hard to believe that I enjoy teaching it even more than I enjoy learning it myself.  I know I do a lot, but they are all things that I really enjoy doing - how can I say "no"?

And for those of you who are wondering, no, I didn't quit my job.  I'm still going there every day, too.  Somehow I convinced myself that things would slow down in April, but I haven't had lunch or left on time all week. (sigh) I'm so glad I enjoy my job since I spend so much time there.

28 comments:

Gill said...

Wow you have been busy! but you've been missed too!
I like E 'make mine nine'(I like the name too!) I think this one would be fun to quilt, especially as it has lots of empty triangles around the edge to fill with stitching!
Good luck - I look forward to seeing how you get on!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Star Power and Make Mine Nine would both be great done in a cross hatch quilt style, except you might want to do something different in the border of MMN. Plaid Dresden would look great with cross hatch in the sashing and borders, but, I'd stitch in the ditch by the plates, and stitch tiny dresdens in the blank corners. I really like Star Power. What fun colors to quilt. Good luck!

JustPam said...

Wow-what beautiful quilts! I especially love that Make Mine 9, so that would be my choice. I have no ideas on quilting.

Natasha said...

I think plaid dresden would make a nice simply quilted quilt. I think you can make a set of three lines, then an open space, and a set of 3 lines close together, space, ect. I do think the dresdens could use some quilting inside of each piece by about 1/4" then quiting around the outside of the dresden too about 1/4 inch outside the entire dresden. It might even look cute with a button inside each dresden center.

Best of luck choosing!

Jindi's Cottage said...

Great idea to use the dots on the backing fabric as a guide, filing that hint away...
Fun tops that are holidaying out in the sun. After a bit of a tussle between Star Power and Plaid Dresden, Plaid Dresden came out victorious winning my vote for next in line for quilting...dresdens are straight lines (ignoring the centre circle that is), maybe repeating the dresden shape over the nine patches and echo quilting around the pieced dresdens...have fun with whichever one you decide to play with next...and enjoy sleeping under it too...

Becky said...

Star Power caught my eye, so it gets my vote!

Julie Fukuda said...

OK, you are excused from not posting, but abandoning those lovely tops??? I do love the Star Power but all are so nice and I don't know if any want just a simple grid.
I tell my Cubs,the rule is, I NEVER sing ALONE!
And, oh how you remind me that I need to come to the States for a book fix. I am making a list.

Char said...

I like Star Power and Lincoln Logs. You do so much, when do oh find time to read?

My Sister Made Me Do It.... said...

I'm torn between Star Power and Make Mine Nine.....both are just beautiful and have such gorgeous borders. But if you are looking for a simpler quilting project I think maybe the Star Power.....I can't wait to see which you decide on!

Debbie DeBaeremaeker said...

since you are doing hand quilting...

i would quilt the dresden plate one by outline quilting the plate and the inner circle.

then i would quilt inside the square and then up and down each of the white rows (outside of the inner square. )

Janet said...

You have been so busy it is amazing that you even have time to think about quilting, let alone hand quilting a quilt! Definitely Make Mine Nine should be next. It is so beautiful, it is a shame not to have it on a bed where it can be admired.

Caz said...

Star Power or Make mine nine,, although Ribbon of Hope is a lovely one to have completed!

The Cozy Quilter said...

Thanks for the clothes line quilt show! I would pick C...star power. I love the colors that you use when you make your quilts. I am working on adding more of these colors to my stash.

hueisei said...

Beautiful and stunning quilts! I loved your choice of colors. Well, I guess you should start Star Power..

Ericka said...

Welcome back, Erin! I love them all but would love to see Make Mine Nine and Dresden Plate done first-one for your bed and one for mine in NH so I can advertise for you...

(I guess I don't need to tell you that you need not shop for me since I don't quilt yet...)

Moneik said...

I have to stay Star Power is my favorite. You've been staying really busy!

Shirley said...

My goodness Erin! I got tired just reading this. I don't need anything so don't enter me in the contest but I think Star Power. My second choice would be the dresden plate. I haven't posted for awhile either. I'm glad you did though. It's great seeing all those beautiful quilt tops.

Mary Beth said...

Love the Star Power (C) and Make Mine Nine(E)...gorgeous tops lady! Don't know how you do all you do!?! Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

It's good to hear from you again. You sure are busy. I'm impressed. And, wow! What a lot of beautiful quilt tops you have. Hard to say which one you should quilt, but I do like Star Power a lot, and Plaid Dresden, too. Whichever one you pick, you will for sure enjoy the hand-stitching.
Debbie R.

joe tulips said...

So much in one post! I think Natasha had the best idea with the Dresden plate quilt. A ton of people seem to be picking the star power. My choice for you would be the log cabin one. That would definitely be straight line quilting...plus I just plain love it the best. ALL of them are beautiful. It will be a tough choice. You could always do a drawing for which quilt to start with too!

quiltfool said...

Prolly too late, but I love your Dresden plate and would love to see you do that one. You know, I'm working on one too and plan to quilt around the plates and then crosshatch the background. I was inspired to work on mine from seeing yours. Glad you are busy. And, you inspire me to have fun! Lane

Nancy said...

Make Mine Nine and the Plaid Dresden are my favorites I think - though I really like all of them! I like the idea of some crosshatching in the background around the dresdens after you quilt around the plates - like the idea of a button in the middle of each plate too.

Still hoping to see you this Sunday.

Carla G said...

E. Make Mine Nine is my favorite! What a bunch of beautiful quilt tops! :)

Beeshebags said...

Browsing through the comments as I came to leave one, it's kind of unanimous I think....I too was going to pick the Make Mine Nine....and was trying to think of some name that incorporated the Drunkards Path border but kept reverting back to your original name for it....so after all that, I also think the next quilt to be done is the Make Mine Nine.

Hugs
Naomi

Karen H said...

Wow, these quilt tops are lovely! How long have you been saving them? And will you hand quilt them all? That would be a huge undertaking.

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

I love the way you are using the dots on the back of the quilt to guide your quilting. How wonderful, and how fun!

Prima Donna said...

Wow! You are one busy lady. Love the I Team. I can so relate. All the quilts are beautiful. My choice is really selfish. I would love to see what you do with the Dresden Plate because I am making one now. I have no clue how I'm going to quilt it.

scraphappy said...

You sure keep a lot of balls up in the air! Glad you are enjoying your hand quilting time. Those Dresden Plates would look great with a simple crosshatch in the background. I did a 60 degree diagonal version on an applique block and it turned out great. Easy to mark as well with the diagonal lines on a cutting ruler and a hera marker.