New Inspiration

 oI feel a little greedy about these books I got in the mail today. Yes, there are lots of them and I ordered them all at once. Such decadence. Yet I feel like I have enough to work with in these books that I will not have to order a pattern for anything. Ever. At least for all of 2013. And that is how I justify them in my mind.

The great thing about these books is that I paid close to nothing for them.  I did earn them but I did it through my Landmark Credit Union debit card.  I get points every time I use my debit card as a credit card.  When those point add up, I can trade them in for merchandise, travel credits and best of all, gift cards.  My husband has the same rewards points on his card but he only uses his card for gasoline and going out to restaurants.  I use mine for everything from groceries to clothing to paying other bills.  I have three times the point as he has.  And yet, I did not use my reward points to buy these books, I used his. I redeemed his points for a $50 and a $25 Amazon gift cards.  And he still has points left over.  It is an amazing no-brainer - it's like free money.  So between the Amazon gift cards, some leftover credits I had on my Amazon account and $26.43 cash, I got all these books. 
I feel a little like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the long winter's season.  I have plenty of inspiration on cold days to keep me going without leaving the house.  I can actually say I am looking forward to the long winter now that I have these babies.
Just so you don't think I am totally greedy, I am saving my rewards points to get a $250 Home Depot gift card for my husband.  He might as well enjoy the long winter too.


Poinsettia Table Topper

Christmas table runnerI got the pattern for this table topper in a quilting class I took at the local technical college 4 years ago.  I love the pretty reds against the white background.  I quilted it with white thread and at first I thought it was a bad decision but now that it's done, I like it.  This sure is going to be pretty on my kitchen table during the Christmas season.


Riff-Raff Runner - Christmas Kit

Christmas Table RunnerI picked up this quilt-as-you go kit on clearance last winter at Racine's Sew N' Save.  Nothing like getting a bargain when it comes to quality fabrics and patterns.  I loved the dark, rich colors in the sample on display and thought I could get it completed during the long winter months.  Unfortunately once I brought it home I realized that since Christmas was over, I had no motivation to do it.  So I set it aside hoping I wouldn't forget about it when winter rolled around again. But now here we are with a new Christmas season beginning and am I ever motivated!  I remembered that I had this pretty little kit waiting for me.  I even remembered where I stashed it!  Thanks to my new fancy sewing room it seems everything is nice and organized and surprisingly it is staying that way. There's nothing like spending a cold Saturday, watching college football and sewing.  It's also nice to take a break from quilt-making to do a project that can be completed in a few hours.  I am so glad I got this done, I even know exactly where I am going to put it to show it off.


Noah's Ark Baby Quilt

Quilts for KidsIn my determination to stay out of the malls and department stores today, I made this quilt over the Thanksgiving holiday.  No black Friday shopping for me, just a day in my cozy, warm sewing room with a project that I could complete by the end of the day.  I did most of the piecing during the week prior to the holiday, but the backing, quilting and binding was done yesterday.  The really cool thing is that I had all the fabrics in my stash so it was nice to get it done and get rid of some fabrics I had hanging around. Although I'm not totally crazy about the corner blocks.  The color blends a little into the border. 

Quilts for Kids
The block I used is from the Glorious Autumn Quilter's Block Party on the Quilting Gallery website. The block is called Maple Swirl and the designer is Sandi Anderson.  You can find her tutorial to make this block here.  It seemed like the perfect pattern to frame the feature fabric.
I'm not sure what I will do with this quilt. Maybe it will go to Quilts for Kids.  I did like working with the bright colors. 


Khanh & Bonnie's Baby Quilt

I decided to make my son BJ's best friends a quilt for their new baby.  They are practically family to us so I thought it would be nice to commemorate their new baby with something personal.  Besides, the shower is next week and nothing on the baby registry jumped out at me.

Since they are a young, modern and stylish couple, some non-traditional colors were in order.  I fell in love with the cute little baby animals on this fabric and the latest issue of Quilts and More had a pattern that suited it perfectly.  The pattern is called Elephants on Parade. The fabric really needed a pattern that would showcase the cute little animal print.   I attempted to fussy cut the animals and frame them in patchwork, but it just didn't work. The complimentary fabrics also suited the pattern since the example had fabric with a stripey thing going on and this fabric line had a complicated pattern that could easily act like a stripe. Although the pattern called for another row of triangles along the edges, I thought it would take a way from the cute little prints. Plus I wanted it to be baby-sized (fit in a pack n' play).  I sure hope they like it.


Splash Studio

Last night I went to an event at Splash Studio where we eat, drink and paint.  Splash Studio is a place in the Third Ward that combines a bar with art classes.  All the staff members studied work in college and have careers in art.  Jen had this event planned with her coworkers and she needed a few more people to get to the minimum number of guests necessary to hold the party. 

We all ordered drinks and socialized for a little while, then we got instructions from the staff.  We all donned art smocks and got some paint.  We were all painting the same thing so there were instructions on a chalkboard as to how much paint to put on our palettes. The paint was in gallon jugs with pumps to squirt the paint onto the palette. So the chalkboard instructed us to take 2 pumps of blue, 3 pumps of green, 1 white, etc.   We took our seats where the canvases were set up with a water container and 4 different sized paint brushes ready for use. 

The instructor started the class and we started with the blue sky followed by the green grass.  After painting those, we stopped to have pizza while the canvases dried.  Then we painted the clouds and trees. After that, we stopped for a drawing to win free drinks - again while the paint dried.  We finished up with the poppies and long grass.  The instructors took a group shot for their facebook page and we were on our way. 

Here are our paintings...