Spring’s Song

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I had one final finish in 2012 that I’m finally able to share.  I stitched this little piece up for a dear friend’s birthday (which I am notoriously and repeatedly late for).  She spent the majority of her year last year stitching for other people, and I wanted to do something special that was just for her.

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This is Spring’s Song by Blackbird Designs from the Spring 2012 Loose Feathers booklet, Mary Ann Blackburn.  I stitched it with the called for threads and linen (Crescent Colours and GAST on 30ct Sheep’s Straw).
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Part of what I loved about this piece was the jewelry box it is mounted in.  I found the called for box at Hobby Lobby and painted and Briwaxed my little heart out. 
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And I really thought this might be a perfect little sewing box, a place to keep her scissors and threads.  It has a mirror inside the lid, and little removable trays to hold little odds and ends.   
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I love the way it turned out and the finishing instructions were very easy to follow for mounting the piece in the lid.  Another sweet friend lent me her Briwax so that I could get the box finished, when my hunt for a local source to obtain the stuff turned up empty.  But thanks to online resources, I’m now the proud owner of more Briwax than you can shake a stick at.  I suppose there will be a lot more box painting in my future!
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I’m always nervous about mailing things off, and I hold my breath until I know they’ve arrived safely.  But I wrapped this baby up in about a thousand layers of bubble wrap and sent it on its way.  I’m so pleased that even a very late birthday gift still brightened her day and let her know how much I treasure her friendship.  
Happy Thanksgiving Christmas New Year’s Valentine’s Day Birthday, my sweet friend.  
I am grateful for hints of Spring.

Inspiration Overload

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Last weekend I had the great fortune of going to the Dallas Quilt Show with a friend of mine.  It’s been years since I went to the quilt show, so when she invited me I jumped at the chance.  As usual, there was so much to look at and seeing the quilts themselves always inspires me.  
Here are a few of my favorites.  
This one was a fun use of The Ghastlies collection from Alexander Henry.  
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And I’m always a sucker for a red and white quilt.  Love that radiating star center and the border is so pretty too.
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I don’t normally go in for “scene”quilts.  I appreciate their technical achievement, but they don’t usually do anything for me.  This one was absolutely the exception.  There was something about it – the texture, the colors.  I really loved this one.  
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And this one, made by a friend of mine, blew my socks off.  Such a fantastic use of color.  And I loved the little doors and windows in the houses.  A great take on a rather traditional house block.  
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Here’s another one.  Irish Chain, but done in some very happy colors.  I love the itty bitty four-patches. 
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Log cabin blocks.  Love the striped border.  
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Look how bright and springy this one is.  Still using a more modern palette, but toned down a tad.  So fun!  I think this one was also done by the friend that did the houses.
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Cathedral windows.  I just love the look of these, but I think they’d make me tear my hair out.  I like the fussy cutting in some of them, but it’s not so overwhelming to be distracting.
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Oh the bling on this one.  I just kept staring at it.  The quilting and embellishment of the Swarovski crystals is what makes this quilt.  Absolutely dazzling. 
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And if you thought the front was good – look at the back.  My photo’s a bit washed out, but wow.  Stunning!
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And I can’t forget this one. It was made from Liberty of London fabrics. I wanted to bring this one home so bad!!! Any lopsidedness at the bottom was due to my photography and not the quilt. Isn’t it luscious?

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And of course, in addition to all the quilts entered into competition, there are the vendors.  So many vendors, it’s hard to not spend all your money at the first two!  And of course, the models they have in their booths are fabulous.  

I fell in love with this very modern quilt.

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The same booth had this one too.  A beautiful kit of this one was available.  I love the scalloped border at the top and bottom.  Very simple construction – but the fabrics are the star!

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This one, I had to take a photo of because the last time I was at the quilt show (like 7-8 years ago), I bought this pattern and I still haven’t made this quilt!  I need to get with it.  I still love it.  It’s called Hot for Chocolate.

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I did try to restrain myself in the shopping.  I only came home with a few choice selections.  Some Lily Ashbury Gypsy Girl fabric.  Some old old Tula Pink Plume fat quarters.  And a Hex n More ruler from Jaybird Quilts.  I’ve been wanting to try one out for a while now.  I can’t wait to see what fun things I make with it!

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One of these days I’ll make it to the Houston Quilt Show, but for now I’m quite content.  I had a great time and am so glad that I got to go!  Hope you’ve enjoyed this little recap and found yourself inspired too!

I am grateful for good friends that share my love of quilting!

Spring is Coming

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I really don’t know where the time goes!  March is here and the trees are blooming and we’ve had a few really beautiful days.  Of course this time of year, I’m drawn to brighter colors and I’m really loving my new found focus on the projects I have in progress.  Earlier this week was the monthly guild meeting and I took a couple of things to work on (not that I put a single stitch in).  I’ve been working on some Tula Pink Prince Charming hexies as you can see.  I’ve also been hard at work on my John Reed sampler.  My pretty stitching wallets from Sylvia come with me wherever I go too!
Here’s a closer look at John Reed.  I’m loving the AVAS silks on the 40ct Confederate Grey.  I’ve finished page 1 and I’m moving along on the adjacent pages.  I’m stitching this for my dad, as his memorial sampler, so I’d like to have it finished by June (his birthday).  It’s a bit washed out in this photo due to the bright sunshine I had coming in the window.  The photo from guild night is more accurate colorwise.    
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I’ve also been spending Sundays on ATS.  Nothing much exciting going on – but I’m on the last row of alphabet finally.  I’ll be glad to get back to the motifs at the bottom of page 2.  
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In quilting news, since I finished my Kate Spain Christmas quilt top, I decided to get back to my Tula Pink Kiss Kiss quilt.  You may recall I started this on my birthday last year?  A couple of weekends ago, I pulled out all my fabric and finished all the cutting for the quilt top.  Now everything’s ready for piecing.  I can’t wait.  This is going to be gorgeous!
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And look! an older Tula Pink line, Plume.  I’ll have to find something special to do with this. 
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 And along those same lines, remember back in October when I got to meet Tula herself?  I pre-ordered her new Hex on the Beach kit.  I got a call at the beginning of January that it had come in and I rushed right over to pick it up!  After seeing Laurie and Margaret’s progress on their Hex on the Beach hexies, I couldn’t resist any longer.  So, I have a sneaky suspicion I’ll be showing you progress on this soon too!
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And tomorrow I am heading out to the Dallas Quilt Show with a friend to see what trouble we can get into get inspired by all the pretty fabric and quilts. I’ll be sure to share what I find there!
(P.S. – if you’d like to take a look at my February in photos, you can check out my other blog.)
I am grateful for a good book, a pretty mani and bursts of happy colors.