Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Little Grass Shacks

After "lurking" and eagerly anticipating last year's parades, I finally decided to try my own fun for Another Year Of Schnibbles.  As I've been reading fellow bloggers, it seems that lots of us fell in love with Carrie's pink version of her own pattern, and I was no exception.  I read somewhere, but I can't remember just where, that someone said it was similar to a mini version of "Cracked Pots."  I just made Cracked Pots for a donation.  You can read about it here.  I realized that it would fun to make (and have) a smaller version, one just for me.

Here it is, I call it "My Little Grass Shacks."

 Since I live in Hawaii, I decided to add a bit of Island flavor with the palm trees in the corners.  I drafted them from a free block on the internet.  If you would like a link, you can find it in the above linked post about my version of Cracked Pots.    Here is a closer look at the palm trees:

Carrie made her version of this pattern into a pillow, but I wanted a quilt.  When I completed the top, I realized that it would be perfect to use a scalloped edge.  I've been wanting to try one for a while now.  I read a tutorial at Bonnie Hunter's blog quiltville and things went really great.  The only change I made was that since this quilt was so small, I used freezer paper to fold and cut my complete curved template.  I used bias binding to fit the curves and it was really easy.  I'm thrilled with the results.  I'm going to try another scalloped edge when I get a chance.  The best tip to remember is to not do curves that are too steep.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please feel free to read more.  I would love to hear from you!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Staycationing Part 1

I'm not doing much quilting these days.  My parent's are visiting from the mainland until 9 February and so we are going around doing all the "tourist" things.  I love it!  I get to feel like I'm on vacation, but still get to sleep in my own bed at night!  So far, we have been to the Waikiki Friday night fireworks twice (always a favorite), gone snorkeling, been to the North Shore, had shave ice, collected beach glass 4 times, gone whale watching, and visited two Botanical Gardens.  Here are some photos:

This is an over exposed photo of the whale we saw breaching today (the camera was on the wrong setting, UGH!).  We love whale watching and had an incredible experience last year in Maui.  You know it is amazing when the staff on the vessel is excited!  Today's trip was average, though.  It is always a treat to see them breach, and we saw it three times today, plus some tail slapping. 
This is one of the turtles we saw a week or so ago.  My husband and I love to snorkel and we try to go at least once every weekend.  My dad really likes to go, too.  My mom does not, but she enjoys wading and spotting the fish from above.
This is a lehua blossom.  If you have ever been to Volcanos National Park on the Big Island, you have probably seen the lehua trees that are all over the area.  This one was blooming in the Waimea Valley gardens located across the road from the big surfing beach of the same name here on O'ahu.  Incidently, there is also a young lehua tree in my front yard, and it does produce a few blossoms occasionally. 
This is one of the many species of trees at Foster Botanical Garden.  I love trees and it is so neat to see so many interesting examples.  In fact, I love trees so much that I'm considering this as a future project:
Isn't this awesome?  It is called Acorn's Promise and you can find the pattern  here.  I'm ordering it next.  I'm off to have another busy week but will be blogging about my first in the Year of Schnibbles in a few days.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Inevitable Unknown

This isn't a quilting post today.  What is going on in my life first and foremost right now is the fact that we will be moving this summer and the question of "to where" is superceding most everything else.

Everytime a PCS (that is Permanent Change of Station--or a move) approaches, we have  different experiences.  Sometimes we have known almost a year out, sometimes we found out only a month before we left.  Sometimes we plan on going one place and then it ended up changing to another.  Our first time, there was no choice at all. 

I don't know about other military spouses (or members) but for me it is a time so full of possibilities.  What if we went  ________?  Or how would life be like if we lived __________?  For me it is a time to dream a bit. 

Right now, the reality is that my husband (and the 47 other people in his group who are up to PCS this summer) got a list of 48 different assignments (the specific job at a particular place) and he is to go though them and mark his top 10.  Then the "powers that be" decide who is going where and let us know.  When we came here to Hawaii, it wasn't his first choice, but it was in his top 3.  What you have to understand is that the choice isn't purely geographical--the most important thing is the job--which position will be best for my husband's career.  What is also really neat about the past few assignments is that our daughter is grown and no longer lives with us, so we don't have to factor in things like schools and other needs of a child--we have the freedom to go just about anywhere. 

This time is anxious, because our future life literally depends on an uncertain outcome, and yet I do enjoy nurturing all the possiblities.  Once we "find out" I always feel a little let down.  It is good to KNOW, but I miss the dreaming, the "what ifs."  He has sent in his top 10 and we should know maybe as soon as the 21st, but until then, I will be doing more dreaming than quilting.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Year End Sales

So as most of you know, many of the online and also "brick and mortar" quilt shops had a year-end sale.  Did any of you take advantage?  I sure did. 

The phone rang this morning and as I didn't recognize the caller ID, I let the machine pick it up and it was the fraud dept of our credit card company!  I called back and they had a suspicious charge they wanted to inform me about.   Now the funniest version of this story would be that all of these online fabric purchases set off the warning bells, but of course, with my credit card history, no charges to fabric/thread stores would be at all "suspicious."  It was a fradulent charge, however, (to a music store in California) and in going over recent charges and statements, we found several more.  Luckily, the credit card company is taking care of it and we are getting new cards.  The bonafide funny anecdote to this was when the fraud guy and I were going over the recent charges.  It went something like this:  "How about this charge to...  The Fat?...  Quarter?...  Shop?  in the amount of   YES, that is mine.  Next is Thousands of Bolts for YES, that is mine, too.   He said, "Wow, that must be a big fabric store!"  I replied that I had no idea--it's online.

Meanwhile, I have been doing some quilting.  I did not participate, but lurked, most of last year for  A Year of Schnibbles  but this year I would like to challenge myself to take part.  I have already finished my quilt for January, but I will blog about it at the end of the month for the parade. 

I have other projects in mind to make and just a few to finish, but I'm thinking I would really like a great applique project to work on.  I'm sure I'll be moving this year and will be w/o my machine (and let's face it:  a home, too!) for at least 2 months, so having an organized, complex, hand project is just the ticket.  I love needle-turn applique, especially with my favorited technique, back basting.  Have any of you tried it?  I love it. 

This is the project I'd love to do.  I have never done a genuine "block of the month" kit before because I really don't like the idea of doing a quilt that will be just like lots (hundreds?) of other ones.  This is worth it, though!  My favorite color is red!  I've been waffling on committing, and I think I finally decided to go for it!  But wait, Oh no!, I'm going to have to wait 7-10 days until my new credit card comes!  Shucks!