Wednesday, April 22, 2015

DillyDally Fun @ Spring Retreat!

Guilty as charged ... I often share how wonderful I think our local quilt guild is!  I honestly feel that way!  The time we spend on the business side of being a guild is minimal with the primary focus spent on providing our membership with fun-filled opportunities to quilt!  If you'd like to see the fun we had last weekend at our annual Spring Retreat, visit the guild blog here!
 As described in the last blog post, Girlfriend and I were well prepared for the fun!
These six women were the committee that planned the fabulous weekend!  What an amazing job they did!
GF celebrating her birthday while Flicka supervises! 2.22.15
Each committee member made two items to be used as door prizes.  GF shared with me her nervousness at the time.  She worried that as a beginner (at this point she had only used a sewing machine 5 times) she wouldn't be able to make adequate items.  I assured her that I would guide her through anything she chose to do.  She went through my piles of patterns and found an apron that she liked.  On the night we celebrated her birthday, all she wanted to do was sew!  We all had dinner in the living room ... she even ate her cake while sewing!  ;-)  I knew then that she was hooked!
QBee Neva was the lucky recipient!
Neva insisted on using props to model it for everyone!
The apron is reversible too.  We all got the giggles as Neva commented on how she planned to show it off to her husband!  When you've been married 30+ years you can behave "that" way!  OMGosh how we laughed!
The second item(s) GF made was a set of cup cozies!
QBee Marianne won those!  They will be great for picnics and drives out the road!  One of the side benefits to these projects is that they provided additional opportunities for GF to expand her sewing skills!  Win/win for her and those who received the fruits of her efforts!
Friday night and Saturday I concentrated on making the pieced blocks for my Shadow Song quilt!  It was tough for me to work with only two solid colors ... I always like the scrappy, mix it up in a blender project ... but I finished 12 blocks ... I have another 12 to make!
Sunday morning I set the blocks aside and played with the strips!
Yeah!  All the strip units are pieced ... I love the results!
GF made great progress on her Confetti in the Corner blocks too!
During retreat she pieced an additional 12 blocks ... making a total of 18 finished!  We celebrated that she has over half way done with the pieced blocks!  Whoot! Whoot!

Another fun activity the guild sponsored was a "secret sister" type of event. This go around we called it the "Rip Roaring Exchange".  Everyone who wanted to participate placed a selection of fat quarters in a paper bag and then we exchanged them anonymously.  We were free to use some or all of their fabric and add some of our own choosing!
I was thrilled when I discovered that I had drawn QBee Susie!  She is such fun and I am very familiar with her fabulous home sewing studio!  As soon as I found out I had her ... I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  The metallic oriental teal fabrics she had in her bag ... were just not working out for what I wanted to make.  Yep ... I ignored bent the rules (common practice for me) and went to the fabric store and bought new "sewing themed" fabric to use for the outside and used her teal for the lining!
Susie is one of the most fun quilters I know ... we always have the giggles when we're together!  So I wanted the front to reflect the fun we have when we sew together!
As a side benefit, I was able to blog about it while making it.  I was careful not to show any photos that revealed the lining!  I confess ... I allowed everyone to think I was making it for myself.  Yep ... I do have a bit of a deviant disorder ... just ask Neva!  The blog post can be found here.
I loved making this sewing machine cover for Susie!  I hope it makes her smile every time she sits down to sew!
Girl Friend DD also drew a close friend!  Sally is not a beginner quilter, but she is a new member of the guild.  Brother and Sally's husband work together.  The two of them have forged a friendship that is not limited to quilting or the men in their lives ... fun for them both!  GF carefully went through my piles files of patterns again and chose two that she thought Sally would use and enjoy!
Again, these projects enabled GF to learn new sewing skills.
She is such a quick study ... it is fun to watch her master every task she takes on!
I love this picture ... I can't decide who's cutest, the items or the quilters!  Happy faces ... happy quilters!
I had put Vintage Modern (one of my favorite fabric collections ever) scraps into my brown bag!  Shannon used her magic and turned those odds and ends into treasures!
The Stowaway bag on the right is the perfect size ... 8 inches long and 3 inches square!  I like to keep containers like this packed for a specific purpose ... easy to grab and go!  This one is going to serve as my Binding Bag!  All the tools and equipment I need to do binding will be stored in here ... when I need it, I'll just have to add thread for that specific quilt and I'm ready to go!  Perfect!
This Knitting Needle Case is specifically made for double pointed needles! Shorter pockets in the front for 5 or 6 inch needles and taller pockets in the back for 8 inch needles!  I plan on storing my crochet hooks here too!
When ready to fold up, a fabric flap covers all the points to prevent them from falling out!  This is just what I needed ... my double pointed needles are a mess and I had not found a way to organize them!  Both patterns are by genius designer, Terry Atkinson ...
... but were lovingly made by Shannon!  She is Susie's daughter ... I've known her since she was a 7th grader in my language arts classroom.  It was then that Shannon introduced me to her mother!  I love this woman and it has been such a honor to watch her grow into the wonderful person she is!  Shannon has always been a blessing!
Girlfriend DD is a beginner ... sew ... of course she had no scraps.  Ever resourceful and not wanting to miss the fun ... she went online and ordered a fat quarter pack!  And look what QBee Diane turned those fat quarters into!  GF was so touched ... and overwhelmed with gratitude ... wonderful in every possible way!
There was also a guild "Swap Table" at the retreat!  Every day new items were added by members ... and any member could take what they wanted.  Girlfriend was very excited when this quilt top became available ... she couldn't believe her luck that the maker was willing to pass it on!  She plans to add borders and finish it!
Flicka agreed ... GF had come home with yet another quilt treasure!
After we had shared our treasure and enthusiasm with the DillyDally men ... they began preparing dinner for us ... GF grabbed her new quilt and made herself comfortable in the recliner!
Within 10 minutes she was fast asleep!  This picture just makes my heart sing ... it says sew much on sew many levels!  Can this much fun packed into a single weekend be legal?  Fortunately for quilters here in our remote corner of the planet, the answer is yes!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Friday, April 17, 2015

Preparing for Retreat!

The quilters here in my remote corner of the planet are buzzing like bees ... our guild's annual spring retreat begins tonight!  Girlfriend DillyDally has been especially busy as she is also on the retreat's planning committee!  She has been busy making two door prizes ... cannot share those until after the event ... and all kinds of other preparatory work!  I love how she just dives in and gets involved ... yep, she's a DillyDally!
Speaking of "diving in" ... she has also chosen her second quilt project!  After finishing her Popsicle quilt, she began looking through my patterns and books.  After a lot of thought and consideration, she chose an alternate block pattern from Terry Atkinson's Confetti in the Corner book!  This girl doesn't bother taking baby steps when it comes to sewing skills ... she prefers to take giant leaps!
Because this block involved several new piecing skills for her, we thought it would be a good idea to practice the techniques before the event.  It gave her a chance to focus and develop each skill without the distractions and excitement of a retreat atmosphere.  As you can see, Mr. Brown Bunny was assisting that day!
Girlfriend is a quick study ... right triangles and flying geese truly are a huge leap from strip piecing!
Each time GF would get up from the machine ... Flicka would steal her chair.  Such a goofball kitty!
After successfully completing six blocks, she felt like she had the cutting and piecing techniques mastered!  Such a joy to watch this girl grow her quilting wings ... she is fearless and likes to soar!  Makes my heart so happy!
For my retreat project, I dug into the "DillyDally vault" and pulled out something I've wanted to make since 2011!  Yep, another Terry Atkinson design, Shadow Song.  It's not nearly as complicated as Girlfriend's ... quick and easy is just perfect for my retreat experience as I usually spend most of the time socializing.  ;-)  I bought this fat quarter pack, Ruby, by Bonnie & Camille for this specific pattern ... four years later and I still like it!
The guild's Accuquilter made light work of cutting out all the strips ... am sew happy we have a 3.5 inch dye!  Win/win!
Both of us DillyDally women are prepared and packed for the weekend!  I've been busy making snacks to share all afternoon.  Mother Nature is cooperating by bringing on rain, sleet and snow!  Perfect for a retreat weekend!  Hope your weekend plans are filled with fun as well!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My 3rd Birthday!

My Momma is in Anchorage running errands ... Pop stayed here with me.  I miss Momma when she is gone ... but Pop is more generous with kitty treats ... so it's all good.
On April 6, 2012, I adopted the DillyDally family.  It is a good thing I showed up when I did ... they needed me!  We refer to that date as my birthday!
I took to blogging like a fish takes to water.  Yummy ... I love fish, especially salmon.  I have it every morning for breakfast!
This was the first time I met "Her Majesty" ... it is Momma's favorite picture of me.  Now that I'm three, I have become a very experienced quilter.
Here we are a year later ... this was taken near my first birthday ... I grew a lot that first year!  I was just an overgrown kid ... still a kitten.
At two (human years) Momma referred to me as her teenager kitty ...
... she always tells me I am full of catitude!  Of course I am ... I'm supposed to be ... my mom can be such a wingnut! ;-)
Now I am three ... and I consider myself an adult ... mostly.  Case and point ... recently Miss Marshmallow invaded my space while Momma was working on her patchwork.
I introduced myself and clearly communicated what the expectations were if she wanted to share my domain.
See?  I thought I handled that very maturely, like an adult.  The two of us celebrated by napping while Her Majesty and Momma made progress on their piecing.
Happiness is a full tummy, a clean litter box, a soft quilt project to lay on, a ball of yarn to rest against your head and lots of rubs and loves from your family.  Yep ... life is good here in DillyDallydom!  Momma will be home on Thursday ... I hope she remembers to bring me a new toy (hint-hint).  I'm so glad I chose this family ... Happy Third Birthday to Me!

I always do what I love.  You should too.  Do dillydally!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Bunny Hop Continues!

Mother Nature appeared to have lost her calendar this past week ... five days of constant snow, sleet, rain and high winds ... ;-) ... I'm not really complaining ... it is the reality of coastal living.
Sew ... here in DillyDallydom, we've been surrounding ourselves with spring ... bunnies in particular!
In January, I picked up a copy of the spring issue of Quilts and More ... was thrilled to see another wool applique' pattern by designer Roseann Meehan Kermes.  Guess what arrived in the mail?  Roseann surprised me with a kit!  Look how she packaged the kit ... total cuteness!  Lucky me!
Sew ... I pulled out my stash of pearle cotton and got busy.  I love doing wool applique', but my least favorite part is tracing and cutting out!  A kit with precut pieces is a bit of handwork heaven here on earth!  I put the little pieces in a reusable container.  Flicka has taught me to keep little pieces of anything in a container ... I have learned to repurpose containers of all kinds! ;-)
I started with the eyelet border and flower.  The wool is hand-dyed ... yummy, soft as butter ... excellent quality!
Next ... time to work on the bunny!
I loved dressing the bunny ... it did require a bit of problem solving.  I did not have a color of pearle cotton that matched the bunny's ribbon.  They were either too blue or green ... so I used a contrast color ... easy fix!
Once the pieces were sewn down, it was time to finished it by layering it to the backing.  The kit provided white wool ... thick and luxurious ... making the buttonhole stitching fun.  Yep ... I said fun! ;-)  Just a reminder ... the magazine contains the pattern and directions , so a kit isn't required.  
I love working with my favorite dillydally math formula!  High quality supplies + a well designed pattern + your handwork = Happiness!
Mr. Brown Bunny appeared to be lonesome ... he needed a companion!
I used the same worsted weight yarn, but went down another needle size to create a firmer gauge.
Meet Miss Marshmallow Bunny!  She is a cutie!
They have become very good friends.  I have put the Easter eggs away, but these two bunnies are not for Easter only!  They get to stay and play all spring and summer!
All three bunnies enjoyed having a private bunny hop this morning!  They bring happiness ... such dillydally fun!
Roseann with Alaska QBees - 2011
I met Roseann quite accidentally in 2008 ... my goodness ... what a blessing she has been in my life!  I visited her shop while on a bus tour and we have stayed in touch ever since.  She is a positive force and passes that on to others ... such a pleasure to know and call a friend!  
Roseann also sent me three of her new patterns ... what fun!  And a reflection of her generous heart!   I sew appreciate having her in my dillydally life!
Just a couple more close up photos ...
... because ... I love my pretty bunny!  She makes me smile!

Do what you love. Do hop!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally