Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What A Christmas!!!!!

Those of you who have been reading my blog know I am not really one to share a lot of really personal stuff. I think I am a very private person (although I don't give that impression at times) but after blogging and reading others for a while, I have become a little more comfortable.

Christmas Day was a wonderful one! Grandbabies got almost everything on their list----thank goodness their wishes were moderate. It did however result in a LOT of packages giving the impression that this family along, has significantly helped the economy! Of course there were "wheels" for everyone (the children of course)---bikes for the two little ones, and a scooter for the older one. The two girls got electronics---a IPad (for the college girl) and a Blackberry tablet (for the next older one). I must say, I have a daughter who is the "Shopping Queen"! I wouldn't have believed the deals she got had I not seen the price tags. Also, thank goodness for "layaway". She is now getting ready for next Christmas :c)!

Now, the evening began and things didn't go so well. We were all dancing to the Kinect---Dance 3 and I was beating my daughter when my husband yelled down that our middle son was "sick". He had told my two grandsons he was "sick" and had collapsed. He was complaining of classic cardiac signs---crushing pain in his chest; pain radiating into his jaw; nausea (with later vomiting); and difficulty breathing. I gave him aspirin (EVERYONE should have aspirin in the house) and took his blood pressure which was VERY high with a VERY fast heart rate. 911 was called and he is now on a cardiac floor in the hospital. Oh yes, he is diabetic, and his blood sugar was 583! I had been asking him everyday he was here, how his blood sugar was, trying to watch what he was eating---he claims it was my cranberry sauce (even the doctor had to laugh at that)---although I am sure it didn't help.

Now what is the moral to this story----everyone should really begin the New Year with a evaluation of their entire life and life style. My son is only 42, but had he been alone at home, or worst yet driving back home (he was going to leave yesterday), the outcome could have been much worst. He has a wonderful sense of humor and of course is trying hard to make lite of this, but I will NOT allow him to. My resolution is to not only quilt as much as possible, but to really make some healthy changes in my life. More fresh veggies, more fish and chicken, more well balanced meals all around. I am also going to value my family and my time on this earth. Try really hard to not "sweat the small stuff" and move on! I will "live by example"---when my son gets home from the hospital, I feel sorry for him :c). I am not taking his word for anything---I want to see those blood sugars myself...and I sure hope he likes unsweetened yogurt, blueberries and low fat granola---because that is his breakfast menu! And instead of cranberry sauce I make, I will have raw cranberry and orange chuckney (sp) next year!

Have a blessed and productive day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas' Past-----

The "Children's Tree" upstairs in the family/game room. Santa knows to leave about half of the gifts here----but ONLY the children's gifts. Many of the decorations we made (the kids and I) and this one has candy canes (and it is okay to get one off the tree to eat while watching cartoons).

This is the more "formal" tree. This tree has ornaments that my children (my grandbabies parents) made. They love to hear the stories behind each one. See the little white bags. At my oldest (he is now 11) grandson's school, the senior class has a fund raiser to support their mission trip. The kids (in the lower grades) bring $3 per gift for each person on their list. Each student then gets to "shop" the store and pick out gifts. I love this school tradition. It is so interesting how my grandson really tries to get a gift that is special for each person. I can't wait to see what he got for me this year. The remainder of Santa's gifts goes here along with the "adult" family members gifts. These gifts are opened later in the day than the upstairs ones.

Now for my post today---Christmas' Past---. I really enjoy reading Lane's posts. He writes so eloquently and always gives me "pause to think". This latest post did just that. He details some specific memories of his "Christmas' Past", and really got me to thinking. Unlike him though, I don't have a specific memory, mine are more a "montage" of memories. I remember:

  • making sugar cookies on Christmas eve with my Mother and using the Christmas Tree cookie cutter.

  • Waking up on Christmas morning to the smell of turkey. My Mother cooked the turkey all night in a really low oven. When she took it out it was the most beautiful brown! I have never been able to duplicate that color---probably because I cook mine in a roaster.

  • Putting out the sugar cookies for "Santa" and then getting up in the morning to see a bit of cookie left with a obvious bite taken out. I (of course) didn't eat that piece of cookie left (you do NOT eat after people---I was thinking like a nurse even then), but I do remember smelling it. I guess I thought Santa left a definite smell---but all I was able to distinguish was the faint smell of cinnamon from the cookie.

  • I remember my Mother's rolls. So light---it seemed they melted in your mouth. I have her recipe and use to make them---but now I can't find cake yeast and so have had to resort to another one that is good, but not nearly as much as my Mother's.

  • Going to see my Grandmother. She lived to be over 100 and seemed always old. She held "court" at her house (I don't know why she didn't come to dinner) and my Mother would fix her a plate of food and we would make the pilgrimage. She wasn't particularly a loving Grandmother (I don't ever really remember her hugging me) and my cousin and I have agreed that she really didn't like any of us---but we went anyway. She always spoke in a very low voice and we gave her chocolate covered cherries (which I hate). She would always take them with a small smile (I always felt I should curtsy) and we would sit and be quiet (no running around in Grandmother's house) while my Mother spoke in hushed tones until my Dad said, "Okay Mother, is there anything you need, we will be going now". I was so happy to be outside where my brother and I would race home (we lived within walking distance).

  • I also remember the Christmas I got a bicycle -- it was red I think and my Daddy told the story of Santa being chased around the house by JoJo (our dog) who was upset with the reindeer and the bright red suit.

  • I also remember eating at the dining room table---a place reserved for special occasions, and drinking from my Mother's crystal goblets. I have some of those (when she died my sister's split her set and left me some---I was only 14). I know they are not real crystal, but to me they always will be. I don't take them out---one was broken and I stopped, but I always look at them and remember.

I am working really hard as many of you are, to create special memories for my grandchildren and add to our children's memories---and mine as well. At this point I think I am doing pretty good. Definitely they will remember "Mai" (what my grands call me) and "Poppie's" (my DH) hugs and kisses, unlike my Grandmother's (we called her the formal Grandmother) lack of...I never met my Grandfather (he died before I was born), but I hear he was in fact a "hugger"---wish I had been a recipient...but that is another story for another day.

Have a great remainder of the day!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just Checking In!

Just wanted to "check in"! Nothing new going on, yet there is a lot of work going on! We are busy getting ready for the holidays that are approaching rapidly. Would you believe I have to go out to shop tomorrow! Believe it or not, I really don't relish it but I figure if I go on Monday morning when everyone else is at work or school, I should be able to get a lot accomplished. I have only about 4 gifts I need to purchase anyway.

I continue to clean----I am telling you, I must be getting old. I can remember when I could clean my house in a morning---now it takes me all day to do one room! It could be because I am easily distracted and I have been known to set on the side of the bed reading a magazine (quilting of course), from a pile that I was suppose to be rearranging or worst yet, throwing away. Our oldest son and his wife are arriving on Thursday morning, so at least I have the guest bedroom and bath all clean and smelling good. The door is closed and grand babies know that it is off limits! Now I have our bedroom and bath to clean--then it will be time to start all over again to have the house looking nice for our son. In between I am trying to get a friends quilt quilted and do a little of my own quilting done. Oh well, "such is life".

I was looking over my list of quilts I completed and I completed 19! Wow, that is an average of more than 1 per month. Pretty good huh! Included in these were some UFO's. Unfortunately, for every UFO I completed, I added 2 more! I am working really hard to complete my "Lego" quilt ("Spontaneous Combustion") before the New Year. I completed 4 blocks today, but honestly don't know how many more I have to go. I am about half finished, so hopefully I can get them done within the remaining 2 weeks. I know I will not have it quilted, but I am really liking this quilt and an anxious to see it in its finished glory.

Well, the Grands put up "the children's" tree today and will return tomorrow to put up the "formal" tree. I am going to bake some cookies and will hopefully have pictures to share tomorrow.

Take care and "see" you tomorrow!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Quilt!

Zuri had their holiday party on Saturday! This is such a great group of ladies and I am so thankful to have found them. They are too much fun and can they cook! Nicole shared her home and hospitality, and it truly was a "holiday" party.

We had a challenge--we drew a bag that contained a crayon and a alphabet letter about 4 months ago. The challenge was to make a quilt using the color of the crayon and use the alphabet in the quilt in some way. My color was purple (my fav) and the alphabet was R. I decided to really challenge myself and do something I had not tried before and that I didn't like. This quilt was a REAL challenge for me! I used applique (which I hate); put on embellishments (which I NEVER use---in this case yo-yo's), and made the quilt without a real pattern. The base is a Turning Twenty and although I had seen a quilt like this in a magazine, I didn't have the pattern (the original had a lot more applique). I just sorta took an idea and made it my own. I also used some trapunto (sp) under the plates and my Circle Lord to do some trapunto (sp) quilting. This took me the entire 4 months to complete. So many times I just wanted to give up. For those of you following my blog, I think you remember me complaining (whining) about it).

What made this "win" even more special was my Guild Sisters voted for it! There some beautiful and creative quilts presented and "Midnight Garden" won by only 2 points above a creative piece of art by Judi. My prize was 11-yard pieces of batik---. BTW---R stood for round---the shape of the plates.

I am happy!


Leading into my quilting "studio"---see the dust on the door!

Leading out to the deck---this was covered in tile and carpet. The kitchen is to the left of this picture.

Looking toward the front door.

I can't put any rugs down for at least six months since the wood is going to darken to a cherry color! I really like it---it opens up the area and makes it so much brighter! I have to go to Lowe's and get new heating/air conditioner registers for the floor and some type of dust mop. We are keeping the grandbabies while parents are working today, so my "cleaning crew" will be much needed. I am going to negotiate for a "Happy Meal" as payment :c) No home cooking today!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Dust is Settling!

The tile in the kitchen! There were TWO floors to come up----a linoleum and the quarry tile!

The original floor we thought was wood but was actually laminate. It was glued to the sub-floor so pulling it up damaged the sub a bit. They still have to remove it from the guest bathroom. Hope my plumbing doesn't get damaged!

You can see the damage from the sub-floor from the glue of the floor. At the door leading outside was this hole! It looks like it was left by the builder. I made my DH put something over it---what if a creature crawled up there! Yuk! DH assured me it was too cold for things to wonder, plus it is under the house and you can walk under it so something would have to really JUMP to get into the hole---yea right----put something over the hole and weigh it down!

See the dust on the black stuff! There is at least a 1 inch layer of dust on everything! I had to use my inhaler and my poor grandson had to stay in his room when he got home from school. BUT I know it will be worth it!

Lastly, I wanted to thank all the nice comments I received yesterday!!!!! I was surprised and so flattered! I had a good day---a bit dusty, but a good day none-the-less. No kitchen, so my birthday dinner was a subway, but I did get those cupcakes!!!! AND a Joanne gift card!!!! :c). The contractor say my quilting room and the quilt on the frame (Rev. Renita---he wanted to buy your quilt!!!!!). We are going to barter for a mosaic back splash for a quilt!!!

Anyway, all is well. They tell me they will be finished by Saturday! I have a LOT of cleaning to do! A new floor though calls for more new stuff---hummm! I MUST visit Home Goods! :c)

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Today is my birthday----and I am truly thankful! When I was younger I really had a problem with birthdays, because to me, that meant I was running out of time to do all the things I wanted to do. Today though, I am reflective, because when compared to others, my life is pretty good! I have outlived my mother, who died at the young age of 53----with so much left to accomplish. I never talked to her about her life and her hopes for it, I was only 14 when she died, but as a adult, and looking back now, I know she wasn't blessed to have the wonderful opportunities I have enjoyed, and at times taken for granted.

I have a husband who loves me and wants to make me happy, never complaining (much) about all my quilting "tools" I want and usually end up getting; five plus one (my nephew) kids, who also love me and try really hard to be supportive---saying always great things about my quilts, regardless to what they "really" look like and who call me an "artist"; grandchildren who think no one is better than their "Mai" and who don't understand the concept of not having quilts to snuggle in; friends who again, provide me with the support and drive to keep trying (Diane especially), and providing that other perspective in a loving and empowering way; and I have a job that is meaningful and students who will one day literally save a person's life, supported by the information I have imparted to them. How great is that!!!!

My health is good, considering I am officially long pass middle-age and although I am considered a "senior citizen", I don't think I look like it and I sure don't feel like it. God has been good to me and my family and I truly feel I am "blessed and highly favored". I look forward to the coming years with anticipation knowing that rather than not accomplishing what I thought I wanted, I will accomplish what has already been ordained for me---and my hope is to make a positive impact somewhere.

Happy birthday to me! I am going to try to quilt a little, although that might be hard since the contractors are due to start tearing up the floors. I think I will go to a bakery and buy cupcakes and have a celebration with my grandbabies. No work for me today-----

Have a wonderful day in celebration of MY day!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Early Christmas Gift (and Birthday)!

I am one of those "fortunate" people who have a birthday right before Christmas. When I was growing up, I can remember my Daddy saying "Patti-Anne, your birthday is so close to Christmas, you will get your birthday presents at Christmas". That never really seemed fair to me--since I hadn't chosen my birthday, why did I have to have mine consolidated? In those days though, you kept those thoughts to yourself and didn't share them with parents, so I smiled my sweetest smile (hoping I would get LOTS of birthday/Christmas gifts) and said "okay, Daddy, I understand".

Unfortunately for my middle son, his birthday is even closer to Christmas than mine---December 15 vs. December 8. I NEVER told him that though, and we always tried to make his birthday special. We had a celebration and his birthday was the day we put up the Christmas tree---still do. Fast forward to this year, I am still getting my Birthday AND Christmas present all in one. I am getting new hardwood floors downstairs in the foyer, guest bath, downstairs den, kitchen and hall! They delivered the wood last week (it has to sit in the house for 5 days) and the contractors will start to lay it around Wednesday. When we purchased this house it had sit empty for a while and hadn't really been "loved" much, even when people lived in it. We did a lot of renovation just to move in, but I always wanted hardwood floors. The foyer has a dark cherry down, and until we had people come in to measure for the other floor, I thought it was wood---no--it is a very good laminate. Since I couldn't match it anyway, I am having it pulled up as well. The kitchen has the ugliest tile I have ever seen---no matter how I scrub, it looks dirty. The wood I chose is a light cherry---which will age to a golden color. It will warm up the room and really add a lot to the personality of the house. My next task will be to pull down wallpaper in the guest bathroom and hall upstairs bath. I also intend to tile the back splash in the kitchen. I am excited! I am going to get some new slipcovers for the sofa---bright ones (can't afford new furniture) and maybe some new curtains. Just do a new make-over--room by room. Now if I could just figure out a way to have a real quilting studio like my friend Judi! Maybe next year for my "birthday/Christmas" present :c)

Nothing new on the quilting front---just trying to get all my projects done between laundry and grading papers. I went to church this morning and decided to have take-out chicken for dinner. Less mess and my family loves it. All is well!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Dance!!!!

The semester is almost over!!!! I have a final to give, some clinical evals to complete, grades to post and I am done until next year!!!!! I still have a lot to do, it's true, but the final is already done, and I am going to complete the evals this week-end! I am tired--tired--and will relish some down time. Above is a new WIP. I haven't worked on it in several weeks, since I have a lot of commitments in the quilting category as well. This is a quilt I saw at the "Moda Bake Shop". I had a couple of jelly rolls and some 5 inch squares so I didn't have to purchase anything. I really like the simplicity of the quilt. I plan to back it with plain muslin (unbleached) and quilt it in a simple tight stipple. It will be a perfect cuddle quilt.

Just wanted to check in---nothing really exciting going on at "the house", other than the fact that my dryer just broke. Maybe I see that red front loader in my future :c)!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My First Quilt!

Bonnie Hunter has a invitation to talk about your first quilt. I never can figure out the "linky" process, so I am not going to even try, but I started thinking about my first quilt.

I have been quilting for about 18 years. I started making my own clothes when I was 12 and in fact my very first job was taking some clothes that a neighbor had and cutting them down for her niece. I think I was about 13. I had begun sewing much younger than that with doll clothes though, made from scraps that my mother had left over from her quilting. My mother was a quilter in the same vein as Gee Bend quilters. Her quilts were made to keep us warm. They were colorful and asymmetrical and to me wondrous. She used cardboard templates and I don't remember her talking about or teaching me to quilt. I would sit with her and she would cut and sew the squares together. She didn't stress consistency or patterns, we just put pieces together. I remember green and red squares--how bright and free it seemed. How you could take a piece of fabric and cut it up and then put it back together was wonderful to me.

I grew up in a tiny Oklahoma town where I began taking Home Economics in the 3rd Grade. Included in Home Ec. was cooking and sewing classes, so I became very familiar with these skills. So familiar that at one time I wanted to be a Home Ec teacher. We really didn't quilt in class though, focusing more on clothing. My teacher was Mrs. Jackson, who always had the most beautiful clothes, all things she made. I aspired to be as gifted as she with the needle and thread. I took Home Ec throughout high school, again without coming in contact with quilts, but changed my major at the last minute to sociology.

Fast forward to 18 years ago. I had been reading about quilts, had purchased books and had become a theorist, but not actually really quilted. I don't remember what attracted me to quilting, but my husband would tease me about buying all these magazines. By nature I am a researcher first, learning all I can about a technique/skill/art/craft before I actually try it. I had even purchased a ruler, more to have something to put the concept of a 1/4 inch seam into reality, since as a dressmaker I worked with 5/8 inch seams. Our daughter had gotten married and informed us we were to become grandparents for the first time. I also love history, and the concept of making something that my grandchild could attribute to me even after I was no longer, was a wonderful thing to me----so I began to make a quilt for this grandchild who turned out to be a granddaughter. I did it alone---I had no one to consult---just my books. We were living in Chicago, so I went to Vogue Fabrics, where I choose a pattern that was simple (it was ranked "beginner) and began. It was made of gingham-----green/yellow/pink/and red. A simple 4-patch. I also made bumper pads and a white eyelet crib skirt. I knew nothing about machine quilting, so I hand quilted it in simple lines outlining each block. My granddaughter still has that quilt! I thought it was beautiful---and looking back, it really was pretty good for a first quilt.

I didn't make anymore quilts, but continued to buy magazine/books AND rulers. About 4 years later while living in Chicago, one of the women I worked with shared with me that her Mother was a quilter. I met this lady and now I had someone to talk to about quilting. I began to investigate and found a quilting guild that I joined. I also took a class at Vogue fabrics --- a log cabin quilt that I tied. Instead of yarn, I used thin ribbon! I then tacked my first "real" quilt. It was a blue and yellow Irish Chain, with bleached white muslin as the background. I used a sheet for the backing and the mother of my friend machine quilted it. She didn't charge me money, but instead asked to 3 packs of batting---poly. The quilting wasn't fancy, simple lines, but it fit the quilt perfectly. That is when I discovered how "cutting challenged" I am. I thought I had cut all those little squares correctly (they finished at about 1.5 inches) but some looked a little small. I didn't really realize that was a problem so I pushed on, and the lady who quilted it didn't tell me any different. I didn't find out about accuracy until I had gone to some meetings at the guild and discovered that all blocks should be the same size---"oh" I thought.

I never could really appreciate little quilts, since remember, I am from the belief that quilts are suppose to be used, so even from the very first quilt (it was king size) I made large bed quilts. I still have that first quilt somewhere (I will find it and post a picture), but clearly as I look at my quilts, I have progressed and I am pleased! I also didn't realize you should only buy quilt shop quality fabrics, since I purchased fabrics where ever I found some that I liked. I still do that---I am more aware of quality, but I have certainly purchased some fabrics at Wally World that held up better than some quilt shop "quality" fabrics, so I continue to look and purchase what I like, in spite of where it is. I also don't pre-wash---again, I don't remember reading or being taught I should when I started quilting. That issue has only surfaced lately. I admit, I am lazy and busy, so I am not going to wash fabric for no reason. It just seems redundant to wash all the sizing from fabrics and then put it back in with starch. I have to honestly say that although I don't pre-wash, I haven't had a real problem with bleeding.

I don't really sew clothing anymore. I am almost exclusively a quilter. Quilting has brought me in contact with some wonderful people. I think generally we are a sharing and affirming group. I think that is so interesting since quilting can be a solitary art, yet when we get together, even when in line at Joanne's waiting for fabric to be cut, it isn't unusual for us to strike up a conversation that on the surface looks like we have known each other for years, when in fact we have only just met and may never see each other again. What other art/craft/hobby does that occur in?

I love my art!!!!! It is my hope and prayer I am able to do it for a very long time. It makes me smile to realize that my quilts will be something members of my linage will have to connect me to them, even if we have never officially met----sorta like the "Time Traveler".

Have a great day! Thanks for stopping by---unless you leave an email, I can't contact you to officially thank you---but know I appreciate the time you take to read my ramblings!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!!!

I hope your holiday is being spent with good food, good friends/family, and LOTS of good laughs. My very sweet nephew and his wife (and their daughter) are visiting from Oklahoma as well as our middle son. I have enjoyed them so very much, even though I have been doing LOTS of cooking :c), which by the way, I don't like to do----but for them, I will do it and actually smile!

We joined the throngs of people and went shopping at Thanksgiving. It was a marathon to be sure!!!! It was 8 of us, all mothers and daughters (my daughter and I, her daughter -- she is now 18 and so has "earned" a spot, my niece and her daughter, and a friend and her daughter). We left at 8pm on Thanksgiving night, and returned the next day at 3pm!!!!! I gotta tell you, I think I might have bit off more than I could reasonably chew. I was so tired, that I went straight to bed and except for getting up once to referee a disagreement between grandchildren, I slept soundly. Now you ask, did we get deals----YES we got deals!!!! The people weren't too bad, but I must admit, I do NOT intend to go to Wally World next year! The salespeople were disorganized and were enforcing the rules with some customers and with others weren't (we were in the group where the rules were enforced)!!! At any rate, I did enjoy my time with the "girls" and will add this to my list of accomplishments---actually staying up for 34 hours!!!!!

I (of course) went to Joanne's and purchased (about 40 yards) flannel for quilt backings. The fabric was $1.49/yard, so I got a good deal. I was little too tired to look over the store, but plan to go on Sunday and see what else is available.

At any rate-----just wanted to check in!

Friday, November 18, 2011

How Many Rulers Do You Have?!?!?!?

I was looking for a ruler to use to make another quilt, and as I was searching, I noticed I have a LOT of rulers. Now understand I am a "gadget girl"! I have not only a Accuquilt GO! but a Sizzix Big Shot Pro as well....and probably 20 or more cutting dies to use with them---LOVE, LOVE, them. I think I am this way because I am "cutting challenged"----I always have a problem getting things cut straight, plus I am a planner---you never know when you might need something. I am also planning for my retirement, since I will not have the money to purchase such tools, so I am doing so now---yeh right!

Unfortunately, I am also a "Liberated Quilter", so even though I have lots of rulers, my cutting is still often crooked. If it is a quilt for me, I don't care, it always works out---maybe that is why I love scrap quilts. I feel this way now, but just in case I change my mind and become really, really concerned about making a perfect quilt, I will have the equipment to "do it right".

As I said, I was looking for this one particular ruler (BTW, I didn't find one, so there is a trip to Joanne's in my future this week-end), but I found all kinds of other rulers. There is the Twister (big and little); several kaleidoscope rulers; a LOT of square's including a 2.5 inch square; lots of long rulers; and speciality rulers--including a kite ruler. Above are pictures of storage areas---three, each containing about 10 rulers each, plus there is this little tote bag with more (I just noticed a picture of a roll of cotton pads---not sure why it is in one of the bins). I have several Marti Michell sets, and of course there are the templates. Now am I going to "get rid" of any? Of course not, I might need them one day (the ruler with the blue tape on it is the very first ruler I purchased----before I even knew how to quilt--over 20 years ago. I can't throw it out even though it is broken and you can't even see some of the numbers anymore---and I have a new one). Plus, just looking at them, gets my "creative juices" going just thinking about the quilts I will make with each one----one of these days soon!

Thanks for dropping by!!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

"THE" Quilt is DONE!!!!

I am so happy!!!! "THE" quilt is completed!!!!!!! I have squared it up and will put on the binding and then do hand work. The bad news----the back looks awful, but "oh well"---I am not going to worry about it at all. After I took it off the frame it really doesn't look that bad in front. The thread really blends into the front well, so you can't see the "yuk" nearly as good as you can see it on the back. I can't post a picture, but I will reveal closer to the December Guild meeting, or a couple of days after! I certainly do not expect to win anything, and am thinking seriously of not putting mine in the mix for a prize, although I did finish the challenge. The workmanship just isn't that good.

I also finished putting on the borders for my other Guild mystery! It isn't nearly as big as I would want, but it is a nice lap quilt. I am going to use Baptist Fans to quilt it and put a chocolate flannel on back. A real "manly" quilt.

I am now going to go back to "Spontaneous Combustion" and complete it. No new quilts will be started until after the New Year, but I will use the remaining two months to finish up some of these UFO's. I can't say they will all get quilted, but certainly, I am going to bring them to that stage.

Well, that is all I have to share. Have a great week-end!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Status Report!

This was taken on Halloween night---Coal was the "Great Pumpkin"!!!! He really seemed to enjoy himself---running barking at all the Trick or Treaters, and then running away then I opened the door to give out treats. I am not sure he really appreciated his costume though (see the down turned tail)---I think he wanted to be a "hot dog" instead!

I should have been working on "the" quilt, but instead I worked on this one. This was what we worked on at a Guild Mystery. It is a Judy Laquidara pattern (we had permission to use it). She loves lots of borders (as do I), but she likes pieced ones. I was auditioning borders, but I am only going to put on three and leave the last two off. These additions bring it up to a twin size rather than the throw. It is a really "guy" quilt, so I may give it to one of my son's.

Nothing else really note worthy, so I guess I will go and work on "the" quilt. Time is running out! It has to be completed (including binding) by the December meeting.

Have a great remainder of the week!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Creative Use of Tools!

I have to float this top since I am doing a machine trauputo (sp?) with the plates. It is NOT going smoothly, but I am too stubborn to stop---too much work went into this. The back looks horrible, but since I am not entering in a judged show, I am using this exercise as a learning lesson.

The purpose of the post though is to share something I learned from one of my on-line groups. Those black rods are normally used to hold your tools on the wall. They have strong magnets that are useful with iron tools. Well, it was suggested that you could use them to hold your fabric tight when you are floating a top. My top has to be floated to allow me to put the extra batting under the places where I want to get the look of trauputo so I really can't pin the bottom of the top to the leader as I normally do. At first I wasn't sure if the magnets would work through the layers of batting, quilt fabric and leader fabric, but it works really well. The top is held tight enough to not wrinkle. I have three, more than enough to hold the entire top of the queen size quilt. I think I will float more tops. It certainly makes it easier to keep everything straight. I try to load my top on straight, but have to admit, I fail at times. ...BTW..I also can't quilt in a straight line :c(. You should see the quilting around the plates and between the sections----BAD!!!!!

Just wanted to share---I hate this top, the quilting is so yuk! but----I am going to finish it!!!! It will probably end up as one of my favs---:c)----at any rate I can say that I have tried applique!

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


No picture---but I have to tell you, my attempt at "organic" quilting, even with the help of the CL was a dismal failure. The background for the quilt is black/white and the thread didn't show up. I tried to sew over the template twice to make it stand out, but it just looked worst. Of course, Harriet (my machine), decided she didn't want to play anymore and the tension was bad! At any rate, I am now frogging---. Thank goodness, I only made one motif, and since the tension is so bad, I can take it out "fairly" easily. I have removed three "petals" and have 3 more to go.

No more "organic" for me! I think I am going to do my "water" stipple and be done with it. I don't like this quilt now and would love to make another, but I don't have time, so I will push on! Just thinking about it gives me a headache! :c) Even DH who usually likes everything I make turned his nose up at it and said "that one is different", translation "that is pretty bad".

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Finish!

I finished the baby quilt quilted with the concentric circles. My camera battery was losing power but I think you can see the circles. I just quilted them on randomly and in a variety of sizes depending on the space available. I think it turned out well and will make some little baby happy. The CL made it really easy to do. The squares look larger than they are, but are really only 5 inches set on the diagonal with sashing between. A quick quilt and great for practice.

Next I am going to go for the gusto and load my guild challenge. It is due at the December meeting so I am going to give myself plenty of time to finish. I will not be able to show a picture of that as I quilt since some of my guild sisters read my blog. Keep positive thoughts coming my way that I do a good job. I am learning a new term---"organic" quilting for quilting that is free form and not necessarily perfect. I anticipate that the quilt will have LOTS of "organic" quilting :c)!

Talk to you later!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect (I hope)!!!!!

I am going to practice making concentric circles today. The quilt is a pattern that was posted in the Moda Bake Shop. It is a great pattern that uses a charm pack plus a couple of FQ's. It results in a sweet little baby quilt. My grandniece is expecting a baby and this may go to her---or I may donate it. The real purpose is to practice with the CL on something that will result in a useful item, not a throw away.

I had a hard time photographing the circles since my quilting "studio" has LOTS of natural light---so I had to close the blinds and make it darker, but I think you get the idea. I did make a mistake (didn't lock the CL before making the circles), but I was able to frog it fairly easy (I went too fast and so the stitches were big----good for me). I am loving this tool!!!!

BTW---ignore the apparent clutter in the picture. I really am not preparing for a segment of Hoarders----things are neater than they look :c)!

Happy day to all. Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I have been practicing away trying to become competent in the use of my latest quilting tool. All day Saturday, I "doodled"--making plain circles, fancy medallions, etc. on a muslin sandwich. I decided to load a quilt (I have a problem practicing on scrap stuff---always feel like it is a waste of time and material), I had finished weeks ago and quilted it using the Swirl Big Board. I used matching thread and although the plain backing shows mistakes, it also shows the texture nicely. My tension cooperated and although there are some areas where I clearly "messed up", it still looks nice for a first try. It is for a Granddaughter and she will forgive the little errors. I am going to quilt a baby quilt next and use concentric circles....then I am going to take the plunge and quilt my Guild challenge. After looking on-line at quilts made by prize winning quilters, they are not perfect. That is what makes them handmade. At any rate---the learning curve appears manageable and I am going to embrace the little errors and consider them unique and design opportunities!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Circle Lord is in the House!!!

It came about 1:00 PM. I had been glued to the window all morning, but finally decided I would go and do a little housework, and it came!!! I guess a "watched pot doesn't boil"

These are the big boards and the three templates I ordered. Such a pretty, bright color.

The actual Circle Lord.

The Circle Lord installed on my table. It wasn't hard at all (maybe since I had been studying for months in preparation for ordering. I had a little difficulty installing the laser light from my machine to the CL stylus, but when I stepped back and let DH help, it went much smoother---I don't have to do everything I guess---LOL.

I got another special delivery as well. Life has been a bit rough of late and I was commiserating with my best ever buddy, Diane. Look at what she sent me to cheer me up a little!!! Such a surprise!!!! She is the best sister ever!!! Thank you Diane, they are beautiful!!!

I am going to watch the video and smell my roses tonight! In the morning I will start to make circles! Wish me luck!!!

IT"S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!

Scheduled Delivery:
Friday, 10/14/2011, By End of Day

This was the message that I got from UPS tracking!!!!! My Circle Lord is HERE!!!!!! "Be still my beating heart". Unfortunately, as you all know, delivery for UPS could be as late as 7PM---so I intend to station myself in my sewing room by the bay windows all day! I am too excited!!!!!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

An Addition To My Quilting Arsenal---

As you know I am a happy GO! owner. I really love the ability to cut out pieces that are consistent and the correct size (I am "accuracy challenged"). The only drawback with the GO! is it will only cut GO! dies. Now, quite honestly, except for a few, most of the available dies are just what I wanted, but since I LOVE tools (gadgets), I really became intrigued with the Sizzix Big Shot Pro, mainly because it cuts (at this time) every die on the market. I saw a good deal WITH free shipping (great since this weighs 41 pounds), and purchased one. It arrived and as I looked around the garage, my DH had purchased a cart. Since he hadn't put it together yet, I considered it "community property", so I "claimed" it. The top shelf is upside down, since put on the correct way, the cutter is too big to fit. I put my GO! on the middle shelf, so I have a "cutting station".

By the time I retire, I will have LOTS of stuff to support my habit. I will only have to purchase fabric (every now and then)!!!

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Although I haven't been posting, I have been checking in daily. I took a little "blog vacation", but not from quilting. I have been busy working on three projects diligently (alternating of course---not at the same time) :c). I am working on a Guild Challenge; "Spontaneous Combustion"; and a UFO. All are actually a little over 50% done! This may seem chaotic to some, but it keeps my interest up! I can get bored working on the same thing continually---it gets "tedious" to me.

In the middle of everything, one of the Guilds I belong to had a "Mystery Retreat". We have an auction every year and that is one of the things that you can purchase. There is a "retreat" committee and they have done a good job in the last 2 I attended. This year was no different. For this year's mystery, we used a quilt pattern created by Judy of Patchwork Times (with her permission of course). The tricky thing with mysteries, that although you are given the yardage requirements including how much you should purchase of darks or lights, you really have no idea whether your fabric choices will work. It is certainly an exercise in trust---trust of your own choices. I think we all did pretty good. At first I was second guessing my choices, but I am glad I trusted myself. The quilt has 34 - 2.5/8 blocks, so needless to say, although we were given "homework", I am not finished yet! I am also going to enlarge my quilt (of course), and since Judy does like multiple borders, this quilt has 7 borders with one being pieced. I think I am going to enlarge the borders, but not do the pieced one. My fabric's are rather busy and I think a pieced border would be a little too much. By enlarging the borders a little, I am also going to enlarge the quilt slightly to fit my queen bed a little better (I think). These are my plans tentatively, but I will wait and see how it looks after I finish. I rarely make pieced borders since I am "cutting accuracy challenged" and mine don't turn out right (at least not to me), and to make them fit properly, since I am enlarging, math will be necessary (which I don't do), so---. Two members of the retreat committee had made the quilt and it was revealed at the end, it is a really nice quilt---as soon as I put together a couple of rows, I will post a picture.

I have included a picture of the gifts I got. Everyone in attendance got a handmade sewing machine cover, and a little box full of goodies (including some aloe in case we burned ourselves on the iron). I also won a "sewing" prize which included thread, some really cute scissors, some thread and needles. The food was great, and the company and fellowship even better, and there was LOTS of chocolate. All in all it has been a good week-end.

Here is hoping your week-end is fun!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I really enjoy blogging most of the time, but it is sometimes difficult to maintain daily posts that are interesting. I know that people are viewing the blog since I have the visitor meter, but I get so few posts, I sometimes start to think what difference does it make if I don't post. I have to keep reminding myself that blogs are actually journals and since most journals aren't meant to be read by anyone other than the author, it really doesn't matter if no one reads them, yet along comments. So my commitment is back up.

I am feeling a bit melancholy since I am really wishing I was in Jacksonville. They are having the Quiltfest that, when I lived there, I attended and really enjoyed. Diane is there with some friends and we have been talking daily. I am in the process of living varcariously through her. We do enjoy each other and it is such fun to go to a quilt show with her. We are very much alike, but very much unlike each other, so it is a good mix. She is "shopping" for me as well, but boy do I wish I were there!!!!

I have also been working on "Spontaneous Combustion"---see above. Three more blocks and it will be 50% done! I must say it is a bit like eating potato chips. Once I start I really want to keep going---I start digging through my scrap bins looking for more goodies. I found some really cute fabric in mine and the bag that Diane gave me----frogs!!! It is a bit like looking for "Waldo". Lots of fun!!!! It doesn't look like it is very big but it is queen size. I think I am going to put some letters on it via Lazy Gal Quilting style. I bought her book the other day, so I am thinking of putting the name of the quilt via a letter block. Since the entire 'theme" of the quilt is "spontaneous", if they are a bit unconvential looking, it should be okay. I just have to figure out how I will make them stand out so they will be noticed----maybe on a white background. I will have to "dream on it" a little more.

I have also been contemplating purchasing a new addition to my quilting tool box! I really love "custom" quilting, but I can't do it. I tried buying some "cheater panels" and it was a huge diaster. I know I need to "practice", "practice", but I am by nature not a "practice" girl. When I knit sweaters (when I did) I NEVER made a gauge swatch----always wanted to jump in and start!!!! The results were often pretty good, but could have been better had I followed the rules! Anyway, I had heard about this tool when I first purchased my longarm (midarm), but felt I should learn to use the machine before I started to get attachments, plus, since we have made a commitment long ago to try to not charge, I needed to save some more money. Since there is no way I will be able to afford a computer guided system (it cost as much as some new cars), I am going to invest in a Circle Lord! I have been reading about them and contacted Deb (Rags n Quilts) who teaches some computer courses about it via Quilt University, and from what I hear it is a good investment and is user friendly. I am not going to be able to afford nearly as many templates as I would like, but the owner, Michael, is very helpful in helping me to determine the appropriate one for the first purchase. I am not going to get it until the first part of October, but at this point, I am pretty commited to carry through with my decision. If any of you have the CL and would like to offer your recommendations and share how you like it or the difficulties you might have or had, please do share!!!!!! I don't want to spend money for something that is going to sit in a box ("been there, done that, got the t-shirt").

Until then, I am going to plug along! Have a great day. It is so beautiful here---fall is in the air! The sun is shinning bright and is a perfect outside day. We are "babysitting" three of our grandbabies, who tell me that it is "World Play Outside Day". Great idea!!!

Happy quilting /or playing outside day!!! BTW--for some reason, spell check isn't working, so if there is a misspelled word, forgive me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


All completed!!!! I really agonized over that skinny 1st border but decided to use the green stripe. The polka dot border really gives the quilt an updated look. The border looks sorta wavy in the picture. I think it should be okay though. I must admit, I am not a "presser", but am more of a "ironer" so the top is a little stretched out in places since I was working with a LOT of bias edges. I was going to use a panto but have found when I have a top that has some stretched places, it is much better to quilt from the front so I can "quilt" out those bad places. The pattern is also busy, so it would benefit from a simple meandering pattern rather than a fancy panto. The backing is a lime green tie-dyed flannel and I will use a turquoise thread. Sounds weird I know, but I really think it will look nice.

I now have three tops that need to be quilted so I am going to stop working on quilts and quilt at least one of these quilts. I think I will do this one first since it is going to be a gift.

Have a great evening and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I have been working on "Peaceable Strips" AKA "Hidden Well" and am almost finished with half of the queen size top (see above). This is going to be a Christmas gift, for a different person than originally thought of since it seems more "female" than "couple". I really like the strip and polka dot, so when I make it again, I am going to really look for the strip first and then build the other 6 fabrics around that.

The weather here is absolutely beautiful. I love summer and fall often makes me feel kind of melancholy since everything is getting ready to die off and the environment becomes all grey and sad looking. The fall weather though is perfect. I really haven't gotten a chance to dye very much at all, only once, so I think I will try to get a little dyeing in during the next couple of weeks while the weather is a perfect 80 degrees.

Well---have a wonderful day! Happy quilting!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Progress!

I now have 11 blocks completed (45 more to go). It is going slower (I think) than I thought. I am trying really hard to not become obsessive about what color strips I match---just try to get a variety and am finding that although I "think" I am cutting all strips 1.5, it appears sometimes that I might be off a bit. This is a "liberated" quilt however and I just slice or add (as needed) and move on. I am also putting those "crumb" blocks that I posted a week or so ago in there as well (you can hardly tell the one that is already mixed into a row). I just surround them with the strings and they blend in well (see the one long block). I still like this quilt, but I might have to put it aside for a minute. I forgot I have a Guild Challenge I have to work on, so, "first things first", but I am going to work on this "honey bunny" daily!.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I have made some progress! This is 5 blocks and I have decided to make them 12 inch's unfinished. I increased the size of the one block I had made, putting the strips in a "Log Cabin-Like" manner. It didn't seem to make any difference in the ability of that block to fit in. Some of the rows end up a little "wonky", but again, that doesn't seem to matter. I am liking this---my DH just looks at it and says, that is really "bright". Sometimes when I show my quilts at one of the Guilds I belong to, the ladies often remark about the brightness of my quilts and in fact one lady said one of my quilts made her "eyes jump". This is going to be another "eye jumper". I think I am going to call it, "Spontaneous Combustion". What do you think?

The Lego Block AKA Compost!

Like so many of you, I get inspiration from the web. I am also a "scraper". I LOVE scrap quilts. There is something so spontaneous and non-traditional about them. I think that is why so many people love the Gee Bend Quilts---they are a reflection of just plain fun (at least to me). There are no rules, it is just an example of "happening". Anyway, Tonya posted an antique quilt. I absolutely loved it. She began a project to re-create it and called it the Lego quilt. Several others began to do the same thing (see my sidebar). Now I wasn't going to do this----1.5 inch strips (the original is 5/8 finished) and 6.5 inch blocks! One blogger is doing hers in 12.5 inch blocks and I thought I might just try it. Above is my first block. I am going to do 1.5 inch strips and although I considered 12.5 inch blocks, I think I am going to keep with 10.5 and see how it goes. Of course I am going for about 100 blocks since I really want a queen size, but then again we will see how it goes. My next test may be the 12.5 since the bigger the block the less I have to make. I might change my mind and go for the bigger one. This is certainly not going to be a quilt I finish soon, maybe not even this year, and I will work along with it daily, but not really have a completion goal. What I don't want to do is to make yet another UFO, but then again, this is about spontaneous so again we will see.

I also put up the first "Peaceable" blocks (AKA Hidden Wells). This is going to go to a son for Christmas so I have a goal here of completing it.

It is cool and rainy here---so it looks like we will grill in the garage today. I have two quilts I need to quilt so I might also load a quilt. I also have a test I have to create, so I have a sorta busy day. Oh well--"so is life". Whatever you have planned today, have a GREAT day!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Another Quilt!

My pact with myself was to finish one UFO before I started another quilt. Originally I had the exact quilt I wanted to begin in mind---in fact I had already made a couple of "test" blocks. Unfortunately, I have had this quilt (pictured above) in mind for much longer. I belong to a quilting "chat" group and they were talking about "Hidden Wells". This quilt was designed by Mary Ellen Hopkins in 1989. The directions are on the web but it is a LOT of pages and although I had downloaded it, I never really got around to starting it. It wasn't however availabe anymore so I had to rely on the internet copy.

I was browsing the other day and saw "Peaceable Strips". It was Hidden Wells!!!!!!....now I had seen the original Hidden Wells pattern on e-bay for something like $50---a lot of money for essentially a pamphlet......so I (of course) purchased it. I have also decided to make as many quilts as possible from my stash. This pattern calls for 7 different fabrics (all no more than 1.5 yards). I had purchased some fabric for another quilt (I don't really like the pattern anymore), so I pulled those pieces from my stash and (fantastic), I had 7 coordinating fabrics and all in more than enough yardage! The fact that I had fabrics from one line is rare for me since I hardly ever make quilts that "match" that much.

I cut all the strips this morning and have begun to put the top together. I am still not sure about the color (per se), but I am plunging on because I think it will be okay in the end. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of any one of the fabrics for the border (I am making the queen size---remember I don't do small), so unfortunately I have had to order 2.5 yards for the border. I just hope they have it in stock----I choose two different ones so if they don't have one, hopefully they will have the other. I am finding that this pattern is like putting a puzzle together. You have to be very careful and pay attention to make sure you don't get things turned around. I had to make a little "legend" of which fabrics were A, which B etc. to keep myself straight. If this quilt turns out nice, I think I will make it in taupe's and greys---don't ask me why, since I am NOT a taupe and grey girl, but for some reason I think this quilt would look nice in those quiet subtle colors. I will keep you posted on the progress.

I have loaded a quilt I am quilting for a friend as a donation quilt, and my house (as usual) needs a little straightening, but I am determined to get some quilting in today.

Take care and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Finish!!!

After more than a year----I have finally finished my "Paint Box" Quilt!!!! I like how it looks! As I mentioned, there are some colors that are together (see the two blues) that would have looked better spread out a bit, but I don't not like it enough to take it apart. The linen does really ravel, so I am going to need to quilt it quickly or store it carefully. I plan to wash it with some color catchers, since it is a LOT of bright colors here, but I think it will be fine.

NOW---on to the new project!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Status Report----

Crumb blocks! I literally just picked fabric up from the floor (from the picture below you can see I have LOTS of fabric on the floor----LOL). I did these to give myself a little rest and I like how they look. I think that with each project I may just make a couple of these blocks from the scraps (since I can't seem to throw any of it away). Who knows, in a little while I could have enough for a quilt.

I have been able to quilt almost all morning putting this quilt together. This is 5 rows of the 10, so I am essentially half done. As I am putting the rows together I can see where I could have been a little more careful in the placement of colors, but you know what---I don't care---at least not enough to take the rows apart. I think that is what makes a quilt (or anything) "home made", the spontaneity of it all (at least that is my story and I am sticking to it). I am going to work on it again later today so I should have it finished within the next couple of days. I am going to use a plain white background and I have batting, so I should be able to quilt it as soon as it is finished.

Just wanted to give you a little update---see I have accomplished something!!!!


I have again been very remiss in my blog postings and I am sorry. Since I don't have pictures I get lazy, but I realize that pictures aren't always necessary, so AGAIN I will attempt to do better.

What have I been up to? Actually a lot---I crossed something off my "Bucket List". I ran in a 5K race!!! Well, not really a race for me or my daughter but we finished it!!!! Not as #1 (of course) but not as LAST either!!!!! It was great fun! and we even ran about half of it. My ankle started to bother me a little so I had to fast walk the remainder (and I was walking as fast as some people were jogging). They had little girls giving water along the way (it is really hard to drink water AND jog at the same time). I even tossed it to the side like the professionals do LOL!!! Anyway, we finished in a decent time (a little over 45 minutes) and I feel like I have accomplished a lot!

On the sewing front---I am putting the "Paint Box Quilt" together now. All the rows have been completed (10 rows of 8) and it looks nice. I am using a linen for the sashing and although I have to be careful of the ravelling, it is a nice contrast with the block fabrics. After I finish I think I will do a simple meandering. I actually really like meandering (or stippling) on quilts. I imagine that once washed, the linen will crinkle nicely so I am going to do the quilting "tight".

Today is a rainy day and although I really should be cleaning----I just don't want to. I am going to try really hard to relax. School begins next week, but my class doesn't start until the following week. I have already started to put my PowerPoint together and even have made up the first test. I am really going to try to stay ahead of the game, even more so than I had before. For some reason I have been feeling stressed and even a bit melancholy, don't know why, but I do know I really don't like it, so I am going to try to take charge. My DIL is a Herbalist, so she has put me on some herbs to help, so once they get here, I will add them to my regime and see how it goes.

Well, I am going to my "very messy" quilting "studio" and see what I can do. The cable is off due to the storm, so I think I will put on a couple of CD's. Have a wonderful, productive and blessed Sunday. "See" you later!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back From A Too Short Vacation!

Made it back from DC last night after a delay because of bad weather. I love DC because I love history which DC has lots of. I visited several museums including the Museum of American History where I got to see President Obama's wife, Michelle's gown she wore to the Inaugural Ball! Very beautiful---the pictures in the mags didn't do it justice!!!

I got to do some fabric shopping and found this wonderful quilt shop in Maryland where I filled up on African fabrics. There were so many to choose from----definitely this spot is on my itinerary for future visits. The shop owner was wonderful---lots of stories of his time growing up in Ethiopia and when he moved to DC. I came away with 38 yards, but had to use restraint to limit it to that. I also went to another shop I have gone to for years and was so very disappointed. The fabric was very expensive, and the "quilt" section was very small with a poor variety (actually Joanne's has a better choice); the back was filled with "junk" thrown up on a table. The patterns were yellowed and torn and numbered less than 15. Clearly it has gone downhill and where I would usually spend hours browsing and come away with yards and yards, I was finished after about 10 minutes and left with nothing. So sad!

Unfortunately, when I got back home and was unpacking, my fabric (and clothes) were damp and wet in some spots. It looked like the airline had my bags sitting in the rain! I know there isn't anything I can really do about it-----I guess I will have to pack my things in plastic "just in case", which seems "unnecessarily necessary" to me. It looks like the color ran on one piece of fabric a little, but I am not going to obsess about it----I am NOT!

School begins again tomorrow so it will be back to the old grind stone. I so appreciated my little respite though and really am going to figure out a way to fit more in!

Have a great Sunday!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Too HOT!!!

Just checking in. Much too hot to do much of anything really. I have been completing an occasionally block, but my energy is way down! I am excited because I am leaving for Silver Springs on Wednesday. I will only be there (to visit son #1 and pick up my GS) until Saturday, but you know I will get at least one quilt shop visit in.

Have you checked my visitor meter? I am seeing some interesting places come up! Wow---I have had to Google some of them to find out where they are!! Thank you so much for visiting!!! I don't get a lot of comments, but when I look at the meter, I know that people are visiting.

More later!!! Stay cool!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How Does It Look?

These rows are just laid together with the "blossoms" on top (I haven't even put the centers of the flowers/plates/blossoms on yet). While some quilters will finish all segments of a quilt first and then put it together, I have a hard time doing that. I always want to see how it is going to look. That has often helped me though to figure out what needs to be changed, but most of the time I use it to keep my momentum going.

I am going to add a border to this (I don't do small) so I can use it on my queen-size bed. I am liking it. I am thinking I might put it together in sections, applique the blossoms on each section first and then put the whole thing together. It seems it might be better to handle in my sewing machine.

Now, back to the quilt I am suppose to be working on between wash and cleaning. Have a great day! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I KNOW I Shouldn't, BUT-----

I know I said I was going to finish this UFO BEFORE I started another quilt---but now that I have gotten started, I am having so much fun making these things, I want to keep going.

As I mentioned before, I saw this quilt on the web and haven't been able to find the pattern. I have this "thing" for rulers and templates so I have a LOT--many I have never used and frankly am not sure why or when I purchased them. I know their purchase had somehing to do with a quilt---but---. I looked through my many rulers and found several that are perfect for this project.

Anyway, the name of the quilt I am trying to reproduce is "Garden Party". It was created (with another quilter) by the owner of the blog "Material Obsession". I purchased two Material Obsession books, but of course the pattern isn't in them. The only place it looks like I can get them is by ordering them from Australia, and that is a LONG way away (and the money exchange is different)---so I decided to make my own version.

The original has stems and leaves appliqued on the top that join the "flowers" into a "garden". They are appliqued on scrappy backgrounds that are very varied, based on the pictures I see on the web. I originally was going to make a JR quilt from a neutral JR I have and use that as the background, but decided that all those seams might be difficult to quilt (although there is a quilt on the web that has that type of background). I have decided to do a different one, still scrappy, but with bigger blocks. I am still undecided about whether I will put the stems and leaves on, but I am definitely going to put these "flowers" on by machine. I really have no timetable to get it finished, so I can take my time about the specifics, since I have at least one baby quilt, and a guild challenge to complete (plus the UFO I am working on). At any rate, I am enjoying making these blocks (Dresden Plates actually) and like putting unusual combinations of fabric colors together. The really large pink one was made with a different ruler. This one has about 80 "blades" and the center will be huge. Not sure I am going to make another one quite like that since it is also going to be a little more difficult to get a nice smooth edge to applique, but I am going to to try to have some continuity. Even if I don't decide to make another one, I am going to use the one I made, since that one circle took two whole FQ's to complete. The others use a different wedge ruler and so although the resulting "dish" is almost as large, it takes less fabric. I decided to peak my edges since doing so results in a finished edge, which will be much easier to applique down.

Anyway, this is what I have going! Hope your Sunday is a wonderful one. "See" you around the web!