Sunday, January 29, 2012

Grooving on a Sunday Afternoon!!!!

Isn't this the cutest picture of Coal! We can't put rugs on the new floor for six months since it is turning darker and rugs would make the color uneven. He now is using his pillow since of course that floor is cold. Such a sweet little dog! Now to show what I did today-------

Today was bright and sunny, although a bit cool. I woke up too late for church, so I did the next best thing. I went to my studio and spent the day quilting and contemplating life. No great decisions reached, but lots of creative energy!!! I am so close to finishing "Spontaneous Combustion", that I can almost "taste" it. I have 6 more blocks to do and it is completed. Although I have read on blogs of others who also made this quilt (Lego), that it goes really fast, it hasn't been fast piecing for me. One thing might be the fact that I don't have a tremendous amount of scraps and so I am more conscous of choosing the fabrics to make sure I have a variety in each block. I could cut more I suppose, but it is amazing how much your scrap pile grows even though you are using pieces. If I cut more I would be overrun with little pieces of fabric. I tidied up after I stopped for the day and I swear it looked like the pile had tripled even though I had used quite a lot!

Pictured above is the last two rows of the quilt and what I accomplished today. I did a little stay stitching to keep the edges from getting stretched out or coming apart. I am not going to put a border on this one---I think it would be a distraction. I found some really neat fabric for a backing, I will stop at the store tomorrow to get it. I should be finished with it this week some time (I hope) and then I will quilt it. This is such a contrast to the "UG quilt"---more "me". I love this quilt and will keep it====at this point it is my favorite!!!!!

I know I said I wasn't going to start anything new, but this is different. One of the Guild's I belong to is planning a Spring Retreat. Last year I brought the "1600 Quilt" as a Guild activity. This year the President asked me to think of a quilt for the group to do again. People don't have to do it, but it is an option. It is a little difficult to choose a pattern, since the members are all at different levels, so you want something that doesn't appear too difficult for the beginner, nor too easy for the more experienced quilter. I saw this great free quilt pattern that uses two jelly rolls so I am going to make it and bring it to meeting and show to the members. It calls for a traditional jelly roll and then one of solids. I was about to go on-line to purchase a Moda solid when I remembered that I had the 2.5 inch strip GO! die. I went up to my fabric closet and found 3 yards of Moda white and voila---I cut my own jelly row in about 15 minutes, saving money AND using up stash. The print roll in intend to use if from the line "Oz" that was so popular a couple of years ago. I would like to have it made at least by the March meeting so the group can see a "sample". The instructions are a little confusing to me for some reason, so I am glad I decided to make it first. It is hard to explain something you don't understand yourself :c)!

All in all a good day! We had a late lunch so my DH has suggested I not cook! "I'll run out and get us a snack later!" he volunteered. Great! I am going to spend the rest of the evening looking at a movie ("Unstoppable") and will get ready for work tomorrow. I have my students in clinical that begins at 6:30 AM so I will have an early start. The good thing though is the hospital is around the corner from a quilt shop!!!!!

Have a great day tomorrow and thanks so very much for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Next Quilting Project!

I REALLY DO NOT LIKE THIS QUILT!!!! The colors are so "brown". Brown is not my favorite color....not personally nor quilty. This quilt was made during a Guild Mystery Day. It is a Judy creation, but hers is much prettier. The turquoise does brighten it a bit, but this is one quilt I think I will gift. Because it will be either a gift or donation, I am doing a good job in quilting it (I think gifts/donations should still be made with quality---as much as I can anyway). What I think is interesting is the backing. It matches perfectly! I didn't buy them together and in fact have had the backing for about a year. I only found it when I was looking in my stash for a back---originally looking for a solid brown flannel I had. This is flannel as well, but the colors are perfect matches. I am quilting it with a slightly goldy-brown thread and using a really busy panto. You really can't see it with the busy fabric, but it gives me a chance to practice. It will also wrinkle nicely when washed. I think after I am finished with this, I will bind this and the other two or three quilts I have and then be totally finished!

Hope all is going well with you. It is cold and rainy here---perfect chili weather!

Take care! xoxo

Monday, January 23, 2012


This was a really nice activity!!! I have a "love/hate" relationship with Harriet at times. It is clear she often has a mind of her own, particularly when it comes to tension. This time though, I found the "sweet" space. I find it interesting that on the rare occasion I quilt others quilts, I am fine, but the minute I put my own quilts own, I often have a "fight" on my hands. Just as well since like children, you would prefer they misbehave at home than out, so I just have come to expect this. I have investing a lot of money in all kinds of gadgets to get my tension adjusted and I have finally (I guess) figured out how to do it---at least for this quilt. I used a panto I already had loaded from an earlier quilt. It looks like ginkgo leaves. The lightening isn't that great but hopefully you can see the pattern. The rounded pattern is a great contrast to the sharp pattern of this quilt.

I am now going to quilt a more complex pattern on another quilt---and at this stage, Harriet is still happy. One thing I have found that really helps with even tension is pressing my seams open. I also do NOT iron my quilts---I press with only a minimum pressure. This ensures the edges doesn't get stretched out and remain straight. I use steam though, although I have read that steam is what stretches the fabric, but definitely, I can tell those quilts that I "ironed" vs "pressed".

It is my plan to quilt the four quilts that are currently just tops, and then put binding on all of them, prior to working really hard on another quilt. I think I will put the binding on my machine so I can hurry and truly move them to the finished pile.

Have a great evening!

Friday, January 20, 2012

First Finish of the Year!!

My grandbabies think I make the "best cookies ever"!!!!!!! I have seen lots of cookie recipes but my favorite is--------

This is my favorite recipe! Otis Spunkmeyer!!! They make the best ever. The senior students at my school sell them as a fundraiser, and I always buy lots---so my grandbabies can continue to say I make the "best ever" :c)!

I finished this today----I really like this quilt. It is so very simple to make plus I was able to move two jelly rows and a couple of charm packs out of my stash AND it was a UFO!!!! I think I will use a plain muslin back and will load it to quilt tomorrow!

The lighting isn't very good here, but I really like the border! I only put it on two sides (the top and the bottom), so it will be a good size for a queen size quilt. I feel satisfied with myself!

Have a wonderful week-end!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Random Thoughts!

I have been a bit "scattered", but I think I am getting my "mojo" back. Above are the two quilts I am working on. The top is my interpretation of a Kaffe quilt (my fav quilt/fabric designer). It a "sorta" 4-patch, but because of the contrast it looks like crosses. I am going to try to make it using batiks and African fabrics. It is going to take me a while, since I don't have a big collection of African prints and contrast is very important in this type quilt-----but it will be something I can hope to have finished by the end of the year. I will try to update you as I progress. It is like fitting a puzzle together.

The second quilt is one I saw on the Moda site. It is jelly rolls and charm packs. Of course I have to make mine bigger, so I have 110 blocks to make! I have almost all of them done and will start to put it together within the next couple of days. To keep myself going through, I have to put a couple of rows up to see how they look. I think I will give this one to my niece. I made her another, but I think this is more "modern" and suits her better. This is a "new" UFO, so when I finish it, I can make one of those off my list.

I have been reading about all the NY Resolutions on the web. We have to have goals, and I am no different from anyone else. I did pretty good last year in terms of number of quilts completed (19), but I really didn't address all the UFO's I have. I tried to join Judy's challenge, but I could never post my finishes and so I dropped that. My goal I think is to again complete at least half of my UFO's. I don't have a lot of them, maybe 10 at the most, so 5 is not an unreasonable number. I also want to try a new technique....really challenge myself. I HATE applique, don't really like embellishments on my quilts, and don't particularly enjoy making small wall hanging-type quilts. I made a quilt using actually all of those things (although it is a big wall hanging), and my Guild sisters chose it as the challenge winner, so I am going to try that type quilt again this year. Don't know yet what it will look like. I am interested in making a wool or cord quilt, so maybe something like that. Whatever, I plan to do my very best and use the best technique, so hopefully it will be a nice quilt I can be proud of.

I really love scrap quilts and piecing. I think then I will try a Bonnie Hunter quilt. Her quilts have thousands of little pieces in them, and I have made quilts with LOTS of pieces before, so I think I might be up to it now. So my goals I guess are to:
  1. Complete at least 5 UFO's.
  2. Make a Bonnie Hunter quilt.
  3. Make a quilt using techiques I either don't like or haven't tried yet.
  4. Oh yea---make a quilt and use some of these many GO! dies I have still in the wrapper
My list of shows to attend this year:
  1. AQS Paducah
  2. Jacksonville Quiltfest
  3. Gee's Bend Exhibit in Nashville
I also intend to bring my machine quilting up a level---specifically learn to make feathers and above all enjoy doing it all. I am not completing with anyone other than myself. I am also going to give myself permission to not be perfect in what I do---I guess that goes along with enjoying myself.

Random thoughts---nothing that important or earth shattering, but thoughts none the less. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Another year has passed with anticipation for another! I don't know about you, but I expect many of you remember (as I do) how long in the future 2000 seemed at one time in our lives. It was hard for me to imagine that---and when I thought about it, it was as if I were reading a sci fi novel. Now here we are in 2012!!! How times flies--whether you are having fun or not.

I have decided that my NY resolution is to enjoy each day to the fullest. Of course I would like to lose some weight (I have decided 10% is better than a specific weight); and of course finish some of these UFO's---but all in all, I just want to stop worrying and anticipating all the time. Just take the day as it comes and try hard to do right by it!

The superstition is whatever you do on the first day of the year will be what you will be doing all year. Well, my house didn't get cleaned as well as I would have liked. It isn't a mess, but still not as pristine as I would have liked; my clothes didn't get washed, and you are NOT suppose to wash on NY day --- it is bad ju-ju! I instead am cooking--have been since 6 AM! so I guess I will be cooking all year--which isn't bad since one of the things I am going to strive toward is eating healthier meals--less take-out---so this makes sense; have a "not pristine" house and lots of dirty clothes all year. I do plan to get a little quilting in though, and although I am itching to begin to spend my gift certificate at Joanne's, tomorrow the sale will still be on--the crowds thinner anyway, so I think I will go then---plus I am too tired :c).

My son just got on the road back to Atlanta and is doing so much better. Lots of home cooked healthy meals, lots of lecture and insulin, and he looks better than he has in a long time. He promises to be back in about 4 weeks, and I intend to call and nag a lot! Thanks everyone (Diane and Lane) for your kind comments!

Well, gotta go surf the net a bit while the blackeyed peas cook! Am having the traditional (for me and mine anyway) meal of "Hopping John" (blackeyed peas and rice), for luck; and greens (for prosperity). Decided to cook another turkey (the meat can be used for other meals) and some dressing (at the request of son #3), and homemade rolls. No dessert though --- did I mention I was tired :c)!

Hugs! and have a wonderful Day #1 of 2012! Thanks for dropping by!