Tuesday, March 28, 2006

back at the end of the week



Sunday, March 26, 2006

larger photo of the black/white quilt

ok, better to see! This was begun August 2000 and finished May 2001. The first person that quilted it, did such a terrible job of stitch in the ditch (which I had asked to be done) that I took out all the quilting with some help from two of my friends. ugh! yes, a few small holes happened-but I had more fabric and replaced those parts-put it back together and found another longarm quilter. This time I had a better quilting idea - which she did-basically wavy length wise down the blocks part...and free motion with some butterflies thrown in on the outer border. At any rate-hope this is a better view-close ups another day-there is basketball (women) on to watch right now!

the balancing act

Finn asked what is our excuse? or how life happens and we get sidetracked in our quilting path at times...including how she has been stuck doing a lot of quilts for others...not in a negative way-just as in a big part of her quilting time is spent...which is how I interpreted her blog entry.
So, that got me thinking about my quilting journey thus far: which was back in early days as I mentioned before-making a baby quilt for a friend and then a queen sized quilt for my mom. You note: nothing for myself. Many, many years break from quilting-to 1999. Again, the very first quilt I FINISH is for the charity group I support. Granted, the next one was actually for myself-the infamous black and white one which I am finally posting a photo of. That quilt was made in a beginner's class on quilting. I figured being self taught-I could stand to learn "real" quilting from someone who taught quilting. I call it infamous as the teacher upon spotting the fabric I brought said: clearly I was NOT a beginner-I brought in black and white fabric. All the other gals brought in safe matching colors ...in thimbleberries or 30's repros or pastel colors...or florals...yes, I was the "black sheep". Once that quilt was done-the requests poured in from friends and family members. You all know the drill: oh, you make quilts...I would love one..yada, yada...and if they are your mom, or your sister, or your child-you can feel well, umm, sure! and down the road you go...until you stop and realize, when was the last time I made a quilt for myself?
Here comes the balancing act: I love making a quilt and watching the face of the one I gift it to-light up-I mean how great is that feeling??? However, the feeling I get when I follow a quilt idea and make something following that creative muse-WOW !! How fun was that??? and, I can then keep it....or maybe down the road, give it away. I like having that choice. I love making quilts and realized from the beginning-I did not want to keep all of what I make-I enjoy the process on many of them but do not always feel the need to keep it. I have at least seven quilts now that work on our bed-and another five or so lap size for cuddling with ...and plenty more in the idea and stash stage as well.
Last year in my efforts to sew down my flannel stash, four family members got quilts. This year, I promised my brother a tee shirt wall hanging-and have his box of tee shirts waiting their turn. That leaves a quilt for him and his wife. (at some future point) My sister will take any and all quilts I care to send her way, she has two already so I am not planning on any this year for her. My sons each have at least one-with the younger one really asking for a second...it's on this year's list. And that shows the balancing I have finally come to: I will make quilts for family, on a flexible "year" list way. I don't need those deadline pressures. With a grand baby on the way...I am working on the hand quilting for her quilt-if the baby is a she. A quilt not so obviously "girly" is next up on my make a quilt list as a back up to having a boy grandchild. I am always working on a charity quilt-that keeps happening year round. I am very selective now about anyone outside "family" getting a quilt from me. So, those are some thoughts put down in print for now. And, here is that photo I promised...sorry, it had to be taken inside by my not so tall helper-and trust me when I say it truly is straight...it was in my guild's first quilt show and quilted by Merline McLoughlin. Sorry, I loaded this on the small side and it won't get any larger by clicking...drats! I still like this quilt by the way.

Life is Good:

shopping for new spring plants to put in the front yard

driving the back roads home

nice clean doggy laundry

seeing family

talking to my Aunt Naomi on the phone

Friday, March 24, 2006

top 25 list and stuff

No photos this time around...I have been sidetracked with other "more important" stuff. Really would have rather been quilting...truly.
So...top 25 ...not on my ufo list....hmmmm.....

1.Jigsaw puzzle - designer Stephen Seifert & Liz Schwartz. (I saw this quilt first at a quilt shop in Perth-no pattern there, came home and hunted it down!)
2. a string star (inspiration Bonnie Hunter's website Quiltville.com)
3. another blooming nine patch
4. a lone star
5. an I-Spy
6. 1,000 pyramids
7. Endless Possiblilities (a Ruth Powers pattern)
By the way, these are all pieced quilts...I am still dragging my feet to tackle those applique blocks!

I know there are more patterns and books and magazines with marked ideas, plus designs that are forming in the back of my mind too. I just have not organized them well enough to be able to list them.
I am not in a rush to do most of those on my list either...just sometime before I put down my needle and quilt no more.

Life is Good:
Friends that push and prod you to step outside your comfort zone.
An easy meal made by both of you
A warm fire and a napping dog
The end of a very good week
New ideas percolating

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

blogger bah, humbug,phooey!

ok...so NOW blogger allows the photo to upload...which is a GOOD THING! but, it will not allow me to post any comments on any other blogs...go figure! Trust me, I have things I wanted to say...and yes, I am at least a day behind in reading/posting...soon to be 2 days thanks to bah humbug phooey blogger...maybe tomorrow all these snafus will be cleared up...one can only hope...in the meanwhile I am going to shut down and go do some hand quilting...at least I won't have any problems doing that!

some quilty progress

Grumble, grumble.....Ok...there is supposed to be a photo HERE....but blogger won't allow it to load for it's own special reasons. urgh.

So- trust me when I tell you...progress is being made on letters being put together into words and readied for adding to the wonky village quilt top. It's boring without the photo-sorry!

When blogger allows...you will see it..until then-thanks for stopping by to see if there is anything new to read or see....

Life has been for me quite busy of late...lots going on around here-all good things-but sure not allowing much in the way of quilty time. I should be able to get a few hours in at the machine tomorrow morning-then a fun lunch with a good quilty related friend. I am still thinking of those Top 25 Quilt Projects to write up about.
I am reading the blogs and even if I don't leave a comment-I am enjoying the photos and words left by everyone.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

National Quilting Day

homemade apple pie..I used less apples than usual so it's not as tall as normal-it will still taste great I know. We are having supper over at my son's-this will be dessert. He called and when I told him I was bringing pie, he said he would be sure his wife picked up the vanilla ice cream to go with it *vbs*

I think I am ready to turn on my machine. I have been sidetracked by everything to do but something quilty of late. As you can see, I have fabric waiting to be cut and made into letters and my color theory class homework is also sitting there waiting to be done. There is an online retreat going on this weekend-I still have not been too motivated. I call it quilter's slump and I am sure it's hit everyone at some point. I also know as soon as I start back in on that project, I will be over the slump. I have just been handed a latte and oatmeal raisin cookie-have I mentioned lately, Life is Good!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

time crunch quilt??

In 2000 I took 3 classes from one quilt shop (since closed)-all had nine patch blocks as part of the quilt design. One was my blooming nine patch-another was my nine patch/rail fence which I will post a photo of another day and the last was this current ufo. The teacher resized the pattern and called it Stars and Chains...from the book, Time- Crunch Quilts by Nancy J Martin.
The page you see is from her book - lots of open space for some fun quilting to be displayed. We had to pull 8 to 9 fqs of three colors-and back in those days I was trying to use fabrics I had collected -the white background floral was my focus fabric and I pulled the colors from that. It was my first time working with "scrappy" so a lot of the values are the same-but, I really like all the yellows I used. It was a one day - 8 hour class. At the end of the day, all my nine patch sub units were ready to be assembled into nine patch blocks-all the hour glass units cut and one block was assembled so you had an idea of how it would look. Another 14 blocks left to put together. I put everything for this class into one place and went back to working on that blooming nine patch quilt. Then the nine patch/rail fence class started. That class was a beginner's class- as, in theory I was a beginner. I never did get back to the Stars and Chains. I was pretty sick of making nine patches by the time I finished that beginner's class quilt.
When I pulled this ufo out-I had forgotten where I left off. I was happy to see it all cut and waiting. I sat down and finished those nine patches in a day. I then started to put together an hourglass unit for each set of four to hand out. I ended up making a second block as I was having so much fun working on this. My group has up to two months to hand back those units to me-so I am not rushing to trim down the nine patch units just yet.
As my friends noted....these are not colors I would choose today! And I will probably gift this quilt to someone once it's finished and I have enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing it done.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday catch up

No photos today...my server has been blinking in and out today-just my luck it would go out in the midst of uploading a photo.

What I really wanted to post was my potato and leek soup recipe-as it was quite the hit at my house. Jeanne had asked how it turned out as well-
I pulled this from cooks.com and left out the onion as M is not partial to that. I used a lot more potatoes too-and I didn't puree it either...I mashed the potatoes instead...it's whatever consistency you favor right?

Warning: this requires much more stirring than I gave it...or else much more of a gentle simmer...I have been known to cook at too high of a temp-but I was in a hurry :-)
and remember I also threw in chopped up asparagus-and four or so strips of bacon too,which was quite yummy. Each time I reheated some (lots and lots of leftovers at my house) I would add just a bit more milk to get it the right stirring medium- or use water if you like. At any rate, M has asked for more soup as a supper meal and I will be happy to do that as long as this weather stays on the cool side.
I do like changing recipes around and having fun working with what is fresh in season or what my taste buds are clamoring for...it can be as much fun as changing a quilt pattern around.

I have done all sorts of boring things around the house today- I finally cleared all the stuff that was stacked in front of my stash shelves in the fabric room. It's going to be fun to actually be able to get to those shelves now and do more folding and purging. I like doing spring cleaning-but it's like quilting-I always want to be on to the next thing before I am quite finished with the current task :-)
I have been hand quilting every night-we watched two movies over the weekend and I would own both of these given a chance-Elizabethtown and Edge of America. I think I am nearing the one third done mark...but at least it's progress.
I will try and clear some space and give you a peek at the ufo I am getting help with. For now I am enjoying reading all the various blogs I get a chance to visit and thanks for all the wonderful photos and inspiration of sharing what you are doing!
I do appreciate all my online friends!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Baby, it's cold out there!

Doesn't this make you want to join me in a hot cup of cocoa?? It snowed during the night-not that I noticed...but this morning-sure is white outside! Zoe loves running around madly in this stuff-we have had one morning adventure over at the park already..with no doubt another one this afternoon if she gets her way. This is my view out over the kitchen sink. The only window that faces the front of our street. The deck extends to just past that window below the wind chimes on the left. The spot under the window is Zoe's favorite sunning spot when the weather warms up. That window is my view from the sewing room. What I look at while I sit at my sewing machine..from that angle I see into the trees that flank my neighbors yard-pine trees so it's always a green sight. Those chimes are heavy and give a lovely deep BONG sound when the wind really blows. Martie has wind chimes up all over...this has been a good day to stay inside-been working on the ufo for tonight's hand over for help. I just realized I have a class all day tomorrow-the color theory one. I am grateful it is not today-it's just too cozy not to want to stay home and be a hermit. In a few hours I will cook up a nice pot of potatoe/bacon/asparagus soup...perfect for a bone chilling day to warm those bones up. Well, cocoa is gone and the machine is waiting...hugs to those who want them.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

not quite midnight here

Been at my machine working on the Thursday deadline project-and then the handquilting tonight..when I realized it must be late! Here are a few more photos from the quilt show... the top left is a Halloween quilt-of course a kitty quilt -new pattern to me-and a different sort of jungle quilt. These should all enlarge if you click on them.

There are more photos to share...so stay tuned.

Monday, March 06, 2006

more quilt show photos-minis

Inspired by Bonnie's quilt show photo, I thought the next batch would be the minis-none are antique however.

Guess which one is my favorite? That's right, these sweet bright squares! No, I don't remember exact sizes-but I would say, 3 inches finished or less. I can see the attraction and appeal of doing a mini...but I don't think these fall into the "quick" catagory !

Sunday, March 05, 2006

got your sunglasses on??

Wonder what I have been doing this weekend?

I needed a break from scrappy and as Sunday is our monthly meeting for my small group called the Portland Piecers (we make wraptheminlove quilts) I cut the fabric for this top Saturday around 8 pm. The day was devoted to yard work..enough said.

So...the idea was something bright, fast, and easy. I pulled the focus fabric as it has been sitting on top of a stack in here-the other gals had not been inspired by it..so I took pity on it-besides, it is the perfect little kid fabric! and because Martie said red and turquoise do not go together (ok, she was talking about a shirt and sweatshirt I was wearing at the time) I decided, great colors for the four patch block. They worked for me. By 10:30 pm I had all the blocks stitched into rows-and this morning I stitched the rows together. Off to the meeting where I put on both borders and cut red fabric for the binding. I had already cut more of the focus fabric for the backing. Ready to be sandwiched and quilted- not bad for the time spent. I had some of the focus fabric left-one of the gals swore she had never seen this fabric and liked it. Picture my evil grin as I handed it to her, saying there you go! You get the last of it, let's see what you come up with using it. I also gave her a good chunk of the turquoise as,she mumbled something about not having anything to go with it...are you kidding me? I replied, it has yellow,pink,red, turquoise, and green in it...lots of choices. One of the other gals was making 3D bowties...so I got a hands on lesson in making them...after all I have some red and turquoise left over...will see how many of those I can make.

I have another project with a deadline of Thursday-so my poor wonky village is still on the back burner. More quilt show photos upcoming too....I am trying to post them in like groups-when blogger allows me to. It's been a most satisfying quilty day for me today-hope it was the same for all of you!

Life is good:

fish tacos for dinner from a great fast food place

a phone call from older son

quilting with great friends and laughing a lot

Friday, March 03, 2006

quilt show photos

The top photo they flipped so you could see the stitching on the back-an unfinished crazy quilt-sorry-I did not take any notes so can not put any additional information. The next photo is the crazy jacket- all sorts of far East pieces in it...really a wonderful piece of clothing.
Blogger won't let me upload any more photos...I will try another post with the antique quilts laid over the pews....

busted by Jeanne

February goals?? well, um, vacation interruptus ...yeah, that's the ticket. Here is my summary-1 of 3 ufos completed. scrap bin got sorted but not emptied. lion sleeps tonight top-still a wip.

March goals- see my side bar- scaled down more to reality...taking two quilt related classes this month- a color theory and a machine quilting - from the same teacher-Helene Knotts. I have other life stuff on my plate too this month. I am half way through making the various letters for the lion sleeps tonight top...it's coming along ...just need to "find" some time again for it.

This morning we went to a local quilt show put on by a church ladies group-they open this show up to all sorts of quilters...I remembered to take my camera and will post photos until I have something of mine ready to post. This show included a whole lot of great antique quilts/textiles.
Our friend Amelia has been taking the AQS certification course on being a quilt appraiser-so she can usually date the fabrics/patterns in these type of quilts-which makes it all the more fun to have her along. I tried to get a few close ups-one of a wonderful crazy quilt-another of a crazy quilt jacket, and various others that caught my interest. Overall this was my kind of show- plenty of variety, a few that made me want to sit down and piece, and a few that though not my taste were so well done-you just had to admire them. Ok- next post following this will feature some photos...and it shouldn't be much of a wait either!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

vacation fabric that followed me home

Isn't this cute? It's called It's a Jungle out there

and the rest are the fabrics laid out that I could not resist! They all are much brighter in person *vbg* I found some on sale lower case alphabet fabric that is in there and the bright tone on tone green picks up a green shade in that.

I bought the various fabrics featured above the rainbow stars to make a baby quilt for a friend. I already have a pattern idea and will be making it small sized. I also brought home the green and blue quilt my sister bought and will attach a sleeve and label once I raid my stash for a suitable fabric. I like the pattern and will probably make something similar to it and use up more of my flannel stash-that large block is perfect for flannel.

I played with wonky letters this afternoon-once I dug in, they started going fairly well. I have two words done, many more left to do of course. Still, not bad for my first day back home-with all the many errands and so on to tackle it felt good to squeeze in some quilty time too.

I am off the hook for cooking supper tonight-sounds like time to get off the computer and go eat.