Tuesday, May 30, 2006

today's progress

the quilty stuff:Another fan hand quilted-with two basketball games taped today, tonight I can look forward to at least 4 hours of more hand quilting. I cut and started sewing up the diaper stacker. I am recalling why I quit making these sorts of things from patterns...horrid instructions and challenging ways of stitching to end up with a nicely constructed looking product in the end. Oh well, I am not giving up just venting a small amount.
I finally spoke with my longarm gal and as I feared, she is booked through the end of the year. I will call in the beginning of October to book a 2007 spot. I called someone locally I know - we have been discussing my bringing her a quilt and she said come on by today. I zipped out and we had a fine time discussing patterns and chose a varigated thread color. It will probably be done in about six weeks so photos once it is truly done. I am looking forward to seeing how creative she can let herself get...as I am pushing her usual boundaries. She belongs to my guild and knows it will be going in next year's show..I figure that should give her some incentive to really have fun, knowing how everyone will have a chance to check her quilting out.
Warning: moving on to a bug rant: I sat on the front deck quilting today as the bug man came and sprayed the attic and treated around the rest of the house where they can come down through. Yucky stinking stuff! I have every window open and hope all those nasty bugs died instant deaths! It's not that I mind bugs-outside-where they belong. But inside, up on the ceiling above my head when I am in bed, NO THANKS!!! Luckily these bugs will stay gone for at least three to five years after this treatment. And I called at the first one I spotted, though a few more have made an appearance since. They don't eat fabric so at least that is one less worry about them too. I purged the attic getting ready for bug man. Funny how strange things can end up being tossed up there. They are all gone now. Our little home is once again safe from potential parachuting bugs landing on us.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

cooking tales

Have I mentioned my renewed joy in cooking? no? well, it's true...I have been inspired to do more cooking in the last six months than probably the last six years! When you have to cook for a family it can be just another chore to get over with-and teen age boys are not always the most rewarding to cook for either. At any rate, I took a many years break from doing real cooking. When I was caring for my mom and trying to find anything she could enjoy eating-the only thing she ever liked was something I cooked that I found up in her cupboard. Now-it was something out of a box-but I think the fact that I cooked it, is what made my mom like it. Of course she could only eat about three bites.
She always loved my cooking and it gave her great comfort. I joke about being an Italian mom-always feeding everyone as my way of taking care of them. And, I really enjoyed seeing my elder son go through culinary school and become a chef. Though he chose not to stay in that career-he is an awesome chef and loves to cook for family and friends. We spend lots of time swapping ideas about cooking food. So of course I asked him about something new to try with the pound of fresh salmon I had bought. He suggested a pesto crust and we discussed the best way of making it and which pan works best...you know, all those details. Tonight that salmon was on the menu. And, I have to admit, it was one of the all time best meals I have ever made. And fast... dinner in forty minutes. Earlier in the day I made a new lentil soup recipe - if you have never tried red lentils...let me tell you they are so delicious. So we had a small cup of lentil soup to start our meal and then the salmon with a side of fresh steamed broccoli and an olive roll from a local bakery warm from the oven.
Quilty note: I am still pouring over pattern ideas but will be making a diaper stacker and crib organizer first. The leftovers will go into making the quilt.
Off to watch a movie on the dvd player and hand quilt.

what comes next

No, no photos...just a brief post to say thanks for all of the kind comments left. My son and his wife were over last night-game night-and really enjoyed this top.
They were even more impressed when I said it was an original design-as Chung pointed out-it would indeed make a child very happy. However, I am keeping this quilt for myself, at least for the time being. I have finally made a bright quilt for myself and I want to enjoy it. Still no word from my longarm gal. She does the most amazing quilting-and always, always makes me happy with what she does. I know there are many, many other amazing longarm quilters out there-I know because I have seen many examples of your work on various blogs-but, I am reluctant to try someone new. I just may have to get over that if I don't hear by the end of next week after making another phone call. I know she often is booked months and months ahead. I want to put this quilt into my guild's next year show-and I certainly do not do quilting that would be up to that kind of public scrutiny. It's hard enough putting up my quilting on my blog. Today I am relaxing and going to work on that ufo I mentioned and start pulling ideas for the pooh quilt.
Life is Good!
sleeping in until you wake up on your own
a bag of new fabrics waiting to be played with
online friends
fresh coffee waiting for you
a garden filled with colorful flowers

Friday, May 26, 2006

with each top, there comes a back

of course I whipped out this back in next to no time-( I am just showing the upper part,click for a larger view) I am waiting to hear back from my longarm quilter...can't she hear my foot tapping? She is probably still in shock over hearing my voice-it's been over a year since I had her do a quilt.
I still need to cut the binding which will be black. I know that won't be my favorite job-black on black in several spots will challenge my eyes :-) and I know you all can easily imagine my delight in having this project done for now. I was able to acheive all my May suggestions! and it's not even the end of May either, how great is that?? I am pulling out the next ufo in line. It's the one I showed a while ago-the one that my small group helped make hourglass blocks for. I think a few of those are still out there...somewhere. I will work on what I have here-plenty to keep me out of trouble! Plus, I can start choosing a pattern for the pooh quilt that is next on the grandbaby list to do. A finish really charges your quilty battery! And if this rain is going to keep on, I may as well quilt the time away.

wonky village - a done top

nothing beats working into the wee hours for making real progress. once I decided (thanks for all the feedback) on the border designs-it was petal to the metal time. actually, I couldn't sleep and decided I may as well work on this-which of course meant once I started I was having so much fun...I didn't quit until the last side as I wasn't positive about what I wanted in the corner. A few hours of sleep and back to the original idea-and here you have it. I took a close up of the revamped house-this lion had to be included and I think I found a clever way of making that happen-I am sure Evelyn (this house was her trade with me) will approve! Dee did the label for me-she's been offline for months but will be back anytime now. She also contributed the polka dot roof wonky house as well. As this idea was inspired by Tonya, another online quilter...I have to pay tribute to all the online quilters that made this top possible-THANKS!

next up: piece a backing and call a longarm quilter....and by the way, this turned out to be 57.5 by 51.5 inches....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

possible wonky village layout

Here is what will be the most likely lay out of the wonky village. I probably will have to not use the top most house-between words-as it is really too large. Your feedback is welcome on ideas for more of the border-I am considering some smaller "huts" or ??

a photo! round robin quilt

Last night was fun! I bought more than I sold-but I am very happy with what I bought. I need to take a better photo before posting that photo.
Here is a round robin I did with a group of online wraptheminlove friends. We started in January of 2005 and when I got this to work on, I was the 2nd to last person-with no stash fabric to go with it.
I headed over to my good friend Amelia's and we raided her stash to come up with suitable fabrics.
Then (keep in mind all that white border begging for applique was not going to be done on my turn!) I started the what to do next ? process. Thanks to Pam and LindaJ cheering and giving feedback and I am sure LJ helping out with her EQ help-here is how it ended up. The last narrow border and outside border blocks are my contribution. The last person decided it was huge, so she quilted and bound it.
Those of us who had worked on it-had our names put into a hat and I was the winner. The joke was-these were so not my colors...please don't let my name be drawn. As it happens however, I was the lucky winner and these are my best friends colors. Ok, several of my close friends have pointed out they also love these colors. But, I needed a finished quilt as a birthday gift for my best friend in Australia and this would be absolutely perfect for her. I think this quilt was finished early in the year but because I delayed getting it any sooner-it is being mailed out today-late but I am sure still welcome on the other end. It has a wonderful print flannel on the back and I just need to add another label noting it is for Tracy. A friend took this photo as the ladies held it up for the guild to see-I may try putting it up on my design wall-but I don't think I will get a better photo than she did. So here is an example of working outside my comfort zone and doing something pretty traditional as well. I have to laugh at not having any go with fabrics from my stash on this-thank goodness for friends willing to share from their huge stash! I will take some close up shots as well- I fussy cut the birds that are featured in the middle of the square in a square blocks. And yes, I fudged those flying geese to make them come out math wise! I think I drew up my own pattern for them or LJ did...believe me, this is the last round robin I am playing in for quite a while. I have to commend all the players-they all did a very beautiful job on their parts. Actually- click on the photo and you will be able to dial in and see much more detail and close ups...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

quilting stuff going on

I have charged batteries and a recharged quilty spirit. I have gathered together odds and ends of quilty things for tonight's guild "garage" sale. I have finished stitching on a small group member's ufo promise-ready to hand over tonight. And, I have a round robin quilt for inspiration sharing tonight-all of these items in the car waiting for me to leave in about forty minutes. The pooh wall hanging I put loops on was hung and found to be too long-so it's back on my table to be adjusted. I will do that next. I did some hand quilting today too.
Can you tell I am clearing the decks of all those small tasks ? stay tuned to see what's tackled tomorrow....
Life is Good!
enough rain to stay inside
another great workout
WNBA games are back!
breakfast out with my sweetie
Zoe got a new toy that she adores

Monday, May 22, 2006

a day of rest

I am not clever enough to post a fun "day away" graphic. Or I am just plain too tired is probably more accurate! I spent the weekend painting and helping move some young neighbors and today I am doing as little as possible. I may find batteries for the camera, I may not. It about sums up my attitude and energy level right now. So, a day of being a slug is declared and I will be back tomorrow-much more rested I hope.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday progress...

My camera battery needs re-charging (no new photos), the good news is I am closer to having the word border ready to put on the wonky village top. I have some major spacing issues to resolve and some filler blocks I think I may need to make. The words though are all surrounded in black and they came out really great-just take my word for it now :-) However, proportion is a bit out of whack...these words really are huge! I am considering an inner border, but, I am trying to not end up with a huge quilt...however, I am re-thinking that too now. Right now it's about sixty by fifty five...so you know I am already too large for a wall hanging-given the fact that I have limited wall space ...so what to do??? I am going to let it sit- play with re-arranging the words a bit...play with an inner border idea..you get the idea-it's a new design opportunity moment!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

progress made

I don't have a photo to share today-however, I wanted to check in and say I have only the wonky village left on my to work on this week list. And, as it's Wednesday-how great is that? Of course I have a few things to do before I can start working on anything quilt today.. I am just happy to have put this project back on the top of my get it done list.
ForestJane- oh, do not give me more credit than due...the majority of my fabric remains to be folded and neaten up. And, the infamous scrap bin is overflowing. So, after the wonky village, I will spend time cutting and making a dent in that bin. I do have some deadline family quilts coming up as well. That is one of the best things about being a quilter-no lack of inspiration or ideas on what to make next.

Monday, May 15, 2006

cleaning quilty stuff is not exactly doing quilty stuff

Sunday was a very relaxing day, slept in, puttered around, mosied over to my son's, had a wonderful visit and meal. Came home and decided the messy corner of my sewing room was no longer tolerable. After many hours of sorting, shifting, cleaning, and clearing-it looks much better. I am happier just glancing over there. So, the only quilting that went on was my relaxing hand quilting on the baby quilt. I think I only have two rows left now. I resisted staying up late to keep quilting on it-I am sure you can relate how you get in that groove and just do not want to stop! It is supposed to hit 92 F today...oh my. We have a/c so if it gets too unbearable, a flip of the switch and life is much cooler inside.
My to do list quilty wise for the week:
1. put a sleeve on the quilt I brought home from my sister-and get it back to her.
2. put fabric loops on a comforter, turning it into a wall hanging for the baby to be's room.
3. work on the wonky village.
That seems do-able, doesn't it? Especially as I am up somewhat earlier and can get started after another cup of coffee or two. And, I did hunt down the perfect color of fabric for the sleeve-after giving up on the right shade of yellow/gold/orange, then looking for the right shade of blue...nope, finally found a shade of green that worked. Thank goodness for a varied stash!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

and a back view...

As I played with quilting something different in the narrow border...I thought it would be fun to "see" it-which is much easier on the back side! As you can see, I used up more of the various donated blue fabrics that worked. The binding was pulled from the binding leftover tub as well. I have a few bins of donated fabric living out in the garage for these charity quilts.. Now, it occurs to me, I could have taken a better close up of that top section to show what I was talking about...too late! this quilt is packed in the back of the wagon and I am not pulling it out. Besides, it's time to walk Zoe and think about hitting the road. It's a glorious day for a drive -and meeting a quilty friend at the end of the drive is even better!

Friday, May 12, 2006

want to see real wonky quilting circles??

I use my charity quilts to practice my free motion quilting. Sometimes it comes out looking really good...other times...pretty, uh, creative...wonky...funky. I decided I wanted to play with continous circles...and some of them came out the way I wanted, some of them I did some juggling...in the end...I decided it was ok the way it turned out...I had a lot of fun doing it...and though they may not be the prettiest circles..this quilt won't fall apart either.
Did I mention this one plus 28 others are all going away tomorrow? I sure had a lot of fun looking at all the quilts my friends and I made so far this year.
On Sunday I am being treated to personally made brunch by my "chef" son-he is doing waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, including bacon and coffee. His mother in law will also be joining us...we moms are being celebrated together which I find very sweet. As she doesn't speak any English and I don't speak any Korean, we will smile a lot and do just fine. I do miss not being able to chat about the upcoming grandchild we both are looking forward to however. Her son is also having a baby, about a month before her daughter...talk about coming all at once :-) Once that is all over my plan is to come home and quilt....the rest of the day. I made sure I cleaned house today and there is plenty of leftovers for dinner on Sunday too.
I am quite looking forward to this weekend-especially if the nice weather holds..the color keeps coming on in the front garden...I really need to get some photos!
Life is Good:
working out is becoming a fun habit
a clean car inside and out
another pound lost
got a phone call I have been waiting all week for
and, had a nice long phone chat with my sis
It just was a really good day!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

featured quilter: Jo Barry

Isn't this great? It's just such a down home and snuggly quilt. Jo also made a few quilts featuring silks she collected over in Hong Kong...amazing quilts-but, I did not take any photos of those-I think I just preferred to stick to the more tradional ones of hers.

I didn't note the details on this one other than I was enthralled with the tiny hand quilting done on this quilt. I did ask Jo permission to take these photos..and she was happy to say yes.

Ok..down to the last photos of the NW Quilter's Guild show-Jo Barry also belongs to the guild I do and in fact designed our last guild raffle quilt. She is by her own admission: a self taught quilter with a few classes here and there. Her work is best described as traditional-a scrap quilter and usually works on one project at a time until completed. She is a hand quilter-and has entered national and international juried and judged competitions. She does amazing work in my opinion and is a totally delightful person as well.

This quilt is called Square of the Hypotenuse. Jo chose to make it in batiks only, scrap format, no repeats, basic one-patch, and with overlays. Hand pieced and hand quilted, it was juried into Quilt Festival at Houston, 2005.

And so ends the photos of this quilt show...

and yet more photos...

This quilt is called Quilt of Many Colors-by Jane Walgren of Portland, quilted by Pat Roche. Original pattern is from a Gridlock-Kaffe Fassett pattern. As she said, she loves working with brights and batiks! A fun quilt indeed.

This quilt is called Hannah's Delight by Gale Schulz of Interlachen OR. Hannah lives next door and was given this quilt.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

check out this clamshell...

Clamshell Caudron by Anton Haas Jr of Portland-he created a vortex of graduated colors-three layers are dyed and painted undersea, the sashiko center and border, and the rainbow vortex. talk about a wow quilt! As much as I love the colors and effect, I seriously doubt I would even consider making this one.

more photos...

Japanese Fan by Cathie Boucher-Sollman of Sherwood. This was paper pieced, pattern by Bradley and Judy Niemeyer. 20 Asian fabrics .

with a close up showing the detail...I have a pattern by Judy and look forward to tackling it one day!

and here is an another type of quilt: called Affected by the Tide-Susan Bucharest of Portland, quilted by Lee Fowler. This quilt was dedicated to her father, inspired by Meriwether Lewis journal entry of 1805 about a river his party followed.

more photos of quilt show

I am trying to not put more than 2 to 3 photos so they will download fairly fast for those of my friends on dial up. I probably have another 7 to 10 photos left...

Here is Flight of Fancy by Richard Del Togno Armanasco, quilted by Tanya Del Togno Armanasco: owned by their youngest son, Anthony. what a mom and dad gift huh? This is machine quilted.

Sorry, here is the full quilt I posted a close up of in an earlier post. I have a lot of oriental fabric and as I said, enjoyed the way she approached using a lot of hers.

and yet more photos...

I took a lot of photos...they provide inspiration and they also remind me often of online quilty friends...

here is a nice log cabin made by Mary Jane Winterfeld of Portland and quilted by Nancy Goldsworthy. She started this in 1998 and finished in 2005, to celebrate her 50th anniversary.

Here is what I consider a maverick quilt. It's called Back Roads by Roxanne G Nelson of Portland. It was begun in a class by Hilde Morin at Fibers in Motion. It is quilted in a style that reminds me of Lisa McCall's work.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

more NW Quilt Guild photos

this was done by a group called Quilters in Motion Group-of Portland, quilted by Catherine Conkey. This pattern was "everyday best" by Piece"O'Cake Designs. It is a raffle quilt for Loaves and Fishes. Paper pieced circles and appliques flowers.
I would love to win this quilt-the quilt shop that hosts this group has a similar name-Fibers in Motion -a great place for unusual fabrics and batiks.

here is a close up of one block.

This is a close up of a quilt by Karen Esterholdt (Portland OR) called Kamon Quilt. I thought it an interesting way of show casing beautiful Japanese inspired fabrics.

one done, one almost there

I finished the rail fence binding/label before heading out earlier for my haircut. I need to make binding and then finish up the second baby quilt. So I am gaining on being done with that short term goal. I have decided to put the wonky village back to the top of the heap (right after putting on a sleeve of a quilt my sis bought). I refuse to take it off the design wall and I need that space for the next project. I will post a photo of the rail fence...just to show how wonky the quilting truly came out. That is on tomorrow's task list...right now I am going to do a separate post of more quilt show quilts...

Monday, May 08, 2006

more photos and quilting

I am over half done quilting the rail fence...I am doing wonky circle/spirals :-) the babies won't care how wavy those lines are and I was in the mood for some free motion fun. Besides all those straight lines needed some curves! The sun is shining through the window, my ipod is playing on random and so...what a delightful morning it is.
I am going to upload a few small size quilt show photos...more quilts I thought were of interest to me-though I have to say, I do take a few with other online quilty friends in mind.

This one is called My Star by Jackie Weiss of Portland-a Karen Stone paper-pieced pattern-she spent over 4 years working on this in odd moments.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

baby shower anyone?

I did put together a stash scrappy backing for the blue rail fence top. We headed over with a car filled with balloons and cake to the kids for the baby shower this afternoon. What a fun time was had by all. One couple brought their 5 month old son and I had a chance to hold and play with him-what a happy happy baby. They got many lovely and sweet baby things and my son did a bbq that was fantastic-brisket and chicken with potatoe salad-all made by him. I am going to have to get back to several ongoing quilt projects around here. Right after tomorrow...my once a month wraptheminlove small group here- the Portland Piecers meet tomorrow-and I have the rail fence to pin for quilting. It's round up all the quilts, look them over, and take their picture time. Next Saturday I am driving to Eugene to hand them all over to Pam so she can take them with her to Mexico. I have a feeling we are going to have over 30 quilts Pam. I won't be posting any photos here of them-the website for wraptheminlove has it's own quilt gallery where those photos will end up able to be viewed by all interested folks, eventually.
It was supposed to rain today, but held off...so it's out to water the new plants and seedlings for me.
Life is Good:
staying up all night to finish reading a really enthralling book
visiting with family and friends
holding a giggling, wriggling- with -joy baby

Thursday, May 04, 2006

a few finishes

Here is the done, done photo of the sunshine or sunny quilt for charity. I machine stitched the binding and had my helper hold it up...
A few days ago I commented I had finished up my small group applique- these blocks are for Kathy-she gave us the fabric, we supplied the labor. These are actually my first appliqued blocks..so far in my quilty life! It's not something I chose to do as a rule. I sure hope she likes them! She had us sign our names, so my guess is she will make this a keepsake of our small group for herself.

I realized I need to piece a backing for the rail fence top...so that is the first task of the morning for me.

Life is good:
planting flowers and watering them.
exchanging emails with online friends
feeling the warm sun on my face

quilt progress and day 2 photos

Once I finish this post...it's off to trim and bind the sunshine quilt. I will post a photo, once it's done, done so to speak. Another milestone: the front main garden area is also finished..whew. It's gonna hit 80 degrees today and I was able to finish up before noon. However, the wind is really whipping around and it's delightful outside-just ask Zoe, oh, no...she's napping, let's NOT wake her up! It's so time consuming being her door-woman LOL.
So, just to keep the record straight: yesterday photos featured: sister choice blocks by Peggy Baumgartner of Portland. A wedding gift for her son.
The circle quilt was not raw edge-it's title is Dot Com.Going Dotty by Ann Mueller, Hillsboro, Or...quilt was inspired by Freddie Moran-Ann drafted this pattern herself and agrees with everyone saying, it's a happy quilt!
Next up today: these are two photos of the same quilt-something Finn is gonna love! This was from a group challenge - the rules were: to make a yard quilt (36 by 36 inches) with some of Terrie Mangat's Fiesta fabric and had to incorporate a log cabin pattern. By the way, I also think this quilt is smashing!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

and now photos from NW Quilters Guild

I took a lot of photos...so I will put up a few...each day until they are all up. I am too lazy to go get a photo account but I don't want so many photos those on dial up wait forever while they load.
April was a so-so month quilty wise for me...but, I did do some major cleaning in here-and have a new attitude this month. I am quilting on and nearly done with the sunny or sunshine quilt. Along with the blue rail fence quilt-I am aiming to have these ready by Sunday! Throw in helping with my dil's baby shower on Saturday...well, it's petal to the metal time. Half my day though gets devoted to gardening. It's warming up and my days of digging in the dirt are numbered. Our soil has a high degree of clay-which means when it gets too warm, that "soil" gets like cement! No digging at that point. I have maybe another flat of bedding plants left to get into the ground. I love the sunshine so I am not complaining-just plan on sleeping less to do more :-)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Billie photos....

Billie Lauder photos:

woohoo...they loaded.

That is my table of quilting friends-we also have an offical name: Portland Piecers-and get together once a month to work on quilts for wraptheminlove. As I said, this was one of the most fun classes I ever took-and my friends can claim credit for much of that fun! Of course Billie was a total hoot and the friendliest and most humorous teacher I have had to date. And, I learned many new things.

photos of Billie's class-NOT

I promised a few photos of class with Billie Lauder. However, blogger is not allowing any uploading of photos right now. I also spent time getting all the photos ready of the NW Guild quilt show...again, I will upload whenever blogger allows. And, I finished my two applique blocks (yes, I have a photo) -big sigh of relief! I paper pieced another arc for another small quilt group member-leaving one last arc left-she is doing a paper piecing version of double wedding ring pattern. I am in the throes of putting new plants into the front garden area, moving plants around, and in general playing in the dirt out there. The back is in limbo...as I have decided to actually sit down and graph out a design plan for it. I have that process started as well. I have quilt deadlines looming as I mentioned, so I am splitting my time outside with inside quilting time. I prepared the sunshine charity quilt for quilting last night. Did I mention I was five inches short on batting? I stitched more batting on at the end-then realized I was short on the backing too...so I cut a strip and stitched that on as well. I did the binding prep for the rail fence top I showed the other day. So, the day holds a short errand, gym workout, gardening, and quilting. I can't say I am making wonderful strides in my lose weight/work out goals like Mary or Sharon but, I am putting in my efforts towards a healthier me.
Goals: I seem to be rebelling over even writing them down anymore. I now write down a daily to do list. A short one. A do-able one. and sometimes an item has to be carried over to the next day. right now that is how it is. mostly I am in the doing mode which is working out really well-as each day I can "see" progress made.