Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I promised my sister garden photos...I did not do that last night-by the time I got home, changed, glanced at the mail, returned a phone call, number crunched something that had to be done yesterday with a follow up call on the results-watered and took out the trash-well, it was too dark to take photos! yeah, that's my story and I am sticking to it. Each day as I drive home from work, I look at my "to do" list and make a choice of what I will tackle when I pull into the driveway. Of course all that can change with a phone call or a suggestion from my sweetie. However, this morning I chose to stitch binding instead of going to the gym. I got all the way around to the part where I want to put the label. Now, that is a perfect stopping point for the morning. I can play around with word ideas for the label during breaks at work. If I remember to take any of course. I tend to rather get engrossed and before I know it-the day is gone. Yesterday I had a dentist appointment and then fit in a visit to our local ups store-sending off two packages -check that off the "to do" list-yes!...arriving at work later than norm. Thus, my day ran longer-and we all know that shift of everything running later as a result of that choice.
I am choosing to post rather than get to work a bit earlier-I already did the prep for a big meeting this morning-and I will still have time to pull it out and give it a once over prior anyway.
I think a lot about the freedom I have of making choices-and accepting that I chose to do one thing over another-and NOT do other things...and really I feel pretty happy with most of my choices, most of the time. Of course I wish there were more hours in the day-but that is beyond my ability to chose - rather I aim for feeling good about what I have done in those hours by the end of the day. What are you going to chose to do with your day? whatever choices you make-I hope you enjoy them!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

where have I been?

Sometimes learning new things is sooo frustrating-I have a post in word for blogger with a photo...will it post here? nope. ugh!
let's try this again: I spent the last week taking two classes from Kelly Gallagher-Abbott on easy curve piecing techniques and this example of her Funky Checkers pattern. Fast? sure, once I have done this about 20 to 50 times...I made a compound curve cut in the second set of joined two blocks and learned a valuable lesson on how much trickier it is to line them up! I pulled fabric from my stash and like using just these three fabrics...I may stick with all checkered circles or mix and match-in the long run, it will be interesting to see how I end up finishing this. Combine Kelly's methods with Gail Garber's earlier class on the Goose is Loose and I now know lots about freezer paper use in quilting and fabric glue. I am adding curve piecing skills this year and both of these teachers have given me some great approaches. What else? all week I picked up my granddaughter from daycare and played with her until bedtime. Quality Grandma bonding time! Getting home each night at 8:30 pm after getting up at 5:15 am made for one tired out I accomplished nothing else beyond taking the class on Tuesday and getting to the photo point. And, all that new stuff is being set aside for the wedding quilt project-cutting it out after playing with a new to me method of making hst's is next up. I have not made a final decision on exactly which fabrics from the huge stack of half washed / half waiting to be washed I will end up using either. Two of them are the same as in the wedding photo I posted earlier. So, those go in...the color palette also is the same..but with more variety of can tell I am still in the creative flow aspect of this project. I also have a queen size quilt back from the longarm gal to attach a label/binding on over the next three days. Gardening, neighborhood BBQ, garage cleaning...let's just say lots of plans for what will no doubt be all too short a time period! Hope you all enjoy your next three days-no matter if you have them off or's time to get into action for me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

NQR= not quilt related

Like everyone else- there is more to me than quilting. Today our office is kicking off our version of The Biggest Loser Challenge- without going into details-it has inspired me to actually get myself into the gym this morning. That's right- I have put in my 30 minutes, 2.6 miles, 3,446 strides already. And the reason I was up so early? My partner was questioning whether I had programmed the auto sprinkler system right-convinced it was NOT coming on at all. I set it for every other day-it comes on at 4:30 AM and is done by 5 AM...considering she is not out the door until around 5:20 AM, I knew there was no way she could "see" the water going. I knew today was one of the days it should be going and I woke up at 4:28 time to throw on clothes and mosey out to the garage to check the control...with Zoe supervising of course. Sure enough, at 4:30 on went the water. So back to bed I went-not really sleeping but dozing until the alarm went off. Zoe was not happy about that! Still, life went on normally once the alarm actually went off.
I am enjoying a minor quilting lull. It always happens when I finish a few projects-sure, I pulled fabric and even have some waiting to be pressed and cut-but, I just don't feel in the mood. Instead, I am getting other things done and just vegging a bit. I am even reading a few more's amazing how busy and productive so many of you have been! Great quilt photos of shows went to and personally done. I decided to show my heart wall hanging at my guild-I have not done a show and tell in like, forever. I figure I can mail it off on the 23rd just as easily as today.
Sunday I have another class coming up- another technique class on another method of curved piecing. It's being taught by a teacher our guild is bringing in for a program-Kelly Gallagher-Abbott- who happens to be the curator of the Hoffman Challenge. Her website is here.
I am going to take the same scraps as I took to my last class-I can see right now I need to email her on some instructions on the Tuesday class I will be taking-yes, I am taking two classes from her. The Tuesday class is funky checkers...and calls for ironing freezer paper to pre-shrink it.
That's something new to me- I had no idea freezer paper could shrink. Did you? Well, that's why I am taking classes- to learn new things to me.
Ok, off to work on the early side, as it's my day to come home at one and walk Zoe-plus I am getting together with my aunt for dinner and a visit.

Life is Good!
sunshine and warmer weather
a strong start on planting the gardens
personal checkbook balancing done
my longarm quilter will be home Thursday

Sunday, May 13, 2007

finished is good

To the right is a photo Linda sent me as I lost my copy of the wedding quilt I made for my son Eli and his bride. I have mentioned it's now his brothers turn. I have pulled fabrics and begun the washing/drying steps and I am drawing up my color placement chart as well. This time I will be going scrappy, again, all pulled from my stash.

I stayed up last night and finished the stitching on this wall hanging-as you can see, I favor a narrow binding. I stitched in the sleeve with the top seam which proved to be a lot to bind over-but I trimmed the bulk and it turned out fine. I do seem to have a bent needle as a result :-)

Now to pack it up for shipping off tomorrow. Too bad I won't see the faces of the new owners-I hope they enjoy it.
It's wonderful to have my camera back and be able to show current photos. A lot of today will be devoted to playing in the garden-I have trays of new plants waiting to be placed in the ground and I am happy to spend the time playing in the dirt with the riot of color that will result in the weeks ahead. It rained late yesterday and it's threatening to again today-I hope it holds off until after I have a chance to get outside. I am still at the having coffee and breakfast in my fuzzies stage of the morning right now.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

stuff going on

The camera will be fixed-still waiting to hear when I get it back-in case I forgot to update that bit of news. I have quilt show photos but I am headed out the door and wanted to rip off a short note-I am busy! spent much of the weekend gardening with a several hour break to quilt with my charity group. Thanks to help three quilts were bound and another gal turned in a completed quilt-so though there were only three of us...we finished four quilts-not bad! I finished quilting the small heart wall hanging last night. We had very warm weather hit yesterday, but, that is how Oregon is- cool and cloudy-one day, the next up in the 80's! I would say Spring has truly arrived at last. Thank goodness for a sprinkler system. I need to set the auto feature next-when I get home tonight. This is my first year to actually "be in charge"-but a phone call for help is always available should I feel in over my head. I have a huge mess in here and everywhere-the house is getting neglected in favor of gardening/quilting. I did come home last night and cooked up all sorts of yummy things-I had hit the market on my way home from work with a new cookbook to try a new recipe from. They did not have the main ingredient so it was get inspired by what I found.
The taste results? Yum! I bought packaged handmade fettucini noodles and artichoke/lemon pesto...instant fabulous dinner. I cooked up veggies and brown rice with sauce for lunches/dinners for tonight/tomorrow. I hope to add binding to the wall hanging and a sleeve tonight. I am hand stitching black binding still-took it to work and did some on my "lunch hour" yesterday. Did I mention my local longarm gal is on vacation? Do I use someone else or wait?
I am still mulling that over. Maybe I will make a call today to another gal I have been wanting to try out. I am late! dashing off.....

Friday, May 04, 2007

what's going on....

The good news is they can fix my camera, the less than good news-it will be about two or so weeks before I get it back. So though I can not share current projects...I have a backlog of quilt show photos not shared -which will help add interest. I went over to visit my son and family last night-it's been a week since I have seen them and Alice cut another tooth since then. She is now up to 5 teeth and another one almost through. She has started pulling on legs to stand up and even has been found standing up in her crib in the mornings! This baby girl is on the move. And she makes wonderful conversation too. She is such a bright and happy child. And I am one lucky grandma.
Quilty news: the king size jigsaw puzzle parts are arriving at the longarm quilter today. She will contact me with ideas for thread color/quilting ideas-and I will tell her the usual- play with it and have fun. She does fantastic work and I wish she had the time to do the other jigsaw puzzle quilt too-and I am really sad she won't be able to quilt the next wedding quilt I am doing. When my camera comes back I am going to have to go take a photo of the one my son with baby has.
However, there are many other talented longarm quilters and I just have to develop a similar relationship. I bought extra wide backing fabric-pressing over a 100 inches by 100 inches was not my idea of a fun time-and I had to do it twice! I cut off the selvedges and two backings done. That part I liked. I have a call into the second longarm gal to hand over my sisters top to.
I am in the process of hand stitching black binding on black that quilt is moving along and I have the wall hanging bobbin thread wound-waiting to be quilted. I pulled a few bowls from the kitchen and will play with drawing baptist fan lines-using my chalk wheel. That is next to work on.
Each night this week I have been doing something quilty-and not turning on the computer. I have a backlog of web reading to do -though I have managed to respond to all current emails. My small charity group meets Sunday-I will pick up the pile of quilts needing further work and enjoy a day of focus on them. Tomorrow I need to hunt down the pattern for the wedding quilt and start pulling fabrics. I had such success in making two quilt tops at the same time-I am going to try doing that again-though they won't be identical. If the weather is not rainy, I will be out in the garden tomorrow-the front is half weeded and I need to put in the time to complete that as I am being treated to new plants as part of my birthday treat from my son-they are taking me to the nursery on May 12th- we started doing this a few years ago and I have a wonderful collection of plants to enjoy year round as a result. The issue of what to get mom for her birthday/mothers day is easy now...especially with a new backyard with lots of great space for planting.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

retreat photos etc

I was uploading photos this morning and managed to drop my camera with the lens extended,please-cross your fingers/toes that they can repair my clumsyness. Let's back up to Friday arriving at retreat. I was of course the first one there- so I helped do some setting up and then dived into my own sewing. I had about three sections of my jigsaw top to stitch-cut and add the two borders and got that done by supper time. I did stop and have a run into town for a latte and found the quilt shop on the way-discount for retreaters and I was a happy shopper. I plan on going back as they had fabulous fabrics-lots of brights and just a whole lot of my kind of fabrics-whereas the old favorite shop closer to home seems to have less and less fabric each time I visit. So- after supper I was pressing the Amish roman stripe using not my own iron and it spit black stuff on the top...ack!!! I washed and rinsed and hung it up to dry overnight-on to the next project. I had cut out muslin squares and brought two large ziplock bags filled with strings-my birthday wish was for each retreater to make a block if they were so inclined. I ended up with about 22 blocks-though I took a photo prior to all of them being put up-I hear a few more will be showing up at guild night. These will go to Heartstrings
once I have them all turned in-the link takes you to a photo I already uploaded of them.
The next day I pressed and sandwiched and quilted the roman stripe quilt- this is the one and only quilt my boss ever made-about 20 years ago-she had it put away up in her attic and now, it's quilted, binding to be put on sometime this week. black on black...ugh. I then pulled out 3 fat quarter packs of lovely Asian fabrics I bought many years ago at some quilt show. Always petted them, never knew what to do with them-I cut them into one and a half inch strips and created a wall hanging-had I brought the right color thread, I would have quilted it during retreat- I did stop on the way home and buy the perfect color threads for it-so that project will get finished this week too. And last but not least I pulled out a project from the only class I took last year-Billie Lauder's beyond the rail fence- my rainbow rails around the world. As you can see-six rows got stitched - the gal next to me had brought hers too-and she was able to get her top together I believe-she had done a different design. So....a ton of fun hanging out with like minded quilters-lots of great eating, talking, and laughing...many, many terrific projects completed by everyone-and a grand time for me