Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jean Wells: inspiration galore!

I had a wonderful time at guild last night, despite not winning any churn dash blocks, nor winning our fabulous raffle quilt. Good thing I didn't buy any lottery tickets-clearly not a winning day for me. It was however, INSPIRATION winning no question. Jean Wells was our guest speaker and put on a lovely power point chat and then, did a trunk show of her quilts- wow! So, follow this
and see what I am talking about! (if you click on gallery, you will enjoy seeing many of the quilts she brought and I got to touch and!) I wish I could stay home and play with all the ideas her lecture gave me today- instead I am at least blogging about it . I have met and chatted with Jean over the many years of living in Oregon and visiting Sisters-always enjoying her quilt shop and finding fabric or something that needed to come home with me. I was delighted when I saw some of her work at the Sisters quilt show this year-as she clearly was working in a new direction-and it was such fun to chat with her about it all. She is a lovely person and is currently teaching some great classes based on her recent classes/work with Nancy Crow...all of which reminded me of Gwen Marston and Lisa Call. I would place our own Tonya right up there as well with these quilters-those women who have embraced quilting and taken their own style/path with it. Who also encourage us to explore, play, and discover our own vision in our quilting. I may not be able to afford to fly off and take a class or do a retreat with those teachers I find so inspiring-but I surely can enjoy their books/blogs/work and play in my own quilting space.
Did I mention I can barely stand the thought of going into work this morning???

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Monday, November 26, 2007

guild blocks

I would have made more, but, I ran out of both light blues-so I stopped at four blocks- this block is called the churn dash- simple, with lots of potential. The guidelines were cream and blues..with the cream as the background. I think I wandered into the more coffee than cream on two of them..but I like the contrast! More stash used up too. This gives me 4 chances to win blocks...I have not played in ages-but I could not resist this block. So, I am hoping I win! Next up: cutting and putting together the binding for the quilt that comes home with me tomorrow night. I like turning one in and picking one up..keeps those quilts moving towards that finish line. I finally caved in and ordered a quilting book for myself. I decided it was unlikely that either one of my sons would actually look at my amazon wish list and buy something on it-so I went ahead and bought Quilting with Style- by Gwen Marston & Joe Cunningham. It is now being carried everywhere with me as I snatch moments to read through it. As a matter of fact, on page 48 is a quilt using these very blocks I just made!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

life has been quilty!

The disappearing nine is the beginning nine patch block, then the cut up version of the block.

I spent this last week in 15 to 30 minute increments working on this top, today I was able to put in enough time that just after midnight the top was completed. I am very happy with this top, both in terms of using only fabric from my stash and how well a fast and easy pattern turned out. No borders as it is 62 3/4 by 71 inches already- plenty big enough for a "lap quilt"! I had just enough of the gold to do this top and most of the green is also gone. The backing is a tone on tone purple cotton-extra wide, so no seams. My longarm gal called today to let me know the quilt is done and we will exchange that finished quilt for this top on Tuesday night at guild. She is ahead of schedule- and now I am actually a bit ahead. The backing is squared and pressed- I did it ahead of the top. I just need to find binding fabric and have that ready. I am sure the person receiving this gift is going to really like it. Now to tackle those guild blocks tomorrow!


Saturday, November 17, 2007

a fast top indeed

I wanted to leave the raffle quilt up long enough for folks to click on the link and buy tickets-it seems the website was down for about 2 days after I posted about the raffle quilt...13 days left to buy the possible winning ticket!
So...I think I mentioned something about trying a new pattern using donated fabric-happy to share a photo of the completed top. The binding is cut from the same tan-ish gold looking border fabric..and it taught me exactly what I wanted to learn. I have met a new longarm quilter who has generously offered to quilt up some tops for our charity group- this will be one of the several going to her. Next up tonight is cutting into the flannel for the secret Christmas longarm gal will have one done by the end of November-and then will do the one I will cut tonight. That works out perfectly. If I have the right color combinations I am going to use more than 3 fabrics for the next top. This is a disappearing nine patch pattern that Nancy has given a tutorial on. Thanks Nancy!
I only had about 15 to 20 minutes each morning to work on this project so it took longer than it probably would if you were able to work on it straight through. However, this approach fit much better into my week of being busy-including taking half a day off to go take care of baby Alice suffering from the croupe. Once she got over mama being unavailable (she works upstairs in her home office) we had a fine time together. Even being sick she was an angel for me-sleeping for an hour which was so appreciated by her parents! I feel so thankful that I have a flexible job that allows for taking time off to go enjoy being a grandma when I am needed. Too bad she will be a teenager by the time I retire! I spent most of my day doing housework-I finally had the time and energy to do some major scrubbing and clearing out. Tomorrow will be much the same except I won't spend a few hours raking leaves. I filled a 33 gallon container today and that's my limit. I finally ran out of gas around 5 pm and after walking Zoe sat down and put the borders on this top. Another cup of coffee and I think I can last long enough to cut the next top out...I am so looking forward to playing with the flannel I have chosen. I hope you are having as much fun during your weekend as I am...yes, I do find cleaning and scrubbing fun! and no, I won't come and have that sort of fun at your place.

hurray for family!
hurray for cherished friends getting back in touch!
hurray for life!


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wrap Them In Love Raffle Quilt-2007

Ha! Here is the raffle quilt photo a day early- I forgot I needed to go over to the lqs where it has spent a month being shown. It is now moving on to another local area quilt shop. Isn't it a beauty? Linda J - see sidebar for link and her mom came up with the block design and our online group contributed blocks- they(Linda and her mom) got together and put the top together and Ellen the founder of the charity Wraptheminlove quilted it.

The winning ticket will be drawn on December 1st- less than a month away-so if you want to buy tickets and you do not live in the Portland Oregon area - you can either email me during the month of November or go to this place and buy them there. Tickets are a dollar each. It is big-82" by 98" .*** edited note: this link has been having an issue in coming in...keep trying! Try emailing Ellen directly at if the link continues to say it's broken!

I am half way through on these string blocks and I can not say I am seeing much of a decrease in these pink strings...ack! I may have to cut more foundations...I am determined to use them ALL up...once I get to the end of them I will share a photo and the final number :-)

However, come Monday I need to turn my attention back to the's just that these other projects keep luring me away...I think I must be suffering from pink fever!


Friday, November 02, 2007

just chatting...

The blog world is getting bigger all the time and I was contacted by a fellow blogger that is also a quilter to share my thoughts on a post she recently did. If you have thoughts on art quilts and subject matter that should be explored by certain groups...well, mosey over and take a read here.

I know from chatting with people I come across in my daily life that I have a few readers that "lurk" and do not post comments- consider this paragraph written to you- I am delighted that you take the time to read my blog...feel free to email me directly should you want to respond to anything I post...also, feel free to never let me know you read my blog! It is all the same to me, you see. I do the same thing- there are many blogs I read and enjoy, and never leave a comment.
It's that great aspect of freedom and choice, you get to exercise it when you are blog surfing.

I respect the folks that like to be more low profile- not everyone wants to be in the limelight and isn't that what makes life so grand? We are all different and I am so thankful that is so.

Today is work book group lunch day- where we discuss the recent book read, Self Storage by Gayle Brandeis, discuss it (decent first book, weak ending) and the new choice is decided upon.
I read this easily in two evenings, which gave me a month and a half to read a few others. Truthfully, I always have at least ten books and several magazines stacked on the night stand.
I almost always read each night before going to sleep- I grew up reading my brains out and that habit has waxed and waned over the years- currently it's in the waxing stage . I live with a very diverse reader-often many serious and in my opinion "sad" our library contains many, many books waiting to be read -most of which I had no idea were out there. Our tastes vary, which is a great thing about living with another reader-I get the chance to try reading books I normally would never think of reading. ( ok, so I always did that anyway!) It always leads to lively discussions...and I have been known to proclaim, I am NEVER reading that author again. I just do not want to read deep and disturbing and sad books all the time...I like a mixture of topics to read, a mixture of authors and points of view. It's the great thing about being a grown up- I get to make my choices and KNOW I am making them. One of my sons growing up would throw a tantrum saying I was "making" him mad. I always told him that was how he was choosing to feel. boy, did we have ongoing conversations over that idea. Sure, I made him do his homework or chore-whatever, but, he was in charge of his feelings. A very abstract concept to convey to a growing child. I think many adults are still grappling with that fact-claiming ownership of their feelings. I know I self censor many times over consideration of others feelings-which is different than knowing how I feel and expressing it.

sort of rambled along there didn't I? On a quilty note, I finished the binding on two donated charity quilts and on Sunday I am going to share how they turned out with my small quilting group-dedicated to charity sewing. I need to take my camea and share a photo of the raffle quilt for that charity and tell you how you too, could buy a ticket and win this quilt !! so check back on Sunday evening for that's really a beautiful quilt and includes a block I made!

as always, choose to have a wonderful day!

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