Monday, June 30, 2008

Alice turns 2

Alice shows up on my blog regularly-she is my only grandchild and lives not too far away. I keep her over night every chance I get and think she is just the most fabulous baby girl ever. I am of course totally objective! I took 77 photos and then tried to find ones that did not have an arm in front of her face or her turning her head, you know this girl is a fast mover! I can not believe how fast she is growing up. here are only a few photos of this special day.


weekend-part one

I left off saying Friday night I would be up late cutting fabric-and so it went. At midnight, it was officially Saturday and I did some sewing on the CGF's FABS project choice. CGF stands for Cher's Gym Floor- a pattern idea I copied from literally my gym's floor. Linda (see sidebar LJ) took my idea and worked it up in EQ6 -sent it to the FABS and this Saturday we were all stitching our versions of CGF up. On most weekends I am not an early riser, so by getting a sewing start, by the time I did get up and have some coffee and turned on my machine-it only took another hour or so of sewing and the top was done minus borders. Right in line with our speediest FAB who finished close to me as well. My sweetie had claimed this quilt just from seeing the cut pieces up on the design wall Friday night-and insisted it needed a border. I added a narrow border and think it gave it a great pop-the binding will be in the same fabric. The backing is made-a nice bright butterfly flannel, the binding is cut, and I will piece batting together next. This all came from stash and will be my sweetie's traveling to Utah quilt. As it is in the photo it is 42.5 by 62.5 inches.
This is clearly a fast and easy pattern to whip out-keeps a focus fabric/large print intact and only one row of matching seams. I will be sharing this pattern with my charity quilting group next time we meet. Next post: Alice turns 2 party.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

back from vacation-running in place

Actually, I am hanging on to that wonderful relaxed feeling you gain from going away and doing completely different stuff from home. I had a fabulous vacation hanging out with my sibs and friends of theirs who also are friends of mine. I did NOTHING quilty-well, except and you knew there would be SOMETHING right? I found this fabulous art gallery which featured an artist that used mixed medium in his art style-quilty feeling. His name is Wycliffe "Linc" Bennett and many of the batik fabrics-I have in my own stash! This show is running until July 27th in Decatur, GA.
I chatted with Niki a gallery associate for quite a while about the quilt art topic. If you drop the word quilt and use for example, textile or mixed media- the general public will be more receptive to considering it true "art". I missed a wonderful quilt show earlier in the week and can only say, it was fantastic to quilt speak with someone. Also the work of Desmond McFarlane -a Jamaican style artist had some amazing work using triangles in jewel colors-again, could have been done as a quilt.
So? what else is going on? cutting a zillion inch and a half squares for a postage stamp swap I am part of right now. I am about half done with that cutting. So far I have pulled 23 sets of 25 pieces all from a handy scrap basket in the fabric room. Too lazy to move stuff around to actually pull fabric from my shelves! Somewhere I have strips cut that would be handy for this swap-and I may have to hunt those down in the interest of keeping it lazy *vbs*
And, it's Thursday-I have a potluck meeting right after work (good thing for ready made food from the local market) and will be home on the late side. Friday after work I am finally heading over to check in with Alice and family. I get to play with her as her parents get ready for the big TWO birthday party the next day. I managed to do a little Alice shopping while on vacation-we found the most fantastic children's book store ever. (In Decatur) I had to really restrain myself. I knew I was running short of suitcase space or I swear I would have come home with fifty pounds of books! Have I mentioned we have an Alice library here? some books from my childhood, some books I grew up with and bought, and I always seem to find a new one she must enjoy.
And Saturday morning before the Alice party, I am sewing with the FABS-so at some point before then, I really need to cut out for that event. I may not be sleeping much Friday night.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

on vacation-checking in

I actually managed to come on vacation and leave all hand work, quilty and otherwise at home. I did not bring anything quilty with me at all. Instead I have been relaxing and enjoying every minute with my sister and the rest of my family. All photos will wait until I get back home-I am far too lazy to try and upload onto my sisters computer and deal with all that stuff. Our spa day on Monday was fabulous. Over the previous weekend we visited my brother and his family and had our usual rowdy fun time together. I had a chance to meet my sisters boyfriend and look forward to his arrival Friday night -he spends his weekends here with my sister. As they are talking about him moving in, it's nice to have a chance to get to know him and I am happy she is so happy with him as part of her life. She was widowed in 2005 and deserves to find love and happiness again is my thought. They are a sweet couple.
I love clothes shopping with my sister, as I, on my own tend to never clothes shop. I just hate the whole looking, trying on, and deciding time involved. However, it is always so much fun to shop with my sister-she has wonderful fashion taste and is great at telling me how I look in whatever I am trying on. Thanks to her, I now own two pairs of summer heeled sandals, suitable to wear to work that I wanted to find. I usually never wear heels, so I am wearing them at her house to be sure I am happy with them. We figure wearing them inside on the clean floors gives me the best chance of knowing if they are really shoes to keep. I can return them by Monday if not. I will leave it to your imagaination to visualize me in tee-shirt, shorts and heeled sandals *vbs* and I have to confess this is a real sexy feeling to wearing heels! These are wedge type heels- those pencil slim heels are beyond my comfort zone as are the pointy toe look. I promise a photo if I keep these shoes and when I am back home. So, a boring post of being on vacation and just relaxing and not doing a whole lot. I did attend the WNBA game last night with a co-worker friend of my sisters. The Dream lost again- they have yet to win a game, but it sure was fun to watch in person and cheer them on anyway. I even won a free tee-shirt they were throwing into the stands. I also went and talked to the promo folks after they announced a winner for coming the furthest to attend the game. The woman was from MD, and boy did I have that beat. They said, next time I am coming to email them ahead and they would give me free tickets for the game-sweet! As I said, it was a great time and we used the train system which made for fun traveling as well. I love using public transportation. Saturday we plan on going berry picking and later I will make the family favorite strawberry shortcake-the way my sibs love it best. They are all coming over here for a bbq later that day and of course more killer uno card playing will happen. A whole lot of laughing also can be counted on. I so enjoy hanging out with my sibs.
I look forward to coming home and diving into my quilty projects with a fresh energy. I have joined a postage stamp swap and will need to cut at least 50 charm squares for that right away. They are being mailed to Scotland and I will just make the deadline. I also want to work on the summer class project letters and then wrap up my WFC as well. That Linda managed to finish hers and mail it before her vacation..oh the peer pressure ...another big smile.

I am getting in some email reading as I enjoy my morning coffee and prepare for the day's plan of whatever we decide to do. Today it will be doing my laundry, sorting through old photos, and playing with an excel feature I want to learn. Oh, and she has a program that allows you to transfer vinyl records into cds....I have a stack of albums I chose for her to do. Do not ask me any details..I have no plan to do this at home. I figure it is her sisterly pleasure to make these for me, just as it is my pleasure to make quilts and give them to her.

ok...I do not expect to post until I am back home around the 24th of June...and yes, I will take and post photos of my own garden efforts as well.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

a happy Sunday

Aren't these pretty? We had sunshine today and I had heard about Heirloom Rose Gardens, south of where we live out in the farmlands. A relaxing morning of enjoying cups of coffee and breakfast, followed by planting the dozen or so ground cover plants I picked up yesterday to fill in an area in the backyard suitable for under our aspen tree.
Then, it was off to explore this wonderland of roses and enjoy all the beauty. Naturally we ended up choosing two small rose shrubs to come home with us. This photo will enlarge if you click on it, is the miniature rose garden they had. We have had little sun and so many bushes are still in bud-however, there were enough blooming to make it a lovely experience and we look forward to visiting again, with a picnic basket!
I have been able to fit in a fair amount of gardening over the past few weeks and look forward to taking a few photos soon to share. My garden is similar to some of my quilts-many areas remain to be worked on and completed. I have enjoyed working on it over the years and especially after the big remodel of the back and side yard we did a few years ago. Slowly I see my design ideas coming into reality - a bit more each season. This year there are berries on the blueberry bushes and on the strawberry plants...something delicious to look forward to later this season.
The summer class project has grown a bit and I have added a leader/ender project as well-a new challenge of the FABS showed up in my mailbox. Next time I show a photo of the summer class, it will have letters...five are now done and at least six more are needed. It's great to be playing with these new projects when it's too dark to garden!


Friday, June 06, 2008

summer class last a start

I have been thinking a long time on what I wanted to do for the summer class project-part of Tonya's style of encouraging that out of the box kind of quilting- my favorite to play around with.

I tend to save the leftover scraps from a quilting project-at least for a while before they end up being dumped into some scrap container of larger size. The jigsaw puzzle scraps have been kept separate- waiting. I made 2 bedsize (king/queen) quilts with these fabrics- identical, one for us and one for my sister. I am still waiting over a year now for mine to come home from the longarm quilter. It has been my choice to wait so long- no blame being assigned! All I will say is her quilting has always been the standard I hold all other LA's ag
ainst. Anyway..I knew these were the perfect inspiration jumping off fabrics to play with - and despite a whole lot of other stuff going on..I dumped them out and I have made a start about a week ago now. I took a photo of the piles loosely sorted-the clear shoebox holds the larger "yardage" pieces of much of the fabrics..though some were only fqs to start and were almost totally used up in the quilts. I am using some quite small pieces but stitched together from the leftover squares first. I went ahead and cut them apart and pressed them and got them up on the design wall. Nice to have some new color up there! I have promised myself I am not making a large quilt...and this is not by any means how they will be sewn together in the final round. I am just throwing stuff up as I have a pile stitched. I have a ufo swap block that may find a spot in this project. And, letters, yes there will be letters and /or words. I enjoy designing as I go along, so who knows how this will go...for now I am just playing around.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

M2M wrap up

I just put the last stitch in the label for the 8th and final M2M quilt-these will be squashed into one box and sent off to headquarters in San Diego -Amor Ministries International. It's been fun helping my fellow FAB pal Pam out and this last one was a challenge the FABS did a while back. I had such fun free motion quilting it on my DSM and I know some young child is going to get a giggle from the animals in the focus fabric. I am posting photos that look small, they will all enlarge by clicking on them-I don't want to use up so much space posting these photos-but do want to share more of them. They are are in the 40 inches by 60 inches size range and I a few were done by members of my charity group, the Portland Piecers. By the way, speaking of the PP's -we had 19 finished quilts turned in today at our meeting. wow! Now I really have stacks of quilts around to prep and ship off. 12 of them needed labels attached and I am part way done doing that. The rain came when I got back home today-so no gardening happened-hopefully I can wrap up planting stuff tomorrow after work. I hate leaving those poor plants in those tiny pots waiting to be transplanted.


quilting and Alice

here is our Alice carrying her favorite must take to bed tiger. We had so much fun! And as soon as she was on her way home with her daddy, I was in here at my sewing machine. I put labels on all the quilts that will be sent off to M2M that were done to that point. I quilted the last pinned quilt and will trim/bind/label it tomorrow.
And, before midnight, I started at long last on my summer class idea -no photos on that until it's further along.
I am sharing a few M2M quilts-my string quilt and the second donated top I cut down to
baby size and quilted.