Sunday, August 31, 2008

re-visiting a ufo

Quite a while ago I shared the foundation instructions for this quilt I bought back in 2000.
I seem to still have quite a few ufos from that year. I got distracted with other quilts and this was once again put aside. Yesterday I stay stitched and trimmed the yellow piece. Then I decided it was too messy and cluttered in here and I was off and running on spending the rest of my day and evening doing my idea of purging/cleaning/clearing etc. I started in the garage. Yes, I knew there was room to be had if I tidied up some of those shelves out there. And, some of this stuff possibly needed to be boxed up and sent out there-should I come up with space. Well, some of the tubs out there contained fabric-uh, oh. Anyway- needless to say I am still in the midst of this purging/cleaning out etc. project but this morning- I sat down and stay stitched the red and orange arc which I had pieced before stopping on this block and then stay stitched the blue piece. I am following the directions here- seems a lot of extra stitching but I am sure it is to help not have those curves get out of whack.
I can see myself poking away on this project in between finishing the great clean up I have going on. I am almost finished out in the garage-a full load in my vehicle for charity to drop off, and plenty of outright trash in the garbage can. I have been working with Starbucks customer service trying to get our expresso machine to work..this morning I was given additional advice to try. I ran the machine per their instructions and still nothing. I will just call them in a bit. I have a request from my sweetie to follow up on next. Oh, rain and a bit of thunder ...good thing I am done loading my car. Guess that means gardening later is also out. I am so glad that tomorrow is another day off for me. I have unearthed some donated tops and with all the extra scrap batting I stacked up-that would be something else to do and have less stuff around.
I will post this block once it is stitched together and then hold off until all the remaining blocks are done.


Friday, August 29, 2008

summer inspiration

Hood River is a charming small town along the Columbia River in the Gorge of Oregon. We stopped to enjoy a picnic lunch there and across the street from the small park was this wall filled with wonderful mosaic art work. I thought immediately of quilt inspiration when I took these photos. The colors were deeper-afraid the bright sunshine was a bit more light in the photo than I expected.
Tonight my aunt is coming over to do some sewing with me. I will help her hem pants and whatever else she throws in and also share some scrappy strings and teach her string quilting.
That ought to inspire me to do some quilting.

Fresh blueberry muffins out of the oven. We are having a fun food friday happening at the office-this will be my contribution. These are made from whole wheat flour-very down home tasting -I won't mind if I have to bring any leftovers home. Oh, the blueberries are from our bushes-yum.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

thanks to email

I received an email from my booty swap partner, she says she really likes the small quilt and will post at a later date- she is waist deep in sewing wedding clothes for her daughters September 6th wedding! That sort of deadline would be so stressful for me, I just could not imagine taking on such a task. Luckily I had sons and beyond making wedding quilts I did not have to do anything more stitching wise.

I am adjusting to living with just Zoe our boxer dog for company while my sweetie enjoys her road trip. There are some fires going on in Idaho that are making some impact on which roads are safe to travel on-it's good to have her checking in each day so I know she is safe.

I pretty much zoned out last night-watched the tv show, The Closer-only 3 more episodes left and then poof! it is done with. I have to drop my car off for some work today and will give my local guild meeting a miss tonight. I am arranging for some more minor house repair work to be done during the next week or so-that will bring some upheaval in the house as I will have to empty out a double length clothes closet jammed packed with -yes, clothes and shoes *vbs*
oh fun. The main support bracket is bending and I keep having visions of coming home one evening to everything tumbled on the floor and it would not be a pretty sight!

Sometimes when you have "free time" it can be hard to settle on doing anything I find. I decided to take a break from my list of things I want to get done and just drift through the evening. As I look around this morning, I feel a tad guilty but not too much-it is not necessary to "do" every minute. Doing nothing counts for a lot as well. I did finish my book. It's actually nice to have this change of pace and enjoy doing whatever I feel like.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

a few more small things

I took some dragonfly fabric and with a scrap piece of flannel as batting I did some free motion quilting -I then took this quilted piece of fabric and made an envelope style "bag". It's for putting cards into and because I did not have the right ribbon, I used a string of yellow flannel to tie it up with. This was a parting gift for my sweetie- and judging by the recent phone call, a hit. The other little something is about a 15 inch by 15 inch bordered idea I had for the booty swap and rejected.
I went ahead and put on the borders tonight and will quilt it up-I have someone in mind that I know will really appreciate it. These projects and a bit of hand quilting done on the K project are the sum total of my quilting efforts for this weekend. The majority of today was devoted to household tasks, beyond boring but nonetheless necessary. I am headed to bed on the early side in hopes that I will finish the book I have been reading. A new book awaits. Rain came late today but we managed to get our walk in between showers (that would be boxer dog Zoe and I)-a happy dog and a dry owner is a very good thing! I put a few more stitches into the K project as I watched the end of the Olympics tonight-a most relaxing evening. I have the binding to finish on the jigsaw puzzle quilt-it's black binding and black least favorite combination to do in the evening. You can see why I chose to stitch on the K project instead :-)


Saturday, August 23, 2008

one small project done

As I finished up these pillow cases this morning, I had to really wonder why it took me 8 years to finally do this truly fast project. Obviously it was not such a huge priority-we had found white with similar blue flowers pillowcases at the store-and some other quilt probably was the big project at the time to finish. And so, this fabric and idea sat all this time. Now I can enjoy that red geranium fabric much more often, and a new quilt idea to use the balance has come to me as well. I had to really hunt down the matching blue fabric as it had been put back into the blue stash shelf. Cross that off the mental list of long time projects waiting their turn to be done! My neighbor swung by and took away our old couch-no buyers so off it went to a good charity group instead. The sun is out and it is shaping up to be a fabulous day outside. I think a bit of gardening is next on my list to enjoy. Not too much, due to my arm, but enough to satisfy my need to be outside and accomplishing a dent in the large task of weeding. And, the cherry tomatoes need picking. We can take a bowl full of those along to the cookout later today. Mmmmm, warm fresh tomatoes off the vine...nothing tastes sweeter!

Enjoy your day whatever you are doing...


Friday, August 22, 2008

waiting, waiting...

Still not doing any stitching, plotting what big project I am going to do the minute after M leaves for 10 idea is to more or less empty out this room (sewing/computer) and paint it. I gave this idea thought last year and decided no. I am back to considering it again this year. (oh yeah, my bad arm...probably not such a good idea to do at this time) Guess I will tackle all that garden work instead, easier on my arm.

And, I checked delivery confirmation and know my booty swap has been delivered to it's person, no mention on their blog yet!!!! It was delivered on Monday ! You know the moment after I receive mine, I will be posting a photo and emailing a big thank you.
On my lunch hour, I have to go pick up a chocolate cream pie for the party we are going to tomorrow...a dear friend is turning the big 5-0 ...should be a lot of fun and a chance to visit with many folks we hardly catch up with anymore.
It's Friday- always nice to hit the last day of work for the week, plus our company allows us to wear jeans on Fridays...nice. Of course I am a casual kind of woman, I would wear comfy clothes all the time if I had my choice- and actually most of the time I do-it's nice to have choices-wear more professional attire or not. Really, the only reason I wear my professional clothes anymore is I feel sorry for them languishing in my closet-but, not being a manager anymore, there is absolutely zero motivation or rarely a need to wear them. I am not so much about the latest fashions as most of my co-workers-I don't work in the public eye and as it's all about sitting at a desk and using my brain power-it just doesn't matter (to me) what I wear. Ok, I think I can do some stitching on the pillowcases this morning -at least wrap up that project tonight.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

pillow cases

Ryan: look for the Koi quilt post to see what I just made! You can find it listed on the right side down a bit- just click on it to read. love you.
Meanwhile I thought I would share the completed pillowcases that go with the Koi quilt. I made them partly to use up the leftover koi fabric and of course to "go with" the quilt. I had collected various pillowcase patterns over the last few years. The one I used is a popular one where you take the trim edge and lay the pillow body in such a way that the trim wraps around and the seam is totally inside. The link to the blog where I printed off a wonderful drawing no longer works-it was shared by Faye P. Boyer, USU Extension County Agent Emeritus, and adapted by Ronda H. Olsen, County Extension Agent, Utah State University Extension- per the print out, from August 2007. *** drawing by sewprimitve !! (you would have to go back to Aug 2007 for the drawing) A fellow guild member just demo'd this technique at our last meeting for making pillowcases for her favorite charity cause. Anyway, I have a set cut for us-just need to cut the trim part and I am going to add in a piping strip.
Last night I just kicked back and enjoyed a glass of wine and did a few other non quilting type things. We are following the Olympics, though disappointed that the womens basketball team is not making any of the tv viewing time slots. I have managed to watch most of their games on the computer-at least that is available, as are most of the other events.
I enjoyed lunch with my favorite (and only) aunt yesterday over going to the gym-today-back on a mission to put in some time at the gym. As my arm gradually heals, I can certainly work on other parts :-) I always enjoy a short lull between large projects-a time to catch up on the other tasks that have been pushed to the back burner and now, it's their turn to be addressed. A wonderful chat on the phone last night with my son was the best ending of my day.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Koi quilt ready to be given

I stayed up last night until the last stitch was done on the binding/labels for this quilt. If you click on the photo you will see the machine quilting better-done free hand to give the feel of water movement by Robin Hill, a local longarm quilter.
No one is around to help hold up this large quilt so I made do with taking the photo spread out on our bed-not the best shot, but good enough for today. When it is given I have instructed photos need to be taken again! I want one with Denise and this fact, I have to add I want one with her and the first quilt I made her. And, can you believe it? M has already suggested a wall hanging idea for Denise. I told her next year-I have more than enough to work on till year end thank you.
Today being cloudy and cooler than the last few days I decided to finish the scrubbing down of the back concrete patio deck area. I tried a cleaning product that promises results in 30 seconds...ok..for concrete it takes 15 minutes of keeping the area wet with the cleaner. I tried it out on an area where if things went wrong we could live with the result...then I looked at the area I had left to clean and decided this may not be as fast and effective as using the hose and scrubbing would be. I may try it again next year however. There went my morning.
M saved me by coming out towards the end of this huge manual labor task with pain meds and a glass of water-I did not argue and gulped them down. With my bad arm this was not the best task to tackle, but, being the woman for the job and having the perfect weather-I just did it anyway. I have to say, the result looks well worth the efforts. It's a job that only has to be done once a year-so cross that off the house maintenance list. I am feeling pleased after a shower and some lunch to dive into the pillowcases without any guilt. M has been doing all the laundry and errand running today-we make a great team I feel. I also have a wedding quilt block to make and have ready to mail off tomorrow to do today as well. I am clearing the decks to return to a large quilt I am paper piecing from the class I took earlier this year with Judy Neidmeyer.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

booty swap on it's way

what a wonderful morning! I slept in, I enjoyed sitting outside on the front deck stitching the binding and label down on the booty swap quilt. I then gathered together a few extras to include in the mailer that will be sent off once this post is done. My partner will miss out on chocolate being included- at 102 F degrees today, it just would not stay intact through the mail I am convinced, plus it's destination is probably warmer than what we are having today here in Oregon. After lunch, it's label stitching time for the koi quilt and the rest of the binding stitching as well. My plan is then to finally pull out the various pillowcase patterns I have collected over the past several years and fabric set aside in 2000 to stitch up a few pillowcases -as well as a few to go with the koi quilt. I have a wedding block to make this weekend as well. Then, I have all deadline quilting related projects done with. Hard to believe I am going to have everything not only done, but well within the time frames. The rest of August is mine to play with personal projects/ideas...woohoo!!


Friday, August 15, 2008

binding going on...

I picked up the Koi quilt from the longarm quilter on Wednesday and promptly came home, stitched the binding together and machine applied it to the front. I have been stitching it down on the back each evening while watching the Olympics. Last night I turned the last corner-time to take a label break. M wants photos scanned and a label made including them. The fabric I use for photo transfer is pretty stiff in my opinion- Printed Treasures is the brand I use- so I set a limit of two photos. One is of the actual hole dug long before the pond was finished up. When Denise had her house built, she knew down the road, she wanted a very large pond in the backyard. Judging from the photos of her pond currently-it seems like a lake to me! If I can figure out how to scan and add a photo-I will share what I am talking about. Denise is a woman after my own heart-a long term planner and big project thinker. And, when she wants something done- she pulls it off well. She has retired and can enjoy the beautiful home she has created.
Anyway, nice to be nearly done with this quilt and know it will be ready to head off to Utah on the 24th of this month. The excess fabric from the backing may have enough of the smaller koi fabric to be trim for a pillowcase or two-now I think I may consider making a set to go with the quilt. Photos will be posted once this quilt is totally done. The quilting came out just the way I wanted it too as well- she free handed the curves and it gives a water effect perfectly.
The upcoming weekend has no commitments !!! I plan to spend it doing some catching up on tasks around the house and fit in a visit over at Alices.
I completed my work deadline job yesterday- whew! plus taught a complicated spreadsheet to a co-worker who barely knows excel. Another big woohoo on that. I can relax a bit now at the day job and play catch up with August data. We are changing banks and yesterday the new bank folks were in-it is going to be pretty interesting as we make the switch over and I am sure a few challenges will come our way as we go along. I enjoy the change-it is much more fun to have to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions and find answers than just drudge along. And, hip hip hooray it is Friday!!!! With an expected 102 F temp expected today, I have already run the sprinklers in the yard this morning- an extra day of watering. We are eating strawberries and blue berries from the garden now and picked our first large tomato- yum!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a peek at the booty swap

Early in the morning I can usually find a little quilting time. Today I was able to finish the quilting on my booty swap top. I am going to show a peek here as I noticed others have been sharing theirs. It will be ready in plenty of time before the September 1st deadline. I may or may not do further work on this will hang out on the design wall for a bit and I will decide later. I have the binding ready but again, I may change my mind on that choice too. I like taking my time on these small decisions. I reviewed my camera settings and decided someone else just doesn't have the hang of this seems to be working fine when I push the buttons. I have been stopping by blogs more lately and enjoying all the lovely quilts and wips going on.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

my excuse for no photos and what I accomplished today

We bought our digital camera the year we got Zoe as a puppy, 2003. I went through the manual and set up the camera options for the type of photos I knew we would be taking the most of.
Somehow the last time I formatted the card, I changed a critical setting photo function. I can not zoom in...and of course I have no idea how to fix it. Reading the manual is like reading rocket science theory. If they could make it any more convoluted, well I don't think it's possible! So, my story is no photos until I sort out translating the manual back into my brain so I can fix what I so easily goofed up! I have finished the orange block (boy am I glad I only had to make one!) and it's in an envelope to be mailed-(sorry no photo taken), and finished putting quilty things into an out of country mailer-just need to make a card to pop into it, and it's ready for the post office. And, I have done some quilting on the booty swap quilt. I also mended Alice's favorite cloth book I made her last Easter. I managed to do that little job during her day nap today. Too bad we had to take her home when she woke up. 24 hours go by in a flash when you have a two year old in the house!!! My left arm is now really not happy- it's the one with a small tear in the bicep tendon..something I just found out when I finally went to my doctor about the on/off pain in it. I have a wonderful doctor who after giving me some great advice on caring for my injured arm, suggested how to get back into the work out training I was actually enjoying up to early June. Of course, part of the lack of healing progress is my not going to her sooner and partly because I really under-estimated the damage I had actually done-thinking I had pulled a muscle and/or strained something . So, it's ice pack time and rest for this arm after all my lovely Alice (up Nana, up Nana) time. And a lot of muttering ouch, ouch too.

and last but certainly not least, a Big Happy Birthday to my pal Linda!!! I hope today was filled with all good and quilty things!


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Saturday afternoon...

What a week it was...lots going on at the job and else where keeping me hopping. I had the pleasure of leaving work early on Thursday to pick up Alice, my granddaughter from daycare and spend some quality bonding time. She is such a joyful child with the best belly laugh I have ever heard. Here is a great shot of her and her daddy having a good time. Friday I worked a bit for a deadline project then left early as we had a wedding to go enjoy. What a fabulous time everyone had at this wedding. The bride and groom really did a wonderful job planning it and including everyone in many different and fun ways. We partied until close to midnight and went roller skating with most of them this morning to continue the fun time. I need to do a lot more roller skating to get my "skating legs" back! Several of us local ladies have a plan to go skating on a monthly basis to keep this fun going. Meanwhile I have finished the booty swap top and hope to have it quilted by the end of this weekend. I have a block to make as well as part of my local guild's outgoing president thank you from the members. I have pulled lots of orange fabrics as that is her favorite color. I have not done much hand quilting this week-I hope with the Olympics going on to do more as I spend some time watching those events that are on when I am home. I am missing out on the AQS quilt show in Seattle that started yesterday-I had so looked forward to enjoying it too.
oh..waiting for our Alice to be dropped off for a it's an Alice weekend -the big reason for missing the quilt show.


Monday, August 04, 2008

good Monday morning

Poof! there went the weekend. Good news-I did complete my backing for the koi top on Friday night and dropped it off at the longarm quilter on Saturday with a decision on thread color and panto pattern. It will come back around the 16th, in time to finish the binding and add the label.
I have a new quilt on the bed but have not taken a photo yet-something for you all to look forward to seeing! I am showing the first idea for my booty swap (click to enlarge if you wish) and how I am handling putting together various orphan blocks sent to me to put together into a charity quilt. I was inspired by Freddie Moran's garden party lady blocks but not happy with this free pieced effort. Into the orphan bin it goes. Of course I have plenty of thoughts on how to change it to come out closer to my vision, but, thought I would share my effort on design/piecing it into reality. I moved on to two other ideas and have up on the design wall what will become the actual small quilt for the swap. All I am revealing at this point is it is bright. It's five minutes from hitting the road back to work reality and playing with numbers that will not produce any fun quilt ideas! I am working on my hand quilting at work however.