Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy October-a day early

brought to you by miss alice wonderful, in her new pumpkin dress from uncle ryan!

[My son Ryan was out for a brief visit from Texas-he brought all sorts of cute things for Alice, this being the one I could not resist putting on to see how it looked. ]


Thursday, September 25, 2008

on vacation, Thursday morning

well, a short check-in.  Another charity top completed last night, a ufo from 2006 with one finished block and tons of centers cut, many side triangles but not enough for the 35 blocks I needed for the top.  I also finished the hand stitching on the binding of the king size quilt.  I will add the label/sleeve once we are back home this coming weekend.  I realized I needed to finish all the cutting for the Judy Neimeyer quilt, Indian Summer before I could sit down and stitch away.

She has you do all the prep upfront so then you can chain piece all the blocks. I am down to the last 3 sets to cut.  My plan is to then do all the next step she recommends, which is glue the first triangle in place and set up the next 2 pieces.  She also has you drawing the lines on the back side of the papers...so you can know you have the seam allowance covered.  Because all the pieces you use are pre-cut to work with the layout of the pattern-you really need that guide line.  And, as it's been since May when I took her class, I am having to think hard to get back in this groove.  I have three cutting only projects, another more challenging ufo project, and the handquilting as my choices if I need a break from this Indian Summer one.  Or, come play on the computer, read, walk on the rainy beach, watch tv/dvds, play with the dogs, nap, go into town.  After all, it is vacation-and I am not going to feel chained to doing anything I do not want to.  It is fun getting around blogs a bit and seeing what everyone has been doing-so much inspiration!  


Sunday, September 21, 2008

at the beach

just checking in to say love being at the beach on vacation....have finished stitching one charity quilt top and put in some hand stitching binding time too.  We are pretty settled in and planning a very lazy day today.  I have WNBA playoff games to watch in a while-will hand stitch and watch-then work on a paper piecing project I want to move along on.  Plenty of leftovers and snacks to munch on - life is good!  Can not upload photos here - it is too foggy right now to take any photos anyway.  I have caught up on all backlog of email reading...and next up will be blog reading when I need a break from stitching etc.  With another 6 days of more of the same to look forward to.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

running around madly

I am juggling a lot of extra commitments in addition to the day job. In fact, I ended my jury duty yesterday when we finally reconvened and had a chance to deliberate and turn in our verdict. A great civic duty experience and I was happy to be part of the justice system. All I am going to say is, it is NOTHING like tv/movies in reality. I found a problem in the kindness quilt- so I need to take out some quilting to get at the area and fix it correctly. I want to enter this little quilt in at least one quilt show next April- so it is worth taking the time to do it right. ugh! believe me, I tried to come up with a workaround. I am involved with being on the board/committee position on both of the guilds I belong to - right now my part with both of them have hit full speed. double ugh. I am spending a lot of time getting the right information to the right people. I have to swing by the printer and get some more numbers so tonight at committee pot luck/meeting I can present facts for us to make a decision on. I am also having lunch with my one and only fabulous aunt. We missed last week due to scheduling conflicts-so I certainly do not want to miss seeing her today.
I am also mentally sorting out just what I want to pack to work on quilting wise when we leave Saturday morning for vacation. I think I have most of it figured out- leaving room for one final project. I need to chose which machine to take next. And, I also need to upload photos from the camera for posting here. I think a week away at the beach is really going to be welcome after the last few weeks around here! It is quite possible I won't have computer access where we are going-but...if I do...what a chance to do some blog reading! I certainly miss reading all my favorite blogs and feeling current with what you all are doing.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

the rest of the booty goodies

Here is the rest of the good stuff I received with my booty swap quilt.
Perfect fqs for a brights lover type quilter like myself and new chocolate to enjoy, plus a book I have not read-all terrific. Thanks again Becky.
It has been my idea of a perfect day. Slept in a bit, enjoyed morning coffee and some email reading-worked in the garden for three hours.
Then into a hot shower and off to lunch with friends. We spent 3 hours enjoying our meal and chatting. ah, a leisurely meal is so delightful. We went to a new to us Thai place-and will be happy to return again.
Next, it was home to do some quilty stuff and enjoy making lattes on the expresso machine I now can operate almost like a pro. No one had to make supper tonight as our
neighbors shopped at the farmers market for us, picking up some delicious mini quiches.

I have completed these pillowcases as a wedding gift for my longarm quilter whose wedding I will have to miss in two weeks. I made a block for the wedding quilt her small quilt group is making for her, so I know these will match the quilt perfectly. They will be mailed off Monday.
I have a few things up on the design wall and stacked on the sewing table to chose from for what to work on next. Tomorrow is supposed to hit 90 F degrees. I still plan on gardening in the morning, as it should stay cool enough until eleven. Then I can retreat inside and do quilty stuff again.
What would you consider a perfect day?


Friday, September 12, 2008

photos-booty swap and handquilting

Another Friday. First a photo of the quilt from the booty swap I received. I already linked to the sender, Becky and just wanted to share here . Again, I really enjoy the fact that she took my color suggestions and worked with them! Won't this be a bright spot when the dreary winter sets in?
Last night was guild meeting up in Vancouver Wa for me. I took along my hand quilting and thought I would share a photo of my progress. This is my second attempt at hand quilting-and I am having such fun deciding what to quilt where. I am using various shades of purple so far in #8 perle cotton. My only deadline is to have this finished before December. I have to admit it has languished in my basket for more time than not! For some of those curves I have used a marking pencil- otherwise I just eyeball where I want to go. This is all about having fun and being free and loose-so any quilt police out there, please no comments! I am doing a fair amount of stab stitching with some of the very bulky seams areas-and the more quilting I do on it, the inspiration builds to have it finished and hanging up where I can see it.
I am looking forward to a weekend at home doing various mop up of the mess I have left out in the garage, in here, and in the fabric room. The ironing board, my sewing table, and the space in front of my sewing table are all piled with "stuff".
It looks terrible and worse, I can't do any productive sewing until I deal with it. I need to make up a pair of pillowcases for a wedding gift and get them mailed out on Monday -otherwise, I don't have a whole lot of must do sewing. I gave in to a guild charity challenge of bringing home a brown bag filled with scraps to make into a top-I apparently lost my mind doing this, but, somehow I simply could not resist!!! I will share that bag of scraps tomorrow...I left it out in the car for now :-)


Thursday, September 11, 2008

on the run

Last night was a whirlwind of making phone calls and sending off emails as I am doing the PR work for one of my guilds quilt show next year. I was happy to get all the pieces in place and know that we will be part of a unified effort between four local quilt guilds/groups to promote all our quilt shows in a single way. I was disappointed when I went over to the bookstore to read through all the quilting magazines that only two carry anything that mentions quilt shows put on by local guilds. The days of being able to promote your local show in a national magazine seem to be over. I stopped subscribing to most of the quilt magazines I used to receive, so it was interesting to skim over all of them and see what is currently being written up. Nothing exciting enough to tempt me to buy any magazine -I have plenty of inspiration at home.
One of the nicest things was coming home to my booty swap package! I received some great goodies, good chocolate truffle bars, Lisa Boyer's book, That Dorky Homemade Look, which will be fun to read, and some wonderful fqs too. The little quilt is quite delightful, to see a photo that my partner took go here.
I have extra things going on today at work and leave from there for a guild meeting. It's going to be a late by the time I get home tonight.

Mostly I wanted to say thanks Becky for being a fun swap partner and I am happy with all my wonderful booty.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

the rest of the quilted/bound donation tops

Sunday was a very productive quilting day with our group. Karen took one of these and the scrap binding bag and bound one while I finished up binding the other. Not bad! I went on to cut into the "builder bob" fabrics- Karen stitched while I cut and we had a panel enlarged to a top within half an hour. Too bad she had to leave then. I have two more tops ready for some borders and then they are done too. My friend who owns the quilt shop is shutting it down and then will do some mid-arm quilting -using our donation tops to practice on until she is ready for paying customers.
What a win-win for all of us. So I am stockpiling these tops and I am sure she will be pretty tired of "builder bob" by the time she is done :-)
I am sending off a heart quilt I made earlier this year from guild swap blocks. I stitched a label on it this morning and boxed it ready to go. I worked late last night and will go in a bit later this morning, allowing me time to stop and ship this box. I am going to try and send another box filled with the donation quilts if I have time.
Vacation is coming up September 20th. I could use that time to clean up the yard but we are off to the beach instead. We are house sitting and dog sitting for family and really-who can argue with such a deal? A playmate for our boxer Zoe, a huge gorgeous home to enjoy, and the beach!
I am taking all my quilting stuff and will have a mini solitary retreat. M will walk dogs and read and enjoy movies on the vcr or tv. There is dial up there-so I may be online a bit, and then again, I may just unplug for the whole time.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

another charity ufo done

I finished this binding between my first and second cup of coffee this morning :-) It's pretty fast going when you apply the binding by machine only. I like to stitch the label on, again by machine, and then put the binding on the back, fold it over to the front and then topstitch it down. I use a straight stitch and it goes pretty fast. I used leftover fabric cut into binding strip size that I wanted to use up-not the best quality of fabric but, good for binding and it worked well with this top.

This is an example of what I call zoom line quilting. By the end of today I will have the other two bound and photos up. You will see more zoom quilting. My group meets tomorrow and I want to share these finished quilts and add them to the box I am sure we will fill. We have taken the last two months off, but, that doesn't mean folks have not been working on their charity quilts. I am sure there will be many finished quilts showing up to send to headquarters in WA.

Along with the quilts, I am including a special get well card for our founder, Ellen. She recently had a heart attack and I want her to know how much we wish her a speedy and full recovery.
Ellen is close to my age and always went a mile a minute in getting things done. She is an amazing woman and I fear, not always good about taking care of herself. She has already posted she is out of hospital and doing well. I know she may try and do too much-such a driven and dedicated quilter in the cause of getting quilts to children in need. Take this information as a wish that each of you take the time to care for yourselves well. No matter who you are, someone (it may only be yourself) is depending on you to be as healthy as you can be. I am certainly guilty of often pushing myself beyond my limits to get one more quilt done for some deadline. I have to laugh at myself for driving myself like that at times. The good thing is I have learned to take a break after such a time. And, I rarely push myself to that extent anymore-the older I become, the better I am at pacing myself. The need to rush along seems to have vanished for me. I really enjoy the quilting I do currently and I prefer to keep that joy attitude.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Finally Friday

I free motioned this first charity top-please note-I did not piece this top, it was donated a few years ago. I added the top and bottom border to help make it a bit larger-I can see I need to do more fm in my future! (click to enlarge if you like) However, I am fine with how it turned out. I straight stitched the other three quilts so they went faster. On Wednesday, which seems an eon ago, I had jury duty and ended up being chosen to sit on a criminal trial, which began that afternoon and continued yesterday, today and ?? not sure quite when we will end. I did a lot of hand quilting until I had to sit in the courtroom. And, I had a board meeting last night and did more hand quilting then too. Otherwise, one finished charity quilt is all I have to show for this week. I have machine binding started on the second charity one, but, frankly by the time I get home and take care of the dog-feed myself, I am ready to do a whole lot of nothing. Oh !!
my copy of Gwen Marston's new book arrived and I read through that on Wednesday as well-not much reading involved-gorgeous photos of her new series of quilts. I like her phrase, quilts for grown-ups! Makes me want to get back to those bagged up scraps ! Last night getting home around 10 pm, I had to take everything out of our closet as our handy man is coming today to put in a new shelf/stronger brackets for the hanging pole portion. Not so much doing nothing last night!
I like to get house projects wrapped up as Fall approaches. I had hoped to get some interior painting done this year-but thanks to the arm injury have given up on that happening this year.
It will be on the top of the list for next summer. I think it will take the rest of this year to purge through the rooms more thoroughly -my main goal for this year. I have lived in this house for ten years now and I think that must be a trigger for my determination to have a place for everything and everything in it's place attitude/drive.
My poor sweetie! I think the questions do you really need/use/have to have this? can be an annoying attitude to live with. Some of us are more pack rats than others...and I have had that family gene raise it's ugly head more than once in my life. Lately I have had less patience with my tendency to allow "stuff" to build up around me. I find Spring/Autumn to be the seasons when I feel the energy and drive to clear stuff out around me. So, as I continue to put the house back in order before M arrives possibly Saturday (yikes, that would be tomorrow!) I feel I am right on track with the changing of the seasons starting to be felt around here.
Tonight will find me scrubbing out that closet before putting stuff back into it- purging my stuff as I go along of course. M's stuff? hmmmm, I suppose if I left that mountain of stuff out it could be grounds for a very unhappy homecoming. I will have to think how to handle that.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

something to show

As I was digging through the stash in the fabric room I pulled this piece out that was with the Christmas fabric. I bought it back in 2000 when we were in Paris. A suggestion of turning it into a wholecloth quilt was made by a friend, but, I never got around to that idea. Yesterday however, I looked at it, and thought, just what we need, a new tablecloth! And, in the true spirit of stashbusting, I had enough for 2 of them, with a very small amount left over. Think 2 place mats or cut up into strings. I am leaning towards the string idea myself. Anyway, I have been racking my brain for something suitable as a gift I could make for some neighbors who have over the years done many kind things for us. (they are not quilt type folks) Yes, that extra tablecloth was whipped up and given to the neighbors over much exclamations of delight! And you can see how well it looks on our table too. I like it when you can come up with something easy to make that is a wow with folks as a gift. It is never about the time it takes, it is all about suiting the person's taste is my thought. And, judging by the big smiles...this was a hit. Good. That fabric has found a good use in two homes! and with a bit of cutting is totally used up. I need to do the last side of binding and will have a ufo finish of one charity quilt (did I mention I quilted up 4 charity ufo tops?) -the plan is to come home tonight and once the light fixture work in here is done- then I can use my machine and finish that one up, and maybe work on the next one, maybe not.
I taped several episodes of Project Runway to watch and hand quilt to later tonight..I don't seem to be sitting and hand quilting without something on tv to entertain myself.