Sunday, December 31, 2006

Blogger inspiration

So many of you have posted how you are finishing out the year to enter 2007 by cleaning your sewing space, finishing up projects and so on. (sew on??) Some are even putting away their holiday decorations. You have been an inspiration! Today I have done a little straightening in my sewing room, prewashed some fabrics for upcoming projects, ironed some of those. Packaged fabrics and notions/instructions for a given project together so I can find everything when I get to that project (some of these are once a month type things that I will be going back to on a regular basis, good to have it all in one place). The reoccuring projects are all in one place for easy grab and go.
I have done the latest Buck a Block, which I picked up on Wednesday along with fabric for the quilt my DIL wants for next Christmas.

I also did the latest round on the Ostrich project from Peach Quilting. That one isn't turning out as well as I would like, oh well, its just a fun exercise, and I will learn something from doing it.

I wish you all the Happiest and Healthiest (and Quiltiest) New Year Ever!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tis the day after Christmas and all through the house..

I'm checking out quilt patterns, ufo's and stash......
We had a very nice Christmas here, two of our three sons were home to celebrate with us. My DIL is a gem, she made sure that I had quilty things under the tree and then perused my quilt books indicating which patterns and colors she likes. She knows that I hope to make quilts for each of them within the next year or so and was putting in her order early! Two photos to share today- a family photo sans DS2 who wasn't with us and DH who was the photographer. The other of my Jo Morton club Little Strippy quilt, this months class quilt. I was able to get all my Christmas preparations done a little early and my gift to myself was to spend Christmas Eve day working on some of the projects I had put off for a while.

Monday, December 25, 2006

To all my cyber friends.....

The very warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas, filled with all the people and things your love the most - from my heart to yours.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Next 'Buck a Block"

Here is the next 'buck a block' block from my LQS. (previous blocks)Can you believe that this is all that I have gotten done for the last 2 weeks or so?? Lots of 'stuff' happening around here, none of it what I want to have happening.....haven't gotten decorated for Christmas yet. Yesterday I finally manage to get most of the shopping finished, will have to get in groceries soon - Christmas is at my house for the family. I hope to alternate between doing some sewing (therapy) and Christmas preparation. If I don't make it back before then, I wish you all the happiest and brightest of holiday seasons, whichever holiday you celebrate.

ps- McIrish Annie asked if this was a Thangles buck a block-yes it is.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Home again - and smiling

Well, my Marine was back at Camp LeJeune last Monday, we drove all day Wednesday so that we could see him. He had some liberty(or leave-I can't keep them straight) and was able to spend some time with us and with his brothers. I have a picture of him that I took just as we were parting again, Cpl. Cool ;wish he didn't have the glasses on so you can see his eyes!LOL He will have a much longer time off over the holiday, so he will get to spend that at home. I'm smiling!!!

While I had his attention, I showed him my blog and had him read the comments that so many of you left thanking him for his service. He had just been telling us of some negative experiences with folks and I wanted to be sure he knew how many appreciate our serviceman and women. Ya'll put a smile on his face. Thank you.

Now I hope that things will be somewhat normal for the next few days as I get into Christmas shopping and decorating and back to sewing. Lots needs to be done, I don't feel much like doing any of it-except the sewing part.

Also, I finally switched to Beta blogger. Now I go to log in, it says there is no such one, so I try to log in under the old and it tells me I must use the new ID-and what it posts is just what I put in and it wouldn't take!! Sheesh.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Another flimsy

Just finished doing the final border on my Prairie Basket top for my Jo Morton Club class. Luckily, this has a primitive flavor, because although I traced my vase directly from the pattern supplied, and it did look a little lopsided to me, it REALLY looks lopsided on the top. Its a primitive, I MEANT it to be that way. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. The top is about 32.5" square.

One of the reasons I took the class was the promise that working with all these little pieces would help improve my accuracy. I will say, things are working better, partially because of what I've been taught in the class, but also because of some of the things I have learned through this blogring-things from Patti C. and Judy L. , among others.

I'm still working on that diamond shaped batik. Still debating exactly what to do with the borders. I have decided that everyone here was right, I will use the batiks for the border, just not exactly sure how. I have to make up my mind soon as I am running out of time.

On a personal note: The writing of this post was interupted by a phone call from my Marine. He called from ship saying he can see the coastline, can even distinguish buildings. He will soon be back on US soil and we will get to see him in a few days. Thank you, God.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Gratitude flimsy finished-

We made it throught the holiday just fine. My hand has improved and what I couldn't do, my Daughter-in-law did for me. The grandkids were extra well behaved, the food was yummy. My Marine didn't get to call, but did email that he is headed back for the states, should be here sometime next month. YES! After everyone left yesterday, managed to get up to the sewing room to attach the last border to my gratitude flimsy. Also spent the evening finishing up the applique on my Jo Morton project, today will attach the first row of blocks bordering that.

Speaking of borders, thanks to all of you who shared your thoughts on the borders for my batik challenge quilt. I agree with the group that the batik border is the better choice. One of the things that I have noticed, and that I admire so much with JudyL's quilts, are her borders. She doesn't just slap on a plain strip of fabric, she makes them interesting. I've always just been happy to have gotten that close to completion! LOL Quiltpixie made me aware of Quilt University. While investigating that site, I found a free sample course which was on borders. Kismet! I like Judy's interesting borders, ya'll recommended the more interesting border, a free course in borders.......hmmmmm. I'm going to mull this over for a while and think of what I can do to make the batik borders just a little more interesting. Can't think it over too long as I have a deadline to meet, but I plan to stretch my imagination and my limits just a little bit on this one. Ya'll are growing me!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A quick post

to say that I am still among the blogging. Life has gotten busy, I've had several doctors appointments in the last two weeks, plus babysitting the grandkids since dgd's school is closed this week. Then I jammed my hand and can't hold a pen or scissor-that sure slowed down the quilting! I only have the top and bottom final borders to go on my gratitude quilt. It would have been finished much sooner if not for the hand. I hope to have pictures by the weekend. Today will be a long day at work (how come they don't need me for weeks on end, but the day before a big holiday, they need me extra!?!) Tomorrow family will be filling the house for the holiday. I'm also hoping that my Marine will have the chance to phone home from overseas. I wish everyone a marvelous holiday.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

While waiting for the next installment

Of the gratitude quilt instructions, I finally got started on my guild challenge quilt. Last spring we had a guest speaker who did a trunk show of quilts made by her group using this procedure, and we decided to give it a try. Each member brought in uncut yardage of a batik fabric. For example, I brought in a yard, some brought 2 yards, etc. At our meeting how much everyone contributed was recorded, then the fabric was cut into 10" squares. Each yard produces about 12 of these squares, plus some Chinese Coins. The squares were then given to each participant according to how much they had given, so I received 12 squares back.

In trunk show everyone had used the method from Stack a New Deck. Our guild recognizes that a number of our members wouldn't participate if mae that specific. Our challenge was simply to make a top using those squares. We are allowed to use any amount of those fabrics and we may add to them. Some are doing more traditional blocks, some are doing the Sack a New Deck types.

This is what I did. It is from the pattern (and ruler) Boondoggle. I didn't follow the instructions exactly on all the blocks. I wanted to use as much of each as I had, so after doing it using their measurements, I put together some new measurements (on the striped blocks) to make the fabric go further. I also added background and more batiks for the solid diamonds. I'm not totally thrilled, I might have done better to use a Stack a New Deck pattern, but I do like it.

I also got hubby to help me put the center into Photoshop to play with finishing possiblities. The second two are the photoshop mock ups to give an idea of two choices I'm considering. I'm debating between just putting a border of the background and calling it done, or bordering with batiks.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Neopolitan Delight...

That is the name I'm thinking of for my gratitude quilt. It reminds me of Neopolitan ice cream with the three flavors: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. Actually, these pinks make me think a little of Cherry Garcia. (can you tell I've been dieting for the last 6 months?) Many of these fabrics were earmarked for another quilt and all were just FQs. I was able to do all the little patches and still have enough from each FQ that I can still use them much as originally planned. Anyway, after the last two hour-a-day-quilts with their very brown/tan/gold/orange colors, the change of pace was fun. While I worried about how some of these pinks would go together, I love the way it looks. calories!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Goooood weekend!

I have had a terrific weekend. Saturday I had lunch with some lady camper friends. We all met through an internet group for our type of camper. There are three of us that live within a close distance, and we have all visited each other at campsites and grabbed lunch together now and then. A fourth woman from Florida had ordered a camper from a dealer local to us (in N Georgia). She has been talking about when her 'baby' would be delivered. We all met for lunch on Saturday to celebrate the arrival of her baby. In the middle of the resturant, at noon on a Saturday, we held a baby shower. We did get some odd looks. At our ages we are all a little old to be having a baby. And then she opened the packages- things like wheel chocks, step stools, bungee cords, fix-a-flat, and a porta potty - all wrapped in baby wrappings. What a hoot!

Today I finally worked on Leaf Season again, and it is now in the flimsy stage. AND ...Gratitude is up to date. I'm flying high- yippee. I'm up to date until Judy gives us the next installment. I'm guessing it will be to start putting the 25 patch together, and I haven't cut the little squares yet, so I'll be behind again pretty soon. For tonight, I'm a happy quilter.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Gratitude progress

While I have not gotten the leaf season to the flimsy stage (just need to connect a row and put on borders), I thought I'd better get moving on the Gratitude quilt before I'm too far behind on that one. I spent today cutting, and I have to tip my hat to Judy. I have gotten some good cutting instructions in the past, but these were SO on target, I can't believe how little 'waste' there was! I haven't cut the squares for the 25 patch yet, I'm thinking that I may do those by strips. I'm still pulling a few extra fabrics to include for some spark, although I have most chosen and ready. Tonight I will draw my little lines for the HSTs so that I can do them later this evening or in the morning-its a good TV project, and yes, I need to sew on the line. HSTs are the bane of my existence! I need to be very careful, or they get wonky while my back is turned. This isn't just another conspiracy theory...its real, I've lived it too many times!! LOL no photos yet-nothing worth taking a picture of yet

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Have you ever ? (quilting meme)

Shelina did this one over on her blog, here's my list:

Have You Ever?
1. Taken a quilting class
2. Paper pieced
3. Hand quilted
4. Hand pieced
5. Created your own pattern
6. Published a pattern in a magazine or book
7. Gone on a quilting retreat
8. Gone to a quilting convention
9. Met someone who wrote a quilting book
10 combined your quilting with some other craft
11. Done any three dimensional quilting - like fabric origami
12. Made something using Thimbleberries fabric
13. Made something using batiks
14. Dyed your own fabric
15. Made a landscape hanging
16 Made a New York Beauty quilt
17 Made a baby quilt
18 Made a wall hanging
19 Made a journal quilt
20 Submitted your journal quilt for viewing
21 Made a fabric postcard
22 Made a artistic trading card (ATC)
23 Exchanged artistic trading cards
24. Mailed your own postcard
25. Made a lap quilt

26 Made a twin size quilt
27 Made a full size quilt
28 Made a queen size quilt
29 Made a king size quilt
30 Donated a quilt to charity
31 Sent a quilt out to a quilter
32 Thrown away a UFO
33 Given away a UFO
34 Cut up a UFO and made something else with it
35 Ripped fabric instead of cutting it
36 Made a quilt exactly like the pattern, with no changes whatsoever
37 Done any Sashiko
38 Quilted your own quilt
39 Did free motion quilting
40 Put any embroidery or beads on your quilt
41 Given away your quilt to a stranger
42 Swapped fabric
43 swapped blocks
44 participated in a round robin
45 participated in an ostritch round robin
46 kept a journal about your quilting
47 written a letter to someone who made an antique quilt
49 kept a blog about your quilting
50 participated in a gift exchange
51 sent a quilting random act of kindness
52 joined a newsgroup about quilting
53 made a quilt using a pattern from quilterscache
54 joined an online block of the month
55 made a block of the month quilt
56 subscribed to a fabric of the month club
57 bought fabric at an online store
58 bought fabric from ebay
59 own more than one sewing machine
60 have a room dedicated solely to sewing
61 hide a fabric purchase
62 finished making a holiday gift before July
63 spent more than $200 in one quilt shopping trip
64 made a quilt using a book from the library
65 worked with someone else to make a quilt
66. joined a quilt guild
67 become president of a quilt guild
68 taught a quilting class
69 helped someone else get the quilting bug
70 taught a child to sew
71 made a Dear Jane block
72 Made a miniature quilt
73 watch QNN - quilters news network
73 subscribe to a quilting magazine from your own country
74 subscribe to a quilting magazine from another country
75 buy fabric from another country
76 swapped completed quilts with someone else
77 asked for quilting help online
78 gone to a quilt shop to ask for quilting help
79 bought fabric at a local quilt shop
80 traveled more than 100 miles to go to a quilt shop
81 used nontraditional fabric for a quilt - something other than cotton or flannel

82 made a quilt using instructions given to you on a blog
83 make comments on someone's quilting blog
84 meet a quilter in person after only having talked online
85 had a quilting retreat in your home
86 own quilting software
87 made a quilt you designed on your quilting software
88 done any quilt research - history, interviewing quilters, etc.
89 had any quilt related subject published anywhere
90 donated a quilt to a museum
91 bought a quilt from a thrift store
92 made a quilt using fabric from a thrift store
93 made a quilt using photos
94 made a pastel quilt
95 made a quilt using brights
96 made a quilt using ethnic fabric from another country - African, Asian, etc.
97 made a quilt using leftover blocks from other quilts
98 had your quilt in a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, TV, etc.
99. submitted your quilt to a quilt show
100. won any ribbons with your quilts
101 had more finished quilts than UFOs
102 made a quilt using reproduction fabrics
103 took a break from quilting that was longer than a year
104 made money with your quilting
105 had a job in the fabric / quilting industry

Friday, October 27, 2006

Some progress

Haven't been able to do any sewing for a week, it seems that has happened to a lot of us. Last Friday there was an emergency of sorts at my son's home. He and his family had to move in with us for a few days while repairs were made. Fortunately it turned out to be nothing too serious, more of an incovenience. They had hardly left when we had company that we were expecting. My brother-in-law and his wife came to visit. We always enjoy their company, but this time we really had a particularly good time. Today was the first chance to get back to some of my projects. So... today I have prepped an applique block so that I can do the handwork in the evenings while watching TV. This is for a Jo Morton class that I am taking at one of the LQS here. I also made the 'Buck a Block' for this month (same LQS). Then I went back to the Leaf Season, on which I am quite behind. I did get 4 rows put together, and that included remaking some of the leaf blocks that hadn't turned out as well as they should have. Not from scratch, just sort of adjusting so the points are points, not blunts and such. I'm not sure exactly why some turned out perfectly and others didn't- although I have a few suspicions. In any case, 4 rows are assembled. If things go as planned (yeah, I said that last weekend and wound up with houseful), I will assemble the remaining rows tomorrow and then start joining the rows. The photo is of the two 'Buck a Blocks'-the darker bottom one is for this month, the top block is from last month. The background fabric is the same print.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

And now for something completely different...

Of late several of you have posted pictures and stories of your cats and dogs. Laurie Ann has Roogrrr and responded to a comment I made about him by asking me to post my Nic. Nic has a lot in common with Finn's Ebby- he is mostly black, and therefore doesn't take a great picture and he runs whenever we take out the camera, so I have tried to find the best ones that we have. Nic is now about 7 years old. Two years ago (June/July '04) we had Chloe who was a nine year old Rottweiller mix. Chloe was a love, slept with our youngest son as he grew up and kept his bed warm once he joined the Marine Corps. One night Chloe acted oddly at bedtime, when we awoke the next morning, she couldn't walk. She died shortly after we woke up as I held her, waiting for my married son to come over and help me get her downstairs to take to the vet. The first call my son made home after he arrived in Iraq and we had to tell him 'his' dog had died. I swore that if we ever got another dog (which DH said we definitely would not!!) that it would be small enough for me to carry and handle if it became ill. Meanwhile, I have a friend who runs a rescue organization who had been told of a purebred dog that needed a home. I did not tell my friend of Chloe's death, because I knew she would try to fill the void for us, and hubby wasn't ready. However, I usually ask how this dog or that one was doing, had it been placed yet. I couldn't understand why this one hadn't found a home- he sounded so good. She emailed me a picture of him, hubby glanced over my shoulder as I looked at it, took one look and declared that we needed to meet this dog, and if he was as nice as he looked, we should adopt him. You can tell how that worked out, he isn't even skittish of hubby's wheelchair! Also like Ebby, we didn't have to go through all that baby stuff, he was already trained and ready to go. Oh - no, I can't lift him, that's his only 'downside'.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Back to kindergarten or...

I can't count! All my Leaf Season blocks were made, and I was laying them out on the design wall to place the colors pleasingly. AAARGHHHH! I'm one leaf block short! Darn! Not a big problem because I have lots of hst and such left over, just annoying because I counted finishing the blocks as a milestone and was ready to join blocks into strips as my next milestone. Don't know if I will get to it today as I have some errands to run, including a stop at one of my LQSs to pick up a monthly installment. Pfui !

Friday, October 13, 2006

Leaf Season update

I'm making progress with my Leaf Season quilt. I'm not as far along as most of you, but as has often been said, its not a race. (Good thing! LOL) I've finished my leaves-you remember those, they gave me such angst when I tried to be scrappy. The outcome is that I did solids, then I 'forced' myself to do some scrappy ones. I added a few more fabrics to the group so that the differences weren't so harsh, now the scrappy works a little better to my eyes. I don't think that I am entirely happy with them, but they are going into the quilt as is. Today I have been working on the alternate blocks. I am hoping to get them done before Sunday, if nothing else happens. I thought for sure that I would get to sew all day on Wednesday, since I had the day off. That was until I received a phone call from my oldest with the opener " uh.....we were wondering if you have to work tomorrow...." that's the standard preamble to the request to babysit whichever grandchild is too sick to go to daycare. What's a grandmother to do???? Like I would turn down a day of cuddling and snuggling with one of them. I momentarily regretted losing the sewing time, but have to admit to completely enjoying my day with my grandson glued to my side. By the way, we had to run up to the sewing room (a place he is not allowed-he's only 3) for a second, and he looked around and announced he really liked this room! lol, maybe someday he will want to try one of the sewing machines.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Leaf Season progress report

I have been working and working on this one, some days more, some less than an hour. Today I made the stem blocks and assembled two leaves, I also pulled together pieces for the remaining leaves, but boy, am I having problems with this. Not with the, my problem is with choosing the pieces to go in each leaf. I will be able to make a number of leaves that have the same fabric for each of its pieces. I also have enought pieces to 'mix and match' colors within the leaf. That is where I have a problem. Everytime I try to use several greens or yellow/golds, or reds within the same leaf, I'm in trouble. If I place randomly, it bothers me that it looks lopsided, or too heavy or unsymetrical. If I try to balance, it looks too stilted. Who knew that I am so....uptight about these sort of thing? Another thing that I have noticed-the fabrics that I have chosen tend to be tone on tone, or small and subtle prints that read solid from a few feet away. It will be interesting to see how this all works out, what I can work with and what will drive me up a wall' every day a learning experience!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A brief escape

Our anniversary was this past week. I also sent my mother to visit my brother up north for a few days, so we were alone and able to go some where for the first time in years without arranging for others to care for mom. We managed a day trip and then a last minute overnight trip to a an inn in the Smokey Mtns of NC, in Bryson City. It was rustic, family run, no TV or phones, just home cooking, beautiful views and delightful innkeepers. I have a couple of photos to share-you guess which part I liked the best. LOL I was only able to get the interiors of our room and one other, but...well, you see how it was.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Finishes, featherweights and pincushions, oh my!

A few of you have shown pictures of your featherweights, so of course, I must show a picture of Blanche. Then someone else showed her pincushions and others promised to do the same, so here are mine- a lambswool with lanolin each for regular dressmaking pins and quilting pins and a little wrist cushion for when I mount the quilts on the quilting frame. Lastly, I finished the Turning Twenty last night. You may remember the top, which was a disappointment, and that I asked for advice on which backing to use. I took the advice that most gave and since I started with bright and outrageous, stayed bright and outrageous all the way through. I used to have a vintage Scotty camper, and this quilt was to be used in it for camping-a totally fun and don't worry about it quilt. We have a different camper now, but I think this will go in it anyway, even though the new one is much more serious and staid.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Quilty weekend

This has been a pretty enjoyable weekend. Saturday morning I met Karen (Sewprimitive) at one of our local quilt shops. Turns out we have more in common than quilting-and we had a great visit. We spent a good amount of time looking around, making a few purchases and finished up by having lunch at a nearby diner. A real diner-silver outsides, enourmous pastry cases to tempt you, and the accented Greek waiter. I have spent the majority of the time since then in the sewing room, doing my ostrich block, making the block I purchased yesterday-the first in a 'buck-a-block' quilt from the LQS and putting a few other things together, all the while listening to an audio book. I guess I have pretty much had an at home retreat of sorts. Yes, a good weekend. The photo is the buck-a-block.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A poll about fabrics

Thanks for all the comments on Lincoln's Platform. Once that one was finished being pieced, I turned my attention to the Turning Twenty that was already started on the frame and got that finished. Yesterday I trimmed away the excess backing/batting and made the binding. I hope that I will get a chance to machine sew the binding on after work today so that I will have a handwork project to do while watching television. Its getting exciting to be that close to finish-makes me want to get to it!

A POLL: I've been looking through my fabrics trying to see what's there, it makes me wonder if I have a particular style or color that I favor. I have concluded that so many appeal to me that I am just a kid turned loose in a candy store- have to try a little of everything. Sometimes the faded, old-looking romantics appeal, sometimes the batiks or really brights, sometimes homespuns. Various people have mentioned having favorites, Andrea says she loves butterflies, Karen (Sewprimitive) favors Jo Morton fabrics. So, here is the poll on the fabrics you choose to use:

1. What is your favorite color to use in your quilts?
2. Do you have a favorite style, ie. depression repros, 1800 repros, geometrics, florals, plaids, batiks, marbled, etc.?
3. Do you have a favorite line of fabrics, ie. Kaffee Fasset, one of Moda's lines, Jo Morton, etc.?
4. Do you tend to buy a particular subject , ie. butterflies, strawberries, cats?
5. Did I miss a category here?????

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lincoln's Platform ......

It was interesting reading JudyL's comments on procrastination a while back. I found that I was procrastinating finishing up this challenge quilt. Also in that time frame, a few other bloggers commented on how borders were their least favorite (or most hated) part of the process. Just what I was procrastinating on! I've tried to analyze myself on this but can come up for a number of reasons that I stalled-all excuses. Bottom line, the top is finally finished and ready to find its place in the stack of tops waiting for a turn on the quilt frame. I may push it closer to the top of that pile, as I like this better than some of those old UFOs and would like to use it.

I don't know if you can tell from the enlargement, but the HST darks are all various browns with blacks that I found in my stash. Because each of the browns had black (and some had others colors as well), I used black for the dark borders, and of course because that was one of the few stash pieces large enough to make borders.

THANKS to all of you who commented or sent me private emails about audio books. I'm married to a techno junkie who has been pushing me to go ahead and get the mp3 player and quit stalling about. I did find one that suited me and have been listening to a book while I finished up these borders. I found that this fiction book by an author I like has been very enjoyable. I have gotten into the story, as I do with a hard copy book, and don't want to stop listening. This has kept me at the sewing machine when I might have walked away for a bit of a break.

For those of you still considering this, I do make this observation. The book that I am listening to is a light mystery, not a great deal of detail or such. I'm not sure that I could listen to non-fiction or instructional tapes (which I want to do at some point) while piecing. It would probably work well while doing hand work-such as bindings. If things were all laid out properly for chain piecing (anything semi-mindless), I expect will work and be enjoyable. For me, it would not work where I have to pay attention to what matches up with what. Pinning to match seams is fine, but paying attention to subtle direction or color placement will probably be a no-no for me-- too much room for error and frog stitching. Some of you have pointed the way to some free sites, and I plan to see what my library has available.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Requesting information and experiences

I'm considering getting and Ipod (or a generic version) and using it much like JudyL-to listen to books while sewing and quilting. I've not 'listened' to books before, and I'm not sure if I'll like it or not. Before I invest any money, I think that I'll borrow an audiobook from the local library and give it a try. If I like listening while I sew, then I'll move ahead with the plan. Judy mentioned she belongs to and gets her things there. Do any of you have experience with either the actual device (Ipod or another brand) or places besides the library to get listening materials? I've looked at Judy's place and it has some good titles, I'm wondering if there are some other places to be checking into. I'd appreciate any thoughts you might be able to share on the subject. Thanks

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Back on my feet...and off and running

I saw the ENT this week and am now taking some meds and doing some vestibular exercises for the vertigo. Things have improved quite a bit, not quite normal but definitely a WHOLE lot better-and improving each day. I am one happy gal! I celebrated by indulging in some retail therapy while taking advantage of the Labor Day sale at one of my favorite LQS.

Now, I didn't do the no-buy challenge in August as 95% of the large pieces in my stash are pre-destined for backings of specific UFOs, the rest of my stash are FQs which occupy one set of those plastic drawers. Seemed like a large stash to me, but would probably fill less than two or three shelves all together. Doing Judy's 1 hour a day challenge revealed a sizeable fault with my stash-no background fabrics. Since Judy is going to give us another challenge in October, I figured I'd get some backgrounds and be prepared. If I have the backgrounds, I can use up the FQs and diminish the stash, right? Sounds logical to me!

Secondly, I have a challenge quilt to make for my guild, so I needed a main fabric/background fabric for it. I found something I hope will work for that.

Then, my son has requested a blue and white quilt, so I have been playing with different designs in EQ (and scouring Bonnie's site)trying to figure out something simple, quick, masculine that would work well in 2 colors. Thought I would pick up something specifically for that, but didn't see anything that screamed, "buy me, I'm perfect for Jim's quilt", so I didn't.

I guess this group is wearing off on me. I saw a number of beautiful fabrics that I would love to have, just to look at and enjoy-like artwork or chocolate. But, I didn't have a designated project for them, so I passed. .....maybe I'm still sick??? I saw some that might have worked for some projects still in planning, but this voice in my head kept saying, "there will be something suitable when you are ready, you don't have to store and hoard." Yep-hearing voices, definitely still sick.

Now I'm eager to finish the borders on the JudyL 1 hr challenge, finally. I have been procrastinating on that, not sure why. Once that is done, I will divide my time between the guild challenge quilt and finishing the quilting on the TT which is on the frame. There's lots more that I would like to do in September, but that is all I'm ready to 'commit to' right now.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

a good day

I don't have any more quilt pictures to share today. I am making progress on my 1 hr. challenge, but not to the point that a photo would be interesting. The vertigo is still here and making life ....interesting. The doctor is talking about sending me to an e.n.t specialist next week and doesn't want me driving. I'm managing pretty well around the house as long as I remember not to turn to quickly or bend over, but driving might be risky. Today my darlin' daughter-in-law and my grandson came over to take Nana and I shopping. (My mother lives with us, I'm her 'caretaker' as she can't manage completely on her own) So there we were in the grocery store, 4 generations. As is her habit, Nana took off as soon as she got through the door. She likes to get everything done and bagged before I can see what she has and lecture her on her poor diet. She likes to live on mostly cookies, candy, ice cream, puddings and the like. Show her a vegetable and she goes into a catatonic state! My dil followed me around for a while, figuring that I might need to be picked up off the floor, or need help getting things off of a lower shelf. My 3 year old grandson divided his time between mommy and me, helping each of us fill our baskets. He enjoys helping, actually, he enjoys grabbing and tossing, so I had to slow him down a bit. I showed him how to look at each apple and make sure it wasn't bruised before putting it in the cart. Left on his own, I would have had a good head start on applesauce before we left the store! LOL Anyway, I enjoyed it very much-and how often can you say that about grocery shopping?! Then, when I got home, there was a lovely vase of flowers waiting for me, sent to me by my favorite Marine. My youngest son is a Marine, and he is currently deployed overseas. He was involved with evacuating the Americans out of Lebanon last month. Don't know where they will send him next. He sent me flowers as a thank you for all -you-do-for-me- while-I'm-gone. Yep, gotta say that I am smiling broadly today. My oldest picked a great wife and my youngest remembers his Momma when he has lots of other stuff to worry about. Middle son should be checking in soon. Yep, today I'm very aware of my blessings.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

She's baaaaaack......

In spite of Google's best efforts (or worst, depending how you look at it) JudyL is back blogging, but at a new site, as the old one appears to be fried. Find her at and she will soon resume the 1 hour quilt project.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Good news, bad news....

The good news is that the MRI came back normal. The bad news is the vertigo came back - again. I was making such good progress on the 1 hr a day quilt, now nothing while they try a new combination of meds to control the dizziness. Bah humbug on this! The bad news is I emailed JudyL on Sunday to see if she was still having problems posting (she was/is), the good news is that since she can't post more steps, I'm not getting further behind on her quilt. (Trying hard for a silver lining here ladies, trying to see the cup half full, etc.) . Its fun to goof off and do nothing when that is your choice, not so fun when you must stay imobile or fall over. Good news-I can use the computer for almost 5 minutes before doing my famous impression of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Hope that the next time I post, I will have photos of PROGRESS on the quilt. The pictures the rest of you have posted are wonderful- same pattern, so many different moods and quilts.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Progress report for 1 hr. challenge and something entirely different

Today I worked on assembling the blocks and am just about finished with the pre-little squares step. I may be able to finish this evening and start on the little squares tomorrow.

And now for something entirely different......Tazzie has been showing her applique for a miniature quilt, I commented on it, she emailed and asked if I applique/like to applique. Here is my answer...a little over 10 years ago, I took a class to do a Baltimore Album quilt-then went back to work and didn't finish the class. The instructor tried to get us to use a different applique method for each block, which we pretty much did, but don't ask me which methods, I don't remember. You can see the reverse appplique as I haven't trimmed it yet and it shows through.These are the blocks that I made up to that point. The center block (burgundy colors) is an applique block from the same time frame from another class that I was also taking at that time- a sampler. Both quilts are Vintage UFOs in my closet. The sampler will be relatively easy to finish, I am a block or two short, so I will chose random patterns and finish it up eventually. As far as the Baltimore Album- I completely enjoyed doing the applique, but these days my hand cramps up, so I don't know if I would ever see the end of a 25 block applique quilt. That one may require one or two more blocks to balance the color, then empty blocks in between to show off quilting. OR- maybe it just needs to be a table runner!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Making up for lost time

I may not have gotten started on time, but I'm starting to catch up. I have gotten a lot cut out, the HSTs are all sewn but need to be pressed and squared. I have cut some fabrics for the medium bordering squares. I have put two blocks together and placed the small squares around them. I am auditioning the mustardy gold for corners on all the blocks. So far, this is what I have. What do you think about those corners? I have also gotten a few rows of quilting done on the Turning Twenty. I even straightened the sewing room before I left it this evening! WOW- I must be sick!!

My daughter-in-law took some time off from work to take me to the doctor and he is concerned that this is the third time this year I am having the same problem-this time without any sign of an ear infection. Also, it is taking much longer to go away. So, to be safe, tomorrow I go for an MRI. We are not expecting anything, but want to eliminate unseen problems being the cause for the vertigo. The up side of this is that I won't be going to work again tomorrow, so I will be able to sew a bit before and after the appointment. That's my silver lining for tomorrow.

Monday, August 14, 2006

First day and I'm behind already.....

Here I was, being so good, doing at least an hour a day of quilting things, if not actually sewing. I had finally measured and marked the Turning Twenty top, mounted it to the frame. I even began a row of quilting. About 18 inches into it, I decided the top wasn't mounted 'straight' enough, did some frog stitching and remounted the top. This was all on or before Saturday. Sunday I woke up with vertigo, and unable to keep any food down because of it. Major bummer, a day set aside for nothing but quilting/sewing and I couldn't move my head without major unpleasantness. Today I am improved, but not cured. I can finally look at the computer screen for a little while before it starts to affect me, and if I don't move to quickly, or tilt my head in particular directions, I'm pretty good. I even managed to keep down some food. Since I feel good from the neck down, laying still gets pretty boring, especially with the siren song of the sewing room, and Judy's challenge quilt starting today. I didn't feel safe using the rotary cutter under the circumtances, blood not being one of my favorite things when its mine and outside my body, so I didn't cut anything. But I did pull some fabrics that should give me enough squares to make my HSTs. I also pulled some for the little squares around each block. Once I feel more stable, watch out! I want to get this thing started. I am also starting the Ostrich that Forest Jane mentioned for Peach Quilting. I picked a small and ultra simple block that is made from scraps of my very first quilt. I made the quilt, and this block back around 1994, and can not for the life of me remember what this block was supposed to be for, except that it had to do with the guild I belonged to at the time. Anyway, this is my only little orphan floating around. It may be more of a challenge to create something around this block which should probably be just one of many than a block meant to be a centerpiece which shines on its own.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Progress of sorts...

With all the challenges going on this month I feel a bit like a child in a candy shop- which do I want?? Well, I'm NOT doing the no buy challenge. That doesn't mean that I will buy, just that what will be, will be. I don't buy all that often anyway.

Hanne invinted me to do her one hour a day (Hanne has a good way of handling several things, check out her blog). I had already started. I decided that I would use that yellow with purple vines as the backing for the Turning Twenty quilt, as so many of you recommended. I put together the backing one day over the weekend.

I had also received my copy of PCQ Designer, which is an add on program for my quilter. I spent more than hour going through the instructional videos trying to learn the program. The next day I spent several hours auditioning different quilting designs for the quilt and planning them out. I still have to fine tune it, but it all helps me become more familiar with the software and to make better use of my PCQ. And....all of that will help me produce results that will please me more. Win/win situation.

The backing is on the frame waiting for me to mark the top and put that on the frame. I'm looking forward to doing it. It is the largest quilt I have tried on the PCQ so far. Once finished, it will also be the third UFO that I can cross off my list this summer.

Now I'm lookin forward to Judy's Hour a Day quilt-so I'd like to get this out of the way first.

Karen- thanks for the help correcting my blog email settings.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Its not just the weather that's having a dry spell am I. I have any number of UFOs, PIGs and a stashbusting leader&ender in the sewing room, but I just do feel the urge to go up there. Now, I can blame the heat wave and say that it gets a little too warm up there, even with the a/c. Honestly that would only be partially true. If I had something that really captured my interest, I'd be up there. Right now, I have no enthusiasm.

My UFOs are stalled as I have to make decisions-not something I do without second guessing myself and rethinking a few times. I should take the bull by the proverbial horns and 'just do it' with one project, but after putting all the time into pieceing, I want to be pleased with the backing or the quilting pattern that I use.

For example, I have a Turning Twenty that I made up in loud and (hopefully) fun colors. I made it to coordinate with the seat cushions in my vintage trailer. (see the close up of the parrot print) Doesn't everyone decorate their trailer? I wanted it to be a blast of color, fun, maybe even a little outrageous, and since it was to get some hard use, expendable-not-heirloom or to please the quilt police. Well, dh's disabilities made using that trailer unsafe for him, so we no longer have it. There goes some of the momentum. Also, while I enjoy the colors and the fabrics I chose for it, I don't like them in this design. I think they would have worked better in smaller pieces than in these big blocks. So, I have this top that I can't use as originally intended. I have two backings for it- a solid black, or a totally blinding yellow and purple batik that I bought on sale that would make it even more colorful and wild. I'm not 100% with either of them. Recently Nancy posted some fabrics (July 30) that she bought online, and I can see at least 2 of them that might be better choices for backings.

All this angst over a quilt that I'm not in love with, but I still want it to be 'right'. And this is just one-there's a bunch up there! See why I'm stalled. I can't wait for JudyL's PLAN in the middle of this month. I'm hoping that will breathe a little enthusiasm into me. Com'on Judy, save me from the summer doldrums!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

No sewing in the sewing room

I haven't done much sewing/quilting this week at all. I did meet a new friend and that was a lot of fun. A lady that has the same quilting machine as mine asked if she could come to see my setup as hers wasn't set up yet and she was stymied. That of course required that I clean up the sewing room until it was presentable for company. It also motivated me to make some changes for 'temporary fix' to "final solution' on some items.

A while back I need a design wall for a project I was working on. My quick fix was to tack a fleece blanket to the wall. Precarious, droopy, but served the purpose at the time. This week I bought a piece of wooden stripping, stapled the blanket to it, installed a couple of picture hooks and hung the wood&blanket from it. No more droop, considerably more stable. Since I was already on the ladder, I also strung the thread tiki lights along the top just for laughs.

I took the practice pieces off the quilting machine and put on a piece of paper (I buy cheap gift wrap when it’s on sale and cheaper still) so that I could demonstrate the machine and she would be able to see the patterns, placement, etc. That's what you see on the frame-the wrong side of some Christmas paper.

Then it occurred to me that we would need an extra chair in the sewing room. One of my boys had had a chair, but somewhere along the line the back had come off and disappeared into oblivion. As I cleaned I had thrown my scraps and leftover project pieces into a basket to be cut up for future scrap projects.....I had just put in something that would be about the right size for the back of the chair. Well, of course that required that I stop cleaning immediately and make a back for the chair (can you say ADD boys and girls??). There were two pieces that I was able to use as a front and a back, but it seemed too light weight, so I found a piece of batting from the same scrap basket and put it between the two pieces. Presto Chango- a seat back, which coordinates with the actual seat in less than half an hour.....and I needed to take a break from cleaning, anyhow!

The bottom line is after all the straightening and making changes, we had a delightful visit, got along like a house on fire and plan to stay in touch. However after getting all my surfaces cleaned off, I don't want to mess them up again!! It took until this morning for me to go in and cut some more bricks for the Bricks and Stepping Stones and to sew a few of them together. hmmmmmm, I wonder how long it will stay neat?? And –ever wonder why we make do for so long with stop gap solutions instead of doing things up properly for ourselves from the get go?