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.