Friday, January 30, 2009

My studio is feeling abandoned. Thursday I was working in the house and today I was in Milton and Pensacola, FL, attending professional meetings and not buying fabric.

While in the 2 hour professional meeting I was working on designs for a new quilted jacket. I find that I can concentrate better when my hands are busy: that's my story and I'm sticking to it. After the meeting I went to two fabric stores looking for cream and light tan fabrics for a block swap and found nothing I liked. I did, however, get a couple yards of two batiks that will eventually be part of "something." (I have never made anything with batik)

Last week I won a blog giveaway from Gene Black: the first one ever. When I got home there was a package waiting for me. And this is what was in it: a quilted journal, beautiful fabric, and a unique pendent made by Gene, the artist. I am thinking about using the journal to document the quilts I do this year and if that works I'll try it again next year. Thanks, Gene!

Also last week I was given this Fabulous Award from Pollyanna. I appreciated the honor but then I was supposed to list my 5 addictions. Now, as a former addictions therapist, I didn't think I had any addictions. But, to be a good sport, and to be honest, I do have some very strong preferences:
1. DH (even though he frequently drives me crazy)
2. Coffee
3. Quilting
4. Cheetos (rarely since going on WW)
5. Blogs (reading and writing)

So as you can see, even though I haven't been sewing for the last two days, I have been busy. Tomorrow, however, I will be back at work in my favorite place and maybe I will get enough done to have something to share.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today I finished the binding on this charity quilt. I had difficulty finding a binding fabric until I found a multi-colored check. Funny that it came out looking more like a stripe when sewn on but I like it. This is a very bright quilt: happy colors, I hope it brightens a child's day.

Front: full view (you can see my B & W challenge quilt in the background).


Close up of the back. I like the binding from this view, too.

And this is my completed January block for the Calendar Challenge. I got it done early because I will be gone on Friday and tomorrow I will (maybe) be busy.
Puppy Update: We still can't come up with a name we like. We have tried many but whatever we try doesn't seem right.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Family Member : Passes Test

After a weekend of watching how everyone gets along, we are welcoming our new puppy. We still haven't figured out an appropriate name but that should be coming sometime this week.

When I look at this dog, a dapple daschund, she looks like someone spilled bleach on her. And it reminds me of a college incident. My first day at college, I was standing in the student bookstore when another freshman, a boy, came by and ask me this question: "Is there a difference between starch and bleach." Without a thought I said "no." I don't know what made me do it but, at the time, I thought it was kind of funny. A few days later I again saw this boy, with blotchie clothes. I spent the rest of that year hiding from him and/or hopeing that he didn't remember my face. I did go home and told my mother and her best friend. The friend had two younger sons and she began immediately teaching them how to wash their own clothes.

I did finally get some quilting done today. My charity D9P:

This is how I pieced the back:

I had two parts of the 9 patchs left over so I added it to some border fabric and then stuck it in the middle. I am very happy with how it came out. I am going to piece leftovers for the binding but that comes tomorrow.

I am getting some vibration in parts of the quilt bed so I am putting these weights on top of the quilt and then moving them as I go along. The little pins (weight on left) hold the weight in place while I am quilting. I got these at a quilt show where someone was selling her sewing stuff: I love them.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

No Quilting in the South

You have heard about life getting in the way? Well, this is the life that has gotten in the way here:

She is a 7 month old daschund. She has been living with a family who loves her but their other dog doesn't. She had been given to two other people who couldn't handle her energy. She is currently here on trial to see if our other two dogs will be all right with this lively and pushy puppy. In the mean time I am not in the studio but in the house either holding or playing with this dog. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cold Morning Quilting

I don't know how everyone else is doing this January, but I have overwhelmed myself with BOMs. Above you will see Sandi's Season's of the Heart January block along with the fabric's I picked out. On the right you can see my snowman completed and lying on the Calendar Quilt Challenge strip I am making for January. I am thinking that maybe I will applique the Season's on the Challenge strips but won't decide until both have gone along for a while. I realized that 30 - 31 strips will be pretty long so am thinking that I will be making 4 calendar wall hangings to rotate throughout the year. Who knows.

Here I am at 21 days: the strips are 1" finished, for the most part, but that means that over a year I would have 365" of fabric strip. So now is the time to begin thinking about how I want to use the strips. I will probably have 8 - 15 plans before the year is out. And the real problem is that I will like most of them and have to decide to do this again, and again, and again. I really like the idea of a visual documentation of my quilting.

Today started out at 24F and now, at noon is 41F. I dressed in layers and have been able to take the top layer off. Only three more to go and I won't look like I did before I started Weight Watchers. LOL

I have found that a friend from high school (we have known each other for over a half century) is reading my blog. We live 3000 miles apart and have not seen each other since my twins, now 40) were 6 months old. She says she is getting to know me all over again by reading this blog. See, blogs are really good for something other than rambling. Hi, Linda!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

National Day of Service

Cheri, at jovaliquilts asked quilters to focus on charity quilting on this day. Above you can see what I worked on. This is a Disappearing 9 Patch top. I also pieced the backing but it is on the quilt frame so I can't show it until the quilting is done. The quilt will go to the local quilt guild to be presented to local law enforcement. They carry two quilts in each patrol car and give them to children who, for various reasons, have to be removed from their homes . This quilt measures 46 x 66: I am not sure what fabric I will use for the binding. Since tomorrow is laundry day (+ dishes, floor moping, bed changing, etc.), I won't be back to the studio to load this quilt until at least Wednesday.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Anniversary to US

I will start by explaining that I am 66 years old and have been on Weight Watchers since April, loosing 50# so far. Having said that, DH and I had a wonderful anniversary: together for 48 years. We started our celebrating at Red Lobster:

Where I ate this. I will tell you that I did check out the WW points prior to going and was careful, kind of.

We then went to the movies:

This is a very cute movie, lots of fun, lots of dogs, and lots of laughs. I think the most fun was that many parents (not too many) were there with their little (3 - 5 yo) kids and I would laugh t the movie and then laugh again at the kids reactions. They were so spontaneous it was charming, an everyone, including my DH, behaved themselves.

Then, after the movie we went to see THE WILD WOMEN OF QUILTING trunk show. Several of the local quilt guilds got together and sponsered a three day longarm workshop (I didn't know about it so didn't go) and trunk show. When I heard about it I told my husband that I would have loved to have gone but, of course, we already had planned our anniversary celebration and he said "well, why can't we rearrange our plans and include the trunk show, I would love to go." How about that? And, after 48 years, too!!

Here you see Sue Patten and Karen McTavish chatting before the show began. This was the only "quiet" moment in the evening.

Karen was always in motion (body and mouth) so this is the best photo I got of her. She is really funny, is constantly telling everyone that she is a "traditional" quilter, and she truly is, but that is the only traditional thing about her. I love her sense of humor and her quilting is to die for.

This is quilt has underlays of bright colors topped with white organza. Karen said the sashing had to be added to cover where the different colored raw edged pieces were lying next to each other. And, of course, the white areas are trapunto, one of Karen's favorite techniques.

Sue, on the other hand is very non-traditional. She quilts with thread, like we all do, but everything you see on this quilt is thread!! I wish it was clearer but each of the geometric circles is just thread, done freemotion on a longarm. I was amazed.

Here is another of Sue's quilts, all threadwork on the longarm. When she said that judges didn't believe it was not machine embroidery, I understood, but it is beautiful. And I am showing several because she does not have a book where you can go to see her work (Karen has 4 books, Sue has 1 that shows Freehand Filler Patterns, not her quilts).

And remeber, this is all thread.

What artists these two women are. And comedians, too. We had a wonderful anniversary topped off by the zanieness and talent of Sue and Karen. Thanks, Ladies!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I live in South Alabama: the Heart of Dixie. It is supposed to be warm in the winter and hot in the summer. Well, summer went as predicted and winter, up till now, was mild and nice. And then this "Arctic blast" has come. It is supposed to be 16F tonight, with wind. Well, I didn't move south to be that cold and I am complaining. (Of course my SIL in NH has no sympathy for my complaints. ;-) Oh, well.) Now the reason for my concern about the cold is that my studio has no central heat: I heat with space heaters. They do a very good job on normal winter days but it takes me running over there in the cold and turning them on and then waiting a while for them to heat the rooms up enough so that I can sew. Fortunately, tomorrow is our anniversary and we will be gone all day and most of the evening so maybe it will warm up a little after that.

I did have some time in the studio today. I completed the quilting on Ode to Flavin and sewed the first run on the binding but still have to finish that so no picture. I also worked on the B&W Challenge quilt. Can you see what I am doing to embellish it?

I have the rows sewn and will sew them together next week.

And one family related item. My DD, grandmother to the child in an earlier post, was here today. She had just gotten her hair cut and wanted to show it off. She has been going to Weight Watchers, too, and has always planned to cut her hair just prior to getting to goal thinking that it would get her there earlier. Well, last Monday, weight in day, she was 3 1/2 pounds from goal: doesn't she look great?

I am so proud of her. She says that one of the first things she is going to do is get a new picture taken for her driver's license.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Work I Went

Back in the studio, how wonderful. Today I finished the quilting on Ode to Flavin. I have it squared but for some reason I hadn't cut the binding so I had to do that, too. It isn't on yet but it sitting, with the quilt, by the sewing machine, ready to go.

I have all the blocks done for the Double Delight table topper:

Next I need to cut the setting triangles and then sew the rows together. The triangles will be the same blue as in the double 9 patch blocks and I think this is going to look great.

I also worked on the embellishment for the B&W challenge quilt but that won't be shown until it is done.

And to end this post I thought I would show a quilt I did for DH several years ago. He collects B-Western "stuff" including a lot of comics
so I made this quilt for him:

It is tied as I hadn't learned how to machine quilt at that time. The pictures are getting faded but I don't see me doing another any time soon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday, Monday

Anywone want to know why I'm not sewing? Last night I was asked to babysit with our great grandson. We did really well until he got tired and then we had this until he fell asleep on greatgranddad. He will be here all day so no studio time for me.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Multiple Projects

What a fun day I have had. A little quilting:

this is Ode To Flavin - started after Flavin Glover was a teacher at my LQG in 2007.

I also added some double 9 patch blocks to the Rolling Star Block. I still have several more of each to go but we are on our way.

This is a new project. I am part of the Calendar Quilt Challenge and this is my start. The challenge is to add a strip a day for the entire year and it will eventually be a coin quilt, something I have never done.

and a little crafting: I took an old lamp and made it beautiful......

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lots of work: Small progress

So, yesterday I spent time in the studio. I cut, sewed, trimmed, sewed, pressed, trimmed, cut, sewed, pressed, sewed, pressed, cut, sewed, pressed, sewed, sewed, sewed, and pressed.Above you see the Step 2 blocks for the Double Delight Mystery (and the pile of real scraps). I had decided to make only 9 blocks, at this time, and would you believe I still came one little block short. With all this education and I can't count to 36. Anyway then I spent quite a while figuring out what fabrics I wanted to use in the little 9 patches. I really don't like pink so fiinally decided on a blue but forgot to take a picture of that process.
But this is the result of my work yesterday. Yes, I only got one block completed but now I know where I am going. I only need to make one my brown and chedder (orange, my favorite color) little block and then I can finish my blocks. I am working on an on point layout in EQ6 that will let me have a nice, bright table topper for my kitchen.

Today is house cleaning day, uck! I like to do the housework on the days DH is teaching (T & Th) because he is not underfoot. When he is here I hide in the studio, a separate building, where I usually get stuff done. I have a quilt on the frame I need to get back to and I need to make the last BOM from last year so at least that part of the project is off my list. But where am I? Sitting in the living room, watching a rerun of Simply Quilts, and writing in my Blog. I guess everyone has to have priorities. LOL

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Good Studio Time

Here is what I think I am doing with my Black and White
Challenge blocks. I tried several layouts in EQ6 and this appealed to me the most. I spent quite a while rearranging them to be sure that no same fabric met between blocks. You know, it is easier to rearrange on the computer than it is on the wall. This is a 5 x 6 row layout and the blocks are 13 3/4" square. I currently am planning four various sized borders and one more orange tweek in the center.

However, I have also been working on Bonnie Hunter's New Year's Eve Mystery Quilt. I am really slow because other life stuff takes up my time. Also, I very quickly get bored with fabric cutting. So, what do you get after you have this?

You get these. They are only 3 1/2" sq. I only have made 36 and Bonnie calls for 120: I may only be making a table topper. I don't have pictures, yet, of the constasting little squares needed for the 9" blocks but I have them about half made (pictures to follow).

Yesterday I took time out from quilting to do laundry and sit in the 75F sunshine and read. Then we had our DD and DSIL over for dinner and to watch The Alamo with John Wayne. While the movie was running we shared our trip to San Antonio and how much the movie set was like the real thing.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Back to Normal

Well, this is not normal in AL: hail. We had hail that was a little larger than pea sized but this was about all we got. After that we have been having a 4-5 hour thunder storm.. Since I was gone all morning and it has rained all afternoon/evening so no sewing was going on here today.

This is what I am supposed to be working on today. I joined Bonnie Hunter's Double Delight New Year's Eve Mystery Quilt and have been so very slow in getting it started. I was already two days behind by the time I had chosen my fabrics: it is very hard for me to choose when I don't know where I am going. As of now, 4 days in, I have gotten half of the first day's fabric's cut and nothing sewn. But I am not concerned, I will just plod along until I get it all done: can't have any UFO's now can we?

And this is my UFO from Christmas week: the beginning of my Black and White Challenge. All the blocks are done and I started putting them on the wall but I am not sure how I want to arrange them. I do have some ideas for embellishment and will keep working on it. Meanwhile I have also joined a UFO completion group (see WISP?UFO in sidebar) I will be posting when UFO's are completed once I figure out how. Click on the gadget to learn more.

DH teaches part time now and school starts Monday. Once again I will know when I have time to sew and when he will want to spend time with me. I love that he likes to be with me but I also love to have "me" time. How nice it is to have that balance.