Saturday, January 12, 2008

Two Tops Finished

This is my accomplishment for this AM. I listed the above 2 tops on eBay. There is a link on the left sidebar if you'd like to take a peek or take them home!!
My other goal this AM is to make a tote bag for my flute, stand, etc., to cart back and forth to church tomorrow. It is a simple pattern, but I hope to jazz it up just a bit. I really like the fabric I picked for the body of the bag. Tune in later for a (hopefully) picture of the finished bag.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Carolina Crossroads ~ Installment 6

Yes--third post for today.
I thought these blocks deserved their own post. I try to limit a post to one subject.
These are some of my Carolina Crossroads large blocks (Ohio Star), corner triangles, and side setting triangles. I am most definitely NOT trying to figure out the pattern. Just wanted to put some up on the design wall to get a picture. My accent color is BLACK.


Improved Kitchen View

Here is the view of my kitchen from the refrigerator. No--I don't usually hang out around there. In fact, DD3 took this picture for me (I was busy sewing unit 6 of the Carolina Crossroads quilt). Here are 3 of my children busy on their schoolwork (unaware that the picture was being taken). You can see here where my quilt hanger is in the kitchen and my stunning red walls. When we bought this house, the kitchen walls were this red color.

The room you're seeing in the above picture was actually the formal dining room, and it was BRIGHT yellow. We removed the wall between them, and I liked the dark red walls in the kitchen, so I painted the whole room that same color.

Here is a close-up of the finished quilt. You can't see the lovely texture that comes from hand quilting and then washing/drying, but it's there. I think I can look at this quilt for some time. One other nice thing about its location is that it doesn't get direct sunlight. I already have another kit planned for this same space, but I can take my time.

Back to unit 6!! Whoo-hoo!


I Spy Wonky Feathers

Here's my first attempt at "wonky feathers" as Dawn Ramirez calls them. I did this in an all-over freehand pattern on my latest I Spy quilt. I used variegated primary thread. This was done on my regular sewing machine.

I was so impressed with my work. Then my DH came into the sewing room, and I was just gushing with self-pride. He said he likes plain stippling better. Whooooosh...that's the air being let out of my balloon! My oldest DD was with him and said she thought it was "cool", so that helped my ego a bit.

Here's another view. I think these are just so neat. To top off the evening, I washed and dried my Hearthside Memories, and it now hangs in the place of honor in my kitchen. I am using a brass curtain rod with leaves on the ends for that quilt place. I separately bought two little brass hooks for the rod to rest in. The ones that came with the curtain rod would have had it too far from the wall. Love those red walls!!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fabric Buying Will Power?? Hahahaha...

One of my errands in the land far, far away yesterday was to stop at Mary Jo's Cloth Store and get ONE piece of fabric for binding for a customer's quilt. I am trying to be good financially and resist the temptation to buy things that I don't need. I was so good at MJ's...I got exactly what I went for and one item I was looking for but didn't expect to find. I purchased the binding fabric, a simple thimble (less than $1), a hera marker, one small spool of hand quilting thread and a piece of fabric to make a tote bag for carrying my flute, flute stand, music, Bible and other paraphernalia to church. How could I resist the thousands of bolts at Mary Jo's, you might ask?? Well, it's because I knew this was coming...59.6 pounds of fabric bliss!

Monday I had ordered 2 bolts of cream, 4 bolts of blue and 3 bolts of red. All Thimbleberries. It is to beef up my patriotic colors as that is the next big holiday. Let me tell you, my blue department was a shame. Only 4 bolts that didn't even complement each other! Is that sad or what?? I know you understand.

I just finished the binding, hanging sleeve, and LABEL (that's noteworthy for me) on my Hearthside Memories. Now it's in the washer. I hope to put it up tonight. Cross that one off the list.

Just this AM I made a list of all my current projects. Some haven't even been cut yet, some are ongoing block sets like the double pinwheels I showed earlier. A couple are being hand quilted, some are just tops waiting for a good machine quilting mood to strike (I do a lot of my machine quilting in Jan and Feb because eBay sales are slower, so there's hope!). The list wasn't as big as I thought it was. It was good to get it on paper and see what I SHOULD do next. There wasn't any schoolwork, laundry, grocery shopping or meals on the list, so it was fun to pick something, LOL!

~Joan, off to admire my new bolts of fabric...

Awww, You Shouldn't Have!

This is what I've been doing between laundry, math lessons, meals, sewing room clean-up, piano lesson, and life today. I have a stack of 25-patch blocks that I've been waiting to make into a quilt top. I couldn't decide if I wanted to give this to someone as a gift or sell it. I looked at the bank's for sale! I'll be listing it on eBay after I finish the bottom corner, LOL! I also am selling a quilt top that is my "broken leftover dishes" pattern. Still need to put borders on that.

Kairle over at Happy Valley Quilter gave me an award. It's the "you make my day" award. I am so honored. Bonnie stiff-armed me into starting a blog (yes, I'm still blaming her). But I've met so many nice quilters! I've really enjoyed journaling progress or the lack thereof on my quilt projects. It's fun to go back and see what has been finished. But I digress. I am supposed to "choose up to 10 people whose blog brings you happiness & inspiration and makes you feel happy about Blogland."

Here are a couple I always find uplifting and often inspiring...

~Patty at Morning Ramble. She has a positive view of life and inspires me to be a better person.

~Lucy at Quilting with the Past. I love seeing Lucy's projects and her house.

~Bonnie at Is there anyone on quilting blogland that doesn't know Bonnie? One of my favorite recent memories is spending an evening with her in SC.

~Mary at Making Scrap Quilts from Stash. A beautiful long arm quilter that primarily quilts for charity and is always coming up with lovely quilts from strings.

~Kairle at Happy Valley Quilter. Last but not least, one of my favorite blogs. I want to be one of her daughters so she'll make my favorite cookies. I always enjoy emailing Kairle.

Take care,

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Meet You at Cracker Barrel

My DH had to go to a lunch meeting with his boss in a nearby town. They met at Cracker Barrel. I dropped him off then did some errands of my own. After lunch at a drive-thru at McD's for me, I sat on the porch of Cracker Barrel to hand quilt until his meeting was finished, or so I thought.

I only got to stitch about an inch. So many people stopped by to ooh and aah over my quilt (Hearthside Memories). I thought I might get it finished, but I barely made any progress. I gave my email address to 3 ladies. One wants a raffle quilt made, the other one wants one for herself.

The third woman was lunching with a friend. They were signing to each other and then looked my way. I thought one of the women was a deaf woman I met in the same city last year, so I signed, "Have I met you before?" She wasn't the person I thought she was, but that didn't stop her from talking to me for 20 minutes or so. She studied every inch of my quilt in the meantime.

Needless to say, my husband's boss was suprised to come out and see me signing to 2 deaf ladies. Let people surprise never know what they know!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tamed I Spy Stash

I have been asked about my I Spy stash. Those of you who sew know that you usually receive fabric in a 42/44" wide piece. When I first started making I Spy quilts for my children and neices and nephews, I liked a LOT of the prints. I got 1/4 yards of a lot of them. So if I only needed a 4-1/2" square of that print...well, you do the math. I started selling sets of unique fabric squares on eBay. That was actually the first quilty thing I sold on eBay.

Above is my current stack of 4-1/2" squares. I have so much fabric for these that I thought of making charity quilts. But they it dawned on me that I know LOTS of children personally. We are making small quilts (about 42" square) for babies at church. I've also made larger ones for older children (not infants). When I run out of those I know, I may make them for hospitals, etc. That seems like a long way off.

The picture above is "yardage" other words, large enough for backing or borders. There is a quilting hoop that I never use and two waiting to be quilted tops in the center.

Last, but not least, is my pieces too small for borders or backing (w/o piecing) that still need to be cut into usable squares. Every once in a while my DD3 or I will go through and cut some new squares from this. It is neat and orderly. We have quite a few squares now, so we won't need to do this for some time.

There you have it...I Spy fabric usability!


Dwirling ~ Machine Quilting

I try to limit each post to just a subject or two, otherwise it's too hard to follow. Here is the I spy with dwirling. You just free motion quilt a wavy line across the quilt top, then echo it an even distance away, and throw in a loopy curl or extra "finger" once in a while for variety. I quilted this with a variegated primary color thread and made the lines about an inch apart. Since I anticipate this will be used and washed a lot, I didn't want to take a lot of time for fancy quilting. This is such a simple design that it doesn't detract from the novelty squares. Easy and quick.


Monday, January 7, 2008

DS3's First Adventure In Piecing

This is my 11-year-old son. He has wanted to sew on a machine for quite a while. He thinks piecing is easy...after all he's watched me piece many times. Never mind that he's never done any piecing before (or machine sewing for that matter).

I just noticed that he has strings stuck to the front of his shirt...a true quilting boy!! LOL!

I consented today (must have been that good mood I was in after de-Christmatizing the house). Here he is with the squares for an I Spy top laid out on my design board. After just moments (according to him)...

His finished top center. We still need to add borders. I like using the dark jelly bean print for the alternate squares. It makes the novelty prints really pop. Naturally, we avoided using any dark background ones.

While he was piecing this, I was at the other machine quilting the last I Spy top. I used a variegated primary color thread and did "dwirling" on the top. It adds a neat texture to the top without detracting from the novelty prints. I am just about to machine sew the binding on. I'll post a picture after I'm finished.


Dream Quilt Storage!! Yippee!!

Finally! At long last!! Just the idea I've been waiting for!! These two thin tubes are all my fall and Christmas quilts rolled up and tied with strips of muslin. Take a peek at my Web Shots album, and you will see that these two rolls represent a LOT of quilts.

They hardly take up any room in my closet and won't have wrinkles when I use them next. What a marvelous idea. I lined them up staggered so that they didn't all start at the same place, with left edges aligned (that's the end that would be on the floor). The tallest quilts are 44". On the left (the Xmas roll), I folded my Cozy Christmas in half, and that is the outside layer.

I have been suffering with piles of quilts all over my room...under the quilt frame, on the cedar chest, small ones on the desk. Now...problem solved!!

I was a little troubled to find out that I didn't have a patriotic stack, then I realized that that's what I have up when it isn't fall or Christmas. I do have a few everyday, but evidently I need more of those (like I'm looking for quilts to make--they find ME).

We took down all the Christmas decorations today and cleaned the public rooms (kitchen, foyer, and living room) so I have a new lease on life. My oldest daughter just asked if she could take me to Chick-fil-A for lunch. Well, of course!!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sampler Quilt Name & More Than You Wanted to Know About Me

The name of the sampler quilt a few posts ago is Hearthside Memories. I've had a few people write and ask. It was the sampler quilt of the year for the 2002 American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. I saved all the issues and pieced the top in spring 2007. And to think it's nearly hand quilted. I'm speeding up in my old age.

The top above is made from left over triangles (two colors each) from Bonnie's Pineapple Blossom quilt. One of my daughters and I made a patriotic one. I'd been wanting to try the tilted block thing on the edges, and this seemed like a good one to try it on. I took my L/O HST units and made churn dash blocks. If they were primarily blue triangles, I put a red square in the center and vice versa. I want to make this a bit bigger before figuring out borders, but I love the play of movement in the blocks.

Today was a flash from the past. I am a sign language interpreter. For a while we had deaf in our church every single service for a long time. All at once, they all left for other churches (this is common in the deaf world). We haven't had a deaf person for about 9-10 months. Last night (out of the blue) one of the deaf girls called to see if we could pick her up for church. So I dusted off those signs and got interpreting again. It only took a few minutes to get into the swing again. Like riding a bike...or falling off a horse...or something!

Also tonight I had a young lady ask me to teach her how to play the flute (I taught a class of 5 new students two years ago at church, but she didn't have a flute then). Three of my family played an offertory on the flute, DS2 on the violin and DD3 on her clarinet.

Good night!


Fabulous Four Coasters & Surprising Saturday

These are a set of coasters one of my former customers asked me to make her yesterday. I had the pieces cut out, so I just needed to sew the four of them together, quilt, and bind them. Took a little longer than I thought, but I did finish the last one before DH came to bed! The coasters are 6" square, and made just like a little quilt, with batting, hand-sewn binding, and all.

A close-up of the peacock feather quilting. I have watched the Dawn Ramirez machine quilt DVD twice now, so look out I Spy quilt tops. I'm ready to practice some Wonky Feathers or Versatile Flower Echoes or something else that looks really cool.

Another incident from yesterday was that I was instrumental in saving a woman's life. I was at Wal-mart (where I spend a large portion of my life) when one of the cashiers started acting "funny". It was fairly obvious that she was having a serious medical problem. She was able to talk enough for me to discover that she is diabetic. Her condition quickly deteriorated, but not before she was able to drink a couple swigs of Coke and let one of her sugar wafers dissolve on her tongue. Within about 10 minutes she was right as rain, although a paramedic had arrived by that time. Did I mention I was an RN in a former life?

I had left my 11-year-old son behind with the groceries in line. By the time I got back to him, a new cashier had been installed on my line. She said, "Honey, I don't know who you are, but if something happens to me, I'm gonna have 'em find YOU." I said that would probably work since I'm there all the time anyway.

Thank God for putting me there. I got home and slept for 2 hours. It was such an emotionally draining experience. In church this AM I asked a woman who was working there at the time how cashier #1 was doing. She said I'm famous now. Hahahaha...

Have a great day.