Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mission accomplished!!

I finished the blocks for this quilt(BQ Quilt by Debbie Bowles-Maple Island Quilts) a couple weeks ago, but I've just been too busy to get them all joined together. Made it a goal of mine yesterday, and I stuck to it until it was all done. I like this quilt, for several reasons.

  1. It was fast.
  2. It was painless- the only matching points are between the 18" blocks.
  3. I think it'll look really cool on a bed
  4. and there are no borders. I didn't realize how sick I was of doing borders until I made this quilt. I had the choice of making 10 more blocks or putting borders on and I choose the 10 more blocks. I did mention how easy they were, didn't I? I love a quilt without borders. Just simple and when you're done, you're done. You don't have to spend several more sew days making the borders. That's very refreshing!

I couldn't get the whole quilt in the picture, not enough floor to arm-reach ratio! (My sewing buddy is down there at the end of the quilt putting a puzzle together. He's good company.) I can't wait to get this quilted up and on the bed- but it might not be any time soon, because...

Guys, am I the only one with tubs of unquilted quilts? Last count, I had four BIG tubs. Figure I have somewhere around 35 quilts. Conservatively. None are for clients. It's starting to sound like a sickness or an obsession, ain't it? They just seem to materialize a lot faster than the quilting gets done. I don't know why that is. I can, and do, certainly quilt faster than I piece. I have been faithfully chipping away at that pile... but it sure doesn't seem to be getting any smaller!! This is the only quilt that I have made this year- well, yes, I have been finishing a lot of quilts, but I have been trying very hard not to start anything new. This one quilt was a little slip back, but really, it's just one quilt, right? And I did finish it. I think I need to get me a calender and make appointments with quilts and that way I'lll be able to see some measurable progress. Doesn't sound like as much fun as just noodling, though. Bummer!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring Tulips...

While I was doing some shop hopping, I found this cute pattern... now, I wonder what I was thinking. It is called, "Tulip Bells Table Runner." by Annette Ornelas at and I liked the idea- I am a sucker for doing things in a different way. This isn't a new pattern(2000) but I decided to give it a try. It takes a lot of fabric for a 42"x15" project, almost 2 yards for the top, alone. I soon learned why.

The bottom picture is how the original block looks- there are all kinds of tiny little 1 1/2" folded blocks layered on top of the other blocks... when you get all that sewn together, then you fold the little edges over and topstitch them down. It reminded me of a cathedral window. But it was kind of tedious and kind of addictive all at the same time. I can see how it will go faster as you figure out what you are doing. I thought that there was a whole lot of places where the whole thing could go tragically awry, but amazing, it didn't turn out too bad. I ended up making mine just a little table topper, instead of making three tulips and having a table runner. I used reproduction fabrics and I wonder if it isn't too Christmassy? I DO think it is cheery. Hmm... so I'll likely try it again with something else. Something a bit darker, even though I prefer the bright and sunny look of red tulips. I'll need to find a deeper green. That might do the trick. It was a fun project to make and certainly different than our traditional piecing or applique. And hey! These flowers won't wilt!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The outsides match my insides!!!

I walked back out to the quilting room after a baking break and noticed that the Spring grass matches the quilt on my machine. How cool is that? Just one of the many perks in our line of...entertainment. Eye candy everywhere! I am lovin' this quilt! I gave my Mom the vintage "splatter" fabric(Sarah, do you remember us pulling that out of one of your Grandma's bags?- No, you can't have it back now- you were not kind in your verbal assessment of it's charm!) Sarah thought it was hideous and so of course, I had to love it. Somebody had to! And now, didn't that whip into just a really cool quilt? Mom did a great job. The pattern is from the "Coffee Time" book. Love that book. I'm about 1/3 of the way done with it. Wouldn't it be interesting if our outsides matched our insides- just for one day? I don't think we could handle it for much longer! So be sweet and kind on the inside and everyone will see you as a beautiful person. And that's a fact.


I love the way quilting gives texture to a quilt! It just gets so yummy I could eat it! Almost. This is a pantograph called... double plumes, I think. I love it! And I'm using lime green thread. Lovin' that. I'm just way tickled with this little project and it isn't even mine! I was telling my Mom, just today, that by not taking in a few client quilts every month, I seem to be getting a whole lot more done. Might be just mental- and with me, it likely is- but it is so nice and refreshing to go out there and just play for my Mom! Then I get to thinking all about her- don't you do that when you are making a quilt for someone? It's like you can't seperate the deed from the person. I wonder if all those loving thoughts get trapped inside a quilt and that's why they are so cherished? Well, ain't that a metaphysical thought for a practical gal like me? And since I'm making personal applications... I was thinking about stretch marks and wrinkles... just texturing, really. And how flat and boring things would be without a little texture!! So love those wrinkles and embrace those textures! It gives you a much more interesting look!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shop Hoppin' Happy!!!
Boy, did I ever have a blast, today!!
  1. First, Sarah, are you sure you don't want to come up here this summer? I found three very cool quilt shops, not to mention and entire crafty village... just a thought.
  2. But WOW! I had a great time. Can't ya tell from that stupid grin on my face? This is outside the door of the Country Quilt Barn in Rushville, IN. It was very quaint, the owner especially friendly, and she was clever to top it all off. See those bags I'm holding? those are her shopping bags and ya get one when you buy something. I tried to weasle two of them out of her so I bought two items, but alas, it doesn't work that way... I bet if I bought too much to fit into one bag, I'd get another... Now that's just dangerous talk around a quilt shop, 'cause ya know I could do it! It smelled lovely in there- leftovers of a cold winter and a wood burning stove. I was working with some of the fabs, just this evening and it smells like Grandfather's house. the girls said so. Oh, back to the bags. She says that she just whips them up with the serger from scraps that people give her- she said you'd be surprised at how many people just want to get rid of their old fabric. The blue bag is Sandy's and the pink and orange bag is mine!
  3. Sandy, bless her heart invited me to go shopping with her. We had two meals out- just to let ya know we were gone all day! I LOVE Indiana. I've lived here for years, but I just love it! The drive was beautiful!! Spring is here and the redbud and tulips are all out. Just lovely!
  4. We stopped at three shops- two in Rushville,IN (Country Quilt Barn and In Stitches) and one in Liberty,IN (Pohlar Fabrics.- this will be the first stop on the next trip 'cause I was running low on funds by the time I got there! Slowed me down just a tad!) They each had a personality all their own and had quite a bit of stuff left behind despite the fact that two of them were showing in Paducah- shows how out of the loop I am these days from local mainstream quilting!
  5. I bought too much. Sandy says if we go more often, then we won't go just hog wild crazy and we'd actually spend less... well that's her theory and who am I to fuss with an older and wiser gal? I got several pieces of black and creams to go in my feedsack quilt- as background. I bought somebody a couple fat quarters that were just screamin' her name. I bought a sweet red repro- I'll try to post a picture, tomorrow. I already made it into a little table topper(got the pattern, too)- might have been a table runner... but the pattern was tedious- fun, but I don't know that I want to do it again and again... And I bought some other repro fat quarters that I just liked. A collection, if you will. Oh and I got a great deal on Auntie Anne's Repro's- 16 fat quarters of her "Goin' travelin"for only $16!!
  6. I met a couple of the sweetest widow ladies... I just wanted to take them home with me! Don't ya just love meeting new people. That is such a regret of mine- not having enough time, energy, memory to keep up with all the wonderful people in this world!

Thunderstorm is headed in and I have to cut it short! Talk to ya soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mom's day...
Mom made this very cool quilt and I just finished quilting it for her. She got the pattern from Bonnie's Amazing Quiltville. My girls had a great time pointing out all the fabrics that they recognized. I remember doing that with quilts when I was a little girl. Fun to see all the little bits and peices from our lives joined together into one big beautiful scene. I remember a wool quilt my Grandma made... and my Mom liked to point out the wool pieces that came from her coat- the same coat she was wearing when she was struck by a car and stuck in bed for months. That was certainly a memorable moment and it is commemorated in a quilt... My Grandma liked to tell stories and she liked to quilt- they kind of go together, don't they? How often have you made a quilt and not had a story to tell about it? Either the quilt, or the circumstances that led to it's creation, or the folks for whom it was made...See? Stories and quilts go hand in hand.
True, for some odd reason, perhaps my mother or Aunt Isobel could shed some light on it, my Grandma liked to tell.. well, rather morbid stories. But that's what made them memorable. I must be a lot like her, because I still love those stories and have even added a few of my own. I didn't think they were morbid when I was a child- weird how things like that don't occur to a person until they get older. I know my daughters absolutely love to hear the stories she told me- the "real life" stories. And I suppose that the most memorable ones are those she shared when we'd visit the cemetary on Memorial Day, so why wouldn't they be morbid? It's kind of fun to be treated like an adult and let in on some of the shocking mysteries of life. Like the one about that baby whose head swelled as "big as a pillow." He turned blue and died. Or the little girl who was prissy and vain and liked to pin paper bows on her dress and one day she got too close to the fire... well, she survived, but could never have children... Now it's been said that I don't remember things exactly accurately, but I say that I remember them as an 8 year old would- and I can vouch for it, the little mind is often a strange and skewed place. Yeah, well the big mind can be too, huh?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Windy days in quilt land...

My ghostly curtains kept getting in my way! Why would I draw the curtains on what was so obviously a beautiful day? Well see, I got this new pantogragh I've been wanting to try out... can't see the laser pointer when the sun is so bright. So I drew the curtains. That lasted about 10 seconds and finally I just closed the windows. It really wasn't that warm, and I got a little work done- only to be drawn outdoors for some yardwork. Finished the quilt on a cloudy morning. Note to self: Avoid using Guttermann thread on the top and Signature thread on the bottom- lots of tension adjustments and when you're doing a pantograph... well, who knows when you might notice the problem. Now that's a "tension" problem.

My mum blocks are all done and stacked fairly neatly, just waiting for a couple moments to slap them all together. I'm likin' it! I finished this quilt here for my Mom. And I have a quilt hop in a couple days- looking for some grays that will look good with feedsack. Happy quilting!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sewing days...

Sewing daze... oh, well, either way, it works for me!
I have been such a good girl, lately. You don't have to look so shocked! I have been chipping away at the tubs full of quilt tops- getting a few quilted, getting the backings and bindings made. Finishing projects. Being a responsible little quilter. I finally had enough.
I dug out some fabric that had been given to me- I've had it for a couple months- and been drooling over it for that long. Decided that I'd try that new BQ quilt pattern- I figure any quilt pattern that has a 12.5" peice within a 18.5" block... well, it will go fast for sure. Then I'll go back to the grindstone. So this way I can exercise some creative juices without the time commitment of a more challenging project- I have enough of those in bins in my cupboards! Sarah R. gave me the fabric- actually, she gave Sandy the fabric and Sandy took it to help Sarah clear out an excess of stash- to make room for more, no doubt, but thought the last thing she needed was another oriental... So I got it! woo-hoo!!! 8 yards of luscious mums! The rest I am making scrappy- the pattern lends itself to that even if the directions don't. All gleaned from my stash and so I feel that I am not actually being a complete brat... well, that's what I tell myself.
Sarah is gonna be a bit shocked with the end result of my play time with her cast off fabric. See, Sarah likes to buy lines of fabric. She sees a pattern, and she is on the hunt to match the identical fabs. Curious, huh? I hate doing that, but it's what she enjoys. Plus, she never mixes fabric types. This quilt has Asian, calico, batiks(of course) and even my three most treasured fat quarters of Darcie's hand-dyes- which are very organic looking. And I think it is coming out just yummy. I love just taking what I have on hand and making it work. In about 3 hours, I had the whole thing cut out and about half way sewn up. A queen size.
Can I talk about the iron, please? How cool is that? Donna got me that new Rowenta. I usually buy a cheapy iron, 'cause, to be honest, I am death to an iron. A veritable black pox to anything hot and sealed with water inside. I don't mean to be... I just have this bad habit of backing into the ironing board and oops! off it goes onto the wood floor and it now has a waterfall feature! If DH is buying a new iron for me, he always gets the ones with the automatic shut off- he has this bad dream... I find that particular feature a little annoying while quilting, cause you know how it can take longer than 5 minutes to get back to the ironing board. But I just have to remember to tip the iron from time to time. This new iron is sooooo cool. yeah, you're on to me now. It's obvious why I was so happy to iron Donna's sewing project for her, huh? That iron just glides along the fabric. Sweet! And the steam!!! I just make sure that I am leaning over the project and I get an instant facial!! My skin's never been so soft! I have to wear my contacts when I am out there, else my glasses steam up and I'm blinded for a minute! And I have to refresh my straightening efforts with my hair or I'm all ringlets in no time! I think I am gonna head back out there and finish that "little" project up! Hope everybody gets some misbehaving in, today!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Springing Spring...
We used to talk about 'getting sprung" when we were imprisoned- no, not literally, but figuratively, by an unpleasant task. We've been trying to get Spring sprung around here... but I think it is still needing to do some time. Brrr...
Let me just tell you about the great week I had. First, I had house guests- some of our oldest, dearest friends. Donna and I go way back- to the days before my wedding day. Her husband was the best man. Who would have thought that 21 years later, we'd still be yacking it up and having just a high ole time? Unfortunately, the stomach virus choose just that same week to visit!! Don't ya just love how that happens? Guys, you cannot really imagine the...chaos... in a house with 10 residents and 3 house guests... AND THE TUMMY BUG!!! I still have a hard time accepting how it all went down, er, rather up! Oh my!! What an ordeal! It was surreal. And still we had a blast! I'm not kidding, the wildest time, ever.
See, the kids decide to get it pretty much consecutively. One after another after another. Thankful, oh so thankful, for 3 bathrooms!! I got it it last- which is saying something for my cleaning skills 'cause I was cleaning up a lot of messes from the youngest three! Bleach was my closest friend. Speaking of friends... my poor houseguests were really pretty much hostages. Here they are, in the path of a train wreck and they got no way out! They had driven 9 hours to be here- taken time off work... they kept saying that they would rather be here, sick with us, than home and healthy. I kept saying, "You're crazy!!" After 9 days, they never did get sick. Amazing. And we still did quite a bit of fun stuff, despite the headaches and the rumbing in our tummlies. Lots of card games, lots of movies, and even some quilting.
Donna bought the pattern and fabrics for these blocks as part of the Hancock Fabrics Block of The Month. She had two blocks done and I helped her finish it all up. I'd cut and iron and she'd sew. Now that's a Springy, happy quilt. I put a peice of vintage fabric on the back, but forgot to get a picture. But it was cool, too. Did you notice there are only 9 blocks and traditionally, most years have 12 months? ya did? knew we couldn't get anything past you guys! well, that's just how many she got. 9. ya gotta love that number.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blue reruns...

The above little table topper is made from leftovers of the leftovers of this quilt! Just like leftovers- they don't go away soon enough! I don't mind leftovers, generally speaking. I mean, leftovers do make things easier. All the ingredients are there together. But, eventually, you get tired of the same thing, right? So this little table topper I gave to my friend Donna and all the little scraps I gave to her daughter Diana, who is a budding quilter. I shall never run into leftovers from this quilt ever, ever, again. Ahh... that feels soooo good!