Thursday, January 29, 2009

Something light and bright...
Sarah sent me some really pretty fabs for Xmas. Mostly orange and peach and green. I added some of our hand dyed that we did a couple summers ago and tada! A wallhanging is born. The orange matches my walls in the bathroom just perfectly. Thank you, Sarah! The pattern was on the cover of a magazine- in reds and blues. I don't like the way they had you set up that hst inner border- looks off kilter to me, but that was how the pattern was and I actually followed it. Won't next time. But the whole thing went together very smoothly. I like how they had measurements for everything- that can be a problem with round robin quilts. This quilt is a real cheery-upper in the bathroom. I like how the on point blocks match my tin wainscoting.
Julia has me all in lather for the string quilts. My sis is here this week and she has been helping me- marking diagonal lines down the middle of my telephone pages. And then she sliced my strips into skinnier pieces. Slave labor is a good thing!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Time on my hands...

Been enjoying the stormy weather- glad to have anything other than ice! The snow is just beautiful- especially since I am surrounded by such good company. My sweet sister-in-law is here for the week with her two boys- the kids are elated. I am too! I finished these two doilies and have started another. That's what winter is for- handiworks. I might need to resume work in the quilting room since the view is so spectacular out there with a couple walls full of windows. My parents surprised me and stopped in for a two nights. They had venison to bring to Lisa and her family. It was a short visit, but not so short that my dad couldn't fix my furnace- which wasn't broken but is always in need of maintenance. This is a picture of my Dad in the closet, standing on the furnace! A very tight spot even for a very skinny man! He isn't happy unless he is working on something- he should be ecstatic here at my house as things are always breaking!

It seems like everyone here is having a ball sewing up quilts- I love to think about our shared joy of sewing and pressing and choosing colors and designs... so much fun!! Have a great day everyone!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

That's what Darcie calls an edge to edge pattern and I think it is so cute! All over rover. Of course, there are endless possibilities to an all over rover. Meandering and piddling. This is just one that I used recently. I practice on 60" wide fabric so that when it is all used up, someone gets a little throw blanket. This one went to Boo. I bound it in yellow- binding I had forgotten that I'd already made- who would've suspected I was being such a good girl? Anyway, it was from the binding scrapbin. I am amazed at how many little bits are resurrected from there. Scrap binding doesn't need to be that long- sometimes I just sew together like-colored pieces and other times there is plenty for a small wallhanging or such. Really small pieces can be ironed flat for the string quilt project. Just hate to throw anything away, ya know?
I'm a bit apathetic about the quilting room, here lately. Maybe my feelings are just getting more normal! I have been super busy and I just feel myself slowing down a bit. Which is usually a good thing and coincides with the laundry pile getting so high it has become a hazard to walk by! It might fall on my wittle head.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ever have days like that? I was making a chocolate cake for the kids(OK, so I was making it for me, but I was gonna share!) And as I was taking the cake out of the oven...whoopsidaisy!! the whole cake flipped over and landed on the oven door. I have no idea how that happened. As I stood there, jaw slack, Jacob helped me salvage it by scooping it up with a spatula and setting it back on the pan. We poured the icing over it and ate it anyway. If you're given cake crumbs...make crumb cake. The kids were all very good sports and said that it was even better this way because the icing soaked into all the little cracks and crevices.
Quilting can be like that, too. Sometimes, for mysterious reasons, there's a big ole whoosidaisy! And something didn't quite turn out like I planned. But I'll be like the kids and insist that it's better this way. Really. I am starting work on a Dear Jane quilt(insane, I know. Now you know and we're even.) I was really mystified by the whole thing and after a couple whoopsidaisy moments, I have a few blocks that I can live with. Hey, they measure 5" and I'm guessing that they'll fit into the quilt. Who says they have to be identical to Jane's. She has a fair amount of wonky in those blocks. No, I'm not being catty, I'm just saying, she's one of us. Has anyone tried the EQ Dear Jane? Curious how it measures up to the challenge. They are kinda addictive- though I am sure it is like any addiction. Fun at first but a terrible monkey on your back after a while. Hope all of you are dealing with your whoopsidaisy moments with grace and a sense of humor!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quilting by candle light...
Well, admiring the quilt by candle light, anyway! We had a power outage yesterday evening, due to someone sliding their car into a pole- county roads aren't really very civilized. Everyone was fine, but the pole had to be replaced. The kids get downright giddy when the power goes out. I had just stepped out of the shower and I was less than giddy to be sitting in a cold house with a wet head.
But the quilt over the piano was awfully pretty. It is a very old one that my Aunt Shelia gave me. The fabrics are very coarse and the quilting very utilitarian- but you know how I love that look. It is one of my favorites because it gives the room a nice, cozy feel- important when the snow is flying and the wind is howling to get it.
Today was spent in less than quilty endeavors. I had to meet my MIL at the dr office. It was really quite pleasant as the dr was as cute as a button- aren't they getting younger every day. What? I'm getting older? Well, yeah, I know. Rub it in why don't ya? He was also very sweet with her and that put him on my good side. All is well. Then I went and had lunch with Sandy and we organized her fat quarters- you know how those drawers can get all out of hand! Now she is color coded and I am the proud new owner of her batiks. Score! Now it's home and I had the good sense to put the hen in the crock pot before I left. Chicken and dumplings for dinner. Sweet William will be home tomorrow night. He is in Atlanta for business. One more night without him. I think I can do it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Who knew scaffolding could be so...useful?

The scaffolding is still up in the dining room- I guess it will be staying there until the mudding on the drywall is done. Makes a nice monkey gym for the little ones when they are tired of being couped up because of the cold. And it makes a mighty fine place to have the kids hold up a really big quilt. (I took this picture before the lighting was installed, so it is kinda blurry and dark as that flash is almost useless in such a big room. And it a BIG room- I think it is something like 18'x30'. I hope I will have room for several dining tables and lots and lots of people.)

I finished this quilt and got it in the mail just in the nick of time for them to get it by Xmas. Forgot to add it to the gallery, down there. Yes, there is a mistake in the quilt. Found it, did ya? Well, I seriously considered doing something about it... but decided eh, it'll keep me humble. The pattern came from Evelyn Sloppy's 40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts. It wasn't a hard pattern, but I did get a little weary of hourglass blocks. Don'tcha just love scrappy quilts? I am now working on a two color quilt and it just doesn't have the sparkle of a scap one.

I'd like to give you a heads up, Sarah- a little trial she is going through. Her daughter ran headlong into her son and she cracked her cheekbone- and is having surgery, today, as the break is causing muscle problems in her eye. She is a sick little girl and I know you guys are praying people, so I am sure Sarah would appreciate it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gallery of my noodling for the last month...

Well Julia, you asked for it! This is what I have been up to. I think I'll need to add a seperate post after this to complete the list of quilty things I've been doing. Blogger will only allow so many pictures per post i suppose. The denim quilt is for my son, John. I have made ones for all the boys- except Abe. I have a stash of old jeans just for that purpose. I'm doing a big ole meander on this one and so I hope to finish it, today.

Been playing with some batik and a folded pattern. Made a nice little table runner.

This is another little wallhanging- my second one using the same design, only this one is batik and bright where the other one was very traditional. I think it will be going to my friend Pami.

This is a challenge quilt between Sandy and I. The blocks measure 3 1/2" so the peicing was tiny. Just traditional piecing, not paper. Love the colors and I think it'll go very well in my bedroom. Not sure how I'll quilt it. I even did the applique by hand.

Whew! Is that bright or what? The hearts were leftovers from a small quilt I made while working at the quiltshop. I am going to use this as a backdrop behind my old birdhouses for Valentines.

Redwork by Sandy and then I just threw a lot of colors in with them. It was also a backdrop for birdhouses during the holidays. I am starting a trend in seasonal quilts back there! It only takes a 24" quilt, so it's a simple task.

Doilies I've finished. One is a repeat, in a different color thread. I am putting them aside to use as impromptu gifts.

Here's my holiday quilt that I finished last month. It was a panel which I cut apart and then added the log cabin borders. It is still hanging over my piano. Need to switch it out.

Here's sweet William and a helper getting some drywalling done. Trying to keep that frigid wind out. A tough job here on the prairie!

A few more projects...

I have been making sampler blocks from my hand dyed fabrics. Planning on making a big quilt from them. It is so much fun to just get that box out and my "Around the Block" book and make a block or two.

Block of the month. Sandy has organized a block of the month with her sewing group. She has let me join, doing two blocks each month. I did mine in batiks, of course. They finish at 12". A big relief after doing the 3" blocks!

Table runner and table topper for Betty. I still need to get the binding on- it's made, but I have no cream colored thread. Bummer.

This is another repeat. I made one for me and one for Sarah. Yes, I need to bind it but I have already been whining about the lack of thread.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dan's Feast...
Sorry I didn't get this posted sooner. Blogger wasn't allowing me to post pictures and this picture was just too cute to miss!
Daniel is 17y. He is a great guy. Full of fun, as you can tell. He is a hard worker and a good student, very disciplined. He is the life of the party and has tons of friends. He is very caring and interested in other people. He reminds me a lot of my Dad- even looks a lot like him. Daniel can be counted on to get the job done- no matter what the job. He is wanting to be a gospel preacher and I think he will be a great one.
His feast was last- but certainly not least! The table was simply set with a few candles. He had barbeque pulled pork which was deliscious! Along with that, he had cole slaw and home made onion rings- wow, were they good! He served apple crisp and ice cream for dessert and IBC rootbeer for his drink. He bought the kids their own little suncatchers and they painted them the next day. We had a great time and now the feast season is over. Bill and I decided to have our feasts randomly over the next couple months- just something impromptu to cheer the kids up during the cold winter here on the prairie.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Thanks Darcie!!!!!!!!!
Everyone loves the hats you gave us! That was so sweet of you to go to all that work of making 7 beanies and 3 cowl collars! That's just like you!! Love you sooo much my sweet and generous and thoughtful friend!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Abe's feast...
This is our youngest, Abe. He is 5. And he is a nut! Just a lot of fun to be around. He usually is found vocalizing his own soundtrack- da da da daaaaaduuuuh- ala spidey or superman, as he is running around the house, practicing his slick moves. He loves dinosaurs and cars and isn't too much of a purest to play with them seperately- he has been known to set up many a godzilla scene with the cars and the dinos. He loves the gingerbread men on the tree, but prefers them in his tummy. He takes special delight in amputating one limb at a time. He is a ball of energy. And he is getting bigger every day. sniff.
Abe's feast was false started several times because he was just so excited. He kept lining the kids up only to realize he hadn't set the table yet... or fixed his appetizer... or set out the gifts...You get the picture. I'd have to reign him back in. Just like a 5 year old. He had lunch at the mexican restaurant where they rolled their silverware up in the napkin- he thought that was grand! We always just plunk the napkin down on the plate. So, he very carefully wound up his napkins around the silverware for his feast! He had scrambled eggs rolled up in tortillas for his appetizer. He had orange juice to drink. Abe's main dish was fettucini alfredo and chicken fingers. His dessert was orange creamsicles. He had these little sticky plastic bugs that, "stick to the window!" He must have said that all seven times-at the top of his lungs- when the other kids would come into the kitchen and wouldn't you know it? Every one of the boys had to try it out. The girls took his word for it. There is a difference between boys and girls.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

More is more...

7 random facts for Julie:

  1. I love gummy bears, but gummy worms? ick, they make me gag.
  2. Hot, cold, pickled or plain, I love beets.
  3. St Jude Hospital commercials always make me cry.
  4. I love having my hair brushed- but that makes it spring out of control. Curly hair and brushing, not a good combination.
  5. I sew everyday except Sundays.
  6. I love sunshine- I could sit on the window ledge like a cat all day, as long as the sun is shining.
  7. I have too much stuff! Anybody want some?

This quilt was made by my Aunt Isobel. I love it because it reminds me of something my Grandma- and great grandma- would do. She made the top out of wools, corderoy(sp?), suiting and denim. I found a very nice wool blanket at the thrift shop for $3 so that is the batting and an old- but still very functional- sheet for the backing. The binding is leftovers from another quilt and I even used up all my little extra bits of bobbin thread . I meadered in candy apple red and it turned out so pretty with the extra push(loft) the wool blanket gave it. It does weigh a ton, but ds Daniel is always cold so he grabbed it right up when I suggested he could have it. A very thrifty utility quilt- that is too pretty for it's own good.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Paul's Feast...
If you've been following "feast days" you might have counted them and realized I was a few short of 8. We have had a few delays and so we are running over into January- no problem. Plenty of dull weather here to still be able to enjoy a few festivities!
This is Paul and he is 14. My middle boy. Paul is sweet, generous. He is always spending his money on his little brothers and sisters. He takes things very seriously and worries about people. When we pass a newly opened restaurant, he worries they won't make it and asks if we can help them by eating there- we have such a big family, we could keep a restaurant from going under! He tends to be a man of few words and I am working with him on articulating more than just the occasional grunt. Paul holds a very dear spot in my heart as he has volunteered to be my dish-washer man. No big job overwhelms him- in fact, I think he enjoys the challenge. He is a real book worm and is often seen lugging around Strong's Strongest- just for some light reading!
His meal was a blast! He had each of his guests scream when they came into the kitchen- just to keep the other kids guessing! His appetizer were tiny little bite-sized cherry pies. He made them, himself, in a mini cupcake pan. Well, that must have got him to thinking... he had an entire meal of nothing but appetizers! He had pizza rolls, BBQ smokies, french fries, BBQ and hot wings, little pigs in a blanket, fried ravioli, potstickers, fruit salad... I'm sure I'm forgetting something. His dessert was the blizzard of your choice. And he had pop in bottles. The little ones got some playdough for his gift and the older ones shared some funky round magnets that are so strong that they "sizzle" when you get them close together. Paul is always concerned that there won't be enough food- and there is always so much left over that the next day's lunch is taken care of! That's Paul, just making sure everyone is getting taken care of.