Thursday, March 30, 2006
Time to get to work - my class arrives in less than 30 minutes.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
I caught up with my Girl Gang "It's a Wonderful Life". I guess I should say I finished the appliqué on all the prepared blocks. Another installment came just before I left so I'll need to work on that one next. I also got more done on the blocks for Heirloom Stitches and the Jan Patek mystery. I'll post those later.
We had 10 people at the retreat this time. One long-time member didn't make it for health reasons, and another stayed home at the last minute because they bought a new house and had to start getting theirs ready to sell. We had three ladies who attended for the first time - it's so great to make new quilty friends!
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
I was reading through the Stash Quilts ring while eating my lunch here at work, I saw Jeanne's response to Evelyn's challenge. So I went back to Evelyn's page and scrolled down to find the challenge. Somehow I missed it while I was catching up on my blog reading last night. So, looking for an excuse to delay going back to work I decided to see how many I can put on the list from memory. Shouldn't be too hard - remember, I'm the quilter with a spread sheet of 58 PIGS! The hardest part will be deciding what order to do them in. And I'm NOT going to include any of my UFO's on the list.
1. November's Song by Jan Patek - a kit all ready to go
2. Home Sweet Home by the Blackbird ladies - a BOM that I've not yet started
3. Quilting the Garden by the Blackbird ladies - I have the fabrics all stacked and ready for this one.
4. Samples from the Past by the Blackbird ladies - I know just what colors I want to use
5. Tulip Garden by the Blackbird ladies
6. Birthday Rose by Jan Patek - a kit all ready to go
7. Liberty Eagle by Jan Patek - a kit all ready to go
8. Anniversary Stars, a scrap quilt designed by Evelyn Sloppy - fabrics chosen and ready to go
9. New Century Garden by Cherie Ralston and Karla Menaugh - for learning invisible machine applique - a kit all ready to go
10. Pineapple Tidbits by The Buggy Barn - a kit all ready to go
11. Millenium Garden by Jan Patek
12. Garden Botanical by Robyn Pandolph - background all ready to go
13. through 25. Twelve "Celebrate" quilts by Lori Smith - a wallhanging for every month - kits all ready to go
And that is just the beginning. I know I've left off lots of important ones. There are quilts on Bonnie's Quiltville site. Antique quilts in my quilt search books I want to recreate. Classic quilt patterns I want to do again. And many, many more.
Picking only 25 is impossible!
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Even though we couldn't walk to the beach we still got some exercise. Yesterday morning we three ladies took the dog for a walk into town. We got our coffee for the morning, then Chelsea, Rebecca and Chewie walked to boardwalk while I visited the quilt store. I think I was very good - just one small sack full went home with me, in spite of the fact that they were having a fat quarter sale. Ninety-nine cent fat quarters are very hard to resist, but I bought only 8. I bought 5 yards of cheddar to go with a scrap quilt - maybe the strings - plus a half yard of a civil war fabric that particularly appealed to me. I bought a packet of 6" squares of the new Moda collection called Poetry. That gives me the pleasure of ownership at a very low price, and the pieces are plenty big enough for scrap quilts. Here is a picture of the haul. The round trip was a little over 3 miles, so that was a very nice walk on such a beautiful morning.
I did get one pattern also - a red and white ABC redwork pattern. Remember my collection of red and white fabrics? This might be just the ticket for using some of them. Unfortunately you can't see all the cute embroidery pictures in this scan, but you can see how they all fit in the center of the neat quilt blocks. They are color-book like drawings of things from childhood representing all the letters of the alphabet. This one will be fun to do, as I enjoy simple embroidery very much. But believe it or not, I have no plain white cotton broadcloth in my stash! I'll have to buy some white fabric in order to do this.Better call it quits and get back to catching up on laundry. After all, I have only 2 days to pack for my quilt retreat!
Friday, March 17, 2006
I managed to piece two more blocks on Wednesday night, and I'm already playing with ideas. I like the graphic design when I put them this way on the design wall. I'm thinking of doing a double sashed quilt - with a small 1" sashing inside each four block set. What do you think of solid black sashing with cheddar setting squares? Then maybe the larger sashing in a bold red? When I'm at the retreat next week I can cut some strips to play with on the design wall.
I also have these baskets of 2" squares to deal with. There's a funny story about these squares - at least it's funny to me because it's so typical of my quilting. In 1992 I got to go to the Houston Quilt Festival with the Daisy Kingdom entorage. I took a scrap class from Dara Duffy Williamson. We were to bring "a large varied collection of fabrics". I just couldn't decide what to take, so I cut an 8" square from every piece in my stash to take. My suitcase weighted a ton! In the one day class I made a total of 4, six-inch blocks. The lady next to me didn't read the class sheets and had brought a total of 4 fabrics so I shared my loot with her, but still brought most of it home untouched. Fast forward about 5-6 years. I took an "Illuminations" class from the Watercolor ladies- Pat Magaret and Donna Slusser. I needed 2" squares of lots of fabrics, so I cut my remaining 8" squares into 2" squares. Illumination turned out to not be "my thing", so all I accomplished was putting some squares onto a design wall. In the meantime I had 15 pizza boxes full of 2" squares sorted by color and value. Fast forward to the present and Bonnie's leaders and enders. I dumped all the squares into two baskets and have been stitching them together as a leaders and enders project ever since. I have no idea what I'll do with these - I imagine as I continue to stitch them together they'll tell me what they want to be. In the meantime I'm having fun visiting my stash in tiny increments.
After work today we're heading to the beach with our kids for the weekend. I'll miss everyone while I'm gone, but hopefully I'll have some completed appliqué blocks to show you on Sunday night!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Revisiting these fabrics from quilts made log ago is lots of fun too - even all the tiny calicos. I had so many of these because I had a doll and teddy bear making business for 7 years when my kids were in grade school, and they all had dresses, aprons hats, etc. made out of calicos. When I got tired of the business and went back to teaching my remaining fabric inventory - which was large even then - got renamed my "quilting stash". There are even some scraps from dresses I made my daughter and granny dresses and maternity smocks I made myself. What fun memories! I'm having so much fun that I've almost reached the point of deciding to take all these baskets with me to the retreat next week and focus on making strippy blocks. I can appliqué in between machine sewing sessions.
I can hardly wait - the last week before retreat is always the hardest. I only get to see these quilty internet friends from all over Washington and Oregon twice each year when we get together for a retreat. Isn't the internet wonderful! There are so many wonderful quilters that I never would have met - both in "virtual" and in person quilting sessions - without it!
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Sometimes I have such a love-hate relationship with this computer!
I didn't want to work on any of my appliqué as I'm saving it for the beach and the retreat, so I finally got around to dealing with my strings. I've been stuffing strings in baskets for years and years. I'd no idea how many of them there were! They were in a tangled, wrinkled mess - I had no idea there were so many of them. I had to start by pressing them - at least enough to get started. Then I found an old phone book ala Bonnie - I knew I had at least one around here - and cut out big squares. By the time I got to sewing I found time to make only two blocks. I wanted to see how they would turn out, because these are all really ugly fabrics. At least ugly to my 21st century mind. They are almost all from my 80's calicos - fabrics I gave away to charity about 5 years ago. It's neat that I'll have bits of those fabrics in a quilt this way - and they don't look ugly at all in the string blocks. I'm already thinking how I'll set them together. Maybe with black? Or how about cheddar? As Bonnie says, cheddar goes with everything!
Monday, March 13, 2006
I partially finished the Girl Gang tree block also - and that was it! I was all washed out on Saturday with the rapid time changes - at least I'm sticking to that story - so I spent the morning reading and then finished the tree block, the pineapple block and the snowman block. That allowed me to stitch all the bottom pieces together. Here's what that looks like now.
So I still have 5 or 6 prepped applique blocks to do. That's OK - we're going to the beach this coming weekend with the kids and their spouses so I'll need some handwork to take along. I also have a quilting retreat coming up the following week that I mainly want handwork for. So I probably still don't have enough for all that time and will need to find more hand projects to work on.
Reminiscing now . . . 1991 . . . both kids are now in high school with our daughter entering her senior year and our son entering his sophomore year. That meant lots of volunteering as parents to help with various school activities. I was substitute teaching then, with a long term maternity leave job all spring and starting a one-year half time extended kindergarten contract in September. I also became president of the quilt guild in September. I was teaching quilting at Daisy Kingdom in Portland Oregon. Helping dear daughter with the college hunt. It was an incredibly busy year! Can't believe it was 15 years ago now!
I've finished reading all the blog entries that were posted while I was gone. Didn't take time to comment as I wanted to get through all of them. I'll do better from now on and post comments again. It's really great to be home - I'm basically a home body. I get too lonely for (1) family, (2) friends, (3) sewing machine, (4) fabric, and (5) chatting, reading and posting about quilting with all my Internet buddies - not necessarily in that order!
I enjoyed the walk down memory lane a few of you posted about. So here's mine:
In 1976 I was a stay at home mom with a daughter who turned two in June and a son born in May of that year. Two kids were 100 times more work than one! I was doing everything I could to stay home - we were so broke! I sewed all our clothes - even tailored a suit for my school teacher husband. I had a vegetable garden in our tiny backyard - filled every corner with garden! I canned about 1500 jars of fruit and vegetables, and froze what I didn't can. I taught piano in the afternoon to about 15 kids - most of whom didn't practice so they never progressed much - that provided money for milk and eggs in between the monthly paycheck. Sometimes I just played with my kids all day. Those were such happy times!
I need to get ready for work. I'll post about 1991 later today.
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
I have at least 10 prepped appliqué blocks - probably more - that I'm taking with me. I know I won't finish them all, but they aren't heavy and I don't want to take the chance of running out of things to do! Typical quilter - I know.
Have a great week everyone - I'll "see" you on Saturday.
Sunday, March 5, 2006
Speaking of backpacks - I tried to find one of ours and apparently we've stored both of them in our tent trailer - which is in storage at our son-in-law's parents house. That goodness for kids - I just called our daughter and they have one I can borrow. I need something big enough for my purse, my stitching and food. Guess they just don't serve meals on flights any more, but I know I'm going to get hungry before we get to Indianapolis at 10:30 p.m. That will be 7:30 according to my Pacific body time, which is still after dinner. We take off about 1:30 -right after lunch. Looks like we have a one hour layover in Chicago, so hopefully we can grab a little hot food there between gates.
Had an unexpected visit from our son this morning, which was a nice treat. He and his wife live in Newberg Oregon - a little over an hour away - so we don't get to see them more than once a month or so. He was over here for further testing with the Vancouver Police Department - he's hoping to have a second career as a police officer. He's been unemployed for almost a year in spite of his college degree - he's a software developer who took a severance package from his company when they decided to move everyone to Florida. As much as I hate him being unemployed and worry about them a lot, I wouldn't have handled them being in Florida at all well. He had no trouble getting his first two jobs - one right out of college and another when the first company went bankrupt - but now most of the software developer jobs seem to have moved to India. He's sure he could go to work for Microsoft, but they don't want to move to the greater Seattle area because they could never afford a house up there. I've been holding positive thoughts and doing a lot of praying for them, but so far nothing. He really wants a career change to something meaningful in the community, so I'm hoping the police officer thing will work out.
Packed up my small number of winter decorations and got out my small number of spring decorations. I thought I had lots more, but I guess I was thinking about all the Easter things. I have 10 or so beautiful china cups and saucers - many that I inherited from mine and my husband's family - plus a few teapots that I love. I've put them out in the dining room and living room - they look so very spring like! Hung a St. Paddy's day wreath by the front door and called it good. Did four loads of laundry, took care of all the clutter strewn about, and got my suitcase mostly packed.
I sure missed stitching today!
Saturday, March 4, 2006
I put my "It's a Wonderful Life" prepped blocks up on my design wall so I could refer to them when I'm choosing additional fabrics. I decided to take a quick picture of them to show you. A couple of them aren't in the exact places they will be in the quilt - the top house and baskets are actually higher with additional blocks in between, and the winter house is actually farther to the right with a strip of star blocks on the left. I get a good feel for how things are looking even though parts are missing - so I threw them all up there anyway. Four stars to piece, and one more house to prep, then I'll be all caught up with the patterns that I've received. Aside from the fact that lots of appliqué still needs to be done. Minor details, right?
I'm using felted wools and ultrasuede in my blocks in addition to cottons. The cat, the school boy's hair and the books are felted wool. The book straps are ultrasuede. The house is "The Winter House" on the bottom of the quilt. The "Spring and Summer House" and "The Fall House" are two of the blocks I'm prepping today. I don't like the fabric I sewed to the top of the winter house. It's a blue and white plaid that I really liked, but I discovered it's way too light when I took the picture. Today I took it off and will find something else that works better. I'm sure having fun making this quilt!
Here are the blocks I prepped for "Its A Wonderful Life" - Jan Patek's 2005-2006 Girl Gang quilt. It's a typical Jan Patek quilt - lots of different sized blocks and a lot of appliqué. I'm doing this one totally from stash. I'm sticking to her basic color scheme, but changing it a bit. Hers goes from light to dark from the top of the quilt to the bottom - the picture isn't the best - but mine is going to be more even in color value.
This is the second block of the Jan Patek and Cherie Ralston 2006 mystery quilt. I really like the reverse appliqué on the flower blossom. The other piece of fabric is there under the flower fabric - it will show when I do the appliqué.
Here are the blue berries and all the flower centers for the next block. I like to use the mylar circle method. I run a gathering stitch around the outside of each fabric circle. I pull the gathering thread tightly, encasing the mylar circle inside. This makes a very smooth circle. I spray them well with fabric sizing, then press until dry. Once they are cool I release the basting stitches and take out the mylar circle. Works like a charm - perfect berries and flower centers!
Here are the next two blocks for Heirloom stitches. The flower centers go on these two blocks. I've had the basket block pieced since last weekend, but am just now getting to the appliqué preparation.
Finally I thought I'd show you the eagle block. The banner is finished. I had to rip out about 6 applique stitches to change the placement - took about 10 seconds. Seems like it took forever to place the three parts just right - especially the part in the eagle's mouth, and get it stitched down "just so" with tiny stitches. I heaved a big sigh of relief when that was over. Doing the rest of the appliqué will seem like a "piece of cake" after than part!
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Somehow I managed to volunteer to co-chair the making of our little guild's 2006 contribution to the Northwest Medical Team Quilt Auction next November. Our community has been putting this on for several years, and the amount we raise gets bigger each year. Last year it was over $40,000. Northwest Medical Teams are made up of doctors, nurses, dentists, surgeons, etc. who volunteer their time to go anywhere in the world where they are needed to deal with either natural or man-made (read war) disasters. I know they were very active in the hurricane recovery efforts in Louisiana. Anyway, my co-chair chose the colors and patterns. Not at all what I usually work with, but it certainly helped me use up some stash. We're showing this to the guild tonight and scheduling work parties to get it finished. I was supposed to make blocks in the opposite colorway also - white center and white outside ring - but I didn't discover that until bedtime last night. I didn't look at the picture closely enough, and the second block layout was two pages farther into the article. I thought the blocks were set with white sashing. Oh well, we can pass around the magazine picture to give them the idea. This is from an AP&Q - last December's issue I think. I don't like the pink at all - I'm going to take it off that block and substitute another color.
It's been a very busy week had work - hence no posts since Sunday. Got to get in the shower now - duty calls!