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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Visit with Eleanor

Just stopped by Quilt in A Day while visiting in southern California and guess who happened to be there to see us and give us a little tour of the production studio, updates on the latest book, and a look at the photo shoot in progress of quilts for her upcoming Radiant Star book? Very fun!



And did you see the Stitchin' Heaven New Year's Twitter Party?
Wow!! 2010 is closing with exciting quilting adventures :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Isn't this lovely! It is a closeup of vintage table cloth from an estate sale that reminds me so much of a red one my grandmother had when I was a child. It is in good condition with a little toothbrush scrubbing.

Let me update you on what's been happening....teaching and more teaching until finally the semester is over! Nothing much was done in quilting nor dissertation :(

My track & volleyball diva also needed much transportation and our college international students also needed to eat!

This past week has been a marathon of much needed infrastructure repair. It was so exciting to see it finally getting done! I also had help with painting the entry now that the ceiling has been repaired.

Now that it is Christmas break I expect to have time to blog a little more often :) Should be fun!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My quilting friends - On a roll!

The most exciting news around here is what my quilting friends far away are doing. Coral launched her first blog. It is about her new quilt studio! Go by and offer her a warm welcome to quilt-blog-land! Dolly has been busy sewing on the machine. In fact a recent posting shows a beautiful use of 1/2 square triangles (plus a few squares thrown in) that I think Coral would like! And Coral has a photo of her BEAUTIFUL Sumac quilt posted too! Take a look. Aren't I blessed to have such wonderful and talented friends!
PS. The photos is from about 2 months ago, a quilt in progress, just to add some interest to this posting :) My quilting is all but non-existent due to school/work resumption. Heavy sigh...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Remembering Summer Days

...before my flower basket burnt up in the scorching dry heat these past few weeks. Thankfully it rained a little today. It has been SO hot and dry. And, happily and am back to those citrus wedges. Pinned a few centers together last night to sew on breaks today. YIPEE! Also moving my sewing and papers out of the dining room where they have been all summer, promised to do for my daughter before school starts. It will look much nicer. While I'm at it...thinking about re-arranging the sewing/study room too...hummm....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Seam Night!

SEAM (Sewing, Eating and a Movie) at Quilter's Corner in MWC was very productive!
I trimmed and squared up all circles and "stack'n'whack" squares for last year's Valentine quilt and sewed all the rows together. The evening started with introductions and yummy Mexican food at the restaurant across the parking lot. Then there were 2 movies "Fried Green Tomatoes" and Julia Julia. (est. date)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Beanie invasion!


This week the Citrus Wedges have been put on hold. There is emerald green thread in my sewing machine instead. I am sewing 50 beanies as a fundraiser for our local Habitat for Humanity who supplies the local university with these Beanies for incoming freshman in the fall. This is a long tradition in the university and when the company who formerly made these beanies was no longer able to provide them, volunteers from Habitat stepped in and have been making them ever since. This is my 3rd year to help but this time instead of sewing "parties" individuals take packets home to work on independently. It's going to take a while to sew all the bindings on. That is what I have left after a week of working on them (in the evenings). So far I have finished only 4 but all the others are together, just need the binding - the tedious part. My first ones are OK, but I am looking forward to improving my technique by the time I finish about 10 more :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Citrus Wedges Continue: Background


Now it is time to sew on some background pieces...

More Citrus Wedges!

Sew Fun!

I have been working a little at a time on these Citrus Wedges. They are coming along fine! I liked the last photo I posted so much that I was in no hurry to update the blog - LOL.
But, just so you know I have been working...here is the progress. Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pleasure to the eyes: Citrus Slices

The arcs are sewn but the other is just a mock up for your viewing pleasure. It is a pleasure on the eyes too isn't it!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Color palatte expands for Citrus Wedges

More pieces cut for the wedges of the citrus slices. The pieces are coming together nicely! Next posting will include a photo of a few sewn wedges.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You've Got to See this!

I am having so much fun with these blocks. Have been pulling this together for about a month now. First got the book, then gathering the fabrics from the stash and beyond. Then spent several days cutting out pieces. Just a little at a time and now it is coming together. Sewed my first arc 3 days ago - paper piecing and it went just fine. Not like the disaster that I had when trying my first paper piecing of a six inch Christmas exchange block about 2 years ago. After that I thought I hated paper piecing. Not so with these blocks. It is really fun and easy. No problem getting the paper of either. I like it! And the blocks (arcs) are looking SOOOO good!

Thanks to quilter extraordinaire "down under" Mrs. Quiltsalott for the inspiration and encouragement on starting this project! Take a look at her masterpiece "Licorice Alsorts" to see what I mean. My quilt from Kaffe Fassett' Quilt Romance Book is citrus flavored! (orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon and lime). How about this catchy name? "Candied Citrus Slices" (AKA "Pickle Dish" according to the name in the book but it looks like a cross between a double wedding ring and pickle dish to me. It is missing the spiky points of the traditional pickle dish.)

These colors are so fun to work with and the quilt is so busy and patterned with design and color that gives it that "Australian" look. It reminds me of older quilts that were made with what was available, older mis-matched type prints with prints that I love! Kind of "blended" too. Very fun angle for me using new and old and unlikely groupings of pattern and color. The paper pieced pattern and bright colors are way outside my traditional quilting style, but I am having fun venturing out! The color was inspired by orange left overs from the Indian Paintbrush. I am inspired by those bright oranges! (Oops, that quilt is still without it's binding :(

The challenge so far for this quilt has been coming up with a background fabric that is patterned, but not overpowering, light orange with infusion of a few other colors to tie it with the overall look. I think Mary at Quilter's Corner has helped me solve this. She gasped when she saw the project (and my fabric palette) and was doubtful that we would find what I needed in her shop. But, right off - there was an "America Jane" that seemed to be what I was looking for. I bought a little to bring home and test out. I think it is perfect! Here is a little sneak preview. Not what you would expect is it? But I think it is perfect!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Progress on Memory Quilt


Made a little progress on Grandma quilt (Memory quilt). Here is one block made up. I am hanging in there and having a good writing day - for a change!

Salvaging Jordan's Star

I have been working a little on several items. Went to SEAM night (Sewing, Eating and a Movie) at Quilters Corner and had a good time. I pulled out Jordan's star quilt to see if I can figure out what I had in mind when I started and finish it up.
I worked on it and think I am on track to get it done. It is flannel, so a goal is to get it finished for him by winter. He still uses his raggy "blanky" from many years ago that I made and I KNOW it is too small (short) to cover him any longer. This one is bigger.

I have also been working on various other projects as inspired. I am being very productive a little at a time and am enjoying it immensely! Wish I could say the same for the awful writing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bye Bye Feedsacks

The last wreath is finished and Coral's quilt is on it's way home to Massachusetts. I have really enjoyed quilting the feathered wreaths and can't wait to see how she finishes it. This is the view of the last stitch in the 9" feathered wreath. Thanks for the quilting fun!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The last wreath...

Coral's Feedsack - so close to finished.......well at least my part, the hand-quilted feathered wreaths. This has been such a joy to work on. Hope she is pleased with it when it arrives back in Massachusetts in a few more days. Maybe tonight I will finish - this cooler rainy weather is just right for quilting :)

Memory Quilt mock-up

Guess what... I cut out an entire quilt top in the past couple of days, just cut a few pieces at a time from the "stash". Did not calculate everything so may still have to cut a few pieces here and there. Also, in a move that is very unusual for me, I bought the pattern. Usually I just get inspiration then do my own thing. But I am more or less (more) using this pattern to try this organized approach to a quilting project. It takes little brain power - aside from fabric choices so my brain can stay focused on the necessary writing. We'll see what I can accomplish!. The pattern appealed to the my love for the Blended Quilt look.
Here it is!
The white space in between blocks is the design wall showing through. There will be a few simple 9-patch blocks and some 5x5 patch blocks filling in the holes when finished. I ordered the pattern from The Sometime Crafter's Shop after seeing one she made on her blog. It was a PDF pattern that I received by e-mail within an hour from when I ordered it, talk about instant gratification! (She says it can take up to 24 hrs to receive but she was super speedy!) It is a simple pattern for the price but no postage and it is a very nice detailed cookbook type pattern with charts and tables that are well done, easy to use with a couple options built in. The story of this quilt pattern is also delightful as the first one (see several color versions on the her website) was made from cloth of a woman's dresses as a memory of her for family members.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What's next? The quilt needs a name

This is a brief review of the last week's efforts. I was productive in writing and in quilting :) These activities go together well.First a close up view of the FINISHED (except for label) quilt by request. The original posted pics were not detailed. Next I need help to name this guy so I can get it labeled and really finished :)...Well not counting it having a home yet.

Second, is a brief view of the back of the Charming Baby quilt (Later known as Krista's Baby Boy Quilt.

Third are cut pieces for a grandmother's quilt for my good friend who is a grandma! This goes with the tradition of the Outlaws to make a quilt for any person in the group who becomes a grandma. The quilt goes to the grandma for the little one to use when at grandma's house!

My friend in Spokane is not a quilter, but a dear long time friend (since 5th grade) who I think deserves a grandma quilt too! It is fun to work with some of my color palate too!
Happy Quilting to All!

YIKES! a new version of blog software?? Where is button to add photos? :(
(UPDATE: that was a mess...but all back to normal now :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Update: And the Winner is ...ME (tied for 2nd) YIPEE..... plus Help Name This Quilt!

Thanks everyone for your votes for Aaron's Storybook! WOW! there was an amazing last minute campaign on my behalf that catapulted me from about 5th place to tied for second place (Thanks cousin Brenda!)I wonder how that will work now...I let you know!

In the meantime, I need help with naming this quilt...which was finished in a recent posting ...all except for a label it seems. But for that a name is required. It's hard to see in the photo, but the light squares have cartoon animals driving vehicles. I hope to hear your ideas soon!

Here also is a little glimpse into what a deluge of 5.96 inches of rain in about 8 hours can do to a basement in just a few minutes...YIKES 3 feet deep!! But all dry and clean again now just one week later, even the window wells in the outside :)

Thanks!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Surprize!....

I just entered a little quilt contest. The first of many (2 or 3) that I hope to submit this quilt to. Go and see for yourself..... at Quilting Gallery Beginning on Friday morning until Sunday (June 18-20th) you can vote on your favorite quilt. The quilt with the most votes wins! Maybe it will be mine :) Or maybe you would like to submit something too? This is a weekly - international online (that sounds special!) contest that changes themes from week to week. This week fit perfectly with what I was working on!
Weekly Themed Quilt Contests
More details later...Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quilting again! (Update)

Front and back views (size 40"x52")...Quilting again means writing again too (at least a littlel bit)! Both of these are good! I put all home repairs including painting on hold until July 1st. I just have to take a break, step back for awhile, and get my bearings. It really gets overwhelming to have your house such a mess and people in and out that need " supervision" and money. It is nerve racking and does not allow for focused study /writing/ thinking and relaxing time that I desperately need.

On another note, sweety niece from San Diego is visiting this week and the girls have lots of Oklahoma cultural events planned (including bonfire, swimming, Frontier city, new release of Toy Story 3 on Friday and indulging in yummy local cuisine. We already have hit Sonic, Zios, made so'mores, chicken quesadillas and fresh corn both on the grill, and homemade pizza. The best! They have snow cone stands, Pops and Hamburger King (local old-fashioned diner- scroll the right side of the link to see fab. pics!) on the list too. Dh decided to take the week off. I hope that means he will be participating in the entertainment of the girls :) so I can stay focused. So far, so good with, especially with the food part and everyone is sleeping right now enjoying the best of Oklahoma thunderstorms (a true novelty for the Southern California visitor) to cool off the day. This means time for me to write.

On the quilting front, I finished - yes, 100% done, finished, complete - this quilt pictured. One of the amazing things is that I did it all! (Well, now that I think about it I guess I mostly did it all - dear sis-in-law did some machine quilting on it for me to get it stabilized.) But, I designed it, cut it all, hand quilted, and cut and sewed the binding all by myself! This is a major accomplishment! First because it is actually finished something in only 1 year and second due to the binding which I always feel I need major moral and technical support to do. But, I wasn't even scared! Yea! I machine stitched it on and machine sewed it down in the ditch- just catching the back of the binding. It turned out so good! (for the first time doing it successfully). It might not win a prize but I am proud to have done it and like the results. I must admit I did have to re-do a few spots that did not catch on the back or were too deep - but overall - SUCCESS!

In reality, I totally credit this success to two of my lovely friends!

1st: Most recently (in March) observing my friend Coral sewing on a binding lickety-split with no fear and then letting me finish hand sewing it down in the car on the way to the quilt show. She won a ribbon too!
2nd: To the ongoing and LONG history of technical and moral support by my long time quilting sister "Dot." She always believes in me and is ready to add her support whenever it is needed. Part of her contribution this time probably includes being hundreds of miles away so I could not have her rescue me and sew the binding on for me LOL!
3rd: : I think that my "new" (January) sewing machine really helped with sewing the binding. Nice wide space to work, good walking foot, and foot-down option to help me stay on track. YIPEE! Now I think I am ready to tackle sewing the binding on Paintbrush with some more confidence. It does need to be beautiful enough to go in a show. That's the plan- to give it some local exposure and see what response I get. However, after sewing the binding on, I will be hand sewing it down. No problem, I have confidence in hand sewing skills :)

Another amazing fact, I began this quilt last summer. That means it is done in only one year! Originally planned for donation to TPH fundraiser, now I am told they have enough baby quilts for a while. So, I may hang onto it a little longer to determine the best home for it.

Well, gotta go on this positive note....the flowers in bloom in the front yard...
Happy Quilting Everyone!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Whaaa...I'm sick of the house repairs

Don't read another word unless you are ready to hear an out-and-out grip session.
I know there are a lot worse problems in the world than this, but right now, I am exasperated and will no doubt feel better posting this, sparing my household from any more complaining and myself from headaches and frustration. I've had enough - so I'm going to get it off my chest lest I burst into tears or a tirade that no one should have to hear unless they want to....hence the warning at the beginning of this post.
I'm tired of the mess, the exasperating process of repairs (which have been anticipated for years and are finally getting done), and the unending mounds of dust on every surface in the entire house!(which most recently should have been contained or limited by plastic and has been in the past by others instead of spread with a high power fan to the entire house!! Plus, we just cleaned up from this last week with the ceiling tear out and at least had the forethought to close off areas and limit the spread of it).

This week....Horrors...the last straw for awhile...I can't even be gone to work for 2 hours and come back to the mess yesterday. The lack of consideration in clean up and high quality workmanship is disappointing but also makes me appreciate the other work I had done when they did a great job. Paying by the hour is one thing, I can choose to clean up to save $. But, when getting the job bid, I do not expect to have ceiling drywall mud splattered on the floor and walls and not be cleaned up. Granted the entire room is not finished, but I expected each to clean up their their own mess at the end of the job and have it done right! I am too exhausted to "fight" about it anymore. I need to just get over it and move on.

One of the difficulties for me is when I see something early on that is bothersome about the work and discuss it and get told "It'll be fine," "You won't even notice it when it's finished" HELLO - I am noticing it now and that won't change in a day or two. Please fix it. Telling me why it was not done correctly/well...that does not help either! I DO notice it and I want to hear idea on how to fix it or to discuss it in advance when a potential problem is recognized. It is exhausting to try and deal with it after they just go on and do something, and then "argue" that this is the best that can be done. Technically the contract does not say that it will be flat- just smooth - Grrrrr.

Now what? How do I live with the droopy ceiling that is supposed to be just "fine", that "no one will notice" and is what to expect when dealing with an old house, blah, blah, blah" or do I start saving up the $$, rip it out and have a previously satisfactory/quality drywaller re-do it in the fall (earliest) if he becomes available. I keep saying that I'd rather have it unfinished than not done well because it bugs me a lot more knowing I have to live with it this way. My feelings have not changed. And no photo...I have to look at it everyday, I don't want it to ugly up my blog too!

On a brighter note, my son and his good friend did some much needed work in the yard in the past 2 days. Daughter dear also helped tremendously with the clean up and general house-hold duties. Neither complained. Snow cones and ice cream all around! It was sooo hot. Thanks you guys! You have no idea how much your contributions help around here. Keep it up :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

#3rd week...no quilting


...but the day will come soon to quilt again! Supermom extended her stay by one week to keep up the momentum on the house projects.

Monday, May 17, 2010

No quilting this weekend either...

State Track meet today (postponed from Sat. due to weather) We will go and cheer on our track star diva one more day- 3 races, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, and 4x400 relay) to finish the season. She is awesome!
Spent the weekend doing OBU graduation, knocking out entire plaster ceiling in entry way with SuperMom's help, and cleaning up the colossal mess, having various college students move out and in with all their stuff for the weekend, and for the entire summer, Bible Study and church, tracking massive hail storms that passed through this afternoon, prep-ing and doing final painting in master bathroom and posting final grades for the semester.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

No quilting this weekend...


Track star diva does it again!
Spent the weekend watching that girl run fast...right to a spot in the State finals 100 & 300 hurdles next week!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ta Da! wreath #5 is finished!

I had a little extra time to finish wreath #5 on Coral's Feedsack quilt unexpectedly Sat. night as we waited for the final word on the delayed flight of international student arriving at our home tonight (actually it will be "tomorrow" in the early am, 12:35am). Thankfully dh went to the airport to get him and I can go to bed now!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Feedsack wreath #4 and more!

I finished wreath #4 on Coral's feedsack quilt last night. Also the top of the Charming Baby quilt is complete. Working on a pieced back to "stretch" the fabric from the front of the charmer to make a backing of the same fabrics as in front. Definitely "piecemeal" but trying to make it look as if is belongs that way :) Sewing on the 4th Cog and Wheel block last night too while waiting for the track star to get home from an out of town meet (11:30pm). Here's a sneak peek. When I look at the recent photos, it seems I have a circular sewing theme going on these days. I just happen to really enjoy feathers and curved piecing. Happy Quilting!

UPDATE: 5/2/10
The cog & wheel is a pattern that I found and really liked while in Mass. in March. Pattern by Denyse Schmidt, purchased from the Old Mill Quilt Shop vendor at the quilt show. It is a large block approx. 21" square with gentle - more or less curves. The picture on the pattern -made up shows a real old'timey (ugly to non-true-antique-loving quilters) fabrics. 4 blocks will make a baby size. I cut templates from plastic and have traced them on fabric, cut out individually - the old fashioned way. Used several of the same fabrics as in Charming Baby. It has been fun to be able to do a little at a time in tracing pieced and determining color/pattern. I tried to make it baby-boyish but had challenges with not using flowered fabric. (Same issues as with the Charming baby). So many of my fabrics have flowers in them!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wreath #3 finished!

Worked on #4...more than half way done...during volleyball tournament last weekend.
Very fun! The tourney and quilting!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Paintbrushs Bloom! ...Binding options...?

Live Indian Paintbrush can be see springing out wild along the highways in Oklahoma this weekend. Lovely! How fitting for the homecoming of my Indian Paintbrush that has returned from extending the visit in Massachusetts - since Spring Break.

Kathy Sperino, Mendon, Mass. expertly added the needed quilting to compliment the piece. She did a nice job of outlining the flowers to have them "puff" up a little. Even added some extra batting to accomplish this. She did some careful work to make the outlining successful then added swirls in the very busy background. We planned for treatment of the fractured border as different than the rest to clearly define this feature and she added parallel lines to accomplish this. She really did a good job capturing my vision for the piece and executed it well! Thanks Kathy : (Click quilt image to see some quilting detail.)

Above is the original photo inspiration I took one year ago this very weekend along Interstate I-40, on the way to Muskogee Quilt show and Azalea festival.

Now for the binding.... I have been toying with this and the idea that seems to fit the overall look is to bring backing to front for self binding. I pinned some places to experiment with this look and it accomplishes what I want. Any tips on making this approach successful would be appreciated. I will begin work on it today as my writing reward :) Thanks! (P.S. Thanks to my special friend Dolly for the very speedy reply on the binding tip! I had been thinking how it has also been a year ago since she moved far away...but not to far for internet consultation! YIPEE)

It would be a most exciting and rewarding event for this piece to be complete 1 year from conception to binding! WOW was a fun journey it has taken me on....Going new places, studying with fabulous teacher (Ruth McDowell), learning new techniques, challenging design, color and piecing skills and making new friends (Coral & quilters of the Mass. quilt guild). Too much fun!!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Beautiful Easter Sunday - in bloom


and... a baby quilt progress.
Just beginning to lay it out on the design wall. Need to finish cutting in between strips.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wreath #3

Quick update...Wreath #3 is coming along well :) No picture yet...they are getting redundant :) Worked on it for about 2-3 Friday hours while listening to dd share about her previous track day and current day practice. That worked out well for all :)
Can only do about every other day or 2 with schedule and sore fingers!

The row patches quilt (definitely need a real/better name for it!)... is up on the design wall to organize rows for "random" spread out of fabrics. Looking good. Want to finish by first of May when colleague's baby is due. FUN!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wreath #2 is coming along fine ...

Worked on quilting Coral's feed sack quilt last night. Wreath number 2 is coming along well. I think I am getting into the quilting rhythm as it is going a little faster and my fingers are getting sore - lots of needle pricks - but no blood on the quilt! LOL Didn't start quilting until 9pm and stopped at midnight...it was just so fun! But could not finish in 3 hrs. Up early to take Jaz to school for an out of town track meet. It's a cool rainy drizzly day. Check out FB for the latest on the bathroom updates (paint and shower fixture installed). Did not duplicate the info. here. Writing today... for quilting time rewards :)
Happy quilting everyone!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Starting Something New?...

Ok, so I did start something new... Couldn't resist! A gal at work is expecting and I am behind the curve on this one. She has 2 girls and this will be a boy..in only 2 months. (Yes, I knew before now but was not quilt inspired yet.)

I was finally inspired by a quick fun project that I saw online the other day on SewMamaSew's blog. Simple yet stunning and my chance to practice simple machine quilting (I think just straight or "wonky" lines - cute, descriptive words of online quilter) as shown on this blog.

My personal challenge was to use fabric I have on hand. With the "gazillion" choices, how hard could it be. But I found out that I have a VERY limited palate for baby boys with the green/blue boy theme. I have mostly luscious (to me) old-timey floral and deep earthy colors. I could come up with some girly pink and yellow ...but for a boy it was slim pickins!

I am very pleased that I was able to dig into my Amish solids and find a gray that will set the background for bright blue, green, brown and jungle print. This pattern was easy and fun to cut out of my scraps and I cut it out last night. The photo shows the pieces cut and stacked for my reward sewing minutes once I get back to writing. This is good writing motivation! Now I hope it will go together just as easily!

Here is a sneak preview...