Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Somebody's In My Bed!

Poor Red! Ginger stole his big bed and he had to try to fit into her medium sized bed. He doesn't quite fit, but he prefers it to the floor.

Maybe she'll vacate by evening bedtime.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 28, 2009

What's on my design wall?

I am getting ready for Longarm University's New Year's Day Mystery Quilt. I got my top pieced yesterday. Cindy is calling this the Not Quite Traditional Mystery Quilt. To play on the theme I went with reproduction fabrics in cheddar, indigo and shirting prints.

I still have to prepare the backing. I think I'm going to splurge and buy wide muslin. I really don't like piecing backing.

There's still time for you other machine quilters to sign up. The class is quite reasonably priced and the quilt is easy to piece. Come on, join us. It's a great way to spend New Year's Day. Much better than sitting in front of the TV watching football bowl games. Plus you get to have a quilt when you're done!

This was last year's New Year's Day mystery quilt.

This was this summer's mystery.

Remember to visit Judy's blog to be inspired by what others have on their walls.

On the family front, I wanted to post this picture of the grandsons in my rocking chair.

This was my chair when I was a little girl. I remember driving with my parents to pick it up from the furniture store. I liked the chair a lot when I was little. My father had to recover it a couple of times for my two younger brothers to use it. I don't even remember the original fabric.

My husband had it reupholstered for me. It was looking a little worse for wear. We all liked it a lot when we were little.

The boys like it a lot too. It doesn't seem to hold the same appeal for the girls.

We celebrated DS birthday today. Twinkle Toes wanted to make sure that Daddy got all his candles blown out so that he would get his birthday wish.

I want him to get his birthday wish too, but someone had to take pictures. I let Twinkle Toes do the helping.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Thank you, to everyone who has visited my blog, and thanks to all who leave me comments. I love reading the comments. With your comments and encouragement I finished my Christmas quilt.

I'm still working on hand stitching the binding, but that is cozy evening work.

I did go with feathered wreaths for the solid blocks. I thought about trying to come up with a different design, but decided to go with a design I knew I could quilt without stress.

Last night I was playing with EQ6. (Who knew I'd have so much fun with this? Not me, that's for sure.) I came up with this for next year's Christmas project. As I've been trying to clean up my sewing area, I found quite a few Christmas fabrics. The greens and reds will be scrappy, but the golds will be consistent, so I get to use up more stash. Hurray!
Have a very Merry Christmas,
and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

This post should be called, "What's on my design wall?" However, this is really a cautionary tale entitled, "Read before you sew."

There is a similar adage in the non-quilting world called "Look before you leap."

Here's my story.

I played with EQ6 and came up with this design.

I thought it was a little bit boring, so I looked at my border book, Pieced Borders, the Complete Resource.

The first design that I liked was #158 Chevrons. On the following page is design #179 Chain of Parallelograms. Well, my teacher brain said, "They're both parallelograms. I'll do the first one."
I looked at the rotary cutting chart and cut all my diamonds and triangles. Then, and only then, did I notice that there was something that didn't seem to fit. The triangles didn't seem right to me. Back to the book I go, and actually read the authors' directions.

There it is on page 73, a lovely, clear explanation of the difference, in the quilt world, between a diamond and a parallelogram. Further down on the page is this, "A few borders such as #158 and 157 require set-in seams."

Y seams! I've cut my fabric and don't have enough to re-cut. I'm sunk! So, I'm still stitching Y seams rather than having this on my frame for quilting.

Also, now that I'm getting the border on I can see that the border is really too visually heavy for the interior of the quilt. I guess no one will be knocking on my door to have me design a quilt for them.

This is my reworked idea for this quilt. I like it a little better than my original design, but I'm still not crazy about it.
Now, the quilt I'm actually making did have some requirements, use the fabric I already had, and no buying new fabric. I can live with the quilt I'm making, and I'll enjoy cuddling up with it on Christmas morning. Maybe not this Christmas with all those Y seams, but some Christmas.

Visit Judy's blog to see what others have on their design walls.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

But, wait there's more!

I decided that the little Christmas quilt needed some perking up. I tried adding different borders. The hourglass border and the chevron border are my two favorites so far. I'm pretty sure I have enough fabric for either border design.

I think that the chevron border might be easier (faster) to stitch.
I'll just stare at them for a bit and mull them over in my mind while I'm finishing the last customer Christmas quilt.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What's on my design wall?

Wow, I have something on my design wall! During a bit of quiet time last week I fiddled around with EQ6 to see if I could come up with something that used some Christmas fabric that I bought a year or two ago.

The pattern I came up with is not unique. I'm sure I didn't come up with it. I bet that I actually saw this design in a magazine or on someone's blog. My apologies to you if it was your article or blog. My frazzled brain doesn't remember.

What is new for me, is that I worked it out with EQ6. I played with it until it used just what fabric that I had in my stash.

The other day during a short pity party I started cutting and sewing strips. Because of the plain blocks it didn't take me much time to piece it this far.

I'm hoping that tonight I might get some of the rows sewn together.

Visit Judy's blog to see what she and others have on their design walls.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

Today our family gathered to make gingerbread houses.

The tradition started years ago when my children were in grade school. My husband was stationed overseas on an unaccompanied tour. I was looking for a holiday activity to do with the kids. We made three each year. One for each child and one for the sentries at the gate. We filled the one for the sentries with extra cookies and candy.

We made one for each child this year. However, since two of the children are under two years of age I helped out. I think that the littlest ones would have done a better job.
The roof was sagging. The walls were leaning. Then finally the side wall cracked. The decision was made to make it a car wreck. I haven't been able to make a gingerbread house that held together since the children were little.

It's been a rough week. It was fabulous to be with family.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bad Dog!

My husband had surgery yesterday, so I was gone for a long time. The dogs didn't seem to like being left alone. I guess they wanted to show me how pissed off they were.

At 2:00 a.m. when I got home, I found the pillow mess by the front door and the stained quilt was on our bed.

I don't know what they had on the bed there was nothing left of whatever it was. I got it soaking in the wash first thing when I woke up.

Both dogs knew they had been bad. They skulked around avoiding me.

Today while I'm gone they do not have access to the house. I just hope they don't destroy the back yard.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Border Upgrade

This is a picture of the original border for the Road to California top. I wasn't happy with the border. The density of the quilting wasn't the same in the border as in the interior of the quilt. With encouragement from Carla Barrett, I put the quilt back on the frame.

The colors are quite different due to the difference in lighting. The top is daylight. The bottom is artificial light.

This is the border after re-quilting it. Not a huge difference, but enough that I'm happier with it.

At any rate it is out of my hands now. My husband delivered it for me today while I was at work.

I will be anxious until the show in January. I'm nervous about how my work will compare with others. Anyone out there working a quilt for this exhibit too?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Home Stretch

I got this quilted today. I still have to bind it and sew on the hanging sleeve.

I can be pretty stupid sometimes. I spent so much time worrying about the interior of the quilt I forgot to plan for the outer border. I stitched a simple border. I think it shows that I didn't plan it as well. Oh well, I've go to get it done tomorrow so that my husband can deliver it on Tuesday.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sunbonnet Sue

I finally finished the Sunbonnet Sue quilt with the ruffly borders. I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I'll be much more aware of borders when I take in a customer's quilt. Another lesson learned.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm thankful for family

Spicy had requested a purple scarf. Being a doting grandma, I made one. The yarn was a spur of the moment buy at JoAnn's. I was able to get it done in time to take it to her today.

Spicy was kind enough to model it for me.

It's too bad the child has no personality or style.

On the quilting front, I've been struggling with some overly full borders.
They have been quite the challenge to tame. It has taken me about three times as long to finish the borders as I had allowed. I'll be playing catch up all weekend.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm glad that's over!

Whew! I'm sure glad that panic attack about the exhibit quilt is over. With some help from Carla Barrett, the Quilt Whisperer, and time, I feel that the exhibit top is under control. I plan on starting it as soon as I finish two more customer quilts. I'll let you know when I start and post some pictures.

It also helped to have a bit of retail therapy on the Santa's Holiday Hop. My friend, Pauline and I went to all nine shops. I have high hopes of winning the prize basket containing 45 yards of fabric (not really).

I bought fabrics for Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt as we visited all the shops. The fabric requirements have been posted, but the first clue won't be posted until the day after Thanksgiving. I think I need a few more Christmas green fabrics, but otherwise I'm happy with the fabrics.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How do you decide?

I've been given an opportunity to participate in an exhibit at a large local quilt show. Everyone that is participating in the exhibit has the same design for their top. The exhibit is to demonstrate how the quilting of a top changes the look of the quilt.

The project was given to me in a rather round about way. The person that first received the top decided she didn't want to participate, so she gave it to me.

I'm a part-timer, a nobody in the quilting world, but I want to knock their socks off with my quilting.

This is the top that I was given.

These are some of the ideas that I'm playing around with. But, I'm not 100% sold on any of them. I just can't decide, and I don't have lots of time to hem-and-haw. This top has to be done and returned to the show people by December 1. I have several customer quilts that I have to finish before I can work on this. I'm on Thanksgiving break right now and will have to finish it before I return to work on November 30th..

I look at it and think, pearls in the spines of the feathers? no pearls? simple feathers? innovative feathers? give it all up and do an edge-to-edge design?

I know that part of my problem is that I'm placing so much importance on the project, but I really do want to wow them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What's on my design wall?

Nothing new with the flying geese, but I have started a couple of new take along projects.
This is in the November/December issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting.

This is as far as I've gotten. Obviously, it won't be ready for this Christmas. It is fun though to work on something seasonal during the actual season that it is for. I always have a hard time working on Christmas things in July.

I also started a new pair of socks. No big surprise there.
They are from the book Socks a la Carte. It's a flip book. You pick the cuff, leg and foot that you want. You're supposed to put elastic around the pages to hold your choices, but the elastic on my book doesn't reach the pages. Still it's a fun idea.

I've also been working on my Quilt Whisperer homework. Quilt Whisperer is an online class being offered through MQ Resource.
Nothing wonderful yet. I'm hoping I'll get better.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grandkids are Great!

I had a wonderful, grandchildren filled weekend.

Yesterday, Spicy and Bubba allowed me to take them to the park near where we were visiting a gift boutique. Spicy's BFF came along for the fun.

As I've mentioned before, Bubba loves climbing and slides.

This evening Twinkle Toes and Little Man brought their parents over for dinner. Little Man is sporting his new big boy haircut. Our canine puppy, Ginger, loved having the company of two-legger puppies. She followed them around all night. Of course, she also loved the way a one-year old eats. Ginger was quite attentive by the high chair.
Twinkle Toes drove them over in her sporty pink Jeep. She's such a good big sister!

As they say, "A good time was had by all."