Saturday, September 30, 2006

The MOST important sewing of all!

My son loves his Elmo - you might have noticed Elmo in a photo here and there... and, well, Elmo is starting to show a bit of wear and tear from all that loving. And, well, his eyes came apart at the seams and the stuffing was coming out - could be from being dragged on the floor? In anycase, I had one very anxious Little Boy watching as Momma very carefully sewed those eyes back together, all the while assuring him that this was not hurting Elmo - not one bit.

All fixed! Not the prettiest sewing - but it has to hold together (oh - and I had to be fast!). And, Little Boy was just hugging and loving his Elmo, cooing in glee that HIS Elmo is all better now. Yup, the MOST important sewing of all!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Green Ocean Waves is Finished!

About 76 X 95 - Little Boy was sort-ov pulling on the tape measure, but I think that is pretty accurate! Actually - I finished it before we went on our get-away, but didn't have a chance to take a photo - gasp! And - today I might have jumped the gun taking a photo at 7:30 in the morning - because the colors are a bit dark... that is a dark green outer border, not black.

And - a close up of the fabrics... DH LOVES designer prints and wants to know why I don't make ALL my quilts out of fabrics like this!!! Does that comment constitute a license to spend? Ha, ha, ha. Well guess what? I've been doing such a good job of busting my stash that the day may come sooner than I anticipated!

I've posted about this top before, but I think it bears repeating - because it was months ago... I bought 3 - I think 3 - fat quarter packs on clearance at a quilt shop - all in greens. I only got the pale peach marble fabric cut that day - umm, shopping with a toddler can be a very FAST experience some days! It was the only fabric I had on hand, so all of it had to be used, whether I liked it or not. And all together, even the uglies look pretty in this top. After I got the top pieced, I bought the border fabric. And - how long did this top take??? I started it last fall, left it in the USA while I went to Austria and then started working on it again this spring. Under 1 year!!! And that is with me working on other things too.

It isn't "exactly" straight - but I don't think it is too bad - I noticed the last border was a bit off... but as Bonnie says ( Maybe not perfect, but certainly PLEASANT!!! And, I really don't care if the quilter has to take a tuck here or there to ease things in - I am absolutely THRILLED with this top!!! Yippee!!! It is "perfect" to me, in every way - I even have a photo of Little Boy and I working on pinning it together this spring - maybe a photo label? And - in case you are wondering - I am keeping this one for myself (actually, I keep the majority of my quilts!).

And - last but not least - the pattern is from this book - Leisure Arts presents Encyclopedia of Classic Quilt Patterns - their sample is an Amish color-way. This is one of my favorite books for the treasure trove of traditional patterns featured!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Last Day

The last day of our mini-getaway and we went to Hopewell Rocks ( ! Here are 2 photos from today of the rocks, and 1 photo from last year (high tide). I was not interested in waiting around today to go back just to take photos of high tide, but if you have never seen it before - it is well worth going back for the 2nd look. For us, the fun is in walking on the ocean floor before the tide comes in. Oh - and of course, Little Boy just adores a picnic. Let me tell you - the last thing I am interested in doing 1st thing in the morning is a bunch of lunch prep - but you know, at lunch time when we are absolutely starving - it is sooo worth it! So often, our own food is 100 times better than what you can buy in the area.

It was a perfect "fallish" day - a bit cool with a slight breeze, but still warm in the sun. And a bonus - the sky was very blue! All my previous photos of the rocks are with gray skies, so I was happy to get some blue photos! Even a better bonus - the tide was low in the morning so we were able to go there, have our picnic and be back in time for nap time! Yeah! There are other fun things to do in the area, but I need to pace myself with a toddler in tow!

Actually, we were a bit late in arriving, so rather than RUSH down the hill in a big hurry (which just isn't going to happen when you have to stop and look at just about every pinecone and pick up pebbles), we got tickets to ride the golf cart down AND up the hill. You see, after a certain time, with the tide coming in, you aren't allowed down on the ocean floor. But truth be told, I am thinking that the 2 golf cart rides were a highlight in Little Boy's day! I think it might have even made up for the fact that the icecream stand was closed (lots of things are now closed as we head into the off-off season). Usually we walk down the hill and then take the golf cart UP. This is no ordinary golf cart - this is the stretch limo golf cart version - LOL! Anyway, it all worked out because we had plenty of time to explore around down there and even came back up before we were asked to leave... afterall, we were hungry and had that picnic waiting for us!

Little Boy loves to explore the shore and you might notice - he has found a puddle! This is very muddy, muddy mud - as a matter of fact - there is a foot wash station up top. Well, with my son - forget the footwash station -this Momma comes prepared with a complete change of dry clothes! And - truth be told - I would rather that he explore the puddles than try to climb the big rocks or run under the ropes for the "out-of-bounds" areas - ummm, which would be what he was trying to do last year!

We've had a wonderful few days away...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Toddler run!

Little Boy just loves to run - so I am always on the search for a nice, safe place for him to do so. This boardwalk fit the bill nicely today... And lucky us - we just missed the rain. You can click on this web-site for more information...

Lost post?

Humm - Blogger is playing tricks on me and just lost a post... with photos, sigh. And, now it won't let me repost with the photos again. Weird. So my post is gone - except that I could see it through Bloglines. Weirder still! Because according to my own blog, etc. the post doesn't exist. So - sorry if you are seeing something and can't comment or don't see anything at all... just one of those things, I guess. A lost post that some of you might see?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Last Day of Summer

Today is the last day of summer... and we spent a good part of it outdoors. It was one of those perfect "fallish" days - bright blue sky, crisp air, a bit of a breeze... We went here - . This is a photo of The Confederation Bridge which connects New Brunswick to PEI (it is 12.9 kilometers long and opened in 1997).

And looking the other way - there is a lighthouse out on that tip.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More PJ's

Another pair of flannel PJ's - multi-directional print of construction trucks this time around. Same pattern as before (see July 26th). I used velcro dots instead of buttons for the shirt. The pants are long enough - he is just sitting down so they look shorter. Yup, I have one happy Little Boy! Of course - he picked out the fabric himself. Next time we go shopping he can pick something else out...

My stairs... they go around a corner and don't go all the way to the wall... a bit weird, but it is an old house! Don't worry though - there isn't a drop-off as there is a ledge of some sort on the side. Someone asked me about the stairs before... sorry, can't remember exactly who without going back into my comments and I don't want to lose this post!
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Pin Cushions

Here is a photo of some of my pin cushions... The green heart one I bought in 1992 in a little store while shopping with my Mom. It holds an odd assortment of pins, including a safety pin on the top loop, which I use for pulling elastic through waistbands. I use this pin cushion the most. Every once in awhile I have to go through it and remove the rusting pins and the bent pins!

About 5-6 years ago I made a bunch of heart ornaments for Christmas presents and kept several of them for little pin cushions - they say things like Hope, Peace, Love, Joy... in metallic threads. The little ones are very handy, although the pin points come out the back! I also have a box (or 2) of long quilting pins (some of those are in the pin cushions). And then there is my box of silk pins (very fine pins for sewing clothes/slippery/fine fabrics), which I keep seperately.

What do your pin cushions look like, or do you not use them?
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Monday, September 18, 2006

My knitting project

Well, 1 skein of 4 knit, 2- 3 more to go. This is supposed to be a Cape Cod Shell Scarf using Frog Tree Alpaca yarn. The pattern called for 4 skeins but I am thinking that 3 will do very nicely. You can see the pattern here: . Anyway, I don't think that my scarf looks anything at all like what it is supposed to so I am a bit disappointed because the store sample was beautiful... but I still like it and have invested a fair amount of time already, so I will keep going. It isn't like I don't know how to knit... for the life of me I can't figure out how to get the pattern to look like it is supposed to. Oh well, it is an easy pattern and fairly mindless - after a long day I do like to sit down and knit a few rows. When I finish this - I really should finish my Nordic ski sweater, ah, but that requires me to actually concentrate - HA! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Maybe a wedding quilt?

70.5" X 72" - another family quilt. Perhaps this is my Great Aunt Eva's wedding quilt? She married in the late 1800's. I just don't know...

When I was growing up, this quilt was beautiful - always kept in the closet and brought out only once in a great while to admire... but in recent years it has been heavily used and left on a sunny bed. Due to fading - it is hard to get a good photo.

The piecing/applique is absolutely perfect! The quilting is a little flower in the center of each block. Each heart is quilted inside and outside the line, so you have a double heart. And - can you see? The borders are quilted with little tiny ripples.

Like many New England quilts - this one has cut-outs for the 4 poster bed. The cut-out is 4.5", the side and bottom borders are 4.5", the top white border is 4" and the blocks are almost 7". I think it probably would have fit the 3/4 size beds - they were bigger than a twin, smaller than a double - some of my beds from when I was younger were this size.

And - a photo of the backing.

Some of the pieces are pieced to use every scrap of fabric... and I think the quilter probably ran out of blue, hence the light top border. If you think about it though - you never really see that top border anyway if you put your pillows on top of the quilt so a top border is a good choice for a different fabric.

I imagine it was a special quilt when it was made as there are only 3 fabrics total (2 for the top and 1 for the back). A very special purchase, indeed, for that day and age, if this quilt really is as old as I think it may be.

And - I've never seen another quilt like this one before, so, despite it's fading and stains, I am happy that I at least got a chance to measure and photograph it!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Just a few scraps...

My 4th(?) quilt - it is 34"X44" and made from scraps. That would be scraps from BEFORE I had a scrap bin to sort through - all the scraps were donated by one of my sisters, Mom and Nana. I made this quilt in 1990 when I was living in California, which means that I must have packed the scraps in my suitcase after a visit home. Ah, precious cargo! Also in this top are scraps from my pink square in a square quilt with green heart appliques (I showed this one in August).

Over the years I have thumb-tacked this quilt on various walls in different houses - it is a great size for a wall hanging. Yup - I did just say - thumb-tacked. Ah well, what did I know? Currently it lives in my room on a quilt rack, but may find its way back on a wall someday - although I won't be thumb-tacking it anymore!

Go on - take a closer look... each square is 2" so 1.5" finished. Got to love those cotton/poly blends - they don't fade, although many of the fabrics have. Plus - I can spot the fabrics my Nana gave to me in an instant - they are the bright fabrics with bigger prints! I quilted it myself and even though I didn't know the 1st thing about machine quilting - it came out pretty good. The binding is the backing folded over to the front and sewn down. And, I even labeled/dated it - using a laundry marker on the back. When I finished this quilt I asked for (and received) some more scraps. I got enough scraps to keep going...

I liked making this quilt so much that I made another one, but bigger - which I gave to one of my sisters (who was very generous in sharing her scraps!) and is now on her queen bed... but that is a post for another day - got to get a photo! And - the scraps from the 2 quilts were made into string tulips - again - a post for another day. Maybe I made the 2nd quilt using the same pattern again because back then I had very little in the way of quilting patterns, books or magazines.

I think the name of the pattern is Road to St. Louis - but I can't go double check right this moment. The directions were taken from Even More by Trudie Hughes - my very first book with rotary cutting instructions (and look - I STILL have the book!)... and this quilt was the very first quilt that I ever used a rotary cutter for! Anyway - the book cover refers to the method as "template free", gosh - does that seem like forever and a day ago? We take rotary cutters for granted now! It is pretty much a given that any pattern you buy now will have rotary cutting instructions.

How did I sort my scraps back then? I didn't - I used them all to make quilts!

More thoughts on scraps to come...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How much fabric?

This quilt measures 66X75. It was probably made by either my Nana or Great Aunt on my Dad's side of the family.

A little detail - the fabrics are old! So I am guessing late 1800's, early 1900's, but I am not a fabric expert! Each complete block measures 6". Many, many, many of the 3" 4 patch units are pieced from 2-3 pieces of fabric (you can see the top right brown square is pieced), but interestingly enough the backing is all the same fabric - that one big piece of fabric must have been a true treasure! The seams are more like 1/8", the binding is the front folded over the back and is frayed or gone in some places. The big blocks have diagonal quilting going across, the 4 patches are stitch in the ditch and then diagonally through the squares to make a diamond, the borders are diagonally quilted. So, lots of work for this quilt. Obviously, it has had lots of use... AND then, at a much later date someone went back and very carefully appliqued new pieces of fabric over the pieces of fabric that were coming apart! Can you see the new pieces? They are the ones that don't fit - like the big blue geometric print square in the 3rd photo. You can really see the new patches when you look at the entire quilt.

Does looking at these old quilts ever make you stop and think about "making do"? I don't think how to sort scraps was ever an issue for these women! The issue must have been more like gathing enough bits and pieces of fabric just to make the blocks.

If you are just starting to quilt - you don't NEED a closet full of fabric to make a quilt. Most quilts take just a few yards of fabric. You just need a some scraps, add a few fat quarters from there and keep going. Some of my first quilts were made from scraps given to me by family members. If you want/need fabric to make a quilt - speak up! Someone will give you more than enough to get started! Eventually, you will be wondering how to sort your scraps. And then finally, maybe some day, someone will ask you for some scraps to get them started in quilting!

This post is a result of Mommi asking me how I sorted my scraps... got me to thinking about this quilt and how at one time in history, quilter's didn't have scraps to sort!... so although this isn't the answer on how I sort my scraps, it is part of the answer... to be continued!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Working on the hearts...

The hearts are sooo close to being done that I've decided to work on them instead of the 9 patches - a "legal" decision since I haven't even started the 9 patch progress other than washing the setting fabrics! I made 2 more blocks to make an even 20 and have pieced the 1st section together - you do this in sections so you can adjust the different block sizes as you go. All the hearts are novelties and I fused them down and then used my blanket stitch on my sewing machine to sew them down.

I got the inspiration/directions for these blocks from this book: Folk Art Quilts - A Fresh Look, by Sandy Bonsib. This is a really FUN book and if you like these hearts it might be a book you might want to consider!

And, when Little Boy discovered my "new" quilt laid out on the floor he was very delighted and promptly sat right down to look at all the fun little novelties inside of each heart. He was sooo cute - he said "oooohhh Momma, I LIKE your new qLuilt!" I will have to have this one backed in flannel as he likes quilts to be snuggy wuggy.

So, one section done. I have the top row of blocks sewn together too. I am happy that all my blocks are "about" the same size because I don't have to do a ton of adjusting - just a strip here and there.

Patti asked me how I could forget these blocks... well - I made them pre-baby so more than 3 years ago. When the baby was 1 month old our house went under agreement and we had to be out in 1 month... except we didn't know where we were going to move! We ended up getting rid of tons of stuff and everything that was left over went into 2 storage containers for 6 months. After 6 months we were moving to Canada and had to make those 2 containers fit into 1 small-ish U-Haul moving truck! Once again - lots of stuff had to go! Many "like" things got packed together (like blocks in the scraps - at least it is all sewing related!). And a scrap bin just isn't something that you think you might have to "unpack" to find out what is in the bottom. So - there the blocks sat until just the other day!

Mommi asked me how I organize my scraps. Ahhh, that is a long-ish answer so I will save it for another day, although I already answered her by e-mail I think it deserves it's very own post!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Scrap Bin Treasure

How did Sam know that there were treasures in the bottom of my scrap bin that Little Boy up-ended the other day? Here is one of them - 18 Wonky Hearts...  Posted by Picasa

Book Jacket

The book jacket - since Blogger won't let me load photos I jumped over to Picasa! Posted by Picasa

A Balancing Act...

the balanced mom - raising your kids without losing your self, by bria simpson, MA - ISBN # 1-57224-453-4 (capitalization taken directly from the cover - as much as that BUGS the living day lights out of me not to type with correct grammar! I can only wonder if bria simpson, MA thinks that Momma's the world over might not have ever passed an English course? None-the-less, title withstanding, I will still HIGHLY recommend this book).

I think that maybe every woman should read this book at least 1X, if not have it on your very own bookshelf! Ummm - I often "order" books through my library and then if I love, love, love it - I will buy my own copy! I paid US$14.95.

Why? Again, another "parenting" book, but truly a book for any care-giver - and that would include those of you with aging parents - or very busy person caught up in the wild spinning of the world!

What do I like about this book? Well, for one thing - the main points are in a bigger font. Ouch. But, yes - I did just say that!!! I can "skim" But you know, some days, skimming is all the time I have and having the main points JUMP out at me - it is a help! Afterall, I am a busy Mom. I even keep my face wash in the shower just to be sure that I wash my face while showering - who has time to wash their face seperately at the sink these days, especially with a 3 year old clamoring for attention??? Ah well, fortunately, I still have a little time in my life so I am not tempted to keep the toothbrush in the shower!- grin!) And, some of those main points do help me through-out my day, so it is nice that I don't have to search for them.

"A perfect parent is a person with excellent child-rearing theories and no actual children" - by Dave Berry - taken from Bria Simpson's blog linked through From making time for your life and values (chapters 1&2), ditch mommy perfection (chapter 5), bring on the fun! (chapter 26), money matters (chapter 28), simplify the holidays (chapter 32), avoiding overindulging (chapter 39) all the way through to from child-centered to family centered (chapter 44), plus all the other chapters in between which I won't list out in detail - this book covers alot of ground. Every single chapter is broken down into main points with bigger fonts.

As Jeanne over at Spiral says... "I am wife, a mother, a daughter, a quiltmaker..." and, I am my own SELF! I don't feel that being a Momma is ALL about the child. And, I don't feel that this is a selfish thought. I need to be able to teach my son that the world does NOT revolve around him, as much as he would like it to. I need to teach him patience, to respect others, to listen, and oh, so much more. These are lessons that will serve him well through-out his life and in future relationships. Don't get me wrong, my life sort-ov does revolve around him, but there are many other things that are combined into that mixture and he needs to learn that, know that and respect that.

This book just helps me to remember all of this - remember to take time for ME, for US (as a couple) and FAMILY. It is a great, great, great book and I can't say enough good things about it!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Peace in my home

9/11 and I see many posts regarding peace. I think we all wish for world peace, but world peace is a bit out of my realm! However... peace at home is a different story!

For me, peace begins in my own home. For me, peace just doesn't "magically happen". We all have stress, emotions, demanding schedules, etc. The challenge for me is how to establish balance in a helter skelter world! Over the next few days I will share some of the books I've been reading this summer, all of which, in some way or another, help me stay on track with my goal of having a peaceful home.

I don't have tons and tons of uninterrupted time to read. I have to fit reading time into my day. So, most of my books are easy to pick up and you don't even really have to know exactly where you left off - you can start reading in any place and get something out of it.

First up would be this book:

Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids - Practical Ways to Create a Calm and Happy Home by Naomi Drew (ISBN # 1-57566-608-1). The book outlines 17 Peaceful Parenting Keys. From the very first key of "Peace begins with me" to the 15 day step-by-step plan to peaceful parenting in the back - this book is wonderful! I especially like the 15 day plan in the back as I follow along in order almost every day and then repeat again when I get to day 15. Of all my parenting books, this one is a true favorite and following the lessons and incorporating them into my daily routine - has really helped me! Each chapter also lists additional resources so if you want to find out more information - there is not 1 list (for parents), but 2 lists (the 2nd is for children!).

I would recommend this book to anyone! Although geared toward parenting, we all have daily relationships and this book is a wonderful reference on how to go about creating harmony in relationships. I would especially recommend this book as a gift to any Mom of children of any age or for anyone who works with kids on a daily basis. The book provides lessons that can help you teach your kids (and yourself) life-long skills in problem solving, being a good listener, dealing with anger, and tons more! For US$14 - how can you go wrong?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Raiding the Scraps!

It appears that a Little Boy has raided my scrap bin!!! And, yes - we did find a safer place to play than the top of the stairs. I must admit - I never thought to just turn the scrap bin upside down - there are some interesting scraps in the bottom of that pile! And, we did have fun picking through some of novelties! And, now - thankfully, I have it all put away, it is almost bath time and then bed time and THEN maybe Momma can sit down and knit a few rows on her scarf!!!  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Octagon Flowers Quilt is DONE!!!

Or at least - ready to send out to be long-arm quilted! 56.5" X 79" - at least I think that is the final measurement - I forget just about any figure as soon as I put down the measuring tape.

And here is a photo of the extra fabrics I had to buy to add to the original blocks I started in Austria during the winter. I only bought 1/4 yard lengths of each and had just enough, with a TINY bit left over for the scrap bin. Plus I had to buy the orange inner border and the navy (with little sparklies) to tie it all together. Amazing that such a little bit of fabric can be made into something so neat! A pile of fabrics equals unlimited possibilities!

I am happy, happy, happy! Check out my August 23rd post if you missed my step-by-step directions on how I made these! Too fun. And, I've seen a few photos popping up here and there in blog land of new flowers and some oldie, but goodies too - it is always nice to post something and then see other people's versions!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

9 Patch Fun!

OK - so who doesn't have a pile of 9 patch blocks in the back of their closet somewhere? I have a nice little pile (from a swap in about 1995?) and these blocks are next up on my UFO/WIP list - just got to get those final borders on at least 1 top so I can start in on these 9 patches! That's the system I use for working on my projects - only 10 allowed at a time.

A great thing about the digital camera is you can play with different lay-outs/fabrics/ideas - take a quick photo and then compare! I find it easier to look at a small photo than the entire thing laid out on the floor. And, I like to know where I'm headed before I start sewing. So, here are 3 ideas I had at one point this summer - but I am not setting my blocks exactly like any of these layouts... you guys will just have to wait and see...

I'm all set to go though because this week I bought the fabric I really need to get these blocks shaped up into a top! But first I need a FINISH... stay tuned...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! Even if you don't have the day off, may everyone take a few moments sometime during the day to stop and be thankful for the fruits of our labor. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Magazine Cover

I got the photo to load using Picasa - Blogger won't let me upload this picture. Anyway - this picture of the magazine cover for Fons & Porter's goes with the post I just wrote. Posted by Picasa

Fons & Porter's VENT

OK - be prepared because I am going to VENT about this issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine. First off, it was wrapped in a plastic bag, so I couldn't flip through it before purchasing, but since I adore the cover quilt AND the cover page promises 11 GREAT QUILTS TO MAKE - I bought it. While there are 11 projects, I wouldn't consider calling it 11 quilts, as some of the sizes are: 30"X18", 17"X13", 36" X 23.5" and 27"X20.5". Right off the top - minus four "quilt" patterns from the list. I think I can live with that in this particular case though because some of the smaller stuff is cute AND like I said - I like the cover quilt.

But the thing that I thought was in VERY BAD TASTE for a quilt magazine that has promoted learning how to quilt for years, plus machine quilting - is a short story called "The Longarm of the Law" by Marily Marks, illustrations by Hannah Fons. Without copying the entire thing, the gist of this story is that a longarm quilter brings a customer to court because the top she brought in to be quilted had "issues". And, the judge handed down a harsh sentence of""6 months of picking out stitches under inadequate lighting with a dull seam ripper" among other penalties.

I know that perhaps the story was intended to be good fun, but I think it just made professional long-arm quilters look like - well, witches with a capital B and would make any potential customer with an old quilt needing to be long-arm quilted to have serious second thoughts about getting it quilted - with such a story as this in mind, I think if I had such a quilt top and didn't know much about quilting - I would throw the top away! Seriously! How could such a story possibly benefit long-arm quilters or the people who are their customers??? I can't see why Fons & Porter's felt the story would be appropriate.

Long-arm quilters certainly have the choice to turn away business that they don't want - it is their business, their choice. And there are many, many long-arm quilters out there that take in all kinds of charity quilts, help piece comfort quilts, help terminally ill people make quilts from their stash to leave as memory quilts, square up crooked quilts, quilt through 70's wool and poly blends with a smile... the list of the generosity of long-arm quilters is long! I just find it shocking that Fons & Porter's would even publish such a story (and it takes up 1 full page and 2 half pages of space). I thought it was insulting, making long-arm quilters out to be overly picky and vendictive to boot (after taking in the top with "issues", the long-arm quilter in the story quilted the top with a very inappropriate pattern for some form of self-therapy!). And one can not help but feel sorry for the poor lady who was dragged into court just because she wanted to get a quilt finished. Gosh, she could have been my very own Nana, spending precious money to have a long ago pieced top quilted to give to one of her grandchildren.

I LOVE my long-arm quilters. They are the very nicest people and they never insult my hard work, even though I am sure they have seen 100X better. If you have a long-arm quilter like the one in this story - I would recommend that you don't throw in the towel on all long-arm quilters - find another long-arm quilter - one who loves what she does instead of complaining about every mis-matched seam. There - I'm done venting. Not sure if I feel better or not, but really - I just felt like I had to stand up for all the 100's of people this story seemed to represent in such a bad light.

Note - the photo won't load, but it is the Oct. 2006 issue with a sunflower/basket quilt on the cover - I will try to put the picture up later...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Country Wife Progress

An update from my July 13th post - all my blocks are now finished for this Country Wife top! Yippee! The outside edges are connector blocks cut in 1/2, cut into 1/4 for the corners - I just have them folded over for a quick photo. I got the rows pinned together today, so progress.

Does it seem like I get alot of sewing done? Because honestly, I don't really spend that much time sewing in the summer. I sit at my machine in bits and spurts - 10 minutes here and there seem to add up. And - I haven't started anything new - if you look over on my list you will see that I've been working on the same 10 projects all summer, just rotating them around (with the exception of Little Boy's train quilt, PJ's, valances/curtains for my sister and some knitting).

1. Green Ocean Waves I started last year. I now have that up to the borders stage.

2. Country Wife - well that would be this top, which I also started last year.

3. Sampler - haven't done a thing on this yet this summer - many of the blocks are years old!

4. Seashell table runner - I started this 2 years ago and am slowly making progress

5. Sunflower Dresdens - didn't do anything on it yet this summer. Started making the little flowers about 3-4 years ago.

6. HST starts - haven't worked on them yet this summer either. Started making these blocks last summer.

7. Checkerboard log cabin - I made the center of this top at least 3 years ago, maybe longer! So, this summer I've gotten most of the checkerboard border done so far.

8. Bind a log cabin - this quilt has been quilted for several years. I finally have the binding cut out so that is progress.

9. Grandmother's Choice - I made all these blocks over the winter in Austria and still have to set them together.

10. Octagon Flowers - I started making these blocks over the winter in Austria, but ran out of funky fabric. So, I've got these all done right up to the last border - almost finished!

So- that is my current list of things that I am picking away on. Nothing new! I keep reminding myself - it is much faster to finish something that is already started instead of starting something new! Every once in awhile I cut out a scrappy quilt to bring to Austria with me for my winter sewing.

Right now I am just too busy enjoying the outdoors, my flowers, long walks, etc. to use my "free" time sewing. I want my Little Boy to have 100's upon 100's of happy summer memories! Something as simple as a wagon ride or time spent at the playground just makes his day! He keeps me busy, that is for sure! When I do sew - it is usually at night and by then I am very tired so most of the time I quit while I am still ahead (before I need a seam ripper!).

It does feel very good to be making so much progress on my list of UFO's though! Once I cross a few off this list, I have a couple more to add that are waiting for their turn on the list. I just feel that 10 at a time is more than enough to choose from! I want to have finished quilts, not started bits and pieces all over the place. I want to bust my stash. And, I want to use the tools/rulers/supplies that I have already purchased. So far, I think I am staying on track!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Seashell Runner

Here are some photos of the Seashell Runner that is over on my list of summer projects. It has lots of fussy applique (which I don't like). Plus, I am using a metallic thread for seaweed and it is a bit persnickery. The man who sold me the metallic thread also sold me a spool of thinner bobbin thread and blue tipped needles (he said those 2 things would help). I used the type of batting that you can iron on and that has worked out really nicely. So, one piece of seaweed (30 minutes) at a time, this project is creeping along. The purple, tea and orange shells are all done!

One great tip about metallic thread - because it does unravel like crazy and gets all knotted... I wrap a little piece of Glad Press & Seal around the spool for storage and it helps tame those crazy ends like a dream! You can get Press & Seal right next to the tinfoil, plastic wrap, wax paper, etc. at the grocery store.