Thursday, September 29, 2005

Thursday's Star

Well one more star for Finn!!! (Partly because I have been sooooo busy at work I just don't have time to write this week) :)

This quilt I designed my own pattern in EQ5 and it is quilted kind of like the one from yesterday with micro stippling and some feathers, but in a different design. But because the fabric is a tone on tone floral it is hard to get a good picture of the quilting. I designed this so you could make this lone star with no set-in seams - I hate set-in seams! I taught this at a reatreat a few years ago for a quilt shop.

Well my weekend begins in a about an hour! My mom and sister are flying in from Delaware to visit for the weekend. We are originally from here (very northern IL) but my sister moved to DE for work and a few years ago my mom decided she needed a change and thought my sister's kids should get more grandma time now that my kids were older, so she moved out to DE and built a house next door to my sister! Anyway she is coming back for her 50 year HS reunion and my sister is coming to help her on the plane and driving and stuff. So I'm so excited to have alone time with my sister! Usually I go to DE but she has a handicapped daughter so we don't often get time alone! It will only be for a short weekend, but I am taking Friday off work to spend tomorrow with them.

And thank you all for your comments on my quilting. I've taken several classes from Diane Gaudynski which really helped. Also have her book and that inspires me! I'm very lucky to live only about an hour from where she lives so get to hit a lot of local classes with her! I'll never be anywhere close to her skill - but it has improved what I can do a thousand fold!

Hopefully this weekend I will get a chance to take a picture of my MOST FAVORITE star quilt that I just got back from the quilters about 2 weeks ago! It is so fun! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Star for Wednesday

Well, since life and work have been so busy, I'm going to keep running with Finn's idea for star quilts! I have plenty of them!

So today my star quilt is a large feathered star quilt I made for my sister to hang in the cathedral ceiling entry way of her home! It is hanging above the coat closet so I needed a pattern that would hold its own from far away! Course I had to do some fancy quilting on it anyway since it was for my sister! She picked out the fabrics which was hard at first for me since they are not my colors/style prints, but they are perfect for her house. And the quilt turned out awesome! I was so happy with the quilting I did! I was pretty proud of it - if I do say so myself! (I'm not a quilting whiz like Bonnie, and I do all my quilting on my Pfaff - not a long arm).

So that is the star for today!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Star Like Baby Quilt

I was going to show you all this anyway, but it happens to also be kind of like a star! It is a sunburst that I just put in my "sunshine on my shoulder" quilt recently, but I turned this one into a baby quilt! Aren't the colors just too sweet!

It will go to my next great-niece (if it is a girl) who will be born in Oct. If it turns out to be a boy - oh well - back to the drawing board! :) I already have 4 great-nieces so it would be really nice if it were a boy!

Monday, September 26, 2005

One quick star quilt for Finn

OK, one quick star quilt for Finn tonight and then tomorrow I'll find a few more. This quilt is one of my favorites! I saw a picture of this quilt in a magazine about 5 years ago and had to make it. There was no pattern, just the picture of this amish antique quilt. So I drafted the pattern and went to an amish fabric store to get the fabrics!

Well at that time I was not going to hand quilt it myself since I knew I would not do it justice, so my friend in France hand quilted it for me! So this quilt has traveled the world!

Not a large quilt, but one that just makes me happy!

I finished it!

I finally got my quilt frame stained, finished and put together and used it last night for my first quilting stitches! This was my big project for the last half a week, so not a lot of other pics to share. But I'm so happy I have it done!

I played with it last night for all the little adjustments and tilts it does! What fun!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Women's Lives 1850-1950 and Quilts

Well I finally got my pictures from the WI Quilt Expo posted on my webshots! Sorry it took so long. I'd love to put notes with them, but that will have to wait awhile I guess - I'm just too busy at work right now.

Pictures 3-6 are miniature quilts at a vendors booth. They finish to about 10"! They were amazing. And of course silly me decided that the way she does them I could too! So bought the freezer paper templates (already cut out) for the apple core one and the one in the first picture (pic 3). The hexagons are only .28"! We will see if I really try it! But I love that hexigon star don't you!

Pictures 7-17 are from Jennifer Chiaverini's lecture and are all quilts from her books. They were so fun to see!

Then finally are my favorites pictures 18-69 are from the lecture Women's Lives 1850-1950. These quilts were AWESOME! The quilts start out from just before 1850 and go forward in order. If I had thought I would have written down the dates for each as I took the picture - but no, didn't think of that until half way thru. But you can kind of guess as you go thru them. The fabrics and quilting were spectacular on them.

I also go my floor hoop last night! So tonight I"m off to the hardware store to get some stain and poly stuff to finish it so by weekend I can put it together! I wanted to put it together and use it right away of course, but I'm trying to be good and do it right first.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Elm Creek Quilter's Christmas Book!

Did you know that Jennifer Chiaverini has a new book coming out end of October/Beginning of November! It will be an extra book this year! The name is "The Christmas Quilt" and it will take place the Christmas in between the 1st and 2nd books!

I attended a lecture with Jennifer last week at the WI Quilt Expo and it was wonderful! We got to hear the first chapter of the book read by Jennifer and see many of the quilts from her books!

So the picture today is the quilt that is from "The Christmas Quilt" book! Isn't it lovely! It wasn't quilted yet, but was still beautiful!

Life at work and home has been busy, busy, busy so I only had time for a short note again today.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Just a Quick Hi

Oh the show in Madison was so much fun! I enjoyed the shopping a lot!

I bought a small kit to make a plaid scrappy table runner just for me because I loved the fabrics so much! The green sashing and borders is actually a very small soft corduroy! Cool huh!

And I also pieced the 2 table runners this weekend all from my stash! Backing and batting also! Wooo Hooo!!!! These are going to be gifts for a new home and a small anniversary present for some friends.

I was so busy this weekend and today I just haven't had time to post, so wanted to say hi to everyone! I am still around - mostly waiting impatiently for my Hinterberg Floor Hoop to show up! Oh I'm excited about that! I got the gooseneck adapter and the half hoop adapter!

Hopefully I will get a chance to see what you all are up to tomorrow!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Madison Quilt Show and Fall Moon

I finished the top of my fallmoon wall hanging! I"m so happy with it! I"m going to sandwich it and start hand quilting it soon!

I went to the Madison Quilt Expo yesterday and went to 2 lectures that were wonderful. The first one was by Jennifer Chiavarini about her new book that is to come out beginning of November! It takes place at Christmas time and occurs between the first and second book. Jennifer was such a delightful person and speaker. She is very funny and relaxed. We also got to see some of the quilts from her books! They were just too cool! The other lecture was by Carol Butzke and was about Women's Lives from 1850-1950. The feathered star quilt is antique feathered star from the1800's from the lecture yesterday. It was an awesome lecture and about 40 quilts. They were to die for! You should have seen the quilting on them - so heavy and beautiful. I captured pics as fast as I could, but to cram all thatin an hour the quilts moved fast! I"ll load pics of all of them next week when I"m at work on the LAN instead of my dial up at home on my webshots.

AND - I bought a Hinterburg floor stand/hoop for hand quilting! Igot 10% off of it for a show special, no tax because it is shippingto IL (show was in WI) and no shipping! I'll have it Wed or Thurs! I'm so excited! I came home tired but happy! Only bummer of the day - no pics of the show quilts were allowed -now is that a major bummer or what! I was so dissapointed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Life in our house is never dull!

Well I was all excited to show you that I finally got my Fall Moon all applique'd and got the inner border on last night.

First off that wasn't easy. Had to pick up my daughter from work last night. Last night she had to work at the ice cream shop alone and close up alone. I just can't believe they are letting 16 year olds close (and open) up shop alone! Anyway, I went to pick her up and she still had a huge list of things to do before she left. The owner had said they were quiet all day and he didn't do anything. So he had given her a list of things to do. Well she was really busy! Couldn't keep up with all the orders! So of course by 9:00pm she hadn't touched the list. So I went in and started to help. I washed down tables, cleaned glass, filled the cooler with bottles of pop and water, filled napkin things and in general straightened up. Poor Jenna was mopping floors, cleaning machines, balancing the register, etc. Wheh! We finally left at 9:45 and she hadn't done any of the "prepare" food containers for the next day or made the ice cream bars that needed to freeze. I told her no way, we would have been there until 11pm. It was a school night and she still needed to get home and do homework. I figured if the boss sat around all day, he could have done that! (And besides, I have to get up at 4:45am for work the next morning - I needed to get to bed!)

Anyway, I was almost done with the inside borders when she called to get her, so we got home, I sewed them on quick and then went to bed.

This morning my oldest calls and says she thinks Adam (my 17 year old problem at the moment) accidently typed in the wrong IM box last night and made some mention to her that he got called in to the Dean's office for truancy yesterday. Course when she IM'd him back asking about it he wouldn't reply. So she wanted to know if I knew anything about it. Of course I don't - that is the problem - he hates us and isn't about to tell us something like that. I thought that for sure the Dean's office would call us if they really did call him in wouldn't they? Holly just laughed and said no way, not if it was just truancy once - that happens too often!

Geez - how am I ever going to get these teens grown up safely and responsibly before I have a break down!!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Finally Got the Quilt Show Pics on Webshots

Well, I finally got the quilt pictures from the quilt show I went to loaded into my webshots. You'll find them in the first 2 albums labeled NSQG Quilt Show.

There were lots of quilts from easy beginner types, folk art/prim, traditional to artsy. Hope you have fun browsing.

The quilt above is one I've been wanting to do in reproduction civil war fabrics now for ages. I finally started collecting the repro nickel squares for it this year, so it won't be long now and I'll finally start!

And the one below I thought of bonnie! What an easy and great idea!

Monday, September 12, 2005

3 Bargello Panels Done - and other stuff

Well it was a play weekend! I did one more panel for my bargello scrap quilt but I did a ton of other odds n ends also - I couldn't even list them all!

I'm teaching a folk art quilt club this year and the first class is tonight! We are making binder covers to keep the instructions in. I have my binder cover done from years ago, but I wanted to practice it again, so I made a composition notebook cover for my daughter Holly who is at Purdue. I also have a picture of my binder.

And I finished the applique on the row x row I'm in so took a picture of all the rows together. I need to mail it off this week to the final owner.

Then I have 2 gifts I need to make for 2 weeks from now, so I dug out some fabric and cut to make 2 basket table runners! Oh and I did a bit of applique - finished the applique on my fall moon wall hanging so I can start getting the borders on now also - I can't wait for that!

So it was a good weekend, but hard to summarize and show. Hope you like the misc pics!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

2 Bargello Panels Done!

OK, have 2 bargello panels done! I"m not going to make the ups and downs even - it is really fun to play with! And I made my black and white pieces to make 4 patches as leaders and enders and can you believe I keep forgetting to put them in! I keep using my little piece of leftover binding! Geez! Back to sewing!

Just one more quilt

Thought I would just post a picture of one more quilt that caught my eye last night. I don't know what draws me to this quilt, but I"ve seen it done up before and I always like it! I love the shape of the flowers and that they are in an old jar. Simple but interesting background and borders. Thought I would just post it quick to add to the show!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sometimes Simple Says a Lot....

I went to the NSQG (Northern Suburbs Quilt Guild) (northern from Chicago) quilt show tonight and what a feast for the eyes. In our area there tend to be a lot of artsy quilts. I can admire the art and the colors, and even the creativeness of them, but my eyes are always drawn to the simple more traditional quilts. And I love those earthy colors.

Sometimes the simple ones just say so much more to me. I think back to those days when quilts were a staple of life and meant warmth, home, family and love. This little quilt was simple in design, and wasn't large, just a small wall hanging, but it hung proud and did draw my eyes to it. And when I read the notes about it, I could see it was made with love - even if it didn't end up where it was suppose to go! :)

Just wanted to share this quick pic with you. I took 146 pictures! Yes I am a quilt picture junkie. But I"ll have to load them all on Monday when I have the high speed internet. If I do it from home with the dial up I'll probably still be on loading come Monday! Maybe I'll share a few more over the weekend!

Bonnie, Please sit down first!

Tahhh Daaaah!!! Here is my version of a strips and strings quilt! I have 12 blocks done! And the reason I asked Bonnie to sit down first is that these were all strips and pieces of leftover fabrics from my Bricks and Stepping Stones and my Scrappy Bargello quilt that I ----- Bonnie are you sitting? ---- had thrown in the garbage can and pulled back out. (I'm ducking in case you throw something at me). I know, I threw them out. But I thought I had made such progress in actually hauling out all this old and ugly fabric and actually using it for something, that when I had all these little leftovers I didn't mind parting with them, so I tossed them. Well then I got thinking about all your strips and string quilts. I hate piecing on paper because I hate pulling it all off. But then I got this idea of doing a roman shadow type block! And pulling it all together with the black since I had to get some for my 4-patches anyway! And look how awesome it is! I'm so excited! But of course I have to pull the paper off yet.....

This is how I did it. I only had regular paper to work with at this point, but I did have some great cheap paper from Walmart that is thinner so easier to rip off. Since a sheet of paper is about 8.5" wide I cut off the ends to make 8.5" squares. Then I placed a fairly wider strip across the middle diagonally, and sewed strips on each side out towards the other corners. When the strips covered the full square I flipped it over and squared it up to 8". OK you ask why I did that? Well since this was cheap paper from Walmart, it didn't start out exactly at 8.5" wide and by the time I sewed all the strips on it shrunk a bit more also. But I wanted a good even square to cut the black pieces. So I trimmed to 8". Then I cut 8" black squares from my black fabric. Laid those on top of the strips of fabric. Drew a chalk line from one corner to the next on the diagonal (I chose to draw the diagonal same direction as the strips ran, but you could do it the other way also. Or some blocks one way and other blocks the other way). Then I sewed 1/4" on either side of the chalk line. Cut in half on the chalk line and pressed open and Wha-La! Scrappy Strippy Roman Shadow Blocks! I will now be using all my leftover strips to add to this quilt! Won't this be cool someday!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sad, sad night

Well it was a sad, sad night for me! No sewing! sniff sniff.

I had guild meeting last night and had hoped to at least see some good show and tell, but it was our new year meeting so we had elections, pot luck supper, voting for the next quilt shows raffle quilt and all the talk about help for some of the refugees coming to our area needing quilts.

So I had to leave at 9pm to pick up my daughter from Marching Band practice and missed show and tell. And had no time to sew at home - sniff sniff some more.

BUT - I did find some awesome fabric on my way home for my girls bricks and stepping stones quilt and got some plain black to finish off the 4 patches! So I can work on that this weekend! That was exciting.

So just a quick hello for now, I spent some time at the high school this morning hopefully taking care of things with my son. It was a good morning, but now I'm behind at work.

Just wanted to check in!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Panel 1 - Scrap Bargello!

I got the first panel done of my scrap bargello!!!!! And all the pieces of the other 4 panels cut and sewn into pairs! It is looking sooo cool! I almost have the same fabrics in each of the 4 panels, so I think I"m going to sew all 4 panels in the same strip order so I can make the design go all the way across like a bargello quilt. I had grabbed a handful of stash and had exactly enough pieces out of that handful to make a whole bargello with the same fabrics - now is that sad or what! But I think the colors are going to be great on this quilt! Hard part will be to find a good border fabric!

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I feel like I"m getting OLD!!!!!

Oh so many things to make me feel old this weekend. My babies are growing up! The picture above was taken about 12 years ago - aren't they just too cute! I miss those days!

So this weekend the blue crayon - Jenna 16 - had to open at work at the ice cream parlour in town by hereself. Oh my heart when I watched her in her cute little apron unlocking the door to the shop and locking herself in to get things ready! For some reason the realization of all the responsibility at 16 tugged at my heart! The owner was on vacation this week and one of the workers quit - so Jenna and another friend who works there, revised the work schedule and covered hours for her. They are two pretty great girls! I don't recall ever being so responsible at 16!

And then my baby - the little purple crayon - Emily 13 got her first babysitting job! It is for a family who Holly (Pink Crayon - 19) started with, then passed the job down to Jenna, and now Jenna is passing the job down to Emily! Kind of like a family tradition! Good thing I don't have any more girls though - or soon those girls will be older than my girls! :) But it was too cute when Jenna was on the phone with the mom. She can't babysit that day because she is in marching band and it is homecoming weekend - so she asks Mrs Kelly if it is ok if Emily babysit. And Jenna informs her that, that would be a good day for Emily to start because Jenna can check in on her during the day to make sure everything is ok - isn't that sweet! But I know Jenna remembers her big sister Holly checking in on her, her first time with them! Poor Emily though is starting to worry about how to keep these 2 girls busy all day! It is a long stretch to watch them, from like 3pm until midnight! I"m sure she will be fine - but once again it made me feel old!

Then of course there is the blue crayon - Adam 17 - who is being the rebellious teenage boy right now. This weekend there was no shaving! No it can't be - hair on my little boys face!

And my oldest - the pink crayon - Holly 19 - who just called me from college and said she did apartment shopping this weekend for next year!

Can I really be old enough to have children old enough to do all these things????!!!! Oh man, I'm felling old!

Here is a picture of them from about 3 years ago - wow have they changed since little crayons - and you wouldn't believe how they have grown and changed in the last 3 years!

Monday, September 05, 2005

A Little Progress

I"ve made a little progress today. I got the back pieced. Not too exciting for fabrics, but used up some big chunks of things I'll never use and the colors went with the front - so hey, it worked! Course now it has to get quilted - yuck.

And I have 3 rows of the bricks and stepping stones quilt done! It looks so awesome! Some little girl is going to love this one! But I ran out of units, so have to make some more. And I don't have a lot black left so I may have to work on this some more later in the week after I get some more black fabric!

But at least I cleaned out a bit of my stash and made some progress on charity quilts. I always have to be in the right mood to do it. Not that I don't like making charity quilts, but I always dread the quilting so I don't do as many as I"d like!

It is beautiful day out today, so I think I"ll take a break and go upstairs and be lazy for a bit!

Working on my stash

Well here is one charity quilt I finished (the top) this morning. Not one of Bonnies patterns, but I found these left over blocks from a block drawing at our guild a few years ago! I had made a really fun quilt out of them, but these were the leftovers. I had kept them to put in a charity quilt and never did. Came across them yesterday while cutting up my stash! So finally they will be in a quilt. My next step is to piece the backing with scraps and then sew the stepping stones onto some bricks!

And I got the rest of the pieces glued on to my fall moon wall hanging! I just have to sew down the chimmney, stars and hat! I can't wait to get the borders on!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I"m not making a dent Bonnie!!!!!......

OK Bonnie, I was so hyped to work on stash quilts for charity this weekend. Well I've been cutting away for a couple of hours now and have hardly made a dent in my stash! YIKES! And I really want to make the bricks and stepping stones for kid charity quilts and I found so many bricks that now I have to go buy some black fabric for the stepping stones!

Geez! So with all the cutting sorry to say I have no pics yet to share. But at least I'm cleaning out some old and ugly fabrics!

I"m ready for some fall colors

Well it is 1:00pm already and I"ve done no sewing! I"m in a lazy fall mood. But at least last night I took the time to put up a fall table runner that I made and just love - so I hang it up on my wall instead!

So down came my summer patriotic quilt and up went the sunflowers! It looked so great this morning. The weather is still definately summer here, but the sunflowers and their colors cheered me up!

So for now I"m going to attempt to do some cutting and button-holeing on the row - we will see!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Some Odds N Ends Projects

Well I did find a small amount of time this evening to quilt, so I am working on a few odds n ends projects. I had planned on sewing all day, but events changed that. But I have to get a bit in!

The bird bath "project" is an online row by row swap I am doing. I find that now and then this is really a good thing for me to do. It makes me think in a different way and makes me do things way out of my comfort zone. I don't think we always need to do that, but now and again it keeps things interesting. So for me this is very artsy - even though I know it really isn't. The theme was sidewalk type garden, and all the other rows are tall viney flowers. One did have a bird house in it also. I"m the 6th and last row. All these other flowers had been used and it seemed just too boring to put more vines and flowers in, so I came up with the bird bath idea. I found a picture of a bird bath online, enlarged it on a copy machine to make the bath part fit a 12" wide row (for both the top and bottom parts) and then drew lines to connect the two to make it very tall and skinny. Of course it had to have a bird in it and I thought a cardinal was perfect because it is a beautiful and interesting bird, not plain. About the only flower I could think of that hadn't been put in other rows that I could manage to pictorialize were holly hocks, so those got put on the bottom also. But then what to do with the top! Finally I figured out I could just put the branches of a weeping willow coming down and another bird flying in. I"m really happy with the outcome - for me it was a stretch, but I"m happy with how it came together. I still have to button-hole stitch all the holly hocks and leaves, but it is coming along.

The other project is going to be a small wallhanging just for fun for me! I got some of it appliqued last night waiting for my daughter to call to pick her up from the football game. It ended up not ending until 11:00pm! So I got more done on it than I thought. So tonight I just glued on the roof, pumpkins and head. I"ll work on that this week in the evenings. This project you can watch its progress as I go along. I"ll keep you updated on it!

Well Bonnie and Tonya have me so hooked on this thing I even had to log in and post today! Oh man, another quilty habit! :)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Same Quilt - Different Lighting

I was just reading Bonnie's blog about how her blue jean quilt looks so different in the morning and afternoon lighting when she took her pics. I had the same thing happen recently and thought I would share the pics. Both of these pics were taken in doors, and at night, but in different places. They don't even look like the same quilts! The real quilt is somewhere inbetween the 2 for color!

The bottom right hand corner block is just a temp place-holder. I needed to finish the quilt top to hang in our local quilt shop for a club I'm going to teach so I just fused some stuff on a dark block. The replacement is done and much nicer! Darn - I don't have a pic of it though.

Anyway, I'm just patiently trying to wait to get the top back now so I can replace that block and get it quilted! I keep saying - I'll hand quilt it - no I'll machine quilt it - no I'll hand quilt it - no, it will never get done, I'll machine it....!!!!! Wonder what will win?

I just had to share this cartoon!

OK - I just had to share this cartoon today! I came across this online the other day and it made me laugh so much. I could see this happening to me, I work so hard to do something special for my middle girl, and she is just so embarressed and grossed out by something made by me. Now I would never even dream of making her a quilted prom dress - but the thought is funny! I would love to see the look on her face!

No new projects to share with you all today, but after the holiday weekend I should! Maybe I'll see what I've recently completed and share that a bit later!

Things at home are still in a tormoil. Man, 17 year old boys are a handful! At least he was going to school today. Can you imagine being a super smart brain and not wanting to do well at school because you are upset over a girl! And he thinks he is going to get out of the house sooner if he doesn't do well in school! UGHHHHH. I keep telling him, do well and apply to college, then he will be out of the house in August! I may actually look forward to that day!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Yes I do "dabble" in the A-word

Yes I do dabble in the a-word - Applique. Now I am not the best at it, and sometimes I do it in probably unaccepted ways, but it is fun when I"m into the pattern and gives me something to work on while watching TV with the kids and allows me to be with the family while working on it (my sewing room is in our unfinished basement).

Above is what I'm currently working on, Jan Patek's Millenium Garden. The block that goes where the plain green plaid fabric is laying is the next one and it will be a big pot with a big black bird on it. I've decided to use a different green plaid background that is smaller plaid and more off-white in it. Also after I got so many blocks made I decided the gold stars on the bottom need to be changed. I'm going to make the background more brown, less bright gold. Those happened to be one of the first blocks I made and luckily one of the easiest to change!

Tonya - just to warn you I"m off the computer over weekends, and will be off this Monday, so if I don't get to post tomorrow it could be until Tues till you hear from me again! But maybe I'll just have a new project or two to share with you!

I"m not too chatty today, just got a call from my husband that my 17 year old son has decided he is not going to school and left the house. After lots of yelling and screaming. Something is bugging him but won't tell us. We are guessing the girlfriend told him to take a hike. Anyway he has been moody for weeks now. So now I'm having a fit at work that he took off and is not at school, I'll probably be driving back shortly (another hour drive) to go find him and take care of things. Something is bugging him and it is giving our household a headache!

So that is about it for today, hopefully tomorrow will bring happy days again!