Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oh where to start?????

I don't even know where to start! I feel like I've been so busy but have accomplished nothing!

OK, first off is my new purse I decided Sunday I had to make! The picture up top is the front of it. I have a really fun wooden horn like button I've got to sew on it yet for the closure. But I couldn't wait to take a picture and share it! Right above here is the back. You can just make out the little green loop that will flip over and go around the button. Then below is the sides. The pattern doesn't have these side pockets but that is what I use for my car keys, so I just added them! They don't look bad! The pattern is a quilt as you go so there are no inside pockets. But that also I had to change. Where would I put my lipstick? And where would my cell phone go! So I quilted as I went just through the batting. Then I added pockets to the lining fabric and then put it together. I tried to get a picture of the inside but it was too hard, I couldn't get it to come out good. So all I need to do yet is finish sewing the binding down and put the button on and I have a new fall purse! Isn't it fun!

But what I have been mostly working on the last week is cutting brushed cotton plaids for my retreat projects this weekend! They are scrappy quilts so it takes forever to cut out all the pieces. But I"m done. This doesn't look like a lot, but there is enough for 2 quilts here! I have a note in each baggy what piece and quilt it is for! So I can just sew, sew, sew!!!!!! Now lets just hope I cut them right!

So I"ve been busy, but not much to show for it! Oh and I did go to the movies this weekend with Emily (Freshman). We went to see "Flicka". Oh it was such a nice movie and gorgeous scenery in Wyoming. And of course towards the end I started crying. Well it gets to a big point in the story and the girl has one simple line and I start sobbing and catching my breath! One silly line and I loose it! I won't spoil it for you if you want to see it - you'll know the line when you hear it! Well Emily wouldn't admit that she was crying, but she is fair skinned and has red hair - it wasn't too hard to figure out why her face was all blotchy and eyes red and puffy! So it even got to her! Go see it. Just a nice story and nice movie.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Look at my Surprise!!!

Look at the pictures Bonnie sent me yesterday! She finished my quilt! Isn't it just GORGEOUS! All because of Bonnie's beautiful quilting! I can't wait to get it in my hands and get binding on it!

Still busy trying to catch up from being gone! So this is short!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I"m back finally - but broke!

I'm back! I think some of you were wondering where I was! It was late Monday night when I got home, and Tuesday work was so back logged from me being gone I didn't have time to check in. Then yesterday I did the 3 hr drive up to Green Bay, did my meetings and then 3 hrs home! And needless to say I'm still playing catchup! Oh and Tues night and tonight I'm teaching classes at the LQS! So how is that for busy!

I had a wonderful visit with my mom and sister and her family! Mom wasn't feeling quite perfect so we stayed at home, ate snacks, ordered out and played games with the kids and watched movies! It was perfect! So I had lots of time to visit and just have fun! John and James had just gotten some new board games last month - so we had a great time playing them. My favorite was "Bucket King" in the top picture. It is mostly luck, so you can all play and everyone has a chance of winning! Plus you can visit and just have fun! We also played Alhambra. I bit more thought, but not too bad - and the boys liked building the cities.

I did take a trip to the quilt shops near them and now I'm broke! Look at what I came home with! First the Oriental Fabrics my sister bought. I went to the first quilt shop with my nephew (who is my Godson) and he HADDDDD to have a new quilt with these fabrics. I think it must be his Kung Foo coming through! Now he already has 3 quilts I made him but my sister says he LOVES them and when I asked why he needed another one his answer was "Well, it is getting to be winter so I could use another one!". So we decided something easy (thank goodness) was in order for all these fabrics. He liked "Turning Twenty...Again" and so I told him to pick out 12 FQs and this is what he came up with! He liked the Green for the border and the black will be the binding. And I'm sooo not into oriental fabrics! But he is going to LOVE it!

Then I went to the primitive quilt store I LOVE - Lil Country Shoppe! And had a field day! I found this pattern "Take 5" which is your same type thing like Yellow Brick Road or Turning Twenty, so I picked it up for fast charity or kid quilt gifts.

And then the main mission, to get some background brushed cotton plaids for my upcoming retreat projects - Horse Feathers and Moonshine! Aren't they gorgeous!

And then I found these for backings for them - so I couldn't pass them up. Now aren't those chickens just going to be too fun on the back of a quilt called Horse Feathers!

And then last but not least some fill-ins. I needed some blacks, so got some of those and then I've been dying for that green dot/stripe fabric for the background of a wall hanging I want to do - so I broke down! And I've been wanting the fun colored needle threaders, not just the brown ones, so got one for me and one for my friend!

So my suitcases were full! But I was a very happy girl! Tomorrow - another very happy surprise! I'll keep you in supense!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I"m gone for the weekend

Not even time to find a fun quilt picture! I"m off to visit my mom, my sister and her family in Delaware. I'll be back on Oct 24th - but probably so far behind in work I won't know which end is up! And can you believe I turn right around on Wednesday for a work trip to Green Bay - woo hoo, Green Bay - hot spot of the world! I'm just glad the Packers don't play on a Wednesday! I don't think I could take the cheese heads!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Another new blogger in OZ

Just wanted to let you know we have another new blogger in blog land. Stop by and say g'day to Tracey in OZ!

I love the chook quilt!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

9 Patch with Borders!!!! (mitered even!)

Got my 9 patch done this weekend with the mitered borders. Not a lot of swearing, but there were a few tense moments! But I'm happy with the result! I think Finn asked what size they were. The 9 patches finish to 3" finished (so each square is 1" finished). I think the whole quilt top is about 32" x 32", somewhere around there. (Oh and it really isn't that wavy - for some reason when I hang it up with that lovely blue tape I just couldn't get it to hang flat!)

AND the big news is Laura and I finally talked Sossy into trying a blog! She still says she can't load pictures, but we can cure her of that! So today she took the BIG PLUNGE and posted her first post! Go visit her. Tomorrow she is going to have a really fun topic - I won't spoil it for you! Since she is so chicken to load pictures I thought I would share 2 with you that I have from camp. The above one was a pumpkin and snowman wall hanging I think she made - I could be wrong and it was her friends - can't remember for sure. But aren't they adorable! And the below one is Sossy with her "No pattern" pink candy quilt for her little boy! He loves Candy Land so she made this for him - but she can tell you more about that someday! Please stop by and say hi!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Getting there and my embarrasing laundry room

Here are my 9-patches now! I hope today to get the borders on - we will see how that goes. I want to miter the corners and no matter how much I "know" how to do it, they just never quite come out perfect.
And here is my embarrasing laundry room. It is basically what you call a mud room. My husband does landscaping and this is the room where everthing gets washed up, junk gets thrown in, and the kids just deposit whatever in it! To the far left you see just the corner of the wash tub. And what you can't see is on the right is the big dog food bin.
And in taking this picture I remember I had one more piece of flooring to "keep" someday. Jenna watched on TV this one time some guy who was giving out household hints on things. Well he made some concoction to remove pen from any surface. So she decides to try it. Well what she didn't think about was it was marker or pen - it wasn't permanent marker. So she goes in the laundry room and writes "Jenna was here" on our floor! Then tries to remove it and it won't remove! And Jenna at the time was about 15! Not a cute little toddler! Anyway, after years of wear and trying to remove it, we now have a black blob and you can barely read the words. But evertime I do laundry I remember my "little blonde"!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tonights Progress

Well I spent just a bit of time and got my 4 patches laid out and together. Here is what they look like now.

In taking this picture I realized how dirty the rug is in our basement. It is an unfinished basement and this rug I bought 20 years ago when the kids were small to play on. It was just one of those remanent pieces - so it has held up well. Only one small problem - one day while my 3 oldest who were about 3, 4 and 5 and the time; decided to play miniature golf. Well they couldn't find the little cups with the little balls and clubs. So Holly got out an orange marker and wrote 1, 2 and 3 on the carpet! They are still there to this day! Whenever I get rid of this carpet I may just have to cut that piece out and wrap it up to give her! She's 20 now. Ahhh the memories.

And my little helper was right there checking out the layout of the blocks, so I snapped a quick picture of Chloe. At least tonight she was NOT laying on my foot pedal as she usually does. It still scares me when the machine takes off and I'm not pushing the foot pedal!

One 9-patch has to go! - REVISED

I finished my 9-patches last night! Here they are. I need 24 so one will have to go. Not sure if there is one I should just drop out now, or if I should wait and see what fits in once I lay them out the way they are going to go. What do you think? (the colors are not very true in this pic. I had to lay them out on the floor in the basement and the light isn't very good down there!)

Then after I posted I saw Karen's Sew Primitive post about the Jo Morton club finally starting in Atlanta. She posted pics of 2 quilts that I have made. I changed the colors in both from what she had. I love the little red and cheddar stars! The blue one turned out so good, and so different for me since I never work in blue, that I haven't had the heart to quilt it yet - now is that stupid or what! But I had to add this to the post for Karen to see!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A bit more progress

Well a few more 9-patches were done last night. I'm about at the end of my teeny tiny bits of scraps - I've had to start cutting small pieces out of my bigger chunks! I still have about 10 more 9-patches to go. It sure does take a long time to cut for these scrappy 9-patches (well that and finding the fabric!).

And I finally completely finished my own thread organizer! I showed you a picture of 2 I made last spring for gifts, but I just never got around to making one for ME! I made the large and small version for me! Isn't the fabric great! And I spent last night while watching "Lost" filling it up with my applique thread! Now isn't that pretty! I even have space for a few more spools! Guess I"ll need to go shopping for a few more colors!

And last but not least is an old small bargello wall hanging I made years and years ago. I even realized that I really didn't have a good picture of it while searching for one last night! All I've come up with is a picture of it hanging from the ceiling at a quilt store. But I thought of this quilt because while digging through my reproduction scraps I found a few strips left from this quilt - which made me think of it! It was done with my favorite darker colors and reproduction fabrics. Doesn't it look great! Now I need to take it out and hang it up somewhere for the fall!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Did a bit of sewing!

I found a few minutes last night to do a bit of sewing. Oh that feels so good! I have caught up on my house quilt. Just need to wait for the next months mailing now! Isn't it a really fun quilt! And the blocks are really large, so this will be a nice size quilt!

I also started some blocks for the quilt I'm going to use that awesome green border fabric with. A lot of people wanted to know what I'm going to use it for. Well I'm not showing a picture because I'm working on it next and thought it would be fun for you to watch it come together. The 9-patches all came from small bits of repro fabrics I have in my stash. It was so much fun to dig through my box of small pieces and see what I could use. I have a pile of some more for another night this week! So for today you get to see 5 9-patches!

And something "cute" for Nancy to go with her Bear pictures today!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I'm home - and tired!

We are back home and let me tell you - there is NOTHING between Chicago and Des Moines! Lots and lots of corn and beans! But we did the full campus tours at Universtity of Iowa and then Drake for a small school. Jenna has already been accepted in to University of Iowa's and Purdue's pre-pharmacy programs. Drake also has a pharmacy program - so we thought she should get a taste of small college also. It was gorgeous weather and we walked miles and miles. And I had no idea, but there is this HUGE hill on UofIowa campus - oh my gosh, I don't know how many times we walked up and down that hill! But we had fun. I think Jenna is a bit overwhelmed with making a decision!

So above is my rug so far. I think I have to figure out how to curve it on the ends better. And parts of it are not flat by any means. But maybe once I get it all done and stretch it into shape? We will see I guess. Not sure where I want to use it yet, so I'm not sure how much bigger I want to make it. It is maybe about 2 ft x 3ft. Just a little more and it would be good in front of my kitchen sink maybe.

The most fun surprise we found on the trip was on the way home in Cedar Country Iowa. It was time for one of those stops you have to make when you've downed bottles of water all morning! So I had Mark pull off at the next rest area. And can you believe what I found! This rest area was all decorated after the Undgerground Railroad quilt code! Mark and Jenna just rolled their eyes! I was so mad I didn't have my camera with me. But I did find a great article about the designer of all these Iowa rest areas. There is a different theme at all of them (well all of them that they "redid". It was really interesting. If your interested you can read about it here (in pdf format).

Inside the floor had tiles of the quilt blocks with their names and on the wall was a large tile underground railroad "quilt sampler". Outside they had a plaque with what each block meant. So it was a really fun stop! Well, back to unpacking and laundry!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Great Balls of Fire!

Above are my fabric balls getting ready for our car trip this weekend. I"m leaving in a few hours and my darn internet was down all morning. Ughhh. We will see how much crocheting I get done!

I never showed you my finished top from our guild mystery I did. Isn't it great! You should have seen some of the tops! They were sooo pretty! I"ll have pictures of them maybe next week.

And below is a small doll quilt I just started. It is called Martin's Pennies. It gets a thin inner border of a plaid woven and then a piano key like border. Isn't it cute!

Well I"m off and won't be back until next week! Campus visit for child #3 who starts college next fall.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Speaking of Border Fabrics

Since Judy shared her most awesome border fabric she has, I thought I would share with you (and her) the border fabric I just bought at camp last month! I've started my project for it, but it isn't far enough to show you anything too exciting yet. but this will be the outside border!

Otherwise not much going on. Just work, work, work!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dance Update

Patti wanted to know if I still could Dance and had flexibility still. Well I can still kick my leg high, but I couldn't hold it higher than waist hieght for too long. And yes I can still do the splits. But I don't promise how pretty it would be to get up from there!!!!

I can still do basic ballet moves fairly gracefully, but don't ask me to do multiple pirourettes. I could do one, but that probably is the most! Oh and no pointe shoes anymore - no way!

I also did gymnastics in High School - there is no way I could do an ariel's or backbendy things anymore. Anything with stomach muscles - no way.

Dance and Zippers

OK sewing stuff first! A lot of you mentioned that you can't do these bags because you never learned how to put in zippers. Well, I HATE sewing clothes and don't think I can do a zipper anymore in clothes either. But almost all of those zippered bags below are sooo easy and sewing the zipper in those is nothing like sewing zippers in clothes! You would be surprised at how easy it is. It basically is just like sewing 2 pieces of fabric together. You sew all the zippers to the fabric before it has its shape, so everything is flat. The only one I have to play with is the zippers in my 2 favorite bags (top picture in the sewing bag post). Those get sewn in by hand after the bag itself is made. So that one can be kind of tricky to get it to lay right. But the others - easy as pie! If enough of you decide you want to try a zipper, I could walk you through a zippered bag similar to the pet screen bag - only using fabric instead. Then you wouldn't need to buy the pet screen which comes on big rolls for a screen door! Just let me know.

Now on to the silly stuff for the day - Dance! None of you know this, but in my younger (and much thinner years) I did dance! I was a ballerina want-to-be. I wasn't much into the jazzy and modern stuff, but loved the ballet and pointe work. In fact I did ballet/pointe up till my second pregnancy. But I never spent the money or time to become a real ballerina. All these memories came back in talking with California Girl in OZ who was a "REAL BALLERINA"! So I had to dig some old pictures out to share with her! My real love like I said was pointe, but in my college days I went to school in upstate NY and they were so into jazz and modern. They didn't teach much in the line of ballet - and no pointe - I had to do that on my own. So my college pics are pretty much different dancing than my true love. But they are fun to look back on. Remember these are old so the quality has lot to be desired! But I thought you would all have fun looking at them.

The top picture had to be my most fun dance in my 4 years. It was to a song "Ice Cream Man" or the ice cream man. I've never been able to find that song again - but it was just a plain fun dance. You can barely see me in that picture. I"m on the far right, second person - so you just see me peeking around the front person!

I have no idea what song this dance was to - but we all had these really fun hats and did all kinds of things with the hats! I'm the one in the front right with the long braid.

This next one was one of the few ballet like dances we did. I'm in the front right in the dark suit.

This was one of my other fun dances we did. The song was "Put the Lime in the Coconut"! It was a fun toe tapping song! I'm the one sitting on the floor.

This one was some weird modern dance we did. We had to be things like Chinese Rocks (whatever that would be) and Seaweed! Unfortunately they got a good shot of my butt in this one! (my backside with the leg in the air).

And the ever popular show tunes - New York, New York. I'm the one on the front left - once again with my leg in the air! Are you seeing a theme! :)Yup, if I couldn't be a ballerina I wanted to be a Rockette!

Hope you had some good laughs at these vintage photos!