Friday, July 31, 2009

Yikes! Where did the week go?

I can't believe I haven't blogged since Tuesday. So what have I been doing --
Wed Group -- worked on a baby sweater and a little bit on A Tisket, A Tasket block
Thursday -- Finished binding on a happy quilt that is going to one of Pat's coworkers, worked on Sarah's quilt (hum, college starts in 3 or 4 weeks ... I need to get going on this one) volunteered at the library
Today -- back to the studio to work on Sarah's quilt, finish the binding on the purple four patch

What is a blog without pictures? Today I share two more quilts from my friend Marie's collection. These are doll size quilts and I love both of them! The first one is based on a 1 to 2 ratio and is a study in light, medium and dark. The rectangles are 1.5" by 3" finished. And starting in the upper left corner you can either go down or across to see medium and then dark. I may have to make one of these quilts myself. How cool is this?
I don't know much about this next one. Another quilt to put on my want to do list. I enjoy how quilts "talk to me" and make me want to do one also. Don't hold your breath to see me making these two any time soon. My plate is full!

Oh yes, we live in blueberry country and the farmers are having bumper crops of them. I bought these a little too early in the season but I froze some of them anyway. These aren't even local but I plan to get local ones over the next few weeks and freeze them too. This year they are bigger and sweeter than in past years. We've had lots of rain and recently have been seeing the sun.

I've surfed, blogged and had breakfast -- time to get going to the studio.

Happy quilting all!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home Again

Jen and I made it to Maryland on Sunday evening. Huge clouds were visible north and west of Baltimore when we arrived. Thank goodness they stayed there. Very hot and humid at the airport. Driving south to Silver Spring saw the temps going down as well as the humidity.
How is this for a cool peach? I forget what road we were on but did have to snap a photo through the windshield going about 65 miles an hour. (not bad for a point and shoot camera!) I think we were in North Carolina at this point, but it could have been South Carolina.

As usual, I got a pic of Jenny -- we're in the van that takes us to the parking lot the car is sitting in. Jenny grabbed the camera to take this picture to prove that I was actually on this trip. Hey, it was my camera and I didn't just pass it over! For what it's worth, here I am also in the van to the parking lot.

What was Brian doing while Jen and I were in the South? Tooling around in our BMW
convertible. Hey, B, you look good in it! And, how many miles did you drive? LOL

I am definitely ready to get back to sewing again. I should get a half day of sewing in on Thursday, tomorrow I'll be at the normal Wednesday sewing group where I'll be knitting a baby sweater. I'm about half way done. Thank goodness cause the baby shower is Sunday. Pat, Raggs and I will be going back down to Maryland on Saturday. I'm skipping the Hershey quilt show this year because we need to go to a community association meeting Saturday am. Hope to get back to it next year.

Happy Quilting All!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Road Trip Day 2

Our trip in pictures . . . Since I have the camera all of these pictures are of Jen. Here we are just getting our rental car. We've got a 2+ hour drive to Greensboro. While there we visited Randy's Quilt Store. A very large store with a nice coffee shop/seating area for hubbys to hang out in while the wives shop. I got a couple of spools of thread to use on the Bunny Hill BOM.

Here's my black mail picture of Jenny! She was still asleep when I woke up. (of course it was my snoring that kept her up half the night. Tonight SHE gets to go to sleep first!)

Jen hanging out at the college fair at Eastern Music Festival. Most of the students had gone on to their next rehearsal by this point. We were very creative with her U. of MD School of Music banner since the tables were really small. Any one want info on the Univ. of Maryland School of Music. I can arrange to have something sent out to you. LOL.
Mary Jo's Fabric Store Woot! Woot! Jen bought a lot of backings -- I refrained -- bought 2 fat quarters. FYI Mary Jo's does not sell Moda. Prices are $1.50 to $2.50 less than other quilt stores.
We hit a Waffle House for dinner and we both opted for Pecan Waffles. YUM! Another 2 hour drive got us to Brevard. More tomorrow...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Road Trip to NC

I drove down to MD to join Jenny on a road trip. One of her jobs for U. of MD is recruiting for the school of music. She invited me to join her this weekend for her swing through North Carolina. We haven't visited a quilt shop or a college fair and I am already exhausted!

We dragged out luggage on and off the plane. She drove 2 hours. We met one of her husband's cousins for dinner. We drove by the quilt shop we're visiting tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will report on Randy's Quilt shop and Mary Jos. At least those are the two planned shops. Hopefully we'll succeed. I'm looking for a few gadgets. But, I'm going to TRY to be strong and not but fabric unless I get a backing for Sarah's quilt. Stay tuned for tomorrow's report!

Off to bed, I can hardly keep my eyes open and it really isn't all that late.

Happy Quilting All!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Challenged to the Hilt

Haven't been hiding. I've been sewing like crazy. The hanky challenge has been completed and turned in. Phew. And, it couldn't have happened soon enough. I am kind of anal about my quilting, sometimes. Read between the lines, yep, on the hanky quilt. I've shared it with you before cause I know I asked for help. And, I used several ideas.

If things could go wrong on this quilt they did go wrong. I made the cute center shape in the middle and then realized you really can't see it all that much. It didn't add or subtract from the quilt. Ok. I can deal with that and I learned the technique that I think is way cool!

I mdeg a rose that was to go in the center. Euuu... to bright, too obvious. I also decided to put the hanky on point with a 1" strip and then the triangles. I decided on the red batik that matched the roses perfectly. I made three more roses to go on the triangles. Luckily I made them as units first and then started appliqueing them on the corners. I got 2 and a half appliqued down and decided to look at it from a distance and measure it. YIKES -- too bright of a red. Too small for the contest rules. Not to worry. I ripped off the triangles, red borders. I replaced the red with a rose colored soft geometric print and made it 1 1/2" finished. I used two of the setting triangles -- of course one was blank and the other had the rose half sewn on. By this time it is Sunday afternoon. I have one big hunk of the setting triangle fabric left -- enough to do the one more square to be cut into the half triangles. Measure twice, cut once. I am sure I measured it carefully -- I already had cut one wrong. ARGH> it was the wrong size. Ok, I can deal with this. Um, how. Maybe I can fake the corners -- no that didn't work. Um, maybe I can seam a corner. UGH how tacky. Ur, maybe I can make the rosey colored print 1 1/4" and then get two more pieces of fit. Yep, took the two triangles off, cut 1/4" off each rose-colored side. Resewed, trimmed up the two setting triangles to work. Then removed the 2 roses from the 2 pieces that are now too small. Resewed them to the new triangles. Got the last one done. I wanted the center, embroidered rose to stand out a bit. So I put an extra piece of batting under it, stitched it with dissolvable thread trimmed the little piece of batting just outside my stitching line. Yeah! Ready to batt it up. Did that Sunday around midnight.

I wanted it fairly thin so I used a thin, poly batt I had at home. But it seemed really thin. So I doubled it. I knew it would be easy to quilt through. First thing Monday morning (and I mean by about 8 am when my eyes are barely open) I am embroidering the center rose motif. Then I started hand quilting. By about 1 pm I'm done with the quilting and take a lunch break.

Good idea. I still have to decide on a block of the month, make one, write directions and copy enough for the group. So during lunch I find a block and take it upstairs to start the sample. Yuck. How am I going to get that done fast enough. Find my book of four patch blocks and pick a truly easy but interesting block. Use 2 1/2" strips to make the block. (Yea for Bonnie Hunter's strip users system!) And, by the way, I get the binding sewn on. Write the directions, print them on the old laser printer, take a shower, dress etc, and then start sewing the binding down. I finish at 5:25. I am now late for my ride but throw everything together for guild meeting and dinner out. I did take two pictures too. So, what do you think? I think it is more puffy than I wanted -- I think the batting must have fluffed itself over night. But I do like the color mix, the hanky shines quite well. Darn, it isn't all that even on the edges... more time and I could have fixed that too. But, it's done! Not many people entered -- maybe 7 turned items in. Maybe a few more will turn in this week. These are judged by an outside person with results revealed at the next meeting. I'll keep you posted.

Bill, one of our newest members, shared this scrap quilt with us. It is rather amazing -- all done by hand. He said an older lady who was confined to a wheelchair did it. His mom or grandmother had it for many years. He suspected it was 70 to 80 years old. It is really charming in a somewhat frenetic way. The squares are 1". Some are on point, some are straight. The sashing is what ever in mostly blues. There was one point that about 1/2" of sashing in a particular fabric was showing. I am not sure whether he is going to quilt it or have it quilted. One of our members recommended having it quilted because it would stabilize the fabric.
Phew. I'm long winded today. I have my second load of laundry in. The floors are going to be vacuumed and I suspect I'll wash the kitchen, sitting room area floor. It is rather useless in a way because the next time anyone comes in from outside the floor starts looking yucky. I still love my floor, don't get me wrong.

Happy quilting all!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wiener Mobile

Kim -- this one's for you. Plus you need a laugh. (no dogs were hurt during this event.)

Kim at Kim's Big Quilt Adventure commented that Oscar G. Mayer chairman of the meat company that bears his name, died in early July at the age of 95. She included a picture of the famous, or is that infamous, Wienermobile. When I saw this I laughed and decided to dedicate this post to Kim for her astute surfing abilities.
This is from USA Today, July 18th. Want to read the whole article? Click on the title/date link.

Very little quilting is getting done around here and yep that Hanky Challenge deadline is looming big -- like Monday. The only thing I am working on is it.

I succeeded in getting into Scranton to buy dog food. Raggs won't be starving this time. And, I bought yarn for a baby sweater that needs to be done in about 3 weeks. YIKES.

With no further ado, I wish every one, Happy Quilting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Taken Off Ruthie!

I just finished the quilting on this a few minutes ago. The pattern is from Mary Quilts. I made a couple of blocks a month ago to show my guild because it was going to be the block of the month. And, it was so addicting that I just kept going. By the time of the meeting I had 20 blocks done. I put it away for a few weeks and then decided to add to the blocks to make it a bit bigger.

Remember the pantographs I bought a few weeks ago? This is the Popcorn one. I tried it on a charity quilt first. It looked a bit rough but I am getting better, more even looking curves, better points. But not perfect by any means. I am happy to see that practice is helping -- a lot. Hum, I should get another quilt on the frame quickly to use this pattern but that isn't going to happen.

Looking at this now, some of those popcorn shapes look pretty darn good! This was so much fun to do. I will probably donate this to some charity but I want to enjoy looking at it for a while.

Next Up:
• applique roses ready to put on the Hanky Quilt,
• make and put the binding on this quilt
• finish the binding on the purple quilt.

I should have quite a bit of fabric used this month but that basket of fabric I won is putting a damper on using more of my stash. Maybe I will actually use more than I acquire but I am not holding my breath. Plus, there is that road trip with Jenny with hopes of hitting 3 quilt stores!

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Batting Scissors

Here are the batting scissors that I won with the fabric basket on Sunday. I used them the other day when I cut off a hunk of batting off a roll of Warm and Natural. They make it pretty darn easy to cut batting.

Today I quilted most of the conversation print quilt. I used the Popcorn pantogram. I am getting better at it but I still have some circles that look more square or rectangular.

I also spent a couple of hours at the local library volunteering. It was busy. I did get a lot of books shelved. Of course, "a lot" is relative. What is a lot there isn't all that many books. And, with years of experience, I am a pretty fast shelver. Plus, I check the books nearby to see if they are where they are suppose to be and I edge the books.

Tomorrow I hope to finish the conversation print quilting and start on the binding. I will probably do a scrappy binding using the fabrics that are bordering the conversation prints. And, I still need to do some rose work!
Happy Quilting All!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Snazzy Doggie

Raggs went to Bark Avenue to be groomed today. He is now quite the snazzy doggie!



He looks so much better. He now has a "cocker" cut. Cocker's leg hairs don't feather the way a springer's do. All I know is he looks great. I was thinking I was going to have to tie his hair out of his eyes if I didn't get him groomed soon. Bark Ave. is set up so nicely. The dogs have a nice play area where they can hang out together with toys and little building they can climb into while they wait their turn. I think he must have had a great time because he is exhausted -- fast asleep on the floor!

While he was having his fun, I was chatting and sewing with my Wednesday quilters. I missed last week so was happy to be able to go this week.

For those of you who asked about the batting scissors I will try to post pictures on one of the upcoming postings.

Happy Quilting All.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fabric Basket

No, not a basket made of fabric but a basket FULL of fabric. I won one of two fabric baskets at the quilt show this weekend. (Hey, I admit, I am one lucky person!) I picked it up on Monday and Sharon and I had a great time going through all the fabric. She figured there was about 25 yards of fabric as well as books, patterns, tools, etc. One of the best things was a pair of batting scissors. Those have been put to work several times since Monday morning. Wow they really make it easy to cut batting.

On the right above are the fat quarters I am keeping... washed and folded neatly. And to the left is the pile going home for Sharon to have. My yardage came to 13, Sharon's to 5, and I am giving 7 or so to my guild for their fabric basket raffle. (mostly what is going to my guild is fabric styles that just aren't me.) We also each got a prairie braid foundation on muslin.

It was an eye-opener to me to see what fabrics people donate to these raffle baskets. I think I am going to buy a couple of additional bright/light fabrics to donate. Most of the fabrics were darks and quite a few calicos. And, since I make scrap quilts a lot those are really good for me. But, it is killing my stashbusting. I will be howling by the beginning of August especially since Jen and I are hitting some quilt shops on our road trip next week. I've just about finished the binding on one charity quilt, I have another ready to put on Ruthie when I muscle the batt roll on top of the table to cut a piece. That quilt should be done by Friday if I keep my nose to the grindstone.

Here's another interesting quilt from Sunday's show. It is such a simple quilt to construct but the color use makes it much more complex.

Now it is really time for me to fold more laundry, prep more pieces of applique and see if I can measure out and cut a hunk of batting.

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday's Adventures...

At the end of Saturday, my bannister was brimming with quilt tops. The Christmas log cabin, daisy and fan quilt are Jenny's. The blue log cabin is Sharon's. There are two of my quilts under these.

After Pat's famous Puff Pancake, Jenny, Brian and Kona headed for home. Sharon and I headed for a local quilt show. It was a very nice show in a new venue for Milford Quilt Guild. There was a nice group of vendors that Sharon and I visited and left some of our money at.

I took pictures of quilts that struck my fancy, not the really wonderful quilts. I liked the pinwheel quilt and thought it would be a very easy quilt to make for charity. (and would bust some stash.)

Sharon wanted
pictures of the circles because it was a challenge. The quilters came up with lots of setting ideas.

After we got home we all went out on the boat to show Sharon a bit of Lake Wallenpaupack. It was a beautiful late afternoon albeit a bit crowded. Guess what we figured out?
Along with enjoying chewing (and sometimes eating) fabric, Raggs likes to chew on rope for the boat. Whoa dog! Not the tie ups, please.

We've got more news to impart -- but things are beginning to calm down!

Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Busy Weekend

Friday afternoon the weather was gorgeous so Brian, Jenny, Kona, Pat, Raggs and I headed to the boat for a little spin around Lake Wallenpaupack. Oh, no, they let me drive the boat. The minute I spotted another boat I turned the wheel over to Brian. He did a great job. Fridays are a nice day to go out 'cause the lake wasn't packed with boaters and jet skis.

Some of us went swimming...

While others enjoyed reading in the sunshine.

I also used my new panto called Popcorn from Willow Leaf Studios. It isn't bad although I had a few funny looking hooks and flat popcorn. Overall, it isn't bad at all. It's amazing how much practice you need to get really good, or, heck, just passable, on these long arm sewing machines.

Jenny brought her king size quilt up. It is really big! We talked about how she wanted to quilt it and whether she wanted to try it herself or not. If she wants to do it herself, it will probably take more than a weekend.

Tomorrow I've got a lot more to share with you. And, more quilts too. My quilting buddy Sharon arrived Saturday afternoon so I'll share what we did Sunday and some of her quilt tops.

Happy Quilting All!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Brian and Jenny are up for a long weekend. When I found our Brian really likes French toast, as do I, I decided to make some this morning.... with, yum, cinnamon and 4 eggs. Except, if you look carefully -- that isn't cinnamon. Yikes, I'm trying to make French toast, not scrambled eggs. Um, I'm sure FT wouldn't be any good at all with oregano leaves. Let's just say that Kona and Raggs were well fed this morning. They loved their scrambled eggs.

Doesn't Raggs look like a happy dog? When he finished his scrambled eggs he went over to Kona's bowl to make sure she had eaten all of her scrambled eggs. And, Kona was over checking up on Ragg's bowl.

This morning Jen and I will be sweating in the studio. I'm loading a charity quilt on Ruthie to try the new pantograph I bought. Then, I'll load another quilt and use the panto on it. (And, this one might be a charity quilt too, I haven't decided yet.) Jen's using my Bernina to quilt one of her quilts. I don't know what I'll be doing, maybe working on Sarah's quilt or doing some more lessons on the Jessica Sprague site.

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shopping Day

I finished my recent knitting project -- socks. I love these self designing yarns. I made a big point of starting in the same place with the yarn and did really well matching until I got to the toe. See that extra dark spot on the left side? That is how much I was off. And, does it matter at all? Of course not! Next on the needles will be something for a baby. I realized I don't have much in the way of baby designs. I'm going to keep my eyes open to see if I can find a pattern book with some cute designs. I have yarn for one more pair of socks... this pair is knit with both socks at the same time on two circular needles... something new to learn!

No quilting yesterday -- well almost none. I did turn under the backing on a charity quilt to sew as a binding. Hum, I wonder if I can get that done today with everything else I need to do.

Yesterday was a shopping in Scranton day. I had coupons to Borders and Joannes and did some shopping there. Darn Borders! Yesterday's coupon was 20% off one item. Today's is 25% entire purchase. GIVE ME A BREAK here. I could have saved enough to buy another book. Of course, nearly everything was paid with a gift card so...

I bought this pen while I was at Joannes. It's from the scrapbooking dept. Several of my quilting friends use something like this to prepare applique. When I prepared the Bunny Hill boms I used starch -- which was a pain doing it and a glue stick -- which was a pain when trying to sew -- evidently I got too much on and could barely get fabric off the paper pieces. So, on to something different! Either that or I am going to hand stitch to turn under the edge. I need to prep some more so I have something to do in the evenings.

Jen and Brian are coming up today. Happy Birthday, Brian! I need to finish vacuuming upstairs, check the beds and bathroom. Sharon, my quilting buddy, is coming up on Saturday for a few days of quilt time together. Maybe I can get a little quilting done today, but I'm not holding my breath.

Happy Quilting All