Sunday, February 28, 2010

A February Finish

I've finished 2 quilts this month. Unfortunately one is only a small quilt but it is really cute. (So says me!) I belong to Small Quilt Talk sponsored by Kathy Tracy. We had a challenge to pick a small quilt from her book, Prairie Children and Their Quilts. I chose the Prairie Baskets. The red is more subdued than this photo shows and the baskets are a double pink. Unfortunately, I really like it -- I was thinking of donating it for a silent auction for Faithful Quilters' show in late April. Hum. I may have to rethink that!

Here's the quilt being cuddled by a bear on a chair.

And, remember the Tale of Two Elephants from a few days ago. Here is the poor elephant as of Saturday morning. For those of you not sure what you are seeing, that little mound of snow in front of a hill of snow is the top of a ceramic elephant.

We've continued to get snow. We think we got another 2 to 3" today off and on.

ENOUGH already!

Tomorrow I hope to get the Plaza del Sol quilt on to Ruthie and at least started. And, Heidi -- yours is up next.

Think Spring! And Happy Quilting All!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Last night was all that it was predicted to be less the major wind damage.
This is the elephant in the backyard at 8 am or so.
Pat had already been snowblowing the driveway for an hour or so by the time I woke up.

Before he had finished it started snowing again and the driveway was being covered . . . again.
He went back out at 10 am to remove another layer. Pat just reported there was another 2" of snow since the first blowing of the day. It is easier to blow if it doesn't get too deep. It's beginning to worry him that the mounds are so high the blower can't get the snow OVER them.

And, it is still snowing. All the weather powers say it should be stopping sometime today. Except for more this evening and then snow showers through the weekend...

I'm off to the studio to see if I can get more done today than yesterday! (I'm thinking spring green here, folks!)

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Tale of Two Elephants . . .

My dad spent 30 odd years in the U.S. Navy. Much of his service was in the Pacific -- Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, even into the Middle East some. One of the many interesting things he brought back were 2 ceramic (pottery? porcelain? I don't really know the difference) elephants. When Dad died and my brother and I were dismantling the house Larry wanted these elephants. But somehow they got mixed in with our things and we ended up with two ceramic, glazed elephants.

At one house in Maryland they stood guard on the front porch. At the other, they were used as end tables on the back deck. Here, they have been separated. One is being used as an end table between two chairs on our back porch.
And the other one... well that's where the tale of two elephants comes in. It was moved to the patio in the back yard. I took these photos about an hour ago. I'm hoping I will be able to see this elephant during the whole storm today... but I'm not holding my breath.

Yesterday after shoveling I did get this little piece quilted. I thought I had figured out what I wanted to quilt but faced with it on Ruthie I wasn't sure. So decided to try a cloud ruler that might really be a fancy clamshell. Today while trimming it I realized I don't have enough quilting in it. But I have a great idea that I will be trying a little later today.

I hope to get the binding on this today as well as the binding on the Prairie Basket small quilt. And, I'll be keeping an eye on the elephant!

Keep warm everyone and happy quilting!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spring, oh spring where art thou spring?

Or something like that....

Um, I thought we were in for 2 to 4" of snow yesterday. That's what the forecast started with and they kept raising the amount through the day. Well, the sky blew through that amount in a couple of hours. We had a good 12 to 14" and add that to the 4 - 6" we had on the ground...
We interrupt this blog post to shovel snow....

Yesterday's snow -- notice the snow on the evergreen tree...
Same tree lots more snow... (it's the second evergreen from the right...) Ok, hard to tell evergreen from a distance. How about the second, rather short conical shape from the right... (If I were a Photoshop pro I could draw a nice arrow but I haven't applied myself to learning that...)
And why do the snow plows leave 3 to 4' of snow on the street in front of our driveway? Honestly, it isn't even close to our driveway. Compare that to across the street where about 12 to 18"of snow is piled -- where no one lives? Hum, I think we need to talk to the powers that be in the community since they do the plowing.

Quilting has been on the back burner for yesterday and today but here's the update since last we chatted...

Plaza del Sol
Finished backing got ready to load on Ruthie and realized I had absolutely no thread that would work. Thread is on order.

Prairie Baskets
Inside is all hand quilted. Looked for stencil for border -- everything is too big. Overnight came up with another concept. It is cool but I won't admit to it until I see if I can do it. I've never tried something like this before! Stay tuned.

Carolina Christmas
Argh -- I'm really on clue #3. But I did make a few of them. But that's not my priority.

Mystery #12
#12 is laid out on the design bed. However, I wanted to look at the suggested layouts before proceeding. Went to the computer and oh my goodness. Everything I had thought was safely saved was actually saved as url's to access it on the internet -- and everything had been deleted. Good thing Marge is so nice about emailing the directions. Thanks Marge -- I had them in about 45 minutes -- maybe less. Maybe tomorrow I'll put that together.

What's up for today (if I can move after my shoveling -- aerobic exercise -- good in moderation and I am all about moderation...)

I'm going to load New Year's Eve 2009 quilt on Ruthie and quilt that. (If I have the right thread...) Then work on Prairie Baskets. Banana Bread comes first though.

And, just to garner pity from all except those in the Mid-Atlantic Region (hey, it's hard to beat 40+ inches in less than a week...) here's the snow warning for our area:

OK -- what do I desperately need in the house? TP -- check. Milk -- check. Soda -- check. Chocolate -- double check -- (I brought some home from England) Quilting projects to keep me busy -- double check. Books -- check.

Other than sore muscles tomorrow I'm ok with another snow storm... I guess.
Happy Quilting All!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Something New

Pat put a new ironing board cover on my big board. He does wield that staple gun well. I picked a bright cheerful print this time. Unfortunately, I was ironing some reds and right off I have a few splotches of red dye on the cover. AARGH! And, I wash every piece of fabric that comes into the house and have for years.

Quilts In Progress

Plaza del Sol
I have finished the top. Today I hope to get the backing together and then load it on Ruthie. It would make a terrific finish for February!

Prairie Baskets
This small quilt, from Kathy Tracy's Prairie Children and Their Quilts, is a challenge from Small Quilt Talk yahoo group. This particular challenge was to pick a quilt from the book and make it. When done we post pictures. I'm in the hand quilting stage and hope to have it finished by Friday or perhaps earlier.

Carolina Christmas
This mystery quilt from Quiltville is my ender project. When I finish sewing whatever I am really working on, I slip pieces of this under the needle. It keeps the thread contained (so it doesn't go into the hole of the plate) and it gives me a jump start on another quilt. I am on Clue 4 although I do admit to looking at the finished quilt pictures. I am making half of everything so my quilt should be half as big. I figure I can work on this off and on all year and get it ready for next Christmas.

Mystery #12
My blocks are done from Mystery #12 from Mysteries for Relay. I need to decide how I want to sew these together and then do it. (but I had to get Plaza del Sol off the design bed to be able to lay these blocks out...)

I could continue with many more quilts that I am working on, thinking about working on, forgetting I ever worked on... you get the idea. These are just the ones at the top of the list.

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Title or Not to Title

As I began typing a title I realized I'd already used that title. (It came up as an automatic choice when I began to type.) Maybe I need to be more creative in picking titles. Heck, maybe I need to be more creative in what I blog about. Deep thoughts which I will review at my leisure.

Here's today's scoop. Raggs went to the vet today (actually so did Pat and I as the transportation team, not as patients!) He came through with a clean bill of health! YEAH! But he had to have a couple of shots. He didn't pay much attention to the jabbing... good boy. But one shot is given as a nose mist. YUCK! And he needs to have his teeth cleaned so we'll be setting that up in the next few weeks. Lucky Raggs.
Here's a charity quilt I finished Monday. I was having a heck of a time with it Saturday. I skipped any quilting on Sunday and started up Monday with a fresh attitude. I cleaned, oiled, spoke sweetly to Ruthie and she worked her charm on the rest of the quilt. I was doing a pantograph I had borrowed from my friend. For some reason I like the designs on the roll but the actual finished results, not so much. I think part of it is I am hard on myself (aren't we are own worse critics) And, part is I've seen how accurately the computerized quilting can do. I still get bumpy circles and overlaps where I really shouldn't. Ah, more experience needed.

This is just a simple grouping of squares that Faithful Circle Quilters puts together. I will bind it and then bring it back to Maryland next time I go. It is a twin size quilt and man, I thought I would never finish it. I'll take it off Ruthie completely when I have something else I want to put on. (Heidi -- I do have yours to put on but I want to try a couple of techniques on the quilt I'm almost finished with to make sure I can do them on your quilt without problems!:)

Most of the quilts I load on Ruthie are lap quilts and I don't like really dense quilting so I am not using up too much thread. Until this one. I finished this spool of thread. I finished a poly in the same color that I used on the bobbin. I knew I was not going to have enough to fill the last bobbin I needed so I used some hand quilting thread from my dsm to finish. And, it worked fine. Although I imagine if someone really spends time looking at the back they will be able to see the various colors on the back although they were very close.

Now it is off to work on Plaza del Sol. I've got a small inner border ready to put on. Then I'll decide about putting on a piano key border. Then, it gets thrown on Ruthie as practice for Heidi's Pineapple quilt. Making progress here!

Happy Quilting All!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bits of This and That

First up is the night picture we took of the Eiffel Tower. (do you realize how hard it is to spell that name? Thank you Wikipedia for the correct spelling. It is correct isn't it??? ) I just read that it is the single most visited paid monument in the world. Hum, the writer in me would love to rewrite that so it isn't so awkward sounding, but that would take a bit of thinking on my part and I just don't want to think that hard. This isn't a good sign when there are more tiny thought words than actual commentary on the pictures...

Next up are a couple of pictures of quilts made by my friend Sharon. I had permission to show you the pink one but not until she gave it to her daughter. Her granddaughter, Alexis, was born a while ago so I can share this cute quilt with you. I love the mix of colors in this. The border is subtle but really goes so well with the center. Great job Sharon.
This next quilt was a round robin if I remember correctly. Our guild, Faithful Circle Quilters sponsored the RR many years ago. Each pass had different rules -- must have triangles, must have applique, curve piecing. Whatever. Some of the best quilts I own are ones I've done in round robins.

Yesterday I spent several hours quilting on a twin size charity quilt. I hadn't touched Ruthie for a full month. (hey, we were on vacation!) I borrowed some pantographs from a friend who is spending part of the winter in warmer climes. (HA! They got 5" of snow in lower Mississippi the other day.) So I used the panto Waterworld. (scroll down to see the design.) It isn't all that hard but it certainly isn't looking as nice as it should. I'll finish that this morning and then I'll put the rows together on the quilt I was doing earlier in the week.

Off to get going this morning. Can't laze the whole day away although sometimes I really wish I could.

Hapy Quilting All!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We're Home & I've Been Sewing

We got home from Europe on Sunday morning after spending the night near JFK airport. Of course we woke up around 6:30 am so were able to leave for the Poconos pretty early. Most of the afternoon I vegged around but I did do a little bit of sewing. Pure joy to be at it again.

So here are a few photos from our time in Paris. I didn't take all that many photos for quilt inspiration. (I left my charger and the second battery at home for my camera... rats!) But here is one. Can't you just see the inside decoration as an applique on a quilt? And the colors are fabulous. I don't remember where I saw this but I think it was the Louvre.
My favorite day was spent at the Musee d'Orsay. Or the museum of 19th century art. Here is Degas' Little Ballerina. Sigh, what joy to see the original. (Or course, I may have the title wrong may be... Little Dancer -- actually, I do it is the Little Dancer.) Amy Littlesugar wrote a children's book about this called Marie in Fourth Position: The Story of Degas' "The Little Dancer." It's a fictional account of how the statue came to be made.
I was sorry there weren't more of Degas' ballet paintings. But, there were many wonderful impressionist paintings Renoir, Manet, Monet and others. Ah, glorious. Unfortunately the museum was being renovated so we didn't see as much as I would have liked. Of course, we were exhausted so probably wouldn't have lasted any way. It was a real hoot to see the an exhibit of the revival of the Art Nuveau (Nevau?) from the mid 60's. Yikes, I lived with some of the art -- ads, album covers, furniture, silver...

We spent an entire day at the Louvre. As we were walking in we saw this "guy" cleaning the windows of the pyramid. Pretty cool to watch ---
We didn't get too many pictures of us together but we ran into a couple from Malaysia at the Arch de Triumph so we swapped cameras to take "couple" pictures. I'm surprised we look so awake as this was after a long day at the Louvre.
And, of course, the icon of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. We didn't get close to it but enjoyed it from a distance. I also got a beautiful picture of it lit at night.

Next up should be snow pictures -- 6 to 12" of snow is predicted over the next 24 hours. Nothing like the 30" or so dumped on our kids and friends in Maryland and DC recently but more than enough for me!

Hopefully soon I'll have some pictures of some quilting to share. I'm putting together these blocks:

And, I'm making a miniature basket quilt for the yahoo group Small Quilt Talk's challenge.

Last but not least, for the Ragg's enthusiast he's happy to be home although he enjoyed playing with the dogs at the Puppy Palace. He's trying to smile for the camera.... He was groomed before we picked him up -- he's been shaved again... we forgot to leave instructions so no hair, again! He doesn't seem to mind and it keeps the fur from going all over.
Happy Quilting All!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quilting Design Ideas From London

Pat and I are on vacation in London. (Yeah, isn't it cool?) I've been snapping pics right and left of quilt oriented designs. Who knows maybe I'll design a quilt from one of these pics.

I believe this is a tile floor in a church near Parliment. (hum, maybe St. Margaret's) We came in a back door and did not see the signs saying no photography.) I wasn't happy with myself once we saw the sign. Every church we've been in since we've been angels -- no photos.
But you can take pictures at the British Museum. I wanted to see the Elgin marbles (cause I read too many historical romances and frequently the marbles are being delivered or the exhibit is opening in the stories.) This was a suggestion of how the Parthenon might have been painted during its hey day. That's a great quilt design.... 9 patches with 2 borders, next to what I would call a Celtic design. I could do that -- maybe in miniature so I wouldn't have to do a huge quilt... hum ... I will think on this one. This was also in the British Museum. It reminds me of Orange Peal with some extras.

And, finally for those of you who are Raggs fans -- here he is as we left him at the Puppy Palace. He wasn't happy being there all by himself but the owners swore to us he would have a friend coming in the next day. And, the baskets on the table in the back were toys for the dogs to play with. Hopefully he is playing hard with the other pups and will be happy to see us in a while.

We've been lucky to have free internet in the room but we head for Paris tomorrow so don't know if we will have it there. It may be a while until you hear from me again.

Happy Quilting All -- Bonnie ( my siggie will be back after the trip -- too late tonight to find it and post it!)

First 2010 Stash Report

I'm keeping up with my stash reports -- it does motivate me to use up fabric rather than acquire more. Hey, if I make a good dent in the fabric then I'll have room to buy new fabric!


Fabric Acquired: 2 1/4 yards
Fabric Used: 7 1/8 yards.

NET FABRIC USED 4 7/8 yards

That's a great start. Hum, should I also try for a 100 yards used year? I figure I would have to use about 8 1/2 yards a month. Last year I used 91 yards so that is definitely doable. I'll keep you posted.

Here's a review of my finished projects for January. Hum, one quilt and a tote bag. Doesn't look like all that much does it? But I don't count fabric used until the quilt is finished. Some months I will have quite a few finishes and some will be quilts in progress. Hopefully everyone will see some things to inspire your own quilting.
String X Quilt

Tote bag from Connecting Threads kit.

Happy Quilting All!