Archive for October, 2007

Quilting as a distraction

I had to drop Chesty off this morning before 7am and wasn’t allowed to pick him up until 3pm so I spent the time in between quilting 3 wall hangings for my aunt and trying not to worry about him.

Chesty’s test showed that he does have a collapsing trachea. Structurally, it’s a Grade 1 which means the obstruction is mild when he’s at rest and not having an episode. They’re going to treat him medically and they put him on two new medications so we’ll see how it goes. He’s completely wiped out from the anesthesia and has been sitting next to me or on me since we got home.

I’m not sure how someone who doesn’t quilt for a living can end up with a Christmas rush however, I’m slowly but surely working my way through it. Of course, both my Mom and Aunt have one last quilt each they want done by the beginning of December.

I haven’t published a list recently but you can bet I’m working my way down my current to do list and checking off each item as I finish it. The two quilts I shipped to Mom on Monday and these wall hangings were high on the list and I’m relieved to have them done.


Chesty was seen at the medical clinic at the University today. They did an exam and chest x-rays and decided to do a bronchoscopy tomorrow. The vet found the video very helpful so I’m glad I thought to grab the camera yesterday when he was having one of his episodes.

Keith is out of town of course, isn’t he always when I’m at the Dr’s or Hospital with one of the boys??

Poor Chesty is pooped from spending all afternoon at the clinic and is sacked out on the couch beside me.

I love having massages

I woke up this morning and scheduled an appointment for a massage – I walked into the spa/salon 15 minutes before my appointment and found out the masseuse went home sick. Bummer!

So I was left with my second option which was coming home and putting two bindings on quilts for Mom and then shipping off those two to her and 3 to California to be distributed to those affected by the fires. One of the quilts I sent back to Mom was the one I was quilting the leaves on and overall I was happy with how it turned out.

Two of Purple Project quilts are being donated through this program mentioned on the HeartStrings blog and one is being sent to Karen, a fellow HeartStrings member who is finishing and collecting quilts. If you’d like to help, either contact Karen directly or if you’d like to send quilts for Kids Need to be Kids, you can email me for Debbi’s mailing address.

Another vet appointment

Chesty has always had what the vet in GA told me was probably a collapsing trachea, apparently common in small dogs. Typically, it has occurred with activity or pulling against his collar and leash but lately it’s gotten worse and he’s having episodes when he’s resting or even sleeping. We’ve been referred to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the university and our appointment is tomorrow.

Since the problem is intermittent, I taped one of his episodes this afternoon.

Postcard JP

Managing UFO’s

While I don’t mind having finished tops waiting for quilting, I try very hard now not to let myself put aside a quilt during the piecing project because it can be so hard to go back and finish it. I set aside my July QFAH project (from JudyL’s site) to work on some other things and now I’m having to make myself get this pieced.

I was not nearly as far along as I thought so rather than forcing myself to finish it all at once, my goal is to work on it in blocks of 1 hour as Judy intended – I even pulled the timer out. Until it’s finished I won’t allow myself to start another top.

Fall in Minneapolis

Keith heads off to Palm Springs tomorrow so we spent the afternoon together walking around town.

More free form pieced letters…..

I couldn’t squeeze this one to 4×6 (the *q* and *u* are much too wide!) so it’s a jumbo 5×8 size which is OK because I had plenty of room to try a pinked edge on it.

A nice dinner out and a few glasses of wine wiped away my frustration from this afternoon. Keith leaves Sunday for Palm Springs so I’ll have 3 uninterrupted days to work and get somewhat caught up.

I don’t normally do these ….but

Since Deb was the one who tagged me – I’ll make a half a** attempt at it. Since I don’t usually do these, I only answered a few of the questions and won’t tag anyone else.

4 jobs I’ve had:
Library page
Med/Surg Nurse
Homecare nurse
Public Health Nurse Supervisor
L/D nurse
… many other nursing jobs

4 films I could watch over and over: I don’t watch anything over and over

4 places I’ve lived (more than 4 here)
Newport News, VA
Courtland, VA
Hampton, VA
VA Beach, VA
Pembroke Pines, FL
Valrico, FL
Marietta, GA
Minneapolis, MN

4 favorite foods
Is Cabernet a food?

4 favorite colors

4 places I’d love to be right now
Anywhere in Europe
GA visiting my sons
VA visiting my family

What’s wrong with this picture?

This is the check spring to my longarm in two pieces. I found the piece on the (R) on my quilt top this afternoon. Luckily I had two replacement springs , unfortunately the one I tried to use for the first hour or so was defective!!!!

I spent all afternoon trying to replace this and ran into one issue after another. Finally, I think it’s OK after quilting 2 additional blocks without problems but I was ready to pull my hair out. Let’s just say the instructions didn’t exactly match up to my machine!

On today’s agenda – more leaf quilting

Here are a couple shots from last night – the second photo is a little blurred because I wasn’t using a flash and the *optimal* time for taking photos in my studio had already passed. You can click the photos for a larger view.

I sent these to Mom and she’s happy so far.

Just a little whine

I’m sure I’ve mentioned many times before how much I struggle with custom type quilting. So here I am again today quilting another one of Mom’s (they’re always hers or my aunt’s tops!) and hoping this doesn’t come out too bad.

There are 4 borders, setting triangles, alternate blocks, 9 patch blocks and even a small center applique that all have to have some type of quilting element. I usually manage to be happy with some and unhappy with others so we’ll see how this goes.

Part of my inspiration for the quilting is a new book called Just Leaf It by Kim Stotsenberg. I find leaves much easier to quilt than some other motifs and she has some really nice ideas for filling borders and blocks with them.

Reading a post on Bonnie’s site tonight made me realize that I had never shared my good news from a month or so ago.

Many of you know we moved to Minneapolis from the Atlanta area last December as a result of Keith’s company moving their corporate offices. At the time we had to commit to staying at least one year. While I won’t go into all the details, my distress was due to it looking like we would be facing another move.

Luckily, things worked out very well and Keith was actually promoted to Vice President, Sales & Marketing. I’ve come to love living here in Minneapolis and while I know it won’t be our final move I was more distressed than I realized at the thought of moving again so soon.

I hope things work out as well for Bonnie as they have for me.

Back on track

I finished quilting the top for Mom this afternoon – just in time too as she had shipped me a 3rd one that needs to be done before Christmas. I also finally got out to the post office and shipped/mailed several things that have been waiting since the weekend.

Chesty is better today – the steroid shot made a big difference and he’s just about back to his normal self.

After quilting and running my errands I had a little time before meeting Keith for dinner and decided to try a postcard with the free form pieced letters everyone is doing. Of course, it would have probably helped had I read Tonya’s tutorial first but all in all it’s not too bad for a first attempt especially since I had to limit it to a 4×6 area for the postcard.

I’m getting behind again

Chesty had vaccinations yesterday and had a painful reaction to one of them. He was in pain during the night and then when I called the vet’s office they tried to tell me it was normal.

Well, I knew it wasn’t and insisted he be seen again – finally after being seen and getting a steroid shot to decrease the inflammation he is better tonight.

He’s such a sweetie and I always feel so bad when he’s sick or hurt. Here he is on another day keeping me company in my studio. Hopefully, tomorrow he’ll feel like sitting on the window seat while I finish up the quilt of Mom’s I have on the longarm.

My favorite time of year

I LOVE Autumn and it’s hard to stay inside and work when it’s breezy and beautiful outside. The view from my window is tempting me to go out and play. I’m going to make myself load a quilt and then allow myself to go for a walk.

I decided to create an online album for my Postcard Journal Project and you can find the link on my sidebar. I added another photo from a card I re-created last night (the first one was made last week and is being mailed today).

I was clicking around the internet this morning and found Jeanne Williamson’s blog the author of The Uncommon Quilter – the book that inspired my journal project.

Postcard Journal project

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to begin a journal project using postcards. Although I’m going to recreate a few postcards that I’ve already made and sent – this is my first card made specifically for the project.

Obviously the pink strings celebrate the HeartStrings Sew-in I attended yesterday. If interested, you can see a photo slide-show but since I was the photographer you won’t see a photo of me – yet. I think Sheree has one she took of me that she plans to share.

HeartStrings Sew-in

We had a great time yesterday and got a lot done. I’ll be posting photos later today but for now here’s one of the Pink top I assembled. These are the blocks Mom and I pieced a couple weeks ago when I was in VA. It’s taken outside the small church in Kasson MN where we met.

Sheree did a wonderful job of making the arrangements and acting as hostess for the sew-in. I have really appreciated the efforts of Sue, Kathy & Rhonda, and Sheree to arrange these get-togethers for the MN/WI area quilters who are a part of HeartStrings.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post. I know everyone is probably tired of hearing about copyright but issues continue to flare up and I was curious how others feel. I just wish there were some guidelines available regarding copyright as it relates to quilting and the internet.


It’s a hot topic right now and there’s lots of discussion out there and not all of it’s accurate.

Here’s a link to a series of articles about quilts and copyright from Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine that’s fairly understandable.

Here’s a question for you – if you make a quilt from a published pattern are you allowed to post a photo of YOUR quilt on your blog or on a photo site such as Picaso or Webshots? And how many of us have seen quilts from published patterns in quilt shows? Read the above articles and tell me what you think.

At the risk of having Deb give me a hard time……

First, the HeartStrings stuff. I quilted, bound, and labeled this donated top yesterday. Since Mereth’s pantograph Feather Me was still on the table I used that one – it quilts up SO pretty.

Tomorrow I’ll be traveling south to attend the HeartStrings MN area sew-in. We’ll be working on our October Project Pink. If you’d like to join us in spirit and make some blocks to send in click here for the guidelines and mailing address.

I always label my quilting as scrappy and traditional versus *art* quilting like Deb’s so I know I’m leaving her an opening here ….

I admit it, the postcards are fun so the first thing I start doing when I become interested in a subject is to look for books to inspire and instruct me. I showed the first book I bought in a previous post but on Wednesday I found two books on art quilts that I hope will inspire future postcards. I haven’t completely read through both books but the parts I’ve read are wonderful and the quilts and photos very inspiring.

Art Quilt Workbook by Jane Davila & Elin Waterson
The Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson

I’m toying with the idea of doing a series of small quilts (postcards) similar to what Williamson describes in her book. She did one quilt a week for seven years….I’m not committing to any time frame but I like the idea.

String Bins

Several people asked about the mesh bins I bought yesterday and am using for my strings. They’re by Design Ideas and mine were labeled *FileBox*. They didn’t have enough of the silver ones so two of mine are black.

I bought them from OfficeMax but I didn’t see them on their website. I can’t put my hand on the receipt right now but they were about $15 each. More expensive than the plastic bins with the larger holes but they’re more suited to my purpose and worth it to me.

The tree right outside my window has turned turned to a beautiful gold and I had to snap a photo this afternoon as I was putting one of my fall quilts on the chair. It’s a rainy day so I’m staying inside and working!