Archive for November, 2007

Speaking of gifts

Deb gave me a Jelly Roll for my birthday in June and I’m finally cutting into it. I’m making a very simple block – boxed squares is what I call it. There are versions of it in just about every 4th or 5th book I pick up but it’s so simple I just worked up a quick EQ quilt.

I pair up two strips from the Jelly Roll and leaving them folded in half so I’m cutting through 4 layers, I cut – (2) 6.5 inch rectangles, (3) 2.5 inch squares. This gives me enough for 4 blocks two of each combination.

Lay out the blocks and sew.Here’s a quickie EQ6 drawing. Notice how the blocks are rotated – don’t you like how there are no seams to match up?

I think Jeanne made a pink/black/white version of this sometime last year (I looked for it to link to but it must have been on her old blog) . Her blocks were 9 inches finished if I remember correctly. These are 6 inches (6.5 with seam allowances).

Today’s task

I finally started quilting the Ice Cream top today (it’s been loaded and ready to go for 2 days). The pantograph is Plumage and while I love how it looks – it’s a little fussy to quilt; and time consuming. Fine for a special quilt like this one but I wouldn’t use it on something I wanted to finish quickly.

Done for better or worse!

The snowflakes don’t look so great in this photo but they look fine in person. I had sewn a button on the door but took it off and decided what the door needs is a candy cane. Hopefully I can find one that will work – a button – a pin – even small earring might work. As always, you can click on the photo for a larger view.

I received a wonderful gift box in the today from Deb (everyone knows we’re sisters right?). A journal to keep my quilt ideas and coffee cozies both needle felted by her AND a new Jelly Thimble. She gave me one of those last year and I use it all the time for binding. How did she know I wanted another one?

Quilting:A Love/Hate Relationship

Click photo to enlarge

Am I the only one that has a love/hate relationship with my quilting? Usually at some point in a project I have some level of disappointment or dissatisfaction with the results I’m getting.

I was really worried about 1/2 way through piecing the Ice Cream quilt that my fabric placement wasn’t going to work….but that top turned out nice and is on the longarm ready for quilting.

I LOVED my Holiday House top…..but as I was quilting it I started to think I’d ruined it. Last night I began quilting snowflakes (after all what’s Christmas without snow?) and now I actually think it’s going to be cute. One of these days I’ll learn to *keep the faith* and believe that in the end the final quilt will be OK.

So am I all that unusual or do you all go through the same love it/hate it process when making a quilt?

Family Reunion

We’re planning a family reunion in Virginia for December 8th. Most of our immediate family will be there (Chris and Becky can’t make it) and some extended family too. Adam and I fly in on December 5th and will spend a couple days helping get things ready. Deb gets there that day too.

While we’re both in VA we’re going to meet Vicki for lunch. I won a drawing on her site a couple weeks back and she’s bringing me a hand dyed backing for one of my donation quilts. I’m looking forward to meeting her.

I’ve been busy helping with the reunion plans the last couple weeks and I’ve been thinking about family so that’s my journal postcard this week. This is the house I grew up in and where Mom still lives.

It wasn’t easy for me to make my house this small and you can see I tend to slant to the left. I’m not sure what’s up with that! The letters are my first attempt to quilt words with perle cotton. I have to remember I’m doing this for fun and that it’s an opportunity to try new things on a small scale…. but it’s hard not to be judgemental about the finished product.
Now, I’m off to load the Ice Cream quilt on the longarm before bed.


No sewing again today (at least not yet). I did play around on EQ6 with some house blocks but most of the day was spent playing with photographs.

I bought some frames and albums for the photos I took in Georgia last week. I made one for us and each of the boys….I’m not taking scrap-booking here, just had the photos printed and put them in a simple album.

I also picked up a book on Photoshop Elements at Barnes and Nobles. I’ve been playing with some of the lessons. I love this photo of Adam I took last week. The lesson was creating a poster.

Someone found a warm spot!

Spending money

Keith and I don’t keep separate bank accounts and never have BUT we’ve always bargained for spending money. For example, if I wanted a new computer, he got to buy a new suit for work (I know hardly fair but that’s how it works).

He’s out of town but emailed me that he got a speeding ticket in Denver the other day…..I wrote him back that means a massage for me! So this afternoon, I had a wonderful massage and then got my hair cut.

I know you’re all thinking that I’m spoiled rotten and while it wasn’t always true, I have to admit I’m pretty spoiled these days. Why do you think I work so hard on my donations quilts? I have to give back/give thanks in some way!

For those of you wondering about the photo in my post last night, I’ve been playing around with Photoshop Elements and that’s one of the framing options.

Ice Cream anyone?

Doesn’t it remind you of Neapolitan Ice Cream? Next time I do one of these quilts, I need to do them as JudyL intended and Quilt for an Hour a day. (Here’s the link to Judy’s design)

I started this quilt on July 25th according to the blog (well, at least I drew it in EQ6 on that day). I chose to finish it with one framing border as it was larger than intended and I was limited by the amount of border fabric I had. The plan is to get it quilted before I leave for VA on Dec 5th.

Working late again

Working late again tonight paid off! I’m finished the July QFAH top AND I pieced the flannel back too so it’s all ready to load on the longarm in the next day or so. It’s quite large – 79×99 and that’s even after I decided to eliminate the two small inner borders and just add one framing border. I don’t have a photo because there’s not good place to take a picture of a quilt this large at night so that will have to wait.

As I was finishing up, I looked outside and saw it was snowing…..I wonder what it will look like in the morning? It would be neat if there was some real accumulation.

I’m SO slow!

I had every intention of finishing the QFAH top today but while I made good progress, I still have about 1/3 of it left to put together and then of course I need to put the border on. Maybe I’ll work some more on it tonight but I’m going to relax for now and work on stitching a binding. The good news is that I’m really liking it. I’d take a picture but I’m too tired to go get the camera and the colors probably wouldn’t show up well since it’s dark already.

JudyL is spearheading a renewed effort in stashbusting among bloggers. I’ve been focused on my efforts for 2-3 years but I admit I have a particular weakness for fat quarter bundles.

My weekly stashbusting report:

  • The Pink/Brown QFAH I’m working on is completely from stash.
  • The backings and bindings for 3 HeartStrings quilts are from stash.
  • No fabric purchases this week.

One of the things that helps me use stash is that I don’t allow myself to *save* fabric – if it works for a backing or binding and it’s not being used in a current project then I use it. One of my backings this week was a fabric I had to push myself to use rather than save.

Reading List

I had an email from Cecile, a reader of my blog wanting to share some books she thought I might enjoy. They arrived in the mail yesterday. I was going to put them on my bedside table but there turned out to be just enough space on this shelf beside my favorite photo of my sons. I plan on starting them after finishing up a couple I’m currently reading. If interested, you can always check out my current reading list by clicking the link in my sidebar.

The photo was taken years ago by my father-in-law and is always displayed in my house. As you can see from this photo taken earlier this week, they’ve grown up a bit. As always, click on the photo to see a larger view.

One more thing to share

A little more sewing after Keith and Chesty went to bed. My trees are a little lame but I was trying to capture the day we spent by Lake Oconee. (The view that inspired me.) The other postcards from my journal project can be seen in my online album.

Old photos

I was looking for a photo of an old quilt tonight and came across this one of Deb. This was taken 4 years ago – she came to visit me in GA and tried quilting with my longarm. It wasn’t long before she decided she needed one and well, you’ve all seen her quilting now haven’t you?

I’m feeling so productive – I got the bindings made and sewn on 2 of 3 the small HeartStrings I’ve been working and and even got one hand-stitched down and the label on tonight!

A 3rd HeartStrings top and more swirls quilting

I quickly quilted freehand swirls on this 3rd donated top this morning. I’ll start working on binding the 5 finished HeartStrings quilts I’ve quilted over the last couple weeks. I also need to assemble my July QFAH blocks – are you all tired of hearing me talk about that quilt?

Keith and I plan on going for a walk later – it’s fairly cold today – 31 degrees right now but it was COLDER last night when we walked 1.5 mile to AND from dinner when it was 18 degrees. Kind of a shock to my system since were were just canoeing in GA a few days ago.

Quilts for homeless families

Cricket, one of our HeartStrings quilters makes and donates quilts to homeless families in New England. With the help of other group members, she’s getting ready to donate 50 completed quilts and has more in progress to be donated in January. She mentioned that she needs some more kids quilts and since I had recently received 3 small tops from Wanda, another HeartStrings member, I decided I would quilt, bind, and send them on to Cricket to donate.

I finished the quilting on the first top the day before we went to GA and I just loaded and quilted the second one this afternoon. This first one was quilted with a pantograph from Linda Taylor that came with my machine. I hadn’t used it before and while it’s kind of cute I don’t like the spacing on it very much so it probably won’t be used again.

For this second one, I quilted allover freehand swirls which went pretty quickly. On a stashbuster note, I pieced leftover batting for both of them ( I only do this on small quilts because otherwise it’s too much effort getting a large enough piece) and I found a red Christmas fabric that’s been in my stash for ages for the backing on the second one.

My goal is to quilt the 3rd quilt this weekend and then I’ll have 5 HeartStrings quilts here needing binding and I’ll work on getting those sewn on and stitched down while Keith is out of town next week.

I’m dreaming of a white Thanksgiving!

Stash Reduction

I’m just getting caught up on my blog reading after being away for several days but JudyL is focusing on stash reduction and inviting us all to play along.

I keep some stats on my sidebar but since I probably use different criteria for my UFO finishes and my Stash used I’ll probably keep those going and just play along on a weekly basis by blogging about my progress.

Last week just before leaving for GA, I cut binding for 5 quilts all from stash and pulled a backing for the small HeartStrings top I quilted on Saturday.

Heading home

We head home first thing in the morning but we had a wonderful day with Adam. It’s nice to see how well thought of he is here at the Ritz Carlton. We were treated so well as “Adam’s parents”. We’re very proud of him – he’s just 22 but has been on his own for 2 years since he finished culinary school. Not many kids these days are self supporting at 20!

I particularly enjoyed canoeing/kayaking this afternoon.

It’s nice having connections

We had another wonderful dinner thanks to Adam! It was great seeing him, Chris and Becky. Unfortunately, Chris and Becky have to drive home tonight but we’ll see Adam again tomorrow.