Archive for November, 2007

A very quiet day

Unfortunately, I’ve got a terrible cold so I’m not feeling too energetic but we’ve had a beautiful day sitting by the lake. Adam, Chris, and Becky should be here shortly and we’ll visit a while before dinner.

We’re in GA!

Yeah! I saw Adam for a few minutes this afternoon when we got in. He’s working tonight but it was great to see him and give him a big hug after 8 months!

We have dinner reservations tonight in the restaurant where he works here at the Ritz Carlton – Georgia’s. He gave us a quick peek at the kitchen and told us we’ll have the table next to the fireplace for our dinner tonight. If you follow the link above – you’ll see the fireplace and where we’ll be eating tonight.

More unfinished business

Not only do I have UFO’s in my quilting life but now it seems as if I’m amassing quite a collection of unfinished books.

I’m on a mission to get some of these off my bedside table, the end table, my entry way table, the side of the tub where they’re all sitting half read. Yesterday I finished two – Lake of Sorrows and Three Cups of Tea.

Lake of Sorrows was a mystery that was fairly good although it took me a little bit to get into the story and Three Cups of Tea was fascinating – a story about an American who has been building schools in Pakistan.

As always you can see my current reading list here: My Shelfari Bookshelf

My poor little house

Thanks for the comments but the sad thing is I DID start quilting from the center. There’s some outline and ditch stitching in addition to the stars and I was going to see if I had a small button for the door but I guess what’s bothering me is the difference in the density of the quilting between the center and the fans in the border.

I’ll have to go back and add quilting to the inside….I’m just not sure what to put so I’ll have to think about it some. I can pull out Sandy Bonsib’s book on Folk Art Quilts and Gwen Marston’s Liberated Quilting book and see if I can pick up any additional ideas.

I’m sitting here looking at it now and it doesn’t look as unbalanced – I think trying to get an angle that showed the quilting in the photo last night also exaggerated the puffiness.

I’ll continue on……I can do this!

How pathetic is this?

OK, I’m stitching along and thinking – no stress…. just enjoy the process…. so what if it turns out ugly….. you only *invested* one night in the piecing….. think of it as practice…..

I almost didn’t share this photo since it looks like I’ve RUINED my cute little house quilt. But you guys will be kind won’t you?

It didn’t look as bad in person as it looks in this photo. Really it doesn’t – but it doesn’t look so great either. (Obviously I’m not done quilting it yet but I’m not counting on it getting much better!)

Counting the days

Keith and I are heading to GA on Sunday. We’re staying at the Ritz Carlton that Adam works at outside of Atlanta and we’ll see both boys and Becky. I love living here in Minneapolis but I do miss seeing my boys. Chris calls/emails frequently (very frequently) but Adam is the opposite and I don’t hear from him nearly enough.

Today (well actually yesterday) was one of those days I worked a series of small tasks – unloading and trimming a quilt, choosing fabric and cutting bindings for 3 quilts, cleaning off my cutting table, pre-cutting some Peltex for postcards, finding a bin to keep my postcard bit and pieces all together so I can just pick up and make one when I have the desire, layering my mini house quilt, and finally this evening sat down and started hand quilting it.

You know what’s funny? I’m enjoying these small projects so much I don’t even mind that my quilting isn’t all that great or that my crazy quilt isn’t very *artistic*. It’s unusual for me to not stress over my imperfections but its nice for a change.

This is a messy process

I’ve been reading Tonya’s Winter Class Blog and while I don’t feel like I have time to take from my other tasks to take the class I like the concept. Last night at midnight – after Keith and Chesty went to bed – I decided to play around a little.

A few years ago, we stopped giving presents at Christmas and started making a donation to Habitat for Humanity instead. I like the thought of helping someone get a home of their own rather than buying tons of presents for people who already have more than they need (myself included!).

Here’s my little one block quilt showing What Christmas Means to Me. You probably can’t see it in this photo but there’s the face of a smiling boy in the window.

By the way, I hope it’s OK to post the link to the class here. I found it from a link on Tonya’s site but I know the blog for the first class was not public.

Habit, routine, or tradition?

Whatever you want to call it, Keith and I have been going over to a local sports bar on Sunday to catch at least half of the Redskin’s game. He’s a big fan and I’m a fan of anyone playing AGAINST them! Today it just happened to be one of my favorite teams – the Eagles and we won! Sad for Keith but I was happy.

Before and after the game, I retreated with my online quilting groups and was able to finish up the pink quilt on the longarm. The quilt hanging on the design wall was quilted yesterday. How appropriate is it that I worked on quilts for breast cancer patients the weekend before getting my mammogram? Wish me luck tomorrow.

I also wanted to thank everyone who wrote me asking how Chesty is doing. He’s on his meds and seems to be doing better. Speaking of routine – Sunday is typically the day Chesty gets his bath. The guest bathroom is an overflow area for my studio – can you see Keith trying to work around the boxed batting and the HeartStrings top hanging on the shower rod.

Taking a break

This is a retreat weekend but Keith and I are going to run a couple errands and get a late lunch. Although most of my time is being spent on HeartStrings projects this weekend – I did finish up the last blocks from my July QFAH project LATE last night. Here’s the final block!

I’m almost done with the quilting of the HeartStrings top – it’s for a breast cancer patient and was pieced by Barb in MN. I think the roses look lovely on it.

One done, one on deck

I finished quilting the Red HeartStrings top this afternoon, unloaded and trimmed it and now its ready for a binding. Next up is one of the Project Pink tops that I loaded on the longarm tonight and will start quilting tomorrow.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s read the tip to have quilting books spiral bound at an office place like Kinko’s. I never really felt the need until I found myself fighting with some of the books I bought when I started the doll size Crazy Quilt ( who knew that 1 doll size quilt would require the purchase of 6 or 7 books?) But then I don’t really need much of an excuse to buy books.

After struggling the other night to hold this book open on my lap while I was stitching I decided this would be a good one to take and have it spiral bound. No more fight to keep it open to the right page! They charged me just under $5.

To see the detail on this page, click the photo to enlarge. I love this book because she has lots of pages like this that after she shows you how to make a certain stitch she provides lots of examples.

After hours

Since our move to Minneapolis we’ve been living in an apartment downtown and we’ve decided we’ll stay here another year. It’s very convenient to Keith’s office and with our condo still for sale in GA, my son and his wife renting our house in Marietta, and the housing market still dropping we’re not ready to buy right now.

So…since I’m not sure how much sound carries when I’m using the longarm, I’ve made it my policy NOT to quilt late at night. My sewing machine is in a room that is bordered on 3 sides by other rooms in our apartment and the 4th side is an exterior wall so I feel pretty safe sewing late at night knowing I’m probably not bothering anyone.

My routine many nights is to come into the sewing room after Keith and Chesty head to bed and work for a while. Tonight while I should have been trying to finish up the blocks on my July QFAH top, I made another postcard. Before I started my journal project I’d made 2 cards depicting the birch trees I saw on our trip last month to Duluth and the North Shore that I sent to my sisters Deb and Ann. Here’s the one that will stay with me as part of my journal project.

Have I learned my lesson?

I think I’ve finally learned that when I’m having problems quilting to walk away for a while (or a night) and try again at a later time. I had to re-thread my longarm yesterday evening after my thread broke – some freaky thing on the cone got caught up. For some reason I could NOT get the tension readjusted so I could get back to quilting. After making several adjustments that didn’t help I shut down for the night.

This afternoon, I walked back in the room, unthreaded the machine and started from scratch – a quick tweak of the tension dial and I was back in business.

I’m quilting more hearts – is that boring? This is a HeartStrings top and I wanted to finish it before the weekend. It’s a virtual retreat weekend on Stashbusters and now a group of HeartStrings quilters are planning to *work* this weekend too so my goal is to quilt both the pink tops I have here from our October Project Pink. But first I have to finish up this one! You can see my top and others from our project in our online album.

Fall Quilts

Each year I’ve been quilting I’ve made an autumn quilt – this year it happened to only be 4×6 inches.

This Rail Fence was made my 2nd or 3rd year quilting and remains one of my favorites. I’ve added instructions (slightly smaller version with fewer leaves) to my site – Autumn Leaves

Fall becomes Winter

It’s been much colder this week and yesterday we actually had snow flurries! I took this photo of the Basilica of St. Mary’s from Loring Park but the flurries had stopped by then. I love the colder weather and have taken time for a walk both yesterday and today.

My aunt asked me to quilt one final top before Christmas and it arrived in the mail yesterday. I told her I’d only do a quick pantograph and since I knew it was a nautical quilt I’d planned on doing Ebb and Flow. However, when I opened up the package I realized that Waterworld would look much better on it although it would take longer to quilt (thanks Deb). Luckily, it was a small top and I finished it about 30 minutes ago.

I won’t show the finished quilt but here’s a photo starting out earlier today.

Photo transfer

I had a couple questions about the fabric I used for the photo transfer on the anniversary postcards. I had some Printed Treasures sheets in the house but felt they were too *white* to give the aged look I was after. When I attempted to use the sepia option on my photo editing software I didn’t get the result I wanted either.

So my solution was to print the photos on a photo transfer sheet and pull a spotty beige fabric from my stash to iron them on to. I LOVE the look although Deb didn’t like the darker spots – I thought they made the photos look more aged.

The top photo on last night’s post was definitely my favorite of the two although I think I liked the one I sent Mom pictured below the best of all and it was the first one I did. You can click on the photos to see a larger view.


Since I made my postcard earlier in the week for my journal project, I decided to take two leftover photos from a previous postcard I’d made and try some other framing options. One of the two didn’t please me at all – care to guess which one I liked and will probably use again?

My Happy Dance

Imagine if you will, my putting the final stitches in this quilt of Mom’s and dancing around my studio with my iPod blaring Barry White…..Oh happy day!

Want to vote?

Anyone want to vote in the $100,000 Quilt Challenge?

Quilt Show

I attended a quilt show in Hudson, WI today. I know Kathy, Teresa, and Rhonda from my HeartStrings group and their guild is having their show this weekend. It was very nice -lots of beautiful quilts, vendors, and I attended a lecture by Darlene Zimmerman.

I also met Nancy, a quilter who reads my blog and recognized me which is pretty amazing because I make sure the photo on my profile is the MOST flattering one I can find. Nancy is a quilter who lived in Japan for many years and was making a cord on a Kumihimo disk while we were waiting for the lecture to start. She was answering a lot of questions from nearby quilters watching her work and she mentioned this site BraidersHand as a resource.

Patchwork Harvest Quilt Show
November 3, 2007 – 10AM-5PM
November 4, 2007 – 11-AM – 4PM
1300 Carmichael Road
Hudson Middle School

Simple quilting

Sometimes the simplest quilting pattern is the best. The pantograph I’m using on this autumn log cabin looks wonderful and it’s so simple to quilt.

Blowing Leaves by Dave Hudson.