Archive for September, 2008

Not as bad as I feared

With the quilt tossed across the longarm so I can see the overall effect (thanks Darcie), the fan quilting in the sashing doesn’t seem to be a disaster.

I should mention that this is a donated HeartStrings top pieced by Barbara in FL. Hopefully she won’t be disappointed in my quilting on this one. By the way, I don’t consider myself a perfectionist but when I do something, I want to do it well – not just OK.

In general, I try to keep my moodiness from spilling over into the blog but as you can tell, sometimes I fail.

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# 6

Baptist Fans look good on everything – right? Or do they? Certainly they should be fine on any traditional looking string quilt – right?

As I was loading the quilt – I thought, this little border strip would be fine with the fans crossing it, then I started quilting and got worried, then as I quilted another row I thought it’s fine. By the time I’m halfway through the quilt I’ll be worried again.

I’m really, REALLY, not happy with my quilting these days. That nasty inner voice of mine keeps telling me I should really be much better at this after 6 years.

Feel free to comment on my choice of BF for this quilt but don’t feel the need to comment on my unhappiness with my quilting – I’m not looking for reassurance – I’m average and I know it. Sometimes I’m OK with it and sometimes I’m not.

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Weight-loss Wednesday

The actual weight numbers have been eliminated since I’m only comfortable sharing pounds up or down but as you can see – I’m not really making a tremendous amount of progress here.

  • Lost 1.2 lbs this week so I’m back where I was before the two weeks I gained while out of town. Total loss is 7.4 lbs
  • I managed to meet my exercise minimum…..just
  • Failed to drink 64 oz of water each day – need to do better.

How did you do this week?

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Yesterday’s mail brought 2 tops from Marianne ( a member of HeartStrings) for me to finish for Alycia’s Quilts of Valor project. Have you checked her progress toward 400 quilts for 2009 lately?

She’s up to 136 with 90 of them quilted. She receives both tops and finished quilts and shows them all on her blog. You should really take a look!

I also received more books from Cecile. She’s a reader of my blog who contacted me a while back and offered to send some books for me to read. Since then she’s shared books and new authors with me all of which I’ve really enjoyed.

A few of my favorites have been:

Three Pines Mysteries (Series) by Louise Penney

The Cece Caruso Mysteries by Susan Kandel

The Maise Dobbs Mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear

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I should have waited to post the finished photos

These fabrics are much prettier in person than they appear in this photo – it’s a very cute quilt and luckily, another one that I don’t have to bind. Since it belongs to my aunt, it will go back to her to finish.

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Yes, more flowers

The freehand flowers from the Pajama Quilter DVD are just perfect for this top of my Aunt’s that I loaded and started quilting this morning. It’s pieced from my Boxed Squares instructions and turned out really cute.

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Sunday’s Progress Report

Not much stashbusting to report but I’m making progress on my to do list.

  • The fabric in the Wonky Trees including the backing is from stash although I won’t count this small amount of fabric until the quilt is actually finished.
  • I did buy some fabric from the Real Women Quilt online store – I don’t remember how much – a few yards but nothing all that extravagant.

Working on HeartStrings quilts and those for family is one reason I don’t make all that much progress with my stashbusting efforts but it feels really good to mark things off my to do list, even if they don’t involve my stash. Here’s September’s list and I’ve done pretty well this week I think!

  • Mail quilt for Clare’s Quilts for Leukemia project
  • Wash/dry 3 completed HeartStrings quilts
  • Catch up with mail and pay bills
  • Finish Mom’s quilt that’s on the machine now (#1 of 10)
  • Unpack and do laundry
  • Load top #2 of 10 on longarm
  • Plan some meals and go to the grocery store
  • Take Chesty to Dr for xray and post op followup
  • Make Sept postcard for exchange
  • Trim Mom’s quilt and mail it to her
  • Mail NYC t-shirts to Adam
  • Load top #3 of 10 on longarm
  • Load top #4 of 10 on longarm
  • Piece backing for one of my quilts
  • Load top # 5 on the longarm
  • Take donations to Ronald McDonald House
  • Quilt 9 8 7 6 other tops by the end of September
  • Do some piecing on Green HeartStrings blocks as time allows
  • Layer the small Wonky Trees quilt and decide on a hand quilting design
  • Find some time for Exercise!
  • Catch up on blog reading
  • Organize photos from the July Alaska trip and the ones from the NY/DC trip we just returned from, create DVD slideshows and share with family

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The Fly stitch

Keeping in mind this is the first time I’ve used the Fly stitch for quilting….Here’s my back – I only go through all layers with one stitch – the rest I travel through my layer about a needle’s length although you can tell I’m not completely consistent with my spacing – I’ll get better with practice.

This is the point I go through all my layers – when I’m making the (R) part of the stitch as shown with the needle in the diagram below. I stay between the layers when making the small holding stitch and come up on the (L) side of a new stitch – all without going through my layers.
Does that make any sense??

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I had grandiose plans

First, here’s where my top was hiding yesterday – looks pretty obvious but I looked on top of the table and behind the table and only saw it when I glanced over while I was going through the quilt tops in the closet for the 10th time.

I won’t tell you what I thought I was going to quilt on this small top but luckily, I was reading Patti’s blog the other day and saw a quilt she’d quilted with fly stitches. Mine are probably too densely placed and not as even as hers but I like the look. I think I’ll also quilt some words and maybe even a leaf in some of the tone on tone filler blocks. Click on photo for a closer view.

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I finally bought the safety pins

Found – two hours later! It had fallen behind the table but not all the way to the floor. What a waste of time.

…..and now I can’t find my Wonky Tree top anywhere. I was ready to layer it a couple weeks ago and couldn’t find the safety pins (hadn’t seen them since the move). I moved it off the sewing table when I started making the latest set of HeartStrings blocks and now can’t find it anywhere.

It doesn’t even make sense to me that it’s gone – I wouldn’t have put it away anywhere since I was all set to layer and quilt it.

I know you can’t help me find it but I just wanted to whine. I hate it that my memory is getting so bad.

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Deborah’s HeartStrings quilt

I loaded top #4 tonight and couldn’t resist starting to quilt. This HeartStrings top was pieced by Deborah and sent to me to quilt and donate. I’m using the Stylized Floral Stipple from the Pajama Quilter DVD and I think it’s looking great!

This quilt is a great example of how pretty a controlled color scheme can be in a string quilt but you’ll have to wait until it’s quilted and bound to see the entire quilt. You can click on the photo to see a closer view of the quilting.

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# 3 of 10 is done

This HeartStrings top was also pieced by the quilters at St. Mary’s in Ct. I did a quick allover loopy meander on this one – that mint green border reminds me of a Grasshopper pie I used to make years ago!

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Quilts 4 Leukaemia

The first item on my list at the beginning of the week was mailing a quilt that was being donated as a part of Clare’s Quilts 4 Leukaemia project. Today Clare sent me a link to a blog showing Tristan with his quilt. How great is that?

Tristan with his quilt

Clare’s project is one that touched home for me – my father-in-law died 3 years ago of complications from the treatment of his Leukemia – we visited Arlington National Cemetery when we were in DC last week so the timing of donating this quilt was just perfect.

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You’ve probably already tried this

I saw the link on Life’s a Quilt and had to try one myself. It’s an interesting way to see what you’ve been writing about on your blog. Get your own Wordle.

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Not the best news

I’m feeling sorry for myself! (and Chesty)

He was seen for a follow-up visit this afternoon and had an x-ray of his knee. There’s not been a lot of bone growth AND he has a broken screw that is used to attach the plate. The surgeon is not particularity concerned BUT is not ready to lift the activity restrictions yet.

So we have another 4 weeks of no running, playing, jumping, or stair climbing and then another visit and another x-ray.

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2 of 10 done

This HeartStrings top was pieced by the quilters at St. Mary’s in CT and quilted with the Circle Lord Baptist Fan template. It’s # 2 of 10 tops to be quilted in September.

And here’s the top I finished quilting for Mom yesterday, trimmed and ready to mail back to her (#1 of 10). It’s quilted with the pantograph Windy Day. It’s kind of fussy but I don’t worry about following the lines exactly.

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NYC/DC photos uploaded

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Someone on one of the groups I read questioned whether I do anything but string quilts. I responded that of course I do but it does bring up something I’ve been struggling with over the last few months.

One of the reasons I don’t quilt for hire is that I enjoy working on my own quilts and projects. Between moving, traveling, HeartStrings, and a quilting a few tops for family this year, I haven’t had nearly the amount of time for piecing that I like to have. I also think that my blog tends to be less interesting when I’m not *creating* new quilts.

Even with lots of thought I haven’t stumbled upon a way to find a better balance. I don’t want to give up quilting the HeartStrings tops or those for family and I certainly don’t want to give up traveling. One thought I’ve had is that no matter how many tops I have here waiting that maybe I should take every other month and focus on my piecing and quilting…..after all, even machine quilters for hire have a backlog of tops that goes back months!

Of course, I could work longer hours and stay off the computer too….

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Weight-loss Wednesday

Well, we ate and drank our way across NYC and Washington DC so I was just hoping I hadn’t done too much damage.

  • up 0.2 lbs from last week for a total loss of 6.2 lbs
  • did NOT get my 64 ounces of water/day – I’m finding it almost impossible to drink that much water when we travel although it’s not difficult at home
  • met and EXCEEDED my exercise goals – we walked miles and miles!

You’ve probably figure out by now that I’m not being very strict about counting points when we travel. I don’t have big weight loss goals and as I said in the beginning I just want to avoid having to go out and buy all new pants because I can’t fit in to the ones I have.

I could certainly benefit from being more aggressive in my weight loss but part of the fun especially when we’re traveling is dining out and enjoying a few glasses of wine too (although Keith had us drinking Champagne while we were in NYC).

I’m home now until October 5th when we travel to Copenhagen so I’ll focus on watching my points and drinking my water in the meantime.

How did YOU do this week?

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I know the list is long and that I’ve only got 21 day left in September but Keith will be gone a week in London which will help and I can always spill over into the first few days of October if needed. Bottom line is an ambitious list keeps me motivated.

I’ve already managed to check off 4 items today (of course, that lead to the addition of 2 more) but I’m seeing progress. One item was mailing off the quilt below for Clare’s Quilts 4 Leukemia project and another was finishing the quilting on Mom’s Autumn quilt (that’s 1 of 10 done!).

Since, my sidebar is too small to hold the list (it’s too wordy) and I hate going back in and constantly updated a post, I added a page to my site so I can mark items off. There is a link in my sidebar to September’s list although I’m sure my list is WAY more interesting to me than to anyone else!

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