Archive for January, 2009

A spring like day

Saturdays are usually reserved for brunch and errands and today was no different but I carried the camera along since I have a *class* assignment. I also took along my books on Dublin to do some trip planning while we waited for Carol to pick up the quilt I did earlier this week. (I don’t usually quilt for others but this was a donation quilt.)

We have temps in the low 40’s today and the snow is melting…which will be followed by everything freezing back over tomorrow or Monday.



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Is it February yet?

I was in the mood to play tonight so I went ahead and made my February card for our family exchange. I wonder who will get mine this time? It’s time to post the exchange list Deb.



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Have you been looking for just the right present to send me?

EDIT: Red, Blue, Purple….I like all colors!
You guys know I can’t sew but I want one (or 5) of these! Seriously I’m not kidding, isn’t there someone out there who wants to make a present for me? Anyone? Deb??

Airplane Art Binder


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#10 is done

With a day to spare, #10 of 10 tops is quilted! Sent to me by San to quilt and send on to Alycia for her QOV project it’s quilted with Ebb and Flow.

I’ve been amazingly productive this month with 10 tops quilted, 12 quilts bound, 2 Happy Block tops pieced over New Year’s and progress made on piecing 2 other tops. Don’t expect to see this kind of productivity next month. I have my sons coming to visit next weekend and I’ll be going to Virginia for the last week of the month.

It’s a good start to 2009!


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I’ve said this before….

…..and I’ll say it again. I LOVE blogging! I love the people I’ve met, the inspiration I’ve found for my quilting, I love everything about it.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Dawn Ramirez’s Pajama Quilter DVD. Although I’ve always done some freehand quilting her DVD not only gave me plenty of new designs to try but her approach to teaching and her encouragement to be less judgemental really spoke to me. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been much more adventursome this year with my freehand quilting extending way beyond even the designs she teaches on the DVD. She gave me the confidence to experiement and expand my quilting.

Now, If I remember this correctly, a friend of Dawn had seen some of my early posts after I got the DVD and Dawn wrote me….from there she found HeartStrings and became a member of our group.

If all of that wasn’t enough….Dawn recently gave a class and demo on scrap quilting in Idaho and featured some HeartStrings quilts and talked about our group in the class. Julia a blogging friend, happened to be attending the class and was surprised (and pleased) to find Dawn talking about HeartStrings and she send me a photo.

Without blogging, I would have never found Dawn’s DVD, Dawn wouldn’t have found HeartStrings, I wouldn’t be friends with Julia, and Julia wouldn’t have attended a presentation in Idaho that featured HeartStrings!

Seriously, how cool is that?

I LOVE being inspired and getting to know you all!


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This pile of strings??

Susan commented “YOU WIN! That’s the most strips that I’ve seen anyone have.” about my photo of my string bins posted the other day.

I just want to explain….this is 8+ years of leftovers from my quilting. All my strings from straightening fabric edges when cutting, all the leftover bits of backings from trimming finished quilts, leftover strips from other projects – ALL get tossed in here for use in my string quilts.

I just can’t use them as fast as I create more but I’ll keep trying.


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And another binding finished

This was the top of Barbara’s I quilted a couple weeks ago with the Wandering Daisies pantograph. Can you believe I had a green fabric in my stash that was the perfect shade for the binding?

And this is what my railing looks like right now with all these finishes waiting to go downstairs to be washed. I LOVE productive months like this one.


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Strips and Strings Log Cabin

I added an instruction sheet for this quilt to my MaryQuilts.com site with lots of photos but these blocks are easy to make and I’m sure you’ll find your own way of doing them as you get started.

Strips & Strings Log Cabin Instructions

I’ve still got one more top to quilt for the month but I’m not in the mood to load a quilt on the longarm right now so I think I’ll read a while. Have a great day!


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Instructions are coming

I made another set of blocks this morning for the log cabin quilt and took lots of photos to write up some instructions today. As I was getting set up, I thought I’d pose a question. How do you you all back up your computers?

About 4 years ago I bought an external hard drive for the desktop and between that and periodic burning of data to DVD’s that computer is covered but I was getting a LOT of data on the laptop and while I was burning DVD’s periodically, in Decmember I decided I needed a hard drive for backing up this computer too. I couldn’t believe how small these drives are now.

Here’s a photo just for fun – I love it when Chesty perches on the arm of the sofa or chair – he looks so cute!


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Playing with strips and strings

These may not look like much now but I loved the log cabin quilt I pieced from my strips and string bins and my strings are completely out of control. PLUS I love making log cabin blocks and there’s no cutting – I just start piecing blocks. (Make sure you click the link above or you won’t know how cute this is going to be).

Before getting started, I had to finish assembling these two sections of the RWB quilt. I still need to make the two blue sections but I’m taking a time out for this top first.

I don’t want to shock you, but playing in my strings is MESSY! (not this mess)

This one! That huge pile of strings on the floor haven’t been sorted into color groups yet so I’m pulling most of the strips from there.


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Bound

The top pieced by Barbara in FL and quilted with freeform Baptist Fans is bound and labeled.
I’m still slowly working on my RWB top – a few more rows and half the quilt will be done and then I’ll let myself start something new and alternate work on the two since I seem to be bored with just the one. I’ve got one more binding to sew down and one more top to quilt for the month.

Keith caved in pretty easily on the Accuquilt Go Cutter so I ordered it tonight. (Didn’t even have to wait for my birthday)


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On today’s agenda

Keith left this morning for Dallas so I have a few days on my own again (yes, he just got home on Sunday evening). Today’s tasks will be piecing and binding but I’m not ready to start working yet. I’ve been reading, paying bills and as usual spending some time on the computer. I’ve given up any hope of keeping up with my blog reading so I’m just doing a few each day.

This is week 2 of my online Digital Scrapbooking class. I continue to learn lots and it’s fun too. The class is at JessicaSprague.com and through a link in today’s email, I found a bunch of online tutorials she has so if you’ve been playing around with Photoshop Elements go check it out.



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# 9 of 10 done

Such a pretty quilt! Carol had asked me to quilt this one and I agreed as long as I could do a pantograph. I think the quilting turned out nice.

A closer shot… I was a little worried about the white thread in the border but it looks just fine.

I was also a little worried about the batik backing – I’ve never quilted one before but I’ve heard that lots of people have problems with them. Luckily, all went well and my tension was very good. (Go ahead and click the photo, you’ll see!)



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The View from my Window

I’m downstairs working during the day for a change so I have the binds open. Although there’s plenty of snow still on the ground I’m ready for a fresh coat but unfortunately there’s none in the near future according to the forecast.

I’m loading a top Carol asked me to quilt. I’m doing the Wandering Daisies pantograph on it and was pulling some thread to see which one might work. This quilt has a LOT of white space and I dislike dark thread in light fabric.

After laying all the strands across the quilt – I eliminated the teal as too dark in the white. The yellow’s not bad but I think I’m going with cream…boring I know but safe.

If actually pulling thread off the spool and looking at it on your quilt top is NOT a part of your process, I suggest you try it. It’s not unusual at ALL for me to think I know what color thread I’m going to use and then change my mind once I see it on the top. (I was thinking the teal was light enough …wrong!)

I’ve also been running around this morning reading Fables. I don’t do exchanges of any kind*, not ever, not in 8+ years of quilting. I refuse to take part due to deadlines, refuse to have my work judged by others as lacking in quality or creativity, and refuse to take time from my own quilting agenda.

So why am I changing my mind for the first time ever?? Vicki is organizing a Postcard exchange on my MQ Resource list with a theme of Aesop’s Fables and since its a small group of people that includes Vicki, Suzanne, and Deb I thought I’d give it a try. Thank goodness I bought this book months ago after reading about it on Vicki’s site. Wish me luck, I hope they’re nice to me!

* the one exception to my ban on exchanges are those solely done with family like our postcard exchanges.


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Sunday’s Progress report

  • (3) tops quilted
  • (3) quilts bound; 2 more in progress with just the hand stitching left to do
  • A little piecing this week, I started joining the red sections together on the RWB quilt but didn’t make much progress.
  • No fabric purchased (Although I did some online shopping and closed the cart before checking out!)
  • (2) of the quilts finished this week had backings from my stash; The Chinese Coin quilt had sashing, binding, borders from stash; and one of the bindings I have left to hand stitch was pulled from stash.


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I want one

I really don’t need another expensive toy but would you look at these?? There are several quilts I’d love to make but can’t seem to make myself spend the time cutting them out (apple core, thousand pyramid, tumbler, etc) especially since I want scrappy versions which take so much longer to cut anyway.

Accuquilt

I’m going to have to keep this link …maybe I can convince Keith I need one for my birthday in June.


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#8 of 10

Up early this morning (5AM) to load and start quilting #8, a donated top by Barbara in FL. I’m quilting this one with freeform Baptist Fans. Click on the photos to see a larger view.

If you love the look of BF’s and haven’t given these a try you really should. I’ve always loved Tonya‘s hand quilted fans but I do most of my quilting by machine. Patsy Thompson has a great DVD and free handouts at her site showing how to quilt this and other variations. And you don’t have t o have a longarm to do these – Patsy quilts them on a domestic sewing machine.



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UFO finished


Yesterday was a lazy day but I did manage to make this binding, get it sewn on and even hand stitched down.

I’m very happy with the quilting now that it’s completely finished! This is one of my favorites of the HeartStrings Chinese Coins quilts I’ve made and the instructions can be found on my MaryQuilts.com site.



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A lunch date

I walked downtown to meet Keith for lunch. There's a nice atrium for
me to sit with my book while I wait for him.

Crazy!

He’s heading to Florida tomorrow but I think he broke out the shorts a little early. I was reading by the fire, wrapped in a flannel quilt at 6AM when Keith took Chesty out this morning….it was 10 degrees.



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Walking
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