Archive for August, 2009

Making up for lost time

A second top loaded and quilted today –  pieced by San (Gypsy Quilter), it will be donated through Quilts of Valor when I’m done with the binding.

It’s quilted with the pantograph Ebb and Flow, a favorite of mine for patriotic and *water* quilts and I used a backing sent to me by Tish. I know I’ve mentioned it before but having backings made for these HeartStrings quilts really helps and I appreciate Sheree, Tish, and Nancy making them for me!


It’s Monday

The blocks on my design wall haven’t changed since last week but I did get a HeartStrings top quilted this morning. I used a backing sent to me by Nancy and got it loaded and quilted with Baptist Fans. Unlike the last ones I quilted that went every which way, these are quilted in rows.  The top was pieced by Sue and her Oroville/Chico California group.

For more information on how I quilt my freehand Baptist Fans see this post on quilting Baptist Fans.


Judy asked another good question on her blog about how long it takes you to feel antsy when you’re not sewing/quilting. For me, just a day or two is usually enough to make me want to be back in the sewing room and although I don’t always take a project with me on my trips — I did take some crochet this time. I didn’t get as much done on it as I’d have liked but I have another trip in a few weeks so I’ll take it with me on that too. It’s just a simple ripple pattern but the yarn is a cute variegated one.



The long drive home

Somehow it always seems to be a longer trip home but we made it. Chesty was happy to see us but not so happy when Keith put him right in the tub!!

Keith heads out tomorrow for work and I’ll get settled back in and start sewing/quilting again.

Usually I respond to most comments by email but I’ll just thank everyone here for all the comments on our South Dakota trip,  it was fun reading about the places we visited from other’s persepective. We all had such a great time visiting a new part of the country.

Our last day

We started out in Deadwood and then drove through Spearfish Canyon stopping for a  short hike to Roughlock Falls.


Then we drove into Wyoming to see Devils Tower.



We head home tomorrow morning.

More sightseeing

You’re probably tired of seeing photos of my family but I like to go back and look at them on the blog so here are a couple more of us. We visited Jewel Cave and had to kill about an hour waiting for our tour so we walked around a bit.


I like this photo of Keith and I better than the one the other day.


Surprisingly flash photos were allowed during the tour and I alternated between no flash like this one and flash like the next one with the boys.


Neither really capture how the cave really looked.


We also went to Custer State Park but somehow missed seeing the buffalo although Adam and Becky claim to have seen one in the woods. And finally, we ended our day at the Crazy Horse monument. I’m afraid my favorite photo from there was the one below with the bottles filled with beads.


The Badlands

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

Definitely the highlight of the day was driving through the Badlands.

One of many amazing views throughout the park

One of many amazing views throughout the park

I warned them about the snakes before we went but they weren’t concerned.

Luckily no snakes were encountered!

Luckily no snakes were encountered!

I loved the flowers growing alongside this path.

I loved the flowers growing alongside this path.



The kids arrived

It’s so nice to see and spend time with them. Can you guess what was on the agenda today after they arrived? I took lots of photos of the mountain but I’m going to share photos of us today.


Chris, Becky, & Adam

Keith & Mary

Keith & Mary

Adam, Mary, Chris, & Becky

Adam, Mary, Chris, & Becky

OK, maybe just one more.

Mount Rushmore at night

Mount Rushmore at night

We drove west to Rapid City, SD

Corn Palace

Mitchell Corn Palace

Sunflower fields

Sunflower fields

Driving west

Driving into the sunset

South Dakota

We’re leaving shortly for vacation. We’re driving to Rapid City where we’ll meet the boys and Becky tomorrow. I’m excited about exploring a state I’ve never visited.

mt rushmore

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Photo from

Chinese Coins #??

I’ve lost track of what number Chinese Coins quilt this is but the top is done and it’s ready for quilting. It’s probably the last bit of sewing I’ll get done before we leave tomorrow for South Dakota.


Chesty posing with the finished top

Design wall Monday

I don’t have all the blocks done yet (just 16 more) but I’ve made progress. Once I have them all finished, I’ll distribute those secondary red diamonds more evenly through the quilt.

So what’s on your design wall this week? Share the link at Judy’s site


I’ve been asking Keith for shelving units in the garage that I can put storage bins on and while these aren’t the built in ones I’d really like, it’s nice to actually have this stuff a little better organized — I even have empty bins so I can move some of the other stuff I don’t have room for out there.

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Did you miss me?

Yesterday I attended a HeartStrings sew-in held in Roberts, WI. We had the best time and got a lot accomplished! I pulled out some of the Chinese Coins I still had from a previous HeartStrings project and worked on assembling this top (still needs the top borders). I used the Easy version posted on my site.

Kathy and Rhonda worked on our new Diamond String blocks and others worked on our regular HeartStrings blocks.

But most of the people attending worked on assembling Happy Blocks. Carol even took the rest of the blocks home to finish assembling them into tops and I brought two of these home with me to quilt — the blue and the pink & green ones in the front.
You can see some other photos from our day in this Picasa album.

What a difference a day makes

I’d intended to finish up the last 16 string blocks I need for my current project but woke up feeling like I needed to focus on the quilts needing bindings. So I sorted, and trimmed, cut and made binding, and machine stitched it on a couple quilts and now things are under control.
Of the 9 quilts here:
  • 2 were set aside to be sent to Maine for binding and donating
  • 3 were trimmed, binding was cut, and they’re set aside for me to take to the sew-in tomorrow. Sheree has come to my rescue again and will bind these 3 for me.
  • 2 got bindings made and machine stitched – these are ready for me to hand stitch now.
  • That just leaves 2 in the stack that needs attention — much better than 9.
I know some people get confused when I mention machine stitching binding but just to be clear, I machine stitch all my bindings to the front of the quilt and then fold it to the back and finish it with hand stitching.
Now, I’m working on getting my stuff together for tomorrow’s HeartStrings sew-in.

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Another binding done

You might remember this quilt from a couple months ago. It was pieced by Barbara in FL and it’s been in the binding stack – did I mention that the binding stack doesn’t seem to be getting smaller? This is the 4th one I’ve done but the pile is getting larger with all the quilts I did a couple weeks ago not smaller.

Quilted with a simple wavy grid using the piecing lines.

I’m a hermit

Just had to get out for a while. Dinner and coffee and the rain held
off so I didn't get wet.

Poor Chesty

He just doesn’t know what’s going on around here….I finally headed up to bed around 5PM after getting about 6 hours sleep in the last two days but woke up at 1AM. Had to get up to walk Chesty (yes in the middle of the night!) ate a bowl of cereal, cleaned out my inbox and now I’m going to check in on a few blogs and then upstairs and see if I can’t sleep a couple more hours.

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I’m losing time here

In updating my site, I’ve been searching for the perfect WordPress template that I can customize and well, it’s just not to be found so last night I downloaded a software program that allows me to build my own theme, customize it, and then upload it to WordPress.
So after setting up my site, I decided I would redesign the HeartStrings site — only that one is hosted on Yahoo and I had one glitch after another so I decided to move it to which is where I host my site. It was a bit of a challenge to transfer the domain over BUT the good news is that I can host it using my current space so in the end I’ll save about $150 a year. I’m also going to combine the blog and the website into one. Who knows, if it works well for HeartStrings, I might just do the same for my blog and my site.

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A binding trifecta

Of all the quilts I have here to bind, I didn’t necessarily set out to bind 3 Happy Block quilts in a row but that seems to be how it worked out.

Today’s finish is one pieced from donated blocks at the HeartStrings Nebraska sew-in.

Another binding done

Making a little more progress on the binding front — this twisted Happy Block top was pieced by Deborah and uses different cat fabrics in the block centers — very cute!

Instructions for the twisted Happy Block quilt can be found on my site.

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