Archive for October, 2009

A HeartStrings sew-in

I’m more of a sunset than sunrise kind of girl but I was up early this morning heading south toward Rochester for a HeartStrings sew-in. I had to pull off the road and get my camera out of the trunk to take some sunrise photos. The amount of cloud cover made for a dramatic slice of light as the sun came up.

DSC_8853

We worked hard at the sew-in and had a good time to0. You can see my table all set up to tie a HeartStrings top. That’s Sheree on the left who pieces a lot of backings for me and Sue who receives all the HeartStrings blocks here in the US and pieces many tops  (her Mom helps too) for our volunteer quilters.

DSC_8862This top was pieced by Sue and her group in California (yes, a different Sue) and was the last of 9 tops  they sent in to be finished and donated. Several still need binding but all will be bound and donated soon.

Feeling SO much better today

Up to doing errands, quilting, and getting ready for a HeartStrings Sew-in tomorrow.

This Happy Block top was pieced by Carol from donated blocks  at our last sew-in and quilted today with the pantograph Happy Times.

carol with pink & green

DSCN8055

Believe it or not, this is the last Happy Block top I have here waiting for quilting (I think I’ve quilted about 12 of them) but I think Carol may have some more tops pieced to pass on to me tomorrow at the sew-in.

Instructions to make your own Happy Block Quilt can be found at my Mary Quilts.com site.

In spite of feeling like crap

I made it down to the longarm room again tonight. Another top pieced by San and quilted with the pantograph Lush Leaves.

DSC_8833

Who knows, I might even get another one or two done before Saturday. The more I get quilted, the more help with binding I’ll have from Sheree and Cindy!

One more

I was going to bed but I’ve really missed my quilting over the last couple weeks while I was traveling so I thought I’d load another top and once I’d loaded it, I decided to go ahead and quilt it.

This top was pieced by Sue and her group in CA. I think it’s the 6th one I’ve done from the box of tops they sent in for quilting but I could be off by one. This was quilted with a swirly version of Dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD.

DSC_8830-1

Do you worry about getting in a rut with your quilting? You see this design from me fairly often especially on HeartStrings quilts but it’s fun to quilt and the texture really suits these tops so I don’t mind that I use it often.

Now I really am heading to bed after I take my NyQuil and I’ll probably sleep late too!

Quilting — on this week’s to do list

There’s a HeartStrings sew-in on Saturday and I’ve had offers of help with binding from Sheree and Cindy so on my list of things to do this week is quilting. For the most part, I tend to try and keep up with my binding so there are just 2 quilts for me to take with me for binding…well, make that 3 now.

After laying around all day I thought I might wrestle up enough energy to quilt and got this top (pieced by San) quilted with a large allover stars and loops meander. This is one of several tops that I’ve been quilting for her that will be donated to veterans.

DSCN8049

DSCN8052My goal is to get one or two more tops done to take with me. Thanks to the backings pieced by Sheree, Nancy, and Tish I’m able to get these donated tops loaded quickly. I think this one was pieced by Nancy but I could be wrong since I’ve been rooting around on the shelves and they’re no longer in their original stacks.

Backups

I was reading a post at Tanya’s blog which reminded me I’d been lax in backing up my blog. I’d love to have a hard copy of it but haven’t found a method that isn’t time consuming and cumbersome. So for now, I pull up the monthly pages and save them as an HTML file and then back those up to a separate on site storage device….of course, a fire would wipe it out both my original and backed up copies but my one trial with off site backups was kind of a pain so I’m not bothering with that anymore.

So do you backup or just hope for the best?

I had a list a mile long

My resistance must be down because I came home from Boston with either a bad cold or a mild flu — sometimes it’s hard to tell which. I did have to run Chesty out to the vet and go to pick up some meds but now I’m planning on putting my *to do* list on hold and just taking it easy the next couple days.

Maybe I’ll even be able to catch up on some of my blog reading and see what you all have been up to.

Checking up on Chesty

I’m at the airport waiting for my flight and decided to check up on Chesty at the kennel. I’m anxious to get home and pick him up. (The arrow is pointing to him — sometimes I have to study the dogs for a while to figure out which one he is…the other white dog in the photo is a Westie I think).

CHesty

Boston – More walking

Charlestown, the North End, the Waterfront.

I head home tomorrow.

Boston, it’s wet but beautiful!

We walked for miles today and while we had to pull out our umbrellas from time to time it was a wonderful autumn day. You should be able to click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger view.

I love snow!

What a great day, first it was snowing when we left Minneapolis (I almost hated to go) and then Keith let me sit in his first class seat and he sat back in coach (With all the travel he does, he usually gets upgraded).

We got to Boston in time for a quick dinner and then met Keith’s sister for drinks.

I’ll be heading out tomorrow with my camera and hope to capture some autumn color. We’re staying near Boston Commons so we’ll walk that way first.

How was your day?

I was up at 6:30AM

Drove Keith to work

Had the tile guy here to finish up the backsplash

Checked email

Napped

Read

Cuddled with Chesty

Unpacked

Did laundry

Fused and cut Ducks and Bears with the GO cutter for Mom

Walked across the river with Keith for dinner

Checked email

Watched a bit of TV

Admired the trees outside my front window

DSCN7911

Tomorrow we head for Boston.

New Go dies

They arrived the day before I left and I didn’t even open the package but tonight before heading to bed I just had to take a peak.

I get occasional emails asking how I like my GO Cutter and I’m still loving it. You have to pay attention to your fabric grain or you may get some slight variations (fabric stretches as you roll it through the cutter) but even when I’m casual about how I layer my fabric I still get good results. I try to be an accurate quilter but I don’t need to be perfect.

This time I ordered 3 dies. The Drunkard’s Path which is so large (7 inches) that it’s really more suited to contemporary type quilts rather than traditional (I’ll snap up a 3 or 4 inch die when (if) they come out with it). The Apple Core could also be a little smaller and the Bears and Ducks while very, very cute could be an inch or so bigger too. I’m kind of curious how they decide which dies and which sizes to release since they seem to be a little off the mark to me …. but that’s just my opinion and hey, I’m happy to have new dies to play with.

photo (3)

Aren’t these cute? Ducks and Bears will be showing up in Mom’s quilts in the next few months and I’ll be using that 1.5 inch strip cutter for her too.

photo (4)

Still no photos

Well, I’ve been cutting fabric for Mom and working up instructions for some small quilts for her to make but nothing compelling enough to photograph.

I head home tomorrow but am turning around and going to Boston on Friday so it will be a while before I have any quilting to show.

Thanks again for all the comments — sounds like I’m not the only one suffering with headaches AND allergies.

Thanks for wishing me well

Yesterday was just terrible, in addition to the headache my allergies went crazy on the plane — I just don’t tolerate scents anymore and some people seem to bathe in their cologne and perfumes.

After getting here to Mom’s and taking an entire pharmacy worth of pills, I went to bed at 7PM and got up this morning feeling much better.

We’ve had a lazy day talking and planning quilts and I’ve had just a mild headache.

Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll do something quilty that I can photograph and share with you.

Heading out tomorrow

Ongoing headaches and pain are making me change plans — I’m still heading out to visit Mom in VA tomorrow but we’re going to cancel the road trip since I don’t think I’m up to doing a lot of driving.

Today was a bust as far as quilting goes but it will be waiting for me when I get home.

Finished

Pieced by Cheryl and already shipped to Jay along with 3 other quilts for his Nursing Home project.

DSCN7904

I finished the binding the other night but had to repair a couple seams that worked loose when I washed the quilt. I thought I could use an applique type stitch that wouldn’t be seen but the gap and fraying were too much so I had to do a narrow zigzag to make sure the seam was secure.  It’s not noticeable looking at the overall quilt so I think it will be fine.

I also got the 2nd quilt from yesterday trimmed and the binding made and machine stitched. If I feel up to it I’ll work on stitching it down but I have another killer headache so we’ll see.

Not the best quilting choice

I don’t usually quilt two tops in a day but I was still waiting for the tile guy to finish this afternoon so I put this HeartStrings top pieced by Sue and her group in CA on the machine and quilted it. I quilted freehand leaves and curls but the quilting doesn’t show at all, I can’t even get a picture of it with side lighting.

I think the best quilting for these HeartStrings quilts is something like Baptist Fans or Ebb & Flow — something with lots of consistent texture. I need to pull out my clamshell pantograph and do that on another one.

DSCN7897

And here’s a sneak peak at the tile waiting for grouting. He’ll be back at 7AM (ugh!).

DSCN7886

Finished and I don’t have to bind it

This pineapple top was pieced by Mom and quilted with allover swirls. It will be donated at Christmas through the Angel Tree at Mom’s Church.

DSC_8821

Ready for the new tile

We intended to put in a new tile backsplash when we changed the countertops (a year and a half ago) but somehow I never got around to it until today. Let’s hope it looks better when it’s done – -I hate picking out tile/paint/furniture as I never can picture how the finished product will look.

DSC_8815

DSC_8816

Walking
Archives