Archive for May, 2010

Making our own quilt kits

One of the things I always do when I visit Mom is help her line up some projects to work on between my visits. Sometimes it’s cutting, sometimes fabric shopping, and sometimes designing or modifying patterns. This trip I did a little of everything including modifying a quilt she saw in one of her books that had a cute elephant appliqué. Thanks to EQ I’m able to work up instructions easily.

On my design wall

I’m not home but before I left, I tossed these blocks up on the design wall. I haven’t decided the setting or even figured out how many blocks I need but I’m toying with the idea of appliquéing some circles. Not sure what size or color but when I get home I’ll play a little in EQ – in fact, my copy of EQ7 might even be there when I get back.

Another Lattice quilt

Mom and I played in the sewing room today. We cut out a Tumbler quilt and while we had the 30’s fabrics out, we cut out a Lattice Quilt and started piecing it – well, Mom was piecing, I was cutting, ironing, and trimming blocks.

I don’t have instructions up for the Lattice Quilt yet but I use the 6.5 inch half square triangle and the 1.5 inch strip dies for my Accuquilt GO to cut these out.

Some Finishes

Sheree brought these quilts back to me last week – they’re donated tops that I’d quilted and I think all 4 of these were bound by Sheree although Cindy has been helping with binding too.

Pieced by San and her NC group, this will go to Alycia as a QOV and it’s the last of the large batch of quilts I had from them to quilt.

Houses pieced by Barbara Jean it will be donated to the local Ronald McDonald house.

This one was pieced by Melva.

And Tamera’s Twister quilt which will also go to the Ronald McDonald house.

It always feels good to get a batch of these donated tops finished and soon on their way to someone in need.

Summer in Minneapolis

We had a wet cool spring but the last few days have been very warm. We seemed to have gone directly to hot. I was talking to Mom a couple days ago and it was 70 degrees there in VA and 95 here in Minneapolis and that was at almost 7PM.

This time of year I love walking downtown near the Orchestra Hall.

Not much accomplished today

This is one of those days that I spent all day running but don’t feel like I got much done – however, I’m just about set for my trip tomorrow. One thing I’ve managed to squeeze in is some knitting time. I wanted to have some easy knitting tomorrow while I travel so I’m trying to get the heels done — or at least turned.

I also cast on another pair but realized very quickly that knitting two socks from one skein of yarn was beyond me. I ripped them out and will carry the skein with me in case I need something else to work on while I’m gone but I’ll be knitting that pair one at a time.

Quilts of Valor

I finished my top today which is great because that leaves tomorrow for errands, laundry, and packing for my trip to VA.  JudyL is having a Quilt Along this Memorial Day Weekend if you’d like to make your own Quilt of Valor. She’s posting instruction for one of her quilts but even if you don’t make hers — consider making a Quilt of Valor for a wounded soldier or a veteran.

I love how my quilt turned out and it was simple! That’s me, simple Mary. The instructions can be found at my site.

I know it’s Tuesday and I’m supposed to be working on strings but since I make the rules, I figure I can break them. And in a way I am working on strings as I’m getting ready for our next HeartStrings project which will use homespuns for string blocks for veterans (and other recipients as desired by the members creating the quilts).

So as I was pulling fabric, I thought that maybe I would finally try out my Drunkard’s Path GO die. I’ve never done any curved piecing but this is a 7.5 inch block (4 blocks are show sewn together below) so I figured it would be a good one to try — and with all the wonky-ness of the homespuns I figured my mistakes would not be very noticeable. I’ll make enough of these for a quilt for Bev & Darlene’s Veteran Project in Maine.

Sock knitting

One of the things Dawn, Vickie, and I talked about at dinner the other night is our attempts at sock knitting and how much fun it is.

I was telling them that I’d just caved in and bought new sock yarn from Knit Picks. My excuse is that we’ll be in GA for two weeks in June and I won’t be able to quilt but really I just loved the combination of yarns in this kit. You’d better hurry if you want to check them out because they’ll be gone soon.

Knit Picks sock yarn

On my design wall

It’s not that often that I have something new on my design wall on Monday but I’m making good progress on the Patriotic Rail Fence quilt. Just one more row of blocks and 3 stars and I’ll be ready to assemble. The stars go on the top of the quilt by the way, there just wasn’t enough room to put them there on the design wall.

I’m cutting this quilt out with myAccuquilt GO which makes the cutting really quick so I can get to the piecing faster. Many of my recent quilts are designed so I can use my GO but older ones like this one can be cut with it too.

When people ask me about how much use they’d get from the GO I can just speak about my experience. First, the dies are perfect for the kind of quilts I’ve always made and 2nd because I’m very comfortable working with EQ6 and modifying block sizes, it’s no problem to adapt quilts I want to make to dies that I have. Because more people are purchasing the GO Cutter, I added a page to my site that lists quilts that can be made in whole or partially with the GO.

GO Friendly Quilts

And finally, this isn’t the best photo of it because the sun is kind of bright out there right now, but Caleb’s quilt is finally done.

Imitation is flattering right?

I hope JudyL sees it that way! She’s having a Memorial Day Quilt along and I love the idea but won’t be able to participate because I’ll be traveling SO I thought this would be a great time to make up one of my own Patriotic quilts that’s been posted on my site but that I’ve never actually made. I wonder if I can finish the top before I leave on Thursday?

This quilt has kind of an interesting story — I made a Rail Fence quilt back in 2001 after the attack on the Towers and Pentagon and I somehow managed to donate it without taking a photo. So when I started posting instructions on my website, I decided to recreate the quilt in EQ. Last year I ran across a photo I’d posted on a quilt group and realized my memory was flawed so really I designed two similar but different Patriotic Rail Fence Quilts.

A passion for photography

He’ll probably fuss at me for lifting his photos but its so neat to see Chris work on developing his photography skills. I have a passion for it as did my father and father-in-law so it’s really special to see that passion in Chris too.

I love this photo he took of Caleb and look at the photo of Becky, that was the first quilt I made her before they were married and she’s still USING it!

He challenged himself to 365 daily photographs and he is well on his way to meeting his goal.

Barn Quilt Contest!

Just in case everyone didn’t realize it, the contest was for runner up. Accuquilt had already chosen the winner but I did win 2nd thanks to all your votes! That means not only a gift certificate to buy more dies (very exciting) but along with the winning block, my block will also be placed on their headquarters in Fremont, Nebraska (very,very exciting!)

I had my camera with me

But I was having so much fun at dinner that I forgot to take a photo of Dawn and her SIL Vickie who are here for Market. The weather cooperated and while it was overcast, it didn’t rain so we were able to sit outside on the rooftop at Brit’s Pub, one of my favorite places this time of year.

It’s just such a neat thing when you finally get to meet an online friend in person! I also got a sneak peak at one of the quilting designs that will be on the new DVD and I know it will end up as one of my favorites.

And more Market — Accuquilt

Being my first time at Market, I was somewhat ignorant and didn’t know I wouldn’t actually be able to purchase anything so I was a bit disappointed I could’t pick up any new dies for my GO cutter but I looked and guess what, they had a sneak peak at dies coming out this summer and two of the ones I’ve been wanting are on the list!

They’ll announce the winner for their Barn Quilt Contest at the show and there’s still time to go vote for my block on Facebook which is in competition for runner up. The contest ends at 5pm today (central time) so hurry and vote for me if you haven’t already! You do have to become a fan or “like” Accuquilt to vote so you might need to go to their main Facebook page and then come back to my block to vote.

Vote for my block

More Spring Market –EQ7

I wandered by the Electric Quilt site to check out in person some of the new features in EQ7 and now I really can’t wait to get my upgrade due out in June! I use EQ to draft/design all my quilts and for the instructions I post on my site.

Visit the EQ website

I can look but I can’t buy!

I’m attending my first Spring Market and while it’s great to see all the neat books, fabric, embellishments, and tools it’s torture not to be able to buy! I was able to attend as a designer but this show is really for shops and retailers to purchase/order for their businesses.

Because I’m posting from the iPad, it’s easier to post several times rather than one long post so here goes.

I went up and introduced myself to Patsy Thompson, I frequently refer people to her site for her quilting DVD’s and handouts. She quilts on a domestic machine and is one of the inspirations for my freehand Baptist Fan quilting. I looked at her new book on feathers and it’s gorgeous.

Visit Patsy’s site

I didn’t think to get the camera out until after I left Patsy’s booth but here’s a general shot coming in the doors.

Please go vote for me

I’m in the top 10 for runner up in Accuquilt’s Barn Quilt Contest.

Please go vote for my entry and help me win!
EDIT: I think you have to choose “like” or become a fan to vote.

Washington DC

Even damp and dreary, DC is one of my favorite cities to walk around.

Ugh, it’s rainy!

Had a leisurely morning here at the hotel with Keith, he worked and I went through my email. Then I took the Metro to Union Station to meet Cecile for lunch. Can you tell how dreary it is outside? I had to stop and buy an umbrella on the way.

Have you ever visited Arlington National Cemetery?

I feel grateful and humble walking through the cemetery to the site where my father-in-law’s ashes rest.