Archive for July, 2010

I’m beginning to understand the fascination

We’ve been watching the birds this evening …. the babies sleep and then when Mom flys back with food there’s a lot of chatter. By the way, there are 3 birds not two, the 3rd one is in a smaller nest below the others. I’ve never seen a 2 story nest before!

Can you see the third bird on the left?

Sue’s string star

I had a question about the pattern that Sue in FL used on her quilt and unfortunately, most of the time I don’t know on these donation quilts which patterns were used but in this case it’s a fairly common string block.

Here’s an EQ drawing of 4 blocks sewn together. The light “star” is actually the foundation fabric.

In order to get sharp points, you’ll need to overlap those strings a quarter of an inch in the corner (this overlap is what will fall in your seam allowance).

You’d also want to decide how much of your foundation you want uncovered — I prefer a version like Sue’s that doesn’t have too much of it uncovered rather than a large amount of the background showing. I’d suggest you measure and mark your foundations on either side of the corner so it will be consistent.

Habitat for Humanity – Building a garage

Keith had to work today so I went back to the Habitat build myself. I was a little nervous after Wednesday because it was somewhat awkward being the only woman and not really knowing what to expect or do. Today there was a smaller crew and 2 other women. They divided us into 2 teams of 4 and the other team worked inside the house while the 4 of us worked outside framing the garage.

I know it looks like a lot of people but the others just came out when it was time to lift the walls into place. You can click on the collage if you want to see a closer view.

Here’s a photo that didn’t get imported from Wednesday – Keith and I near the end of the day.

And finally, one more picture just for VickiW. As I drove up this afternoon Keith showed me a nest that had been built right outside our front door. Obviously I missed the egg stage since there are two little hungry babies inside the nest.

Turning on the sewing machine

Did you wonder if I was ever going to sew this week? I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to sew a single seam but today I found myself with the time and the motivation to start my blocks for our current HeartStrings project. I’ve finished half the blocks.

New baby photos from Adam

I think little Caleb is laughing!

I’ve never wanted a shower so bad!

Keith and I volunteered on a Habitat build today – it was HOT and I’m whipped. My first job was climbing up and down the scary stairs to the basement and dragging a pile of scrap metal out to the street. After, I helped Keith and another volunteer put some siding up – it’s crazy what they let complete novices do!

Here’s the house we worked on at the beginning of the day – I didn’t get a photo this afternoon but I’m going back on Friday. Keith has to work so I’ll be going alone.

Anyone want some ice cream?

I do! I’m sitting here in the living room with Keith and the lights from the corner store are blinking ….open….open…open

So I sent Keith over for some ice cream. There are some big advantages to living right in the city!

In other news, more trip planning going on around here. Keith is going to take his Mom to our Big Canoe condo in a couple weeks and we’re still working with Chris on planning the activities for our October trip to San Francisco.

I had good intentions

Haven’t sewn a stitch in a couple days. Spending more time walking and biking – my son has decided we need to encourage each other to be more active and we’re even talking about doing the Breast Cancer 3 Day walk in 2011. I’ve been wanting to do the walk again but somehow it hasn’t worked out in the last few years.

We’re using a shared Google Spreadsheet to log our miles and Keith decided to join in too but he’s way ahead of both of us in miles.

Another view of the city

Keith needed some work done on his bike so we rode our bikes over to Dinkytown (don’t you love the sound of that?) by the U of MN.

On my design wall

It’s not Monday but I decided it was time to address the pitiful mess I’d left on the design before going to GA. The Lattice top is finally assembled.



This one measures 55 x 77 and does not get a border so the top is done.

Beautiful surroundings

I dusted off the bike this afternoon – between traveling, a wet spring, and a fear of inducing an arrhythmia – I’ve not been on the bike this summer at all. I didn’t go far – just 4 miles. It’s so beautiful, I love all the green space right here in the city and being able to just walk or bike right from our doorstep.

Drawing practice

Do you do any freehand quilting? If you don’t have natural drawing ability (like me) practice drawing your quilting designs first — over and over — until you embed them in your brain and then head to the machine. I always find that if I can draw something well, I can quilt it.

The iPad is my favorite tool for drawing now, I used to use paper but you can go through a lot of paper quickly when you need to draw designs as many times as I do. Dawn recommends a large whiteboard on her Pajama Quilter DVD but my iPad is a lot more portable for me even if the space is more limited.

I love that the iPad allows me to draw directly on quilts too. I’m working out my quilting plan for the Patriotic Rail Fence right now. The first drawing is just a random design not yet ready for quilting but I think I have the Rail Fence quilting figured out.

Baptist Fan quilting

This HeartStrings top was pieced by Sue in FL and quilted with my freehand Baptist Fans. They’re a bit wonkier than usual – I must be out of practice. Luckily they add great texture to string quilts and the wonkiness doesn’t seem to matter.

New iPad app

I use Google Reader on the computer to keep up with the blogs I follow but I’ve been looking for an app for the iPad and I think I’ve found it with BlogShelf.

Those of you who read my blog know that I make scrappy quilts so I don’t ever worry about fabric yardage needed for a specific quilt. If I have a certain color scheme in mind, I may “collect” fabric in those colors before starting the quilt but usually, I just go to my fabric shelves and start pulling fabric.

On my website, I clearly state that I don’t provide fabric estimates for my instructions because of the scrappy way I work AND because I don’t take time to test fabric estimates — I’m not creating patterns for purchase, I’m providing a free service so I don’t feel the need to go out of my way to do this.

However, I still get requests and if I can EASILY recolor a quilt in EQ and get an UNTESTED estimate for someone, I usually will. Sometimes that’s not possible because I don’t have the file (a recent request for information about a quilt designed for Mom is an example of this, the file is on her computer in VA).

Anyway, this explanation is in part just an opportunity to show you my Framed Rectangles that I recolored in RWB for someone who wanted to have fabric amounts and I found I really liked it in this colorway. Of course, I would use many different reds, blues, and whites including creams, tans, & beige if I was making this version. Wouldn’t it make a great QOV?

June’s results

Not much was accomplished last month with all my travel.

Quilts completed – 3

Tops pieced – 1

Tops quilted – 0

New grandsons met and cuddled – 1

Tuesday’s schedule is no more

My intention to work on string blocks every Tuesday seems to have fallen by the wayside but that’s OK, it suited my purpose for the beginning of the year.

After NO quilting in June, I’m in the mood to work in the longarm room so here’s the 3rd top finished this week. They’re all small but I’ve had other things to do so I’ve been able to load and quilt them all in one sitting which was good.

This is a soft, pastel baby quilt pieced by Tish and I used the same pantograph from yesterday, Curly Hearts. The quilting as you can see shows up much better on this top.

Kind of messy

Keith thinks it’s time I cleaned my crap off the coffee table and I think he may be right. Usually I have stuff stacked up around my chair but lately I’ve been lounging on the sofa so all my stuff seems to have migrated over to that part of the room.

Another top quilted…more knitting

We’ve been meaning to replace the shower in our bathroom since we bought the townhouse 2 years ago. It’s an UGLY shower surround and we want to tile it so today for the 2nd time, we picked tile and scheduled the contractor to come out and get measurements. Hopefully we can get it done before I travel again in August.

Other than that, we had a quiet day at home. I loaded and quilted this top which I think is by Sue in FL. I try to keep all the donation quilts straight but sometimes they get separated from their piles when I’m searching for one to quilt. You can’t see the quilting very well but it’s a pantograph from Willow Leaf Studio called Curly Hearts.

After we cooked and ate dinner, I worked a while on my socks, I just love this yarn!

Now, I’m going up to bed to start a new book – the new one by Gerristen – Ice Cold. Has anyone else seen the TNT previews about the new show featuring the characters from Gerristen’s books?

Happy 4th!

I had a pretty bad allergy attack today so I was kind of a slug but we did have a nice 4th in spite of it.

I quilted a top donated by Tish, worked on my socks, and we watched the fireworks from our deck with a glass of wine. Can you believe how good my flowers look in spite of our being gone 2 weeks?