Archive for March, 2011

Blogging versus Facebook

I opened a Facebook account about a year and a half ago when I had some friends from home trying to organize a reunion talk me into it but I rarely went on and found it not really all that valuable to me until I deleted all my non family (and a few friends I don’t see often from home) “friends”. Now I can keep up with family, share photos with family members that don’t read the blog in just a few minutes and it works much better for me.

Since the quilting stuff on Facebook is mostly the same information my online quilting friends post on their blogs I don’t feel like like I’m missing much.

How about you? Do you blog, Facebook, both? And really does anyone follow Twitter? There’s no one that I need to keep up with that much!

Help Japan – Win this quilt

I’m going to keep this post pinned to the top of the blog until the drawing is closed on March 31. Click the link below for details. Please do not comment here to enter – leave it at the original post.

Help Japan – Win this Quilt

I got a late start today

I finished quilting my UFO for this month’s challenge using the pantograph Ebb & Flow in the Rail Fence portion of the quilt and have it trimmed and ready for binding.

I’ve got 2 tubs and my shelf of batting scraps sorted through and these are the ones that can be pieced into useable battings – I plan on getting this done this weekend. I’m not sure how it adds up so fast!

Next week I plan on quilting another 3 tops — one of them this one of Mom’s. I told her I’d quilt a pantograph on these tops she’s sending me but I’m debating which one will look best on this quilt which is based on a quilt done by Stephanie from HeartStrings.

I’m thinking of using Wandering Daisies by Sharon Springler (link takes you to Willow Leaf Studio where I purchased it). Any thoughts??

A great day for the Irish!

So much fun!

When did I become so cautious?

Maybe it was the number of quilts I was trying to finish, maybe it was that they were tops pieced by other people, or maybe I had just reached a certain level of proficiency and wanted to quilt what I did best but I was way more adventuresome in my quilting the first couple years after getting my longarm than I have been in the last 4+ years.

One of my goals in decreasing the donation tops I take in to just those HeartStrings ones is to push myself out of my comfort zone a little so don’t laugh at me!

This is my UFO for the month and while I intend to use the Ebb and Flow pantograph for the rail fence portion of this quilt, I wanted to quilt the top stars differently. I don’t think I’ve ever quilted continuous curves or if I have it’s been years although I occasionally will do some Line Dancing so here’s a combination of both of them. I know that if I used a template for the CC I could get them a lot more consistent but I doubt I’m going to go so far as to do much ruler work! We’ll leave the fancy stuff to Deb who’s just made her move to New Orleans and will be set up and back to quilting soon.

Here’s a closer view – as you can tell, I jump right in without practicing but overall I’m quite happy with it.

Adam and Lindsey took Caleb for new photos and I ordered a couple of them for me and Adam’s grandparents. Here’s the one up on the mantle – I think I will buy another frame for it but for now I just used one I had up there with another photo. Keith hates that I leave the Jim Shore figures up year round but I love them.

Now I have to go root through my closet to find something green! We’re heading downtown in a little while for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities! Hope you all have something fun planned too!

Binding finished

This top was pieced by Tamara and it’s the last non-string quilt donation quilt to be completely finished. It will be donated along with 3 others to Habitat for Humanity

The pantograph was Double Rose by Norma Sharp and I used one of the stripes that I love for the binding.

And just because he looked handsome in his sweater when I was taking photos last night ….

One of two for the week quilted

My goals are modest this week – 2 to quilt; 3 to bind. The 2nd quilt is loaded and I’m going to work on binding #2 tonight.

This is a top I quilted for Mom — which means I don’t have to bind it! It’s a half log cabin quilt and you can find instructions on my website.

Quilted with the pantograph Happy Times. The website is down for maintenance right now but you can find it at Willow Leaf Studio.

Help Japan – Win this quilt

As a quilter who’s main focus is donation quilting, you’d think that I would be one of the first to make and send quilts after a disaster … well I’m not.

When I established HeartStrings one of the key elements was making and donating locally to fill the need in our own communities and although I do support projects of other members like Alycia’s QOV, most of my quilts are donated here or in a location of one of our sew-ins.

The cost of shipping quilts as well as being unable to know whether the quilts will actually make it to the intended recipient are two other reasons I prefer to donate locally versus sending quilts off in a disaster but most of all, I feel that the immediate need can most often be met with a monetary donation.

So although I’d already made a donation for those affected by the disaster in Japan, when I came across Jacquie’s post where she’s offering her readers a chance to win one of her quilts if they make a donation to the Red Cross (for relief efforts in Japan) I decided it was a wonderful way to help encourage others to donate and include my quilting in the process too.

So, by donating $10 or more, you can earn a chance to win this quilt. Click here to go to the Red Cross site and then come back here and comment writing your tracking number in the comment.

For donations of $50 or more, please enter a 2nd comment stating that you’re eligible for another chance to win.

I’ll draw the winner on April 1st and the drawing will stay open through March 31. I hope you all will join me in helping.

Possible downtime

My web server is moving tonight so there may be some downtime on the blog for a few hours.

The Bluehost System Administrators will physically move your server (containing the hosting account: maryquilts.com) into the new data center between 9 PM, March 16th and 5 AM March 17th (MDT), during low traffic periods. We will work to ensure you experience as little downtime as possible and, to that end, we will take the opportunity to perform any needed hardware maintenance or upgrades. We expect the process to take 1 to 3 hours

One binding done

My goal is 3 bindings for the week and this HeartStrings quilt is the first one done. Pieced by Sue’s Mom from donated blocks.

I got to thinking in the shower

Ive been trying to get rid of the homespun fabrics I have here so I thought maybe if I cut it up into pieces for 2 quilts and then used all the leftovers for string quilts I could get it off the shelves.

Instead of being downstairs quilting, I’ve been playing in EQ7 and came up with these. I loved how the homespun  quilts from last fall turned out so I’m just making a small variation in the border for the Drunkard’s Path, I’ll do a Rail Fence, and then more string quilts hopefully using up these fabrics once and for all. You can click on any thumbnail to see the EQ image or the quilts.

An unexpected glimpse

I was walking Chesty tonight and glanced up at the townhouse — shining bright in the window was my current project on the design wall. I wonder what people think when they glance at our house and see just a little bit of my quilts up on the wall?

Of course photographing this at night wasn’t easy so here’s a better view of my design wall.

I think these can still stand a little rearranging so each time I walk up the stairs, I stop to look and move a block or two.

Next up

I’ve tackled the desk, everything is filed…the tax info is compiled, copied and I walked it downtown to the accountant’s office. So next up is cleaning out under the longarm and quilting a top for Mom tomorrow.

I hate tax time!

The last couple years I’ve been really, really disorganized with my paperwork/filing because I usually only go downstairs when I’m going to quilt on the longarm. Before I was frequently at my desk, kept things neater, and filed paperwork as it came in.

In order to do my tax prep work for the accountant AND in preparation for moving, I needed to go through all those papers and shred what wasn’t needed and file the rest.

The desk before

The desk after – and just to demonstrate what a pack rat I am — look at those cardboard tubes to the right. At some point in the last couple years I started putting empty batting tubes back there. I think it makes me feel productive to see how many I’ve emptied but they’ll have to be tossed too.

I’m continuing the work upstairs – the Target bag holds about 6-8 months worth filing from 2010 that wasn’t on the desktop!

And in case you you think I hadn’t learned anything from this, In January, I placed a filing bin in the kitchen this year so everything is filed/shredded/or tossed as it comes.

Cold and windy

Spring is not here yet! Keith and I walked across the bridge for lunch and then stopped for coffee to warm up!

Procrastination

I am supposed to be working on the taxes but I started my 2nd HeartStrings top instead. I usually like to make a couple quilts when we’re having one of our special projects and while I won’t get this one quilted before the end of March when it’s over, I’m hoping to get the top done.

Sheree pieced this back for me at the last HeartStrings sew-in and I knew that I had the perfect border fabric in my stash. I sorted through and pulled only green, pink, purple, and turquoise strings for this one.

I have been busy working all week both on quilting and sorting/cleaning and Chesty has missed his cuddle time. He was watching me when I came downstairs from the sewing room and as soon as I sat down, he ran over to sit with me.

Lapel Stick giveaway

Using a random number generator, Gill and Marie won the Lapel Sticks and I’ve emailed them requesting their addresses. Thanks to everyone for commenting and I’m sorry I didn’t have one to send you all.

I had a number of questions about it, mainly was it washable and did it gum up my needle.

Although I didn’t wash my project, the website says it’s a temporary adhesive and is washable.

My postcards were small but I didn’t have any problems with them gumming up the needle.

Someone asked was it repositional – I did pull up a couple pieces but it seemed to dry pretty fast so kind of yes and no.

There are a number of places listed on the website that it can be purchased but it’s not widely available in the US. I plan on ordering from Clotilde.

I also want to comment that I’ve never used glue or a glue stick before so I can’t say how it compares to those. And although I don’t do a lot of larger appliqué projects, I will be using the Lapel Stick in my postcards and will probably experiment with other glues too.

For more information, visit the Lapel Stick website.

Postcards for March

I mentioned before my trip that I’d gotten an email about reviewing a product called Lapel Stick. It sounded like it might be a good product to use in making my postcards so I gave it a try tonight.

I typically use fusible web and don’t have any experience with any other glue sticks but I thought it worked well for my purpose tonight which was to hold my pieces down long enough for me to stitch them.

Fusing the fabrics before cutting my pieces would have taken a lot more time. I grabbed a handful of greens, just snipped off what I needed….

applied a dab of glue to the back and placed it on my background.

It held well while I trimmed and stitched the card.

So I made a second one!

If you’d like to give it a try leave a comment – the company sent me one to try and a couple to give away. I’ll draw 2 names on Friday.

The idea for the postcards came from the Bottled Rainbows Quilt Along although I didn’t use her instructions.

Binding #2 for the week

These little HeartStrings quilts for kids are so cute — 24 blocks, brights mixed with novelties, and a border. Cheerful, quick, and easy! This is my quilt made for our Lime Green project going on in Feb/Mar.

I’ve got another set of foundations and center strings cut but I’d better get to work on them if I want to get the top done before we travel again at the end of the month.

Almost done for the week

With my quilting agenda that is … This week’s goal was 3 tops quilted and 2 quilts bound.  This is a HeartStrings top from donated blocks, pieced by Sue’s Mom. I’m always telling people that you can quilt anything on these tops because they’re so busy but I wasn’t feeling too creative and since I very rarely do just meandering, I decided I’d do a ribbon meander on it. I’d quilted a little of this on Caleb’s quilt last year and liked it. So it’s nothing fancy but it was quick and fun to quilt.

Here’s a shot of the back. I kept the meander kind of big and loose because these quilts are meant to be cuddled up in.

Still on today’s agenda is finishing up the binding on my HeartStrings quilt and then sorting through more junk. The rest of the week will be devoted to getting my tax stuff organized and continuing to cull through my clothes and books in the bedroom.

Walking
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