Thursday, December 30, 2010
Random is pretty easy for me, because I am a pretty random person. My thought process never runs in a straight line, but hops, skips and jumps around from topic to topic. Our family conversations run like this, too. You just never know what will happen next!
I love art. I could spend hours in museums just looking at paintings, sculptures, and any kind of interesting creations. Unfortunately I live in a small town, so just can't get enough of it.
I don't have a musical bone in my body. I joke about it, but would seriously love to have a musical talent transplant. Or even a little gracefulness sprinkled in, because I'm also quite a klutz. I really think these two facts are related somehow.
I talk to myself. All the time. Especially in the car when I am alone. It's a little scary.
I have a hard time choosing a favorite anything. My husband easily rattles off lists of top 10 movies, foods, football players, things he's done in his life. For me, my favorite thing is the one I am doing right now. Even my favorite color changes as my mood does. And a favorite movie list? Makes me nervous just thinking of trying to rank them!
When I am upset and unhappy I clean. Guess I must be happy this week cause my house is a disaster area!
I think if I could choose an alternate career, it would be fun to be a stand up comedian. I love to make people laugh. Humor is a great antidote to the trials of life. In reality, the pressure of coming up with new material would probably erase any hint of humor from my life, though!
I love chocolate. Any chocolate.
I am a huge science fiction fan. Ray Bradbury was one of my favorites growing up. I love the idea of space and exploring the universe.
I am a clutter monster. I hate to get rid of anything, but am working hard on this. On the other hand, I absolutely adore modern design with it's clean uncluttered look. Guess I need to seek a middle ground somehow, right?
I am very competitive. Must win. I'm not a poor sport and do lose graciously, but believe me, I will ramp it up for next time and get you back!
And I guess if you read much here, that I love to write. I hope to do more of that this year, as well as being more disciplined and focused. I feel like much of the time I fly by the seat of my pants, while that is a fun and exciting approach it is not always the most productive. I really would like to take some of the energy I have and use it in a more concentrated manner and see what I can really do instead of just dreaming. I guess that's the New Year sneaking up on me, it's a good time to set goals and make changes. It's like starting fresh, anything can happen!
Now I will go put some of these thoughts into action, and clean up my house a bit. Hope you will join me in 2011 and see what we can accomplish!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
A Gift for a Quilter
Twas the night before Christmas
And thought Santa tried
Not every present got delivered
Due to a rough ride.
The lightening flashed brilliant
And thunder did rumble,
Our lead reindeer Rudolph
Took quite a tumble
The magic sack Santa grasped,
But out of the top
Several packages slipped through
Before He could stop.
Those packages were filled
With Fabric and notions
For a quilter who lived
By the side of the Ocean.
Oh no, Santa shouted,
They cannot be lost
We must retrieve them
No matter the cost!
On Dasher, on Dancer,
He cried out in a fury,
This is important, you
Really must hurry!
They raced through the rain,
And cut through the wind,
And retrieved those packages
For their quilting friend.
Though daylight had broken
And Children were at play
Santa knew all was well, our quilter
Would forgive the delay,
So he sipped tea by the fire,
Satisfied by a happy end,
Wrapped up in the quilt
Made by his dear friend.
Santa sighed, knowing that
He had given his all,
Wishing our quilter the most
Merry Christmas of all!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
We had planned on spending the evening at the zoo, but as it was cold and rainy decided not to do that and had a wonderful time just hanging out, laughing at the grandsons, and eating goodies. It could not have been any better! Now we are back home with our girl from Boston, just taking it easy and enjoying a few days of holiday fun. I made fudge last night and it is way too good to resist. I guess that's why the diet always starts after the New Year comes!
Today, we plan on tackling the annual baby quilt marathon. We have three to make, but we have several days to work on them. Today I have assigned the quilter in training to press all her fabric while I go to work and finish the newsletter. Then we will do the cutting and start sewing this afternoon. Should be fun - at leat for me. I think it's a little stressful for her - but she gets better every year!
Merry Christmas to all!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
So, now, my main goal is to get my sewing room cleaned up. I can see some free-cycle posts in my future as well as a few Salvation Army runs. I am asking myself if I really want to work on all of the projects I have piled up. And if I really WILL work on them in the near future. I have a drawer full of tops to quilt, a drawer full of fabric waiting to be made into tops, and piles of fabric waiting for an idea to strike. Not to mention the bin of strips for string blocks. I suppose most of us quilters are like this, too many projects, not enough time!
So with that deep thought I am off for the day, I am looking forward to entertaining some friends later this morning and showing my work space to them. (They are non-quilters, but all are creative so they know how the projects pile up!) I am grateful for sunshine today, for friends, and for finished projects and some free time!
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
This project had it's beginning in February of 2006 - I was exploring the idea of making journal pages. Unfortunately this was the only one I did that year, but I was really happy with it and always intented to come back and do more. This quilt was a self portrait - me standing in a cold windy Oregon rain. I purposely used a blue fabric for my skin because that's what I remember about that winter was it was cold, wet and windy. I put a New York Beauty block on the back of it, then embelished this side with some sparkly fiber. I quilted it with a lot of McTavishing and echoing. I brought it in to the quilt shop and it ended up hanging with a group of other self-portraits - and is still there!
One more skip forward and we come to the present, and the larger project! I had a request on Etsy to make a larger version of this to cover a futon. Not being one to back down from a challenge, I readily agreed to make it, thinking that with the help of EQ7 it wouldn't be too hard to import my first quilt and creat templates for the pieces. In reality it was more challenging than I thought it would be, but totally worth it!
The image was very easy to import into the program. Tracing the pieces was a bit tedious, but not overly difficult. What was hard was making the proportions work. Luckily my daughter was able to assist me so that my face doesn't look like I could have beat Quasimodo out for the crown of King of Fools!
This picture is my quilt at the end of the fusing process, before quilting. Another thing I didn't realize when I started it was the challenge that merely handling these large pieces would end up being! Luckily I have a pressing mat for my large cutting table, so that helped immensely, but in order to make my templates for the pieces I had to tape quite a few pieces of paper together, then trace them onto fusible web, then iron the pieces to fabric, cut them out and put it all together.
It took me longer than I thought to get it all together, but I am really pleased with the end product! This will definitely be a statement in my customer's room and I am so pleased that my larger Than life Autumn Winds quilt will be enjoyed and appreciated. Does this mean that I might really be able to call myself a "Quilt Artist" after all? Frankly it doesn't matter what I call myself, as long as I enjoy the process I will continue to challenge myself and enjoy what I do - whether it means making traditional blocks, or creating unique works of quilted art!
Saturday, December 04, 2010
I'm taking a quick break before stitching on the second quilt to work on the other project. The second involves me taking a small quilt I made and translating my idea into a larger format, and changing it to a landscape version! It is fun, challenging, a little frightening (fusing large swatches of fabric is definitely not what I am used to doing), and altogether enjoyable! When I finish the large one I will post pictures of them both and let you all tell me what you think of it. And tell the whole story behind the piece as well.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Today I was working on a table runner that I am supposed to be teaching a class for in a month. It is made with a traditional, quilt as you go, Bargello technique. It's going to be really pretty when it's done, but I don't think it is nearly as fun as my quilt is. For one thing, sewing those strips down to the backing and batting and keeping them straight is not that easy. I keep having to adjust slightly, even though I am using a walking foot. Plus, I think all those perfectly matched corners are a little boring. And even though the quilting will be complete when I am done with the table runner, I really was able to add a lot of character with the quilting in my free-form quilt.
I am glad I tried this Bargello project, and even though I don't really like the technique so much, it's always a good thing to learn something new! Plus, the pattern is really well written and I haven't had any trouble following it at all. So, if you want to make a really pretty table runner for Christmas, I have a pattern I can recommend.
Monday, November 08, 2010
This block is D-7 and it was super easy! I made the side triangles by piecing a strip of the blue with the white, then cutting into the triangles. The sides and center were cut in strips, I sewed it up like a 9 patch, the trimmed the corners to the correct size. Woo-hoo! Block 1 for November is done! Now to add the color swatch to the right card and put the block in the envelope for the D row. The next block is hand applique and I have it cut out in a kit, ready to go. So I will work on that through the week and have it done by next Monday!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I could not believe how much I actually enjoyed the process of figuring out how to add the words and achieving the effect I wanted. At first I thought I would make a rectangle like an engraved label and cut the letters out, letting the brown show through. After booting up EQ7 and playing for a bit I decided to applique the letters directly to the border using some kind of gold colored fabric. I then went into the sewing room looking for the right fabric. I dug through my stash for a few minutes, then my eye landed on a rolled fat quarter of gold satin that was given to me by a friend. Perfect! Well, maybe. First I had to test out a couple of letters to see if it was practical to fuse and applique satin letters. To my suprise, it worked out pretty well. I wouldn't do it on something that would get a lot of wear, but this is a wall-hanging, so the tendency to fray won't matter much.
I spent a pleasant hour or so tracing and fusing, cutting, then fusing again and was thrilled at the results. I then loaded up my machine with some silk thread and stitched around the letters. I then drew an outline around my letters to look like an engraved plaque. That's the point where I took the picture. After this I added some stitching that looks like wood grain on the rest of the brown border. I did some more stitching on the body of the quilt, fixing my husbands hair so it's not so white, and adding some white to the horse's rear foot. Now I just have to sew the hanging sleeve on and it is finished! I'm so happy to get this done - no more guilt, and my husband will have his quilt to hang in his office.
Maybe next time I won't procrastinate so much about doing something I'm not confident with. After all, doing something badly is better than never doing anything at all!
Friday, October 22, 2010
I'm ready for some new inspirations - isn't this a lovely one? It makes me think it's time to brush up on my applique skills! But, just like when you have a meeting you start out with the old business - before I go starting some new projects, I am working on finishing up some neglected ones. Many thanks to Pat Sloan and her blog for getting me organized and fired up about working on some of those things that are just hanging about my sewing room. So far, I've finished up a table runner and a wall-hanging. I'm thinking through what I need to do to finish up a quilt for my husband - he wants words on it. I think I might just tackle that tomorrow. And I have a couple of Christmas projects that I want to finish up that will be for sale. So, perhaps some finishing up will inspire some future creativity. At the least it will help create a little more room for that inspiration to show up! And in the meantime, it's another step up to a happier me!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
These two collages show some of the fine quilted items made in fall colors that you will find on Etsy. Any of these would bring a warm, homey feeling to your fall home decor.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Tonight was my first guild meeting as DPP (Distinguished Past President) and it was fabulous! Not only did I arrive at the meeting without a ton of baggage, but I also snuck out early so I could relax at home with my family. I am glad I did my service to the guild, but I am so excited to be able to enjoy meetings again without any stress!
One of the highlights of my meeting was being presented with my special presidents quilt. Well, at least I got to see it, it's not quite finished, but that's quite all right, it's too hot for a quilt right now anyway. It's a pretty scrappy star quilt and has signatures in the border. I will be excited to have it finished and to be able to enjoy it as a lap quilt this winter. Isn't it funny that as a quilter we can make any quilt we want, but it's really special to get one that we don't have to make ourselves?
I did some hand quilting this afternoon on my little scrappy star miniature quilt. I've entered it in the quilt show in 2 weeks, so I need to get it finished! I got three of the 12 stars quilted, so I am off to a good start. I also have a queen size quilt to machine quilt, so I hope to get that basted this weekend. I'm glad I was sensible and didn't commit to finishing 12 quilts for the show this year. Anyway, I enjoyed the hand quilting - I forget how pleasant and almost meditative hand quilting is. Once I get myself settled I find it to be quite relaxing - I really need to continue with hand projects because they are so enjoyable, and it's good to keep up my skills.
Tomorrow is more work at the Quilt Shop, registering the girl for school, and possibly a foot-ball game. And hopefully another lovely September day!
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
I loved the new clothes for school, not to mention notebooks, pencils, erasers, and best of all - a brand new box of color crayons! MMMM - the smell of them still makes me smile! Seeing all your old friends, and making some new ones. Just the sense of a new beginning that the school year brought was always something I enjoyed.
As a mom, I enjoyed the start of a new school year because every year it meant a little more time for me, and for quilting! Now I only have one child in school, and it means that I'm usually a little more busy than in summer, but it's also the start of my quilt guild year, which is fun. This year I am looking forward to Quilt Guild because now I am a DPP (Distinguished Past President)! Which means I get to sit with my friends and enjoy the meeting, not stand up in front and run the meeting - WOOHOO!
We also have our annual Quilt Show in September, which I am looking forward to. I am on the publicity committee, so I am busy putting out posters and sending out Press Releases. I have one more quilt to finish, so will have to get busy on that this week, maybe I will actually baste it tomorrow. Anyway, I'm getting back into the groove a little at a time. Maybe that's something I learned from my vacation in Paris. To take time with a cup of coffee and savor the moment - to enjoy the day and savor every day for what it is.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
My husband and I looked at each other, knowing that even though we weren't sure that we wanted the responsiblity of these two little lives, we also couldn't bear the thought of what would likely happen to these two helpless little ones if we just left them.
So we brought them home with us.
We soon realized that the little pale colored female with the crooked short tail had some type of urinary tract infection as she was passing puss with her urine. She also had a lump on her lower belly. I called our veterinarian and she was sweet enough to see our babies, just charging us for medications and not her normal office visit charge.
She advised me that the little ones were only three weeks old and would need a great deal of care if we wanted them to survive. They were both treated for massive flea infestations, and the one we simply called sister was given a course of antibiotics. We fed them cat formula with a dropper until they were old enough to take kitten food. We had to toilet them, then train them to a litter box when they were bigger. Soon brother and sister became Buster and Missy. Missy was a pretty scraggly and sorry looking kitten for quite some time. She had a short tail, about half the length it should have been and it was bent like a lightening bolt. We don't know if she was born this way, or if it was injured before we found her.
Her beautiful blue eyes stayed blue while her brother's turned green. They grew and became playful and sociable - we had to keep a close eye on them because of their curiosity - we rescued them from various spots like desk drawers and under the refrigerator! As babies they would curl up together, looking like yin and yang. Missy (or Miss Priss) would groom her brother with authority, whether he wanted it or not! She probably would have been a terrific mother, but we decided to have her spayed as soon as she came into her first heat at four months. I think that was the worst thing she went through in her whole life, but she recovered from her surgery and became the sweet, though slightly wild, little cat that we shall always remember. She had a thing for shoes for a while and would delight in sniffing and rolling on them.
She loved to chase the laser mouse, and would often toss and chase the little catnip mice we would buy for her. She loved to chatter at the birds out of the second story window, and even caught a few in her days. She brought one into the house this last Christmas and let it go, prompting a wild chase through the house and the fear that we would end up with a bird in our (artificial) Christmas Tree! (We did catch it and released it, no harm done)
She was always a very nervous cat, jumping at any strange noise. She hated the sound of plastic bags rustling - and just about jumped out of her skin at any loud noise. She wasn't fearful of people, though the only dog she ever tolerated was our Tipper dog. Missy would flop on the floor near the dog and roll on her back, stretching and flirting! It was the funniest sight to see both of them rolling on the floor side by side!
She had a funny thing about sitting on paper. If there was any newspaper or magazine on the floor she could not help but sit on it - we figured it must have felt good on her paws or something! She was a bit of a clutz, there are scars on the upstair stair railing because of her near misses. She walked with a heavy tread, a bit like a bulldog, and always had an attitude. She couldn't stand to be picked up and cuddled, you should have seen the "Dr Evil" face she would make when subjected to this humiliation! We jokingly called her Miss Touch-Me-Not because of her attitude, but when she wanted to be loved on she let us know in no uncertain terms!
I took her some time before she would sit on a person's lap. She was always affectionate, but on her terms. We called her "Stalker" for her habit of walking around you while you tried to pet her. Eventually she came to love sitting on my lap, but always on her terms and when she wanted to. She loved to knead on the soft blankets around the house, and would purr so loudly.
We always felt like she missed her mother because she would knead and purr so intently.
She was a nosy little cat, always checking out anything new that came into the house, and she loved boxes. If she spotted an empty box she would be in it before you knew it! She would even squeeze into the teeniest boxes! We recently discovered her love of cardboard to scratch on. For the last year I kept a box upstairs for her to destroy and she really liked that. She loved to hang out with me in my sewing room, but never messed with my stuff. She would just sit on the ironing board and try to distract me with her cuteness - and it always worked! Sometimes she would insist that I quit what I was doing and just pay attention to her for a while, and it was always a pleasure. She would roll on her back and give me a look with those gorgeous eyes - how could I ever resist!
I can't put into words all the things I will miss about my little Miss Cat. My sewing room will be a lonely place now. She was a one of a kind cat and her short stay with us enriched our lives and gave us so much pleasure. She will live forever in our thoughts and memories, though, and she will not be forgotten.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The mom found this panel (unstitched) at a garage sale and spent all winter doing the stitching. It's really a beautiful piece and I am glad that they allowed me to transform it into a finished quilt. I know it will be very much cherished and loved!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Thursday, July 01, 2010