Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Logs for Tracey and Finn

Tracey was posting about her 3" log cabins...I'm not sure what Finn's size is, I didn't check...but it made me want to dig out this old UFO I was doing from my smallest smallest saved pieces...Tracey..I'm still working on however many thousand blocks I need for these! And ohhhh dear, they've been on the back burner for a long time too! I'm thinking maybe if I could do the one block a day with you, I can get this done?? This layout shows 252 blocks....auuughhh!

The thing weighs a ton, and yes the blocks are 3" too. I tried 2", but the fabric prints because indistinguishable and the whole thing was seam allowance thickness...

One block, at least with this size, you can still tell what the fabrics are....

I think we all are playing in the loonie bin! *LOL*

Tooth is better, I celebrated by chewing gum!! But that made my TMJ sore on that side, probably from having my mouth propped open for so long :c)

I had lunch with a friend today....she drove me to the place I have to go to take my test on thursday, so I know where I'm going and won't get lost in a panic :c) NICE, huh?? She took her test and got her license about 6 months ago. If she can make it, so can I!

I worked on the customer quilt I started last friday before the tooth got bad over the weekend. I'm past 1/2 way on it now....the string quilt with the chalkboard grey 1/2 blocks in the barn raising? I hope to finish it tomorrow.

Jeff had an appt with the counsellor this afternoon. Good appt! I really like this guy. Since Jeff's birthday is tomorrow we went out to dinner tonight all 3 of us...Jeff's fave place is a buffet place called Fire Mountain. I got by with a salad and a piece of fish and a roll. I think I was still full from lunch (that was better, we went mexican!) so I don't feel so guilty about eatting out twice.

While at the counsellors with Jeff, I studied in the lobby while he was in his session. I had to memorize a star chart for the chinese five elements and the organ system meridians that go with each element and certain charactoristics of each. Because I can memorize the chart, and write it by memory, I'll be able to write it down when I begin my exam, and then use it as a reference. I hope it will help when the test has questions on oriental modalities. Not anything I'll ever use I'm sure in my practice, but it's those things you have to know just to pass the exam!

I'm still hand quilting on the Shoo Fly quilt. I've done nearly two rows of fans around working from the outside in towards the middle.....I'm going to pop into Jammies right now and then work on that a bit more again tonight. I've had all the studying and cramming today that I can take.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Two for Less-Than-The-Price-Of-One Birthday Special!

I had a heck of a day today. This tooth bothered me so much over the weekend that I called the endodontist this morning and said....I can't WAIT until Feb 9th for you to fix it, can you fix it NOW?! And I had my appt at 3:45.

After they had done the root canal, (don't you just love to see and smell smoke and feel debris flying when they drill your tooth apart?) they took xrays to check it....then the doc came back in with the xray and said...I think we have a problem...

Turns out he did the root canal on the wrong molar! He did the one BEHIND it, instead! He felt so bad....(I at this time was feeling no pain, cuz I was numb up the whole side of my face and tongue. Believe me....numb is my friend! It's the best I've felt in over a week!) that he isn't going to charge me for the wrong one....and is only going to claim what the insurance will cover on the RIGHT one, which he proceeded to do after we discovered that the one I went in for was still un-root-canaled.

I guess I got the birthday two-for-less-than-the-price-of-one special since today is my birthday! Really this is a good thing because they were going to charge me 1/2 of the entire fee until insurance paid, which was over $400 on an $800+ root canal. UP FRONT. (then they would reimburse me what was left over who knows how much further down the road) Now they are just going to file, and whatever they get they get....no extra 20% from me, no "up and above what insurance pays is your responsibility" from me. (I'm still trying to convince myself this is a good thing right? Who else would go through two root canals so they didn't have to fork out $400 up front?)

He is also going to pay for the filling that needs to go on the one tooth (that already has a crown..the one that should have been fixed first) and a crown for the wrong molar that got root-canaled.

I'm still feeling no pain, and I really think the whole thing is funny. I'm not going to talk him bad to anyone, it's nice to know that normal human things happen to normal human people....even dentists. That tooth was probably going to need a root canal at some point in the future anyway...right?


Happy Root Canal To Me!!!

Like the child who "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth..." All I want for my brithday today is to have this tooth fixed! I called the dentist office and they can 'squeeze' me in at 3:45. HOORAY! I think they took pity on me, or pity on my family for having to live with me. :c)

This will also work out great because my friend Sandi and I wanted to make a plan today to hop over to Joann's while so much stuff was still on sale. I need some king size hobbs batting, and while it is 1/2 off, it's cheaper than I can get it wholesale plus shipping. So I'm going to buy 6 of them and stash them back. Not sure what else is on sale, but when Sharon showed her great organization boxes for her sunroom studio, those really caught my eye too so I'm going to check those out.

Not a whole lot of quilting got done this weekend, mostly because the pain meds make me sea sick. Bad enough that I am not taking them today...I have to DRIVE! I've gone back to the ibuprophen, as well as still on the antibiotic. I hope it will see me through until after the proceedure. I did some hand quilting, and some swap block piecing...but I really didn't spend much time behind a needle at all this weekend.

Here is some more eye candy for you. This is a pic of an antique pineapple, also from houston. I just loved the fabrics in it! This must have been "the year of the cheddar" when I was taking photos that year, they all seem to have cheddar in them somewhere..*LOL* It was just LOVELY.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

For the Love of Cheddar!

This color just rocks my world :c) Here is a pic of an applique sampler, also taken in Houston. Cheddar, green, and a reddish brown called "ox blood". (nice name, huh???) but it sure looks great together! I wish I'd gotten a better pic of the one next to it as well....it was a doozy! But this trip to Houston had me fascinated with antique applique quilts. Maybe I thought I was actually going to do one!

Acutally I did get started. I made a gazillion (or what felt like) Oak leaf and reel blocks....poison green, red and cheddar on muslin. It's boring. It has stayed a top. A top that needs to come apart because I really think it needs pieced sashing or something?? So much..MUSLIN! Maybe muslin is one of those things that only looks better AFTER you quilt it and can see the detail? It just looks washed out to me.

Maybe it needs just a pieced border? (hanging diamonds? anyone?) I don't want to do applique in the big setting triangles, I thought that something feathered could go there. I didn't use overlay for the applique placement..I just freely placed them on the block, so they are all a bit different from eachother. I wanted it to look as old as possible. Some of the reel centers are really wonky!

I do love the fabrics in it. It just got to a point where I didn't know what to do with it.

Toothache actually woke me feeling WORSE this morning. I'm not sure if I was clenching my jaw in my sleep or what, but today I've got a call in to DH's friend, the dentist...and see if maybe there is something for pain he can prescribe. Breakfast at my house was mushy cheerios this morning...! Whhhaa!


Friday, January 20, 2006

Amish Geese

Everything Goes Better With Cheddar! At least I'm sticking too it....I just LOVE this Cheddar, and when I see it in antique quilts, I love it even better :c) This is a pic from Houston a few years back.

Toothache is still naggy. It has been 1 1/2 days since the antibiotics started, so I should start seeing an improvement. Right now, it feels awful good to wrap one of those icepack thingies in a little tea towel and lay my whole face on it!

I'm thinking twice before I eat anything....even though I'm chewing on the side that isn't sore, you can't just open one side of your jaw without using the other. I may end up losing weight before I get this tooth worked on, which might be not a bad thing at all. Soup is my friend. Yogurt is my friend!

My little friend Stephanie came over to work on her puss in the corner blocks today. I really enjoy so much having her here. We graduated school together and she is just so sweet. Killer that she is about the age of my oldest son! Her puss in the corner blocks are all reds and neutrals and she is doing really well on matching seams and learning to use all the different reds and different shades of background fabrics. It's going to be a super quilt for her.

While she was here working I loaded a customer quilt, it's a string quilt "roman stripe" set in barn raising. The solid 1/2 of the triangles is a marble grey, and the pieced parts are EVERYTHING under the sun. Alot of brights. I am quilting with signature thread in varigated brights. It really makes that grey look not so bad! (at first I thought it was a little subdued for the brights in the pieced triangles)
I love how the varigated looks across the grey. It reminds me of playing with colored chalk on a school chalkboard :c) You might have to click the pic to see the thread better. This quilt is 98X98. BIG AND HEAVY! (and she sent warm & natural batting to go in it...make that twice as heavy!)

I got a good bit done while Stephanie was here, and it was only because she was here that I could force myself to plug away with it with how I feel! DUMB TOOTH!


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Can't remember if I posted this one...

This was a quilt that someone had brought to one of the antique malls in Augusta GA when the guild was having a quilt appreciation day there, and invited people to come for appraisals, etc. Siobhan took this pic for me because I couldn't be there. The quilt was pieced somewhere around 1870 and the 9 patches measure 2" across. They are TINY! I love the little bits of turquoise and cheddar that pop out here and there. Another thing that was interesting about this quilt was the quilting. It was like they quilted it in a grid from the BACK of the quilt, because the grid didn't fall anywhere specific....we would normally quilt an X through the patches, or through the 9 patch blocks and setting blocks themselves. On this quilt they were nowhere NEAR going through the blocks that way, and sometimes the angle was even funky. It looked like it had been quilted from the back, and wherever the stitches fell, they fell!

This is the quilt that inspired me to make a 9 patch and set it with green, only mine was made with 3" 9 patches (yes, even I have my limits! *LOL*)

I also made mine lots smaller. I figured I had enough 9 patches and this was as far as it went. I really DO love the poison green though....

I spent a sleepless night...antibiotics give me a tummy ache. BLAH! I am supposed to take this stuff every 6 hours, and yes that means getting up in the middle of the night to take it...WITH FOOD. Do you think I can get to sleep after that? NO WAY. Nothing like puttering around the house between 2 and 4 am, and finally falling back to sleep only to have to get up to get the son to school at 7am. *yawn*

I'm off to study for a bit, and then get going on a customer quilt to get my mind OFF the studying :c) Have a great day everyone!


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Welcome Laura! (And stuff)

I'd like to announce that Quilt Mav's has a new member to welcome to our neighborhood! You can visit and welcome Laura at
Pine Ridge Quilter!

This has been a crazy day for me. After stewing about that test date, I got back online this morning and moved it from the 30th to the 26th...just so I can get it over before that weekend, and not have to stew over it.

I have a CD program that has practice tests on it, similar to the test I will be taking, so I worked with that a bit this morning. I need to study harder! I think my brain has forgotten half of what I put in there over the past year!

I also had a dentist appt....I have a molar with a crown, maybe 5 years old. My jaw has been having this deep down ache, so I went to the dentist to have it checked. I need a root canal in that tooth :c( They gave me an antibiotic for now that should help, but I scheduled the proceedure for Feb 9th. I hope I can last that long. It's a dull deep down ache, not sharp pain, but it is constant.

That little jaunt was also added to some other errands. I am the charity quilt person for our guild, and three of the charities are all in a similar area, so I made the rounds today and delivered quilts and stuff to the Children's Garden (A pre-school daycare for the children of homeless parents) the NICU and Breast Cancer Center at Palmetto Baptist Hospital. Then I drove to the library and returned some books on CD.
After that it was to Sam's club to drop off the antibiotic prescrip. DH will pick that up tonight on his way home....

We've been having a trying time with our nearly 16 yr old son. Jeffrey has been moody and cantankerous and disagreeable and not doing well in school. On recommendation from one of his teachers, we have an appointment with a counselor who specializes in adolescents tonight at 6:30. When the counselor asked if we could come tonight...I was almost afraid to say yes, because I could envision Jeff throwing a fit and saying NO WAY. But he agreed to go for 3 sessions. My hope is that he will like this guy enough to stay for more, but at least this is a start. We promised pizza at pizza hut after the counselling. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers...I really fear for my son and the way his life is going right now. This is his second time through 9th grade and he still doesn't seem to care.

Today's selection from the "Old Quilts" file is this beauty that I saw in Houston a few years ago! You might have to click on the photo to view it bigger and see it. At Houston I tended to flock more to the antique booths than all the quilts actually on display for the show! I love 6 pointed stars even if they have those (*&@#$( set in seams. I just loved this one and the setting.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Got my National Certification Exam Date!

It was an ordeal, I tell ya....

But I called today to see if my transcripts had arrived...I went and got copies notorized at the school and then overnighted them last tuesday because after 2 months, they still had not arrived.

Well, they HAD made it into the system...so doing that worked.

I was given my authorization number and a website address and a phone number....I could do either to schedule my test. I did it online.

I could have taken my test as early as THIS FRIDAY!!!!!!!!! AUUGH! I think I need more than 3 days of studying, so I counted out 2 weeks and am going to take it on Jan 30th. :c)

Let the crunch time studying begin!
(still wondering where this massage therapy thing is going to lead...but at least I'll be licensed and nationally certified! *LOL*)


Getting Life Back On Track!

So here I am, nearly noon...and what have I done today? I've cleaned the kitchen, I've emptied my luggage, I've put all the stuff from retreat away, and sewed the binding on the house quilt so I can start hand stitching it down tonight. It doesn't feel like a big accomplishment, but I guess it is :c)

Remember when I was saying that I was revamping all the files on my server so I could find stuff easier, get rid of stuff I didn't want, rename stuff I didn't have a clue what it was and file it in it's own category? I found all these pics of quilts I fell in love with when I used to go to Quilt Festival in Houston when I lived in TX. Plus other antique quilts I've saved pics of. There is now a folder called "old quilts" on my server! So guess what? On days when I don't have anything to show for myself, you are going to get a pic of an antique quilt for eye candy :c)

This one doesn't look like much. I bought it at a show in Texas, it was made in the 1880's and has great fabrics and wonderful shirtings. I fell in love with it because of the simplicity. I wanted to quilt it, but the fabrics might be a bit brittle. Still, I like looking at it reminding myself (especially when killing myself on things like this Dear Jane thing) that sometimes simple is best! I wonder about the maker of this quilt, what her life was like....did these scraps come from clothes? Did she trade her fabric pieces with her neighbors? Who knows. I like thinking back to 1880 and wondering what it was like for her to do up her hair each morning and brush it out each night, putting it into a long braid before going to bed. What it was like to button up those shoes....and have to wear dresses with stays or corsets?

And of course there is always the question of why this quilt stayed a top, and was never quilted......we will never know.


Monday, January 16, 2006

I'm Back!

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I am so tired I can't hardly think straight! I am back from retreat. A great time was had by all. It was even mentioned several times how nice this retreat was, and then we realized it was because certain cantakerous people who always seem to throw a wrench into everything, no matter what the situation.....were not there! *heheh* We won't mention names, but we know who they are, and we didn't have to deal with them ;c)(Definate Quilt Police, if you get my drift!)

I brought two cameras..because one has a bigger memory card than the other. But it so happens that the software for that camera is NOT functional for some reason, and I can't find the CD to reload it! (*&@# I took some pics of my pink DJ as it grew, so I have those, but the ones I took of the room mess, and of people's projects etc...are not on this camera. :c( So I'm hoping that Siobhan will load what she has. She also took some gorgeous pics of the lake that was right outside the window of where we sewed. Please post those Sio!

This is really a fun group to retreat with. Where we stay has duplex cabins, and each cabin signs up for hosting a meal for everyone, so every lunch and every dinner was at a different cabin. So much FOOD! WAY TOO MUCH DESSERT! (you know why Dessert has two S's in it? So we are allowed Two Helpings.. :cÞ) We walked from the cabins to the meeting rooms where we sewed, walked as much as possible to work off all we were eatting, but it was SO good.

Lets see....I got there a bit early, and claimed my place in the corner since I had SO much stuff to work with. I also packed my MP3 player and we listened to celtic and massage instrumental music for stimulation the whole time we sewed. It was great! I set myself up to be as functional and productive as possible and since I posted the last pic of the quilt, I have added FOUR ROWS to it! :c) I now have 10 rows out or 13 rows done and set together. It feels like a huge accomplishement.

This pic is after I added the 9th row

The first weekend in Feb is another retreat, and though it isn't as long, I'm hoping to make a good push on it then too. If I can keep myself motivated, I'm thinking of making myself do one block a day, and the sashings that go with it...so by the time I go on that retreat I've only got 2 more rows to go. Wouldn't that be awesome? I will also need to finish the outside edge, continuing the star points into the border...but will deal with that when I've got the rest together.

after adding the 10th row, on the fence when I got home and unloaded the car!

It's early to bed for me tonight. I do feel like a complete non-functional zombie! It's so good to be home and have my own bed to look forward to.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Baptist Fan Template

I've been asked how I do fans on the longarm...so I'm uploading a pic of the new templates from Circle Lord

The idea is so easy it's nearly foolproof. (other then breaking threads and skipped stitches, which had nothing to do with the templates.) You have a stylus attached to the long arm machine...you line the edge of the quilt up with the edge of the template, plunk the stylus in the groove, and away you go. There are three templates to cover the length of my machine table and they just snap together. I use a roll of that rubberized shelf liner stuff underneath the template to hold it from moving and shifting while I quilt.

I have accomplished much of NOTHING today! OH, really, I have done alot..but it was all computer work with nothing to show for it. I have had my website since 1997 and everything I ever saved to my server to show as a picture to anyone for anything, any graphic I ever saved, any pic of family, dog, cat, miscellaneous is all alphabetically arranged on my server....and most of the stuff after this long I had no clue what it was! So, one by one, I've been going through and culling out stuff I don't need on there anymore, and trying to make folders for stuff to make things easier to find. This also means, that if I move a page's pics to it's own folder, all the pics need to be re-linked on the webpage itself so they can be found. It's a HUGE undertaking...but will be beneficial in the long run. Instead of having everything in one big pile, it will be split up into different files and directories. I've been at it for over 6 hours and I got up to *M*. And this is just the cleaning out part! I just know this is going to be one of these evenings where DH says....so what did YOU do today...as he looks around and sees laundry not done, and dishwasher still not emptied. Did I quilt for customers today? Nope. Sometimes you have to take time out to maintain the website, and it needs spring cleaning in a BIG WAY even if it can't be seen from outside the server!

I haven't even packed for retreat tomorrow! I've got groceries I need to bring with me...and I think I'll stop and shop for them on the way out of town in the morning. I'm striving to get there by NOON! Let the festivities begin!


House Fans

Remember a post last week about thread color and choosing hand or machine quilting? I have had my happy scrappy houses top done for eons, but I was always stumped with how/what to quilt on it. It is one of those quilts that is bright and scrappy, and yet I didn't want to change thread colors with each section of every house. No matter what I did, the thread is going to contrast somewhere.

This also wasn't a quilt that I wanted to hand quilt. The quilt is 78X90 and if I'm going to hand quilt something THAT big, it is going to be something I WANT to spend that much time on. It didn't call for it to me, though if it did, I think I would have quilted it with black thread so it would show up against all the colors.

I loaded this yesterday afternoon and because I couldn't choose just one color, I chose varigated rainbow. After doing the first row, I didn't like it, but you know what, it was too late and I was not going to pick it out! The thread was a heavier jean-stitch type thread, and on the right quilt it would have looked great, on this one, it just looked SO obvious. I also had nightmares with skipped stitches, and broken thread. I was about to pull my hair out by the time it was done.

When I got it off the machine, the quilt relaxed a bit, and now I think it isn't that bad. Remember, no matter WHAT color I used, it was going to contrast in most places. I think the only way to avoid this would be to use a monofilament in things that are really differing color wise, but I'm not a big fan of monofilament. I have had some luck with a thread called "nymo" in a light blue. It's a multi-filament nylon, but it has semi-opaque qualities to it so it really blends in quilting scrappy quilts. Some people want only natural fibers in their quilts, so I've only used it on my own scrap quilts, and for a busy busy multi color quilt, I think it is the best out there for blending and not sticking out like a sore thumb.

The house quilt has a child-like color-crayon feel to it to me anyway, so I think I can live with the varigated thread. Though in the back of my mind, this little voice is saying "black perle cotton.....do it by hand"! That way there would have only been dots and dashes where the stitches show, not the thick solid lines that are more like stem-stitching that you get with machine quilting. Looks like oscar likes it anyway!

And this is my baby! This is Jeff, he will be 16 on the 25th. I snapped this pic this morning while he was emptying the dishwasher, just because I can never capture him for a picture, he hates having his pic taken and avoids it at all costs! He is 6'1" and in the 9th grade. :c)


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mom On Strike...What a RIOT!!!

I was sent this ebay auction and you just have to CHECK IT OUT!

A HUGE Hooray is going from me to this courageous mother! How many of us have been in this same situation?? I can't tell you the number of times I have felt the same way!

I hope you can check it out soon, and be sure to check all the posts down the page...what a crack up!!!


For Lynn....

This is a pic of a quilt I made from Lynn's mystery quilt pattern! My guild in IDAHO did the mystery..so you know how many years ago this was. It was PRE-long arm and that had to be before 1995 :c) I needed the quilt bigger, and I liked the blocks on point so that is how I set them. I gave this to my neice Jessica when she was born.


As The Blog Turns..

Hi Ladies! I hope you are all busily quilting away!

We have a new member! Siobhan, aka Yankee Quilter has been visiting our ring for a while and working on her own blog. With much arm twisting she has joined us :c) You can check her blog out at Scraps and Thread Tales Siobhan and I both belong to the Pieceful Hearts guild in North Augusta, SC (just across the Savannah River from Regular Augusta GA!) and this is the guild that has the retreat this weekend! I'll bring the camera so we can get pics of us working on our stuff. We have both determined to crank on our UFOs! Tonya was a member here too, before she hailed off to the wilds of Egypt...this is how we all met.

Now for a funny! I was a guild last night, Carolina Pine Quilters in Aiken, SC. I want to let you know how much our ring is enjoyed by guild members! I had a couple people talk to me about it, that they have to click through the ring daily to see what we are all up to, and they've even talked about it with each other on phone calls, "Did you see what is on so and so's blog?? You have to check it out!" *LOL* I was even told "Oh, Bonnie, it is so exciting that you get to go see Lucy!" :c) So our little blog lives have become part of other people's daily haunts. I just think it is so fun!

Two more days until retreat! I am gearing myself up to really work on this pink and brown DJ. Between this retreat and the one with the Carolina Pine Quilters in Feb, I should be able to pretty much get this top together I think. I've even started thinking what I need to do with the borders. I'm going to complete the star points from the sashing into the border at least. Depending on how big it is at that point, I just might bind it with the remaining brown indigo...cut in scrappy strips because I don't have any one of either piece to do the whole quilt...I bought quarter yard packs of these...

The Carolina Pines retreat is on Hilton Head Island the same weekend as the Jinny Beyer Convention. (Feb 3-6) We rent a beach house and pack it to the gills with people and sew on our own projects. The Convention has a quilt show, and it is free to visit. Wonderful to see Jinny's quilts up close and personal, along with those of invited guest artists. She also has a vendor shop set up there, so we shop a bit....but I usually just sew sew sew...and I love walking the beach this time of the year!


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Special Welcome to Dona at Quilting WIth Cats!

Quilt Mavericks has a new member and you can find her blog at Quilting With Cats

I hope you will all stop by her blog and give her a warm welcome!


Stand Still Projects...

You know how it is when you have a project you love, but you can't make yourself work on it for whatever reason?

I have a project like this. I'ts my double pink and chocolate indigo Dear Jane variation that I started almost THREE *cough* years ago. It's sat at way over 1/2 done for almost 2 years now. I love it....every time I pull it out I pet it...and yet I have had the hardest time making my mind want to work on these tedious little jewel blocks. What is with that? Why do projects get this far only to stagnate?

One of my goals this year is to finish the top. I have pulled it out to take inventory (again!) of what I have done. It is 1/2 assembled into the top..I just need to do 6 1/2 rows left..The blocks for these rows are about 1/2 done too. They just need the storm at sea sashing and little square in a square cornerstones pieced and set with the blocks, and sew them in rows.

I have a retreat this weekend with my guild....we go up on thursday, and come home monday so that is a HUGE chunk of sewing time! Can you feel me trying to pump myself up about getting into gear with this quilt again? I have printed out all the block patterns by row...I have printed out all the foundations for the sashing parts...I have the fabric pulled and ready to go. Please please please let me have fun with this project again! I don't want to force myself if it is a drudgery. I want that spark of *YES!!!* When you are excited about something and it is coming together just as you envision it, and all your muses are working together with you to keep you inspired.

I'm taking this project! I'm gearing up for working on it! I hope that after the MLK weekend when I return I'll have alot to show for my efforts and the time I spent. Everyone who retreats with me knows that when at retreat I basically chain myself to my sewing machine! *LOL* Other people go off talking, walking, shopping, eatting.....and I've always put the pedal to the metal and cranked on the quilts while at retreat. I hope I can have that kind of energy for this project that has been at a dead end for so long :c)


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Continuous Machine Quilted Fans

I've done fans on quilts by machine before, using a 'circle lord' attachement, which works much like a spirograph, remember those? you put the peg in the hole, stitch the inner arc, backstitch to anchor threads, move the peg to the next hole, stitch the next arc, and on and on, leaving these 1" to 1.5" toe catcher stitches between each arc that you'd have to go back and clip later. Thousands of them it seemed like! Still, it was a good accurate fan, if people wanted to pay for it. I gave them a deal if they would clip the toe catcher stitches themselves. :c)

Circle Lord has since come out with a continuous baptist fan template which eliminates starts and stops, but in order to do the fans in a continous line, instead of ending at the previous fan stitching, it echoes about 1/8" from the edge of the previous fan before it starts it's next arc. Still, I think this is a good alternative for customers who don't want to pay the higher price for the time and headache it takes to do the non-continuous toe-catcher fans, and for those who don't want to clip the toe-catchers..which includes me!

The set up comes in pieces, and it lays on the quilting machine table on top of that rubberized shelf liner stuff so it is 'non-skid'. You plunk the stylus in the groove and away you go. Sounds easy, huh? Well, I'll have to quilt alot of baptist fans this way for people to make up the $550 it cost me for this set up. Am I really going to quilt THAT MANY fanned quilts with continuous fans? I'm not sure. But my DH the accountant says I need more overhead than I have to show, so I guess this is it. Big over head. Big fans!

I used it on the double sashed string quilt that went stupid earlier this week. I figured I couldn't go wrong even if I did screw it up since the quilt was semi-cursed anyway! And you know what? I actually like it! Yes, I can still tell where the fan blades end and echo the previous fan, it's not like hand quilted fans....but for how easy it was, it still has that circular feel. I'll wash it after I bind it and see if that look is even improved more after washing as far as the echoed parts go. It was kind of tricky to get the rows to line up just right...but for a first shot I don't think I did too bad!


Roll Roll Cotton Boll Class Supply List!


Roll Roll, Cotton Boll 

Full Quilt, 85” X 100”

Roll Roll Cotton Boll is a dynamic scrappy quilt, combining traditional blocks with the freedom of string piecing in the alternate blocks.

This is a BOOK REQUIRED class.  Students must come with my book String Fling to class.  Books can be found through your local shop, or signed copies can be ordered through my website at http://quiltville.com

Due to the time restraints in class – with the average class giving us only 6 hours of sewing time, we will be focusing on the pieced blocks and the string blocks during class time.

While the complete yardage for the entire quilt is given here, please keep in mind that you only need to bring enough supplies to keep you busy for a 6 hour class.

1 3/4 yards red print for blocks – may be one fabric or scrappy.
2 yards pink fabric scraps for blocks and pieced border.
1 1/2 yards brown scraps for pieced blocks
1 1/2 yards green scraps for blocks and pieced border
1/2  yard green for inner border
5 yards of light/neutral scraps, strips and strings for block backgrounds and string blocks.  look for a wide variety of prints, stripes, plaids and novelties ranging from
white to cream to beige to tan. May include small figures, leaves and flowers as long as the fabric ground reads as neutral

We will be focusing on skill building with the use of the Easy Angle ruler for the large and small half square triangles within each block. 
For use with the Easy Angle Ruler, please come with the following pre-cut before class:
SOME 3-1/2” strips in pink and brown for large block triangles
SOME 2” strips in neutrals and red for the small block triangles
SOME 2” strips of neutral and green for pieced blocks.
where 2” squares are needed, they can be cut from these strips in class.

**NOTE** if you prefer using any other triangle method such as thangles or sewing-big-trimming-down please do not cut your fabric into strips as above.  Any method that gives you a 3” finished and a 1-1/2” finished half square triangle can be used.

Along with your book and your fabric, and your Easy Angle ruler – we will need the following:

In addition to the basic requirements of  Sewing Machine with 1/4" foot, (ALSO bring a regular
open toe foot if your 1/4" foot has a guide on it.)  pins, needles, thread, seam  ripper, scissors,
rotary cutter, mat and ruler you will need:

Foundation paper: Any paper can be used! I use phone book paper as my foundation as it tears
easily and is readily available.  Unprinted news print type paper, or doodle pads from the dollar
store also work well! Please avoid velum as it curls when touched with an iron.  Cut a handful of
8.5" square foundations from paper before coming to class.

A 8.5" or 9.5" square ruler is helpful in trimming up string block units.
I like to use a size 14 denim needle when doing the string piecing.  They make bigger holes in the paper
to help the paper tear away easily.

Come and sew and have a good time!
If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at quiltville@gmail.com.

Friday, January 06, 2006


My dear dear friend who happens to be an engineer (and tries to teach me to think like one) once told me that if something stops working, or working differently you have to go backwards in time to the point where that happened to see if you can pinpoint things YOU did that made the difference.

I just went back in time removing different elements from my template and checking if it made a difference. I found it. It was the calendar and the java clock in the calendar that were throwing things off. I'm not sure WHY, something with this java fighting with the page java, but when I removed the whole calendar and clock..voila...things went back to working fine.

So the cute calendar is no more...but it isn't as if I really needed it there, now do I? :c)

Thanks Dawn for all your help in putting up with me to figure this out! I think I'm good to go now! NO MORE BOX BAR at the top! YEAH!


I hate IE!

I've had this problem the last couple of weeks with IE....which has taken the navigation bar from the top of the screen and bunched it up all in a box on the upper left of the screen. I have no way to fix this. I have tried! I even made a 'test' blog to see if I could figure out what/why it is doing this..but to no avail.

I have emailed the help at blogger....of course I got a very prompt auto-responder message back, but really who knows where this kind of problem is going to land on the 'priority' scale.

To those of you with only IE to view my blog..I apologize. :c/

I'm going to ease my troubles with some chocolate I stashed back from christmas stockings...and go pet some fabric :c)


Ohio Stars & Rails Done...

I started this quilt the day after 9-11. Alot of people started patriotic quilts that week. It only took me this long to get this one FINISHED! Who would have thought that this long after...we'd still be at war in Iraq.

The reason this took me this long was because I wanted to hand quilt this project. I could have machine quilted it quickly, but somehow when hand quilting and doing other hand work I am able to put my thoughts and prayers into the stitches....stitching with a purpose, you know?

Yesterday someone asked me how I decide which projects I want to hand quilt, and which to machine quilt. I guess it depends on the look I want for the finished quilt.

With this quilt, color wise....I would have had to use three colors of thread that contrasted greatly, red, navy, and white. And the patches in the 6" stars are so small that outlining them would be a pain. What would I want to quilt in the red sashings and the white sashings? I'm not crazy about dark machine quilting thread on light areas, or white machine quilting thread scribbling all over dark areas. However, hand quilting is different! You just see little dots and dashes, and mostly texture...where in machine quilting you see a line of thread. It's like the difference between a running stitch, and a stem stitch. Machine quilting is like a stem stitch because you see the whole line.

Busy busy scrappy quilts where hand quilting isn't going to show, or machine heirloom detail quilting isn't going to show are great candidates for all over edge to edge machine quilting because the threads blend in. Something like this ohio stars and rails? Nope..it needed to be hand quilted to me.

I hand quilted this with white thread and you can barely see the white stitches. Just the dimples where the stitches are. This wouldn't have been the case if I had machine quilted the whole thing with white thread.

I like to hand quilt solids. Or other fabrics that read as solids. This is another place where machine quilting can require changing alot of threads unless the quilting design is SUPPOSED to contrast with the fabrics. Batiks can usually handle wonderful machine quilting where the thread contrasts. Amish quilts? Nope. They are something that screams "HAND QUILTING" to me. It's the feeling it requires. I think you can get a subtleness with hand quilting that you can't with machine quilting.

Don't get me wrong...I LOVE MACHINE QUILTING! I wouldn't be doing what I am doing if I didn't...and I still machine quilt a lot of my quilts, just certain ones require me to spend more time with hand work, and I think this is all a good thing.

Other differences between hand and machine? I do not like cross hatching by machine. It's that thread line on top of the fabric thing. I love it for hand quilting, but for machine quilting? It just reminds me of a matress pad. It's too perfect? Too stiff? Not to mention all the starts and stops. It's nightmare for a machine quilter. I'd rather see something flowing machine quilted in there than a straight rigid cross hatch grid. But for hand quilting....it's gentler, softer and I like it.

I guess that's one of the great things about quilting....we can each do things the way WE OURSELVES like them, no matter what anyone else thinks. And it is great that there is differing opinions out there. It's highly likely that our opinions change one way or another over time too, and I am always open to new ideas. Quilt to Please Yourself!


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Borders added

Here are some pics of the borders I put on the double sashed strings quilt. Yes, I'm keeping it like it is, I would be crazy to pick it out, and maybe some day the indiscrepancies (sp?) might tickle someone. So be it :c)

Does anyone else ever pull out UFOs that are nearly done and you can't remember how they got that far or why it didn't just get finished? That is how I feel about this one...it was nearly done. Why did it get put away and why did it end at that stage and why can't I remember? Maybe it had something to do with midterms or finals or something. Definately a brain warp, but now it's done.

I'm happy at the amount of fabric this used too. I'm still working on using stuff from stash, and this one is no exception. The inner border and the outer border came from yardage, of which there is NONE left to go back on the yardage shelves! What little there was of the cream is in strips in the scrap bins, and the blue was only a long 5" strip and I folded it and stuck it in a drawer with the blue fat quarters. Still doesn't look like much room happening on the yardage shelves though! I still couldn't find room for more fabric if I tried.

Last night (after the piecing fiasco) I bound 3 sides of the ohio star quilt. One side and the sleeve left to go....hope to get to that tonight.

It's a gorgeous day here! I'm sorry for you folks in the frozen northlands..but I was just out in my yard in a short sleeved t shirt and it felt nearly hot! I think this would be a great day for walking buddy in the forest, hopefully the ground has dried from the rain we've had...


Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Sometimes you find yourself being Maverick when you DON'T WANT TO BE!

I had some time this afternoon so I was digging through some projects trying to decide what to take on retreat with my guild over Martin Luther King Weekend (Jan 12-16. Low and behold, I found this pile of string blocks...4 quarters make the block with 4 sashings and one cornerstone in the mddle. 11 blocks were done, and there were block quarters done and trimmed and ready to be set into the remaining 9 blocks. So I get a lightbulb moment to start these this afternoon, telling myself it won't take long at all to put them together, add sashings between the big blocks, and border the thing and call it good.

I've been working on it the past few hours...I just sewed all the rows together...and found out AUUGHHH! There is a huge giant problem with the direction of about 1/2 the blocks! The first set of blocks I did, the diagonals of the string pieced sections were set so they made an "O" and the last 9 I did I unintentionally set the diagonals in the string pieced units so the 4 of them made an "X"!!!!!! Here I thought I was making all the same block..but I guess I wasn't. SUPRISE!!

I laid the blocks on the floor, laid the sashings with them..and I didn't even SEE this problem until they were all sewn together and sashed! Now..there is NO WAY I am going to unpick half of this quilt. It can just be X's and O's and tough beans! Can you see in the pic where the blocks change direction somewhere in the middle of the quilt? :c/ Yes I'm tired, Yes I'm distracted! I'm calling it a night, I'll deal with borders tomorrow...*rolling eyes at myself for being So blind"

Ps..the colors aren't very "true" in this pic. They are a lot brighter in person!


One Down, On To The Next!

I finished quilting on my ohio stars quilt last night....right in the middle of watching CSI! I didn't want to miss the episode to start on the binding, so I picked up the next basted quilt I was going to work on, and started stitching away. I've got a few fans done down one side of the border on the "shoofly" quilt....So far so good.

You can see I've marked the fans with regular old white blackboard chalk. It's cheap, you can sharpen it in a pencil sharpener if you want (the big sized hand sharpener kind) and the marks stay long enough to see them, but brush away pretty easily if you need them to!

I've discovered something though....I just went from quilting with WOOL batting on the ohio stars, to quilting with hobbs 80/20 in the shooflies, and there is a DEFINATE DIFFERENCE in how it needles! Quilting the wool was like quilting through butter. It is loftier than the cotton, but it needles SO easy. It was a dream to hand quilt.

I love hobbs 80/20 for machine quilting. I think it can't be beat for the look that it gives, but for hand quilting? I think I'm preferential to wool, or the 100% organic cotton from hobbs, or quilter's dream cotton. It's just more hand quilting friendly than the 80/20 is.

I'll finish this quilt, and the amish one that is layered with hobbs 80/20 black (because I needed a black batting in it) but for future hand quilting jobs, I'm sticking to wool or 100% cotton that is easier to needle!

Today I'm going to attach the binding and the hanging sleeve to the ohio stars quilt and start the hand work on that tonight. I'll post a pic of the finished quilt as soon as it is bound and washed to get the markings out!


Monday, January 02, 2006

She's Got A Ticket To Ride.....

I'm going to Haarlem to see Lucy!

I am SO excited...I bought my tickets and booked my flight today. A week with Lucy in The Netherlands!

I will go on April 22nd....it's an overnight flight that gets me into Amsterdam at 7am Lucy's time. *yawn* Do you think I'll be able to sleep while on the plane? I'll sure try! I don't want to miss a thing being tired while I am there!

My trip is planned to end with a special holiday called "Queen's Day". I guess it is a huge celebration and there are lots of flea-market type sales..people selling things, it sounds so fun! All the bulbs should be out in April, so we are hoping for some good weather to see the beautiful flowers.

I'm coming home on May 1st.

After booking my flight and realizing that yes, this is REAL....I found the form online to fill out to get my new passport. The last time I used my passport was when I went to Japan in 1989! Passports are only good for 10 years..so I need to get the new one. I do have the old one and along with my birth certificate and other forms of ID I think I can prove that I am me, and they will give me a new updated passport.

My job in the next couple days is to go get passport photos taken.

Haarlem! Here I Come!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Yes, now it is officially 2006 and I wonder how long it will take us to get used to writing it! As well as having to remember it's a new month, it's also a new year. It usually takes me a couple weeks to get it right :c)

I've spent the last couple of days working on a project with Tonya..getting her instructions for free style pieced letters onto some pages on my website so she can direct people there more easily. They are buried in her archives now and it's hard to find which one you are looking for, so I had this brain storm....and some pages were born! Now she can direct link them in her side bar on her blog, as well as have an easy place to send people to come looking. I'm hoping this will be something that grows with other instructions to other fun things she is doing!

You can check out what we've done so far Here!

There are 6 pages with instructions for letters, the sidebar tells you which letters are on which page. It isn't alphabetical because they are on pages by degree of difficulty. Each page of letter instructions has other pics of quilts with pieced letters for inspiration...(and pictures of kitties with letters too!) There is a gallery page for her other letter quilts and a bio page too :c)

I'm still quilting on the stars quilt. I probably won't finish it tonight like I want to...fingers are feeling pretty much like hamburger! But I know I am close, so I'll work on it a bit....


Friday, December 30, 2005

Nearly New Year's Eve..

I'm not sure where today went.....but I am happy to report that the 'no fabric buying' is still in force! Not because I willed it to be so, but because even with a 40% off coupon and sales going on at Joann's and a GIFT CARD...I couldn't find a single piece of fabric that interested me!

I went to Joann's with the intent to use up this gift card that I had in my wallet that was close to expiring. I looked at the books, but there was nothing there to interest me either. I bought a new soapstone pencil marker thing (used the 40% off coupon on that) some quilting needles, and some quilting thread. I also bought a leather thimble by clover that has the coiny thing on both sides. I thought I'd give that a shot as well!

There is still $1.03 left on the gift card! It will probably expire that way, because it costs more than $1.03 to drive all the way across town to Joann's anyway. (This is a good thing)

I need thimble therapy. I admit to losing my silver TJ Lane thimble :c( I don't know WHERE it went. I had a suspicion that it got swallowed up in the depths of the couch cushions, but when I looked I couldn't find it. I swear I will never pay $50 for a thimble again. It was too pretty to lose and I feel so bad about it. I think I'm better sticking with the cheapies...and then I can have extras all over the house and in my pocket, and in my purse, and in my car and not feel the least bit bad if I lose one!

I'm about to go crawl into my jammies even though it's only 6:30pm as I write this. I want to curl up with a fire in the fireplace and quilt some more fans...I'm still pushing to get this quilt finished being quilted by sunday night..that's my goal! (Heck, I only started this one clear back in march right before Lucy came to visit...i need to finish it, I don't want to drag it into another year! And if that isn't bad enough, the top was pieced shortly after 9-11!)

Then I can move on to quilting some of the littles that I basted this week.

I'm raring to head into 2006 and quilt it with a vengeance! :cD


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Website Update!

If you've been peeking in here over the past couple days, you can see I've been messing around with changing the look of things. I finally got the bug and decided to do the same thing to my Website!

Let me know how you like the new look :c) I'm still working on it....(but heading off to do some hand quilting in a few minutes!)


Basting Party!

Last night I got out several small wallhanging size stuff that I want to hand quilt. Yes, these are the ones I was thinking of yesterday, wondering if it is okay to hand quilt fans on EVERYTHING! I'm nearly done with quilting on my ohio stars and rails, so I needed to line up the next one so I could just move on to it... I had a basting party all by myself. Loaded those puppies on the machine, found pieces of left over batting to use in them, and did a huge big stitch (toe catcher size!) basting meander all over them....I basted 6 small quilts! Probably more than enough to keep me busy hand quilting in the evenings for the next year, but at least they are off the shelves.

I think I'm going to quilt the "Flies in the Buttermilk" Next..and yes, it will be more fans. I've got to check if I have enough brown quilting thread, or if I need to get more over the next couple days. I used brown to quilt the 6 point string star, and it really had a great primitive look to it.

I found backings out of stash..it's great when you can use yardage without having to piece it because the quilt is small! I used up some funky stuff too.....One of the amish littles has a black with neon turquoise print! And one of the other amish ones has a black with a kind of mod red/grey ropey thing in it. Definately makes these more of a Bon-ish instead of Amish look!

I'm coloring my hair today. It just looked so drab and the highlights I had gotten in October were pretty far grown out. Time for a perk-me-up.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Is there such a thing as....

Too many baptist fans??

I'm pulling out small quilt tops, wall hanging size, that I would like to work on when I finish quilting the ohio stars and rails quilt. I am trying to think of fun ways to quilt these, but all I want to do is quilt fans! I just love the texture, and the quilting goes so easily...

Is it boring if I just keep quilting fans on EVERYTHING?


Emmy Lou Be My Valentine?

I just went downstairs and found my little scaredy-cat Emmy Lou on the table..on top of the little valentine topper I put out yesterday (yes the christmas stuff is GONE, and I have moved on to the next red holiday, folks!)

Emmy is such a timid little thing. She was a rescue kitty....saved from the top of a tree when she was a kitten by a friend who's dogs had chased her up there, and continuted to terrorize her, probably waiting for her to fall and become dinner.

I adopted her on the spot. She is one of those kitties who has an automatic-touch-activated-purr-starter! All you have to do is lay a finger on her and she roars up her purr motor to beat the band. But the trick is....getting her to let you touch her in the first place. I think because she was an abused orphan kitty that she has programed herself to live a solitary protection based life! She will come in to eat, she will find a dark corner to nap for a while out of sight, and then outside she goes again. She has the most timid meow you've ever heard, almost whiney! (And very feminine) Occassionally she will feel safe enough to jump up on my bed if I am laying there, and allow herself to be petted. But that is usually short lived and out she goes again.

What makes it worse is that Oscar, our white kitty, loves to terrorize her and chase her whenever he sees her. Of course, because she won't stand up for herself...she runs as soon as she sees him, and the chasing and hissing is on. Bad Oscar. Poor Emmy. I wish she'd just ONCE stand up for herself, quit running, and fight back!

The 4 bags of clothing, shoes, purses all got dropped off at Good Will on my way to the guild get-together last night. GOOD RIDDANCE! I purposely dropped them off that soon after cleaning the closet so that I wouldn't get second thoughts and be tempted to pull stuff out of there again. GONE! Feels so good... :cD


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Cleaning Virus on the Loose!

It's a good thing that no one is home today but me. I'm not sure if it is because this is the first day in a week and a half that I have been home alone, or if it is because Christmas is OVER and we are facing a new year, or if it is hormones and mood swings, but I've been bit by the cleaning virus! So far it's made me tackle the upstairs...all three bedrooms including reaming out my 15 yr old son Jeff's room. Toxic to say the least! (someone tell me why he had three 1/2 eatten packs of ritz crackers in his drawer?)

I've done 5 loads of laundry (two of them were Jeff's!) to get everything taken care of from the week away, and as I was putting things away in my closet this lead to cleaning OUT my closet....arranging things in there. I got rid of FOUR tall kitchen sized drawstring trash bags full of dresses, blouses, sweaters, tshirts,sweats, shorts, shoes and purses. Someone want to tell me WHY again that women have to have so many pairs of shoes that we never (or rarely) wear, and what is this thing with the "purse graveyard" shelf at the top of the closet. Am I really ever going to use any of those ever again, or will I find myself more apt to just buy a new one when I come across it?

I also discovered something...my clothes are in the colors I also like in fabrics. I guess I wear what I like to sew with! Lots of blue, all shades, some black, grey, splash of red, green and maybe a bit of purple. Very little yellow or pastels. I'd say over 60% of my closet is in one shade of denim or another....that goes for shirts,both long and short sleeved... pants, skirts, jumpers, dresses. DENIM. Or khaki!

I dress for comfort and I can usually be found in jeans in the winter with a long or short sleeved tee. Most everything (except for some workout clothes) are 'lady' type tees...I don't wear the unisex man's type tee because I don't like the neck that tight around me. I tend to go for v neck or slightly scoop neck.

In the summer it's drawstring lightweight cotton capris or walking shorts...feet are usually bare or in sandals. Winter time it's sneakers or a pair of comfortable leather clogs.

When we were in the Smokies I went shopping one night while the guys were skiing...(bought 3 new bras, I think that is what started this, because I came home and tossed three old ones that were replaced with the new ones)at a shop called "Goodies". Nice mid range price department store...I looked through everything including the sale racks. NOTHING appealed to me. NOTHING! (Other than the bras, which are all basic white and were 25% off!) There was all kinds of women's "working at the office" type fashionable clothes...but you know what? the blazers and jackets were the most hideous fabric I'd ever seen! I'm talking big bulky plaids that reminded me of bad upholstery from the 1970s. Orange and avacado green. I kid you not! Slinky fabrics, lots of 'dry clean only'.....I don't think I'd survive having to dress for work like that.

I also don't like how the pants are cut and I'm anxiously awaiting the day when they put the waistline on pants back up where it belongs...ON MY WAIST. I've bought some new pants recently that sit lower, now they aren't really "hip huggers" but they are a couple inches lower than my natural waist, so now my tee shirts aren't long enough and i get belly hang out...egad! If they are going to make the pants lower, don't you think they need to make the shirts LONGER?

I'm just a natural fiber lover I guess....in clothing as well as quilting. I'm glad I don't have a clothes fetish, I'd rather BE quilting.

I'm going to drop these 4 bags off at the Goodwill on my way to a stitch group get together tonight. It's a 'white elephant' swap, and a left over dessert sharing for the goodies. I have neither, but I can probably wrap up a stack of FQ's I'll never use that someone else might want, and I could bring some beverages instead of a dessert. It will be fun to go just for the company of WOMEN after being stranded with too much testosterone around me for so long!


Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing Day :c)

As it's called in all countries with ties to the crown....The day after Christmas. I was dreadfully low on groceries after being gone for a week so I had to brave the crowds this morning, which were not too bad considering. Sam's Club is not one of those places with huge return/exchange lines, and I do avoid the mall (otherwise known as the MAUL by myself and those who know me who share the same revulsion for the place) at all costs. I came home with some groceries, and two long sleeve V-neck tees that I really did need..and voila! I'm staying home the rest of the day.

Last night we went to a friend's home for desserts and company. A fun time was had, it was a great visit and cozy in their home. I came home with their leftover ham-bone because they were going to toss it...and knowing I am the official "after the holiday" soup officianado, they gave it to me! So I have simmering in the crock pot...one ham bone and bean soup fixings. Yummy.

I've quilted to a couple more old classic movies today, both black and whites that were on the TCM channel. Nice since that channel is commercial free! I've probably got 3 rows of fans left to quilt across the ohio stars and rails quilt..and the callouses are back into protecting my fingers after a couple days off duty.

I'm posting some pics of the finished "The Best Things" Quilt. It turned out way more maverick than I would have expected...It does NOT hang straight, even after washing and blocking it and trying to force it into square..*LOL* It was square WHEN I started...all I can figure is that quilting with a hoop and moving that hoop from place to place, and having LOTS of quilting can pull it right into distortion. *sigh*

Oh well....I am thinking of all the antique quilts I love seeing in books and how their corners are pulled off square, and border edges are anything but straight, and how much MORE I love them because of that human element. And though I used synthropol in the wash water..there was one place where the red did bleed a bit pink into the shirting print border. And YES, I prewashed those reds! I suppose this is much the same kind of thing our fore-quilters would have had to deal with too, and I probably would have loved their quilts just as much or more in spite of it, so phooey. And I am still a lover of that solid red...so I'll keep using it. I just might wash it twice before I piece with it in the future though!

However, I still feel like quite the maverick soul thumbing my nose at the quilt police saying that borders must all be the same width, they must hang straight with square corners and binding miters must be sewn down. HA! I happen to like my origami folded pleated binding corners. I won't stitch them shut for anyone. I think Gwen would be proud, don't you? ;c)

On the school front...I found out that somehow the transcripts that the school sent to the national certification board got LOST. Which means I still don't have a date for taking my exams to get my license. BAH HUMBUG on that. My goal was to have it done before the holidays, and then to have it done before my birthday in Jan...now who knows when they'll have all the stuff together to be able to give me a date to sit for those exams? I guess I'll be getting ALOT of quilting done!


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

We returned from the cabin in the Smoky Mts yesterday afternoon........Good grief, so much packing and unpacking!

The weather was cold and icy, there was snow on the ground on the drive up there, but luckily (HA!) none fell while we were there. The cabin was up a steep grade, and then the driveway was really steep too, it would have been hard to get the cars up it if it were icy!

The guys skiied and snowboarded to their hearts content. We watched all the old movies and musicals that I had brought, as well as finding our way to the video store to rent some that we hadn't seen before (newer ones...I think my son had his fill of the old classics!)

We grocery shopped and mostly cooked meals and goodies in the cabin, took long walks (HIKES UP HILL!) with the dog, napped, read, and best of all quilted until my fingers were too sore to quilt anymore!

I finished "The best things" quilt...will get a pic of it as soon as I can get things settled here. The binding and hanging sleeve went on last night. I'm also about 3/4 the way handquilting on my ohio stars and rails quilt...weeehhhaa! my push is to see if I can get it done by new years day.

When the fingers were too sore to quilt any farther, I started a little crocheted afghan. I haven't really crocheted in years and years...I think it was working with that scarf last month that put me in the mood. Feeling that soft yarn slide through your fingers is quite nice! I never did learn to knit, and I don't feel the need to, but this afghan thing is just an alternative to needle work at night. Sometimes my eyes are too bleary to hand quilt or applique at night, but I don't have to have so much concentration to add a row to an afghan.

Christmas services at church don't start until 11, so I don't have to be there to start the organ prelude for about an hour. I'm headed to the shower to get ready but I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and let you know that we are all home here safe and sound.

Pumpkin pies are in the oven!