Monday, March 13, 2006

Out Of The Bag!!

In a previous post I was talking about the big brown paper bag that Stephanie had gifted to me at guild meeting Monday Night. Actually, it is one of several bags! It is always like Christmas for me when she ditches her scraps :c)

Yesterday afternoon I started wondering what I could do with all the ends of her strip pieced panels...Not ALL the fabrics are batiks, but quite a few of them are...there were also some little panel parts of orientals (just a few) and a wide panel of a red print with bright green on either end...like a panel you would piece if making puss in the corner blocks. I piled all the pieced panel parts in a pile (wow..say pieced panel parts in a pile three times fast!) and I saw that I could get A LOT of kaleidoscope wedgies cut out of them! So that is what I started to do....there was enough to do 36 blocks if I alternated the pieced wedgies with solid wedgies. This also gave me a good opportunity to use up the few batiks that I have. I've never been drawn to batiks even though I think the quilts made with them are gorgeous, I'm just an old fashioned printy girl!

I wanted this to look very random, so I matched up points in sets of 4 and started cutting solid triangle wedgies to go with them. I sewed 8 wedgies into "stop signs" and then arranged them on the floor....I knew I would need corner triangles on the pieced wedgies of 1/2 the blocks, and corner triangles on the solid wedgies of the other half of the blocks.

I went back to the trimmings pile of what was left from cutting the pieced wedgies, and began to cut corner triangles from that! I sewed the pieced triangles on half of the blocks..hmmm..I was liking it so far, but it needed something to go on the other block corners that would kind of tie it all together! There were bright colors in the quilt, and muted olive greens....what was going to tie it all together? Well, everything IS better with cheddar, isn't it? I love cheddar with poisony green in antique quilts, so I thought that might work for this one, and I had JUST enough to cut 72 cheddar triangles out of a small piece of cheddar batik that at some point found it's way into my stash!

I just sewed the blocks together.....and now I am rushing to get this uploaded, and then to the shower, and then to clean up the bomb that went off in my house while I was busy playing with Stephanie's scraps. The quilt still needs borders, but at least it can be moved without messing up the layout. Jason and Shanon come tomorrow and I need to CLEAN THIS HOUSE! I am one excited Mama. I've also got a guild meeting tonight...and need to be out of here in 2 hours. Auuughhhh! But it was so fun to be able to play today and to stretch beyond my confort zone with this kaleidoscope quilt! I'm calling it "OUT OF THE BAG" because that is where it came from!


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fun Finds!

Gotta love ebay! I found this quilt while doing a search for "string quilt". And it's a beauty! I love the alternating splashy red polka dot background with the white background blocks...it adds so much to the quilt! (and i think all red polka dots would have been way too over powering, but what do I know?) Look at this! It has a row of 1/2 blocks (I love it when they do that!) and then one end has broken dishes type triangles!

I love how these stars have some solid star points, and some piecey ones and are just put together with whatever they had! Looks like a whole lotta blacks, greys, and blues...but there is a couple pinks sprinkled in there! I have some of these stars started...and waylaid...somewhere...I was piecing them on phone book pages. It had to be way before finals and graduation, I wonder if I can find them somewhere..I know I was using shirtings for the backgrounds, but maybe if I made some with a bold splashy red (yes I am ALWAYS so drawn to red!)it will give it the punch it needs..they were looking a bit washed out with just shirtings for the backgrounds.

Does anyone else have quilting friends like I do? I have ladies who think it is so fun to just donate their scraps to ME instead of dealing with them themselves! Of course I love it, it is so much fun to play with someone else's cast offs and usually they are fabrics that challenge me a bit, because they have a totally different taste than I usually lean towards.

This week's guild meeting was no exception! I was gifted with a HUGE bag full! Lots of pieces very useable, nearly fat 1/8 size, lots of strips, partially sewn sets, some 9 patches, and some already started string blocks.

And look! A WHOLE HUGE AMOUNT of the trimmings from someone's string blocks! All these strippies are 1" to 1 1/2" wide....from squaring up her blocks! There is a mountain of them. Not sure what to do with them. Any ideas? First idea off the top of my head is to use them as a pieced accent border on my next string quilt....

This gal makes a lot of strip quilts, and there are lots of 'ends of panels' that are already sewn. I'm thinking I could trim them down into large 1/2 sq triangles and do something that way, or....trim them into kaleidoscpe wedgie shaped triangles??

There is also some Jinny Beyer striped border fabrics in here that has been all cut down..might make good borders for a mini or something. It's just a treasure trove! Just that...I'm not sure WHERE to start! *LOL*


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Tea Party, Anyone??

I finished sewing all the basket blocks this week, and this morning I set everything together and added the borders! The kit that Elizabeth sent didn't include any fabric (or enough of any one fabric) for the inner border, so I had to shop my stash for that. I had this little rose on rose print that is perfect! I'm really attached to this little quilt top, even though Elizabeth did all the embroidery, I feel like I have nearly just as much invested in the piecing and the quilting!

I hope to get to the quilting soon...tomorrow might be good. I've still got to piece the back and today I am going into the clinic to see if I can get some work done down there. I'll have to sticky-roller all the threads and bits off of me before I go in! *LOL*

Our humidity has returned in what seems like over night. Night before last it stormed....I was so hot all night, I was kicking off covers. I checked the thermostat at 5am, and it was still over 73 degrees in the house, and the furnace had not run since the morning before. Yep. Humidity back in droves! I noticed that morning that my hair didn't crackle with static electricity when I went to comb it...and my clothes didn't have static anymore either! Humidity is good for some things, but overnight...I can't stand to have my hair on my neck, gotta tie it back or pile it up on top of my head...the hot weather is just around the corner!


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Teacher meeting update.....

I am SO amazed. They said Jeff has been like a completely different kid the past two days since he has been back to school! So even if he is being a bugger to me at home, at least he isn't to everyone else. There are a couple grades he needs to push to get up to passing, but hopefully he will PASS this year.

The program he is in also has a job opportunities thing, working with local businesses to find these kids jobs to help give them something constructive to do. We had been taking around applications on our own, but I just talked to his resource teacher (who is just WONDERFUL. She is our biggest positive influence with Jeff) and one of the kids that they placed into a job is doing so TERRIFIC a job, that the owner has called to ask for another kid to fill another position. His teacher is recommending Jeff! Oh, this would be so wonderful! It would be afternoons and weekends, but still leave time for him to do his homework. And since he does have resource, he is able to get a lot of his work done at school. This is good!

I came home so jazzed that I had to pull fabrics to set the latest leader/ender block pieces together! I love these trees...I decided to do them in a 8" block size with 1.5" scrap squares for the leader/ender part because I have a box of them....and long, long ago in a quilt from another galaxy....I had left over 9 patch sections that I can work into this one too. There was also in a baggie, some 4-patch halves that were leftovers..I can use those too, and mix them in with fabrics I like better...some of these are UGGGGGGGGGGGGGLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYY! But look at the block, it looks pretty good regardless, doesn't it?

Also is a pic of the close up for the bouquet quilt below. I uploaded it with everything when I took pics of the leader/ender block. Tonight I hope to get some of Elizabeth's baskets pieced. I'm half way there...I just need to get going on them again!


Wild Webcams!

This webcam was sent from an email list I am on, and I am having a blast watching the GIRAFFES!

I get a kick spying with webcams. We've had some interesting ones pass through, beach cams, cat cams, city cams, etc. It's always fun to see what is going on in the world :c)

Not alot is going on here in a quilty wise for me! It's been so busy otherwise, unless you count getting customer's quilts quilted. I always have mixed feelings about posting too many customer quilts vs posting my own...but my own is just not happening! I haven't even had time to sit at the sewing machine and finish the basket blocks for Elizabeth's teacup quilt. Hopefully this weekend I can get all of that done and put together.

Jason and Shanon come from TX next tuesday!

I am just leaving for a conference at Jeff's school...wish me luck there. Man, the kid is still so beligerant! This morning school didn't start until 9:20, and he was mad that I wouldn't let him leave the house at 7am...to go do WHAT?!? I said his friends could come sit around and hang out here if he was so in need of 'hanging out'..but that he was not to leave the house before 8:30. He hates me, I swear he does!

Here are a couple pics of a vase/bouquet quilt I just finished quilting for a customer. I love how it turned out! I have a detail shot of one of the blocks too, but it's still on the cam, I don't have time to upload it and edit it now, so I'll post the close up later!


Monday, March 06, 2006


This is what spring looks like in March in South Carolina! The lawns are still hibernating, but the trees are bursting out in popcorn all over! It is so pretty when you drive through town, even the busy business streets, the trees are all covered in white.

Next as the trees begin to get their leaves, the dogwoods will bloom, and the wysteria will cover everything and just drip with clusters of purple everywhere. I love seeing this through the pinetrees. By summer you can't see the forest for the trees around here...houses will be hidden as soon as the leafy trees get all their leaves back. I always wanted to live in a place that was deep in the woods hidden from view :c)

This tree is in my neighbors yard..I hope you can see in the center of the tree amidst the blossoms...there is a nest! I don't know if it is in use or not, but it is such an exciting prospect, don't you think?

I went to walk this morning with the dog, and got maybe 1/3 of a mile down the road and it decided to rain on us, so we ran home. Bummer. I really wanted to spend some time outdoors today. Maybe this afternoon before it gets dark, it will be done with all it's drippiness and we can pound the pavement for a few miles. I like to walk my neighborhood, if I go in and out all the culdesacs, down and around and back in a loop, it is about 3 1/2 miles. Lots of hills too! Right outside my front door!

I went saturday to the quilt show in Charleston. I had read on Siobhan's blog that even SHE was going, and I decided that phooey....Dave could keep jeff grounded, that I needed to go! I got there right about lunch time and met up with the group and went to lunch at this fun middle eastern cafe called Saffron. YUMMY! They also have a bakery with the most delicious desserts you have ever seen. I didn't indulge in dessert, but I did bring home a loaf of walnut, peach, ginger bread. OH MY! I have been having that for toast in the mornings....it is unbelieveably good!

The pic is of a Lori Smith patterened quilt....someone took all the mini quilt tops and stitched them together into one quilt, and quilted it as one quilt...it was so fun to look at!


Saturday, March 04, 2006

2006 Tour De Cure

This is a post about one of the two causes I support each year! It's a shameless plug, but it does alot of good, so I hope you will bear with me!

*URGENT!!* Your help and support is greatly needed!

Every year my husband Dave cycles with a group of over 300 riders in South Carolina in the 150 mile 2 day ride called the "Tour De Cure" for diabetes.

There is a pic of Dave here with one of his friends and his bike:

Each mile he will ride, each dollar we will raise will be used in the fight to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

No matter how small or large, your generous gift will help improve the lives of the more than 18 million Americans who suffer from diabetes, in the hope that future generations can live in a world without this disease. Together, we can all make a difference!

For nearly 10 years I have provided quilt patterns on the Quiltville website free of charge. If you find this site to be beneficial to you as a quilt maker, I ask that you please consider making a pledge to help The American Diabetes Association fight diabetes as a way to say "Thanks!" for all you find here.

If you can spare even $10, please think of someone you know who is living with diabetes daily and all that they go through and all that your donation can do to help. If you know someone with diabetes, PLEASE donate and forward this on to those who have family members with diabetes. Your continued support is necessary to help find a cure for this disease.

Click to Sponsor Dave

Thanks for all you do!


Friday, March 03, 2006

Hunter's Compass

This quilt belongs to Sharon, and it is the first time I have ever seen the hunter's star pattern pieced with compass points included! I think it adds so much to the pattern. The pics were taken without flash to get the quilting to show...so the colors are not so true...

I wasn't sure how to quilt it, but after I got started yesterday, and made it to about 1/2 way...I manged to click my way through the blog ring and also saw that Darcie had just finished quilting a hunter's star quilt too!

One thing I have to ask is why quilters like to insert that little flange flappy border thing? Do they not know it is a nightmare for machine quilters? I could only quilt so far into the corners because I couldn't pin it back out of the way far enough. You have to be careful not to catch it with the needle, or with the whole foot if you are moving the machine across the quilt top...the foot can catch on it, you can stitch yourself into a black hole if you catch it. It's just a pain in the (*&@#*(&! Any other longarmers out there want to comment on the border flanges??? :c/

I am still grounded here at home with son on school suspension that will last until tuesday. We have picked up job applications and hopefully we will be delivering those back out today...the kid needs a job. He has way too much time on his hands and since he can't use it constructively and wisely, he is going to get a JOB. At least this way while he is working I will know where he is and what he is doing, kind of like Teenage Daycare, you know?

I will get through this, I will get through this, I will get through this! AUUGHH!


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Leaders & Enders Done!

I finished putting together the most recent leader/ender project....People say I am fast, but it took about a year for me to make all the panels for this quilt from leader/ender squares. Probably MORE than a year! Still, I like how it turned out and it is fun making something on the side while working on other projects.

There are 7 pieced strippy panels and the quilt came out something like 90X93! Almost square but not quite.I still have the binding/sleeve to hand stitch down, so that will be an evening project for a little while.

It's been beautiful here in South Carolina the past couple of days..yesterday was nearly 80f out! Slept with the windows open last night, and that was sure nice....I always sleep better when I can do that. In the summer here it is too humid and hot so the windows stay shut until autumn. I'm enjoying the fresh air through open windows this morning too.

I'm a bit miffed at my son Jeff.....he got suspended from school again yesterday. Just when we have a couple weeks where things seem to be going along swimmingly, something happens. It never fails! So his butt is grounded, his cell phone is turned off, and if I have to go into the clinic for a massage, he has to come along with me. I told him this is NOT a vacation! And it is making my life quite stressful right now. I had planned on making more basket blocks for Elizabeth's teacup quilt yesterday, but I had to deal with conferences at the school, etc....sometimes life just gets in the way, you know?


Monday, February 27, 2006

A view to massage by...

I spent this morning at the massage clinic. Mondays are really slow, but I was there to answer phones and maybe work some walk-ins into my completely empty schedule!

It is also tax time, so I got this bee under my bonnet that if I took DH's lap top to work with me, I could sit there at the front desk and enter all my bank statements into quicken. I got all the way up to December's statement entered in......but when I got to December, it said...page 1 of 2....only there was NO page 2! And since everything I do is on debit card, I had to call the bank and have them send a copy before I can go any farther. Still, I feel pretty proud of myself for getting that far in one day. I figure I would have sat here and spent all day doing it, at least I could have been there and doing it while answering phones and maybe working in a walk in (of which there were none...as I said..monday is a SLOW day!)

I came home and laid down with some purry furries for "just a few minutes" and woke up when the phone rang a bit over an hour later. I was out cold! All that tax work wears on a body, you know? It was the dentist's receptionist on the phone. Remember my birthday 2-for-1 root canal special? Tomorrow is the day I go to get the one crown filled where they did the root canal for it, and get started on the crown work for the one that was the 'bonus' tooth.

These are pics of the clinic where I am working. We are in the corner of an L shaped plaza..there are 4 massage rooms and a reception area, and a big back room that is like the break room with a sofa, microwave, fridge, desk if you want to sit and do paper work, etc....The rooms are hard to get pics of, they are pretty compact! But this will give you an idea of the room I'm sharing with Lori....


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Maverick Quilt Sighting!

It's really fun when people know you are on the look out for maverick quilts...I get links sent from everyone! This one was sent by one of our ring loyal reader/lurkers :c)

This maverick medallion quilt is civil war era and was spotted on ebay! I'm not sure if it sold or not, and I don't have the item number, I just saved the pics for my "fun to look at" file! I love how deep the chocolates are, and the bright vibrant double pink...nothing subtle about that!

Don't these quilts just make you wonder about the maker....using all she had to work with, making things fit (or not!!) by making do! I love how the center is so hodge-podge and chaotic, but the setting completely calms it down, like ripples spreading out in a pond....chaos in the middle, organization all the way to the outside edges! It's just a top, not quilted...so I wonder if it has issues of not laying very flat. The fabrics in it are so wonderful!


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Leader-Ender Trees!

I've visited a couple blogs that have shown a darling tree that would be great made from leader-ender squares! I've wanted to do a tree quilt for a long time, but the thought of all those 1/2 sq triangles just did not sound appealing to me, no matter how much I liked the look of the trees when they were done.

I looked all over for a tree pattern that would work with my 2" squares....block base had nothing, my old trusty "It's Okay If You Sit On My Quilt" book by Mary Ellen Hopkins had some ideas, and with a few modifications and thanks to EQ5 I have drafted up the scrappy leader-ender tree! Thanks to those other quilters who posted the block in their blogs too...great for inspiration!

If anyone wants the EQ5 file, you can download it here. You do need EQ5 to use this pattern.

The trunk portion of the tree can be easiliy paper pieced if desired, and then the tree top parts added on around the pieces that make the tree trunk section. And I'm thinking that it would be cute using my 1.5" leader ender squares too...then the block would only be 8" finished. Hmmmmm! So many possibilities! If made with the 2" leader ender squares it will finish at 12".

Here is a pic of what a layout might look like. You can also set it without sashings with plain alternate blocks that would give you a great place for quilting designs.

Here is one with plain alternate squares on point:

I've been to Sam's club this morning...why is it that you find yourself running out of laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and cat food all at the same time? All stocked up now, ready to get back to sewing with the new leader-ender project on the side. The strippy bars that were my last leader-ender project are all ready to be set together as soon as I find a lay out I like!


For Laurie Ann....

Laurie Ann sent a comment about the mention of the poodle quilt that I was quilting for a customer. She asked: "Bonnie - could you please post a picture of the poodle quilt? I am making a poodle quilt for our local poodle rescue group and would love to see the one you have."

Ann told me, when she sent the pictures, that the pattern is Judy Mathieson's "Dog Star" from her Mariner's Compass book. And I have to mention that Ann pieced this whole top by HAND...even setting the blocks together and adding the borders...all by hand!

I hope this gives Laurie some ideas. The little printed poodle panels (the black and white outlined poodles) were a Michael Miller fabric panel that is out of print, but you still might be able to search for it on line somewhere.

I had a great time yesterday picking my friend up from her hotel and treating her to dinner at a great mexican place nearby. Then we came over to my house and I showed her my digs and we visted before I took her back to her hotel. It was so great to see her!

Today I'm on call again for the massage clinic....and plan to work on more of Elizabeth's basket blocks! I'm feeling pretty lazy, it's been several long days this week....


Friday, February 24, 2006

Best Laid Plans......

Well, I WAS sewing...but remember I said I was "on call" today in case I was needed at the clinic? They called a bit ago and I have a client at 4pm. Which is going to work really well because I also have a friend who is in the process of driving down from Ohio with her hubby to spend a week on St Simons Island, GA.

I had WANTED to go spend some time with her there and retreat (they have a darling quilt shop on the island) but this position came open at the massage clinic, and you all know where my life has gone...no island retreating for me next week! :c(

That's okay though! I still get to see Kat! Guess where she just called me from?? MARY JO'S in Gastonia, NC! The nerve! Oh, I wish I could have gone shopping with her there, it is such a fun place! But...I am still trying to be good with the purchases, and she will head down through Columbia on her way to St Simons island, and we can meet for dinner after my 4pm client is done! :c)

Here is a pic of the embroidered teacup blocks....all trimmed and sashed, and I have 6 of the basket blocks done. I need 13 total. I think it is coming along really well, and maybe I can work on it some more tomorrow.....(on call for tomorrow too!)


I'm Sewing!!

Oh my goodness...it's friday and I can't honestly tell you where this whole week went! But to give you an idea, I'll give you a run down of my day yesterday....

I left home at 9am to head to the clinic. I stopped at staples to get a file folder, and then made my way over to Northeast Massage Therapy. My 10am client was really great, mother of 3 school-aged kids who just needed a massage and to 'zone out' for a while. I can sure relate!

I didn't have another client scheduled until 6:15, pm...so I left the clinic, came home, stopped on the way to mail a package back to a customer via UPS, and spent the next 4 hours working on another customer quilt, finished that at 5pm, headed back to the massage clinic to meet up with my last client of the day....finished that massage at 7:15, locked up, and went to taco bell with one of the other therapists who had also just finished up for the day...wolfed down a chicken quesadilla, came home, threw myself in the hottub for a soak, and then straight to bed. If there is any wondering on why my blog isn't being updated daily recently, this is why!

However, today is alot lighter. I'm working from home just being 'on call' in case someone needs to call me in.

Every once in a while I get a special client with special requests and today I'm working on one of those! It's lovely! Elizabeth had beautiful embroidered blocks of teacups with flowers in them....and she asked if I would set them into a quilt for her. She sent fabric, and the pattern, and today is the perfect day for me to start sewing the blocks! The embroidered blocks are going to be set with alternate basket blocks made from the fat eigth assortment she sent me....it sure has a spring feel to it and I am so anxious for spring!

I tried to find a pic of the whole quilt online, but I couldn't find the link.

Off to sew basket blocks!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tired as an old mama lion!

I was looking for anything yawn.jpg to demonstrate how I feel, and this is definately it!

I got an email today from Sandra, checking up on me because I haven't posted in a few days! Oh, I've been SO not posting! Thanks for noticing Sandra! Really, everything is okay, it's just been a crazy week...

A crazy week with *gasp* No personal sewing time in it for me! I've been too tired at night to even pick up a needle....during the day I've been running to the massage clinic, or working on customer quilts here, and other than occassional shots at customer quilts where I am doing a design I really like and can't wait to share......I don't focus my blog on my customer stuff as much as on my own quilting. So when my OWN quilting doesn't happen..neither does the blog entry!

It isn't that I meant to keep everyone in the dark, it was just a pretty mundane but crazy week.

Friday evening I went to Myrtle Beach. DH and his die-hard triathalon buddies were running the Myrtle Beach Half-Marathon (13 miles) on saturday morning. Thursday and Friday were beautiful here weather-wise, and wouldn't you know it, as soon as you go somewhere and need it nice on Saturday, it turns NASTY!!

I had taken my massage table with the hopes of setting up at the finish line at the race, but when I checked the night before, "free" massages were being provided by a massage school (good for them, bad for me) and I wasn't going to stand out there in the cold and wind and massage for free...been there done that! So I stayed in at the friend's house we were staying at and enjoyed the quiet, even if it was blowing outside. I did get out and walked the beach a bit later on Saturday morning. Still wished I had my ear warmers! I do love the beach....even blowing and windy, there is a certain peace to it.

Today I played the organ at church, came home and loaded a customer's raffle quilt for prize poodles. Show poodles. Too cute...the blocks were all compass stars, the round center of each block was a different pic of a poodle going through it's show trials..jumping things, prancing about, too cute! I finished that a bit a go and then laid down for a 'short' nap that lasted 2 1/2 hours! It's now 6pm and I don't know exactly where the day went, but I think it was the nap I needed to get me back on track after a long week.