Sunday, May 07, 2006

Is This Better?

This is a pic of 4 of the blocks separated by the sashings (made from 3 bricks) and filled in at the corners with 2.5" cut cornerstone squares. If I set the quilt this way...it is going to be VERY much bigger....I have 30 blocks to set 5 X 6.

Anyone think that the blocks look more like the pavement picture below by the addition of the bricky sashing between the blocks? HELP!



Some things just are ewwww...and what works in your mind, just doesn't translate to fabric. These are the blocks laid block to block...what I was going to use for sashings is laid against the outside as a maybe inset border. But still. Here I was going on and on about the Ghee's Bend quilts....wanting to make a quilt that looked like I had used everything with little rhyme or reason, and I'm not crazy about it! Charity Quilt Anyone? :c|

The pics above are of a cobbled pavement in monnickendam. We had stopped there on the way home from Marken to look around, and it was this picture that really inspired me, but it looks better in bricks than in brick fabrics!

Rainy Sunday.....

It's Raining, It's Pouring, and Bonnie feels like Snoring..*lalalalala!* That's what kind of lazy day I'm having, but boy do I need it! I need to just unwind to refuel for the next week coming up. I'm not even sure what it will bring. I've got some clients scheduled, Friday I'm going to do chair massage in a Dr's office for his staff..that should be fun! Guild meeting tomorrow night in Aiken. Was hoping I'd have a quilt ready to deliver to a client there, but it's just not going to happen..Jet Lag has dragged me down more than I thought it would.

I am playing with an idea for a quilt though.....I've got a bin of bricks in the 2.5"X4.5" size..and a lot of strips that width too, so I am thinking of a bricky something. I spent time in Lucy's garden....just pouring over every word in her huge book that she got on the Ghee's Bend quilts. I am SO inspired by the stories the quilters told. Can you imagine having to make quilts, not just because you wanted to, but because you had to to keep warm in the winter? Sometimes sleeping under 10 or more quilts to keep the chill off? Several people to a bed huddled together for warmth? And you couldn't go to the store to buy whatever fabric you want to make the quilts pretty....no....you are limited to old clothes, dungarees, aprons, dresses that are too worn out to be clothing, but can be cut into scraps for quilts.

So here I come home and look at a fully stocked quilting studio.....how can I even THINK that I have nothing going on here to inspire me? I think we are definately OVER stimulated and that is why we get bored with our UFOs! SO....I'm making a bricks variation quilt, kind of a kick off of courthouse steps....It's just in the beginning stages but I'll send a pic when things are more looking like "QUILT". I'm using bricks that are already cut, and taking the shorter lengths of my strips and cutting them into 6.5" lengths and 8.5" lengths. Is your interest piqued?! :c) I think I'll piece the sashing between the blocks from bricks too...that is going to use A LOT of bricks. In my mind, this quilt reminds me of all the cobblestone streets and courtyards and front gardens in Holland. (but way more colorful!) The pic at the beginning of this post is of one of the streets in Haarlem....I don't know if you can see the cobbles or not..but they are there!

I'm also going through my pics and deciding what to post here for you to see. I loved the buildings so much. Especially the rooflines that did the 'stair step' thing. They are so wonderful to look at!

And that's it for now!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Home Again!

It is always good to be home, no matter how much fun you have while away! I think Dorothy said it all..."There's No Place Like Home!" This post rambled out very long, so please bear with it all! There is so much to talk about!

My body clock is all screwed up. And I thought I would have time to recover yesterday, but I ended up with 3 clients needing massages yesterday. AUUUGH! So...no rest for the weary! Not much unpacking either. But that's okay. I'm not in a hurry, I can do it a bit at a time, and the major house cleaning I wanted to do can also just be patient with me. Life is back in full swing!

I had such a wonderful time with Lucy and her family. These memories will live forever in my heart, and I hope we have lots more fun times ahead in the future. I can hardly wait until her whole family come to see ME this summer! We get to see each other two times in ONE YEAR..how cool is that?!

I love meeting quilters from all over, but never have I met anyone who is such a "carbon copy" of myself as Lucy. Even though we speak different languages, we can still finish each other's sentences and thoughts. She is definately my "heart sister". And people told us that we could BE sisters because of how similar we look! Tall, blonde, blue eyed and completely addicted quilters!

Something else I've always known deep down....FABRIC IS THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE! Even if you can't speak the language, when in a group with other quilters, you can see their eyes light up, and the ooh's and ahh's over fabric are the same in any language. It was SO great.

I uploaded about 175 pics from my camera! It's going to take a while for me to sort through them, name them (I hate it when they are all numbers and you don't know what anything is..) and figure out what I want to post about. I still feel like I didn't take ENOUGH pictures. And what to post, and what to say about it....my brain is so dead right now!

The pretty flower pics are from Lucy's back garden. There were a few days where the garden was warm and wonderful. We sat out enjoying the weather, having a cup of tea and looking through quilt books. :c) I took these pics to remind me of the beauty of Lucy's garden and the care she takes to have such a lovely welcoming home! She loves flowers, inside and out. My one regret is that her tree that is usually covered with pink blossoms was NOT quite ready to bloom yet..the weather wouldn't stay warm long enough! So...she will have to post pics of that tree in a couple weeks when it finally does pop. The buds are oh so ready!

This pic is of a street in Amsterdam. You can see that the weather turned VERY cold! Not a great day for beautiful photos. This pic was taken right off the stoop of Den Haan En Wagenmakers, the shop with the beautiful reproduction chintzes. Click the photo, I think you can make it bigger to see the sign that says "patch work" on it :c) This shop has the honor of being the home of the most expensive fabric I have ever bought in my life! *LOL* ONE FQ (a metric FQ) was NINE EURO! But it was a once in a life time purchase, I went for it. I want to reproduce the look of antique dutch quilts...*dreaming*

Aren't they GREAT?! I've never been much for really florally fabrics...but I love these antique ones. One quilt they had hanging in the shop just wowed me. It was hanging in the stair well, and I just had to get pics. It is PERFECT for using the dutch chintzes in the big center hexagon, and I love the combination of the plaids and solid black and red to show everything off. It's another quilt that proves to me that people who say "solids just read as flat" do NOT know what they are talking about! I'd love to draft this up. They only sold it as a kit, and there was no way to afford that! I snuck photos. I don't know if I was allowed to or not, but too bad. :c)

I am so far behind on catching up with everyone. I hope you will forgive me, and I hope to catch up with everyone's blog as soon as I can! I've got two clients scheduled today, one at 10am, one at 2:30pm...so in between I am planning on working more on my own hexagon UFO. I got quite a bit done while at Lucy's and sitting at the airport for layovers. We visited with another customer of mine (the one I put the 3 quilts in the space bags for!) on friday night after shopping at Den Haan. She had us to her house (oh wow, it was so unbelieveably GORGEOUS!) and showed us her quilts and studio, etc. So fun! It was a great evening! And I am so inspired by how much HAND PIECING she gets done. She has a crazy job with incredibly long hours and lots of stress...but she always keeps something in a little tin for hand piecing while waiting for this and that, and she gets TONS done! So...that's my inspiration. If she can do this with her crazy work schedule, so can I!

Rambling Still.....

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Goat Farm Adventures :c)

Yesterday Lucy and I had a fun day taking her little girls to the goat farm! We also had a wonderful evening with her quilting friends and collegues at the shop where she works.

You can catch up with both of us on Lucy's Blog!


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Too Small for Stash Shopping!

Just putting a quickie pic over here because there was no more room over on Lucy's Blog! I have hogged it all! I wonder if space on her blog is like "roll over minutes" My posts are long, hers are short...so she has more room for mine?! :cD

When I read "The Davinci Code" a couple of months back, I was curious as to what a "Smart Car" was. Today I found one! I think I can even put it in a SPACE BAG and bring it home with me :cD

Today's installment IS over at Lucy's Blog, so please stop by and follow our travels through the Waterland!


Monday, April 24, 2006

A Week In Holland...

This week my installments of my trip to The Netherlands will be found on Lucy's Blog! I hope you will come to her page and find out what we have been up to!

I will give you one hint....no sewing has happened yet at ALL..although we have talked about it a bit :c)

Bonnie & Lucy

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The wonders of Packing...

I started packing for my trip last night. And freaking out because all this needs to fit in two bags, and a carry on! AUUGHH!

I mentioned that I was going to get some of those space bags. Let me tell you....THEY ARE AWESOME! They have this travel size that you don't need to have the vacuum to suck out the air....they are double zipped at the top, and you grasp the top, and roll it towards the bottom...there are one-way flow valves in the bottom that let OUT the air, but keep it from coming back in!

This is my coat! I know I need a warm coat there for evenings and mornings....and I didn't want to carry it on the plane, and it takes up A LOT of room in my luggage..so...voila! Suck the air out and here you have it! It's like..Coat-in-a-seal-a-meal!! Only these bags are reusable!

I can't go to Lucy's and not have a handwork project! I've seen so many pictures of her front living room and that comfy couch...now I'm going to be sitting on it enjoying the evening and her family and stitching on MY hexagons while she works on hers! (Or whatever she is working on!

Would you believe there are THREE quilts and their trimmings in the third space bag?! That batting holds a lot of air....Suck it all out and you have one small package! They might need to be dryer fluffed when we get there, but these would have nearly filled the suitcase by themselves if I didn't put them in a space bag!

This pic is of some goodies I'm taking to Lucy and her family. Other than the ballcap on top (for Pim) I don't think that she can tell what they are right now...they are all squooooooshed :c) Fun fun fun!
I also reamed the local goodwill store for a bunch of plaid shirts for her..all 100% cotton and NOT homespun. It's hard to find plaids that have an old look, but still that cotton feel, where homespun is really thick and ravelly, you know? So...I'm taking a bunch of shirts. Those are also packed into a space bag, along with 3 good sized samples of different battings for her....and it sucked out SO SMALL!

Now if I could only put space bags around my thighs and tummy and suck THOSE small too...wouldn't that be great? :c)


Monday, April 17, 2006

Testing New Camera

I have SIX days before I leave for Lucy's....It's time to master the new camera! I tell you, they need to make things SIMPLER instead of more complex! I love the size..but this is the first cam I've had where there is no eyehole to peek through to frame the shot..just the screen. I don't know why this is so difficult for me but it just is! All my life I've been looking through a peep hole, and it is a whole new skill to just align something in the screen on the back of the camera without putting it up to my eye!

So far I have loaded the software....taken a couple test shots, and uploaded them to the computer. I know for quilt pics I need to figure out where all the gadgets and settings are for doing things like turning off flash, and chosing the image size, etc. But for this test pic..I'm pleased! I went to upload it and found it was already the perfect size for uploading to the web! Usually they are 22" wide or something and I have to size them down. Whooowhoo...I'm liking this cam already!

This pic is of my old Kitty....Oliver, otherwise known as Ollie Boy. He is about 10 or 11 years old, and getting that old man grey peppery look to his fur coat..he was jet black other than a few select white spots on his feet....Now he is flecked with white hairs. Makes him look distinguished, huh? :c)

I'm meeting a friend for lunch at Olive Garden at 12:30. I'm hitting UPS and the Bank as well. Not planning on going into the massage clinic today unless I get a call in...Mondays are usually slow. THANK HEAVENS!


Squares & Spirals!

I had fun playing yesterday with the spiral template from Circle Lord. Sometimes I get busy doing my own thing, and forget how cool these templates can be if I would just remember to USE THEM!? I have templates that I bought with good intentions, completely...and they have yet to be tried. Maybe the right quilt just hasn't come along yet.

The spirals can be done either as a single spiral with the lines farther apart, or you can double stitch it, so the stiching is closer together..In this quilt I alternated double spirals with single ones to give a fun texture to the quilt..I filled in the corners of the blocks with flaming "stuff" I don't know what else to call it, not really enough room to do mc tavishing.....just kind of sunflower petals or flames.

It was hard to get a pic of this that would show the detail, but I hope you can get an idea!

I've got THREE more quilts to do before leaving for Lucy's on Saturday. Talk about nose to the grindstone...or is that quiltstone? These three quilts are going to a customer who lives in Amsterdam, so she is getting personal delivery service from me! Hmmmm...I wonder if this means I can write my miles and my airflight off as a business expense? :c)


Friday, April 14, 2006

Long Time, No Post!

Oh you guys...life has completely run away with me and I don't know which way is up! Working at the massage clinic has taken over everything, and it is great and exciting. Yesterday I had the priviledge of working on an Olympic Gold Medalist! I was SO nervous, but she was so great. She has a meet this weekend at Clemson, and we needed to get all the toxins and lactic acid flushed out of her leg muscles so she is able to compete at her best tomorrow. I enjoyed her so much! So that's the kind of exciting thing that has been going on here.

I leave for Lucy's one week from TOMORROW!! Have I packed? NO! I'm quilting customer quilts like crazy so that no one is waiting on me when I get back.

I bought a new camera, would you believe I haven't even had time to load the software in my computer? I took the following pics with my old camera because I didn't want to stop and do all that with the new one yet. I've got a week to learn to use it! *LOL*

I'm posting a pic of a customer quilt...there were two identical ones. I thought this was a GREAT pattern for signature blocks! She used 5" squares of red prints, all different red prints...and then the signature blocks were 5" X 2.5" I believe, she put it all together basket weave fashion. I thought it might look fun scrappy too, if anyone needs an idea for a signature quilt...This one has ease of construction, and definately possibilities.

These belong to an "older" (Oh I hope she doesn't read my blog) gal, and she still does not use rotory cutters! I showed her how I used mine, and she said "This old gal is too old to learn new tricks". She learned to quilt with scissors, and scissors it is. When she brought me the tops they didn't have borders on them...I offered to add the borders for her because she didn't know exactly how she was going to cut 2" strips with scissors and have them straight, and her tops were a bit wibbly wobbly. Adding the borders squared them up and stabilized them a bit better.

The quilt also has a musical theme, being centered around black gospel quartets and their members, promoters, church members, too...so the outside border (and backing fabric) is that fun sheet music print you've probably all seen before. It just doesn't photograph very well. I had fun reading all the signatures and quotes and imagining the great southern black gospel music ringing through these churches. I've always wanted to go hear that. I love quartet music!

The only dang thing I still need to do is add hanging sleeves to the back. I FORGOT! Which means that I don't have the ease of sewing one edge into the binding...and only having to stitch one side to the back...I'm going to have to stitch both sides to the back and not into the binding because the binding is DONE! It's machine topstitched binding, and I'm not picking it out to insert a hanging sleeve under it.

So that's the kind of stuff that is going on here! Nothing really super exciting in the way of my own quilts, but sometimes life just goes on day by day in it's own normal routine, and that is okay too. Can't have excitement every day, right?