Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Blue Heaven Pattern

Hello to everyone out there in Quiltville!

I'm writing to let you know that I have just added a new pattern to my website! (Those of you who have been with me for a while know how long it took me to get this together!)

"My Blue Heaven" is a two-block quilt! A modified puss in the corner block, and an hour glass star block, both in 8" finished size. All from 2.5" blue and neutral scrap strips! You can make this quilt as big or small as you would like depending on the number of blocks you make. This quilt uses 45 star blocks and 45 puss blocks and has a pieced hourglass unit border. Finished size as shown is approx 81X89.

It would be great in any color combination. Mine is in blue/neutral. I'd love to see what you come up with as you dig into your scrap strips and try your own version of a 2-block 2-color quilt! I can really see this one in brights, or in red/neutral. It would be great!

You can find the pattern HERE


Monday, February 05, 2007

Retreat Pics Quickie Post!

I'm running out the door...today is the day I tell the chiro that Nope....not going to take the job! (but I'll cover for him til he replaces me, or til feb runs out whichever comes first)

Here are some pics of what I worked on at retreat this past weekend.

I finished the borders on the quilt that Tonya and I worked on together. It reads:

"True Friends Are The Brightest Scraps In The Patchwork Of Life" and has my name and year on the bottom border.

I finished the sawtooth and inner border on the kaleidoscope, and the binding on the "crayon box" quilt. Look at the back...it's all big huge florals that I was never going to use....they are now OUT of the stash, and it made for a fun back!

Gotta run!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Retreat Weekend!

I'm getting ready to leave for my Hilton Head retreat weekend! My guild has been having their retreat in Hilton Head this same weekend for years and years. It is also the same weekend as the Jinny Beyer Convention, and though we don't take classes, we do go down to where the convention is and do the quilt show and shop the vendors mall that is set up there.

I am taking my massage table..There are 4 people who want massages so far, and that is going to cover my expenses of the retreat, and still leave me plenty of time for quilting on my own projects!

Big decision, big reversal. I worked at the chiropractor's office on wednesday, and decided that I am NOT going to take the position. It's hard to explain, but it isn't about the money. I want to fit the massage AROUND my life, not have it BE my life...and it would take too much time away from things I love dearly, including most of all my freedom and flexibility. So. I will tell him on monday that I will work for him part time through the month of feb while he finds someone else to take the full time position. I won't leave him high and dry, but I don't want the job. I need to do what is right for me! I'd rather be quilting on other people's quilts than down there at that office every day.

I finished the binding on "My Blue Heaven". How long has this thing been hanging around? It's a blue albatross which might be a better name for it....*Heheh* But it is done.

I used a simple homespun in tan/blue for the backing. I had JUST enough, so it was good to get that whole piece of fabric yardage out of my stash! Close up pics show some of the weird old uglies I used up in this thing! My fave is the little cow, and a pair of cowboy boots and horseshoe in the other pic. You may also see a few noah's arks floating around. Don't be afraid to use weird fabrics in your quilts! I think it adds a lot of interest to them!

I'll be working on UFO's at the retreat. One is a batik kaliedoscope I made about a year ago...just needs borders. It was made from the remnants of strip piecing donated to me by a guild member. I want to finish this. I think it is a cool quilt. The other one is the crumby quilt that Tonya and I did. I want to work on the borders for it too. I'll take one other quilt that needs the binding finished on it for evening work, and a bit of hand quilting,and that should be plenty. Especially since this retreat ends sunday?!? Just what do I think I'm going to be able to accomplish in a day and a half?! *LOL* Oh well..better too much than not enough as far as projects to bring go.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blog Ring Blunders...

Sometimes there are computer glitches that happen, due to operator error, or internet gremlins!

It was brought to my attention that as people traveled around the ring, that it would skip some sites, and not make it back to the beginning.

I had found one member who had someone else's code in her side bar. So instead of the ring going to the next page that was intended to be after that person, it would skip to the person who was after the person's ring code that she had copied and pasted into her own side bar. Does this make sense?

All ring codes are not alike! They look the same from the visual perspective, but hidden inside each panel is a site that is uniquely-you. You each need to have your OWN ring code that gives direction to get from your site to the next site in the ring, not the next site that comes after someone else's site.

I have suspended the blog with the incorrect ring code until she can get her own code and put it back in place...so that our ring can be complete and uninterupted!

One way to check this....On your OWN blog page, put your mouse cursor over the "next" in the panel.(Don't click it!) Now look down right above your task bar where the url is displayed at the bottom left of your screen. (It sometimes says things like "Transferring data from www.blogger.com.... etc)There will be an url that starts http://alt-webring.com and ending with a "siteid=" The "site ID" should be the same ID as your own alt-webring sign in. Whatever you called your site when you registered with alt-webring. Mine is "quiltvilleblog" If your mouse-over on your own panel produces someone else's blog name...let me know so we can get you straightened out!

As of now you are all correct because I checked them all!

We now return you to your regularily scheduled program... :c)


Monday, January 29, 2007


Last night was our performance of Durufle's Requiem with the South Carolina Philharmonic. The concert was held in the historic Trinity Cathedral in Columbia, and it was the perfect venue for the concert. We played to a full capacity crowd, and the music just filled that old cathedral to the rafters. I can't describe how it feels to be part of a sound that big. The most moving moment for me was when the "Kyrie Elaison" floated through with all of it's movements in wonderful counterpoint. It gave me chills to sing it.

Here are some silly pics of me in my concert duds before I headed out. I had a picture taken of my hair too, since I thought the snood was really classy ;c)

The lilies top is DONE and put to bed for a while. Now that the weekend is over, it's time to get back to everyone else's quilts and concentrate my free time on handwork that is piling up. I've been a piecing fiend over the past few weeks. And I can piece during the two retreats I have in february, now it's time to get the actual QUILTING parts done!

The pic of the border on the lily quilt....remember all those bonus 1/2 sq triangle units that were left over both from the weed-whacker quilt and the pineapple blossom? They all trim down to the same size! So I spent an evening watching an old movie and squaring them up. There were enough to go around the whole lilies quilt with pinwheels and I think it finishes it off with a sparkle. That's it. Nothing more going on this quilt. No separating border, no framing border..the thing is already 90" square! I'll just bind it with something dark. I'm thinking purple.

I have a new discovery I have fallen in love with. Lipton is making
flavored teas. I always stayed away from plain ole lipton and went for the
other more fancy names...but this one called to me from the shelf. It's
lipton french vanilla.....and OH MY!! It is the yummiest tea! I like mine
with a bit of splenda and some milk in it....but it would be good straight
up too. Great for those chilly mornings.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Quick Post!

It's that crazy weekend....clients this morning, dress rehearsal with the philharmonic this afternoon...Sun is shining brightly outside and though it is chilly, I'm hoping our temps get somewhere near normal!

I'm also gearing up for the first of my two february retreats in Hilton Head next weekend! Weeehaaaa...I know what's coming with me as far as projects go. I want to do the borders on the crumby quilts that Tonya and I did over New Years. I have ideas for the border,and I'm not telling her what it is until it is done..NANANANANANA!

Binding and sleeve are finished on the amish strings. I washed it and it shrunk up WONDERFULLY! I can't believe how aged it looks...I love it! The only thing I need to do is go over it with a sticky roller to get the remaining threads and beady lint balls off it...but I can't find my sticky roller. Here is a pic of the close up too. Pics aren't true to color, even outside on this one. The colors are very vibrant, they look kind of washed out in the pics.

Also is a pic of the completed Lilies top. This thing turned out GI-NORMOUS! It is 80X80 without borders. I'm trying to decide what to do about it from here. It may sit a while. Because this has been an on again off again quilt, and I have had to think really hard through each process, I'm titling it "Consider The Lilies". The string blocks were fun to do, Didn't make a dent in the bin, and this top is HEAVY because of all the seams in it!

Oh...one of the best things about setting this quilt this way? The outside edge of the quilt ended up ON GRAIN! I didn't even think about it until it got time to piece the setting triangles, that they were going to end up that way. How's that for providence?

Off to work (while dreaming of quilts)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

On The Mend!

Thanks everyone for the well wishes, both for my birthday, and for getting over this crud that has slowed me down!

The good thing about being a massage therapist is that you can't work on people when you are sick. This means, you have no choice but to get better, and fast! The throat is feeling better, less gunky, the sinuses are draining. I feel nearly whole :c)

I've been quilting slowly, but it has been hard to focus on machine quilting with the big machine when the sinuses are full of pressure and....I think this cold came with a "do not operate heavy machinery while under the influence of...." So now that I am feeling better, I am raring to go on some quilts that I have slipped behind on. Thank heavens for understanding customers who understand why you don't want to quilt when you don't feel well. The machine is a machine, but I am not!

I have finished two bindings. I told you about the epiphany stars....this afternoon was clear enough and dry enough for me to get a pic outside. It turned out FAB! I love it. I love that the stars were made with so many well wishes. This quilt has a special place in my heart,it's what has gotten me out of the funk that I was in before Christmas!

I've also finished the binding and the sleeve on the amish strings. It went straight to the washer and is now in the dryer...I had to remove chalk markings. I am crossing fingers it washes up and dries nice and IN SHAPE, or it will find me wetting it and blocking it on the floor overnight. I'll post a pic of that one when I get a chance. It's dark now.

On the massage front...good things happening! I went to my chiropractor yesterday afternoon, and he asked me while he was adjusting me if I would like to work in his office 1 and 1/2 days a week! Wednesday all day, and friday half day. This will work fine with what I'm doing, and maybe work well enough that I can give up the other place. The other place I just work whatever clients call and I schedule...I never really know how busy or slow I'm going to be. This way it would be set days a week...and though he takes a big cut out of what I would make, I'm not having to pay $500 a month rent at the beginning of the month, then scrambling to make so many massages happen before I can break even for the month and then start making a profit (and hope there is one). This would also give me set days to be home machine quilting for clients.

I'm going to give it a try for both places for the month of Feb...at the end of the month I'll make a decision if I'm going to stick with the clinic or not. I hate to leave them high and dry, but I've given it a year and it isn't as busy as I'd like it to be for the rent I'm paying.

I also have massage clients come to the house...I've got one coming this evening for 1 1/2 hours...and I don't have to leave home to work on her! So that is nice too, plus I have been doing house calls off and on.

That's all for here!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Winter colds..rainy days and stuffy heads and achy Bonnie!

I feel like the crud is knocking at my back door! I am drinking lots of herb tea, doing the "zicam" stuff and upping my vitamins trying to keep this thing at bay.

It's had me moving pretty slow over the weekend...yesterday (Sunday) I didn't get much of anything done, but did accomplish a much needed sunday afternoon NAP. I should have done the same today! Luckily with the weather being so ick, my 1pm client called to reschedule, and I am glad..because I don't want to pollute her either. I just hope this doesn't turn into a full blown sinus infection thing. The Chorale concert is this Sunday, the 28th!

The binding and hanging sleeve are finished on the epiphany stars. I need a good day outside on the fence to get a good pic of it, but really, it doesn't look much different than the pic farther down my blog...only the binding is finished instead of just laying there. So use your imagination ;c)

The binding is 1/2 done on the amish strings as well. Bindings are great to get done at work in between clients, and I think I can pace myself on them....

I have enjoyed the comments on the lilies quilt. I've taken everyone's opinions into consideration. It's fun how we all see things differently. I am going with the string blocks because it speaks to me. They probably don't speak to everyone else the same way, but they do to me. They make me happy, where as before, the blocks made me SNORE. I have fun imagining people long after I'm gone thinking or saying "WHAT THE HECK WAS SHE THINKING WHEN SHE DID THIS?!?" Those are the kinds of things I love looking for in antique quilts, and maybe someone will have fun perusing over my quilts in some future life.

I'm on to piecing the side setting triangles. None got done today...I finished a customer quilt instead. After that I got my "Bonnie loves to play with blocks" quilt machine basted so I can start the hand quilting on it at some point (after the bindings are done). Tomorrow is my birthday...I'll be 45!! I'm freaking out. I never thought I'd be this old...so the treat for myself was to get that quilt top basted.

It's only 9:30pm but I'm going to go get into jammies and call it an early night....maybe some nyquil will help me sleep this thing off...


Friday, January 19, 2007

More From The UFO Bin

These are not forgotten blocks....these are blocks that have PURPOSELY been stuffed back. I made these around 1999/2000 and they just never went anywhere. They were "too beige" or something. I wasn't sure. I loved the pattern, I hated the sage green I used for the stems/leaves....if I did it now, I would have used several greens, not all the same washed out grey/green. But that was then, this is now!

Because the UFO bin was in front of me and I had been digging through it over the past couple days, sorting, revisiting, culling, reorganizing, I pulled them out. I laid them out on the floor (in the new den...aha! that floor has another purpose!) and again....TOO BEIGE! I'm sure the beige carpet was not helping. The blocks are 14" finished. Another reason I'm not thrilled with them. I just don't get into BIG BLOCKS. What to do?

I asked myself how Gwennie or Freddie would handle something like this...how to dress up the blaah?? I needed to pull in bright and scrappy and impulsive. I started piecing some string blocks just for fun, thinking if they didn't work out, they could always go into a charity quilt. WOW...a lot of these strings are REALLY bright because I have people from guild who continually hand me baggies of "stuff" at guild meetings. It is fun to sew with other people's trimmings!

So here are some blocks laid out with altnernate string blocks....and I'm asking for thoughts. Do I go for it? Really try to wonk these boring lilies up? Can I turn it into a quilt that I will LOVE?

Here is a shot of the den from the doorway before I laid everything on the floor...I forgot to upload this one the other day.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Furniture Update...

My chairs arrived yesterday. They are perfect! This was a 4th bedroom, so it was a heck of a time finding chairs that were NOT so overstuffed that they wouldn't fit through the door...so many of the chairs now are HUGE, if you know what I mean. I also didn't want them taking up the whole room. I originally thought recliner but they have to be too far from the wall...

Most of my furniture has always been antique and very traditional. I wanted something different for this room, something a bit wild. Not TOO wild...but, still different for me! The walls are yellow. The color isn't accurate in the photos because of the flash, but it really picks up the yellow rectangles in the upholstery of the chairs.

The cabinet between the chairs is actually a treadle sewing machine. The front door opens, and the treadle is inside. The top flips open, and the machine rises. It was quite a find. I love the eastlake detail on it. It goes well with the old computer armoir that I am using for the flat panel TV inside. Direct TV comes on Feb 1st to hook me up. The other TV's in the house are already direct TV. DH wanted the DVR, so when they brought that,it left us with an extra receiver, and that's what spawned this whole idea even farther.

I have to tell you though...when he came home to see the chairs, the first thing he did was pop a FOOTBALL DVD into my player! AUUUGHHHH!!! This is NOT what I intended for this room! There are two other TVs in the house where he can play all the sports he wants...I had plans for watching a BBC DVD that I picked up at the library. What is it with men and sports anyway??

The box of batting to the side of the TV...auuughh! I am trying my best to use that up and I have pieced battings from it this week....both for the epiphany stars, and for the "lost bricks" (*LOL*) top I rediscoved yesterday. I am including a pic of how I simply butt the batting pieces together, overlapping by about 1/8" and set my machine on the widest/longest zig zag and just zip them together. I'll piece lengths together to make a piece long enough for either the width or the length of the quilt (plus about 6") and then when there are enough lengths, I zig zag them together in rows. It's not exciting, but those batting scraps work great and let's face it...we've paid good money for the original batting they came from. I just can't throw them away if they are of any good size at all.

Those of you who posted yesterday about the "found blocks" You jerked my memory! Yes, I made them after coming home from Lucy's and wanting to make a quilt that looked like the brick pavements. But it just wasn't working, and my mind lost interest (evidently! *LOL*) Funny how stepping back from them for a while cleared out my pre-conceived notions of what I wanted, and allowed me to just play with them and go with what THEY wanted to be. I won't post a pic of that yet, I want you to feel the suspense! Besides, I have two bindings and sleeves to finish yet before I get any farther than that, and I have customer quilts going too.

Tomorrow I am taking an "ending migraine" CEU course with the other therapists in my office. We get a lot of people in with chronic headaches, and this is one that I am really looking into to learn more how to help relieve that for people. Last wednesday there was a gal at choir practice who's jaw was hurting so bad, her TMJ was flaring up. I had her lay down on the couch during break and worked on her facial muscles and neck muscles a bit and dang if it didn't release and she wasn't in pain anymore! To me that is just awesome and makes it all worth it.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Block Source

Amy had posted that she had found this block pattern in a book. I don't doubt it! It is a public domain block called "Crayon Box" I found it in block base and thought it would (at one time, before it got waylaid) be fun to play with.

Here is the pic from block base where I got my inspiration.


Did You Ever?!

Did you ever open up a UFO bin and find a pile of blocks you ony vaguely remember making? I mean...I remember doing a couple test blocks, but I had no idea or memory that I had made THIRTY of them and they just need to be set together? I know they are mine. They are all my fabrics. It was a 2.5" strip project. Why did this get stalled and put aside?

Who knows. Maybe there ARE gnomes who come sewing in the middle of the night!

I think this was supposed to be a charity quilt that got waylaid during school. All I need to do is sash/border it....man...some of these fabrics are UGLY! (time has not improved their ugliness either!)There was probably something I did not like about them (other than the fabrics?!)

I went to the UFO bin to pull out some other string projects that had been started/stopped/started/stopped. I wanted to see if there was anything that could jump start me into finishing them for the heartstrings quilt project...and these blocks were buried under a partially pieced string kaleidoscope.


Amish Strings Done!

I finished the hand quilting on the Amish Strings quilt Sunday night. Last night, I got as far as getting the binding and the hanging sleeve on, but I was too tired to do any further stitching on it..

Plus...because the new chairs are coming today, the old crappy chair I was using had to be removed from the den so there was no comfortable place to sit and stitch even if I felt like it! They already called this morning on the chair delivery...they said between 9am and 11am...so we will see.

If you look close (click the pic to enlarge)you can see my chalk lines. I'll wash the quilt after the binding/sleeve are finished. I'm hoping for a very puckery antique look to it. I used the quilter's dream cotton batting.

I worked on the binding on the Epiphany Stars quilt in between clients at work. I got 3 sides done, so that leaves the 4th side and the hanging sleeve left on that.

Finishing bindings is giving my hand quilting callouses a few days off...I think they need it!

Some one asked me if I put hanging sleeves on everything. And yes, mostly I do! (Unless it is a charity quilt) I hate it when quilt show time comes around and I have a stack of quilts without sleeves that all need to be attached at last minute. So I do them as I am putting on the binding. Maybe the quilts will never be shown....or hung....doesn't matter. The sleeves use up left over stash, often matching the backing, or fabrics in the front of the quilt, and then I don't need to think about it.


Sunday, January 14, 2007


Epiphany is one of my favorite words. I just love the way it feels on my tongue and rings in my ears. This is a great definition of Epiphany: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

I just finished putting the binding on the star quilt so all that is left to do is turn it to the back and hand stitch it down, along with the hanging sleeve. (I think I like hanging sleeves...they easily take up a 1/2yard of fabric out of the stash!)

These blocks sat in a baggie for 14 months...and I just didn't know how they were going to go together. There were too many "friendship" stars....some spun one way, some spun the other. A really weird combination of fabrics from light pastels (with green, yellow and pink in them!) when the fabrics were supposed to be blue and white (or cream) some old heart prints (we are talking 1980's here folks!) and metallics....calicos, solids, plaids, stripes, dots, florals, you name it, it is in here. I just did not know how to pull it all together!

That's when Epiphany happened. Simple, even homely,common-place blocks yelled at me from their baggie to JUST DO IT! Just quit stewing and get out on the floor and start laying them out and dare to PLAY. Voila...Epiphany. I couldn't believe that I had this top together so fast after having the blocks for 14 months. I started quilting last night, and here it is ready to do the binding. Epiphany! Sometimes it just works. It's that aha moment when things just click.

Epiphany seems like a fitting name for this quilt.

I'm off to bind.....

Quilting Stars

Last night after dinner I loaded the "Stars" quilt top that I made with the blocks that were sent to me from stashbuster friends when I graduated from massage therapy school. I finished the top a couple weeks ago.

I wanted to quilt something "cosmos" like over it......The feeling of a universe, a milky way, something...I was NOT in the mood to freehand anything. My brain wasn't feeling that creative. I looked through everything I had, not sure how to make up my mind, holding up each pattern over the quilt, will this do? will it not? I finally decided on a pattern called "little splash" because it has more motion than just "swirly".

It is looking so fun against these various blocks! Because this top was made by a gazillion different people with different tastes in fabrics, it has EVERYTHING from little heart prints to metallics, to batiks, etc. Something needs to pull this all together! I'm using a light blue thread because it travelled the best between whites/cream on creams/ light blues/dark blues without screaming out "too much contrast" between either dark or light fabrics.

I hope to finish quilting it today, get the binding machined on, so I can do the hand stitching tonight. I'm counting down the days until my new chairs arrive! I want to go to Target/Home Depot/Lowes etc...and see if I can find a graphic looking throw rug for the floor to further warm up the room, which of course means I'll need new curtains, and that rose border at the top of the yellow walls is going to HAVE to go! My dilemma is....it doesn't seem to want to peel away from the wall easily. (It was here when we bought the house) and I need to be careful enough not to damage the paint, and I will probably have to scout around (along with scouting for the rug) for a funkier border to cover up what I have removed....

Busy Bonnie