Monday, September 17, 2007

Pieceable Retreat, Quilters of South Carolina!

I'm back from retreat! This was my first time attending the state guild retreat, and I'm so glad I went! I've been in SC for almost 5 years now, and it seemed that every time the state guild held a retreat, I was out of town doing something else, or unable to attend for other various reasons. This year I was definitely going to go!

White Oak is a South Carolina Baptist Convention center, and the facilities couldn't be beat! There are banks of motel rooms behind the convention center, a cafeteria where all our meals were provided, lots of classrooms and open space....and rocking chairs all over the grounds for relaxing and unwinding!

I left from work in Columbia on Thursday and got to White Oak at 5:30pm...just in time for dinner! After dinner I unloaded everything to my room, set up the massage stuff, and then took my sewing stuff to the classroom for the "BYOP" (Bring Your Own Project). I got to sew for the evening! I got the binding on Jared's wedding quilt (Jared is my choir director) and started hand sewing it down while chatting with other quilters. It was fun seeing people from all over the state, those I have met doing trunk shows and workshops for their guilds!

My other main project was to "re-make" a sample of the scrappy mountain majesties quilt....My other sample had been donated! And since I am going to be teaching this as a workshop, I needed a new sample. Remember the night that I was up at 3am and couldn't sleep? I kitted up my 8.5" squares that night, matching them with a light and a dark and slicing them on the diagonal into large 1/2 square triangles. It made sewing at this retreat so easy!

I zipped all the 1/2 square triangles together into their pairs in one sitting, and squared them up in another...cutting them into block parts by pairs of blocks, one uphill, one down hill. Then as I could through the weekend, whenever I had time between massages, I would sew a few blocks together. They go SO easy and fast!

This quilt is dual purpose...I was also forcing myself to use some of the UGLIEST and OLDEST fabrics I have had hanging around here. It was murder sewing them, as everyone around me was sewing with beautiful NEW fabric they had just bought at the incredible vendors mall upstairs in the auditorium...and there I was, sewing with my 1990's VIPs and stuff people had donated to me because THEY didn't want to sew with it either!

I was able to sew from 7am to 9am in the morning...then take my first massage client...work between clients if there were any open spaces, break for lunch, do some more sewing or massaging, break for dinner...go to the show and tell evening meetings, break for dessert (gotta have dessert!) and sew until I was too tired to keep my eyes open any farther.

I gave 13 massages! And still I was able to attach the binding and getting it completely sewn down during the show and tell evenings and completely finish the center of this scrappy mountains quilt! So yes, it was a productive weekend all the way around.

I came home to pick out some border fabrics. One of the gals there had a reducing glass, and you know what? Through the reducing glass you can't tell that the fabrics are that ugly! *LOL* I'm just as happy sewing with this as the people sewing with newer or prettier fabrics. And I got a heck of a lot done. :c)

Today I'm a bit of a zombie. I'm taking the day off to give my wrists a rest. The only appointment I have today is for myself, and something I am reminding you ALL to remember to do. I'm going for my mammogram....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quilt Of The Month!

The International Quilt Study Center has created a unique opportunity for you to view some of the amazing quilts from our collection. Each month, you can return to the web site and be introduced to a new quilt. Or, if you prefer, you can subscribe and the IQSC will send you an email reminding you that a new "Quilt of the Month" has been unveiled. IQSC is providing everyone with this unique opportunity as part of our commitment to increasing public access to the collection. This service is free of charge to you. Your email address will be protected and will be used only by the IQSC.


I thought this idea was so cool! I was directed to it in an email by a friend. Who of us wouldn't like a "Quilt of the month" to drool over sent directly to our inboxes from the International Quilt Study Center? :cD

Here it is Tuesday. I had guild meeting in Aiken last night, and it was a fun night of rotating demos. I did a little 15 minute demo (four times!) On the tri recs rulers and things you can do with them and how easy it is to do that long spikey star point using them. I think it went really well. I know a lot of us buy rulers with the intent to use them, but some how never get around to it. I couldn't believe the number of quilters who already have these rulers in their possessions but have never even taken them out of the package!

I'm gearing up for Thursday! Thursday is when I leave for the Quilters of South Carolina state guild Pieacable Retreat! Every year in the fall, QSC sponsors this retreat. It is held at the picturesque White Oak Conference Center outside of Winnsboro.

Pieceable Retreat is a wonderful weekend of quilting, fellowship, friendship and an escape from the everyday humdrum otherwise known as life.

Along with a full schedule of classes taught by the best teachers in the state, there are other opportunities available to retreat goers. Saturday night is the always lively meeting which includes a show and tell, a "parade" of the class projects from the day, an auction, and fashion show. Ongoing weekend events include a silent auction and vendors for shopping.

I will be offering massage appointments on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. Expected attendace is approximately 300 quilters! There is a vendors mall, etc and lots going on. If I don't fill up all my massage time slots, I'm bringing plenty to work on!

Yes, I'm still having to remake samples of quilts that were donated...so that I can teach them as a class. The other night when I was up at 3am I cut out 8.5" squares, matched them into light/dark pairs and slashed them on the diagonal in preparation for another Scrappy Mountain Majesties sample. I'll play with a different layout that I haven't used before so that I don't feel like I am completely remaking the same quilt over again!

If that isn't enough to keep me busy....I've decided on a project using up the collars, cuffs, pockets and plackets of the plaid shirt pile! :cD (Yes, I'm still trying to cut up a couple shirts a day!) This box holds the humblest of bits left from the cutting up. I decided I could make BIG (15") Rocky Road to Kansas blocks to use up these big chunky weird pieces. Weeee! I had started a smaller blocked version of this quilt a couple years ago, and I want to finish it too (10" blocks) but these shirt prints and plaids were just crying out for the same pattern in a big primitive utility style!

I'm headed to the kitchen to make more banana bread for tomorrow night's choir rehearsal. Yes, now that we are back into Wednesday night rehearsals there are always left over bananas from our break time. They've now renamed it as "Bonnie's Bodacious Banana Bread!" *LOL* I think this time I will also look up a recipe for a banana cake..maybe with a cream cheese icing and sprinkled with chopped walnuts. Is there such a beast out there?


Friday, September 07, 2007

Sleepless in SC....

I had one of those nights were I woke up at 3am for no reason and couldn't get back to sleep! Not sure if it was the heat, the humidity, the pizza I ate for dinner...but there you have it, up in the middle of the night! What's a girl supposed to do?

I went looking at antique quilts for ideas and inspiration! But instead of making me sleepy...they made me more jazzed, and it is now after 7am and I just KNOW by 3pm this afternoon I'm going to hit that proverbial brick wall that reinforces the fact that I need more than 4 hours of sleep a night..*yawn*

There are too many photos for ideas to post here....so here are a few that caught my eye! Of course the cheddar ones were bright enough to keep me awake at 3am! I love the 9 patch on point (road to jericho I think it's called?) with the really wonky fan quilting! Click the pics to see the enlarged version...very fun! This one makes me think of Tonya and I know she will get a kick out of it. I think all those plaids I found will be great with cheddar as an off set color. I also like the blue 4patch/9patch. So simple but so effective!

And the other one is rows of 4 patches alternated with rows of 4 patches and plain alternate squares, but set on point it is really effective!

So how many shirts did I get cut up last night? ummmm....3? and it was a tedious process! But you will be so proud of me. I grabbed my favorite salvaged cigar box and started putting the recycled buttons in there....

I just love the comfortable homey feeling of simple basic quilts. This is why I am toying with the idea of stripping parts of these plaid shirts down into various sizes of strips so that I can sit and sew easily with them, versus having to iron/trim/cut them one fabric at a time as I decide to make something. What do you think?

I was thinking I could strip down the shirt sleeves and front halves to give me strips to work with, but leave the shirt backs whole in case I need bigger pieces to cut block parts from?

I just know how I work...and at least half of a quilt does come from strip parts for me. Like the wedding quilt below. The creams and greens of the four patches were strips. The tan/neutral triangles at the tips of the black star points came from the precut 2" neutral squares bin. The only fabrics that were yardage were the 2 music fabrics and the gold for the inner star...and then finally the outer border after it was all together. This is why I am thinking I'll get more quilts made if I strip them down somewhat?

I guess that means I need 3 more drawers...I think I'll start with 2", 2.5" and 3.5" plaid strips :c) YES!?


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Borders Added!

I came home from choir practice last night, had the house to myself for a while longer and sat right down and got the borders on this quilt :c)

There was just enough black to do a 1.5" cut inner border. None left! I had some block parts left over, and I used those up in the corners of the outer border. I'm happy with it!

I've been thinking of what else I could do to make this extra special....I am going to use up a huge piece of a white-on-cream fabric as the backing of this quilt, and I thought about how fun it would be to have all the choir members write their sentiments on it! So signatures and "words of wisdom" can be on the back of the quilt.

I asked Elizabeth, the choir assistant if she was aware of any Sunday or Wednesday rehearsal where Jared (the director) would be gone. I could bring it in and have everyone sign it then.....but she wasn't aware of any time that he would be gone so I could have concentrated time to catch everyone!

Time is of the essence here...so my question is this......would it work if I were to have everyone sign the quilt back AFTER quilting? Or would that just be messy? I need some ideas here. I didn't want to have everyone sign individual blocks, there just isn't time to get that all together, it would be like piecing a whole 'nuther quilt top.

Any ideas????

And I will leave you while you think...with this lovely photo of all the shirts PILED into my wicker laundry basket. Daunting task!! I haven't started cutting them yet. No time so far....and today may be no different than yesterday...the only sewing I got done yesterday was the time it took to add the two borders to Jared's wedding quilt!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

That Plaid Shirt Fetish!

Okay...here you go....I am almost embarrassed to post these pics! But at $1 a pound for wonderful plaids with a terrific feel that you can't find on the bolt..what is a girl to do?

I'm doing my part for the environment, right? I'm RECYCLING!!!

These were at the "last stop" Good Will clearance center where everything is $1 a pound. If it doesn't sell here it gets sent to Bangladesh or somewhere. Maybe it is made into auto carpet padding or something. (Yes, I am rationalizing on why I need all these plaids!)

The possibilities are endless with them even if I end up getting into the crocheted rag rug thing I guess. But I'd rather be quilting! I know lots of you are also into knitting or crocheting or cross stitch or scrap booking, and I'm here to tell you that I have got a ONE TRACK MIND. QUILTS QUILTS QUILTS!

So here we are. Piles on the floor! Do you know I found shirts with the same plaid more than ONCE?! I even found some good lights this time around. Light 100% cotton shirts are more difficult to find.

I'm really pleased with the wide variety of colors and the sizes of the plaids and stripes. They are going to be so great. Look at this orange and red!

I think I'm going to take Bingo~Bonnie's hint and cut up a couple at a time while I am watching TV. Make a dent in the pile.

I also NEED to make time for some hand quilting. Maybe an hour in the mornings. I'm just too tired in the evenings to get any hand work done. I know I am a PIECER first, and a quilter second. But then...I DO want to do it ALL!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Post Labor Day check in!

We were away for the long holiday weekend. I guess I didn't realize how long it had been since I last posted, but I got an emergency email from a reader wanting to make sure I didn't fall off the face of the earth! No...I'm still here, but the past couple of weeks have been so crazy I just had no time to update my blog, and no finishes really to report...so it got way-laid.

First! This weekend! We went to Hilton Head Island, SC...about a 3 hour drive for us, and we really enjoy going there because the beaches are beautiful, it is peaceful and nice....a different kind of crowd than the "amusement park" mentality that likes to flock to va beach, myrtle beach, etc.

I packed a few projects hoping to have time to work on them a bit, and it turns out that I had LOTS of time to work on them...It poured and hosed down rain from the time we got there friday afternoon, all day saturday, all day sunday until 5pm! I'm talking gully washers and roads being re-routed kind of gushing rain. We even had to move hotel rooms because the water was over the threshold and coming in under the sliding glass door of our room!

I was a happy camper with my projects...I finished the binding on my 4 patch medallion. Weeeehaaa. This was a fun quilt. instead of planning the quilt from the inside out...I did the center as big as I wanted it...and then figured out what the next pieced round would measure, and then had to add the inner border around the center to have it fit the right measurement of the pieced border.

As for the pillow stripe that makes it rectangular instead of square....(Yes I had extra 4 patches I wanted to use up!) I just made it as long as it needed to be and whacked off the excess! Gwen Marston would be so proud ;c)

The next big project was working on the blocks for my choir director's wedding quilt. The wedding is in october, and I thought this would be a good time to get some big time progress done on it. I got all the blocks finished and sashed together. I still have borders to go.......but I didn't have enough room in the room to lay it out and measure.

Besides..the sun came out at 5pm on sunday eve and we DID want to spend SOME time at the beach and doing out doorsy type things, right? :cD

I went back trying to find more black fabric with the little music notes on it for a 2" inner border....It was sold out! So it must have been an epiphany that I bought it when I did. I do have enough to do a 1.5" cut inner border, so that inner border will just be a bit narrower than I want.

I met up with Charlotte today for some lunch and to hit the goodwill clearance center. Did I mention to you that they sell everything by $1.00 a POUND?!? Do you know how many 100% cotton mens plaid/stripe/print shirts you can get for $10.00? (add in a dress, a skirt, and a pair of capris for yourself too..bringing the total to $10.50!)

I'll send pics tomorrow. I don't want to overload this post!

Stay tuned! (oh..I'm going to have to ban myself from buying men's shirts again..I think I could do plaid quilts for the rest of my life!)


Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's MS-150 Time! Your Pledges Are Needed!

Every year my husband Dave cycles with a group of over 2,200 riders in South Carolina in the 150 mile 2 day ride called the "MS-150" for Multiple Sclerosis. This year's ride will be held on September 15-16, 2007.

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

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

For nearly 11 years I have provided quilt patterns on the Quiltville.com 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 fight Multiple Sclerosis as a way to say "Thanks!" for all you find here.

If you can spare even $10 to $20, please think of someone you know who is living with MS daily and all that they go through and all that your donation can do to help. If you know someone with MS, PLEASE donate and forward this on to those who have family members with MS. Your continued support is necessary to help find a cure for this disease.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild such as numbness in the limbs or severe--paralysis or loss of vision. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 but the unpredictable effects can be life-long. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. A person with MS does not know when it will strike, what symptoms they will have, when it will get worse or better, or if they will become permanently disabled. But there is one thing people with MS can count on . . . the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The National MS Society is the largest private sponsor of MS research in the world and proudly provides local programs designed to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by MS. By choosing sponsor the MS 150 Bike Tour, you are joining thousands of people across the country united in the mission: to end the devastating effects of MS.

Click here to Sponsor Dave!

Thank you so much for all your support over the years! It's great to have you on Team Quiltville! :c)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

In A Hurry....

I don't have a lot of time to report this morning...I've got a dentist appt this afternoon as well as 3 massage clients lined up!

I have uploaded the directions to "Playing With Jacks" to my website! I hope you enjoy it.

I still have to finish the binding, and will post a better picture of the finished quilt when it is done, but in the mean time....you are encouraged to dig through your 2.5" strips and get started!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Oh Wonderful Cable Connection!!

We have internet! Whoooowhoooo!

If you really want to appreciate what you have, try for a few days of just being able to read email on an itsy bitsy screen on your phone..and having to type with your bumbling thumbs! It's fun having that capability, but there is NOTHING like a full sized keyboard to make me happy! :cD

I used some of my down time to get this little quilt quilted. The binding is all scrappy reds pulled out of the 2.5" strip bin. I love the look. Sorry the pics are blurry, but taking pics without flash means no jiggling...and I'm just sometimes not capable :c)

The binding is on. I'm hoping to get it sewn down tonight. It was great to quilt a SMALL project. This one is the "jacks on six" block (title in blockbase) and I think I'll just call it "Playing Jacks". This was a fun one for a more color controlled scrap quilt using various shirtings, reds and grey/blacks. It has a very subdued feeling to it, and I like the asymetrical setting and how the chains appear and disappear depending on how dark the grey/blacks are.

I used all 2.5" strips for this quilt, using that wonderful easy angle to do the 1/2 square triangles. I'll put the directions on my website here in a bit. I'm due for something new on there, and I think I could work up a few different layouts in EQ to give people ideas on different ways to set this, different color schemes etc.

I've got two clients so far for massage today, so I'm heading out in a bit to do that.

I'm also in the midst of arranging flight plans for a trunkshow/workshop in Houma, Louisiana in January. If anyone is interested within proximity of Houma, feel free to have your guilds see if they would like to have me piggy back that trip with a trip to your guild since I'll be in the area. Have them contact me!

Keep on Quilting on!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Misadventures With A Shovel......


If you are wondering where I have been the past couple days....We had an accident involving a shovel and the internet cable. The cable lost! And I now have ZERO access at home. I also have no home phone since vonage runs off the cable. :c(

Of course trying to get Time Warner out in any kind of speedy manner just doesn't happen either. I go through the voicemail web of hell and get to a message that says "please call during regular business hours" which is monday to friday. Pfftt.

I need to be connected! So I went to Sam's Club and bought a Black Jack by Samsung. It has internet/email/IM...lots of bells and whistles but I need to learn to use them, and so far I'm having trouble just figuring out how to dial a call..*LOL* It will be nice for travelling I think, and it is only $20.00 a month more than I was already paying for the service.

I tried connecting with the laptop at Panera Bread with Jason this morning before he went to work and I went to church. He was giving me tutoring lessons on my new blackjack at the time....We couldn't get the puter connected there.

This afternoon I had a client house call....not far from the down town library in columbia which is open from 2 to 6 on sunday afternoon and has WI FI upstairs..so that's where I am.

It's very weird not having phone or internet at home. So many things we take for granted to log on and send a mail, answer a client, look up a reference, see what movies are playing, check the weather...good grief. I guess this is why I also got the black jack.

The other day on the way home from MD I stopped in Charlotte to hit Mary Jo's fabric outlet and the thread outlet and I got lost when trying to find the thread place. Tomtom didn't have the resources I needed to just look up the place by name...I had to have an address. So that meant that I had to go pull over somewhere, ask to see a yellow pages, and then get the address and put it in the tomtom. Now that I have net access on my phone I can just look up the address on the phone and put it in tomtom. It's a step up anyway.

Email is a pain on the phone, but at least I can get the word out when I can't get to the library to use the internet wifi!

I suppose this should give me more time to QUILT?!?

Unconnected In Irmo, SC