Monday, May 12, 2008

Pray for my Boxes....

The boxes have been loaded full of quilts and are on their way to my editor for photography. I didn't think much of it until I got to Fedex and the gal behind the counter asked me for the declared value of each box. That is when I gulped! And panicked! Never the less....they are on their way, Another deadline met!

I have the next two weeks to wrap up everything else, final deadline..June 2nd. I can't believe how close it is, it's almost here already!

One of the things I needed to include was a bunch of swatches for photography. It took longer than I thought to cut out all these 6.5" squares. I must have cut close to 100....

And that is when it hit me...if I have cut 100 swatches...that's 100 SHIRTS! or other articles of clothing. Good grief. It really IS a sickness, this collecting of useable recyclable clothing. Just as bad as being addicted to Jelly Rolls or Charm Packs or FQ bundles or anything else. It still amounts to a whole dang lot of fabric that I haven't made a dent in. Heaven help me if I grow wary of plaids and stripes and prints from shirts any time soon. I could clothe half the community.

Hey...is that a good reason for NOT getting around to cutting EVERYTHING up? we might actually need to wear it some day? :cÞ That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

All I know is right now there are two big piles of un-cut-up shirts here in my basement because I needed the big boxes to pack the quilts in!

After sitting at the computer for 17 hours on Mother's Day writing up pattern directions, I'm taking tomorrow OFF! I've been invited to my friend Mary's house to go sew and play, and I think I need that kind of group therapy...a mental health day...some R&R (Rotary cutting & Relaxation!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I Swore I Wasn't Going To Start This....

I have two other quilts in the process of hand quilting, but I just couldn't NOT start this.

Last night I finally got all the labels on (can I hear you cheering?!?) the quilts to go to photography, but was too wiped out to do much else...I could NOT make myself sit here and write up pattern instructions..

I really WAS in the mood for more hand stitching after doing all those labels. There is something really soul centering of pulling a needle and thread through a quilt, even if it is for labels.

While doing the labels..I had been watching all the "On Demand" stuff that my cable offers. I really LOVE BBCamerica On Demand. And Turner Classic Movies on demand! Great stuff, and you can start it and stop it as you want.

Needless to say....I plopped a hoop on the quilt and started quilting. I had machine basted the quilt a couple days ago. After thumbing through some antique Amish quilt books, I decided to mimic what I saw in another basket quilt, and just cross-hatch the blocks instead of outlining everything. The setting triangles have a line of stitching down each string...that makes it easy to avoid seam allowances. The sashings have double X's and the 4 patches have an X as well.

The inner border will have dog teeth zig zags, and I think I'm going to simply follow the pattern of the red flowers in the print to stitch diagonal lines in the red border. It's so busy, not a lot will show.

And yes...I've got to get cranking on the other stuff I've been wanting to finish the hand quilting on as well....but it just FEELS good to do a bit of hand quilting...

Just as my sign says...."There is nothing that a little needling can't fix!"

As I work on this quilt, I see all these scraps that have been part of my quilting life over the past many many years. Definitely a lot of you would say, "Oh, I would never put THAT fabric with THAT fabric!" But I do. Scrap quilts of yesteryear were made with scraps on hand. They were a diary of the fabrics that passed through that household. These are MY scraps from my projects. They are a diary of the fabrics that have passed through my household, even if that pink/red heart with the gold metallic doesn't "go with" that little ditsy calico and shirting print or plaid. To me they are the perfect combination.

I CAN put a metallic next to a batik next to a 30's next to a civil war next to a solid,plaid, stripe, novelty, a bright next to a murky primitive. This is the fabric of my life. It tells my story.

Today....the quilt will be set aside until tonight. I'm back with my shoulder to the wheel, writing pattern directions, hoping to get as much as I can done before I send the box of quilts off to photography tomorrow afternoon.

But tonight....can I please do a few more stitches? Just a few? :cD

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 09, 2008

I bet you didn't see this happening!

I just couldn't stop. I just had to keep sewing! I had 16 basket blocks, and started auditioning sashings.

Sometimes when things are SO busy, in order to calm down the busy-ness, I turn to solids. I love solids. I love how the quilting shows up on them better than on prints. I love the richness of the colors.

I found this olive-y green in the remnant bin at Mary Jo's when I headed to Florida. There was only 1.25 yards, but it was enough to get sashings for a quilt this size, and have enough left over for binding.

I decided to play up the Pennsylvania Dutch feel of the quilt by accenting the green with cheddar orange inner border, and finished it off with a rusty red.

The 4 patch cornerstones came from a box that is nearly full with them. I got a bit carried away and made WAY too many of them from 1.5" strips about 8 years or more ago. Every now and then they show up in projects. And they still aren't used up yet!

The fun part of this quilt....I got out my grandmother's machine to see if it ran. It does! I cleaned it, oiled it, changed the needle. It's got the "slows" as far as the speed goes.....but I sewed blocks on it. It's a Singer 15 from 1942. It belonged to my great grandmother, who gave it to my grandmother, and my grandmother sewed baby clothes for my mother on it. My mom learned to sew on it. Years ago my aunt gave it to me and it sat in it's dilapidated case until I put it out for display here at the new house.

Four generations have sewn on this machine. I think that's pretty remarkable!

However, I love the speed of my Bernina, and I put the Singer back on the shelf when it came time to add the borders! *LOL*

This little quilt only used 128 bonus triangle squares. :c| Not nearly enough! I added what was left to the other baggies of triangle squares waiting to be sewn into something, another time, another day, another quilt!

Orange Crush, Part Quatre! (FOUR!)

The Mystery Continues!!!

This is Step 4 of the Orange Crush Mystery......come sew and play!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Postcards from the Dungeon...

It's supposed to be like "Postcards from the Edge"..but actually it is pictures of my studio!

I had an electrician in last week to bring me LIGHT. So it is less dungeonesque in here now.

I've hung quilts, I've displayed my machines, I've got WIPS stacked all over. It's not the cleanest down here right now,but this is how I live in Quiltville.

I've bought the replacement ceiling tiles. Those will be installed as soon as I can get the guys around here to agree to do it.

I love having room to have both of my treadle machines out in the open. The painted paneling doesn't look so bad when quilts are displayed all over.

I hung my Dear Jane quilt behind the machine, it's really the only big empty wall in the house where it can be hung.

The little blue bookcase holding my antique machines was here in the house when we moved in. It's heat up and rustic, but functional and I love how shabby chic it is. The second machine down beloned to my grandmother. She passed away when I was 5. Years ago my aunt gifted me this machine. I checked for info on it from Singer and it was born March 3, 1942 in Elizabeth, NJ. This was right around the time my mother was born, so I can imagine my grandmother sewing cute little baby clothes for her first daughter, my mom.

The little 99 machine below it has a knee control. I've never gotten it to work, but it sure is cute! I keep thinking...some day...some day.

The hand crank on top of the old radio cabinet is from Germany and has beautiful scroll work decals and lovely mother of pearl inlays...I'd love to get it in working order too.

I have FINISHED all the binding of book quilts! YEAH! I've still got to bind my sister's baby quilt...the baby is now 3 weeks old! Maybe this weekend.

I've plugged a bit outside of working hours on the scrappy basket blocks. I think they are pretty blendy. :c| I've tried a couple keeping the bouquet triangles all the same color, and that seems to show up better. Thanks to Lucy for the critique. The baskets themselves are all red, because I had a gazillion of the half square triangle squares already made that make up the basket feet...bonus leftovers from star struck quilts. I'm not sure how big I'll make this, it's just busy busy. Maybe some sashings or something would tone it down?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


DS Jeff starts classes at Forsyth Tech at the end of the month. Lots of figuring and deliberating was done until we came to the conclusion that a scooter would pay for itself in the amount of gas that it saves.

This scooter is so cute I'm even thinking of getting myself one...in PINK! :cD

It's a 150cc so it has enough power to go 70mph and can go on all the roads that cars can. It is big enough to require tags and insurance. I like that it is big enough that he can be SEEN on the roads!

I left him at the dealership to finish up the paperwork, and drove home and waited....here he is as he just pulled into the front yard. Have you ever seen such a happy young man?

Guild meeting last night was very fun! I met lots of wonderful ladies and I hope to get more involved as the months roll by. It was nice to sit there and see someone else do a presentation instead of the other way around!

As Mrs G says...Life IS good!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Busy Monday!

After a relaxing Sunday!

This morning I'm being invaded by the Orkin man and the heating unit repair guy..both at the same time (approximately) Many bugs abound here in Quiltville! We've got these centipede/millipede nasty things that crawl into my basement from outside somewhere and curl up and die. *shudder* At least there have been no more snakes found in the ceiling!

The fan on the heating/ac unit has gone out for the second time in a month...so this one should be covered by warranty. I was going to go to the gym this morning, trying to get back on that swing of things, but it will have to wait until this afternoon. It might mean a hot walk there and back!

Also today...I have all the paperwork in hand to finally get my NC license plates. I had to have the title sent by the lending company, and that took a while to get here. Now all those ducks are in a row and I get to fight those lines today. After this, I'll be totally NC official!

One thing I am really excited about is GUILD MEETING tonight...here locally! The last two months I've either been moving in, or out of town. Tonight I actually get to meet local quilters and start making friends. I'm nervous. I feel like a new kid on her first day of school :c) I promise to remember my manners, to share, and play nicely with others. :c)

These pictures are just a few of what I took at the Liberty Antiques Festival last week. Mmmmm....great eye candy, huh?? I know you don't like reading posts without pictures, so here you go. I saved these for moments when I didn't have anything else to keep your attention! *LOL*

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Charlotte's Basket

When I was at Charlotte's binding away, she showed me a picture of a block she wanted help in drafting a certain size. You know how it is when you take a 12" block and put it on point and suddenly the quilt is gigantic?

Today I put borders on a quilt, I was doing the "put a square on a rectangle and sew across the diagonal" routine to get the flippy triangle on the end of the rectangles, and I always double sew these if the rectangles and squares are at least 2.5" wide. (Any smaller than that is too small for this technique for me!)I sat watching a James Taylor DVD while cutting the units apart. One pile of border pieces and another huge pile of bonus triangle squares all ready to be pressed and trimmed up and used in something.

This got me thinking of all the other baggies of bonus triangles that I have around here from previous projects. Some pressed and trimmed, some not...all sorted by baggie! So I started thinking about Charlotte's basket idea again realizing that if I pieced the top part of the basket with LOTS of triangles, I'd use more of these bonus ones! The bonus ones square up to 2", so they are 1.5" finished.

I drafted the block I wanted and started playing with pieces. The little light filler triangles in the basket tops are the same size as the pieces from step 2 of Orange Crush,(cut from a 2" scrap strip with the easy angle ruler) and I had some left overs of those...and look! The base of the basket background is a corner square...2"...I can pull out light ones of those from the 2" square bin. And the side rectangles? Those are 2"X3.5" and I have a bin of bricks this size! So the only thing I had to do was cut the large basket triangle from 3.5" strips using the easy angle....just arrange the bits and pieces and voila! A 6" finished basket!

The baskets need to be set on point, so I went to another basket of string blocks I have that measure 5.5" square. The setting triangles need to be cut from a 5.25" square, so I trimmed them down, sliced them on the diagonal and sewed a triangle to each corner.

From there I took my "square in a square" ruler....and trimmed up the block! I like this ruler for squaring, but I never use it the way they intended me to use it. I don't like the fabric waste it creates, but it is a great tool for squaring up and not losing your points in the process.

One basket block down! Finished size? About 8.25". Just right. Better than some gigantic 16" thing!

I may start laying out basket pieces as leaders/enders and see how many I can get pieced while working on other things! Thanks for the idea Charlotte! :cD

Home from Florida!

I had a very fast whirlwind trip to St Petersburg Florida this week!

I left on Monday afternoon, and arrived in Columbia SC around dinner time where my son Jason fixed us dinner! Chicken sour cream enchiladas...mmmm! There is something very fun about having your son spoil you rotten for a change :c) Jason's significant other, Kim finished up her semester at USC this week, and we are so proud of her too. One more semester left! Kim's mom Charlotte also joined us for dinner, and what a sweetie...she knew I have been struggling to get all the book quilts bound, so she kept one to work on for the week while I was in Florida. She also helped me name one of the quilts, and I'm just tickled to death with it.

I left Columbia the next morning and made it to Jacksonville by lunch time where I stopped off and met Marcia at a quilt shop and did some shopping and visiting there. From there we went to a Cuban restaurant in the same plaza and had lunch. It was a perfect break on the road.

I arrived in St Petersburg just in time to meet the guild ladies for dinner. Sloppy Joe's on Treasure Island! What a scenic spot. We did sit inside because the sun was setting and it was too hot on the deck with the sunburn I'm still sporting from the antique festival last week. It's about all healed now...healed and peeled that is!

After dinner I returned with one of the guild members where I stayed in her little guest cottage next door to her house. Oh, we had a wonderful time! What can be better than sitting in the evenings watching old movies, eating ice cream and binding quilts? It was a lovely time and I thank Joyce very much for her hospitality.

Wednesday morning was my lecture and trunkshow and there were ladies from all over who had traveled to come! I was flabbergasted and tickled to meet everyone. Lots of laughter, lots of sharing of ideas. Lunch was served, and I enjoyed a yummy greek salad from a local place.

The workshop was on the boxy stars quilt, and we were full up! Everyone was raring to go to turn those 2.5" strips and squares into fun and easy star blocks. I love this block. It is too easy to be legal! But it works up so great in scraps. Some did more planned color schemes, and those turned out wonderful too. I think I love seeing all the differences in everyone's projects the most. The sharing of ideas and brainstorming is so mind opening.

I drove back to Jason's house on thursday, again getting there just about dinner time. Jason was out playing golf with some of his buddies so I went to Charlotte's to wait for him and Kim before dinner. We put our feet up, and yes...bound some more! I am happy to confess that there are only 2 left to be bound, and I should get that all done this week. Then those quilts go off to the photographer and I get the nitty gritty of writing all the instructions out.

We celebrated Kim's last day of finals with a dinner out to Texas Roadhouse, then back to Jason's to watch a DVD, and off to bed.

Yesterday morning I drove back to Winston Salem, and have been trying ever since to get life back in order here. Like I said, it's been a whirlwind, but a good one! I have two weeks until I take off again, and I'd like all the book stuff done before I go..

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Orange Crush Mystery, Part 3!

A few days early,but I'm leaving tomorrow for St Petersburg Fl....I thought I'd gift you with the next step of Orange Crush tonight!

In this step we will be making HALF split 4 patch units.

Remember when I said we would need the easy angle ruler, and NOT the companion angle ruler for this mystery?? I forgot there were half blocks involved! So if you do have the companion angle handy, you can use it in this step. If you don't, never fear, I'm going to give you regular rotary cutting directions for the pieces. Several of you who have done the Carolina Crossroads Mystery will already have the companion angle in your ruler collection. It wasn't until I sat down to do these half blocks that I realized they would come in handy!

This is a small easy step, which is a good break from the big steps we've had so far. Instructions are for 44 units, 22 facing right, 22 facing left :c)

I hope you are all having as much fun with this project as I am! :cD


Saturday, April 26, 2008

LIberty, NC Antiques Festival!

I played hooky! I mean, I REALLY played hooky!

Thursday afternoon I got a call from my friend Mary in Asheboro asking me to come stay the night, and drive to Liberty with her to see the Liberty Antiques Festival yesterday. One look at the flyer she sent and BAM...I knew had to go! I had no clue what to expect, but felt like I wanted a play day off, so I threw my overnight bag into the car, brought along some quilts to bind (Hey, she said she'd help me bind, so what's not to like about that!?) and off I went.

Asheboro is about an hour's drive from my house. Not bad...and it takes me on back country roads which I love. I love driving past plowed fields and old country houses with front porches, and little country gas stations with general stores and bait. I do HATE seeing the gas prices go up and up and up,but I wasn't going to let that stop me from driving to have some FUN!

The antiques festival started at 8am. I think we got there about 8:30 and the place was PACKED! Rows of tents and booths as far as the eye could see, all placed on this grassy pasture at a 100 acre farm. We were in heaven! I have SO MUCH eye candy and pictures that I can't post them all here. But it will give me blog fodder for a while, and hopefully goodies for you to come back and see what we saw.

Here are my bargains of the day! A saw you ask? Yes! A saw! I wish I could show you Mary's house. She has it decorated up SO cute with little quilts everywhere, and I was admiring the way she displays them. I asked her help in finding things that would give me fun ways to display quilts. She has a saw like this hanging in her kitchen, and a darling quilt draped over the middle rail of the saw with the blade pointing up. It is so rustic looking! So..I bought a beat up antique saw. :c) The blade is still nicely covered with newspaper so I don't shred myself or the other quilty finds...Price of saw? $15.00.

An old wooden bobbin and shuttle! This was a bargain and a half since it came WITH the bobbin in place inside the shuttle. I love stuff like this! Price of shuttle and bobbin? $5.00!

Piece of cutter quilt with incredible cheddar, turquoise (OH MY!) and home dyed brown with a bit of poison green on the edge, and incredible funky quilting in navy thread..perfect for accent piece or table runner, not to mention I LOVE the block pattern! Price of quilt piece? $15.00

Hand woven beat up rag rug runner to go in front of the porch swing on the front porch. Very old, very rustic, very musty, but a must have! A bargain at $20.00.

THE find of the day! Pine Burr Quilt in wonderful blues and reds with some well worn shredding, but still great for display and terrific graphic appeal! Price of pine burr quilt? $10.00!!!

Lovely 1920's beat up country style broken dishes quilt with lots of blue and pink. (Mary's hubby said...oh. That's A LOT of pink. Yep!) Price of quilt? $35.00

Really funky wire egg basket? This is Mary's push. She promised me I will love it to display things in, and have a little quilt tucked inside, and coming out over the edge of the basket. It's a one of a kind, and even the wire has a "dresden plate" pattern in it. I DO love it's rustic wonkiness! This was at the same booth as the broken dishes quilt. Price of funky basket? $35.00

Price of spending a wonderful spring day with a friend walking through a huge antiques festival? PRICELESS!! Thanks Mary, I had a great day and really needed a hooky day off!

So today I'm a bit sunburned....we didn't realize it would be so sunny and hot, the weather has just not been cooperating around here, until YESTERDAY! Next time we will bring our wheelie carts to pull our purchases. You can tell the seasoned shoppers by their carts and wagons! And we will remember sunscreen and a cooler with drinks and snacks, cuz it took all day. Next Festival? September 26th, 2008! I'm putting it on my calendar!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Boxy Stars Sample..

I finished the lap sized version of Boxy Stars that I need for two workshops coming up! The last one I did went to charity..so...guess who had to make ANOTHER class sample? I like doing that when it's an easy quilt to remake (Ie..no figuring, I already know what to do...no brainer!) and I get to try different colors! This one I did color controlled, where the previous one was completely scrappy.

Pinks and browns....all pieces cut from 2.5" strips! (Yes, this pattern would work great with Jelly Rolls...)

It was a challenge for me to try to use up some outdated fabric as well as the new stuff I was wanting to slice into. I went to the 2.5" strip bins first..pulled everything brown and pink. Then I pulled 2.5" neutral squares from the squares bin. I MADE myself use those pink cutesy heart prints from 1987! And you know what? They don't look half bad when mixed with some of the new wonderful browns and double pinks that are out there. So the next time you make a scrap quilt, dare yourself to mix in some oldies but moldies with your new stuff. Let those old fabrics find a home. Better in a quilt, than still nagging you from the scrap bins!

I quilted this quickly with "Wild At Heart" panto by Willowleaf Studios. I love their designs. I really was never one for the cutesy heart stuff (Even though I still had that pink dotted heart fabric in my stash from 1987!) but THIS I like...I think I'll use the same one on the quilt for my sister's new baby. It will go great with the bright fabrics I used in it.

I've got 5 quilts to bind..and the next one to finish piecing for the book is a denim thing! The ultimate recycle quilt! I've been working very closely with my editor (she is AWESOME!) and I think we make a good team!

I'm thinking of binding this one in pink....but NO PINK HEARTS! In small amounts I can stand..but no pink heart binding, I just can't do it! :cÞ

Buddy had his 2 week post-surgery check up yesterday. He is doing WONDERFUL. His vet is such a nice man, and everyone at the office fawns over buddy. The splint cast came off, and we removed all the staples. I'm sure Buddy was happy to have those out. All seems to be healing just fine. 2 more weeks of splint cast, and he should be good to go. He may be limpy for quite a while after this, and I can tell there is some muscle atrophy in the leg,but that is to be expected. I'm just glad he is doing so well!