Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On The Road...

My camera has a dead battery. This is not a good thing on a trip! But thanks to my friend Shirley Anne...(otherwise known as SAO from Midlothian VA) you can still visit along to see glimpses of workshops and trunkshows and show and tell and other quilter mayhem by visiting her blog Shirley Anne's Heart.

It is so fun to meet people in person after knowing them by email. Catherine, Margaret, SAO..you guys are a blast! I love the little tote bag and goodies that Catherine gifted me with. I'll get pics (when camera is back charged) and show you when I get home just what this gal does with pockets, plackets, collars and cuffs!

I'm in recycled fabric heaven, Catherine! Thank you!

Web Server Clean Up!

Hi Ladies!

I got a message after my trunkshow this morning that some were experiencing a mysterious malware on my site.

I panicked and right away called my webhost. They did a check, and indeed someone had hacked into Quilville.com! (they are now on my dirty list..who ever they are)

The clean up has taken place. The website is now safe for your viewing.

I'm having a good time in VA..busy busy, a different guild every day...

I'll be home late on the 23rd!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All Done & Ready to Run!

I finished the binding and the hanging sleeve on Double Delight today. I don't know why it took me so long, but I just had a hard time making myself sit on the couch to do it while there was so much else needing to be done. I just can't let everything else around me just stay undone while I sit, you know? Never the less, it's done.

I'm still not sure about those corner 9 patches. They were a bad afterthought maybe. but when you have left over parts, or at least when I do...I am always looking for a place to use them up. Doesn't matter. Finished is better than perfect,and a completed quilt is better than one that never got started.

Scrappy pics of the back. There is one dark print..the darkest one, don't know if you can see it clearly, that I bought when Jason was maybe 2 yrs old. He's now 25 so that should give you an idea! I bought the whole flatfold of it. Don't know why. It never went with anything. It wasn't burgundy and it wasn't pink and the flowers in it are a hunter green. This DOES go down in history as one of the most ugly unuseable fabrics in my stash. But it's mostly gone now, all that is left is what I trimmed down in to strips and squares after trimming the quilt.

Unlike some, I really have a hard time using large florals. I think it's because I tend to make quilts with small pieces, and the only place I can think of for a big floral is in an alternate block or a border. I'm happy this pretty floral found a place in the back of this quilt.

And Ms Tonya...I assume you are safe in FL! And if your body clock is anywhere where mine was after returning from Amsterdam, it will take you a few days to surface! I am trusting the kitties (and you and your hubby) made it stateside okay!

Guess what Tonya..I FOUND MY LOST LETTERS! You will never guess where they were hiding...in the plastic shoebox full of leaders and enders. They were hiding in there for some unknown reason,but now I can continue on my love letter surprise. Just in time for Valentine's right?

I don't know if I'll get a chance to post over the next week and a half or so. I'll be gone until the 24th......miss you guys!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Two Guilds in One Day!

That was my yesterday. It started off with a BANG too...or actually it would be more like it started with ***NOTHING**** as in CAR WON'T START. Wont turn over won't grind, won't cough, won't sputter...

And I was already 15 minutes late getting out the door to drive to Mooresville!

Turns out my GPS had fallen from it's place where it is suction cupped to the windshield. In the night it had fallen BAM onto the hazard button, and unbeknownst to me, my flashers were busy flashing all night long in the darkness of my garage. So. In the morning. DEAD BATTERY!

Some jumper cables and some swearing got me running again and I was on my way. I had never been to Mooresville before. It's about 67 miles from me, but off the beaten path. That's what I LOVE about traveling to guilds! You get off the interstate, and it is amazing what you can find. Mooresville is cute and quaint, and the guild meets in the Citizen's Center which was perfect for our lecture and trunkshow..and for the workshop as well.

Mooresville NC Boxy Stars Workshop
We had a blast making Boxy Stars blocks from 2.5" strips. The differences in looks just from the variety of fabrics is amazing. I uploaded a little slide show for you to see. Be sure to check out the tie dyed socks!! What a hoot!

We finished up the workshop about 4:30pm, and I had some time to kill before heading home. My OWN guild meeting was having a special presentation of Amish Quilts, and I didn't want to miss that, but at the same time I didn't want to get there too early, so I dawdled in Mooresville, wandering through a lovely antique shop. The owner was such a ham. He conned (???) me into purchasing these drawers he'd salvaged from a treadle machine. They are beautiful, rounded drawers, not square front ones. Not sure what I'll do with them yet, but I couldn't let them go. Okay, maybe I'm just a pushover! I think they will work great in a skinny place. For now I've put them between my treadle and the sewing cabinet,and they will be fine there for now. I need to have a "top" made for the top drawer, because it is just open to the world on top.

So I wandered over to my guild meeting, getting there early enough to help with the Amish quilts. Just turns out I was a good one to have around early....I even had an extra quilt stand they could borrow to hang their quilts on. I helped hold the quilts, so I didn't get many pics of them. There were some BEAUTIES. I just love hand quilting on solid fabrics, I can't get over the texture and what those little stitches can do with solids. I am definitely going to play with more solids in the future. Let that quilting show!

These pics are of the two quilts that were hanging to either side of the stage...look at these stitches!

I wish I could have gotten pics of the ones that I was holding. One was SO humble...really what some would consider as ugly. Workman's clothes were the main fabrics. colors were brown black gold and blue...chambray? All different kinds of weaves of fabrics, from wool to almost a canvas feel to cotton twill. It was a tied quilt, and you could see through some holes in the backing that it was tied through another quilt! It was an Indiana Amish quilt, and those winters can be brutal. I'm sure this quilt kept someone extra warm.

I came home to a brightly colored box covered with hearts! Again, I thought it must be a customer quilt, but lo and behold.....it's a Valentine's Gifty Box!! Thanks Margaret D. I can honestly say I've never tried chocolate covered potato chips before! *LOL* But you know what? It has that certain amount of salty + sweet to make it REALLY good! I guess when you think of it, it is the same salty sweet as the chocolate or white chocolate dipped pretzels,and I love those too. And you know the salty sweet of the raisins in trail mix...yep! Gotta love salty and sweet!

The family went straight for the carmel corn while I horded the fancy chcolates from Bowlby Candy Co myself. MINE MINE MINE! And the fabrics....These are just YUMMY! Thanks so much, your gifty was the perfect ending to a completely quilt filled day!

Quilting with a Purpose...

Cheryl sent me this wonderful suggestion and asked that I pass it along to you! I'm happy to do so!

Hi, Bonnie --

President-elect Obama has called for a national day of service on MLK Day (next Monday), and I thought it would be a great idea if quilters participated in it by spending a little time that day to work on charity quilts. I just posted the idea on my blog, but I decided to ask if you would be interested in posting something on your blog. You have a very large readership, and I know you do so much quilting for charity, that I thought you might encourage people to spend a little time that day making charity quilts.

If you want to see what I wrote, here's the link

Thanks for considering this!

Cheri Sullivan (aka jovaliquilts)

I had a wonderful day yesterday with TWO quilt guilds. I leave Thursday for VA, and I'm tackling paperwork right now, so no time to update you..if I get all these ducks in a row, I'll be able to catch up more later!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Evening Progress....

The more I sew these blocks to their sashings, the more I like this. Here is the Work-in-progress at my machine!Yes, the gingham is subtle...but I like that. It doesn't upstage the blocks. And where I used the scrappy cornerstones in the sashing, it repeats the 9 patch center of each block...and becomes part of the overall design.

Not sure about borders yet, but it will come :c)

I also have to HAVE to show you this darling bouquet that showed up at my door this afternoon. Thank you SO MUCH Karen J!! *hugs* You darling..you brought the yellow sunshine right to my door! I love the mug....when the flowers are gone I'll be using it for my morning tea.

Choices, Choices!

You know, sashing color can REALLY effect the look and the "feel" of a quilt. Remember these blocks? Here is Oscar after rearranging my "Nines In The Middle."

Before I left for The Netherlands, I had been toying with these blocks and how to lay them out, with what, etc.

My first draft was light sashings...but it became TOO LIGHT in the quilt. It took over...big blank blah.

Keep in mind my first go-to is usually red, but I have so many quilts with red, that red is off the docket for this one (which is why I also chose pink for Double Delight) No red.

I love the look of old quilts made with mourning prints. I had a lovely by Baum that I had never used..just petted. But it made the quilt look SO somber, I guess the blocks felt like THEY were in mourning too. So. Nope.

Bright green? AAACKKK! I got sea sick right away! Even though I love this color,and I'll use the strips I cut in something else...

The kicker with a scrap quilt is...it can't be a fabric that cancels out anything else in the quilt. It can't be the same color as major block parts because then those blend together and it looks like parts go missing.

Medium. I needed a Medium. I needed something that was darker than the lights, yet lighter than the darks. Something that would let each color and fabric do it's own thing without playing too heavy a part in the design...

I found a little blue gingham check in the closet, I had about 3 yards of it. I wasn't thinking I wanted blue at first, but I think it is what the QUILT wants.

Gingham is timeless. It never looks dated. It doesn't upstage anything. It's like a trusted friend, just willing to lend a helping hand! Click the pic to get a closer look.

Cornerstones and all of the squares in each block are 2" leaders and enders. Come to think of it so are the light triangles. Those 2" squares are just the ticket for so many things!

And in looking at these pictures, I STILL like that mourning print..but when you see it lifesize....the print is so busy and it just makes the quilt look depressed. I'm sure I'll find another quilt for THOSE sashing too....

I've spent the morning hooking up my backup "MY BOOK" for the computer. I've wanted this thing for a long time..I'm backing up EVERYTHING on it, and telling myself to back everything up monthly, if not every 2 weeks. I'm not going to lose anything. I'm already so happy that I switched to gmail for my email because never again will I lose my address book,etc. But I needed to back up not only my computer, but my website as well. I think 1 Terabyte will hold A LOT! :cD

I was also sick of all the usb cords everywhere, so I bought a hub thing, and now all the wires are OUT of sight. I hate a bunch of electrical cords and computer wires and cables everywhere in a big mess. It's a real peeve of mine. Now it is all straightened, cords bound up, all functional. Much better!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Less is Best!!

You know, I tried so many different border treatments on this thing, my head was spinning! I've spent the last week at it!

There is something that happens when you put a quilt on point. The dimensions, which start out even, since everything is built on a 9" finished block size..becomes WIERD. The dimensions are 63 3/4" X 76 1/4". By itself, that isn't a problem. But if you want to have a nice little pieced border that marches around the quilt, you are going to have to find a common denominator for these units, and that means having to add spacers to the top and bottom of the quilt that are a different measurement than what you add to the sides of the quilt to give you the right size.

And that is only IF your quilt actually DOES measure 63 3/4" X 76 1/4" Your own personal cutting and personal sewing might leave you with a different sized quilt center. Not that that is wrong, but just different.

The center of this quilt is so busy..that I decided less is more.

I added a 1.5" cut inner border of the cheddar/gold, and I even had to pull in a second cheddar/gold because I ran out of the first one. It's okay..I just alternated the strips so it looks like I intended to do that :c)

I pieced some extra 9 patches for the cornerstones..making a "4 patch" with the two 9 patches and two plain brown squares for each corner.

The outer border is cut 6.5"

I just didn't think that anyone was going to want to add odd sized spacer border strips, and no one was going to want to piece another gazillion square in a square blocks as that is what I was leaning towards!! :cD

And yes, this is the quilt that was on the machine when the circuit board blew! So you can imagine how that influenced my Whiney Wendesday.

However, the circuit board arrived yesterday and I could finish the quilt! I quilted it with Keryn Emmerson's Double Plume! Keryn and her sister are also part of our Quilt Maverick's ring, so go check them out if you haven't made it around the ring in a while. Thanks Keryn for a great design! I love designs that don't mash the quilt so flat, leaving a quilt that is begging to be wrapped up in. I think this one fits the bill just fine!

I sewed a bunch of left over pink strips together for a scrappy pink binding, and I'll be doing the hand stitching on that tonight. The back was also pieced from several different pieces of pink that I am happy to find a home for!

Part 7 can be found HERE!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Color, Wonderful Color!

Patty M in CT....you are my Quilting Angel! I received your lovely package yesterday, and I had no clue why you would be sending me a big box? I thought maybe it was a customer quilt I'd agreed to do,but didn't write on my calendar. (And uhoh...quilting machine had a blown circuit board!)

I was left breathless by your gift. My son wants to know why you are sending me gifts, and if you could send him something too, because his birthday is also in January as is mine :c)

I don't know if this is an early birthday gift or not, my birthday isn't until the 23rd! But I'm treating it as such, and what a happy one it is! I love the fabrics, the colors, the patterns, THANK YOU!!

And since I'm talking about color, I'm tickled that so many are liking the colors I've chosen for Double Delight. Many things combine for my inspiration,but I want to show you THIS one....It's an antique quilt I bought in Asheboro last year. Very homely, homey and utilitarian, it's a HUGE Corn & Beans block quilt. There is ONE cheddar block with double pink,blue and brown. Sound familiar? Look familiar? It's the one odd block in the quilt that made me want to put these colors together in Double Delight.

I don't think the lady that made this quilt was using a color wheel to decide what colors went together and which didn't. I think she intuitively knew what was pleasing to her own eye.

So when it comes to color, think outside of what is "popular" right now as far as fabric lines go. Don't let the home dec industry make your choices for you. Follow nature, look at photographs, I've even seen some interesting color combos on TV when my son was watching a cartoon.

Playing with colors that are out of our comfort zone....EXPANDS our comfort zone! And that's a good thing.

The music playing today, calming my feelings from yesterday..JOHN DENVER. I miss him. He went too soon. But his music is very soul centering to me, and I'm playing and singing......"Its a sweet sweet sweet dream, sometimes I'm almost there, sometimes I fly like an eagle..and sometimes I'm deep in despair....on the road of experience, join in the living day......"

(of course, the dogs are howling! *LOL*)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It's too easy....

It's too easy to send off an uncaring email to someone you don't know personally, saying something you would never EVER say to them up front.

I've been blasted by one lady who was "UPSET" that I ruined the
mystery for her (she said she was in tears?) because she saw pics of the
blocks on my blog.

Except that she called my "blog" the front page of
the mystery.

This BLOG is not the front page of anything, it's my personal blog and
I reserve the right to post what I want at my own pace, just as anyone
in the mystery quilts web ring are going to post their steps as they
are completed.

If you don't want to see clues ahead of time....don't go looking.
Stick to pattern pages, don't click the link to the next step until
you get there, don't go around the mystery ring, and don't go through
the photo files! The world (as in, the rest of us, working at our own
paces) are not going to wait for everyone to catch up to the same spot
before we post.

This lady actually called me a SPOILSPORT and said that I ruined it
for her. I've been numb all afternoon because I didn't FORCE her to go
clicking to my blog??

So this is why I am slow to post the last step. Maybe over the weekend.

When it gets to the point that doing an online global mystery is no longer fun, then I guess it is time to retire myself from doing them and do something I DO enjoy.

On top of that....my quilting machine blew a circuit board and I am
waiting for the part to be overnighted, of course I was in the middle
of quilting something.

Am I allowed to have a Whiney Wednesday?

Yes yes, Mrs G...Life is STILL Good! :c)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Quilter's Helper!

Look at ME, Mommy!

Pay Attention to ME, Mommy!! Aren't I cute, Aren't I adorable??

You really would rather be petting me, and brushing me and playing with ME...instead of sitting at that boring old sewing machine, wouldn't you??

And Yes, Part 6 is up!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Just Doodling!

Okay...so working on this mystery non-stop has gotten to me too,and yesterday afternoon I had to get OFF my butt (meaning the chair at my sewing machine...it was about to have to be surgically removed after all these sewing days!)and do something else!

I bet you didn't know that you can burn calories long arm machine quilting? At least I am aware of certain things...I stand taller...as I move from side to side, it's careful and with a purpose, which means I can feel certain muscle groups tightening, and you can focus on holding your belly in during this pass, do your keegle (kagle?) exercises through this block, etc. Put on some peppy music and it can be "Quilting to the Oldies!!" Remember to breathe.. :c)

Who did I put on?? BILLY JOEL!! Yes, this week I'm reliving my highschool music.

SO what did I quilt? Remember some months back I was trying to clear out some random orphan blocks and pieced a couple tops? This one was all 9" blocks. There is even one spare rosebud block from the quilt that went into the book...a scrappy rejected version of another quilt from the book, and some leftover big triangle setting blocks from something else..just a mishmash of everything. No way I wanted to hand quilt it...it's fairly boring. But it made for good doodling.

I think I'll bind it and put it on my dining table. Now that the holiday quilts...Halloween Through Christmas are put away, it needs something new :c)

Off to the binding.....

And yes...Part 5 is now up!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Scenes from Spakenburg

I caught Lucy with my camera as she was walking just a bit ahead of me. This is Spakenburg!

Hard to believe that it was Two Weeks ago that Lucy and I were driving to Spakenburg from Haarlem. We had the music up loud, and even the traffic jam that occurred just outside of Amsterdam didn't dampen our fun! We just turned Marco Borsato up louder and SANG ALONG! Was Mij is a song written about the children of war, and how some children so early in their lives are thrown into carrying guns and killing. Marco is an advocate for organizations focusing on saving these children. The song is very touching. Not only does it have a beautiful powerful melodyand amazing orchestration, but the message is full of hope for these children. "Was Mij" means "wash me". Cleanse the children from things they never should have experienced in their young lives. And for anyone in war torn anywhere..

SO as we rode and sang....we made a stop at the little thrift shop where I got the wooden skates. (Skatjes)

And here, look what I found! Oh, I wish I could have taken it home with me. It was too heavy, and there was just no way this could have made it as a carry on. But I snapped a picture anyway. Look at the mother of pearl inlay!

Spakenburg is a fishing village,oh so quaint! when I visited Lucy before she drove me to Marken, which is also on the sea, but we never made it to Spakenburg. The link is in Dutch,but the photos are lovely! I love the traditional costumes. There are still about 300 women who wear the traditional costume daily, but more and more the younger generation doesn't want to bother, so it is a dying art.

I love the old wooden fishing boats. It's winter now, so my pics show them moored and canvased for the winter weather.

Aren't the boats great? It was chilly that day,but not too bad. It rained a bit when we were in the museum, but the rain stopped by the time we were done. We had the best lunch at a little fish market place where they fry the fish to order. Yummy!

Great memories! The streets are lined with unique shops...there was a market place in the town center with all kinds of vendors selling their Christmas goodies. The only thing the didn't have was a candy vendor selling Dropje!! Darn!

Part 4 of Double Delight is up, if you are following along! But of course, you won't click the link unless you have finished with parts 1, 2 & 3, right? ;c)