Thursday, December 24, 2009

Miles of Binding To Go!

If children have "visions of sugarplums" dancing in their heads...I've got miles of binding dancing in mine!

Bring on the "Home Alone" Marathon! I'm ready! Bring on Holiday Inn and White Christmas...I'm ready!

These are the 3 projects that have come off the machine so far.

First up? the Blue Lady of the Lake variation. I've loved this one for a long time, but you know what? that border was REALLY woooooeyyy....This top is at least 7 to 8 years old. I've learned a lot in that time frame....I quilted it with a floraly kind of design that took oodles of thread and I don't know how many bobbins to do. It took 45 minutes for one pass of the machine, and about 2 days for me to quilt it. Way too dense of quilting for my liking, but hey, I'm still learning.

I'm loading a 4th...the Old Kentucky Album top that was just featured in the latest Quiltmaker Magazine. what you saw there was just the TOP..so now, I think I'm going to quilt it with the baptist fans. I LOVE fans, you know I do, and look how cool they look on this quilt!!

This quilt doesn't even have a name! It was a shop sample that I made before I left Texas I believe. Again...really wide borders and wasn't inspired to do anything in them really. I LOVE the fans.

Funny thing is....I can't put the red binding on this quilt, until I get the Old Kentucky Album one going as well! I think having a quilt running in the machine is just like leaders & enders. You have to have something there so your time is being used in the way it should. Or something like that.

This little ditty was the first. Stephanie from my guild in Columbia gave me a bag that had all these ENDS of pieced panels...you know how it is? You can get so many sections cut from a pieced panel, but what do you do with the odd ends? I made this Kaleidoscope top with them years ago as well. There are orientals and batiks and some others in it. There is one piece of oriental fabric that I just love..it has a waving white kitty that reminds me of Oscar! He only appears in that one section of the quilt. Fun. The orange binding was sent to me from a friend knowing I loved orange,it was what was left over after she used one of my patterns. So it was fun to use it as the binding on this quilt.

On the kitchen remodel....well...the guy just left from doing all the planing work to level the cabinets. It's nearly Christmas, so I won't be able to get the granite installed now until next week...maybe the week after because of New Years? Oh well..it will get done.

Jason and Kim can't make it for Christmas, he has to be to work early the day after, and it's just not worth it for that long of a drive up here. Besides, I'm not cooking! No counters, no sink, right? So...Sounds like the Hunters will be hitting the Fire Mountain All You Can Eat Buffet for Christmas this year! (And you know what? I'm fine with that since there are only 3 of us anyway!)

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dear Santa!!

Thank you, Santa for finally giving me a way to clone myself when I didn't think there was a way I could carry on and get it all done!

The Compu-Quilter has been a life saver! Since last (a week ago) Tuesday I have completed the quilting part on 2 quilts, and the 3rd is 3/4 done. In true clone fashion, today I was able to sew, press, attach a binding to the big 106" square blue/white lady of the lake quilt while the third one was happily being quilted on the machine AT. THE. SAME. TIME.

I am a convert! Oh sure, I'll still do a lot of freehand feathers here and there. I love them, and it's easier to freehand that puppy in there than to resize and rotate, but for all the other nifty things this machine can do.....

Thank you thank you thank you, Santa for putting a new spark in my life long love of quilting and making me a very very happy little girl this Christmas!!

I promise to be really really good.....so that next year you can send me something that will cook, clean, vaccuum and do laundry (not to mention fold it and put it away too) for me, deal? :cD

And if THAT is too much to ask...I'll settle for a machine that can bind these quilts by itself instead! ;c)


My Wish For You...

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

What a year it has been....and what a year we have coming!

I'm trying not to think about the (*&#@$(*& filthy animal who rear ended me, hit and run style, on Peters Creek Parkway about an hour ago. It just brings me down how someone can just up and take off as soon as I got out of the car to assess the damage!

Luckily it wasn't much. could have been worse.....and I'll even refrain from wishing it was worse on his car than it was on mine!!! Cuz....it's Christmas DANGIT! *feeble smiles*

Maybe my mood is NOT that down, because they opened a BRAND NEW Goodwill complete with Clearance Center on Peters Creek Parkway, and not even a hit and run from behind could wipe this smile off my face!!!!

Okay, so I only bought a couple shirts and a pair of XL pajama pants...all 100% cotton for cutting up for quilting! Throw in 2 blouses for me, and a pair of jeans, and a bill of less than $5 and I'm happy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Part 7, The Big Finish!!

You can get to part 7 HERE!

You know, with the snow storm that came through, I completely missed my opportunity to take any decent OUTSIDE pictures! and this is a big quilt. I was able to put it on the rack in my sunroom, which is NOT heated and was more like an ice box than a sun room at this point!

So here you see the front......and the back! The hanging sleeve is even made from the left over cut off parts of the backing after the quilt was quilted.....

I really REALLY love the back! Yes, it could have been a whole nuther quilt, but how many big Christmas quilts does one girl need? And this will travel alot better, two for one. I was happy to find a home for the house blocks that didn't fit in the "Welcome Home" quilt either. And you know what? I used lots LESS of the Christmas fabric I originally thought I'd find a home for too, so guess what...it can wait til next year!

It's been fun working on this with the snow falling outside the past couple of days. We've got the new wood stove fireplace insert installed and upstairs is toasty warm!

This has been a really fun mystery to run for ya'll....how bout we do it again, same time next year? :cD


I feel like a little kid on new skates for the first time, afraid to let go of the rail!

I'm now loading an older quilt top I finished years ago, and I'm going to quilt a simple pantograph on it. The thing that scares me the most? Broken threads & running out of bobbin! I'm so used to being able to just grab that machine by the handles and moving it off, or moving it back and starting where I left off, and now it all has to be directed by where I set the computer and it's a bit frustrating right now.

At the same time, it has put new life in my desire to continue long arm quilting as I go into 15 years of long arming. 1995 can't really be that long ago, can it? I guess it can!

I'm working on the directions for the pieced border for Carolina Christmas. It's about 1/2 done....I hope to get it uploaded by this evening, as last evening just didn't happen! My thoughts here are....get the quilt quilting, and in between, work on the pages for the border. Can I really multi-task this?

On top of everything else, we've been pounded with snow and it is sure beautiful out there! The sun is coming out, just making everything sparkle. Yes, it feels like Christmas in the Carolinas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pre-Orders Ready to Roll!

I'm sitting here waiting while my quilting machine is being fiddled with before training...

So..I put the link in the side bar for pre-ordering Adventures with Leaders & Enders!!

Go for it guys! It's going to be great! the book has 12 LARGE quilt patterns and all kinds of thoughts from my head ;c)

We Have A Cover!!!

I got my first look at the cover of "Adventures With Leaders & Enders" Yesterday! I am so tickled with how colorful it is! YES! This is just what I wanted!

I had sent in little extra 4 patches and 9 patches to be scattered about here and there through the book and some of them landed on the cover! You will notice that some of them are from the Carolina Crossroads mystery before it was put in the first book, those 9 patches with the one odd corner square might just belong to some of you who sent them in to me!

The book goes to the printer on Thursday. From there I will get to go over the proofs one last time before it goes to print....this is the part I love!

In the next few days I'll get my website updated and ready to take pre-orders. The price is the same as the Shirts & Scraptails book, $25.00 plus shipping. I'll also link to it in my side bar (Along with Forest Jane's mystery button!!)

On the counter top thing...this is the part I hate :c( Once the original counter tops were off we found that some additional leveling has to be done professionally, so we are on hold again. Someone should come either Saturday or Sunday, but until then I have no kitchen water, no sink....so it's still doing dishes in the bathtub, which wouldn't be bad except for the sliding glass door on the tub that gets in the way. It's okay. If I can't cook and can't wash dishes, I figure things will be free here for the next few days for me to concentrate on learning the basics of running the compu-quilter on my millenium! We got things hooked up yesterday, and I've been doing some practice lessons on the computer it is hooked to, but no actual stitching has been done yet. I did get some yuck fabric loaded so I can practice on something I don't care about. That will come today.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh What A ZOO!!!!

If good things come in Three's...I've got it in spades!

Counter tops come today. It's a good thing because the kitchen is all torn up, no running water in there, doing dishes in either the bathroom sink or the tub....reminds me of being newly weds. *LOL* (with plumbing in an apartment that was iffy at best)

On top of that, I got a call last night that the guy coming to install my compu-quilter to my Millenium is coming...TODAY!! AAUUGHHHH!!! The quilt studio is a disaster. I wanted to be up at 6 to clean it, to make room for what he needs, and I woke up at 8:20!! I know I must have needed the sleep, didn't sleep well the night before.....but still. Embarrassing to have anyone see this mess, it's been a catching ground for everything!

My book "Adventures With Leaders & Enders" is going to print THURSDAY!!!!! Still a few details being ironed out on that at last minute, including the fact that I haven't seen the cover yet and I'm supposed to spend time with my editor on the phone today going over last minute front matter elements? With the compu-quilter guy here and the counter top people?!? Hmmmmm it's going to be interesting to say the least.

I woke up to a lovely in my email this morning tho, Forest Jane has designed another lovely badge for those participating in the Carolina Christmas Mystery! You can right click and save this badge and upload it to your own website/blog. If you can, please link it to the intro page of Carolina Christmas at http://quiltville.com/carolinachristmas.shtml so people can click your badge to get to the page.

I better get going....wish there were some elves to come help me with all this stuff today!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Carolina Christmas, Part 6!

I just uploaded part 6....so you've got my layout there to look at, but many other layouts are possible depending what you decide to do with your blocks. Let your imagination run wild!

Part 7 will be the optional pieced border..be looking for that toward the weekend. Right now my kitchen is torn up because I have new counters being installed tomorrow. I've been gone a week and needless to say, this house needs help!!! *LOL*

You can find part 6 here!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quilting Progress..

I've finished quilting the baptist fans in the center of this orphan quilt! I haven't really touched it much since leaving Paris, but between the flight here to AZ, and the time I've had here to work on it in between other things..it's amazing how far you can get just a little bit at a time!

I'm now working on the borders. I don't know if you can see in the border pic that I am just echoing seam lines. Some of the strips get a line of quilting down the center, but if the strip is wide enough, it will get two lines. I'm just playing it by ear. The black inner border is going to get a simple zig zag.....

Yes, It's being quilted with red thread, and I love that you can see the little dots of colors here and there.

We've had a lovely time. Today the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. We even enjoyed a long walk in a nature area (sorry can't remember the name) and loved watching the ducks down by the pond and seeing the desert foliage, etc.

Dinner for my dad is tonight to celebrate his 70th. Tomorrow is the last day (sad) and I am headed home on Sunday!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hello from AZ!

I arrived yesterday after multitudinous airport delays!

We sat on the runway in Greensboro NC for 45 minutes because we were informed it was snowing in Chicago! Good thing I had the hand quilting with me :c) This pic is of the snow through my window upon landing. The only thing it doesn't show is how the snow was blowing SIDEWAYS!! :cP We sat here on the runway while they cleared stuff so we could get to our gate.

Once arriving in Chicago, I barely had time to get from F terminal to C terminal to catch my plane...walked right on board without having to stop and wait..they were already boarding.

Once buckled in, huffing and puffing, we were told we had to wait for the de-icer truck to make its way to us...and that took another 45 minutes! Let me tell you, we were lucky to get OUT of Chicago, in fact, when we landed in Phoenix, I overheard a gate lady telling several frustrated passengers that they were not going anywhere because Chicago had been closed down with nothing going in or out for more than 3 hours. Well, my flight was 3 hours 45 minutes, so I think that we were probably one of the last planes to leave O'Hare!

I met my brother's plane just as he was landing, a few gates down from mine. What a wonderful reunion! We were met by my dad down by baggage claim and off we went to go see my other brother at his office.

I'm having a wonderful reunion with my family. This pic is of my two brothers (both younger than me, yes I am the old one!) and my dad...the 4 of us have not been together at the same time in 7.5 years. Way too long.

Last night we all went to my nephew's high school choir Christmas Concert, and it was fabulous. A real family time of love and support. It was just what I needed to get me into the Holiday spirit.

I met my young niece, Ashley, who is 7 years old. The first time I got to hug and hold her and she is 7. Where do the years go? She has glued herself to my lap and my side, and my heart is full with being loved on by a little girl, a blessing that I have missed in my life since losing my daughter in infancy. I never let myself get too close to little girls because it hurt too much, but even that is healing as I spend this time with family.

And this is getting pretty long and deep, so I'm going to end it here and wish you all the same...the joy of loved ones around you, related or not. We're all on this journey together.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Step 5, Let The Blocks Begin!

It's up and ready folks. I've tried to keep things as simple as possible in this step, even fewer photos because the more photos I seem to put the more confused people get.

You can find step 5 HERE!
It is also linked at the bottom of part 4.

I am leaving in the morning to go visit family in AZ! I'm returning Sunday, the 13th....so you will have almost a week to finish step 5 before we move on to the layouts in step 6.

I will be unavailable to answer questions this coming week. There is however, a world wide wealth of knowledge on the quiltvillechat list so if you have any questions, instead of asking me personally, please direct them to the list! I'll check in when I can. There is a link to joining the list in my right sidebar! ---->

And here I am, hard hat and all....this afternoon my son Jeff and I went to go choose the granite slab that will be my new counter tops come Dec 15th! It's been a long time coming. The color is called Sapphire Jolie...nice, eh? I'm excited about the kitchen re-do, even if we have to do it just a little bit at a time, this step is a BIG one for me...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Part 4, Up and Ready!

I know some of you are ready for more sewing, and quite a lot of you are NOT! But remember, it's not a race. Part 4 is ready to roll! You can get to it HERE. It is also linked at the bottom of part 3 :c)

I'm feeling really tired today. No gym today. Just can't do it. I was going to do a yoga class, but after yesterday, I'm so sore I can't move! It wouldn't be a pretty sight.

I am excited! My friend Karen and I are going to go to the "First Friday" Art Gallery tour this evening! I'm meeting her down town at 4:30. Since moving here (almost 2 years ago, can you believe it?) I really haven't had the time to discover all the wonders of Winston Salem. At dinner the other night at the Thai place downtown, she mentioned all that was going on, and I jumped right on it! I don't have to be anywhere else....this sounds like fun!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Perched on the edge.....of 700!!!

I just peeked at my followers link in the side bar below...it's hidden pretty far down there, because having it higher up in the bar was causing some issues with people's IE.

Oh. My. GoOdNeSs!! You guys have put me at 699 followers!!! I am sitting here holding my breath until there are 700 of you...*turning various shades of blue...* (No not really)

I'm just thrilled! Thank you so much for reading my drivel, really. It's a treat to know you are there when there are most likely better more productive things you could (should?!) be doing! HA!

699 followers AND Susan Boyle in one day? Awesome!

I'm just about to do some sewing, getting the columns together. It's been a busy day. I met with my trainer at 8am, we are revising my workouts because I still can't run, jump, jar or otherwise POUND on my right ankle. We are heading to 3 months injured right now, and it is a bummer, but I have found that power walking does wonders...walking I'm fine. I can do the elliptical trainer, and increased my time on it from 15 minutes when I first started back, to 45 minutes yesterday..just adding 5 to 10 minutes additional each time. So that's my cardio.

After that, it was errand-girl! Sam's club for prescription drop off, another place for oil change and tire rotation...while that was being done I walked to the plaza up the street to get my hair trimmed, and by the time I was done, the car was ready (This is multitasking at it's best!) From there, I went to the car wash for a super deluxe in and out job to get rid of this year's road grunge from the travel. It sorely needed it! And nothing lifts my spirits more than a hair trim and a clean car all in the same day! A couple other errands rounded out my day, and I've been home since working on book stuff.

Several of you have commented that the Orphan Backing I've been working on for Carolina Christmas really could be a quilt in it's own right. I agree..it could!! But there are reasons I want it to be a back, for instance....it will get a photo op in the NEXT book as a cool backing. You know, some times I like to do things that have no pattern to them, just for eye inspiration. The backs in the Scraps & Shirttails book photographed really well, and people loved seeing them as I travel around with the quilts.

So this one, this crazy orphan backing, would be great to show as the quilts travel, without having to have TWO quilts to lug around, you know? Using this orphan collage as a backing gives it a tie in and extra added interest to more quilts made with recycled fabrics. I can also use recycled blocks!

So those are my reasons....inclusion as an "extra" in the next book, and less weight to travel, and good show-ability for trunk shows.

So what do you think now? Should it still be it's own quilt, or are you seeing my reasoning? :cD

Bawling My Eyes Out....

I just picked up Susan Boyle's album. The first track, Wild Horses, just opened flood gates!

I love this woman! She embodies everything I believe in and stand for. What a fabulous voice, what a wonderful story!

For those of us who have "Dreamed a Dream" and worked hard to get there, it's worth a listen!

I'm planning on getting step 4 for the mystery done tomorrow. That is if everything works out, I'm doing last go-through book edits at the same time trying to pull everything together there with my editor, the tech editor, myself, the graphic artist guy. Yes, I'm home....but I'm still working!

I leave Tues for AZ, so I hope step 5 will be ready on Monday before I go to bed. I return on Sunday, so there will likely be a week between step 5 and 6...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Considering Background Yardage...

I admit....this is the part that is hard for me. Figuring yardage when cut with specific rulers, etc. When figuring the background fabric, I didn't take into consideration the amount of background fabric that would result in "bonus triangles" or otherwise cut off and lost. I was just looking at the surface of the quilt and guesstimating. I did say in the yardage requirements that all yardages are "approximates". But that didn't cover my hiney enough.

At this point you are going to need to add to your your background fabrics for a total of 4 -1/4 yards. This much yardage just "sounded" like too much for me, but so much is lost in the bonus triangles from step 3. And it was pointed out to me in an email this morning that the squares from step 3 took 2 5/8 yards! I had used my background squares from my pre-cut 2.5" light squares bin for this step. I know not everyone has that bin to work out of!

Those of you working scrappy shouldn't have a problem. those of you with a particular background fabric, you are going to need more. This is a BIG quilt. With the borders it finishes at 96" square.

I am doing the borders as an optional step, and will write separate yardage requirements for the pieced border hopefully this evening. If you want to plan to use the same background fabric in the pieced border as well, add another 3/4 yard for a total of 5 yards background there for good measure. Better too much than not enough?

There is one more block step in step 4 that requires some background fabric. And the borders require some more background fabric....all else is the main fabric colors and amounts given should be sufficient for them.

I hope this doesn't trip too many people up. Maybe this is an opportunity to pull in a variety of fabrics into your quilt making, one of the main reasons I go scrappy!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Part 3, Red & Ready!

I just finished uploading part 3 of the Mystery. You can reach it here!

I had a bit of round a bout with my ftp program...some how files got renamed the same as other files (they were numbered files) and it rewrote some..so all of a sudden I had pictures that weren't the pictures I was supposed to have..pictures went missing when they were written over by others, so AUUGHHH! It's been a bit of a bru-haha over here. I think I've got it straightened out, and I sent out a call for help, if anyone has the first picture in Step 1, of the gold strips with the neutral strips and the strip set being sewn through the machine? I need that .jpg file if you have it!!

Someone emailed a bit befuddled because "they" thought that the steps were going to be once a week or farther apart and she was already falling behind. Some wanted them on the hour, every hour! Some thought it was every day! I said a couple weeks ago that there would be 2 steps per week. That means a step about every 3 days, and I am keeping with that.

And don't worry...if you can't keep up...it's not a race! You can click to the next step when you are ready, you don't have to try to keep up with other people. Breathe, Live...and click the link when you are ready.

I had a call from the guy who is installing my Compu-Quilter..He'll be here around the time I get back from Arizona, so you can see what irons I've got in the fire...along with new counter tops coming? I have got to do these steps as they fit into my schedule, and I know I can't please half the people half the time, so you will just have to bear with what I can do, okay?

I'm still getting emails from people who want directions to make it smaller. I'm sorry, but there isn't time for math and recalculating. You can easily wait another week or two and see what the outcome is, and then decide how you want to resize it to fit your purposes, deal? Thanks for understanding!

Some people have not been able to get their printers to cooperate. You can easily copy and paste from the webpage into a word document to make things fit on the page how you want them. Try that, you can make it fit your own needs that way by omitting pictures, text or whatever. It's easy. I can't help it if not everyone's printers are the same, there are too many variables for monitor settings, printer settings, page settings, etc.

I'm off to bed..it's been a long day!

Sneak Preview!

Well! I'll have you know my whole day went out the window!

That is.....I stayed home and sewed and the other things I was supposed to do....just will have to wait for another day.

When the muse strikes, you have to run with it, right? And OH, what a delightful mess I've made in the quilting room today! A red and green bomb truly went off....

I've got the columns laid out...this is the office/sunroom floor, in other words, DH-land. And he's just going to have to put up with quilt backing columns on the floor for a bit, because there is no where else in the house big enough to lay this stuff out! Lucky enough I can close the double doors and keep the dogs and cats out of there from rearranging things.

Speaking of which....Oscar is doing FINE! The antibiotics have seemed to have cleared everything up, and I'm really really happy to say he is back to normal. He's been really really lovey and cuddly and purr purr purr...so I think in his own cat way he is saying THANKS, I feel better now. >^..^<

The next step for me is to trim all the columns to the same length...No just sewing sewing sewing and then lopping off the extra at the end. These all need to be the same so I don't end up with troubles when I load it to quilt it..

But before I do that....it's time for dinner...and I really REALLY ought to clean up the mess around the quilting room before I try to machine these long columns together....(but I don't wanna...)

Besides, after dinner I have plans to finish writing step 3 of the Mystery! Cleaning can come AFTER that, right?