Sunday, October 30, 2005

Quilt progress! Just binding left..

Trying to upload 3 pics at once! Other people seem to be able to do multiple pics in a post, but I've never been able to get them the way I want before!

Here are shots of my Random Ohio Stars quilt..all that is left to do is the binding and I hope to do that tonight. I played with borders and decided on blue....green was too green, as there are alot of green stars already in the quilt. Remember, these large blocks were gifted to me by friends on an email list, and they didn't know what each other would send, but I guess they all thought green and cheddar (which I love....so it is kinda funny!) Blue just seemed to even out everything. I tried green in the borders and it was too overwhelmingly green. Red made it look like a christmas quilt...so I went with the medium blue inner border and the indigo outer border and I like how it cooled everything down.

I have one more quilt to do for the drawing next week. Gotta dig through some UFO blocks and see what I want to finish. There is a psuedo-pinapple I know I started...it uses 2" strips, and then you sew 3.5" triangles across the digaonal on the corners to give it the pineapple-geese-in-the-corners look. I need 20 12" blocks or so to make a lap size so I think that's a good candidate to work with.

I recieved an email asking me to display some of my quilts in the state guild show....It's a month long show at the Aiken historical museum, and I guess because my quilts 'look old'..they think they would be a great addition to the museum. Isn't that great? Usually stuff is pretty contemporary, at least the last show I attended was, so I guess they are trying to even out the displays a bit. I'll take some over there this afternoon. Aiken is a bit over an hour drive, so that will take up most of what I am going to do this afternoon.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

So you want to see the quilts?

I swiped the pics from Kim's blog at dogquilter.blogspot.com. She remembered her camera....I didn't! The Irish Chain was the best machine quilting award with the faux trapunto, and the ocean waves was the best piecing award. What was funny with the ocean waves was the fact that while they were hanging the quilt, they found a PIN quilted inside! OH MY!! Luckily they were able to get the shaft out and separated it from the ball, but now there is a pin head ball floating around in the inside of the quilt, completely encapsulated inside a feather. :cD

Monday, October 24, 2005

Back in the Saddle...Again!

I must be crazy with all that is going on....but you know for the last two terms, I've presented graduates at school with lap quilts. The last term I took all the graduate's names and had someone draw two names to "win" the quilts. So here I am with my own graduating class and it's been eatting at me that I don't have anything for my OWN class! What can I do quickly and clear out some UFO blocks at the same time?

I recieved these 12" Ohio Star blocks when I moved here to SC from an online email list that I am on. I had toyed with the idea of making 6" blocks to go in with the 12" blocks and started making them, but to make it bed sized I was going to have to make a bunch more 12" blocks, and oodles of 6" blocks.....I got started, but it of course got way-laid as I got interested in things that were more interesting.. :c)

This morning I pulled these out...this is how many 12" Ohio stars were already done, and I also had a stack of the 6" ohio stars, and even the shirting alternate plain blocks were cut. I just started laying them out on the floor. I think if I add borders I can quilt this simply, with some all over design and it would be perfect for a graduation quilt for one of my classmates! I've got some other blocks I can also dig through to come up with another one, or I can always throw together a lap sized Yellow Brick Road in no-time flat and that will clear out some fun fabrics and I'll be able to carry on the tradition of graduation-quilt-giving with my OWN class.


Show Ribbons...

I wanted to post a pic of the show ribbons....they are SO great. I can't believe the amount of work that went into these, it was way above and beyond what you normally see for show ribbons. They are machine embroidered with the guild name..Pieceful Hearts Quilters, and that is inset into a pieced dresden heart block, which is the guild's logo. It's funny, because the guild name tag is ALSO this same pieced dresden heart, and instead of name tag, because of it's size...it is known as the official 'Breast Plate'. *LOL* Down the center streamer of the ribbon is the award. Mine were "Best Machine Quilting" and "Best Piecing"

Two weeks from friday!!

I'm still counting down to Nov 11th....Graduation day!

This last weekend was the North Augusta quilt show....I won two ribbons! I got best machine quilting, and best machine piecing on two different quilts. I was quite pleased and amazed because they were both traditional quilts, and the guild shows in the past have really leaned more heavily towards awarding the more arty and contemporary quilts the big awards like that.

My new love is my MP3 player! I should have gotten one with more storage space on it, but I never thought that I'd want more than 5 or 6 hours worth of playing time. I've been getting books on CD at the library and putting them onto my MP3 player! DH is teasing me about always having those things in my ears now.......when I take the dog for a walk, or do things like mop the floor, vaccum....I am listening to the books on CD! Awesome. I'm getting down towards the end of "The Davinci Code" And I love how the guy who's narrating it does it with all different accents for all the different charactors. It's definately more fun than trying to read it myself.

Today I'm getting my HAIR CUT. I haven't had a hair cut or style really in years and years. It's just been long and tied back. A gal I go to school with is also a hair dresser, and she begged me to let her play with my hair and update my look a bit, so I'm game. I'm just feeling the need to try something a bit different in that department, but nothing too drastic. Maybe a bit of highlights and some layers. I also want to check out a new make-up line or something. Update my colors in that department too.

I'm in the last compartment of muscles that I need to memorize the origins and insertions to. I see the finish line ahead of me as soon as I get these 15 muscles memorized......YES! Talk about light at the end of the tunnel. The test on them is wednesday, and I took the muscles and broke them down into groups and am concentrating on one group at a time and then will put the groups together and test myself on them all before the test wednesday. It's a 'blank paper' test.....all you get is blank paper and a pen or pencil. The instructor orally gives you the name of the muscle, one at a time, and you have to write the name down, and then write the origin and insertion. Then the part I hate.....he shuffles the papers around, hands them back randomly and we have to 'grade' our fellow student's papers. These 'blank paper' tests are 10% of the test grade for the chapter....So either this 'blank paper' test can HELP your test grade, or HURT it, depending on how you do. Talk about stress. Major. But this is it....the last 'blank paper' test I'll have to take!


Thursday, October 13, 2005

A bit faded, but fun!

Here is a pic of a Halloween Kaleidoscope I made several years ago. I chose the kaleidoscope pattern because just the shape of the pieces reminded me of candy corn! It was made for a guild challenge....there is a blue halloween print in there that has pumpkins and owls and spooky trees and leaves, and the challenge was to use it in a quilt. I love the interplay with kaleidoscope patterns, they just keep your eyes moving back and forth and over the quilt.

The other halloween fabrics inlude candy corn (outer border) witches, brooms, bats, ghosts and haunted houses, black cats, crescent moons with witch sillouettes flying across them, spiders and spider webs! The back is also a halloween print with ghosts, bats, pumpkins, cats and big purple letters that say BOO....with spooky eyes where the holes in the B's and O's are :c)

Jeff's surgery was last friday. Everything went fine, but they did have to open up the hand to pin the bones back in place. He's been a real trooper about it, the funniest thing being the fact that he can't get that arm wet, so I have had to bathe him in my big garden tub! Of course this means that he was taking a bath in his SHORTS because heaven forbid a 15 yr old be seen by his mother, or his father for that matter....

Since getting him home I have been cramming on school work, and trying to get caught up on customer quilts that really seem to pile up this time of the year. Even if I've scheduled them what I thought was far enough apart, never fear, when you are scheduling something several months in advace, it never fails that life is going to take turns that you can in no way expect. The machine can break down, kids get sick or need surgery, you end up having to go out of town, or spend 3 weeks quilting refugee quilts because you feel that is more important than anything. Throw my own school into the mix and it's been a very tough year to keep to a schedule!

One lady who's quilts were a few weeks late told me "I thought you were a professional business woman" when I told her what was going on in my life and that her quilts would be delayed a bit longer. I decided right then to send her quilts back to her so she could find someone else more to her liking. A quilt for her wall (that had already waited over 30 years) didn't seem as important to me as quilts for refugees. And maybe I was wrong in making that decision, but I have to go with my heart. I'm not a machine, and quilting isn't a matter of pushing the button to start the machine, and let it quilt itself while I go do everything else that needs doing down here. I know there are people with Statler Stitchers who do just that....computer program quilting where they can push a button and go do something else until a bobbin runs out, but that's just not how my quilting goes. And I guess I can't please everyone all the time. That is a hard fact of life to face when I try so desparately hard to do that...please everyone all the time.

After today I have only FOUR WEEKS of school left!! Whhhheeeeeehha! But in those 4 weeks are going to be alot of pressure, tension, stress and EXAMS out of my ears as this all wraps up. My Dad and Step Mom are coming to town for my graduation, and being as I haven't seen my Dad in a few years (relationship strain, but working on it) I have that hanging over my head too. Carpets need cleaned desparately!! How do I fit that in? Does anyone have any recommendations besides renting the "rug doctor"?? Anyone have their own machine that would be worth purchasing? Or should I just call Stanley Steamer and pay a fortune but have someone else do it for me??

Fall weather has finally come to SC this past week and it has been AWESOME being able to walk outside without sweating up a storm. I've been able to move my walk/jogging to mid-afternoon which works better for me in my schedule....this is definately my favorite time of the year!


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The next day....more broken finger saga!

Thanks everyone for letting me vent. Sometimes I don't know how to fit it all in, and I really haven't done any sewing of my own for what feels like weeks now. Auuugh. I am literally too tired, and uninspired! How can that be?

Dave took Jeff to the orthopedic doc while I was at school this morning. That orthopedic doc referred him out to another orthopedic surgeon, and Jeff is scheduled for surgery on friday. Right now he is in a plastic brace thing, it hasn't slowed him down at all, go figure. That's why I didn't take him in to the doc on last friday, because he could use all his fingers, he said it didn't hurt, just looked swollen.

They are going to try to do the fixing with wires using flouroscopy (live xray) to see if they can maneuver the bones back in place without having to make incisions. I know they can do really cool things with that, where before you used to just have to "open them up and see what is in there" to fix anything. Hopefully that will work. They are going to just do a local on his arm, he won't have to be fully anesthetized. If the wires and flouroscopy don't work, they will have to go in and open the hand up and pin the metacarpals. Jeff doesn't seem phazed by this at all? I'll be taking him in to the hospital on friday morning, it's an outpatient proceedure, so hopefully we'll be back sometime in the afternoon.

The test went great, inspite of all of this, and Jeff can be IN SCHOOL tomorrow since his surgery isn't until friday, and tomorrow his job is to pick up the assignments from what he missed yesterday and today, and plan for assignments for at least friday and maybe monday. I don't think he understands that although it doesn't hurt NOW, it won't feel so good after the surgery!

On *MY* side, I've got a dentist appt to fix a broken molar that has a hole in the crown, and a cervical exam on monday, one in the morning and one in the afernoon...guess they will be getting both ends of me on the same day! *LOL*


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Day from (*&@#$(*&!!

What a DAY! I had to pick Jeff up this morning from school at 10:30, because his sinuses were turning to sinus infection/bronchitis.

I go in the car to meet Dave at 12:30 at my school (Kind of a half way point between his work and home) so he can give me insurance papers to verify that we have insurance for a doctor's appt I had made for jeff this afternoon.

I come back, pick up Jeff and take him to his doctor at 2:20.

The doctor gives him a prescription for his bronchitis and sinus infection, and takes a look at his hand and says she wants to have xray!!! Last week Jeff got mad and punched a wall at school....

So off we go to drop the prescriptions off at the pharmacy first so they can be getting ready while we go to Xray. Xray tells us to please wait while they call the doctor....I'm not feeling very good by this point!

They tell us that Jeff will need to see an orthopedist, so I know something with his hand is not good. But I am to call the orthopedist in the morning.

Off I go to the pharmacy to pick up medications, (and the insurance works and the bill was so much better than without insurance, so that is the good part!) and while there, the cell phone rings and it is the pediatrician's office saying that we need to see the orthopedist at 8:20 tomorrow morning, and to bring the xrays....

I called Dave....HE will have to take Jeff to the orthopedist because I have a test at school at 8:30 and I can't miss it! He is okay with this......

So I go back and get the xrays to take to the orthopedist in the morning. Oh....I take them out in the car and look and two of his fingers.... his 4th and 5th..the metacarpals inside his hand are very plainly broken! All this because he got mad and punched a wall at school. And I am so happy that insurance began to cover us october 1st! It's like all this stuff has been waiting to hit us as soon as we got insurance coverage!

Looking at the xrays (I used to work in the xray department at the hospital before Jeff was born) I will be VERY suprised if they don't have to put pins in to put the metacarpals back together. :c( But I'm not going to think of that now. Dave can deal with that while I am taking my test. I will check in with him on my breaks, etc, and then we will deal with what we have to do as it happens.

So now that I'm home? I just ordered pizza to be delivered for dinner. It's the end of a very long day and I still didn't get the customer quilt done that is on the machine.....I may have customers screaming at me, but I'm doing all I can, and right now quilts are not a life or death (or surgery) situation, but my family is!


Monday, October 03, 2005

I just got a packet in the mail from a customer, and I couldn't figure out what it might be until I opened it!

A blue rosette ribbon and some pictures of the quilt I quilted for her!

You know what, I think that the times they are a changin' and more and more people are aware of what weight the quilting has as a part of an award winning quilt!

My customer's note says:

"Look what I got for my quilt! A blue ribbon! I talked them out of a duplicate for you. After all, you helped me get it. It's all together fitting and proper. I sent some pictures of the quilt to go with your ribbon. Enjoy your ribbon, I'm going to enjoy mine."

Sometimes, something like this just makes your day! I can just see her demanding a second rosette so she can send one to me..*LOL* Posted by Picasa