Thursday, August 31, 2006

a nice surprise

Look what I got today!! And no, I wasn't a bad girl and break my vow to not buy fabric in August. My dear friend sent this to me to thank me for helping her this summer with lesson plans and EQ5 help. What a total unexpected surprise. And it's almost like a reward for sticking to my vows. :) Thanks, M, you're a doll!

The one on the left is a new Kaffe Fasset, always a favorite of mine and the other is from Amy Butler, another favorite.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A couple more days, but I'll make it

I'll make it to my goal and I've earned my star! Gee, I'm just like my kids who used to do anything to earn a star. Thanks Vicky, our fearless leader! thanks Nancy for the tutorial on getting it onto our site. I was having a brief brain fart here. I ended up saving the image and then pulling it from that. But I see now where you can pull it from another website. I never do that because it increases the bandwidth on their site. Maybe this is different. As you can tell, I know enough to make me dangerous! What I really have problems with is getting pictures in my template where you can't copy and paste.

Challenge updates

Here is the start of my X's and O's--part of Tonya's challenge. They are going to be part of my Quilt Pink quilt, so I just had to make samples. I'm going to have the non-quilter's make the 4-patches and the quilter's learn Tonya's technique to make the x's and o's. I am putting a center block in with a vase of flowers and will put a flower in the vase for each person that has succumbed to Breast cancer/ or have survived. So, if you have a name you would like me to add, please feel free to email me. I love the black background that I chose for sashing (I will fussy cut them so all the words are going the same way--I was just trying to get a feel for how it would look). The words on the fabric say: "Creative Hands Touch Hearts" and I think it fits our theme very well.
This is part of Judy's one-hour challenge. I have been sewing at least 4-5 hours a day, but on other things. I'm trying to squeeze this one in too. I like the looks of it, although the fabrics don't thrill me very much. But I'll be proud to donate this one to someone.

This is my sewing room as I am sitting at my machine. The design wall is on the right, the pink wall is my walk-in closet filled with fabric--along with the ironing center/wire baskets. You can partly see my tubs under the work table filled with scraps. I have two drawer units with scraps that are already cut into strips. I found a neat site that had all kinds of people's sewing rooms. It's called Real Sewing Rooms. I added the link of my studio to it, but I don't think it's on there yet. There were some awesome rooms, with a couple of professional quilters and then some really messy ones, and then the tiny rooms that cleverly managed to get it all in. Quite fun to be a peeping tom.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


When I stopped at the Post Office on Friday, the Postmaster could hardly wait to show me the NEW quilt stamps that are now out. The Quilts of Gee's Bend are now available. He was a little short supplied on Friday, so I could only get one booklet. Apparently sales are down, and they are limited on how much inventory they are allowed to have. The Postmaster is quite the "take me back to Mayberry" kind of guy. I got to know him real well during the Y2K days (anybody remember those days?). I was in there a LOT! He finally asked me what was going on and when I told him, he wanted to be in my quilt! So, the next time I went in, he postmarked and signed his name on a "siggy" block and he is now immortalized in my first Y2K quilt (yes, I did more than one).

But I got at least my "frameable" set. Although I might need to get two, as they only come in the little booklets now and I would need two to show both sides. That's kind of a bummer. I found my sheet from?? (whenever the stamps were 34 cents--like last year or something! LOL) I have the old sheet of the basket stamps, but I can't quite put my hands on it at the moment. I put them in a VERY safe place. And if anyone knows me at all, they know they are even safe from ME! I'd like to frame them all together.

commercial break...

I have lots to share, it seems like it's been so long since I've been in blogger land and it's only been less than a week. But as things happen daily, I think..."I should talk about this..or this.." How many others do that too? I'd be on here all day posting things and not out experiencing life, so I guess I won't share EVERY little ole thing that comes into my head! But since my life is all about quilting--it's easy to think of so many things. But now time out for a commercial break....I watched both daughter's separate times...this week. They sure do light up our lives! My Cutie Pie started kindergarten this past week and of course I had to go take pictures. She was so ready! Hmmm, my drag and drop doesn't work today...I hope I don't have to go back and start figuring out how I want my pictures to show up, like last first, etc!

my Open House

Swing outside my studio. My husband asked what I was doing when I was putting the quilt out there. I told him I was going to start decorating the outside of my house with quilts too!

Whew! What a week! I own a quilt studio where I teach quilt classes and host retreats. I am not a retail store as I didn't want to have the hours and responsibility of a daily store operation (although the appeal of ALL the fabric would have been great!). Anyhoo--I kick off my fall season with an open house/Quilt Show--featuring my quilts over the past year as well as my students--and this year I just couldn't do it. My front yard has been torn up all summer (we added a new Front porch), and my back problems prevented me from getting hardly anything done this year. So, I just had an Open House and showed the new class samples for the upcoming season. I considered not even having that and no classes this fall due to the continuing uncertainy of my back. But I would miss it way too much, so I thought I might as well forge ahead and deal with any problems with my back as they occur.( UPDATE: I keep hoping the pain/tingling will just go away! LOL My first epidural steroid injection took my pain from a 10 to a 3--which is a VERY good thing. But the tingling and nagging pain still exist. I'm currently trying ANOTHER medicine to see if that will stop the tingling. NADA..So I don't know where we go from here, but surgery is looking more and more like it's going to be what takes care of it. )
okay, back to my point.. I have been working hard the last few weeks making samples for classes I'm offering this fall. Only one didn't get completed--so that's not too bad. I am offering 21 classes, 3 PJ Quilt Parties and one retreat. Plus I'm doing Quilt Pink Day. I had a nice turnout with lots of class sign ups, so that's good. Now I hope I don't need to cancel any due to surgery.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

quick report on retreat

The retreat was a blast--as I expected it would be. Lots of laughing, sewing, eating, gabbing, watching Michael Buble and little sleeping. Oh well..there's always time for that later! Update on my pj's- it wasn't the front of my jammies that were upside down, it was correct on one leg and wrong on the other--on both sides! sheesh! I figured out what I did. When I folded my fabric so it would be going the right way--duh, I folded it in half--guess what the other half did? yep, went upside down. So I didn't place my pattern piece wrong, I folded it wrong! You can tell it's been a while since I've sewn clothing! Oh well--just made for more fun--talking about how goofy I am!
I've been busy getting my class samples done for my Open House at my Studio this weekend, since I didn't get 15 done at the retreat! :) Just kidding--I didn't have that many to do, but more than I should at this time. I'll just do what I can and can the rest! So, I'm sewing more than one hour a day--just not on Judy's quilt. I'll pick that back up next week. In the meantime...back to work....I love it that my work is quilting! *G* The first one is our group picture, (I'm in the middle) minus one person. By the time she showed up, one of the others had already crashed. And then we decided that after a long weekend, we didn't look so good to take another picture.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ostrich Challenge

Here is my center block for the Ostrich Challenge. It's a leftover block from a quilt I made by Karen Stone and is 18" square. I hope that's not too big. It's been on my design wall for 1 1/2 years, and I think it's aged long enough and it told me it didn't want to be a pillow. Thanks Kim for letting me join in on the fun!

PS..was still having trouble loading pictures and I decided to download Firefox's browser and try it--voila!


I'm doing pretty well on my 1-Hour challenge. (These aren't ironed yet.) I hesitated to post my picture because everyone is using such pretty fabric. I went one step further and am using scraps. I found 144 HST's, almost the right size. I use these even if they are fairly plain? Or cut into my pretty stash, gulp! I opted to preserve my stash a little bit longer and use those scraps up, I mean it was a sign that they were the right size, wasn't it? So, mine aren't as pretty as everyone else's, but someone will love it. I don't know how long this 1 Hour Challenge is going to last, but I plan on making that my Charity Hour. That way I'll be sure to get things done for charity. I do plan on using "prettys" too for charity. I don't want think people to think I'm just giving away all the uglies. But I'm halfway done with the blocks. I'm doing the 24 block quilt.

On the Take the Leap Challenge by Tonya, I haven't started making mine yet. But I will. And I plan on using my X's and O's for a Breast Cancer charity quilt. My Quilt Studio is one of the locations that will be participating in Quilt Pink Day and I plan on using these in all pinks/whites for that quilt. It's not until Sept. 30.

Sitting in the corner with the dunce cap on...

I'm hiding in the corner right now, feeling quite the dunce actually. I hate to admit it, especially to all that wanted to know where I got my fabric (at JoAnn's, btw) but when I was making my pajama bottoms, I caught myself almost making them with the flamingos going sideways! Patting myself on the back, I proceeded to re-fold the fabric and cut them out so they are going the right way. Well, kind of. The back of the pants is correct. The front of the pants??? well.....they are going the right way for ME to see them! Meaning, I turned my pattern around and now they are upside down to everyone else! I thought about crying, but that won't fix it. Hmm, my options:
1. go get more fabric. Nope, can't do that. I bought the last of the bolt for one and secondly, I am in a fabric Depression and no fabric buying allowed.
2. ditch the whole thing and not make them. Nope, I REALLY wanted flamingo jammies.
3. Make them shorter? duh, like that is magically going to turn those babies around? silly, I know, but it briefly crossed my mind. I mean when you are desperate- you HAVE to think of ALL the options. Okay, so that wasn't an option...
4. sew them like they are and tell everyone I did it on purpose because I wanted to see my flamingos too--they would just have to look at my back end if they wanted to see them correctly.
What did I choose? #4--I figured what the heck....we are going for semi-tacky as it is...yeah..that's it--that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Ah, the messes I get myself into...and sadly blogger tried really hard to post my picture--but I think the guy inside my computer that puts those pictures up was laughing so hard at my jammies, he hit the wrong now all of you just have to use your imagination...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lead us not into temptation...

Halfway through the Great Fabric Depression! I was priding myself on doing great, not even thinking about buying fabric! Well, there was a little bitty episode last week when I was cutting out a quilt for a class sample and I thought I had all the fabric. I didn't and my first thought was to run out and buy some. No, this is where I'm supposed to be creative and use what I have. Well, what do you know? I had fabric that matched, only not enough so I have to use a couple of different pieces. Okay, not bad, I can do this. Uh oh--no black flannel! I HAVE to have it for this pattern--or do I? I'm still pondering that one on how to make snowmen hat out of black Kona cotton and make it look a little more dimensional.

Last night was the doozy though. I also teach at JoAnn's super store and had a class last night. Now normally I can breeze in and out of there, not having time to look at fabric. But no, last night was the rotary cutting class and then I lead them to the fabric areas to teach them a little bit about choosing fabric. I buy JoAnn's fabric for backings and wouldn't you was 40% off and I get an additional discount on top of that! and they have all this new stuff....I looked and thought about it, but I was strong..hear me roar! LOL

I guess it's easy to be good when you are no where NEAR a store and have that temptation--the struggle begins when you have to be around it! I wish I had this good of willpower when dieting!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Happy Days

What a glorious, perfect weekend! It was sunny, blue skies, pleasant temperatures, no humidity, what more could you ask for? And to make it better, my hubby didn't work the whole weekend! He owns his own business and is generally a workaholic, but he ended up with free time! Yeah! We painted all our green shutters, doors and trim black. Not only did it freshen everything up, it changed the look of our house! AND it only took us Sat. AM to do most of it! We have a few more small things to do, but for the most part, it's done! We went porch furniture shopping, but not too much luck. We should have been doing that in May! Oh well, next year. Yesterday was spent biking (as in motorcycle)and visiting with friends. Just an overall pleasant day.

My picture is called "Happy Sunflower"--no real reason except it just makes me happy to look at it, hence the name. I was asked to enter some quilts into an Art show at our local University a couple of years ago and have them for sale. Well, I didn't have anything small enough, so came up with some wallhangings. This is one that didn't sell, but I'm glad, because I liked it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

getting ready for the Flamingo Lounge retreat

Flamingo Lounge is done, but I doubt if I get it quilted before our retreat. I sure hope all those wrinkles quilt out! LOL That' s the biggest applique that I have done yet. I think it will quilt out, I was able to smooth out the wrinkles, but wanted to get the picture. I sure had fun doing Tonya's letters! I'm anxious to try many, many more! By the way, many were curious about the pattern. It's called "It's a Zoo in Here" by Marilyn Dorwart. I checked her website and it said it's closed. I bought the pattern at a quilt shop in Pawley's Island, SC, Island Threads. I know they have more, or at least they did.

This is what I'm contributing towards the cause. I had the black T-shirts with pink lettering made. I came up with the design and had them embroidered. Too cute! The pink boas (which are actually that poodle haired fleece torn in strips!) are going to be used every time we take a stretching break. When I turn on the Mambo music, everyone has to put on their boa and we'll do a mambo line around the room. Corny, I know,but it gets everyone up and moving. I can't sit for very long yet, so it will be good for me too. I made place cards for everyone and embroidered the top of the pincushion/threadcatcher bags we are going to make. (I have the pattern on my website). I also found flamingo fabric to make my pajama bottoms. Taking pink and white candles and of course, my beanie baby Flamingo. We have found a lot of cute things we could do, but the cost makes it prohibitive. If anyone has any ideas, let me know!

Our theme started to be doing everything in pink/black/white. Somewhere along the way, we added the flamingoes to the mix. So now it's gotten zany! All of our tableware is going to be pink--someone found pink toilet paper and we are on the quest for any pink food!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

how do I

get the picture that Kim created about the no fabric buying in the sidebar? I tried to copy and paste it in the code--but since it wasn't in code, it wouldn't go in. Then I noticed that Vicky has hers in her profile picture, but we have to link it to a URL. I thought I knew more, but again, have been proven wrong! If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it! :) And since we all like to look at quilt pictures, here is one I didn't get to post from SC. I made this with a friend. I vividly remember taking forever in the quilt store trying to assemble all the fabrics. So even if the fabric has no memories in itself, the quilt as a whole will always bring back fond memories.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Missing pictures

This is the Flamingo Lounge quilt that I'm working on for our retreat. I have to add the black part of the beaks and my funky border. My mom wanted to know why I'm doing so much work on a quilt just to display at the retreat? who knows--cuz I thought it was fun? I might even host a retreat for my students with that theme. You can kind of see her quilt that's on the bed. It's not close to being done, so will post that when it's done. I let her sew on my Featherweight. I still guide her hands, but she is now doing the foot pedal. She loved it--and thought that machine was meant for her. It's so cute and so small, she didn't feel intimidated by it at all.

This is my precious little granddaughter carefully cutting out designs to add to her quilt. She is ready to go to the pool, as you can see. She has her swimsuit and goggles on so we can leave at a moment's notice! And now she is showing off her missing teeth. Hard to believe she is only going to start kindergarten and has lost 5 teeth already! She had a late birthday, so missed the deadline last year to go. She is MORE than ready to go.

Fun in the Sun

**blogger isn't playing nice and won't post my pictures--I'll post them later**

what a whirlwind these last 2 weeks have been. I came home from SC with a friend, we played in my studio in the morning and then I took her to some quilt shops (yes, I bought some--but that was in JULY!), my parents came in the next day, was at my daughter's graduation party the entire next day, went to my other daughter's birthday party and then left with my dh, dd and dgd for SC again. We started another quilt for her, a strippy quilt with darling cats. She is cutting out designs from a coordinating fabric to make new strips. We tried to work every morning after my bike ride and before we went swimming. It's hard for a 5 year old to concentrate too long on quilting (which she loves) when the pool or beach is calling her name. As you can see by her attire, she was ready to go! She really is good though--although quite strong in her opinions on how things should be. She certainly has a strong will! :) I was trying to show her balance in design, but she had her own ideas on where to place the objects, and since it's her quilt, I let her do her own thing. I vacillate between teaching her about design, balance, color, etc. and letting her do whatever her little creative heart desires. That's what wins out every time. After all, it's her quilt--and what are rules anyway? I'd rather encourage her to be creative and do things that make her happy and learn the "rules" later. If she wants to cut a cat up to get a design element out of it--so what? I thought that was very creative. She saw something in one of the cats that she wanted and so she cut it up. I love her creativity and willing to do anything. I hope she doesn't ever lose that part of her.

I did get to work a little bit each night on my Flamingo Lounge quilt. Our Friday night quilt group is having our summer retreat in a few weeks and I'm helping the hostess with this year's theme--"Welcome to the Flamingo Lounge". We have lots of fun stuff planned and when I saw this quilt, I knew I had to make it. I am changing the borders and making some of Tonya's free form letters.

Obviously I didn't get much computer time at all. So I have spent a good deal of time this morning catching up on everyone. Looks like quite a few are playing the "No new fabric for August" game and even going the extra step with Nancy in not buying ANY quilting things. I've done good so far. :) Okay, it's not hard when you are playing the whole time with a 5 year shopping and no internet time. But I know I can do it. I have gone months sometimes without buying, so when I DO buy, I make up for lost time! Oh, I did stop at a quilt store to get a little gizmo to change my light bulb in my sewing machine. What an ordeal that has been. Only 2 months after having my machine serviced (and supposedly he replaced the light bulb), it went out. I live about 1-1 1/2 hours from the dealer, so it's not an easy thing to go get one. I finally made it down there after sewing with the OTT Lite right next to me for 2 months. When I got home, it was the wrong one! So, I made another trek back a few weeks later, only to be told they don't carry the one I want (hmmm, why didn't they tell me that the first time and give me the wrong one?), and if I paid in advance and paid shipping, they would send one to me after they ordered it. I told them I didn't think I should have to pay shipping, it was their mistake they gave me the wrong one and it just cost me $20 in fuel to return it! I told them to forget it, there is a quilt shop on my way to SC, so conveniently located less than 5 minutes off the interstate. They are also a Pfaff dealer, so that's what I did. Got the bulb home, and now cannot get it in! GGGRRRR! So, I called them to find out the trick and they told me it really is easier with the "light bulb inserter". Okay, so stopped again and got it. I haven't tried it yet. Sorry, just got WAY off track, but it reminded me WHY I had to stop at the quilt store. And my point is....I didn't buy fabric....and they have such nice stuff. But didn't even look. *grin*