Monday, September 25, 2006

More of Mona's quilts

Another one of Mona's quilts...she found a Moda tin with 5" squares in it at a clearance sale, and added some of her own fabrics and purchased a few more. The green with white polka dots on her journal page is actually a sheet she found at Goodwill! She is going to machine quilt it, so no problem. Boy, I never find such neat things there. I helped her baste the quilt to get it ready for machine quilting. She'll do it herself on her Pfaff. I love this quilt! I do think she is related to me! She claims that she's my long lost twin and we were separated at birth. After long discussions, we have discovered many things we have in common.

Ostrich Challenge--Round One

I finally finished Round One of the Ostrich Challenge. I had it started before my cousin arrived, and then worked on it yesterday. I thought the challenge was "don't box me in", but when I went back to check on it, it was "Boxed In". My original thought was to do the little boxes on just two sides of the block, but added them all the way around when I realized what the challenge really stated. Thanks Kim for the great challenge.

Catching up

Mona and Dale showing one of her first quilts. She cut apart a sheet that had embroidered feathers and used fabric that she had in her stash.

Wow, what a whirlwind 10 days! My cousin, Mona, who prior to this past summer's brief visit in Colorado, and I had not seen each other in 27 years, when our two of our children were less than a year old. After having dinner this past summer, we realized we had a LOT to catch up on. So, her and her pool boy husband, (sorry Dale, just had to mention that) drove all the way out from Colo. to do 27 years of filling in the blanks! And boy, did we ever! Mona has always been a seamstress, since a young girl, but focused mainly on clothing and home dec, including making custom slipcovers. ewww! After meeting me this summer, she and her daughter decided to check out the quilting thing, went to a Sewing Expo and they got bit by the quilting bug. Since then, she has made 7 quilt tops! All done just from inspiration of other works or rugs! And she has the coolest journal about them going.
Her cherry quilt was made from mostly fabrics she had collected and then purchased the light blue fabric with cherries to add to it. She didn't had any fabric left for binding and we ended up finding two FQ's of a vintage reproduction fabric in my stash that worked. I love the way she is journaling her quilts, with fabric swatches, inspiration pictures, her original drafts of the ideas. She is WAY too organized! Actually, I'm hoping a bit rubs off on me!
My thoughts of what we were going to do and get accomplished when she arrived were so far off the mark, it's a joke! Too many days were spent, meeting at the breakfast table and then spending the next 3-5 hours talking, laughing, filling in family history and stories. We just had so much to share. Being a new quilter, she was full of questions and I was happy to fill in the blanks. My, what a quick learner. When we loaded her "feather" quilt on my HQ16, away she went! She got rather bored doing meandering after a few rows, so her husband jumped in and finished it. They might have a good thing going. She also had lots of neat tips on organizing my stash, making a slightly better arrangement in my sewing room and laying out a challenge quilt. It was hard for me to believe that she had never quilted, but she was just culling from her vast knowledge of design and working with textiles for many years. What a fun, fun week. I'll share more pictures tomorrow....I'm tired..........not going to bed before 2 or 2:30 am every day is catching up!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A good reason to clean

Once, in a faraway land (read: sewing room), a quilter made a beautiful fall quilt. Lots of pretty fall colors and swirling leaves and acorns that were all hand blanket stitched because she did not have a fancy machine. Then she made her first attempt at echo stitching around all the appliques on the machine. And she was pleased that she had gone another step in her quilting. People admired her quilt and wanted to borrow it. Since it was a good friend, she agreed. Months went by and when she went to find her quilt, it was nowhere to be found. Did the friend still have it? No, said the friend, "I returned it long ago." Years passed and she thought fondly of that quilt of the past, wishing she had it.

Cut to the present: Deciding that the hall closet could literally not hold ANOTHER coat or box or thing, it was time to do a little purging. What's in this big box? Oh, the chandelier we bought to match the rest of the new lights we installed in the house. Ceiling too high for hubby to get to it, so in the closet it went. Asking the contractor who was there for another job if he could kindly put it up. Yes and a half hour and $20 later, it was done! What's in this other big box? Oh yeah, all those Precious Moments we packed up so we could move the secretary they were displayed in to tear down wallpaper. Hmm, how many moons ago? Too many years to count. Well, now either I get rid of them or wash them and put them away. And my--what else is in the box? MY QUILT!!!! I had grabbed that quilt to wrap all my precious goodies and forgot about it! I'm sure glad I didn't give my friend a hard time! Do I have egg on my face, or what? What's funny is now that I look at it, many years later, it doesn't look all that great! I still like it, but I did a self binding on it and it's just okay. And the quilting is okay, but I would like to think I have improved since then. What a difference about 8 years makes! I guess that's why we keep our older quilts, we can see how much we have grown. But I'm glad I found it, now I can go back to saying that I have only had ONE quilt taken from me. Unfortunately, I know it was taken. I had done a trunk show featuring all sorts of Memory Quilts and since I had taken so many, when I put them away I didn't count them. Well, a few days later when I unpacked them, it was missing. Too many people to even begin to think of who might have done it and I didn't know them. I'm not sure how that person can even enjoy that quilt, first of all, it contained MY memories and then knowing she took it from someone else. The only thing I could figure is that she liked the idea and wanted to copy it? I could have gladly told her how to do it. Oh well, life goes on and we can't worry about other's conscious.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Horse Parade

Yesterday was the Annual All-Horse Parade in the town next to me, where my daughter lives. They are fortunate to live right on the parade route. So we have a big barbeque and they invite all their friends to come watch the parade. The kids love it! There are 4-H horse clubs, the rescue units, miniatures to Belgium Draft horses, I think 400+ horses total. Then the local high school marching bands, the Sweet Adelaines plus a few other music groups made for a wonderful day. I tried to sew on a binding while chatting. I got all of about 10" done. and sew it goes....LOL

This is for Linda, who was asking about my "notches" on my English paper piecing project. They really aren't notches at all, but at the corners when you fold the fabric over the paper. Since it's a trapezoid, the fabric creates points at the ends. I know it's hard to see, but when you sew them all together, the points "swirl" in the center of the block. The little block in the lower left corner is the fabric underneath with the paper pattern laying on top. Then right next to that piece is the pattern piece with the fabric "wrapped around" the pattern and basted down.

I've been working on class samples, my one hour challenge, machine quilting a top for a friend and making tote bags. But NOTHING is done enough to show! Maybe this week I'll have something done enough that I can take a picture. I need to learn to finish one thing at a time rather than have 15 things going on at once. It does keep me hopping.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

a small accomplishment

small is right...I had grandiose ideas this past weekend that I would get a lot of hand sewing done. My husband puts on a softball tournament each year and this year added more more weekend, over Labor Day. I do a hospitality table with lunches for 150+ people on one of the days. I also help with registration. But other than that, I thought I would have a lot of hours of "down" time and was positive I would get sewing done. I ALWAYS have such high aspirations of what I can accomplish or will actually get to do! LOL
Since I'm done with the piecing part of my GFG, and I loved doing English Paper Piecing, I thought I would give this little wallhanging a go. See how much I got done this weekend! 6 measly little pieces...oh well, another 3 year project it looks like.
At least I have learned not to take my sewing machine, 10 projects AND a book to read! Does anyone else do that too? Or am I the only one with unrealistic ideas of how much one can really do?

I've been having troubles with blogger again. I try to make comments and it just waits and waits to bring up the screen and then times out. I tried to tell Judy that I liked her newest challenge idea and fabric. I could write the comment, but the little word verification picture wouldn't show up so I could fill in the blank. So, no messages on anyones, sorry. I am keeping up with everyone. To the NEW members on our ring--my apologies for not even acknowledging you! I put the entire ring on my bloglines and some must have joined after I had done that. I didn't even realize we had new members until I "surfed" the ring last weekend while at the hotel. I didn't have my computer, so the ring was my only way through. (hmm, guess I could have been sewing then--but I am nosy and like to see what everyone else is doing!) WELCOME to our newest members, glad to have you aboard and I'll add you to my bloglines so I don't miss a thing!
I just couldn't end without mentioning the death of Steve Irwin. I know a lot of people thought he was nuts, but it sure is sad. He died doing what he loved but leaves the world one ambassador for outdoor/animal lovers short. A prayer goes up for his wife and daughters, as he'll be sorely missed.