Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Long post....

Just thought I would show a little of what I have been up to lately. I have been appliquéing these jewel tone hearts for a quilt I am making for a friend. It will have an alternate block that is called "Friendship star". I had to go out and get more of the right colors of thread. The idea in machine appliqué is for it to look like hand appliqué and your stitches to not be real noticeable. So the thread should be dull and not a have a shine to it and it should match the color of the fabric as close as possible. At least that is what I learned in a class I took with Maybeth Oxenrieder when she came to our guild. I thought her work was wonderful and she is a good teacher.

I love the bright colors in these hearts. I purchased them from Keepsake Quilting a few years ago and have never had a chance to use them. I also have a set of 1930's hearts that I will use in the same pattern for another friend. If I don't get tired of appliqueing those hearts. Boy it sure takes a long time. There are 70 of them. It is a good thing that each heart is a different fabric or I would get tired of looking at them.

This is what I did yesterday. I made felted soap. These are for Christmas gifts for my friends in the "woolies" group I am in. I bought the wool roving online. It is hand dyed in variegated colors. It worked real well for felting. The colors are much richer than the picture shows. I think my friends will like these a lot.
Well today I have a mini group meeting to go to and my husband is coming home today from Oregon. I really have missed him but the time passed quicker than I thought it would. My son is moving out in about 10 days. His roommate is staying over at our house until the date they can move into the apartment that they rented. All of his things are in storage and he needed a place to stay. He is a very nice young man. He is going to college to become an architect. They have been friends since kindergarten and get along well. After my son moves out I will be using the outside apartment that he was staying in for myself and quilting. I am hoping to teach classes and have workshops there. Maybe even have a small mini group to meet there. I am looking forward to teaching some beginner quilt classes and other things. I just need to get my lesson plans together and my thoughts as far as what and how I want to teach it.

I have to have sinus surgery next week. The procedure is called a Septoplasty. I have devieated septum and he is also going to put a tube in my right ear to drain the fluid that has been there for over 8 weeks now. I just does not want to let go. I also have an air pocket in the sinus sac on the right side that he said he would fix. I hope I have a fast recovery and all goes well so the fluid can drain and I can start feeling back to normal. It has been a pain going to the doctor's office every couple of weeks and being on different meds trying to clear it up.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Monday, October 29, 2007

My husband just left for his trip to Oregon. I will miss him but I am sure the time will pass quickly. My youngest son was sick all day yesterday with a stomach virus. It is really hard to watch your child suffer. He was in a state of dehydration and also running fever. He could not keep anything down and very weak. It must have been a 24 hour thing because he is better this morning. On the road to recovery. I'm sure he will have to take it easy for a couple of days though.
I am taking easy myself today. Not having gotten much sleep for two nights is taking it's toll. I'm off to catch a cat nap before breakfast.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Harvest Moon

Tried to take some pictures of the large harvest moon last night (tonight it is even bigger and more beautiful). The pictures don't do it justice. It was just my regular digital camera but I had to try.

This one my husband took. The reflection of the moon is on the hood of the car (he was supporting the camera on it).

I was awestruck. How wonderful it was up there in the sky. So bright, it lights up the yard. It really feels like fall now. November is around the corner and then Christmas. Why does it all seem to go so fast these days? When I was a kid it all went too slow. Now I can't slow it down. I've tried. Trying to enjoy every moment as it comes, not trying to rush things too often, nothing seems to make it go slower. Oh well, at least I can try to enjoy the seasons (the only thing that seems to come slow around here is the spring time when you have had too much winter and cold weather).

I got a little sewing done today. I started and new project. A quilt for my friend that cuts my hair and her Step Mom. They are both really upbeat and happy people. Always encouraging, asking how things are going with family and my quilting. I always feel 10 times better after I have talked to either one of them. They are special people. So, I decided to make them each a quilt. I am hoping they will be done for Christmas but if not that is ok, they don't know about it and I can give it to them later.
I will try to take pictures of my progress tomorrow and post it.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good eats and favorites...

I thought I would show a picture of some mirlitons (vegetable pears) that my Dad gave me last weekend. I don't think these are a familiar vegetable. They are a member of the squash family. When you peel them they ooze a sticky fluid that gets on your hands and makes it look like your skin is peeling off (remember in grade school when you would spread glue all over the palms of your hands then when dry you would peel it off? Well, its like that. What? Don't tell me I'm the only one that did that.) Anyway, I peel them and take out the seed in the middle, chop them up and saute them with ground beef and onions and bell peppers, add cooked rice to make it like rice dressing. Yumm... We also cut them up raw and put them in jars with a hot pepper then pour hot vinegar and water mixture over them. Put them in the frig and in about a week they are pickled. We call them cor-ne-shaw-ns (its Cajun French-don't try to pronounce it!) We cut them up in our rice and gravy or add them to the bean pot. Good-Good.

I also wanted to show you pictures of my favorite thing in my home (other than my sewing machine). My dining room table. My husband made it for me. We saw a similar one in the furniture store in our town but it was not large enough, expensive and cheaply made. My husband said "I can make one like that". I said "Get to it". It took him three tries. The first batch of wood he bought from Lowes- warped. The second batch from Home Depot -warped. He almost gave up and so did I (I was anxious for it). So he ordered some baltic burch wood from a place here in town. It has more plies than the cheaper wood so it made it more stable. It did not warp. Yeah!

It originally was supposed to be all black and distressed but after I saw the wood grain I could not paint over it. He suggested staining the top and painting the rest black and I love it!

It has two leaves in it. With one leaf it measures 5ft x 5ft. That is how I leave it set up (we can also take out both leaves and make it rectangle when it is just him and I. I joke and say that we will do that when he is retired and we live alone. Will that ever happen? Probably not.) With the two leaves it measures 5ft x 6-1/2ft. That is how we have it for the holidays or special occasion parties.

Here he is staining it in his workshop. Woodworking is his hobby. He likes to work in wood. He is checking into some woodworking classes in Pennsylvania for next year. It is a week long class and very intensive. I said "Go for it!" He would say the same for me if it was quilting. I'm sure I can find something to do in PA. while he is in class, right?

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Favorite Thread...

Just got this shipment of thread in this weekend. I like it. It is thin and strong. Good for piecing. I haven't tried it for quilting yet but I bet it would work really good. It also doesn't lint a lot. I ordered neutral colors for piecing but they have some wonderful variegated threads. It is available through Connecting Threads if anyone is interested in checking it out. (I do not work for this company, just like the thread and thought I would let others know).

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Here are the wind chimes my daughter made a few years ago. They hang out side under our carport. They are beginning to get rusty. She used coat hangers and fishing line to make them. I love the sounds they make. I can hear them from my sewing room while I quilt.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

I'm still here...

There was nothing I really felt like posting about and I needed the break. But yesterday my daughter, her husband and my youngest son went crabbing on the beach. They caught crabs!
This is before. The blue point crabs are a lovely color but...

after they are boiled they are a beautiful shade of red! Yum, doesn't that look delicious. They were so flavorful.

This is the mess during and after. But boy is it worth it. UMMM..UMMM...Good!

This is what you eat when you don't like crabs. My daughter doesn't care for seafood much so she has to take what she can get at Mom's house when everyone else is eating crabs!

This is what my daughter likes about the beach. Seashells. She said they were all over the sand. She scooped up alot of them because she will make some magnets and jewelry and maybe some wind chimes like she did last time. I will take a picture later of a couple of her wind chimes. They sound so good when the wind is slowly blowing.

The closeups show how wonderful some of these shells are. The last picture has a couple of pieces of petrified wood. They don't look like much but, I guess she thought they were interesting. The shells have really good soft colors in them. Aren't they lovely.
Well that's it for now.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I just finished quilting the hearts quilt for my friend. I did a curlique meander with hearts. I will be seeing her tomorrow and wanted to finish it today. I can mark this off my to-do list. Below is what I played with last night. At our woolie group one of the ladies brought over her Needle Felting Machine and some wool roving and silk roving. It was so much fun. (Are you listening my friend-you know who I mean. You would have had sooo much fun with this.) It was quick and easy to do. I could see making several gifts with this toy. It was a Baby Lock machine. I may have to put this on my Christmas list. All you did was separate the roving and laid it down on the background where you wanted it then used a stilleto to hold it down while 6 needles sewed it down. You moved it around like you were free motion quilting. What fun. You can use wool, cotton fabric on wool, lame fabric on cotton, whatever, it attaches it all. She had several books for us to look through also. I think if I would not have sat at the machine and did it myself I would have thought it was hard to do and not worth purchasing. I will have to think about this.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Warning this post has a lot of pictures and is long! You can click on any of the photos to make them bigger.

Here are the pictures I found of my friends crazy patch quilt. She makes many of these and gives them away. She is currently working on one for herself.I warn you, get a tissue for drooling.

Some close ups.

Aren't those flowers and leaves made of ribbon just delicious looking!

That tree was stamped on and the leaves are french knots.

The pictures are vintage art printed on fabric. Notice the crystal for her earing. Sweet!

She always adds a spider or bug on her crazy patch quilts. She says they were a symbol of good luck. The web may be hard to see but it is above the spider.

This is a silk leave she sewed on. And I love her use of buttons and lace.

AAAAAWWWHHH! How cute is that heart. The words in the upper left corner say "Love is a Rose". I also love the lace butterfly.

More vintage photo printing and silk leaves and flowers.

The fabric in the upper right corner was already machine embroidered that way. I love the lace trimming.

Check out on the right, the grape clusters made of sew on beads. More silk leaves and vintage photo printing. The bird in the middle was already on a piece of velvet fabric. She is always collecting bits and pieces of velvet and satin and silks. It amazes me the way she comes up with all the ideas to embroider and the ways to add trim. Just beautiful. I think the ladies of the Victorian era would have loved this quilt and thought it worthy of display.

Hope you enjoyed looking at my friends crazy quilt.

Quilt til your arm falls off...
Good Monday Morning!
I'm feeling much better today than Saturday. I had my boo-hoo and decided to stick to my original decision not to go to Oregon. You know once I finally made to decision I felt better. Now I can help my husband prepare for his trip, which he is pretty excited about.

We had a large party over here last night. It was my MIL 70th birthday. My husband's entire family was here. We provided the meat and everyone else brought a dish. We had fun. It is so good visiting with family, especially the ones you don't see very often. We also picked names for Christmas (I know it's not even Halloween yet but) it is not often we have everyone together like that. Everyone was grumbling about it because they have to list suggestions on their slip of paper before it is folded and put in the basket. No one knew what they wanted. Then why do we pick names? Give gifts? Most everyone put gift cards down. I'm not a scrooge, far from it, I love Christmas and all it stands for but I think when the process of giving gifts gets difficult maybe we shouldn't be exchanging gifts. Could we not just get together on Christmas and spend time together, talking about what has been going on in our lives? Like we did last night. In todays world everyone usually just goes out and buys what they want when they want it. They don't know what they want for Christmas (my children included). At least that is the way it is with us.

This is some of what I did Saturday. I basted together my friend's quilt and I will hopefully get that quilted today. Isn't it cute with all those hearts. I am quilting this one on my regular sewing machine instead of loading it on my short-arm frame. Sometimes I just feel like straight line quilting instead of meanders. My friend doesn't care how it is quilted just so it gets done and looks good in the end. She does not like quilting, she is a piecer, loves to put tops together and gets others to quilt them for her. She does the most beautiful crazy patch quilts with silks and satin fabric. I'll have to see if I can find a picture of one of her quilts to show you. She loves hand work. Time for me to get to work I have a woolie group meeting here tonight.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Good morning all, It's Saturday again. I love weekends. And it is finally cool here. I love drinking my tea outside on the patio in the morning and enjoy the cool weather.

Since I am finished all the squaring up on my previous project and it has to sit until my friend and I can get together to sew the top together, I think I will either quilt a friends quilt today or maybe piece the log cabin top together. I'm not sure. I will be in the sewing room today though.

I wasn't going to go here today but I just can't help myself. I have to talk about it. On another subject, and I know some of you will think I'm crazy, but my husband's boss asked him yesterday if he would consider flying to Oregon for a 4 hour class to learn some technical stuff for the job. This is the first time my husband has been asked to fly to anywhere for work. It is usually someone else in the shop that goes but this person could not go for whatever reason so my hubby was asked. He wants to go and I said great but, he would like me to go with him (only if I want to).
You must understand that I have NEVER flown before and had NEVER planned on flying in my lifetime. I am afraid no, I AM AFRAID! to fly. Also, this is a 4 hour class which means he will fly up one day take the class the next and fly home on the next day. That is three days, two of which are flying. I would be sitting in a hotel room for half a day in a strange city, with nothing to do and we would only have one evening to sight see together (if you knew me you would know that I would never venture out on my own in a strange place. I have just started in the past5 years or so to drive farther than my neighborhood, that's a whole other story for another day).

Now here it is--I told him no. I don't think I want to go. He is ok with this. He just thought that it might be my chance to fly and get over my fear. If we were going on a longer trip where I could work up my courage to make it worth while I would consider it, but for this short trip, it is just too much-right?. Did I mention I live in south Louisiana. It is not a short flight to Oregon. There would be layovers in other cities not to mention I HAVE NEVER FLOWN BEFORE! I know nothing about airports and checking luggage etc. I know I sound awful. Like a big baby about this, but that is the way it is, the way I have always been. I must sound pretty pathetic to some of you. But my fear of flying is REAL! The thing is I feel guilty now. (By the way, my husband has flown once in his lifetime--to Hawaii--in his senior year on a chorus competition). He figured we could do this together. I know he understands and he is fine with going alone, but I wonder if I'm missing an opportunity.

Does anyone know where I'm coming from? Any advice? Should I swallow my fear and try to go? If I do would I make him miserable the whole trip? What if I get sick on the plane? Did I mention that I am of large frame and worried that I won't fit in the seats? These are real questions for me. Boy, I am so insecure-Huh? If I didn't think about it at all and was more adventurous I would have said yes in a nano-second and jumped on that plane and had a blast-right? He even looked on the computer and found a quilt showing in the city where we will be during the stay there. He thought of me. As is his usual. I think I will go and boo-hoo in a dark corner and feel sorry for my self some more and then buck up and figure this out.

Did I scare anyone off? If you are still with me after all of this you must know that on a daily basis I'm not usually like this. I overcame all of this (HA). It is just that for me this is big stuff. I'll figure it out and tomorrow I'll be back to the regular, on the surface, easy stuff. Until then...

This is the site where I found the picture above (had some tips about flying also.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My least favorite thing to do in quilting---Squaring up blocks---I just don't like it. But today I had alot of it to do. These are the cornerstone blocks for the quilt I'm working on now. There are 30 of them. They are done! YAY!

These are the embroidered blocks. More squaring up! Boy I'm tired! Aren't they lovely. My husband's Aunt did them. I'm putting this together for her to donate to a fund raiser at the hospital where she works. There are 24 of these and 12 of another kind, which will be put into another quilt.
These are two of the blocks with the sashing and cornerstones on my design board. I love the way they look but, I made a boo-boo. When I did the figuring for the sashing I didn't figure the right width for the middle strip. It was supposed to look like garden maze setting but instead I ended up with arrows. If you look at the sashing and cornerstones you will see the arrows. Oh well, I like it. Arrows it is. Tomorrow I have to piece together some more sashing because I miscalculated on that too. That is what I get for not paying real close attention during the planning stage. That is alright I can live with my mistakes. That is what is important, right?

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hi all, I hope everyone had a really good day. I went to my mini group meeting today. I was a good one. We finished handquilting on the quilt we were working on and next week we will start another. I moves me up in the line. I am number 5 and we are now on #3. We started doing this in January. My quilt is large, it measures 103x106, and I will be using 100% cotton batting. It will not be easy to hand quilt with but I love the look of it when it is washed. It makes it look so old.

The picture above is what I worked on yesterday and this morning. I promised pictures and this is the sashing. It is going to be cut into 12-1/2 inch sections. I strip pieced them. It is an easier technique than sewing all those smaller strips together. After I took the picture and looked at it I thought that the strips looked like bacon (I know I'm weird like dat). They sure look funny though. I will try to take pictures tomorrow of the blocks. They are embroidered blocks that my husbands aunt did. She asked me to make a quilt with them for a fund raiser. My friend and I are trying to finish it this month because she has another set of embroidered blocks to make into another quilt. The other set of blocks have stains on them and I need to try to soak them and get the stains out. They look like age spots. The blocks were done a long time ago. Maybe I will try soaking them in OxiClean or maybe Biz. Anyone have any suggestions? I'll take pictures tomorrow and post them for you to see. Well gotta go. Night all.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

These are the flowers my husband gave me on our anniversary. I didn't get a chance to post them before so I am today. I'm glad I took a picture because they are no longer as beautiful as they were in this picture. That is what is sad about fresh flowers. They don't last very long and you have to watch them die. But it sure felt good getting them. There are one dozen red roses and one dozen yellow roses. He knows my favorite is yellow roses.

Today I quilted a quilt for a friend. I'm also washing clothes and doing a little house work. Not fun stuff. I'm hoping to get in the sewing room later and cut out a new project. I promise I will have pictures of that later on.

My oldest son is going today to put an application for an apartment with his best friend since kindergarten. I'm so glad for him to soon be out on his own. I will also be getting the apartment out back of our house (where he is living) for myself. I'm hoping to start teaching some quilting classes. We have a big need in our area for beginner quilt classes. I also would like to teach other things too. I'm not sure what yet but I'm sure I will have requests once I start with the beginner quilt classes. I am hoping to also use the building as a meeting place for bees and other guild related events. It measures 16 x20 feet with a 12 x 8 ft. bathroom/storage room in back. It is not real large but plenty of potential. I'm excited about teaching. I have wanted to do it for quite some time. Any advice from others out there that teach would be appreciated.

Quilt til your arm falls off...

Monday, October 8, 2007

This is a post with a lot of pictures but it is all about what I was busy with this weekend. There are many more pictures but this is just some of the highlights.

This is some of the antique quilts they had on display in the Bed and Breakfast at the show this weekend. Saturday was spent setting up all of the quilts. This was very hard work but fun. Many husbands came to help (mine included) and the job was done for 4pm Saturday afternoon.

These are more antiques. The Apple core quilt was quilted with red embroidery floss in a big stitch.

You can click on any of the pictures to make them larger if you need to. The quilt on the center left is an Appliqued Pansy pattern and belongs to my MIL. It was made by her grandmother. The quilt to the right of it belongs to my best friend (she rescued it from a garage sale for $5, unbelievable) It is a whirligig pattern made from flying geese. I have not seen this done before. I like it a lot. I might try to recreate this one some time later on. (I know another UFO. The story of my life)

These are more traditional newer quilts. They were on display in City Hall. I love the colors in all these quilts.

Here is my friends wool crazy quilt. I showed you a picture of mine in a past post. They were both on display in a very old building in the town.

Here are more quilts in the old building. The quilt in the center has more than 10,000 small hexagons in it. What a labor of love this quilt must have been. The other two quilts were made by members of our guild in a Scrappy Bee they are members of. They use mostly civil war reproductions to make their quilts.

Here is a picture of my Underground Railroad quilt on display. It was in the building I was working in on Sunday. I had to wear the white gloves to show the quilts to any one that wanted to see the backs are more of the stitching. It was fun to watch the people immediately want to touch the quilts. Quilts just do that for some reason. It is a touchy--feely thing. The quilt next to mine got a lot of compliments. It was done in a workshop that was taught in our guild (the flags were taught, she set them with the stars and hearts which is what everyone liked about it).

These are some wearables that were in the building next to us. There is a chenille vest, a jacket that was quilted on the longarm, a Yo-Yo vest, and other piece jackets. Very nice. The floral border you see under the top row of wearables is the back of the quilt on the other side.

This is some of the art quilts on display. The top left is my favorite. It is this ladies' Son-In-Law and a friend playing music. She even used yarn and made it look like the moss on the top edges. She has just recently started to do portrait quilts and she is good at it. The quilt on the bottom right is also her quilt. She made this one for the Black and White challenge our guild had. It represents her idea of Mardi Gras. It is called "Throw me something, Mister"

I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures of our quilt show!

Quilt til your arm falls off...