Tuesday, January 30, 2007


It's been so crazy at work this week. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. I was so tired when I got home last night that I wanted to go straight to bed, but I made myself sit and applique a bit. Then when I finally went upstairs, I tossed and turned until 3:30 this morning - then fell asleep. Needless to say, it's been a long day!

I just finished the last circle on the first Bundling Board block. This is so easy. A good one to ease back into applique. Circles are my favorite thing to needleturn. They're still not perfectly round, but it'll get better. I just haven't done hardly any needling for the longest time. This felt good. But I had forgotten how stretchy all those wovens are. It'll need to be blocked before they're sewn together. And if it's a bit crooked -- oh, well, it's folk art!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Applique Prep

I spent the day over at Jane's yesterday sewing. She's working on a gorgeous '30s quilt top made from triangles. She cut these triangles at our cutting day a couple of months ago, and I rescued her scraps from the trash can at the end of the day - and began the Jane's Crumbs quilt blocks! Her collection of '30s fabrics dates back probably 20 years. There are some awesome pieces in there! It's a beauty!
I decided to procrastinate one more day on cutting the Irish chain, and pulled out some simple applique projects instead. This one is an easy one and should be fun to work on when I need a break from sewing. This is as far as I got yesterday on prepping this block. And, naturally, I photoed it going the wrong direction! The pattern is "The Bundling Board," Primitive Pieces by Lynda. Only four blocks, so it should needleturn quickly.
I'm going to get off the computer and spend an hour picking up around the house and start laundry. I'd rather be stitching, but if I devote an uninterrupted hour, I should get it all done. Then I'm going to start a pot of spaghetti sauce simmering, and then I start cutting! I'm looking forward to a day of piddling today.
~ Jane's DH who takes us to dinner after a sewing day, and ever so patiently listens to our quilty talk and girl chatter!
~ Although overwhelming at times, lots of projects to keep my mind stimulated!
~ Dreary, overcast skies today. I love this kind of weather!
~ Sleeping in until 7:00 this morning
~ Listening to Daisy's dreams. She's makes the funniest sounds!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Two-Color Quilts

I've had a fastination with two-color quilts since I started quilting. I've made two-color quilts, but they've been scrappy. I really want to make a two-fabric quilt!

This quilt was hanging at Road to California. I've looked through that $1 program (which, incidentally, they were giving away free on Sunday!) and I can't find which quilt this might be to give credit to the quiltmaker. If he/she reads this blog, I just want them to know I think it is stunning!
Turquoise is my new favorite color, and the quilting on this quilt was awesome. Hmmmm.....
I have a question for the blog ring. Do you wash your fabrics before cutting a quilt or not? Sometimes I do; sometimes I don't. Just wondering what you all do. I'm procrastinating big time on this quilt for the boss. Those oodles of yards are just sitting on the cutting table. I'm having a hard enough time making myself cut - I can't even imagine ironing all that fabric. (sigh) Tell me what to do. I'm putty in your hands tonight!
Because I'm tired. This weekend really did me in. I realized today that I'm no spring chicken. At 55, I guess I'm an autumn chick?
Yesterday and today were tough days emotionally, too. Mom's 92nd birthday would have been yesterday, and today is the 22nd anniversary of her death. I've been thinking about her all week, and just plain miss her.
I talked to my brother today. They are in their house! Hooray! Don said they're still doing finishing work inside -- they have baseboards and crown molding to put up in the bedrooms, and one bathroom countertop is not in yet. But all the new furniture was delivered on Monday, and they decided just to move in with the new furniture. It's been five months since their house burned. I think this rebuilt has been remarkably fast, but it sure doesn't seem that way to them! I'm hoping that once the construction folks are out of there, that they will be able to relax a little and enjoy life again. They surely deserve a little quiet time now. I'm hoping to get down there in late spring or early summer. But I was ordered to bring a quilt for my bedroom! They're waiting to decorate that guest room around the quilt! LOL!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Rd2CA Second Day Purchases

Still didn't enhance the stash too much. The tan is the yardage of Cherrywood fabric that I knew I was going to get for Judy's first Hour-A-Day project. So all in all, not bad.

I also got two silk batts to try playing around with. One is a Hobbs Tuscany Collection, 90% silk, 10% polyester. The other is a Richland 100% silk batt. I've always wanted to try them. I know it won't improve my meager machine quilting any, but, hey, a girl has to try new things, right? LOL

I met up on Saturday with two friends who had come down from Northern California for the show. Jane ended up having to work in the shop on Saturday, but we met her over there and then we all went out to dinner. What fun!

On Sunday, Jane and I met back at the quilt show. The winds had kicked up something fierce. In fact, it got so bad that late morning the vendors in the extra tent that had been set up were asked to evacuate because the tent was blowing around so much. I heard on the radio that the winds were gusting up to 60 mph. Those vendors were not happy to lose a half day of sales on the last day of the show.

Jane and I walked up and down every aisle at least twice. We each picked up another book or two and a pattern or two, and we had a chance to really look at the quilts. We ran into a friend who had a quilt hanging in the show. It's always fun to visit with our friend and her husband! Oh, I also picked up a precious redwork pattern with a Santa on it. Between the needle felting, punch needle, and now redwork, I think I have my work cut out for me in 2007!

I'm real anxious to start sewing on quilts I want to make, but I have to do that double Irish chain first for the boss. I've procrastinated long enough. I'm going to cut it this weekend and start sewing it. It'll take me two weeks to make, so best get going on it!

So the quilt show is over for another year. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it, was bone tired at the end of the weekend, but truly inspired.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Went to Road to California this morning

What a wonderful quilt show! And the vendors - oh, my!

The Best of Show was an appliqued quilt with a carrousel horse on it. Lots of beading. It was gorgeous. I didn't take my camera with me, and I protested and didn't get a program because they were charging $1 for them this year. (I know, I know -- I'll pick one up this weekend.) I can't tell you who the quilter was or anything else about the quilt, but it was lovely.

As usual I was inspired by the gorgeous appliqued quilts. I didn't see but a few pieced quilts that tugged at my heartstrings. But there was one .... oh, drat, why didn't I buy a program! Silly girl! I'll fill in details tomorrow!

I was so good at the vendor booths. I think the 'stashbuster' mentality is starting to sink in! Finally! This is the first time that Jane and I were able to do the show together, and I was fully expecting that we'd be megging each other right and left. We found six or eight FQs each of black and whites that we're collecting for our Freddy Moran quilts. And we each bought an FQ of a couple of watermelon fabrics. I bought two quilt patterns for stashbusting, one just because, and one wool Christmas ornament pattern, also for wool stashbusting. And since I can never resist the Schoolhouse Quilts booth, I picked up 12 FQs of Judie Rothermel's newest shirtings. Now, you've got to understand that every year I spend hundreds of dollars in that booth. 12 FQs! Gasp! Have I been cured?

For a friend I was able to pick up two rounds of indigo fabric from Cotton in the Cabin. She is going to start a Dutch Treat quilt like mine. These folks travel quilt shows and are hard to order from online, so I was delighted to be able to get those for her. That was my mission for today!

I'm tired, but so inspired. I have wanted always to make an appliqued carrousel horse quilt. I've had that whirring around in the bowels of my mind for three years now. I've even tried to do some sketching, and have been studying pictures of old carrousels. I guess I won't be doing that now - it just won't seem original since the BOS winner had the same thought! Geez, I wouldn't even attempt it now after seeing that quilt!

The new quilt shop, Ginger's, was packed with customers today. I'm delighted for her. She is such a sweet person, and I really want to see her succeed!

One thing I am going to get this weekend is from the Cherrywood Fabrics booth. I blame Judy for this as she sent me some Cherrywoods a couple of years ago, and I've been ga-ga over them ever since. I want to use them to make the first one-hour quilt project but I don't have enough background. I need to cut a swatch of what I picked up last year and see if I can match it. That's my mission for the weekend!

Will post quilt pix tomorrow - if I remember my camera!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This is Really Hard!

Every day I drive into the garage, come into the house through the kitchen, and make a mad dash to the front door. Why? To collect the quilty packages from the doorstep that surely must have been left by FedEx or UPS or the post office. There is never anything there any more! A couple of wayward leaves, a worn out welcome mat, a limp door wreath - but never any packages!

I don't know about this no-buy resolution!

The last thing I ordered (since the Jan Patek middle-of-the-night-ordering fiasco) was five spools of Gutermann silk thread for my Dutch Treat blocks. And the package was so tiny that they put it in my mailbox. That was just no fun! I'm waiting for my Great Pumpkin BOM package to arrive, hopefully by this weekend, so at least I have one monthly package to look forward to.

All right, whose bright idea was this anyway? What smart-aleck decided that I had too much fabric and too many quilty things? Who removed the order poke button on my computer?

(Sigh) .... if you find me sitting in front of my computer, babbling incoherently at some quilt shop site, drooling out of both sides of my mouth -- just ignore me! I'm going through withdrawals!
Stash depletion count 2007 YTD: 30.75 yards! Tonight I packaged up 16 yards to send to ladies making wheelchair quilts for their retreat project this year!
~ Feeling okay about procrastinating on the boss' quilt. :)
~ Gigantic cashews from Trader Joe's
~ Loving this cool weather

Monday, January 15, 2007

Eleanor Burns Double Irish Chain

This is my next assignment should I choose to accept it. A double Irish chain from Eleanor Burns' book. I searched for a month for the fabrics to match this blasted wallpaper. I picked up the green locally here at Ginger's, and found the cream while at Alex's retreat in northern California. But I'm real happy to report that this pink is one of those bolts of old Robyn Pandolph that I found a year ago on the Thousand Bolts site that Judy just mentioned in her blog.

I've never done an Irish chain and I understand they go real quickly, but I'm kind of thinking it's going to be boring. Maybe not. Working from a wallpaper sample, it turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be to find the fabric.

I also found out I don't read fabric requirements very well at all. I bought according to the requirements, but didn't notice they had been divided - blocks and borders stated separately. Oh, my. That meant I didn't have enough of the other pink I had also pulled from stash. It was the perfect fabric. This one will have to do because I have plenty of it. I know I have enough green, but I'm a little worried about the cream. I probably ought to see if I can find some more right now - before I start cutting. Of course, I can always go to Plan B on that one, but I'd rather not.
I'm going to sit on the floor and measure and measure and measure to make sure I have enough, and then I'm going to start cutting - and cutting and cutting and cutting. If you need me, I'll be at the cutting table!
Thanks to everyone who guided me on cutting strips. I've decided not to toss the pieces that I've bonded to, but will cut them in bricks. Thanks again!
~ Beautiful cool weather.
~ A productive day at work.
~ No traffic today. I forgot about the holiday!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Question About Scrappy Strips

The shopping bag on the side of my cutting table is full of scraps, and another of my resolutions this year is to strip those down into my strip tubs when the bag gets full.

My question: Is there a minimum length strip that you all cut? I've got some that are 4-6 inches, and I'm wondering if I'm wasting time cutting those. Of course, maybe because I'm sentimental about the fabric is why I'm wanting to do it. But if they're useless, I don't want to waste time on them. Thanks.

Oh, a friend called me this afternoon to let me know that I megged her on the phone yesterday! She popped over to her quilt shop and bought the patterns that I mentioned when we talked. Another notch in the old megging belt! LOL

AAQ Retreat Project 2006

I'm pleased to have this finished, but the HSTs just about did me in. I don't know about everyone else, but I think they're absolutely the most boring block in all of Quiltdom! I'm going to piece the backing and binding right now. I'm afraid if I put this fabric away, it'll get relegated to the UFO pile again!
The weather outside is absolutely gorgeous. It's probably in the low 50s now and crispy; more like autumn would feel in the rest of the country, but here in SoCal we call this winter! Daisy was highly indignant that she had to walk on crunchy grass this morning. Maybe Speck will loan her a pair of his knitted booties!

I'm looking forward to the Road to California quilt show next weekend. I'm probably just going over there on Saturday or Sunday when it's really crowded. Work is just too busy now to take my usual Thursday and Friday off. However, I want to see the quilts, and perhaps come away inspired. Well, no "perhaps" about it. I'm always inspired by the quilts. A friend has a quilt accepted in the show, and I sure want to get a picture of that hanging. Cross your fingers that I won't have to work both days next weekend.

Yesterday I went over to The Fabric Patch to buy my Road entry bracelet just in case I can make it to the show. This is the first time I have been to the FP since it changed ownership. It looks a little different, but is mostly the same. Since it closed, Jane and I have been exploring a lot of other shops in the vicinity, and I really haven't missed going to the FP. Of course, with Ginger's new shop nearby, and the fact that they're open until 7:00 at night, that is where I will be spending most of my quilty dollars this year.

I mentioned in a previous blog wanting to look for homespun plaids at Road. Well, Jane came over yesterday with a huge box of them from her stash. Frankly, I'm surprised that she had them. She's thinks I'm nuts because I like folk art quilts! LOL. And I was totally overwhelmed that she brought them to me. I'll never use them all, and I hope that she reclaims them should she ever want them back. But what a nice surprise! So I'm all set. No need to even look at the vendors at the quilt show. (rolls eyes here) :)

I decided to finish up this quilt today. Even though I started it in November, 2006, I'm going to count the stash depletion against 2007 total. So a grand total of 14.75 yards stashbusted this year to date! Not bad, but obviously I'm not sewing fast enough!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Revisiting a UFO

This is the project from Alex's retreat in Nov. 2006. It is her "Shades of Autumn" pattern. Her quilt was stunning. Lots of scrappy black background and autumn colors. I don't have a lot of blacks in my stash, so I looked for and found one background that would work. Jane and I found this down at Material Possessions a few weeks before Retreat. I have two rows of HST to add after I finish assembling the body, and it's done! The quilt will be appx. 60" square. I love making leaves and houses. A fun quilt.

I tossed and turned last night until the wee hours of the morning. I should be able to sleep tonight. My mattress is only a year old, but I hate it. The pillow top has a dent where I sleep, and I tried moving to the other side last night. Didn't work! I need to shop around for another one, but how do you know you'll like it until you've tested it for a month? I'll figure it out - or might take to sleeping in the other bedroom for a while. Oops, that won't work either. I'd have to clean the stash room up to be able to get to the day bed in there :)


~ Excedrin
~ An alternative route home when the freeway is stopped
~ A juicy navel orange
~ Cooler evening
~ The movitation to sew

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pondering the Next Project

Because I had to sew something tonight, I made two more blocks for Nancy's birthday! These are so much fun!
I'm trying to decide what to work on next. I've got one more obligation quilt to make, and I guess I need to get started on that. Or I could grab one of those UFOs that just need a backing pieced and do that. Or I could work on the White Christmas applique blocks. I'm just too tired to think right now. I know! I'll finish up the quilt top from Alex's retreat. It's probably 90% done. Yeah, that's what I'll work on next! :)

I found out the kind of dog my new neighbor has. It's a Labradoodle. A pretty dog, but strange - very strange. I'd say he's a couple of years old and real frisky. But the strange thing (and I've only had one male dog so maybe there are things about boy dogs that I don't know) but he uses the bathroom like a girl dog. I was wondering why there are all these big yellow spots of dead grass by my front door because Daisy doesn't frequent that area. I walk her straight to the walking path before she's allowed to sniff around. I finally saw the whole thing on Sunday, so that 'splains a lot! Is there any way to tactfully ask them to walk 30 feet more to the walking path? I've already "asked" her to please keep her dog on a leash after he scared the bejeebers out of Daisy and me one morning when he came tearing around the corner and jumped all over us. And I've already had the condo management reseed the grass there after the last neighbor dog moved out. Maybe I'm being way too picky. I don't know. I would just like a nice area for my guests to see when they walk to my front door.
It was hot here today. I hear it's supposed to cool off on Thursday. I hope so, as I'm still waiting for our ten minutes of winter here.
~ Breakfast for dinner. Comfort food!
~ Driving right past the Dairy Queen at lunch even though I really wanted an ice cream cone!
~ Paula Deen's "Quick & Easy Meals" magazine
~ A new 'green' candle

Monday, January 08, 2007

Attempting a meg here!

Way back when Alex's message board was still in existence, there was a lady named Meg on there. A group of ladies got together to go to a quilt show or quilt shop somewhere, and Meg was one of the ladies in attendance. Oh, the stories that came out of that shopping excursion with Meg! It seems that everyone who got to the checkout counter had mysterious items in their basket! Turns out that Meg was putting things in there that she thought they needed and couldn't live without!

So from that day forward, "meg" became a word in our everyday vocabulary. To meg is to convince someone they really need to buy some quilty item. To be megged means you've been talked into it. Several times I have typed the word "meg" on my blog, but realized that no one would know that it meant.

With that explanation in mind, look at what I found!



I've been searching and searching for a pumpkin quilt. Not a quilt that just had one pumpkin on it, but one that was full of pumpkins. I found this one this weekend. :)

Of course, I had to post about it to my online group, and I scored a couple of notches in my megging belt. Those ladies are wise to my ways, but I can always manage to meg one or two among them. Just wondering .... will anyone admit if I've been successful in my megging attempt here? I guess it would be a cyber-meg!

I said I wouldn't do any more BOMs unless it was something I had on my list. Guess I megged myself with this one! :)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Nancy's Birthday Block

Well, that took ten minutes! I love making these blocks. Nancy, I'll try to make a couple of more of them for you next week. Meanwhile, I'll get these mailed off to you tomorrow.

Today was a lazy day, but I managed to accomplish quite a bit. I pieced the backing for the shop sampler first thing this morning. I told them I would stash bust for the backing rather than pull fabric off a bolt at the shop. I didn't quite have enough of the one I pulled, so I pieced vertical strips of the leftover fabrics from the front onto the back. It worked! Stash depletion - 3 yards!

I delivered the quilt to Ginger's, and did a bit of looking around while I was there. There was a sale going on, so I picked up a little more white-on-white to enlage the red and white shooting stars quilt top I'm working on. I've decided not to make any more of those mid-sized quilts. I want everything to fit on my bed. Well, there are the appliqued projects that most likely will get hung on the wall, but lap/twin quilts are a no-no from now on!

I got the two file boxes out of the trunk of my car and spread them out on the living room floor in front of the fireplace. I said I would give it four hours, but finished the whole project in 2.5 hours. That will save me a whole day at work. I am interrupted so much that it's hard to string together that much time there.

My quilter neighbor and her mother dropped over for a visit. Thank goodness I had just picked up all the work stuff from the middle of the floor. We had a nice visit. I haven't seen them in a while.

I need to hang up some sweaters out of the washer, and then I think I'm going to hit the hay. I had a real productive weekend, and that feels wonderful! But another long week begins tomorrow so I'd best get my 'beauty' rest!


~ A weekend with a purpose, goals met and fully enjoyed.

~ A happy Daisy who got some people food tonight.

~ Full strip bins that are just itching to get used up!

~ NPR Radio

Saturday, January 06, 2007

1st Weekend Progress

In my online group, 1st Weekends in the past have been dedicated to working on Christmas projects. This year we expanded that a bit to include UFOs and also those lifetime projects that we never seem to find the time to work on any more. You know the ones .... Jane Stickles, Dutch Treats, etc. I had a couple of obligation things to get out of the way today, and this quilt top is one of them.

The new quilt shop owner asked me if I'd make a shop sample for them. Sure! These are gorgeous Daiwabo fabrics, but the beautiful, subtle colors did not photograph well. Also this was an opportunity for me to learn to use the Tri-Rec rulers. Those are really neat! I will definitely use them again. The pattern is "Tranquil Times" by Leisure Designs, Etc. I began cutting this quilt top out last Saturday. I have committed to Judy's hour a day of sewing, and I can really see how this will help me get some things done this year!

So tomorrow morning I'll piece the backing for this and make the binding, and then run to the shop to turn it in. Then home to work on a lifetime project! That ought to keep me busy for the rest of the day.

Road to California Quilt Show is in a couple of weeks, January 18-21. I usually take off the Thursday and Friday of the show, and host a group of ladies who drive and fly in. This year I will have no guests, and I don't believe I will get to take any time off. Of course, there's always Saturday and Sunday to attend, but it's usually so crowded that it's really no fun being there. But since it's the only quilt show that I go to, I guess I will fight the maddening crowds.

Jane and I spent a couple of hours browsing Barnes & Noble today. I picked up a couple of neat books. "Where Women Create, Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women" by Jo Packham is a delightful book, crammed with ideas. Freddy Moran is one of the featured women, and her studio is awesome. Another book I bought is "Creole Thrift" written by Angele Parlange. I'm so happy that Jane pointed the book out to me. I flipped it open, saw the pigeonnier, and told her that that was Parlange Plantation. I didn't realize who the author was at that point. Parlange is a beautiful plantation in New Roads, Louisiana, right by the condo I owned on the river. Such a beautiful place with spreading, moss-laden oak trees. It sure did make me homesick reading through it. After a nice lunch, we came back to the house and chatted the afternoon away!

Oh, we also explored a teeny fabric store right by my house that I spotted last weekend. It's owned by a deaf gentleman, and is crammed with all sorts of fabric. There was quite a lot of older quilting fabric. I picked up a yard of the California state flower fabric that I missed when I started quilting, and also a yard of some "manly" fabric to make a pillowcase for a friend's husband.

Speaking of Road, I always have a plan when I shop - or at least something in mind while I'm browsing. This year I decided to look for woven plaids with folk art projects in mind. I haven't seen any in the quilt shops around here lately. I think it's more fun to visit the vendor booths when I'm on a mission. It keeps me focused! LOL

I really want to get back into blogging daily. Maybe with the hour-a-day commitment, I'll have some pictures to post!


~ The flickering fireplace. It just makes my little world so cozy.
~ Judy's settling in her new home!
~ Swiffer dusters.
~ Cutting and finishing a quilt top in one week!