Friday, March 05, 2010

I'm no longer updating this blog but I'm still blogging and you can find me here:


Don't forget to update your bookmarks!



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Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm moving the blog

Please update your links and visit me at:


I'll be playing with the layout and adding in the rest of my links over the next week or so but from this point -- all my posts will be there.


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Design wall Monday

I don't have all the blocks done yet (just 16 more) but I've made progress. Once I have them all finished, I'll distribute those secondary red diamonds more evenly through the quilt.

So what's on your design wall this week? Share the link at Judy's site

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Finally!

I've been asking Keith for shelving units in the garage that I can put storage bins on and while these aren't the built in ones I'd really like, it's nice to actually have this stuff a little better organized -- I even have empty bins so I can move some of the other stuff I don't have room for out there.


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Did you miss me?

Yesterday I attended a HeartStrings sew-in held in Roberts, WI. We had the best time and got a lot accomplished! I pulled out some of the Chinese Coins I still had from a previous HeartStrings project and worked on assembling this top (still needs the top borders). I used the Easy version posted on my site.


Kathy and Rhonda worked on our new Diamond String blocks and others worked on our regular HeartStrings blocks.

But most of the people attending worked on assembling Happy Blocks. Carol even took the rest of the blocks home to finish assembling them into tops and I brought two of these home with me to quilt -- the blue and the pink & green ones in the front.

You can see some other photos from our day in this Picasa album.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What a difference a day makes

I'd intended to finish up the last 16 string blocks I need for my current project but woke up feeling like I needed to focus on the quilts needing bindings. So I sorted, and trimmed, cut and made binding, and machine stitched it on a couple quilts and now things are under control.

Of the 9 quilts here:
  • 2 were set aside to be sent to Maine for binding and donating
  • 3 were trimmed, binding was cut, and they're set aside for me to take to the sew-in tomorrow. Sheree has come to my rescue again and will bind these 3 for me.
  • 2 got bindings made and machine stitched - these are ready for me to hand stitch now.
  • That just leaves 2 in the stack that needs attention -- much better than 9.
I know some people get confused when I mention machine stitching binding but just to be clear, I machine stitch all my bindings to the front of the quilt and then fold it to the back and finish it with hand stitching.

Now, I'm working on getting my stuff together for tomorrow's HeartStrings sew-in.

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Another binding done

You might remember this quilt from a couple months ago. It was pieced by Barbara in FL and it's been in the binding stack - did I mention that the binding stack doesn't seem to be getting smaller? This is the 4th one I've done but the pile is getting larger with all the quilts I did a couple weeks ago not smaller.

Quilted with a simple wavy grid using the piecing lines.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm a hermit

Just had to get out for a while. Dinner and coffee and the rain held
off so I didn't get wet.

Poor Chesty

He just doesn't know what's going on around here....I finally headed up to bed around 5PM after getting about 6 hours sleep in the last two days but woke up at 1AM. Had to get up to walk Chesty (yes in the middle of the night!) ate a bowl of cereal, cleaned out my inbox and now I'm going to check in on a few blogs and then upstairs and see if I can't sleep a couple more hours.



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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm losing time here

In updating my MaryQuilts.com site, I've been searching for the perfect Wordpress template that I can customize and well, it's just not to be found so last night I downloaded a software program that allows me to build my own theme, customize it, and then upload it to Wordpress.

So after setting my my site, I decided I would redesign the HeartStrings site -- only that one is hosted on Yahoo and I had one glitch after another so I decided to move it to BlueHost.com which is where I host my site. It was a bit of a challenge to transfer the domain over BUT the good news is that I can host it using my current space so in the end I'll save about $150 a year. I'm also going to combine the blog and the website into one. Who knows, if it works well for HeartStrings, I might just do the same for my blog and my MaryQuilts.com site.


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Monday, August 17, 2009

A binding trifecta

Of all the quilts I have here to bind, I didn't necessarily set out to bind 3 Happy Block quilts in a row but that seems to be how it worked out.

Today's finish is one pieced from donated blocks at the HeartStrings Nebraska sew-in.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another binding done

Making a little more progress on the binding front -- this twisted Happy Block top was pieced by Deborah and uses different cat fabrics in the block centers -- very cute!

Instructions for the twisted Happy Block quilt can be found on my MaryQuilts.com site.


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Pineapple Quilts

I taught Mom to make the Pineapple quilt from the Quilt in a Day book using their 12.5 inch ruler and this was her 3rd one.

I pieced mine a couple years ago after Sandra from Stashbuster showed me the book and how she makes the blocks. She suggested 1.75 inch strips (they're trimmed down) which is what I used. I'm just waiting for Accuquilt to come out with a 1.75 inch strip cutter for the GO cutter so I can make another!

I really recommend this method for making them.


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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mail

Lots of fun stuff in the mail today. First, a pineapple top pieced by Mom. I'll quilt it and we'll donate it at Christmas along with another one we've already finished.

These two tops are from my friend Cecile - I'll quilt these and donate them (they're both so cute!)
And from Nancy, a stack of backings already pieced for my HeartStrings quilts. I can't tell you what a huge time saver it is to have backings pieced for so many of the donation tops. Between Sheree, Tish, and these ones from Nancy I'm in good shape and I'll be sending some of the backings to Maine next month for the quilts we're going to tie at the sew-in.

Now I need to go write thank you emails and let everyone know their goodies arrived safely.

And for my finale

I pieced batting, loaded, and quilted this HeartStrings top pieced by Sue and her Oroville/Chico California group using a line type meander from Patsy Thompson's DVD.

You can see it drawn out in her free download -- page two is the version I tried. Click on the photo and you might be able to see the quilting better.

This one was a bit of a challenge because the strings are flannel and there was a lot of bulk. There are a couple more flannel ones in the group they sent and I'm leaning toward taking those to Maine next month and tying them.

This was the first time this summer I wrote down a *to do* list and I checked off everything (and more) with a couple hours to spare.

  • piece some more diamond string blocks - check
  • piece and machine stitch a binding -- Three done not just one
  • finish up instructions for the diamond string blocks - done and posted
  • load and start quilting a top - pieced the batting, loaded, and quilted

Bindings made and stitched on

Not one but three bindings made and stitched on - - of course, they're just kids/lap size quilts but you're still impressed right?

More of the green stripe binding being used here on Deborah's top -- I just love quilting tops from her, they're always so cute.

A little break from sewing is need so I'm going to do a little computer work before heading downstairs for some quilting. 2:15AM and still going strong!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Are you a speed piecer?

I'm not. I piece blocks in sets, throw them up on the design wall and admire them for a while. See those bright reds? They were scattered across the top but kept distracting me so I put them to work creating a secondary diamond.

40 blocks done, I need to make a decision about borders soon. I usually don't border my string quilts but I think I want this larger without having to make it 2 rows wider.

On to binding for a bit.

First hour

I'm starting with trimming and cutting. Two small quilts trimmed and ready for binding, muslin foundations cut, and thanks to the Go, a bunch of center strings cut and I'm ready to start piecing.

Ready for an all nighter?

In case you hadn't realized it -- I'm back on a night schedule but with Keith just home for the weekend again I don't want to sleep the days away so I'm going to work all night and then we'll go out for breakfast, run some errands and come home and watch some golf -- at least that's the plan. Keith just headed up to bed so it's time to get to work.

On tonight's agenda:
More diamond string blocks
piece and machine stitch a binding to have it ready tomorrow for hand stitching
finish up instructions for the diamond string blocks
load and start quilting a top.

I'll report in and let you know how it's going.


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A finish

Amid all the computer drama yesterday and today I did manage to make a few more diamond string blocks AND I finished binding and labeling this HeartStrings quilt.

I love how this turned out, the looks of the grid, the fact it's really soft and cozy, and the striped binding was just perfect.

I have more work to do but my brain is tired - I think I'm going to head to bed with my book.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How did I not know this??


Sheila is my new BEST friend! She suggested I google the page and then click on "cached" which is beside the linked address and it worked -- they're all there so I can even go back in and check the ones I reloaded last night to make sure I didn't leave anything important out.

I'll still have to reload the photos and cut and paste the text in but I keep all my photos used in a tutorial in their own folder already resized for the page so it won't be difficult.

Thanks to everyone who checked their files for me - you can bet I'll be more carefull about keeping copies of ALL the pages.



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Can you help?

I worked all night and half of the morning too but most of the site is back up. Even with all the time spent uploading all the files again, I think it's going to be worth it as the upgrades make the site easier to manage/write.


I only have 2 more pages to redo and they're the most difficult. Did ANYONE save the files below to their computer and would you be willing to email them to me? Most of my documents are in PDF format but for some of the tutorial pages I type directly onto the page and I don't have a copy of the verbage I used to describe the photos. I can rewrite like I did several other pages but it would be easier if I had the original file. The ones I need are:

Pillowcases

How to Tie a HeartStrings Quilt

Obviously, those are the two pages that aren't up on the site now too but I hope to get them done soon esp. because they're both frequently used.


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Rebuilding MaryQuilts.com

I managed to wipe out my entire site when updating Wordpress so I'm in the process of rebuilding it since unfortuantely the backup I downloaded didn't work either.

For the most part it will be just tracking down and uploading files but there are some pages that I built the instructions on the site rather than in a PDF file and those will have to be completely redone.

I'm saving the main pages with the same file names so those links will work if you've bookmarked them but if you bookmarked the link to the PDF files, you'll have to update them because they have new link addresses.


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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Doing what I want to do

I'd intended to quilt another top today, but decided I wanted to play in my strings. I sort my strings by color in the bins to the right but as you can see from the bin in front and the strings on the floor I haven't sorted recently -- that's where all the bits and pieces get tossed while I'm sewing.

I decided to work on a rectangle string quilt -- similar to the one I have instructions posted except that one was color coordinated to the border I was using and this one has everything but the kitchen sink. I also cut my black center strings narrower (1.5 inches versus 2).

My favorite tool when I'm making string blocks - my rotating mat for squaring the blocks.

I'm trying very hard NOT to think about what I should be doing (quilting tops, binding, finishing Adam's top, starting Keith's flannel quilt, and assembling the brown/pink Stars and Pinwheel blocks). I can't quite manage to do what I want guilt free but I'll keep trying.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Still quilting

Since I had lime green thread on the longarm from the Happy Block top I quilted last night -- I decided to put another one on and use the same thread.

This top was pieced by LizA and is quilted with a pantograph - Bubbles. It's one of my favorites for kids quilts.




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