Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Project Linus

Today I took quilts and afghans to the local Project Linus chapter. I had two of each to donate this time. The top pink afghan is crocheted in a shell pattern that is very pretty. The green and yellow quilt alternates a cute cat print block with pinwheel blocks and the blue and pink quilt has a butterfly print in a twisted block setting.

I'm still working on quilting Adam's jeans quilt. I've run into some problems with thread breaking and although I have tried different needles and different threads I'm still having some problems.

I had planned to meander it but the thread kept breaking when I went around a curve so I'm just quilting back and forth across the blocks very SLOWLY. I've only got the final round of black blocks to quilt and then it will be ready for binding.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Back to work

I have a week until my next trip so I'm set to get back to work. I've made good progress on another knitted baby afghan while I was away but didn't work on my Cathedral Windows at all. I need to iron some more of the muslin squares and I'll take both the knitting and the Cathedral Windows with me when I go to Boston next week.

Today I plan on loading Adam's quilt on the longarm and to start piecing on another UFO. I'm just not sure which UFO I'm going to work on next so I'll load Adam's jean quilt first.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

What I'm reading

Machine Quilting Guidebook Diane Gaudynski

Can you tell I'm traveling again? I'm getting some reading done since I can't be at home quilting.

I bought this book at the quilt show Wednesday and stayed up last night reading it from cover to cover. Lots of helpful information on machine quilting and some really neat quilting designs. I can't wait to try some of the techniques and designs.

What I'm reading

A Thread of Grace Mary Doria Russell

I love historical fiction and found this book fascinating. Although I've read many books both fiction and non fiction about WW2 I'd never read anything set in Italy during this time period.

The book is a fictional account of Jews and Italians during WW2.

What I'm reading

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
by Bill Bryson

I enjoy hiking so this book on hiking the Appalachian trail was very interesting to me. I know now I don't want to hike the entire thing but I still plan to do some day hikes on the trail one day.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just checking in

I'm having a great time visiting with my mom, sister, and aunt. We went to the quilt show yesterday and my sister and I ran back today to shop some more.

I bought a few fat quarter bundles and the new foot for curved piecing - well it's been out a while but I'm just getting it now.

Also bought the new quilt calculator. I've been working on patterns for my aunt and the calculator came in handy for figuring the yardage she needed to purchase.

I get home Sunday so I'll write more then.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bound and labeled

This one makes 6 UFO's finished this year. Not the best picture but I'm heading out of town first thing in the morning and I still have to pack.

I'll be visiting with my mom, sister, and aunt and going to the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival. While I'm very focused this year on reducing my stash - I will be picking up some fat quarter bundles. They always have great fat quarters at this show.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Butterfly Quilting

Click on the pictures to see the quilting detail

It's done. I quilted a mixture of leaves and butterflies and I guess it looks OK. Once it's bound I'll post a picture of the whole quilt but here are a couple shots of the quilting. You can still see some of my marking on the butterfly picture. I used template plastic to trace the outline of the butterfly and scattered them in the border.

Technically I should do some ditch stitching but I hate to stitch in the ditch on the longarm. It's a donation quilt not a show quilt so I'm going to allow myself to not ditch stitch.

Of course, in case you get the wrong idea - I don't make show quilts. The quilts I make for myself are scrap quilts and I quilt pantographs on them.

If it wasn't for quilting my Mom's quilts I probably wouldn't be able to quilt anything but overall meandering or pantographs. She always seems to make quilts that need something other than pantographs.

Thanks for all the input.

Blocks Quilted

OK, the blocks are done now onto to the borders.

I also have to decide if I'm going to do any quilting between the blocks. For now I'm not planning to - we'll see what I think when the rest of the quilting is done.

Do I like it? Not sure yet.

Ready to start

OK - I've decided to freehand quilt this quilt - I hope I don't regret it. I don't know why I'm stressing over this maybe because I'll actually be showing the outcome on the blog. So be nice to me - this is why I don't quilt for other people except family members and they get what they pay for.

I'm going to use the variegated thread and I'll start with the square in a square blocks. I played around with different variations and this is the one I'm going to try. Can you tell I can't draw. I printed a bunch of blank blocks off EQ5 and drew different patterns until I came up with one I like.

I'm still not sure what I'll do in the 4 patch blocks but I'm leaning toward some loops and butterflies in the final border.

I printed a butterfly motif off of the McCalls site and I can trace it on template plastic and just use the outline on the top so I can place the butterflies where I want them. I'll just do loops in between the butterflies.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


I've loaded the butterfly quilt and intended to start quilting it tonight but since I'm not sure about the quilting I'm going to sleep on it and start tomorrow afternoon.

I'm in such a pantograph mode - I haven't quilted anything freehand this year. I'm debating between freehand quilting a Line Dancing pattern with leaves or this pantograph - Rhapsody. The lazy way would be to just do the pantograph.

Second I'm debating thread color. An olive green that matches the *dark* fabric in the quilt or a variegated with greens, golds, and oranges.

Click on the picture to get a larger view.

I'll probably start quilting in the afternoon so if you have any thoughts for me - leave me a comment before then otherwise it will be too late because I AM going to make a decision and quilt this tomorrow!

Adam's top finished

I was determined NOT to go to bed tonight before finishing this top. I did not want to wake up and have to face it in the morning. It's turning out better than I expected it and I know Adam will love it.

Now I'll put it aside until I get back from the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show next week. We visit Adam on his birthday (March 18th) so I'll have plenty of time to quilt it before our visit.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Stashbuster's retreat weekend

I'm participating in a stay at home retreat this weekend with the Stashbuster group and working on a birthday quilt for my son Adam.

This is another UFO - I've had 3/4 of the squares cut out for this quilt for months maybe even more than a year. My intention was to make a rag quilt but then I made the mistake of describing the quilt to him. He said NO ragged edges. So with most of the squares cut out I was limited to what I make.

Here's my progress so far. The appliques are from the old jeans and I'm just trying to sprinkle them through the quilt.

I have two more rounds of squares - one blue and a final black.

Does anyone have ideas on how to quilt this?

Friday, February 17, 2006

UFO #5 finished

Here are the final pictures. I finished the binding up at my Bee group this morning. I didn't have enough of the border fabric to bind the quilt so I made a scrappy binding out of the leftover red and purple strips.

Next up is a jean's quilt for my son's birthday. He told me he did NOT want a rag quilt after I had most of the squares cut so this one won't be very interesting.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Labeling quilts to be donated

While it was good to get a lot done last night when I couldn't sleep - I made up for it and slept in this morning. Now I'm not tired tonight so I'm working again.

I finished the quilting on the Red and Purple rail fence, took it off the machine, trimmed it, sewed the binding on, and still not tired. So I decided to embroider my initials and the year on the back as my label.

I'd been using my sewing machine alphabet to sew initials and the year on some of my donation quilts but wasn't crazy about how it looked. So when I saw a post by Jeanne with her morning has broken embroidery I decided that I'd label one of these next quilts by hand.

Even though my lettering needs a lot of practice I'm happier with these results than the machine lettering. This has more character!

I'll work on hand stitching the binding down tomorrow night while I'm watching the Olympics and this will be UFO #5 finished.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Quilting makes the quilt

Yesterday was taken up with errands and hiking and I never did get back to my quilting. I couldn't sleep last night so around 2AM I decided to load a quilt and start quilting the red and purple rail fence.

With all the lights on in my studio I couldn't see the quilting very well and the red thread blended in with the top. So I came downstairs this afternoon and with just the light from the windows I could see the detail of the quilting and I love it.

It's a pantograph - the large version of Fay Feathers from Lorien Quilting and I think it looks wonderful.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I'm curious if other bloggers print a hard copy of their blogs. I've always wanted to keep a journal but never got beyond a few entries. I've been printing my blog in sections thinking that I'll put them together in a binder so I'll have a permanent written record of what's going on in my life - quilting, travels, even what I'm reading.

How about the rest of you? Are you keeping a printed copy of your blogs?

Weight loss update
I went to my Weight Watchers meeting today and in spite of being out of town for 11 days and having to eat out I lost 3 lbs in the last two weeks. That's a total of 8.8 lbs in 4 weeks. I celebrated by going for a long hike at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Monday, February 13, 2006


I finished another crocheted afghan tonight. Most of it was done in the car on my trip but it was started in October and finished up tonight watching the Olympics.

Pictured above are the three afghans I've finished this year. The white one is the one I just finished up.

I always have trouble taking a good picture of these - I never seem to get them to drape across something the right way so this time I just folded and stacked them together.

All three will be donated.

String Quilts

While I was in Florida there was more discussion on the stashbuster list about string quilts so I thought I'd post 2 more string quilts that I'd made.

The lap quilt was the first one I did and after the blocks were made I sashed them with a blue fabric. The second one on the bed is a what I call self sashing. The first string placed on each block is the same blue fabric so when the blocks are sewn together it appears sashed.

I have 2 more string quilts on my UFO list that I'm anxious to work on but there are a few other projects ahead of them.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


The weather is beautiful here in South Florida. We're having a great time walking along the beach and visiting with family.

Friday we walked the boardwalk at Hollywood beach - lots of construction going on there and half the boardwalk was roped off with the path being redone. We were able to walk from one end to the other - 4 miles. Saturday we went to Ft. Lauderdale beach and walked another 4 miles along the boardwalk and then had lunch at a place overlooking the water.

We lived in South Florida for over 9 years and in Tampa for 3 but have been in the Atlanta area for almost 4 years now. It's interesting seeing the changes in both areas.

Today we went to Keith's nephew's soccer game - they lost 2-1 but his nephew scored their only goal so we got to cheer loudly. It is a beautiful day and I had a long walk with my sister-in-law after the game.

Hopefully all these walks are going to help with my weight loss goals!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What I'm reading

The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters Elisabeth Robinson

It's now 1:50AM and instead of sleeping I just finished this book.

The writing style took me a while to adapt to as the book is written as a series of letters from one person. This is another book about sisters - a topic that I mentioned is of interest to me as I have 3 of them. I also have 2 brothers but I have to admit my more *interesting* relationships are with my sisters.

In the novel (which is based on events in the author's life), one of the sisters is diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. I've had a sister survive cancer and I lost my father-in-law 9 months ago to complications of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia so this book hit me on a couple levels.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

South Florida

We arrived in South Florida today after a stop in Punta Gorda to visit my sister Debbie. We had a nice lunch and a brief visit with her before climbing back in the car and continuing on our journey. She also gave me a stack of her hand dyed fabrics. I don't know what I'll make with them yet but I'm scouting patterns and I'm sure I'll find something suitable.

I'll have a chance to see Debbie again in a couple weeks when we both go up to Virginia for the Mid Atlantic Quilt Fest. She's flying through Atlanta and I was able to get on the same flights so we'll get to travel together as well as spend a few days at Mom's.

I guess you can tell I'm getting a lot of reading done on this trip from all the book postings. I also made some good progress on the afghan I'm crocheting on the car ride today. Tonight I'll work some more on the Cathedral Windows.

I'm feeling much better yesterday and today - thanks to everyone who wished me well - it seems to have worked.

Keith and I have plans tomorrow or Friday to go to Ft. Lauderdale to walk along the beach and then lunch at one of the sidewalk cafe's. Our hotel is only about 15-20 minutes from the beach but most of our time here will be spent with family.

What I'm reading

Predator Patricia Cornwell

I loved the early books in the Kay Scarpetta series but the last several have been disappointing. Each time she comes out with another one I'm tempted NOT to buy and read it but I guess I'm afraid I'm going to miss something.

I would recommend her early books but not the last few.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Road trip continues

We made it to Tampa this evening and will be here until Wednesday morning. When we leave Tampa we'll stop by my sister's house for lunch on our way to South Florida. We hadn't planned on a visit with her on this trip but it will be nice to see her even briefly.

We were in Orlando since late afternoon Friday. I'm sorry to say that I messed up our plans for the Super Bowl by being sick. On top of the respiratory virus I've been fighting for 2 weeks I got a 48 hr GI bug. Luckily that seems to have passed so hopefully the rest of the trip will be better.

Chesty is doing pretty well in the hotels - he does bark when anyone comes to the door which luckily isn't too often.

I'm making good progress on my crocheted baby afghan which is my car project and a little progress on the Cathedral Windows. I did get another row sewn on the Cathedral Windows and am now making some more blocks for a second row.

What I'm reading

Just Between Us Cathy Kelly

An entertaining and easy to read book about relationships. The main characters are a mother and three daughters.

I love reading about relationships between sisters. I have 3 sisters myself and I'm always interested in how mine compare even with fictional sisters!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

What I'm reading

4th of July James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

I just finished this mystery - 4th in the series featuring Lt. Lindsey Boxer.

I didn't realize until I started keeping track of the books I'm reading that I read so many mysteries with female detectives or private investigators. I enjoyed this book and have liked all the ones so far in this series.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why did I decide I had to make this backing before I left?

One last post before I stop complaining of how much I have to do and just go do it.

I decided I needed to piece this back for the butterfly quilt before I left so I can get right to work on quilting it when I get home.

So I yanked a bunch of coordinating fabrics off the shelf and ripped them into different widths. I had been cutting a bunch of squares over the last several days but decided to save them for another quilt I'm making.

Now back to work!


I'm pulling out my Cathedral windows project to pack it for my trip and can only find the finished squares - none of the muslin squares or the small *flower* squares. Well of course I don't remember how big to cut them so I go looking for the book with the 1/2 page instructions and can't find it.

Finally, after an hour of throwing books everywhere I find it sitting on the floor under a stack of books I'd already looked through 3 times . You should all be impressed that I even remember which book had my skimpy directions in it after all it's been almost 3 years since I started this project.

Now I just have to cut a new bunch of squares as if I didn't have enough to do tomorrow getting ready to be gone for 11 days!

The good news is that there are about 2 rows of squares finished that aren't sewn together yet that I'd forgotten I'd finished.

Next time I put a project away maybe I should put some kind of instructions with it. That's what I get for not working from patterns.