Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Am I ready for a REAL winter?

Patti wrote and asked me if I was prepared for the drastic change in climate that will come with my move to Minneapolis. I was cruising blogs the afternoon after my lovely hike with temps in the high 60's when I came across this entry from May Britt

and this one from Rebecca
I don't think that I can even image how cold it will get in Minnesota!

A walk in the woods

I should have spent the afternoon packing or quilting but instead I took a 6 mile walk in the woods and this time I brought my camera along.

I'll miss these trails.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I think Nancy was was the one who first asked what we collect.

I started collecting t-shirts from cities I was visiting a few years ago when I began traveling with my husband on his business trips with the intention of eventually making a t-shirt quilt. Shortly after that I was given a coffee mug from Hawaii by my sister in law as thanks for watching her son while she and her husband went there on vacation. So now on my trips I collect coffee mugs, my t-shirt collection has expanded to include sweatshirts and I get to relive memories of my trips each morning as I choose which cup to use that day.

I plan on gathering all my t-shirts together as I get ready for the move and maybe actually make the quilt when I get settled in Minneapolis. Right now there are t-shirts in my studio, in my closet, and in my dresser and I don't even know how many of them I've collected at this point.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

UFO #11

This was a project started at least a couple years ago. I'm getting close to the top on the Stashbusters UFO list so I pulled this one out; finished ripping the stitches that needed to come out and bound it.

This is the 11th UFO finished this year but I don't feel like I'm making much progress as there are still 17 UFO's on my working list and probably several more sitting around not yet counted.


The wedding went well and the kids are off on their honeymoon. Everyone else left this morning including Keith so Chesty and I will have a quiet week.

I don't have pictures from the wedding yet but this is a good one of my family. Keith and I were very fortunate that all of our siblings were able to attend the wedding but it was such a short weekend we didn't really have a chance to visit as much as I'd have liked.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Thank you

Before the wedding frenzy begins I wanted to thank you all for your encouragement and support. This is a great group and I feel very fortunate to belong to Stash Quilts and the larger Internet quilting community.

I'm finishing up my last tasks before the wedding. Today I had a pedicure and had my hair done. I also finally hemmed my dress for the wedding along with the pants I'm going to wear to the Rehearsal dinner. I can't sew so hopefully no one will look too closely at either job! Tomorrow I have laundry and some final cleaning to do and Chris and Becky will arrive after midnight.

Let the fun begin!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Closing Ceremonies where the walkers and crew formed the outer rings and the participants who were breast cancer survivors (in the pink shirts) marched in last.

I don't have the words to describe this weekend. It was an amazing, emotional experience to participate in the Breast Cancer 3 Day and I'm so happy that in spite of my doubts I decided to jump in and try.

I was proud that I could honor my Aunt's memory and do something active in the fight against breast cancer - that my efforts helped to raise funds for research and awareness.
Keith was supportive from the time I told him I wanted to sign up all the way through the event. He gave up many of his weekends to train with me and when I asked him to participate, he agreed to work the event as a crew member. It was wonderful to come back to camp each day to find him there cheering my efforts. As a member of the camp services team, one of his duties was working the towel station hence his new name - towel boy!

I did it!

uploaded photo for profile picture

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Packed and ready to go

I've checked off all the items on the packing list and the bags are packed. I haven't slept in a tent in many, many years so this should be interesting!

Keith has to participate in a Crew training day tomorrow and we have to report in on Friday morning at 5 AM (the actual walk takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).We're staying in a hotel near the starting point tomorrow night so this will be my last post until Sunday night or Monday.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Another Dog Sweater

I had planned to make Chesty a turtleneck sweater out of this yarn but realized the pattern called for a different weight yarn so I made him another hoodie - I made this one longer both on the back and the chest.

These are fun and easy to make - I've already bought some green yarn to try that turtleneck next!

Monday, October 16, 2006

October goals accomplished

It's certainly easy to meet goals when they are not very challenging. With my breast cancer walk this coming weekend and my son's wedding the following weekend my only two quilting goals for October were to finish my donation quilt for Quilt Pink and this quilt for myself.

I put the final stitches in the binding this afternoon so I'm all done! It's nice and toasty with a flannel back and it will go up to Minneapolis for use in our temporary apartment in November.

I've got the movers coming on October 30 to see how much stuff they'll have to pack - I need to finish culling through my studio so they'll be able to accurately assess packing materials and cost. So as much as I'd like to load another quilt I'll hold off until after the 30th.

I like being able to hang my quilts up to take the pictures but notice that sometimes they don't always hang completely straight using the clips on the curtain rod. This one looks a little wavy but it's the way it's hanging not the quilt which squared up nicely before binding.

Although my layout and borders are different from Bonnie's pattern, the blocks and inspiration came from her Pineapple Blossom quilt.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Atlanta 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk

The weekend of the Atlanta 3 Day Breast Cancer walk is finally approaching and this time next week I'll be completing the final day of the walk. In preparation, Keith and I have been doing our last training walks; Friday we hiked 5 miles, Saturday we did 15, and today we'll do 10 miles. Tuesday I'll do one final hike and cross my fingers that I'm ready to walk 60 miles in 3 days.

(From L - R) My Mom, Aunt Lillian, and Aunt Dot
I've mentioned in a previous post that I'm walking in memory of my Aunt Lillian who died last year after losing her battle with breast cancer and for two of my sisters who have struggled with this disease. I'll be carrying a picture of my Mom with her sisters and one of me with mine on this walk.

(From L - R) Maureen, Mary, Debbie, and Ann

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me and made contributions that will help fund the fight against Breast Cancer. Contributions are still being accepted and can be made at the 3 Day site by clicking HERE. Thank you!

Spectacular Scraps

Judy posted a comment on Stashbusters about the challenge of using stash fabrics. My response to her and the group was about the color concepts used in the book Spectacular Scraps: A Simple Approach to Stunning Quilts by Judy Hooworth, Margaret Rolfe.

This purple and orange half square triangle was the first quilt I made using two color families and throwing in ALL the purple and orange fabrics I had. Yes, everything went into this quilt.

Although the book uses half square triangles (with a bunch of different layouts) I also used this concept when I made Becky's half log cabin quilt - this time in her favorite colors of purple and red.

I would recommend this book to anyone but especially to those people trying to use the fabric they already own! Make the quilts using half square triangles or take the color concepts and combinations and use with other patterns.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Colors of Autumn

If you can believe it, it took as long to pick out the stitching on that partial row as it did to quilt the entire top. Anyway, the good news is that the Colors of Autumn quilting is done and it's trimmed and ready for binding.

I ended up using the pantograph - Popcorn by Jodi Beamish - this pantograph looks like clouds to me so the colors and quilting makes me think of a breezy autumn day like today.
I listened to a new CD from one of my favorite bands while picking out the original stitching and quilting this top - Reunion: A Decade of Solas. If you like Irish music then I'd recommend any of the Solas CD's. I am slightly biased as one of my cousins (Seamus Egan) is a band member but I can't really say I know him since I haven't seen him since he was a child.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I hate picking out quilting stitches!

While sitting around all afternoon waiting for the dealership to call and say my car was ready to be picked up, I loaded my Colors of Autumn top on the longarm.

Keith is out of town (again) so I decided to come down and start quilting around 10PM - after quilting about half a row of the Windy Day pantograph I felt it was too much for the already busy scrap quilt. So I've spent the last hour picking out the quilting and probably have almost 2 hours left if what I've gotten done so far is any indication. Usually I pick out my quilting stitches from the back of my quilt but in this case I'm using Bottom Line thread and my tension is outstanding! The stitches are completely sunk into the flannel backing so I have no choice but to pick from the front.

After waiting all day for the call to pick up my car - it's going to be another day and this was already the 3rd day disrupted. I spent Monday afternoon at the dealership, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon waiting to pick the car up and so I'll cross my fingers and hope that it's actually finished tomorrow as promised.

I'm going to bed and will deal with the quilt and the car dealership tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My first knitted sweater

I finished knitting my knitting my first sweater and it even has a hood. It turned out pretty cute I think!

Next I'm going to make him a turtleneck in red for the holidays.


I've been debating what to do about my longarm when we move. Because we want to live downtown - the options we're looking at for housing won't accommodate my longarm PLUS my sewing machine, cutting table, and fabric all in a single bedroom.

So, I've decided to trade in my Classic Plus on a 12 foot table for a Premier Plus on a 10 foot table. Because I only quilt for myself and family and don't do any quilting for hire, I know I can make this work for me. I don't quilt many king size quilts and when I do have the need to - I can always quilt them in two pieces and then assemble them using *quilt as you go* methods.

I'm sure this move to Minneapolis won't be our last move over the next 10+ years and I think by downsizing my machine now I'll have more flexibility with this move and with any future ones.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fat quarter binge

Since joining the Stashbuster list 2+ years ago I have - for the most part - controlled my fabric spending.

Today, I dropped my Pink Quilt off at Little Quilts and everywhere I turned there were bundles calling my name. I wanted to pick up some fat quarters (30's prints) to send my Mom otherwise I wouldn't even have stayed to look.

I found 2 fat eighth packs to send to Mom and 4 fat quarter bundles for me. I guess I felt the old fabric I was flinging was leaving room for some newcomers.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Studio

I had several comments about my studio and bookcase and I'm going to miss both of them. How am I ever going to fit my longarm and all my stuff in a regular size bedroom?

Well, besides sorting through fabric, books, and notions I've been looking at my options with my longarm. I've tentatively decided I'm going to trade in my Classic Plus with its 12 foot table for a smaller Premier Plus on a 10 foot table. I'm hoping the increased space will make up for any inconvenience. My sister has a Premier on a 10 foot table and I've seen/used her setup so I'm confident I can make it work. The only question is how I'm going to time the exchange.

Unfortunately. since my bookcase is built in I won't be able to take it with me. I've been looking at the book Creating your perfect quilting space and loved the shelves used for fabric storage in one of the makeovers. I looked for them at the Ikea site but couldn't find them. However I did find another one that might work - what do you think?

Friday, October 06, 2006

I've put this off long enough!

With just the Colors of Autumn top to quilt as my remaining goal for October, I finally jumped in and seriously started sorting/cleaning my studio in preparation for the move.

I've gone through all my books and decided that I will keep most of them. Since I enjoy looking through the ones that I'll never make a quilt out of I'll just have to find space for them.

I also started sorting through my fabric - a lot of it is from Joann's and Hancock Fabric's that I bought in the first few years I was quilting. I still buy fabric there at times but I'm more discriminating so I'm sorting through the stuff I don't want to use and donating it. I'm keeping a lot of bits and pieces that will go into scrap quilts and some larger pieces that can be used for backing. Most of my quilt shop fabric is fat quarters but there are larger pieces bought for borders that I'm also keeping.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pink Quilt

It's done and I love how it turned out! Thank you Judy for your Quilt for an Hour project and creating the design that inspired me.

It's ready to be donated and I'll take it by Little Quilts sometime next week and they'll send it in with their donations to Quilt Pink.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Amish Quilts

Amy and I had chatted before about her Amish quilt and the antique quilt I bought in Lancaster last year. She posted a picture of hers today so I thought I would also post one of mine.

I was told that this quilt dates back to the 1850's-1860's. It's beautifully hand quilted and although it has a few small stains, it's in very good condition. I want to have it appraised out of curiosity (did I pay more than it was worth?) but also because it's the only quilt I own that's probably worth anything. Regardless of the value - I LOVE this quilt.

When we were in Lancaster, I looked at a ton of quilts and the ones I was drawn to were not the ones being sold as Amish quilts but the antique quilts in the back room at Witmer's Quilt Shop. This was one of 3 quilts I had to make myself choose between. If you go to Lancaster make sure you check out the BACK room at Witmer Quilt Shop, 1070 W. Main St. in New Holland for the antique quilts.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Naming quilts

I was updating my Excel spreadsheet that I use to track my quilts and I realized that I'm terrible at naming quilts. These are some of the brilliant names I've come up with so far this year:

Twin Cabin #1
Twin Cabin #2
Baby Cabin
Crooked Hearts
Red/Purple Rail Fence
Butterfly Quilt
Adam's Jeans Quilt
Crayon Geese
Blue Braid #1
Blue Braid #2
Chris' wedding quilt
Pink Quilt (so named because it's Pink and I'm donating it to Quilt Pink)

Boring right? I started thinking about what name I would use for this year's autumn quilt and in the interest of coming up with a more interesting name than Autumn Quilt 2006, I did an internet search of Autumn and Poetry and came up with the following choices:

Autumn's Glory
An Autumn Day
Autumn Mosaic
The Colors of Autumn - this is the name I chose

The Colors of Autumn

in the North Georgia Mountains, November 2005

So how do the rest of you name your quilts?

Monday, October 02, 2006


I made a start today on my October goals by looking through my pantograph patterns to choose the quilting designs for the two quilts I'm going to do this month. Hopefully, I'll get the Pink Quilt loaded tonight. Both patterns are from Willow Leaf Studio.
Windy Day for the Autumn Quilt
Fay Feathers for the Pink Quilt

Checking more things off my to do list/October goals

Well, I think I'm making progress
  • all the wedding stuff is done except I need to shorten my dress slightly. I'm not a sewer but it's just a tiny rolled hem and I think I can cut an inch and a half off the bottom and then resew it myself. We'll see how it goes.
  • all the final plans were made for the Rehearsal dinner on Friday so now all I'll have to do is show up and have fun.
  • finished quilting and shipped my Aunt's quilt to her
  • finished the borders on the Autumn quilt

With the Breast Cancer Walk and the wedding the last two weekends of the month, I'm going to set just 2 goals for October.

That's it!