Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another quilt show purchase

I think I read somewhere that it takes 3 items to be a collector so I guess I'm officially an antique quilt collector. I picked this one up at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show. Grandmother's Flower Garden is a favorite pattern of mine but not one I'd ever make myself. I do like to make hexagon flowers but can't imagine having to stick with it long enough to complete an entire quilt.

My other two are one I purchased in Lancaster and the log cabin quilt I bought in Marietta at Little Quilts just before moving.

On a weather note, we have another large snow storm heading for us. I've canceled Chesty's vet appointment tomorrow because with Keith out of town there's no way I'm driving to take him and then pick him up (he's having his teeth cleaned and a growth removed from his head and has to be put to sleep). They're getting ready for more snow by stacking it up in the field across the street which now looks VERY ugly!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Most of the day wasted

I've had an ongoing computer problem that I've been unable to solve over the last few weeks so I broke down and paid for technical support from McAfee today. After 4 hours the problem still isn't solved and will probably take up a good chuck of my day tomorrow as I try again.

I had to be sitting here at the computer but most of the time they were controlling my computer remotely so I pulled out a new quilting book Quilting Possibilities...freehand Filler Patterns (Golden Threads) (Paperback) by Sue Patten and practiced my drawing.

I can't draw well at all but I find that if I draw things over and over until I've mastered them, I can quilt them. It may not look like it from this drawing but I can do fairly decent freehand feathers BUT I have a problem with quilting feathers that need to fill up a space - where they have to get larger and smaller. I really want to use some of these designs - do any of you have any tips to keeping the shape of my feather when stretching them out to fill the space?

I also tried some ferns.

Design wall

I've had several questions about the portable design wall I purchased at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show. It's too soon to say if it's going to be worth the money. I set it up yesterday but it's somewhat distorted - I'm sure I just need to take it down and try again but for now I have the Patriotic String Star blocks on it so it will have to wait.

The blocks seem to be holding fairly well even though they are heavier than normal because of the muslin base.

The size is 72 by 72 but the last row of this top is not going to quite fit as it it is 54x72 finished and my unfinished blocks need 76 inches in length.

It does fold up nicely in a small bag but I don't see myself taking it down and carrying it with me.

I think it will probably work for me but not sure I'd recommend you go out and spend $125 for it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I'm home with just minor flight delays - I think we've got about 14 inches of snow here on the ground but I've read different measurements so that could be wrong. There's snow in the forecast all next week so maybe I won't have missed all the fun.

Tomorrow I'll try to catch up on mail and get back to work. I bought a portable design wall at the quilt show and am eager to put it together and put my string blocks up on it and I have a quilt of Mom's that I'd like to get loaded on the longarm.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Quilt Show shopping

I just lost my entire post and am too tired to retype it so I'll summarize.

Went to the Mid Atlantic Quilt show today to shop and see my older sister's quilt hanging in the show (pictured above). We're going back Saturday to see the rest of the quilts when my younger sister gets here.

Spent WAY too much money - I bought a quilt chest which has to be shipped to MN and an antique 30's Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, some fat quarters, and a book. Luckily, Keith is still speaking to me.

Winter storm predicted for Minneapolis this weekend and I'm worried I won't be able to fly home Sunday as planned. Keith leaves for Denmark on Monday so a delay would be a problem. I guess Chesty could go back to the kennel if absolutely necessary until I get home but I'd hate for him to have to go back so soon.

Fabric balls

I was following links on Amy's blogs and somehow got to an article that mentioned using those tiny strips usually tossed in the trash to make fabric balls. I'd bogged about my trash before and how colorful and pretty it gets during the making of a quilt and thought about getting a vase to layer the trash but I don't really have room for it at the apartment so this caught my eye.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The house I grew up in

I grew up in Newport News, Virginia in this house that my Mom still lives in. With my parents, 6 kids, and other various relatives staying at one time or another it was crowded but somehow we managed.

Mom didn't want me to post this picture of the house because she had the old shrubs next to the house pulled out and will have new ones planted in the spring and right now it looks pretty bare. We also had a large maple tree in the front yard when I was growing up but that one had to be replaced and this tree hasn't grown as large.

A few daffodils are blooming in the backyard. Daffodils will always mean spring to me but I'm sure it won't feel like spring next week when I head back to Minnesota!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Puppy daycare/boarding

Keith has been traveling since Sunday so with both of us out of town Chesty had to go and stay at the daycare/boarding facility. I've been watching him on camera and calling everyday to make sure he's doing OK. Today they picked him up and brought him close to the camera while I was on the phone. Keith gets back to Minneapolis tomorrow so Chesty will get to go home.

Mom finished up the borders on our donation quilt this evening and I'll take it home with me to quilt. The lighting is not the best but you can get an idea of how the finished top looks.

Busy cutting and piecing

Mom and I have been working all day in the sewing room. I've done lots of cutting for her and she'll have several *kits* to keep her busy until my next visit.

In addition to the Pineapple Blossom from Bonnie's site that she's started, we've been working on a donation quilt and she just has the borders left to add. She got the butterfly fabric and bright fat quarters from my sister for her birthday but didn't know how she was going to use it. Thanks to EQ, I was able to work up a pattern and it's turning out really cute.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A new day

After plenty of rest to recover from my travels, Mom and I spent the afternoon and evening quilting. We're working on one of her quilts and had a really nice afternoon.

Then my sister emailed me with a link to a
new quilting program she'd found and after looking at the program I ordered it myself. I can't wait to try it out.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

One disadvantage to the MN move

I think I've gotten spoiled flying out of Atlanta - direct flights everywhere and when they were delayed no worries about missing connecting flights.

My flight was delayed out of Minneapolis last night and I missed my connecting flight to Virginia. The plane was still sitting at the gate but they'd closed the boarding door so I was out of luck. Of course that was the last flight out and although the agent in Minneapolis said they would give me a voucher for a hotel if I miss the connection, the Atlanta gate agent just looked and me and told me they were *out* of hotel rooms.

Keith found me a room at the Airport Marriott and even called Delta and got them to agree to reimburse me via a travel voucher.

Unfortunately I had very noisy neighbors on both sides and got less than an hour sleep before heading back to the airport this morning. Now, after an afternoon nap to catch up on sleep I'm sure I'll have trouble sleeping again tonight.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A few more blocks

I'm not getting much done this week and I leave tomorrow to visit my Mom in VA. I'll be gone 10 days. I have added 8 more blocks to the Patriotic String Star QOV quilt but this is a terrible picture. The lighting was bad in the room and the flash makes it look like there's a lot more contrast in the darker blues than there actually is.

Can you see my *error*? I deviated from the pattern accidentally and didn't realize it at first. I made several variations of this pattern and had intended to work with this one.

I'm really liking this quilt and wish I was going to be able to finish the blocks before going out of town but that definitely won't happen.

As I was sewing strings this afternoon, I realized this quilt would work well with half square triangles too.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

UFO #8

I quilted this on Friday before the boys arrived and just got the binding stitched down and the label sewn on last night. This is UFO #8 and the top was pieced from leftovers strips from my Baby Cabin I finished up last year.

Although not really a string quilt, I pieced those leftover strips on top of the muslin square like I do on a string quilt and I plan to donate this one with my other HeartString Quilts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

First 12 blocks

I've finished the first 12 blocks of the Patriotic String Star and am hoping to finish up the corner blocks tonight.

I spoke with my Mom today and she reminded me I still have to put together my BOM top that is at her house. She machine stitched my applique down for me in exchange for my quilting hers. Nice isn't she? I adapted the applique a bit for mine and I'm eliminating the log cabin border. My thought is that when I'm done it would be nice to donate it to Habitat for Humanity. So rather than start new quilt #4 - the Pink Ribbon Strings while I'm there, I'll be working on a UFO.
Tonight I'll finish up the binding on my Baby Stripes and mark UFO #8 off my list.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Back to work

The boys left today to go home and I got a little work done. I had plans to go to my Mom's next week but thought I was going to have to leave today to be there this week for one of her appointments. Plans changed again and I'll still be leaving early but not until Friday.

I'll be in VA for a little over a week and plan to work on making blocks for the Pink Ribbon string quilt while I'm there but in the meantime I needed something to keep me busy so I started making blocks for the Patriotic String Star for my QOV quilt. I had intended to start making a scrappy Pineapple quilt this week but I'm going to push that off until March.

I'd better be careful or I'll start too many new quilts. My deal with myself is that I have to finish 2 UFO's for every new quilt I start. So, I've just got a binding to sew down on a baby quilt that will be UFO #8 for the year. Even with that progress I'm going to fall behind with the start of the Pineapple because of all the new string quilts. I guess a better decision would have been to load another UFO on the longarm and quilt that before I left.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Updating profile photo

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Friday, February 09, 2007

An unexpected change in plans

I quilted another UFO today and had the binding machine stitched on with plans to hand stitch it down this evening after Keith and I went out. Keith came in from work this afternoon about 45 minutes late and had two surprise packages with him. Chris and Adam came for a visit! I can't believe the 3 of them kept the surprise but I was so excited to see my boys!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

UFO # 7 finished

The binding on my Half Square Strings is done and that makes 7 UFO finishes this year! I still have to sew a HeartStrings label to the back but I'll get that done today.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I think I created some confusion with my previous post. This pieced backing (which still looks pretty ugly in the picture) is on the back of my string quilt. I've finished the quilting and the binding that was rejected for the log cabin quilt is already machine stitched to the quilt.

After a walk downtown for a late lunch and a visit to the bookstore, I'll sit and hand stitch my binding to the back. Did I mention I love quilting these Baptist Fans? They look great on my strings but you'll have to wait until I finish the binding to see the front.

Backing made and more Baptist Fans

I finished piecing the backing this morning and am about 3/4 of the way finished quilting my Half Square Strings using my Baptist Fan template again and I love how it's looking!

I ended up piecing strips leftover from the backs of 10 different quilts and as you can see there's a little bit of everything. I had a lot of comments from people who piece quilt backs (I also piece most of my backs) - the challenge here was using all those leftover bits and as you can see it's not really color coordinated but it won't be nearly as ugly once it's quilted and trimmed.

The second photo shows the most important step of assembling a pieced backing - squaring it up.
I've got my binding made - I also save leftover binding bits and piece them together for scrappy quilts. I had intended to use a scrappy binding on this log cabin quilt - can you see the binding on the floor already made? In the end I decided to bind that quilt in the same blue as the border and that pieced binding has been sitting around for a year waiting for me to use it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Backing scraps

Am I the only one who can't throw away the leftover bits of quilt backings? I piece together leftover strips of batting but these backing pieces have been sitting in a bin waiting for me to find a use for them.

Since this String quilt uses all my scrap bits and pieces I decided I'd see if I could piece a usable back out of this pile. So far I have about 3/4 of the size I need sewn together but the question is will this backing be too ugly to use?

Mom's Oak Leaf - done!

This should have been simple enough to quilt and I don't know why I struggled so hard but at least it's done now and ready to ship off to Mom along with her BOM I finished a couple weeks ago for her.

I don't know how you longarmers deal with the stress of a customer quilt that isn't coming out right - at least I can tell Mom she gets what she pays for!

Mom's quilt

Still working on Mom's quilt. Finished the background meandering in the applique blocks yesterday. I quilted the bottom border this afternoon and then had to pick out my original quilting in the top border and quilt that. After taking this picture, I got the quilt off and re-pinned so it's set for me to quilt the side borders tomorrow.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Boarding and Doggie Daycare

With the move, we need to find a place to board Chesty when we travel so today we took him to Downtown Dogs in Minneapolis for an evaluation. In Marietta, we boarded him with our Vet and he stayed in a kennel. Downtown Dogs requires that you leave him for a minimum of 4 hours for the evaluation and he doesn't have any experience with *free play* with other dogs so I was a bit worried about leaving him.

They do have a neat feature on their website - doggie cam - so we've been able to watch to see how he's doing. We called to check on him once and they said he's not really playing with the other dogs but he doesn't seem to be stressed about being in with them. That's Chesty - standing in the middle of the floor by himself.

Another late night finish

I finished up these blocks this afternoon and decided to start piecing the top tonight. Once I got started I decided to keep going until the top was together. It's 12:30AM and the lighting isn't the best but here are a couple pictures. I'll have to try to get a better picture tomorrow. (top picture replaced 2/4)

Don't you hate seeing a *problem* once you finish a top. Can you see those two strips of the same green fabric in the middle block on the top row? I didn't notice it until I took the picture so it's not a prominent as it appears and I'm certainly not going to do anything about it now. You'll notice that I didn't worry about lining up my center strips perfectly - I like the more imperfect look although I have to admit that mine are a lot more consistent that the ones in the pattern.

Although I started this quilt before Judy issued her challenge, I'm counting it as my stash quilt for February. The border fabric is one that had been in my stash for at least a couple years and I looked through my strings to find ones that picked up the colors in the print. I'll use fabric from stash for the backing too.

Friday, February 02, 2007

My EQ6 String Quilts

I created an web album with my recent String quilt designs if anyone wants to view them all together in the same location. Click on the photo below to go to the album.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I knew you guys would give me some great feedback - I played around a little more with the string design for my QOV quilt and I used some lighter blues to make the star pop. I think I like this one better than the cream/beige star. What do you think?