Thursday, May 31, 2007

Loring Park

You've seen pictures of this park off my balcony but I wanted to share some from the walk Chesty and I took today. I LOVE this park and the fact that its just steps outside my door. My favorite bench in the park has this view of the Basilica of St. Mary's.

Click on the album below if you're interested in seeing the rest of the photos from our walk.

Loring Park - May 2007

Are you ready for the unveiling of the new Mary?

I made Keith take a bunch of photos so I could get one that was halfway decent. Here's the new haircut.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happiness is....

Breakfast on the balcony overlooking the park

New music from John Mayer from iTunes

Living in Minneapolis with a great view from all my windows

A walk in the park with Chesty

A beautiful fountain in the park

Getting an email from Keith saying he's getting on the plane and heading home after being gone 3 days

Having the luxury of sewing all day- any day - because I don't have to work

Dancing around my sewing room with no one but Chesty watching

Finishing the blocks for another HeartStrings quilt

A glass of wine on the balcony overlooking the park before dinner

Sometimes I forget how wonderful my life is.....I hope your day was just as great!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Inspired to work on another UFO

I've had these leftover strips cut for over 2 years with the intention of making a Roman Stripes quilt from them. Finishing up Mom's Roman Stripes has inspired me to go ahead and least get this UFO to the finished top stage.

These were my first 8 blocks made last night - this one should go pretty quickly.

Tomorrow - like it or not - I need to load my aunt's top on the longarm. I always seem to procrastinate loading a new quilt.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thanks for the advice

I was all ready to get my haircut but the salon was closed today so I'll go tomorrow. I decided on a slightly shorter version of #5. Several people suggested highlights but I'm going to pass on any color. Thanks for the advice and when Keith gets home later in the week I'll have him take a new photo for my profile.

Today was one of those days that I didn't feel like I accomplished much - too many small tasks I guess. I went out around lunch to ship off quilts - one to Pam and one to my Aunt, visited the bookstore and had lunch at Panera. Then spent part of the afternoon reading and checking things off my to do list in the sewing room. Now I have 3 packages ready to mail out tomorrow - one to Mom with background blocks and setting triangles for an applique quilt she's working on for me, one for a fellow stashbuster with a pattern, and some Chinese Coins for Becky who will use them to make a HeartStrings quilt.

Finally this evening I started piecing blocks for another string quilt - this one is also a UFO so it will eventually mean one more checked off my list.

I'm ready for a new hair style (I think)

Not the most flattering photo but one taken of me a couple months ago showing my gray hair and chubby cheeks. I'm not going to color the gray - too much time, expense, and upkeep for something that doesn't really bother me but I'm ready for a new haircut.

Here are some styles I'm considering - does anyone have any opinions that would help me choose?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

This week's goals

We're back from Mankato - it wasn't a very exciting place and I have to say I'm glad that Keith's company moved here to Minneapolis rather than there (they have a plant there too)!

The 30's Roman Stripes quilt is bound, labeled, and freshly laundered and ready to ship off to Pam a fellow HeartStrings member to donate.

Goals for this week are:
Stitch down the binding on another HeartStrings quilt
Load and quilt a top for my Aunt Dot
Start piecing another string quilt - this one is another UFO that I've had leftover strips cut and set aside from a quilt I made for Adam a couple years ago.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A little weekend trip

We're off in an hour or so to visit Mankato, MN. Keith's going to play golf tomorrow and we'll have dinner with some friends. We're only going to be gone a couple nights so we'll still have 2 days of the long weekend at home.

Chesty will be coming with us and I'm taking two Heartstrings quilts (Roman Stripes, Irish Chain) so I can stitch down their bindings.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Spiderweb top is FINALLY done

I don't have a good place to take full length photo's of quilts (or quilt tops in this case). I took the first one tossed over the balcony but decided to try and get a full length one too but I can't get far enough away from the quilt.

I had a couple requests for instructions - here's a link to my quilt instructions site. - they're brief and assume you don't need detailed instructions. I added the narrow dark red border on my quilt that is not included in the instructions because I decided at the last minute the border and sashing fabric would be too blendy without something between them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

That was quick

I finished the Roman Stripes quilt just before going out to dinner. Keith has another business dinner tonight so I'm on my own - again. I walked a couple blocks to Buca and a couple glasses of wine, a salad, and 2 slices of pizza later I'm very mellow!

I've also been working on the spiderweb top - just 3 seams and then I can add borders. I'm really having to make myself finish this top rather than putting it aside. This is the first time I've sashed the blocks individually - I don't know if it's because there are so few blocks or if the design wall makes it easier but I didn't have to *think* too hard.

I was playing around in EQ6 again today - I love this new version - it's so easy to save photos of quilts and blocks. Here's the 16 patch and pinwheels that Mom and I were working on.

Baptist Fan quilting

Did I mention I love this template? I'm quilting another HeartStrings top today - this is a quilt that I designed in EQ and cut out for my Mom. She pieced the top and gave it to me to quilt and donate. Look at how nice and flat that border lies unlike the one I just finished quilting for my aunt!

The skies have gotten dark and the rain is pouring down. I'm going to unplug the Gammill for a bit since I noticed we have a tornado warning in effect. Don't want any lightening strikes or power surges to mess up my machine.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Did I sound like I was complaining?

Maybe the last post sounded a little whiny but I don't worry too much about the tops waiting for quilting. I don't quilt as a *job* so I rarely have set deadlines and usually make good progress.

Today I quilted my Aunt's top - you remember - the one one I lost my mind and spent hours pulling out the quilting stitches before going to visit my Mom. Anyway, she's pretty *relaxed* about how she adds borders to quilts so they're usually a challenge. After picking out all that stitching and reloading the quilt - I remembered why I had changed my mind about a pantograph in the beginning. There was way too much fullness in the entire quilt to manage from the back and the borders were going to be particularly difficult. In the end, I just quilted a loopy meander and the leaves I started with would probably have looked better.

My solution was to quilt pleats in the borders since there was no way to quilt them without getting lots of tucks. Because I'm such a nice niece I even slip stitched them down after finishing the quilting.

Before someone asks why I don't tell her the *right* way to measure and add borders - she already knows how but just chooses not to.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Waiting for quilting

I have about 25 tops in line for quilting right now and that number keeps growing. In addition to tops from my Mom and aunts, I've added these 3 to the pile.

Two of these are the ones Mom and I finished this past week (they'll go to her church at Christmas) and the Roman Stripes is a top that Mom made and gave me to finish for HeartStrings and donate. The green double 4 patch is a UFO from last year and I'm happy to have that top finished and ready for quilting.


I had several comments about the wallhanging in the last photo. The picture was taken at Mom's house and that's a pattern I adapted for her out of a book or magazine. The center is unchanged from the pattern and we put a braid border around it to go with an applique quilt she uses on that bed.

If someone *needs* to know where the pattern came from - let me know and I'll chase it down.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm home

My flight got in this afternoon and after another sleepless night and early morning I'm tired so there be no work for me today. I'm getting behind so I'll have to start quilting again tomorrow - I brought 5 tops back with me plus all the ones I already have waiting.

After taking me to the airport this morning at 6AM, Mom went home and finished putting this last one we'd been working on together so it's ready to send to me for borders and quilting. This was from leftover strips from the green double 4 patch and it's a 16 patch alternating with a pinwheel block.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Progress on May's Use the Stash Challenge

Mom and I have worked long and hard the last couple days and have made great progress on our May stash quilts. We both still have borders to add but these will be ready to go back with me for quilting when I go home on Saturday.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I've had a 3 day break from quilting but today I'm back at work. We had a nice Mother's Day weekend but my sister and her family have gone home and Mom and I have started on Judy's May Stash Challenge.

Mom's working on the Courthouse Steps quilt and I'm working on the green Double 4 Patch. Both quilts will be completely from stash and will be donated this December to Mom's Church through their Angel Tree.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Quilt Pink and Mother's Day

I had two packages this afternoon. First, my quilt I bid for and won from the Quilt Pink Auction. Thanks to *Bidder #5* I had to work very hard to win the auction but I'm glad I didn't drop out for a couple reasons - I love the quilt and it was donated by Little Quilts in Marietta (I was feeling nostalgic just having moved from there).

The second package was Mother's Day Flowers from Chris & Becky and Adam.

Thanks for all the encouraging comments - I'm going to visit Mom for a week so maybe when I get back I can finish my Spiderweb top and quilt the top for my Aunt. I'm usually very tolerant of my work so I'm not sure why I've been displeased lately but taking a break will help.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What's wrong with this?

I went in to pick out more quilting stitches tonight and the crazy thing is I don't even know why I decided I had to pull all of this out and start over. It's really not that bad.

However, I am going to finish it now and just do a pantograph. Honestly, I don't know why I'm so dissatisfied with my work these days.

I'm so disgusted right now

If my dissatisfaction with the progress on the spiderweb quilt wasn't enough - I loaded a rail fence quilt for my Aunt on the longarm this morning. Started quilting it and decided I wasn't happy with it either.

I've spent all afternoon picking out quilting stitches and still have at least 2-3 hours left before I'm done. This is obviously a week I shouldn't be quilting!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Thanks for all the feedback on the spiderweb quilt. I woke up this morning intending to rip out the sashing I'd already sewn but I've decided to just finish it up. It's tempting to just set the whole project aside but I know that it won't turn out as bad as I think and in the end it will make a nice donation quilt.

I did finish quilting this top that was donated to HeartStrings by Lori in CA. I leave for Virginia for a week on Friday so the binding may have to wait until I get back. The color in the first photo is truer but the 2nd one shows the quilting - another pantograph called Fay Feathers.

I asked Keith's opinion

I'm ready to sash and border the spiderweb blocks and had 3 combinations pinned to my design wall this afternoon to study while I was quilting another HeartStrings top (sent to me by Lori in CA for quilting). Since I wasn't any closer to a decision by the time Keith got home I asked which one he liked and he chose the center - olivey green combination.

Figuring what the heck - I cut out the inner border and part of the sashing and starting assembling the top tonight but with 2 blocks sashed I'm worried. I'm going to stop and reassess once I have daylight.

This quilt has really been a pain especially for something that was supposed to be a quick donation quilt from some leftover strips.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Helping those in need in Greensburg, Kansas

Sue Frank, one of the HeartStrings Quilt Project Coordinators is encouraging our quilters to help those in need. She has contacted a church that is sheltering 300 people devastated by the tornado in Greensburg, Kansas and gotten information on where quilt donations may be sent.

Visit the HeartStrings blog for more information.

See photos of Greensburg, Kansas after the tornado.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


It's been an overcast and breezy weekend here in Minneapolis but we've still been out and about. Yesterday we tried for one of our 10+ mile walks but the weather didn't cooperate. Today we headed to the Mississippi for a walk along the river.

Here's the view from the other side.

Other photos from our walk can be seen in my online album. Now, I'll work some on my spiderweb quilt.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I'm tired of this already

I made myself work on my scrappy spiderweb blocks but I'm already tired of working on it and the quilt has been downsized so I can finish it sooner. It will still end up being about 54x68 or maybe a few inches bigger depending on my final border decisions. I did finished making the block quarters and have half of the blocks sewn together today.

I'll load another quilt on the longarm and maybe the next few days I can alternate between quilting and getting this to the finished top stage.

Does anyone else do this? Start out with grandiose plans for a large quilt and get bored?

By the way, that innocent looking dog at the top of the page, got into my batting again - twice!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

They're running - I'm watching

There's a race starting at the park this evening. I'm sitting up on the balcony watching them run by as I sip a glass of wine.

Use the Stash Challenge

Judy has issued the use the stash challenge for May so after several conversations with Mom today this is what I've decided to do.

I'll be visiting Mom in a week and while I'm there we'll work on two stash quilts together that will be donated at Christmas time through her church's Angel Tree.

We'll make a version of this Sandy Bonsib quilt using a tea dyed muslin I've had for a while for a background and her leftover strips.

We'll also make a green lap size version of this quilt I made for Chris and Becky but we'll use greens and beige fabrics. I have all the strips cut but they've been sitting around for almost a year now so it's time to use them.

Today I pulled fabric and fused the houses for the Bonsib quilt and I'll work on stitching them down by hand using the blanket stitch. There's only 3 of them in the quilt but we're going to add one for a total of 4. Mom doesn't think that's enough of them but I think more would be overkill.

I hadn't pulled out Sandy's Folk Art Quilts book in a while but look at this log cabin on the cover - that would make a great string quilt. I've been wanting to try some free form log cabin blocks using strings anyway so maybe I'll give this one a shot - after I finish up some other projects. Evelyn recently posted a heart quilt that reminded me of one I made from this book.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


The last couple days I've been busy quilting, binding, labeling, and washing. A HeartStrings quilt was mailed to To The Top Project today, I finished washing and labeling 5 other donation quilts and the quilting and binding is done on the Chinese Coins quilt. I feel so productive!

Quilts washed and ready for donation.