Friday, August 31, 2007
I love it when things turn out well
Don't you hate it when people aren't specific?? I want to blog about my news but can't yet. Last night I was in tears and today I'm on top of the world!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
This was seriously FUN!
Click on the images to see a larger view. This also counts as a UFO finish (#14 this year) since these blocks were made a very long time ago!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Ready for binding
Just in case you didn't believe me, here are two photos of the quilt just after trimming and you can still see the piecing and pattern of the top. Click on the photos to see larger views. Once I get this bound - I'll have 3 quilts to send back to Sue Frank for Quilts of Valor and she's got another top to send me for quilting.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I did come back and finish the rest of the Baptist Fan quilting so once I frog and re-quilt that partial row - I'll be done.
On another subject - Julie asked me if I knew the origin of the Chinese Coins quilt. I'm not sure if she meant the name of the pattern or the pattern itself but the only reference I was able to find was in the book Amish Crib Quilts from the Midwest which suggested that it was a Bars Quilt variation.
I looked in another book on Amish quilts, An Amish Adventure by Roberta Horton and was surprise to find that she shows a Chinese Coins quilt as a Bars Quilt variation saying "you can break up the odd-number bars into squares of different colors, a pattern know as Chinese Coins." And what I consider a Chinese Coins quilt, she calls a Roman Coins (another Bars Quilt variation).
Does anyone else have any information on the origin of this pattern/quilt name?
Still for sale
The realtor put up a new site and sent us the link. Makes me miss being there but I don't miss the Atlanta area! We're selling it furnished but my quilts came with me to Minneapolis!
There's a reason I make To Do Lists
If I hadn't set my mini goals yesterday, I'd have gotten up and gone straight to work on the doll quilt. It's the *new* exciting project (at least until the next one comes along).
You'll notice that sewing a binding and loading a quilt on the longarm were the other two *tasks* I set for myself yesterday - probably my two least favorite things to do so I made myself finish both of them before allowing myself to work on the doll quilt. By the way, I'm getting a LOT more comfortable with hand quilting without a hoop and my stitches are looking better too.
Final result? I got it all done including starting the Baptist Fans quilting and making more string blocks for the Half Square Hearts.
Tomorrow's mini list?
1. Finish quilting the HeartStrings Sampler for QOV
2. Work on piecing the Half Square Hearts
3. More hand quilting on the doll quilt.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Today's mini To Do List
Since I finished up everything on my list last week - I just have a mini list for today.
1. Load the HeartStrings RWB sampler quilt - I'm going to quilt Baptist Fans
2. Get the binding on one of the 2 HeartStrings quilts quilted last week and not yet bound
3. Do some hand quilting on the doll quilt.
By the way, Deb asked when I was going to post of photo of the hand quilting on the doll quilt - it's so bad I'm going to wait until I'm finished and the quilt is washed!
I'm a pack-rat
I found everything needed and pin basted the quilt this morning. I took a look at Tonya's instructions for hand quilting without a hoop but I have to say I'm finding it awkward. I'm sure I felt the same when when I first tried quilting in a hoop so I'll keep at it.
My stitches look ridiculous but I'm having fun. They'll improve over time if not with this quilt then with one of the next ones. Since doll quilts have traditionally been made by children learning to quilt, mine will look authentic!
I had a surprise in the mail yesterday. Actually, for a few minutes I had the horrible feeling I'd been doing too much online shopping because I couldn't imagine what I'd ordered that came in a large flat envelope type package. It was my swatch card from Virginia Longarm (that's the small card on top of the apron) along with samples that I wasn't expecting.
Deb and I have plans to order a couple different colors and split them but when I went to place the order tonight, the shipping charge seemed very high. I held off on the order and have sent an email asking if it's accurate. I'm crossing my fingers that it's not.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Another gorgeous day
We continue to walk around downtown and talk about where we'd like to live if we decide to stay here and buy a place. We like the area we are living now and one on the other side of downtown by the river. Today we walked by some townhouses by the river that we looked at when we first moved. A lot will depend on Keith's job and we really do need to sell our Condo in GA which is still for sale so we won't be moving in the near future but it's nice to look.
I pieced together the doll quilt tonight after Keith went to bed. I'm not crazy about the top and bottom rows of blocks - intended to take the quilt from square to rectangular but I'm going to live with it. I think once it's bound and those center white edges are framed I'll be happier.
I received my book from Amazon and have paged through it. One of the things I found very interesting was the discussion on how obsessed we are with symmetry in quilts today. That's me to a T so I guess I'll have to work on being more spontaneous and asymmetric.
Now I have to see if I can find my safety pins, quilting betweens and some quilting thread and get this basted tomorrow.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Why am I crawling around on the floor at 2AM?
Inspired to finally act by Lucy and a mini quilt she made recently, I ordered a few books from Amazon including the book she referred to on hand quilting - Quilting With Style: Principles for Great Pattern Design by Gwen Marston & Joe Cunningham.
So while I'm waiting for my books to arrive, I remembered an old UFO that's not even on my working list because it will just never be finished and this is where the crawling around on the floor at 2AM comes in!
These drunkard's path blocks are appliqued not pieced (needle-turn applique believe it or not!) all from Joann's calico's I bought the first year I was quilting. So I think this is going to become my first doll quilt and who knows it might be my last too since I certainly don't need more projects, we'll see how it goes.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I can't believe it's August!
Our walk took us down to the Mississippi and across the Stone Arch Bridge. We could see the debris from the bridge collapse last month but it looks like they've made progress cleaning it up. The Associated Press reports that 13 people were killed and over 100 injured in the collapse, we were lucky that no one from Keith's company was involved.
This afternoon I used the hearts as an overall pattern for a HeartStrings quilt. I was happy with the results but I could be a little more consistent. I like it best with one echo so I had to pay attention to which side of the heart I quilted first when I needed to change direction but it was pretty easy to get into a rhythm.
I got all the way through my list!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
As I was getting the quilt set up this morning I had to pull out a new roll of batting. I almost had a heart attack until I realized this huge black streak was on the plastic NOT on my batting!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I should have been making blocks BUT
By the way, I don't know if I made myself clear the other day but I had decided NOT to use this heart layout or any of the others I tried and to use the Half Square Strings design again - as you can see I changed my mind - again!
I'm working my way through my list. I'll load another one this afternoon for quilting. Two HeartStrings tops are packed and ready to ship to 2 girls whose family lost a lot of their belongings in a house fire. I'm surrounded by HeartStrings Projects today and couldn't be happier!
One ready for the binding to be hand stitched down.
Two bound, labeled, and washed to be put in the chest for donation when needed.
Two in the bottom box ready to be shipped out along with a small box of strings for another member.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Ebb and Flow
(It can be found at Willow Leaf Studio but their website is down for maintenance, the above link takes you to Columbia River Quilting Supplies and Kings Men Quilting also carries it)
From a personal standpoint, when I do use a foundation I use muslin because I HATE to pull the paper off once I've finished piecing the block. Because I tend to work with strings and strips of different lengths and like to use even my little bits and pieces it usually is easier for me to use a foundation rather than trying to find strings of similar length to piece a strip set. For patterns like Chinese Coins and piano key string borders that are easily pieced without foundations - I don't use them.
I didn't get a lot accomplished today but did make and sew the binding on for one of the Chinese Coins quilts - I've got it about halfway stitched down and for a change actually thought to grab the label and sew it in the corner when I was stitching the binding on. Now I'll just have to sew two sides of it when I'm done the binding. Why don't I remember to do it this way more often?
Monday, August 20, 2007
It's hard for me not to consider all this a waste of time that could have been used making more string blocks but I know from a creative standpoint it was valuable even if I didn't like any of the designs enough to use them. I still have a bunch of blocks to make for this quilt so I'll be working on them over the next week or so (or longer).
My current To Do List
Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops -
Work on string blocks for my Half Square Hearts
Bind, label, and wash CC #4
If all goes well and the HS quilts get done, load and start quilting one of Mom's tops
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Do YOU think Keith is playing golf in this weather?
Here's the finished HeartStrings Quilt - titled so imaginatively as Chinese Coins #1 since it was the first one I pieced from the donated coins. This is the 2nd finished Coins quilt, one more is ready for binding, a 4th is pieced and ready for quilting and I still have a bunch of coins. I need to get to work and piece a couple more tops AFTER I get through my current *to do* list.
The quilt REALLY looks much better in person. I think it's just one of those quilts that doesn't photograph well. A close up of the Hearts and Loops quilting is below also. Click on photos to enlarge.
Not a work day but.....
Since Keith is working tomorrow, we spent today together. Went to brunch, ran some errands, dinner out. I did sneak in some work before and after dinner and I'm all set to load another quilt and get it done tomorrow.
My updated to do list for the rest of August
Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops -
Chinese Coins #1 Piece 2 backings Bind, label, wash, and ship quilt for my niece
Work on string blocks for my Half Square Hearts
Bind, label, and wash CC #4
Bind, label, and wash CC #1
If all goes well and the HS quilts get done, load and start quilting one of Mom's tops
Friday, August 17, 2007
Back at work!
- Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops - finished CC#1 already today
- Piece 2 backings
- Bind, label, wash, and ship quilt for my niece - all but the shipping done yesterday
- Work on string blocks for my Half Square Hearts
- Bind, label, and wash CC #4
- Bind, label, and wash CC #1 (quilted today)
- If all goes well and the HS quilts get done, load and start quilting one of Mom's tops
I can't show the photo of my niece's quilt until I ship it off and she receives it so I'll share a photo of the quilting I did today. I was getting ready to pull a pantograph out for this Coins quilt but decided allover hearts and loops quilting would work fine and it probably went faster which is good with all the ones I want to get through.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Happy Birthday Debbie!
I liked my Classic but needed to downsize for the move to Minneapolis since we were sure we wanted to live right in the city versus the suburbs where we could get more room.
I've been practicing on and off all day and I really love these EdgeRider wheels - I have SO much more control and they're worth the $160 or so I spent on them.
For me these wheels are much better than the *new* Gammill wheels that came on my Premier and that I had put on my Classic back when they first came out. I just wish I hadn't waited so long to buy the EdgeRider wheels.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
We're home and the wheels are on!
I loaded a practice piece and did a little quilting this evening and I think these wheels are going to make a HUGE difference in quilting designs where precision is required.
I really wish I hadn't waited so long to buy these. A few years ago I debated between the *new* Gammill wheels and the EdgeRider wheels for my Classic Plus and choose the Gammill ones. There was a definite improvement in how that machine moved with the new wheels but nothing like today.
I've got more practicing to do tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed that I don't wake up and find that this was a dream!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Heading home in the AM
I did a lot of walking around downtown today but can you guess how I spent a couple hours this afternoon? I had several people mention Rosie's quilt shop but in my travels if I don't stumble across one I don't typically search out local quilt shops after all as a Stashbuster, I don't need any additional temptation to buy.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I knew I was going to forget!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Since we enjoyed ourselves so much yesterday
We found a quiet spot
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Sitting by the pool with a good book
Little Chapel on the River: A pub, a town, and the search for what matters most
by Gwendolyn Bounds
Friday, August 10, 2007
More gushing about the new computer
This is my first trip with the new laptop - I have a backpack that I call my activity bag and packed it with the computer, books, camera, iPod, drawing pad (for practicing quilting designs), etc. I was lucky and the NW lounge and the hotel both have free wireless - so easy to stay in touch. On the plane I watched a DVD from one of Karen McTavish's books that I've had for a couple years but had not really watched before. I just haven't gotten into watching DVD's on the computer at home but I can see that I'll be doing lots of it while I'm traveling and I'll be ordering more quilting DVD's.
One other really cool feature of Office 2007 which I bought with the laptop is a new program called OneNote. You can take screen clippings or save pages while browsing and they can be organized and filed in a *notebook*. I'm LOVING this feature. Tonight I followed a link from Tanya's blog to an article by Joe Cunningham on freehand quilting and just hit one button and the article is saved on the laptop for me to view later. Cool.
Such a long post but I'll end with a couple pictures. This hotel we're staying at is pretty trendy - can you believe the bathrobes provided in the room? Which one do you think is ME?
And here's one of Keith at lunch.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Here's the Coins quilt I quilted yesterday - if you click on the photo to enlarge you should be able to see the pantograph design mentioned in the last post.
Hopefully I won't offend anyone with this next comment but I've been watching the Quilt Pink auctions on eBay. You may remember I purchased this quilt in the beginning of the auction and I made and donated the quilt pictured below.
They received over 4000 quilts for auction and after seeing how low some of the quilts are being let go for, I've been watching pretty closely for mine. It appears that most of the quilts go up for bid at $150 but if they don't get bid on, they then go to a Buy it Now status for anywhere from $40 - $150. I think it depends on how long they've been up for auction.
I decided that I wasn't going to let my quilt go for less than $150 and that I'd purchase it myself at the end of the initial auction period if it hadn't been bid on. Well - no bids so I just purchased it which is fine because the money goes to Komen for the Cure which is an organization I strongly support.
My personal opinion is that they need to look at this process for next year - I think they tried to auction too many quilts and I'd rather my quilt be given to a breast cancer patient than be sold to someone on eBay for $60.
I will NOT be sending another quilt in for auction but I will certainly bid on one to support the cause. I WILL be making and donating quilts that go directly to people in need or going through difficult times.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Happy Happy Happy
Happiness for me is working on a HeartStrings quilt
Despite sleeping very late this morning after staying up all night I still got a good day's work done. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to walk downtown and mail off my Aunt's quilt and get the HeartStrings Coins quilt done but thanks to Kinko's being open 24 hours, I quilted first and then walked downtown to ship Nancy's quilt to her. I was SO happy to send that one off.
I used a new pantograph on the HeartStrings Chinese Coins - I haven't trimmed it yet so I'll have to share a photo tomorrow but the pantograph is called Leap Frog by Norma Sharp. It has a strong vertical component which is great for this quilt.
Keith's out of town tonight so I'll be working late again. I need to piece a back and load a quilt that's a gift for a family member. I would like to get it quilted tomorrow so I can bind it when I get back from San Diego on Wednesday.
By the way, I forgot to mention what a pleasure it was to use my ironing board with the new cover. Next time I won't wait so long.
Up all night
After that I spent some time cruising blogs including some that I don't always get to. I've noticed some comments over the last few weeks or so in blogland about the number of comments being left (or not left) on blogs. It's funny because I don't really notice how many comments a particular post brings in - probably because I post so frequently there's a continuous trickle of comments. I'm also guilty of doing more reading myself than commenting at times but I do keep an eye on the number of visitors I get.
However, I would never have any idea how many people visit my blog if it weren't for the sitemeter stats. I certainly don't get this many comments! On one hand it's kind of sobering to think 400 people could stop by and not comment but on the other hand they keep coming back so they must have some interest in my quilting.
By the way, this isn't a complaint about people not commenting, while I'm always happy to hear from people who stop by I get enough interaction to keep me happy.
I've missed this quilt
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
No stitching today
Monday, August 06, 2007
Only virtual quilting going on today
I didn't like my first few attempts but came across this version when I started randomly trying different colors in the blocks. It's doubtful whether I'll ever make this quilt but it was fun playing. Just in case you can't *see* the block in the quilt - here it is.
Diane asked about the pattern. Some of you may remember that I quilted one of these for my Mom last year (I must not have done too bad a job since my Aunt decided SHE needed one too after seeing Mom's)
The pattern is from the book Great American Quilts book nine.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Did I mention that I love to quilt leaves? (Almost as much as I hate to echo quilt!)
Today's to do list
- Pack and label all the things I need to ship tomorrow
- Take photo's of HeartStrings tops and quilts
- Change the ironing board cover (looks much better doesn't it?)
- Finish quilting my Aunt's quilt
- Make more 4 patches for my QFAH top
HeartStrings label and PDF files
So you can now if you want the new label you can go to the HeartStrings site and save or print the PDF file which has 4 labels on the page. (I use the Printed Treasures or EQ Printables for my labels these days and the EQ ones are my new favorites!)
Saturday, August 04, 2007
I love the new computer, Windows Vista, and Office 2007 BUT I haven't been able to install my Adobe Elements program that I use to create PDF files.
I tried the online PDF creator on a trial basis from Adobe Online but it doesn't support the font I wanted to use last night AND it's $9.99 a month. I could buy Acrobat Standard but that's $299.
Here's the HeartStrings Label I created last night in Office 2007 and here's the version I was able to create with Elements on my Desktop. It's fine for me - I can print the cuter version from the laptop but I had to post the plainer version online. (I know this is a little blurred but that's because it's a photo of the label I printed out - poor photography NOT poor printing). I'm sure there's a way to get around this - just haven't figured it out yet.
In the meantime, you can get the PDF file with 4 labels per page on the HeartStrings website.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Slow progress is still progress
I think I focus too much on the finish line. There's a quilt on the longarm that needs finishing, my QFAH project is still in lots of little pieces, and there's a growing stack of tops that need quilting.
I quilted for an hour on my Aunt's top and am getting better at echoing those leaves and just now before bed I went in and pieced 4 patches for an hour. If I'm lucky, the quilt will get finished in a few days and maybe the QFAH project will make it to the finished top stage.
After seeing a post on Amy's site about a Four Seasons Quilt Swap and receiving an email from Margaret inviting me to participate I was SO tempted to join in the fun. But since I have that stack of tops waiting for quilting I'm going to pass.
If anyone else is interested take a look - it sounds like fun to me!
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Nasty isn't it?
If bad things happen in 3's I should stay in bed today
Thank you all for your emails and concern. Not only are Keith and I fine but no one at his company was on the bridge or affected by the tragedy personally.
If my evening wasn't stressful enough, after finally falling asleep at 4AM, the fire alarm in our building went off. Keith and I scrambled for clothes, grabbed Chesty, and ran down 4 flights of stairs. Luckily we were only out of the building for 15-20 minutes but my worst nightmare is an alarm going off during the winter, at night, with Keith out of town. The alarm was piercing and poor Chesty was traumatized both by the noise and our frantic running around trying to get out of the apartment.
I was trying to explain to my Mom last night about Minneapolis and how the Mississippi runs right through the town. That there are multiple bridges that cross it and people are constantly back and forth on foot, bikes, and in cars.
The bridge that collapsed is just down the river from these that Keith and I go across on our walks. The news report last night mentioned that people standing on the Stone Arch Bridge actually saw the bridge collapse. (The photo of Keith is on the Stone Arch Bridge)