Friday, August 31, 2007

I love it when things turn out well

I had such a stressful night last night, I didn't sleep at all and I almost made myself ill from worrying.

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!

I finished up the doll quilt this afternoon and can't wait to make another one. Here are 3 photo's and I'm even including a close-up of the hand quilting. Except for the wonky center, it's not too bad considering I haven't hand quilted anything in several years AND I've never hand quilted without a hoop.

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

I love the texture that Baptist Fans give a quilt (thanks to the templates from Circle Lord , they're easy to machine quilt). I know it looks like the quilting has overpowered the piecing on this HeartStrings RWB Sampler for Quilts of Valor but I couldn't resist taking a photo of the quilt tossed across the longarm. The afternoon sun in my Studio is perfect for seeing the texture quilting brings to a top.

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


This was a day I shouldn't have been quilting. Things were going so well and I was getting quilt after quilt done without problems until today. I had tension issues and will have to frog a partial row tomorrow and re-quilt it. I was so disgusted at one point that I walked away and went downtown for a coffee and to pick up some fresh bread for dinner.

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

Anyone want to buy a vacation condo at Big Canoe in the North Georgia Mountains? Just a 50 minute drive from the Atlanta Area.

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

Of course, there's the obvious pleasure I get from checking everything off the list but I'm convinced I'd never finish half the things I start if it wasn't for my lists. By putting things on the list that I would normally procrastinate doing they actually get done.

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

My sleep clock is completely off! I've been awake all night the last couple weeks and am sleeping all morning. By the time I get up, showered, walk the dog, and check email, half the day is already gone.

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

Today, that's a good thing. I haven't hand quilted in years or pin basted a quilt since buying my longarm (5 years ago) so I wasn't sure if I would have all the supplies I needed to get started on hand quilting my doll quilt.

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 had another beautiful day so we spent all afternoon outside.

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?

I've always admired the small quilts that Tonya makes and hand quilts and I've been watching the quilts being exchanged in the doll quilt swaps. I don't have any desire to swap but I decided I could always make some quilts, buy some dolls, and donate them together.

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!

We had a beautiful day here in Minneapolis! Without the heat and humidity I couldn't believe it was August and we took advantage of the weather and spent a good part of the day outside. Keith came home early from work with a picnic lunch that we took to the park to eat; then I came back home to work a bit before heading out for a walk downtown and dinner outside.

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.

Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops - Chinese Coins #1 , RWB Heartstrings, Purple Project #2, Fran's top
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

I got all the way through my list!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More hearts

I finished quilting my 2nd Purple Project quilt this morning and was using the extra batting and backing for practice. I started just echoing some hearts and I LOVE this. It wasn't even something I'd seen somewhere and practiced drawing for HOURS which is what I usually have to do. Isn't it CUTE? Now hopefully I can find a top to use it on!

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

I just can't wait to see what a particular quilt is going to look like so I took a break from making blocks to put this green section together. This is a UFO that has been redesigned so I'm using the half square triangles I already have cut. You could control the scrappiness of this quilt by using a single green fabric but luckily I like scrappy.

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 fresh from the dryer (don't you love the red binding!)

One being loaded on the longarm and another one *on deck*

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

I love this Ebb and Flow Pantograph from Lorien quilting on these Patriotic quilts. Here's one I quilted the other day and just took off the machine today. It's one of two HeartStrings Quilt made from donated blocks at the WI/MN area sew-in in July and will be donated to Quilts of Valor.

(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)


I had a comment from Ann yesterday asking why we used a foundation for the HeartStrings projects rather than just sewing the strings together the Gwen Marston way. Since it's a question I get fairly frequently I posted an answer on the HeartStrings Blog along with some of my favorite books on string quilts.

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

Designing quilts

I spent a couple hours this evening playing with EQ6 and a group of string blocks trying to decide on a new layout. I had a UFO that is eventually going to be 2 (possibly 3) quilts by the time I'm done with it. I've already finished and donated the first quilt - Half Square Strings and loved how it turned out.

My intention was to create a second quilt called Half Square Hearts but wasn't liking it too much when I started playing with the blocks I'd already pieced. So I played with a couple more options on the design wall and after vetoing all of them, ended up with the same setting as the first quilt.

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).

I did get the RWB HeartStrings top quilted. It's still on the machine because I'm going to use the extra batting and backing for some freehand quilting practice. I've been practicing designs from Sharon Schamber's Stipple Basics

My current To Do List
Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops - Chinese Coins #1 , RWB Heartstrings
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

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Do YOU think Keith is playing golf in this weather?

I think they're probably in the bar right about now! Hopefully he won't come home too soon because I still have lots of work to get done.

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!

Since I get more accomplished when I set goals - here are some for the next couple weeks.
  1. Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops - finished CC#1 already today
  2. Piece 2 backings
  3. Bind, label, wash, and ship quilt for my niece - all but the shipping done yesterday
  4. Work on string blocks for my Half Square Hearts
  5. Bind, label, and wash CC #4
  6. Bind, label, and wash CC #1 (quilted today)
  7. 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!

She was such a cute kid wasn't she? I posted this photo on our family blog today but couldn't resist sharing it here too! Happy Birthday again Debbie.


Sandy asked what type of longarm I have. I traded in my Gammill Classic Plus in December for a Gammill Premier Plus.

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!

We had a good flight home and after picking Chesty up from the kennel (and giving him lots of hugs and kisses) I went straight to the longarm to put my EdgeRider wheels on. I wanted to get it done while Keith was here to help me lift the machine on and off the carriage.

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'm ready to get home and back to work. I have a couple HeartStrings tops to get quilted but first I'm going to finally put the EdgeRider wheels on my Premier. I've had them for a month (or more) and it's time to get them out of the box and on the machine.

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!

With the card reader slot in the laptop, I knew it was only a matter of time before I went off exploring with the card still in the laptop versus the camera. Why did it have to be today when I was visiting the San Diego Zoo? I tried to buy a card there but they didn't have one to fit my camera so I bought a disposable camera but will have to get the photos developed when I get home.

Although this was my first trip to the San Diego Zoo it brought back a lot of memories. The boys and I used to visit zoos a lot and one of our first computers came with a CD about the San Diego Zoo that entertained us for hours.

Only one of the Panda's was out today - Su Lin.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Since we enjoyed ourselves so much yesterday

After brunch this morning, we headed back to the harbor to our new *favorite* spot. We were lucky that there was a rehearsal for the Summer Pops series in the park and we got a free concert with Burt Bacharach as he practiced with the orchestra for their show tonight. How cool is that? (Can you see the band shell in the background to the right?)

We found a quiet spot

This afternoon we found a quiet spot just off the marina and sat under a tree watching the boats pass by.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sitting by the pool with a good book

Sitting by the pool this morning - finished up a book I've really enjoyed reading and now we're heading out to walk around downtown. We'll check out the Gaslamp area and head over to the marina and park too.

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

We're arrived in San Diego this afternoon - for all of you suffering in the heat let me tell you how beautiful it was here today. We went up to the pool/bar area to have lunch overlooking the city and stayed to relax and read a while. The weather was perfect with a cool breeze blowing.

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.

Judy's book

I've had Judy's book Nine-patch Extravaganza pre-ordered at Amazon for at least a couple months and just got an email tonight that it's been shipped. It should be here when I get back from San Diego on Wednesday.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Quilt Pink

I started today behind so I've got to finish up on the computer and get back to work. Keith and I head for San Diego tomorrow and it's always busy trying to get ready to leave and still get some work done.

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

Thanks for the comments and emails about my post on COMMENTS. Not that I was complaining since I'm in the same boat - I try to keep up with other blogs and tend to read more than I comment also. Feel free to read without commenting or to introduce yourself - whatever makes you 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

Couldn't sleep so I got up about 1am and decided to work a while. I did a bunch of 4 patches for my July QFAH quilt - I seem to be stretching this quilt out - I've got to cut more beige strips for the last group of 4 patch blocks but I'm ready to get this one together. I also loaded a quilt so it's ready for quilting make that today.

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

I had some quilts out today to take pictures of them and left this one up for now because I haven't been able to get the right angle for the photograph. It *fills* this room and it's kind of startling to walk in and see it hanging there in the corner but seeing it out I realize how much I've missed it.

It's one of my favorite quilts and was on my guest bed in Marietta so I saw it every time I walked by the room it was in. Now it spends it's days folded up in a cabinet - sad isn't it?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

No stitching today

Another day spent on quilty things without acutally sewing. I've got another quilt ready for the longarm, spent some time sorting through quilt photos and taking some additional pictures of quilts and of course time on the computer visiting quilty sites.

Chesty was so patient waiting for me to get off the computer today but can't you tell how trying he found it?!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Only virtual quilting going on today

I'm sure you've all seen a quilt and had it trigger an idea. I was reading a post on Stashbuster and came across this link to Quiltmaker and for some reason - those center blocks seemed to be creating a boxy type frame. So since I already had EQ6 open I had to play some.

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.

Honeybee Quilt

Thanks for the comments - I appreciate the encouragement from everyone!

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


I'm so glad this quilt is finished - off the machine and trimmed even. The quilting is not as bad as I feared and I'll be glad to ship it off to my Aunt. I had problems with thread breakage as I started the 3rd border - almost threw me over the edge but I stayed with it and now it's DONE!

Did I mention that I love to quilt leaves? (Almost as much as I hate to echo quilt!)

Today's to do list

Keith left this morning for the airport and I'm running around getting things done and checking them off my to do list.
  1. Pack and label all the things I need to ship tomorrow

  2. Take photo's of HeartStrings tops and quilts

  3. Change the ironing board cover (looks much better doesn't it?)

  4. Finish quilting my Aunt's quilt

  5. Make more 4 patches for my QFAH top
Tomorrow I ship off a shopping bag full of packages, gifts for Adam, a power cord for Chris that I forgot to send with the camera he inherited when I got the new one for my birthday, a birthday gift, a couple HeartStrings packages.

HeartStrings label and PDF files

Cathi emailed a link trying to help me solve my software woes - it didn't solve my problem but it reminded me to check a couple more options and guess what I found? Microsoft has a PDF add-in for Office 2007 that can be downloaded (free) that I had no idea they had. Boy am I glad I found out BEFORE I decided to purchase the software from Adobe for $299! Thanks Cathi!

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

Software woes

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

No finishes here today, yesterday, or even this week.

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!

Four Seasons Quilt Swap

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Nasty isn't it?

I was making a list for Target this afternoon and couldn't remember one item I knew I needed to pick up until I went into the sewing room tonight to work on my QFAH blocks. I don't know when it got so nasty but the ironing board cover needs replacing ASAP!

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)