Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another HeartStrings project

Kind of a lazy day today. I slept late, caught up on email and some blog reading and went for a bike ride with Keith. I did manage to organize myself a little and start some HeartStrings blocks with green centers. We're going to make blocks during September and October and then assemble them into quilts for men (and boys). I'm avoiding large florals, pink, and purple but other than that am using most of what I pull out of the string bins.

I also managed to load a quilt tonight although I didn't get it started. It's the first of 10 tops I want to quilt by the end of September. We're out of town Sept 2 - 8 so it will be a little challenging but I'm going to give it a shot.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm home

My flight from VA was early but I'm home and Keith and I are relaxing listening to music while I catch up on email and my blogs.

While I was gone Wendy posted this quilt made from my RWB Wonky Rails instructions - she plans to donate it to American Hero Quilts and I like it even better than the one I made.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Mom's been busy

Mom had two quilts from my instruction sheets to show me when I arrived on Monday. Here's the Strippie - this one is just too cute. She also finished quilting the Fish Quilt. She uses her regular sewing machine and decided that straight line quilting would be easiest - I think the quilt looks great!

I head home tomorrow morning. It will be good to see Keith and Chesty!

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Fish Quilt Instruction Sheet

You probably think I've forgotten about the Instruction Sheet for the FISH quilt but I haven't. I just hadn't had time to make fish blocks and photograph the steps until just before I left.

The Fish Quilt Instruction Sheet  can be found at my site.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

I posted my 1/2 week results on Sunday and am pleased that I've lost 7.4 lbs in 4 weeks. Other than trying to watch what I eat, drinking lots of water and increasing the amount of walking and biking I do has helped.

I did manage to meet my exercise goal for the week before leaving on Monday morning which is good because there won't be much going on while I'm gone.

How did YOU do this week?

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I have been reading this summer too

I've been lazy updating my Shefari bookshelf but caught up Sunday before leaving. I'll just warn you that my rating system only denotes how much I enjoyed the book and not necessarily how well it was written.

Mysteries and historical fiction tend to be my favorites and I LOVE books that come in series so I can read about the same characters.

In addition to my knitting, I've brought the Kindle along and *stocked* it with a handful of books to keep me entertained.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Knit one Purl one

You know I've been spending the Olympics binding quilts but I finished the last one Saturday night and decided I needed a project for the Closing Ceremonies and to carry with me on my trip.

Inspired by all the knitting I've seen going on in blogland I decided to start a scarf. It's simple, knit in seed stitch but I'm pretty slow at switching back and forth between knit and purl for each stitch. I wonder how much I'll have done when I get home Saturday??

Speaking of knitting, what's your FAVORITE simple rectangular shawl pattern? I don't like to knit complex patterns especially since I have pretty basic knitting skills and like to let my mind wander when I'm knitting but want something more elegant than garter stitch.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

UFO finished/Sunday Progress Report/Weigh in

Here's the last top finished this week - it's also a UFO finish and completely from stash so I'm very pleased with this one! I love the texture the Bubbles pantograph gave it and think I made the right choice for quilting. I left this photo large so you can click on it to see a better view of the quilting.

Instructions can be found at my site for anyone interested.

So my progress report is:
  • 2 tops quilted - goal of 10 before the end of August met
  • 4 quilts bound
  • Wonky Tree blocks assembled into a small top 
  • My Stash used total goes up to 77.5 yards (includes completed quilts only)
  • No fabric purchased this week
I also did my weigh in this morning since I'll be leaving tomorrow for the airport at 3:30AM!! I have a loss of 1.4 lbs for a total of 7.4 lbs in 3 and 1/2 weeks. I'll be traveling most of the next two weeks so I hope I can avoid gaining any back - we'll see!

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

On the road again!

Keith and I spent some time this weekend planning trips for the fall. In addition to my trip leaving Monday to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania (to see family) we're going to New York City and Washington DC the first week of September.

Coming up in October and booked this weekend - a trip to Denmark, in November we'll travel to Lake Oconee outside of Atlanta to stay at the Ritz Carton where Adam works, and not yet booked - in December, I'll travel back to Virginia to visit Mom for her birthday.

In spite of the travel, I plan to set ambitious goals each month for quilting the rest of the year. I would love to start 2009 all caught up!

And speaking of goals, I've finished the binding on the Half String Hearts so that's UFO #16 for the year. I'll post a photo tomorrow.

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Thanks for all the nice comments on my trees - they're growing on me some and now I think they're almost so ugly that they're cute!

If you're interested, you can see the trees I left off in the photo I posted on the Class Blog - take some time to look at the other projects posted too. I'm in the process of contemplating hand quilting designs - I'm leaning toward using perle cotton and since I've been fascinated with Sashiko designs I'm wondering if I can incorporate them into the quilting. I have at least one book - maybe two so I'll have to find them upstairs - all my books are disorganized since the move and I haven't taken time to put them back into categories. Another thing to put on the list.

I should finish up the binding on the String Hearts today so hopefully I'll have a photo to post tomorrow.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Maybe I'm not meant to be spontaneous

I started these trees in April for Tonya's Summer Class but hadn't gotten around to assembling them into a top - it's kind of disastrous! I've decided that I need my EQ! I've put the other trees away for now and I am going  to quilt this - it will be good practice.

I'm not sure whether it was my color scheme or not having a clear idea how I wanted to assemble these different size blocks that was the problem but I had LOTS of fun making the trees and I'll revisit this process....I'll just do a little more planning this time vs. trying to follow the guidelines and being spontaneous. Seriously, I AM a planner, I NEED to plan!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Are you tired of reading about my goal for August?

This was another HeartStrings donation top from the quilters at St. Mary's in CT. I had this one quilted but not bound before my I started my goal of 10 tops by the end of August.

I finished up the quilting on #10 yesterday and hope to get the binding done today so I can stitch on it tonight watching the Olympics.

All 10 tops are quilted, 8 quilts were bound (two I get to send back to their owners for binding) and I have one more binding to do. Not bad but I'm still not caught up so my plan is to go for another 10 tops quilted in September. I'm heading out of town on Monday for a week and then we'll be gone the first week of September so I may be overly ambitious here - we'll have to see.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Binding finished

Another binding finished last night - this VERY cute top was pieced by Deborah. I showed a close-up of the quilting the other day but you can click on this photo for a larger view too.

I combined my walk today with some errands - to the post office to mail two quilts to Alycia for her Quilts of Valor project; then downtown to Barnes and Noble and Target.

I've sat with Chesty for a bit and now I'm ready to head downstairs and hopefully finish up the quilting I started yesterday.

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Weight-loss Wednesday - Week 3

Not much progress this week but I'm feeling pretty good and my pants fit better so I'm going to keep at it.
  • No weight loss this week - 6 lbs lost in 3 weeks
  • Walking goals met although I've had to count shorter 15-20 minute walks and not just 30-1 hour to get my time in.
  • Still doing great with the water - 64 oz water intake 6 out of 7 days
How did YOU do this week?

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In progress

I managed to get the binding on the small quilt from yesterday and pieced a backing for this one this morning but with Chesty being very demanding today - it's not finished yet. I'm about 1/2 way done with the quilting and the bubbles are looking great. I decided to go with the hearts on the next quilt.

For those wondering how Chesty is doing with his recovery - he's fine but having a problem with continued confinement and the restrictions on running, playing, and jumping. His incision is completely healed so the last couple days I've let him go without the e-collar when he's in the crate and so far he's being good and not biting on the leg.

I thought a walk in the park this afternoon would buy me a couple hours of quilting time but he was barking for me after an hour.

Hopefully, I'll get the binding stitched down tonight and I'll show you a full photo of Deborah's donation top tomorrow.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

More Bubbles

Top #9 is quilted - this one is another donated HeartStrings top pieced by Deborah. Very, very cute and the Bubbles are just perfect. I'll show a full photo after the binding is done - maybe later this week.
So my question for you all is this - next up (#10) is my Half String Hearts top - a UFO from last year and I'd intended to quilt my freehand hearts (adapted from Jamie Wallen) on it BUT these bubbles are really cute so now I'm leaning toward using the Bubbles pantograph. What do you think?

I will warn you, I'm frequently accused by my son Adam of asking for advice and not taking it!

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Getting ready for #9

Before I head downstairs to load my 9th top, I thought I'd share photos of #8. This is Mom's top and some of you might recognize it from the book Best of Black Mountain Quilts. I made a version of that quilt 2+ years ago and Mom loved it so much that she's pieced it 3 times now, once for my brother, this one which is also a gift, and I have one more sitting downstairs waiting to quilt for her.

You can click on both photos for a larger view!

I mentioned in my previous post I used the pantograph Windy Day to quilt it. I'll just warn anyone looking at that pantograph it's kind of fussy with lines really close together and although I've had it for at least a couple years I'd never used it for that reason. This time I decided I'd just use the pantograph to space my curls and wouldn't worry about staying on the lines or quilting the pattern exactly. It worked great and I'm really pleased with how this turned out.

I'm such a nice daughter that I've already machine stitched the binding on for her and will start hand stitching it down tonight. If she's lucky, I'll have it done before I visit her next Monday.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Progress report

In spite of problems with thread breakage that appeared halfway through the quilt, #8 is done and  looks good in spite of my struggles.  I even managed to make the binding and get it stitched on before I stopped for the night and while it still needs to be stitched down  - I have another week of Olympics to watch.

So this week's report is as follows:
  • 3 quilts bound
  • 2 tops quilted 
  • 12 yards from stash used
  • No fabric purchased this week

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Back to work

How did it get to be Saturday? The last top quilted was Tuesday so I needed to get back to work since I only have until next Monday to finish the last 3 tops to meet my goal of 10 before leaving for my trip to Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Top #8 is loaded and in progress.

I was very tempted to freehand quilt curls on this top of Mom's but since it's a gift she's giving to someone I decided I shouldn't practice on it. I wanted a windy, breezy look to the quilting so I pulled out the pantograph Windy Day by Lorien Quilting - I'm just following the general flow rather than trying to quilt right on the lines.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

broken link

OK, try this one to get to Suzanne's party


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I've been invited to a party - do you want to come along?

Suzanne's throwing a party with food, beverages, and prizes to celebrate her 600th post. I'm bringing wine!

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

I was nervous but it was fun

I'm not sure how those of you who give presentations to guilds do it. I gave a presentation to a local guild, the Quilting Queens this evening - my first ever and they were SO nice to me. I spoke a little about my quilting and about HeartStrings and took a lot of quilts with me both mine and many of the HeartStrings tops I've been finishing up this last few weeks.

I was completely surprised when they each held up HeartStrings blocks they'd made and presented them to me - I had to come home, lay them out quickly and snap a photo to share.
Isn't this the cutest fabric? They used this heart print for their centers and Cynthia gave me the rest of the fabric to use in finishing the quilt.

Cynthia, who contacted me about speaking was wonderful and made me feel very comfortable. As I watched their meeting, I was really impressed with how organized they are and how much education they do. I saw some feather star blocks from a class, a beautiful mystery quilt, a quilted bag, and several other really pretty quilts during their show and tell.

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RWB Rails

I did manage to get the RWB wonky rails trimmed and bound yesterday. I stitch all my bindings down by hand after machine stitching them to the front of the quilt and this one went pretty quick last night while I was watching more of the Olympics. This quilt will head to CO as part of Alycia's 400 Quilts of Valor for 2009 project.

You can find instructions for this quilt at my site.

For some reason, the horizontal lines are more prominent in the photo above but in see both the vertical and horizontal lines equally like in this photo below.

Just one more small quilt to be bound so I'll have to get some more quilted. I was going to load my string heart top today that will be donated to someone battling Leukemia via Clare's Quilts for Leukemia program but I want to take it with me today when I speak to the Quilting Queens' guild in Roseville so I'll load it tomorrow.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yesterday was a productive day!

In addition to quilting the Wonky RWB Rails that I showed yesterday, I finished the binding on two quilts and got another two quilts washed, dried and ready for donation. This first top was pieced by Deb in AZ and sent to me to quilt and donate.

This HeartStrings top was pieced by Barbara in FL.

I took Chesty to get his stitches out this morning and he's doing pretty good. Still trying to bite/lick the incision so he's been in the e-collar whenever he's not sitting with me. I'm hoping that having the stitches out will decrease the itching and he'll leave it alone.

I have to gather up some quilts to take for a talk I'm giving at a local guild tomorrow so I probably won't get much work done today - if I have time, I'll put the binding on the Wonky RWB Rails. I've finished the binding on 4 out 5 quilts I had waiting and there's still a lot more to Olympics to watch.

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Weight-loss Wednesday - Week 2

  • Gain of 0.6 lbs = total weight loss of 6 lbs
  • Met exercise goal for the week
  • Met water goal of 64 oz on 6 out of 7 days.
I think some of last week's loss was just water weight so although I have a gain of 0.6 pounds this week - I'm happy with a total loss of 6 pounds for two weeks.

How did YOU do this week?

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Top #7 of 10 quilted

I decided my Wonky Rails needed a wonky grid so I quilted the first pass and ran upstairs to even my sides up to reload the quilt...and promptly started trimming like I was getting ready to bind.
Since I needed an edge to attach to the leaders, I decided to try using safety pins - and it worked. I also shorted myself on the side there - couldn't clamp it so I had to hold it with my hand as I started each pass.

This is why I wasn't paying attention. I have a wallhanging to quilt for my younger sister that needs a background fill. Deb does this one so well that I asked her to draw out how she quilts it and used the leftover backing from the above quilt to see if I could quilt it. I have a few little issues with spacing but I think with a matching thread and a little more practice, I can probably manage to quilt this.
I did manage to reload and finish quilting the Wonky Rails - here's a front view of my uneven grid...
and a back view. Only 3 more tops to meet my goal of 10 quilted before the end of August.

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