Monday, September 29, 2008

October is coming......

and I'm working on my *to do* list for the month. I'm pleased with the progress I've made quilting over the last couple months so I'm going to take October and work on some of my personal HeartStrings projects and a few remaining things I need to quilt for family members.

I'll also be traveling to Copenhagen the 2nd week of the month so I'll try not to have a too ambitious list.

  • First, I have 4 Heartstrings quilts done that need binding
  • Finish piecing my RWB quilt - the 2nd quilt I'm piecing for Alycia's QOV project.
  • Assemble the top for my personal HeartStrings Anniversary quilt from the blocks sent to me by HeartStrings quilters
  • ?? Make a border for the above quilt using Tonya's pieced letters - if I don't like the results I get, I may scrap this idea.
  • Quilt Maureen's wallhanging
  • Quilt Ann's wallhanging
  • Quilt Nancy's pillow sham tops
  • Quilt my Boxed Squares top
  • Finish hand quilting and bind my Wonky Trees.
  • Assemble my green centered HeartStrings top during the October 25th HeartStrings Sew-in, Rochester MN
I also wanted to report the results of our Block Party - a rough count of the blocks made by HeartStrings quilters is 1482 blocks. That equals 30 + quilts and from emails I've received, I know there are others who were going to make some blocks and send them to us also.

Thanks SO much to everyone who participated and made our party a success.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

I had a great weekend

First I finished up the  48 blocks for my HeartStrings quilt during our Block Party.

Second, I'm grateful for automatic shutoff irons - yes, I was right in the room and didn't even smell anything burning. I never leave my iron laying down so this was an odd exception thank goodness!

I also got a wonderful email about a HeartStrings quilt I'd sent to a woman battling cancer AND I got a thrill when Bonnie posted photos of her charity guild tying a HeartStrings quilt - I love seeing groups working together on these quilts.

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Block Party - Day 2

I'm finishing up that set of 48 green centered blocks today as HeartStrings members continue our Block Party weekend.

I thought I'd share just a few of the many quilts that have been assembled, quilted, and donated as a result of all the blocks that have been sent in to us. While many of us make HeartStrings blocks from beginning to end, there's just something a little special about these quilts.

Thanks to those of you who wrote me and have sewn along with us this weekend.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

More blocks to make

I'm heading back upstairs to make a few more blocks before bed but first I ordered Bonnie's Scraps & Shirttails book. I was taking a quick look at my Google Reader to see who had updated their blog and saw Bonnie's post with her books all stack up and ready to mail out.

Quilters like Bonnie and Judy give so much of their time and talent providing inspiration through their blogs and free patterns that I'm always happy to support them when I'm given a chance.

Get your copy!

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HeartStrings Block Party

HeartStrings Block Party is in progress this weekend and I'm working on finishing the set of green centered blocks started a couple weeks ago. It takes 48 blocks for a quilt and I have 16 left to make - 8 of which are in progress.

I'm not doing any marathon quilting here - string blocks are easy to pick up and put down - no figuring out where you left off needed.

If you want to join in our Block Party and make a few blocks yourself - the guidelines can be found on here on the HeartStrings website and you can email me for a mailing address to send them in.

I did start piecing some of these last night but then got distracted and started reading. I finished 3 books - two were already in progress and of course had to sleep late this morning to make up for staying up all night reading. Thanks to Cecile and Patti who both sent me books in the mail.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

A question for you

You may not be able to see this quilting mistake - which is kind of the point of this post. I was sewing along and crossed right over into another heart with my stitching. From the front, you'd never know it was there if I didn't point it out to you (go ahead and click on the photo to enlarge) and in the 2nd photo you can see what it looks like on the back.

A couple quilts earlier I got distracted and quilted over the same line in a pantograph - just a short section and you could see it if you knew to look for it but I still didn't pull the stitches out.

I NEVER take out something like this and am curious how many of you always pick out your quilting mistakes?

How bad does a mistake have to be for you to pick out the stitches?

Keep in mind - I don't quilt for hire but I do quilt for other people.

By the way, for those times when the stitches just HAVE to come out, Suzanne wrote a great article on frogging (rip it, rip it!) for MQ Resources. I don't know if you have to be a member to read the article but trust me - that site has a LOT of great information - you want to be a member.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

#10 is in progress

Hearts may be overkill with the heart sashing on this top but I couldn't resist quilting my freehand hearts on it. I'm having some thread breakage but have changed to a larger needle so wish me luck! (Click photo for a larger view of the quilting)

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You might not think I like to cook since I don't blog about it much - but I do. With Fall and Winter coming I'm looking for good soup recipes. My favorites are those that are a meal by themselves and broth vs. cream based (I am still trying to lose a few pounds after all). Any good recipes or sites you'd like to share?

Tonight we'll eat homemade Tortilla Soup and cornbread. Yep, there's a piece missing - since the cornbread is from a mix, I had to taste test it before serving it to Keith!

Later, I'll probably load the HeartStrings top finished the other night - it will be #10 of 10 once it's quilted!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I've been busy

Last night I finished piecing the borders on this top from HeartStrings blocks donated by the Quilting Queens guild - it's done and ready for quilting.

After working upstairs in the sewing room this morning on bindings and backings, I loaded and quilted this top from the St. Mary's quilters in CT.

Not a very good photo of the quilting but I used the pantograph Happy Times.

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Weight-loss Wednesday

It's a good thing my scale has a decimal point or I wouldn't have anything to report!

  • 0.8 lbs lost this week - total loss 8.2 lbs in 8 weeks
  • Exercise minimum goal met - barely
  • Still not back to drinking my 64 oz of water daily - once I got out of the habit it's been hard to get back into it. I usually manage between 32 - 48 oz.
How did you do this week?

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

HeartStrings Block Party

Our HeartStrings block inventory is low so I've decided it's time for a Block Party. We're going to be sewing HeartStrings blocks to send in for group quilts this weekend. We're asking for everyone to join us in making blocks according to our guidelines that will be combined with other blocks into quilts and donated.

The center strips can be BLUE, RED, or GREEN.

If anyone wants to join us - you can make 1 or 100 blocks, all contributions are appreciated - please email me for the address to mail blocks.

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Monday, September 22, 2008


Lots of progress since yesterday afternoon. Top #8 is quilted - this HeartStrings quilt will go back to Deb in AZ who pieced it.

I also started assembling the blocks from the Quilting Queens guild. I spoke to them about HeartStrings in August and they surprised me with these blocks. Some I cut some in half for the border and this is all ready for me to add a red border and then the string border.

And finally, I ran Chesty in for grooming - he's still not allowed to be bathed but he was so hot and way overdue for a haircut that I had them shave him.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008


My main Quiltathon activity so far today has been watching the USA win the Ryder Cup but I have been working on hand quilting my Wonky Trees. All my words are stem stitched (click photo for a larger view).
I've quilted a tree in this tone on tone block and although I've quilted through the other trees I think this one will get lost if I quilt the fly stitches on the inside so I'm leaving it as is for now. I still have most of the top row to fill in with fly stitches but it's coming along.

This top by Deb in AZ is the next one to be loaded - it will be going back to her to donate and she said she'd be happy with Baptist Fans BUT I'm not going to quilt across this dark sashing with light thread so I'm going to do some line dancing in these blocks.

I've been practicing on paper but first I wasted time looking for my copy of the book. I couldn't find it anywhere but luckily, there are examples online so I was still able to pick a design.

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Cindy asked if I had a tutorial on making postcards. I'm far from an expert on making these but I did create a tutorial for my family when we decided to exchange them because other then Deb, none of the others had ever done any.

If interested, you can see the tutorial here - I posted it on my site.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quiltathon progress

I spent more time watching the Ryder Cup than quilting but I did finish up Marianne's QOV top this evening.

I posted a photo earlier today before I was finished with the quilting but I won't repost another one until the binding is done.

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Just a few rows left

I'm quilting in between watching the Ryder Cup - go USA! This top of Marianne's is getting Baptist Fans - done with my Circle Lord template. As Judy suggested for the Quiltathon, I even have dinner in the crock-pot.

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Are you quilting this weekend?

Judy's holding a Quiltathon this weekend and while I won't be quilting the entire time I will be participating. Since I couldn't sleep, I got up and loaded a top pieced by Marianne and destined for Alycia's QOV Project.

What will you work on this weekend?

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Family Postcard Exchange

I think I've mentioned our family postcard exchange we started back in April. There are 9 of us exchanging this month , (Mom, 2 sisters, 2 cousins, 2 of my cousin's daughters, my aunt, and myself) and the *theme* was work. Since HeartStrings is my work, I made a mini string block and added hearts for my exchange card for the month. I decided to try a different edging but I should have cut the block straight and just pinked the postcard itself. Live and learn!

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

How to fight the blues

  • Sleep late
  • Hand quilt
  • Cook dinner from scratch - homemade Mac & Cheese and a chopped salad
  • Get flowers from a loving husband

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American Red Cross

Two or three years ago when there was so much controversy about the Red Cross, I diverted donations that I normally would have made to them to Habitat for Humanity, where the majority of our donation dollars go. Gradually over the last year or so, I started making donations again when I'd see a natural disaster on the news.

I'm not sure if it's the number of disasters they're having to respond to, a drop in donations, or both but I do find it concerning that they're having to borrow money to maintain relief operations for the recent hurricanes.

Can you help?
American Red Cross Disaster Relief

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not as bad as I feared

With the quilt tossed across the longarm so I can see the overall effect (thanks Darcie), the fan quilting in the sashing doesn't seem to be a disaster.

I should mention that this is a donated HeartStrings top pieced by Barbara in FL. Hopefully she won't be disappointed in my quilting on this one. By the way, I don't consider myself a perfectionist but when I do something, I want to do it well - not just OK.

In general, I try to keep my moodiness from spilling over into the blog but as you can tell, sometimes I fail.

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# 6

Baptist Fans look good on everything - right? Or do they? Certainly they should be fine on any traditional looking string quilt - right?

As I was loading the quilt - I thought, this little border strip would be fine with the fans crossing it, then I started quilting and got worried, then as I quilted another row I thought it's fine. By the time I'm halfway through the quilt I'll be worried again.

I'm really, REALLY, not happy with my quilting these days. That nasty inner voice of mine keeps telling me I should really be much better at this after 6 years.

Feel free to comment on my choice of BF for this quilt but don't feel the need to comment on my unhappiness with my quilting - I'm not looking for reassurance - I'm average and I know it. Sometimes I'm OK with it and sometimes I'm not.

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Weight-loss Wednesday

The actual weight numbers have been eliminated since I'm only comfortable sharing pounds up or down but as you can see - I'm not really making a tremendous amount of progress here.

  • Lost 1.2 lbs this week so I'm back where I was before the two weeks I gained while out of town. Total loss is 7.4 lbs
  • I managed to meet my exercise minimum.....just
  • Failed to drink 64 oz of water each day - need to do better.
How did you do this week?

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