Friday, October 31, 2008

UFO #17

I finished binding this last night - yeah! It was pieced about 10 months ago so it's not all that old but it's nice to have it done. The Boxed Squares instructions and close-up shots of the quilting can be seen at my site.

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I'm heading out to Joann's to pick up a few supplies for a new class I'm taking called Stories in Hand, by Jessica Sprague. It's free so if you're interested, check it out but it's starting soon so don't wait!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Get ready for more agonizing!

This is next up - pieced by Mom for another sister (you know I have 3 of them don't you?). I don't have a clue where I'm going to go with this but I'm sure it will involve a lot of agonizing! By the way, I sent Maureen a photo of her wallhanging and she's very happy with it.
My Photoshop Elements class is over but I'll continue to create pages and hopefully learn more as I go. I'm going to switch from the 12x12 format used in the class to a 8x10 format that I can print out here at home. I won't necessarily be showing the pages as I create them, but I did create a link on my sidebar to the online album that I'm posting them in just in case anyone is interested in following my progress.

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For better or worse, it's done

I don't feel confident in my ability to quilt into this applique with either a continuous line of quilting or without having unsightly starts and stops so I'm going to use buttons in the flowers and if I feel it needs more, I'll hand embroider just enough detail to *tack* it down.

I need to keep reminding myself when I'm doing something like this that quilting is my hobby and my quilting ability is what it is .... I don't represent my quilting as being professional and I don't charge people for the quilting I do. I'm sure Maureen will be fine with the results.

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I do a lot of browsing without commenting myself so I certainly can relate but every now and then it's a lot of fun to hear from those of you who don't usually write. Thanks!

Now I'm going to downstairs and try to finish Maureen's wallhanging!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I'm curious, do most of you track visitors to your site? I watch my site statistics for both my blog and my website and it's always interesting. I'm amazed that my blog gets 600-700 visits a day but usually only less than 30 emails and comments.

I also look at the stats for my websites to see which of the *instruction sheets* is getting the most traffic. Using a *free* counter only gets a limited amount of data but here's the latest from my site. My Boxed Squares instructions are getting more hits than the other ones....maybe because I just finished quilting it?? It's a little more than half way bound so it won't be long before it's completely finish thank goodness!

So, if you visit my site but never comment, won't you introduce yourself?

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Don't bother to comment - just leave me to my misery. Can you believe that I have another wallhanging to quilt that Mom pieced for my other sister?? Just shoot me now! This is SO out of my comfort zone.

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I'm paralyzed by white space

See this tiny little wallhanging made by my sister? I've been debating all day what to quilt in this background. She doesn't do any freemotion quilting so I could just meander it and it would be fine but no....

I start out the morning drawing things I might actually use on the quilt....maybe swirls

maybe swirls and curls....

maybe a leaf meander....

speaking of leaves - I just watched the DVD by Patsy Thompson.....these aren't going on this quilt....
and neither is this..........
this certainly isn't going on so why did I spend so much time drawing all this?

Oh look, it's time to think about dinner....the top still isn't started....

but we'll have SOUP for supper!

Seriously, I've done nothing but load that top and draw all day - oh wait, I did make soup too!

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Photoshop Elements Class

Click on photo for a larger view
I'm done with my class - Up and Running with Photoshop and I thought I'd let you know how it went. The above page is plain so you know it's one I did from scratch after watching the tutorial on how to crop the three photos.

It's a self-paced 4 week class but of course, I had to work it at a faster pace. I focused more on process, than the content of my pages so I will probably go back and redo some of the earlier ones.

If interested, you can see the other finished pages too. Most of these were using the exact papers and layouts from the class - a few are a little more personalized.

For those interested in the class, I just want to caution - it's a digital scrapbooking class and while you do learn the basics of Photoshop Elements (or Photoshop), it's focus is on using the program for scrapbooking.

I had fun and will definitely take more classes but I will say, I wish the video had a pause button. I'm not one for watching something all the way through before trying it myself so I'd get behind when I couldn't work a new task as quickly as in the video. However, each class was broken down into tasks so I could replay a certain task without replaying the entire video but I found it strange not to have pause, fast forward, and rewind buttons for the videos.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Time's running out

I know I won't get through October's list before the end of the month but I'd like to check off a few more items. I loaded and quilted two pillowshams for my aunt today - I'd been procrastinating because I really prefer to do overall quilting - freehand, pantograph, or my CL templates but I needed to get these done -- and now they can be shipped back with the other top I quilted for her.

These shams match this top I quilted for her last year.

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Bendable Light

Here's a link to the light I purchased for my sewing machine. I was buying DVD's from Patsy Thompson's site so I went ahead and bought the light there too. I'm sure it's available in other places too.

Bendable Light

There's no magnet with this light - it uses that sticky 3m product to attach to the side of the sewing machine. (At least I think it's made by 3m but I'm not going to go look).

PLEASE, if you're going to ask me a question - I need your email address! Just type it right into the comment box. I try to respond to ALL questions when I have an email address. I rarely type up a separate post to answer questions.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

HeartStrings Sew-in

Blogger seems to have changed the order they upload photos but I'm not going to bother to rearrange them.

First, from our Heartstrings Sew-in yesterday - we mainly worked on making blocks and assembling tops but after I said I hadn't understood instructions for creating pillowcases with no exposed seams, we had a lesson thanks to Ethel. I only sewed the cuff on the one I was holding before going back to assembling my green blocks but Sheree finished sewing it.

(From L-R) Sheree, Barb, me, Virginia
Here's a neat gadget I finally broke down and bought - a *spotlight* for my sewing machine. It's pricey at almost $50 but boy does it help my aging eyes see better.

We took a field trip yesterday to a local quilt shop in Rochester, MN where among other purchases, I replenished my background stash with these fat quarters.
Finally, I can check completing this top off my to do list for October - I assembled it yesterday at the sew-in. Today, I've managed to get the binding made and machine stitched to my Boxed Squares - I'll work on stitching that down later.

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I have more to blog later but we're having flurries and I needed to share! Can you see them in the photo below? Click on it to enlarge!

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Friday, October 24, 2008


For all of you who missed Chesty in our family photo - here's one of him with Mommy that Keith took today on our walk. Unfortunately, Chesty didn't go with us to Alaska which is where the other family photo was taken this summer.

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This quilt has a mind of it's own!

Right now it's a perfect 72 inches square (well maybe not perfect). The latest plan was to only add the pieced letter borders to the top and bottom and end up with a rectangular quilt. But! I think it needs a border all the way around so now the question is do I add one more row of blocks so it won't be square? I do have extras that were sent to me...or do I add the border with the pieced letters and have a square quilt?? I'm stewing on it for now.....

Here's a view of the back - most blocks have a signature from the person who sent them but some have more - see the once on the (l) completely covered in writing? That one is from Bonnie and it describes the significance of all the fabric she used in her block. I'm going to make "map" once I decide the top of the quilt so I'll know where everyone's blocks ended up. I have this crazy idea in my head that once the quilt is done - I'll take my time and embroider everyone's name and location on the finished quilt. We'll see....

And here's the basket of quilts from the first photo - I'm documenting the donations on the HeartStrings site and these will go to Barb tomorrow at our HeartStrings Sew-in for Project Linus.
There are quilts from Barbara in FL, from the St. Mary's quilters in CT, from Deborah, and from Deb in AZ in this batch - all of them sent tops for me to quilt and donate.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008


I just realized after I posted - the last 4 don't have photos - unusual for me so I decided to quickly share one of my family. I don't talk about it a lot but I miss not seeing my boys more frequently and am counting the days until we visit them next month (not to mention I love staying at the Ritz Carlton where Adam works)

(L-R Adam, Mary, Keith, Chris, and my DIL Becky)

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No photo - maybe later

I finished another Photoshop lesson - although I could already use the very basic elements of the program, I'm learning lots!

I also made a bit of progress on my HeartStrings Anniversary quilt - I keep modifying the design with these goals:
  • A good size sofa quilt (somewhere in twin size range)
  • Use at least ONE block from everyone who sent blocks to me (some people sent extras)
  • Have at least one border with the free pieced letters - top and bottom would be best.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008


It's beginning to look doubtful that I'll get all the way through my October list. I've been distracted by a number of things since getting home from Denmark and not doing nearly as much piecing as I though I would.

I can't stand being inside at home when we're having such beautiful Autumn weather so I find myself outside walking, running errands, sitting in a coffee shop reading, doing some more walking.

With photos from my walks and Denmark - I'm distracted with digital photography and photoshop. I went ahead and signed up for an online class and started that yesterday. I'm taking a self pace beginner class and while I know some of the material - I'm learning other good things.

While I was at it, I signed up for another free class that starts in November. It's called Stories at Hand and I see it as kind of a journaling class. My blog meets a lot of my needs for journaling but there are other things that are personal I'd like to write about but don't (won't) share here on the blog.

Along the same educational lines - I purchased a bunch of DVD's from Patsy Thompson and have started viewing them - it's going to take me quite a bit of time to get through and absorb them but I enjoy learning so it will be time well spent - especially if I can translate some of it into my quilting.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Red Rover Instruction Sheet

The instruction sheet for this quilt has been posted. Thanks again for all the help with naming the quilt.

Red Rover Instruction Sheet

Now, I'm going to head downtown for a walk, pick up a few things at Target, and a haircut - if they can fit me in at the salon. Does anyone need anything from Target while I'm there?

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Naming quilts

Where do you guys get this stuff from? I can't believe how many creative names you all came up with? Karen gave me an excellent suggestion - I created a list with the names I didn't use for future quilts.

While they were all great, I narrowed it down to my favorites:

Zing-a-ring-ding a Red Fling
Venetian Blinds (this one got a lot of votes from other readers!)
Red Rover, Red Rover
"Well Red"
Ruby Slippers: There's No Place Like Home
"May the Road Rise Up to Meet You."

and then I chose.....

Red Rover

It's not quite as creative as some of the other names but I'm going to take baby steps here.


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Monday, October 20, 2008

Help me name this quilt - please!

I'm writing up instructions for this quilt and I need a name for it. I've been calling it my red/beige scrap quilt but I need something a little more exciting - any suggestions?

And just because I couldn't resist, this is a better shot of Chesty's view from our front window.

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