Sunday, November 30, 2008

A little of this, a little of that

I mentioned yesterday that Keith and I took a walk. There's a loop that takes us down past the new US Headquarters for his company and across the river. This first photo is of the new office - it's scheduled to be ready for them to move in sometime in April.

Here's a view of the Minneapolis skyline as we crossed the bridge.
Chesty made himself a comfy spot this evening pushing the quilt on top of the pillow and climbing on top.
With just hours to spare, I finished quilting the 10th top for November. This one was pieced by Deborah and it's quilted with a swirling/dwirling pattern inspired by the Pajama Quilter DVD.
Keith put up some lights today - unfortunately he's going to have to redo part of them because the icicles are two different sizes and he didn't happen to notice it.

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I'm finished - 16 pillowcases that will go to Alycia's QOV project to hold the quilts that will be presented to wounded soldiers in May 2009.

And here's the whole stack!
This will add 16 yards to my stashed used total for the year and other than these pillowcases, I have no other progress to report this week. Next up a walk in the snow to a local pub to watch a bit of the Washington game....then hopefully, if my day goes as planned, I'll get one more top quilted for November.

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I woke up around 4AM and couldn't get back to sleep - there's a different glow to the world when there's snow on the ground so I took a peak out the window and saw we were finally going to get our first *measurable* snow of the the season!

I couldn't get back to sleep so I made 3 pillowcases for our HeartStrings Pillowcase Party before coming downstairs to snap some photos. More pillowcases, some quilting, and a walk in the snow are on the agenda for today.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

More Pillowcases

Completely unrelated to the HeartStrings Pillowcase Party, do you think someone wants a belly rub?
This photo doesn't do it justice but I think this is my favorite one so far. I've got 9 pillowcases done (not all today obviously) and 7 left to be pieced. I'm working at a slower pace than expected because of some family drama and I keep stopping to play with the iPhone.

The back pile is finished pillowcases, all are shades of blue and next I'll work on the greens.
Anyone else working on pillowcases today? Keith and I are heading out for a walk so I'll sew later this afternoon....still have to load and quilt another top by the end of day tomorrow to meet my November goal of quilting 10 tops.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

I gave myself a gift

We spent most of the day running errands - one was a trip to the AT&T store to buy an iPhone. It's got a better interface for the internet than my old phone so I'm looking forward to playing!

I tried out the camera from the phone walking home. You can see from the banners they're advertising the Holidazzle Parades which go from tonight until December 21st, 4 days a week.

Not a lot of time for sewing today but I did manage to make 3 pillowcases. The official start to our HeartStrings Pillowcase Party is tomorrow.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Getting ready

I spent some time this morning pulling fabric and cutting out pillowcases. I'll be sewing on these on and off over the next 4 days and hope to have 16 pillowcases to send to Alycia after Sunday. Most of mine will be shades of blue but I found a couple green prints and a license plate print I've had a long time that I'm using too.

Are any of you planning to participate in the HeartStrings Pillowcase Party? If so, do you have a goal of how many you plan to make? I seem to do better with a target number in mind.

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What are you Thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We're home

Click photo to enlarge

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Followers - who's using that?

Followers - I see it on my dashboard but I don't get it.

I use Google Reader to *follow* my favorite blogs. I've been meaning to ask, are the rest of you using the Followers feature? If so, for what?

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Pillowcase Party

I'll be heading home from GA later today and getting ready for this weekend's HeartStrings Pillowcase Party.

We're making pillowcases for Alycia's Quilt of Valor project - with a goal of 400 quilts for 2009, she needs a lot of pillowcases for presenting the quilts.

As I celebrate Thanksgiving, I'll be doing just a little something to show my thankfulness to the soldiers who serve and protect us. Want to join us? Click the HeartStrings link above or email me for more information.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seasonal Quilts

It's almost time to pull out my one Christmas quilt. It was pieced by Mom - I quilted it for her and then won it in a Family Quilt Exchange 5 years ago.

I've blogged about how much fun I have quilting with my family - here's a photo of my 3 sisters, Mom, Janet (Deb's DIL) and myself at the same exchange in December 2003.

(L-R) Mary, Janet, Maureen, Mom, Ann, Deb
Deb just so happened to win the quilt I made that year. We haven't had any big exchanges in quite a while but Deb, Mom, Ann, and I are participating in the Family Postcard Exchange with some other family members.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

My quilting spaces

I've blogged about this before but since I've had a bunch of questions recently, I thought I'd share some photos and descriptions of my quilting spaces and schedule it to post while I'm away.

All these photos were taken in April when we moved so the longarm room is messier and while the upstairs sewing room no longer has boxes and the shelves are full - right now it could use a good cleaning.

We live in a 3 story townhouse and I use the downstairs family room for the longarm. I have a Gammill Premier Plus on a 10 foot table that I downsized to from a Gammill Classic Plus on a 12 foot table 2 years ago when we moved to Minneapolis. Luckily, it meets my needs and the transition wasn't too difficult.


This room is also the *office* so I have my desktop computer, printer, and files down here. The longarm table has various bins underneath it but one of these days, I'm going to organize it like Deb has done with hers.

I just added track lighting down here and I love it - it's made a huge difference in the amount of light I have to work by and it's been great to be able to quilt on these nights I haven't been able to sleep.


The upstairs sewing room is the 2nd of two bedrooms and I get a lot of exercise running up and down the stairs between these two rooms.

As you come in the door, the sewing table is to the left - I sew on an Elna which is NOT set up in this photo, the cutting table is straight ahead - it's a buffet from an old dining room set that's the perfect height, and my shelves take up the entire wall to the right.


Looking back toward the door - this table collapses when not in use and I took the doors off the closet for easy access and storage.


The shelves are from Ikea and my favorite thing in my sewing room. I love the drawers that slip in the cubes - you can see two at the top left but I have at least 10 of them. Some hold knitting and crochet supplies and others hold fat quarters that are too small to put on the shelves. My books line the bottom and right side of the unit - I think they take up 13 or 14 of the cubes.


I still miss the studio we created for my quilting in Marietta. It was large, had great light, and everything was in one room BUT I know a lot of people would be happy to have just one room, much less two that are devoted to their quilting and I am grateful that Keith allows me to take up so much of our home just for me.


I've been sharing my Christmas postcards but I think I might just have to make a few more. Vicki showed a postcards on her blog, one version with a tree similar to mine using crystals where I used beads and bulbs. I even bought crystals at MQS in May but forgot to use them. And look at these cute trees that Karen posted on her blog they'd be easy to adapt to a postcard.

Who else is making and sending fabric postcards for Christmas this year? Have you tried them? Maybe it's time! I have some brief instructions posted on how I make mine but there's lots of resources on the internet if you want to give them a try.

Having a wonderful visit with the boys. Chris and Becky came last night to meet us for dinner and we ate in the restaurant here at the hotel where Adam works. He had to work (cook) but it was an open kitchen and we were able to watch him work and he came out several times to chat when he had a minute. Dinner was really good too! I felt so proud.

We embarrassed him by taking a bunch of photos but I don't have a card reader on Keith's computer so you will have to wait until I get home to see them - I hope they turned out - Chris and Keith were taking them because I was too refined (embarrassed? shy?) to stand up in front of everyone in the restaurant and take them.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday's Progress Report

  • Two Three tops quilted; one completely from stash including backing & binding.
  • One quilt bound; top and binding from stash
  • Finished my Christmas postcards except for the edges on 4.
  • Made 4 pillowcases from stash
  • No fabric purchased
  • Still knitting on the Prayer Shawl

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Before I leave - just one more quilt

Keith told me tonight as he headed to bed, that since there was no way I was going to sleep before this trip that he'd see me in the morning. We need to get up between 4 and 4:30 AM to get to the airport and he's right, most likely I won't sleep at all.

So after packing, I went downstairs and loaded and quilted another HeartStrings top. It's hard to get good quilt photos at 2AM. These blocks were made by Betty and pieced together at our HeartStrings Sew-in last month. I quilted it with my Circle Lord Swirls template - the first photo shows the quilting texture and the 2nd gives you a better idea of how nice the quilt looks.

This is top #9 of 10 on my to do list for November so I think I can manage to squeeze one more in after we get back from GA. Of course, of the 9 quilted only 2 have been bound so far so guess what I'll be doing in December?

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Going to see my boys!

Heading to Georgia to see my boys - we'll be back Wednesday evening.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

I failed

One good thing about not sleeping is it gets me closer to my goal of quilting 10 tops in November. This is # 8 of 10. It's 3:50Am and as you can see below, I haven't been sleeping. I loaded and quilted this HeartStrings top tonight after making the pillowcases and the postcards I showed earlier. I have to be up by 9:30AM this morning so I'm going to try to get some sleep.

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a lazy day

I worked on a few more postcards tonight. I love this tree fabric and decided a simple star embellishment was enough on this one - the edges of these all still have to be finished.
Pam sent me these cute little Christmas bulbs so I decided I'd make a couple more trees and couch the string of bulbs on. I tried to put a star at the top of this tree but it didn't look good unfortunately I'd already punched a hole so I covered it up with the PEACE charm. Not an ideal solution but at this point I wasn't going to toss the card.

I also made a couple more pillowcases - what a great way to use up some stash and do some good at the same time. Mine will go to Alycia to present Quilts of Valor to wounded soldiers. It will be nice for my Sunday Progress report to have used some stash this week.

And finally, I played around with my blog background again.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm a wimp!

I used to be able to stay up for two days without a problem but I needed a nap this afternoon. So I'll go to bed a little later tonight and get up a little earlier tomorrow - by Sunday I should be able to manage getting out of bed at a reasonable hour in the morning. I'm SO looking forward to seeing my boys!

I made another pillowcase - these are seriously fun and there are so many charities that can use them. I cut both of these out at the same time and just reversed the fabrics I used for the cuff and body. The second one I didn't use the narrow accent band because I didn't think there'd be enough contrast between it and and the print AND I wanted to try the pillowcases both ways - you can either use the accent band or not.

I'm making mine for Alycia's Quilt of Valor project but feel free to join in our Pillowcase Party on November 29 & 30 and donate them wherever you'd like.
Step by step photos of my pillowcases in progress.

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