Tuesday, June 30, 2009

These three made the cut and came home from B&N. You can probably guess by now that the Quilt it for Kids is for Mom!

An outing

What could be more perfect than an iced latte and a stack of books and
magazines to browse through?

I wonder how many will go home with me?

Baby Quilts

Mom has made several quilts from this magazine that have been really cute ....including the trains and the rabbits posted yesterday and the baby carriage quilt that Mom has pinned and ready to quilt (sitting beside the stack of quilts from yesterday morning).

Back issues are available at the Fons & Porter site.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Mom's quilts (as requested)

Not all of these were donated today but I went into Mom's computer for photos of some of her recent quilts. She really makes cute quilts and as I told BJ, I claim credit for getting Mom interested and teaching her to quilt!

You'll notice that she likes applique a lot more than I do and on these small quilts she pieces and quilts them herself on her Bernina. Her larger tops are sent to me for quilting although Deb does an occasional one for her too.


Mom and I are heading out to IHOP for breakfast and then over to Catholic Charities to take some quilts. I brought a couple with me to donate but Mom's been really busy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Did I mention

that one of the reasons for this trip was a dinner with friends from high school. I hate to actually call it a 30 year reunion because it makes me sound old but I had a great time seeing friends I hadn't seen in years.

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I tend to do things in a certain way with my quilting but I'm usually open to learning (hence all the books). For years I always used steam to press but in the last 6-8 months I've been using a dry iron and am surprised how much better I like it.

During the piecing of the block I only press with the dry iron but once the block is finished, I give it a spritz of Mary Ellen's Best Press and press.

Another tip I learned a couple years after I'd gotten my longarm was that I didn't need to press my backs before loading them on the longarm. A little spritz of water after the back is loaded gets even the most stubborn wrinkles out.

So what tips for quilting do YOU have to share?

Friday, June 26, 2009


I travel enough that I usually take delays and canceled flights in

I'm now heading to Norfolk via Detroit and my brother insists on
driving over to Norfolk to pick me up even though I'm getting in after
11pm. He's such a good brother!


Hoping I don't miss my Atlanta connection! Too bad I didn't get
upgraded this flight like we did on the ones last week.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Which would you pick?

I was talking to Adam the other night and he mentioned again that he'd really like a quilt for his girlfriend so I told him I'd send an email with several tops that I already had pieced and they could choose one for me to finish for Lindsey.

So these were the 5 choices I sent ..... which one would you have chosen?

(Photos will enlarge if you click on them)
They surprised me by choosing the Hearts and Strings top inspired by this quilt by Sandy Bonsib so it's on the design wall for me to measure and pick out a backing. Although I haven't made any promises, the goal is to quilt it when I get back from this next trip and take it when we see them the last week of July.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Contest winner

I've assembled the links submitted into a list and posted it on the HeartStrings Blog and used a random number generator to pull a number for a prize. Gypsy Quilter is the winner which is kind of neat because she had sent the string tops in her link to me to be quilted and donated as Quilts of Valor. (Julia in NE helped with the quilting of these tops).

I also added the link to the list on the sidebar of the HeartStrings blog so it will be easy to find for anyone looking for some inspiration. Feel free to send me links as you come across other great string quilts and I'll add them.

After my next trip, I'll be looking through the list again myself to see if I can find inspiration for my next string quilt there -- if I do, I'll award another prize to the person submitting that link.

Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite String Quilts with me!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer has arrived

It's been in the 90's the last couple days and I almost wish I was back at the beach where we had such nice breezes AND where I could just jump in the water if I got too hot.

However on the positive side, the grounds of our townhouse community are lush and green and gorgeous all without any effort on my part!

I'm puttering around with half square triangles and Pinwheel blocks and one by one, more blocks are making their way onto my design wall. I'm really liking this quilt!

Monday, June 22, 2009

More books

I recently had questions from a new quilter asking about machine quilting, marking, etc and I thought I'd share these 4 quilting books from my collection. I have LOTS of books on quilting but these are probably the ones I'd recommend to a new quilter.

Heirloom Machine Quilting was my first book purchased that just dealt with quilting and it's a great reference book.

I love all the books from the Rodale Successful Quilting Library and the Fast and Fun Machine Quilting has lots of good information and tips.

The Easy Machine Quilting book is from Rodale too and has step by step lessions and projects to machine quilt.

Dianne Gaudynski's Guide to Machine Quilting also has basic quilting information and lots of great tips although from the cover you might think it was a book just for advanced quilters.

All the links but the one to the Successful Quilting Library will take you to an Amazon page where you can actually look inside the books.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vacation is great....but

It's nice to come home too. I miss Chesty when we're gone and am always eager to get home and pick him up. Keith tossed him straight into the bathtub and he's soft and cuddly!

I love being able to post photos and text directly from the iPhone while I'm gone, I enjoyed sharing my vacation photos and the beautiful sunsets almost made me wish I was living in Florida again. I have to remember we see some pretty spectacular sunsets here too -- they're just not outside my window every night although they used to be. One thing I miss about our apartment are the gorgeous sunsets over Loring Park. This first photo is from the deck we had there.

There are some spectacular sunsets on the Mississippi River too, I just have to be out walking to catch them. This was a photo from last summer taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
I've started working my way through all my email, I read it on the iPhone while I was gone but didn't sort or respond to much of it. I'm making my list of all the links people sent for string quilts and once I'm done, I'll draw a name from those that submitted them for a prize.

If you had questions for me while I was gone, I'll try to answer them if I have an email address to respond to....so many people still don't have their email addresses enabled in their profiles.

I'm going to try and get some piecing done this week but I head out again on Friday for another long trip - a High School reunion dinner and a visit to Mom in Virginia and to Maryland from there for my brother's wedding. It's a busy summer so far.

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Do you think Chesty will be glad to see us when we get home?

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

One last sunset

Viewed from our room.

Our last day

And we're spending it on the beach where I snapped this photo of the

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sunset and a storm

Just another day before we head home and I'm starting to think about
my Stars and Pinwheels waiting on my design wall.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I love storms

And with everything we need right here we can sit back and watch it.

Minnesota pale

We're set up for the day on the beach but with lots of shade so I don't burn (more). I'm even wearing a hat today Deb!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Deb and I had a great visit today and since Keith spent most of the
day working I was glad to have company.

Drinks and snacks in the lobby bar tonight and then dinner on our
balcony watching the sunset.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A visit from Deb tomorrow

She's going to drive down to sit by the pool and have lunch with me.
She wasn't thrilled with the idea of wearing a bathing suit in public
but heck no one knows us here!

I'll even be brave and share a photo of me by the pool today!

I finished up a Sherlock Holmes story -A Study in Scarlet -yesterday
and today have been reading a biography of Victoria and Albert.

Vacation spot #2

The Ritz Carlton - Naples. We're settling in for the rest of our

Driving Alligator Alley

All we need are two little boys sitting in the back seat watching for


You know I'm a reader, right? I try to keep my Shelfari bookshelf up to date with new books I'm reading - most of which are on the Kindle these days but I also have a large (huge?) personal library of 500 to 600 books on quilting with some embroidery, beading, knitting, and crochet titles tossed in there too.

So when I started contemplating how I'm going to bind the irregular edges of my string tumbler and the novelty tumbler quilts I pulled these two books to look for information on binding irregular edges.

And I'm still debating whether my Stars and Pinwheels quilt will get a border -- it really big already but I might as well read up on borders just in case. I just remembered I have another border book somewhere -- will have to look for that one too.

After reading the book I bought in Nebraska about their Quilt Documentation Project I pulled out these 3 to look through them again -- I love looking at these old quilts and reading about the women who made them. It's a great source of inspiration and look at the cover on the Georgia book -- it's a string quilt, I'd forgotten about that one!

I've lived in Virginia, Georgia, and Minnesota so I'm especially interested in quilts from those states but I don't have a book on Florida quilts. We lived there for 13+ years AND I started quilting when we lived in Florida so I'll have to look to see if they have a documentation project book.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

The sun peeks through

The sky's been dark and stormy looking but with the sun peaking
through I think the rain may pass us by for now.

Yesterday's book was Testimony by Anita Shreve. Today I started
reading the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan
Doyle - got to love the Kindle for that!

On my design wall

Unless I was able to complete more blocks before I left, it will look like this next Monday too.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

A lazy, lazy pool day

Dinner with family later but for now, a drink, some sun, and my book!

Computer desktop

What's on your computer desktop? I always use one of my photos and they change fairly frequently. Until recently I had one from our Ireland trip but this is the current one. I know there's snow on the ground but it's the view from my front porch and I love the colors in this photo taken early one morning.

What do you want to bet that when we get back from vacation this will change to a sunset on the gulf photo?

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