Friday, July 31, 2009

Heading home

Our flight is delayed so we're waiting in Atlanta for the flight back to Minneapolis. I somehow managed to forget to take a photo of Lindsey with her quilt but she seemed to like it. We had a nice visit and are looking forward to seeing the boys and Becky next month.

Keith, Mary, & Adam at Amicalola Falls.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Still in GA

We've been up at our condo in Big Canoe since Monday. It's been rainy
but I'd forgotten how beautiful and peaceful it is. I'll be home
tomorrow night.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Do you Wii

Baseball anyone?? The first time I tried I didn't hit a single ball but trust me I kept trying until I could hit a home run!

Another toy? Chris has a netbook that he was eager to show me so of course I had to run out to Best Buy and get one for me. I love it! A lot smaller and lighter than the laptop but much easier to use than the phone.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Getting ready to leave

We're heading to Georgia tomorrow so today is busy with laundry and getting Chesty's things ready for boarding. We're going to spend a couple days with Chris and Becky in Marietta and then the rest of the week at Big Canoe where Adam and Linsey will join us on Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm going to try and get by Tiny Stitches and Little Quilts if I can talk Keith into it on Monday morning on our way to Big Canoe.

I probably won't get any sewing done before I leave but I did finish up these postcards last night -- I'm even early since the deadline isn't until the 25th of August.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

What could be better?

Chesty, a glass of wine, and a good book all on the deck while I'm
waiting for Keith to get home from Nashville.

I just love this

edit: I'd posted this before but I should repeat it here. While I didn't use her instructions, this quilt was definitely, unmistakenly inspired by one of Sandy Bonsib's quilts on the cover of this book. (I love her quilts and this book!)

I am so pleased with how this one turned out -- I hope Lindsey loves it as much as I do. Into the wash it goes and then I'll take it with me to Georgia on Saturday.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Do you label?

I'm really bad about labeling personal quilts and gifts but my new goal is to not let any quilt out of here without at least my initials and the year (and I actually put them on the front of this quilt NOT the back). The binding is done and tomorrow I'll take and post a photo of the quilt out on the deck.

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Still binding

I'm still working on binding but I took a break and started a postcard for our family exchange. I'd been wanting to use my GO circle die to make Yo Yo's and found some inspiration the other day looking through Sew Sommerset magazine.

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Am I the only one getting spam comments even WITH word verification on? Yesterday there were about 30-40 of them that I had to go in and delete today there are hundreds!!!

I'm going to go to comment moderation until they get tired of messing with me.

Why don't you little spammer shits go somewhere else??

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Looked a little scary when I headed out to a neighborhood place for a
late lunch/early dinner but I didn't get wet (yet). Hopefully, I'll be
as lucky on the walk back home after my coffee.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's nice to finish something !!

Tonight I finished the binding on a HeartStrings top from donated blocks assembled by Sue.

Freehand quilted with my favorite flowers from Dawn's Pajama Quilter DVD. Clicking on the photos will enlarge them.

On my design wall

Or maybe the title should be On my design wall AGAIN since this is Adam's quilt that I was working on back in May. I got a 12 x 12 block section assembled before I ran out of room on the wall and this one needs 3 more rows of blocks and then a border.

What's NOT on my design wall are the Stars and Pinwheel blocks -- I finished assembling the last one and set them aside for a bit since I was getting pretty bored with brown and pink.

My tasks for the next few nights will be to finish the binding on the HeartStrings quilt and then hand stitch the binding on the quilt for Adam's girlfriend -- I got it made and machine stitched on this afternoon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


An Aquatennial event along the river this afternoon.
My last two digital editing lessons. The first is a collage probably easier done in Picasa although you certainly have more options using Photoshop.
In this lesson, she used three different photographs of her daughter, I chose to cut one photo in 3rds and to enlarge the center.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Don't be shocked...

I actually dusted off the longarm and quilted something. We're visiting the boys in Atlanta in a week and I would like to have this quilt finished so I can take it to give to Adam's girlfriend. It still needs binding and washing but I should be able to manage that.

The pantograph is Wandering Daisies

and while some people wouldn't dream of doing a pantograph on a quilt with applique, I think as long as the motifs are small and the thread is blendy it can look good. All the photos should enlarge if you click on them.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Selective recoloring

I've used this technique a couple times before (here and here) and it's a great way to draw attention to something in a photo.

A photo of the boys messing around with me in Vancouver last summer.
Remember me telling you a few months ago the wine store in the neighborhood had closed ...guess what? It opened back up under new management a few weeks ago. Oh happy day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How easily do you get bored?

With a quilt like this with lots of the same block -- I like to get a bunch layed out on the design wall and then take 15 minutes here and there to sew one or two of them at a time. I know it would be quicker to sit down and sew them all at once but I have a low tolerance for boredom in my quilting.

I'm puttering along with my binding too - I can't believe how slow I'm working these days.... in fact, I can't quite figure out where the days are going.

More donations

From Sue and her Oroville/Chico California group, these 9 HeartStrings tops that will be finished by me and other volunteers in the coming months and donated to those in need.

Today's photo editing lesson combined a number of previous lessons. I chose this photo taken in April on our Ireland trip. It has some of the things I loved best about Ireland - the water, the green grass, stone walls and ruins.

I love the wrinkled old fashioned look the textures give it -- appropriate for a photo taken in the country my grandparents emigrated from.

More photo editing lessons

The edge burning effect is subtle but effective at making the center of this photo - the tree - really pop out from the background.

In this lesson, a texture was applied to the photo using overlay blending mode and text was added.
The challenge is finding the right photo for the technique -- or rather, finding the right technique to enhance the photos. Luckily, I'm able to access all the instructions for the techniques even after the class is over so I can refer back to them as needed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some days

Some days getting up and dressed is about as much as I feel up to accomplishing but I've found that getting outside for a little bit each day helps. Today, a walk around the neighborhood, lunch out, and a cup of coffee with my book and now I'm ready to head upstairs to sew a bit.

To see my neigborhood up close -- click on the collage to enlarge!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Design wall Monday

One lone block waiting for me to finish the half square triangles for the last 5 brown star blocks. Are you tired of this quilt yet?

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

I was upstairs sewing this afternoon

When I was upstairs finishing all my pink pinwheel blocks this afternoon (yeah!) I got to thinking about my process. I tend to work in a particular way with my scrap quilts -- it's not necessarily the quickest way but it works for me and it goes something like this....

1. pull a lot of fabric in the colors I plan to use and then sort through and refine my selection. I tend to lay them on top of each other with about an inch or two of each fabric showing and remove any that I don't think will work -- with my scrap quilts -- more fabrics are better.

2. start cutting enough of the different fabrics to begin to make several blocks.

3. piece a few blocks and put them on the design wall to evaluate how my fabrics are working.

4. make any necessary adjustments -- sometimes this means removing or adding fabrics to my mix.

5. continue to cut a while then piece a while -- I NEVER cut one of my own scrap quilts out all at once.

6. when I get down to the last *set* of blocks I make sure I've got a good mix of fabrics cut for them -- I hate getting down to just one or two more blocks and having to cut more.

7. once the blocks are made and up on the design wall, I decide if I need any changes to my planned setting -- this could be more blocks or occasionally sashing or a twisted setting or a change in borders.

8. once the blocks are pieced together I usually reassess the plan for borders again -- does the quilt need them? is it the right size already? pieced or plain? I love quilts without borders so this always gets a lot of thought because I only add them if I feel the quilt needs them (or if I got tired of making blocks and it needs to be bigger).

On my current quilt I'm up to step #6 with just 5 more brown star blocks to piece -- but first, I'll have to cut and sew more half square triangles.

For me, my most successful quilts are those where I'm willing to be open to making changes as the quilt takes shape.

So, what's your process? Cut all and THEN sew? Cut and sew together? Start with a plan and stick with it? Start with a plan and modify it as you go along?

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Mail and a finish!

Look what the mailman brought! Six pieced backs for HeartStrings quilts....I can't begin to tell you how helpful it is when I receive backs already pieced and ready to load on the longarm -- it saves me a lot of time and I really appreciate Tish sending me these.

And I finally have a finish! I've had a stack of quilts waiting for bindings....kind of unusual for me because I usually keep up better with my binding. This little top was pieced by Cheryl and now it's all ready to wash and donate.

I also wanted to thank everyone who commented on my post the other day. I've written many of you back but in some cases didn't have email addresses to respond to others.

I'm quilting at a slower pace this summer than is usual for me and I found it interesting to read how strong the committment to quilting is for many us....surviving a lack of time or even periods where we don't quilt at all but always drawing us back in.