Sunday, December 25, 2011

Working on UFOs

Merry Christmas! I am enjoying a quiet day at home. Gift exchanges with grandchildren will be next weekend.

I committed to finishing 2 old UFOs to enter in Bear Creek Guild Quilt Show in Feb 2012.  I started this one in 2003 or so. I had a picture of a streetcar light on a foggy evening in the Garden District of New Orleans. I went to a seminar that David Walker was teaching in Baton Rouge. I used my design and his raw edge appliqué technique. I liked it but put it up because I had no idea how I wanted to finish it. Today I am applying borders and going to load and quilt it. I want to hesitate, I want to make it perfect, but that has paralyzed me and now I want to finish it.

I am also playing with this die from Patsy Thompson.

I have another ufo to finish and I am thinking of adding some applique

Friday, December 23, 2011

what happened to December?

This month has gone so quickly!

I finished the little friendship star quilt and turned it in at the guild Christmas Party. The lady in charge of the Silent Auction asked me if I wanted it back if no one bid on it. I was surprised and said I would take it back. It made me a little sad. It is not my favorite quilt but I think it would make a cute table topper or wallhanging. I am sure she was being efficient and not disparaging. I hope someone bids on it.

My bee had a dinner out for Christmas and a notion gift exchange.

I had a work trip to my home town of Kalamazoo, MI. It was the week of my birthday. How cool is that? I have had Michigan and Houston areas at my current job for 2.5 years but I never had a reason to visit Kalamazoo until this month. I had some great times with family including a cake from my favorite bakery! It was a fun birthday.

My grandson, Brandon came and stayed 6 days. We did Christmas shopping and wrapping. We played lots of games, and made juices and green smoothies with my new juicer.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Occupy Your Sewing Room

I wish I had thought of that clever title.  Go to  for information on the occupation and giveaway.

I have been occupying my sewing room on this rainy weekend.  I completed the quilt for my guild's silent auction in Feb.  Well I am to the binding stage but I should be able to do that within the next week and turn it in at December's guild meeting.

I thought long and hard about how to quilt it.  I finally jumped in with the SID hoping I would come up with a plan....  It has continuous curves in the stars, some snowflakes in the background with flowing lines to represent blowing snow.  I did swirls in the border and outlined the some of the ornaments.  I am binding it with the red fabric.  I hope some will want it for a Christmas table topper or wall hanging.  It is 25 x 25.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Organizing and Playing

My grandson, Brandon, spent Thanksgiving with me. He and his little sister, Natalie came over Wednesday night. He wanted to be with me on Thanksgiving because he thought I would be all alone eating salad on Thanksgiving. What a hoot!

Natalie only lasted one day before she became homesick. Brandon stayed all weekend. We played marathon sessions of Plants vs Zombies, and he helped me organize my longarm tools and templates.

All my other grandchildren are in Tennessee and I won’t see them until Christmas.

Below are pictures of longboards under the machine in dish racks, an idea someone posted on a longarm forum, and also the small templates in racks on the bookcase.  I purchased pot lids from The Container Store for the smaller items.  I also bought a plastic wheeled bookcase that I can slide up to the longarm and keep pins and small rulers handy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fabric Garage Sale

I went to a garage sale Saturday. The fat quarters were $1 each or 12 for $10, and fabric was $4 per yd, batiks $5 per yd. Someone was selling their sister’s fabric after her death. Apparently no one else in the family could use it. It was advertised in our guild and many of the “shoppers” were guild members.

She must have had a very large stash as this was the second sale and there will be another one after Christmas. Wow! I would have liked to see her studio, and her quilts. She had beautiful fabric.

Below is a picture of what I brought home – 12 fat quarters, 2 pieces 3 yards each and one 1 yard piece.

I also loaded a practice piece and started warming up as I haven’t quilted since I went to Portland. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Miss Spider’s Fantasy Flowers.

I had bid on this quilt in the silent auction at Trinity Valley Quilt Show. Apparently 2 people bid higher than me, but then they both backed out of purchasing so it was offered to me. It was made by a woman named Kay Valentine.

I love the use of fabrics, and the colors. On the stems she double stitched with green and it makes the stems look really spiky.

I have it hanging in my kitchen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Travel

I spent last weekend at the Houston Quilt Festival with 3 friends.  It is always an awesome show.

I am flying to MSP today for a long weekend with a friend.  I will be back Sunday morning, so maybe I can post pics then.

After I get back from Minneapolis, I will be home for 3 weeks and I plan to make progress on all my projects! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Christmas Tablerunner

When I am not traveling I can sew a bit most evenings after work. It is something I miss when I do a lot of traveling.

I have a small portable sewing machine that I took on one work trip that was two weeks long. Maybe I need to do that again, or some hand sewing project, though I am barely competent at hand sewing.

This week I worked on making winding ways blocks in Christmas fabrics. I am not consistent enough on the centers. The way the Go die cuts the fabric you have two opposite color blocks. I think I will put three together for a table runner with a border. The ones that aren’t as even as I would like I am going to make potholders out of and use them to audition what quilting I will do on the table runners. I am planning on donating one table runner to our quilt show silent auction so I want it to be especially nice.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back To Back Trips

I have been travelling again. I had 4 days in Vegas, then 4 days in Washington DC. I flew back to Texas on Friday morning. Now Sunday night, I finally feel like I am settling back in with normal routines.

I had lots of fun in Vegas with my siblings. Below are some pictures I took in the Bellagio. Sometimes I take architectural snaps because I think I will use them in pictorial quilts. Time will tell….

I didn’t take any pictures in DC, though I thought I might. I stayed near Georgetown University and walked to and from my meetings. By Wednesday night I was out of reading material and suffering the ennui of character separation – I’d been so caught up in reading 7 books that I’d felt adrift not being able to touch base with them again for a year until the next book comes out. (Chronicles of Elantra series by Michelle Sagara was new to me 3 weeks ago). I also had a back ache from too much time lying on the bed in the hotel. Unfortunately the only night I considered venturing out was rainy and cool so I didn’t site see.

So I sewed on the mystery Sat morning and otherwise got little accomplished this weekend, but I am happy to be home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quilt Inspiration - MQX West

I loved the quilts on display!  Below is one of my favorites.  It won viewer's choice.

The title is Ms. McDonald Had A Farm.  Pieced by: Hanging By A Thread Quilt Group.  Quilted by: Audrey Prothero and Bonnie Keller.

I have more pics, but blogger is fighting me....or maybe my brain is fighting me....

MQX West

I had a quick visit to the Portland, OR, Machine Quilter's Exposition. My Brother and SIL drove down from Tacoma, WA and stayed at the same hotel.

I only had Saturday at the show. I took a hands on class with Grace Anderson on doing overall quilting she calls Oregon Matelasse

mat·e·las·sé   /ˈmɑtləˌseɪ; Fr. matəlɑˈseɪ/ Show Spelled[maht-luh-sey; Fr. matuh-lah-sey] Show IPAnoun an embossed, compound fabric woven on a dobby or Jacquard loom.
Also, mat·e·las·se, mat·el·las·se.
Origin: 1880–85; < French, past participle of matelasserto quilt, derivative of matelasmattress

These are pictures of my practice piece. (It looks lumpy because I draped it over the couch for a quick picture)  I need to work on smother, spacing etc. I also find that I don't feel comfortable combining so many motifs. Perhaps that will improve with more practice.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Winding Ways Block

Too much fun!  I sewed a block to try it out.  It went so easy!  This video was a big help

Here is a pic.  I just used some scraps.  I know I want to do a quilt, but not sure what colors and fabrics.  I need to catch up on other things first

Quilt Sitting

I helped sell raffle quilt tickets at the Grapevine Hertige Festival.  Other guild members where demonstrating hand sewing yoyos and helping children make them. 
We were right next to a tilled patch of dirt with a couple rows of cotton plants, kids would come up to me with their hands full of cotton asking if I had a bag for them to put it in.  It is something I will have to  remember for next year.

It was windy and we couldn't hang the quilt, so we draped it across two tables.  It is held down by bricks that are either in canvas bags, or volunteer's jackets.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Block Swap Rails

I bought a martelli cutter so that I can cut sitting down. I think I will like it for sitting and trimming blocks, though it seems to collect lint in the cover and I had to blow it out periodically.

These are rail fence blocks for a swap. The design wall shows some of the blocks I received. I think it probably needs appliqué – maybe houses around the perimeter? Or just put together as is and used as a practice quilting¸ then donated? Regardless, it will be put up for a while so that I can finish the mystery quilt.

I also marked my new GO dies – winding ways and chisel. I wanted the sharpie marker dried before the weekend so I can make some trial blocks this weekend.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Quilting Inspiration

I went to the Trinity Valley Guild Quilt Show in Ft Worth today.  I love to see the variety of quilts.  I love the colors, design, and the quilting. These are some of the pictures that I took.  I focused on the quilting and captured designs that inspired me.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Inspirational and Educational Videos

I wanted to give a shout out to this site

Lots of videos.  I particularly liked Sewing Mitered Corners on page 9:

Isn't it great the amount of sharing there is in the quilt world?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Working on the Mystery

I have about  1/3  of the half-square triangles that I need.  I had been piecing them leader and ender style and thought I had more. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quilting the Hexigon Quilt

Quilting can really change the appearance of a quilt.  Remember the hexi?  Here are pics of before and after quilting.  I had debated using a variegated thread, but went with a light/medium blue.  I had a lot of fun playing and occasionally threw in a different flower. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stipple Practice

I am keeping up with the daily practice and already I feel more comfortable.  Today I was playing with my stippling, trying to see if I could put some points in the curves.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Right as I finished my UFO for the challenge last Monday, I came down with a bad cold. I am finally feeling better, though still tired and taking naps daily.

I worked some on the mystery quilt.

Today I practiced on the longarm some. I need to get back to daily practice for a while. I bought a quiltazoid and to use it I had to install the extra rail on the longarm. In the picture there is still blue masking tape holding the leader, because it has never been used. I have to get used to stretching over the extra rail which feels very awkward right now, and I need to understand all that I can do with the quiltazoid.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Design Wall and To Do List

I have been travelling so much this summer that I was surprised by what I have on the design wall. It is a small wallhanging that I need to add borders to and quilt. I made the center in 2002 or 2003 (?) at a David Walker Gulf Coast Quilter’s Association workshop in Baton Rouge, LA.  David teaches a meditative contemplative style of designing and working which I really enjoyed.

It is raw edge appliqué. I made the center based on a photo of a street car light on a foggy day in the Garden District of New Orleans. It has sat as a UFO for some time because it was narrow and needed borders and I wasn’t sure I had enough fabric, nor was I certain what I wanted to do for borders.

I have been in Virginia for a week on vacation. I was there for the earthquakes but got out before Hurricane Irene. I got home late Friday night and sometime Saturday noticed my design wall in a kind of cartoon double take. Too much gallivanting, I guess.

Before I can finish the Moonlight wallhanging, I need to finish another UFO quickly because I am # 13 on the Stashbuster Yahoo Group UFO Queen’s list. Fortunately I have a donation quilt that just needs a binding since I often procrastinate on bindings. Next I really need to get caught up on the mystery quilt. Sometime I might go grocery shopping and do some housework but those are not high on my list.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Progress on the mystery quilt

It's been a lazy weekend.  I was not feeling well on Saturday and today has been lackadasical.  I was trying to accomplish something tonight and can't get my points to match.  Here is a pick of the blocks and the assorted red violets I have collected for a later part of the mystery.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Borders Added to Hexigon Quilt

I returned from a quick trip to Vegas at about 12 am. Then I surfed the net, checked my emails and dallied until 3 am, so I am dragging today, not so much from Vegas but because I needed some time to settle back in at home.

I did manage to get the borders on the hexagon quilt and I doodled some this afternoon thinking about how I am going to quilt it. I think a flower in each hexagon and practice in the borders…maybe vary the border doing something in each different section. It won’t go on the machine until later this week, so my thoughts are still percolating.