Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Came Early!

Yesterday we made it to a JoAnn's 3 Day Sale and hubby made sure that I bought the sewing table.  It has now made it so that I can sew, cut and press in my sewing room.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My cutting table--which doubles as a kitchen island is now clean!

Yesterday, I got in the groove after a few hours of non sleep in the wee hours.  I joined in the Heartstrings Yahoo Group Thanksgiving Block Party.  My contribution will be a kid friendly quilt.  I'll be saving it however for a Heartstrings Sew-In planned for May in Moab, UT.  It will be used as a sample--maybe it can be sent to It's Sew Moab for display.  Anyhow, I got 20 of the 24 blocks needed made.  They are now cut and stored until Monday, when I can finish and add my count to the total.  Eventually these will find their way for donation...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Mornin'

Just a bit off from quilts today as I am enjoying a 13.9 lb. weight loss from just 14 days ago!  WaaaHoo!  Here's a pic of me and my grandson yesterday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another Heartstrings Completed

Mary completed one of my quilt tops and I'm so pleased with the pattern that she used.  Take a look at:
http://blog. maryquilts. com/2009/ 11/20/another- one-of-pats- tops-quilted/

She really is a fantastic quilter and one who does many quilts for donations in many places.  Thank you Mary!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What I'm working on in my spare time--maybe even today!

In the process of trying to clean up my sewing for the company coming next week, I came upon my started crumb blocks.  I thought I'd try them for Christmas presents, and added a border to a handtowel--I added it to the yellow and liked the yellow in there so much that I added some yellow to the crumbs.  I didn't like the hand towel that much, so I decided to make placemats and a table topper.  I had just enough to use up the beaters and the egg fabric to make a table topper and 3 placemats--one for DH and DH's mother and me.  Now just to add the batting and backing and then I'll quilt them.

Guess I'm going to have to break down and go to the chiropractor.  Hate to part with the $45--but I can't sit at the machine for very long and that just doesn't work too well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mary quilted one of my donated tops!

Go take a look at:

The quilting compulsion is slowing down

Sometimes I just almost feeling like I have an addiction to quilting that needs a fix.  I'm currently feeling that calm down and I am enjoying some relaxing mornings.  I'm looking forward to family coming next week for Thanksgiving.  We're going shopping today for a roaster so that I can increase my oven space.  I stopped at my brother's bakery yesterday and got some rolls.  see:

I'm going on a fabric diet for now.  Although I have a stash and also have a large over $100 shopping cart on Thousands of Bolts, I'm going to stop buying for now and continue to use up some of the things I have.  I got my McCall's Quilting magazine for December last week and there's a lovely mystery there that I'm thinking of doing.  I've ordered the back issues so that I can do this.  I have some batiks that I could use and after the first of the year I'll look at this and decide then what I need to buy.

I have 3 quilts I sandwiched yesterday that I can work on without getting out my cutting stuff and making a mess on my kitchen counter.

I received my copy of Human Reality who we are...why we exist yesterday and I'm ready to spend my mornings studying this book.  see:

That's about it for today.  I'm enjoying my 2nd cup of coffee and will soon go take a warm bath to relax my back a bit.  I may still need to make another visit to the chiropractor as just sitting at my sewing machine bothers it.  I tried sewing a few things yesterday and needed to quit.  So that may be on my agenda for tomorrow.

Hallelujah!  nearly 11 pounds lost since last Tuesday!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Something very satisfying about scrappy patchwork

This quilt top started as a swap called Waste Not Want Not on Quilted with Love, yahoo group.  After one swap, I decided to save the postage and just use my own scraps.  There are some bright purple pieces in there I wouldn't have had, so that makes it fun.  I need to find something in my stash to border it with.  It'll be another big one--do I try tying it???  or wait for the quilter????  I'll think about it.  I could possibly do stitch in the ditch and that could give it enough quilting....

A Warm Quilt!

I just finished the binding on this quilt.  It was a heavy one!  Almost more than I could do on my sewing set-up.  I used a twin blanket for the batting and I didn't think it felt very heavy, but added to the strings on a foundation and the size of it, it was hard to sew.  I tried some circles in the middle (eye) of the strings, and it was a bit awkward and didn't turn out quite like I envisioned, but I didn't want to pick them out, so I left them.  I just need to wash it and make sure nothing comes unraveled.  This hasn't turned out to be one of my favorites, but when it's completed, it looks a lot better, than when it was in the "working" stages.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009--Where do we go from here?

As I ponder the state of the world on this day that the United States has declared Veterans Day, I am appalled by the ads that came in the newspapers this week hailing all sorts of Veterans Day Sales.  Have we no heart?  What is it that makes an excuse for buying and selling at someone's expense?

Below are some quotes that have caused me to think about the true cost of war:

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.  ~Jeanette Rankin

Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.  ~Carl Sandburg

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.  ~Voltaire, War

All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.  In my opinion, there never was a good war or a bad peace.  When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?  ~Benjamin Franklin

In war, truth is the first casualty.  ~Aeschylus

Man, in his sensitivity, does not give names to animals he intends to eat but goes on giving names to children he intends to send to war.  ~Robert Brault

We have war when at least one of the parties to a conflict wants something more than it wants peace.  ~Jeane J. Kirkpatrick

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die.  ~Jean-Paul Sartre

You cannot prevent and prepare for war at the same time.  ~Albert Einstein

The era of true peace on earth will not come as long as a tremendous percentage of your taxes goes to educate men in the trades of slaughter.  ~Reginald Wright Kauffman

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Belief--what is it?

I just read of a woman who is gathering quilts for the victims of Fort Hood Shootings and their families.  I respect that person's intent and desire to help.  Sometimes I find myself in a rather lonely frame of mind as I consider current events.  I DO NOT believe in war.  I believe that wars have been manufactured from man's inability to live the golden rule.  But, what is belief anyway???

I just read this:
In order to create value for themselves and gain a sense of equality with everyone else, human beings have developed their own individual belief systems.   The real truth is that there is no true human reality in any belief system invented by humankind—not even one!  (Human Reality Intro)  see:

I wonder sometimes in my hours of quilting how things are supposed to work in this world.  I suppose we'll go on doing whatever it is that makes us happy--or in many cases things that could cause others to be unhappy.  I think of wars, poverty, beliefs and the rifts they cause and I wonder even, if the quilts I make will give warmth to some child who may grow up to be a terrorist.  I can only hope that someday truth will prevail.  I'm again posting a link to a video that makes sense to me--the person who doesn't like war.
An acquaintance of ours lost his nephew in the Ft. Hood Shootings.  

This is his view of what is happening:

A message and book dedicated to the youth of the world in remembrance of Aaron Thomas Nemelka, who was killed on Nov. 5, 2009 during the Ft. Hood Massacre.

More to go...

This is the first quilt I put on the quilting frames--see earlier post.  It was Sunday morning when I started this and I didn't have any yarn--at least I didn't think I did.  Then I remembered a stash of sheets and yarn my neighbor had given me.  I found some lavender colored heavy yarn.  WOW, it was hard to pull through, but luckily this wasn't a big quilt.  I had some fleece remnant that fit this quilt just perfectly.  When it was completed, I felt that it needed some quilting so I quilted on my machine the white parts.  Using a previously tied quilt, to machine quilt, especially with the fleece backing worked beautifully.  I had a little trouble with the bulk, but not too bad.  The top was made from some 9 patches from a lotto that I won.  I made them into disappearing 9 patches and laid a layer of thin poly batting that was donated a couple of years ago by Fairfield to our senior's quilting group.  Since I have the small bits of the remainder, it needs to be used in donation quilts, as that was the specifications.  Now that I have the quilt frame, that will be easy enough to do, since I can use the frames to tie quilts.  The seniors quilting group is now a group of one--me!  It may take me awhile to use up the batting, but with the quilt below in the next post, I have now used up all the fabric donated--not counting the sheets my neighbor gave recently hoping to have them used somewhere, as she doesn't want to quilt them.   

This is the current stack of quilts ready to go to the Family Connections Center.  Yesterday, I spent some time in recovery, trying to get some help for my back (massage and a visit to the chiropractor has nearly healed it, I just need a bit more rest on ice).  

A new space now in use for quilting

We have an unfinished basement and I have an inherited quilt frame. I also have some big tops I've made that need to be quilted.  This picture shows the backing tacked down and ready for the batting.

I used a twin blanket I purchased at the second hand store for the batting. 

Then I laid the top over and anchored it down with either tacks or pins depending on where it was.  I should have trimmed the backing to fit better, but I don't have a big table to do that, and this works just fine.  After it's tied it is much easier to trim.

This is another view after I've started tying the quilt.  It's cold in the basement, so I'm going to look for some gloves with the fingers out so that I can do some more when we experience the cold snap that is coming.  I can go down and do a few rows and then emerge into my warm upstairs to get warm.  This is really kind of a fun retreat!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Now what do I do????

I'm not sure what I'll do with this top.  Recently, when I heard that my LQS was going out of business, I knew that they carried the blue stars and the wavy black/white, so I made up my own kits so that I'd know exactly how much to buy so that I could use all the various Baby Genius squares I had.  I came up with enough for 3 tops.  This is affectionately called Happy Quilt 2 since it is the second I've made.  It just makes me happy.  I like a rectangular quilt for kids better than a square, so I added the borders at the top and bottom.  For now it will hang in the closet with the other UFO's until I decide if I want to quilt it myself or send it on.

Below is the first Happy Quilt that I made last year.

Remembering Ft. Hood Shootings--by a victim's uncle

An acquaintance of ours lost his nephew in the Ft. Hood Shootings.  

This is his view of what is happening:

A message and book dedicated to the youth of the world in remembrance of Aaron Thomas Nemelka, who was killed on Nov. 5, 2009 during the Ft. Hood Massacre.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

7:15 a.m. and what to do with the rest of the day...

Gosh it's only 7:15 and I'm about to enjoy my third cup of Java and the Saturday newspaper with all the real estate ads.  I just love looking at all the houses.  Don't know why--just do!  I've completed a quilt that I started quilting last night and now just to enjoy.  I'm what I laughingly refer to as a "recovering Mormon".  I can't believe I missed nearly a lifetime of coffee in the morning.  I savor each drop.  Don't usually drink it during the day--man if I did I would really be hyped up.  But, that being said, I do love to drink it and just enjoy!  It feels good from the first scent of the coffee, to the brewing and then to the sensation in the mouth!  Am I a sense driven woman or just a woman with good common sense?   Or just sensuous??  There will be no vote on this!!!

Another Finish...

This started as a back for another quilt, and I thought to myself--I really could make another quilt out of this and then my work would go farther.  So, another quilt came from my two day crumb making session earlier this year--maybe in September...

I got to thinking while sewing the binding.  In my early years as a frazzled mom, I had quilts that I washed to death.  Most moms who receive these quilts, I am thinking, will be moms who may not even have their own washing machine, so these quilts need to be very durable.  I prefer making the binding and then sewing it by hand, but that may not be as durable as sewing down with a decorative stitch the way I now do most donation quilts.

I remember a quilt that I received when we took in a foster Native American.  I didn't have enough bedding when winter came.  There was a quilt in the Relief Society's closet and I asked if there was any way I could get it.  Of course I needed to remimberse for it--that's a whole 'nother story and I won't go into that today---maybe sometime I'll tell--but to make the story, it was a quilt that had been tied which made it durable for my boy's bedroom.  After a couple of washings the binding which was hand sewn came undone and it was awhile before I could get it resewed.  I was working, my first year as a teacher, having a weekend job as a waitress to help pay the loan we had for my education, and being a mom.  I suppose that has colored my thinking about bindings.  I want the quilts I give to be given freely--no strings attached--no payback and I want them to be durable.  I have several places I send my quilts, as many know.

I have been asked many times why I don't sell my quilts.  I suppose I could, but it would take out the joy for me.  This way I can let my imagination run and sometimes I just go with whatever fabric I have and come up with a design.  If things don't work quite the way I'd imagined--I don't have a e-quilter program nor much of a design wall, I can just donate them which is in my way of thinking a plus--I get to play and someone gets a quilt.  Most of the quilts I do are just from my head, or a combination of a pattern I've seen or just putting fabrics together.  This quilt, I used two layers of Fairfield 80/20 from a package.  It seems a little less thick or sturdy than some I'd have.  It makes me wonder if they've changed the batting.  So I won't be buying that anymore.  I'll be making an order soon of a roll of something advertised on called quilters dream batting.  I haven't yet washed the pictured quilt, but with two layers it is a bit more bulky.  That's one of the reasons I really like doing strings.  It adds just one more layer, not a thick one, but with that and the batting, even though not really fluffy they are quilts that just "mold" around the body.  I like that feeling. 

Well, I've rattled on enough today.  I need to make one more quilt, so that I can wash them and not have my washer go nuts because it's not loaded right!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quilted, Washed and Passed the Snuggle Test

WowEEE!  I'm back from a short vacation and quickly fixing my lack of sewing!  I quilted the pink one earlier today and actually bound the blue one while on our trip.  So glad to be home.  It's always fun to go, but for me home is really where I love to be.  The blue quilt used up my leftovers of minky.  I tried the binding in that as well as an edging around the pinwheels.  I used up what I had and couldn't purchase any more of the brown.  I still have some of the various blues and maybe I'll make them into a string quilt after I find some brown that blends with it.  The pink turned out a good size for a baby quilt and it is an easy pattern to make and it has some variation in the colors to make it interesting.  It has a cotton poly batting and the blue has a polyester batting.  Overall, my preference is the 80/20 blend.  I'm making an order soon for a bolt of it so that I have some on hand.