Welcome to my life - full of Quilty Treasures and Family!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
It has been a busy week - not much sewing going on! I did finish a quilt I was quilting for a friend, and it turned out very nice. I did a star pantograph on it, which suited it well - it is a gift for one of Sonya's family members for Christmas. The picture doesn't do it justice - and doesn't show the quilting very well, but I know the recipient will be very happy.
I also finished three stockings and they are now hanging on the stairs in the entry with the rest of the stockings. It is beginning to look like Christmas around here!
I'm trying the 2011 UFO Challenge by Patchwork Penguin this year - my friend Linda said it really helped her to finish a lot of her UFO's this past year - and I started Quiltville's Roll, Roll Cotton Boll mystery - so I have plenty to work on! I never get bored! If only I had a couple more hours each day!
Hubby worked on the playhouse for the grandkids today - he is putting the door on. We need to do a little more outside painting once he gets that done, and then we'll tackle the inside painting and finish the inside trim. Hubby has to build the steps to the loft yet, but he has them designed. My youngest grandson said he wanted to pick the inside colors - he wanted Granddad's favorite colors - red and black. (My husband is a graduate of Texas Tech - those are the school colors!) You can be sure that those colors will somehow be incorporated in the decorating scheme - what grandson wants - grandson usually gets from granddad!
I really do love Christmas - but I'm a little stressed right now. I am working on a couple of new stockings for new family members (OK - Matthew is almost 5 now, and he is one of those family members missing a stocking!) But the shopping is almost done, and the house is decorated (almost). My husband mentioned to the grown children that we might not put the big tree up this year, and the kids came over and helped get it done! Maybe the Christmas fairies will come this weekend and finish what needs to be done.
My daughter and son-in-law and family will be here next week - we are very excited. It has been a while since they came for Christmas. We have plans for a family portrait to be made and for lots of fun "Family Game Nights" while they are here! Can't wait! I'm stocking up on easy to prepare meals, and trying to catch up at work so I can take off a lot while they are here.
The annual Christmas party for my quilting group is tonight and I'm getting ready to make some graham cracker praline bars to take - they are yummy. The food is always wonderful at this party - these women are such fantastic cooks, and I enjoy their company so much. It will be a relaxing evening.
I have been sewing and working on the studio the past couple of nights. I finished some napkins I started several years (yes!) ago - bought the Marimekko fabric and put it away for napkins, made a couple, then forgot about it! Anyway, I got them done and ready for Thanksgiving!
I'm also posting the pic of the table runner - it is quilted, bound and already on the table! My middle daughter has admired it and may end up with it! It all depends on how attached to it I get!
Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I have so much to do to get ready for the big day. I am already getting food prepared and frozen for dinner, but for some reason this year, I'm not as worried about getting everything ready. Is this what happens when you get older - you just do what needs to be done without a lot of fussing over every detail? I'm going to enjoy having family around the table and being thankful for each and every one of them, even though some can't be here this year.
I've been very busy and distracted, so I haven't posted in a while.
Where to start????
I spent last weekend at a Quilt Retreat with several friends from my small quilting group. It was a much needed time to just sit and sew and relax and visit with friends. My batteries have been recharged and I am ready to get busy again! I pieced a table runner using a fun ruler called "Lil Twister" that I got from The Country Schoolhouse (http://www.country-schoolhouse.com/twister_tool.htm). I'll post a pic when I get it quilted - it was fun and turned out really well. Now I want the bigger tool because I bought some 10" squares that are scrumptious and would look great using this tool. During the retreat, I also put a border on a baby quilt and worked on an applique project -not a ton of work accomplished, but enough. The company of friends and the wonderful food made the weekend complete!
I have a friend's quilt on the Gammill right now - again I will post a pic later. It has embroidered butterflies on squares alternating with a purple print. I tried to echo quilt the butterflies, but it looked terrible, so I frogged the echo lines and am now micro stippling the squares. Much better. The purple squares are being quilted with a sort of meander with points. I'm using Glide thread which I am loving! I should finish it by this weekend. (I know - I'm slow, but I also have a regular day job, and loving husband and dog and chickens.....not to mention wonderful children and grandchildren.)
On Tuesday evenings, I do volunteer work at our local library. Besides checking out and shelving books, I also teach a quilting class. It is very informal - we usually have just a few people who show up each week.
We started with English paper piecing, and have worked on that for a while. I demonstrated a floating four patch block for one session, and gave each person a chance to make one herself. Next week I plan on having a session to talk about favorite sewing and quilting tools. Since we don't have a classroom in our small library, we just set up a table in the library. We get questions and comments from other patrons, which is a great way to promote quilting!
I've been working hard the past few days - but not getting a lot of quilty stuff done. I did do this block for a Pizza box block exchange for one of my quilt groups. Hope Judy likes it! It is very bright and cheery! In this exchange, everyone supplies the fabric and the blocks are to be 12"x12" finished, and you can't see your blocks until everyone else in the group has made one for you. Can't wait to see mine!
I've done a lot of frogging on a quilt I'm quilting - got a pleat in the batting. I've discovered that for every 5 minutes of quilting, you can do hours of unsewing!!! Sure does cut into the time I get to play in the studio.
One of the other things I'm attempting to do in my studio is to fold and organize my fabric. This is an example of one bin of fabrics - I have collected batiks for a long time, and started out folding them neatly and putting them in this bin. But I've used some of them and for some reason they have gotten out of hand. I need the fabric fairies to visit my studio and clean it up!!!
I haven't posted in a while - been very busy. My studio is a mess! Organization is escaping me these days, so I really need to spend a couple of hours cleaning up. I finished the John Deere quilt, and have a "Trip around the World" quilt on the machine now. It is very large - and is taking lots of time. I am quilting it with a freehand flower pattern and was doing great until I discovered a pleat in the batting. So now I am frogging!
My stepmother is in the hospital in west Texas, so I made a flying trip there this week. She is doing much better, and I am glad I got to go to see her and the rest of the family. You don't always realize just how much family is important until you have a crisis. Then it is amazing how everyone comes together and supports each other. I got to see several people that I haven't seen in a while, and got to meet some others that I had only heard great stories about from my stepmom. She is a great lady and is loved by everyone! I am so blessed that she is a part of our family.
Tomorrow will be another Family Work/Play day at our house. The playhouse that is under construction in the backyard is coming along nicely, and that will be the focus in the morning. I think I heard that it is now completely insulated and the siding will be put on next. The roof still needs shingles, then will come painting. Picking out a paint color will be an interesting project. My hubby want to paint it to match the other buildings, but the grandkids have other ideas! If they have their way, it might be bright red! My sister sent goodies for the grandkids - battery operated lamps (since it is not wired for electricity), a doorbell and rug for the porch of the playhouse. I'll try to post a pic of the rug later - it is shaped like a frog - so cute.
The pic is of the playhouse with most of the insulation installed - last weekend, I think.
Tonight I plan on working on the studio and planning a nice lunch for the family tomorrow. I hope that everyone has a great weekend.
The Church quilt is finished and Glenda is binding it! Yeah! I think it turned out ok. I'll add pics when it is finished! The "costume" is also finished - it was a satin "poodle type skirt" without the poodle. Instead it had a bright orange guitar on it with musical notes made of fabric with lots of glitter. I also made a vest using the same fabric, with a sparkly organza overlay. Both of these garments had black fringe, and sequins. After breaking 5 -( yes, 5) sewing machine needles trying to sew on the sequins, I hand sewed the rest. Did I mention that both garments were black. My eyes really need a break. And my studio has lots of sequins and glitter on the floor. I need to clean the ironing board, too - there's glitter there!
I was up at 5AM this morning to finish the costume. When I finished, it was not quite 7AM, so I put a quilt on the Gammill - I'll take a pic tonight - it is a John Deere quilt that I'm quilting for my friend, Sonya. It is really cute - Sonya said she is a new quilter, but she does nice work for a beginner! I also went home for lunch today, and spent about thirty minutes in the studio winding bobbins and organizing stuff so I can quilt tonight. Our family summer party is this Saturday, so I should be making brownies and cookies, but I think I can squeeze in an hour for quilting.
Father's Day was great - we had all the kids over (except for the Seattle contingent) and had a great time. We grilled burgers, planned a little for the party, and played games. I had gone to Hamm's Orchard this past week, so we had fresh peach cobbler and blackberries with ice cream. Yum. (Note to self - resume diet!)
Forgot to mention that my sister and her husband were here for a couple of days last week. It is always good to see them. We went shopping one day, and had a wonderful time visiting. I don't get to see her often enough.
I've been busy putting the "Church Quilt" on my Gammill this past week. This quilt is one that my small quilting group donates to the church where we meet each year as a thanks for letting us use the facility. The top was donated by my friend, Judy, to the club and I get to quilt it this year. I've been a little nervous about this. I've quilted for myself and for gifts, but this is different! I asked Judy how she would quilt it and she told me to put it on the machine and let it talk to you. This has been one silent quilt! I tried sweet talking it, scolding it, and even threatening it, but ..... nothing. I picked out thread. Still nothing. I finally picked out a pantograph and set it up, and stitched about three inches - and something screamed "NO" - was it the quilt? We'll never know. I stopped and am now in the process of "unsewing" the stitches I made.(Note the seam ripper near the corner of the quilt!) Starting over. To make matters worse, it is about 90 degrees hot in my studio. The AC is being replaced (bless those AC installers who are braving 100 degree heat in my attic right now!) So - I am moving downstairs to the dining room (where it is a comfy 77 degrees) to cut out a skirt for the play that is to take place at the end of the month. Gotta get moving on it. Hubby is playing in a golf tourney today, so I have the house to myself (except for the AC guys), so I should get some serious sewing and quilting done. I could clean the house instead, but ......
I got to do some quilty stuff tonight! I put the binding on the old quilt that I am finishing for my friend, Mary. Now I just have to do the hand sewing, which could take me several days! My hubby has been watching the Ranger game and my dog, Chico, has been sticking close to him. It has been a very relaxing evening.
I have done very little quilting this past weekend - it was Mother's Day and I spent it with family. I did get the binding done on a quilt for my son-in-law. I'm so slow when it comes to bindings, and I'm always so anxious to get the quilt finished that it seems that much slower! I've had lots to do at my day job, and meetings at night, so I'm really ready to get some quilting done. But... the AC upstairs in my studio is on the blink - the repairman is due this week to put a new unit in for the second floor. It is a bit warm up there - but I just might brave the heat and get that binding made and attached for the quilt for my friend. Then I can bring the quilt downstairs for the handwork!
I visited with my accounting guru about setting up my quilting business last week. I have a lot to do! But it is exciting to begin a new endeavor.
When I decided to start a blog, I only knew that I wanted it to be Fiber Arts related, with a lot of family stuff thrown in, because that is who I am. I am a wanna be Fiber artist, hampered only by lack of time.
I have always played around with fiber arts – making my own clothes, and clothes for my sister, mom, and my children. I watched as both my grandmothers sewed both clothing and quilts– out of necessity – and I loved the creative process. One of my earliest memories is of me stitching away at doll clothes – and doll quilts, and being totally engrossed. I loved Home Ec in school, and initially wanted to be a home ec teacher, but life kind of got in the way. I fell in love with a wonderful man, and we married, and had a fabulous family, and I got busy. In my spare time, I sewed, started quilting in earnest, learned to knit and crochet (or I should say, relearned, because the grandmothers again had piqued my interest in those things.) I dabbled in weaving, studied spinning, but never started, and planned all those projects I would start when I had the time. I am still doing that – at the age of 63, I have finally realized that if I want my dream, I have to make the time for it, not just try to fit it in.
I have many, many projects going on at the same time! I’ll gradually introduce them – don’t want to overwhelm anyone. I just took a quilt off my Gammill – a very old top that a friend found in the attic of her very old house. She was going to toss several tops she found, but asked if I would like them. Of course I said yes, and now I’ve quilted the first one. I still have to bind it - not my favorite part of the process. I’ll post a picture when I find my camera! This quilt has several mildew and other stains and is not very square, but it quilted nicely. When I finish quilting it, and get it bound, I plan on dyeing it “tea” colored – I think that will help with the stains, and I’ll give it back to my friend.
On the family front - this weekend is Mother's Day (Yeah!), and tomorrow we are having a family day at our house. My hubby is building a playhouse for the grandkids, and everyone is coming over for the project. We will cook hamburgers on the grill, and have a picnic. It should be a great Saturday. I may even get some quilting done - at least get that binding made and sewn on.