Sunday, September 30, 2007

Just A Quickie!


I am headed out today to travel up to Burnsville, NC to teach a workshop tomorrow! I am being hosted by the Mountain Piecemakers, and it should be a terrific day! I love driving up into NC and catching the blue ridge mountains outside of Asheville.



There is a "quilt art" project going on in the county up there, putting quilt designs on old barns and historic buildings! It is so fun to drive through and see these in the beautiful mountain setting. Here are just a few for your perusal :c)




















Have a great Sunday/Monday everyone!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fun Customer Finishes

I was able to finish the hand stitching on the binding of the "Love" quilt, but it still needs the sleeve stitched down. Time for handwork around here is severely limited!



I finished a couple of customer quilts I thought I would share with you though. One of them is a string quilt belonging to Bonnie at Nap Time News I talked to her on the phone about this quilt and the fun butterfly blocks she included in the back! Hmmmm...something about them being in a box under her grandmother's bed? Do I have that right? She might have to jump in and comment here. I think it is a wonderful way to use orphan blocks, especially ones with meaning!



I've posted about my customer Jacque before. He handpieces EVERYTHING! This is another one of his fabulous quilts. The fabrics are fairly busy, so I'm showing you detail of the quilting on the back of the quilt. Way to go Jacque!

I'm off to the office in a bit. I'm just working from noon until 4 and then I'll be back home to load the next one on. I'm feeling under the gun! The days are passing so fast.

This coming week my friend Randy is arriving from California...on Wednesday! Thursday she and I are headed for a "Just Stitchin" retreat at Camp Gravatt, SC. The retreat ends Sunday, and the two of us are taking off like Thelma and Louise and heading down to Charleston for a couple days to do a lot of touristy-girly stuff! We found a really affordable town house on vaction rentals by owner! Our little town house is a mile from the beach, 6 miles from the historic district of downtown Charleston. Whooowhoooo!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quilt Patterns Under Foot!

Okay guys, don't laugh at me....okay, maybe DO laugh because I know you are laughing WITH me, not at me!

Imagine me...at choir practice. We'd been singing for an hour and they call for break time. Bonnie runs to the little girls room....really the LITTLE girls room because the restroom is down the junior sunday school hall and the toilets are small and short and the sinks are low on the walls!

So here I am...sitting there...looking at my feet, and figuring out for the umpteenth time how I could replicate this floor in scrap fabrics!

I just happened to have my phone in my pocket, so it isn't very high quality and the lighting is bad with no flash, but you get the general idea? :c)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Question for Bloglanders??

I need to make a list. A list of UFOs or at least a shortened list of UFOs where I can stare at it and mark my progress.

Some of you have made lists with the "strike-through" text in your sidebars. I must be totally blonde because I can't figure out how to do that. I can do strike-through in my html editor for my website, but....how do I do it here in blogger?

Help Please!:cD

*I's* Second Quilt

Yes, I've been busy quilting quilting....the second quilt was under the gun (or machine!) so that I can mail them both today to where *I* will be staying in Boston, arriving on Thursday!

I've had a great time downloading audio books through my library on MP3 and these have been so fun to listen to while I have been quilting!

Her second quilt is also a star quilt, but this one has more of a controlled feel to me, with less ranodom placement of the patches within the stars. I LOVE this pillar border! WOW!

The setting fabric is kind of busy, so again it was hard to get pics of what I did in the alternate blocks. Again, busy fabric is not a good candidate for things like trapunto or close background stippling or filler quilting. Simple feathered wreaths are placed in each alternate block with a feather plume quilted in the setting triangles.

The border print also provided a bit of challenge. I did an all over peacock feather in the border to add texture..because of the big graphic nature of the pillars, again, nothing else was really going to show.



And lest you worry that I'm not getting any of my OWN quilting done? I did have a bit of time on friday before working on I's quilts...and I loaded the "love on a shoestring budget" quiltlet and quilted it! The binding is on, so I can take that to the office with me as hand work. This is the top that Tonya and I made together when I was visiting her before she left for France. I am so happy to see it quilted. I have so many fun fond memories of the time we spent together making these blocks..her fabric..my fabric...two things so unlike each other yet blending together in such a fun way!


Jeff has a dentist appointment this morning for xrays and a checkup. We are going to see if those wisdom teeth need to come out yet, and if they do, we will get them out while we still have insurance to cover him through DH's job. When jobs are winding down,you do everything you can to get what you can covered! I've had my physical and my mammo. DH is getting his physical and blood work this week. Jeff is having wisdom teeth checked....

Some "MAYBE" good news. DH was contacted by a plant in Prosperity SC, which is local. And they need a plant controller. It would be perfect and allow us to stay here. So keep your fingers crossed for me!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Amazing Piecing!

One of the wonders of the internet is making friends with quilters from all over the globe! You find out what a small world it is.

Even before I met Lucy, I was on several email lists with other quilters, and one quilter I learned to know via email happens to live in Amsterdam! After I met Lucy, I told this other email friend that I had a friend named Lucy who worked at a quilt shop in Haarlem, and did she know of her? Turns out they didn't know each other, but got to know each other through me...someone clear over here in the USA!

When I took my trip to the Netherlands, it was a very special time when Lucy and I took the train into Amsterdam and had dinner at I's (just using her initial here, I didn't ask her permission to blog about her! *LOL*) house along with another internet friend who is also I's real life friend and neighbor. DEFINITELY a small world.

Lucy and I met up with these two wonderful ladies while in Paducah! We got off the bus, were going up the steps to view the antique quilts at the armory (or wherever it was) and we heard this voice calling "LUCY!!!!!!!!" And there they were. What a fun time.

We have a joke about me being an international quilt trafficker. :c) "I" sends me quilt tops, I quilt them, and because she is so well travelled, when she knows she is going to be in the US, I send them to wherever she will be, and she traffics them back home ;c) It works well! When I was in the Netherlands, I also brought some of her quilt tops home with me.

Her quilts are beautiful, and what is even more remarkable is that they are HAND PIECED. She lives a very busy life, but she always has some hand piecing along with her for waiting moments. I have really learned so much from this as I see how much she is able to accomplish without a machine. Just with some cut pieces, a needle, and some thread. Definitely inspirational!!

She is going to be in Boston this next week..so I am finishing up her quilts and getting them ready to mail on Monday. This star within a star quilt looks SO vintage I just had to share it with you! Because the fabrics are so busy....I am showing you here a pic of the back so you can see what the quilting detail looks like. I didn't want the quilting to be too heavy, I don't think this kind of scrap quilt needs tight filler stippling or anything that won't show in the fun prints she has used, but feathers are still called for! (When are they NOT?!?)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stuff....

I did it. I have been working Wednesday afternoons only at the chiropractor's office. I gave notice yesterday that I will finish out the month of September with them, but I need to streamline some things in my life. I've been building my own clientele for my own practice, and lately I've been turning down Wednesday appointments because I had this thing at the chiros. No more! This will free me up a bit I think. Besides, I don't have to work on commission on my own clients. I like being my own boss better....

Now for the other big change. DH's plant is closing. They are consolidating plants and moving this plant to a more central location in Iowa. I'm sorry to any of you Iowa gals who would love to see me come that direction, but I have really put down roots here! We want to stay here. Both of my boys are here, not to mention my businesses etc...we have been in South Carlina for almost 5 years now and I really don't want to move anywhere else. So we are looking around this area for another job for DH.

His job here is probably good til December. Hopefully we will find something by then. It's just a very stressful situation and I haven't wanted to post about it because...well, I like to live in denial on some things! I don't do well when the rug is pulled out from under...(instead of rug..can we say SECURITY BLANKET?!) So I am trying to not get all stressed out and just take things day by day. We've always landed on our feet in the past, and this time should be no different. It's just scary thinking we might be without a job right at the holidays.

Through it all...I keep on quilting! I don't have anything of my own to post today, but I wanted to post pics of a quilt I thought was so cool! Any of you out there with H for your initial might like this one! :c) I'm thinking this would be a good use of the 1.5" strips that are overflowing!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WHoooWHoooooo!


Sometimes you just gotta "WIN" an ebay auction, even when it costs you! :cD

One thing I've always wanted to collect were hand made quilting templates. I've been to the Lancaster PA quilt show a few times, and I've seen vendors with these, and always thought...wow...how neat. Yes, they are cardboard, but imagine the hands the traced them and cut them so skillfully, and then imagine all the quilts that they were used upon!

I just purchased this box of cardboard templates on ebay. 5 pictures are shown, but the tempting part is....she says NOT ALL are pictured! So what else is in the box?


I'll have to wait for the box to arrive to find out.

It's a humble lot of quilt-americana, and I would really like to find a way to use these on some of my amishy type hand quilting projects...

Of course, DH can't believe I paid this amount for "JUST OLD CARDBOARD?!" MEN!

Another Fun Thing: I just sent in my reserveations for the Southeast Dear Jane Retreat!! The dates are November 2-4 2007. The coordinator is Angela Ulrich, and she can be reached by EMAIL.

The best part is....you don't have to work on Dear Jane..you can bring your own project and just enjoy the weekend! The OTHER best part...I will be offering massage to retreat attendees :c)

The info she sent is below! I would love to meet some of you in person there!



Dear Ladies,
I now have the info about the DJ Southeast Retreat. Now before you think this is just Dear Jane related, let me tell you we have grown & tastes have changed & many are now doing applique & piecing! Some are still working on their Dear Janes.

We will be meeting at the Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center. The address is 563 Elliott Trail, Mansfield, GA 30055

Our dates are the first weekend in Nov., Nov. 2-4. We can arrive as early as 8a.m. on Friday (This gives us an extra day to retreat!) & leave anytime on Sunday. A minimum of 10 people (10 rooms at $70/night--$35 each night!) is required. Only 8 of these have 2 full beds. There are another 12 rooms w/1 full bed & a set of bunk beds. So these are enough to accommodate us.

10 people are a required minimum for meals. A full Sat. night buffet requires 20+ people; otherwise, it will be something like a salad, lasagne, dessert. Prices are as follows: Breakfast--$6; Lunch--$7; Dinner $15 (I think this is the charge whether it's the buffet or not.) They will be glad to prepare all or a selection of meals for us, but we will need to agree to a certain number for them to occur.

So this puts the weekend at $70 each (double occupancy--2 nights) + cost of meals. Sept. 20th (I can now extend this somewhat bc we have met the minimum.) is the deadline to have your checks to me for the rooms. I will get back to you for a 2nd check for the meals. BUT know that you will get your choice of room arrangement on a first come basis. Your check is your reservation. B/c of their requirements, no refunds can be given; however, you will be able to transfer your reservation to someone else should you find you are not able to go. This will be up to you. If I have a waiting list, I can share names w/you. I am already receiving checks.

Angelia Ulrich
478-328-7372

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pieceable Retreat, Quilters of South Carolina!

I'm back from retreat! This was my first time attending the state guild retreat, and I'm so glad I went! I've been in SC for almost 5 years now, and it seemed that every time the state guild held a retreat, I was out of town doing something else, or unable to attend for other various reasons. This year I was definitely going to go!

White Oak is a South Carolina Baptist Convention center, and the facilities couldn't be beat! There are banks of motel rooms behind the convention center, a cafeteria where all our meals were provided, lots of classrooms and open space....and rocking chairs all over the grounds for relaxing and unwinding!

I left from work in Columbia on Thursday and got to White Oak at 5:30pm...just in time for dinner! After dinner I unloaded everything to my room, set up the massage stuff, and then took my sewing stuff to the classroom for the "BYOP" (Bring Your Own Project). I got to sew for the evening! I got the binding on Jared's wedding quilt (Jared is my choir director) and started hand sewing it down while chatting with other quilters. It was fun seeing people from all over the state, those I have met doing trunk shows and workshops for their guilds!


My other main project was to "re-make" a sample of the scrappy mountain majesties quilt....My other sample had been donated! And since I am going to be teaching this as a workshop, I needed a new sample. Remember the night that I was up at 3am and couldn't sleep? I kitted up my 8.5" squares that night, matching them with a light and a dark and slicing them on the diagonal into large 1/2 square triangles. It made sewing at this retreat so easy!

I zipped all the 1/2 square triangles together into their pairs in one sitting, and squared them up in another...cutting them into block parts by pairs of blocks, one uphill, one down hill. Then as I could through the weekend, whenever I had time between massages, I would sew a few blocks together. They go SO easy and fast!

This quilt is dual purpose...I was also forcing myself to use some of the UGLIEST and OLDEST fabrics I have had hanging around here. It was murder sewing them, as everyone around me was sewing with beautiful NEW fabric they had just bought at the incredible vendors mall upstairs in the auditorium...and there I was, sewing with my 1990's VIPs and stuff people had donated to me because THEY didn't want to sew with it either!

I was able to sew from 7am to 9am in the morning...then take my first massage client...work between clients if there were any open spaces, break for lunch, do some more sewing or massaging, break for dinner...go to the show and tell evening meetings, break for dessert (gotta have dessert!) and sew until I was too tired to keep my eyes open any farther.

I gave 13 massages! And still I was able to attach the binding and getting it completely sewn down during the show and tell evenings and completely finish the center of this scrappy mountains quilt! So yes, it was a productive weekend all the way around.

I came home to pick out some border fabrics. One of the gals there had a reducing glass, and you know what? Through the reducing glass you can't tell that the fabrics are that ugly! *LOL* I'm just as happy sewing with this as the people sewing with newer or prettier fabrics. And I got a heck of a lot done. :c)

Today I'm a bit of a zombie. I'm taking the day off to give my wrists a rest. The only appointment I have today is for myself, and something I am reminding you ALL to remember to do. I'm going for my mammogram....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quilt Of The Month!

---snip---
The International Quilt Study Center has created a unique opportunity for you to view some of the amazing quilts from our collection. Each month, you can return to the web site and be introduced to a new quilt. Or, if you prefer, you can subscribe and the IQSC will send you an email reminding you that a new "Quilt of the Month" has been unveiled. IQSC is providing everyone with this unique opportunity as part of our commitment to increasing public access to the collection. This service is free of charge to you. Your email address will be protected and will be used only by the IQSC.

* CLICK HERE TO JOIN QUILT OF THE MONTH OR UPDATE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION
---snip---

I thought this idea was so cool! I was directed to it in an email by a friend. Who of us wouldn't like a "Quilt of the month" to drool over sent directly to our inboxes from the International Quilt Study Center? :cD

Here it is Tuesday. I had guild meeting in Aiken last night, and it was a fun night of rotating demos. I did a little 15 minute demo (four times!) On the tri recs rulers and things you can do with them and how easy it is to do that long spikey star point using them. I think it went really well. I know a lot of us buy rulers with the intent to use them, but some how never get around to it. I couldn't believe the number of quilters who already have these rulers in their possessions but have never even taken them out of the package!

I'm gearing up for Thursday! Thursday is when I leave for the Quilters of South Carolina state guild Pieacable Retreat! Every year in the fall, QSC sponsors this retreat. It is held at the picturesque White Oak Conference Center outside of Winnsboro.

Pieceable Retreat is a wonderful weekend of quilting, fellowship, friendship and an escape from the everyday humdrum otherwise known as life.

Along with a full schedule of classes taught by the best teachers in the state, there are other opportunities available to retreat goers. Saturday night is the always lively meeting which includes a show and tell, a "parade" of the class projects from the day, an auction, and fashion show. Ongoing weekend events include a silent auction and vendors for shopping.

I will be offering massage appointments on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. Expected attendace is approximately 300 quilters! There is a vendors mall, etc and lots going on. If I don't fill up all my massage time slots, I'm bringing plenty to work on!

Yes, I'm still having to remake samples of quilts that were donated...so that I can teach them as a class. The other night when I was up at 3am I cut out 8.5" squares, matched them into light/dark pairs and slashed them on the diagonal in preparation for another Scrappy Mountain Majesties sample. I'll play with a different layout that I haven't used before so that I don't feel like I am completely remaking the same quilt over again!

If that isn't enough to keep me busy....I've decided on a project using up the collars, cuffs, pockets and plackets of the plaid shirt pile! :cD (Yes, I'm still trying to cut up a couple shirts a day!) This box holds the humblest of bits left from the cutting up. I decided I could make BIG (15") Rocky Road to Kansas blocks to use up these big chunky weird pieces. Weeee! I had started a smaller blocked version of this quilt a couple years ago, and I want to finish it too (10" blocks) but these shirt prints and plaids were just crying out for the same pattern in a big primitive utility style!

I'm headed to the kitchen to make more banana bread for tomorrow night's choir rehearsal. Yes, now that we are back into Wednesday night rehearsals there are always left over bananas from our break time. They've now renamed it as "Bonnie's Bodacious Banana Bread!" *LOL* I think this time I will also look up a recipe for a banana cake..maybe with a cream cheese icing and sprinkled with chopped walnuts. Is there such a beast out there?

Bonnie