Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Progressing slowly on my Love Entwined, but enjoying working on it.  I am rushing today to get the zigzag borders cut out and ready for applique while we are driving from Washington state to Florida.  We leave here on Saturday, so busy packing too. 

This picture shows the two fabrics that I am currently auditioning for the zig zags.  A trip to the quilt shop is needed as I have only 1/2 yard cuts.  The original plan had been to do those borders as scrappy, but I think the two color border will be more attractive and not as busy as the scrappy. 

I will not be able to  blog for the next 2 weeks as we will be traveling.  I do have my tablet to read emails, but it is difficult to blog from it.  I rarely take my laptop into the hotels.

Have a wonderful week.  I am enjoying reading all the blogs that are linked to Esther's.  So many people all over the world working on this quilt together.  Esther must be so proud.                

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I finally am satisfied with the center compass for my LE.  It took several tries as I was trying to make this a true reproduction.  Then it occured to me that I was trying to use fabrics that really were not to my liking.  It is much more fun now that I have decided to use my batiks, mostly in jewel tones.  I have the compass ring almost completed and today I will finish tracing the center design.  I am trying to get some prep done so that I can do the applique while we travel from here to Florida.  We plan to leave here week after next and make the travel into a couple of mini-vacations, stopping in Las Vegas, San Antonio and New Orleans for a couple of days each.

 I am anxious to get home to Florida and my quilting machine.  I have been quilting here on my regular machine but it is ever so much easier on my HQ sweet 16.  I have several charity quilts that need quilting so they will be my practice pieces to get me back into the swing of using that machine.

Today, I am remembering my husband Mike,, on what would have been our 48th wedding anniversary.  We were blessed to have 34 wonderful years together and I still miss him everyday.

Until next week, happy quilting

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Here's another graduation quilt!  This is number 5, so I am almost halfway there.  Just 6 more to go, but I have a few years on a couple of them.  This one is made entirely from my stash.  I decided a couple of quilts ago that I needed to remember that these quilts are headed for college dorm rooms and will probably take a beating, so I am not investing a lot of money or time into them.  Although, I have to say this one did take a lot of time.  But it is done, just waiting for a label.

Next project will be getting back to Esther's LE quilt.  I have had little time for it this summer.  I have made two of the center compasses and have not been satisfied with either one.  So this afternoon I will start on compass number 3.  Not sure why I am having so much trouble since I have actually made a full size mariners compass quilt a few years ago and it came out perfectly fine.  I think that maybe I was rushing it, trying to play catch up since I am running so far behind.  As a moderator on Esther's group I tell people "this isn't a race", but I don't practice what I preach, lol.

That's it for this week.  I hope you all have a great one.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

These are my starter fabrics for my Love Entwined coverlet.  I plan to start it today, paper piecing the compass.  I really think it would be better to hand piece it, but I am already spending a lot of time with the hand work on my Baltimore album.  I am not a big fan of paper piecing so we will have to check it out.

Not much going on here.  It is hard to believe that August is almost here.  We will leave to go back to Florida on September 1.  The summer has gone by very quickly.  I wish I could say I accomplished a lot of quilting, but that just isn't reality this year.

Off to start the journey with my LE.  I hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Back home from a mini vacation to eastern Washington.  We just loved it and had beautiful weather, hot and sunny every day.  Lots of relaxation.

Now it is time to get down to sewing.  I have a graduation quilt for Allora that I want to finish while I am here and not drag it back to Florida and then back here next June.  It is a simple design and I will post a picture as soon as I find the camera.  It is a scrappy quilt, made entirely from my stash.  The blocks are done and need to be assembled and then borders.  If I work hard I should be able to quilt it next week.  I plan to use EQStitch (finally) to make machine embroideries of my quilting designs.  I have had the program since April, I have done all the lessons and know what I am doing with it, but I have not yet stitched a design with it.

Next project will be a kit that I bought in Alaska last month.  It will be a Christmas gift for my younger son.  It is a simple design and shouldn't take too long. 

OK, back to sewing.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I am ready to assemble my wallhanging and put the borders on today.  Being a Jinny Beyer design, the borders are cut from a striped pattern and need to be mitered so it might take me a while.

I am still undecided about tackling Esther's newest BOM.  It sure looks intimidating.  I
 don't have enough fabric at this house, it is all in Florida, except for a stack of fat quarters that are here with me.  I have never been happy with the local quilt shops, they are very different from the shops in Florida.  The fabrics reflect the weather I think, they are darker and much more subdued than the ones I am used to using.  So I will most likely not be starting it until at least September, unless I find a focal fabric that really speaks to me.

Meanwhile, I have lots of UFO's with me.  My quilting machine, the HQSweet 16 is in the other house so I will go back with lots of quilting to do.  I plan to finish the tops and put the batting and backing on them, then I will be ready to quilt.  I want to put this Jinny Beyer quilt into a show in October so that will be my first quilting project.

I am going to link to Esther's blog and then get to those borders.  I hope you all have a great week

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July

Back from our cruise.  We had a good time, but the weather was pretty awful.  7 day cruise, first 6 days were rainy and cold.  We sat on our balcony for the first time on the last day!  But we had fun and the good news is I pretty much stuck with my diet, gained just a pound, which I have already taken off.  Dieting on a cruise is not easy  Because of the weather we didn't do a lot of walking in the ports and even though I started out good on the treadmill, I fell off the routine really quickly.

In the sewing room for the first time since we left Florida a month ago.  The above block is for a small wallhanging from a pattern from Jinny Beyer.  The technique is called "soft edge piecing" and let me tell you, it is very challenging.  This 12 inch block took me 3 days!  The technique is to fussy cut a motif and then applique the edges to the background fabric.  I need to do four more of these blocks, but I am hoping that they go a bit faster.

I haven't shopped for fabric for Esther's new BOM yet.  I think I will go very tradtional with it, probably using up a lot of my large stash of fat quarters.  I have some WIPs that I need to get under control before I start this project.  I also want to wait for the preview of the 2nd BOM before I finally decide which one I will participate in.

I am off to fussy cut the rest of my blocks so that I can hand applique while watching the baseball game with John.  It's a quiet day here, a holiday in the US,  and John has a nasty cold so we will stay in today.  I love a chance to just hang around and sew!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Well, it sure has been a hectic 2 weeks since we left Florida.  We arrived safely here in Tacoma on Tuesday and I have spent a lot of time setting up my sewing room.  Not as much storage here as in the FL house, but I have managed to organize everything that I moved here. 

Our time in New York was just great.  Here is a picture of my family.  From left to right, Matthew, my younger son, Meg, my daughter, Christy, oldest grandchild, Alex, the graduate, Ireland, Michael, my older son, Jackie, Tanner and in front, our youngest, Aidan.  That's me on the right.  It is hard to get everyone together, so we only manage it about once a year, but I do so treasure those days.

Not a lot of sewing time and won't be until we return from a short cruise to Alaska on the 30th.  I had to chuckle when I was unpacking, I have enough projects with me to last a year instead of the 2 months that we will actually be here.  And then of course, I am anticipating Esther's new BOM.  Right now, I am working on a Baltimore album wallhanging that I designed in EQ7.   That Jinny Beyer kit that I bought a couple of months ago is calling my name too.  And then there are the graduation quilts......  so little time, lol.

I am off to link up with Esther's blog and to read the blogs over there. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I had a fun afternoon yesterday creating this bag and cosmetic case.  It's not the kind of thing that I usually do but I had seen a kit in the Connecting Threads catalog and it was really quite inexpensive.  And my other bags have seen better days!  It is a nice deep bag, 16 inches, so I think it will be quite useful when we travel. 

We have a lot of traveling coming up soon.  I really need to start packing my sewing stuff.  We move two sewing /embroidery machines, plus all of my supplies.  I have lots of summer projects planned.

But first, the traveling.  We leave here on June 4th, headed to New York.  We leave there on the 11th, heading to Tacoma.  That is about a 7 day trip, providing we don't hit bad weather.  Two years ago, we were skirting tornadoes thru most of the mid-west and were slowed down considerably by them.  So we hope to arrive on the west coast by the 18th.  Then on the 23rd, we head out of Seattle for a 7 day cruise to Alaska.  There are some wonderful quilt shops in Alaska!  Back to Tacoma on the 30th to spend July and August there.  Then a long road trip thru California, with lots of sight-seeing there, on our way back to Florida, somewhere around September 1st.

Have a great week!  I am off to my EQStitch to work on a quilt design. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This kind of sums up my week....................a day late to link up with Esther's blog, so I will have to wait until next week.  I really meant to post yesterday but an early morning visit to the dentist messed up my plans. 

It has been a productive week around here despite a few setbacks.  I put the last stitch into the binding of my Forget Me Not quilt, but it is still waiting for a label.  I did however make a label for my grandson's graduation quilt.
And here is a picture of the completed Hollow Cubes quilt!  I really hope he likes it.
A couple of months ago my local guild had a mini retreat.  We did Stack n Whack, which I had never done before.  I managed to keep the project small and completed it just today.
Here is a picture of the original fabric.  I knew when I first saw it that it would work really well for the stack and whack project, but unfortunately it matches nothing in my house!  Maybe I will put it on Ebay.  Not sure I would do another stack and whack, but I really did enjoy this retreat.
And more picture of Forget Me Not.  I must ask Esther's permission to display it in our local quilt show in October. 
And now, I am waiting for Esther's newest BOM to be announced.  Meanwhile, I am working on a simple scrap quilt (well, actually 2 of them) which will become graduation presents for Allora in 2014 and Ireland in 2015!  The good news is that these 2 quilts will make a dent in my stash!
So that has been my quilting week.  We are enduring the sadness of my daughter having a miscarriage last week.  She is improving both emotionally and physically each day, and for that we are extremely grateful. 
I hope you all have a happy and productive week!  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I can't believe that it's Wednesday again.  The older I get, the faster time seems to go.

  My sewing time this week has been devoted to quilting my FMN quilt.  These pics aren't very good, but I wanted to show the quilting designs that I am using.  The blocks are free motion stipple, around the applique, using a metallic multicolor thread.  It is very pretty thread, but my quilting machine did not like it at all!  My original intent was to use that thread throughout, but there was so much breakage that I had to change that plan.  The sashings are done with rayon 40 wt thread, matching color with the fabric.  The free motion feathers are one of my favorite things to do and it is going so much smoother with this thread.  My plan is to do a teardrop overall design in the next area of sashing, which is the multicolor batik, still using the rayon thread.  Maybe I can get up the courage to try the metallic again in the outside borders.

In other quilting, I lead a class this week at my guild, using the disappearing 9 patch block.  It was a lot of fun and we played with several different settings for this versatile block.  I forgot to bring my camera, and I am not sure how to take pics with my phone, so I can't share the results here, but maybe some will bring their blocks to the next meeting and I can get some then.

I have to make time this week to create a label for the hollow cubes quilt that I made for my grandsons high school graduation gift.  I finished the quilt several months ago, but just remembered today that it doesn't have a label yet.  We leave here on June 2nd to travel to New York for the graduation, and then from there it is on to Tacoma Washington for the summer.  Lots of packing to do in the next couple of weeks.  I take at least 2 sewing/embroidery machines and a ton of things to go with them.  I have a Jinny Beyer quilt kit that I purchased a while ago and that will be my first project for the summer.  And of course, I am anxiously waiting for Esther to release the new BOM. 

And finally, I found out this week that I am to be a Grandma once again!  I am really excited and can't wait to get started on some knitting and of course, designing a baby quilt.  I need to pull out some books and magazines and get some ideas.  My knitting books are all about 40 years old, so I think I will treat myself to some new ones! 

Have a great week!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Finally finished assembling my FMN quilt.  It needs a good pressing but I couldn't wait to take a picture of it.  I need to go to the quilt shop and get something for the backing.  I don't have anything in my stash that will work.  These are definitely not colors that I use frequently.  Now I need to decide on a quilting design, always the hardest part of a project for me.  I am still learning my new software, EQStitch, but I think that I have mastered enough of it to be able to design a few quilting motifs. 

Looking forward to Esther's next BOM! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I am very pleased to tell you that I am almost done with my FMN quilt top.  I have some hand applique and machine embellishment to do on my last block, but the other 11 blocks are partially assembled and I am quite happy with the quilt.  I auditioned several fabrics for my sashings and borders and finally settled on a multi-color batik.  It sure is a colorful quilt, but I am loving it. 

We are all getting excited about Esther's next project.  I am hoping I have some time in May to get started with it, but we are leaving for the summer around June 1st, so my time will be limited.  Lots of packing to do, I load the van with sewing machines,  embroidery supplies, threads, etc. 

Another busy week here.  Last Friday we hosted dinner for our dinner group, which meets monthly.  Dinner for 22 people took a few days of my sewing time, but we had lots of fun.  Today, we had planned to go over to Disney and spend the day at the flower and garden festival at Epcot, but John has been favoring his ankle lately and we decided that lots of walking probably wasn't such a good idea.  I hope to be able to spend some time with EQStitch this afternoon, I am frustrated that I have spent so little time learning it.  I am hoping to design an embroidered wallhanging but my knowledge of the program isn't ready for that yet.

I hope you all have a great week! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We returned from our cruise on Saturday and are finally getting things back to "normal".  I didn't do as much hand stitching as I had seems that I am very set in my ways when it comes to hand applique.  I never realized this, but I stitch while sitting in a recliner and use my knees and thighs to support a lightweight board that I stitch on.  I didn't bring that board with me, and the small sit-up straight with your feet on the floor chair was amazingly uncomfortable for me.  I did try, but never lasted more than 15 minutes.  So now I have lots of prepared work, and I have started playing catch up with it in the evenings.

OK, I need some help..................I am not at all fond of the framing fabric that I chose.  I am very tempted to use my border fabric alone and drop the pinkish/orange/purple batik.  The bottom picture doesn't show the border fabric well at all, but it can be seen against the frame fabric in the 2nd pic from the bottom.  Sorry that the pics aren't better, I am definitely NOT a photographer!

 Celebrated my birthday on Sunday and was surprised to receive the very new add-on program to EQ7.  It is called EQStitch, and is a digitizing program.  I am working on the included lessons and watching the videos and it doesn't seem too hard at all.  It will make almost anything into an embroidery or machine embroidered applique design into an embroidery file.  Hopefully, I will find time to actually do a design, send it to an embroidery machine and stitch it out before next week.  If I manage to accomplish this, I will post a picture.  I also need to post a pic of the small wallhanging that I made at our retreat, using the stack and whack method.  I will include that next week as well.

So, I value all of your opinions, so let me know what you think of that batik framing fabric.  I have visited both of our local quilt shops and haven't found anything else.....but of course, I will continue shopping, just in case, lol.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wow, I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted.  It seems the older I get the faster that time passes me by. 

I confess to not being very productive lately, but I think I am finally over my quilting slump.  Maybe I just needed a break, but now I am back and so anxious to work on so many projects! 

I have a new enthusiasm for Esther's BOM, and am working very hard to catch up with everyone.  I am finally past my "I don't fuse" phase, lol.  I am doing the blocks using a variety of techniques, basically "whatever works" is my new mantra.

Next week, on Monday and Tuesday, I will attend my guilds retreat.  The retreat project this year is Stack n Whack, which I have never done before.  I am trying to decide between two fabrics, pictures are here.  I could use some feedback from someone who has done one of these quilts before!

Also next week, we have a large national sewing expo in the next town, about a half hour from here.  I have attended for the past couple of years and it really is fun.  I plan to attend it on Thursday and it looks like I will be able to meet up with 3 internet friends for lunch.  It is always exciting to meet up with internet friends.

Another new project is Jinny Beyer's Renaissance Garden quilt.  I am anxiously awaiting delivery of the fabrics that I ordered for it.  The pattern is free at Jinny and uses a method that she calls "soft edge piecing".  It is an applique technique. 

Here are my completed BOM blocks, I hope to catch up before we leave Florida for the summer!

Here are the two Stack n Whack possibilites.  I am leaning toward the really busy one, on the right, but I plan on taking both of them to the retreat.  The one on the left is more my normal colors but the new me is trying to think out of the box, lol!

That's it for this week.  I hope you all have a great one!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's a chilly Wednesday morning here in Florida.  I know, I know, my friends in upstate New York are laughing at me right now.  But when you are used to 80 degrees, 58 can feel downright chilly.

Returned from Atlanta late Monday.  Had a great trip and the weather there was quite nice.  We worked most of Saturday setting up our booth at the antique/craft mall and I am posting some pictures of it. 

My goal for the rest of January is to work on charity quilts.  I am sure I have shared with you all that our local guild makes quilts for the local sheriff's department to give to children who are in distress.  We have the sheriff visit annually, have a pot luck lunch with him, and present him with around 100 quilts.  I have made only two so far, so I need to really concentrate on making a few more.  Since it seems I am between projects, now seems like a great time.  And the sheriff is scheduled to visit with us on March 18, and we all know how quickly that date will come around!

I am currently quilting a charity quilt on my Sweet 16 machine.  I love doing them, because they give me a great opportunity to practice my quilting skills.  Here is a picture, but I am not sure how visible the quilting will be in it.

I hope you all have a wonderful, productive week.  I am enjoying reading the blogs and seeing the wonderful results of the blocks from Esther's BOM.  I will complete mine someday soon, although I am running sadly behind everyone. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 16

After a frustrating few days, Angie has come to my aid with instructions on uploading photos here.  So here goes, I am trying it out!
Wow!  it worked!
Many, many thanks to Angie!
This is a small wallhanging, 30 by 30 inches that I made several years ago.  It is machine embroidered with Baltimore album blocks.  It hung in my hallway for a few years and everytime I passed it, I thought to myself, "it needs more quilting".  So today, I finally did it, just in time to sell the quilt!
My daughter and I are trying a small business venture near her home in Georgia.  Some friends of hers own an antique/craft mall and I let her talk me into taking a small space there with her.  In my old life, I made and sold doll clothing for the American Girl dolls.  I retired from that venture 4 or 5 years ago, but I still had quite a stock of outfits on hand.  And of course, I have quilts spilling out of closets here.  So, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  I am committed (or maybe I SHOULD be committed, lol) for six months. 
We are leaving for Georgia on Friday morning, with the van full of inventory.  I will keep you all posted on our progress.
Again, thanks so much Angie, for coming to my rescue!