Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Shoji Garden"



I finally finished this last week. I saw a similar quilt when I was visiting my family in Sacramento in January/February. Went to a quilt show and fell in love with the quilt so I had to come home and make it. Wish I knew the designer of the quilt. I didn't use a pattern, just copied the visual.

I'd been collecting oriental fabrics forever....an affinity probably because my mother is Japanese. I made my mother a Grandmother's Fan quilt using orientals and the cream in the borders and sashing is left over from that quilt. This quilt is going to be a gift for my older sister.

I really disappointed myself with the quilting on this. I learned a valuable lesson...or shall I say lessons. One...don't be in a hurry (which I was) and two...stretch yourself and experiment. Being a relatively new longarm quilter I was afraid to mess up the quilt with stitching. I feel like I messed up the quilt anyway because I made the overall meander too large. I had the opportunity to make this quilt a spectacular quilt with custom stitching but was in too much of a hurry and afraid. Next time I "mess" up a quilt I want it to be because I didn't get the effect I wanted but knowing I tried to learn and do something new. Don't get me wrong, I still love the quilt and I know it will be greatly appreciated, but I also know what it could have been.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Has it been that long?

I knew it's been awhile since I blogged but when I looked at the date I couldn't believe almost a month has gone by! I won't go into all that's transpired since November. I'll just start with today. I ran an errand down to Salt Lake City and stopped by a great quilt store today (Quilts, Etc. in Sandy), one I hadn't been to before. Lo and behold they were having a sale on their fall and Christmas prints....60% off! Now tell me you could let that one go by?


This fabric wasn't on sale but I had to buy a few fat quarters for a project I'm working on. Will fill you in later once it's completed.



Had to buy some of this fabric. That diagonal will look great as a binding and the Fa la la...how great for a backing!

I have no idea what I'll do with this fabric but it was just too beautiful to pass. I'm a sucker for fabric with touches of metallic gold in it.



So...I decided I needed a tree skirt so I got to playing with some fat quarters I've had for a number of years. This photo was taken before I completed the round. For more photos go to the 15 minutes to play blog on my sidebar. It needs to be quilted and bound but I doubt that will happen before Christmas. It'll have to do for now! Wish the photo did justice to the fabric...I love the olive greens in some of the prints.




Just wanted to add this photo of one of my favorite ornaments. I bought it when I lived near Spokane, WA. It was made especially for a quilt store there, Pacific Crescent Quilt Shop. Sad to say I found it had gone out of business when I was in Spokane earlier this summer. I found my passion for quilting when I lived there due to some dear friends.

Friday, November 26, 2010

15 Minutes Challenge




I posted this on the blog 15 minutes Play (see my blog list). The challenge was to play 15 minutes a day on something for 30 days and post what you're doing and your thinking as you go along.

Well...I have to admit I've been breaking the "rules" some by not working 15 minutes a day on this. I've missed some days and worked much longer other days. I've also thought ahead and did some planning instead of letting serendipity take me along for a ride. I got on the idea of doing something with diamonds and I planned a little more about what fabrics I would use and where I would use them. Guess that's the control freak in me.

But.....I have been having a blast working on this and can't wait to see how it all comes together as there really is no plan. Right now I want to finish the edges with the lime green and after that I don't know! Isn't that great??!!

Maybe I'm not such a control freak after all!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Not Halloween, but....


It's not Halloween but I had to post the photos of some fabrics I picked up recently. I've never been that big into Halloween but I have to admit it's growing on me. I was out in California for Halloween and managed to visit 2 quilt stores while there. Of course once Halloween passed, the fabric was on sale. Now how can a person resist a good sale? Managed to pick up several fabrics but I knew I needed more so what better reason to go shop once I got home? And because it was more than a week past Halloween I even got a better deal! So now I have the fabric and almost a year to contemplate what I'll make so I can be ready next year. Let's hope I get on it before then!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Early Christmas


I know Thanksgiving is next week but I couldn't help sharing my early Christmas present! I have entered so many giveaways with no luck so I finally decided to look into purchasing one. Luckily for me, Quilt Taffy had a fantastic sale which included free shipping. Well, that sealed the deal for me!

I tried to decide which extra die I would purchase. There were so many choices! I decided on the hexagon because I want to make a Grandmother's flower garden quilt and the idea of cutting out all those hexagons just made me cringe. Now it'll be so easy! That and the reusable paper pieces you can buy made it a done deal for me. Once I order those, I'll have no excuses!

So....I'm thinking I might order another die or two...can I say using the GO! is addicting??!! Well....it'll probably have to wait because...I'm heading out to a store tomorrow where I just might get another early Christmas present. Wow! What a great Christmas it's already been!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Baaaaaack!




It's good to be back! Actually, I've been home for a week now but have been done in by the things I needed to do around here. Since I haven't been sewing (what's with that?) I thought I would add a little bit of eye candy.




I ordered the Paganini pattern and can't wait to get started on it! Not sure what fabric I'll use but I did pick up a couple of charm packs of Martinique when I went on a shop hop with friends.


About the Day Z Love from Lakehouse....I adore this fabric.

A couple of years ago I used the yardage I had (it wasn't much) for a charity quilt. And I've thought about that quilt many times since then. I loved the quilt....of the quilts I've made it's one of my favorites.

I've been trying to find this fabric since then but had no luck at all. Until a couple of weeks ago.

I thought I'd check Ebay once again (I'd done this a number of times in the past) and lo and behold there it was! So I had my husband order it (he's the Ebay expert in the family).

I really wanted to be here the day it arrived but alas, I had to wait it out till I came home. And I love it still!

Now it's waiting until I can duplicate the quilt....or perhaps I'll make something else, but at least I have the fabric...3 yds of it. Woohoo!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Intermission

Most likely won't be posting for awhile as I'm visiting with family.

Happy quilting!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quilting Tired and in a Hurry

I think the title probably says everything you need to know. Here's the story nonetheless.

I had this fabulous quilt top I've had finished since March. I was really worried about how I would quilt it so I set it aside. I was thinking of doing something custom, a new thing for me. So it sat for months and months. At times I was busy traveling so I didn't want to get it started only to let it sit, so it sat some more. Last week I loaded it on the longarm frame.

When I loaded it on the frame, I didn't have a plan yet on how I would quilt it but I thought I could come up with something. I pulled out books, looked at other quilts in magazines, photos I've taken...all around just studying up. I pulled out my dry erase board and started practicing varying designs. I thought I could do some individual designs in each block but there were so many blocks I thought I'd better do something else.

After looking at the quilt on the frame I thought I didn't want to have it heavily quilted because I wanted the fabrics to show so I thought I'd do an overall design. So I made several bobbins and started a few practice stitches on the side. And here is when the frustration set in. I kept getting a mangled nest on the underside of the fabric. I looked at the tension, tried various things and finally went and looked this up on the computer. Of course there was the answer! I hadn't pulled the thread through into the tension discs so problem solved.

But....by now I was tired and was in a hurry because the new Sherlock Holmes on PBS was going to be on and I wanted to watch it. But...did I think to stop? Noooo....wish I did because what I ended up doing was an overall meander. It doesn't look hideous but I think it could have been so much better with something else. All that time I put into making the top and I did a disservice to the quilt by being tired and in a hurry. Lesson learned.

P.S. I'll post a photo after I get the binding on.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Toilet paper and kleenex






Sometime ago I had a lot of laughter and relatives thinking I was weird (in a good way I hope!) because I said I was so infected with quilting fever that I started looking at the pattern on my toilet paper. I do admit that maybe I've gone over the edge, but have you looked at the quilted toilet paper? There's a pattern there, but I'm not going to post a photo of that. Somehow I feel like I've really gone over the edge if I find myself taking pictures of toilet paper!

However, I do find inspiration in places you might not expect. Take for example the box kleenex comes in. There are a lot of cool boxes out there and I do admit to choosing a particular box because I like the design on the box. Look at the photo there of this box. Wouldn't it be cool to do a random strip and then applique or satin stitch some cool flowers on it. I like the cool colors here but it could be done in any color. I could see a Christmas quilt in reds, greens, and gold with some poinsettias satin stitched.
And the picture of a piece of the other kleenex box (I cut this piece to keep as inspiration). I love the cool blues and grays with a touch of the other colors thrown in. I'm not a collector of those shades of blues and grays, in fact, I don't think I even own any gray. But I really like that combination so I think I may be on the lookout now for grays and cool blues.
Where do you find your inspiration?






Friday, October 22, 2010

Look What Came in the Mail!

Look what came in the mail yesterday! Here's the bag I won at Stitchinbythelake.blogspot.com during the Fall into Fall Giveaway! I never win anything so I was so excited to win this adorable bag. But....the bag did not come empty! Look what was inside it!

Here are some handmade items Marlene included. Isn't that just the cutest keychain trinket you've ever seen??


And look what else was in the bag!! Some great thread! I've been wanting to try some woolen projects and how great is this? The book is really amazing too. Marlene has a story in it about her mother. Wonderful heartwarming story.....made me cry....especially since it made me think about my mom and her battle with Alzheimer's.


There was more! Some cute patterns. The Christmas woolens is a kit so I can start with a wool project right away! Thanks so much Marlene for your generosity! I just love everything you put in the bag and I adore the bag!
If you want to know how to make the bag, go to StashManicure.blogspot.com and you'll see Marlene's guest post there.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sew Scraps Sew-along

I've decided to join in on the fun over at Pleasant Home for the Sew Scraps Sew-along. Click on the tab to the right and check it out.

My scraps are not organized at all and are found in several locations in my sewing room. After seeing numerous posts in blogland I got inspired and started cutting some into strips and squares of varying sizes for future scrap projects. However, I feel like it will take me forever to tame those scraps. I'm hoping to get some guidance on how I go about doing so.

I've seen scraps organized by size and color. But I wonder.....what do you do with multicolored pieces that don't read as a single color? Do you put them in a separate category or do you collect them by type, ie children's novelty? And how big of a scrap do you keep? Do I throw away the pieces less than 2 inch square?

Wouldn't it be great if there were a scrap fairy to come along and organize everything for me? Wave a wand and poof! all done. But...back to reality....there is no genie coming to tame everything, it's going to have to be done by moi. But....I am really hoping by following this sew-along, I'll get hints and tips and make some cute things along the way. Come and join me!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shop Hop


I'm sorry it's been awhile since I've posted an entry. Sometimes life gets in the way and sometimes it's because of life and shop hopping! How about 2 days of shop hopping!!


(I've been sitting here for a very long time trying to get the photos arranged where I want them but blogger isn't cooperating so I apologize for that). You'll have to put the photo with the paragraph yourself. :(






Thursday, 3 of us headed out into Salt Lake City for a hop. We went to 3 shops, 2 of which I'd never been. The first one was Whimsy Cottage in Holladay. Wow....she had a great selection of batiks. We spent awhile looking around, touching the fabrics, and admiring the quilts on the walls. I bought a few fat quarters (the basicgrey aqua was a freebie at Material Girls). In the photo the reindeer are looking out of place, but they won't be with the fat quarters I picked up last week.

The second shop, Elaine's Quilt Block in Cottonwood, was a spectacular shop....3 large rooms and a basement full of fabrics, projects...eye candy everywhere! So much to see and touch! However, I really restrained myself and only picked up 2 fat quarters that I am hoping to use in a black, brown, and cream quilt.

The third shop was Material Girls in South Jordan. That was a fun shop. After roaming around the store, I saw the sale section and couldn't believe the charm packs were going for $6 and then I'd get 10% off that.....how could I resist? I picked up two of the Martinique packs, along with the red yardage. Yesterday I picked up the aqua yardage at Brooks. I think a Schnibbles is in my future with those charms.

Friday, 2 of us hit 6 stores! Yep, 6 of them. We stayed closer to home, hitting Quilter's Haven and Brooks in Bountiful, Ben Franklin in Kaysville, Nuttalls in Sunset, Sweet Lavendar in Roy and finally Gardiner's in Ogden. I had a great coupon for Ben Franklin so I picked up the white and yellow yardage there. The white is probably going to go with the reindeer and other fat quarters I picked up last week and the Nancy Halvorsen yellow will go with the Christmas string quilt I was supposed to do last year. Hoping to get back to that soon!

I had a great time both days.....shop hopping and lunch with friends....who could ask for more?!




























Friday, October 8, 2010

Quilt Books


Lately I've been buying quilt books and wanted to share these with you.


I've had Kimberly Einmo's book for awhile and my Frolic Stars quilt was from the book. I was lucky enough to be in the same guild with her when we both were at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. She is such a delightful person and you can find her at shows around the country and the world as she travels a lot and teaches.


The Schnibbles and Simply Charming books are books from authors whose blogs I frequent. Schnibbles has been a quilt blog phenomena and I'm excited to make a quilt from the book. Haven't yet decided on which pattern to go with but I'll be sure to post when I do. The Simply Charming book's author's blog is called Moose on the Porch. Some great patterns in her book too and I can't wait to make one of those.


The Liberated Quilting book is something I've seen but only bought because there are several blogs I follow that used her process on some quilts. I found them very intriguing and decided I wanted the book so I could follow along and try some of the things out. Her first book is hard to find since I believe it's out of print, but a review I read said she covers the same things in this book. But...if I find that first book out there I'll buy it. I know I can find it on Ebay but where's the fun in that?


Books can be pricey so I've taken to using my JoAnn's coupons on the books. I get them online and by mail and for awhile just let them expire. Then it hit me....use them on the books! Don't know why I didn't think of that before! We have a JoAnn's superstore near us and they have a ton of books so the selection is really good. So use your coupons!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Flying bees


I titled this post flying bees although there really isn't a dramatic story to go along with it. I moved here to Utah 3 years ago and am part of a very small group of quilters associated with our nearby Air Force base. My husband retired last year so we're staying put....at least for awhile.


While I'm staying put, members of our group move on when their husbands get new assignments. We all look for ways to say goodbye and this is my small way to say goodbye, good luck, and keep quilting! I make a small wall-hanging from a Debbie Mumm pattern, although I altered it slightly. Utah is known as the Beehive State so I thought it was appropriate. When I lived in Washington state I made something with an apple in it (perhaps I'll post a photo of that someday).


I finished this one a couple of days ago and it's long overdue...hopefully will be in the mail before the end of the week (really sorry Janine!!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Design Wall Monday


Here's what's on my design wall. All Kaffe Fassett fabrics, pattern from a class I took a year ago at the Utah State Quilt Festival. Not much has changed from last week. I managed to get almost all the sashing on. I still need to sew a couple of verticle rows and then add 2 more rows of horizontal sashing. After that it's just a narrow and then wide border and I'm done! Don't know if I'll get much done this week as my eldest son is visiting. But.....he likes to sleep in and I'm a converted early riser, so who knows! Keep you posted!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quilting Mischief


I have a friend whose husband used to say we were up to "quilting mischief" whenever we would head out to visit quilt stores, have lunch, have fun! Well, yesterday I have to say that's what I was doing. I was up to "quilting mischief!"


A friend and I went to several quilt stores.....just to look, mind you. These were stores my friend hadn't been to and I wanted to get out and look around. I thought I was doing so well, just looking and admiring the quilts, fabrics, ambience of the stores.


That is until we hit the 3rd store. They were having a sale, 5 fat quarters for $10. This store has the sale frequently and I knew that. However, I was drawn to these fabrics. Have been for a long time. I picked them up one by one, gathering a group, imagining what could be done.


Then I talked myself out of them, put them down and went wandering around, looking at other stuff. But I couldn't let it go. I came back to the fabric several times before I decided I had to have them!


Fabric addiction is a sad thing. On the other hand, $30 is a small price to pay for joy. I really enjoy looking at them. I will enjoy working with them. I will enjoy whatever project I make with them. I will more than likely have extra fabric to make more than one project and then another person will have joy when I give it away. Look how much joy this group of fabrics will bring!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

15 Minutes


I have been wanting to try this for awhile and yesterday I decided to stop what I was doing and give it a go. Well....let me say it is addicting! Before I knew it, I had 2 sets made and really wanted to continue but needed to get back to my current project so I reluctantly put my scraps aside. Here are my 2 blocks, 6.5 inches in size. No idea what I will do with them but I'm going to continue making them and somewhere along the way I hope inspiration will speak to me!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday


This is what I'm currently working on. I started this almost a year ago at the Utah State Quilt Festival. I've started and put it aside many times as other projects came and went. Now that I no longer have any "promised projects" I am able to get back to this. I've loved seeing the vibrancy of the Kaffe Fassett fabrics for awhile and thought this was a great pattern to use them as the diamonds are a pretty good size. Unfortunately the picture just doesn't do justice to the fabrics. The pattern calls for vertical sashing and a small inner border and wider outer border. If you notice the column with the half diamonds is longer. Apparently I am to cut off some on both sides once I have all my columns done. Actually, not having to have exact measurements is liberating. I can't wait to complete this!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Finishes

I didn't do any quilting today although I had plenty of opportunity. I don't know what it is, but sometimes I just can't get myself going. So, instead I decided to post a few photos of quilts I've done that make me happy to think about and to look at.



This quilt was done when I lived in Ohio. We had a flying geese exchange and the rule was to use batiks and have contrast. I decided to put the blocks together to resemble an Ohio star. I loved being part of this group and was sad to leave it. I made sure I used at least one of every piece exchanged (we made 2 of each set to exchange and we made 2 sets each month to dole out to every member participating). This was the only quilt I've had quilted for me.



This next quilt was a result of a class I took at the 2009 Utah State Quilt Festival. I made a slight change to the pattern. I used Moda fabrics, using a charm pack, jelly roll, and some added fabrics for the borders. The pattern is called square dance. This is one of the first quilts I quilted on my longarm. I really love this and it currently hangs in my living room.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Manly Man and Pride and Prejudice

Last night my husband and I watched the first dvd disc of Pride and Prejudice, the Colin Firth version. What may surprise you is my husband is the one that wanted to watch it. It's a favorite for both of us.

I started thinking about the fact he liked this movie. It wasn't like this when we first got married over 30 years ago. I've always viewed him as a manly man. He knows cars, watches racing on tv, and likes to hunt and fish. Knows how to wield a hammer. Give him a power tool and he's there. And yet, there's this soft side to him.

I can't pinpoint when it was he started to like romantic comedies. But it's not like this is all he favors. Give him a Bruce Willis action movie or a big budget Transformers and he's all for watching those. But somewhere along the line he began to enjoy the movies I liked. Or maybe he liked those all along but was afraid to say anything. At any rate, this series makes me smile, makes my husband smile. We had a pleasant evening watching the dvd. And a bonus....I'm almost finished with the wall hanging I've been working on. How great is that?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sewing and Thunderstorms

I am spending the day sewing and doing laundry. Was doing great in the sewing room and then a storm moved in. Years ago I never worried about sewing during storms. That was when I lived in Oklahoma. In the spring, if you only sewed when there weren't storms you spent little time sewing. Of course that was also the day when I didn't have a sewing machine with a computer inside it.

These days I unplug my sewing machines whenever I'm not using them, even though I plug them into surge protectors when I do sew. I don't know why I do that. The surge protectors are rated for a pretty good surge. But....if something were to happen I'd be kicking myself afterwards. My husband thinks I'm being silly. I unplug my computer when I see lightning outside. He doesn't worry too much about it.

So, I'm waiting for the storm to pass. I could do some handwork, since I do have a binding to put on a wall quilt. However, I usually like to save that for the evening, working in front of the television.

I do have a basket full of scraps though. I think I'll go cut them into strips and squares. After seeing numerous blogs about managing stash and what to do with strips and squares I am motivated. Someday I may have a picture of something made out of my scraps. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Peaches and Tomatoes



Last night I had my first foray into canning. Last week a friend showed me the process so I figured I should put my new "skill" to use! It really wasn't as scary as I thought it would be! The peaches look good, however the jars aren't as pretty. Our water has lots of minerals in it and I had read if you add vinegar to the water bath it would keep the minerals off the jars. Obviously from the picture you can see I forgot to add it! Oh well....next time!






I also put these tomatoes in the freezer for use over the winter. Connie tells me the skin will fall off when they are thawed and they'll be nice and mushy for the soups I'll be putting them in. Getting ready for winter!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Longarm Guild

Today at my longarm guild we had a great treat! We met in the shop of Renae Haddadin (www.quiltsonthecorner.com). What a talent she is! I'm a newbie, got my longarm machine last summer, so it was really impressive to see her work up close and to ask questions about it. I can't say what it is, but be on the lookout as she has a fantastic new product coming out. I can't wait to get my hands on mine!

I am very fortunate because in my guild we have national award winning quilters. And....we have newbies like me. A comment was made by a new member today....the same comment I made last year when I joined...."I'm only going to quilt quilts for myself...not make a business." That got a laugh last year and again this year. The more experienced ones say they all said that too. So I wonder...will I ever feel proficient enough to charge someone for my quilting? I'm not sure...all I know is I enjoy having the machine and learning. Having all these experienced quilters around is a bonus!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I can!

It's not every day you learn something new. Today I was lucky enough to learn to can fruit with a friend. Last year I bought a huge box of peaches. They were fantastic but in the end I had to throw many away because I was afraid to try and can them, having never tried it or even see it done.

Connie and I went to a local grower and each bought a box although I bought half the amount she did since there is now a question as to whether or not my lumberjack (I call him that now that he is growing a full face beard) is allergic to them.

She got everything ready and before you know it we had canned peaches! We did end up with juice and peelings and even some of the sugar syrup on the floor, but we won't go into how that happened! I couldn't believe how easy the process was when you had the right equipment!

My mother never canned but my dad's mother did. I thought of her doing this in light of all the specialized things we use today. We used the dishwasher to sterilize the jars, had a little magnetic doodad to pick up the tops of the lids, and a great lifting rack to take the jars out of the water. I wonder what she would have made of all this!

I came home eager to get started on my peaches but had to go out in search of jars and hoping to find a canning rack like Connie's. I guess canning must be very popular out here because there wasn't a pint jar to be found! This weekend I will be out and about searching for some because I want to can the peaches I have. I don't want to throw any away this year!

I'm even contemplating going out to a local u-pick place and get some more tomatoes and can them! I already put up a bunch of tomatoes in the freezer. Another trick Connie taught me. I wonder what my grandmother would have thought about that! In either case I think she would be pleased. She was also a quilter. I wish she had been around when I started quilting. And now I wish she was also around to see me can. I think she would have been proud.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Come Home With Me

I went to one of my favorite LQS yesterday to pick up a Clover yo-yo maker. I don't know about you but I have a real problem with my yo-yos having a large gap after I've gathered them. Maybe it's because I don't make enough of them to know how far apart I should put my running stitch but in any case it's enough of a headache that I decided to buy the gadget. I'll let you know how it goes when I get to it.

The story though is about fabric. I had declared I wasn't going to buy anything new because I have a great stash and enough projects to keep me busy for a really long time. Perhaps more than my lifetime. However, well, you know how it is. I saw a layer cake of Moda's basic grey/origins fabric. I have nothing like it in my stash and I think that was the problem. I have what can be called a multiple fabric disorder instead of a multiple personality disorder when it comes to fabric. I like so many different types! It becomes a problem when working with my scraps.....but that's another story. This fabric was calling to me!

I went browsing the store. I came back to the layer cake. I went back to browsing the store....and I came back to the layer cake. It just wasn't going to leave me alone! Not only was that fabric calling to me, everything in the store was 20% off. Now tell me....how could I ignore that?

So I picked up the layer cake and thought what would I do with it? I really don't know but I did know I might need a border with it. Of course the store had bolts of the origins line. So I picked out a fabric I really liked and bought 2 1/2 yards of that.

What's the moral of the story? There is none! But....the fabric makes me happy. As I sit here typing this post I have the layer cake sitting next to the computer and I look at it. I flip through the layers and smile. It's a simple thing and it makes me smile. Now who can argue with that?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You?

Where were you the morning of September 11, 2001?

Another anniversary and sometimes it's easy to forget the horror of what we witnessed on tv. Well, maybe not forget, but maybe the intensity is gone. I was living in Germany where my husband was stationed. It was early afternoon there and I was making a potato salad to take to the chapel's single airman/soldier dinner. I had the Today show on as usual and it began. When the 2nd tower was hit I was incredulous and when the first tower fell I started crying and called my husband at work. He hadn't heard what had happened. One of my neighbors came downstairs and she must have seen the horror in my face and she hugged me tight. I couldn't believe what I had witnessed and yet I carried on with my tasks all the while glancing at the tv. I just didn't know what to do, what I could do. All I could do was pray and carry on.

I called the chapel trying to find out whether or not the dinner would go on. I couldn't get through. I thought for sure the dinner would be cancelled but since I wasn't positive I went ahead and got in my car to take the potato salad there. I had to go through the post gate and it was chaos. They weren't letting everyone on the post. They let me through when I told them what I was doing and when I got to the chapel there was only the coordinator for the dinner. It was cancelled.

I came home and wanted to watch everything and learn everything and yet I did not. Our boys were in their early teens and my husband didn't want them to be scarred by my intense interest. I am a news junkie and when events unfold I can easily watch the news all day. They were especially worried as our post housing area was not behind the safety of a fence. We had German armored vehicles outside the posts that were fenced in and the boys saw this every day as they rode the bus to school. There was no such security for us and there were rumors all over the place about unknowns watching our community. A number of days in they surrounded our community with rolls of razor wire and set up a gate to go in and out. The boys felt safer and for the most part their lives went on without too much worries. Our lives went on.

When I came back to the states in 2002 and talked with others about their experiences I realized how far removed we were from "real" worry and danger. Friends had spouses in the Pentagon that day, people we now know were there that day, lost people they knew. At the time we had scoured the rolls and were "relieved" there was no one we knew. We all look for that personal connection. And while we didn't lose someone we knew, we felt the loss. We were changed. Our country was changed.

I don't forget. I go for days without thinking about it but there will be something that triggers a memory, a question. And I remember, not just on the anniversary but many days throughout the year. I think about the people in the towers. I think about those in the Pentagon. I think about the people on the planes. I think about families who lost loved ones. I especially think about the firefighters and police....those who were sent out to rescue. So today I ask you to remember and pray. That's what I'll be doing.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Finish Line

Harvest Goose Chase is done! And not a moment too soon since the auction is Saturday night! What a sense of relief, especially since I had so many issues in getting this completed. But what a relief! I feel really good and now wondering what I'll be working on next. Well, I actually know what I'll be doing. I have a friend that moved over the summer and I started a small wall hanging for her. Unfortunately it didn't get done in time and with all my travels over the summer and the auction quilt...well, you know the story. But....I do have it pieced. All I need to do is quilt it, make some yo-yo flowers for it, and bind it and then I can send it on its merry way. It's way overdue and I don't want to make her wait any more....3 months is long enough!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Almost there

I am feeling like a kid on a long journey asking "are we there yet?" I say that because of the long protracted journey of the auction quilt. It's quilted but not without another challenge. This one was my doing though. I have a longarm and I'm always looking to improve what I do. Since the quilt has an autumn theme I thought what better than leaves quilted across the surface? No matter I hadn't done any, not even on my domestic sewing machine. I did pull out my dry erase board and practiced. Practiced enough that I thought "I can do this!" Well, I did do it...sort of. I spent about 10 minutes sewing and stopped and looked and didn't like what I saw. The thread was great...it blended...blended so well that I had trouble keeping track of where I was going and let me just say, it was not pretty. Now, if this was a quilt I was keeping I'd have no trouble going on. But....It was going to be looked at and my name would be on it and I do have some vanity after all. Soooo.....I spent the next 3-4 hours hunched over the longarm with my seam ripper. I even spent time underneath the machine looking up to make sure all the little threads were gone. Don't ask why I didn't take it off the machine because I really can't answer that!

After a dinner break I went back to work and quilted it with an overall meander. I know there is applique but at this point I wasn't going to take more time and try and do anything special with it. The applique proved to be a pain in itself because of the unsewing I did when I started with the blanket stitch. I've never had a problem with fusible but of course this time I did. Some of the leaves weren't adhering and since this was going to be someone else's quilt I took all the blanket stitching out (fortunately I hadn't gone too far) and laid it all down with satin stitching. Looking at it I see it's not perfect, but this was made with love and has that handmade quality to it. At least that's what I'm telling myself!

So....am I there yet? No, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel and this time it's not the lights of a train coming at me. I have the binding attached and will spend the next couple of days sewing it down and then there is the label. Let's hope I don't have issues with that!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

To do or not....that is the question

Do you ever work on a project and wonder why you ever started it? I have a quilt I've been working (or not working) on for over a year. I purchased the kit from Keepsake Quilting last year intending on completing it for my church's Journey to Bethlehem auction last year. Well, for some reason I just couldn't get the oomph to keep going on it and didn't get it done in time. So, I put it away and thought "I'll keep it and get it done for next year." Well, it's next year and over a month ago I pulled it out and looked at it and thought okay...I have enough time to complete it. Well, here it is and the auction is a week and a half away and I'm still not done! I haven't put the time in my sewing room to get it done. I don't know why I'm resisting getting it done. Is it the applique (not my favorite thing to do...don't know why I picked this pattern!), is it the color (not my favorite colors...don't know why I picked this!) or is it wondering how I'm going to quilt it?? Whatever the reason, it's downstairs in my sewing room and I need to finish it. They'd like to have it this Sunday and I know I can't get it done by then but I know I can complete it by auction night, the 11th. Still wishing I had picked something else though!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another GO! Giveaway

Here we go again! Those Accuquilt GO! folks have added to the buzz by another giveaway. This time Sherri of "A Quilting Life" blog is giving away one. She has a great post about using the GO! to cut hexagons for a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. That's a quilt I would like to make. The idea of the little hexies being portable and working on them in any spare moment sounds ideal. How many times have I been waiting around at an appointment with time to spare? With the GO! you can cut your pieces in no time. Can you imagine cutting nine hexagons at the same time? And to top it off you can order paper pieces so you don't have to cut out the papers for the English paper method! How cool is that? The only thing better is to have someone else cut those hexies for you but why would you do that if you had the GO! I have to say....if I don't win a GO! in the many giveaways in blogland you can be sure it'll be on my Christmas wish list!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fabric Addition or is it Addiction?

Funny how sometimes you say one thing and then turn around and do the complete opposite. Take fabric for instance...my stash is becoming unwieldy. I knew it was bad when I was cleaning up my sewing room the other day and couldn't find good places to put my fabric. I have fabric in the unfinished part of the basement I can't bring in my sewing room because there is no place for it! So....I told myself, no more buying fabric. Well...last night a quilt store was having a special sale. I went because I needed to buy some thread and this is the only store I know that carries it. You know what happened...I ended up coming home with the thread and 3 1/2 yards of fabric! I rationalized buying it because I will use it on a project I have other fabrics for. Nevermind I have no idea when I will get to the planned quilt. So....here comes today. I was out having a lovely lunch with some friends and guess what...it's not far from another quilt store that's a little out of my way to get to. I've only been there once before and that was over a year ago! When I was there last year I had purchased a fabric and fell in love with it and wanted to use it as a border for a future quilt. Trouble was I only had purchased 1 yard. I wondered...would the store still have it? Well....it was my lucky day! It was still there so 3 yards of it came home with me. So...I decided, I'm not going to tell myself to stop buying fabric...at least not out loud anyways!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freckled Whimsy Accuquilt GO! Giveaway

I was just over at Freckled Whimsy and entered the contest to win an Accuquilt GO! There is so much excitement on the quilting blogs with all the GO! giveaways. Who wouldn't want to win?! For those of you who don't quilt, this is a portable device that will cut your fabric for you using various dies. For me, cutting my fabric is one of those chores that is tedious and with the GO! it really makes it easy and fast! Who wouldn't go for that? So wish me luck! Click on the link to enter!

freckledwhimsy.blogspot.com

Let's Begin

I realize I'm not blogging about quilting yet and I don't have photos uploaded but I decided to open up and get started. It's going to take me awhile to figure it all out so please bear with me!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sleepless nights

Ever have one of those nights where you get up and can't go back to sleep? Last night was such a night. The thing that made it really bad is that I woke up around 1:30! Yup...a storm was rolling in and Boomer woke us up. DH took him out and when he came back to bed I told him I thought the windows were left slightly open in the van. My mistake! Luckily he didn't grumble as he came back to bed after checking it out and promptly fell asleep. I, however, was not so lucky. I tossed and turned for about an hour and then decided I needed to get up. Must have been my guilty conscience! It's now 5 hours later and I'm going back to bed. Hope another storm doesn't roll through!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Towels

I have a pet peeve I just wanted to mention. I was reminded of it again today when I was washing towels. I keep purchasing nice quality handtowels for the guest bath and have been consistantly disappointed with them. They collect lint/bits of towel residue on the surface. I have no idea which towel is shedding but every time I wash towels I see them. Is it my towels, my washing machine? Arghhhh.
Ok....it's been 3 months and I still haven't worked on this! Obviously I need to get going on it! Bear with me. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Here I am

Ok...here I am. I am trying to set this up so it'll be awhile before the site is just right. Plus, the fact is...this blogging stuff is new! I just wanted a place where I can talk about quilting and life in general.
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