Sunday, December 19, 2010

Looks like I'm stuck in fall...

Just fall fabrics. So I finished this top using the same fabrics as in the zig zag quilt. I really do love them. I have a little bit left but really and truly what is left is just scraps. Couldn't make another quilt with them unless I added lots of other fabrics to them. And since my stash is full of fall coloured fabrics I guess I could do that. Here is the whole thing. I didn't want to add a "foreign" fabric to it so pieced the border. The binding w ill be the same as the sashing. I really like this pattern. I am sure I will make it again. It was quick and fun. I never would have found it if I had not seen it made up since the pattern cover sample is done up in batiks. It's called "Fractions".

As you probably remember I am about to retire. Only 2 weeks left. Well, 8 days actually because of the holidays. Friday night was a retirement dinner put on mostly by my group plus my two immediate bosses. We had a great time but even greater was the gift they gave me. Remember I made them all little quilts? Well, they made me all little quilt blocks. Each one is completely different. I have them spread out with some auditioning sashing fabrics. I really like that bright stripe but decided it would take over from the blocks. And the red one is too red I think.

See that pale green ladybug print on the left? I think it is my favourite of what I have on hand. There is lots of blue in the blocks and there is a little blue in the ladybug fabric. That blue dot is the right blue but I thnk it would be overpowering, too, but I am thinking it might make corner posts. Just can't decide.

What do you think? Or do I just not have the right fabric? The blocks are 8 1/2 inches and I am thinking 2 inch sashing. I think I only have enough of the ladybug fabric to do 1 1/2 inches but that would be okay, too. I am thinking just sashing and corner posts, no borders. What do you think? It's hard to pick a favourite block. Each of them made one representing themselves plus some generic all department ones. Isn't this just the coolest present ever?

I would like to get this together soon so I can take it in and show them the finished quilt but if I can't find the right fabric in my stash I will not make the two week limit. I broke a bone in my foot last Monday so between hobbling around in a big black (stylish, not) boot and all the ice and snow that has been falling the last few days it will be tough to go shopping. So vote for your favourite!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

See, back as promised

And the Christmas decorations are finished. Not real happy with the tree this year. Can't really say why. But we'll get to Christmas in a minute. And to the giveaways, too. First, I was looking in a magazine about over the top event planning that came into work addressed to someone who has not worked there for a long time. Found this picture whcih I think is really pretty. I am not much for garnishes but the crushed peppermints look really cool here I think. But on the same page was this. This looks really weird to me. I can't imagine eating it. It is a basil coating. That red thing is a pomegranite seed. Smoked turkey is the base. Hmmm. Nice Christmassy colours though I guess. Just had to share.....

So now that the tee shirt quilt is finished I have been sewing. I have had these fabrics in a pile on my cutting table for months. Well, all but the one that looks like it has arrowheads on it. That one is new from my last trip to Charlotte.

Anyway, I had been looking for just the right thing to do with them. When I saw this picure I realized I had finally found the right thing. I think this picture attracted me first because the colours are somewhat similar. And then because of the use of big prints. Since this stack included some large prints I wanted to be sure the pattern would not chop them up too small.

I've seen zig zag quilts before, usually made with half square triangles. But this pattern called for the Easy Angle and Companion Angle. I had them from using the coupons at Joann's but had never used them. have to say that it took me awhile to see how they were helpful getting the corner overages nice and even so the strips would look nice but I finally figured it out.

Well, then the rest of the quilt did not want to cooperate either. I didn't have quite so much fabric as the pattern called for plus I wanted to use some of these fabrics for another quilt.
So I decided to make the quilt smaller. So I cut fewer Companion Angles. Then for some reason I thought I would use the colours twice alternating them. Much seam ripping later I finally figured out how to do it.

And here is the top all finished. I really like how it looks. What do you think? Yeah, yeah, it's Christmas now but now I have months to get it quilted in time for next fall. Think I can do it?

So on to Christmas. This is the new Noah's ark ornament I just got. I don't know why I like it so much but I really, really do. And no, not from the thrift store -- from a craft show.

Look at this Raggedy. Isn't she fantastic! One of the folks who works for me gave it to me. I felt really bad taking her because she is so cute. Hmm, but I did now, didn't I? I just love the hair. And the bow. Love me some polka dots.

Here are some other tree shots.

This is not any old bell. It is one I painted myself with splatters and dots. Probably my best paint job ever. Yeah, the bar is low.

And now for some other Christmas. Every year I do things mostly like the year before, but not completely. I love this little picture. The quilt hanging from the hat rack is one that I finished this year. I like the funky light green. And it is churndash, one of my all time favourite blocks.

Last year this is the quilt that was on the coat rack. It's a favourite, too. Love the snowman fabric.
I think this is the same spot where these little Moda stockings were last year although I am not completely sure. I like their not quite Christmassy reds and greens, too.

This is new this year because the piece of furniture is new. I like the way it worked out for Christmas.
Another corner of the dining room.
And another. I do have alot of little chairs, don't I? Another of my collections.
And the I have had this candle holder forever. I mean that, probably like 35 or more years.
A flat birdhouse Mr THQ made for me. That is a pretty recent thrifted sign. Again with the odd Christmas green.
Near the front closet.

My only ever successfully finished doll. Once I retire I intend to try more dolls. Let's see how I do.
This is a new location for the bunnies. It's a good one I think.
A new miniature chair fits this Santa quite well. He fits in it perfectly.
This is a new combo, too. Now that I have this picture I can remember it for next year.
The mantle. I was trying to remember where I got that nice rusty lantern but I can't.
Here is a farther away view of the mantel.
Don't you love the camera light? Yes, Mr THQ made it -- a long time ago. Nice shot of the receptacle. Oops.
Everyone has a Bannock device, don't they? Perfect to decorate for Christmas, too.
Moved this guy this year, too.
Over the cabinets in the dining area. That sled is new. From my daughter last Christmas. Makes a great addition.
My favourite gingerbread corner.
So now, that I have made you read all the way to the end, the winners. Boy was the cat bowl popular. 4 people expressed interest in it and the winner is the 2nd cat bowl chooser, Sherrill. Since there was so much interest in the cat bowl and not much else I am going to leave the giveaway open another week and see what happens. See you then.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Long time no blog

Yeah, I know. Been busy, busy, busy. Hasn't let up for a minute since the Thanksgiving holiday. We have alot to catch up on, so let's get started.

First things first. We need giveaways to celebrate 100 posts. Well, 101 posts. We have 4 all with a holiday theme. All you have to do is leave a comment as to which one you like the best and next Sunday, December 12th, at my usual posting time I will pick winners. Since I don't get a whole lot of comments your chances are really, really good. We will go in holiday order so the first one is a Halloween cat bowl. It's around 6 or 7 inches in diameter and very, very prim. It came from Gooseberry Patch when they still had a catalog. Boy, I miss that catalog. On to Thanksgiving. A cornucopia. Remember how I told you I was garland challenged? Well, it turns out I am cornucopia challenged, too. This is not my first one nor the only one I own. But it is definitely the cutest one. It is a Boyd's Bears item. I just never can make them look good in an arrangement. But I bet you can.

On to Christmas. These are old fashioned icicles from the old Martha Stewart catalog. Since my tree is always a riot of colour and all kinds of stuff, I do not know whatever possessed me to buy these elegant things. Once I used them on a small tree with some old glass ball ornaments that I brought home from my mom's. But it just wasn't right for me. I bet they will look great on your elegant tree though.
So from elegant back to prim. When we first got married we lived in the top of a 2 family house and the people below us had been stationed in Germany when he was in the Army. They brought home the tradition of putting LIT candles on their tree. I just knew they were going to burn the house down. They didn't and when I saw these with faux wooden candles that clip onto the tree branches just like the ones they used to have I had to have them. Prim, too, aren't they? But they take up alot of room on the tree and mine just doesn't have that kind of room. But you will find a spot for them I am sure. Oh, there are like 6 of them.
So, there you have it. I am excited to share these things with you because as you know I love to decorate for the holidays. And yes, they are slightly used but only barely since they were better in my mind than in my real life.
On to what has been going on. I went in over Thanksgiving weekend and hung all the stashlets in my old office. Then everyone got to choose the one they liked the best. It was amazing how quickly they all gravitated to one. Only a few folks had a hard time choosing. It did look stunning I think. Here, see if you agree.

And the rejects went into the annual Craft Fair. Unfortunately for sales at the craft fair on the first day we had 7 inched of snow and many folks did not make it into work. Then on the other two days the main employer in our complex had a main electrical panel exploded so they had no power and so no employees. So few customers. I did sell a few things but not nearly as much as I usually do. Oh, well, I was told I could still participate as a retiree!
So, what else. Oh, I finished the tee shirt quilt and presented it to them last night. They seemed to really like it and I was very happy to get it finished. It was big and heavy to quilt. I am glad to have done a tee shirt quilt and I am pleased at how nice it looks but I don't think I want to do another.
And now that it is finished I can get back to working on other stuff. So I finished cutting out the Buggy Barn Quilters' Village. I haven't shuffled them yet though. I wanted to get the cutting done so I could put all the fabrics I had pulled back into my stash. I have been on a bit of a cleaning up binge.
And I finally found a pattern I like for a stack of fall fabrics that I bought quite a while back and couldn't quite figure out how I wanted to use them. Now I can get started on that, too.
It seems like it's been awhile since I sewed for fun. Oh, and I did get Christmas all up. I will get some pics for you. For some reason I am not real happy with how the tree turned out. Can't really say why. Pics next time and you can see what you think.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This is my 100th post! Well, since I had a guest blogger for my last post it is really my own 99th and my next one will really be MY 100th. So as is customary with a 100th post, there will be a giveaway. I just need a little time to get it sorted out. The last few weeks have been totally hectic. First week of November in Chicago, last week in Chicago!

I got Halloween put away and Thanksgiving out of the tote but not put out and here it is almost time to put Thanksgiving away and put out Christmas!

It's going to stay hectic, too. Next Tuesday is our Thanksgiving potluck for work so I have to make something. Then on the 29th we are going to have our departmental Christmas potluck and gifts. I think it will be fun to eat everyone else's leftovers because by then I will be tired of my own. Isn't that a good idea? Say yes...

I know, I know, it is early for Christmas. But the point of making all those stashlets was so that I would have a gift for all my folks to remember me by after I retire. Our office complex has a Christmas craft fair every year and I always put little quilts and a few big ones in it for sale. Since I have a little over 30 stashlets and only 15 folks I know there will be leftovers and I want to be able to put them in the sale. That seems reasonable, doesn't it? The sale is December 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, so I have to let my folks choose their favourite stashlet first! Oh, then I have to go to San Francisco on the 1st, too. Phew. Are you tired just reading all this? I am!

Anyway, I have managed to do some sewing. I finally finished the tshirt quilt top. I really like the way it came out. The sashing is a funky green and Lisa really loves green so I know she will like it. This quilt turned out to be BIG. In order to get all the print on some of the shirts I had to cut the blocks at 14.5 inches. It is heavy, too, with so much stabilizer. It is now pinned and ready to be quilted but after man-handling it all morning I decided it needed to wait a bit for quilting. So what do you think of my first tshirt quilt? I don't know if I will get it quilted over Thanksgiving weekend or not since that is the weekend when I do Christmas. It will just depend on how exhausting Christmas is. Anyway, I am glad that only the quilting and binding are left. It has been a big project.

So next time you will either see a finished quilt or finished Christmas! And the promised giveaway! It just amazes me that I am at 100 posts!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Now for something completely different

I have a guest blogger for you today! I was contacted not too long ago about hosting a virtual book tour by Nita Beshear who has written a book called "Devoted to Quilting". Since I have long harboured aspirations of being a writer and since she lives in Oklahoma where I used to live (Oklahoma, like Idaho, my current home, a state starting and ending with a vowel) how could I say no? You are right, I couldn't, so here is Nita's guest post:

Protecting Quilts

“When was the last time you refolded your quilt?” This is a question I often ask people when they stop to share their quilt story with me.

The blank look I get in return is also common. “What do you mean?” They ask with a shrug, before continuing, “I don’t know, it’s in a trunk.” These are always special quilts, and the owners want to preserve and keep them, forever, if possible.

I’ve heard stories of quilts embroidered with the state birds, flowers, or other pictures, quilts done by grandmothers, aunts, even mothers. They tell of quilts that were made in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, sometimes stories of quilts made as late as the 1960’s. Other quilts are of patchwork, sometimes made using what is now a traditional pattern, something like a Drunkard’s Path, or Star quilt, or a simple patchwork quilt. Other descriptions are of appliquéd quilts.

Always, though it isn’t the quilt that is memorable it is the quilt’s story. The story of the quilter and how important she was/is to the current quilt owner. They share stories of love. The quilts representing these stories are locked away in trunks, and have been, sometimes, for years. They don’t want to use them, they want to keep and treasure these reminders of people and a time long past.

Because they aren’t quilters, they don’t understand that storing quilts in a plastic bag or box for a long time is not good for the quilt.

There is usually some discussion about where and how they can safely store their quilts. Once that is determined I remind them the quilts need to be refolded, not only when they move it to the safer location, but on a regular basis, like annually.

They are also always surprised to hear the quilt needs to be refolded; this usually leads to another discussion. However, when they walk away, I feel better knowing their treasure will be around, in good condition for future generations.

Sometimes as quilters we forget that last detail, refolding our special quilts. The approach of winter is a good time to add this job to our lives. After all, while we’re saving other people’s quilts, we want to protect our treasures.

Some quilts are meant to be used. However, there are some quilts we just want to save and protect. We need both kinds of quilts in our lives and it’s important to me to help others keep those special quilts safe. So, have your special quilts been refolded? Are they in a safe place? Don’t forget to remind others.

Thanks to Tall House Quilts for allowing me to visit with you today. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance at two of Darcy Ashton’s Appliqué Pattern Books. You can also visit the other blogs on the tour, as well as my blog, Devoted to Quilting to leave a comment. I’ll be back later to answer any questions or comments you have.

Thanks again. It was a pleasure.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remember Sisters?

Only 4 months ago, right? Well, more pics have magically appeared from Mr THQ's camera so let's have a look.

You know I love houses but this one also has those great stars in the border. Love, Love it. And the blues (yeah, I am going to say something good about blue) really set this off, don't you think? Another view. I also love the little checkerboard borders around some of the block. Oh, yeah, super scrappy.
I have this pattern. Have had it for years and years. This is the first time I have seen it made up now I will have to go dig out the pattern. It's one of those oversize ones so it is not with my regular patterns. It's in a "special" place. You know what that means -- the big honey hunt is on.

Not only is this a nice log cabin, but don't you love the venue?
Great ladies. Love the aprons. And the flowers in the sashing and borders.
More ladies. I have seen this pattern made up before. Usually in more primitive colours.
Okay, several views of one that I am absolutely crazy about. Don't you love it? I had Mr THQ take enough pictures to get every bit of it. I think I remember that it was done in a class according to the information the quilt. I hunted for it everywhere and could find nothing. So sad.

I think I had read somewhere about the car. Here it is.
Nice colours on this one, don't you think? Pretty.
If you remember, I was really liking the bright quilts. This one is really interesting colours, too, don't you think? I really like the backgrounds, too. Interesting.
Another bright one. The black background on this one really sets off the colours. I like the big applique pieces, too. I even like the birds. Just kind of perched on the flowers. And usually I don't care so much for the birds.
Another bright one. Really abstract.
This one is different from the others we have just been looking at. Look at all that neutral background! You can guess what I like about this one, can't you? The houses, of course.
Partridge in a pear tree. Just in time for Christmas. I think I have seen this pattern before, too. This is nice.
Back to the brights.
More of the street scene. Remember we got there really early so we were able to take pictures of the quilts from a distance with only a few folks in the way. Later on in the day it was almost impossible to take pictures like this. And in some places it was hard to even walk!
This one seems nice and sparkly. Maybe that's why I wanted a picture. Blue and yellow are not my thing. And snails' trail isn't either. But I like this one. Does it seem sparkly to you? Or am I just rationalizing my liking something I usually would not like?
Lots of stars. Gotta love this one. Nice sort of autumnal colours, too. I like all the different kinds of stars and all the different sizes.
So, what do you think? Worth waiting for I say. And there are more hidden away on that camera. So we have more to look forward to. Just don't know how long we will be waiting!