Irish Lake Quilter

......snippets and quilts, family, pets and friends....

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Not a thing comes to mind for a title on this post..... Summer is winding down, much to my dismay. Everything is coming all at once and my blog has taken back seat.

Traveling between the cottage and home is always nice - there is a great place at either end and I am happy whenever I am in either one. However, it is ever so difficult to decide what sewing projects I want to take with me - do I leave my entire stash at home and work out of it that way? Do I make kits and put them all together and schlep those to and fro? I try to do the latter, but that elusive piece of fabric is always at the other end!! So far this summer I've managed to make a few tops - some for charity, one for a great niece, another for a long time bud of Michael's and now I'm nearing the end of the handwork on Winter Wonderland redwork. The pieced blocks will be cut out this week and hopefully sewn next week at retreat.

Retreat - it's that time already! I have my projects somewhat lined up and ready to go. In the meantime, a friend and I have been taking a jacket class. The newsletter blurb promised 'a jacket that fits' and I'm thinking I've finally hit the jackpot on that. The gal who teaches the class has done haute couture, clothing and pattern construction, etc. She knows what she is talking about and finally, a jacket that works around my bumbs and bulges may be in the works.

Pictures of so much that has been going on will be posted soon...........if life doesn't get in the way. Oh!......I hit a deer on the way to the cottage on Monday. I was alone, it was a younger one and I don't care to repeat that ever again. My car hood has a major bruise and when we get home, we'll have the whole car checked out. I am sooo thankful it wasn't a big guy. The road was fairly deserted (I was on my way to an off-the-beaten-path store) and my cell phone didn't work in that area. An angel's hand was on my shoulder................more later.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Quilts are like a journal,
Bits and pieces of fabric….
Various shapes and sizes
With colors that come to life

Joined together,
They tell a story.....

from Lolly's website

The quilt, from the late 30's, was made by Jim's Aunt Tootie (Catherine).

Shipshewana IN is a wonderful place for quilters to visit. It is well known among quilters mostly because of Lolly's and Yoders, both great quilt shops and people come from all over. At check out, it is interesting to listen to the wide variety of zip codes offered when asked by the clerk. People travel from all over to visit, get a taste of the Amish atmosphere and enjoy a casual, relaxing day. For me, whenever life becomes too muddled or a break from the day-to-day humdrum is in order, a trip to Shipshe puts the stars in line for me and I'm refreshed for a few more weeks or months. Today was a Shipshe trip. I called my friend and said 'let's go' and she said 'what time'? Ahhhh, a day among the bolts. We went to Lolly's and admired all of the kits, the numerous bolts and just the atmosphere. We found some bargains - and some not necessarily bargains. Then we were off to Yoders where the sidewalk sale was going on. Fresh corn, peaches and apples lined the area outside the grocery/hardware store as we entered the building, all signs of summer in the Midwest. The Amish bonnets, the hickory rocking chairs and little boys in blue shirts and straw flat-crown hats completed the picture. A few purchases later, we were on our way to Topeka and Tiffany's, a down-home restaurant with a parking lot full of cars and horses and buggies sharing space. The specials were home made beef and noodles, beef manhattans with mashed get the idea. We passed on the pie that we both know are awesome. Then we backtracked to Emma and the very small general store that carries maybe 100 bolts of quilting fabric and many more of the poly blends that so many Amish ladies use. Handmade clocks chimed as we shopped and the gas lights glowed, but didn't provide much light.....definitely a throwback from our modern time. We found some very good choices and added them to our small pile of bags in the car. And, finally, a stop at Alco on our way home to see what treasures we could find on their shelves. Of course, there were a few! It was a day spent in friendship, enjoying our fabric finds and a day satisfying that urge to create. Next month during Retreat, we'll get to do it again. What more can a quilter ask?

And the bride was beautiful!!

I don't understand how I became a great aunt while so young! :>) Natalie is 21 and as of last week, a married young woman. Of course, as at all weddings, I cried. The tears are just sentimental tears, ones that are happiness for the occasion, sadness at the passing of childhood and tears from all those wonderful love songs that bring warm fuzzies to my heart because of my own great love. I'm sappy and the first to admit it! The picture shows the bride with my Mom, Natalie's great grandma, her paternal step-grandmother, maternal step grandmother and maternal grandma, and of course, her mother. What a lucky young lady to have so many grandmas to surround her and impart wisdom as needed!

One of my goals is to make sure each niece and nephew gets a quilt. I finally got around to making one for Nat and gave it to her and Dan for their wedding. Along with the quilt, pillow cases were made and given so that it would make a complete set for a bedroom. We had a great time, enjoyed the gathering of family and friends and savored our own wedding memories. It's been 33 years for me and my did so much time pass so quickly?!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Good Read!

A few weeks ago my neighbor, Mary, came down to sit in the front yard while her grandson was playing in the water. Our yard has a bit of a sandy beach and a boat ramp that makes entry into the water easier so it is the gathering point of all who go in and out of the lake. Sitting in the front yard is also an invitation to any and all to gather around and chat for a few minutes or most of the afternoon. Mary is active in several groups around the area and one of them is a book club. Often she tells me of what she is reading or has read, but doesn't often say "you've got to read this book!" On this particular hot and humid afternoon, she said just that about the book, "Little Heathens" by Mildred Armstrong Kalish. It is the story of growing up on an Iowa farm during the Great Depression. There isn't so much of a story line as there is recollection of how she was raised and how things were done during that period. I haven't yet discovered why or how the book got it's title, but I'm thinking it has to do with the way the older generation thought of the younger ones. That I can remember and relate to!

My paternal grandmother lived with us as I was growing up and her sayings, depression-ist methods and ways of doing things were quite similar to what is described in this Little Heathens. One of the things that reminded me of my childhood was the annual gathering of greens. This is not the annual Christmas celebration but the arrival of dandelions in the yard! Grandma, like the one in Little Heathens, had her special butcher knife that she used for digging greens. Grandma in her bonnet, long dress and stockings held up with garters (ladies didn't wear pants in those days!) would go into the yard with her knife and bucket and gather greens that she would later soak and wash very well to get rid of the bugs and beasties and cook them with a bit of bacon and onion. We all would gag at the thought of eating weeds from the front yard, but how were we to know that someday this would be the "in" thing to do and eat - as long as Chem Lawn doesn't visit your yard! Our reaction was not the same reaction as the author who thought these a tasty treat.

The book is full of fun things ........ like how to make really good fried potatoes - something Mom is so good at but who keeps bacon fat around any more? .... making porcupines, putting cardboards on the spokes of bikes with clothespins, (I'd love to have those old baseball cards that we used!); how to make marshmallows and of course, the adventures of out-house tipping.

I'm enjoying a visit to Memory Lane thru this book. It will take me a week or so of front yard sitting to get thru it - not because it is such a thick book, but because I enjoy sitting in the front yard, occasionally reading a page or two, watching the swans or boats on the lake and of course, the neighborly chats. We are building memories that need to be passed on, just like the ones in this book.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Same fabric, different quilt

About two years or so ago I found some Thimbleberries fabric that looked like applique - all viney and so on. I also loved the colors - autumn ones. I guess being a redhead in my earlier life contributed to my liking those pinks, brights or reds for me! I made a lap quilt from the fabric and gave it to my niece for Christmas 2006. Then, not long after, I decided another one from the same fabric would be nice and it hangs on the bannister here at home. Since the quilt design that I used was so easy, I wanted to make another but have it on a bed. The three new bedrooms at the cottage all need quilts and the dark brown and rich tones fit well in one of them. So I made another one! And...I have enough for at least one more! I think I went a bit overboard! :>)

This week while here in Chicago, I got that one ready for the frame and also completed one for my great-niece who is getting married on Saturday. I will load hers this afternoon and if the machine cooperates, will have it quilted and bound in time for the wedding. If not, she knows it's coming and it won't be long. I'll post that picture and maybe one of the bride next time around. But for now, her quilt is waiting and my time is running out!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Doorknobs and Applique?

No, I'm not into making quilted doorknobs! At least not yet!! :>) But yesterday I found a connection between an old doorknob and my love of applique.

The old garage had a small tool room attached to it and over the years, every neighbor along the line felt free to go in and out as they needed something that they might not have in their own garage. For some reason, the old tool area was called The Apple Orchard, but I don't know why! Maybe Uncle Jay and Aunt Marie picked and stored apples in there many years ago.... Before we tore it down, it was suggested that we save the doorknob and use it as a piece of whimsical decoration in the new place. Jim used the Sawzall and preserved a piece of the door along with the knob. I originally planned to strip the old paint off it, clean it up and make it look pretty. Then I realized that I would be erasing a bit of history if I did that. So, it is as it was.

Then, while thinking of something for my blog, I thought, I can't write about a doorknob!! Who cares about such trivia? But then, as I worked on it, I saw something that struck a chord with me. I digress..........

When Chris's apartment burned and I realized that two of my quilts would no longer be as they were, I immediately started thinking about a new applique design. One of the quilts had a center medallion, hand appliqued. It wasn't anything spectacular, but had good colors for a guy and was something that just kind of evolved by putting a couple of patterns together. Having done a design once, I really don't like doing it over. So I figured that it was back to the drawing board to find a new design.

Back to the doorknob. While trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the doorknob, the design on it hit me. A new applique medallion!! I can take this picture, enlarge it, play with it and fine tune it a bit and come up with a design that has a connection to the old quilt and have some sentiment behind it. The center would be the center medallion, the design around the edge would work in the outer portion or along the border. I'll just have to play with it.

Now.......when will I do this? :>) It won't be for a while, but now that the knob sits on the chest in the new living room, I'll be reminded of my decision and hopefully will find time, the right fabric and determination to do it! Isn't it amazing where we quilters find our inspiration?

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Tough Week

Sunday mornings are meant to be low-key, quiet and relaxing.......right? About two weeks ago, the 22nd, Jim and I were doing some clean up and straightening in the garage at the lake, avoiding the tile grout job, when we got a call from Chris. He started out by saying that something had happened the night before but didn't call because he didn't want to worry us. My stomach took a flip and I headed into the house to sit down. He was home alone about 10:15 when he heard glass breaking in his apartment kitchen. The old style Chicago houses are designed in a long narrow pattern, the living room in the front and a hallway along the bedrooms leading back to the kitchen in the rear. Being in the living room, he had no idea what was going on so he went to check. The breaking glass sound was actually the glass exploding from a fire that was engulfing the rear decks of the house and the kitchen was igniting as he got there. Chris said he turned and ran down the front steps wearing what he had on. The fire station is literally next door, about 50 feet away with a parking lot between them, and someone had already reported seeing it, and trucks were arriving as he went downstairs.
Apparently, the fire started on the deck below from a smoldering cigarette that had not been put out properly, spread up the back of the building and across the attic of the house. Firemen battled the blaze for nearly an hour, the house next door was badly damaged as well. One fireman was taken to the hospital due to exhaustion. Someone at the scene asked Chris why he didn't stop to get his wallet and shoes. A fireman overheard them and told Chris he only had seconds to escape once the glass broke. It isn't a back draft but the air/smoke is igniting into huge flames when an explosion occurs. We are thankful we had the opportunity to shop for clothes and furniture.
You can imagine the damage that the fire may have caused, but the smoke and water damage is unbelieveable. They were able to salvage very little. Fortunately, some dishes that we had loaned them - our wedding pattern - came thru almost intact. A few pieces were lost but we can replace those at Some clothes that were stored in a front closet survived. My washing machine has been running a lot, doing some things 3 and 4 times to get the smokey smell out of them.
Anne and Chris went into the place on Tuesday to survey the damage - overwhelming for both of them but they made it thru OK. Anne is interested in learning to sew and I had loaned her my old Bernina 830. They gave that up as lost, but found two quilts I had made and that had ended up at their place. One may be OK, the other not so good. Jim went back on Thursday with Chris and found some other things that were meaningful to them or us. He brought out the sewing machine (his birthday present to me for my 34th) and brought it home. It is rusting in places, but I am a firm believer in persistence. I doused it with WD-40, got out the Q-tips and some rags and went at it. It isn't very good yet, but it runs!!! As far as sewing on it, that will never happen, but the fact that it still runs is a good thing. I'll keep it for parts for the other 830 that I have at the lake.
Life is resuming in a new place and still within walking distance of the old place along with some quickly-found furniture from Craigslist . It has been a tough week for us; I can't imagine what they've gone thru.
The warm fuzzy from all of this is the wonderful kindness of people. Chris had to go to work on Monday following the fire on Saturday. He went wearing his brother's shoes, a pair of baggy pants found in his closet here at home and a shirt purchased at Wal-Mart. (Reports that had to be done with a Wed deadline). He spent the next 3 days doing what he needed to do and returned to work on Friday. Knowing that Chris had no clothes and is a HUGE Cubs fan, the CEO jokingly brought him a White Sox jersey........and a huge wad of cash that had been collected through out the company. There was $1500..... a very, very nice thing to do and something that Chris truly appreciated.
There are still a few odds and ends to be done, but in the grand scheme of things, life treated us with kindness......we will remember to pay it forward when it is our turn.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Dance

A few days ago I told you about the challenge that Mary gave us for the May Retreat. We were to make a quilt to show an emotion that we feel about the retreat. I had a year to think about it. My original plan was to applique a large vase full of flowers. Each flower would have been a color that I felt "matched" each person there and that the beauty in the flowers expressed the beauty I see in each of the gals who attend the retreat. Liz would definitely have been orange!! She just loves lime green and orange. Well, given all that has gone on over the past year, that idea was just idea. It came down to the last few weeks and finally I decided that my emotion could be labeled as 'happy' and who else expresses that more than Snoopy and his Happy Dance? In the picture, Snoopy is a bit wrinkled and has some creases but he has been folded while waiting to be hung. It is a bright and happy quilt-let and I will hang it in my sewing space at the lake or over my long arm at home, always doing a happy dance myself when I'm in either of those favorite places!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nearing the end...

The picture at the left sort of tells the story of where we were at the end of April in our construction project. This place is to be for our family and guests when they come to visit at the lake. Our little cottage is on it's last legs but has a lot of charm. We also hesitate to tear it down and rebuild because we'll lose several very large 60 year old trees, all of which give us a wonderful shade on a hot day. The Roadhouse, as I call it because it is back by the road, is about 900 sf, has 3 very small bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen/living area. Large enough for anyone who might want to spend a night or a week.

In February, Jim started doing the electrical and plumbing work on the place. That took us into April when we finally got a septic installed and final grade around the outside. The outside shower went in and is on our to-do list - as many things are! We were ready for drywall and it was done shortly before I went to retreat. Painting followed.....and followed....and followed. Seemed like that part would never end!!

Jim and Chris got the wood floor in the kitchen started. Michael, his friend Tyler and Jim and Chris worked most of a weekend getting it down and it really looks great. The bathrooms also have the same flooring. (the bathroom showers/tile are another story all by themselves!) It was the end of May by the time we could call the carpet installer to come. Another retreat at that time would have been welcomed!!

Carpet went in, appliances were delivered and the final projects........finishing the bathrooms, adding trim, patching and doing touchup on the trim, putting up blinds, finding furniture for the place, making up the beds and adding those special homey touches.........are now being done.

My sewing/craft room is painted and carpeted and I've framed some AQS posters that will add a quilty interest to the walls. That area will wait, however, until the upstairs is done and then we can concentrate on the downstairs. Jim will have a workshop, the laundry room is an awesome addition and my sewing area is just what I wanted. It may be the end of the summer before we finish the entire place, but all of this will have been a journey well worth taking.
Needless to say, the past few months have left little time for my quilting and my long arm. I get a few stitches in every day and that helps keep me going and my sanity somewhat intact. :>)

Stop by for a visit.......we'd love to show off what we've done so far!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


May 1st was the annual North Webster Retreat held near the cottage. There are 20 women who meet at a church center located on Webster Lake. The facility is beautiful and the views are stunning. It is a few days of friends getting together, laughing ourselves silly and sewing like we could never sew again. This year was no different. We gathered as early as we were able to on Thursday morning and began the set up that happens each time we go. Furniture is moved making way for tables, ironing boards and sewing 'necessities'. Food is toted in as well as items for our 'dumping ground'. The saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure" fits our dumping ground perfectly. Most everything disappears gradually over the 3 days with each person thinking that they've been fortunate to either clear out some clutter or to have found a treasure!

Our group has a couple of leaders (teachers call them ringleaders!! :>) Liz makes all the plans for the retreat, brings all kinds of things for us to use and makes sure we behave. Mary and Susan keep everyone laughing and on our toes with their funny stories and banter. Joanne is just.......well, vibrant. A fun gal to keep things moving. Karlita is known for her perky bits of wisdom, usually a little tart and always funny! I could go on about all of us, the beautiful quilts and so much of each one enjoying the other's company, expertise and advice.

Our challenge this year was to be a quilt that portrays an emotion about the May Retreat. Mine was taxi-cab yellow background with a Snoopy doing a happy dance appliqued onto the yellow. I used a black with white pin dot for an inner border and the binding as well. Unfortunately, the quilt is in Chicago, I'm at the cottage and I can't find a picture of it in my computer files. I'll post it in a few days.

Everyone had wonderful challenge quilts, the talent in our group is mind-boggling!! The challenge for next year was given as well. Each person was given a wrapped book and must make a quilt from that book. I drew a Thimbleberries book which I already have, but Joanne didn't. She drew a jewel-box quilt book that I've been drooling over for a long time. Yep! you guessed it - we swapped books and now we're both happy!

My teaching session on the mitered corners and needleturn applique went well. I fully expect Rhonda and others to come next time with some show stopping projects. Hopefully I will have a few to share as well..............if the house project ever ends.

The retreat is always a wonderful time for renewal. Seeing friends, learning new tricks about quilting and comraderie that just doesn't end. The best part is that the September retreat isn't too far off and we'll get to do it all over again! Ahhhh...........a piece of quilter's heaven!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Catching Up

The Roadhouse is nearly finished. It has been several months of being very busy, thus my blog has not been updated in over 2 months. Yikes!! Jim did the plumbing and electrical work during February and March, finishing up in April. We lived at the Thompson's home during that time and once we could move into our cottage in early April, we did so. May 1st brought the North Webster Retreat and I sewed to my heart's content for 3 days straight, late into the night.....more on that later. Once I returned after retreat, the drywall had been completed and things were ready for painting. One thing I learned the hard way was that those little paint chips don't even come close to what goes on the wall!! They may be the same color, the paint matches exactly, but they are foolers!! The soft butter cream that I had chosen, once on the wall, looked like a taxi cab - well, not quite, but it was screaming yellow!! I dumped in a gallon of cream and a gallon of white and then went back and got some toner and put in about a cup of that before it lightened enough to be subtle instead of obnoxious. The bedrooms were good with the exception of one which was much too gold and is now called "heavy cream". Carpeting has gone in, kitchen cabinets went in yesterday and today the appliances are being installed. We have two showers to tile plus installation of a kitchen sink, toilets, bathroom sinks, towel bars and a few other small items that aren't urgent. My downstairs craft room is on hold for a while. The washer and dryer are in and that is a great big plus! Once we get the upstairs done, Jim can put in the dropped ceiling and lights for me, add a couple of closet doors and that room should be ready to go. I have my sewing machine set up in front of the windows facing the lake so I'm in OK shape for sewing. So far we have no takers for first guests, but I'm guessing the kids will enjoy a weekend or two before long, especially if we add some furniture and TV. The beds are all in, ready to be made.

A year ago today, the place was still a little gray 1940's garage that was beginning to fall apart. We had just started the drawings and planning for my idea of how to carve out more space for all of us to be together. By November 1st, the place had been demolished and we were on our way! We're looking forward to many years of good times with friends and family.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mitered Corners

I have offered to teach my way of doing mitered corners at Retreat next month. So while I was putting that together, I decided to post it here and see if others can understand my directions. I'm not sure how I figured this out, but I've been doing it this way for years, and have recently seen it in a book - and I'm not sure whose book it is. It isn't the most technical way, but it works for me. I hope you can understand my jibberish! If you have a problem understanding my directions, please let me know so I can adjust.

First, cut your borders to the length and/or width of your quilt PLUS the TWICE the width of the border for each border piece or side. The border must go beyond each side of the quilt at least the same distance as the width of the border.

2.. Mark the corner of your quilt with a 1/4" dot or if you have a good 1/4" feeling when you sew, keep that in mind. The dot ..... I'm sure you've seen these on clothing patterns and this one will work the same way - sew to the dot or 1/4" away from the edge. Stop and backstitch.

3. Add your first border, allowing overlap on
both sides of the quilt.
Stop sewing at the corner dot.

4. Add the second border, stopping at the dot.

5. Press both borders open. Lay this corner out on the ironing board so that it is flat, allowing you to work with it and to press it.

6. Choose one border and gently turn so that it's wrong sides are together. I find, being right handed, that it is easier to work with the one on the right. (black) Fold it under/perpendicular so that the edges of both borders meet and are even. At this point, the two borders will be right sides together and going in the same direction. Confused? Try this explanation.... Take the upper left corner of the black border (right side up) and turn it so that it is now the the lower right (wrong side up).

Pull gently to get the sharp corner where all 3 pieces come together - at the dot. You should be able to see the miter at this time. Pin the two straight edges together just enough to hold it while you press the angled edge.

7. After pinning the right-sides of the two borders together, gently press with the iron and on the inside, pin again along the edge of the crease made by ironing.

8. Turn the quilt/borders so that you can sew right along that ironed crease, directly into the corner where the dot is. Push the seam allowances to the side so that you can reach that corner.

9. Open, iron. You should have a stitched and mitered corner. Trim the excess away leaving 1/4" seam allowances. When you open the corner, if you find that there is a pucker, loosen a stitch or two and see if that doesn't release it. That is caused when too many stitches are taken in that corner. The dot helps prevent this.

This may sound confusing and more complicated than it really is. Actually, it takes only a few minutes to miter a corner this way. The explanation takes longer than it does to do it!! If you are totally confused, e-mail me and I'll try to confuse you some more! :>) Now once I prepare the demo on needleturn applique, I'll be ready to go. Only 35 days to go!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Do you think it is the quilting?

Anne sent me a link this morning that I found to be rather nice. Here is the website for the story of a couple who have been married for 83 years - and she still quilts! Inspiring!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Paint Chip Challenge

The sky is blue, the sun is shining and the snow is melting!! For a few weeks I've heard birds singing in the morning when I go out for the paper or the mail. Spring is surely just around the corner! All this perkiness makes me want to wash windows and clean house - and if you believe that one, I have a bridge to sell you! What it really does, is make me want to finish something. My energy level goes up and that makes for more things getting done. A gal in the quilt club has made a bag called the Sunday Satchel by Linda Marcou so I've decided to make one as well. The picture on the right shows the first step that is completed - quilt and bind a 37 1/2" square. The blue doesn't show up much but it is there. The other picture shows my paint chips that I needed to match for the September Challenge. So far so good! Next comes the straps. It is an unusual kind of bag - no zipper - all foldy and stuff. This one I think I'll have ready when the time comes. Another bag for schlepping my goodies! :>)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Challenge

The time is flying by, no blogging. We are running between IN and IL each week with 3-4 days in each place, trying to get things done as they should be done in both places. This week I'm staying home and will enjoy hugging my sewing machines! One of my projects this week is to complete a challenge that was issued at the Spring Retreat last May. The picture shows a bit of what we have at the retreat. We are challenged to come up with a quilt that expresses an emotion that we feel about the group/retreat. I've come up with several ideas over the past year but the one I really wanted to do would take much longer and most likely never get done. That idea was to choose a color that each person reminded me of and match that color up with a flower and then applique a large vase of flowers for the center of a quilt to be made someday. Oh well.....knew that one wouldn't get done! So I've searched on Google, Web Shots and books to find an "inspiration quilt" to give me some ideas. Nothing. But last week it hit me. Duh! It is amazing how much is right in front of us, staring us in the face and we still don't see it. My choice is really a no-brainer, probably being duplicated by half of the group, but it fits and I like it! I can't say what it is because it has to be a surprise and Mary is the one who issued the challenge. My challenge will be hung over my long arm machine after retreat is held in May. Of course, I'll post a picture of it when the challenge is over.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Life is Good

It's cold, it's blustery but the coffee mug says it all! A warm home, some flavored coffee and quilts to keep me busy.... Life IS good!

(someone please let me in on how to make the pictures smaller when you click on them?)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Charity Quilts and.........

At I found the quick strippie quilt that Mary likes to use for charity quilts. I think I've found a new favorite too! This goes together in a hurry, doesn't take a lot of fabric and looks great when done. So, I've gone through my stash, pulled out the fabrics for children and have cut many of these and have all but 2 of them put together. I particularly like the brights - they are so cute IMHO. They will go to Project Linus as soon as I get them quilted and bound.

And...last week I purchased a used Gammill long-arm for doing all my quilting. The machine was located about an hour from the cottage, 4 hours from home so getting it home was a bit dicey between snow storms, but we managed OK. It is now set up in the basement. I could have set it up in Chris's room (he has moved to the city) but my Mother's instinct said 'no'...and when he was home, Anne told me he said "I think I'm losing my room to Mom's sewing". Those home ties are still there so for now, I'm OK in the basement. It is finished and bright with lots of room.

We're going back to the lake for a week while Jim works on inside electrical and plumbing. I'll go to quilt club, Lolly's in Shipshewana, go to a long-arm class offered at a nearby shop and try to get some sewing done as well. And, I will try to curb my enthusiasm for getting home to take a spin on the machine. Excited? Yesssss!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust!

As with everyone, New Year's seems to evoke plans to be better, eat better and live a more productive life. With quilters, it seems that we all have the pie-in-the-sky belief that we will finish all of our UFOz, have our fabrics organized and all our scraps made into quilts. Well......I'm working on the UFOz. The rest of it won't happen so we'll put them to bed. At one point I had a basket of 3" squares and they eventually got sewn together in the 'leaders and enders' method. I found a pattern by Mimi Dietrich where 4 patches were sewn together on point and then some applique added. I finally got the top done today. The applique is shown in a picture of the pillow turn at the top of the quilt. Each of the bottom corners has the same applique. It finished rather large and going outside to hang it up so I can take a picture isn't on my list of cold day activities!! :>) I think it will look good on some bed at the cottage....maybe mine!

Jim loved his puzzle quilt for Christmas. He got a terrible cold and spent two nights under it in his chair. (then I got the same thing and sat under it as well - cozy!). Drew's Mom came for his T-Shirt quilt and became quite teary. She reported that her husband, who is still dealing with his grief, loved it and wraps up in it each evening. Matt's T-shirt quilt was also loved. His Dad reported that whenever Matt comes home with his new dog, Buddy, he brings his quilt with him! Too funny! Matt came to thank me in person and altho I said I wouldn't take anything for making it, he gave me a Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant gift certificate. Giving these at Christmastime made me feel good!

Now, on to the next UFO on the list. It is the quilt I call Bee Trees. The Baltimore needs to be done but I keep hiding my head in the sand on that one.....but I promised to be done by retreat time in May. Hmmmmmmm guess I should get busy!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Done done!

My part on the quilt for our quilt group is finished!! Yippee! Now I can go to some of my things that have been calling me! The applique took 3 complete books on tape plus about 1/3 of another for a total of 36 hours. Then there was the time for adding borders which had to be taken off twice and the final connection of the corner applique. I love the pineapple pattern and even bought fabric to make one, but after working with the bias edges, I'll probably put it to the bottom of my list. Once this one is quilted and bound I think it will be very lovely! Maybe I'll win the raffle!!