Thursday, September 11, 2008
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
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 potatoes..........you 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?
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 love.........how did so much time pass so quickly?!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
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
Thursday, July 10, 2008
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.
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
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
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
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
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
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
Friday, March 14, 2008
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
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
Monday, January 28, 2008
At www.maryquilts.com 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
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
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!!