Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I started feeling bad yesterday and by the end of the day, it was obvious that we weren't going anywhere today. Bill called Jane to let her know and we went to bed early. This morning I felt even worse so he went to the drug store to buy Theraflu Cold and Sore Throat. It seems to be working pretty good. You mix it with hot water and drink it like tea. It lasts about 4 hours and so far I have found that I am sound asleep two hours later.
We pretty much cleaned out the recordings on the DVR today, watching all the old stuff that we never got around to. Much of it I sleep through so that was a good thing in itself.
Anyway - I hope you all had a great Christmas and are ready for the new year!
Friday, December 21, 2007
I am staying with Emilio tonight while his parents go to a Christmas party for Paolo's rugby team. He is eating his dinner right now. Dinner can be a challenge for him but he seems to be doing fine tonight. Of course, grilled cheese sandwich is a good start when you are four years old.
We did some last minute Christmas shopping today. I think I am finished but I need to do one more check to make sure I didn't forget anyone. I am going to make a steno book cover for Christina to give to her step mom for Christmas. Once Emilio goes to bed/sleep (they certainly aren't the same thing for him), I will make the cover and then start on clue 2 for the mystery.
Tomorrow is my last full day here in San Francisco. I think we are going to go to the Farmer's Market in the morning but I am not sure what else is planned. Since I am still somewhat on eastern time, I have been sewing every morning and have completed piecing blocks for the Wacky Devine Nine. Since they are so large and I only brought a small ruler, I think I will wait to trim them to size when I get back home.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
In the afternoon, we went to the Ritz Carlton downtown and had Teddy Bear Tea. Here is Emilio with his teddy bear (it was sitting on his chair with a balloon attached when we were seated), a large Teddy Bear and the Elf.
It was a very nice tea. You can see what Emilio was served on his plate in front of him. The children had hot chocolate with little marshmallows, three small tea sandwiches, a little tuna salad sandwich on a roll, a gingerbread man, little chocolate covered cake, and some candy. You can imagine what he actually ate. Christina and I had a more traditional tea, including scones with cream. Not as good as Lovejoy's but very good.
The Elf put on a show, with much audience participation including singing, instruments and marching around the room. A good time was had by all.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I brought a small sewing machine I purchased a couple of years ago on sale at Sears. My daughter has an old machine here that I gave her but it didn't have a 1/4 inch foot and since I had this one still in the box, I brought it in my carry-on. It always makes for interesting conversation with the x-ray guy as he tries to figure out what it is.
Anyway, I brought with me the fabric for a Wacky Devine Nine for the shop. The line of fabric I got to make it from is bright and cheerful and should make an interesting quilt. I got the first cut and sewing done this morning (my body is still on East Coast time here in San Francisco) but couldn't find the iron so started cutting my strips for Bonnie's Mystery quilt I brought my lime green, purple and pink batiks with me. I hope to get at least the first couple of clues done while I am here, along with the Wacky Devine Nine.
I have the iron now, but also have Emilio. Christina left to get her hair cut. We were going to go with her and walke around downtown but it is raining so we decided to stay home until later. Will do a little more sewing this afternoon. I think we are going to JoAnns later so we can make some steno book covers. Of course that means we also have to go to an office store to buy the books.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
They are very simple to make and I taught a workshop at guild recently for the members. Let's see if I can tell you how. First cut a 7 inch by width of fabric piece of quilted fabric. Cut this piece to 37 inches. Using the remaining piece, cut a 4 by 7 and set aside. Take the long piece and folding about 1/4 inch top sititch in under.
If you want to add a pen/pencil pocket now is the time to do it. I usually use a small piece of the prequited fabric about 2 by 6. Fold down one of the narrow ends and topstitch just like the main piece. Fold in the long sides and press.
Using the steno pad, figure out the placement for the pocket. I usually have the bottom of the pocket about 10 inches from the topstitched edge of the fabric, placed at a slant. You need to place the pocket upside down and stitch across the raw edge. Flip the pocket up and topstich all around the three open sides.
Lay the long piece down on your cutting board right side up and fold in both sides until the piece is about 19 inches long and the ends are evenly folded up. Place the 4 by 7 piece of fabric in the middle where the opening is, placing it right sides down. Stitch both sides and turn the whole thing right side out. Place your steno notebook in it and it is ready to give as a gift with a pen or pencil in the little pocket on front.
While writing this down, I went in and made one - it only took me about 15 minutes from start to finish so these are very quick and easy to make for last minute gifts. I know this isn't very clear but I am not a pattern writer. Good luck and if you make one (or many) please send me a photo or let me know where you have posted one.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
While we were preparing for our Christmas pincushion gift exchange, I kept telling everyone that while they could purchase a pincushion, no tomatoes were allowed. Rose found a great tomato sewing basket/pincushion and gave it to me at our last meeting. Isn't it great! I am using it right now to hold my MP3 player/headset when I am not actually listening to it. I have spent a lot of time looking for it so now it has it's own place to live.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Here is Libby, the 2007 President with the quilt we made for her. As First Vice President, I was responsible for getting this made for her. Since Libby and I have very different, almost opposite, fabric preferences, it was hard for me to select a pattern and fabrics for her quilt. I talked to people who know her better than I do and they helped me decide on a simple square in a square in her favorite red and gold civil war colors. I purchased a yard of a sample fabric in each color and cut it up so that each person would have a sample to work with, even though they would actually use their own fabrics. We got quite a collection of fabrics and they all look great together.
I printed off a paper piecing pattern for the block from EQ6 and attached the fabric to it. I asked each person to make two blocks - one with red corners and gold center and one with gold corners and red in the center. They were to sign one of the blocks in the gold.
We then had a sew-in to put the top together and I quilted it and bound it. Danielle made a great label for it.
As you can see, Libby loved the quilt. We finally got it away from her for a little while and put it on a table, with pens so that anyone who had not signed a blocks could do so. I quilted it with a simple continuous curve which seems to suit the look of the quilt.
We had a great potluck lunch and a gift exchange that almost everyone participated in. The budget was approved and the slate of officers was elected so we had a wonderful time.
Isn't she just about the cutest ornament you have ever seen. I love her! We decided not to put up our tree this year because I will be out of town the week before Christmas and not come back until the 23rd. I have it hanging on a lamp so I can admire it all the time.
Also in the package was this wonderful glittery poinsettia. It is also very nice and will look great on the tree next year. In addition to the ornaments, she included two bags of candy. One is sour Jelly Belly's and the other is very cute petite mints. Yummy!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
See the one on the left? My name was drawn and these 12 blocks came home with me. We also had enough fat quarters so that each winner got a fat quarter along with their blocks. If you see look at the second row, the one on the right has Elvis right in the middle of it. We had several Elvis blocks and I am glad I received one of them.
I have a confession. I won blocks last year and they are still in the bag they came home in. I am going to put the new ones in the same place as last years so that when I finally get around to making Christmas quilts, I will remember these. Last year we had non-traditional colors that include turquoise, orange, pink and similar colors. Many of the ladies did not like the fabric and we didn't have as many blocks turned in so we only got sets of 9 instead of 12.
This is one of the most fun things the guild does. People look forward to it every year and some people have several quilts made from blocks they have won. It is always fun to look at the finished quilts and remember what year the blocks were exchanged.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Guild today was so much fun. We did our pincushion exchange. Everyone formed a large circle and we played a left right game to a lot of confusion and laughter. I found a version of Night before Christmas that was modified with lots of rights and lefts added.
We had asked that people made a pincushion but since we have some members who really don't sew that much anymore, we did allow purchased ones, as long as they were very nice ones. I didn't see any duds this year so it appears that everyone listened and made/brought appropriately.
I received the pincushion made by Jan. It is a very clever cat pincushion that she made. The woman who got the one I made seemed to be pleased - I hope so.
In the above photo, Lisa is on the right. On the left, Barb, Tina, Barbie and me. We are getting ready to give her the quilt. It was pieced by Barb and Tina, I quilted it and Barbie put on the binding.
This is the back of the quilt, using many signature blocks. Each member of the guild was asked to sign a block and to also donate a fat 1/8 of batik for the quilt.
Here is the front of the quilt. Beautiful, isn't it! I will post some closeup photos of the quilting on my webshots. The front and back were all batik which is Lisa's favorite fabric. The outside border is done in dogwood fabric that was especially printed for the Atlanta Shop Hop earlier this year so it is unique to our area.
Here is Lisa with her quilt. She was extremely happy with it and certainly earned it with all her hard work this year.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Lastly, I sewed the back and front together with more buttonhole stitch and stuffed it with fiberfill. Turned out real cute.
Since it is a potluck, I made lemon bars and they are in the refrigerator waiting to go. I also have all the exchange blocks (had to make two more today to round out the sets to give away) and our monthly fabric swap.
Still have to wrap the pincushion and my secret pal gift and I will be ready to go in the morning.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
First, I have a couple more quilts that need to be quilted this week before I leave for California. I need to piece the back for a t-shirt quilt so I can get it on the machine. It just needs to be meandered so will be quick once I finally get it on the frame. The customer wants it bound so I need to get it to Barb who does my customer binding for me.
The quilt shop Christmas party is tomorrow night at a local restaurant and I want her to have it before then so I better get busy.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
The Allatoona guild meets on Tuesday and we are having a Christmas Potluck lunch. We are drawing for sets of quilt blocks made from Christmas fabric. 123 blocks were made and there are 10 sets of 12 blocks plus one set of 3. The 3 can be made into a table runner. We gave each person a FQ of the focus fabric and they could make 1 to 5 12-inch blocks, using the FQ and any other fabrics they wanted to add. For each block they made, their name gets put into the drawing for the block sets. Should be fun.
We are also doing a gift exchange - pin cushions. Mine is done but I still need to stuff it so will work on that tomorrow. I did a flower applique of wool on wool. Kind of like a little pillow. All done with fusible applique and hand buttonhole stitch. Very cute! Will try to get a photo to post tomorrow. We have about 45 people and almost everyone participates. We get in a large circle and I read a left/right story. This time I found a modified version of the Night Before Christmas that has lots of lefts and rights added to it.
Next is one of the quilts from the night class.
And here is one more quilt from the night class.
All the quilts were made from the same fabrics but since the kaleidoscopes are different, the quilts are very different. It is so much fun to make quilts like this with other people. The quilts turn out "exactly the same only different" which is how my sister and I frequently make quilts. We use the same fabrics and pattern but end up with them looking very different because of the fabric placement.
Several years ago, we made Hidden Wells quilts. We used exactly the same fabrics but the quilts look completely different because of the fabric placement. Each of our daughters have these quilts and I sleep under the one I made when I go to San Francisco.
I have been quilting a lot this last week and have finished several customer quilts. Still have a few more to do before I leave for California a week from Monday. I will spend a week there with my daughter and grandson and will come home on the 23rd so I can be here for Christmas with Bill and the little doggies.
Friday, November 30, 2007
This is a Judy Niemeyer pattern. Barb teaches a lot of her patterns at Tiny Stitches. In fact, Judy will be coming to Tiny Stitches in February. The information about the class will be on the website soon. If you are in Georgia or any where near Atlanta, it should be a great time.
After getting this one off the Gammill, I started quilting the President's quilt for the Allatoona guild. It needs to be bound by someone else so I need to get it finished by the Tuesday meeting so they have enough time to bind it.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I usually tie the fringe in a knot near the scarf - not sure you need to but it looks good.
It only takes a couple of hours to make a scarf this way. I went to Michael's today and got more yarn. By the way, if you decide to try this, it works much better on circular needles than straight ones unless you get extra long needles. The ones I have are too short and 100 stitches of thick yarn is almost impossible to fit on the needle.
I also went to pick up more steno books to make covers for. The class at guild went very well. We had several classes and I taught how to make the steno pad cover. I made 4 of them during the meeting but gave all of them away so still don't have one to take a photo of. Will try to work on that tomorrow.
By the way, my sister has a new blog and is showing off by reorganizing her sewing room. I posted a link to her blog on the side of mine.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I had hoped that Jeanette liked the quilt but was really excited to see her reaction. She loved it!
I am working again tomorrow at Tiny Stitches. This will be three days in a row. Mary has a bad cold so I am going to work for her. Still have several more customer quilts to finish so I can go to California on the 17th. I also have President's quilts from both guilds to finish in the next week or so. Busy, busy, busy.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Sometimes it is hard to live so far away from family. We have a lot of friends here but no family. I am going to see my daughter and her family before Christmas but won't have the chance to see my son and his this year but we were able to spend a week with them this summer. I know he is happy living in Sweden but I wish it was closer.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
This is my Y2K quilt that I worked on in 1999 and 2000. It has exactly 2000 1-inch hexagons that are hand pieced using English Paper Piecing. I was traveling a lot during that time - I really mean a lot. I was on a plane 2-6 times every week. Since this was before 9/11, I was able to take scissors and all sorts of things that aren't allowed now on the plane.
I had traded 2-1/2 inch squares of Christmas fabric with other quilters from around the world. I then cut each square down to fit on the paper pieces, basted them on the papers and then whipped them together. I did blocks of 25 and when I had all 2000 attached in groups of 25, started putting them together. Once I had them all together, it wasn't large enough for my bed so I appliqued the top on to two borders that I had already sewn together.
It now fits on my bed and I usually put it on the day after Thanksgiving and keep it there until New Year's Day so thought I would show it again before it goes on the bed.
The quilt on the wall behind it is called Almost Twilight. I made this several years ago with my sister at a retreat in Wisconsin. It is designed by Jan Krueger who will be coming to ECQG next year and will be doing a workshop teaching this quilt. It is also one of my favourite quilts.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
She is a calm, beautiful dog and we were so lucky to get her. She knows that Max is the top dog and that seems to be fine with her. She patiently waits for her turn to get fed. She expects Max to go first (so does he). She is my dog. We hoped when we got her that she would be Bill's dog but she definitely is mine. She waits for me to go to bed. Max and Bill went about 1/2 hour ago but Chula is sitting on the couch waiting for me. When I turn out the light she jumps down and is ready to go. She used to run up before me but now waits for me to pick her up and carry her - she is getting old too.
The next photo is of Max. We got him from a breeder about 12 years ago when he was a little more than 6 weeks old and weighed about a pound. He was just a little fuzzball but made the most amazing amount of noise that first night. We had him in a dog bed in the back hallway where we could close it off. We didn't realize that there was a heat vent that led from there directly up to our bedroom. He cried all night!
I am teaching the Guacamole quilt classes tomorrow - class 2 of 3. The first class is in the morning and then the evening class is at 6:30 in the evening. I have a quilt to finish quilting in the afternoon so will have another busy day.
Today after work, Mary and I used the classroom to sort out blocks for the guild. We have a Christmas block challenge every year and this year I was in charge. We gave a FQ of Christmas fabric to each person who wanted to participate and they could make up to 5 blocks. For each block they make, their name is put into a drawing. We make up quilt-sized packages of blocks and draw names for them.
This year we had over 120 blocks turned in so I went to the dollar store and bought flannel backed tablecloths to sort them on. We were able to put together 10 sets of 12 blocks plus one extra set for a tablerunner of 3 blocks. Should be a fun addition to the Christmas party.
I forgot my camera today so didn't get photos of the quilt block sorting but I will take one of the focus fabric that was used in each block and a few sample blocks tomorrow.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Here is the front steps before we cleaned them off. They had almost disappeared under the leaves.
This is the corner of our yard covered with leaves. They were in the road as well as covering what little lawn we have left from the drought. We have been under a complete outdoor watering ban for a couple of months so what little lawn we had is pretty much dead.
This is the backyard. We do not have any grassy area in the yard, just our own little forest. We are on a corner lot and have one house behind us. During the summer we can't see the house but once winter comes we can see it, especially at night with the lights on.
With all the trees, you might think our front yard would have trees but the fact is, we only have one tree in the front yard. A few years ago, this was a 80 foot Oak that was beautiful. One summer night a few years ago, we came home from being out of town for a few days and found bark all over the sidewalk. Once the light came up the next day, we could see where the tree had been hit by lightening and split down the center.
We had to have it removed and discovered that carpenter ants had eaten most of the inside of the tree. What a mess that was.
We now have a maple tree - it was about 10 feet tall when we planted it and is now 15-20 feet tall. It is growing but will take longer than we will live here before it rivals the Oak.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Here is Mary with her Simply Quilts that she made today. It is a gift for a young for a young friend. I am going to try to get it quilted for her before Christmas.
I worked on the Guacamole quilt all day. It is a beautiful quilt but a lot of work! First I finished the alternate blocks, then started working on the pieced border blocks. That took all afternoon. Then I started putting the blocks together. I have about 1/2 the quilt pieced into 4 block sections. Everyone wanted to go eat so we didn't stay as long as I needed to get it done. I hope to work on it more over the weekend because I am teaching the second class on Monday.
Here is a closeup of one of the blocks showing the freehand feather meander that I tested out on this quilt. Turned out pretty good.