Friday, November 30, 2007

Hawaiian Star

Here is Barb's Hawaiian Star quilt that I finished quilting today. I had planned to do it for the quilt show in September but since I had the accident, Barb was able to substitute another quilt in the show so I finally got around to getting this one done for her.

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.

Barb does such beautiful piecing that it is a pleasure to quilt for her. I used a variegated thread throughout on this quilt.

The colors in the quilt are just like the pattern cover. It is 85 inches square so a large quilt with many, many pieces and many, many points.

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

Working on Christmas Presents

I decided to make a few scarfs for girlfriends for Christmas. This pattern is so easy. You cast on 100 stitches on giant needles (#35). Then just knit until you don't have any more yarn. Drop the first 4 stitches, cast off the rest until you have 4 left and drop them. The dropped stitches unravel to become the fringe!
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

Jeanette's Bento Box

Here is a wonderful quilt made by Jeanette. It was a really fun quilt to work on. I quilted each block so there are a lot of starts and stops but it was worthwhile when I see the results. Here is a closeup of the quilting. I used a variegated thread that looks beautiful on the black background. The other fabrics are mostly batiks with a few other fabrics mixed in. There are 88 different blocks in the quilt, with 44 different fabrics. I especially like the way she pieced the borders at the corners.
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

Thanksgiving 2007

Here is a photo of the kitchen table set for Thanksgiving dinner. Since there is only the two of us, the kitchen is a better place to eat. I cooked a turkey breast and a baked sweet potato. Bill fixed mashed potatoes. We also had a broccoli casserole, corn dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce. Of course pumpkin pie and cool whip for dessert.

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

Christmas Quilt

Since it is almost Thanksgiving, it is almost time to get out my Christmas Quilt. I love this quilt!

Christmas GMFG

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

Max - the Yorkie and Chula - the Chihuahua

We are owned by two dogs. The first photo is of Chula. She would be a great dog instead of just a wonderful one if she didn't shed so much. It is hard to imagine how much hair she can shed. We adopted her about 8 years ago from the Atlanta Chihuahua Rescue group.

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 don't remember how long he slept downstairs but it wasn't very long and has slept with us since then. He used to be able to jump on the bed by himself but as he gets older, he now comes to my side of the bed and woofs to let me know he wants up.
See the toy hedgehog on the carpet behind him? He was given one like that about his first or second Christmas by my daughter Christina. He absolutely loves Hedgie and takes him to bed every night. After repairing Hedgie many, many times, I finally found more at Petsmart and bought a lifetime supply.

He has one downstairs and one upstairs but I don't think he knows there are two. Every night, Bill takes them outside and then to bed - when Max comes in he runs to get Hedgie to take him to bed. We take Hedgie from him and he is always surprised to find Hedgie waiting for him on the bed!

It is amazing how much love there is in dogs. They mean so much to us and sometimes we wonder what we used to talk about before we had them. It seems like there is always something to discuss about them.

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

It is really Fall

The weather has finally changed and it is fall. We have had a couple of brief freezes and the leaves are turning. We had a wind advisory in the middle of the week and it seems like the leaves are falling very fast.

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 end of the driveway looking toward the back yard. We do have a lot of trees don't we?

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.

Two years ago, another tree in the side yard was hit by lightning and it also split and the top of the tree ended up in the road. It can be exciting living here in the south.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quilt Retreat Today

We spent the day today at a one day quilt retreat. About 20 of us started this morning at about 9:00 and finished up at 7:30. Pretty full day. Here is one corner of the retreat room.

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.

Heartstrings Quilt

Here is a Heartstrings Quilt. This project makes string quilts and blocks for charity. This quilt was made by someone else and I just quilted it. It is going to the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House.

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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Allatoona Guild Meeting Yesterday

The local police came to our guild meeting yesterday. We have been making Children's quilts all year and they came to accept them. They keep quilts in their cars so that when a child is removed from a home, they have something to comfort them with.

Several officers came and they were very appreciative of the quilts we had for them. I am not sure how many there were exactly, but a very large stack. Also, there were a couple of crocheted afghans and a bunch of beanie babies.

After the officers left with the quilts, we had a showcase of Quilts of Valor that we had also been working on. There were at least 15 quilts ready to be sent to the wounded soldiers and there are many more being worked on.

We then played Quilto where I was the caller so I didn't get to play. The cost of a card was a fall FQ. We played 4 games and the winners of the first 3 got 17 FQ each. The last game was a coverall and that winner received over 40 FQ. The winner was a new member of the guild who didn't know we were playing so someone else gave her a FQ to buy in.

Lastly, we had our Thanksgiving potluck. I had made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and used my cute little cupcake stand. It is a fun way to display/serve them.

Birthday Present from Mary

Here I am at guild yesterday with my birthday present from Mary. She embroidered this pillow for me. Isn't it a great color? I love lime green and she knows it.

I had a quiet birthday today. I spent much of the day quilting on a charity quilt for Heartstrings, an internet group that makes string quilts. I practiced by doing a freehand feather overall that turned out very nice. Next step is to put on the binding and turn it over to Ronald McDonald house for a child.

This evening I taught my purse group at Tiny Stitches and they brought me a cake to celebrate. Very good cake. Bill brought me flowers and a plant. The flowers were from the dogs. My grandson called and sang happy birthday to the answering machine - pretty good for a four year old. All in all, a nice day.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Winter Wonderland

We have been doing this quilt at the quilt shop since early this year. It is a 10 month block of the month. I was undecided about doing it and missed the signups. So, I bought the pattern and decided to do it in blue instead of red.

Here is the redwork block that Cindy did

and here is my blue one. I think I am really going to like the quilt done in blue.

I have finished one other block but Blogger won't let me post more than 3 photos today so will wait and show the other one when it is more cooperative.

Piecemakers was fun as usual. We are supposed to get our house blocks together in a top by the December meeting but that is going to be a stretch with my quilting schedule. I did get zippers on two quilts today at the meeting so hopefully can get one done tomorrow and start on the next.

I made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for the potluck tomorrow. I forgot to set the timer but fortunately checked them just in time - they were done perfectly.

The quilt show meeting went well, we are on the way to re-defining the categories for the next show. We had several categories that didn't have many entries and the two person category had a huge number in it. We ran out of time so will meet again later in the month.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Quilts of Valor

4th of July Quilt

We are collecting Quilts of Valor at the Allatoona Guild meeting on Tuesday. Here is a quilt that I made several years ago that I have decided to give to Quilts of Valor. I need to make a pillowcase to go with it but should be able to get that done tomorrow. Also need to put a label on it.

Mary and I made another quilt but I just don't have time to get it quilted in time for this shipment but I will get in done in the next few months and we can donate it anyway.

Busy week ahead with Piecemakers tomorrow and then a meeting of the category committe for the next quilt show. It is obvious we need to make changes but it will take a while to decide what is best to do. We have several small categories that need to be combined or something and the two person category need to be split up somehow. Since I am the judging chair for the next show, I am participating along with the registration chair.

Tuesday has the general meeting of the Allatoona Guild. We are playing Quilto and collecting blocks using the Christmas fabric. We give each person a FQ and they can make 1-5 blocks to turn in. Each block turned it gives them a chance to win some of the blocks. We divide them up into quilt sized groups (usually 12 blocks) and have several winners. Some people have made quilts from these blocks and they are a lot of fun to see. We had a showing of Christmas quilts earlier this year. If we have blocks leftover, we put together smaller groups that can be used for table runners, etc.

Each year we think about skipping the Christmas blocks but end up doing it again. Last year the fabric was bright and many quilters didn't like it but I did and I won 9 blocks. This year, I selected a more traditional fabric and it seems like people were happy with it.

Tuesday night is the meeting of Fiber Art Fusion. I am usually too tired to go after the other meeting but I might try to go.

Wednesday I am teaching my purse group at Tiny Stitches. I teach this once a month and each person brings any pattern and fabric that they want and I help them make the purse. We have been having fun with it.

Thursday I am having lunch with the Libby who is currently president of ECQG. Since I am going to be president next year, we decided on a low-key planning session. Danielle, who is the incoming first vice president is also joining us. Elections are in December so that is coming up soon.

Finally comes Friday and I have an all day retreat with Allatoona. I plan to finish piecing the Guacamole quilt.

Delivered all the customer quilts this weekend and everyone seemed to be pleased with their quilts. I still have several more to work on and hope fit in quilting around everything else this week.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Saturday Sampler and Dyed Fabric

Here is one of three Saturday Samplers from Tiny Stitches. This one is from the Bound to the Prairie line of fabrics. The others were bright on black and 30's reproductions. The customers got to choose which one they want to do. We also have two others going on - batiks and blue baskets but they started in July so have half a year left to go.

It is always a challenge to design finishing kits for these blocks. People always want to make a large quilt out of just 12 12-inch blocks and it is difficult, if not impossible. This year, we offered FQs for them to purchase to build out the blocks so they ended up 20 inches instead. Then at the end of the year, they can just sew them together and add a couple of borders and they are done. This one ended up 73 x 92.

I quilted it with a panto called Falling Leaves and it turned out great. The others were put together slightly differently but still look good and are easy for people to finish

I finally got my fabric from our dyeing session pressed and folded so I could take a photo. The colors are much too light for my taste so I may re-dye them at a later time. They are pretty and maybe could be used for backgrounds but aren't vibrant enough for anything else.

Danielle and I went to a craft show today but all I bought is an apple pie for my husband. They have a great bake sale but I was disappointed in the crafts. I didn't find anything to buy.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

President's Quilt

Here is part of the quilt top that we pieced yesterday. Libby loves old reproduction fabrics so we came up with red and gold. I bought a yard of each of two sample fabrics and gave each person a small square but asked them to use their own fabrics to make two 6 1/2 inch square in a square blocks.

The quilt turned out to be 78 inches square and has a wonderful collection of fabrics.
I spent most of today quilting on a customer quilt. I will put the photos of it on my webshots as soon as I get though with this post.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Bird in the Quilting Studio

I forgot to mention the excitement this morning. I was down in the quilting studio working on my customer quilt when a small bird flew overhead. Now my quilting studio is a room in the basement. We have a drive under garage that is very long and Bill enclosed the back of the garage for my studio when I first got my Gammill. It has one window with a window air conditioner in it since the basement is not heated or air conditioned. It does have two doors but is completely enclosed and separated from the garage.

Somehow, a bird got in there. My husband often leaves the large garage doors open while working outside and I keep telling him this isn't a good idea. I think he believes me now. When I went to Tiny Stitches for the sew-in, we opened the window a few inches, propped open the door and turned out the light. Then we opened up both the large garage doors. Apparently, the bird found his way outside. At least when I went down this afternoon and evening, I didn't see him. I hope he is gone.

President's Quilt

The quilt top is finished but I forgot to take a photo of it today. We had several people show up and had all the blocks sewn together by 3:30. Many hands do make quick work. The quilt is absolutely beautiful and I am sure Libby will like it a lot. We even got the backing pieced so it is ready to go.

Now I just need to decide how to quilt it. After the sew-in, I worked on quilting a paper-pieced quilt for a customer. It is a Mariner's Compass sampler quilt and I am quilting each sampler block differently so it is a lot of fun. I should be able to finish it in the morning.

My daughter wants me to come to California at Christmas. She teaches school and her last day before the holidays is the 14th which is also the day of our Guild Christmas party. A couple of years, I left here on Christmas day and stayed until right before the end of the year but this time I might go earlier. Emilio is 4 so this will be a really great Christmas. He is old enough to really enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Guild Board Meeting today

We had our board meeting today and because of election day, we met at the library. Part of the discussion was about a special project day we are having late in November. We decided to have little workshops showing gifts to make.

I am going to teach how to make a Steno notebook cover. The above is one that I received as a gift last year. When my sister and I were in Las Vegas, we took it off the notebook and measured to make more. It is really very simple to make. This one is not quilted but I think I will quilt the next one. This has a panel print on the front but the one I am going to teach will have a pen/pencil holder instead.

Here is the notebook open. The cover is folded so that the whole cover is inside the cover.

Here is the back - very simple!

This is the quilt that I finished quilting last night. Kim made it for her doggies and it is really cute. Since it was small, I custom quilted it.

Tomorrow we are meeting at the quilt shop and sewing on the President's Quilt for ECQG. It is a simple quilt but I have 185 6-inch blocks. It is large enough that I don't think it will need a border. I may post a photo tomorrow since I don't think Libby reads my blog. She loves civil war repros so I have people make two 6-inch square in a square blocks. One with red corners and a gold center plus one with gold corners and red centers.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More Quilting

I posted a couple more pictures on my webshots of quilts I finished in the past few days. I worked on a small quilt today that Kim made for her dogs. It is really cute and since it was small, I was able to custom quilt it for her and still keep it under my minimum charge.

Also, I bought some customer bags to deliver quilts in. Of course, they are lime green and people seem to enjoy getting them. It seem much more professional to deliver quilts in a nice bag rather than in a plastic bag. Previously, I had nice brown paper bags and they were nice but these are really nice.

I still have lots of quilts to do before Christmas so will just keep plugging along. I quit taking customer quilts for Christmas a couple of weeks ago but people still keep calling. Even when I tell people that I am not taking any more Christmas quilts, they bring them anyway for me to do after Christmas so January is getting booked. I guess I shouldn't complain. I do love quilting for others so am grateful that people seem to like what I do for them.

I think that all the other local quilters are full before Christmas so it is a shame that people wait so long to get on the list. Somehow people don't realize that we all have a backlog and think that we can drop everything to get their quilts done.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Project

I couldn't resist this fabric today. In the latest Quilts and More magazine, there is a tree skirt using these fabrics. It is called Merry-Go-Round. I have been using an old crocheted shawl around my tree. Not very good looking but it works. I really liked the looks of this tree skirt and got carried away and purchased enough to make one for us and one for my daughter.

Now I just need to find time to make them.

We had a great day at the quilt shop today. Two van loads of ladies that were on their way from Florida to a quilting retreat came by and ran us ragged for about an hour. They were really having a lot of fun. Made me want to jump in their van and go with them. They planned on hitting 17 quilt shops by the time they got home.

We also had a meeting of the Elm Creek Club and talked about next year's project. If you haven't read the books by Jennifer Chiaverini, I highly recommend them. We are going to work on the quilt shown here. There are 140 6-inch blocks and it will be a long-term project. It should be a lot of fun - just have to decide what fabrics to use.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Busy Day at the Quilt Shop

We were busy all day at the quilt shop. I can't believe how many people get up early to get a free quilt block. When we open the shop at 8:30, we have a long line outside and it doesn't stop until the last Saturday Sampler session at 11:00. Makes for a long day so I really don't have anything to report.

I did deliver one of the customer quilts today. She comes to the early session and it was so busy I just handed her the bag with her quilt in it. Usually, I have the time to open up the quilt and show it to them but she is a repeat customer and understood. I just got an email from her about how much she loves the quilt. That always makes me feel good.

Hopefully my other customer will feel well enough to pick up her quilt tomorrow. She had Chemo yesterday so wasn't sure she would be able to make it to the shop. If she doesn't feel well enough, I will offer to deliver it to her house - it is the least I can do.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I have many customer quilts to finish before Christmas so I have been concentrating on them.

The one above is called Bodacious and was made by Charlotte. She is going to teach this quilt at Tiny Stitches. I have more photos of it on my webshots in album Customer Quilts 2007 - 2. I also completed 3 more quilts in the last few days and will post photos to webshots in the next day or so.

My mouth feels better today but is still a little sore. Don't get the permanent crowns in until the end of November.

Tomorrow is the first Saturday of the month. That means that we start early at the shop for Saturday Sampler. It is a madhouse on the first Saturday of each month. We open early so it makes a very long day. I never get any quilting done on Saturdays because I am so tired from working. Since I only work Saturdays and Sundays, I guess I can stand being tired one day a week. Sunday is an easy day since we are only open 4 hours.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I started out the day by going to Jenny Craig to pick up food for the week. I am trying once more to get back on track. Then I got my haircut. I have a great hairdresser and we have decided to let it grow out a little.

Next I went to the dentist. I have a cracked front tooth and a very old crown on the other one. The cracked one is looking worse all the time so it is time for a new crown. Unfortunately, the older one is not a good color for the rest of my teeth so the dentist convinced me that she needed to do both of them so they would match.

When I was 18 years old (about a million years ago), I tripped on a sprinkler head next to the sidewalk and fell flat on my face. I fell so fast that I didn't even get time to put my arms up to soften the blow. Of course, if I had, I probably would have had a broken arm. Instead, I hit my front teeth on the sidewalk. Turns out that three of the teeth were damaged so bad that they were actually dead. They started turning color years later and I ended up with crowns and root canels on three of them. The cracked one is the last of the bad teeth.

Anyway, I spent over four hours at the dentist today. I really like our dentist and think she does a great job but it was a miserable day and my front teeth (the temporary crowns) ache. I hope I can sleep tonight - will take some Tylenol PM now and hope for the best.
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