Friday, June 29, 2007

Just a Mini

For some reason I made this little miniature quilt. Don't ask me why. I just found myself working on it. The little squares are 1-inch. The total quilt is 8" x 9". I kinda don't like the way I quilted it, but I like everything else about it... especially the fact that I started it in the evening and had it done by midnight. Maybe this little mini quilt celebrates the fact that I have the next ten days off! WooHoo!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Full Weekend

I went to a quilt retreat this weekend. It was very hot, and that squelched my interest in doing a lot of sewing. Another factor: it took place at a camp in my home town. When I felt too hot I went into town to visit my mom and my sister. So ... I didn't get a lot of sewing done, but I still had a good time. When I did sew, I got some good things accomplished. And I took time to swim and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I have always loved waves and the lapping sound against the shore. At night we enjoyed cool breezes off the lake, so sleeping was very comfortable.

This is one of my completed tasks. I made the top a few years ago, and finally got the borders on this weekend. (Does anyone else hate borders? It's my least favorite part.) I finally can get it quilted! It's a pattern whose name I have forgotten, but I found it on-line at quiltindex dot com. It's a lap size quilt that I plan to keep.

Here is the lodge where we did our sewing (with lake around it on three sides).

Here's the beautiful lake. It's a clear, clean lake - great for swimming - cold but refreshing.

Part of the excitement of going into town from the campground was to visit my sister's new bookstore! It opened on Saturday, and I was too excited to NOT be there. My sister did a fantastic job setting up this new business. The store is attractive, comfortable, and the book selection is excellent. It's very exciting to have a bookstore in the family!

If you click on this picture (above) it'll get larger, and you'll see my ABC sampler quilt in the background. It looks nicer there than it did at my house! I have a 2nd quilt hanging in the store just out of view, to the right of that doorway in the back. By the way, I have no idea why some pictures get larger when you click on them, and some don't. Can anyone explain that to me?

That's my mom in the pink shirt. If you ever visit Alexandria, Minnesota, please stop in at Cherry Street Books (503 Broadway). Have a cup of coffee and go home with a wonderful treasure to enjoy reading.

After the retreat was done, and the bookstore was closed for the weekend, we got to watch a band festival parade! I no longer have children or nieces marching in this fun parade, but I still enjoy watching it and cheering for the wonderful bands. They work so hard and do fantastic shows, in all kinds of weather! This year's was HOT and WINDY. Aren't these flags pretty?

This band in red and yellow is from the school my kids attended. Both of them marched with this band in previous years. That guy in the shorts is a judge. He's speaking critique comments into a hand-held recorder.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

MQ Show

Minnesota Quilters annual show took place last week... quilts were fabulous! I accidentally went there without my camera. Luckily my FIL had a digital camera with him and let me take charge of it for the day. I took a lot of photos, but I feel funny posting them, so I'll just show you the Best Of. Pictures don't do them justice at all, as I'm sure you know. And I apologize for my pictures that are bad. I use the excuse that I was using a new-to-me camera.

Here's Best of Show, Large Quilt - made by someone in Nebraska. I didn't record any of the names of quilts or quilters.

Best of Show, Hand Quilting

Best of Show, Long Arm Quilting (sorry, the quilting doesn't show at all)

Best of Show, Wall Quilt - I wobbled!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Which setting to use??

This weekend I made four pp'd blocks (pattern by Carol Doak). I am trying to figure out how I want to use them. Here are my options:

1) a straight setting of all 4

2) an on-point setting using five blocks. I'd have to make one more block. The blobs of fabric are there to help visualize a fifth block in that space.

3) an on-point setting using four blocks.

4) three blocks in a table runner. The fourth block would go to a RWB block collection that is happening at one of my on-line groups, or I could use the two halves or four quarters of it to add interesting block parts to the ends of the runner.

Which is your personal favorite? Or do you have any brilliant ideas other than what I have shown here? So far I haven't even thought about borders and all those options that will come into play when I settle on the setting. Here's one more thought: I don't use table runners very often. I'm more apt to make use of a wall hanging, or even use it as a table cloth/table covering. However I *like* table runners and might use them more often if I had a better variety on hand.
It's after 1:00 a.m. here and high time to sleep and stop thinking about these blocks. If you feel like voting for a setting option, I look forward to your thoughts. If not, that's OK, too. Nighty-night!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pam's Quilts

Thursday night I attended a guild meeting in Woodbury. The speaker was Pam Witt from Omaha, NE. Pam and I both grew up in Alexandria, MN, and our families have known each other for years. So it was fun to see Pam again after many years and to see her beautiful quilts.
She does a lot of applique. I admire anyone who can do it so beautifully! Although I love the look of applique, I'm very bad at it. I don't think I'll ever be much of an appliquer. Enjoy Pam's quilt show (and if you live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, please read my note at the end.)

Pam with her rooster quilt.

The above quilt top was not made by Pam. Believe it or not, Pam got this from her chiropractor. The chiropractor has a bunch of tops made by his/her grandmother. They were described as "nasty." Some have been thrown out, and others donated to Goodwill. This one was in the car to be taken to Goodwill. Pam thought quickly and suggested an exchange. She made a lap size quilt for the chiropractor and in exchange was given this top.

Pam shows what she calls a feminine quilt that she likes to give as gifts. Hey, Pam.. my birthday is in September! (wink)

This quilt by Pam is currently hanging in the Minnesota Quilters annual show taking place at the River Centre in St. Paul. I went there today and had a great time looking at all the absolutely gorgeous quilts. What a bunch of awesome quilts!

This is a closeup of Pam's quilt. It was quilted by Karen Kielmeyer. Karen does beautiful work, too. (Karen has also quilted several of my sister's quilts.)


Here's my note for Twin Cities quilters: my local guild, Dakota County Star Quilters, would like to have Pam come speak for our annual show which will be next February 2008. We are looking for another area guild who would like to hire Pam for speaking and/or teaching at the same time in 2008. Pam has to drive here from Nebraska, and we could use some help sharing the mileage costs. If you are in a guild that is searching for an interesting and entertaining speaker, Pam is just the ticket! In addition, she wants to become more known in this market. Sharing the mileage costs would be very helpful. Just send me an e-mail if you think your guild might be interested.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm Free!!!

Oh, man, am I tired! Today was my last day at work for the school year. Hooray!! It has been a long, tough year. I'm so tired!

I'm not totally free for the summer as I continue to work part-time, but the every-day schedule is done for now, and I can relax. Ohhhhhhh, that sounds great right now. My feet are killing me, and I'm pooped from the hot, windy day today (high about 90 deg F, 32 C).

Last weekend I finished this quilt that was half-way made by Lori and sent to me with some other orphan blocks and fabric. I finished this for her and hope to work on more orphan projects for the next few days and make some good progress on using them up. They will go to Wrap a Smile that gives quilts to kids after they undergo cleft lip and cleft palate surgery. It's a program associated with Rotary groups who travel around the world doing these surgeries that change kids lives. Read more about it here:
Click on the Wrap a Smile tab.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Gorgeous Tractor Factory

Last night hubby and I went out for dinner to The Old Spaghetti Factory in Minneapolis. I had heard of it many times, but never been there. I had no idea what I was missing all these years! What a beautiful place! It is an old, converted Case Tractor factory. The furniture they have in there is fantastic - big, ornately carved wooden pieces and fancy chairs. You can see a bit of that in this picture of the entry way. Some people walked in front just as I snapped, so you can't see much of the huge front desk where they check you in.

There are stained glass windows everywhere, too. I bet those guys (and hopefully some gals) who built tractors never dreamed how pretty and clean their building would one day become. I'm sure they didn't enjoy ornate furniture and stained glass windows like we did last night.

The food was fantastic, too. I keep forgetting to get a picture of a food experience in a great restaurant. Food pictures are hard to do, but one of these days I want to remember to try.

After dinner we went to a play at the Guthrie. Not my favorite play, and it was long - 3 hours - so I was tired when we finally got home. No quilty pictures yet, but I'm hoping to get a little done today. I just did some yard work (uffda! pulling weeds is hot work!) so I think I've earned some sewing time now.
I hope you are having a fun weekend, doing something you love!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

He Liked It

Went to nephew's party today and gave him the quilt. He liked it, and I got a nice hug from him.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Today's Task

First, I want to say a big Dobry Den (Hello!) to my pal Ruzena from Czech Republic!!! Ruzena figured out, with the help of her daughter, Hanicka, how to navigate into my blogs and check out what I'm up to. Ruzena, I think it is great to have you visiting my blog! Next step, Hanicka can show you how to do your own blog, so I can check on YOU! :-)

above: the quilt as a "flimsy" (before being quilted)

Today I am working on the binding for this quilt. It is a high school graduation gift for our nephew, Carter. Tomorrow we are going to his party, so I am scurrying to finish the binding today. Last minute, as usual... I guess I work well under pressure.
Carter asked for green, for jaggedy lines, and he asked for some Tlingit art work in the middle. Hmmmmmm... at first I wasn't sure what to do about the Tlingit art work. (Tlingit is the Alaskan Native tribe of which my husband's family are members. Carter is a nephew in the Tlingit line.) The green and the jaggedy lines were easy (log cabin block, green "logs").

I did manage to make one Tlingit-style killer whale, thanks to inspiration from Israel Shortridge, an artist who has a studio in Seattle. Here is a link to his gallery and gift shop web page:

I apologize to the Tlingit people for my rough rendition of Tlingit art. I certainly can't do it justice so made only this one piece and hope Carter will be happy with it.

The quilt was machine quilted by Diane of Diane's Creative Machine Quilting. Here's her website:

Didn't she do a great job?? She gave it a lot of thought and went with some of what I suggested, even though I think she wasn't thrilled by my ideas... she put her own slant on them (running her ideas past me, which I appreciated) and the quilt turned out gorgeous. She did a nice watery look in the center where the whale is. She did leaves in the white logs and serpentine lines in the green logs. She did more leaves in the black border and serpentine lines in the outer green border. I really love how it turned out.

Next fall Carter will head off to Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, and will take this quilt with him to keep him happy and warm. I hope he has a wonderful, fun, and insightful adventure at Carleton!
Now I need to get busy on that binding.........