Saturday, July 28, 2007

Prayers Needed for Preemie

Remember this preemie quilt I made? I forgot to take a picture when it was done, and I did not even take a picture of my niece with it.... she has been on bedrest in the hospital. I gave it to her, and she thought it was quite cute. Her baby is coming today! They have been unable to stop the premature labor that started a few days ago. She is at 27 and 1/2 weeks, so this baby is going to need our prayers. Hoping for the best.........

update on 7/29 -- labor stopped on its own, so for now we're back in a wait and see mode. Niece is already half way dilated, so it could be any time. Thanks for your prayers. The need is still there.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Twin Girls!

There is a family at church who just had twin girls! It was a long pregnancy for poor Mom. She had to be on bedrest and was so uncomfortable. Finally the babies were born. The little one had to have surgery, but now they are both home, and the family is getting settled in. Big Brother reportedly is in love with his new sisters. Aren't they all adorable????

I was thinking about age, and realized sadly that these young parents probably consider me Old. I'm likely the age of or even older than their parents! They maybe think I have my life all figured out, I'm an expert at child rearing as mine are both adults now.... ha! Inside I don't feel THAT much removed from where they are in life. I remember those early days. Are those days really 20+ years ago now?? Time is funny, isn't it.

Yesterday I spent some time at church using the nice, big tables for basting quilts and then quilting them. I finished three quilts and was going to send them all off to various charities such as Project Linus... but now I'm tempted to give the two little ones to these little baby girls. First I'll find out if they have loads of quilts and blankets already filling up their home. I wonder if Big Brother has one, too.

This picture shows the pile of quilts I had with me at church yesterday. The top two are baby quilts that are rather small... perfect for little twins (both girls hovering around 6 pounds, more or less). The brownish one is for Wrap Them in Love. And the bottom one is a quilt I made for my brother-in-law. I picked it up from the machine quilter yesterday, and I LOVE it! Thank you for your great work again, Diane!

None of these has been bound yet. I need to get busy on bindings, but first, there is a birthday party to attend this afternoon.

Have a great week, everyone! And remember, young or old, we're all bumbling through this life, doing our best, trying to figure it all out. We'll finally Get It when we're in heaven, I think. (Warm thoughts of my dad who is in heaven, welcoming his brother who died this week.. my uncle who looked a lot like my dad.) I'm feeling sentimental!
P.S. I'm doing the Pay It Forward thing.. first three people who sign up with me will get a gift from me (I have a year to get it made and sent). Meanwhile, you also make this offer and send gifts to three who sign up with you. Fun? Please say yes and sign up!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Featured Quilters

Guess what... I was asked to be a featured quilter at our next guild show in February 08. Because I give away so many of the quilts I make, I am going to have to get super busy finishing some quilts to keep, so I can fill the display case that will be mine. My pal, Sally, is the other Featured Quilter, and she is just like me ... gives away most of what she makes. She and I are going to have a busy few months getting ready for the show.

I am having fun discovering old UFOs. Some of them I had forgotten about! I worked on this most of today.

These blocks have to be about seven years old. My friend Carrie from Nebraska and I made blocks in double sets and shared a set with each other, so we each ended up with the same pile of blocks (20 of them). I have been intending to work on this and never dreamed I would let it sit around this long. I am liking this tipsy turvy setting I'm using. I hope to make this quilt queen size. I have never made one that large, and my hubby and I use a store-bought quilt on our bed! It's time to get this one done and have a home-made quilt, finally, to cuddle under.

That's all my news for now. I have to get up early for work tomorrow and already stayed up too late. Where does the time go???

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Cat and Some Blocks

Our daughter's cat needed a vacation. He lives with her in an un-air-conditioned apartment, and it was just too blasted hot. He came to our house to cool off and to get reacquainted with us. She misses him, so I'm posting pictures -- she wanted to know what he has been doing.

This spot at the front door is a favorite place, rivaled only by the back door where he can attempt to hunt our neighborhood chipmunk. I swear that chipmunk knows the cat is there but safely out of reach. It'll come right up to the door and sit there teasing the poor cat! Anyway, this spot at the door keeps him occupied for hours as he watches the world go by.

When he knew I was following him around to take his picture, he decided to do his stretch and roll routine.

After all that hard work, he needed a snack.

And finally, he went to the front window, another favorite spot, especially at nap time. It's a good place to see some great bird activity. By the way, even though it was horribly hot when he came, it cooled off nicely and so we can enjoy having the windows and door open, which is really fun for the cat. He's an indoor cat, but he just loves the fresh air he gets when we can open up.

When the cat is not inspecting my fabric or my sewing machine, I manage to get a few blocks made. I'm making RWB blocks for To The Top which gives quilts to vets. Here's what I have made so far. I thought I had more than that, but I guess not.... better get back to work!

Note to daughter: I am working downstairs, and I can hear him running back and forth upstairs. I don't know what has caught his attention up there, but he is getting some good exercise.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Quilts, Old and New

I went out of town again for a short visit to my mom and sister. I had some fun quilty experiences during my weekend in addition to visiting. I took some time to wander up and down the main street of my home town. All the shops have changed since my childhood, of course, so everything was new. I haven't taken time to look at the shops for many years.

I found some really great quilts in an antique shop! They had a lot of them! I couldn't afford my favorite one which was this (and made me think of Lucy and her poison green, although this one isn't quite poison-ish enough):

Here's one that some crazy quilters might like:

There were more, but I didn't get pictures of the others. Here are the quilts I purchased!! I really like them! If any of you are good at dating fabrics, can you tell me what era you think these are from? I'm guessing the small one is 50's-60's, and the large one is about 40's or 50's?? I may be way off. These are tied and nothing fancy, but they are soft and well loved.
Here's the small, lap size one, followed by a close-up of the fabrics.

Here's the large one, followed by a close-up of the backing fabric. (Isn't it wild?!)

I love how both of these quilts are so soft and well-loved. They make me wonder about the person who made them, probably a woman. The large one was made to keep her family warm and cuddled. People slept happily under it, and kids played on top of it. Somehow in the end, no one wanted it any more. But I do!! It represents a lot of love and emotion to me, and I plan to use it for naps and just sitting under to read or watch TV.

I know some people carefully store or display their quilts and don't want to use them, especially antiques. But I am of the belief that quilts are made to be used, and a well-used one is well-loved and is full of the thoughts and dreams of its maker and its users. Fabric doesn't last forever, so while it's still useable, I'm going to use it!

Of course, if I owned an award-winning Paducah-quality quilt, I might change my story. But for now I'm very much a utilitarian quilt maker and quilt user. And I hope the quilts I give away get used and loved.

On our way back home we went through a small town and found this -- a couple of Amish girls were sitting in a grassy area along the road, selling quilts, food, and baskets. They let me take pictures, as long as I didn't photograph the girls themselves. The hand quilting was really beautiful. I wish the photos would show that better. The quilts were pretty, but I think they used a lot of fabrics that were cotton/poly blends. That surprised and sort of disappointed me. There's a plain whole-cloth baby quilt here, with pastel prairie points. It's so pretty and is beautifully quilted! I took a picture of it, but it just looked like a blank fabric. Wish I could show you the detail, but this is what you get! (There are breads and pies on the table. I bought a loaf of bread, and a strawberry pie.)

On this one you can sort of see the quilting in the lone star quilt.

You can see a little of the whole-cloth baby quilt and its beautiful quilting. I don't know if these pictures will enlarge when you click on them. Try it and see!

The jars are honey and various jams.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! This marks the end of my week off, and the end of my free time for sewing and such. I sure had a great week! Now I'm going back to work but only part-time, so I'm still pretty lucky with having time off.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Preemie Quilt May Be Needed

This evening I made this little preemie quilt top. It is 24" square. I am going to back it with flannel, but I don't have any on hand that will match. I'll buy some tomorrow. My niece is in the hospital on bedrest, trying to keep her baby from being born too soon! I think she is at 24 weeks right now. It would be difficult for the little wee one to make its appearance now. There would be worries and possibly some icky procedures for the poor thing to endure. I just hope they can all hold off until much later... a good six weeks or more would be excellent. If not, they will be needing a preemie quilt, which is why I made this tonight -- for that 'just in case' scenario. Best thing would be if the baby waits and is born full term, and this can be its first doll or teddy bear blanket!

I also started another top using donated orphan blocks. I used a fun "slap them together in quick fashion" method. That means, very little planning. It needs more additions, so at this point no one knows what it will look like in its final form, especially me!

Oh! I forgot to thank you for the comments regarding my first "orphan train" top. After I asked you about it, I left it hanging on the closet doors overnight. When I looked at it again the next morning, I decided it looked fine, and that some kid will love it and not even notice that the border might have been better in a different color. So off it goes to a volunteer machine quilter.
And finally, I got a border on this one which is also orphan blocks so it counts as one of Finn's orphan train challenges, I guess. This one will go to Wrap a Smile -- -- click on Wrap a Smile to read about what it is.

Send some good, healthy thoughts the way of my niece and her baby, please! (For those of you who know my family members, this niece is on my husband's side.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Done by Midnight

Here's the orphan top that I finished last night at 11:30 p.m. (I describe this project in my previous post.) I wanted to use stash fabrics for the borders, but now I'm thinking that blue fabric doesn't do this quilt any favors. I don't have any other that would be better, so I'd have to go shopping. And I hate doing borders, so the thought of ripping this one off and re-doing it gives me heebie-jeebies. What do you think? Is this border acceptable, or does it take away from the quilt like I think it does? It'll go to a child or teen in an orphanage.. perhaps that child won't be so demanding about having a perfect border. (?)

When it's done (which may take several years if I need to re-do that border), it'll go to Wrap Them in Love. You can read about it here:

Monday, July 02, 2007

Orphans Find a Home!

I took Finn up on her challenge to use up orphan blocks. She is posting pictures of the gorgeous results at Riding the Orphan Train (see the link in my list of blogs to the right). A while ago I volunteered to accept orphan blocks from members of a charity quilt group. I got several in the mail, and Finn's challenge has given me the kick-start I needed. I'm pulling them all together to make some tops. Here is a photo of the beginnings... a sneek peak at what I'm working with. (One of the blocks fell on the floor; it's shy.) Last night I slapped them up on my design wall, and today I'm putting them together. It's fun, and I hope this turns out half as pretty as the others that Finn has already posted.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fiddley- Diddley

I have been quick to adapt to my time-off status and have been moving slowly. I just fiddle-diddle on things and have not made huge headway on anything. But that's OK, too. For now I have no huge, looming deadlines.

This doll quilt was one of my UFOs. Those 16-patches are made with 1-in squares. I was originally thinking of selling the doll, a basket she sleeps in, her outfit, and the quilt at a church bazaar, but I'm kind of attached to all of them now and haven't decided if I can part with them. After all, I may be lucky enough to have a grandchild at some far point in the future, and he/she will want a baby to play with.

I also finally made some blocks for our guild project. We are helping make quilts for Home of the Brave, Minnesota Chapter. Quilts go to Minnesota families who have lost a son/daughter, father/mother, husband/wife in the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. These are the blocks we make. They're quick and easy; I had just put off doing them for several months. (We use Civil War reproductions and those are not my favorites, so I find them easy to put off.) Unfortunately, the need keeps growing, so I'll try to keep contributing. We collect signatures in the middle square.

On another topic, I have a new cell phone that has a camera in it (a first, for me). I don't know how to get the pictures from camera to computer. Can anyone explain it simply for a not-too-swift-with-new-gadgets person?