Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vote, Please?

Option 5

Option 6

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

I made 16 blocks and am contemplating a setting for them. I photographed four options, then two more. That's why the numbering (above) is funny. Would you like to tell me which setting you prefer? I'm just curious what YOU would do with these blocks.

This is what is going to happen to this quilt: it will be hand delivered to some baby or child in Panama! In fact, I hope it will make its way to the hospital in which I was born. Yes, I was born in Panama and lived there for 2.5 years. Now someone I know is planning a trip there; I asked if she could take along a quilt or two. I have my fingers crossed that my quilt(s) will end up at the hospital where I took my first breath.

Now whether that alters how you vote, I don't know. Just thought I'd share that story.... so, which design do you like best for this little quilt, for a baby in Panama, for a baby at "my" hospital??

Monday, January 28, 2008

Totally Done!

Wheeeeee! Tonight I finished the last stitch on the last label on the last quilt that's to be hung in the show... in 3 days I will go help get my display started. Final set-up is on Saturday, and the show officially opens next week.

It feels great to get to this point! I am happy I was asked to be a featured quilter, even though it has been more stressful than I anticipated. I worried about what to finish, how many to finish, would they be good enough, and would I get everything done in time. I feel good now and am satisfied it will be an adequate show..pretty quilts that won't embarrass me, and so many UFOs done. I'm proud of myself!

Tonya's advice to make quilts with love and to ignore the Quilt Police helped me a lot. So her quote saying as much is framed and ready to include in the show.

Next week I'll post pictures of the show including the other gorgeous quilts made by the very talented people in my guild. Just wait 'til you see them all!!! (And thanks for listening to my rants about this process.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Helping the Children

Whenever I'm sewing quilts for kids - quilts that I will give away to various charities - I tell my husband that I am busy "helping the children." This works to explain why I am not busy preparing supper, doing laundry, or otherwise occupied caring for the household. He's a sweet guy and just smiles and then fills in where I'm not pulling my weight.

Here are the two quilts I recently made for the children. I made a third, but I used some high loft, polyester batting that someone gave me. It is sooo hard to work with! And it makes the quilt look all wonky in a bad way. So I'm not showing that picture. My daughter loves the high loft, cushiony look it makes, but it's so hard to work with that I only use it very occasionally when I have run out of the batting that I prefer. I suppose with this lofty stuff I should tie the quilts. That process does not appeal to me in the least. So... meanwhile I have this giant roll of fat polyester batting taking up room in my house.... and a couple weeks ago another woman gave me another roll! Yikes!

I'm just waiting for my next pay check so I can buy some cotton batting again. Then I'll be happy and more productive. What kind of batting do my reader(s) use and prefer?

P.S. You can see on photo #1 above that I am still having issues uploading photos. See the line of color change? This is the best attempt out of 5 to get this photo posted here. I think editing photos (e.g., enhancing colors) contributes to the difficulties in posting photos, but I don't know why, because I have done that forever, and this problem is recent. However, I do seem to have an easier time when I don't edit. But then my pictures don't appear as sharp and colorful. And these two are NOT edited, so why did that first one post so reluctantly?? Frustrating...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Meet Steve

Steve is our new housemate. I bought him at Ikea for only $5. He is poseable and likes to dance and do strange contortions. Steve was getting a little cold, so he was granted his wish of a quilt of his own. (Don't tell him it is still just a flimsy.. it hasn't been quilted, or really even designed, for that matter. He'll never know the difference.)

Steve is so happy to be warm! He'll need this quilt on Wednesday when the high is supposed to be a whopping 4 degrees F (about -17 C).

Monday, January 21, 2008


It has been very cold here... well below zero every night and highs barely at or above zero degrees F. Even my dolls are getting cold and have to wrap up in quilts to stay warm.

Luckily we humans warmed up at a surprise party for my sister who is turning 60 tomorrow (Tuesday)! These sparkly candles added to the warm ambiance. Happy Birthday, KP!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Wonky Neighborhood

I have been working on show quilts and making good progress. So to reward myself I took some time to do something fun. First I made a couple of preemie quilts.. one is completed, one is not.

Then I worked on house blocks. When we have our annual show, we always sponsor a couple of classes for our guild members. I am taking a mystery class to which I need to bring ten blocks, size 6.75" . They are supposed to be all the same, ten of one thing (like ten hearts). Since 6.75" is an unusual size, I decided to make wonky houses for my ten blocks. After a while I started to get the hang of how to size them approximately correct so they could end up at 6.75".

Here are the ten blocks I will take to the mystery class. I decided to be a rebel and bring one that is slightly different - trees - but it still fits into the neighborhood. I am curious as to what the setting will be and how it will work with my wonky houses. The class isn't until Feb 16, so it'll be a while before we all see the result.

In my process of making 6.75" house blocks, I ended up with a couple of them that are too big. I had no idea the falling-down house was going to be in a flood until I got to the end of it. If I had known that, I would have used an ominous-looking sky. Oh, well. I really like it, even without a stormy sky.

I have Monday off and hope to get more sewing done! Maybe I'll post more pictures tomorrow, maybe not. It has been fun to stay put inside my warm house and sew to my heart's content.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Basket for Darcie

I sent some goodies off to Darcie, and she has received them and seems pleased. I sent her this basket block. I made it and really liked how it turned out, but I'm not crazy about basket quilts in general, so I didn't feel inspired about how to use it. I decided it would be a good blogiversary gift, and I thought Darcie could do something clever with it. I'm glad she likes it! I sent her some fabric and other misc stuff, too.

Has it cooled off in Australia? It's definitely cool here in the upper midwest! Brrrr. Great weekend to stay inside with the fireplace going, and sew, sew, sew (preferably on a binding on a very large quilt so it can sit on your lap and feet while you sew). Right now where I live it is about -8 deg. F (about -23 deg. C), and dipping fast.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Part-Time Hippie Finds Some Thread

You're Not Exactly a Hippie...

While you're not a hippie, you've got the spirit of one.
Like most hippies, you have deep beliefs and unusual interests.

You may not buy into hippie fashions, music, or heavy drug use.
But at heart, you are a free spirit and suspicious of the status quo.

I took the Hippie test and find that I'm not a full Hippie, just a sort-of hippie. Sounds about right!

I was in a bathroom at a local college and found this tiny thread. It's probably from someone's travel sewing kit. Thread was splayed out on the counter top, and this was standing there looking all lonely, so I brought it home and used it to make a black binding. Now it's happy because it's doing a good deed and no longer abandoned in the bathroom. The hippie in me wanted to rescue this cute, little spool of thread. The blue one is there just to show how tiny the black one is.

Peace, sister.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sew Busy

I have been busy... sewing! I'm doing last minute details on quilts I will hang in our show. Bindings, hanging sleeves, labels. I'm tired of bindings! But it feels good to be nearing the end of show preparation.

Meanwhile, I felt like I was doing so well (preparation-wise) for the show that I could take some time to work on fun donation quilts. This is what I really love to do. I finished this house one that you saw in progress.

I finished this fall-colors top that is made from Lotto block winnings. Both of these will be quilted by someone other than moi and then sent on to some kids who need hugs.

I made some Lotto blocks over the weekend. First you see the little 6-inchers I sometimes send to Nancy, the coordinator, as a little gift.

These are the Lotto blocks for January.

This is the February block. I might make more later, but after I got one done I felt like stopping, so I sent it in with January.

Today I put Darcie's little gift in the mail. I hope she likes it!

And by the way, thank you so much for all the visitors and the comments. I love it! I appreciate knowing that people stop by my little blog!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Houses and UFOs

Hooray, it's the weekend! I truly love weekends. We had yummy pizza for supper, and then I treated myself to just having fun at the sewing machine. I was playing with houses ala Tonya. I'm still working on the technique. I'm not crazy about the roof on this one, but I love the window and the chimney.

I like my cute smiley skeleton in the window. I hope he doesn't scare some little kid.

Apparently this is a house in Australia. Looks like the kangaroo is going to crash into the side of the house.

These houses are becoming the last row in a very old UFO. Here's the UFO, patiently waiting for me to finish it. (Oh, what? Already? After only 3 million years? What's the rush?) I made all the blocks except for the cool weeping willow tree. I don't know who made that one. I have been the recipient of many orphan blocks over the years and can't keep track of who made what. I can barely remember my own name most days!

This house didn't make it into this UFO but will definitely get used in another.

I have been slowly whittling away at my UFOs and intend to keep doing so in 2008. I would love to get them down to just a handful. Last time I pulled them all out I didn't even dare count them all. This house UFO will soon be done, and it will go to Wrap a Smile, for a kid getting a new smile after cleft lip surgery.

And yes, I am posting this at 2-something a.m.!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

...and the winner is...

Wow, thanks for all the comments! I have drawn a name from all those who left comments. And the winner is........... oh, first I will post a picture or two. Teehee, how's that for forcing you to slog your way through my whole posting?!

Remember a while back I showed you this table runner? I finally got the binding on it (with one or two maladjusted corners, but what's a girl to do?). And I decided to put it and the little basket quilt in the small quilt auction at our store. The show opens on Feb 6 and then anyone who wants to can come bid on our small quilts (as well as enjoy gazing at all the gorgeous quilts in our show)! Come on, folks. One person is coming all the way from California! So can't you hop on a plane, too, and come from Australia, Japan, Norway, Iowa or wherever you happen to be at the moment? I promise our show will be worth it!

I got the binding on this giant quilt that Darcie quilted for me. What a big piece of fabric to be pushing around and through my little machine. But I was happy to get the binding on. It always adds so much to it to get a quilt completely done... all I have left now is a label.

Oh, I almost forgot. The reason I'm showing you this picture of the quilt that Darcie quilted for me... well, yes, to brag that I got the binding done on it. But the other reason is that Darcie won my drawing!!! I get to send her a prize of some kind. So watch out, Darcie. I don't know what it is yet so I can't even tell you that it is something cool. I'll put my thinking cap on and let you know when it's on its merry way.

Thanks for helping me celebrate my two-year Blogiversary!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Help me Celebrate -- a Prize Drawing!

I started my blog two years ago, on January 4, 2006. I can't believe it is two years old already. I've had such fun meeting people from all over the world, learning from very talented quilters, and reading all your blogs. Thanks to everyone who visits and leaves comments.

In celebration of my two year anniversary, I will have a little prize for someone. Leave a comment here by 10 p.m. (central time, USA) on Thursday, Jan 10. I'll draw a name and that person will win something. Right now I have no idea what, but I'll have fun coming up with something special for you, winning person.

*** Happy anniversary to my blog and me! ***

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Two Wall Hangings Done!

Done! I'm counting the rainbow wall hanging as done, even though it isn't bound yet. The binding is made, and I hope to get it attached this evening!

The kangaroos project is totally done! Quilted, bound, labeled, and hanging on my dining room wall!

I guess I'm excited as I'm using only exclamation points in these sentences!

Friday, January 04, 2008


I usually think of myself as a utilitarian quilter. I make "normal" quilts and hope they get used on beds and for cuddles. The other day I ran across a pattern (for a wall hanging) and some fabrics I had completely forgotten that I had. I made the wall hanging and just love it! It makes me feel like an artist! The pattern is Frames by Maple Island Quilts, and the fabrics are all from Australia, designed by Aborigine people. I quilted it tonight (Friday) and hope to get it bound tomorrow (Saturday). Here's a photo of it as a flimsy (before quilting)... that's kangaroos in the center piece. I named this quilt Kangaroo-Gazing, because our quilt show theme is Star Gazing. I think it'll really jazz up my display at the quilt show, don't you?!