Sunday, December 28, 2008

More About Quilts

I received this awesome quilt a couple days before Christmas, only it was wrapped so I didn't peek. The pattern is Fractured Stars and made by my friend Lynda in Nevada. She had been a neighbor and quilting buddy and then moved away. We lost contact for about five years and this year we re-connected. I sent her a gift of a quilt for our joint birthdays in July and she said I inspired her to quilt again and I got this really, really cool quilt!
This is a top I pieced this week. The blocks were made by members of WASIQ and sent to my friend Debi on her parents passing. She had an awesome blue batik in her stash and this summer I brought it and the blocks home and finally assembled a top for her. I plan to quilt it this week.
In August I went on the Crazy Eight Shop here in northern Idaho/Eastern Washington. I saw this border print and a book called Cabin Fever at The Crazy Quilter in Deary Idaho, an awesome shop in a teeny tiny town. I cut it out Friday night this week and finished it yesterday. It has minmal quilting and the applique stitching down is done as part of the quilting to make it faster. My oldest daughter loves it, and really I made it with her in mind!
This is a quilt I finished quilting this past week. I didn't make the top, my friend Joann in Arizona made the top for her oldest daughter designing it as she went. I volunteered to quilt it and had a lot of fun doing different designs. My closeups didn't show well since the thread color blended too well! Joann received the quilt Friday and already has the binding on!


Christmas happened. Not too exciting but here are a few pictures.
The first quilt is one I made for my boss, the head teacher at the one room school. She had to have an emergency appendectomy this fall and I took squares and fabric markers to school and the students were given instructions to make a "pretty" block. The artwork is interesting! I set it together and gave it to her for Christmas and she loved it. In fact she had been hinting! It was pretty funny. We have 19 students, grades K-6 so the lower hand block is one I made just saying the name of the school and my name, date, etc. In essence a label on the front of the quilt.

Next is a wallhanging I made from a kit from Keepsake Quilting . I actually made two of them, one is mine and one for my daughter Lisa. I love that the black was all precut, you just peeled the paper and fused!

This is our tree, a prelit one we bought the day after Thanksgiving at Home Depot. We have 8 foot ceilings and with the star on top it almost touches.

The fireplace mantle with many of the stockings I have collected or made. For a few years I was in stocking exchanges on a yahoo group, but didn't do it this year due to lack of time, but I have a few stockings. There are more to the left you can't see hanging on hooks under a shelf.

My "big" Christmas village. I have a smaller set too that is on the China Hutch.

Minneapolis in December

I had a chance to go with Doug to Minneapolis the first weekend of December. He was representing shareholders at an annual meeting and I thought I needed to get away. Despite the cold weather we had a fabulous time. Two other wives and I went to Mall of America on the train and the people of Minneapolis were all fabulous at giving directions. You just stood there in the Skyway system looking lost and they asked where you wanted to go, including a UPS man who walked us there!
Doug had a free afternoon the last full day there so we walked through many blocks of the skyway system to get closer to the Mississippi River before we had to go outside and brave the elements. The picture above is me at the southern edge and we walked across the bridge and the picture below is Doug on the northern edge. Well more or less, directions were hard to figure out in that city since things aren't laid out straight and the sun wasn't always shining! We took a scenic path back and and walked across a historic stone arch bridge (not pictured) that is longer open to traffic.The last night in Minneapolis the CEO took the other six of us from the Lewiston division out to dinner at a fantastic Brazilian place. Then as we were walking back to the Hilton we came across a Christmas parade. We had taxied to the restaurant and most of us weren't prepared for standing in a snowstorm but it was pretty to watch! I took quilting along but didn't have a chance to touch it!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Too Much Snow!

I am not a fan of snow. For that reason I live in the wrong area, but I'm not going to change the place I live. I love my house and family! Don't get me wrong, I think snow is pretty, in the fields, on mountains, etc., but not on the roads. It's also very necessary for water. However, our driveway is drifted shut yet again! This is one daughter's car that was parked here a week ago. She dropped her car off to get it's snow tires on and went to Boise for Christmas with her boyfriend.

I have been hiding out in my basement sewing room and quilting at least and don't have to go back to work until Jan. 5th! I managed to get out and do a major food stockup on Dec. 23rd so I guess I shouldn't complain. The snow started a lot later this year than last year!

Where did November and December go?

Time just continues to fly by! November was really busy with the major house cleaning and painting spree getting ready for Thanksgiving. That went well, there were 31 of us here.

However the weekend before Thanksgiving I managed to go to a retreat. I worked on a few things, one of them was this wallhanging. I had printed out photos on Printed Treasures fabric and then used lots of thread embellishing to enhance it. I love the way it turned out. The photos were all from my yard and were taken by my daughter Amy and myself. Here is a closeup of one of the flowers.
Another project I worked on was this wallhanging. 9 of the blocks were made for me in an exchange from a small yahoo group. I made three more and set the top together for a calendar quilt and got it done by the deadline of November 30!

Yet another project at the retreat was this tablerunner for a Christmas exchange on this same yahoo group. The recipient asked for cardinals and I had a picture of her dishes.

This is the one I received in exchange last week.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Another American Hero Quilt Top Finished

I just had the borders to add to this top and it would have been done long ago. It's a disappearing 9 patch from a great tutorial at this blog. Last night I didn't feel like machine quilting and decided to just cut and and sew borders. I had the previous top I made from an earlier post still sitting here so this morning I packaged them up and my son is mailing them off after school to American Hero Quilts.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Family Photo

I actually did it! I posted a photo of myself, along with my family to complement me! My daughter Amy took this photo when she was home in mid October with her camera remote. She is student teaching in Utah, although her mentor had a baby so Amy is in charge of the classes now. She is teaching Jr. High Algebra. Lisa is a Jr. in college majoring in Bio Engineering and Brad is a high school senior who plans on majoring in Agricultural Engineering (I think, he is interested in plant breeding). He is a hard worker and does a lot of work on the farm, takes care of our yard, garden, etc. We never know where he is, he loves to go out hiking in the woods behind our house.

Next year it will be empty nest time. Oh yes and less expense at the grocery store! Of course there are college expenses to deal with but we have been lucky with the girls and lots of scholarships and wages from summer jobs paying for a lot of their expenses.

This is a picture of our search and rescue dog Kanobi. He usually sleeps more on his back than this, but last month I tried to paint the wall "dog dirt brown" because of the dogs laying against it. It's really not pink like this photo shows but not as brown as I was going for. Kanobi is part lab and part border collie.

Yesterday I painted my family room, kitchen table area and hallway silver mist. It's a little bluer than I was going for (see a pattern here in my color choices). The prep work was horrible and now I need to paint the window and door casings and get the furniture back.

Then it's back to my regularly scheduled quilting!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Another Month Gone by

Note, the new photo on my blog title. Description below!

I can't believe it happened again. Another month went by. I have done some painting in my house, put in extra hours at work due to my boss's appendectomy, went to the big quilt show in Spokane or two days and did some sewing. I made my dad two heavyweight flannel shirts for his birthday this week. I am quilting on a commission quilt, but my big accomplishment was an original quilt I finished yesterday and delivered.

It started as a Brown Bag Challenge at Becky's Fabrics in Lewiston. I purchased a bag with three fabrics in it, but of course I couldn't see the fabrics. I kept procrastinating (story of my life) and had to do something. I just started cutting and made a strata using some fabrics in my stash and one of the challenge fabrics.

I then cut 6" squares from different directions on the strata and interspersed some squares of the focus fabric and assembled the top. I added a border of the floral, then cut paper flowers and played with placement and sizes. I did not use fusible web, just put some fusible thread under the edges of the flower shapes I cut to hold them down enough to heavily stitch them. I used batting, but no backing at this stage. I heavily machine quilted the piece and a
dded yarns and beads. Once I was finished I fused a backing onto the quilt and bound it. I didn't have to worry about hiding knots on the back this way! The finished quilt measures about 36 X 41. I got it entered one day before the deadline, I can't wait to get into the shop during the month of November to see all the challenge pieces!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Yuck, painting prep work!

This year we are hosting DH's family for Thanksgiving. Two years ago when we hosted there were about 35 people here counting us. That means it's time for my biannual spruce up the house thing. 11 years ago when we moved in all the walls were painted white. I painted them myself after doing all the texturing on the sheetrock also. I have been adding color here and there, but I have determined I only like one brand of paint, I just hope I can still find it! I used the 7 star Ace Hardware paint initially and that stuff is scrubbable and wonderful. The Behr from Home Depot is tolerable, and don't get me started on that nasty Color Place stuff from Walmart. I even tried the expensive Kilz II paint for the kids bathroom. YUCK!

Anyway today I have been scrubbing and prepping for painting, starting with my bathroom. My grandma had a completely lavendar/purple bathroom, down to purple tile! I am a purple fanatic, so that end I am going to paint my bathroom a pale lavender. I have a cool round robin quilt top in purple, white and turquioise I am going to put white on the back of and quick turn it adding ties for a shower curtain.

Now tomorrow it's off to Lewiston and Moscow for paint and supplies and oh yeah food. I hope I can still spend a day of my 4 day weekend quilting, I haven't done as much of that lately! Oh and I need to buy some some cool new bathroom accessories too!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Walking for Fitness

I'm easily amused. On my daily walk Monday I took my camera along. Too bad it was very smoky that day so most of my view pics didn't turn out well. The first pic is of my house, well kind of, it's way off in the distance about a mile away in those trees in the center of the picture. Just to the left of center you can see a metal thing, that is our grain elevator leg. We have home storage bins for wheat. I have a straight walk, it's just very hilly! Down in the hole to the left is DH's cousin's house, their son and my son are the same age and carpool to school. Then I took a picture of my shadow!


I just thought this was a cool perspective picture. I saw it flashing across as one of the hundreds of pics my son has as a screen saver on the other computer and said I needed a copy. He is 17 and takes pictures galore. We seem to own three of this type of tractor, that would have been even a cooler picture! The Great Plains drill is in front, don't ask me what the implement is hooked up to the second tractor is though. I can never keep all those straight.

However farmer boy sure knows his stuff. When he was 7 or 8 I had to drive grain truck for several days due to my FIL's medical emergency. I had no clue what I was doing, so Brad would ride along to tell me what to do and when to shift into those lower and upper gears. After several days we had some company and he wanted to play with his cousins and asked if I could drive by myself! Of course this is also the kid who drove a pickup when he was two! DH put the pickup in gear in the field and Brad stood on the seat and steered while DH sprayed weeds from the back!

It's October? Good grief!

So much for being a better blogger! I get behind and think everything is outdated so I don't end up posting. This is a picture of the "bag lady" exchange top the recipient recieved Monday. Sharon made me the gorgeous curvy top a couple posts ago and this is what I made in exchange. We could send blocks or fabric or a combination, but everything had to fit in a one gallon bag. Sharon sent 9 blocks and some fabrics and after much procrastination this is what I came up with. I added green and happened to find some of the same periwinkle blue in some of the blocks. It was a very fun exchange and I would love to get my top quilted up soon!

I didn't even put pictures of my 4 blue ribbons and best of show on my blog! Our county fair was in mid September and I entered 4 quilts in the professional category. It's easier to win where there is no competition! I swear the judge wasn't nearly as hard on my quilts as she was on the others. One should never in a million years have gotten a blue ribbon, but she didn't even turn it over!

I judged a different county fair last weekend and it is tough picking best of show. I gave this little quilt judges choice, although I only gave it an honorable mention during judging. This photo was from last April hanging at the Moscow, ID quilt show and the quilt belongs to Lisa Puckett. It's interesting judging a fair where you have seen quilt , know the maker and she was standing beside you while you judge!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mini Quilt Adventure

Friday I got the urge to start a new quilt. I don't know why, but I didn't have anything really lined up to enter in our county fair this coming week and I knew I didn't have time to make a queen size quilt!

I saw this pattern in the July 2003 Quick Quilts magazine and it was 55" square with 6" blocks. I have a collection of black and white fabrics and tons of brights but then I thought what if... I made it smaller. My quilt is 15" square with 1.5" blocks! I finished it today. It has 336 pieces not counting borders and binding and the littlest pieces are 1/2" finished.

On Saturday I also did another 5k walk and did this one in 44 minutes, 59 seconds, but it was much more level than the last one and I had trained more.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Great Mail Day!

On my A Dozen Done yahoo group we had a bag lady swap. We were partnered up with someone and put fabrics, blocks or both in a bag and sent it to our partner for them to make something. Today I received my awesome top from Sharon T. in northwest WA. I am thrilled with the top as I absolutely love curves and had no clue what to do with those two odd blocks. I sent an assortment of batiks along. I am working on Sharon's and will have it done this weekend. I had changed my mind about 100 times on which fabic went where and finally just had to start in. I had the border worked on long ago, I just need to figure out how to set the blocks she sent!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Goofing off with Journal Pages

Life has been hectic lately. I had 3 potlucks in less than a week, started back to work Monday, with school starting tomorrow. I really do enjoy working at a one room school and thankful that I only work part time. In the meantime I decided to finish up a couple samples I made in workshops at the Western Regional 4H Leaders Forum last March. I was on scholarship as a first time attendee so I took a couple leadership classes and the rest were fun classes. I took one on embellishing and didn't really have a plan so I decided to make a journal page. The instructor had some patterns available and most people brought shirts or something to embellish. I had fabric! The rose is really more lavendar and done with Angelina fibers and a few crystals and stitching. I finished it up tonight, 8 1/2" X 11".

The next class was on felted wool. The instructor had lots of wool and told us how to look for wool items and how to felt it. She had needles, and pearl cotton and said "make something". A lot of women in the class were distressed, I again decided to do a journal page so I just just started cutting and stitching. She let us keep the needle and take extra pearl cotton home to finish our projects. It looks wonky in the picture, it really is, because I didn't have pins and afterall it's folk arty and made without a real plan. I backed it with a pieced of fabric and turned it then added a row of stitches around the outer edge and have another finished project today!

Actually I made this third journal page Saturday. I just got it out of order! My friend Penny gave us all Crystal Light containers and I had been saving leftover thread cuttings for a long time. When I machine quilt I trim threads and throw them over my shoulder! I then scoop up a bunch and put them in the container. I just wanted to play with something so I laid out the threads on a piece of fabric and started stitching them down. That was tricky because they wanted to go everywhere! I could have done something like put tulle over it but I didn't want that effect. if you squint it almost looks like a landscape! I enjoyed the break from bigger things while making these!

American Hero quilt top

I am a supporter of the American Hero quilt project. My friend Deb sent me the star blocks for this along with the strip blocks and layout. She had it for a long time and thought that someone could benefit from the top. My wa-state-quilters yahoo group was doing a sew-in last Saturday to work on projects for this cause and I am a little too far from Tacoma so I got this top together at home. I will mail the top off this week.

Wallhanging for a friend

This wallhanging is one I finished for my friend Debi recently, the same one I made the redwork wallhanging for. She had the 4 big blocks beautifully hand appliqued for several years. The pattern was in an older Quilt Sampler and Deb had ordered a kit for it, called Prairie Rose. I made all the pieced sashing/border and hand appliqued the star blocks and set it together and machine quilted it. I didn't tell Deb I was sending it to her! It's 50" square.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Nothing too Exciting

I haven't had anything very exciting to write about. Just the mundane stuff, like it's too hot, weeding the yard and garden, grocery shopping, you get the picture.

I am working on a couple projects which I will be able to post pictures of eventually.

Let's see do you want to know about my UFO's I have to work on and the fact that I keep wanting to start new projects? Now I know there are some people who can stay more on task than me, I wonder if they give lessons?

I love a clean house and work on that alot. However, my sewing room is another story. It's just so cluttered and out of order all the time it drives me nuts. Yet if I spend time cleaning it up it's hard to work in here. It must be my creative genius at work!

I told myself I was going to keep my blog more active, but I guess I have a dull life! Harvest is in full swing, one of my girls and her boyfriend will be here tomorrow for a few days and school starts the 27th.

I wonder how I am going to manage walking once school starts? I have to be at work before I normally get back. My next fun walk is Sept. 6th, it should be more level than the last one but I am still walking these hills up here!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Finish for a Friend

Last night I finished this wallhanging. It is 20" square. My friend Deb had gotten the machine embroidered center quite some time ago and some Romance in Redwork fabrics. When I visited her this summer she sent it all home with me to make a wallhanging from. The two girls in the picture reminded her of two girls she used to babysit and this will be for their mother. I just started cutting and sewing Saturday and this is what I ended up with. I machine quilted it and bound it and I can check something off my list!

One of these days I need to learn to actually make square things look square in a picture!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Harvest Time

I'm on a roll! 3 posts in one day. I really do intend to spread them out more evenly but I am making up for lost time. This is a picture of one of our combines in our winter wheat. This field is at the lowest elevation of our farm fields and usually the earliest to harvest. It's overlooking the Clearwater River above Lenore and the photo was taken by my 17 year old son.

Quilt Shop Hopping

I have never gone on a quilt shop hop before. They were all too far away and would take too long. I did a couple shops long ago with my friend Nikki but never most of a hop or in this case all of a hop! The hop was called Crazy 8 and there were 12 shops in north central Idaho and eastern WA. Three friends and I went to three shops Friday afternoon, then started early Saturday and hit the other 9 shops. I was our "gps" cutting across on country roads in the middle of nowhere to get to some of the shops. Two of them were in homes and we got some great cool stuff as shown in the picture!

This picture is of all my purchases. It's quite shocking when I laid them all out together! I decided to make a queen size Canyon Circles quilt and it takes 55 FQ's. I got more than FQ's, those are the two piles on the right. I had over 40 pieces already in the blue/purple/green range that would work. The other stuff was all "just because". No, I don't want to add up all the receipts!

It was great fun and I even had a full house in my hand of cards. After 5 shops you could trade a card in to try to get a good hand. I don't know what happens with those, but we had to sign each card as we got it so there was no trading in your carload of quilters!

The Idaho shops were in Orofino, Kooskia, Grangeville, Deary, Viola, Moscow (2), Lewiston (2) and the Washington shops were in Pullman, Palouse and Pomeroy.

My First Fun Walk

I have to face it. I have not been in good physical condition. With all my thyroid problems this past year and then surgery it's been hard to exercise regularly. After surgery in June I started walking. On Sunday, August 3rd I did my first 5k walk in Cottonwood, ID at the Raspberry Festival. My friend Rosan is in much better shape and I told her to go ahead. I had been walking on a hilly road, but hadn't gone 3.1 miles before, the first half all uphill! My time was 54.35, 6 weeks and 6 days after surgery so I am thrilled. I got a cool shirt, although I have never worn yellow in my life!My guild friends do notice yellow in almost all my quilts lately though. I used to say I disliked yellow! I even painted my dining room yellow. I think I will wear the shirt to guild!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hectic Summer

Time flies so fast, it's unreal! In June I had a fantastic quilt retreat in Leavenworth, WA at Dee's Country Accents with members of my Washington State Quilters internet group. I came home on June 15th and had surgery on June 16th. Time was spent recuperating and then it was gung ho back into quilting, although I was thrilled I had some restrictions and couldn't do heavy lifting or vacuuming!

The second weeke
nd of July I took a class from Terrie Kralik and this is my finished wallhanging, start to finish in three days, complete with binding. I hadn't planned ahead and didn't even have my book so I took fabrics from my stash and winged it. I changed her pattern in the book A Forest of Quilts slightly. She was a delightful teacher who let us work on whatever we wanted from her books or patterns.

Last week I made this quilt, Canyon Circles for a friend of mine. It's all batiks and I loved how easy it was to do. It's taller than my son, so I would say it's a nice lap/throw size. I had lost contact with this friend for about 5 years and she wrote to me at Christmas. We have birthdays two days apart so I thought this would be a great surprise since she doesn't get to spend much time quilting. It's definitely more earthy than my usual color scheme.

The other big news was turning 50 on July 29th. I am proud of it and insisted on no party, but I had two small parties with family. I love my new iPod so I guess it was worth it!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day procrastination

I did it again. Procrastinated on making my mom something for Mother's Day. My mom usually gives me lists of things she wants made and with three occasions a year I get most of them done. For Christmas I went in with siblings and paid for getting home movies put on DVD's so I didn't make anything. For her 70th birthday in Feb. I found the replacement china pieces online she needed and gave her those which she was expecting to pay for.

Here we are, Mother's Day weekend. Yesterday I looked through a pile of fabric belonging to my mom (she buys pieces on sale she likes but doesn't sew) and she had a lovely piece of a Christmasy wildlife print. Their family room is decorated in wildlife. I went to Orofino to The Wild Hare and found some flannel that would coordinate and today I will be machine quilting a VERY simple throw and hopefully delivering it tonight (machine sewn binding).

I will get a photo when it's finished.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Finished Project

I bought this pattern last summer in Estes Park, Colorado, the designer was from there. It's called Merry Meadow. I bought the fabric at Quilt Something
in Moscow, ID and hand appliqued 60 yo-yos. The yellow border next to the binding is dimensional. It makes a nice throw size and I love it. I quilted it at a retreat a couple weeks ago at Palouse Divide.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Busy Weekend

I hosted a small group Friday and one of the members took up my challenge to make something for the American Hero quilt project. These were all scraps and turned out great.

Saturday I went to a quilt show in Clarkston, WA, yes the same quilt show that is a couple posts down a year later! I saw a lot of people I knew, bought green batiks and had a nice time. Doing all the errands wasn't as fun!

Today I decided to be dumb and clean out freezers, one large upright, one small chest, two over a fridge. It took all day because I decided to make jam out of some berries, a cobbler out of some peaches and throw some stuff out. I need to make a a quilt block tonight if I have the energy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finally, I'm back!

It's been awhile and I could not figure out how to get back into my blog! How sad is that? I made a vow to myself to blog and update my webshots instead of playing tetris.

It's not that I haven't quilted for a long time and didn't have anything to post, I have finished quite a few projects. It's more like I have been mentally challenged in updating things.

Just to get things started this is a wedding quilt I completed in six days, start to finish over my spring break.

My friend Deb commissioned me to make this quilt for her niece. We decided on a pattern on a Friday, Saturday I started cutting from my stash and by the next Friday the binding was finished.

Now that I know how to get back in (and yes I wrote it down!) I will post frequently.