Thursday, June 29, 2006

Red Bullseye

Red Bullseye is Done Done. This photo is before washing. I tossed it in the washer this morning and it is getting fuzzy! However, you couldn't tell any difference in the photos! I just did utility grid quilting on this one and it really went fast. Thank you again, Jeanne, for such a fun project idea! Now I want to make another one! I'm off in a couple of hours to work on our raffle quilt with my mini-group. Have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Hump Day already! Where do the days go??? I've spent a lot of time the last couple of days trying to "tidy up" around here. We'll have company over the Fourth and boy, is that ever a wake-up call! We have off-white carpet throughout the house. (File that under, What Was I Thinking?) After eight years, it is beginning to look a bit frazzled, but with two cats around, I'm not ready to replace it yet. So out came the home carpet cleaning Bissell machine. It does help some. DH has decided that we need a new sofa. Yep, we probably do but after visiting several furniture stores, including the HUGE Nebraska Furniture Mart in Kansas City, Kansas (original one is actually IN Nebraska!!), I saw nothing to fall in love with. Maybe this is just a down time for sofas in the furniture biz! We did see one that we both fell in love with at Dillards. $2800. Hello! Don't think so. In addition to spiffying up the place, I have been starting to get ready for a garage sale to be held in late July with DSis and DSisIL. It will probably be 110 degrees here in KC. (Wish I knew how to make that little degree sign on the keyboard.) Time is getting away. Friday we are driving to Omaha to see Son#1. It will be his birthday so we'll take him out to eat, deliver his prezzie, take him a box of lemon bars (his favorite cookie) and visit a while. I'm hoping to hit a couple of quilt shops in Omaha---they have some great ones. Then it's back home to KC same day. Saturday we'll attend a surprise 60th birthday party for a friend. Tomorrow is another session to work on the raffle quilt. Phew! I'm wearing myself out just thinking about it! All I wanted to do when I retired was stay home and sew LOL! Thought I'd post a photo of a project I am working on with one of my online groups. It is a calendar quilt. Theoretically we are to add one strip a day, then at the end of the year we'll have a quilty record of 2006. Surprisingly I have been able to keep up with it, even stay a bit ahead. It's been so fun to dig through novelty fabrics and seasonal stuff to find appropriate strips. I have also machine-embroidered a few strips to note special days. And I always include strips from the project that I am working on that month. I am going to use the Chinese Coins setting. I may have to use six months' strips for the front and six months' strips for the back!! As I finish stitching together a full month, I roll it around an empty paper towel roll. Takes up less space to store. On a Bullseye note, DH finally got the tables in the basement cleared off and I was able to pin baste the quilt. I have started the machine quilting on it and have about 1/2 more to do. Another fun, fun quilt! Blogging and quilting may be sparse the new few days!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

BOAF Part Six

Block Six of Birds of a Feather is done! It is the one on the right in the photo. Each block is a different size (the first 5 blocks are clothespinned to a hanger on the left in the photo). There were a few extra curvy blocks to make also, for somewhere else on the quilt TBA! I will soon be opening up my other blog (over on AOL). I have had it for several months but have kept it as a private blog. I have mainly used it for my own record of quilting tips. I am very much a novice quilter and like to keep track of things that have worked for me, as well as shortcuts and ways to improve accuracy. I will post it as a link in my sidebar when I have it ready. I thought about incorporating these novice tips here in this blog----but!!! As I visit the blogs of fellow quilters, I have never seen one yet that I would classify as novice! Blogland is full of experts! Stay may be awhile!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Little Red, White and Blue

Loving the patriotic quilts and decorations seen in Blogland this week! While I haven't done any decorating--yet--for Independence Day, I do have a few photos. First up is an antique brick top that I purchased several years ago with the good intentions of handquilting it! Yeah, that'll happen! I do enjoy having it just as a top, though. Love to study the construction and handpiecing on the back so it may stay a top. Next photo contains a project done by my second graders many years ago as a culmination to a unit on Harry Truman, president from Missouri. The students selected a role for Harry that we had studied, then colored a picture about it on muslin. After heat-setting the crayon, I stitched the blocks together, added a little sashing and backing, and we tied the quilt, using buttons. Kids loved it!! In that same photo is a Little Quilts flag I made years back. The final photo is a wooden flag my brother-in-law made for me one year for Christmas. Cherish it to pieces!! This morning I worked on Block 6 of Birds of a Feather. Got a lot done, but it has some curved piecing and I'm pretty slow at that! Hopefully by tomorrow or Monday, I'll have a photo of it to post.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Start and A Finish

It has been a particularly busy week and quilting and blogging kinda went by the wayside! Son #2 was in town for a few days for a sales meeting; and even though I didn't get to see a lot of him, I tried to fatten him up every chance I got. I was also wa-a-y behind in my cleaning (not that that is anything new!!) and spent yesterday mopping, vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry, and rearranging my OLD living room furniture, trying to make it look new! Today my mini-group started on the Friendship Star quilt. However, I did manage to make a new purse this week. Sometimes a girl just HAS to have a new bag. I bought the fabric and pattern several months back and sorta forgot about it till I got the itch to have a new purse. I liked it because it has two outside pockets and six pockets on the inside. Love pockets. Here is a start on the friendship star blocks. The other gals have made several also but I didn't get pictures this morning. We need 25 in all and that part is going fast. The inner border will probably have applique on it so that will slow us down.
Kansas City finally got some very much needed rain today. Lawns were beginning to looked a bit parched despite the sprinklers going everyday. Nothing like a good drink of water from Mother Nature. Tomorrow DH and I will take his 94-year-old mom for her doctor's appointment and that is usually an all day thing. Hopefully there will be some quilting on the horizon for the weekend!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Cathedral Window

While bloghopping this morning I came across this
neat start of a Cathedral Window at and sew it is and really liked it. It reminded me of a couple of CW pincushions I had made. The one on the left (note the telltale 70s calico center) I made in the early 70s. I always loved that little pinny and saved it for all these years. A few months back I decided I wanted to make some for our guild's boutique. Couldn't for the life of me remember HOW!! Did a little research, came up with the instructions for a CW, and voila, the one on the right was born. Love adding beads to the four points. Another thing I had forgotten was how blasted long it took to make one! Great handsewing for TV time though. Today being Fathers Day, I will take my husband on a picnic to either Smithville Lake or Watkins Mill State Park--two local spots of beauty. My own father passed away nine years ago and I still miss his practical advice, preparedness, and unconditional love.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Consider the Wildflower

Nobody plants it, nobody waters it, nobody mulches it, nobody weeds it, nobody deadheads it, nobody fertilizes it. And yet....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Odds and Ends

It was a great mini group meeting today. Six women came to agreement on the quilt we will make for the guild's opportunity (raffle) quilt for the March quilt show. Isn't that truly amazing? Then we went to a quilt shop and AGREED on the fabric purchases. No blood was shed, no tears were wept, no voices were raised. Now--to get it sewn, quilted, and bound! Our guild is celebrating its 25th anniversary this coming year. Our symbol has always been the friendship star and members are encouraged to send a 3" friendship star to any member who may be needing an extra hug or bit of comfort. With that in mind, we decided to make 25 blocks of friendship stars in batiks, marbles, tone on tones, etc, and entitle it 25 Years of Friendship. So excited about this quilt! My mini group has been exchanging 5" nickel swaps for 9 months now. Each month we use a different color and provide ten blocks for each other, which means you are accumulating 80 each month (see, you do use your math you learned in school! 8 members X 10 fabric pieces=80--ta dah) I should have 720 nickel squares--but I'm not going to count them!!! I have also picked up some Moda 5" sampler packs along the way to add to the mix. Each gal will then do what she wants with them. We will continue to swap till September. Most are thinking of charm quilts they'd like to use the squares for. I'm leaning towards 1000 Pyramids. Also pictured, my progress on the Jo Morton Scrappy Stars blocks. I am caught up to date. Good thing, new Birds of a Feather block will be in the KC Star this Sunday. In the words of Roseann Roseannadanna, "It's always a-somethin'!"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fun With Dick & Jane

I've been blogging for almost two months now and must say, I REALLY REALLY enjoy it! I especially like reading the blogs of quilters. I am beginning to feel as though several of these ladies are dear friends!! I'm still not quite sure of blogging etiquette. I am feeling my way. I am not a member of a blog ring (and am not really sure what a blog ring is LOL) and don't know if it is proper to jump in on the list (meme) things. I am going to respond to the ABCs meme and hope that this is okay!

Accent - Good ole midwestern drawl
Booze - Margaritas, on the rocks, no salt.
Chore I hate-Scrubbing toilets
Dog/cat - 2 cats, Rocky and Natasha
Essential electronics - Highspeed internet, dig cam, Bernina sewing machine, cable TV, cell phone
Favorite perfume - Can't wear it anymore
Gold/silver - yes, please!
Hometown - Kansas City, Missouri
Insomnia - often
Job title - retired teacher, current homemaker
Kid(s)- 2 grown sons
Living arrangements - a home in the suburbs
Most admirable traits - Patience and upbeat attitude
Number of countries visited - USA, Canada, and--in the fall, Italy
Overnight hospital stays - about 5
Phobias- Mice, deep water, and big boats
Quote - The only reason I have a kitchen is that it came with the house
Religion - Methodist
Siblings - Two sisters--one younger, one older
Time you usually wake - 5:00 Am (that's if I am sleeping in!!!)
Unusual talent - I can do a Farsi yell
Vegetable I refuse to eat - Brussels sprouts
Worst habit - Eating chocolate
X-rays - Dental
Yummy foods I make -Brisket of beef and baked beans
Zodiac - Sagittarius

Memory Lane

Boy, did Laura ever bring back memories with her photo of her early Quilt As You Go. I made a similar quilt. It was not my very first quilt. That one--a red and blue biscuit quilt that was made for my older son when he went into his "big boy bed" some 32 years ago. Would love to see it again, but who knows where it ended up? Probably in some garage where somebody lies upon it to change oil in a car!! My Quilt As You Go was made in the mid-70s. The memories of the process are much sweeter than the memory of the quilt itself. My dear friend, who lost her battle to breast cancer some 16 years ago, convinced me that we needed to go to a lady's house once a month and take quilting lessons. We were to do a sampler. We purchased the required amount of light, medium, and dark fabrics (part cotton, part polyester, for Pete's sake) and plain white for backings, and a super lofty batting. These fabs are actually prints but they seem to read solid. (Need a new dig cam! But I digress.) At each month's lesson we were handed a pattern for the sampler which we traced. Somewhere in my vast pile of "stuff" I still have those handmade patterns in a notebook. We would later transfer them to cardboard (probably from the Cheerios box) and glue a bit of sandpaper on the backs. We were expected to have the previous month's block handpieced and handquilted to be joined with the other blocks later. This handquilting through the thick batting turned me off handquilting for a long time. My fondest memory of those classes is the time spent with my wonderful friend and the Constant Comment tea we sipped at the end of each class. The thing I disliked about the quilt was how it looked on the back when the blocks were joined. NOT COOL. We paid $3 a lesson! As a stay-at-home-mom, that seemed like a lot of money--but so worth it for the friendship and quilting camaraderie!
Oddly, my DH and I slept under that quilt for many years. It was laundered a lot and the fabric eventually pulled a bit away at the seams. The color scheme is so--so, uh, 70s. Continuing down Memory Lane...have you looked at this beauty made by Karen at sewprimitive? I love, love, love it. The paperdolls around the border evoke such fun childhood nostalgia. When I was a kid (no TV, no video games, etc. Altogether now, "awwww") I was way into paperdolls. Played with them for hours on end. Designed clothes for them on typing paper. Created whole scenarios for them to act out. Just loved paperdolls. Side story: my younger sister is 11 years younger than I. When she was just a toddler, she got into my "stash" of paperdolls and their clothes. Hmmm..I have always loved stashes, it would seem. Anyway, she destroyed them. I know, you're thinking, "weren't you a little old to still be playing with paperdolls at that time?" And you would be right! When I got home from school that day, I went into a snit! I never let her live that down--as any good sister would not. Well, a few years ago she surprised me with two books of paperdolls she had purchased off eBay!!! Now we're even---or so she thinks.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Can't Dent My Stash!

Well, I finished the bullseye top this evening, but can't baste it for quilting till DH clears HIS stuff off MY two long tables in the basement!!! I needed to clear it off the design wall, though, so I could put back up the Lee's Surrender quilt. I found some great border and sashing fabrics at my LQS which is going out of business. All their fabs are 25% off. I need to stop back by and see if there were any interesting grays and blacks for the Snail Trail that I might have missed the other day. I did not even make a dent in my reds' stash!!! I was determined to use only stash for the bullseye top. It doesn't look QUITE this bright in "real life" LOL.
My mini group has definitely decided to make the opportunity quilt for next March's quilt show raffle. We are supposed to bring ideas to our meeting on Thursday. It needs to be something that all skill levels could handle, but interesting, gorgeous, and with great colors. We don't want much, huh? Any ideas? Of course, we have to be respectful of copyright since our guild does earn money on the raffle. The money is used to pay for speakers at our meetings. My thought is to pick a traditional block but put a new spin on it with some great fabrics. We had a pastel quilt this year so I'm thinking we are ready for brights or--my fave--primitive tones. Not many people in my guild are into the prim folk art though. We would like to include as many other members who would be willing to help out. Weather in KC has been delightful today. Mid-seventies, calm, partly sunny. I could handle that the rest of the summer!! We have been inundated with wonderful hummingbirds at the two feeders. Can't seem to get a decent photo of them as they are so incredibly fast. Also showing up at the hummingbirds' feeders (who knew?) are those gorgeous house sparrows, the ones with lots of rosy red on them. They appear to sip--just like the hummingbirds. The hummingbirds are aggressive, but the house sparrows seem downright human-friendly. I have the feeders situated so that I (and the cats) can watch them from the computer. Love the colors of nature's fabric.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I haven't been able to post for a couple of days due to a death in the family and going out of town for the services. My husband's uncle (aged 86) passed away Tuesday. It's always so poignant to see a loving spouse lose her mate after 66 years of marriage. They were good years and they were blessed with three wonderful children and seven grandkids. So sad for the mate left behind. Things like this always make me pause and take stock. On the quilting front very little has been accomplished. I did manage to get one set of the snail's trail up on the wall. I had decided after sewing the first sample block that I just really do not like using templates!!! Bad me. I have become so spoiled to strip cutting and piecing. So I did a little search through my gazillion patterns and directions and came across a very simplified version with all strip cutting---no templates! Yay. This should go much faster. My mini group is discussing doing the opportunity quilt for the guild this year. That adds another huge project to the ever growing list!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

EQ5 Fun

I have long been fascinated with Snail Trail quilts. I think it is because they look like they have curved seams when in reality, it's squares and triangles. I worked on drafting my own on graph paper--just because I think that is fun. I always liked geometry in school and that may be one reason why I love quilts so much! I came up with a block that was the size I wanted, then decided to play with it in EQ5. Barbara Brackman has a pattern for Monkey Wrench in Blockbase 2 that can be turned into a Snail Trail just by rotating some blocks. I wish I had more fabrics in the fabric library, but just played around with grey and black. Threw in a little teal (thanks, Jeanne, for that idea!) for accent. Then I decided to make a sample block from the pattern. I have learned to make a sample block to iron out all the bugs! I think it will be a fun quilt to make, but I will definitely have to pay attention!!! This quilt will go to Ryan, my older son. I have made a raggy quilt for DH and a Strippy for my younger son, Brett. It's Ryan's turn! However, DH will get the Lee's Surrender and Brett will get the Jo Morton Scrappy Stars quilt. I am aiming for the three to be done for Christmas. Ambitious, huh???? I also made 8 more bullseye blocks today. Will wait to post photos of those till the top is done. I will be making those blocks into a lap or sofa quilt. Those fuzzy bullseyes will feel good! Here's hoping that Blogger plays nice from now on!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Best Laid Plans

Today's agenda was to (a) go to Tuesday Mornings to purchase a Roman shade for my kitchen door (so I wouldn't have to make one!). They open at 10 (or so I thought) and I knew these shades would sell out fast at $29.95 so I was there at 10. I looked around for the shades and then asked a salesgirl where they were. She replied that she didn't think there were any left. What???? Today is the first day of the sale, how can that be??? Well, they opened at 8 this morning. AARRGH. They didn't have any I liked. Next item (b) was to exchange a hummingbird feeder at Lowe's. Well, they were out of the kind I wanted. Another AARRGH. Decided to come home (c) and start on Son #1's Snail Trail quilt. All the patterns I have are for small blocks and I wanted larger ones--so I will have to draft my own--tomorrow! Okay, I thought, let's do some (d) more free-motion quilting on Spin. What? I only have a small bit of that special Signature variegated thread on the spool--not nearly enough!!!!! Don't want to make another trip out. I just want to sew, darn it. Well, thank goodness for those red bullseyes. Got sixteen of those babies whipped out. They still need to be squared up, but I will wait till I get all of them done, then square to the smallest of the blocks. That's right, they're not all the same size!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bad News, Good News

What a day in bloggerland, huh? I went into my archives to check something and noticed that several of my old photos had been replaced by the dreaded red X in a square thingy. I thought it was ME, but I checked on Blogger help message board and discovered that lots of people were having photo problems. Then I checked archives of some of my daily reads and saw that there were missing photos there too. I decided not to try to post any photos for a few hours--till the problem is hopefully fixed. Apparently my archives photos are back now but you never know... BAD NEWS: One of my favorite local quilt shops is closing. It was quite a shock and I hope that this is not a trend among quilt shops. I've certainly done my part in financial support LOL. Hopefully this closing is due to reasons other than a sluggish market in the quilt industry. GOOD NEWS: The shop is offering all fabrics at 25% off in their liquidation sale. I am on my way out the door to head there ( Liberty) to look for grays, blacks, and an accent color for Son #1's snail trail quilt and to try to find sashing, border, and backing fabric for the Lee's Surrender quilt. These will be bittersweet purchases if I find what I'm looking for.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

President's Block

Blogger wouldn't let me add this photo on the last post so I am trying again. This block is a President's block--president of the guild, that is! It is tradition in my guild for our June BOM to be made for the president. She tells us what block she would like and what size, and sometimes the color scheme. This year our pres requested that we choose a focus fabric that tells something about our individual personality. I love cats and I love Laurel Burch so that was easy! The block is 8 1/2 " unfinished. I still need to sign it with a Micron pigma pen. Pres is very fond of blue so I hope she likes it. I will be anxious to see how she finishes up the quilt. It will definitely have a scrappy happy look, which she likes. And it should be filled with memories of the many fun and friendly members!

Fun & Games In the "Studio"

After drooling over Jeanne 's gorgeous Bullseye quilt yesterday, I just had to try out her directions for one of my own! Deciding on a color scheme was E-A-S-Y---witness the six tubs of red fabric! Seemed like a great way to bring down the stash. Besides, a beautiful male cardinal has been hanging out by the deck today (alternating with the hummingbirds) and his brilliant coat seemed like a hint! I made a block and it went together quickly. Then I made three more ( there another addiction coming on???) Quartered them up and sewed them into a new scrappy block. I likey! Thanks, Jeanne, for your very straightforward instructions. I have several other Bullseye patterns in the file but I like yours best! And it seems the most carefree and fun.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Quilty Postcard Fun

One of my online groups is getting ready for a postcard swap so I decided to practice making them today. What fun!! But I definitely learned something on each and every practice one. Now I think I am ready to make the REAL McCOYS. Maybe tomorrow.. For some reason these photos are looking fuzzy to me. I need a new digital camera, I do I do.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Oh, what a treat it is to be in the "quilting studio" for a while with no interruptions! The block on the left is Block 5 of the Birds of a Feather KC Star BOM. I am very curious as to how this will play out. Setting directions will not be given until the end. Hmmmm... I so trust the Blackbird gals that I know it will be great but my curiosity is wa-a-y up! Ooops, just noticed--the block on the upper right is sideways on the design wall. Must be the poison ivy affecting my brain.

Fun With the Girls

Yesterday three of us from the mini-group decided to head out for a wonderful plant nursery in Lee's Summit. Nancy, Tandy, and I all love to dabble in gardening almost as much as quilting. Heartland Nursery is a most amazing place. It is huge and mostly all covered with glass. Varieties can be found there that you don't see any place else. I resisted the urge to purchase due to my current state of looking like a leprosy-colony-refugee!!! Arrgh--the dreaded poison ivy (or whatever it is) has attacked again and I don't want to be in the yard for a few days. However, it just so happens (heh heh) that two wonderful quilt shops were nearby. There my resolve was not so good. First photo is some sale FQs that said to me, "Buy us. We'll make cute fabric books!" Next rather dull photo is of some grays and blacks. My mini-group has been doing a nickel swap since September. Each month we bring 5" squares of ten different fabrics for each member. June's colors will be grays and blacks. My stash just doesn't include much gray. These were included in the shop's $1.50 FQ sale. The next photo is just a yummy yellow I couldn't resist and a piece of sock monkey sock fabric--how clever is that!!! Of course we HAD to have lunch. So much fun and visiting and laughing. I really value those Girls Day Out times.
All of Porter's handmade gifts are DONE DONE so now I get can back to work on my Birds of a Feather BOM. The pieces are fused to the background and today I hope to machine blanket stitch around them. With any luck I'll have pix to post tomorrow.