Monday, January 29, 2007

The "Kermit" Virus

Turned on the computer this morning and everything was GREEN!!! I have never had this happen before. I did what limited amount of tricks I had up my paltry computer skills sleeve (powering down and back up, checking settings for desktop, checking the pathetic manual) to no avail. Our friend who is a tech person by trade is coming by tonight to see if it is the monitor or a more serious ailment. My very hilarious (NOT!) husband said it sounded like I had picked up the Kermit virus. Hmmmm...I guess time will tell. Meanwhile, from this side of the screen everything looks sickly!!! So glad I bought the service contract on this computer...
In a few days DH and I will be heading to Phoenix and Tucson for a little vacation with our snowbirding friends. This may or may not be my last post for a couple of weeks so I thought I'd post a couple of photos of works-in-progress. The little purse is one I am working on for my dear little friend who just turned 5. I still need to line it so her important "valuables" won't fall through the holes LOL. The second photo is of my Chocolate and Cherries string quilt I started this weekend. I did find the large floral border print for Birds of a Feather but after laying it out beside the quilt, I decided I needed an inner border--so back to the quilt shops I must go! For the teal snowball/Hawaii quilt, I have a small Susan Winget black splattery FQ that I think would be nice and would represent the black sands of Hawaii. I have looked on the internet and in a couple of local quilt shops around here for some yardage of it, but to no avail. May have to come up with something else.
If anyone knows of any "musn't miss" quilt shops in Scottsdale, Phoenix, or Tucson, feel free to email me. I hope to have time to hit at least one or two. Stay warm.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Great Read, WIP Wednesday, 4 More

Does my title sound like code today? I'll start with Great Read. I scored this wonderful book at my library the other day and have been engrossed in it (between sewing) ever since. Of course, Gwen Marston is my favorite quilter, but the book is about Mary Schafer. Mary was an extraordinary quilter who helped carry on the quilting tradition in the 50s, 60s, and beyond--when quilting was at a low point popularity-wise-- till the Bicentennial revival of interest. Gwen befriended her and has helped to bring her amazing work to the attention of us who might not have known about her. The book describes their friendship and many of Mary's other friendships with quilters--mostly through letterwriting and pattern round robins. Many of her quilts are in museum collections. They are truly magnificent. Also so very touching is the story of Mary's early life and hardships. A most terrific read, an inspiration to all quilters, and just a lovely book. Thank you, Gwen!!! I think I will need to purchase this one! Next up, WIP Wednesday. Regular readers of this blog may remember this string quilt work-in-progress from a very early post. It has been buried in the tub of UFOs for a while. I dug it out this morning with renewed interest, partially because I am so "string quilt manic" right now and partially because I need to purchase border fabric for BOAF and for the snowball quilt before I can go any farther on those. I adore string quilts and could happily spend the rest of my quilting days just doing those, I think! Last photo today is of the four new string blocks I made for Heartstrings (see sidebar) to go with the four I made earlier. Will be sending those off soon.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

First Heartstrings Blocks

After reading about the wonderful Heartstrings project on Mary's blog, I couldn't wait to make some string blocks to contribute. These are fun, fast, and so-o-o addictive. I definitely plan to make more! And a giant thank you goes out to Forest Jane for designing the sidebar graphic---and especially for helping me link it to the Heartstrings webpage. Things I Love About Quilters: they share, they play nice, they help others---and they are way smart! Thanks again, Mary and Jane!

Monday, January 22, 2007

I Buy Ya Books and Buy Ya Books...

...and all ya do is look at the pictures!!! A great big duh-slap to my forehead. Patty left a comment about my Birds of a Feather dilemma (me whining) that I had to do the dreaded set-in seams. She brilliantly suggested I do partial seams instead. Well, hmmm.... Went to the book and guess what, that's how the Blackbird girls instruct you to do them!!!! Maybe I should learn to read directions....

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I'm Glad I'm Not a Tree

Kansas City was socked again this weekend with six inches of snow. The trees look beautiful but they must be cold!!! I am glad I can be inside and enjoy their beauty in front of a warm fireplace. I have gotten in a bit more sewing. All my Birds of a Feather blocks are back up on the design wall. As soon as I finish embroidering a few more birdy legs, I'll snap a photo. I am so not looking forward to sewing these blocks together as it will involve some dreaded set-in seams. No more "mystery quilts" for me LOL. I like to know what I am getting into! I am also ready to sew the rows of the strippy snowball quilt together. As I was working on joining blocks into rows, it hit me! This quilt is a ringer for Hawaii! The turquoisy teals are reminiscent of the beautiful ocean waters and the black borders look much like the black sand beaches. Even though Hawaii doesn't have "snowballs", I think I will name it something Hawaiian-ish. The son who will receive it absolutely LOVES Hawaii so I think that will work.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Two Good Things About a Winter Storm...

Kansas City has been hit with snow, ice, and lo-o-ow temperatures! Great day for playing in the snow (not!) or sewing! I was able to finally sew my last two blocks for the Birds of a Feather quilt. Of course, birdie still needs some embroidered legs. I am eager to put all twelve blocks back up on the design wall but it is currently occupied by the teal strippy snowball blocks. I was able to get a total of 64 of the teal blocks done--yay! Now I can start on the black strippy blocks. Don't want to take them off the wall because of the placement of the teeny corner squares--has to be just so for the pattern to work. So in the meantime, BOAF will hang on a wire hanger with clothespins. All the BOAF blocks are different sizes so it will be a conundrum (love that word) to get them all to fit in properly!!! I have not decided for sure which border treatment I will use. I am leaning towards Alma Allen's which is a bold floral fabric with a prairie points inner border. Love Barb Adams choice too which has lots of applique, but I am just a bit burnt out on the applique!!!! In fact, that last applique block up there is minus a lot of the leaves shown in the original pattern!! It was a bit too busy for my taste and, did I mention, I am burnt out on the applique??? I did use Barb's color scheme of red, green, and white. I guess I'll be on the lookout for the perfect border print! I wanted to thank all of you who gave me suggestions for how to store my KC Star newspaper patterns from the 20s and 30s! For now I am going to put them in acid-free plastic sleeves, then decide a more permanent solution. Y'all are the best!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Unexpected Treasure

Okay, here we go again! I have tried to post several times today but Blogger was having none of that!!! We recently moved my husband's 94 YO mother into assisted living. Same retirement complex--different apartment with a little more help. Her new apartment is considerably smaller so she had to do some more downsizing. She gave me a box of some of her old patterns she had made years ago when she was making dolls and stuffed animals to sell at charity bazaars. I was tickled to get them. When I got home and started really looking at what I had, I found these old quilt patterns from the Kansas City Star--dated from 1929 to mid-30s. Wow, what a treasure awaited at the bottom of that box! The flower bouquets are Evaline Foley applique patterns. I love their art deco look. The others are miscellaneous patterns, just so wonderful. My dilemma will be how to keep them from further deteriorating. They are pretty yellowed and a bit crackly.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My First WIP Wednesday!

As a "new kid on the block" of the Quilt Studio ring, this is my first WIP Wednesday! I am not sure if it is intended to be only quilting projects-in-progress but here are two current works I am hammering away at. The snowball blocks have been shown before. These are the first 36. But I have been feverishly cutting strips and squares to get back to this SOON! The other photo is of 64 granny squares that I have been crocheting the last couple of weeks. I know, I know---granny squares? What's next--go-go boots? Bra burning? Love beads? But, nevertheless, these are the two WIPs! I will put some kind of a funky border all around the grannies after I get them all attached to make an afghan. It may be a donation item!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy Double-O-Seven!

Well, most of the vestiges of Christmas have been packed away, the last of the company has departed, the leftovers are kaput, the vacuum has been run. When it's over, it's over. Now onto a bright new year. I wish good health for all in blogland. I am having a hard time getting it in gear in the sewing room. Don't know what's up with that!!! My "on" button has been connected to the crochet hook lately! For some unbeknownst reason, I just want to sit and crochet. I think it might be because it is so rhythmic and soothing--and repetitive! Maybe I just need that after all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I used to crochet a lot when my sons were young--it was cheap and very portable! Then I lost interest for many, many years. Well, a couple of years ago I got hooked on making those darn fun fur scarves! The patterns and yarns for crochet nowadays are just so yummy. Lately I have wanted to crochet granny squares, of all things! I'll post a photo of the afghan when it's finished. I'm thinking of calling it, "The Sixties Called"!!! I also love crocheting those cute little flowers to pin on a purse or jacket. And I want to get involved with a group here in KC that knits and crochets caps and blankies for preemies at a children's hospital. Then there is that Q-hook afghan I started last winter... I fear that my yarn stash will soon rival my fabric stash. Oh, brother.