Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Rambling

Oooh, do I ever love the Academy Awards show!! It's like one of the columnists in the morning paper said, the Oscars are "the Super Bowl for women". 'Cept I love to watch the REAL Super Bowl too. Anyhoo, here's my $2 worth (inflation, you know).

George Clooney---ROBBED! Should've won for Michael Clayton, but looked good losing.
Tilda Swinton---awesome performance, deserving win.
Jon Stewart--class act for bringing back onstage Marketa Irglova, cowriter of Best Song, who didn't get a chance to say her thank-yous. I mean really!
Coen Brothers--always love their movies, 'specially O Brother Where Art Thou? and Fargo. I've GOT to get to the theater and see No Country For Old Men!
Marion Cotillard--mermaid dress was darling on her. Her acceptance speech was the best of the evening, too!
Favorite montage--the Best Picture winners for the past 79 years (and no, I don't remember ALL of them LOL!). Number 80 was No Country For Old Men.

This weekend was spent getting MIL moved into a different assisted-living facility. Sure hope this one works out. This is really wearing on DH. He is trying so hard to make things good for her.

Setting aside the Civil War blocks for a few days to get the applique borders finished for the Madeira jelly roll quilt. Would love to have it to "flimsy" stage before our trip--maybe even pinbasted or handed off to a longarmer.

Speaking of our upcoming trip, shopping must get done. In 16 days we'll be leaving for WARM!!! Let the countdown begin. First to Tucson, AZ, for a coupla days, then over to Mesa where we'll meet up with four dear friends to set out on a tour of Copper Canyon, Mexico, and points along the way. Vamos, amigos!

In honor of dreams of spring, snowmen got packed up this weekend, bunnies and chicks came out of hiding. Right here, right now, in KC, snow BAD--spring GOOD!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Civil War Diary Blocks Update

Yankee Papers, Church, Games Music & Knitting, and Special Blessings are the four Civil War Diary blocks I completed last night and this morning.    Since I am handpiecing them, they are going extremely s-l-o-w-l-y!!! The prep work takes a long time.   I have six completed and eight more prepped.   Needless to say, I'll be WAY behind the Sew Many Blocks ring!!!!

I liked Judy's idea (over at Quilting With Ragdolls) of keeping photos in a web photo site.   Since I already had an account set up at Google's Picasa Web, I am placing the completed blocks' photos over there.    There is a link in my side bar, right under the Sew Many Blocks link.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Diary of Handpiecing

Since I like to use my blog as a journal for quiltmaking activities, I thought it would be fun to snap some shots of the process along the way for the Civil War Diary Quilt.

First off, the pattern is traced from the book onto freezer paper. Each shape is cut apart and ironed on to the wrong side of the fabric. I have a tubful of Jo Morton fabrics leftover from Little Women Club days and am happy to have a nice selection of color coordinated reproductions. After the pattern pieces are adhered to the chosen fabrics, a line is sketched around the shape with either an eversharp pencil or a General's marker(pencil sharpener nearby!) .

The pieces are cut out leaving a 1/4 " seam allowance all around the edges. I labeled the pieces dark, medium and light to help with the confusion at the ironing board! The block is laid out on my handy-dandy clipboard that has thin batting glued down (great for small piece blocks at the sewing machine, too--and applique parts).
The pieces are then handstitched into blocks. My first two are (left) John Morgan pg. 144-145 and (right) Abomination of Desolation pg. 172-173, both from the first book, Civil War Diary. I have ordered the second one, Civil War Love Letter, from Amazon and am so anxious to get it!!!

Here are a couple of other wonderful books I have in my quilting library about Civil War quilts and women. Both are by Barbara Brackman and just chockful of great stories and patterns. I've had them both for quite awhile so don't know what their availability is. I am definitely appreciative of the efforts these women put forth in troubled times to keep their families warm.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

One Down, Three To Go

I decided I did want a bit of applique in the outer borders of the Madeira Jelly Roll quilt (gotta think of a better name LOL). But I didn't want anything too elaborate because the quilt itself seems busy. So I am going with a simple folk art chunky design. The first border is on so this week maybe I can get the other three sides appliqued and attached.

Today's KC Star magazine contained the second installment or block for the Circuit Rider quilt. Here's mine prepped for machine blanket stitch. Don't know why that green looks so washed out--it's really not! And yet another project to start...The Civil War Diary Quilt!

I've had this book since it first came out but have not made anything from it yet. I have been motivated to get started! A new blogging ring will be starting soon and will work together on the blocks--always a good motivator. I am thinking of hand-piecing mine. I'd like to get several blocks readied for my upcoming lo-o-ong car trip.

Winter just can't seem to let go this year. More snow is falling in KC today. Pretty but a pain in the patoot!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Meme Fun

Good Tuesday morning! It seems that I have been tagged by my friend over at Crazy For Primitive Quilts and Gardens so let the fun begin!!

The rules of the meme are: 1. When tagged, place the name of the person and URL on your blog 2. Post the rules on your blog 3. Write 7 things about yourself 4. Name 7 of your favourite weblogs 5. Send an e-mail letting those bloggers know they have been tagged. things about myself...

1. I am an admitted chocoholic. Give me the cheap stuff--Snickers, Mr. Goodbar-- or the expensive stuff. I have no discerning taste where chocolate is concerned. I've been known to nibble on chocolate morsels right out of the bag before they can make it into cookie dough as well as chocolate frosting right out of the Betty Crocker can! I'll sneak the chocolate bits out of Moose Tracks ice cream--if not caught by DH. Oooh, Hershey's chocolate syrup--hook up the IV. I have been known to send DH out on a chocolate run in the midst of an icy, frigid night or on a hot, hot dog-day summer afternoon. And, like all good addicts, I maintain that I can quit anytime I want! But we all know, that's not gonna happen.

2. I adore cats. I have two at the present, Rocky and Natasha--or rather I should say they have me. After an upcoming trip to Arizona and Mexico, we may be acquiring #3, Boris. Get it? Characters from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons! Love a good theme. I think we can learn a lot about life and how to live it from cats. Ever see a tense cat???

3. I was known for my penmanship in school. That's right, good ole' handwriting. In seventh grade my class had an entry into the citywide science fair. Since I was a bit, ahem--weak in the science area, I was asked to do the writing for the booklet that accompanied our project. Oh, well, everyone has a niche of some kind, right? I still enjoy doodling and playing around with calligraphy.

4. I love to travel and have been in all 50 states, except for North Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. We're working on those! I have seen all five great lakes, been to Canada three times, to Italy once, and will visit Mexico next month. I really like to see all the historic sights and art and beautiful scenery of places and wish I were rich so I could travel even more!!!

5. I have tried most every craft known to womankind! Starting as a kid with weaving potholders on a little metal loom and embroidering tea towels with the old Aunt Martha and Vogart transfers, I have always found joy in creating something with my own hands. I have dabbled in macrame, crossstitch, rughooking, crochet, knitting, tole painting, soapmaking, candlemaking, bookmaking, punchneedle, latchhooking, jewelrymaking,  fabric painting and dying--and, of course, quilting. Quilting of all types grabs my attention! Piecing and applique, crazy quilting, story quilts, rag name it, it looks like fun to me!!! Mastery is not a high priority LOL. I just enjoy the process.

6. I am one of three sisters. We had no brothers. Each sister had only boy babies. What's up with that?

7. I have been blogging for about 23 months and STILL don't know how to get a pretty header up top of the blog!!!

Well, that's way more than you wanted to know about KC Quilter. As for naming my seven favorite blogs, well, that would be impossible. If you could see how many quilting blogs I have bookmarked, you'd totally understand. So for that part of the "meme rules" I'll just say to any fellow bloggers reading this (that makes YOU a favorite!) please play along!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Miscellaneous

While the Madeira Strippy Quilt percolates on the wall, I decided to start on the Kansas City Star Block of the Month for 2008.   Every year the Star publishes a BOM in their Star Magazine on the third Sunday of the month.   I so-o-o look forward to seeing what they will come up with every year.  I did not do last year's as it just didn't "turn me on" for some reason.   However I have done several in the past--Women of Grace and Charm, Libertyville, and Birds of a Feather.   The quilts are done by local designers and seem to have both pieced and appliqued elements.

I prepped the first block yesterday for machine blanketstitch.   Instead of using the suggested color schemes of either red & green or lavendar & green, I decided to strike out on my own with a turquoise/corally red/gold scheme ala Sue Spargo!!!   The only thing that is a bit of a problem for me with these KC* BOMs is that they are mystery quilts.   I am not a big fan of mystery quilts--only because I can't really visualize a color scheme.  Oh, well, live dangerously once in awhile   LOL!    The quilt, The Circuit Rider, was redrafted from an 1862 piece made for a clergyman who traveled to several churches--the circuit rider!   The redrafter is Jenifer Dick of Harrisonville, MO--a new designer to me.   Anyone interested in ordering the patterns can look here.   (No Affiliation Yada Yada)

And from the In-Case-You-Haven't-Been-Spending-Enough-Time-On-The-Internet-Department take a look at the videos on Quilters TV.
It's FREE--my favorite price!   I like to hit BROWSE VIDEO LIST and pick something that suits my mood for that moment.   Or hit Applique Projects or Pieced Projects or--especially--Typs &Techniques.    Free videos at a time that's convenient for ME!!  Why, there's even a Marti Michell video with ideas for using jelly rolls!!!    Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Strippin' On a Snowy Day

....Jelly Roll strippin', that is! Had you going though, didn't I??? I have been pretty obsessed lately with the Moda jelly rolls, I guess because I like that convenience of the precut strips and I like the coordination of a designer's line all rolled up into one neat bundle. I have to confess though, I did have to add in that darker horizontal fabric piece (a Thimbleberries print) because none of the Madeira line was as dark as I wanted. These little rail fence blocks go together so-o-o fast. I popped them up on the design wall this morning (too snowy here in KC to do anything else, I tell ya!) and will rearrange them several times, I'm sure. I was hoping for more of the dusty teal dominance than I got so I may make a few more to substitute out. But it is a start!

Now the big question...what to do about borders? I love the very folk arty look of the borders on this Kim Diehl quilt in Simple Seasons and may try to come up with something similar. Maybe changing out those corner squares with something more in keeping with the Madeira fabric flowers.
The city was hit again--big time--with snow. Most of the major school districts cancelled classes today. Yesterday we had rain all day, with a little thunder thrown in for good measure. Screwiest weather ever. I am so-o-o ready for Spring!

Saturday, February 02, 2008


All this talk about Annies around Blogland recently prompted me to take a couple of photos this morning. Raggedy Ann and Andy have long been favorites of mine. When my first baby was born, we didn't have sonograms so the sex of the baby was not known until he or she made an appearance into the world. (You know, I kinda liked it that way!) I had decorated the nursery all in Raggedy Anns and Andys. Pumpkin walls and a braided rug with lots of pumpkins, browns, and golds. Framed covers of old and vintage Raggedy Ann books were on the wall. Heck, I even had melmac baby dishes with RA & A pix on them! See, I was obsessive even back then LOL. Anyway, turns out firstborn was a boy and I wondered if the "dolls" would be appropriate in the nursery. But since I loved them and I would be spending more time than any other adult in the nursery, I kept them there. They always seemed so cheerful. The first set was purchased from a craftslady and sported navy and red clothes. I, of course, could not leave well enough alone and had to remake the clothes in browns! Somewhere along the way Andy has lost his hat. A few years ago I purchased the Simplicity pattern 9447 because I loved those smaller RA&As--still need to make them! I think my love of Annie dates back to childhood. I never had one!!!! I always wanted one but she never seemed to show up on my doorstep.

My next Annie is a prim gal. She graces various parts of the house, depending on where a little whimsy is needed. I am searching for a pattern to make a few more of the prim Annies. And prim Andys would be a bonus!!!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Ground Hog's Day. Unfortunately, I just heard on the news that Punxatawney Phil DID see his shadow so I guess six more weeks of winter is forecast. Bummer, here in KC we've had our share of winter already, thank you very much!