Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Playing with Pips

These fabrics are adorable. I had to have a charm pack....but hadn't a clue what I was going to do with it.

Saw a quilt in the new Keepsake Quilting catalogue that I had to figure out. It is called "Motion Comotion". What interested me was the appearance of curved edges that are a different color than then fabrics they lie next to.

I quilted it today. I used two blocks from Anne Bright's Luna collection. I used pale grey thread on the pale sections and raspberry variegated on the dark sections. I like it!

The quilting shows up particularly well on the back, which is turquoise, not green.

I can't say as yet if I would do it again....but I do like the results.

How awesome is this?

I received this lovely pup in the mail last Friday. It was made by Marjory Peck, aka PecksPieces, as part of a STUD mini quilt swap.

After browsing through my somewhat extensive Flickr photo stream she decided to make a portrait of Sophie.

We got Sophie nearly 15 years ago. Our aging Cocker Spaniel couldn't take the demands of life with two little boys. When we met Sophie while vacationing on our tenth wedding anniversary we knew she would be just the dog for our toddlers. Terriers are a feisty, down to earth (pardon the pun) group of dogs. They are fun loving and filled with a limitless supply of energy. Sophie was no exception.

Noah and John loved her to bits. They grew up with this little white ball of energy and loved every moment. She quickly became, and stayed Noah's best and closest friend.

Soph eventually ran out of energy. It had to happen someday. That is just how things are. Last November she suddenly developed seizures and her blood sugar tanked. She was gone, just how she lived, like a streak of white light.

Marjory's portrait is perfect. She captured the energy and life that was the little dog we loved.

It now hangs in a special spot next to my Noah's bedroom door.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Adventure Begins....

I bought this car nearly 10 years ago. At the time my boys were little and would all fit in the back seat. Over the years it has taken our family on a lot of adventures.

This morning it left for college.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tiny Quilt Binding

I discovered a new and simple way to bind tiny mini quilts and mug rugs, and had to share. I discovered it purely by accident while I was twiddling around with a quilt label.

1) Measure the top of your tiny quilt.
2) Cut batting the same size.

3) Cut backing one inch bigger in both directions. If your top is 3"x5" cut the backing 4"x6".

4) With right sides together, center one edge of backing on top of top and batting.
5) Sew 1/4" seam.

6) Aline parallel edge of backing on parallel edge of top and batting. You will have a "hump" in the backing fabric because it is bigger.
7) Sew 1/4" seam.

8) Flip inside out. And finger press backing so that it curls around the raw edges of the seam allowance. Steam iron.

9) Fold corner 45 degrees so raw edge of backing touches raw edge of tiny quilt sandwich. You may want to pin it this way, as finger pressing tiny bits doesn't always work well. Fold other corner on same raw edge.
10) Steam press. I kept singing my fingers....until I realized that I could use straight pins and stick them through my ironing board cover.

11) Fold raw edge over 1/4" and steam press. Again, it might help avoid burns if you use pins.

12) Roll folded edge over raw edge of quilt sandwich and pin in place. Steam iron. At this point you can fiddle with the "mitered" corner to make it perfect.

13) Repeat process on other side.

14) Top stitch being sure to keep the needle down when you turn corners. Steam press.

Ta-da! Teddy has a new quilt!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

God's Timing...DQS11

It has been a really long summer....and terribly short.

Last May, just a week or so before my oldest graduated from high school, I started a diet program. I didn't want to tell any one. Maybe I didn't want to have to admit out loud that I was so overweight. Maybe I thought that if no one knew, than there would be less pressures to succeed. There is nothing more irritating than someone constantly reminding you that you are on a diet. I can't tell you why I did it. I don't really know. It wasn't a bad idea, just kind of random.

Not very long after I started I was visiting with a friend and told her that my baby factory had closed. Meno-pause came and lingered and left. My first baby is headed off to college. My last baby just turned 13. It was time to remodel the structure for whatever was to come next. I'm hoping for something sleek and colorful and fun.

As of yesterday morning I've lost 35 pounds. It is very hard for me to grasp weights and measures of human flesh. (That sounds really weird.). Really, I know how much I weigh, but when I look at people who supposedly weigh the same they seem huge. Years ago Gilbert and I taught Sunday school to three year old. Our room had a sort of Dutch door that required us to lift the kids up and over to bring them into the room. That experience taught me that people are not all made the same. Some are feathers - we would lift the kids and nearly throw them across the room for the lack of gravity's hold on their little bodies - some are bricks. I think I must be a brick.

My clothes are just now getting to the point where they are uncomfortably large, so today, after finished quilting and binding my partners mini for DQS11, I decided to treat myself to some clothes that fit. I couldn't find a thing! I found really big clothes - you could have fit two of the old me in them. I found clothes that would fit a twig - my legs are more like trunks than twigs. I am too big to be small and to small to be big. Talk about discouraging. Maybe I just dreamed those 35 pounds were gone. So I went my boys dirty lunch dishes littering the kitchen, and living room. Sigh.

And then God stepped in.

Outside my front door, sitting on the stoop was a package. It was addressed to me. This is what I found inside!

My day took a drastic turn for the better! This is the quilt made for me in the DQS11 swap! It came wrapped in the beautiful bag with the happy, bright charm squares. AWESOME! My partner is "the bomb!"

Thank you Marilyn, and God!


My goal for today is to quilt and bind the quilt I've been working on for my partner.

The process is always a little bit scary. I want the quilting to complement the top but not take away from anything the top has to offer.

I asked the guys to help me choose the pattern and thread. They are really good at helping me to narrow down the choices. They liked Chloe3 by Kim Diamond....if I could make it do what I described to them. (They were justifiably sceptic.). AND they liked the idea of red thread. Noah was rooting for black thread, but I vetoed that one.

So good, so far.....

Now...I'm off to do the hand work....and eat lunch.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quilt Plano 2011...part 2

The quilting on this one is amazing, but what drew me to it is the color....and that one blue pumpkin.

I can't imagine making this quilt, but I knew my blogging/flicker friends would love it.

I couldn't resist this incredible owl. His feathers called out to be stoked and pet, they swayed in the breezes created as people passed by...but I resisted. The best I could do is take his picture to share.

I visited with Sandy last night. Tom is hand embroidered with chenille and feathers. His eyes are antique buttons. Sandy is in the process of opening a retreat house north of Anna, Texas. Tom will be there to great visiting quilters.

I went to the quilt show with my Mom. We go on lots of adventures together. This time I found out that I like birds...Mom told me so. As I thought about it I decided she was right. Pictures of fat little birds make me happy inside. I hope you like this one too.

It was a great show. I hope you enjoyed visiting some of it with me,

Until next time,

She' coming down the final stretch...

I went ahead and put the sashing in. It isn't perfectly perfect, but it does help with the bulky seams. I still love the way the little squares look.

Now...I have to peel the papers off...time to put in a movie and move to the big comfy couch!

I can quilt and bind tomorrow, and she should be in the mail by Saturday.... Unless of course, God has other plans.

I hope you like it partner!

DQS11...Getting Closer

At last, I have all of the paper pieced units completed. My original drawing has a tiny sashing between these blocks....which would make the mini about 18.5" square

That is about .5" bigger than it is supposed to be. (I seriously doubt that any partner would care.)

I have to admit that I am tempted to put the pieces together this way, without the sashing. But I really like the way the little red squares look.

What would you do?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Taking Time to Breath...

Some days are just too full of activity. I rush from one thing to the next, assured that each item only agenda is important, only to find myself at the end of the day unappreciative of the good things I enjoyed.

Today I am doing laundry...what day are we not doing laundry?....and working on my partners quilt for DQS11... and putting last minute touches on my presentation for this evening (I am talking with a neighboring guild about Quilting and the Internet. My goal is to introduce them to something fun and eliminate some of the fears they may have about cyber-space.)...and thinking about my boys in this their last week of summer before heading back to school.

What I want to be doing, is all of these things; however, I want to be savoring the journey. I want to step into the rhythms of sewing and folding and stacking. I want to enjoy the scents of ironing and clean clothes, and the warmth of a load of laundry fresh out of the drier. I want to really hear the sound of my boys laughing together in these last few moments before the oldest goes off to college. I know that things won't ever be quite the same.

For now, I think I'll just take a moment to breath.