Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday work

Today was my work day ... I am fortunate enough to only work one full day a week at the Country Loft.  I also teach classes, and work several days a week at home on my longarm.  Right now Mindy and I are working on next year's block of the month so we are both working on Thursday's ... it is really nice to have a buddy while you're working to chat with ... and we work well together and get a lot done!  I think we give each great support and have good ideas.

Okay, while I was trying to figure out fabric today for a block, I had this idea ... I am not computer literate, so please someone tell me if this "app" exists ... I think it would be wonderful to have a program where you could draw a piece of fabric (the measurements), and then tell the computer what measurements you needed to get out of there ... then check and see whether that would work.  It would be a lot faster than doing it on paper!  Ha, ha ...

I've been a busy bee this week ... I have two quilts to show you:

This quilt I used a pantograph ... one of my new Glide colors (Sand) in top and bobbin

Hard to see the design, but it's a Golden Threads pantograph called Feather Me

 Isn't this a great quilt?  Another one by my friend, Judy!  She just pushes herself to do different things and her quilts are all different, and all amazing!  She has only been quilting for a year, can you believe it?  As always, I use Hobbs 80/20 batting.
Next up was this beauty that was made of batiks.
Hard to see the pattern on this, but I used the same pantograph ... I really liked the way is looked against these straight lines.

I just couldn't get a good picture so you could see the texture in this quilt ... I used Glide thread in top and bobbin ... it was one of my new colors ... that beautiful rust!  It was made for this quilt.
I was in a hurry to take this picture because I finished the quilt before I went to work this morning, so I didn't get a very good picture of the quilting.

Last Saturday I took a class at the Loft from my friend Jayne ... it was really fun.  There were only two of us in the class and we just had a great time.  I decided to make my quilt totally different ... it was a Christmas quilt ...

This is what my quilt looks like without the trees ...

Sorry, you have to turn your head to the side to see this quilt ... I forgot to adjust the picture before I loaded it onto Picasa.  I put a blue border around the outside ... it is really different and fun.  I used everything out of my stash and I am so psyched about that!  Making room for more fabric.  Speaking of which ... I am very excited because my two great friends are coming over tomorrow to help me get all my sewing stuff into one spot ... oh I cannot wait!  I am just so excited because everytime I look at everything all over the place in four different rooms, I just don't know where to start.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I'm sitting in my air conditioned bedroom at 7:30 at night ... it's 78 in here and it feels blessedly cool!  It was 102 degrees in the east part of San Diego today and the rest of my non-airconditioned house is still at least 85 degrees it feels like.  We have a whole house fan in the upstairs that is blowing on high to cool down the rest of the house, but I may keep my air on all night ... I never do that!  It always cools down in San Diego in the evening, so on the rare occasions when I run my air, it always goes off by dark.  I am ready for fall ... the last couple weeks here have been really hot for us.

I had high plans of quilting today ... I went to the Country Loft and bought some fabric to do the borders on my halloween quilt.  I decided instead of doing a scrappy border, it was just going to overpower the whole quilt.  But I never got as far as cutting it out because it was so hot ... I also had planned to put another quilt on my Innova, but that didn't get done either!  The dogs and I sat in the bedroom all day watching t.v., reading, and being cool!  I did run errands this morning for about 2 or 3 hours ... I had a blast shopping and spending money I probably shouldn't have ... ha, ha!

Here are the pillowcases I made for JJ last week ... I never saw him open the gifts, so I hope he likes them ... I almost kept them since they were so cute!!

Look how cute this fabric is up close.  And it was flannel so it was soft and fuzzy.  Why don't we all have cute pillowcases?  This is the absolute simplest thing to do ... you can make one in about 30 min.  I have plans to go back and buy some cute fabric for my daughter and make her a couple so she can rotate her pillowcases at college ... but shhh, don't tell her!  Hopefully she's too busy with her college life to read my ramblings!

I did a couple of quilts this week ... had Jason from Let's Quilt out last Friday to give my machine a once over.  He was in the area so I just wanted him to take a look at my machine and make sure I was taking care of it properly.  There also was a shudder in a part on the frame, and I suspected it was a leveling issue, but hadn't been able to get it to stop.  He showed me how to loosen the frame and let it all relax and tighten it back up if I have problems again.  If you are interested in an Innova Quilting Machine, I would highly, highly recommend Let's Quilt in St. George, Utah.  My dealers Teryl and John are just the best!  I have had my machine for a year now and I can't say enough about them ... the entire process from buying it, to taking classes, to maintaining the machine has been a breeze.  Their customer service is excellent.

I forgot to take a picture of a small quilt I quilted earlier in the week ... It had been a small block of the month (I think), and really was screaming for some custom quilting ... ruler work, etc.  So I started ... by the time I realized I did not really enjoy what I was doing, I was too far to turn back.  I am not comfortable with ruler work, and usually when I do custom, I don't use a ruler, but just free motion the movement.  In the end I think it looked really cute and matched the design ... I'm pretty sure I am overly critical of myself ... oh wait, I KNOW I am overly critical ... ha, ha, ha!

Here's a fun quilt I did for a customer ...

I used an Omni navy blue in the top and Glide in the bobbin, and just did a free motion stipple.  I did travel straight down and across the center line of the stars because I thought it needed some anchoring in that area.  It is a fringy star quilt, so when it's washed, the edges of the stars will fray.  I didn't want the whole star to be too puffy.

She used all fabric she had in her stash on this quilt ... that is an awesome feeling!

I also decided this week that I needed some bright orange thread for my halloween quilt; I was low on a couple of favorite colors, so a Glide order was needed!  Look what came ...
I know some of these colors look the same, but they're not!  I ordered a forest green, kind of thinking of Christmas, a pretty color called Penny which is a gold with a little copper in it, Sand, and my all-time favorite that I use the most of Vegas Gold.  I also ordered some prewound bobbins in Vegas Gold and Leather, which is a brown, another good color that I use a lot of.
I think my two favorite colors in the order were these in the front ... the orange I hope will go terrific in my quilt (and if it doesn't, I'll just have to find several fabrics that I can use this thread with!).  This other color is a rich rust, I can't remember the name of it, but I thought it looked like a beautiful fall color.  I think my thread stash is getting a little out of control as it won't fit in the big box I have all my thread in ... why shouldn't I have as much thread as I do fabric ... !!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Good friends

I don't know why I am naming this post this, but it was the first thing that came to my mind.  I've been carrying some family stuff around for a while, and it has really been weighing on my heart and head.  I decided it wasn't good for me to continue along that path ... when you keep a secret from someone, especially someone close that loves you, it creates in your mind shame ... there must be shame attached to whatever is going on, because why not share the burden?  Part of what friends are for is to help us through troubled times ... I know I want my friends to always feel like I am there to listen to them.  We had a pow wow yesterday and I just feel so much better today ... my circumstances haven't changed, but I am no longer carrying this burden around.  I really feel like a small weight was lifted from my shoulders.  My friends just lifted my spirits and are helping me shoulder the changes that are going on around me.

I'm going to a b'day party this weekend.  My uncle has a son who is about 12 ... Jonathan is the light of his life, and he also happens to have Downs syndrome.  JJ (as they call him) ... has everything!  His mom comes from a large family and everyone loves JJ so much that he is showered with goodies.  He usually gets so much at his b'day that they put part of it away for Christmas!  I usually buy him a book, or something like that, but I decided to make him some pillowcases!  After making my daugther's for college, I was reminded how stinking easy they are and oh so cute!!!  I'm not exactly sure what he's "into", and I was going to call my aunt, but decided to just wing it!  I'll make them later today and post a picture tomorrow!

Haven't made any progress on my broken dish block quilt ... yesterday morning when I was up at 2:45 and couldn't go back to sleep, I went through a bunch of my old quilt magazines and pulled out some pictures of quilts I'd love to make.  Now I just want to piece, piece, piece!!
This is a super easy pattern called Soft & Simple from the summer 2011 issues of Quilts and More.  What a great donation quilt (or baby/kid quilt) and a great way to use up all the extra fabric I have.
This is a super cute baby bib that was made out of charm pack squares; I thought it would make a great shower gift ... easy to do and you could make several.  Designed by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms and came from the Quilts and More summer 2011 magazine.
This cute quilt is Tonee White's All for Fall and was published in the October 2011 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.
It's hard for you to really see the design in this quilt, but it really intrigues me!  It is called Wild Wild Web by Amy Butler and the blocks are 22" x 24" spider web blocks that are paper pieced ... I love paperpiecing ... I can see this quilt in halloween fabrics ... wahoo ... did someone say HALLOWEEN my favorite holiday!!
Presenting Fresh New Attitude designed by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins of Piece O' Cake Designs; it was published in the August 2011 issue of APQ.  I don't do much applique anymore because I really love piecing better, but I think this quilt is so sweet.

This quilt looks rather complicated, but when you look at the way the block is constructed, it is so interesting.  There is some strip piecing involved, so that helps ... it's called Crack the Code by Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios and it was in the latest APQ October 2012 magazine.

So there are 6 quilts that I would love to make ... and you know what???  I am going to put them all on a list and make a commitment to myself to make them all.  The first one I'm going to start with is the easiest, Soft and Simple ... I'm going to make it with loads of fabric that I have ... I'll keep you posted on my progress ... I'll give myself the date of September 30 to have it finished!  Think I can do it?  Of course I can!

P.S.  Don't forget to check out this post and follow APQ's pillowcase blog challenge Pillowcase Challenge

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pillowcase challenge

Me again .. don't pass out when you see two posts from me in one day!  I was just on Laurie's Simpson's blog ( and found out that APQ is doing a pillowcase challenge for the month of September.  Please join me in following along:

This is also to remind you that there is a pretty neat blog hop starting tomorrow. The 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge!

American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge - They still need your help! Click here to GET INVOLVED

This is the schedule for the hop. It starts tomorrow, Saturday September 1st HERE.

1. Welcome from American Patchwork & Quilting

2. Rashida Coleman-Hale (
3. Olivia and Alayna's Pillowcase Project (
4. Morgan’s Smile Factory (
5. Pat Sloan (
6. Northcott (
7. Betsy Chutchian (
8. Vanessa Christenson (
9. Andover Fabrics (
10. Laurie Simpson (
11. Oak Hill, Ohio (
12. Robert Kaufman Fabrics (
13. Pam Buda (
14. Indygo Junction (
15. 4-H (
16. Katie Hennagir (
17. Anni Downs (
18. FreeSpirit Fabrics (
19. American Patchwork & Quilting Staff (
20. Patty Young (
21. Moda Fabrics (
22. Monica Solorio-Snow (
23. Moda Bake Shop (
24. Andover Fabrics (
25. Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage (
26. Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics (
27. Therm O Web (
28. Edyta Sitar (
29. Fabri-Quilt (
30. Cherri House (

Sigh ...

Hi friends ... trying to keep myself busy this week ... I just feel exhausted all the time!  Haven't been sleeping very well ... it may be because it has been hot as can be here lately!  We had a bad spell of a couple of weeks, then some nice normal weather for a few days, and now we are back in the middle of a week of 90 plus humidity ... have I mentioned before that we don't get humidity here?  Have I mentioned before that this is normally the perfect climate here ... am I whining?  Yes I am!  I know I am and to all you that don't live here I do apologize for whining, because I know it's a lot worse other places.  Okay, enough of my whining about weather ... there seems to be the summer cold thing traveling around ... my hubby brought it home last week, and he has been coughing and blowing his nose.  Now I'm fighting it and that could have something to do with me feeling tired as well.

But it doesn't matter how you feel, the sewing must go on, right?!  I've been putting together a halloween broken dish block quilt ... I got the inside put together:
I like it ... I made it really scrappy with whatever I had.  I tried to do a little color arranging, but I had the most difficult time chaining the blocks together, so everything got messed up!  Every time I tried to chain the entire blocks together in rows, the whole mess came out a tangle ... eventually I just gave up and wherever it fell, it fell!  As you can see when you don't use the same colors in a block, you kind of lose the "broken dish" look.  But I still like it ... I don't have as much halloween fabric as I thought ... oh, I might need to buy more!!  I thought I had quite a bit, but when I started cutting for these blocks, I realized most of what I have is fat quarters.  I had a hard time picking fabric to be the "solid", as I had so much pattern in the rest of the quilt.  So I chose a brown, and found several different fabrics that were in that range.  I think it works ... now I just really need some punch of color in the border.  Instead of doing a solid border, I think I'm going to use a bunch of different strips and make it very colorful.  Not sure what my outside border will be ... I don't have a huge amount of anything, and I am determined not to buy any fabric for this quilt.  I had an idea that a flying geese block in the inner border would be really spectacular, but I decided to scrap that idea because it was too much work.  I'll let you know how I do!

Here's another quilt I did last week ... this one is one of my friend's from work ... I know she usually likes a really small pattern close together, but I didn't want to do too much close stitching over this beautiful embroidery:

Cute, huh?  It's a block of the month from last year I believe ... very fun to do.  I used YLI in the top and Glide in the bobbin.  I really like the way the YLI looks on the quilt and I love the stitches it makes, but it really sheds ... a lot.  It sheds more than any other cotton thread I've used ... I put it aside for a while and didn't use it, but I thought this was the best color, and it's a good thread.  I just make sure I wipe off the area above the needle when the fuzz starts collecting too much ... that way it doesn't wind up falling onto the quilt.

See what I mean about not wanting to put too much stitching over these cute little snow people, houses and trees?
In the midst of last week's quilting, I had to go to the dermatologist for a checkup ... I had a basal cell removed about three months ago ... the scar is healing really well, and you can't even see it.  I was expecting to get in and out of there pretty quick ... hurray ...
Look what he did to me?  Sheesh ... didn't like the way these two little bits looked on my face so he biopsied two more places.  Sure hope they are nothing ... that Mose surgery they did was really nifty, but expensive!  I'd prefer not to have any more surgeries, please!  I must mention this to my dermatologist ....