Saturday, July 4, 2015

My new favorite quilt book

There's been quite the sewing frenzy in my quilted nest the past few days.

Our church has a huge Fourth of July extravaganza each year.  It started 10 years ago with just a Patriotic Pops Concert (organized and directed by my hubby) and now it's a pie baking contest, quilt show, vintage car show, ice cream social and Patriotic Pops Concert.  There were nearly 1,000 people at the concert last night, which was outstanding.

Anyway, Dave told me last weekend that they were short on prizes for the winners of the two categories in the apple pie baking contest so I volunteered to make two table runners using blocks from the Vintage Farm Girl book by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet fame.

Let me say I love this book!  When I was purchasing it, the lady in line next to me at the quilt shop said, "What are you going to make out of that book?"  I said, "I have no idea."  I guess she was one of those organized, determined, disciplined people who only buy with a specific purpose in mind.  Silly!  I also bought fabric that day just because it reminded me of 1972!

Anyway, like I said, I decided that I'd make two table runners.  I made the first block Monday night.  I wouldn't have been so ambitious, except that I knew I had Thursday and Friday off of work and I knew I could sew all day both days, and I did just finish yesterday about two hours before the winners were announced.  I hope they like their runners.  They also each got a cookbook which was donated by one of the judges.

(You won't find a pattern for the apple in Lori's book.  I tweaked the pumpkin block and turned it into an apple!  I added the little white triangles at the bottom to give it that little "divot" that apples have on the bloom end.)

I love all the patterns in this book and can't wait to make some more.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The super seminar was super

Last week I went to a three-day Ricky Tims Super Seminar.  It was a Christmas gift from my family.  Although it was held in a venue only about 10 miles (or less) from home, they also treated me to staying in the seminar hotel - I love staying in hotels!  It felt a little funny at first, but believe me, I got used to it quite quickly and really felt like I was away on a quilt adventure.

Here's a slideshow Ricky and Alex Anderson posted to give you an idea of the weekend's event.

The most challenging thing about the weekend was the weather!  South Texas experienced extremely cold weather last weekend - unheard of coldness!  And the event venue was a big barny ballroom that never seemed to get warm - and yet, no one complained!  We were all so excited to see the quilts and watch the experts demonstrate how to make them we just pulled our jackets around us a little closer. 

If you haven't been to a Super Seminar, I recommend it.  Ricky Tims and a guest expert or two (typically Alex Anderson) lecture and demonstrate all their signature techniques over the three days.  There are also numerous shopportunities to purchase their books and Ricky's hand-dyes, and Bernina is a big player in the retail therapy portion of the event.  A couple of the lectures were basically Bernina commercials.  Being an Elna girl, this was a little dull for me - could have been off-putting if I'd let it be.

One of my favorite parts was getting to see Ricky's and Alex's actual quilts up close.  I've seen these in all kinds of publications and online for years so it was great to see them in person.  I've always wanted to compare my hand-quilting to Alex's.  I spent a long time studying her quilt Mud.

What I  discovered is that I "can" and do quilt like she does - but not as consistently, especially on my own personal quiltsYou can find high quality quilting like this on my quilts, but not all over the quilt.  I'm happy to let some sloppy quilting (bigger, uneven stitches) find its way into my quilt - sort of lazy, I know.  So as a result, for the past week as I've been quilting Kites and Diamonds, I've been much more mindful as I quilt so that my stitch is more consistent.  It's really paying off.

I had a great time - paid for it at work this week with all of the catching up I had to do, but it was worth it.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

Here is another new year starting.  To tell you the truth, I'm a little startled by it!  2014 flew by so quickly and had so many ups and downs.  Work was crazy, with my boss's retirement, getting a new boss (not new to the college because he had been one of our vice presidents), the grand opening of a new building and program on campus which I've spent most of the last two years writing about, talking about, making presentations about, planning, raising funds for, etc. etc. etc.  It has truly occupied my life.  And then in the middle of it all, I developed an annoying health issue that I really don't want to talk about - at least not yet.  I'm getting treatment, in fact I graduated from physical therapy yesterday, and I'm feeling tons better than I did in September and October - I was really in sad shape for a while there.  I'm much, much better now.  So let's talk about quilts and stuff!

We've had a good day, today.  Mostly quiet - DD was out with a friend all day.  I made lunch for Dave and me - pecan crusted chicken, hoppin' john, pasta salad left over from yesterday and sugar free brownies with sugar-free vanilla ice cream.  Delish.

Are you making resolutions this year?  I'm not, really, except that I've made a list of UFOs to complete in 2015 and they are (in the order I want to get them done): 
  1.  Kites and Diamonds - this is the quilt I'm hand quilting right now.  I'm pretty sure my mother pieced it sometime in the '50s or '60s.  I haven't taken a picture of it yet.
  2. Bow Tie - I saw a vintage bow tie quilt on Flickr one day when I was eating lunch at my desk and decided I had to make one like it.  I went home and made one block just as a sample so I wouldn't forget and the next thing I knew it was covering my design wall.  No pic of it yet, either.
  3. Not-Your-Grandmother's-Flower-Garden - I just ordered a hexagon die for my brand-new Christmas present GO Cutter, so I'm excited to get it and get busy.
  4. Mighty Oaks - I was in such a hurry to start this, and then I needed to get some notion or other and it just sort of got stuck on the design wall. It's a little further along than the picture below shows.
  5. Embroidered Baskets - I might get this done in time to enter it in the local quilt show.  That's a big maybe.  It only needs quilting, unless I decide to add a border.

I know it doesn't seem like a big list, but I will hand quilt these, and I only have so much time for hand quilting.  I've also chosen two tops to send out to be machine quilted: my Sister's Choice and Black and White and Red All Over. 

Wishing you all you dream of in 2015!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Today, life is...

...a little laundry and house-straightening's appointment (blood work follow up) - getting the last of the invitations out for our big grand opening event at the end of the month
...leftovers for lunch
...sausage/potatoes/cabbage for dinner
...watching "Finding Your Roots." bed.

Maybe, just maybe, I can work in a little sewing.

Friday, July 25, 2014

My view, my world

Ingredients for a great morning.

This is actually two projects, the We All Sew Churn Dash and some bow tie blocks I'm making.  I was cruising Google Images on my lunch hour the other day, looking at bow tie quilts and came across a wonderful one.  Well, many wonderful ones, but this one really caught my eye.  I decided that the best way to clear off the solid and bright/floral/geometric scraps that had accumulated on my cutting table would be to make them all into bow tie blocks.  Best way, not fastest way. 

I'm still working on the hand-quilting of the Churn Dash restoration.  I use the blue water erasable pen to mark the Baptist Fan arcs, so I'm ultra-careful to spray them down with water, really soak them through and through, as soon as I get one set of arcs finished.  Then I've got some time to wait while it dries so I pick up these other projects.  I guess I could go downstairs and clean house or do laundry, but why, really?

I'm off this Friday and next; these are the last of the summer four-day work weeks.  I could definitely do this year-round.

My coffee cup appears empty, so I guess I will have to go downstairs.  I think I need one of those little Keurigs to keep in the sewing room.

Friday, May 30, 2014

New churn dashes

Blogger is being funny about adding pictures this morning. It took forever to get these two on.  I'm fitting these in as I take little breaks from the hand-quilting of the churn dash restoration.  I've probably said before that I have no problem with having multiple projects going on at the same time.  I do that at work, right?  I don't just work on one event or project at a time, I have many projects going on, all in different stages.  So what's wrong with having a number of quilt projects going on at the same time?  Keeps things fresh, I think!

I feel awful.  I think I accidentally called someone at 4:45 this morning as I was trying to turn off my alarm.  (I use my phone as my alarm clock).  I'm not sure how that happened, but it started dialing a number.  It wasn't a number I recognized, and wasn't someone in my contacts, obviously.  So very sorry if you were disturbed, which most people would be at that hour.  I will text the number later with an apology.

Speaking of texting, there was a woman sitting next to me at a funeral yesterday who was texting the whole time!  At a funeral!  I had to make myself imagine that she was carrying on some very urgent conversation regarding an impending organ transplant or someone's burning house to keep me from giving her "the look."  Of course, now that I've woken someone up at 4:45 a.m., I have no room to talk about cell phone misuse, but there it is.