Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Help me name this quilt, please!

Woohoooo!!! I finished my scrappy crown of thorns quilt top today. I had an idea in my head of how I wanted the layout and borders to go, but I am a lady wayyyyy behind the times. No EQanything here for me..sheesh..I didn't even have graph paper to play with, so I flew by the seat of my pants and just prayed that it would turn out in reality like it was in my head...and it did!!!! I couldn't wait to show you all, so I took a picture now even though it is dark out and the lighting inside was poor. At least you get to see the basics. Tomorrow after work I will take a pic outside so you can see the colors much better. It really is a controlled scrappy. It measures in at 73 1/2"x 83 1/2". What do you think? Please be honest..I know my color sense is NOT what others generally like and I really want to know what folks think. My feelings will not be hurt! lol

Btw..that is Bella, my son's cat, who is "helping" with keeping that bottom straight. lol

I am still working on a name for this quilt. It evokes everything I love in quilts to me..old timey feel, cozy, homey, security, peacefulness. Allegany State Park does all that to me. As soon as we drive into the park, I can feel all tension and stress just disappear. It is a dream of ours to find a little place down near there for our own. I was thinking of naming this quilt for Allegany, but I can't pin down a name. Any suggestions? They don't have to have Allegany in the name...just something that evokes those feelings.

Now..I have a question for you. The block I used I have seen called both Single Wedding Ring and Crown of Thorns. Obviously, I did not make it up. I don't think there is a block left that could be made up. Anywho, I didn't make up the block, but I did choose the controlled scrappiness of it, and I did come up with my own layout and borders. So...does that mean I designed this quilt? When does someone become a quilt designer vs. just being a quilter? Is it in the layouts? I honestly don't know. If people ask where I got the pattern for this from, do I say I designed it? That almost sound pretentious to me. People like Bonnie Hunter are quilt designers..but doesn't even she pick an old block or two and establish her own way of putting them together? Sigh..this is getting complicated! I just don't want to take credit for "designing" this quilt, if I am just defining it wrong..someone HELP!!

Stash Manicure

Have you all been over to Stash Manicure yet? They have guest authors daily giving you GREAT ideas on how to bust your stash. I do have to admit, I like my stash. I am in no hurry to bust it. I am, however, also in no hurry to add to it. It's not a race to see how much I can get rid of..I would happily live with this same stash for the next 20 years. It has enough variety to help me produce different quilts for a loooooooooooooong time. I do love seeing all the ideas everyone comes up with. It is so motivating to me to see what others are up to!
Anywho..go over and check out this blog. You will love it and you might just win a great prize!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Still plugging along

I haven't had much time to get in the sewing room, but today I finally got all the blocks made for my Scrappy Crown of Thorns. I am soooooo glad these are done..I canNOT wait to get to start laying them out and getting them together!

Unfortunately, I do have to wait. Beets and snow peas are ready to get cleaned up and frozen, so that is my next task for the day. I did get a MOUNTAIN of laundry done. I hate when my kids finally decide to clean their rooms..and each bring down loads and loads of laundry.
I really should be doing more weeding in the garden, but my RA is playing havoc with my hands, so that is out of the question for the day. I really have to get all the weeding and garden tending done by this coming Friday as we are heading out to Allegany State Park next Saturday for a week. Oh, do I need this vacation! No cell phone, no electricity, no running water...I love it. Now I just need to make sure I have a few projects to bring along for the times when we are not hiking, playing board games, sitting by the fire, etc. Oh...I am sooo impatient for this trip!!!
Well, off to the vegies and hopefully will have some more progress to show you later!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

An awesome Giveaway

Over at Green Fairy Quilts, they are having an awesome giveaway!! Check it out..but fast as the drawing is this evening!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Drive-by Blogging!

Just have a minute to spare and wanted to share the pics of my newest 9 patch top done. This was the one I was originallly working on when I had to stop and make Papa's quilt. I snagged the idea and made Papa's the the same colors..except I substituted family pics for his where the 9 patches are in this one. I used Moda's Glace for both..tho I made the solid border yellow in Papa's. This was on the Moda Bake Shop site, but I really want to give credit to Roslyn, over at Bloom, the shout out as she is the designer and I just love this pattern. Thanks, Roslyn!! Here is the quilt:

It measures in at 66"x91" and I just LOVE it!

Off to dinner now..catch you later!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just a quickie

No pics tonight as it is too dark, but I did make some progress tonight. I made 10 blocks so far for my Scrappy Crown of Thorns and got two of the 5 borders on my 9 patch from the Moda Bake Shop. I did realize..too late, of course, that I reversed one of the borders on that one. It should have been border #4, and I put it in place #2. It also looks like I might have to make one of the borders out of 2 colors as I don't have enough of 1. Sigh..I REFUSE to buy any more, though, so I WILL work it out! That is it for tonight. Off to watch movies with Hannah!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today's harvest and more musings

Let's start with those gorgeous brown eggs. Collected 5 of them today..apparently one of the girls is slacking a bit! We have 6 Golden Comet hens and we usually get an egg from each of them. We'll let this slide today, but those girls will have to answer to me if there are only 5 out there again tomorrow! lol

I had to go out and harvest the spinach today as it was getting near the end of its time. We have enjoyed it in our salads for the past few weeks, but now was time to freeze it up. I got about 2 1/2 quarts of frozen spinach from that pile. I freeze it in 10 oz sizes as that is the usual size most of my recipes call for.

This has been an odd growing season. The weather has been all topsy turvy but my gardens don't seem to mind. Everything is growing gangbusters. I think I have about one more week of lettuce and that, too, will be done. Time to throw some different seeds in these empty spots!

Getting ready to go sew for a bit..not sure on what, though. I have been still ruminating on what makes me a quilter. I did come up with a few more bits and pieces of what attracts me to it. Here is what else I came up with:

Frugality. I love being a tightwad pennypincher!! There is nothing I get more satisfaction from then making something from nothing or repurposing something I already have. I am trying to get my family more and more self sufficient (hence the gardens and chickens), and quilting fits right into this. Our big dream is to have a place that is powered by alternative energy, grow our own food, etc. I swear I was born in the wrong century. Quilting not only gives me something creative to do in my spare time, it saves me money by keeping me home and busy ( I rarely spend lots of money on fabric...again, I love the bargain! I do admit I go on a binge once in awhile and spend about $50 at a pop, but that isn't often), saves me money by keeping us warm ( our house is chilly in the winter as I keep the thermostat LOW), saves me money on gift buying as folks will generally get a quilt from me..especially for those big, expensive gift events like weddings, saves me money on home decorating and can earn me money if I wanted to sell any of my quilts. Wow..a whole lotta goodness wrapped up in quilting!!

Compassion and doing for others. I know this sounds odd, but quilting is teaching my children a valuable lesson about these two things. A good majority of quilts I make are gifted. I call them that because I really don't care for the word "donate". Donate, to me, sounds like something I want to get rid of, or giving away something just because I have excess. Gift, to me, is something I give to someone out of love..pure and simple. So, I gift quilts..not donate them. I try to avoid gifting to organizations (though there are many WONDERFUL ones and I have gifted to them) because I prefer to hand them to someone. So they can see in my face that this IS a gift of love. That I treasure them and am thankful I have met them and have been able to create this gift for them. I tell them that while I didn't know them personally when I made this quilt, I prayed about the person that would be getting it..them..and that I hope when they use it, they will know that someone out there is STILL thinking about and praying for them. My children see this and know that being part of God's world..this world.. isn't about doing something for others "later"..or when you have time. Sheesh..I don't have the you?? It's about doing something..anything..NOW..simply because you can and someone out there needs you. Pretty simple.

Well, I have gone on long enough and I am sure I am the only one still reading this at this point, but that is okay. I am beginning to learn a lot about myself.

Off to stitch..will post later on that!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesdays Musings

Haven't gotten much time in the sewing room, but I did start making some of the blocks for my Scrappy Crown of Thorns. This block has also been called Wedding Ring, I believe. I love this block and can't wait to get them all done and play around with how I want to set them. This is my reward for basting the Giant New York Sunflower quilt.

Now, onto my musings. Elaine left me a great comment down on my post about my UFO's. She talked about a little self examination on our UFO's and habits. She said she was afraid to dig too deep into that area in case she didn't like what she found! LOL She sure did make me smile, but she also made me dig a little. Why am I a fabrimaniac? Why do I collect them? Why do I freak over too many UFO's? Why does quilting touch my heart like no other textile work does? What do these fabrics mean to me? I think this post I will start with what fabrics and quilts mean to me. That seems to be the easiest.

My first random thoughts when I see a quilt are: warmth, home, love, coziness, weightiness, comfort, a hug, protection. I don't really know where these ideas come from. I didn't come from a family that had quilts or quilted. My nana was into small amounts of sewing..usually just mending, and she made the most amazing tablecloths that were crocheted with fine thread. My mom could crochet, but her art was knitting. I was lucky enough to be taught at a young age to do both of those by these wonderful ladies, and still do them, but quilting is what captures my heart. Maybe it's what I have read and seen on tv that has made me think of quilts in these ways. I love history (not the who was the President who did this and who fought in this war kind of history, but the history of PEOPLE and their lives.) I was (and am) a voracious reader all growing up and I read a lot of pioneer style books, diaries of women from those ages, etc.

When I was a young mom, I sewed ALL the clothes for the family. I loved doing it, but it wasn't a "calling" for me. Once I hit kiddo #4, that stopped as I just didn't have time anymore.

Quilting and fabric also mean "peace of heart" to me. Even when I can't get in the sewing room to work on a project, just walking in there and seeing those fabrics..pulling out a few and folding them prettier and putting them back..and yes..even smelling the fabrics relax me and take away stress. While I am confessing that I smell my fabric, I will also confess that I embarass my family tremendously by always having to smell my books before I open them and read them, too. Do NOT take me into a book store or I will be lovingly touching the front cover, opening the book and taking a few precious whiffs and feeling the weightiness of it in my hands.

Quilting is also (usually) a very solitary and spiritual thing for me to do. I am not big on quilting with and there is nice, but I seldom get anything done then. That is the reason I have never joined a guild or bee. I am just happy to have my fabric and music and me. When I am quilting, I often talk to God. I pray about the person who will be the recipient, I think about them, I think about something I read in the Bible, etc. It gives me a lot of great time alone with God. The only other thing that I do that gives me as much time with God is my gardening. For some reason, both these hobbies are natural times for me with God. I can, and do, incorporate Him into other times, but they never seem to be as easy or as natural as these times. Hmm...that gives me a lot to think about!

I really think that a little bit of this love of quilting is my way of leaving a legacy. I have gave birth to and raised 6 kids and while I know that is my real legacy, I think a part of me wants to leave something else. Something that someone, years from now, will find and say, "Wow..look at those tiny stitches" or "This quilt was so loved..I can imagine the love that went into this one". I know it is not for the ego boost now, for as much as my family and friends love my them it is mostly just one of my quirks. I don't make fancy quilts to enter into shows, I make quilts to love.

This really hasn't even touched the tip of this iceburg but it sure is an interesting start to this journey. Will update if I get any more thoughts on this and would love to hear any of your thoughts on this!

Back to piecing!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday's project

Today has been a lazy, muggy, overcast day. I did a little shopping at Goodwill, a little bit of housework, watched some Gilmore Girls with Hannah and got my Giant New York Sunflower quilt all basted to handquilt. I really dreaded doing this. Now, it is done and I will have something to work on when I can't get in the sewing room. Yay! So, it isn't really a finish, but it sure feels like one! Why is it we get so hung up on one part of a project, that we keep procrastinating? Fine, I may not like taking the time to baste it all up, but once it is done, back to the fun part! I have decided that I am going to keep working this way. Pick one UFO that has a part I am dreading and just DO IT. Then, I will reward myself with a fun job. So, the next time I get in the sewing room..hopefully this evening, I will work on finishing one of the UFO's that involves piecing..that is my reward for basting this one!

Btw..Dan just LOVED his quilt. He told me it was the best night sleep he ever had, under it. Can't boys just be the sweetest things ever sometimes??

Off for a glass of wine with my drinking/quilting buddy, Pam. Her hub has finally talked mine into taking up golf...all at Pam's instigation. More drinking/quilting time for us!! YAY!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Barn Raising done!

Yay!! Got this all quilted today and the binding is machine stitched on. I just stitched in the ditch around all the diamonds on point and along the borders. It really quilted up very quickly. It ends up at 78"x78". This was a top I made during Marge's Super Stash Bowl mystery. Marge runs the Mysteries for Relay site for cancer. I have done a few of her mysteries and I am never disappointed with them. Speaking of which, I need to get back over there and resign on to the list! Won't you join me?? I am counting this as done as I will handsew the back of the binding down tonight while watching a movie with the family. Dan is home right now, so can't work on it until he is gone.

Isn't it amazing how a finish motivates you?? Now with this done, I can't wait to jump into another. I am planning on hand quilting my Giant New York Sunflower top, so I think I will baste that all up next so I have something to work on during tv time or sitting outside time. Being prepared like that is a HUGE part of me getting things done. I will also grab another top and get that pinned and maybe start quilting it. Not sure yet. I am in the mood for piecing, so maybe I will finish putting together one of the tops. Haha..who knows what comes next??!! to go see if I have any more cd's of bands whose name starts with F......

An F'ing Day THAT made you notice, huh?? No, you won't hear those kind of words from me. The f'ing kinda day I am talking about is my music to quilt by...Freddy Fender and Foreigner. Both were my top picks for the day and they helped me accomplish a big part of my goal.

I have today off as I have to bring my Patrick to the neurologist today. About 2 1/2 weeks ago, he had a seizure. We think this might have been the second one in about 3 weeks. He hasn't had any seizures that we have seen in over 14 years, so we are not too happy about this. So, after the appointment and I am sure a test or two, I am assuming he will be back on seizure meds and we hopefully won't have to worry about these anymore.

Between an hour last night and this morning, I got my Barn Raising quilt all quilted. Tonight I will work on the binding and will get to cross UFO #1 off the list and better yet, get to gift this to Dan on Saturday for his birthday.

Will update on Patrick and quilt progress later!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guilty over UFO's

Do any of you out there get this way? I am feeling sooooo guilty over my UFO's. I am not really sure why. Most cost me little to no money since I make them out of my stash. According to my assessment, I have 16 UFO's listed on the left here. That is a true compilation..nothing least that I know of!! 16 is not a lot compared to other UFO lists that I read about out there in blogland. Whatever the reason, I am planning on putting this guilt to good use. Here are my resolutions:

1) I am on a complete buying hiatus. Only thing that is allowed to come in is batting to finish up these UFO's...and POSSIBLY backing if I really, really can't find a way to make what I have work.

2) No new projects whatsoever..until I get at LEAST 5 of these UFO's completed.

3) I am back to having quite a few bags of scraps from these UFO's, and they, too, MUST be cut up and organized before I start anything else.

I am sure I should be adding more to this list of promises to myself, but right now I am happy with this.
So..hold me to it, everyone!! If you see anything on here resembling a start to a new me out on it...PUHLEEEEZE!!!

Now, off to start quilting my scrap Barn Raising quilt. If I can get it done in time, it will be a gift for my son, Dan, who turns 22 this Saturday. Say a prayer that I keep my resolve!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Papa's Surprise Party

Got back a little while ago from New Jersey for Papa's (my dad) surprise party. I was born and raised in Jersey and my sisters still live there. I now live outside of Rochester, NY, so it was about a 6 hour drive each way. We left yesterday morning to go there and this morning to come back. My butt is sooo glad to be out of the van. Papa lives in KY now, so I can only imagine what HIS butt feels like! lol The party was a total success..he had no clue and was soooooo surprised!! We had my 2 sisters and I and our families. Back in 2001, we were all together and took a group shot:

We decided to do that again this year, and got us all in the same spot. So here we are now:

Everyone just LOVED how the Papa's Pride quilt turned out. Here are a couple of pics of Papa checking the quilt out:

Papa and his wife, Dixie, showing the quilt off:

It was a wonderful weekend. I hate that it is so hard for us all to be together, but glad we enjoy the time we do!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Papa's Pride

Well, once again I am under the gun to get a quilt done as a gift. We are having a surprise birthday party for my dad this weekend in New Jersey. His wife had suggested a few weeks ago that a quilt with family pictures would be nice, if I thought I could do it. Of course I said yes. The fact that I have never made a quilt like this, or used any of the products to transfer pics to fabric never crossed my mind. I think the hardest part was picking the pictures. I had 40+ years worth of pics to go through and finally settled on 30 of them. Hmm..what pattern? I really love the 9 Patch quilt from the Moda Bake Shop , so I decided to use that and switch the spot for the 9 patches with the family pics. Finally, last night, I got to start sewing it (remember..I am leaving early Sat morning, so it needs to be done by then!!). I got the center of the top done last night and tonight finished putting the borders on. It really goes together quickly once you have it all cut! I added one more row of blocks to the pattern, so the top measures in at 80 1/2" x 92 1/2". Tonight I am sandwiching it and beginning the quilting on it.

These are a couple of pics showing the pictures after I printed them onto the fabric. I hope you can see how clear these turned out. I am VERY impressed. I guess I was thinking of the old transfers we used to put on shirts and was not expecting the amazing clarity of the pics.

Here is a shot of the finished top. As usual, it was dark out, so you don't get the vibrancy of the colors but I will post a clearer pic as soon as I get it quilted. This is a Moda Glace jelly roll with a little yellow thrown in.

And a close up of a couple of the photos:

Other than rushing like a madwoman, this has been a GREAT experience! I can't wait to use photos in more projects now that I know how versatile and easy this is. If you have had any doubts, check out the new products and give it a try!!