Think about this.....

...the only thing scarier then reaching out to the unknown is settling for that with which we are comfortable.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Day Away

Saturday was not spent at my machine. Nor was Sunday. In fact, after our power outage on Friday night, I haven't been back to Laura at all. That's okay. Once in a while new artistic juices need to flow and there is nothing better then a trip to East Lansing and Lake Odessa to get some great ideas.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Power Outage

I'm in the ending of setting the applique pieces to Sunbonnet Sue and had just set down for a quick coffee break and a phone call to my hubby. Blink. No power. Great.

This is the second time this winter so I guess my goal of completing Sue will have to wait since today we are headed into East Lansing to visit with Ben and his girlfriend Alisha. It's her 21st.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Monthly Wallhangings

The little Irish Chain-type wall hanging was completed on Thursday night. It turned out really cute. Perhaps I should post pics of these...but then again, I don't like to post them up until they are finally final. Otherwise I get so confused about what I've snapped and what still needs to be taken care of, picture wise I mean.

The fireplace wall hanging was completed last night, or at least up until the binding having to be whip stitched. I'll start Sunbonnet Sue today and should be able to get her nearly done by tonight but I'm running into a batting issue.

I just watched a QNN video on batting and how to select the correct bat for the correct job. I have a few batting selections down there that I would just as soon pitch rather then use. I think today I'll quickly stitch up a doggie bed for Lily with what I don't want to use and fill it with all my fabric scraps too. I'll double layer for ease of wash. Meanwhile, I have a feeling I'm not going to find enough of my favorite batting to finish my wall hanging today. Who knows? Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Another Top Completed

So my Block Buffet top is completed. In order to enter the contest, I have to complete not only the top, but layer the quilt, quilt it, attached all applicable bindings and hanging sleeves, and then snap pics of it finished for submission. We'll have to go batting shopping this weekend to find a correct bat for it.

Meanwhile, a new little 40 or so inch wallhanging is in progress from It looks like an Irish chain-type of quilt, but each section showcases a color and pattern of fabric of your choosing. I cut all the pieces out last night and put it up on my pseudo design wall for perusal. I'm not sure about one of the seems dark to me, so I may rethink that section but I'm trying to go for a purple/yellow/turquoise/red type of color scheme.

Off I go!

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's Monday

Apparently my little dog finds it necessary to whine at all hours of the night. She has learned that by doing so, her owner (my youngest son) will let her out of her crate to sleep with him rather then listen to her whine. We recognized this over the weekend while the son was away at FFA state officer selection weekend. Needless to say, the son and I didn't get much sleep last night because the husband of this group insisted she stay in her crate and for us to not give in to her. He sleeps through anything. I obviously don't.

I'm grumpy today because of it and need to get downstairs to calm down with my sewing. The newest quilt pattern is not called Block Party but rather Block Buffet. I did complete my 12 set-in squares last night and also the four template blocks. The template blocks didn't come out as well as I would have liked despite my being ever so careful with them. I just think triangles and I need to come to some kind of understanding...either that or I need to purchase some spray starch to hold them better while sewing for more accurate seams.

Either way, more today.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fun-Filled Weekend

But not with my quilts, which is unusual! Caleb had a state FFA competition, so Friday evening was spent getting him clothes, dropping him off, and finally delivering that quickie bargello I created two weeks ago as a donation to local charity. We also went to a production given by the MSU Musical Arts department at the Warton Center. It was amazing!

Yesterday we found ourselves enjoying being "kid free" and did some shopping, visiting, and then home to begin a new quilt for a contest. It's called Block Party (I think) and it was a mystery block of the week thing that began last November. I failed to participate but once the clues were all out, found the quilt to be rather pleasing and decided with some prize initiative, to do the quilt after all. So it's my next project.

All the squares were cut last night and the first two sets of 9-patch blocks were made, as well as 2 of the 12 set-in square blocks. Tomorrow may be late in starting since we have to head back into Lansing to pick up the kid from state competition, drop some stuff off for the kid at state, and pick up our girl scout cookies. Yum!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Here they are. What do you think? Did I do okay with the color constraints? I will be shipping this to Sherman, Texas tomorrow. Hurray

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fluttering Away

The butterfly quilt is nearly done. I'll spend today setting the binding and creating a name tag for it, but after a total of 31 hours, I'm ready for it to be loved in Texas!

With the added notions and embellishments I think it brought some zing to the empty spaces within the piece and something for Paisley to stare at while she's waiting for her sleepy mom and dad to get her out of her crib.

Pic will be on tomorrows post. I'm not feeling well today and so will probably just take it easy and bind this quilt and my name tag for the quilting guild. I've got it completed, but not bound up yet either.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Butterflies, Butterflies

My army girlfriend in Texas is a new grandmom. She has a beautiful little granddaughter who is simply, well, beautiful. And I don't usually say that about babies in general. You can say what you want, but truthfully, they aren't really that cute. However, this little girl is the exception; she truly is a cutie pie!

When Pat saw my latest Instant Bargello quilt on Facebook, she decided she needed me to make a quilted wallhanging for Paisley's room. I suggested a bunny, she suggest butterflies. The research was on.

I knew somewhere in all my magazines I remembered seeing a pattern for butterflies. The problem is, I have 10 years worth of magazines, and I currently subscribe to about 3 or so. Multiply that out and you have many, many magazines with which to search through for that "just right" quilt. 45 minutes later, Jim and I found it!

The challange: Paisley's room is done in pink, green, and grey. She has a white bedroom set so that gives me a little more leeway, but butterflies are supposed to be colorful, aren't they? I felt like Winnie the Pooh when he taps is noggin and mutters, "Think, think, think." How can I make this work? I love a challenge and set right in pulling and purchasing fabrics on Sunday and Monday.

Monday night everything was cut, and all the butterflies (11 of them) were assembled and put on the fabric wall. There was one butterfly that just wasn't flying right so he had to go and so 12 were actually made.

Tuesday was spent, ALL DAY embroidering antenna and flower stems. I mean nearly 8 hours of nothing but hand sewing. Considering I pretty much suck at needlework, that's a record for me at any race.

The quilt is a special quilt for a special family. This family opens their arms to us whenever we get together (which isn't that often, unfortunately). I love the fact that the extra two days I'm putting into it will be appreciated, but even more, loved!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Water Pools

My first attempt at circles. Up until the last two rows, it was going fine. And then the last two rows didn't seem to want to line up correctly and I had to fudge the assembly process. At any case, I guess it turned out okay. I like the colors, but then again, using batiks are easy breezy!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Table Runner

I'm not one for table runners. Quilters seem to like to make them, but in every house I've ever, and mean ever been to, I don't remember seeing a table runner on the table. So, why do we make them? Because they're generally a two-day project that enhances our quilting skills and gives us a break from the very much time consuming full sized quilt. I think.

When my McCalls Quilting magazine showed up last month (or thereabouts) I found a really cool table runner project to do. Again, I generally don't make these things as I feel they are pointless (except, I do have a table runner on my table), but liked the format in the way it's put together and may just repeat the process with a full-sized quilt if all goes well.

Yesterday was full of picking, sorting, cutting, and beginning sewing of the fabric...that's how detailed this runner is. Today I'll be sewing the more intricate aspects of it during the MSU basketball game (guys watch TV, I sew).

Here is a pic of yesterday's project.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Good Night!

I think I've entered into the age my father has talked about in the past. It's the age where we begin to slow down a bit, relish the simpler things in life, and hardly get a full nights sleep. Lately it's been the whining dog keeping me up, but last night, it was a combination of things. It seems like it doesn't take much to rouse me out of my slumber, unfortunately.

In the meantime, yesterday was a productive day with my string blocks. I completed 18 more, bringing the total count to 38. I'll need about 140 total to make a quilt, and after tomorrow, will probably put this project away for now and continue to add to it as my strings become available. I have diminished my strings considerably, and without becoming too repetitive, think it's a wise decision to put the continuous project away for now.

I found a "beginner" bargello-type pattern on line a few minutes ago, and think maybe I'll head that-a-way for a few days to see what I can do with it. It'll just be a wall hanging but it will introduce me to the bargello concept, which is this summer's "big" project for me coming up. I have fabrics up in my Connecting Threads cue so when funds are available, I'll be able to zip that on its way.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

String Quilt

Since I'm running seriously low on supplies around here, I have to channel my limited resources into something a little productive. I have so many end cuts stacked up (called strings) it was time to make another quilt out of them. Jim's sister Christe received one for Christmas this past year.

It's a no-brainer quilt and I can listen to music and let my mind wander while I'm creating something worthwhile.

I had my first quilting guild meeting last night with the Thornapple River Rippers in Hastings. What fun and great fellowship! The women there were all so friendly and helpful. With my annual membership I have access to wonderful monthly classes and get to make a cute name tag for subsequent meetings. I get to do this today using foundation paper favorite!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Here it is. All done (okay, it's not all done, but the top is at least completed)! I'm not sure what I was thinking with my last post indicating I wouldn't finish the quilt until tomorrow because I knew it would be done today. Hmmm???

It turned out very long, so it will fit nicely on a twin bed.

On Point

When a quilt is not set in either a horizontal or vertical direction, but rather a diagonal direction, it's called setting "On Point". It requires setting triangles, rather then parking in square(ish) blocks to bring the quilt to a square(ish) size.

After last night, I think I need a tremendous amount of practice setting on point. While bringing the quilt to a close, and while trying to measure and add the three borders, found the quilt to be off over an inch from top to bottom. Jim was instrumental in helping me get the thing back in order, but a few of the blocks suffered because of my lack of squaring/planning.

The first one and a half sets of borders are on and tomorrow will bring yet another experience of putting blocks within the borders and trying to get them to come out right. I worry over this already.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beyond the Block

This is a totally new quilt for me to conquer. After building a focus block the idea is to then build a set of "fillers" around the focus block until reaching the next focus block. Sometimes things don't always fit as planned...and sometimes they fit better then planned. In both cases, I'm finding I probably should have stayed more alert during my Geometry class in 10th grade because I can't seem to get angulation and setting square dimensions. Grrr!

But, the quilt is actually coming together okay. I'll see when I set the borders around the edge to see how well the quilt was squared and how much "repair" work I'll have to do to fix the measurements.

Meanwhile, yesterday, along with working on this new quilt type, I started attempting to build a web site-again. I have tried this two other times before and had very little success in my attempts. However, my father encouraged me once again to try and take a shot at it. I'm artistic after all and know how to manipulate computer "things", so I should be able to assemble a web site, right? More on that later.

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Beginnings

Wednesday night, I found myself in a quandary. What to do next?

I have plenty of fabrics in my stash, but nothing considerable of specificity. By this, I mean that I have lots on fabrics, but not much variety of any particular type. I have fabric in calico, batik, tone-on-tone, solid, flannel, strip, polka dot, and motif but nothing substantial in any of them. So, how does one start a quilt without current supplies (and for now, funds)?

Monday I received a book in the mail titled Beyond the Block. I received an advertisement in the mail a few weeks ago about joining the AQS and a page from this book was featured in the glossy advertisement. I had to make the quilt in the picture. It was just one of those "gotta" things we sometimes have to do. I promptly rushed over to my computer to order the book.

E-Bay sellers were getting $999.99 for the book I was in search of purchasing. I thought, 'no way'! Amazon...same thing. What? For a book that was published six years ago? What the heck?

I finally found the book at a reasonable price out there from some cut-rate seller and paid under $40 total with shipping. I ordered it on January 4th; this is what I mean about a cut-rate seller because the book took almost a month to get here. I think they sent it via mule or something, but finally, it showed up along with another book I ordered last week titled Fabric Books.

I took at look at both books and started with the fabric book book (that sounds funny) first. I made our grandnephew a book on Thursday night and still had some time to work on another project so I started to study my new Beyond the Block book. WOW!!!! I'm hooked. More on this later but since Thursday night, this is what I've been up to.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Feeling Blue

It's funny how I feel so blue after finishing a quilt top. The end has arrived and you would figure I'd be elated to begin a new project. However, I feel like a dear friend and I have parted ways for a bit until we can begin again into the quilting process.

The Heritage Stars top is completed and with it begins planning for the next project. I have several different ways I would like to head, but with supplies being what they are currently, have limited options.

So the search begins. I have received a number of my bi-monthly and monthly magazines over the past week and have found several projects that peak my interest. I will narrow them down with the "Oh" and "Ah" factor and then see what fabrics I have available to make the final selection.

Meanwhile, here are a few shots of the new friend I created.