Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Today was a good day spent with family. Everyone gathered at my mom and dad's--all four of us kids and our spouses, all the grandkids, and the one grandkid-in-law. What a wonderful day to have the WHOLE family together. It doesn't happen often enough. I soaked in every minute of family time.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas, as well. Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The best laid plans....

Ok, back in April, I said I'd quilt 5 minutes a day. Well, I haven't quite lived up to that. I can say that I have averaged 5 minutes a day, but have not done 5 minutes each day. It has been really hard to get motivated to quilt when I get home from work. I'm so tired everyday, partly from working two jobs. It's been awhile since I've been downstairs at my sewing machine. I know this tiredness and the need to work two jobs will pass and I will be producing at the sewing machine again. In the meantime, I'll try to do 5 minutes a day. FYI--check ebay for things I'm selling--longaberger baskets, quilt tops, etc. You'll find my things under gliderguy100 (my hubby set up the ebay account).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Little Twister


Here is a picture of my Little Twister quilt. I added the border in order to use up some of the "waste" from cutting the twister blocks. You sew together 5" charm squares and add a 2 1/2" border. Using the Little Twister ruler, you cut it apart and sew it together to get the whirligig pattern. It is fun and fast. They make a larger ruler to use with 10" layer cakes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Little Twist

I'm working on a new quilt top using the Little Twist ruler. It's turning out really cute and is a great way to use those 5" charm squares. There is some waste--the pattern says 1/4 to 1/3 waste. I can't stand to see good fabric go to waste, so I squared up the leftovers and am using them in the border. It will make the quilt a little bigger. I'll post pics when I get the top done.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dye Results





This is a picture of the results of the ice dyeing from yesterday. It is a gorgeous piece of fabric; almost too pretty to cut up. Stephen really liked it. He liked how crisp and clear the colors are.






The second picture is a piece of fabric I dyed with the "drippings" from the ice dyeing. I put the screen over a plastic container to catch the run-off. Of course, I couldn't just let that go to waste, so I put a piece of fabric in it. It turned out great. Sometimes the best pieces are those I dye so as to not waste leftover dye. Once I rinsed the fabric, it turned out more blue than it shows in the picture. It is definitely more subtle than the first.

I'm trying another ice dyeing method. I crushed up plain ice in the blender and put it on top of the fabric. Then I crushed up the "dyce" cubes with the hammer and sprinkled it on top of the plain ice. This will be closer to the snow dyeing technique I want to try out. Watch for the results!
I need to sell some of my fabric. I'm almost out of white fabric to dye. If I sell some of my pieces, then I can have enough money to buy another bolt of blank fabric to dye some more. Feed my habit.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Too Long Since My Last Post!

OMG. It's been three months since I last posted. No real excuse. I've been quilting and dyeing, not to mention getting back to school and teaching new curriculum. I'm teaching language arts this year in addition to social studies and I love it. I love language arts and I hope that I'm passing that passion to my students.


Today, I tried something new--ice dyeing. I froze several different dyes in an ice cube tray. After they were frozen, I crushed them by putting the cubes in a plastic bag and pounding them with a hammer. My husband said I should put them in a blender, but the hammer worked, plus I didn't have to buy a "dedicated" dye blender. I soaked my fabric in soda ash solution, then layed it on a screen I scavenged from someone's trash. I put the crushed dye cubes on top of the fabric. Now I'm just waiting for the dye cubes to melt. I can't wait to see the results! The picture shows my set-up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Relaxing and Quilting at Sievers

Here are some pictures from my time at Sievers. This is one view of my work area. As you can see, I've spread out from one end of the table to the other. Thank goodness, I didn't have to share my table. The quilt hanging in the back is not mine. It was made by one of my fellow quilters. The view out the windows is meadow edged by forest. I didn't see a deer this time, but I have in the past. Very relaxing.



I got the borders on the M & M wedding quilt. It's looking great. I need to get it quilted before our quilt show.


Here's another view of my work space. I'm not the neatest of quilters. :-( It's my mess, but I know where everything is!


Now, for my masterpiece! This is what I finished at Sievers, Hawaiian Star by Judy Niemeyer. I started it there two years ago, so it is only fitting that the top gets finished there, too. I'm going to call it Sievers' Star.
















Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Six Ladies and the rain

Last week, I was lucky enough to spend time on Washington Island. For those not up on Wisconsin geography, Washington Island is off of the "thumb" of Wisconsin. You need to take a car ferry to get there.

So, last Tuesday night, my fellow quilters and I went to Karly's for burger night. Karly's is a bar and restaurant. On burger night, they serve a burger or cheeseburger and fries for $3.50, in their parking lot. It's come to be a tradition with my fellow quilters and I.

When we got there, the sky was a threatening. The gal that drove happened to have some umbrellas in her van, so we put them up as we sat at the table. It started to drizzle a little when the burger girl came to take our order. The drink girl came for our drink order and the moisture was still managable. Shortly after our beers arrived, the sky let loose in a manner fitting Noah.

We were staying somewhat dry under the umbrellas at first. Other customers were getting up and heading into the bar. It's a small bar. There is a a banquet room, but they had something going on there. We decided to hang out outside.

We were still sipping our beer, waiting for our burgers, as employees were putting away the tables in the parking lot. By this time, we were getting wet. The rain was so hard that the rain was running off the umbrellas on to us. We did manage to keep our beer out of the rain. We decided to keep hanging out; after all we were already soaked. But still no burgers.

There were a few other die-hards still in the parking lot. Mostly people who had arrived after we did. These people were getting their burgers and leaving. Still no burgers for us. We hailed each employee who passed, all of whom promised to check on our order.

Well, we finally decided that we had waited too long. One of our group went into the bar to find out what was going on. She came back and said they had lost our order, but the burgers were on the way. We waited and waited, but still no burgers.

Another one of our group went in. This gal is one you don't mess with. She was at the bar a few minutes before she got the attention of the bartender. When the bartender finally came over, our friend explained our situation. They acknowledged they had lost the order. Our friend told them we needed a free round of drinks for our wait. She walked out to our table with the brews, followed closely behind by the waitress with the burgers. We ate, went home, and changed.

It took from Tuesday until Thursday for my clothes to dry!

I opted not to name my quilting cohorts. We are all part of the Not Smart Enough to Get Out of the Rain Witness Protection Program. We will go to for burger night next year!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cleaning

I'm cleaning and organizing my sewing room. Yesterday, I bought some larger plastic totes to hold my batiks and hand-dyes. I can't believe how much I had squeezed into the smaller containers. After I get back from Sievers, I might weed out my fabric collection and pull out the small pieces I know I'll never use. I could bundle them up and sell them on ebay. I know my scraps will be someone else's treasure.

Friday, June 25, 2010

June Days

Well, I'm almost done with the 7th grade quilt--I'd better call it the 8th grade quilt now! Just one more row of blocks to quilt, then onto the binding. I'm doing all-over meandering. It really does look nice.

Earlier this week, I worked for a friend. It keeps me out of trouble and helps her out. Yesterday, it was off to Noah's Ark with Trevor. We had fun together. Today, finally, was a day for my own agenda. I dyed a little and started ironing all I dyed last week. Still managing to do something quilt-related for at least 5 minutes everyday. Yay! Wait til you see the baby quilt I'm working on for some friends. Really cute! I'll post pics when it's done.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bucket dyeing results


So here are some pictures from my experiments in bucket dyeing. I love how they turned out. It is so much fun and so easy and you get this really creative, artsy finish. I've been so busy dyeing this week that I'm almost out of white fabric. I guess I'll be visiting the Dharma website to buy more...or maybe after I try and sell a few pieces of what I have already dyed. Today my experiment is using kelly green and cerulean (sp?) blue. I'm hoping to get some teals out of that. You never know until you pull it out of the bucket.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dyeing to try new stuff...




I've been dyeing all week. I'm working on some 8-step gradations for a quilt I'm working on--Trip X 2 that I started in a workshop with Linda Marcou. I've dyed a different color every day so far this week. Here's alpine blue, with a dash of better black added.
Below to the left is a picture of my dyeing "station." A chest freezer makes a great place to set up dye baths. It's in the "messy" part of the basement and the height of the freezer is just right for working on. It's an old freezer, so no one cares if it gets stained.


The last picture shows the start of my bucket dyeing, a technique learned from Chris D. I layer up three hunks of fabric, one-at-a-time, pouring dye and soda ash on each layer. I also used red and yellow on subsequent layers. I can't wait to see how it looks!


I got Trevor's Puget Sound quilt done, finally. He's going to be able to sleep under it tonight. He is overjoyed! I feel good having completed a UFO!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Seal Quilt


So, here is a pic of the seal quilt in the quilting process. You can get an idea of what my set-up is like in the basement--very messy! Cleaning and organizing is on my list of summer to-do's. Anyway, I'm almost done. Just a couple of lines of quilting and the binding. Trev can hardly wait to get it on his bed.
Trevor did inform me that the fabric actually has sea lions on it, not seals. I'm calling it Puget Sound, in memory of our trip there and all the wildlife we saw.

The Seventh Grade Quilt




Here are some pics of the 7th grade quilt. Each student added a sashing strip to one of their blocks, then we laid them all out. It was interesting to have 14 quilters deciding on the best way to lay out the blocks. I think they did a great job balancing the colors.




Once it was laid out, I sewed the rows together and added the borders. I used up pretty much every thread of the layer cake I bought for it. When it's all quilted, I'll post a picture of the completed top and back. I've taken to piecing backs in order to use up all of the fabric I bought for that quilt. It makes it fun and practical.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I need opinions...



We have some friends who are having a baby next month. Of course, I have to give them a quilt. I found this quilt top in my UFO pile. Now here's the catch, we don't know if it's a girl or boy. They're doing it the old-fashioned way. So, here's where the opinions come into play--could this work for either a boy or girl? I think yes, but the yellow fabric does have flowers on it. Let me know what you think. For the back, I think I'm going to use minkee and no batting. It will be soft and cuddly.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Great Time With Old Friends

Last night, I traveled to Mukwonago for the Crazy Quilter's Guild 25th Anniversary. I was a charter member and the first president. That was the first quilt group I ever belonged to. I have to say that the support of those ladies and what I learned from the group was instrumental in keeping me in quilting all these years.

It was great to see some old friends I haven't seen in a long time. There were many new faces at the meeting, too, but like all quilters, they were all friendly and welcoming. I enjoyed catching up with my friends and hope to see them again soon. Gayle--I'm willing to come to your house for a visit!

I did crack up at the picture of me from my year as president. I was a baby then! Only 25 years old and about 25 lbs less.

I was impressed with their show and tell. They did a UFO challenge, signing a contract back in January to finish a UFO by the June meeting. I'm thinking our guild should do that! The range of colors, techniques, patterns, etc., was amazing. I love show and tell. Quilters love ALL quilts, from beginner's first efforts to award-winning pieces. I learned a new acronym--NBS--Never Been Started. I've got a few of those, with the pattern and fabric all set aside to start someday.

Thanks Crazy Quilters for inviting me and I'm looking forward to the 25th Anniversary celebration of their show!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Seal Quilt

Well, tonight, I finally got to quilting on Trevor's seal quilt. I got almost 1/4 of it done. It's nothing exciting--just ditching, utilitarian quilting. After all, it's for an 11-year-old boy. It's meant to keep him warm and happy and not necessarily to win awards. My little man can't wait until I finally get it done!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Creativity 101

I was at Quintessential Quilts the other day, buying fabric for the sashing for my 7th graders quilt, when I saw their buck a block (it's a block of the month kind of thing). It's being done in black and white, so that is what caught my eye. You can make two blocks from the strips. There is enough left over for a third block, but what I'm going to do is make two more by adding a color from my stash. I'm trying to decide if I want the accent color to be the same throughout the quilt, or if I'll use different colors each month. I'll use my hand-dyes. I'm thinking lime green would be fun.


I always have to put my own stamp on patterns, etc. That way I can make it my own. It's creativity 101! Just change a little something and yours is different than anyone else's. So, see how easy it is. With the buck a block, all I'm doing is adding my own color and it's all mine. Everyone can be creative with just a little effort. You can do it! Change up the pattern and make it yours!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My 7th Graders Blocks


Here is a picture of some of the blocks my 7th graders are making. I call it Wonky Nine Patch. I posted a picture of a quilt I made from that pattern in an earlier blog. The kids are really having fun with it. Now, I have to buy some fabric for the sashing, border, and backing. I really enjoy doing this with the kids. I think I'm going to make this a yearly tradition with my students.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Boys like machines

Today, my 7th graders started to make a quilt. They did their own cutting and sewing. The boys were first in line to use the rotary cutter and sewing machine. They really did a great job. The quilt we're making will be donated to our church's fall festival for the auction. I'm hoping it will bring in a good bid. I'll take pics and post them later.

Still doing at least 5 mins. a day. I'm proud of myself.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Middle School

I really do love my middle school students. Wednesday and today, we were went on an outdoor education field trip to a county park near here. Wednesday was cold and miserable, but the kids were outstanding! They dealt with the weather and schedule changes and lived to tell about it. Today was much better! We found a frog that was as a big as a baseball cap. The kids had a great time, being in touch with nature.

Last night, the 7th graders and I slept overnight in the school gym. They were really good. I got a good night sleep, even with them getting up for an 11:30 pm cold pizza in the fridge run.

One of my students took a picture of me in a funny, furry hat on Wednesday. Once I get a copy, I'll post it.

Last night, my five minutes of quilting was actually just looking at my latest copy of QNM.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quilting

So, I'm done now with being president of the quilt guild. It's been quite a year and it will be good to be able to sit back and just do some handwork at the meetings.

I went to the Woolen Mill Gallery here in Reedsburg tonight. They have a crafting night every second Tuesday from 6 to 8 pm. You have to do a portable craft, so my GFG fits the bill. Hopefully there will be more people there next month. It's a good way to support an local business.

Not much else to report except that I'm still keeping up with my challenge! I'm proud of myself!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tacoma Loves My Quilts


I was trying to lay out a quilt, but apparently, Tacoma needed to be between me and what I'm doing! A 90 lb dog is pretty much an unmovable object!

The first month of my challenge is over and I have managed to quilt at least five minutes each day. It takes about five minutes to sew a hexagon onto my GFG quilt, so there have been a few days that's all I did. But for each one sewed on, that's one more closer to being done.

I think I have to add some organizing the sewing room time into my challenge. It's almost to the point that I can't walk around.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dresses and more dresses

I haven't done much quilting--basically just my five minutes--but I have been making dresses for the middle school musical. It took me longer to cut the dresses out than to sew them. I'll try and get a picture of one of the girls in the dress. I'd have Trevor model it, but I don't think he'd go along with that. :-)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Fruitful Weekend


Well, I really nailed the 5 minutes a day this weekend! I was on a quilt retreat and I was working on my Judy Neimeyer Hawaiian Star quilt. I pieced the the 8 half circle starbursts. You can see them on the very edges in the first picture--I've only got three of them layed out. They are made in turquoise and purply-brown.






The other pictures feature Tacoma the monster dog, who always lays on any quilt I try to lay on the floor, and Trevor. He's the guy that still needs his seal quilt quilted.






The nice thing about the retreat this weekend was I spent it with my mom and a bunch of friends. It was so relaxing and stress-free, something I really needed! It was fun to quilt for the sheer enjoyment of it!




And, yes, I've managed to quilt 5 minutes a day everyday. Wednesday I think it was, I was only able to do the 5 mins, but I met the challenge.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Alright!!

I finally got the top of the wedding quilt sewn together! Hooray!! I still have to put the borders on, but I'm glad I've got the piecing done. It really looks great. I treated myself to a Summer Shandy for getting this much done. I'm going to put the wedding quilt aside for a little while so I can get Trevor's seal quilt quilted. The poor guy still doesn't have his big boy quilt and he'll be 12 in November.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Progress

Well, the last third of the wedding quilt is finished, ready to be sewed on to the rest of the top. I promised myself a brownie ice cream sundae when I got the last section together. So, now, I'm done with the blog and ready for my ice cream!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The M & M wedding quilt







It feels so good to get stuff accomplished! I'm not quite done with the wedding quilt, but it's getting closer! I've got 2/3 of it sewed together and the remaining rows are just waiting to be added.






Today, I journeyed down to Country Sampler in Spring Green to buy the border fabric for the wedding quilt. I found a nice dark slate blue that will work. I'm putting a dark brownish gray narrow border on first, then the blue. I'm thinking the binding will be pieced from leftovers from the interior of the quilt, with maybe a brown or dark tan piping. It's great to be so close to the end of the quilt. It might just be done in time for their first anniversary!


As I was laying the quilt out to take the picture, I had to move Hot Wheels out of the way. I realized what an interesting statement that made about my life. I'm making a wedding quilt for the oldest child and still buying Hot Wheels for the youngest. My life is in so many different places at this moment. I wouldn't have it any other way. :-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Crayon Challenge


I really like doing my GFG because I can do it in the car, in bed while watching the weather, or at a museum while my son and nephew are looking around. I got some hexagons sewed on while traveling up north today.


I did get some other sewing done. I completed the blocks for my crayon challenge. You can see them in the picture. I'm not sure if this is the set I'm going to use, but I'm liking the way it's looking. I'm still figuring out what to do for borders, too. I have to at least get the top pieced by our May guild meeting.
I am happy to report that I am keeping up with my challenge. At least 5 minutes of quilting every day. I'm getting a lot accomplished. My next challenge is to get my sewing room cleaned and organized.
Today, on our way to pick up our venison sausage, we stopped at Brubaker's in Witthee. It's the place I bought my Bernina 440. It's a Mennonite dry goods store. They have a nice selection of fabric and their prices are reasonable. I bought five pairs of fuzzy knee socks. Remember the cable knit kind we wore when we were kids. Those are my favorite kind of socks. They keep my tootsies warm in the winter and are high enough to wear with boots.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sewing on the bus

I'm learning how much a person can get done in 5 minutes. And how much more than 5 minutes I spend because I've been motivated to just start. You can do this regardless of your hobby--reading, knitting, scrapbooking, etc. Five minutes here, 5 minutes there, and before you know it, you've accomplished something big.

Today, my 5 minutes (and then some) were spent on a school bus full of middle schoolers on the way to a roller skating field trip. I managed to baste these 6 hexagons while riding on the bumpy bus. The kids were very well-behaved--mostly plugged into their i-pods. It made it easy to get some things done. I'm lucky that I can sew and read in a moving vehicle without getting sick.

Yesterday, I wasn't sure if I would get my 5 minutes in. I was on the go from the time the alarm went off until about 9:45, without a break. The evening was taken up with quilt guild. We had a wonderful lecture given by Carol Butzke. If you ever have a chance to listen to her speak or to take a workshop from her, do it. It will be well worth your time and money. Anyway, I was going to count the lecture as my 5 minutes, because I was dragging butt by the time I got home. But being true to my goal, I basted a few hexagons. So I did get 5 minutes of actual work in. My GFG quilt will get done in no time because when I truly only have 5 minutes I can at least work on that quilt.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday night

Yesterday, I went to the Crazy Quilters quilt show in Mukwonago. Great quilts and lots of inspiration.

I feel like I got a lot accomplished today. I've been feeling guilty about not really putting my nose to the gridstone to get the wedding quilt done. But, then I have to get my crayon challenge done for the guild challenge in May. So today, I sewed one crayon challenge block, then sewed another block into the rows for the wedding quilt. I got all of my two-piece crayon blocks done and I got two more rows done on the wedding quilt. Yeh! It won't be longer and that quilt top will be done.

Speaking of the wedding quilt....yesterday, I stopped at a quilt shop on my way home from the quilt show. I bought some fabric for the border for the wedding quilt. Of course, I didn't have any scraps from the quilt with me, so I pulled a fabric to match my memory. Well, once I got it home, I'm not sure it will work. Oh well, I guess I can put it on the back.

Tomorrow night at quilt guild, we're going to have a great lecturer coming to speak to us. Her name is Carol Butzke. She's a quilt show judge, a quilt appraiser, a fantastic quilter, and all-around nice person. It should be an interesting evening!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I feel like I accomplished something!

Well, 2/3 of the wedding quilt is pieced together. Only 1/3 left to go, then borders, layering, quilting and binding. It will get done!!! I'd post a picture, but I took my camera to school to take pictures of some projects my students did. When I got it there, I realized that the batteries had died. I was going to see if the janitor had any batteries, then I realized the memory chip from the camera was in my computer at home. So, the camera is still at school and the memory chip is still in my computer. Duh! I'm taking it out right now and sticking it in my purse so I don't forget it. I'll bring the camera home this weekend and take a picture then. I may get the top all pieced by then.

Please remind me to never get into political discussions on Facebook. It gets my blood pressure up and I think all of my cousins on my dad's side hate me now. When will I learn to keep my mouth shut or my fingers off the keyboard?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

So far, so good

On Easter, I did some of the Grandma's Flower Garden (GFG) in the car on the way to my parents. Yesterday and today, I worked on Mal and Mike's quilt. I don't think I'll get it done for their housewarming, but maybe for their anniversary. So, I'm managing to keep up with my challenge.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The day before Easter


Well, it's day three and all is going well. Yesterday, I worked on Mal & Mike's quilt and my Grandmother's Flower Garden, and read the latest issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. Today, I've worked on Mal & Mike's quilt. I'm working on the center 1/3 of it. Since it's set on point, the center has longer rows than either end. I should have the center complete within the next couple of days, then I can move onto the last 1/3. Then borders, quilting, and binding. One step at a time!


The picture is of the elongated Grandmother's Flower Garden. I'm basing it on a quilt I saw at the Sister Bay Historical Museum. You just keep adding rows and rows of hexagons. At some point, it will be long enough, so I won't go completely around. I'll just add on the corners, so it ends up rectangular. I will not end it with hexagons! I don't want to bind hexagons! I'll keep posting pictures as the project progresses. I really like having a hand project to do.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And so the challenge begins......

April 1st, the first day of my challenge--at least 5 mins. a day of quilting. I'm off to a good start. I spent about a 1/2 hr going through some of my UFO boxes. I did take some fabrics out that I had set aside for a project that I know now I'll never do. More fabric for my stash!

I also cut out my crayon challenge for the quilt guild. It's due in May, so I figured I'd better get started. I'm using Karla Alexander's book, Stack a New Deck.
Here is a picture of a stack of fabrics I just cut, before I shuffled the deck. My crayon colors are pink and red and the rest of the quilt has to be black and white.


This picture shows some of the shuffled blocks. The pink and red are my own hand dyes.



I sewed up two blocks, just to see what they look like. I will have to square up the blocks. I'll wait until I sew them all up before I square them. I think they'll square to 5 1/2". The pattern is called Saturn and Karla says to cut the original squares 9 1/2". I didn't have 9 1/2" of the red, so I cut the original size 6 1/2". A couple of helpful hints for the curved pieceing: You need a needle-down position on your machine! A stilleto is helpful. You need to slow down as you piece and use a very scant 1/4" seam. I pinned just at the middle. I think they turned out pretty well. I have to work on Mal & Mike's wedding quilt before I get back to the crayon challenge, though. They are having a housewarming on May 15th....maybe I can have the quilt done by then.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A new challenge

I watched the movie, "Julie and Julia" over the weekend. It's a great movie and it gave me a great idea. Julie Powell cooked through Julia Child's whole cookbook in a year and blogged about it. I thought to myself, what kind of challenge can I set up for myself, like Julie did in the movie? So here's my challenge, and I probably won't do as well as Julie....I'm going to quilt everyday and blog about it. My challenge is spend at least 5 mins everyday doing something that has to do with quilting. It can be embroidering my basket blocks, or hand-piecing my grandmother's flower garden, or cleaning my sewing room, or piecing, or quilting..............well, you get the picture. I've been so dang lazy lately and haven't gotten much quilting done. It's easier to sit in my chair than to go downstairs and quilt.

I'm going to start on April 1, April Fools Day, which seems appropriate. Other than at least 5 mins. a day, I'm not setting any other goals. If I do, I'll just set myself up for failure. I know all my quilting friends are thinking, "What, only 5 mins. a day? Are you crazy?" Once I get into the swing of things, it will be more than 5 mins, but that 5 mins helps on days when I'm not feeling well, or overwhelmed with household stuff. Anyway, cross your fingers and hope I can do this. I'll post pics along the way. :-)

Thanks, Julie Powell, for the idea!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What if?


Several years ago, I made a quilt from a Country Threads book. The book was quilts from Aunt Amy, I think. The quilt was Bullseye. It had raw-edge applique circles. I loved the way it worked up! So, I was thinking, what if I made it out of squares instead? I finally got the top finished, as you can see. Next up is the quilting. The best thing will be once it's quilted and bound and washed, it will fray up really neat. It is really fun to take a pattern and vary it and make it your own.

Gayle Bong

I've known Gayle Bong for about 25 years now (since we were babies, tee hee). She's an excellent quilter and author. She has come up with some cool techniques for 60 degree quilts and using up scraps. Here's the link to her blog. www.gaylebong.blogspot.com Check it out! She's giving away two of her books. Quilting tips and free stuff, what more could you want?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Family

In my life, God comes first, family and friends second, and I'm third. I do admit that once in awhile I put myself ahead of family in order to recharge my batteries. By doing so, I make myself a better wife, mom, etc.

Yesterday, we went down to Illinois for my husband's uncle's 90th birthday. Tom is the only living sibling on Stephen's dad's side. I do admit that I was a little grumpy about having to go. I had to leave a wonderful quilting workshop. Once there, though, I realized that my being at the party was important to my husband and his family. So, it was worth it. All of Tom's children and their spouses were there, along with many of the grandkids. There were many other family members and plenty of friends. I could tell my husband was happy to see his cousins, many of whom he hasn't seen for years. Amanda and Trev went with us and they were so well-behaved! They got along famously with all of the assorted and asundry relatives.

So, all-in-all, it was a good day. I started out by pampering myself with some quilting, and ended up by enjoying time with family. What more could I want out of life?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baby Quilt


My friend and former co-worker, Cheri, is going to have a baby in a couple of weeks. Her two older daughters have quilts from me, so I HAD to make one for the new baby. I used some vintage fabrics. It's mine own design, inspired by quilts made by two quilting friends, Jane and Chris. It turned out so darn cute! The fabric in the two outside panels has little kids and puppies on it. That same fabric is on the back, along with two extra hour glass blocks.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

No more Olympics, time to get quilting!



I've been glued to the tv for the last two weeks, watching the Olympics. I cheered as America won medals, groaned when we fell short, and cried as Joannie Rochette took to the ice after losing her mom. I also know way more about curling than I ever thought I would! Now, it's time to get back to the sewing machine and catch up on quilting. Oh, and catch up on American Idol, too. I can sew and watch (or listen to) Idol better than I can sew and watch the Olympics.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I love pairs skating


This is a pictue of my most favorite figure skating couple ever, Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. I remember watching them when I was in high school. If I remember correctly, they had to pull out of the 1976 Olympics due to injury. I'm enjoying the pairs competition right now on the Olympics. The Americans are doing well, but I was amazed by the Chinese couple. They're in their 30's, which is old for figure skating, but boy, can they skate! Can't wait to see more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Totes for Charity


This Saturday, the school I work at, Sacred Heart, is having a Chili Supper and a silent auction. I made these lovely totes for the silent auction. Last year, I made a couple of totes with the mesh in a class. I had some mesh leftover from the those totes that was just sitting there. Too big of pieces to throw out, but not big enough to make the original tote pattern. So, I just kind of designed my own pattern to use up the leftover mesh, and there you have it! They're really great as beach bags or gym bags or for produce because of the mesh. Of course the bright batiks make them fun.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A week surrounded by two Door Counties

Last night, right before bedtime, the summer schedule for Sievers School of Fibers Art went on-line. I signed up for Quilt Studio, one week of quilting on Washington Island, to catch up on projects. I CANNOT wait to go. July won't come soon enough. Once you sleep on an island, you will never be the same again! So that is the Door County bookend on the beginning of the week.

On Friday, Steph, Trev, and I will travel to Ephraim in Door County to spend the weekend. We will snowshoe at Peninsula State Park and enjoy the happenings at the Fish Creek winter festival. We'll probably stop at the Peninsula Winery and sample a little, too. Can't wait for that. So, that's the Door County bookend on the end of the week.

In case you didn't figure it out, Door County is one of my most favorite places to visit. So no matter how the week goes, it is surrounded by Door County, so it will be good.

Monday, January 25, 2010


This is the start to the wedding quilt for the M & M couple (my daughter and son-in-law). They got married in June and I'm still working on the quilt. It will get done, eventually. They picked out the general color scheme and I picked out the fabrics. Most of the lights are Japanese taupes. It's a pretty subtle color scheme, not my usual wild and bright, but it's turning out nice. I hope M & M like it!

In this close-up, notice the tags hanging on the top of each row. I got these tags at our guild Christmas gift exchange from my good quilting friend, Debbie. I think she got the idea off another blog. The tags are bobbins for embroidery floss. They're tagged with the row number, then pinned to the row. It's really helping me keep organized, especially since this quilt is on-point. You can see some of those yummy Japanese taupes in this close-up.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Monster Dog



In our family, we love dogs. Pretty much any kind of dog. Both Steph and I grew up with dogs. Our first dog as a family was a lovely deaf dalmatian named Liebe. She was a sweetheart and lived to be almost 15 years old.

We couldn't live too long without a dog, so we searched rescue organizations on the internet and found our new puppy. According to Dawn at Tailwaggers 911 (the rescue group), her mom is a chocolate lab and she thought dad is a boxer. Whatever...all we know is she is a good dog. We named her Tacoma because we got her the day after we returned from a vacation to Tacoma.

The reason for calling her Monster Dog is that she is about 85 lbs--about twice the size of our dalmatian. I know there are a lot of other dogs that are a lot bigger than Tacoma, but she's the biggest dog we've ever owned. I grew up with a border collie and Steph grew up with beagles. Also, she likes to snag food off of the counter and table and anywhere else she can find it...

She is a good dog, though, and we're happy to have her in our house. Here's a link to the rescue we got her from. Tailwaggers 911 in Saukville, WI. Thanks, Dawn! http://www.tailwaggers911.com/index.asp

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thank You, Judy Niemeyer!


I'm working on a foundation pieced quilt, designed by Judy Niemeyer. It's called Hawaiian Star. Judy's pattern are fantastic. At first glance, they may look a little pricey, BUT all of the papers for the foundation piecing are pre-printed. No tracing or going to the copy machine. The paper she uses is a lightweight newsprint. Strong enough to stand up to sewing and the occasional ripping (not that I would know about that!), yet easy to remove. Her directions are phenomenal! They are very detailed and she includes templates to help you pre-cut your pieces to the appropriate size, so there is minimal fabric waste. This is good for me, because when I foundation piece, I usually cut the pieces too small and have to start over again.


Anybody wishing to try foundation piecing should check out Judy's website, quiltworx. She has tons of patterns at various different levels. http://www.quiltworx.com/


The picture shows two pieces that I'm working on right now. I have a small table with my cutting board sitting to my left, so I don't have to get up to trim. My iron sits to my right. I just twist and turn and don't have to get up. I can really get pieces cranked out this way!