Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope 2011 is full of lots of sewing and good experiences for all of us.  I hope to get lots of things done, too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

When I finally got something done...

I took some pictures.  This quilt uses the Sweet Divinity Line by Riley Blake.  It measures about 56" square.  When I get it back, I think I will tuck it away in case I ever have a grand daughter.  (No, this is not an announcement.  It isn't even wishful thinking, just being prepared.)

This one uses the Pure line by Moda.  It is 30"x36".  I like small quilts, but they really take a lot of time, just like bigger quilts.

Next, I'll be doing two samples using the Giddy line by Sandy Gervais.  It will be my after Christmas sewing time.  Plus getting ready for Quilt Guild.

Then, I made 18 books for neighbors and my co-workers.  I made matching magnets and little gift bags for my co-workers as well.  I figure I am giving the gift of organization!

I used up the best of the paper in the book I purchased some time ago, so yesterday I picked up another, so I have plenty of paper for next year!

I am working on two aprons.  One for my sister-in-law, and one for the store sample.  I just have the pockets to put on the one.  I made them too long, so I still need to cut 8 inches off the store sample and redo the binding.  Then, I will take pictures again.

I also made this lap top case for my daughter.  She doesn't read my blog, so it won't spoil the surprise.  Besides, she picked out the fabric :)  I still need to make the matching cosmetic bag to go with it.  That part will be a surprise!

Anyway, I hope you like seeing the things going on here.  I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I am working up a storm...

and haven't any pictures to share with you.  I finished a store sample and took it to work before getting a picture, but it is the Sweet Divinity quilt with Riley Blake fabric.  I am working on another sample, using Moda's "Pure" line.  The top is just finished tonight, and I will get the backing and binding fabric as I work tomorrow.  I plan on quilting it on Friday, and would love to have it back in the shop on Saturday.  I have two basket blocks done for Guild, and their filler blocks, but have to catch up on the ones I should have done for October.  My mystery quilt is taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r to do.  I have sewn 31 strip sets together, and I am cutting them into 2 1/2" chunks.  That takes a lot of cutting time.  There is also a Row robin to get finished before Tuesday morning, but it is mostly fused fabric, so I am hoping it doesn't take too much time.  Certainly, I have "bitten off more than I can chew", but I will persevere and hopefully catch up soon, then get more done over the holidays.  Oh, and I also have two customer quilts waiting to be quilted, and one more to come that I know about.  I have finished about 6 customer quilts in the last few weeks, so I am getting things done, eventually.  I'll try to get some pictures taken soon so I can share them with you.

Until then....Keep on quilting!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Pencil Bag

I made another pencil bag last month.  I really like these, they are so handy and very quick to make.

I use mine, not for pencils, but for headache medicine, lip balm, breath mints and other small items that might get lost in my bigger bag.

I really like making bags.  Do you have a favorite thing you like to make?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Sang The National Anthem...

at a University Volleyball game.  I was nervous and shaking.  I started out weak, but kept on going.  I survived.

I just spent a week in Washington, DC.  I got to see the flag that Francis Scott Key was looking at when inspired to write "The Star-Spangled Banner".  It is in the Museum of American History in Washington, DC.  It has been through a lot over the years, and parts were cut up and given away.  What is left of it is pretty amazing. I wanted to start singing the National Anthem while looking at it, but thought the guard might get mad at me.  Security is pretty tight around the District, and some of the guards are a little bit grumpy.

The next morning I had a message about singing at the game.  I decided to do it.  I didn't have to worry about it for very long... just a couple of days.  We bought t-shirts for the family to wear.  Paid $2 for two kids to get in, (had coupons for the others) and there we were.  After singing, the family was seated in several different places.  I decided to get a bag of popcorn at the break.  Within 5 minutes, they were all seated around us.  So, I came up with this...

$42 for t-shirts
$2 for admission
$4 for a large popcorn

Family togetherness and having Mom sing the National Anthem....


I'll show some sewing I have been doing soon.  We've had computer issues and I've been busy, so I haven't posted much.  I'll try to do better.

Keep on Sewing!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Creativity Takes Courage

Have I said that before?  
Well, now I know that Life Takes Courage.  
Especially when you are following your dreams.

So what is my dream?
Sing the national anthem at the local University.

Our local University athletics holds try-outs every year for people to sing the National Anthem at sporting events -- basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, etc.  I first heard about it several years ago.  My children were little and taking swimming lessons, so I couldn't fit in the try-outs.  I heard the announcement this morning on the radio, and knew I had run out of excuses.  My dear husband called within a minute to tell me about the announcement, too, in case I had missed it.

So, off I went this evening to try out singing the national anthem.  Without music.  In front of 6 judges.  Some of them smiled. There were at least 30 people waiting to audition.  Most of them under age 30.  I saw 2 men older than I. I felt a little out of my element.  Still, I stayed and auditioned.  I started too low, but didn't lose my cool, and let the higher notes soar, as much as I could.  So, now I wait to find out if I did okay.  But, I'm not really worried about it.  Unless I actually get to sing it in public.  Then, I will start worrying. 

So, the moral of the story?  Dreams are easier when we are just dreaming.  Reality takes courage and commitment.  Nothing gets done unless we put forth effort.  So, what dream is next?  We shall see.  Until then,  

Keep Dreaming!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pin Cushion Exchange

Our little sewing group, which is becoming smaller all the time, had a pin cushion exchange. While working on my pin cushion, I made this pencil case. It just cried out to be given to Tina.

I struggled knowing which pin cushion to make. Tina really likes sunflowers, but I couldn't find a pattern to make one, and it seemed beyond my abilities to think of how to make one.  When I finally decided on this pear, everything got very easy. So, Tina got the pencil case and the pear. I made a smaller one earlier this year. The leaf is made of wool, and the beads add a little more texture than a stem would.

When we got together to exchange, only four of us were there, so these are our treasures. Lyn made the pin cushion on the bottom, and made it in a tart tin. Kristi made the flower with the yellow center and pink petals. Pam made the pink one, still needing some stuffing.

After seeing Kristi's pin cushion, I saw how the sunflower one would work.  I'll have to do it another time, though.

Later in the day, Ann brought me these cute watermelon pin cushions.  Aren't they sweet?

Tina is still working on her pin cushion for Ann.  I hope she sends me pictures so I can add them here.

What a delightful set of pin cushions.  I am fortunate to sew with such creative women.  I just wish all of us were together again.

Keep on quilting!

Fall Is Canning Season

Fall is most certainly the most difficult time for me to quilt. I am busy bottling fresh fruits and veggies to make for pleasant wintertime meals. I picked 2 1/2 bushels of tomatoes...Added some home-grown peppers, (which my husband chopped for me)...

Added garlic...

and onion....

These beautiful colors really inspired me! I really love color!

Cooked it all up and

Here is my salsa - all bottled up and ready for yummy times ahead!

Then, I used some of my mangoes I had on hand, and raspberries from my garden, and made Mango-Raspberry Jam. Yummy, Yummy!

Then, Judy, from my work, gave me pecans, so I made Praline Syrup. I call it Pecan Pie in a jar!

I found the last two recipes in the Ball Blue Book for Canning published this year. It was my first time purchasing the book, and I love it!

Although I haven't been quilting a lot for myself, I have tried to keep up with Customer quilts, and the canning has such beautiful color, too. I also get my "color fix" working at the local quilt shop each week. It is such a delight to work with the beautiful fabrics people purchase.

I hope to share more of my canning as it happens. It is work, but it is pleasurable work.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Use for my Fabric Box

I made this very fun box last February. I made it just for fun. It has been sitting in my sewing room ever since, and I just put stuff in it sometimes. No real purpose. Do you ever do that? Make something without a purpose? I do -- sometimes.
Well, just this week, I came up with a purpose. We were having a neighborhood party. I was in charge of the paper goods. You know what happens to napkins at an outdoor party? That's right -- they blow wherever the wind will take them. So I did this...

I stacked the napkins on end in my cute little box. Not too many comments about it at the party, but I was feeling extremely proud of this little box having a use. I will definitely use it again. Maybe for Thanksgiving if I can convince my family to come to my house.

Keep on quilting!

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Blog for Me to Follow

I've been looking around for a pattern for a lunch sack. I haven't found exactly what I want, but I have seen lots of things to help me in my design. On my way around, I found this blog. She has so many great tutorials that I spent nearly an hour skimming over them. Great ideas for sewing for young children (not my type of sewing, yet), and for accessories. I think when I get my lunch bag put together I'll make a tutorial, too. I want to offer it as a class at our local quilt shop, so we shall see! Anyway, go check it out and enjoy!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Flowers in My Yard

My yard has been neglected lately, and much of it was dead or overgrown. When I cleared away the dead stuff this weekend, these flowers became more visible and are the stars of my flower beds. The grasshoppers have been very bad this year and have done a lot of damage. Hopefully with some of the dead stuff gone, they won't be able to hide as well and my son and his friends can kill them for me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Yes, I'm Still Here

It has been much too long since I've left a note here. I've been pretty busy with family, projects, and customer quilts. I also started working one day a week at the local quilt shop, and that has been so much fun! I sent my son off to Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree 2 weeks ago, and they missed their flight today, so I should see him tomorrow.

I hoped to show you more than a picture or two, but my computer hiccuped and deleted my profile. I'm starting over from the beginning and it is a slow process. The two pictures above are a table runner sample made for the quilt shop. We have cut a few kits for it, and this will hang at the shop. It was fun and pretty easy to do. I also have a few new projects I want to work on, a class or two to develop and 2 more customer quilts to do. So, we will see how things go in the next few weeks.

School starts in 3 weeks, then canning season will come along, too. The days just fly by! We are not quite finished with the downstairs bathroom, and we have some work to do on the shed this fall. There just is never enough time to do all that needs to be done - but I will keep plugging away at it.

Keep quilting!

Monday, July 12, 2010


We went to our annual Fireworks show on July 2nd, and really enjoyed the 30 minutes of fireworks. I tried to get a few pictures, and I like this one the best. This was during the grand finale.

I spent the weekend after that at Bear Lake with my husband's family. Since getting back, it has been recover time (2 hours), then lots of work hours at my new job. I normally will work there 1 day a week. There was a big sidewalk sale, so I had extra hours. I have also been working on finishing the bathroom. Flooring on Thursday, cabinet on Friday, then another week or two for the counter top and plumbing, and door. I really don't like putting in the door.

I've finished a receiving blanket, and have 3 more to do - they just need the decorative stitch around the edge. I am also getting my teenage son ready for BSA National Jamboree. He leaves in just 8 short days.

Busy times, not much sewing, but I will get some things done later this month. I'm planning for it!

Keep sewing!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Group Quilt Finished

This is a quilt that was a group effort. We made it as a "Quilts of Valor" quilt to be donated. The big blocks were made by Kristi, Lynn, Ann, Pam and myself. Then, we got together to figure out how to put it together. We spent a few minutes discussing our options, then went shopping! We purchased the blue, and also the cream and red for the corner stars. We had a week to make the stars. Then we got together again and pieced it together. I figured the sizes needed and cut pieces. Kristi and Pam pieced together the checkerboard pieces, and Pam pieced the sections together. Lynn pressed the seams, and Kristi made lunch. I quilted it and sewed the binding on. Lynn and Kristi helped stitched the binding on the back side. Kristi made the label and I stitched it to the quilt. Lynn made a case for it to be in (like a pillowcase), and I gave it to our Quilt Guild representative to be sent away. There was a lot of work put into this. And, as with all "work projects by committee", it took a little more time than we expected. However, it is done, and we can move onto other projects now.

Now, I am working on finishing a basement bathroom, and hoping to get some quilting done soon. I also have several baby receiving blankets to make -- I know a few expectant mothers and grandmothers. I hope to share something again soon.

Keep on quilting and creating!

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More Ceramics Revealed

I finished my 10-week course in Ceramics. These are the items I made in the last half of the class. I really am beginning to enjoy this, and to feel I can do it. I know I have lots left to learn, but I love the results so far.

I know that my success in this class (I consider it a success), is due to a very kind and patient instructor, Beth. I am amazed how she can show and talk you through a project, and she is very complimentary of our efforts.

One thing I have learned from taking this class is "Creativity Takes Courage". One student is very creative in her work of hand-building, and takes a great deal of time to work on each project. In this studio setting, courage is easy. There is no criticism of anyone's work, and there is much sharing of ideas and skills. Beth even asked me to share some of my quilting with her, and then she had me share it with others. This was an amazing experience.

I have in my heart a great desire for creativity. Sometimes I just don't know enough about techniques, but many times I am afraid. I am trying to not be afraid. I also would never want to say something to someone else that would cause them to be afraid to share their creative efforts. It is a better thing to appreciate others' efforts and encourage Courage.

Enjoy your creative day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Mini Quilt

My youngest son wanted to sell a quilt in his school store. He asked me to help him make it. He chose the fabrics, traced the patterns onto fusible webbing, and helped with the placement. As I was finishing it for him, his father hated to see it go. So, he offered him real money, instead of school bucks for it. SOLD for $25. I tried to make the stitching fun and whimsical because I thought a child would be getting it. I'm really glad it is staying in the family.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Interest

I'm sure some of you are wondering what happened to me. It's been a busy month, several customer quilts, and much family happenings. However, I am on week 8 of a 10 week ceramics class (only 2 left), and I wanted to show the pottery I've been making. Some of the pots I received help from my instructor. Some were wheel-thrown, and some formed in a mold (of sorts). Anyway, I love them, and have even started using them. Check out the slideshow below.
I'd love to hear your comments.

I have enjoyed ceramics - only 3 hours a week, but very productive hours. The only down side for me is it took a long time to get to the finished product. I will have my next set of pottery in 2 weeks. We finish trimming and shaping this week, they get the first firing this weekend, then, we glaze next week. We can then return the following week to pick them up. I've had a great instructor, very patient and knowledgeable. There are about 7 of us in the class, each of us doing our own thing, and Beth is very helpful with whatever we are doing.

Hoepfully, I will show you another quilt in the next day or two. I have one finished and one in the works. Lots of fun! Summer is almost here, and I'll be doing more home projects, but still will take time to quilt.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thought I had a Stash

I thought I had a fabric stash. Then when making a quilt with friends last year, I found I didn't have much. Then, I started following this blog, Stash Manicure and found out I really don't have a stash at all. Most of my color collections fit in a plastic shoe box, one per color, and sometimes two colors in a box. I only have 9 boxes. So, I guess I don't have to worry about manicuring my stash (hee, hee).

However, the blog is very interesting. Many people have been giving their ideas for how to manage their stash, or use it up. I use some of the methods, and I am starting to use the idea of using leaders/enders. Instead of using a scrap to begin and end your chain piecing, you can use pre-cut pieces to do this. That way, you can make two quilts at the same time. So, today I started trying it. I'll let you know how it goes.

I made two grocery (green) bags, but mine are yellow with blue flowers. They turned out great! Here they are, one laying out flat, and the other rolled up. Fun fabric, huh?!!

That's it for now. Have a great weekend!

Happy Quilting

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Queen-Size Quilt

This is how my queen-size quilt looks on my bed. I made pillow cases to go with it It doesn't show the borders, but I am really please with the quilt.

Now, on to a customer quilt and other things.

Happy Quilting!

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