Friday, February 26, 2010

How Do You Measure Up?

Dear Quilting Friends,

This whole post came about when I was rummaging about the cabin looking for a tape measure. Did I find one? No. Did I care? Not really. I began looking at all the items at the cabin that measure this poultry scale.

You never know when Zinny is going to bring you a rubber chicken. You know what they say about a chicken in every pot!
I use an old scale to hold a cookie jar.
Boy Howdy! Five pounds of cookies.....I'm in heaven.
I bought this tool used by a surveyor to display a quilt.
Think I'll measure the next snow with it.
Joe did a nice job polishing this old brass scale.
The towels in the bathroom have a nice home. Word of warning to guests....spiders like this scale too!
We take measurements to see if things are "on the level."
My dining room table is a bit off. This level belonged to my Dad. I never throw anything away.
Architect measurement tool.
We measure time.
Both clocks were made by Joe. He's just so clever!
We measure temperature.
Barometric pressure. This one is totally incorrect. It is by no means a fair day up in the mountains. ....and last by not least, we measure the DOW. While I was taking this picture it started to go south. What is important about all of these tools used for measurement you ask? It is important that there isn't a tool that we use to measure up to each other. We all have different life stories and skills making us unique individuals.

I'll get back to my quilting now....measuring as precisely as I can to create the best quilt that I know how to make....without a tape measure.

As always,

P.S. Don't forget to post a comment for the pattern giveaway from the previous post.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pattern Giveaway Time

Hello Everyone!

It's pattern giveaway time again! Here are the rules to win a Heartfire pattern by yours truly! Make a comment from today, February 24th through Wednesday, March 3rd and your name will be entered into the drawing to be held on March 4, 2010.

If you saw the last drawing, you know that I'm very scientific with the drawing process. Zinny will actually be selecting the winner in a double-blind drawing to be determined by the pattern manufacturer. Zinny's decision is final with no intervention by her owner.

Here are some specifics about the quilt:

Size: 60 x 70 depending on which end of the quilt you are measuring!

Block size: 8-1/2" give or take a fraction of an inch here and there.

It's Fat quarter friendly. You'll need about 24 FQ's for a nice variety of blocks.
This pattern lends itself to a fabric with a beautiful 3-1/2 inch design or flower that can be used in the center of the block. Then you just build a frame around it. It would also make a great I-Spy quilt.

The quilt will be hanging in the shop next week for the Spring Shop Hop that starts on Thursday.

Good luck to all.

As always,


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Marathon Quilting Continues

Good Morning Friends,

The marathon Olympic quilting filled my house and life this week. I was determined to get Heartfire on the quilting machine and get it finished! I've mentioned before that I'm a slow machine quilter, especially when it comes to stitching in the ditch. I love quilting feathers and I can zip right along on the borders. But the interior of the quilt took me hours and hours. I can't stress enough to appreciate your machine quilter!

Here's the back of the quilt. The selection of backing fabric ranks high on my list. The back of the quilt should be just as attractive as the front of the quilt. The binding and backing also have to compliment each other. I'm not one to throw just any old piece of fabric on the back. As a general rule, most of my quilt backs are all pieced. I love the wide fabric, but I also love to use up what I have in my stash or sable (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy!) The French General fabric line has a wonderful, little decorative border by the selvage that I was able to utilize on the back. Zoom in if you can so you can see it.
So, it's quilted, and the binding is almost finished! I've got dark circles under my eyes staying up until midnight working on the binding while watching the Olympics. NBC always saves the best for last. And yes, I could record the events and view it the next day. I'm one of those people that doesn't want to know the outcome prior to the event. I leave the room when the evening news comes on with the results from the day. I like perching on the edge of my chair and being surprised at the outcome.

I told you I've been busy! Here's another block ready for applique for Party in the Garden. I love this little block! She was a fun one to design. The Garden Party fabric is just a joy when it comes to designing. The fabric just "speaks" to me. So now I have another hand project to work on next week until the wee hours of the morning.

On another note, here's a "shout out" to all of the Ladies from Sonora! What a treat is was to meet you when your bus made a pit stop at the shop on Thursday on your way to San Francisco. What a fun group! I think I'm just going to hop on your bus the next time you go on a road trip.

Have a wonderful week everyone, and remember, quilt every day and your projects will be finished before you know it!

As always,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Hello Friends,

Thought I would share a picture of Heartfire before I put it on the quilting machine. My plan of having this ready for Valentine's Day went by the wayside.

I had the hardest time deciding which border fabric to use. I brought three choices up to the cabin with me and I just wasn't happy with any of them. I actually put one border on then immediately removed it. I've never done that before and never will again. So what to do? The closest fabric store is about 30 minutes from the cabin and I knew they didn't carry any French General fabric by Moda.

There are times when Joe can have flashes of brilliance when it comes to color. (Keep in mind this is a man that wore a light blue polyester leisure suit that I made to a wedding and it didn't bother him in the was in the 1970's, 'nuff said!) Well, Joe rummaged about and decided that the fabric that I set aside for backing should be used for the border.....and I loved his selection.

Did you notice that Curling was on the Olympics today? I think I'm drawn to Curling since it's a sport that is more my speed. I cannot picture myself flying down a mountain in excess of 60 mph on skis or in a sled. (My thighs would hang over the sled and I'd have my own braking system built right in!) I cannot picture myself being the least bit graceful on ice skates. Nor could anyone throw me up in the air while I attempt to spin around three times. But I can picture myself participating in Curling. My knees can't believe I just said that!!!

On that note, have a wonderful evening and week everyone!

As always,

P.S. Melissa and Leslie had a wonderful sale at the shop this past weekend to celebrate the anniversary for the store. I worked on Sunday and was so happy to meet one of the regular readers of the blog! This one's for you Valerie! What a pleasure it was to meet you. Our customers are just THE BEST!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic Quilting and Sewing

Hello Everyone,

Let the Olympic quilting events begin! If athletes the world over can give their absolute all the next two weeks, then so can I in the marathon quilting/applique event! I have a long list of projects that I plan to work on every evening while watching the Olympics. I started in earnest yesterday with another block for Party in the Garden. What I'm not showing you is all of the rough drafts for this block! I should have taken a picture of the sheets of paper on the floor so you'd get the idea of the constant revisions.

I really enjoy drawing a block then make it come to life in fabric. All of the pieces are just pinned. I'll start appliqueing tonight. The petals in the hanging baskets are quite small. I found that just by taking my time and being extra careful working with each piece, it came together quite well. The Garden Party fabric by Blackbird Designs is so much fun to work with. The designs, colors, and patterns work together beautifully. I'll be adding some embroidery to this block in the larger container. My plan is to embroider some green tendrils flowing out of the planter. More pictures to follow next week.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I stopped quilting long enough to make three pillow cases for my three granddaughters. The adorable little P.S. I Love You tags are down at the shop. Now the little girls can read this every night and have happy, sweet dreams.

Now that these are finished, I have to figure out what to do for the three grandsons! I forgot to bring their fabric up with me. I might actually have to buy something for them!

Enjoy the opening ceremony tonight. I know I'm looking forward to it.

Take care everyone.

As always,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Best Light Table Money Can Buy

Good Morning Quilting Friends,

As always, I brought more projects with me to the cabin than I could ever hope to finish. My good intentions fly out the window when I get distracted by nature just outside in my field of vision.

I don't have a light table. In fact I've never had a light table. I just use my window to the world....the world of the forest. The only downside is this light table doesn't work at night! So I plan my activities around the natural light that filters through the boughs of the pine and spruce trees.

I have a block taped to the window for Party in the Garden. It's coming along nicely yet I can't wait until every block is designed and every applique stitch is complete.

From this window, I spot an occasional deer and rabbit. I watch the antics of squirrels and chipmunks performing their high wire acrobatics on top of the bird house. More than once I've seen a swan dive performed from the bird house to the closest tree.

One of my many projects is the Civil War Tribute quilt and the companion quilt that I'm making with the leftover fabric in my Lil' Orphan Scrappy pattern.

Here's the 18 1/2" block from month #2. You will have to make four of these blocks. Hope you like half square triangles that involve stripes. My suggestion for month #2 is to make one block first. Put it up on your design wall, then make the remaining three blocks together at the same time. I'm so anal I have to have all of my stripes going in the same direction. You might not care, but I do and it drove me crazy.
Month #3, you will make (2) 18 1/2" blocks and (2) 12 1/2" blocks. These blocks were a piece of cake compared to month #2. They almost sew themselves together!
I try to make three to four blocks each month to add to the secondary quilt. I liked the fact that this month introduced a lighter blue and pink to the mix. I just love scrappy quilts!
Here is Zinny with the twelve additional 6 1/2" blocks. She always has to be touching whatever blocks and quilts I lay out on the floor. She hasn't yet run off with a block in her mouth. But she always has to touch just one block. I'm liking these blocks so far.
So friends, it's time for me to sign off and get to work at my light box that overlooks the forest.

May the forest be with you! I know that's lame, but sometimes I just can't help myself!

As always,


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Party in the Garden Blocks

Hello Everyone,

Are you wondering where I've been for the last week? Well, I've been up at the cabin without my camera! There were so many things that I wanted to photograph and blog about, but without a camera it seemed pointless. You know what they say about a picture and a 1,000 words.

It was very pleasant to be surrounded by snow while working on blocks for the Spring. It makes your heart happy to know that Spring is just around the corner....after we get past this groundhog shadow sighting!

I'm still in love with English paper-piecing. The fourteen blocks are almost complete. I'll finish the rest of them while watching the Olympics.

I love the winter Olympics! I even love to watch the Curling event! We went for years without a television at the cabin.....until the Olympics rolled around. We were going to be at the cabin during the finals for figure skating. So, go figure, we purchased a small television. We didn't have cable, but we had rabbit ears that worked quite well and we had reception for three channels.

Over time, a larger television and cable took the place of the small one with the rabbit ears. I guess we are really coming up in the world.....or are we? Without the television we played more games, started and finished more puzzles, books, and quilts, spent more time outdoors, and conversed more.

Sad to say, the television is here to stay. I just need to make a conscience effort to keep it turned OFF.....except for the Olympics of course!

Hope you all enjoy your day.

As always,