Sunday, August 27, 2006

Long time no see!

I have been completely occupied by social-type stuff, quilty and non-quilty, for the past couple of weeks. It seems like that takes a lot of my time, but oh well -- it's fun, right? At Bunko 2 weeks ago, I won this huge glass candy jar, stands about 18 inches high and might hold a whole gallon of liquid. Everyone was offering suggestions about what I might want to put in it, but I only saw one thing: thread!

I think it's perfectly appropriate for my house and besides - I have to get all my thread off the hangers on the wall because it's getting dusty. This took about a third of it, and the rest will go into drawers - but how pretty!!!

In more pretties, I planted this very unusual perennial salvia this past June, and it's actually beginning to bloom. I think it's called Black Magic? Anyway, it has the most striking and true dark blue blooms I've ever seen. For a plant that came out of a 4 inch pot just a couple of months ago. it's doing fantastic. The tiny blooms will really be breathtaking when they cover the whole plant!!

DH Jerry had a birthday last week, and wanted no fanfare whatsoever. In the past, I've managed to surprise him every year with a big party at some restaurant. This year, he didn't feel well and just said no, and in fact refused to even tell me where he wanted to go for dinner on his day. At least I got to pull one surprise on him: I was able to buy him the gas bar-b-que he's always wanted. By a fortunate twist, I received an unexpected bonus at work that easily covered the expense, and left me a little to play with. (Roll of Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 for me!) Jerry was shocked, and we had a great time yesterday putting it together - man, this thing is heavy!! In fact - it's nicer than the stove in my kitchen!

A huge downside to being busy is I haven't seen Madeline for awhile, and she is feeling the separation acutely. She's been crying and whining "I want my Gramma" and generally acting out for her Mom. They live 70 miles from me, so I can't exactly pop over any old time I want. But they called the other day, and she talked her little head off very happily and told me everything that was happening in her world. She ended by saying, "I love you, but I no come see you cos you too busy" Aarrrgghhhh!!! Knife to the heart!! With all the innocence of little children. I immediately told my daughter that next weekend is on us, and cancelled all other plans. That sweet baby should never have to think I'm too busy for her. Next weekend, Labor Day, will be a big birthday blow-out for all 3 of us. Mine and Madelines on the same day, the 14th, and my daughter Cory on the 11th. I'll be away at quilt retreat that week, (there I go again) so we're going to have our party early. I asked Madeline what she wants to do with Gramma and she giggled -- "Gramma eat my toes!" Life is good if you have someone to eat your toes.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's a QUILT!!!

Incredibly, finally it's a real quilt. The Log Cabin from Grief is all quilted, and I'll have the binding on tonight. Even more amazing, it's square and flat and drapes nicely despite the very heavy quilting in the background areas. The logs are quilted an inch apart so I guess that was enough to save it from being a real log -- LOL!
So now, still on my goal of finishing 3 quilts to put in the show -- I'm drawing a bead on the Ice Mountains.....remember that one from a couple months ago?

Again, set aside while I hemmed and hawed over borders. I took it to mini-group for opinions, and those wonderful talented ladies unanimously agreed, just plain borders, maybe with prairie points. Hmmmm....never done those......

Fair Days

A Day at the fair -- this is the booth where Leslie and I spent 4 hours people watching, sweltering and selling tickets. Even tho it was VERY hot, we had a good time, sold quite a few tickets and had a nice long visit. The banner was whipped up in a couple weeks by one of our guild members, Dottie, and it is fabulous!! All appliqued, it's terrific. Our show is called Falling Leaves, and it's in October; thus the autumn motif. The CAR:

A few years ago, guild members pooled their UFO and orphan blocks and pieced a car cover - can you believe this? It's goal is to draw attention to the guild and it's activities and it certainly does. It's fully drivable, there's see-thru mesh over the windows, and it drives along in parades, etc. How fun is that?

After a pretty long day at the fair, I had enough time when I got home to change my sweaty clothes and jump into the truck to go to the races with DH. He's feeling a little better today and the races were great - we had a blast. Long long day in the heat for me, cold lover that I am, but today I have all day to stay inside, stay cool and work on my quilt. Wonder if I can get the quilting all done today? Laundry is almost done - last load in the dryer, I still have to go in and do my staffs' timeclock entries and corrections, but gee -- chores are about over. I need to shut this down and get to work!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I'm a Chicken

OK - fry me up, serve with potato salad. I didn't do the feathers. I put on RickyTimmsDVD for inspiration, and drew a hundred or so feathers. I made copies, and did mirror images, and fit them to the spaces on the quilt, and practiced/practiced/practiced and then - I decided on a loopy design Ricky Timms calls "Ricky Doodles". I have another top coming up next that will lend itself to feathers better than this one - in the end, I just didn't like the way it filled the space, and didn't want to do tight little stippling around it.

Here's what I ended up with. I'm very confident with this one, I can do this at mach 3 with my hair on fire. Stitching in the ditch of the logs is another story - a scary story. HATE it!! Susan - thank you for your advise, I did put on some nice classy music while I practiced, and it really does help get that flowing feeling.

Off today to the fair, see what my friends are up to and sit with my sew buddy Leslie and sell tickets for our guild opportunity quilt, that will be a nice fun afternoon. Immediately after that tho, it's off to the races with DH who is feeling really really punky, but hey, it's Saturday night! Off now to quilt a little and gather something to do this afternoon.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Oh man, this is awful. The Log Cabin I'm having such a love/hate relationship with has a lot to teach me, and I am suffering with it. I want to do feathers in the white areas, and simply stitch the ditches of the dark areas. I've never done feathers outside of some playing around freehand, and it's SO hard!! They need to gently follow the non-existent curves, but how do you do the corners? And why won't the feathers follow the curves smoothly; they keep kind of changing shapes. All this on paper so far, of course, as I try to form a stencil or pattern to follow.

I really want to do it, and I'm really afraid. Clearly, if this one comes out OK I'll be walking on air, and if it doesn't, well......
(big sigh)
OK -- I'm big, I'm tough and I am determined. I created this thing, right? So it can't have more power than I, right? And I'm the one with 20 different feather patterns and a copier that enlarges/reduces. So why do I want my mommy???? lol -- as if she could help me now.

This is my Mom -- not a great picture, but it was 16 below that day and she was bundled up to her eyeballs. Mom is 72 years old, lives on a ranch in a remote part of Utah and spends most of her days on horseback, herding sheep in 12,000 ft mountains. When she is bundled up like this, soaking wet and with all 6 feet of her hair wet too, (yes, 6 feet of hair!) AND with boots/chaps on, she might weigh 110. Yes, my Mom's a cowboy. She's not exactly sure quilting is a viable pastime, but since I broke my neck in a horse wreck I looked for a more sedate hobby. Oh, the horse is her new little Islandic mare Brita, newly arrived that day from Newfoundland. As round as she is tall. If I were to ride that horse, all 5'10 inches of me, I could drag my toes to make her stop! So, as you can see, Mama is no help to me whatsoever. I can call her and whimper, and she'll say all the right things and cheerfully admit she has no idea what I'm talking about.

I love my Mom!! She sure has helped out tonight! LOL!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I did it!! The Beast has borders! Oh what a feeling - a 4 year old UFO is about to be off my back - YAAAH!!!! I'm so relieved I can hardly stand it. That was a real effort - on the edge of being not fun. Hopefully I'll like this one more when it's all quilted. Didn't get to start that, because Dh decided we have to go out to dinner, but that's a piece of cake compared to getting the borders on. Now I can sleep......

Where I sew

I saw someone elses blog showing where she sews, and I like the idea of sharing where we do our creative things. Quilters really share ideas and inspire each other, and sure enough; I was inspired to clean up my space a little (sheepshish grin) and get to work:

To the immediate right of my chair is a large window, with computer underneath so I can swivel and do either. I can also use that computer table for extra sewing room. Now, this is what I'm working on: My design wall is nearly the whole wall, it's 2 full sheets of that foam insulation covered with cotton batting. The quilt in progress is for our guild show. Ahem. I was roundly chastised at our guild meeting that I hadn't entered a single thing for our upcoming show in October, and I offered the excuse of not having anything finished. NO excuse - sign it in and get 'er done! LOL -- OK, that should do it! So I have a few tops that need borders and quilting, and this is #1 . My goal today is get the borders on and maybe even start quilting, or at the very least marking. I have my little egg timer with me, so I'm setting it for snatches of time between loads of laundry & miscellanous Sunday type chores. I've been so reluctant to finish this one supposedly because I couldn't decide on borders, but really because I don't like Log Cabins. Wait, I should be specific - I don't like to MAKE Log Cabins. It was tedious, like washing dishes. So while I do still really like the colors and design, I'll never do that again!
I'll post again tonight with my progress......

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Saddest thing ever

This so forlorn little lady is my granddaughter Madeline. She came to stay for a few days and we were blowing bubbles out back. Well, I picked up HER bottle of bubbles and actually blew some, and oh, the heartbreak! Somehow, in my old age, I'm a little more patient with this kind of thing, and I didn't laugh at her. But on the phone with Mommy that night after Madeline was tucked in, I laughed till tears came!! When I saw the picture, I laughed some more. Ahhhh, to be young, and no larger care in the universe than Gramma blew your bubbles!