Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things

Take 5 days away and it's going to take me that long to get back into my routine!  Spent Sunday just resting up, Monday was spent putting my bedroom back in order as DH painted it while I was gone, Tues. I actually put a quilt on the frame and got it quilted.  Today DH wanted to go into Tucson, so not much else got done.  I did do a few quilt layouts in EQ for May/June QFC quilts.  We will be donating to a women's shelter so need to have larger quilts..   I bought EQ5 and have never 'upgraded' to 6 and now I'd have to purchase the entire EQ7 program.  I'm thinking EQ5 is just fine for what I use it for!  I know there is so much more I could do with the program if I simply took the time to sit down and 'play' with it.  I bought extra books to learn more - just have never got around to using them - maybe someday.
I know everyone likes pictures, so into my archives I go again:  The above quilt was made for my 2nd daughter for her birthday.  She loves cows and I had the cow print in my stash.  The embroidery designs are from Ace Points.
I think they are really cute.

This quilt was 'playing' quilt.  I love curved piecing.  The template's are from Eliza's Backporch designs.

This quilt was donated to a charity - I don't remember where I got the fan embroidery designs that run down the center.  I have plans to make myself another 'circle' quilt using some aqua fabrics in my stash.  This really was incredibly easy to do. 
So 'til next time - simply enjoy life!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'm back!

I had a really wonderful time at Disneyland with my son and his family.

This was taken at the Character Breakfast.  The photographer said he'd wait until we took off our ponchos, but I said I thought the picture should reflect the day and it was chilly and drizzling rain.  Actually, I didn't figure I'd like the picture enough to actually buy it :-).
As my granddaughter is only 14 months old, this was her first visit to Disneyland.  Watching her was really alot of fun.  But she didn't want any of the 'characters' touching her.  She didn't mind when she just saw them, but if they tried to touch her she screamed! 
Our little princess had a bit of trouble walking because her 'gown' was just a bit too long.  She's not actually walking yet, but sure wants to.  She did take a few steps from one bed to another, so it won't be long now! 
And the guys love pirates, so Captain Hook was their hero of the day!
We did one of the train rides, and wouldn't you know it, it was the morning I left my camera back at the hotel.  We passed a garden that was planted in a quilt fashion.  The different colors of flowers and plants laid out to resemble a quilt. 
So anyway, as much as I loved spending time with my family, I am glad to be home and feel like I'll need at least a couple days to get rested.  My short legs trying to keep up with my son's long legs and my grandson's energy did me in!
By tomorrow I know I won't be able to stand it - I'll be either at the quilter or a sewing machine :-)


Saturday, March 19, 2011

It'll be awhile

Figured I'd start with another picture from my 'archives'.  This quilt was made for a boy's group home.  Boy's ages 13 - 18 > not an easy age group to come up with a theme!  I had the deer preprinted pillow panels so actually designed the quilt around them.  I really like the maple leaf block so incorporated it and the leaf designs are from Nita's Thread Nest.  Working with the panels, I find that you really have to 'build' the quilt around them.  You can see where I used 'spacers' to help fill out the rows - but it works and I really liked this quilt when I was done with it.
So  "It'll be awhile" before I blog again.  Actually probably not long enough to be missed, but I do try to blog ever couple days.  I will be leaving Tues morning for Disney with my son and his family and won't be back until late Sat. evening.  I will have a very busy weekend and will be lucky to find time to even sit at my machine.  I did read, though, that today was "National Quilting Day" so I will try to do something quilty.  Maybe I can get a quilt on the frame and prepare for quilting.  I received some really cute quilt tops in the mail that need to be quilted for Quilters for Comfort - so it's not like I don't have anything to do :-)
Until next time - be happy, be healthy and tell those you love that you do!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm tired!

Nothing new to show you, so going back into my archives:
I love this block.  I did it for a swap.  The recipient assigned each person in their group a specific embroidery design and then the person made their quilt block around the design.  I'm not even real sure where I got the pattern or if I made it up.  I just really like everything about it from the design to the fabric colors.
Oh, so why am I tired?  I spent the better part of my day outside.  Friend called about going on a ride (ATV) and off we went.  We did a 30 mile ride up in the mountains and I got me a little sunburn out of it.  Figured I'd wear long sleeves all day so no sunscreen - got pretty warm so ended up in a T shirt.  It was a glorious day and the desert mountains (gee, does that make sense?) are starting to show their green.  Down in the canyon floors, where water runs the trees are a bright green as they get their new leaves.  The contrast was amazing  - and me without my camera!  Looking across the canyons, I could see the hint of green where the new growth of spring is starting.  I'd bet that in about 3 weeks we'll have our burst of wild flowers - guess who'll be out riding?  This time with a camera!
And speaking of green - Happy St. Patty's Day!  My dad was Irish and mom always had the traditional corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread.  So I'll think of my dad and mom today and hope they're dancing a nice Irish jig in heaven.  They were wonderful parents.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Do I have to give it away???

The pictures don't do this justice.  I really love this quilt!  It will be donated to Quilters for Comfort, but I have to admit, if it was a bit larger, I'd be very tempted to keep it.  I quilted it using flowers and loops

The colors just jump out at me and make me think happy thoughts - I love quilts like that!

I presented my granddaughter with her quilt last evening - she loved it!
and the backing that I just feel compliments this quilt so well:

I wish I was a more creative quilter.  I'm improving the feathers, but still have a long way to go.  I so admire these quilters who do (in my opinion) such lovely, free flowing feathers.  Ahhhhh, someday (maybe)
Spent the better part of my day reading.  I'm reading Nora Roberts "Bride" series - one more to go.  Sometimes I get into book and just want to get to the end.  Today was one of those days!
Hope everyone had a good beginning to their week.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sometimes I forget

Sometimes I forget to say Thank You and right now this applies to those who are 'following' me.  I sincerely appreciate that you've read my blog and found it interesting enough to 'follow', so Thank You!
Got my granddaughter's quilt on the frame yesterday and started quilting - well, sort of.  Just did not have any rhythm yesterday.  I finally just did the borders and sashing on the frame and have decide to stitch in the ditch around the designs.  And I did start that on the regular machine and remembered why I invested in a frame quilting set up - all that pushing and shoving a quilt through the small harp area.  I had decided to use my small lightweight Brother as it's sat in the corner long enough, but thinking today I'll try working with the Babylock as it has the larger harp area.  Babylock is really good for embroidery (since I finally discovered the right combination) but not so good for sewing (I won't go into that, it'll put me in a bad mood).  So wish me some luck - I'm anxious to get this quilt done and present to my granddaughter.
Today is ' Spring forward' except for us here in AZ.  I have to admit I'm glad we don't do the time change thing - I really don't see the advantage of it, but it might just be me :-)
I will probably have a bit of a busy week.  Going to Disney with my son and his family (Mar. 22 - 26).   I'm really looking forward to it.  I so enjoy spending time with family and love seeing the wonder in the kids eyes.  But before I leave, I have to get things finished that are in the 'production' stage.  It's a me thing - just feel the need to finish things before I go for any bit of a trip.  I know I won't get it all done, but I will still give it an honest attempt.  So.....if I'm MIA for a bit - I will be back!  (I do hope to get pictures up of my granddaughter's quilt!)
I am thanking God for my beautiful weather here in AZ and praying for those in Japan and the northeastern U.S. where they are experiencing the awful flooding.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring fever!

Not the cleaning up type of Spring fever, the "I need to be out in the sunshine" type of Spring fever.  Low 80's where I live here in AZ and I am so loving it!  Yesterday I spent my morning outside getting some seeds planted, turning over soil in the garden - just simply enjoying the beautiful day God gave me.  I did do some sewing in the afternoon, but I must admit it was hard to be in the sewing room.  I started work on a handbag using some vinyl.  Going along great until it dawned on me that to attach the handles, I would be sewing through at least 6 layers of vinyl.  Then when I went to make the handles, well, vinyl is sort of 'sticky' when it's placed 'right sides together'  - try turning that tube right side out!  I gave up - on to plan B.  So I'm thinking I'll just buy some grey webing (the vinyl is grey) and use that for the purse handles.  So off to Hancock fabrics as I wanted to get the fabric to back my DGD's quilt.  Yep, they have webing - but do they have grey -noooooo.  So the purse is on hold until I figure out what I want to do or I get back into Tucson or simply find an online source.  And because I spent the better part of my day in Tucson, no sewing today.
I know many are still experiencing the cold/ cool and snow/rain.  I hope that will soon end and you can have Spring Fever with me :-)


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

All because of a little rack

My husband enjoys making me happy :-)  He has made me by Big Board for placing on my regular ironing board when I need to iron large yardages of fabric.  He's made me my acrylic tables to go around the free arms of my machines so I've got the nice large flat surface to hold quilts as I sew (My machines sit on a desk).  He's made me ruler racks that sit on the desk and so much more, But.......He saw a ruler rack that my friend's hubby made for her that hangs on the wall.  All I had to say was how nice it was and look what I got:
I admit to being a ruler junkie.  I love rulers, they just make things easier (once I learn how to use them).  And I so appreciate that my hubby made this for me.  Having the rulers hanging right over my cutting table is so convenient.  This is what this corner used to look like:
Note I said USED TO:  because quite frankly, I didn't have enough space for this wonderful rack to hang so this is what the corner now looks like:

The filing cabinet is gone - moved into the quilting room.  The older Kenmore machine in the cabinet
moved from the quilting room to the dining room.  And the huge fax/copy machine is sitting on the file cabinet in the quilting room where I don't have a phone jack.  Still able to use for copying, which really is it's main purpose, but if I want to send a fax....... And my cutting table - look at the picture, it actually sits over the edge of the desk.  My space between the edge of the desk and the wall was 35".  My cutting table is 36".  So hubby says," well the cutting table will sit above the desk and an inch won't make a big difference".  Well, he's so smart, why didn't I think of that????? So I move the cabinet and that fax and the other machine and..... well, CRAP - now I know why I didn't do this orignally - I'd thought about it, I do remember that much.  This is a JoAnn's fold up table and I keep the one side folded down unless I'm cutting garment patterns.  So folded down, it kept me from sliding the table in that corner.  So out comes my tool box and off comes that fold down section.  And if I want to cut out a garment - I'll pull out my 6' folding conference table :-)  All this rearranging because my hubby loves me enough to make me another ruler rack.  And I do love it so the rearranging was worth it.
And after the rearranging - I finished my granddaughter's quilt top:

As much as I liked the appearance of the pinwheels where the blocks matched, this needed to be a larger quilt, so I sashed and triple bordered.  There are 3 different reds and 2 different greys in this quilt.  And it all works because of the placement.  I have really been trying to use mostly fabrics from my stash but I don't have something to back this with - so a trip to buy backing fabric is in order (oh what a chore!)  The big decision will be red, black or grey?????  Her favorite color is red - so maybe... But maybe all three - I may do a pieced backing to make it 'reversible'.  Ah, decisions, decisions.
Now to go browse the net or magazines and see what else I can come up with for hubby to make :-)


Monday, March 7, 2011

New picture

Just playing around with my Blog appearance today.  I may change my header pictures often now that I figured out how to do it :-)  The picture now is of the Salt River Canyon here in AZ.  This was taken August 2010 and as you can see it was a somewhat cloudy day.  I have lived in just about every region of the U.S. (my dad was in the military!) and I love Arizona.  I love the climate.  I love the beautiful land.  So many people think of the desert as brown - not so!  There is so much color in the desert.
this is a sunrise - taken from my back yard.  What a wonderful view to start my day.
As I've stated before, I'm an avid ATV rider.  I also take ALOT of pictures on my rides.  I had someone ask me why I took this picture:

Seriously?!  Well, look at the colors.  Can you imagine putting those colors in a quilt?  How many of you would have thought to combine those colors?  Mother Nature is never wrong.  I take pictures not only for the memories, but also for the beauty and the colors.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of Arizona. 


Friday, March 4, 2011

Got it!!!

Got the pattern for DGD's quilt worked out - I think it's really going to be a nice quilt:
Here's a little preview:
I knew there wouldn't be enough blocks if I used just the black designs, so I decided to stitch out the designs in red as well and 'frame' them in the grey.  I like the way a pinwheel is formed were the blocks come together.  I always like quilts with movement.

Here's the quilt I made up using the Twist n Turn method of setting:  I pulled these designs out to 'try out' the setting for my DGD's quilt, but for what I wanted to do, I couldn't cut them the way I wanted to.
I like this quilt - I like the 'happiness' of it.

These little bags are held open with plastic tubing in the top and the wide loop for a 'handle' is made to be able to attach them to a hospital bed rail, wheel chair arm, etc....  These will be going to March/April Quilters for Comfort charity group:
So all in all a productive day (except the bags - they were done over last weekend).  I did go dig in the dirt.  Didn't plant yet, and still need to get some of my seeds started in peat pots but it did feel good just to be outside in the sun.


only once a day?

Wonder if there's an unwritten rule that we only post once a day on our blogs???? I will probably break that rule today if there is ;-)  Spent most of yesterday in Tucson.  Things to do that can't be done in our little rural town then a doctor's app't.  Yea me, he took me off one of my medications.  Now to lose some weight and exercise more - I hear that everytime I see him.  But it's finally warming up here in AZ and I'm getting the urge to work in my little garden - wonder if that will count as exercise?!  Maybe I ought to pull out my grandma's old treadle machine and use it instead of a motorized machine........Might take me a while to get it going steady as it's been years (well probably decades) since I used it - now that would be exercise.  I might be able to get a pillow case done :-) 
Okay, so where was I??? Oh, probably nowhere.  I will finish up the quilt I started on Wed and finally, maybe, get started on my GD's black, red & white quilt.  I have the pattern in my head, just need to work out the right dimensions.  I'm anxious to get this done for her.
This weekend??? It will be close to 80 degrees here - I'm seeing some quad riding. 
Maybe later I'll have some pictures to post - til then


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


March 1st - already?  Seems like only last week I was working on getting the Christmas stuff finished up.  I can not believe how quickly this year is moving along.  Tried to work on my DGD's quilt today.  Worked up a block, took some scrap fabric to work it out - it didn't work out. Okay, second try, recut, stitch, now the 4½" square is 4½ X 4" and I still don't have the placement right.  Oh, well, I didn't really like that block anyway!!!  So, put that idea aside, pulled out the scrap bin and worked on my 'sort of' pineapple paper pieced blocks (6" block that has 21 pieces).  Got 2 more blocks done.  Put scrap bin away and I go take a nap.  I'm thinking if I hadn't got my flu shot, I'd be having the flu.  Just not feeling up to par.  Tired, achy feeling..... that sort of thing.
Ah.... tomorrow is another day.....