Monday, February 27, 2006

Nina - go lie down!

I am sure that Nina is shocked to the point of fainting that I am making ANOTHER blue quilt! I have tried to warn all of you that I am stuck in a very deep blue and yellow rut! At least there is no yellow in this quilt - so far! I was wanting something mindless to work on this afternoon and I already had all the blue strips and the squares already cut. So I sat down and started making ten blocks. Finished them up tonight while DD was doing her reading to me.

Thursday is DD's 7th b-day! Which also means Nina's daughters' b-days are also both coming up. Eva was born exactly 5 days after Maddie. We didn't know each other then. We didn't meet until they were about 5 months old and we both moved to Muncie, Indiana.
This is Maddie and Eva right around their first b-day. Nina made the cute dresses for them. Maddie is in the blue and Eva is in the yellow. We have been in Alabama for two and half years and I think the girls still miss each other. Maddie has been praying for "Eva and her brain" lately! Happy b-day Maddie, Bekah and Eva!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More letters!

I got to spend some time today making more of Tonya's letters. I had a hard time squeezing "SARAH" into the 9.5 inch width of the block. Lots and lots of little pieces! Here's the results.

Rain, rain, go away....

Alabama is getting water logged. It has been raining since last Saturday. The kids are upset that this is the second Saturday they will be stuck in the house. That means they will be inside making messes instead of outside running off their excess energy!

Not much new quilting going on here. I have been playing with the letters again. So far "Love Aunt" is done. Now I am working on "Sarah" . I decided Abby has outgrown calling me "yaya".

Because DH is an architect, we have lots of design magazines laying around. Several things have caught my attention lately. All of the photos are clickable for a larger view.
Baumraum is a firm in Germany (I think) that designs and builds adult tree houses. Aren't they cool? I would like my next sewing room to be in a tree house!
This second photo is what I want the inside to look like! Can't remember where I ran across this photo- but it was somewhere on the web. Do you think that DH the architect can fit all that inside my tree house?

These last two pictures are actually area rugs, but I thought they would make great designs for a quilt. I love the curves in both of them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Maverick in me...

Today I discovered what makes me a maverick. For a while I have been looking at the other "mavericks' " quilts and wondering when someone is going to realize that I don't belong! Don't get me wrong - I am honored to be here! But to me - I seem a bit boring compared to the rest of you. So back to my I was working on a UFO that I discovered hiding in the pie safe (the UFO, not me!) I was working on the last border when a big thought hit me. I am sitting here wrestling with pieces that are supposed to fit but they don't. That when it occurred to me that I HATE TRYING TO FOLLOW SOMEONE ELSE'S PATTERN! I started thinking about my previous quilts. Most of them may be from traditional blocks - but I usually throw them together in my own crazy way. Yeah!! Maybe I am just a little bit maverick too!

So here is the quilt that was driving me crazy. At first I wasn't sure I liked it, but now that it has been hanging in my living room all afternoon, it has grown on me. The green setting triangles are fabric from my grandma's stash. Nina and I shared this inheritance! This fabric says "Ameritex 1962" along the selvage. This fabric is 7 years older than me! The good news is I still have about 2 yards of this fabric left to use in some other project. All the pictures should be clickable for a larger view.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Will the baby need sun glasses?

I became obsessed yesterday afternoon with making a baby boy quilt. It could be caused by my recent use of too much pink. Pink is not in my usual palette so too much use must have caused a few hours of insanity. I had pulled these fabrics to make a boy quilt for a friend who is due in June. Aren't I ahead of the game? I like all the colors and textures together, but I am wondering if it is a bit too busy for a baby boy. What do you think? It won't go to waste in any case. I'll turn it into a wall hanging and hang it over my sewing table. Please feel free to give me your honest opinion. It is a good size right now so I don't think it will need a border.

On the pink front - I got a baby girl quilt top together. As usual, lack of planning on my part caused for a little "Maverick" thinking! I was planning on using the lighter brown with pink squares for all of the 3.5 inch squares. Once I got into it I realized that I didn't have enough of these squares. So I improvised and used a darker brown with pink flowers. I like how it makes a medallion in the middle. This one will need a outer border. I am hoping to find something with medium sized cabbage roses on it.

Both pictures are clickable for a larger view.

Friday, February 17, 2006

More pink!

This afternoon I cut all the pinks into 2 inch strips. I need a baby girl quilt as well as the full size quilt for Taylor. Since these are the only pinks I have, hopefully there is enough for both! I am going to make the baby quilt first. I think 16 blocks should do it. That would be 36 inches square and then if I do a border it should end up a good size. Does this look too "old" for a baby quilt?

Sucked in by Tonya's letters

You can see what I decided to work on for a while. Lucky for me the size of the blocks is actually 9.5 inches. I needed that little bit of extra room. The letters went together quickly but then getting the words together took longer than I expected. I know I did this the hard way - but it still worked! I know they aren't as wonky as Tonya's but Nina will tell you that I am a bit anal retentive!

Abigail - the girl who loves pink

Last night, while listening to DD read to me for 45 minutes, I got the blocks finished for Abby's quilt. I immediately laid them out and took a picture and emailed it to Abby. I called my sister and told her to pull it up. Abby wouldn't talk to me on the phone (sister said she was in "a mood") but in the background I hear her scream "It's all together - It's all together"! At which point - her brother points out that I am missing two squares on the bottom. I am thinking I might piece (ala Tonya) "to Abby " in one block and "Love Yaya" in the other. The squares are only 8.5 inches so it would be some small lettering - but I bet it would be cute.

Earlier yesterday I finished the binding and labels on the last two Project Linus quilts. I even got dressed, went out and dropped them off at the sewing center. I think I have made a total of 14 baby sized quilts since August, and that's not counting the 2 that my mother absconded with! Used up lots of stash and helped a worthy cause.

Today I think I will decide on a pattern for Taylor's quilt. Taylor will be 4 in April and is a favorite playmate of DS. Here are Ian and Taylor, testing a quilt for me. Last summer I collected pinks and browns to make her a quilt for her new bedroom. Here are the fabrics I collected. I have a couple of ideas floating around in my head. Scary, I know. Bonnie's pineapple pattern is calling to me. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My Father-In-Law made my day!

My FIL just called and said he had a couple of questions for me. First he asked "If someone wanted to commission you to make a quilt like my coffee quilt, how much would you charge?" I start himming and hawing. I say the fabric costs at least $75. I then tell him no one is willing to pay you what a quilt is really worth. Anyway, I tell him a number. He then asks if I did the binding or if my mom did it. I did the binding.

Fred is serving on a committee with a woman who also happens to be the quilting guild president there in Little Rock. She happens to mention that a nationally certified quilt appraiser is coming to town. Fred says he has two quilts he wants to get appraised (my coffee quilt and my MIL antique postage stamp quilt)

My coffee quilt appraised at an astonishing $995. I am shocked! The appraiser said it is very rare for a contemporary quilt to appraise for that much. She also said she very rarely sees such straight binding. Haha! The postage stamp quilt appraised for several hundred dollars less than mine.

I need to go put my feet up. I am feeling a little light headed!

Monday, February 13, 2006

It's good to have friends...

...that work at a quilt store!!! Look what I got in the mail from Nines today. The floral one and the yellow one are each about 2 yards each and the blue one is one yard. Yummy! Isn't she sweet to me? She teases me about my blue and yellow rut, but look what fabrics she sends me!
Saturday in the mail, I got a new book I had ordered from called "The Featherweight 221 and I". The guy that wrote it used to be some kind of mechanical engineer so all the drawings are great. He explains everything from how to thread the machine, oil and lube it, to adjusting the foot pedal or even replacing the wiring. Today I gave my machine a good oiling and lubing, took apart the bobbin housing to check for threads, took apart the top tensioner to clean it out, and took apart the foot pedal to see what the wiring looks like. And yes, I managed to get it all back together again and it still works! This is a great book to have if you have a featherweight. He even gives you step by step instructions for refurbishing the paint job - or repainting it if necessary. I would highly recommend it. has it for $24.95. I have seen it on a couple of quilt store sites for over $30.

Time to go start dinner!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Is it bedtime yet?

See, we have pretty sunsets in Alabama too! This was taken from my front porch looking up the hill. It would have been prettier without all the houses in the view but what could I do?

I survived the shower. It was a huge success. We had 22 people here. Lots of yummy food. Adorable petit fores. Lots of cute baby girl goodies. Everyone loved the diaper cake. Me and the friend that made it thought we should start making them to sell - so as to avoid having to get a real job! Both of us are lucky enough to get to stay home with our kids but our husbands complain about too many lunches out! Anyway...back to the shower. Everyone loved the quilt. The mommy-to-be's MIL loved it so much that she commissioned me to make her other DIL a quilt for their baby that is due in July. They don't know the sex but they have picked out some bedding for the nursery. I showed the MIL photos of my quilts. She fell in love with this one. Nice and simple! I think she wants 30's fabrics in soft blues, greens, yellows, beige (is there such a thing?). I told her that she could take her DIL shopping for the fabric and just send it to me but she said she wanted me to pick it out. OK!! Just one more excuse for me to buy fabric!

After the shower was over, we had one hour to relax before we were due at a birthday party for a very special little boy. We are all thankful that Jackson is here today. He was born with two of his heart valves reversed. He had open heart surgery when he was three days old. He went home from the hospital just over a week later. Today he is one tough little two year old!

Now we are finally home! I have picked up most of the mess. We are going to have hot dogs and chips for dinner. And petit fores or Girl Scout cookies for dessert! And then we are going to bed early!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cake, anyone?

This is a "diaper cake" me and a friend made this morning. She came over and helped me wrap the diapers up and get them into the tiers. After she left, I went to another friend's house to get some ribbon. She collects ribbon. Not sure what she plans on doing with them, but she gave me three different rolls to work with. I was very MAVERICK and made the bow thing on top. I think it turned out really cute. Better than I expected! It will be the centerpiece on the table at Saturday's baby shower.

My mom - the codependent

Do any of you remember in the 1980's how there were all these books about being codependent ? I think it meant that you were supporting someone in some sort of destructive behavior. My mom has decided to become an enabler to my fabric buying compulsion! Instead of paying me in cold hard cash for that baby quilt I just sent her, this is what she sent me.

She remembered that I had said I would like to make more two-color quilts like this one, but that I needed more white-on-whites. The 2 fat quarters of daisy fabric she said were too me to pass by! I told her Nina would agree. And a gift card to Joann's - how can you go wrong with that! She knows I will have to come to Nashville to use the gift card since we do not have any Joann's near here. The gift card is inscribed to "Daughter of the Year" , from "Sneaky mom".

I got another surprise yesterday. I answered the phone and was shocked to hear Nina's voice. She never calls. I always call her. She said when she was cleaning house she found THREE calling cards from me, each with 125 unused minutes. I asked her if she took it as a sign that she was supposed to call me! She said yes. The funny thing was that I had just finished reading her latest posting about trying to have a spectacular day and was thinking to myself that she really needed to call me if she wanted to have a great day! She was busy cleaning her sewing room while talking to me and I was busy trying to do laundry and get my house in order for the shower on Saturday. We both agreed that we need one of those headset things so we could accomplish a lot while talking on the phone but not end up with a crick in our necks. We had a nice visit anyway!

OK, I really need to go get busy getting this house clean for the party. I still need to get the binding sewn onto the pink quilt and get the label put on.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Word Cloud

Over on DebR's site, she had a link to this website. It goes to your blog and creates a "cloud" of words found on it. They then try to sell you a t-shirt with the word cloud on it, but you can of course say no! Since I don't have anything quilty to share today, I thought I would share this. I thought it was funny that the row of words that start with "Q" are all derivations of QUILTING! Hhhmmm! Do you think I am a little obsessed with quilting? I also think it is funny that "NINA" is right there in the middle of my words! How very true - she is still in the middle of my heart - even though she is 700 miles away!

Monday, February 06, 2006

My beautiful color wheel

Just wanted to show you a picture of my beautiful framed color wheel. Tonight at Walmart I found the perfect sized frame. It is actually made to frame record covers. Remember records? Anyway, it is a great fit! Now it is hanging over my desk in my sewing room. I am so excited to have it where I can see it all the time. I had Maddie sign the bottom right corner and I dated it. Someday, when Maddie is a famous artist, I can look at this and remember when she was just my little girl.

I was telling Nines this afternoon that I have come up with another "B" that needs to be allowed under the no-buy resolution rules. Baby. I have several important babies that are needing quilts. My cousin and his wife are expecting a baby girl in June. And another very dear person, that I am not at liberty to divulge, is expecting a baby in September. Don't worry, it is no one you know, but I am just worried about who might accidentally drop by my world famous blog! I know I have no pinks left in my stash so what am I to do? The second expecting couple doesn't think they will find out what they are going to have so I may need to make a generic quilt. I do not have many kid friendly colors or prints left in my stash after all these Project Linus quilts.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My mom - the mooch

My mom called this afternoon, not just to say "hi" or even to say she missed me. No - she called to ask if I have any more girlie quilts sitting around that she could buy off of me. You all remember when she did this to me right before Christmas. She needs another baby quilt at the last minute - I tried to tell her she was setting a dangerous precedent. Everyone will be expecting a baby quilt from her - even the strangers she sees at Walmart! I, of course, do happen to have a girlie quilt sitting at my house, already quilted. I tried to tell her she was ruining my chances of winning that new sewing machine but she said if I did this good deed for her maybe the sewing machine gods would be on my side when the drawing happens in a few weeks. She then asks if the quilt is already bound! The nerve of some people!!!! So I, being the wonderfully giving daughter that I am, trim the quilt, make her some binding, and get it in the mail to her this afternoon. On a Sunday. Really, I should win the daughter of the year award. Really!
I also sent her a square of muslin and one of my pigma pens so she can make a label. Am I thoughtful or what?
The back is pieced out of the leftovers from the front and from the other pink quilt. There was enough of the blue leftover after I trimmed the quilt to make the binding. I used up every last little bit of those two blue fabrics.

This weekend I also quilted the other nine patch quilt and got the rail fence one loaded onto the machine. I am hoping to quilt it tomorrow. This may be the last of the Project Linus quilts since the contest ends on February 18th. I don't know if I will have time to get any more done. I also need to get the pink baby quilt bound before the shower next Saturday.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! DD was amused when we told her that the team in blue in the the Superbowl was from Seattle. She was born in Seattle - during our 20 months of living there. DS then asked where the other team was from, hoping that maybe they would be from Indiana, where he was born! But alas, no such luck!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Foggy morning

It has been very foggy here the last few mornings. Ususally I notice the fog out the front windows, with the houses and the street softened by the clouds. This morning I happened to look out our back windows - at the naked trees standing in the fog. I am always amazed at DebR's amazing pictures of the everyday things she sees on her property. So I thought to myself - "You can that too, lazy bones!" I grabbed my camera and headed out the back door. Here's what I found.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Dance !!!

Can you see me doing a happy dance down in Alabama??? Has anyone else seen the April 2006 (yes April) copy of American Patchwork and Quilting? Have you read the "Behind the scenes at the Smithsonian" article? Will you be in Washington D.C. for spring break the 4th week in March? If so, please feel free to call and reserve a spot for yourself on the behind the scene tour - you can walk along with me and my SIL. I am so excited!!! We might get to see things such as a UFO of Martha Washington or maybe a whole cloth quilt made in Kentucky in 1856 that has 150 hand quilting stitches to the square inch. I can't wait!!!

Wednesday - the good and the bad

Wednesday started off so nicely. I got the pink baby quilt loaded on the machine and got over half of it quilted. I did little delicate loopy-loops. White thread. I think it looks cute.

We left the house about 11:45 to run some errands. We went by the sewing center to pick out something for the binding on the pink quilt top. I got a hot pink fabric with white polka dots. This was the only darker pink that they had - so it will have to work. You should be proud - I only bought a half a yard. I could have justified a yard by saying the rest could go into Abby's quilt - but I didn't.

At 12:30 we had to pick up an elderly lady that we go to church with. She needed a ride to the doctor. She needed to run a few errands first. So we go to the bank and then she sends me into Walmart for a money order (they are cheaper there you know!) Then we head off to the doctor - early. Her appointment is at 1:15. She goes on into the building and me and Ian wait outside. At 2:10 I go inside to check her progress. She has made it back to an exam room. When I express a little concern to the nurse (because Maddie gets off the school bus at 2:30) she says she will be out in a few minutes. She also suggests that I could go pick DD up and then come back. I decline her offer since this would involve way too many trips clear across town. The drive to my house from the doctor's office is at least 15 minutes, then back to pick up Miss Audrey, then back to her house, then home? No thanks! So we wait...and wait...and wait. Luckily I was able to get a hold of someone to pick up DD at the bus stop. Finally at 2:40, Miss Audrey comes waddling out. Over an hour and a half??? And she had the second appointment after their lunch break. This is the same doctor where we sat outside his office for a 1 pm appointment and they didn't return from lunch until almost 2 pm. I would be looking for a new doctor if it was me. So we get home in time to do homework, take baths, and get dressed for bible study. At this point, I am exhausted. So we talk DH into taking us out for dinner!

One nice thing - while DD was doing her homework in my sewing room, I managed to finish quilting the pink baby quilt. The shower is a week from Saturday - at my house. Next week will be spent cleaning!!