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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Two posts in one night!

You know how you have lots of things to tell people when you haven't seen them for a while? That's how I feel tonight! Since the next two pictures really don't fit in with anything else that I've posted for a while, I thought I would separate them out.

This picture is Clyde, my twenty pound helper cat. He is the brother to the little princess Bonnie that I posted earlier who was sleeping on the stack of quilts. Here, he is stretched out against the wall. He's sleeping on the part of a 110" quilt top that is too long to be on the design wall. It was stitch group this past Thursday night, and we had some show and tell. And afterward, we left the quilt top pinned to the wall and visited for a while. Next thing we knew, there was the anchor to the quilt!

The next picture is another one of my shard pieces. Ever have problems with your gazing balls breaking in the hail storms or rolling away in high wind? I do, here in Kansas where we get high winds each spring. One year, I watched as over 10 of my beautiful glass gazing balls broke in a ferocious hail storm in the middle of the day. They *were* beautiful, though, exploding pieces of glass shining in the sun, sparkling with the crazy rain, and blowing around in the wind. So, I got to thinking about all those bowling balls I see at garage sales that are really really cheap! And sometimes they're even free!

Now, my friends give me bowling balls, and depending on my mood, they might be elegant like this one, or funky with buttons or whatever.......Of course, not all the friends who have given me bowling balls have gotten them back. Some of them just get to stay on in my yard!

Thread catchers

Well, you all asked to see the thread catchers we made at my little impromtu craft group the other night. So here they are!

The first one is the pattern that we followed from a purchased bag. The second one that is pinned to my design wall is the one that I made. I used my mother's oxygen tubing for the stability around the top circle of the bag. They turned out to be pretty easy after all.

I also found crushed walnut shells that were pretty inexpensive at PetSmart for the filling on the pincushions. The three gals who made these had a good time, and still don't want to be quilters. They assure me that their innoculations are still good against the quilt pox, but you never know when the virus might hit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Loves of my life

These are my first two grand-daughters who live about 10 minutes away. Julia Grace(on the left) is only 10 years old, but is about 5' tall already. Audrey Anne(on the right) is 8 this year and is as different from Julia as night and day!

Recently, I cleaned out boxes in my Mom's attic in order to have an estate sale there. I found these two old prom dresses that she had saved from my high school days almost 40 years ago! The blue one was my first date - to a Boy Scout Explorer's Ball! The green one is from a Snowball Prom in the winter. Too bad I don't have any pictures of me in them, eh?

I cleaned them up, and put them in their room here at my house, and this is minutes after they found them. The tiara was also from the Snowball too. Lots of memories here, and so strange seeing my grand girls wearing my dresses from so long ago!

Julia likes to sew on my machines, and has a grand idea of making her own quilt. In two years, she has exactly 4 split rail fence blocks done. She just gets to chattering so much, she forgets what else she's doing. Audry, on the other hand, wants to know how the machine works, and could care less about the fabric stuff.

And the most recent addition to my loves of my life is our little Stephen William. Mr. Blue Eyes will be one year old the day before Halloween this year. So far, he likes to play in the fabric squares and sleep on his puppy dog kisses quilt. Since my computer crashed a couple of months ago, I need to search out which CD the pictures of his quilt reside. Maybe that's this afternoon after I go to lunch with the neighborhood Bunco group!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Nothing goes as planned

No picture today, and nothing new to share. Just an inordinate amount of paperwork to do, housecleaning to catch up on, and phone calls to make. I originally thought I would quilt yesterday, but instead of that, I cleaned my sewing room so I could start with a fresh slate. Tonight I have a couple of friends, newly made, coming over to make thread catcher bags. Neither of them quilt, but they do sew. They both fell in love with my thread catcher bags that I have sitting all over the place - one on my ironing board, one by my sewing machine, and one by the design wall. I've made kits of what they need, already cut and labeled, so it should be an easy job!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Old work new again

I've been digging through my bins, promising myself to finish old projects before starting new. Now, they are overwhelming me! LOL!

This particular piece is a fun one I started with two other gals about 5 years ago. I put it aside because I couldn't handquilt it (lyphedema in my right arm), and I just wasn't that good with machine quilting. As the years have gone by, it got buried further and further down in the box. Today, it appeared!

It is a triptych piece, made by cutting a greeting card into three pieces. I gave two of the pieces to quilting friends, and they never saw the whole. The rules were that you had to stick to the colors shown, and we enlarged the card (after we drew the main elements we wanted) to total 9" X 28" - I think that was 400%, but it's been so long, I can't remember. I also can't find the original card - yet.

At any rate, it is now out of the bin, and sitting on my design wall for me to finish the quilting on Monday. That is my goal, anyway. Let's see what happens!

Friday, September 09, 2005

A few more quilts

I know we are all wondering what we can do for the Katrina evacuees. I keep thinking I should just empty my quilt cupboards and send them on their way, but for me the joy of giving is seeing the person's response when they receive the gift. That's probably selfish on my part, and not truly an unconditional "gift", but that's how I work, I guess. I just found out that our local Children's Mercy Hospital has taken in about 75-100 children, and our local Linus Project is asking for quilts. I finished up 2 single fleece throws that are simply tied on the ends, and then this little star quilt that's about 45" square. I am going to drop them off at the hospital tomorrow.

Once upn a time I had a sister-in-law who was very sweet. I've kept in touch with her off and on, and the last time we were at Mayo Clinic with my husband (in June), we saw here there. She is quite young, and has been diagnosed with colon cancer. She's been taking chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This month, she is going to have radical surgery, so I decided she needed a comfort blanket. This is one of Terry Atkinson's patterns (again!) called TicTacMo. I've made it with butterflies as the predominant fabric, and then used her favorite colors in the blocks. She lives in Minnesota, so I know she will enjoy cuddling up with this quilt this fall and winter.

And last, I've started a pile of quilts that I need to sew bindings down. There's a king size Dresden Plate made from leftover blades from one of my friend's birthday quilts, the king size Minnesota Chainsaw, my watermelon quilt (which needs quilting), and a couple of vintage quilts that I had quilted for a neighbor. When I turned around from taking the picture of TicTacMo, my little Princess Bonnie had claimed the pile. Guess this a new meaning for the Princess and the Pea!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Watermelons in August

During the last week of August, my friend, Ibby and I ran away to Iowa for a little mini-retreat with our Iowa friend, Carolyn. For the last year, Ibby had been collecting "watermelon" fabric. Everywhere we went, and everywhere we've shopped, she's said again and again, "Oh! That's perfect for my watermelon quilt!" Last spring, Carolyn and I were joking with her that she had enough watermelon fabric to make us all a watermelon quilt. Do you see where this is going?

Neither Carolyn nor I had ever seen the watermelon quilt pattern, but Ibby agreed to cut it and "kit" it all up for us to sew. Sooooo, when we arrived, we set up our machines and stitched that first night. The next morning we had an outing to Winterset to Fons and Porter's quilt shop, and each of us chose different sashing and border fabrics. That afternoon and evening, we sewed and finished up all the watermelon blocks. Then for about 3 hours in the wee hours of the morning, we just couldn't decide on sashing - first it was green, then it was orange, then it was orange stripes etc. The next morning, our brains finally got straight, and we proceeded on with our own style of finishing it. You can see how different border treatments change the quilt slightly, but overall - they are definitely still watermelon quilts!

I have such good friends, and this winter, when I am snuggled under this quilt, reading or sewing, I will remember our fun little retreat!