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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How Did You Get Started?

As I was heading to bed last night I had this wonderful idea for a blog. I had just finished sewing my niece Lauren's quilt top and thinking about how I will be starting Jackies on Saturday, one thought led to another and I started thinking about how far I have come as a quilter.
So with that thought I thought it would be fun to share with you all how I started quilting, I love hearing how people got into it. Did you start at you Mother/Grandmothers knee? Take a class to support a friend, or like me, got bit by a wild hair?

So lets here it how did YOU start quilting?
This is what you do:
Write you story in you blog, then if you want send me a link to your story as a comment for this post, I will compile all of the links and publish them in one post in a week or two. Sound fun? I think so!
So take a walk down memory lane and share with us all how you got started quilting!
Have fun

P.S. Scroll down to my next post to see my story.
P.S.S. Check out Laurens quilt top, it turned out GREAT!

Here's My Story and I'm Sticking to It!

Good Morning!

So, here is my story (and I'm sticking to it!)

I have always been a crafty person. As far back as I can remember I have done handy work. My mom taught me Macrame when I was 6 or 7, and I remember sitting watching her sew clothing for me and my 6 sisters when I about the same age. I taught myself how to crochet when I was 8 or 9. I have always been a very self taught person, when I decided to learn to paint miniatures I did a lot of reading then jumped in. With crochet I made up patterns as I went, I was in my 20's before I learned to read a written pattern. Oh and cross stitch, I was an avid cross stitch er for years and years. I use to teach cross stitch to some of the women I was stationed with while in the Army, there is a picture for you, all of us sitting around in out BDU's (Battle Dress Uniforms) cross stitching!

The funny thing was I never picked up sewing, I did take a home EC. class in high school, made a horrible blue apron, it was terrible, I still to this day have a hard time reading patterns and making clothing, I did try several more times as I got older, all through my 20's as a matter of fact, just couldn't get it. I have always had a sewing machine for that matter, knowing that I wanted to but the skill just would not come.

So now we fast forward to my late 20's early 30's. I made friends with my mother in law's best friend Jo after my MIL passed away, Jo was a wonderful wonderful lady who adopted my girls and me as one of her own, she helped me through one of the hardest times in my life. Jo was a beautiful seamstress, she could make beautiful out of a sows ear! I spent hours with Jo, shopping for fabric, picking patterns, and watching her sew, I did not realize how much I learned from her until years later. I still miss Jo, she was a true friend. With all of the time spent with Jo you would think that I had learned how to sew clothing. Nope not a bit, still to this day cannot make clothing!

After Jo passed away, I spent a lot of time painting and no sewing, then as time went by I changed hobbies, I don't recall what prompted me to do it but I purchased a Brother embroidery machine, I think the idea was to decorate some of my kids clothing. Well from there I went to making place mat purses, and then one day it happened, I found an embroidery site that sold in the hoop quilting patterns, now I had NEVER given any thought to quilting, that was something "little old ladies" did, and how boring, and why would any one want to take perfectly good fabric, cut it into tiny pieces and then sew it back together again, insanity! But this in the hoop thing, well that not quilting, that's embroidery. So I bought the patter and tired it, well needless to say I had no idea what I was doing but tried my best, and with much trial and error made a small little quilt,

COOL! WoW Oh MY Gosh, Look What I Did. I was in love!!! I can do this it is so easy!!! So I made another bigger one, Hey that's pretty neat too, now what, I hated hooping all of that stabilizer! How can I make these without my embroidery machine, Off to the book store I went,
(this is a picture of the first quilt I ever did. I have this hung just above my sewing machine. It is a good example of all the things I did wrong, take a close look, corners don't even come close to matching, the binding is a joke, mitered corners, never heard of them, batting shows through, and the quilting, even worse! BUT, I love it it helps me when I get frustrated with a quilt, and it reminds me how far I have come from!)

(remember I am self taught) Got a wonderful book called the Quilters Bible, read that darn thing front to back, and started sewing, and sewing and sewing! Of course now that I had learned how to piece (knew what that meant now too!) Oh and learned that "quilting" is the sewing of the three layers together, Wow didn't know that! Oh I have to learn that too! So I made my first full quilt, I used the small one I made on the embroidery machine, YUCK, more practice, then quilted the larger one, YUCK, More practice and more and more. And three years and more than 30 quilts later, I do believe that I can proudly call myself a quilter! I love to piece and I love to quilt in about equal measure!

It has been such a wonderful journey so far, I am still learning and don't think I will ever stop. That is what draws me and keeps me quilting, I have always gone from one hobby to the next because they don't hold my interest. I get bored. Stuart teases me about it too, he has been surprised that I have stuck with quilting this long, but think about it. The patterns are ever changing, I am always learning a new technique. The range of fabrics are amazing and the Colors and I could go on and on, I don't need to because if you have made it this far in my story then you are probably as addicted as I am!

So that's my story. I love to quilt and so far have not had the itch to try something else....

Now it's your turn, please share your story!

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Another busy weekend and I need YOUR help!

As the title says another busy weekend come and gone, I could say I didn't get anything done, but that would be a lie! I did manage to get a little bit of quilting done (more on that later....)

As a family we....

Had a girl scout meeting and finalized plans for the Christmas party our troop is putting on.

Went grocery shopping.

Went to Home Depot for Christmas decorating items (power cords, lots of power cords) say tuned for pictures next week.....

We also put up all of the outside lights, it took two days as we changed things a little bit this year because Stuart wanted to decorate my new sewing room, it now looks like a little gingerbread house!

I also got the house cleaned up a bit for Thanksgiving. Note to self, don't forget to take the turkey out of the freezer like I did last year!

Like I said busy weekend, I did manage to find time to watch Kung Fu Panda with the girls, funny movie! We particularly enjoyed it because Torrie is a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and is now doing a rather aggressive form of Karate called Isshin-Ryu.
And as I said I got some quilting done.

My nieces from Virginia will be coming for a visit in December, the week before Christmas break, I am planning on giving each girl a quilt for Christmas, Two quilts in 3 weeks, YIKES so I opted for ease and speed, sat down on EQ and this is what I have ...

Lauren in our pink and brown girl, she is just a few months younger than Torrie,
I got Laurens started and only have a few more squares to make before I can boarder, quilt and bind it. Again for ease and speed I think I am going to do a simple stitch in the ditch to quilt it.

For my other niece Jackie, I am also doing a 3 rail, but changing it up a bit, instead of doing a basket weave I an doing a zig zag, now I know Jackie like blues and purples, but Torrie disagrees, she thinks the blue and purple are a bit young for a 16 year old. So she thinks I should do something more traditional and mature.

I will let you decide, what to you think, Torrie's pick of blue and yellow? (the shades are not exact, I may not go as dark on the blue as what shows in the pictures but it gives an idea)

Or my pick of blue and purple, again the colors are just an approximation as my stash may not have these exact fabrics.

Please leave a comment and let me know which one you prefer, I am not going to start Jackie's until after Thanksgiving, I will do the one with the most votes!

Thank you! And as always, thanks for stopping by.
Have a wonderful day

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kreativ Quilter Award!

OK so it has taken me several days to catch up to this!

Last Sunday I got the nicest surprise, I was given the Kreativ Quilter Award, I was awarded this by my wonderful online/blogging friend Karen O. from Texas, If you have read any of my blogs you will know that Karen is a wonderful professional long arm quilter in near Galveston Texas, I "met" Karen in October (wow just over a month ago, it seems like so much longer) She graciously agreed to give out the Blankets of Love that my daughter and I make to the folks who were in need after hurricane Ike.
This was such a wonderful meeting, Karen has been an inspiration to me, although I don't think she realizes it! ;) I am stunned by the beautiful quiting she does but even more stunned by her golden heart. Thank you Karen.
BTW, stop by Karen's blog at don't forget to say HI!

So as a recipient of the Kreativ quilter award it is now my turn to pass it on. So here goes, first the rules.

The rules of the award are:

1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.

2. Put a link to the person you got the award from in your blog.

3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to the blogs.

5. Leave a message for your nominees.

So here are my five nominees. Make sure you stop by their blogs also there is some pretty neat things to see, and even though this is a quilters award (yes all of the nominees quilt to some degree) they also share their other very impressive talents and hobbies, I think that is why I like these blogs so very much.

1) Grace at I found Grace's blog through a yahoo group we are both in. Grace is a wonderful lady who shares so much knowledge not only of quilting, buy also fabric dyeing. I love her blog, she always has something interesting to share. So if you are interested in the art of fabric dyeing, please spend some time with Grace.

2) Rachel at Rachel is from Oregon, just a hop skip and a jump down the road from me (OK really about 4 hours away) Rachel is a beautiful quilter! I love the tutorials she has done, and can't wait for the second half of the one she has in the works now. I enjoy Rachel's blog so much that when I was looking for the perfect quilt to make for my Dad I used her Hoffman Bali Pops Tutorial to make my Dads quilt. It was perfect and beautiful, much like Rachel's blog. Stop by Rachel's and be sure to leave a comment for this special lady.
3) Roberta at I just recently found Roberta's blog, all I can say is WOW I want to live in her new sewing room, please adopt me, she has the most amazing wall of thread, and did I mention a fabric stash that I would give a couple of pinky toes for!

4) Jackie at OK I admit it I will Never Ever learn to knit, I just don't get it, I crocheted for most of my life (not anymore because my hands hurt) But I never "got" knitting. If you love yarn and yarn work, then Jackie's site is for you, she dyes her own yarn and it is amazing. I love this blog partially because my girls took a summer class on spinning and I learned a lot just from watching them. I have a whole new respect for spinners and those who make their own yarn.

5) Melissa at Melissa's blog is also one I just recently found, but what a blog! The inspiration alone from the photo' on her blog make it well worth the time to stop by. Add to that the Melissa is nice, and funny. Her blog brings a smile to my face every time I read it. Stop by take a peek at all of the pretties!

So there it is, my 5 nominees for the Kreativ Quilters Award, all truly deserved. Thank you again Karen for nominating me, I am truly honored. I am also blessed to have so many of you stop by and read my little blog. I have been amazed and heart warmed by all of the comments and emails I have received. Thank you for stopping by and sharing part of my life.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Well, another weekend come and gone. I could sigh and say I got nothing done, but even though I feel like I didn't get anything done, I guess I did. I got Dianna's Christmas present made, she wanted a purse like the one I made a couple of months ago, so I made her a matching one! She collects purses and I know she will love it.

We also got our flower beds cleaned out and ready for winter, it has been amazingly warm and wonderful, I am having a hard time realizing that Thanksgiving in only a week ish away!

I did get some Christmas shopping done this weekend also. We are doing something a bit different this year, this is a cash only Christmas, I have not used credit cards for a couple of years now so that is not much different, but we are setting a hard cash limit. I have been telling the girls that it is going to be a small Christmas, and will be sticking to that! [wish me luck]

Quilt wise I got a couple more Blankets of Love done, I have 20 washed and just needing quilt tags, I need to find an easier/quick way to do the tags, embroidering them takes forever!

I also finished and delivered the quilt that I have been working on for Morgen's schools winter fest. they do a silent auction to make money for the Tech department and library at the school. So when I won the block lottery for the batik pinwheel squares I thought it would be fun to work them up into a quilt to donate, so that's what I did!
I think it turned out pretty well, my boarder was a bit wobbly, this was also the first time I have ever done prairie points, I love the look and thought it went well with this pattern, I did try a regular binding first but it was pretty boring!

I ended up quilting this quilt twice. I am still having problems with the Baby lock, I can not do straight lines with the darn thing, it goes straight, then jerks to the left. I am also still having a huge problem with my tension on back, I go from way to tight to huge thread nests. I got so discouraged with it that I pulled out all the quilting I had done, and did simple stitch in the ditch on the pinwheels and a nice crosshatch on the squares blocks. All with a walking foot. I looks much nicer than the first time on the frame.

I get really discouraged, sometimes I get good results, sometimes I can't get the thing to work at all. I told Stuart that I am so ready to just sell it and get something else a little larger but that will actually sew!
I am seriously looking at a Baileys 15" machine, I never plan on doing quilting for money just hobby work so I don't feel I can justify anything more, although I would love have a HQ 16. But the Bailey's will have to do for now. (I am hoping to have enough save by my birthday!)

Well that's about it for my weekend ramble....Oh my Gosh I almost forgot!!! I was nominated for a cool blogger award! the Kreativ Blogger Award, my online friend Karen O from Texas nominated me! (Thanks Karen!) I was so surprised, I don't really say anything important on my blog! So now I have to nominate 5 of the blogs I read, this will be interesting as I only read 3 blogs on a regular basis and number one is Karen's!

So give me a couple of days and I will get the Kreativ Blogger Aware up on here!

Well, talk to you all in a day or so, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A letter from Fernando.

I went to check the mail this afternoon, and found the usual mail box finds, bills, fliers and such, then at the bottom of the pile was an envelope that had a hand written address on it. With a return address that I did not know, how interesting. So I tucked the rest of the mail under my arm and opened this strange letter as I walked back to the house, as I walked I read and then tears came to my eyes, you see the letter was from a young man age 10 from San Leon Texas.

He says

Dear Ginny and Torrie,
Thank you for the quilt blanket of love. I am Fernando I am 10 years old. Our house got fluded (flooded) no one from our family have social security Fema din't help us but we're happy cause ya are praying for us.
Thanks a lot and God bless ya.

This has to be the sweetest letter I have gotten in years, I walked back in the door, tears still in my eyes, and handed the letter to Torrie, she read it, looked at me and just smiled. All of the hours we have spent on making these blankets, this letter made every minute worth it.

I am so proud that we are making a difference, no matter how small, because as you can see, for a young man like Fernando, it really isn't a small thing at all. This is a young man that knows that people care.

God bless you and keep you Fernando, and you also my dear blog reader.
Have a wonderful evening.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Veterans Day Parade!

I wanted to share with you all pictures from our local Veterans Day Parade!

Most people who know me don't realize that I am an Army Veteran. I served during the Gulf War in 90'-91' I spent most of my Army carrier stationed at Ft. Hood Texas, Bravo Company 13th Signal Battalion 1st Calvary Division.

So it is my pleasure and honor to march in our local Veterans Day Parade, this is the 9th year our little town has held this parade and we have the distinct honor of having the largest Veterans Day parade in Eastern Washington!

I love this parade, always a huge turn out! There is so much support for the troops that it makes me tear up every year.

So every year we dust off our old red wagon, load a big box full of candy, put on our Girl Scout vests and away we march!
Here are just a few pictures to share with you.

From left to right, Torrie, Catherine, Morgen, Berit, Megan and our Awesome Leader Michelle!
Notice the wagon O'Candy! It was totally empty in less than 45 minutes, we went through about 60 pounds of candy in no time!

We have a pretty big group the collects old military vehicles!Main Street West Richland, see just a small town, but a pretty good turn our the 1 1/2 mile route is full of people almost the entire way, you never realize how many people you know until you march in a parade!

So I know this is a couple of days early, but happy Veterans Day, If you are a Veteran, THANK YOU! If you are family to a veteran, THANK YOU, you have one of the hardest jobs in the world.

Thank you for stopping by, now I am off to nurse my blisters!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Better late than never!

Hi everyone!

Wow after a week and a half I feel human again! I can not believe how horrible this bug was, I was off work for half of the week and the other half I barely made it through! I have been amazed at how many people in my area have had this nasty little bug, it has spread rapidly and hits hard, then last for almost two weeks, matter of fact I feel better but am still dealing with a stuffed up nose! My hubby who got this a full week before I did is still trying to get over it!

The good news even though I was sick I did manage to get a bit done, I figured I could be sick, and sit and watch TV or I could be sick and sit and sew, I chose sewing! (imagine that) So I managed to get another 15 or so Blankets of Love sewn and about half of those are snipped ready to be washed. I will get a bunch more sewn this week and then send them to Karen for the folks in Galveston.

The bad news this week, my poor lap top, less than two years old bit the dust this weekend. I had been having some problems with it but nothing major, well, it kept freezing up on me, so we got a program to fix it. Well, lets just say that the "fix" fried the hard drive, I can't recover ANYTHING off of it. So I have lost everything on my hard drive. Thankfully most everything was backed up on my desk top (wow this sure feels like a deja vu) didn't I just go through a dead hard drive on my desk top in July? I think I just need to stay away from the computer for a while!
We survived Halloween, Torrie had friends over and they all got dressed up to go trick or treating. Morgen was to sick to go so she stayed home to answer the door. Torrie and her friends all gave Morgen some of their goodies when they got home, I thought that was so nice of them.
So better late than never, here are some Halloween pictures. WARNING, The last one is pretty gross!
Morgen with her pumpkin! She was trying for the Headless Horseman Pumpkin head!

Torrie's Pumpkin, of course The Pretty Witch!

This is all of them lit up, from left to right, Mine, Torrie's, Stuarts Skull, and Morgen's. Cool huh?

I just had to share this picture, this is from the daycare, I try to do seasonal crafts with the kids, this was voted the coolest craft that Miss Ginny has ever come up with! GLOW SPIDERS!!! Super easy to do and Mega cool. If you want to know how these were done, just ask I will be happy to tell you how.

Morgen, even sick she wanted to dress up. I don't blame her! Most years my kids go as something nice, this was the first year that they went "scary" Morgen was a Black Vampire Fairy.

And here is the gross one! Torrie was a "Zombie Doctor" She would not smile and did not want me to take her picture! I did manage to get this one though!

Well, that's it for today, I am off to have breakfast with my good friend Wanda!

Talk to you all later, have a great day!