Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Catching Up.... 1st half of September!

Good morning! So I know I said I was all caught up, but since it is the end of September I guess I need to catch up September too. I have had a busy quilting month this month also. But I will be splitting this month into two posts.. you will see why soon.
Anyhow, to start with.. more of the Desert Storm quilts.

As you can see, these have not been finished yet, I was playing with different fabrics on the design wall. I like this one, but no one else did...

Another fabric.. NO ONE liked this one!

This combination was hands down the favorite. I have enough for two of these I think. I do know it was the end of the bolt. So, my goal for the next two weeks is to get them all sewn together and then I need to get my hands on about a dozen 1st Cav. patches so I can applique them in the center squares!

This was a fun little project I did just for the fun of it ;) I used the same pattern as the Desert Storm quilts but with a twist.. the fabric used was one of the new Timeless Treasures 10" packs, this one was called salt water taffy... I love the pastels they are so soft and pretty, the picture just does not do it justice. Feel free to click on it for a larger view! The white stars and boarder are a creamy Fairy Frost. This is one of my favorite "whites" to use since it adds just a bit of a shimmer to the white areas. Oh and notice little poochy all curled up next to the quilt!

A close up of the quilting shows the lovely batiks and butterflies and flowers. I used a panto for this quilt, the panto is called mariposa (Spanish for butterfly-we learned that last year in preschool) It is a very nice and relaxing panto to stitch out. I was a little intimidated at first because it LOOKS hard but it quickly became a favorite!

A closer look at the butterfly on the fairy frost. Oh I also used a nice pastel rainbow thread called Carnival from the Rainbows line by Superior. Did I mention that one of the things I LOVE about my Homesteader is that I can sew with just about ANY thread, have not found one yet that gives me fits.. can't say the same about my old Baby.

The funnest thing about this little project... Same pattern, same quilting, same every thing except. Timeless Treasures Hard Candy, and Moda blenders black... Look at the difference. This is what I LOVE about quilting!

And quilted the same, butterflies. I used a bright rainbow variegated for this one. It is also from the Superior Rainbows line. The thread color is appropriately called Rainbow!

And the back, OK so this is where I broke the cycle, Up until this point everything was the same, the pastel quilt used the white Fairy Frost as its backing, this one I could not get to the store for a black backing so I used what I had on hand...Blue.... but I like it and it does brighten it up some. Plus you don't get to see my goofs as much ;)

Well, the phone is ringing.. and kids are fussing, so back to it I go.
Thanks for stopping by, I will post the second half of September soon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Almost Caught Up!... August.

August here we come!!!

Ocean Crest... Every few years we feel the urge to leave our dry arid desert landscape behind us and we take a trip to the Wet Side... we travel for 6 hours, until we hit the pacific ocean and run out of road, then we turn right and go some more. Eventually we land at The Ocean Crest Resort. I am not posting where it is, nor am I showing all of the lovely pictures we took, this is our secret place and if word gets out that Paradise is in Washington state then we will never get a room again! Seriously, this is one of the most beautiful and restful places I have ever been. Plus they have a WONDERFUL restaurant and a lovely indoor pool... Oh and did I mention the ocean view... Just look... see heaven on earth!
We usually go in August to celebrate our anniversary, this year was no exception.

We dressed up and had a nice dinner out. I look at this picture and know that in a very few years my babies will be grown and gone, they are in a word...lovely. And yes Stuart is really that tall!

Love this picture because it is of my darling and I... Hate this picture because it show exactly how big my butt is!

Dinner that night was amazing as always. The food is always wonderful... Hey I tried duck for the first time too! The waiter was a hoot, he picked on Hannah..hmm no pictures of Hannah sorry... we laughed and had a wonderful time, the people at the table next to us had fun too.. it was contagious.

Morgen describing something that went...Poof!

Lovin' this picture, Torrie discovered photography last year. Makes her mama proud, you see I went to college to be a professional photographer. This was my first camera, I used it all through high school and in college, now Torrie is using it.
This turned out to be my favorite beach shot, all three girls together, the third girl is Hannah. Hannah is one of Torrie's bestest friends, she was having some troubles at home so we ask if we could bring her with us for the trip, she is a very nice and very funny young lady. I am glad I had the opportunity to get to know her better that weekend.

I did manage to get a little bit of quilting done in August, this was the block of the month from quilt party, it is an adorable 3D pinwheel I chose rainbow colors and a cloudy back ground, the kids LOVE this quilt.

This is one of several military quilts I have been working on. I found the unit patch fabric a while back and purchased several yards with this quilt in mind. This quilt, plus its sister quilts are to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Desert Shield/Desert Storm. We landed in Saudi on September 10th 1990, with in days our signal van was set up providing communications for the off loading of the ships, from that point on we never slowed down... We spent 6 long months in the desert leap frogging to provide communications for our troops, we crossed the berms into Iraq... and when we were done, we pulled back into Saudi and went home. I was a proud member of Bravo Company 13 Signal Battalion, 1st Calvary Division, Local Rau 42. Voice of Command. First Team! Through face book there are about 60 of us who have gotten back in touch with each other, I started a group just for the 13 Sig Desert Storm vets. I am making these quilts to send to many of my dear friends from that time. As I get them finished I will post them on here as each one is a little bit different.

Each quilt will have the unit patch fabric, and a complimentary patriotic fabric, on each quilt you will notice the brown star (desert bdu -camo) and the green is woodland camo.. both represent our time in the Army.... Thank you for letting me share a part of myself I rarely discuss... now in the immortal words of my darling daughter Morgen....

Rock on Quilting World!!!

Whew... all caught up! Next post, will be what I have been up now! And I have been a busy busy girl!

Shall post again soon..
Till then keep those needles humming.

Catching Up.... July Part 1

OK so July, Oh boy July was a GREAT month... matter of fact it was so darn good I have to make it two posts! So finish reading this one then scroll down for part 2!

As many of my long time readers know I long arm quilt, well until July I actually short arm quilted with dreams of some day being able to move up to a larger throated machine. I hummed and hawed about purchasing a Baileys Home Quilter, they are very nice machines, but not exactly what I was looking for, they (until recently) only had a 13 inch or a 15 inch throat, and I wanted MORE! After all I was using a 9" machine, I want more than 6 inches!!!

So, I then considered having my Babylock stretched, Rick at WOW quilts does this for $1895.00 you send him your machine, three months later you get it back doubled in size. I even put my machine on the list... Still no call from them...I have been on the list since May. And then one day I was on one of the Yahoo groups I frequent and noticed an ad for a Homesteader.. for those who don't know what a Homesteader is, it is a stretched singer.. well you can get the idea from the pictures... now 1st things 1st this machine is NOT stitch regulated but it does have a nice speed control. The price was very very good, and gosh I had enough saved up because I had been saving to have my Baby stretched! So I contacted the nice lady, we talked and the deal was sealed, two weeks later Big Bertha (not that is NOT what I call her.. well sometimes..maybe) arrived, we promptly unboxed her, Stuart spend a few hours going over her with cotton swabs, canned air and oil. Making sure everything was there and clean and working (this was a used machine after all and the lady did NOT clean it before she shipped it :( I was pretty shocked at that) then on the frame she went...

This was the picture that the nice lady sent me, I STILL have not had the chance to take pictures of her on MY frame... isn't she pretty. Like I said, not stitch regulated but l am finding that is not a bid problem, I quilted for years on my Baby with out a regulator I was surprised at how easily and fast I was able to fall back into regulating myself.

I did contact Jennifer at the quilting solution (makers of the Homesteader) and got a ruler foot and base for her, plus we did a motor upgrade, the one on the machine was a bit weak this one just races right along! I also found out that she is one of the first machines they made so there are other upgrades that can be done, so she is going in for a retrofit in January. They will bring her up to "new" for me for $400.00 Not bad given that and the price of the motor and my purchase price are still under what a new machine would have cost me! I love this machine it sews beautifully, takes EVERY thread I throw at it, and I have almost ZERO thread breakage.

OK so now that you have met my new machine... NOT calling her Big Bertha.... I do need a name, suggestions welcome!!!

Off to part two... keep scrolling down....
See you soon,

Catching Up.... July Part 2

So, Part two... can you guess what I did this month.. Oh yea I caught up on a LOT of quilting!

This was a bento box quilt that Torrie made two years ago, I have been holding off on it until I had a machine big enough... guess what I do! these are 15 inch blocks, I was able to do the ENTIRE block in one pass!! Did I mention that my Homesteader has a 19" throat.

I also learned how to do pantographs, yes you can laugh, but with my old Baby I could not ever do pantos just not enough space!

I also did a bit of teaching, this is Kim on of my Daycare Moms (going to make a quilter out of her yet!) She needed a summer wall hanging for her foyer, she loved this panel so we knocked some boarders on it and SHE quilted it! it looked great!

Caution Rant Ahead

I also did a little baby quilt for one of the lady's at quilt party, this was a "freebie" She needed it quilted and I wanted the practice... she (the lady) ended up being a major PITA and I will NEVER help her again, free or not...YIKES some people... I ended up ripping out two rows because she did not like the design SHE chose!
I ended up doing the entire thing custom free motion... It was cute and I was happy with the end results... even though I had to deal with some SERIOUS piecing issues.. but then that is why I took it, as a learning piece... It helps to deal with "real world quilts" not just mine where I don't have many piecing issues...or boarder issues either, but that's another story (all her seams at her boarders were unstitched at least half and inch or more in and it was a 2" square pieced boarder...)
The back was a pretty blue Minkee, here are some loopy hearts.... perfect? No, did it work yes, there were hundreds of these all over the quilt, each 1 inch sashing has hearts!
On to better and much more fun quilts! This is Stephanie, my hair dresser! What do I love about Stephanie... well she had purple nails, purple eye shadow and eye liner and purple hair... Yep BIG streak of BRIGHT purple in her hair and I love it! I want purple hair, but am not self confident enough to have purple hair. Stephanie was cutting my NON purple hair (but very grey actually) one day and we were chatting I mentioned a quilt I was making and as it turns out she is also a quilter.. well we chatted and so forth, I ended up inviting her over to quilt up a baby quilt she was making... here is Stephanie using .. NOT Big Bertha...
She used the Hearts A Flutter panto.

And it turned out excellent... The front...

The back! The back was a bug flannel, the front bug strips! Hey this reminds me I need to schedule a hair cut!

So as you can see we jumped right in and got to work, I am loving my machine. And so are several of my friends!
So easy a newbie can do it!

Take care for now, thanks for hanging in this long. Next up August, and a change of pace, then September and we will be all caught up, once we get caught up I have something really cool to share!
Thanks for stopping by... and please suggest a name for my machine... I will NOT call her BIG BERTHA.


Catching Up.... June

Good Monday Morning!
Well the catching up continues... It has been a few days because we have been doing some major house repairs... more on that in a few posts! For now I lets talk about June, June was a sad month for me, oh it was a good month but sad, you see one of my daycare kids grew up. I have taken care of Ryan for 7 years. In seven years we went from preschool, to kinder garden all the way up the ranks of elementary school, this fall he started middle school and turned 12. Ryan has always been my sporty boy, he loves all things sports! Football, basket ball, racing but most of all Ryan LOVES baseball! So when it came time for him to leave my care I sent him off with a quilt of course. His Mom was thrilled because she has been wanting to redecorate his room. So this is what I made....

The funny thing about this one, I would be working on it right in front of Ry, cutting and so forth it took him about a week to ask what I was working on and if it was for him... I said Maybe... He actually got a little involved when it came time to decide if we liked it better with the little one inch sashings.. the over all consensus was YES.

I quilted it on my frame with my 9 inch machine (more on that news in my next post) I had to be creative as this is almost a queen size quilt, it is meant to last him a LONG time. I did just a simple free motion meander and on each block I used my rulers and did either a large or small baseball or a large or small start

I had to piece the back, originally the back as to be the baseball fabric you see below, but I was about (get this) 6 inches short! And of course was totally out of luck finding anymore. So I improvised to what I think are good results.

As you can see, baseball and stars, the theme throughout the entire quilt, Oh and I quilted it with Superior Rainbow Red White and Blue variegated. I miss Ryan, not as many laughs without him here.

This is the King size that wasn't! A year or so ago I made this lovely King size quilt for my husband, who took one look at is and said "Oh hell NO!" OK so that is not a direct quote but suffice to say he HATED it So it got tucked away and never finished, like in needed boarders sewn on and quilted... fast forward to May, I was talking to my good friend Wendi and ask her if she wanted it since I hated to see it just sitting in a box. She said yes that she would give it to her daughter Erika. Well, I sent it with her along with the boarder material, she finished the quilt then we took it over to the same shop that I did the Memory quilt, (they can handle a king size, my frame cannot) we then spent the day making spirals and spirals and more spirals.
Each circle got a spiral, and we spiraled the boarder too... It turned out WONDERFUL!
See, I think we counted 119 spirals. It was actually pretty easy as I was using my Doodling Designs spiral template.
This is the back, we used just a plain black back and Red and Black thread by YLI (think I got that right). OH and for the record, Erika LOVED the quilt. So all's well that ends well, the quilt got quilted and found a happy home. I just love a happy ending don't you!

OK on to July and my BIG news!

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to say hi!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A little interntet problem...

Good morning, just popping in for a second while I actually have internet access, I HAVE NOT disappeared again! I have on the other hand had sporadic at best internet access since Friday, I attempted to post my catching up May blog, when poof it was gone, since then (and numerous phone calls to our access provider) we get maybe 5 minutes of internet at a time, and then you may or may not be able to up load, down load or even access a page. I have taken to using my phone to check my emails and face book. The good news we are suppose to have full access again my October 5th! In the mean time I will try to continue catching up, but no guarantees!
Thanks for understanding!
Logging off now before I get dumped!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Catching up... May

Well folks we are going to give this a try! Cross our fingers and toes that I have Internet for a little while longer!

May.... May was a very special month for me. Two wonderful things happened, first I took a little day trip and went to Vashon to visit my mom, it was a wonderful trip! More on that to follow... Secondly I was ask to design, piece and quilt a very special quilt, Val, the Mom called me one day and ask if I would design and make her daughter a memory quilt for graduation! I was honored and thrilled as much by her asking as by her comment that she has lots of ideas, and no follow through, but she does have a large check book! :) I got the details from her, and went to work designing some tops for her to look at. The only restrictions. The fabric was to only be Maroon and Grey ( the daughters college colors) But they had to be subtle. Also she wanted to pack a LOT of photos on to one quilt. She came over a few days later picked the design she liked and went shopping. I loved the fabric she chose, and she then started sorting photos and printing them on the photo paper (5 packs of paper were used on this quilt!) I started piecing the maroon and grey during this time. Once she gave me the photo papers, I rinsed them following the package directions, and immediately had a problem, two of the sheets lost almost ALL the color, called Val and she reprinted them! So, I trimmed and sewed and sewed some more.. and this is what we have..

I love the center of this quilt, the two center blocks are a baby picture, and her senior picture. The Block directly above the senior picture is of grandma and grandpa,
There are prom pictures and pictures of her dog, pictures of her travels (let me tell you this girl has TRAVELED) there are pink flamingos and of course pictures of her and her mom, I fell in love with this quilt and felt like I got to know the daughter, it was a lovely experience.

Val decided that she wanted a warm and fuzzy backing... I suggested a grey Minkee... Oh yea good choice. Now I LOVE quilting on Minkee! No sarcasm really I do. BTW, my husband is holding this up, it is a HUGE quilt!
There were close to 100 pictures on here!

There was no way this quilt would fit under my poor little nine inch machine, so I rented time on the Jewel at on of our quilt shops, this is a lovely machine! I was very pleased with it, but did have some really WEIRD guy start taking to me and commenting on my quilting, He had NO CLUE what he was talking about, and would NOT leave me alone, finally Daren the sewing machine repair guy came over and ran him off... YUCKY. Anyhow this is me working on the quilt.

And just a close up so you can see the beautiful fabric she chose!

And some of the quilting on the back.

This is the label, Val chose the message, I did include my name as the piecer and quilter and the date I finished the quilt. Oh and did I mention, I got the phone call about this quilt on the 1st of May... Notice the date... graduation was June 4th. Whew nothing like a deadline! I and drew the feathers around the edge of the label to match the feathered boarder. All in all I was totally pleased with how this quilt turned out, it was my first paid job.

So during this frantic month, we also took a day trip to Vashon. This is where I grew up, well about a mile from here actually. This is Quartermaster Harbor, we use to swim here when I was child.. Vashon is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I NEVER want to live there again! But it was a nice visit.

The best part, Torrie and I went together and spent the day visiting places from my child hood, and she was actually interested and excited. This was one of our best days. (Is she not the prettiest thing ever.. OH and she is way smart too!)

WARNING! Torrie took the camera for most of the day, there are a TON of pictures of me.. more than I have ever had before, so this post is loaded with ME!!! And no trip would be complete with our Scooch the Pooch!

Yep, me again.

And one more, this one I am walking along Burton beach, oh it has another name now, don't know what it is, growing up we always called it Burton beach, it was just a short bike ride from the house, we could go swim and hang out. Growing up on Vashon was "different" the Island is small in every way, size and mentality and small town, the people are nice (if not a bit hippyish- OK a LOT hippyish) but it was a safe place to wander around, we rode our bikes EVERYWHERE and never worried, bad things did not happen on Vashon... at least not that anyone talked about....Oh the reasons I LOVE and HATE the place...

BUT, to not finish on a down note... I did find one of the best jewels ever on Vashon... The Island Quilter.. is a lovely little quilt shop with over 7,000 bolts of fabric!! It was the never ending maze of color and delight! I was in love oh my word! If you are ever in Washington and you want to spend a lovely day "away" take the ferry to Vashon Island, stay on the main road till you hit town (very little town, no stop lights, be sure you know your stop sign etiquette) and look for The Island Quilter, it is worth the price of the ferry ticket just to go. Plus Vashon is just beautiful! (did I mention that all the fabric was just $9.50 a yard)
I will have to post pictures of my purchases! I budgeted $150 but could have spent twice that there was such a selection.

So that was May, stay tuned I still have 3 more months to catch up to!
Happy quilting,