Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Pep-Talk in Every Wrapper

I'm a little old lady.  Really.  You know what I mean ... I have such a fear of getting a coughing attack in church that I don't leave the house on Sunday mornings without a bunch of cough-drops in my hand.  Ok, so they also are my early breakfast ... anyway, I sit in church and have a cough-drop or two or three.  And I've noticed that they are wrapped in these neat Pep-Talk wrappers.  I opened one this morning and this wrapper is what I unwrapped.  Isn't it neat?  There are times, even in quilting, where I just don't have that loving feeling, where I feel like I just need to power through and just get 'er done!  So reading "Nothing you can't handle", "Power Through", "Push On", and "Be Unstoppable" really hit home.      Funny story ... one Sunday morning someone nearby coughed and 3 of us leaned over to offer her a cough-drop!  So I'm not the only one ...  harrumph ... old lady indeed ...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

That Beautiful 1600 +++ Quilt!

Several months ago i taught my church quilting group how to 'do' the 1600 inch jelly roll quilt.  We had a great time!  The first week we spent cutting up 2 1/2" strips - I man-handled my Studio cutter (named Phil Collins for Stu-Stu-Studio) to the church and I must have spent 4 hours cutting lots and lots of fabrics.  The next week we all came and sat and stitched these wild and crazy quilts.  It is just so much fun with us all working, laughing, chatting.  The ladies have made some fabulous 1600 quilts and I have some of them here that I'll be quilting in the near future.  Anyway, my daughter Emily recently told me of a friend of hers who was a student at SCAD and discovered that she has some sort of cancer of her kidney.  She had to move back to Florida to be with family and deal with chemo treatment.  And she is only 19 years old.  Emily asked if I could make her a quilt, and my 1600 inch unfinished top came to mind.  So I've spent the last 4 days finishing it up for her.  And it's now off of Max and ready to finish the binding - I actually sew the binding down to the front as I'm quilting, so all that needs to be done is the hand-sewing to the back.  These pictures are of the quilt draped over Max ... big big big quilt!  I used the Circle Lord Swirls on this beauty.  And the strips run north/south.  I think I used more than 1600"!!!  And the back is pieced with fabric I had on hand.  I'm really liking a pieced backing!    
I actually used all my own 2 1/2" strips from my strip box.  When I finish a project, I automatically cut 3 1/2", 2 1/2", and 1 1/2" strips from the remnants and throw them into my strip boxes.  I just pulled out what I thought would look good (mostly florals and pastels) and started sewing.  And I know I used a great deal more than 1600" of fabric.  I just kept sewing until I thought I had enough for a good size quilt.  Sometimes I'll be piecing a quilt just for the fun of it, with no thought to whom this quilt will go ... and somewhere down the line, God will speak through that quilt.  And by Emily's request, I knew that this would be Rebecca's quilt.  When I can, I'll get full on pictures but for right now just enjoy this marvelous quilt and say a prayer for Rebecca. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Zen Tangling

I was out of town this past weekend and while visiting daughter Emily in Savannah, we made a trip to the local college bookstore.  I love a good bookstore!  I picked up some Micron pens and a couple of books of heavy weight paper and started 'doing' some Zen Tangles.  Have you tried this art?  It is just so interesting!  I first heard about this art form while attending a quilting retreat this past summer with Deloa Jones and Jamie Wallen.  They both recommend "doodling" with Zen Tangles as a way to open up your eyes to the beautiful forms and shapes in the universe.  My artistic side is starting to come to life, and working with the Zen Tangle doodling is an eye-opener.   I thought there would be a lot of pressure to "do it right" but there isn't!  You just doodle and when it's finished, it's finished!  I bought the book Zen Mandalas and the book Totally Tangled  to start the Zen Tangling thing.

Here's a picture of my very first Zen Tangle ... 

All the Pretty Pumpkins Sitting in a Row!!!

Booooooo .....

It's my favorite time of the year ... and I was given these cute pumpkins to quilt.  Aren't they the coolest thing ever?  Pam did these in batiks and her color selection is spot-on.  I just love these little fellas.

I used Magna-Glide thread on top and bottom and it just popped.  Meandering pumpkins and vines and loops around the pumpkins and then more pumpkins in the outer border ... vines and loops on the smaller border.  
Click on each picture to enlarge it.   

Thanks, Pam! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quilts of Valor Day


 The 3rd Tuesday of every month has been designated QOV day at our church quilting group.  Several of us will stay until 3 or 4pm and work on our QOVs.   We are a very small group, but the stitchers really put out some gorgeous work.  This is one that was completed several weeks ago and I quilted it up this past week.  Trying to balance a thread color with the very sharp red, white, and blue was tricky, but I came up with a soft grey which didn't stand out TOO much on any of the colors.  It's a beautiful quilt and I know that there is a service person out there who will love this quilt.  Good job, Eleanor!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Flannel and Minkee

 This is Kathy's cutie-pie child's quilt that she pieced for a soon-to-be granddaughter!  It is sooooo cuddly!  And quilting the Minkee was a breeze.  The flower design shows up great on the Minkee back.  I loved quilting this quilt! 

I used Fil-Tec Magna-Glide thread both top and bottom and it just sinks so much into that Minkee leaving a wonderful design.  The Magna-Glide thread and Delights pre-wound bobbins are great.  I have never had an issue using this thread.  It's not for every quilt, but for those quilts that just cry out for some "zing!" - give it the Magna-Glide touch and glisten!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Are you looking for "Licensed" fabric?

I was looking through the newest Quilt magazine (Dec/Jan 2012) and found an ad for this site:

One of the discussions I had with a quilter this past week concerned "licensed" fabric such as Disney fabs, and how they are hard to find.  Wish I had run across this ad earlier!  They appear to have a huge selection of specialty themes and children's fabrics.

Check it out.  It might have what you're looking for.  Just a thought ...

I'll post it over to the right under Info Sites and You Tube Favorites.  

P.S.  I have not ordered from this company so I'm only pointing the way ...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It has to be after 5 o'clock SOMEWHERE ....

So after a long day/week of doing exactly what you LOVE to do, why not sit back, relax, and have that favorite beverage?  Life is grand!

I LOVE this cheap little bottle of Merlot!  I am not a wine expert, but I know what I like and Double Dog Dare is the best table Merlot around ... and for the big ol' price of $3.99!  More money for fabric!  You gotta love it!

It must be Fall!


I found this great Sunflower panel in September and knew immediately that this would be a great wedding gift for my sister-in-law.  She's getting married on Oct 22, and sunflowers are part of her theme.  It was fast, easy, but looks oh-so-good!  There's a table-topper to match but that will be later. 

 I quilted it using a leaf pattern.  It's pretty hard to see in that busy busy panel, but it works great.  Now I just have to bind it, put a sleeve on it, and then a label ... I just need about 8 more hours in my day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baskets and Stepping Stones

My friend Darlene does beautiful applique work and she gave me her appliqued baskets wall-hanging to quilt.  I asked if I could do a bit of custom work and she agreed.  Her piecing is so spot on and the whole top is beautifully pieced.  I did some curved cross-hatching in 2 of the baskets, some feathers in those big setting triangles, and then different border designs.  (I'm still working on taking better pictures ... hang in there ... I'll get it one of these days!). 


Here's a picture of the back of the Basket quilt.  Don't you just love looking at the back of quilts?  Sometimes they give you a whole different perspective on the quilt.


My church quilting group is Stitchin' Sallies and our service to God, church, and community is to make Comfort Quilts for those undergoing chemotherapy.  My part in this is that I get to quilt them!  What a gift for me, as this provides me opportunity to practice, practice, practice!  I love these quilts.  Each one is just so unique and I try to enhance the piecers work.   This one I called Stepping Stones.  I have no idea what the original name is for the pattern but it turned out beautiful.  Good work!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

So here's the answer(s) ...

So Where in the World was Dancing Bear?

Since time is so limited and I can't take every class that comes down the pike, I'm trying to be smart about classes/road trips that I take.  During the summer I took a trip to PA for a long-arm class with DeLoa Jones and Jaime Wallen.  Great experience.  And then this past week I took a road trip to Panama City, FL  to take a piecing class with Jacqueline de Jonge.  It was a great experience!  She has so many great tips on how to handle difficult paper-piecing and the curves that are inherent in her beautiful Be Colorful quilts.  The class was sponsored by Quilting by the Bay quilt shop.  This is a shop well-worth the trip.  Evidently Jacqueline was there for over a week teaching different classes.  She’s now in Orlando teaching, and then on to the International Quilt Show in Houston. 
Above is a picture of Jacqueline showing us her beautiful quilts …

So the sunset and the world’s best mojito were enjoyed there in Panama City at a restaurant recommended by a local.  Great view and ... are you ready?    Oysters on the half-shell at $6.99 a dozen!  I did a happy dance because I pay anywhere from $1.75 to $2.50 PER OYSTER here at home!  Sigh …


I left Panama City and traveled north towards I-10.  I’m traveling on a 2-lane highway and off in the distance I see this beautiful white and silver-domed building, and getting closer I realized that this has to be a REAL southern town.  In the south, in the early days, our fore-fathers built their towns ‘on the square’ with some sort of historical monument in the middle; however, this building is on a grand scale and is absolutely gorgeous.  It is the Historical Town of Monticello, Florida.  The ‘old south’ had round-abouts before the Brits!  You travel ‘round about’ the historical monument and then on out of town …



My next stop was … the Savannah Bee Company in Savannah, GA, where I visited my own busy-little-bee daughter.  She manages the River Street store so naturally I had to go visit and since Dancing Bear LOVES herself some honey … voila!  Dancing Bear sitting by the hive, enjoying a swirl of honey!  

It was a great trip ... I recommend both Jacqueline de Jonge as a teacher ... and I recommend the Quilting by the Bay quilt shop.  HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW BALI POPS?  Saw them Wednesday at QBTB and they are scrumptious!  Love the Cherry, the Plum Pudding, the Lime, and the Watermelon...oh, heck, I love them all! 

Left Savannah at 8:30 p.m. and got home at 12:30 a.m.  Long long trip, but oh-so-worth it!
Now it's on to the business of the day, quilting.  I'll be on the long-arm tonight and all day tomorrow finishing up quilts.  Pictures when I'm done.   And then finishing up the Batik Jacket.  Lots to do! 

and honey, it was a great trip!!

On the road again ...

Only in the south ...

Where in the world is dancing bear NOW?   More later!

I think I will have some, honey!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

where in the world is dancing bear?

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore...
Can you guess?  The sun is going down and the world's best mojito has just been downed ... 

More later, gators ...