Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is it a Christmas Cactus or an Easter Cactus? Maybe both?


These beauties were brought in about a week before Thanksgiving and look what they did!  We keep them outside during the spring and summer and they do great, even in our brutal heat of summer.  But when I see buds developing I bring them in and put them in the foyer for a while and lo and behold!  Cacti flowers. 

Now the question is:  Are they Christmas cactus or Easter cactus ... because these beauties will continue to develop blossoms and bloom from now until Easter.  

Some Vintage beauties

I may be a geek/techie but there's another part of me that is a traditionalist and in this vein I truely love anything vintage.  I've had the wonderful opportunity to quilt several vintage quilts recently and here are a few.  Just sit back, enjoy, and remember "MeMaw" sitting and piecing these wonderful quilts.  Remember that MeMaw didn't have all our wonderful rulers, templates, patterns, etc.  She probably used newspaper for her patterns, and a pair of scissors that may have been used by everyone in the house, and a canning lid for a template for making circles.  So give reverence to these wonderful piecers who moved us to where we are today.  OK, now off my soapbox ...

Bobbie had me do this one and it is called Double T.  It is a BIG quilt!  I did Swirlz on it and it came out great.  We decided to piece the back with a blue/red/blue piecing and these two fabrics were found at Kiwiquilts in Powder Springs.  Thanks, Tracy!  Isn't it a beauty?

Kim came with this quilt and several others.  We were laying them out and found that one of the quilts was paper-pieced with newspaper and all the paper had not been torn out.  We searched and finally found the dateline of the newspaper - April 1948!  So we figured that all the quilts she had stored in a cedar chest were probably made in the same time period.  This is a big quilt also, and I didn't get a full-size picture of it but even from this small photo you can get a sense of this oldie-but-goodie.  Look at the randomness of the rectangles!  Just so cool!  I did a Baptist Fan on this one, trying to keep with the vintage look.  I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of the back.  It is a vintage  small floral in red/blue/yellow/green/white backing and it is absolutely perfect for this quilt.  I had a great time quilting this one.  Thanks, Kim!

Hooray!  Kim sent me a picture of the quilt with its backing folded over the top.  It is just so perfect!  You really have to see the whole quilt top to fully appreciate just how perfect this backing is for this quilt.  A big Thank You to Linda at Little Quilts here in Marietta for helping to choose this backing.  

It's just so pretty ....

I have to give both Bobbie and Kim wonderful credit for taking such good care of these family heirlooms.  I believe both kept them in cedar chests/closets, out of plastic bags.  They came to me in wonderful shape which made my job so much easier.  

So remember to pass on to your customers/quilting friends the importance of storing your quilt tops properly.  And I know you have some quilt tops laying around, right?  Don't we call those UFOs??  Keep them out of that plastic crap - wrap them up in a clean pillow case, so that when your daughter/granddaughter pulls them out for her quilter to finish up, she'll be proud of YOUR work.  

Have a great evening!  

7 days to baking frenzy!  want to join me? 

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Cyber-Monday so what else are you reading other than a computer screen? LOL!

I'm doing a lot of quilting this week, but for relaxation (? huh?  i thought quilting WAS relaxation!) I read and I tend to read a lot.  I don't do the Danielle Steele stuff ... read 1 or 2 of that and you've read them all is my opinion - I'm allowed my opinion, you know.  Anyway, I've gotten entranced with what I call the Icelandic genre.  It started by coming across the books by Karin Fossum.  I absolutely love her books because the stories are so interesting and the characters well fleshed out.  The subject may be strange but I like books and movies that sort of grab you by the collar and shake you up a bit.  My newest author is Ruth Rendell - A Sight for Sore Eyes - and The Vault.    And an old favorite is Henning Mankell - the Det. Kurt Wallander series.    Just go to and type in Icelandic mysteries and a whole list will pop up.  Go with those that have been reviewed by readers and have at least 4 stars.  You can't go wrong!

And just this past weekend I finished Rules of Civility by Amor Towles which tells a story of 1938 Manhattan.  I love New York and this book didn't fail me.  Great story, great characters.  Wish I had been there!

So I've been giving my K-Fire a good workout this past week.  I love that I don't have to have a flexible light on it - it is backlit like your computer so no extra lighting is needed.  So I just cuddle down into the covers and read away ... 

Ok, back to Max.  I have another vintage quilt on the machine and its so pretty!  Pictures at a later date.  

Happy Cyber-Monday!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble Gobble!

Oh, please ... i can barely move at this point.  I didn't eat a LOT ... not really a whole lot ... just a bit of this and that and some more of that ... I am sooooo full!  

I moved away from the traditional turkey this year and did a roasted chicken with vegetables, but of course had to do the traditional side dishes ... home made cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing (i have the BEST crock pot dressing recipe!!), corn pudding, sweet potato casserole without those marshmellows thank you ... and the very healthy green beans ... and i haven't even gotten to the pumpkin or pecan pie.  Geez ... you'd think we were never going to cook for the rest of the year.  Why do we do this?  Well, as my husband says, "Because you like to do it!"  OK OK ... I do enjoy the cooking.  I spend so much time quilting that I seldom cook anymore, so when I get a chance I go for the gusto.  Here's wishing all a very thankful Thanksgiving!
I do have several quilts done but I won't post a picture until the customers see them first.  So hang in there ... one is a vintage quilt and I several more of those waiting for me.  These quilts are just so pretty!  And I'm learning that there really isn't anything new (pattern-wise) in piecing, just new ways to do it.


Here is my Christmas quilt that I did this fall.  Just in time, right??  And Larry made me a hanger to hang it on our wall.  I love this quilt.  It's Down Winterberry Lane by Whimsicals.  I pieced and quilted it, and did use some metallic threads for the first time.  And Max the Millennium LOVED those metallics!!  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Looky looky looky what I got!

 Oh, my!  I am such a geek!  I got this Kindle Fire for my birthday and it just arrived yesterday ... and already I love it!  We sat and watched an old British 1-hour drama last night.  The picture is absolutely beautiful.  And I'm able to get my e-mail on this ... and I'm able to watch all those quilting you-tubes that are so instructive!  And ... wait for it ... I'm actually able to read all the Icelandic murder mysteries that I love!  I didn't think I would use all those other 'things' other than reading a book, but let me tell you, this is great!  And yes, I will play a game of Angry Birds every now and then!  Love this Fire!

So it's back to work today.  I've missed a couple of days of quilting because life just works that way sometimes.  I took an applique class and really liked it (there's another UFO to add to my stack!).  It's been a very busy week with a lot of running around.  So it's back to Max and getting the quilts that are waiting to be Christmas presents out the door.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

So Your Wife is a Quilter ...

It's been a busy week ... I'll be posting pictures soon.  

Anyway, to keep you laughing, I found this on the forum and thought I'd share (I've kept it as it was posted, giving credit to Patrick, husband of Valorie).  I read it to my husband and we both cracked up ... especially the part about expensive trips to faraway quilt shows ... think Houston International Quilt Show, 2009.  Yikes!  I don't think he's recovered yet from that trip ... So read and enjoy ...

There Will Be Pins: How to be a Quilter's Husband
Submitted by Patrick Cook, the husband of Valorie Cook from Grand Rapids, MI

So your wife is a quilter. That doesn't seem so bad, does it? It's a nice quiet hobby, conjuring up images of our sturdy pioneer mothers, keeping their families warm and creating beauty out of old shirts and printed feedbags. You think of plump grannies in rocking chairs, piecing a Log Cabin block by firelight, cat asleep at her feet. An idyllic picture, right?

You're living in a dream world, buddy. They buy their fabric whole now, in yardage and "fat quarters" (whatever they are). They cut this perfectly good cloth into smaller pieces, and then painstakingly, by hand, sew them back together. This process calls into question all the advances of the industrial revolution.

Quilting generates a blizzard of debris. Fabric scraps and batting clog and burn out your vacuum cleaner. (Hint: don't go barefoot. Your feet were never meant to be pincushions). The cat frequently swallows a length of discarded thread. Soon, one of two things will happen; you won't like either of them.

This is not the end of your problems. There are frequent expensive trips to the fabric store, and even more expensive quilt shows in faraway cities. There are bees, which are little groups of quilters who get together occasionally to complain about their husbands and children. These bees may meet in church basements, but occasionally they come to your house and take over the dining room table. Your presence in the next room won't intimidate them.

Quilting also tends to take up more and more of the house. Sure, your wife might decide at some point that she has enough fabric. I've never seen this myself, but it could happen. More likely, your home will become a candidate for that TV show where some poor fellow's dead body is found under a collapsed pile of old newspapers. In your case, it will be a tower of yardage and color-matched prints.

As far as I know, there is no twelve-step program for quilters, but you may avoid codependency by following these tips:

1.. Set up a space outside the living area for the quilting equipment and fabric storage. I have refinished the basement, and we are moving everything down there. Other husbands have constructed pole barns, rented industrial space, or moved to another city under an assumed name.

2.. Have your wife make a small business out of her hobby. Internet sales can be lucrative. They might even partially make up for the enormous sums she spends. Very important: Do not participate in the business yourself. First thing you know, you'll be maintaining complicated machinery, acting as an errand boy, and dealing with the post office. You have better things to do.

3.. Don't be tempted to accompany your wife to quilt shows, thinking that time together will add spark to your relationship. You won't see her all day. You'll wander around aimlessly among the booths, finding nothing remotely interesting. Sure, you could meet other lost husbands, and find camaraderie in the nearest bar. Usually, though, a woman in a quilted vest will mistake you for a fabric vendor. She will try to hustle you for free samples.

4.. Don't try to distract your wife with other activities, such as gardening, cooking or housework. Though she may have done these things in the past, that's all over now. Quilting is her life. Accept your fate. Learn to cook and run the vacuum. Get a hobby of your own. You could join a softball team-slow-pitch, preferably-or learn simple carpentry skills. Then build a pole barn and move into it yourself.

Finally, remember you are not alone. There are plenty of other quilt-widowers out there.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Doncha' just love you some Bali Pops?? and other odd items ...

 First of all, check out the INFO SITE AND YOU-TUBE FAVORITES over at the right ... over there ... I have the best you-tube of all time there, the "You Can Quilt that Out" song.  I LOVE that song!  When I'm in a tough place, I just play it and sing along ... always helps with the attitude!  Check out the other items ... you never know what you'll find.

I have been drooling over the new Bali Pops that came out last month, and decided to treat myself one Pop at a time ... so for the last month I've been picking up one here, one there ... and now I have three delicious Pops all for me! (OK, thought I had 4 of these beauties but one has wandered off somewhere ... and if you saw my studio right now you wouldn't ask why...)  What will I do with them, you ask?  Hmmmm ... do I have to DO ANYTHING with them?  LOL!  If you are a fabri-holic like me, that is such a silly question!

I covered up Max today because I needed to spend some time tidying up the studio before I really get into another big project.  I almost resent having to stay away from quilting, but I realized that I would be a candidate for the Hoarders show if I didn't spend some quality time organizing all this stuff.   Isn't is a sad picture?  Poor Max ...  btw, that's an old bed ruffle that I discarded last month, but decided to keep it as a Max cover.  Aren't I the clever girl?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quilts Delivered

Patsy Ruth came to visit today and I gave her Michael's quilt (Hunker Down, Dawgs!) and her Batik Squares quilt.  Michaels quilt was one of the 1600 inch quilts and it turned out awesome.  I did the good ol' Swirls on it and that design just softens up a very structured quilt like these 1600 inch quilts.  He is going to love it!  

Her Batik Squares quilt came out great.  Some of the batik squares have dragonflies on them, so I decided to go with a dragonfly pantograph.  I think I was able to get a picture of the dragonfly on the front and on the back.  I love Patsy's choice of colors for this quilt.  She has a real eye for color.  Way to go, Patsy Ruth!

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's a Great Day {wide grin ...}

I'm posting two quilts that I finished this week.  

This one is what I call Pam's Wonky Triangle Quilt and it is just way too cute!  The colors are so bright and the triangles are so off-plum ... love the whole quilt.  I did an Edge-2-Edge on this because it is so fun.  And I used a Magna-Glide thread which added some sheen and shine.

And the next quilt is my friend Patsy Ruth's quilt for her son Michael, who is ... wait for it ... a GEORGIA fan!  Can you tell?  Patsy did the 1600 inch jelly roll quilt for him and it looks wonderful!  And I love how that Circle Lord swirls design just softens up the quilt.  And she added a paisley binding which is so cool!  And as Patsy says, "Hunker down, hairy Dawgs!"  Good job, Patsy!  On the last pic, I pulled the back over to the front to show that GA Bulldog backing!  Woo Woo!