Sunday, August 31, 2008

Quilt Decor Continued...

The past few days have been busy ones. I wish I could say with quilting but that comes to a halt when all my family is home. I'll tell more about my weekend in another post. In the meantime, I've had these photos sitting here waiting to share with you. This is a Lori Smith Fat Quarter quilt that sits on a small table in my kitchen area. Seeing the quilt in person is so much better than this photo. It is one of my favorites and holds sweet memories of quilting time spent with my friend. We both loved the quilt shop sample, bought the kit and made them that weekend! This sewing machine cabinet sits at the time of my stairs heading up into the quilt studio. I've got a very special featherweight sitting on top of it. I say very special because it was given to me with love my a sweet and dear friend who has passed away. I believe the quilt is a "This & That" Charm Pattern. I made this a few months ago.....apparently when I had more time for quilting?! When I started the blog in July I had every intention of showing NEW quilts. What could I have been thinking? Every summer is my worse time for getting much accomplished because I'm enjoying the outdoors and family being home more. Well, school is in session and Fall just around the corner so I'm guessing a bit more time quilting.

Friday, August 29, 2008

OFG Spookfest on Etsy

One of my NEW blog friends, belongs to the OFG link above. This group of gals have posted some absolutely adorable Fall designs on the Etsy site! I just know after watching some of your blogs and decor styles that you will enjoy! I just had to share and help them spread the news.

Also, I want to be sure to share this site for all of you who dress up your blogs, looking for clip-art and all that CA-UTE stuff!
Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Some people manage to have hours at the end of the day when they can endlessly stitch. As for myself, I fade real fast come 8pm and rarely will you see me in the quilt studio after the dinner hour. I'm an early riser and am most productive this time of day. However, my family and home come first. I've been the type of quilter who will have the house tidy and family needs taken care of before quilting. I spend a great deal of time with my family when they are home and it seems we all do things together as a group effort whether it be seeing a movie, washing cars, doing yard work etc. This is why I can't seem to get much accomplished in the way of creativity or why I took it so hard with son #1 heading off to college. Speaking of son #1, we painted his room this past weekend. (more time away from quilting)

Every so often I have the desire to stitch in front of the television in the evening with the family. I would likely stitch more if the lighting were better (I've hinted for an Ott-Lite - they fuss if the light is to bright). Earlier in the year I attended the quilt show in Hampton, VA and fell in love with all the samples in the booth and bought the book. Every now and then I pull this little stitchery out and work a block that will eventually become another small little quilt. Here is another unfinished stitchery that I work on in the evenings....if I haven't faded out! LOL
This past week has been a busy one for me with the painting, appointments, errands to run, house to clean. In between all of that I did manage to get my wool stitched on to the center of my Jo project. I just need to square it up before attaching to my hourglasses and get it sandwiched for machine quilting. (my plan for today) OH -- and I'll have to stop early to pick up and take son #2 to his orthodonic appt!

My favorite activity in the evening is stitching down the final binding on a new quilt! I'm learning to let some daily chores go so that I can be in the quilt studio more!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Let Me Say Thank You

It has been a few days since my posting of son #1 leaving for college. Let me tell you, I'm doing much better. This "soupy sandwich" isn't near as drenched as she was. Your comments, emails and friends who shared coffees were much appreciated. Each and every person had their own story to share with me....for that I'm grateful and thank you! Now let me get on with the good stuff! Since I don't have my own Jo Morton completed to show, I asked my gal pal Shirley if she would allow a photo to share of her CA-UTE little number! Rather than doing the Jo Morton pattern for the month, she made this quilt using smaller 4 patch blocks and a totally different setting. This is her mantle above her fireplace. I guess she isn't parting with this one either. Dang!I tossed in a photo of wooden spools to show. Not everything can be quilts right? Afterall, I showed some saws, ladders, and baskets. Spools also fit right in the my scheme of decor. They aren't expensive but getting harder to find.

Then I have Meowzer the outdoor cat that moved to our house over a year ago. He actually belonged a few houses down but his people were never home and left him hungry the majority of the time. I guess you could say I secured the "relocation" when he was screaming of starvation at my door and all I had to offer was TUNA!!

I absolutely love cats. I grew up with cats. When I met my now husband I had an indoor cat. My nerves hate the thought of an outdoor kitty exposed to the elements, cars, and just whatever dangers can come their way. Anyway...back to story....turns out I should have had a questionaire for the then "boyfriend" asking him the following question?

1. Allergies/Asthma? looking back perhaps a few more questions. But after nearly 25 years of marriage it is too late now, right?

Turns out that in answer to question #1 it is a big fat YES.

So you indoor cats for me. I certainly wouldn't have gone and selected a kitty from the litter to toss him outside. When Meowzer showed up, I was tickled (husband..not so much) I'm good though...only occassionally can he come in for a quick visit and he doesn't get to explore the house. I've got him an old cutter quilt set on the front porch bench, food in the garage and in the winter he gets to sleep in the garage. Meowzer has been outside his whole life and is a big hunter. He likes to bring me "gifts." This I'm not so keen about either. This week I managed to save a hummingbird, and thought I had saved two rabbits until today! Bad kitty!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Soupy Sandwich?

I can still remember clearly September 1989. This was the first time I moved away from family and friends due to my husband's duty assignment that took us overseas. Only it just wasn't us, I was pregnant with my first son. My mom was able to come for the birth and stayed a short time. It was difficult to see her go. At the airport she gave me a big hug and as we cried together she whispered, "He'll be your little company during the day."

There were many, many times that I was thankful for "my company" over the years. My son and I have a very close bond together. I want to say in part because of his dad having been military and gone alot. When son #1 turned four we had son #2.

When son #1 left for kindergarten I was sad as I knew this was the next chapter. Son #2 kept me busy. You know how those toddler years are?! LOL

I've dreaded yesterday forever. Geez, I started crying over a mocha coffee in chatting with a friend a few years back about the day. This past year I knew it was coming fast and my crying would just sort of spontaneously start as though a hose were turned on. Pathetic aren't I? Of course, never in front of my son.

Here is a picture of my boys following us as we head to college yesterday. I should mention I've always dreaded the day they were old enough to be in a car together.

This photo is the first load of his belongings in the dorm room. Talk about eek! The room could use some serious work. He has a roommate who hadn't arrived yet. There is one bathroom (one shower/two toilets) for use by 8 students! Double eek! Then the moment came for saying goodbye and I felt I did very well considering I had to walk back out into hundreds of students and parents to get to the car with one gigantic lump in my throat. I couldn't let them see me looking like a blubbering idiot because "my company" was no more.

Once I got to the car and several more times on the drive home and even yet occassionally now....I have what my husband calls, "a soupy sandwich." I've never heard that expression before....but it makes me smile and that is what is needed.

The kicker in all this....son #1 turns 19 in less than a month and is less than two hours down the road! He is an awesome guy and I'm so excited for him to have this great experience. I know it is time for him.....but I'm a mom! we all get back home and my husband says he is taking son #2 out for a quick driving lesson. What?! You see, son #2 starts Student Driving on Mondayl! Do you think my mind will have other things on it? You bet! Oh my, at what point did they grow up so fast?!

Thankfully....there is always quilting.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

80's and some Jo!

Well, I figure these fabrics have gone through many moves since the 80's. I was just sitting here trying to think of just how many times but it gets confusing. I've been overseas three different times and moved to different houses during those times and then three or four different states and more houses too. I could never just bring myself to give the old stash away even though the colors are seriously dated and not at all me anymore. I cut my strips and set out to make some baby scrappy bargello quilts. Bonnie is kind enough to have shared this pattern many others here:
These work up quickly! The 80's fabrics stash doesn' appear to have any missing! I used up just keeps on giving! In fact, I was having so much fun with the June Tailor Quarter Cut ruler that I just kept cutting and well...think I've cut enough to make at least two more! These are perfect to practice quilting on and then I plan to use for charity quilts in our local guild.
Today was a sewing day with my girlfriend Shirley (the one I've known since.....forever!). Can we just call her an over achiever?! She shows up to my place today with all of her wool applique stitched; the quilt quilted and binding on!! It was just this past Tuesday we had Jo Morton club. I haven't even selected my wool yet. Her quilt is gorgeous and looks absolutely perfect in my home. Apparently it looks good in hers too...she took it with her when she left for home.
Thought it would be fun to share this Heart to Heart quilt that I made a few years back. I no longer own this quilt. My MIL had come for a visit a few weeks back and really liked this quilt but wouldn't take it. I'm surprising her this week. I've mailed it to her.....only because I know it is going to a loving home. The color combination isn't in the main living area of my home but looked great on a now empty wall in my quilt studio. LOL

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Small Quilt Decor

My girlfriend wanted me to share more photos of how I display small quilts in my home. The above quilt is a Thimbleberries pattern I made years ago. I've tucked it into a large crock near the fireplace.
Another little quilt tucked inside of a basket I picked up at a market while living in Germany. This basket is one of my absolute favorites! The small quilt was a gift to me from my gal pal, Shirley. (she spoils me)
The basket with small quilt and berry garland sits on top of the cabinets in my kitchen. Berry garland and quilts...a great combination!

This quilt was made by another gal pal, Claire. She knows just how much I love Kim Diehl's designs. I loved being able to manipulate the quilt in this wire basket.

I made this Lori Smith pattern a few times over! It is a well liked quilt and I kept one for myself. I don't know about you but there are many times I'd make a quilt for a friend; fall in love with the quilt....and think someday I'll make me one. Most of the time I never do get back around to making mine. Oh...not complaining...I'm just sayin'. My friends have really spoiled me through the years with quilted gifts. I wonder if they ever wished they would have made one to keep? How about you?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cancer Quilt

The quilt guild I belong to made this cancer quilt for the new cancer center in our town. The picture doesn't do this quilt justice. There are numerous little hidden surprises such as animals and flowers. The quilt is dimensional with magnolias and small quilt hanging off of the fence. The quilting in this quilt is truly a work of art and completed by a long-arm quilter friend, Sandi. This quilt will be displayed proudly in the hospital here for the cancer patients. May they find joy and happiness each time they see it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My August Birthday (Not!)

Just look at my August birthday presents! My birthday is in December just days before Christmas. I hate holiday birthdays. The Christmas tree and trimmings are up, the gift-wrap that is "handy" to wrap with isn't birthday wrap. Cakes have just isn't an exciting birthday time for me. My friend, Shirley has spoiled me now for 24 years. We met in 1984 as military spouses. She knows about my feelings of a holiday birthday very well. I purposefully was careful when I tried getting pregnant to avoid the holidays. Bad huh? She lucked out and got an August birthday and made my birthday her month. How lucky am I?!! This little quilt is just CA-UTE!!!! If you look closely it is little four patch blocks worked into larger four patch blocks and then more four patch blocks! It looks amazing in my home and will be treasured just as much as my friendship with her.
Shirley just didn't make me the little four patch quilt; look at this ADORABLE needle punch! I may have mentioned to her that I loved this new little pattern....TA DA.....she whipped it up for me! She was saying she found this frame at Goodwill but had to "alter" it for the look. LOL The teeny tiny bear is just too good! It is so small you really can't see that it is made from an old cutter quilt. I love all and was truly spoiled today. Quilting friends are simply the best!

Then as mentioned in previous post.....this is my ladder that I have on my front porch. It is an older wooden ladder that has perfect stair steps that I use as shelves to hold potted plants. I like seeing the ivy drape down the steps and also enjoy finding other little odds and ends to mix in for some added color.
Today was also Jo Morton club meeting. We received the pattern for the applique center that will go with all those hourglasses I posted earlier. I'm thinking wool.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ladders & Rakes Can Decorate Too!

There are many different types of old ladders that make awesome decorating pieces; in my book anyway! LOL This is one I picked up while living in Germany. It is the type that would lean up against a tree for picking apples or whatever. Rather than have it leaning against a wall vertically I got my husband to hang it horizontally in our living room. I think it is a perfect addition to my saws and rakes.
I'll post a photo later of the ladder on my front porch. It is another old ladder that stands vertically. I use the steps for potted plants. I love the look of the green ivy hanging down over the ladder.
Rakes!! Use them!! OK....not in the yard but bring those lovely old rakes inside. Yep....your husband and family members will think you've really gone bonkers now. I own three different types of rakes and just have the one hanging at the moment. I've got one that looks like a bird's claw. I keep thinking some sort of quilt that has crows and sunflowers would be wonderful for it. Of course, getting to and making this quilt will take some doing since I figure that project to be....hmmmm....project number 1032? Can I possibly get to all these projects in my life time?!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

See My Other Saw

Thought I'd post another style of saw that I have in my home. I haven't quilted the quilt hanging over it just yet. Actually I did have a feed sack hanging on the saw but it wasn't as colorful as this little quilt top. Notice the round wooden sifter to the right? I've left mine plain for the moment anyway. Use your imagination with this one. A small quilt could easily tuck inside or drape over the bottom. The bottom inside part of the sifter could hold something.I spent yesterday cutting up old fabrics. When I say old I mean back from my beginning years of think 80's! There were plenty of mauves, blues and the like. I used the June Tailor Quarter Cut to quickly and I do mean quickly cut them up into 2 1/2" strips. I've already started sewing on a Scrappy Bargello. I've been wanting to try making a Bargello and at same time get rid of some very old stash. The quilt will be baby size so I can just tuck it away for a ready made gift. There was no way that I wanted to have a lap size quilt made from these oldies but goodies. I've moved this fabric back and forth overseas so many times that it felt so good to finally use it up. Shoot! Take that back....I've got plenty more. But I do know one thing, it sure comes in handy for practicing quilting and new patterns.