Monday, May 31, 2010

And the winner is..........

True Random Number Generator
OK, I couldn't get the Randon Generater box to copy and paste to my blog, so this was the best I could do. I took a picture of my computer screen! And yes, I know there were 15 comments posted, but I added in #16 for my friend Carol who was going into the hospital for surgery and wasn't able to post.
The winner is commenter number 3, DebS who does not have a blog!
Congratulations, DebS.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by and entered my give away. Stop back to see some pictures of the most amazing get away adventure that I was on. The facility would be fantastic for a quilters retreat.....hmmmmm. One never knows what life will bring. I do know that I MUST return to the EV Ranch and Spa, and sooner rather than later. The experience was amazing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Get Away = Give Away

I've had the opportunity to put my name in the hat for many different drawings all over blogland. Now it's my turn to give back.
I bought an extra copy just to give away to one of my blog readers. Just tell me your favorite quilting book, and if you don't quilt, your favorite current novel that you've just read. No one needs to link back or become a follower, (although it would be nice). Nope, easy as pie, just leave me a comment. Remember, if you comment as No reply, I can't get back in touch with you. I'll ship anywhere in the world, so everyone can put their name in.
I'll take comments until 2:00 pm PST on Monday, May 31 and then I'll draw the winning number and make the announcement on Tuesday.
Have a terrific Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vacation vs. Holiday

Why is it that it takes a lot of work to take time off work? Being Canadian, I keep saying I'm taking holidays. In the U.S. the translation is vacation. So since I'm living south of the border, I'm going on vacation! Now be careful about looking at this link, you just might want to go here yourself. I have had this gift certificate since last year, and due to health issues, I just could not go away. The proprietors have been very generous and have extended the dates on this gift certificate and are honoring it this year. I've added on one more night, so this will give us 3 nights and 2 full days along with 2 days of travel. Here's where I'm going. Echo Valley. Have you heard of it? Do you wish you were coming?
I've been busy getting ready for this trip. I have just finished basting 36 of these.
I needed them to applique to four of these blocks.
And in case I get bored doing applique, I've got this marked, basted and ready to go.
I'm doing traditional Baptist Fans on this top and I'm working the fans in from all four sides. This will look like the quilts of days gone by where women gathered around the quilting frame and all quilted at the same time from all four sides. I've marked the first round and am hoping I have enough confidence to freehand the rest of the fans. I'm using a rust colored thread from YLI, I've marked using the blue Mark B-gone pen and made 5 rounds of fans. If you want to see how I've started quilting this, click the photo for a close up.
I had a very nice lunch out today with Louise. We chatted about quilting and bloggers and quilt stores and quilt shows. We ran out of time, but not talk. We follow many of the same blogs. Technology sure had made this blog world a great avenue to keep informed and inspired by our fellow quilters.
Check back for one more post before I leave; since I'm going away, I'm going to have a give away!
I've got to go walk my dog.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garden Surprises

Buying a home is a big adventure. When I looked at this home, it was perfect and I bought it. Then I moved into it and the list is long and lenghty of things that I find "not so perfect" I had a big list pretty quick and was chatting with my friend and said, "These are the things I'd like to do this year" She laughed and told me to put "10 Year Plan" on the top of that list. She was right.

The other surprises that I am getting are outside. What color are my lilies? What is that plant? Is that a weed or something I should be keeping? A few answers have arrived this week. My clematis is a spring variety, and it's pink!

This is mixed in with a kiwi tree (?), I guess it's called a tree. It too, is supposed to bloom and bear fruit. Time will tell. Right now it's just becoming unruly with curling vines that seem to grow 6" overnight! But it's a great backdrop for the colorful blooms.
This is what I see out my kitchen window, the backside of this colorful plant.
There is a large plant in front of the kiwi, it's loaded with blooms on the top of the stalks. I have no idea what this plant is or what it will look like when it blooms. My guess is that it's going to be very showy as there is a blossom on the top of every stalk.
I'll share more colorful surprises at things unfold in my yard.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

All Work and No Play

This has been a longer work week as it started on Sunday for me. We are putting in a new software system and that brings long days and lots of work. We are almost there and it's great! But the hours have cut into my quilting time. Then I got an email from my friend, the one who has never done hand applique and is working along with me on the same project. She sent a photo and a very short email. The text said "working on number four"
And she sent me this picture.
Apparently she is doing more playing than working. I guess that's a perk of retirement! I'm not too far behind. Except I didn't mention that she already made one block, put a border on it, hand quilted it, bound it, put a sleeve on it and has gifted it away. So you could say she's on block number five. Over achiever!
I love my friends!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Trying to Feel Caught Up

I will never be "caught up" when it comes to quilting. There is always a project at some state of completion and then there's the tops hanging in the closet, crying to get quilted and bound. But there is a place that I can get to that gives the illusion of being caught up. Right now it's having this quilt finished and boxed up to mail back to its owner.
I worked on this all morning and into the afternoon today, and it's on my door step so I don't leave home without it. Here are a few more shots of it. The back looks fun too, it's one big feather worked throughout the whole quilt top.
Yesterday I spend some quality time with my P9P swap blocks and I've made great headway. I would have them finished today, expect I have to go into work for a special project. Going in this afternoon will give me some time off during the week, so I know I'll hit the deadline of June and have my 36 blocks in the mail.
These fabrics are home dec quality and they are crying to be put into pillows. I also have two hand quilted pillow tops that have never been finished. I think the red florals will make nice backs for the handquilted fronts? what do you think?
Yes, I'm feeling caught up....until I get back in my sewing room and start pulling out more UFO's. I love piecing and quilting, so I'm trying to focus on the process rather than the project.
Hope your weekend has been full of sunshine!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Wasn't Very Interested......

Meet Anita Luvera Mayer, a clothing designer. Not quite! Anita was the guest speaker at our guild meeting last week and the presentation was about garments. That ship sailed a long time ago for me, so even though it's 20+ miles to guild, I jumped in my car as I had to return my Christmas blocks that were due. After a bit of socializing, we stayed for the presentation. Might as well, we said, we're here already.
What a presentation. I'm so glad I didn't miss this one. Anita was an excellent speaker, very well organized and prepared. And she knocked our socks off with her work. I don't have many pictures, but note that everything is done by hand.
She uses a variety of fabrics, threads, beads and embellishments. She wears her garments, she stated "I want to look on the outside how I feel on the inside". A very profound statement.
Many of the silks have been dyed by her. Anita teaches and learns all around the globe. It would be exhausting keeping up with this 72 year old ball of energy. One place where she teaches is John C Campbell Folk School. This garment pictured above and below was woven and the strips of fabric you see on the front were worked in when she did the weaving. Look at the edge treatment. Even though these aren't quilts, she incorporates a lot of quilting ideas and designs into her garments.
Notice the Baptist Fan design she has hand quilted on this garment. Click on the photos for a closer look at her work.
Anita has been a student of City and Guild when it was being offered in the NW. She journals all her creative ideas and processes. She stated her priorities in life are herself first, her creativity second and her family third. Without putting the first two in front of her family, she said she wouldn't be any good to them.
She shared a lot of "lifes lessons" with our group. And to think I wasn't very interested in her presentation! I'm so glad I showed up.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blue Jobs, Pink Jobs

I used to tease my husband about "blue" jobs and "pink" jobs. I'd clean the bathroom before mowing the lawn or painting a fence. Those are "blue" jobs, jobs for boys. Growing up, my Dad mowed the lawn. We had to help weed the garden, I was in 4-H and had beef animals, but mowing the lawn? That was Dad work. Now there is only me, the dog can't seem to get the knack of how to use the lawn mower. I think she's faking it, cus she's a border collie and they are the smartest of dogs! But I digress. There are some things you just hire out and this is one of them. Actually, one of three of them. They are coming back to do two more areas of my yard.
I knew the landscapers were coming one day this week, so when I came home Tuesday and saw this in my driveway, I started to get excited.
And then I saw this.
Yesterday morning, I left my home looking like this and headed off to work.
Not pretty. All the dirt was falling from under the neighbors fence, there was a feable attempt to lay red bricks along the edge of this, but years of erosion had covered them up. The idea was good, not so much on the execution though.

And this is was I pulled up to yesterday after work! Sorry about the color, it's the standing in the shade taking a pic in the sun shot!
Now I need to make a trip to the greenhouse and fill this baby up with color! If I didn't do any more upgrades on my yard this year, I would be happy. This was my least favorite area of my house. A couple of bags of gravel to freshen up the edge by the house, a flat of bedding plants and this area will be done.
Both my neighbors came over to compliment the job! Thanks guys, I love it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

And the Winner is.....

me! How fun to win a quilty prize from another blogger. Candice over at Squash House had a give away and I won. Thanks so much.
It was a beautiful day yesterday and I ended up knowing a few people at the outdoor wedding. What a gorgeous place to be married. Since it was in the afternoon, they had a BBQ of brisket, pulled pork and chicken. We are in the NW but that southern food sure was good. The party wrapped up by dinner time so I got home and did a few things.
I have the binding sewn on my quilt, yes, a quilt that is going on my bed as soon as I finish the hand turned binding. This is the mystery quilt I showed here. I have one more seam left and then this Pineapple Blossom top will be finished. It will need stay stitching around the edge, but the backing is a wide back and I'll use the side trimmings for the binding so it will move out of the sewing room and into the studio and go on the pile of tops to be quilted.
Happy Mothers Day to all out there!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sneak Peek

I'm supposed to be getting ready for a wedding, instead I'm posting quilting pictures! What can I say? You can all tell I'm motivated to go, I'm a guest of a guest. That means I don't even know the people getting married!
I took a couple of weeks off from machine quilting and not by choice, but I'm back at it this morning. I've got one pass done so far and I'm posting for Norma (no blog) to peek at this.
We talked about the pattern, I drew it out on paper, but the real deal is the best.
I must finish getting ready for the big event.
So what do you think so far?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

One Flower Wednesday

There was great progress on my hexi project during the Winter Olympics....and then the tv coverage ended and my hexis got put away. We all know they won't sew themselves together, so when Valentina posted about One Flower Wed from Karens blog, I thought I'd give it a try. This is how I finished a very large intricate cross stitching project back in the days of that hobby. My flowers have all bloomed, they need put together. I got them lined up, marked each row and piled them in order, and got the first row sewn together. The last row as already done.
I was working on this before I remembered it was Wednesday. I'm on block three out of four and I'm loving this project.
If all these projects aren't enough to keep me busy, I'm involved in a Paducah 9 Patch swap with civil war fabrics. I needed some retail therapy after my doctors appointment on Monday and these made me feel so much better!
Sewing is great therapy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I now Return to my Regular Life

I hope I never loose the use of my hands and eyes. Life without quilting will be unbearable. I spent the last while doing nothing, thinking it was necessary because of a medical situation. Turns out that I can continue doing whatever I want, and when it gets uncomfortable, then I use my own judgement to stop. I posted the details over here if you want the updates.
Since I'm chatting about residuals of breast cancer, I thought I better throw in a nice pink quilt. This is what I look at every day in my office. It's original pattern was all made in reds, but I had lots of scraps of pink left from a Blooming 9 patch so I made this wall hanging. It's one of my favorite things and I used to have it hanging in the guest bedroom. I'm glad it's now in my office.
I did a little retail therapy after my dr. appointment yesterday. One of our LQS had an anniversary sale and I"m doing the P9P swap so I needed a few more civil war prints so a quick stop in on my way back to work did the trick.
Last night I prepped the last 2 blocks of my applique project from Dec McCalls. I've got 2 blocks almost finished, have pinned the stems and the first center layer (of 5 layers) of the second set of blocks. Once the prep for applique is done, it comes together quickly. This is the best part of the process, stitching down the pieces and watching it come to life. I'll post some progress pics later in the week.
Whoohoo, I'm back to sewing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Just Hanging Around

My yard workers showed up on Sunday morning and finished the garden clean up. My yard looks so much better now and I'm grateful for young strong guys who want to work for an amount of money that I can afford to pay. Sorry, I can't pay a laborer $35/hr. They did a great job. After finishing that, they got out the weed eater and lawn mower and the weather co-operated and my yard is so nice now. I'm at a point where I just know I can't do things and I'm ok with that. Yard work is one of those things right now.
However, I also have not quilted or gone walking or baked cookies. But I will be going to the Dr. today. I'm 10 days into this situation, and it looks like I'll be out for at least another week. Let's hope that it is only a week!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lazy Days

I've decided I don't make a very good patient.  This has been a challenging week, health wise, and I finally took the day off work on Friday.  Not that my job is strenuous, I sit at a desk.  But it was decided that the best medicine was for me to take the day and do NOTHING.  I know, everyone is thinking, wow, I'd love a day to just do nothing.  Well, let me tell you, it's not very exciting.  My best friend was the remote, so I was glad to have a lot of tv taped.  I'm finally caught up on 24, I've realized AI holds no interest to me any more, and that I can't get enough Mary & Marshall from In Plain Sight. No piecing, no pinning, no hand quilting, no applique, this was my spot for the day.
Thanks again Janet, I have used my quilt from you all week long!
And since I couldn't do any quilting, I'm very glad I did some online shopping. The mailman brought me these this week.
Thank goodness for USPS!
While lounging on the couch, my mind was going a million miles an hour, thinking of all the projects I could be working on, both for myself and my customers. The remote won out over the rotary cutter, and I even managed a nap or two during the day. But I am getting concerned about an online swap I signed up for. I committed to making 6 sets of 7 blocks. This is what I have so far.
Yup, one block. I have the parts and pieces cut out for 6 more like this one. Which leads me to believe I need to move this project to the top of my list. Maybe next week.
Having a full day of remote control bonding is enough for me, I know Jack Bauer and Chloe are still alive on 24, and I'm feeling SO much better today. This is the first day in the last 8 days were I am feeling better rather than worse.
That's a good thing, but I'm not taking any chances so don't expect to see any new blocks for a few days here.
Sew for me this weekend,