Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I grew up in "small town America"
I'm not saying that in a negative way,
but in a wonderful way.
I'm glad I did.

Memorial Day was a big deal in Northville, Michgan.
There was always a parade, a march
to the cemetery, both to the old and the new one,
and at the end ice cream for the whole town.

I found these old pictures in one of my grandmother's
photo albums.
Not good quality, but good memories.
It's a little bit of the parade in May,1960.
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Enjoy Memorial Day.
Don't forget to put your flag out
and let everyone know how
proud you are of the men and women who
gave their lives for this country.

Until Next Time-

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fabulous Friday

For Today:
Looking Out My Window:  With Edwardo, my lawn boy, doing so much work, the yard is starting to look great.  The perfect perennial garden is one where there is always something blooming.  I'm not that good, but there are some bleeding hearts putting on a show.

My Weekend Plans Include: I thought it was a holiday weekend and we all should be resting, we have been invited to Denver to remove carpet from a bedroom.  I think lunch is included.  Sounds like a great deal!

I’m Reading: The Pioneer Woman: From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, A Love Story by Ree Drummond.  I didn't get to far this week.

Movie Marquee:  Mad Men, season 4.

Something Quiltie: I finished a small Dr. Seuss quilt using all the leftover pieces I had from the other 4 I've made.  That's it.  I'm done with Seuss.  

It was a Carrie Nelson's Schnibbles pattern. Perfect for 
the small pieces I had left.

I had fun with the machine quilting.

One of My Favorite Things: Crossing things off a list.

What’s For Dinner: We're trying something new, Savory Peach Chicken.  I've decided when I bring home a cookbook from the library  I have to try some of the recipes right away or don't copy them.  Otherwise, my pile gets bigger and bigger of untried ideas.

A Favorite Photo:

A sunset after a busy day.

Have a great weekend,
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Capitol Quilt Show,2011

The Colorado Capitol building is a 
beautiful building located 
in downtown Denver.
It is located exactly a mile above sea level.

The gold dome commemorates the Colorado Gold Rush, 1858.

It's a beautiful venue for having a quilt show.

Beginning June 6 and continuing until August 19,
the Colorado Quilt Council hosts a quilt show 
that will feature 265 quilts.
It's a non-jury show so  there is
a wide variety of quilts included.

It's put on every other year and
I think, I have had a quilt entered
during each show.
The quilts are hung from the balcony's and in the
rotunda and it's color and pattern everywhere.

This year I have entered
"Antique Sunflowers with a Twist."
It's adapted from a pattern from
Edyta Sitar.

I have always loved the sunflower pattern.  This one
has a twist in the fact that the cream rays are three
dimensional folded fabric pieces.

The quilting was done by a fabulous local machine quilter, Karen A.
The feathers really do enhance the antique design.

When I get to Denver, I'll take plenty of pictures.
It's a fabulous show.
Follow the link to see what is at the show this year.
 Until Next Time-

Monday, May 23, 2011

Knee Deep in HST

HST is not a new vitamin 
or appetite depressant.

I have been dreaming in HST's.
Counting and sorting,and 
recounting HST's.

HST stands for half square triangles.
For my non-quilting friends, it when
 two triangles are sewn together on the
diagonal and makes a square.
I have been making 250 HST's for a red and white quilt
and the shop has had this exchange class going on so
I had made a couple of hundred  for that as well.


Using  a paper piecing method, is the perfect
way to do it.
It's done with 2 strips of fabrics placed right sides together 
with the printed paper on top.
I like to sew with the lightest fabric placed next 
the paper.
Then you sew on dotted lines and cut on
the solid lines. 

It makes for accurate sewing.
These squares finish at 2.5".

Press the pieces open before you remove the paper.
It helps to keep the fabric from stretching.
I press the seam towards the darkest fabric.

Next choose a good movie because
cutting off the fabric ears 
 and tearing off the paper
will take a bit of time.

But it will be worth it.

That batch is done.
Now I'll start on the ones from the exchange.
But first I have to put in another movie.

Until Next Time-

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fabulous Friday

For Today:

Looking Out My Window:
 Enough said

My Weekend Plans Include: I'm going to the May meeting for the Colorado Quilt Council.  It's in Greeley this month and I have to drop off the quilt I am entering in the Capitol Quilt Show.  More about that next week.  The speaker is Flavin Glover, A New Look at Log Cabin Quilts.  Other than that, no commitments.

I’m Reading: The Pioneer Woman: From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, A Love Story by Ree Drummond.

Movie Marquee:  Mad Men, season 3.

Something Quiltie: The half square triangle exchange has ended at the shop.  Now comes the hard part.  Our participants really embraced the project.  I have 9000 half square triangles to sort and bag up in the next two days.
 Here's the beginning of my pile.  I made 448 so I will get 448
back, but they will be different and scrappy.

One of My Favorite Things: I love to go and pick out a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream at the grocery store.  There are so many fun flavors to choose. It's hard to pick.  The last time we got Red Velvet Cake.  It's a new flavor for spring. Yum!

What’s For Dinner: Pulcinella's Pizza

A Favorite Photo:
All of Ed's graduate students are finally finished and
he didn't have to go to graduation, but he does look
good in the hat.

Have a great weekend,
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Take Cover

As a baby boomer growing
up in the 50's and 60's there were 
lots of interesting things taking place.

TV, Elvis, fast food, silly putty, sputnik, Peanuts, Hula Hoops
and, of course, a lot more.

At school while reading Dick and Jane
and learning about their idyllic life
we might suddenly have to "Duck and Cover"
To protect ourselves from radiation from a nuclear blast.
Not much good that would do, but I guess it made
people feel safe.

Why do I bring all this up?
Because yesterday I was in my sewing studio  and
started a new project.

It looked like a nuclear bomb went off.
Someone should have yelled "duck and cover."
It was a dangerous situation.
Auditioning fabrics sometimes requires digging out a lot 
and leaving it out for a while. It can take hours
or days to figure out what to put where.

I'm always amazed at the people who come into the
shop and want to plan a quilt and they have 15 minutes.

I have to search for the perfect fabric.
Cut out some pieces.
Reject some pieces.
Cut some more.

Put pieces next to other pieces.
It takes awhile.

The process can create quite an explosion of stuff.
Fortunately, there was
no fallout or safety issues.

The hard part comes after the fact.
Clean up.
That's the job today.
It's not anywhere as much fun.
Until Next Time-

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mine was a Good One

Weekends are good no matter what gets done
or doesn't get done.
Weekends are good when you're too busy or
have plenty of time to relax.
Weekends are good if your alone or have lots of company.

My weekend was a mixture of all those things.
It included some cooking, sewing, dodging raindrops,
movies, laundry, errands, and enjoying friends.

I went and saw this movie with my quilting buddies.
It was a good ol' fashioned romantic love story.

It was a friend's birthday so I needed to make a pie.
Good ol' coconut cream pie.

I had time to head to my sewing studio and
do some good ol' piecing.
I love the pattern by Moda for the Flag of Valor
by Minick and Simpson.
The fabric arrived at the store a couple of weeks ago

I have most of the stars pieced.  I had ordered another
background from Hancocks of Paducah.  It's backordered
so I'll give it a week to show up and then I'll find something else 
in my stash.

Earlier in the week I did some more baking.
I usually make cupcakes for the Stashbuster's Class.  
It's fun and gives me an opportunity to bake and not
have the goodies around the house too long.

Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes

I used a recipe I found on Annie Eats.
Check it out if your looking for a yummy spring treat.

Hope your weekend was just as "full" and "pleasurable".
If not, start planning.  Another one will be here in 5 days.
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May Show and Tell

The poem goes "April Showers
Brings May Flowers."

It has been raining all day.  A rarity for us.
But it's cold so we might even get a bit of snow.

To counteract the gloomy feeling of the day, I have
some quilts to show.

"Sun Kissed"
Here is my latest "Stashbusters" quilt.
It's a pattern by Thimble Blossoms called
Wild Thing.
It uses 2 charm packs and a little fabric for the borders.

This is the quilt I was struggling with marking my quilting design on.
I love the pattern and how it compliments the pinwheel pattern.

I love to use ric rac on a quilt.  I included hot pink around the border
and sonic orange next to the binding. 
(sorry my picture doesn't  show it)

Menopausal High and Lows
May 2011
This is a pattern from Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosey's Quilts.
It was the perfect stashbuster's quilt as well.
I dug deep into the stash and cut my own 2.5" strips and 
had fun putting them together for this quilt.

A little sewing and it looks like you pieced each one
of those squares separately.
A local quilter, Kathy H., added the whimsical
overall quilting, a perfect choice for this quilt.

Antique Tulip Quilt
Tulips are the signal that spring is here.
This antique quilt is is classic with
the red and green fabrics.

The red is shredding due to the age and the
dye used.
The applique work is wonderful.

I love the idea that the quilter put baskets in
the open spaces.
I think sometimes we worry too much about everything
being so precise.  Every vine in nature doesn't have
exactly the same number of leaves all in the same places.
This is a good reminder of that fact.

Well, it's still raining.
Time to go and play with some fabric.

Until Next Time-

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's Not So Easy

Recently I was machine quilting my
"Sun Kissed" stashbuster's quilt.
My machine was in good spirits and it
just hummed along.
The challenge came before I started to quilt,
when I was deciding what was going to be  the
best and least obtrusive way to mark the quilt
with the patterns I had decided to use.

There was no one answer.
And there is not always an easy answer.
Sounds a lot like life!

Sometimes when the markings are easy to see,
 it can be an issue to remove them when you're done.

I took a class from Jinny Beyers almost 25 years ago
and I have always remembered her comment about the blue wash
way markers that many people find easy to use.
The markers were fairly new at the time and 
she was concerned about the residual chemicals that probably
remained in the fibers even after washing.

"In 50 years, would we find quilts that 
are deteriorating along the quilting lines when the
quilts had been marked with the blue marker?"
We still don't know, do we?

When I  handquilted everything, I would
premark my entire quilt before I started.
It is easier to mark a flat quilt on a hard
surface rather than one that is basted already.
The other positive is that it is
 easier to plan for perfectly designed borders on paper before
 marking willy nilly along the fabric edge and realizing that the pattern isn't going to fit.

In the case of premarking, the marked lines had better stay put until the quilting is done.
 I use a very fine mechanical pencil in regular lead or
a white Prisma pencil. 

Generally, by the time I was done quilting,
most of the lines were faded, so it works out perfectly for me.
(Unless I had been very zealous in my marking.)

In marking this quilt, I was struggling to figure
out the best method for marking a stencil pattern.
I was only using a portion of the design so I couldn't pounce
 it on to the quilt top, it was on white cloth so I didn't want anything
that could possibly pose a problem to remove, and I didn't want to
take the time to trace the patterns on to Golden Threads paper and
then have to tear it away.
Not every way is the best way in certain situations. 

I finally settled on a tried and true method, using a
General's chalk pencil.
The chalk color was light enough not be be a problem and it was easy to mark
just the portions of the stencil that I wanted.

My only complaint with those pencils comes in the sharpening.  To keep
a sharp point is a challenge.  The chalk wears down quickly and
it continually breaks in even the sharpest hand held sharpener.

So by the time I got to the borders, I barely had enough
pencil left to finish the job.
But it worked out.

I'm working on the binding now, and it'll
ready for Thursday's class.  Show you then.

Isn't it interesting how challenges in one simple part of  life can
teach us how to face challenges in other parts.
Until Next Time-