Monday, May 31, 2010

I want our soldiers home.

I cried watching the You Tube video of soldiers coming home and surprising their families.

At Friday's Pizza and Patchwork at Mita's shop (Patchwork Cottage) I asked for help on my Samurai Squares quilt.  Peggy gave me some good advice, which I took, about the borders.  I still wanted to do some type of free-motion on the outer border, so I decided to use clear thread on the top.  That way my free-motion (lack of skills) won't show too much.
I packaged up my quilt, got to work, left for a moment and came back to this:
Seriously, does she look comfortable?
So I had to find something to occupy her.  She liked this toy for a while:
Notice the snazzy summer collar.  It has bumble bees on it.  AND it matches the ball in the tube. Bonus!
Kitten is kinda lazy when she plays now she's older. 
I went back to work on my quilt border, but I had the darnest time.  The clear thread kept tangling and getting caught on stuff.  I went through an entire package of Schmetz  90/14 needles! I purchased the new package of needles to take to Alabama, but now I have to go buy more.  I HATE the noise the machine makes when I break a needle.  It SCARES me! 

I remembered that I had used an applesauce jar full of rocks (stay with me) when I quilted with clear thread before, so I found the jar I had been using for the locker-hooking string and adapted it for the clear thread.  And I'll be danged. It worked.  Smooth sewing after that.
Oh, and FYI, you cannot use a walking foot and a Super-Slider at the same time. (But that was yesterday.)
And tomorrow (maybe) binding (oh goody!).
Drum Roll Please--
This is a milestone akin to turning over 100K in my old car.  Mom asked me how many posts I've done.  I had no idea, so I tallied this blog (237) and my previous blog, Karmen's Page (55), so that makes 292.
Is it time I figure out how to do a give away?
Any soldiers out there who quilt and need supplies? Or want to surprise someone back here at home with a quilter's gift?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I bought some printable fabric sheets.  This is the entire package printed and drying.  I am not sure what I am going to do with these printed vintage photos, but Grandpa Stockton will be 99 in August, so I think he would probably like a lap quilt.  Yes, that is ninety-nine years old.  I sure would like to get old as well as he has.
I can't believe my little Panasonic camera could zoom in so well on this precious little finch on the the bird feeder. Since we have moved the feeder close to the house, we have been able to enjoy lots of these little guys and a pair of Cardinals.
Mom sent me home with some delicious placemats.  I am not supposed to keep them, since there is a set for each one of my boys, but I am holding them until the guys get more settled. 

I thought you might enjoy a peek at the backs of the Turtle and Kitty quilts:

Wow, I hadn't remembered the turtle quilt has kitties on it too.
I love kitties!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Oh my, when you get hungry (unreasonably so) this place has some pretty good chow, but trust me, two folks   should probably share a plate.  My breakfast platter had two sausage patties, scrambled eggs, grits and a huge fluffy biscuit.  I have lived in Georgia 22 years and had never been to the Little Barn. How criminal is that?
The downtown Lawrenceville Farmer's Market starts NEXT Saturday, but today was fun on the square because they had a little flea market.  I picked up a little wooden shelf, a vintage framed piece that had "Greetings from Lamar, Missouri" on it and a needlepoint pillow.
Plus we walked the shops on the square, and I met the most delightful young lady in a dress shop (amazing cute clothes there! see Peter's Path).  The young Miss Kara is planning to go to nursing school, and she just happens to be a neighbor of Mita's (Patchwork Cottage) AND Kara's mother is from near Lee's Summit, Missouri! Does that qualify as six degrees of separation? Or less?
I have to get back to that shop to buy a cute skirt I saw now that I found these lovely lavender shoes that will go with it.  You just have to have lavender shoes in your closet.  Just have to.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday's fun

I had my yo-yo project all laid out, and Kitten decided to play with the circles and messed them all up.
So I decided to practice my free-motion machine quilting (lack of) skills.
Kitten was not helpful with that either, so I made her a bed of her very own with her very own favorite fabric.
AT LAST I could work!  Free motion practice was easier as I used the design on the BACK of the fabric (and also added a Super Slider to my table) to make something akin to regular lines.  And then I thought MAYBE I could bind this little practice quilt and have a gift for the baby one of the tutors at work is expecting in July.  I have always stubbornly stuck to bias binding and then hand-stitching it closed even though Mom has told me a couple of times that "you don't have to do bias." Well, I put together a couple fat quarters, cut 2" strips, and somehow, by the grace of God, managed to join the strips with the diagonal joins all leaning the same way, and then MACHINE-stitched the binding on and then ALSO CLOSED.  It was an amazing experience!  I feel so free now!  I can do it!  It really is okay; it really works!
Last week, when I was proving to my husband that I couldn't stitch a printed pattern, I put the paper drawing of what I wanted my stitches to look like on top of the quilt and stitched over it.  That was a bad idea, but I wanted to prove to him how hard this is to make a "real" design.  When I finished with the binding, I still had little pieces of paper stuck in the stitching. (I think hubby got the hint though.  Not that it made any difference.  My little tantrum was not worth it.)
So now I had to wash it to get the paper bits out (and the cat fur off).
I am tickled pink!  The little practice piece will make a fine utility quilt for a baby boy!
Some quilting from last week is a little fancy-ish.
But I found loosely following the design on the BACK of the quilt was easier than trying fancy designs (and reduced my frustration level-this needs to be fun for me).  So I quilted from the back side of the whole cloth quilt.  Not that a side mattered too much, but I had all the safety pins on the other side, so I had to be even more careful to watch I didn't stitch over one.

Oh yeah, Mom mentioned she made a turtle quilt:
You know.  Just so I don't get too cocky.  Oh, and on the Mom subject.  She did NOT use a pattern for the kitties quilt.  She says the only tricky think about that quilt is getting the ears on the correct head.  So, for me, that would mean keeping Kitten out of the room after I lay it out, if I decide to jump into piecing one.
Such are the challenges of owning a cat and loving to quilt.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Couple of Mom's quilts and Kitten helping me free motion machine quilt

Mom made this beautiful quilt using a pattern from "Whimsicals".  I love the quilt so much it sneaked a ride home in my suitcase.  There are so many wonderful quilts at Mom's house.  Here is another that is just plain ole kitty faces:
I have been trying to finish my Samaurai Squares quilt.  All I have left is to free-motion the borders and bind it.  Kitten has been watching my attempts at free motion.  There is no impressing her.
Her NO-MOTION quilting style seems easy to master though.
I just love kitties!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yo-Yo Oh-No

I started this teenie-tiny yo-yo "thing" last night at Thimbles.  Trust me; the small size is good enough.  Extra small is a challenge.  Meaning: starting with yo-yos of any size could be a serious mistake for anyone on the OCD cusp, and working with the extra small size could just push you right over it.  WALK AWAY (save thousands in therapy)!
On to the happy place.  LOOK at my Dad's rhubarb plant:
And Mom's beautiful pink flower (sorry, I didn't catch the name of it; probably won't grow in my clay anyway).
And my son's dog Naga. I know, not as pretty as the other photos. Mom and Dad haven't seen Eron's dog, so I thought I would post the picture.  What do you think Mom?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Looking Back

Look what I found at Patchwork Cottage!
This lovely quilt made entirely of Moda's Brannock and Patek "Looking Back" line of quilting cotton fabric.  
The pattern is "Star Flowers" from Out on a Limb.
The quilt maker is Kathy Oppelt.  She did a wonderful job.  I just love this quilt!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Maintenance Delay Carpet

What do you do when you have a 6 hour maintenance delay at the airport?
Why you get busy making something useful, of course!
Well, I tried to anyway.  The edges were all wavy-gravy when I got home, so I had to pull out pretty much all that I did at the airport and re-do it.  But it came out pretty nice I think.
Kitten and I spent most of last evening putting a few stitches in the Bento Box UFO.
Yesterday I also did some quilting; I have three tables set up: my old folding table, my new SewEzi table and my grandmother's round table.  It is working okay so far, but I have the main entrance to the office blocked off and have to go around through the hallway each time I want to go to the kitchen.  I was cooking and sewing at the same time, so that meant many trips back and forth.  I also moved my I-pod to the office so I could hear the music better.  Ah, now I think I can really get some machine time in.
I finish my steroid medication tomorrow.  I should have finished it days ago.  The bottle says 2 per day and I was only taking one per day.  How is it sick people are thought to pay attention to medicine directions?  I can barely remember anything correctly when I am sick.
So it is off to the pool for some much needed exercise!
Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Missing Missouri

I love to take pictures in Mom's and Dad's backyard.
Lilac in bloom.  We cannot grow it here, so I enjoyed the scent while I was there.
 Whimsical rusty flower.
Even a Christmas wreath has aged beauty in the spring.
I sent Mom this book for Mother's Day:
I hope she enjoys it.  I snagged the suggestion off her "wish list" on Amazon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I have left the land of pie-every-night.  Pictured is Dad's gooseberry pie.  Oh my goodness!  You seriously have never had a better pie than my Dad's.  When I got to Kansas City, he had a cherry pie waiting.  I wonder just how much I would weigh if I lived up there?
We had a six-plus hour mechanical delay to get out of Kansas City yesterday, and I met a couple of really nice folks.  Diane, thank you for spending your lunch time with me.  You are easy to talk to!  You must have millions of friends all over the place.
I got to meet Diane because she and another woman saw me working on this:
And they wondered why I was pulling and tugging at it so hard, and when I put it on the ground and started stomping on it, they could no longer contain their curiosity.  I am glad they asked about it rather than just assuming I was an mad cotton crocheter-person.  We were stalled in the terminal so long I ran out of fabric to crochet, but Mom sent me home with plenty of supplies.
Note to L.K.  I am sorry I missed the program this morning.  I went to Gwinnett Medical with an asthma attack at 5:30 this morning.  Welcome back to Georgia and the Kitten I am allergic to!
My prescriptions are kicking in, so I am going to go lie down.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Roberta Horton Classes in Kansas City

I am in Kansas City where I met designer Roberta Horton at a workshop sponsered by the Quilter's Guild of Greater Kansas City.  Here is her quilt composed of indigo plaids from her grandmother's native Hungary paired with pastel plaids she (Roberta) designed.  This beautiful quilt just shines.  It truly glows from within.  I think the connection with past generations makes quilts and quilting extra special.  My mother and I were able to take one class with Roberta Horton in which we played with pairing plaids.  It was so darn much fun!  Mother and I both learned a lot!
This is Roberta Horton's class sample:
And here is what I had at the end of the day:
I also took a class with Ms. Horton in the afternoon called Folk Art Bouquet.  This is her class sample:
I had a harder time with this because I didn't like the background fabric I brought, and I got frustrated watching the wonderful compositions the women around me were coming up wth.  Mother had gone to another classroom to listen to Mary Mashuta.  I think if Mom and I had stayed together, I would have enjoyed the afternoon class more, since she (mom) would have helped me out and spurred me on.  At any rate, I did come up with a composition:
And perhaps I will work on it some more when I get home.
  I woke up feeling poorly this morning, so we did not go today.  I know we are missing more good stuff.  I hope I will get to see Roberta Horton again, and take a class with her sister Mary Mashuta someday.  I will be watching for the opportunity to do so.