Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Little Bit of Sewing Today

I worked all day today but after I got home I had to do a little fix it on my Strawberry Quilt...we suspect our blind dog is sucking holes into it in his sleep. I guess he did this as a premie puppy and hasn't done it in a long time, but when the extra quilt falls on the floor by the bed at night he seems to get to it. This is the third repair on this quilt and I am giving it to my good friend Randy so that Otto doesn't eat any more of it. Our bed quilt seems to be safe because it never falls off the bed since we are so cold here! The hearts are on the front and the black fabric is on the back. Not the greatest patch, but made due with what I had on hand and it should hold up!

The above little quilt is for Kathy's niece Ayla. It is just a little doll quilt that Kathy sewed while I helped and did cutting on. It is a twisted Nine Patch and I free motion quilted on the top of it--my very first try at that (I have done some stitching in the ditch quilting) and I like it okay. Looks a little Christmassy lol.

A few nights ago I cut out the two and a half inch strips for Bonnie at Quiltville's scrappy Bargello quilt we are doing for BargelloBowl! I have enough strips, but am adapting her wonderful method of cutting leftover fabric into scraps and saving it by size so that they are ready to go when you need them so I will keep cutting some more scraps. After we get moved to Arizona I am investing in another set of drawer bins so I can follow her example on that! If you want more info on that see Bonnie's site There is tons of great stuff there I am just getting familiar with.
I got my new issue of Quilter's Home Magazine which is my current favorite quilt magazine. The fabric below is in it and Mark says we should embrace out fruit-a-licious bodies as this fabric does..I LOVE IT! Not sure where in the world it will go in my house, but definitely getting some of this. I borrowed the photo from a website that had it..hope that is ok..I need to look up blog niceties somewhere.

The picture below is of my mother's father's parent, my great grandparent Anton and Myrtle Walker. He passed on when I was eight but I remember him as a fine man who always asked "Who's coming here?" when the door to his house opened. He was born in Norway and moved here when he was about 18. I visited his childhood home in Solvern Norway a few years ago and it was one of the greatest moments of my life to see his church, his parents' graves and meet his great Nephew and other members of the family that still live there. The home is still in the family and is a summer home. Anyway, my great grandmother died when I was twenty-three and her parents were also from Norway (I need to research that branch of the tree to find out exactly where from) but she was born in Wisconsin. The yellow plate was theirs and when my aunt moved she found it in a box of stuff that my mom didn't hall to AZ after the funeral so I am temporary owner til we get to AZ! It is metal and really unique. It says "Design Olden Norway" on the back. I tried a google search but didn't find out much info on it. If anyone knows anything about this type of plate I would love to know about it. I will have to ask my mom because it might have been part of a set with another relative getting a peice or two.

I no sooner posted this blog than I did an image search and found it! It has a smaller orange plate (hmm wonder if my mom took that one on the plane with her?) and apparently is only worth alot sentimentally! Goodnight!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Something that makes me SMILE!

By now you know that quilting, planning quilting, thinking about quilting, and well quilting make me case you want to know what other crazy thing makes me smile read on....

Would you believe that the magnets I have on my fridge from Celestial Seasonings Tea make me smile? The picture above is one of them and across the top it says "There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open"--Nehru. The second one has a gal in a raincoat pulling a huge cup of berries and it says "The most wasted day is that in which we have not laughed"--Sebastien-Roch Chamfort. The third one is embossed in gold with a panda on it and says "The spirit of delight comes in small ways"--Robert Louis Stevenson. I love the pictures, I love the sayings and I love the hunt--I am now on the hunt for the remaining magnets that came out before I was paying attention to tea!
I tried to research info and find pictures of the remaining magnets but all I found was from an article:

"Take the promotion done by Hain-Celestial Group, owner of the Celestial Seasonings brand of tea. In 2004 it ran an in-pack promotion that included eight collectors’ magnets inside specially marked boxes of tea. The magnets featured the same art and quotations that appear on the company’s tea boxes. A ninth magnet made of embossed metal, created to get retailers excited about the promotion, was available in floor-stand displays.Millions of magnets were given away. “We feel we offer consumers more of an experience,” explains Joe Beauprez, Hain-Celestial senior product manager. “Rather than just giving them tea, something to put in their stomachs, we’re giving them something to put in their heads as well. The magnets are an extension of that.”

Now I discover that the artwork has all changed on the boxes and so I wonder if I will ever find more magnets. I plan to keep my eye out at garage sales, thrift stores and ebay so that I can find the other six magnets and find out what the quotes were.

CRAZY STUFF LIKE THIS MAKES ME I figure if it makes me happy and it is cheap and such I should just enjoy it!

If anyone has any other magnets like these comment me and describe your magnet and tell me the quote...then I will know what I am looking for!

What makes YOU smile?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Learning to Mosaic and Other Things

Well Kathy and I went over to Randy's last Saturday to learn how to mosaic and to use up some of his stained glass scraps. Here are the supplies above and below.

Next, Randy drew a few sunflower looking things on our pot (we got it from Kathy's sister in AZ for Christmas with a flower in it) and we got started.
Here is the first flower...

and the second flower on the other side...I like this one better, we got the glass more petal like!
Next Kathy thought we needed green grass and blue sky and I thought it needed a little red punch, so we added that. I had glue all over my fingers by this time which drove me nuts.

Then we let it dry overnight and went to the casino...where I donated my usual to the local Indians and had a good time! The next day Randy came over to do laundry and Kathy put the white stuf all over the pot and we let it dry some more. I then shined her up and she looks pretty good for my first project!

We also worked on the house. This is the downstairs bathroom with a new shower curtain, mirror(that old outdated thing is gone!), picture (shelf down) and all the kids' junk out. Hannah did a lot of these changes since she was pretty excited to see them done. We still have to do the floor in this bathroom (we have Randy slated to help next Saturday) and we need to regrout the tile in the shower too. I either need to learn to do this or try to find someone to do it. I called my cousin's hubby to see if I could hire him so we will see! This does make the room look much bigger and brighter if you ask me! Oh and I bought a light green soap dispenser too but that was after I took the picture.

In the upstairs bathroom we painted the cabinet, replaced the sink with faux granite which I love, took down the shelf and lowered the picture..actually switched the pictures since there was more space over the toilet without the towel bar there. We touched up the wall paint after patching the holes from the towel bar and such. We still need to take out the shower doors, regrout the floor and shower tile and hang our new shower curtain. It is looking better though!

Today Kathy replaced our front screen door. It finally warmed up enough for her to it but the snow was melting fast and furious off the roof and she was soaking wet by the time she was done! It looks good though...that has needed doing for a long time. Since before I bought the house!

Mac helped take down the valances and drape rods and hardware in all three of the bedrooms to open up the rooms more to sunlight and the view. It looks kind of bare to me that way, but I am a valance person. We washed all of them and packed them up for future use on a window or back in my fabric stash for recycling.

I haven't had a chance to do any sewing, but I bought a few magazines I didn't need and paged through them several times dreaming of quilts and time to sew. I watched a Fons and Porter show on Nouveaux Borgello quilting and Kathy and I decided that would be a great wallhanging quilt for my future sewing studio. I started searching online for a pattern but there wasn't much available. I went through every book and magazine I had and didn't find one either! The Fons and Porter show said it was in their Easy Quilts magazine so I hit Wal-Mart and bought the next issue (they didn't have the right one) and another one I didn't need! I looked online on ebay and such to find the older copy but nothing. It figures the one I don't have has a pattern. UGH! Then oddly enough one of my online groups (Quiltville Mysteries) decided that for Superbowl Sunday we should do a scrappy Bargello quilt! I don't think I will do that one, but Bonnie (list owner I think) has a free pattern for it online and now a whole group of people who will be sewing away this Sunday! So while nosing around for a pattern for a regular Bargello I discovered that Quilt University is having an online class starting this Saturday called Bargello Seasons! Kathy talked me into taking it because she knew I just needed something fun related to quilting. I signed up for the class and am excited to make a Bargello for each season and to learn some new stuff. I am definitely sewing this weekend!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Staging my Home--the Before Pictures

I haven't had much time to sew all week since we have been busy with meeting the Realtor and the home stager to get our house ready to go on the market. She gave us amazing advice! Some of it was what we already knew and were in the process of doing, but other things were things I would never have thought of (and they go against my taste somewhat but I am selling this house so...) We immediately made a list of things to go buy and took the kids to Olive Garden, then to Target and Menards (where we spent about 600 bucks!) and came home and got to work on staging the house. Here are the before pictures that our stager took, and later on I will post some in progress or done pictures. Any changes you will see are her recommendations and not necessarily what I would have in my home normally! Smile.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sad Packer Day

So yesterday was a rough day at our house. Our resident Patriot fan is happy, but all the rest of us Packer fans were very dissapointed. Will be a long wait til next season, and I hope that isn't the last play I will ever see Favre do. So we ate Burgendy Hot Beefs and Packer cupcakes that had yummy frosting and since it was sooo cold (even in the house) we all were wrapped up in various quilts all the afternoon and evening long. The picture below is dog #4 all comfortable on a quilt.
I didn't do any more sewing, but I did read a ton of the Popser stories (all about his wife's quilting) that Kathy and Mackenzie (teen in the quilt above) printed and hole punched and gave me for Christmas a year ago. I finally made a dent in them. So far my favorite of Popser's stories is the one about "A Quilt Called Simple" since it inspired me to make one. Here is the link if you want to read it. This is Popser's wife's quilt. I love it!
The one below is my version of this quilt top. It is all done and lives in Norway! I made it for Randy's daughter Rachel several years ago. The colorful fabric is dogs and cats which she asked for in her quilt. She has about outgrown this one and now I have an Outside the Box Modern Quilt in the works for her. I am still looking for 4 yards of just the right brown fabric and then I can get going on her quilt.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another UFO Completed!

Quilt # 54 Another Puzzle Quilt

Tonight Kathy and I tied this quilt and I sewed the label on the back so it is officially done. Not sure who will wind up with this one--I have a pregnant cousin though so it may go to her. This one matches Ayla's quilt we made a year or so ago. This one was actually cut at the same time (Ayla got hers for Christmas last year!) with only one different block but is a quilt that I would recommend having a quilt wall to do. I sew in my kitchen at the moment and with the first one I put up a cardboard wall with fleece on it, but the dogs would bump it and pieces would fall off constantly. With the second one I followed the picture of the first one so it was a little easier to put together. It has to go a specific way for the pieces to line up but other than that it isn't too hard and is a cute quilt when it is done!

I also have our Dissappearing Nine Patch tiny quilt all pinned up for pillowcase sewing but put the machine away so it will have to wait. It is in the negatives temperature wise right now so I have been covered up by my Arizona quilt most of the night. BRR!

Tomorrow we have Randy coming over and we will have our own little Packer Party while we watch the game (and for Kathy we will have a Patriot party before that). I have Burgendy Beef in the crock pot which is so simple and already smells good. We also made taco dip and got chips. I think we are set. GO PACK GO!

Friendship Star Block

My second star block is done. I used the leftover fabric from my mom's quilt and made my first friendship star. I like it. Here is the link to the pattern for it.

Maybe one day I will learn how to embed links the right way. For now this will have to do.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Disappearing Nine Patch Tutoring Session

So I wanted to play around with some fat quarters and do a disappearing nine patch since one of my online groups has been talking about them. They are doing a swap, but I am not planning to participate since I am trying to use my stash fabrics (though I am going nuts to buy more fabric) and I don't have the right black and white fabric for the swap. Anyway, Kathy decided she wanted me to do the cutting and she would do the sewing...since usually it is just the opposite I agreed. She is pretty new to sewing and has a heck of time with a quarter inch seam allowance. So we worked on trying to get her to line up the fabric differently so that she would not shrink her blocks thread by thread. We made progress, but I think my next machine needs a better quarter inch foot. I have a hard time with this one too, but Kathy's seams are bigger than mine no matter how hard we tried to line her up differently. Oh well, practice makes perfect. Here are the pictures from our sewing evening two nights ago...we plan to pillowcase and tie this quilt for a doll quilt for some lucky little girl. There is a great tutorial online on another blog that shows you just how to make this easy and fun block. I love it and need to make some more with this.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Happy Friday

Today Kathy and I ran a million errands and felt like we got alot done so we went and saw National Treasure 2, then ran to rent NT1 since she hadn't seen it. I sewed a few I love you hand labels on quilts that needed them, worked on the puzzle quilt that wasn't quite right til I was happy with it and browsed through my Denyse Schmidt book and decided I should make the heating pad cover for my heating pad. I also want to make the Mix it up cocktail coasters she has in there and I have collected a few fabrics I think will work for that. I love this book but I haven't actually done anything from it...just looked at it repeatedly!

My other favorite book is by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr and is called The Modern Quilt Workshop. I have actually made two quilts from this book and am really looking to make another. My daughter is the proud owner of Outside the Box and my son of Love Beads. I may make the Zipper quilt for my oldest son too. Here are some pictures of those quilts.

I have really enjoyed being off work so I can quilt and plan quilts and such...I am going to make more of an effort to find time to quilt even though I have to go back to work soon. My migraines seem to have improved and I am wondering if quilting is good therapy for me!

Secret Agent Mystery and Indigo Way Mystery Coming Along!

Here is the last clue for the Secret Agent Mystery Quiltalong  We had to cut things apart and do a bit of sewing before putting our top toge...