Saturday, June 28, 2008

Starry-Eyed April Star Block Done!

I am busy patting myself on the back as I get another Starry-Eyed block done! LOL one block at time...this one is the April Star and is our block 13A which can be found at if you are dying to make one too. It was really easy too! I might just have to get out all of my star blocks and play on my design wall now just to see what all I have!

Starry Eyed Block Fourteen A

I love how this sweet No Name Star block turned out! It was easy to piece and didn't stress me out at The pattern for this one can be found at in case you feel the need to make a No Name Star too! what is up next?

A Book List, Progress on Goals, etc.

Ms. Jan at posted this list from Entertainment Weekly magazine--the 100 "New Classics" published between 1983 and 2008 and then highlighted which ones she had read to play I decided to do the same! I will color those I have read in RED. Looks like I have read 33 of the 100 and only a few of them I didn't care for (A Prayer for Owen Meany comes to mind lol) and I know that I have several more on my shelf so I better get reading! Anyone have any favorites on this list that I have not yet read?

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)

3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)

4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)

5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)

6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)

7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)

8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)

9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)

10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)

11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)

12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)

13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)

14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)

15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000) (just started this one)

16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)

17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)

18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)

19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)

20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)

21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)

22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)

23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)

24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)

25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)

26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)

27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)

28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)

29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)

30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)

31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)

32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)

33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)

34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)

35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)

36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)

37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)

38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)

39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)

40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)

41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)

42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)

43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)

44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)

45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)

46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)

47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)

48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)

50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)

51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)

52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)

53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)

54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)

55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)

56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)

57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)

58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)

59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)

60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)

61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)

62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)

63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)

64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)

65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)

66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)

67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)

68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)

69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)

70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)

71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)

72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)

73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)

74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)

75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)

76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)

77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)

79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)

80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)

81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)

82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)

83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)

84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)

85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)

86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)

87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)

88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)

89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)

90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)

91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)

92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)

93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)

94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)

95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)

96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)

97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)

98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)

99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)

100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

Kathy and I took all four dogs out back and bathed them...they didn't mind it too bad. Our AC seems to be on the fritz...luckily it is under waranty from the house owners and will be fixed for only 50 bucks on our part...however looks like Monday is the soonest that will happen!
On the quilting front, I have all the backings and bindings done for the three quilts I wanted to get them done for. I even got labels made for two of the three. I will try to print off the OC label later on and see if it works with my new printer. I also have Block 14A cut of my Starry-Eyed Blocks in purples and yellow so that is up next to be sewn. That is for the NewQuiltingClub. I have been playing online with them for their all day sewing bee today too.
Here is what my labels usually look like though you can't really read what I write on them...this is the "I love you" hand from American Sign Language...I have three loves, Quilting, Reading and American Sign Language!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Working on the Goals

Rachel's top is all together minus the outside borders...this one will fit a queen size bed for sure! My bed modelled it nicely.
This is the backing for Rachel's quilt and the inspiration for the front colors.
This is the backing for my strip quilt..there was just enough left on the bolt! This goal is met since the piece is big enough just as is I don't have to do anything to it! Now to find the binding for this one and the others!
Kathy and I each got eight yards of these colors and may combine them for the backs of her nieces' Orange Crush quilts...we found other fabric we liked a bit better, but considering we needed a total of 16 yards we went with practical!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Sewing Bees this Weekend--WHOO HOO!

First here is a picture of dinner...the boiled dinner which my grandma Char used to make. It was good! You can see I had a piece of my homemade bread too! There is only two pieces left..Kathy really liked it and has requested another loaf for tomorrow!
I am finally caught up on my email and blog reading and have discovered that the NewQuiltingClub group is having an online sewing bee on Saturday to celebrate their three year anniversary! Happy Anniversary...lots of fun is planned incluing a chat room and bingo and many people are sewing a stack and whack table runner. I am hoping to sew the three stars that I need to do for the group and have not had a chance to do yet.
My Stashbuilders group is also having a sewing bee though theirs is Friday through Monday! We have to send in goals for the bee and so here are mine:
1) Rachel's "Outside the Box" Quilt--put the rest of the blocks together, the borders on, piece the backing and make the binding.
2) Strip Quilt--piece the backing and make the binding
3) Orange Crush Quilt--piece the backing and make the binding
4) Work on star blocks!
Very motivating for me to have a list like this...means things are more likely to get done! I like to tick things off the list.
I am also hoping to participate in Ann's Mystery Quilt which will happen on Aug. 9th but since school starts just before that I may be too swamped to get in on it!

Artisian Bread, House Pictures and Outside the Box Rows Together

I finally started putting the rows together for Rachel's "Outside the Box" Quilt. It is looking good and the colors are mixed up pretty well since Hannah helped arrange them on my new design wall before she flew back to Wisconsin last Saturday. Two more rows to go and then the large brown borders...I don't have enough of the brown I was using so I am going to have to find something that is close...tomorrow we will find a fabric store or two and see what we can do.

This is the new table and chairs we just is gently used but we like it. The metal in it matchs the railing which is close by so that works. Don't even ask why the mirror isn't hanging straight...after six trys we are taking a break before getting it right! The door you see is to the garage and the window/sliding doors on the other side of the table goes to the back yard.
Here is the living room which is where we watch TV and chill out on the computer.
Here is the kitchen...and I finally did some cooking and baking in it. I made boiled dinner (no picture yet) and my first loaf of Artisian bread! Two bloggers that I read (sorry I forget which two) have been talking about this book and showing yummy pictures so I had to get it and try it too!
Here is the dough rising and ready to be put in the fridge.
Here it is ready to go in the oven.

All done out of the oven and it tastes good! Kathy likes it too!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Quilting Studio Pics and a Binding Done!

Here are the quilting studio pictures at long last! I have been working hard on this and have been getting in some sewing too! This first pic is as you face out of the room which is a loft. To the left is a small hall and a bathroom! Down the hallway you see the door to our bedroom and just past that the door to CJ's future bedroom.
Here is facing inward into the quilting studio. You can see Rachel's "Outside the Box Quilt" on the wall yet. I put up an inspiration buletin board with cool stuff on it including Bonnie's "Boxy Stars" quilt pattern that I am foolishly thinking about joining in for the Quiltville July sew in! The pic on the left is by an artist who lived in Chippewa Falls who I love! I need to get either a cushion for the chair or a new ergo friendly chair soon!
This is facing outward, over and below the railing is the living room so I can hear the TV from the loft if I am interested..can see it if I am just so too. Though the loft has a cable jack if I really want a TV in there I can add it later on. The drawers have my stash sorted by color and the large drawer (I bought today) has my strips Bonnie style sorted in them and the bottom drawer has orphan blocks I plan to do something with eventually. The old microwave cart has kits inside it and Katmandu fabric on the shelf since it is inspiring in itself!
Tonight we watched "Becoming Jane" which I enjoyed though Kathy lost interest within ten I finished up the binding on this NYE Mystery of hers and sewed her doggie label on it at the same time. This one is for her brother Rick in MA. She sewed the label on the one for her sister JoAnn in MA so we have two gifts to bring or send out there soon!

Orange Crush with Borders...this is HUGE

I added an orange border (2 inches) to my OC and then added the border Bonnie suggested which I think really adds to the quilt. I had to add an extra half a goose (instead of a full flying geese block) to each row to get them to come out to the right size and on the last row I had to widen out three seams to get them to fit right. By that time I wasn't so worried about perfection and just went with it. This quilt is so busy I doubt anyone will ever notice anyway. Next I added a 4 inch red border (not the red I used in the OC because it had black dots and was a busy fabric and I was going for calm) so I did do cornerstones of the red with black dots though hard to see in this picture. I hung this HUGE quilt from my loft and we took pictures. I would have used my black fabric for the outer border but I didn't have quite enough. I think I like it with the red anyway and I am so glad to have this one done! I need to find a new longarmer in the area and I hate to give her this one first lest she think all my quilts are this big and this bright! I really enjoyed this mystery...I am hoping next time Bonnie does one there is a smaller option and maybe I can do it as a Quilt of Valor quilt as I am feeling the need to make one of those and contribute to donations. This OC quilt is most likely going to be for Kathy's niece's wedding at the end of summer if we get it back in time.
This is Kathy's "Double Stack" quilt with the border I sewed down all attached. I think she did almost ALL of this quilt on her own with very little help from me other than the hand stitching she doesn't enjoy. This was her tenth quilt and she is getting good at this! This one is for her sister JoAnn back in MA.
Here is another sneak peak of Rachel's "Outside the Box" quilt now that all the blocks are done. I spread it on the design wall (this one is sideways I think) there will be strips of brown where you see the white showing through and a brown border, but I am loving how this looks! Hope Rachel does too.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sewing Bee Prize!

This is my prize from Sue of Stashbusters for the sewing bee a few weeks ago. I got five fat quarters..they all coordinate well (picture makes the one look too green) and are really pretty! Thanks Sue! You gotta love the post office for forwarding these treasures!
I actually did a little sewing last night after we got back from visiting my parents in Prescott. Kathy had a headache and mine had eased up so she went to bed and I finished up the blocks for Rachel's "Outside the Box" quilt I had worked on at Randy's. I needed to sew two blocks, find matching fabric to finish up a third and discovered one I had sewn the last piece to the wrong edge so I fixed that. If I can find my recharger for my batteries or my spare batteries I may lay it on the design wall to take a good picture later. My camera died while trying to take pictures of the quilting studio. It was tired from its trip to Sedona apparently!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kathy's OC on the Design Wall!

I managed to hang a flannel tablecloth up on my new quilting studio wall and immediately got to play with it since my second ABC block exchange arrived! You may remember that I sent in the N is for nurses squares and I got back all of these very cool squares. I can't wait to mix and match with the other swap and make two quilts up!
We got wild and laid out Kathy's OC quilt on the design wall too. We discovered that somehow despite all our counting she is short two blocks! We have plenty of smaller units left over to whip them up later on and get this all sewn together. There is a great ceiling fan up there and many of the squares have fallen down as the day went on today. I either have to turn it off or devise some kind of thing I can pin on! I love it nice to play with the blocks in a place the animals can't immediately lay on!
This is all the broken glass that happened in the move when poor Buck fell off the truck carrying not one but two boxes of my most fragile items. I am most heartbroken to have lost the large blue glass bottle that had a flower on it that was my grandma Char's..the ball top survived and I do have pictures of it thankfully was a gorgesou piece. The other green glass is all replaceable though I am quite bummed about the Norway dishes that I splurged on when I visited Norway in 2004. I can get more though I really liked this design and it wasn't too expensive. Only one cup survived, I will try to glue some of the other cups, but one was in a zillion pieces. Sigh. I guess if that is all we lost we are luckier than many and I will be thankful for all the pieces that made it intact, and that Buck was not seriously hurt on his
Took a quick picture of my redwork progress. This is my first attempt at this and all done in the car so not the greatest, but I enjoy it and I will hang it in the quilting studio eventually. It will always remind me of this move to AZ! I worked on getting my yahoo groups moved over to my new email address....such a pain to get it all coordinated. Randy went home today and we will miss him terribly. My daughter and her bf are with us til Saturday and have been a big help with things...going to miss her away at college in Wisconsin while I am way out here in hot country!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Posting from Arizona!

We are here in Arizona! We left early Thursday morning and got to my parents' house in Prescott on Friday night! We were so sick of the car by then even though the dog and cat were FAR better than we expected them to be. My non travelling dog Rosey is now officially a welcome travel companion! I think we will leave Jade at home though she was one good kitty until the last few hours of the trip Friday night when she wanted to help drive and sit in front of the steering wheel!
I got some sewing done in the is a picture of the binding I did for Kathy's sister's Double Stack quilt. I got the whole thing done while driving across Colorado and New Mexico. You can see my quilter (Jen Bauer from Rice Lake, Wisconsin) did a fabulous job on the flowers on this one!

I arrived to some great mail sewing bee prizes! From Trisha in my Stashbusters group I got this great fabric which looks like roadrunners and maybe quail! I am sure she was thinking of my move to AZ when she sent it out. I love it and will find somewhere cool to use it!

The next sewing bee prize is from Donna of my Stashbusters group too. She sent some cool thread..the green one reminds me of cactus and summer! She also sent some sewing machine needles which of course I can always use! Thanks ladies if you read my blog, and I need to make sure to email my group a thanks too...I am way behind on the emails and blog reading and I really miss it!

I have been working on the quilting studio. It is so much fun to organize it and make it workable. It is going well and I will take pictures soon and post them! I hung up some quilts here and there too on the various railings I have. We are taking a break from house stuff today and heading over to my sister's house in New River. She is having a little get together for Hannah's graduation! So off we go!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hannah's Graduation

Hannah Charlene has graduated! We are so proud of her! Her party went well and miraculously the rain held off--just barely! There has been no sewing going on here (boo hoo) because I finished her scrapbook and did the party and have been working, visiting people to say goodbye, etc. We leave Wisconsin on Thursday morning and hopefully will arrive in Arizona on Saturday sometime...depends on how many hours we put in each day. I cannot wait to organize my quilting studio and get to sewing though!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Orange Crush Top is Done!

WHOO HOO! I figured I was on a roll last night so I thought to myself how long can it take to put this Orange Crush top together...well close to four hours with a short break to eat and a few phone calls. I am the busy-ness of this top will grow on me because it kind of hurts my eyes at this point! I have never really made anything this scrappy and busy but it was fun to do though not sure I would ever attempt this one again! That is the fun of it though, Bonnie at Quiltville really challenges my skills and my boundaries and that helps me grow as a quilter. She makes it really fun so THANK YOU BONNIE! I may do borders similar to Bonnie's because her quilt seems more tamed and I used similar colors so...I think that will have to wait for a bit though since I have lots to do here to get ready for Hannah's party and ALL I did yesterday was sew, sew, sew! I can't wait to see some other OC tops far have only seen Bonnie's!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Productive Sewing Day!

I sewed most of the day today while listening to the TV and got Rachel's Outside the Box quilt (from "The Modern Quilt Workshop" book) done! I say most because I already packed up the extra fabric for these blocks and for some reason a few of the components came out a half an inch short. So I worked with what I have and I think I have 27 out of the 30 blocks done! This will go together pretty quickly after I get to AZ. I think I will wait til I have an actual design wall to play around with the colors on and get it just so but here is a picture of them all laid out on Randy's bed with the brown sashing fabric underneath part of least two of the blocks are upside down in the layout--I noticed as I was picking up but I just wanted to get the idea for how many I had of what color for later playing!

And of course my full time sewing helpers...Jade kitty and Rosey. They had to get in on the action and you can see the backing fabric (and inspiration for the colors in the top) under Jade too. I hope Rachel will like is going to be plenty big enough for a double bed too!

Step 6 of the OC is Out!

I started working on Rachel's Outside the Box quilt this morning since the OC step 6 wasn't out....then I took a break to stretch and check my email and low and behold step 6 came out! WHOO HOO! I am really excited about that, but now I am midstream on Rachel's blocks so I think I will just keep on with that at least until the blocks are done. It really goes pretty quick when you chain piece them. Makes it easier to remember the right way and not need to stop and think like crazy, though I would rather be seeing an occasional finished block. Smile. The logos above are made by Phyllis who is one talented gal! She nicely posted a whole album of these blocks with everyone who wanted one's name on them! Very sweet, thanks Phyllis if you are reading my blog!
These pictures are of my loft quilting studio in AZ (that I have yet to see!) It is a disaster at this point with everyone just stacking stuff up in there and apparently throwing empty boxes there too but I can hardly stand the wait to getting there and getting it all set up! There is a built in double desk which will be great for sewing stations and I can see over the loft to the TV if there is something great on TV too. My sister (who is not a sewer or quilter but who loves my quilts) said I have WAY TOO MUCH fabric which made me laugh aloud since I really don't have much compared to most serious quilters. I tend to buy for a specific project and other than that most of the fabric I have was either given to me or is leftover from those projects. I do have quite a few projects on my WIP list now but I usually stock up before summer because I earn less money in the summer and I don't want to run out of quilts to sew!
Anyway after I get things organized I will be posting more pictures and you can decide for yourself if I have too much fabric--haha! I should be posting again later once I have more of Rachel's quilt blocks done. Don't think I can start on the OC today...I still need to finish Hannah's graduation scrapbook (party in four days) and Friday I need to pick up Kathy's quilt that has been at the longarmer and find myself an outfit for Hannah's graduation. If that goes incredibly fast I might have some sewing time but I think I will be grocery shopping and putting the food together..never enough time in the day! SMILE. Oh Kahty had a chance to check and both my favorite green depression glass pieces (that were my grandma Char's) did NOT break! YAY. She thinks it was some wine glasses, I can live with that....not sure all damage is accounted for, but life will go on.

May is Pink!

I finished my blocks for Princess Crown #2 and was so excited I started sewing them together.  About three fourths of the way through I real...