Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wild and Crazy times at our house!

Wow, what a wild and crazy week it has been. First, we are thrilled to have Michael (far left) here for a few weeks, home from Iraq! What a great blessing for all the guys to hang out, play X-box and eat all the food in the house! My son (middle) has been blessed to have this group of guys as friends since we moved here his senior year in high school. Now that they are in college and the Army, it is always a special time when we can gather together for a steak dinner, even if it was a bar-b-que in the snow!
On Sunday morning we woke up to big fluffy flakes of snow. We only see a little snow every three to four years, but so far this one is much more than normal. After the snow we have had ice, with freezing rain and lots more snow predicted for tomorrow. My 12 minute drive home from work took over an hour this evening as the roads have melted and frozen into sheets of ice.
I made a quick stop at the grocery for more food...feeding five guys for days requires more milk and food than you can imagine! With the threat of being stuck at home into the middle of next week, it was time to stock up!
Jessie is the latest addition to our crazy life, joining us this evening. She is the wonderful dog of a good friend, whose husband was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery. Since the hospital is 45 minutes away, she will be staying there overnight and needed someone to take care of the dog. Of course, five guys would love a dog! But what she doesn't realize is that I'm afraid they may never return the dog!

Monday, December 8, 2008

All Hail Cesear King of the house

Last weekend, I couldn't figure out what the lump was inside my shoe...after shaking out my shoe, I realized it was a little present from Cesear the king of cats of North Carolina! All Hail King Cesear, King of cats...or at least that is what he would like you to believe!!

It has been a few more crazy weeks with too much homework, family crisis and of course work, ... there haven't been any positive or quilting topics to post. Who wants to hear about kidney stones, trips to the ER and visits to the doctor, etc., so I haven't posted. I had hoped to spend even half a day over the long Thanksgiving weekend in my sewing room, but it just didn't happen. Perhaps over Christmas or New Years. I do have some Christmas quilt photos to share next time!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Coming soon to a mailbox in North Carolina

Coming soon to a mailbox in North Carolina will be a box full of fabric for my sister! I'm just back from a quick visit to her new home, after a conference in Florida. We spent five days, resting, taking walks, enjoying the geese on the lake and playing in her fabric stash. We picked out four projects from fabrics we had purchased during our Tokyo trips for her to work on over the next few months.. Of course, there is always something else you need, so I promised to send fabrics from my stash. On top are the various black scraps for a simple Asian fabric quilt. Then there are the three inch squares for a pagoda project similar to my August 20th post. A bit of cream and gold for an inner and outer border and then the red accent fabric for the Asian squares.Every Tuesday and Thursday, my sister (below) and her friend (above) spend the day stitching and having sewing lessons for her friend. While I was there I did a quick lesson on machine applique using three different stitches and two different methods of preparing the applique. Then we practiced making half square triangles, for an upcoming project. Wish I could spend every Tuesday and Thursday sewing with them!!
My sis (above) took quite a fall last week while in Iowa, visiting her daughter and my special favorite niece! So yes, she really does have black eyes... thankfully there were no major injuries. Unlike my dad who fell just a few days before, fractured his hip, had it pinned and is now in Rehab.

Today, I had a good afternoon in my sewing room, working on the 9 patch pizazz on the design wall which was previously posted. Have three of the four sides ready to stitch. Am hoping to wrap it up next weekend and will post pictures when it is finished. I also stitched the binding on two more quilts while in North Carolina...watch for pictures during the Christmas season.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Long Arm quilters

Isn't this a great bag? Two of my quilts came back from my favorite long arm quilter this week, in this great bag. When I take new tops to Jean I'll use this bag and get a credit towards thread. In addition, by taking a picture of the bag I'll be in a drawing for a batting credit.

Over the years I've used several long arm quilters...I actually got a total of five quilts back this week from two quilters. But my best quilts go to Jean, because her work is so magnificent! I so appreciate the care and creativity that Jean uses with every quilt. For more information check out her web page www.santiamriverquilts.com

Once you are on the web page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link to see more of her work on various quilts on Webshots. If you enter Jeanne in the search box, you will see the four quilts Jean has completed for me.

This evening I attached the binding to the front side of the Hot Shots quilt. I'll post a picture soon...but we must have some sun light in order to get a good picture...since the rain has started, it may be a while (or next May as those who have lived in Oregon would understand).

School is keeping me busy, but I have managed to complete the binding on two Christmas quilts and am hand stitching the binding on a third Winter Snowman flannel star. I have 6 more waiting for the binding to be hand stitched down and two more that need the binding cut and then attached. I'm not sure why I continue to attach the binding by hand to the back...probably an old habit that I just need to break by trying some other methods. The quilts seem to just stack up at this point, since I rarely sit and watch TV.

Time to go watch some Beaver Football & stitch away on some binding!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Searching for pattern

While traveling this summer, with permission at a quilt shop that was closing in Long Beach, Washington, I snapped this photo. They were out of the pattern and would not be ordering any more. I was thinking it would be a great way to show off some of my favorite Asian fabrics. Any one have ideas on where I might find it? I was thinking it might have been in Asian fabric magazine, but haven't found it, yet.

Life has been a bit crazy since my relaxing vacation that seems so long ago...school has started...I'm in a graduate level finance class that is more than a stretch for me...you know they just didn't cover all those ratios in my undergrad Art degree...plus it's been over 30 years since I've done algebra!! Many nights I wonder why oh why am I doing this, when I would much rather be in my sewing room!!

I've made a few quick trips for work and checking in on family. Had a brief visit to family in LA, which included a funeral and several visits with another family member that is ill. It's so hard to see someone who was so vibrant and full of life change so much.

I have two quilts to pick up at the long arm quilter...can't wait to see them in a few weeks...promise to post pictures as soon as I can! Sorry to say, my postings will be less for a bit longer, until this class is over...I'm sure you don't want to see pictures of calculators and text books!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sun River Summer Fun

Back from a great week at Sun River resort...one of my favorite places in Central Oregon. Here I am sitting on my favorite bench, which is about the half way point on my twice daily 5 mile bike ride.
Wonderful wildlife!
This fawn made an almost kitten meow sound, as it coming running up, looking for the rest of the group.
The wonderful Deschutes river and the geese!

Sorry for the lack of quilt photos this time...It has been a great week off, with little quilt progress. Stitched the binding on only one of the quilts. The light was not great in the living room at the condo we rented, so I didn't make as much progress as hoped. Will start on another this evening, but books for class on Saturday will arrive tomorrow, which signals a major change in my free time activities.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Here's the stack of six quilts that have the binding sewn on the front and now only need to be hand stitched to the back, that I am taking on vacation with me. There are two flannel on the bottom, two orientals and two Christmas ones on the top of the stack. Last night I put the label on another one and worked on hand quilting a block that will be a pillow. Such a sense of accomplishment! I'll post pictures as they are finished.

Here is the latest view of what is on the design wall. Check the previous posting for the first version. This is much closer to what I am looking for. This was an attempt to use up the second panel of this design that resulted in the purchase of six more fabrics...what kind of diet & stash buster is that?? Who knows when it will get finished, as I go back to school in less than two weeks!

I'm off to Sun River in central Oregon later today for the week! For those of you not near here, that means driving through Sisters, Oregon and a stop at the Stichin Post, one of the many great shops in Oregon. I am on a fabric diet, but need purple thread to sew on one of the bindings ...let's see how I do! Last time I was there on my diet, I came out with an entire new batik project!! Oh well, at least it's not putting pounds on my body, just on the shelf in my sewing studio!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Quilt tour...my accomplishments

It's been a busy week! A friend came and helped me hang quilts in my house...something I have been wanting to do for several years! The Blue and Pink quilt is in my bedroom. I really like the quilt hangers which I found in a local quilt shop, since you don't have to add a hanging sleeve to each quilt!! My plan is to change out all of the quilts several times a year... Remember you can see the details on each quilt by clicking on the photo, then a larger version will appear.
The teapot and tea cup quilt are in the sitting area in my bedroom. I was making two of these quilts one for me and one for a dear friend, who passed away before I could finish them...so the moral of the story is...don't let those projects pile up!
This flag quilt is in the bonus room, which has a red, white and denim blue theme. I have finished putting the binding on this one in the last few weeks.
This is another one that has had the binding added in the past few weeks. A interesting story about this quilt is that I purchased it as an "antique top" in a Quilt shop in Payson, Arizona about 10 years ago. It was only $50. I truly doubt it is an "antique"...so much of the fabric is matching, I am guessing it was made in the 80's with both new and old fabrics (shirting used on the light sections). It was hand quilted by the Tualatin Senior Center.
Here's a quilt I made for my mom, while she was going through Chemo. When she passed away, it came back to me. Now it hangs by the treadmill, which also makes a great temporary hanger for quilts!

In addition, this weekend, I have sewed the binding on the front of 5, yes five quilts, so they are ready to take with me on vacation the first week in September! I'm making great progress as I try to catch up on sewing and scrapbooking, before it is back to school on September 12th!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The winner is....

Here is the final version...another finished quilt top!! Thanks for all your votes...this was the overwhelming majority winner!!

Since I had a second panel, and the fabrics were still out I decided to work on another quilt, using the same panel, but different pattern. This is a variation of 9 Patch Pizazz. which is definitely a work in progress!! Not sure I am happy with the deep fuchsia along the left side...What do you think?

Speaking of progress, so far this month, I have finished hand stitching the binding on 3 quilts!! Watch for pictures in a future posting. In addition, two other quilts went to a wonderful long arm quilter this month. So that leaves me five more that need binding, which is where I am headed now...I want to machine sew the front section of the binding on at least four quilts before I leave in a week for vacation at SunRiver.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cast your vote!

Here's your chance to vote on the layout of the blocks that surround this panel...

Yes, this really is posted sideways...for some unknown reason, every time I import this one picture it rotates it....I give up! This first picture represents the original layout from the pattern, option 1, in Asian Fabric, issue 10, page 56. I was struggling with the randomness of the blocks (1/2 green & 1/2 pink), so I made some different ones with the same fabric surrounding all four sides of the square.
Option 2 is with the green blocks on the bottom and left and the pink blocks on the top and right.
Option 3 is alternating green and pink blocks. Option 4 is green on sides and pink on top and bottom...but that picture won't load at all. Something strange is definitely happening with Blogger tonight, but I am determined to post!

So cast your vote for option 1, 2, 3 or 4!! Do it quickly as I hope to finish this quilt this weekend!

There will be two additional borders once the blocks are added.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Catching UP!!

Welcome to my sewing room!! Won't you come in and sew for a while? View from the door...this room will never be this clean again...
Last evening, my first free evening without any homework, I went into my sewing room to work on something...I wasn't quite sure what to start with, so I ended up organizing and cleaning up, since it had been such a long time since I had been in there. So here are a few pictures of my sewing room. Did you know that Treadmills make the perfect storage for quilt tops? I hear there is another purpose for them...

View from sewing machine...yes I really have that much fabric (only 1/3 is visible)...but I am on a diet...

Wow, what a busy summer so far. Since my last post I've been to the Oregon coast twice, written two papers for school, visited Crater Lake and southern Oregon...all of this to say that I can't believe it has been so long since I posted. I've been working on putting binding on several quilts...that's my big quilting progress so far...but the GREAT news is NO SCHOOL till Sept 12, so I should have lots to post about quilts I'm working on.

In case you are near Lebanon, Oregon on Tuesday, August 5th, I'll be presenting at the local guild meeting. It will be a presentation on the Tokyo International Quilt Show.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lots of travel, no quilting

I can't believe it has been over a month since I posted. But considering what life has been, I guess it is no surprise. Since I last posted, dad has moved from the hospital to the skilled nursing facility for four weeks and is now back home with home care. My son has left for the summer, to work at a conference center on the Oregon coast. Yes, I am having my first empty nest! He'll be back in September for one more year of community college. I survived the worst class so far, Financial Accounting, in my MBA program and have moved on to Economics! I am so ready for our break in August...I'll be taking a week off to just stay home to sew and catch up on life!!

Last week, I drove to Idaho to visit with my sister who is moving from Japan to N. Carolina, via Idaho, where they had items in storage and a house to put up for sale. Here a few photos from that trip.
A picture from Central Oregon of the snowcapped mountains. Yes, I did stop in Sisters and purchased a project for my niece, beautiful batiks with simple black lattice strips. Hope to work on that in August, when we have summer break from the MBA program. I promise to post pictures as soon as I start to work on it!

A family picture at Brunea canyon (I think that is the name??) Me, my sister Jay, her daughter Jessica and her wonderful new husband Remy.

The Stichin Post in Sisters, Oregon is getting ready for the outdoor quilt show. If you are in the area, this is definitely worth it. Over a 1000 quilts are hung outdoors, so the entire town becomes a quilt show. Here are my tips : Plan to arrive early...by 8 or 9am if you can. Park in the middle of town if you can, so you can go back to the car for iced cold drinks in the cooler. Plan a change of shoes from tennis shoes to sandals in mid-afternoon. Don't forget a sun hat, sun block, sunglasses, camera and extra battery. Food in the park is a great spot for a break and lunch in shade. Realize that you probably won't be able to see it all. Plan to spend the night in Bend or Redmond, as Sisters is always sold out!

I'm off to Las Vegas tomorrow for a week conference for work. It is 108 degrees there today!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tokyo Quilts with strong graphical elements

HOT, HOT, HOT is what these flames say to me...notice the wide binding, similar to what we might see on a blanket. This is not uncommon to see in Japan.

Incredible quilting details!

This quilt was quite large for a mola type piece. The technique used is reverse applique, where you cut out pieces of the large top fabric (black) place the colors behind and then roll the edges of the black under, as you stitch the black to the colored fabric. I am assuming the large circles are constructed then added in to the large black fabric piece. Remember you can click on the photo to see a larger more detailed version of the photo!

I can't imagine attempting a quilt of this size and detail, all by hand!

An interesting twist on the Storm at Sea block! Amazing how a few changes of color creates the secondary design.
Incredible piecing and quilting details!!

Life is a bit crazy... since my last posting...my dad has had surgery and transitioned to a skilled nursing home, busy at work as normal, and my MBA program has been nuts as I'm in financial accounting, definitely not one of my areas of strength.

All of that to say, I've only been in my sewing room to vacuum once in the last month...no sewing of any kind...which means I am in significant withdrawals! I even have new quilting magazines stacking up that haven't been opened! I'm feeling guilty that I have nothing of my own work to post...

I have a major school project due on May 23rd, which if I manage to get it done, I will have the entire Memorial day weekend with no homework!! First time since January!! And it won't happen again until our month long break in August. I am looking forward to hours and hours in my sewing room that weekend...not that I can even begin to remember what projects are there!

I've been keenly aware of color combinations in nature this spring...the cherry blossom pink & bright green new leaves, pink & brown bark, punchy red and yellow tulips, soft white blossoms against a tiny blue flowers, the pink and purple heathers...so interesting to think of color combinations for possible quilts!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Outdoors escape from Tokyo Quilt Show

Today, it has snowed, hailed, rained and now it is thundering! I'm ready to escape outside for a walk, but am staying in for now...so instead, we'll visit some outdoors quilts from the Tokyo show, last January.

There are some quilts that I find my self returning to time and time again. Here is one, that I nicknamed "Big Leaves" that fascinated me. I've included various 3-D details, that I discovered as I studied the quilt.

Time for a walk in a Bamboo forest!!

Now for a trip to the sea. I believe this quilt was called Stars of the Sea. First a few detail shots to see the combination of fabrics and incredible skilled hand work. The full quilt is the last photo.

Not much sewing going on here, as school is consuming any free time that I have. I have several project ideas on the design wall and can't wait for a break to get started on one of them. Will post pictures of the wall soon. I am hoping that maybe there will be time over Memorial day weekend in May...that seems so far away!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Whimsy for blogging friend Jan

Oh how I love quilts that make me giggle. There is something so special about a quilter who can create whimsy in fabric. Definitely not one of my areas of strength. Every time I look at this one, I discover new details that make me smile!! This one is titled, "Now let's start making the moon!"

After reading Jan's recent posts I decided she needed to see this quilt from the Tokyo show. My hope for you is that all too soon, you will creating again on your new sewing machine, in a new sewing room, in a new home!! For those of you that don't know Jan, check out her blog at http://bemused.typepad.com/bemused It is one of my favorites!

I've been avoiding homework tonight...doing everything except what I should be doing...so it's off to working on a paper that is due on Friday.