Sunday, December 27, 2009

What was I thinking???

In a moment of weakness, the week before Thanksgiving I purchased 3 minkee kits thinking I would whip up a few quick Christmas gifts...We all know that is pure insanity!! Yesterday, I finished the first one for a very special young woman who is a part of my son's life. ! Let me tell the story of this "quick" project!

The first day I laid out the rows of fabric and began to sew...oh yes, I had forgotten how minkee fuzz would cover everything, including me! It actually looked like it had been snowing in my sewing room!

Of course I know to sew to every other strip in an opposite direction...but I didn't!. So soon I had a wonky top that was definitely not a rectangle.

So why not just a quick rotary trim to straighten it up....little did I realize my quick trim was too much in one soon I was reattaching what I had just cut off! Then it was back to the floor with a metal measuring tape and the largest quilting rulers I could find to try and straighten the mess!

Next was the recommended spray adhesive to the back then the batting as I prepared for quilting. Having never uses it before, I quickly learned how little was needed! Days became weeks and before I knew it Christmas was here an the first quilt was not finished!

And so on Christmas eve, the package was opened, with the refrain..."I'll finish it soon and then give it back to you!"

Yesterday, I finished the quilting and attached the binding according to the the back first, then stitched to the top...oh another mistake as Minkee fabric doesn't stay flat but rolls...I'll never do that again! The good news is it is finished!!
Life is still full of surprises at our house...only 1 1/2 classes left to go till my MBA is finished...I'm so looking forward to long days sewing with no worries of homework and papers to write. I've had a few health issues this fall with more tests to come in the new year...looking forward to the new year with lots of time for quilting and blogging! Wishing you a wonderful new year!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

JOY & Frustration & More JOY

UPDATE: Oct 20th. Here is the photo!! YEAH!! Written on the five silver charms are:
Free Your Heart from Hatred
Free Your Mind from Worries
Live Simply
Give More
Expect Less

Joy...a new quilt piece that was created in the last month as part of an assignment in my MBA program. I was so excited to share it with you all! However, Blogger is having issues posting photos and so far I am not finding any way to share the photo with you...that is pure frustration! As soon as it is fixed, I will add a new posting.

It is approx 8 x 12 inches with deep purples, fuchsia and yellows. Our assignment was to do a creative project. I was one of the few people in class that was excited and couldn't wait to get started!

I actually gave myself a few rules:
-I need to start a new project from patterns or finishing other projects.
-I had to use fabric that I shopping.
-I needed to try a new technique.
-I could not rip out or redo sections...whatever happened had to stay in the project.

Life continues to be, school, family and trips to LA to work on the estate. I continue to try to find moments of joy in each day...yesterday it was a great 45 minute walk out in the country side enjoying the wonderful fall colors of Oregon. Heading out the door now for another walk! Soon I will post more soon as blogger fixes the errors!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Updates

Not much sewing going on this summer, but the biggest news is this new wall unit from Ikea in my sewing studio. It even has empty sections, just waiting for my next project. I spent the weekend getting my studio back in order after the chaos of moving furniture and reorganizing my space!
This is coming to my home in Oregon, from California. It is one of the many items that did not go into the estate sale...along with a second older Singer!

While in California we spent an afternoon as tourists, taking my son to see Hollywood, including Michael Jackson's star...

Borders are on this quilt and it went with two other to the Long Arm quilter!! I'm actually catching up and ready to start new projects!! The border on this quilt made me nuts! I actually cut the binding strips before the long borders, then had to piece the border...what a crazy mistake...oh well it all worked out. I'm currently searching for the hydrangea fabric in purple and raspberry for a different that I purchased fabric for several years ago...only to discover this weekend that I am short fabric :-(

Of course, a visit to Hollywood must include the sign! It was fun to be glad we are back home and not there in all the smoke! Happy quilting!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Long Beach Show pictures

My computer is distressed and so am I at this point, as I use my son's computer for this posting. So, rather than sharing pictures with you from the Long Beach show, here is a great link to "The Quilt Show" website daily blog. Scroll down and you will find three sets of photos from the Long Beach show, along with other interesting show pictures, etc.

I've checked this site several times, trying to decide if it is worth it to be a member. However, at $42.95, I haven't yet parted with the are my reasons not to join...

-The cost seems high for online access.
-I already take 6 magazines related to quilting, so I have lots of resources.
-I have more projects in progress than I can count!
-I'm not a fan of watching TV or other video on my computer...spoiled by big screen TV's!
-I already spend too much time each day on the computer between work and home projects.
-I have more email and newsletters than I can read at this time.
-I'd rather be working on quilting projects...

I'm curious if anyone has become a member and find it worth the cost...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Long Beach Show on Saturday!

First, a few quick China trip what is a quilter to do when she is not finding fabric to purchase? Buy Pashmina's in every color you can find!! These wonderful scarves were just a dollar or two, depending on bargaining and number purchased! I came home with 40, some for me and many as gifts for friends and co-workers!
You can't be in Beijing without going to the Great Wall. What an incredible experience! So beautiful and so hard to fathom this was built so long ago! We walked between three towers with steps from 1 inch high to over 24 inches. I would love to spend more time there!

Yes, I will be going to the Long Beach show on Saturday, so if any bloggers are going to be there would love to connect with you! Post a comment and I'll check back...

There is so much more to write, but I am behind in packing, writing a paper for school and other homework due on Friday...this is just a momentary escape, as I am tired and distracted after a full day at work, visiting dad at assisted living and over 6 hours of travel to one of our work sites.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chinese Patterns

Everywhere we went I saw potential patterns for future quilts. Don't you love these circles, set in squares with stars in the lattice!

Patterns, patterns everywhere...textures on walkways, painted buildings in the Forbidden Palace and Temple of Heaven, beautiful tile work...

I'm finally back to blog life, after three weeks in China and another 4 weeks trying to catch up and recover from a nasty bout of bronchitis, asthma and allergies all kicked off during our last days in China, in Shanghai where the air pollution was incredibly thick!

Now it's time to sift through 1300 pictures, capture the designs in new quilts and enjoy this wonderful summer!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

OFF TO CHINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry for no picture and not posting recently. Life is crazy as, school and family. Haven't been quilting for awhile, but spent time this weekend showing my sister from N. Carolina all kinds of projects she can work on while staying in my house for three weeks...lots of unfinished projects...bindings to stitch down...borders to add... Check back after May 25 for pictures from China!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mom's butterfly quilt

Sorry this is a bit out of focus...This is a quilt made about 15 years ago for my mom who always loved butterflies. When she passed away in 1998 it made it's way back to me. Her birthday was just last week, so she has been on my mind, so I decided to share it with you, since I can't find the picture of the red, white and blue flannel star I just finished.

I have finished tacking down the binding on the back side of a flannel star quilt and moved on to the binding on another one. Unfortunately, I'm not finding the pictures as someone has disconnected my external hard drive. In a house of young males...I bet I can guess!

The two quilts hanging on the arms of the treadmill (that is what they are for aren't they?) are works in progress. The one in the front (Blue, green and yellow) just needs two borders added (yes, I got bored with it...see August 27, 2007 post for a full picture of it) and the middle one (bright pink) the top is finished, I'm just wanting to add some words to the outer border.

Life continues to be busy with work, school and family. Hopefully, I will get at least one more posting up before I leave for China on May 6.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

One more option

I've experimented with the green option on the previous post, in several different ways and can't quite get it where I want it. Also, I've realized that I really don't have enough of the green except in a very skinny border. I suppose I could try begging to my N. Carolina sister, but have decided to try this option that is currently on the wall. The center border is just the small cherry blossoms with out the cranes...I think the cranes were too distracting (see previous post).

I'm hoping to get the borders on this one over the weekend...but that may not happen as I have lots of homework to catch up on. I have about 300 pages of reading and a 20 minute presentation and PowerPoint to create. Of course quilting would be much more fun!! It will be my reward for staying focused and making good progress!

It's been a crazy month since I last posted. My mom in law has passed away while in hospice care, my dad was to have hip replacement surgery but ended up having a cardiac cath and two stents placed. Now he has to wait 4 more weeks for his surgery. On top of it all we've had a restructure at work and I have added responsibilities. I am thankful to have a job!

I did buy two yards of fabric today, the pink and purple inner border, as I was thinking of using it for the binding too. However, I did resist some wonderful bright red and orange poppies on a black background that were just screaming out my name... I managed to make it out of the store with just what I came for!!

I'll be going to China in a month and would love to hear about any great fabric shopping experiences, quilters, etc. I've not found much on the web, so would welcome any suggestions you might have!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Border Options

Yesterday, I finally had time to finish the main portion of this 9 Patch Pizazz quilt which has been on my design wall since September. With school and the rest of my crazy life, there just isn't much time to sew. I had planned to be gone this weekend, but things changed so I decided I was spending at least one day in my sewing room! It felt so good to be there!

There are 3 border options. If you click on the photo, it should open a larger view in another window. The top left which has two fabrics that are in the quilt, the bottom left with a different inner border and then the one on the right of two similar fabrics. So what's your vote?

Almost forgot to write about my forbidden purchase yesterday. Two yards of a beautiful 2008 Kona floral fabric and 1 yard of a green oriental to go with another project... So I made it two months without a fabric purchase...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another package going to N. Carolina

Wish I could jump in the envelope and go with this fabric and pattern to my sisters in North Carolina. She mentioned the other day, that she was piecing the back of a quilt and was a bit short, so she went to local big store that starts with a W and picked up some extra flannel. When she washed it, it clearly was not of the same quality of the rest of the fabric. So being the good sis that I am, convinced her not to use what she had and that I would send some to her.

Of course, when I went to my stash I didn't have anything that would off to one of the 4 quilt shops within a 30 minute drive and found just what she was wanting! I still have not purchased any fabric for myself this year...a new record... I also found this pattern at one of my favorite shops last week and am adding it to the box. It will be perfect for all of our Tokyo purchases from last year. If you can't find the Shoji Screen pattern at a local store the web site is

Several times a month, I travel to the Oregon Coast for work. I always make sure to have time at the end of the day for a quick stop at the wonderful shop in Newport. If you are ever traveling in Oregon, be sure to visit the shop in Newport on the Central Oregon Coast. They have a great variety of fabrics, lots of patterns and wonderful friendly staff. They also have great block of the month projects, etc., on their web site:

I did manage to stitch down about half of the binding on a quilt Saturday night, as I watched a least a little progress going on here!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And then there were TWO

And then there were two...quilts that is. Here's my second quilt started about 1979, in a class in California. It was made with cardboard templates! Every week we copied template patterns and instructions for a new block. Several of the blocks were pieced by hand, others on a very old machine! Obviously I was learning about values as some are made out of two dark fabrics. If only I had used a medium or light, they would look better.

Not a lot of quilting going on around here. Hoping to stitch on a binding after dinner tonight. Homework, school and just life in general are keeping me out of the sewing room...maybe tomorrow!

Had a lovely few hours in the front flower garden bed, doing some clean up that was missed last fall. The bulbs are peaking through...just a few inches up. Spring will soon be here & I can't wait!!

I am starting to make plans for a trip to China in May. If anyone knows of quilt related places, great fabric areas, groups, etc., please leave me a message.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Everyone has a first quilt!

As the guys were taking down the Christmas quilts for me they accidentally took down one that I was going to leave up for a while longer. So then I had to figure out what to put back on the was too early for spring and summer, so I decided to go with this one that had some red in it for Valentines day.

This was my very first quilt, made in the summer of 1977, between my junior and senior year at college. It was made without any templates or instructions. I just cut out squares from scraps of clothes that I had made and put them in to rows. I thought straight rows were boring, so I figured out how to turn the squares on point. I couldn't figure out how to finish the edge, so I appliqued the squares to a long red piece of fabric. It was quilted with a group ladies about five years later, where we would take turns quilting each others tops. Little did I know that I had ventured into something that would last for many years to come. Yes, at one time, I really did make clothes...but not since I made this first quilt!!

Some of the butterflies have made it to the design wall. I'm trying to put together a lap quilt and was trying out a solid fabric from my stash. I think it is a bit bright and I need to try something else out for lattices. I'm thinking of trying out black next... I've discovered most of the blocks have some kind of stain or marks. I've washed a few, trying various methods of removing the stains with limited success. At least the colors in the fabrics are not bleeding.

Last week I had a few minutes to stop at one of my favorite shops (which will remain nameless) on the way to the airport. Each month I try to add extra time to my airport schedule to make a stop at one of three shops. I knew this one had moved across the street since my last stop...what I didn't realize was with the new location came a new attitude. This shop always has great displays and wonderful collections of fabric. My wallet was always screaming for mercy as I left in the past, especially on days when the hidden room of Asian fabrics was open. It was the craziest place for fabric...out the back door and up the stairs to Asian Heaven.

I was hoping to find a particular Asian fabric to wrap up a project on my wall or some new batiks. After touring the whole shop, waiting at the counter for more than five minutes, while the four staff members worked on unwrapping new items and ignoring several of us waiting for help, when I asked about Asians, I was informed with quite the attitude, "We don't carry that". You would have thought I asked for a pile of dog poo! Unfortunately, this was the second time I had left empty handed and with a less than positive customer experience. I've decided it will be my last visit, as there are several other options to stop at on my monthly trip to the airport. Next time I'll write about some of my favorite stops...and include their names.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This old quilt...

This is a quilt I brought home for safe keeping, while my family member is away from her home. At some point, I hope to do some research on this quilt, as it appears to be quite old. The tan fabrics appear to be faded out. Overall it is in fairly good shape with just a few stains and crease marks. There are twelve blocks with the same design and a border on all four sides. Unfortunately, I have never seen this quilt before, so I don't know any of the history of it. Is this what will happen to your quilts some day??

Not a stitch of quilting happening around here...too much going on with caring for my dad, as the pins in hip are moving and he is in quite a bit of pain. At this point, we have a full time care giver in the house so I can go to work each day. The best part of all is that they keeping asking for housework to do and they have dinner ready each evening when I come home...I could get really use to this!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

UFO's...will this happen to yours?

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your quilts and UFO's? This set of blocks are from Mother in-law's home...which unfortunately she will never finish. There are approximately 60 blocks, with about 25 layered and quilted on individual pieces of muslin. My challenge will be how to finish I try some method of joining the quilted blocks or do I take them apart and set them in a traditional manner. I'm leaning towards taking them apart, as the batting is very thick poly batting and the blocks are a variety of sizes. These blocks along with three other quilts came home with me for safe keeping. The others will appear in a future posting. Since I would like to finish at least a lap quilt out of these blocks for her quickly, they are moving to the top of my project list.

Once again, a wild few weeks in my life... The Saturday before Christmas, my mother in law went into the critical care unit of the hospital, 1,000 miles from my home. My son and I are her only relatives, so soon I took off to drive south, as the airports were closed in the Northwest due to the snow and ice. Due to the bleed on her brain, they discovered a mass on her brain, along with the one on her lung which was discovered this summer. So we now have entered a time of palliative care heading towards hospice, along with the loss of independence and no longer living in her own home. After finding a new foster type care home for her, moving her furniture in, securing her home and lots of other tasks, I am finally back home

So, as I close this short post, as I am on a 15 minute break from homework...I leave you with a few questions:

1) What will happen to your UFO's and quilts?

2) Have you completed your Advance directive or Power of attorney for health care...if not, now is the time to do it so your wishes are clear to everyone.

3) Do you have a financial power of attorney, will or trust in place? Thankfully, my mother-in-law did this several years ago, which has made this transition so much easier.

4) If you were suddenly unable to take care of things at home, would someone know where to find your records, checks, valuables, secret hiding places, etc? I've spent days going through every closet and drawer and know that I am still missing items...oh my the story I could tell...

5) Have you hugged your love ones and told them how much you love them today?

Wishing you all a wonderful new year full of lots of quilt projects!!