Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One Christmas quilt down....


Just took this one off the longarm.  

The quilting on it is hard to see because I used Green Glide thread and the fabric is pretty busy, but I think the panto "Flurry" was the perfect choice for this quilt.  

The quilting shows up well in shadows.


You can really see the quilting on the backing though.  I used a dk. green Fil-Tec thread in the bobbin.  Makes for an interesting back.  



Now....trying to decide if I want to put another Christmas quilt on the long arm.  We will see. 



Monday, February 8, 2016

It's Christmas today.....

Yesterday was Halloween for me.  Today is Christmas.

Although I got to enjoy  Christmas somewhat this past December, it got cut short with the two funerals, so I am still in the Christmas mode along with Halloween.

So, I have loaded a customer quilt which has Christmas themed fabrics onto the longarm and am doing a snowflake panto on it.  I figure that is still within the realm of reality since it is still winter. 


I am doing a panto called "Flurry" on this one.  

Here is a close up of one of the snowflakes. I just love these snowflakes.  


What's really going to be interesting is the backing.  I am using a dark green thread on the cream backing.  Here's a little peek at that.  


This one will be done very soon and then I can show you the whole thing....front and back.  

I don't care that I am behind on the holidays, but what I do care about is that I am back sewing.  It is such great therapy and I certainly need that about now.  

I hope to stay on track now and get caught up with my quilts and customer quilts, too.  My time is mostly mine now.  Just need to retire and my time will be ALL mine. 

Soon.... 




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Time Warp...

Yes, life for me has felt like I have been in a time warp.  If you have read my last couple of posts you will know what I am talking about. My time warp started mid October and has really just ended ....maybe somewhat hazily....this week, since I am still dealing with "paperwork"...ugh.

So since I totally missed out on Halloween, I cut out a quilt that I have been wanting to try.

Here are my blocks. 


Definitely looks Halloween-y, doesn't it?

I've laid out my blocks in order.


Now my rows are put together.


Are you getting the idea?  This will be one of those lil' twister quilts.  

Rows are sewed together and this is the center of the quilt. 


Borders need to be attached.


Then there is the lil' twister ruler. 


.....and this is what your quilt top starts to look like when you cut out blocks using the lil' twister.


Swiss cheese.  The whole quilt top will look like this in the end. 

I couldn't wait to sew together a couple rows.  Not only to see them, but to keep them in order since they are so small and I didn't want to get them messed up. 
Here you will see the first  of the pinwheels.


This is a time consuming little quilt (VERY time consuming) but I think it is going to be so worth it.  

Yup...it's worth it.  



Those light colors in the pumpkin are a whole lot lighter when using the flash.  They read a little more subtle in real time.  

Next project is a Christmas one.  Stay tuned.  

I am so glad to be back to sewing and quilting  















Sunday, January 31, 2016

Trying to get back on track.

Wow....here we are at the end of January already and I feel like I haven't done anything since early October before I put my mom in hospice.

But on looking back I did get a binding on my thimbles quilt and put a binding on one of my mom's quilts and appliqued all the Halloween cats for an upcoming project.....all while sitting with mom. 

We've been through two funerals, closed up an apartment, gone through a lifetime of belongings and tons of paperwork,  Finally this week, I am seeing a light at the end of this dark tunnel.

So I finally had some free time to get  together with my quilting friends for lunch, show-n-tell, and lots of chatting. Let me share just a few of their projects.

Nancy's courthouse steps (paper pieced and I believe the blocks were like 5" finished)



We're trying to figure out how to quilt this one.  I absolutely love it!

Then there is this one of hers.  I don't know the name, but isn't it gorgeous?


Love this one of hers, too......peaches and taupe.  


This star one I took home to quilt for her.  Another one of Nancy's great  color combos.  


I took another one of Nancy's to quilt, but didn't get a picture.  I think we were just in awe at how much she has completed lately.  

As for Sharon, she had lots of things started, experimenting here and there, but this one top was completed in grays (the "plus" quilt).  Just love this one, too.  


My friends have sure motivated me to get back at it.  

I did get some great books for gifts (belated Christmas exchange).  

There was thread and these three great quilting books.  Can't wait to give some of these ideas a try.  


Now on a more personal note. ....after going through my folks things and deciding on what to keep, I found myself more drawn to the "sewing" things. 

Here are a few things that have been handed down to me.

 I have had my eye on these scissors for a long time.  She had a lamp filled with wooden spools (I got half) and there was this pair of scissors in the lamp, too.  They don't close up well, but I just thought they were so neat.  


For years I have seen this little iron on display at mom's.  There were two.  I got one and my sister got the other one.  


Then there were doilies galore. These were either made by my mom or my grandmother.   I took this pineapple one  and a shade pull that we had on all our shades while growing up.   




I couldn't pass on this pineapple one either.  It is large enough to put on an end table.  


But...the absolute best thing and so long forgotten is this apron.  Boy....did the memories come rushing back.  I remember this back to when I was around 5 years old.  I couldn't remember if my mom wore it or if she made it for me.  I tried it on and it certainly doesn't fit an adult, so I am thinking it was definitely mine.  It was made by my mom and I will cherish it forever.  She is the one that taught me to embroider, to sew, to knit, to crochet and so much more.  


Well, I am certainly ready to get back to it.  I now have the time and the energy and the motivation to start up my sewing/quilting again. 

So, from here on out, I hope to only show you progress on all my projects.  

Thanks for stopping by and thanks to all who offered condolences last month. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Love Story.......

My mom has been in in-home hospice since October 15, 2015, bedridden and being taken care of by myself, my sister, my dad, Visiting Angels and Hospice.  She has been amazingly strong throughout all this time when we thought she wouldn't be here weeks ago.  It's been quite a struggle with schedules and all the care that we never thought we would have to give, but you do what you have to do when you love someone. 

Unfortunately, my dad suddenly was taken from us.  A total shock to all of us. So unexpected.  He left us on Christmas Eve (12-24-15).


He will be so missed.  

I guess after 68 years of marriage and upon seeing the flowers we brought to my mom from dad's funeral made her realize she didn't want to live any longer without him.

So on New Year's Eve (12-31-15), my mom decided to go home and be with my dad.  


It's been a very difficult holiday season for us, but we know that they are both in a better place....whole, healthy and happy...

and together.

Miss and love you both Mom and Dad.






Monday, November 23, 2015

Should've, could've, didn't.

I started this quilt in 2006. Rows were put together back then.

This was August 27, 2006


Sounds awful, doesn't it?  or does it sound familiar?

I collected 2000 different fabrics for this 1" thimble quilt by going through my stash, going through my friends' stashes and even picking garbage at quilt retreats.  For some reason, I got it in my head that a "charm quilt" had to have 2000 pieces.  That was back in 2006.  I no longer believe that and know better now.  

But, let's come back to 2015.  I decided now was the time to get this quilt done.  
It was all hand pieced ( my own personal challenge), so back in February 2015 I pieced the rows together.



Then I went shopping for a border.  The border is, also, hand pieced with straight lines at the top and bottom and the sides were actually appliqued to the border as they still had the thimble shape.  I didn't want to cut them straight for fear that I would cut my knots.


You can see some closeups here where I was appliquing the sides to the border.  

I decided I wanted this quilted using the Baptist Fan.  I just knew if I waited until I had the time or the energy to "hand quilt" this quilt, it would be another umpteen years before it got done.  

So, since I wanted perfection (another one of my downfalls I suppose), I didn't want to try it on my longarm with just a stencil  or a panto and didn't want to purchase the several hundred dollar mechanism called Circle Lord that would give me the effect that I wanted,  I sent it off to my friend Ruthie who owns the Circle Lord.  

I got it back from her the other day.



I was searching my stash for a good "burnt red" for the binding.  I found the perfect fabric, but  no way did I think I had enough for the binding (I usually only buy a 1/4 yard or else yardage), but just for the heck of it I figured out how many strips I needed and did the math and lo and behold, I did have enough.  I didn't have to go on the search for the perfect color and fabric for my binding at the local quilt stores.


I sewed it down that same night and took it to my mom's to hand stitch down while sitting with her.  

Here is the finished project, front and back.



So, I say, I should have hand quilted this one only because it deserved it what with the whole quilt being hand pieced.  I could have done it, but then "would I" in the next decade?  Obviously, I didn't; but I can say I have another UFO done and I am happy with that. 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Still looking for handwork.....

......for while I am sitting with my mom who is in hospice; and still needing handwork to keep me busy during the long hours at  my mom and dad's apartment. 

Dad asked me to fix the two twin-sized quilts that my mom made back in 1998.  




Both of them have been used on their beds probably since the day she made them and they were getting pretty frayed at the edges. 

You can see here that she brought the front of the quilt to the back for her binding and with it being only a single layer, it didn't take much to wear right through.  



I released the hand stitching on the back  of just one of them and the binding literally fell off.  

I had a couple of free hours the other day, so ran to a quilt shop that I knew had a variety of solids and found a blue that matched pretty closely. 

Here is the first repaired quilt.  



The second one has some major stains on it, so I am trying to remove them before working on the binding; but I have to say that hand stitching the binding down at my folk's place sure helped to pass the time a little more quickly AND I felt some accomplishment at getting at least one of their quilts repaired.  

Now...if I can just get the stains out of the second one, I will have another binding to work on.