Sunday, June 27, 2010

Trying to get my mojo back.....

I have not touched needle or thread since my retreat and you would think that with all that motivation, I would be sewing up a storm.  What's my problem?  I've been at the hospital more days than I have been at home with my mother-in-law.  She is 91 and had a heart attack.  She is home now, but not doing all that well. 

On a different note, my husband came home this morning from the local flea market wtih this little find. 

Since most of the writing on this little machine is in Russian except for the back page of the instruction booklet, I will have to do some research on it.  They were asking $35 for this little number and my husband got out of there spending only $12 on it.  It looks as though it is made of aluminum or some metal with the little wood box.  It has a single thread that sews a chain stitch and is run by hand by the wheel.  I love the little emblem on it....kind of reminds me of John Deere.

Well, as far as my sewing goes, not sure when I will get back to that, since this afternoon, I was sitting in Emergency for my husband who smashed his finger pretty good this week and things were getting worse.  It was pretty infected.    Tomorrow I will be in the hospital with my dad who is having carotid surgery and then again on Friday with my husband who is getting a stent. 

Calgon....take me away.  Maybe I should pack some sewing  for when Calgon takes me away.  Hope you are getting some sewing in. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Just a couple more tidbits about retreat....

I am still riding high on all the fun, good times had at my retreat; and I did want to mention a couple more things.  One of which was the little sewing caddy that my friend, Eve, made.  In fact, she made one for every single one of us at retreat and I believe there were something like 26 of us there.  Each person got to pick one that we wanted ....except me.  She said that when she went through her stash to makes these, she saw the animal print fabric, she thought of me and that one was given to me before everyone else got to choose.  You know....I would have picked this one for sure anyways. LOL. 

I am sure many of you have seen these made up before.  They hold a mini cutting board, small square ruler, rotary cutter,  marking pens, scissors, etc.  They are great for taking along for small projects. 

Also, I don't think I showed the totally completed Zen quilt.  Another thing I didn't mention was that I was making this for someone that I had in mind that needed a little "wild" in her life (thus the leopard print fabric in there).  She is a very contemporary gal and when I had seen this quilt, I thought of her.  So here is the completed front and the great fabric I found for the backing of this quilt.  I just love it and hope the recipient loved it as well. 

I made this quilt for my friend and roommate of most of our retreats, Sandy. Here she is all snuggled up with "her" quilt.  By the way, she slept under it every night at the retreat, too.

You can see more of Sandy and her quilting projects and family on her blog....

Well, I was going to make this my last blog thread on the retreat, but I am still waiting for one of the gals to post  our group picture.  When I get that, I will post it and then I will move onto my next project.

Happy Father's Day to all the great dad's out there.  Hope you day was great. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More about the retreat....

While at retreat, it was arranged for Hally Bone, a certified quilt appraiser who lives in St. Louis;  and I believe she told me she is the secretary to the AQS quilt appraisers organization or something like that to appraise any quilts that we were interested in having her look at.   Anyways, I took three quilts for her to see, two were antique quilts (one from my mother-in-law flying geese;  and one from my father-in-law, bow tie) and one that I made, Stars in the Garden.  She was so full of information....talking about the fabrics and dating the fabrics,  the colors (indigos and soldier blues), the stitching, etc, etc. 

Sorry, I couldn't find a full picture of my Stars in the Garden at the moment, but here it is folded up at the end of my bed. 

Well, after having my three appraised, I am thinking that I need to hire armored guards outside the house.  Who would have thought?  Another thing that I didn't realize is that the more awards that you win, the more the appraisal of ALL your quilts go up.  I think I have my most valuable quilts appraised at this point, but really.....I don't think I could afford to have ALL my quilts appraised, but it sure makes you think.

On the way down to St. Louis, I stopped into Quilts Plus ...a top 10 quilt shop and picked up a few odds and ends.

Another quilt shop that we spent money at in St. Louis is the Quilted Fox.... .  This is another one of those top 10 quilt shops that was featured in  Quilt Sampler magazine a few years ago.  Well worth the trip if you are in the area.  I just picked up a couple spools of silk thread here for my Cherry Trees blocks. 

We, also, hit Jackman's. .  Oh....all I can say is that they have lots and lots of great fabrics.  I picked up some yardage of the French General.  I am using this for the Cherry Trees and am collecting more of it for my retreat with Gwen Marston this September.  

I received some great gifts from my Secret Quilter (whom I later found out was Lorrie).  There were gifts at each of our stations on a daily basis and on the last day was the big reveal to find out who had been sneaking things for us to find each time we came back to our seats  It was a whole lot of fun.  I received silk thread, a cute pair of applique scissors, needles, blue marking pen, button head pins in a magnetic jar, candy (chocolate), a really neat magnetic case that holds your applique supplies and they won't fall out and fabric.  Loved everything.

Also, got some really great things from  my roommate, Sandy; magnetic bookmark, nail file, note cards, candy (Mike and Ike)  that she thought was my favorite, but after eating some of it on the ride home, I don't think I have even tasted these things before...LOL...she must have been thinking of one of her OTHER best friends..LOL; a beautiful handmade clay bead bracelet (I love animal prints) and some more beautiful fabric.  Again, loved everything especially the animal print bracelet.  She knows me well when it comes to animal prints.  :D

Gosh, talking about this makes me realize how much I am missing everyone already.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Back from missing in action....

Good grief.  Where has the time gone?    I posted last  time that I was getting things ready for a retreat, but what with work, the beautiful weather we were having and getting outside to do some yardwork, prepping things for retreat and packing, I never had a chance to get in here and post about it, take pictures of it or nothing! 

In my last post, I showed you the kit I pulled from my cupboard, Short Story, a Schnibbles quilt.  It was all cut out before I left and I did get the top  done at retreat. 

I have two friends, actually three friends who all bought this same one at the same time I did  and two of them attempted it and they ended up incorporating the fabric into their stashes and the other one hasn't touched it, so I was a little worried about making this my one main project  to work on. There are a lot of pieces and the instructions were certainly not done the "easy" way.  If I had read through and thought of what needed to be done, I could have done it in strips, but no.....I cut all the little pieces out and thanks to the Fons and Porter 1/4 square triangle ruler, I actually made the blocks and they came out pretty good.  The quilt  only measures 33" square, so I think I will quilt this one myself.  The backing and the binding were included in the kit, so I have no excuses. 

Anyways I loaded up my car with absolutely everything that I wanted to and headed out from Michigan to St. Louis, MO to go to our retreat that was held at the Mercy Center... .  I did plan on being frugal with the number of projects that I took to work on as there are ALWAYS too many things to work on.  So, I took the Schnibbles which I completed (the top), I had prepped #9 BOM Cherry Trees and did start stitching on that and I brought my Hearts and Hands blocks that I didn't get to...oh well. The Schnibbles took a lot longer than I expected. 

Here is my work station AFTER finishing up on the Schnibbles (folded on the back of the chair) and you can see my Cherry Trees on the seat of my chair.  The table is looking a whole lot neater than it did when I was working with all those pieces for Short Story. 

So, we had a great time, lots of fun and laughter, lots of quilting, lots of food, more fun and laughter, shopping, more fun and laughter and more shopping.  We had show-n-tell, played strip poker (with strips of fabric) and bingo (for fat quarters).  

I should  mention that I did make a stop on my way down to St. Louis at one of my favorite quilt shops and did drop a small bundle... .  It is one of those great shops that was included in the top 10 quilt shops magazine  a few years ago.  I get there once or twice a year (on the way down and sometimes on the way back home from St. Louis). 

I'll save my purchases and prizes  and gifts for another post.  Right now, I am recuperating from the long drive down, all the fun while there and then the long drive home, but I am happy and satisfied. 

I said I wouldn't......

I meant it when I said it. But I failed and ended up doing it. I picked up the knitting needles instead of getting back to my pile o...