Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Little Sewing....


After looking at my new book Liberated Quiltmaking II (see previous post) over breakfast the other day, I HAD to go play in the quilt studio. I was inspired! I started with this little quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (see the link on my sidebar). It's part of the Liberated Quilter's Challenge for 2010. Hopefully this is only the first one.

I used Gwen's Liberated Basket idea and added some free-cut flowers. It all went pretty well. I had to kind of scoot a bunch of stuff out of the way to cut fabric and to sew, but that's OK. Shade was thrilled that I was back in the studio. . . he really loves it when I'm in there. He has to lay right next to me for lots of love and scritches and kisses. Anyway, I don't think I'm quite done with this one. Still contemplating my next move. Maybe some embroidery?. . . . embellishing? . . . . buttons? We'll see!

Next, I wanted to make a LOVE block for Clare and her Quilts 4 Leukaemia as she requested. I started with the L and O. No problem, easy-peasy. Then I tried the V. Had to make a 2nd one as the first just wasn't too good. The E went pretty well. I had a little trouble making everything come out to the correct size. So I had to add some extra fabric. But I think it looks OK. I hope Clare will like it!

Then I decided to make Clare some blocks in red and white, also for the Quilts 4 Leukaemia. I did the Windmill block that's in LQII (page 86). They're free-cut, but don't turn out too wonky. It's really hard to see that those angles are different from block to block. Don't these look cute? They were a lot of fun to do. Just one problem. . . they're going to finish at 7.75 inches instead of 8 inches. RATS!! Apparently, my math skills are somewhat lacking. Not a big surprise to me, somehow. Why did I cut all 4 blocks, instead of trying just one first?? Now I get to do them over. *sigh* Now that I look at this photo, I think the block on the lower right is kinda strange looking. Two of the blades are fatter than the other two. What the heck?? What did I do?? Talk about wonky! *grin*

All these problems are probably due to the fact that my icky cold turned into one doozy of a sinus infection. My brain is fuzzy, and my head hurts. I spent 3 hours at Urgent Care yesterday waiting to be seen. But on the other hand, my prescription was ready when I walked into the pharmacy! Hopefully all will be better in a few days.

I've joined Tonya (at Lazy Gal Quilting) in the Lazy Gal Liberated Amish 2010 Get Together. (Wow, that's a mouthful!) She's going to be teaching/leading us to make a Liberated (a la Gwen Marston) Amish-style quilt based on the quilts in the collection of Faith and Stephen Brown. You can see the quilts in their collection here. Also, those of you in the San Francisco area can see 48 of the quilts in person at the de Young Museum until June 6, 2010! (Wish I could go see them!) I'm looking forward to this Get Together. I've always loved Amish quilts since I was introduced to them. I've made a few . . . a couple of wallhangings and a couple of doll quilts. I just love the colors in them. It's time to make another Amish quilt!

Here is Dunkel with his latest obsession! He's playing with string. DH tied a string to a cat toy stick, and Dunkel loves to chase it around and around and up onto the chairs. He's crazy about this! Anytime one of us walks even near where we keep the string, Dunkle starts meowing. Loudly and insistently! He's like Chinese water torture. He just keeps meowing and meowing. So, eventually we give in. We have to be careful because all he really wants to do is chew the string, and that's Not Good for kitty tummies. So, supervision is required. He's willing to play string any time and for however long we'll do it. Obsession. . . . thy name is Cat.

Ta-ta for now!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Midwinter Blahs

Not much going on around here. I'm still fighting that icky cold. I'll get better for a day or two, and then it comes back on me and I really feel lousy. So, I'm not too motivated. Really, I'm just kind of dragging around.

We had some friends over for a visit and dinner on Saturday night. My friend Karen (whom I mentioned in Dec when I visited her for a week) along with her DH and their two grandchildren that live near us. Their grandkids are a 2 1/2 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. It was a lot of fun to see them, and the kids were fun to play with. Plus, they sold us a new-to-us-old-to-them computer, since our old one had really gotten clunky. I think it was well over 10 years old. So, you know what my DH has been doing for a few days now! I'm really enjoying the new machine . . . it's SO much faster! It's a joy to work on.

I've been going to Physical Therapy twice a week and everyone seems pleased with my progress. I am too . . . just impatient to be back to normal. I'm getting there, and can do most things by myself now. Slowly and awkwardly sometimes, but I usually get there. Just don't ask me to open a jar or reach over my head. I had no idea breaking my arm would affect so many movements or take so long to recover from. If I'd only known. *sigh*

Here's what's currently in the works around here. Not that I've worked on it lately. I sewed these up when I got back from Nevada a couple of weeks ago, and haven't been back into the quilt studio yet. Anywho, these are all flannel and/or brushed cotton plaids and stripes.

I got these squares about 5 years ago when I was on the charity quilts committee of the quilt guild in California. The committee didn't want them because they didn't want to deal with flannel or with plaids, and they knew I love plaids. These were a pretty big stack, all the same size. They've been taking up space and nagging me ever since, but I couldn't think of what to do with them. Finally I found some inspiration and decided what to do with these. I started playing with them after I broke my arm and was looking for something I could sew, as most of the cutting was already done. So, a two-fer. I get to use up something that's been hanging around too long AND most of the work was already done. Yay!

Here are the rest of the blocks, waiting to be sewn. Last week I went to a monthly quilt bee and got all the little squares cut and matched up with the main pieces. I over-did it (it didn't feel like it at the time!) and made my arm really hurt for a couple of days. Bad me! And now here they sit, waiting for me to get back to them. Maybe tomorrow, I hope! They go pretty quickly. At least I hope so.

Last week my copy of this book finally came. Oh joy!! I've kind of skimmed through it so far. . . . not feeling good enough to do an in-depth read yet. But, wow, does it ever make me want to go into the quilt studio and play! What fun awaits me! I'm lovin' this book. . . . no disappointments here! Gwen has done it again . . . . thanks, Gwen!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back Home

I'm home from Nevada now, and have an icky cold with a cough. Ugh. I got sick about a week after I got there. Now DD has it too. My DH was sick the whole time I was in NV and he's still sick. So, we're not having too much fun here at the moment. I think I'm starting to feel some better, and my symptoms are managed well by a decongestant and that miracle drug Mucinex. I've been getting enough sleep, and I think I'm almost over it. I hope. *fingers crossed*

I'm still trying to get caught up with myself. Doing laundry, going through the mail. . . you know, all those fun things that pile up while you're gone. I'll get there soon, hopefully.

This is a quilt that my DD found at an antique store in Nevada a few years ago. It was too hard to get a decent photo this trip, so I found this one that we took at the time. I think this photo was taken before we washed this, so most of those brown spots disappeared. I got to use this one while I was at her house!

This quilt is pretty hard to date. It could be 15 years old or 100. Those colors are very typically Pennsyvania at the turn of the century (1900's) or so, and a timeless pattern. A variation on an Irish Chain, I think. (If anyone knows the correct name of this pattern, I'd be interested to know it!) The fabrics are in good shape, but not new. Some of the little squares are starting to show some wear, so I don't think it's real recent. She got this for $35!! Good deal!

Here's a closeup so you can see the fabrics. They are the same through-out the quilt. Also, it's all hand quilted, and nicely done.

We got a computer virus last night. Ugh! DH got it cleared up in 5 hours of working on it. Thank God, as I have no idea of what to do. I really, really detest the people that get their jollies by infecting other people's computers. I think they deserve a whole special place in Hell. "Nuff said.

I did manage to get in the quilt studio for a bit yesterday, as I just HAD to sew something! I got 10 blocks finished (but I had them about 1/2 done last month, so not too big of a deal). No pictures yet, but maybe in a day or 2. My quilt studio is a disaster and I need to get in there and clean it up before I start any serious sewing. And I need to start some serious sewing! I'm just about back to full capability for most sewing, and I'm way behind on some projects. The hard part is deciding where to start!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good News!

Just a quick note to let you all know that my daughter's lab results were very good. Everything was benign - NO CANCER! Yay! Thank you all very much for your prayers for her.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Greetings from Nevada!

I'm currently at my daughter's home, and she has graciously given me a computer for my use, so I can update my blog. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos for this post.

My daughter had surgery on Tuesday and is doing very well. She isn't having much pain, and is recovering nicely. There was one complication and we're waiting for lab results, which will be early next week. We're all keeping our fingers and toes crossed and hoping and praying that all the results will be good.

I may have trouble keeping her still for much longer! We're having fun playing games, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 4), and just hanging out. Today we may look for/go through some of her sewing stuff. She doesn't quilt very much, but she does sew. That will be fun. They just moved into this place at Thanksgiving, so it will be an adventure in the garage to find her stuff. I think she'll sit and I'll look, and if there's anything heavy to be moved, son-in-law will have to be called into action, since neither of us can lift anything too heavy. Sounds like a plan!

When I got in to the airport at Reno, we had some time to kill, so we went to Borders. She had some Christmas money burning a hole in her pocket that she needed to spend. Of course, I did too! I found a new (to me) magazine from Stampinton and Company called Art Quilting Studio. It's only the 2nd issue of this magazine, so it is fairly new. There's some wonderful articles in there. I haven't read it all yet, but I'm enjoying it. There's some very inspiring photos and projects just waiting to be tried!

I also found a wonderful book by Lori Smith titled Fat Quarter Quilting. All the projects are small quilts that are 16" x 20", and mostly in Lori's signature style of antique quilts. Both of these are making my fingers itch to start stitching something! Maybe I can find something in DD's stash to play with!

One of the little Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative quilts I donated this past year is currently up for sale. You can find it here and here. Also, the January Slow and Silent Auction is also on now, until Sunday the 10th. You can see that here.

Speaking of the AAQI, the Liberated Quilters have issued a challenge to make some little quilts for this organization in the liberated style. I'm planning on participating at some point. I don't have any set ideas at this time, but there's some ideas rattling around in the old brain pan. It's lots of fun to make one of these little quilts - not a huge investment in either time or materials. I'm thinking it's a great way to use up some more of my scraps. I could probably make 100 of these little quilts and hardly touch my scraps!

Until next time, happy quilting!