Friday, July 30, 2010


Yep, you read that correctly. I have today off and somehow I find myself up at 6 and heading out to meet PTM at the gym at 7:30! I need to get my day going because I have a lot to do. First the gym, then home and shower. I am going to Grand Rapids to attend a 2 day event where Amanda Jean will be teaching. You did read that correctly too. Cray Mom Quilts, Amanda Jean will be teaching in Grand Rapids and I will be there! I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I need to bring snacks so have to get to the grocery store and then I want to bake some banana bread and maybe cookies, while I pack up the car. She is coming to work with the Margaret's Hope Chest group. They make quilts and give them to people who need a little hope in their lives.

I spent several hours with PTM last night teaching her how to upload photos, use her bloglines, open a Flickr account (turns out she had one and didn't know it), and just generally do some more stuff on her blog. I am wondering if she has an updated version of blogger because some of the things on mine are different on hers. Anyone know anything about that? I think I made her head spin! She did upload pics to her blog though and I think she will be practicing more this weekend. Now she has to get in the habit of carrying her camera everywhere with her, LOL.

Since I took the process pledge I thought I would show you the beginnings of the doll quilt I am working on for an auction. Here is the mermaid I am stitching that will be a part of the quilt.
Mermaid beginning
I think she is adorable! The stitching is going along quite quickly too. After she is finished, I will be making some hst's and sewing them into a zig zag pattern above her. I am hoping it will look like she is under the water. First things first though and I must get her finished.

OK, enough blogging around, I need to get myself in gear and get off to the gym. Have a wonderful day and if I can get internet at the B and B I will be in touch later, if not you will hear from me when I get home. My dad is turning 84 on Sunday and lives in Grand Rapids so I will be going to his house on Sat night to cook him a birthday dinner. Nice when things line up like that, right? OK GTG!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wedding Sampler Blocks 7-12

Now I will show you blocks 7-12

Block 7 Front and Back
Block 7Back of block 7
I love how this block came out. Look at how those leaves landed in the corners! The little squares did not line up quite perfectly at the top in the center but I loved it and would use it again.

Block 8 Front and Back
Block 8Back of block 8
I am glad that I used this design in this block. It seemed to fit this block well. It wouldn't work for something with no pattern on the outside in the corners.

Block 9 Front and Back
Block 9Back of block 9
This block looks kind of circular so the quilting filling the entire block worked well with this block too. I liked this block a lot.

Block 10 Front and Back
Block 10Back of block 10
I like how this one turned out too. Hearts again, and the same thing, having some piecing out to the corner made the block look ok with this.

Block 11 Front and Back
Block 11Back of block 11
I like how this one worked with the piecing out into the corners. Loved the swirls with the straight lines.

Block 12 Front and Back
Block 12Back of block 12
I liked how this one worked with this block. The quilting was perfect with the piecing in this block.

OK, there you go. The fifty cent tour! Please let me know what you thought of the process of this quilt and my quilting choices.

Wedding Sampler Show

I took the photos last night at quilting of my wedding sampler. I will show you the blocks one by one but there are 12 of them so will break this into a couple of posts to make them smaller (and in case I run out of time to write!) Grab a cuppa and here we go.

First was the sashing. Since it was both horizontal and vertical I had to choose a design element that was not directional. Then I had to use the computer to lay it out in the size it would be on my quilt. You would be surprised how stretching out a design can really change it. This is what I chose.
Front and Back
Front SashingBack of sashing
Next came the star in the sashing. I wanted something in the center of the star and found these hearts. Loved it since this is for a wedding gift. I also used this element scaled up in the corners of the border. Notice how I outlined the star? That took a lot of time and a lot of babysitting to make sure it went right. Even though it is programed in the computer, it is only as good as your piecing, the shifting of the fabric as it stitches and how you "draw" your point to point line for the computer to follow. So you watch it as it stitches and move the fabric slightly as needed with your hand. I got much better at the end of the quilt so don't look too closely at this one!
Front starBack of Star
LTW chose the swag on the outer border and she executed that for me.

The next part involved the actual blocks. I had to choose some blocks to quilt into my blocks. I chose some and changed some and these are what I ended up with. I will tell you what I liked and what I didn't as we go along. First up is block 1 front and back
Block 1Back of block 1
I really liked how the quilting went all the way around the block. I liked the feathers and how that design softened this block.

Block 2 Front and back
Block 2Back of block 2
Believe it or not, this is the block I built the quilting around. I love the pearled feathered wreath and I felt it was perfect for this block. I still feel like that. I LOVE this block. I am happy with how it sits in the block. I like how the center flower came together in the center of the block and the outside, where there is no quilting, is not as obvious since there is a lot of color in the outside pieces! Love it!!

Block 3 Front and Back
Block 3Back of block 3
I love how the leaf shapes work in the outer corners and I really like how the center came out using this design. I chose this design because it looks somewhat Celtic and my friend loves Celtic things (me too).

Block 4 Font and Back
Block 4Back of block 4
I wanted a few patterns that had or looked like hearts. This one had part that looked like swirly hearts. The swirls soften the angular look of the block. Liked how this one dressed up this block.

Block 5 Front and Back
I like this block a lot, but probably should have chosen a different pattern for the quilting. It is not perfectly balanced on all the sides. First I will show you the front and back then an up close to illustrate what I mean.
Block 5Back of block 5
Notice how the quilting pattern is not the same from side to side. Look where the stitching is including the star point to the seam line and you will see it. I could have tweaked it but I didn't know this until it was stitched. The center did work out though, which was nice.
Up close BUp close A

Block 6 Front and Back
Block 6Back of block 6
Although I really loved this quilting pattern(hearts you know) I was happy that the corners of the block kind of covered up that the quilting did not go all the way to the corners. I would use this again though as I really liked the pattern.

Blocks 7-12 next.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thimbleberries 2004 BOM

Are you a fan of Thimbleberries? I like a lot of her things but I just know that I will never get around to doing this. I have the Jan-October blocks/patterns/fabric kits. I am missing the project for January as I did that and gave it away, but the block fabric is still there. I would like to sell the whole lot for $200 plus shipping if anyone is interested.

This shows the Jan-June projects


This one shows the July-December projects

This shows the quilt

You can see some of the bags of the blocks and projects too in the background. I hope someone out there loves these and would love to own them too. Please send me an email if you are interested.

The BIG, Scary Statler and the Brave New Quilter

You all know that I went to LTW's farm this weekend to work on the sampler quilt I made for my friend's wedding. I thought I would share some of the pictures LTW took of me learning how to use the BIG, SCARY Statler. We should have gotten some near the end where I look MUCH more confident, but it was late!
Here I am trying to figure out which buttons on the machine match the grid on the computer.
Me quilting 03
OK now you can see my very first element going in.
Me quilting 02
This is what it looked like stitching it in the sashing
Sashing element
Taking all my concentration to do this
Me quilting 01Me quilting 04

My DH and DD1 were with me at the farm too but were getting bored after about 2 hours so they wanted to go home. Oddly enough, PTM called to let me know that her DH would be going back to Canada, bring their DGD home and she was staying in town. So my DD suggested I go back home with them, go and pick PTM up and go back to the farm to play! GREAT IDEA!! I called PTM and she was up for it. I got home and thought about it and asked if I could drive the red, Mustang convertible to the farm. It was a go. You should have seen PTM's face when I drove up in that car. I don't think she recognized me! So the two cool chicks left for the farm. It reminded us of Thelma and Lousie (I got to be Thelma). We made it back to the farm, with the top down and the tunes up in no time. I meant to have LTW take our picture but forgot and by the time we finished the quilt it was dark, = ( Next time I will get the picture!

Anyhoo, I managed to get the entire quilt finished!!! LTW did the outside border, and outlined a few of the stars, but I did everything else. I did manage to snap a picture of each half of the back of the quilt to show you but none of the front. (It was around 10:30pm when we got done). I have to trim the top tonight and will get some pictures then. Here is the back in each half.
One Half of the backThe other half of the back
I chose each element for the quilt and I showed you that previously. I chose some designs with hearts in them because this is a wedding quilt. I also learned a LOT about design choice. Would I do them all the same way again? Probably not. There is one with a straight edge that I would probably have eliminated as it really shows if your piecing is not exact. Mine was not bad but it was slightly off. I liked the designs that filled the big block squares better than those that left the corners emptier except for the feather wreath. That fit that particular block perfectly. I will try to take photos of each block tonight and explain my thought process and choices, if you want to know.I can even show you where my piecing is not exact, lol. Although you can tweak the design if you really want to, I didn't feel it was off enough to do that. You may be bored of it already, but I have a new appreciation for all the design planning that goes into a quilt like this with all this custom quilting. I chose Quilter's Dream cotton batting, the light weight one, and a light gold, 50 wt thread. It is also amazing how the thread changes color on the quilt. Some colors I hated as a spool were nice on the quilt. Go figure!

I want to let you know about a couple of other things that are going on in my life at the moment too but will save that for another post.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Too much for one post!

Alright I am just going to say this up front. I have way too much to say for one post! First, I finished the chenille blanket for my friend's grandbaby.
Chenille all finishedBack of chenille
Up close
My label
I posted a tutorial about how to make this over on my website, in case you are interested.
I also finished the Monster Rag quilt. I do need to label it but no baby yet so no label until that happens as I want to put the baby's name on the label. I am going to write up a tutorial on how to make that too, but when I get a minute, later. For now, here are a few pics. Front and back.
RQ finishedRQ back
Up close
RQ front close up
He is the Egg Monster and so adorable!
Isn't he adorable?
I hope the baby will love this as much as I do!

Now to let you know. I spent about 7 hours with LTW and the Statler and quilted my entire quilt!! I have some photos to share with you but have to go and do a little more work at my real job, so that's all for now, more soon.

I think I forgot to tell you, I lost another 4.5 inches which totals 38" overall since beginning my weight loss journey. When you see the pics from the farm you will notice I still have some ways to go though, LOL!! I can't imagine how awful they would have been before I lost those 40 pounds!! UGH!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Learning to use the Statler

Yesterday DD1 and I went to visit LTW at the farm. Now I was supposed to be going to learn how to work the Statler and babysit my sampler quilt that I need for a wedding in a few weeks. DD1 and Becky got bored with LTW and me playing on the Statler computer and went off to the grocery store together (funny) and we worked on setting up the quilting plan for the quilt. Who knew it took sooo much time to do this part of the quilting?? Certainly NOT me. I know now. So this is a peek at the quilt layed out on the quilting frame.
My Sampler at LYW's
Three hours later this is what we came up with:
Statler set up for Sampler 2
The design elements are not perfectly in place but we will be fixing that and then begin the stitching on the quilt today. I am excited to learn how to do this!

I got up this morning and made some banana bread and blue berry muffins. I will bring the bread but the muffins are for me for the week. They are the Fiber One mix. The banana bread is my low fat, high fiber version and I really like it!
Banana Breadmuffins
Do any of you have trouble with your chocolate chip cookies spreading out and looking flat? Well I sure did and now I will forever use Vanessa's recipe (over at V and Co's blog)! Don't they look yummy?
Chocolate chip cookies

I also finished the Monster rag quilt yesterday before leaving for the farm. I have pictures to post step by step for those who might not know how to make these quilts but they make really nice baby quilts. I still need to snip it so will wait to post the tutorial until I have a minute to do that. I cut out a book panel for a Curious George quilt last night now I just need to figure out the sashing. It shouldn't take too long, just need the time home to do it! Once I am caught up at work I may just take a week off to sew! How nice will that be? DH is taking 2 weeks off in August and one of those he is going back to Canada with his uncles like he did last year. We were talking about that in the shower this morning and we decided maybe we will take a few of the days in the other week and go antiquing/quilt shop hopping in Ohio and Indiana.

Oh, and I wanted to let you know, I did NOT have a gain. I did NOT have a loss but no gain is still good after the extra food last week! I am hoping to turn that into a loss this week.

I need to get going and pack up for the trip to the farm. I brought some coordinated fabrics to try the GO Cutter with today too so will let you know how that goes also. Have a great day!

UGH we just lost power so I will see how that goes! I better post before I lost it all together!!