Monday, June 30, 2008

Anniversary Quilt

I promised you pictures, but these pictures are not the best for true color.  It has been so rainy and the natural light bad that this was the best I could do.  Here are the 6 blocks I have finished.  

I took a few close ups too.

I would like to know what you all think of them.  I just love the actual colors.  So soft and sweet.  As always I have *helpers* in cat form and today's *helper* was Aiden.  I have 2 cat cubes and this one is on the rocking chair in the LR where I sew.  She would not get off the sewing table so I put some catnip in the cube and after she got high she went to sleep.  Isn't this a neat photo?  
I have heard from a few of you about stuff for Faith.  She is getting the steroid treatments and Jim is expecting to bring her home either Tues or Wed of this week.  Please let me know if you have something you would like to send to her to lift her spirits.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Anniversary Quilt

Yes, it is hard to believe but I have begun another quilt. It is one on the "gotta do" list but it is also one I want to do. Or at least I thought I did before I actually began it. I love the fabric, Simplicity fabrics, from Moda. I think the fabrics are just YUMMY!! Do you remember my friends, Karen and Cory that just got married? Well I made some 6" white squares for people to sign at the reception and had Karen choose a quilt block and the colors she wanted. She chose a soft aqua and a soft green and white. Of course I LOVE those colors too so I was excited to work on this quilt. She sent some of the plain white squares to Brazil (where she is from) for family and friends that could not be at the wedding so I will have to wait for those to finish the quilt. I am using the signature squares on the back.

Well, yesterday I began cutting the quilt out. I cut and cut and cut and cut some more. I finished the cutting this morning. WHEW!! Now the fun part, watching the blocks come together. So I began sewing. The first part, not so bad. It was a block I got from the Quilter's Cache called Morning Star 2. It is even shown in blue and green, perfect right? Yeah, you would think, but much matching!!!! ICKKKKKK!!!!!! So I bucked up and did the matching. These blocks took me forever to make. One block took me over an hour to make, I was *that* careful with it all. So far I have 6 of the 42 blocks done. I will post the photos tomorrow as my DS wants the computer back to play WOW soon. I think this will have to be a first anniversary quilt, what do you think?

On another note, I am excited to watch the Olympic trials for swimming this week. The first is tonight on NBC at 8pm. We actually have a friend that is swimming in the trials!!! How cool is that? I went on the USA swimming website (I know, BIG swim dork) and found the psych sheets (that list everyone that is competing in the order of fastest to slowest) and she is ranked 4th in 2 events!!! The 200 free and the 400 free. Her name is Allison Schmidt and the kids all called her Schmitty. She is a friend of DD#2(they went to HS together) and I know her parents from years of officiating for swimming. She is a really, really nice person on top of all that. She also qualified for 2 more events the 50 and the 100 free, but her best chance for making the team is in the other 2 events. Keep your fingers crossed!! I do have to say that the blocks are really beautiful!

Now Natalie tagged me for a Meme and here it is

A. List seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself.
B. Tag seven people to do the same.
C. Do not tag the person who tagged you or say that you tag "whoever wants to do it."

Seven Habits/quirks/facts about me...hmmmm.

1-I was a swimming official for 10 years.

2-I love cats and would have a million of them if I could do it without making my house into a giant litter box.

3-I can water ski on one ski. (Or could when I was young!)

4-I have to use my left foot first when going up or down stairs.

5-I tried to fly a water kite that my dad built when I was a teen (you know, you are strapped into it and ski with it behind a boat.)

6-I love to water toboggan! I love all water sports. I don't do them much anymore because I am not comfortable in my fat body.

7-I don't like being fat but find it difficult to eat less or exercise (I'd rather be quilting!!)

I guess that's enough, there are 7 of them, thanks Natalie!

I tag the following people:
1- Jeanne
7-Mama Koch

Now you all play along, ya hear??

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What to do??

First, before I say anything about what is in the header, Vicky at LA Quilter is having a give away of a jelly roll over at her blog to celebrate her 500th post. Pop on over and visit her for a chance to enter.

Now on to why I am really posting. For those of you who read my blog you know that I am friends with Faith of Nutbud Quilter. Her dog Scratch, had to have her leg amputated recently but is doing quite well. She is making an amazing quilt to help with the vet bills as well as hand quilting a top Mary sent her. (which was even nicer since they live in the UK and overseas postage is higher, thanks, Mary!) I was vacuuming this am and heard my phone chime, meaning someone had sent an email so I went to the other room and checked the crackberry. I was excited as it was from Faith, or so I thought and I had not heard from her in over a week, which was very unusual for her. Much to my surprise it was not Faith but her SO Jim. He was emailing me for Faith who had gone into the hospital because she had no feeling in the left side of her body! I immediately thought she might have had a stroke, which would be bad enough, but the doctors have diagnosed her with MS. I am stunned. She will be having a course of steroid treatments this week and then they will see how she is doing and make decisions from there.

I know that Faith and Jim don't have a lot of money (even though she has not said so in so many words) but she has a HUGE heart and would go out of her way for any one that needed her help. I would like to send a care package to her to cheer her up from what is awful news. If any of you are interested in sending her a package or a card please email me privately and I will give you her address. I know that quality cotton quilting thread is difficult and expensive for her to get and she loves to hand quilt!) Let's show her that the quilter's in this great big world care about her and just send a barrage of well wishes to her!

Take a minute in your busy schedule and thank God for the blessings you have in your life and include a little prayer for Faith and Jim who are going through so much right now. You guys are the BEST!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cats in the Cabin

Do you remember this little beauty?  I called it cats in the cabin because there are 4 paper pieced cats in the centers.  Now it has the awesome quilting done on it.  I sewed the striped binding on last night but have not turned it yet.

Here is a close up of one of the cats.
You can see the amazing freehand work of Liz the whiz best on the back.  This is what is around each of the cat blocks. (She is practicing the ring of flowers done freehand to use on the Posie quilt for my sister)
And this is what is around each of the pinwheel only blocks.
I think it turned out quite nicely, even though it is not my colors.  I have a small spot in the downstairs half bath that I put up wall hangings and change them out as I feel like it so this will make a round in there.

I also put the binding on the table runner that matches these colors.  I trimmed 2 of those quilted purses and will give them to one of the CL's to finish for the craft sale.  I sewed the back for the M string quilt and gave it to Liz today too.

No major plans for the weekend.  I need to get to the weeding in the garden. (but of course I would much rather be working at the sewing machine!  I have those cushions for the garden furniture to make so hope to get that done this weekend, we'll see (again NOT as much fun as quilting, now is it??)  So have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Orphan Blocks Have a Home

Yep...these babies are orphan blocks from the BIG M quilt.  I am showing you 2 photos of this.  The first one was one I took yesterday before I put the borders on.  I took the photo outside and the color is much closer to how the quilt actually looks.
Here it is inside with the borders on it.  I think they finish it off very nicely, don't you?
As is true with all orphans, with the right care they become beautiful!  Have a bright and beautiful day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hail to The Victors...Literally

I was working on finishing my "M" quilt into a top and we had a hail storm.  Short and sweet, but LOTS and LOTS of hail.  Maybe it is a sign that this needs to be the name of this quilt?  See all that hail on my deck?  My poor rose bush is growing through the slats on my deck so I thought this made a cool picture.

I did finish the M quilt and my friend Robin took these photos.  I included this one to show you all where we tape the flimsies and take the photos.  You can also see how BIG this quilt really is.  If you look in the window, you will see Lisa looking at me  = )
This is how the M quilt top finished.  I did add one row to make the "legs" of the M longer and now I am happy with it!  I took the left over squares and made another small top that I will show you once I get the border put on it.  I need to make a few more blue strings to do that but it is really cool!  I have quilting with the CL's tonight so should be able to at least get those done.  It will have used up my extra blocks and will be performing a community service too.  How you ask?  Well, there is a woman that works here at the U of M that is in charge of the Gift of Arts.  We have been asking for some space for display of our raffle quilts and the answer is always no.  Now she has been asking for a quilt for the gift of arts to display.  So (can ya see where I'm goin' with this?)  I have a small wall hanging and she is in need of a quilt so...yeah.  I'm hoping that will help us in the fall when we need display space.  Anyhoo, I will post the wall hanging once it is finished as a top, so please hold your breath...ROFLOL!!
What do you think of it now??

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend Fun

It was a good and productive weekend.  I got a chance to work in the garden.  I got a large section of it weeded (still lots more to do though! *sigh* it never ends).  These are some close ups of the beautiful lilies in DD#2's garden.  Aren't they beautiful?

Last week DS went to Lax camp and this was after he came home.  He was a little sunburned and very tired!  Jack felt it necessary to keep him company during his nap.  Notice the Texas fleece he is sleeping with?  I took the quilt so I can put a sleeve on it and de-cathairify it.  (Like that word I just made right up??)
I was determined to get the "M" string quilt, if not done, at least mostly done.  I had quilting with the CL's this Sat and worked on sewing the blocks into rows.  Here is Hallie helping me make the additional yellow blocks I needed to make to make this quilt work out how I wanted it to.
Here is the quilt all layed out at the church.  All the rows are finished but now sewn together.  I thought the "M" looked a little squat so I needed to make one more row to lengthen the "legs" of the "M".  I did manage to get the whole top finished on Sunday.  I will photograph it today (By the time I finished it it was dark outside and I don't have anywhere to put it inside).  It turned out to be 84" X 105", so it is a HUGE quilt.  
If you are a Michigan fan it certainly is an "in your face" Michigan quilt!  Now I just need to put a back together and I can had it off to Liz.  This is for the Pathology raffle for this fall.  So, what do you think?

Friday, June 20, 2008

What a Day We Had!

Every once in awhile you have one of those really great days.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I had to opportunity to meet Jeanne of luv2stitch blog fame.  We both live in Michigan and decided to meet half way from where we both live.  We met up at Linda's Country Quilt Shop in Davison, MI.  The shop was great and it was such fun to meet such a wonderful new friend!  Here we are with our purchases!!  

There was a state of Michigan quilt hanging up in the shop for raffle and this was one of the blocks!  clever use of the Spartan "S" isn't it?
We both brought show and tell and Jeanne brought her Dear Jane top which was super fantabulous!!  She had made a bag with itty bitty Dear Jane blocks in it too but I forgot to get a picture (maybe you can hop over to her blog and beg her to post a photo of it, you won't be sorry you asked, it is awesome!)  The blocks in the bag finish at 3"!!  Too tiny for me.
Now just to show you what a sweetheart she is she brought me this little bag and this fat quarter of Northwestern fabric (she helps me find Big Ten fabric for our Big Ten raffle quilt!)  All together now, awwwwe!!!  She is such a nice person.
After we spent time at Linda's (which is an amazing shop BTW) we traveled to Fenton, MI which is about 30 minutes from Davison.  There is a little quilt shop there, The Quilter's Garden.  Well, the shop is no longer little!  It has moved down the street and has expanded.  That was fun too.  I bought some more red and white fabric and a book (you'll see it in a minute)  We then went for lunch at The French Laundry.  It is a wonderful deli type place.  It is owned by Zingermans (for those of you who know the place in Ann Arbor) and the food is delish!
They use locally grown produce and the lettuce here is grown hydroponically.  I thought the bowls with the lettuce growing in them made a neat photo!
Here we are with our lunch.  mmmmmmmm
I had corned beef, swiss cheese and coleslaw with Russian dressing on rye.  Yumo!!
Jeanne had an applewood smoked bacon with cheddar cheese on raisin bread.  mmmmmm
Now, just in case you haven't drooled enough, this is what I bought at Linda's.  I wan to make the red and white star quilt that is shown at Quilting is my passion.  It is awe inspiring.  But I have little to no red and white fabrics, hence all my purchases on this trip.  I know I will need more though.  Aren't they pretty?
I also love this castle fabric and couldn't resist.  I am a sucker for anything that might be con strewed as related to King Arthur!  Isn't it cute?

Then at the Quilter's Garden I bought more red and white fabrics.  It is amazing that these are all different from the first ones.  Now if any of you have any red and white or white and red fabrics that *need* to leave your stash, I will be happy to give them a home! LOL.  I'm just sayin'  stash reduction bein' the rage and all right now.

My DH loves anything Lincoln (since it is his last name) so when I saw this I had to buy it.  The quilt is quite scrappy, which DH is crazy about too.  So I figured it was a great match all the way around.  Who knows when this will get planned, but I have to book when I am ready to do it, right?
All in all it was a super amazing day.  Thanks for such a fun day, Jeanne.  Now we will have to include Pat in the fun when she gets to MI.  Anyone else up for a road trip??

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quilty Progress

Who says writing a blog isn't inspirational?  I did NOT feel like making this block last night but I remembered that I told you all that I was going to make this block  so I *had* to do it, right?  When I got home from work DH asked me if I wanted to walk to the Chinese restaurant for dinner.  Of course, are you kidding me?  So we went to dinner and when I got home I felt like a slug but...I just *knew* you were holding your breath waiting to see this here it is!  I love the fabric but did not like making this block.  Too many little seams to match.

Here is the little table runner made from left over fabric from 2 big quilts and then another small quilt.  I got it back from Liz yesterday all quilted up and now I just need to put the binding on it.
I love this little quilt.  I did the star in a class in Paducah and then added the fish border.  I asked Liz to quilt something from the sea on it as I wanted to call it "Star of the Sea".  So she just went to town.  
There is a crab with some seaweed.
A little fishy,
An octopus,
And this little sea horse!
But my favorite is in the middle, a huge Sand Dollar!  I think Liz did a fantastic job on this one!!
Then I decided I needed to make cushions for my patio furniture.  I have these 4 wicker chairs and one love seat.  I want to just cover pillows and use those in the furniture instead of making actual cushions (hate using piping and zippers).  This is the fabric I found that I want to use.  This one is aqua but it comes in gold, orange and lime so my dilemma is whether I need to use all the colors, just aqua or aqua and lime (a lot of my house is done in aqua and lime).  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Wedding and WIP Progress

Wow-wee it was a jam packed weekend!  Our friends, Karen and Cory got married on Saturday.  The reception was in my boss's back yard.  Here is a picture of me with my sweetie, we clean up well, huh?
This is my friend, Karen, the blushing bride.  She was beautiful and glowing.  We had such a good time at the reception.  They had a DJ and got a dance floor and we all danced until we could dance no more.  I can't remember having such fun!  I gave them the U of M quilt and they loved it (especially Cory!).  I had squares for them to sign to use on the back on another quilt that they will be able to put on their bed.  
Now then, I have been pretty restrained since Paducah but I could not help myself and did a little shopping at The Fat Quarter Shop.  They have an amazing site but I needed *special* help so had to call them and they were so nice and helpful!  You really must go and check them out.  So here is the package that I got in the mail on Monday.  It has the most wonderful Mystery sampler BOM.  Check it out, you will just love the designers (each one is doing a different block each month)  I also got a yard of the turquoise you see for the fresh squeezed fabric I bought in Paducah (no one had this and I want it for a border).  
Here is the fabric for the Mystery Sampler BOM.  The fabric collection is Peace on Earth by Three Sisters.  It is just beautiful!  This is the first block.  I plan to cut and sew it tonight.
Now I missed out on Holly Jolly last year and this is the same colors but the line is called Merry and Bright.  I just love it and bought a layer cake of this line.
I went ahead and bought the finishing kit for the BOM as well.  Please, of pretty please, do NOT tell DH about this package.  He would not understand, but I just *had* to buy these things!  I also wanted the Winter charm pack but restrained myself.  Those fabrics are so beautiful too.  Maybe later!
Isn't this a fine pile of blue strips?  I am making that strippy blue and yellow "M" quilt and have been busy making the blue blocks for it.  I need 120 of these, 52 yellow and 8 half and half.
The half and half ones are kind of cool.
Jack decided he needed to make the strips all furry, just in case someone else needed to make a cat from all his fur!
I had to show you how nicely DD's garden is growing.  Just look at those lilleys!
Aren't they stunning??
I think it looks so calm and peaceful.  Can you see the birdhouse hanging there?  It is Frankenstien's monster.  I should get a photo from the front to show you.
I am going to meet up with Jeanne at a quilt shop in Davidson on Thursday.  I am so excited that we will be getting to meet!  Have any of you that met while blogging actually met in real life?  Tell us your stories!