Thursday, May 31, 2007

Label it!

I try to label my quilts, often I fail~ There is a woman in my guild who does fabulous labels on all her quilts. She usually types them onto fabric, and they nearly always are part of a block or applique to match the front. Some day I will stomp on her hands.

oops, did I type that out loud? Really I strive to be like that, but mainly my labels are piece of muslin or white fabric with quick writing on them saying who they are for and who made them (me, duh) Though once in a while I do a good one. The one in this picture was made for a mother at my daughters school who was fighting breast cancer. She is in remission thank goodness. I did a floral lap quilt for her, and my sweet favorite cousin quilted it for us. I knew I had seen a ribbon paper pieced block and I had to do that for the label. Of course I had not saved it or printed it and I spent nearly as long searching online to find the pattern as I did making the quilt! But in the end I really was happy with it. You can also see my "pieced back". snicker

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What is making me smile!

A lot of things are making me smile lately. My new job for one. My good friends including my blog-sister from Florida. And the weather! Here are some pictures that are making me smile. The first is my Iris bed, I call it that, but it also has Peony's, Roses, Hostas, Violets, and Tulips. What I should have done is taken a before picture for you all to see. The weeds and grass were completely covering ALL the flowers, but today, daughter number two helped me weed them all out, trim, and clean up. Now those Peony's and Iris' can go to town!
The second picture is what is left of the pie I made yesterday afternoon. Rhubarb custard. Even daughter number 3 who doesn't like pie ate a piece!

The last picture is of the band director at daughter number 4's school. This was taken at the parade on Monday. I'm telling you, a nun marching down the street in tennis shoes and that big smile just has to make you smile back!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Baby quilt done in time!

If you recall, I worked on these bright star blocks on St Patrick's Day. Well the baby was not due until the beginning of June so I was very pleased to finish this quilt (except for the label) last week. I wanted to be completely done and give it to the parents early, but I didn't really want to write "Baby" on the label, I prefer a name~

Well, good thing I got this quilt done early because the baby came 4 weeks early!!
I did a skewed setting for my stars so they would be twisted and kind of random. Okay, I'm not a big fan of anything symmetrical. I took the blocks to my weekend job about a month ago to play with layouts. It was kind of fun watching a non quilting friend of mine keep trying to straighten them out and pair them up!
I even had a couple blocks left over so I could use one for the label! Woo Hoo!

Fortunately both baby and mom are doing fine, and honestly a baby over 7 lbs doesn't seem like he would be early does he? Well, what do doctors really know? Our last daughter came exactly on her due date, which we thought was kind of neat, but obviously it's not normal because every nurse in the OB area came and commented on it. Actually I hadn't even told anyone the due date because our other girls were all late and I got kind of sick of hearing "haven't you had that baby yet?" Just what every nine and half months pregnant woman wants to hear! Isn't it funny how when women get together we talk about babies and labor and pregnancy even when it's been YEARS??? My oldest baby will be 24 this fall!!

Monday, May 21, 2007


The past week has been so busy for me! I had family camping, I quit my job, got a new job, helped move two daughters home from college, and now started my new job.

I know that sounds so frivolous, but I have been job hunting for almost 4 months, and I got to the point where I had to quit whether I had something or not. Right after that I had a GREAT interview and got the job the same day. Whew!!!

At family camping I presented my sister in law and her husband with their wedding quilt. I know it's hard to see the blocks in this picture but it's so pretty outside!
Now we are trying to make room for two college students and their stuff. I cannot for the life of me figure out how they could fit all this stuff into half of a dorm room, and we can't fit it into a 2 story house!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tuesday, rainy Tuesday

I have today off from work, so I spent my morning doing some job hunting and call backs on resumes. Gosh, soooooo fun! (Not!)

Anyway, there is something strange going on with my head today. Okay okay, I hear some of you laughing. What I mean is, I'm listening to a wonderful book on tape that is set in Alabama and so

now I am thinking with a southern accent. And, darn, I'm goood at it! I'm just hoping my words don't come out that way tomorrow during my next job interview! I mean someone who was born, raised, and still lives in Wisconsin, has no business with a southern accent.

The other thing I am doing is baking cookies, which seems to give my dog a nice workout also. Yes, that does make sense, you see I'm baking in the kitchen (big surprise) and surfing in the den, so every time I get up to put a new batch in the oven he has to get up and follow me. Because that is what he does. He follows me. He follows me up stairs, down stairs, outside, inside, he even tries to follow into the bathroom. I gave him a bath in there once though, and that seems to have cooled his interest in that particular room.

Anyway, I was thinking (with an accent) as I was baking that I bet those of us who don't exactly follow a pattern when we are quilting are the same ones who don't always (or ever) follow a recipe exactly either. Actually I suppose that the recipe followers have something on me, since their dishes are likely to turn out every time. But, there is that occasional happy accident that would not happen if I did always follow the recipe. Again, quilting is a metaphor for life!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Topic of the Week

Our topic this week is whether we use patterns and follow them exactly or if we prefer to go with the flow.

I am definitely a FLOW girl! I love to go through books and patterns and magazines to get inspiration, but I don't think I have followed a pattern exactly since my very first quilt. I've never been one to do something just like everyone else. Thus it is difficult for me when I admire someones work and they offer to let me borrow the pattern. To say, "No I'd rather make my own" sound kind of snotty to me, and though I'm really quite good at being snotty, it has to be in the right context. The quilt I'm showing here is an example, I loved the main idea of this pattern, and it was neat learning to make the half square triangle blocks with the makers directions, but I didn't care for the borders she used, and I thought there should be more clouds, and a sun, instead of two moons, and I didn't want the background/sky to be all the same, so I gathered lots of starry prints, and then I didn't want all the stars to be the same, so I gathered lots of gold prints, then I started noticing different white prints......... Well, that's the way it went. I'm either creative or I just have a bad case of ADD.

The second quilt, is one that was just sewn together any which way, I used scraps nabbed from the garbage at a camp quilt and bits that the quilters "traded" to my daughter in return for stickers she was giving out. This is an older picture, it actually has binding and has been used and loved for years. I threw in a bunch of my scraps to make it big enough for a twin size bed, and after it was finished we found out the cow fabric glows in the dark!

I made several wall-hanging size quilts from their cast offs that weekend! My motto-- one quilters trash is another quilters stash! ;-)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Okay, new sewing room baby! I stopped at the local thrift shop yesterday and look what I found! It just spoke to me, it said "Mare, we belong together". I tried to resist, well I tried, but not very hard.
My sweet husband went and picked her up for me today since she didn't exactly fit in my little car. I was taking pictures of her in the living room thinking that I would just crop out the laundry basket in the chair behind her, and my 13 year old made me stop, then she whipped the quilt off the chair and gave me a nice backdrop. Is she a photographer or what?
So,here is my new baby. Isn't she pretty? And she works, and she is in good shape. Yes, she is mine mine mine! I have been thinking I should have a second machine in case my trusty Viking breaks down. And, sorry to say, the two treadle machines, and the old one of my grandmother in law, and my serger, and my daughters machines just do not count. ;-) I can't wait to try her out on some of my own fabric. woooooo hoooooooo

Monday, May 7, 2007

challenge for May

The subject for May for the online challenge group was language, and here is my version. I'm not sure if I even like it right now! ;-) It's funny, things go around in my head, and I play with them in my notebooks, but often when I get to fabric they end up evolving into something more. I'm showing the back as I kind of liked how the quilting showed up on the back more than the front. The pieces are supposed to be 8 X 8 and I started out with about 10 X 10 in case the quilting pulled it in too much, and I had the design going all the way out to the edge, now I wish I hadn't trimmed it so much and had just left it at 10 X 10 because I think the design was better. It feels a bit discordant to look at, must be the way I feel right now with my job hunt! The other thing I remembered from doing this, is that I am still not too crazy about quilting with metallic threads. I like how they look on art pieces, but I prefer to be able to just let fly and not worry about all that darn breakage!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

not sewing!

Today my youngest daughter and I went through some of my china and linens and "redecorated" the dining room. My daughter, Vanessa, loves to decorate, and she is still at the age where she will take my advice, or ASK my advice! And, she doesn't' think she knows everything yet! Could there be a better age??? Well, here are a couple of pictures of our play time~ The teacups are just pretty ones that I've collected, not especially valuable. Most of the plates on the racks are Limoges that my mother collected here and there, and I inherited when we moved her to assisted living.
Now that the downstairs portion of the house is all prettied up, I'm headed back up to my sewing room to get a few things done. I have to finish a jean quilt for my in laws before our mother's day camping trip. I had made it years ago, and put hand prints of all the children and grandchildren on it. In January my sister in law got married again and we not only inherited a brand new (wonderful) brother in law, we got two more nieces. So I needed to pick off one hand print (ex husband) and put on three more. I'll take a picture of that when I am done too! I also want to get the binding on the quilt I made them for their wedding present and give that to them while we are all together at the campground. So those are my sewing goals for this afternoon, and I better get a move on since it's 4:30 pm already!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

My dream quilt

Any dream quilt would involve my favorite cousin Anne, this is her sewing on a binding. But since "one of the worlds smallest quilt guilds" has not had a meeting in 2 years......... I'll have to think of something else.
Gosh, my dream quilt is a bit of a toughy for me. My first thought is that any quilt I dream about becomes a WHIMM, then becomes a PIG, then sometimes a UFO. I suppose I would really like to do a wedding ring, the traditional kind with the little curved pieces.

I guess actually my dream quilt would be to actually make all the doodled quilts in my notebooks. So maybe, my dream quilt is TIME!!! If we could all just do what our hearts desire, and not worry about the bills........... imagine the gorgeous quilts everywhere!!