Saturday, December 22, 2007

Are You Ready For Christmas

Who would think this wreath was ugly! Well it was. My mom sent it to me a few years ago. she had just stuffed a bunch of hodgepodge things into the green wreath part including little sports balls of all kinds, plastic candy canes, cardboard ornaments, the red and silver berries and the bow. I actually hung it like that for a couple of years and since she did not actually attach anyting things began to slide out. Well this is a good thing. I had made the wreath in the previous post from scratch and was on a roll so I decided to redo this one. It sat on the table a few days with just the greenery and the pine cones (those were actually attached. I had some of the plastic red bulbs left over from the other wreath so I attached those. Then I used floral wire to attach the silver and red berries. I took the bow apart and retied it. Voila! I sure looks nice now hanging on the front door. I forgot how much I liked making wreaths and think I need to do one for spring. I think I actually have all the stuff I need with the exception of the frame. Guess it is time to go to Hobby Lobby and see what I can find there.

We got snow again yesterday and it looks like a winter wonderland again! It is a wet snow so the pines and juniper are pretty much covered with thick snow on their branches with the needles poking thru. This morning we took a walk around the yard and saw lots of deer tracks, coyote track, mouse tracks and rabbit tracks. It is amazing how may animals are out there and also fun to see their comings and goings.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Cheer

The wreath in the photo is the one that I made to go on the gate. Well it hangs out in the living room now insead of outside. It just looks too nice not to have it somewhere where I can enjoy it all the time instead of just a welcome home. The wreat is made out of a wire frame for wreaths, floral wire to attach everything and keep things in place and secure, pinecones, fake red berries, cheap plastic Christmas ornaments, a premade bow, and one and a half of those garlands from Hobby Lobby. I think I spent about 2 hours putting it all togher. I think I need to hit the after Christmas sale and see what supplies I can find for 90% off and store away for next year.
I did not work on that pesky quilt yesterday. I did however get 3 more flowers appliqued to my log cabin quilt and have one more to do on the 3rd corner and then I get to put on the leaves. I love appliqueing on the leaves as they are just so simple and there are no inside points. Once those are on I can begin on the 4th border.
Now to get back to getting stuff ready for Christmas. I still have gifts to wrap, some cleaning to do and a few details I need to get done. Yep there are still a few cards to write.
This time of year it would be nice to just take a long soak in the tub with a brand new quilt book or magazine with tons of great photos.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Counting Down

Well if I had a really cool blog I would have lots of cool photos of what I have been up to. Actually I just tried to photograph my wreath I made the other night but the light was so bad that the photo did not come out. Maybe I should try again when it is daylight.

The other day I decided that our gate needed a wreath this year so I went off to Hobby Lobby to find one. Well they did have some really nice premade ones all ready to go but even at 50% off I decided I was not gonna invest so much in a wreath that was gonna be outside in the snow, wind and maybe rain if the temp went up (you just never know). I finally decided to make one and found all the stuff to make one for less that the cost of the really nice ones. Well I made a really beautiful wreath with great plastic ornaments (which were really quite pretty and also on sale). I also put red berries on it not sure what those were made of but they were pretty cheap so I got em. I just used a garland that I went around the large frame twice with. Everything was attached with floral wire. There was the big red bow at the top and real pine cones that I had in a basket in the bathroom (figure I can always get more of those. Well I wanted to admire my work so I put my wreath where I usually hang the one I put up in the living room every year. Hummm this wreath looked better than the other one so guess is still there. Guess I will have to make another wreath for the year. I also took the time to redo the wreath I had and now with the makeover it looks wonderful. Garlands are hung over the balcony with ribbons made from the after Christmas sale from last year. The tree is cut from the yard and all decorated. I even got about half of my cards done today. Most of the gifts are purchased but I still need to wrap. I am starting to think I might just get thru Christmas this year without a huge last minute rush.

Today I even worked on a quilt I have been trying to finish like forever. Bad news is that it is still not finished but the good news is that I was working on the border which is mostly the last thing to be done. I do have to go back a do a tiny bit more detail in a few of the blocks but since I need to change thread color I went for the border first. Who knows I might actually get this quilt finished before New Year! Now that would be wonderful.

Seems nobody has been by my blog or at least nobody is making any comments. Wonder if everyone is just busy or if I need to get more glitzy photos going :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Getting Close

Have you ever had a project, in this case a quilt, that seems to just never end. Yep we have likley all had those. Right now for me is is my friend's quilt. I have had the top forever now and finally began quilting it a few months ago. The top was so beautiful that I was scared to touch it at first. It is an awesome sampler. In any case I finally got it loaded on the machine only to have problems with the thread; bottom line. After struggling with that I called the company that makes that thread and they told me some changes to make on threading my machine and adjusting the tenision. Then the thread seemed to jsut disapear in the print of the fabric so I could not really see it when I was quilting. Yes this is indeed a problem as I cannot visualize where I am going. Again problem solved by useing my husbands shop light on a stand shinng from the side and the rest of the room is in darkness.

Mind you this quilt deserved something special so of course that means custom heirloom quilting. So I have been working away on this for a couple of months between other quilts. I try to work on it a few hours at a time when I can. Now is the time to just get it done and out of my studio. I have been making this my main focus this week and it is finally starting to get to the end stages. I have a few more things to quilt on just a few of the 13 blocks. The sashing needs a little thread ripped and requitled where I was having the initial thread problems and then the border needs to be quilted.

I wish I could wave the wand and have it done but figure if I really try it will get done in a couple more sessions on the machine. Now why do some things take forever like this one and others just get done in a snap?

I have decided to also work on my log cabin applique border again. It had been set down for a few weeks and the past three days I have picked it up again and have made some good progress. A little each day will get it done eventually!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Suzanne's Christmas Meme

I saw this on Threadtails blog and thought I would do it as it looked like fun. Feel free to comment and then do your own on your blog. If you read this consider yourself tagged!

1 Apple cider, eggnog or hot chocolate? Are you about a latte with some Bailey's!

2 Turkey or Ham? Well it could be either depending on the year but this year I think I am gonna opt for a stuffed pork loin roast this year.

3 Does Santa wrap or just set them under the tree? Santa always wraps every gift here.

4 Colored or white lights on the tree? I love the white lights. I have a ton of them and this year I am gonna put them on the garlands that go on the balcony too.

5 Fake or real-cut-it-yourself-tree? We cut a tree out of our yard..........they are not always the most spectacular but we enjoy picking one out as much as anything.
6 Favorite Christmas song? Whatever I can sing along to. I think I love them all!

7 How do you feel about Christmas movies? I love them. My very favorite is Its a Wonderful Life.............but then I am a huge Jimmy Stewart fan.

8 Favorite Holiday dish? I love the cookies especially the ones with ground nuts.

9 When is it too early to start the Christmas music? Figure any time after Thanksgiving. I usually enjoy putting it on when decorating as it is a good way to set the mood.

10 What is your favorite holiday smell? The smell of the fresh pine of the Christmas tree.

11 How did you learn the truth about Santa? What do you mean? He brings gifts here so I think that he must be real.

12 What kind of decorations are on your tree? The tree is a hodgepodge of ornaments. Some very nice and others homemade. It is a tree of memories.

13 Open presents Christmas Eve or Day? Both. We usually open on gift on Christmas Eve because nobody here can wait that long.

14 Go to someone else’s house or have them at yours? This year we are gonna stay here.

15 Giving or receiving? I Love giving gifts. The look on someones face when they open a gift that the love is better than anything else.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Time To Get Back To Work

Well the Thanksgiving holidays are over and it was great. I think I spent more time in the kitchen than anything else. Now mind you there was not just the "big" dinner but then there was all the cleanup afterwards. Leftovers to put away and then trying to come up with things to do with those leftovers. I spent half a day just making turkey soup. It sure was good though and there is still some in the freezer for lunches.

Kind of reminds me of quiltmaking. You make the quilt and then have to clean up afterwards. Then there are all the scraps to deal with. I don't know about you but I save anything big enough to make a triangle that will make a half square triangle that will be 1" finished size in a block................that is pretty small. Then you have to spend the time to use those scraps as well.

Now that all that feasting and cooking are over it is time to get back to quilting. I did a UFO yesterday. Yep I actually put one of my own tops on the longarm. It was a mystery quilt that I did a couple of years ago. I was not crazy about it so it has been languishing on my pile of tops. Well I just acquired the Koko panot by Jodi Bemish and decided to try it on this top and give it to my mom for Christmas. The quilt is much improved with the little Kokopelli's dancing all over the surface of it now.

While I am waiting for the next Christmas quilt to arrive I will be working on the binding of my mom's quilt. Hopefully that top will arrive in today's mail as I need to get to it ASAP
when it does so I dare not load anything else as all the quilts left here at this point are custom with no deadlines and they will each take some time to quilt. My extra leaders are already on a custom job which requires different thread than my usual so I have to play with tension..............ok so I am not gonna quilt today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last Weeks Work

I know this is not the best photo but you can see the interlocking swirls of my new Quilt EZ spiral template. Now do not be fooled as it only looks quick. See that interlocking part........well there is a trick to that and it means stop and start, stop and start and then at the end there are thread tails to tie and bury. I calculated that there were over 1000 thread tails in the queen sized quilt! This design is well worth doing for the beauty but be prepared to spend the time to deal with the stops and starts. There are many other things that can be done with the template and hopefully I will get to play with it again soon. This quilt and the two others are now on their way back home to their owner in a pretty big box. Considering that I also did one other quilt last week that is not bad for getting alot accomplished!

This week it is back to that custom heirloom. I made some good progress on it again yesterday and hope someday soon it will come off the frame finished. It is satisfying to see the beautiful design from the quilting evolve and emerge. I am doing alot of small McTavish and some pebble fill as well in the 13 blocks. The setting triangles are all finished as well as the sashing. I have a couple more blocks for the fill and then I can go back and do larger details in the blocks like little feathers, straight lines and such. Then the border and it will be done.

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is almost here. This week I am making a menu of dishes and getting all the recipes lined up. Then to make a shopping list to ensure I have everything I need. Then I always make a schedule of what to do when so all the dishes are done at the same time with the exception of the pie which goes in the oven as the food goes on the table. Another thing I do the night before is lay out all the utensils, bowls etc each dish needs in its own counter space along with all the non perishable ingredients I will be needing. Then I have the perishable items all organized in the fridge so I know where each is. The worst part of the entire feast is the realization that I spend all day in the kitchen preparing and then it is all eaten in about an hour with about half and hour after for dessert.........................then there is the cleanup! This year my daughters will each be in charge of at least one dish so they will make a contribution and hopefully will have some fun as well.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My New Favorite Toy

I like to do a variety of things on my longarm so when a customer has a request for something I need a new tool or panto for and I like that tool I will get it for their quilt. Ths is how I recentley aquired the Baptist fan templates from the Quilt EZ company. Kinda pricey but I wanted them and figured I would be able to pay for them with a few quilts. Yep they are now paid for as of this week.

Well someone had a beautiful batik quilt and wanted to know what I thought would be a good design so I did my usual research which consists of looking at photos of quilts on the web. I found a really cool swirl and the more I looked the more different things I saw that could be done with that swirl. Quilt EZ made a template for that so I got it. Well I am using it on that batik quilt today and it is my new favorite toy. Boy does this tool make an awesome design. Well the problem is now I will need to make quilt just so I can use this tool for myself. I will post some photos of this quilt and a few others when I get a chance. Likely next week or if I am lucky over the weekend.

Boy do I love my job. How many people can work at home in their jammies (well I am not wearing my jammies today but some days I do) doing something they love. For me quilting is what I love!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dancing With My Longarm

I am usually a partime Longarm quilter but this last couple of weeks I have gone fulltime! Whoo Hoo the holiday rush has finally arrived for me. I could not be happier at all the business this last couple of weeks! This week I am trying to get 3 large quitls finished and I have done 2 of them already and one charity quilt as well (had to practice that new panto before I tried it for the first time on a customer quilt). I have the 3rd quilt loaded and ready to go tommorow. It is a Quilt EZ swirl and it will be my first try at this pattern...............I jsut love the design and am excited to try this one.

Hopefully next week I will have some photos of the new quilts to share.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Too Much Information

This is our cat Thomas. He is King Cat and resides over the house over all other living creatures that dwell therein. He rules over the dogs and keeps them in line not to mention the people. Mostly he sits up on his cat perch where he can keep an eye on the comings and goings thruout the day. At night he roams the house or curls up on a bed. On cold nights when the house cools off he will borrow under the blankets and curl up quite content with his life.

Wish I could be more like Thomas. Well actually I would likely get bored after the first few days of that. Nope my life if full of activity and things that are in need of being done. I am wife, mother, housekeeper, chauffeur, cook, laundry girl, secretary, counselor, tutor, personal assistant. Oh yes and did I forget to mention Professional Longarm Quilter. Well life is sure full and busy with two growing girls and a husband that is most used to referring to me as stay at home mom since the youngest was about one year old. After reading another blog this morning, well I have read quite a few other blogs this morning, not to mention a few quilting websites and I have not even visited all of them yet I came across some real wisdom.

We do live in an age of information. Just think here I sit in rural New Mexico and only wave at my neighbors but never actually speak to them but I converse daily with people from all over the globe without leaving the house. I can while away tons of time in front of (not the TV) but the computer. In fact I do not watch much TV. Nope I am a computer addict.....................ok see there I have said it! The fact is that I go to someones blog and they are describing something. New fabric, new supplies, or some gadget so off I go in search of that on the Internet. Then something else attracts my attention, and on and on. I can just waste away tons of time seeing all sorts of wonderful things on the Internet. I can sit here in my rural house, in my jammies, uncombed hair, and see the whole world. Amazing!

Now I vow to get off this computer and go work on that wonderful sampler on the frame. Yesterday I got the sashing done and had to order more thread. Today I am gonna quilt till I least that is the plan!

Monday, October 29, 2007

I Changed The Colors of My Blog

Being a person that is all about colors and seeing colors in different ways I was messing around (now I should actually be off quilting). I have been playing with color combinations and features of my blog and came up with this new combo. I would like to hear from you if you like it or hate it, or even if you just don't care either way. Likely I will get bored with these colors and change them again in the comming months. Maybe you remember I began with a black background but soon realized that was too hard on my eyes so went for a softer look. Ok tell me what you think!

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been hoping for more quilts and seems like everyone is coming out of the woodwork asking for quilting lately. I am so excited! I think I am gonna be pretty busy this month and likely next month as well. I am beginning to feel like people are finding me.

There are gonna be some decisions along the way as I have been getting requests for some (quilts from scratch) lately. One person only gave me colors and she wants something traditional.............nothing else. Now that is gonna be a challenge but then I love challenges. Figure I will get on my thinking cap and come up with a few options from simple to somewhat more complex in a variety of prices and see which one she likes.

My big challenge is going to be trying to get something ready for Machine Quilters Showcase. I downloaded the entry forms from the shows after seeing the links on Suzanne's site. Figure if I keep a schedule and get going now I will be ready. I do have a pile of my tops so just need to quilt that is easier said than done because my last quilt logged 40 hours of quilting time on the longarm. Thank goodness for zippered leaders so I was able to work between customer quilts. Now to decide on a top!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Meeting Myself Comming And Going!

Have you ever felt frozen to even do anything because of the sheer volume of all the things you have to do. It seems like my life has become a juggling act in the last half year. I just have too many acts and hats to maintain and want it all simpler. Being wife, mother, soccor coach, Ways And Means Chair in my guild, taxi driver for the kids and Professional Longarm Quitler.

I have to put up quilts for a craft show as part of my guild duties tomorrow. Then Sat I have to coach soccor and go back to work at the show and take it all down. Come Sunday soccor will be over, the show will be over and maybe there is a chance that things will calm down a bit. I kinda feel like I just want to sit and work on my quilting and relax with nobody asking me for this and that.

Well already I feel the pull of having to get off the computer to go get things done around here, then there are all the helpers for the quilt show I need to call to remind them where and when to be, soccor certificates to make up for the end of the season party on Saturday, have to straighten up the house..............................looks like a hurricane has blown thru here and I do not have clean clothes to wear much less can find the floor of the closest.

Ok time for a list and a prayer that next week I will be able to recoup and just take a deep breath and begin a more relaxed daily routine!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ok Fall Is Over, Now Its Winter

Well at least it seem like winter. It is snowing outside. Well at least flakes are comming out of the sky even if they are not sticking they are here. Last night the wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof might blow off the house or I might wake up with the house next to the Yellow Brick Road. It has been blowing all day too and the temperature has been dropping. Dark clouds were brewing to the North and then finally we get flakes. Now we have a fire going. When you live at 7000 feet seems like Winter comes sudden and fast!

I got my leaves pinned to the 2nd quarter of the log cabin border today and now need to get them all appliqued on. I am so hopping to get them on this week so I can put the vines on the next section. The more I work on this top the better I am liking it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Hate To Clean House!

I so hate to clean house but even worse I hate a messy house. I guess I have let things go and today was cleaning day at least downstairs. I only have the energy to clean one floor per day and the upstairs will have to wait till next Friday. The problem is yes I did have a housekeeper but got tired of paying her good money and then I would bust my buns to get ready for her and tidy up. Then after she left there were always those things not done. No spider webs cleaned off the walls or ceiling, no baseboards dusted and believe me living in the desert there is dust, no deep cleaning in the corners and crevices. I noticed the shower doors one day and they were looking like a microbiology experiment. Well it was time for her to go so I gave her the boot. Well now instead of helping every other Friday I get to clean one floor each Friday.

The worst thing about all the work is that is just does not stay clean. By the end of the week it is time to do it again. Yikes! I think of other things I could do instead of clean. I could quilt, sew, play on the computer, draw, go for a walk, play with the dog and a whole bunch of other things. Guess it is better to clean than the alternative of having to walk thru all the mess as that is just no plain fun either.

The good news is that I have been working on my applique border the past two days. I got all the flowers sewn on the second corner now and am starting to do the leaves. Once the leaves are done (and they go pretty fast and easy) it will be time to put vines on corner number three. It is finally beginning to look really nice when I lay it out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I finally finished and delivered this quilt. It was on my frame for what I thought was forever but really only 10 days. I did not work on it each of those days but I did spend quite a large amount of time on it. The quilt is 100x100 and then there were two matching pillow shams (photo on the left). I did load all three items on the frame together. The shams on the left side one above the other and then the quilt to the left. This took up most of the space on my frame (14 foot frame). I did use my Reneas Amazing Arcs for the spines of the feathers that went diagonal across the entire quilt. They really were amazing as the 23 inch one was just perfect for the right curve. Then in the borders I used another curve tool that is made for feathers and this also made for really nice feathers. The customers husband was most excited when I delivered the quilt and loved it so much he went across the street to have the neighbor come over and see it.
Well now I have the sampler back on the frame and I am gonna work on it exclusively till it is finished. I am going to try some new things on this one and will post photos when it is done.
The weather here has gone from cool to cold! The trees are beginning to drop the gold leaves as well. Seems like Fall came and is almost gone. At least the colorful part of Fall. I bet it will not be long before we get our first snow of the season.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On The Home Stretch

Anyone that uses a longarm knows that when you unpin your quilt and turn it for those borders along the side you are on the home stretch. Boy all I can say is that I way underestimated the time that this one would take. Now how hard can it be to do some feathers all across the quilt on the diagonal. Well when the King sized and there are two pillow shams with it. The quilt has been on the frame now since the beginning of the month. I am so hoping to finish today and get it off my frame. I will say that is is a very striking quilt and the feathers look really awesome. I will have to file this experience away in my memory that it takes time and effort. I will post some photos of this one when it is finished.

I wish I could say I had something quick and easy to do next........................nope! I have another high end custom job that is already partially done to finish up. I guess this means that I will be spending a lot of time with my machine trying to get that one out the door as well.

At least I am busy and for that I am grateful.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


It is Balloon Fiesta time in Albuquerque again! Just imagine 700 balloons being inflated and taking off. It is a sight that is beyond words. The array of colors and shapes is wonderful to see. This along with people who come from all over the USA and other contries as well. The festivites begin offically at 5:45 am each morning with the dawn patrol. This is a small group of balloons that go up just as there is faint light comming over Sandia Crest. Each time the pilot of the balloon uses the burner to refresh the hot air the balloon glows. Then around 7am before you can see the sun over the top of the mountains the balloons begin to inflate for the mass ascension. Hundreds of balloons are being inflated and as they take off the chase crews are trying to get off the balloon park to go after them. Then another crew comes in to park in that space and inflate so they too can take off. This goes on for over two hours. People are welcome to walk around on the field so you are in a forest of balloons all around.
I have not even had time to go thru my photos yet and hope to do so this week. I will likely go again next weekend as Sunday is the farewell Ascension where they will all go up again. This means even more photos. This is as long as the weather cooperates. In past years there have been times they do not go up due to high winds or rain.
I think this year I will endeavor to submit a design for our guilds Balloon quilt. I know I have enough photos that are mine to come up with a nice composition. There is a contest and one winner is selected and that quilt is created and raffle tickets are sold.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why Does Life Always Get In The Way!

I really want to be quilting today but there are too many other things to be done today. I have spent my entire morning preparing our travel trailer for taking it to park at the Balloon Fiesta Park. Now to just put things back in and make the beds, put towels in and other things like that. At least the end is in sight for that little project!

Can you say tornado! Looks like one has ripped thru my house. I have been busy the last week and the house blew up. I think it has something to do with my two girls who can't seem to find a place for everything and put everything its place. Well there is a a place for everything if the floor and tabletops count for a place.

I did work on the huge quilt on the frame yesterday. It is coming along really nicely. I am just starting to use guides for the spines of my feathers and what a HUGE difference that makes. I think this one is gonna be gorgeous whenever I get it done. I will post some photos when it is finished.

Now the upcoming Balloon Fiesta should be fun. This year I am going to focus on photography! Each year I wish I would take more and better photos. Good thing for digital cameras with large capacity memory chips. I think I can take about 200 photos so I will start with an empty disk so I will not have to worry about how many times I click that shutter. I am so hoping to get some awesome shots. Of course I will show a few of the best and also hopefully there will be some future quilt designs in there as well.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Feeling Productive Again

I think I am finally out of the quilting funk! I have been in a rut. I had a large sampler on the machine and was just frozen. Well I finally took it off..................thank goodness for zippered leaders. I put on the vintage quilt that I had to do major repairs on. The borders were really wavy so I took them off and reattached them. There were some places where there was no seam..........................yep gaps, so I fixed those. I also had to remove the sashing from the center of the quilt and reattach that as it was puckered! Lots of work but it was done over several days over a week ago. I used my new Quilt EZ baptist fan and wow what a difference that made to the look of that top. I had to do some fussing as there were places the quilt just did not lie does now!!!!!!!

The photo is the before it was quilted.................I have to take an after photo.

So now I have another quilt ready to go.......................with a 14 foot table I have the backing loaded and it is pretty close to the sides. I hope to get this one done over the next two or three days. The worst is that the sampler has to go back on too.

With all this I am trying to keep going with my applique border and did work on it a bit yesterday. No way I will do an entire corner like last week. I will try to keep at it though and make progress. My goal on this is to enter it somewhere so the sooner it is done the better.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

And So Life Goes On

Having attendended a funeral last Friday I have been reflecting a lot. Life is indeed short but also very precious. For each of us there are only so many days. We do not know how many we have when we begin. The short story is that we really need to use what time we do have for doing those things we love. The most precious of all are those people in our lives that are family and friends. They are what makes life good.

Things here are pretty busy and I can't get caught up on it all. I have been working each morning on my log cabin quilt though quite faithfully. I have one corner almost finished. All that is left is the bunny in the corner and it is done. This coming week I will try to continue on the next corner. I am not sure if I can complete the entire corner in one week but I know that I sure can in two. Right now I am making it a personal goal to have this top ready for quilting the end of October and the quilt entirely finished by the end of the year. I began the quilt in January so I figure as long as I can get it finished I will have at least done one quilt this year.

I think I am going to take a long and hard look at my UFOs and try to do a little catch up. First I am going to catalogue all of them and then try to get some of them finished. I have decided not to try too hard to join UFO groups as that will rush me and I am not the kind of person that wants to be rushed with my creativity. I find that when I am I do not produce my best work. Instead I will see if I can indeed finish something and then after the fact will enter it into the UFO drawing for that month in MQ I guess I am joining but not placing a deadline on myself. If I do not finish a UFO one month then there is always the next month.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Farewell Donna

I received news that a wonderful member of my guild passed away last night. I can not really say we were good friends but we were well acquainted. I only got to know Donna a couple of years ago when I first got my longarm. She was the chairperson of the charity group in my guild and I had contacted her to get some quilts to practice on. She was such a wonderful person and we must have spent a couple of hours on that first phone call. Turns out she was a cancer survivor and had a longarm of her own. She wanted to do the charity quilts to give something back. After talking to Donna for so long and pouring our hearts out about this and that I looked forward to getting to know her better.

It was not but a few months later that she shared that terrible news that the cancer was back. Now having a medical background I well knew that this is pretty grim news and knew well the road that Donna was likely to have to travel down as I had lost two family members to cancer. The guild did a wonderful comfort quilt for Donna which I volunteered to quilt for her. I cried as I worked on it. There were tons of messages written on all the blocks. I also prayed as I worked on it. She cried when it was presented to her. Each time I saw Donna she was a little weaker and sicker. She never complained about her illness, but rather just received the love we all gave to her with grace and joy.

Some of Donna's friends went to her house one day and gathered up all her UFO's to finish for her. I was given on special project and asked to quilt it. I did some fancy McTavishing and some wonderful work in the blocks. I think she gave the quilt to her daughter..............I am hoping it becomes an heirloom or maybe a very special baby quilt.

The last time I saw Donna was at a quilt show last May. She was thin and pale. She was in a wheelchair and her had her oxygen tank attached to the back. She was so delighted to see me and she and her husband stopped to talk to me. We talked about all the beautiful fiber arts on display.

Last night she took her final breath and I am so sorry that I never got to know her better. I will miss her and think of her. I put a photo of the quilt I quilted for her on my professional website some months back. Now every time I open my website I will remember Donna. She gave me lots of quilts to practice on and helped me along my way. I know she did a lot for many but she also touched my life in a way she never knew.


My log cabin quilt seems to be something I cannot put down. This morning I decided I just had to work on it and began appliqueing the flowers onto the vines. I got all 6 flowers done on one of the corners. There is one last flower to place in the corner of the border. Well those looked so wonderful I decided I would see how that vine and flowers would look with the leaves laid down. I pulled out the leaves, the last flower, a bunny and the house for the center top of the quilt and laid them out................................................what a joyful moment when I stood back to admire this quilt! I am quite excited about finishing this top. It is going to be just wonderful. No there are not gonna be any photos for awhile at the least as I have decided to keep this under wraps for now.

Now I cannot figure out where my day has half flown off to! I was going to work on the vintage customer quilt and get that border reattached and then quilt it. Well I know I can get that border on and likely load it on the machine but not sure how much I will get quilted today. That log cabin is singing its siren song right now!

I have just decided there are not near enough hours in the mornings!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I came home from my guild meeting yesterday with two new ribbons. My guild holds a quilt show at the New Mexico State Fair each year and the ribbons are viewers choice. No viewers choice is a tough one to compete in as each person selects only one quilt as their favorite in each category and there were tons of bed quilts. My Harmony above (and its proud owner next to the quilt) got a second place ribbon. I also got a first place ribbon in the contemporary category with Elyse's Garden:

I can't find a photo on my computer for that one so the link is to my webshots page.
The ribbons were a really nice surprise as there were some really pretty quilts in that show. I quilted a quilt for a guild member and her quilt got a third place ribbon in the wall hanging category. In the State Fair competition another person entered a quilt I quilted for her and it got a second place ribbon. All in all it was a good year for ribbons for me at the State Fair.

I have been working on my log cabin applique border. The vine in one corner is finished. Now I need to applique the flowers, buds, leaves and a rabbit. I really love the way this border is taking shape and I could just while away the whole day working on it but I can't. I have customer quilts piling up. Today I need to deal with the border I removed from a vintage quilt. I was going to do a Baptist Fan but the border was so wavy I had to remove it and now I need to reattach it and get the quilt finished. My goal is to have that one quilted tomorrow and off the machine.

This morning it was really cold here when I went out to walk the puppy. Even with a light jacket it was downright cold! I think that the Gammil Oaks will be turning here very soon. The Fall colors here are mostly from the wildflowers, grasses and the oaks which are sparse and really an underbrush here and there. I love the cold air.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Work in Progress

Here is what my "Cabin In The Woods" quilt looks like now. The top is folded into 4s. Some time ago I posted an entry of the finihsed log cabin center with the star in the center................somehwere in the blog archives. I had added a green inner border and the rust outter border. Then I got busy with the 24 flowers, the 12 buds, 88 leaves, a little log cabin, bunnies and a bear. All of these parts (with the exception of the cabin...................sill need to sew the parts to the background and attach the roof) are now ready to be appliqued on the quilt. My next step will be to make the bias stems that will wind around the background for all the flowers and leaves to be attached to. The cabin will go center top, the bear center bottom, the bunnies will be in the 4 corners and something (not sure what will go on the center of the two sides. To get to this point has been quite alot of work and I am excited about beginning to actually put the pieces onto the border. My goal right now is to have this top finished by the end of this year................................but the way my WIPs go who knows how I will do in achieving that goal.

On another note we went to the New Mexico State Fair last night and the sky was kinda dark and drab at 4pm when we arrived. Well in the Southwest that could mean many things. We did enjoy a side show of jugglers, saw the quilts in the home arts building (my two quilts were hanging). Then we went to the Indian pavilion and got Navajo tacos for dinner and enjoyed watching some dancers doing the "Fancy Dance". They each had awesome costumes with brilliant colors. I had my camera but......................................I had forgotten to put the disk back in so I could not take any that was a serious bummer. Well after looking around a bit more it began to rain so we went into one of the buildings where they sell stuff....................all kinds of stuff, you name it they sell it. The rain got harder, and harder. By the time it finally slowed down enough for us to leave the streets of the fair were flooded as was the underground walkway to get back to the parking lot. We had to take off our shoes and walk barefoot in about 8 inches of water to get to the parking lot as the walkway went under a racetrack. Then to get out of the parking lot we had to drive thru another tunnel.....................yep all the cars were backed up going thru really slow one at a time as that too was flooded. It was quite the adventure!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I have been tagged by Carol " A Stitch in Time ". You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Ok my middle name is Charlotte.

Creative - I love to do things that are out of the box and try new things whenever I can.
Helpful - I truly love to help others to learn and grow.
Artistic - Art is really a lifelong pursuit for me. I began drawing as a small child and my first
major in college was art although I switched to Biology I have come back to art later
in life.
Loving - I have a lot of love in my life, my husband, two wonderful children, a cat, 2 dogs and lots
of family and friends.
Overachiever - Sometimes I try to much and balancing it all gets very precarious!
Teacher - What can I teach you today. I have taught quiting, sewing, tutored math to kids and
even been a substitute teacher for two years.
Truthful - If you do not want an honest opinion don't ask me!
Energetic - I am always moving and am happiest doing 5 things at once. I just cannot sit still.

Ok now to go tag some other bloggers!

Early Fall

It is Fall again and the air is crisp. This morning I took a walk around my yard to take some photos of my surroundings. I do not have grass in my yard or much of anyting else that I have planted, but rather allow mother nature to design it for me. I live at 7000 feet elevation in a high desert environment where we have little rain. Each season here brings its own unique changes. In the fall the wildflowers begin to die and the birds come to eat the seeds. Hopefully in another few weeks I will be enjoying those birds.
I have been working on my log cabin quilt again. I had added a large rust colored tone on tone border and designed a vine with flowers, leaves and some critters. So far I have been assembling the part of the applique and sewing them into units which I will then sew to the border. I am hoping to finish cutting out those parts this week and have them all assembled.
Later today I will take my two entries to my guild show to the drop off site (the LQS). This year I am entering Harmony my brilliant large spiral log cabin in rainbow colors and Elyse's Flower Garden my challenge from the retreat last Feburary. Hopefully they will do well in the show. It is strictly viewers choice so no judges will be inspecting all the stitchs and picking them apart.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I took this photo some time ago and just recently came across it. This was taken at Tent Rocks State Park here in New Mexico on a hike we did on Mother's Day a couple of years ago. The weather was turning stormy and the sky got really dark. I just love the pale rock formations against that dark sky. We did make it back to our car just as it started to pour. In New Mexico rain comes hard and fast and then is gone! This shot will likely become a starting point for a pictorial quilt but that will have to be for another day!

Today is cleaning day. I do have the fortune of having help today from my 9 and 12 year olds...............well I hope it will be help. Then we will be going to the State Fair later. I found out that a quilt I quilted for a customer was entered in a category " Pieced by an Amatur, Quilted by a Professional" won a second place ribbon. I definatly want to go see that.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Several months ago I took a little workshop on an interesting technique and made a small piece as part of the workshop. This morning as I was musing my entries to my guild show I only had two new pieces to enter. Then it hit me! Maybe I should revisit this small piece and do some more embellishment and enter it. Now to see if I can locate it.

The past week has been one of inner reflection and I am ready to begin my art with a new focus. The ideas are beginning to come. I have a piece I want to start on and have decided to try something new which is working in a series. I will begin with a small piece and see what happens. Then I will continue with the design and see where it takes me.

I was going to go take some photos of my surroundings today to discover the camera battery was dead..........................well hopefully it will be charged in time for me to still do that today. The big picture around here is basically the same year round with a change in the winter to white. Living in a place were there are mostly pinion pine and juniper means the trees look the same year round....................until you look closer. What I have in mind is a series of photos of the way the yard and the view of the mountain change. I want to make a group of photos showing some close ups and some of the larger view. I saw this cruising on blogs today and had the aah-haa moment of trying that as a creative outlet for a future quilt or drawing.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Time to get organized AGAIN!

Ok seems like I am in a rut here. My Gammill was down for six weeks and it is finally back and working just wonderful again. Now I have to get myself kickstarted. I have a wonderful sampler loaded and I just want it to be wonderful and am frozen as I cannot do that first stitch. Hopefully once I get going it will just flow and be done.

While my machine was down I did get some blocks sewn up from my scrap bin. They are bear paws and I just love this setting combined with log cabin blocks. This is not origional but the others I have seen were not scrappy. I might just have to do more rounds and make this one bigger. The blocks in the above photo are just laid out on the floor and not sewn together but I really like them and think I need to continue with this project.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dance of the Sea Nettles Step 2

I have finally finalized my first drawing of my composition. There will be three jellyfish in the composition. I am going for the maximum size allowed for the challenge which is no more than 25" on any side.

One of the tough decisions was to determine the color placement. Orange is dominant but the fabric will not allow the large jellyfish in the lower right so it has to the the one in the upper right. The green fabric is the best scale for the largest jellyfish in the lower right so that one needs to be green. Then the purple one will go on the left. The two orange fabrics and the lighter green are the challenge fabrics so I will really try to showcase them in the compostion. The purples are things I found at the quilt store and they work well with the challenge fabrics. I have quilte a few other fabrics that I will put together with them to complete the design. Each jellyfish will require quite a variety of different fabrics and those are best chosen as I work with the design.

With these important decisions it is time to make my freezer paper templates for the three jellyfish. I will use my high tech light window and trace each of the three jellyfish separately. The freezer paper needs to be a mirror image of the final design as shiny side will be pressed to the wrong side of the fabrics. For those pieces that will need to be outlined on the right side of the fabric I will do that with my light box. The pieces that are to be pieced need to be marked on the wrong side and those that require applique will be marked on the right side. Sounds complicated and yes I guess it is. The freezer paper pieces will all have registration marks on them as well as numbers and letters that will correspond to the master designs. Each piece will need a unique designation so I will know where it is to go. This is a critical part of the making of these pictorial art pieces but it is worth the time to do these things because they ensure the accuracy of the design.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dance of the Sea Nettles Step I

If you were given this fabric for a challenge that needs to measure no more than 25" on any given side what would you do? Well this is what we got to work with this year for our guild challenge. Now I know there are going to be lots of flowers so I do not even want to go there. I came up many ideas but could only figure in two of the three fabrics....................until I remembered a card I had purchased years ago that had Sea Nettles on it. Then a search on the internet and I found some photos of them:

A bit of sketching and I had my own origional version of sea nettles. Not really like the phtos but also different from the card.

Then on a trip to Sedona I went into the LQS and found the dark orange fabric in a purple colorway. Yes green, orange and purple are a triad on the color wheel. I am going to do three sea nettles one in each of the colors. Between my stash and LQS I came up with some fabrics that will work. Before I am done I will likely toss some out and add in a few more but at least it is a start.

Since the Sea Nettle is a sea creature the background needs to be ocean. What better than a shiney fabric found in JoAnns in with the fancey fabrics. Even better is the fact that is has tiny sparkles.

This is the front and back of the shiney fabric...................I am going to use both sides to make a very simple background. Basicly I will use the back and aplique one or two pieces to the shiney side to look like a current of water...................not you cannot really see a current but the line will later be enhanced with quilting.

Now the next step in this process is to do a scale drawing of each of the three sea nettles and also of the lines in the water. I am off an running on this project now. My deadline is the 4th Monday of August and the clock it ticking.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Getting Sidetracked

Spinning Star Handpieced Block
It is not like I do not have enough projects in the works. Someone posted one patch quilts on the quilting forum and I just fell in love with this spinning star. In fact I was so enamoured by it that I spent a couple of hours today making a template and testing it out. It is a little 3 x 4 inch unit with nice gentle interlocking curves. Each piece just fits to the neighboor. The photo is just a simple unit. If I were to make a bunch of these they would all fit together into a wonderful quilt. I think this is going to me my new take along project when I jsut want something mindless and simple.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Nothing Like a Road Trip For Inspiration

No this is not my house. I took this photo at Fort Verde State Park in Arizona a couple of days ago. I am not sure how old this quilt is as I took it thru the glass as you could only view the room not go inside. It does seem like an old pattern but when I zoomed in on the photo it looked like it was recently is hand quilted.

this is a close up shot of the same quilt.

Now here is some great inspiration. These were petroglyphs on the rock wall at El Morrow National Monument in New Mexcio. Yes that is some more writting on top of them, likely from Spaniards from the 1700's as there were many signatures form that era there too. In fact this rock has had many carvings over the past 100's of years. It is almost a whose who of the American West!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Don't Get Rid of That Horrible Fabric Just Yet

If I told you that my little baskets were made from fabric that would send any quilter running from the room screaming would you belive me? Yep in fact they are. About a year ago a friend was cleaning out her stash and decided to get rid of fabric she did not want. It was a pretty big box too. Well since I am on a fabric diet and no longer buying much fabric I took it off her hands....................hey it was free. There was indeed some pretty nice stuff in there but................there was some fabirc in there that was not. Can you say circa 1980 and very stiff, or extremely gause thin. Well I was at the library and they had a book on the new book shelf that caught my eye "Its A Wrap" so I grabbed it and checked it out. Yes you can make a fabric basket by cutting the fabric in strips, wrapping around a cotton clothesline and sewing on your machine with a zigzag stitch. Boy are they fun to make as well. I think that the rest of her "ugly"fabric is going to end up being wrapped into more baskets! I already have plans for some fancier ones now that I have the idea!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sweapped Logs

If you refer back the last photo you will notice that there are really only 4 different kinds of blocks. Well now I have swapped all those blocks for all of these. The layout is exactly the same but this group sure has more punch becasuse of the great variety of fabrics used. I just started another round of swapping for another batch of these blocks which will make this quilt even bigger. I figure the finished quilt should be 4 times the size here. Each of these blocks is only 6".

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Scrap Bin

35 Log Cabin Blocks
I find that every so often my scrap bin becomes so full it is time for some scrap control. I am doing a swap for 6" log cabin blocks and here are the 35 I have made. I am using the same swirl I did on the bright logs which are the very same block just a different colorway. This is a good start to my next log cabin quilt and the good news is that when I am done making blocks I will likely be able to close the lid on that scrap bin again!

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Work In Progress

My brite logs quilt before I added the borders.
This is my current WIP and my goal is to have the quilting finished by the end of next week. Of course I have been quilting this one for about 3 months now off and on between customer quilts. It will be entered in the Fiber Arts Fiesta this year and the deadline is beginning to loom ahead. Right now seems like there are million things keeping me from working on this. I just need to schedule time on it to get it finished. I will post some in progress photos of it next time I put it back on the longarm. I am figuring about 3-6 hours of quiltng and it will be ready to trim and attach the binding, hanging sleeve and label.............oh the end is in sight!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

You Can Indeed Make A Silk Purse Form A Sow's Ear!

The first photo of the fabric with the boomerangs on it is the challenge fabric that was the reason for my quilt. The second photo is a close up of one of my shapes where you can see the background fabric as the predominant fabric. Each of the blocks "well if you can call them blocks" has a part of the fabric in it, with the exception of the largest block which is a semi circle. I figure if I cut that fabric apart into just the colors I would then be able to separate myself from those hideous boomerangs and just concentrate on color alone.

The finished quilt is off to Phoenix where it will hang for a couple of weeks to be judged by a viewers choice contest. I will see how it fared against the other creative entries the first week of February. There were 26 quilters that accepted this fabric but not all of them will complete an entry. I do know that there are some that have finished and others who gave up and admitted defeat.

Now that this one is out the door I can concentrate on my brite log cabin quilt. For me it is all about the process. Once a quilt is finished I am pretty much done with it with the exception of just admiring it as I would my children. This one will be hanging in my daughters room once it returns home. She has just fallen in love with the colors and design.................she did not care for the fabric that this began with.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My First Quilt For 2007 Finished!

Well it is finished! This was a hard project. I had to begin with a fabric so ugly it sent me screaming from the room. In the end I finally rethought my first idea and decided I would try to do this challenge after all. This gave me less than a month to make this quilt.
The first step was the hardest and that was just deciding to actually do this challenge. I had decided on the round shapes I ended up manking. These are made in a rather spontaneous manner and I made them as I went. The was no preplanning. I first cut up the challenge fabric into its various colors leaveing me with piles of just color in the various little designs on the fabric. Then I concentrated on making the round shapes useing chalenge fabric in each of them with the exception of the very large shape that is a semi circle. This one was actually my trial and I liked it so kept it for the compostion. I kept working with parts until I felt there were enough. I then rethought my background color. The origional blue became the binding.
We needed to try a new techinque for this challenge and I did several. I made the round shapes which I had never tried. I also incoorporated non quitng cottons in many of the shapes. The shapes were also satin stitched to the background as they were raw edge.
In the end I was quite happy with the composition. I am most pleased with the allover quilting design I used for the just sort of happended and I am calling it swirls and spikes!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Today will be a long day!

I cannot believe that I am down to the wire on this challenge. I need to quilt it today and attach the binding tomorrow. That means some serious time with Merlin (my longarm). I have threads picked and waiting. Now I just have to begin with that first stitch. It seems once I begin that the ideas just flow. Here is the top. I now wish I had taken a photo of the fabric before I began but it was so ugly I decided not to. I will refer to a link where a photo can be seen in a later post.