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.