Postings and ponderings of a quilting and knitting addict!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Really Great Give-Away!

Check out the give-away that Pat at Silver Thimble Talk is having! Leave a comment on her Thursday, May 21st entry and you might win some really neat things!! Her deadline is May 31st, so hurry on over there and enter! Thanks, Pat, for such a generous give-away to celebrate your 100th blog posting.


North to Alaska!

Things are pretty crazy at my house today. I have packed and re-packed luggage. My friend Paula was right... should have bought the LARGEST piece of luggage that goes with the set (I only bought the carry-on size and the next size up... I KNEW that would be plenty of space. HA!) And you can FORGET about purchasing anything with a long sleeve right now, but that is what I need for this trip! The stores have packed all those away until next fall. So I am making do with what is in the closet as far as warmer clothing.

We will be leaving tomorrow for our Alaskan cruise. That means that I will miss all my bloggy-friends, but I will fill you in when I get back. I have decided to not carry the laptop... I plan on being so busy viewing glaciers, etc. that I won't have time to blog. I do plan on checking my email using my BIL's computer or one available on the ship. I really feel the wonderful nature viewing will give me new inspiration... I really want to do some "artsy" quilts, and nature usually inspires that.

Must run... I think I will unpack and re-pack one more time (now that I have added another piece of luggage to the pile we are taking!). Blessings to you all today, and I'll "see" you again in about 10 days.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Two New Projects Completed!

YYYAAAAHHHH! I did it! 2 projects completed in just a few short weeks.

Project # 1 has been in my UFO closet for several years now. This piece is called "Night Through the Lattice", and is made similar to another piece done 6 years ago. I learned this technique from Carol Ann Wilburn from Little Rock, AR. The body of the quilt is made from 1" strips of fabric pieced end to end, then sewn into "2-sies", then "4-sies", etc. This makes a large piece of pieced fabric, which you starch heavily and then cut into blocks. I cut 5" blocks for this quilt. You can't really tell, but the lattice sashing is made from a sparkly black fabric that really sets it off nicely. The quilt is about 40" square.

I'm glad this had a "time out" in the closet, because now I know about crystals, and this is the perfect place for some (after the quilting is done). I see some type of feathers in a gold metalic thread swirling around the borders, but I'll have to ponder over how to quilt the body of the quilt. All suggestions are welcome!

Project #2 is the jelly roll diamond quilt... it is done!! It took a lot longer to get together than I had thought because being the ticky (or picky) quilter that I am I chose to pin all those intersections to be sure they matched up just right.

I LOVE this fabric I found for the setting triangles and borders. And of course after I had it all put together I realized that it really would have looked cool to use the border floral fabric for the diamonds in the sashing lattice, but it is too
late for this quilt. If I decide to make another one of these some time I will put the border fabric in the sashing diamonds... that would help bring the whole thing together.

Some little girl (or grown daughter) will really
enjoy using this bright quilt!

Finishing projects really does give you a good feeling! I really need to work towards finishing up more things from the UFO closet and putting them to good use or passing them on to others who will love and appreciate them.

More visitors on the farm... (WARNING: If you don't like crawly reptiles, do not scroll down!)

I saw Teddy Bear (the gray cat) in hot pursuit of something, and when I investigated this is what I found. I'm not sure what type of snake it is, but it is not poisionous. It is a light tan/gray with black spots, and black around his eye, with a cream colored belly, and is about 2 1/2 ft. long. And of course as a former teacher, I have posters of snakes, turtles, and frogs of LA but I can't find them. How does that stuff hide so easily? I remember seeing it not too long ago. As one friend from the other side of LA says, "My house ate it!" (Hi Tommie!)
God's creatures are amazing! This snake was very docile and was probably out doing a public service by eating mice and other things I don't want around the yard when he was interrupted by a curious cat. We called the cat away and let the snake move on in peace... we only kill the poisonous snakes we encounter, and thankfully there are not too many of those kind found around the yard.
Hope you have a wonderful day, and take time to really appreciate some part of nature that reminds you of the One who created it all!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just checking in...

I'm so busy right now trying to finish up a few things and get ready for the cruise. I PROMISE that I will have PICTURES of FINISHED projects (yes, with an "s"... I will have 2 things done) by tomorrow. So sit tight, and don't give up on my blog... I will get something else posted here soon.

What a beautiful sunshiny day! And the cool weather with low humidity is just what I enjoy. Windows are open, breezes blowing in, and I will sit and FINISH the rainbow jelly roll quilt today. It is really turning out beautiful. But I know it won't be mine for long. When my daughter sees it she will probably claim it for herself... she loves bright and cheerful things, and this quilt REALLY is bright! If she doesn't claim it, Haley (GD#2) will probably "need" one to use at Granny's house. Katelyn already has one for here... a Dick and Jane quilt that I just love.

Must go get busy... more tomorrow, I promise!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MQS Blues

Now WHY am I blue about the Machine Quilters Showcase being held this week in Overland Park, KS? BECAUSE I AM NOT THERE!

We debated back and forth as to whether or not to attend this year. Since my inspiration lagged and I did not get any quilts finished to send this year I decided not to attend. Why go all that way if I have nothing hanging in the show? Now I am kicking myself for that decision as I am reading posts on the MQP list of others heading off to KS. I WANT TO BE THERE, TOO!

It has been such a wonderful trip in the past, traveling to KS in our RV and spending 4-5 days there. Last year I worked 3 days in the quilt judging room, helped to hang quilts for the show, took classes, and had some wonderful shopping, as well. DH even worked at the show, volunteering for 1 day. But he had so much fun he actually ended up working 4 days at the show while I did "my thing".

I regret not deciding to go (and I regret not pressing through to finish some quilts to send), but I guess the good thing about it is that we will soon be leaving for our cruise to Alaska, which we probably would not have done had we planned on going to MQS. That's a pretty good trade-off, but I still miss being at the show. Next year I will FOR SURE see to it that I do get some quilts made to send, and I will really plan on being there, and working in the judging room again.

So those of you that are there this week, have a great time. Aw... I don't need to tell you that because I KNOW you will!

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Retreat Report... Hard Work!!

Retreating is HARD work! Our latest SIL Quilt Retreat was a great success, with each of us accomplishing a lot of sewing, visiting, laughing, and eating.

My accomplishments included making a sunglasses case for my mom, making 8 Wonder Wallets for my niece, and getting the borders on a small wall quilt. I still need to make some wallets for my gift-giving pleasure, but I just could not face another one after doing 8 in one evening.

I did also work on joining rows of the Glorified 9-Patch, but that is proving to be a real BUGGER! I’m thinking now that I should have gone about constructing the rows a little differently, but any way you go about it, there are 12 layers of fabric at each of those intersections and it is really tough to get that to match up and not catch the seam allowances in the stitching. I have about decided that I will indeed have to hand-sew each intersection and then finish the easy part on the machine.

I also found the PERFECT fabric for sashing, setting triangles, and outer borders for the rainbow jelly roll quilt. Where? At Cedar Tree Nest Quilt Shop in Hemphill, TX.

I had bought some other fabric a few weeks ago, but I was not completely happy with it… just not the look I had envisioned for the lively jelly roll diamonds. And then, I forgot that it should NOT be prewashed and threw it in the washer/dryer while washing some other fabric. I did not realize it until several days later that I had made an “Oops!”. Since I could not figure out a way to shrink the already-constructed diamonds without creating a big mess, I decided to look for more fabric. I am SO glad I made that oops! The new fabric I bought will really make this look like I want it to. You might need sunglasses to sleep under this quilt because it will be so bright.

OK… so I am reading your mind and you are thinking, “Kathy, where are the pictures? Please post some pictures so we can see!” I promise I will later in the week… I’m just too worn out to deal with the camera now.

We stayed up into the wee, small hours of the morning (3:30 am) the first night, rose early in the morning to head to TX for the quilt shop outting, and stayed up until midnight the second night. Then we woke up early this morning to get to church in time for the special breakfast for Mother’s Day. We also had a family get-together at my sister's house for lunch and visiting with all my family. My tail is dragging today… but it was worth it all!

So thanks, Mary Anne and Debbie, for another wonderful get-away filled with fun, laughter, food, and lots of sewing!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And the Winner Is....

Remember the Iris Stack 'N Whack quilt my church was giving away? Well, we drew for it tonight and the winner is........ LINDA R., a local quilter that runs our Council on Aging (and allows our quilt group to meet there for no charge!).

CONGRATULATIONS, LINDA!! The quilt will be delivered when I go to town on Friday. And thanks to all those that supported our church by donating. We greatly appreciate it!

Blessings to you all,


Monday, May 4, 2009

My Busy Life...

Busy-ness abounds in my life. Yesterday was off to an interesting start, with a very strong spring storm whooshing through and doing damage in the area (so much so that church services were cancelled due to downed trees and power outages). We were very blessed... a large limb hit the electrical service line coming to our house and pulled the meter loop down. This sent us scurrying to relocate all things in the house refrigerator/freezer to the camper and the large freezer on the back porch, where we can run the generator to keep the contents frozen solid. Thankfully, a friend told us of a local man who could fix this, and fix it he did! Power was restored around 5 o'clock yesterday evening and we are now fine. Not so for several in this small, rural community. A tornado touch-down just a few miles down the road has completely destroyed one family's home, and done major damage to another one.

Bowling again... The summer bowling league begins tonight. I don't know why we pay big-bucks to show others how poorly we bowl, but we do. The really fun thing about the summer league is that it is a mixed league, meaning men and women can bowl on the same team. I will really enjoy bowling with DH again. We have not been able to do this since we moved from Arkansas 1 1/2 years ago. Some dear friends will also be bowling the same league, so we will have great fun and fellowship while getting a little exercise.

Going "Cruising"... I never thought of going on a cruise (the RV is more our preferred travel method) but BIL and SIL discovered some amazing rates for an Alaskan cruise that just can't be passed up. We had planned a 3-month RV excursion to Alaska for this summer, but with the down-turn in the economy and our investments we decided not to do it at this time. But a 7-day cruise at a bargain-basement price convinced us that we CAN see some of Alaska this summer. BOY! Do I need to do some clothes shopping!! I've either out-grown or worn out everything in my closet it seems, so I'm going to have to venture to the "big city" and try to find some bargains. Plus, I have never flown before, so this will really be an adventure for me.

Quilt retreat... It is time for another SIL Lake Retreat!! This weekend we will be gathering to see how much quilting can be done by 3 quilt-crazy ladies. Much visiting, eating, sewing, and a quilt shop visit will be on the agenda. I'm really going to MAKE myself work on the Glorified 9-Patch. I can finish that this weekend if I will just do it! I also need to make some more Wonder Wallets. That last batch of 9 flew out of the house quickly and I already have several people asking for more.

All of that, plus several church activities on my agenda, plus quilting... Who says retired people have nothing to do??????

Have a blessed day!
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