Friday, May 25, 2012

Generous Quilting Friends, Busy weekend, Projects & Challenges, Memorial Weekend, Quilter's Gallery

Remember when I talked about my first introduction to a quilting guild that didn't go so well. And how I later amended that bad experience by meeting more friendly and generous quilters who encourage Newbies like myself by extending their wealth of either their knowledge, giving & sharing hearts or even both.  I have such an interesting story to share this week with ya. It is a wonderful reminder that quilters are almost always willing to share what they have with others.  Be it to newbies like myself, disaster relief causes or Quilts of Valor for wounded military personal returning state side. It is a quiet tradition that quilters are know to have had during the Civil War Era, the dawning of our great nation as they headed out west and most likely long before that towards the beginning of time.

Now it's time to get comfy & settle in for a spell while I spin this tale for you.

This week I knew that packages would start arriving in my mailbox for several things that are going on here. Block swaps for one group, a quilting commitments for a baby quilt for another group, a 6" charm swap in yet another.  

Well this box arrives in the mail today -which immediately sends my internal fabric radar & heart in the racing mode.  Hummmm ... Wonder what this is ask our rural driver?  Fabric... he guesses.  I can only agree with him like a kid in a candy store.  I wasn't expecting a large package... envelopes maybe; boxes definitely not.  I peek at the return address and see that it's from my friend in Wisconsin. Hummmm ... I didn't think the Grand Baby quilt for Sue was that big ~ but Lord knows I tend to be wrong a lot! 

So it to the house I go... with a quick sweep; clears a space on the dining room table.  Steve looks at me & starts shaking his head...mumbling "Oh God now What did you get this time?" I proceed to open said box with glee & giggles all around.  The newspaper is gives way to a plethora of baggies full of goodies.  On top there is the bright combinations of blocks in the expected baby quilt top.

Baby Quilt Top
I pull out the top with such delicate fingers.... a must do in order to admire all the pretty blocks that we, the group; have made.  The border in beautiful bright lime green print also draws my eyes to the exquisite design that reminds me of a Jacobean style with its flowers and birds. 

It excites me for as bright as it is, I LOVE!  And believe me ... I'm not normally a bright's just not my cup of tea....but this fabric would jump out & say "BUY ME". 

So after a few minutes of admiring & picturing said top I gently place aside to dive into the box again.  Ohhhhhhh my!!! Fabric scraps are included!  I love fabric scraps.  I find a baggie of reds, pinks and white.  Sweet.... I just finished a small Redwork heart last night, I think I'll combine these together to see what creative wonder I come up with.  In another bag, more bits to play with that have a more darker but warm assortment just right for my Civil War Era Mini tops that I love putting together.  So... is that the end to this "Mary Poppins'" box you ask?  Oh no...but wait...there is but another bag yet still left.  It's bigger than the rest.... my nerves start humming, my fingertips start tingling, my breathing just a tad quicker...... yup.... there it is fabric galore!!!  I untie the knot in the bag.... with bated breath I pull out the contents.  Ohhhhh how pretty I see a journal book.  Look at all the pretty stripes of colors on it. Of course this is not all that is in such a large bag.... low & behold there seems to be a kit of some kind all wrapped up in a pretty bow.  Ohhhhh Pretty!!! Tulips!!! It's an applique kit of 42 blocks or 546 pieces in some delicious warm tones of dark hunter green, Merlot wine and delightful mixture of blues, browns, apricots for the tulip centers. There included is 2+ yards of wonderful white muslin for the background.  The warm tones of the applique will be beautiful against such a simple but highly contrasting fabric. I read the enclosed note and laugh as my friend knows my love for hand work in the evenings, and knew that I was looking for a new challenge in my Q & N group.  So my friend fixed that!! 

A Challenge has been put forth...oh how intriguing this will be. Details of the challenge to be given in a later correspondence between Ms. Wisconsin & me.  My inner Sherlock whispers to me "Ahhh.....Watson there is a mystery afoot"

It is quite interesting to see how well someone is "listening" during an online chat.  I had made a comment about having to get another journal book as I use them to write down anything & everything that I do with quilting or needle work. I use it to hold myself accountable and it's keeps me on track with projects, my design ideas and a record of my UFO's since the beginning of the year.  I haven't miss one single day even if it's just a half dozen stitches in some hand work project,  I have something to add everyday.  It fact, it has helped so much that I have finished 7 UFO's this year thus far. And the up side of all my hand work... I haven't had a cigarette in over 13 1/2 months now. YEAH!!!!

So now I have a new journal to track my challenging journey as I tip toe through my field of appliqued tulips. I'll be sure to keep every update with the progress. Of course pictures are a given.  Now I have more then enough hand work to keep me busy & I'll rotate them around to keep from getting bored or stale with any of them. 

So tonight I will be starting the stitching of the tulips as I watch the Hatfield & McCoy mini series that starts on the History Channel tonight.  Tomorrow I will sandwiching that baby quilt to place it in my hoop to hand quilt.  During the day that I'll continue machine working on the "Keylime Pie" Gumball pattern top for a friend of mine.  So it's other busy weekend planned ahead of me. 

But I love having multiply projects going on at the same time.  Once I get the "Keylime Pie" top done, I'll move to working on my fish tablerunner ~ which I finished #3 block of Green Redwork last night. 

I also wanted to let everyone know that I'm now part of the Quilter's Galley. You'll find their button on the right hand side.  Be sure to wander over and give them a perusing.  They are link to literally thousands of quilt themed bloggers all over the US & the World.  Caution.... you could be there for a long time so be sure to bring some snacks and something to drink with ya.... you'll thank me for it. There is a plethora of information, links, blog hops and even give aways to entice you with.

So what do you have plan for this long weekend?  Be sure to Thank a Vet or Service person for their services this weekend.

I also wish to extend my Thank You's to those of you who have served our country.

Well this looks to been a long rambling on this weekend, so I'll say good byes for now.  As always, feel free to leave comments.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Heat is On! What's happening this week in quilting.

Today in little ole' Barryton the current temp is 86* F at 5 pm with no rain to be seen. That seems to be the trend for the upcoming week, just to reminds us that Summer is just around the corner.  Time for fans & air conditioners is oh creeping upon us. They say it will be above average in heat this year. OHHHHH Sheesh .......I hope Not!!

So to beat the heat outside I decided to work in my clutter mind of quilting.  LOL.  I started to sew together my 14 scrappy calico & white block for my HT swap.  After having the high winds smash my left hand in the van door, I'm still feeling the effects of the bruising & swelling.  So I am doing simple nine-patch blocks in order to fulfill my obligation. So NOT the block I wanted to do, but you do what you got to do. Here there are in the pile waiting for the sewing machine all pinned together.

Scrappy Calico & White Nine-Patch in the Makings

If you know me in a true sense, you know I LOVE Hand work of any form. Well in my last post I gave ya a sneak peek at my fishing theme table runner with the Green Red work in the center blocks....... last night I finished the 2nd block. 

Green Red work Fish #2
Let's see what else.......oh I was thumbing through my favorite inspiration book while eating lunch .when I came across this Victorian Design that caught my eye.   So I traced it out on to paper.  I think it would be interesting with 4 placed together creating a medallion design, frame it and add some sort of grid design around that.  It's hard to explain it at the moment as it is in the middle of concept drawing at the moment.  but I think it would be interesting to do the flower design in possible 2 colors then branching out to white on white quilting .  Kind of an off shoot my thinking of Whole cloth quilting.  

What you think?  Can You picture it in your mind?  Does it inspire you to go outside your box?  That box doesn't have to be a big box..... maybe it be small box that can hold a small wall hanging.  It's more of a case of opening yourself creatively.  Did you ever just doodle on a piece of paper in school? While on the phone? It's kind of like would be surprise what you find out about yourself when you let go. And there can be a lot of things to let go of.... the rules, worrying about what other people think about it, the thought of losing control the pattern, etc.  So you do want to join me for the journey? It's could be interesting.

My Book of Inspirations by Search Press
My Choice of a Victorian Design

This will be an thread challenge for   myself.... just to see what I could pull it off.  if you haven't figured it out.... I'm not much for following the quilting crowd. I tend to wander off in my own direction, bellowing out the tunes and boogieing my self down the line.   My "Mama" always did say not only did I NOT follow the Drummer ~ I went to a whole 'nother galaxy.  LOL ... I guess she meant that I never had to worry about always conforming to other peoples  ideas.

Well I guess it's time to wrap this up for the week.  There is meatloaf to make for Tomorrow.   But remember if you strive to be different ..... it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Thanks for stopping by!  Please feel free to leave comments or thoughts about this weeks posting.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day, Eye-Candy,

Well I Hope everyone enjoyed their Mother's Day yesterday.
I had a nice quiet day.  I spent the day just being kind of lazy did some reading, some green Redwork, plotted out a fish theme tablerunner, watched some TV and  I made Chicken Pasta Priavera for dinner as a special treat for myself.

I received the most beautiful Mini quilt as part of a Mother's Day Swap on my OST yahoo group.  It's titled "T for Tricia".  I think Kathy R. of Florida; did such a wonderful job on it.  It has this pretty blue & gold print that reminds me of a Civil War Fabric.  It will have a special place in my heart & home.

"T For Tricia"
  I have been in the creative mood and been planning some table runners.  I am planning to add a little extra something to each of them.  My hopes would be to make them and add them to my collection of things that I hope to put on  I have been doing research, reading & planning and I think I have found my niche.  Nothing like making & earning a little "Mad Money" for ones self -- that's for sure! LOL.  So would you like to have a sneak peek at the fabrics for my next two tablerunners?

Fish Themed Tablerunner Fabric with a Green Redwork block

Fall Themed Fabrics for a table runner
Well that's where I'm this week.  Hope you liked the sneak peeks.  Let Me know what you think.  I would love to hear from Y'all. 


Friday, May 4, 2012

Motivation, Minis, Question with some Homemade Sausage Gravy

Good Morning .... I'm just sitting down with a cuppa of coffee looking out the window on this breezing, damp and gray day trying to get motivated.  It is proving to be a challenge and thought provoking as I sit & try to placate the over night caffeine deprivation that sleep brings with the sandman.

I wondered if other quilters are kind of happy to see such a day.  Is it a blessing in disguise that on such a day where the rain prevents them from going outside and doing the gazillion things that on the ever growing list of yard work? Yes Spring has sprung and so has the back break chore list. 

I had a semi-busy week in my quilting arena. I finished the telephone wall hanging. I even gave it a cute name "Hello Operator....Extension OST -2012 Please."  and it's out in the mail to my partner on my group.  I also finished the bird/star but it still needs to title. 

"Hello Operator...?"

"Birds of a Feather"  .... maybe?
I came up with my own quilting design for this one.  I'm hoping that it comes out like what I image. And lots of applique pieces have been traced, ironed and have done the trimming process for two quilt tops.  The Pita quilt and a testing pattern.

I am currently working on testing pattern that I really happy with.  It's sooooooo cute, on my favorite Holiday and being hand appliqued with a tiny blanket stitch. 

This weekend I'll be putting bindings on two minis, so pictures will be coming once those are done.  I'm going to be working on a couple of table runners that someday I'm hoping to sale.  If the fabric holds out, possibly some placemats to match too. 

Now I always wondered and maybe someone can answer me this.... Would you consider buying a table set of 2 place mats and a runner?  Do they always have to come in sets of 4?  I would LOVE to hear some input on this issue.  What kinds of things would you buy for yourself or as a gift, if you knew it was "Homemade" and not mass produces? 

Hummmm as it's 4:30 EST -- I should really think about dinner.  I got a nice whole chicken that I can bake, with mashed taters, and corn.  Oh yeah!!! Guess what!!!!! I -- being of 40 years -- finally learned how to make a decent sausage gravy.  

MY Homemade Sausage Gravy
In a cast iron skillet no less!! And I have a picture to prove it.  Well after my Hunny helped himself to a big ole' helping.

Well I'm off to cook some dinner.  Please be sure to leave a note about the table setting question.