Thursday, March 31, 2011

Random, non-quilting thoughts

Stayed with MIL again last night. She had a good night, but I got no sleep! Her oxygen machine started beeping about midnight. I got up, hit the reset button, went back to bed. Then 45 min later, same thing. It became a trend until 4am when it started beeping every 30 min. She slept through it all! I am going home tonight so I can sleep! I told my BIL about it this am and he is calling the home health company to come fix it! Anyway, I fixed my Beef-Cabbage soup for dinner and thought I would share the recipe (not too precise, I like guidelines instead of rules!LOL):

3/4 to 1 lb hamburger
1 to 2 cans beef broth or chicken broth or both
1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 liter V8 juice
1 bag prepared coleslaw cabbage shreds
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
**optional- 1 can diced tomatoes, if you like it tomato-ey**

I put the broth, onions, celery and hamburger in a pot and bring to a boil. I do not pre-brown the burger, I let it cook in the liquid. Add beans and V8 juice, return to boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes, reduce to simmer. Add shredded cabbage, cook til cabbage wilts. That's it!

Very hearty, flavorful and warm. Meme loves it!

We also watched my guilty pleasure "Justified" on FX. My, that Timothy Oliphant is fine as frog hair! And Walton Goggins, who plays Boyd Crowder, is simply mesmerizing. I do not watch a lot of TV, but this show has excellent writing and an incredible cast filled with very interesting characters!

Hope to indulge in some sew-y, quilt-y stuff this evening.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a mid-week update

No sewing going on right now. I am staying with my sweet MIL who was just released from the hospital Monday after 7 weeks (the first 3 were very tense), but thanks be to God, she is on the recovering path now. Anyway, we are rotating night time sleep-overs and I was there last night and tonight. So, I am taking this time to recharge some creative batteries. That being said, I have bought some (old, $1 each) quilt mags, ordered 2 new FMQ books and just today bought a pattern on etsy!

This pattern, as a matter of fact!

I believe the large solid areas will be great to show off FMQ stitching.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

on a roll..

Another completion! 


This is a small (16"x18") art quilt for a challenge at my LQS (Sewingly Yours). We each received a small pice of fabric to design a quilt around. My fabric is the orange mottle fabric. I love orange and this fabric is so bright. It was fun to work with no set plan in mind. 

I pieced the background and appliqued the sun. The free motion was so fun. My new Baby Lock is awesome!

This is also a Viewer's Choice show. Maybe I'll get some votes!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

T shirt Quilt completed

Cool souvenir t-shirts from many years of vacations. Since they were Caribbean vacations, I used bright, colorful batiks on the blocks. FMQ-ed on my new Baby Lock with a variegated polyester thread. 72" by 72". My customer was very happy and so am I!

Monday, March 21, 2011

so many in process...

I have way too many quilts in process, but then it is said confession is good for the soul. So, I confess, I have this baby quilt top ready to quilt.

And this top (may be my favorite!) ready for the border, then quilting.

And these 3 hanging on my rack, 1 big art quilt, 1 table topper and the string quilt.

And this is ready for my little twister tool!

I am such a fickle girl! I am binding the T-shirt quilt and will have that one in the finish column!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Review

I just received my copy of From Daisy to Paisley, 50 Beginner Free Motion Quilting Designs by Leah Day. I have been a fan of Leah and her Free Motion Quilting Project since the beginning. I read her blog daily, and keep it bookmarked to refer back to! Her work is gorgeous and very inspiring.

This book is AWESOME! From the spiral binding to lay flat by my machine to the clear photography, this book is a wonder resource and I can't believe it took me this long to add it to my library. Leah's writing is clear and supportive. Here is a link to buy your copy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Today is National Quilt Day. I am teaching my Free-Motion Quilting Basics class; spending the day with my quilty friends within my LQS. 

Here is a link to the National Quilting Association where you can download this  free pattern. 

I quilt because I love it. I love planning a quilt design, selecting fabric, dying fabric, cutting fabric, piecing, and free-motion quilting. I have even learned to love the binding! I love quilt magazines, quilt shops and barn quilts. I love old quilts, feedsack quilts, modern quilts, art quilts. I love thread, machines and talking quilts. I dream of quilting and when I was stuck in the airport for 12 hours last week, I daydreamed about quilting to keep calm! I love the reactions I get get when I gift a quilt and when I sell a quilt. Why do you quilt?

Friday, March 18, 2011

random stuff

I am sneaking in a post before my baby boy and I begin our day. 
Let me explain, my baby is a 21 yr-old university senior (Appalachian State-Go Apps!) 

and is home for the first time since Christmas. He has a part time job in retail, so I haven't got to spend quality time with him in a looooooong time. For you mothers-of-daughters out there, there really is no difference in the level of closeness: my son and I are very close. Likewise he and his dad (my hubby!) In fact, all 3 of us are rather tight, and this empty nest thing does take some getting used to! But, I digress. Baby Boy and I are spending today together, and since I am teaching tomorrow, he and Hubby are are playing tomorrow. And Sunday since we are in the midst of March Madness and they are going to Charlotte for the Eastern Regional games on Sunday, but I digress again!  

Back to quilt stuff.

Found a few neat posts in my Goggle Reader this week:
My LQS spied in this post.

Getting sick of a quilt? Been there. This post really hit me!

Discussion, Squawk, Baby posted about quilt monogamy. And while I practice this with the majority of my projects, I took a look at my history and realized I like to have quilts in different stages at the same time: one being quilted (the longest relationship), one being pieced (in the throes of the passion) and 1 or 2 being planned (oh, yeah, I am a fickle girl!). In retrospect, I have these going because I have so many quilts to make in my head, I need to get them out in the world before I forget them! Crazy! And there are more in my head even now thanks to all the wonder quilt/bloggers out there!

Finally, my friend Kim won 2 seconds and an honorable mention at the Mountain Quiltfest. So happy and proud for her!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

too busy to blog

yup, it's one of those weeks. Work has been slamming especially since I was visiting customers last week. Good visits lead to projects and orders so I have been trying to generate a priority list and check items off. Compound that by our being incredibly lean (means we do not have enough bodies!) and the fact 2 of our number have been out (really not enough bodies!). So, I put my ear buds in and bury myself in my CAD from 8 to 5. Then I get home and can you say "Spring" and "DAYLIGHT"? We get outside with the dogs. I then sequester myself in the studio where I am quilting the T-shirt quilt. Which is large. And I want to do a good job.

What does all this blah, blah, blah mean?

Means you have to settle for a Barn Quilt instead of something from me! But it is a new discovery! It is on my route, off of Hwy 67 near the RagAppleLassie vineyard.

Love this! And love how bright it was with the sun shining on it this afternoon. Like a smile and a hug!

Some random thoughts:
Like most, the events in Japan are on my mind. One of my friends (and colleague) is from Kobe. Her mother and brother are still there. This connection makes this tragedy so close. Fortunately, Kobe was not affected directly by the earthquake or the tsunami. But we have yet to understand the extent of the radiation from the damaged nuclear power plant. I offer my thoughts and prayers for the beautiful, kind Japanese people in this time. I know they have the fortitude to rebound stronger from this tragedy. 

More randomness, on a positve note:
my beautiful son is home for a long weekend. The first in 2 months! While we speak almost daily, it is so nice to have him here!

I am teaching my beginning free-motion class Saturday and I am looking forward to a day in my LQS!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

do I need an intervention?

I love, LOVE my Twister tools! Yes, now I have both the large and small size! 

Remember this work in progress?

Well, I thought it was a good start, but it seamed a little fat, like it needed something to zhuze (sp?) it up. My Little Twister came to the rescue!

Here is "My Heart is Full", 24" square, free-motion quilted on my new Baby Lock Quest (love).

Queenie the Quest is doing so well!

Here's the back:

 Five completed!

Friday, March 11, 2011

work in progress

On my design wall is a t-shirt quilt I am making for a friend. She saved her son's t-shirts from their island vacations. These shirts screamed for batiks. there are 16 blocks, I am setting 4 x 4. Will be 72" square. I started it last weekend and am really rolling on it now!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

no sewing this week

At least until Thursday evening. I am working in NYC this week. Fly up Monday morning, fly back Thursday. It is probably a good thing, I have been a little off my game since wrestling Poppywood. I have started a commission quilt that is progressing nicely, and I have ordered the small version of the Twister template so I am looking forward to playing with it next week.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The one I bought

I was stunned by the great response to my query about a new machine. All were so helpful. In the end, I test-sewed and bought this beauty:

She's a Baby Lock Quest Plus (Model number: BLQ2-PL). 

What I like: the built-in dual feed (walking foot) that works with all the feet, even the 1/4" foot; the independent bobbin winder; the space for large spools of thread and all the accessories that were included (the acrylic extension table and all the feet I need). I also like the solid-ness of it. She's mostly metal and very quiet.We are getting to know each other.

I did not test a Juki, simply because there is not a dealer near me. One of the very important things for me is ease of service and my LQS provides that. I still want (not need) a long-arm but I can wait. And I can use my mom's Gammill! At this point, I just really enjoy FMQ and want to expand on that. I am keeping my Viking Sapphire, she has a longer arm and will come in handy for doing large pieces. She is going in for service and a long-overdue rest!

Thank you so much for all of your comments, I really appreciate them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Completion #4 - HepCats (Pinwheel #3)

How's that for a title? I finished my 3rd pinwheel quilt made with my Twister template. I really love this template and pattern. It makes up so fast. This one is 41" square and I made it with FQs from my stash.

FMQ-ed on my new machine (next post!).