Monday, December 31, 2007


Hard for me to believe that it has been so long since I posted a blog entry. I have been quite busy trying to get some projects finished for Christmas, some of which I did finish and some that I didn't. I also started working part-time in November. One of my volunteer jobs was working at the Home Care dept of our local hospital. It started out as 4-6 hours one day a week, then went to twice that, then after Thanksgiving I went to paid temporary part-time - 24 hours a week. That may slow down some in January since the people I was helping to replace are expected to return.

First, for what I did get finished by Christmas -
1 and 2 - The Surrounded quilt and matching pillow for my son and his wife. We started working on selecting pattern and fabrics for these projects in June. Quilt pattern is from Four Paws Quilting and the pillow is Fallen Leaves from Cindi Edgerton. Surrounded quilt and pillow I machine-pieced the quilt and pillow-top and a friend did the long-arm quilting on the quilt. I machine-quilted the pillow-top with a variegated blue/violet thread and backed the pillow with the back of a pillow that came with their sofa.

3 - ABC book for granddaughter.
Reba with her ABC book The pattern I used for this project came from a summer issue of McCalls Quilting. It uses RJR So Sweet So Soft fabrics, including the panel with the letters on it. I quilted some on each letter and used some the collections' fabrics and some that I had used last year in her green and violet quilt and patchwork puzzle ball.

4 and 5 - Two quillows for my grandsons. In mid-November I got the idea to do some quillows for Jack and Atticus. The fronts of both are a Cars panel with Cars fabric above and below the panel. Cars quillow The back of one is part of a duvet of Buzz Lightyear and the other one is a sheet of Backyardigans - these are their respective favorite characters at the moment. The pocket is from the NASCAR flag fabric that is part of the Cars collection. I machine quilted them - first big quilts I've done on my machine - doing some stitching around the Cars figures in the center panel and around Lightning McQueen and Tow-Mater in the other panels. One I added a binding to after I quilted it and the other one I "birthed" and then quilted. Can't say which process I prefer - both took way longer than I had expected!! We had our Christmas with our kids and grandkids on the 23rd, so I gave them the quillows then, but had to take them back at the end of the day to finish up. We saw them again on Christmas Day at my mother-in-law's house and by that time I did have them both finished. Atticus with his Cars/Buzz Lightyear quillow Here is Atticus wrapped up in his at his house, with the Surrounded quilt in the background.

The main project that I did not get finished was the Van Gogh for one of our daughters - see my posts from October 11 and 17 . I still have 1 trunk and 2 tree-tops to add to it. I have been stuck for some time about exactly how to do the tree-tops. For the trunks I have quilted the fabric to look kind of like bark (using batting and muslin) then appliqued the trunk to the quilt. I will do the same for the other trunk, and am trying to decide on the treetop. I felt so bad that I couldn't get it done in time to leave it with them for Christmas but I just ran out of time. I'd love to be able to make another trip down to deliver it when I finish it in the next week or so, but since they live in Marietta, GA and we live in Central VA I will probably have to have Fed Ex deliver it. I had also planned to do a 2nd pillow to go with the Surrounded quilt, but after doing one and seeing it with the quilt I'm not sure they need another one in the same fabrics. We'll be talking about that.

Here is a photo of me with the T-shirt quilt - I finished it a couple of months ago but we have not yet hung it in my husband's office. He wanted a picture of me in front of it to show how big it is. T-shirt Quilt

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tumbling Blocks with no Y seams

Our guild had a workshop yesterday after our meeting. We learned how to make the blocks shown in this photo. Tumbling blocks with no Y seamsThese 8 blocks have not been sewn together yet - I want to wait on that until I have made more of them. It has been challenging to find fabrics that blend together and ones that have 3 in light, medium and dark values in each color. The pattern calls for making a quilt that is about 47" x 58," so I have 56 more blocks to add to these 8. The setting triangles would only be at top and bottom of the design. I probably won't be adding more to these until after Christmas since it seems that I keep on adding project to my list of things to finish by then!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

T-shirt quilt is almost ready to hang

Some of the lettering on the T-Shirt quilt I have now hand quilted around the lettering on the T-shirt quilt and finished 3 sides of the binding.

Next we need to pick out the rod that we will hang it on so I know what size to make the sleeve, then I can finish the top. Last Saturday we took it to DH's office to see how it would actually look there. He will have to move a filing cabinet and a bookshelf but it looks like it will just fit in between a thermostat and another filing cabinet. He will have to get the Buildings and Grounds people to put up the brackets for the rod since we don't have a drill for the concrete walls. I told him I needed it today to show to my Senior Center group, next Monday morning to show to my Monday morning quilting group, next Saturday to show to my quilt guild, and then want to take it to SC with us when we visit my sisters and mom for Thanksgiving. In between those times he can have it in his office.

Here are a couple of pictures of one of the shirts - hopefully you can see the great quilting job that my local long-arm quilter did on it.

San Francisco '92 T-shirt Close-up of the quilting on one of the T-Shirts

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A great gallery of quilt photos

I will soon post an update on my quilting projects, but right now I want to share with you a website that has a great collection of quilt and stained glass photos. I belong to One Stitch at a Time, a very on-topic Yahoo Group from Quilters Corner Club. We are learning about Stained Glass quilts last week and this week, and one of the members has posted her website where she has photos of her quilts, some of which are using the stained glass technique, as well as photos of some of her "real" stained glass. There are some gorgeous photos there - check them out at Look at the albums entitled Farmer's Delight, Quilting, Quilting #2, and Stained Glass - and her Cross Stitch album has some pretty amazing photos too if you like that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Getting to Know Each Other

Here are the Fours..... I got this from Jen and Gina

Job's I've Had:
1. School librarian - 2 high schools, 1 middle school (Miami, FL and Lexington, VA)
2. Placement Office assistant at Washington and Lee University Law School
3. mail order catalog order-taker - this was in the early 80's, catalog is no longer in operation
4. College Librarian and Library Science teacher - Augusta, GA

Movies I (do) Could Watch Over & Over:
1. Dr. Zhivago
2. Sound of Music
3. It's a Wonderful Life
4. Something's Gotta Give

TV Shows I Watch:
1. Braves Baseball
2. The Closer
3. Dancing With the Stars
4. Women's Murder Club

Places I've Lived:
1. Charlottesville, VA
2. Nashville, TN
3. Decatur, GA
4. Miami, FL
I could go on - I've lived in 12 different towns, but have moved 23 times

Favorite Foods:

1. my mother's rhubarb pie
2. my husband's grilled hamburgers
3. crablegs
4. steak

Favorite Colors:

1. blue
2. yellow
3. teal
4. purple

Places I'd Love to Be Now:

1. on the beach at Hatteras
2. in Hawaii
3. in Ireland
4. wherever our kids/grands are gathered

Names I like but would/did not use for my children

1. Kurt
2. Sara
3. Ariana
4. Kate

Not sure how this part works - I will tag Rhoda, Teresa, Stephanie and Lori/Hazel

Van Gogh's View is back home!

As promised, UPS delivered Van Gogh's View back home late this afternoon. I LOVE the quilting that Sandie did on it. She did little swirlies in all the sections where the folds are not, so that the folded back parts really stand out. I had tacked them down well, so I am not worried about them falling out. Here is a picture of the quilting she did on it and a closer view of the it.

van gogh quilted closeup van gogh quilted closeup2

When you look at it at an angle you can see the 3 dimensional appearance - here is a photo that kind of shows that van gogh quilted closeup 3d

Monday, October 15, 2007

So excited/nervous!

We took a trip this past weekend to Marietta and McDonough, GA to see our 3 kids and their spouses and kids, along the way stopping to see my mom in Johnson City, TN and Dave's mom and one sister in Flowery Branch, GA. It was a short trip since we left late afternoon Thursday and got home last night, but fun to see everyone. I have posted pictures on our Flickr page for all to see -

Saturday morning I took the Van Gogh's View quilt to the quilt shop in Marietta where I bought the fabric. I'd been told on the phone that they could quilt it there, and so I expected it to be a simple drop-off, chat a bit about it and be on my way. NOT! The shop owner told me, very nicely, that they could not do it there - it has curved folds, like cathedral windows, in every block - so about 190 of them! She said their quilters were not that experienced - too bad one of their employees had told me, twice, that they could do it with no problem. Anyhow, the owner gave me the name of two quilters in the area that they use. I was of course reluctant to call someone I did not know or know of, but I thought I'd give it a try. I called the first one, Sandie, because Mary Anne said she might be able to do it more quickly. I called her, reached her on her cell phone, she said she was about 10 miles away, but would turn around and come to the shop. She was there in 15-20 minutes, we talked about what I wanted and what she thought would work, and she left with my quilt and the backing. She wanted to know when I was leaving, and when she heard it was the next day she wanted to know what time! She is northwest of Atlanta and we were going to be southeast of Atl, so we discussed mailing it. I just got a call from her this morning - the quilt is finished and she is on the way to UPS it to me so I should have it on Wednesday!! She says it looks really good - my piecing and her quilting. I am so excited and nervous to see it! I've never been in this situation before - I have the T-shirt quilt at one long arm quilter, this one just being finished, and Surrounded, the batik for son and DIL, ready to go to the local quilter as soon as she finishes the t-shirt quilt.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Photo problems

When I wrote my last posting Thursday morning I noticed that the link to the larger pictures on Webshots was not working, but I hoped it would resolve itself during the day. It did not, so I tried to fix it by re-inserting the link from Webshots, but now there is some problem with Blogger and images, so I will check tomorrow night.

After looking at all of my posts it looks like most of them do not actually link to the webshots photo. I will need to get some help in trying to figure out what the difference is in the way it works with some and not others.

Here is another edit to this post. I think I have now fixed all of my photos so that the thumbnails actually DO open to the Webshots picture. I will check it again tonight to see if they still work.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Van Gogh's View" and T-shirt Quilt Update

First - a T-shirt quilt update. Yesterday the local long-arm quilter brought me the sample she worked on for the quilt, and I totally approve of what she has done. She seems more confident now of what she will do and she plans to get started right away. I am hoping to have it in a week or two although she did not give me a date. I also asked her to do Surrounded that was on my previous post, but first I want to take it to GA this weekend for my son and DIL to see it, then I'll bring it back for her to quilt.

Van Gogh's View Here is a picture of "Van Gogh's View" - I am making it for my oldest daughter and her family. She picked it out when she saw it on display at Red Hen Fabrics in Marietta, GA where she lives. Turns out that the fabric designer is the owner of that shop. She bought some of the fabrics and in August when I was there I bought the rest that I needed. I am going to see them too this weekend and hope to be able to take this quilt to the shop Saturday morning for them to quilt it. It is in the McCalls Quilting issue for July/August '07 - if you look closely at those pictures you can see the quilting design that was used on the sample. I saw the sample in the shop, and would like for them to do something like that. It is closely stitched swirls that resemble the swirls in some of the fabrics. I still have about 60 or so folds to tack down - they are folded back to give them a more curved appearance. If you look closely you can see about where I got to on them. I just finished the borders and my first mitered borders since I got back into quilting 2 1/2 years ago. I was nervous about that, but thought they turned out pretty good.

Fabric for the Back of Van Gogh's View This is a picture of the fabric to be used on the back of the quilt. It is part of the same collection - First Impressions by Northcott - designed by Mary Anne Henderson of Red Hen Fabrics.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"Surrounded" Quilt for Son and Daughter-in-Law

A few months ago my son and his family moved into a new house in Athens, GA. I told them I would like to make a wall hanging or lap quilt for their new house and this is the pattern we eventually decided on. It has about 30 different batiks in it, and will backed with a different batik. I just finished adding the borders to it this morning. I will take it with us to GA next weekend so they can the progress on it, then bring it back here to get it quilted. I am hoping the long-arm quilter who is hopefully going to do my T-shirt quilt will also do this one. Son and DIL sent me two of the throw pillows from their sofa and loveseat so I can cover the pillows with some kind of quilted top to go with the quilt. She suggested the same pattern that I used in the quilt, but I am thinking about using some of the same fabrics but doing some kind of paper-pieced design for them.

I took the T-shirt quilt to the long-arm quilter Friday afternoon, along with a sample block for her to practice on. She is hoping to have the sample quilted by Wednesday when we have our Senior Center group meeting. I also got the second border on the quilt that our Senior Center is going to raffle and took that to the quilter as well - so she has a few things to work on. I was interested to see her quilter. She does some freehand work with it, but she also has some patterns that she traces with a laser light and the machine quilts that design. Seems like more skill involved in that than if you have a computer-operated quilter.

I have had some trouble letting go of my t-shirt quilt, feeling like I really wanted to do all of it myself, but knowing I would have a difficult if not impossible time doing that, and that it would not look as good as I want it to if I did do it. I am not ready to totally give up hand-quilting, but as I get more used to the idea of sharing the making of my quilts, I realize that I could make more, and there are SO many I want to make!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The First Quilt I Started

About 23 years ago I took a class at a local fabric shop, which is no longer in business, to make a lap quilt. The teacher used Georgia Bonesteel's book, Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel, and gave us patterns to make the various designs from. I chose 4 bright calico prints and before the class was over I had 19 blocks in various stages of completion - some were quilted and ready to assemble into the quilt, others were pieced with the borders and the cornerstones, others were pieced but no borders -- you get the idea. If we learned how to actually assemble them I did not remember that part.

Fast forward to 2007. I have now been quilting again for about 2 1/2 years, but had not taken out the calico blocks to do anything with them. I had looked at them various times, but couldn't decide what I wanted to do with them, until last week. Our Senior Center group is doing a sampler quilt to hang at the Center, and I thought the quilt-as-you-go method would be a good way to get the individual blocks quilted and assembled. Only problem was - I didn't know how to assemble them. So, I read Georgia Bonesteel's book, which I had bought in the meantime, and studied the handout that one of our guild members had distributed when she gave a workshop on assembling a QAYG quilt. Then I made a sample using the handout, which puts a narrow sashing in between each block, and put two of my calico blocks together as an example of another way of assembling them. Of course, in order to do that I had to decide what I really wanted to do with those 19 blocks, etc. After a few hours of playing around with arrangements I came up with what you see here - 12 blocks which have at least been pieced - and with lots of moving around of pieces, I came up with an arrangement that has one each of the four colors in each 4-patch at the corners of the blocks.
top half of the calico quilt
bottom half of the calico quilt
As I work with these blocks I have started liking the quilt more, even though it still does not "go" with anything in our house, it will be a nice quilt to have for the TV room -- and it has a history to it as well. The woman who taught the class was our youngest daughter's nursery school teacher, her husband was my boss at that time at the university library, she and I and her husband all went to the same college in TN (though we did not know each other then), and it turned out that she and my younger sister with Big Sister/Little Sister in their college sorority -- so we had a few ties. She and her husband no longer live here - when they moved away my husband took her husband's job - but we have seen them occasionally at library meetings. I will definitely have to send her a picture of the quilt when I do finish it! So now, thanks to my Senior Center group, this quilt has moved way up on the list of WIPs that I want to work on finishing. Of course this is not the only project that is calling me this month, but it is on the "short list."

Here are the first 2 blocks sewn together - calico lap quilt - first 2 blocks sewn together

Another T-shirt quilt update

I picked up the T-shirt quilt from the first longarm quilter last Friday morning. Monday night I took it to the quilting class/group and discussed it with the local longarm quilter. She wants to practice first on a sample of it, since she is a bit concerned about how it will work with the fusible material that I used on the back of the shirts. So, tonight I hope to finish a sample - one T-shirt with a bit of a logo on it, and a picture printed on Printed Treasures, as I did in the quilt, surrounded by other t-shirt material and a border around all of it, similiar to what I did in the real thing. I hope to take it to her maybe Friday. She is also going to quilt a raffle quilt for our Senior Center group, after I finish adding the borders to it, and I want to do that too before I go see her. So, I guess progress is being made on the T-shirt quilt, but no definite answer yet.

And Jen, thanks for your offer. If this woman decides she doesn't want to do it, I will send it to Vera.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

My first finished quilt

Rail Fence for Kristi and Micheal
I have thought for some time that I ought to write, at least for my benefit, a little about each of my quilts. I post pictures of the progess on them on my website, but there is very little other information there about them. So I am going to use this blog as a kind of journal about them. The quilt pictured here is the first one I finished. It is a wall hanging I made for our middle daughter and her fiance/husband. I began it a few weeks after they became engaged in July 2005. They picked out the pattern and the colors they wanted in it. I had a fat quarter of the border fabric which they really liked, but of course when I went back to the store where I thought I had gotten it they had no more of it, and the piece had no identifying info on the selvedge. So I began looking for other fabrics they might like in the same color. I found several fabrics, but none of them did they like as much as this one. Then one day I was looking online for more fabric for another quilt that I was making and there on the screen was the fabric I needed for this one! I of course ordered it immediately, but it was coming from British Columbia, so I didn't tell them anything about it until I had it in my hand. Once we had enough of this fabric, we were able to settle on the other ones in the quilt. I hoped to get it finished for them in time for their wedding in Feb 2006, but it was actually April 2006 when I gave it to them. They hung it near their front door in the house they had then, and it is in the same location in their new house. I hand pieced and hand quilted it, and am very happy with the way it turned out. It is the Rail Fence pattern from Alex Anderson's Start Quilting.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Picture of the T-shirt quilt

T-shirt QuiltHere is a picture of the T-shirt quilt I mentioned in my previous post. This is the first picture I have posted on this blog - I think I need more practice at it. I have loaded a few of my quilt pictures into Webshots and am posting them here from there. I am going to pick it up from the first longarm quilter in the morning and will take it to someone else locally on Monday. She is in the group that I meet with at the Senior Center. I am hoping that if she does not feel comfortable doing it she will let me know now, rather than waiting 6 weeks to tell me like the first person did. If she doesn't want to do it, I have a blog friend in CA who will do it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

T-shirt Quilt Update and Retreat plans

About 6 weeks ago I took my t-shirt quilt to a longarm quilter who lives about 40 miles or more from here. We selected a thread color and quilting design and she explained that the quilting design would be all over the quilt. After thinking about that for a few days, I called to ask her if she could not quilt on the photos that are on the quilt - look here to see what I am talking about. She said she would practice doing that to see if she could do it, but today she called to say that she can't do it, so now I have to go get my quilt from her and find someone else to quilt it for me. In July I thought I could try to do it by hand myself, but after having it on my Q-snap frame for several weeks I decided that I'd better pay someone to do it. Am I being unreasonable to want there to be no stitching over the pictures? I have the names of a couple of other longarm quilters in the area who might be able to do it. It is big - about 75" by 96" and pretty heavy. I suppose I could just tie it, but I really would like to have it quilted. I will make some calls tomorrow and see if I can find someone else to do it.

Our Retreat Committee met today to discuss plans. The retreat is not until the first weekend in May, but we know we need to get plans made. We are hoping to get a teacher who can teach us about sewing with curves, and also want to have some demos from guild members on various embellishment techiques. We are going to look into getting some t-shirts for us with maybe a picture of a quilt we would be making at the retreat. We thought it might be fun to play some strip poker, but we need to find out how to do that -- Jen, can you educate me about that? I am hoping that those who want to will be able to stay overnight. It is held at a community center way out in the country - not sure how many would want to stay, but having that option would be fun. If not, maybe some of us could spend the night in a hotel in town rather than going back to our homes for the night. Thanks to those who replied to my off-blog email request for advice about retreats.

Tomorrow morning I will continue working on the blocks for my demo to the Senior Center group about ways to connect the blocks of a quilt-as-you-go quilt, but when I get home tomorrow afternoon I'll be able to get back to MY quilting and see if I can make some progress on this week's list.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Beginning a new blog

Welcome to my new blog. I was previously on My Quilt Blog - and plan to keep my previous posts on that blog for the time being. I am hoping that this one will be a bit easier to maintain and that therefore I will post more often. I have a website - that has a Quilting Links page - where I try to document my progress on my quilting projects.

In the last few days I have been working on:
(1) a lap quilt for my son and his wife - using all batiks and a pattern from Four Paws Quilting called "Surrounded." I have just finished piecing the 35 blocks and am letting it rest while I decide on the exact placement of each block
(2) a wall hanging for oldest daugher and her husband - "Van Gogh's View" from the July/August '07 issue of McCall's Quilting - I have one more row to attach to the rest of the quilt, then need to continue tacking down the folded pieces on each of 190+ blocks
(3) four blocks for a demo for the Quilt Qlub group I lead at our local Senior Center - this Wed. I am going to show them how we can finish a sampler quilt we have all contributed to by quilting it one block at a time
(4) another placemat for the Quilt Qlub's project to make enough placemats to distribute to the 60 recipients of Meals on Wheels - we hope to be able to do this by this Christmas
(5) ordered fabric to make a Peter Rabbit quilt for a young woman I work for at my volunteer job at our local hospital. It is "Storybook Bunnies," from June/July '07 issue of Quilt.

This week I hope to work on:
(1) my Hydrangeas and Butterflies wallhanging - I am going to a quilting class on Monday nights this fall where our theme is to finish a WIP - I have LOTS to choose from, but this one is more nearly finished than most! The hand quilting is finished on it except for 3 1/2 sides of the border, then need to bind it
(2) measure, cut and sew the borders on a quilt for the Senior Center group that one of the other members assembled. The blocks she used were in a large donation we received from the widower of a lady in our area. We are hoping to raffle the quilt in her memory for the benefit of the Senior Center.
(3) complete my Quilt-As-You-Go demo for the Seniors by Wednesday afternoon
(4) meet with the other 2 members of the Retreat Committee for our guild to continue planning for the retreat in May
(5) determine the placement of the blocks for Surrounded and sew them together
(6) finish assemblying Van Gogh's View and do some more tacking on those blocks
(7) finish at least one more of the International New York Beauty blocks on Quilter's Corner Club - I've done 2 so far and we have patterns for 8
(8) participate in the Curve It Up challenge on One Stitch at a TIme

(9) anxiously await Carol Doak's October Block of the Month pattern that she promises will be out sometime this week on her Yahool Group page

Well, that sounds like enough for one week! I plan to use this blog to help me stay focused on what I want to do next. I have so many quilty things in the works that it is hard to decide what to do next sometimes! So why do I want to start new ones like #7, 8, 9 above? I guess it is because I am more of a starter than a finisher - a bit of quilty ADD! I like to think it is just because I love all things quilty and just want to do it all! I did just recently straighten up my quilting/guest room so now I can find all of my quilting and counted cross stitch things -- I think the listings above are kind of just another way of organization. After all, I was a librarian for years before I retired, so organization is well-ingrained in me!

Wish me luck on accomplishing at least most of the 9 items listed above!