October 26, 2007

Happy Autumn

This is a decoration on a lamp post at Disney World. When we were there on vacation this past September the park was all decorated for fall. Cute!
From time to time life interrupts the blogging world. It will be difficult for me to get a chance to post for a little while. Please do not forget me or my blog - I will return! Until then, hope you find time to do what you love be it quilting, scrapbooking or reading.

October 24, 2007

Can You Hear Me?

Oh the joys of the telephone. I wanted to pay my phone bill with my credit card tonight. I called the number AT&T provided and I got an automated voice. Of course. Usually that isn't a problem. This time however, it wasn't as easy as it should have been. "The Voice" asked me what I wanted to do. I said, "Make a payment." The voice said it couldn't hear me, could I please repeat what I wanted to do. I said it louder. The voice said it couldn't hear me and could I please repeat what I wanted to do. I said it a little louder again and it understood. The voice then asked me if I wanted to make a payment with a credit card etc. to press a certain number - I could do that, it didn't have to hear what I wanted. The voice then asked me to say my credit card number or I could enter the numbers in followed by the pound sign. I opted for putting the numbers in. It's a good thing too! After the numbers were entered it asked if my card ended in certain numbers. I said yes. The voice told me it couldn't hear me, could I please repeat myself. I said yes a little louder. Meanwhile, I hear my hubby who has returned home from work. I'm thinking, I will be done soon, not a problem. The voice then asked me if I wanted to pay a certain amount. I said yes. The voice said it didn't hear me. I said yes a little louder. The voice still didn't hear me. I yelled YES in the phone. Hubby then enters the room I am in and wonders why I am yelling YES into the phone. I was afraid to say anything but yes or no so I just motioned for my hubby to be quiet and waved the credit card at him. I then yelled YES and NO into the phone a few more times. Hubby stood there with a funny looking smile wondering if his wife was sane, and who was she yelling at. At the end of the transaction the voice asked me to please let them know my satisfaction of this transaction. One was being very poor and five was totally satisfied. I punched in 2 because I could actually punch in a number and I did finally get to pay the bill and not have to yell at the voice. The voice then said, I'm sorry to hear that. Goodbye. The voice then hung up. I wanted to yell in the phone that it didn't hear me half the time before, why could it now! I then had to explain to hubby why I was yelling yes and no into the phone. He looked a little relieved when he heard I was trying to pay the phone bill. I was sane after all! Maybe next month I will mail in the check so I won't have to deal with the voice again!

October 23, 2007

My Featherweight

I love my Featherweight Sewing Machine. Jessica asked one time what a Featherweight was. A Featherweight is a antique Singer Sewing Machine that weighs round 11 lb.s It is nice and compact and very easy to take from place to place. I took my machine to my friend Gloria's today to work on our Scrappy Lattice blocks. Gloria, Phyllis and myself are making the same pattern. My friends are using florals and I am using Civil War reproduction fabrics. We also worked on our Christmas Block of the Month. My friend Cindy has all of the fabrics picked for the remaining 11 blocks. Can we say overachiever? Just teasing Cindy! I still haven't totally finished the bear block from month #1. Yikes!

October 22, 2007

Another BB Bag

I made another BB Bag! The designer calls this one a Big BB. It is aprox. 7" x 8 1/4". Not what I would call big but guess it is bigger then the Teeny one (it is the purple one I posted about earlier). I love to make these bags and this one is my favorite one so far! I wanted to incorporate three different fabrics so I pieced the front flap. I will be teaching this class at a LQS. So fun!You can find info on this pattern here.

Today I also worked on a sample for a Free Form Machine Quilting class. I will post a picture of it when I get the binding sewn down and the blue marker washed out. It's been a busy but fun day!

October 20, 2007

Buggy Barn Log Cabin Crazies

This has been some week! I am glad it is over. I got home Monday afternoon from my wonderful trip to WI and the Diane Gaudynski class very tired but happy. I had to get back into the swing of things right away. I was playing Church Secretary for two days this week to fill in for the vacationing secretary. I had to get ready to teach two quilting classes on Thursday at Robert's Sewing Center in Joilet, IL and then of course teach them. I taught a Beginning Machine Quilting class in the morning/afternoon and in the evening I taught a Buggy Barn Log Cabin Crazies class. Busy busy day. It is about a 45 min. drive for me to get to Robert's Sewing Center so I thought I would try teaching two classes in one day. It worked, but boy was I tired when I got home. The photo is my version of the Buggy Barn pattern. It isn't the best photo. Because it is still a flimsy (non-quilters this means it is just a quilt top, it hasn't been quilted yet) the light shows through it. I couldn't take a better picture because the camera is out of town with DH. We had a great time in the classes. I learn something from my students each time I teach a class too! That is part of what makes teaching so much fun. Yesterday was spent playing church secretary. It is stressful when you have 29 more bulletins to be run and the copier says it is out of toner and stops. UGH! That is another story, but to make a long story short the bulletin will be in everyone's hands on Sunday. I did get to have a fun evening with Char. Since our hubbys are together camping we went out to our favorite pizza place and afterward had a fun gab session. When hubby is away I usually stay up real late and sew away, but not this time. I was just too worn out. Today I am getting my classes lined up to teach in the next quarter and will be working on some class samples. I get to quilt today - yeah!!!!!! I missed posting on my blog lately and reading other blogs too. I hope to catch up on some blog reading today too. I better get cracking or that won't happen!

October 16, 2007

More Of My Weekend

I put in my post last Friday that I felt like there was so much stuff I was taking for my weekend class with Diane Gaudynski. I wondered if I was taking too much. I took a photo of the luggage cart before I loaded up the car Monday morning. Yep, that is a lot of stuff for one gal for three days away from home. I believe I used most of what I took over the course of the weekend so I guess I packed well! Of course I took more home then I brought! I ended up with some wool and silk batting, fabric, and different types of thread that wanted to come home with me.

Diane's classes are always a treat. She is not one to evade you questions as to how she accomplishes her different designs or effects. She is very giving of her knowledge, and brings a lot of samples for her students to study. The first sample here is what I did in class. Just remember, these are class samples, not completed works. There is a lot of goofs mixed in. This photo shows another free form frond and what is called a Ripple Stipple. The Ripple Stipple is fun to do and adds a different texture to backgrounds.

Next is a free form feather. In the first class I took with Diane she showed us how to do free form feathers. I was horrible at it. My attempts were very discouraging. This time around Diane showed a different way to approach them and I was able to at least quilt something that looked like a feather! I have heard of and even participated in "Happy Dances" before, but I really wanted to get up and do a "Feather Dance" in class after I was able to quilt feathers. I was soooo excited. Of course they aren't perfected yet, but at least you can tell that they are feathers.
In my hotel room each night I set up my Featherweight and sewed away. I have been working on blocks for a Paducah Nine Patch quilt for years (made with 5" squares of fabrics that you cut, sew, slice and resew). It is a project that I took with me different places, but rarely worked on it at home. I had 18 blocks to finish and I did it! Now to get the blocks put together in a quilt top!

I worked on a couple more BB Bags and sewed some on one of my newest projects, My Piece Of Heaven blocks. I think I have mentioned before that I am doing a blue scrappy quilt. I found the pattern on Bonnie Hunter's web site I will show photos when I have more progress on it.

All in all, I had a wonderful quilting retreat! Now to find time to implement what I learned!

October 15, 2007

What a weekend!

What a weekend I had in Wisconsin! I took a two day class with Diane Gaudynski. I think she is the queen of machine quilting on a domestic machine. For nonquilters that means using a regular home sewing machine to do the quilting. This is the second time I have had the opportunity to take a class with Diane. What a treat! I decided to show you a few samples of what I did in class.

This is a sample of a free form frond (the leaf looking motif), Diane Shiko (the interlocking circle shapes), rocks, and part of some free form feathers. The thread used is silk, the blue lines are from a wash out marker. I have more pictures to share with you but blogger is not downloading photos very well right now. I will share more with you tomorrow...if blogger lets me that is! I had a great time this weekend and learned so much. I was able to do a a lot of sewing in my hotel room each night, so of course that was a lot of fun too. I will show photos of that tomrrow too!

October 12, 2007

Wisconsin Here I Come

My bags are packed! I am heading to Wisconsin today. I am taking a machine quilting class over the weekend with Diane Gaudynski! I am sooooooo looking forward to it. I took a class with her about a year and a half ago and totally loved it. I learned so much, I wanted to take another class. DH is keeping the home fires burning while I am away. It is amazing at all the stuff I am taking. I have to have something quilty to occupy my evenings, of course. My Featherweight is going along so that I can sew in my hotel room. My Pfaff will be in the classroom and I don't want to drag it back and forth. I have the supplies for the class and a tote with my supplies for the room. My suitcase and overnight bag round out the baggage. When I saw everything I was taking I shook my head in amazement. Oh well, I will keep myself busy! I'll let you know how my trip and class went when I get back!

October 10, 2007

Teeny BB Bag

I had a lot of fun making this Teeny BB Bag. I got the pattern this past weekend at Lolly's Fabrics in Shipshewana. I am trying to decide what classes to teach the next quarter at a LQS, and this may be one. I haven't totally decided yet. I want to make a few more before I decide. Once I figured out the directions the assembly went pretty quickly. Of course I had to make a few changes from the original directions. There are three different sizes of little purses in this pattern put out by Brookshire Design Studio. There are two zippered compartments and three pockets in this little purse. I added iron on Velcro because I like the flap to close and it wouldn't lay down flat on it's own. I think I like it. It would be great when you are on a power shopping trip and you just need the essentials. hmmmmm Maybe I need to do some power shopping soon?

October 9, 2007

It's Here

A squishy arrived in the mail yesterday. It was from Toni. She has what she calls Manic Mondays on her blog. She has gone through her UFO's and decided to give away projects that she really doesn't want to finish. A great way to banish the UFO's! I won one of her drawings. This is what I received. She sent the fabric to complete the project and her plans for it as well. Wow! Now to put in on my list of things to do!

Bren has tagged me with a meme.
It's all about Fours.

4 jobs I've had
Cookies By Design Store Owner
K-mart - various positions - I even ran the blue light specials - remember those?Jack's Carry Out

4 films I could watch over and over
A Christmas Carol
The Ghost And Mrs. Muir
The Harry Potter Movies

4 TV shows I watch
Dancing With The Stars

4 places I have lived
I have always lived in Indiana

4 favorite foods

4 favorite colors

4 places I'd love to be right now
On the beach
In a quilt store with a gift certificate in my hand
Quilting with my friends
Going out to lunch with my friend Char

4 names I love but could/would not use for my children
I don't have children, but the names I like:

4 people to tag
I am new to the blogging world so I have 2
Jessica has just started her blog a few days ago! Yeah Jess!
Have fun with the meme!

October 8, 2007

No Camera Pt. 2

I thought I would share a little more about my day in Shipshewana and Middlebury, IN. There is a large Amish community that live in the Shipshewna area. It seems like where you find Amish you find quilts and good food. There is another great quilt store called Yoder's Department Store. They claim to have over 12,000 bolts of fabric with over 4,000 of those bolts being 100% cotton fabric. I believe them! There is so much to see and of course buy there! They have the best selection of solid color fabric that I have ever seen. If you want to make an Amish inspired quilt, that is the place to find the fabric you need. I made a mistake on the way to Shipshewana. I told my DH that I had collected enough pink and brown reproduction fabrics to make my long planned for quilt. Of course what did I see but new double pinks and browns and they all were calling my name. When DH saw what I bought he said, "I thought you had enough pinks and browns now?" I told him they were just calling my name. What was I supposed to do? Leave them at the store? I think not!

My non-quilting friend, Char has asked me if I will ever blog about something that isn't quilt related. Here it is Char! Middlebury is a neighboring town. There are treasures to be found there too. One such treasure will be mailed off to my Mother-in-law. We took her to the Shipshewana area once when she was visiting us. She bought some Yoder's Pork Rinds and claimed they tasted just like the ones she had when she was a girl. She says they are even better if you pop them in the microwave and warm them up just a little. I will just have to take her word for that! The only place we can find them for her now is in a little grocery store in Middlebury. She will be happy when she receives her surprise package in the mail.

My absolute favorite place to go to in Middlebury is Essenhause. There is a wonderful hotel, great shops, yummy bakery, and a fantastic restaurant there.

At the restaurant you have two choices. You can eat a family style all you want to eat meal or choose from a menu. We chose to eat the family style meal this time. Wish I would have had my camera with me. You would be licking your lips right about now and wishing you were there too. We had chicken, baked steak, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, homemade bread, corn and of course dessert. The dessert ended up going home with us as our tummy's were just to full to enjoy it there. My DH loves their Chocolate Raspberry pie, so he brought one of those home too. Yum!

October 6, 2007

No Camera!

Today DH and I had a fun day at Shipshewana, IN. It is such a fun place to go and spend the day, or the weekend for that matter. We were a mile away from home and I realized I left my cell phone in a different purse at home. Oh well, I figured I would survive with out my phone. About a half an hour away I realized I forgot my camera at home too. How was I to blog about my trip without my camera? At lease I didn't forget the credit card! I will just have to show you pictures of my purchases - at least some of them!

There are the neatest quilt stores in Shipshewana. The first one I went to was Lolly's. I told DH that I was looking for snow fabric and sky fabric for my Christmas blocks. Well, you know the divide and conquer theory? I was looking, stroking and drooling over possible fabric purchases and DH comes up to me. "I found what you want over here!" He says with a great big smile on his face. I assured him I would get over to see them in a minute. When I got over to the other side of the store sure enough, he found blue sky fabric that would be great for my quilt. I loaded up his outstretched arms with about four bolts of fabric. I heard some reproduction fabrics calling my name. I added a couple more bolts to DH's outstretched arms. I found some "snow" fat quarters. We got in line at the cutting table and then paid for the much needed fabric. After that great feat we had a wonderful fresh from the oven pretzels. The pretzel's at Jo Jo's don't even come close to the ones you can get at the mall - they are sooooo good! While we were eating that wonderful pretzel I looked at DH and said, "You know, I'm not finished at Lolly's." He had this surprised look on his face. I had found what I was looking for, what else did I need? I had to explain that I hadn't had a chance to look, to explore. I don't know if he really understood, in fact I know he didn't. We walked around at different stores and I went back to Lolly's while DH went to a nearby antique store to while away his time while I explored. I found a pattern that called my name. It is the BB Bag one in the photo. I have hopes that this would make a good class for me to teach. Now I have to find time to make one soon to find out. Tomorrow I will tell you about Yoder's Dept. Store and Essenhause at Middlebury. It is past my bedtime, and I am in the Worship Team in the early service at church tomorrow morning. Good night!

You Make Me Smile

It made me smile when I read that Bren
gave me my first blogging award. Thanks Bren! She has been very kind to me since I have entered the blogging world. She has given me guidance that has been much appreciated! Thanks Bren! This award of course comes a stipulation (isn't there always?). The award winner is to do a meme using the letters of our name to describe ourselves. Hmmmmm here it goes:
M - material girl (although we call it fabric these days)
A - amiable
R - resourceful
I - innovative
L - loving
Y - yardage (there is lots of it in my stash)
N - needle in hand
That was hard to do! Now I am to tag some of my blogging friends that make me smile. Well, since I am the new kid on the block I have one friend that I can truly award this to: my friend Charlene Tag your it Char!

October 4, 2007

Klutz Glove

Today I didn't get a lot of sewing done, but I did get some fabric cut and organized for a leader/ender project that is called My Blue Heaven. The quilt is from Bonnie Hunter's wonderful site Quiltville.com If you aren't familiar with the leader/ender method of piecing one quilt while you are actually sewing on another check out Bonnie's site for that too. I have found that when I am cutting small pieces with my rotary cutter I must be very careful. One day I actually cut off the end of my fingernail while cutting a half square triangle piece. That was just too close for comfort. I bought a glove called the Klutz Glove. It is a cut-resistant glove that protects the non-cutting hand while rotary cutting. It is made from stainless steel and synthetic fibers and has little rubber dots for gripping the rulers. I had to get used to the glove as it is a little big for me, but now I like it. I don't use it when I am cutting large strips (although maybe I should). I just don't have to put my fingers so close to the edge on large strips. I have heard too many stories of quilter's having to go to the emergency room because of rotary cutting mishaps. It is the Klutz Glove for me! By the way, I bought mine at a LQS. I think Fons and Porter sells it too.

October 3, 2007

A Beautiful Day

It was a beautiful Fall day, and I was able to take advantage of it. I spent the afternoon sewing in my Gazebo. My flowers aren't as pretty at this time of year, but I still like being outside. My regular sewing area is in the basement. No windows. I set up my sewing area and sewed away. My Featherweight is the perfect machine for outdoor sewing. It doesn't take up much room on the card table. It is so much fun to sew on that little machine. Today I worked on what I call Crumb Blocks. Some call them Mile a Minute Blocks, but since many of the fabric scraps are small they feel more like crumbs to me. I save my scraps from quilting projects. I can't help it. The way I look at it, I spent just as much money on the scraps as I did the fabric in the quilt, so why not use them? I also like Crumb Blocks because they are mindless sewing. I don't have to worry about what size something is or if I have the right color. I sew the crumbs and strips together until I can cut a 8 1/2" square block out of it. Why 8 1/2" block? Because that is the size of my ruler. Mindless. I like that at times!

October 2, 2007

Hand Quilting

I found a new notion to help with my hand quilting today. I found that by putting Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape on my right index finger it was easier to pull the needle through the fabric. I used Kona Cotton as the background fabric for my Marie Webster quilt. Kona Cotton is wonderful to use as a background for hand applique, but it can be difficult to hand quilt through as it is a heavy fabric. I had been using a product called Finger Cots to help me pull the needle through the fabric. They worked well, but were easily torn by the tip of the needle. The first aid tape worked great and is very heavy duty. On the hand that rests underneath the quilt I put electrical tape on my index finger. I can still feel the needle hit my finger underneath the quilt, but it helps protect my finger from the needle point. I did try the first aid tape on my index finger under the quilt today too. It worked OK, but I think I prefer the slicker electrical tape. Are there other ideas for neat hand quilting notions out there?

October 1, 2007

I Won!

Wow! I received an email this morning from Toni, The Quilting Pirate . She informed me that I won her Manic Monday drawing. On Monday's Toni has been posting pictures of UFO's that she doesn't want to finish. When you leave a comment on her blog she enters you into a drawing for the UFO. I won a set of Sun Bonnet Sue redwork blocks, the pattern, and fabric she was using for the wall hanging. I am thrilled! Thanks Toni! When I receive the Sun Bonnet Sue's I will post a picture of them. I can't wait!

I love the fabrics of the 30's era. I thought I would post a picture of the quilt I made for my DN wedding gift last year. My nephew and his wife will be celebrating their first anniversary soon. My nephew plays the guitar and his wife to be liked the 30's & 40's era. Hmmmmm what to make that would work for both of them? I used the fabrics on the front of the quilt for the Bride and the fabric on the back was for the Groom. A His and Hers quilt was born. I am told that this is a much loved and used quilt. Happy Anniversary!

The picture isn't the best, but you get the idea!