May 20, 2009

Flower Power

Aside from my working on the Two Color Challenge quilt (like crazy) that I can't show photos of yet, I have finally been able to start planting flowers around my home. It has been a very cold, wet Spring here and that gave me a late start on planting this year. Last week I got in a car with my friend Char and drove approximately one hour to get to this wonderful Greenhouse. Talk about a Greenhouse!

I told Char that this reminded me of a quilt. Hmmmmmm...she just laughed at me. I wonder why?
Every year I just have to have a big red Geranium plant in front of my house. When I see the beautiful pink ones I think for just a minute about getting one of those beauties, but I always end up getting a red one. Why? I don't know for sure. Tradition? Maybe next year I will try a different color. Maybe. Char and I spent four hours walking around this giant greenhouse and picking out our plants to take home. I have a bad habit of picking up one plant, looking at the others, and then putting the first one down to get a different one. That wouldn't be so bad if I only did it once. I have to pick the best one, but which is the best one? I did break a record though this year. The Geranium that I picked out was the second one I looked at. I believe Char was impressed! Yes, it took me four hours to find these beauties had just had to go home with me. The photo is a bit dull. The only time it wasn't pouring down rain that day was when it was time to take our purchases out to the car. We were happy about that part! The sad part was that I could have spent more time there just looking and the different plants. But you know as well as I do, the more time you spend in a place like that the higher you bill is as you leave!
Here is some of my work in progress. I consider this a "before" photo. As the plants grow and fill out I will try to remember to show you an "after" photo too.

Now, I guess it is back to that Two Color Challenge quilt that I am machine quilting right now. I will be able to show a photo of that too, but not until June 9. I am a long way from the finish line as far as quilting goes, so I had better get back to that machine!

May 7, 2009

Another Pair

I finished up another pair of socks tonight. Even though this isn't the season for wool socks I want to start another pair. I will admit these little striped beauties have been waiting for the final stitching up of the toes for at least a couple of months. This is about the third pair of socks that I have knitted, but I always have to watch a video on the Knitting at Knoon site in order to stitch up the toes. I can never remember how to do it. I was able to knit my first pair of socks this past Winter with the help of one of their patterns and the helpful videos.

I thought I would post a few more photos from the Antique Quilt Trunk Show that I talked about in an earlier post that was given at my guild by Caryl Scheutz. Such eye candy!

Here is a crazy quilt, and yes, that is me on the left hand side holding up the quilt. I couldn't resist studying it a little. Talk about beautiful!

This is a "T" quilt. The letter T is there in each block, four times to be exact. I seem to remember Caryl talking about how the ladies Temperance Movement made this type of quit. Remember, I was one of the gals behind the quilts and it was easy to get distracted from time to time!

This one is called the Princess Feather I beleive. If I am wrong please don't hesitate to correct me! Another beautiful applique quilt for sure!

May 4, 2009

Busy Week

It was a busy and fun week last week. We had two guests at our guild this past week and as the Guild Program Chairman that means I was hopping. At our regular meeting on Tuesday Caryl Schuetz who is a certified quilt appraiser came and gave a lecture/trunk show about antique quilts. Talk about beautiful quilts!
This is one of the gorgeous quilts that she showed. I believe this is a variation of a Wigg Rose. I was one of the gals holding up the quilts that day (Thanks Phyllis for taking pictures for me!) and I have admit I was a little distracted at times. She showed many other quilts, but this one was my favorite. Another quilt that I thought you might enjoy seeing is actually a quilt top that was turned into a shower curtain at one time. Caryl found it at an antique store and has hopes of turning it into a "real" quilt in the future.
In the afternoon we had a workshop with Caryl concerning making new quilts today look like the antiques of the past. This is one of the quilts that we saw in the workshop. The basket blocks are of the Civil War era, the setting blocks or the blue blocks are newer in age. I loved looking at the fabrics in the baskets and the color combinations.

This past weekend Sue Nickels came to teach a class for my guild. Talk about fun! She drove into town Friday so a couple of fellow guild members and I were able to take her out for dinner and have an enjoyable meal chatting away. Saturday she taught a class about how to machine quilt an applique quilt. She gave us tips about what to do in the background area and how to embellish the applique motifs.
Sue uses a camera in front of her machine and then projects it so that the whole class can see exactly what she is talking about. You can watch each stitch as she makes it instead of everyone in the class crowding around her machine trying to see what she is doing. I truly enjoyed my day with her and my mind was filled with ideas and possibilities after class. If you enjoy machine quilting and have a chance to take a class with Sue don't pass it up!

Today I have been working on the two color challenge quilt I have talked about before. It is so hard not to snap a photo of it to show it to you...but shhhhhhhh it's a secret! The quilt top is pieced, the paper foundations torn away from the back and now it is time for the quilting decisions. So many decisions! I am machine quilting it. Do I want a free motion type of design in the borders or something more traditional? How about the quilting in the blocks themselves? What type of batting and thread do I want to use? I have made some little samples of different threads, quilting patterns and batting to help that decision along. I have spent a lot of time piecing this quilt and will spend a lot more time quilting it so I want it to be just right. Some quilts are made for the pure joy of it, and are utilitarian in nature. This one I have challenged myself and I want to be truly happy with my choices. Stay tuned for the revealing in June!