Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Most of the time my husband and I go to Wisconsin to be with his family sometime during the holidays. We decided against that this year and it seems strange to just talk on line or via phone. This is just the kind of a year that makes one remember the real meaning of Christmas and to appreciate family and friends.
Today I listened to and watched Ricki Tims Christmas Concert at http://www.thequiltshow.com/ You must register, but it is free and look at the blog if the link is not up.
Happy Holidays to all.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
My father also has another older sister, I don't know her age, but she still keeps us up to date on her family via e-mails. He has two younger sisters and two younger brothers. Unfortunately they live in different areas of the country, so we don't see many of them.
My father is what I like to call a down to earth man. I mean this with great admiration and wish that we had more people like him on this earth. He is the type of person that you can count on. He puts family first and always has put his family first. He still gardens and likes to go fishing. His activities have slowed down greatly the past couple of years, but he is still active. He does the crossword puzzle in the newspaper, puts together jig-saw puzzles and makes his own lunch. Sometimes he will make dinner for the family.
My father, with the help of family and friends, for the most part built two of the homes in which we have lived. He did hire a few things to be done, like pouring the basement floor and laying block. He was right there while all this was done and even helped. He also had someone else dig the well and put in the septic. So I guess that is why working with puzzles of making quilts comes naturally to me.
I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner. I was not surprised when he finally decided that he wanted meat loaf, scallop potatoes and baked beans. I didn't ask him about the cake, because I already knew he would want a Date Nut Cake. I have been making him this cake for years, but usually only on his birthday. The recipe makes two loaf cakes and one gets frozen for later. I remember my Grandmother, my father's mom making this recipe when I was little. It is moist and tasty, but weighs a "ton" kind of like a fruit cake. It usually gets better when it sits for a few days.
Yesterday I sewed together a pillow top from the stash box pattern. Patti wanted a sample in blue to use in the Batiks by Design booth at the upcoming quilt shows. I am going to machine quilt it in a royal blue metallic thread made by WonderFil. Here is a picture part of what I have done so far.
Tomorrow I will wash some fabrics so I can finish my Dashing Nines and a table runner I made last weekend. Both will then need to be quilted and photographed to be used as covers on my new patterns.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I will post another picture once I get it finished and the pattern published.
Last night I was looking for a design my friend told me about and stumbled acrossed a great site for rugs. I kind of got lost there and found some great designs. I was so inspired that I designed another quilt last night. I wonder if I will get all my designs made and into pattern form. I didn't copy the rug, I just liked some elements of the rug. I found that creating the setting was a challenge, but managed.
This afternoon I was sewing a block for a table runner. I was sewing the last seam when the electric went out. It seemed strange, because our weather wasn't bad like other areas of the country. It wasn't out too long, so that was good.
I need to practice machine quilting. I just don't have the time or desire to hand quilt, but I am not the greatest machine quilter. I learned free motion when I was doing machine embrodery. I liked the hoop to help with guiding my work. Wish I had a hoop for machine quilting on my home machine! I know one is being developed, but it isn't for sale yet. If I dont come up with a comfortable method I will be buying that hoop.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
One of the places we had to visit was the County Clerks Office. Earlier I had investigated the need for license with the State for selling quilt patterns, teaching classes etc. I am somewhat confussed with the answers on their web site, so will need to call them. I did find out that I needed to check with the County Clerk where the "business" will be located. I explained to them what I wanted to do and they said they do not license that type of business, but I needed to go talk to the City Clerk.
The City office was not far away, so I went to talk to them. I really couldn't understand why I needed to talk to the city, because I am in the county. The city office confirmed my thoughts. "If you are not conducting business in the city we do not need to issue a license."
I will be able to take care of all the federal stuff with the help of the state web site. So nice that they have the links I might need. I know some people don't worry about this stuff, but I want to do things correctly. I don't want to be fined later on for not doing all the leg work first.
I feel like I have made my first steps to getting my patterns out to the public. Actually maybe the second or third step, because I have patterns and samples. I have also contacted some people who may be of some help after I do all the legal stuff.
I will be posting some samples of patterns as soon as I can after the first of the year. Some will be quilts, but you never know what I might create. I will also let you know the link for seeing the rest of the collection.
Monday, December 3, 2007
I was really happy about that news and took a copy of the message to my husband to read and then took it to my parents to read. When I returned to our part of the house the telephone rang.
It was our friend Patti. Patti, JoAnn and I went to see a friend, Tina Goodman, last Friday. A few months ago she found out that she had a tumor. This tumor was cancer and it was in the back of her head. She had lost the use of her left side, lost some vision and memory. She spent much time in the hospital. They managed to shrink the tumor, but all knew she was terminal.
When we visiter her on Friday in her home she was happy, laughed, got up to eat lunch, talked about her tumor (which she discribe to us as looking like something out of the program Lost In Space. It had, in her mind, a green body with a yellow fuzzy head like a dandelion. She named the tumor Fred!) We all thought she was doing so much better then we had expected. She asked about my parents. She told Patti that she was sorry she could not make her sample quilts from Patti's fabrics in the patterns she sells. Tina also told JoAnn how she brings so much joy into a room, which she does. Tina did that also. She smiled all the time. Made everyone laugh and loved to quilt.
Well today the tumor...green body and fuzzy yellow head and all...took a very dear person to the other side.
Patti called to tell me that Tina had a seizure and died today. Today Tina and her husband were to leave on a trip to see Tina's mother. Tina's mother was not able to be with her daughter due to her own health problems. At least her memories of her daughter will be of the fun time they had when they were last together. The two of them shared the love of quilting. I pray that those loving times will help her to accept the passing of her child.
Tina will be missed by all who knew her.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Much of what I found were my own designs that I made in multiple color ways to use in classes. I would complete one top or quilt and then have another quilt or two started to show how to sew parts of the quilt together. I could not begin to guess how many flying geese I have made in various sizes, colors and methods in different steps. Some of them have "homes" to fit into particular quilts or wallhangings, but many are just sitting there with no matching blocks. I think a utility quilt may need to be created of all the blocks that don't go with anything. It will take some creating, because I have blocks of all different sizes and styles....and oh the colors changed as often as my moods changed.
Some people only work in one or two color pallets, but since I also teach color classes I would push myself to try color combinations that were out of my comfort level. I learned that there are colors other then blue and blue and blue. Actually blue is not a color I work with easily. I would much rather work with pinks, purples and yellows then add the brown, rusts and reds working my way down to blue. I can put green in most any combination, but it must be the right green for the project. Then when I have used blue in the past it was more of a variation away from the true blue. Believe it or not I can use orange easier then blue.
I am now working with blues due to Patti's traditional batiks (http://www.batiksbydesign.com).
Many of what she has are very pretty blues that go well with one another. I sometimes look in awe at what others have made with the blues and wonder why I have such a difficult time visualizing what something will look like made with the different blues. So again I am pushing myself to a new level. Samples need to be made for Spring shows and now is the time to start. Actually some should have been finished for the Fall shows, but some supplies didn't arrive and some fabrics needed coordinates that "were on the way".
I look at each time new fabrics come out, which is at least twice a year, but some manufactures are putting out mini lines four times each year, it is a challenge to use the new designs and colors. This is especially true if only one or two pieces is in your collection from the manufactures design lines. Then the challenge is to coordinate that "must have" fabric with what you have in your stash or you must buy something to make your new piece look good.
I like to look at older quilts to see how colors were used. Many times there was no rhyme nor reason as to why piece one was put next to piece two. Sometimes they blend so well, but other times it seems like the aging process is a blessing to the over all look of the piece.
Then I start thinking about the makers. Sometimes I think one block may be made from pieces of clothing from a child that may have died at an early age. This block to us my look like a hog pog of color, patterns and textures, but be a very special block to the maker.
Today if two or three friends attend the same quilt show each will remember different quilts. Sometimes it is because of a particular pattern used to make the quilt. Other quilts are remembered because of color combinations or special decorations. I know at the shows I have attended recently some quilts are not really pretty until the quilting is added. All of the dimensions and contours are created due to the quilting, quilting threads and have very little to do with particular fabric choices.
My particular passion when attending quilt shows is first applique, then color. Looking in the booths of vendors at Quilt Festival in Houston I noticed I was attracted to two things. One being bright vivid, but unusual color combinations and then primative pieces. Now can anything be farther from each other then that? I love the African, Australian and the Batiks, but I also love the wools and things made to blend well together in muted tones. Maybe it would be easier if I just like one color.........like blue!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
I will also offer classes in hand piecing that is great for beginners as well as more experience quilters as I cover the very basic four patch to "Y" or set in seams all in one block. Hand piecing and hand applique are nice projects to have on hand for traveling, waiting at the Doctor's office and for times watching TV with the family.
The above class can also be done by machine.
Now for a quick recipe.
This basic recipe was given to me from a friend as a dip for fruit, but I have changed it into a base for several pies we enjoy.
Easy Basic Cream Pie
1 box Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 pouch Instant Topping Mix
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
Mix all together and spoon into a graham cracker pie crust.
To make different flavors I add toasted coconut, bananas or drained crushed pineapple.
I also buy my pudding and topping mix in bulk from the Amish or Menonite stores in our area. Then I will use 1/2 cup of each powder to make my pies.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
At market I saw many new and interesting fabrics, threads and gadgets. I really wanted to buy, but had to restrain myself. I want to remodel my sewing room first before adding too many new items. We will be doing the remodeling after my brother's visit next week. We have already purchased the wood flooring and the paint, so now it is up to me to clean out the room so we can get started.
I see that I am making mistakes in this post, so I best get to bed.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I need to get back to my work, I just needed to rest a bit before going back to the sewing machine.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
This will be our first time to attend Festival in Houston. We don't know how much to take with us, nor what to expect. We will also be going to Market, so at least we will have an idea about the layout of the Convention Center and hopefully make some great contacts prior to things being open up to the public.
I am working on some of my designs to have them ready for sale. One is a new apron with lots of pockets. I remember as a child that my step grandmother always wore an apron. She made all of them herself. She had nicer ones for Sunday, but always had practical cotton aprons of many colors for week days. These were always fresh and nicely pressed in the morning, but she loved to cook and bake. By noon you could see the flour from the bread baking and maybe a spot or two from her wonderful home made soup she was making for dinner.
I also have a fat quarter friendly quilt. It does contain one of my favorite blocks the Churn Dash. I think the reason I like this block so much is because it looks so different on point then it does straight. I have also in other quilts played with the coloring of the Churn Dash to create other designs elements. It is just a fun block.
Maybe I will show you some pictures tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
I have done a little sewing, (hemming, made a sling and added to the dog's collar) but no quilting since we have been home. I have been so tired and today somewhat sore. I am not going to let that stop me. I try to keep going and accomplish something everyday.
Today after baking 2 pies and getting dinner going I picked out fabric to start a table runner. It will be used in the living room on the chest by the door. We seem to drop things down on it as we come in the door and I want to protect the wood surface. I will be testing a pattern as I make this project. I have decided on 3 greyish blues. I hope I have enough of the background. The fabrics I am using are from my stash and part of the background has been used in another project. When I have more time I will learn how to post pictures and add a sample of the fabrics I am using. I need to go read the pattern to see if I can use this background.