Saturday, September 22, 2007

Is there a problem here?

I just had to send this photo. All these blocks have the corners popping up reminding me of the Denver Airport buildings! Fortunately, they DO press back down flat, using a little bit of starch.
I don’t know what the protocol is for posting locations of amazing photos/videos, and I was going to put the link in this post, but when I did the 'fiddling' with the embedding (a new term to me), the video screen just popped up on my blog, so here it is. This video HAS to be one of the best! My congratulations to it's maker!!! The link came from Stashbusters, an on-line mailing list, regarding how to make Bulls Eye Quilts. As I checked the link to see what the tutorial was all about, I was astounded not only by the great tutorial, but a slideshow of 67 - yes, 67 slides of the most wonderful quilts I’ve seen - totally scrappy, each one better than the last. Give yourself some time to watch it all - you won’t be sorry. And these are all scrappy, using up our stash!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

REAL 30s and Apologies to Ms. Burns

Several years ago, an acquaintance gave me these REAL 30s scraps. She had been making humongous quilts at her church from towels, drapes, sheets, bedspreads, for disaster victims to be sent overseas, and these little scraps were unsuitable.

There are all sizes, a few little blocks, bodices cut out and thrown in the collection. Over the years, I’ve become more and more envious of anyone who can claim their 30s scraps are REAL, – I’ve lovingly oogled them.

For some time, I’ve wanted to make a Rocky Road to Kansas, and finally, the time has come. Now, there are several ways to make this block, but I chose this way, from Eleanor Burns book, Egg Money Quilts. The good part is that her templates (in the book) are made from thick cardboard, and you can draw around them.
The kink in this choice is this long thin background triangle that has to be .... uhhhh ... set in - yes, that unpleasant method of getting a triangle into an inside angle.

I string pieced the bits onto telephone book pages, cut oversize, the approximate size of that large triangle, then trimmed to correct size of large triangle.

(By the way, I DID purchase the center triangle fabric, to be sure I had enough for all the blocks.)

I saw Eleanor Burns do this block on TV and couldn’t believe it, when she started at the OUTER tip of the string pieced part of the star, sew to the inverted angle, wrangle that background triangle around with the needle left down at the inside of that angle, and zoom back down to the tip of the next point. However, I DID notice (clever me), that the camera did not stay on the finished project, so assumed maybe, Eleanor’s usually perfect methods may not have been successful.

So, being skeptical, I decided to do it MY way - the RIGHT way! Pulling the center seam allowances out of the way, I started at the inside angle, carefully backstitching 2 stitches, then sewed to the tip of the point. Then going back to the other inside angle, doing it again, from the other side, and off down to the other point.

Hmmmm, not so great. OK, need more practice – it will press out.

Hmmmm, less great ... OK press those seams in the OTHER direction, that will do the trick.

Hmmmm, a little bunchy, and where did those puckers come from? That foundation paper is causing the puckers. OK, I’ll take off the foundation telephone book pages. .

x%#&^**@#!~/!! 6xxxx drat!!! No improvement - this is not fun anymore, but now I’ve pieced all that precious fabric to the paper and trimmed it! Now what?

Hey - I’ll just try it her way - nothing to lose here. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll redo the xxxx pattern and make a seam in that long thin background strip ( ... getting just a teensy bit impatient with this process ...)

I started at one tip, put in a holding pin at the pivoting point and ... stopped needle down at that inside angle, wrangled that fabric around to the other side (I DID use a tweezers for assistance), totally ignored what was happening with the seams on the underside, zoomed on to the other point, and did some praying, and turned on the iron to improve what was going to be a mess.

Voila - absolutely perfect! Who woulda guessed? My apologies to Ms. Burns!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I have too many ideas (which I LOVE), too many books (love them too), too much fabric (yeah, love that also), too many blogs (you KNOW I LOVE all 105 of them), but the end result is that when I want to DO something, my mind is too cluttered with a thousand ideas, and I’m left in a directionless, exhausting, and frustrated heap.

I can't be the only one with this problem -- what do YOU do to de-clutter your brain so you can concentrate?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Long-Arm Experience

Yesterday, I was scheduled to try out the long-arm HQ 16 at my LQS. I was determined to finish this string quilt, destined for Linus Project. I started this quilt months ago, after joining a string quilt mail list, Heart Strings, on Yahoo. Why it took me so long to get it done I'll never know, but here it is, DONE. Mary, of started this mail list/Heart String Quilt Project which has turned into a huge success, using up stash strings and turning them into wonderful quilts for any charitable organization.

(I can't get this link insert to work properly ... )

I don't think I'm destined to be a long-arm quilter, but then this was my first effort. I really LIKE my DSM and enjoy machine quilting with a Janome 6500 as well as hand quilting, but I digress.

Here is the finished project - not bad colorwise, and not great quiltingwise -- but OK.

And here is a close up -- I'm feeling very brave to show my crookedy stitches. The machine had a stitch regulator that was driving me bananas, but hey, I'm learning.

Now, I have more to tell you. First, the gals at the shop were so helpful, patient, knowledgeable, etc. I am most grateful for their help and assistance. Then, when it was time to tally up the cost, came the next big and pleasant surprise. Because this was a donated quilt, they gave me the most generous discount. And even better yet, there had been some kind of collusion between them and my DH, so when I was ready to leave, they handed me a gift certificate from DH for another shopping spree! I was so overwhelmed, I couldn't even do any shopping +- a good excuse for another day of pleasure.

Hey, life is good!

Can you Recapture a Memory?

I have been wondering why my recent visit to Florida was less than expected, even though it’s main purpose was to visit my Mother, now in a Care Facility. I saw the manatees, saw the dolphins, visited a great quilt shop, took 2 boat excursions, and pieced a quilt top, my DH enjoyed himself - and I am happy to see that my Mother is OK, just not like she used to be... I’m even able to pay the costs without too much strain on the budget. Still, unlike my normal goody-two-shoes attitude, I was not greatly pleased with this trip.

I WANTED to relive the memories, but now, all the parts are different. Mom is different, Grandma is long gone, my sister was not there to visit, places I visited in my previous life, just aren’t the same. Those memories happened in my first life. Memories of another life, long over – bittersweet.

I was expecting to recapture memories.

You cannot recapture a memory - it’s just that - a memory – and even though we don’t realize it today, we are making memories for down the road.