Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Federal Budget" - Kaleidoscope

This one rapidly became totally 'out of control' - I pushed past the limits, color/valuewise - hence the name, "Federal Budget"! It became so 'out of control' it appears I sewed some blocks in the wrong place but cannot follow my own logical arrangement plan, so left them alone. It WAS driving me crazy - I won't go in the direction again of "total freedom" again. (Hey, that also is not a bad name!)

I'll try this pattern one more time, totally blending my values from light to dark, a design that is visually calming. That plan was where I started in the first place, about 6 Kaleidoscope quilts ago!

I found a neutral soft gray thread that blends nicely for quilting. While I'm not thrilled with the overall busy design, I CAN say, "it's very interesting."

On another subject, last night I returned from a 2-day drive East, across Nebraska and back, for a State Quilt Guild meeting. The drive was pleasant, with good company, an unexpected meeting at McDonalds with another member I didn't know well, about midway (who surprised me by quoting my blog!), and overnight stay with another gracious member, a tour of her beautiful, quilt-filled home, an official meeting, and back across the state again, with one quilt-y stop at a lovely shop in York, and back again, arriving home for bedtime! Whew - I am weary today! That's about 15 hours of driving (oh yes, and talking most of the time! Talking a mile a minute kept both of us from getting sleepy!

Back to the chiropractor tomorrow. I'm moving slowly, but moving. The time involved with adjustments, crashing and long naps after adjustment, definitely impacts my quilting time, dang it. 8-((( And I must admit to a few hours of self-pity, depression, and "poor me's".

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quilt Retreat, Bonnie's Class

Wyoming has a LOT of open space -- last weekend we headed to Casper, Wyoming, to a Quilt Retreat where Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville would be teaching. This is a 4 hour drive, one way, from my home, so good company helps to pass the time.
I am most grateful to Vonda, a guild member, who sent me the information about the classes (and also for the home-made noodles)! We are all attending Bonnie's Trunk Show and taking her Pineapple Blossom class. Here's Vonda and one batik block. Thank you, Vonda.
Ramona, another Guild member, wanted to take the class also. She always does beautiful work and and is using some of her vast collection of batiks.
And here's Bonnie, in front of her class sample. She's standing next to some old gal, with a pinched nerve and extra plumpness who looks a lot like my Mother! I've 'followed' Bonnie for over 10 years and dropped her notes, etc, all this time, so was so excited to actually meet this beautiful dynamo!

Above is a 4-block example of what can be done with BRIGHTS! Wow!

I neglected to take a photo of my own 24 blocks, which is as I frequently say, areturning out better than I thought they would. I am using almost all stash, except for a piece of PINK that the quilt said it needed. I'll post it soon.

BTW, I fixed my virus/malware issue, and feel powerful! I've NOT fixed my pinched nerve/cooked neck issue. (P.S. added to my post next day ---my neck is not "cooked" it is "crooked"! Tooooo funny of a typo!!!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Me ... a Groupie

I returned last Sunday night from Casper Wyoming, where 2 friends and I attended a Bonnie Hunter Trunk Show of and Pineapple Blossom Workshop. Oh yes, I have lots of photos on my camera. Unfortunately a virus has attacked my home computer and that's where my photos need to be downloaded. 8-((( Maddening!!!

I've followed Bonnie's Blog and web site for 8-9 ?? years, and was happy she recognized me with a mutual "whoopie" and hug. Our class was full, productive, the motel was very pleasant, and we all ate too much. What more can a person ask for?

Driving through Wyoming was wide open, snowy on the mountain ranges and just beautiful - there is so much space! The highway was good, traffic light, weather lovely and unusually WARM, and we saw many large herds of antelope. We even saw the elusive Jackalope, but we were so busy talking, my navigator could not get a photo of that skittish little critter! Here's one variety of the Jackalope (web provided).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More QOV, while I'm waiting ...

While waiting for my Quilt Trip this weekend, I made more kaleidoscope blocks, using patriotic fabric, and ending up with another QOV. Look at this BORING stripset! I'll bet, if you've not made this block, using this technique, you are thinking, "YUKKY! I'm not going to waste my time on this loser!"
While the photo (below) is a little dull, look at how those YUKKY strips make a pretty nice block!

And here are a few more to add to the mix. I will put a dull blue on half of the corners and a dull tan on the other half. So far, there are 6 blocks.

With WOF strips cut ahead of time, one 17 inch block can be strip-sewn, pressed, cut and resewn in about 30 minutes, I promise. (Note, the seams on the wedges do NOT butt up to the next. )

Saturday, January 09, 2010

What a Groupie I've Become!

Guess whose class I'm signed up for next Sunday, in Casper, Wyoming? 8-)))

Yes, Bonnie of is so brave to attend a Quilt Show, give a Trunk Show, and teach several classes, waaay out here in God's COLD and usually WINDY country. I'm signed up for a Sunday all-day class of Pineapple Blossoms, along with 2 friends who are driving with me. This is still a long way from my home, almost 4 hours each way. We are hoping the weather cooperates.

I've following Bonnie's blog for many years and my quilt supply indicates how many of her ideas I've used for my quilts.

IMHO, projects done in a retreat or some classes should not be difficult. You will have a different chair, lighting, the iron is in a new place, your seat is too low, there's a glare, the cutting mat is too large for the space, you are a 'righty', but your space may be a 'lefty', etc. This is a great project - not too demanding.

In my enthusiasm to get my pieces prepared, I started sewing, and already have 14 of the 36 blocks made. Can't help it! I made a few in browns, but the blue won out, and I made one dorky/wrong one. It always helps to make a practice block.

I had to BEG (OK, he offered) DH's 4 wheel drive vehicle, but then something recently happened to the transmission - scarey noises! OK, off to the shop and fortunately it wasn't as bad as we were worrying about. Can you believe that in the transmission parts, under the vehicle, there is a rubber seal, around PLASTIC! For Gosh Sakes! We don't do much 4 wheel driving, but really, PLASTIC!

My pinched nerve is an ongoing issue -- sooooo, I'm careful. Chiropractic treatment and traction are helping, but I have many months of treatment ahead of me. Even as I sit here, I can hear my neck going 'critch' 'critch' 'critch'. Between the every other day Dr. appts, and poor sleeping, my energy levels are in the pits!

Fons and Porter are on Public TV this AM (Love of Quilting) so I'm off to enjoy!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

"I'm in Control!" -- End of year Stash Report

I've been tracking sewing costs, sewing related expenses, books, notions, and yardage in and yardage out since 2008. Kinda interesting. It's not totally accurate but close. Class and retreat costs are included, not gasoline. I include fabric given to me or won.

For those of you who REALLY buy on impulse, it helps to identify what/where/when you purchase more than you 'should'. I find this has been a good tool to keep me from becoming overwhelmed with "MORE" -- like, "I'm in Control."!

Fabric Diet 2008

2008 Fabric IN 161.12 yards
2008 Fabric USED -172.65 yards
2008 $ spent for sewing supplies $1,878.19

Fabric Diet, 2009

2009 Fabric IN 118.25 yards
2009 Fabric USED -107.70 yards
2009 $ spent for sewing supplies $1,680.63

I am proud of myself for cutting expenses a whole $200.00. Not much, but better than watching that dollar figure increase.

Better sew faster ... that fabric is still piling up.