Monday, July 30, 2012


This is my Scrappy Stars (gotta think of a better name!) , a class I took from Bonnie Kucera in May.   I decided to do that chunky border and I'm pleased with it.  I started sewing all those chunks together, and hadn't decided on an inner border yet.  Then my brain stopped working and I thought, "Hey, self, why not just sew an inner border to the chunky border in one long piece, saving yourself from doing the inner border 4 separate times, and then the outer border 4 separate times."  This is a classic example of my too-frequently-occurring lack of thinking, because you get something like what you see in the lower left of the photo, 4 separate times!  This is my "can't see the forest for the trees"  - there is something about getting all gung-ho, forging ahead without thinking, and loosing common sense.  GRRrrrrrr.  And I KNOW BETTER!!!!!!   So, I'm working on fixing each corner (as in upper left), unsewing and resewing more carefully, with brain in gear.  
Here is a larger photo of a scrappy spool quilt I made some time ago and only posted small parts.  It's hand quilted, nothing special, but I'm really liking the diagonally set border.  Early next year I'll be presenting this class/workshop to Guild members. I want them to be able to NOT be  hesitant to try this kind of border.  The spools are easy, set diagonally and finish at 6 inches.  I've posted a short tutorial on spools March 9, 2008. (can't get the link to work!) 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Highly Indignant

Today, Sunday, was a lazy, do-nothing day, but I finally got off my you-know-what, changed clothes, got my grocery list and forced myself to do THAT job.  To add some interest to a blah job, I took a short detour, drove by the library to see if some construction had been finished, went by the dog park to see if anything cute was happening there, then proceeded to the Grocery Store -- all of this is on quiet Sunday, no traffic, and all within 7-8 blocks from my home.  Guess what !  This is WHAT! 

What on earth could I have done wrong???  I've never had a ticket, never an accident, been driving since age 12 (tractors, farm equipment), etc. There are no pedestrians, (it's really hot), no traffic, (I mean EMPTY downtown)  and SHE said --- here is the big sin -- I was "SPEEDING, going 26 in a 20 MPH zone".  Well, there's a big sin!  The officer is a young woman about 14, I swear, and I was shaking, getting my documents out, and trying not to cry.    I was not even aware of a 20 zone and I've been taking this route for 15 years.  After checking whatever police check, and confirming I wasn't a wanted Felon, or drug smuggler, or .... whatever ... she DID let me off with a warning, and then after calming down I retraced my speeding adventure.  This block 25mph, next block 25mph, then the next block is the courthouse, then the post office with a stop sign where I will stop at the Stop Sign.  So, in 2 blocks I went from 25 to 20 and she stopped me in that instant!  I hope no one saw me!!!  I retraced my speeding adventure, and still  didn't see any 20 marked zone so went around AGAIN!  Sure enough, in the block with the courthouse, where she had clocked me speeding at 26 mph, was the 20 MPH sign.  Yes, in one block, she had caught me.

Now I am so motified, the wind is out of my sails, that  I had to defer the grocery-shopping job to go home and be mad? pout? be embarrassed? cry?  Not sure.  That little Police Officer gal needed something to do on this quiet Sunday afternoon.   8-((( 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"Prairie Schooner"

I can FINALLY show off this quilt called "Prairie Schooner" which will be raffled off July 2013.  This design was featured in Quiltmaker, May/June 2011, by my favorite quilter, Bonnie Hunter who, when I asked if I could copy hers, said "Go for it!"  Her version was called "Lady of Lake Erie."

The local quilting group in my town (4-12, depending) worked on it over the past year, and it was quilted by a local long-arm quilter.  I requested NO feathers, only leaves, grass, prairie flowers, etc.  The label is a joy in itself -- gotta find  my photo!  Ever since I moved to Nebraska, I've been smitten by the history of the early pioneers, their perseverance, and the enormous blue skies and hoped that spirit would show in this quilt.  I aimed for gender neutral and UN- FUSSY.  8-))  Tickets are not yet made up - I think they are ready for our September meeting.  There is a definite layout to the blocks.

Now, the Guild Quilt Mom has it and it will travel to various locations over the next year.  I'm glad to have had a part in this project, but REALLY glad to have it on it's way and DONE.  It's perfectly square and straight - must be hanging crooked! 

There is a row of piping between the quilt and border, and another row of piping between the outer border and binding.  Size is 91 in. x 101" after quilting and washing.  BTW, I washed this quilt with my homemade laundry detergent and it came out just lovely! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quilt Show 2012

I am always surprised at how my quilt photos don't look nearly as lovely as the real thing.  This post today is especially for my non-quilting friend Fern, in Illinois, so she can get an idea of what its all about.  

The quilts are not judged - it is Viewer's Choice.  When viewers enter the show, they are given a ballot, if they choose.  There are about 7 categories, and it's a big job to go through the process of voting!  We are always grateful for their efforts!  Viewers are not always quilt-knowledgeable so results are occasionally surprising and unpredictable!  Not all the quilts are from guild members -- non-members may also submit their quilts.

Above is the Serendipity (Raffle) quilt that was won by Joy, a new resident of my own town. Joy happens to be a sometimes quilter and we've roped her into joining our local quilting group!  Look at how the colors are mathematically arranged and mirrored.  The organizer of it's design is a math teacher.   
Here are many of the miniature quilts,  That center "fan" was the winner, Congratulations Irene!  Irene won MANY ribbons this day - she deserves it and is a wonderful member of our Guild.  The wall of this gym is lined with carpet and makes for an excellent hanging space.
 This is my own "Step Lively", with the inventive border and here it can hang nice and straight.
These are "small" quilts.  I've always liked that design/technique on the left, Hidden Wells, but the tree on the right was the winner.
 Here was a group of "Challenge Quilts" with the theme "2 over 1 over 3".  (Two blocks over one block over 3 blocks") -- all had to be a specific dimension.  Creativity was fantastic, but I missed the winner, that item over the man's head - It was all free-form machine embroidery!  Very Nebraska with the sunflowers, windmill, steer and ???.  The winner was very talented Kim, so creative, and an art teacher AND the Guild newsletter editor!  She always comes up with amazing ideas!
Here is what our Silent Auction is like.  People bid on an item - sometimes no one else bids and it goes for very little money, and other times several people will keep bidding each other up.  At the end of the 3-day show, the hightest bidder is called and comes for the item.

The temp outside was around 100 degrees and this area is NOT air conditioned.  Someone loaned us two Swamp Coolers - We think they helped a little, along with many fans.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Making Changes

We are changing our ISP in a few days and the e-mail address associated with this blog will change as well. Please give me a few days to find my way and get things straightened out.  I have no idea if comments will show up on the blog, but go ahead and leave them if you choose -- they will end up somewhere!  8-))  This is "supposed" to save us almost $70/mo., and also give us an additional TV connection for my "Girl Cave."  Unfortunately, the quality of TV programming is not expected to improve.

I was told there is an Internet site where we can submit the old e-mail address and the new one and it would redirect mail still sent to the old.  If you know where that is, I'd LOVE to hear about it.  

See ya soon --  I hope.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

This project is growing! 

See that fabric on the right?  That is what I used to "pull" various pieces - I was hoping to use it for a border.  Not so sure now - as is frequently the case.

None of the blocks are together, just the individual 6 inch units.  I'm liking it. 8-)

Friday, July 06, 2012

Scrappy star, Girl Cave

This is my latest scrappy project, after a class at Guild in May, with Bonnie Kucera of eastern Nebraska.  This gal is the queen of little pieces - I helped hold her quilt tops up for Show and Tell and could check each seam on the back - yikes, every one was "twirled" - neat as a pin.

We started each block (above) with a 9 inch square of light and one of dark, facing together, then cutting in half diagonally .  From that we cut our diagonal strips, then sewed the strips on both sides into a "tube", then cut the 5 small HSTs from each set of diagonal strips -- I LIKE this method for accuracy.  The remaining part of those two 9 inch squares makes up the larger HST which is then trimmed to 4.5 in.  Here are 4, 12 inch blocks, each block is made of 4, 6 inch units.  The only thing "hard" about it was getting the pressing directions correct, so the seams all butt up nicely.  Don't ya LOVE how the star sits INSIDE the light background? 

I HAVE learned that when you start a particular technique, stick with that same technique  (i.e. HSTs) for the entire quilt, and also stick with the same machine. 

It seems I will NEVER have a quilt made from new, off-the-bolt fabric!  Is something is wrong with me in that I only have "scraps"!  But there is something comforting about using fabrics from what I've used previously.  People at work have given me good fabric, and I LIKE that connection.  Friends have given me fabric and I like THAT connection.  Yes, I do purchase some, to fill out out my projects, but not a lot.

The heat has driven me to the cooler basement.  It's not fancy but much more comfortable. I've  upgraded/improved my computer down here, we're planning on connecting my DVD-only TV to cable for REAL TV watching, I've brought sewing and pressing stuff down here, and I already have my "girl cave."  Life is good.  8-))  We've never utilized this space in previous years -- I have missed an opportunity -- funny how a person "puts off" things that will improve their life. 

We are seeing temps in the low 80s for this weekend - YEAHHHHH, at last!!!  We've had more than 3-4 weeks of temps near and over 100 degrees, with not a bit of rain.

Hope you all are cooling off soon, and that the fires in Colorado get OUT, and that POWER gets restored for those of you without it.  Jeeesh, what a bunch of rough weeks!!!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

RED, Owls, Friendship Stars

RED is done, washed, blocked, and folded and put away.  I'm pleased with how it turned out.  For the last scrappy border, I quilted a separate design in each chunk - for interest and practice.  Some of the designs are not good for entire quilts but I still like to use them, here and there -- good practice for me.  Some worked well, some not so great - oh well.  It gives the viewer something to look closer at (whoops, dangling preposition ...)  The triangles were kept in one consistent configuration.

For the record, this pattern is called Jewel Box, Buckeye Beauty, Blue Ridge Beauty and a few more.  It is among the easiest designs, can be used in a great variety of ways, producing remarkabley different end product.  Even now, I'm thinking it would be wonderful in blue!  It's about 65" x 75".

For Lori, in South Dakota, who asked about what fabrics I used.  I can't say I used anything specific, but do notice most of the reds are small scale, and the lights are creams and whites, some with bits of color in them.  This truly was scrappy - I didn't buy anything for the top.  A couple of the reds do NOT "go" but again, they are what gives the quilt character.

 And, once again, here is one of the screech owls.  I happened to be under one of them when it "erped" up a pellet.  Yes, I was the lucky victim.  We were fearful that the neighborhood fireworks would scare them off, but nope, they are still here.  (It seems that Kodak does not "fix" owl red eye - must be something about their eyes different than human eyes.  LOL) 

Here are some friendship stars our local quilt group is making for a quilt for RSVP, Retired Senior Volunteer Program.  The small bit of fabric in upper right is our focus fabric.  It was GREAT for a focus fabric but no longer looks good as a border.  I think we are making 120, 6 inch blocks, all scrappy.