Sunday, May 16, 2010

Around here it seems to be feast or famine when it comes to quilting work to be done.  This adorable octagonal quilt is Pat's crib quilt.  It was the first time I had put an octagonal quilt on the frame, and let me tell you, those angled sides are stretchy!  There was alot of smushing and pinning and easing that had to be done as a result of the fullness that is created when bias is in a quilt, but the hearts and flowers pantograph was widely spaced and made  the border look good after the fullness was quilted over.

The first little quilt went so quickly that I had time to do a charity tube quilt for guild friend, Myrt.  Our guild is donating over a hundred quilts to a local orphanage.  At first we thought that we would not be able to make enough  to give one to every child, and so we planned to give a quilt to each child that was leaving the orphanage because of reaching 18.  However, our guild responded so voluminously to this project that we are able to give every single child his/her own special quilt.

Today I'm going to finish Myrt's log cabin quilt.  And I have a few projects in the works that need cutting out.  And then, of course, tonight The Tudors is playing.  I'm hooked on these English history serials!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Many Moons is finished!  What rich colors in these batiks!

I hope you can see the two quarter moons looking at each other in the circles of lighter batiks.  Isn't this just the cutest pattern?  I give it to its owner and pick up two more quilts from customers at our guild meeting tomorrow.
I actually had the chance to whip up a quick charity quilt and quilt it, too, but no pictures yet.  I'm still doing the binding. I'll post some tomorrow for you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

This is son Jon with wife Shary and boys Adrian (8) and Jon Russ (10) on our front steps.  They were my most delightful guests this Mother's Day weekend, giving me the greatest gift of all -- their presence.

Shary makes cakes for special occasions, like weddings and the like, and brought one of her scrumptious creations to celebrate our Mother's Day together.  Chocolate cake with chocolate filling and double chocolate icing!  Talk about overdosing!  (She also does professional makeup for TV shows, weddings, political campaigns, and the like, by the way, and if you're interested, I will post her contact information.)

Jon Russ is a very creative and knowledgeable kid.  He likes to make origami roses (above) and cranes and Christmas tree ornaments and the like.  But he can also hold forth on subjects like dinosaurs, spiders, and various snakes and fish.  This is of some interest to me since we live on a lake and have a variety of all of the above on our property -- with the exception of dinosaurs, of course.  Unless you count how I feel after a weekend of adorable but very busy grandchildren...

I also received some real flowers from Adrian.  And then both boys helped plant marigold and cosmos seeds for my summer enjoyment. I sure hope they come up. 

The day was magnificent -- bright, bright blue skies with a bit of a wind and temps in the 70's.  Too cold for swimming -- but the boys wanted to try anyway, and quickly learned what wind chill means.  Papa Jon found a small box turtle that was trying to cross the road, so he had to "save" it from potential destruction, bringing it home to show the boys and to let it out in the safer environment of our woods.    Then he made us manicotti for dinner while Grandma (yours truly) took a nap.  Oh luxury!  I haven't done that since I was four.  Well, maybe 40....   Meanwhile, Jon and Shary and Adrian napped in the sun like lazy cats on the dock while the house filled with the heavenly smells of garlic and tomato sauce.

All in all, I'd say that this was one of the best Mother's Days I have had in quite a while!  I sure hated to see them go today.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Many Moons

I am having a blast with customer Jane's quilt.  It's still on the frame, but I'll post a few pictures first.  This quilt is for her sister's birthday.  It consists of 64 quarter circles made into 16 full circles on square backgrounds -- all out of beautiful batiks. 

Usually when you sew circles, they aren't as round as you think they are, but these circles were darn near perfect!  So I put a spirograph in them, then added 36 rays around the central circle extending to the edges of the block.


There are two blocks that have very light batiks in the circles.  These two I put quarter moons into, because Jane had named the quilt Many Moons (talking about how old her sister is!) as a playful bit of whimsy.

I'm cleaning and making strawberry pie and getting bedrooms in order because my youngest son, Jon, and his family are coming for Mother's Day weekend.  A house is a house, and a bedroom is a bedroom, but a strawberry pie is outrageous!  Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shaggy dog story

I spent last Saturday at the home of one of my IQ buddies. IQ stands for IntelliQuilter, which is a computerized robotics system for the longarm quilting machine.  Learning all its capabilities and putting them to creative use is the purpose of this quarterly get together, so five of us packed up our IQ tablets and headed for Elizabeth City and Joy's quilting barn in her back yard.
Here are Connie and Mary preparing to start our lessons.  It is truly marvelous what we can accomplish with this program.  For instance, here is a quilt that I might not ever have been able to do such detail on had I had to freehand everything.

This is Carol's block of the month quilt.  She added a marvelous ribbon border to it.  Unfortunately, the ribbon, being cut on the bias, was stretchy, so it tested my ability to get all those borders to flatten out.

But thanks to the IQ doing all the stitching, I was able to use my hands to manipulate the cloth as it was being quilted, making everything come out all hunky dory.

But that's not the shaggy dog story.

I have two dogs.  RazzMaTazz is a 71 pound mixture of Australian shepherd and who knows what -- maybe Husky?  Jet is a 65 pound furball that is part Chow and part Shepherd.  Both have very long coats with alot of down underneath, and they are particularly hard to brush in the summer when the shedding is so intense.  So this year -- the first in their 7 years of life -- we got them a summer do.  They have taken to it quite well, but Jet still won't go outside when the sun is up.  He hates the heat down here and only leaves the house under duress.

This is Razzy

And here's Jet.

And neither are shaggy anymore! 
Back to my lurkim, where I am having a ball with the newest customer quilt.  More on that later!