Thursday, December 27, 2007

Getting Organized

Puttered around in the studio today. Yesterday, hubby built a couple more shelves for me to store some of my bolts of fabric. (That's not really a big mess on the table, I had just cut the batting for a customer quilt and layed it down when the phone rang).

I'm still getting the new studio organized. Yesterday, I turned the sewing area around, and then ended up putting it back again. To finish up, just need to hang quilts, curtains and get the remaining fabric that is still in tubs and onto shelves. Having one of my Bees over later in the month, so that will give me a nice deadline to finish it up.

Been working on UFO's. Got the Fractions quilt quilted, and the binding attached. Will sit and finish that up tomorrow evening in front of the tv. Also, worked on my Bamboo and Pinwheels quilt that our 'sub-bee' swapped blocks for in November. It's a cool pattern, and you end up with two quilts when you are done. One is Bamboo and the other is Pinwheels. Picture shown is the Bamboo quilt. Got all the triangle blocks sewn into blocks. The pinwheel blocks (the other half of the triangle) are in a nice stack for later (oops I mean another potential UFO).

Pulled out another UFO. It is a batik spiderweb quilt that I was going full guns on, then got hung up on the corners of the borders. Decided today that it wasn't that big a deal, so will finish that up first thing tomorrow.

Saturday, several of the girls (sub-bee) are coming over for an impromtu sew-in. Going to pick out the fabrics for our class later in January, and then work on UFO's. We're not buying any fabric, but plan to work on something that is in process and hopefully get finished up.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cool new toy - Pfaff Needle Punch Machine

Felt so guilty today, as I hardly worked on customer quilts at all! However, I did do some prep work on a t- shirt quilt where the customer wants me to include all the 'stuff' including the entire back of a cheerleading jacket. The back of the jacket is curved at the top, so was debating how to add cotton or whatever to the WOOL of the jacket and make it look right.
It finally dawned on me to use my new toy that I bought at Festival in November. My Needle punch Machine! Here is a closeup of where I needle punched the heck out of the layers, then did a quick zig-sag stitch over it for good measure. The extra stitching probably was not necessary, but figured if it was laundered, that would ensure that it did not come apart.
Anyway, think it turned out pretty nicely, but still have to do some calculations to figure out how to have a 21 x 15 inch center in this quilt!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

UFO's and Stashbusting

OK, it is after Christmas, I have a few days before the new year, and it is time to start considering goals and objectives for next year. I have had a huge list of UFO's and Ready to quilt items listed on the side. How many new projects will I start? How many projects have I comitted to? Oh, and the block exchanges and Mystery quilts !!
Right off the bat, my Monday Bee is doing a Charity Challenge where everyone gets a yard of the same fabric and the challenge is to complete a charity quilt by a certain date, and we all turn them in a future guild meeting. They have also discovered Dear Jane. Mine has been sitting since 2005 (see http://www.shady-wood.com/quilts/dearjane/index.htm for my DJ Journey).
I've joined a BlockBuilders Bee with Greater Houston Guild. They do 4 block exchanges each year. My Thursday Bee (original name huh- we meet on Thursdays!!) will probably do several exchanges and quite a few charity projects, not to mention road trips and retreats!
So, the question really comes down to, do I WANT to finish those UFO's? Do I just need to prioritize the list? Do I just need to cull out that list and just give in to the fact that I may never get them done?
With the new studio, I actually have room to get projects out. The ones that I really want to complete, I will set up a 15 minutes a day type of commitment to work on them. I find that actually works, and it is amazing what you can complete.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays



Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.






Friday, December 14, 2007

Quilting Studio Update!


Been working on the new quilt studio. Moved it from the upstairs garage apartment to the floor level full size workshop. I actually moved into the new studio in October, but was so busy with Quilt Festival and holiday customer quilting, that I didn't have much time for posting (and room was in quite a mess).

Here is the 'before' and mostly wasted space and hubbys' storage for motorcycles, camping stuff and airplane overflow parts.


During the process, we cleared everything out, mudded walls, textured ceiling, power cleaned the floor, tiled, painted and so on. Quite a transformation! Since the previous owner of the house used this as a wood workshop, there were already plenty of outlets and lots of overhead lighting, so we didn't have to do any additional work there.



Moved out all the old books, and moved in quilting (& other craft) books and stuff. The Gammill has a new home and Jon even built me a world class portable cutting table. Right now, I mostly leave it under the big window.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Carolina Crossroads Mystery Quilt - Part I

Well, I got about 50 of my rail fence blocks completed, and my sewing machine blew a gasket or something. The top stitch looks great, but the under side is giant loops of fabric. It's like the tension totally went away. I re-threaded top several times and reloaded the bobbin. No help. Wonder if they will do emergency repairs on the weekend??? Fotunately, I do have a back up machine.

I'm using dark blues and reds. I have lots of reds in my stash and scraps, so am looking forward to using these in this mystery. As soon as I get the backup machine setup, I'll be able to finish up the last of these rail fences and move on to Part II.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What Not to Wear !!!

We did manage to get Jon and I and the girls in one shot. Taking a breather while deciding which roller coaste to go on next!

Oh, this is the 'new' me, with dark hair! I've been blonde so long that they kept 'losing' me because the hair color/cut changed me so much! Lindsey did a "what not to wear' on me for my birthday. Went through all my clothes, made me try on everything and tossed almost everything except for the new stuff that we bought that weekend.

Went a whole week with no quilting! Usually on vacations I take all sorts of projects to work on in the hotel in the evenings. It's a good thing I didn't. We left early in the mornings, got back late at night and pretty much went straight to bed, got up and did it again (kind of like lather, rinse, repeat!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving at Disney

This year we decided that that instead of spending bunches of money on Christmas, that we would spend the money meeting somewhere as a family instead. We chose Disney. What a great choice! Beautiful weather the entire week, lots of roller coasters, great food and MORE rollers coasters! Of course the guys got a little weak kneed on the Tower of Terror, but were thrilled to ride any and all roller coasters over and over.


We all ended up with a 'roller coaster' headache after about 5 consecutive trips on Mount Everest in Animal Kingdom. That was awesome! The first time we rode it was at night, which just made it that much better. Kind of hard to see, I think that lamp light took the focus of the picture, but you see a car going almost straight up the side of the mountain then immediatley coming straight down with screams and so on. Don't want to give anything away, but the Yeti tears up the track and you have to do some backtracking! What a HOOT!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Phil Beaver Workshop

Those of you that know me, know that I don't 'need' to start any more projects. But OMG, I have found a new calling. I took a 2 day workshop with Phil Beaver through the Greater Houston Quilt Guild last week.

Picture to the left is Phil in front of some of his pieces. He's telling us that WE are going to be able to make these beautiful sunflowers and poinsettias! Yeah right!




Here we are 'watching paint dry' literally! We laid out the class' painted fabric edge to edge, sprinkled rock salt over them, spritzed them with water again, and now waiting for them to dry. We did all of this BEFORE lunch the first day. These were absolutely gorgeous. As they dried, they got better and better.


This orange one is one that I made so I could do pumpkins! I was able to get two sunflowers cut out and laid out before I had to leave to go to the West Houston guild meeting that night.

Phil is looking at Mary Jo's layout. She did sunflowers and several pumpkins. Can'twait to see how these turn out.

A couple of my friends that WEREN'T in the workshop want to try this, so look for more to come!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

San Antonio Visit


What fun! Daughter Rachael and her husband flew in from Atlanta, and we drove straight to San Antonio to visit other daughter. Can't remember the name of the town, but ended up being pretty close to Fredricksburg, lots of shopping in neat little shops. Nice lunch at a Mexican restaurant, saw turtles swimming and so on. Beautiful day, not too hot, low humidity (OK - low for Texas). Then we went to the Kendall county fair, saw the tail end of the rodeo, fireworks and local bands playing.


Harley (far left) cooked the most tender venison steaks out on the grill along with some chicken. Couldn't remember venison tasting so good!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Will Work For Batiks !

My budddy Gail just turned 50, and as her best friends we had to do some embarrassing things to help her celebrate! Linda made the hat and provided the jewelry (including the tiara). I photoshopped a picture from her 49th birthday and added the "Will Work For Batiks" across the top, and had it printed as a poster and framed it. She was thrilled with and promised to hang it in an appropriate place in her new studio! We all had fun watching her open her real presents after we had lunch in a nice little tea room in Baytown, TX. Happy Birthday Gail !!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Not Quite 101 Uses for Batting

Ever wondered what to do with those pieces of leftover batting? Well on several of my Longarm quilting lists have been submitting suggestions and "Karen O. in Texas" has compoled the list and posted it on her website. She is trying to get 101 ideas, and right now, there are over 60 suggestions.

Here is an Excerpt:
27. Use them in the winter to "chink" leaky windows or make draft stoppers.
28. Then there are biscuit quilts, raggy quilts, raggy jackets, etc.
29. Wrap it around the broom and use it to knock down the spider webs. Just throw it away, no messy broom bristles.
30. Wrap it around that casserole you are taking to the potluck. If it leaks, just throw it away! (96" goes around a lot of times!)
31. Cut it a bit smaller than your lamp base and protect your table.
32. I also use them to clean the wheels and tracks. (on a longarm machine)
33. Removing chalk marks on quilt tops.
34. I use small, potholder size scraps to erase the black marker lines off my white board. When the batting gets dirty, I just throw it away.
35. I give it to a friend that uses it for stuffing in teddy bears and animals she makes to sell at bazaars and craft sales.

Click here for the full ( & updated) list. Don't forget to check out the last suggestion of what to do with packaged batting!!! LOL! Thanks Karen!

Friday, August 17, 2007

4 Things About Me !

OK, been tagged, to list 4 things...

4 things you may not know about me
1. Love to watch movies that make me laugh then cry
2. Have lost 85 pounds in the last year.
3. Been married over 30 years
4. I really am a blonde!!!


4 Jobs I have had:
1. Professional Quilter
2. Computer Programmer
3. Public Relations person
4. Electrician (yep, tool belt and all!)

4 Movies I could watch over and over:
1. Blast From the Past
2. Independence Day
3. Men in Black
4. Armageddon (Bruce Willis)

4 TV Shows I watch:
1. Smallville
2. Criminal Minds
3. NCIS & the Unit
4. Any Star Trek series

4 Hobbies:
1 Quilting!!
2 Genealogy
3 Gardening
4 anything on the web, ebay, surfing etc.

4 Places I have lived
1 Wichita KS
2 Plattsburgh, NY
3 Tulsa, OK
4 Aurora, Colorado.

4 Favorite Foods:
1 Not an issue any more

4 Places I would rather be:
1. I really love being home, that's also where my studio is.
2. back on the beach in Maui
3. on a quilting cruise
4. visiting my kids in either Atlanta or San Antonio

4 Websites I visit daily:
1. Google
2. NetAddress
3. Neal Boortz
4. FoxNews

4 people I tag to play this:
If you want to play, consider yourself tagged. Most of my buds don't have blogs :(

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Finished a UFO!

Oh MY! I finally get to knock one of my UFO's (Actually a Ready to Quilt) off of my list! Just have to finish the binding and get the label on, which I am saving for Monday when I'm stuck at home& quiet after a little surgical procedure. I will post a picture when it is complete.

Meanwhile, I will post a couple of pics of some customer quilts that I did last week. The red and green is a close up of a Santa Redwork quilt for Susan while it is still on the machine. The borders and sashings are holly and spikey vine type feather. The background fill in the redwork areas is a different type of fill that are random "C" shapes.






----------------------------------------

The brightly colored one is Michelles and is a custom flame kind of all over meander. It's kind of a giant McTavishing type of quilting where you are doing cartoon hair or flames as the fill. Since the quilt is so geometric, this really softens the look. The varigated thread really pops on the navy background.

Monday, July 30, 2007

New Machine Quilters Resource Website !

Also Suzanne Earley has set up a very nice site to share and learn www.mqresource.com, Suzanne is also a fabulous longarm quilter who has been featured in several magazines and was one of the award winners at MQS this year. She also has 2 books published!

Be sure to check it out!

Sad Day in Paradise

Today was a very sad day at this house. Jon sold his airplane, and today the new owner left with the airplane. Jon built this airplane and I think he is going to be kicking himself from now on for selling it. He has been getting sympathy calls from his friends. He plans on building another one, but who knows?

(Picture is of "Beautiful Bette")

Before Jon starts his new project, we have another couple of projects to design and complete. First on the list is turning the barn into his 'workshop'. Right now, it is not weatherproof, and everything that is out there now is rusting. So, need to get it sealed up a little better, insulation, A/C, lighting and a few other things, like the fence and a road back to the barn (I mean 'shop').

THEN, we get to turn the current 'shop' into my new STUDIO! After that, my current studio will turn back into a guest apartment. Then the dining room can revert back to being a dining room and so on! I think I just need to start carving out a corner in the shop for now, but have to work on 'bug proofing' it first! LOL!

Let's see, wonder if I can scoot his Harley over to one side without tipping it over! Boy, would I be in trouble!!! Going to have to get some BEFORE pictures and show the progress!. You'll see that there is a lot of work, and won't happen overnight.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Festival confirmations are starting to arrive. Received my confiramtion for Market, but haven't gotten mine for Festival yet. Everyone else in my Thursday Bee has been getting theirs in the mail this week. Since I faxed both orders at the same time, you would think they would arrive on the same day!!

I signed up for a Janet Fogg Design class, Accidental Lanscapes, a longarm Maintenance class with Ron Paul. and a Disappearing 9-patch with Nancy Brennan Daniel that turns into stars. Sounds like fun.

Of course Market/Festival is always fun, as my birthday falls during Festival, so hubby gets off the hook for buying something for me, and I just get to go shopping like crazy!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Houston Festival Catalogs have Arrived!

Received my catalog for Quilt Market and Festival on Friday. Need to get my order form faxed in, which is by far the best way to get signed up. Can't believe it is already time to be thinking about it. Even though we live just Northwest of Houston, we still like to rent a room and several of us stay and split the costs. Also nice to be able to go dump things in the room after a few hours of power shopping.

Last year I couldn't find a class to take, but this year there are too many to make a decision. I did notice that the Longarm classes are all but gone. Linda Taylor, Jamie Wallen, Cathy Franks and someone else each have 2 classes. Oh, and Ron Paul has 2 maintenance classes. Guess I'll pass on those.

Janet Fogg has a design class on Friday. She is one of my favorites. I lover her quilts, they are so creativly peiced as well as quilted. She doesn't sell patterns or books, so I don't plan on missing this one.

If for some reason you DON'T know the link for festival, it is www.quilts.com They have finally updated their website, and looks somewhat professional now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hawaii - What more do I need to say ?

Had a GREAT time in Hawaii (Maui). Beautiful weather, yadda yadda. We did the bike ride down Haleakala, Road to Hana, Surf lessons and the required Boose cruise (on a sail boat/catamaran). Loads of sun, fun and sand!

We took around 400 pictures, and I might post some, but they all seem to be of scenery or us grinning ear to ear! !

More later . .

Friday, June 15, 2007

Getting Ready for Hawaii !

Well, it's finally here! We take off for sunny Hawaii tomorrow. We're celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, and it's one of the few times we're taking a big vacation and one or both of the kids aren't coming with us. Last time we went to Hawaii, we met my brother and his wife, and Lindsey came along as well. We had a great time, but was a little crowded getting 5 people in the Sebring convertible.

This time we're going to Maui. Jon has the whole trip planned out. I do believe we will need another vacation to recover from all the activities. We're riding a bicycle down the mountain, road to Hana, snorkeling, Scuba lessons, SURFING lessons (he DOES know how coordinated I am), and he even is going to pilot an airplane while we're there. He just has to bring his airplane logs.
One of my best friends just found out she has a brain tumor. Needless to say she is terrified, waiting until next week to do a biopsy to find out more. Several of us are getting together today, and are putting together a big surprise for her. Can't say what it is (it does have to do with quilts though, as she is a fellow quilter), but hopefully will cheer her up and take her mind off of things. Keep Michelle in your prayers.




Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Best of Show 'Thread Nest'

OK, As promised, here is the thread nest on the back of the BEST OF SHOW quilt at MQS !!!

Sharon Schambers' "Flower of Life" won the Best of Show, but I took a fun picture of the BACK of the quilt where she left a HUGE thread nest.

OK, OK, don't get me wrong, this quilt is gorgeous and also won at the AQS show in Paducah in April. Lots of discussions going on as to how she managed to pry it out of the hands of the AQS people if she accepted the $20,000 in prize money (which AQS becomes the owner and displays the quilts in their musuem). I assumed that she already had it entered in this show, and just discussed it with them. Several people (probably sour grapes) didn't think it should have been entered since it had won at AQS. I didn't see the problem.

Oh, the other gossip from the show. Linda Taylor's quilt got disqualified because the office girl that filled out the entry form paperwork mistakenly checked 'wholecloth' and it wasn't. MQS disqualified it rather than just moving it to the correct category. Linda was a bit miffed and had it hanging in her classrooms instead. She asked that we not take pictures, so I didn't.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

MQS - What a trip!

Well, Sharon Schambers' "Flower of Life" won the Best of Show, but I took a fun picture of the BACK of the quilt where she left a HUGE thread nest. We also found a whole area on Renae Haddadins' "Sugar and Spice" quilt that looks like she forgot to quilt it! Made all of us feel better that 'those' quilters aren't perfect!

I spent a LOT of time speaking with the different vendors for computerized quilting options to add to my Gammill. I think I'm still most impressed with the IQ (Intelliquilter) , which uses the little notepad computer. All of the others use a Dell computer, tower and monitor. Seems like that would be a problem, running back and forth to the computer if the head was down at the other end of the table. My only real concern on the IQ is whether vibration could effect performance.

I was put off by the salesman from Accomplish Quilting who told me several lies. Told me I HAD to trade in my 1 1/2 year old Gammill Classic for a Gammill Optimum and that my basically new machine was only worth $10,000. He told me several other 'fibs' that were contradicted when I talked with 2 other Statler stichers dealers - either of which I would be happy to purchase from if I go with the Statler).

Did buy the micro drive handles for my machine. That way I can start using the new chair and track that I bought so that I can sit and quilt!

Will post pictures after I unload the camera.

Thursday, May 31, 2007



We leave for MQS (Machine Quilters Showcase) Wednesday! We're all meeting for lunch Monday to go over final details. Here is a picture from last year the first night as we were getting settled in. Barb & Sharon are checking out the catalog as we figure out where to start first.



Pictured (l to r) Sharon, Linda, Barb, Carla, Betty & Susan.

MQS is a show, classes, workshops and vendor mall geared to the longarm quilter rather than the general quilter Great place to network and learn the latest and greatest in longarm quilting.

We're having a quilting sew-in my house Friday. Good and bad in that. Bad that I have to clean house before they come, but good that my house will be clean before they come!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Custom Quilting - Meandering Paisleys

This has been a fun quilt to quilt. It's custom quilting, and I'm doing a freehand meandering paisley design. It's based on one of the ideas in Karen McTavishes book about McTavishing. Finally finished all the background (black thread on black) today, and used over 30 bobbins!! That's a LOT of thread.

This quilt was totally machine pieced, no paper piecing. It is not appliqued, so the dense quilting makes the flowers and vines pop out like applique would. I'm letting it 'rest' while I decide how to quilt the flowers. I'm thinking just highlights in the leaves and in the petals. Each block is different.

Guess I better get back to the studio, need to finish this one and get it back to the customer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Peace Quilt - Cypress Texas & Afghanistan


Pam addressed a local quilt guild about the Peace Quilt and her project. I volunteered to help her assemble and complete the quilt.

After she delivered the children’s artwork squares and gave me the timeline I called two fellow quilters, Linda Grupa and Gail Snyder. We all serve on the West Houston Quilt Guild Board of Directors. The West Houston Quilt Guild (http://www.whqg.org/) is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 with the purpose of developing and nurturing appreciation for the art of quilting and its history. Simply put, we are a group of people who love quilts!


The process of putting the squares together was inspiring as each of us could see various messages of peace and friendship in the blocks. We saw the opportunity to add some patriotic novelty fabric depicting symbols of Texas and the US. The blocks were bordered with black fabric and at the corners of each square one of the symbols were included. The back of the quilt consisted of the signatures of the students.

The West Houston Quilt Guild receives numerous requests during the year to be active in the community. We assist in providing comfort quilts for many organizations such as nursing homes, Girls Scout Projects and providing children’s quilts for the Project Linus Organization.
Assisting with Pam’s project gave us the chance to share our love of quilting with children around the world.

Betty Baker
Web Mistress, WHQG
www.whqg.org

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Stashbusting - Charity Quilts Benefit

Our Thursday night Bee has been very busy the last couple of weeks. We participated in the guild Community service sew-in at the end of April, then had a couple of our own sew-ins at my house to finish up several Comfort quilts. At our May Guild meeting we turned in a whopping 25 completed quilts. Pictured are most of them hanging on Nita's fence before we turned them in.

Pictured at left is Michelle "adding the love" to the quilts as we fold them up and get them ready to transport.
A lot of this fabric is donated to our guild/Bee from our personal stashes, people cleaning out a loved ones stash, or maybe the need to downsize. In any case, we accept fabric donations, and any fabric we don't/can't use gets passed on to Carolyns' church who will use it in their missions work to help teach young women to sew.

Kudos to the Thursday Night Bee at West Houston Quilters Guild!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tommy Dixon Benefit Fund

Dear Friends and Family,

My friend Sharon Dixon is offering a unique opportunity for you to win your choice of either a traditional log cabin quilt or a contemporary batik quilt. Both of these queen-sized quilts were ribbon winners in the 2007 West Houston Quilt Guild Quilt Show. If you win the drawing, you will get to choose the quilt you love the best! Shipping will be free.

The drawing will be held at the FML meeting on June 30, 2007, and the winner will be notified by phone.


Tickets: $1 each, six for $5, or A Baker's Dozen (13) for $10.

Tickets may be purchased in either of two ways:

1) Send a check payable to the Tommy Dixon Benefit Fund. Mail the check to:

Melody Montez
21 W. Woodtimber Court
The Woodlands, TX 77381

Please make sure your address and phone number are either on your check or included with your payment. If you would like your ticket stubs sent back to you, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. (You do not need your stubs to claim your quilt.)

2) Pay via PayPal ( http://www.paypal.com/ ) to this email address: dixonbenefit@yahoo.com
If you pay via PayPal, please add 50" if you want your ticket stubs mailed to you. Be sure that your name, address, and phone number are included in the PayPal payment comments. (You do not need your stubs to claim your quilt.)

Proceeds from this Opportunity Quilt sale will go directly to the Tommy Dixon Benefit Fund, to help offset some of the expenses incurred from his recent heart attack. As some of you may know, Tommy had a massive heart attack on March 27. He had to be transported by Life Flight to the Houston Medical Center for treatment and was in CCU for more than 5 days. He is home now and doing well, but the Hospital, Life Flight, Emergency Room, and Doctor bills are enormous. Due to Tommy's lifelong battle with Diabetes, he is unable to obtain insurance, so this is a devastating financial burden that Sharon and Tommy are trying to pay off in any way they can.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Thanks & cheers,
Linda

Linda Teddlie Minton
http://fiberreflections.blogspot.com/

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Brenham Wildflowers

Everyone always talks about the Bluebonnets in Spring in Texas, but there are lots of other flowers blooming as well. At least here they don't mow them, and let everyone enjoy them. Several of us from my Thursday Bee went on a field trip to check out the quilt shops in Brenham Texas and in Giddings Texas. Found these flowers along highway 290. Couldn't resist stopping and snapping a few photos.


What you don't see in these pictures is the car inching its' way down the highway as I'm wandering in the weeds, hoping I don't run across a snake! I told them I would teleport back to the car if I saw one.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

T-Shirt Quilt is Ready to Quilt!


Finished up the top and the backing for this T-shirt quilt that is for Lindsey's friend Michelle. It has tee shirts from OSU (that is Oklahoma State University in Stillwater), concerts, Eskimo Joes and so on. On the back I incorporated some of the boxer shorts (as sashing around the smaller logos & pockets) as well as a piece of her baby blanket. The sashing and cornerstones are done in batiks. I've had the t-shirts awhile, so she has probably forgotten about them and it will be a complete surprize when she gets it!
Still have to quilt it, and I still have a couple of customer quilts that I need to finish before I can get to this one. I think it turned out pretty nicely!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sue Nichols at Greater Houston Quilt Guild

Sue Nichols was at our guild meeting last night at Greater Houston Qilt Guild. What a delight! Her slide show was a history of domestic machine quilting, but the slides did not do justice to the actual quilts that she showed afterwards! Probably everyone has heard of the BEATLES QUILT, well she had the BABY BEATLES quilt there and it was awesome! Her colors are so vivid! I would love to take a class on Sue and Pats creative side.

Her machine quilting on her domestic machine is great. Very traditional, but very dense and detailed. Just wonderful. She will be at the WEst Houston Quilters Guild this evening and another workshop tomorrow.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bagel Sandwich Protector !

Found this on http://boingboing.net/:

Pack your bagel in a CD spindle Now this is incredibly clever: using an old CD spindle as a bagel-sandwich protector for your packed lunch.

How cool is this? I've got lots of these.

Friday, April 06, 2007

It Rears Its' Ugly Head!!!



OK, this quilt top has come back. I was so excited to have the top finished, that I didn't consider the borders. I've had several good suggestions from SEVERAL people (thank you to all), this is what I've come up with.
I've numbered the areas 1, 2 & 3. Please Vote and let me know which one you think would look best. (The light blue is a fussy cut zig zag fabric).

Had a great time at our Bees' retreat last weekend. Some of us exchanged BEACH House Blocks. We had a little fun with that and came downstairs dressed in beach attire and singing a Beach Boys tune (we only knew one line and just sang it over and over VERY LOUDY).



Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Batik Tomball - Trish Hodges

Last night I went to Greater Houstons Quilt guild meeting featuring Trish Hodges. She brought some wonderful authentic batiks from Java and Bali - The real thing. I had picked up a couple of the smaller ones at Festival (Houston - Nov 2006) and when I saw she was doing a workshop, signed up as soon as I could!


Well, that workshop was today. This was a great attempt at getting me out of that traditional box that I'm putting myself in. Here is Trishs' sample on the left.

Next comes MY feeble attempt at working with my panel. Granted, I learned a lot, and have yet to transfer those ideas to fabric... It will come though. (The light source is to be the upper right with lights/yellows and oranges blending into the darker colors in the lower left.)
I've promised to pass some of that knowledge with my Bee Buddies at retreat next week! They all bought panels at the West Houston Guild meeting this evening. The retreat promises to be a 'batik' weekend anyway with the swaps we're doing, so this will be a great addition to our activities.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Stashbuster Queen - wannnabee! :)

Wow, the quilt show is finally over, am caught up on customer quilts, and I took a few days for myself. What a novel idea! I managed to turn 3 UFO's into TOPS. Granted they aren't quilted yet, but one of them is on the quilting machine, so it's closer.

The Pineapple quilt was started waaaayyy back in the 1980's. BEOFRE the Gore invented the Internet. This was when there was just bullitin boards, and I was swapping with some other quilters. Probably only 5 or 6 of the blocks are actually from the swappers, as most of the blocks I received had to be either re-pieced or tossed. I finished putting the blocks together on Thursday, nearly 20 years later! Whoo Hoo!


Next, put together the last blocks of a "4 Patch & Furrows" quilt (ala quiltville.com) that I started on the quilting cruise in January 2007. Tell me what you think I should do for a border (if anything). Should I do the scrappy blues or one of the furrow colors?

The blocks are made up of two sets of 2 4-patches (total of 4 4-patches) for each block. I used the same background for each set of two, although the backgrounds vary through all the blocks. All of the 4-patches came from my stash, I did buy some of the Nantucket fabric for the furrows.


This next quilt was inspired by a quilt that my great-grandmother made (Hattie Marsh), and that I remember seeing as I was growing up. I recently saw a similar quilt at an antique store (but couldn't afford the price they were asking), so I took some mental measurements and went home and drafted this top back in 2005.

At Quilt festival, I saw a similar quilt again, and knew that I needed to make this quilt. Hatties' quilt had all different colors of the pink and browns (they might have been pink & green) centers, then I used stash fabrics reminiscent of late 1800's and early 1900's for the square in a square. (this is basically a patch, in a square, inside another square).

Then I quilted 2 charity quilts for quiltville.com and is pictured on her site) . My Friday Bee was so taken with this quilt top, that we chose it (done in Fall colors) for our Tin Can Raffle donation at the quilt show. It was one of the top 3 money earners in the raffle! (Thanks Bonnie!)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Scribing for Quilt Show Judges

Wow! Am I pooped! For the first time, I was a scribe for one of the judges for our upcoming quilt show. I think I could be on brain overload. I learned so much today. However, I would say the most important tips to pass on when you are entering a quilt in the quilt show is to spend the extra time on the binding. I think the judges are anal about the stupid bindings - and whatever else you do, stitch those little miters corners on your bindings closed!!!! Don't know how many times I had to write that on the critique sheet.

There were some very well done quilts- the piecing was great, the quilting was great - but they rushed the binding, and I know of one quilt for sure that would have a ribbon, but for the binding.

The vendors were there all day getting their booths set up. . Can't wait to get back and do some shopping! I know, I don't need anything, but hey, we must support our Vendors!!!!! :)

Well, think I'm going to going get a glass of wine, take a hot bath and soak my feet for awhile. That will probably lead to me heading for bed early.

Later,
Betty

Saturday, March 03, 2007

NEW Favorite Quilting Tool !!

After previous post indicating rotary cutter WAS my favorite tool, I chopped off the end of my finger - and it's all the fault of the stashbusters!!

That's right! I put a brand new blade in the rotary cutter yesterday, set up a table in the living room so that I could spend some quality time with hubby ans started cutting a bunch of scraps into to strips (ala Bonnie @ quiltville) Anyway, about the third slice, I sliced off the end of my little finger! OOUUCH! which is all I can repeat from what was said last night...

Hubby was not very sympathetic, and kept telling me to 'tough it up!, as he was cutting the circulation off with the bandaide (which wouldn't stick because of the dripping blood.). Took some Tylenol, finished cutting up my scraps and went to bed.

This morning, I take a shower and proceed to change the dressing. It's STILL bleeding! I'm supposed to go on a quilty Birthday shopping trip for friend Michelle. But before I go, I call Gail who is actually an xray tech, and ask - "Are you a nurse?"She says no, but it's obvious to her that I need to go to the emergency room if its still bleeding! Well duh. . .

So I make arrangements to meet up with them for lunch and I head to the emergency room. 3 Hours later, and several explanations as to what is a rotary cutter, and WHY DIDN'T I COME IN LAST NIGHT??? I have giant bandaide, antibiotics and pain meds, all suitable to garner sympathy. My 'friends' threaten to buy a klutz glove for me, but they were all small sizes. I told them that I didn't think the klutz glove would have helped much. The slice was over an inch long and 1/4 inch wide, including quite a bit of my fingernail bed. The nurse said I "cut into the meat" !

Anyway, think my NEW favorite tool (s) have to be the rulers that you can get in all the sizes. I think I have at least one of every size made. I absolutely love to square up blocks with the exact size ruler.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Favorite Quilting Tools

The Stashbuster Topic of the Week is Your Favorite Quilting Tool. Mine is obvious, the rotary cutter, but not just any rotary cutter. The OMNIGRID ROTARY CUTTER. The pressure of cutting opens the blade, and when you release the pressure, the blade is hidden again. My daughter bought me one a year or so ago, because I was always leaving the blade open and getting knicks (or dropping on my toe). Now, the only holes are from the new puppy that is teething!

Now, if we could only get Omnigrid to make a 60mm rotary cutter. Currently I'm using Clover's 60mm, but I still forget to shut the blade.

The 60mm cutters are great! When I went to Judy Neimeyers class the first week of February, she was cutting through 40 layers of fabric, and cut out that Raindrops quilt 'entirely' in less than 20 minutes!!! I was certainly impressed. Of course, you do need a sharp blade to do that. I do try to stock them in my ebay store, but the 60mm blades keep getting backordered from the distributor.

I am a sucker for trying (and having) all the new and latest tools. The stiletto is way up there on the list as well. I've got the brass one like what Elenor Burns uses. Tried other items, but it is still the best.

Oops, the studio is calling me. I need to finish quilting some customer quilts for our quilt show that is just around the corner. I think they would like some time to bind it before they turn them in on Saturday.

Betty

Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Project Started.






It was very inspiring to go up and start a new project this evening. I used fabrics from my stash. I had sketched out a simple design from an antique quilt that I had seen a few years ago (but was too pricey for me to purchase). The colors are similar, and I'll post more on that later. Mostly pinks & browns, and indigo blues and shirtings.
I'm almost done getting my studio organized. Here are a couple of pictures to show progress. The first picture shows one of my favorite antiques. It's an Arrow Shirt Display case that I bought at the Tulsa Flea Market about 15 or 20 years ago. Not sure if can tell, but it's mostly filled with 30s/40's reproduction fabrics and sorted by color.
The second picture shows my Gammill in the foreround. Customer quilt is loaded and I'll start on it first thing in the morning.
Time for bed, it's hard work cleaning, organizing and hanging about the house all day!
Later.