Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stashbusting at its Best!

I have been sooooo good the last couple of weeks. Definitly no fabric shopping (Oh, except for some 50 cent Christmas fabric fat quarters from Hobly Lobly) The big news is that I used over 40 yards of fabric finishing up seven lap quilts (approx 60 x 72). Then, I got started on several swaps that are due the first couple of months in 2010. I figure another 3 yards so far on that. Today, I almost put together a whole top for 1 year old grand-daughter from fabrics that I bought in 2008. I guess I can count that as stashbusting as well as working on a UFO! Hope to get it done before we see the kids for Christmas next week. Need a better way to keep track of what I've used and added.

A friend of mine in Colorado sent me a big ole box of Alpaca roving? It has been cleaned and is super soft. I think I still need to card it it make it more like the roving that I have bought for my needlefelting. I asked Santa to bring me a hand weaving Spindle for Christmas, but I don't think the hints (or the list on the refrigerator) helped at all. I might still be surprized. We'll see. It's killing me not to get started working with the wool that Jan sent. I've been doing a lot of reading on the internet. I've decided that the hand spindle is all that I have room for right now. Hubby would probably shoot me if I asked for another room to start another hobby (spinning wheel). As long as I can keep it in the existing rooms, it shouldn't be a problem. (No picture, because it just looks like a black blob. Going to have to try differnt lighting.)

I found a great website for instruction on hand spinning at Joy of Hand Spinning Learned several new terms and found out a couple of other tools that I will need as well.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Week 49 (wow) Stash Report

OK, so I lost track of fabric months ago. But, I have really been going through a lot of it lately. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate between fabric I use for my stuff and customer quilts. BUT, if I use fabric for backings that have I have had for more than a year, that should count as stash-busting. In that case, I have been doing awesome.

I joined a new group with some friends of mine that while we only meet once a quarter, we have really been busting the stash. It is strongly encouraged to use only fabrics from our stash. The first exchange was 6 inch 9 patches, and the 2nd swap was HourGlass blocks to go with the 9-patches. I would have to do the math to figure out how much fabric I used to make 100 9-patches and 80 hourglass blocks, but I did not make a dent in the fabric. . The 3rd swap was with Black on White with BRIGHTs making Churn Dash blocks. Think I made 60 of those.

The fabric stash grew when a friend of mine moved to San Antonio and she passed on a bunch of fabric that she did not take with her.

My Thursday Bee is doing another swap that is not due until after the first of the year, but I have already started on the blocks. (Montana Scrappy from Lynn Roddy Browns 2nd Book - a "Texas 2 Step" variation) These blocks consist of smaller Hourglass blocks and 4 patches.

The Katy Rotary Bee (my Monday Bee) is doing two swaps. One is for the quilt that was on the cover of the June 2009 McCalls Quilt magazine. Then we are also doing a Thousand Pyramids triangle quilt and we are all swapping fabrics so that we can go for each triangle a different fabric (500 lights, 500 darks).

Now, I must brag that at Quilt Festival this year That I only bought 4 yards of fabric. 2.5 yards were fat quarters that were .75 cents each and the other was some woven stuff I bought (and have already used) in some Halloween projects.

Well, after looking at this list, guess I better go get to work on some of these projects!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Out of the loop


Have really been off the radar lately. Youngest daughter is now offically married, the reception is over and everyone is back home and back to work. This is the year that the kids visit the husbands family on Christmas, so we'll be having several celebrations this year. Plans are to go to Atlanta some time during those last two weeks.

Well, grand-daughter Chloe was just barely walking when we saw her the last time. The next week Rachael reports that not only is she walking, but that she is RUNNING! Good grief they grow up fast!

I'm in a lot of new Block swaps. Always sign up for way more than I need to do. Well, I do plan on doing most of them from my stash. My Thursday Bee are all going in together on 7 bolts of of ICE fabrics (that is Ivory, Cream and Ecru). I need to take some pictures of the swap that we just finished from my NO PITA Blockbuilders that meets once a quarter. It was Churndashes done with BRIGHTS and Black on White or White on Blacks. The new swaps all are using the creamy backgrounds and either civil war repros or scrappy fabrics.

Well, I thought I was getting rid of a LOT of fabric. A large container packed and overflowing with fabrics. Donated to the ARTITUDE bunch that is going to make a crazy quilt for a fund raiser for the next quilt show. I ended up coming home with a car packed to the gills with 'stuff' from a friend who is moving to San Antonio. She was having the junk movers come at 4:30, so we were all 'rescueing' good stuff that was just going to get dumped. Still going through things, but I think the neatest thing was the stone tumbler doo-hicky thingee. Can't wait to put some of the Huatulco shells and glass that we brought home in there and see what comes out.

PC or Mac?


Don't you all enjoy those Mac ads where PC is valiantly trying to prove himself as good as Mac? Well, I've been a PC user since the mid 80's and you would think that when I asked for a new computer for my birthday that I might consider a Mac. Well, I didn't, and I got a new Dell. Actually, it has been a pretty painless switch-over from my old pc to the new one. I was also afraid of Vista, but apparently I've got Microsoft 7. I actually kinda like it. Guess I'm that nerdy PC guy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quilt Market Houston



Back from Quilt Market. It was early this year, but I was more than ready. Didn't really see any new 'gadgets' that I couldn't live without. Lots of new fabrics, patterns and books. What I'm noticing is that the patterns really are not 'new', but the same old traditional thing done in current fabrics. Does that consitute a 'new' pattern? Reminds me when I was 'little' and Mom would take me to Cloth World to look at dress patterns. She would remind me to look at the 'lines' of the pattern not the colors that the pattern was presented in. I mean really, a Churn Dash or Hole in the Barn Door is still the same. Do we really need new patterns for them? Now, if the 'artist' is presenting a new technique, that is something else entirely. The same thing when your favorite author (Merced Lackey) releases a book and you get it because it is your favorite author after all, you get it home and you figure out it is a book you read 15 years ago, just has a new cover and a new title. Bummer. OK, off my soapbox, and back to the Market report.

I think I only took one picture, and that was of Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. She has a couple of new books. HOP TO IT and FRIENDSHIP TRIANGLES . Friendship Triangles will be available in November 2009. Edyta was doing a book signing, and these were available to us at Market. She loves doing half square triangles and apparently one shop made about 50,000 of the little squares! I don't think it takes THAT many to make the cover quilt. LOL. I'm already doing the HOP TO IT applilque quilt. Well, lets just say I have the first block cut out. Not sure if I have actually put an applique stitch in yet. BUT, this will be one the of the projects that I'm working on while babysitting the OLD FASHIONED QUILTING BOOTH at Festival. I'll be one of the ones sitting around the quilting frame showing others how to hand quilt. Be sure to stop by and say hello!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paradise Found!

What a wonderful week! We just spent the last week in Hautulco Mexico. I bet most of you have never heard of this little piece of paradise. This is an undiscovered area that there are a few resorts in the area, but the has not been highly developed. Only recently, a couple of cruise ships a week stop in there, but otherwise seems untouched by the outside world. One of our shopping trips, we found a textile district. One place had the larger looms where they were weaving cotton blankets. The shop a couple of doors down was a smaller business where they did everything from raising the animals, getting the wool, dyeing, carding, spinning and weaving. They had smaller looms for making intricate wool designs. More on that later.
The main reason for going to Mexico was that our youngest daughter was getting married - on the beach. What a pretty bride! Family and friends attended the ceremony. Most everyone was barefoot! The band that played was a gift from the resort (Dreams Resort & Spa) was a nice touch. NOW, we need to start thinking about next set of grandkids! No pressure!

Friday, September 04, 2009

SHARE THE LOVE - IBOL

Quilts.Inc sent this info about a wonderful project for quilters, sewers, knitters to SHARE SOME LOVE! It's being organized by an American Soldier in Iraq and it's called IBOL...Iraq Bundle of Love.

First, go to your stash and see what you can spare—fabrics, scissors, thread, thimbles, notions like needles and pins, etc. No books—too heavy. If you're also a knitter, yarn and needles would be great to include. Lots of us have duplicates, even triplicates, and what a great way to lighten your stash, gain storage space, and do good, all at the same time!

Then go to the post office and get one of their large, flat-rate FFO/APO boxes, which are fairly sizable (one quilter sent 9 pounds in one box). At just $11.95 to mail, it's a great tool to use in this project. Package your donations according to Major LaFlamme's directions (this is very important as it will reduce the help needed to unpack and distribute these supplies) and mail it to him in Iraq at his special project address (the post office will ask you to fill out a customs form, too).


For more info, go to: http://ibol.wordpress.com. Be sure you read the FAQ and the section on how to make up your bundle. You have to leave a comment on his blog to get the APO address for sending your box. Pass on the info to your friends, too. You just use a Flat Rate APO box that the Post Office provides for free, pay the $11.95 shipping and the bundle will be passed on.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life is Good... .( or a Dog's Life)

How many of you have Plumeria and have been waiting for them to bloom? We brought back several 'stick's of Plumeria several years ago from Hawaii, and have patiently waited for the darn things to bloom. Well, finally after 3 (?) years, my patience has paid off. ONE of the plants is blooming. Can't say much for the other 6. I was thinking that this HOT Texas summer has been heck on all our flowers, I realized that we actually had quite a few blooms coloring our yard.
So, I went around and took pictures of about 10 different plants that were in bloom. Oleanader, Impatiens (poor things wilt in the sun, then perk up again with a bit of water), Altheas, Vinca, several varieties of Jasmine. These little pinks things always blossom after a good rain and pop up in the strangest places. The others I would have to go look up the names, but won't right now.



I've been busy finishing up lots of t-shirt quilts for kids that are headed back to back or off to college for the first time. (I remember those days!!). While it might have seemed that I was buried under t-shirts, I always enjoy looking at the collection of shirts that each person brings. It warms my heart knowing that these quilts will be treasured and bring fond memories to these people. I've really been enjoying several of the quilts that I finished the last couple of weeks because my customers are getting more creative with the fabrics they are choosing. I think the most popular fabric lines have been from the Sorbet Line from Sentimental Studios for Moda Fabrics. No links as this line is pretty much gone from the shelves, but I've included a sample of the fabric from the line. I just love the Peacocks and the colors.

My other favorite line is Urban Couture by Basic Grey for Moda Fabrics Especially the Red Grunge. I've been working on a simple quilt using 3 charm packs and some yardage. Look for pictures soon, as I plan on finishing that top at Retreat next week.

This is Shiner. Need I say it, he is one happy dog. This Blue Heeler is my shadow. Since I work from home, he 'might' be just a bit spoiled... I couldn't resist snapping this shot, as he was groaning in his sleep. I'm sure he is dreaming about catching Frisbies or chasing tennis balls.

Oh, and see that quilt is lounging on? That is HAND QUILTED - back in the days when I still did hand - quilting!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Road Trip to Moda and P&B Fabrics in Dallas !

Have always heard about going to the Moda & P&B fabric warehouses, so a couple of my longarm buddies and I went to Dallas last week to check it out. Sharon D. had been there before, so we were armed with colored stickers to mark our bolts of fabric! Of course mine were Red, Barb's were Blue and Sharons were Yellow. Oh, make a note. .. P&B warehouse is NOT air conditioned! So, when it is 100 degrees outside, it is at least 110 in the warehouse! They did have fans going, but I got a little dizzy from the heat - or maybe from the fabric... who knows.

On Thursday we went to Moda. Ahh, sweet air conditioning... You have to understand. At 7:30 in the morning it was already 95 degrees and about 90 percent humidity. Rows and rows of fabric, it was wonderful... What was nice was picking out 'partial' bolts. Instead of getting the usual 15 yard bolts, they had lots of bolts with anywhere from 6 yards up to the 15 yard bolts.

After about 3 hours and a relaxing lunch, we headed over to Cabbage Rose quilt shop in Fort Worth. We were getting a bit frustrated with the condescending lady in the GPS who kept having to recalculate because the stupid signs were AFTER the exit instead of before the exit.

After another break and dinner, we went to the Dallas Guild meeting. Not much to say there, we were a bit under-whelmed with the experience. Then back to the hotel where we bid the GPS lady goodnight. Friday morning we are all ready to head back to Houston, and my car has been broken into! Oh NO! Some jerk has busted the window out of my car. The GPS lady has been kidnapped! THEY LEFT THE FABRIC! whew!

Can't say enough nice stuff about the manager at the hotel. He had my car cleaned and arranged for a glass guy to come fix the car. We were finally on the road a few hours later, getting home AFTER the fabric that Moda shipped for us arrived.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good To Be Home Again and Again and Again.

Boy, this summer has been busy! Went to Atlanta over the 4th of July to visit the kids and grand-daughter. The next weekend was a day trip to Temple Texas for a quilt show and visit to quilt shops in Georgetown and Salado Texas. The next weekend was another driving trip up to Tulsa for other daughter who was having a high school reunion and wedding shower. Greater Houston had their quilt show this weekend and our Thursday Bee had a sew-in at Nita's house yesterday. I think I am ready to park my behind at home for a few days and get back on track. Big weather storm just blew through, but only lost power for a short bit, but still had to turn everything off for awhile.

I have lots of pictures to go through. I just downloaded them last night. However, I will start with my July UFO Finish. This is a little table topper that I started for Lindsey several years ago when the 5" charm packs were first coming out from Moda. I forgot the line, but there are maps of Paris, flowers and just 'cute' fabric. The light background is handwriting. I made 4-patches from the 5" squares then cut the background pieces the same size. There wasn't quite enough of the darker reds to make the top, so I did purchase a bit of the red for a couple of the 4-patches and the inner border. I did purchase coordinating fabric for the back at the same time. It's been hanging on a hangar to be quilted for over 4 years! Click on the the other picture to see the quilting.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ready to Retire?

We bought our retirement land on an airpark last summer. Check out the street signs that my studio will be located! I've been Shadywood Quilts for so long, but I think I'm going to have to come up with a new name. Actually, the studio will face Lazy Eight Trail and our home will face the other side which if I remember right is Barrel Roll Drive. (The Trail streets are actually grass taxi-ways for the airplanes, and the Drive streets are graveled roads).
We got an email last week that the owner of the lot next to ours was burning brush and it got away from them. So, we drove up to Lake Palestine (outside of Tyler, TX) to check the damage on the lots.
One of the reasons we selected this land was because of the trees - and that it was on an airpark - and on a lake. Fortunatly, (I'm not sure if it was the Berryville or the Frankston Fire Department,) but they did a great job and saved most of the trees. Here is a picture of probably the worst of the burn. We figure that we would have had to remove most of the trees that burned when we cleared to build the house and hangar.
We had thought we would be building our retirement home in the next few years. I love where we live now, after all, Houston is like Quilt Mecca for quilters. I have two quilt shops within 4 miles of my house, belong to 3 guilds, and am fortunate to be in several Bees where I've become friends with many awesome women. The thought of leaving here to go live out in the middle of nowhere is a little daunting, but I imagine that when I'm sitting lakeside, drinking margaritas I might get over it! LOL.
This last picture is looking out at the lake next to the boat dock. Today in Houston was over 100 degrees. I'm sorry, but it is NOT supposed to be that hot here. I don't think we broke 100 the last 2 summers. We will get to cool off Saturday. Company party at Schlitterbahn water park. That will be fun, but wish the kids were still around to go as well.
Speaking of kids, we are going to Atlanta over the 4th. Little Chloe isn't so little any more. She turned 9 months a couple of days ago and is making valiant attempts at standing but not too keen on walking yet. A friend of mine is letting me borrow a booklet of Atlanta area quiltshops from their recent Shophop. This time, I will have my GPS and I know how to use it! Last fall, I got totally lost with all the Peachtree roads, blvds and so on and totally missed visiting a guild meeting that was happening while we were there.
Haven't been getting a lot of quilting done this past week. I've been cleaning and rearranging my studio and have been listing nearly two hundred quilting books on eBay. All books start at .99 cents, no reserve. Think there are about 75 out there right now, and still have a stackanother 25 or 30 sitting here ready to type up and get posted. Just go to my ebay store and click on Books or Auctions. http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Shady-wood

Monday, June 15, 2009

20's Flapper Dress???

Found the coolest beadest remnants of a beaded dress from an estate (of a quilter no less). I have visions of this woman in her younger days dancing in this dress and quilting as she got older. There are two more pieces besides this front piece. There is not an area tht does not have a bead or sequin on it. Any suggestions what to do with this? If I don't get any good ideas, I'm just going to list it in my eBay store. But, I would rather make 'something' with at least part of it!!!


There was also a little over 11 yards of this sew-ing type of embroidered lace. It is 4 inches wide, but the edges are raw and would be perfect to set in between two fabrics. What in world did this lady need 11 yards of this? Surely not a gathered skirt! That would be a FULL skirt!


Now this is just downright cool. It is the table insert for a toddler play table. The reason I know is that I had a similar table when I was a baby, and we used it as a regular table (card table sized with adjustable height legs). This insert goes in the middle when there is not a baby sitting there. Now this one is probably for a bit older child. Oh, there was also a 'green board' that fit over the entire surface of the table. Mine had the alphabet and some basic animal shapes around the outside edge. Long after the table was gone, we still had the 'green board'.

Still going through the BOX of stuff that I got from this estate. There are some old fabrics that look like feedsacks, but is actually yardage. Wonder what date that puts that fabric? This piece, I can't tell what letter that it is supposed to be. Maybe a P?
I have been quilting for over 30 years, and I have accumulated a LOT of quilting stuff. I have been [forced to] clean my studio, and am listing a LOT of quilting books on eBay. Right now there are over 40 books listed, with more to come. I literally have hundreds of books that need to go. I need the shelf space and hubby is threatening to just go in there and toss them in the trash. Whatever books that don't sell, I will donate to my local quilt guild, but would like to give everyone a chance to get their hands on these classic books. Right now, there are probably 10 books just on Color Wash. Now, did I EVER make a colorwash quilt? NOPE.
If interested, here is a link to my ebay store.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Longarm Meeting in Bacliff Texas

Our gracious leader Karen O hosted the quarterly meeting of the Bayshore Longarm Quilters. OK, her home is in Bacliff, but most of the members live somewhere else other than Baycliff. There were ladies from as far away as Montgomery and Conroe, and a couple of us from Cypress. Oh, if you have been to Karen's studio (which is wonderful to just sit and drool over the quilts hanging on the wall) Pixxie was there. She was in full entertainment mode! It was rather impressive that whenever someone would hold up a quilt, she would pose in front of it, and then of course, want a treat. Very cute.



The first picture is Karen holding a quilt she just finished quilting. The 2nd one is Karen introducing some required reading to the new quilters that were there. Just look at all the neat stuff on the walls!

When it came time for Christyn to do show and tell, she showed us her Intelliquilter (IQ). I think everyone was impressed with the IQ. Even Barb and I were (and we've had ours for over a year), because she was showing the new features that were in the latest update from Zoltan. Can't wait to get the download and start playing with the new features.

My friend Linda and I went to The Woodlands guild quilt show on Friday. This show was quite different from previous years, as they had always held their show in a fancy hotel/large convention room. This time it was in a church and the quilts were all over the place. Found out we totally missed the Boutique which was probably just as well as I DID find the Vendors! The quilts we did see were nicely done, but I'm not sure if we saw them all or not. The Last Supper quilt was there in the Sanctuary of the church. It was nice to sit in the pews, and just reflect on the amazing detail.




The featured artist was awesome. I don't have her name available (the program is out in the car, and I'm in my jammies and ready for bed) but she had miniatures that were amazing. This is just one of the many she had there, note the finger on the right to give you some idea of the scale of this piece. These are Mariners Compass for crying out loud. We were standing there oohing and aahing, not realizing that the artist was standing there. She was very gracious and allowed us to take lots of pictures.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Old is New Again!

How is this for old is new? My buddy Michelle purchased a hand crank sewing machine. Now, unlike me, where mine is just looking cool on a shelf, Michelle is set up in a field, pretending to watch her hubby flying model airplanes, and sewing quilts with her hand crank machine! I am so impressed and feel like some sort of challenge is in order. Talk about going green! Another buddy has a hand crank and I know she has already completed a quilt top with hers. I'm waiting to see if she quilts it with her hand-crank. I'm not sure how the logistics work with that. I have to have two hands to guide all those layers around. Not sure how I would do it with one hand on the quilt and the other on the wheel. Maybe we can get a picture??

I'm in a great Bee. We meet once a month, and we can crank out some quilts for Charity. Last Thursday, we hung out about 20 quilts that we have put together for nursing homes and for the Linus project. At the last guild meeting in May, we turned in 38 quilts. In the picture on the right is Michelle, Carolyn, Nancy, Connie, Mariet, Linda and Nita is kneeling in the front. A lot of this fabric is donated (those panels) , but a good deal of it comes from our own stashes. See that Log Cabin in the background? I have Blood, Sweat and Tears in that one - literally. I was cutting strips from scraps and had a major rotary cutter accident. That's the one where my finger was still bleeding the next morning, and Gail tells me to get my butt to the emergency room. Duh!


Back in April, I mentioned the strip workshop that was a lot of fun. The patterns were 'Pole Dancing', 'Street Corner' and so on. This one you can see we were all getting a lot done! NOT. Pictured left to right is Ann, Gail, Linda, Michelle and little old me, again from the Thursday Night Bee - otherwise known as the Sub-Bee! Well, we do have other names, but I can't reveal those!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

UFO's, Stashbusting and so on....

Boy, May zoomed by in a huge flash! Got a lot of things done, just not all of what I wanted to get done. OK, that is the same for most of you probably! Recovering pretty well from my arm surgery the first of May. The stitches have pretty much dis-solved, so I can start lifting my arms without worrying about ripping something.
Did finish up a UFO from early last year. This is one that is very hard to admit to. Here I am, a professional longarm quilter, and the quilt that was supposed to be done when Chloe was born last September didn't get quilted. The top was done, but alas, my humble excuse was HURRICANE IKE. OK, no power for 3 weeks got me off the hook for awhile, but really - 8 months????
Like those Kilgore was here fingers at the top? That is hubby holding the quilt.. He hates doing that. ha ha. This little quilt just screams little girl. It has fussy cut images in the corners and soft pinks and whites with nice loud hot pink polka dots on the back. The fabrics are mostly by Lakehouse.
An old quilting friend of mine from Tulsa has moved to north Houston. She is a quilt teacher and speaker and I'm looking forward to having start with her first class to our Monday Bee. This quilt she calls the Texas 2-Step. It uses Sally Sneiders method where you piece the blocks without using triangles! She has a special tool to do this. Well, so much for not buying fabric. I've been picking up the most fabulous oranges (my new favorite color) in order to do this very scrappy. (Have I mentioned that I love SCRAPPY???) . Anyway, the color are kind of like Halloween, and this one has a few pumpkins in there, but I wouldn't consider it a Halloween quilt.

As far as Stashbusting goes - all I can say is that "I've been bad". Take a peek in this bag for the oranges and blacks. There are more than a few yards of fabric in there! But I always figure you can't have too many blacks, and boy did I find some nice black toned fabrics. And Orange. What more do I need to say? Then I was going through my shirtings for a background or light fabrics in the quilt. Most of them were too 'white' . The fabrics I selected have a more yellow cast to them. My buddy Sharon went through her stash and found a few that I could use as well.

Friday, May 08, 2009

New Toys

I love anything to do with sewing and quilting. I have quite a few collections of sewing collectibles. It started with thimbles - over 30 years ago. Last year at the Houston Quilt Festival I kept hearing my name being called and I fell in love with my first little vintage sewing machine. Just recently some friends of mine started picking up some hand crank sewing machines, and as they say, the rest is history! This first one is a Soviet Child's Metal Sewing Machine: Made in USSR. Redish orange metal body on wooden base. Working condition, hand crank. Has Running Deer Logo and Floral Decals.

Another little toy is one that I found on eBay. Her name is "Little Bett" and is written on the lower right corner. The little hand crank is a little stiff, but works great! The machine has "Made in England" on the stitch plate. It is plate #2-779 in the Glenda Thomas sewing machine book.

This vintage pretend-play toy is made in the 1960s-70s, Soviet Russia - USSR. It is made of solide metal painted in light blue with floral decorations. The black base stand is made of bakelite. When you turn the side wheel the sewing needle moves up and down. The toy is in very well preserved condition and works perfectly. Bought this one from a gentleman in Bulgaria.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Recycle, Reuse, Panic!

Anyone who is on the Quiltville yahoo list, knows about recycling men's cotton shirts. Well, I had kinda ignored those posts, thinking, I DON'T need more fabric. So, I didn't pay much attention as to the best methods for chopping these shirts into usuable fabric. Thanks to those that sent me links on the best way to get the most fabric.

Well, one of my customers brought me 140 western style shirts to make 7 quilts. This is what 140 of the puppies look like! That is the 3 overflowing box, and the big box next to it that isn't quite filled to the top! Over the weekend, I did manage to go through two of the paper boxes and have cut those into quite a bit of fabric! I'm surprised how much fabric there is. I did not save the cuffs, collars and yokes. Although after I made my second or third trip to the trash, hubby asks if I am going to save any of those cool snaps to put in the borders! I think not, as those would hard to quilt over and around.
[Note to self: Cut shirts BEFORE vaccuuming the rugs].

I did send her to the quiltville.com website to look at scrappy quilts, but she ended up choosing the "Yellow Brick Road" pattern to make the seven quilts. I want to get the rest of the shirts dis-assembled, then will start laying out color combinations. I will have lots of neat solids, stripes and plaids to work with.

Finished up a couple more T-shirt quilts this week, and got several more in. Graduation is always a busy time!

Tuesday was another day of RAIN! Good grief, we had 10 inches last weekend. Yesterday, we had at least another 10. The creeks around us (Big Cypress and Little Cypress) were over the banks and up to the bottom of the bridges. On Grant, the same creek was actually over the road. Our yard was pretty much under water all day, looked like it did after Hurricane Ike last fall. I drove down to the mailbox since the road was mostly under water. Sure glad I did, because as I was turning back into our driveway, there was a water mocassin swimming across the road. I'm such a woose, even in the big 'ole car I was scared by a 3 foot snake. Maybe because his brother was on our back porch after the last rain. I stayed in the house until hubby got home. Of course he had disappeared by then.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Skyrockets Workshop

Went to a workshop an all day last week, Sally Schneider taught us about making Skyrockets. This was a pretty good workshop, I even managed to get 5 blocks done. I don't have pictures of MY blocks, they are in the car already so I don't forget to take them to the day guild meeting tomorrow.

However, I did take a picture of the wall where everyone was putting their finished blocks. I love it when the students hang their blocks. With all the different fabric choices, the blocks always seem to look good together. There were batiks, 30's prints, random fabrics and so on. The success of the block is due to paying attention to the placement of the value in the block. Darks, mediums and lights. The Rocket part was supposed to the bold or dark part. Now the picture on the left uses a few different backgrounds to give the light effect in the center.

This is one project that I do plan to finish. Guess I better go add it to my UFO list .

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Strip Workshop by Ladies of the Night !

What fun we had at the strip workshop on Saturday! The Ladies of the Night Bee showed us 8 ways to use our 2.5" strips (jelly rolls). I think there were about 40 of us signed up for the workshop, and the LADIES outdid themselves with snacks, doorprizes and hospitality.

"Barbie" showed us "Street Corners" which was probably the best pattern for utilizing Jelly Rolls. I didn't get a picture of her beautiful Blue, Yellow and Green quilt top, but it just screamed SPRING and turned out nicely.


Benedicte "Frenchie" demoed "Spinning Strippers" and other patterns such as "Pasties", "Pole Dancing", "Red Light District" and"G-strings" were presented by other members.

Everyone in the workshop received printed instructions to go along with the demo. What great ideas to use up some of those scraps we've all been saving. I'm really looking forward to making Gails "Twirling Tassles" aka Double Pinwheels in scrappy reds and off whites.

Nita pointed out, that getting the Tassles to twirl in opposite directions is 'all in the shoulders'! What a hoot!

Knitting, Baskets and Quilting

I took a SOCKS 101 class Saturday, and am much more confident in my knitting skills. Still a beginner, but much more comfortable! Now I just need to figure out how to make my tension a little looser. My sock was about 3/4 the size of the class sample, and Nancy's was about twice the size! Our quilting buddies in the Patchwork Friends Bee got a big kick out of seeing the two socks together. Mine was about 1/2 the size of hers. All agreed she needs a little more tension, and I need to loosen mine. NO PICTURES - the camera would have broken.... LOL. The class was at Twisted Yarn in Spring, Texas. Ann was a great teacher and very patient my beginner issues! Thanks Ann! Boy, there were some lucsious yarns there. The shop was a very busy shop with lots of ladies that stop in just to knit.


Next door to the yarn shop was a BASKET shop called In The Works. Nancy and I talked to a lady that was unloading many baskets in various stages of completion. Kinda like our quilt UFOs. Danger Danger Will Robinson! They have a Basket Guild that meets at that shop.


Finished Chloes quilt and showed it at the Patchwork Friends Bee. They were the ones that made the 9-patch blocks for the quilt last year. The FMLC were instrumental in getting this one laid out in a pleasing manner. They suggested the diagonal rows of color and I think it turned out great! If you check the closeup, you can see the freehand feather meandering that I did on this one. The background fabric is good 'ole reliable Kona Snow, and I put a 30's print on the back that has the green and purple in it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Cobblers' Kids Have No Shoes

My Friday Bee (Patchwork Friends) made purple and green nine-patches for me las t Fall when I announced that I was going to be a new grandma! I put the blocks together at the Galveston retreat, and am nearly finished quilting it with an overall freehand feather meader. There is a pretty 30's style fabric on the back from the HELLO BETTY, Chloe's Closet line of fabric from Moda. What a coincidence that my grand-daughters name is Chloe!!! She is growing so much, and I haven't seen her since Christmas. Some of my Bee friends say I am flunking "Grandma" because this will be the first quilt poor little Chloe is going to get from her Grandma! Something about the Cobblers' kids have no shoes!

One of the "Things I want to Do/Try in 2009" items was to "Make silver DANGLE earrings". My buddy Linda gave all of us lessons in different jewelry making techniques - at the same time! Bless her heart - she was teaching 3 different techniques and we were all asking questions at the same time about our project. I think we wore her out!


On one side of the room, Sharon was stringing beads making several strands to go with a shell type necklace. Barb was working on a wire bracelet with Swarovski Crystals, and I was working on several pairs of earrings. I think they turned out pretty cool!
After the earrings I saw Linda some of her Peyote stich bracelets. There were so Anthropologie. Anyway, then she showed me how to get started with that, and I completed a couple of inches worth that last evening.