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.

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.