Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book List

The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen. I read most of this book from Salt Lake City to JFK. It was a direct flight so I didn't get to finish. This book was for my book club at church. The club met for dinner and had a phone interview with the author. I missed it because it was my husband's birthday, but I did get to read the book. It's one of the better books from my club, but it seemed a little disjointed. Usually 'Christian' fiction hammers you over the head (and I don't like that), but this one seemed to almost miss the point. It's a fictionalized account of the author's grandmother's time in Siam and Europe during the Roaring Twenties. Overall, it was somewhat better than meh, but if you are only going to read one book this year, pick another book.

Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. This is the first book in a long series of fantasy quest books. My husband is reading the series and I thought I'd join in the fun. The book was fairly good, but seemed scattered. Maybe it was me, but several times things seemed to happen out of order. A character recovered, only to get sick a few pages later. Someone else wore a new scarf only to receive the scarf as a gift afterwards. Otherwise, interesting story and I will read the second one.
The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz. I will have a tough time conveying how much I enjoyed this book. I read a lot. A LOT. I have a nasty habit, though, of figuring out the book early on and then despising myself for wasting time finishing it. Whereas I did plot out the ending, it was only one of many endings I devised and I was pleasantly carried through the ending, eager to find the resolution. I've never read Hurwitz before, but I will definitely read him again. Trivia: he is Robert Blake's son-in-law.

This book list is incredibly short. Two words explain this: Project Runway. Yes. We finally got cable.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quilt Tour

Another hopsital quilt:

I went through a serious Americana phase as a quilter. The blocks were from a Marti Michell fat quarter mystery. There were 10 blocks, so the other two are in a tablerunner that I gave to my mom.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Traveling Tuesday

I recently visited a town where the streets are paved with chocolate; Quilt Odyssey is held in Hershey, PA!

I demonstrated the HQ Sixteen for a wonderful quilt shop and was surrounded by some gorgeous quilts in the booth:

The picture above includes a genuine Handi Quilter rep!

I met with blogland's own Amy and her husband one day. I saw her baby bump!!!

On Sunday, I got to see the quilt exhibit. Humbling.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quilt Tour

A quilt from my pre-longarm days:

I made a drunkard's path block and thought it looked like a fish. So I ran with it. I was arranging all the fish when my husband suggested that the school of fish actually be in the shape of a fish. And so it was.

This quilt is a 'hospital' quilt. My daughter had a few operations when she was young. If we knew ahead of time, I tried to make her a new quilt. She liked having them with her and it gave me something to do while waiting and worrying, too. Now we have no more hospital visits, but we do have a small collection of quilts.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quilt Tour

Digging deep yet again, I found my daughter's "I Spy" quilt:

A group of quilters, including my favorite lawyer, met together once a month for over a year and swapped focus fabrics. I think there are over 300 different fabrics in this quilt.

One quilter even found fabric that has a spy on it:

After all the collecting, I was so excited to finish piecing it. I laid the top over my bed and proudly showed my daughter when she came home from school. I announced, "Look at what I made for you!" Her reply? "I don't like it."

I'll admit to being somewhat miffed, but she was such a cute first-grader, I had to forgive her. I set about quilting and binding it, since it was now for ME.

Once finished, I again laid the quilt over my bed. My daughter saw it some time that afternoon and it disappeared into her room. It's been hers ever since.

I guess she liked it after all.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

For me?

I received a present, and I'm not sure who left it for me. It was icky.

Since Spike is a big weenie:

it was probably Kermit:

Both boys were awarded and praised appropriately for that most thoughtful gift ... which was left on the floor at the top of the stairs ... very, very dead.

Aren't you glad I didn't take a picture of the mouse?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Finished by Friday

I adore this quilt:

It was made with Tonga Batiks Dime Squares. The pattern was so easy and incredibly fun. The only drawback for me was that it was a little small. I'm not much in need of small quilts, so I added borders. I'd probably double the size next time (and there will be a next time).

I'm giving this quilt away, so quick and simple quilting works for me:

The photos are not the best because I'm fighting with hotel lighting. Sorry.

Here are the facts as I know them:

Size: approx 50 x approx 60
Batting: Quilter's Dream Polyester Select
Thread: King Tut variegated on top, PermaCore in bobbin (uncertain of colors at this time)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What not to say....

to me when you are an expectant grandmother with a grandbaby due in a few weeks:

"Debby, I just had to tell you that I have a new..........








laptop computer."

Sigh. Continuing to wait.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Truth is Stranger Than Fabric?

While visiting a friend today (and replacing her ant poison that I borrowed in desperation), I saw this:

It reminded me of this.

More of my friend's gorgeous gardens:

And she can quilt, too!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Traveling Tuesday

From the family reunion:

We spent some time out on the water:

And saw the lakehouse my husband is building for me:

OK, so that part wasn't true.

I took tons of pictures. My children were quite adept at avoiding the camera:

I have about 100 shots just like this.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect:

It was a wonderful day spent with wonderful folks. It's great to enjoy your in-laws!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Quilt Tour

I dug deep for this quilt:

It's one of my earlier quilts. The pattern was designed by my friend. She did a great job, didn't she? Black, white, and red will always be one of my favorite combinations.

This was the first time I tried a swirly free-hand pattern:

I do it much differently now, but I learned a lot from this one.

It was also the first time I attempted a little "back art":

This quilt used to be my nap quilt. It's replacement is very different, but makes me just as happy. I still love this old quilt, but I don't love the old batting that I used. It's bearding -- ick.

Please notice that the laundry lines are empty in this series of photos. I hang laundry every morning, but snapped a quick picture before it included all the clothes we sweated through yesterday. Did I mention that it's been horrifically hot? And that I don't have air conditioning? Please feel bad for me.


A quick list of things I dislike:

1. Ants in my kitchen
2. Ants in my kitchen
3. Ants in my kitchen
4. Ants in my kitchen


5. Ants in my kitchen.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Quilt Tour

I love this quilt:

It lives on my sofa.

I love the pattern. It's from Thimbleberries, in Beginner's Luck, one of the best quilt books ever. I've made quilts from this pattern several times, and it's great for working down your stash. I think it uses 5-one yard cuts of fabric for the quilt. Binding and backing not included.
I would love to tell you that all the fabrics were from my stash, but alas, no. They actually came from the $5 rack at the local quilt shop. Didn't they work together well?

please ignore my laundry hanging in the photo. thank you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Quilt Tour

I grabbed another wallhanging off the wall:

It's another old Thimbleberries Club Quilt from 2003. I have all four of these quilts pieced, quilted, and bound, so the rest will show up on the Quilt Tour eventually.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Finished by Friday

Yet another scrap quilt, this time with 1-inch 9-patches:

Size: 60x72 inches
Batting: Mountain Mist White Rose (I have a huge roll, so I'm using it up)
Thread: PermaCore Natural 32187
Quilting Pattern(s): Mouse Maze in the 9-patches, meandering in the blocks, leaves in the border

Mouse Maze:

And the back:

HT to Bonnie for the pieced back suggestion.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rubbing elbows

Rubbing elbows with famous people is always exciting.

Some of my favorite quilters are featured on Carol Doak's blog. Check them out. They are famous (and smart and pretty and talented, too!).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Problem solving 101

Problem: I have an old mattress that needs to be discarded and I do not have a vehicle large enough to do the job

Solution, part 1: Let the youth pastor pick it up

Solution, part 2: Let the students disassemble it while playing a game of 'Capture the Bacon'

I have tons of pictures of how the mattress was destroyed, but I won't post them since students are involved. Trust me when I say that watching 76 high school students compete against each other to drag a mattress across team lines was Hi-larious.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Traveling Tuesday

I recently traveled to Yonkers, New York (pronounced Yon-kahs, Noo Yawk) to visit a friend of mine. We checked out a local eatery:

and watched our ice cream burn:

can you see the flames?

I also discovered why one should always take a camera to the restroom:

If a few beads are good, aren't more better?:

When we were done eating, I met my friend's new neighbor:

Isn't he cute??? I think I'll name him Bob.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Who's on first?

If you were listening in on a recent phone conversation, this is what you would have heard:

Me: Do you have the car on the lot?

Saleslady: Yes

Me: Before I drive there, can you confirm that it's automatic and has cruise control?

Saleslady: Yes, it's standard.

Me: It has cruise control?

Saleslady: Yes

Me: And it's automatic?

Saleslady: It's standard.

Me: But it's an automatic transmission?

Saleslady: Yes, it's standard.

(insert long, confused pause)

Me: Are you saying that the automatic transmission comes standard on the car?

Saleslady: Yes.

Me: So you weren't saying that it had a standard transmission.

Saleslady: Right. Automatic is standard.


Third base!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Quilt Tour

The most-used entrance to our house is the garage. Coming up the basement stairs, we are met with this quilt:

I made this at a Guild Retreat back in the 1990s. I think this retreat is where I met my favorite lawyer (hi P!). We all worked on our own projects separately but were each given this quilt kit. I learned how to do French knots, something my hand-embroidery mother could never get me to do correctly, much to her chagrin. We fused the fabrics to make them stiff. This quilt also gave me my first experience with needle turn applique.

I finished the entire quilt that weekend, which means it was quilted on my domestic machine which means it is very badly quilted. Aside from lousy quilting, I really like this little quilt and it makes me happy every time I walk up the basement stairs. I hope you enjoyed it as well.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Quilt Tour

I have a confession: I'm absolutely worthless when it comes to decorating my house. There, I've said it. Fortunately there's help.

When we bought our living room furniture 3 years ago, it looked like someone just unloaded it in the room. I was hoping for that cozy and warm look. It didn't happen. Then I met Marcy.

She came in and arranged my furniture. I let her look through every room and closet in the house (gasp!) so she could decorate using what I already own. When she found this:
she went nuts. She literally grabbed it off the hallway wall and it is featured in the living room now. It is an old Thimbleberries Club quilt.
For the rest of the room, Marcy found some lamps, bunches of candles, a floor lamp, another quilt, a Redoute print, a Gunthart print, some baskets, framed photos, and some candle sconces. She pulled things together quite nicely and then suggested I get some tables. I've added a few other things since then, but it was much easier when I knew where I was headed instead of "here's some furniture in a big empty room ..... go and decorate it".
I've enjoyed my living room for the last three years, but my husband is now making noise about changing things around. You see, we have a Wii and he thinks we could have more room to jump around if the furniture were arranged differently. I'll let him give it a shot, but I'm looking up Marcy's number just in case we need a little help.
For the curious, I think I paid Marcy $100 for her services. She arranged my living room and another room for that price. It was a Christmas present to myself.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Finished by Friday

We're debating the name of this quilt.

Un-calmness. Zany. That Quilt With The Veggie Tales Fabric.

It's finished, whatever it's name is:

And close-ups of the quilting:

I've never done a straight-line meander before and it was really fun. The quilt is kind of stiff, though. The thread was 30-weight and thick, and I used a lot of it! I'm sure I'll use this quilting pattern again, but probably not for a baby quilt. I like them to be more drape-y.

For the rest of the details:

size: 60 x 60 inches
fabric: ALL FROM STASH!!! 144 5-inch squares from my scrap box
batting: Mountain Mist White Rose
thread: Perfect Quilter 085 (sunrays) in top; Perma-Core 43402 (sunlight) in bobbin

And it was finished by Friday!

My dear nurse friend had a 30th birthday a while ago. I finally finished her present:

I used the Ashley bag pattern again. The pattern calls for 2-inch strips, but I took some wonderful black Asian-print fabric and put it on the Pro-Stitcher with some Glitter thread and this is what happened:

The flash washed the color out a bit. The fabric is truly black, and the thread is black with gray/blue tones. The quilting pattern is called Pipeline, I think.

I am completely thrilled with this bag and might have to make another one for myself someday.

My son is a music student at college. Since he's going into his senior year, it's well past time he had some themed pillow cases:

This is the first of several. It's amazing the fabric you find when you clean out the dining sewing room.
Off to sew and see what I can finish by next Friday!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's missing?

Apparently my car has a new happy place:

Does anyone know if a late-night car drop-off considered a date? If it is, my husband and I have been going on dates regularly for quite some time now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Quilt Tour

I am blessed with some amazing friends, the kind that make you wonder how women without close friends make it through life. I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I'm very grateful. One of them is a wonderful quilty friend. She's very, very wise and pretty much who I want to be when I grow up. She made me a quilt for Christmas:

She added in my business name:

And some really cute primitive applique:

And some darling buttons:

I love this quilt. It hangs in the hallway between my kitchen and studio. I get to see it every day and think of my dear friend. And then I call her and talk her ear off. Just ask her. And then ask her why the quilt is blue and yellow. They might be her favorite colors.

If the pictures seem a little dark, I took them after dinner. I live in the woods and there's not much sun. What little light we have is best on the back porch so I take most of my pictures out there. Need proof?

My son holds my quilts for me. He's such a good boy! He was bending to keep as much of himself out of the photo as possible (it didn't work). I posted this picture because he wouldn't let me post the ones of his nose poking over the top of the quilt. Maybe another day.

And someone should probably refill that gas tank.