Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summertime and still sweatshirt weather!

But of course, it's always sweatshirt weather here - sometimes you have to wear a raincoat over the sweatshirt, so guess I'll be satisfied with what we've got.

Water Aerobics started in our outside pool last Monday. It's a heated pool but weather has been in the 50s when we're in it! It's as close as I get to joining in any Polar Bear events!! Actually, the pool feels great and its fun to drive only 5 minutes to the pool. I drive 45 minutes to get to the Crescent City Pool the rest of the year. Eight am and I've already got a tan - after 4 days, I have suit-lines - even with the morning fog!! It amazes me.

June's flowers came - beautiful full dark red peonies. The bouquets have gotten bigger each month - this one was too big and top-heavy for our glass vase. I put the white flowers in a second vase/mason jar and while the peonies are starting to fade, the white flowers are still going strong.

Our local quilt shop expanded and put in a LongArm machine. You can take a LA lesson, get 'certified' and then be able to rent it and work on your own projects. I am now certified, as compared to certifiable!! I had another quilt UFO in mind for my work session, but switched it out to this flannel kids quilt. 'Brrr-winter' could take an all-over design and was a better '1st' project for me. I free motion quilted it - I'm am terrible at pantographs!!

Let me say - long arm quilters have nothing to worry about with me!! Wow - it's an eye opener to try it yourself! But, this UFO is now off my list and hopefully I'll get over there every month or two to work on another UFO. Lord knows I have enough UFOs to get thru!

Here's my Holiday Challenge again - as I told you, it won 3rd place Viewer's Choice in the Challenge category at the show!! Fun surprise!!

I finally turned the corner on my 'on again, off again' handquilting project - I'm out to the borders on my 'Birds of a Feather.' A BOM from 2006ish! I hate to quilt borders in a hoop - it's all set-up again and again with very little time quilting. So I framed it up and like working on it that way. I put it in the sewing room and as you can see - it barely fits. In fact, you have to squeeze thru to get into the room.

While we're in the sewing room - might as well have a tour!! A closet [stuffed full of quilting stuff] is on your left. The black board on the right is the computer armoir. The design wall is straight ahead, those jungle animals are half the blocks for a quilt for Mr D. It's called Jungle Boogie by Sindy Rodenmayer of Fat Cat Patterns.

The original dimensions are huge. I reduced it to 75% and the giraffe is still 23" tall! And - in case you want to make this - the pattern is not reversed, since I'm using a wonder-under method, my quilt will be backwards. I hate when that happens!!

Moving on - the next blocks on the design wall are Pies and Tarts. My goal is to have all 64 pies made and appliqued to the backgrounds by the end of July when a good friend from ARK is coming to visit. She can consult like nobody's business! I'm counting on her to help me lay it out.

In the basket on the floor is a Grandmother's Flower Garden that has been languishing for years. A church group in Lincoln NE quilted it for me and offered to bind it - I foolishly said "No, thanks." Why, oh why, did I say that??? It's still not bound - but this year .... better be longer than 365 days based on my to-do list for 2011!! LOL! Hope springs eternal!!

Then the wonderful card catalog my daughter gave/lent me for Mother's Day!! On top are various baskets, one of which holds my Sue Spargo 'Journey Tree' project.

I'd love to say that's as messy as it gets - but sadly, no - I had to straighten it up to make room for the frame!! The best I can hope for is 'livable'!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June has sprung

Last weekend was our Brookings Quilt Show as part of Azalea Festival. The weather was spotty - but that doesn't deter quilters - we're inside!

We had 162 quilts entered and all showed up. I was so glad I entered quilts that were finished - I remember those last hours of sewing against the clock many times other years and delivering quilts that were 'still smoking!'

But I was kept busy by going to work day on Monday before the show; accepting entries for 4 hours on Friday; helping to hang the show Friday night [my favorite part!]; working the show and photographing all the entries on Saturday; and wandering the show before helping with 'take down' Sunday. It seemed it went well - we'll get our report next Monday night.

We were able to sell cookies for the first time in many years - with the strict instructions that none were to be eaten inside the building. So we advertised "Go Bags of cookies" [for New Orleans fans!] And "Cookies to go".

We had everything! And could smell the baked goods right thru the zip-lock bags! I made batches of my rice krispie bars with M&Ms. But there were all the usual suspects plus a new favorite - Cranberry-White Chocolate-Oatmeal cookie. The recipe is on the Craisins Bag of Dried Cranberries! Trust me - awesome!!

One of the best perks of joining a new quilt guild is they haven't seen your quilts yet. Many don't have date restrictions on entries into shows, so you can bring out your old favorites [and see if they hold up to the new standards!] And I'm happy to report they did!

The oldest quilt I entered was the Blazing Star Whole Cloth quilt. I hand quilted this quilt in Lincoln in 1984. [isn't a yearly 'quilts finished' list handy!!!]
I ordered this pattern and was severely disappointed to receive one quarter of the star drawn out!! I, of course, picked fabrics that were too thick to see thru and had to gerry-rig a light box to trace it. Well, by the time I got to lining up the last quarter - it was 1/2" off. I stomped on it - not kidding - sprayed it with Shout and sent it thru the wash a few times. Determined, next I drew out the pattern on newsprint from a roll; [remember those - you got them from the newspaper office and they were Grrr-eat!!' This time I basted it to the fabric so it wouldn't shift; traced it and proceeded to quilt it with contrasting thread. I even made the hanging loops change color so as to match the side that was hanging out AND added an invisible pocket for a small dowel to help it hang perfectly straight!

I still love it. It was made during my 'blue and brown' period! Ha - I can hear friends laughing!! That period lasted about 30 years!! I still love blues and browns - but do work in different colors -on occasion- now!! LOL!

I entered "Lights Along the Coast" the silk-screened lighthouse panels set in a log cabin setting. My DH's admitted favorite quilt of mine! Although he still has "improvement suggestions"!!

I entered "Season's Greetings, Dearie" this year's Brookings Round Robin quilt. I'm pleased to say that 4 of the 5 quilts in our round were done by the show. And they looked mighty fine!! Many thanks to M in Lincoln for long-arming that quilt for me on my visit to Nebraska in April. It turned out so cute and provided me with a relaxing pre-show interval.

You remember "Be Mine", my Holiday Challenge - my foray into 'slow quilting' last winter. I love it - but it didn't do well in the Guild's Challenge Contest. I was surprised that it won a 3rd place Viewer's Choice at the show. Always fun to walk around the corner and find a ribbon on your quilt!

We're headed to Medford this weekend to send the new parents out for an evening while we babysit Mr D! Almost 2 months old now ... wish us luck!!