Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lazy Day

Some days are just meant for relaxing. Today is one of them. I got up early, walked, weeded some in the garden, then went a met friends for coffee. After that it was a little more garden work and finishing the most recent customer quilt. I also worked on the design for a memory garden I'm creating in the back corner of our yard. There was time to surf the web, catch up on a few blogs and just sit on the swing in the backyard. A lazy day; a relaxing day; pretty much a perfect day. Here's the view from our backyard swing. The kids are catching some sun and my daughters dog, Junebug, is seeing what kind of mischief she can find. It looks like summer is finally here!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Basket Quilt

I finished this basket quilt last year. After looking at it for months I knew it had to be changed. It was the corner blocks in the border that were all wrong. They just did nothing for the quilt. I think having the borders without the blocks would have looked best but there wasn't enough fabric leftover for that so I played around with some ideas and fabrics and finally came up with new blocks. The small checker board of black and creams sets off those corners and I think the contrast is much better. Now I can get this quilted and actually be happy with it!

Leah's Spring is published

The magazine finally arrived that has an article and photo on Leah's Spring quilt. It's exciting to see it published, but more than seeing the quilt in a magazine is knowing that it's another opportunity to tell a little of the story of her precious life.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Done at last

I can take a big sigh of relief -- this quilt is finished. There was many hours that went into quilting this one, but it turned out beautifully. I'm happy with the designs that were quilted on it. I love the scalloped edge and the dresden plate in the center. This is a quilt I would like to make. Maybe someday. When a quilt is this heavily quilted and the back is a plain muslin, the back becomes a work of art too. I love it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Loving This Quilt

Sometimes I get drawn into a quilt. I really liked this quilt before I started to work on it, but as I've been quilting it I find myself really, really liking it. I can tell; I didn't plan to spend much time quilting today but I kept finding myself at the machine thinking of one more design that would look nice in a particular area. There's already a lot of hours into this quilt but it's worth the extra effort. And by the way, I did figure out what to put in the T blocks. The area around the T blocks will still need more quilting but I'm satisfied with the design that went in the block.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Challenge of Design

I put this quilt on this morning. It's very large, a lot of open spaces, an exquisitely done quilt. It will most likely be on my machine for about a week. Not only because of it size, but it will require a lot of design work and that takes time. Sometimes the time is just spent in thinking. I did the top scalloped border and then when I got to the T-blocks I just couldn't see anything to quilt on them. Finding a design for that block online, I printed out a bunch of the blocks in black and white and then drew design ideas. Still wasn't convinced that any of them were right. I don't want to spend too many hours trying to figure this out. Hopefully I can sleep on my ideas tonight and know in the morning what I want to do! I'll post more as this quilt progresses and then it's final pictures. It is really beautiful.

This Week's Work

These two quilts were done this week. The blue and teal quilt had some rectangles that were made from silk. I have worked with silk before and it can be hard to piece and keep from fraying. This quilter put small strips of fusible interfacing in the seam allowance of each silk piece. A lot of work, but it should help. I quilted straight lines down the silk pieces and then put a fern design through the center. I think it turned out beautifully. The other quilt was large, but since it was mostly an overall design it was only a half day's work. I really like the design that went in the narrow borders.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What's In A Name?

I was curious today what would come up if I typed in machine quilting Tualatin OR in a Google search. The first page had me listed on three different business directories as a machine shop! That explains why I sometimes get calls from engine supply places looking for new business. One guy recently started his sales pitch and then midway through a sentence there was this pause and then he said "I'm just looking at your name, and I take it you don't service cars or sell parts -- you have the word quilting in your name", he started to laugh and said his wife quilts and that he could understand completely if I didn't want to purchase any mechanic tools from him. I guess when you have the word machine in your business name it's going to mean a lot of other things besides quilting. Maybe I'll get out in my husband's shop and try out a few tools!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

View from my studio windows

I know I've mentioned several times how blessed I feel to be able to have such a beautiful studio to work in. Not only is it great in the actual studio, but I love the view from the windows. The back windows look out at the garden and the chicken coop. Two of my other loves in life -- gardening and chickens! The side windows look out at the patio and deck with the pots and hanging baskets of flowers. It's wonderful!

This Week's Work

It's still Thursday morning and I'm done with this week's customer quilts. Yeah! It's always nice to get work behind me before Friday so that I can have a 3 day weekend! There's a million projects to work on around here (well, okay, maybe not a million, but sometimes it feels like it). Kate informed me before she left for school this morning that this weekend would be a good time to make lots of pillows to go on her bed on top of her new quilt. I told her -- maybe... Here's some photos from the week's work. I especially loved the background quilting that went around the dahlia quilt. The Dresden Plate quilt was small so also fun to do. I have 3 Dresden Plate quilts in my studio to do right now. That's unusual. Is there a trend going on? Or maybe just a class? Well, whatever, it's made me want to make a Dresden Plate quilt. Oh dear, I feel another project coming on!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


The last year has been one of loss. The biggest and most traumatic loss was that of my beautiful granddaughter passing away last June. Leah Grace's life was much too short -- only 99 days. I still find myself missing her soft skin and sweet smell. There's no comparison to the loss of life of a child.
In August my favorite cat disappeared. The neighbor said he had been in a bad cat fight. I didn't even realize he was hurt and one morning he just didn't show up. Then in February, on my birthday, our dog passed away. We had her for 14 years and she was a great dog.
Now today, 'new kitty' passed away. He had been sick for a couple weeks. He had taken the place of my favorite orange cat and was pretty much always close by. He often slept in my studio while I worked. If I was on the computer in the bedroom, next thing I'd know he'd be on the floor next to me. He wasn't much of an outdoor cat. We never knew where he came from or what his history was, he just showed up in the garage one day looking quite starved. For the longest time he was just 'new kitty'. I tried to name him Buster but the rest of the family preferred 'new kitty'. I will really miss him.
I like pets and we still have one cat left, but I'm not the kind of pet owner that puts the same value to an animal that a person has. That may sound strange, but I meet people who do. Maybe it's because they don't have children or grandchildren. Or maybe they are just really really pet lovers. Pets are great companions and the loss of one hurts, but it is not the same kind of grief (at least for me) that is experienced with the loss of a close friend or family member. Still for days to come I will look for 'new kitty' in his usual places and then remember that he is gone.
Here's a couple pictures of our 3 beloved pets.

Quilt is Done!

Kate's quilt is done. Finally! Actually the bind is on but not stitched over to the back. I think I'll let Kate do that part :) It looks wonderful in her room. I put it on her bed after she left for school. She will be surprised. Hopefully in the next few weeks, we'll make some throw pillows, maybe some pillow shams and a couple pillow cases. I really like this quilt.