Quilt Blog



January 4, 2012 - Wow. It has been almost a whole year since I last posted! I started an online business and that took up a lot of my time, but I'm ready to get back to quilting now. Sill haven't finished the Shakespeare in the Park quilt, I started a new tablerunner for Kelly for Christmas but didn't get it done in time and I have to make a dress for a baby. I plan to get all that done by the end of the month because on the 28th I start a class on the The Bali Wedding Star for Kelly and Zach's wedding in September. Off to work! :)

January 9, 2011 - A new year and a new house! :D The sewing room has been the last to get attention so I'm just starting to set it up. I'll be glad when I get it done and can start sewing again. I want to finish the Shakespeare in the Park quilt. I think the colors will work well with the sage green we have chosen to paint our bedroom.

November 26, 2010 - Exciting news! Luke and I have bought a new house. The only bad part is that we will be moving in the midst of the Christmas season. It has dampened my usual enthusiasm for the holidays. No sewing this year. :( I do have a new sewing room to look forward to so it's not all bad. :)

August 30, 2010 - Progress on the quilt is slow. I have half of the Rising Star blocks done and have started the second half. After that there are a lot of little star blocks to make. Since my sewing room gets the afternoon sun I haven't been working in there as much as I would like. :(

August 6, 2010 - I finished all 25 Snail's Trail blocks for the Shakespeare in the Park quilt yesterday. I started the Rising Star blocks too, but didn't get very far before the room became too hot. Hopefully, after grocery shopping today I will get back to it. :)

July 15, 2010 - It has been a long time since I updated! I haven't sewn in a long time, but on Tuesday night I finally started the Shakespeare in the Park quilt. I didn't realize I only bought 3 yards of background fabric so I may have to spend frantic days looking for something that will work, but I'm enjoying being back in the sewing room even though it has been warm and that room really gets the afternoon sun and heat. Since there is nothing on TV until fall I will just sew in the evenings to try to avoid the worst of the heat. :)
Much to my dismay, I haven't sold a single thing on Etsy. :(

April 15, 2010 -I opened my Etsy shop last night.

April 10, 2010 - Sometime in the last couple of years I wrote that life is too short to work on a quilt that I hate. I have been trying to make myself work on the 30s quilt that I really hate, but I have finally decided to take my own advice. The 30s quilt is going to be put away. Maybe one of my future granddaughters will find it someday and be thrilled to finish it. :)
I'm involved in making baby things to put on my Etsy shop right now, but in the next week or so I will start another quilt; one that I won't avoid. I ordered an acrylic sewing table and a spring-motion foot for my machine, and I'm going to start teaching myself machine quilting without the FM or FUM. They are good tools, but they are limited in size and that causes problems. I'm sure I can do free-motion without them; it will just take a little time to master. I guess it was seeing Linda Tallesbo's quilting that finally made me decide to bite the bullet and learn without "crutches".

March 21, 2010- Luke, KR and I went to the QA quilt show yesterday. Linda Tallesbo was the featured artist. Wow, can that woman machine quilt! I came home and started making a jumper for me. The bodice is pieced with a quilt block in the center and strips finishing it out.
I took the Pfaff in for servicing last week. The sewing room seems empty without her. I've been making yo yos by hand since then.
I've been thinking since October that I need to reorganize my webpage. I wonder when I'll get to it?

March 17,2010- I don't know if it's just because spring is here or the antidepressant is working, but I've been very creative lately. Whatever it is, I'll take it! I hate it when I don't feel like doing anything creative. :) I just posted pics of an Easter banner I finished yesterday. I saw one at Wights and was inspired to make my own version.
I'm taking the Pfaff in for servicing today so I guess if I feel like sewing over the next week or so it will have to be on the hated quilt and my Viking.
I'm also about half way done with Luke's knitted socks. Man, he has such BIG FEET!!! :)

January 26, 2010

Not a lot of sewing or crafting to report. I've still been knitting dishcloths. They are SO addictive! I'm also wondering how I've gotten this far in my life without them. They make doing the dishes and wiping up something to look forward to, not dread. I guess having beautiful tools to work with makes the difference. :)

January 1, 2010 - The holidays have come and gone. I got all my Christmas sewing done except for Luke's pullover. I will get that finished next week. Fortunately he understood why I didn't get it done and is willing to wait. :)
I have been thinking today about how many quilt kits I have and how many quilts I bought fabric for. I have made a resolution to not buy any more quilt fabric until I use a lot of it up. Note: This does not include other fabrics that are necessary! As more babies come along I will have to make stuff for them and I'm going to start sewing clothes for myself so as not to have to buy any. But no quilt fabric this year; no matter how many new ones I think I just have to have.

December 16, 2009 I've been busy making Christmas gifts but no quilt for gifts this year. Knitting has really been my thing for the past two or three months and I'm still enjoying it a lot. Spinning, on the other hand, has been difficult for me to get. :( I belong to a local spinning group but haven't been able to make the bi-monthly spin-in to get some help yet. Hopefully after the first of the year things will slow down and I can concentrate more on spinning. Only nine days til Christmas!

October 6, 2009 - I just revamped my website some. I changed some information on the first page to include some other interests besides quilting. Having acquired my spinning wheel last Saturday, I have realized that other fiber crafts interest me as much as quilting. So now I will be including information about spinning and knitting and whatever else captures my imagination. :)

October 2, 2009 - I started the 30s quilt but am still having a really hard time getting into it. It's a cute pattern (Oopsie Daisy if you want to look it up), and looks great as a wallhanging but I'm making a queen-size and I just can't see doing applique in 25 blank blocks. It would be way too busy. I thought about doing redwork but can't find any machine embroidery for it. Either they are too small or there aren't enough of them to give good variety. I have, however, been keeping busy with new baby dresses. Everyone I know who is pregnant is expecting a girl; twins in one case! I don't know how appreciative these new mothers are to get a girly-girl dress but that's what they get. The seem to prefer to dress their little ones in denim mini skirts and tee-shirts. :( Oh well. As soon as I finish up this last one I'll get back to the quilt.
I bought a spinning wheel today! I have been consumed with the idea of spinning for a while now and this opportunity came up so now I own an Ashford traditional wheel. :)

August 18, 2009 - Another long stretch since the last update. I've been doing a lot of sewing when it's not too hot. I finished the Biblical Blocks for Aunt Sharon and gave it to her when they were here for the reunion, Kara got her quilt and I also finished the other heirloom dress. Martha Pullen has two new daygown books out and I ordered and got those a couple weeks ago. I started a beautiful little gown with Madiera applique and a really cool treatment on the collar. I am waiting on some thread I had to order online before I can finish that. Another great-great-neice will be born in November or December (I forget exactly) and that will be for her. I also started a simple quilt using 30s fabric. I just can't seem to get into that one though. I'm not crazy about 30s fabric but I thought this was a cute quilt so I'm trying. Hopefully summer will be over soon and it won't be too hot in the sewing room anymore.

June 26, 2009 - I just put a photo of Kara's quilt up. It was mailed on Tuesday and hopefully she will get it in the next few days. I've also been working on the Biblical Blocks quilt, spending several hours a day in the sewing room. Today I will finish the applique borders and put on the last border. Then I will have to spend two or three days taking out all the paper from behind the applique. Then it will finally be ready for quilting. I only have the month of July to get it completed so hopefully the quilting will go well. :)

June 7, 2009 - Wow! It's June already. Time is whizzing by.
Kara was born on June 2nd and I'm still working on the hand sewing on the binding. I also have another heirloom dress in progress, a knitted sweater and some other things going on.
Last week KR and I exchanged rooms so I have a new sewing room. I'm going to take pictures today and get them posted in the next couple of days. I discovered something funny after the move; even though the room looks much bigger than the other, it's really not. Only about a foot or so. I was able to put up two tables though so I have my two good machines out and the serger. I had to block the door to the bathroom with a small shelf unit and the ironing board is in front of the closet doors but all in all, it's a better set-up than I had. I had to do away with my "design wall" but I can live without it.

May 6, 2009 - I've been working on four projects at once again. :) I finished and mailed the gift for baby Kara in time for the shower. (Picture posted) Since then I've been working on a crochet hat and bootie set, my first bishop dress, another heirloom dress and Kara's quilt. I should have the quilting done this weekend and be able to start the binding. Then it's just waiting for her to be born so I can make the label and send it. I need to get back to Aunt Sharon's quilt and get it done before August and I've made KR a lap quilt that is all pinned and ready for quilting so I've got lots to keep me busy. :)

April 1, 2009 - Wow! It's been a whole month since I updated. Not much quilting to report. I've been immersed in smocking and heirloom sewing and that's been fun. :) I almost have baby Kara's stuff done so I should be able to mail it well in advance of the shower. :) Then I will have to start on her quilt.
Joann came over a few weeks ago and we worked on two more blocks for the biblical quilt. I have until August to get it done so I've been concentrating on the baby stuff first.

March 1, 2009 - Luke and I went to Sew Expo in Puyallup yesterday. I went to try to find some heirloom supplies and I did find what I need but there were very few heirloom booths. It's just not big here. :( I did talk to Lana though and she thought that I could probably spark some interest in it if I would teach a class at Quality Sewing. Esther has been asking me to teach for a while but I could never decide on a project or technique so I haven't done it. I think I will give this a try though.
There were so many beautiful quilts at the Expo! I refrained from buying any though. I have enough projects to worry about at the moment. As usual, my husband made the day special and fun. He's a sweety. :)

February 14, 2009 - I just posted a picture of the wall quilt I made for the family room. This is one that I pieced in August 2007 but just did the quilting and binding last week. UFOs do get finished I guess. :)

January 22, 2009 - We only ended up cleaning about a third of the sewing room because Luke had an appointment that day that he forgot about. I still haven't gotten in there to finish. :( For my birthday Luke gave me a Middleton doll from Martha Pullen's. She's a beautiful little redhead whose name is Abigail. She came with a book for making doll clothes and I made one of the easiest ones first. I'll have to post pictures soon.

December 30, 2008 - Today is KRs birthday. We're having his favorite dinner; stuffed shells. Christmas is over, thank goodness. I just couldn't get into it this year. :( We had lots of snow and that was great! I've been trying to figure out how in the world I could marry a man who doesn't love snow as much as I do. ;) My birthday is Friday and Luke and I both have the day off. I told him that all I want for my birthday is for him to help me clean and organize my sewing room so that's what we'll be doing Friday. :)

November 25, 2008 - I've been doing lots of sewing lately but it's mostly been Christmas presents. I made some PJ bottoms for Zach out of his favorite subject - rubber duckies! I made a nighshirt to match for Kelly. Kelly also suprised me by telling me she wanted an apron (after seeing the one I made for myself) and she asked for a quilted table runner for their new dining room table. So I made her an apron with a matching table runner for Christmas. I'd like to get KR's lap quilt done for Christmas but don't know if I will. He's the only one in the family I haven't made a quilt for.
I've been working long hours during the week too but the work is slow because of the holiday this week so I'm off today and probably tomorrow. YEA! I have a ton of stuff to do before Thursday. :)

November 1, 2008 - Yea!! I'ts Thanksgiving season! I don't know why I love Thanksgiving so much but I do. Maybe it's the fact that I get to cook a lot and set a beautiful table. I get to do the same thing at Christmas but there is the added stress of gift giving and spending too much money and worrying that you got the right gift for someone, etc. Anyway, I'm thankful for Thanksgiving! :)I just posted a picture of our Thanksgiving fireplace mantle with the wall hanging I finished last week. I actually pieced it last year but just did the quilting this year.

October 20, 2008 -Long time no update. :) I've been busy working my "day job" but I've gotten some sewing done too. Lots of cute baby things lately. Now I just need a baby to give them to.
The last couple of weekends I've been quilting the autumn wallhanging I pieced last year. I hope to get it done by next weekend at the latest.
I'm looking forward to the big quilt, sewing and craft show in Puyallup next month.

September 14, 2008 - The little quilt is pieced and almost quilted. The new FabUMotion is wonderful! I don't have so many times where I run into the edge and make a straight line of quilting instead of a graceful curve because the FUM has a much bigger quilting space. :) Unfortunately, any type of machine quilting is something that you can't just pick up and do after months of not using it. Come to think of it, I guess hand quilting is the same way. I haven't done any machine quilting for several months so it's not my best work but that's okay. This is more something to practice on anyway.

September 4, 2008 - I just posted some photos of a couple of things I've embroidered lately. I bought the clock years ago at KMart knowing that I wanted to embroider a special one for the sewing room. It has been on the wall all this time, plain and boring. Now it's beautiful! I think I'm going to do a wine-themed one for Kelly's kitchen next time I do a clock.
The other photo is some Anita Good designs; one is a small evening purse, one a Kleenex cover (for those purse-size Kleenex packages) and the last is a scissor chatelaine. I used the ribbon I had on hand but I plan to get something that matches better soon.
I also made some potpourri bags out of dupioni silk and organza when I first got the machine, but I haven't taken pictures of those yet.
While Kelly and Zach were on vacation in Oregon last week they went to a quilt shop. I still can't get over MY daughter going WILLINGLY into a quilt shop, but she did. :)The purpose was to get something to bring me from their vacation. They got a bundle of 8 fat quarters and it even came with a pattern. While the clock has been stitching out I've been cutting out that little quilt so that's the next project on my list. I need to try out the new FabUMotion with my new machine anyway and that will be a good thing to try it on.:)

August 25, 2007 - What a great day! It is cold and raining (yes, it's August!) and there was no work for me today so I got to sew. I finished sewing a reversible, scissor-back apron I had cut out a few months ago. I used a cheese fabric and an olive fabric for the apron. The cheese side has olive pockets and the olive side has cheese pockets. I chose those for Luke. :) If I can just figure out how to get in the darn thing I'll be doing good. ;)
If the weather keeps up like this I'll be ready to get back to quilting soon.
Only 4 months til Christmas! :)

August 15, 2008 - Prudence and Karl were here last week. Meeting Prudence after all these years of only knowing each other online was fun. The first time we met face-to-face she got in my car, I took off and we started talking like we've always been together. There was no weirdness or uncomfortable silences. Her husband, Karl, was really nice too. While here I took Prudence to my dealer where she purchased the new Pfaff Creative Vision. I went with her for her "lesson" and I got swept up in the CV fever too. I bought one last night. Esther gave us both really good deals on models that had been demoed at Sew Expo. Prudence's machine had a couple hours on it and mine only had 24 minutes. I'm really excited to have a new machine and can't wait to start playing with it.
Prudence, Karl, Luke and I went to Olympia on Friday to Bayside Quilting. It was a fun day trip. Saturday we went to the APNQ quilt show.
Guess I'd better get back to typing medical reports instead of my blog. Got a new machine to pay for! ;)

August 2, 2008 - I've been doing lots of sewing lately, just not any quilting. I made a dress and coordinating booties for another Mississippi baby. I think it's the nicest one yet. I'll put up a picture sometime tomorrow. The dress is also the first all-serger project I've done so far. I'm really liking my serger! :) I also started and almost finished some sleepers. I've always wondered if they would be hard to make and I saw some really cute thermal fabric at JoAnn's so thought I'd give it a try. It's also something for me to work on to get some more experience on the serger. I've been thinking about starting a "grandmother's hope chest". These may go in there. When I bought the fabric I actually got two different cuts; one for a boy and one for a girl. Working with the serger has really been fun and interesting and I may just decide to do some garment sewing for me if I can find any patterns for "mature" figures. That's a big IF. :(
On the quilting front, the closest I've come to any quilting is looking at fabric. The Virginia Quilter has some new fabric out that would make a really sweet baby girl quilt. I might get some.
Prudence, my friend from California that I've never met in person, got into Seattle tonight. She and her husband will be staying with his stepmom in Bothell for a week and she and I are going to get together a couple of days. Wednesday is a "girls only" day but Friday both guys are going with us on a mini shop hop. It will be something that Prudence and I both like to do and will give her husband a chance to see some of our beautiful countryside. :) Next weekend is the big APNQ quilt show and we are going to that too.

July 18, 2008 - Can it be true? Have I lost my love for quilting or is this just a brief summer fling? A few weeks ago... no, maybe this started last spring when I met Martha Pullen... anyway, I've become enamored with heirloom sewing. In the past couple of weeks I have subscribed to Sew Beautiful magazine, ordered a book and DVD from Martha Pullen, joined a smocking Yahoo group and started a lace baby bonnet. I'm sure this will fade by fall. Surely by then I will be ready to get back to quilting??? The absolute ironic thing is that when I lived in Mississippi all I wanted to do is quilt and there were no quilt shops; heirloom shops on every corner, but no quilt shops. Now I develop an interest in heirloom and I can't find any local shops. It's aggravating!
The biblical blocks quilt is going to be put away for the time being. I'm very glad I didn't mention it to my Aunt Sharon.

June 28, 2008 - I just posted three new pictures. One is the baby quilt, one is the baby quilt label and the other is the table runner I made for the patio table. The flowers on the baby quilt were embroidered by hand because my machine was in the shop at the time. I certainly wouldn't have done it by hand for any other reason! :)
Now that I've distracted myself with two small projects I guess I'll get back to the biblical quilt. :)

June 9, 2008 - Still not much to report. I got an "itch" to sew one day and make a table runner for the patio but I've just got the top done, not the quilting. I still need to get back to the biblical blocks.
The newspaper pundits are calling this month June-uary because of the weather. It has been better quilting weather than the usual June but still I haven't done much.
Prudence is still planning to come in August. :)

May 18, 2008 - Still not much quilting to report. I did finish the quilting on the baby quilt and got the first part of the binding done but haven't done the hand work yet. Not my favorite part. :( I want to get the Martelli binding system but haven't yet.
We had record-breaking temperatures yesterday. The high yesterday was 88 degrees. Today they are predicting low-to-mid 70s but they were wrong about yesterday too. In the last couple of weeks I have gotten most of the patio planted with flowers and herbs and we are enjoying spending time out there.
It's getting to be the time of year I don't do much, if any, quilting. I still need to finish the Biblical Blocks quilt. I need four or five blocks more and then the appliqued border. It's such a daunting thought I can hardly make myself think about it.

April 29, 2008 - Luke's parent's were here for a visit from Mississippi. I think they had a good time and we enjoyed their visit. Nothing new to report on sewing for now. :(
I did get the jacket made for the shower but haven't finished the quilt. I'm not really going to worry about it until after the baby comes as I will then be able to make a label with all the pertinent information on it. Now that our company has gone back home I will get back to quilting it though.

April 11, 2008 - Things have gotten out of whack again. :( I started a new job this week so that has put sewing on the back burner again. Next Saturday is Brittany's baby shower and I haven't got the quilt ready. I did get a dress made and it's so cute. :) I have some booties already embroidered and ready to sew together. If I make a fleece jacket that will only take a couple of hours so maybe I will have something ready by Saturday even if it's not the quilt.

March 28, 2008 - Inga came home on Wednesday. :) I got the baby quilt top finished and now have to layer and quilt it. I got sidetracked though. Last night I started a cover for the sewing machine. I embroidered "I (heart) Quilting" on the front and finished it this morning. Now I'm starting on a cover for the serger.
It's the end of March and it's snowing. What the heck??? It's not sticking though and I bet it will turn into rain this afternoon. This climate change stuff is weird.

Later: I was wrong. It stuck. It's really heavy and wet so it won't be around long. I finished the cover for the serger and just posted pics of both on the quilts page. :)

March 17, 2008 - My machine was supposed to come home last Friday but the shop called and said that they had to order some parts and the estimated delivery date is 7 to 41 days. Geesh! I could go to Sweden and bring back the parts faster than that. :( The thought of being without my machine for up to six weeks is making me crazy. I got out my mom's ancient Singer and oiled it up really good. It works - but barely. I will have to use it to get the baby quilt done on time though.

March 12, 2008 - We got back from Minnesota Monday night. I wish we could have stayed longer. One thing I want to do for sure next time we go is to see the source of the Mississippi River. Luke took some pictures of it in Grand Rapids but it's hard to tell anything about it in them. It's not nearly as big in Minnesota as it is in Mississippi.
I posted a picture of the bible cover. As soon as I get my machine back from the shop tomorrow I have to get the bible block quilt finished and make a baby quilt for a new great-great-neice that is due in April.

March 6, 2008 - We are leaving in the morning for Minnesota. I made an emboidered bible cover for Aunt Sharon since I didn't have the quilt ready. I forgot to take a picture before I wrapped it but will try to remember to have Luke take a picture before we leave to come home. I hope it's not really cold in Minnesota. brrrr. :)

March 1, 2008 - I MET MARTHA PULLEN TODAY!!! Luke, Kelly, Zach and I went to Sew Expo in Puyallup today and I had a lovely conversation with Martha Pullen. I told her that my family had been teasing me ever since we first saw her because I was more excited to see her in person than I would be to see a movie star. :) She's a very gracious Southern lady and I was thrilled to talk to her.

February 1, 2008 - A new machine showed up in the sewing room on Wednesday. A Pfaff 4874 serger. My husband spoils me horribly! :)

January 26, 2008 Another quilt finished! This one was 10 years or more in the making but it's done now! :) I posted a pic on the quilts page. Hopefully I will get it in the mail on Monday.
I've been working on the biblical blocks quilt and got the medallion done and two of the 16 blocks so far. The appliqued Rose of Sharon border is going to take the longest I'm afraid.

January 23, 2008 - I finished Kelly's corset quilt last night and just now posted the picture. I've started the bibilical blocks quilt and hope to have the center medallion done by tomorrow afternoon. Busy, busy, busy! :)

January 18, 2008 - The corset quilt is almost finished! All I have to do is the second part of the binding, and I think I'm going to do that by machine. I should have a picture posted by this weekend.
Next up is a biblical blocks quilt for my Aunt Sharon's 70th birthday in March. I bought the last of the fabric I need for that today so I'm all set. :)

January 5, 2007 -I just posted a picture of the flannel quilt that was finished on January 3rd. Last night I started sandwiching Kelly's corset quilt and finished the pinning this morning. I will start quilting it this evening. I feel some pressure to get some things done before I have to go back to work. :(

December 27, 2007 - Christmas and two of the three December birthdays are over! :) We had a nice Christmas this year. Only one quilt-related present but that was okay. My in-laws gave me Helen Kelley's book, Every Quilt Tells a Story. I read it all yesterday. It was fun. :)
I finished putting the flannel quilt together and got it pinned on the 23rd. I will start quilting it this afternoon while I watch the snow out my sewing room window. :) It's supposed to melt quickly, just like it did on Christmas, but I will enjoy it while it is here.

December 6, 2007 - As of today I am temporarily unemployed. :) As soon as I catch up on the housework that has been neglected while working I will get to quilting. YEA!! I have 9 of the 12 blocks done on the flannel quilt and now I'll have time to work on it. First I need a backhoe to clean out the sewing room. :(

November 17, 2007 - I finished making the top of the scrappy autumn quilt but didn't quilt it. I've moved on. Tonight I started on a flannel lap quilt. We saw this quilt in the shop in Bellevue and I just had to make it. It's a Roxanne Carter pattern and unfortunately it was made last year and the specific fabric was hard to find but I did it. When Luke saw the fabric all sitting on the table he asked if he could have the finished quilt. It's going to be very warm and soft.
We went to the Rusty Barn sewing, quilting and craft show in Puyallup today. I showed the Bernina 440 with stitch regulator to Luke. Hint, hint. ;) I bought a quilt kit too. I'm going to have lots of stuff saved up for when I "retire".

October 25, 2007 - Prudence and I saw one another for the first time last weekend. :) When it first came on I stupidly asked Luke, "Where did that picture of me come from?" I looked some more and didn't recognize the background at all and then... the picture moved! It was Prudence!!! We look enough alike that we could be sisters. :) All these years we have talked online and occasionally on the phone and have never met or seen one another and here we are almost twins! I still haven't gotten set up in the sewing room though. Luke's old laptop is shot. Soon, I hope.

October 19, 2007 - Something fun to report! Tonight I got a camera and tomorrow Luke will get me all set up with the laptop and the camera in the sewing room. My friend, Prudence in California, and I will be able to have virtual sew-ins now! :) We've talked about this for a long time but I finally broke down and did it. As much as I hate to have my picture taken I surprised myself, but it will be fun to feel like I'm in the sewing room with a friend. Maybe it will even get me motivated to sew. :) Anyone with Yahoo can "visit" me in my sewing room. All you have to do is IM me. My screen name is tanivee.
Tomorrow I'm going to take a picture of the quilt top and post it. I will start quilting it after that.

September 21, 2007 - I started another quilt three or so weeks ago. This is another scrappy Autumn wall quilt. I got all the piecing done and started on the applique but last weekend I didn't do anything with it so it's sitting in an unfinished state on my sewing chair. Hopefully this weekend I will feel like working on it again.
My favorite time of year is here!!! I love fall. The leaves are turning, it's getting cool, it's even rained a little bit. :)

August 25, 2007 - I can't believe it's been so long since an update! My job has calmed down so that now instead of working 50 hours a week, last week I barely made 30. I had a lead on a different job with more reliable hours but can't get to an interview because of the first job.
Not much quilting going on. :( I finished the baby quilt up to hand sewing the binding and quit. I did about three inches and haven't touched it since. I pieced a new wall quilt to go over the fireplace and to go with the new furniture but haven't finished quilting it. Seems like when I'm not working I just don't have any energy. I guess it all goes to the job.
Luke and I went to the quilt/garden show in Mukilteo and it was a lot of fun. Some people have such gorgeous yards! The fair in Monroe opened yesterday and we may go to that this weekend. They have an exhibit of sewing (Or is it quilting?) from the last 99 years that I'd like to see and, of course, Luke wants to see the cows. ;)

July 8, 2007 - The house has been in complete chaos for a month with Kelly moving out and KR moving back in! There is still one load of Kelly's stuff sitting in the living room and she keeps telling me she's going to go come get it but she's working seven days a week until she gets her first check from her new job so she is pretty short on time. Yesterday I was finally able to get into the sewing room to clean and organize. A few minutes after I started I realized I need more thread storage so made a quick trip to Joann's to get some more thread racks. KR helped me hang them and it didn't take long after that to get the rest of the room finished. Luke decided he would come in there and paint so we worked in companionable silence for a while. I still didn't get any quilting done but I did get the tissue paper pattern ready to go. Maybe today I will get the last border done on the baby quilt so it can be mailed next week. It's way overdue.
Next Saturday there is a garden and quilt show in Mukilteo and we are going to that. I don't know what it will be but it sounds intriguing. Apparently there are 10 private gardens and one public on the tour and somehow quilts are worked into the mix. :)

June 24, 2007 - Wow! It's been a long time since an update. Probably because I don't have much to update unless it's about work. :( I got all the quilting done on the baby quilt except for the border and then stopped. There's so much to catch up on on the weekends when you work! Today I took a couple of pages of border pattern that I traced to Kinkos and got enough copies to finish the border so maybe next weekend... I also did a little embroidering today. For Father's Day the kids got Luke a BBQ tool set and I got him a BBQ cookbook for guys and an apron from Williams Sonoma. The apron was plain black so this morning he and I looked online at Embroidery Library and picked out a pattern that he liked. It looks pretty cool on the black apron. He tested his new knowledge and his apron out this evening and grilled some hamburgers for us for dinner. He says next will be a dry rub or a marinade. :)
Shop Hop was the last few days and I didn't even go to one shop. :( again!

May 31, 2007 - It's the last day of May and even though I don't have much to report in the way of quilting I thought it was time for an entry. :) Actually, I've been working on quilting a baby quilt for another Mississippi baby. I pieced the quilt top in 1997, and it was about 2/3 hand quilted, but I took all that out and am machine quilting now. I knew that if I tried to finish it with hand quilting it would sit in the closet for another 10 years. Since it was pieced at the beginning of my quilt journey some of the points aren't as crisp as I'd like, and some things don't line up great, but I'm going to finish it anyway. I broke one of my quilting "rules" with this quilt. I'm using polyester thread to quilt it instead of cotton. I couldn't find any cotton in the right color and the polyester goes perfect with it. I'll post a picture when I get it done. That could be a couple more weeks. I've been working 9 and 10 hour days. The money is great but it doesn't leave much time for fun.
My new job takes me to quaint little towns where I can see the mountains, beautiful trees and rivers. It's been such a joy to go to work every morning. :) It's been hot the last few days and supposed to stay that way until Monday, when we will be back to our usual grey and rain. I don't mind the weather though; that's what makes it so beautiful in our part of the country. :)
I've been wondering lately if anyone read this inconsequential stuff that I write. If you do, please drop me an email and let me know. If no one is reading it, I might as well stop. I can keep a journal instead.

May 18, 2007 - Mother's Day wasn't as bad as I feared it would be. Doing something nice for someone else instead of feeling sorry for myself all day helped. I went to Kelly's restaurant for brunch about two. I had to go that late so she would be able to sit with me for 10 minutes during her break. She picked up KR on her way home at 9:30 that evening and I spent about half an hour with my two kids. They gave me an electric leaf blower that I asked for. They were both so tired from working such a long, hard shift that they had to go to bed almost as soon as Kelly got them here. Luke came home Tuesday night. Sometime before Mother's Day he asked me if he ordered something for me and it didn't get here on time would that be okay. I said just this once. ;) It came in the mail yesterday. He gave me an add-a-charm bracelet with 10 quilt blocks and more to come. He apparently signed me up for their quarterly program so I will get four new block charms a year. You can see them here.

May 12, 2007 - Luke's grandmother died yesterday so he left this morning for Mississippi. I hate it when he's gone, but I know he needs to be with his family.
I made another applique last weekend. This was the same as the first but in brighter colors. I have something in mind for it but don't want to say yet what it is.
Tonight I monogramed some sheets for a friend and will take them to her tomorrow - Mother's Day - because both my kids have to work all day and half the night. :(

April 28, 2007 - What a great weekend so far! :) On Friday I was offered a new job. This one doesn't require any kneeling so I should be okay. I will be travelling to local clinics and hospitals, collecting and copying medical records for other doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, etc. Monday I go fill out paperwork and "pee in a cup" and start on Tuesday. :)
Tonight I tried my hand at hand applique by machine. I got the book a few weeks ago and have been wanting to try it but until this weekend I just didn't have a chance. It was really fast and really fun. I finished all the applique for a pillow top in about two hours. The first part of the process is more like a craft project as it requires glue, paper, freezer paper and other stuff. It was interesting and the results are fantastic! Maybe I will get brave enough to try it on my Baltimore Album BOM that I got a couple of years ago and actually finish that project someday. :)

April 23, 2007 - As of Friday I'm unemployed again. This time it was a good thing. Thursday night my left knee swelled up really big and Friday morning I went to the doctor. I have patellar tendinitis aka "Housemaid's knee". The doctor said no more kneeling so I had to quit my job as it required a lot of kneeling. I had a promising job interview this morning though and have an interview this afternoon with an agency so hopefully I won't be unemployed for long.
Saturday I finished the corset quilt top for Kelly. Now all I need to do is get the backing together and it will be ready to quilt. :)

April 15, 2007 - This new job is kicking my butt. :( I have things I want to sew and do but I'm just too tired on the weekend now. Maybe it will get better in a couple of weeks.
I felt like doing something last night and decided that embroidery was all I could handle. Changing the thread every few minutes was taxing enough! I couldn't decide on anything to embroider though and ended up doing a pair of booties. Don't ask me why! It was just something to do. I didn't like the way they came out though so only embroidered and cut them out; didn't sew them together.
Before I started this new job I got Kelly's corset quilt almost completely pieced but haven't had the energy to finish it yet. :(

April 8, 2007 - We're having a quiet Easter this year; just KR, Joann and us. Kelly is in Las Vegas for the weekend and I didn't invite anyone else.
I spent yesterday finishing an embroidery project I started a couple of years ago. I didn't finish it then because the thread messed up and I had to take the hoop out. Something didn't line up right when I put it back in and one of the embroidery motifs is askew. I took it out yesterday, said to heck with it and finished it. I'll just put that bad motif in the back or put something over it. I won't have time today to sew probably so it will have to wait until next weekend. My new job is killing me and I'm too tired and sore to sew during the week.

March 28, 2007 - Inga is home!!! I just got back from picking her up. She's all cleaned and updated and ready to go. :)

March 27, 2007 - Just a short post today. I posted a picture of the one and only block I will piece by hand. I finished all the cutting out early Sunday afternoon and had the rest of the evening to fill so hand pieced a block. I could have machine pieced all 32 pieced blocks in the time it took me to do that one block!

March 24, 2007 - I did finally put my machine in the shop. They told me it would take a week so I thought I would get her back on Monday but then they said it wouldn't go out until Wednesday so I have to wait until the 28th to get her. :( I usually spend all weekend sewing because Luke is on his computer. Friday I started cutting out and fusing the corset lap quilt for Kelly. I thought it would take most of the weekend but got as far as I could without a machine early today. Then I decided to start cutting out the Love and Hope and thought that would surely last the rest of the weekend. It's Saturday night and I'm almost finished with that too. Oh well. In anticipation of this very thing, I bought some page protetors last week. I want to go through my huge stack of magazines and cut out anything I think I might make sometime in my life and throw the rest away. Hopefully that will free up some space for fabric on the shelves. I'm running out of room!

March 19, 2007 - I finished the yellow quilt yesterday afternoon and it is now on our bed. :) I put pictures up.
I'm taking Inga in for her servicing today. I really don't want to! It's going to feel like someone has stolen my baby without her in the house.
Luke and I went to the Quilter's Anonymous quilt show in Monroe on Saturday. It was a great show, as usual.
As soon as I get my machine back from the shop I'm going to start on a lap quilt for Kelly to give to her when she graduates in June. I know I said the Love and Hope was next, but I need to get this done before June. Then the Love and Hope!

March 12, 2007 - I got so close to finishing this weekend but got tired of being in my little room all by myself so quit yesterday. I only have two of the last borders to quilt and then the binding, but I was lonely. :) I ended up using a different thread on the last border because I couldn't find the thread I needed anywhere. The quilt is just for us to use so I suppose it doesn't really matter anyway.
The QA quilt show is next weekend in Monroe. I may go even though I'm not a member anymore.

March 8, 2007 - Wouldn't you know? I get close to finishing and realize I need more thread. Make a trip to the dealer's only to find that she is back ordered on that item. :( I have a couple of other places I can look tomorrow. If I can't find that weight and color anywhere I will just have to finish with a different color. If I could just make it to the last border with the yellow thread I have I could use green on the last one.
The stencils finally came in on Monday too. I ordered a really neat triangular feathered design, hoping it would fit, and it does! I got a really cool feathered border too. :) Maybe I can finish this over the weekend!
Inga has to go into the shop when I finish this quilt. She's been making some really bad noises and I've never put her in for maintenance like I was supposed to. :(

March 3. 2007 - Today was Sew Expo. Luke and I went but I only bought the Mariner's Compass book. I was hoping to find some batiks to get for KRs quilt but I didn't see anything that really grabbed me. Luke didn't get his piroshki again. The stand still wasn't there. I found a place just a couple of blocks from his office downtown that sells them but he hasn't been in there yet.
Last time I was in Quiltworks in Bellevue I bought a paper piecing pattern for a miniature feathered star. I tried to do it tonight but I messed up and will have to start over again tomorrow. I still have to finish the quilting on the yellow quilt but I felt like piecing tonight. I should have really pieced something between the Kalimantan and the yellow to break up the monotony of quilting two in a row. The stencils still haven't come in anyway.

February 26, 2007 - I spent all weekend quilting on the yellow quilt. I got all the feathered wreaths done and most of the feathered borders. I am waiting now for a couple of stencils that I ordered to come in to finish it up. In the meantime, I will do the straight line quilting. Next weekend is Sew Expo so I don't know if I will get it done then or not.
I had a problem yesterday and thought that I would have to put off doing any more quilting for a few days, but I came up with a solution and zipped right along. The problem was that the air-soluable pens that I've always used went dry. The dealer isn't open on Sunday so I couldn't just replace it. I spied some white tissue paper left over from Christmas and decided to give it a try. I marked the stencil in pencil on the tissue paper and then pinned it in place and quilted through it. I am going to do that from now on! The wreaths I quilted using the pen were not that pretty because I kept losing the lines in the flowers. With the stencil design on the white paper I didn't have that problem and they came out beautifully. :) I think I'm going to give the Ricky Tims method of binding a try on this quilt since it's just for us.

February 22, 2007 - I put the finishing stitches in the small wall quilt I made for my doctor - well, she used to be my doctor. I took the Celtic knotwork design and the color inspiration from her book's artwork. I will get it in the mail tomorrow. I started the quilt late Friday night and had all the piecing, applique and quilting done by early Sunday evening. I couldn't believe how fast it all went! Of course, it is only 24 inches square but still...
Today I pin-basted the yellow quilt and will start quilting it tomorrow.

February 17, 2005 - I put Lance and Emily's quilt in the mail yesterday and it is supposed to be there by next Friday. Last night I cut out and pieced most of the background for my doctor's quilt. I finished that today. I can't move any further on that project until this evening when it gets a little dark as I need to use the overhead projector for the next part. In the meantime, I took out the yellow quilt top that I pieced in the spring of 2005 and fixed the two boo-boos and cut and sewed the backing for it. It has recently come to my attention that I am a quiltmaker without a quilt on my own bed. In fact, I've never slept beneath a quilt, unless you count taking naps on the couch with a lap quilt. This won't do! I've made wall quilts, baby quilts, lap quilts and even two bed quilts for other people but I don't have one for my bed. As soon as I finish the little wall quilt for the doctor I will rectify that situation. :)
Today would have been my Mama's 85th birthday. I miss you Mom.

February 12, 2007 - WHOOO HOOOO!!! I finished all of the quilting and did the first part of the binding on Saturday night on the Kalimantan!!! I've been working on doing the hand sewing on the binding since then and am about half way through it. It isn't going to be in Mississippi on Wednesday, but it will be mailed then or soon after. I was beginning to think I would never finish the quilt!
KR wanted me to take him to a baseball card shop in Bellevue today so we did that and I stopped at Quilt Works afterwards. I got half a yard of a beautiful, clear red batik for my doctor's little wall quilt and 2 yards of pink batik for the flowers in the Love and Hope quilt I designed. I can't wait to start on those two projects! The Love and Hope will be my first pink quilt and I'm looking forward to working with it. :)
My online friend, Prudence, is thinking about visiting for a few days during shop hop. We've been talking about the fun we will have. :) If she comes, this will be the first time we've met in person.

February 4, 2007 - I've been quilting on the Kalimantan most of the weekend. A few more hours and it will be done. Well, done except for the binding, which will take a couple of days to do. Luke is going to help with the hand sewing on the binding so hopefully it will go faster.
Stitching in the ditch sucks. Or maybe it's just me that sucks at it. When I was beyond the point where I could change my mind I thought that I should have used a serpentine stitch on the star instead of SID. I shouldn't even call it SID when I do it since I can't seem to stay in the darn ditch!

January 23, 2007 - I just posted a picture of the pink and green Irish Chain that was finished last night. It was supposed to be a lap quilt but I went crazy when putting the blocks together and it ended up with 5x5 blocks instead of 3x5 blocks. It measures 62 1/2 inches square. The inside was completed sometime last year using the walking foot for straight lines and the embroidery unit for the feathered wreaths. I did the borders with the Fabric Mover in the last few days.
Now back to the Kalimantan. :(
Next is a wall quilt for my doctor, commemorating her book then on to the quilt I have planned for the fabric I got from Keepsake with my gift certificate. :)

January 17, 2007 - The Kalimantan is driving me crazy! The bias edges on the side triangles stretched so much that the borders don't fit. Grrrr. If it wasn't promised by the middle of February I would throw the damn thing away. Instead, I'm going to take a short break from it and finish up the borders of the small pink and green Irish Chain that I started last year. I was going to quilt the borders on the MQ but you know how that turned out. ;) When I finish that in a couple of days I will get back to the Kalimantan. I think my only option now is to take out the side triangles and cut them back down to size and re-sew them onto the quilt without stretching them. Not an easy feat.
I ended up buying some fabric from Keepsake with my gift certificate. I got some of the Love and Hope fabric. Prudence, my online quilter/MT friend in California, bought the same fabrics in the same amounts and wants me to design a quilt for both of us to make. I think I've got it designed but will still keep my options open at this point.

January 6, 2007 - It's a little after midnight and I should be in bed but I've been upstairs sewing. :) A couple of days ago I had the Kalimantan top put together but it still didn't look right. I looked and looked at it and then it hit me! I had used the narrow border in the corner squares instead of the wider border. The pattern didn't specify which to use and for some reason I thought that was the one to use. So I've spent this evening tearing blocks apart and cutting new border prints for the diagonal piece in the middle of the corner squares. I'm hoping to get the top completed this weekend and get it sandwiched. Then I'll have to take a couple of days to figure out how I want to quilt it.
Luke's parents gave me a gift certificate for Keepsake Quilting again this Christmas and I have been trying to decide how to spend it . It's hard!

December 30, 2006 - Now that Christmas is over I have posted photos of the lap quilts that were sent to Luke's family this year. The first is "Cherries for Cherry". Luke and I bought the cherry fabric when we saw it sometime in the last couple of years because his mom's name is Cherry and we thought it was fitting. I had planned this quilt for more than a year but just got around to making it this year. It's an "original design" because it came out of my head and was not a purchased pattern. I don't know why but I love the Ohio Star block! :) Luke and I learned that black doesn't photogragh well with this quilt. The second quilt is a kit I bought at Sew Expo a couple of years ago. When I saw it I knew I had to make it for Luke's dad. He is always complaining that his wife turns the air conditioning down too low and he is freezing. The quilt is a kit of flannel fabrics and I backed it with flannel too. He won't get cold now! :) The third is for Luke's grandmother and is also an "original design" of embroidered wreaths alternated with simple four-patches. The last quilt that was started but not completed in time for Christmas is the Kalimantan for Luke's brother and sister-in-law. I ran into a problem with the pattern and had to contact Jinny Beyer's people about it. By the time I got my answer there wasn't time to finish it. It has been promised by Valentine's Day though and I am still working on it. Next year is my family's turn for quilts!
I got some great Christmas gifts! Luke gave me a Rowenta iron and a small "boombox"-type thing so I can listen to Cathy Miller while sewing. The kids gave me an overhead projector so I can enlarge things to quilt. :)
Today is my firstborn's birthday. He is 27 years old. I still can't believe it!

December 11, 2006 - It has been a busy few weeks! I've completed two lap quilts and almost finished the last one. Another hour today and it will be ready to go. :) The Fabric Mover has made all the difference. What used to be a dreaded chore (the actual quilting) is now a joy. I'm not perfect by any means, but it's so much easier. I have some wonky lines and some toenail catchers but it's so much better with the FM than without. Every time I get down on myself I think about the line from the Cathy Miller song, You Can Quilt That Out, where she says, "The only perfect quilts are made by God". The problem with that is then I start imagining God sitting up in heaven, bent over His sewing machine, concentrating on being perfect and it makes me laugh. :)
The Kalimantan is not going to be ready for Christmas. :( I came to a part where the directions didn't make sense and had to write to Jinny Beyer's people about it. They got back to me but it still doesn't work out. I'm going to have to see what I can do with it after I finish this last lap quilt. Speaking of lap quilts... I think that's a misnomer. I think they should be called Personal Quilts! They're usually just big enough for one person and definately bigger than a lap. :)

November 27, 2006 - I sewed some over the holiday weekend and got half the star put together. Yesterday we had snow, though, and all I could do is watch it fall. I LOVE snow!!!! Luke and I built a snowman in the yard last night, but some kids knocked it over sometime this morning. :( Christmas is only three weeks away. I can't believe it's that soon.

November 19, 2006 - Sew Expo was a big let-down this year. It wasn't even half as big as before and I came home with none of the things I was hoping to find. Poor Luke didn't even get his Piroshki as the stand wasn't there either. I had to order some stencils online so the lapquilt in progress is at a standstill until they come. Friday evening I started the Kalimantan quilt though and I've pretty much quilted the weekend away. There are 512 forty-five degree diamonds in the star and eleven different fabrics! Even with strip piecing it's been a challenge to keep them all straight. I have finished 22 of the 32 blocks this weekend though.
Luke decided he wants to start painting his Warhammer miniatures again and so we set him up in my sewing room with a small table to paint on. It's nice being in the same room and doing our respective crafts, even if it is a little crowded. :)

November 15, 2006 I've been quilting on the lap quilt but can't find just the right motif for one of the blocks. Fortunately, this weekend is Sew Expo and Luke and I are going on Saturday. I love the fall Expo! Luke is looking forward to getting another Piroshki. ;) I'm feeling so ambitious that I'm considering starting a queen-sized quilt as a Christmas gift. I must be crazy. The Fabric Mover has made the quilting process so painless and fast that I may be overestimating myself. :)

November 7, 2006 - I finished another lap quilt yesterday. This one is also a Christmas present so no picture yet. :) Last night I pinned the next Christmas quilt and hope to start quilting it tonight. I'm on a roll! ;)

October 14, 2006 -My short career at Joann's is over. I start a new MT job next week. What in the world made me think that I wanted to get out of the house every day??? Wearing uncomfortable clothes, putting on makeup and fixing my hair every day... :( Not to mention the hours that changed from day to day, working evenings and weekends. Hopefully I've learned my lesson. The only thing that would entice me back to retail is if I could open my own quilt shop. That would be different. At Joann's I enjoyed cutting fabric for quilters and talking to them about their projects. I even helped a couple of people with hints and tips that they didn't know. Working in a quilt shop - especially if it was MY quilt shop - would be fun and rewarding, but I will never go back to retail otherwise. I've looked into an SBA loan but can't meet the requirements of having my own money to contribute. Too bad. We need a quilt shop in Lynnwood.
I finished a quilt last Wednesday but I can't put a picture up. I will start quilting another one tomorrow but I can't show that one either. ;)

October 6, 2006 - I got my first pay check from Joann's today. It was only for a couple of days so wasn't very good. I have tomorrow off and will have to decide between cleaning house, grocery shopping and laundry and sewing. :( I got about half the sewing room straightened up on my last day off but it still needs finishing. I'm looking at MT jobs again. :(

October 1, 2006 - I had to work Saturday and now I hate my job at Joann's! I spent four hours putting fabric back on the shelves and it was boring and made me sore. Working at the cutting table is kind of fun because I get to talk to people about what they're making but putting fabric on the shelves is awful. I'll go back tomorrow but don't be surprised if I quit in the next week or so. I'd rather go back to MT than do that every day. :(
I didn't get anything done in my sewing room this weekend. Between work and the housework that I didn't get done during the week, there wasn't much time or energy. I have so many things I want to do for Christmas but now it doesn't look like I'll be able to. :(

September 29, 2006 - I started working at Joann's yesterday. I had an orientation earlier in the week and yesterday was my first day. After only one hour at the cutting counter they left me on my own. I don't expect that I will make much money but it was fun.
Kelly and I changed rooms so my sewing room is back in the smaller room. I don't mind at all as I felt more comfortable in that room to begin with. I've been almost finished with a lap quilt for a couple of weeks but got side-tracked with moving and starting a new job. Hopefully that will be done this weekend.

September 14, 2006 -My Fabric Mover came today!!! :) Esther called me at 4 o'clock this afternoon and I was there and back by 4:30. I've played with it for about an hour and will continue until bedtime, but I can see that it won't take long to get the hang of it. The worst part is trying to follow a line for a stencil. A little practice and I'm sure I'll have it down. The learning curve is so much less than with the MQ, and I feel that I'm going to be happy with this. :) Luke is taking me to Olympia on Saturday so I can go to Bayside Quilting and get some stencils. I have several quilt tops waiting to be quilted but need stencils. Since Monday is our seventh wedding anniversary, that is his gift to me. :) Back to the machine!!!

September 9, 2006 - I was sick all week with a cold so didn't do much sewing last week. I've been working on a lap quilt though and will get most of it quilted today. I need some stencils for the borders and that will have to wait until next weekend so I won't be able to finish it this weekend. When I get all the quilting I can do done I will start on another lap quilt. Unfortunately they are both Christmas gifts so there won't be pictures until January.
I'm waiting as patiently as possible on the arrival of the Fabric Mover. As usual, I started a Yahoo group for it. :)

August 29, 2006-My muse decided to come back from her annual summer vacation a couple of weeks early! A couple of weeks ago I downloaded a free pattern for a wall quilt from the Clothworks site. I managed to find all but one of the fabrics locally and ordered the last online. By Thursday they were all here and I started on it on Friday. I would have had it completed yesterday but Luke and I went to the fair instead. It will be finished by tonight and I will post a picture tomorrow. I also completed a UFO last week. It is the Kool Kats that I made for Joann. She picked out the fabrics and they're not ones I'm crazy about but it's finally done. Picture tomorrow, too. :)
After seeing the new Fabric Mover and being told they wouldn't take my MQ in trade I wrote an email to Viking. It actually worked! I got a call this morning from my Quality Sewing guy and he said they will trade my MQ straight across for the Fabric Mover. Maybe I will have something I can actually use in a month or so. I really hate that the MQ didn't work for me because it's a good set-up.

August 19, 2006 - I've come to a momentous decision today. I've decided to sell my Mega Quilter and frame so I can buy the new Fabric Mover. I'm pretty upset with Quality Sewing at the moment, too. They won't take my MQ in trade for the new item, which leaves me the chore of trying to sell the MQ and frame. When I bought the MQ and frame it was between it and the Bernina with the BSR. I thought the frame would be easier because I hate crawling around on the floor trying to pin the sandwich for quilting. I've had the MQ now for 13 months and have yet to have a finished quilt to show for it. It's not the machine, it's ME. I don't have the patience for the learning curve. If it doesn't come easy to me, I usually don't want to do it. I know that's not a good attitude but it's mine. I also don't usually have trouble with things like I have with the MQ so it's doubly frustrating for me.
Luke and I went to Quality Sewing today to see the new Fabric Mover demonstrated and I tried it out. It works like the Bernina in that you have to move the fabric to make it run but it doesn't have optical sensors like the Bernina. It's more what I was looking for when I got the MQ. With it I will be able to do feathers and bigger things than the MQ allows. Anyway, if you know anyone who is looking for a good deal on a Mega Quilter and Inspira frame, let me know.

August 15, 2006 - Yesterday was Luke's father's birthday so Happy Birthday, Covert! :)
This morning, on one of my quilting groups, a new Viking product was announced. It's a rival for the Bernina BSR. I immediately went to my dealer and asked her about it. Then I came home and put my Mega Quilter and frame up for sale. It's not that the machine isn't good; there is something wrong with ME. Out of 551 people on my Yahoo group for the MQ I'm the only one who can't make it work. I don't have the time and especially don't have the patience to figure it out. It's really strange, I never thought this would happen to me, the one who usually has the right "touch" for these kinds of things. Anyway, if you know of someone who wants to buy a barely used Mega Quilter and Inspira frame, let me know.

August 9, 2006 - The family reunion is over and I'm done having company for the summer... unless Luke's parent's decide to visit. (hint, hint) I've got some possible jobs in the works and am waiting to hear about them. In the meantime, I haven't done any sewing at all. For some reason, I don't do much sewing or quilting in the summer - company or no company. I really wish I could work up the enthusiasm while I'm not working, but it just isn't happening. Besides, I'm still having trouble with the MQ. :(

July 19, 2006 - As of two days ago I am officially unemployed. I gave my notice the Friday before vacation and worked the week after we got home and now I'm unemployed. I've been deep cleaning the house and hopefully today I will get into the sewing room. The denim quilt is waiting to be finished and I want to get back to the MQ again. First, I have to go look at Work Source and see if there are any new jobs I can apply for. If something doesn't turn up in the next couple of weeks I can always do transcription again for a different company. I'm sick of it and don't want to do it anymore but will if I can't find something soon. It's just temporary while I look for a different job so maybe I can stand it.

July 9, 2006 - We got home from vacation about 8 last night. It was fun but short. We saw the whole Oregon coast and the redwoods. Friday, after the redwoods, we took off for Eugene through the mountains. It was my intention to stay in Eugene that night but Luke wanted to go on to Sisters, even though I told him that I had heard there would be no place to stay if we didn't make reservations last year. It was dark when we got to Sisters and there were no vacancies anywhere. We drove on about 20 miles to Redmond, OR and stayed there. We got up early yesterday morning, drove back to Sisters and saw the quilt show. It is the largest outdoor quilt show in the world (according to their press). By the time we got to Sisters we only had one picture left in the camera and it doesn't really show how big the show was but I will post it in a while anyway. (Posted on quilt page 07/10) It was hot and crowded and Luke was anxious to get home (even though he tried to hide it from me) so we saw about half the quilts and then hit the road at about 12:30. I have the best husband in the world! He is a joy to travel with and a special joy to attend quilt shows with. He didn't complain or hurry me. I just knew he was ready to get home. Someone ought to make a new law: Vacations should never end!

June 28, 2006 -We're going on vacation next week! We plan to drive down highway 101 and see the Oregon coast then the redwoods. I've been dying to take Luke there for years! We will stop at the Sisters quilt show on the way home and hopefully meet Kathy, from the MQ group. :) I've been thinking about sewing up a denim quilt from squares I cut out about 20 years ago so we will have something to use on the beach but haven't started it yet. Maybe today.

June 12, 2006 - I can't remember if I've mentioned it already and I'm too lazy to scroll down to look, but the MQ group is having its first ever block swap. The blocks are signature blocks with our names, date we became MQ owners and our city and state. This weekend I got about 24 of the blocks done and ready to go. The block is so easy to make I will hopefully get some done in the evenings this week.
Luke's friend, Brad, contacted him last night and Luke forwarded his email to me. Apparently I'm a quilt "expert" now. Only because I'm the only person they know who quilts. :) Brad's mom wants to make a baby quilt for an expecting niece and needed some information on it. I sent some links this morning. If I was still close I would offer my services but....
I've been busy planning our vacation in July and the family reunion in August. Our vacation will coincide with the Sisters, Oregon outdoor quilt show and we are having a meet-up of MQers at Sisters. All this is dependent on whether I get a new job between now and then. Of course, if I start a new job this month they aren't going to let me take a vacation next month so I'm a little torn about it. I really want a different job, but I really want a vacation too. Luke and I have been married for more than six years and have never taken a vacation, other than our trip out here, but that wasn't really a vacation. I'm anxious to show Luke the Oregon coast and the redwoods, two of my favorite places, but if it has to wait until next year I guess it will just have to wait.

May 22, 2006 - I had an epiphany last week. I haven't been sewing because I thought I shouldn't start anything new until I finish something. Last week I realized that if I die with a whole houseful of UFOs, what's it gonna hurt? Life is too short to deny myself my favorite part of quilting, which is the planning and piecing. One of these days I will get the QCC for the MQ and have lots to work on then. So, this weekend I started a new project. I am making table toppers for my patio tables. Those I can quilt in the QDII so it is something that will get finished.
My Yahoo MQ list is having our first ever block swap. We decided on signature blocks so when it is finished I will have a quilt with blocks from all over the US and perhaps a couple from Europe as we have one member in Great Britain and one in Sweden. There may be a small gathering in Sisters, Oregon this summer. At least two of us have said we're definately going. It will be the first of the list gatherings. :)

May 15, 2006 - No sewing to report. :( I really wanted to sew this past weekend but Saturday was spent cleaning house and Sunday doing yard work. I was exhausted and sore by bedtime last night. Both my kids had to work on Mother's Day so there wasn't much to it for me. KR got off work about 5 and he and Joann came over for dinner. Luke cooked most of the dinner on the grill so I didn't have to do much except the garlic mashed potatoes that he requested. :) KR felt really bad that he didn't have any money to get me a present so I asked him to sweep the patio as that is the only thing that didn't get done yesterday and that would be my "present" from him. He never does anything half way so he took all the furniture off the patio and swept much better than I would have done. It was a good present. :) I finally saw Kelly at 10:30 p.m. when she got home from work. She gave me a basket of things she had put together for me - mostly chocolate. I guess she doesn't think I'm fat enough. ;)

May 7, 2006 - I spent all day messing with that stupid machine! The thread got all wound up under the feed dogs twice and I HAD the presser foot down. I cleaned it out the third time and by some miracle it worked! - for about 18 inches. :( I was so disgusted that I turned it off, turned off the lights and left the room. I was able to test my theory though and I now know that the thread breaks because I speed up. I just need to work on maintaining an even speed. The QCC would help but I'm not going to buy anything else for that dumb machine. :( The last time the thread got tangled was my fault because I didn't put the presser foot down but by that time I was totally frustrated. I hear the new machines won't even operate unless the foot is down. Too bad Viking didn't think of that sooner.

May 6, 2006 - Today has been a good day. :) I spent an hour or so cleaning my sewing room because I thought that might be what was keeping me from going in there. Sure enough, that did the trick. I finished all the inside quilting on the double Irish Chain on my QDII and have the quilt in the Inspira frame, waiting for me to quilt the borders tomorrow. As usual, it takes me a long time to work things out in my head, but I think I finally figured out my problems with Sven and hopefully tomorrow will be a better experience with it. As I was quilting tonight I realized this is a very pastel quilt, not my usual at all. I hope I will like it when I finish it. :)

April 26, 2006 - I didn't get the Irish Chain finished last weekend for two reasons: I bought the newest Elm Creek book Friday night and spent most of the weekend reading and my sewing room is a mess - AGAIN. Seems like it's really hard to make myself go in there and do anything when it's such a mess but the alternative is cleaning it and that doesn't sound like much fun either. My goal is to finish the quilting and THEN clean but first I have to make myself go in there and do it. :) I also didn't take the borders into the equation when I thought I would finish it last weekend. The body is almost done but then I have the borders to do.
The newest Elm Creek book, Circle of Quilters, was riveting! At one point Luke came into the family room to find me sobbing. Being the *guy* that he is, he said, "If it's that sad, stop reading it". He just doesn't understand that there are good tears and bad tears. :)
I started a new tack on my job search yesterday and hope that something comes of it today. Despite the fact that I will have to get out of the house everyday if this goes through, I NEED to get out of the house. I've become almost agoraphobic and hardly ever leave the house.

April 21, 2006 - I expect to finish the Irish Chain this weekend. I didn't realize until I had the top pieced, including borders, that I got carried away and made it larger than lap size. I meant to put 3 blocks across and 5 down and ended up with 5 x 5. So it's bigger than a lap quilt but smaller than a bed quilt. It's pretty anyway. I'm using Inga and some Vicki Key embroidery motifs (feathered wreaths) to quilt the middle of the alternate blocks and when that is finished all I need to do is bind it. :)
Yesterday was my neice, Lori's, birthday. I got busy working and forgot to call her so HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LORI! :)

April 4, 2006 - I can't believe it's April already. Where does the time go?
I worked last weekend on a pink and green Irish Chain. It's almost finished. It's a funny thing how it all came together. I bought the border print fabric and the pink and green a couple of months ago at ITB. I went back maybe 4 weeks later and the fabric was all gone. Since they were in the process of closing the store they hadn't restocked it and I needed just a little more green. So I ordered another yard of the green online. I didn't know what I wanted to do for the background fabric and went through my stash. I found a really pretty pink rosebud fabric that I had gotten at ITB also but didn't have enough. So, back to the internet. I found what I thought was the same fabric and ordered 3 yards. It came in the mail and I realized it had yellow rosebuds, not pink; however, I had bought 1/2 yard of yellow when I bought the floral, pink and green. I didn't know why at the time. It went with the collection and I thought it was pretty so I bought some. Now, with the yellow rosebud background I can use the plain yellow as a narrow border to tie it all together. Serendipity! :) Hopefully this coming weekend I will finish the top.
In the Beginning is closed now. Luke thinks I should go into mourning. ;) I went to their warehouse sale last Friday with the intention of buying another bolt of the yellow I got last year and one for the backing of the trellis quilt but neither of them was available. The sale was held in the store this year instead of the warehouse and it was sad to see it so empty.

March 24, 2006 - I'm supposed to be working right now but I'm so bored with hypertension, back pain and diabetes I could scream. I've been looking for a job outside the home but don't think I'll find anything. I would love to get out of this garage and see real people during the day! I took the morning off to sew today as I probably won't get to tomorrow. I started putting the blocks together on the trellis quilt and realized I have to remake half the blocks. I screwed up. I didn't feel up to that and knew I wouldn't have enough time to complete it before I needed to go back to work so changed to the pink and green Irish Chain that I had the fabric for but hadn't started. I don't even know how many UFOs and WIPs I have now. Oh well, that's part of the life of a quilter.
I finally got around to listening to the new Cathy Miller CD and it's as wonderful as the first I got. I love Sweaters for Penguins! :) Aside from the fun songs like that, Cathy really makes you realize just how generous quilters are and have always been. One of the songs is a true story about a Confederate woman who donated her best white work quilt to "the cause", even though it broke her heart to do so. They brought it back and she and her husband both died a couple of days later because the quilt had been infected with typhus.
Speaking of generous quilters, a member of my Washington State online group was featured on the local news one night this week. She started an organization that makes lap quilts for returning soldiers who come back home through Madigan Hospital. As Sue says, no matter what your politics, these boys deserve our respect. Luke and I were talking last night about donating a red, white and blue quilt to Sue's cause. Another project! Yea!! :)
One more thing, at the quilt show I didn't have to tackle anyone stealing a quilt. My job as security was not anything as dramatic. All I did was sit at one of the doors and make sure everyone coming in had a stamp on their hand that showed that they had paid at the front door. People help up their fists at me all day and I said "thank you" about 2000 times. :)

March 18, 2006 - National Quilting Day - Unfortunately, I don't have any progress to report on any projects. I've been working hard at my job and don't have any extra energy at the end of the day to sew. I try to do something every weekend but that has ended up being embroidery the last few weekends.
This is the QA quilt show weekend and I will be leaving soon to do my mandatory hours at the show. I'm working as security this year. I keep imagining myself tackling some big person trying to steal a quilt and it makes me laugh. :)
Thursday night was the preview party for the quilt show with dinner and fun. Luke went with me and we had a good time looking at all the quilts without being jostled by crowds or sidestepping unruly children. (I remember a child at last year's show, running unattended through the quilts with a sucker in his hand like they were sheets hung on a clothesline!) Luke was impressed by the calibre of talent in the guild as he didn't see last year's show. I thought that I had made it plain to him over the last year that the guild is full of extraordinary quilters so his surprise was a surprise to me. He also said he had never seen me so anxious to have my picture taken. ;) When we got there they were just starting the picture taking process and the excutive board was posed for the first picture. (As the day meeting secretary, I am on the excutive board so I was supposed to be in the picture.) The president saw me and made them wait until I could get in the picture, too. I don't have to ever look at the picture so I was glad to participate. :)
Well, off to the show!

March 8, 2006 - Today was the monthly QA meeting and I am so pumped I had to update this before I even start working. Cathy Miller, the singing quilter, was the guest "speaker" today. I had heard about Cathy a year or so ago and last September when Luke took me to the La Conner quilt museum as part of our anniversary, he bought me my first Cathy Miller CD, The Quilter's Embrace. I saw Cathy standing alone at the front of the church we meet in before her program and went up and started talking to her. I told her how I came to own the CD and that the title song makes me cry. I thanked her for that song. She said that she didn't sing it at the evening meeting last night but after seeing how much the QA members are into charity quilting decided to sing it today. I immediately went and got some tissue before the program. Cathy and her husband put on a wonderful show and I enjoyed it more than any other program we've had. Afterwards I went and bought her newest CD and she signed it for me. I told her that Luke would be upset with me if I didn't get it autographed so she made it out to HIM and me. :) I also told her that another song on the first CD is one I quote to Luke often. It's a song about a quilter dying and what is done with her stash and such. There is a line about how her stash will become the husband's dowry when she dies. I explained to Cathy that I'm much older than my husband so chances are I will die first and that I have instructed him to go to the QA meeting following my death, stand up in front and announce that he is a widower with a large stash, looking for a wife. He'll be remarried in no time! ;) If you have a chance to hear Cathy or buy a CD, do so. They are amazingly true, funny, heartwarming... I just can't say enough about her and her music!

March 3, 2006 - I DID IT!!!! I quit smoking on Tuesday. I still can't believe it. I had my doubts all the way up to the end but it worked. :) :) :) Luke and I are going to the Expo in Puyallup tomorrow. I think I'm going to reward myself a LOT. ;)

February 24, 2006 - I'm approaching my "quit day" with trepidation. I'm supposed to quit smoking on Tuesday, February 28 and SmokENDERS promises that I will. They even say it's okay to have doubts, which is good because I sure have them! I am actually looking forward to being a nonsmoker again. :) Earlier this week I finished the top for the embroidered lap quilt I've been working on. I tried to take a picture but will need Luke to do it for me. I take really bad pictures. I also took the Caramel Latte quilt off the frame. I got about 1/3 of it quilted but that will all have to be taken out. I'm going to put on the autumn lap quilt that I finished the top for a few weeks ago and try free motion quilting in the blank blocks to see if I still have problems with breaking thread. It seems to break when I go over seam junctions and Chris, from the MQ list that I started, has said that if I had the cruise control that would stop. No one else who has the QCC has the breaking thread problems. If it wasn't for the breaking thread I would be totally happy with my set up. I may have to start saving my money and get the QCC even though I don't want it. :(
Next weekend is the Expo in Puyallup. I'm really looking forward to it. Luke will go with me as usual. I'm also looking forward to the QA quilt show next month, March 17-19. I'm going to be on security duty this year. Then, in August, is the big APNQ show. Lots to look forward to. :)

February 7, 2006 -It's been a while since I updated. I didn't realize so much time had gone by. I really don't have much to report anyway. I haven't done any sewing in more than 2 weeks. Last weekend we lost our power for 24 hours because of a huge windstorm. The weekend before was taken up with D&D. I was working on an embroidered block lap quilt but I ran out of pink thread with just a few blocks left to finish and had to order some. That was almost 3 weeks ago. Esther just called this morning to tell me it came in so now I can get back to that. The only big news is that I started SmokeENDERS. My quit date is February 28, 2006. :)

January 18, 2006 - The server is down at Benson so I can't work right now. YEA! :)
I've been working on three or four projects all at once lately. That's how it goes for me; I lose interest for a while, then, when it comes back, I go crazy. First I bought the fabric to make Luke a lap quilt. That was MY birthday present from him. ;) Then I bought the kit for the Garden Trellis that the kids gave me birthday money for. THEN, I started another lap quilt. When I first got my machine and embroidery unit, I saw a queen-size quilt at Penney's that I loved but it had 12" blocks in it and my machine won't do embroideries that big. Recently it came to me that I could make smaller blocks and make a lap quilt instead of a bed quilt. I decided on 8" embroidered blocks with the rose wreath embroidery that I have, alternated with 8" four-patch blocks. It's in pink and green and turning out really pretty. I've got it about 2/3 done. All the four-patches are ready, I just have to finish the embroideries. I will start cutting out the Trellis quilt while the embroideries stitch out. I also finished the autumn quilt top but haven't quilted it yet.
I got devastating news yesterday.... In the Beginning is closing in April. It has been such a blessing to have it so close, I don't know what I will do without it. It's only a 15 minute drive. There is another LQS even closer, Peacock and Periwinkle, but I'm not crazy about that one. It's too cramped and hard to find anything. Guess I'll have to start shopping there anyway.

January 8, 2006 - Another update already. I'm on a roll! :) Yesterday I went to ITB after the ritual Saturday housecleaning, as Luke calls it, and used the money the kids gave me for my birthday. (They asked me what I wanted and I said a gift certificate from ITB but they didn't know where that was so they just gave me money) I've been thinking that I want a wall quilt for over the piano and so I got a kit for a Garden Trellis wall hanging. I also had enough money to get the Mastering McTavishing book and CD and 3 yards of Christmas fabric that was on sale. Last night I finished up a pillow for Kelly. She requested one after seeing the yellow one I made for us, which really suprised me. Usually she doesn't want anything "homemade". Today will start on the wall hanging.
Luke gave me the last 5 of the Elm Creek Quilt books for Christmas. I'm on the last one already and it's only been two weeks since Christmas! I hate to see them end. I hope she comes out with a new one soon.

January 4, 2006 - I realized this past weekend that I have actually finished some things lately and haven't put up pictures. One was a present and I didn't want to put it up until she got it, but the others were just for me. Two of the new pictures are pillows for our bedroom. I recently found an embroidery website that sells the most beautiful designs; Elsa's Designs. The heirloom stuff is so beautiful that I couldn't resist it. :)
I've also been working on the scrappy quilt and have it just about put together. Just have to join the rows and add the border. Oh yeah, AND quilt it! :) I'm going to put up some pictures now.

December 18, 2005 - Wow, long time no update! There really hasn't been much to say lately. Between work and Christmas, there isn't much time for fun stuff. I have sewn quite a bit this weekend though. A few weeks ago I started a "scrappy" quilt. I put it in quotations because I'm not really a scrappy kind of person. I prefer things that look coordinated; however, I wanted to make something without having to buy more fabric so I decided to use some that was in my stash. Since I also need to replace the spring tulip lap quilt that is on my sofa, I decided on autumnal colors. I didn't quite make it with using just fabrics I already have. Tomorrow I'm going to have to go get some beige TOT and maybe something for a border. It won't be more than 2 yards total so that's not bad. Just a little bit more to do and the top will be finished. I also finished a small wallhanging/tabletopper today. I used a new binding technique - new to me. I sewed it onto the back and brought it around the front and machine stitched it. I'm not crazy about how it came out but it was a lot quicker than handsewing it. :)
Esther, my Viking dealer, came by this evening to look at Sven. We played with it a little and then I quilted almost a whole row of the panto before the thread broke again. After talking to Chris, a member of the Yahoo group I started for the MQ, I have some more things to try and will as soon as I have some energy. Esther was impressed with the cleanliness of my sewing room. That made me laugh! Usually it looks like a tornado hit it but I cleaned in anticipation of her visit. She wasn't quite so impressed after I told her that. :) While I was vacuuming, I embroidered out a design for a pillow for our bedroom. It's going be be really pretty.
I need to add some pictures someday soon.

November 20, 2005 - I finally got Sven put back on the frame and finished the one panto line that was interrupted. I thought the problem was fixed but after a foot or so on the next line the thread broke again. I get so frustrated trying to figure out what the problem is that I just walk away from it and don't try it again for several weeks. I've GOT to figure this out. There's no sense in having the stupid machine if I don't use it. :(
Last weekend was the Sewing and Quilting Expo in Puyallup. Luke went with me and we had a good time. We parked the car and were waiting at the crosswalk for the light to change when this woman came up to us and asked if we were going to the Expo. We told her yes and she then gave us an extra ticket she had. What a nice lady!
I love going to those kinds of things with Luke. He sees things I don't and seeing them through his eyes is interesting.
I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving. I've decided that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday - until next month anyway. :) I finished a quilted backpack last night. I had intended to have it finished for the Expo but the job got in the way. Unfortunately, it used pre-quilted fabric but it was fun. The fabric I used made me think of Luke's mom. It has roosters on it as it is French Country. :)

November 11, 2005 - I started a new job yesterday. Well, it's really my old job but I started back yesterday. I'm happy to report that my production didn't suffer from a 10 month "vacation" and I was up to speed on the first day. Now to improve!
Sven came home on Wednesday, after the QA meeting, but he's still sitting on the living room floor. I've got to remember to ask Luke to carry him upstairs tonight.
The QA meeting was very interesting. Jason Yenter was the speaker and he showed his quilts, along with some antiques that are in the corporate collection of ITB. Jason's quilts are so MALE; strong graphically and bold in color. He also showed us how he designs fabric and told a little about the process from design to production to the store shelves. It was very interesting.

November 7, 2005 - Finally something quilty to report! :) When I moved my sewing room back upstairs I kind of just threw everything into the room. I got to thinking Saturday morning, as I watched the quilting and sewing shows on TV, that maybe I didn't feel creative because the room was a mess and all so Saturday afternoon I cleaned and organized everything and voila! I felt like sewing. :) I made a few PP ferry boat blocks for side swaps after the big WASIQ swap and one maple leaf block to see if I liked it or not. I don't. Not for a lap quilt anyway. Making 80 of those little suckers is not something I want to do. So, I am still on the hunt for a block that says "Autumn" to make into a lap quilt for the back of the sofa. I got to thinking the other day that I still have the tuplip quilt on there and that isn't right. I need something for the season and it isn't spring. I'm still looking and trying to decide on a block or design. By the time I find something it will be time for a Christmas quilt. Oh well.
I should be hearing something about Sven today or tomorrow.

November 3, 2005 - Still not much to report in a quilty way. :( I tried working on the pumpkins runner a little but it's frustrating.) Sven should be back any day now.
I spent last week looking for work. I even had an interview with a temp-to-permanent agency and then Luke says he really doesn't want me to go to work. I wish he'd make up his mind! I'll just wait and see if anything comes of the resumes I sent out and not send any more. Some of them said they can take up to four weeks to close so it will be a long wait.
Tomorrow is the second anniversary of my mother's death and my friend, Kym's, birthday.

October 30, 2005 - I spent last week looking for a job but nothing yet. I had decided that I wanted to work in an office instead of at home but now I've changed my mind. Getting out of the house everyday would let me see people but it also means I have to get out of the house everyday. :( Quiltwise, I have been working on the pumpkins table runner. I had it out on the kitchen table for days, trying to get every piece placed perfectly and making the table unusable. I finally got it right and ironed the pieces down only to find that they are falling off when I try to satin stitch around them. Grrrr! I put Sven in the shop yesterday. I've thought several times that I had the thread problem fixed only to have it happen again. If they don't find a problem with the machine, I don't know what to do. The Yahoo list I started for the MQ has grown to 216 already but very few are talking. There are only about 50 more on the WASIQ list and it's a very busy list!

October 23, 2005 - We got back from Mississippi late last night and have been lying around ever since. We came to the conclusion this morning that I have to go back to work. None of us want me to but you do what you have to, right? That means that I will probably be taking down this blog for a while. I don't know. We'll see what I find out tomorrow when I start my job search.
I went to the only fabric store in Meridian while I was there - Hancock's. They had a very small quilting section but it left a lot to be desired. Looking online before we left, I didn't see any quilt shops in MS except for way up north and way down south so I didn't get to visit any LQSs.
I played with Sven a little today and found out that when I use the thread cutter it snaps back and wraps around one of the guides, thereby causing thread breakage. I'll have to watch for that. Several more members joined the MQ list while I was away and we're up to 212 members as of today. It is getting to be a busy list. There were over 200 messages just from that list while I was gone. Fortunately, I thought to go no mail on the WASIQ list before I left or I would have come home to a very full mailbox. :)

October 10, 2005 - I don't know what has happened to me. I have the desire to create and sew but not the energy. In other words, I haven't done much of anything lately. I still haven't finished Joann's Kat quilt, I've started the pumpkin table topper but haven't progressed very far, I haven't tried to finish the latte quilt that has been on the frame since August 6. On that one I finally gave in and tried a different thread. That means that half the quilt is done with one color and half with a different color because the new thread didn't come in a color even close. That's okay though as I told Luke that when I get another autumn-colored quilt to replace it this one is going in the trash. I'm not even going to put a label on it; I never want anyone to know that I made this particular quilt. Oh well.
This week will be spent getting ready for our trip to Mississippi next week. I sure hope the weather cools off there before we go!

September 26, 2005 - Wow, I am seriously behind in my blogging! With the advent of fall, I've become much more interested in sewing again. I went to the Seattle sew-in on Saturday ( A WASIQ function). I've been thinking about using my dyed fabrics somehow and took those on Saturday. I made a wall quilt top with them and named it "Flashback". I'll post a picture soon. I've also been working on quilting Joann's Kool Kats quilt, another Linderella pattern. I'll post that picture when it's finished too. The WASIQ swap blocks were due on September 19. I only made 5 and hand-delivered them because I procrastinated, as usual. I had intended to make at least 20, but when you wait until the last minute (after having 6 months to prepare) there isn't time to do what you intended. :( I put a picture of one in my quilt pictures.
Saturday, after the sew-in, I went to ITB and bought the batik fabric I need to make my pumpkin table topper and that will be the next project after the Kool Kats.
I need to take pictures of my new sewing room too. Kelly graciously "allowed" me to have the bigger bedroom and I was able to fit everything, including the frame, in there, so everything is in one place.

September 11, 2005 - What a weekend! My son moved into his first apartment on Saturday and Mom is still adjusting. It didn't help that he had a mild seizure that night, and I had to rush over there at midnight. He seems to be okay today, though. Still, it's hard not to worry.
I spent today moving my sewing room back upstairs. I swear, I'm going to tell those kids that if they keep moving back home they're going to have to get bunkbeds and share a room. I'm NOT moving again! I made the mistake of commenting in Luke's hearing (as I was making my 100th or so trip up the stairs with an armful of stuff) that I have too much sewing stuff. ;)
The Magna Chroma was finished last week and is now hanging in Luke's cube at work. Now he says he has one more space I need to fill up. Two people at his work have made minor inquiries about me making something for them. I hope they're not serious.

September 6, 2005 - The Magna Chroma is almost finished! I will put the binding on today. Luke has claimed it as his and will take it to work to decorate his cube. :)
I haven't done much of anything in the last week. I've been glued to the TV, watching the coverage of the hurricane. Fortunately, Luke's family is okay and we finally heard from Justin a couple of days ago. I've been so worried that he would have trouble getting back to school at USM, but he says they will go back on the twelfth.
Luke and I went to the Pfaff truck yesterday at Northgate. Esther was there, and we had a short visit. I found a table I REALLY need. Ha! At $2400 I think it will have to wait a LONG time. It's perfect though. It has hydraulics that lift it to cutting table height and is also a sewing machine table with the cut-out for the machine. It would save space by combining the two tables in one, and it's portable, but it's way too expensive.
I forgot to mention my visit from the quilt fairy back on August 15. I had mentioned on the WASIQ list that I was depressed and next thing I know there is a box delivered. I opened it up and pulled out package after package of quilt-related items, all wrapped in fat quarters or yardage. When I realized what it was, I waited until Luke got home from work to open anything, and we did it together. He was amazed at the kindness and generosity of my fellow quilter, but I wasn't. Thank you, quilt fairy! My depression has subsided a lot, and I feel better. Knowing that someone cared really helped.
This Sunday I have to go to a meeting of QA secretaries, as I have volunteered to be the day secretary next year. The meeting is to get to know the officers and to learn what my job will entail. I'm nervous.

August 27, 2005 - Luke is home and all is right with the world. :)
I've been working on quilting the Magna Chroma. I had intended to have it finished before Luke got home - as a surprise - but I decided to do some pretty intensive quilting and it's taking longer than I had hoped. I am quilting it on Inga, not Sven, because I still have the Caramel Latte in Sven. I finally got the breaking thread problem taken care of. It was the thread not coming off the spool well and causing too much tension. A horizontal spool pin solved the problem and now I am able to use the machine again. :) As of today, there are 118 members on my MQ list. People are finally starting to talk and we are learning a lot from one another.

August 22, 2005 - It's only Monday. :( Luke won't be home until Wednesday night. Life is dreary and boring without my Lukamus.
Still having the breaking thread problem. I took the machine into the shop Friday and they thought they had figured out that it was my mistake making the thread break. I came home, put it back on the frame, checked to make sure I wasn't doing what they thought I was doing and it broke immediately. I called Esther and she said to bring it in and she would send it to the repairman. I haven't done that yet but maybe tomorrow. Forty-six more hours and Luke will be home.

August 18, 2005 -This blog hasn't been about quilting very much lately. I'm looking forward to fall, when hopefully I will be able to get back to sewing a lot. Tuesday I went blackberry picking with Debbie. I got over a gallon of berries. I made jam yesterday and still have a bunch of berries left. Maybe more jam when I get more jars.
I've been avoiding the quilt frame. I'm still having thread breakage problems and it's frustrating. The whole point of having the frame is to be able to go in there and quilt for a few spare minutes but I haven't even been trying. It seems as if I spend more time rethreading the machine than I do quilting- not to mention what it's going to look like with all those stops and starts. Luke is leaving for a business trip tomorrow and I will be lonely so maybe I will get some things done.
There are 103 members of the Yahoo group I started last weekend. :)

August 15, 2005 - The family reunion is over for another year, Aunt Sharon has gone to stay with Liane for the remainder of her stay and it's back to normal today. The reunion was bittersweet for me. I was surrounded by family and felt completely alone. Aunt Sharon has talked about being the only one left of her siblings and how that makes her the "matriarch". I realized yesterday that I am now the matriarch of my little family. All three of my neices were there and my nephew, my great neices and even my great-great neice. Since the deaths of my mom and brother, I'm the only one left of their parent's generation or above (From their dad's side). It's a lonely position to be in, especially when I realized that they look to me for leadership of what's left of our family, even though they are all grown. I guess no matter how old you are you still need someone to look up to. I guess it will just take some time for me to get used to this new position I find myself in.
I probably won't get any quilting done today or tomorrow but I am looking forward to getting back to it. I have the big quilt in the frame and a Christmas present waiting it's turn in the frame. I need to start piecing another Christmas present and then there are the WASIQ swap blocks that are due next month that I haven't even started on. Geesh! I've got to get busy!

August 10, 2005 - There are almost 50 members on the MQ list already!
I'm still having problems with breaking thread. I went to Quality Sewing yesterday and got some larger eye needles but it didn't help. I don't know what the problem is but I won't be using that particular thread anymore! It's a good thing this quilt is just for us and not someone else. It's going to be pretty bad I'm afraid. I didn't realize there would be so much difference between quilting a practice piece and a "real" quilt but there is. I'm going to have to miss the QA meeting again this month. I have too much to do before having company tomorrow. Aunt Sharon and her friend are coming tomorrow so I won't be doing much quilting until Monday. The reunion is Sunday and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.

August 8, 2005 - Wow, two updates in two days! Just a short one today... I created a new group on Yahoo for Mega Quilters. It's been less than 24 hours and we have seven members so far. I need to figure out how to advertise this thing. I ran into a problem quilting the Latte quilt on the frame; the thread keeps shredding and/or breaking. Something else to figure out.

August 7, 2005 - I put the Caramel Latte into the frame yesterday and started the quilting. Putting a quilt into the frame is SOOO hard! There has to be a better way than how I do it, I just don't know what it is yet. I could probably get the whole quilt done in a few days, maybe even just a couple of days, but next week is going to be busy preparing for my Aunt Sharon's visit and the family reunion. I had hoped to have the quilt from last year's reunion finished but it doesn't look like that will happen either. I procrastinate too much. :(

July 27, 2005 - I added pictures of "Sven" today. :) I put them in the sewing room page at the bottom. I had to rearrange the whole house to accomodate him, but it was worth it. First, I swapped out the family room furniture and the livingroom furniture because the family room furniture is smaller. Yesterday I had to put the family room furniture, which was then in the livingroom, into the garage to make room for Kelly. I think I'm really going to like having my sewing room downstairs, but it's only temporary as KR will be moving out within the next few weeks and I'll get my sewing room back.
The only thing I've worked on lately is a wall quilt for KRs new apartment. It's from the same designer that designed the frog quilt but this time it's cats. They look like Cats on Crack! If I can get all my stuff moved downstairs today I should be able to finish the wall hanging in a day or two. I really need to be putting last year's family reunion quilt together, as this year's reunion is coming up in less than three weeks. I wanted to have it finished by then. It's going to be another hot day today. :(

July 17, 2005 - What a weekend! Yesterday I got my Mega Quilter and Inspira frame. It took four of us almost four hours to put it together but I hear that's about average. Then it took me another two hours to get a practice sandwich loaded only to have it not work. I mentioned to Luke today the problems I was having and he asked me if I had lowered the feed dogs. (Being married to an engineer has it's advantages!) I realized that was the problem and finally figured out how to take care of the problem. It sewed right for about 30 seconds and then screwed up again. I'm so frustrated I just have to wait until tomorrow to try and sort it out. We were going to go to the lavender festival in Sequim today but got in a car wreck in Edmonds and had to come home instead. Luckily, no one was hurt. I'm really looking forward to Monday. :(

July 12, 2005 - I've come to the conclusion that there won't be much quilting done this summer. :( One would think that grown children wouldn't cause so much distraction, but I'm finding that mine do. Some are moving out, some are moving back in; some are unemployed and looking for work and some are starting new jobs with no car. Sounds like I have a lot of kids, huh? Nope, just two. How they can disrupt my life so much I'll never understand!
I have worked some on the birthday present and it is almost finished. I haven't worked much on the BA. I went to Quality Sewing yesterday and Esther finally has the Inspira frame up with the Pfaff quilt machine. I hope to get the Viking machine instead of the Pfaff. Esther swears they're the same machine but Viking is more expensive. She has promised to give me the Viking at the same price as the Pfaff so I'll go with that. Luke and I made a deal that if I can quit smoking for two weeks we can look into getting it. The premise is that if I can quit for two weeks, I'm over the worst of it and can really quit this time. If I don't quit, I don't get a machine. If I quit and get the machine then start again, the machine goes back. I quit last Friday (a month late but better late than never). I tell myself 50 times an hour that I can't do it and tell myself 60 times an hour that I can. It's tough.

June 30, 2005 - The last day of June finds me busy in the sewing room again. I've still got a cold that has lingered for almost two weeks but I feel well enough to sew. :) Yesterday I posted a picture of my newest quilt top, Caramel Latte. It is the biggest top I've made so far and required special assistance to photograph. It was my intention to quilt it right away but I've become so enamoured with the new Viking Mega Quilter machine and frame that I don't want to quilt anything big until I get one. That desire has led to a lot of silly brainstorming on how I can raise the money; like, selling my piano and Kelly's flute, etc. I may bite the bullet and start quilting it soon or I may not. I've also got two other projects going right now. One is a little something for a certain lady's December birthday ;) and the other is a Baltimore Album block. A couple months ago I decided to start a BOM Baltimore Album quilt and am now working on the first block. I needed something to do during the evenings that I'm not in the sewing room and even though I'm not crazy about hand work, I have always wanted to applique a BA. As soon as I finish the birthday "thing" I will start on a Christmas "thing" for the same lady, then on to other Christmas "things". :)

June 26, 2005 - The hop is over today. Luke and I went on Friday and some yesterday and that's going to be it for me. I managed to get in 25 shops in 2 1/2 days! Luke and I went the southern route Friday and made it as far as Bayside Quilting in Olympia. Then we came back up SR 167 and hit Puyallup, Auburn, Renton and Issaquah. We went yesterday to Bothell, Woodinville, Duvall, Mukilteo and again to ITB. The reason we went again on Saturday was so that Luke's passport would have the required 16 stamps to be entered in the drawing. He was determined I was going to have two chances to win! That was so sweet of him that I didn't have the heart to tell him not to bother. I never win anything anyway.
It was a very fun three days but now the work begins. I have so much to do now and deadlines approaching fast. Okay, not "fast" but it will seem fast. I have the swap blocks for WASIQ due in September and then there's Christmas. I have big plans for Christmas so need to get busy. :)

June 23, 2005 - I think I have a shop hop hangover this morning. I wasn't even able to get up and get Luke off to work as usual because I couldn't wake up. When I did get up I had a terrible headache but lots of ibuprofen has taken care of that. Yesterday was worth every bit of discomfort today! It was a very long but fun day. Debbie and I managed to squeeze in 12 shops instead of 10 and spent the day laughing and talking and shopping. It was a blast. It was also a very long day. I left the house about 8:30 and we finished the last shop at 9 p.m. By the time I took her home and picked up Kelly from work, it was almost 11 before I was home for the night. I didn't spend too much money but I bought a book, a little bit of fabric and a couple of patterns. I got the cutest ferry boat pattern! At the last few shops we kept running into this elderly couple who had been hopping all day. They said they started in Renton and had made 20 shops yesterday. They plan to make all 61 shops during the hop. They were a cute couple and the man got such a kick out of seeing us at the same shops. At one point, he poked me on the arm and gave me a bad time about how he can drive faster than me. They were adorable. :) As soon as I can get Luke up and going in the morning, we will hit the road again. Hopefully, Luke will do some of the driving after we get past the city and I won't be so worn out. Almost 15 hours of driving and shopping is exhausting. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

June 21, 2005 - I haven't had anything to talk about lately. I've had a cold and haven't done any sewing to speak of since the 11th. Tomorrow is the first day of the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop, and sick or not, I'm going! I've been looking forward to this for months. There are 61 shops listed in western Washington but I can only go to about 20 of them in 2 days. Luke said he's up for a second day on Saturday but we'll see how he feels after the first day. I heard last year that one woman on the WASIQ list made all 61 shops in the 5 days of the hop! I also heard she was exhausted after that and had to rest for a week. ;) The plan tomorrow is to pick up Debbie at 9 a.m. in Bellevue and hit 10 shops between Bellevue and Bellingham. Luke is taking the day off work on Friday to go with me on part of the south end of the tour. We will hit at least 10 shops between Lynnwood and Olympia. I got a passport for Luke so I'll have two chances to win some prizes instead of one. :) I'm also going to send him to the quilt shop across the street from his office tomorrow or Thursday to get a stamp and a block kit there so we won't have to try to park on Friday. This is going to be fun!

June 16, 2005 - I added a page just for hand-dyes and took them off my quilts page today. I've got to get more white fabric before I can try any more dyeing. I also put up a picture of baby Tatum next to her quilt. What a beautiful baby! My family is known for our beautiful babies though so it's really not a surprise. :)
I haven't sewed all week. :( I got to that pieced border and don't want to continue. I'll have to force myself to do it and when I get past that part, I'll be happy to be sewing again. Maybe later today.

June 14, 2005 -I just added a picture of a green gradation run that I dyed on Saturday. Not much to report other than that.

June 12, 2005 - It's been kind of a sad weekend for me. Yesterday would have been my brother's birthday. I've been fighting depression for the last couple weeks as it is and that didn't help. The weekend was pretty quiet for us. Luke worked on his miniatures all weekend and I quilted some. The Caramel Latte has all the blocks put together and I am working on the borders now. The second border is a pieced one and that's where I quit tonight. I hate pieced borders!!! Luke and I went to ITB today to get the backing fabric for this particular quilt. I made Luke pick it out and he did a pretty good job. Tomorrow I will have to take a short break to embroider a quilt label for Kaylin and clean house. I'm not real anxious to get back to that border anyway. :)
Saturday I did a green run of hand dyes. I'm not crazy about them but I guess it was okay for a first try. Tomorrow the dye I ordered last week from Dharma should be here so I can try a color wheel. I'm going to use fat quarters for that so as not to waste too much fabric if it doesn't turn out. The fabric I dyed Saturday were 1 1/2 and 2 yard pieces as I was hoping it would come out well enough to use in a quilt I have in mind that requres gradations of green and raspberry. I may end up using them anyway.

June 8, 2005 - I just added a picture of my first hand dyed fabric. There is room for improvement but I"m pretty happy with it as is. The book that I ordered, Dyeing to Quilt, came today so I should be better at this soon.
This morning I went to the QA meeting. I participated in my very first show and tell. I took the Magna Chroma, even though it isn't really finished. It was well-received. I also volunteered to take over the job of day meeting secretary starting in October. :)

June 6, 2005 - Friday is only four days away and I have to quit smoking on Friday. I'm going to do it this time! I've been giving the quilting machine a lot of thought. I've been on a short-arm quilting list, reading all the comments about them and I don't think I want to do that now. There are too many limitations with them. Of course, there are ways around them but they don't give satisfactory results and it just makes using them that much harder. Then I thought that maybe I should just get the Bernina with the stitch regulator. Still not great but better than the short-arm. Today I looked at the machines and frames from Hinterberg. A 17" machine with frame runs about the same price as the short-arm and frame. The stitch regulator is an add-on for both. So in my calculations I've decided that a long-arm is doable. There is another benefit to having a long-arm. I could go "pro" if necessary and help make some money. So much to think about...
Quiltwise, I have all the blocks done for the Caramel Latte and will start putting the top together tonight or tomorrow, depending on what Luke does tonight. I'm going to quilt this one now because I can do all straight lines on it. Besides, I can't collect all these unquilted tops just waiting for a long-arm. Well, I could but... I'm also waiting impatiently for my dyes to come. They're supposed to come tomorrow but then I'll have to wait until Friday to buy fabric so I don't know why I'm so impatient. : )

June 3, 2005 - Exciting news today!!! I have been trying to quit smoking for a while now and nothing has worked. The other day I figured out a schedule that will help me cut down enough that the patch will work for me and hopefully I can quit then. I have set the quit date of June 10. Here's the exciting part... Luke told me last night that if I quit smoking he will buy me a SAQM!!!! I'm so excited. :) I have been looking at the Pfaff at Quality Sewing and Esther has promised me a good deal if I buy one so maybe soon. The second news is that I have finally decided to take the plunge into fabric dyeing. It is something I have been interested in trying for years but didn't have the time to do before; now I do, so today I ordered just two colors from Dharma and some soda ash. I also joined yet another mailing list; this one is for fabric dyers. (That makes 10 mailing lists for me, including one that I own and moderate) My first attempt will be some low immersion gradations of my two colors. I specifically chose those colors for a quilt I want to make as a Christmas gift but I haven't been able to find the colors I want. My family has been teasing me that next thing you know I will be planting a field of cotton and weaving my own fabric. Smart alecs! ;) On current quilt news, I have cut out the Caramel Latte and have started sewing. Lots and lots of strip sets! :)

June 1, 2005 - Summer is almost here. It's cold and rainy again but we had some very warm weather last week. I don't know as I am really looking forward to that again but I guess I don't have any control over it either. ;) I have the Caramel Latte cut out and will start piecing it today. I love working with the earth tones of that quilt! The golds, browns, rusts, black, etc. The fabrics are a yummy mix of Hoffman, Seattle Bay, Moda marbles and others. I think I'm really going to like this one.
Like it or not (and I don't), I am going to have to put Inga in the shop very soon. The tension is messing up a lot. I don't know what I will do without her for a whole week!

May 30, 2005 - Yesterday I finished all the rays on the Magna Chroma and today put on the outside circle and the borders. Luke took a picture of it and I posted it a little while ago. I also had him take a picture of the yellow quilt top and have posted it. I was so aggravated to see that I had made two mistakes on the yellow. I didn't notice it until Luke was taking the picture. There are two blocks that have messed up star points. I'll have to take it apart and fix it before quilting it. The Magna Chroma will get quilted this week but I don't know when I will get to the yellow as my free motion skills aren't good enough yet to tackle a quilt that size. I'm trying to decide what to do next. Since the Magna Chroma was so difficult, I'm thinking something easy like the Caramel Latte. I think I'll wait a while longer to start the Kalimantan. I also need to start thinking about Christmas gifts. I have a couple planned but still need to draft some others. Unfortunately, I won't be able to post pictures of them until after Christmas. :)

May 26, 2005 - I haven't updated in a week because I haven't done much sewing since then. I think the last time I was in the sewing room was on Friday. I got all but two of the rays done for the Magna Chroma and then had to try to find some black fabric that matched because there wasn't quite enough. (I made a mistake in cutting, it wasn't their mistake in putting the kit together) I did find some fabric and bought it on Friday but haven't sewed since. The stencils came for the yellow quilt sometime last week.
I've been trying to get the yard in shape the last few days. Being raised on a farm in Mississippi, Luke just doesn't get the suburban lifestyle so I have to do the yardwork. He thinks that moss and dandelions growing in the yard are pretty and doesn't understand why the neighbors might be upset by this and why we have to get rid of them. My cousin, Susan, came over yesterday to help and we got the front yard looking really good. Susan had a landscaping business before her stroke so knows lots about what needs pruning, etc. She worked me to death yesterday so I'm hoping she won't show up today! :) If she doesn't, I want to get the patio cleaned up this afternoon so probably no sewing again today. :(

May 19, 2005 - I did a dumb thing. My back felt so much better by Monday that I forgot about it and scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees. I remembered it when I couldn't get up to answer the phone while resting afterwards. :( I haven't been in the seewing room since Monday morning but I did finish the yellow quilt top. I'm waiting on some stencils I ordered to come so I can mark it, sandwich it and start quilting. I have been trying to figure out where I'm going to find enough floor space to do the sandwiching and how I'm supposed to do it without hurting my back again. I have other things I could be working on but I haven't been motivated enough to do them. Maybe today.

May 13, 2005 -I've been having back problems all week and have been on pain killers, so haven't gotten much done quiltwise. I did finish the lavender wallhanging yesterday and posted the pic this morning. There are a couple of places that didn't line up the way I would have liked, but I'm not re-doing it again!
Today is shopping day and I am going to ITB to get the pink fabric I need to get back to the yellow quilt. I should have the top finished in a couple more days.

May 8, 2005 - Technically it's the 8th but it's just a little after midnight so I'm still thinking it's Saturday. I slept too late this morning and now won't be able to sleep for a while. It's been a lazy Saturday. Luke played one of his games all day and I sewed. I have run out of green fabric for the yellow quilt so I had to stop. I will have to go back to the Magna Chroma (more likely I will make more fabric bowls. I made four more on Friday!) until I can get to ITB for more green fabric. I really love the way the yellow quilt is coming together! I took the layout from a wall quilt in Blended Quilts and made the blocks bigger, changed the only pieced block from an Ohio Star to a Rising Star and am just kind of making things up as I go. It's a challenge and so much fun. :) I've been thinking the last few days about how fortunate I am to have a husband who understands obesessions completely. He never complains about how much time I spend sewing as he spends that much time (MORE!) playing his games that he is obsessed with. I manage to keep up with the laundry and have hot meals for him and that's all he really cares about. I had thought that when I was able to quit working that I would spend a lot of time cleaning but I don't. I did the first week - I cleaned the whole house, top to bottom and organized and all that but it doesn't take much to keep it that way if you're not spending all your time working for someone else and I have plenty of time to sew. Debbie asked me today when I thought I would get over this sewing obsession. HA!
This evening Luke and I went to eat at the teriyaki place by our house and then went to Tulalip to pick up KR and his girlfriend from the new outlet mall because the last bus ran at 7:20 and they weren't ready then. That is some mall! I'm going to try to tear myself away from the sewing room next weekend and go check it out when they're not closing. Now I won't have to drive to Burlington to the Mikasa outlet store. :)

May 6, 2005 - The mailman delivered two books yesterday that I had ordered from Amazon. One on fabric bowls and one on fabric boxes. Uh oh. I made one bowl yesterday afternoon and I can see that they will be addictive!
I've got a large portion of my yellow quilt put together and really like how it is looking. Since I'm kind of making it up as I go along, I'm not sure how it's going to come out but so far it looks nice.
I have been wondering for years why quilters have so many UFOs and why we seem to jump from one project to the next. I found the answer yesterday. For me, anyway. I was reading Judy Martin's page and she had a Q&A section. Here is a quote from Judy in response to a question about UFOs. "For me one of the joys of quilting is solving the "puzzle." I pain over getting the right colors, the right fabrics, putting them in the right set in order to make the best possible quilt. Once I know I've "solved" the puzzle, I start to lose interest because already new ideas for new quilt tops are popping into my head. The challenge isn't finishing the quilt, it's getting it right in my mind. Once that's done, I want a new challenge. I have a cupboard full of unquilted tops." I feel much less guilty now. I also shared that with Luke and he said programmers are the same way; once they figure out how to design a program they lose interest because any "monkey" can do the actual work. I then asked him why he bugs me about my UFOs if he understands and he said to motivate me. I told him all he really does is make me mad. :)

May 4, 2005 -Inspiration struck yesterday while I was sitting in the car waiting for Luke to come out of the dentist's office. I had taken along the Blended Quilt book to read while he was in there, and all of a sudden I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a quilt for our room that I recently painted yellow. I bought two bolts of fabric at the warehouse sale that I told Luke I would use in our room and I've been trying to decide since then what quilt to make. I was kind of thinking of a blended quilt, but I haven't seen any examples done in pastels, so it was hard to figure out how to do it. One of the patterns in the book caught my eye and I saw it done a little differently and voila! an idea was born. :) I couldn't wait to get home and get started on it. As soon as we got home I went to the sewing room and started pulling fabrics out of my stash. I will only have to buy a little bit more fabric to do what I envisioned. I got the center medallion done before dinner. :)

May 3, 2005 - Wow. It's May already. This year is going so fast. The working on two machines at once didn't work out. I just can't sew on my old machine anymore. It's really not that old - I bought it in 97 - but it doesn't have the convenient features that the DII has. When I bought the "old" machine it was the first new machine I had bought since the Singer, and I never used all the decorative stitches on that, so when I bought the Janome in 97 I just got a very basic machine. I didn't know anything about features that I find so useful on the DII and wouldn't have bought a machine with those features anyway as I wouldn't have believed they would be so handy. In fact, I went to buy it determined not to let the salesperson talk me into anything but a basic machine, so a sales pitch would have been wasted on me at that point. Now I just don't know how I ever got along without the needle up/needle down, the automatic presser foot lift, the threat cutter, etc. The old machine is like a dinosaur compared to the new! It even sounds terrible! Anyway, I have just two more blocks in the embroidered wallhanging to finish and then I can go back to the Magna Chroma on Inga. I'm at one of those points where I'm just dissatisfied with everything I'm doing. I wanted to do the Magna Chroma so much, but now that I am I can't wait to finish it so I can move on to something else. I hate it when I get in one of those moods. That's where UFOs come from. :(

April 30, 2005 - I went to the sew-in today. First off, I was lost. Kaylin gave me the wrong address. You should have seen me wandering around the community center, asking teenagers if they knew where the group of ladies sewing would be! Fortunately, one of them knew where the library was and pointed me in that direction. It was on a totally different street. Kaylin works in the U district and got confused on the streets but I managed to find it and them and spent an enjoyable day sewing with friends. Besides Kaylin, Toni and Chandra were there and then later Sue B from Bellevue came in. Kaylin helped me get started on the Magna Chroma and I finished 3 of the 24 rays of the compass. Paper piecing is really cool! :) I think that I will use my old machine to work on that while the new one is embroidering the new wallhanging. I should be able to get quite a bit done with two machines going at once!
I took the tulip quilt for show and tell and got better reviews than I had hoped. Of course, the ladies are all kind and encouraging so that could explain some of it. I'll have to get a picture this weekend while the camera and Luke are home and get it posted. I have to say it looks better since I washed and dried it. Some of the fabric shrunk in just the right places. :)

QNN is online as of today!!!


April 29, 2005 - I knew I spoke too soon! The tulip quilt was finsihed yesterday and I wish I could just bury it. :( I've got to figure out how to sandwich the quilts better, but I've tried every suggestion and it still doesn't work. Not 10 minutes after finishing the quilt, I started on a machine embroidered wall quilt. The embroidery is beautiful so far, and the quilting is being done automatically as I embroider, so it should look okay when it's done.
Tomorrow is the Seattle sew-in!

April 27, 2005 - I didn't finish the tulip quilt yesterday afterall. I got to marking the border and realized I had messed it up so I have to wait for the ink to disappear before I can try again. It is probably ready now but I haven't been in to look at it. I'm tired and cranky today and don't feel like doing anything. Maybe after KR leaves for work and I have the house to myself...

April 26, 2005 - I cleaned house thoroughly yesterday so I could spend today quilting guilt-free. I only have one more row of tulips and leaves to quilt and then the border so I should be able to finish the quilting today and start on the hand sewing of the binding tonight. After this quilt, I am going back to safety pin basting instead of the flower head pins I've been using. My hands are poked and scratched (among other body parts that are in close proximity to the machine. OUCH!) and I never had that problem with safety pinning. My machine quilting is improving with practice but it's no where near what I want it to be. I still can't believe I was such a quilt snob for so long that I refused to consider machine quilting. Imagine how much I could have accomplished by now! In my defense, I had never seen beautiful machine quilting until moving here, just read about it and it didn't seem like "real" quilts should have machine quilting. Oh well, live and learn.
I joined a Latte' quilt group on Yahoo over the weekend and was approved this morning. I was telling Luke about it last night and he jokingly said that it sounded as if I had joined a cult. :) I don't know if I will ever make a Latte' quilt but I am thinking about it. Since Kelly told us this weekend that she is thinking about getting married to her absolutely wonderful boyfiend after she graduates, it may be her wedding present. I don't know.
This Saturday is the Seattle sew-in and I am really looking forward to it. I can't wait to start paper piecing the Magna Chroma!

April 24, 2005 - Not much quilt-related going on. As usual, when I get to the actual quilting part, I lose a lot of the excitement I feel for a quilt. Quilting with a regular machine is the hardest part and not enjoyable so I have a hard time getting through it. On this quilt especially because I am not doing just long lines of straight quilting. I'm not doing free motion either, but it's hard and I keep putting it off.
Luke and I went to Woodland yesterday to see the lilacs. We got rained on and muddy but it was a fun day. Luke bought me a lilac bush and I can't wait to plant it. He also bought two bouquets of cut lilacs and I have one in the family room and one in the bedroom. They smell heavenly! I really missed lilacs while in Mississippi. The gardens at Hulda Klager's are gorgeous and I really enjoyed seeing the house, which they have made into a museum. I was surprised to see a Southern magnolia growing in the garden as I didn't think they grew here. There were also some signs that pointed to a "Tulip Festival" and we checked that out too. Turns out it was at the Holland America bulb company and nothing like the Skagit Valley tulip festival but we had great garlic bread and had fun walking through the gardens and looking at the fields :).
Okay, back to the sewing room...

April 21, 2005 - The second toe has not gone as well as the first. I feel better today though so maybe this afternoon I can get back to the tulip quilt. While I was forced to sit with my foot elevated I started a crochet project and painted a picture for Kelly. I also soaked off my nails last night. The whole time I was working I really missed having nails, and the first day of not working I went and got some put on. They really get in the way. :( I couldn't pick up pins, needles, errant threads, etc. I am so glad not to have them now!
I ordered some "Parisian" fabric yesterday to make a quilt for Kelly some time in the future. She is an unabashed Francophile! Someday she and I are going to Paris for a girls only vacation. Ah, dreams...

.April 19, 2005 - Yesterday I had to help Debbie again and while I was in Bellevue, I visited Quilt Works. They had a finished Kalimantan quilt on display and it was interesting to see it in person. It looks quite a bit lighter than the picture and now I am looking forward to sewing it up. I bought 2 yards of a turqoise, purple and green fabric as I am starting to gather fabrics in those colors because Luke is really attracted to quilts in those colors. I also bought several hand dyed fat quarters for a Three Wisemen wallhanging I want to make next fall for Christmas.
Sunday evening , after the Issaquah quilt show, I sandwiched the tulip quilt but was too distracted to start quilting it then. I started it last evening and so far it is going well. On the Husqvarna mailing list they have been discussing quilting without the walking foot, as the machines have an exclusive sensor system which makes it unneccesary. I've always used the walking foot but thought I'd try it and see what happens. It works! The best part is that cumbersome foot isn't in the way and I can see what's going on while I sew, not after. :)
I have a doctor's appointment to have my other foot done today. The doctor tried to get me to have them both done at the same time three weeks ago but I told her I had to wait and see what happens with the left foot as my right foot is my "sewing foot". I hope this one goes as well as the left.

April 16, 2005 - The tulip top is finished! It went really fast. Strangely, I'm pretty happy with it. Luke was amazed that I said I like it, as I'm my own worst critic. I've decided to name it Skagit Valley Tulips. I am going to use some of my warehouse sale fabric for the backing. It's a M'liss Rae Hawley fabric, and it looks like a beautiful sunset with pinks, yellows and peaches. A fitting backing for Skagit Valley. :) When I first decided to make this quilt I started by buying Colortree fat quaters every time I went to ITB. I got all the tulip fabrics and thought that when the time came I would go back and get border and backing fabric, but I was too lazy to drive into ITB and used what I had on hand. I made big blocks of color from the leftover tulip fabric for the borders instead. I normally like to use a fabric from the top as the backing but I have to find uses for those bolts of fabric I bought! Tomorrow I will get it basted so I can start quilting it on Monday.
We were supposed to go to the Lilac Festival in Woodland, WA tomorrow but I think we will postpone it until next weekend and go to the Issaquah quilt show instead.

April 15, 2005 - Tax day. :( Yesterday I sewed almost all day and got the tulip wallhanging almost pieced. I should have it ready for quilting by Monday or so. If today wasn't grocery day I could get it sandwiched today, but real life is intruding, and I have to heed its call. The quilt is coming along nicely so far though.
I haven't been very good about "documenting" my quilt experiences as I said I would. I really am learning things and I should be keeping track of them. While doing the hand sewing on the binding of the last baby quilt the other day I realized that the binding is the only thing I would feel comfortable having another quilter scrutinize. I finally figured out how to make the miter on the back look like the miter on the front. I also read not too long ago about double binding and how it is done. It's supposed to be for quilts that get used a lot but I've used it on the last three bindings and it's so much easier and looks so good that I think I'll use that method all the time. I'm looking forward to the Seattle Sew-in (A WASIQ function) as Kaylin, a very sweet lady from the list whom I have met a time or two, is going to help me get started on the paper piecing for the Magna Chroma wallhanging. I've done a little paper piecing and understand how it is accomplished but I wanted some supervision from an experienced person to start his project. It's a rather daunting project!

April 14, 2005 - I finished the frog quilt yesterday! Yea! I was putting on the crystals at 11 last night, but I finished it before midnight. Luke left it and his camera here so I can take a picture today in the daylight.
As much as I want to go on to a big project, like the Caramel Latte or the
Kalimantan, I guess I'll go back to another UFO, the Tulip wallhanging. I started that when I was between projects, before the baby quilts. I've made so many things for others that I decided it was time to do something for me, and I've wanted to make the Tulip quilt for many years. It's from an old Martindale book, Quick and Easy Quiltmaking. I am using Jason Yenter's Colortree fabrics. Maybe it will be hanging on my wall soon. :)

April 13, 2005 - I haven't been in the sewing room since Saturday and I'm going through withdrawals. Monday I caught up on all the neglected housework and laundry. Yesterday I went to Bellevue to help a friend, Debbie. I vowed this morning not to leave the house today but then remembered that I have to go to the mall with Kelly today to find something for me to wear to a party that Luke and I are going to Saturday. I'm going to work really hard on the frog quilt until she gets out of school and hopefully make a lot of progress before I have to go to the dreaded mall.
I missed the QA meeting yesterday. All in all, it hasn't been a very quilty week so far, but I hope to change that today.
I was supposed to put Inga in the shop this week but I just can't bring myself to do it. I need to call Esther and find out how long she will be gone so I can better prepare myself. ;)

April 10, 2005 - I can't believe it's all over! Thursday, Friday and Saturday were so intense and today was the shower and now all the pressure is off. I feel at loose ends without the pressure. Even though I complained about it the whole time, I seem to thrive under that kind of pressure. I like running into problems and having to come up with a creative solution on the fly. Friday was spent making a dress and hat for Kelly to give as her gift. That brought back so many memories of sewing for Kelly when she was a sweet little baby and toddler. I had forgotten how hard those tiny set-in sleeves are to do. Whoever invented the stiletto is a genius! Anyway, the shower was really nice and she got lots of nice things. There were two small babies at the shower and the minute I saw them my arms started to ache. Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and at the end of the shower, I asked one of the mothers if I could hold the baby. What memories! I can still smell the formula on me and I have changed clothes since coming home. :)
I think I'll work on Luke's frog quilt next(Linderella's "My Kingdom for a Toad"). He keeps making comments about his bare cube at work and hinting that I should finish it. He's been understanding though, so I should reward him by finishing it. I guess. I really want to get started on the Caramel Latte from the Coffeetime book.
Inga is going to the shop next week for her first check-up. I'm already having separation anxiety! :)

April 7, 2005 - What a day! I'm beat. I sewed all day long, except for a quick trip to Joann's and another quick one to Quality Sewing. The second one was a thread emergency. :) The quilt is finished except for hand sewing the binding. I made another bootie and jacket set because I changed my mind about the colors. I also started a dress for my daughter to give her. Kelly is financially strapped because of going to school and living on her own so I am helping her out by making something for her to take. She took the day off work to attend her cousin's baby shower so she really can't afford to buy anything now ! I am using yet more of the leftover fabric so it really didn't cost me much either. This is going to be THE most coordinated baby in the Puget Sound area! Tomorrow promises to be another long day of sewing so I'd better get to bed.
Addendum: I have kept forgetting to tell about what happened on Tuesday! I got emails from Quilters Access that I won two prizes. :) They are small, inconsequential prizes but I won SOMETHING! One is a scissors lanyard and the other a seam ripper. I need that for sure. Frog stitching. Grrr. :)

April 6, 2005 - Inga has decided that today is a good day to be tempermental. I had to leave the sewing room to avoid beating her with a blunt object. Bless her heart. ;) First she decided to throw off the tension. I looked all over the house for the instruction book and couldn't find it so I jumped in the car and drove to see my trusty Quality Sewing and Vacuum dealer, Esther (Alderwood store). That problem was solved but then I had to spend an hour frog stitching. Back to the quilt for the motifs in the alternate blocks and everything looks good. I get to the very last block and Inga starts telling me I have the wrong hoop in the embroidery unit. Same blocks, same hoop as before. Now I'm wondering if all Swedes are as stubborn as Inga!
Last weekend, when I put up this site, I asked 283 of my closest friends (My quilting sisters from WASIQ) to give me some suggestions or critique. One lady, Kathy, told me very strongly to stop saying bad things about my quilts, so I went back and took off the what I thought were honest assessments of my quilts. Now I don't know how I'm supposed to talk about current projects. I can't very well say everything is fine when it's not, can I Kathy??? Okay, I'll skip over the bad stuff and just say it took four tries before the quilting actually worked out and I stayed up late last night getting all the walking foot work done. (How's that, Kathy? :) ) I have one more alternate block to quilt with the embroidery unit and then the borders. I plan to be finished with all the quilting by dinnertime. I'm a little behind schedule but that's not unusual for me. Sunday is the shower so I have a few days left.
Quilting leaves one with lots of time to reflect, reminisce, muse, whatever. I had a sudden thought today that startled me. I lovingly refer to Luke as a "geek". He's a programmer, he plays geeky online games with other geeks from around the world for hours and hours, sometimes days and days, etc. So I tease him a lot about being a geek. As I was sewing today I thought to myself, "I'm a geek!" No, it's not because I quilt or even because I have this website. I'm thinking back to when I was a 20-year-old with my first real job. My first major credit purchase was a top-of-the-line Singer Touch and Sew. (Giving away my age now.) What kind of 20-year-old does that? That's right, a geeky one. I've been geeky all my life and didn't even know it. :) Oh well. Time to see if Inga is through with her tantrum.

April 4, 2005 - Another frustrating quilt day. I've laid out and pin basted the new baby quilt twice already, only to have to "frog stitch" and start over. The second time I thought I had it beat as I had put it on the kitchen floor, stretching the backing with masking tape and making sure everything was smooth and taut, only to have it get wrinkled and wonky as I quilted. The next option is taking it apart yet again and washing both the backing and the top, the same as I had to do with Geneva's quilt. The prewash/don't prewash debate seems to be settled for me. Although I like the feel of unwashed cotton when I am working with it, it seems to quilt easier if it is washed first. Other than that, it's been a pretty fun day. I've spent a lot of time tweaking my webpage and added the sewing room pics. A few minutes ago the mailman came to the door with a package for me from Keepsake. Luke's parents gave me a very generous gift certificate for Christmas and I ordered the Jinny Beyer Kalimantan kit in January. It has been back ordered until now. If people will just stop having babies for a while I can do some other things besides baby quilts. ;) I also got a letter from Georgia Bonesteel in the mail. I had contacted her for permission to quote her show's song on my page and through email she said it would be okay. She sent the words typed out to me today. What a nice lady!

April 3, 2005 - Yesterday I went to In the Beginning's warehouse sale. WOW!!! They were selling whole bolts of fabric for just $2.50 a yard - bolt= 15 yards. I bought 4 bolts. :) One would think that it would be old or ugly fabric they were trying to get rid of, but the same fabrics were in the store for $8.50-9.50 a yard. There were people buying 20 or more bolts there so I didn't feel too bad about it. The couple behind me at the checkout bought 8 bolts! I was so pumped when I got home that I actually cleaned up my sewing room. It looked like the fabric monster had sneezed in there. :) I rearranged everything and Luke moved the bookshelves from the garage to my sewing room today so I would have more storage for fabric. :) I spent the day sorting and folding fabric. Then I went to Joann's and bought a thread rack and ruler rack. It looks so much better! I will use Luke's camera tomorrow to take pictures and post them ASAP

April 1, 2005 - I finished all the stuff for Amber! I'm so relieved. Today it will go in the mail. Now to get going on Chantell's stuff...

March 29, 2005 - Today I worked on some other baby gifts. I used my embroidery machine to make baby booties. They are so sweet it almost makes one want to have a baby! I made matching fleece jackets with the same embroidery motif also. One for Amber's and one for Chantell's babies. Tonight I am going to try really hard to finish the binding on Amber's quilt!

March 26, 2005 - This is Easter weekend and I won't get to do any quilting this weekend. I have much to do before having company for Easter dinner. Last weekend, as I was piecing the top for Chantell's baby, I felt all "mystical". I used some leftover fabric from my brother's quilt for this baby's quilt and I kept thinking about the "circle of life" Ugh! Now I'm quoting Disney movies. :( With my brother dying last August and now his great-grandchild being born...and recycling fabric from his quilt... Okay, so I'm sentimental and have a vivid imagination! The only sewing I will get done this weekend is a table runner for the Easter table and I need to get busy on that right now.

March 19, 2005 - On the way home from the QA quilt show yesterday, I decided I would start a weblog to keep up with my quilting. This may or may not be of interest to anyone but me. Probably not. The quilt show was interesting and intimidating. My guild contains nationally- and internationally-known teachers, authors and artists. I think it will be many years before I feel confident enough to enter a quilt that will compete with them! I tried to take some pictures with Luke's digital camera, but he is obviously the photographer in the family. I also had trouble deciding which ones to photograph! There were so many that were great that I was overwhelmed. I got word last night that Amber Campbell Swann had her baby. Now I can finish the binding on the baby quilt I made for her and move on to my great, great neice's quilt. (Unbelievable!) I have started that quilt and will work on it today. I decided to make a miniature version of Vern's quilt, as this would have been his great grandchild. (I can hear him screaming now. He didn't think he was old enough to be a grandfather. A great-grandfather?!! How I wish he was here so I could tease him unmercifully about it. :)) It probably won't mean much to my great neice, Chantell, but Jodi (my neice) will understand the significance. Jodi is also a quilter and that has brought us closer.



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