Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have been SOOO excited to finish this quilt!!!  The moment I put her in the washing machine, I realized that I still hadn't added the whiskers.  Drat.

And my cat was not a helpful model in the photo shoot.

Get back here!

(But if you click to enlarge you can see the 4 different quilting textures.)
Seriously??? Like you can't sit still for 5 seconds.

(Oh, but notice the texture of the hand quilting behind her butt.)

Can you find the secret dragonfly?

Well, at least THIS cat does what she's asked to do. 

I guess I need to go back and add whiskers and tack down the recalcitrant leaf edges before I can declare completion.

Monday, June 27, 2011

An interesting week

It's been an interesting few days.  I'll only share the good, quilty bits with all of you.

I got a turquoise fabric care package from Rhonda.  (However, this may be the start of a new baby quilt instead).

And another from Kristine. (Check out those shimmery dots!!!)

Kristine's fabrics arrived with this ADORABLE elephant pin cushion from Sonia!  This seriously was the only thing that got me through work today.  Every time I opened the drawer where it was stashed, it made me smile! 

I was supposed to be at a quilt retreat with these two last week and the gifts were completely unexpected and absolutely delightful.
Sunday, when I had run out of thread, I decided to run by the Boise Basin Quilt Show for a few minutes.  (We will just pretend that the show was anywhere near the store with the thread.)  I won this as a door prize.  I'd be more excited if it was colors or styles that I enjoy.  Any takers?

I was really impressed this year with the depth and variety of the quilts being displayed.  Unfortunately I am now consumed with the idea of a "Whisper" or "Telephone Game" challenge.  This link shows how this worked for one group.  Anyone interested in doing an on-line version of this challenge? 

I did actually stop at the fabric store closest to the quilt show.  They didn't have the brand or color of thread I was looking for, but this fabric was on a sale table by the door for $2/yard.  I didn't even know it was a border print until I took it to the cutting table.  As a dietitian, I just couldn't resist fabric with names of fruit all over it.
I was working furiously to try to finish the Charley Harper Cat quilt by Sunday night.  I still have about 1/3 of the filler sections between the leaves to stipple.

I just CAN'T WAIT to wash and dry this quilt.  The texture is going to be amazing. 

Hmmm.   I think I need to make friends with someone visually impaired.  I think I would really enjoy making a quilt for someone who couldn't "see" it, but still totally enjoy the design.

I better go hand wind a couple bobbins so I can finish this quilt  (yea...just one of many things that went bad this week.)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cat Progress

I have been making excelleng progress on the Charley Harper Cat.  Although I'm a total rookie at FMQ, I bit the bullet and used a varigated brown thread and this design to add texture to the bark on the quilt.  (Not sure why this photo bleached out the fabric color so much...)

This pic is more true color.  As I was working on that skinny branch, I realized that I needed to bind the quilt before I finished quilting it.  I realize that 2.5 hours seems like a long time to spend hand stitching the back of the binding on.  But the look is SOOO worth it.

I added the pre-quilted leaves this afternoon and have been quilting them in place using FMQ over the pre-quilted lines.  The lines are far less exact than when I quilted the dimentional leaves using the walking foot. 

I had been thinking about adding secret bugs embroidered on the back of some of the leaves.  But now I'm thinking that I may include them in some machine quilting/stippling b/w the leaves.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mischief Managed

I re-arranged and added a couple strips.  This photo was taken at dusk so the colors aren't true.  I feel good about the balance now.   I think maybe a white strip to the right and then this one is done!

Improv Part 2

Now I have 3 sections.  Unfortunately, I like each of them individually, though not really together.  Hmmm.  I'm sure it'll work out.  I have more of the dk pink on the far right, also green and white.  There are only small bits of the dark fuchsia left and no light pink.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WOW: Wips on Wednesday 3

At 5pm Wed, I realized that I had nothing to report upon.  I was going to spend the hour that I had before a dinner date with friends stitching on the Charley Harper cat, but then a stack of triangles that were a door prize from the shop hop caught my eye.  Since there was no pattern to go with the triangles, I just started stitching them together.  That left me with 5 squares a bit over 6 inches.  I dug through the stash and found some shades of lime and fuchsia that matched the free triangles and started adding strips in a random and organic kind of way.  I think that with lots more white and little bits of lime, this could turn out to be a dandy baby quilt for a little girl.  And an opportunity to practice some free motion quilting.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Applique - little finishes.

I finished some hand-work while in the car this weekend.  This pattern was a Shop Hop block, and this version of it was the demo for Bailey's quilt group.  I decided to leave off the flowers from the pattern.  When I got home I did some machine quilting of wavy lines close together (using the walking foot), then got brave and did free-motion on the soles of the shoes.  Once again, I have weird tension things going on the back side in some sections, but my stitch length is getting a wee bit more even.
I had also started a sea-shell quilt a half a dozen years ago.  This one had been about 1/2 finished and I got it done on the way home.  I need to find the few that I did finish and find a way to put them together for a pillow or a beach bag.  My enthusiasm for making this a full size quilt is completely gone.

I also swapped out the chartreuse beak for a yellow one and got one of the legs done.  I had time to make the other one, but realized that where I had drawn it on the back was faint and somewhat wonky and I didn't have the pattern with me, nor did I trust my bird-foot-drawing-skills.

The purpose for my road trip was a family gathering of my husband's cousins.  Part of the fun was taking the parts of Popsicles Momsicles I have done and having the artist sign the quilt where it was signed in the painting.  I will embroider over this.  It was quite enjoyable to have it spread across her living room floor with a copy of the print sitting next to it (the original is currently at a gallery in Hot Springs, Arkansas).

I have a busy week of work, so don't expect to get much quilting in until Friday.  Will share with you then.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WOW: Wips on Wednesday

I went to a bike rally in Baker City, Oregon over the weekend.  This was tucked into my jacket pocket Saturday.  " But officer, I thought Oregon is a "Medicinal Fabric" state.  It's only 7/12ths of a yard.   I'm sure I have a prescription for this.... somewhere...."

Over the 3 days I managed to sneak into 4 quilt shops (2 others were closed and I peered sadly through the windows.)  In LaGrande, I bolted from the bar when the second round of drinks arrived and returned as the last sips were consumed having been to the bank, the fabric shop and taken a brisk walk.

Emily left this stack of goodies on my desk at work while I was gone Friday.  They were intended to help with the Turquoise Wedding Ring...but I'm thinking they may become their own small quilt.  The colors are so yummy together.

I'm posting my WIP Progress this morning, as I have a long day of work ahead with no quilting time.  Tuesday evening, I hand pieced together the Grape Basket block that I already had cut out for the USA quilt.  This is # 45 in Farmer's Wife.  The red fabric was sent by my grade-school friend Dianna who now lives in Washington.  We reconnected through Facebook a couple years ago.  I love that she helped with my fabric gathering, even though she isn't a quilter.  Why "Grape Basket" for Washington?  Great wineries of course.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Farmer's Wife

For those of you who know the actual length of my WIP list...I want to assure you that I have not started a new project.  I just joined the Farmer's Wife QAL b/c I used that book for many of my USA state blocks and I'm hoping that the peer pressure will help me to finish.

If you weren't following my blog last summer, I started a  project where I want to make a 6 inch block for each state using fabric that came from that state and that the block has some sort of significance or link to the state.  I've been hand-piecing these.  It was a challenge I made to myself last year to make 3 quilts using hand piecing methods.

And there was a spin-off project of doing 80 pieced blocks in blue and white for my mom as a history quilt.  Each block or name of the block will reference something that happened during that year of her life.  I refer to this project as the "Betty Jeanne" quilt.  These blocks are machine pieced.

Here are some of the individual blocks and their stories.

This block is  Corn & Beans (FW #22) for Iowa.

Farmer's Daughter (FW #32) for Nebraska.   I bought both the Iowa and Nebraska fabrics on a road trip last summer.

The red & white blocks are hand pieced. ( It was a 2 week, 6000 mile road trip.  )

  The Maple Leaf  (FW #56) in red is the block for Maine, and in blue will represent one of the years in the first 2 decades of mom's life as her maiden name is Maple.   The red fabric was purchased in Maine by my mom and younger daughter when they were in New England for a wedding.

This block is listed in Farmer's Wife as (#72) Railroad, but it is also called "Road to California".  The fabric for the red version came from my sister-in-law Rita who bought it in Redding.  For mom, it represents the cross country drive from Georgia with 2 toddlers when my dad was in the Army during the Korean War.

#66, Periwinkle, is also called "Cowboy Star" which is why I made it for Wyoming.  Fussy cutting this fabric I bought in Laramie was SO worth the time. .

# 98 is the Waterwheel which I picked for New Hampshire.  Fabric was from Keepsake Quilting which is on the opposite end of the lake from where my brother and his family live.  Out of all the fabrics that people sent and I purchased, this and Maine were the only repeats.  Fabric selection must be a familial gene as it was my mom & daughter that picked the same ones I had.

#45, Grape Basket, is the block for Washington (b/c I like Washington wines) and since I used it for the USA quilt for WA, I also used it in the Betty Jeanne quilt since they lived in Tacoma for a while.

Many of my blocks are from other sources, but I'll be focused on posting the ones that appear in The Farmer's Wife. 

Better go add my blocks to the Flickr Group, then I'm off to do non-quilty things for the weekend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Finally! Finishes.

Blue Lemonaide is finished.  Straight line quilting on the diagonal.

The sashing made for some odd line spacing.  In parts it looks amazingly clever...and in other sections looks like I had no @#$% idea what I was doing.  Both are probably true statements. 

I also finally got a binding on the Broken Glass quilt which I pieced & blogged about in August and quilted in November.     I feel as blurry as this photo.  Guess I'll head to bed and post about all the other things I was thinking of posting tomorrow....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WIP Wed - Back of the Cat

 As much as I wanted to spend my birthday sleeping in and eating bon-bons, I did go in to the office for 1/2 a day, wearing my birthday suit and a tiara.  (What? was a pink suit and it was my birthday...thus it was a "birthday suit".)  By the time I chased the teens that were downloading music to ipods out of my house, took Skater Girl and her friend to Los Betos for a gigantic burrito, and dumped them off at the pool....I had a couple hours to myself to watch documentaries from Netflix and work on the cat quilt.  I honestly thought I was done with the hand quilting until I took it outside to take this picture.  Drat.  I missed parts of 3 legs.  It'll have to wait.  Harley Dude is taking me out to dinner.
WIPs on Wednesdays

Sunday, June 5, 2011


If I stayed home today, I could finish the last 16 inches of hand quilting on the cat's tail.  I might even be able to do some free-motion bark on the branch.  And if I were really focused, maybe even sew some of the leaves on.

Or I could go through the scrap bins and cut out wedges for double wedding ring quilts.

Or I could finish the straight line quilting on the Blue Lemonaide quilt.

Or I could pull the grass out of the perennial garden.

Or I could plant the next succession of lettuce and beets in the garden.

Or I could tell you about great blog entries like this Christmas Candy Dish that Anna made from a layer cake, and shared her directions on the Victoria Rose Quilts blog.

Or tell you about Bailey's Fabric Give Away.

But I'm not going to do any of those things because Harley Dude has polished up the bike.  I'm spending this first warm day of summer on winding mountain roads and in biker bars.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Call for Turquoise Scraps

I've recently discovered that a couple of whom I've very fond, have become engaged.  The bride to be quite likes the color turquoise.  So I started to think about my turquoise jewelry for inspiration.

And I have been cutting my scraps that are smaller than 3 inches using a double wedding ring template thinking that it might be my next attempt at "quilts I swore I would never make".    I have some that will work really well.  I like them against the silvery-grey. But I don't have anywhere near enough.  And wedding rings are so much prettier when they are scrappy.  [Please note that my definition of "scrappy" still requires a level of monochromatic.]

If you are working on anything this summer that has blue scraps at least 2.5-3 inches leftover, I would LOVE to have them and work them into this quilt.  I think that every blue with a greenish under-tone will work great.  1oz of fabric scraps only cost 44 cents to mail! (FYI...that's 1/8 yard or 12- 5" charm squares)  Send me an email if you don't have my mailing address and would like to help.

Everyone who sends fabric will qualify to win a yet to be determined prize that will be made with the leftover scraps.  I'm thinking tote bag, pillow, or if I get tons of scraps maybe a lap quilt.   Thanks in advance for sharing your trash.... :)