Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wedding Ring

The piecing is done!!!
Sadly, I can't even mark this off my WIP list, as it was a quilt that was in the planning stages that simply bullied its way to the front of the line.  And it still needs quilting.

Fortunately, after I took the picture for the progress update, I was able to figure out a way to put together what I had without having to unstitch anything.  The bad news is that process involved spreading out all the pieces on the floor and stitching 2 together and putting them back in place, since "the save" involved pieces that were in random orientation.  Aerobic piecing (stitch, iron, place, pick up next 2, repeat).  Now it's nicely ironed and folded and put away until fall since I want to lap quilt this one, which is something I'm not inclined to do with temps in the high 90's F. 

While all the scraps are out, I'm working on piecing them together for a variation of a mono-chromatic crazy quilt.  I'm calling this bonus quilt a "Grooms Quilt" so I can give the couple his & hers quilts for the wedding.  Hers will say "Welcome to the family!"  and his "Because we know that you'll be sleeping on the couch."
Now to figure out what it was that I was working on before I got distracted by this project.

Friday, July 29, 2011

15 Seconds of Fame

Today, I was the Featured "Bloggers Quilt Festival Quilter" from Amy's Creative Side.  How cool is that?    Although I was honored when she sent me the email invite, I was deeply touched by the comments that my blog friends Cecily & Julie posted.  I just LOVE having an on-line quilt guild of friends who cheer me on.  A million thanks!  And a warm welcome to my new blog followers and a huge thanks to the quilters who took the time to post comments on Amy's blog about my work.  Those warm fuzzy feelings are giving me hot flashes.  Oh wait...  Maybe it's the 95 degree temps.
I've been busy turning my melons into circles.  I took the progress out to the yard so I could finally get pics that were true color.  I've had more than one comment (on-line and in person) about the color of the background being either purple or pink.  It's grey.  It's supposed to be inspired by Zuni turquoise jewlrey...turquoise and silver.  Fortunately, I started throwing these out on the lawn before I was finished piecing.  I realized that I'd totally messed up.  I should have been putting together center with 2 melons rather that center with 3 melons. Or to save what I've done, centers with single melons.  #*&#$@!!!

Excuse me while I sulk off to say more bad words and drink Pinot Noir.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WIPs on Wed - July 27

I'm still making melons.  And I likely will be for some time to come.  These are stacks of 10, and when I realize that's 900 pieces that I've sewn together it does feel like a lot more progress.  

I'm not sure how big the quilt will end up.  I lost track of the pieced strips at some point, but think that's about 1/2. 

Remind me again why I set myself up to make things that require tons of piecing. Ack.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


My big debate Friday was what project (of the millions I've started) that I should work on. 
I started tidying the sewing area while I decided and discovered 2 packets of donations for my wedding ring quilt that had been shuffled under other things. Some were darker or greener than others I'd used, but I was able to blend with pieces from the previous piecing process.  The ones on the left are the new strips and old ones on the right.  The dark ones will undoubtedly stand out...but I'll work on distributing them throughout the rings and hope for the best.
I did finish this block.  Or at least I thought so until I took the photo and realised I'm missing a couple short stems and an eyeball. 

I finally got to start prepping these flowers to go with the bird block.  It was the preview of this applique that got me interested in the QAL in the first place. 
Because I'm making changes to the design lay out, I decided it was in my best interest to use the freezer paper approach instead of my preferred back-basting.  It'll take me a while to get into the groove of this approach.  I threw these together just before I headed to bed...then remembered a couple tricks as I was dozing off that I need to go back and use before I start stitiching. 

Saturday was spent on a fund-raising motorcycle ride.  But I did manage to talk Harley Dude to leave a few minutes ahead of the group so we had time to stop at the fabric shop in Kuna.   I love it when I find gorgeous batiks that I don't yet own.

Today is supposed to be HOT, so it looks like a good day to be piecing at the machine that's by the air vent.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIP on Wed - July 20

Not much quilting time for me this week, just work, fun travel and a couple days under the weather.

Still slowly working on Esther's block using back basting.  A couple more evenings of TV and I should have this one done.

And I got sidetracked designing a beginners sampler quilt.  A couple of the lady riders from the motorcycle club were talking this weekend about taking a quilting class.  I told them that was a silly idea since I'd teach them.  I put together several blocks that look hard but are actually easy.  The missing 3 blocks will either be paper piecing, applique and curved piecing or 3 more 9-patch variations depending upon their confidence levels at that point.

Now I'm off to Work on Wed...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WIP on Wed

Well...I've got nothing. 

Ok, almost nothing.

All the bitching and moaning on Esther's Yahoo Group about the bird feet reminded me that I had failed to put the second bird foot on my block b/c I'd done a poor job of tracing the design, and I'm using back basting technique.  However, the new foot (on the left...uh...blurry...sorry) made the previous one look like there was some clinically significant edema requiring medical attention.

So, I pulled out some stitches and made the right foot skinnier.  Then stitched down all the bird body parts that got unstitched when I replaced the chartreuse beak and legs with yellow.

Most of my time this week was spent buying, blogging, and eating fruits and veggies.  We are having a month-long challenge at work to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies (2.5 cups) daily and exercise at least 30 minutes, 3 days per week. I threw down an additional challenge for who could eat the most different types and varieties.  My boss and I got into a serious competition and my variety list is over 60 for the week. Two of my fellow Registered Dietitians are even (believe it or not) more determined to win.  I'm averaging 7 servings per day.  And I should have scheduled a colonoscopy.  No prep needed...if you know what I mean. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekend Progress

Here's another strike against piecing....2 long days at the machine and all I have to show for it is one pile of melons and pieced ring sections.  On the brigher side, it's enough to complete about 20 circles.  On the down side, my original plan needed about double that.  Realizing that I don't have enough fabric in these shades of turquoise, I revised the plan down tto36 rings which is still kind-of iffy. 

I guess I'll just have to drown my sorrows in a jar of cherries.  I ended up with 2 variations.  The Martini Cherries sat in vodka for a week, then I put them in jars, covered with more vodka and processed to be shelf stable.  The Pirate Cherries are swimming in a combination of sugar & dark rum.   Yo-ho-ho!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

WIP on Wednesday - Drunken Cherries

Since it's Wed in Austrailia and I plan to be doing the same thing tomorrow after work, I decided to blog on my non-quilt activity for Work in Progress Wednesday now. 

We've had a very cold and late spring/summer in Idaho and my cherries are 3 weeks late.  We usually pick tomatoes, not cherries on the 4th of July. 

Yesterday, I posted on my Nutrition Facebook page : "I just picked a bushel of cherries from the tree in my back yard. What's your favorite thing to do with sweet cherries?"   I reported on the fate of the first half bushel on my Nutrition Blog.  But Jeri's advice to  "soak them in vodka and eat them" stuck with me all day.  So I stopped at the liquor store on the way home.

And I proceeded to work on getting a gallon-or-so of those cherries good and drunk. 
Mmmmm.  These are going to be really good in time for Christmas gift giving.

(If you live within a couple hundred miles of Boise, you might be able to win some of these yummies as part of a fruit & veggie challenge on the nutrition blog.  Some dried cherries are in the works for non-local winners since I've never found a satisfactory way to mail home-jarred food.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Life Events

For better or worse, I hit a new level of quilt gift giving.  One that I only fully appreciated when I was sneaking gift quilts into a funeral home.

Our friend who went missing while traveling across the state in March, was found in a shallow reservoir last week.  Although we all appreciate the closure of the funeral, we still desperately miss Grant.  On the Thursday before the Saturday funeral I found myself sending Kathy (the widow) the text message "How weird would it be for me to bring you and Alex quilts instead of flowers?  Would it be a welcoming hug to wrap up in, or a painful reminder?" Her reply "Sweet and more thoughtful." 

She and Alex can now wrap themselves in the Shop Hop Quilt and Blue Lemonade knowing that it's the only hug-on-demand I can manage from 300 miles away. 

Later the same day my quilt mentor, best friend, and also long and dear friend of Grant and Kathy made this post about quilts as hugs.  Please take the time to follow the link.  I think that many of us quilt for this very reason. 

I'm thinking that have Hug Quilts on hand may be a new requirement in my life.

We came home Sunday of the holiday weekend because of my teen's oh so important social lives.  I had just had my grandmother's sewing machine tuned up and decided to pull her out to do a piecing project.  I have never before understood why people felt obliged to name machines (I honestly have hated nearly every sewing machine I've met).
But now... well...I'm calling her Genevieve in honor of my g'ma.  She has one stitch.  "Forward".  There are two adjustments...the tension on the left and stitch length on the right.  The vibration was moving the stitch length downward, so I had to use some copper "safety wire" to manage the length. 

 Remember those turquoise fabric scraps I asked help with?  This is what they look like today.  Well...kind-of.  In good light, the blue is less green and the grey is more blue. 

I saw the groom-to-be at the funeral who pulled me aside to let me know he was now engaged.  PSHSHHH.  Yea, dude, I know....I've already started the quilt.  I'm a Mom.  We know everything.