Monday, December 28, 2009

Playstation 3 and the Rock Band Beatles

We had a concert in our living room on Christmas Day. It was loud and so much fun. We bought the game Rock Band for our grand-children for Christmas. My son, Jacob and his family came up for Christmas dinner.

While the rib roast baked, we cranked up the PS3. Jacob was on guitar, his son Hunter (the other redhead), was on drums and our 4-year old firecracker, Gavin was on vocals. I wanted to raise my arms and sway with the music. I was a sophomore in high school when the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show. 45 years later, they still sounded pretty good in my living room.

I have finally caught my breathe

The Christmas quilting rush was both exhausting for me and invigorating for my checking account. My November bottom line was bigger than all of 2006. December was good, too, but mostly because I finished all my quilts by the customer's deadlines.

Monday, December 07, 2009

No birds today...

It's been raining for a few hours. We need the rain but I miss the birds that visit
outside my studio window. Gray as far as the eye can see. Well, we need the rain.

Spinning Stars

Another baby quilt. I used Anne Bright's Sleepy Time panto.

Paisleys with Pizazz

Take a look at this. I love this pattern. It is from Sweet Dreams and is called Elegant Paisleys. I used Quilter's Dream wool and made the pattern 15 inches so that it was not too crowded. I love the way it turned out. I would like to also have this pattern in a simple form, without the inner stitching in the paisleys.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Yup. I thought that it was probably bronchitis so I just pretended that it would go away. It is a stupid game that I play with my lungs. Then when I finally decided that I might need to see a doctor, the earliest appointment was days away. This is a small town and I used to be able to call in and get an appointment today, tomorrow at the latest. Hmm, of course, that was when they were open til 6 pm and on Saturdays. So Friday morning I lucked out and got an appointment.

Yeah, so by the time I got in, the doctor said that I had bronchitis ( I called it), but that in 2 days time, I would have pneumonia. Ah, ha, a fortune teller. How about hooking me up with the lottery numbers, doc. So I had to drive 23 miles to the nearest x-ray facility and then wait until Monday to get hear from the doctor. He went ahead and loaded me up with an antibiotic, prednisone (grrr) and tamiflu just in case I needed it, (huh?)

Then on Monday, he called (to gloat) and said that I had pneumonia in my right lung and to rest, drink plenty of liquids, yada, yada. Hey, this is the height of the Christmas quilting season in case you have not heard. It is decidedly hard to quilt while coughing up a lung. So rest I did, for almost a week. What a backlog.

I'm on the mend and still have 8 quilts to go before Christmas, well, December 15th. I'll make it, God willing.

Sara's Cut-Up 9-patch

This is the sweetest quilt. Maybe it is the lights that make it seem so bright and cheerful. Sara chose a floral digitized pattern named SSEZPZ001.

Cappucino Twist and Turn

I love those Bali Pop 2.5 inch strips with coordinated fabrics. This one is full of rich browns, blacks and tonal beiges and tans. Sue used a twist and turn pattern to form the blocks. The border is also batik.

I used the Aramis digitized pattern from Kim Diamond's Sweet Dreams web-site. I decided to use Super King Tut Cobra thread which has black, tan, brown and copper in it. I am very happy with the results.

Christi's One Block Wonder

These OBW quilts always amaze me. The fabric is chopped up, re-assembled into kaliedoscope fashion and then painstakingly reassembled to form a flowing river of colors that look nothing like the fabric from which it is constructed.

Christi made this one for her grandson. It is mostly blues with some pink and greens. I used 3 different blues on the top to direct the eye across the quilt. The pink parts had a light blue plus pink Super King Tut and a So Fine pink thread. I did continuous curves as I really did not want to detract from the beauty of the fabric. I initially tried using my IQ to do the CC but I was not happy with how it sometimes did not hit the mark that I wanted. The border is an IQ pattern named Circle in a Circle.

Kathy's Faeries Quilt

This faeries fabric is very popular this year. I must have done 3 or 4 quilts with this fabric in it. Swag borders, leaves in the sashing and outlined the faeries.

Disney Embroidered Quilt

Debbie made this quilt for a friend of a friend. The blocks are all machine embroidered Disney characters. Debbie surrounded these blocks with blue fabric sprinkled with stars and dots.

Liz's Summer Greets Autumn

Chenille is the best snuggling fabric.

Lover's Knot Christmas

Sharna made this quilt from the most wonderful Christmas fabric. It was a joy to quilt since it was flat, square and well-pieced. I used Superior So Fine Straw thread. I used digitized pattern Holly Bows and Holly Swags.

12 Days of Christmas

This is a pattern by Micky Swall. It is applique done with the Pearl Periera freezer paper method. I finished it back in December but was too busy to take close-up photos. I got several ideas for the background fill from my guild president, Friendship Quilters of San Diego.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Brenda's Snapshot Quilt

This is Brenda's quilt from the birthday party tath she hosted at the Crazy 9 Patch. We all had different fabrics. Mine were fall leaves. Brenda's were the beautiful black and gold reindeers. I used the digitized pattern Holly Bows with Rheingold thread.

Lori's Monsters Quilt

This grandmother really put on her thinking cap to make this darling quilt based on the movie Monsters, Inc. She crafted some monsters with big smiles, extra eyes and plaid bellies and placed them in blocks. She wanted the monsters to stay secured and a bit puffy. I used Quilter's Dream Puff batting.

She decided to use Anne Bright's digitized pattern named Monsters. It was perfect for this quilt. She did not want the pattern to march across the monsters, though. So I listened to Linda Lawson's 3-part IQ video on how to use IQ's No-Sew block to mask out areas and still use a panto behind the masked area. It does jump-stitches oaver the masked out areas. So cool. This technique will work really well with applique as well.

Lori and I disagreed on the color of thread to use. I thought that lime green would be a good choice but Lori wanted orange. She really wanted the monster panto to show plus she was planning to use orange plaid binding. I convinced her to use the lime green. Then I quilted it, well, about 8 inches on the panto (very tight) and it was almost invisible on the quilt top. Crap!. 2 hours of unquilting later and I decided that Rheingold bright orange was a better chioce. It turned out adorable.

Carleen's kingsize Alternating 9-Patch

105 x 107, this quilt is big. Carleen wanted it to be puffy. So I chose Quilter's Dream Puff and a big digitized pattern to keep it open. I chose Intelligent Quilting's Whoopsy Daisy. I love the way this pattern lines up so cleanly. I found a King Tut thread with all blues and the hint of pink that this quilt has. Lapis Lazuli is just yummy on this quilt and So Fine Your Highness in the bobbin.

Naomi's Cut-Up 9-Patch

We did this quilt pattern in the Ramona night class. Naomi wanted either hearts or roses for this quilt. Lots of blues and purples. I chose Georgette Dell'Orco's design called Heart Flowing of Quilter's Niche.

Muted Jewels for Leane

This is Leane's second quilt. It was flat and square and a dream to quilt. I think she did a great job on this quilt. I used Intelligent Quilting's Whoopsy Daisy digitized design. The pieced outer border is a freehand design that I learned from Carla Barrett called circle-hook-fern. It is a graceful pattern that looks great in 2 inch borders or sashings.

Mary's Batik Leaves with Seminole Border

Mary wanted a snuggle quilt for her mountain cabin. She used fall-colored batiks with a lovely seminole border on the top and soft green flannel on the back. She decided that she wanted to use wool batting. The pattern that she chose was the digitized pattern named All Leaves from Legacy Quilting.

I used Superior So Fine #447 Ivy on the top and bobbin.

Kathy's Black and White

Kathy made this fun quilt out of black and white prints. Lots of straight lines. She decided that she liked the bubble meander digitized pattern for this one. Then I did feathers in the borders with some really cool spines patterns that I downloaded from CompuQuilter. I think the designer is Joann Hoffman.

It turned out great except for the white batting poking thru the back at every needle hole. OMG, what is that about. I flipped out. Did I mount it upside down? Did Kathy wash the batting and that is why it is so fluffy? I went to my online quilting experts on Machine Quilter's Resource web-site. I posted the photo of the back and asked for help. The pattern is so tight, that it would take me days to pull out the quilting. I got
some reassurances plus some great advice.

Wilma C of Christian Lane Quilters has seen it all. She runs a quilt shop which just happens to specialize in wide backs, whole clothes and much more. Wilma told me that the cotton fibers are curly and that the first time that Kathy washes the quilt, the batting pokey would snap off and the hole would close so that there would be no more batting migration. Thanks, Wilma.

And that is exactly what I told Kathy. I don't know if she or I was more reassured by Wilma's words.

Marilynn's BOM Seminole Shop Sample

The Crazy 9 Patch is our local quilt shop. Every year, Martha, the owner of C9P, runs a Block of the Month (BOM) promotion so that quilters can buy a block pattern and the fabric for the month. They collect and piece these block patterns all year and then add some borders and have a lovely quilt. Martha hosts a BOM Extravaganza in February, complete with good things to eat, and everybody brings their personal BOM creations. It is always a fun event here in town.

This year, the BOM block pattern is a seminole borders. Say waht? A quilt of borders, did I say that right? Yup. So she asked her shop clerks, Kimmie, Marilynn and Debbie to put together their quilts to provide inspiration to the other folks in town. What a diverse collection of quilts we will have in February if Debbie's and Marilynn's quilts are an indication of what is to come.

This one is Marilynn's quilt. It is very traditional with a floral panel medallion. And lots of fairy frost. I used about 10 different thread colors and several digitized designs. I did a lot of thread play in the medallion on this one.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Studio Open House

Welcome to my studio. This room (30 x 14) is made for a longarm quilting machine. I can get to it from the hallway in my house but it also has a separate french door entrance. Lots of light from 4 double-stack windows. There are loads of storage cabinets, a wet bar with fridge, and fireplace. Plus it has a wonderful view of the foothills. I love it.

I have been getting my studio set up for a while, filtering things out, giving away and selling items that I no longer use. I hung up my favorite things on the walls. I have a white board for testing designs and a blackboard for notes. I figured that I better get a snapshot of what it looks like before I messed it up again. And as I looked at it, I thought about how I have been blessed to find this place, move past some medical issues and retire to quilt for folks. God is good.

I also have a corner set up with my sewing table for my Juki and Bernina. I still have so many stencils; those are probably going to go away when I need that wall space. Most of my thread is out where I and my clients can see it. Many of the cones are covered with those glassine bags from Superior Threads to keep the dust away, especially above my machine and under the ceiling fan.

I am not too concerned about the sun hitting the thread since it is several feet away from the windows and the blinds are all drawn unless I am actually working in there. I have a bank of overhead lights above the machine. I actually had to raise that light bar about 6 inches in order to accomodate the IQ which sits on top of my Gammill Optimum Plus.

Don't even try to find my cutting or ironing stations in this studio. Nope. I wanted an enormous cutting/ironing surface 4 x 8 feet with side baskets to hold water spray, snips, etc. It is still under construction. This table will have long legs, no bending or backaches. And storage, from both sides of the table. Yup, my ironing/cutting station is in the garage. Climate controlled? Nope. Well, we can't have everything.

I decided to invite some of my friends from church, night quilting class, and just folks that I have quilted for in the past. "Come see my new digs." We brewed up some fresh coffee and served New York cheesecake. There were also some nice "parting gifts" that I snapped up from Brewer Sewing company. Nobody went home empty-handed.

I had my machine set up with a big practice piece so everybody could take a drive on it. We also selected some digitized patterns from my IQ and played with the size, scale, etc and stitched them out on black dimples fabric with some yummy Super King Tut threads (De Nile first and then Berry Patch). I didn't get a snap of all my visitors. Say hello to Rickie, Vicki and daughter Danielle, Marleen and Sharna, Connie and Dottie, Diane and Leane, Vicki and Danielle, Brenda and Debbie.

It was great fun.

I might have to do this every year.

My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

About Me

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks