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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bloggers Choice Fat Quarter Bundle Competition!

Ok, I hope I can do this right..........

Quokka Quilts is hosting a Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle Competition together with the Fat Quarter Shop providing the prize!

If you are the winner you will receive a Half yard each of 15 fabrics of your choice which you have picked out as your favorite palette from the Fat Quarter Shop
I love a bohemian look and have chosen the following and posted them at Quokka Quilts 
 
1.   Bella Solids Fuchsia 9900-190
2.   Bella Solids Purple 9900-21
3.   Bella Solids Sienna 9900-194
4.   Royal Gardens Wisteria&Gold Tiny Florals J8628-229G
5.   Royal Gardens Cream&Gold Diagonal Fans J8627-33G
6.   Royal Gardens Wisteria&Gold Ribbon Florals J8626-229G
7.   Cactus Garden Batiks Cactus Allover Berries IB53-A3
8.   Bohemian Soul Plum Lace LAE-1307
9.   Bohemian Soul Terra Tribal BOH-506
10. Bohemian Soul Ocher Destiny Road BOH-607
11. Bohemian Soul Night Rhapsody BOH-603
12. Bohemian Soul Hay Endless Dream BOH-502
13. Bohemian Soul Dark Mystic BOH-600
14. Bohemian Soul Green Caravan BOH-504
15  Bespoken-Orchid Jacquard BE-7102

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let's have more champagne!

I am still practicing with paper piecing so I decided to give the champagne glass another try and voila!........it is much straighter than the first!  Here is my second champagne glass flag:  the bubble applique was made with a fabric with little stars in it which was a little too much like the background so I used a dark blue to applique with.  I used a multi-colored thread that I found at a little quilt store here in El Paso for the quilting.  I really like the way that thread looks.........I am still practicing my freehand quilting and I do well for awhile then it sort of gets away from me but as "they" say.........from an airplane it looks great!
I am going to take a day off from quilting to wrap a few gifts and BTW....Irene you can have one of the Champagne glasses .....I'll trade it for the Turkey you made...LOL....take your pick!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Year's Flag done!

My sister, Irene, who you may infer from the title of my blog has always seemed to be the one who "gently" pulls me (kicking and screaming?) into doing many things....lol......last month she brought me the most darling turkey wall flag hanging on a little wire hanger and said, "now you have a hanger to put a different flag on at each season!"......I said, "Oh cool!  When are you going to make me the Christmas one??", to which she rolled her eyes and informed me that from here on out it is up to me to make each flag.......here is the turkey hanging.......Those of you who follow her at Hilachas may have already seen it but I think it calls for reposting...it is so cute!
Well, anyway, I am so busy with the Christmas season that Mr. Turkey is standing in for Santa Claus this year but I found a fabulous paper-pieced pattern for a glass of champagne designed by Susan Druding at equilters.com/
I am new to paper piecing so I have been trying to practice and here is my New Year's Flag...the glass is a little crooked but I decided probably this was already the 4th or 5th glass for the drinker so he was a little tipsy? Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.......
I've seen many bloggers talk about New Year's quilting resolutions so maybe this should be one of mine; to create new seasonals flag to hang in 2012.  (Notice I'm not saying "monthly"....hahaha......
I leave you today with this inspirational quote I received today:

"Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement."    - Henry Ford


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Block Party House Block Finished!

My entry for Love, Laugh, Quilt's annual Block Party is done!  It is my first attempt at paper piecing......I found the pattern at Paper Panache.com and they also have a wonderful tutorial on paper piecing but I also found a fabulous tutorial at quilterscache.com and between the two I sort of got the hang of it........I only sewed a couple of pieces backwards and I learned that one should probably pull the paper out as you go instead of waiting til the end.  I finally was able to get the remainder of the paper out by washing my block.
Anyway here is my block and I am also including the links to the web sites I mentioned.........happy paper piecing everyone!  Oh...by the way......those are ducks flying over the house not reindeer...LOL.......

http://lovelaughquilt.blogspot.com/

http://www.paperpanache.com

http://www.quilterscache.com/StartQuiltingPages/startquiltingthree.html

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Decorations, WIP's, and UFO's......

So I messed up and finished one of my works in progress so it can't be a UFO anymore....LOL.... Here is the baby blanket for a friend I made using the Take5 pattern....pretty fast pattern....It is all cotton flannel except for the cotton chennile I used.  The brown flannel is not really as dark as it looks in the photo....

I got my Christmas tree up, my Christmas town, and Fireplace mantel decorated and finished a couple of fleece throws tied for my Grandsons....
More of my "instant gratification" crafting....I made a 45"x45" Tow-Mater throw for my little guy who is not yet a year old:
...and a larger (heavier too) race-car motif throw for my nearly 5 year old "big boy" grandson:
I would like to mention a couple of great giveaways:  Hilachas has an After Thanksgiving Giveaway with great stuff from the Fat Quarter Shop and at Linsnaweary Quilts, an opportunity to win a Go Baby Cutter....just click on the logos below:
                                Hilachas                        

Friday, November 18, 2011

Craziness..........

"Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door."                                                                                             - Kyle Chandler

What a beautiful day here in El Paso, Texas.  I love the fall here! It is close to 70 degrees during the day and I don't think we have had a freeze yet....I am going to begin adding an inspiring quote which I receive every morning to my blog in the hopes that someone will appreciate them as I do......... 
Ok, back to the craziness......... I am beginning a new project.........I have been feeling inadequate as a quilter because I had very few (if any) unfinished objects (UFO's).  Am I unclear on the concept of quilting?? LOL
 So anyway,  I am beginning a crazy quilt and I have finished 3 blocks!  Knowing me the way I do though, I have a feeling I won't be able to stop til it's done.  Here are my first 3 blocks:


And as Pooh says :TTFN!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beauty Shop Update

Ok I am back home and even though I ran out of time and the tie-dye workshop was cancelled, I still was able to get the beauty shop time in with my kids.......My son's sweet wife (she is my only daughter) was ready for "the shortest my hair has ever been" haircut so we did some chopping and here are the results:

 Although I have not been working in the field since I started taking x-rays, I still keep my Texas Cosmetologist License in force and thanks to my family I can still keep in practice.  My youngest grandson, Chase, got his very first haircut and anyone who was ready got a trim while I was visiting.

Since getting back home I have been trying to start my crazy quilt.  As in most projects, the hardest thing for me is just getting started.  I did get several squares of batting cut and now I am going to cut some muslin squares for backing and hopefully I can get at least one done today.
I would also love to get some Christmas projects done this year but that remains to be seen........
For now can you check out these two goblins I ran into while visiting the kids:



Sunday, October 30, 2011

More on Computers and Quilting...and a little on tie-dyeing!

Ok first of all.........my computer is fixed!  And not without the help of my computer genius son.......(now doesn't that sound like a Mama talking?)........After picking up the motherboard and "dropping" it in to the computer.........it was such an easy job!  No soldering or much plugging in of cards or boards.......I pushed the "on" button and TADA!    Nothing.  Zilch. Nada...............I was so disappointed!  So I texted my son, Patrick, and got a promise that he would drop by to "take a look".   As soon as he took that look and clicked a couple of buttons it was up and running!  Guess the on button was stuck or something or, as I believe, "he just has that magic touch because he's my son" LOL........(there goes Mama again)...........so there is a little problem with one of the memory modules and once I get that replaced it is just like a new computer!  Yay!!!  Here it is next to my other laptop and it is charging away like it oughta be!

Ok now to the quilting part:      
I am now haunting all the second hand stores for quilting books and I found some really cool ones at Half-Price books.........two of them have CD or DVD disks so I can fire up my computer and see what my quilt pattern will look like.......(I hope, anyway.........we shall see).......One is a flannel quilting book, another has pinwheel quilts, which sounds interesting, and  another is a fat quarter quilting book.  I can hardly wait to start!



And last but not least..........the Tie dyeing...........Today I am still on vacation visiting my kids and we are going to tie dye some t-shirts and I am also going to play beauty shop and do some hair cutting and hi-lighting.........will post pictures next time!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Drunk:30

Back again and getting ready to go to work........I work at our area's only Level One trauma center.....weekend graveyard, no less.  Everything is realtively quiet most weekend nights.......just routine x-rays that keep us steadily busy until around 3:00 AM (or "Drunk:30") hits and we get the car accidents and assaults from the bars that have just closed.  When we get a trauma come in, everything changes and we must drop everything and go take care of that.  The level of care there is wonderful, our hospital has saved countless lives and my work crew is also wonderful......a crew of professionals when they need to be and really fit that old saying, "you don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!"  So as I get ready to go to work just wanted to say, Here's to you, UMC......proud to be a part of all the good work you all do everyday.....24 hrs and day.....7 days a week.....365 days a year!  Special thanks to Toots, KAR54, and PamCakes!
...........And while I'm here........I found out the perfect fix to Irene's little Sunbonnet Girl Mug Rug.........I didn't even have to iron it!  I just cropped the photo file!  LOL!!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Computers and Mug Rugs and Rag quilts, Oh My!

This week I decided to work on the "not so dead" computer that my sis gave me.......it is exactly like the laptop I already have except for one small difference:  The power plug won't charge the battery nor will it power up from the wall.  So I decided to get online and get some tips on how to replace the plug, which was only $19.95 online.  After taking the computer apart with the Dell instructions and removing the motherboard from the housing.......I stumbled upon a deal on eBay which was a brand new replacement motherboard already in the housing which I merely have to drop in for $34.95!!  So here I sit with computer parts left and right and I didn't have to do any of it!


So I gathered all the computer parts and set them aside and decided to quilt instead!  (I will pick up the new motherboard when I visit my kids next week and install it there)
Now here is my quicky little project........and I wish I could have kept it a secret but I'm not very good with secrets, so Irene.........here is your new Sun Bonnet Girl Mug Rug......my very first mug rug!  I looks a little crooked at the lower left side but maybe we can iron it???
So now I have to get ready to go to work so that's it for now........Oh Wait!  I nearly forgot the Rag quilt part of this post:  I picked up a pattern on rag quilting...the quilt as you go kind and I also picked up a few neat quilting books at the second hand store today.  Hopefully I can start the rag quilt next week..... wish me luck!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bless Us Oh Lord...............

Finished with the banner for my Grandson!  Tada!  I am really pleased with the colors, which is good since I spent so much time going back and forth to the fabric store trying to decide on what to use.  In the end I essentially threw up my hands and said, "What the heck......if I don't start the darn thing I will spend more time trying to decide on a plan and it will never get done"..........so here it is......I am not thrilled with my quilting expertise but, as they say........."from an airplane no one will know the difference, and anyway, only God is perfect".  So without further ado......(drum roll please).....here it is!


Nana always brings "surprises" when she comes to visit but usually in the way of toys or games.  My grandson will graciously accept this offering and tell me, "Nana, you're the best".........but I'm sure that will be followed by, "Do you have any more surprises???"  My hope is that when he has his own home he will remember this little gift from his Nana and do like his Dad did and teach him this little prayer............

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Free! Free At Last!

I think even Martin Luther King would be happy because after many hours of un-doing, my Americana tablecloth backing is free at last!  Amazing how much quicker I can get into trouble than out!  So now I am ready to begin the quilting once again.  I decided, however to pretend to be like the seasoned quilter and go to another project so I can have an official "UFO".  (I feel so grown up!)
My next project is a banner for my Grandson.  At age 4, he has learned the prayer at meal-times so he now recites it at all our family gatherings.  I ran across a stamped linen piece at a garage sale and took it off the wooden planks it was glued to so I could quilt it for him.  I think it will be a nice addition to their dining room.  One of my biggest problems when deciding on a project is just that:  Deciding on a project.  I have pored over books and magazines to get ideas for the perfect border and bought numerous fabric pieces and I am tired so I am just going to do it.  Here is my next project:
Today while enjoying the El Paso autumn, I tried to get a photo of a Monarch butterfly for you but my batteries in my camera were dead, and of course, after the batteries were charged, the butterfly was gone.  I did, however, get some shots of my glorious Cosmos:
Until next time.....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Of Stipling, Meandering, Scavenger hunting, and just plain getting lost.......

Well here we go...........I have put together my Americana tablecloth and begun the quilting part......The first block was done definitely NOT by the Stipling method, nor, I fear the Meandering method for neither of those allows the quilter to go back over a previous stitch.  I thought maybe I would invent my own method and call it the Scavenger method because I have gone over the same places again and picked up several surprises along the way.   I am posting two photos.  The first shows the backing I decided to use for my tablecloth.  It is the same fabric I used in the center squares.  I have to argue with myself quite often because I have a tendency to want to "save" fabric so I end up with pieces of fabric with nice patterns that are sitting on the shelf.  I made myself put away the white backing I had planned to use in favor of the one I used for the center squares and I love it! 


 When I am done with the quilting I plan to turn bind the edges with the backing.
"Oh", you may ask.........."how come the backing isn't showing on that bottom left edge?"
That's where the "Just plain getting lost" part comes in...........When I quilted the first block, my machine was still on the countertop and I did that one standing up..........it was slow and not that comfortable so I picked up the jigsaw puzzle off the table and decided to do the rest of the quilting sitting down.......it was much faster that way!!  Unfortunately I didn't notice that the backing was folded underneath so all the quilting I did on the second square (yes, pretty much all of it) now has to be removed because I quilted the folded backing in with it!.........is that what "they" mean when they say "back to square 1"?????????????  Anyway..........before I get my seam ripper refueled........here is a photo of the two quilted squares I did today.........

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On a roll.................

Ok I have to keep it going now that I decided to devote time to my blog again..........I worked last night and now home and trying to stay awake as long as I can because once I go to sleep that's all she wrote until tomorrow..........(I work graveyards on Fridays and Saturdays)............
So I've decided on the border for my patriotic tablecloth.........OK that is a really dumb name for it so from now on it is going to be named my "Americana Tablecloth"......(I already feel much better).....I still have more of Ruth's blocks so I am going to alternate them so it looks like my finished top is placed a half turn over a large square made of those blocks.....it will also give the table cloth edge a diamond shaped scallop. 
Here is a photo of the blocks I've placed more or less in the position I will sew them:
  I also cleared off the table in my sewing room so I can begin keeping a jigsaw puzzle to work on in an effort to help ward off Mr. Dementia and his friend, Mr. Alzeimers.......hmmmmmm I wish I could remember what I was planning to blog about...........

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Feathering My Empty Nest............

Ok it has been over 6 months since my last entry and since then I have completed my Sewing/Craft/Exercise....etc room!  I promise I will try to be a more focused blogger from now on.
As I mentioned before, my new "playroom" once served as bedroom for two of my sons when they lived at home.  First it was Patrick's room and then Josh's when Patrick moved out. This past week I finally finished putting pictures on the walls and new coverings for my storage area and actually began sewing again!  Here are some photos of my Feathered Empty Nest;  I may never need to step foot back into the other parts of my house anymore!







My current project is an attempt to save and utilize some 9-patch blocks I inherited from my Mother-in-law who passed away this year.  I think it was a project started by her and her own Mother.  The colors are somewhat patriotic-looking and halfway through piecing the blocks together I decided to stop after 9 blocks and make it into a tablecloth for myself instead.  I felt this was something I would really use instead of having it put away in a closet.  Some of my other quilting plans are to finally start a crazy quilt and a scrap quilt........maybe I will combine the two??  I have to confess that I wrestle with "Instant Gratification Syndrome".......for some reason I just can't seem to work on a quilt project for very long before having to see it completed........I long to be one of those quilters who complains about having several ongoing projects that are never finished.........or maybe it is just that most of my quilt projects have been done with deadlines to meet......(have it done by Christmas, etc).......I feel like I am beginning to babble now........
Anyway...........here is a photo of the resurrected 9-patch blocks from my Mother-in-law.  Hers are the red and  blue patchwork blocks, I added the 4 dark blue 9-patch.blocks and the middle block......I think I will add a scalloped border to complete the tablecloth......what do you think?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

JUST SAY NO!!

I am at the computer, having restricted myself from working on the sewing room until I finish a presentation I have due on March 19th.  If you knew that I was a master procrastinator, you might ask, "Why are you starting the presentation so early when you could start it on the 18th??"  And I might answer that I have a grandchild due this month and I have to keep my calendar open so that I can fly to see him at a moments notice.......This is the 4th presentation I have made to the Rio Grand Imaging Society and the 4th time I have been unable to say "No" when they ask me to present again.  This is the same group who gave me a scholarship when I was a student so you see why it is hard for me to say that little word.  Not only that but when the research is done and presented, I believe I'm the one who gets the most from it.....
So now I must "Just say No" to the urge to go back to the sewing room project. (I did manage to get one more day with the project though........I told myself I had to start working on the presentation yesterday...and then I told myself I had to start working on the presentation by noon today.......it is 12:48 and I am blogging instead.........)
So now all the excuses have run out and I must get to it..........but here is a photo of my first project in the yet unfinished sewing room.....shortening the curtains for the window........
Well if you'll excuse me now.......I have a date with PowerPoint..............

Friday, February 25, 2011

Of Empty Nests and Sewing Rooms.....

I have 3 sons and 2 of them lived in this house while they were growing up.  Patrick painted one wall in his room black and mounted a blacklight to the wall to reflect his posters.  When Patrick moved out, Josh moved into the room (the wall stayed black). At some point, numerous fluorescent stars appeared on the ceiling and after the lights went out it looked glorious....almost like you were out under the real stars!  I used to tease Josh and tell him when he left I was going to move my sewing machine into the room and it would become my sewing/crafting getaway.  He moved out 3 years ago and I went into his room and cried.......
Well now after using the room as a catch-all junk room for 3 years I have finally begun the transformation.........the black wall has become history, as have the glittering stars.........Ida's sewing/craft getaway is nearly finished...and the bookshelf on my last post is a new addition to the room.  I spoke to Josh today and told him the black wall was gone and he said, "you mean my skate park sign is gone?"  He also told me excitedly that he had been wanting to buy a basketball goal and lo and behold on his way home yesterday he saw one on the side of the road that someone had apparently lost out of the back of their vehicle.......He pondered on whether to drive on or turn around at the next exit.......He finally decided to check it out and found that it needs a little repair but nothing major.........I told you the "dumpster diving" was hereditary......

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dumpster Diving and other Confessions.......

First the disclaimer:    I think it's genetic and I got it from my Dad......and second, I'm trying to quit............
But anyway.......I was at the dumpster awhile back and someone had thrown away these perfectly good pieces of laminated oak 5/8 inch particle board that used to be a large component cabinet.......and although I knew I shouldn't because my garage was FINALLY clean....I dragged them home thinking I could use them to make some nice work table tops in my craft room.   Well they cluttered my garage for about 6 months......Oh yeah, the other confessions.......I went for a ride with my Dad one day and we came home with a "treasure" of 12 dead cow skulls!  As we unloaded them at his house he turned and said, "Don't tell your Mother".......Daddy made acrylic horns for the skulls and painted Indian and Western scenes and brought them out one by one as he finished with them.....what incredible artwork he created!
......but I digress.........here is what I finally made out of my dumpster find......it's all ready to load up with my Craft magazines and quilting books!



I also want to mention a wonderful quilting giveaway from Jaybird Quilts:
The Fabric Quarter is going to give you this yummy bundle!!
It's a half yard bundle of Magnolia Lane from Michael Miller with a few companion fabrics... totaling 7 half yards of fabric! Click on the link below:



http://giveaways.jaybirdquilts.com/

We Begin.........


Well as you may infer from my title........I am starting this blog because my sister made me do it.......She and I have been quilting for many years, having been taught by our Mother and Grandmother.  I belong to the IGQA ("instant gratification" quilters association), of which I must be President........most of the quilts I have made have been finished rapidly because I have been on a deadline to get them finished.  I can't boast a long list of accomplishments like my Sis but I have made a quilt for each of my Sons and several baby quilts as gifts.  For now I only have a photo of the most recent quilt I made as a Christmas gift for my youngest son this year so I shall post it and look for more "evidence" that I can be labeled a "Quilter".........
The Gray Kitties in the center block represent our Tinkerbell and the Gold Kitties are our Lucy, who is no longer with us....