Thursday, August 31, 2006

My dear MIL made it home safe to Iowa. Easy trip, no complications.

On the way home, driving from Anchorage, we saw the northern lights. We stopped and looked, and they were from one side of the sky to the other. They even turned the moutain into a silhouette. We watched in amazement for at least 20 minutes.

I made some maple leaf blocks today for a church project. I was happily sewing along and pressed and started sewing again. All of a sudden I realized, the previous sewn seams were gone! What??!! I was totally confused, checked for bobbin thread, checked the top thread. Yep, the threads were in the machine. Then I noticed that my iron had been turned up and as I was using polyester thread, it had melted! Poof! Gone. I have never had that happen before. So I changed thread, turned down the iron and re-pieced the pieces. What a day!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tomorrow we take my dear MIL back to the airport to fly home. We have had a good visit, played lots of gin rummy and cribbage (sp?) . I haven't been sewing much as I have been spending the time with her.

She mentioned the other day that she wanted to stop and buy a u shaped pillow for her neck on the airplane for the way home. Well, I just drew out a u shape and made her one. It seems kind of big, but she says it works great. Now she matches my wallhanging!

I am so excited about going to the quilt festival on Sept. 6 in Valdez, AK. I am taking a two day class from Judy Niemeyer and two classes from Billie Lauder . I have everything ready to go.

My kiddos go to school this week. I know they will have such fun. DD is in third grade and DS in Kindergarten. I will miss them tho. I suppose I will get lots of sewing done.

The rain has finally stopped and it has been nice for two days. The temp is about 50 during the day and tonight is supposed to be 29. A few nights ago, during a break in the clouds, we saw the northern lights. Very odd for August, usually we don't see them until Sept. And it is starting to get noticably dark at night, starting about 9:30. The fireweed has bloomed to the top, which signals the end of summer and is going to seed. And the leaves are starting to go yellow. Snow is predicted for Sept. 16 this year. I will keep you posted!

Friday, August 25, 2006


I am so tired of the rain.

It has been raining for THREE weeks, every day.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

This is a mini quilt I made for dd, 8 (today!) Those little flying geese are about an inch wide, and they were paper pieced. She uses this as a doll quilt.

So little quilting going on here. I wanted to hand quilt this morning but my fingers are sore from yesterday's quilting. So I did some needle point on this pillow front my grandma gave me (a UFO of hers!). Then my shoulders were hurting so I just stopped hand work.

Besides, I would rather visit with my MIL than hide in my sewing room. :)

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Look everyone! I have a picture! This is Josie, my DD's dolly and her new dress I made this week.

I have been working on small projects this week. I have made some more friendship stars (no gremlins around here this week), some nine patches for a swap, and matching pillow cases for MIL and me. It is a Michael Miller fabric called Disfunctional Family.

I finished the round robin for our church missionaries. My round is the last one. It will be hand quilted by ladies in our church (myself included).I left a lot of empty space for quilting designs. I added larger borders on top and bottom to make this top a rectangle. I made the flowers forget-me-nots, because the fabric in the center block is forget-me-not fabric. Looking at it now, maybe I should have just added the yellow because that ribbon border sure is nice. Too late now, anyway.

And tragedy this week. A wheel fell off my sewing chair! I will have to get a new one next week in town, as it was a garage sale chair to begin with.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not much quilting going on since MIL is here. But we are having a great time!

I did make a dress for my dd's dolly, but blogger has put it "out there" and not "in here". Maybe next time.

I am still quilting on the 1000 Pyramids. I have about a quarter of the queen size quilt done. But how many photos of quilted triangles do you need to see? :)

I am going to make some friendship stars today and nine patches for swaps.

Friday, August 11, 2006

My MIL is coming today for a visit! I just love her to pieces and she will be here with us for three weeks. She is traveling from Iowa to Anchorage, and then we will drive up the hiway past Mt. McKinley, and across the Denali Highway and then come back home. That will take all day tomorrow and hopefully we will see some animals, and maybe the mountain. Since it makes it's own weather, it is usually cloudy. And it is raining here today, but hopefully over the mountains it is sunny. This is my favorite picture of my DH, MIL and me, taken in 1994 just before we got married.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

This is another quilt I designed. I took 6 inch squares and sewed four patches and then used the ruler to cut them crooked. I sewed sashing and a strip border. It went together really fast and is twin size.

Remember that list from last week: let's see how I did.

Projects I just have to work on this week:
1. Finish quilt for Mom's friend, must be done by Aug. 11. DONE
2. Round robin, needs appliqued, already fused. Not done. :(
3. Put coffee quilt rows together. 2 Rows togehter
4. Make a test block for sunflower quilt. DONE
5. Hand quilt on 1000 Pyramids. Still quilting
6. Select fabric for Sept. class. Half-done
7. Make second set of valances. Made a pillow, forgot the valances
8. Christmas ornaments. Finished one
9. Whole cloth baby quilt. Quilted two bobbins worth
10. Friendship stars for swap, need about 50 more. Still on the list

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I don't follow patterns

Most of the time, I just make up my quilts. I have read enough patterns and followed directions enough to figure out how the shapes go together. So when I see a quilt I like or have an idea, I don't need to have exact directions to do the project. I like to make things using the size of the ruler, then I don't have to concentrate real hard on the measurements. Sometimes, I don't even use a quarter inch seam allowance. Since I pieced from strips mostly, it doesn't matter. Sometimes, my blocks turn out to be weird sizes, like 11 1/2 inches finished. But then I just make the borders to the measurements of the quilts, so the block size doesn't matter.

I don't really see how I have designed these quilts tho. These patterns have been around forever. Just because I didn't follow someone's written directions, I don't have the rights to these patterns. Why should I care if someone sees a quilt I have made and says, wow! I want to make one like that. But I do buy patterns in the quilt shops, to see how the quilts I like were made in the first place. Then I do my own thing, and my quilts are always different.

My DH says I quilt like I cook. He says I start with a recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken and end up with BBQ Beef. I don't think it is THAT bad! But I do put in what I like and take out what I don't, and add extras, and change things. My meals turn out great but not repeatable. But hey, that would make life boring. He says he doesn't know how my quilts turn out square when I break all the rules. I guess the thing is, to know which rules to break.

I made this pointy stars quilt this year. This was made from scraps from 1000 Pyramids. I made half rectangles with the scraps made the size of the ruler. Then I added squares to make the blocks. Strips for the sashing and more strips for the border. Length of strips in the borders didn't matter.
This little scrappy top, I also made without a pattern. I sewed strips together and then cut them into rectangles, the size of a ruler. Then I sewed three rectangles together, two horizontal and one verical. Then sewed the blocks together. It is hard to see the pattern because we usually look for squares not rectangles. Width of strips didn't matter.
A friend sent me a bunch of four patches. So I added to them from my stash to make these blocks. They were supposed to be the same as in a book, but when I went back to look at the book after the blocks were done, they were not the same. The block in the book did not have the center square. Oh well.
I made this spider web quilt to try out a new ruler. I put pink and purple together, light and dark. I sewed one light to one dark and cut out triangles(once again the size of the ruler). Then put them together, and added corners to make the blocks. I added the corner hst's just for fun.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Designing Quilts

Many of you asked in the last comments section if I designed the sunflower in that post. I don't know how to anwer that. Is it from someone else's pattern? no. Is it altered from a pattern in a book or something? no. Did I just make it up? I guess so. Let me explain.

I wanted to make sunflowers. First I had to decide if I wanted them arty or realistic. What colors did I want? What size block? Appliqued or pieced? I decided arty, pieced, and whatever size. So I started looking for sunflower inspiration. I looked thru books and magazines, and loose patterns that I have. I looked for sunflower material, but decided to make sunflowers with material, not material with sunflowers on it. So I bought some yellow, orange, brown and green. Since I like scrappy and not all matchy, I picked out some other material from my stash in those same colors. As I was looking thru a book there was a tree skirt made from strip pieced equilateral triangles. However, it was all green strips with black triangles to make diamonds. But as I was looking at that pattern, I though, sunflowers! So when I came home, I made some strips of brown, orange and yellow and cut them the size of my triangle ruler. Then I added green to make diamonds as diamonds are easy to put together like squares.

Then I played around in EQ5 to show the design to my friend. She LOVED it! Said it was PERFECT!

Do I usually do things this way? Yes. Do I ever follow patterns? Yes, about 30% of the time.

Green quilt: my inspiration from Home for the Holidays by Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith. Sunflowers: my quilt in EQ5.

So, did I design this quilt? I still don't know.