Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Quilting Tornado

Somewhere along the line one of my local guild members referred to me as a "quilting tornado", either indicating that I get a lot done or that my work is a disaster..not sure which! The former is certainly not the case in recent months.

Last year our guild challenge was to create a new personality block. When I joined the guild in 2004 everyone used the pattern below to create their block. These are held by the guild and shown at the monthly meeting during your birthday month. They are also displayed at our annual quilt show and always seem to be a crowd favorite.

This was my first block. I attempted to show my various interests of crocheting, gardening, baking and of course quilting.

For last year's challenge our guild was generously given permission from Amy Bradley to use her Quilter's Yearbook patterns.

I had more than a little difficulty getting inspired since I'm really not a very creative or original person. All I could think of was being called a "tornado" this is what I came up with first. I drew my own pattern, rather than using one of Amy's heads. It did look like me..almost too much since everyone else was making caricatures of themselves. And the "tornado" of quilts coming out of my head blended into the background fabric too much. I wasn't happy with it, though now it hangs on my sewing room wall and doesn't look too bad.

For my second attempt I used a less busy background. This time I used one of Amy's head templates more or less. After it was done I decided I looked distinctly Oriental. What do you think? At any rate I ran out of time and this was the one I turned in.

This is the display of personality blocks at last year's quilt show. I wish more members had elected to make one. They really were a hoot, don't you agree?

Yesterday was not very productive, quilting wise anyway. I spent most of the afternoon doing our tax returns. Now if one final tax form would arrive in today's mail (as it's supposed to by law) then I can e-file and be done with that for another year.
Last night I finished two more Dutch Treat blocks.

Nine Patch

Time Warp
Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Artfull Bras

A fellow quilter sent me a link to this page this morning. Check it's such a worthwhile cause and the talent and ingenuity is astounding. Be sure to click on the link to page two at the bottom of the first page.


Members of Quilters of South Carolina have created one-of-a-kind bras for Breast Cancer Awareness. The exhibit consists of forty-nine original works of art which are unique, entertaining, humorous, and beautiful to make the public aware of breast cancer, to memorialize those lost to the disease, and to honor survivors.

This exhibit will tour SC until Oct '09 at which time individual Artfull Bras will be auctioned and the proceeds donated to the Best Chance Network, a program to provide care and treatment of uninsured women across the state who are diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day

It ended up being a snow day for Tom after all. This afternoon the snow started coming down pretty heavily. I stuck my head out the front door trying to capture the snow falling, but it doesn't really show up. By now a lot more has fallen. Schools are already cancelled for tomorrow. We'll have to see if Tom's work is cancelled or not in the morning.

So this isn't snow by Iowa standards, but it's more than I've come to want, especially when it comes on top of ice.

I was asked for a picture of the fabric I started with for my Stack 'n Whack. Here it is. Pretty "kaleidoscopy" looking to start with. I found it at Wal-mart and the price was right to try my first SNW.
I finished the last of 25 blocks. I think I'm going to set them on point like this. Still have to cut the setting and corner triangles of course.

And have to decide about borders. I have enough of the focus fabric but wonder if that wouldn't be a bit much? Gotta let it percolate in my head over night.

And now it's time for American Idol.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Definitely Out of Character

We're definitely getting ice. It was icy by the time Tom drove home and it continues to get worse. We're experiencing what they say is round two of three lines of freezing rain/sleet/snow. It sounds like we'll just get the ice part. The poor folks in Oklahoma are really getting smacked and there have been lots of accidents, including a couple of deaths already. It was a relief to hear my son, his wife, and grandkids over in Missouri all got home safely. I'm hoping the police officer granddaughter isn't working tonight.

So what's out of character....that would be the BRIGHT colors of this stack 'n whack I worked on this afternoon. Definitely doesn't have the "Mary" look at all. But it's kind of fun. It will be a very large top as I have 11 more blocks to make, plus borders.

Only one Dutch Treat completed tonight. It's called Clowns. I have no idea why. Is suppose you could see clown mouths..but I see tulips.

Hope everyone in the area affected by this winter storm stays safe and warm. Don't go out unless you absolutely have to.

Monday, Monday

So far the predicted ice and sleet has stayed south of us. The weather alerts talk of another band moving through this afternoon. While I don't wish dangerous weather on anyone, I hope that if it materializes it also stays south of us since Tom has 40 miles to drive home from work this afternoon.

Two more Dutch Treat blocks completed last night.


Flower Tag

As if I don't have enough irons in the fire I cut out pieces for a Stack 'n Whack last night. Think maybe I should finish piecing my One Block Wonder first? Or any of the other projects I've already got going? But I saw the fabric, had to buy it and try some blocks. It's all Tom's fault really.....he eggs me on.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Perfect Pantry

Lydia at the Perfect Pantry features pictures of other people's pantries every Saturday and today it is MINE , or at least the one I used to have. Check it out and leave a comment. It's been so much fun seeing what other people keep on hand and how they organize it.

Tom's cataract surgery on Thursday went great and he is seeing blue and green for the first time in about 15 years. He has been pulling out various quilts to look at as if they were just made.

It was very cool being able to watch the surgery on a closed circuit TV in a nearby room. When I recall taking care of a cataract patient as a nursing student 39 years ago, the advances in medicine are just mind boggling. Back then the patient had to lie on her back with sandbags on either side of her head for hours.

If you aren't squeamish I found this video on You Tube. It isn't as clear as what I watched, but still pretty good and has the added bonus of titles at the various stages and shows things like how the new lens is loaded, etc. Modern medicine is amazing!

Tom will have his right eye done next month and I'll start the process in March to have both mine done.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chicken & Noodles

Today was another busy day. I baked four pies this morning using some of the pie crust dough I put in the freezer last Sunday. I made two French coconut and 2 custard. One of the custards really browned more than usual and the other I managed to dump a lot of cinnamon in one spot. But they all tasted okay I guess. The pies were taken over to our church mid afternoon for our monthly chicken and noodle dinner. We hold these six times a year, Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar and Apr. I talked about them in this post.

Though we are supposed to start serving at 4:30, by that time I'd already taken the money for 65 adult dinners plus all the carry out dinners and orders. By the end of the evening we had served about 119 adults and 9 children. I haven't counted up the carry out orders yet. So it was another successful event.

I had already eaten quite a bit of my supper when I thought to take a picture. This is what we serve for $6 plus bread, beverage and your choice of pie. Not a bad deal, huh? I was eating at my desk so that's why it looks kind of cluttered.

Back to quilting. This is what I worked on yesterday...more of the One Block Wonder blocks.

Last night and tonight I completed three more Dutch Treat blocks


Canada Goose
(looks more like a duck to me)


Tomorrow we are off to Ft. Scott early in the morning for Tom's first cataract surgery. I'm sure all will go well and we should be home by noon.

Hope everyone had as beautiful of a day as we did.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Mystery

My friend, Cynthia, at Iowa Star Quilts has a new free mystery quilt. It has three segments and will be offered on her website over the next three months. This month's block is called Fractured Star and I just made a block (I get to test her lucky is that?).

This is really a fun block to make and Cynthia shows a unique way of piecing it. I don't know that I'll get all 20 of these blocks made before she posts the next step given all the other irons I have in the fire, but I hope to make some now and then. They really go together fast.

I'll be using a bigger variety of background fabrics in the future. I was in a hurry today and grabbed some squares I already had cut. I'll also use a bit more care in joining the sections as I missed in a place or two. The block did come out to the perfect 9 1/2" though. I just lopped off some points when I cropped the photo since it wasn't taken straight on.

Hop on over there and give it a try. Cynthia's scrap quilts are always fun.

Great Day!

I'm filled with such pride and optimism for our country as we witness the historic events taking place today. I pray that President Obama will continue to be a unifying force that can turn us in a new direction.

Almost forgot to post the three Dutch Treat blocks I did Saturday while watching some rented movies.

Maple Leaf
Now I'm off to my recliner with some more applique to watch the inauguration.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lots of Eye Candy!

Two very busy days just passed. Yesterday after church in the morning, I spent most of the afternoon and evening cooking and baking. I'm program chair for our quilt guild this year and I decided it would be both fun and economical to cook the meal for the workshop I had scheduled for today. I've now instructed my husband that the next time I plan so many things to do in a single day he is to remind me I'm nearly 63 and on oxygen 24/7. He doesn't seem to think he'd be all that successful and he's probably right. Still...........

I made a huge pot of what my family calls "stew", but what is actually a beef-vegetable soup. After I started that simmering, I made dough for butter semmel dinner rolls to go along with the soup. Then I had to make a big batch of pie crusts to put in the freezer, since I'll be baking four pies on Wednesday for our church's monthly chicken and noodle dinner.

After that was done it was time to stop and get my fabric and supplies ready for today's workshop. Then I stirred up dough for the cinnamon rolls that would raise over night. Remember I promised the guild I'd bake them for every workshop as an inducement to get people to enroll.

Then I baked 5 dozen dinner rolls. And got more supplies ready for today. Okay..I also took a break and watched Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters and later the first episode of the new season of Big Love. That was over at midnight and then I had to form the cinnamon rolls and put them in the pans to continue raising. Got up at 6 to bake them this morning.

I'll probably do it all again sometime, but not tomorrow!

Now on to the fun stuff you'd rather hear about (as opposed to my whining about being tired).

We are fortunate as a quilt guild to have lots of very talented members. One of them is Jan Campbell. She is also one of our most productive quilters. I sometimes think I get quite a bit done, but Jan just leaves me in the dust! When I started working on my programs for this year I was happy when she offered to conduct a Stack 'n Whack workshop and give a trunk show.

I have no idea how many quilts Jan has made over the years, nor even how many Stack 'n Whack ones. All I know is A LOT! And she is also one of our most generous quilters, donating lots of her work to community quilts and other worthwhile causes.

The workshop was so much fun. We had twelve members and it is always so amazing to see the unique talents and tastes individuals bring with them.

Here's some of the promised eye candy from the beautiful blocks made today:

First the only picture I got of Jan as she instructs one the participants Ida was first to get a block completed

Myldred Phyllis Marie Norma This is the interesting fabric Elma chose to work with

And look at her cool blocks! Theresa cut up Laurel Burch panels..who would have thought to use panels?

Ida block #2
Phyllis block #2
Stephanie made slightly smaller blocks
One of the very cool blocks..or block segments from Theresa's Laurel Burch panels. She thought you couldn't use it because of the letters. I think it will be one of the neatest blocks in her quilt! What do you think?
Marie block #2
Stephanie block #2
I didn't make the same blocks as everyone else. You always have to have one oddball in every group, right? I purchased the fabric below last fall with the idea of making a One Block Wonder quilt. When I asked my husband if he wanted me to use it to make regular Stack 'n Whack blocks or the OBW, he voted for the later, so that is what I worked on today.

Because it will be sewed together in rows of half hexagons to avoid Y-seams, it's necessary to make all the blocks and decide on their arrangement before sewing any together. So I just laid the blocks I had done on the table to get a feel for how the quilt might develop. I think it has possibilities.

And here's another I started a long, long time ago. It was a small piece of fabric I picked up in the remnant bin. I did sew the blocks together using Y-seam contruction. If I ever get it finished it will be a wall hanging.

Jan's trunk show was wonderful. It was hard to get good pictures but you can see more of her quilts and other pics taken today at the workshop in one of my Photobucket albums.
This is one of my favorites among her Stack 'n Whacks. It's called "Bills Babes". And she made it for her father. The first picture shows only a quarter section of the quilt.
Hey. I'm thinking that blouse Hazel has on would make great Stack 'n Whack blocks!
And here's a closeup in which you can hopefully see the border fabric which was used to make the blocks. Isn't it great?

She ended her trunk show with this amazing antique postage stamp quilt. Hopefully if you click on it, it will enlarge enough for you to get some idea of the fantastic work. The hand quilting is superb and the quilt itself is in perfect condition..made in the 1920's.

Aren't quilters just the most fascinating bunch to spend a day with? I'm glad I didn't have to pick a favorite from the blocks made because it would be an impossible task. They were all wonderful!