Monday, May 23, 2011

When I say I live in my studio

I really do mean I live in my studio which means it is hard to put any distance between my life and my life as a quilter.  One way I have coped with living with all the stuff one needs to make quilts is to keep as much  of it as possible hidden from view and what must be out, kept as orderly as possible and not clutter.
Generally I work only on one thing at a time and after I finish it and before I begin another I put  away all the stuff pulled out  and used for the last piece.  But I did not do that this time.  As you know I am working on an ongoing project, one that will in all likelihood turn into a twin size bed quilt, just maybe a double bed size one.  No promises.  In order to live with this ongoing project I am going to need some container ( a basket or some such) to hid away the thread and pieces when I am not actively working on it because just leaving it laying around is just too... unsightly.

This is the full view of the piece I finished for AQS/Iowa minus the binding.  Will let you know how I fared once the the jury is in.
I made the trip to the Library this morning to return all the books on CD that have gone unlistened to.   I still love my Nook.   I didn't realize how much I missed reading myself to sleep.
I am spending the rest of today putting some order back to my living/working space.  Ideas are moving through my head for the piece I want to do for Houston.  I have soy beans soaking, I plan to play with some techniques tomorrow to see if I can bring then together to create something interesting. 
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Quilting under pressure

that's what I have been doing since Sunday evening after I looked at my quilt entry notebook that afternoon and discovered that the AQS Iowa show entry deadline (post mark date) was today May 20th. Good thing I have several tops painted and waiting and best of all, I was happy to find one that met the size requirements. I pressed it and sandwiched it Sunday after I finished facing a class sample for a group I will be teaching to in Atlanta.
That done, I began to quilt only to take part of the day on Monday off to see the shuttle launch . Then I took a great deal of the day on Tuesday off too to go Quilt Shop hopping.
Wednesday saw me sitting and quilting and quilting and quilting with a 2 hour break to have coffee with a friend after lunch. When I got back from my coffee break I went back to quilting with earnest. At that point I was really doubting that I could meet the deadline. But I kept at it. Thursday I quilted until there was in my estimation only about 2 hours work left to finish the quilting part. At midnight, I went to bed.
Today I got it done. Blocked it. Squared it then realized that if I faced it I would be one inch short of the minimum size. So instead, I decided to bind it instead. Not a permanent one, but one good sewn on with basting stitches and good enough to take images of the piece so I could get to the post office before they closed so my entry would be postmarked today.
If the piece is accepted I will put a quilt show quality binding on it and a top sleeve. If it is not accepted, I will face it as I prefer to finish my work.
The deadline for Houston is July 1. The minimum size is 48" square. I'd better get started on creating something from scratch because I don't have anything that size ready and waiting to be quilted.
Quilting under pressure. Oh well at least this time I have weeks instead of days.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I was out and about yesterday

Took a trip to the coast with two new friends yesterday ( Joyce and Marilyn) to visit the Byrd's Nest Quilt Shop in Ormond Beach. It was located in the historic district of the city in a two story building that you enter from the parking lot side instead of through the front door facing the street. The shop boast of having 5000 bolts of fabric and that looked to be true along with lost of books, notions and displays of completed projects from bags to jackets to aprons. The shop was very chopped up with collections of fabric displayed in many rooms ranging from one large closet size room to a couple of nice sized open spaces and a class room. I did buy several fat quarters of pinks and greens while there for the applique quilt I am working on, but there wasn't anything in a larger length that I "just HAD" to take home with me.
It was getting close to lunch time when we were ready to leave the shop so as visitors to the area, we asked one of the women in the shop to recommend a good place for lunch and were given three choices. We decided on the place with the ocean view and outside seating. It was wonderful. There was a breeze blowing in from the ocean and white clouds in the sky. Did I say wonderful.
While at the quilt shop we were told too of a sister shop in Palm Coast, which had a completely different inventory of fabrics. Palm Coast was not to far away from where we had lunch so we went to visit the second shop and there I found LOTS of fabric that I wanted to own, but did not buy not one inch, mainly because I had no idea of what I would make with it. For some reason buying fabric to have it, no longer appeals to me.
We took the local roads home from the coast instead of I-95 and I-4 and happened upon a really fun looking place that begged us to stop the car, get out and look around. So we did. No I didn't buy anything. I might would have, but I kept thinking that if I took it home I would have to dust it from time to time so I passed on the urge. However that sun/moon looks like something that would be fun to hang on the wall of the balcony, hmmmm. No no.... scratch that thought. Its way too far to drive back just for that.
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A wedding in the family: Blessings and good wishes

I didn't blog comments on the marriage of my Niece Michelle Yeager last month. In light of the fact that the Yeager clan is getting smaller
she did have the support of the Philip Yeager branch of her family tree. Top right is my grand-daughter Olivia Yeager, the child of my oldest son Andre', bottom row left are my daughters Rene' and Lyn, center are the newly married, Michelle and Milton and to the right is my son Mike who with her Uncle Bill seen carrying the broom they jumped upper center, and her Uncle Lynon (not sure of the spelling) not pictured walked her down the aisle. Both of Michelle's parents are deceased so she said instead of the traditional father-daughter dance normally done at the reception she had a Uncle/Uncle/Cousin dance instead. My late husbands oldest sister is pictured with a long time family friend Simon in the upper right picture. Simon and Michelle's mother and father were at University together. On Michelle's facebook page she has uploaded some images of their honeymoon. There were palm trees, so dispite me not knowing the exact location of where they are, it is obvious it is someplace warm, sunny and near water.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

It launched

And I was there. What a great adventure. Rene' and I left home this morning before 7:00 AM for the hour plus drive to the coast. Then she paid $20.00 to park about three blocks away from Launch View Park, not sure if that is the official title of the place, but it was crowded to say the least. We stood there for 5 minutes or so trying to see "what" we did not know, since we had no idea in what direction to look or what we were suppose to look for. From that vantage point I certainly couldn't see anything that looked like a tower with a rocket attached and a shuttle piggy back to it.
From the park we could see people ( a large amount of people) standing on a bridge about 1/2 mile away so Rene and I decided to walk to there and I am so glad we did. Where we first decided to stand on the bridge our view wasn't much better than in the park. I still could not make out what could be the shuttle so we walked further up the bridge, which by the way was closed to auto traffic.
We came to stand not to far from the crest of the bridge and asked a man with an impressive camera on a tripod and looked like he knew what he was doing where should we be looking. Bless his heart, he pointed us in the right direction. Ahhh yes... there it was. tower, rocket and shuttle. But sooooo far away. Would my camera on maximun zoom capture it? I hoped so.
As time grew closer it was getting more and more cloudy, overcast and windy. For a time we thought they would call it off. Not that getting there was that much of a hassel, but I didn't know if they had cancelled the launch again today if I would go back again.
At two minutes, the people in the crowd with radios, turned them up so we could hear the count down. A man standing close to us knowing we were first timers said, look for the plume of steam, then WOW!!!!!!
I took three shot in a row praying I got good images then I had to see it with my own eyes so I stopped shooting.
WOW... WOW... WOW!
We stood there long after it had disappeared into the cloud cover waiting for the sound they said would come. Then it did. It was not as loud as I had imagined it would be. Not like a boom, but more of a rumble, WOW!!!!
Seeing a shuttle launch was never on my bucket list, but I am soooooo glad I got to see one in person. I just might go back to see the next and last one too.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Want to slow down.... do it by hand

Since Friday I have spend some really slowed down hours, listening to books on CD at a lot lower volume and watching  a few movies on TV that I skipped at the first run movie theater and  yes....doing it by hand.

Quilting was so much more relaxing, calming, and on some days more fun when I did it all by hand as I did in the beginning.  Then over time as I made friends with a sewing machine I gradually  began doing almost ever thing by machine, everything with the exception of sewing down facings, or bindings and sleeves and on occasion labels.

Funny, as much as I loved doing everything by hand in the old days I really disliked doing the hand stitching on the facing, sleeves,bindings and labels even back then.  And that as you know hasn't change with time.  In fact I think my dislike for this part of the process has gotten worse.  On reflection that might be because I have gotten so used to speeding through the piecing or machine applique and machine quilting that abruptly slowing down to do hand work makes it seem as if I am moving through molasses.

Two blogs ago I told you about me sitting, watching some ladies hand quilt and piece and I was mentally back to my beginnings and my fingers began to itch. I wanted to thread a needle and hold some fabric and make seams or do applique even through I was sitting there hand stitching a facing in place.

So here I am less than a week from that Thursday morning hooked again on making the tiny stitches; almost invisible stitches, I can make as I applique. When I pinned the first block I finished up next to my last all machine created piece I was struck by the similarity.

Primarily they are of the same color family. The theme for both; flowers.  One really more abstract than the other, but both graphic and simplistic. When I looked at what is my first quilt it seems I have not moved as much as an inch away from my first choice of a color palette. 
"Whats old is new again" "Making a full circle" Echoes of the past"  these and several other sayings popped into my head. 

I knew I was hooked on quilting when I made the pink,white yellow and green quilt from a 1930's pieced tulip pattern shown below.  I still love this quilt.  I still remember making it.  I remember how long it took me to complete.  I still remember how happy I was when it was done too.
I am now  working on a second block and I am enjoying doing so, however, I am not promising you all or myself for that matter  that that block or the one I am currently working on  will ever be in the company of enough of like block to become a quilt, child bed size or otherwise.     

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

My day was a good one

I hope yours was as well.  Best of all I got Happy Mother's day calls from both Lyn and Myke my two kids who live elsewhere which was nice, not that they don't call me to chat on other days and often but special days or "SPECIAL".  I spent some time with my daughter Rene' today who I see regularly.  Yesterday we made a trip across the city yesterday to IKEA where she brought a day bed for her office and we had an adventure getting it home in the SUV.
Rene and I generally go to the movie theatre on the weekends.  Our movie dates are a dutch treat affairs.  She buys the tickets.  I buy the popcorn and sodas.
Today, she did both.  We saw "Jumping the Broom"  a light comedy, fun movie with a message and a PG 13 rating.  Then we went to Barnes and Nobles where she brought me a Nook Color.  I have been thinking of getting one for sometime and was torn between a Nook and a Kindle but Rene' convinced me the Nook Color was the better one to have and I  agree.  Actually having had it less than a  day I am pleased to report that I am more comfortable with it than I am with my Blackberry that I've had for several months.  It still does more than I want to know how to do.  Finally have it set up so I get my email on it but really hate the little keyboard so I am still answering my email on my laptop if the reply is more than a few words.
So far I like reading the book I downloaded on the Nook and as I get lost in the words on the screen I've found myself trying to manually turn a page, like I am really holding a paper book, only to call myself a dunce and remember all I have to do is brush the screen with the tip of my finger or tap the screen.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Gardening... that's all

Loving my container garden and my cherry tomato plant is setting fruit other then that there's not a whole lot going on here.
As I sit here I am trying to decide if I will take myself off to the movies to see Thor since it is not a movie Rene would enjoy.
The author of Quilting with Aliens was the guest speaker/presenter at the Log Cabin Fever Quilt Guild last Monday. It was hard for me to enjoy her. The room we meet in was sooooooo cold. I keep forgetting that and wore shorts, sandals and a tee shirt with short sleeve. I needed, jeans, sock and a sweater.
I finished the commission quilt and I am trying to decide if it is really done or if I should tweak it just a little with more highlights and shading. I will leave it hanging on the design wall over the weekend and if after that I decide it is truly done I will get it in the mail to Linda in Louisville.
I went to a meeting of a small (dozen or so) quilt group yesterday that was very informal. More like the stitchery group I attended occasionally with my friends Marti and Val in Louisville. They meet the first and third Thursdays of the month from 10-2. Bag lunches and something to work on or not is all that is required. They gather in an activity room at a church about 7 miles from where I live. Really easy to get to. Easy in the fact that I did not need the GPS to get there.
You can bring you sewing machine if you want. One lady with a Feather weight did that however the others were doing handwork, including knitting and crochet.
Good thing about being in a small group. You get to know some people better. As I found out; most of the women I recognized from the larger guild group. So it was really nice putting names to the faces. The bad thing about meeting with a small group is seeing many hands finding joy working on a hand quilted project. I made my fingers itch to get started on something like that yourself. So don't be surprised if I tell you a few blogs from now that I am working on something that is all hand work. Some pieced or appliqued that will be hand quilted. I am telling myself that I need to do that because every other week I won't have something ready that needs a facing hand stitched down on like I did yesterday. Who knows, maybe my grad-daughter Olivia will get a quilt for her bed. She's a girly girl and would appreciate a quilt or maybe I'll made a crib size one for my soon to be first great-grand daughter. My oldest grandson is expecting his first child and they said it is a girl. We'll see.
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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Change, change, change

No matter how much we think a thing is forever.  That not always so.
In my case I thought I would keep the e-mail address I have had for 4 plus years now,  remembering how much of a pain it was to change it and notify everyone who had the e-mail contact info from the one I had  when I lived in KY.  But alas I am changing it.  This time to something  that will follow me where ever I decide to reside next.  That way I am  not dependent on my current or Lyn's current Internet connection.  Therefore, anyone  who is trying to contact me, please use  I have been trying to ease this address into that part of my brain that rattles off my email for more than a year instead of the mchsi one.  I hope this change in your address book/contact folder doesn't cause you much trouble.
Thanks.  I certainly would hate to miss hearing from all of you.