Saturday, July 31, 2010

Coasters 101

This all started with this pile of 50 coasters that I are made for my daughter's MOP's group.  We will be making 400, 4 for each of the 100 ladies expected this year.  I thought you might like a lesson on making coasters and you can give me a lesson in how to keep my mouth shut!
1st, select 5 - 5" squares, fold and press 4 in half
2nd, lay the flat 5" square RIGHT side up, then lay a folded square on top with the fold TOWARDS the center of the square.

3rd, going clockwise add another folded square on top with the fold always going toward the center.

4th, add the next folded square on top.
5th, weave last piece under first
6th, pin.
7th, sew 1/4 inch all the way around
8th, clip corners.
9th, turn right side out through center.
10th, poke out points
11th, press, you can top stitch all around the edge but I choose to skip that step, due to the amount I have to make and it really is not necessary.
Now enjoy.  These are a lot easier than posting this tutorial!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Welcome to my Studio!

Welcome to my Studio!  Well, it's really just a bedroom in my house that is filled with all my quilting junk.  But to me it is my sanctuary.  After coming back from retreat and feeling guilty to get the rest of the house picked up, these are the before shots.
A mess, right?  Like no one else gets this messy!
After working in the morning, shopping at Target and the grocery store and eating a late lunch, I knew I had about an hour to start in before I watched Becky.  Well, I finished later last night.  I'm exhausted but now it is done.

I'm off to Fresno with my friend Debbi, who doesn't quilt but likes quilt stores. 
If only I could get rid of this migraine.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Salute to the 24/7 American Women

This is something that has been on my mind for sometime and recent circumstances have pushed me to send this out into cyberspace, if for nothing more than to just get it off my chest.

There is so much expected of women today. They are to have careers, husbands, children, homes, pets, hobbies, and all that goes with these responsibilities. It is not enough to work, take care of those around you, take care of the home (shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, all the responsibilities of that home, etc.), there is also the work we do in the community. My hat goes off to the 24/7 American woman!

Our work does not stop when the sun goes down. Our work does not stop when the kids leave the home. We still have relationships with our children and grandchildren and that takes work, as fulfilling as it is, it is still work. We want to spend time with them in between everything else that fills our day.

On top of it, if we have a husband who is considerate and helps with some of these responsibilities, they are considered over worked and we are thought of as lazy and disrespectful to our husbands. Yes, I know we should just ignore these people and their whacked out ideas, but as women we were made to nurture and if that is being questioned, we rethink how much more we should be doing. To tell you the truth, I have met very few truly lazy women, but I have met my share of men who think their wives should be the “50’s” women and cater to their every need. Women of the 50’s, bless their souls, weren’t given the chance to voice their wishes. It reminds me of the movie “Pleasantville”. They weren’t really “happy” until they had some color in their lives. Just look to the 60’s to see how the 50’s women rebelled.

Now about me, because that is what this blog is all about, isn’t it! Just because I only work part time out of the home and consider my art (quilting) as something that needs to be developed with time spent in the studio, I am expected to put more time than is in a 24 hour day into my husband, children, grandchildren, home, and community. If I was a man in this field, it would be different. Quilting would be my career and I would be expected to concentrate on that career. How can I make a career out of my gift of quilting if I do not have the time to develop as an artist?

So, thank you for listening to the rantings of a frustrated quilt artist who just wants to spend time developing into the women God wants her to be. And when you see one of your fellow women today, salute her for all the hard work she does just to keep her head above water!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back from Cambria

Well, it's back to the Valley heat.  We had such beautiful weather in Cambria, it was hard to leave it.  Here are some pictures of the time we spent there.
Here is Keira's big girl quilt for her bed.  These soft colors will go into her room perfectly.  Now all I have to do is quilt it!

Our Loose Threads group made Deolinda this Ribbon Quilt for her birthday.  We weren't able to give it to her till Cambria.  She really enjoyed it, Ladies.  Wish you were all there to see her open it.

We did get to the beach!

Barbara's scrap strip quilt. 
Check out her blog for more pictures.
She is pointless quilter under Sites of Interest.

Deo and her Bento Box quilt.

Janice with her beautiful whole cloth.

Debbie caught by surprise!
Kathy with her beautiful smile working
very hard!

Well, off to work on my newsletter.  Need to schedule more classes.  If you are interested in any classes or want to learn a new technique, let me know and I will email you my newsletter.  I can't figure out how to make it accessible on the blog.  Till next time. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why Is It....

...that borders seem to take so long.  Sometimes longer than the quilt itself.  Well, I finished the top to my Flower Pots quilt (Kings River Theme Quilt).  The picture doesn't show the quilt very well.  But believe me it does lay flat.  I am anxious to quilt it but that has to wait since I am leaving for Cambria tomorrow.  Some of us from our Material Girls friendship group are going for a few days to quilt.  It will be so great to get to cooler weather and just quilt till our hearts content.  Well, I better go and pack.  Hope to have something to show you when I get back.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Something to get me through the day!

Our Loose Threads art group is starting a new book Monday evening and I am demonstrating the first in a series of techniques that we all hope to put into small art quilts.  The book is called Fabric Embellishing: The basics and beyond.  It has over 50 techniques.  We are starting with fabric weaving.  This is the second one I did and the one I like the best. 
This is the first one with 3/4 inch strips and satin stitch as recommended in the book. The satin stitch seemed to pull the fabric but that could be the tension on my machine wasn't set right.
I hope to show you next month how we incorporate this technique into a quilt. 
I had to spend sometime blogging today just to put yesterday behind me. I am also having a hard time concentrating.  Two of our grandchildren (Ephram - 4 years old and Keira - 2 ) were in a car accident yesterday.  They were hit by a guy in a pick up running a red light.  They are fine.  Still shaken up and a few bruises.  Stephen's mom was driving and is pretty banged up but thankfully no broken bones.  It is a miracle since the vehicle they were in rolled two times and ended up on it's side.  Thank you Lord for car seats that were installed properly.  Remember to secure your children properly in car seats that are appropiate for their age and weight.  We thank God for His protection over them.   

Friday, July 16, 2010

Here is another great blog!

I happened upon this blog this morning and thought I would share it with you.  She is just so cute and she has great tutorials.  Hope you enjoy!
I also thought I would share our last picture of Lexi with Jeff at the airport last Saturday.  We sure miss her (and you too Serena!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Needles, needles, needles, what to do?

Are you like me and you have a collection of needles that just confuses you?  Or does one type of needle meet all of your needs.  The more different threads I collect the more needles I seem to collect.  This company says to use this needle for their thread and this other company says to use their needles for their threads.  And then there are the sewing machine companies.  To top things off, even though all these different people tell you to use such and such a needle, it doesn't always work.  Either the hole is too big, the thread breaks, or in my case this week, the machine skips stitches.  Of course, they all tell you to change the needle. 

I would love to hear your needle stories.  Here is mine.

The block of the month was so fun this month I decided to make a quilt for myself.  You may remember.

At the meeting when I showed it as they were picking the winner for the blocks, they asked if I would donate it to our 4th of July Great Little Quilt Sale (which was in three days).  Thinking it would never happen, I said I would if they picked my number.  Well, you guessed it!  They picked my number and I donated my quilt.
So I made the blocks into this wall quilt or table runner for my daughter.  I hope you like it Katrina!

Now, for the rest of the story.  As I am beginning to quilt this thing, I think easy.  I'll just use this red, white, and blue variegated that I have from YLI and quilt stars.  This should be fast.  Right?  Wrong!  I struggled with the quilting because my machine (my treasured and sometimes frustrating new Bernina 820) kept skipping stitches.  I change needles a few times and just struggled through.  Then I ran out of thread.  How ridiculous!  The quilt is small and I thought I had plenty of thread.  I called two quilt stores and finally found a King Tut thread that I thought would work.  Yesterday I decided to try the one in town and check for myself to see if they indeed did not have the thread.  There it was!  Maybe she didn't know what red, white, and blue variegated was.  So I go to the other store and tell them thank you but I found the thread and then spend almost $30 on fabric!  They made out better than if I had just bought the thread.

I finished the quilt this morning (I tried to finish the binding last night but the movie I thought I would watch, was in French!).  I decided to try yet another needle (Bernina 90/14).  Perfect quilting.  Not one stitch skipped.  Now I need more Bernina needles. I now wonder if anyone has read this long story all the way to the end!

The point to the story is to spend your money on more needles. do not give up and when you are done, give it away so you don't have to remember the struggles you went through!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On The Wall - Again

It's again because I just wrote this post and lost it all.  So here I go again.
Do any of you remember the post from April that I wrote about the Kings River Guild's theme quilt.  I was using fabrics that weren't ones I normally use and I was struggling.  I felt the background was too busy and the fabrics were very large prints which didn't seem to work.

Well, I went in a new direction.  I went to my stash and found a black background with a subtle  print.  I like movement in my fabrics which tend to make my quilts busy but you can never say they are boring!  The bright fabrics followed.  I know I am going in the right direction because I have done all this in a month plus everything else I have done.  I am thinking about a piano key border.  What do you think?
I just finished quilting a baby quilt for a friend of mine.  She likes to piece and I like to quilt.  Works well and now I have some spending money for fabric.  Next week I am off to Cambria for a little time with my friends so I think I'll shop on the way up.  I so need this time to quilt and some time in some cooler weather.  Thanks Barbara for this time.  You Rock!

Friday, July 9, 2010

I Finished Two Purses!

I finished the bags I have been wanting to make for my friends.  I have been trying to use the material in my stash or as I heard the other day, My Fabric Library!  I am finding that I am becoming very limited by my ever decreasing fabric supply.  I guess it's time to buy more fabric!  Maybe Jeff won't read this!

Here's Lexi and "Papa" (Jeff) with her minkie tag blankie that I made for her.  I made her one when she was little but between the babysitter and her dad's house and her mom's house she really needed another one.  She sleeps with it and you know how kids are when they do not have their blankies.  Lexi and Serena leave tomorrow for Virginia.  We will miss them so much!

I guess I will have to drowned my sorrows in quilting.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just A Liitle Bit of That

I have the day to myself and boy, do I need it!  Watching "While You Were Sleeping" and "Sleepless in Seattle" (is there a theme here!) I finished the baby quilt I was making.  Once it was pieced I didn't feel like quilting it but now it is done.  I love the pattern but am not so happy with the quilting.  I should remember not to work on something when I am not in the mood.  My work suffers because of my attitude.Now I am trying to decided what to work on the rest of the afternoon.  There is so much to do but I think I learned a lesson.  Work on what you enjoy.  The rest will come.

I wanted to show you what Serena has been doing while she was here.  We were going to quilt together but one of the quilts she was going to work on, the pattern didn't make it here.  The other on I am still trying to draft the block.  So she made purses instead.I think she did a great job especially taking the pattern and reducing it so she could have a smaller one for her.
I have two cut out, I think I will work on those this afternoon.    No better place then in my air conditioned studio on a hot day like this.  Although it is not as hot here as the east coast but then again it is always hot here during the summer.  Why would we expect anything different.  Happy quilting everyone!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Check This Out!

You have to check out this blog! There are so many great organizing ideas, I just couldn't take it all in in one sitting.  Fantastic stuff! I am off to Fresno for a shopping trip with the girls.  More later.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Little Bit of Something

With all the craziness at our house I can't seem to find time to get to my machine (which of course is even harder to get to because of all the things piled on top of it).  But I did manage to make these birthday cards.  I took part of a border print sample from a fabric distributor, and sliced it up inserting bias strips of orange and yellow, and then quilted them.  I had so much fun just fooling around.

The grandchildren  needed some fun pillow cases so I made these at my friendship group.  I think they are fun and cheerful and I hope they like them.  Of course, Daniel didn't get one since he is only 3 months old. 

A few more days and Serena and Lexi will be back in Virginia.  We will miss them but we know they will be glad to get home, back to a normal life.