Thursday, June 30, 2011

Next Up

Now that my son's Super Star quilt top is finished, it's time to move on to the Shoo Fly blocks.

Before I left home, I used my AccuQuilt Go to cut more triangles in solids and prints.....can you imagine me trying to put the Go in my suitcase?

Do you see the flowers in my husband's hat?  Handy place to put flowers given by daughter.
We went on a serious hike yesterday, so I thought I was free to relax and sew today.....I was wrong.  Since my husband can only stay in Montana a little while, he takes his playtime seriously ;-)  So, we did an easy, fun hike to popular Ousel Falls.

I did manage to squeeze in some sewing time and chain pieced the pairs of triangles to make the HSTs for the shoo fly blocks.  I didn't bother counting them, but the chain was pretty long!

It doesn't appear that I'll have a huge block of time to finish this quilt top all in one sitting, but I'm satisfied with breaking down the tasks and accomplishing each step at a between hiking and bear sightings;-)

Another day, another bear

Have an amazing day!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday!

Lone Mountain
As often as I try, I still cannot capture its beauty....
....but I keep's my latest attempt;-)

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Down

As promised, I stayed inside (away from bears) yesterday and!

I took advantage of my husband's plan to fish all day...
....he was happy (caught/released 30+ fish) were happy relaxing around the house
....and I was happy getting reacquainted with my little machine!

I am pleased to say that I completed the Super Star quilt top!!!!!
I LOVE how it turned out, and my son is sweet enough to say he loves it too!

Unless I change my mind, I will quilt this one myself....when I get back to Florida and my bigger machine....and then I will show the entire quilt.  For now it is folded up in my suitcase.  
If I'm brave enough, I may pull it out at the retreat for show and tell;-)

So of the three WIPs that came with me to Montana, one quilt top is finished!

Have an amazing day!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Adventurous Beginning

Well, our trip out to Montana got off to a dramatic start....

Packing for this trip took some planning since I had to take into consideration that this time I fly out of Montana for the quilt retreat in Minnesota.  The biggest suitcase I could find One entire suitcase was devoted to fabric for finishing three quilt WIPs and two possible retreat projects (oh and my cowboy boots). Well, this all important suitcase DID NOT arrive as scheduled!!!!!  Two things came to mind...thank goodness I had the sense to pack the completed sections of the three WIPs in my carryon....and how much does 50 pounds of fabric cost to replace????!!!!!  

Actually more than those two things came to mind, but no need to go into that ;-)  Shortly after I had calmed down (somewhat), my son realized that he left his wallet on the plane...we won't go into the specifics of the conversation that ensued....
Good news is my suitcase was eventually found and delivered, and I received a phone call from the airlines while typing this post that my son's wallet was turned in! 

There is no curbside pickup of garbage and recycling here.  Instead, we drop those items off in a designated Refuse and Recycling area.  These photos have not been edited, and I'm not sure if you can read the signs.  One permanent sign says "BEWARE OF BEARS", and the temporary sign on the trash compactor says "Out of Order Use Open Container".  

Ummm.....whose brilliant idea was that....if there are bears around you don't want trash in an open container....duh...and look at the trash on the ground....even for a Refuse center this area is usually pretty clean....I mean look at those gorgeous mountains in the background...why spoil the view.....

......Anyway, I'm not really sure what "open container" we were to use, but do you see who greeted us when we wanted to dispose of our recycling?  Please note, this picture was taken with my cell phone and NOT with a zoom lens!

I took several pictures of the bear as he walked towards the cardboard recycling "bins", but when he headed our way, we decided to leave without disposing of our garbage.  You will also notice that all the pictures were taken from INSIDE the car.  My husband wouldn't allow me to get out of the car to get a closer far as I know my cell phone won't zoom in...and this was just a black bear anyway.....

Have an amazing day...I'm staying inside today and sewing!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Unscheduled Post

I've said it before, but thank goodness for wifi.  Since I did not get a chance to blog while I was home (or at son's college orientation), I'm typing this during a layover in the Salt Lake City airport.  The subject of this post changed when I received a certain text message last night. 

 You can't go anywhere in Orlando without hearing about the Casey Anthony trial.  There is live coverage on every local station...did you know they even hold the trial on Saturdays?  The few times I happen to catch it on TV, I find myself being drawn to the drama like many others.  However, I don't watch it for long because I feel like I walked into a movie theatre halfway through and don't know what's going on.  At times like this, I rely on text alerts when "real" news happens.  Last night, I received this text alert from CNN with sad news:  
"Actor Peter Falk, who rose to fame on a rumpled raincoat and a shambling manner as the TV detective Lt. Columbo, has died at 83.  Falk died peacefully at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on Thursday evening, according to a statement released to CNN by a family friend. The cause of death was not released. In 2008, Falk's daughter said he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease."

I'm a crime drama to read mysteries, especially who done its...DVR Law & Order Criminal Intent and Criminal Minds reruns even though I've seen every episode numerous times (come to think of it, now I'm not sure why I don't watch the Anthony trial)....but before I became smitten with Goren (and Eames) and before I discovered Derek, I was obsessed with Columbo. Falk!  Back in the day, I recorded Columbo reruns on VHS tapes while I was at work and thought he was perfect in The Princess Bride.  These days, Columbo keeps me company in my sewing room.  I pop him in the DVD player.  I have seen the episodes so many times, I don't need to watch every scene....I just like having it on in the background while I sew. 

#6989 Memories and #7111 I Spy a Button
 I was sad to learn that Peter Falk suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.  Now seems as good a time as any to talk about the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.  (See....everything relates to quilting...)  If you click on the link now, you will see the fabulous headline:  "Island Batik Donates $25,000 to Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative", and just two weeks before that was another great headline:  "AAQI Awards $60,000 Research Grant".  These are my latest AAQI purchases...have you noticed I've been doing more buying than making lately?

Originally, I planned to write about my trip to Minnesota by way of Montana....notice all the important items in my suitcase....fabric and cowboy boots...Yee hah!

More about that to go catch my flight...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Still WIPs

More progress was made over the weekend on the two graduation quilts.  
Saturday was a fun sewing day with the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild gals...we had a huge turnout!
On Sunday, I snuck (not sure if that is proper grammar) away from the Father's Day festivities every now and then to sew;-)

Linda with her quilt made with OMQG BOM blocks
I'll share more pictures of Sew Day later, but look at this quilt top made by Linda!  It's the first one finished with our new Block of the Month program.  I love this one made with the May blocks!  

Getting back to the graduation quilts...the stars one should be finished by now.  Here's a sneak peek.  It is almost done.  Every time I join two blocks, I seem to change my mind about the layout.....

My shoofly blocks are in various stages of progression.  These blocks have mainly been pieced as leaders and enders while sewing the stars, but I chained pieced quite a few HSTs on Saturday.  I'm glad I worked on these at Sew Day because I realized I did not cut enough blue squares and triangles.  Until I do that, I've done all the piecing I can.

Per Michele's request, here's a picture of some shoofly blocks...hope to show more soon ;-)
For now, they are still WIPs...

Have an amazing day!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Enjoying the Process

You would think as far behind on the two graduation quilts as I am, that I would be rushing to finish them....that is my modus operandi.
Instead, I have slowed the pace down and am enjoying the process of actually making the quilts. What a concept, right?!

{Disclaimer:  random unrelated photos because can't have a post without pictures ;-) }

Organized piles from cutting session
Don't get me wrong....part of me would love to zip quickly through these quilts and move on to the numerous other quilts screaming in my head to get out....but for today (and for as many other days as I can stand to) I am happy to thrill in the pondering over layouts and see the Shining Star quilt take shape....delight in honing my quarter-inch-seam-stitching skills when piecing the Shoofly Blocks....daydream of idyllic days spent on the beach watching the not-then-high-school-graduates-but-four-year-old-cousins build sandcastles....plan future quilts with the fabric scraps from these two graduation quilt projects....

Selvages saved 
 Although all this "enjoying the process" will delay their gifts, I hope my son (Shining Star) and niece (yet to be named Shoofly quilt) will feel and appreciate the love and time that has gone and will go into these quilts....if not now, then maybe when they are older.  If not, that's OK because I am...feeling the love that is ;-)

LOVE fabric for future project
 I realize this should not be an "Aha" moment or an unique experience for me......this should be what quilting is all about...and it's just sometimes I need to remind myself to stop and smell the roses enjoy the process!!!

Adorable quilty bird gift from a wonderful quilty friend!
Quilting is also about making and spending time with quilty friends.
This week I met with quilty friends (bearing gifts no less) at an impromptu sew-in and spent a couple of fun hours sitting, chatting, binding, cutting fabric, and discussing current trends/scandals/drama in the quilt world;
tomorrow I'll enjoy more quilty friend time at OMQG's Sew Day;
and in three weeks I'll reconnect with quilty friends (sans three) made last year, meet (and dare I say...make) a few more quilty friends, and see my sister at Gruber's quilt retreat!

{I'm finishing this post at my hairdresser's...don't you just love technology!}

Hope you have the opportunity this weekend to stop and enjoy the process too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday!

My productivity over the weekend did not continue into the week days so far.

I need to pick up the pace or I will not finish this star quilt before the latest revised deadline ;-)
I hope to spend the entire day locked in my sewing room!

What are your plans for this wonderful Wednesday?!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Productive Weekend

It's been a while since I've been able to say that!  

My sewing machine has been cranking out the stars.  I really am having fun with these stars, and if other quilts weren't calling my name, I'd keep on making them.  All the stars have been made for my son's quilt, and I played with various layouts.  We'll see if I can get the top pieced by tomorrow.

In between piecing star blocks, I managed to finish a few more shoo fly blocks....five down, only sixty-five more or so to go...

What did you do this weekend? 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Different Blocks

Here's a quick block post about different blocks I finished.

Four more star blocks completed for my son's quilt.

Two shoo fly blocks to start niece's quilt.

Two disappearing four patch blocks made for OMQG's July BOM.

There has been an update regarding yesterday's blog post.  I added two more Priority: Alzheimer's quilts to my collection, but more importantly, AAQI wrote another check to fund Alzheimer's research!  Read the details in this article.

Have an amazing weekend!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How Many?

Shortly after I typed this blog post about my Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt, I saw this question posed by Ami on Facebook and Twitter:  "How many Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts have YOU purchased?"
Hmmm....good I started counting......

AAQI Quilts #6601 and #6733
Not counting today (because I may go shopping...haha), I have purchased 16 Priority: Alzheimer's quilts...eight have been given as gifts, and eight are hanging in my "studio".    The above picture shows the two most recent additions to my ever growing collection.  

#6601 Bird of a Different Color made by Ida Hansen
In addition to making quilts to raise money for Alzheimer's research,  I have found that I quite enjoy collecting these amazing little works of art made by others.  I especially treasure the AAQI quilts made by my bloggy friends, and I am thrilled when I find those on the Quilts for Sale page.  

#6733 Rays of Hope made by Cynthia Pierron Janney
One commenter on Facebook mentioned that her goal is to purchase one from every state.  What a cool idea!  I like me another reason to collect them....need to go check where my quilts originated ;-) many Priority: Alzheimer's quilts have YOU purchased?  Please tell by leaving me a comment; I'd love to know!

By the way, don't feel bad if you haven't purchased any yet....from what I hear 300 new quilts have just been added to the Quilts for Sale page....not to mention, the online quilt auction is open until tomorrow (June 10th) ;-)  Go for'll find it is a do-good-feeling guilt-free shopping experience!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Seven Stars

I have completed seven star blocks so far for my son's quilt.

One of the consequences of taking a month off from sewing is that I was unable to complete the planned graduation quilts on time.  No one seemed to be upset by this fact except for me, but nevertheless, I am anxious to get them finished.  

I referred to the Silly BooDilly's wonky star tutorial quite a bit in making these blocks.  She gives clear, detailed instructions and provides many pictures which is helpful to a visual learner like myself.  I kept her tutorial open on my laptop for easy (and frequent) reference.  (Who knew that a laptop would be such a necessary quilting tool to have in a sewing area?)

After making the first block, I went with her suggestion of using print squares cut an inch larger than the background squares to have more flexibility in the wonkiness.  This allowed me to make the star points longer which I think makes the stars look like they are twinkling more.

Here are the seven stars hanging out on my dirty pool deck.  My original plan calls for twenty-one or so stars, but since it is my own pattern, I may decide (based on how tired I get of making stars) the quilt doesn't need that many ;-)

Have an amazing day!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Clean Slate

So...I took the entire month of May off....
from sewing, quilting, blogging, blog reading...basically anything quilt related....
including replying to quilty emails (sorry to those who did not receive a response from me).....
even OMQG stuff (a huge thank you to those who covered for me)...
I didn't sneak a peek at any

Once I made this decision, it was the only way to go.....
I knew if I slipped just once, read one blog, peeked at Google Reader, it would be all over...
Needless to say, I truly missed y'all....suffered terribly from withdrawals...and was extremely grumpy...
The other day my husband suggested I get back to my blog, if that tells you anything;-) I am slowly making my way back....
still haven't read any blogs yet, but will remedy that shortly.....
attended a lively OMQG meeting Wednesday....
spent some time in my sewing room Thursday....

Mosaic of Dragonfly gifts received
Before my self-imposed quilting hiatus, I completed another Priority: Alzheimer's quilt.  This one was inspired by some wonderful dragonfly gifts I've received from family and friends.  I have a thing for dragonflies, and when making this quilt, googled the definition/origin of the dragonfly.  I just knew the dragonfly must represent friendship or love or some equally important value.

AAQI #7040 Batik Dragonfly
I was a bit disappointed that the top search results did not scream this fact, but further research resulted in this excerpt taken from the dragonfly-site:  The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life. 

The traditional association of Dragonflies with water also gives rise to this meaning to this amazing insect. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life (read more here:

 I also discovered that the Japanese culture views dragonflies as symbolizing courage, strength and happiness.  All this makes the dragonfly seem worthy of being represented in a quilt ;-)  I'm glad to know that as this particular quilt for AAQI was dedicated to my friend Hope, who is definitely worthy ;-)

Have an amazing weekend!!!!