Tuesday, December 8, 2009

THE Wedding Quilt

This quilt is for my best friend's youngest son's wedding that is later this month. I bought the fabric back in June and started the quilt in September at a quilter's retreat. About half way through the quilt, I realized that I didn't have enough of the white background fabric. I went to 3 different shops within an hours drive of the retreat and didn't have any luck. So I started to work on something else until I could get back to the same store I bought the fabric at originally and get more.

I had this professionally quilted by Judy's Longarm Quilting in Mt Calvary, WI. She did an awesome job. I put the binding on just last weekend and now its all boxed up ready to give away. I worked so hard on this one and its really hard to give it away.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jacob's Ladder Quilt

I started working on this when my dad said he wanted a "blanket" to cover up with when he lays on the couch watching TV. Of couse, I said, "Blanket? You've got a daughter who makes quilts!" He just laughed.

So I went out and bought the fabric with him in mind, Benartex's Apple Cider Mill Road in greens and reds. Its a little Christmasy, which wasn't the plan, but these are also the colors in his couch, so it matches. It took me about 4 weeks, but I was able to get it done and give it to him for Christmas (which we celebrated on Thanksgiving since Dad goes to FL for the winter). Its a very generous lap/couch quilt.

I love it and will make one of my own one day.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Ok, so its been quite a while since I blogged anything. I can only blame it on my lack of desire to sit in front of my home computer and upload pictures. The old gal (the computer, not me) is getting on in age and it takes forever to upload pictures from my camera. But Thursday I took pictures of my latest finish and wanted to show them to you.

About eleven months ago, my best friend asked me if I would make a Christmas tree skirt for one of her daughters who is newly married. I said yes, but not for this year (I was leaving for my vacation in like 10 days and had things of my own to finish). I told her I would be glad to make it in time for next year (now). We haven't talked about it since, but I kept it in the back of my mind and earlier this fall I saw a great sample of a tree skirt on Jen's blog (www.cre8tivequilter.blogspot.com) and was determined to make this one like that. Last weekend I was at my Dad's (tending him after he got out of the hospital from surgery) and made it.

It was easier than I thought. I had to order the 9 degree ruler off of Ebay because my LQS didn't have it in stock (where Jen works). But I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I'll see my best friend (and her daughter) next weekend and will give it to her then.

A few weeks ago DD and I were invited to go to a Green Bay Packer game. I'm not a Packer fan (I cheer for the Bears), but the tickets were for sky box tickets (inside, no cold bleacher seats, and lots of free food and drinks). So we went and had a great time. Even though we got slightly lost in Green Bay after the game -- they make a bunch of the streets one-way -- the wrong way for us -- after the game.

I took two quilt tops to my (new) long arm quilter last week. Yes, I know, I didn't post pictures before hand. I didn't even take pictures. Since I don't have anyone to hold up the quilts for me and they are both too big for the living room floor, I decided to wait until I get them back and then will take pictures when they're all done. I took "the wedding quilt" (quilt for son of best friend who is getting married in December) and my Sisters Choice quilt from my first workshop with Bonnie Hunter.

So I have been doing alot of quilting, just not taking pictures and posting them. I know, I'm a tease, but you'll just have to wait.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm Baaaaccckkk!

Okay, so I know I've been gone a long time. My only real excuse (other than the fact that DD and I went on vacation for a week) is that my computer is giving me headaches and I hate uploading my photos. Otherwise, I'd jump onto my blog while at work (during lunch, of course) and keep you all updated.

So, DD and I went on a great vacation in August. We drove from WI to Virginia. We spent 2 days in the Shenandoah Valley (highlight was tubbing down the Shenandoah River and having my tube spring a leak), 2 days in Virginia Beach, and 2 days at Williamsburg. It was a wonderful vacation. See some pix below.

Here we are at one of the scenic overlooks on Skyline Drive.

DD and a new friend playing in the surf at Virginia Beach. This was a couple of days before they closed the beach due to Hurricane Bill.

Here's DD at Williamsburg. We rented a costume (long white dress with a purple sash), and bought the hat. She's so cute!

The week after our vacation we continued to be very busy. On Weds we went to the Milwaukee Brewers game.

DD got a new T-shirt at the game. Of course, they lost to the Reds. I don't think they've ever won a game we went to.

Then that Saturday night 3 of my friends and I went to the Jimmy Buffet concert! I had bought the tickets back last FEBRUARY and even though I jumped on the phone the minute the tickets went on sale, all I could get were lawn seats. As the day grew closer, I fretted over what to wear and finally on the day before, went to the local Goodwill and found a men's Hawaii shirt for dirt cheap. I planned on layering it over a t-shirt as it had been a little cool lately (late August). When we got to the venue, it was cold and spitting rain. Temperature must have been in the 50's and when the stage lights lit up the audience, you could see the rain coming down at a 60 degree angle. Some people had been partying for HOURS, but we weren't that dedicated of Parrot Heads, so we only tailgated about an hour. But we had a great time in spite of the weather and in spite of getting carded at the liquor counter (did we have our ID's? -- No, of course not, who would have thought that these 4 women in age from 40-58 would get carded!).

No, that's not snow in the picture, just rain. But it felt like snow! So much for finding a Hawaiian shirt!

Then in September, DD started 5th grade. In our small town, 5th grade is the beginning of middle school (5 - 8th). So DD is now in middle school and sometimes wants to dress up like a diva in the mornings and sometimes just wants to hang out in comfortable clothes. Very interesting.

Here's DD on her first day of 5th grade.

Over Labor Day weekend, I attended Bonnie Hunter's class in Auburn, IN for her Boxy Stars pattern. Once again, we had a great time. I got 9 blocks done, just need 3 more.

Ever since I got back from Bonnie's class, I've been working on my Mini Summer Quilt Swap item. I finally got it all pieced and sandwiched last night. Tonight I hope to get it all quilted so that tomorrow night I can put on the binding.

Today I received this wonderful quilt from the lady who had my name.

It came from Marian in SPAIN! Wow! It is so cool and will look great in my entryway. She also sent a bunch of fabric and notions. Very cool gift. It really is inspiring me to get my items completed. Marian's blog is http://www.quiltandpatch.blogspot.com/. Check it out.

I'll try to post more often. Of course, I say that and I'm already planning to be out of town this weekend. But I'll post the picture of my outgoing Summer Quilt Swap quilt before I mail it.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Look What I Won!

I was so excited earlier this week to find out that I was the winner of Collaborate Again by Gwen Marston & Freddy Moran over at Michele's blog http://with-heart-and-hands.blogspot.com. The book arrived in the mail and I opened it when I got home late last night. It is really a beautiful book and very inspiring. I think this is exactly what I need to stretch and grow as a quilter. I've already thumbed through the book and have found several new ideas.

I've been working on my Sister's Choice from my Bonnie Hunter workshop I took in June. I finally got all my 9 patches done - 70 in all. Here they are. The blocks are all in the purple and teal colors -- two of my favorites. For the past week I've been working on the star points. I think I have about 60 done, which is only enough for 15 blocks. I ran out of yellow for my star points and have bought some more, but it doesn't match. So I guess this will be more scrappy than I expected!

A few weeks ago, we got the call that blueberries are in season in Michigan (where both of my parents grew up). So Dad put in our order and a few days later 30 pounds of blue berries were delivered to IL. I cleaned them and bagged them all up for freezing.

That same weekend was my Dad's 75th b-day. I gave him the Florida Shell quilt that I made last winter. He really seems to like it and has it packed in his stuff that will go south with him in November.

That's what's been going on in my life for the past few weeks. DD was at church camp last week. I quilted a few evenings, but didn't get nearly as far as I would have liked. Later this week we leave for our vacation in VA! We're both really excited about that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm Back!!!!!!!!!

Well, my computer is back to life so I guess I'll get back into the blogging groove. I've been pretty busy over the past couple of weeks, but I'll just give you the highlights.

At the end of June is DD's birthday and instead of having a big (expensive) party, I took her and two of her friends to the Milwaukee Zoo. The girls all had a great time and I managed not to break the bank.

For the 4th of July the family went out to Waukegan Harbor for their annual fireworks display. We had access to the docks and set up our picnic and chairs out there. The day was a little overcast and cool, but the fireworks were great. Here's my dad and my two brothers.

Last weekend we went camping over at Crystal Lake Campground. I did visit the quilt shop in town :) and then took DD and her friend to visit a winery. This winery is over 150 years old, and one of the oldest wineries in America. The grounds were gorgeous. We went on the tour (only $3.50 for me and the girls were free) which included a tasting.

This last week DD was at Girl Scout camp. Here she is in front of her cabin when I dropped her off.

On the quilting front, I haven't done too much. My mom sent some squares to put together into a flimsy for a baby quilt for Haiti and I did that one afternoon. I also completed another charm square bag. Today I'm getting back to the Sisters Choice quilt I started with Bonnie Hunter.

Summer seems to be going by way too fast.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Computer Problems

It seems to be the season for computer woes. Now my home computer is getting into the act. I'm working to get it fixed (it doesn't want to be hooked up to the internet and has been acting up for a good 2 weeks). Hang in there and I'll be back soon!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Charm Bag Complete!

I down loaded this charm bag pattern from Moda Bake Shop (thanks, Amandajean!) and put together this charm bag this week. This is a bday present for my niece, who just turned 14. Isn't it cute? I put a big pocket inside, a little cell phone pocket, and a clip for keys, etc (I hate trying to find my keys in the bottom of my purse).

It's been really hot here in Wisconsin this week. Not that I'm complaining, I'm a very summer gal. Dad called me at work Monday early afternoon to let me know he was coming up for DD's softball game. Since it was 15 degrees cooler here by the lake than at his house, he stayed 2 days. He knows that he's always welcome and could have stayed longer. The heat let up and now its much better (high of 85 today).

Today is DD's 10th birthday. She's still sleeping in, of course. For her birthday I'm taking her and two of her friends to the Milwaukee Zoo. She got her big present last night, a grown up digital camera. She went out and snapped pictures in the back yard: the flowers, the strawberry plants, the tomato plants, the hose, the dirty deck chair, the grass, and herself. We haven't loaded them onto the computer yet but its a Kodak, so I think its going to take great pictures for her. She'll take it to the Zoo today.

There won't be much quilting from me this week. My mom is coming up from FL and will be visiting next Thursday. So that means I need to start cleaning house, including all my quilting stuff that is all over the downstairs. Oh well, the house needs it anyway.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lots of Stuff to Tell You

Since it has been a week since I last posted, I have a lot to tell (and show) you.

First, last Wednesday I attended Bonnie Hunter's "Sister's Choice" class. I would highly recommend her class (in fact, I'm signed up for a different one in September).

Here's Bonnie and I in front of her sample quilt.

Here's the four blocks I got done (I also have about 6-7 half done). Instead of the pure scrappy quilt, I chose a color controlled teal and purple combination. I'll be working on this quilt for the next month or so (at least I hope I get the top done before I see her in September).

I also got my Spring Blossom Mini Quilt Swap quilt done and out in the mail this week. Here's out it turned out. I ended up hand quilting it (which I hadn't done any hand quilting in about 10 years). I love the colors (and hope my swap friend does, too).

Last, but not least, I thought I'd share a picture of some of the flowers in my garden with you. These are Painted Daisy's in front of my Salvia. When I first planted them about 4 years ago, they were a good half a foot away from each other. Now they kind of grow together and since I love the hot pink with the purple, I'm leaving them that way. The white in the far right hand side is some field Phlox that is coming into bloom.

I'm now working on a couple of bags from Amandajean (and the Moda Bake Shop) as birthday presents that I hope to gift next weekend. Hopefully I can show pictures before they're gone.
Have a good week!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Best Laid Plans....

Well, my weekend sure didn't turn out like I had planned.

Originally, I had made camping reservations at a nearby State Park. You know, one of those places that you have to make reservations about a year in advance if you want to get in. But DD's Girl Scout troop had scheduled an outing at a big hotel with an indoor waterpark over in the Dells. So on Thursday evening (before I bought groceries for the camping trip) DD and I had a real heart to heart talk and she said she really wanted to go on the GS trip. Since the weather was supposed to be iffy, I wasn't going to fight this one too bad. So I cancelled the reservations (only getting back 50% of the money), called the GS leader and got DD signed up for the trip.

I was pretty excited about having about 36 hours to myself. I made plans to go to some movies and go out for dinner and get lots of quilting done!

Friday evening when I picked up DD from the day care center after work, she seemed pretty tired and admitted that she had fallen asleep on the playground (under the trees in some shade inthe grass). I knew that was pretty unusual, so I kept an eye on her. By bed time, she felt hot and after taking her temp (101.3) I warned her that if she was still running a temp in the morning, I would have to call the GS leader and advise that she was not going on the trip after all. Jr Tylenol was provided and off to bed she went.

I woke her several times in the night to take her temp and give her more Jr Tylenol. At 6am, her temp was back at 101.? and I told her that she wasn't going on the trip. Thank goodness, there was no big melt down. I think she knew she was really sick and although was disappointed, didn't feel like doing anything.

I took her to the doctor Saturday morning and although he took a strep culture (strep was in her classroom a few weeks ago), he said it was just some virus going around. Just keep giving her Jr Tylenol and some cough drops if she wanted them.

Her temp stayed down most of the morning and early afternoon, but by 3pm, she was running a high fever again. At bedtime, it was back up to 102. She went to bed in my bed for the night. It was a long night. At one point her temp was 103.5. I swore that if it went above 104 that we were going to the hospital, but it never got that bad. The poor kid kept asking if she was going to die!

Sunday morning, she was running a little temp, only 100.7. We stayed at home and by late afternoon, her temp was back to normal. The GS leader stopped by early Sunday evening and brought DD a stuffed animal from the hotel because she was so sorry that DD couldn't make the trip and was home sick. How sweet was that!

So I didn't get to see any movies (just some DVDs that I had at home). I didn't get to go out to dinner (I think I ate popcorn Saturday night). And I got very little quilting done.

The top is done for my Spring Blossom Mini Quilt. I just need to sandwich it and quilt it. It needs to be in the mail by Saturday. I hope I make it.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening cutting the pieces for my Bonnie Hunter workshop on Weds. I thought it would be no problem, probably take me an hour or so. Oh, no. I think I ironed and cut for about 5 hours. Now, I was watching the HBO mini series John Adams so I wasn't 100% cutting the whole time. But I thought I'd get a chance to sandwich the mini quilt and maybe even get most of the quilting done so that all I'd have left was the binding.

But, the best laid plans.....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Port Pirate Fest

Last Saturday was Port Washington's annual Pirate Festival. Unfortunately, the weather was cold and rainy so the turnout wasn't as good as it has been in the past.
Here's the bow of the ship WINDY coming in to dock. You can go out on a tall ship and sail in Lake Michigan.

My friends come in from out of town and here's DD (on the left) and their daughter all dressed up for Pirate Fest. About 50% of the people who attend are normally in costume (think Renaissance Fair). The girls get a real kick out of dressing up with all their pirate garb.


This picture was taken on Friday when the weather was great and about 75 degrees. This is the picture of the harbor coming in to Port Washington from Lake Michigan. It was too bad the weather changed so much. I know that if the weather had stayed constant that alot more people would have come.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

4th Grade Field Trip to Madison

Last Friday I chaperoned DD's 4th grade field trip to Wisconsin's state capital in Madison, WI. Since I grew up in Indiana, I had never been to the Wisconsin state capital. I found it really a great place to see. Here's a picture of the front of the capital building.

We had a great tour guide (we were in a group of about 50 kids and 10 adults) who was very knowledgeable about the building, its history, and events.

The rooms in the 2nd floor wings had beautiful glass ceilings to let in the light. Of course, I saw quilt patterns everywhere!

This is the parquet floor in one of the conference rooms. Look familiar?

There were wonderful mosaics on the wall around the rotunda. This one was my favorite one; its Lady Liberty. Sorry the picture is so bad, I took it from about 100 feet away (across the rotunda).

This is the railing for the gallery overlooking the assembly room. See the "W" in the iron work for Wisconsin?

More wonderful architecture in the main area of the wings (2nd floor). Alot of natural sunlight with the glass ceilings and this clerestory.

After we went to the capital building, we went to the museum, then to the Cave of the Mounds just west of Madison. Pretty cool caves, easily accessible, and great colors and formations. Here's DD in front of some formations inside the cave.

And here's DD curled up on her seat in the bus for the trip back to the school. She took a 45 minute nap on the way back (so did her teacher and the principal, but they didn't curl up in the seat like she did).

It was a great trip and I'm glad I went.

Spring Bloom Mini Quilt Progress

Here's where I am on the Spring Bloom Mini Quilt I'm making for the swap. I'm in the middle of blanket stitching down the applique on the flowers and leaves. I've got all the leaves done, now I need to do the flowers. Then I have buttons for the center of the flowers.

I have to figure out how to quilt it. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Look What I Got in the Mail!

My swap parnter sent me a wonderful package this week all the way from Ontario, Canada!

I got this beautiful wall hanging, a really cool notions box, scissor fob, and pin cushion! She also included some neat stationary. Thank you so much Kaaren! Here's her blog: http://thepaintedquilt.blogspot.com/

I fianlly decided that the tulips just weren't working for me (I probably made about a dozen different layouts and wasn't thrilled with any of them, so I'm now working on an entire new design from the same magazine.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Need Help from You

As you may be aware if you're following my blog, I'm working on a Spring Bloom Mini Swap project. I finally got the tulip pieces cut out and somewhat put together.

I've been planning on mounting them on the background fabric in straight lines, but I also kinda like the scattered approach. What do you think?

Of course, the scattered approach will be a big pain to applique'. Maybe I'll reduce the number of leaves.

We're going camping this weekend, so tonight I've got to mow the lawn, buy the groceries, pack food, pack suitcases, etc. So I won't be able to get back to this until Monday after we get back (assuming I'll have any energy).

What do you think?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spring Bloom Swap Quilt

Here's the fabrics that I'm using for the swap quilt. I love the colors. I picked them specifically because they remind me of tulip colors (one of my favorite spring flowers). The floral with the white background is for the backing.

I'm going to take the idea from this magazine example (McCalls Quick Quilts, I think) and modify it (no purple, and needs to be much smaller). All tulips. What do you think?

Well, I'm packing up to go to Dad's for the weekend. I'll get to use my new quilted tote!

Have a good weekend, all.