Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sew What's on Your Bed??

Before "blogville" I had posed this question to my online longarm friends on a couple of lists I belong to. It was well received and fun for everyone to share what's on their bed. The other day Zalty Sews asked the same question and I thought - wow, with blogging we can actually SEE what's on each others''s my story!

It shouldn't surprise you that my bedroom is purple. This color seems to have taken over my life the past 10 years. Don't know if it's age related or what, but I'm really drawn to this color. About 5 years ago I added lime green to that mix (smile).

Anyway, this is my bedroom. The quilt was pieced and quilted in 2004 when I had started my longarm business on a rented machine. It's held up well with daily use! Wonderful Hobbs Wool batting. The pillows were made about the same time, with the exception of the large body pillow that was just recently covered out of matching fabric from my quilted curtains. The wall hanging was also done in 2004 on a rented machine as was the small lap quilt. Here's a better view of the lap quilt. It was pieced in 2003 as a class sample - I taught beginning piecing classes at Quilts By the Bay in Galveston in 2003 and 2004.

This poor little quilt had very humble beginnings. It was quilted on a rented machine that had very poor tension. In the dark areas I used variegated thread and attempted to do feathers. You can't really see them. But in the light area I also attempted to do feathers. Between the dark thread, the crappy tension, and my newness in attempting to do feathers I actually spent the next 2 years (or more) off and on of course, frogging the quilting. (frogging equals rip it rip it). Then requilted the light area with formal feathers. Here's a close up. You can still see the crappy dark thread in the center area, but at least the feathers are an improvement!

Even though we live in the south, it's still winter here. Generally my 'under covers' get rotated throughout the season but seems I've really been enjoying these two and haven't been as faithful to rotate. Take a peak at what's under the bedspread.

Yes, there are two other quilts! The top quilt is typically removed at night. And depending upon the weather, either both or just one is used for sleeping.

This top quilt was pieced this past summer and finished up on my birthday, so it's my birthday 2008 quilt! (I've been making birthday quilts since 2004) It's a square in a square pattern, custom quilted with wool batting. (For close ups visit my webshots album and look under Personal Quilts 2008) I really love this quilt, especially when the light hits it just right and you can see all the fun feathers! We've had a few cold nights when we've needed this quilt, but generally it's just the next one that is used on a regular basis this winter....

This is my "Dangling Carrot" quilt that was blogged about last fall -- it has fabric exchange blocks from online friends. It's a huge quilt, if you look closely you'll notice there's not a bottom border showing (green, narrow orange, black) that's because it's tucked in under the mattress. This quilt has 50/50 bamboo/cotton batting and is very warm. I prefer to use natural battings and the wool is my favorite. This one is nice but it's heavy, whereas the wool ones are light. On those cold nights (well, Texas cold that is) the combination of the quilts all using natural fibers are very comfortable to sleep under.

So that's what's on my bed....what's on yours??

Monday, February 23, 2009

Time Out for a Quilt Retreat

Friday morning my bags were packed and ready to be loaded into the trunk of the car for my long anticipated quilt retreat weekend!

The smallest bag held my clothing (smile) the rest held my 'necessities' Quilting isn't for light weights that's for sure!

We were able to check in at noon -- to a wonderfully beautiful fantastic retreat center owned by fellow longarm quilter Diane Anderson -- she's the Cabin Quilter and this is her Quilter's Cabin - and yes, it's in the woods (smile).

Our home away from home for the next 51 hours. I was joined by 11 lovely ladies and we had a blast! The sewing machines were quickly set up, the overnight bags tossed on the beds for later unpacking, the kitchen well stocked with our 'pot luck' meal arrangements and it was time to sew!

Everyone brought multiple projects to work on, some had quilts that had already been quilted and just needed the binding put on, some had applique projects, there were some projects started "from scratch" and finished at the retreat while there were many that were "projects started" and worked on during the retreat. With the fabulous design walls in our sewing area it was fun to watch the building of the blocks into quilt tops!

This is our second annual retreat and I decided we needed a block exchange. So everyone made 3.5 inch split rails and I gave a free demo/lesson in turning those into Cracker Box blocks using the Square in a Square technique. We signed the center and exchanged these mementos. I didn't work on putting mine together yet so I guess technically I need to add another number to my "Projects Started" accountability list on my side bar.

Here's the project that I decided to work on Friday afternoon. The large waterwheel blocks were already pieced prior to coming. I then pieced the small pinwheels and spent my day putting the top together.

Literally the entire day!! Here I am at 30 minutes past midnight with all the blocks and sashing sewn together. Whew!

I auditioned fabric for the borders and the gals liked this combo best. It's hard to see but there's a narrow black border first to help float the pinwheels, then a narrow green border, then a wider black border with multi-colored confetti triangles. I pieced these together to be able to add as one border instead of three -- and will be mitering them.

I had planned on doing this at the retreat so I could check off a "Project Started" and move it to "Quilts in Waiting" -- especially since this quilt needs to be finished before vending at the Dallas show...but decided to wait until I got home because I have a very large cutting station and I want to make sure I'm accurate in cutting the miters. So, day one, almost done but no cigar!

On Saturday I pulled out another PS (project started) and decided to work on my lone star, especially since one of the gals there had worked with QuiltSmart and knew the method of construction. Prior to retreat I only had three rows of the six done on this single panel. For some reason my brain wasn't wrapping around the method too easily, but thanks to the patience of my friend and a little swig of Pepsi I came back alive and finally "got it" (remember, I was quilting until well past midnight the night before!)

By the end of the day I'd completed 4 panels of the 8 needed for the star center. Did I mention this is a 58" star?

Decided to pull another almost all nighter - here's my friend Sara after she completed the borders on her quilt AT 2:30 AM Sunday morning! And yes, she's leaning up against the wall, but wouldn't you if you'd been on such a marathon!

For the record, she and I were up until 4:30 AM -- longer than a couple of other die-hard quilters who ONLY made it until 3:30 AM. We had fun talking about "how would you quilt this" on several projects -- my waterwheel included, it's great to get opinions and ideas from others. Not to mention the inspiration in seeing what others were working on and thinking "I'd like to do that sometime."

All too soon Sunday morning came (that's an understatement!!) The final day of retreat. So far I'd worked on two projects but none of them were complete (sigh) and I had a trunk load that I'd brought with me...

Since we had to check out at 3 PM I decided I needed an easy project for a little instant gratification. So I pulled out my kaleidoscope project. Below are the blocks that I came with.

I turned into a smokin' needle to try to make the remaining 13 blocks (they were pre-cut so that helped).

Let me add here that the fellowship and camaraderie was so wonderful. These ladies knew that "karen doesn't cook" so they had planned meals -- Lisa made a tasty chili/taco soup for Friday night, Lea Ann and the other Karen made crab cakes for lunch, Peggy brought chicken salad for lunch, Sara made a nice rice, asparagus and shrimp stir fry for Saturday night, and I don't know who made the breakfast casseroles (I managed to sleep through breakfast and just made oatmeal with fruit for myself). And those wonderful snacks!!

We had so much fun laughing and talking and watching each others parts and pieces come together into a quilt project. We helped each other with design ideas, block placement, border choices....just plain fun!

In keeping with that spirit of helpfulness, it's not too surprising that Peggy offered to help me on Sunday -- she volunteered to press my blocks as I continued sewing so I could actually MAKE 13 blocks that afternoon (remember, we had to take time out to eat a lot and time for our group photo).

One of the gals asked if this would technically make this a "two person quilt" if I ever entered it into a show (grin). I said "In my acceptance speech for this major quilting award I will declare 'I owe it all to my friends!'"

With Peggy's help in pressing, and the other gals cleaning up the kitchen (see, I'm really allergic to the kitchen and they all knew that), I was able to get all my blocks completed before our 3 PM departure!! Still no check marks off the PS category, but a whole lot closer!

All too soon we were loading our cars and giving hugs with the "see ya next year" parting words. We came from all around our Houston/Galveston area and even as far away as Fort Worth. Some of the ladies knew each other, some met for the first time this weekend and yes, we all can't wait until next year! I've already made the reservations! (I am tempted to keep my project boxes packed but perhaps I'll be able to work on a few between now and then!)

Truly I am blessed with such fabulous friends. We laughed together, helped each other, and I really wouldn't have wanted to miss out on the 'group therapy' -- even when it continued into the wee hours. The saying "I get by with a little help from my friends" rings loudly in my ear. I am soooo blessed.

This posting doesn't do justice to our weekend. The photos in webshots give more visual interpretation to our glorious weekend. Sara was surprised that I didn't stay up even later each evening to blog about our a way, it would have been much more of an interesting story, but I decided that it was better to just LIVE the story than try to RECORD the story. I hope you'll hop on over to my photos and see what everyone else was working on (much more interesting than my projects) and you'll get a better taste of our weekend. Plus you can take a tour of the interior of our retreat center. Top notch one hundred percent!

By the smiles on our faces late Sunday afternoon when this photo was taken, I think you'll agree we all had a wonderful time. Can't wait until next year!!

Retreat Center:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sunset on the Seawall

Date night! Couldn't tell you the last time we walked on the beach at Galveston -- I know it was pre-Ike. Oh, we've been to the island once or twice since the hurricane back in September, but we hadn't walked the seawall or stepped foot on the sand.

That all changed tonight! And it felt wonderful!

Dare I say normal?

Our life pre-Ike included a lot of date nights in Galveston. We used to love to drive over the causeway, some 25 miles from home, park on the seawall and just walk. Honestly it's been a while since we actually walked on the sand, much preferring the stability of the sidewalk on top of the seawall, enjoying the traffic, the activities at the local establishments that we passed, deciding which restaurant we were going to eat at...well, that was usually a given, our favorite is The Spot. Especially during warmer weather when we could sit outside in their Tiki bar (across the street from the seawall) and have a nice hamburger, or salad and baked potato, occasionally a grilled shrimp dinner...As they say...those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end (grin).

I think we've eaten there once, maybe twice since Ike, but tonight was the first time we walked the seawall -- and the FIRST time in over a year or more that we walked on the beach.

Galveston, on a good day, isn't the prettiest beach in the world. Some say it's dirty colored sand and they complain of the dark water -- but what they don't realize is Galveston is the end of the line for a lot of streams and rivers so that's why we don't have the crystal clear blue waters you have in the Florida area...Ah, but it's still a beach and it beckons me.

I love the sounds of the seagulls and the sights of the waves -- some days they are good sized, other days they are flat -- just depends upon the weather I guess. I love looking for the tiny seashells, the ones that take hundreds to fill your pocket. As a kid I used to look for the ones with a little hole in them so I could string them into a bracelet or necklace. Now, many shell collections later, I just love to look at them. Occasionally picking up one to remember my special moment, my day at the beach.

Being an island with the bay side to the north and the ocean side to the south, you really don't have the sunset moments like you do in Key West. We also don't have the bagpipe player (sigh) but that doesn't mean we don't have beautiful sunsets, they just aren't over the water. It was still romantic.

After our walk we went to Fish Tales, one of the local restaurants also on the seawall and had our fill of grilled and fried shrimp with a wonderful salad and vegetable melody. We had an ocean view and enjoyed the dusk turning to night as we dined like "we used to". The evening was topped off with sharing a slice of key lime pie!! I dare say it's been well over a year since I've had key lime pie (my first key lime pie was in Key West, so it's a beach thing for me) -- making this a truly wonderful date night!

I didn't have my camera with me, just my cell phone, but I thought it did a pretty good job of recording my special evening with my special someone (grin) So I'm sharing with you a taste of sunset on the seawall....

wishing you beautiful sunsets with the one you love, now and for always

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tic Tac Toe Away We Go

Looks like a game board doesn't it? Nope. It's my project boxes for this next weekend...big goals, not realistic, but variety is nice.

What am I talking about? An upcoming retreat of course! A weekend get-a-way with a few quilting buddies and I'm planning my course of action!

The top left is a UFO (UnFinished Object) - renamed PS for Project Started - called Southern Skies. It's a SnS (Square in a Square) pattern that's in the works. it has high hopes of being chosen to be worked on.

Center top row is another SnS project you've seen before -- I started it in January -- Peddler's Choice, the center blocks are all done and connected, all it needs is a border, or two (smile) to call it a Quilt in Waiting.

Actually, that's the goal -- to turn a few of these from PS's to QIW.

The far right on the top is a project that was a result of a PS turning to a QIW last year at retreat -- one that is still in that category actually (Morning Star). It was a Nickel Quilt (from the pattern book series with the same name) that was cut out to be a queen size top but found itself a twin instead. Finished is good. Well, finished piecing at this point. Anyway, the leftover nickels needed a quilt to belong to so I decided to make a Ferris Wheel and made a couple of blocks...then it got shelved. I pulled it out today and finished cutting out all the hexagons so it would have a better chance of getting worked on at retreat next weekend.

Middle row, left is a goofy little Christmas quilt. The blocks were pieced back in 2004 so I'd have something to practice on (early days of longarm quilting). All it needs is a border. This one has a good chance of getting picked as a "me first" project -- goals of being one of the first QIW for the weekend.

Center of center row is a new project that I've been working on these past few "days off" (remember I piece for myself on Sunday's after worship). This is another SnS pattern called Waterwheel. I have 24 blocks made already and have pieced the basic square for the Option 4 half square triangles that will join these blocks as small pinwheels. I really like the fabric in this one, it's a new line by P&B called Siena so it has a good chance of being among the chosen at retreat. One of the gals is coming from the Dallas area and is swinging by P&B to pick up a bolt for the backing! What a treat! What a nice friend!

Right, center row is parts and pieces to a lone star made of purple and orange batiks using the QuiltSmart method. Everything is cut out. This was fabric I purchased in the summer of 2004 with a gift certificate from ladies at in the Women's Ministry at church...I'd put together a prayer quilt with their help for our pastor's wife who had just been diagnosed with a very rare bone cancer. She's undergone lots of stuff in the past few years and is a living testimony to God's grace. We learn a lot from her and her godly example. Anyway, the ladies got together and gave me a gift certificate to the local quilt shop as a thank you for heading up the prayer quilt....I don't know if I'll get to this quilt next weekend at retreat or not, but I hope so. At least work on it a little bit so it doesn't feel so neglected. I know it will remind me to pray for our pastor's wife and others who are going through physical battles as I work on it and every time I see it. Quilts have memories associated with them ya'know.

Bottom row, left. That's a little project that's sure to be done -- or at least I hope. It's not among my countdown of PS's, it's actually a new project. There are a dozen of us looking forward to this escape and time of endless sewing...we are exchanging a signature block to make a souvenir of our weekend together. That's my dozen blocks in that project box, and a cute little panel that I hope will work as a topper to a quaint little memento.

Bottom center is my Christmas tree quilt -- it was hanging in my living room as a PS during my open house. Technically it needs a top and bottom pieced row before it can become a QIW. I hope it will be one that is finished up, it would really be nice to also be able to move it to the finished category before this next Christmas. Only time will tell.

The final PS in my tic tac toe arrangement is a kiddie kaleidoscope. I pieced 12 blocks in 2004 and have let it sit since then. Today I decided to cut out the parts and pieces for the remaining 13 blocks with high hopes of it getting picked as one of the top candidates for next weekend's projects. I think I'll have enough fabric for a nice wide border -- and I went shopping in my stash and came up with a luscious lemon stripe that I hope will blend in, I'm thinking striped bias binding and backing for this one! This one just makes me smile -- love the colors, love the cute little sea creatures.

So there you have it. The line up. Pretty little project boxes full of PS's (projects started) all with the high hopes of being worked on at least a little bit at the retreat... why so many you ask?? In case I get distracted or lose focus on one I have something else to chose from (grin). Yep, I'm a certifiable basket case. And yes, I have a very big trunk!!

So the agenda this week is to try to put visions of PS's and future QIW out of my mind long enough to deal with the week's wonderful activities! I have a beautiful customer applique quilt on the frame now and hopes to finish another customer quilt before I take time out for fun with my quilting buddies.

Stay tuned. The retreat center is really fabulous and the gals will all have their own projects to work on -- we love show and tell. To get a glimpse of what to expect visit my webshot album from last year's retreat! We had sew much fun!! There will be some new faces this year, but I can guarantee that we'll all be smiling!!

High hopes!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Superior Thread Giveaway

Who couldn't use more thread!!???? Check out Superior Thread's New Blog for details on this special Valentine's Giveaway of a $50 gift certificate!! But don't get your hopes up -- I'm planning on winning (grin).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

True Confessions: I made an ugly quilt

I made an ugly quilt. Not on purpose. Really didn't mean to. But it was certifiable ugly. Both my youngest son and dear husband agreed. It was ugly. Not one of my best creations.

I didn't start out wanting to make an ugly quilt. It just sorta happen. Maybe I can blame someone else...hum...a toss up between my last customer quilt and my best friend in Tennessee. Yep. It's really all their fault.

You see, my last customer quilt had this beautiful fleece on the back and it quilted up so nicely....I really coveted a soft backing like that in one of my personal quilts. many quilts, so many PS's (personal projects started)...maybe one day I could have a fleece backed personal quilt.

Then it happened. My girlfriend and I were talking late the other night. See, she's a longarm quilter that has recently purchased a quilt shop in Bristol Virginia and we were talking about inventory. Since I'm quite the collector of books and patterns I was giving her my recommendations for future purchases for her shop. I actually pulled out a few books from my bookcase to give her some titles...and that just has to be it -- the start of my ugly quilt.

For you see, after our phone conversation I took a few of those books to bed for my evening reading material and low and behold I found a really quick pattern that I though would make a great scrap quilt. No sleeping now. Went to the studio and pulled out some fleece that I just happened to have in my stash... measured it ... went back to bed and figured out how I could adapt the pattern in my book to fit my new found backing.

The exciting part was the blocks were made from 3 inch strips and 5.5 inch blocks...well, the X's and O's quilt I'd made on New Year's used scraps I had cut from fat quarters that were 5.5 strips...some of the left overs were 3 3/8" and I could easily adapt that to the 3 inch strips...and then since I had 5.5 inch strips I could easily cut the needed blocks from those. This was going to be a piece of cake! Plans made I went on to sleep.

The next day was my "outside obligation" day. Morning chiropractor and massage therapist appointment, afternoon hair and nails (for the record this is only the third time I've ever had my nails professionally done -- I've never considered myself a high maintenance sort of gal, but I'm sorta liking this!!). I call this my 'attitude adjustment' day -- I have such wonderful friends in my service providers -- we laugh, and talk, and I just come away with such a wonderful spirit. Nothing like a little pampering and good friends to truly change my attitude! As per my habit, I don't 'work' on these 'outside obligation' days so that meant that my evening was mine to call my own. Perfect time to work on this new quilt that would fulfill my need to work from my scraps and have a personal quilt with fleece backing...

Several hours later the pieced blocks were done, rotated and replaced a zillion times before adding the setting blocks...since the backing was a blue plaid I decided that the 10 inch blocks should be a blue stripe...and once it was all together, it was pronounced UGLY!!! By the way, the blue plaid on the edges is actually the backing -- it has to be bigger than the top to load on the longarm...

My son said it was the colors of my scraps, my husband said it was the stripes. I couldn't tell you for sure, but I knew I'd probably just wasted several hours of my time. And I kept looking over my shoulder for the quilt police. Oh my, what had I done? What could I do? Why did I even start this project when I had 29 "projects started" that would have been much more gratifying. Just how did this distraction get started in the first place? I couldn't really blame it on my friends...i was my doing. Am I that easily distracted or just a free spirit? And NOW WHAT!!

I didn't want to rip it out and try to fix it. I didn't know how to any way. I certainly didn't want to donate it to the upcoming guild auction -- I'd be too embarrassed. Donate it to charity? No, I wouldn't give away something that I didn't like myself -- I was raised different than that. My son tried to be positive -- 'maybe you can save it with your quilting' -- hum...did I want to invest more time in this sinking project or not? I've have to think about it. Besides, I had a class to teach the following day so it would just have to wait regardless of what I decided.

A lesson in humility perhaps? A stark realization that I had absolutely no color sense or that I needed some training in values? Or a rude awaking that everyone sometime in their lives has a 'bless her heart' quilt? I don't know...but I thought about it, and decided that every quilt deserves to be that's what I did.

I played. No plan, nothing special -- except I knew I wanted my Karen's special butterflies in it -- figured it was already certified ugly so nothing I could do could make it any worse (or at least I hoped not!)

It's still not my best quilt -- but it's finished. Even the binding! I did that tonight. I think it's still a little ugly but not as much as before. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but it's certainly soft -- I do love the fleece backing!

Align Center

Yep, every quilt deserves to be quilted -- ugly or not. It still reflects the piecer's love of the craft, the passion for quilting, and the learning curve !! It's part of the journey. Sometimes there's rough roads along with rainbows...all a part of life. At least a finished quilt can offer warmth -- so it's never a waste. Yep. I made an ugly quilt, but it's finished and that's what counts!! Chalk one more up for the finished category for 2009.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The hurrier I go the behinder I get

Seems I'm busy all the time but doesn't seem like I'm getting much done -- ever feel that way? Too much to do, not enough time to devote to something, always feeling like you are putting out the biggest fires first...that's the way I've been feeling for some time now. Nothing wrong, just not enough checked off the to-do list if ya'know what I mean.

This past week I managed to catch up on some paperwork. Seems my two adult sons really hoped their mom would take some time out to do their taxes -- after all, you file early you have a good chance of getting your returns faster (grin). And yes, I did both of their tax returns and yes, they hope to get a direct deposit within a few weeks. Oh the simplicity of the short form! To be young year perhaps I'll take time and teach them how to do it themselves. Not that I mind, but somehow I've managed to miss this teachable moment for several years now...and I've always prided myself that I was raising men not boys! Oh well, other than the fact they know that their momma can (and will) do their taxes faster than they can both really are perfect sons!

I also took out some time to work on some paperwork with hubby and get our things ready to file our taxes. Having a quilting business complicates things a bit, but I'm pretty good with paperwork -- just not good with having enough time. Too many distractions, too many directions, too many things wanting my time and attention.

In addition I've upgraded some of my computer programs -- came out of the dark ages actually. This was the year to go from Quicken 2005 to Quicken 2009, and then there's the old (too old to admit just how old) MS Office that got upgraded...and did I mention that I needed (wanted) a new wireless printer to go with my new laptop....yep, not enough hours in my day to deal with all the behind the scene stuff, I'd rather be quilting!

I'm behind in uploading photos to my webshot albums, I am humbled each week when I get the stats that people are still looking at my photos when there's not much new (but then again, there's a lot to look at -- too much for one setting unless you drank multiple pots of coffee!) I have the entire 4th quarter of customer quilts waiting to be uploaded not to mention over 50 photos of Quilts of Hope for Ike survivors that haven't been added to that ever growing album. Maybe later this weekend, we'll see.

Oh, and then there's the random acts of kindness that I need to repay -- Ginny tagged me with some sort of photo story that I haven't gotten a "round to-it" yet. You can read more about the way the game goes on Ginny's blog and perhaps in the next day or two I'll play along. I think Millie started that one and now Millie's got me going on something else, an award that I need to take time to pass along to others. Check out Millie's blog if you can't wait for me to tell you about it (grin) You girls are just way too much fun! Don't count me out just cuz I'm slow, I really like playing along, I'm just still behind -- remember that wall calendar page that I just turned over, somehow I really think I missed a month, isn't this January instead of February????

Okay, so in the meantime I figured I at least needed to keep up with all the new gals I'm finding on blogville -- those of you that are piecing a mile a minute and throwing out all these luscious quilting eye candy...I'm soooo inspired and really really want to get behind the eight ball and catch up with ya... I'm working on it, honest Abe!

Don't have a lot to show, but here's a little eye candy back at'cha....a couple of customer quilts that brought a ray of sunshine into the quilting room recently. They remind me why I do this -- I love the perpetual quilt show in my studio!! Hope you enjoy the photos and be patient with me, this quilt rambler is trying to build up steam to run on track again.

Can you see the rays going out of the center on this one?

Lots of color and movement in this little wallhanging.

Add a fun border and call it done!

Pixxie wanted in this photo of a customer t-shirt quilt.
Some lucky granddaughter has a new quilt full of old college memories to call her own.

How'bout a longhorn quilt?
Had to get over the fact that I was raised by an Aggie as I quilted this one (grin)
For those of you outside of the lone star state, UT (University of Texas) and
A&M (Texas A&M) are big big rivals.

The backing was fleece and it quilted up beautifully! And yes,
it's a "quilt" -- there's batting in the middle

Multiple borders on this one -- and since it's for a man and it's football...
well, what can I say, no girly feathers (sigh)

Tried to add a little texture with the background fills

I think I'd like to do a fleece backing on one of my personal quilts -- it was oh so soft! and I really liked the way the quilting showed even though you really couldn't see the actual thread. Have to add that to my quilting goal list....which by the way, I hope to work on one of my PS's (project started) this weekend! Stay tuned. I have a lot of irons in the fire and hope to have something interesting to share next time I take a computer break.

karen o in TX
your blogville quilting buddy

Okay, I got distracted. Went to check out Ginny's blog and found this about rainbow colors...just had to play a long...

Your rainbow is shaded yellow.

What is says about you: You are a joyful person. You appreciate optimism. You're good at getting people to like you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Sorta surprised me cuz I really like purple -- but here lately I've found myself putting in a lot of yellows in my quilts (it goes with purple ya'know). Maybe there is something about this color because it's bright and cheery and that's what I gravitate to.

Well, I had to do it twice. There were a few choices that I could have gone either here's the second time around's results.

Your rainbow is strongly shaded white and yellow.

What is says about you: You are a joyful person. You appreciate quiet moments. You're good at getting people to like you. People depend on you to make them feel secure.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Guess it's yellow! Not as in yellow-belly, even though I've been taught (and believe) to turn the other cheek. Hum. Does this 'knowledge' change my life? not really -- but I played along and it was fun! I do hope however that folks find me joyful. That's a good goal!!

Okay, if you are reading this why not be tempted to click and find out what the quiz says about you -- all in fun but a nice distraction!!

Friday 2/6/09

I'm cheating - I'm adding to the bottom of a post (grin) but I couldn't help it...decided to take the rainbow color test again -- different day, different mood .... does this mean I have a split personality?? Or that I'm easily entertained.

Your rainbow is intensely shaded yellow, blue, and violet.

What is says about you: You are a joyful person. You appreciate friends who get along with one another. You share hobbies with friends and like trying to fit into their routines. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Page on the Wall Calendar

Yeah! It's a new month! I always like it when I can turn over a new page on the wall calendar - not just because I get to view a new pretty picture for a month (of course I have one with quilts on it!) -- but because I can close out the old month, at least in my mind.

Okay, maybe that sounds a little weird, but I have to tell myself goofy things to keep my sanity. Such as -- the old month is now over, whatever you did or didn't do is history. Here's a fresh new page of your life that hasn't been written yet -- make the most of it! Or as I've been known to say to my children "go and sin no more" (grin). New beginnings! Better than a new year, this happens 12 times a year!! Again, "make the most of it!"

So I did. I took a Sunday afternoon nap!

Seriously. I had grand plans of finishing a personal quilting project today but sleep overtook me. And I gave in. A good way to rid my mind and body of last month's stresses (grin) okay, maybe it only sounds logical to me, but I believe me! No regrets.

And then I woke up. And yes, I did work in my studio, but not on the living room quilt that only needs a mitered stripe border like I'd hoped. It was a little more than I could do in the short evening hours so instead I opted to work on the quilt I started while at the SnS reunion the first of January . I had all the blocks made already so this evening I pieced the blocks into the quilt center. Another step towards completion.

Then I got to thinking.

And then I decided to make a list.

Hum. And then I figured I might as well confess and then perhaps the 'accountability factor' would be a good motivator to assist me.

I made a spread sheet with the names of all my UFO's or Projects Started -- think I'll start calling them PS's -- how's that for a new catch phrase.

Okay. I admit to the world I have 29, count them, twenty-nine, yes one shy of thirty (gasp!) -- I have 29 projects that have been started all neatly arranged on my bookshelf (and floor) in those cute clear plastic project boxes.

Truth be told, a lot of them are really really close to being finished. And now that I've made a list (yes, each project has a name) I'm mentally sorting them into the ones that I'd like to take to retreat with me later this month (more on that another time) and sorta placing them in a piecing order in my mind. Of course, the logical order is very subject to change dependant upon the mood of the moment when I do get to sit down at the domestic...okay...onward!

I also listed my "Quilts in Waiting" - quilts that are waiting their turn on the longarm -- some have been waiting since 2005 (sigh). Keep in mind, these are personal quilts. I'm not that slow with my customer quilts or I'd be out of business (grin). Remember, I work for myself on Sunday afternoons after worship (and sometimes after a nap) so be kind.

I have six. Not too bad, two of them are from my sew in with the Galveston Island Quilt Guild in July 2005, I can remember because that was also my birthday. One is from the retreat last Feb 2008, and the other three are small SnS samples I pieced this past fall. So not too bad in this category.

Next is the "Next step Binding" category. If I'd of started the list yesterday there would have been two -- but last night I finished the binding on My Dangling Carrot quilt so it's now moved to the Finished in 2009 category. Only one little lone quilt in this category -- Exploding Star quilted before Christmas.

And this is where the celebrations begin! Two already in the "Finished in 2009" list! The Prairie Claw Class Sampler I did on New Years and now My Dangling Carrot. In a way, the Finished category is a little deceiving since the entire process wasn't done in 2009....but guess I can live with that...on the same token the PS's weren't all started in 2009 either!!

SO my sew-n-sew friends, I've been bold and made a list on my sidebar that will be continually updated as I have the opportunity to work on personal projects. I read about others who keep up with fabric in and fabric out -- I didn't want to do that, one because that's too much of a confession (grin) and because it was too much thinking for me. This method is manageable. I know now how many PS's I have in my nice new project boxes and I know how many are tops waiting to be quilted, bound, and finished.

I know I'll probably add new projects to the ones already started, I'd never be able to limit myself to just finishing something because there's a lot of joy in the planning stages! Well, anyway, my point was the PS column can both increase and decrease throughout the year but hopefully the QW will increase with the ultimate goal of having lots and lots of finished quilts with my signature on them by the close of 2009.

Now I have one more reason to enjoy turning over a new wall calendar page -- to report in how I'm doing with my personal quilting goals!

Stay tuned!!