Friday, July 31, 2009


I waste too much time on the computer. It's one habit that I am trying to break! Of course when Kendra decides to have a tea party, the computer gets left in the dust :-)

I'm a bit intimidated by the next quilt I have to do...antique signature blocks and a request for feathers.
So, I am going to find some stencils today and tackle this one...on Monday, LOL. Hey, don't roll your eyes like that, my weekends are busy with family! Do you know how hard it is to get anything done with a three year old running around??? Luckily there are 10 days left before I have to go back to school, so the goal for next week is to JUST DO IT.

Of course, I haven't touched the seam ripper since I admitted my mistake on the other quilt. ugh. There are many hours of repair work waiting for me in the quilt room...see why I play on the computer so much?!?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Contest Link

In the contemporary quilting world, two names lead the way - Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran. They have written a new book, and you can win a copy! Just click here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lessons Learned

I pledged to knit nothing else until this blanket is done -And last night I got a lesson on crochet. It's much faster to use a single-crochet to seam the blocks together rather than mattress stitch, and I think the result is acceptable:
You can see a bit of the lighter color in the seam on the front, and I need to carefully make sure the stripes line up, but I am pleased with my first attempt. Only 18 squares left to knit and then on to seams and borders, woo-hoo!

Kendra has been working on faces...Mom and Dad are at the top,
Grandma below with her glasses on. I think the green blobs are earrings :-)

The lesson I learned today is to always measure the width of the quilt as it advances on the longarm. The corollary is that problems do not magically go away over night! I noticed some rippling in the edge of the quilt I'm working on (lovely feathers, if I do say so myself) but I just kept easing it in. Not a good strategy...when I got to the lower border I had way too much excess, so that's when I grabbed the tape measure. I had "eased" about two inches worth along the way. Now I have a date with Mr. Seam Ripper, oh joy. Lots of cliches come to mind - Haste makes waste, primarily!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Winter in July

The Phoenix Zoo had a snow day this weekend. They trucked in mountains of snow and icy treats for all the animals. Ralph, a Galapogos tortoise really scrambled to get his snack of prickly pear!
Here is Kendra checking out the action at the kiddie play area.
I can't remember what species this is ,some kind of South American rodent I think:
And no visit is complete until we ride the carousel. We got there just as one group was starting their ride, so we were first in line, which assured Kendra of a seat on her favorite lion.
Stay cool!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quilt Camp 2009

I enjoyed a quick trip to Quilt Camp in the Pines this week. When I went for the first time in 2004, I won the roommate lottery and met Jeanne (on the right). She is so much of those people who you meet and feel like you've known forever. We only see each other once or twice a year and each time is a delight.
We took John Flynn's class, Glorified Nine Patch. My advice if you ever take a class with him - BUY THE KIT. He sells wonderful templates if you want to bring your own fabric, but in class it is much more fun to sew than to spend all day cutting out pieces.

Every year at camp, Jeanne plans an extra curricular craft. This year it was fat free treats:Some quilting magazines this summer have featured patterns for these "quick and easy" pincushions. Mine is on the right...lumpy and lopsided. In my own defense, I was using an unfamiliar sewing machine that didn't like the interfacing and ruffly edges. I figured for a first attempt, finished was better than perfect. Jeanne's cupcake on the left was her fourth try ;-)

The featured instructor was Esterita Austin. She gave a lecture on her quilting journey. (Esterita is the redhead on the left.) It was educational and entertaining. I learned a few tricks about color placement (highlight the contrast between light and dark to give dimension) and fell in love with her stone portal quilts.
Great mini-vacation away from the desert heat. Anyone want to join me next year??

Friday, July 10, 2009


Quilts of Valor issued a new challenge - use the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern to make a quilt. I've seen this pattern before, but never tried it myself. This version uses 5" squares. My last QOV project decimated my meager stash of red, white and blue fabric so, oh darn, I will have to go shopping before I go any further with this!

Temptation from Wendy:
She organized an I-Spy swap. I have ideas for several I-spy theme quilts, so this will be a fun way to get lots of different prints. (Amy sent me such a big bag of goodies that I am sharing the love!)

Kendra has been busy for about three days now with a highlighter marker. She can even draw a recognizable face! Parents - remember the simple joys of empty boxes and colors :-)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

It officially HOT here in the Valley of the Sun...105 and above every day for the next two weeks at least. And we haven't even had a good thunderstorm yet! I've been puttering around, enjoying my summer vacation, probably like most of my students - not accomplishing much of anything!

Let me recap my holiday weekend, although the camera was not in use.
Friday - drove up to Prescott Valley to drop off a quilt and have a picnic. This was a test run of the kiddo on a road trip. She did great! (Many thanks to Disney and Dora, LOL) It was cloudy and cool during our lunch and then we hurried back to Phoenix for nap time.
Saturday, July 4 - went to a party at a friend's house. Her band, Mirror Image, played a couple sets of rock music and Kendra had a front row seat. She *loved* the drums. Groupies start young these days ;-) Home to bed for the little one. I could just see the top of the nearest fireworks show over the other houses in the neighborhood.
Sunday - ended up as a very busy day with church, lunch with one set of grandparents and dinner with the others!
Monday - one of Kendra's friends from daycare came over to play for a few hours in the morning. The parents stayed so there was lots of good conversation.
Tuesday - took Kendra to music class at Grandma's church! Quick visit and lunch with Grandma, then home since I had a doctor's appointment. Unfortunately, Kendra fell asleep in the car on the way home, which was a bummer because she woke up as soon as we got home and did not go back to sleep. On the plus side, she fell asleep early last night!

Today, we were back to our normal schedule of taking her to daycare so I could get some quilting done. There was a problem with the top that I wanted to put on the longarm, so that got put aside for Grandma to fix, and I put a binding on. It was the second quilt I did all by machine, which is so quick and easy, except for all the pins. Just follow the directions in the sidebar at Patchwork Times.

OK, I'll cave and add a photo...(or not, since it was the same one I put in my last post)
I am knitting some three-color squares for my blanket. I am determined to finish this ASAP! I put away all other knitting projects and did some calculations...only 19 more squares. It's conceivable to finish the squares before school starts, then I have to sew all 81 together and knit the borders. That phase of the project will definitely have to wait until the temperatures go down!!!