Thursday, August 28, 2008

Love me, love my quilts!!

I know that you are all probably getting very tired of seeing my Off Centered Log Cabin Quilt.....but, I am so excited to show you that I have 1/4 of it pieced together. I haven't removed the papers yet. I was so afraid that some of the edges would be biased and didn't want to stretch it. So, here is how part of the quilt is going to look. I suppose I will stay stitch the edges when I get ready to put the borders on.....we'll see.

So enjoy this pic and remember: Love me, love my quilts!!!!! LOL

Edited to say: Why does Blogger do crazy things like turn the pictures I post????? Ughhhh!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm still here.....

...but I refuse to put any more pics of the Off Centered Log Cabin Blocks on this blog until I start sewing them together. I have just THREE blocks left to assemble now!

I talked with Diane, my Dear Sister in Law today and she motivated me to sew. She lit a fire under me and now I've got just a few more blocks to go! I really do plan on making the quilt really soon here, but life seems to sidetrack me!

Things have been busy here and it seems as if when I have time, I don't have the motivation to sew....and most of the time, I just don't have the time! LOL

So, tonight, I'm planning on sewing the last three blocks and maybe next week, I can starting putting the blocks together into a top.

JulieKQuilts showed a Sunbonnet Sue quilt and asked that we show ours. So, Julie, here is mine. I made this several years ago, back when I still pieced by hand. The applique is done by hand as well as the embroidery. I never found a border fabric I liked....I was new to quilting and thought everything needed to be matchy-matchy. Now, I could walk into a quilt shop and grab a couple of pieces of fabric and get them sewn on pretty quickly! Of course, I need to do just that!!! And, maybe I will. They only problem??? I would need to sew the borders on by hand. Hmmm, we'll see. Too many irons in the fire, don't you think? I'm having a ADD Quilting Moment.....ok, an ADD Quilting Year!!! LOL

Happy Quilting!!!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Scrappy Quilt Idea

I know, I know, I should be finishing up my Off Centered Log Cabin Blocks.....but I get sidetracked so easily. I have finished 85 of the 100 I need, so I'm getting there.

Today I was looking at Marcia Hohn's website of free blocks (I really should stay off the internet when trying to work on a quilt!!!!!!!) and found this Easy Spider Web block. I think it looks really great as a scrap quilt. I've got so many scraps, I really need to use them up, so, I'm thinking this block would be great. Just had to play around and see what it would look like as a quilt. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

The paper is still on the back so the center is not so nice, but will look great once the paper is removed and I can press it well.

O.K. now, I'm getting back to the Log Cabin Blocks, but I think the Spider Web is next. Gotta have something to look forward to!!!

Happy Dreaming of
quilts yet to be made!!!

Happy Birthday to me!!

My friends and family are the sweetest. Sunday was my birthday and they were so kind. I received phone calls, e-mails, one e-card, Facebook messages and from my kiddos, roses and chocolate. Dear Older Son and his friend* came by with roses and chocolate. Then, later, Dear Older Daughter and Dear Younger Son came home with roses and chocolate! Wow! I told their dad that he trained them well!

Of course, we opened the chocolate to share.....had long chats, laughed and visited. It was wonderful having all the kids home yesterday!

I've been working away, as much as possible, on quilting one of my small quilts and sewing those Off Centered Log Cabins. I'm not finishing as quickly as I once did....but that's ok. It's the process I enjoy.

We go through different seasons of life. I had less free time when the children were small. Just too much to do. And, now, I'm adjusting to quilting in spurts. Sometimes 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there. But, I enjoy it too much to give it up entirely! I'll just keep plugging away.

*Now, for some exciting news. Dear Older Son has found the woman of his dreams! We've known her and her family for about 12 years and this past April, Dear Older Son let his intentions be made known. So, we are anticipating a wedding sometime next year. I would say within the first 6 months of the new year.

Dear Older Son has been interested in this young lady for about three years, but wouldn't take any steps to pursue her affections until he was ready to support a wife. Very wise young man. They are in love and enjoying this time of their lives. His dad and I are so happy for them both and so pleased with the woman he has chosen. She's a doll! They are both interested in ministry and I know the Lord is going to use them in a great way!

Thanks for listening to my personal ramblings. I'm loving my family and enjoying the moments. I've begun to see that life is changing, soon my kids will be gone and we'll be getting together at holidays. So, here is to family and cherishing the moments.

Description of pics: First pic is of Dear Older Son and his Bride to be. The second is Dear Older Daughter and Dear Younger Son....they are best buds! ! The other two pics are of all four of my kiddos, having a good time together!

Happy Life!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Veggies and Log Cabins

This past Tuesday, I put feet to my thoughts. I've been doing some thinking lately about how I feel. You know - tired, run down, foggy brained, etc. I know, a lot of stress can cause issues, but we all have stress, right?

So, I've been body needs nutrition. Not just stuff I LIKE to eat, but stuff that's good for me. I mean, seriously, lattes and chocolate don't do much for you nutritionally, you have to supplement occasionally with really nutritious foods!!! I've decided to cut out most of the Dr. Pepper, which I love, and drink more water. Cutting out lattes is NOT an option. I want to eat better, I don't want to kill myself!!!

So Tuesday, I hopped into the car and drove myself and Dear Younger Daughter to Farmer's Market. When the three older kids were young, it was a weekly trip. We went through so much fruit and quite a few veggies back then. Of course, it was fun for the kids to get to pick out their favorites and they were much more likely to eat them if they had picked them out! Even with two of the older kids gone most of the time, we still have to eat. So, Dear Younger Daughter and I bought the place out! Nectarines, plums, onions, sweet potatoes, broccoli, celery, lettuce, avocados....and the list goes on and on. It was hot and tiring, but it felt so good to be investing in the right foods!

When I got home, Mom helped me cut up veggies for about 1 1/2 hours. What a haul!!! She cooked collard greens and we cut up stuff for salads and for cooking with. The only way all these veggies will actually be used is if I have it ready to toss into soups, salads and dishes! I made a pot of veggie soup that night for dinner and Dear Hubby finished it off the next day. Looks like I need to make another pot!!

Here is a pic of the salad I am trying to eat everyday. Not a difficult thing, really, I LOVE salad. In this bowl we have: Romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, purple cabbage, red onion, bell pepper, avocado and slivered almonds. It's the world's best nutritious salad!!

I know that I have food sensitivities to "trashy carbs". I feel awful when I eat them and yet, they are what I crave!! So, out with the trash and in with the good stuff.

Now, why would I put all this out in the public? I guess I want the accountability to keep it up, and I hope to encourage us all to eat better and to take better care of ourselves. Sure, we'd rather grab something and go. Eat something "easy and quick", but we know what we need. We've got to keep our strength up for quilting!!!

Now, on to the quilty stuff. I've been working on those Off Centered Log Cabin blocks for a while. My original intention was to make a quilt for our king sized bed. Well, when Dear Hubby moved into the hospital bed, the king sized bed went out of the room to be replaced with a full sized bed for me. So, I'm working on making 100 blocks for my bed in our room instead. Hey, it will take less time and blocks, so it works out great.

I know there are many options available when wanting to audition layouts for quilts, but I sat down this morning and worked on Publisher and came up with three layouts for my Off Centered Log Cabin blocks. Please note: this is not perfect work, just me messing around on the computer. Some of the "tiles" are off a bit. Just try to ignore that.

Here is how I did it. I took pics of three blocks. I cropped them so only the block appears in the pic. Then, I copied and pasted them into a Publisher document. Made them smaller and copied ALOT more of them. I lined them up side by side, in the layout I wanted. 10 blocks x 10 blocks. They are 7 inch finished. Then, I used the rotate thingy and turned them around and around to get the design I wanted. When I was done, I grouped all the "tiles" and saved it as a picture. And here you see the work I did this morning. I may play around more with some other designs, but I'm liking the first one best!

Feel free to let me know which one you like best! And remember, this layout is only using three blocks. I'm actually using about 400 different scraps to make this quilt. Every color imaginable! This is just for auditioning layouts.

Happy Quilting and Healthy Eating!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Home Again!

We had a great time!!! I will admit, I didn't sleep as much as I should have, but each moment was well spent. Regardless of whether we were eating, resting, sewing, laughing, talking, walking the beach collecting shells, or just sitting outside enjoying the cool Gulf breeze, the trip was a wonderful memory I will cherish forever.

The house was so nice. I had no idea that it would be so pretty and comfortable. The decor was beautiful! The kitchen was well stocked and so clean. It was really so sweet of the family to share their lovely home with us! Since it is a vacation home, I'm hoping we can take another vacation there again to rest and sew.

I did get about 20 more Off Centered Log Cabin blocks made and another 6 or 7 Double Four Patch blocks hand pieced. We were able to discuss organizing scraps and even did some sample sorting. I think one friend learned quite a bit about value.....which is SOOOO important in scrap quilting.

One night we played Scrabble and I am still shocked to report that I won! Two of the ladies who went to the retreat are well known Scrabble contenders in our circle. We also played Bible Pictionary, which is a difficult take on a fun game! Thanks Valerie for being a great partner...without your great talent, we never would have won so decisively!

I think the thing we will cherish most was the walk on the beach. We were all alone, other than one elderly couple watching their 3 year old granddaughter playing along the edge of the water. As I watched my friends walk along the water's edge, I imagined them as young girls. That is how my dear friends appeared to me that day. They seemed to be girls walking along without a care or worry. We were able to enjoy the simple pleasure of finding unique shells and driftwood, and then to enjoy the pleasure of sharing them with friends. Each shell admired for it's simple beauty. We stood shoulder to shoulder, our feet being washed with the salty water and together, we admired the beauty of God's creation. The soft breeze seemed to bring a cleansing to my heart and a reminder to take time to reflect. Thank you, ladies, for the great time together at the beach.

I did come home a bit tired and took a nap, but today, I'm feeling rested. I left the retreat with a renewed love of quilting. I can't wait to get back to the machine and start sewing up more Off Centered Log Cabin blocks. Several blocks will hold special memories of our time on the coast! I can't wait to see the completed quilt someday!

Happy Quilting!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Heading to a Quilt Retreat!!!!

I haven't talked about it before, since I wasn't sure it was going to work out. It seems like things don't always go smoothly for this family! It's a big joke here. If you are planning a trip something awful will happen. The trip will be delayed because of car trouble, you'll get a flat tire, someone will get just never fails.

So, what happened with the Quilt Retreat, you ask???? Well, we were supposed to leave this morning. Instead, we're leaving tomorrow morning. We had to delay the trip.....because we weren't sure if we were going to have a hurricane or just a tropical storm! Tropical Storm Eduoard called on the Texas Gulf Coast early this morning......

We live about 50 miles from the Gulf Coast. Summers are exciting, because of hurricane season. You just never know. So, tomorrow morning, LORD WILLING, we'll be hitting the road.

One of our peeps has a daughter who owns a house about a mile from the Gulf Coast. She is giving us the place for three days and two nights at a very reasonable rate. Just a few of us are going, and we're rather excited. My projects are all packed, my food prepared and just the last minute things need to be tossed into the bag.

I planned a menu of some great "lady foods" and everyone is bringing several items to complete the menu. There will be no cooking except maybe some pasta on this trip! Yippee!

Our busy schedule will include rest, quilting, reading, lounging, rest, talking, laughing, and resting! Of course, nothing is really planned - I'm hoping to get some rest time in....but you may have noticed that already. Maybe a walk or two.....maybe even a drive to the beach.....hmmmm. Who knows what we will do???

Here are some pics of where we'll be staying. My daughter was able to spend a few days at the same place this past May with her peeps. Pretty nice when your daughter is friends with your friends daughter! We're all just one big happy family!!!

Have a great week, I know I'm planning on it! See you all when I return!

Happy Quilting!!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Four Season's Quilt is Here!!!

My little quilt made a little trip before it finally arrived, safe and sound, in it's new home. I'm so grateful that it found it's way here! I won't go into details, but just want everyone involved to know that it has arrived safely and I LOVE IT!

My quilt was made by Grace and she did an outstanding job on the quilt. I really love red, white and blue quilts! They really sing "SUMMER" to me. I think it's amazing that my partner took the time to hand piece and hand quilt this little beauty! I wish you could feel just how soft and supple this little quilt is.

When I started quilting in 1990, Dear Sister in Law taught me to hand piece and hand quilt. Up until 2 years ago, everything I made was done completely by hand. So, believe me when I say, I know the work and time involved in hand piecing and hand quilting!

Thank you so much Grace for the wonderful quilt! I haven't decided where this quilt will reside permanently, and I haven't had time to audition new places yet. I will though, once I'm through admiring it!!!

Happy Quilting and Happy Swapping to all the swappers!!!!