Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Newest Obsession

OK.  It didn't start out as an obsession.  It was an innocent, passing interest; really more curiosity than anything.  I'd heard about groups of women who indulged in such an obsession but, really, I didn't think it would interest me.

.......then one fateful Saturday I allowed myself to indulge and the rest is history.  Yes........ I am a hooker.  Now that it's out, I feel so much better. 

I started as most hookers do with a love of wool.  I started frequenting thrift stores searching for 100% wool skirts.  Then moved on to the hard stuff:  wool from honest to goodness stores. 

Like most, I started with the dreaded star.  I know the star teaches all sorts of stuff you need to know.  But, it's SO boring.  As you can see, I was not a good pupil because I didn't finish my star.   

Last month, one of my friends and I visited Black Sheep Wool for a wonderful 3 day workshop.  If I wasn't already hooked I would have been after visiting Marty and Rhonda.  Oh my goodness!!  What a treat for the eyes (and tummy!)  This is the rug I'm making.

While at the workshop, I cut what I thought would be plenty of wool strips.  After hooking for a few days, I quickly realized I hadn't cut nearly enough strips.  What to do, what to do.  Lots of my hooker buddies have cutters and I know I could probably go to their home to cut wool but that would slow me down with traveling and visiting and getting side tracked.  Last week I contacted Marty at Black Sheep Wool and ordered a Townsend cutter. 

OK.  It's official.......I really am a hooker and I'd better become a darn good one since I now have all the necessary tools. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friendship's Gift

Hard to believe another week has come and gone!  Remember when you were a kid and it seemed like forever until Christmas?  I kind of long for those days.

My friends Darlene and Debby had their sneak peek into their new quilting studio yesterday.  One of the big hits was my newest block of the month, Friendship's Gift.  When I decided to put together something for them, we decided we wanted it to be representative of their new place:  a place where people can come to visit, sew, and generally forget life's trials and tribulations and be with others who share their love of creating.  What better theme than friendship?

Those who know me know I rarely follow the pattern exactly.  My colors are almost always different than what they're "supposed" to be.  I usually just have to change some design element to make the quilt just a little different. 

This block of the month starts in January but they're taking sign ups now.  Cost is $19.95 per month and that includes all fabrics for the top and binding.  The book is sold separately and is $24.95.  If you are interested in participating, call Darlene at 479-372-7403 to get your name on the list. 

For those who are in the area, we plan to have a get together for those working on this project the 2nd Sat of each month from 9:00 - 10:30.  Visiting us is optional but we thought it would be a nice way to build friendships.

Thanks for your continued prayers for my mother.  We finally have a date to see the oncologist - Dec 23.  I have the date circled in red on my calendar.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Road to California Quilt Show

First, I'd like to thank all of you who contacted me after my last post.  Mom is continuing to grow stronger and we are very hopeful we receive good news this week.  I will keep you posted.

I did receive some good news of a much different type this past week.  On a whim, I entered a quilt into the Road to California quilt show.  I almost fell out of my chair when I received notification my quilt, Warm Hearts, was accepted into the show.  It's a juried show so just getting to show a quilt is an honor as far as I'm concerned. 

While preparing my quilt for shipment I began a nostalgic trip down memory lane.  This quilt was made and offered as a block of the month through Rabbit's Lair.  That made me think about all the quilts I've made and offered as blocks of the month through various shops.  I thought it might be fun to share some with you.

Rabbits Prefer Chocolate (I don't have the quilt I made but it was similiar to this photo of the pattern)

Christmas Memories

Baskets, Berries and Leaves - This is a large quilt and I don't have a photo of the entire quilt.  This is the quilt as shown on the pattern.

This is one of my blocks to show the colorway I chose.

Friends for Christmas

My Favorite Things

Country Paths

All Things Christmas - Apparently I don't have a photo of this quilt either.  Here's what it's "supposed" to look like according to the pattern.

Here is a photo of four of my blocks to give you an idea of colors I chose.

Autumn House

There are others but this post is getting large so I'd better quit for now.  I will have a new block of the month to share soon.  I am putting together one for Sager Creek Quilts.  We hope to offer it as a block of the month Jan, 2011.  If you've never visited Sager Creek Quilts, you should indulge yourself this holiday season.  The shop is located in the heart of Siloam Springs AR in a beautiful historic home.  Cliff and Pam have a nice selection of fabrics and all the samples make it a place where you can become inspired.

Just typing Jan 2011 reminds me that's only a few weeks away so I'd better get back to sewing!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The best project for hospital waiting rooms

The past 2 weeks are a blur.  My mother has not felt well for quite some time. A visit to her family doctor resulted in a scan that revealed she needed to have her gallbladder removed. We were referred to a surgeon who suggested she have a colonoscopy since she'd never had one. After a little persuasion, she agreed and was scheduled for the procedure the following day (perfect timing so she didn't have time to dread it). Good thing she had the colonoscopy because he found colon cancer. He felt it was contained and was very optimistic that surgery would remove it all. 

Two days later she is in surgery to have her gallbladder and a portion of her colon removed. During surgery, the surgeon ran into complications and couldn't do the procedure as planned. That turned out to be a good thing, though, because he also found cancer in her intestine.

As a child I remember feeling very sad at Christmas when I learned of the passing of a lady who went to our church.  I thought how sad it must be too lose a loved one or get sad news around the holidays.  They would never be the same.  Unfortunately, I will never think of Thanksgiving in the same way in light of what happened the past week.  Time will heal the shock but Thanksgiving will always be the holiday season when mom was diagnosed with cancer. 

I spent a lot of hours in the hospital and put my time to good use.  I worked on my baskets. 

Did I mention I need 280 something of these little guys to make a quilt?  They are perfect for hospital visits.  I am sure we will have many more medical appointments so I'll have a lot of opportunities to make more. 

Hope you get a lot of quality quilting time in this holiday season!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Civil War Bride Quilt Block #8

The Civil War Bride Quilt is moving right along.  Here's block 8.  I will embroider the details after I've finished appliquing all the blocks.

I think the thing I've most enjoyed about this quilting journed is the diversity of challenges each block poses.  When I began planning this block, I knew exactly what I wanted to use for the pears.  I envisioned them like this.

I quickly realized this fabric was too muddy for my contemporary quilt.  So, I thought this would be the perfect pear.  I even fussy cut it so the flower motif on the fabric would become the top of the pear. 

Decided I didn't care for it either.  I finally settled on the fabric you see in the finished block.  I like how the green and yellow geometric shapes seem to create a roundness......ok......ok.......I'm over analyzing!

Even if I hadn't checked the calendar to see when Thanksgiving is I know it must be soon because my Christmas cactus is blooming.  My sister gave it to me years ago and it has never failed to bloom around Thanksgiving. 

Hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week.  Hope you have a great week.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A quick update

Returned from a wonderful trip to Houston to quilt market.  Weather was absolutely beautiful.  I am not the kind of person who feels comfortable asking designers to pose for photos.  I am much too shy to ask them to spend time they could use to sell products to pay for their market expenses to pose for a photo with me.  SO, I have only one photo that was taken for the Lecien folks that includes me and proves I was there.  That's Lynette Anderson, Darlene of Sew Graceful Quilting, and me.

To see lots of market photos go to The Fat Quarter Shop's blog.  They did a great job of taking lots of photos to give you an idea of what everything looked like. 

The quilt festival quilts are always hung while market is going on so I got to see the quilts.  Oh my goodness!  What a feast for the eyes.  The winners are not announced until after quilt market so it's always fun to try to guess what beauties will be chosen as winners.  Sharon Schamber's quilt "Mystique" took Best of Show.  

Nancy Kerns' "Mary Simon Rediscovered" took the Founder's Award.

Why not grab yourself a cup of something warm and go over to The International Quilt Association website and view all the winners.  I can almost guarantee you'll be inspired!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Houston Here I Come!

Actually, I don't know whether anyone in Houston will really care that I'm coming.  Maybe the desk clerk.

My bags are packed.

You probably are wondering why I have a pair of socks sitting on top of my bag.  That's because they are special socks.  My friend, Clarice, took the time to knit me a pair!  Yes, I now am the proud owner of a pair of hand knitted socks!  I have friends who have knitted socks who have gloated for years about the fact I have to wear "store bought" socks.  Not any more!  The only problem is that I just cannot imagine wearing those beauties for such lowly tasks as walking the Houston convention floor.  Those babies are being saved for evening lounge wear and maybe an occasional special event where shoes are warranted.

Speaking of convention.  Here's a sample layout of  booths.  Don't fool yourself.  It may not look like much but imagine each little block is a booth filled with wonderful items.  Makes staying for only 3 days seem like that's not enough time.

I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  I'll have photos next week.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What I've Been up To

Most fabric companies offer a free pattern when they release a new line of fabric.  I got to design and make the quilt for Lynette Anderson's new line called Summertime Friends by Lecien Fabric.  Be sure to visit Lynette's blog and see what she created with Summertime Friends.  It is too cute!  She also has fabric bundles available.  You'd be the first in the world to get your hands on this great fabric.

This photo was taken right after the quilt was quilted by Darlene of Sew Graceful Quilting.  That's why you see batting and no binding!

Closeups of the blocks.  You can get an idea of how the quilt is quilted - an overall feather design.  Darlene does it all free hand.  The wool batting really enhances the quilt.

The pattern should be available on Lecien's website shortly after market the end of October. 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Civil War Bride Quilt Block #7

The Quil brothers have gone home.  Things are finally back to normal at the Harmon and Edens households.  Thanks for all your well wishes!

I am on a roll.  Here is block #7 of the Civil War Bride quilt.

Those of you who have studied the pattern are probably scratching your heads trying to figure out what is different about my block.  Hint:  look at the toes.  For those who aren't familiar with the pattern, the peacocks have feet with teeny tiny toes - lots of toes.  I tried to applique those itty bitty toes and finally decided that they looked awful so decided my birds are in trees with lots of leaves. 

Here are closeups of the birds so you can see how I used the fabric to my advantage.

Next post I hope to be able to share photos of what I've been up to lately.  I am waiting for the official OK before I share. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Civil War Bride Quilt Block #6

I guess a more appropriate heading for this blog entry would be "What a week!" because it has certainly been quite a week.  I had hopes of working with these tools all week.

Unfortunately, I worked with these tools all week.  The Quil brothers - you know the ones - Ny and Day have become my best buddies.  I think I am on the mend and going out for lunch tomorrow sounds kind of fun.  We will see....

I did manage to finish block #6 of my Civil War Bride quilt.  To be honest, I had most of it appliqued before the bug hit.  Wanted to let you know that before you began thinking I was some kind of super human who could applique through any health issue!

I know of several new readers of my blog.  This is what the quilt is "supposed" to look like in case you are not familiar with it.  

Hope you stay well!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's been a charming week

If I count small projects as finishes, I have had a very busy week.  Dan and Rhonda at The Rogers Sewing Center carry a nice variety of Moda charm packs.  For those who aren't familiar with charm packs, they are packages of 42-5" squares of Moda fabric.  It's a wonderful way to get a sneak peak of an upcoming Moda line since they are normally sent to shops before the line ships to the shops.

This is a table topper I made from French General's newest line, Maison de Garance.

Here is a cute wall hanging using the pack Bliss by Bonnie and Camille.

And here's a wall hanging using a free pattern from Barbara Brackman with April Cornell's Prayer Cloth line.  It could easily be expanded into a throw using more than one charm pack.

It was hard to choose just which pack to use since they have such a nice selection.  All the samples can be seen at their shop on 8th Street in Rogers, Arkansas.  They also have the patterns available.  Yes---they are all quilted and bound!

I will be teaching some classes at the Rogers Sewing Center as soon as I can get them some dates.  Keep checking their website for dates and times.

My friend Darlene of Sew Graceful Quilting recently made the decision to devote all her time to her longarm quilting business.  As she wrote on her blog "changes--we love them and we hate them."  I'm sure her friends from The Rabbit's Lair will miss her but also am sure everyone will be glad that she has more time to devote to her quilting studio.  I expect the deadline to have a quilt quilted for Christmas giving this year is past but that just means I'll be way ahead of the game for next year!  Here are just a few examples of the beautiful work she does.

Speaking of changes - I'd better go and change a couple of fabrics I've chosen for my next Civil War Bride quilt block.  I promise to have a block finished to show next week!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Catching up with Friends

Ever have a week when you get a chance to catch up with old friends?  My week began with a nice long visit with my favorite cross stitch designer, Merry Cox.  She has updated her website with teaching pieces and her teaching schedule.  She is also offering on-line classes so you really can stitch in your pjs!  Jump over and visit even if you're not a stitcher.  Her pieces are absolutely exquisite.  This is her newest piece.

Yesterday I had a chance to go to the Springfield MO bi-annual quilt show.  I arrived just in time to attend Terry Clothier Thompson's lecture on red and green quilts.  I have collected several antique red and green quilts and they are my absolute favorite.  Terry acquired an antique strawberry quilt and has reproduced it.  Of course, I HAD to buy the pattern.

Kay from Mama's Log House Quilt Shop was one of the vendors.  I have known Kay for years and think she has the best selection of reproduction fabrics in the area.  Since I didn't take a photo of her cute booth, I am sharing a photo of the historic log house.  Check out the story of it on her website.

Today is the first really cool (59 degrees) day we've had in a long time.  I couldn't resist making a batch of whole wheat cinnamon applesauce raisin muffins.  Wish you were here to share a cup of tea and a muffin!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spring Cleaning - just a few months late

If you'd been at my house the past few days you would have thought it was April instead of September.  The spring cleaning bug hit me Thursday so I spent all day Friday and Saturday organizing and discarding.  I now have the majority of my fabric on shelves grouped by color - no more digging for that perfect piece.  I have looked at dozens of magazines with most of them going to the discard pile.  Goodwill will be so happy to see me tomorrow! 

Before I started on my cleaning frenzy, I did manage to get a birthday present made.  This is the needleroll made from Moda's French General line.

And here's the box where it lives when it's not being used.  I didn't take a photo of the inside of the box but it is lined with vintage dictionary pages.

I am also working on a large 9-block quilt.  It is a reproduction of an antique quilt.  Pieces are large and choosing the fabric has been just too much fun.  

Here's what the original looks like.  Several friends are making the quilt.  I can't wait to see how theirs look.
I would love to chat more but have a few more piles to tackle.