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Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Yeah! The Fall Bloggers Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side begins today. It is always one of my favorite times. We get to see so many of our fellow quilters, share ideas and get inspirations in mega doses from all over the world. If you have never taken the time to visit Amy, now is the time to do so. I promise it will absolutely be well worth it .

I am sharing a new finish for me this week. It's not my best work, and the oldest PIG (project in grocery sack) that I had buried in my pile. I have no idea why it decided this was the week to be quilted and called a done deal. My friend Ruth tells me that our quilts talk with us and let us know when the time is right to work on them. Humm I wonder if she knows something or has just been hitting the sauce a little to much!  This folk art quilt was one of the very first quilts I ever made. From that time, back when I had no idea what a quilt was, but I knew wanted to make one. I have to laugh when I see the fabrics that stripes don't match up and things are not on the straight of grain. Who knew then, that all these things really do make a difference. Better yet, I have discovered that "I" must have really been the one to discover "Texture Magic." If I had only known how popular it would become, I might be rich and famous from it. It doesn't show up so much, but the borders are definitely texturized. I had to really quilt the "bejeebers" out of em to get em hammered down. On any other quilt I would take off the borders and start over, but this being a my first real quilt I feel I needed to preserve the integrity (or lack of) for prosperity!!! hahahahahaha  I probably shouldn't share my pleated backing with you either, but we all had a first at one time of our lives, and there was no quilt basting spray back then and who had every heard of a long arm????? So pleated backs must have been the norm right? What might shock you all is the fact, that with all it's sins, the thing quilted up square! Now how does that happen?????   I am pretty excited about finishing this one up and thru all it's many faults, I love it. I hope to see you visit my blog from time to time, and I do promise that you will not likely see a project like this here again!  (quilt fairy's willin)   :-) Enjoy blog hoppin!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last of the Halloween posts

I promise. It is the last of my projects for this season and I have to say, it  speaks to me. This little guy's snarky grin seems just as evil as I am.   :-)  :-)  He can be found along with some other great patterns in a book called "My Autumn" from Disa Designs. If you haven't seen their books, they have some great ones and they are all very fast and easy.  So on that note, I wish you all a Happy Halloween!  Next stop on this quilting trail is a few UFO's that I have actually managed to finish!!! YEAH!!!!!
*********** Just a reminder note, that when I refer to different patterns, I try to add links to make  it easier for you to find them. Make sure you drag your cursor over my posts to look for those links!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Blog Hop

I hope you all had a chance to follow the Halloween Blog Hop a couple of weeks back. 10 wonderful people shared their creativity with us in an array of fast and fun little seasonal projects. This one from Sandy Gervis was just about as fun as can be to work on. I have just recently been introduced to working with wool, and let me tell you, it's just darn fun. That little bit of handwork is very relaxing and the texture is incredible. I think it's probably my favorite thing to do right now. You can hop on over to Gudrun's World blog for a run down of all the fun projects. After all there is still a few more days left!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quick Halloween Mini Quilt

I just love seasonal bling. Buttons, appliques, any of the fun things you find for those "special" times of the year.
With just a few short days left before All Hallows Eve, I needed a fast and easy little Quiltie to show off my new finds. 2 fat quarters and some solid for sashing, backing and binding and I was on my way. I just cut 1 1/2" strips for my 9 patch blocks. They yielded a 3 1/2" block. 5 fast 9 patch blocks and 4 solid blocks and I was on my way. I added my   1 1/2" sashings and a little window for my Halloween buttons, and that is all there is to it. There is plenty of time to get one done, yet. So start your engines, get your "happy haunting" mojo going, and see what you can whip up this weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sewing Room

Yea Haw! My sewing machine "Tuxedo" arrived today from Germany. Like the timing could be better!!!!!  This week I decided enough was enough, and focused on cleaning out my sewing room adding some extra drawer space and straightening out my fabrics. I hate doing that, almost as much as cleaning bathrooms, but what are you gonna do, it has to be done!      :-)   It's such a good feeling once it's finished . I had hit the point where I couldn't find anything in my room anymore. Getting this package in the mail, was my little reward and icing on the cake today. There is a story behind the moose on my machine. I took the photo last month in Alaska while visiting my son. It was moose hunting season and it was in his yard. He had his rifle and a scope out, but decided it was not a legal moose at the same time some idiot on the road shot towards us, at the moose. Needless to say he missed the moose, but the bullet came scarily close to hitting my son. It landed just a couple of feet from him. It was a young kid who took off running and hid out in a house up the road. The state troopers took so long in getting there that once we left the driveway of the house the kid was hiding in, he bolted in his truck never to been seen again. It was all very nerve racking at the time, but ended well. I took this photo the day after and  hopefully this little guy is still walking the in woods somewhere up there.   

In all my cleaning I decided that I really needed some more drawer space my my machine, so I could keep my extra stuff in there and have the room on my table for my quilts as I pieced them. I toyed with the idea of the one of the craft stations that are on the market, but the $300 price range seemed like more than I was wanting to pay, so after shopping around, I decided on these closet drawers that you find at Home Depot, Lowe's, Target, etc. There are very inexpensive in comparison, and 2 sets worked just great where I wanted them. I am very happy with my find.
I am a fabric-holic, and I while I should be attending some kind of meeting somewhere, confessing my sins, I prefer to just enjoy my little vise. After all, we need some kind of vise in our lives don't we????   :-)  :-) My media center that I got last year at Best Buy seems to work out the best for me. I can stack plenty of fabric in it and see what I have, which is helpful when I'm working on projects. I used to have it all in closets, but things seemed to get lost in them, so I have come to like this arrangement better. While  refolding and straightening out things, I became  re-acquainted with some fabrics that I haven't seen for awhile and  it sure got my mind churning. Hummmmm! Wonder where this will take me... Stay tuned.  I hope this provides you some inspiration too.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Which Witch

Another one of my wonderful "shop hop find" patterns. This little gem is from Crazy Old Ladies, if that name isn't as cute as the quilt, I don't know what is. They have even included a pattern for Christmas Elves legs too, and I can hardly wait to work on that one. All fusible applique and very fast and easy. I added the bows and Swarovski crystals to just "bling it up a little", like it really needed it.   I always use June Tailors fray block around the edges of my fusible applique, but have wondered if it really makes a difference. I know if it's just a wall hanging and won't be washed it doesn't make any difference, but I have decided to put it to the test and see what happens when it goes thru the wash. I will be making a couple of separate blocks and put one thru the washer and let you know how the results come out real  soon! Heck for the giggles, I just might make yet another and check out Fray Chek while I am at it too! Stay tuned.
 You can find Crazy Old Ladies at crazyoldladiesquilts.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nothing like the feeling I get when the cooler weather sets in and fall is upon us. I think it is probably my favorite time of the year. Halloween is looming and I am very in the mood to get some quick little projects done for it. All the quilt shops along our bus tour were decked out with the cutest Halloween projects and I wanted them all. I did manage to come home with 2 books and some patterns and this little kit. All Halloween theme, and do I really think I will be able to get them all done???   hahaha I doubt it, but never say never, I am giving it my best. This little project is a  pattern is from The Wooden Bear ,(P16 Witch Patternlet)  and uses 1 woven dish towel. I just loved it when I found it. I had already purchased the quilt hanger that turned out to be a perfect fit for it. That seldom happens!!!!! It really was a quickie little project, so I am on to a few others and will have them ready to post very soon. Stitch up some fun for yourselves, and Happy Haunting. By the way, did you follow the Halloween Blog Hop? There were some adorable projects shared there. It's not too late you know!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Last of my vacation

One more part of my vacation I want to share. For the last of my time off, I went to Albuquerque to visit my best friend and to see the International Balloon Fiesta, one of those things I have done for over 30 years now. The weather was spectacular this year which was such a change from the past years. Only a few of the night events ended up cancelled due to winds, that picked up. But for those who know about the infamous "Albuquerque Box" it was truely alive and well this year. That is when the winds are optimal and a balloonist can actually fly in a box pattern by adjusting the altitude of the balloon. If it's as much fun for the pilots to fly as it is for us on the ground to watch, then it was a stellar week.  My favorite after all these years is the special shapes. They continued to delight is this year. Never mind the fact that we almost didn't even need jackets which is unheard of!  :-)

Probably one of the best moments this year though, was the grand opening of "Tim's Place". I had the honor of meeting Tim about 6 or 7 years ago at a Special Olympics" event. Tim has downs syndrome and is such a wonderfully special young man. He was so delighted to share his stories of the Downs Syndrome Symposium with me, that was held in my home town. It is just captivating to talk with him. I see him from time to time, last year he was working at Applebee's. Even with it being just once a year, he remembers you and makes you feel like he's known you forever. Last week, with the help of his family, he opened his own restaurant, "Tim's Place". They serve Breakfast, Lunch and Hugs, and that is just what they do. No one leaves the place without the "special of the day", which is a Tim Hug. Never mind the fact that the food is out of this world. I had the best omelette that I can remember, and had to go back a second time before I left, for another. The experience is such a profound one to see this great young man touch the lives of so many others. The feeling of warmth and caring can't even begin to be explained, but it makes you feel like your are so at home. It was fun to see the love from everyone, even strangers, towards each other for the brief time we all share space in the restaurant. If you live near Albuquerque New Mexico or are planning a trip there makes Tim's Place a place to stop. They are located in the shopping center at Wyoming and Alameda. There will be a hug waiting for you!

Monday, October 11, 2010


 My month of vacation is over and I am sad, but I have so much to share with you. In fact it is hard to decide where to start. My Alaska trip was wonderful as always and the fall colors were beautiful. There is nothing better than fall in Alaska.
This guy was in my son's yard and it was hunting season. He has no idea how lucky he was to still be alive and walking around. There were 3 moose that kept me entertained for a week watching them. On a side note, I just ordered a "Design Skin" for my Bernina of this photo. If you haven't seen these, you can now get very cool "skins" made for your Bernina machines to really customize them. For you Bernina owners check it out!
This is the beautiful Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing Alaska.

I flew home to catch a "Quilt Shop Hop" bus trip thru Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Now you want to talk about fun. We visited 12 shops in 3 days and covered over 1500 miles. The experience couldn't have been better. Take a bus of quilters, add shopping and you have a recipe for a great time. The days were long. We started at 5am most mornings, and it was as late as 10pm before we got to hotels, but WOW was it worth it. There was plenty of time on the bus to catch up on sleep and do some handwork projects. The meeting and sharing with 35 other quilters for 3 days was such a treat. The shops provided our meals and snacks along the way. I can't thank the shop owners enough for taking such good care of us all.
We got to visit
 Prairie Pines in Gering Nebraska
The Quilt Rack in North Platte Nebraska
Calico Cottage in Hastings Nebraska
Sew Country in Belleville Kansas
Sunflower Quilt Shop in Hiawatha Kansas
The Quilt Shoppe in Stewartsville Missouri
Sarah's Fabrics in Lawrence Kansas
Quilting Bee in Salina Kansas
Quilt Cottage in Hays Kansas
Rambling Rose in Cheyenne Wells Colorado
Holly's Quilt Cabin in Centennial Colorado
Inspirations in Fort Morgan Colorado

Each of them was very different and offered wonderful varieties of quilt projects. Seeing the different towns along the way was so much fun too. Some were like stepping back in history. We even found a Rexall Drug Store. I haven't seen one of them in years! Did you know that Hastings Nebraska is the birthplace of KoolAid???? I was sad that the shop didn't have a KoolAid quilt kit of some kind. My bus friends thought I was an idiot!!  :-) This is a twice a year tour and we can hardly wait for next springs! I understand that they offer these type of trips all over the country. You might want to check it out and see what is in your area. Or better yet, what a great way to see a new area!

The clock tower in this town was the only one between Chicago and Denver at one point in history.

Rambling Rose in Cheyenne Wells is a brand new shop that's outside wasn't
 quite finished yet. They are making it look like an old time western merchantile shop. I can hardly wait to go back to see it when it's done.

Last stop of my vacation month was Albuquerque, for a week with my best friend and the International Balloon Fiesta, but that is another post! I have kept you all way to long as it is! See you soon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hidden Wells-Coloring our world one Well at a time!

I am so excited to share some new photos with you from Karl along with this note.

Hi there Joan.  Just finished a Hidden Wells tutorial with my mini-group, and we had a great time.  Your website is fantastic, and a great resource!  I've been making Hidden Wells quilts for years, and they never cease to surprise me, the way they ultimately turn out.  Just when you think you've figured it out, synergy or synchronicity pop up with something unexpected.  What a super pattern/technique!  It's my go-to baby quilt these days.  Keep up the great site!  -- Karl.

 "WELL" Karl, they are all beautiful. I am thrilled to see the finished projects and to share my love of "Wells" with you all. Thanks for taking the time to go thru my tutorial. It is quite an honor! Remember everyone--send me your photos and I will post them for all to see.

A step to coloring our world, one "Well" at a time!  :-)  :-)