Thursday, May 28, 2015

Revitalized and Rejuvenated!

Call it what you want, but I have been jump-started!  Let’s be honest, I’ve had a case the sluggish 6 pointers and the hexie ho-hums lately.  These projects of mine have gone on for-e-v-e-r!  It’s a slow and tedious process and the results aren’t happening fast enough.  Don’t I sound whiney and high maintenance?  Clearly, patience was not a virtue bestowed upon me….

But last night, a woman named Kelly Ashton gave me the kick in the pants I’ve needed.  She rocked my mathematical world at quilt guild with her 60 degree Patchwork.  Math and I never really got along, so I’ll stick with calling it hexies, triangles and 6 pointers - It doesn’t make my head hurt as bad.  

Anywho, Kelly has a book "Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles, and More:  Skill-Building Techniques for 60-Degree Patchwork" in which she shares her piecing technics and ways to create vintage quilts in an updated fashion.  I was hooked when Kelly said she machine pieces everything…….who, wha, what did she say?  That’s right, no hand piecing!  So while I’m fumbling around with my throw sized quilt, she’s cranking out multiple quilts.  Now, we all know quick-n-speedy quilting isn’t always the best (that’s what I keep telling myself), but it would be nice to have a vintage looking quilt put together in less than 5 years……right?

Below are a few samplings of Kelly’s quilts.  Machine pieced with modern fabrics - Very nice.  

Kelly may have a flair for the modern, but her love of collecting vintage quilts is stellar.  I tried to photo as many as I could, but I wasn’t the only one drooling over her collection. 

Cheddar quilt - first I've seen with an entire cheddar background

I hope this is clear enough to see the hand quilting – stunning!

This quilt has a double pattern going – pie shaped 6 pointer and 
a triangle pattern.

Love these fabrics!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Baby....oh baby!

Imagine my surprise when I found out I was going to be a grandma again!  My daughter and husband just got their youngest in kindergarten – it wasn’t that they were trying to get pregnant, but weren’t doing anything to prevent it either.  Both figured if “it”  happened - fine, but since "it" hadn't by now, it wasn’t going to.  What do they say about famous last words or a big’ol Karma bite on the keester?  Not only she did find out she’s pregnant, but she’s having twins!  

A few days ago my daughter shared the sonogram results – both girls!  Now I can start on their first baby quilts!  I’ve been requested NOT to do anything in pink.  Yeah!  Like my daughter, I’m sick of seeing pink and more pink on baby girls. It’s over-done and I'm ready to move on to other colors.

It’s time to bring on the baby quilts!
Daughter Jamie, has requested I make miniature baby versions of the 1930’s repro I’m making for the spare bedroom.  A little surprised…. I’m a repro lover, but the 30-something crowd is usually into the Amy Butler, Kaffe and Tula Pink designers – not the Aunt Grace line!  Am I starting to look cool and hip to her?  Well ......doubtful, but I have a great stash of 30’s and really looking forward to scrapping up some baby quilts.

Close-up pic of the spare bedroom 30’s Repro border.  For baby quilts I’m imagining 3inch nine patches and a children’s print for the setting half square.  Hmm, this grandma’s got the creative juices flowing.

Lastly, I want to share my Mother’s Day gift from my youngest.  Sam surprised me with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a new rotary cutter.  Does this 25 yr old young man know his mother or what?  What I would have given to see this 6’5” dude walk in a quilt shop, locate and purchase a rotary cutter!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When life hands you lemons...

I hadn’t been home from my quilt retreat but a few days when my mom had a stroke.  Not one, but two strokes within days of each other.  In technical terms – she’s had a stroke/hemianopsia.  Three small brain bleeds and one large one.  To me, that sounds super serious but once the neuro-surgeon explained everything..... had anymore bleeding occurred she would have been paralyzed, so they didn't consider this as bad as I did. Since this happened on the right rear side of her brain, it’s effected Marge’s left side. The stroke damage has taken her left peripheral vision from both eyes.  Some weakness on the left side of her body, but she’s workin’ out the kinks at the rehab facility.  It’s been a couple of weeks since the initial stroke and she’s been able to regain full use of her left side, but still has left side blindness.

Does that mean Marge has let this get her down?  Ah no, she’s trying to manipulate me into breaking her out of the rehab facility. She’s bored and tired of being in bed.  I’m starting to worry she’ll barter “favors” to get a good cup of coffee – which means a cup loaded with caffeine.  She’s keeping me on my toes….I took off work while she was hospitalized and I visit each and every night after work at the rehab – each day I see her progression and with each day that ol’bird is getting ornerier. 

Coming home for my mom could be right around the corner.  Let’s hope it’s before I get a call she’s been found down the street at Starbucks!  

Now for lighter thoughts and some quilt dish!

I’ll admit I’m a snail at piecing.  But I started off the quilt retreat without having my project totally cut out.  So once at my destination, my rotary cutter didn’t stop until bed time.  Needless to say, my high hopes of completing the quilt didn’t happen. 

I have 5 additional rows complete which I haven’t added yet – then I’ll be slightly more than half done.  This 30's repro was intended to be the summer quilt for the spare bedroom.  Good thing I didn’t specify which year…

Wouldn’t you agree it’s important to support local and small businesses?  Of course, right? My thoughts exactly!  As we made our way through northern Missouri towards the retreat, we made a few stops.  And, seeing how I wanted to unwind a little, I couldn’t help but think this local establishment had just what I needed……

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I feel guilty....I've cheated

Some would say I’m a two-timer.  Lately I’ve been spending time with a certain Janome.  In fact, we went away for an extended weekend to get acquainted.  We had a fabulous time together at a Quilting Retreat in Nebraska!  Sven, my Viking badboy has been acting up lately, so I didn’t want to be 3 hours from home with a machine that sounded like the little engine that couldn’t.  My friend Sue let me borrow her back-up machine for a test drive.  Not saying I’m ready to dump Sven, but for the amount of money I paid for this hangdog Husquvarna, he should be running smooth as silk.

Another quilty friend Jen joined me for this Retreat.  Jen and I have done road trips together before so I knew it would be a great time.  Since Jen is taking a photography class (with the photo subject being cemetery pics), she asked that we stop at an old cemetery right up the road from the Retreat Center.  No problem, it’s literally a mile away.  What I wasn’t aware of, that part of Nebraska had received rain for days.  Many days.  Jen mentions the cemetery is on a gravel road – shouldn’t be an issue, it’s been raining so we’ll be minus the gravel dust.   

As we head up this gravel road I can feel my car starting to sink. I realize very quickly, this isn’t a gravel road but more like a mud pit with a scattering of gravel on it. Never in my life have I experienced mud like this.  So thick and sticky!  I had to get out of this!  My head was swimming with the image of mud caked up to my knees and the little wheels of my sewing machine tote clogged with Nebraska sludge because we had to bail from a sinking Hyundai!    

(Right side car tracks - me entering the road, the deep middle set is me swimming my way out)

Luckily we were able to back out.  Once we headed down the road…..imagine a tractor dropping huge clumps of mud….that’s what my car did.  You could hear the road pudding thumping and rolling around under my car…..

Since the photography homework wasn’t happening (and after a pit stop at a car wash) it was time to check-in to the retreat.

Me on the left and Jen on the right... oh yeah, the day is looking brighter already!