Merry Christmas everyone

Merry Christmas everyone
with the love of my life, George

What am I doing writing a blog?

Quilting is one of the few places in my life where all the corners meet and stay put. On this blog I plan to ruminate about quilting and life, the quilted life, cat and quilts, and any old thing that falls in and out of my brain. I'd be pleased to hear from you on all of this or any topic of interest!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Detail photos of Road to California quilt

Here are some photos of the detail of Road to California.

The road takes us home from California

Well, we are back home again after a wonderful visit to California for Wyatt's first birthday. Here he is appreciating Gramma's handiwork, or looking for the many errors in the quilt!

This visit was relaxing and fun for many reasons. It was time away together for my sweetheart husband and I. We had both gone away separately this month on various recreational activities; he to ski in the Catskills and me on my sewing marathon with Becky in Texas. It was time to spend with many of the immediate and extended family who attended the 1st birthday party for Wyatt. And it was great to have the Road to California quilt done, delivered and out of my house! Always feel a tremendous sense of relief when one is done, especially a quilt as complicated and large as this one. Here are a few pictures taken from the balcony of the Westmoreland Museum where I work.

I will post more detail pictures tonight when I get home but a final one here, daughter Jamie and the little man, Wyatt.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The aftermath of a quilt (or what to do with yourself after the project is finished)

Well, Road to California is finally done and other than showing it off to my friends here in Pennsylvania, there is nothing more to do but pack it up and take it with us down the road to California this weekend. As is my usual practice, the closer I got to the end of the quilt, the more fanatic I got about finishing it. As my dear husband said to my California daughter (the recipient of the quilt) when asked what we were doing this (past) weekend, "Well, your mother is working on the quilt, working on the quilt, and oh yeah, working on the quilt." In my own defense, I did clean the house this weekend as well.

After every quilt project (but especially after the BIG ones), there is a period of hiatus, almost of letdown, as I re-adjust to normal living. Not only is time now freed up for other things (like laundry), my mind is freed as well. While I love (almost) every minute that I spend working on a quilt, there is a feeling of relief and freedom when a project is over. No longer do I have to rush home from work, do the necessary household things (like feed the cats) and get right to the quilting. I can take time to read the paper, watch a movie, or now that the weather is nicer, sit on my porch and watch the world go by.

Of course, I am already thinking about the next quilt. This was such a huge project that I think it is time to do a few smaller ones before I attack the next wedding quilt which will be for my third "daughter," our neighbor while the girls were growing up, Artemis. The next quilt will be a baby quilt for my new great nephew Robert Dean Mitchum III, now about 4 months old and fondly (and shortly) called Dean. The pattern is cross stitched alphabet letters (which daughter Becky is busily working on) with a center block we are tentatively calling ROCK STAR MONKEY after the pattern of the nursery. The center block is still in the jello phase (not quite gelled yet) so during this downtime, I will be thinking about that.

After Rock Star Monkey, I will be doing a reprise of the sunflowers in a baby quilt for my new grand niece, Emily Elizabeth Allmendinger-Goertz. I have some gorgeous Legacy Collection sunflower fabric on blue that looks like Van Gogh. I have asked what the nursery looks like but I am getting no response. They must be too busy with the new baby so I will just go with what suits me. Her grandmother, my sister-in-law, Cheryl, wants pink but that is just too precious and predictable for me.

We leave for California on Thursday, gone for 4 days to celebrate grandson, Wyatt's first birthday. Then it is home to do the taxes (oh dread!) and finish up the semester for professor husband. Things will be busy for me at the museum I am sure. We have an artist market scheduled for April 21 that will be fun and interesting. We are not traveling again until late June, middle July, middle August and middle September so plenty of time to get those baby quilts done!

I will post more pictures, including the surprise part after Jamie and Jeff receive it this coming weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sewing marathon with Becky - pictures of the Thanksgiving quilt

The Thanksgiving quilt is shaping up after my sewing weekend with daughter Becky. Here are two pictures. Next I will put on the pieced border with cross stitched corner. Let's see... it is the end of March...yep, I should have it done by Thanksgiving!

Lexie, one of Beck's two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, inspects the quilt for flaws in the above picture. And that gorgeous sewer is my daughter, Becky. Believe it or not, I once had hair that color. She looks very much like me at that age.

Steve wants to learn to sew too. He must have really like the sound of the sewing machine. He stayed curled up at our feet the entire time!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Road to California detoured to the Road to Plano, Texas

Well, the Road to California is all quilted - it took 65 hours in all - and the edges are bound. The "special feature" to be unveiled after the quilt is given, is also finished and ready to be put on. This was all accomplished by March 8th so with two weeks left before the California trip and delivery date of the quilt, I took off for five days to visit Becky in Texas. My hands really needed the rest so it was a good time to get away for awhile but we haven't been idle in Texas, oh no!

Last December, George and I gave both of our daughters sewing machines. Now that they had homes of their own, and talents to boot, it was time they learned to use a sewing machine. So Becky and I planned a trip for me during her spring break. We had blocks all cross-stitched ready for a Thanksgiving quilt and we wanted to make the quilt top. Additionally, Becky, who is a champion cross stitcher, had some projects of her own she wanted to get done on the machine. I arrived on Friday night and after a nice Mexican dinner, we discussed the plans for the projects.

Saturday morning, we started with a travel bag and a handbag made from Becky's husbands ACU's - Todd is in the Texas National Guard. What fun to recycle the uniforms and make something meaningful. Next came quilted Christmas stockings that Becky had cross stitched the fronts of. That was enough for one day and we headed to bed at a reasonable hours.

Sunday, day two, we started on the Thanksgiving quilt top and two days later, it was done. We always draw a plan first but somewhere along the way, we threw the plan out the door and go with our guts. We made a trip to a fabric store (one of four trips this week) and purchased fabric for the pieced borders which I will finish later. We decided that was about as far as we could go on this project (after two late nights) and moved on to the next one.

Tuesday, Day four, we made a key chain and two luggage tags from ACU's again and did some teaching/learning on the sewing machine, which by the way, Becky has mastered very quickly. I taught her how to monogram and applique as well. In between all these projects, we have had time to watch some movies, visit some three month old twins, and eat great food.

Now it is time to go home. The visit has been memorable, the company wonderful. I love spending time with my daughters each and this month, I am so lucky to see Becky twice - she will be going to California for Wyatt's first birthday in just eight days as well!

I also had the opportunity to take some digital photos of other quilts I have made, which now belong to Becky. I will be posting them when I get time. They are a genuine timeline of how my quilting has progressed over the last 30 years.

Talk to you soon!