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 18, 2014

Working on Quilt #117 - the Thanksgiving Cross Stitch quilt

I am busy working on the Thanksgiving quilt. The top is done with the houses top border and the maple leaf bottom border. For the sides, I did a free form strips and small squares with two left over maple leaves on the side borders. It ended up being a humongus quilt, about 85 x 90 inches. I said to Becky, my quilt partner and co-conspirator (also daughter) - "How did this one get so big?" Her reply was "Because you kept adding things to it, Mom." On Saturday, I monogrammed our signatures on the back, Becky and I. Here they are. Also a date which reads: "Thanksgiving 2014."
Then I hauled the quilt and all the necessary supplies, pins, scissors, iron, and my sorry self up to the attic (remember I am still doing stairs on my bum) and began pinning. By the end of Monday night, the quilt was pinned.
So now I have to decide whether or not to baste this monster of a quilt before I start quilting. I am of two minds, 1) it's extra work - why do it? Just suffer thru the pins and 2) if I baste it, I avoid the pins while quilting and I will have the cross stitch squares already basted before I have to hand tack them. That would be nice. We are headed to California in two days so I doubt I will have any time to work on it before we leave so I will mull it over on my mini-vacation. Time for dinner. Happy quilting!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

2013 - The Year of the Christmas Quilt #4 - "Scootin' Around Christmas"

Quilt #4 Called "Scootin' Around Christmas" went to my sister and brother-in-law, Bev and Bob Mitchum and I almost thought I would be taking it home. The very interesting thing about the selection of the quilts on Thanksgiving night, at Bev and Bob's home in Downers Grove, Illinois, was watching how each person gravitated to their particular quilt. After all were selected and conversation occurred over the 4 day holiday, I learned that some wanted another quilt but it was already chosen. At this point I feel compelled to explain that with the exception of team Osborn (daughter Jamie and son-in-law Jeff) and team Mitchum II (Nephew Rob and niece-in-law Laura), all the quilts were chosen by the women of the couple. The rest of them men were watching football and children. So Bev picked out the quilt for herself and Bob. I learned that she loved the color I call "electric lime" (also one of my favs, I am wearing it right now, goes well with white hair) and she really like the dot quilt which went to my grandson Wyatt before it was Bev's turn to pick. I knew that she also really like animal print, in fact, she was wearing an animal print sweater that night. So as a result, she was torn between two quilts, #4 "Scootin' Around Christmas" and #1 "You Can Keep Your Hat On." She eventually settled on "Scootin" and the lime green but we waited until the end of the evening to sew her tag on as we were not sure she would change her mind.
This was one of my favorite quilts to make. I really like the 3-D effect of the presents popping out of the corners. After all the quilts were done, I went back and added buttons to the presents - you can see that version in the first and last picture in this post. It really added some pop. The center square is a Northern Pine pattern and before I got too far in the quilt, I made it with an ivory background and this black background. Went with the black as you can see. The Christmas Shoppers on scooters is the source of the title and although the fabric looks vintage, it is not. Beads are sewn on the red, green and pink (yes, pink) star bursts all around the shoppers. All the time I was making this quilt, I thought it would end up with Angie, Bev's daughter but I was wrong. Angie got the next one. Now some more pictures of this quilt:
and a last one with the buttons on the present:

Monday, February 24, 2014

2013 - The Year of the Christmas Quilt #3 - Mind Your P's and Q's

Quilt number three was originally name Pinwheels and Patches (according to the quilt book I found it in) but I renamed it "Mind Your P's and Q's." There were two very fun, very unique things about this quilt, 1) I used navy blue in the pinwheels, not your traditional Christmas color and 2) the quilt itself is a shape shifter. You can see the traditional pinwheels one way made of eight triangles. And then by turning the pinwheels slightly, you cab see bigger pinwheels with the four square patches in the middle. You're trying it right now, aren't you?
The fabric for the patches are all scrap Christmas prints that have some metallic thread in them. The back is a gorgeous red and green Christmas tree print on navy and I used a strip of the print to make part of the border around the center pinwheels. I switched the color assignment of white and navy pinwheels for the last row of the border, or did I? It works either way. This quilt was so much fun to make because of all the optical illusions going on!
The happy owners of this quilt are Mark and Pam Allmendinger, my first husband and the father of our daughters, and his wife, who is also my good friend. We are all just one big happy blended family, the Allmendinger/Long/Leiner clan. Pam is also a quilter so I was quite pleased that she was so happy to get one of my quilts. She also owns another one of my quilts, one I made for her and HER first husband. Ah, the world it does turn and turn.... The last very unique thing about this quilt is that Pam told me the night of the give-away, that she had been following my MY QUILT PLACE blog and knew that all the quilts were being made to surprise everyone at Thanksgiving but she did not tell a soul. not even her husband Mark. What a good friend she is! Thanks, Pam!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Foot surgery - check that one off the list; rehabilitation, ummmm, still working on it....

The good new is that we are six weeks into the rehab and I have only one more week to go before the huge cast comes off, I have had two so far, one green and the current one blue:
The contraption you see is my best friend, Zippy, my knee scooter, which has enabled me to get almost everywhere in the house. Unfortunately, Zippy does not climb stairs so I am navigating them on my bum. The last picture is me in my wheelchair, still smiling as you can see. I will not say this has been easy. Some things have been downright tough but the pain was not too great, the doctor says things are progressing nicely and it is almost over. Once the cast comes off, I am four weeks in a clunky old boot and then - freedom! I will be able to drive again by April 1. Whooppee! Once I conquered going up and down the stairs on my seat, my world really opened up. I had been basically living on the first floor but step climbing meant sleeping in my own bed and ... wait for it... getting back to the sewing machine. I starting doing a bit of piecing again the 4th week and have just today finished the 27 little houses that go across the top of the Thanksgiving quilt. I am now working on the 27 autumn leaves for the bottom of the quilt. Then I will put on the side border and the top will be done. I will monogram the back next. Maybe by that time, the boot will be off and I can think about getting it pinned. Maybe I can pin it in the attic as it should be warmer by then and I will be able to walk. Life is good.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again!

Quilt hiatus is over but quilting will not resume full speed ahead unfortunately. I promised myself at least a month off after the Christmas quilts were finished and delivered on Thanksgiving Day and even went a bit beyond as I did not get back to my sewing machine until this week. However, I have a foot surgery scheduled for this coming Monday, January 13 - severe Ostheoarthritis in my right foot - so the resurgence is short lived. I did have time, over the last few days, to put together the first five house blocks of the border for the Thanksgiving cross stitch quilt. Becky cross stitched the corners some time ago and I was puzzled for a long time about how I was going to incorporate patchwork with them but I think it worked out okay! Here is a close up of the houses themselves.
So, this is it for now. This weekend will be spent getting the rest of my "2Do" list done in preparation for the surgery. Those of you who know me, know I have a big old multistory house but I will be living on the ground floor for awhile until I can handle steps. Here is my "bedroom" all set up in the breakfast nook for my stay downstairs. I will be sleeping amid George's cookbooks and should certainly have sweet dreams!
Notice the cat on the bed. Vinnie thinks a bedroom downstairs is the best home improvement we have made for years! I am sure he will be my good buddy during the recuperation. Last but not least, a nice article in the local newspaper about the quilt project. My 15 minutes of fame, I guess! Bye for now!