Aug 31, 2006

Goals, UFOs and other musings

I spotted this the other day on SusanB's Ramblings from Early Retirement

mouse potato
- A person who spends an unusually large amount of time sitting in front of a computer.

I had not heard that before but boy, that described me pretty well for a few days this week. Apparently it is now an addition to the 2006 Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary along with some other computer related terms.

Yesterday I revised my August/September goals. As usual my August list was hopeful and I DID get some things done. My SIL's balloon quilt, binding for several quilts, the applique on the little Santa, some knitting though that is NOT on my list. I also started machine quilting my 30's sampler and just finished basting said Santa wallhanging for hand quilting. I did get the cat challenge fabric at least cut into something I can sit down to sew---always a good place to start. But the four sewing project were not to be. It is NOT that I don't want to do them that they keep moving to the next month but somehow it was just not happening.

Little Santa has got to be about 12-15 years antiqued. Below is a picture of one that WAS my oldest UFO circa 1989 or 1990. A Dorene Speckman handout in her own handwriting. I scanned just a portion of the page for space concerns. I finally tossed the components earlier this year because let's face it, I was never going to finish it but I kept the pattern. Who knows? Maybe with different colors than the stuff that doesn't and probably never did "go" with anything in my house. The pieces of it, like looking at the amateurish applique stitches on the Santa, reminds me of how far I have come---or better have come, in that length of time, LOL.

Pam was talking about repurposing or redirecting our old projects such as these and I would suggest, tossing as another option in my case. How many of these things do we have stuffed away? I can think of a couple I should just pitch. Save the pattern, perhaps, but just dump due to lack on interest. Give yourself permission to re-think those original plans and give up on the guilt you may feel about never getting to it.

Dot wondered this morning if her lack of focus on any one projects was Quilter's ADHD. We hear of so many children being diagnosed with that or ADD. (How many creative, slightly active kids get stuck with that label, I wonder?) But I submit, that we are probably more like adrenalin junkies. New projects give you that excitement and enthusiasm to go full steam ahead for a time--that's all we want to work on and it consumes us. Then we get to the more drudgery type things---more of the same darned block, sewing long rows together, sashing or borders. We know what the blocks look like, we have played with those fabrics, it goes together and looks nice that way, etc---where is the excitement in that? Meanwhile we here the siren call from something else---try me, cut me and off we go. The other becomes a UFO though we tell ourselves we really should work on it.

For myself, I know I do much better when I have something waiting for me---kids quilts to do, tops to make, some goal in mind. Give me a lot of unscheduled time that I can do anything I want and chances are, I'll be on the computer doing something.

Okay, what you are looking at here? A spider web top that I may eventually quilt. DJs aunt made it along with a bunch of others that his nieces and nephews now own. Not terribly well done but I have done two other quilts from the same maker. Have 4 others to do at some point. Another sibling has this one and one othe like it , I believe. It reminded me of the blocks that Evelyn and Cynthia have shared recently in their posts so I thought you might enjoy seeing it as well if only for the looks at the fabric that was used.

Obviously I AM caught up on my blog reading---or I was, LOL. Always something happening in bloggerland Now where is that black quilting thread? Posted by Picasa

Aug 29, 2006

quilt delivery post 1--other pics below

Linda's van right before we unloaded--amazingly all 71 fit back in there with enough room for transporting passengers. We took 2 vehicles because we thought one person may have been waiting at our usual pickup point--she wasn't but the vehicles were already rolling.

We were a few minutes late getting there but that didn't seem to matter. The director John David Phillips and Mary the staff Social Worker met us and we took the quilts down to the large community room. When we toured the facility earlier this spring, that is where we had gone before--on the other side is a gymasium and outside a small swimming pool and a gazebo the girls had built as a summer project. I don't think that either will show up in these pictures.

The founder of the both the Big Oak Boy's Ranch and Big Oak Girl's Ranch John Croyle had this built with the idea of the girls being able to have their wedding receptions in that room. In fact, John David and the Croyle's daughter Regan did just that! They have their Christmas parties and all kinds of events in the room.

If you read anything about the history of the facility from my previous links, John Croyle played football for the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant at the University of Alabama. (Football is soooooooo big here in the South) It came time for him to decide whether to enter the football draft or work with troubled children. The children won out and the Boys Ranch was founded first--maybe in the early 70's? John David quarter backed for Alabama, Regan lettered in volleyball for Alabama and the Croyle's son just finished his playing days as AL quarterback.

I didn't take these pictures--John David did since he is certainly a lot taller than any of us quilters. And even then he stood up on the fireplace hearth to take a few of them. The quilts were basically just on half of the room. Three more in the other post. They have a meeting scheduled in that room tomorrow and he and Mary said they would leave the quilts exactly where they were they could be seen.

At lunch one of the group had wondered how they would distribute them--just turn the kids loose and let them pick out their own? It would be so neat to be able to just hand them out to the girls but would that lead to fights??--"you took the one I wanted!", well, just being kids really. We will let them figure out how best to handle that part since they know the girls. The only thing we asked is that they NOT have to wait for Christmas or some other event. John David said that he will be sure to get some pictures of the girls with their quilts and said to not be surprised if they crop up here and there in the publication that they send out

He was overwhelmed and could not believe that we had done all these quilts. Actually he thought they were wonderful BEFORE we even opened them up because so many of them had print backs on them and I always fold them with backing side out, LOL. He wondered how many had been involved with making them---17 of us made at least one, many of us more than one but we had help from friends from out of state who had heard what we were doing and wanted to help in some way (you know who you are!) He said that something like our sharing these quilts--the kindness that someone who doesn't even know one of the girls--might be just the thing to help them open up and confide in someone and let the healing begin.

He shared an instance of something that had happened in recent months where a young lady had gained the strength to tell her house parents what her attacker had done to her. The proper authorities were notified. Others came forward and said that he had done the same thing to them. Defense attorney, doing his job, said "let them go to open court and as an authority figure, they will back down". It almost worked. Though scared to death to do it, this young lady was the only one that stuck to her guns. The day before it was to go to trial he either plea bargained or plead guilty---sentenced to 100 years since there were so many counts against him. There was a similiar situation just last week.

Now ask me again, "why I quilt" I cannot care for children like these two facilities can but I can quilt and do what my heart leads me to do to help in some small way. The members of my quilt group are no different in that department--I am just the public face for them.

One last thing--we left one quilt with them for their little 2 year old son--one that we all had worked on. He lives there too and should have a quilt, don't you think? None of the group wanted to get in the shots so no Belles to see. It was a good visit today and good to know that the quilts were exactly where they needed to be and almost in the girls hands. Posted by Picasa

quilt delivery post 2

 Posted by Picasa

Aug 28, 2006

Monday notes

Let's try this again---a whole post when scurrying off into cyberspace. Blogger not playing nice or my network connection isn't?

At left we have Ms. Pippi on one of her favorite haunts. How that could possibly be a comfortable position, I don't know. It almost hurts my neck to look at her! The picture was taken before I cleaned those kitty nose prints off the window from her peering at the birds below in the holly bushes. No doubt that the curtains have their fair share of cat hair when you see that paw and leg pushing them out of the way.

I seem to be having some connectivity problems today. Earlier I could not get online at all but had to let it go till we got back from walking. Once we were home it was back working like it always did. Now it is "doing it" again--not sure who I need to call about it. The local yokels at the cable company? The 800 number that I was given when I first hooked up? All the green dots are NOT lit up on the external modem is all I know but the LAN icon says I am connected. HMMMMMM Is this expected with high speed internet? I have had no problems in the three weeks that I have had it. What do I know? After being stuck on hold for about 15 minutes I finally got to a humanoid who said the tech would be calling me back----that was 3 hours ago but I've been back in business since 5 or 530.

Not much quilting going on this past weekend. I had intended to quilt some more on my 30's sampler but............and you knew there was a "but", LOL. I was chatting with a friend on IM on Saturday and we so rarely get to visit like that with her back to the Monday-Friday 8 to 5 type hours. My quilting set up in this small bedroom means blocking access to the keyboard and so forth. That's a no brainer to me---talk with my friend and quilt when she is at work!

So I pulled out this antiqued Santa wall hanging that had more appliquing left than I thought and started putzing with that. It is a Wild Goose Chase Design that was set aside 10-12 year back. I purchased it from Keepsake Quilting as one of their Patterns Plus so the fabrics were all kitted up. Old Ginny Beyer stuff and some Roberta Horton plaid and the tree background is something I have used in another old UFO from a long ago class. I worked on it on Sunday as well so the top is done and ready to be basted. May hand quilt it as it is pretty small and would make a good grab it and go project.

Tomorrow is the red letter day for the quilt group though---we deliver the 71 quilts we have set aside for the Big Oak GirlsRanch. We have more but as I said, in my post from 8/19 the 28 have other destinations. I will take my camera but I don't know if it will be appropriate for us to take pictures there--check with the director first. I had called Linda S. earlier today as the quilts are all over at her house right now and offered to help load the van but she had it all under control.

So the day is slipping away---knit for a bit on that sweater front I started or do some bluework embroidery on those snowman calendar blocks. Always good to have options even if it means nothing ever gets done, LOL. Keeps you from being bored, right?

Okay, I'm crossing my fingers and hitting send. Posted by Picasa

Aug 26, 2006

slump ended/why I quilt

I will be the first to admit that I have been in a quilting/piecing slump. Part of the reason was just winding up the loose ends before we put the quilts out on the pews last weekend. Another part was my grandmother's passing and making that 5 day trip out to MO and then trying to get caught up at home from my absence. The other part is frankly, I just didn't feel like it. Who feels like having that hot thing on their lap when it is 80 degrees in the house and the fans are not cutting it? I know better than to sew when I don't have the desire.

I did manage to get the binding finished up on this one Thursday. Yesterday I added aome quilted lines around those large half square triangles and in the large red and plaid flying geese around that center star to get the large pieces to lay down a little better. My frequent readers will recognize the picture from a July post.

I threw it in the washer to remove the markings I had made and DJ was looking at it laid out on a chair in the kitchen as we ate supper. "That sure is a pretty quilt", says he. High praise indeed! (Thank you, Betsy for making the top and then giving permission to scale it back a notch)

The machine was and is still set up for quilting so my eyes lit next on my 30's Pioneer Sampler, pinned and waiting for me to decide whether I am handquilting any of it or machine quilting all of it. I don't know if my sore thumbs are up to the hand quilting part. I started locking in the outer border and some of the vertical lines and the next thing I know I am quilting a few of the blocks. Guess I made my decision though there are a couple blocks that would be easier to hand quilt more in the middle. Man, that thing is heavy with all the pins and just plain BIG!! I'm hoping that it will be easier to handle as I proceed because right now it feels like I have been wrestling a bear. I really want this on my bed sometime and this will make that happen quicker. Y'all have been after me to quilt or piece something for myself so I guess this was it.

Patti asked the question on her blog "why do you quilt?" Well, since I was in a bit of a slump that was a little harder to answer but I think I can come up with a few answers anyway.

Part of it is for the reason you see in the picture at left. Occasionally we get pictures of children with quilts we have donated. This happens to be a little fellow in Paraguay wrapped in a quilt I made and sent with my niece/godchild who had gone on a mission trip with a group from a church in the Bradley/Kankakee/Bourbonnais, IL area about 5 years back.

I feel that quilting is my mission and a way to use my God given talents. My own nieces and nephews don't necessarily need me to make them quilts--my mother has already taken care of that (or will do so if they are still waiting). They, fortunately, will never want for anything in their young lives. I have no children of my own--I've made DJ's grandson two quilts and probably another when he graduates from college so where should I best use my talents? You got it--for someone else that needs them.

I quilt because I do not care to make garments. This way I can still play with fabric but not have to wear it or expect it to fit properly. I have always done something creative with my hands and tried a lot of them. My husband swears that when I die they will have to beat my hands to death with a stick because they will still be fidgeting. He may be right, LOL. I cannot just sit and watch TV without having something else to do--redwork, knitting, even ugh, binding.

I quilt because I love trying new techniques and new patterns. I quilt because I am reasonably good at it and I can't really do things like draw or paint as much as I would like to. It is an art form I can embrace and be a part of.

I quilt because my mom and grandmothers did to some extent. It is something my mom and I can share since we both make quilts for WTIL. It is something that has always been around either on my bed or in borrowed quilt frames and my helping to tie them or at quilt shows I have attended. I own a quilt my great-grandmom made and will share that with you one day. It keeps me connected with all our quilting foremothers and their part in women's history and preserving our craft, seeing that it gets passed on to the next generation.

I quilt because I blog and blog because I quilt. I have friends that do as well and make new ones everyday through this medium. That's about it off the top of my head which is how I usually write anyway--and then re-read to see if it makes any sense, LOL. Hope you all are having a good weekend so far------- Posted by Picasa

Aug 24, 2006

this and that

Jealousy Rears Its Ugly Head
Okay, this picture doesn't have much to do with anything other than it came from a friend in morning email along with a joke. Joke was okay but the picture looks priceless. Perfect picture of human nature, even at this young age. The little one on the right is pretty upset about the attentions being paid elsewhere.

Yesterday I managed to slog through two more chapters on my continuing ed units--two to go today but these are a lot less reading. I promised myself a peek at the new Fons and Porter "Love Of Quilting" magazine that came in today's mail once I am done with the last exam on the material.

I also got the binding completed on Betsy's revamped medallion for the boys. I am going to stick a few more quilting lines in it before I stick it up in my closet for holding purposes. I see that the walking foot is still on the machine so maybe later today or tomorrow. I know it is silly, but once the machine is set up one way or the other I hate having to switch it over just to switch it back. It would be different if I had the room to move from one machine to the other like some do between machine and serger if they garment sew. Isn't happening here! I also prefer to do all the cutting at one time if I can and if not cutting, then keep things set up for pressing. It is not hard to take the pressing board down-- it just disrupts my flow to keep switching gears like that.

Pam asked me last week what I thought I wanted to sew on since I was close to being caught up with the kids quilts. I am still debating that one. I'm still thinking finishing up with the ostrich round robin center but which of the things on my August goals if any, do I want to work on. Creatively, I need a kick start so that almost makes it something that I have not started and it should definitely be a personal project, not anything kid related. HMMMMMM. This will need more thought. I miss seeing quilts up here too, Esteemarlu! Unless I drag out some I own or some from the past there may not be any quilts to see for a bit at this rate.

Last night I was looking at EQ and realized that I can now download those extra fabric palletes of the month a whole lot quicker with the new faster internet connection along with the RJR project files that the two companies have worked on. Zip, zip those were downloaded. Some EQ owners may not realize that you can also download the Quilt Design Wizard projects as well and they will open in EQ5 as it is an EQ product. There is a Project of the Month Archives available that also loads the various fabric lines into the computer to play with in other areas. Got caught up with downloading those in no time at all---gotta love it!!

Below is one of the designs that I thought would be kind of fun for the boys quilts. I guess I would pick up on this because Antoinette had just gotten some soccer ball fabric in two colors as well as a race car flag like stuff and handed it to me at a recent meeting. The block measure 13 inches and the whole quilt 60 x 60 or thereabouts. There are some other balls, jerseys and so forth in the Sew Precise 1-2 (or was it 3?) that could be added. Since all the libraries of the other software can be linked to EQ, it adds even MORE blocks that can be used. Not entirely sure what those green things are supposed to be---ball diamonds??? I do like the "curves" though---different.

Grocery shopping day got pushed back from my usual Monday to Thursday because of my being out of town for 5 days last week. I had to laugh though---I had stopped at Dollar General in our little burg to get some of the paper supplies and canned goods we needed. When I got back to the car I found something I had in the trunk of the car had spilled over and unbeknownst to me, my cart started rolling down the parking lot as I tried to corral that mess. The next thing I knew the clerk came running out the door hollering "your buggy is getting away" It almost collided with the UPS truck, she said, but it didn't stop and it kept rolling. The driver was in the back getting his delivery out and couldn't catch it either. I thought I had my foot hooked around the cart as I normally do. Apparently not--- there goes my purse and all my stuff headed down the slope almost out to Main Street. She caught up to it before it rounded the corner or went out into the road. Of course, it helps that this is a very, very small town. Talk about customer service!

Well, Chapter 8 and 9 here I come--get this over with. Posted by Picasa

Aug 23, 2006

another block find

Seesaw Brackman#1336 from Gutcheon's Perfect Patchwork Primer. 1973.

What brought this up? Well, I flipped the 365 Quilt Blocks perpetual calendar page that sits atop my computer and there it is. LOL, after I just asked Karen about the one she featured in her post dated 8/20. The fabrics are blending at bit in her blocks and the flying geese units are less prominent then in the colored sketch. I can see how using a no waste, 4 at once flying geese pattern would come in handy for making this block especially if you were doing a whole quilt.

Judy had asked where I was coming up with the numbers on the previous post--which book etc I was using. BlockBase software which is just Electric Quilt's version of the Barbara Brackman book, actually more like the quilting bible in my opinion, Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Blocks. The software is probably easier to use than the handdrawn quilt thumbnails but I still pull the book out occasionally.

I really enjoy learning about the history of quilt blocks--their names, where the blocks came from or when they date back to. The other night, as bedtime reading, I was looking at Young's Civil War Diary Quilt that I recently purchased at a quilt shop closing out sale and reading the diary entries.I may never make a block in that book but I can still enjoy their stories. What a connection we all have to those quilters who proceed us whether we consider ourselves traditional or maverick quilters! They are just geometric shapes, after all, endlessly rearranged and recolored. New methods perhaps for arriving at an end is all.

No sewing or binding got done yesterday--too much computer playing, I'm afraid. My husband thinks that now that I have high speed internet that I can get my computer time done quicker and wonders what I will do with that "extra time" HA! not extra when you just do more of it, faster. I was finding all kinds of fascinating things like the satellite view of my house--though they put the address in the middle of the main road. It must have been done in the fall or winter as everything looks brown or red dirt color plus it is about two years back because those houses across the road are not there either. I can watch video now--quilter's news network, anyone--which was never possible with dial-up. Still, I managed to slog through two chapters of my nursing continuing ed stuff (Elaine, just to keep my license current just in case--too expensive to re-instate) with another printed up for today's "hour". Three more to go after that so some progress is being made.

An errand to run and back at it---- Posted by Picasa

Aug 22, 2006

quilt blocks

I was looking for what the quilt block that Libby shows in the homespun fabric on her site today. While stumbling through the various categories of block divisions in BlockBase, I found the block that many of you have been using for JudyL's challenge as shown at left is called Lincoln's Platform Brackman #1935---I knew it looked familiar! Judy may have identified it as such and I just missed it in the reading. I may try this eventually as all of yours are turning out so wonderfully--all the different color variations.

Oh, I think that Libby's block is called Lady of the Lake Brackman #1342. They show one on Quilter's Cache here.

Paperwork is basically done for Bama Belles but wouldn't you know just when I thought it was finished, all three of the checking accounts statements came---those can wait a couple days! Documents updated, pictures properly filed and CD burned. We had thunderstorms last evening and about 4 inches of rain in our gauge over about a 2-3 hour time frame. Lights kept flickering but we didn't lose power like we did on Sunday. I was finished with the computer by the time all that happened, fortunately and didn't lose any data.

Today: walk soon while we have some cloud cover, one chapter of my continuing ed units (big ugh but September and license renewal comes soon), finish that binding and then work on that ostrich center completion. Now that I have set those small goals best find my shoes and get ready to roll as my husband will be standing in my doorway nudging me along any second. Posted by Picasa

Aug 21, 2006

typical Monday

No quilt pictures to show you--did plenty of that in the last two posts, I think. I appreciate all the kind statements you made on viewing them laid out the church pews.

I work with a great group of women here locally but I would be remiss if I did not thank my online friends (and Mom) who also sent tops and materials to keep us going. The core group of active piecers and quilters here is probably about 8-10 people but everyone contributed at least one quilt this year. The core group, more quilts or tops. Volunteerism is not mandatory to be a Bama Belle but it is contagious. You saw how they add up over time- one and then another, another, etc!

While I am on this topic, I could have sent a press release to the local paper but they have covered our efforts on three different occasions. Once was a pictorial spread and they said we had made dozens of quilts----that I took issue to because it was more like 100's and actually we were very close to 1100 since late 99 at that point. *VBS* I could not let that go by without correction.

Patti suggested that we send this in to Quilter's Newsletter magazine---nice thought but no. I don't even subscribe to it anymore and so many groups do the same sort of thing. What would make it newsworthy? The Bama Belles make quilts on behalf of WTIL but Cher does the same thing with her Portland Piecers and Pam took a huge bunch down to Mexico a few months back. I am happy to share the quilts here in this forum for you and the Belles but that is mostly because you have seen them in the making or when I have brought them home for the meeting. Beyond that, there is no need, in my opinion.

Not much sewing related going on here. The simplest thing I could grab is binding to finish up on the last WTIL quilt currently in my stack. That might be part of the day's hourly tasks. With traveling, the funeral and the quilt display stuff I am really off kilter. I am still thinking that the center of the medallion is too poofy and needs a bit of quilting--some crosshatching or a few extra lines of some sort.

Since Kim extended the deadline for the ostrich round robin centers until 9-1, I had decided to join in the fun and managed to stick down the starts of an Eleanor Burn's style Sunbonnet Sue and do the blanket stitching around it on Thursday evening. I put it on point and then had to work with EQ to get the block to a mathematically feasible number for the next round--just hope that I didn't goof up adding or subtracting the seam allowances because I already trimmed it possibly too close. That is as far as it got ....nothing done to it over the weekend. The sewing machine sits beckoning to me but not enough to actually cut the strips I need and add them.

I had intended to go to bee Gary and Betsy host on 2nd Friday to have him take a look at the local round robin I am facing until I got called out of town. I spoke to him about it on Saturday---altering or easing apparently is okay----alas, removing the offending material is not but then I didn't think it was. I got as far as pre-washing the fabric yesterday but no further.

Yesterday I spent some time updating my quilt documents now that I know what is going where, organizing some pictures so I can burn a disc for Ellen to send along with her copy. Then general paperwork, bill paying etc had to be be done as well. Even some room straightening and laundry though I fear I have had some sort of stomach virus for about a week and really didn't feel like it. Today so far has been a typical Monday with errands (post office, bank, gas up the car, grocery stop, etc) along with a trip over to the church to grab the photo albums. Why I didn't think to do it on Saturday, I don't know!

Before I left, Oren came by to get the Christmas quilt to take to his son's. They will be visiting them out of state later in the week. Bless him, he brought back the buttons I had wanted to ask if I could have--I collect them, thanks to my grandma and extra quilt blocks that I can pass onto Sarah to work her magic. I didn't know if the daughter-in-law was a seamtress or crafter so had slipped them back in the bag when he took it to the long armer.

So that's how it goes in my little corner of the world---I'll check in your spot in a bit Posted by Picasa

Aug 19, 2006

quilt display, post 2

A better view of the church left hand side--every surface covered with quilts. The rest, groups of the right hand side--apparently there is a limit to how many pics I can post. If you really haven't seen enough (there are 20 total pics) then you are welcome to look at my yahoo photo album dated 2006-08-19.

A few of these have been posted on my blog before and you may remember them--some you have not. Some tops were shared by friends here in the ring so I hope you enjoy looking at the finished product.

See the preceeding post for the "rest of story"

Posted by Picasa

Quilt display

My regular readers may recall my mentioning that today was the day we were to take the quilts on hand that will be donated soon. We counted 98 quilts on the pews today at our little display. It was just like visiting some "old friends"--if you missed a couple meetings, then you didn't see all of them so there were some new ones to you. We had a few visitors but I said that we put them out there more for us see one more time before we hand them over.

Most will be going to the Girls Big Oak Ranch at the end of the month, some of the ones that screamed "boy" were saved towards our efforts for the Boys Big Oak Ranch next year (12). Several (6) will be going to a cottage of girls that the Presbyterian church where we met has "adopted". We also had some that are a bit too small for our needs this year but we share some members of our group with a guild in Etowah county--they need some help to make some for DHR and we had 9 to share. I need to crunch a few numbers/verify but that means 68 or 71 for the girls.

Linda S was holding about 30 some quilts at her house but I had the others stuffed in my closet, atop the armoire almost to ceiling height and a stack on the hamper--I've showed those pictures in previous posts. Linda and I were to meet down at the church Friday morning to bring the quilts down to store overnight and lay them out this morning for viewing. SOOOO Thursday afternoon, I start lugging the quilts out to the car, DJ offers to help after I had made 3 or 4 trips out. We emptied armoire and hamper (about 30 quilts) and he asks "is that all?" Nope, there was a pile on the bed that I had started taking out of the closet and all of them IN the closet to go. Then I got "where did all these come from?" "why are you storing them?" Ah, where do you think??? We have only been working on these since the first of the year and twice a month I drag more in the house.

Okay enough of a set up---you want to see some pictures, right? I have more of the closeups that I can post but this should be enough for you to get an idea of it anyway. Looks like I am missing one that shows more of the left side of the pews so maybe on edit. Nope, not behaving---I'll post a few more in another post and totally bore you to death but you should be able to see the quilts a little better close up that way.

right hand side looking towards the back

left hand side towards piano and organ

" Amen" corner

More of amen corner and right side

Posted by Picasa

Aug 17, 2006

random thoughts

She thinks she is hiding here but I guess it is better than diving under DJ's bed for hours on end. SIGH, I had hoped that she would be over this when I got back. All it took was the cable guy coming to hook up the high speed 10 days ago and she is jumpier and hiding again. Actually it was kind of funny--she was walking down the hall with him figuring those were just anybody's legs heading her direction till he asked "where do you want the cable to come up?" When he spoke, she could not high tail it fast enough!

I've read through the most recent blog postings (no way to catch up with all of you) , slept later than I really intended, need to hop in the showers and get groceries sometime today and started the laundry. I seem to be in a pattern of sleeping for a few hours, waking and staying that way for a few more and then conking back for an hour or two. I could attribute that to travel and sleeping in a guest room or hotel room but I don't seem to do much better in my own. DJ is home from his golf round and Pippi is back to hiding. As normal a routine as one gets, I guess.

Lots and lots of driving and riding the past five days, as I mentioned. Sometimes I get a little stir crazy and think that I just need to get out of here, go somewhere, do something, anything but I doubt that feeling will back anytime real soon. Maybe I can understand why my husband just wanted to stay home this trip. Having said that I still don't want to cut him much slack on his not going with me. Pippi, if she knew, would thank him for not having to go board though.

I don't think I have spent that much time with my brother as an adult--short visits at family gatherings mostly with the rest of the crowd around. Six kids, their spouses and children can make for a pretty big crowd at that. We played alphabet games in the car--animals that start with what letter, borrowing one from our youngest brother "bad things that happen to the human body that start with what letter"--we should compare notes on that one. Helping Beth learn the lyrics to "My Favorite Things" for her vocal lessons led to the three adults and help from Beth writing adapted lyrics for it. Enough that when I woke during the early morning hours on Wednesday(what the heck day is it anyway?) snatch phrases were still running through my head. Another verse in the making?

I had taken some redwork (and bluework) along with me but didn't work on it but it was good to have along because Beth made a knotted necklace for Randi as we rode along with the two colors I had on hand. Meanwhile Randi was making Beth a scarf out of potholder loops on her drive with my sister and brother-in-law from Colorado to Springfield, MO. I did get some work on a left front cardigan after several false starts on both increasing and establishing the pattern rows. Beth had the MP3 player and me, book on tape. Jan worked on some binding as she is a quilter as well---you just saw the hot air balloons. Too bad I didn't drag this last one in the stack along with me as I could have put her to work, LOL. She and Steve switched off on the driving duties as we went through TN from the Nashville area, across Kentucky and headed for Paducah and the famed Exit 4 and basicially hung a left across the lower half of Missouri on to Springfield.

Two of my siblings (the two that share the middle of the lineup--sister and brother) had impossible work schedules and work obligations so could not come to the funeral. That cannot be helped and we understood---software/system program installations and deadlines. My youngest brother and his oldest son were able to drive down from central IL. No surprise, Phil and John were staying right by the Bass Pro Shop but just up the road from us--he is the fisherperson in the family. When we were trying to reach him on the cell phone to tell him we had checked in, that's where he had been. We got together for supper that evening. The three cousins are all about the same age and hit the pool almost as soon as everyone was checked in. We adults sat around visiting, catching up and laughing while they splashed, swam and did their version of the same thing. No one realized how late it was getting and the helpful young man on the desk allowed them to stay 45 minutes longer than we should have.

When I heard someone ask "are you a Harms?" as my brother and his daughter came up the hall to the lobby the next morning, I knew it was some of our relations asking. She spotted the red hair---Mom had told our second cousin Becky to look for a bunch of redheads--Steve, Beth, Janet, Randi, John and I are all redheaded though different shades. Becky and our three great-aunts were all staying at the same hotel. We always lived so far from our relatives that prior meetings were either long forgotten or almost non-existent in some cases for the younger of the kids.

The funeral was a celebration of Grandma's life with lots of songs. The service brief and handled well by the pastor. Grandma wrote her own obituary, as a matter of fact but then she did this for the small hometown newspaper she and Grandpa had owned. The burial was to be some distance away so the funeral home will handle that part. My sister said I should not sit with her or look at her or we both would be in tears. I did anyway and we were anyway in spite of it but that is only natural and expected when you have a group prone to easy tears--"bladder too close to the eyes", as I once read. The visitation allowed us some time to visit with the aunts as did the luncheon afterwards--sharing stories and remembrances. Who knew that grandma played the violin along with her sister in the church orchestra and that great-great granddad Lynch had made them? One aunt in particular reminded me of Grandma in looks and temperment--she calls them as she sees them. Another, the youngest, is the geneologist and can probably help my sister-in-law fill in the blanks from the great-grandparents 50th anniversary booklet (in the 60's) till present day.

We got together for supper and then more swimming for the kids and chatting by the adults though by that time we were down one cousin and one sibling. By Tuesday morning all of us were headed back home. Dad could have gotten a ride back to IL Monday afternoon with Phil and John (they live about 12 miles from each other) had Mom needed to stay a few days more--a much shorter ride at that--but that was not necessary.

My aunt sent a stamped cross stitch piece that I had made for Grandma home with me---it is not dated so I can only make a guess as to when I made it--high school, early 70's? Man, that she kept that all those years just because I did the stitching. A ring her sister had given her and always worn was returned to the giver--she was so touched. The kids picked out a momento as well--just as she wanted. I also brought back my Mom's completed butterfly challenge quilt and was able to return the borrowed Viking to my sister, thanks to a big car trunk, while a box of clothes went back with Phil for the youngest cousins. Save postage after all.

Well, sorry to prattle on like that--maybe that isn't quite true--this is my journal after all. Obviously I have no recent completions to share, no fabric purchases even though Jan and I were right on the road to Hancock's of Paducah, no goals met or challanges I am actively involved with other ring members. The biggest thing on my horizon is getting some groceries in the house and I won't think much beyond the next two days. Frankly I don't feel like sewing in the first place---and I know myself enought to know NOT to push it when I feel like that or spend half the time un-sewing it. The church quilt display is coming up on Saturday so tomorrow or even later tonight I'll pack up the car trunk--maybe finish up the binding on this last one once errands are run.
And so it goes-------- Posted by Picasa

Aug 16, 2006

back home

No eye candy today and I will write more tomorrow--I am beat. My sinuses, neck, back and legs have about had it with me after a roughly 1500 miles round trip. I just wanted to thank you all for the condolences (and bday greetings) I received in my last post.

I pulled up in my own driveway about 12 noon today from middle Tennessee. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever find I-24 as I made some mistake after leaving my brother's home. Took a more scenic route than I planned but I knew that US 231 would hit it at some point. I will get out the map to see where I might have gone wrong here.

There is absolutely no way for me to catch up on the last 5-6 days happening on the web rings and other blogging friends so I'll start fresh tomorrow. (Like 26o some messages on bloglines---yikes)


Aug 10, 2006

day of up and downs

Today is a day of ups and downs. It is my birthday but am hardly in a celebratory mood as my maternal grandmother passed away today. My last surviving grandparent. She had lived a good long life to age 93 but it still makes me sad. It was expected--that fall and hip fracture last month did her no favors with existing health problems and ultimately it was too much to deal with. DJ and I had just left for my birthday lunch out when the call came in.

The funeral is Monday and I will be riding with my brother in TN and his family. It is about 4 hours or so to his house and about 8 1/2 hours to Springfield, MO from their house. I'll be taking a blogging break then from Saturday morning till about Wednesday leaving my husband behind to take care of the cat (He had told me he would not be going and I couldn't convince him that he had to)

This picture was taken in the summer of 54 and is one of my favorites of the two of us. I don't know if I was teasing her or her teasing me but we both look happy. I was two or close to it in this picture. I made her a grandma at 39--pretty young really.

I have to smile because she had to put pincurls in her hair to get it look mine did naturally. Actually my hair color (auburn) and the curls came from her dad skipping two generations. The family story was when they told my great granddad that I had hair just like his used to be, he replied that the last time he looked, it WAS red! He was blinded in a dynamite blast in a workplace accident when he was in his twenties so he never saw it turning gray or white.

I got a day's reprieve from walking till tomorrow even though I got dressed in my walking clothes. He didn't have to tell me twice that I didn't have to go. Birthday girls don't have to do anything they don't want to around here, slept in about an hour, finished up the binding on Betsy's quilt and one of the WTIL's, lunch out as mentioned, flowers yesterday, no cake but a lovely card from my husband--not too mushy this time so it didn't make me cry.

A day of ups and downs.............

Posted by Picasa

Aug 9, 2006

shopping and round robins

I got a call from my friend and fellow Bama Belle Jane this morning about the time I was about to head out the door to walk. Did I want to go to the quilt shop in a town in the next county up and out to lunch in a couple of hours? She, her mom Sarah and our friend Aline were going. The time frame was doable so off I went. DJ was on the golf course trying to beat the heat. That is almost impossible this time of year.

The first shop we went is going out of business at the end of the month but there were no big discounts on the fabric. The books were half price though so I got the Civil War Diary book---not that I think I am going to actually make any of the blocks but I do like the history part of the book---not a bad price either with no shipping. I found a bridger type fabric, black with a lot of gold in it directional print and those fun kitties HAD to follow me home too--just a half yard there. I think you will see it better once you click on the picture.

We left for lunch at Mexican restaurant near the quilt shop. Aline and I both have August birthday's so the ladies treated us. Chimichanga special for me today. We have eaten there before so we knew the food was good.

So what are you looking at here? Well, that round robin I have to do next--another picture below to show the whole quilt. I believe I am going to have a hard time with this one. The person who passes to me used that slippery poly cotton in black ( yet again). It does not lay flat, the border edge is not even either. If it looks like it flares in the picture, it is NOT an optical illusion. Closer inspection shows that she didn't use quarter square triangles on the outside edge--it is half square triangles so I am dealing with bias, big time.

The question: Is this thing trying to become an Amish looking quilt? One Aline had recently that was trying very hard to be a pink quilt.

I know what I want to do in the way of stars--something spiky and similiar to a Friendship Star but elongated, maybe 3 or 4 on each side of the quilt but what to use for the background. Our options are stars and/or log cabins and must be 4 inch finished.

The spacer color I bought at the first shop led to the purchase of the warm honey brown batik at a second shop maybe 10 miles from the first stop. Well, batiks, lots of other color in there too--limey green, yellow, purplish and that hot pink as well. I got enough fabric (3.50 a yard) that I can fussy cut if I have to. The two fats may go for the star blocks background and then the chunks of batik. between the stars. Hopefully that will calm this down, lighten it up and lead to a jumping off place for the next person. I am in no hurry to tackle this and the deadline is 1 month away.

SO only one 1/2 yard piece of fabric for me personally and one book--rest is for a sewing obligation. Not bad but then I didn't sign up to no buy--round robins were permissible even if I had.

It is going on 5 p.m. and time to think about fixing supper--what, I don't have a clue. I walked, shopped and lunched--read blogs, commented, emailed and talked to my mom (my grandmother's condition is worsening) Some laundry is done and no CEU studying yet today or binding. I would like to get the label/document ready for Betsy's quilt if I get nothing else done today. Anything else will be "gravy"

TTYL------ Posted by Picasa

Aug 8, 2006

how to clean the house


1. Open a new file in your PC.
2. Name it "Housework."
3. Send it to the RECYCLE BIN.
4. Empty the RECYCLE BIN.
5. Your PC will ask you, "Are you sure you want
To delete Housework permanently?"
6. Calmly answer, "Yes," and press mouse button firmly......
7. Feel better?
Works for me!

I was trying to post this to one of the private blogs that I am on but it posted here twice---so guess it was meant to be. Thanks, Norma for the giggle!

meeting day

Look who is making herself right at home. Yep, even left her perch to get on it. One of the girls was storing some quilts for us at her home but will be out of town when we spread them out on the church pews for viewing. I needed to transfer those back to my house. I was refolding this one to put back on the armoire or atop the clothes hamper when guess who took that as open invitation. (And no, Pam, I didn't get that bed made this morning. First time in over a week that I haven't. ) Guess she is giving it the kitty stamp of approval. You will get off of it when I am ready to hit the sheets, Missy Miss!

We only pinned two tops today since we are in wind down mode and know that we have enough quilts to meet our obligations. I had three tops with me and three volunteers to help with the binding. One was completely finished by meeting's end but it was half done to start with, another was half done and that big revamped medallion, a good bit done---I'll finish them up so those came back home with me along with 2 other completed quilts.

I got all that I could get done on Betsy's Christmas quilt till I get the label printed--just leaving the opening around that to be finished up. Good to visit with everyone since we weren't all sewing at separate tables but rather gathered around in one spot hand stitching basically.

I had given one of the girls some 30's fabrics to use on her round robin obligation and she sent what she didn't use back with me along with a bit more that I surprisingly, don't own. Who made out better on that deal? Still have come to no conclusion on my own obligations---I may post that to get some help/suggestions on what I could possibly do with it. I know what block, have them printed but the background color is what have me stymied. I've got some takers if I want to make a quilt shop run later in the week--can you imagine, LOL?

Also I would like to tell you about my friend Veronica who just started blogging today--stop by and welcome her at Veronica, Cher, Pam and I--and Nancy for a time--were all on the same quilt list together some time back. She has tons and tons of quilts--enough to be the featured quilter at her area quilt guild in New Mexico. I was thrilled for her receiving that honor and loved looking at them on her webshots folder recently. Some, I remembered so it was fun to see those again. When she found out I had a blog, she mentioned casually that she should get one too---and I encouraged her to share some of those quilts with you as well. Tell her Linda J sent you, LOL.

Nothing much to report--quiet evening at home, just the way I like it. Already being bad and didn't get to chapter 4 of my nursing CEU done either yesterday or today. Hey, I made the "rule "so I can bend it. It is printed (after I got a new ink cartridge) and there are lot more tables, pages, etc to go through on this chapter. There is always tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

nope, not sewing

This picture was on my lost blog but hey, it's gone so I can drag it out again. Nope, I am not sewing---just binding. I've three sides done and will get back to it at the quilt meeting today.

Yesterday was errand day as usual but I finally got myself hooked up to high speed cable internet or as DJ called it "your new toy". Lots of friends, family, newsletters subscriptions, accounts to change . Oh, I needed to install new anti-virus protection as I had been getting it free as a subscriber to my old ISP as well.
Very little stitching got done yesterday.

So I best get myself dressed and outta here or I am going to be late. Later-------- Posted by Picasa