Vintage Thingies Thursday

Happy VTT, sponsored by my friend Suzanne.

Today, I'm showing off my vintage Pyrex and mixer. I can remember lusting over the nesting bowls that seemed to be in all the antique stores. My Mom had the green bowl when I was a kid, but that's the only one. I wanted the set. Either they were extremely expensive, or they were badly damaged. One day, Rob and I were out antiquing and found a set at a good price and we snapped them up, quick. Then, another time, we found the refrigerator set at a good price and it came home to join the set. This is the only refrigerator set I've ever seen where the large dish is green. The mixer was picked up at a shop on one of my trips back to LA to see my folks and works perfectly. I occassionally use it when I'm mixing something that's not too thick and heavy.

Rob cut me a set of wood circles that sit in the bottoms of the nesting bowls and make them sit higher so they display well. Otherwise, the smaller bowls sit inside the larger one and all disappear.

This is the first time I've ever displayed them all together. They've moved all over the kitchen, looking for the perfect place, but always on opposite sides of the room. When I reorganized the other day, I cleared a place for them and now they have a home, all together, and make quite a statement about days past.

Y'all have a great Thursday. Hi-ho, it's off to work I go. Take care. Lane


quilt marking

Today, I thought I'd talk about how I mark my quilts. I don't know where I picked it up...TV or books or something. It all started because I hate to mark on fabric. I've used pencil and templates. I've used chalk and templates, soap slivers, herra marker...you name it, I've tried it. (I'll never forget the night I sat crying, making a paste out of oxyclean and shout and scrubbing it in with a toothbrush to get pencil marks out of my MIL's quilt) But, the method I like best is marking paper and pinning the paper to the quilt and quilting through it. First, it's fast. I can mark one time, use my machine to make copies and I'm done.

One word of caution. Don't draw on the paper with ink or pencil and then sew through that. The ink or lead will transfer to the quilting thread and become a permanent part of your quilt. Yuck!

So, here's what I drew for the borders of the apple themed quilt. First, I drew what I wanted in the border. I only had to draw half of one side and then I'll make 8 copies of that, which will complete the 4 sides.

Then, I pinned this to the top of 8 layers of marking paper. On this part of the project, I'm using the Golden Threads paper because I have it. But, normally, I use parchment paper from the grocery. I have it in my mind that the parchment paper is tougher and less likely to tear, but that's from using the Golden Threads when I was first learning to machine quilt. I might have better luck now, but I think the parchment is great for beginners. I use my sewing machine, without any thread, and I sew along the lines. That gives me 8 perforated copies.

I'll pin the perforated copy to the border of the quilt and sew along the dotted lines. Easy Peasy. The only hard part is getting all the paper from under the stitches. With the parchment, that means tweasers. The Golden Threads might be easier, we'll just have to see. Tiny pieces, the size of a grain of sand, get lodged in the stitches and I pull those out. They'd probably come out in the wash, but why risk it. It's easier just to pull them out as I go.

Okay, so that's my offering for the day. It's Wednesday. I'm going to try to get out of here early and go home for some very relaxing sewing. Maybe. Take care. Lane


Where did all these babies come from???

Okay, the other day, I said I was adding a thousand pictures from the old computer. I wasn't kidding. There were 1059 on a disk. So, I have a ton of pics to show that I haven't had access to for a while. Many were duplicates, like the 159 from Cmas 2004...yeah, we take a lot of pictures at the holidays. Anyway, I found all these pictures of quilts I forgot I'd made, so now I'm sharing them. I also found a lot of patterns I'd scanned for quilts I'd like to make. Maybe I'll show pics of those quilts later...if I ever get around to them.

This is another baby quilt where I pieced the back. It was made all from scraps that I don't know where they came from. I'm pretty sure that I folded the back over to make a binding instead of the separate, french fold binding I use now.

For today's quilting, I'm making the templates for the borders on the apple themed quilt. I just finished drawing it and now I'm making the 9 perforated copies that I'll pin to the quilt and quilt through. I'll be very glad to finish that quilt. It's been a ton of quilting.
Y'all take care and have a great Tuesday. Despite what today's first meeting was like, I'm determined to have a good day. Whistle while you work... Lane


Another Baby quilt

Okay, that day I didn't post is lost. No way to make it up, no matter how early I start. We spent 5 hours yesterday finishing up the science project and between that and a little cooking, and a little cleaning, and a little quilting, I was pooped! Too pooped to log in and make another entry.

But, I was going to show this baby quilt. This one was made for Rob's nephew, David. It's handquilted as well. This was the first time I pieced a back. I've found out it's much easier to do this when machine quilting because I can piece the back as I do the ditchwork on the front. I get straighter lines that way, but this one worked out pretty good. If I remember right, I spent a lot of time trying to get it just square before I started quilting.

I spent as much time quilting yesterday as I could. On the apple themed quilt, I got all four corners and the next to last border finished. Took me hours to pull all those tiny pieces of parchment that I used to mark, but it looks really good. I started drawing the pattern for the final border. It's a branch covered with apples, apple blossoms and leaves. Each branch begins as half of a V in the corner and extends to the middle of the border where it will meet the tip of another branch that finishes the side. It's going to be busy, but totally in theme. I had a hard time walking away mid-drawing last night and kept just sitting down to draw one more leaf...and then one more.
Y'all take care and have a great Monday. It's going to be a busy day for me, I'm sure. Lane


Oh, no!!!! I missed a day

Yes, I missed blogging yesterday. RATS! I was doing perfect, too. But, since most of you are still asleep, I'm thinking that if I make another post later today, we just won't dount yesterday, ey? I mean, it is just you guys keeping score, so you could let me slide...just a little bit?
Anyway, just to make up for it, how about something lovely and quilty
This is the quilt I made for my niece, Abbie. I saw the pattern on Simply Quilts and thought, I'd like to make that I hand quilted it and just love the colors. They're all from that yellow butterfly fabric that I used in the front and then used for the back. Fun little project. From what I've heard, my Sister wrapped her in it every morning when she was taking her to my parent's house, where she stayed during the workday.
Y'all have a great day! Look for something else a little fun this afternoon. Lane


No procrastination

Rob and I are not procrastinators...well about anything but going to the dentist. We both procrastinate about the dentist (him worse than me).

Sydney, on the other hand, procrastinates about everything if we let her. I'm sure it has something to do with her age. That means that this weekend, we have a multi-page science project that has to be finished so it can be turned in next Thursday. Thank goodness I've had her working on it slowly since it was first assigned, three weeks ago. I know that if I'd let Rob take care of it, she'd be done by now. There would have been arguing and crying and gnashing of teeth and I would have begun abusing the anti-anxiety medication, but it would have been done. And, it would have been stellar work. But, I took this one on...somehow. (I'm actually not quite sure how...it seemed that suddenly, without volunteering, I was in charge...)

Now, you're asking why we have to finish this early? She has a book report due after the next weekend, and we're not quite halfway through the book. The good news is that she can read to me while I sew, and while I cook, and while I clean out the cabinets in the garage this weekend. My own little book on tape that's more than willing to put the book down for a couple of minutes to run fetch something for me. It's one of the perks of parenthood, right?

Speaking of sewing, I've completed almost all the ditchwork on that little hand quilting project I picked up. I am bad. I have at least three big projects that I need to be working on and what am I doing? playing with something new. To my credit, I did start working on the indian orange peel this morning in anticipation of the weekend and I have great plans for quilting on the apple themed quilt. I've actually slowed on that one lately while I decide whether what I've done is sufficient. It sure would be nice to do some tiny background stitching around those baskets of apples. It would really make them show up. But, if I do that, then I have to do that same level of background work on the rest of the quilt for consistency, and the thought of that much work on such a large project is daunting. One day I wake up and think it's a good plan and the next day I wake up and think it's a bad idea. Maybe this weekend I'll make a little practice piece and look at it before I decide. Or, maybe I'll just go back to that handquilting. Ya' never know about me.

Uh-oh. Is that a way of procrastinating?

Y'all take care and have a great Friday. I'm hoping that I can get out of here early today. It's a beautiful day and I'd love to get out in it. I wonder if I can take a machine outside and sew on the deck. Wouldn't that be fun! Or sit in a swing and read a book. (see how easy it is for me to procrastinate?) Lane


Vintage Thingies Thursday - Two quilts

Same pattern. It's VTT again, sponsored by my friend Suzanne. Today, I'm going to show you two of my vintage quilts. Yes, these have a story, too.

The first quilt came down through my Mom's family. As far back as I can remember, we've had this one and a similar quilt that I showed recently that had turquoise backing and sashing. This one is thankfully in much better shape than the turquoise one, but it does have a worn spot in the center from being folded there too often. Babies played on it, picnics were had on it and it was much loved all my life.

This next quilt is the same pattern, but fewer blocks, and less of them for about the same sized quilt. This quilt is sashed in brown and backed in a beautiful blue print. It came down from my Dad's family. It's in very good condition with almost no wear.

All three are from the same quilt pattern, and only differ in size of the squares and size of the blocks. My Mom also made a quilt using this pattern for my sister and she used 4 inch squares and fewer squares to the same sized block. These three quilts all have the same utility quilting (parallel L shapes that start as big as the block in one corner and get smaller and smaller as they travel toward the opposite corner, traveling diagonally through the squares). I know that at least two different makers worked on them, plus my Mom, but all the quilters are from the same area in Northern Louisiana. I have not studied the pattern and can't name it and I don't know anything about that particular utility quilting. But, I think it shows how patterns and ideas were shared among quilters in a region. I wonder how many quilts in this pattern are still out there in that area?

Now, we have such an abundance of patterns and fabrics, we rarely make the same pattern as someone we know, unless it's a special challenge or event. But, I think these were all made independently. I wish I knew more about the people that made them. I'm sure they're from the 30's-50's, but that's about all I know. Despite all the vintage quilts I own, I haven't really done much studying. But, I do love to appreciate them. They've been stored away so long, it was a real treat to bring them out this weekend and get to see them and refold them all. I try to refold every 6 months or thereabouts. And, I'm always looking for different ways to fold them to alternate the fold lines (half, half and half again... third, half, third... third, third, half...) I've gotten very creative about how many times and where to fold and I fold them all just alike. I want them to continue to inspire me for a long time.

Okay, that's my post. Have a great Thursday and we'll see ya round blogland. I'm off to the dentist. yippee... Lane


My finest quilting moment...so far

I consider this little quilt to be my shining moment of quilting...so far. Yes, I'm working on projects that I hope will outshine this one, but today, this is my best work. And, as my best work, I look at it often. It hangs right next to my chair when I'm at my quilting machine. The pattern is from a quilting stencil that I bought years ago and used in a hand quilting project. The project was very busy and all that work quilting all those complex feathers was lost. Lesson learned about matching the quilting with the quilt top. When I got my Bernina, I took this pattern and traced it onto a solid piece of fabric and machine quilted on the lines. Well, close to the lines. I was just learning, after all. Then, two years later, I traced it onto a solid fabric again and this is what I came up with. On the wall, I hung the first one and then I pinned this one to the top of it. Maybe in two more years, I'll try again. Or maybe I'll quit while I'm ahead.
This stencil has come out again and I'm going to use it on the dresden star. I need something fabulous to use outside the dresden shape and the outer feathers in this stencil fit perfectly. Within the dresden shape, I'm doing some simple hand ditch quilting with multiple layers of batting (3 in the center circle and 2 in the dresden plate). The black outside the dresden shape only has one layer of batting so I'm hoping these feathers will show up when I quilt them by hand. I'm thinking some small straight lines behind the feathers will help them show up better.
Ughhh, as I describe that, I realize I've come up with another long term project. And a hand quilting project at that. Oh, well. I love to hand quilt almost as much as I love to machine quilt. And, hopefully, it will travel well and I can work on it in hotel rooms when there's nothing else to do but watch TV. Or, I'll decide to machine quilt it. Who knows. I've already assembled and basted it twice. Maybe I should hurry up and make a plan???
Have a great Wednesday. We'll see ya' round the blog. Lane


Resting...at the office

Fortunately, the work I get paid for is not as hard as the work I don't get paid for. So, I go to work to get some rest from the rest of my life. I wanna keep it that way.

We did get finished with the cleaning and everything is back in its place. We ended up doing a good bit in Sydney's room yesterday, much to her consternation. Fortunately, Rob and I were both in a good mood and had many good laughs at our outlandish responses to questions like "Why do we have to clean MY room? It's my space, I should get to keep it how I like it. Can I go watch TV?" Funny, she was more than willing to help clean the rest of the house, but when it came to her space, she didn't want to participate at all. "Aw, shucks, ma'am, but it's a fire hazard in here."

On a quilting note, I got that dresden star that was laid across the sofa in a pic a couple of days ago mounted to a background and the whole thing sandwiched and started hand quilting the center. I need projects I can do while we watch TV in the family room. If I don't have something like that, I spend all my time in the sewing room, which isn't good for the family.

But, I think I can get away with the sewing room tonight. After three days of complete togetherness, there's nothing really left to talk about. We'll have to go our own ways until things happen to us that we can share. Last night, it was just resting and conversation was not required.

Housework caught up. Kid's homework caught up. Now, just a little more work-work and that will be caught up, too. Ahh, there's a song in my heart and a skip in my step. Lane


Next step, a computer for Sydney

Today must be computer day. I've spent the last 5 hours so far. On my laptop, adding and filing a thousand pictures from the old computers and I still have a disk left to do. And, then to the old 'puter that we're giving Sydney to move the last pics off it, free up some space, delete some software, get it all set up and running as fast as that poor old thing will go...no internet access, tho. he-he-he (my dastardly dick laugh).

Now, I'm going to get her started cleaning out her cabinets. If work is good for the soul, then her soul is good. For a little while at least.
I'll leave you with an old quilt. My Mom made this quilt for me. I was never too young to appreciate a good quilt. I'd say I was about 10? (Mom, do you remember? I'm sure it was the 70's) This was from the quilting revolution. The dresden plates are all pointed as stars and appliqued to the muslin. It's backed with muslin as well and machine quilted in a grid. She did really nice work. It came through the wash very well the other day. Doesn't get washed often, but this weekend, we washed all that could stand it and vacuumed the rest. I love this old quilt, but it is too fragile to use. I get to enjoy it twice a year when it gets refolded.
Y'all take care. Tired Lane


The sewing room

Okay, these are not doing the room justice. It's not nearly as crowded as these look, but there really is stuff everywhere...most of it related to quilting.

Many happy hours are spent right here.

This is my office.

and, inspiration room?

And, resting and fingerwork area. See the dresden star? Expect to see that again later when it's finished. I inherited it as a UFO from my mentor. Can't wait to get started. Found it in a baggie...go figure.

And, the library...

Okay, so I've described 5 different rooms that exist in this space. Maybe it is a little crowded.

Okay, carpets cleaned, walls washed, furniture oiled and vacuumed. Now, it's time to move the furniture back in...Oy!

See ya'. Lane

Last day

It's the last cleaning day. Tomorrow, we rest. Today is the dining and living rooms. Rob has all the little stuff already out. Just a few larger pieces of furniture and we're done. Fortunately, it isn't the year to move all the really heavy stuff, like we did in the bedroom.

I've spent the morning so far folding quilts (Yeah!)

and working on the checkbook (Booo!)

I've got almost all the stuff that moved from the bedroom to the sewing room put away. Pics soon. And, I found several Linus quilts/afghans that are nearly done. I'll want to finish them quick.

Okay, that's it for today. No rest for the wicked. More pics soon. Lane


Kitchen down

Okay, the reorg of the kitchen is done, but alas, there's no point in cleaning there before everything else is done. I'll post pics of the sewing room soon. I moved some things in there while we clean the bedroom, so you'll have to wait until it's moved back.

You need to know I have a horrible addiction to collecting dishes.
Serving pieces in the laundry room:
Sets I can't let go of:
The stuff we use:
More that we use and good glasses to go with them:
Okay, so it's an addiction, but at least I'm aware of my addiction. And, I don't feed it nearly as much as I could before we had a kid. Now, I'm lucky if I can pick up a mismatched salt shaker. ;-).
Y'all have a great Saturday. We're scrubbing the master bath and moving all the furniture out of the bedroom to clean it ceiling to carpet. And, I do feel lighter (and not just from the 4 foot pile of garbage in the garage).


sewing room clean - check

Okay, I won't tell how many hours it took to clean up my sewing room. It was shameful. I will admit to starting last night and picking it up again as soon as I got up today. Now, I'm off to the kitchen. Fortunately, the kitchen is not about cleaning. It's just about rearranging, which is like getting to play with my stuff. And, there's a lot of stuff. Yesterday, I made a list of everything I wanted to move and where. Yikes! That's a little much, huh?

Okay. The break is over. See ya tomorrow for more fun with a vacuum. Lane


Vintage Thingies Thursday

Hey, all. Welcome to VTT, sponsored by my friend Suzanne. Suzanne is showing off a fantastic laundry room makeover and you really gotta see it.

Suzanne recently had to replace her iron. As quilters, we know the importance of a great iron. I thought I'd show this one off to make her feel better. Imagine if this is what you had to use, sweetie!

This iron came from my Aunt Lucille's house and my Mom painted it this fantastic green. It was in her house as long as I can remember to prop doors open, even though no door ever dared swing shut on it's on in a house my Dad lived in. But, it was part of the Early American Revolution of the 70's. Somehow, I don't think today's quilting cottons would stand up too well to this.

This next pic is one I've long wanted to share with my friend Angela. Angela's son recently made his own pinewood derby car and raced it. Erin, you should have a derby coming up sometime soon, too.

Okay, so the car was carved by my Dad and he added strips of white out tape for the white stripes. The picture is me and my Dad. Look at the size of that trophy compared to the size of my head! The newpaper article was, as far as I know, the first time my name was ever in the paper. Thank goodness, it was the last time, too...at least I think it was.

Okay, so that's it for me today. But, I'm going to take pics of some of my vintage quilts this weekend while we're cleaning. I think they could use a good airing. I also want to look into those museum boxes and tissue paper to protect them.

See you guys around. Lane


Cleaning the Blues out

I don't know what it is about cleaning. But, it's always a sign of good things to come when I get in the mood to clean. Rob knows it. If I've been sad or blue for a while, and suddenly I scrub the kitchen floor on my hands and knees, he knows my mood will soon improve. Or, if he catches me on a ladder cleaning ceiling fans, he knows it won't be long before the music of our lives picks up a new and happier beat.

Cleaning has been scheduled. Things are already looking up for me.

I've made a long, long, long list of projects for this weekend. I have Friday off and am going to get a one day head start on the process and do a few things that are important to me, including a deep cleaning and dusting in the sewing room and re-arranging the kitchen cupboards. Stuff that no one else will have an appreciation for but that will help me. Then, starting Saturday, it's all about emptying rooms, cleaning carpets, dusting ceilings and fans, and washing walls.

If that don't heal the soul, I don't know what will.

Oh, and a busy kid makes for happy parents. Everyone wins.

Y'all take care and have a great Wednesday. Just a day and a half before C-day (cleaning day)...mwaahaahaaa (my most evil laugh). Lane


Gray skies are gonna clear up...

put on a happy face.... Yes, my perspective on things is better. I'm going to try to take a couple of days off the end of this week and do some mighty important recharging. I'm just all drained out. Too much work. Too much helping the kid with homework. Too many people with different priorities and perspectives than me.

Today, I'm going to answer the burning questions that have come up on my blog recently.

No, I didn't take the apple themed quilt on Saturday for my mentor to see. And, it turned out to be the right choice. I didn't know it, but we had limited time on Saturday and I took other things to talk about.

We did another binding lesson. Hopefully, I've got it this time. I guess we will see on my next quilt. Turned out I was leaving way too much batting around the outside edges of my quilts and by the time that I squeezed that into a tiny binding, it made a stiff tube around the edge of the quilts and the corners were rarely an exact miter. So, I took one of my little throw away fmq samples with me and a leftover binding strip from another project and we went through the whole lesson. I think this was the 4th time. Hopefully I've got it now. I know that judges love to give feedback on bindings and I want to give them little to talk about on that.

And, I veered far away from her suggestions on my quilting theme and am a little nervous about showing it and want to make sure it's the best it can be before she sees it.

Yesterday I was asked how I started quilting. That's a long story, so get a fresh cuppa' and settle into a comfortable chair.

I've been sewing since I can't remember when. I made drapes and tablecloths and reupholstered furniture on a series of inexpensive machines and with mixed results. I tried making clothes, but could never get them to look quite right and soon gave up on that. I still have a couple of shirts I made that are very comfortable and I wear around the house. I made some really cute teddy bears for gifts one year and made cute little clothes for all of them, but that's about the extent of that. Then, I got into knitting and I knitted until I didn't need anymore sweaters. It is Texas, after all.

Many years ago, a friend invited me to teach him to sew so he could make a quilt. He'd had a tenant skip out owing rent who left behind a sewing machine, patterns and his stash (if only we'd realized how valuable those things really were at the time.) In exchange for the lesson, he gifted me some fabrics, a pattern, and a book. I was going to make a log cabin quilt from a pattern in this really old quilting book. Of course, I didn't read the first chapter and didn't know I needed to add the seam allowance to the pattern pieces they showed. I cut up a lot of fabric in 1" strips and then stopped when I realized I couldn't do anything with them without the seam allowances. This all sat for several years.

In 1998, I lost a partner after a long illness. Long illnesses have their own time schedules and the rest of life kinda goes on hold, so when he finally passed and the bustle of the funeral was over, I had to take some time to reset my clock to real time. I decided to make a quilt. Of course, by the time I decided to make the quilt, I'd lost track of the book. I only had the vaguest memories about how to make it, and didn't let that stop me. I went ahead with the log cabin, but instead of making the blocks half light and half dark, they're a muddle of medium and dark strips that I sashed together and hand quilted.

Still love that quilt and it's our quilt of choice to sleep under in winter. It's the perfect weight and while it might not be very close to the pattern, it doesn't matter to either one of us.

I made three more bed sized, hand quilted quilts. Then, in late 2006, I bought a used Bernina 930 and found a mentor who was willing to share her knowledge with me. And, I have learned a lot from her and she still coaches me through my more difficult projects. I also am friends with the quilters at my local quilt shop and participate in a BOM with them every year. But, there are only so many bed sized quilts that we can use here in TX. So, I changed my average quilt size from queen to between three and five feet and started making wall hangings and lap quilts. I've long since lost count of how many of those I've made.

I still quilt using that Bernina 930 because it is the quietest machine I've ever used and is big and powerful and great for quilting. I also have a pfaff 7570 that is a great piecer. And, this year, I've picked up a Singer Featherweight 221 and a Singer 127 treadle. And, I have a Scarborough Rotary machine that I can't find anything about, but that also makes great stitches. I like the vintage machines for the nostalgia and I use them lightly and save most of my work for the Pfaff and Bernina. I hope to use the treadle to make a whole quilt, start to finish next year, just to have the experience.

I quilt when I'm happy and I quilt when I'm blue. I quilt when I should be doing other things. The motion of the needle is relaxing. And, dog gone it, I'm good at it. And, everybody needs one thing they think they're good at and that they enjoy. It saved me from becoming a couch potato and it pulls me out of my deepest depressions. My sewing room is my only space where I'm the only one that counts and it's crowded and disorganized and cluttered, just like my head is because it's a reflection of me. It's where I'm most comfortable and where I'm most creative and where I'm most relaxed.

Okay, Tammy. That's way more than you asked, but sometimes, I get on a roll and don't know when to stop. Y'all take care and have a great Tuesday. We'll see ya round the net. Lane


hard day

Worst mood. Bad day. Nothing to say. Nothing going right. Mad, sad, tired. But, I didn't want to mess up my blogtoberfest plans just for one bad day, so I'm just posting to say that it's a bad day.

Hope yours is going better. Take care and we'll see ya' round blogland. Lane


Are you ready?

This is the quilt. We got it all laid out yesterday. Oddly, it only has one good top and bottom. When we stepped around, the colors got dull and muddy, but from this one angle, it looks fantastic! This picture has full resolution, so you should be able to double click it and get a better view. I started assembling blocks as soon as I got home.

The first block I put together was a nightmare and I had to pull the paper to get it to go together right, but I learned a lot and the next 6 went very smoothly. But, I had to stop to work on the apple quilt some. It's great to have several projects in the works. Keeps me wanting more from each one. Always leave 'em wanting more, huh?

This is the quilt after we got it all tagged for transport. It's hard to keep all the pieces straight as I assemble them. Every piece has to be labeled over and over to keep them straight, but if I forget one, I'm going to mess up one of those circles that we worked so hard to form yesterday.

Okay, hope you're having a great Sunday. It's turning into a beer making day for me. Gotta get that cmas beer going or something bad will happen like it did last year. See ya'. Lane


apples in a basket

Okay, so here's the work I've spent so much space blogging about. The first picture is the full quilt top. I made it in my first quilting class early this year. I've been quilting for 10 years and just took my first class. Go figure.

Anyway, I've always wanted a red and brown quilt and here it is.

This is one of the large triangles on the sides. I've done them all in this same design. It's a basket with leaves and flowers and 5 apples. I'm not sure how it's going to look on the blog, but it's not so great here in this screen. Hope you can see it. I've stretched it as much as possible to make it easier to see. You'll have to excuse the white chalk marks and the tiny pieces of paper that I couldn't see , but the camera certainly picked up. I used both paper and chalk to mark my shapes. The initial shape was on parchment and I sewed through it and then pulled the paper. But, it didn't fill the space, so I added leaves with the chalk and quilted them in.

Here's another with higher resolution.

I found that if you double click the pics, they get bigger and more clear.

Okay, I'm off to finish packing for my sewing date with my mentor. And, I have a couple of hours, so no reason not to get some quilting done before I go. Y'all take care and have a great Saturday. Lane


Blog about someone else's blog

Here I go again, blogging about Leah's blog. But, she really spoke to me today. I've been spending countless hours at the machine quilting that show quilt with the apple theme. And, on occassion I get discouraged. Like today. I'm pretty nervous about taking the quilt to show my mentor tomorrow, and at the same time, really needing some feedback. And, knowing that even if the feedback is negative, I'm too far in to start over. I'd have to pick a different quilt for next spring's shows and finish this one using the current plan, or go ahead an enter it and probably get the same feedback a second time.

But, when I read Leah's post, I realized that I'm on the right track. First, I've spent more time quilting the quilt than I did piecing it. Second, the quilting is completely related to the quilt in theme. It is heavily quilted, which is another point of Leah's. My quilting draws attention to the piecing and gives some oomph to the plain areas without overwhelming the piecing in any way. I drew all my own quilting motifs, so I know they're original. They fit the theme and are pretty well excecuted in free motion stitching. The quilting threads recede into the fabrics and give texture to the large fabric patches without changing the color or presentation of the patches. And, yes, the quilt is extremely heavy and stiff already and will be much more so when it is washed and blocked.

And, like she suggests, I don't quilt every quilt this way. This quilt is special and for a show. I've spent at least twice as much time on it as I would on a quilt I wasn't planning to show. And, I don't plan to quilt like this on every quilt. Sometimes, a quilt is just to show off at the house and will never be judged by a professional, but will be enjoyed by my family and friends. So, there's no reason to fill them with dense quilting. Those quilts are better off with ditchwork and just a little fancy stuff.

So, I'm feeling better. Not sure yet whether I'll take it tomorrow. I might feel better waiting until it's finished and all the little mistakes are corrected before I show it to her. I'm pretty sure if I wait, she'll be overwhelmed and I'll get a good review before I enter it. If I take it now, I'm going to hear a lot about mistakes I already know about and have a plan to correct.

Take care and have a great Friday. Maybe tomorrow I'll post a picture of one of the sections I've been working on and get your feedback. I know...what a tease! Lane


Vintage Thingies Thursday - White vases

Hi, all. It's Vintage Thingies Thursday, sponsored by my friend Suzanne.

Today, I wanted to show off some white vases I have. Of course, everything at my house has a story, so here we go. This vase was a thank you gift to my parents from my Aunt and Uncle. My Aunt Ducky (Marie) and Uncle Bill had three children, but I'm not sure how many my parent's stayed with while Duck and Bill went on vacation to Dallas. To thank my parents, they brought them back this vase as a thank-you. It's decorated with hand painted flowers and gold swirls and there are, I guess rhinestones glued to it. Many years ago, in the height of my collecting vases, my Mom gave it to me. For a long time, I wouldn't display it because I thought I'd break it. The vase is shaded glass and it is very delicate and tall (about 10 inches tall).

These next three are old milk-glass vases that I collected through the years. I love milk-glass and always watched for glass that had the slightest tinge of red when you looked through it at a light because a dealer once told me it made the piece more valuable. Don't know if that's true or not. Only the tallest vase of these three has the red tinge.

Okay, that's it for me today. Be sure to check out Suzanne's remodel at her blog and from there, link to see what other great vintage items her other followers have posted. I'll post more of the vase collection later. There are...well, more than I like to dust.

Have a great Thursday. Lane


The quilts that didn't ribbon

These are some of the beautiful quilts that didn't ribbon at the quilt show. Just because a quilt didn't ribbon doesn't mean it wasn't a beauty.

I didn't understand the name on this one and didn't get to the write-up to see how she got the name, but I'm sure it meant something.

Soft Yellow Only by Barbara Jarman, quilted by Chris McCaskill

I loved the next quilt very much. It just spoke to me. I want very much to make a winding ways quilt and I just finished Jennifer Chiaverinni's book by the same name. The darker fabric is a musical instrument fabric, mostly stringed instruments and since Rob is learning to play the guitar, I'd love to get my hands on a couple of yards of it. The quilt is a beauty and all her circles were perfect.

Winding Ways by Marilyn Posluszny

This was a kit quilt and everyone just oohed and aahed. We loved it. Now that I know it was a kit, I may try to find it to make for the family.

Traveling Route 66 by Mary Jane Thorp

Of course, I also love this drunkard's path quilt. She did a great job on her circles and there was plenty of variety to keep the viewer interested, even though our photo is kind of murky.

Blue Moon by Duchess Roberts

Okay, so that's all our favorite quilts. There were to star quilts that I didn't get the name or makers name on, so I'm not showing. Hope you've enjoyed this little look at a small guild show. This guild put on the first show that our family attended. And, that year, a man made the best of show quilt, which was a Dear Jane. One of this year's big winners was also a Dear Jane, so all of you that are out there working on that pattern, keep going. They keep winning.

Y'all have a great Wednesday. We'll see ya' round the net. Lane


Oops! I forgot the pictures

I was going to post pics of some of our favorite quilts from the quilt show that didn't win ribbons. I forgot to load them to the blog before I left this morning. Oh, well. I'll try to do that tomorrow.

I'm still feverishly quilting apples. The motif that I drew to fill the large outer triangles of the quilt didn't quite fill the space, so now I'm adding leaves around the outer edge to fill it in. The other day when I was loading bobbins, I looked at all my spools of thread. It's kinda scary, but it's possible that I've used almost 2000 yards of thread, or the equivalent of one huge spool on this quilt so far. The quilt is very densely quilted and that yardage estimate includes all the quilting I pulled out early in the project. I'm almost certain I've used 1k yards off the bobbin spool. Yikes!

I'm glad I started this project plenty early. Every so often, I have to take a break from it and I'm sure that after this weekend, I'm going to want a long break so I can work on the Indian Orange Peel quilt after my mentor and I talk about how to lay it out. I always enjoy getting with my mentor to sew. Of course, the better my skills get, the more we diverge and the more I strike out on my own in design and execution, but it's still nice to get with her and be reminded of the basics. We also need to talk about binding, so I'm going to be taking a small sample for us to use in discussion. For some reason, there's always something wrong with my binding and I hope this is the last lesson I'll need on it. She's shown me about 4 times.

I don't know if I'm the only person that thinks this, but the principles of color, the skill set of matched points, and beautiful design all seem to be going through a change now. I've had some time to surf the net looking at quilts and I wonder if some of the changes are for the better. I'm seeing some quilts where folks seem to have given up on matching seams and instead are creating patterns that don't match by intent. And I'm seeing them use garish color combinations with nothing peaceful to calm and blend them. I wonder if this is what the previous generation of quilters thinks when they see my quilts. It's hard for me to open my mind up to what one person sees as art and I see as a mess of dangling threads and scrunched up corners. And, I'm not talking about the beginners learning curve. I'm talking about experienced quilters that I've been following for a while. And, I cringe. Are they redesigning the old classics to make them easier, or is it just artistic interpretation? Is this how every generation feels when they look over their shoulder and see the next generation barreling down on them with new ways of doing things?

Oh, what an old curmudgeon I've become. Y'all take care. I'll see ya' round the net. Maybe I can expand my mind to be more accepting of the new trends.

Or, maybe not. After all, I seem to be going backwards. I just bought a treadle! Lane


Last of our favorite Chisholm Trail Winners

Today's photos are the last of our favorites that also won ribbons. We had lots of other favs and I'll show some of them tomorrow.

This first quilt...I'm not sure what happened to the pic. It was a miniature, each of the hexagons finished at 1/2 inch. I'm not sure why we didn't get a better picture. This quilt was made by a friend of my mentor's. In addition to the hexagons, there was some beautiful applique around the edges.

First place, Miniatures - Ladybug Garden by Melinda Noonan

The next quilt was a whole cloth quilt that was all done by the quilting. Loved it and she did a really nice job of it. Lots of thread went into this one. There were about 20 of these assorted little animals in the quilt, but to show the detail, we had to focus on just a couple of them.

Third Place Other Techniques - Fauna Fantasy by Martha Tsihlas

This one is a bug and we couldn't figure out what kind, so of course, Sydney had to take a pic of the one we couldn't figure out.

Okay, I did really good on spending. But, Sydney's camera really washed out the colors. I got the three center pieces of fabric, each between 30 and 42 inches wide and selvage to selvage for 50 cents each. I picked up 5 light colored batik fat quarters. I can't find lights in any of the local shops, so when I find them, I buy them. They're lavendar to yellow, to a light gray. I picked up the Texas state pattern to make some gifts from. I'm thinking it will be another good way to use up some scraps and I'll border them in bluebonnet prints. I got some of the soft pony tail holders for my bobbins, about 8 to the bag and 3 bags for a dollar and I got some green ceramic lead for my pencil. If you haven't used the ceramic leads, I highly recommend them. They stay on the fabric very nicely while you quilt or sew. I've had a white one that I use on dark fabrics. Now I have a darker green to use on my light fabrics.
Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I'm off to read some blogs and get some work done. Take care. Lane

More quilts from Chisholm Trail

Yes, we did have a great time at the show. Tomorrow, I'll show the rest of the winners we liked best and The little pile of stuff I bought. I did really good, I swear.

The show was very nice. My only complaint would be that they don't have enough room. They need a venue with twice the space. You'll see that some of these photos are not the best. Sydney took all our pics and she did a really nice job of waiting until she could get a clear shot and getting as far away as possible, but the aisles were only about 5' wide and there were vendors shops spread all around with people waiting in line to get into their booths. That all took up space.

1st place kit quilts - Made in Texas Houses by Gloria Hale

3rd place, kit quilts - Safe Havens by Nancy Daw

1st place, Pieced Large Quilts - How my Garden Grows by Shelly Sutton

and first place, Applique, Large Quilts - Baltimore Album by Jean McCoy.

Imagine the work that went into those beauties! Now, you can see why I've been at my machine for two days...;-) Lane


Chisholm Trails Quilt Show 2009

Oh, what a fun day we had at the quilt show. Going to show off a few faborites and this time I thought to take paper and pen, so I can share the names of the quilt and the maker. The first category is Professionally quilted. Prepare to be stunned.

1st place - Roseville, Ingrid Fullard, quilted by Leslie Sparks

Honorable Mention 0 Let your Heart Bloom by Sharon Tenny and quilted by Sandy Heinrich
Residual Waves by Myrle Seely and Quilted by Leslie Sparks.
Sorry, we could not do justice to the photos. The quilts were beautiful and we could not get far enough away from most of them to get a good picture.
Okay, I'm off to some quilting. I got the 4th basket of apples quilted into the quilt this morning and am pulling paper from it. Nex stop, small trianges to fill with apples and flowers.
Have a great Saturday.


Back to quilting

Okay, I've pulled myself back from piecing all those BOM's and leader/ender projects and gotten back to quilting the apple themed quilt. And, yes, I am having fun again. I just needed to step away from it for a few days to get back in the mood. I pinned an apple basket motif to the quilt last night and started the quilting while Sydney read aloud to me and this morning I got to work on it for a little while longer. Then, I stole a little extra time before I left for work and worked on it until my bobbin ran dry. I decided that was as good a cue to stop as I was likely to get, so I stepped away and came on in. But, I have to admit, if I get a half a chance, I'll be out of here early and I'll sit back down at that machine for another round. I love the peace of knowing that needle is just going up and down. No surprises. No emergencies. Just me and my machine, doing what we do best.

Tomorrow is the Chisholm Trail quilt show in Round Rock, TX. I can't wait! I've settled on an amount of cash I'm going to take, and it's my goal not to buy any new fabric (haaa haaa haaa...yes, I'm laughing with you cuz we all know better than that!) Okay, I'm back from busting my own gut. Maybe I should just say I don't plan to buy any new fabric and we'll see how it goes from there. What I'd like to find are the bobbin washers. I'd like to think they'll help me regulate my tension a lttle better than I've been able to on either of my machines. I always either have to choose between bobbin pop-up or top thread pop-down. Not a problem when the top and bottom threads match, but so often I want to quilt with different threads on the top and bottom and for now, I'm settling for picking a side for the pop and coloring them with a fabric marker. Think a quilt judge will notice??

Next weekend, I'm taking Saturday and sewing with my mentor on our Indian Orange Peel quilts. Check out this link. This guy from manquilters made the quilt in green and called it Indian Lime Peel. Mine won't be nearly this bright, but isn't that just a fantastic quilt??? Mine is in oranges and grays. This looks tough, but it's just such an easy pattern. It's by Karen K Stone if anyone wants to give it a try. Just don't finish before I do...;-)

Okay, I don't really plug TV shows, but if you're not watching GLEE, then you're really missing out on some really talented young people. The plot is very high school, but the singing is FANTASTIC!!! Rob says the reruns are available on hulu and it would be well worth your time to catch up on the first 4 or 5 episodes. We can blog about how wonderful it is and drum up some more viewers. Hey, I'm shameless. The more people watching, the longer it will stay on the air!

Y'all take care. With my Blogtoberfest commitment, I'll be blogging over the weekend. Maybe I'll post some pics from the show. This time, I'm going to write down the names of the quilts and quilters as I photograph so I can give full credit on the blog. See ya' round the net. Lane


Vintage Thingies Thursday and Blogtoberfest

Vintage Thingies Thursday is sponsored by my friend Suzanne at http://coloradolady.blogspot.com. You can go there to see Suzanne's collection of platters and creamers and check out all the linked posts about other collector's vintage items.

My post today is a very old quilt. It might not technically qualify as vintage because it was made for me when I was a teenager (I say, pretending I'm not old enough to be vintage). The quilt maker was my great grandmother. This is a picture I took of her about the time she made the quilt for me.
She was a very prolific quilter and sat in her living room at the machine making quilts to give away into her 90's. Later, diabetes took her ability to live alone and she moved out of state to live with one of my aunts and I didn't see her again until her funeral. But, I have many happy memories of going to her house with my grandparents to work in the family vegetable garden that my grandfather maintained there. My great grandmother, known to everyone as "Mom" would walk out in the fields to tie up her tomatoes, always in a mid calf length skirt and always with an apron tied around and in the pocket of that apron was always a ball of fabric strips and a pair of scissors that she used to tie up whatever needed tying, from tomatoes, to gates, to dogs.

Near the town where I grew up, there was a double knit mill...who of you remembers double knit??? It was totally polyester and hot as hades and heavy as iron. Not much for clothes, even though everyone wore it in the 70's, but it made quilts that are darn near indestructible. In studying quilt history, I've heard that there are a lot of these old double knit quilts out there that will hit the market over the next few years as the owners begin to pass on. If you live in a cold climate or have a drafty house, I recommend that you get one. You'll never sleep cold again.

By the time Mom made this quilt for me, she was too old to quilt it, so she sent it to the local church women's group and they quilted it for her for just a few dollars and then she gave it to me. I know there's a lot of pink in it, but Mom didn't make quilts the way we do now. Her quilts were made for utility, using whatever was handy. I love this old quilt, and while we can't sleep under it, I will always have it. The back is the softest T-shirt knit and a bright green with polka dots and it's folded over the edges to make a binding. I need to make a label for it so whatever happens, anyone will know what it represents to me. But, I haven't gotten to that (mostly because I just thought of it as I was writing this post).

I've decided to try this thing that I found over at http://tinniegirl.blogspot.com. The goal is to blog every day for the month of October...not that it will be hard for me, since I blog almost every day anyway. But, hopefully, it will get me in the habit of blogging on the weekends, too. I'm lax on those days and regularly get so busy that I forget to blog or to read up on blogs. So, I hope you'll follow me as I try to find things to blog about for 31 days. You'll have to let me know if I've kept it interesting.
Y'all take care and have a great Thursday. I'll see ya' round the net. Lane