Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wow!! A Wonderful Christmas Gift From A Friend Down Under!!!

I got the nicest surprize in the mail today from my cyber-friend, Helen McNaught, over at Aunty Hennys.  I first met Helen when she sent me one of her International Siggies and I sent her one of mine.  I found out about her blog and I have been following her posts for months!!  And I have her link on the sidebar on my blog. 
Its funny, I have read on other blogs where someone gets a gift from a cyber-friend out of the clear blue sky and I always thought that was so cool!!!  Well, now I am one of those lucky kids!!!  Thank you, Helen!!!  I love it!!!  I am calling your gift a Mug Mat (as its not as big as a mug rug) and that is what I am going to use it for: my hot chocolate and egg nog and all the other holiday drinks that I find!!!  :-)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Call to Quilters All Over the World for Healing Hearts Blocks

How small of a world is it??  I just wrote a post about my Dad's Love Quilt yesterday and just now as I was surfing the quilting blogs on QuilterBlogs.com, I came across Shirley Goodwin's blog, DyeingtoDesign, asking for hearts for the families of the miners who just died in the mining disaster at Pike River mine on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, resulting in the deaths of 29 miners.

I am passing on Shirley's message and you can connect to her blog HERE to see what she needs and where you can send your offerings!!!  May God bless these families in their very sad time!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Dad Turns 93 Next Week!!

During the summer of 2007 we had a big family celebration!!  My brother, Greg, turned 60 that July and his son, Justin, turned 30 a few weeks early and our Father turned 90 in December of that year.  It was a wonderful time together and I had made a "Love Quilt" for my brother.  I had sent out appliqued heart blocks earlier in the spring to all his kids, grand-kids, siblings, my Dad and some friends and asked them to sign the heart how ever they wanted!!  It was fun and whimsical and it turned out great!!!  He loves it still and tells me he uses it almost every day!!  :-)))

Everyone loved it so much, I decided to do one for my Dad for his 90th birthday that December.  Well, life got in the way and so I only had two rows done to give him at his birthdy party.  There were lots and lots of presents on the table and he was like a kid.  He opened the partially made quilt, said that's nice and went on to open all the glorious store-bought gifts.  I was crushed!!!  I put the UFO away and didn't look at it for nearly three more years!!  Well, I finally got over myself last month and decided to get it done for his birthday this year!!

Here are just a few of the blocks made by kids, grandkids, great-grand-kids, nieces, nephews, etc.  I have the top almost done and it is going to be tied so I have a week from tomorrow to get it done!!!  The race is on!!
I think there are a total of 30 hearts and they will be mixed in with 9-patch and 4-patch blocks to make a whimsical quilt for his bed!!!  I think he will like it when it is all done!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!!

Enjoy your wonderful Thanksgiving day with all your family and loved ones!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Have Been Sick, Sick, Sick!!!

I started feeling punk last Thursday and just hung out quietly until I had to help all day Saturday to get the Singles Thanksgiving dinner ready for Saturday night.  Well, that was the downfall.  I went downhill from there and as of this morning, I started taking antibiotics as this must be more than just a bad cold.  I have been doing a lot of sitting and sleeping and no quilting but when I have felt a little better I did get to work on my new "Holy Night" cross stitch so I thought I would show you my progress:
It is really turning out nicely.  I splurged and used the hand-dyed threads instead of the DMC thread.  I am glad I did except the internet company I purchased the threads from let me know at the last minute (and after they had taken my money) that they did not have all the threads in stock and now they will not answer my emails!!  I have been having to jump around because I don't have all the threads.

Also, I had a little clip-on magnifying glass by Daylight that I have clipped onto the rim and its like putting my needle through huge, boulder-size holes!!!  Love it!!!
If I am not better by next Monday I am going to the emergency to see what I might have.   I would love any prayers you might want to offer up for me!!  :-))) 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Blessed Sunday to Each & Everyone of You!!

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth,
and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might
be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3: 17-19

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My First Wonkie Scrap Block! Hoo! Hoo!

Well, as I have been blog-hopping over the past few weeks, I have been seeing my favorite bloggers such as Allie over at Strandz (I got the word wonkie from Allie but I spell it differently) and Sharon over at Vrooman's Quilts making these darling scrappy quilt blocks.  Also, Jodi over at Pleasant Home has created a "Sew Scrap Along" to help us turn ALL our scraps into fun, fun quilts!!

I joined Jodi's "Sew Scrap Along" awhile back but it was looking at everyone's darling scrap quilts that got me motivated.  I am not really sure how everyone else is actullay constructing their blocks, but since I love to paper-piece, I decided to make a template, a wonkie template, and just go for it!!  Well, look at how cute my first 8" block turned out:

Thanks for all the support I receive from so many wonderful blogging friends out there!!!  You keep me motivated and happy!!  :-)))

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Been A Long Time Since . . .

I have done any counted cross stitch!!  The first one I did was about 40 years ago when the only counted cross stitch came from the Norwegian countries and the only place I could find one was when I went up to Solvang near Santa Barbara in Southern California.  Otherwise, the only cross stitch you could get back in those days was the printed cross stitch on such things as kitchen towels, pillowcases and tableclothes!!

I found this one up at Shepard's Bush in Ogden, Utah last summer when I was up that way visitng my friend, Sue.  I chose this one because the fabric used is a 19-count linen and if you have even done counted cross stich on linen, you know you go over 2 threads.  That way, the holes I put my needle into are big nd the stiches are big and these old eyes of mine can see those big holes at night.
The threads used are overdyed threads with names like Chocolate Cream Pie, Fools Gold and Root Beer Float.
The piece I am doing is called Holy Night, a Shepard's Bush pattern.  After the stitching is done, there is an assortment of little buttons that are added to the piece in strategic places to give it some depth and added detail:
Look at those little sheep in the top right corner - are they cute, or what!!!
This picture is really small, but it will give you an idea what I have gotten myself into.  Click on the picture for a better look!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Give-A-Way from Mandy at Bijou's Whimsy!!!

Look at this darling little painting with its own easel that Mandy of Bijou's Whimsy is giving away!!  The drawing ends on November 29th at midnight and the winner will be announced on November 30th!!  Jump on over and enter the drawing and check out her Blog and work - you won't be disappointed if you like fun and whimsy!!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

This Block Only Took Me Three Hours To Make

and it's far from perfect!!!
This is the block we were to make in Sally Collin's day long class on Precision Piecing.  And yes, it took me three hours to make because I was working on the process, and when you are working on these teeny, tiny pieces it is amazing how difficult the process is to perfect!!!  This block is 2" unfinished!!!  Youch!!!

It was a super fun day and Sally is so much fun and a great teacher!!  And patient!!!  Understatement!!!  :-)

If I am ever to learn the patience to do this minature work and complete the quilt for the class, the quilt would look something like this:
That's a pretty big "if" though!!!  :-))

After the class was over, Linda Sidlow invited me to go have dinner with her and Sally and Charlotte Gary, another gal who took the class.  We had a great time eating and talking and enjoying each others' company!!  It was a full and glorious weekend!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Perform Each Process With Skill And Care!!

These are the words of Sally Collins, an award-winning quiltmaker, teacher and author who has been quilting since 1978 and teaching since 1985. 

I had the incredible opportunity to go to a lecture and "Truck Show" this evening that was put on by our Dixie Quilt Guild.  Ms. Collins is a remarkable quilter and a VERY fun lecturer!!  Her quilts range in size from very small to wall size.  She is most recognized for her quality workmanship, attention to detail and teaching expertise.  But it was evident that what she loves the most is the journey of designing and making her quilts.  She told us how she started out quilting by standing in front of a store (she thought it was a sewing machine shop) that had a quilt in the window and she was so fasinated by it she wanted to make one, even though she had never done any type of sewing, let alone quilt making.  Her stories were full of humor and sage advice.

As she talked about learning to sew, and then learning to make a four patch (in the pre-rotary cutter days) to adding binding not cut on the bias, becasue she had no idea what "cut on the bias" even meant, she made the profound comment that "mistakes are stepping stones to sucess."

Her quilts, many of them 12 inches and 16 inches and 22 inches, have hundreds of pieces in them!!!  She let us come up and touch her quilts and fondle them and oooww and aaahhhhh over them and take pictures.  So, I took pictures, lots of pictures!!  But I want you to know that these pictures do not do justice AT ALL to these exquisite pieces of art.

Sally Collins is a wonderful, very humble ol' hippie from the San Francisco Bay area and she told us that "they're just quilts."  Oh my goodness, if these quilts are JUST quilts . . . Enjoy!!
The pen above will give you an idea at how small most of these quilts really are!!!
If, and  thats a BIG if, I had to chose a favorite one it would be this one (above)!!!  Incredible and hand quilted!!! 
One of the things that Sally told us was that she seperates design and color from workmanship.  She explained that this means she designs each piece as she wants it, makes sure that her fabrics and colors are perfect for that project, gets everything ready, design and color-wise, and THEN she starts sewing.  She finds that separating the processes are much more satifying for her when the top is complete.
Sally was kind enough to let me take her picture in front of her gorgeous quilts and she gave me permission to show all her quilts here at The Quilting Garden.
This is a picture of Ms. Collins with Linda Sidlow who is the gal who booked Sally 2 years ago for this lecture series AND tomorrow's class on Precision Piecing.  And I am lucky enough to have found a place in the class even though I was on the waiting list up to a couple of days ago!!!  I want to thank Brigette Luckau for having unexpected company all weekend and calling me to take her place in the workshop tomorrow!!!  And thank you, Sally for a wonderful evening!!!
Ok, it is late and I have to go dream of these gorgeous quilts and what we are going to learn in tomorrow's workshop.  I hope you are enjoyed these wonderful quilts.  Click on any of the pictures to see a larger size!!
'Nite All!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thank You Gift Finished and Ready for Sending!!

Well, I just finished the "thank you" quilt for my niece for inviting my Dad, me and my older brother, Greg, to spend the weekend on her houseboat on Lake Powell in September!!  Love it when I get projects completed!!
Click on the picture below to see the beautiful job my friend, Sue from Summit Creek Quilts, did on the quilting!!!
Hope she likes it!!