Saturday, April 30, 2011

Remembering Grandma

This is a Kim Diehl pattern.  My client made this wonderful quilt called "Remembering Grandma" from Kim's book Simple Traditions.
Kim is a local Idaho Girl.  That's not why I like her books, I like them because her quilts make be feel like I am visiting another generation.  
I have all of her books and I look through them often.  I even bought fabric to make a table topper for my dining room table . . . but have yet to make any of her quilts.
While I used more traditional quilting in the center, my favorite parts are the green borders. 
I love these little mirror-image, twirly, floral freehand designs.
Now, I am inspired to go and make my table topper.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stripy, Chunky, Patchwork

I really like how this little quilt turned out.  It was quick, fun and I will certainly do another one like it when I need a quick quilt.  I will be sending this quilt to the Hands to Help quilt challenge along with my yet-to-be-even-cut-out partner challenge quilt.

The top and the back are both pieced in strips and blocks.  I love how it gives it an extra dimension.
I used up all the scraps from the top and binding and tucked them in between a few fat quarters from my stash to make the back.
The whole quilt is done in a zig-zagy wave from side to side with the exception of the large strip in the middle. "Cartoon" quilting is how I think of this--I just buzz around the flowers/leaves and vaguely outline them, working my way across the strip. 

It quickly adds some interest to a large print.
Striped binding is always a favorite.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Twins!

I had a stack of Riley Blake fat quarters that were calling to me this past week and a couple of new battings I wanted to compare.  These quilts will go to Quilts for Kids.
Fraternal, but not identical.
Isn't it interesting to note how the brown sets off the center and makes the binding look sharp whereas the blue border and binding just fades away?
Since I was using the same backing, I put both quilts on at the same time.  That way, I could do both of them in just a little over the time it would take to do only one.
Had I been using the same batting it would have been even simpler to do.  I know you are thinking there is not enough batting at the end; but, it's just the angle of the photo.  Although, on something this small, I only cut "just enough."

Freehand swirls.  This is my "go to" quilting when I need fast, easy, dense and done.
 Besides I love the look.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Other Car is a Peterbilt

H2H Update!
Yahoo!  I got all my fat quarters pressed.  Then . . .
  1. Scribbled out an idea on my happy yellow paper.
  2. Found some complimentary yellows and golds from my stash
  3. Dug through a jelly roll for a couple of strips of maroon for corner stones.
  4. Took a photo to share with you.  

Then . . .
 . . . decided to share this random fact with you.
I have driven this truck for the past 8 years.  We haul our own hay and wheat.
Mostly, I drive it around the farm, but I have driven it on the freeway.
Here is my little grandson riding in the hay field with me last summer.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Whoop, Whoop Friday~!~!~!

I was so excited to receive my H2H fabric swap from Jacque in SC!  Here is what was in her box:
She treated me to a new set of rotary blades, and also included a couple of spools of thread.  How great is that?  Thanks Jacque!

I have already churned through my stash and found some coordinating fabric.  I can't wait to get started.  This is my first challenge ever . . . 

 . . . well, if you don't count the time I was challenged to stop eating chocolate for a week.  I failed that miserably, but I think I can shine here with this fun fabric~

As for finished projects (in and around periodically taking the seed truck up in the field for my husband) I managed to get a few things done this week.  You have to understand that it's not really the time involved to drive the truck 2-3 miles, wait for him to fill the seed planters and then drive the truck back to the yard; it's the fact that I have to change into my "farm clothes/shoes" and then back into my "sewing clothes/shoes" when I return.  I can't trudge around the field, climb on the seeder, stand in the dusty wind and then bring all that back into my studio.  No way.  I have rules about stuff like that.  But I digress . . .

Anyway, have been quilting and piecing all week.  I can only stand and quilt for so long and then I need a break.  I have learned to pace myself and I get a lot more done.

This little top is simple but sweet.  It's stuck up on my flannel design wall and since I am too short on one end, I have to stretch to reach the top when I smooth it out on the flannel.  So yes, it looks wonky, but that's just me.  
Springy/Summery colors.  I just might leave it hanging around here somewhere because it brightens up my life.
I intend to send it along with my other H2H quilt to Green Fairy Quilts for her Romanian charity.  If you have not learned about the H2H quilt challenge and Green Fairy's charity you can click on the H2H button on the side of the page.

I have scrap strips and some other fabric that I am going to use for a pieced backing.  You just might see that next week.

I also finished quilting my daughter's broken star quilt:
 but it has it's own story and you can find it in the post down below.
Have a great weekend~!

Stop over to Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict to see what everyone is Whooping about this week~!

Broken Star~The Home Stretch

After three years, what can I say that I have not already said about this quilt, except that it's quilted, it's off the frame, it's trimmed, and ready to bind.

Really, when I got it done last night, I felt rather let down.  After all this time, I didn't have it anymore.  It had become a part of my life and it was strange to have it over and done.  Does that make sense?  Thank goodness I still have to bind it and can have it on my lap for a few more hours. *smile*
You can check out my Work in Progress posts to catch up on the whole story.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Colors~!

This fabric certainly looks like spring doesn't it?
It's going to be a pinwheel quilt.

Been working on this all week and I only have bout 20 inches left to go.  I will get it finished today!  Well, not bound, but off the frame.  Yay~!
I quilt until my lines get wobbly and then I know it's time to trade off and piece for awhile.  I have learned that I am more productive when I don't push myself to keep quilting.  It takes forever to unpick a mistake-so I take a break.
Here is another little top I pieced this week, while on break.
This is a small NICU size top (30x30) for Quilts for Kids.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Three Year Work in Progress

Well, I am just a smidgen from the center of this quilt.  I looked back at exactly when I started cutting the fabric for this and it was April, 20, 2008.  Egads!  It will be 3 years Wednesday.  Never in my life have I taken this long to make a quilt.  
Perhaps it's because I have a love/hate relationship with this beautiful creature?  I am making this quilt for my daughter and her husband who live in Minnesota.  She picked out the design and the colors-which I love.
I got the center pieced in June of 2008.  It was the very first fabric to be cut in my studio and the first to go up on my design wall. I just about wore it out showing it to folks.  Man, I was proud of this~!

By this time, we were hauling hay and getting ready for fall wheat harvest.  For the past 10 years, my hubby and I have done all the harvesting by ourselves.  I drive the truck and he runs the combine harvester.  I folded up the star and tucked it away in a drawer with all the other 1,368 pieces cut for this project.

It didn't surface again for another year.

In the mean time, I kept busy with customer quilts, making quilts for special orders, quilting for Quilts of Valor . . . and the farm.

Occasionally, I would get this drawer of 1,368 pieces out and look it over, and put it back.  It was not speaking to me.  

August 20th, 2009.  Last day of harvest.  My Mom had a stroke and had to enter a rehabilitation center.  I spent every day with her and was hoping to bring her home to live with me at some point.

If that wasn't enough . . .

Sept 17, 2009.  I was sent to a neurosurgeon at the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City, Utah for a brain tumor.  We are very lucky to have a world class cancer center this close to home--only 130 miles.

Surgery and much stress ensued.

We had to move Mom from rehab into Long Term Care.

Nov. 8th, 2009.  I moved to Salt Lake City in a small apartment so I could have daily radiation treatments.  Here comes the quilty part:  I loaded up my ironing board, my sewing table and chair, a card table and took this box of cut fabric with me.  Looks almost like a prison cell huh?
My goal was to have this top pieced when I finished my 6.5 weeks of radiation.  Monday through Thursday,  I went to the hospital at 8am every morning and then spent the rest of the day working on this quilt--every day.  Fridays I drove home.  Yes, I drove myself back and forth every week~!  We still had fall plowing and other things that needed to be done on the farm, so my hubby was really busy--since he was home alone.  I was lucky in that my tumor was on the surface of my brain and so surgery was not invasive nor destructive to my brain--only my skull.  The doc gave me a nice patch and some titanium so I am airport friendly.

Christmas Eve 2009.  My last radiation treatment.  By noon, I was headed home for good.  With my completed top.  Yay~  I made my deadline!  

But . . .

I was so sick of this quilt top, I stuck it away for another year.

Actually, I was sick.  It took me about a year to recuperate from everything and get my strength back.

All during this time, quilting was my therapy.  I could forget the world and lose myself for a few hours.

Early July 2010, my husband came in the house one day about a month before harvest and said he found a truck driver to take my place.

I said, "Who?"
He said, "Me. I have hired 3 neighbors to harvest our wheat and I will drive the trucks."

What usually took the two of us anywhere from 2-3 weeks took exactly 5 days with this crew:

So, now you know the rest of the story and you can imagine how excited I am to finally have this quilt on the frame!
Today is our 36th Wedding anniversary and I am gonna take the day off.  It rained last night and the fields are too wet to plant so we both have a free day.      
I am headed into town (60 miles) to see my Mom.  She is still in Long Term Care.  I just might invite hubby to go with me and he can take me out to dinner.  How's that?

By the way, 36 years ago, we had 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground the morning we left to get married.


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