Monday, November 26, 2012

The Rest of the Story

These are photos of the other side of the sewing room. 
When you first walk into the room you will see my HQ16 quilting machine. There's a double closet on the wall to the right. We haven't chosen closet doors for this room yet, so I have temporary curtains hanging over the two closets (I dislike dusting my clothing). 

I'd like to say that I listen to classical music or  books on tape, but the truth is, I am hooked on Court TV.
Someday I will invest in an anti-fatigue runner to stand on while quilting. In the meantime, my yoga mat is doing  the job. 
This bookcase (made by Mr. Moosebay!) holds my quilting tools, books and patterns.
It's also where my sock monkeys live, along with my jars of wooden spools and buttons.
The quilt hanging on the wall started with the sock monkey orphan block.
Right next to the bookcase is the door to the master bath. With one wall of all windows and another of all doors, it 's really difficult to come up with a way to arrange things. 
The cutting table sits at the end of a stack of shelving. The drawers hold machine embroidery supplies (that I never use) and rarely used specialty rulers.  My sewing area is behind this area. Sorry for the glare--it was a very sunny day when these photos were taken! 

This is where I sew--directly opposite my computer. I know it seems like a tiny space, but it works for me.  I picked up the  Scandinavian shelving system from the backroom storage areas when the Petrie Stores closed down. We have a ton of this shelving and use it in our garage also. I'm hoping that when (if?) I whittle down my stash, I will replace the shelving with something less bulky and open up the sewing area. At least I face the window overlooking the lake! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

You Must Remember This....

A while back I showed you some photos from my previous sewing space (shudder). 

I'm trying to forget this--yikes!
I just realized that I never showed the "after" photos from my new quilting space. I took these photos a while back so things don't look quite as organized today, but it's better than what I used to call a sewing room.

This was Mr. Moosebay's closet when we used this room as our bedroom.
 My  youngest son made the little book shelf that holds my favorite quilt books.

More books and magazines are stored in stacked fruit crates inside the closet.
I have lots of fruit crates from when I sold antiques in Crosby--they make nice modular shelving!
I hang my quilting templates on a cork board back there.

This is the closet straight-on. My Hardanger valance is a garage sale find.
Next to the closet is my pressing area. There's an air conditioner behind the  quilt on the wall.  Mr. Moosebay attached a board with hooks to the wall so I can hang my portable design wall. If I decide to take it somewhere, it can be lifted off of the hooks.  I think I took this photo in September judging by the A Bountiful Life progress on the design wall. 

This is directly opposite the design wall. To the left, is a big window between the air conditioner and another fruit crate book case. I tried to stay away from putting anything too close to the window because of the base-board heating unit beneath the window. My laptop is there by my bungee chair and my printer is in the foreground on the right.
Mr. Moosebay and sons installed the hickory flooring and the new moldings.
You can see I get a lot of nice light when the sun is shining!

Check back....more photos of the sewing space next time!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Model/UFO's

I just dropped this little quilt top off at the quilt shop. It will be available as a kit at Colorz for Quilts soon. 

The pattern is Cottage Fair by Annemarie Yohnk. The little houses finish at  six inches--cute!

There's not much else going on in the sewing room. Yesterday was sew-in day at the Breezy Point Conservation Center, so I worked on hexies--too lazy to pack up my machine for the day! 

This was the design wall on Monday morning. Yep, nothing but UFO's, and orphan blocks.

I wanted to add that the quilting on this quilt I posted in a previous entry is one long continuous line that spirals out from the center. I did have to mark a small circle in the center about the size of a quarter to get started and then just kept turning the quilt sandwich until I reached the outside edges. 

I'm so excited that a photo of my quilt was posted on the Andover site today. Whoohoo!!
I hope you have a wonderful turkey day.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I finally got around to putting these away (three weeks late):
Part of my Black Cat collection

And put these out with five days to spare:
That's the extent of my turkey collection!
I made them many years ago when I was in my decorative painting phase.
I like how they look with my new little table topper.
My friend Mickey introduced me to this quilting design.
Just start in the center (I marked a small circle to start) and using the edge of your walking foot as a measure to gauge the spacing, sew your way out. Super easy and looks pretty cool!
Don't worry about wobbles or bad spacing--it looks fine when it's all done.
I did this on my Bernina and I think it's perfect for a little quilt.
I have to confess that I went WAY off my fabric diet when I found this bundle of
Blueberry Crumb Cake at Gruber's. It's in my color pallet and it has BLUE sampler fabric (okay, I had already added some of the sampler fabric to my stash, but now I have all of it's friends!).

And I'm patiently waiting until next year when my pre-ordered fat quarter bundle of Indigo Crossing will get delivered
to Colorz for Quilts. In the meantime, I will pet this charm pack that Susan got from the sales rep and so generously
passed along to me--be still my heart!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Morton Masterpiece

The Old Country Store is having a Morton Masterpiece Contest.  
The rules require that the entries have to be made from Jo Morton designed fabrics.

I found out about the contest when I was more than halfway into my A Bountiful Life applique adventure. My little challenge to myself had always been to only use my stash of Jo fabrics for this quilt (okay, I did have to do SOME supplementing to the stash!), so my project seemed to qualify. The only problem would be getting it finished by the November 1st deadline.

Somehow I managed to finish all the applique, quilt, bind and label my quilt with two days to spare. Yay!   I sent photos of my mini A Bountiful Life (I named my version The Courting Quilt) and waited. I was kindly informed that my photos were received and a decision on the finalists would be made on the first of November. Then the deadline was extended for a week because of hurricane Sandy. More waiting on needles and pins. Then, miraculously, I got an email that I was one of the ten finalists!  Obviously, I am thrilled!!!

These are the professional photos that Jan Mast from Old Country Store sent me:

The Courting Quilt

If you go to Morton Masterpiece Contest  HERE, you can click on all ten of the quilts and then select an area to enlarge and really get a close-up look at all of the gorgeous quilts. Scroll down to the bottom of the page when you are ready to vote for the link to the voting page.

Warning: It's going to be hard to decide!!! 

A huge thank you  to Karen Mowery for all of her encouragement, support and for designing the beautiful  blocks! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Side Tracked

Now that I've finished my version of A Bountiful Life, I could be catching up on the Grandmother's Choice blocks (I've only made two and it's week nine) or I could be finishing my Kim Diehl table runner (all machine applique is finished--just needs quilting and binding) or, I could be working on a model for Colorz (cute little house quilt). So instead, I've been side tracked by this quilt I saw at the Chaska Quilt Show back in September.
I wasn't so crazy about the center block, but I loved the idea of the border!
This was a large quilt. I didn't think to get the quilter's name or the pattern source.
I'm not sure why I was so attracted to this quilt border--maybe because it's so orderly? Anyway, I thought it was a lot of fun and couldn't stop thinking about it. Obviously, I needed to make one of my own!

I decided I would just make a small version and it wasn't too difficult to figure out how to do it.

Quilt of Distraction 

  • From nine light fabrics, cut a one inch strip. If cutting from  fat quarters, cut 2 one inch strips.
  • From nine dark fabrics, cut two one inch strips. If cutting from fat quarters, cut 4 one inch strips.
  • If you have long strips, split them on the fold so all of the strips are approximately 20-22 inches long.
  • Pair up two of the same dark fabric strips with a light fabric strip mixing them up so the sets of 4 dark strips have different lights matched with them. (Does that make sense??)
  • Sew your strip sets together with the matching dark strips on either side of the light strip
  • Press the seams toward the dark strips. Try finger pressing a bit first to avoid wacky strips!
  • Sub-cut the strips into 1.5" blocks. You should get 10 blocks from each strip if you are careful.
  • Arrange your little blocks into a square 14 x 14 blocks wide and long. Start from the outside and work your way in toward the center, turning each block opposite across the row.

  • Sew the blocks together in rows. The blocks may not be exactly square because of tucks where the strips are pieced together. No worries! Begin sewing two blocks together with the block with pieced edge facing up. Before sewing through either seam, use a stiletto to pull the closest raw edges together, stretching out the tucking at the sewn seams. Finish stitching the rest of the way across. 
 Wondering why the block at the left has 4 pins in it?  I couldn't find my row markers --this is the fourth row that I am working on in the photo.
  • Sew the left side border blocks in 14 rows of 5 blocks. Repeat for right border. 
  • Sew the top center border blocks in 5 rows of 4 blocks. Repeat for bottom center border. 
Yay! A cute border! Hmmm. Not sure what to put in the center though.

You could put just about anything in the center. It's a 6 inch finished space. I thought about a small applique block or maybe some hexagon flowers. In the end, I decided to piece a block. I knew that all the blocks in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book finished at 6 inches, so I browsed through until I found a block I thought would work. Since this is a pretty small quilt (22" square) I will probably use it as a table topper, so I  chose a block that wasn't directional and would look good from all sides. 

I decided on block 104 "Wild Geese" from the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book
for the center of the quilt.
I haven't thought of a name for it yet. Maybe Distraction? Flip Flop? Twist and Turn? Tiny Tiles? Little Rails?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Monday's Kim Diehl Class

My class with Kim Diehl was a lot of fun! I learned some cool tips for leaf points, working with mono-poly threads, and big stitch quilting. It started on Sunday night at the Holiday Inn in St. Cloud where we had a dinner before Kim's trunk show. We were treated to a bundle of a couple of fat quarters and a free Kim D. pattern from Gruber's quilt shop. 
Kim started her presentation by showing the quilt that made her famous.
She won the first contest by American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
The entries had to be made with Thimbleberries fabrics.

Kim also showed us some brand new projects-love this one!

This is a closeup of one of her newest quilt.

More new designs! 
This will be a new fabric line for Henry Glass. There will be a blue colorway too!

Monday's class started at ten and the day went by in a flash. 

Kim was an excellent teacher--very patient and very nice lady!

Closeup of Kim's Big Stitch quilting. Can you tell that this is all machine appliqued?
 I like the technique Kim uses for preparing the appliques and, even though I will still do hand applique, I like the look of this method and will definitely use it again .

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reelz Love "World Without End"

I've ordered in my package of 1500 half inch paper hexagon pieces, I've prepared my fabrics, and I'm ready to settle in for the fourth episode of World Without End on the Reelz channel tonight. Actually, I probably won't be doing any sewing, because I don't want to miss a second of the scheming, plotting, double crossing and all the rest of the crazy evil doings going on in Kingsbridge, England.

Say what?? You haven't been watching??? 

That's okay, because it's not too late! 

Set your DVR and get ready for a wild ride complete with witch burning, pillorying, hangings, poisonings, the plague, adultery, and so much more.  

World Without End on Reelz has been adapted from the second book in the Pillars of the Earth series by Ken Follett.  The Pillars of the Earth mini-series was shown on Reelz earlier this year. The World Without End mini-series started in September, but they will be re-running all four episodes this coming Saturday afternoon/evening, and all eight hours again on Sunday morning/afternoon. Check your listings to be sure of when it's running in your area.

I don't usually watch the Reelz channel but I happened to stumble across the Pillars of the Earth mini-series last winter that had originally been produced for  another premium cable channel. Apparently it was successful--I believe the World Without End series was made for the Reelz channel. There were also a couple of companion programs hosted by Ken Follett about life in the Middle Ages and women of the Middle Ages. Hopefully those will be shown again at some point--both hours were very interesting and informative.

Another fun program Reelz has produced is Bomb Girls. It stars Meg Tilly and is about a a group of women working in a munitions factory in California during WWII. It's fun to see the clothing and habits of the "Rosie the Riveter" generation. I'm guessing the first season will be re-run before the second season starts. I'll try to give you a head's up if that happens. If you have been watching Call the Midwife, you will probably like Bomb Girls--kind of a similar time period, but not as quaint, obviously, because it takes place in America, after all!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I'm baaaack!

It's been such a busy week for me, so I've been trying to limit my time online.

Yesterday I taught two classes at Colorz for Quilts: an applique class in the morning and an embroidery class in the afternoon. I've taught both of these classes numerous times, but not since I moved into my new quilting space. It took a lot of digging to find all my samples and handouts that I use for the classes. You know how you put something in a special place (where you will be able to find it easily) and then forget where that place could be?? Well, maybe I'm the only one that happens to, and it seems to happen to me a lot! Anyway, I finally got everything together and the classes were a lot of fun--hopefully everyone learned something. I know I always do--even when I'm the teacher.

Speaking of learning, I've also been packing up my equipment for my class on Monday with Kim Diehl. Tomorrow (Sunday)  Sandi and I will be on our way to St. Cloud for a dinner and trunk show with Kim and we will spend the night at the Gruber's retreat center with some of our friends. Sandi was nice wise to offer to drive since I am still learning how to use my new vehicle. I had to check the manual yesterday morning to remind myself how to turn it off when I got to the quilt shop. It's really weird to not have a key to turn!

Well, here it is finished! It's packed right up to the edges with happy applique.!
I machine quilted it on my HQ16 with a background filler and outlining. I only quilted in the largest
applique pieces to keep them from sagging.
I like the way the rest of the appliques pop almost like trapunto.
I finally decided on a blue binding. Red seemed to be too dominating and there was already
so much green. 

The binding has a bit of a stripe to it.
The background quilting doesn't show much in this shot, but the feather quilting in the lady's skirt shows up. 

We are expecting some sunny days next week, so I am hoping to get out to my garden before the ground freezes to dig up the dahlias I grew this year. It's the first time I've grown them, and I was really happy with how they performed. I haven't figured out where I am going to put the roots once they are dug up, but I hope they survive the winter! 

Too bad--my photos of the dahlias didn't turn out, so I will leave you with a picture of a sunflower that Mr. Moosebay's pet chipmunk planted in my garden. Shortly after this photo was taken, a squirrel bit off all of the sunflowers and ran away with them. Ahhh...the joys of nature!