Friday, February 27, 2009

Ta Da!

I love my new blog look! Thanks to each and every one of my three children! I got my background and header from Heidi's House of 3 then my daughter Katie downloaded it to my blog page and then my super creative and tech savvy son Cameron custom-designed and applied my blog title to the header! I've always believed in the motto "it's not what you know but who you know". Thanks so much kids; you are all so awesome!

Swirls and Twirls


Seriously, where did this week go??? I can't believe that it has been a week since my last post! On one hand I don't feel like much has happened that was worthy of sharing on a post but on the other hand, whew, the days are just jam-packed and fly by! I decided that I'd share my most recent quilt project with you even though it isn't totally finished. It still has to be quilted. That is the weird thing about making quilts... when you get to this point and you have this wonderful, beautiful (my opinion) quilt top that you have spent hours and hours putting together and then you realize that you are actually only half way finished because you still have to spend many more hours and hours quilting it together... I have to stop and relish the part that is completed and not think about what still will need to be completed.

I began this quilt at a class I took last fall from a very talented quilt designer and teacher named Karen Stone. She makes the most wild, colorful, unique quilts and I have admired her work for years. When I got the chance to actually take a class from her, I was thrilled. Her class was so delightful and she was so low key and easy going and positive and encouraging. It made for a really great experience and now to have this quilt as the results of that enjoyable experience makes it just that much more meaningful.

Each block has been sewn on a paper background and then when all the blocks were put together, the paper is carefully removed. It is quite a fragile top and it will need to be machine quilted to give it stability so all those spirals don't come undone. Karen Stone named her quilt "The Happy Rick Rack Quilt" because she sewed multiple colors of rick rack all around her spirals but I didn't choose to use rick rack so I just used the same piece of braided trim to embellish all of my swirls. The whole top measures 54" x 61" so it will be a wall hanging. I still need to put together the backer fabric. I'm going to use all the leftover pieces from the front and sew them together in random sizes. That is what I have been doing on most of my quilts lately and I like having a "show and tell" on the back as well.
Now I just need to find a couple of hours to get the back put together and get it to my machine quilter and then I can focus on where I want to hang it in my house!
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mother - daughters play date


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When I checked into Heidi's blog this morning I saw that she had posted her latest creation, a welcome to Spring banner. It is so darling! I knew then and there that I had to make one for me to enjoy. I went to her House of 3 website and purchased the downloadable kit. Just as I was finishing printing off all the letters, Katie showed up because we had planned a trip to IKEA. As soon as she saw the Spring banner project, she wanted to make one also. So when we got home from IKEA we immediately went to work, I mean PLAY! We had such a fun time putting it all together. It is super easy! Even I could do it! It is so gratifying just be able to print everything off right there on the spot and then pull out whatever scrapbook embellisments already on hand and come up with such a fun end product in such a short amount of time (it probably took us 45 minutes and really Katie is lots faster than I am).

So if you are sick of winter like I am. Feel free to create your own welcome to SPRING banner and even if the outside weather doesn't cooperate you can be constantly encouraged that it is, in fact, on it's way! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentines to my "One True Love"

Valentine scrapbook 2009

Guess what I did for Valentine's Day? I kind of went out of my usual element and came up with a really unique gift for my sweetie! It turned out to be a big surprise for me as well as for him!

Back a few weeks ago when I went on the Scrapbook Cruise, I was fortunate enough to get to take all of the scrapbook classes. I came home with 3 semi-finished albums which mostly just needed the photos inserted to finish them up.

My daughter Katie downloaded a cute Valentine kit from House of 3 and made her husband a darling photo album to give him for Valentines which also is their wedding anniversary (8th already!). When she showed it to me I suddenly remembered the amazing love album I had put together in the class taught by Teresa Collins. So I pulled it out and spent the whole day Friday printing out photos and dolling up the pages. I had so much fun! Paul was really surprised and it brought back lots of enjoyable memories and sharing of feelings. Thanks for the inspiration, Katie and for the creative, beautiful album basics, Teresa!

(I tried making a slide show to share the inside pages but I couldn't get it to cooperate but if you click on the photo you can see the other 7 picture I was trying to include.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Best of Show

Here is my all time best quilt I have ever made. It is truly the top of my game. I really love this quilt and am so pleased with the end results. It is named "Heirloom in Blue" and it is from the book titled "Conway Album; I'm not from Baltimore" by Irma Gail Hatcher. I began quilting back in about 1990 because I loved the look of appliqued quilts and I wanted to do that type of quilting. But after I took a class and made one 12" x 12" block, I decided applique was just too tricky and hard to do so I switched to making pieced quilts. I kept getting drawn back to admiring appliqued quilts and so finally in 1998 I decided to take another class so I could improve my skills.
This was the class I choose. Each month we made one of the blocks and by the end of the year I had the 12 outer blocks completed and my confidence and skills had grown by leaps and bounds! But, the class was over and there was still the whole center area to stitch and the outside borders. My teacher agreed to keep teaching this class until everyone finished the whole top. I finally got it all put together and began the hand quilting in March of 2002.

I don't like to quilt on a traditional quilting frame because it is too limiting so I just put the quilt on a frame and then basted the whole thing together (meaning that I just handstitch really big stitches 3" inches apart both up and down and side to side) and then took it off the quilt frame and proceeded to "lap quilt" it for the next year. I finished it in 2003.

It is a really large quilt -- about 96" x 96". It is definately the most traditional quilt I have ever made. I have no place in my home to show it off so I just keep it stored in my quilting closet and just bring it out occassionally and drape it over the couch and just enjoy looking at it for several days at a time. Then I fold it up again and store it away.

I hope it will be around for many, many years and after I have left this life for my "heavenly reward", I hope this quilt will still represent me to my great, great grandkids and they will feel a connection to me through my passion of quilting.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fun Facts

A couple weeks ago while Heidi was in town, she decided that I needed to sign up on Facebook. I honestly didn't even know what Facebook was all about but since all my kids, and some grandkids, are on board, I decided to go for it. I have to admit that I have really enjoyed the networking and the little, realtime peeks into lots of friends and family members lives.

Then last week Heidi tagged me with a request to share 25 random facts about me. I took the challenge and this is what I came up with:

1. I have NO trouble falling asleep.
2. I really like my daily diet coke (in fact, I think I might need one right now).
3. I have 7 siblings including triplet brothers.
4. I love to travel! calculates that I have visited 11% of our planet. I need to kick up that number.
5. I grew up riding horses and I got my own saddle for my 16th birthday.
6. The shop where we bought my birthday saddle is now a quilt shop where I shop for fabric all the time - how random is that!
7. I love to make quilts. My favorite part is piecing together the quilt top; my least favorite part is the actual quilting.
8. I had a 23 day engagement before I got married. But it seems to have worked out for the past 38 years!
9. Our honeymoon was driving from SLC, UT to Baltimore, MD where Paul was assigned for military service.
10. I was Girls Association Historian my senior year of high school and put together a scrapbook of our activities for that year... maybe that is where Heidi got her talent from (probably not!).
11. I was treasurer of my dorm when I was in college. I have also been a treasurer of 2 other organizations and I love to balance my bank accounts.
12. I have no talent when it comes to singing.
13. I love to do the laundry, iron clothes and clean the bathroom because when you are done you can really see a difference; one exception, I detest cleaning the shower.
14. I like cats but won't have another one because I don't like litter boxes.
15. I have been on a diet since I was in high school and it is always the same 10 pounds. Why can't I get ride of them once and for all!
16. I love cookies, pastries and anything made with coconut and chocolate (about those 10 pounds...)
17. I have blue eyes. Paul has brown eyes. We have 2 children with blue eyes and 2 children with brown eyes but none of the grandkids have brown eyes, which really bugs Paul.
18. I love living where there are 4 season but I do complain a lot about the cold and snow (how much longer until spring?)
19. I did a semester abroad in Salzburg, Austria when I was in college. I even got to spend an Easter Sunday on the plaza in Vatican City and saw the Pope on his balcony giving his Easter message.
20. My car is paid off!
21. I love to read but I don't like to read the same book more than once. Memoirs are my favorite.
22. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is make my bed. Then if I don't do anything else all day, I still have accomplished something.
23. Lake Powell is my all time favorite water skiing location. We used to go there every summer for a week and the highlight was to get up early and "ride the glass". Good times!
24. My family is my greatest joy!
25. I am very blessed!

Friday, February 6, 2009

"New York Stars"

Here is another one of my quilts that I want share with you this week. I made this quilt back in 2001. I made this quilt as a tribute to a really fun trip that I took with my 3 girls (Heidi, Katie & LaRane) to New York City in July 2000 to celebrate Katie's 21st birthday. While I was there I found a wonderful quilt store called "the City Quilter". It was in a really quirky section of Manhattan and I remember how surprised I was that we had to ring a doorbell to be buzzed into the shop. (The shop has since moved to a nicer, safer location and I have been able to visit their new location also. ) I bought the border fabric at this shop. It depicts big cities in America and includes the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler building, the Space Needle from Seattle and even some building and bridges from Chicago and San Francisco. The blue border fabric has "2000" printed all over it to commemorate the new Millenium. The white background fabric, the blue border fabric and the big cities outer border fabric all have a glittering, shimmering sparkle embedded in the fabric which I just love because New York City is a city that just glows and glimmers 24 hours a day.

I chose to make the stars black and gray to reflect the urban and urbaneness of all the buildings and streets and sidewalks but then I added the red blocks because there are always eye-catching sights to see and exciting things to do in NYC. LaRane gave me a bundle of these fabrics as a thank you for the trip so that makes it that much more special also.

I machine pieced the quilt top and then I had it machine quilted to finish it off. It is not a very big quilt. It is about 48" x 56" which is perfect as a wallhanging. I am flooded with so many memories of my 4 trips to NYC whenever I look at this quilt. I (heart) NYC!
I really need to go again but today I'll just be there vicariously through my quilt.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What a fun surprise!

I opened my comment area on my last post to discover that I had been nominated for this Kreativ Blogger award, much to my surprise, from my online friend, Vivian at Quilts with Love.
True, I have never met Vivian but we share a passion for quilting. She has a wonderful blog where she shares lots of quilts that she has machine quilted for clients on her longarm quilting machine. This is not a skill that I possess but one that I much admire. She always posts lots of colorful, upclose pictures of whatever quilt she has been working on and I always get so inspired. But then if that weren't enough just by itself, she always includes a glimpse of her life which just adds to the treat of the visit.

Thanks for your kind words about my blog. I guess this honor does come with some rules which are:

1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.

So I am going to pay this forward by nominating these blogs for the prestigious Kreativ Blogger (award) too:

Travelin Oma - Marty is my BFF since she moved into my neighborhood when we were 11 years old. She is a prolific, insightful, creative writer and VERY well traveled! She has a unique, library themed blog that I love reading on a daily basis.

Verry Sherry - is a newfound friend that I was super lucky to be introduced to through an online "3 favorite things" swap last summer. She shares my passion for quilting. I'm sure that was what triggered us being chosen as swap partners. She is an American living an International life in the wonderful countryside of Ireland. And if that wasn't exciting enough, she has just launched a brand new magazine called "Irish Quilter". So talented!

Kindergarten Teacher - Barbara actually has two blogs which I love to check out. She is close to my age (probably lots younger really) and she is still teaching Kindergarten. You have got to have lots of energy to accomplish that everyday. She is an awesome mom and grandma also.

My favorite (stateside) daughter - Katie gets all the credit for what I know how to do on my blog! She is my technical support. Despite having to take care of her own 2 kiddies, she has Mommy duty too! If it weren't for her, I wouldn't be able to pass this award on.

My favorite (international) daughter - I think Heidi has to be the MOST creative person I know. People ask me all the time where she got her creativity from and I wish I could say "from me" but she gets ALL the credit. I am constantly in awe when I see what she creates. She has just launched a new venture called House of 3. It totally rocks.

My favorite (in-law) daughter - This is a new work in progress for LaRane. She has developed a rabid passion for photography and is taking classes and workshops to improve her skills. I love watching her grow and develop and enjoy seeing her "eye" on this blog.

Everything is Pink - Here is another cyberfriend that I originally met through an online swap. That was about 18 months ago and since then I have learned so much from just observing her life on her blog. She gets more done in a day than I do in a week! and I'm always getting great ideas from her posts. She has a second blog called 2 clever and it is another daily read.

I hope you might consider checking out these favorite blogs I have nominated and I hope you will enjoy meeting some new creative friends.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Grand Opening

Come share in the excitement of Heidi's new adventure: Introducing House of 3!