Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013

Blog - Web Log - The official dictionary definition is "a Web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites."

The definition above does not include how much keeping a blog has enriched my life bringing new experiences and friends.  My New Years resolution is to keep blogging in the up-coming year.  I want to thank my audience for visiting my blog and taking an interest in my ramblings and quilting adventures.  Happy New Year!   

 Ann Landers' Perpetual New Years Resolution: 

 Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time.

Call up a forgotten friend.  Drop an old grudge, and replace it with
some pleasant memories.  Share a funny story with someone whose sprits 
are dragging.  A good laugh can be very good medicine.

Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep.  Pay a debt.  Give 
a soft answer.  Free yourself of envy and malice.  Encourage some youth to 
do this or her best.  Share your experience, and offer support. Young people
need role models.

Make a genuine effort to stay in closer touch with family and good friends.  
Resolve to stop magnifying small problems and shooting from the lip.  Words 
that you have to eat can be hard to digest.

Find the time to be kind and thoughtful.  All of us have the same allotment:
24 hours a day. Give a compliment.  It might give someone a badly needed
lift.

Thing things though.  Forgive an injustice. Listen more. Be kind.

Apologize when you realize you are wrong. An apology never diminishes a 
person.  It elevates him. Don't blow your own horn.  If you've done 
something praiseworthy, someone will notice eventually.

Try to understand a point of view that is different from your own.  Few 
things are 100 percent one way or another.  Examine the demands you make 
on others.

Lighten up. When you feel like blowing your top, ask yourself, "Will it 
matter in a week from today?".  Laugh the loudest when the joke is on you.

The sure way to have a friend is to be one. We are all connected by our
humanity, and we need each other.  Avoid malcontents and pessimists. They
drag you down and contribute nothing.

Don't discourage a beginner from trying something risky.  Nothing ventured 
means nothing gained.  Be optimistic.  The can-do spirit is the fuel that 
makes things go.

Read something uplifting.  Deep-six the trash.  You won't eat garbage - why 
put it in your head? Don't abandon your old-fashioned principles.  They 
never go out of style.  When courage is needed, ask yourself, "If not me, 
who? If not now, when?"

Walk tall, and smile more.  You'll look 10 years younger. Don't be afraid to  
say, "I love you". Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Quilts Revealed

Toria's Double Slice Layer Cake, Pink Dazzle Quilt


What a pleasure to see the big smile on my granddaughter Toria's face when she received her Christmas quilt.  Her exact words were "This is just what I wanted"!  My daughter says that she cuddles up under it every night.  ♥


When I started making this Double Slice Layer Cake Quilt with the Pink Dazzle fabric, I thought "Whoa, this is wild,"  (Click Here for Link to former post) But now that it is all together and quilted, I see that it fits a pre-teen perfectly.  Miss Carol from Sweet Peas and Possum did a great job machine quilting an over all swirly pattern that goes so well with the modern style of this quilt.

Jane's Magnolia Quilt


My other mystery Christmas quilt was a Magnolia Flower Quilt for my younger sister Jane. (She insists I say "younger" ☺)  She was so surprised and her exact words were, "I never thought you would make me a quilt."  Oh, you of little faith, dear sister.  We grew up on Magnolia Street in Bedford, Ohio, so the name of the flower has some significance.  Those big flying geese were the same ones that gave me so much trouble at the Rural Thimble Amish Retreat (Click Here for that Post).

My Christmas wish for you Jane is that the quilt brings you joy.  ♥
Miss Carol from Sweet Peas and Possum quilted this too.  Lovely!

Leafy Batik Backing






Thursday, December 27, 2012

Easy Street Clue 5

Christmas is over and I'm back to work on Easy Street - the quilt Easy Street from Quiltville that is.  Clue 5 is not giving me too much trouble, but is still a work in progress.  Don't ask about clue 4, because I have not even started that one yet.

Looking at the photo I took, I realize that the jungle block is reading more like a green than an aqua; probably because of the yellow (and green).  I hope that will not be a problem later.  hmmmm.
It is all still a mystery, so I am not going to worry about it.  I'm having fun with this quilt.

Tomorrow, Clue six and Bonnie is not telling us how many we have yet.  She said on quilt cam, "It will be as many clues as it takes."  So we will see. ☺


Monday, December 24, 2012

First Swim, Then Party!

Two to three evenings a week, I do swim aerobics at a local gym.  I have done this exercise for four years; not because I am so committed to exercise, but because of the wonderful group of ladies with whom I swim.

I arrive at the gym tired from the day, wrap myself in a floatation device and plunge into the cool water.  Under water up to our necks, we do jogging, cross-country skiing, jumping jacks, frogging, etc.  Along with that we share stories, laughter, books, recipes and our lives.  I arrive tired and stressed and leave ready to face life again thanks to this wonderful group of ladies who inspire and encourage me each week.  I'm very fortunate to have them in my life.


Amy is a baker and brought her famous cup cakes.  Merry Christmas to us!!  

My Swim-Bees
After Christmas, I will have to swim many miles to get rid of the extra cookie tire.  So glad to have these "Swim-Bee friends" to keep me going.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Free Log Cabin Ebook from Fons and Porter

I am passing along this information that Wanda Hanson shared on her blog Exuberant Color.  If you like the log cabin pattern, this is an excellent resource and best of all it's free!

http://www.fonsandporter.com/landing/free-log-cabin-quilt-patterns

It looks like we are going to end up with a white Christmas in Ohio after all.  Snow is on the way. 


Monday, December 17, 2012

Remembering the victims of Sandy Hook

I have no words of my own to express my sorrow for the families.  Longfellow says it well . . .
And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.

Words written by Henry W. Longfellow 1864


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Easy Street Clues 3 (and 2)

What fun following along with Bonnie Hunter on her Easy Street Mystery Quilt.  I'd like to tell you that I am all up to speed with my clues, but I'd be telling a lie.  However, my first clue is all done and I learned how to "spin" the middle seam.  Woo Hoo!  That was a new quilting term for me.

 Here is step one all done with, dare I say, a "spun" seam? 





Clue 2

This unit was a challenge.  I thought I could sew a nice 1/4" seam, but I still had difficulty with the flying geese.  Even with Bonnie's excellent directions on using the rulers, I still messed them up.  Finally, I drew the 1/4 inch with a pencil and sewed it ever so carefully using a scant 1/4 inch, but not too scant.  Wallah!  My geese straightened up and started to fly right.  Did I get them all done?  Nope.  But I will.



Clue 3 

This is a fun unit, but I have only made one so far.  No apologies - Christmas is coming and I have to get ready for the holidays.  I will catch up on the mystery quilt over Christmas break. 

Doing a mystery quilt with Bonnie Hunter is second best to taking a class with her.  I'm learning so much.  One new thing she has taught me is not to over press the material and just press the seam so I don't stretch the unit out of shape.  It works!  Thank you, Bonnie. ☺


Jack of Hearts Mystery Quilt Update

I want to thank Heather Spence of Heather Spence Designs Website for hosting this mystery quilt to raise money for cancer patients.  It was my "first" mystery quilt online and I did enjoy the fun of waiting to see what the quilt would turn out to be.  I was pleased with the modern look of this quilt and had fun making it.

To learn more about Heather's goal, check out the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MysteryQuilt

Jack of Hearts Mystery Quilt -Lots of squares - the light color is a nice green that washed out in the photo.
The mystery quilt is not quite done - nothing new there.  But one of my QBees, Barbie QBee, wanted to see how it came out, so I promised her a photo.  Here you go, Barbie:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Easy Street Mystery Quilt Clue 1

Just call me the backwards quilter.  For Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt, Easy Street, I started out cutting little squares from my strips even though I know that sewing the strips together first is faster and easier.  Luckily I came to my senses . . . and did just that.  Then I went to my sister-in-law, Michelle's house, for a mini Mystery Quilt retreat last night, along with a yummy supper, and forgot the cord for my sewing machine . . . ugh!  Michelle kindly let me use one of her machines, since she has about five machines, and even claimed to be related to Bonnie Hunter.  I told her she has a long way to go to catch up with Bonnie.  
I had fun shopping for black and white material.  All the black and white in my stash was too dark.  My favorite is the little coat hangers.

Squares and strips

I'm not sure I understand the concept of "spinning the seams" in the blocks yet.  I have never tried that before.  I am a fairly new quilter and am discovering new tricks and tips all the time.  I will try the spinning and if I can't do it, will ask Bonnie to show it on quilt cam.

This week I will work on turning the strips into squares.  Sew much fun!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Quilt Poem

Happy Thanksgiving 
On this Thanksgiving eve, I am counting all my blessings – my family, my health, my Q-Bees and my stash.  I am so thankful for my blog and all the new friends it has brought into my life,  Using vocabulary from the quilting world, I decided to put my feelings in a poem and called it the “Thanksgiving Quilt”

            Thanksgiving Quilt

Start with one constant, like God,
Add scrappy pieces of family
Throw in some Zinger friends
Press together with harmonious colors
And threads of music, books and art

Find backing that fits
Batting for warmth
Layer together . . .
Knot and tie with strong thread
Or stitch with long arms of love and thankfulness.

Forgive and un-sew when necessary! 

Blessings to you and your family on this Thanksgiving.




Monday, November 19, 2012

Wonky Log Cabin Squares

Wonky Log Cabin Squares for the Sandy Quilt Drive sponsored by Quilting Gallery.  
On the wall - my first wonky squares ever and it was really fun to put these together without the fuss of measuring everything exactly.  They are not squared up yet.  First they are mailed to a team leader where they are squared up and then made into the quilts.

This is going to be an ongoing project, so if anyone is interested in making and donating blocks for the Hurricane Sandy survivors, click on the picture link below:
Sandy Quilt Block Drive


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Christmas at Warther's Museum

Only 47 Days till Christmas!  

After quilting with my QBees at Miss Carol's studio on Saturday, Barb, Jenna and I went to Warther's Museum in Dover, Ohio to see the 2012 Warther's Hospital Auxiliary Christmas Tree Show.  It was right on my way home and what better way to end a lovely day of quilting.

If you have never visited Warther's Museum, it is well worth the trip to Dover.  One amazing exhibit is where Ernest “Mooney” Warther carved a whole working model of a steel mill from memory - it still runs.  There is so much to see.  He was a genius for sure!

The trees in the show all had a theme and you could vote for your favorite large and small tree - it reminded me of a quilt show.   The trees were sold and auctioned off for charity to benefit the Union Hospital Auxiliary.
One of my favorites was a tea time tree . . .

And then . . . what do you know . . . a Grinch display complete with a quilt - just like Mitzi's quilt.
 "He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. Maybe Christmas, he thought... doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps... means a little bit more!" 


Strolling through the trees and decorations, I started thinking about all the Christmas shopping, decorating, baking, quilting, and . . . OH NO!  Only 47 days till Christmas!  
Post Script:  As soon as I got home, I ordered the Grinch quilt kit on Ebay.  

We better celebrate Thanksgiving first!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Quilts for Hurricane Sandy Survivors

The quilting community is donating quilts to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Bonnie Hunter posted on her blog Quiltville an email from Carrie Crowley Davis.

 
I am the Long Island Chapter Coordinator for Quilts for Kids .org and am hoping that you can send a shout out for child size quilts. 
We are working with the local schools in Long Beach, pediatricians in the Rockaways and the Community Outreach Center of Nassau Community Hospital and Winthrop Hospital to help get warm quilts to people. 

We are also going straight to where the Red Cross Disaster Relief Vehicles are and directly giving to people in need.
Quilts can be sent to:
Carrie Crowley Davis
Long Island Quilts for Kids
304 North Ocean Avenue
Patchogue, NY   11772
Any questions can be emailed to me at ccrowleycsw@aol.com

Let's get busy doing what we can.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zippy, Zippy Zigzag Birthday Quilt

As my son Adam's 40th Birthday approached, I wanted to make a quilt that would reflect his life style and interests.  He works with computers, enjoys video games, plays piano, likes Charlie Brown, had worked at a newspaper and loves his family.  I was hoping the prints along with the black stripes would work well together and not be too crazy.  Miss Carol from Sweet Peas and Possum did a fabulous job quilting it in a geometric pattern - very cool for the look of this quilt.

The plan started before Adam's birthday in May, but the quilt was not finished until the end of October.  That happens sometimes in a zigzag world:
The name of the backing is called "Baby Geniuses Grow up" so I named the quilt "Baby Genius Grows up"  Michelle made a  lovely embroidered label to go on the quilt.

You can see the quilting pattern in this picture.


Happy "late" Birthday, Adam.  I hope you enjoy your quilt for many years!



What I Learned About Life Making a Zigzag Quilt

Life does not go in a straight, even line;
It has its ups and downs.
It may be cut apart in patches of time
Then sewn back together in jagged rows.
It’s okay!

You try to match up the seams and dreams,
But, if it still does not fit
Help comes from family, friends and unseen means.
The end design may be a little crazy,
But love remains true
Even in a zigzag world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Quilting with Sweet Peas & Possum


O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
~Robert Frost - excerpt from his poem "October"


Fall is the perfect season for sewing.  It seems like forever since I was down to Miss Carol's, from Sweet Peas and Possum, for a "much needed" day of quilting.   Lucky for us, she arranged to have an open sew on a Saturday, so I headed south along with Michelle and Mitzi.

 I wanted the day to go "slow, slow," like the poem, but it went fast, fast!  We spent the first half hour gabbing and catching up on family news and our latest projects.  After show and tell, we finally got down to the business of sewing.



Gina was sewing up a log cabin pumpkin with fun borders . . . The face is the perfect touch.

Michelle finished the top for her sister's quilt . . . Colorado Log Cabin - Stunning!

Mama Barb worked on tying an adorable rag quilt for a new grandson - Notice the "Life is Short - Eat Dessert First" shirt?   There is a story behind that one. 

Mitzi was working on a quilt top for a Christmas present  . . . 
Is this not the cutest Grinch Quilt ever?   Nice job, Mitzi!


Here is Miss Carol's Quilt project for the day.  Gus decided to try it out right away.

In case you think that all I did was eat, gab and take pictures, I have to say that I did do some sewing.  However, I can't show my super, secret projects on my blog just in case a relative happens to stop by.

Shhh . . .  It's a secret.  

Thank you, Miss Carol for a fun, fall day of sewing and laughter.