Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reminiscing . . .

I love Sew Mama Sew (on my side bar). One of the great things is the Forum, where people ask and answer questions. I have asked a few myself, and have received wonderful (and quick) advice. As I was perusing it today (yes, my 50 cent word, perusing) I found a woman who is just learning to sew and wants to make a quilt for her young son. A friend of hers told her it was too hard and not to even try. It broke my heart. So I (along with MANY others) told her to go for it! The first thing I ever tried to make was a quilt.  Now, I'm not saying I'm a wonderful quilter (ya'll know I'm not) but I do enjoy it. So it got me thinking about the first quilt I made.  I don't have it anymore, but I remember it well.  In first grade, we read a story about a boy who couldn't go anywhere without his blankie, but his mother said he couldn't take it to school with him. So throughout the book, his mother would cut his blankie in half until, by the first day of school, his blankie would fit in his pocket. (Isn't it funny the details we remember? Now, ask me my teacher's name from the first grade . . . a total blank!) So I had to make a blankie that would fit in my pocket for an assignment. It must have been over spring break, because I remember being in my Great Aunt Billie's house with my grandmother and her sisters quilting around a frame, and asking them to help me make a quilt for school. Obviously, I got REALLY bored REALLY quick, and ended up gluing it together, but they did try. Now, go ahead, ask me my address from first grade . . . a TOTAL BLANK! But I remember quilts and books! The next time I tried to quilt, it was in Jr. High.  Here is the product. It's a Nine Patch/Nine Patch. Those are applique tulips in the off squares (still my favorite flower). I pieced it, got bored, and left it at my grandmothers.  For high school graduation, she had found it and quilted it for me. I didn't realize how much I would treasure it until recently. I didn't try to quilt again until I met up with a group of lovely ladies (and their blenders and margarita mixes) in college, and the rest, as they say, is history. Sorry about the ramble with few pictures, but sometimes a trip down memory lane is just what the doctor ordered.

See Ya!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Darling . . . it's been too long

I know, I know . . .  I'm a horrible blogger. It's been, what, 2 weeks? But it's been a crazy 2 weeks. Here's a quick recap:
Went to Austin to meet this sweet girl, Riley-

Here I am with Riley. She is so sweet. She's a month old and is SO TINY! She spent most of the time sleeping in her swing, or screaming in some one's arms, but she actually slept with me. Most babies tend to freak out when I hold them, but she didn't.  My cousin says it's because she's family, so she automatically loves me. I like that. I love her too.

And Daddy (mine) with Riley.

Momma and my grandmother (Nanny-Pud) with Riley. This is her ninth great grand child!

And lots of other wonderful family members, but only so many pics can fit. Came home on Monday and saw Red for the first time in like a year! I'm not showing that picture because I look like I've been shot at and missed and sh** at and hit. It's not a good picture. Then had the week from H E double hockey sticks at work (I don't like to talk about work, but believe me, it was bad.) Then, we got to see some more friends we hadn't seen in a while. . . Rockey, Lindsey and little Laney!

Isn't she precious? She's a year old, and she is the happiest baby I've ever seen!

Then the dishwasher died and Steven's shower exploded (not really, but it did require a plumber on Monday.) The new dishwasher came today, a week after it went out. I've been washing dishes by hand (it sucks, really bad). But its here now, so that's good.
Another, good thing, the flowers are blooming.

These are my dianthus. I LOVE THEM!

As I promised (so long ago) here is a sneak peak at my latest work in progress. I keep thinking I'm almost finished, but it never gets there. This is the first quilt I've made for someone who isn't family, so they don't have to love it. I'm extremely critical of it, and I'm not really loving it, but S thinks it's cool looking, so I guess it's OK. Maybe next week I'll have more pics for you. You can tell me your opinion.

By the way,"Hi" to Mary and Fi. They both have commented on the blog, but I don't have emails, so I can't say hi back. Love you and miss you both! Quilting hasn't been the same since our Monday Night Craft Night (and blenders of margaritas)!

See ya!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pre-Easter Ramble . . .

I meant to blog last night . . . but I'm leaving town tonight and last night just got away from me with the laundry and packing and spending time with the hubby and cat. So I'm rattling this off during my lunch hour at work so I don't feel blog guilt while I'm with my family for Easter.

First, did you know it's Spring To Finish time at Tallgrass Prairie blog (see button on side bar)? That means we are going to finish at least one UFO (Un-Finished Object) by April 30. Woo Hoo . . . just the inspiration I need! I have several. The first (and most important) is a Monkey Wrench quilt for a new baby. Miles Hess should be born around the 14th, and I wanted to make him this quilt. Sorry, no pics yet; I'm not too happy with it. This is the first quilt I have ever made for someone other than family, so I'm extremely critical. But here's hoping! I also would like to get my Project Improv quilt pieced, more on that below. Finally, I have a quilt top from Moda called Portebello Market I bought as a kit after Christmas. I have it all cut out, but that's all. Maybe I'll get it pieced. I like it because of the name; I know it's supposed to be for a mushroom market, but it reminds me of Bed Knobs and Broomsticks with Angela Lansbury and that song, "Portebello Road".

Next, I finished this pincushion from Elizabeth's (at Oh Fransson) tutorial for Sew Mama Sew. It is awesome! If you look close, you can see 2 little green eyes peeking out from under the table. That would be Ralphie. She is a BIG help, as you can see. I wonder if this counts as a finished project?

Finally, a Project Improv update. I think I have stumbled upon my inspiration. I am typically a very traditional person; I use traditional blocks, I like to piece by hand, and I like vintage looking fabrics, especially ginghams and calicos. But I LOVE applique, I just don't do it often. I am also teaching myself embroidery from this awesome book. I have decided to put these things together. I want to do applique and embroidered "art blocks" and I have chosen the Texas wild flowers as my subject. I'm not drawing anything, I'm just going at it (watch out!). My first block is going to be the flowers below. I have no idea what they are, but they are on the side of every highway, and I love them.

I hope it works. Finally, I leave you with a parting pic of Ralphie "helping" (my material and embroidery floss is in that basket).

Happy Easter!

P.S. A shout out to Codi for helping me with my Aunt's sewing machine. The sewing/quilting community is SO HELPFUL! I'll post more later!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Purling . . .

Look out kids . . . this girl can purl!

I know its a horribly pic, but I promise, there are purls! Thanks to the awesome Sister in Law who showed me how! She is so patient, and I am a horrible student (the yarn ended up half way across the room most of the time) but she stuck with me! Now I just have to figure out how to control it. I'm off to start on hats and socks!

Hopefully next week I will have pics of quilts to show you! I just have too many irons in the fire to focus on one right now.

See ya!