Saturday, November 5, 2011

Grandma Vivian's 100th Birthday Party

On Tuesday Grandma Vivian turned 100.

Her favorite grandson gives her a big hug!
"Have you heard?  They're throwing me a party!"
There was singing by the Larks...
And beautiful flowers....
And THREE cakes!!!
And even a tribute from Pastor Mike.
Her son-in-law gives his compliments to the chef.  You can see her "Throne" in the background.
Vivian's granddaughter and great-granddaughter came from Oregon looking festive in red velvet and matching necklaces.
Larry looked too tall next to Dad's tiny girlfriend, Sabra, so he scrunched down for this shot.
"You should wear that more often, Dad.  It looks terrific!" ;)
Vivan's grandson-in-law was the only one who would hold still for a picture; he was trying to take one himself.  Good luck with that, Evan.
A HUGE thank you goes to Edie Maddox, Grandma's Sunday-school teacher, for making all the arrangements.  It never would have happened without you!

Happy Birthday, Grandma! 
We love you!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apple Kissed Autumn - October Finish

I haven't posted in a long time, but I haven't been slack either. I finished "Apple Kissed Autumn" by Shepherd's Bush, in time for Grandma's 100th birthday next month.  I'm so pleased how it turned out, and I know Grandma will love it too.

This cross stitch kit has gone on so many trips it's too bad it couldn't collect frequent flier miles.  Las Vegas, Canada, Phoenix, New York, Wisconsin, San Antonio, Colorado, Houston; it's been everywhere!  It was my favorite go-to kit, and routinely got packed every trip just in case I felt like stitching.  I finally started it in Phoenix last year, made a mistake, ripped it out, then put it away until our trip to Canada last month.  I finished it October 1st, just missing the September OPAM cut-off.

rows of crows
ripened vines
apple baskets
autumn's signs

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Craft Book Challenge

I saw this challenge tonight and it REALLY spoke to me. 

See, I have a few craft books...
on knitting and crochet
the first 40+ issues of Inspiration magazine
on quilting and embroidery
and on painting and drawing
You get the picture.  lol  I LOVE craft books!  So what better challenge than to actually try to MAKE something from them?  What a concept!  You can make stuff from them?  Wow!  Who knew?  What an ingenious concept; I'll have to try that.  ;)  I'll keep you posted.  Anyone care to join me?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August Project Day - Applique

We had a Blanketeer Project Day on Friday. The plan was to learn to applique and collaborate on a Sunbonnet Sue quilt.  I was supposed to be the teacher - lol.  I spent all my time preparing the kits and very little time learning how to applique.  Fortunately, Sheila's Mom, Bea, showed up.  She's an expert in applique and was very gracious about helping everyone out (especially me!)
Rachel missed the morning session, but Sheila soon brought her up to speed.  I had planned to demonstrate three applique techniques: freezer paper, needle turn and reverse applique.  But everyone took off doing freezer paper and never looked back.  I think Bea and I were the only ones doing needle turn.  Whatever works.  At least I got to explain about reverse applique and show them the one Dear Jane block I did with it.
Dorthy grumbled about how awful her block was (it really wasn't that bad at all).  She wants me to bring her more muslin tomorrow so she can completely redo it.  Sigh.  SO self-critical!
Jonquele seems well-pleased with her little Sue, as well she should be; it's adorable! 
Lu Ann did this darling Sue.  Everyone loved the lace on the hat.
Lu Ann is Mary's friend, whom we haven't seen in ages.  It was lovely to have her join us again. 
Mary did this seated Sue, which turned out to be totally adorable!  All the Sues have print dresses in Aunt Grace fabrics, with coordinating solids, and a bit of the print on their hats.  I think it's going to make a terrific group quilt!
As usual, a fun time was had by all, and thanks go to Sheila again for getting us the hall.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Artist's Way - new blog forming

Martha over at Quilt Contemplation must have been reading my mind when she decided she was going to restart the Artist's Way workbook this fall.  Martha suggested forming a members only blog for anyone interested in supporting each other while we work through the twelve week creative process.  I've decided to join her.  I've worked the Artist's Way before and it really helped energize my creative spirit, though you can see it was pretty hard on the first book! 
It became clear as I was (not) working on "Ethan's Quilt" that I had a problem.  If I hadn't committed to getting it in the guild quilt show I'm not sure it would ever have gotten finished.  I had these great ideas but I was really blocked from putting them into action.  It was so frustrating to see it hanging there for months, while I worked like a beaver on any other project that wouldn't require any creativity or risk at all.  Then I was so stressed to get the quilt done that the process wasn't any fun at all.  This is not the way I want to achieve my goals!

Anybody thinking of joining us on this journey should leave a comment here or on Martha's blog.  We'll be starting next month.  Any questions?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My First Quilt Show Entry (and August finish)

Ethan's quilt got done just in time to enter it in the FW Quilt Guild's annual show.  It didn't win a prize, but it was very nice to see it hanging in the show.

Golf and alligators is not an obvious choice for a baby's room, but I gave it my best shot.  My buddy Joe wanted Ethan to be called "Ross Vegas" since he was conceived on a  family trip to Vegas, but he was outvoted, so I named the alligator Ross Vegas instead. 

Anyone familiar with the Masters at Augusta knows that the 11th, 12th and 13th holes make up "Amen Corner".  I decided to incorporate these three holes in the border of Ethan's quilt.

My buddies who golf immediately recognized "Hogan's Bridge" by the 12th green.
Here's Ross playing the 12th.  Sadly, he triple bogeyed 12 and decided to eat the 13th pinny instead of playing the hole.  I quilted the broken 13th pinny on the right side below the larger alligator, and showed the larger Ross Vegas eating his club.
Here's a close-up of Ross still happily playing the 11th hole.  I embroidered "RV" onto his hat so he wouldn't feel nameless - lol.

Joe LOVES Ethan's quilt and is VERY partisan about it.  I ran into him at the show last Friday and he kept going on and on about how my quilt was robbed and deserved to win a ribbon.  He kept asking every lady that walked by if they were in charge because he wanted to register a complaint.  He acted like a complete lunatic and kept me in stitches the whole time, threatening to gather up other ribbons and adorn Ethan's quilt with all of them.  It was only with great difficulty that I restrained him.  lol  It doesn't help that he's a gigantic 6'3" man, fortunately no one seemed too alarmed about it since I was laughing so hard.  What a maniac!
Joe's family especially liked that I incorporated Ethan, his cousin Mayson, his Dad Steven, and Joe on the leader board.  The first four scores are this year's top four winning scores.  Joe's score is the worst actual score ever recorded in a Master's tournament. (Charles Kunkle 1954, before they instituted a cut.)  Joe was pleased with his score, since he doesn't normally shoot in the low 80's.  :o

Friday, July 8, 2011

June Completion - Scrappy Blue Nine-Patch

I took a break from blogging, but not from quilting.  With Rachel's help, the scrappy blue nine-patch is now complete.  I'm glad I went with the red border; it really sets it off nicely.
I tried something besides stippling for a change.  I found this method in Fons & Porter's "Love of Quilting", Jan/Feb 2008.  It's called "Continuous Curve Quilting".  It's not supposed to make circles like this; I made mine very curvy.  It's a pretty fast technique, though I should probably have slowed down a bit, but I was in a hurry!
This was the first quilt I ever made where I didn't buy ANYTHING for it.  I had enough of the green backing.  Rachel and I combined similar blues to fill out the sashing, and she had dozens of leftover half-square triangles from somewhere. 
I even pieced the batting,which I had never done before.  It worked fine; I can't even find the seam.
I'll have to remember to bring this quilt to the bee at Rachel's house this Sunday; she hasn't had a chance to see it completed yet.
And now, I'll leave you with a final treat from Krystian.  Yummo! (As Rachel Ray would say.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

May Project Day Fun

We had another lovely project day a few weeks ago.  Our theme project was scrappy nine-patch quilts.  Here is Virginia working on her blocks.
And here is Sheila, with Mary in the background.  We were glad to see Sheila's thumb had completely healed from our last project day.  (The paper plate she was carrying collapsed, and hot barbeque sauce spilled on her thumb - second degree burn, ER visit, special ointments. Yuck!)  She was very patient with us hovering over her in the kitchen this time.  8)
We were glad that Nancy was able to join us.  She's a very experienced quilter, who actually got her entire quilt top pieced during the time we had together.
Mary put together some very lovely leftover blue and brown polka-dot fabrics.  She came very close to finishing her top too.
Here is the layout of the quilt which Rachel and I pieced.  We split it up to take home so we could each assemble half the quilt.  Rachel is new to sashing, and when I picked up her half, the rows were sewn with the sashings together.  lol  That would be LOTS funnier to me if I hadn't done the exact same thing myself once  **blushes**.  Oh well, all fixed now.  8)
Unfortunately I didn't get many pictures of quilts in progress, but with luck, I'll be picking up some of the completed quilts at this week's meeting of the Blanketeers.  If I do, I'll be sure to share them then.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Beautiful Flowers from a Budding Photographer

My friend's daughter, Krystian, took these lovely pictures.  Krystian is a young teen who wants to be a photographer.  I think what she has accomplished with her simple camera is amazing.  Her sense of color and composition are really wonderful.  I've told her to send me more, and I would post them here.  Enjoy!

I love the deep veining on this one: 

And the way this rose peaks through the leaves - I wouldn't have thought of that! 

I can never get vibrant yellows like this; they always wash out for me. 

This one was my favorite.  I just love the way the light glistens on the water droplets, and the ruffled edges are adorable.

I'm not even sure what flower this is, but I love the way it pops!

Let's all give Krystian some encouragement.  I think she definitely could have a real future as a photographer!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ethan's Quilt now has Borders

Ethan's quilt now has nice wide borders and I'm beginning to really like it.  I don't think it looks too busy anymore.  In fact, I'm looking forward to adding more embellishments.  I think I'll start with his name.  I'll use the orange fabric from the Card Trick blocks if I have enough left over. 
I can't let this one hang around.  I have to get moving on it if I want to show it off at guild in two weeks.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ethan's Quilt - Gators & Golf

My buddy, Joe P, asked me if I would make a quilt for his grandson, Ethan Ross. Sure, I say, but then he tells me the theme is alligators and golfing! Really? I was hoping he was kidding,... but no. Really. I had to think about that one. I searched my stash and found this animal print which fortunately has an alligator.
Now Joe is a HUGE gambler, and rumor has it that Ethan was conceived on a family trip to... wait for it,... Las Vegas, so the card trick blocks were a no brainer. Joe (ever the kidder) lobbied to have his grandson named "Ross Vegas", but thankfully there were no takers.

This is already the busiest quilt top I have ever made, and it just keeps getting better. My plan for the border is to have have 2 sides be holes of a golf course, one other will have a large gator on it, and the final side will just say "Ethan". Gators and golf. Wish me luck!