Monday, August 30, 2010

Roller Coaster Ride

The last ten days have been a roller coaster ride!  I'd have rather been quilting and blogging, believe me. But LIFE has a way of throwing curves when you least expect it. I'm so glad that I have had these ladies praying for me and my family. The Pink Flamingos have my back!
The last week has been spent at the bedside of my 33 year old son who has somehow contracted endocarditis from an infection in his bloodstream.  He faces the possibility of heart valve replacement in the next weeks. We know that the bacteria entered his blood through his saliva, possibly from flossing his teeth.  Yes, you read that right. Flossing.  Because he already had a heart murmur, evidently, that is where the bacteria attacked...his weak spot on an otherwise healthy body. Crazy, huh?  He's home now and on antibiotics so we have a breather before rounding the next curve on this roller coaster ride! 

No sewing has been done at this house over the last days.  I had just finished the quilting on baby Jane's quilt when I got the news to go to the hospital. I love the way the "barbed wire" quilting turned out!  The "straightish" lines are interrupted by a little loop every so often, reminding me of the fences on the farm I grew up on. It was mindless stitching! And, I couldn't mess it up really....a plus!!  This view from the back shows the quilting really well.
The 2.25 inch binding is pieced from the leftover scraps from the front of the quilt.  I love the ice cream colors and am looking forward to getting it sewn on so that I can do the hand  stitching.  
Thanks for hanging in there with me while I've been away.  I've missed you!  

P.S. In the upper right corner of the sidebar is a spot to cast your vote for Stichin' Mission to win a $1000 grant to expand. Read all about it by clicking on the button Linda has become one of my invisible friends here in blogland.  She has a passion for creating quilts to donate to people in need, just as I do! You can vote once per day until September 1. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pink Flamingos

Six years ago I got the brainy idea to make a quilt for each of the members of a club I belong to. I worked on the eight lap quilts over the course of one year, pairing quilt theme with the recipient in some way. Every quilt was different in pattern, color and fabric, with one exception: They all contained some sort of flamingo motif somewhere in the quilt.  You'd be amazed at how much flamingo fabric there is out there!  I had such fun creating these, mostly pink, quilts for my girlfriends.....all members of The Pink Flamingo Club. The club is an empty-nester club meeting once a month as an excuse to have a party! Here's the quilt that I made for myself....
I used house patterns and ideas from a book called Q is for Quilt by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes. 
The eight houses represent the homes of the eight ladies where we hold our monthly themed parties. Next Monday is our eighth "Bird day party" where we will have a flamingo topped birthday cake and sing "happy birthday" to our selves. The party will be at my house so I've been busy getting out all my flamingos, including this quilt, to get the place fancied up for my guests. Can you guess what color they will all be wearing?! 
I love Pink Flamingo Club night!  Part of our mission statement includes "Our prayer is that the time we spend with one another will strengthen us as women and will radiate out to everyone whose lives we touch."
In between dusting my furniture, I've been quilting on baby Jane's Munki quilt. Just when I thought that I might get it finished today, I ran out of thread! Can you see where I stopped?
If you look to the right in this picture, you can see a hint as to the backing I decided on. I'm off to the store for more white thread, but before I go, here's a poem by one of the flamingos.

What is a Pink Flamingo?
Parading in all their finery,
Involved in each other's lives,
Never forgetting to pray,
Kindred spirits for such a time as this.

Flamingos forever united,
Lovingly gathering together,
Always reserving a fourth Monday,
Matronly doesn't describe us!
In touch, intuitive,insane!
Never growing too old,
Giving each other courage,
Onward we go together...
Silliness you say? Never, ever!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Catching Up

Vacation plans and new babies got me a bit behind in my Virtual Bees.  I'm trying to catch up by sewing blocks for Toni,  Joan and Ruth. I still have blocks for one more Bee to go!
Toni chose butterflies as the theme of her quilt in the Kansas City Scrappy Bee. She provided us with two  strips of hand dyed fabric to make any style of butterfly that we wished using a black background fabric.  I immediately thought of Amy's awesome Butterfly Quilt and tutorial.  Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts is one of my very favorite blogs. Be sure and pay her a visit! Thanks, Amy. I may need a butterfly quilt myself!
Next up is Joan's block for the Nittany Block Party Bee.  Joan, who blogs at Wishes, True and Kind, chose this fun Scrapbuster Block  by Little Miss Shabby for her August block.  Twenty-four 1.5 inch blocks, along with the grey Kona,were included in the envelope I received from Joan.  It was fun to add 24 more little squares from my stash to complete the 12.5 inch block.  The piecing was a bit challenging only because my 1/4 inch seams weren't entirely accurate and they NEED to be to make it all work out when you sew the squares onto the grey strips. (I had to take a little deeper seams in a few places. Don't tell, okay!)
 I absolutely love this block and the combination of grey/brights.  This will be a stunning quilt when finished!
Finally, Ruth asked for half log cabin blocks using fabrics she provided. Ruth also is part of the Nittany Block Party Bee. ( I was supposed to have these cute blocks done in July!  Sorry, Ruth....they will be in the mail tomorrow!)  Although I have made many log cabin blocks over the years, I believe these are my first half-log cabins.  I'm anxious to see this quilt when it is finished!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fitness Friday on Sunday 3

Gravel is not fun to walk on.  It gets in your shoes if you have the cute sandal-ie kind like I do. I like to use them for walking in the summer though, so I have to stop and empty my shoes at least once every time I go out.  Oh, well.  My toes keep air-conditioned that way!  This week I made my goal in Jacquie and Kate's exercise challenge, so I got to add 10 pieces of fabric to my Improv Road. Each block uses 3  pieces of fabric. 

Next week, I'll do a little tutorial on how I am making the blocks.  The materials I am using so far include: Maisey Check by Lucy Cousins, Bird Swing, Wee Play by Sand Klop, Ta Dot by Michael Miller, aqua Cobble Stone, Plume by Tula Pink, Wall Flower, Bicycles by Erin McMorris and an unknown grey polka dot.  My colors reflect the pavement and gravel I walk on along with  the sun shining in the blue sky overhead. There's been lots of sun....I need to add more yellow!!
Marble has been busy exercising with the binding for the Baby Munki quilt. I will sacrifice just about anything if it helps him in his mole catcher training!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Munki Baby

Remember how I won an awesome charm pack from Heather at A la Mode Fabric? I was so excited to win these sought after Munki Munki fabrics!
And, since I haven't started a new project in a few hours, days,  weeks, I figured it was high time I get going on a quilt for my new granddaughter, Jane! I'm adding in a few other prints to make the quilt big enough for a growing 5 pound baby! Looky, looky............

Later, gator!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Queen of Scraps

You probably know by now that I save my fabric scraps. I like to cut them into strips and store them in plastic tubs.  I have tubs for 1.5 inch, 2 inch, 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch strips. When I get ready to make a scrap  quilt, these are the sizes that I find I use the most and it gets me sewing before I know it and without much time cutting.  Bonnie Hunter is the mastermind of the scrap saving method that I use. I'm so grateful to her, so when I heard that she was coming to Kansas City to speak at several local guilds, you can bet I used a red marker to mark my calendar!  The red letter day finally arrived yesterday!
Bonnie's energetic and delightful program did not disappoint! Her trunk show was filled with scrap quilts of every sort.  Some contain pieces so small that it boggles my mind and I  wonder if she ever sleeps. Up close, some of the fabrics she uses might be termed "ugly", but, viewed from a distance, the decades spanning plethora of color creates quilts that might  be mistaken for antiques, especially the ones she hand quilts. I went away determined to follow her advice to try to sew at least 15 minutes every day.
Over the last few years, I have followed and completed four mystery quilts designed and offered by Bonnie on her website, Remember this one? Thinking Bonnie might like to know that people really do follow her scrap saving advice and make quilts using the free patterns she offers, I loaded up three of my Mystery Quilts and took them with me to the Olathe Quilt Guild meeting last night.
I showed you Patriotic Road back on Memorial Day.  Here's another, made for my grandson, Oliver, for his fifth birthday. Bonnie's pattern is called Orange Crush.
Oliver sleeps under his quilt every night. Since I used quite a few novelty print scraps, it is sort of an eye spy quilt.  The lettering along the outside borders spell out his name and initials. I used a tutorial by Lazy Gal Quilts to make the letters. Tonya is coming out with a book in December with lots of ideas for using this method.  I can hardly wait! It is called Word Play Quilts.  Look for it  if you would like to learn to make these freeform letters.
I worried that the bright colors in this quilt might keep Ollie awake at night, but when he told his mom that he wanted to paint his room orange I knew it would be perfect for him!
There's one more mystery quilt.  I'll show you that another day. After all, it is supposed to be a mystery!
P.S. Joyce T. who likes strawberry shortcake as a summer treat, please contact me by the weekend to claim your Hope Valley prize. Thanks.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fitness Friday on Sunday 2

Week 2 of the Improv(E) your B*** Challenge is behind us. I didn't do real well....didn't meet my goal. Having a new grand daughter come into the family on Monday sort of challenged my exercise priority!
  I did make some decisions about the 16 pieces of fabric that I have earned  over the last two weeks. What do you think?
It's a start, but I've got miles to go..............

Friday, August 6, 2010

Visiting the Neighbors

Remember this quilt? I was so excited to have rOssie contact me about featuring a picture of the Anniversary Quilt and my tutorial of how  I made the blocks. If you haven't visited rOssie's blog yet...Don't Walk....RUN right over there now!  She is full of inspiration, I'm telling you!! I love visiting the neighbors, don't you?!
Marble sure loves visiting the neighbors.  It gives him a chance to practice his mole catching techniques! 
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I'm going to dish up a mix of eye-candy for you today!

First on the list......

I have several quilts hanging in my house and thought that I would show you another one today.

This simple quilt holds a special place in my quilty heart!

I bought the fabrics for it when I visited France eight years ago.  Some of the squares were made by cutting up Provincial print cloth napkins.  I stayed with my friend, Susan, in Germany during that trip and pieced the quilt in her basement sewing room. Ah, memories!
Every time I look at the wall hanging, I am reminded of the fun vacation in the spring of 2002.
I love hanging different quilts in this spot, but this one stays up most of the year.
Next's my box of 1.5 inch hexagons.......over 300 made so far and closing in on the 400 I need for the  tablecloth I have in mind. I have yet to begin sewing the hexies together!
Next week the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild will be meeting and I have been busy making the blocks for a block exchange I'm in.  Andrea requested Plus Blocks and provided the aqua dot fabric. She also hinted that she likes red and grass green...hopefully these will fit the bill.
I also volunteered to make two 12 inch blocks in orange and blue to be included in charity quilts for a local children's hospital. I've been looking for orange fabrics for this project as well as another virtual bee I belong to where orange seems to be a very popular color!

The temperature has been crazy hot here the last few days, with the dew point out of sight!

The only sane thing to do is stay inside and work on quilts. Am I right?!

Joan had a contest on her blog, Wishes, Kind and True, a while back. I was so excited to correctly  guess the missing fabric in this Amy Butler Love charm pack.  She sent me two charms of each fabric in the entire line, so I am having fun ogling all this yumminess!!Lucky me, I also was randomly chosen by Heather of A la Mode Fabric to win another charm pack of fun fabrics by Heather Ross. These cute prints are perfect for a baby quilt I am getting ready to start on!

Here's the baby and her big sister, Lula sitting on their daddy's lap this morning. That precious 5 pound bundle of joy is my sixth grand baby, Jane Susanne, fresh from God.
              See, I told you that I was lucky!  No, not lucky.  Blessed beyond measure!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fitness Friday on Sunday


I've joined Jacquie and Kate in their efforts to encourage quilters to Improv(e) your Behind. (I don't let my grand daughter use the other word, so I better not either!) :) You can join the team in our journey across America.   Learn about it here. Fridays have been designated Fitness Fridays and a chance to post about our progress.....I forgot.  Not the best way to start!  But, I have put on my walking shoes. Yay! I reached my goal of 10 miles this week. Our team has logged almost 400 miles already! Part of the challenge involves a piece of fabric to represent each mile. I'll be  posting pictures of the project I have in mind for the fabric strips I'll be putting together.  Here's a picture of my inspiration.

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments on my celebration of 50 posts.  I got so hungry just reading about your favorite summer treats!  Here are the winners of the Hope Valley fabric. . . . .
First, the winner of four fat quarters, pictured above, is Joyce T. who shared that her favorite summer treat is "strawberry shortcake, no, wait, rhubarb pie, no, wait, blackberry cobbler, no, wait, sigh...."
Donna wins the charm pack of Hope Valley prints.  She loves to eat " raspberry sherbet in a waffle cone in the summer." Yum. Sounds so good! Donna and Joyce, please email me with your mailing addresses so I can get your prize to you. Congratulations!
Marble is growing fast!  He is still in training, of course. Haven and Maelie, my grand daughters, have been spending a lot to time trying to teach Marble how to catch moles.  But since we haven't actually SEEN any moles, just their dirt mounds all over my lawn, they have had to improvise on just what mole-catching might entail.
 Hopefully, Marble won't always want to be pushed around in a doll stroller when he finally is old enough to hunt for the real thing.  NO, Marble, that's not a mole, that's Maelie's apple! 
Maelie's attentive instruction is bound to pay off, I'm sure of it! you suppose he thinks that moles are long and skinny like that piece of yarn? Oh, dear....back to the classroom,  Marble!