Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Now that Christmas is over, I can post a picture of the small flock of birds I made as presents. I used the pattern by Terry Grant from the new International Quilt Festival magazine . It is simple and easy to follow (a must for me, since I can't follow directions). I gave all but the first one I made away, it was kind of goofy and couldn't stand up right. Peter was in charge of legs and improved his technique considerably by Bird #2.

I also gave my sister a quilt I made in a wonderful workshop with Laura Wasilowski last October. I sent a picture of the finished quilt to Laura and she put it on her blog - it was fun to have my fifteen minutes of fame! My sister is a gardener, so I called the quilt Lettuce, Turnip and Pea.

And finally, another cat picture. I really don't intend for this to be a blog about my cats, but this picture of mother cat and two nearly full size kittens sleeping in a cat bed made for one cat, is too cute.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A quiet Christmas

We had a quiet Christmas. The crummy weather helped, who wanted to go out in snow, 50 mph winds and temperatures in the single digits? I had lots of time to spend quilting my wallhanging. I was not happy with my first attempt, I didn't like the color of the thread behind the tulips - too dark. It looked too busy! As I quilted it I kept asking my husband, "Do you like the thread color, do you REALLY like the thread color?" He usually echoes what I am thinking in the back of my mind, but this time I got the whole thing quilted before I decided I/we didn't like it. Here is the first attempt:

Here is a close-up which shows the thread color better:

I finally decided I just didn't like it at all, so I ripped out all the stitches. It took three days, but I am glad I did it. I re-quilted it in a light gray. Sometimes you just have to rippit! Here it is all finished:

I also added more quilting in the sky so it wouldn't look all baggy. I quilted the ground pretty heavily so I needed to even things up. I've already started my next project, a miniature wholecloth quilt to enter in MQS this May, but I am going to run out of time. I have customer quilts waiting to be quilted starting the first of the year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Busy before Christmas

I managed to get my three packages of Christmas presents UPSed off yesterday. It was such a hassle finding boxes (UPS wouldn't accept one of them in a liquor store box), getting everything wrapped and packed and out the door. But I am glad I persevered and got it done, because for the first time in several years, all my packages are supposed to arrive BEFORE Christmas. It would be much easier if everyone would just move to Kansas!

The Applibee's, my small group, met on Wednesday for our Christmas Party. Here is a picture of the group (minus me and Tammy) before lunch. We met at Janet's house, which was beautifully decorated for Christmas. I especially enjoyed her Christmas tree - since I don't have one this year. From left to right are Susan, Connie, Betty, Janet and Lynn.

I appliqued down the last snow blob on my wall hanging this morning. Now comes the fun part, the quilting! I have it all figured out in my head. I think about it at night as I'm falling asleep, or when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep.

If all goes well I want to enter this quilt in the IQA show in Chicago and the deadline is coming up in January.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Although I am usually sick of Christmas by Thanksgiving, the way the stores start decorating before Halloween, I do love my Christmas tree. I have ornaments that I have collected over the years and some that belonged to my parents and it is always fun to see them again. But not this year! There is a kitten in the house, more of a teenage cat actually. This is Lily.

The camera flash makes her eyes glow - she really is not an alien. Her mother, a feral cat, brought Lily and her siblings under our porch to live this summer. We brought her inside and want to keep her as a pet now. I was so surprised that she looks Siamese. Her mother is a tortoise shell and the other kittens were black and white, and orange. Anyway, frisky kitties and Christmas ornaments do not mix. So here is the extent of my Christmas decorating this year:

It will be easy to put away after Christmas! (The floating quilt in the mirror is hanging on the opposite wall.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Resolution for 2010

Usually I don't make New Year's resolutions but this year I resolve to allow time in my schedule to work on my own quilts! I did leave holes in my schedule for me but they always filled up because I couldn't say no when friends asked me to finish a special quilt for them, or good customers asked me to fit a quilt in, or my guild asked me to quilt our Opportunity Quilt. I actually felt depressed because I had so many ideas for my own quilts, and no time to work on them! I told Peter I had Quilt Constipation - maybe that's a little too graphic.

However, I loved getting to quilt my guild's Opportunity Quilt (In Kansas we can't call it a Raffle Quilt because that would be gambling, so we call it an Opportunity Quilt and that isn't gambling - go figure). Prairie Quilt Guild has over 700 members so there are a lot of talented quilters . Guild member Debbie Johnson designed the pattern and it was beautifully appliqued by guild members. I was really honored to be asked to quilt it! The pictures were taken before the scalloped binding was attached.
I did manage to take this month off and it is great fun to have time for my own projects. I'm working on a wallhanging which I will post once it is ready to be quilted.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mrs. Meatloaf again

First of all, I am not Mrs. Meatloaf. The real Mrs. Meatloaf was my cat for many years. She was a sweet but boring kitty; I think her brother Sam got all the brains and personality in that family. I was certain that even a boring cat like her had dreams of a more interesting life, which inspired the quilt titled "The Secret Life of Mrs. Meatloaf". Here is a picture from the quilt label of the real cat gazing at her quilt.

This is not an award-winning quilt but it remains one of my favorites, since Mrs. Meatloaf is gone now.

I was disdainful of blogs at first, before I started reading them. Now I find it strangely fascinating to read about the lives of people who probably think their own lives are humdrum and boring. So to my surprise (and my husband's!) I am entering the blogging world.