Monday, December 17, 2012

New blog - new email enrollment

I just had dinner with a friend who subscribed by email to this blog.  She is the second or third person who didn't realize that to get the new blog by email, you have to subscribe at my new blog home.

Here's the new blog's address.

This blog will stay here, I have some posts I really like and want to keep.  But the new stuff is at the new Chicago Now space.  Check it out, I've been posting on some pretty diverse subjects but tying them all into my quilts or my sewing. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blog has moved

Hi there!

I thought I would try something new and join a community of Bloggers over at Chicago Now.  I guess I was able to fool them because they said, sure come on over.

So I will be blogging over there, maybe permanently?

I just published my first blog there and phew, wordpress is trickier than blogger.

I am going to give it a try.

Come visit me there, you can even sign up to have the blog sent to you via email.

Just click here!

New blog

See you at the new spot.

Sew happy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Working together

Nope, you are not seeing double.  (Well unless you see more than two quilt tops!)

I finished putting all the quilt blocks into rows and the rows into tops.  Yay!  It is such a good feeling to make measurable progress and I think it is one of the reasons why I like quilting so much.  All my little bits of work add up to a whole and it stays whole!

Next week I hope to have the borders on and be working on the backs.  I am telling you right now that I am doing the back a little backwards, I am going to make borders in a size that will not make this top wider than the fabric I have for the back.  It is 54 inches wide, these are lap or wall quilts so they can give up an inch or two and fit and we will all be happy.  Well, I will be happy.  Because I will be working with what I have and making it work, and as a result creating less work for myself.  Working smarter, not harder!

What other quilty things have been going on?  Not as much as I would have liked because I had my annual back to school cold (achoo!) and I am only teaching part time and college at that!  I guess some rituals never die!

One of those rituals is football in the fall.  We went to our first U of I game for the season.  It was warm and we won so it just didn't seem like U of I football but I know it is because the calendar tells me so!  Let's do the fall rituals.

We threw out the scraggly flowers on the front balcony and put fresh mums and pumpkins out there.  I put this quilt on the front door, it has just the right colors for early fall.  My friend, Marge, gave me a fabric bundle once of these terrific prints and stripes.  It was perfect for the early fall quilt, not the darker colors of Halloween or Thanksgiving.

 I am lucky to have so many good friends, like Marge, in my life.  Some of them, like Marge, have been in my life since college and others have brightened it up for the past couple of years. 
My friends are all different and in some ways like the fabulous backing fabric I already have for the heart quilts.  In order to use it in the best way, I have to make the borders fit that size.  In order to keep my friends in my life, I have to be able to see them, communicate with them and talk with them in the way that works for both of us.  You can't just make the quilt top any old size if you want to not have to piece the back and you can't just do whatever you want all the time and expect your friends to still fit in your life. 

Here's to quilt backs and fronts that work together and friends who do the same. 

Sew happy!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Second year of blogging, balancing

 Hip hip hooray, I have all the blocks pieced for one of the Hot for Chocolate quilts.  What a nice feeling.  It has motivated me to work harder on the second one, I have two rows of blocks pieced for that quilt. 

Which means, add some borders and I could be quilting them on the machine in a week...or two..

I am so confident that I dug out the backing fabric so I could wash it. 

Do you remember this fabric?  I got it on a super good price at the Crate and Barrel outlet.

I have ten or more yards of it!

I have it all in the washer right now.  As I look at the two pictures, it doesn't look as good as it does when they are side by side.

I am going to say they look much better when next to each other plus I really do like that fabric.  Yes, I know if I worked all the time on sewing, they would both be done.  But I am busy doing other things!

 I started my new job and working on the works of Isabel Allende has really got my brain on fire!  There is nothing like trying to understand the world view of another person to light up your head.  I enjoy teaching my two classes.

I also got my second photo book from Snapfish - it didn't arrive so I contacted them and they made me a second one and overnighted it PLUS gave me a credit for another photo book.  Isn't that amazing customer service.  I love really liking a company.
Speaking of really liking something, look at this delightful lamp!

I could not love it more, I really could not!

Yesterday my husband and I went to Cantigy gardens in Wheaton and afterwards I went to Serene Teaz and found this little cutie!

I have it on my desk and I am looking at it right now.

Plus, I have gotten back into the indoor pool, my buddies from Aqua Exercise are meeting me even though I can't be in class due to my job.  Those are good buddies!

Why am I writing all of this?  So you know why I am only done with one quilt top.  Quilters cannot just quilt, they have to have balanced lives!  Being a retired teacher sure helps with my balance.

I have tried to balance writing the blog as well.  I have now been at this for a bit over a year.  (Happy blog bday to me!)  At first, I did it every day!  Then five days a week!  Then three days a week and now I am aiming for once a week.  I love musing about my quilts and showing them off but I have to balance it with the rest of my life.  Plus, heck, no one but my husband has read all of my entries, you can just go back and read old ones if you want more entries.

I will write again in about a week or when I get that second top pieced, whichever happens first.  In the meantime, try to keep your life in balance and make a quilt of all the things in life that light up your brain.  Or your desk, as in the case of my cutest ever tea pot lamp!

Sew happy!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Quilt shop travels

I am home from all my travels.  The laundry is done so it must be time to recap my quilt store booty from traveling out west. 

First store I hit was Big Sky Quilts in Great Falls, Montana.  Big Sky Quilts has a web site which you can access by clicking on the link. 

I loved this shop, the ladies were so darn friendly.  I had to call for directions as the address in Yelp was listed incorrectly.  But it was worth the search!  I got so many cool patterns and I really hope I get to make all of them some day, I need to refresh some of my kitchen linens.  I also went a little wild and bought some fabric plus a panel with bison.  Yes, bison.  No, I am not quite sure what I will use it for but my daughter has a friend who is nuts for bison so maybe she will get a surprise apron in the mail.  I also picked up some fat quarter batiks to donate to a basket at my quilt guild.  Plus a bit of yellow with black but I may just be able to use it with my others.  I also picked up the pattern for a quilt that I can use with the 25 million grey and yellow fabrics I have purchased. 

 Our next stop was Bozeman, MT which we used as our base for visiting Yellowstone National Park and which I loved for its restaurants and store.  I went to Main Street quilts.  Main Street Quilts does not have a web site but the link will get you to its Yelp reviews, address, etc.

I loved the physical layout of the store itself and I got a book, a magazine and some yellow and grey fabrics.  I was obviously not a regular there and while everyone was cordial, it was not an effusive welcome to our store. 

I am sure my lower purchase amount reflected this.  When you feel like old friends like I did in Great Falls, you just naturally buy more!
  Our third stop was Pocatello, Idaho, home to Sage Creek Quilts.  Here is their website.  Sage Creek Quilts

What a fabulous quilt store, just chock full of amazing fabrics - what a selection and a great balance between traditional and modern.  They had all kinds of grey and yellow!  I was in heaven.  Also picked up some Kaffe Fassett and a print to go with solids.  Also, 4 checked dishtowels to decorate and a book.

This was such a great store with a place for machine quilting, friendly clerk, it just had it all.  Of all the quilt stores I have visited on my travels this one is in my top three.  The other two are one in Hannibal, MO and the one I visited next!

After our trip out west we went to LaCrosse, WI for a wedding.  This is the top one of my top three in the county.  Olive Juice Quilt Store

It is just an over the top fun store of abundance.  It is visually appealing, fresh, clean and light filled with whimsy and new fabrics.  I got two kits and some more, you guessed it, yellow and grey fabrics!

I was so happy to go to the wonderful wedding and so excited I got to visit Olive Juice quilt store again!

Once we got home I had to slam myself into my new part time Adjunct job.  I was up there for training two days and spent the rest of the time doing my syllabi for my two classes.  This will take time away from my blog! 

I started this blog when my class didn't fill last fall and I needed some structure to my days.  It really helped focus me!  Now that I am working again, I will probably post just once a week.  I hope to have some good progress on the heart quilts.  And I want to start the grey and yellow quilt for my grand daughter who is due in December.  I seriously have enough fabric for about 20 grey and yellow quilts so we shall see where all that leads!

I am going to keep trying to sew or knit four hours a day I just won't be writing about it every day.  We'll talk just not every day!

Sew happy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thoughts before hitting the road

 One of the things I love about social media is that you can steal, I mean borrow, all kinds of fun pictures.

This one was me on Saturday night, I was just all out of sorts.  Didn't win at cards, didn't get to spend any time with Shelby, didn't get to see the meteors, cranky with my hubby.  It was just a cranky kind of day.

Doesn't this little picture sum it up?
 Today I had a cranky hangover.  I wasn't cranky any more but boy did I need coffee.

Then I saw this!



Today was a much better day.  Had a nice breakfast with my hubz and saw former students.  Boy, those former students can make my life's work just seem so meaningful.  They are so very kind to me with their words and making sure they see me.

It does a body good, to get some gratitude!

I loved this little picture also.

I will get a chance to read, big time, as Cliff and I are hitting the road.  He has a business trip to terminals in Great Falls, Montana and Pocatello, Idaho.  In between, we are going to stop at Yellowstone National Park.  Fun!  The minute we get home, we are leaving for a wedding in La Crosse, WI.

So no blogs for about two weeks.  I will be back the week of September 27th.  I hope I have visited some quilt stores and hey, maybe even made some sewing progress!

Enjoy the end of your summer!

Sew happy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

City Quilting

 When I travel, I love to visit Quilt stores.  Two years ago I was in NYC with my friend, Vicki, to attend the White Coat ceremony of her daughter.

Lucky for me, Vicki indulged me by visiting The City Quilter.  I had read about it a Quilt magazine.  Here's a link to it

Did I mention that I am really bad at directions?  So not only did Hayley and Vicki go with me, they actually led me there!
 I loved this shop!

Right in the middle of NYC there is this oasis of fabric and thread.  What a great way for people who live in the city to continue quilting and buying fabric without having to drive a great distance or order fabric by mail.

Here you can see myself and Vicki in August of 2010 when I was lucky enough to visit here.

I know what you are thinking, are there quilt stores in the city near where you live?
Since I live in the suburbs, I had only visited fabric stores, not quilt stores in Chicago.

So I looked on the internet and by golly there is a quilt store in Chicago.  Here is a link to it Quilt store in Chicago  I will have to check it out some time, it is called Quiltology.  Any readers ever been there?

Which begs the question, what is the theme of this blog post?  Well if you look at this picture, you get an idea of how my brain works.  So I started with The City Quilter in NYC and ended with a store I have never been to.

Pretty cool, yes?  If you are a quilter, I think you understand!

I am working on the Hot for Chocolate tops and will post next week before we leave for Cliff's business trip.

Sew happy!