Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Thousand Colors for the Children of Abruzzo

I was reading Tanya's blog, and she mentioned a project her friend Roberta is doing for the children in Italy affected by the earthquake. Roberta is looking for quilters to make bright, colorful quilts for the children in Abruzzo, 48x60". Roberta and her husband will be delivering the quilts personally. Her blog is written in Italian AND English, and she will email you the details of the project.

I have some brights in my stash, so I'll be looking through there later. I think a simple one-patch, or disappearing 9-patch would be fast. My blogless friend Cathy and I are going to make quilts this weekend. The deadline is July 15, but Roberta says it can take from 7-30 days for mail to reach Italy. So I'd like to get going on this.

This will be my first time joining in something like this. I'm sorry for the need, but excited to help. If you can, please consider joining us!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Shabby Goodness

Jenny at Elefantz is doing a Shabby Roses BOM - I'm so excited! Click on the link or the picture on my sidebar to join. These will be embroidered blocks, made into a quilt. She's also having a contest! If you check her out from here, could you please mention I sent you? [Shameless plug].

She also has a Wonky House BOM - the final block is coming soon. I just love her work!

Friday, April 24, 2009

What I'm Doing Today. [NOT].

How about, what I SHOULD be doing today. Sigh. I know I complain about the cold weather, I know I long for summer......but oh golly it was HOT today. Zapped all my creative energy. Tomorrow will be even warmer. Looks like we've skipped spring and gone straight to summer! Here's what I SHOULD'VE been doing today......



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Digitizing for embroidery.



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Ironing and cutting squares for my girlfriend Kathy's quilt.



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Stitching out some more blocks for hubby's quilt. Yes, I was going to paint it, and got four blocks done, but I'm tired of that and changed my mind. He'll have to live with whatever puckers are left after quilting. [Please ignore the jump threads - I haven't cut them yet.]



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Working on my Wonky Houses blocks. Jenny is starting another BOM and I am so behind. I started to crayon this one [not sure you can tell in this oh-so-bad photo] and I like it. So when I'm all done stitching, and wash out the blue marker, I'll color them in. FUN. I'm going to work on this tonight while I watch dvd's of Murder She Wrote.



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And last, a secret project for a friend. I hope it comes out the way it is in my head. If it doesn't, that's ok, she doesn't know anything about it. *G* Aren't surprises fun?



So what AM I doing today? Sitting mindlessly in front of the computer, reading blogs, and going to a quilt show at Amy's. With the fan blowing right on me, of course.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An Answer

Mary-Kay C. posted this comment on my last post:

What a cool idea. The colours are so bright. I've seen this type of quilt done but the colours were very muted. I like how you did yours. What a wonderful quilt and amazing that your son still uses it. Does he hide it when friends come to visit?

Mary-Kay, I tried to reply but you came up as a no-reply, and had no way to email you. So, I'll answer your question here! Cuz I really liked it. *G*
No, he doesn't hide his quilt! Pretty amazing, *I* think. I was a terribly self-concious teen, and my boys are totally the opposite. They have high self-esteem without pride, for which I'm awfully grateful. I think the homeschooling has done that. I remember the peer pressure in high school - ack. Their friends are also homeschooled, and they're all quite confident young men as well, and don't look at people funny like they have two heads. It's a new world to me.

I do love to reply to all of your comments - if you haven't recieved a reply from me, via email, it's because you're set to no-reply. I'm not sure how you'd change that, if you wanted to. I do read and treasure your comments!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Joining the Quilt Fun

Amy at Park City Girl is hosting a funfest of everyone's favorite quilts. I decided to join in too! I've blogged about this before, but it IS my favorite.

john's quilt

This is my favorite quilt of all time. So far, anyway. It was only my second quilt, it was my first time using fabric markers, and it was all done with my son's artwork.

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He was 4 by the time we started this, using pictures he had made starting at the age of 2. He LOVED to draw. Entire walls in the house were covered with his pictures, and lots of times we couldn't find the fridge, it was so covered.

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When I finished transferring all the pictures, I started the hand-quilting - and for a few years, didn't know if I'd EVER finish. It's quilted in lines around all the pictures, about 1/4" apart. His favorite color was [and still is!] orange, so we had to do orange binding. This quilt is big enough for a double bed, and he uses it to this day - he's almost 17!

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It'll never win any awards, it's not beautiful except to a mum and her son - well ok, grandma too - but to us, it's priceless.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quiet Week

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Don't you just love azaleas? My mother-in-law brought me this plant for Easter, and I haven't killed it yet. *G* I'm good at that. My favorite flower is the tulip, my mum brought me some for Easter, and I killed those almost immediately. Fortunately, they can be planted. So can the azalea. Growing up, we had an azalea bush right outside the front door - it was monstrous and oh so beautiful. Every morning, after my dad left for work, my mom would empty the coffee grounds on it. It THRIVED on coffee.

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This is Sam's quilt. I've been trying to get a good picture all week and can't. If I don't use the tripod, I'm all shaky and all my pics are blurry. I need a good camera with image stabilization, cuz I have no stabilization at all.
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Sam loves his quilt. He's very protective over it. It's very similar to Russell's, but Russell's had green strips, simulating seaweed. Sam wanted his all blue.

AND - drum roll - I finished a quilt I'd been hand-quilting for over a year, I believe. I found a fabric line called Follow Your Imagination by Prints Charming and fell in love with it. If you get a chance to get their fabric, DO IT. It is so soft and lovely - I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I bought a stack of half yard cuts, and ended up buying more of the stripe for the sides of the quilt. While I love it, I'm sorry now that I didn't get a bit more and put another section of stripe at the top. It looks off-balance to me.

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And the back:

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I couldn't bear to cut into the half yards, so I left them as is and put white sashing in between. I quilted bubbles in the half-yard sections, and semi-straight lines in the stripey side sections.

Glad to have that done.

I also stopped at a church rummage sale yesterday. I LOVE church rummage sales. Normally, I find way too much stuff, but yesterday I only came home with one thing; and it was a doozy. Although I seem to be the only one who thinks so, lol. I love flamingos, collect them and would live in Florida if I could. Well, I found this:
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Click on it to see the bigger pic. I believe it's from the '50's. It hangs in my sewing room and it makes me happy.

That's all for today - now to go read all the blogs I've been missing!

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

HE IS RISEN!

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And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Matthew 28:5-6

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Some of them that stood there, when they heard [that], said, This [man] calleth for Elias.
And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled [it] with vinegar, and put [it] on a reed, and gave him to drink.
The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.
Matthew 27:45-51

Monday, April 6, 2009

Picture Heavy Post!

Mum and I went visiting tonight, to our friend Shirley's house. Shirley is my spark - she's the one who taught me to quilt, be creative, dare to be different. Over the years we've spent many happy hours brainstorming and creating. I love her to pieces. She's my adopted mum - her daughter was my friend since 6th grade, and I always wanted to trade homes. So did my friend, lol.



Shirley had called me and told me she grabbed a shirt from her hubby and painted it. I couldn't WAIT to see it. Here it is:



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She really astounds me, lol. She took off part of the collar and sleeves and added the turquoise fabric, and changed the buttons.



She also has a lovely sewing room, with interesting occupants.



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Those are Lulu and Zulu. There's another smaller one in the living room named Oolu. She also collects masks from all over the world.



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There are closer pics on the flickr pages. If you click on a picture, it will take you to the flickr page.



She also taught me how to do painted quilts. Her Picasso:



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My head is buzzing with so many creative ideas after spending time with my lovely friend! Sorry the pics are so bad, it was dark - I'd love to go to her house with a good camera and bright daylight. There are more pics of her masks and various things at my flickr.

Oh - Sam slept under his quilt last night - I forgot to get a pic of the whole thing done. I'll try to remember tomorrow - I must get pics of my quilts, lol!
Allie

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Treasure

Of all the gifts God gives to us, a good friend is right up there among the best. A friend that understands your tears, makes you laugh, and doesn't tell you you're being stupid when it's quite obvious that you are....well, I'm blessed to have friends like this. And one of them sent me a gift today.

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This is a necklace, with a picture of Russell covered in his quilt that I made him. She MADE this for me. Betty, you've no idea how you've touched me. No idea at all. I will treasure this my whole life. I'm sorry the pic is so blurry, I'm still learning about macro and breath-holding.

She also sent a mini-quilt she found on her trip to Oregon.

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If you click on it, you'll be able to see the large size and read what it says. It is SO ME. How nice to have a friend that knows you so well, lol!!!!!

On the home front, Sam's quilt is quilted, the binding is on the front, and I'm halfway done with stitching down the back. It will be nice to get this done.

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Blogger seems to be cutting off my pictures on the right side. I'm not sure what to do about it, maybe try a different layout.

Allie

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lots to Post Today

I went to Russell's service today, online. It was amazing. What a lovely, stirring tribute to such a fine young man and his family. Please, keep them in prayer.





painted block for quilt



This is a [bad] picture of a quilt I'm making for hubby. These are machine embroidery designs from Embroidery Library - however, they are NOT suitable for quilting cotton. I tried everything I could think of to make them stitch out well, with no puckers, to no avail. I contacted Embroidery Library, and they suggested a denim or canvas-style fabric. Having just bought many yards of the buckeye cotton, I wasn't about to start over. So - I printed out the designs, traced over the lines with a black marker where the thread colors changed, and traced them onto the fabric. Then I got my acrylic paints and a WEE TINY paintbrush, and got busy. You can see on this block I had a smudge by the bear's nose - oops. It'll have to stay, lol. These are not easy to paint!



So far I only have 4 designs done. They get harder. I'm not looking forward to some of them. I'm using regular craft acrylic paint, I've used it for years for painted quilts and it works just fine. After washing, it gets soft and like it's dyeing the fabric. I do heat set, just in case, but have you ever tried to get paint out of your clothing? I can't afford the pricey [but oh so lovely] specialty paints out there, so this has to do. Usually I only use it for wallhangings, things that won't get washed a lot, so this will be an experiment in tenacity.



Hubby loves it. He wanted it embroidered, but likes it painted even more. The Design Pack is the Native American Creation Quilt pack. I love Embroidery Library, but not this pack.



Here is another painted quilt:



vintage clip art from dover



I used white muslin and just painted the black. I love the picture, but really wish I had heavily quilted it. I could NOT get a good picture of this quilt.



Here are a few more: this was the first ever painted quilt, it was six feet long and my own design. I thought I was so cool, lol. After looking at it for a few months, I hated it and threw it away.





fish



These two hung in my bathroom. The turtles were kind of neat - I used fabric paints and made designs all over the shells. Also my own design. Also thrown away.



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This one was a favorite. It was from a Laurel Burch poster or something. NOT thrown away, but given to my cousin.



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One thing that I would do [and will do] differently now - I will seriously quilt my painted quilts. Back when I did these, I didn't have a machine, and hand-quilted everything. I quilted before painting. Now that I have a serious machine that will quilt through anything, I'm going to take advantage of it. Quilting would really have helped all of these, and I might not have thrown them away, lol.



Lauranie tells me that I have to tag 3 people. Now, I don't know you all very well yet - so forgive me if you didn't want to be tagged. And picking 3? I read over 400 blogs, dear ones. They're all stacked up in my google reader.

So I tag: Susan who makes me laugh so hard milk comes out in places it shouldn't, and makes the most amazing works of art; Allie because we share a name and she is uber-talented and somehow, modest about it [the girl can PAINT!]; and Pam because she has an amazing blog, and she's doing a Neighborhood BOM [way cool] and she lives near me and I might get to meet her soon. Ladies, you're supposed to list 7 things you love.



Allie

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I've Been Tagged!

Lauranie tagged me to list seven things I love. Only seven???? Gosh. Let's see.

  • First and foremost, my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. In Him I live, and move, and have my being.
  • My family. *smooooooooooooooch* You sustain me.
  • My friends - you make life worthwhile.
  • My oh-so-fat kitty. May your purr machine never be broken. You make me laugh daily.
  • The sound of my children's laughter. I'll do almost anything just to hear it, no matter how embarrassing.
  • Quilting. There is no work so satisfying as putting a needle to cloth, and wrapping someone up in something you've worked and prayed over.
  • Blogging! Who knew?

Ok Lauranie, I hope this is good! LOL! I have NO CLUE who to tag - I haven't been at this long enough - so I guess I'll go check out Donna and Elizabeth to see how they do! Back tonight with a peek at my hubby's quilt.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

FIFTY???? Say It Ain't So!

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Today [Tuesday, although it's so late it's Wednesday now] was my birthday. The big five oh. The big UH-oh. One thing you don't understand when you're young, is that when you get older, you're still going to think of yourself as young. Oh, you'll FEEL your age - every creak and groan - but mostly, you forget you're older. At least, I do. Looking in the mirror is still a surprise. In my head I hear aged relatives saying "my, how she's grown!" Sigh.

But what nobody can tell you, and you wouldn't believe them if they did, is how comfortable it is. How nice it is to not worry about a pimple, or a hair out of place, or are you wearing the right clothes. It's NICE to put on bifocals and be able to see well, and not care that someone will see you with a line in your glasses. It's a freedom you don't get with youth. To be able to speak your mind with love and experience instead of wondering what "they" will think of you. To know that you won't please everyone, and be ok with that. {Yes, I was a very insecure teen}.

Getting older is like wearing pajamas all the time. Comfortable with your own skin, wrinkles, sags, and liver spots. Since menopause, the drama is gone - not the joys, not the sorrows, but the life-and-death drama. Remember your first break-up? Oh the agonies. Especially if it wasn't your idea.


I'm comfortable here at 50. I like it. I think I'll stay here....for about a year.


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