Thursday, May 31, 2012

The list goes on....

Ever feel like your "to do" list is growing out of control?  When I worked full time I occasionally needed to take a "life maintenance" day (I traveled almost 75% of the time...tough to do things like dentist appointments, car repairs, etc.)  Now I don't have that travel excuse but still find myself running behind...

Frog with racing stripes...need this on my idea board!

So today is a list day.  Before I can sit down at the sewing machine or play in the fabric stacks I need to cross at least 5 things off the list.   I've already done one...poor Goldie has been losing weight (1 pound in the past 8 weeks...) so we had and early appointment with our vet.  He confirmed that she has an infected gum.  Add one more bottle to a crowded pet medication shelf!

Also on the agenda (for that read "the list") is a trip to the post office, the bank, Staples, and several phone calls (including one to make my hotel reservation for American Quilt Study Group in October!)  After all of that I will be able to sit and stitch for a bit....

Or continue my work in/on the sewing studio.  This is turning into a never-ending project.  My latest goal is to have it suitable for sewing by the end of June.  The tumbling block top shown in the photos is one of the tops I "found" a few weeks ago as I cleared the back of my sewing room closet.  I forgot just how graphic this one was!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Two new-to-me quilts

Lately I've wanted a few brighter southern quilts and today I got a couple!

They came from an estate of two sisters in North Carolina.  They look as if they were made by the same person.  Both of the sisters, who lived well into their 90's, were quilters so it is hard to say who made these. (the orange is the same fabric in just photographs differently due to the fabrics around it.)

The colors in both are very bright.  The red and yellow triangles seem to be from an earlier time period than the orange and shirting used as sashing and cornerstones.  The quilting is large but even.  Binding is back to front (see that a lot in southern quilts.)

The red wedding ring fits my bright requirement (plus I did not have a wedding ring quilt and so it fills that hole in the collection.)

The quilting on this is also large stitch. It looks as if the quilter used a variegated thread for the quilting!

Since I had only seen photos of these when I bought them I was very happy to find they are in good condition and very clean.  A couple of days airing out on the porch and they will be fine!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Flower gardens

Hope all of you in the U.S. are enjoying your long weekend.  Don't forget to take a minute to remember a fallen veteran...

The heat has pretty much driving me inside.  I did some gardening yesterday...that is if going to Lowes and buying some assorted pots of flowers and sticking them into the existing pots around the front door counts as gardening!

I did take some time to take photos...this Rose of Sharon bush has so many bees it sounds like the bush is alive!

On the subject of gardening I found my missing Grandmother's flower garden top.  It was one of those time that I knew if I just stopped looking it would turn up and there you go.

 I went into the closet to find a dress for an upcoming wedding and there the top was on a hanger with all my good clothes...whatever!  These tops like to play hide and seek a lot....don't you just love the fabrics in this to and how the maker "selectively cut" (fussy-cut for the quilters among us!) the stripes and the checks to make little hexagon frames.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Round-up...the quilting kind

I'm off to the garden center today to find some annuals for the front beds and for the containers on our deck.  After days of hammering, power-washing, and painting the deck looks almost like new!

I spray-painted the old metal table and think we can get  few more years out of it.  A couple of the chairs we aren't so lucky.  So I'll also be on the lookout for those and maybe a new umbrella...though I did see something on a blog where a woman painted her old umbrella...somehow I know my DH would hate that! (maybe I could paint the underside of the umbrella with quilt blocks....)  Anyway,  after today the weather is supposed to get really, really hot.  This may be my last chance to get anything done out there!

Also on the agenda is to draft a pattern of this old and battered quilt for a friend.  I've had this quilt forever with the plan of reproducing it.  Not an unusual pattern but I really like the border.  I have several "rescue" quilts that rarely see the light of day...sad.

In the sewing room reorganization all antique and vintage quilts are being moved to the guest me it is like herding cats!  I debated sorting my quilts by time period, by style, by lectures they are the end they are just in one particular order.  Maybe someday....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Its a work day....

Just realized I am very close to 700 posts...need to think of some way to celebrate!  stay tuned.

I took a break from organizing the sewing room to do some sewing.  At least I planned to until the workman showed up to fix the deck and the front door.  Inviting carpenters to work on the house is sort of like going the doctor.  Even if you feel fine (the house is not old and looks ok) they will find something...sooo

Well our deck was not built to code...and had I noticed the problem with our garage door?...the mailbox is leaning...and did I know there was lots of water coming out of the side of the house?  (of course I did...I just assumed it was a water feature and later we would have mud wrestling with the neighbors followed by a nature show as the giant mosquitoes hatch then attack...grrrrrr.)  So now we have plumbers onsite to be followed I'm sure by some electrician (still waiting on the lights in my sewing-room,) a baker and a candlestick maker (just kidding on that last one....)

With all this going on I've had a difficult time concentrating...I did some random piecing (influenced by the recent posts on the antique and vintage quilt face-book page.)

Halfway through I thought this would be a good piece for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative...then of course I forgot what I was doing and made it too is that sort of day folks!

My big accomplishment was to change the quilt on the guest bed to a summer-ish quilt.

Add one more...made chocolate chip cookies...

also ate too many of them but that isn't so much of an accomplishment...but they did help...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

summer is here....

The summer heat has finally arrived here in Georgia.  The daylillies and the gardenias love it (my front walk smells like the make-up counters in a department store!)

I however hunker down and do lots of stitching.  I only venture out before sunrise and after sunset...well, not everyday but most days.

Today I went up to a small town in South Carolina for a quilting meeting.  I sat right in front of the largest fan in the church.   I still came home wiped out from the heat!

I continue to unearth more fun stuff from the sewing room closet...

this is an antique to I haven't looked at for a long while...

great collection of fabrics in it.  Very scrappy and graphic. The black with the pink "comas" sort of takes over the blocks so you have to look closely.  This is one of those quilts I'd like to use as inspiration some day for a quilt...could be fun!  (think I'll leave out the black and pink though!)

Monday, May 21, 2012

More finds in the sewing room....

The things that you will find

if you open the boxes that have stayed shut for over 4 years...

thought this sampler was lost in the move....

thought this little altered tag with a photo of my Mom in Germany right after WWII was long gone...

never thought I'd see this set of ugly blocks again....maybe I should lose them again?!

These were the fungly blocks from Tonya's challenge...I definitely did the ugly part (they look even worse in person!  There is some "aloha from the Bahamas" fabric and another that has camels with two humps in front of the pyramids!  Wrong in just so many ways.....)

I am really tired from all the moving, folding, washing, sorting, and just making decisions.   I do however have a path and after another cup of tea I may have energy enough to tackle the closet shelf....who knows what I will uncover there!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sewing room update...

A quick update on the sewing studio reorganization...I am sticking with it but it is taking a lot longer than expected.

All but one piece of furniture is in place.  I still need to buy a few more containers for fabric.  Most of the fabric is going into containers instead of on the bookcase shelves.  Even though my room is fairly dark there were some fade lines on the outside folds...particularly on the hand-dyes and solids.  Of course that could have happened in England or Maryland...that is how long some of this fabric has been sitting on those shelves!

I have found some fun "stuff."  At one point I started collecting vintage handkerchiefs with thoughts of making a quilt.

At the end of the day I liked the handkerchiefs too much to sew them into anything.  Though I would like to do something with the political ones so I could display them this year.

I definitively underestimated the amount of fabric I have in this room....even with three bags by the front door to give away at the next guild meeting I'm not sure I can fit all the fabric back into the room.  I'm trying to organize the fabric in boxes so like fabrics are together.  It will be easier to find the fabric to use but it may not be the optimum use of space...not like cramming it into all the nooks and crannies of the bookcase was!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Meant to be...

On one of the facebook antique quilt groups I follow they have had a discussion on items (usually quilts) that folks have had, sold or lost, then found again.  That hasn't happened to me with a quilt but it did happen with a painting.

At the time I was working for a TV station producing the 11 pm news.  My "lunch" was usually around 7 pm so most of the stores were closed.  There was one gallery that had some folk art on display.  One piece, with two women drinking coffee really spoke to me.  After visiting the window a couple of times I finally went into work a few hours early so I could talk with the gallery owner.  Imagine how upset I was when "my" piece wasn't in the window.  The owner said it had been sold.  I just told myself it wasn't meant to be.

A few months later one of my reporters said she wanted to do a story on a local artist whose paintings had been in a national magazine. It was a slow news-day.  When she came back and I reviewed her tapes imagine my surprise...there was my painting.  This was the man who painted "my" painting.

So the next morning I drove out to the middle of nowhere, down a long dirt road further into nowhere, past the signs saying beware of nowhere...until I found the little barn and honked the horn the specified number of times...some sort of don't shoot me code.    Needless to say I was so happy to see "my" painting.  Mr. Jones said things hadn't worked out well with the gallery so he brought all his work home but he was happy (I guess) to sell it to me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

From underneath the scrap piles

I haven't posted much in the past few days...been really busy trying to finish up the sewing room rearrange and get going on some new projects.

We finally found a handyman to help with some of the projects that I just haven't been able to get to this next week Pedro and his crew will be pressure washing decks and re-staining.  He will also do some painting.  Great...more time for sewing!

So what new projects you may ask?  This is a hint...

I have been having fun with it.  Writing out patterns is like Sudoku...good for the brain! The not so fun part...testing the written instructions...I made three blocks which all came out the exact same size.  Good right?  Only that was 1/2 smaller than the directions.  If it was one block I'd blame my seam allowance but three?  really?!  Time to really check the math...darn it if I didn't forget to include/subtract seam allowance in one of the steps.  That my friends is why I do test blocks!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spring Meeting...

The theme of my quilt guild spring meeting was a British Tea...there were beautiful settings on the tables.

lots of food...including lots of sandwiches, some shortbread cookies, orange scones, and lemon tarts with clotted cream...

fun hats...

Quilters learning the royal wave...

and of courser great quilts....

I gave a program on English Paperpiecing which included both history, some examples both vintage and newly made, and a quick demonstration.

We gathered 24 children's quilts that were started on National Quilt day in March, finished by quilters at home during April, and now will be donated to the local Ronald McDonald House this month!

  Fun day....

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Sugarloaf, circa 1900, from my collection seen at appraiser's class in Paducah this year.
I interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post about quilt studio reorganization for some great news....I passed the AQS Quilt Appraiser Certification Test!!!!

I got my letter yesterday...very excited!  This past year I studied a lot...did many appraisals...worked with a certified appraiser...did lots of market research on non-traditional quilts and quilt-makers and retook the two day class the week of the test so the definitions were fresh in my mind.  I also rested more the day prior to testing...large show with so many vendors and so much to see, rest does not come easy!

Thanks to all of you for the kind words of support the past year.  Now off to the printer so I can get new business cards made up...I was down to my last dozen after Paducah and I didn't want to print more just in case!