A UFO… And it isn’t in the air (yet)

I’m determined to finish my UFO’s and improve my sense of organization. (YEAH, RIGHT). No, really!!! I made this block tonight to help finish a quilt I started over a year ago. It’s not going to be a large quilt, more like a medium-sized wall hanging. It has a theme… can you figure it out? Take a guess and post it in the comments. The person who comes closest will win… something. Not sure what yet – let’s make that a mystery! If two or more people come close to guessing the right answer, I’ll draw a name from that group. HINT: Read the title.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately on Etsy looking around at all kinds of things, especially quilts. There are some really nice things, and then there are some, well, not quite as nice items. Some of the prices SHOCK me!!! How can you make a full-sized (or Queen or King, even) quilt and only charge $170? The fabric and materials alone would come close with today’s fabric prices at just under $10.00 per yard! Front, back and batting… plus the time you put into the quilt has to count for SOMETHING, doesn’t it? I’d like to see prices be affordable for people, but I think on the other hand, if we don’t start upping the prices we are giving away our artistic talent and hundreds of hours of our time for very, very little.
I took a look at some very gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics online today (not on Etsy). They were fabulous, and priced between $15 – #30 for under one yard. Ridiculous? I don’t think so! Someone bought the dye, mixed the colors, bought the other solutions and powders to complete the process, paid for the fabric, spent the time dying, cleaning up, cutting, ironing, etc. That time has to count for something. Here are a few of my favorites; take a peek!
Visit Etsy yourself and do a search for quilts. You’ll be surprised what you find!

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A Front Porch Kind of Evening

We had a beautiful evening last night here in
Flushing, Michigan. I started the grill, then went out and watered the flowers, most of which are in pots scattered around the yard. I threw the chicken on the grill, hubby came home, and everything was perfect. Then the rain blew in out of nowhere! The chicken survived under the lid of the grill.

Actually, it was a beautiful evening, even with the rain. It was one of those great summer rains… a little thunder, a little lightening, then a peaceful, warm rain. The kind I used to love when I was a kid. I’d sit on the screened porch on the glider with a good book (sometimes two) on my lap. I loved to read on those kinds of evenings, listening to the rain come down and the thunder rumble. I’d get up and go outside when I knew there was a strong possibility of a rainbow.

Dean and I went outside last night and saw the beautiful rainbow off to the south. It was stunning! But I missed having a porch. My next house WILL have one. Maybe a partially covered deck, too, to protect my grill.
I love the American front porch. Do you have one? Please share your photos on your blog and post a comment below so we can all see! This is one in Selma, Alabama, USA. Selma is the second oldest city in Alabama (behind Mobile), and has the largest contiguous historic district. It is known for its Civil War and Civil Rights history.
I’d show you my front porch, but there isn’t room to sit on it. Not really a porch. Sad, sad me.

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Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

What a fun weekend! Jake and Sammy spent the night Saturday! Look who doesn’t just lay around anymore! Though she can’t sit on her own yet, Samantha does NOT want to be on her back. Oh, pardon me. Except when she rolls to get where she wants to be. And she’s climbing! And teething (oooooh… owie). Also on some solid foods now. Do you happen to know how absolutely fabulous strained carrots can be? More! More!

Jake, Grammy and Bumpa put together the big dinosaur puzzle. Loads of fun (oh my aching knees). Grammy went to bed at 9:00 PM Sunday night. Wonder why?

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Another Block, Another Quilt

This is L-11 of my Dear Sammy Jane quilt, finished for the Block of the Week.

I was busy finishing up my newest quilt last week, so I didn’t get much done on my DJ quilt. I need to get better photos taken of “Over the Celtic Rainbow.”
It’s difficult shooting something with so much black/grey. More photos of the quilt, including up-close shots are available on my Etsy site.
The quilt was fun to make, and it’s almost all machine made. Those of you who know me know that I mostly work by hand on my quilts. This pushed my boundaries a lot, and for that I’m grateful. The quilt also includes embellishments of beads and metal.
I’ve found a great way to stay on track with the projects I want to do. I use Gmail for my email program. Because that’s part of the Google suite of tools, I now use iGoogle as my homepage. On that page, you can add many different boxes of “tools” to make the page be what YOU want it to be. Here’s what it looks like (below). On iGoogle, I keep a To Do list in the top left corner, and I check it frequently throughout the day. It helps me keep organized. Someone showed the site to me, and I found it useful. Check it out!

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Viewer’s Choice

This is I6-Viewer’s Choice from my Dear Sammy Jane quilt. I love doing applique. Dislike the tiny little “melons” in the corners. They are so small, considering this little block is 4 inches square. Ick.

I whipped up a little crib quilt last weekend. Very shortly, I will be tossing it onto my new Next Generation Frame and quilting it with my new Pfaff Grand Quilter. I’m a little nervous about doing that. Putting the sewing machine on the frame means I am back to sewing on my old Bernina Nova, and I love sewing on the new Pfaff. It runs like a charm, purrs like a kitten. I’ve been a hand quilter, and this is a scary move.

I played some more on Picnik.com with this photo of one of our day lilies. Here are two variations I came up with. Which do you like best?

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Simple Blocks

I’m always impressed with what you can do with very simple quilt blocks. With a change of color, size and design, you can take something very basic and make something beautiful. The mid-80’s were my “Triangle Period.” I loved what you could do with a triangle. The possibilities were endless!

Lady of the Lake is a beautiful block made entirely out of half-square triangles. You can see two beautiful versions here. By taking the block and changing some colors, you can get gorgeous patterns. Play with it yourself using a coloring page found here.
I used this block as the background in a pictorial quilt that was included in my book “Contemporary Quilts From Traditional Designs.” The photos you see here are a sneak peek from that quilt, which will be going up for sale on Brookside Creations this weekend. Stay tuned!

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Jonquils and Other Assorted Goodies

This simple little block is J1- Josepha’s Jonquil. Hmmm… not looking like a flower to me. But it’s done!

I haven’t posted much lately. I’ve been busy surfing the web, working on machine quilting my Celtic quilt, and working. I find after I get home from work, do dinner and any picking up around the house, that I only have the stamina to sew for about an hour or so. After that, my brain seems to need some time to just sit and veg. It’s frustrating, to say the least!

In my mindless wanderings around the web, I happened upon a great photo editing website called Picnik. I took a few photos and played with them. I see some great quilt ideas here!
From this rose… to this:
And from this sunflower… to this:
I want to mention one more link for you to visit. Now that I’m doing more machine quilting, I happened upon Superior Threads. What a great site!
Wishing you a Sunny Day!!!
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Frolick in the Sun

Those of us who weren’t afraid to put on a bathing suit enjoyed the waters of Waterford yesterday. Samantha opted to snuggle with her Grandpa Dean, while Jake showed off his slick new swimming techniques to his daddy. Lots of fun in the sun, followed by a festive feast along the shore and a bonfire in the evening. Doesn’t get much better than this!

I spent some of the weekend quilting my first quilt on the new Pfaff Grand Quilter. here’s a sneak peek…

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Awesome video

In honor of the anniversary of our country (USA), you might like to visit this video; It’s a marvelous presentation of the “BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC.”

“He will thunder from His holy dwelling and roar mightily against His land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on earth.” Jeremiah 25:30

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A lot accomplished!

I had a productive day today. I spent most of the morning and half the afternoon working on a few things for Brookside Creations. I finished a pretty tan and blue pillow that I had done some cross stitch for. The perfect fabrics all came together a few weekends ago when I was at Country Stitches. So I wrapped up that project and got it entered into my Etsy shop. You can see it here on my website, and if you go there there are more pictures.

I learned how to drive the lawn tractor today… got my first lesson. I figured it would be a good idea to know how to drive it if I ever needed to help out.

Other than that, it’s been a quiet day. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

Happy 4th of July!

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