Sunday, September 16, 2012

Two New Quilts

I picked up my two quilts from my long arm quilter recently and thought I'd share some pictures of them. The first one was custom quilted. She is awesome! She doesn't back tack at the beginning and ending of her quilting. She hand knots the thread. How great is that? So, if I wanted to put them in a show, they would be perfect for it. Not that I'd ever do that to myself. Have someone else tell me what they thought of my quilting. Never in a million years.
My first quilt is a modern quilt. I'm taking a class in modern quilting from and love the teacher and her methods so much that I bought both of her books. She's pretty simplistic. This wasn't from her class. I did this about 9 months ago, before I even thought of doing modern quilting but was beginning to like it.
It is a fairly small quilt. It is totally square. I've never done a square quilt before. So, I guess it can be used for a small lap quilt. I might try and find somewhere to hang it. Once you see the quilting on it, you'll understand why I want to show it off. Okay, here's the quilting.

In each block she has a different design. Some are so cool, but won't show up because of all the colors in the fabric. So, I had to choose just a few and they weren't even the best. What I like the most about the quilt was how she drew the straight boxes between the the sashing.
All of this shows what a steady hand she has. I know she draws it on first, but she, you can be wobbly or go off the line very easily. Not she. She is known for her custom work.
Oh, and she only charged me $97.00 for quilting this whole quilt. I know it had to take her a few days to do this. I know it had to!! There is just so much work involved.
Okay, on to my second one, my favorite quilt.
It's my Block of the Month Civil War Quilt. Every month I received two blocks to do and I stayed on top of this. Every other block of the month club block is still in different aspects: some I have all the blocks and haven't even started; some I've started and have become far behind; some I have all of the blocks but only have a few done, etc. But this one I loved because I love stars (even though I hate those dastardly flying geese so much) and each month I received two blocks that were identical to the two from the month before. They were two stars within a star blocks. Well, my flying geese looked so crappy and I had to fudge when I sewed the points, so I wouldn't lose them. I would have to sew 1/8" instead of 1/4" a lot of the time, but I didn't lose a single point. In fact, my long armer told my local quilt shop owner that I was one of the best quilters that she knew!!! Shocked the hell out of me. She was so impressed by my quilts, she told her. She said that I do a very good job sewing. I was speechless. I thought I was not an advanced quilter, by any means and, more like an advanced beginner, but she said that my stitching is so professional. My friend, Dawn, who owns the quilt shop, went on and on about how much the long armer was impressed by my sewing. She told me that she never says that about anyone else. Embarrassing!! I felt like a fraud.
Before I turn in my quilts, I clip all my threads and pull all the stray threads on the quilt. I iron it properly. I always jazz up the back some and iron it very well, also. But to be told that I'm a very good seamstress is unbelievable to me. My sister was an exceptional seamstress. Her quilts were entered into contests and fairs. She was the expert. She taught me. I was the kid sister who could never live up to my older sister.
My sister died in 2003 at age 53...way too young. My mom died when I was 26 and my sister kind of became my mom. So, when I lost my sister, I think I grew up a lot. I felt like I came out of her shadow. She baked bread that was perfect. She made rolls to die for. She cooked everything excellently. She was a 5th grade teacher and every kid wanted her to be their teacher. She even taught me. We would go on rides to different towns to quilt shops and there would be a lesson involved. I loved it! At her funeral, they had to have it in an auditorium with a balcony because over 500 people showed up. She was much loved and respected. Recently, a girl who graduated from college, did her outtake paper on my sister and how she, as a teacher, had affected this girl's life. Wow!!!! See, my sister was perfect. And then there was me. My sister didn't ever rebel. She and my mom were best friends. They cooked and baked together. They went grocery shopping together. They listened to music together. They watched old movies together. They talked about adult things together. I was out playing with the neighborhood kids, getting dirty, floating down the creek in an inner tube, playing baseball, hide and seek, beating up the boy next door, etc. And that was before I started to rebel. My sister read Shakespeare. She listened to classical music. We both took piano lessons. She kept it up. I only took them for a few years and changed to guitar lessons, the first of my rebellion. We both read constantly. Only she read the classics. All the classics. Not me. I was four years younger than she. So I read fun kids books. And then when I grew up, I read all non-fiction books.  I wanted to know about everything, so I would go to the library and get a book on everything, plugs. This was in the 80s. Right when men started getting hair plugs. I wanted to know where they came from and how they put them in and how they grew. I started learning about everything I wondered about. My sister always thought I should become a detective because I am so curious. Well, I did do some detective work and found out who killed a gal. Never went to the police about it. Too afraid to. They arrested the wrong guy. He was found guilt and went to prison for a year and was released and they just dropped the case totally. I know who did it. The person who did it doesn't know I know they did it. Otherwise, I'd be scared to death. I believe this person killed one or two other people after this. I'm not sure on that, so I couldn't ever accuse them of any other crimes but this one. This one is called "The Candy Cane Park Killing". It was a horrific killing. I saw the girl up close who was killed. The policeman asked me to step back, so I went back home. That's all I'm going to say about it. This is so far off the subject of my two new quilts. How'd I get here? Okay, back to my second quilt.
It's a Civil War quilt. I did two blocks a month for six months and then I was sent different parts for six months. I was sent the sashing, then a border, then 4 blocks for the one border, then another border, then 4 more blocks for the second border, etc. The blocks were stars, also. It is a starry quilt. I named it "Starry, starry night" because of Vincent Van Gough's (sp?) very popular painting by the same name. And I love Vincent so much. I have two coffee table books of his paintings. I named my dog after him: Vinny or Vincent.
Here's some pictures. One thing I want to explain is that the pictures do not do it justice. It is so pretty in real life. No, I haven't done the binding on it yet, or the other one, or 7 other of my quilts. I am aspiring to bind these 9 quilts within the next year, all by myself. I don't care if I machine bind them, just that I get them bound. Usually I send them to someone to bind them for me (for shame), but the guilt and money ($35-45) is too much for me. So, I am keeping up on my free Craftsy block of the month club, and have to make a baby blanket for my favorite girlfriend, my niece, Sarah, but I will do no other sewing but binding after the BOMs and baby blanket. Oops. I'm taking a class this Saturday and making a quilt. So, I guess after I make that quilt I will do no more sewing until the binding is done. Then, after I bind all 9 quilts, I will resume my sewing again. And making my quilts. Which is all I do.

Okay, there was a lot of pictures there. You can tell by the individual photos that the quilt is quite bright and cheerful, but when I take it as a whole, it looks washed up. Don't know why that is. Probably because I use my cellphone. I need to buy a nice camera. Maybe I'll ask for one for Christmas. I bought a camera for $100 but it took the same kind of photos as my cell phone does, plus it was harder to work with, so I just went back to using my cell phone. I want a nice camera like the ones I see on the nice blogs.
I use to have a really nice camera in 1982. It cost $400 back then, so you know it was nice. I can't even remember the brand name...Olympic? Olympia?, but it was the best money could buy. I took classes and had telephoto lenses and learned tricks to taking photos. I was really into it. My kids were small. My daughter wasn't even in school at the time. I drove an old VW van and didn't own a winter coat. But I had a good camera and the classes were taken from the photography shop in town, so they'd develop my pictures very inexpensively, plus sell my the film cheaply, so I could afford it.
Well, when my daughter started first grade, I had to sell it to pay for school clothes that year. It about killed me selling it. I used that camera almost daily. But, I wanted my kids to have nice clothes for school. And you know what, I never did buy myself a winter coat. I lived in Klamath Falls, Oregon. High altitutde with lots of deep snow and cold winters. I wore sweaters. I couldn't afford a coat. The next spring, my ex husband was in a soccer league, (he could afford a soccer ball and cleats though) and after a game, some man left his winter coat. We took it to about 6 games looking for its owner, but never found him. Well, it became my new winter coat for many, many years. It was ugly green and way too big. I had to roll the sleeves up about three times. It went below my knees. It was so ugly, but it was free and that, I could afford. I don't know why I didn't go to Salvation Army. I always hated that coat. I would only wear it out of desperation...when I was freezing...when we'd go sledding or chopping down our Christmas tree, or to work at 3 am in the morning. I had three jobs back then to try to make ends meet. The good ol' days. Barely making it from paycheck to paycheck. And then your kids wanting every toy on TV.
My kids were good about that. They only got toys on Christmas and one on their birthday. We made a big deal about their birthdays. That day, I'd take both of them to the grocery store and let them each pick out any kind of surgary cereal they wanted. I wouldn't let them eat sugary cereal, so they would go for the best stuff there was. And they were allowed to eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks as long as it lasted, which was maybe 2 days. Then, the birthday child would choose what we did for the day. The whole day was about them. We didn't have birthday parties where we invited their friends. It was just the family. Usually we'd go to the caves down in southern Oregon and explore for the day or Annie always wanted to go to Captain Jack's Stronghold. It was a lava bed where the (I can't remember the tribe) indians fought off the army way back when. Some places were 30 feet high and it had hiding spots and a walkway thru the lava. It was multi-level. It was fun for all of us. It took hours to go all around it. The kids would run ahead and hide from us and jump out at us. It was so much fun. I'd always bring snacks for the day. We never ate out at restaurants. Never. Couldn't afford to. Not even McDonald's. But they loved their birthdays the best. We enjoyed the birthday day and night. It was so positive and fun.
This year, my son, Cabel, is turning 35 on September 30th and I'm making him homemade jerky. It's going to cost me $70 to buy the round steak. I am going to send him a huge bag of it. Now that they are getting older, I'm not doing too much for their birthdays or Christmas. Usually I send them a quilt, but I think they each have about 10 quilts, so I need to stop that for a while. Last year, I sent them Visa cards before Christmas, so they could buy presents for their significant others, or whatever they wanted to do with the money. They both really liked that. So, I am going to do it again this year. I remember at Christmas, wishing my Dad would send me some money to help me to buy my kids some presents. Never happened, but always wished he would. So, now I think I will help my kids at Christmas. I know how much it helps.
Okay, this is suppose to be about quilting and I'm way off course. I haven't even posted since the beginning of August. That's because I haven't been quilting. I'm taking a class next Saturday. That's to get me back into quilting. I just haven't had the desire. First time this has happened since I started quilting. Usually I can't wait to sew. Now, I go in my quilting room and look around a little and leave. I was going to try and rearrange it and clean it up and make more room. Empty the closet of a lot of things I don't need, but didn't really get around to it. I dusted in there and that was it. I want the closet empty, so I can buy or build shelves to store my fabric. I would like shelves with wire racks. About 5 shelves going halfway across my closet. My closet is as long as my bedroom is. It's very long. But I have so much "stuff" on the floor in there. Purses. Extra sewing machines. Expensive candles. Parts to my Kirby vacuum cleaner (which I can take out and put with my Kirby - just thought that up), boxes - in case I have to send fabric when I have a giveaway or something to my kids, big tub of fabric and homemade rag dolls in different stages of being made, and a little bit of everything. I have no place else to put most of it. Under my long tables in my sewing room is plum full, so unless I put that stuff outside in our storage shed, it has to stay there. And then, I went through a lot of my clothes hanging up and got rid of the really small shirts that I knew would go out of style by the time I could ever fit into them again.
I gained weight about 2 1/2 years ago. Right when my dad was getting very sick. My thyroid quit working on me and I didn't know it and I found ice cream and gained a bit of weight. Well, I went to my doctor and was weighed. I turned away from the scales and told the nurse not to tell me how much I weighed. Then I started on the Adkins diet. Then I found out I was allergic to gluten. Really allergic!! I went on vacation to Austin, Texas to visit my niece for 5 days and we ate lunch and dinner out and I lost 2 pounds during that time. Very good, especially with eating 2 meals out every day. I was very careful in my choices. I went back to the doctor. I got on the scales. I lost 17 1/2 pounds. Wow!!!!! Now I go in once a month and the nurse weighs me (for free) and I have to lose at least 4 pounds a month, 1 pound a week. I can do that. The diet works well with me. I looked up the symptoms of being allergic to Gluten and yup, I've got them all! Especially getting in a bad mood after inhaling large quantities of gluten - like toast in the morning and I'd be really crabby and my husband would ask what was wrong and I couldn't tell him, but I knew I was crabby but couldn't help it. Since being on this diet, I've been in a great mood every day. I'm happy and have lots of energy. I only eat once a day. Usually in the late afternoon. But I'll snack on homemade jerky if I get the least bit hungry and I do drink coffee in the morning and then change to lots of water. I've done this diet before. I stay on the strict part for years at a time and keep my weight down to a size 6. No problem. That's where I'm heading again. I have 2 brand new pairs of size 6 waiting for me. I have 2 pairs of all the sizes going down to there. I just switched down to a smaller size and it feels good. These are starting to get loose on me. I can take them off without unbuckling them or unzipping them. Did you know that it is really bad for you to eat cereal with fat free milk? It's all carbs. Fat free has lots of carbs in it. If you drink 2%, you get less carbs and some fat and it's better for you mentally and physically. Doctors words.
Okay, enough for now. I made up for lost time. Don't know when I'll blog again. If you read this, please leave a comment so I know that someone read this and it was worth my while. Otherwise I'm thinking of closing this webpage down for good. Thanks for reading. I'll be hoping for any replies and will answer each one.


  1. Your quilts are gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing! I love them!

    Cheery wave from

  2. Don't take it down.... I just found you. I love reading your posts and hearing about your life! And yes, the quilts are beautiful.