My computer crashed and I didn't know what it all meant, so I had my "guy" come to check it out. He didn't find a problem, and all was back to normal. So I had him load a new background for my blog. Hmmm. It may be a little too bold! I will try to mess with it some more when my computer is not revolting. Computers are so weird. Right now there is a slow delay showing what I type. Go figure! I just had a new AC for the zone that cools my sewing room and office. When do I get to sew??? Ok, so I have made some progress. Here is a photo of a corner of my room. BuggyBarn geese on the wall, and Stash project on the floor. Maybe I did get an hour in yesterday. But you can see I am rotating projects. It seems like I spend too much time rushing to get it all done. I really enjoy the process of construction. It never bothers me to work with small scraps. It takes longer to cut and piece, but I like the end result. So I guess to me, rushing is still a slow process. But an enjoyable process. I keep trying to pull from the bottom of the stash for Judy's project, but still end up with some fresh stuff in it. I think I will end up with another quilt that I don't want to give away. Is that bad of me? You all donate so much. I admire that you are able to let go. I just sent a quilt that I loved to a relative and still haven't heard back from her, and I know she likes it. It has been six weeks. I want my work to be appreciated. Do I worry too much if someone is "quiltworthy"? Does anyone ever realize how much goes into the making of a quilt (other than another quiltmaker) ? OK, I will quit whining and get back to the sewing room. X>)
I am embarrassed to say that I never noticed the block that got turned until a few of you mentioned it in the comments. At first I thought you were noticing that one block is missing the blue center. But someone said "yellow block" and I thought, "WHAT"? Ahem. Yes, let's say that makes it uniquely mine. Ha! Well, that's better than calling it a reject! Thanks everyone for your very kind words. :-P
I thought I would post a quick entry, and while I am at it, show another baby quilt I made this year. It is a Mary Hickey design. She does darling things, I think. I had all those 9-patches left over from a previous project from TEN years ago. I was quite delighted to find a use for them! I have decided that I cannot commit to a schedule of one hour of sewing a day. I just have to do it when I do it. I spent all day Friday working on Judy's project, and got quite a lot done. Well, all the Shoo Fly's are done, and the scrappy borders are on four blocks. They look darling. I will try to get more done and then post a picture. Most of you are miles ahead of me, and have great looking quilts. I have always been a bit of a turtle I guess. But a happy turtle! In the meantime, I spent two days working on directions for my Sister to Sister quilt, posted earlier. So I feel good about that! Still miles to go --ugh! But it is not like someone is forcing me to do it, right? I choose to put myself through this. Patti asked why do we quilt? Because we must. And aren't we lucky that we have something that we love to do. And it doesn't get us into that much trouble, really. I won't elaborate, it would be the never ending story. Lots of other bloggers have made very good points on the subject already. Plus, Patti has said it sooooo well! So I just say, "I'm like a moth to the flame". Love it, love it, love it! Bye for now!
I really don't know if there is a right side to this quilt, as it is reversible. Both sides tell their own story. I think I will find a place to hang it using those cafe curtain clips. Then I can switch it around from time to time. My sewing room is still a mess. I am having cupboards made to store fabric and the guy has taken three months. It is always something. I have been waiting for years to have these, so I guess I can wait a little longer. It is just that you begin to wonder if he really intends to deliver them. I gotta get back to work--I have deadlines! Catch you all later!
My daughter brought me home a quilt made in China! Go figure. She must think I like quilts or something. Well, it is interesting. It is very bright and most made of solids in nylon or poly or something. I know it isn't silk. The workmanship is questionable, but this is the stuff of souveniers. I would love to see what a really talented craftsperson would make. I know they have them. Anyway, this quilt is enjoyable and very Chinese in the symbols, colors, fabric, etc. It is not really "quilted", but it is pieced. It is reversible. One side shows dragons and pandas and frogs, etc. The reverse is all pineapple blocks with a stuffed insect decorating the center. Scorpions, spiders, etc. I presume there is some symbolism there that I don't understand. I do love the colors! I haven't been aware of any Chinese bloggers out there in QUILTLAND but I would certainly enjoy and appreciate any comments.
This is just a teaser. I will post the whole quilt later!
I wanted to post a close-up of the workmanship on this quilt. I can't decide if they don't know about matching seams or if they are into that wonky look. What do you think? Note that the center of each block holds a little stuffed insect. Yes, we have spiders, tarantulas and many unidentifiable bugs. I think I will just love this for what it is and not try to understand it. I had trouble with Gee's Bend also. I am having touble catching up on everyone's blogs. There is so much going on out there! Also, I am having trouble finding time to work on Judy's project. I have 12 Shoo Fly blocks done without the little border of squares. I want to put it on my design wall, but that is full of the goofy geese project. So I spent today sewing those blocks together. I can't wait to get it together and move on. I think it is turning out really cool, I just need to finish the top and move on. There will be a photo soon! I have classes scheduled for fall and need to write supply sheets and pattern directions! Ugh! It is such a pain! Making the quilts is the fun part. Teaching is fun. Writing the directions is not fun. I just need to focus. Wow, my head hurts just thinking about it.
I just had to post this photo to show you how good the other shots really are, all things considered! I am packed and on my way to spend the night at my Dad's before leaving in the morning to go home. My daughter says she will drive me through Rogers, MN so we can stop at Quilted Treasures. Yay! It is a great shop. I have been on involuntary quilt shop deprivation for three weeks. Luckily for me I can get a fix by going to all of your blogs to see what you are doing. What a concept! I was able to spend time yesterday going through my daughter's scraps and did some cutting for Judy's project. Lots of four inch squares and two inch strips. This will be fun. I decided to make it in blues and browns and some red, since she had a nice selection of those. I think it will be very nice. It is fun drawing from someone else's scrap pile. I LOVE scraps. I think that is why fat quarters are so appealing to me--just because they are small! I have another project started at home that has the same size Shoo fly blocks in it. I started it last spring while at my son's house. I haven't had a chance to work on it since then. The colors will be smilar to the Pioneer Trail colors. At least while here I did get all my stars and geese finished for the Buggy Barn quilt, so I can set that aside until I get a chance to sew the blocks together. I am making progress! More later from Virginia!
My granddaughter tried to help me get photos of the two quilts I just got back from my quilter. They are not bound yet, as you may see. It was quite breezy today, but sometimes photos that aren't quite perfect look more interesting to me.
The quilt on the left I made for Lisa, the Hong Kong exchange student. I hope she likes it. I am having second thoughts about giving it away! I came up with this design plan using the Sister's Choice block with a simple applique border and 9-patches in the corners. The medium blue is that Jo Morton print from Little Women with the faces on it. Then for the vine I used the reverse side of the fabric so it shows solid, and allows the color to match. I named it Sister to Sister, which is a play on words with the Sister's Choice block and Lisa and my granddaughters becoming like sisters.
The quilt on the right is one I brought out of the closet a couple weeks ago and decided it had seasoned long enough, so I added the borders and sent it off to be quilted. I named it Pioneer Trail. The Shoo Fly blocks reminded me of wagon wheels and the zig zag setting gives the impression of winding roads--well, at least to me it does! My quilter made the "trail" look like washboard roads, with the illusion of ridges. She did a great job! I think I will use this one as a class this fall. It always feels so good to get my quilts back quilted and ready to love!
I wonder if I write a post today if my last post will show up? It popped up on bloglines right away, but has never shown up on my blog. Go figure. So here is my little darlin'. I tried to pose her in front of the quilt I made her, and this is the best I could manage. She loves her books and pretends she is reading. She has learned new words since her mom is gone. Daddy took her to Urgent Care today because she woke up with a fever and has ear infections when teething. Sure enough-both ears! Poor baby! She doesn't much like the medicine either. My wonderful quilter finished two quilts for me and I had her mail them here because I couldn't wait to see them. I will get a photo posted soon. I changed my ticket so I am staying until Aug. 19th. My luck I paid $100 to change it and the next day the airlines is letting people make a change for free due to those stinking terrorists. I would gladly throw my money in a pot that offers free one way tickets for terrorists. We get to pick the destination! Bye bye! By the way, I never agreed to stop buying fabric for the month. However, I have hardly been out of the house this month, let alone quilt shop hopping. :-(
Can anyone tell me why this post shows up on bloglines and not on my blog??? Does it show up for you when you look at my blog? Also, are comments blocked on my blog? They are not supposed to be. Hit me with your best shot and let's see if I get anything. Thanks! OK, I am re-publishing this same entry. I am still getting a few comments on the bird saliva from my previous post. I appreciate having people share their knowledge with me. In case you missed their comments, I am re-printing them here.
THE CALICO CAT SAID: She was telling the truth about the saliva... & They pay a premium for it! It generally comes from birds nests that are harvested (after being abandoned) from inside caves - where people risk their lives to collect them, the saliva keeps the twigs together... More info in the birds nest soup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird's_nest_soup
RUTH CROCOMBE SAID: I really enjoy reading your blog, and I really like your spools quilt. I am a bit shy commenting on people's blogs, but have been prompted to comment regarding bird saliva:
There is a species of birds (swallows I think) that live in caves in the mountains. Their nests are made of saliva and they are high up in the caves. People climb into the caves (with very little safety equipment) and collect the nests (this is done after the birds finish nesting). The birds' nests are made into bird's nest soup and is one of the most expensive dishes you can buy in China/Taiwan and Hong Kong
My daughter in Hong Kong said they told her it is very expensive and they think that it keeps skin youthful, but you must eat it every day. The Chinese have certainly come up with amazing cures and techniques in the past, so who knows??? Maybe they have something there! I always say it is an amazing world we live in! Thanks for sharing!
Before I came to my daughter's house I pre-cut this project. She never has time to do the prep work for making a quilt, but she can do some sewing while the baby naps. I figured I may as well cut for two quilts and have her make me one, but then I got started and made quite a few blocks for myself. I will leave hers all ready to sew when she is able. It is good to have a project to work on while away from home. It feels like stolen time sewing. This spools project is from a Black Mountain Quilts book by Teri Christopherson. They are 9-1/2" finished and I will set them 5 x 7. Everyone who loves to sew should have a spool quilt! There are so many cute variations. I love blocks with lots of different background fabrics. This is where a good stash is really an asset. I am making 35 blocks and making two blocks each of the same background. None of the spool fabric is the same. One lady told me she hates using the same fabric in several quilts. She finds it boring. I find that odd, as I take such joy in seeing them making themselves useful. They show up different in each quilt, and always with a few newer pieces. They are like old friends! I have a dear friend who gave me some red civil war scraps and every time I use them in a quilt she is so delighted to see that they found a nice home! On another note, Calico Cat commented on my previous blog entry that bird saliva is indeed a delicacy in China. What an amazing world we live in. People make use of everything. Do you think it now comes in a can? My grandson thinks that they probably hold birds in cages and taunt them with food til they drool. Really, it never occurred to me that birds had saliva. I am reading Sarah's Quilt by Nancy Turner. It really isn't about a quilt, but life on the Arizona frontier in 1905. I read her previous book, These Is My Words, and it is one of my very favorites. This one is proving to be just as good. The main character, Sarah, reminds me so much of my grandmother and the stories she would tell of growing up in Alberta, Canada in a similar environment. They really faced the elements back then. I am so thankful for the strength and tenacity of my ancesters. I have often thought I would like to have lived with them, but in reality, I am not sure I would have been tough enough. So I live vicariously though these good books!
I haven't had much time for blogging as I am still at my daughter's in Minnesota. She has gone to Hong Kong with her oldest daughter. Last school year they had a girl from HK living with them as a foreign exchange student. Now they have the opportunity to go visit her family and see the sights. She says they are non-stop eating. especially dim sum, which the Chinese love. It is actually like little appetizors so you get to taste many things. When I spoke to my granddaughter yesterday she said, "We thought we had eaten Chinese food before. We hadn't! They offered us chicken feet and bird saliva...". I know they eat chicken feet, but she may have been joshing me on the saliva. Then again... They also ate lots of wonderful food and came away stuffed. The HK family is showing them a wonderful time. The quilt I posted is a Debbie Caffery pattern that I made a couple years ago. It is from Open a Can of Worms. All 2-1/2 inch strips, remember? Daughter has it hanging, but it was hard to get a good shot. It was quilted by Becky Kraus of Bellevue, WA. She did a grest job. I tried to arrange the trees so that the ones that looked snow covered were on the top of the mountain, so to speak. I ran out of background fabric when it came to the setting triangles, so substituted something else. A carpenter once told me that if something doesn't quite work out the way you planned, you make it look like a detail that you intended to incorporate. Great advice! Meanwhile I am enjoying the baby-15 months and sooooo cute! She says lots of words, tho lots of times you have to know what she is saying. I was holding her and pouring a diet coke. She was watching it fizz and said "Wow". Such sweet simple things bring such pleasure! I am trying to catch a couple blogs each day, but will have so much to catch up on when I get home. You all offer such a wealth of information and inspiration. I want to clean-up and clean out and sort and stack and scrap and stash and create and make Tonya's designs and make Judy L.'s scrap quilt and make an Ostrich, plus make all the quilts that Patti showed us, and on and on and on..... I want to do it all! Don't feel bad if I didn't mention you, I want to make whatever you are working on also!
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