Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just Have Patience

The update on my knee? It's only been two weeks since the surgery and I already sick and tired of having to "baby" it. I'm ready for things to be back to normal and I guess I'm doing too much. For example, I went to the grocery store and about half way through shopping, I couldn't push the cart anymore - too much knee pain. Thankfully, I had my sons with me and they were able to continue pushing the cart for me and walked along with my crutches. I need to have some patience and let my knee heal and eventually all will be right again. Whaa, whaa, whaa!! Okay, I'll stop my whining!!

When I am sitting with my leg up with ice (like I'm suppose to), I have been able to do some more reading, the Elm Creek Quilt books, of course. I have finished book #5, The Quilter's Legacy. Since my family was unable to go away on a family vacation because of my knee, I decided to take a few days and visit my sister. She lives in north central Indiana and it is about a five hour drive from my house (Mommy, are we there yet?). To help pass the time for me, I listened to the audio version of the next book, The Master Quilter. So currently, I'm on book #7 but I had to jump ahead to The Lost Quilter, #13. It continues with the story which was told in The Runaway Quilt, about how quilts were used in the Underground Railroad. I had find it very fascinating and I couldn't help myself.

And I've been able to work on my Drunkard's path quilt.

I've been able to cut out the block pieces. I've already run out to the red fabric and will have to get some soon.

I've assembled more of the four-patch blocks...

and already have the quilting pattern drawn out.
Once the blocks are pieced, I'll start constructing the rows to get a real visualization of the quilt. I still got a long way to go!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Surprise! Someone Saw My Quilt!

No photos yet, they'll be coming soon.

But I wanted to brag that I found a little bit of a surprise today. I have found a great blog and Sue had posted tons of great photos from the Shipshewana Quilt Show. And one of those quilts was mine!!

As I had mentioned before, I was unable to attend the quilt show and see my quilt. It sure was nice to see my quilt as it was displayed at the show. And that Sue had liked it enough to take a photo of it and post it on her blog.

So, please visit her blog and take a look at her beautiful photos of the quilt show. And Sue, thank you, you put a smile on my face and made my day a little bit brighter!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm Alive and Well

It's three days since surgery. My knees are feeling a lot better. The arthritic pain is gone but it still sore due to the surgery. The doctor had injected the other with cortisone so it is now pain free. I've been walking around with crutches and they seem to get in the way of everything. I'm trying to keep up with the exercises to keep the knee from stiffening up.

I've been off of my feet, per doctor's instructions, so I've been doing a lot of reading. And it will be a little difficult to get into my sewing area with the darn crutches, but I'm hoping to get a little more quilting done soon.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dreading Tomorrow

I'm not looking forward to the morning. We have to get up super early (not easy with two young boys) and get the hospital for my knee surgery. I know that's it's just arthroscopic surgery but I'm still nervous about it. I had my other knee done about five years ago and I should feel at ease since I know what to expect. But no. Not looking forward to the pain, not being able to do what I want (at least for a while)...I just wish I would recuperate a lot faster, to be back to normal again. Oh, whoa-is-me! : (

I did get my quilt and vest back from the county fair today. I'm planning to enter this same quilt into another county fair (later in the month) and curious of what the outcome will be there.

I'd better wrap things up. I've got to be hitting the hay early tonight.

Wish me luck!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Encouraging More Creativity

I've listening to the latest book through my ipod (I've physically read a third of it on my own) so I've been able to get a little quilting done. But looking at the projects I still need to finish, I still couldn't get motivated. So, I started a little bit of a Drunkard's Path quilt to get my juices flowing.
I just need to make 7 more of these to have enough to make a whole quilt!
I'm feeling a bit better now so we will have to see how much more I can get finished on those others. I'm going to try to lay off some on the next book "The Quilter's Legacy" to make time for some work.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Meet Hester

I'd like to introduce you to Hester, my singer 15-91 sewing machine. Isn't she so pretty! She joins my other machines, Beulah (my Kenmore) and Roberta (my Bernina).

I had gotten her for the purpose of machine-quilting, but I had no place for her.

My BFF from high school was wanting to get rid of her treadle sewing machine and table and she had asked me if I wanted it. Of course, I said YES! So, it just sat in my sewing area. I love looking at it, but I got the idea of replacing the old nonfunctional treadle machine with my electric version.

After some time, she now has a new residence and I have a location to do my machine-quilting. And a perfect hiding place once I'm done, just close it up! I just need to figure out what to place between the table and the window to support the quilt coming off the machine.

With this out of the way, I've been able to do some more piecing on a quilt. I'll have to update later on that.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Onward to the Book #4

I really don't know why I'm so proud of myself, but I have just finished reading "Cross-Country Quilters" and have started the next, "The Runaway Quilt."

This time, I am going to use the audio-book route, as well. I've found myself, late at night when the kiddos are asleep, I'm reading when usually I'd be working on a quilt. So, I'm hoping, I can listen through my ipod and still be able to do some sewing.

When I attempted to start reading the first book "The Quilter's Apprentice" a couple of years ago, I had purchaced the book "Elm Creek Quilts" to help me visualize the quilt the main characters were producing. It's a book with quilt patterns that were used in the first few books.

A quilt used in the "The Runaway Quilt"
It's fun to see how close the visualization that I had in my head and the one the author/companion quilters had come up with.
If my plans go well, I'll still be able to follow along with the story and get some quilt work done!!
P.S. the upcoming arthroscopic knee surgery is planned for July 14. Yucky! I may not be able to get up and down from the sewing machine like I use to but I'm wanting to get some applique done. I hope, I hope!

2nd Place Day!

We made our visit to the county fair today and before we started, we had to take a peek to see how well my quilt did this year.

It received a red 2nd place ribbon!!

And I thought I would add a quilted vest in the Clothing category and it also placed 2nd!

And a few photos of my favorite quilts there:

A quilt in the same category as mine (applique): by Hazel Manning -- she won a blue 1st place ribbon and beat mine :) !

I have been wanting to make a Scout quilt so this quilt caught me eye: Pieced category by Sue Harrell, won a 4th place ribbon.
Lovely black and white log cabin quilt by Ann Padgett, Pieced category.
An adorable sampler quilt also by Ann Padgett, All Work Done by Exhibitor category, 2nd place ribbon.
Ann had outlined her applique in black so they had popped! I'm going to have to try that some time!

One of my favorite quilts, I've made one just like it and it's waiting to be quilted (no surprise, huh!): by Jean Sollman, Pieced category.

Beautiful Irish chain quilt, I'd like to make one of these, too! By Mary Kay Turner, All Work Done by Exhibitor category, 4th place ribbon.
I just loved the hand-quilting!

Not in the quilting area, I had spotted this in the Crafts-Needlework category. Its a pieced wall hanging by Anna Padgett. Beautiful miniature quilt. The center red square was about 1/2 inch, so the whole thing was about 22 1/2 X 27 inches. Exquisite! And it received a blue 1st place ribbon!

One of the highlights of the evening was how my younger son wanted to ride the larger rides. So with the help of his older brother, they decided to ride the carnival ride pictured above. Once they were in front of the line, my older son had second thoughts and talked the younger out of it, to ride a less "scary ride." Chicken! I can see it already, my baby will be a thrill ride wild child!!

My dear husband was very disappointed in the outcome of my quilt. He is my greatest supporter (in competitions) and he thought the judges were out of their minds! I had to remind him that is just what it is, the judges. I plan to enter the same quilt into other competitions, some bigger, some smaller, and each time, it will place differently. And what else can you do, just happily accept your prize and do it again! That's the fun part it it!!
This has given my the incentive to finish my quilts. I have to have more quilts to enter next year!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

I Finally Got Enough Guts To Do It

I had gotten a vintage Singer 15-91 a while back but I had been too chicken to try out some machine quilting with it. I have a Dresden Plate quilt just waiting for some quilting. Well, I finally pulled it out last night and gave it a try.

For an antique machine, I am very surprised on how well it still stitches! I guess they really knew how to make sewing machines back then. I made a sample square (18" X 18" fabric/batting/fabric sandwich) and started some practice free-motion stitches. I first used a pre-printed pattern that had a large meandering design on it to help me but my stitches are far from smooth and flowing.

Then I decided to just wing it and try a smaller meandering stitch on my own. It wasn't too bad but I still need a lot of practice. It doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist and I'm going to want the quilting exactly where I want it, like with hand-quilting. But I guess machine-quilting isn't going to be that easy.

I'm hoping to have machine-quilted works-of-art like my blog-pal Wendy Sheppard of She makes it look so beautiful. And the way she seems to pump out her quilts, you would have to believe that machine-quilting is simple to do. I finding that it isn't. She is truly talented!

I'm going to look for some gloves that will enable me to handle the quilt better under the machine and I'm going to see if the 15-91 will fit in my treadle machine cabinet. If it does, it will expand my working surface.

I'm not looking forward to it, but I'm going to have to put in a lot more practice before I can be satisfied to apply it to one of my quilts.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Got My Quilt Back

I received my quilt back from the Shipshewana Quilt Festival today. Glad to have it back! I don't like it when I have no idea of what is being done with it.

Unfortunately, it didn't receive any ribbons. But it was a juried show, so I feel privileged to have it appearing there, they had felt it was good enough to be chosen.

I do look forward to the judges' comments on my quilt. On the comment card, it states:


"Softly curved lines create flowing movements"

"Border frame/lady bugs"

"Quilting design"

"Hand quilting stitch"


"Long straight edges should be straight"

"Corners should be 90 degrees"

So, the comments weren't too bad, but that's what you get when you present your work to the Quilt Police. I'll probably take another look at the quilt with their recommendation in mind, but you know what? I made this quilt for me and I like it just the way it is! I had a quilt win Best of Show in one show and the same quilt didn't win any awards in another. It all depends on the judges and what they feel a winning quilt should represent. So, I have no hard feelings!

I will be entering this quilt into our county fair this weekend. It is a smaller venue, so maybe I'll have better luck. And a neighboring county is having their fair later this month. I plan to enter there also, but they are larger than our county, so the competition will be harder.

I'm really trying to get some quilting done, but if not, I'll post some of my favorite quilts that I see from the fair.