Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I really have a lot to be thankful for this year - I'm here to celebrate the holidays with my family.

Here is a quilt that I finished last night. Sorry about the glare off of the buttons. It was made at the same time as the last one I posted, using some of the different ideas I came up with as I was designing. The red fabric is one I dyed and then discharged. The rest of the fabrics are batiks and commercial fabrics. Back to cooking! Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow Let it Snow!

This is what we awoke to this morning. Now last year school would have been at least delayed if not cancelled since they were cancelling for just about everything. I was suprised there was no delayed opening. From one extreme to the other. At least it is pretty out but the snow is really heavy and branches are breaking off trees and the power has been flickering. Just hope it stays on long enough for me to get this posted! Kara said that it wasn't supossed to snow like this until after Thanksgiving. Most of her life that has been true but not this year! I told her this is what you get living in NH - unpredictable weather.

I still need to get out and buy my groceries for Thanksgiving. Nothing like leaving it till the last minute. I also have an appointment to get my hair cut or I should say chopped off or what's left of it chopped off. Due to being sick, the medicines, lack of nutrition or a combination of these, I have lost most of my hair. I have new short hair growing in now but what's left of my long hair is looking stringy and yucky so it's time to take the plunge and cut it all short. There are lots of women who look great with short hair but I'm not one but it's growing back fast so it shouldn't be too long before it's a reasonable length for me. I think my husband has more hangups about me cutting off the rest of my hair than I do.

Time to get to work(play), I have a small quilt I need to do some quilting on. I also have a purse that I'm designing to use a piece of fabric that I sewed up before I went into the hospital last April. I'm also breaking down and using a pattern for a wallhanging that I'm making for a present. I don't have the time to design anything for it and this pattern is just right. I haven't used a pattern in ages!

I love this "Sew Thankful" sign that Jamie Fingal made for her studio.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The No Title Post

Hit the wrong button when I went to post this yesterday. I saved it instead of posting. So here is my post from yesterday!!

This is one of the drawings I found yesterday when cleaning. I think it would be fun to play with it. It will be interesting trying to figure out all the mathmatics for it since I no longer have a quilting program on my computer. I will keep it small (similar to the 2 bottom drawings) since I get bored with making the same block over and over again. That's why I don't make bed quilts very much.

I made this eyeglass case this morning. Since my pancreatitis, I've needed reading glasses. Don't know if it had anything to do with being so sick or with having diabetes now or what. Since I just need the glasses for reading (cheap pair from the drugstore) I wanted something interesting to keep them in.

This is the quilt that Tomme Fent made for me from the Grab Bag Challenge. I really love it.
Well, off to the high school play, "Anything Goes". Kara does the lighting. She ran spot lights her sophmore and junior years, this year she's running the lighting board.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Unfinished Quilt Top

I was cleaning some drawers out today and came across this unfinished quilt top that I designed a long time ago. I can't remember when I did it. Late 90's or early 2000's? I do know that it was part of a challenge where we sent in fabrics and recieved other fabrics in return. Then we had to make a quilt using those fabrics. I think this was one of the first challenges that I did. This group (can't even remember the name) is no longer together but I did 4 or 5 challenges with them. These were my first challenges and made me push myself to design my own quilts. I also found my old notebooks in these drawers. In them are drawing for pieced quilts with more traditional blocks that I designed and lots of drawings for appliqued folk art blocks and ideas for making them into hangings. I really like some of them - maybe I'll try making them up in some of my hand-dyed and hand-painted fabrics to give them a different look. Once again I don't know when I did these notebooks but it had to be in the late 90's to early 2000's. I didn't date anything back then. Now I date the pages when I add something to my notebook (journal).

Not sure if I will finish this quilt or not.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Small Quilt Finished

I finally finished this small quilt. Like I mentioned before, it's not done in colors I normally use together. When I was pulling fabrics out for another project, the red fabric happened to land on some black and I loved the effect so I just had to make a red and black a little yellow. The red fabric looks much nicer in person. It has some sparkle from metalic paint that you can't see in the photo. I free motion stitched the leaf - something I don't like doing. I need to get better at it so I just made myself do it. I usually try to find ways around having to do free motion quilting on my quilts but sometimes I just can't get the effects and quilting patterns I want without free motion. So I have alot of quilts waiting to be quilted. Need to finish them!!

The weather has gotten much colder here in NH. Time to bundle up even indoors. I get much colder now since the pancreatitis. May have something to do with losing 80 pounds in 4 1/2 months. Not the way to go about losing weight!!! Before, I was always hot now I get cold easily. Guess I will be spending alot of time standing in front of the pellet stove!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fabric Beads

I forgot to post about these beads the other day. These are another project I worked on when the electricity went out. I already had the fabric wrapped around the straw. I just needed to add the wire and beads. I may add some yarn to a few of these. I still have a few more that need wire and beads. These are so much fun to make and so easy. Now to find something to use them on!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Little of This and a Little of That

Here's a new piece that I 've finally finished. This is the first piece I started after getting home from the hospital. It has a lot of left over pieces from my Grab Bag Challenge bag.

Which reminds me, I need to take a picture of the quilt that Tomme Fent made me from my grab bag. I love the quilt she made. It brightened up my hospital room and my days there. Here is a picture of it on Tomme's blog. The pink piece on the bottom this quilt is a piece that I discharged last February after taking Painting 2 with Jane Balshaw. I wanted to do more with the discharging but didn't get to it before I ended up in the hospital. Need to find out where the paste got put while I was away.

Wednesday I went to the Belknap Mill Quilter's Guild to hear Karen Eckmeier talk. She's a great speaker and her quilts were gorgeous. This was our Fiber Divas meeting but only me, Anita and Lynn were able to make it. Wish everyone else could have made it but life got in the way.

I've been spending alot of time learning about diabetes. One of the side effects from my pancreatitis is that my pancreas is not producing as much insulin as it needs to soooo... I'm now giving myself insulin shots and learning a lot of new stuff. I've talked to the diabetes nurse at the hospital, have an appointment with the dietician and am attending some classes over the next few weeks. Giving myself the shots isn't as hard as I thought it would be. They don't hurt, I just don't like watching the needle go in.

We had a power outage for about 1 1/2 hours today. You don't realize how much you depend on electricity until you are without it. I kept telling myself oh, I'll do this or I'll do that and then realize no I can't because I need eletricity. Couldn't sew (don't have any hand projects started and didn't want to start a new one), couldn't make the cake I had planned on making. Would have done some fabric painting but the kids had a board game set up on the table where I paint. Ended up reading and doing some housework. As I walked through the house, I would flip on the lights and then remember the lights weren't working. Just something I do automatically. The wind must have knocked down a tree or something. Not long after the power went off, we heard a chainsaw going and the beeper from a truck backing up. Didn't bother to go investigate but it has been really windy today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New work in progress

I've been playing around with these 2 new pieces. Not my normal colors but I like them. I just happen to lay the red fabric on top of some black and liked the way it looked so had to make something with them. As I went along, I had so many ideas that I just couldn't decide what to do so I decided to make two pieces using some of the different ideas. I think they still need something but I'm not sure what. Right now they are just layed out. Maybe if I start sewing and quilting, they will look more finished. Since my illness, I've been finding it harder to make decisions and get tired and bogged down more easily. I've been trying not to let this get me down and just work with it. I have 4 or 5 projects I'm working on right now. When I get bogged down on one, I try to move on to another one. When I get too tired, I've been rereading my magazines and books or doodling in my notebook/sketchbook. Went to Jane Balshaw's open studio on Saturday. It was great. Lots of inspiration. I bought a small leaf piece of hers. I haven't taken a picture of it yet, will do it soon so I can post it here. Guess it's time to go get out of my pj's before someone walks up to the door and suprises me!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Fiber Divas Exhibit

I'm finally getting pictures of the Fiber Divas exhibit from the first weekend in September. The pictures aren't that great but. I wish I had more time to take better pictures. Our exhibit was at the Belnap Mill Quilter's Guild show in Laconia, NH. Lynn Elkinton spent alot of time at the show(which is a pretty traditional quilt show) to answer questions about our work. I really appreciate all that Lynn did for our exhibit this year.
The first picture shows our round robin books from last year. Unfortunatley there was no way I could exclude the raffle table from the picture.

The next 8 pictures are from this years round robin. We used the idea from The Frayed Edges quilt group in Maine. You can read about them here on Sarah Ann Smith's blog. For our challenge each of us picked a photo then everyone made their interpretation of the photo. I didn't get to make a quilt for each photo but I did managed to get 4 done before I got sick.

The next 2 pictures show some other quilts that we made. The two on the left were made by me. The top right is a round robin quilt that was made 2 years ago and the quilt on the bottom right was made by Anita.

The two quilts on the right were made by Carmen. On the left side, Carmen made the top one and I'm not sure who made the bottom one. I will have to find out. The center one on the right was made by me.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Kara's Quilt's

Time sure has flown by. I've managed to stay home for 2 months now. I'm feeling much better and have started to figure out our new computer. I still need to get a photo program onto this computer so I can manipulate them. I can't find the CD with the program I used on the other computer. Don't know if it would work on this computer if I did find it. Maybe it's time to look into a photo program that does more. I wanted to get Photoshop Elements for a while. Will have to look into it.

Here are some pictures of 2 quilts that Kara did while I was in the hospital. This first one is a small one that started out postcard size and ended up a little bigger. Kara made this for her music teacher. Last year was the teacher's last year at the high school and all the kids loved her. The picture shows the instrument toss that was held at the end of each school year during the end of year party. The kids would toss instruments that were damaged beyond repair and see who could toss them the farthest. Don't know how that got started. Kara made this while I was in the hospital so I never got to see the actual piece. I did recieve quite a few calls at the hospital asking questions while she was making it.
This is the quilt that Kara made as a project for AP U.S. History. Instead of writing a report, the kids had to make a project that showed off what they learned on their topic. Kara's topic was women during the Civil War and the ways that they helped the war effort which included making quilts. There was a lot more to her research than that. I started helping her with the quilt before I got sick and then the ladies from my quilt group stepped in and helped Kara finish up the project. We were so grateful to them! Kara probably wouldn't have finished it if they hadn't helped.

Kara plans on using this as her bedspread at college next year. I can't believe in less than a year she'll be gone!! I know I've got to let her go but it is hard!! She's looking at colleges in New York state and the one she really wants to go to is in western NY. At least Gary's brother and his famly live in the town there.

I have been busy creating. I have 3 small collage type quilts I'm working on. Just haven't finished anything yet. I get an idea and start it and then something new pops in my head and I go off in a new direction. At this point I'm allowing myself to play and have fun and not worry if it takes me forever to finish something. Last Saturday I took a class from Jane Balshaw. It was another color theory class. I really tired myself out but I had a blast doing it.
That's one of the frustrating things. Even though I feel much better, I still get really tired. Well, I'd better get moving. The kids will be home soon. Kara took Alex with her to help out with setting the lighting up for the school play. The play director told Gary that Alex was welcome to help out anytime he wanted even though he's only in Jr High. Kara offered to take him today, so off they went. We're lucky that Kara and Alex are so close and get along so well - most of the time!!!