Don't Get Out Much

Well, you know, I don't get out and about very much. For instance, haven't flown in about 14 years. So today was quite a day. First I stopped at the secondhand store (well, I'm used to doing that anyway) and got an immense pile of wool for hooking, but haven't held them up to the Bird rug to see if they would work as a background (great prices, most half the marked price), went on to an estate sale that was in an intown neighborhood of Atlanta that has been neglected, etc., but which is on its way up, at the very beginning, in fact. The woman had her sale items set up all over her house and, in fact, it was one of those sales that the people have more than once. She was delightfully friendly and we were talking about the neighborhood, her fixerupper Craftsman house (that she got for only 110K a mere 24 months ago in a bankruptcy sale), her merchandise, etc., when my friend showed up that I was meeting there. She was looking and noticed the woman's business card and the woman's last name was the same as mine. Not a common name. Couldn't believe it. Her dad is from Detroit originally, and my family is from Ohio, Berks County PA before that, Alsace-Lorraine region before that. Then my friend started looking through the stack of photographs that the woman said were from a local photographer and they were photos of the family who had owned the elegant 1924 Avondale Estates craftsman house at least since the 1940s that my friend and her husband had recently purchased. She knew that because a few photos had been left behind in the house. Can you believe that?? Then my friend and I had lunch at a Mexican restaurant, then I drove down early to the airport to wait for my son to arrive from Albuquerque. He had been to an ROTC Honors Camp. I got there a few hours early, so sat down and talked to everybody who sat down next to me, people-watched all the arrivals walking through the South Terminal, and just had the best time. All the stories, all the rich lives. One pretty young woman had just gotten married six months earlier, was five months pregnant, and was waiting for her husband to get in from Paris, which he visits regularly on business. She had been there a week earlier visiting him. Then the middle-aged woman sitting by me just before Timothy showed up dropped a bombshell that she was waiting for not only her boyfriend to arrive, but her boyfriend's ex-wife, the boyfriend's mother, and somebody else, I think the ex-wife's boyfriend, who were flying back together from Missouri, where they were attending their son's graduation from something in the service. She said that her boyfriend's tone of voice had distinctly changed over the week as they spoke on the phone, that is to say, had gotten colder, and she was understandably concerned, and now I won't ever know what happened!!

Junking on the Way Home

The rug hooking class yesterday was great. There were only two of us, so we had the teacher's undivided attention :-), the teacher being the owner of Little Quilts, Mary Ellen von Holt. She showed us several rugs in her collection, ones done by her and also by rug hooking friends of hers. She had done an extraordinary large, square, very antique-y looking Tulip Cross, which looked like a block from an antique four-block quilt. It was approximately a yard square and she displays it in front of her fireplace. The background was a variegated lamp black dark. The greens were a combination of dull greens in one area contrasted with a brighter variety of greens in the four feathered leaves, super variegated. The whole thing was totally gorgeous. The pattern is from Mary Lou Lais' book American Primitive Hooked Rugs A Primer for Recreating Antique Rugs. Mary Ellen had begun this at a workshop with Mary Lou.

She had so many wonderful examples, another being the cutest dressed fox sitting on a log with the forest, sky, and large moon beyond, that was done by a woman who works at Little Quilts and has hooked rugs for years.

My fellow student had a lovely blue Puritan rug hooking frame and a collection of pencil-style rug hooks that a friend's husband had made for her. I borrowed one and borrowed Mary Ellen's hooking frame and they were great to work with. I definitely need a hooking frame with the gripper strips.

Here's my little class heart:

Thankfully, Mary Ellen knew why I was constantly coming up with a twisted loop, so it was great to get that problem solved. She asked me what color I was planning to use for the background on my other rug, the Pennsylvania Quilt Bird, and as she suspected, I had no idea. I was just plugging in recycled wool as found from the secondhand stores, so the color scheme is a bit erratic. I had plugged in a bit of beige as a possible background, but it blends in too much with the vase and the berry. Not only do I not know what color to use for the background, I know I don't have it yet in my recycled collection, so I'm going to stop in at a few places this morning to see if there are any wool clothes. In promising colors.

On the way home, traffic on the expressway was stalled, so I pulled off and found these treasures at the secondhand store, My Favorite Place. All this great stuff for $26 total! I never see dolls from the 50s just sitting around in vintage stores, so it was amazing to spot her from a distance, and closer up to spot the price tag of a measly $3.50. If any of you collect vintage Vogue dolls, you know this is a small Baby Dear from about 1960, very collectible. She came with three bits of her clothes, all Vogue, two of which are very hard to find (her diaper and her bunting). All filthy and stained, but they should all clean up fairly well. They've been soaking overnight in Perk. Baby Dear has stains remaining on her vinyl, so that will take longer to treat (with Twin Pines RemoveZit), but at least she's clean now. The boxes are to hold small quilt blocks and sewing supplies, and the primitive chair is for the front porch.

Even though she has had some treatments, her hair troubles aren't over:

Thank you for your comments re work and painting. Judy, I just love the Corn and Beans, too. What a great block!


Class Day

Hooray, today is class day at LQS, my third and last class for the summer: Rug Hooking. Here's our kit:

and then here is the one I've been working on since signing up for the class:

Am working on BOM blocks. Here is the regular 12" LQS BOM, Corn and Beans! Nice block to make and aren't their fabrics cute?

Finished the last pieced block for Lillebet's Garden:

And I would like to show you one of my primitive portraits:

Off to class!


Digitizing Delirium

I spent two days or more digitizing the applique border design for Black Bird Lane. Got it all digitized in ten sections sized for the Viking Mega Hoop (not including the reversed sections), but completely forgot that the needle would constantly dance about among Parts 1,2, and 3 throughout the designs on that hoop, and that combined with the difficulty of matching all the rehoopings just made it too hard to do the applique that way. All that time wasted, argh.

Have done some more work on Lillebet's Garden:

including this block:

I love how it turned out. I was sort of dreading doing this one, with all of the Y seams. Did this accompanied by reruns of Season 4 Monk episodes, some of which I hadn't seen yet. What a great show. The one with Jason Alexander as a sort-of detective was absolutely great. The fabrics used:

The four on the right, that is. Don't they look pretty...

Lucy posted her sampler, so here is mine:

A pattern from the Scarlet Letter. The Scarlet Letter's husband used to make these GORGEOUS tiger maple frames and I do wish he still did; this is the only one I have. I worked this sampler while the divorce and custody battle was raging and I marvel that I could work the thing with no magnifiers on back then (ah, youth LOL that is to say the early 40s), although I could only get good enough light by sitting outside.


Heating Up

Oh My, we're getting some hot weather here in Atlanta...90s. Not nice. Time to rush off and do house-proofing chores, but I wanted to post the nine blocks for Black Bird Lane:

The sashing isn't pure white; it has a stripe in it. Gotta run.


A New Week, A New ...

There are so many quilts in progress here that the solution was obvious: start a new one! These are the first three blocks for Black Bird Lane from The Rabbit Factory:

Now wouldn't you think that there would be lots of fabrics to choose from for this quilt from this lovely fabric collection:

Well, there are some nice ones but not enough for one this scrappy. So I had a ball choosing fabrics Saturday at the LQS. Thanks to Kathy for her great help in choosing fabrics. She is planning to make this quilt herself and had chosen the fabrics for hers and it was all in her head. She showed us the central portion of one of Lori Smith's Christmas applique quilts that she is making, one of those really intricate ones, and it was just gorgeous. Her hand applique stitching is absolutely invisible.

Have some really heavy-duty household work to do these next few weeks, and I really resent having to spend time on keeping the house together rather than quilting but it must be done.


Up for Air

Well! Jeanne and I both went to Lyons Township High School, just a year apart, and from different Chicago suburbs. We don't remember any people in common so far, but that is one large school. Even way back in 1969, my senior class size was 1,139 and the school as a whole was over 5,000 students if I remember right. A large school and a great school.

I won't torment you with yet another photo of Neighborhood (oh well maybe just this one):

But it's finished whoo hoo! Mailed the entry off today on the deadline date with loads of time to spare, practically four hours. I can't believe I now possess a Finished Quilt. The "X"s go ALL the way across on my blog Quilt List on this one. Here is the schedule by date I made out two weeks ago when I decided to try to make it:

34 blocks to make [sic! editor's note, 33], 4 made, 30 to go, 4+ blocks/per day, whew, could barely keep up.

Now to clean up the sewing room, do some other chores, and basically come up for air.

Thank you for your comments; so Amy, is a "meme" a form? I've been seeing that word dancing over the internet. And concerning "must be nice to be independently wealthy", from your lips to God's ears :-) .

--Breakfast this morning with a dear work friend, met first day of school last August
--Tom Cats:


Deadlines and Forms, Hate One, Love the Other

Close to hysteria here, trying to get Neighborhood finished in time to enter it in the Do You EQ Contest (Karen, lighten up, this quilting is supposed to be fun) Entry must be postmarked by Friday. And I signed up for a quilting class on quite another topic for tomorrow, but oh well, I figure that will be a much-needed break from Neighborhood. Thank you for your kind comments; they are keeping me going on this project. Judy, I machine-embroidered and machine-appliqued the corner blocks, so I digitized them in Embird but also drew the shapes in EQ5 so they will be included in the EQ project file.

The actual quilting is my downfall on any quilt. It's why I have so many UFOs. I tried two seams of in the ditch machine quilting and had to rip it out, which of course took ages. Threw the quilt on the quilting frame (after throwing off the poor quilt that was already on there) and hand quilted the basic outlines. My hand quilting is nothing to write home about, either. But it was improving after all of that. Just did the first few areas of machine stippling and that looks good. Now stippling is something I can do if I can handle all the surrounding weight and drag. Wonder why machine-in-the-ditch is so difficult for me. Maybe I should try it free motion?

I know I'm not a member of a ring, but I love to fill out forms, so am filling out the ABC form y'all have been doing (hope nobody minds but this was a great break from quilting):

Accent – people here in the south know I’m from some Northern city somewhere (Chicago); people back in the midwest think I’m from the south
Booze – ooh, love white wine
Chore – have a list out in the kitchen as long as your arm
Dog/cat – three good cats
Essential electronics – Computer and digital camera LOVE THEM how many delightful games on the computer, EQ5, Embird, collecting fonts, processing my photos
Favorite perfume – Still swoon over Wind Song
Gold/silver - Yes
Hometown – Springboro OH, La Grange IL (age 8 through high school)
Insomnia - Yes.
Job title – not interested, see Worst Habit
Kids – one son, 16; would have adored to have a dozen children
Living arrangements – a mid-century Modern house, aka California Contemporary; they’re unusual here in Atlanta but no doubt ubiquitous in California
Most admirable trait – I raised a good son alone
Number of countries visited – only Canada; maybe one of these days, I’ll get to see the pyramids, the British Museum, Cornwall, and Bronte country
Overnight hospital stays – none despite having a caesarean with my son; I was too hyper to relax in that place
Phobias – Closed-in spaces somewhat, which I discovered when I had to work underneath a little 1922 frame house I bought; it was just open to the ground but there was only a foot clearance in places and it was scary being stuffed under there not able to stand up and "run away" if necessary. I’m busty and had to go without a bra and wrap fabric around me to be flat enough to squash under there…oh, what we do for house renovations…
Quote - I like to say the Gettsyburg Address to myself. “These are the times that try men’s souls” often pops into my head, also “This too shall pass”. I remember an excellent grade-school teacher discussing the These are the times quote so vividly, because she was rephrasing it in different silly ways to show us how powerfully it was phrased
Religion – raised Presybterian/Congregational/Lutheran; evidently my parents liked to try out Protestant churches
Siblings - none
Time you usually wake – between 4 and 6:30
Unusual talent – guess I’d have to say my drawing/painting…oh, I can also touch my nose with my tongue
Vegetable I refuse to eat – lima beans; love everything else
Worst habit – dislike of income-producing jobs
X-rays – a few over the years
Yummy foods I make – copied down recipes for cinnamon bread and persimmon ice cream decades ago at the Persimmon Festival in Mitchell, Indiana; people had food displayed a la state fair style in an old downtown building with dusty, soft wooden floors
Zodiac - Capricorn


Early Tuesday, Hoping for More Rain

Thank you for the comments on my blog; this is certainly a intriguing new thing to do and it has been so much fun (and informative) to read others' quilting blogs. Here is Neighborhood together! This is interesting to work like this non-stop on a quilt day after day, instead of squeezing in quilting time after work, after chores. So fulfilling and really a treat. Even though work is out for several more weeks, there is an enormous To-Do List awaiting my attention (they seem to be mostly house related), but I am ignoring it while trying to get Neighborhood done by Friday.

--My son working hard and playing hard this last real summer at home
--A bit of rain yesterday
--My three cats sitting close to me while I work


Corner Blocks

Got the corner blocks done for Neighborhood. Spotted the background fabric yesterday at the LQS and just love it. It may not show up very well in the photo but it's the niftiest green shade. Marguerite from Clothworks, I think it is.


Tabby Cat Chases Bear Up Tree

Did you all see this newspaper article: Territorial Kitty . I love how it's written. Look at the little orange kitty at the base of the tree! My, he's ornery.

My friend, Betty, sent me the link. She has just started a blog: please visit and comment if you can: Day Dreamn World . She is wondering what category to be in and how people will find her blog. I have been promoting needlepunch to her, which she has looked at in the shops. Betty makes doll clothes for her Ginny dolls and Chatty Cathy dolls, which I have done in the past, too. I'm telling you, Betty, you'd love needlepunch. I hear that it was the rage at the quilt market in Minneapolis a few weeks ago. I love it. Betty lives practically next door to one of the best quilt shops ever, Quakertown Quilts, and frankly I am surprised that she has not caught the quilting bug due to the close proximity. She even goes in there and looks around and emerges without buying anything. Perhaps she has an immunity of some kind.

I got one of those very large Dritz metal buttons this morning that you put a needlepunch design on to, and then glue on a pinback and wear it as a pin.

Thank you all for your comments! Gail, bet you're right, the Red Hen probably IS dating the Big Chicken and don't they make a nice couple


Nice Class, Fabric Search

The class at Little Quilts was great yesterday; the five of us industriously sewed away on our pineapple blocks and learned how to use that pineapple ruler. Anybody who's taken a class from Libby Lowe knows what a great teacher she is. Turns out the ruler is straightforward enough to use (when somebody shows you), it simply has a gazillion check points or check lines to help you keep the block aligned correctly. I wish I had photos of the other women's blocks, it's fun to see the same block in different fabric choices. There was a red/white/blue (red square in the center), a sort of elegant mix of soft golds/soft wines/scrappy, a green/white/yellow, and the most perfectly sewn set of blocks in green and yellow. She was making the strips in each block follow the same pattern, yellow from darkest to lightest from center out and greens from lightest to darkest center out (or else the reverse :-) ). Very, very pretty. Here are two of mine:

Maybe I should have printed the little faces on pink so the center blocks wouldn't look like holes.

Looked for my Little Quilts background fabric in their store. Special Delivery shirting. They had it on the bolt in every color but the one I needed. The only place they had it was included in two of their fat quarter bundles, which unfortunately, they wouldn't change out. Those two little fat quarters, so near and yet so far! I checked at the other two shops in town with no luck, so zoomed back to Little Quilts to buy one of the bundles before they closed. But at least I found enough to finish the blocks. $15 for a fat quarter (!).


Corner Decision

Thank you, Gail and KCQuilter, re comments. Yes, the girls are my design. Actually, there are eight so far, not a dozen, and a dozen fence pickets; here is the layout. I don't know what to put in the corners. I had baskets there, but maybe it should be something else. Maybe a girl on the diagonal? Floral applique? Ran out of fabric for the background with just a few blocks to go, so I hope Little Quilts has more of it. I imagine they will, since it is from one of their own fabric lines. I'll check today.

I see that the light background pieces are giving an overall light look to the quilt; don't know what I think about that. Might need a dark border for accent.

Here are the cut strips. Haven't cut the black strips yet; I'll get in trouble if I'm not ready for class LOL. I have a matte black and a sateen black with a sheen. Thought that might look kind of nice for contrast.

Oh heavens, I'm going to be late. Karen


Fabric Stack

Here are some of the dozen girls that go into the "Neighborhood" quilt. Am working on the picket fences that go between them now. Later today, I need to cut strips out of the stack of fabric below, for Pineapple Quilt class tomorrow:

It'll be fun to work with bright fabrics like this for a change. Do you like the floral below the fabric? It is my primitive wooden work table; the top is covered with linoleum that was placed on it long ago judging by how beaten up it is. I love it.

Better get back to work...


Neighborhood Groweth and June Goals

The central portion of "Neighborhood" is together....

Goals for June:
--June BOMs for LQS
--Lori Smith Folk Art Applique Block #2
--Finish "Neighborhood"
--Quilt "Busy Ladies"
--Finish rug hooking
--Do quilting on quilt on the frame
--Do some work on Lillebet's Garden

6/5: Got a pile of delectable wool clothes this morning at the secondhand store and am washing/felting them now. Also found some enormous lengths of rough burlap to use for rugh hooking foundations...does anybody know what would happen if I washed burlap? I can visualize it completely disappearing into a few strings. Also, does anybody know how best to mend an old barkcloth type bedspread? It isn't exactly barkcloth but is the same vintage and has that textury look. I ADORE it, got it for only $10 at a show. It has a hole where the fabric has disintegrated. Any tips most appreciated. Karen

Jack. His head was swiveling on his neck like an owl in order to avoid getting his face in the picture. He must come from Amish stock.



I so enjoyed seeing JudyL's three quilts that she has entered in the Do You EQ? contest. I did a design for the contest a few months ago (titled "Neighborhood"; the HSTs block is the town square), but sadly these are the only blocks done (!). Finished with work at school yesterday, so there is some free time. If I devoted all of it for the next few weeks to this quilt, could I get it done???

There are other duties. For one thing, I received a letter from Georgia Revenue yesterday saying that I owe $713 from 2004. Could I really have made such a huge mistake with such a small income? So I have to look over the return and try to understand.

I am rather new to working in a school system, so this is my first opportunity to have the summer free while still being gainfully employed. Last summer, the schedule was a rather schizophrenic work-one-week-off-one-week, which was fun, of course, but this time, it is the real thing. It was a rough year. It is very challenging to work in a school.

1. Summer Break: time to walk, time to garden, time to say more than Hi have you done everything you need to do? do I need to do anything? to my son, time to QUILT
2. My son raised his math SAT score from 79th percentile to 85th percentile
3. To have the ear injury problem subside a bit