Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mastering Your Bernina - New Owners Class

Took my first of the new owners classes yesterday for my 730 and learned a few things I didn't know already so was glad I went up. Knew one of the other gals in the class as a fellow quilter, NSQG board member and also we lived in the same small dorm at UNL so had lots to chat about.

I set the mileage counter on my car to see exactly how many miles it is from my house to the Bernina Sewing Studio in Lincoln. From my garage to the parking place in front of the store is exactly 99.7 miles and it took about 1 hr and 45 minutes to drive. I still am glad I got my machine there as the support is great and they know the machines and how to work on them if needed.

This morning I sat down and did the rest of the lessons in the hand outs - there is not enough time in the 3 hr. class to cover everything. I did the samples and wrote questions for the instructor for next time as well as wrote myself notes as to what my settings were for that particular exercise.

Am thinking I need to have them look at my tension as I really have to adjust the top tension so much tighter than the set number to make it sew OK. When I was stitching straight lines before the adjustment I could pull the bobbin thread out so easy. Would make ripping easier but definitely not good for seams!

I did adjust the bobbin a little by loosening the screw some but it still doesn't look quite right to me. I think I will try a different thread and see if that makes a difference. Right now I am using Mettler Silk Finish #50.

Heard on the radio on the drive home yesterday that it was predicted to freeze in south central Nebraska last night. I never heard if it did freeze but sure hope it doesn't freeze here yet as my flowers are so pretty now.

This first photo is of the south east side of the front of our house. I have flowers and bushes all around my house so only showing a few of my favorites.

These are close up photos of two of my mums. The orange mum is like a giant ball and is almost 2 feet tall and 3 feet across and as packed with blooms as this photo.

Since John isn't home for dinner this noon I forgot to eat and just looked at the clock. No wonder I my stomach is growling it is 1:30 pm already so better go to the kitchen and rustle up something to eat.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mom's Quilt

Had the nicest visit with my mother this afternoon. I call her every Saturday or Sunday even though she knows most of what I will tell her before I call as I send several emails a week. I get the update on her activities at the assisted living and news of my siblings plus I always fill her in on news of my kids and grand kids, what I am working on at the time and then send her photos when I email.I know she looks forward to my calls as well as visiting with my 2 other sisters and 2 brothers on most weekends. She is so busy at the assisted living center where she lives during the week it is hard to catch her in her room.

She has Parkinson's disease as well as had a pretty major stroke several years before that. She had a hard time at first after she had her stroke and again after she was first diagnosed with the Parkinson's but manages the challenges pretty good now. The stroke left her with a bad shake in her rt. arm so with the added Parkinson's she pretty much can't use her rt. hand now and she was right handed before all her problems.

To make a long story shorter, my mother was a sewer her whole life and sewing included tailored wool suits and coats, upholstering furniture and everything in between but never any quilts. I never had a purchased dress until I was in high school but even after that most of my dresses were stitched by her or me as I grew older.

I started quilting in 1981 and a few years later she asked me to design a sampler quilt for her to make. Still was drafting all my quilt patterns on graph paper at time so got it all designed and the patterns made and met her at a fabric store to help her decide on fabrics. She knew how to sew so piecing was easy for her and she pieced several of the blocks before she got busy doing something else but then the blocks, pattern and remaining fabric got put away for a while.

After her stroke she had to learn to use her left hand to eat and write plus learn to walk, etc. and was so concerned that she might not be able to sew anymore. Broke all of our hearts as that was something she truly loved to do. I think her determination was so strong that when she got home she started trying to sew right away and made a suit with pants, skirt, blouse and lined jacket for herself. They turned out great and she still wears them today. It took a while and was a challenge but she did it.

She had major problems pinning the seams as the shake would cause her to poke herself with pins no matter which hand she held them in. She learned to hold the fabrics together with her left hand without pins and would run them through the machine while the shaky right arm was wedged under the machine to keep it from getting in the way of the needle.

After the suit was finished she got out the quilt and proceeded to finish it. She had to use the rotary cutter (I still shudder when I picture her using it) and slowly she got all the blocks pieced and the top done. She had me mark it and had the ladies at the senior center quilt it for her.

One of the women at the apartment complex where she was living at the time convinced her to enter it in the county fair. She was so excited to win top honors on the quilt and her family were all so proud too.

What amazes me still and anyone else that looks at the queen sized quilt is how she did it one handed with no pins to speak of. Her points are exact and if they weren't she would rip them out having to pick out the stitches with a pin or the point of the scissors with her left hand while something weighted down the block.

When she moved to the assisted living apartment a year ago she had to downsize and gave a lot of her possessions to her kids & grand kids. I ended up getting her quilt and I just love it! One section of flying geese is pointing the wrong way but I will never tell her and no one else has mentioned it. She would hate that it wasn't absolutely perfect. (I wonder where I got my perfectionism from...hmm?)

One time when I was visiting she had just gotten it all pieced and we laid it on my parents bed to look it over. I still remember my dad standing in the doorway and looking at the quilt and saying to me how hard Mom had worked to get it done and how proud he was of her and said it was just beautiful. He died about a year later and that is one of my fondest memories of him.

The Parkinson's has gotten worse the last two years so when Mom moved a year ago she gave her sewing machine to my oldest daughter. Thought she might wish for it back but says she just doesn't want to worry about sewing anymore. My daughter was delighted to get a Bernina and Mom is glad to have it go to a good home.

After all that now you get to see the quilt. Wasn't my dad right? It is beautiful!

Block Lottery

Our guild is having a block lottery at our October meeting and I stitched up two block this afternoon for it. We will get to put our names in the drawing for the number of blocks we make. Decided I would make a couple as it didn't take any longer to make two than one block. Our "rules" were to make each fabric in the blocks different, choose fall fabrics, and each section is 3 1/2" square or triangle square. It is a simple block and should look really pretty when set together. Now to hope my name gets drawn for the blocks.

Tomorrow is the first session of 4 of the new owners classes for my Bernina 730 so will have to make a trip to Lincoln. Am looking forward to the classes that are spaced 2 weeks apart and hope to learn what all this machine can do. I didn't get the embroidery module for my machine but there are enough new things on this machine that were not on my 150 so the classes are important. It is much easier to have someone show or tell me about how something works than to search through the instruction book and wonder if I am doing everything correctly.

So far I have not had to drive the tractor/grain cart but my time is coming I am sure. John did start harvesting soybeans on Friday and everything is going ok and he has had enough help without me.

Until later,

Friday, September 26, 2008

UFO finished - Yay!

After posting the La Fleur quilts yesterday and commenting that I should finish the #3 one I decided why not get it done right away. I layered it and machine quilted it and even got the binding all stitched yesterday.

I will have to admit the quilting is not as good as I wanted but it will have to do as I am not taking it out. I have a tendancy to be a perfectionist and am working on letting some things be ok the way they are.
I think we will be starting harvest soon, maybe as soon as tomorrow. Since I am the grain cart driver I have to be out there most of the time. Do have a few days I have scheduled to be off but if I am not driving I will probably be fixing meals to take to the guys in the field.
Will try to get some photos of the harvest process posted a few times to show what I actually do and what it all looks like.
Until later....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

La Fleur - Miniature Quilts

Another day with nothing new to show - good thing I have a lot of quilts I have not shown you. I started quilting in 1981 but won't have to go that far back I hope to keep posting something interesting to look at and read here.

I want to apologize ahead of time to any French speaking readers for the names I gave these quilts if they are wrong. I asked a friend who took some French in school and got her advice on how to say "the flower" in French so that is what I named these quilts "La Fleur #1, La Fleur #2 and La Fleur #3". Is that the correct form and spelling? Please let me know if it should be different in any way. The photo below is not in the correct order #2 is first, #1 is second and the un-quilted one to the right in the photo is #3.

I made these for a class I taught using paper piecing techniques. The quilts measure 8 1/4" x 9 1/4" and were made in 2004. When I teach a class I like to give students an idea of what the design looks like with the values reversed - it can make a quilt look totally different as you can see from the photo of #1 and #2.

Here is a detail of La Fleur #1 that shows the machine quilting and the detail of the leaf. The leaf is made like flying geese only they are graduated sizes and then reverse appliqued under the background to give the leaf the curved shape.

I love Mariner's Compass blocks and it is so much fun to have students piece this 3" block with no problems. Most don't have any idea they can work this small but after they learn the tricks and tips they learn it is possible for almost beginners to piece this quilt. I do like anyone that takes this or other PP classes I teach to at least have done some paper pieceing or I spend way too much time explaining how to do just the basics.

I used 1/16" piping around the inside of the binding and like the added detail. The binding is a little less than 1/4" wide on these quilts.

Guess I need to get that last one quilted now as it has been sitting in my UFO box for some time.

Until later....


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fairy Princess and Fairy Queen Quilts

Good Morning Everyone!
Nothing current to show you so will show and tell you about two of the smallest doll bed quilts I have made. The doll beds are about 1/2" wide and 1 1/4" long and are made of pink painted tin. At the time I bought these I wondered if I could make quilts for beds this small and decided to challenge myself so purchased them.
I fused on tiny 1/4" hearts then did a very tiny buttonhole stitch by hand around each one. At the time I was making these I really was having a hard time seeing as I needed to get my glasses updated so things were not as clear and sharp as I needed. To solve my delima I got the magnifying glass with the handle from upstairs and used that to help see where I was stitching.
I was working in the basement by myself and had un-zipped my jeans a little to poke the handle in and zipped them up to hold it. You know you need two hands to do needlework so what else is a girl to do!
About the time I got everything situated and was stitching away my husband came down to visit and see what I was doing. He just rolled his eyes when he saw the magnifying glass.
I told my family about it and for Christmas that year one of my sisters gave me a magnifying glass that hangs around my neck and props up on my chest - she thought it would be a good joke but I use it a lot so the joke is on her I guess.
The lattice lines and scolloped border are all embroidered. I hand quilted these tiny quilts and made teeny tiny pillows for them. At the time we had a house cat and she kept taking off with the pillows or batting them around so ended up stitching them onto the top of the quilt so they would stay put. I named these two quilts "Fairy Princess" and "Fairy Queen".
Happy Quilting....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quilt In A Day

Yesterday I started and finished a project all in one day and I am not even Eleanor Burns! Aren't you amazed?

Guess now I will also have to admit it was a simple kit for a small wall hanging with the borders and center already cut so all I had to do was stitch the borders on, mark my fusible, iron them on, cut them out and fuse.

My sister J gave me this kit when she came to help white glove at the State Fair and it has been sitting on my sewing table since then. Yesterday I wanted to sew but didn't have anything started and my eyes landed on this kit. Was easy and fun to do.

I fused the applique pieces then did a buttonhole stitch around them with coordinating threads. After layering it I used the BSR foot to quilt it. It is getting easier to use the BSR with more practice but I still tend to tense up a lot.

It is called "Tulip Time" by Country Traditions and is 5" x 15". http://www.countrytraditionsonline.com/

Happy Sewing,


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Great US HWY 36 Treasure Hunt Across Kansas

What a busy weekend but oh, what fun!

A friend asked me if I was interested in riding along with her and 3 others to the Great US Highway 36 Treasure Hunt across Kansas on Friday. Of course I said yes and was it a blast! The gals picked me up a little before 7 am that morning and the 5 of us headed west then south towards Norton our first town to search the many many vendors set up around town for antiques, flea market stuff and plain old garage sale finds. We could have spent the entire day just in Norton as there were over 50 different vendors in that town alone. After lunch sometime we left Norton and stopped at quite a few more on our travels east. By the time we were at Smith Center most of them were closed for the evening. I didn't have anything particular I was looking for but ended up with quite a few items and didn't spend much money in the process. It was fun to dicker for the best price and often times a very low price was arrived at. http://www.ushwy36.com/treasure.htm

I purchased this sewing basket and the contents for only $2 but didn't know for sure what was in it until the ride home. Discovered a small antique sewing kit worth much more than the $2 I paid for everything and was thrilled as I have a small collection of those old sewing kits of different varieties. Everything was there except the metal cap to hold needles in the little thread holder.

I decided to also keep a look out for pretty silver pieces of tableware. I was excited to find these pieces and used a little silver cleaner/polish on them as soon as I got home that night - which by the way was almost 10 pm. The two center cake servers are not old and probably don't have much silver in them even though they were tarnished but thought they were pretty. I think the other pieces I bought are old though. I didn't pay over a $1 for any piece and several of them were only $.50 or $.25 so got a real deal.

I just love different shapes and sizes of small glass dishes and relish trays and purchased these two plus got really good deals on the two sets of salt and pepper shakers. I have a collection of salt and pepper shakers that are fun to use when I have company - everyone gets their own set. Our grand kids just love to help set the table when they are here and decide who gets which set of shakers. Sometime I will photograph and show you the rest of the salt and pepper shakers in my collection.

Well that took care of Friday now on to Saturday. The saddle club we belong to sponsored a trail ride along the river and pastures making a big circle from the little town of Oak and back - think it is a 15 to 17 mile ride so it takes several hours. To answer your next question - No I do not ride.

I do however help with registration at trail rides and generally just socialize at the monthly meetings. We had 103 riders register yesterday and for the most part my husband reported everyone got along fine.

I helped serve the dinner for all the riders at a pasture along the way at noon and after the drawings were held my husband made me crawl up on the trailer they were using and presented me with a large decorated cake for my birthday. Of course he announced how old I was and made the entire group sing happy birthday to me. (Most of whom I didn't even know, nor did he - how embarrassing.) I cut the cake and shared it with everyone that wanted some but still brought about 1/3 of it home. I am not sure how he kept the cake a secret from me as he purchased it in Hastings 3 days before and had kept it in one of our freezers then sneaked it out that morning to his pickup.

After the trail ride we sat around Oak that evening and visited and had supper in the local restaurant/tavern. It is such a tiny town one guy even had his pickup parked in the middle of the street and some people were sitting on the tail gate and any vehicles that came up the street just went around. We had lawn chairs sitting on the street too and it was not a problem. It was such a pleasant evening and everyone enjoyed discussing the ride and resting a bit I believe. Was a nice way to spend my birthday I guess!

Got my sewing table cleaned off ths afternoon so maybe tomorrow I can sew a little. Don't know how it gets loaded down with all kinds of stuff but it happens so quickly I have to be diligent and unload it periodically.

Until Later.....Lynn

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Purse Done And Ready To Use

The messenger bag/purse is finished and ready to fill. I think it was about 11 pm last night when I got it done but was determined to finish. I do like it but the big test will be when I load it up with all my stuff and carry it around for a while.

I quilted the front flap after I stitched the back and front together and put a little Thermore batting it to give it some dimension without adding any weight. My big thing with purses is to have the purse as light as I can as after carrying any purse for a while it seems to get heavier and heavier. I like the nice wide strap on this pattern too.
The flap is attached in the back in a way that it covers the back pocket.
My birthday is on Saturday and this is the year I have to renew my drivers license and I completely spaced it off until yesterday. Had to drive to a neighboring county to get it as the DMV is not open in our county on Thursdays. Got everything taken care of and my new license is in my billfold now. It is always a relief to have that over and I don't know why I worry about it as I have been driving a LONG time and have only gotten one speeding ticket in my life. The way they have it set up now is that you don't have to take the test every time like we used to but still I am relieved when I have that new license in my hand. I think the part I hate the most about getting a driver's license is getting my photo taken. The DMV photos are always so bad and I have to look at that photo for 5 years before I get a chance to have another one taken.

Quilt guild is tonight and I am on the serving committee for this month. Am taking some raw veg. and dip plus some peaches which I will slice at the last minute and vanilla yogurt as a dip for them. I just love vanilla yogurt and fruit - it almost tastes decadent it is so good. The Colorado peaches have been excellent this year and I have been eating them as fast as I buy them.
Until later....Lynn

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Messenger Bag/Purse Progress

As you can see from the photo the messenger bag/purse is coming along. I didn't have any black Velcro or could have finished it the other day. Yesterday I had to go to Hastings so picked some up at Wal-Mart.
That in itself is a little tricky and requires a lot of reading of packages. I wanted the "sew in" kind and they had lots and lots of packages of different sizes, etc. of Velcro but only one of the kind I wanted - a package of white and a package of black. There were all sizes and colors of the stick on kind or iron on kind. Thought for a purse with lots of times opening and closing I wanted it to not come off so needed the kind that is stitched down. When I am at a regular sewing store the next time I plan to look at the Velcro and see what they have and maybe get some to stockpile until I need it.

When you live at least an hour away from any shopping besides groceries you tend to buy things when you are there instead of when you actually need them. Invariably I decide to make something on the spur of the moment and need the materials on hand. I can't always make the trip (nor do I want to drive somewhere if I am fired up to work on something).

I tend to buy groceries ahead too and always have things in my cupboard. Part of that is due to growing up in the country and living in the country all my life. When the weather is bad or if company shows up after 6 or on Sunday our local grocery store is not an option. The small towns just can't keep the hours that city stores do and sometimes the weather is so bad we can't make into even our local town. I know people that have moved here from cities and don't understand why I have so many canned and frozen foods on hand and why I don't just buy a week's worth at a time. They soon learn. Besides I really don't like to take time to buy groceries any more often than I have to.

I really digressed there didn't I? Well now, back to my purse. I have the lining stitched together and added a long zippered pocket to one side and put a small zippered pocked on the other side. The pattern just had one pocket on the inside and had elastic in it but I like to keep a few things in my purse a little more secure.

I also added a small Velcro strip to the inside of the outside purse pockets. Thought that would also help things from falling out.
I really like the way the designer did the strap. It looks like it has binding on the edges but is not how it is done. The part that looks like binding is actually the underside fabric. It is cut larger than the front piece of fabric and after they are stitched together and turned, the back rolls around to the front - cool!

Hope the purse is not too stiff as I interfaced all the fabrics to give the batiks more body. Think it will soften up the more I use it.

Back to working on my bag.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Pintucks & Couching

I did get a chance to start working on the purse last evening and had fun using some different techniques on the flap. I decided to piece the flap but will follow the pattern for the rest of the pieces. Am using several of my fabrics so hope it all comes together in the end and looks coordinated.

Used my pintuck foot and put 7 rows of pintucks then skipped 2" then 7 more, etc. When I started pintucking I thought I would just do the entire strip. After doing the first 7 rows I thought it might take me forever to pintuck the entire strip so just spaced 3 sets of pintucks and called it good! Using the foot was really easy and I did insert a small cord to make them stand up more too.

On the other side of the flap I used the free motion couching foot. I think my yarn was a little too thin as the stitching didn't catch in a few places but after I was done I went back and stitched the yarn down in the loose spots. This was really fun and could be really addicting so watch out for other couched threads on future projects.
Now to figure out what other pieces I need to cut. This pattern is not the easiest to figure out as the only photo or diagram of the entire purse is the one on the front and reading her fabric choices for the different pieces is a little difficult.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fabric Purse & Another Doll Bed

Feel like I was away from home all week. John and I entertained our German cousin Peter so spent a lot of time "playing" and seeing the sights. We took in Church services last Sunday, South Central Cattlemen's meeting, Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, had dinners with our daughters and John's sister plus went 4-wheeling, horse back riding (not me-I don't ride)and took a trip out to see the Sandhills area of Nebraska. All that on top of driving to Lincoln (2 1/2 hr trip one way) to pick him up at the airport there and taking him to Omaha (3 hr trip one way) yesterday to catch his plane home. Whew...no wonder I am tired!

I have some fabrics gathered to make this bag/purse pictured below. Of course I will not use all the fabrics but this is the color pallet I selected - now to weed out the ones I don't want. They showed this bag/purse at the last Club Sew at the meeting at the Bernina Store in Lincoln in September. Really liked it so will give it a go. Want to try some of the techniques that they showed on one of the purses she made. Have a pin tuck foot and will use that on some area and want to couch some yarn too.
Thought I would get to it this afternoon but after catching up on reading all my lists and answering email the afternoon has just slipped by. I have not checked my favorite blogs yet either.

I belong to several Yahoo lists and get a digest from them everyday. This week I have not had time to read any of them so had many to read then delete. I enjoy these lists as there is a constant flow of questions and answers. I contribute very little but read them everyday and have learned a lot, picked up tips, etc. There are groups for any subject you might be interested in but I belong to NebraskaQuilters, Applique-Lovers, Applique-Addicts, one for my Bernina Sewing Machine called 430_440_630_640_730 and a list Info-EQ from Planet Patchwork (good help if you own the Electric Quilt program.) I used to also belong to a few digital camera lists and a couple of garden lists but have dropped them - too much reading and I couldn't keep up.

Some groups have a lot of messages everyday and others don't have very many or may go several days between messages.

The doll quilt I am going to show you today is called Swamp Star. I made it in 1997, designed it on the Electric Quilt program and the blocks were foundation pieced. Four of the 3/4" blocks make up each star. The quilt is hand quilted along the seams. I purchased the doll bed in New Orleans so that suggested the name I gave to the quilt.
Weather report for today....it is windy and temps are mid 60s but the sun is shining. After a week of overcast and rainy weather the sun that came out yesterday afternoon was wonderful!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Waiting for Halloween

I received an email asking about the pattern for the applique in the latest quilt I finished - "Waiting for Halloween." I am sorry I forgot to tell you where the pattern came from on that blog posting.

I used a pattern from the book pictured below "Two-Hour Mini Quilt Projects" by McKenzie Kate c. 1997 and made changes to to it for my quilt block. I enlarged it joined the motifs together without the spaces and added front legs to the cat and eliminated the heart. The pattern in the book showed the design fused onto the lid of a wooden box.
The book is packed full of easy applique designs by several designers and the design I used was by Rebecca Carter. I have used quite a few of the applique designs from this book at different times since I purchased it but I don't always use the design the same way the designers did. I may use it as a jumping off point for another design or change it to fit what I want to do at the time.

The quilt I am going to show you today is another one I made a few years ago. It is called "Color Play" an original design made in 2004. My goal for this quilt was to do a color wheel and had fun finding the various colors for my small Mariner's compass blocks. It is machine pieced and hand quilted and to finish it I put small Prairie Points around the outside of the quilt. I hang it using one straight pin and have the yellow points at the top of the quilt like you see other color wheels displayed. I used the Electric Quilt computer program to design the small compass blocks and the setting. Love that program!!! I use it in almost every quilt I make some way or other. http://www.electricquilt.com/
It took a little math to get the space divided up equally for the Prairie Points and get them inserted between the front and backing euqally spaced but did finally get them to fit the way I wanted. This quilt received a first place ribbon for hand quilted miniature at the 2004 State Fair.
Today I have really not gotten anything done but cook and catching up on some paper work. I did manage to get to a quilt shop yesterday to purchase enough coordinating fabric for the purse I want to make but still need to get it washed. I wash all my fabric before I use it - have had one real big mess and never want to repeat that problem!

Went to Husker Harvest Days (Really, really big farm show) yesterday in Grand Island with John and Peter so after we left the grounds I had a chance to pick up the fabric I needed before we had supper with my sister-in-law's family.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Little Baltimore Album

Burr - it is sure cold and damp out today. It was only 48 degrees by 11 am. and it doesn't feel any warmer now yet at 1:30 pm. We had a real thunder boomer of a storm during the middle of the night. It has been quite a while since we have had thunder that loud or last as long as it did last night. We ended up with about 1 1/2" of rain so everything is muddy around the farm this morning. Enough of the weather report....

Yesterday 3 quilting friends and I traveled to Grand Island for the China Luncheon and Bed Turning the guild up there did. They patterned it after the one we did last spring and it was as great as ours was. They had 21 tables all decorated in a different theme for us to look at then the luncheon was served. The bed was piled high with quilts at the front of the room and each quilt lifted and the narration read then the quilts were walked around the room. The quilts they showed were all so beautiful. I was lucky enough to sit at a table at the front so had a good view of the quilts as they showed them. It was a fun afternoon and great inspiration for ideas.

No sewing done lately so am showing a quilt I made several years ago. In fact I started it the day after my youngest daughter graduated from high school. You know how some dates just stick in your mind. Usually I don't remember those kind of things but remember I was so busy getting my house ready and the food ready for the graduation party and all I wanted to do was start on this quilt. The next day I did get started and it was like taking a vacation - I remember it was wonderful to sew. Finished quilting it a year later in 1996 - got delayed finishing it with other projects.

The blocks are machine appliqued to the background with the invisible stitch and I hand quilted the quilt. I quilted around the motifs then quilted a 1/2" grid in the background being very careful to have it come out exactly at the corners and at the binding and kept the lines evenly spaced. I call it "Little Baltimore Album" but used the pattern Baltimore Album by Diane Lane to make this quilt. I made a few small changes to her block patterns and changed the swag border a little too. It measures 26 1/2" x 33". This is one of my favorite quilts and it hangs in my dining room. I entered it in the State Fair that year and it got a 1st in applique wallhangings hand quilted and 1st overall wallhanging so I am very proud of it too.
We are having a great time with Peter, our German cousin. It is so much fun to show him the farm, etc. After I got home from the China Luncheon/Bed Turning yesterday we all took a 4-wheeler ride by way of the back roads to the river to see how the new bridge on the Little Blue River is coming along. It was about a 6 mile ride and got a little chilly but I did have on a heavy coat and a band around my ears to help keep the wind out. Some people call the machines quads or ATVs - if that helps to understand. Peter had never driven one before but really did great and is anxious to ride again. Think horseback riding is on tap for this afternoon though.

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Waiting for Halloween" quilt finished

"Waiting for Halloween" is finished now as of a couple of days ago. I had not put actual piping around the edge of binding since I took the class our guild had last fall by Peg Pennell, so had to get my instructions out to make sure I was doing it right. With this method you cut strips of binding a few inches longer than the side of the quilt then do a mitered seam after the strips are stitched to the sides. A little tricky but it turned out great. Since with this method you stitch the binding on the back first then pull it to the front you can stitch in the ditch to secure the binding to the front so no hand stitching.

I do need to get it washed to get out the white lines where I marked my quilting designs yet. Am hoping it doesn't shrink too much as I split some wool batting to use in the quilt as I couldn't find any cotton in my stash - found some later but had already started quilting and wasn't going to take it out.

I am the newsletter person for our guild this year and am trying to get it finished and out today. It is not that big a job if all the members would get their articles to me in time.

Last night I drove to Superior to listen to Pat Knoechel (sister to Eleanor Burns). She had been here last year and came again - she was an entertaining speaker and was fun to listen to. Of course she basically showed how some of the blocks and quilts were made from the books and patterns from the Quilt In A Day company. There was a pretty good sized group to listen to her and of course to buy her stuff after the program. She had tables full of books, patterns, rulers, etc. and of course I had to buy something. Got a small set of flying geese rulers. They will be too big for my miniatures but thought they would come in handy for other projects.

Tomorrow we are picking up a second cousin in his early 20s from Germany for a week visit at the farm with us. He has never been here before so will be fun to show him around and take in all the local sights.

We want to get up to Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island one day with him too. For those not from Nebraska, Husker Harvest Days is a very large display of every kind and brand of any product or machine farmers might want or use - kind of like Paducah and Houston are to quilters. It pulls in attendees from other states too so it a big deal for any farmer to attend. It is always fun to see what the new products look like and of course there are lots of "freebies" to pick up or tasty treats to snack on.

Not sure how much sewing/quilting I will be able to while he is here. I bought a couple of purse patterns the other day plus an apron pattern and fabric. Maybe I can get a start on one of them.

Helped John pick up irrigation pipe this morning so now this afternoon I need to work on getting my house in shape for company.

PS - links to posts on designing and making this quilt can be found on the following pages;
August 28, 2008
August 30, 2008
September 10, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nebraska State Fair Winners

You get a peek at a few of the State Fair quilts today. There were so many great quilts to see during the fair this year and I am glad I got two chances to see them. My photos of the best miniature quilt did not turn out so I can not show you it - rats. It was hung at an odd angle to take a photo but I am showing you just a few of the top quilts and some detail photos I took of them.

The first place quilt was made by Sandi McMillan of Albion. This magnificent quilt was judged "Best Over All Quilt" or Grand Champion quilt, "Best Machine Quilting" (she does it on a domestic sewing machine) and "Best Machine Appliqued Bed Quilt". Sandy is probably one of the State's best quilters and her work is always a treat to see. She wins prizes each year, very deservedly, and I hope she keeps bringing quilts to the fair every year so everyone can see and appreciate her fine detailed work.

This next quilt, also bed quilt size, was made by Kristin Vierra of Lincoln and was judged "Best Mixed Technique" and received the second place for machine quilting.

This large wall quilt (was the same size as the bed quilts) was made by Judy Woodworth of Gering. It had so much to look at including feathers attached to the top of the peacock. Her machine quilting is also magnificent. This quilt received the honor of "Best Wall Quilt" and "Reserve Champion Quilt"

This beautiful applique quilt was made by Donna Stenneche of Gretna. It won the award for "Best Bed quilt , Commercially Quilted". Wonderful applique and the border was beautiful.
Next I am showing you the quilt made by Peggy Bruns of Lexingtion. It won "Best Pieced Bed Quilt, Hand Quilted" and "Best Hand Quilting". This quilt is the raffle quilt for the Nebraska State Quilt Guild for this year and the winner will be drawn next July when we have our convention in Lincoln. Her hand quilting is so even and so tiny.
This wall quilt (quite large - about bed size) was made by Maralee Meyer of Milford. It was judged to be the "Best Wall Quilt Commercially Quilted" and also was selected as "Judges Choice". The fabrics chosen were bright and colorful, her piecing was perfect and the quilting was really nice.

This last quilt I am going to show you was also made by Sandi McMillan of Albion. It is a wall hanging about 25" square. Wanted to show some more of her wonderful quilting. This quilt got a 2nd place ribbon but won one of the special awards.

You will notice several other special awards on the quilt photos. Businesses, groups and individuals have set up awards for special things that vary from best machine and hand quilting awards to awards for best quilts made from poke-a-dot fabrics and quilts with a pig on them. Quilts can be entered in these categories as well as the State Fair categories and it gives each quilter another chance to win some extra prize money, gift certificates, or a special prize.
Yesterday I went to Lincoln to pick up my quilts from the State Fair and read the judges comments. Who ever the judge was hit the mark on my quilts and found everything I knew was wrong with them. She had some nice comments too. Didn't post the photos again as photos are already in some one or other of my blogs.
Since it was the first Tuesday of the month it was also Club Sew day at the Bernina dealer so didn't have to make a special trip to Lincoln for it this month. The gal showed several purses she made and told how she achieved the different details on the purses. Of course I had to buy a couple more feet and some more thread for my machine while there.
Need to get ready for the day now- enjoy the quilt photos. To make them larger just click on the photo.


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