Thursday, September 30, 2010

Threads Across Nebraska

Today I deliver my doll beds and other miniature quilts to Grand Island for the Threads Across Nebraska show and vendor mall.  I was so pleased to be asked to display my little quilts at this show.  I'm not sure how much room there will be but am taking them all along so we can figure out where the different doll beds will fit.  A curio cabinet will be delivered from one of the furniture stores for displaying my doll beds.  This makes me feel pretty good about displaying them with so much foot traffic by - more secure than sitting on a table.

I had some of the write-ups done in the past when I displayed my doll beds at museums in Lexington and Aurora, NE.  I have re-written the descriptions some and some I had to write up since they are new since then.  I could keep re-writing them but guess I had just better stop and call it good. 

Here is a article that was in Monday's Omaha World Herald newspaper about Threads.

No photos today...sorry.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Machine Quilting


I quilted the stems an leaves with the variegated green rayon thread. Like it too and am not worrying about the raw edges. Stitch by stitch I am getting it quilted.

My time is short due to PT, babysitting my grandsons and harvest.  I am not driving the tractor/grain cart yet but do have to fix food for the guys in the field.  They work late late so need to have something to eat in the evening.  Sometimes they work until 10:00 pm.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Little Autumn Mums

Started quilting on the Little Autumn Mums quilt. I am taking it slow and really enjoying the process. Most times I am in such a hurry to quilt something to see how it is going to look. I get tired and sometimes hurry a quilting design. This time I have not had large blocks of time so quilt a little when I have a chance.

I I used the Rayon thread on the flower petals and the centers of the three mums. I did have to lower the tension quite a bit on the top Rayon thread and tightened the bobbin thread a little too. I am using Bottom Line for the bottom thread on this quilt. I used a topsitich needle and it all seemed to work fine. Really like the shine the thread has. Now to think of what I want to quilt on the other areas of the quilt.

Stay tuned for more quilting.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Harvest has started here now. John is combining corn just east of our house. He tried cutting some soybeans but the moisture content was too high so went back to corn.  I stepped out of my front door and snapped these photos. You can see the horses in the pasture just beyond the lot fences then the cornfield in this first photo.

You can see the combine emptying the corn onto the grain cart in the first photo and the second photo shows the tractor and grain cart going to the truck where the corn will be augered into it.

So far I have not even tried to drive the grain cart. Not sure when I will try. So far John has not needed me which is OK by me. I am not looking forward to doing it this year anyway.
Happy Harvest

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ankle Update

I have been going to physical therapy twice a week and have been making a little progress until this week.  For some reason I am having a lot of achy pain in my ankle.  I am trying to do the exercises several times a week here at home but of course I don't have all the machines, and apparatus they have but do what I can.  My therapy sessions usually last 1 1/2 to 2 hours so am really exhausted by the time I get home each time.

Took this photo of my scar this afternoon. I think it doesn't look too bad but the photo really makes my leg look blue. I have very transparent skin so I can always see the shallow veins and guess the camera picked it up.  As you can see I don't have much swelling left now.

I am waiting for the day when I can walk normally and maybe even run a little.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quilting Threads and Backing

I purchased threads for quilting the Autumn Mums quilt (Frieda Anderson class) the other day.  I also bought a lime green backing fabric.  The fabric is sorta splotchy and think it will work out for the backing for this quilt.  It is not hand dyed like the fabrics on front but less expensive than hand dyes. 

I did select Rayon threads for my quilting threads as I wanted a shiny look.  Hope they hold up - I have heard that Rayon can by less strong as other threads but this quilt is not going to be an heirloom anyway.  Anyone with any experience using Rayon threads to quilt with?  Will let you know how it works out for me.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Woops...I spotted a Goof!

As I was getting my Frieda Anderson quilt ready to quilt I found a big mistake that I made when making it.  Can you see it?
Look closely at the you see it now? In class we cut the border strips and fused them to the body of the quilt and I didn't even see that I made that mistake. It is supposed to have short borders on the sides and longer borders on the ends.

As you can see, I fused the left side cut the ends off then fused the top and bottom borders and the right side last.  I never saw the goof until it was too late to do anything about it.

There are no seams to rip as it is all fused plus it is fused to the batting. Frieda's method is to fuse everything which was fun but maybe if it was a stitched piece I could fix it...oh well, I still like it.

I think it is so funny that you can be looking at something for days and not see the mistake. The brain makes us see what we want to see I guess. Of course now that is all I can see when I look at it.

Happy Quilting and keep your eyes open!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday...hard to believe the age I am now. I just don't know where all those years went and they went by so quickly. I was talking to my mother who is 89 about that not too long ago and I told her I really don't feel like I am as old as I am. (Will not divulge my age to you all as I don't want you to know how really old and decrepit I am.)

I told her I feel I should be about 15 years younger...that number sounds just about right. She laughed and said that if I think I am having a hard time believing how old I am then try to be the mother of such an "old" daughter. We laughed and then she said she really doesn't feel in her head that she is 89 either but closer to 70-75. Of course she followed that by saying that some days she felt like she was 109 though!

I am having the best birthday ...just doing what I want which is pretty much nothing. This morning I cleaned off some of the audio books that I have listened to from my iPod. Have washed up some fabric and hope to get the Freida Anderson quilt basted to quilt. I love not having anywhere to go today. I purposely scheduled my PT for tomorrow so I wouldn't have to drive to Hastings.

The only thing making my birthday less than perfect is the horrible winds we are having today. The weather guy said they are gusting 35 + miles per hour so it is pretty nasty out. The temperature is up to 91 degrees F now too so it is both hot and windy. Sure a big change from Saturday and Sunday when it was down to low 50s for the high each day.

Guess I will now go do some more of that nothing and enjoy the rest of the day.
(The photo I took this morning with my camera on a tripod - you know it is hard to take a photo of yourself and make yourself look natural and normal. I had so many really bad ones and this one was the best of the lot.)

Quilt Guild Quilt Program

The quilt guild I belong meets in the assisted living facility.  The building is new and the room we meet in is very nice.  We are not charged rent and they make the coffee and tea for our meetings as well so we sure can't beat that kind of a deal.

Last Thursday evening was our regularly scheduled meeting and we were asked by the assisted living people if we could do a quilt showing for the residents that afternoon. Of course we said we could do that for them.

I took a few quilts down and several other members brought quilts too. It was a really pleasant afternoon. Members told about their quilts and held them up for the residents to see. We also walked around the room with the quilts so they could get a closer look as well.

We heard lots of compliments after the program so am glad we did it for them. I am sure we will do it again sometime as it really was not much work and you know quilters always like to talk about and show their quilts. A lot of the residents were quilters in their younger years so were very interested in seeing what we make.

Happy Quilting,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chilly Fall Trail Ride

Yesterday was the annual trail ride for the Circle CTN saddle club. We had about 80 horses and riders show up for the ride. It is about a 15 mile ride with a break at noon when the club serves everyone a meal. This is a photo of some of the horses as they leave Oak, Nebraska at the start of the ride.  Most of the ride is through pastures and very little road riding so the scenery is really pretty for the riders.

Everyone was so cold when they arrived for the noon break as the temperature had dropped all morning. It was 61 degrees F. at 7:30 am and 54 degrees F. at noon with a pretty good wind blowing to make it feel even colder. There was also a fine mist falling so everyone was wishing for a hot drink instead of the iced tea and water we had.
John on his horse Jesse at the noon break.  We have the meal in our pasture which is about half way for the ride.

I took this photo looking at the riders getting ready to depart after lunch.  The club sets up panels in groups of three to make triangles for the riders to tie up their horses during the break.

The club used to have the trail ride in July but after so many years of extreme heat they moved it to a weekend in September. The 100 degree days in July were too hard on the horses and the riders. At least when it is cold you can add layers of clothing. I was amazed at how many people that just brought a light jacket...maybe they will remember to bring a couple of sweatshirts next year.  I am just glad I got to come home after everyone finished eating.  We served BBQ brisket on buns, pork and beans, potato salad, brownies and tea/water so it was a really good meal.

(Have a cup of hot tea in my hands too to try to warm up after being outside and getting pretty chilly)


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Frieda Anderson Project

This week I worked on the class project from the Frieda Anderson workshop I took at the Nebraska State Quilt Convention. The Quilt is called Small Autumn Mums. This really was a fun project as Freida's technique is to fuse all the fabric and most of it is cut free form with the rotary cutter without the aid of a ruler.

It really is hard to just cut Frieda's beautiful hand dyed fabric this way after so many years of cutting with rulers but actually was quite freeing. I tend to be a perfectionist about accuracy and so this was way away from "normal" for me.

The background was fused together first on the large pieces of paper we peeled off the back of our fused fabric. Everything was built up and fused as we went...worked really well.

It is ready to machine quilt now and I am not sure how I want to quilt it or what threads I want to use yet. I did get some fabric yesterday to use for the backing. I didn't have any of Frieda's fabric for backing so this is just a piece of commercially mfg. fabric.

It sure is cold here this morning...when I left the house at 7:30 am it was 61 degrees and now at 11:00 am it is 54.  I guess it is supposed to be colder yet today so must be fall.  Yesterday was beautiful with temps in the mid 80s.


Friday, September 17, 2010

State Fair County Blocks

With the new building at the State Fair they decided to have a display of quilt blocks to represent each of the 93 counties in Nebraska. The blocks are to be made 26" square and framed to 24" in black frames. The request was to have the name of the county a certain size and the theme is pretty much up to the maker. We could have anything that pertained to the county...history, industry, towns, etc. on our blocks.

I was honored to be asked to make a block for the county I live in. If we could get our blocks done by this past State Fair they would be framed and displayed but the final deadline is next year's State Fair. I am so glad of the longer deadline as I had the idea and had it sketched out, then broke my ankle so the work on the block stopped.  There were about 28-29 blocks done and hung this year.

I am glad to say that my block is now finished and will be mailed off to be framed to be hung at next year's Nebraska State Fair!

I fused the different elements to the background then quilted it all with clear polyester thread. My theme is a little history, a little nature and little industry. The Oregon Trail came through the county as did the Pony Express trail so depicted them on my block. The main industry here is agriculture and the two tall corn plants represents all the agriculture enterprises...corn, soybeans, milo, wheat, cattle, hogs, sheep, etc. Lastly I have flying geese in the sky as we are on a migratory route for geese and ducks, the blue on the bottom of the block is to represent the two rivers that flow through Nuckolls county...the Republican and the Little Blue. I quilted each motif down to keep it from releasing,  then quilted swirling circles in the sky to represent the winds that blow through here and the spiky quilting in the bottom section is to represent the grass lands in our county.

It was a real challenge to put a lot of meaning into the block and not make it too busy and I hope I accomplished that. I know there are areas I would probably do differently now such as the value of the corn and husks that tend to blend in with the stalk since they are the same fabric plus the ear of corn doesn't show up on top of the covered wagon but guess it is OK the way it is. Can't wait to see it framed as that will help it look finished and cover up the oops where I had to pull some of the fused wagon off the white background.

I enjoyed quilting this piece and am anxious to work on something else now...don't know what yet but an idea will come to me.  There are several UFOs I can pull out so if I can't think of something new I can work on one of them.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nebraska State Fair

I am a few weeks late posting these photos but here are the top two winners of the Nebraska State Fair quilt competition. They were beautiful and the workmanship was perfect!

The Best of Show went to this quilt made by Audrey Suiter from McCook, Nebraska.  It was beautifully done and deserving of the award.

The Reserve Best of Show went to Loriann Sanders from Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  Another applique quilt that was so beautiful. 

Congratulations to both and to all the rest of the winners of the different classes!

For those reading this that are not from Nebraska you may not know that the Nebraska State Fair has moved from Lincoln to Grand Island. This was a big move with lots of controversy which I am not going to get into here. The state fair was held in Lincoln for 100 years so it was an emotional move for a lot of people that had good memories associated with it in that location.

The first fair in Grand Island, a small city in the center of the state, opened Aug. 27th for an 11 day run. The amazing thing is that the city of Grand Island only had 13 months to build the huge, and I mean HUGE buildings that house most of the exhibits. Here is a link to the Nebraska State Fair web page. I can't even tell you how big the buildings they put up are as they are just enormous.  The facilities are state of the art!

I have heard that the livestock barns and show arena are the largest indoor facilities in the United States. I can't document that but that is what the rumor we have been hearing. The show arena is air conditioned and heated if necessary so it can be used in the winter for other shows. The Exhibition building and 4-H/FFA buildings are also air conditioned and heated so they can be used other seasons too.

The Exhibition building is where the quilts were housed this year. There is a "small" room built inside the huge building and the quilts were displayed in this room. When I say "small" I would imagine that you could put a basketball court inside that room alone.

Everyone was so excited to have a special place for the quilts but the sad thing is that a lot of them had to be folded this year. It isn't the space as there is the same amt. or more space than we have had in the past. The problem, and it is a good problem, was that there were 704 quilts entered this year. Last year there were 456 quilts entered from 177 people and this year there were 704 quilts entered by 257 people. All I could say was WOW - so many beautiful and well made quilts!

Grand Island is more centrally located in the state so it is easier for a lot of quilters to get their quilts entered. The show was great but already we need more room - what a wonderful problem.

I know the grounds are not finished yet and some more buildings are to be erected and landscaping done so who knows what the future holds. Hope it is as grand a show next year as it was this year.

I entered two quilts and they didn't receive ribbons but I knew that they would not place when I entered them. We know when we have done a good job and when there are problems. I just wanted to be able to show a couple of my quilts. The judges comments were right on...everything I already knew so it was not a surprise. She had lots of good things to say too though. (I can't imagine writing comments for 704 quilts!) I try to encourage everyone I know to enter at least one quilt as it is fun to see so many on display and it is fun to see your quilt hanging for the public to see. I always think maybe someone, somewhere might get inspiration to start quilting by seeing a quilt in a show and who knows maybe it might be one of mine that gets someone interested in quilting or trying a new technique!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Slow Start But Hopefully I'm Back!

Getting back to blogging has been hard. After I broke my ankle in June I wasn't doing any quilting or sewing and mostly just was laying around with my foot in the air for weeks and feeling sorry for myself. This seemed to go on for ever and even after I was more mobile on crutches my days seemed to be taken up with just getting from place to place in the house and basic living.

I have had the cast off for 5 weeks now but had to wear a knee high heavy boot strapped onto my foot and leg for a couple of weeks after that. Learning to walk again normally has been work, hard work. The ligaments that were torn had to heal then have been really tight so I have been going to physical therapy two to three times a week - an hour drive from here. The exercises are helping but still have a long way to go to be able to lift my foot and point my toes upward.  Little by little I am getting more movement though.

This week I did sit down at the sewing machine for the first time since June - Hallelujah! The first thing I did was repair a work glove that John had wanted me to fix way back in June. Using the foot pedal was ok but did have to reposition it to make it more comfortable.

I then made a friendship star block for a quilt guild member that lost her mother this summer. The quilt guild I belong to makes blocks for members when requested for deaths of family members, serious illnesses, etc. It is a nice gesture and much appreciated by the recipients. I make a block for every request because I have been on the receiving end and know how much it means to know you are thought of during a difficult time in your life with these special blocks from your friends.

We make these 6" blocks in the colors we think the recipient likes so each time it is a different set of colors.

Hope to be blogging more now....kind of interesting to start again after such a long time. It is kind of like riding a bicycle though as it comes back to you.

Here's to "talking" to you all again!


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