Sunday, August 26, 2007

Alzheimers Quilt Initiative

My Grandmother Laura Armeda Barnes is 83 and has Alzheimers. She has been in a local nursing home (in the Alzheimers unit within) since Spring of this year.
She was an avid seamstress.When I was a young teenager she spent a lot of time making custom outfits for me ( I was hard to fit) as well as garments for my mom when she was a teenager growing up and for herself.
I credit my Grandmother (for both DNA and fabric exposure)with my fondness for fabric(OK anything TEXTILE RELATED!!)
In her most recent years she caught the "Quilting Bug" along with my Mom and me. She managed to put together several quilts as well as collaborate with us on some bed quilt projects.
She also enjoyed crocheting afgans,doing embroidery and stitched several pillowcases for us.
My Mom has become involved at the nursing home,most recently their Alzheimers fundraising event that took place this weekend. She pieced a quiltop and I machine quilted it. It was raffled off this weekend and a young girl won it.
The link above will tell you more about this Alzheimers Art Quilt Exhibit and how you can help by sending an e-mail to OPRAH (cause we ALL KNOW what happens then...)to get this exhibit for this worthy cause OUT THERE!!
If you have had the opportunity to view this exhibit and attend the lecture,(and/or buy the book or CD )you know how moving and important this exhibit is to getting the message across. PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE with the Oprah people.
There are links to view the quilts also a NEW EXHIBIT TO PARTICIPATE IN (small quilts)if you are so inclined.You can also read more about the project in general.

did I say big?? I meant BIG!!!!

It's DONE!!!!!!!!!
Quick N Dirty Baby!!!(well kinda...)Yay.

D found an update for the printer software so now I'm compatable enough to be able to download NEW PICS and be Bloggin for ya!!(who loves ya?)
So......remember the plaids in the washing machine pic??
Well they have been put together into what I would call a "Utility Quilt" top and are now as I type, being quilted.( Well I'll get back to quilting it in a minute!! First I must update!)
When I say "Utility Quilt" I'm thinking of "usedbythefamilyanddog havingpizzainthebasementwiththeneighborhoodkidswashedweekly" kind of quilt.
And this one would stand up to it...these are more of a canvas type weight fabrics..pretty darn sturdy. When it gets quilted up with the batting and backing on it they are also heavier than the usual.
The blocks in the pic are soooooo big ( I'll tell ya how big!) that I have to advance the rollers on my machine back and forth to get to each end(on the diagonal)
in one contiuous line.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about just trust me on this one.
LARGE 22inches square LARGE.
Anyhoo....this should go fairly quickly...... hopefully cause I've got lots to do
today!!(UPDATE Got 'Er DONE!!! see above pic.......)
But before I go........I must mention a couple of things!!
I'ts called "Quilters Home" . I'ts edited by a guy by the name of Mark Lapinsky..( I know I had never heard of him either but) I AM NOW A FAN!!!!It's put out by McCalls and worth picking up!!
Also new link "Quiltville" check it out!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Kinda soggy here...........thanks for asking!!!!!!

Hey Kids!!'s been a few days. I know you are all wondering WTF?????
OK here's the deal.....
Was super busy trying to finish stuff and get ready for doing local Farmers Market today.
COMPUTER took a crap. no worky.bupkis nada etc........NUTHIN!!!!.
D got out his "other' computer and we are hooked up for maximum GAMING PLEASURE now here but I am without a compatable connection to all my old photos and method to up load new ones.
Heavy sigh.
Drove around to a couple neighboring towns looking for a video card for computer.
Again nothing.
Stopped at a Midwestern Dairy Burger Chain and orderd my usual. Several girls were standing around waiting for something to do.
One was playing with her hair and then decided to wipe her nose a couple of times with her hand....then to my horror...she proceded to begin to make my ice cream order..........
This was more than I could stand !! I said excuse me !! and in a polite ,subdued but explicit way asked to to go wash her hands and imitated what she just did.
I cannot tell you how many times I have observed people in the 'FOOD INDUSTRY" handling food after touching money or as in this case touching their hair or face .
D said he had the worst meal he has ever had there. I was completely apalled at the lack of basic hygiene skills being exhibited. I 've got 1/2 a mind ( not a full one) to go to their website and let them know.. too bad I didn't keep my receipt!!
New "video card" (let's hope it will fix this) has been ordered from "large feline with stripes electronic geek supply" and will arrive shortly.
So I apologize for not having any exciting(!) visuals...AND
In case you were wondering..
I'ts been RAINING everyday here in the good 'ol MIDWEST for the past week.
Lots of places have been hit hard with flooding,uprooted trees,and power outages.
We ,thankfully , have been pretty lucky. The chickens were mudboggin until we got them some straw yesterday. My yard is one giant grassy sponge but no biggie really!!
TODAY we got up before the chickens at 5 am and loaded up the ol truckster in the DARK in the RAIN to go to the FARMERS MARKET. There were a few(very!) other vendors there and we endured a handful of shoppers and a whopping blowing rain front for a short while.
Then the rain started soaking thru to the front of a quilt I had hanging as a back drop.
Thats when I decided to pack it up and head home @ 9:00 or so.
I made a whopping $6. I put on some dry clothes and went back to bed.Fooey.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Customer quilt....Bricks #1.....

These plaids are classic guy stuff!!!Just a small sampling of the "Stash from the Mart"!!!!!
Well, it's happened.
More like not happened.
I called my boss last night to check on the status of work for this week.
Left a message. No reply.
I told myself this would be the week to start looking for a job.
Bummer really.....I actually enjoyed painting houses. I made a decent wage for a change and got some sort of a sense of accomplishment out of it.
I guess I'm pretty bummed because I have been out there, done lots of it and there are very few decent jobs out there. Especially in my town. There are a couple larger towns with more going on but with the price of gas it would have to be a pretty decent paying job.
And truly kids. I'M OVER IT!!
So. I guess I'll start with Monster and Yahoo....bleh.
As far as quilting goes..Ive got six left unfinished..I'm working on the first set of 3 from one customer who put these 3 together to just use up her stash( what? ONLY 3!!? from your STASH!!)SHE WANTS THESE UTILITY QUILTED which means no fancy stuff.
They all are a brick type of pattern with a lattice inbetween (3 different color combos) And amazingly ,as tired as I was last night, I think I've found one solution
that is different form the typical allover quilting. It serves the utility quilting price requirement, is fairly continuous( not a lot of stops and starts) and seems to enhance the simple graphic look of the piecing.( see above photo)
I also thought since I'm doing the farmers market this Sat and another harvest fest next Sun I should actually TRY TO GET SOME SIMPLE QUILTS MADE TO SELL.!!!
wHAT A CONCEPT!! This is something I've alsways wanted to do but never had the time for.
Ive only got 3 more "paying quilts"(hi mom! I'll get yours done for the show I promise!) left to do after these 3 and they are small.
Last I knew I had a store on e-bay, (unused) and have picked a name for Etsy so I could start trying to sell there as well.
As some of you know I have an INSANE AMOUNT of designer fabric samples left over from my days working at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. These are all upholstery and drapery weight fabrics that were used for display in the showroom where I worked. Since I was the "merchandiser" (read staple monkey and box beyotch) I was the one who had the glamorous job of putting up the new and taking down the old ( discos, we called 'em , discontinued!)(see above )
Now of course some of these fabrics got donated to various charities ( quilts for kids) and local design schools. But a lot of it would end up in a dumpster if it werent for me and my daily shopping bag. Yes.... this was a RESOURCE,that I recognized,and one day when I was a little old lady with lots of time, I would MAKE STUFF!!
Guess that time is now!!!!!! Stay tuned!!!!!!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Outside today!!

I've been inside the studio for almost 2 weeks now .
At the quilting machine or in from of this attention sucking computer..
I think its about time to head outside and "blow the stink off" as my Uncle Buck would say.
The weather is just right today, not too hot.... nor overcast.
There are still more tomatoes and peppers to deal with(Salsa !)
AND a while ago a good friend of mine gave me a bunch of perennials from her garden. I still have to get the mums,daylilies and iris planted...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Vintage red ,white and blue..

Ok !
So here are some shots of yet another customer quilt.
This customer is a client of my Mom's amd not a quilter.
I did not get the story on the vintage blocks whether they were purchased or in the family, and I enjoyed this one too. Polka dots are always fun to work with
This one had to be limited to a certain dollar amount so I didn't get too crazy with
custom quilting.
I used Signature cotton thread in "Parchment" for the top and a white Mako (cotton) for the bobbin.
I did have to use a BLEACHED batting...I chose White Rose by Mountain Mist for a couple of reasons.
I could get it locally at the HOB LOB for 40% off w/coupon.(yeay)
Plus it shrinks up quite nicely when washed and dried.
Thats good if you're going for a vintage look. I'm pretty sure we were!
It has a super soft hand and would be easy to hand quilt.( if one was so inclined)
So now its off to Mom's house where she will attach the binding.
Red polka dot binding would be sweet... don't cha think???

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I need more..........

Well as you know..I've been down on the Farm quilting all week. My usual routine is to check my favorite blogs and hopefully get some new content.
Blame it on the fact that I have way more time to surf, and my need for NEW!!and EXCITING!!!!and I have no one to talk to here!.....
So I've found a couple new blog sites worth perusing. One which stands out the most (OK Cause the word Farm was in the title!)is Force Majeure Farm.(See Link, lower right)

She is a retired Coast Guard officer(!) and is now living on a farm in Illinois and has a
QUILT RESTORATION BUSINESS!!!!!! Very very interesting and informative, with pics of vintage beauties and its "Farmy" to boot!
Check it out!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Favorite Show!!!

If you havent had a chance to watch Jericho...I highly recommend it!!! Last seasons episodes are being rebroadcast on Fridays..You can also watch the entire season (all episodes) as well of lots of other videos and check out cool stuff on the website.
If I'm not mistaken...this was only the third time in TV history that a fan base reacted with such force that the network was persuaded to bring the show back into production. ( They tried to cancel on us at the end of the season!Ha!! and NUTS!!!) 6 or 7 episodes are in production right now but the network won't commit to more until the viewer numbers increase. So here is my unabashed hard sell!! It's great stuff...go ahead check it out!!!!

wow..... there's more......

Here is a wall size quilt I finished yesterday. The customer provided me with a poly batt, which I normally wouldn't use if I was making th e choice. It just goes against my "all cotton all the time" motto. This will work fine for a wall hanging and it did quilt up fairly flat.
Again I used 3 colors of Cotton threads, both the cream and peach from the previous endeavor and a nice King Tut variegated green.

Back view......
OK!! now its on to the next in line. My next top is made of actual vintage blocks .There is a limit on what the owner wants to spend.Lets see if I can keep it real.........Later!!!!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Here Tis' Pink and Brown Beauty

Well it looks like I may not be working(painting) again this week! (CRIPE!!)So the only thing to do is KEEP ON QUILTING!!!!AND...........
As are some pics of the latest full size quilt that I just finished quilting.The owner is Florida now enjoying some R& I have a little bit of time to bask in the glow of the finished project. These are the ones I grow attached to the most and regret having to return to their rightful owner!!*sigh*
I especially enjoyed this one...and am filing this half square triangle idea away for future reference. I have some half square triangles from a swap awhile ago...and would consider making more anyway. They are fun and fast.
I used 3 colors of cotton thread.I ONLY USE COTTON THREADS and Mako by Aurifil is one I use a lot . They have a huge range of colors to choose from. This one was quilted with a nice antique-y brown, peach and cream all 40 wt.
I've included a shot of the back ,but couldn't seem to get a nice detail of it.
I've finished yet another quilt today..this one is a wall size . Pics of that one coming soon...Stay tuned!!!

As always click on pics for close up detail view......

Friday, August 10, 2007

Shipshewana Summer Stitch N Bitch 07

Ok so here we are ( L to R) Sandy, Mom and me

at Lolly's digging through the fat quarters in The Boat.

Mom had to have a pic taken and some kind unsuspecting quilter obliged.

The TRADITIONAL pose though is usually taken from the other side butts out. Its kind of fun diggin through these cause you might find a fat quarter of a line of fabrics that has been out of print for a while.. It isn't a baragin however because they are $2 a piece. Fabric is generally $8( more ) a yard anyway........
Here is a shot (a VIGNETTE if you will ) and you will, of what I aquired whilst there.....and one of the projects I was working on. Note the shoes (Crocs,plastic,hoseable) they were creating quite a crowd at Yoders .They had a huge display and a large selection of styles and colors...more than I've seen anywhere else.Several ladies were deliberating .....of course being the enabler that I am..I encouraged one and all to "git cha some".

The vintage blocks on the left were purchased for $1 a piece (16 total) which was a deal that day. It was odd as a whole because random single blocks were going for $3 and more while vintage unfinished tops were quite reasonable. Right Mom????? Mom let a very old beauty go ....It had one hole in it but a great old Claret fabric as the background with a circular motif in off white...she tried to get a better price.... It was only $30 anyway.....I guess someone else snarfed it after we walked away..Pity.

The fabrics under my shoe are the choices for the alternate blocks for the top I'm putting together with the 30's& 40's 9 patches. You can see I've started assembling them. They are a pain because the stitching is teeny weeny in some spots which makes it hard to rip and reassemble. Some of them need it ..the piecing is pretty wonky.

And lastly you can see the larger of the 2 vintage leather suitcases I picked up at a vendor booth at the antique fair. I already have too many ,most of mine are the straw/fabric/linen type..but these 2 were a must have at $26 for the pair...and in great shape!!Such a deal.

Ok back to the finishing of the quilt at later!!!!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ready for my close up!!!

Enjoying some basil.........

Biff the Rooster (formerly known as Buffy the Bug Slayer)

Here are the usual suspects....almost all grown up!
In fact, we have just succombed to what we have been suspecting for some time ....but did not want to admit..Yes, Buffy the Bug Slayer( last pic) is indeed Biff the Bug Slayer .
She (he ) had been displaying advanced growth patterns (large butt, more comb and waddle and a generally larger disposition)....and .....
We had considered it....but after a visit to our local county fair and seeing several full grown hens and roosters we decided she (he )was just a more developed hen and went about our daily
state of poultry denial.
I went away last weekend for some quilting shenannigans and returned to an undeniable COCK-A DOODLE-DOOOOOO( 4 or 5 times!) on Monday morning when I went out to feed the flock.
Doug admitted he witness the same this weekend whilst I was away.
Now I have had some doubts about having a rooster.....and we ordered all female chicks trying to avoid a situation... having heard of aggressive roosters and the inevitable fryer/roaster smackdown.
Doug spoke with the owner of a feed store today, who proclaimed it was actually better to have a rooster especially when it comes to Organic eggs: health food stores actually seem to prefer this!!
Of course it wierds me out a tad..( me who won't even EAT CHICKEN lately)

But I guess we will have to wait and see if he can behave himself!!!!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I just found out from my boss there isn't any work for me this coming week. He suggested perhaps getting a lot of quilting done in the mean time...and
I'm back from a fun filled Stich N Bitch weekend at my parents lake cottage with a side of Shipshewana...(Antique Fair,Yoder's.. Lolly's)
What happens at the Lake stays at the Lake...but I'll tell ya we had us some fun.
New shoes.....(Black Mary Jane Crocs..) unusually girly for the Schnoobie
Vintage blocks....... 16@$1 a piece
Reproduction 30's fabric purchases......oh and some previous century (Colonies Blue out of print) yardage 7+ Yds!!for sashing a set of another Vintage 9 patch blocks Yeay!
2 Monogrammed Leather Suitcases (40's vintage like new!) $26 for both
Smirnoff Raw Tea...New!!Yummy!! (6 pack )

Although we had this outing planned for a year there were 3 others that either never RSVP'ed or cancelled at the last minute. As had been previously warned they were talked about.
You know who you are and you know the consequences.

I didn't get a ton done....dabbled in several project options with minimal enthusiasm , zest or results . (Although it took me two weeks worth of digging through 3 large rubbermaid containers full of vintage block sets and pieces parts....trying to decide what to take to work on)
I did accomplish the selection and purchasing of fabrics for 2 different projects from 2 different points in quilt block making history...
Now I'm excited about actually sewing a set of 50 nine patches from the 40's that made me wonder why I purchased them in the first place.(poorly constructed and fugly) I found 7 different repro fabrics from the same era and am putting them with the 9 patches as alternate blocks in a concentric pattern.
I have several quilts to quilt, a studio to organize and a new design wall to dig out...(plus laundry...etc and blah blah)
Stay tuned for more info and pics as the week digresses...
I have to talk to somebody!!!!!!!!!!!Later!!!!!!