Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Belated Thank You

I need to say a very belated thank you to V of Bumble Beans for organizing this quilt, sent to give me hugs during my recovery from surgery. I don't know what the whole process was or what everyone did, but I got this wonderful two-sided quilt made by some blogger friends (all of whom are listed in my sidebar).

There are blocks on the top from Sarah of House of Krom, Threadlines Kathie B, Quilt Diva Julie, Comicbooklady, Kristin of Knit One Quilt Two and Siobhan of Scraps and Threadtales as well as V.

The other side of the quilt is all about love and kitties. Lynne of Patcherie Menagerie made the Purring 4 You block and Roz of Counterpane signed her heart in embroidery.

Cheri of Jovaliquilts made blocks which got lost in the mail (argh) and Brenda of Scraps and Strings sent some too--pictured here-- but they didn't get to V in time. (I've got them now and will do something fun with them.) Nonetheless, V included their names along with everyone else's in the quilting.

I wanted to include a picture of me using the quilt, but I looked horrible in every one. So instead you get Pokey rolling very appropriately by the kitty emoticon):

And Lily on the back of the recliner - love the kitty fabric she's posed on:

[That's an older pic by the way. I've felt well enough to do some sewing, so I've progressed on this Hope quilt.]

Speaking of gifts in the mail, Clare of Dordogne Quilter sent me this little charmer:

Thank you all so very much and I apologize for taking so long to acknowledge the lovely presents.

Also arriving in the mail, a package of Bell Bottoms from the Fabric Square Shop. I love the red and white fabric in particular, but look at all the bright colors and bold patterns.

I had my final visit to the doctor who did the surgery - everything was a-okay in my belly. Clean bill of health is a woohoo, but it's gonna take another couple of weeks to finally be over the fatigue. I've been having hot flashes like crazy - stupid menopause. So I'm now on a low dose of estrogen which please, please, please will help with that and maybe the fatigue too.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Design Wall

My sweet husband got a permanent design wall up for me for my birthday. It's a great present although I have yet to make full use of it. It's 7' x 7' and made of 3/4" styrofoam insulation panels cut down into four sections and covered with flannel. I'd have preferred gray or a khaki (something in a medium value) but couldn't find it so went with a light yellow.

This design wall is definitely constructed ala Lazy Gal. I didn't iron the flannel first and it's hardly perfect. But it's functional, does what I want it to do, and we got it done relatively quickly.

I did all the piecing on this hope quilt top before my surgery and have yet to get back to work on this. Sharon, you have another fun name for this thing? I loved Hope Strings Eternal, what would this one be?

I still haven't gotten back into the full swing of things. Slowly slowly.

I have a bunch of fun quilting links for you.

Check out new blog Fun with Barb and Mary to read about their quilting adventures. Between the two of them they see lots of quilts, not to mention show off their own - I love their interpretations of a classic here. Look at the amazing fan quilting on these antiques. yummy.

New-to-me is Ann Champion's Blog where she's been featuring some wonderful antique finds as well as her own colorful quilt in progress. In particular I love this String Star (although it seems to me there should be another name for this block, but I can't think of it) for it's use of striped fabric. And lovers of cheddar should be sure to catch this Railroad Crossing.

Speaking of striped fabric, check out this awesome mid 1800's star quilt. I love the modern look of it. Whee.

Sticking with the theme of antique quilts, what looks like an amazing exhibition is on at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA until November 15th. It's called Master Pieces: Haberdashery Textiles in Antique Quilts. The quilts are all made out of men's clothing. Quilters Spirit did a great write up on it here. I totally love these quilts, just wish I could see the show.

Jennifer D of Pasquali Rumpus did a really fun job free-piecing letters in this pillow. I'm lucky enough to have a couple of Jennifer's words in Cake.

In a Halloweeny mood? Check out Brown Dirt Cottage Belinda's fabulous Boo ghost blocks that she designed herself. So much fun.

Quilt as Desired's Comicbooklady went to Gwen Marston's quilt retreat and sent back some great photos. Love Gwen's work and CBL's too. I am so envious!

Laura at Cloth and Mind finished up her wonderful wonky houses and words quilt top. I love it and check out the way she did her Us and Ws. Great job.

Bumble Beans is doing a really fun Waverunner quilt-along. Very improvisational, very fun. Have to admit, it'd be scary for me not to use the rotary cutter. Eeek, I look forward to seeing all the amazing quilts that come out of this.

On a non-quilt related note, I gave up on Flash Forward about 15 minutes into the most recent episode. I didn't like any of these people and didn't care what happened to any of them.

I'm almost finished watching the first season of Fringe and then I can get caught up on the new ones. I'm really enjoying it. Not a perfect show but I love the characters, especially the Bishops. Now if they could just stop using LSD to solve crime it would be that much better.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Liberated Quiltmaking II

Whee, oh boy! Gwen's new Liberated Quiltmaking II book is now expected to come out in January 2010, rather than spring (which was the last bit of news I heard). I am already excited about it. Here's a peek at the cover:

I got this info directly from AQS:

At long last! Gwen Marston has updated her signature Liberated Quiltmaking!

The fascination with Gwen’s Liberated Quiltmaking has generated a demand for more, more, more! First introduced in 1996, her distinctive processes for creating original quilts are expanded in this new volume.

Gwen presents nine Liberated Quiltmaking processes including Liberated Square Within-a-Square, Liberated Medallion, and Re-cut Blocks and Sashing. Each process is clearly illustrated with step-by-step instructions, pieced samples, and loads of example quilts. Multiple techniques and variations are also given.

Liberated Quiltmaking II provides a way of working without using templates or set patterns. Truly original quilts result from these processes that engage the quilter’s intuition and emotion as well as technical skills. Quilters with some experience will enjoy putting pizzazz into their designs.

Gwen Marston has been a professional quiltmaker, author, and teacher for more than three decades. Her work has been shown in group exhibits throughout the United States and abroad and in 21 solo exhibits. Her articles have appeared in numerous magazines over the years. This is her twenty-fourth book. Gwen lives and offers quilting retreats in her home on Beaver Island, Michigan.

Ordering information: www.americanquilter.com or 1-800-626-5420

Me again and can I just say Woohoo!

I am so bummed I'm not at Gwen's quilt retreat right now with Bonnie and Lucy and all the other folks who are having such a good time. Of course I'd be pretty worthless, unable to sew a stitch, but at least I could talk.

No, I haven't decorated for Halloween. I have Halloween Houses up on the wall, since Janet was using it for inspiration for sewing liberated houses while she was here. And a fun pumpkin that Marge F. sent me (thank you!) is up as well. Things are such a mess right now and other projects have higher priority (need more shelving). And it doesn't help I need so many rest breaks.

I am getting lots of tv watched. I saw two episodes of Flash Forward and can I say bleah? How such an interesting concept can go so horribly wrong so quickly I don't know. I was sooo tired of hearing Benford blah blah blahing on about his wife having an affair she hasn't even had. And his partner, oh poor me, I'm going to die. Maybe you were asleep, buddy, or under anesthesia. I fast forwarded through parts of the show. Not a good sign. It has one more chance.

Stargate: Universe? Horrible horrible horrible. Dark, dreary, dull. I watch Stargate: SG-1 for the fun and humor and adventure. We turned the pilot off after 45 minutes.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I'm Okay, Really

Sorry I have been so neglectful. I haven't gotten back up to full energy yet, but I'm feeling fine, mostly. Thank you all for your wonderful emails, cards, gifts, notes, and calls. I appreciate each and every one even though I've been terrible about responding.

I had a wonderful visit with my aunt, just sorry that she couldn't stay even longer. My husband arrived safely and it's been great having him here. A whole bunch of boxes arrived on Monday, my belongings from France that I wanted here rather than in storage. Of course the movers somehow managed to lose all the wires needed to put the shelves in the bookcases (aka fabric cases) so my husband had to do some DIY fiddling to make it work. Voila, Pokey has another place to hide.

It's frustrating to be so incapacitated. I'm not allowed to lift more than 3 pounds (though I'm not even sure how much that is) or bend down to pick things up. Poor sweetie pie pretty much had to do all the work to get the boxes moved around and emptied. But at last the boxes are empty and I can once again get to the computer.

Not that I'm spending much time on it... I am getting lots of hand quilting (the Margarita Quilt) done. Ya'all take care and don't worry if I don't post until next week.