Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas time!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and looking forward to a wonderful 2014. I feel very optimistic about the future.

Since oldest son was going to the other Florida coast to have Christmas with his fiancée's family, we opened our gifts a day early:

 

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She’s my little practice granddaughter. I adore her, she’s my son’s fiancée's niece. She loves baby dolls, and I have some doll clothes I’m working on to go with the doll.

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The hat dances and sings, and my ,dog wanted it so bad! He wouldn’t leave my mom alone.

All in all, Christmas was great.

I have also been doing some sewing, this is my progress on Celtic Solstice, Bonnie Hunter's newest mystery quilt. There are 4 steps out so far, I am almost caught up with step 2.

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And a bit of buying of fabric. I blew my fabric diet today, but I got great deals, so it’s a win-win, I think. Although, having a cart full of bolts of fabric, and standing in line for an hour is something else. Glad everyone was in a great mood, and as one person was getting fabric cut, another was asking for the rest of that bolt! It was something else.

I hope everyone has a great New Year’s.

Happy quilting,

Marianne

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Found quilts

Does anybody else start cleaning and find quilts that they forgot they had made? Please tell me I am not the only one. LOL. I got the cleaning bug today to clean the kitchen/dining room where we have a large cabinet that houses a lot of quilts and sheets. I also rearranged the dining room. This was fueled by lots of energy and lots of caffeine. I got rid 2 large bags of blankets and sheets we no longer use (my daughter hasn't used power puff girl sheets in years!)
I found a bunch of quilts I made when I first got the quilting bug:
This was my very first quilt. I made it after watching Kaye Woods on PBS. I was hooked from that point on.






I love looking at all the fabrics I used, mainly calicos, etc. This was in the mid 90's. Oh I have come a long way, now I know about batiks, etc.
These quilts are all going into vacuum seal bags and into storage for a few months.
But what do I do about all of these?
These are my more current quilts, in the sewing room closet. Oh well, the sewing room is another day. Right now, have to finish a bunch of Christmas presents. Anyone else doing a homemade Christmas?


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

He's back!

"He" being my Bailey longarm that I affectionately call Beetle after the cartoon character.  I was having so many issues with tension, jamming up, etc, that I gave up and took him into my local sewing machine repair guy who I have taken all my machines to for several years.  He got it cleaned up, oiled, and adjusted the tension etc.  I put Beetle back on my frame (after I cleaned it well), and started practicing, and this is how it turned out:
So smooth, and quiet, I am so going to enjoy quilting now without all the issues.  I already have a quilt top picked out:
No clue what kind of design to do, but I will figure it out, that's for sure.
Besides all of that today, I also made several loaves of zucchini bread some chocolate zucchini and some apple zucchini.  It is so good.  The weather is finally cooling off (for Florida), and I get my baking groove on.
Hope everyone has a great day,
Happy quilting,
Marianne


Friday, October 11, 2013

another one bites the dust!

Another quilt top gone from the pile! I take breaks from classwork, and have been steadily quilting this monster (it's large for my frame), over the last few days.  Today, I finally got it done, and off the frame:
I always start out with lots of wound bobbins, solves a lot of problems down the road, believe me. 

 This quilt will go into the waiting-to-be-bound pile. 
I have also picked out the next quilt to go on the frame.
It's a Bonnie Hunter pattern and used a lot of scraps, as you can tell. I am thinking of a specific design for it, not just stippling. I did that on the last 2 quilts, getting kind of boring, in a way. 

Well, hope everyone has a great day, I am off to work! 
Happy quilting, Marianne

Friday, October 4, 2013

LE update

I have finally started part 1 of The Love Entwined  quilt. So far so good.
I love the colors, the round circles are temporarily basted down until I can hand applique them.  I made them larger, I tried, I really did but the original circles were half the size, and there was no way! Yikes.  As it is, I will be using my handy dandy magnifying glass to applique these down.
Here is the back view:

I forgot how much I love hand piecing.  It's so relaxing, and forgiving. This whole quilt is basically appliqued, with some piecing, I will be doing this all by hand.  I think this will be another 2 year project!
I also found my other camera with the pictures of the latest quilt I finished. I did this one for a coworker at work, she had a little girl in June, so I was a little bit late. 




I love how it turned out, and hopefully, I can get back to my machine and get some of them done.  (I say that a lot).

And, a cute picture of the Hiro dog.  Isn't he the cutest?  I caught him napping on the couch.  His eyes always come out blue in pictures, don't know why.  Oh well. A mystery.
Hope everyone has a great day.
Happy quilting,
Marianne

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bad, bad blogger

I have been such a bad blogger.  No posts since August?! Yikes! But, I have been busy with other things:
Algebra that I have never done in my life! When my daughter saw it, she says "oh yeah, we did that last year", she is a sophomore in HS the year!

I love this class! It's so interesting to read about the history of different religions, and a lot of them are more alike than I realized. 

Almost done with my administrative course, I am in the last chapter, and then the final! I will get my certificate of completion, and be eligible to sit for a national certification. Yippee!

Then, I am onto the medical coding and billing course, to be done by December, and can get my national certification for that too. I couldn't believe all the books that came with just these 2 courses!

My math course and World Religions courses are towards my AA degree, and the other courses are non college credit training, to get me into the work force.  Eventually, I would like to have a Bachelor's in Health Care Administration.  That is, if the math courses don't get to me first (LOL).

But, I have also been doing some sewing too, never fear. 
I got all these blocks done:
122 blocks, they need to be trimmed up, then alternate white, red, white red.  My only problem was, when I started gathering red fabrics, I started going through totes of scraps. Which, led to this, among other things:
Ice cream buckets from work (clean of course), full of smallish scraps.  I sorted, ironed and got rid of fabric! In addition to these buckets, 3 totes were condensed down to 1 1/2.  I organized them by size or type (30's prints, etc), and put them into gallon size baggies in the totes. 
So then, because of all these wonderful scraps right beside me, I just had to do paper-pieced quilt.
I just sewed strips onto old  phone book pages, then trimmed them down.

Added a 1 1/2 inch border strip.

Put rows together.

And then the rows will be sewn together.  I am toying with the idea of offsetting the sashings, give it a different look. 
I have also decided to make the Love Entwined  quilt by hand for my daughter.  See, all 3 of my sons have quilts I made completely by hand.  Each took 2 years from start to finish.  But, having carpal tunnel, I stopped doing handwork.  Well, this quilt is phenomenal, and deserves to be done by hand.  So, I figure a bit each day while I watch tv in the evening, etc, I can get it done eventually..
Here are the fabrics I chose:
The first set of instructions.

Here are the fabrics.  I chose jewel tones, and the bolt of black is for the background. 
So, that's what I've been up to. Didn't seem like a lot until I compiled this list with pictures.  Oh, and I finished quilting a baby quilt, but I can't find the camera that has the pictures on it.  Lost (misplaced) my good camera, so started using the old camera, found the good camera, can't find the other one.  Isn't that how it always works?
Hope everyone has a great day,
Happy Quilting,
Marianne

Friday, August 9, 2013

August already?

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last blogged! Yikes! I haven't been doing a whole lot of anything other than sitting at the computer doing homework for my online program, and finding stuff to do that consists sitting in front of the air conditioner.  Yep, July and August in Florida is miserable, just miserable.  Standing in front of my machine quilting? Not likely, when the cool air only goes out about 2 feet from the window unit.  Nope, I will catch up with quilting when its cooler, like November, maybe. :). I have been doing some sewing though, and sorting through fabric:

This is just what I have pressed and stacked so far, I still have to go through all this: 















Why is it when you start pulling fabric bits out of a tote, they explode, and become a lot more than you think? And, why, oh why, did I think I would ever use a strip 3/4 inch wide?
That is just one tote to go through, there are also these:
 And these:
Including the 3 in the sewing room, I have 20 totes of scraps.  Almost 20 years worth! My goal this year is to use as much of my stash as I can, I even joined a group on Yahoo called Stashbusters.  I have vowed to buy only fabric that is needed, like for a backing, etc. But, I think I have that covered, because I took down the shelves full of yardages, and put them in see through totes:
All of this is in preparation for moving.  We have our house up for short sale, and planning a move out to Montana next summer, so either way, my fabric is ready! I just can't wait to get settled and be able to have stuff somewhat organized again, this is driving me crazy!
Well, almost time to get ready for work.  When I get home, hopefully I will have the time and energy to sort through some more scraps.  I will also try to find my other camera, which has the pictures of my most recent quilt top I just completed, it's a Bonnie Hunter pattern from her leaders and enders book, Mad City Mama is the pattern.  I love it!
Happy quilting,
Marianne


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Finally a new post.

I finally found the time to put up a new post, we were on vacation for almost 3 weeks.  Yep, we drove from Florida to Montana with my two youngest teenagers. Oldest son stayed home for work, and he and his fiancee took care of the house and our dog. My other son lives in Alabama, we stopped to see him on the way.  I don't remember the last time I went on vacation without  a dog or dogs.  It was nice to not have to stop a lot to walk a dog around. We stopped to enjoy the scenery
I love visiting my family in Billings, Mt.  It's my mom's hometown, and where I am moving next summer.  There are jobs in my field, and the cost of living is less.  I could get used to the views too.
This is the view of the rims from the end of my aunt's house.  It's even prettier in the winter.
My aunt's house.  She is enlarging the dining/kitchen area, hence the bare spot in the lawn.

another view of the rims.

her gorgeous lawn.  the best thing- no fire ants!


my daughter and my Aunt Joyce

Mom, Joyce, my daughter, aunt Susan, and uncle Lee.

my daughter and son



my daughter and my Aunt.      


From Billings, we headed northwest , through some beautiful country


To see this little guy:
My new little nephew! 


He is 7 months old now, and absolutely adorable, and has mom and dad wrapped around his finger.  Grandma too!
I actually got a picture everybody together:
We had a great time, can't wait until next year, when we move back up there!
Oh, and just so this post isn't all about vacation pictures, here is a picture of a quilt my aunt made for her step daughter's new baby:
Isn't it cute? It's a panel, but she added embroidery, etc.  It's so soft, perfect for those cold Montana winters!
Hope everybody has a great day!
Happy quilting,
Marianne