Posted in Family, football, Gizmo, Quilt Guardians, Quilting

Thanksgiving Vacation 2011

The time since MQX West has just flown by!

While I haven’t decided on a specific design yet for my wholecloth quilt,  I have completed two customer quilts.

pink-green-thorns-top-finished steppingstone_finished

I’ll be working on finishing a third one today.

first_snow_tripI’ve been on vacation for the past 10 days, and I’ve certainly enjoyed it!  There was a lot of driving involved, which I don’t especially enjoy, but this view sure took my breath away!

My brother flew from New Hampshire to Montana to visit my mother the weekend before Thanksgiving, so I decided to join them.  We made our own DSCF4649Thanksgiving dinner early, each of us choosing something for the menu that we wanted to include that we loved from holidays past.  It was a very nice dinner and I even made turkey noodle soup out of the leftover carcass.

Cat_Griz_2011We also went to the Cat-Griz game, where the highly favored Cats got trounced.  This is a big deal since my brother is a Montana State University alum, and my mother is a University of Montana graduate.  I wore my neutral Bronco orange and blue stadium coat and cheered for both teams.  I went to MSU for a year and would have liked to see them win, but it was dang cold and I just needed to keep warm so cheering for both teams was the best way to do that!  Winking smile

When I got home I spent a lot of time with my husband, including getting the carpets cleaned and going out for breakfast.  Two of the dogs got groomed, and Gizmo got his first dental.  DSCF4235Poor guy, he’s down to 11.5 pounds and needed some pain medication that evening.  I’m happy to report he’s doing much better now and has even submitted to being brushed without too much fuss.  The vet said to start feeding him some wet food to try to get some weight on him and I think it’s already starting to work.

We were also fortunate to have  friends over the day after Thanksgiving who showed me how to make authentic Malaysian curried chicken.  It was delicious and now I’m interested in finding more Malaysian recipes!

Of course, all of this running around means I haven’t been in the DSCF4655quilting room much.  Before I left I started straightening up and working on getting the batting rolls hung under the longarm.  I still need to complete that project to my satisfaction, but at least I was able to start on my customer quilt before I left.

While working on my customer’s quilt yesterday, I realized I am running out of backing, one row away from finishing!  And this is a huge back!  I know I measured and fussed with it a lot beforehand DSCF4653to make sure this wouldn’t happen.  I have a TON of extra backing on the sides, but the back is about square, too, so I think what happened is that I wasn’t skimpy with where I started the quilt at the top.  Of course, it’s a king sized quilt, and I’m not about to unroll it just to find that out, at this point!

I basted down the middle of the border to stabilize it, and  I’m going to have to find some fabric to secure to the rest of the backing so I can attach it to the leader and finish this row.  This isn’t exactly how I wanted to spend my Sunday morning!

While I’ve gotten a lot done during this time off, there are still items on the list.  I supposed that’s the way it will always be, as long as we are living life.  The trick, I think, is to make the quilts you really want to make a priority, not just the obligatory or “easy” quilts.  It’s in the doing that we achieve that satisfaction and increase our skills.  The love always shows.

Posted in dogs, Gizmo, Hunter, MQX West, Quilt Guardians, Quilting

Vera’s Family Heirloom


This is the quilt that I was working on last week.  I’m really glad I went with the Variety panto on it, instead of Brocade!  Anne Bright converted the digital patterns for me to paper, since I don’t have a computerized system.  Wasn’t that nice of her?

Now that this one is finished, I still need to quilt the “practice” quilt I made so that I didn’t make a mistake on this one!  Sort of backwards, huh?DSCF4117

I’ve decided, though, to turn it into a showcase quilt and do a few rows of several pantos so I can show customers how they will look stitched out, and then I won’t run into this problem again.  Now I just need to decide if I want to use my Winline bamboo batting that I’m dying to use, or go with a cotton poly, something that would probably be used more often by my customers.  Such dilemmas, eh?

I probably won’t get to it in the next couple of weeks, though, because I am going to MQX West!  I’m lucky to have family in the Portland area, so I’ll be staying with them and it just turns out that my uncle will be turning 70 at the end of that week!  They are going to have a family reunion of sorts, so I need to get a different project done to take with me.  Better get sewing!

Hunter-Gizmo-bedOh, and just for the heck of it…I gotta share a photo of Hunter and Gizmo….they just need to learn how to relax!

Posted in dogs, Gizmo, Hunter, Quilt Guardians, Quilting, Shih Tzu

My practice piece

DSCF3903Thought I’d share with you my practice freehand piece, which is two pieces of fleece, no batting.  I’m going to use it as a back car seat blanket for when I have the dogs in the car.

It’s the first time I’ve done this background fill on more than a 12″ block and it’s the first time I’ve used the non-stitch regulated mode on my machine.  I want to say it’s an Irena Blum design, but I really can’t remember where I saw it first.

I’m practicing it because I’m going to put this design on a baby quilt that is just darling, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, or how to manage the size and density (that’s still a bit of a challenge), but I really like it!Hunter-Gizmo-2011-sm

I still need to post photos of the past couple of customer quilts, but have run out of time this weekend.  We got a new-to-us “puppy”, Hunter, a 4 year old Shih Tzu to join the Quilt Guardian team.  So, he is a Quilt-Guardian-in-Training!