Quilt Guardians

R.I.P Rosie: October 1998–September 2012

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My beloved Rosie passed away this week.  She would have been 14 years old in October.

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We took a trip to Montana for my 30th high school reunion in August and took the dogs with us.  Rosie didn’t react well while traveling, so we took her to the vet in Helena, where she was diagnosed with stage 5 lymphoma.  We decided to put her on prednisone to try to make her more comfortable in the time she had left.

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Rosie liked to come up to the quilting room and lie at the top of the stairs, making sure that all who entered there had to pass inspection.

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She was quite the character.  She knew how to get something she wanted by using her “I’m a cute puppy” look.

She could also look at my husband with one adoring eye, and give me the stink eye out of the other…all at the same time!  It was quite comical!

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Rosie didn’t mind bath time, but she’d just as soon it didn’t drag out, either.

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Rosie always kept us company no matter where we were in the house,  and she is greatly missed.

Thanksgiving Vacation 2011

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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.

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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.

Happy Friday!

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emptyspoolHave I mentioned how much I love piecing with Aurifil thread?  It always amazes me how long a spool will last, it’s almost shocking when it’s finally gone!

I stayed up way too late last night trying to get a block done for a comfort quilt.  Of course, I’m not making just one block, I have to do some production piecing!  Now I’m wondering what I’ll do with the extra blocks!  Hmmm…  Anyway,  I’ve got to pick one more strip of fabric to add to it and then I’ll post the finished block.  It’s really cute!

Part of what took so long is that I’m also making this into a tutorial so I can post it on my website as a free download.  I’m inspired by people like Bonnie Hunter and Mary from MaryQuilts.com, they do such wonderful work and are so giving with their patterns, talent, and time.

I took today off work to get some chores done, but the Quilt Guardians need a walk first.  So, on with my day!

My practice piece

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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!