Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Morning Walks In The Desert with Mr. C.

Hallelujah! The temperatures have currently dropped below 100 degrees, and fall weather is (almost) on it's way.
I'm not a fan of the heat, and become somewhat of a slug during hot summer months.
Now I am anxious to get out and hike the desert in the cool of the mornings with Mr. Cactus.
We live near 62,000 acres of the Red Cliff's Desert Reserve.
You can see Red Mountain in the distance.
Mr. Cactus says these rocks speak to him. He is happiest when in the desert, with the wide open spaces.
Beautiful trails that offer a place to hike, mountain bike or horseback ride.
The entrance to the reserve is down the street, very close to our home.

This area was developed in 1996, and offers a protection to the Mojave Desert Tortoise.
In all the years we have hiked here, we have yet to see a tortoise. Very curious!
We have seen many other desert critters, who often wander onto our property and use our pool as a water source.
Castle Rock can be seen in the distance.
Within minutes we feel like we have left the city and found the quiet peace found in the desert.
And then back to our street to return to the tasks of the day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Magazine Manicure

Rae Ann has been encouraging us to Manicure our Stash.
What I also need is a Magazine Manicure

Are you like me in that you love to subscribe or purchase every quilt magazine you see?
What do you do with those magazines year after year?

Especially the ones that you haven't looked at in ever so long?
Many years ago I started placing my magazines in individual binders.
I used these wonderful little plastic book keepers that slipped neatly into each edition.

Book Keeper by Lo Ran come in packages of 12 and cost around $3.
You can find them at JoAnn's on sale.
It was a wonderful system for a while.
I've collected binder after binder.
What I have discovered is that my magazine collection take up a lot of closet space.
And they are very heavy.
Another thing I have noticed is that I do not go back and look at the older editions.
I keep thinking I will peruse, and make some of those quilts, but my reality is that it probably won't happen in this lifetime.
What is that organizational rule? Something like: If you haven't used it in a year, then you don't really need it. Time to either give it away or throw it out.
I surmise if I haven't looked at the magazines in over 5 years, I'm long overdue to Manicure.

Mr. Cactus and I have been on a de-junking binge. He was more than happy to pull these binders down off an upper shelf and help me wipe off the dust.
It feels kind of therapudic to create a clean space.
Bags are being filled, and I will be donating the magazines to my local quilt guild where they can be used by those who appreciate them best.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rae Ann's Organizational Ideas

Rae Ann has done it again.
Make sure to run over and visit her latest post on Stash Manicure HERE!
She has come up with the most wonderful way to organize our stash fabrics.
To quote our friend Susann: "I want to be like her, talk like her...."
I'm telling you, I will never look at a container of spinach the same again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Split Nine Patch Finish

Many moons ago, Jane (of Jane's Fabrics) hosted a swap. We were to make (25) Nine Patches out of red and blue, then cut them down the middle each direction= 100 Split Nine Patch blocks.
We mailed our 100 blocks to Jane, who in turn mailed back 100 different blocks.
It took me a while to put the quilt together, and even longer to finally get it quilted.

Better late than never.
I now have a finish on my Red and Blue Split Nine Patch quilt.

Binding is complete.

One of the motivations to get this quilt finished was a request by my daughter Amy, who said she would love this quilt for our grandson.
The grandma in me jumped to attention.

I chose "honeybuns" as the overall quilted pattern. I've had several quilts done with this motif and they always turn out well.

Amy: Your quilt is now all boxed up and ready to be mailed to Phoenix.
Love you!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sue's Quilts

It's been an amazing few months.
I've told you of the angels in my life (see post 8/3/10) who are helping me with my family history. I can't even express in words the experiences I've been having as I connect and learn more about my ancestry.
Life Changing.

As a trade for the help the Beus' have been giving me with my family history, I have been helping Sue with quilting projects.
Several years ago when Sue's mother passed away, she inherited many family quilts that were in partial stages of completion. These heirlooms have sat in a closet, waiting for attention.
Kind of like my family history.
The above quilt was hand pieced and quilted by Sue's mother, and only needed a binding.

Mission accomplished.

Sue explained that her mother would often take old dresses the girls in the family had outgrown and turn them into quilts.

Such beautiful colors, that have orchestrated formations across the quilt.

And then in the bottom a random blue square, very typical of the day when women used what they had on hand.
No running to the quilt store to pick up a little more peach or yellow fabric.

I also received Sue's Turning Twenty quilt back from the quilter.
The binding is on and ready to be tacked down.
Sue was pleased with the quilt design and very excited to have these quilts completed.
They will now be presented to her children as Christmas presents this year.
Heirlooms that will be cherished by yet another generation.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ghastlie Pillowcases

I've been making Ghastlie pillowcases for my children.
Yes, you read that right: truly ghastlie.
Halloween is one of my children's favorite holidays.

Have you seen this fabric line The Ghastlies by Alexander Henry?
Putting the fabric into a pillowcase was the brainchild of Kathy Smith, at Quilted Works here in St. George. Once she displayed her pillowcase, QW couldn't keep enough bolts in stock. Customers went crazy snapping up yardage. (me included).
"The Ghastlies are a frightening bunch. Mathilda Ghastlie, the matriarch rules with..a crooked finger."
The drawings reminded me quite a bit of Nightmare Before Christmas that is displayed each Halloween at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland.
We have stood in line many times as a family to see the creative displays of the Haunted Mansion during the month of October.
Yes, my children like odd.
I had the opportunity one time to visit the headquarters of Alexander Henry in Burbank, CA . See blog post 8/3/2008
One of the highlights of my quilting experiences. Watching the artists design fabrics was absolutely fascinating.
Everything is hand drawn, without the use of computer graphics.

Ghastlie Manor

Pillowcases are so easy to make. I used the "tube method".
Layer the hem fabric, trim and main fabrics then sew along the raw edges.
There are many, many tutorials on the Internet right now that will show you step-by-step how to make a tube pillowcase.
This is a great time to support the Million Pillowcase Challenge.

Once the tube is sewn, pull the case out from inside of the hem fabric.
To keep the seams enclosed, it's nice to do a french/ or flat feld seam.
Put wrong sides together and sew a scant 1/4th inch.

Turn wrong side out and sew sides and bottom again with a little more than a 1/4th inch seam.

Sweet dreams kids!

Time to package these up and get them off in the mail, with plenty of time before Halloween.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cooler/ Cooker and Napper Bags

Yesterday was our August Dixie Diva meeting, and I taught the Diva's how to make the Cooler/Cooker bags.

Ricci, Verny, Jan, Melissa
Or if your are Ricci, they are now called the Cooler/ Cooker and Napper bags.
She also thought they could be used as mini bean bag chairs for small pets.

Ricci ordered in a lot of beans. Holy Cow! The two boxes next to the wall were filled with polystyrean beads also.
I see many cooler/cooker bags in the Diva's future.

Working away in Ricci's beautiful sewing room.

Filling the bags is a two woman effort.
The Diva's were impressed with my high-tech funnel.

That Ricci always comes up with a fun pose to make us laugh.
Kind of Peter-Panish don't you think?
One of the things that we can always count on is a lot of laughter within our group.
We love being together.

Jan K. wins the award for the most dedicated Diva. She had surgery on her hand just the day before, and yet she still attended our meeting.

Ouch. Carpel tunnel but they had to remove part of the bone.
She said she was still happy because the block hadn't worn off yet.

Margaret brought Show and Tell.
She wanted the Diva's opinion on selecting a border fabric.

The design is the Block of the Month "Tonga Nature" from Wing and a Prayer.

Melissa has a finish.

It's always fun to go home with a finished project.
Good job Diva's!

I loved every bag, but especially Ricci's because it was made out of a Kaffe mid-weight, with a Millefiori pattern in lime green.
You know how I love those Kaffe's.
And Millefiori.
And lime green.