Wednesday, August 29, 2012

T-shirt quilt

 I have the top for the T-shirt quilt pieced, and I am very happy with it.  I will try to walk you through my process.  I know there are many ways to put together a T-shirt quilt, so this is my journey with fifty, yes fifty shirts.  Many of the shirts had memories front and back.

 I cut the logos out of the shirt front or back, depending on it's size.  Some were small, 9", some 12" and some were really large, 15".  I cut the shirts into blocks either 9, 12, or 15" wide, and pieced them together into blocks either 15" or 24" tall.

 This is a shirt front that I cut into two pieces, stitched together to make a 15" block.  On the front of the shirt was the team logo, and the player number.  I wanted both of these in the block, so I pieced it together.  I love that I kept the buttons on the block.

 After I had a fairly solid plan, the athlete went to some more tournaments, and received some more T-shirts that needed to be incorporated into the quilt.  ARAGHHHHH!!!  But it was necessary that these shirts be added to the whole quilt, as these were the end result of all the tournaments before.  I get it.

This block above uses multiple logos, and finishes 9" x 24"

In this photo you can see the horizontal rows, the widths vary so there is a very random feel to the quilt top.  With the addition of shirts after the initial plan was made, there are two rows that are 15" tall rather than the 24".  I actually like the look of the difference in height between the rows.

I am so glad the top is pieced, it measures over 100" square so it is a big one.  This was a huge challenge, and I am very pleased with the result.  The backing is getting washed now, and hope to get this on the quilting machine soon.

Thanks for joining me on my journey, I appreciate it.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesdays with Ethan and Holly

Another fun Tuesday with two of my grandchildren, Ethan and Holly.   On the way to my house we picked some fresh tomatoes, and a few nectarines.  Ethan ate his tomato like an apple.

Totally enjoying his tomato

"oh Braackk Braackk 
(his dinosaur is named like the sound a Pteranodon might make), 
would you like some tomato?"

Isn't is so good Braack Braack?

"Save some for the green dinosaur"

Both dinosaurs sharing a tomato

Ethan eating like a dinosaur.


Holly thinks anything Ethan does is wonderful.  

Thanks for sharing my blessings, I appreciate it


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Debi's applique quilt

This wool applique quilt was a kit from Morning Star Quilt Shop, and was pieced by my friend Debi.  Just a side note, Debi's kids and my kids were class mates, and now we chat about our grand kids.  How fun is that?  Anyway, here are pictures of this quilt.  

 I divided the wide border with swirls and straight lines.

 I like the simplicity of the curved lines in the sashing.

I am so pleased with the quilting on this quilt, how it all worked so well together.
  Some quilts make you happy, and this is one of those for me. 

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

T-shirt quilt

I was commissioned to make a t-shirt quilt from a collection of softball shirts.  This is a birthday gift for a young athlete who plays a lot of softball.  Lots of softball.  So, here is the "problem" if that's what you would call it.  There are nearly 50 t-shirts, yep, 50.  And....most of the shirts have designs on the front and the back, and both are important for a memory quilt.

My plan is this....I cut the logos out as close to the logo as possible, and am arranging them in any way that works so that I can get them all on the quilt.  I now have the bulk of the planning and "block" work finished and am starting to piece them together.  This quilt is going to be huge.  HUGE.  Over 100" square.

This is the aftermath of the t-shirts after cutting the logos out 

I am using a green cotton fabric for the sashing.  I thought it looked a bit like grass, and it was a good color that seemed to work well with all the various t-shirt colors.

Tonight I stitched the first horizontal row and I am getting excited to see it all come together.  It will be a one of a kind memory keeper, and a king size bedspread at the same time.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your company.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Home again, home again

Well the dog adoption in WA went very well.  Such a long, short trip.  We drove over 1,400 miles, leaving late Wednesday, and coming home this afternoon (Friday) There and back in fifty hours. I know I joked for months about "going to prison" but when we actually got there it became very real indeed that this was a prison.  We were not permitted to actually see much of anything, and no cameras were allowed at all.

We drove up to the visitors parking lot, and were checked in, hand stamped, pockets checked and then through the metal detector.  Kinda like getting on a plane, so no big deal so far.  When all adopted persons had arrived, we were led through a door to a holding area, it had a name, but I cannot remember.  Anyway, you waited for one door to shut, then another opened.  We walked through a fenced passage way, covered in the prison wire you see on the TV, or in actual prisons, and that I think is when I really decided this if for real.  This is a prison.  We did get to see the outside of the, I think she called them single prisoner living cells.  In other words, solitary confinement.  But, moving on through the fenced passage way, we had to wait for several more doors to shut, then open and so on down the passage way to the meeting room.

Now this room didn't really feel prison like at all, so I relaxed and sat with the adoptive persons and waited for the dogs and handlers (prisoners) to come in.  I was expecting tough, ugly, mean, scary men but in came 28 clean, nice looking, mostly young men with the dogs.   My initial impression of the prisoners was wow, these guys don't look too bad.

The dogs and handlers performed a heeling drill of sorts, going in various directions all dogs heeling and well under control.  The teams then showed us how the dogs could heel, sit, down, come, and stay, all in a group, and then individually.  It was a good show.  Each dog had two handlers, a primary and secondary, and each team talked about their time with the dog, things they did together, and what individual characteristics each dog had.

So, on to the reason of our trip, Becky's dog Taz.  He is adorable.  A long haired schipperke with a tail.  He is eight months old, but was described as the biggest dog in the bunch.  After the demo, the adopters and handlers sat at a table and talked about the dog, the training and any questions were answered.  Each handler kept a daily journal of the dogs training and behaviors, and a few personal comments were recorded telling what training this dog meant to them.  Taz's handler has raised several dogs, but he said that Taz was his favorite.  I believe him.

Becky and Taz

The Freedom Tails adoption program has so many positive benefits.  I was impressed with the whole program, the amount of basic training that each dog had, and the positive impact the dog and handler teams had on each other.  Each handler described how much the program meant to them and how much the dogs meant to them.  It was evident that bonds were formed.

I have been struggling a bit with my mixed impressions of the handlers, aka prisoners.  They were all polite, nice looking, clean, and gave an overall good impression.  I really wanted to know what they did that landed them in prison. Maybe I should not know, because that would make them somehow less than the handler and trainer that I got to meet. Make them bad people.  Taz's handler has five more years.  I wanted so badly to talk to him, ask him where his family is, what did he do, how is he handling it, all that stuff that a nosy person wants to know, but I didn't.  It is probably better that I just know him as Cody, Taz's handler, and leave the rest alone.  I did find myself thinking about Cody, and the other prisoners, and after all the dogs leave, they go back to their cells, alone.  New dogs will come soon, and that gives them something positive to do, to work for, and hopefully everyone gains something.

I know I am rambling a lot, but evidently this had a big impact on me.  I am not defending the prisoners, if that is somehow how it sounded, but I was surprised that I am able to see them as men, as people, and not just as bad.  That was good for me.

Thanks for reading.  Today I am thankful and appreciative for so many, many things.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Headed to Prison

Yep, that's right.  Tomorrow I start the long drive up to the state of Washington to go the SCCC prison.
Okay, let me explain.  The Stafford Creek Correction Center is cooperating with the North Beach PAWS animal shelter, working with the Freedom Tails program to help shelter dogs find a permanent home.

So, long story trying to be short, my friend Becky is adopting a schipperke puppy that was placed in a shelter in WA, and that puppy went through the Freedom Tails program, where inmates at the prison care for and train adoptable dogs in a ten week program to help the dogs to be more adoptable and find their forever homes.  Becky's puppy Taz will graduate on Thursday, and will be turned over to Becky, his forever owner.  The director of the program warned us that a big burly man, covered in tatoos and looking prison tough will hand you your dog, while crying his eyes out.  You see these inmates have these dogs constantly for the length of the program, so no matter who you are, there has to be some bonding going on.  Even knowing that they will be giving the dogs up to a better life, it would still be difficult to give up something you have grown to love.

Other than what I have just told you, I don't know anything more about the dog or the inmate.  It will be interesting to say the least, and I am guessing an emotional experience.  My friend Becky will come home with her new dog, Taz will come home to his forever home, and the inmate who cared for and trained Taz will most certainly feel some sort of loss.  Me, I am just going along to help drive, and support a friend.  It will be be a memorable trip no matter what.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A start and a finish

Let's start with the finish.  Here is the Awesome quilt I posted about a while back.  I thought you would like to see it finished.  I am so happy with this, the pattern and fabric, and it was so fun to quilt.  Fast figure eights, and some good ole stippling.  I still think there is a place for stippling, even though I love all the new inventive background fillers.

I love the fabric in this quilt, and it works so well with Jenny's pattern.  A win win.

A view of the backside, lots of texture.  I matched my top and bobbin threads, so you can see the purple on the back along with the white.  Love that.

And, now the new.  I am starting quilting on an applique quilt, and I am totally enjoying this one.

One of the cute wool applique blocks

Quilting in the wide border, going around the corner

I have gotten a good start on this quilt, so hopefully there will be more pictures of it soon.

Enjoy your starts and finishes, and I appreciate you looking at mine.


Sunday, August 12, 2012


Crazy post title, but 222,222 was the excitement of my day.  My little 1997 Honda Odyssey has 222,222 miles, and the best part is that I saw it all happen.

Let me explain, or just babble about how I love fun combinations of numbers.  I love looking at the digital clock when it is 12:34, or 11:11 or how about 2:22?  Yea, things like that make me happy.  But, even better than catching a great combination on your watch or clock (see, it has to just happen with the watch thing, you can't just sit there and wait for it), is watching the numbers turn on your odometer to a great combination that you have been waiting for, well, for miles.

When my odometer was close to changing to 200,000 miles, I knew I wanted to celebrate.  We had been invited up to the Lake for the weekend, and the miles would change at some random place on the way, and I would not have a great moment or celebration. Worse yet, we might just miss it all together.  So, we took another car to the lake.  After that trip, with family and camera in the Honda, we drove around our country roads until it happened, the mileage changed.  First it was 199,999, and then like magic it changed to  200,000 miles.  It really was fun, at least for me.

So, after a big mileage change, then I have to make up others to wait for and celebrate.  I have been waiting for 222,222 for a long time.  Along the way I made note of  220022,  222,123 and some other combinations, but the one I really was waiting for was 222,222, and today it happened.  And...I didn't forget.  Little things like this are big things to me.

Yea I know, I am pretty silly about some things, this is for sure one of them.  The moment is just that, a moment by the side of the road with my camera in hand, but it was my moment.  I enjoyed it.

Enjoy the special moments of your day, I appreciate sharing my moments with you.


Friday, August 10, 2012

A sewing day for me

 Well, here it is Friday already.  This was one of those long weeks that went by way too quickly if you know what I mean.  I had a lot of embroidery and several odd jobs that seemed to take longer than they should have, and while every day was busy, there wasn't much of interest to blog about.  So today, I took a day to sew for myself.

I made this cute purse and I am so happy with it.  I have been wanting/needing a new purse for quite a while.  It was very rewarding to start and finish a project in one sitting, something I rarely do.  I had the Olympics on while I sewed, and it was a most enjoyable day.  And, I also made a matching wallet.

Both the purse and wallet make me happy, and I have that satisfied feeling you get when you get something completed.  Tomorrow I will be back to quilting, which I love, but a change is always nice.

Happy weekend, I appreciate you stopping by.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

What an Opportunity

Every other year our guild makes an "Opportunity Quilt" and then sells tickets as a fund raiser.  This beautiful hand appliqued quilt is this years creation.  I was not involved in the design or construction of this beauty, but I was asked to do the quilting on it.

The designers gave me clear instructions on how they wanted it quilted, and I was more than happy to follow their guidelines.  In the appliqued blocks I stitched around the applique.  These blocks will now be hand quilted with a cross hatch design by the quilt makers.  So imagine this block with hand quilting on it, and then just sigh at it's beauty.

In the star blocks I quilted a replica of the applique motifs and then some half inch lines to accent the star.  In the borders, I was requested to do light quilting following the design of the fabric.  I think it works well.

I loved working on this quilt, and was so excited when they asked me to quilt it.  Here's a little secret. When I joined our guild, I remember thinking how excited I would be if I was asked to quilt the Opportunity Quilt.  So, when I got the phone call (I still have it on my answering machine) I was pretty excited.

I will post updates and let you know when tickets are available if anyone is interested.  This quilt will travel around until our next show in October, 2013.

Thank you for all your ideas with my white chair, I am still not sure what I will end up doing with it, but at least now I have some good ideas.  I appreciate all your comments and input.


Friday, August 3, 2012

What to do with the white chair?

I need your ideas and help with this chair.  It is an old wooden chair, and as long as I have had it, it has been white.  I like the white, and with a colorful seat cushion it is a great and comfy chair.  But, now that my thoughts are always thinking of quilting designs, I finally really noticed the carved details in this chair.

I want to enhance, or highlight these details, but I don't have a clue what I should do to accomplish this. I thought about painting the lines to draw attention to them, but would that look good?  Can I use something besides paint and a brush?  What about a fine tip marker?  As you can tell, I don't know what to do, or should I just leave it alone?  I would totally appreciate your ideas and tips on this idea.  Thanks.

I have been quilting, but mostly I have been distracted with the Olympics.  They just draw me in and suck up all my time, especially at night time, well into the late hours.  I love watching them, I love the interviews and back stories, the races, competition, all of it, and I am glad that they only last two weeks.  One more week and I can get back to a regular schedule.

Thanks in advance for your help with my chair.