Apr 18, 2014

A Trip to Texas

Facebook has been a fun way for me to reconnect with friends from the past and keep up with friends and family who are so far away. 

In the last few years I have been fortunate enough to re-establish friendships with three women I first met over 30 years ago. Our husbands were all in the Army and we were stationed at Ft. Stewart, GA together. Through the years and many moves we had lost contact with each other. Thanks to Facebook, we are now all friends again. In the Spring of 2013 two of the three girls came to my house for a visit and last month I went to Texas for another reunion. 



This is Hope, Sandy and me at my house last year.

This year we had a wonderful time! Hope was a terrific hostess and showed us the town. We were busy every minute we were there. 


We were so happy to get together! This is me, Hope and Karen.

We went to the George Bush Presidential Library, the Stockyards in Ft. Worth and the beautiful Ft Worth Water Gardens.


Hope and Karen at the Stockyards


Karen and I at the Water Garden


I even sat on a bull! Yes, he's real!


Hope is an extremely accomplished quilter. She designed, hand pieced and hand quilted this beautiful quilt that adorned my bed! I felt like a queen sleeping under it. 

We have decided to make these reunions an annual event and hope that all four of us will be together next year. 

Apr 14, 2014

Stella Maude

I am so happy for my friend Anne. She is such a talented lady. She and a friend of hers, Kelly, are the program co-chairpersons for their quilt guild and they have been a huge success. 

They designed a monthly program for their guild based on the color wheel and using twelve log cabin quilt blocks. Each month they made a block using a different color from the color wheel. It got everyone to use colors that weren't in their stash or were outside their comfort zone. The program was a huge hit and so Anne and her friend made that quilt into a pattern. They have sold it to several quilt shops and lots of their friends. 


With that adventure under their belt, Anne and Kelly decided to tackle another idea that had been simmering on the back burner. The result of that idea is their first book! I would like to introduce you to Stella Maude. She was a real woman---and such a character! Each block in this quilt tells a story about Stella Maude's life. They are adorable and make Stella Maude come to life.  


This picture of Stella Maude was taken by the quilter when she was finished working on it. 

Here is Stella Maude at a quilt show-the vendor sent this picture to Anne. 

Just take a look at this adorable book. It's already spiral bound for you so it lays flat while you are tracing pieces or reading the instructions.

Stella Maude was unique and folksy. So is this quilt book!

Congratulations, Anne and Kelly on a job well done. Those of us who know you are so proud!

Grammy

Apr 8, 2014

2014 Block Swap

For the last few years I have done block swaps with several quilting friends far away. We love staying in touch with each other this way and always enjoy the resulting quilts. This year we are doing a simple nine patch. 

Last Fall some of us attended a quilt show and all really liked this quilt. It's our inspiration for this year's swap.


The black line across the quilt near the bottom is the "barrier" to keep us from getting too close to the quilt-it's not part of the design of the quilt. :)

There are five of us swapping this year. We are making five 9-patch blocks for each person in the swap each month. It really goes quickly because we are not cutting up 225 individual squares-but rather cutting strips, sewing them together and then cutting them into sections. It makes the piecing go really quickly and who wants to spend all day cutting 225  2 1/2" squares when they could be sewing, right?

We started our swap in January and I was tickled to get my first five blocks finished and in the mail.


Now we have been swapping for three months and I have 60 blocks, so far. One friend lives overseas and only mails to us a couple times during the swaps to save on postage, so I haven't received any from her yet. 


I am loving this quilt so far! I think it's going to be another success story.

Happy Quilting!       

Grammy 

Mar 2, 2014

Hawaii

I know that I have been absent for the last three weeks.....but I think I have a pretty good reason. I've been on the holiday of a lifetime in Hawaii! 

My husband and I have dreamed about and planned this vacation for years. We talked about going for our 25th anniversary, but we were living in Germany at the time and it meant we would be traveling half way around the world. And why go to Hawaii when we could take a European holiday instead?

Last December we were celebrating our 40th anniversary. We decided it was going to be now or never-so in the Fall I began looking into a trip in February. The planning and anticipation were as much fun as the trip was going to be. We booked a cruise of the islands and also wanted to spend time exploring Oahu. We cashed in frequent flyer miles for our flight, booked hotels and a rental car and were all ready to go. We were going to be gone from February 13 to the 26th.

The big day was rapidly approaching-and so was bad weather. On Wednesday, Feb 12 an ice storm hit Georgia! Seriously? What are the odds? We have been having a crazy Winter, but, come on-I'm going to Hawaii. And I didn't buy trip insurance.

Wednesday night our electricity went out at 9:00. We showered in lukewarm water by candlelight around 11:00 and went to bed. When we got up at 6:00am Thursday morning, the room was cold and dark and we still had no power. I applied make-up by flashlight, dressed and finished packing in the dark. As soon as it was light enough to see the road well, we left for the airport. There was no one on the road and the radio announcer kept telling us to stay off the streets unless it was an emergency! One lane on the interstate had been cleared and we made it safely to the airport. This trip was going to happen!!

And happen it did. We attended a luau, snorkeled, cruised, went bicycling and ziplining, toured Pearl Harbor, climbed Diamondhead, and ate lots of pineapple. Hawaii is truly a little piece of heaven on earth and I enjoyed every minute there. 















~Aloha~


Feb 9, 2014

Quiltin' With My Ya-Ya's


You are a very fortunate person if you have a best friend. You know who I'm talking about-that one person who you share everything with. A soul sister. A confidant. She may be related to you by blood, or she may be your "sister from another mother". But as soon as something great happens to you, she is the one you run to the phone to call and share it with. She will delight in your joy-smiling and laughing-genuinely pleased that great things have come your way. And if something goes wrong in your life, you know that you can call her then too. She will be ready with just the right words, a hand to hold, and a shoulder to cry on. 

I must be the luckiest woman ever-because I have the two best girl friends in the whole wide world! We are Ya-Ya's. And it is good.


This is Anne and Pam. They are my BFF's and they are the sweetest, kindest, most generous and loving women I have ever known. The only bad thing about our friendship is that we don't live near each other. Pam and Anne live 100 miles apart and I am about 200 miles from each of them. But we make every effort to see each other as often as possible. We also call, text and email-usually more than once a day. :)

In early January the three of us made a date to get together at my house January 28-31. It was the first time we would have been together in months. Nothing was going to keep us apart-not even mother nature! When the forecast for central Georgia said ice and snow for that week, it did not deter these two. They packed their cars and left home very early, beating the storm by about an hour.


Oh, what a fun time we had! We had pajama-sew days! We each had projects to work on and we kept the sewing machines humming. And while we sewed, we talked, we laughed, we drank (so we laughed some more), we shared, we cried. Our spirits were renewed and we were better off for having been together. That's what best friends are for.

Pam and Anne got a lot accomplished. Pam started with this red and white quilt she had been working on.  Anne jumped right in to help and in no time at all they had this top finished.


Pam had almost all the blocks made when she arrived. It was a sew along that the Temecula Quilt Company did on their blog in December and she had been working right along with them. Here is the link where they put it all together. Those little stars are 2" squares and this quilt is adorable!

Pam also sewed on these blocks that she is swapping with another friend. I have always wanted to make an Irish Chain and I love this one. I guess it's another quilt to add to my bucket list. 


Anne spent a lot of her time sewing on a tumbler quilt. Last summer we got together at Pam's and cut out about 1600 tumbler blocks to divide between the three of us. Mine are still stacked awaiting my attention, but Anne got hers all sewed together in rows. Now I'm anxious to sew mine too!!


Pam's last project was one that is near and dear to my heart. We have both been appliqueing blocks for this Love Letters quilt. She works much quicker than I do and finished her blocks before me. She squared them all up and got them sewn together while she was visiting. I love the way it looks and am excited about finishing mine too!!


My project(s) were to finish the snowman tablerunners I had been working on. And I did!


A forecast of bad weather can be a perfect opportunity for a quilt-in with friends. I can't wait until we get together again-I miss them already. 


Feb 3, 2014

HQ Studio of the Week

On the morning of December 11, 2013 I got a message on Facebook from a friend of mine. She let me know that Handi Quilter had posted a picture on their FB page of my quilt room. They even named me the HQ studio of the week! I was flattered beyond words! I captured a screen shot with my phone so that I can remember my "15 minutes of fame"!!! LOL   I wish my room was this clean right now.





Jan 31, 2014

Snowman Tablerunners

I'm finally finished! I have been working on this project since right after Christmas-and it was a LOT more time consuming than I thought it would be. But it was sooo much fun! 

On January 14 I blogged about a new project I started on December 29. I was making gifts for my two best friends and I didn't want them to know what I was doing!! I couldn't blog anymore about it until I was finished-I didn't want to spoil the surprise. Now I am finished and they have their tablerunners, so I'm free to write all about them.

The pattern I used is called Snowball Runner and is by Lisa Bongean. The fabrics I used are Lisa's Snowman Gatherings. 

First I cut and cut and cut........There were a LOT of pieces!!
















Then I sewed and sewed and sewed......I chain pieced. I trimmed. I pressed.
















Snowball blocks abounded!

















When the tops were finally pieced, the applique began. Those little wool snowmen were so cute and so fun to make!

I machine appliqued the snowmen, but did the rest of the applique by hand. I used a primitive stab stitch for the star and heart. I auditioned button noses, but decided against them and went with orange wool. 

The snowmen really had a cute personality when their faces were stitched on.

I love the finished results!


I rolled them up and tied them with a tag I made and a pom pom made of scrap strips. 


Pam and Anne were tickled with their gifts and I was thrilled to have them finished and in their hands. 

Tomorrow is February and I will begin with my first UFO. It's going to be a busy year. And I already have two finished tablerunners under my belt. That feels good!

Happy Quilting!