Think about this.....

...the only thing scarier then reaching out to the unknown is settling for that with which we are comfortable.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Few Minutes to Spare

Caleb comes home today! I won't get to see him until my return from camp, but from his Facebook post, he made his flight and is en route back to Michigan. I made a sign for him this morning and hung it on the fridge to welcome him back in my absence. Jim will pick him up from the train station this evening; late.

I think I've brought just about anything and everything I need for my trip north. I can't think of anything else to stuff into the Jeep so now I just wait for mom before we head out. While I have the time, I think I'll line up my next quilt to get on the long arm for my return. I won't have time to make backings or anything but I can plan it out and get it ready at least.

The animals and plants are all fed and watered. I've cleaned the house and washed all but a half load of laundry. It amazes me how much preparation it takes to get away even for a few days, and it's not like the guys are inept or anything, but they should be able to enjoy their weekend as well and not have to worry about such trivial stuff.

Until next week, keep quilting!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Quilt camp is always a wonderful thing to look forward to! Packing...not so much. I have all my quilting supplies in the Jeep and most of my clothes in the suitcase. I'll add to the suitcase tomorrow morning after I am done taking my shower and getting ready to leave to Detroit with mom.

Mom is going on a Canadian Rockies bus tour and her flight leaves out early (7:30) from Metro to Spokane on Friday, so we'll be staying in Detroit tomorrow night to refrain from having to get up so early the next morning.

I'm going to get her settled into the airport and then head out somewhere for a leisurely breakfast. From there, quilt shop hopping! So excited for that, except it would be more fun to do it with a friend. I have to plan my route this afternoon to see where I'm going since we can't really check in at camp until after 3pm.

Amazon Star is all cut out and sorted into the proper bags. After reading the directions (again), I'm now all set to start sewing. I have a feeling Cathy has already started hers, but that's okay since I am more settled on having everything I need to make the process a success.

I also cut the Amish Star black sections last night to be ready for those blocks too. These are for a quilt both my father and Jim's mom requested I make for them. I'm thinking while I'm on my "A" game I can work on Amazon and then when I'm about brain dead, will then pull out the Amish Star blocks to work on since they don't require as much thought.

I have also packed a bunch of charm squares Jim purchased for me a while ago should I get through all the Amish Star blocks. I probably won't even get to those, but with all the intense work I do up there, who knows?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What a Mess

Yesterday was spent re-reading the beginning directions for the Amazon Star to make sure I was proceeding in the right direction.

After reading the template cutting portion and then actually diving into cutting the fabrics to prepare for piecing, I'm glad I took the time to peruse the previous sections because some of what I thought I needed to do was not actually the case.

At any rate, we're moving along. However, I'm making a huge mess of my planning table, my desk, my cutting table, and my sewing desk.

Once a color is cut, it is labeled, clipped together with the template, and then placed into a specific bag. I have 10 bags in total with various pieces in each that I can only assume will be used in the piecing progresses.

I was a little leery about the colors we choose because despite having 17 various values, together it only seemed like two; blue and silver/gray. Now that I have sorted them out during the cutting/separating steps, it seems like this may be an absolutely beautiful piece of work. Either that, or it will look like a blue ball of spikes with some gray around the edges.

The pieces also have a left side and a right side to them. Even those have to be labeled and kept straight from all the other pieces in their respective bag.

I think after I finish cutting this out today I may find that getting a basket (from my teaching days) to set everything in gently may be the way to transport this up north for quilt camp. I'm so worried about all of these flying about in the Jeep on the way up and I don't know if they did, what it would take to get them all straightened out again. An ounce of prevention...

Monday, July 21, 2014

No Guilt Quilt Is Finished!

Probably one of the longest times it took me to complete (a whole year) considering how much I really wanted to get it finished. It's such a fun little quilt that I'm sure the grandkids will fight over who will be sleeping under it.

No Guilt Quilt

Close up of some of the quilting
I free motioned the whole quilt (no use of the computer). Each of the treats were echo quilted; I ditch quilted between borders and sashing strips; I swirl quilted in the black border, and the cup of soda, I put in pebbles to resemble bubbles coming off the top of the cup. I did not quilt within the appliqué pieces because I wanted the quilt to be snuggly. If the pieces pucker after the quilt is washed the first time that's okay because comfort food is not really all that perfect.

Next up, quilt camp. I took Laura out of her bag from our sew-in weekend and gave her a good cleaning. I took inventory of my needles and other needed items and added to all the necessary areas. I feel like I'm ready to head north. Now all I have to do is pack my own clothes. 

Jim surprised me yesterday by asking about Amazon Star. A fellow quilter is tackling this very intricate design during camp and she and I are about the same skill level. I have had the pattern for a while and knew the fabric was going to be extremely expensive to purchase, but we found our way down to the Marshall House to look for said fabric and wow, it's going to be gorgeous!

Here's what the general idea is behind the quilt itself.

Amazon Star
The colors we selected will not be like these given colors. My colors will be grey and ice/dark blues. I wanted to mimic the actual stars we look out at each night from our back deck and most everybody who has tackled this project has been too afraid to venture outside of their box. Thankfully, I'm not like everybody.

The directions for this quilt are 26 pages long. Each piece of the pattern and the fabric has to be painstakingly cut prior to even beginning to sew. Once the pattern pieces are cut, they are sorted and put into section bags to keep them straight and organized. The same holds true for the fabric pieces. 

I have had my pattern pieces cut out for a number of months now, so the remainder of today will be cutting my fabric pieces and organizing them. Cathy and I will be "star" buddies throughout camp to lean on and ask questions to when we become confused or frustrated, which, from the look of all the directions, may be very often.