Thursday, February 25, 2010

My mind is wandering

There are about seven or eight blogs that I love to read daily. These blogs do so much for me, from exciting me with color and design to making me think about why I do what I do and the way I do them.
Lately I have been having this niggling thought in my head; am I really a quilter? I don't mean a topper versus a quilter, I mean do I piece/applique/quilt because I have a need to do it? Or do I do it because it was a phase in my life and I now have too much money invested in fabric and machines to just give up on it all.

I can go weeks and weeks and not even have a desire to go in my sewing room or look at one of my many many quilting books. Is that the way a real quilter behaves? I read blogs such as Wanda Hanson's and Judy Laquidara's and I am in awe of the vast number of quilts they make in a short amount of time. I don't need to make that many quilts, and I really don't want to make that many, I am just amazed they can.
I used to dye fabric. I used to dye fabric as a business. I love to dye fabric but I have not done that in a long time, there are many reasons too boring to go into right now. I brought it up because I got into dyeing because of my quilting. I think my dyeing was one of the reasons I stopped producing quilts. Anyone who has had a business in the quilting area knows you give up your own quilting to make or do for your customers. I was too busy or too tired to make anything for fun. The need for samples took precedence over everything else.

After I closed my business I felt sort of lost. It was going to be just a short closing, just until I got moved and settled. This short time has lasted over two years. With this economy I don't see it starting back up any time soon either. I do have some former customers that I stay in contact with who I am happy to make a special piece for when they need it, but nothing big.

You will never believe what got me going this morning on this blog posting. I read Judy's blog and she was talking about Batik fabrics. Then I read Wanda's blog and she showed the top she is working on and her goals for the month. I started comparing myself to them. Am I a quilter? Or just someone who dabbles in making quilts. Do I love it or am I just stuck in it because I have too much invested?

My conclusion? I love to make quilts and I am not stuck in it because of my stash of fabric, machines or books. I need to iron fabric, and cut fabric. I need to plan quilts in my head and on paper. I enjoy looking at books and magazines. I have a desire to be great and make beautiful heirlooms to give my children. Quilts are what I found will hug those I love when I can't, so therefore... I am a quilter.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I really like this

The more I applique this way the more I like it. I finally got the leaves done. I wasn't quite sure if I was suppose to glue those pieces down at the same time as the others since there was going to be three pieces sewn in the same spot, so I left them off and did one layer at a time. The best parts about it all is that I have everything (almost) in place to start with, and I don't have to fight pins and worry about the pieces shifting. I would always get cramps in my thumb while I tried to hold it in place. I would hold so tight my hands would hurt. I have NO pain while appliqueing this way. I am really happy about that. I have enough pain on a daily basis, and I don't need more.


Oh man what a week

Since last week my poor computer has been through the mill.
A received an email from a friend with a link for looking at pictures of their recent cruise. I clicked on it and all H - E double toothpicks broke loose!
It took my husband and son two full days to get rid of the virus.
Why do people have to be so mean?
What fun do they get out of other people's misery?

Now today the Dell guy is coming out to replace some parts on my and my son's computers. I love my Dell and have only owned a Dell for YEARS, but they just aren't made as well as they used to be. Well, I know it doesn't help any when you shut it in the hinge of the trunk of your car, but still...

I will post more after he gets through with my puter.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Twenty seven years ago on this day my first child Alan was born, and my life has never been the same. My son, named after his daddy looks like me and has a tender heart. He has his father's stubbornness and desire to do things his own way. He loves to read and laugh. Alan is still learning to wait upon the Lord and listen to his heart and not always his head.
Last year, after we moved to Florida from Alabama, he moved to California. I don't get to see him but he does call. Until he has children of his own I am sure he won't understand how precious those phone calls are. There is nothing like the sound of "Hi Moma" when you answer the phone.
I never knew love could feel like this. When I saw his face after he was born I had a feeling come over me that I had never felt before. It was panic. The feeling that for the first time I was responsible for another life. I was just a child really when he was born, being just shy of my twentieth birthday. I had a job until the day he was born but the first time I held him I knew I would never return to work. Ray and I had talked about me staying home after the baby was born but it wasn't settled until I held him.

You don't know how fast time flies until you look up and your newborn is 27...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm a convert

I tried the starch/Templar method of hand applique and I love it!
It took a bit of getting used to but once the pieces were starched and glued in place the stitching was so fun! It went so fast!
Sitting in the living room while Ray watches the back of his eye lids, I mean TV I can stitch and I don't feel guilty being off in my sewing room. In two evenings, and two programs each night I have everything stitched down except the leaves (base of hearts) and the mauve dots. I didn't glue the leaves down since they sit so close to the heart bottoms I was afraid I wouldn't get something stitched well. I will glue them in a bit and stitch them later.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Teaching this old dog new tricks

Since deciding I would try applique again I have been trying to remember what I know about applique. I know the old way (how my Granny taught me), and I know how Ms. Louise taught me. They are similar, with a few differences. I also know how to do back basting.

I have been intrigued by a new method I have seen over the past couple of years. This method uses Templar, starch, and an iron to prep your pieces.

The Templar that I ordered from Karen K Buckley arrived. I found a pattern that I thought would be pretty easy and I liked since a pattern isn't a good idea, no matter how easy, if you don't like the way it looks.

I decided on the book Simple Blessings by Kim Diehl. I LOVE this book. Sometimes when life gets too stressful and I can't think straight I will pull this book out and study the quilts. Have I said I love this book?

The Country Whig Rose is the pattern I chose. It has nice big pieces, lots of color (scraps) and it's not too big to actually finish.

Today I prepped the first block. It took me quite a while and I hope it is just because I have never used this technique before. It did get easier as I went along. Now I am going to use glue to baste the pieces down to the background so I don't have to use pins. Then I should be able to have a portable piece so I can stitch even if I am away from home.



Monday, February 8, 2010


*Woke up at 6:34am
*Dressed and left for Dr. appointment 7:33 am
*Filled out new information form, kept making mistakes and crossing out.
*Had to weigh...I gained 4 pounds!
*My blood pressure was elevated, the drive over didn't help much.
*Had blood drawn
*Tires rotated
*Stop off at auto insurance office
*Tuesday Morning- found new kitchen towels
*Stopped at Earth Box research center-sounds interesting
*Home to make dinner
*Made dessert
*Longing for bed

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm over it now

I had a great night sleep and I am over yesterday's frustrations. YIPPEE!

On to today!
I used to love to hand applique. I never made a whole lot of things but I enjoyed it. Then one day a few months back I realized I have not appliqued in years. I don't know why other than life was just too much and I couldn't concentrate long enough to get any stitching done. Plus there is something so mindless about ironing, cutting strips, feeding said strips through the machine. In no time at all without much thinking I could come up with a decent quilt top. Bliss!

A few weeks ago my computer started acting like a brick. It wouldn't budge. So my computer genius husband re imaged it after listening to me sigh loudly for the 752nd time. In the aftermath I realized I lost all of my bookmarks which had all of my favorite blogs. Oh man!
I start looking all over again for my blogs and in the process I found some new ones.

I found One Piece at a Time and parked there for a LONG. Reading her entries caused something to happen. I started thinking about all of the applique patterns I own and how I love the look and how I want to make them. The applique beast started stirring and stretching.
Said beast caused part of the ruckus yesterday but I'm not going there again!

This morning with my applique beast still struggling, I ordered the Templar from Karen K. Buckley. She was so nice. There was a shipping charge blip and I emailed her and asked her about it and she fixed it in about 10 minutes. What customer service! Now that is how a business should behave! Plus she said it would be mailed out today, so I may get it Saturday. I hope I hope!
I think the last time I appliqued was with a dear sweet lady in Mobile. Ms Louise was a true southern lady. You never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She surely thought them, but never said it out loud. She and I shared applique patterns and fabric. I remember I came home from my trip to Bird in Hand, PA. and she saw a book I brought back. She borrowed the book and went home and called them that afternoon and order it. Before the book arrived in less than a week she already had most of the applique prepared and ready to stitch down.

Before I could get my head wrapped around what I wanted to do she had the top finished and in the quilt frame. Ms Louise has gone on to be with the Lord and I miss her so much. She was a wonderful person.



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All for the want of Templar

I want Templar. I know from being in the "business" that it is a quilt shop product. You can't just run over to Target or WalMart and grab it. I also know that my truck being a 1997, gas guzzling 3/4 ton, I call before I head out. I also know from being in the "business" not everyone knows what Templar is, so I called. I called six different shops within about an hour of my house that I felt I could get to without getting lost too badly.

Shop #1 Cotton Patch in Bradenton - my go to shop. This is my favorite.
Them: Hello
Me: Do you carry Templar? The heat resistant plastic for templates?
Them: We have a heat resistant mylar.
Me: Is is Templar?
Them: No
Me: Thank you

I know they do not have what I want and move to the next shop on my list.

Shop #2 Quilter's Haven in Ellenton, I don't go here much... no reason, just don't.
Me: Do you have Templar?
Them: Yes we do.
Me: You have Templar, the brand not heat resistant mylar?
Them: yes

Woo Hoo I jump in my truck and head on over. What do I find? Mylar, not Templar. UGH!
I head home to get back on the phone.

Shop #3 Heritage Quilters in Temple Terrace. I never go there as they are over an hour away and I am afraid of getting lost.
Me: Do you have Templar?
Them: Yes
Me: Templar? Not Mylar?
Them: Yes, Templar, heat resistant template sheets.
Me: Can you check before I drive an hour as I have been disappointed once already today.
Them: Yes we have 3 packages and one is in my hands.

Woo Hoo!
Then I get nervous and think I will call another shop closer to me.

Shop #4 didn't have it and told me.
Shop #5 didn't have it and told me.
Shop #6 Alma Sue's in Sarasota - I have been here before and I like the shop but I have never driven there myself, as Ray takes me.
Them: yes we have it.
Me: Are you sure it is Templar, not just heat resistant mylar?
Them: yes

YIPPEE, I get in my truck and load my GPS with the address and head out. I get lost because I loaded the wrong address. 3667 not 8667...
Get back on the road and finally get there just to guessed it...MYLAR. I asked the sweet lady behing the counter if they had Templar somewhere else maybe and I was just not seeing it. She said she didn't think so. Then this voice that I remember from the phone call says, "that's Templar". I replied, No mam, it is mylar. She tells me it is no melt mylar and it is just like Templar. UGH!
So as I am fuming on the inside I kindly say, I called and asked specifically for Templar, and you said you had it.
She says, that is Templar.
Again, I take a deep breath and smile and say, No mam, it is mylar.
She looks at me in the eye and says, It's the same thing.

Ok, beside the fact that she is now arguing with me in the store, I politely pay for a sheet of the inferior mylar because I really want to get started on this project and need something that will not melt.
Please tell me if I am crazy or over sensitive or what, but if I specifically ask for a product and you don't have it shouldn't you say you don't have it? The fact that I explained I was not wanting the no-melt mylar but wanted Templar should have been a clue that I didn't want a substitute.
I know I fell for the is as old as business plans. If you don't have what the customer wants tell them you do anyway, they will buy something before they leave and any sale is better than no sale.

In the morning I am getting up and driving to shop #3!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My foo-foo room

The furniture finally arrived!!
This is my foo-foo room. I call it that because "formal living room" always felt so pretentious every time I types it since there isn't a thing about me that is formal. The last "formal" thing I did was get married almost 29 years ago. So anyway until I get a better way to describe it I will refer to it as my foo-foo room. LOL

More on quilting in a bit.

Let's try this again

Well I am suppose to get the rest of my furniture for the formal living room delivered today and get my replacement mattress set. It was suppose to be here last week, but because of some errors made in the data entry when I bought the original mattresses there was some isses that had to be cleared up.
Haverty's has a cool new thing, where you can actually watch online where your delivery is and if it will be on time or early (or late). Nifty! It's the little things that keep me going I tell ya.

Ray left this morning for a few days in Iowa, so if the past serves as any indication I will not be sleeping much for the next couple of days. Hopefully I will get some sewing done. I have babies being born left, right and center.

Here is a shout out to my Mobile friend...Glad you all had such a good time at the retreat. I let you all enjoy the first retreat in the new digs in relative quite, but be I will be there in August so get ready! Let me hear from you, I miss you all!