Friday, February 26, 2010

My Chains Are Gone

Finished my Liberated Amish Quilt. Tonya, who's new website is now up and running, presented us with challenge to take inspiration from an amish quilt and liberate it, through color, design, layout- whatever you wanted. The main idea was to sort of cast aside your rulers and other exacting devices and free-piece. We were also to add free-pieced letters to the front. My inspiration was an unamed pattern that resembled chains to me, hence the title. As I tried to break-down the pattern, I realized it was a simple Rail Fence. I was amazed at the creativity it took to create this tessalating pattern and how modern and graphic it appeared despite the fact that the maker had no books, internet or quilt guild in which to take inspiration. The back has an example of what I would piece modern day...

Thanks Tonya, it was great fun!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Benefit Auction Questions

I have volunteered to donate a quilt for auction, to help raise funds for a 5 year old girl with brain cancer. I don't have lots of time, so I need to make the pattern simple. Any ideas? Should I do it kid-like or use nuetral colors? Probably needs to be lap sized at least, right? Didn't have this problem with the raffle quilt I did, but an action is different as you've got to make people want to spend the $$$$ instead of just buying a ticket.
As you can see, Izzy has trouble waiting for a quilt to actually be quilted before it becomes her own personal place of rest.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pillow-paloosa or cheap is a choice

Among our friends, my husband and I are known as "cheap". Not frugal, not smart shoppers, not any other ufamism that would save our feelings or make us feel better about our spending. No - I guess no other word truly describes our choice to owe less and to not participate in the credit card buy now pay later mentality that seems to be the norm. We are cheap. We have a vehicle that runs on waste vegtable oil, a woodstove to heat our home using the dead wood that our property so eagarly provides us. We are debt-free with the exception of our home that will be paid off in 7 years. We repair instead of re-purchase and make due instead of buy new. We are cheap.
The latest installment in the ongoing saga of our "if you don't need it don't buy it, and if you need it, think again" deals with pillows. Not sure if you have noticed or not, but pillow forms have become quite expensive. I'm not talking about the down-filled organic materials high-end stuff. I'm talking about the normal poly filled cheap-o variety. The type that become cushions that are just as likely to become non-bruising weapons in an all-out pillow fight as to a decorative object to be admired. I became very frustrated when even at 1/2 price the cheapest pillow forms I could find were nearing the $5 mark. Then, during a trip to Wal-Mart, the place of many miracles, I passed by a huge stack of sleeping pillows. $2.50 each! OK, so they were 20 in. by 26 in., but with a snip here and a de-stuff there (oh that lessening my girth was so easy) and a quick run through the sewing machine, I ended up with a pillow and a half for less than $3.
I admit it's a little messy and not as quickly satisfying as just inserting a form right out of the pkg, but as I said before, we are cheap. So let the pillow gift giving begin... it's a pillow-paloosa!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quilt Inspectors run amok!

I have two fabulous cats, who appreciate quilts just about as much as I do. Commi (what else would you call a Blue Russian) is very discriminating and has to give not only the front of the quilt a thorough going over, but the back must past inspection as well. Izzy is very camera shy, but will make an exception for a chin scratch. These are very valueable since Izzy is missing a back leg. Both were Blue Russian rescue cats and are the real rulers of our home. The quilt pictured still has to be bound before it makes it's way as a house warming gift.

New Baby

OK so there was now pink or blue stork sitting on my front lawn when my husband brought home my suprise, but that hasn't stopped me from taking pictures and ohhh-ing and ahhhh-ing at it's every little movement. No 50,000 stiches like my sister's Bernina, but that's not what I wanted. It sews straight, it sews fast (1,500 stitches per minute) and it quilts like it was made for it (which it was). Anyway the new baby has been sewing up a storm.