Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall is Coming!

If you noticed my sidebar picture has changed, then this pic is redundant, isn't it? But I love this quilt. It is king sized and the photo doesn't really do it justice. I put it on the bed this past week and also got out the wreath I made a few years ago.  The biggest compliment I have gotten on this quilt was from my daughter. She wants me to give it to her in my will. That's a long time from now, but so sweet. Normally our tastes are polar opposites.
I love leaves and sunflowers this time of year. This wreath is a very easy project I made for under $50. Michael's craft store sells garlands of silk leaves, wire based sunflowers and butterflies and craft wire. You can make a wreath like this in an afternoon. No glue required. and there is usually a big sale on around this time every year.

This week is the Fall-Oween blog hop. Are you participating? Should be great fun with beautiful fall pictures and a free pattern each day. Today is Day One with Gudrun at GE Designs with a candy corn table mat to make.  Sandy Gervais' blog entry for today is my favorite out of all of them. She and I must be kindred spirits with our love of new crayons and paint boxes. How cool would it be to design your own fabrics? Take a look at the tour of blogs and comment on each to win a prize. I'd like to know - Which was your favorite?

Also in preparation or celebration of fall, I made Cowboy Cookies this weekend. They are a favorite of ours since I discovered the recipe when I was teaching preschoolers and made these with my class during letter C week. I substitute chopped pecans for the walnuts and refrigerate the dough overnight. They are fabulous with dark chocolate chunks! I am looking forward to teaching Tyler to bake when he is older. Just a few more years! We will be making these for sure.

Although we won't have the glorious display of tree colors changing here in the South, I am hoping for a weekend getaway to see some in person this year. We say it every year and never make it out of the gate. Cross your fingers for us!

Last of all, Fall means I will soon I'll be slow-cooking, making soups, roasts, and the thing that makes my husband's knees weak: Lasagna. Piled high and wide in a turkey roasting pan. He really can't wait!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quilt History in Florida

Hello again! There are lots of quilty things going on in this area. I'd probably know these things a lot sooner if I made it to the local quilt guild meetings, but something always comes up at the last minute.

First off is the Pensacola Museum of Art, which has a new exhibit, "Quilt Art:International Expressions" that I plan to go to this Saturday. Can you believe I have lived here 6 years, and I haven't made it to any one of the local museums? Not once. And I LOVE art! It is supposed to rain all weekend, so a museum trip will be perfectly in order.

Secondly, there is going to be an exhibit starting the end of October in Tallahassee at the Museum of Florida History.  The 29th Annual Capital City Quilt Show: The Garden Party goes through January. There will be over 100 quilts on display. You can see some of the quilts from the book I am reading if you go to that page linked above.

To prepare for that trip (and to keep me busy while my machines are in the shop) I have been re-reading the book Florida Quilts, which covers the history of our state from the 1500s! and the women who lived here as pioneers, through the Civil War hardships, and the quilts they made. Quilts up to the 1980s are included too. The information on the early days of quilt-making here makes me feel like such a slacker. I cannot ever imagine living here in summer without air conditioning, but they did it, and in layers of petticoats and long skirts! They grew gardens year round to feed themselves and made their own quilting supplies. That includes the batting and cloth, people. When you read the stories and see their handiwork, you'll be in awe. This is a 1992 book, so libraries should have it.

I am a pioneer of sorts. The first I know of in my family to make quilts, so I don't know what it is like to learn from a grandmother, be part of a quilting bee, or hand piece or applique like they used to. Those are some of the most fascinating things about books like this. The pictures of women gathered around a quilting frame that is typically stored on the living room ceiling. Quilt that are so detailed - all made completely by hand. The stories of freed slaves who used only what was on hand to make and fill their quilts to keep warm in winter...this was not just a hobby to them. Yes, it was a creative outlet, but it was very necessary and they took the time to make beauty in the necessity.

I count myself very lucky to have not only piles of fabrics to chose from, but all the notions and comforts that make modern quilt-making a breeze.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Because both my sewing machines are in the shop...

Hopefully I will have some sewing and quilting updates and pictures next week! I am behind schedule for Christmas already. Since my quiltmaking and other sewing plans are on hold, I will give a Tyler update. 

He is now 18 months old, going on 3. He is definitely outdoorsy and loves waterplay, but when it is too hot, or after dark, his favorite things on tv are, of course, Elmo, and the Madagascar movies. "Emo" and "Aweee" (Alex the lion) are fascinating to him. He laughs at a lot of things in the movies, so that is another confirmation that he has a great sense of humor already.

We have this dvd and his favorite song on it is "On Top of Spaghetti" which he does the sneeze for. Too cute. Now spaghetti with meatballs is what he asks for for dinner every night too. Ha! These sing along songs are great for toddlers, because he wants to sing now. We've been singing to him his whole life, but this is a first - him trying to really sing along too. Before this it was just the hand clapping and shouting "hooray" during "If You're Happy and You Know It" and making the spider with his hands for the "Itsy Bitsy Spider." 

Here is last weekend's crack up. He picked up the vacuum hose and pretended it was a telephone, a hairbrush and a water hose."He-do?" Hysterical! Yes, the vacuum was turned off.

Tyler has a very good grasp of the word NO already. He wants to be outside all the time, so now we've added a Little Tikes basketball stand/hoop thing to the driveway collection. I wish we could set up his stuff out back on the cement slab, but the dogs would eat it. Seriously. They ate the wicker furniture and one jacuzzi cover already. Please don't write me about dog training. We had 3 litters of puppies (31 puppies) our first 2 years here, and Bryan was in a wheelchair part of that time, so we got worn down on dog training. We settled for spaying and neutering and gave up on the backyard being a place to entertain.

Anyway, it is so hard to believe Tyler has grown from this to this in just a year and half. They don't stay small for long, but it sure is fun every single day watching them grow and teaching them!

Nana loves you, Tyler! Be good!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I was reading Nicole's blog the other day and she and I seem to be of the same mind. More detail and complexity, less quickie quilts is what we both want to do more of. I know sometimes you can look at a pattern and think, "holy moly, there are like a million pieces in this one," but lately I want to make a quilt that is time consuming and will really look like an heirloom when it is finished. Not modern, but very old fashioned and soft colored, with just a little punch of strong color to capture your attention.

Some people will tell you not to make lists. I'm not one to listen to that though, even if the lists tend to frustrate me because of 1) the occasional lack of quilt productivity in my busy life and 2) I tend to see quilts that shoot to the top of things to do and the other stuff gets pushed back, over and over again. My lists help me remember UFOs that I can work on if I get bored with a current project, or can't afford to buy new fabrics. Lists help me keep track of my must-do projects and ideas I want to not lose track of. Do you make lists?

This quilt has been in the back of my mind for about 2 years. It is called Vintage Stars. I just can't get over how gorgeous and vintage it looks. It is from Piece by Piece by Joe Wood of the Thimble Creek Quilt Shop. You can read a little about it here. My stash never included these soft colors until recently, when I treated myself to some fat quarters and a dessert roll of various Fig Tree Quilts fabrics. I need to build up some cream tone on tones and buy the pattern (or figure it out on my own, which is not that hard...?) and then I will be on my way. Probably won't get started til December, when the "making stuff for the holidays" rush is ending and I have the week between Christmas and New Years off from work. But I am excited. This is such a long time dream of mine. It will be my most cherished quilt. I can already tell.

So what quilts or other items do you dream of making some day? What is on your list? I'd like to know.