Monday, December 28, 2015

Party Hosting - Whew!

I hosted two holiday parties this year.  One was a neighborhood get together since we have lived here in Montana for a year now and had not yet met all of our neighbors on our street. The other event was for my daughters birthday.  Christina was born on December 18 so oftentimes her birthday gets added to the holiday mix.  I decided to take advantage of the sparkly decorations and a clean once, entertain multiple times approach.  I also used the same recipes (and some foods) for both parties.  

The festivities began when I hosted a wine tasting party for my daughter's 34th birthday.  We had 11 guests.  I joined a wine club to earn frequent flyer miles and received nine bottles of wines that would not otherwise be available to me here at the grocery stores in Montana.  We printed wine tasting etiquette cards as well as tips on why wines were boldest, etc.  then we made a game for the women to try to guess which unlabeled wine was a merlot, a cab, a Shiraz, etc.  I didn't realize I knew so much about wines and tasting!  Hiccup!

A platter of the mini cheesecake bites I made.  Luckily this is Montana so I was able to make ahead many items and store them in my car for a day or two!

I made chocolate covered pretzels and peanuts 

Cheese, tomatoe, pepperoni and olive spears.  

These salad filled pasta shells were a big hit.  

I made at least six different appetizer platters, too.  Some of the treats were phyllo wrapped asparagus, bruschetta, and salad filled pasta shells.  

For the neighborhood party, we served beer, wine, and more appetizers.  We entertained seven couples.  It as really fun and gives us a nice feeling knowing our neighbors a bit better.  

I went to the local St Vincent de Paul and found six vintage aluminum serving trays for a whopping $22!!  

Thanks for stopping by!!  I hope you had a peaceful holiday.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Crayon Practice

When I saw Judi Madsen's Bohemian quilt, I knew it would be a perfect layout for some blocks that I had won in a block exchange with friends.  Of course, I knew I would be using many, many of her quilting ideas as well.  She is so talented.  So here it is, Crayon Practice.  My quilting was a lot of practice in ruler work, SID, and just plain custom quilting.

I love the way the texture shows in the sun.

I think my favorite part of the quilt is this little blue border.

I think this quilt will spend most of its time on this wall in our bedroom.  

Here is a shot of the quilt on the quilt hanger my dad made, and in the cabinet below, are some of the quilts I inherited from my husband's family.  

Monday, November 30, 2015

I'm Starting to Like This

I'm using lots of pictures from Judi Madsen, of greenfairyquilts, to guide me on this quilt. It laid around for months while I debated how to quilt it and last week I just decided in a spur of the moment to pull it out and finish it. 

Indecision and fear should not be about quilting, for Pete's sake!  It's supposed to be about relaxation, after all, it is a hobby, right?!?

I wouldn't do the same quilting a second time, though. Waaaaay too many starts and stops for a non-show quilt. Don't you wish sometimes that you had the heart and the motivation to make a second quilt exactly the same as the first, but quilt it better and differently?

Thanks again for stopping by!  If you are a blogger and I'm not a follower, please comment here with your blog name and I'll follow you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Inspired Yet Uninspired

The blocks in this quilt were made by friends in my Loose Threads group and I 'won' them in our monthly drawing.  I say 'won' lightly because I was one of the last two women to win in our 15 month BOM and drawing event, so I was allowed to choose the color theme.  When I started putting the blocks together and created the layout I had big dreams. 

As I got further into it I realized that I a) must scale down my dreams to a more realistic outcome, and b) needed to be the only person happy with this quilt because it was not going to dazzle at any show. (My big dream - that I can make the jury cut of some really big show.  Think Ed Sullivan there 😉). 

I copied Judi Madsen's work (green fairy quilts), and added a bit of my own work. Then, I soon got bored.  Rather than continue on with more ruler work, I'm just doing some mindless and super simple, fast fills.

I know I read this on someone else's blog but I can't remember who:  it seems so silly to spend so much time quilting something that has no purpose.  How true. What was I thinking?  Well, I will chalk this one up to another learning experience.  I think I need to go for broke, or just go for something utilitarian.  Whaddyu think???

(Another reason to love quilting for customers... I can quilt with a purpose!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cobwebs and Cowboys

Karen made this cute little table runner, too.

I don't know why I never think of making anything smaller.  I think I will make a few.  It's seems to me many things I make tend to be over big, over quilted, over thought (I'm sure that's not proper grammar).  Why, oh, why, can't I make simple and small?  Table runners or dresser runners would make great gifts, too, don't you think?  

While I was out and about driving home from my daughter's home, I spied some working cowboys.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my nice camera with zoom, but I snapped these with my iPhone 5. It's nice to know that not all cattle are rounded up by helicopter. 

The day was dreary, and the view long, but thought I would share anyway.  Have a great day, and thanks so much for checking in!  If I don't already follow your blog, please send me the link!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Karen's Cute Snowman

This is such a cute table runner. Karen must have spent so much time finishing all those raw edges by machine. I didn't see one stray thread. Thanks Karen for sending me this cute piece!  Next up is her adorable Halloween runner.  

Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Picasso, Matisse, and MOMA

When I so fortunately was given the liberty to wander the streets of Manhattan, I decided to peruse MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, for the first time.  On previous trips, I toured the other grand New York Museums.  Overwhelming to say the least.  I have little appreciation for modern art, but I'm so glad I went.  These are a few of my favorites and I apologize for not taking note of each artist's name.

Of course, I frequently think which elements could be used in a quilt.

Is it the shapes, the colors, the emotions?

I have never taken any art classes in history or appreciation, or even practical.  Two years ago I told myself I would get a bachelors degree in art, but I am questioning that now,  between grandkids, and travel, and quilting, and learning the guitar, I'm so busy!  
I think one might have some interesting conversations with these questions.

I've always loved this piece above, but didn't realize it was considered modern.  By Andrew 

Pablo Picasso.  His metal sculptures are on exhibit for a few months.

I did learn quite a bit about modern art while I was there.  I learned about cubism, and the history of modern art.  

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and sharing s bit about my life!  I WILL have some quilty pictures soon!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Ah-Ha Moment and New England

I've been feeling really dissatisfied with the amount of time I was wasting scrolling through Facebook and Instagram.  I would frequently ask myself "Why am I doing this?"  The waste of time, the egoism, the competitiveness, the addiction, the distraction... It hit me.  Instead of making me feel more social, I think it made me anti-social.  I had to be coerced to start FB in the beginning.  I was a holdout for a long time, but then I convinced myself I needed to do it.

I will admit, though, that I will miss seeing my little grand nieces and nephews, and the rare funny joke, as well as my friends' travel pictures, but I hope that those people will still send me pictures, call or email me when they want to share part of their lives.  

I even felt a sense of dissatisfaction when looking over quilting pictures.  What I could see from an IG photo, or in a quilt group photo just kept leading me more and more into a FB or IG funk.  It also surprised me (that's how ridiculously entrenched I was in the FB sinkhole) that so many of the Houston International winners were completely unfamiliar to me.  What?!?  A quilt winner who isn't on FB or who doesn't have a huge public social media presence??  (PLEASE, if anyone is out there reading this, if you are an avid social media poster, please do not be offended by my statements.  I'm not criticizing you, I'm just making a change for me.). I honestly assumed that all of the winners would have social media campaigns.  Naive, I know. 

So, I've decided to take a break from Facebook and Instagram.  I'm not sure how long the break will be, but it's been two days and I'm feeling better. I admire people who can pop on for a few minutes every couple weeks.  That's not me.  I actually feel like making this decision is almost the same as breaking any other addiction.  It's so crazy.  I've had so much more time to do the things I really love; for instance, read a quilt magazine, play my guitar, take an exercise class, and yes, change my blog face. 

I missed updating my blog, or as it was intended, an online journal.  I missed being able to choose which blog posts I wanted to see and when!!  So, I'm back, and I'm doing this for the right reasons.  I'm not trying to impress anyone.  I'm not trying to win over any customers, or to see my name in the Great Quilting Lights.  I'm just writing about my little world with an emphasis on quilting.  

I'm hoping I will have more time to do what I want, and that is to be creative, and to make things with that creativity.  If you're still reading my blog, thanks for stopping by.  I do appreciate it.  I've made some wonderful online friends through blogging, and I hope to stop by your blog to see what you're up to.  

So a couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to go to New England (first time) and return to NYC.  It was such a beautiful time of the year to go!  

The leaves were turning throughout New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York.

A covered bridge in Bennington, Vermont.
These cute white churches were everywhere in the small villages.

Driving through the Catskills.
The Hudson River Valley

Just a lovely country road.

Near Ogonquit, Maine.

Thanks again for stopping by.  Hopefully I will have some quilts things to report next time!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Graffiti Quilting and OMG Quilt - Red Dot Rebel

I've been on fire with graffiti quilting!  It has been so liberating - no rulers, no plans, just stitching!

I found a fun group on Facebook run by Helen Godden (google her, you will love her work) and the challenge is to make an OMG quilt (organic, modern, graphic).  I finally found the time to take up her challenge and submitted this as well as my earlier piece.  This one met the guidelines and was inducted into the OMG Order of Creation as #53!

I can't wait to get back to my machine so I can do more graffiti quilting.  In case you are not familiar with this type of free motion quilting, Google Karlee Porter!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Out of My Box Design and Graffiti Quilting

Well just in case you haven't seen this yet... And I don't know how that could happen as I've blitzed FB and IG with is my latest hair brained scheme. Tried hand appliqué methods and graffiti quilting for the first time. I definitely found an appliqué method I prefer - with stiff paper like cereal boxes or file folders, and starch and an iron.  I like the crispness it gives the edges.  Of course I can't use that with tiny pieces like leaves or stems, but for this size, it worked great.  

I loved graffiti quilting!  Thank you Karlee Porter!  It was so liberating.  I didn't mark or plan at all.

I'm already planning another...

Thanks for stopping by!


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