Monday, August 8, 2011

Finished Colors

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. 
~Lily Tomlin

Our weekend was rather quiet and relaxed.  A much needed respite after the last couple weekends of running and traveling.  Saturday we visited a relatively new quilt shop in town where I purchased a pattern and and my first bottle of Best Press.  I checked out their fabric selection, which was limited, but they seemed to cover a wide range from civil war to modern.  I wished I had known about a class that was going on that day - a class with Nancy Rink, one of my favorites.  Anyway, got signed up for their emails so I won't miss out on any future classes.  Also made a run to the library where I picked up 5 books on CD that were on hold for me.  Lunch out at our favorite spot and then a run to Kohl's for new work shirts for DH.  And then home!  Sunday was spent doing the weekly wash and plying needle and thread to fabric.  All in all a wonderful weekend.  How was your weekend?



National Dollar Day

We've heard the expression "the buck stops here," but where did the buck start in the first place? Well it started on this day in 1786, when Continental Congress established the United States monetary system. Of course back then the dollar could probably buy you a horse and now you're lucky if it gets you a pack or gum.  Here some some facts I discovered about the dollar bill:
* The average life of a dollar bill is just 18 months
* 97% of all paper money contains traces of cocaine (another reason to wash your hands after handling money)
* Martha Washington is the only woman whose portrait has appeared on a U.S. currency note. It appeared on the face of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1886 and 1891, along with the back of the $1 Silver Certificate issued in 1896
* The number 13 (corresponding to the 13 colonies) figures prominently on the $1 bill in honor of the original 13 colonies:
- The dollar has 13 stars above the eagle
- There are 13 steps on the Pyramid
- There are 13 letters in ANNUIT COEPTIS
- E PLURIBUS UNUM contains 13 letters
- There are 13 vertical bars on the shield
- The top of the shield has 13 horizontal stripes
- You can count 13 leaves on the olive branch
- There are 13 berries on the olive branch
- The dollar bill also features 13 arrows and 13 hats
* Money isn't made out of paper, it's actually made out of linen


FMQ - DAYS 17, 18, and 19

This practice was very similar to Sea Algae.  The only real difference is the little loop added to the end of each curve.  This practice is called Sea Oats.
As you can see, I had quilt a bit of trouble keeping my size uniform with the Basic Chevron.  At least they were consistently uneven so the rows worked well on top of one another - lol!

Radio Static gave me some starts and fits at the beginning.  Looking back at Leah's example, I should have made the big peaks larger and made more of a definition in size between the medium and small peaks.  I also tended to round off the points on several of the peaks and valleys.

Question for you experienced domestic machine quilters......How many stitches per inch do you aim for with FMQ?  My stitches tend to be quite small.



On Friday I finished my Colors Thru The Window Quilt.........

I did some FMQ on the side color border and did some meandering on the black border

I didn't have enough of any one piece of black fabric or black print to make the backing so it is a truly scrappy backing.  I even threw in the last three blocks I had...
Ignore all of the dog hairs that you see.  I couldn't both sides brushed with the lint brush.  That's the trouble of living with dogs and working with black - every little dog hair collects on it!

I still have to make a label for this quilt.  On Thursday, when DH saw me working on the binding, I told him I didn't know if I would keep the quilt or give it to Project Linus.  You should have seen the hurt look on his face!  OMG - you would have thought I was giving away his favorite blankie.  So, guess who this quilt is going to be for.  Made with mistakes but made with love for my sweet husband!



Last week I received an email from Corina telling me that she had won a bouquet of lavender in a giveaway from Alderwood Quilts.  As she lives in Canada, they were unable to ship the lavender to her - you know, those crossing national borders rules with live things.  Anyway, she said that she would like to gift the lavender bouquet to me!  How sweet is that?

It arrived in the mail on Friday!  Take a big smell.  Oh, you can't smell anything?  Sorry!  You will have to believe me when I say it smells heavenly.  The beautiful aroma has filled my kitchen.  Thank you so very much for your generosity, Corina.  And thank you for being my friend!



I have a table runner I need to start working on for the Quilted Table Fall swap



The Jolly Jabber (Fat Quarter Shop's blog) is having a giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter bundle of Simple Pleasures.  This giveaway ends Thursday, August 11.

The Traveling Stash is ready to hit the road again.  Diary of a Quilt Maven is ready to send the box on it's way.  The winner will be drawn on Thursday, August 11.

The Intrepid Thread is having a giveaway.  You could win a Wrenly Charm Pack.  This giveaway ends Friday, August 12, at midnight.

Happy Quilting is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win an entire Off The Rail Quilt Kit from Fat Quarter ShopThis giveaway ends Thursday, August 11.

Little Island Quilting is having an 'old fashioned giveaway'.  You could win a copy of Quilting Line + Color, or a copy of Zen and the Art of Quilting, or a copy of Rowan Junior, or a copy of Rowan Knitting and Crocheting.  This giveaway ends Friday, August 12, at noon.

Val Laird is celebrating 400 followers with a giveaway.  You could win "My Sewing Room" wall hanging, a selection of 14 fabrics in 10 inch squares, and a pretty mug bag.  This giveaway ends Saturday, August 13, midday (Eastern Australian time).

All About Applique is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Quiltin' Happy.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 10, at 7:00 pm PST.

Have you entered my Blogiversary Giveaway?  This ends Sunday, August 14, at 8:00 pm PST.



It's Monday once again.  I already have my week planned out as far as sewing goes.  I will be working on a table runner for a swap and then work on the Loving Hands quilts that I need to be made before the third Thursday of the month.  I just might try some FMQ on those LH quilts :)  I'm once again thinking ahead of projects I would like to make.  Why, oh why, can't there be more hours in the day?  I have all of these little piles waiting for me - all organized with pattern and fabrics.  Wouldn't it be fun if we could clone ourselves for just a few hours at a time.  Being two or three of me would let me make so much more.  But it's not to be.  It's just me and there are still only 24 hours in a day.  One project at a time and the other's will happen........someday.

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.
~Danny Kaye


Karenkay said...

I love that you made squares to practice your fmq (I need to do that). The quilt is lovely and I really like the fmq you did on the side color border!

Linda said...

I really love the Colors Thru the Window quilt!! The back is just as pretty! I can see why your husband was disappointed at the thought of it being given away.
I'm glad you had a relaxing weekend. We all need as many of those as we can get!

Sue said...

So nice that you could enjoy your weekend. We have had much hustle and bustle this summer too and it's just about time things slowed down.

You are doing well with your FMQ. I need to practice some more of mine. I follow Leah too, but find that some of her FMQ designs are a bit contemporary for me. She is an inspiration and I think it wonderful that she encourages the use of the conventional machine to quilt.

So how do you like the Best Press? I've been using it a while, but since it's kind of expensive, I go back and forth with the starch from the grocers. I use a lot of Niagara in the pump spray bottle.

Marcia Wachuta said...

Interesting facts about the dollar bill.
I love your photos of the FMQ -- I can't even imagine trying to quilt on a regular machine anymore. Thanks for sharing your samples. Keep up the good work!
Enjoy your day!

Melissa @ Happy Quilting said...

Thank you for linking up my giveaway :) Your colors Thru the Window Quilt looks stunning!!

Connie said...

A new quilt shop in town is always fun! I always enjoy seeing what you are doing with your FMQ blocks, they look good! I have FMQed for a long time but I don't worry about how many stitches per inch. I don't have a stitch regulator so sometimes my stitches are very nice and even and then the next time they are very tiny.

Congrats on finishing your beautiful Colors Thru the Window quilt and I am tickled that it is going to be for your husband who loves it.

elizabeth said...

OH, the color quilt is so bright and pretty : ) Your machine quilting is wonderful.

Barb said...

OHHHH love your quilts and free motion...!!

Cheryl said...

Bravo for you using your new FMQ skills on a real quilt! My stitch length is still variable, but I don't practice enough to be consistent.

Stormy Days said...

The windows quilt is wonderful and I especially like the way you made the back. The windows really look like windows in an apartment building.

annmarie said...

If your hubby hadn't claimed it I was gonna steal it!!!! Awesome quilt, Linda - bright & cheery. And lucky you to get a lavender bouquet. I have 4 lavender plants in my garden & they come back each year but very small & short blooms as we live in Zone 3-4. I love them though & pinch a leaf every time I go by. I dry some of it every fall to keep it aruond thru the winter. So yes I could smell yours!

Needled Mom said...

I can see why your DH wanted to keep the gorgeous Colors quilt. It really turned out well and I love the FMQ you did on it.

I am never consistent with my FMQ stitches either. They get really tiny when I try to figure out where I need to go next. lol I'm sure you are getting much more comfortable moving the quilt around on the machine with all of the practice pieces you are doing.

I hope the week ahead will be full of productive quilting.

Riel Nason said...

Great quilt -- both front and back. My FMQ stitches are small as I go sooooo slow, but I like the little ones ... and of course I am just a beginner.

Impera_Magna said...

Oh, love the Radio Static and Chevron quilting patterns... you are tempting me big time to start FMQing...

I think you should keep that gorgeous quilt too! Love the pieced back!!!

Cyndi said...

Linda, I just love your Colors Thru the Window quilt, and it's so sweet that your hubby wanted it for himself. I just LOVE that! :o)

Have a wonderful day!



P.S. I never knew there were so many "13s" on the dollar bill!!!

The Mayo Family said...

Hello Miss Linda,
So nice to be able to take 5
(or so)minutes to read up today on my bloggy friends! :)
Sounds like you'll have a nice
s-l-o-w-e-r paced week.
I love the finished quilt...the black so shows the windows!
We enjoyed the 'school-fact' of the day! (cocaine) imagine? Well, seems today dolloars are not in our hands too long, but yes, we always wash our hands.
As germs was so funny when we were so busy to really look at some things the children said will we be behind in our "fact of the day"! :)
Have a wonderful week!

Kathy H said...

I love your colors through the window quilt. It turned out great. I have avoided making any quilts with small sashing as I have not been able to make it even when sewing. Love yours.

Vesuviusmama said...

I don't blame your hubby for wanting that quilt - it is a beauty! And just since I started volunteering at the drive-in did I realize how dirty money truly is. By the end of my shift handling cash, my hands feel so disgusting and I can't wait to wash them!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Always enjoy reading your blog. I need to practice quilting myself or NOTTTTTT....grin.

Joanna said...

Your quilt is beautiful and original. I love scrappy backings.

Jessica said...

That is SO cute about your husband :) I'm sure he'll always enjoy the quilt.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love how 'Colors through The WIndows' came out - and good for DH in claiming it. Slow and steady - it gets done, but you at least have a plan in place.

quiltercaroline said...

Wonderful quilt Linda - well done.

Sandie ~call me crazy said...

Beautiful quilt! And thanks for the dollar facts~ they were really interesting. Have a happy day! ♥

Snoodles said...

I just can't think of something good enough to say about your lovely Color through the Windows quilt. It is so beautiful...the black really sets off the brights - and I love the back, too! No wonder your sweet hubby wanted to keep it around! Hope you have a super day!

Christine M said...

Hi Linda. Your Colours Thru the Window quilts looks fantastic. You must be so pleased. Another great fact of the day too!

Patchwork Sisters said...

Love the windows quilt. The back reminds me of buildings at night with a few lights on!
I have used Best Press too, but for the price I went back to Niagura! Your final thought is great.

Toni said...

Oh Linda, how I have missed reading your blog :(

Great dollar facts, I didn't see one about how to increase the number of them in your pocket though? Need to do some more research ;)

Great FMQ practices....I need to follow your lead!

Love your finish-so bright and cheery and great backing too :)

You are so busy, I don't know how you keep up!

Pam said...

I see why your husband loves this quilt.

I recently got an MP3 player and download audiobooks from my library to listen to. I may check out their CD's, but I love not having to leave the house to get more books!

Gene Black said...

I love your "window" quilt both front and back. I know hubby will be happy with it.

MY FMQ goes from small to medium to small and sometimes long.. I don't get all fretty about it.

Staci said...

I never knew Martha Washington portrait appeared on currency! How interesting!
Your scrappy backing is wonderful. I love your quilt. It's really HAPPY!

Sheila said...

I really like the Hoopla fabric collection and I like what you did with it. COLORFUL, FUN, HAPPY quilt! And the back is just great, too! Good job.

Tonya said...

Love your colors through the window quilt!

Glad you had a good quiet weekend...hopefully it will carry on into the next :)

Barbara said...

Your quilt is beautiful. And look at you being brave enough to do some FMQ on it! Nice.

I have a Bernina sewing machine with a stitch regulator for FMQ. My instruction manual suggests setting the stitch length at 3.0 (I only noticed that the last time I did FMQ, and so previously, I had it set at 2.4). I think it worked better at 3.0 Depending on what kind of machine you have, those numbers may or may not make sense.

Nancy said...

I can see why your husband wanted you to keep that. I love the colors and your FMQ looks good. I truly admire the time you have spent practicing doing that. I have it on my list to try that sometime soon.

Have a wonderful week.

Sue said...

Another fabulous post! Lucky you on getting the lavender. I'm totally jealous. Let me know how you like the Best Press. Is it worth the extra? Very interesting about Martha Washington. I already knew many of the symbols and such on the dollar bill but never knew that about her. Last, but not least, your quilt is incredibly lovely!

Sarah Craig said...

Oooh, that quilt turned out fabulously! I don't blame your husband for wanting you to keep it!!

On the FMQ question, I like the look of a long stitch when I FMQ, so mine is set at about 5-6 stitches per inch. It's also a lot easier if you have to pick some of it out if the stitches aren't really tiny. That stitch length works well for me because I usually do a large random meander - you might need to go smaller for a small random meander or things with points, etc.

Joanne Lendaro said...

I really do enjoy reading your blog....the Colors Thru the Window quilt is beautiful!! thanks for taking the time to share your corner of the world!

LynCC said...

Love your colors quilt. :D Great pick-me-upper to help me feel like working on my own stuff. (bummed after leaving the first of our kids at their school destination)

Belinda said...

YIPPEE....a finish!!! You did fantastic!!! And your quilt back design is just awesome!!!

quiltzyx said...

Colors Through the Window looks wonderful! And I love the back too - it's very "modern" looking. I'm glad you're gifting it to your DH - well, I would be happier if you decided to gift it to ME, but that's OK. :D

Anne said...

Wow, Linda, your Colors Thru the Window turned out great! Love the front, back, and the FMQ. No wonder your hubby didn't want to part with it.

Your cloning remark made me think about the movie "Duplicity." Can't remember exactly what happened in that, but I believe the "copies" created mayhem. LOL!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Your blog is such a joy to visit! So many wonderful things to see and things to learn! I love the first time someone said I looked like Lily Tomlin...I didn't really take that as a compliment! heehee! ♥

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