Sunshine Quilts

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More Best Friends

Lest you think I have few best friends, this photo should put your mind at ease. There are others I'm sure but these are the ones that were easy to find. I love the gold ones. They are so sharp, nice and long and the point is fine. I usually just use the tip to pull the threads out and rarely use the sharp part in the curve. Sunday night I stayed up til 2 a.m. trying to finish piecing the Christmas quilt that is on my January Goals. Got it finished, went to bed, slept til 6 . . not enough sleep for an old woman! :) Yesterday I was quilting it and there was a lot of stitch in the ditch using black thread with ecru fabric right next to it. Stitch in the ditch isn't "hard" but very tedious with the longarm. Going up and down or left and right is easier than going on the diagonal. Most of what I was doing was diagonal and I kept hitting that ecru fabric with the black thread. It was a combination of being tired, being in a hurry and getting exasperated with myself. This is a quilt that will be in the projects issue of American Quilter so, for now, I'm not going to share a picture of the front but here's a part of the back. I love the back when the quilting shows! So, when you've had 2 days like I've had, what's a girl to do? Go shopping, of course! I talked to my friend at the LQS last night and she had some quilts she needs quilting that she wants to take with her to a show at the end of February, DH is out of town and wouldn't be coming home for lunch so I decided to make a run to Indiana this morning. The LQS owner is such a swell buddy . . she met me there an hour early so I could get my shopping done without having to deal with other customers. Not sure if she was being nice to me or the other customers! :) This really doesn't count as adding to the stash because this is for three quilts and I needed something besides what I have in my stash. Obviously, this explanation makes no sense to anyone else but . . I believe it and that's enough for me! So, 40 yards of fabric for three quilts. This will not go to the fabric closet. I'm starting work on one of the quilts when I finish typing this. Still waiting on the backing fabric for my uncle's quilt. UPS says it will be here today so . . the longarm is patiently waiting! Judy

Monday, January 30, 2006

Meet My Best Friend!

Need I say more? Judy

Sunday, January 29, 2006

My Favorite Quilt

I don't know why this is my favorite quilt . . maybe the colors . . but I love it. It kinda has a story. About six years ago, this quilt was in Quilts magazine. Several in our local group decided to make it. I quilted several of them for others but never quilted my own. I had thought about hand quilting it but figured that would never happen. When I got the Baptist Fan template, that seemed like a great design to use on this quilt. A funny thing . . this quilt was designed by Michelle Wyman but I did not know her at the time I made the quilt. She later purchased a longarm machine and is in one of my longarm groups and somewhere along the way, I put her name with the pattern designer and it was neat to get to know her. Here's the back. I used a white on white backing, Hobbs 100% cotton Heirloom batting so this is a very soft, snuggly quilt. I will use it on our bed during the summer. Now . . to get the binding finished bfore summer! :) Judy

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Packrat on the Rampage

Another day when I should've been sewing and got sidetracked. I am such a packrat and I'm trying to do better. So, here's what I spent most of the day doing.

  • Thread - I had no thread racks and I had thread on every shelf. Couldn't find it half the time and would order more, thinking I was out -- total disorganization. I ordered these four thread racks. Each holds 60 cones. I could have filled six racks but I'm going to use enough and not stockpile so that four will be all I'll need.

  • Little Book Shelf - More total disorganization. Now, on the little bookshelf, top shelf, are mostly longarm quilting books/continuous line designs. Middle shelf has magazines with a couple of cookbooks in between. Bottom shelf is more thread!

  • Bigger Book Shelf - Nice and neat now! All the books are in order by the author's name. Yes, there are a few of them that I managed to buy twice! And, I was thinking of ordering the More Nickel Quilts book but, I already have it! I have all my quilt books on here, a few three ring binders (one has my original printed patterns, one has my book in progress, one has the info I keep on customer quilts), one shelf has pattern covers and loose "stuff". There's still a bit of clutter there but it's better than it was.
  • Quilt Storage Rack - This is where I keep all the customer quilts waiting to be quilted. Don't ask me why I have all those packages of batting because I rarely use packages. I mostly use batting off the rolls but I'm going to use these packaged batts on my own quilts and get them off the shelf. The quilts in the cubbyholes are customer quilts waiting to be quilted. The quilts folded on the middle shelf are some of my own waiting to be quilted.

Let's see how long I can keep it clean and organized.

Judy L.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Deviation from the Plan

I've been doing really good about staying on track and getting my monthly quilting goals accomplished. Getting the Baptist Fan template threw me off a little because I quilted three of my own quilts this weekend. One was a practice quilt that is to be donated to the Mission of Hope project. Then, I decided to do that not so pretty green/red/blue quilt just to get a little more practice. By this time, I was loving doing the fans and decided to quilt one of my own quilts. I'll show you a picture once the binding is done. The only thing remaining on my January "to do list" is the Christmas quilt so yesterday I began working on that. Got the whole quilt cut out, and just a little sewing done. Today I had hoped to get all the blocks done. Each morning I have my quiet time and this morning, the thought popped into my little head to make a quilt for my uncle who just lost his grandson. There was really no time for that today and I kinda quickly tried to think of whether I had anything already made I could send him. Certainly not that ugly green/red/blue quilt. Mostly everything I have isn't quilted is kinda feminine. But while I was sewing, I kept thinking I should send him a quilt. My uncle had owned a Gulf service station in Shreveport forever! I went searching for fabric that might have gas pumps or something along those lines. Of course, I found it! :) Big Horn Quilts had the perfect fabric. I now have the perfect backing so what will I make for a top? Then I remembered when I was working on the Carmel Court pattern, I had cut out another red/white and black quilt. Found the project neatly tucked away and this is what I had. Thank goodness all the little 3" nine patches were made, all the half square triangles were made but not trimmed and most of the little rail blocks were made so I was off to a very good start. Spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening getting all the blocks put together and the rest of the rows made. Got to the borders and no fabric left over except for the white with the red squiggles and a few of the red/black half square triangles. Went digging through the stash and came up with the black with white dots. The borders are done, the binding will be the solid red which is a batik. Hopefully the backing fabric will arrive Friday but I'm betting it will be Monday. Then I'll quilt this and get it in the mail. Tomorrow . . back to the Christmas quilt! Judy

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bonnie Browning's New Borders & Finishing Touches Book

This is Bonnie Browning's brand new Borders & Finishing Touches 2 book. My copy just came in the mail . . just 5 minutes ago. So I haven't had time to look through it in depth but I'm so excited. My Glistening Rose Garden quilt is in there and it has a FULL page picture, as well as four more pages of instructions for the pieced border and the feather quilting design I had drafted. It looks like a fantastic book. From glancing through, she has quite a few tips for binding treatments and the back says there are over 175 how-to photographs, 18 border patterns and the windmill-twisted log cabin (like Tracey made) is in the book. So, when you see it, grab it and look at page 53. Then you can smile and think of me pinching myself to see if this is real! I am so lucky to have been at the right place at the right time and to be able to stay at home and quilt all day. Hardly a day goes by that I don't think to myself that I could be dressed up, working in an office at a 9-5 job, trying to squeeze in time for my family and my hobby and hoping for a few minutes for myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting down having a 9-5 job if that's right for you but it isn't what I wanted. I am living my dream! Judy L.

Yes, there IS ugly fabric!

And, yes, I buy it and yes, I buy a lot of it! I have no idea why I bought this fabric nor do I know why I bought 8 yards of it. I'm guessing it was on sale and if that's the case, I have to take back everything about my husband and his bargain hunting. I think this fabric is trees. Chad isn't sure. No matter . . it is UGLY! And, yes, there are ugly quilts. And, this is one of them! When I'm testing my patterns, I use fabrics for the first try that are those "what was I thinking when I bought this" kind of fabrics. This is one of those quilts. I started with the yellow print and it has blue and it has red and it has olive green so those are the fabrics I used. When I showed this quilt to Vince, he asked me what I was going to do with it. I told him I didn't know. He asked if I wanted him to take it. I said "do you like it?" He said "not really but I don't want you to give it to anyone else!" He usually tries to say something positive about my quilts so it's pretty bad when even Vince thinks it's ugly! But, don't you think the ugly backing matches perfectly . . it has blue and green! It's hard to get such an ugly quilt with such an ugly backing and have them actually coordinate. Judy

Sunday, January 22, 2006

He Finds Bargains Too!

Vince can sniff out a bargain from miles away! I do not have that gift. I usually try to get the best deal I can find but he manages to get things dirt cheap. The Printer Story: I have a 10 year old HP color inkjet printer and it is so slow. We've gotten a couple of other inexpensive printers through the years but I've always gone back to the old HP. It prints clearly and ink seems to last forever. But, I am printing more and more and it just can't keep up. Every time I think I've decided which printer I want, I talk myself out of it. Yesterday Vince and Chad went out shopping. The new Sam's Club opened and Vince just had to go and I wasn't going near that place on the first day it opened. So, off they went. They decided to stop at Office Depot (my favorite place!). They had two HP 1200 series inkjet printers marked down from $299 to $179. Vince talked to his favorite salesman and the guy assured Vince it was a great buy at that price. So, Vince was going to get me one. What a nice guy! :) He got to the register and the manager who had helped me with my laptop transaction was there and he told Vince "That's a great deal! Those were just marked down to $59!" So, Vince got both of the them! The printer is still on the HP website for $299. What a deal, huh? I love that it has 2 paper trays and it is already set up for a network so I can sit here in the living room, tell it to print and choose whichever tray I want to use without having to run in there and change the paper. I think I'm lazy! Judy

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Sad Saturday Post

My dad's family is pretty close. Dad has 2 sisters and 2 brothers and they see each other often. Dad is probably closest to his brother, James, who lives in Shreveport, which is 4 hours from Lake Charles (where mom and dad live). Mom and dad have a camp/farm 2 hours north of Lake Charles in Sabine Parish. Uncle James had a camper parked at mom and dad's camp for the longest time and I would see them there. Ugh . . this is a long story. But the short (and sad) part is that one of Uncle James' grandsons spent a lot of time with him. James Robert is Chad's age and was a senior in high school in Shreveport. Of all my dad's family, James Robert is the only one that Chad really knows. Mom called this morning to tell me that James Robert had been killed in a car accident last night. He had signed up to join the Marines after graduation and his mom was having a hard time with that decision. We surely never know what tomorrow holds. I know I need to call my uncle and I kept thinking I'd do it this afternoon. Chad had to sign up with Selective Service when he turned 18. The "card" came today with all his information. I surely didn't need that so I've been fighting back tears all day and haven't mustered the courage to call my uncle. This is one of those times I hate being so far from home. So for any of you who pray, please pray for my family in Shreveport. Judy

Friday, January 20, 2006

Penny Pincher at our House

I'm pretty frugal (except when it comes to buying fabric). There was a day when I spent exorbitant amounts on clothes, shoes, purses, fingernails, etc. but I no longer do that. My husband should be happy but somehow I don't think he is. I'm not complaining about him so don't get the wrong idea. I'm laughing my rear end off today. Yesterday was another story. Vince has been working on getting all our tax stuff together. I figure it's due April 15 so April 14 is a great day to start thinking about that. Not Vince! Our tax return is probably the first one the IRS receives every year. I just don't get it though because half the stuff we need doesn't arrive til mid-February it seems. So, he's meticulously entering everything in a spread sheet. Oh . . I have a spreadsheet that he and the CPA created for me last year. I do not know how on earth I can put those numbers in and then things don't add up for anyone but me but . . that's a whole nuther story! So, he has everything in the spreadsheet. He calls me and he asks me if I have any idea how much we spent last year eating out! No, I have no idea. We rarely eat out but we did spend 2 days on the road going to Louisiana, 7 days in Louisiana eating out, 2 days on the road returning home and then a trip to Georgia, 7 days there but we hardly ate out while there, and another day on the road returning home. We do occasionally go out but probably not more than once a month. I figured if we'd spent less than $4,000 eating out, that was good. Well, it was WAY less than $4,000 . . about 1/4th of that amount. I just didn't get it . . still don't. He said he just wanted to make sure I knew. That conversation didn't really end well but I got over it. That's not the best story. While continuing to meticulously crunch the numbers, he noticed that Synergy (our local phone service) had gone up on their rates so he called and switched back to Bell South. But, what he didn't realize was that this was going to screw up the DSL through Earthlink. He got home from work today and had no internet. He began calling Earthlink and found out that during the switch, we were not given a DSL line, blah, blah and because the change "cancelled" our contract, his credit card had already been charged $150 for cancelling before the contract was over. And, if he wanted to reinstate Earthlink DSL, there would be an additional $90 charge and in 15 short days, he would have internet again. OMG! I would not have wanted to be on the other end of that conversation. After about 4 hours on the phone with several people, he got the $150 credited back to the credit card, got the $90 fee waived and will have internet again in 4 or 5 days. Now . . do you want to know how much money he saved by switching from Synergy to Bell South? Do you really want to know?? He is saving $1/month! I don't think I understand his thinking sometime most of the time. Judy

I'm a copycat!

First, Bonnie got the Baptist Fan template and then I got it. I had been wanting it and couldn't decide if I really should get it but then when Bonnie did, I knew I needed it too. Speck approves! Now it has to be washed before I can send it. He's giving me that look . . just try to make me move! Dachshunds have such funny personalities. Anyway, this is a quilt top I made using the pattern for the January/February lotto blocks from an online group. I hope to get it bound this weekend. I am now loading a quilt of my own that has been needing to be quilted for at least 4 years. I'm going to do the Baptist Fans on it too. Then Patty goes and shares her cinnamon roll recipe and I made those tonight. Oh, these are the BEST cinnamon rolls I have ever made! This picture was before I put the icing on. If you like cinnamon rolls, you should check out Patty's recipe. Or . . if you're like me and you love cinnamon rolls but need to lose weight, maybe you should NOT look at Patty's recipe. So, my fellow bloggers, will you please STOP! I do everything you all do! I either have to stop reading your blogs or I have to exercise more self-control. :) And, the good news is . . I decided to call the lodge where I stay in Paducah for the quilt show to see if they were taking reservations yet for 2007. They're already full! Can you believe it? I know . . no one is surprised but me. But, then I talked to my favorite person who works there, Randy, and he said they had rooms at the little hotel across the street. I've stayed there before and it's great so I got a room there for 2007 and then I asked about 2008 and was able to get a room back at the main lodge! Am I lucky, or what? Judy L.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Planet Patchwork EQ Design Contest

It doesn't take much to excite me but I just checked Planet Patchwork and one of the quilts I submitted for their EQ Design Contest won third place! I'd like to make this quilt for my entry to the AQS Expo but .. that may not happen unless someone wants to loan me a few hours out of your day! :) I didn't get anything entered for Paducah. Oh . . the Road to California show starts today and this is the quilt that was entered there. It didn't win a ribbon but at least it was accepted so I am happy about that. The Circle Lord order is supposed to arrive today and I'm busy trying to finish a huge customer quilt so I can play! Snow is totally gone and it's a gorgeous day. It is really hard to believe we had a snow day yesterday. Ribs are in the smoker as it is supposed to start raining this evening and rain off and on through the weekend. Can't smoke in the rain because I don't have a covered patio in the back yard. Judy

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Snow Day

Hard to believe it because most of the snow has melted but we got several inches of snow last night and the roads were bad this morning so we had a snow day. Even though we have to make these days up, I love snow days. It always seems like an unexpected holiday. I was in the back of the house quilting and looked out to see Chad making a huge snowball. Got the camera and then noticed this -- he's out in the snow with no shoes! Amazing! He did manage to get a good size snowball before his poor little piggies got so cold he had to come in. Snow will all be gone in the morning, then we have a round of thunderstorms coming, then snow again. It's been a funny cycle this winter. I'm not complaining though. It hasn't been terribly cold (good thing with the gas bills being double what they were last year) and we've had no real accumulation of ice.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Pattern Covers Arrived

Seems like forever since I ordered these and I was about to get concerned about them but they arrived today. If any of you want to put a bug in the ear of your local quilt shop owner, I'd be very happy! The website for the patterns is The covers are much more clear and crisp than they appear in the picture. I should've taken them with lower resolution instead of having to reduce the size so much. I have a class tonight so this means I'll probably be up late stuffing patterns so I can mail them out tomorrow but I am happy to do so! :) Judy L.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Weekends Go By Too Quickly

Why do weekends go by so quickly? You'd think since I don't work at a real job, every day would be about the same but that's not how it seems to me. I haven't done a whole lot of anything this weekend . . the usual cooking and cleaning. Didn't leave the house all weekend, which is great! I had hoped to get a Christmas quilt cut out but didn't so that's definitely going to happen tomorrow. That quilt is the only thing left on my January Quilting "to do" list but it has to be pieced and quilted for me to meet my goals. I did get some piecing done. I'm hosting a bi-montly block lotto on one of the online groups, The Quilting Post. That group also has a comfort quilt project we work on so I made 12 of the lotto blocks and put them together as a quilt for the project and to generate interest in the block lotto. I had been wanting the Baptist Fan template like Bonnie shared with us last week. I didn't realize they had come out with a smaller version so after seeing Bonnie's pictures, I ordered the BF template. I will save this quilt to practice the Baptist Fans. I also ordered the Ginkgo and Heartz templates. It's all being shipped from Canada on Tuesday so it will probably take at least a week for them to get here. And, the above quilt is another stash quilt and I'll find stash fabric for the backing too. I hope to finish quilting a BIG Trip Around the World quilt tonight. I'm doing that Divine Vine panto and it is taking forever!! Judy L.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Making of a Quilt Label

Or . . the way they're made at my house. The labels I made yesterday were made using Miracle Fabric Sheets. That isn't where I got mine but it has a good picture of how you basically make the label. This was the first time I've used these sheets. There are sheets made by Printed Treasures that also work great. I've used the June Tailor fabric and do not like it at all. In the past, I've mostly treated my own fabric using Bubble Jet Set and Bubble Jet Rinse with Southern Belle muslin. The Southern Belle is a very tightly woven (200 thread count) very smooth fabric. I'm guessing the fabric used for Printed Treasures and the Miracle sheets is Southern Belle or something very similar. It all feels the same. The artwork came from Dover Publications. Most of their art is copyright free and is fantastic for making labels, newsletters, etc. Some of the art on the labels I made yesterday came from the "Frames and Borders" book and some came from the "Floral Vignettes" book. Both of these (and many others) come with all the art on CD and on glossy paper. I find the Dover publications to be very, very good for the price. They are always my favorite booth at the Paducah & Nashville shows. They have little books in the $1 - $2 range and the drawings can be enlarged for applique or thread play or even quilting designs. So, I find the artwork I want to use, open it in Paint Shop Prop. Sometimes the perfect artwork has writing in it. One I used yesterday (the double hearts) said "Happy Valentine's Day" so I had to take that out and add the text I wanted. The lady for Tina's label as just as you see her. I just added text. The single heart is half of the double heart. I removed the white heart, cloned sections to get a full purple heart and added text on the side. The label with the two pansies, that's just a little picture from the floral book. I copied it into the upper left corner, then did a mirror image for the lower right corner. Because I'm not very good with Paint Shop Pro, once I get the picture the way I want it, I save it, and either copy it or import it into a Word document and do the rest from there. With the pre-treated sheets, I just stick one in and print. I have an ancient HP 820 CSE printer but it isn't speaking with my new laptop and they may never mend the fences. I think the old printer is too old to communicate with the new fangled software on the laptop. Vince is going to work on the printer router this weekend and see if he can get it to work. If he can't, I'm stuck with the Canon el cheapo that came with the new desktop but is currently hooked up to the laptop because for some reason, the old printer will work with the new desktop. Goodness . . I am so glad Vince can deal with the technology at our house. Both printers are inkjet. Ok . . I'm resembling Darcie. I'm sidetracked! I printed the labels, putting two on each sheet and then followed the directions. Remove the heavy duty paper from the back of the fabric. Iron (no steam) the wrong side of the label, rinse in cold water or Bubble Jet Rinse (which I did because I had it). Let it dry and poof .. that's it! Judy

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Labels and Bindings . . aka Torture

I finished quilting Tina's quilt and tried several times to take a picture. I get the best pix outside and it was so windy, I couldn't ever get the quilt to be still long enough to get a picture. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain all day so . . picture will be posted as soon as I can get it done. I ended up doing the Formal Garden panto because I kept looking and looking at the quilt and I really liked the swirl and points of this panto. I think it turned out really nice and I hope she'll like it. Tonight I was able to get the binding machine stitched on two quilts. I made labels today . . I hate that part! I also got the binding finished on one purple heart quilt, the sleeve stitched down on three quilts, labels stitched onto three quilts so my weekend goals are to get the label stitched on one quilt and to get the binding hand stitched on three quilts. For the labels, I used "Miracle Fabric Sheets" which are new to me. They're made by the people who make Bubble Jet Set and I was very pleased with the way they turned out. Judy

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Four Meme

OK .. I'll answer but you'll know how boring my life is after reading this! Four jobs you've had: Legal Secretary/Paralegal and longarm quilter -- that's all I've ever done. Four movies you could watch over and over: Same Time Next Year, Gone with the Wind, My Cousin Vinny, Steel Magnolias. Four places you've lived: Louisiana, Texas and Kentucky Four TV shows you love to watch: This will get me in trouble with some of you but I really watch less than an hour of TV each week and that's only by accident so I'm taxing my brain just to come up with the names of two shows: Hannity & Colmes and The O'Reilly Factor Four Places You've Been on Vacation: Waterton Park (Alberta, Canada), Vermont (for the VQF), St. George Island, FL (my favorite place!) and New York City Four Websites You Visit Every Day: Our local newspaper, Big Horn Quilts, my favorite blogs and my credit card account. I know . . I'm anal but I check it every morning to be sure there are no unauthorized charges. Four Of Your Favorite Foods: Crawfish, Watergate Salad, Roasted Chicken and Gumbo Places You'd Rather Be: anywhere in southwest Louisiana, in a beautiful garden with butterflies, cabin in north Georgia, quilt museum in Paducah Four Albums you can't live without: XM is always on and on Channel 13, "Hank's Place". As far as albums/CDs that are favorites, Cookie & The Cupcakes/King of Swamp Pop, Dan Fogelberg/Greatest Hits, Laura Branigan/Self Control and the older Gaither Vocal Band CDs. How's that for an eclectic mix? Four People you'll pass this on to: Laurie, Mary, Nancy, and Patty. Judy L.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Longarmer's Worst Customer

That would be me! This morning I was all set to quilt Tina's quilt. I washed the flannel, then had to cut it into three pieces to put it back together again to get the backing the right size. Hmmmm, wonder why there's so much left over because I was cutting off the bolt and though I had cut off the right amount. Put all the pieces together, pressed it and loaded it on the longarm. Started to load Tina's quilt. OOPS! Something isn't right. For some dumb reason, I cut the strips 68" when I should have cut them 78" so it wasn't wide enough and there wasn't enough flannel left to make it right unless I added a bunch of seams which I didn't want to do. But, I'm not about to take that backing fabric off so I went and found another quilt that was only 62" wide so it would work . . even though that wasn't the backing I had intended to use for the purple & yellow quilt. It really worked out fine though because I wasn't totally sold on the idea of using flannel on Tina's quilt and she likes country type things and I think I remember that she likes antiques. While quilting today, I decided a panto probably isn't the best choice for her quilt so . . I'm kinda glad I messed up the flannel! Another backing is in the dryer and if I finish the purple and yellow quilt tonight, I'll load the backing for Tina's quilt. Now . . what is it that I tell my longarm clients? Measure twice/cut once! Make sure those backings are perfectly square and large enough! Guess I should learn to take my own advice! The bad news is that Chad ended up with an "F" for math the second quarter. I guess I should be happy that he had a "C" the first quarter, so he ended up with a "D" for the semester which, according to him is passing. How many times can one kid take Algebra II? The worse news is probably that this is the last semester before graduation and he has Algebra III. No "do overs" before graduation. I'm thinking by the looks of his report card (for the semester he had 2 C's and 2 D's), that money I've been saving for college . . might just stay in my savings account for a very long time! Wish I knew what he thinks he's going to do with his life!! Judy . . a distressed mom!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Another Good Sewing Day

I finished the top I'm making for the chaplain's wife. I am honestly not much of a maverick, and I see it more and more as I see what other members of the Maverick ring do. I guess this is about as maverick as I get. These are the blocks for the quilt I'm making for Tina. I've already posted this picture but am doing it again so you'll see the plain blocks and then the whole top together. They're pretty basic, plain, quick blocks, right? But then I added a pieced sashing, a simple four patch border and I am happy with the way it turned out. Looks totally different with the sashing. I'll post a better picture once I get it quilted. It is about 64 x 86 so that should be a good sofa snuggle quilt for her. I think I'm going to do the formal garden panto on it. I agreed today to continue teaching quilting for our community education program. They let me teach at any of the county schools I choose and I've been teaching at the high school which is about 3 minutes from my house. I had told them I wasn't going to teach any more, mostly because the girl running the program has had so much going on in her life and it's been very hard to communicate with her and I never felt like I knew what was going on with my classes. She assured me things will be different next semester so I'll give it another shot. Another night when I didn't get the binding finished on the two heart quilts. I have to get that done tomorrow! Judy

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Drawing for Patty

Patty has posted a picture of a quilt on her blog and was asking for suggestions on how to make it larger. Didn't know if I could send an attachment to her e-mail so I'll just post my drawing here. I left blank squares where Patty has the embroidered squares. I don't have a clue about the size of the blocks/sashing used in the real quilt. Anyway, that's my idea as to how I would enlarge it. If I sit here and think about it, I could come up with other ideas. Ok .. here's one more! :)

Your Wish is my Command! :)

Yes, I have been sewing but several have asked for recipes. I took Evelyn's advice and made a separate blog for my weekly menu and some of the recipes. It is Laquidara Weekly Menu. Hope you enjoy it and it is helpful to some of you. Any future cooking type posts will now be posted there and I'll get back to quilting on this one. Judy

Morning Labors

Busy morning in my kitchen! Got the leg of lamb on the smoker a bit after 7 a.m. This will be my first time to try lamb. Then I mixed up a double batch of ciabatta (glass bowl). That was a big hit this week and Vince & Chad have been asking for more. It takes two days to make that though so the sponge will sit til tomorrow when we can have fresh ciabatta. Today we'll have butter crescent rolls (in the bright blue bowl). Then I roasted broccoli for the broccoli/pasta salad. Carrots are simmering now for the carrot souffle. Somewhere in there I fixed bisuits, sausage, gravy and eggs for breakfast. The kitchen is about as clean as it's going to get for now so I plan to spend the afternoon sewing.

Friday, January 06, 2006

New StashQuilts Ring Members

We have two new members: Seams Like a Dream by Dee and Pinetree Quilter by Michele. Glad to have both of you here. Dee is a new friend but Michele is a longarm quilter from Australia and we've been internet buddies for a while; not to mention that her husband tried to help me solve my computer problems with that laptop that caused me to pull my hair out! OK . . no more mention of the bad laptop. I love the new one and I wouldn't have had it had the broken one been fixed so . . that's it . . you'll never hear about it again! Judy

Ice Cream .. YUMMMM

The ice cream maker arrived early so I surprised Vince with Banana Ice Cream for dessert at lunch. Took less than 20 minutes to freeze and it got a whole lot harder than my old freezer did . . more like the type ice cream you get out of the crank models. Judy

Followups to Yesterday's Post

This is a picture of a quilt I quilted for my friend, Betty, using the Divine Vine panto. On this quilt, I used a King Tut variegated thread (color is Pharoah's Treasure) by Superior Threads. This is the quilt I just finished. It's Elaine's Chaos & Harmony. I used Signature variegated (color tie dye) for this one. Because the quilt is so bright, you can't really see much of the quilting so I'm also posting a picture of the border. The one I'm doing for Karen, I'll use mint green solid thread on the top and bobbin. The quilting isn't going to show up much on top but the backing is solid so I should be able to get a good picture of the panto on the back side. As for as the ice cream maker, I have an old model very similar to the one I'm getting. The old one has almost stopped working and because the unit is sealed and has some kind of refrigerant, it would cost more to get it worked on (if that's even possible) than to get a new machine. The one I currently have is probably at least 10 years old. I had it when we moved to Kentucky (1997) and not sure how long I'd had it before then. The ice cream does not get really hard in most of these machines but it more like a soft serve type. There are so many good recipes and some are more healthy than others (I usually avoid the healthy ones!) :) Any ice cream recipe will work! Any kind of fruit can be used to make sorbet which is basically sugar, water and fruit. Splenda could be used in place of the sugar and some recipes use honey instead of sugar. Both the old and new machines make 1 quarter although there are machines that make more. I'll post here once I've made ice cream in the new machine. Once it gets here, it needs to sit upright for 24 hours before I use it. Fed Ex probably has it standing on its head in the truck and that's not good for them. Judy

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Day of Quilting

Since I didn't have to deal with the computer today, I spent almost the entire day quilting. One of my favorite pantos is Divine Vine by Donna Reinarts. It stitches up very pretty but it is so time consuming. I finished up a quilt with this panto and a friend, Karen, came by who had asked me to quilt her daughter's wedding quilt. It is a Trip Around the World. I showed Karen the quilt with Divine Vine and she loved it so now I get to quilt Divine Vine again! I'm making progress on Tina's quilt. These blocks go together really quick. There's a pieced sashing which will dress the quilt up a little. I want it to be a snuggly quilt so I'll probably do a panto. Maybe I'll use a flannel backing to make it more snuggly but I know they're sometimes in warmer climates so maybe I won't use flannel. Maybe I don't know what I'm going to use for backing! :) I'm actually liking working with these colors. Other than that, I spent some time cleaning the longarm room, ordered some supplies, including some racks for thread cones. I'd seen pictures of some and had asked Vince to make them but he doesn't have time to do it and I really need to get my thread organized. It would be real nice if they got here tomorrow so Vince could hang them over the weekend but I doubt they get here til next week. I ordered them from Checkers and the lady told me they show that they have two in stock but that's sometimes not correct. I ordered three so I guess I'll be lucky if I get one right away. I'm just having the best luck! Yesterday morning I decided to order a new ice cream maker. I thought I was going to go with the Cuisinart but it didn't rate very well by consumers so I ended up getting this one. The Cuisinart made 1-1/2 quarts and this one makes just 1 quart but rated better than the Cuisinart, was about $100 cheaper and it's made in Italy! Can't beat that, huh? I ordered it through Amazon and they said it would be shipped January 9. I just received an e-mail that it was shipped yesterday and when I checked the tracking number, it says it will be delivered January 17 but it arrived in "northern Kentucky" tonight so it could get here tomorrow! I have two more ripe persimmons so if the ice cream maker arrives tomorrow, I'll be able to make persimmon sorbet! Yummmm! Judy

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Office Depot is my Favorite Store!

Gotta love Office Depot. I bought a Compaq laptop in July, 04 and I bought an extended warranty (through Kemper) on the recommendation of the Office Depot salesman. I began having hard drive problems mid-December and that's when the hassle started. Finally convinced Kemper on 12/24 that the computer needed help and they said they would send a box and a pickup tag for it. To make a long story short, the box never came and Kemper wouldn't even return our phone calls. This afternoon I had my limit! Boxed the computer, grabbed my receipts, went to Office Depot and asked to see a manager. Told him my whole sob story, showed him all my receipts. He said "let me see what I can do" and walked off. Came back with a Toshiba notebook and started showing me line by line what was different (better) than the Compaq I currently had. I explained that I didn't want to buy a new computer, I wanted mine fixed. He said "we're taking the old one and giving you a new one!" HUH??? Yes, I walked away with a brand new Toshiba that is BETTER than the Compaq. The hard drive on the new one is 100 GB and I think the old one was 60. The new one has a DVD burner and the old one had a CD burner with a DVD reader. Not to mention that the old one has been used every day for the last year and a half. So, the Office Depot manager gives me credit for everything on the old computer, rings up the new computer and tells me I'm getting $12 cash back and a $200 mail in rebate. The way I figure it, after rebates I paid about $800 for my old laptop so by the time I get the $200 rebate on the new computer, I've just gotten a $1,400 computer plus a $350 extended warranty for about $600. I am pretty happy! Hopefully by tonight I'll have EQ and IM and all my other "essential for living" programs back up and running! Judy L.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

This and That

Nothing exciting to report but I didn't want anyone to think I was being too quiet! :)

  1. I miss my laptop terribly. It's inconvenient for me to sit down at the computer (sounds pretty pathetic I know). Vince called Office Depot because it's been 11 days since they were supposed to be sending the box for my computer to be shipped back and they have no record that they were supposed to send a box!! So . . the laptop with the fried hard drive sits here and waits!
  2. Tina's Quilt - I figured out what I was supposed to be doing! It was the pattern I had thought it was but apparently I hadn't figured the yardage when I bought the fabric because I bought 4 yards of 4 fabrics. As my luck would have it, I needed 4-3/4 yard of one of the fabrics, only 3/4 yard of two of the fabrics and 2-1/4 yards of the 4th fabric. Made a few changes and it will work but I'll have a ton of fabric left over. That's ok though because I have another quilt to make for a friend. I have the perfect backing fabric and the leftovers from Tina's quilt area good start toward the second quilt.
  3. Chad goes back to school tomorrow so it will be the first day I've been home alone in 2 weeks! I have a quilt for a customer loaded and will get started on it tomorrow.
  4. Finished the quilting on the second heart quilt and got the binding added. Just have to do the handwork on the binding on both quilts but I work on that on weekends when Vince is here. It will be sometime in early February before I have to send them off so I have plenty of time.

That's about it from my little part of Kentucky! I'm loving reading all your blogs and keeping up with what you're all doing. You're a great inspiration!