Elaine Hardin
  • Female
  • Sedro Woolley, WA
  • United States
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Marking pens and pencils

Started this discussion. Last reply by Pamela White Dec 30, 2011. 7 Replies

Several of our guild members, including myself, have discovered pens made by Pilot.  They are called FriXion, by Pilot and can be found at stores such as Office Depot and some stationary sections in…Continue

 

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Tell us about yourself—as much or as little as you like.
I retired two years ago. I am a wife, mom, grandmom and now, a great grandmom. I am an avid quilter. I belong to a quild group and have learned so much and made such great friends, I am going to miss it, terribly, when we go to Arizona, for the Winter. We have a big 5th wheel we enjoying spending time in and all my quilting gear goes with me, when we travel.
How many quilts have you made?
about a dozen
Do you want to make quilts, or simply enjoy them?
make them and enjoy them
How long have you been a quilter?
ten years
What is your favorite quilting technique?
send them to my favorite long arm quilter, because I don't have the room to do them on my machine
Why do you quilt?
I love the creativity, the craftsmanship and the fact that I am leaving a legacy.
Do you have a website?
http://no

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At 11:13am on October 14, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

Hi Elaine~I hope you're doing well.  I've been busy the past few days with appointments and I have one this morning as well.  I look forward to next week because I don't have any!  I've been staying busy with housework and I noticed that I haven't been worrying as much this week.  Plus I've been quilting a table runner as well as doing some practice free-motion quilting.  I used to practice every day, but it's been a long time since I've done so and it's like I'm starting all over again.  I've been practicing daily for several days now.  So between the appointments, housework and quilting I've been keeping busy and not thinking; which is a good thing for me!

What have you been doing?  Do you have plans for the weekend?  I hope to finish the table runner.  Usually I make the binding right after piecing, but this time I didn't, so I still need to do that.  I put my binding on entirely by machine.  Once I tried hand sewing it to the back, but it took forever and didn't turn out very well, so I've been doing it by machine since then.

My mom sent me a bunch of fabric and she's so sweet because she'll call and describe something to me and give me the information on the selvage.  I'm teaching her the "good" brands.  Anyway, she sent several super bright prints and that was definitely a pick-me-up.  My mom is a bit of a compulsive shopper and she loves buying things for others.  I told her to keep and eye out for a featherweight!  I want to jump on the bandwagon and have one...they seem to be a fad among quilters.  Usually I don't follow fads, but in this case I'd love to!  Do you have a featherweight?

So, do you have computer access when you're in Arizona?  When do you plan on leaving?  It must be nice to have something to look forward to!  And I think it's nice that you'll be having your grandaughter living there to take care of things while you're away.

Well, I'd better get going.  I have an appointment in about 2 hours and I still have my jammies on.

 

At 12:10pm on October 11, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

Thank you for your encouragement...I do spend an enormous time fretting and worrying about things that I can do nothing about.  It's just gotten much worse the past year or so since my husband lost his job and ended up in school and only working part-time.  But like you said, I can't change things and you're right about how most things are never as bad as you imagine them to be.  I think it's the lack of control; I've always been a control freak and this is quite a test for me.  I like your idea about finding something cheerful to work on.  I actually spent time basting the table runner I've been procrastinating on.  I guess I just don't like making table runners because they're hard for me to baste since they're so long and narrow.  I'd rather baste a square or wider rectangle.  But the pinning is finished, so now I can quilt it.  The only reason I'm making it is to put it in my Etsy shop to sell.  Of course that feels more like a chore.  And the fabrics certainly aren't bright and cheerful!  Yes, I like your idea!  I also spent some time practicing my free-motion quilting since it's been ages since I quilted something...I probably mentioned this already, as I've been practicing for a few days now.  I'm trying to do SOMETHING each day.  The mornings I have the most energy, so that's when I get my chores done, and then when I start getting sleepy in the afternoon I have a cup of coffee so I can get moving again.  That's when I usually end up in my sewing room.

Did you join the sewing bee group?  I did simply so I could have some accountability.  Quilting kept me calm and relaxed and I wasn't such a worrier when I was involved in working on something daily.  But since I've slacked off for so long I think the accountability may help. 

You know, a few people have recommended that I take a walk.  Well, I do have an exercise bike I can use.  I used to use it daily, but it's one of those habits that takes about a month to develop.  I think perhaps the endorphins would help.  I think one of my major problems is that I have too much time on my hands.  When I worked full-time I used to dream about being home all day, but it's sure not what it's cracked up to be!  The first six months were wonderful!  The funny thing is that when I worked I was obsessively organized and I've turned into a total slob.  A friend of mine recommended that I make a schedule and stick to it.  What's hard too is being stuck at home all day without a car and feeling totally trapped.  See, here I am complaining again!  Sorry...I've got to break this habit and do what my grandma used to always say..."think positive".  I have so much to be thankful for, but instead I choose to ignore those things.  Time to do a "thankfulness list" again.  I did that once before and when I'd find myself worrying I'd refer to my list.  My stuff is nothing compared to what others are going through.  My little sister just went through breast cancer and had a masectomy...and here I am worrying about stupid stuff like being stuck at home all day!  Makes me feel ungrateful.  I appreciate your candidness (if that's a word).

Anyway, I have several fabrics that I just love and perhaps I can think of something to do with them.  I usually choose my fabrics first and then design a quilt around my choices.  How do you do it?  Do you choose a pattern first or the fabric first?

It sounds like your grandaughter isn't having the greatest time.  It would be hard to live somewhere else, plus have a baby, plus having her husband deployed!   Does she normally live on base housing?  How far away from you is she?  How much longer until they are transferred?  I think Colorado would be nice.  It sounds like you have a large family.  Mine has shrunk considerably.  We're all originally from Southern California, but everyone is scattered now.  My mom lives in Vancouver (my dad passed away when he was in his early 60's due to complications from diabetes), my brother lives in NYC and my sister lives in Albuquerque.  I do have a few relatives still left in Calif.  My grandmother lives in Florida.  She's 91 and was very active until the last year.  I feel sad that not a single family member lives close to her.  She doesn't want to move back to Calif because she said it would just be too hard on her to make the move. 

I think that's really neat that you get to travel.  And to someplace warm and sunny at that!  And finding a quilt shop to take a class in really sounds great!  I know some shops have one-day classes.  There was a shop up in Long Beach that was having a Saturday class and I was really excited because I haven't taken a class yet.  But she closed the shop shortly before.  There is still one quilt shop in Long Beach and I go there once a month when I go to my pain management doctor. His office is right around the corner, so that's convenient.

I guess I'll close for now; thanks again for the encouragement!

At 11:59am on October 10, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

Hi Elaine~hope this finds you well.  I've not written in a few days because I've been anxious, worried and depressed.  I wish I wouldn't worry about so many things because it's just not good for my blood pressure; we have a lot of stress going on.  My husband isn't a worrier at all and he always says that things will work out.  But sometimes I really wonder.  One problem is that my car hasn't been running in a very long time and we just can't afford to fix it.  I feel so trapped and by the time my husband gets home it's too late to go anywhere anyway.  Usually I would escape by quilting, but it's just been so hard lately.  I'm surprised I finished my little alzheimers Christmas tree.  But I really had a lot of fun making it.  I have few things in progress, but I'm just not excited about them.  Maybe that's the key; if I'm not having fun with it then I shouldn't force myself becuase it's more like a chore.  Part of me says, what the heck...I have a UFO pile going so what's it going to hurt adding another thing or two to the pile!  I never used to have UFO's, but I suppose every quilter says that in the beginning.  I really have the most fun with the designing and choosing fabrics.

This week between the two of us we have too many appointments.  I go to pain management because of chronic pain, but I hate going to the appointment because it's over an hour each way.  And my appointment isn't even until 5pm, which means I'll be driving home in the dark; which isn't as easy as it used to be!  It's one of those roads where the speed limit is 55 and there are no street lights, but lots of signs for deer and elk, so it's scary to me.  I never used to be such a worrier! I thought the older I got the less I'd worry!  My mom is a worrier also; she's been that way as long as I can remember.

My husband goes to physical therapy as well.  A lady ran over his leg and foot and they call it a crush injury; nothing was broken and he doesn't need surgery or anything, but he has been going to physical therapy.  He goes to school full-time and works part time at a grocery store.  The lady was a shop lifter and he was trying to talk her into coming back into the store to pay for her groceries or they'd have to call the police.  She took off, knocking him over.  The police finally caught up with her.  This happened back in May and finally he's starting to feel better.  The doctors said it would take awhile to heal.  I wish it would hurry up so he can do the settlement.  It went to court and she was charged with four felonies, but apparantly her insurance company is paying all the bills, plus hopefully some for pain and suffering.  We're in a really bad position right now, so any amount would be greatly appreciated.  I miss his old job!  He worked at a sawmill for 15 years until it closed.  Oh well...life is tough all over.

How long are your grandaughter and great grandson coming to live with you for?  Are they going to take care of your house while you're in Arizona?  When do you plan on leaving?  Do you have more time for working on projects when you're down south?  Do you have any quilting groups down there?  I so would love to have something (a group) like that to look forward to.  I've heard of blocks of the month, but I've never tried it.  I think that would be a really good way for me to get out of my lazy rut; making easy things.  It started when I started donating quilts.  I wanted to do a good job, but I didn't want to spend too much time on detailed blocks.

When is your retreat?  That sounds like such great fun!  There is a quilt shop in Long Beach that has retreats, but you stay in a hotel and the whole thing costs a lot of money, for me anyway.  If I was to go on a retreat my dream retreat would be a quilting cruise!  Talk about expensive!!!  I want to go to the quilt festival in Houston some day too.  Have you ever gone to a large quilt show?

I think I also don't care for batiks because those are the one fabrics that I have trouble coordinating colors.  Everyone says I'm really good with choosing my quilt colors, but batiks are really hard for me.  I tried one once and it didn't turn out at all!  It was so ugly!  That's probably why I never tried using them again.  I do like them for what little applique I do because the edges don't ravel like regular quilting cottons.  I don't like the country stuff either...or the civil war era prints.  They're too depressing, in my opinion!  I really think I love the super bright colors because they cheer me up.  I've never had a fabric that I didn't want to cut up; I'm just the opposite and can't wait to cut it and use in something!

Well, I suppose I'll close for now.  I hope you have a great day! 

 

At 4:54pm on October 8, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

You know what?  I have a quilt in progress that turned out to be much larger than what I had wanted...whenever I design my own quilts that seems to happen.  The thing is, it's now a queen size and I quilt my quilts just using my domestic machine.  It's a Log Cabin design and I quilted around each block, but it needs more quilting and I'm just not into it.  It's too large and bulky.  The problem is, someone is buying it from me and it needs to be finished.  I've made five other quilts for these people and they were all large.  But I'm just not into doing large quilts anymore because they're too hard for me to work with.  In this instance, I would love to have someone finish it for me, but I don't think a long arm quilter can do it since I've already quilted part of it.  That's really too bad about your quilt getting messed up by a quilter.  I've always wondered if that ever happened to anyone.  The sad thing is that you were going to enter it into a show.  I would have been more than upset!

Are you in a quilting mood right now?  Do you work on something daily?  I did for the longest time, but lately I'm just not that into it.  I keep saying I'm going to finish a table runner to put in my Etsy store, and I don't know why I'm dragging my feet.  It just needs to be basted and quilted.  And bound.  Each day I tell myself I'm going to work on it, and each day I go into my sewing room and look around and leave again.  That used to be my favorite place to be!

I started taking pictures of my quilts from day one.  There are two of the alzheimer's quilts I forgot to take pictures of before sending, but that's OK.  I have photo albums for my quilting and what I've noticed is that the quilts I made during my first two or so years are much better than the ones I make now.  I think I've become lazy and I should be learning new things.  In the beginning I didn't really know what I was doing and I made quilts from books, following the directions step-by-step, taking my time.  Now it seems like I just want to make easy things.  Part of that is because I was making a lot of quilts to donate, and I generally use easy patterns for those.  But that's all I made for a year or so, so now I think I'm lazy.  My husband tells me I need to challenge myself like I did in the beginning.  I wasn't at all afraid to make large quilts back then, but now I just don't want to mess with them.  Also, I've been in a slump for a long time now and it's hard to do much of anything.  But I also really want to!  That's how I kept my sanity!  What happened was that I had 33 quilts last December and I sold them all to one person.  They were just sitting here anyway.  And we desperately needed the money.  But what later occurred to me was that I felt like I lost a part of myself.  All that work (and money) is gone.  So I feel really sad about that.  You would think that I'd really be motivated to make more, but it's just not happening.  That's partly why I joined this site...there are so many quilters of so many levels and I've found that I'm not the only one struggling right now.  I love it when I read those who are super excited about what they're doing and anxious to get on with the next one.  I used to be like that and I want to be that way again.  It sounds like you have a lot going on.  Have you ever gone through a dry spell when you just weren't in the mood?  This has happened to me before with other hobbies and I always end up quitting.  I really don't want to quit quilting though!  I've spent a LOT of money and would hate to see it go to waste just because I lost interest.  I keep hoping it's just a phase.

So, you like batiks, huh?  I love the way they look, but I very rarely use them because the weave is tight and I don't like sewing with them.  My favorite fabrics are brights, geometric prints and reproduction 30's fabrics.  Maybe I should go through my stash and find something I really love and plan a quilt around it.  I keep trying different things to get moving again.

Gosh, it sounds like I'm doing a lot of complaining!  Sorry about that!  I guess I'm just in a blah mood today.

So, what are you doing this weekend?  I think I'll go organize my sewing room.  Hope you have a great day!

At 12:10pm on October 7, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

I love your quilts!  Twisted Spools looks incredibly hard!!!  The other quilt reminds me of a pattern called, Bento Box, but yours looks more detailed.  The colors are gorgeous!  I hope to see more of your quilts!

There are a few groups I regularly donate quilts to.  One is Quilts for Kids and the other is the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.  I mentioned the Alzheimer quilts are very small, and the kid quilts obviously use kiddie fabric, but I want to make something that doesn't have to have a kid theme.  I have a lot of fun fabrics that I'd love to use and this organization sounds like a good place to use them.  And the size is perfect for me.  I'm so glad you mentioned it!  This may sound tacky, but I wrote to see if they're a 501c because when I donate quilts I use them for a tax deduction.  I'm sure they probably are. 

You know, my husband said the same thing about my quilting slump; that I need a challenge.  I enjoy piecing and there are a few things I've never tried.  I thought about making a sampler of some sort; they aren't my favorite quilt style, but I since I would be making several different blocks it may help keep me from getting bored.  I have a book by Eleanor Burns called, "Egg Money Quilts".  They are 30's themed.  I love the reproduction 30's fabrics, but I'm not so thrilled with blocks like the Grandmother's Flower Garden...I'm not exactly sure about the name; it requires hand sewing, which I'm really not into!  A friend suggest a quilt of the month club, but I don't want to pay for something when I could probably just design my own.  I have several block books, so I'm thinking doing a sampler might be the thing to do.

I'm actually surprised I finished my October AAQI quilt.  And I had a lot of fun making it, so now I want to finish a table runner I started awhile ago.  I also want to make a Christmas table topper.  What are you currently working on?  Are you the type to have several things going at once, or do you like to finish each one as you go?  I used to enjoy having three or four in various stages because I could choose to work on whatever I was in the mood to do that day.  I think my favorite part is designing the quilt and choosing the fabrics.  I also like the machine quilting part.

Well, I suppose I should get going.  My dog needs to go to the vet for bloodwork; she's on thyroid medication and her blood levels need to be checked.  I wish it wasn't pouring rain though!  It's supposed to stay this way for several days.  Oh well!

I hope you have a great day!

At 1:39pm on October 6, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

Gosh, it looks like I already wrote too much!  I don't want to bore you; I definitely tend to be long-winded!  Especially when writing.  I've been on the computer too long already! 

I read an article in a magazine about women who live in their travel trailers full-time and how they quilt.  It was really interesting.  Most of them made smaller quilts, but one woman made bed sized ones!  She would save the basting until they were in a town where she could use a community center or a church to baste.  I can't imagine even piecing a bed sized quilt in a travel trailer!  Do you have a certain person to do your quilting for you?  I never even heard of a long arm quilter until I'd been quilting for a few years.  Since there are no classes in my area, I had to teach myself how to quilt and the books I used all talked about quilting the quilt.  So I just assumed that's what you were supposed to do.  I did get a frame to use with my machine so I wouldn't have to baste, but I don't like it.  I'm so used to quilting while sitting down and just can't get used to using the frame.  Plus, it's a real pain to get it loaded up.  It was one of those things I thought I had to have and now I'd love to sell it.  But I can't.  My mom got it for me for my birthday and regularly asks if I'm using it yet.  I have four larger tops that need quilting and I was thinking about trying out the frame again after the holidays.  For now I want to concentrate on making things to sell in my Etsy shop.

I sure wish my grandmother would move to an assisted living facility.  She has always been very active and there are a lot of activities she could do; she's a real people person, but she's much more depressed now that she doesn't have a lot of friends; her friends have all passed away for the most part.  She does enjoy playing bridge..she used to golf and swim, but she no longer can do those things.  So I really think she'd love being around other people.  Now if her kids can only talk her into it!

Well, I suppose I should go...I wrote wayyyy tooooo much and I'll try to keep it shorter next time!  I hope you have a great day.  And thanks again for the info!

At 1:29pm on October 6, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

Thank you so much for the info on the Alzheimer's quilts...I especially appreciate you giving me the phone number.  This is something I can get excited about and I'm so glad you mentioned it.  I need to have a purpose when I quilt, which is probably why I've been in a slump lately.  I am almost finished with my little AAQI quilt; I actually did the entire thing by hand (I always say I hate handwork!).  I needle felted a Christmas tree onto wool felt and did a blanket stitch around the perimeter.  I just need to decorate the tree.  I love needle felting, but the only thing I use it for is making quilts.  I once made an Amish quilt totally out of needlefelting; I also made a Dresden Plate that way.  Here are the pictures: http://www.allianceforamericanquilts.org/projects/galleries/New%20from%20Old/1-6-137/Felted%20Dresden

http://www.allianceforamericanquilts.org/projects/galleries/New%20from%20Old/1-6-159/Dazzling%20Diamond

They were for a contest I enter annually for "The Alliance For American Quilts".  They have a contest and then they auction off the quilts to raise funds for their organization.  The quilt has to be 16"x16".  Those were the first ones I ever needlefelted.  I don't remember how I  got into it, but it sure is fun!!  They make a sewing machine that's specifially for needlefelting, but I don't do it enough to justify the cost.

Anyway, I do better when I'm making something for a reason instead of just for the heck of it.  I sell or giveaway my quilts and I wouldn't mind making a few to keep.  My husband has one I made and it was one of my first quilts; I entered it into our county fair and it won Grand Champion.  I was so excited because I had never entered anything into the fair before.  And I haven't since.  I figured I couldn't top myself after that one!  Anyway, the quilts for the organization are the perfect size for me.  Not too large so as to frustrate me.  How did you even hear about it?  I do wish we had something like you do... a quilt group that makes things locally.

You know, I always had so many things going to make sure I'd never get bored.  Eventually I had too much going on and I think that helped burn me out.  But since I'm actually almost finished with something, that gives me hope that I haven't totally lost the desire to quilt.  I just never expected a slump!  I have too many ideas going on right now and I need to focus on ONE thing.  I have a table runner that just needs to be quilted and I'd like to finish that to put in my Etsy shop.  It's pretty darn empty and if I want to be making any money at all I need to get busy because this is the time of year when sales pick up.  My main reason for doing Etsy in the first place was to support my hobby, but it seems like I've made much more money on the custom orders I've received.  I once added up what I paid for all of my fabric and thread (I'm addicted to nice quilting thread and have a LOT).  Boy was I shocked!  It doesn't seem like much when you buy a yard here or a spool there, but it really does add up!

I can see how being in a quilt group could be overwhelming when it came to making things; I'm sure I'd be the type who felt like I had to participate in everything and I'd feel guilty if I didn't.  I have a guilt complex!  I keep thinking about trying to get something started.  I thought of assembling a group first and then figuring out what to do, but now I'm thinking I should try harder to find someplace around here who would accept quilts.  That could be an incentive to get people to join in.  A few years ago I heard that our local hospice organization was collecting quilt blocks and then assembling them into pillows, table runners and quilts and then selling them at an auction.  I should give them a call to see if they're still doing this.  That's something I could do on my own, but it would be more fun to have a group working together.

I'm going to start another comment...the comment section will cut you off after 5,000 characters.  I did notice that if you are friends with someone and write via the in-box that you can write what you want without getting cut off.  Anyway, I'm continuing on...

At 10:32am on October 5, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

Hi Elaine!  How are things going this week?  How is the tablerunner going?  I've been working on my October quilt for the AAQI (the alzheimer's group).  Usually I have my quilt for each month ready before the beginning of the month, but I couldn't decide what to do.  I have a few that are in process, but I wasn't in the mood to work on any of them, so I started yet another one.  I would like to find an organization that wants smaller quilts like you mentioned.  I'm just not into making large quilts anymore.  But making lap sized for those in a wheel chair sound like the perfect size.  Do you make quilts for that organization in San Diego?  I'd definitely be interested in finding out more about them.  It's so hard finding anyplace in my area that wants quilts.  I tried Children's services, care facilites and a few others.  I'd just like to be making quilts to donate to those in my community instead of mailing them elsewhere.  But since that's the only choice I have (mailing them), that's what I do.  It would be so great to have a guild or some sort of group that makes quilts for our community.  I'm thinking that I'll ask the quilt shop owner in Cannon Beach if I can post a notice about starting a guild.  I did that a few years ago without any interest, so maybe now there would be a few who would want to start one.  And not necessarily a guild; just a group of quilters getting together.  I think it's great that your quilt shop in Mt. Vernon is generous with donating her fabric.  I've never heard of a quilt shop doing that.

So, what other hobbies do you have?  I have had many over the years and it seems like I'll go overboard for a year or so and then totally lose interest.  I was into gardening until a back injury got in the way, scrapbooking and cardmaking was a fun hobby for awhile, I've always enjoyed reading but I go through phases with that too.  I love photography, but I haven't spent much time on that either.  It seems like quilting is my number one hobby right now, but I'm kind of worried that I may be losing interest simply because I'm in a bit of a slump right now.  I get too many things going and then I overwhelm myself; I think my favorite part is planning and choosing fabrics.  Then I get going and make the blocks and move on to another project.  I never used to have UFO's.  My promise to myself in the beginning was that I'd finish everything I started.  That lasted quilt awhile, but then I made a mistake with setting triangles on a quilt and set it aside.  Hence the beginning of my UFO box!  The last "normal" size quilt I made was finishing a UFO.  For me a normal size is a larger lap quilt.  It seems like I'm spending a lot of time on the Alzheimer's quilts for the past several months and I'd like to get back to making regular quilts.  Have you ever gone through a slump with quilting?  The reason I worry about it is because I have invested more money in quilting than all of my hobbies combined and I just hope I don't totally lose interest!  I have a lot of stress going on right now, and usually the quilting keeps me from worrying, but it's not working lately.  It so helps to be on this site and meet people; I've noticed that there are several others who are stuck as well.  Sometimes it's nice knowing you're not the only one dealing with something.

Did I tell you that I have one quilter friend?  Well, she does a lot of sewing, but occasionally quilts as well.  She works full-time and has a husband and kids, so it's hard to get together.  We've been talking about getting together every week or so during an evening just so we can work on something together.  I'm kind of isolated so I think if I'm spending time with someone that would really help.  How often do you get together with other quilters?

That would be great if you could live part-time in Arizona and part-time here...the best of both worlds!  My father-in-law had a house in Palm Springs and they'd leave the day after Thanksgiving and come back right before spring break.  Does your mother-in-law live with you?  I can't remember if you said she did or not.  My grandmother is 91 and lives in Florida.  Right now her kids are trying to get her to move to an assisted living facility because she's not doing well enough to live on her own.  The rest of the family lives on the west coast.  She's very stubborn, but I really worry about her being alone.  She's already started a fire in her kitchen.  I especially worry because she's still driving!  She's getting more an more forgetful.  The other option would be to hire a live-in caretaker.  She can afford it because of investments my grandfather made when he was still alive.  That way she could be in her own environment.

I guess I'll close for now; hope to hear from you again soon!

At 12:14pm on October 2, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

Hi Elaine!  I hope you're having a good weekend!  I've been spending the past few days working on and planning projects.  I make things to sell on Etsy and I also make things to donate.  I donate kids quilts to "Quilts for Kids" and I donate little art quilts to the Alzhiemer's Art Quilt Initiative.  The maximum size for those is 9"x12", so those are kind of fun to experiment with new techniques on.  Right now I'm needlefelting a Christmas tree onto a wool felt background and then I'll decorate the tree.  I donate one quilt a month to them.  Since I prefer piecing, it's sometimes hard for me to think up ideas for the Alzheimer's quilts because I can't do minature piecing.  Drives me nuts!  A seam allowance is supposed to be 1/4", not a block!  One lady does minature piecing and her blocks are 1/4".  I don't know how she does it!  So for me I just experiment with new techniques.

I have been making half-square triangles since practically the beginning because when I first started quilting 6 years ago, the quilt shop owner introduced me to Thangles.  And that's the only thing I use now.  I've tried other like items on the market, but I always end up with the Thangles.  I've made a few quilts that were entirely HST's.  One that I really liked was made out of polka dot fabric...each fabric was used twice.  I sure had fun collecting fabrics for that quilt!  I ended up donating it to "Quilts for Kids".  Anyway, the one thing I still haven't tried is making an hourglass block.  I'm sure I could do it, I've just never had the need to yet.

I wish I could learn how to sew.  I have done a few simple items, but I want to be able to sew anything.  I guess I feel like I'm missing out because I see so many cute items that are quilted, but that I can't make.  Things like bags, potholders, eyeglass cases, etc.  I think it's the bias binding that gets me.  It just seems like it's harder to sew on than straight grain binding.  I'll try it one of these days.  Anyway, when I was in middle school we had to take home ec and I hated it; I ended up in auto shop instead.  I did enjoy the cooking, but the sewing is what I hated.  It seems funny to me now that I actually sit in front of a sewing machine.  That's not a place I'd ever envisioned myself to be!  I do want to learn to sew, but I think quilting is more for me.  No one in my family made quilts; my grandma used to make clothes for us and she was into embroidery as well, but neither grandmother quilted.  It's very theraputic and I'm glad my brother got me into it.  Especially now that I'm home full-time.

I was born in California and I've also lived in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Washington, Texas and Hawaii.  Texas was my favorite.  When my husband wanted to move up here to be closer to family I was crushed because I really loved Texas a LOT.  I should have argured a bit more, but his family is close and they all live up here.  My family is scattered.  I never dealt with depression in my life until after living here for two years.  Now I'm on medication and use a light box.  I was actually very surprised that we had a summer this year.  Everyone around here was talking about it because it's been such a long time since we've had nice weather.  When we moved here 20 years ago the weather was a lot different.  The summers used to be regularly nice and last into mid-October.  You're lucky you get to take off in your 5th wheel!  Do you take along a sewing machine, or do you do hand projects?

By the way, my quilt pictures are on my home page.  I don't use facebook.  I just was never really interested in it.  I hope you can put some of your pictures on your page here!

At 1:41pm on September 29, 2011, QuilterBridget said…

The first Saturday every month Seaside does the art/wine walk.  One year I had a display of quilts and that was kind of fun.  I used to do the Christmas gift fair each year, but I found I make more money selling things on Etsy.  No one likes to buy large quilts at the gift fairs, and I mostly sold small items.  The thing is, it lasts three days and I get bored out of my mind being stuck in a booth all day!  Last year I didn't do it and I'm not going to this year either.  The only large quilts I make now are special orders.  I have one that I'm working on now for a B&B.  I've made five for them so far, and making custom quilts is a really good way to make money!  It seems like word of mouth is the best way to sell things.  I made quilts for all of my family members and I wanted to keep making them, so I started making them to donate and eventually started selling them.  I still have a few organizations I regularly donate to.  There isn't anything around here, so whenever I donate something I have to mail it.  Project Linus quilts go to Portland, and Quilts for Kids go to Bend; luckily they now have a chapter in Bend because before I had to mail them to Pennsylvania.  I also make quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative and they go to the midwest, but those are small.  The required size is only 9"x12" max, so it doesn't cost a fortune to mail those.  I looked into donating to organizations in my area, but there isn't any interest.  I would love to have a group to be a part of and make community service quilts for this area.  I just have one quilting friend, and we recently decided to get together weekly to work on projects.  We've done it a few times, but now we want to make a regular date out of it.

So, when did you take up quilting?  For me it was just a fluke because I never learned how to sew.  My brother knew I liked working on artsy types of things and he was on vacation in Vermont and passed by a quilt shop with a brightly colored quilt in the window.  I love bright colors.  So he went in and bought me everything I needed to start quilting, including the Log Cabin book by Eleanor Burns. I used that book to teach myself how to quilt and after I finished I was hooked.  I couldn't believe I had actually made a quilt.  I quilted it myself because that's what the book showed.  I never heard of a long arm quilter until I'd been quilting for two years!  By then I'd taught myself how to free-motion quilt and I really love that!  I think it's my favorite part of quilting, aside from designing and choosing fabrics.  What got you started quilting?

That would be so great to meet you!  I wouldn't mind hitching a ride to Arizona...of course I wouldn't want to come back!  I want to move to Arizona or New Mexico some day.  I don't like the weather up here; I've always lived in the southern half of the US and I don't think I'll ever get used to all the rain.  Are you from up here?

I'm enjoying getting to know you and hope to hear from you again soon!  Bridget

 
 
 

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