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Archive for the tag “books”

Quilts and the iPad

Like almost every quilter I have a phone and a computer.  I read a lot of books as well, though mostly fiction.  Until recently I had a Nook from Barnes & Noble that I used for the bulk of my electronic reading, but a friend of mine was upgrading his iPad 1 to and iPad 3 and made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse.  If you’ve ever held an iPad, you’ll notice a huge difference in weight between it and an e-reader.

As great as it was, it was just too heavy to use for reading and it languished on a shelf for a while.  One day while flipping through a favorite quilting magazine I noticed on the back an advertisement showing that you could put a subscription of the magazine on the iPad.  Color me intrigued!!  Though for me, the iPad is much too heavy to use for normal reading… the larger screen and size is actually ideal for walking around with quilting patterns and instructions.

You may be saying that a magazine is just as easy, but I’ll make two points about ease of use.  One, the most distracting thing is to have a magazine open while reading cutting instructions and have the pages flip on me while I’m reading it.  This invariably leads to some not so nice verbiage from me.  Secondly, I can carry around 12 issues… or 32 quilt patterns chock full of pictures, measurements, and ideas that can inspire my creativity wherever I am.

Send me a note on what you do to inspire your creativity!

The Land of Whimsy

One of my favorite stories growing up and told by my father was about two young children named Sally and Dick.  My younger brother and I were enthralled by the adventures these two would find themselves in.  As a bedtime story, nothing could have been as riveting as when the found themselves in Chocolate land… until that is one night at bedtime my father told us about “The Land of Whimsy”.  I was hooked!!

One of these days I plan on getting my father’s stories published.  The characters he created like George the Ant, and Stuffy the Teddy Bear, were so lovable and real to my brother and me.  As I grew older and realized that he hadn’t been reading these stories from a book, I was amazed.   I’ve written a large part of his stories down so I don’t forget them, but the one I’ll never forget was the tale of the Land of Whimsy.

When I first came across the fabric from Heidi Grace I fell in love with it.  The pattern and textures so rich and inviting and filled in my mind what I had always perceived the Land of Whimsy to be.  Trying to find a way to put the fabric together proved very difficult however.  My wife Kay watched me as I started full of promise only to rip parts of it back up and restart again.  The aggravation when it wouldn’t do what I wanted as I would pull it apart again, only to hear me cursing at it again.

It was a long road to get it completed and now it’s finally back from the quilter (who did a superb job… again!) and now I get to bind it.  I think I did a decent job of giving it a life with the pattern I chose and feel it reflects those wonderful stories that my father told.

Each small square tells of an adventure that happened in one of the larger squares (lands) and sometimes there would be two adventures in one story.

The binding is sewn on to the front now I just need to hand stitch it down to the back.  I should have it done by the weekend and be able to continue working on that Christmas quilt.  Until then, have a wonderful week everybody!!

Learning and Loving are two of my favorite things

I was going through comments as I usually do, some black tea in hand (a Seattle blend that I’ve grown addicted to) and went to someone’s site {Stretchy Hannah}…  There are so many things that make me smile, but some can even light up my day all day long.  Though I love to quilt and enjoy blogging about that and other things I really don’t know if I’ve pulled back the curtain on who I am.

Not to be too awfully blunt, but… I’m not generally someone who shares much about myself.  My children and my wife are the only people who truly know my more hilarious traits.  Reading Hannah’s blog made me think about opening up a bit and sharing some of my crazy with other people…  blame Hannah!!

  1. My wonderful wife of 16 years who not only supports my craziness, but is my partner in most of my shenanigans!
  2. I’m a voracious reader, though at times I go through lulls.  Favorite book is “The Book of Flying” by Keith Miller followed closely by Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
  3. I have not always been a cat person, but now live in a place where a grey cat named Oliver reigns.
  4. I’m fiercely protective of my younger brother who is in his mid-forties now, but will always remain 11 to me.  I can’t tell you how many fights I had growing up that were his fault.
  5. Christmas…  too much to even start a sub-list
  6. Snow and Winter should go together and I miss them both when Spring brings the thaw.
  7. I have traveled to many parts of the world because I love exploring other cultures and connecting with other people.  Luckily for me my wife shares this passion.
  8. I LOVE the color orange, and the fruit come to that… but Midnight Blue is my favorite color, like the color of the sky just after the sun has set.
  9. My favorite flower is the Daisy…  I could never feel too sad looking at such a happy flower.
  10. Texas will be in my heart no matter where I find myself on a map.
  11. I like watching French films, but my three favorite movies are:  Gattaca, V for Vendetta, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory.
  12. I love being in the woods and camping in a tent and whether I’m there or out on the ocean, those are the two places where I will always find my center.
  13. I have had a heart condition from the age of 19 that has put me in the hospital over five times that I never really talk to people about.
  14. I believe firmly that gingerbread cookies and pumpkin pie should be prepared all year long and not made for the Holidays alone.

When I was in kindergarten my school district was trying out a program for choir that put most of the boys in girls in a singing class.  I spent the rest of my school days in choir and even now, when I know my voice will go out of tune, love singing.  I walk down memory lane and think about all kinds of memories that I cherish of growing up and realize how lucky I am to have so very many of them.

I love Poetry, but rarely share it with others.  Here is one of the poems I wrote quite a while ago and I’ll close the post with this…

The dawn’s dewdrop
Has honeyed my tongue
With the sweet tastes
Of new beginnings.
From honeysuckle smell
To sweet apple blossoms
My senses are aroused
As the day grows long.
The trilling brook races
As onward go my thoughts.
In tortured patience I await
And Constance be my guide.
Unbridled and unbidden
My future so severe
Turns north from lands fall
I am sailing onward.
Past shores of knowledge
The new day has dawned
And I must away
The voyage never done

I hope you’ve enjoy a break away from the quilts that I make and to focus on a glimpse into the person behind the posts.

Five quilts in nine days… well almost

It was ridiculous of me to think I could have finished everything, I mean five quilts in nine days?  I was on a mission to be sure and ready to take up the challenge.  To be fair, two of the quilts (Arbor Lane and the School House) were in their final stages of completion and since have been taken to my long arm quilter along with one of the Sage Garden Patch quilts I made here.  So, in a way  that doesn’t make it sound like I’m cheating, I finished off the assembly of two quilt tops, put two entirely new quilts together and have one nearly across the finish line.

“I kept complaining that although I have made a few quilts, I really hadn’t kept any for myself.”  

Just in case you were wondering and hadn’t read any of my previous posts, I have been suffering from separation anxiety regarding the quilts I’ve made. It might have something to do with the fact that every time one of the children stops in for a visit, I end up one quilt lighter . Three out of seven children have a quilt made by me or by my wife and me. We’ve come to the conclusion that we should just make one for each and call it done. This means of course, we still have four other quilts to make and give away which is tough to do when you want to stock pile quilts for your own personal use and enjoyment. Trying to complete five quilts in so short amount of time isn’t anything that I’ve done before.  I have to say that nine days ago when I started this I wouldn’t have believed I would have accomplished this much.

My vacation is over and I am back to work again. I will most likely finish the fifth and final quilt tonight as I have already started to sew the strips together.  To be honest, three of the quilts are of the same pattern, with only varied fabric selections to make them look different.  I chose to make a few for its beautiful, yet simplistic style and each quilt only calls for three colors. Having  never assembled a quilt the way this one goes together, I also wanted ample practice getting those points together with minimal space between or losing them to the border.  All three turned out far better than my expectations!!

So, what are you making?  What goals have you set for yourself this summer?

Sage Garden Patch Quilt or Two day quilt

As a teaser for the book, I’m posting some pictures of a quilt from a book Quilting a Patchwork Garden that I did a review of.  I completed this quilt in two days, although it could have been done in one day.  I changed up the borders from what the book called for because I wanted it to be a little larger and liked the added flair as well.

Outside block

The block above is as hard as this quilt will throw at you.  It is important however that you pin all the panels when sewing them together!!  When I was telling my wife about this quilt and sending pictures to her as it was coming together

She thought it was really nice and had a clean look to it.  In my earlier post of the review for this book I mentioned that it had a garden theme, and as the first quilt you come to in the book the Sage Garden patch quilt didn’t disappoint.

And this is the point when I decided to change-up the borders and add my own bit of flair.

And not satisfied with just a white border on the outside, I added a green square to all four corners.

In closing I’ll say that it was a blast to put this together.  The funnest part was when my wife came home to see this sitting on the couch and said “WOW!  We need to go to the fabric store so I make this quilt this weekend.”  The pictures that I took do not do this quilt justice.  If you’re looking for a beautiful quilt to make for a loved one or friend that won’t take forever, then this pattern is for you.

For the serious quilting I will mention two facts that we had discussed while I was making this.  This can easily be pieced together in one day.  Kay had asked me if I was working on it all in one sitting for both days and I have to confess that I goofed off for a large portion of  both days, rather than keeping at it.  Second, there is some minor changes in a couple of the measurements that I would suggest.

It is already at the long arm quilter (trying someone new) and I’ll post another picture after its bound, but before it goes off to its lucky new owner.

Contact me if you are making this and would like to hear about the changes I would suggest.  Until next time…  quilt on!!

Book Review for 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts

101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts

Before I went out to purchase this book, I had read a few reviews on it. “If you can’t find a dozen quilts to make from this book right away, you just haven’t opened the cover” was the review that made the decision for me.

At 272 pages this book goes into enough depth that a beginner can crack it open and start quilting and an experienced quilter can find new designs and ideas as well. A section of the book goes over finishing quilts. I couldn’t go over everything this book covers without rewriting it. Color wheel, paper piecing, rotary techniques.. it has something to say about all of that.

The quilts are well detailed and illustrated with a grade by skill level. The real test came after the book arrived and my daughter came down to visit. We were able to talk about which one she should try based upon what she liked and the skill level it gave.  The quilt I posted about earlier that she is working on and almost finished came out of this book. Of course there were some questions she needed answers to about the best way to do something, but I was impressed by how far she was able to get with her first quilt from following the simple-to-use directions from the book.

That is the best review I could give a book, 5 stars out of 5.

Great Book

I originally got this link from and it’s about a book that she suggested and I did end up ordering. If you’re interested in Amish quilts and the history behind them then this book is fantastic.

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