Friday, December 28, 2007

Back again...

Gee, I think I jinxed myself when I mentioned posting 'three days in a row'! LOL Well, I'm back to blogging, prodded by Kim's message this morning about quilting resolutions. But I'll get to that in just a bit...

As I last blogged, I was working on a mini tree skirt for an exchange with my online Thimbleberries group. I FINALLY got it finished and mailed it off to Kairle :) You can see her post about it here. And I received my own wonderful mini wall hanging from my friend Nancy E.! I specifically asked that there NOT be a hole cut into it. The pattern is called Timber Trees and appears in the Thimbleberries Beginner's Luck book. Would you believe that she matched most of the fabrics as they were in the book - and that those she substituted were VINTAGE fabrics :) She even QUILTED it the same way - I couldn't have asked for more! Nancy also sent three snowman ornaments (two of them handmade) and some wonderful smelling teabags. Here's a photo:

Now that Christmas is over and 'life' has calmed down a bit, it's time to quilt again! Kim has asked about New Year's Quilting Resolutions - and I've added my list to my sidebar. I know, I know... more than forty quilts is A LOT to ask for - but I'd be happy to tackle just some of these! I'm hoping to do them in the order listed, and would LOVE to finish one top per week. (Ha!)

I've also started to save my pennies (literally!) for a home machine quilting system - with a Hinterberg frame, Voyager quilting machine and stitch regulator. My friend Patty has this same setup, and has offered to let me go for a test drive. I just need some plane tickets and a long holiday weekend :)

My other New Year's Resolution is to blog AT LEAST once a week, and update my progress on 'the list'. Thanks for visiting - even when there was nothing new to read. :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Holiday Table Topper

Posts from me three days in a row? Something MUST be up... Ah, I figured it out! I finally don't have any house guests to take care of :) As much as I enjoyed Grandpa Nelson and Gloria Elena's visit, it sure is good to have things back to 'normal' again...

I can't post what I'm working on right now - because it's a secret. My online Thimbleberries group is having a Christmas Tree Skirt exchange and I'm busy choosing the right pattern and fabrics. You'll just have to wait to see photos until after the exchange - because my 'Secret Santa' recipient reads my blog regularly...

So.... I'm posting another one of my purchases! (Haven't been doing too much actual sewing, but I've still been able to get my quilt fix! LOL) I won this table runner on eBay recently, and it came in the mail today! It was sewn and hand appliqued by Marilyn Ginsburg, and hand quilted by a friend of hers. All it needs is binding...

And here's a closeup of the hand quilting:

Seeing beautiful hand quilting like this almost inspires me to get out my hoop and thimble and try again.... Note that I said 'almost' :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cashing in my Thimbleberries Bucks...

TB-aholic that I am, I belong to TWO Thimbleberries Clubs - mostly because I want to support as many shops in my area that carry Lynette's fabrics. The shop that I mentioned yesterday, Quilt Basket, is 65 miles away from my home. They carry practically every Thimbleberries product - which is good news for me :) LOL I've been visiting that shop for MANY years (at least eight or nine) and always begged the shop owner, Cathy, to have a Thimbleberries Club meeting at the shop. She had offered TB Club by mail order before, but started the meetings in January, 2005 - and I've been making my monthly visits there ever since!

Then last June, a new quilt shop (Cozy Quilt Shoppe) opened less than 10 miles away from me - and was offering a Thimbleberries Club. Whoo Hoo!!! This shop has been offering pint-size versions of both the big House and Garden quilt and the four seasonal patterns, so I've been able to join in here also. Club members can earn 'Thimbleberries Bucks' at the meetings by (1) showing up; (2) bringing a Show and Tell item; and (3) purchasing a TB item. Well, I 'earned' 56 Bucks this year - and last night was the night to cash them in...

The shop had a silent auction with 18 different prizes - mostly autographed TB patterns and books, as well as some samples of the 'extra' projects offered each month. Each Buck was exchanged for a ticket, and I used 36 of them last night - winning TWO prizes! Here are the patterns that I won:

I've wanted Twilight Village for a LONG time - and even have all of the fabrics collected for that quilt. All I needed was the pattern - whoo hoo! And I really like the Crescent Moon pattern too - especially done with the Autumn Traditions fabrics, like I saw out in Minnesota. Here's a photo of that quilt:

On Tuesday I will be using my other 20 tickets at the day meeting. I hope I'll be as lucky!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Luscious Flannel

I haven't done TOO much shopping lately (especially after I broke the bank out in Minnesota and Wisconsin) but just received a kit I had ordered!

Last month at my Thimbleberries Club meeting in Wappingers Falls, NY, I was 'called' over to the TB flannel section of the shop. There before me were the most velvety flannels that I have come to expect from Thimbleberries. The newest line is called Christmas Street, and Lynette designed a REALLY simple pattern to go along with it. The shop, Quilt Basket, didn't have any patterns in stock, so placed an order that night for the complete kit (so I'd get the 20% TB Club member discount). And it just arrived!

I don't think I'll be getting to sewing it anytime soon, but wanted to buy it now before the fabrics become nearly impossible to find. See, I'm learning :) Even though I love to hunt for missing fabrics, it's a lot easier to just buy the prints when you fall in love with them...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Vintage Thimbleberries

As most of my friends know, I am an unabashed TB-aholic. No - no tuberculosis here... just an addiction to Thimbleberries, especially fabric lines from the past that are hard to find now. I love many of the quilts in Lynette Jensen's older books and patterns, and try my best to duplicate them - hunting down all of the 'original' fabrics to make my replications complete :) Yep, eBay has become one of my favorite websites - much to DH's chagrin - and I have been able to find MANY of the ones I 'need' for various quilts.

Lynette's old Christmas lines are some of my favorites - especially the first one she designed. The Christmas Valley line of fabrics were released back in 1995, but I didn't discover it until much later - WAY after the quilt shops had sold out of the bolts. One quilt that I fell in love with used that fabric line, and it started me on my search. The quilt is called Pine Tree Log Cabin and is featured in the At Home with Thimbleberries book. Over many years I found ALL of the original fabrics - and made this quilt top recently:

I had to make some size modifications because I only had a fat quarter of many of the fabrics. So, instead of the log cabins finishing at 8.75", they're just 7"... and the pine trees in the corner were reduced from 10" finished to 7.5". I also made only 30 log cabin blocks instead of the 40 that the pattern called for, but I'm still happy with the result. Now I just have to send it out to be quilted...

I'm currently working on a kit that I bought from MSCS while I was out in Minnesota. I just have to add the borders and it'll be ready to post here :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm back to blogging again :)

Has it really been more than a month since my last post?? Wow! Time has really flown by... As I think I mentioned before, my father-in-law from Colombia came to visit us for three weeks - and arrived just days after I got back from Minnesota. So what did we do while he was here?? Check out some of the photos we took:

Here are Jorge (DH), Nelson (FIL), Liliana (SIL) and Gloria Elena (SIL) on the ferry boat ride from Jersey City to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, with the Manhattan skyline in the background.

Here we are, in front of the Statue of Liberty.

The kids, being goofy inside the Statue... (What beautiful boogers they are!)

Here's the gang in front of the White House in DC.

This photo was taken at the WWII Memorial, with the Washington Monument in the background.

Here they are, at the Lincoln Memorial.

Sitting near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, taking a break from all of the walking...

Side by side comparison of DH and Grandpa Nelson. Do you see any similarities? LOL!

Gloria Elena and DD hopping on some motorcycles... My DD is WAY to young to be asking to ride on one of these bikes...

Here are DS and DD hugging Grandpa Nelson, the night before he left...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quick Update

I am sorry that I haven't been able to post much... All of the activities here at the retreat have kept me busier than I thought! I have created a new Webshots account and have uploaded photos of the Main Street Cotton Shop in Hutchinson, Minnesota and of the Trunk Show given by Lynette Jensen on Monday night. We got a preview of the Quilt Club 2008 quilt and projects in both the Lodge and Lakeside colorways. To see all of these photos, click on this link:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Off to Retreat I Go!

Whoo hoo!! I am typing this from my hotel room in Wisconsin after an EXHAUSTIVE day of travel... I can't wait for my head to hit my pillow - but I'm waiting for my friend Patty to arrive. Patty and I both flew into Minneapolis/St. Paul today at different times and we each took separate road trips. I'm sure she'll have a lot to talk about on her blog once she returns home :) My day started with a mad dash to the airport... I don't know what it is, but I have a really hard time getting to the airport on time, let alone 'early'. Fortunately, DH put his race car driving skills to the test and found a way to drop me off at the terminal with seconds to spare. The kids even chose to see me off at the airport instead of sleeping a few extra hours - how sweet! Once inside, I quickly checked my luggage and ran to the security checkpoint. Surprisingly, they did not have me open my carryon bag (which held my sewing machine) for a hands-on inspection. Once I got my sneakers back on and laptop re-packed, it was off to the gate. I was praying with every step that the plane wouldn't leave without me - and, when I got to the gate, the Continental employee announced that boarding had begun. Whew! I can't tell you much about the flight itself - because I slept most of the time. Before I knew it, the plane had landed twenty minutes EARLY and I was off to the car rental area. I got a compact car (Chevy Cobalt) that suits me just fine. And - bonus - has XM satellite radio! Once I got my GPS gadgetry all setup, it was time to start hitting the quilt shops! (To be continued...)

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Ouch! Has it really been so long since I've posted a message?? I guess now is as good a time as any! As you can see, I'm in the middle of packing for my trip to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. I haven't had much of a chance to do anything quilt related because I've been preparing my home for my father-in-law's visit. At least when I come home from my trip I won't be going TOO crazy trying to clean up, right? :)

While visiting various quilt shops, I'll be on the hunt for fabrics I need in order to duplicate various Thimbleberries patterns. I'm mostly looking for fabrics from the Storybook Prints and Apron Strings lines of fabric, which were printed in the mid to late 90s. Here are four Cover Story patterns that I'm trying to find the exact fabrics for... Do you know where I can any of the fabrics used in these patterns?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Best Laid Plans....

As you can see from this photo, having two happy kids ready for school was about the only thing I accomplished on my to-do list... Both are now in middle school, which is just up the block from our home. Yesterday afternoon was spent listening to all of their stories... like Logan's issues with the lock for his locker, and how Mackenzie's class has five girls - and nineteen boys!!

I 'did' manage to attend September's Thimbleberries Club meeting at my LQS last night. On display was the fourth quarter pattern Raspberry Swirl - which I think is my favorite of the four individual projects. The TB Club leader and LQS owner had not seen what 2008's club quilts looked like, so I showed them the photo that Main Street Cotton Shop had added to their website. If you'd like to see a preview of next year's club quilt(s), click here. I'll probably do the Lodge version and repeat one of the center blocks instead of doing five different ones. Hopefully we'll get to see these at the retreat - along with the four individual patterns!

I brought an item for show and tell - but I can't show it here, because friends going to the retreat with me will see it and know what will be in their goodie bags from me! LOL It's a really simple project that requires just four seams!

Besides preparing for the retreat, I need to clean my home from top to bottom before September 24. That's the day DH's father will come from Colombia to visit us for three weeks. DH was born down there and moved here 22 years ago. His father has never been to the US, so this trip is a long time coming ;) DH can't wait to show his dad the sights... Not just the touristy ones, but the landmarks in DH's own history. I am so happy that my kids will be able to spend time with Grandpa Nelson, and show him everything about their lives here.

So... today I must TOTALLY clean the kids' bedroom. Grandpa Nelson will be staying in there, and it's a disaster area right now. I'm hoping to have the room re-painted before I leave for MY trip... but nothing's set in stone :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Hope those of you in the US are enjoying your holiday weekend! The kids are preparing to go back to school on Wednesday (yippee!) and we're getting our last swims in at the town pool. Here's a photo of DH with Mackenzie and Logan as we were leaving yesterday.

I haven't had a chance to do ANYTHING quilt-related, so I'm going through a bit of withdrawal right now. On Saturday, we went to a barbeque at my Mom's house and I had a chance to catch up with my brothers and sisters. Two of my siblings have needed to visit the emergency room in recent weeks because of incidents involving alcohol. My brother Erik was trying to break up a fight at a bar when he fell and broke his leg - and needed surgery to repair it, which cost a whopping $12,000. His out-of-pocket expense for that one will be $3,000. And my sister Sara was in a car during a fight between a friend and the girl's boyfriend. Well, the boyfriend was drunk and wound up slamming the car door in anger - and caught Sara's ear in it. She needed stitches to close up the wound. I just don't understand why my siblings need to have alcohol to have a good time. At least my kids are seeing for themselves the harmful effects of abusing alcohol.

Well, the plan for today is to (1) finish shopping for school supplies/clothes, (2) swim for a little while, and (3) cut out my Christmas Patches Tablecloth. Here's a photo of one that I saw at the retreat back in 2003. (My apologies to whoever's butt I caught in the picture!) I would like to have all 100 of the hourglass blocks pieced before I leave, so that I can just worry about sewing the rows during class time. I was able to find ALL of the original fabrics, and have been looking forward to sewing this one for a long time :) I'll report my progress tomorrow...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Retreat Talk

I'm so excited! Two weeks from tonight I'll be packing the last few items for my trip to the Midwest! This is my fifth year flying out to Minnesota and immersing myself in all things Thimbleberries. Can life get any better? Not for this TB fan!

I tell everyone that my favorite souvenirs from each trip are my photos. Even though I'm not a professional photographer, I still get so much enjoyment out of flipping through my pictures, whether it is in a photo album or in a slideshow on my computer. Each year I create a new Webshots album so that I can share the TB experience with my online friends. (Links to the albums can be found in the column on the right.)

This picture was taken of Lynette and me back in 2003 - quite a few pounds ago (the WRONG way). Don't I look like I could be her daughter??? If only I were, then I'd inherit ALL of her quilts - and cross all of those projects off my To Do list! LOL

Note to 'bkstitch': I received your e-mail, but got an error message when I tried to reply. I'd still like to help you... If you have another e-mail address, please send it to me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shameless Plug

See this adorable quilt top to the left? It is from a TB Cover Story pattern called Pun'kin Boy that was published back in 1996. The pattern included the center panel artwork that is a reprint of a 1925 Farmer's Wife magazine cover. The panel was printed on muslin, and there were directions to complete this 32" x 34" wall hanging.

Want to make one of these for yourself? Well, I just happen to have an extra pattern up for sale on eBay. I have two other Cover Story patterns there, as well as some older Thimbleberries fabrics. If you're interested, head on over to Kristie's auctions

Hopefully by selling some of these extras I'll have more spending $$ for my road trip!

(Shameless plug over.)

Hometown Christmas Challenge!

Kim sure knows how to get a party started! Already Vicky, Sharon, andYvonne have committed to tackling this project - and others like 'bkstitch' are setting up blogs to join in the fun! (BK, click on the 'e-mail' link in my Complete Profile so I can help you with your blog.)

Here are my completed Hometown Christmas blocks - stray threads and all! LOL I had them all cut out before I left for the Minnesota retreat last year, and worked on them throughout my trip. I did my best to match my points but, as Vicky quoted her dad, I wasn't "building a piano".

Now I'm at the point where I have to add the appliques. The directions call for using fusible web to adhere the fabrics to the borders, and LJ machine blanket stitched around the stars, holly, and berries. I've used fusible web before, and have had the raw edges of the appliques start fraying after using the quilt/pillow/etc. So instead, I'm trying a method I saw demonstrated by Eleanor Burns that uses fusible interfacing. Pictured are some of the stars that I've prepared using her method. As you can see, I still have 39 more stars to stitch, trim and turn before I begin to apply them to the red lattice strips. I'll probably blanket stitch by hand, but am considering trying to hand-stitch them down with silk thread. What do you all think?

Well, that's my progress so far! As you can see, I have a LONG way to go, so I'm POSITIVE that everyone else will catch up to me soon enough! LOL

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Harvest Time

Thank you all for your comments to my initial post yesterday! I feel very welcomed into your community, and hope to post quite often.

I thought I'd share one of my finished projects. Pictured is Harvest Time, one of my favorite Thimbleberries patterns of all time. Back in 2002 I was able to find a kit on eBay with ALL of the original fabrics. (As you will soon find out about me, I don't have an ounce of originality in my body, so I channel my energy into duplicating the quilts that I love.)

Anyway, this was one of those projects that I was so hesitant to begin cutting and piecing - just because I was afraid of making a mistake. Last year (I think), I bit the bullet and finished the top - but it took me more than a year to send it out for machine quilting. Even though some of my points don't match up perfectly, having a finished quilt is MUCH better than having the fabrics sitting in a plastic bag, hidden away in a closet.

I'll be bringing this quilt along with me to the MSCS retreat in September for a Show 'n Tell party. The retreat itself is from the 17th to 19th,but I'll be gone from the 14th to the 20th, visiting quilt shops in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. If any of you out there have any MUST SEE quilt shops in those states, please send me the recommendations! Even if I'm not able to visit them this year, I can add them to my destination list next year.

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P.S. Those four sets of hands in the picture belong to my kids - who were NOT thrilled to be holding up the quilt for ten minutes while Mom kept trying to get the perfect photo. My son hid his head, but my daughter poked hers above the quilt, giving me that "are you done yet?" look...

Monday, August 27, 2007

My First Post!

Not so subtle, huh?!? LOL

Yes, it's my birthday - my 33rd, to be exact. And, as part of the festivities, I'm celebrating another event - the birth of my very own blog!

I've considered starting a blog for some time, but got the final push from Kim - especially when she mentioned the Thimbleberries' Hometown Christmas quilt. I already have all of the houses and trees completed, and just need to work on the borders and all of their applique shapes. I'll be doing them all by hand - so I'm sure that everyone else working on this project will catch up with me rather quickly! LOL

Just a short bit of background about me: I've been collecting Thimbleberries fabrics for many years and only started to cut into them recently. Most of the reason for that was that I feared my piecing would not be accurate enough and I'd ruin the project. Slowly I've been getting better - but, as you can see by the lists to the right, I still have A LOT of quilts to make! (Thanks Patti for your help with the HTML code for my lists!)

I guess that's all for now... I should have more to say tomorrow!