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!