Saturday, June 30, 2007

Waiting in the Wings

I'm on the verge of finishing another UFO. Ten little 2 1/2 inch squares to outline quilt. I'll make the binding and put it on the front, saving sewing it to the back for later as I plan to sit outside and sew for a while on this beautiful summer day.

Already my thoughts turn to the next 'hoop project.' I still have a few smaller UFOs floating around here, I'll be choosing from one of them. I can't quite remember what I even have left anymore so was looking into the side of the finished tops/UFO boxes this morning for some insight. I knew if I opened them up, these 10 little squares would get put off until later so I've vowed not to look any further until these squares are quilted and the binding is sewn to the front.

I started a new habit which has served me well, but unfortunately I started AFTER making this quilt. I make the binding for all my quilts when the top is finished, so that when I'm ready to bind I can just pick it up and go. (This also ensures that I won't inadvertantly use the fabric meant for the binding on another project!) I have the binding on hangers that are hung on a pole mounted under the bottom shelf in my sewing room, so it's easily accessible. It's also a sometimes scary reminder of how much quilting I have here waiting for me! I think included in my day will be labeling those boxes so I know what tops are in there since I have to dig them out to find a new project.

I have a friend who got rid of her quilting supplies, she always wanted to quilt but never really quite got into it. She brought me a couple of storage boxes and in it were some nice yardage pieces along with 8 yards of 90 wide muslin and two twin sized batts. My next two frame projects will be governed by the batting size...most of my quilts are bigger than that but I do have a few smaller ones waiting to be finished.

I thought I'd chosen the next 3 tops to be done, but am finding that one of them isn't exciting me...that one I think will be heading back to the boxes and replaced with something else. The next project to be quilted is marked and waiting for a day when I feel like basting...or when the frame quilt is getting so close to the end that I get itchy to get the next one ready!

So today, while finishing that UFO, labeling boxes, choosing the next hoop project, and hand sewing binding I'll also be day-dreaming of the next project to be quilted...and the next and the next and the next. Because somehow finishing another project gives me hope that someday there won't be such a big stack of tops waiting for my attention.

Of course, I also have several tops in the we can see where this is going!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Giving My Heart Away

For the first several years I quilted, I didn't have my own quilt. My kids had quilts, I made them for weddings and baby showers and birthdays and anything else I needed gift for, but I hadn't yet made one for me. I've been gifted quite a few little quilts (and a couple of big ones) over the years, so I thought I'd share some of those and a few thoughts on giving quilts away.

This first one was given to me by a secret pal for Valentine's Day. I love this little quilt,
we have a vaulted ceiling in the dining/sewing area and this is above the window in my sewing area. She also gave me the quilt on the right, she said I needed a quilt to coverup since everyone else in my house had one. She was still my secret pal, then, it was my end of the year gift. It's hand quilted and sits on my quilting chair in my bedroom, I think of her every time I see it and how difficult she said this one was to part with!

The same friend made me this Mariner's Compass and the cute little miniature on the right. We had met by then and I was able to see her regularly as she lived only an hour away. She's since moved to the Twin Cities, but I still get to see her on occasion.

The little cutie on the right was also made by an internet friend. We had a small group that kept in touch for quite some time and one of the really fun things we did was make a special Christmas for each other. We were all moms and so often the moms make everyone else's Christmas. It was decided that we would send each person a small gift. Christmas morning, we each had 11 gifts to open when the family hoopla was over and we had a few minutes to sit and relax.

In my last post, I talked about collecting snowmen because I had received so many as gifts. This beauty on the wall was also a gift, from a quilting bee friend, and I love it so much it has been on the wall in my sewing room year round since I've received it (though it may be moved to make way for Sunbonnet Sue) as my snowmen stay out, too. The same friend made the little wall quilt on the right for my birthday one year.

This next little quilt was a really fun project. Each person in our little internet group was given this top to quilt as part of our Christmas gift. The angel in the middle was marked, we were to each mark the border as we wanted it. We met in Kansas City for the weekend and each had to show what we did with our little top. I love this little quilt, it's always out somewhere in my house as the top came from a very special friend.

On the same trip, I got an unbelievable gift from my secret pal. Part of the fun of the trip was each of us bringing a small gift for everyone else who attended. There was a large gift table set up and it filled up quickly as each of the 26 participants arrived and placed their gifts on the table. There were also some larger gifts as we could bring our secret pal a gift if she was going to be there. This was especially fun because normally we had to mail our gifts and didn't get to see our pal open them.

On the table was the beautiful bag shown on the left. Imagine my excitement when I realized MY name was on this bag. I'm a bag them...have them in all shapes and sizes and colors and styles. I couldn't believe that I was the recipient of this gorgeous bag.

Once everyone had arrived, we all went to the table to find the gifts with our names on them. Everyone had quite a pile in front of them and we excitedly opened our gifts. One friend designed a pattern for us all to use, many gave little quilting gadgets, thread, needles, etc. It was such fun! As I picked up that beautiful bag, I realized there was also something inside. I pulled out this wonderful queen sized quilt top. In it was a note, explaining that she had found the blocks in an antique shop. On some of the blocks, the muslin was stained so she took them apart, replaced the muslin, and then made enough new blocks to make this top. I was speechless. It remains one of my favorite quilts, not only because I think it's quite lovely, but every time I look at it I think of the work that this unknown friend went to in order to present me with this incredible gift.

For many years, most of the quilts that I made were given away. People would come to my house and ask to see some quilts I made, I could show them the few I made for my kids, but other than that, there weren't really any here that I had made and kept, aside from a couple of wallhangings.

Over the years, I've gotten much faster. There is now time to make quilts for gifts AND to make quilts to keep! I now have quite a few quilts and am beginning to have issues on how to store so many.

At first, quilting for me was just another craft I learned. I enjoyed it. I could make gifts often with less cash layout than buying one (once I'd gotten a stash going) which was often helpful.

But somehow, as time has gone by, this has become more to me. It brings me peace. It makes my heart sing and my emotions run wild as I'm planning something new, choosing patterns and colors oh so carefully in hopes of an end result that will be all I've planned and more. I've learned how to play with colors and patterns and I really feel something for each quilt that I've made. Each one holds a little place in my heart. I've found that when I make a quilt specifically for someone that I can guard my heart a bit and let that one go without regret. It belongs to them, it was planned for them, it always belonged to them. But the others? Someday I will likely let them go, one by one, to a son or daughter going through a rough time, to a grandchild that has grown to love it snuggling on my couch.

For now, though, they live here, these pieces of my heart. Soaking up love and laughter and memories to be handed down someday to those I love.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Let There Be Light(s)

It seems to be the year of the light in our house. For Mother's Day, I wanted a cord of wood so I could have fires in our firepit whenever I wanted all summer long.

For Father's Day, my husband wanted a headlamp for hunting, and a headlight for his bike so he could ride it to work (he comes home after dark.)

For my birthday, I wanted a new ceiling fan for our bedroom. The light shorted out in ours some time ago, and we've had very little light in our room since. Monday, we picked up the ceiling fan and our oldest helped to install it.

It's been so nice to be able to see well in there again! I'm noticing a need for good light whenever I want to do something, so I'm showing some of the ways I keep my work areas lit.

The other thing that I wanted for my birthday is a clip on light. I love to sit outside on nice summer evenings and quilt by the firepit. Too often I'm not ready to be done quilting and it's starting to get dark, so I found this little gem, it arrived today. I tried it out at a friend's house, it lights the area pretty well, the flexible neck is very pliable, yet stays put so as I move my hoop around it was quite easy and fast to adjust the light. I'm going to invest in some rechargeable batteries, because this little light of mine will be getting a workout! I have a couple of areas in my house that I'd like to be able to quilt occasionally but the light just isn't adequate.

Another light I can't do without is my Ott Light. I bought it on retreat last year and it was well worth the investment. It mostly stays by my quilting frame, but is small enough to put into my sewing machine case when I go to sew with a friend. I sometimes move it to my table, too, when I need extra light for a project.

Another I have grown to depend on is this light on the wall. It actually has a strap so I can wear it around my neck. I don't use it that way very often as it's quite cumbersome, but it's fantastic when I need a lot of light concentrated right in front of me. Mostly it stays mounted on the wall in the sewing area in our bedroom, it throws light onto my work from the left so that there aren't any shadows cast over what I'm working on.

Another light I depend on is over my cutting table. I not only cut and plan here, but have a desk pad calendar that I keep here and I plan my days/weeks on it. I can often be found standing here making a list or mulling over my latest project.

And just for fun, my favorite little accent lamp. I love snowmen and ended up collecting them because I had so many friends buying them for me. This lamp has a tiny little light in the top and the snowman glows different colors.

And now, though it is still light outside, it is also warm and muggy. We're going to park ourselves in our nice, cool family room for the evening and my new little light will be joining me. My hoop project is nearly finished, another day or so to go, so that will be first priority until it's finished...and then it will be time to bring out another UFO from the storage boxes.

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Organized Chaos

I look around and wish I could be more organized. Hm. That's not really correct...I AM organized. I know where everything is and most of it has a place, I'm just not a neat worker. The midst of a sewing binge will find my sewing table, my cutting area and my ironing board all piled with various colorful bits and pieces of at least one project...and often more than one.

Currently I'm piecing two quilts and quilting two quilts. My flying geese are in the neat stage. I have a stack that is finished and one that is ready for goose number two, which is pinned on and ready to sew.

Then I have the scrappy strips. They are only slightly less chaotic shooting out of the back of the machine than they were in the box from whence they came.

For all the neatness of the shelf of boxes lined up neatly in my sewing room with their handy little labels, above them is another shelf, with boxes and baskets of various sizes that looks decidedly less neat. While my cutting area has been redone and organized...the area to the left of it is pictured below. I plan to make an oversized pressing area that will stand in front of this, so this piece will have several uses. It will block the messiness of that area of my sewing room, I can use it as a design board and I can lay it on my sewing table when I need a large pressing surface.

I know these summer weeks will slip quickly by. While my plan is always to 'sew my brains out' during the less scheduled (so less chaotic) weeks of summer, this is the first one in some time that wasn't thwarted by various obstacles. The biggest 'obstacle' of the last few years is 2 1/2 now, loves to be outside and is pretty good at keeping herself occupied, so this summer (at least so far) has a been a dream summer for me. Evenings spent sewing by the fire, days spent working on various projects while the older kids come and go and the younger ones enjoy the summer days and nearly unlimited time outside.

While there are times that I focus on one project and run with it, this is not one of those times. With four projects in the works, and all of them calling my name, I know each will likely get a little attention today. I feel the urge to make some progress on the quilt in the frame, so am planning to finish the inner section more block and some of the rope in the border around the inner section will complete this area. This evening the quilt in the hoop will likely get some attention and bits and pieces of time in between there will find me at my machine. It's hot and humid here today, so a day of quilting in the air conditioning is just the ticket.

So today will be just like everything else in my life seems to be...organized chaos. While someone looking in may find my days (and my life) disjointed and frenetic, it all makes perfect sense to me.

And now, I quilt.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Place For Everything....

And Everything In It's Place. Storage...I love it...bags, boxes, basket, bowls...I have them all, use them all and am always on the prowl for more.

Unfortunately, I live in a house of packrats. We all love our stuff, hate to get rid of it and usually have more than we know what to do with. Little by little, we are all improving, learning to rid ourselves of what we truly don't need or want anymore and finding ways to organize what is left.

I got the idea to talk about storage from Belvie, who found the cutest little containers for toting her handquilting supplies around. It got me to thinking about all the ways I store my 'stuff'.

These are my two favorite baskets. I have lots of them, all different shapes, sizes and styles. The one on the left was made for me by a friend, it holds my chocolate (which is fitting because this friend LOVES chocolate.) The basket on the right was given to me by a friend, she found it on a weekend trip, it was made by an 8 year old boy who was selling them with his Dad to help make money to support his family. It has a leather handle and I carry this one to quilting bees and when I go to my backyard to quilt.

To the right is a selection of bags...I have many more. The one with the tapestry looking designs holds my sewing machine, it has wheels and an extendable handle and lots of pockets. Great for when I spend a day sewing with a friend or the rare weekend away. To the right of that is a duffle style bag, good for holding yardage and I can even fit a small basket of supplies in there, if need be. To the left of the sewing case is a denim bag. This was made out of a denim skirt someone gave me. It didn't fit, so I sewed up the bottom, put webbing through the beltloops and it made a GREAT bag. It will hold a queen sized quilt and the pockets are just right for small supplies. In front of that is a quilted bag, we learned to make these at guild one night. The royal blue corduroy bag in front of the sewing case is my favorite. I went to the Houston quilt show many years ago with a group of 15 people. We stayed in a house on Galveston Beach and each had things we taught the others to do. One lady showed us how to make these bags. Hers was a normal sized bag, mine is made of corduroy, lined with upholstery fabric and is big enough to hold a small child. Literally. Not only will a 6 year old fit in it, it's strong enough to carry him around the room. When full, I can't even lift it. This bag is great when I need to transport something large or I can put several bags inside, making them easier to carry.

These are two of the wooden storage boxes I built for our bedroom. I moved a few of them down to my sewing room for fabric storage. To the left of these is batting, to the right I store bolts (if I have them...I try to keep a bolt of unbleached and a bolt of bleached muslin on hand.) At right is a view inside the boxes. They mostly have fabric folded in them, though a few other odds and ends have found their way in as well.

To the left are fabric 'baskets' that I made. The oval one in the rear holds my DVD's, I watch them on the computer while I quilt. The smaller bowl to the left is the 'scrap' bowl, I keep that within reach for thread snippets and fabric trimmings. The plate shaped one holds my hand quilting tools, it sits on or near my frame with those extra little things I need...a case of needles, a rubber finger to pull the needle through, a tiny crochet hook for pulling trapped threads through the top, etc.

I also have a pegboard, it holds a myriad of odds and ends. Everything from my hoops, to packages of notions, to patterns and stencils that haven't yet found their way back to their rightful place. The pegboard is an easy way to get them out of my way and yet keep them visible.

I also have some plastic storage drawers. During my recent re-organization, I separated my fabric by color. While the larger pieces are in the large wooden boxes, if I have a quick block or small project to make, pulling fabric is quick and easy. I bought a label maker so that I could label the fronts of the boxes with exactly what is in them. That has helped tremendously as some of the boxes hold several different tools and notions, I don't have to search through several boxes to find what I need.

And finally, one of my favorite 'takealong' bags. I made a whole bunch of these and gave away (or sold) most of them. I feel an urge to make a few more, it's really great to have one available for each handwork project in progress...and I have a few right now. These bags are also great for makeup, jewelry and other small craft projects. They are made with quart sized zipper bags, but I've made them larger with gallon bags for my kids to use for small books, coloring books and crayons, small toys and puzzles, etc, for trips and outings.
So there they are, some of my favorite storage pieces. I love to be organized and tend to be better at organizing my time than my possessions. It's all a learning process, though, and I find that as each area gets organized and that becomes the new normal, I find ways to improve on it some more.

So far today I've baked banana bread, mixed cookie dough and baked a couple of batches and soon it will be time to pre-fry my chicken tenders for chicken wraps. There won't be much time for quilting today, and tomorrow we're going on a day trip. Somehow, though, the needle will find it's way into my hand today for at least a little while, whether it be while the cookies are baking or later in the evening when the work of the day is done and I have a bit of time to rest and recoup.

And of course, there is the day trip tomorrow...time in the which project gets to make the trip...and what to I want to put it in.............

Friday, June 22, 2007

This Quilting Thing

What is it about quilting that does this to me? I wake up each day wondering how much time I"ll have, how much progress I'll make on my current projects. When I'm nearing the end of one or beginning a new one, I'm positively giddy with anticipation.

I suppose part of it is that I revel in every step.

Choosing fabrics and laying them out, seeing how they play off of each other, how subtracting or adding another changes the dynamic.

Cutting it into neat little stacks of colorful shapes.

The whir of the machine as a chain of pieces comes out the other side.

The stacks of crisply pressed units which make the pattern begin to dance in my head.

The blocks to sew into rows, then rows into the finished top. As it comes together I so often see there more than I anticipated.

And, of course, the quilting. There is something about that needle in my hand, the motion of sliding the thread through the colorful layers that instantly brings me peace.

My first real experiment with color was on a mystery quilt. Until then, my color choices had been rather safe and simplistic. When the opportunity came to do this mystery with a bunch of my chatting friends, I remembered this piece of fabric I'd found in the discount room of a quilt shop. I only paid a few dollars a yard for it and it intrigued me.

Initially I tried to work as much out of my (then small) stash as possible and found two fabrics I thought would work. I took them and the border piece with me to the store...and it just wasn't working. I laid them across bolt after bolt...and nothing. It looked drab and out of sync.

I nearly gave up, then tried one more time. I abandoned the fabric I'd brought with me and started fresh. I found a light purple, a brown with little birds on it. A nice cream and a rust with a print. Who puts rust and purple together? I didn't even know what this block looked like. I laid out those four colors and they looked hideous...until I put the border piece across them all. I'm sure I looked like a fool with my mouth hanging open in that store.

I tried to explain the fabrics to a friend across country and, of course, it's so hard to picture...back then we didn't have a digital camera, so I sent her swatches of each. When they arrived, I told her to lay the four next to each other. "Um...they look pretty bad," she said. I told her to lay the border fabric over them. "SUZY!!" She exclaimed. I knew then she saw what I did and I couldn't wait to proceed, though still a bit anxious as I didn't know how these fabrics would be placed.

As the blocks came together, I did like them, but they didn't make my heart pitter patter. I dutifully made all the pieces, wondering if the finished product would end up a picnic quilt and a footnote in the "Don't Try This At Home" section in my brain.

As we placed the final pieces, though, and I saw those colors and prints come together, I knew I had taken a giant step in color selection. I also knew not every quilt would make my heart sing, not every one would make me gasp. And that was ok. This one, though still remains one of my favorite quilts, not only because I stepped out of the box, but because it brings up so many fond memories. As I worked through the steps of this quilt, my quilt chatting friends merrily typed away, our virtual quilting bee encouraging me as we all worked through our first mystery quilt.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

UFO Situation

Bren said in one of her comments that she was "shocked at the UFO Situation" I had. I have to admit, that made me giggle. While I don't expect my UFO's to sprout alients who will toss me out of my house or eat up my sewing room, I do believe she's right. I DO have a situation. I have too many undone projects.

Truthfully, I never mind having some. As I built a stash and left projects unfinished, I told myself I was preparing for a rainy day. When money was tight, I'd always have something to work on.'s monsoon season here. It's feeding the urge to finish those old projects and I'm rather liking it.

Last night I started pinning the first strips to my pattern pieces for my strip quilt. This is a great thing to do while watching TV, talking with my kids, or when I'm too tired to do anything else. I tend to be a marathon worker. I'll do all of one step before going to the next because it's faster (and I'm less likely to goof up what up doing.) There is more of this on the agenda today.

Yesterday, the first 'goose' made her way to my geese blocks, so I'll be pressing that first step and possible pinning some of those, too.

Years ago, I did a "UFO newsletter" for a quilting chatting channel. We had great fun with it, we made lists of our UFO's and took great pride in ticking them off. I think that I'll make a new list. I'll have to do some digging, make some decisions on a few projects and lightly prioritize. I say lightly because so often what I want to work on is governed by how I feel. If I choose a project and tell myself it has to be done before doing anything else, I'm often in trouble because if that project becomes tedious or boring, I just won't quilt at all.

So I've given myself permission to, well, be a flake sometimes. I switch from project to project, or better yet, have one in each stage of completion so I can pick and choose what I feel like doing.

I often have one in the piecing stage, one to applique, one ready to mark, one marked and ready to baste, one in the hoop and one in the frame. I usually actually only concentrate on a couple at a time.

So today.... pinning, pressing and some hand quilting. My hoop project is getting far enough along that it's become the current obssession, it should be done within a week, I hope.

And while I get that UFO Situation under control, the Dream Quilt (my version of my masterpiece) will be in the designing stage. I have a lot of the elements figured out, and while writing this morning had a light bulb moment...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Honk, honk!

When I first got on the internet, some 10 years ago, the very first day I met a wonderful lady who became a great friend. One of our pet projects was a Flying Geese quilt. We did a swap with friends, had others sending us triangles from their stash and she designed a pattern so we could paper piece them. We had a great time with it and when we talked about the project, one of us would always type 'honk, honk'. Sometimes as a greeting or good-bye, others as a code word that we were working on our geese while chatting. I was reminded of the fun we had when I rediscovered my 'geese' blocks as I was labeling all my storage boxes.

So yesterday, I got the urge to 'honk'. I'm in UFO mode and feel the urge to be a good steward of all I've been blessed with, I don't want those old projects to 'go to waste.' I pulled out the cut fabrics, had found the patterns during my reorganization a couple of weeks ago and looked over the already finished blocks.

I refigured how many blocks will be needed and how I wanted them set, this quilt will be queen sized, as are many that I make.

Also on the agenda is working on my frame. Our kids had friends over while I was at my quilting bee last night so the house got spruced up before they arrived. When I got home, they all left for the Outdoor Theater (I got to quilt some more) so the house remained in good shape. That leaves me lots of time to quilt today! But I digress. I'm not sure what it is about it exactly, but the addition of this frame has me unbelievably prolific when it comes to hand quilting.

In the picture above, you can see the frame, it sits next to my bookshelf. Sometimes while quilting I peruse the titles, sparking some interest for later when I'm too tired to quilt but still have quilting buzzing around my brain. To the right, I've shown how the top comes off, making it so easy to put a quilt in it. It's just like putting a quilt in a hoop, so it's quick and easy to move to the next section.

To the left, there is a view with a quilt in it. I keep the thimbles, thread and scissors all right on top so even a few free minutes can be used for quilting.
Today I make my grocery list, but other than that I can mostly quilt. I plan to spend some time at my machine, honking away, some time at the frame and then later on this afternoon and into evening I'll bring the hoop project outside. I'll make a fire in the firepit and enjoy the beautiful summer day/evening while my little ones run around the yard, come join me for a bit of swinging and some hugs, and then run some more.

It doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I don't do anything the easy way.....

or how to drive yourself crazy in a few easy steps.

I realized that I don't do anything the easy way. They say to start small and work your way up, but I find myself diving into things head first.

I started doing needlework at 10 years old. I began with knitting and gradually learned most of the various needle arts. Once I started quilting, though, I knew I'd found THE one for me. I still occasionally pick up the others, but quilting is my passion.

My first quilt was a baby quilt and along with it I made a matching changing table pad. They were completely hand done as I didn't get along well with the only machine I had at the time and, well, I thought you were supposed to do everything by hand on a quilt. I'd bought a book several months before and had been perusing it, studying it, absorbing it...I wanted to be sure I really understood what I was doing.

I picked the attic windows pattern. I fussy cut the squares and added the side pieces. I was too naive to know I'd picked something rather hard (inset pieces) for my first time out. From the first seam I was hooked. I was 6 months pregnant at the time with our third baby and while our older two played, I'd sit on the couch and work on that quilt. Three weeks later both the quilt and the changing table pad were finished.

But what to do next? My brother-in-laws wedding was coming up and I REALLY wanted to make him a quilt. I agonized over the only book I had, trying to find just the right thing for him and his fiancee, both whom I loved.

Then I found it. I knew it was THE quilt for them. It was a large 8 pointed star, the star points alternated with two different fabrics and there were little spots of background within the points to give it some interest. It was made out of squares....little squares....1 inch squares. LOTS of them. 4,761 of them. I could do was 'just' squares and the pattern page looked like a cross-stitch pattern.

After seeing that pattern, nothing else would do. So I went to the store, bought some fabric and began to cut it up in tiny little squares. Then I sewed it back together. By hand. Then quilted in the ditch. By hand. For 5 1/2 months in late pregnancy and then with a newborn I worked on their quilt. I finished at 1am the morning of her bridal shower.

I painted my house the same way. We'd been watching Trading Spaces and our house was in desperate need of a makeover. All the walls were white and I'd never painted because I couldn't decide what to do. (and I REALLY didn't like to paint.)

Once I decided, I wanted to paint the whole house. I did, with the exception of our boys room and the lower level bathroom, which got done while they were away hunting a few months later.

I started with the kitchen and dining room. The picture is cross-stitched, I worked on it for two years while our oldest was a baby.

To the left is the backsplash in the kitchen, the walls are much the same as the dining room walls, but there is some pink featherpainted on in the kitchen.

Once I got started, I was so excited! During the course of painting each room, though, I was kicking myself, knowing that if I'd have just picked a color and painted (each room has some kind of extra treatment)...I'd be done! While painting each room, I looked ahead to the next, choosing colors, what extra technique I could use, how to rearrange the furniture, etc. Designing the next room while I painted was a great way to get through the more mundane parts of the room I was working on.
To the right is the upper part of the family room wall. I hand painted on quilt blocks in camouflage colors as my husband and sons are all hunters.

Here is the lower part of the family room wall. I hand painted "pinstripes" below the shelf all around the room (it's a lower level family room) and the table was an old end table whose top was getting rather beat up. I used the same colors to paint a checker board on top and the kids' games are stored inside.

This is the upper part of our sons' wall, the lower part is pinstriped like the family room as it is located off the family room. They have an interesting array of antlers, skins, bullet casings and fish tanks in their bedroom.

This is Lucas and Ruthie's room, they are our two youngest. The blue stripes go up the wall, across the ceiling and back down the other wall. The end walls are green.

And finally our room on the left. (Our girls have since repainted their room, I'll leave theirs for another day, it's a story all it's own!) The wall was painted white, then I added a bit of white to the green and the blue from Lucas' room, the purple from painting the girls' room a few years prior, and the red from the kitchen. I used a sea sponge to dab them on the wall. The storage boxes I built after all the painting was finished, and I chose applique patterns to paint on the front of them.

I actually hate to paint. But it was time. My husband didn't really have the time to do it, so I mustered up the courage, the energy and the desire and marathon painted.

This got VERY long! But still I have to bring it back to quilting. I'm testing a block for a friend who designs and sells patterns, you can see her site at Tyquilt's Designs. My quilting bee is tonight, I plan to bring along the UFO in the hoop for some relaxing time of quilting and catching up with friends. Hopefully, some time at the frame will fit into my day, too.

And just for good measure, a picture of a quilt.