Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Fair in Blogland - Quilt

For those of you who follow me regularly, you will recognize this because I am shamelessly re-posting an earlier post to contribute a quilt to the Summer Fair taking place over at Gen X Quilters...  For those that are new to my blog, welcome and Thank You for stopping by.

Whether regular follower or new reader, I encourage you to go over to Gen X Quilters and check out the other Fair Participants...

Originally posted June 27, 2011

Jonathon's Quilt is FINISHED!!  Woo Hoo... I love completing a project.  While I had completed the top, the back, and did the quilting last weekend, I had not yet chosen a binding fabric.  I was going to go to the store and find a fabric with black and colorful stripes or polka dots, but then I decided to do something I've never done before, but I have read of others doing.  I decided to use the excess backing.  I always make my back at least 3 inches larger than my top, so I should be able to cut 2.5" strips from the excess backing.  One of the short sides didn't have quite 2.5", so I added some red fabric to get the length I needed.

Without further ado, here are some photos...

I love using these hair clips to hold down unsewn
bindings... If my daughter ever discovers them, I may
need to padlock my sewing box!!

The traditional "Rolled Quilt" shot...
There she is in all of her colorful glory

A close up of some of the quilting.  A simple
meandering pattern with Rainbow Colored thread
on the top.

There is some of that Red fabric added to the binding...
I like how the rainbow thread shows up in some places and not
in others, if the thread happens to blue while quilting over a
blue block, it just disappears, but in other places the colors contrast
well, and it pops out..

The back... My first misc. pieced back.  And I like it.
More importantly though, Jonathon loves it!
I used black thread on the back, and since most of the back is black, it
just kind of blends in.  Against the yellow however, it is very visible!
The Red binding in the corner.  This is the front of the quilt.

and this is back of the quilt in the same corner.

 After the photo session, it went into the washing machine for a good long cycle wash, and a long rinse cycle with Lots of Downy.  And then I presented it to Jonathon.  It did not take him long to snuggle up under it.  He loves to snuggle under a blanket while watching TV and this is what he plans to use this quilt for, watching TV.

First it was used as a pillow.

Rainbow had to give it a try...

Then Jonathon got a chill, and he snuggled up
under it.  I have to admit, I like seeing it being used!
While Jonathon was enjoying his new quilt, watching a movie on TV, I was sitting and hand sewing a label onto the "Stars And Stripes" quilt (Finished Photos coming tomorrow for that one).

When it was time to go to bed, Jonathon folded his quilt neatly and laid it on the hearth.  I asked him if was going to take it to his room and he said, "No, I want to use it here watching TV, and besides, I want a label on mine too."  My wife said, what do you want your label to say, "To Jonathon, Love Dad".

Jonathon immediately said, "NO, I want it to say Made by Paul Perger, June 2011 and stuff."  "Why not 'Dad'?" Trish asked.  "Because someday when I give it to my son, I want him to know who it was that made it.  And the date is important, because after it has been passed to my Grandkids and their Grandkids, they're gonna need to know who made it and when!"

I almost fell off my chair.  My 14 year old son thinking generations ahead...  Sometimes (when they are not making us want to pull out every strand of hair we have) they say something that makes us believe everything is going to be alright...

Now, go over to Gen X Quilters and check out the other Blogger's posts.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Fair in Blogland - Recipe

AnneMarie, of Generation X Quilters, one of my Blog-land friends who I actually see at Quilt Guild Meetings because she lives nearby, is hosting a Blog-Land Fair and I am joining the Festivities...

Fairs are known for their food, so here is a favorite summer salad recipe that is SUPER EASY to make, and tastes DELICIOUS.  My wife's cousin was the first to serve this at one of our family gatherings, and it has become a staple, go to salad for all "Bring a Dish" gatherings.

Oriental Salad
Salad Mix 
1 - 16 oz Package Angel Hair Coleslaw
2 - Carrots, shredded
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds
2 Packages Chicken Ramen Noodles (DRY)

Dressing Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Cider Vinegar
2 Seasoning Packets from the Ramen Noodles

Before opening the Ramen Noodles, crush the blocks of noodles into small chunks.  Pour Ramen Noodles into a large Salad Bowl and retrieve the seasoning packets.  Break up any chunks that remained stuck together and large. 

Prepare the Dressing by combining all Dressing Ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring regularly.  Once boiled, remove from heat and put in Refrigerator to cool (about 10 minutes).

Add the Salad Mix ingredients in the large bowl with the Ramen Noodles.  Toss Salad Ingredients.

After about 10 minutes, Pour cooled (not cold) dressing over Salad Mixture, Toss Salad and serve immediately.

For presentation: Sprinkling another 1/4 cup of Almonds over the Salad or on top of individual servings is also a good idea... Especially if you like Almonds!!  (Personally, I think I put a full 1/4 cup on top of my individual serving... Don't tell my wife.)

Go on over to Gen X Quilters and check out the other Food and Quilt Entries...  I'll post a Quilt Entry tomorrow.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What to do with this Bargello...

About 6 months ago I had an inkling to do a bargello type quilt.  I found a jelly roll of black, gray and whites on sale and I figured I might as well use it to try out the bargello style.  While I like the look of Bargello, I don't particularly care for it in black and white prints.

So here is what I wound up with. 
The two halves...End to End
One Half... The other is a mirror image, so if I stacked them
I would wind up with an "eye" in the vertical center, but horizontally
to the left... Why didn't I take a photo of that option!?
When I was done with it, I folded it and stuck it in a drawer.  That was quite some time ago.  I pulled it out the other night and just looked at for a while and now I have to get it out of my drawer...  I am torn with what to do with it though.  I thought about stacking the two halves and making a baby quilt out of it (I figure with a few bright colors on the back it would make a good baby quilt and Black and White and Primary colors are supposed to be good for a baby's developing vision.)  But then I think it would look good as a large tote bag, which I could use to carry show and tell items to and from Quilt Guild Meetings  I don't know, but I have decided I have to do something with it and get it out of my WIP drawer.

Any ideas would be very welcomed...

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ironing Board went BOOOOOOM!!

Wondering what that title's about?  Well, it starts with a certain little furry friend I write about from time to time, you know, my quilt time "Supervisor".  Sunday night I quilted for about 2 hours, and my ever present quilting companion, Frappe' was, as usual, close at hand.  Mind you, Frappe' is generally a shy kitty.  She generally runs from me if I try to pick her up, and only rarely does she sit still and actually let me pet her, but if I take out Ol' Betsy (my sewing machine if you're a new reader), Frappe' will come running and sit and watch me quilt for hours.

Last night I walked away for a minute to change the channel on the TV because the movie I was watching ended when all of a sudden, BOOOM!!  I think I jumped a foot in the air.  It was so unexpected, and so loud, and so close.  I turned exclaiming, "What the Heck was THAT!!" and I saw her disappear around the corner.  From where I was I couldn't see, and I didn't notice that something was missing, until I walked over and found this...

My wife yelled from upstairs, "Are you OK!?"  Jonathon came running, "What was THAT!?"  To which I responded, "You're goofy CAT!  That's what!"

It is amazing how much noise an ironing board and iron can make when they hit a hard wood floor!!

Anyway, enough about Frappe'.  I had the iron and ironing board out because I was actually doing some Quilting for a change!  I have been very busy on a few other projects these past two weeks and it felt good to sit down, cut fabric, and then sew it back together again...

The past few nights I have been working on MaryAnna's quilt as she will be moving in soon and I want it to be done when she does.  For those of you who are seeing this quilt for the first time, MaryAnna LOVES animal prints and roses.  She picked out her own fabric for this project, and actually helped me in the design process as well.  See this POST if you would like to learn more.

3 more Rows of Fabric all layed out and ready for Chain Piecing...
Chain Piecing the long Strips together
And adding the Ends to the blocks
More Chain Piecing of all the "little bits"
I hate it when I have to take out my Seam Ripper...
Do you see what I did?  I sewed a second Seam!
A nice perfect 1/4" seam, right next to the first one!
What WAS I thinking??  It goes to show that
There Is a First for Everything...

The new rows, ready to be added to the quilt.
And now her quilt top is finished and ready for a
backing and quilting.  I am thinking I will quilt this
with straight lines 1/4" from the center block edges

The Top half
And the Bottom Half.
 I am still undecided on the back for this quilt.  It will be randomly pieced using some of the remnants of the fabrics used on the front, but I am unsure how I will do this.  I have thought about a "coin stack" top to bottom.  I have also thought about doing a vertical row of bricks, slightly off center. And I have thought about using the "Falling Block" concept.  I'll make up my mind soon, as this needs to be done soon!

And now, I'll leave you with this.  Frappe' is too funny.  The other day she got a spider stuck to her eyelash and she could see it, and of course, she saw it everywhere she looked.  It probably looked HUGE to her, before I turned on the camera she kept trying to bat at it, luckily I was able to catch a little video of her when she finally caught it... and then had a snack!!


Until Next Time,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Swap Material...

Well, I haven't done any quilting in quite some time now.  Other things have taken priority.  I always taught / teach my kids that they need to accomplish their "Have To's" before their "Want To's" so I need to be a good example.

Tonight is the Columbus Modern Quilt Guild meeting and I plan to take a long enough break from other "stuff" to attend tonight's meeting.  I will show off Jonathon's Quilt tonight and I will deliver fabric from the most recent Fabric Swap I am participating in (The Spoonflower Swap), as well as receive the fabric from the previous swap (Japanese Fabrics) I participated in.

Here is my Contribution to the Spoonflower Swap.  The theme is Eye Spy, so little prints were in order.  I found the perfect little print for a boy who likes robots.  "Lotsa Bots" by Diana Rich.  56 5" squares are submitted by each swapper, and then everyone receives 2 squares each of 28 different designs.

Aren't they just the cutest little robots!?

A little closer view... Some happy, some sad, some mean

Stack o' 56 squares
I enjoy swapping.  I get fabric that I might not otherwise purchase, and I get to give fabric that I might not have otherwise purchased.  What about you?  Do you like fabric swaps?

Until Next Time, (and hopefully that will include some actual sewing!!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Making Memories... and a little Quilting too...

Yesterday I posted about spending time with my father and making memories with him… Well, on Father’s Day my boys took me Golfing at a pretty nice course.  I am not a golfer.  Josh is pretty good, and Jonathon is getting better all the time.  Jonathon beat me by two strokes that day, and Josh beat us by almost 30 I think.

Last night while perusing through my phone’s pictures, I found these and immediately began remembering our day… I had two shots worthy of remembering that day...

My first incredible shot happened on the second hole.  I was about 160 yards from the green with a tall tree about 30 yards in front of me, another tree about 20 yards beyond that, with only a small window between the two.  I pulled out a 3 iron and swung hard trying to just bust through the first tree…  This was my 3rd shot on a par 4.

There's my Ball, and the trees I had to hit through...

And that's my ball!  The closer one.  Right THERE!
All I had to do to PAR the hole is tap the ball three
inches and put it in that hole... But I missed.
As pitiful as it is, I missed.  So I bogeyed
the hole.  It was my best hole of the day...

I documented my first incredible shot, the second is permanently and forever etched in my mind’s eye and Joshua’s as well.  On the second one, I was about 210 yards from the green in DEEP rough with about 150 yards of water between me and an 80 foot tall tree that stood directly between me and the green.  I laughed and told Josh to go up on the ridge so he could see my ball land on the green.  He laughed back and told me I was crazy to even try.  “IF you get over that tree, you will completely overshoot the green”, he insisted.  I said, “Nope, I’m going to whack it as hard as I can with my 5 wood and it will go the distance with so much back spin it will get over the tree and drop right onto the green.”  SO I took out my 5 wood and I whacked it.  It went straight as an arrow directly up, barely cleared the tree, and about 2 seconds later, I heard, THUMP, followed by Josh screaming “NO FREAKING WAY!!  NO WAY!!”  Yup, I hit the green.  Landed it about 8 feet from the cup.  (Of course that was my sixth shot on a par 4, and then I three putted for a whopping 9, but it was still the best shot of the day!!  Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of that one!)

That was a FUN day, and as we were finishing up (ie after my boys had kicked my butt on the golf course) they decided this needed to be our Father’s day tradition…  I don’t care if I suck on the golf course, if my boys want golfing on Father’s day to be our tradition, so be it.  I’d rather have a tradition of spending time together on the golf course, getting beaten by my sons, than memories of opening ties year after year.

Speaking of Memory, I think mine is failing.  As some of you know, I started quilting when I quilted a t-shirt memory quilt for Josh’s High School Graduation last year.  That quilt turned into four quilts.  That’s a long story, but as I was sorting through some stuff in the garage, I came across three of them.  I had pieced all four before his graduation, quilted two of them but had apparently only bound one of them.  I had promised him that I would quilt the other two tops after I had more practice and could do a better job, but I had completely forgotten about them.  SO I bound the one that was quilted but not bound last weekend.  And the other two are now on the top of my "To Be Quilted" pile.

I have posted many photos of Frappe’ “helping me quilt”.  She is Jonathon’s kitten and she LOVES to play in the quilts, fabrics, threads, etc.  Josh’s cats however, NEVER come play in the quilting.  So, I had Josh’s quilt up on the ironing board, and all of a sudden the quilt gets yanked out of my hand and down onto the floor.  I suspected Frappe’, but found Espresso AND Mocha, Josh’s cats. 

Mocha, who NEVER plays in the quilts...

And Espresso, who wants to claim she still NEVER plays in the quilts...

When I started to take this photo they were all three there, rolling on it!

They were rolling around, burying their faces in the quilt… It was kind of funny.  And then it struck me, they KNEW this was Josh’s quilt.  They hung around and played with it, tugged at it, etc. until I was done working on it.  After I bound it, I tossed it into the washing machine and started working on something else, and they were gone.  Frappe’ showed up a few more times, but Mocha and Espresso were done as soon as Josh’s quilt was no longer in the room!

How weird is that.  Those t-shirts haven't been worn by Josh in well over a year, some of them long before that.  I wonder if they actually smelled Josh on them, or if they just "recognized" it, it looks just like the first one!

And then I also ran across this group of pieces…

Some of you may have recognized these.  These are some pieces from Bonnie Hunter’s Roll, Roll, Cotton Bowl (RRCB) Mystery Quilt from last fall.  While doing this quilt, working frantically to keep up with Bonnie, I cut off the tip of my middle finger and I had to back burner the project until I had healed.  (DISCLAIMER:  I am in no way implicating Bonnie in the cutting off of any body parts... That was completely my own doing!)

Once I was ready to start quilting again, I had other quilts I needed to work on so this went into a project box, and was forgotten about.  Until last night.  While I like the RRCB as designed by Bonnie, I am only about 35% done, and I have decided to be honest with myself and acknowledge that it will be a while, if ever, before I pick it up again.  (There is just something about actually doing it along with everyone else that is motivating, not to mention it is no longer a mystery!)  So, I have decided to use the pieces that I already have pieced (and maybe add a few more) and create a new design that will enable me to use what I have quickly.

I didn't really try to match the colors in my drawing program, I am just trying to get a conceptual idea of what I can co.  So here are two of my favorite ideas that I have come up with…  The square will finish at about 42x42 (and leave me with a lot of pink, green, pink rectangles), the rectangle will finish at about 36x63 (and require me to make a few more string squares...)

The Square

The Rectangle

Leave a comment and tell me which design you like better…

Maybe next time Bonnie does a Mystery quilt I'll be able to keep up, that's a big Maybe, she is FAST!!

Until Next Time,

Friday, July 15, 2011

Time Spent with Dad...

Well, it’s been a week since my last post.  The last time I blogged, Jonathon was getting ready to leave for soccer camp in Kansas.  Since then, he has gone and returned home.  He had a GREAT time.  He said it was so hot one day that they just turned on the sprinkler system and watered the field while they trained!  They have a great staff who is always watching out for the safety of the kids… What a neat idea for a way to stay cool in the heat, let the kids run through sprinklers while training for a soccer match!!  The Ohio South boys did very well, they only lost one game.  Jonathon was approached by several coaches during the week and felt like he had a good chance of making the Regional team, but when they announced the Regional Pool his name was not called.  So, he is home for the summer.  He will play a few times here and there, but for the most part, he has about a 6 week break.
I also indicated in my last post that my father was coming to town.  My father LOVES Jaguars and the National Jaguar club was having a get together here in Columbus, so he was literally ¼ mile away from my office during the day and less than 5 minutes away in the hotel, but it was more or less a business trip for him with activities every day and every evening, so I spent pretty much all day with him on Sunday, but didn’t see him the other days he was here.

He recently bought a Jaguar XKR175, and that is the car he drove from Las Vegas (his hometown).  He let me drool on it drive it and we went out for a spin….  We went to a large parking lot where I had about 750 feet by 750 feet of unencumbered space to play around with.  The XKR175 can be switched between Automatic and Manual transmission, and the Manual Transmission can be adjusted from “Assisted” to “Semi-Assisted” to “Full Race” modes.  Dad refers to Automatic as “Old Man Mode” and even in “Old Man Mode” I accelerated from zero to 70+ in no time (ok, it was like 7 seconds).  That was the first time I "hit it”, so I was a little tentative, I wasn’t sure what it would do. 

After about three more runs, and a few “laps”, dad put it in “Assisted Manual Mode” meaning it would shift for me if I didn’t do it soon enough (the car never took control…), and then he let me drive in “Semi-Assisted” mode, which meant the only thing limiting my control was the rev limiter (that was so I didn’t blow up the engine).  I kicked the limiter once, and I was glad it was there, but after that I was just having a ball!  I hit 90 MPH in that small space, and took corners like it was on rails.  I can't wait to get it out on an actual race track where I can really put it through it's paces...

It is funny how many people do double takes when they see a nice, very rare car drive past.  I know I do, but rarely am I the one driving said car!!  I really noticed how many people looked twice; several even sped up to pass us and then slowed down as they did, just to get a better look.

Joshua, my 19 year old, and I were about to go pick up some Pizza for dinner when my father tossed JOSH the key fob and said, “Here, take mine”.  I wasn’t too surprised that he was letting Josh take it for a spin, after all, Josh got to drive it before I did back in June when he went with Poppy to race it in Nevada.   Before dad left, he took Trish for a quick spin through the neighborhood, and YES, she was smiling ear to ear when they got back!

I thank God regularly for my parents.  While they are no longer together, they were instrumental in molding who I am today, and for that I am eternally grateful.  I have had several friends lose their fathers recently, and it just serves to remind that we should spend EVERY moment we can with those who we love.  Create memories because before we know it, they’re all we’ll have.

As I told dad, my visit with him is what I cherished.  Sitting in the Living room talking about life in general, discussing how awesome it was that the USA Women beat Brazil in World Cup play.  Discussing what he and Jill were doing next on their several week long trip around the country.  Those are the moments I cherish, but any visit with Dad always involves a car… he likes it that way.  He has always been passionate about cars.   

And if I’m totally honest… I like his cars.  He has some pretty cool cars.  I like that he enjoys showing them off and that he has something that he is passionate about.  I’ll never worry about him being out on a race track, or racing in a road race somewhere, I would however worry if he was sitting at home “enjoying” his retirement.

Dad's XKR175 the day before he and my son
raced it Nevada last month.

Race On Dad, and Drive Safely!

Until Next Time,

Friday, July 8, 2011

My kid trumped Quilting Thursday night...

Some of you may remember Jonathon from my post last week from the finalization of his quilt.  Well, he is a soccer player, a pretty darn good one at that.  He, along with 20 other players, was chosen to represent his age group (14 Year Old Boys) for our state association's Olympic Development Program.  Over 200 kids start each fall, and after several cuts, 21 are chosen to be on the State ODP team.  Jonathon has been on that team for three years running now.  Needless to say, I am a very proud Dad.

Tomorrow, Ohio, and 7 other states will send their teams to Kansas, and they will train for a week with 140 of the best players in the midwest.  Jonathon will be trained by some of the best coaches in the country.  He LOVES this camp.  He will play and train for about 10 hours every day, he will be exhausted when he comes home, and he will talk for days about the things he learned and the experiences he had.

Tonight he had to pack.  So, I resigned myself to no quilting tonight so I could help he and my wife pack up all of the things he needs.  Then it happened.  "Dad, Mom bought me a bunch of new socks.  Would you sew some bright colored thread onto them?"  (The boys are required to mark everything they bring, and two years ago I started sewing some bright colored thread into the sock on the foot where it won't be seen while wearing the sock, but if the boys all toss their socks into a pile, he'll be able to identify his.)

So I got to sew!!  And when Betsy comes out, so does my camera.  So, here are some photos of my Thursday sewing evening!

I just slid on a sock...

Rana wide zig zag forward about an inch, and then back again...

And now Jonathon will know which socks are his...
 My father is also in town, so I'll be spending some time with him this weekend.  So this may be all the sewing I do... We'll see.

Until Next Time,