Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zumba!

A couple of months ago my dancing group started doing ZUMBA!
We've been dancing for over a year or so and while doing the ChaCha
our instructor thought we all needed help with our "Latin hips", so
we switched to ZUMBA for awhile.

Product Details

WELL!  I gotta tell ya.........the morning after we switched my American hips told
me in no uncertain terms that they 

This very morning (so perfect for my Z post) 
I slipped the Zumba DVD into
the player and spent about 45 minutes 
on the Beginning moves tape.
Some of the beginning moves are pretty slow and pokey,
 but some of them,
like the Reggaton moves, 
I am pretty happy to be going through slowly.
While I'm looking forward to graduating to the 
regular dance songs I'm pretty
sure that in the morning my body will 
thank me for moving slowly through these moves.

In the past exercise for me has been in the form of 
hiking the mountain, which I really
enjoy until spring when the rattlers start showing up on the trails.  Snakes scare me!
I like to swim but the pool water is not quite warm enough yet.  
Jazzercise was a lot of fun, but for me it was a 2 hour commitment......1/2 hour before
and after the class for prep and driving time.  
A few years back I walked on a daily basis training 
to participate in the 
Susan G. Koman 3Day Breast Cancer Walk.  
It was fun walking and training with my friend, 
but walking by myself is way to slow for me.  
Biking is more my speed now!
Of course it'll soon be too hot here in AZ to bike.............

Excuses, Excuses!

I'm hoping that I'll enjoy these Zumba workouts!
Do you Zumba?

What do you do to stay in shape?  
What are your best excuses NOT to exercise?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for YES!

Yes!  Yippy! Yahoo!

The end is in sight!
I've been participating in the 
Blogging from A-Z Challenge 
for the last 24+ days 
and now with the letter Y the end is in sight!

What have I taken away from this experience?
  Well, first I found some new blogs that I enjoy reading 
and *met* some new friends.
 I learned a lot about how blogspot works 
just by trying some new things.
Also I rather enjoyed having a starting point with the 
alphabet letters every day.

Unfortunately I only visited about 100 blogs out of the 
over 1700 blog writers who
participated.  From what I read I surmised that 
many of the bloggers participating
were/are writers. 
 In the past most of the blogs that I read are of a crafting/quilting/
do it yourself nature so reading blogs 
written by writers was a new experience.
I found my writing to pale by comparison 
but was also encouraged to work a little
harder at writing.  
This I will probably do when I don't have to write EVERY day.

That's the other thing........
while I sorta enjoyed the discipline of writing every day
I'm not sure that I would like HAVE to write every day.    

If you look at this quilt just right you can clearly see the Y.
Well, kinda!
This *might* have been better for "x"!
I love working with black and white geometric fabrics.
This quilt was made as an engagement quilt for my daughter.

Well, I think I may be done yapping 
and spinning this yarn for tonight.
Tune in on Monday for the big finish! 

God Bless,

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for eXchange

One of the things that quilters love to do is eXchange things.

We eXchange fabric........Fat quarters, strips, squares......
We eXchange blocks.....pieced blocks, appliqued blocks, paper-pieced blocks.
Sometimes we even eXchange little quilts!

Hearts in the Cabin
This quilt is made with strips eXchanged with the
Friday Night Quilters.
We all made a Log Cabin quilt with the strips.
The guidelines were to make any log cabin pattern using
a red center square.  It was amazing to see how differend
all of the quilt turned out since we were all using the same
fabric strips.
This was a round robin eXchange quilt.  Each of the ladies made the center square
then passed it on to the next person with certain guidelines.
The first border had to be 3" and have triangles.
In the next round  you had to turn the quilt on point and add applique.
The next round had to contain rectangles and the last
round had to include circles.
It was a great challenge!

As part of a Springtime Mini Quilt swap
I received this sweet quilt from
Bec in Australia.

In another Mini Quilt swap I received this little quilt from
Deb in Kodiak Alaska.
Her family are fishermen!

This was a quilt I sent as part of the Mini Quilt swap to
Angela in England

Another Mini Quilt made for a Wintertime eXchange
Backside w/label

Closeup of Sharon's finished Round Robin eXchange

Closeup of Tammy's Round robin eXchange

Closeup of Linda's Round Robin eXchange

Closeup of Kerry's Round Robin eXchange.

Quilty blessings,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Words

Just Words tonight.

Well, it seems that my quota for photo storage has been reached!
Imagine that!

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so "they" say.
I enjoy using images to enhance my words.

But tonight you'll just have to use your imagination!
Hopefully I'll be able to paint a picture using only my words.

It's Springtime.
And you know what needs to happen in the Spring, right?
You know, besides birds singing and flowers blooming......
Spring Cleaning.

Last week I started cleaning my studio so I could host
the Comfort Quilts Sew-In.    Basically I cleaned up the main 
room, just making things tidy, dusting and vacuuming.
~and putting all the overflow in baskets and bins and boxes
and shoving them into another room!~
That's not cleaning you say?
Ya, I know.

In the days since the Sew-In I've been busy going through those
boxes, bins and baskets and sorting and putting away.
However the main cleaning that I've done in the last 3 days is
sorting though my fabric stash!

(Insert picture here of a closet with fabric overflowing)

(Insert picture of 3 tables, one for ironing, one for sorting 
and one for stacking the sorted fabric)

Can you see it?

Believe me, the picture in my mind's eye was much worse
than it actually was.  And now that the fabric is all sorted
into categories I just can't wait to start using it up!

Now picture if you will a closet with 
fabric neatly folded on one shelf 
and 2 empty shelves below that.
3 tables......the ironing and sorting table is empty
and the sorted fabric stacked in neat little BIG piles
on the 3rd table.  Phew!  All that is left to do is place
the sorted fabric into the 3 empty tubs waiting just for them.

Books and patterns are next...............
Wish me luck!

I miss my pictures...........
Guess I'll be doing some research before "X"!

Wishing you a wild and wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for virgin

Here it is almost midnight and nothing is written anything for "V" yet.
I've been vacillating all day long on what to write for V.

And now I'm tired.  
And I want to catch some ZZZZZZZ's.  (But "Z" is several days away!)
So this is going to be a short one.  
And probably not a wonderfully written one either.

So it seems that I will have to write about my visit to the dentist today.

My hygienist told me I was a virgin!  
If I wasn't so tired I could probably make this into a joke of some sort...........

Let's see............a woman walks into a bar  dentist's office........

Nah, I'll just lay it out like I was told today.......

I was worried about my teeth after looking at the new
digital x-rays that they can zoom in and enlarge.
(pretty amazing I might add!)
There were quite a few white patches where there are fillings.
My hygienist looked at me and told me not worry.......
my teeth were in great shape 
and I had many, many teeth that were VIRGINS!

When I looked at her in amazement she remarked......
"Yes,  Virgins.....that's what we call teeth that have never been drilled!"

Who knew?

So there you have it!

Pleasant dreams............

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for UFO's




In the quilting world UFO's are 

Un Finished Objects.

or PIGS.....

  Projects In Grocery Sacks

or MY favorite........ I'm working on my PHD........

Projects Half Done!!!

Seeing how I have been quilting for the last 30+  years AND I'm a little bit of a  hoarder   collector it goes to figure that I have a number of UFO's, PIGS, and PHD's!

I'm in the process of re-organizing my studio and I'm falling in love all over again with some of the fabric and projects that have been stashed away and unseen by human eyes for probably years!

Here are some of the projects that I can't wait to get my hands on again:

Project started in a class with Sharon Shamber

This cool quilt was a FNQ challenge quilt.
(Friday Night Quilters)
Can you believe that EACH one of these squares is
the EXACT same pattern?

This is a Maple Island pattern called "YIKES"

This was a project started in a design class with Lorraine Torrence

Grandmother's Flower Garden
All those little hexies are first sewn over a paper or plastic hexagon shape
then hand pieced together.
I've been working on this one for MANY, MANY MANY years.
Doesn't look like it does it?

This little quilt is a ?............

Here is a PIG
Project in grocery sack, errrr rather it is in one of those zippered bags
that curtains come in.
This was to be a wedding quilt for my son and daughter-in-law.
They were married in 2007!
Maybe a 10 year anniversary gift?

This was a sorta mystery quilt.

Quilt made for a Ricky Tims class.
We were supposed to quilt on this during class
So glad I made it up before class!

Look what I found!
Another little bullseye quilt top.
Project Linus here I come!

I've had the pieces for this quilt hanging around for YEARS!
It is my brother's Pink Flyod t-shirts.
I want to make it really special and I am having trouble
designing it because of those 2 BIG squares.
guess I need to just jump in and DO IT!

This was scraps from another quilt and
I made this guitar applique to go with it

Sample for a class I was teaching

Log Cabin quilt class taken with Sharon Craig

Hummmmm..........think I have enough projects to finish?
At this rate it will take me YEARS to get my PHD!


Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Tutorial

Did you like the Bullseye Quilt  Block?
Well if so you are in luck............
Today's terrific post is a tutorial on how to make
one of your very own.

Blue is one of my favorite colors.
This quilt is named Bullseye Blues and is still in pretty good condition
considering it is over 10 years old and is used daily in the cool months here in Phx.
The kids took this quilt to camp and it is regularly used for bonfires!

In this tutorial I am showing you a Sunflower bullseye block.
However you can choose any color way you like.
In the above blocks I chose an assortment of gray
fabrics to use for my base square and a wide assortment of
bright fabrics to make the bullseyes.

This is what you need:
Required for each block:
One 9' base square
one 8" circle
one 6" circle
one 4" circle
For the 9" base square I chose blue to mimic the sky.
(yah, I know....I should have chosen a light
blue, but I probably used what I had on hand!)
The 8" green circle is the leaves
The 6" yellow circle is the flower
and the 4" brown circle is the flower center.

How do you cut the circles?
I made 8", 6" & 4" templates cut from
cardboard boxes and then drew around these circles on the
back of my fabric with a pencil
then cut them out.

Before I begin sewing I fold each square and circle in half, then quarters
and finger press or iron a crease.
This gives me a placement line.
I want each circle placed in the center.
You can't really see this in the picture above
but the crease lines are there.

After creasing your placement lines and positioning
your 8" circle you will sew 1/4" around the edge of the circle.

Turn your square over and carefully cut away the extra fabric.
This picture show a roughly cut circle cut approx. 1/4" from sewing line

Repeat for each circle

This is what the back side looks like after you sew and cut away each circle

Cut each block into 4 equal sections

Make a bunch of these blocks so when you cut them into
1/4" you can mix and match them.

That's it for tonight...........
Have a blessed evening,


Sunday, April 22, 2012

S is for Sewing Scraps on Saturday

And those silly scraps spilled into Sunday!
Sorry to be so late with my "S" post!

Saturday my studio was filled with some salty Senoritas
who sewed so many scrap blocks it made my head spin!

We gathered together to sew blocks which will eventually be
made into quilts, then donated to Project Linus,
who in turn will lovingly gift them to children who are sick.  

Liz, Joanne, Pat, Eve, Jodie, Dolly, Jenny, Kathy, Mia  and Roberta (not pictured)
 had their heads down and were working intently!
Eve, the Phoenix West Valley Project Linus coordinator,  joined us today to
fill us in on how the quilts are distributed and all things Project Linus.
A job well done by all!
Thanks ladies!
These are some of the blocks that we cut and sewed in the studio on Saturday.
They are so bright and cheery!
This is what the Bullseye Quilt blocks look like when put together in a quilt.
and  features a scrappy foundation pieced border.
My kids used to take this quilt to camp with them and it has been well loved!

Another example of a scrappy Bullseye Quilt made in school colors.

One of my favorite scrappy Bullseye quilts made to look like
Sunflowers in a field using a blue background like the sky,
a green circle for leaves, a yellow circle for the flower and
a brown circle for the flower's center.

There goes Eve with a smile on her face
and her hands full of quilts
that will someday find a new home
wrapped around a child who needs a hug.

This is MY favorite Scrappy Sewer!
Not quite 2 years old and already comfortable sitting in front of the sewing machine.
Luckily her little legs don't permit her feet to reach the pedal yet!

Tune in Tomorrow for a terrific "T" tutorial.
God Bless,  tammy

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Recycle

Earth Day is right around the corner 
and that fits right in to what I want to talk about today.

I'm a quilter and one of the by products
of quilting is SCRAPS!
I am known as quite a hoarder saver,
and have fabric and scraps from YEARS AGO!
I used to save scraps that were at least 3" square
and then cut them up and save the 3" squares
to someday be sewn together into a quilt.
(Stop laughing Carole and Christina!)

Finally I have a solution for this hoarding saving problem.
I make Pet Beds!

I hated throwing away anything that could be used,
but honestly was starting to drown in all the scraps I had.

A friend told me about how the Human Society is
always looking for towels and pillows to use with the cats and dogs
and they also appreciate pillowcases filled with scraps!

This has really freed me of my hoarding  saving addiction
and now I keep an empty pillowcase handy and all my scraps go right 
into the pillowcase and when it is full I sew it up!
When I have a stack of them I pile them
into the car and off to the Humane Society I go.

As a matter of fact I seem to have become
the pillowcase/scrap bag drop off point!
( can't call me a bag lady)

My small effort to re-use and recycle.

I have been so inspired by a blog I have been reading
called Lots of Crochet Stitches.
You can see it Here.

I'm in the process of adding a sweet crochet scallop edge around
this fleece Receiving blanket.
Isn't it turning out great?

This is just so fun to do and 
can be done even while watching TV.
These blankets will find a home with 
Project Linus
who gives them to children who really need a warm hug.

I kind of made up my own pattern for the blanket on top.
You can see that the edging came out ruffly instead of scalloped.
So glad I stuck with it, did a little research and figured out the scallop stitch!

Have a refreshingly lovely day
and God bless.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for (what else) Quilting

My name is Tammy.
I am a Quiltmaker.

This quilt was hand embroidered by my mother
and hand quilted by my great grandmother.
I've been wrapped in the love of quilts from
the very beginning!
When I was a little girl and dreaming of 
"what I would be when I grew up"
I always thought that I wanted to be a 
wife and a mother.  

Quilt made for my granddaughter

As I got a little older I considered the other options open to me.......
Nurse, Secretary, Teacher.
As a child growing up in the 60's, 
living in a very small, rural
town in Southeastern Ohio with very traditional values this is what I saw as my choices.

Maple Island BQ2 quilt design

High School in San Diego saw me taking typing, business and accounting classes.
Yep, I was going to be an accountant. 
Talk about fitting a square peg in a round hole!

This quilt was made to place on the floor so my grandbabies
have a clean place to play

Fast forward.....I DID become a wife and mother and 
I DID work in the accounting field and I DID work in the school system,
but never a Nurse.  (too afraid of needles!)
Ironic since I now work with needles ALL the time!
I just don't stick anyone with them.
(My husband might disagree with that.....his feet always seems
to find the needles that I drop on the floor!)

Quilt still in progress.
I need to finish this one!

What I didn't realize was that my work training began in a tiny little house in the attic where I
sat under the quilting frames of my great grandmother.  

Small quilt made for a Breast Cancer fund raiser.

Every day on my way home from school I stopped by grandma's house
to watch Dark Shadows.  
Speaking of Dark Shadows....I'm not sure I'm going to like the
new movie that is coming out.  Looks
like they are going to be making a spoof of the original,
but I digress.....

Before I left gramma's house
it was my job to thread 7 or 8 needles so she could hand quilt in the evening.  

Harmonic Convergence quilt made for my son when he got married

I had free access to her scrap box that resided 
under the bed in the attic.  
I can still remember cutting heart shapes from the fabric, 
sewing them together
then stuffing them to make little pillows.  

Engagement quilt

My love of quilts and quiltmaking began with my 
great grandma Lizzie,
but my "formal" training began in a 6 week quilt class 
in Secunda, South Africa.

This little quilt hangs in my husband's office.

That was it!  I was in love and have been quilting
for the last 30 or so years.
The last 6 years it has been my profession.

Quilt I designed for my daughter when she graduated high school
Each of the larger squares contain a picture.

I worked at a quilt shop for several years until I 
purchased a professional Longarm quilting machine.

High school quilt for my son

Following in my grandma's footsteps I
 now I put the decorative quilting stitches on other people's quilts.
Only I use a machine....she did it all by hand.

Quilt design was inspired from a postcard made by
New Orleans artist Jamie Hayes

All of the quilts pictured here are ones that I have 
pieced and quilted.
(with the exception of the very first one pictured)

Mariner's Compass Wallhanging.

Some of them are patterns from a book,
or a class
and others are ones that I have designed my self. 
Scrap quilt made for my parents.
Hey mom......are you using this quilt?

This is just a small sampling of the quilts I have made.
It doesn't include any of the t-shirt quilts
OR any of the customer quilts I've quilted.

Baby quilt I designed

The majority of the quilts that I make are quilts
that I want people to use!

Bullseye Quilt.
Totally made from scraps.
My kids used to take this quilt to camp!

Quilts to cuddle up with 

Class taken in Durango Colorado

and hopefully feel the love that I've stitched in to it

Double wedding ring

and hopefully feel my arms wrapped around them.

Lover's Knot

 Some of my quilts are Art Quilts.
Quilts that are made mainly to hang. 
Teacup exchange quilt
Each teacup was made by a special friend
Their name is written under the lace of each cup.

Definition of QUILT

a : a bed coverlet of two layers of cloth filled with padding (as down or batting) held in place by ties or stitched designs

This may be the dictionary definition of a quilt,
but my definition is :
Quilt = Love