Monday, June 6, 2016

James Bond Quilt

 Quilting can be cute and traditional or edgy and modern, or completely original like this James Bond Quilt.  I made it for my brother, Don Blanchard, Jr.  In the best of worlds, quilting is relaxing and hobby that can be beneficial for your mental well being.  Art is therapy.  That is what I believe.  A pot of tea and a chance to work in my studio is, to me, like Radiohead and butter, oh so good when you need a boost of flavor in your head or your mouth.  Using your hands to create this or any work of art is also some soul food for your mind.  

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Twenty Years on the Shelf! They Never Go

This is a project I started over 20 years ago.  Thank goodness, fabric does not have an expiration date.  I guess maybe if you are shop owner, you cringe at that statement, as moving out fabric means selling fabric.  But, thankfully for us quilters, who are closet ADD folks, we can always circle back around and pluck it off the shelf and start again, right where we left off!

This is a pattern called Radiance, by Judy Curtis.  The pattern came out in 1985.  I was working at the world"s greatest quilt shop at the time, called Creatively Sew.  It was in Old Town Spring, north of Houston.  This was a wildly successful quilt shop.  When I worked there we sold a lot of material.  Of course, this was before the internet, and Houston has a few million people living there, so that helped.  

I chose the dark blue to be the frame for this wallhanging.  Whatever color you choose, especially for a wallhanging, it pops out the color on the quilt.  I also wanted to emphasize the contrast.  I would be a shame to work on such a difficult piece and not be able to see the design, because you didn't choose a good contrasting material.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

BJ Designs at the Tulsa Quilt Show!!!

     I have been making this horse quilt pattern, "Race the Wind", for several years now.  I get a charge out of making it every time.  It's so much fun to put a new spin on the pattern.  This is one I made for my oh so awesome nephew, Kole.  He got married last weekend and he has always liked the quilt that is not really similar, but sort of, that is hung over my fireplace
     Like all patterns, I make them my own.  When I teach classes I tell my students that patterns are only guidelines to bend at your will.  Sometimes they take this instruction a little too far, but, you know, it's kind of good they embrace the

Thank you BJ for giving me years of pleasure with your wonderful pattern designs!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bucket List Items

We have been sidetracked from our fun for sometime now.  But, that's got to stop!  Now we want to start working on the bucket list again.

I want to go to Yellowstone and ride snow mobiles.  We went for 2 weeks when the girls were little during the summer.  It was spectacular.  The animals and the crowds were large.  So, I'm thinking maybe the winter it will be less?

I wan to go to Cancun and scuba dive to see the underwater museum.

These are 2 I'm really interested at the moment.  Maybe we can get them done within the next 2 years?  

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 figure

Yes, I'm back.  It's been so long since I've wrote anything here.  I've been dealing with some family stuff and it's starting to be something good...I hope...I think...I'm afraid to say...

Like Cher and Nicholas Cage on the movie, Moonlight, it is now time to snap out of it.  Juggling so many balls is going to have to be a way of life and I've got to deal with it.  It doesn't do me any good to try to eat my feelings.  I've put on 33 pounds since my last family crisis.  That doesn't do anyone any good, least of all me.  So it's time to be true to myself and get back to the things I love.  I'm beginning to use the My Fitness Pal app to track my food and exercise.  I'll be getting back to volunteering for my 2 favorite causes, WFPK and the public radio partnership and my church.  Hmmmm you say?  Well, I'm of the thought that what's wrong with a little conversation?  Can't we agree to disagree?  I don't agree with everything my church is about and I don't agree with everything my favorite radio station is about.  When I don't like something, I can turn it off, or look ahead to the sermon series and decide if that's something I want to hear or not.     

Besides volunteering, my husband, Bob and I are SLOWLY trying to downsize.  We've done the upstairs of the house and now we are almost done with the first floor of our house.  We have painted every room and packed up all the house, except for our kitchen and master bedroom.  We just don't need this big of a house and this big of a yard, 1 1/4 acre.  I'm not a great house cleaner, but, we still have to mow and that kills half a day or more on the weekend.  

My training for triathlons is going to have to take a back seat.  As much as I love, love, love, swimming, biking and running, it's got to wait.  I still see women older than me out there, so I can hold.  

Well, there you have it.  I'll be uploading the progress of all these things.  The family business is still fluid and working itself out.  Children are the joy and loves our lives and so you do what you have to do.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My one man

I was reading over some old posts on my FSQ blog and I ran across one in 2008 where I noticed the Iron Man was in town.  I'm wondering if this was some sort of seed that was planted for my triathlon dreams.  It sure has been a journey for me and my husband, Bob, over the past year.  Since September of 2011, he's gotten up early for me to race all over the country.  What a lucky woman I am.  I wish he was interested in participating with me, but, he's got arthritis in his feet and can't.  In all we've raced 6 triathlons, the last being in NYC which was an Olympic distance triathlon.  All because I watched Sanjay Gupta report about it on TV.  It's funny what motivates us.  This last race was in July 2012.  Since then, I've kidnapped my daughter from Oregon.  Helped her move in with my folks and get her scans which she has needed for over 2 years, but, I can understand the dread of knowing.  She is currently cancer free!!!  Maybe the triathlons were getting me in shape for the ordeal to come.  Because boy it was some kind of ordeal.  I've had to quit being the leader of the best quilt guild in the world, Northeast Quilting Friends.  This was hard to do, but, I was gone from Kentucky too much.  Now we have the best leader for a quilt guild, Linda.  

My one man crew has given so much to our family.  I am a lucky girl, I'll say again.  Now as we look to retirement in the near future, I think he's tired of me racing practically every other weekend.  Because besides the 6 triathlons, I ran 10 foot races, 5K's, 10K's a 15K at the Biltmore estate, and a half marathon, which I would say was the most difficult of all the races for me.  Life really is full of seasons.  I'd like to think I have another season of triathlons to do, but, he's not down with it, so, it's going to have to go on the back burner for a while.  We need to downsize our house and prepare for the future.   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's Training Time

Yep, the weather is warming and the pony tails are bobbing.  Such is the scene of those that are the back of the pack  I get out there and run in the sun when I can.  The treadmill has become my friend lately as it tells me how fast I am running.  I can't/won't/don't want to run fast, hmmm which is it.  I think if I wanted to be first in my age group, I should spend the money and invest in a coach.  But, you know, making quilts and being at the back of pack is where I'm happiest.


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