Apr 22, 2014

some progress

Well, I drug one of my machines to Bama Belles today and actually got some sewing done.  I could have gone to lunch with two different groups but elected to stay till I got the top to this point.  (Julie had brought some leftover cake from their Easter meal so I was not hungry in the first place.)   It seemed like everyone had somewhere else to be today or going out to lunch is the natural cut off point.    

All the vertical sashing and/or side bordering is in place though I know it is blending in with the doors.  I had left the sections for the top and bottom borders at home since I didn't think I would get that far anyway.  It will measure 57 x 75 when complete.  I'll get that done in a bit.  It won't take long to set the machine back up.

A friend of Lois' daughter who is soon to be a grandmother will be getting this quilt.  Lois did the embroidery motifs on her machine as apparently Mickey and Minnie Mouse is the nursery theme.  She also made the top up but her daughter will be quilting and finishing it up.  The girls did the honors pinning it.

Next I will need to figure out where I want to focus my energies come sew-in time later in the week.  Pull out something I have started and make myself work on it or pick something new???   There are a lot of options in the started column, that's for sure!   Usually the "make yourself" thing works better when I am sewing in the first place.  That is not the case lately.  I have decided to join in the picnic hop next month but I am waiting for some fabrics to arrive there.  

Maybe my guild challenge piece?    They have apparently pushed the deadline back for the "first letter, first name" challenge thing though I believe they are calling it something else. 

 I am planning on doing a version of that Loop the Loop deal I had explored back in January.  http://catsnqlts2.blogspot.com/2014/01/adapted-loop-loop-aka-adapting-patterns.html    See the picture below.  Just as background, this is the one I re-designed in EQ to ditch a bunch of extra lines.  You know what?  My mom has actually made a few sized bed quilt for my youngest nephew.  I wish she would get a picture of it because I saw what she had started when I was back in IL in February.  I believe she said it was at the long arm quilters or about to be, LOL.  The multi colored rings had an Olympics vibe.

BUT I like this one too from an earlier post    Lacy Lattice Work #2583

I have some fabrics set aside for the Loop the Loop thing so maybe I'll cut and kit that one tomorrow.  We'll see.

Meanwhile I don't think it is raining anymore.  Oscar and I need to stretch our legs.  Him being a dachshund his don't stretch too far, LOL.  I had wondered why my right arm was aching so today other than the wet weather and dragging sewing machines around.  Of course, it is from trying to hold him back when he is going at break neck speed and trying to get at the squirrels.

Till next time------

Apr 21, 2014

I promised you quilts from the last meeting...........

............and tomorrow it is time for us to meet again. Boy I dropped the ball on that one but we'll go "better late, than never".  These were ones that Lois turned in.  Some I know what the pattern is and others, not.  Lois cracks me up because if you ask HER  what it might be she just says she "had too many scraps"   They are still stacked up waiting for me to enter them in a document and number them.   I was busy with other things and am not sure what closet I am going to put them in.  If someone asked for quilts because there was a need in the community for us to fill right away, it might light a fire under me.  It has just been one less thing to worry about at this point.

Eleanor Burns' Twin Sister.  I like the mixed blue sashing that she used for this.  This is one of those "two blocks at once" deals so you usually see the opposite coloration pinwheel and background pairs somewhere in the quilt.  A child could play a matching game with it.

I really like the fall toned hour glass blocks on this one and the yellow is so vibrant.  It had a fall backing too---I think.  It is down on the bottom of the stack so I am not toppling it to verify, LOL.

This is one of those 2 1/2 inch strip patterns from G. E. Designs  Strip Stack I believe this one is called

Hunter's Star using Deb Tucker's Rapid Fire Ruler.  See THIS VIDEO on you-tube for the technique.  I bought one recently but turns out I should have gotten the slightly smaller one and then we could have shared them.

She has made several quilts like this in the past.  I think I could call it Squares and Rails and that would work

This is probably a form of Broken Dishes but a scrappy version it and dressed up with the consistent pieced sashing and plain cornerstones.  Very effective and a good way to use half square triangle units perhaps left over  from another quilt.  Who knows?  It might be something Bonnie Hunter did in one of her Quiltmaker columns.

I would call this one 9 in 4 patch or something like that.  Good use of some of those scraps!

The girls pinned another bunch of quilts at the last meeting so there will be more coming.  Thankfully, I remembered to take the other half of the batting roll with me.  We get it by the 60 some yard roll 48 wide but when open the package there is no enough room in the closet (behind where the quilt is hanging) to store that much of it.   We roll off about half of it onto a cardboard tube and I take the rest back home to store in the utility shed till needed.

 Speaking of no room in the closet, when Bev and I first got there and were getting stuff out of the closet for our use at the meeting, I was greeted by a replacement window.  How they even got that in there past the library cart and such I do not know.  We had to get at the table risers, pins, tape, scissors, etc.  Before we moved it though we asked the church secretary about it so someone would know where it went, LOL.    It IS their building to use as they see fit but it was a little surprising is all!   I know they had a Easter Sunrise service with a breakfast right after this past Sunday so we'll see what configuration the room is in tomorrow.  Regardless, we work around it and try to leave things as we found them.

I could take my Brioche and Baguette sections with me tomorrow and sew but probably won't.  Friendship Quilters have their sew-in later in the week but I am not sure which day/days Jane and maybe Terri will want to go over but I will need something to work on then.  Handwork or knitting,  it is.   I got as far as all three columns being stitched as well as the vertical sashing and borders.  I might take those with me to cut to size as it would be easier to do that at the meeting place.   We normally set up the cutting mats in the pass through from the kitchen to the fellowship hall or I could use the pinning table if it measures 6 foot as my strips measure about 70 inches.

 I sewed a bit yesterday just to keep busy but honestly, my heart was not it.  It was not a good day emotionally.  I suppose that is to be expected.  Any holiday is rough when you have lost a loved one.  Try as I might to focus on the religious implications of the day, determination was not enough and I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.  His birthday would be next Monday and I don't expect that is going to be any easier.  I ended up just doing a lot of reading more than anything else.  Nothing wrong with that.   Glynda did invite me to join them for dinner when I talked to her while out walking Oscar but honestly, I would not have been good company and passed.  Emily, Robbie's wife came down later to see if I wanted them to give Oscar a bath as they were doing the other 4 dogs.  Yes, thank you! He smells so much better, LOL.

I've been busy with other things here at home though.  The blog hop, writing emails on Thursday. Oh and I went to a small quilt show at a nearby church where they were exhibiting some Hawaiian quilts.  I'll post about that later as I have the owner's permission to share that on my blog.  I had posted some of it on Facebook but that was mostly so the local folks could go over that afternoon or Saturday.   Friday, I joined some of the girls for lunch up in Jacksonville.

 Of course, the critters keep me hopping too.  Oscar and I walk 3 or 4 times a day even though he is in a fenced in yard.   Today I loaded him up in the cat carrier which he hated and we did a lap and half around the local park which he loved.  I had in the car once before NOT contained and that was NOT a good idea.  He can whimper and all that but he is not staying loose.

 Mamacita comes charging over to be fed usually about the time I am out with Oscar. She watches for the door to open from the neighbor's yard up the street.  I don't always see her but sometimes she is visible from my house and comes running.  Of course, Skyler HAS to know what is going on outside with those others when he is supposed to be the center of the universe.  Then I have to keep him from trying to get out and her from coming in plus fill up that food bowl.  I don't know that anyone has figured out where her babies are.  

The yard seems to be proofed against Oscar digging out and I got a few heavy, heavy brick like things from Lowe's to be sure he doesn't get any bright ideas back in that corner he had been using as an escape route.  That, and he comes in at night to sleep.  He is good as gold in his crate in the evening.  I don't think he was really ready to go out this morning because he wanted right back in the house once he did his business and ate, LOL.   I think he does spend a little time in his dog house too especially if it is a bit drippy outside.  I was very quiet in leaving the house and going around the fence to check a bit ago.  He spotted me and came running just as I was about even with the opening.

 Skyler is so funny though.  He tried to sneak up on Oscar the other night to see what was going on in that crate.  Oscar looked like he was sleeping and here is Skyler in stealth mode till Oscar let out one bark.  He could not get any traction on that laminate floor and those back claws were just skittering.  He also sneaks into the open door of the crate to nose around when Oscar is outside.  Sniff, sniff, sniff.  He will follow me into the kitchen for food but stays close to me in the evenings, giving him a wide berth.

Well, I plan on making some chicken enchiladas for supper so best close this up and head out to the kitchen.  Oscar is barking and that often means that Mamacita is here for a nosh.  Next time, pics of the Hawaiian quilts.  +

Apr 16, 2014

Day 5 What is Your Superpower Stitching Hop

It's here!  It is my featured day along with some other talented blog hop participants. But first, a big thank you to DMC who is sponsoring this round, a good tie in since they make such lovely floss, perle cotton and all those good things we stitchers love.  Did you see their cross stitch pattern for Super Emma on Tuesday?  What fun!  Of course, Mdm Samm of sew we quilt is the one who comes up with these great ideas.  This round  Pauline of The Quilting Queen is our head cheerleader.

Once you get done looking at my attempts at photography, then I hope you will pop on over to see what the others have done today.


So what is my Superpower?  Like the others before me, none of us seems to want to brag about ourselves or maybe imply perfection at any given task.  There are things that I enjoy doing like cooking and baking, though I have found that is more fun when you can share the results.   I always try to do my best on any stitchery,  sewing project or knitting project that I undertake. However, I find there is always something that needs tweaking, improving, more practice.  Well, you get the idea.  Not going to brag or claim to be an expert.  You think that is a woman thing or just how we were raised??

I didn't struggle long finding something I wanted to stitch up.  Good old Google and an image search led me to this design from Verna Mosquera of the Vintage Spool of the We Love French Knots blog.  I decided to do mine in representational colors rather than the lovely pink Ms. Mosquera used.  Here is a closeup shot of the roses and a bit of the spool done up in variegated floss.  I also used a mix of floss strands to work the parts that were to be metallic.  (Sorry about the shadow marks)

So I stitched the motif all up adding my super power which is stitching, of any kind really.  I love to do "redwork" embroidery but I also love to sew and quilt, even if production has dropped off dramatically in recent months.   I won't get into the why though faithful readers know already.   I chose not to narrow my options and just said "stitcher"

I intended to turn this into a wall hanging but at the last minute decided to make a tote bag instead.    I did not have enough of the red fabric because it was originally to be the  outside border!  I did a search through quiltshops.com for sewing related fabric which led me to the Henry Glass "And Sew On" fabric line and placed an order through Sauder's Fabric.  However, I had bought plenty of the scissors fabric since it was supposed to be the backing with a little leftover for the stash.  It became the interior and accent color instead.  I had a black scroll like print for binding but elected to go with a separation of colors with jumbo rick rack instead.  I have a small stash of black and white fabrics for a sometime down the line project so this will not go to waste.   If anyone wants some of this black jumbo rick rack, let me know as I have a ton of it!  Why did I think I needed three rolls????

I looked at several patterns, took suggestions from my pal Norma via Skype and then ended up with this two tone fabric tote from Make It & Love It  .  I believe she suggested using some fusible interfacing or some such thing to give it a bit more body.  I did not have any nor did I feel like chasing around the county to get any either so I elected to quilt the top layer only.  I did not use their methods for the straps either and by that time I had to piece them to even squeeze them out.  Also it made more sense to me to leave the opening for turning the lining at the very bottom of the bag interior than up along the top edge where errant stitching would show.  The side would have worked too, like you would do with a vest.  Some days those old sewing lessons from Mom come in mighty handy!  BTW, the camera angle is making this look un-square.  It is evenly cut!  You can see the stitchery a bit better in this shot though the pictures is a bit dark.

 long beauty shot on the neighbor's fence

Closer in

Now, did you see what I did wrong??  When I boxed in the bottom of the bag the prescribed two inches, the word "Stitcher" disappeared about right where you see that crease.  What did I say about bragging on yourself? Those words will reach up and bite you right in the backside every blessed time, LOL.   It looks good from the back side!

No complaints about the pattern as written.  The things I tweaked were personal choices.   Had I used this pattern before I would have known to shorten the top cuff and got more of a red print frame around the stitchery. My first thought was to use it as a pocket on the bag but that was before colors were switched up.  I am a bit mathematically challenged at times so I may have still had a misstep along the way.  Let's call this a "prototype"  because I can see trying this again for a knitting bag.  Think I can find a motif to embroidery with yarn, knitting needles and all that???

No matter, I still like the bag and will use it to cart my bag of stitchery around.  Right now I have three different projects in there----a Bird Brain Easter piece that is marked but not started, a basket block from Bee Tree Designs in greens and a Bird Brain Designs "Snow Happens" in blue.  This is large enough to hold my entry in last years stitchery blog hop that I posted about HERE.   I like things to be used in a practical manner, after all!  I'll post the two main pictures of the stitchery organizer from March 2013

opened up but the camera angle is making it look "un-square"   errr un- rectangular

 Folded up in my embroidery kit with all the stitching goodies inside

So why are you hanging around here, LOL?  Hop on to see what the others have in store for you!  Thanks for dropping by today and I hope you enjoy the remainder of the hop.

Apr 15, 2014

another day

 Look who is in the house---and in jail.  Doesn't Oscar look like he knows he is in trouble?   We had a repeat of doggie missing and back up at his old house, under the fence, although not bothering the other dogs.  Glynda says he is acting like a different dog since he has been down at my house.  Not on the attack as he had done before when they threw their hands up in frustration.

Because of the rain, and now rain and cold blustery winds, Robert did not get the hole in the corner of the fence tended to.  Oscar apparently had no trouble moving that brick I tried to wedge into the opening.  He also had problem squeezing past the milk crate either though I didn't know that right away.  I took the leash up, walked him home, went in the shed to get the cat carrier for just temporary. Poor little thing was shivering in the cold.   Those few moments of inattention gave him time to get out of the yard again, run up the street and meander around in their back yard trying to get back UNDER their fence.  I walked him home again but this time he went in the cat carrier till I could go get him the dog crate.  It is going to be down in the 20's tonight possibly.  It appears that he won't stay in the yard or the dog house at night if he has an escape route.  He seems fine in the day time but must just get lonely at night.  I would only use the crate at night or if there is bad weather and he needs to come in.

I hate having to contain him but I honestly do not know another way.  He can see me, less whimpering, and I can get him out for feeding, walks and romps in the backyard but you better believe he is not going to have access to that hole unattended.  I parked myself on the milk crate and took him off the leash to romp around twice since I got him back home.  He does not seem to "get" that he is supposed to do his business while we were walking though and I was hoping he would .

 I've got to keep him separated from Skyler obviously.  I moved his food bowl into the master bedroom and the litter box into the master bathroom for now.  There was a bit of growling, Skyler humping up and staring and not venturing too far into the kitchen.  Guess we'll see what happens tonight and tomorrow.  Weather is supposed to be warming up to the 60's tomorrow whereas today, 40's (but feels like 30's) and now that it is getting later in the day, the sun is coming out.  Weather dude says that will give the cold front a chance to drop the temps like a rock.

Other than pet related activities. I have not done a whole lot today.  I had barely started the blog hop yesterday--looking at the first two blogs---so I got caught up with the girls today.  It occurs to me that I have to prepare my blog post for late, late Wednesday "go live"  and all I have are the crappy pictures I took last week.  After two days and about 2.5 inches of rain it is pretty soggy out in the yard.  You would not believe what I have tracked in on my shoes, or maybe you would.  I seriously need to dust up (ugh, yellow pollen) the house, sweep, vacuum and mop!!  But will I procrastinate?  oh, I think you know the answer to that one, LOL.

BUT I would rather sew, of course.  2nd column is now done.  Third one is pinned but not stitched.  Maybe tonight?