Dec 27, 2006

laid back days

At left, Pippi, of course, but on her sewing room perch. She still likes the bedroom one best but at the moment is doozing atop my pillows---smart girl, she is on the softer one. If you look close you can see the backyards of the subdivision. Not much of a view past those overgrown bushes.

Not a lot going on around here. I guess I am still in holiday mode in a way and just doing some handwork on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The sampler quilt is parked on the sewing table all neatly folded and inviting for kitty snoozes---it is not going anywhere. I really have NOT been in the mood to wrestle with it. It's my quilt, there is no rush for completion. Not like the commissioned quilts and facing a deadline where I had to push myself through those when I was sick for two plus weeks. Now I can kick back and take it easy before the donation quilts push start up again in a couple weeks.

DJ and I had a nice Christmas meal---leftover ham is in the freezer for some future meals but ground up for ham loaf and chunked up for omelets, breakfast pizza, whatever. I made Ham Scrap Casserole for supper and promised to make something that DIDN"T contain ham tomorrow night, LOL.

We watched some holiday themed movies two nights in a row. It is rare for me to sit/stay out in the living room for long. He put a brighter bulb in the lamp and moved it to a better position so I could work on my hand stitching. It is hard for me to just SIT---I feel like I am wasting time. It is rare too that we could agree on what to watch---his tastes run to sports and action/drama movies but he was good and didn't do a lot of channel surfing in between on the one we watched on commercial TV.

This is what I have been working on--the bluework snowmen. A redwork list that I co-own had gotten permission to use these blocks this past year if we handstitched them. They are still available online HERE but are meant to done by machine. Norma and I are going to challenge each other to make these this next year. I had the January one done already and teeny bit of the February one done. Obviously it is finished now and I finished the March one this morning. I prepped the rest of the blocks for the year yesterday. The blocks will be trimmed down from the 11 1/2 inch squares that they are at present. I had to laugh when I went to print May through December. Out it came page length high--enough time had elapsed that I had forgotten that I had told the printer to print at a height of 8 inches and scaled the width in proportion to it.

Before I had started back to quilting my 30's sampler I had thought about getting this little Santa redwork
finished up. It just needs a pieced border done but obviously I made a different choice of what I wanted to work on. Now I am starting to think of other options. In May I had finished Betsy' adapted Oxmoor house Christmas quilt top but I also have one of my own started that I had also redesigned in EQ. At the moment I am leaning towards possibly combining these two projects into my version of that quilt. It is a combination of all different sized blocks and techniques. Why not??
The feathered star block was the original one I was going to pass around for the round robin. I substituted the fall themed one and set this aside for my own use. I can see using this instead of the Memory block or another Christmas star. Or not, LOL.

I am narrowing down my Top 12 choices of personal projects that I would like to move along this year--hopefully one a month. Depending on which one I chose, it could putting borders on and pinning the top, completing the quilting, finishing the top to "flimsy" stage. I've got 10 listed so far and maybe that is a more realistic number knowing me.

If I don't post again before we leave for our family gathering in Tennessee, I wish all of you the best of everything in 2007. Happy New Year!

Dec 24, 2006

Christmas pics

Navity set made by my mom

Lights in the Brookwood Subdivision Anniston, AL

More lights

House off Saks Road--jam packed with stuff as is the house next door. Sometimes the other houses have no lights as their neighbor lights things up enough for the whole neighborhood, it would seem.

House a few blocks from us---surprised that you can't see if from here, LOL

Brookwood again--I was trying to show how they light up the curbing too--almost like an airport runway

Brookwood subdivision again--somehow the lights look golden --actually are mainly little white lights

Dec 22, 2006

Seasons Greetings!

A friend sent this in an email along with a poem--good ol Maxine! I don't have any quilting pictures to show but we did set up the Nativity set today. Maybe I'll get a shot of that for next post. Still, Happy Holidays to all my readers out there in Bloggerland.
I took yesterday and today off from quilting with 5 more blocks of my 30 block sampler to go. The ones that are left are at the dead center of the quilt and harder to get at. My back, shoulders, wrists and elbows are thanking me for the reprieve, LOL. It's my own personal quilt and it has waited this long, after all. Oh, for a picture of the completed top I had to go back to June of this year but it can be viewed HERE. I told you that my own stuff gets pushed to the back burner.
So what have I been doing? Playing too many games of Superior Canfield on the computer but I have also been working through some of the lessons in the EQ6 book. Since I have owned versions 4 and 5 prior to this, some of it is review but it is helping me to be more familiar with the new set up and some of the improvements they have made in the program. I'm up to patch draw now and I have to admit that I haven't done much of that but then I don't often applique either. Just for practice in drawing and working with EQ I had once drawn up all the small blocks in the Dear Jane book so there was a little bit involved there--not the triangular pieced blocks though. Think I have lost what remaining marbles I had left??? Later I bought the Dear Jane CD when it was released and sold my book.
DJ finally got a haircut, Pippi nailed the curtains and her perch in the bedroom when she got sick yesterday so some laundry......a whole lot of nothing, in other words. Thinking about the holiday menu for Monday and egg nog lattes. I am enjoying listening to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music on the computer media player. Later tonight DJ and I plan to drive around in our area and look at the Christmas lights. One subdivision near the golf course decorates everything in white lights including the curbing---it is just gorgeous so we will probably head over there and passed a couple of houses nearby that really are jam packed with displays.
It is pretty quiet out in bloggerland, no doubt because people may be traveling or preparing for the big weekend events. No snow in Alabama to make it a white Christmas but that is all right with me. We have had a couple of moist gray days with some rain last night instead. Word is that there was an accident down near the mall this morning with a fatality--that place is an accident waiting to happen even without wet and slick roads. Sad.
Be careful out there.

Dec 19, 2006

Tuesday check in

I took two days off from any piecing and quilting but couldn't quite decide just what I wanted to work on---ah, too many choices. I thought about finishing up my Santa redwork piece that has hung in the sewing room for so long it has become part of the landscape. (Dec. 99 APQ mag if you got it in your library) All it needs is the pieced border, after all. Nope, don't feel like dealing with little bitty sew and then cut HST's. Next though--some 7 inch pineapple log cabin blocks that I piddle with every once in a while---scrappy and a good choice for the odd bits and strips. Nope, I like foundation piecing but just not quite in the mood for that either. Odd since I would rather piece.

You can see what I ended up doing but with some obstacles, LOL. Pippi was up on the quilt and testing it out before it hits the bed at some point---not once but twice. Since then she has been cycling around the room---on the project basket, on her OWN quilt on the cutting/pressing table and now on her perch. I had quilted a few blocks some time back and set the whole thing aside to do, I don't remember, but in the meantime it has stayed parked on top of the armoire. I counted up the status when I quit for the night---15 of 30 blocks are quilted but I think I might go back and do a tad of hand quilting in some of the block centers. The 4 inch block at center of a few of the blocks is begging for a little flower or something and I probably will hand quilt the cable around the outside edge that I would like to do----or NOT, LOL. I want this on the bed sometime!! So does the cat apparently.

I delivered the 3 commissioned quilts this morning and ran several errands before coming home just before lunch. Vaughn had gotten a couple of large gift bags to put the SEC quilts in so I helped him get the right quilt in the right bag and gave him a suggestion on how to add the tissue paper around them. He called the office staff in to see the quilts laid out on the conference room table. This was interesting to me when we got to the t-shirt quilt since I got a little more of the stories behind the shirts. I had commented that he must have been saving them for this day most of his son's life since they ranged from child's small to adult medium to large--from little league clear up to high school activities and interests. I guess this is total surprise for the young man---apparently he did not realize that his shirts were missing yet.

So it was fun going around the webrings and other friend's blogs yesterday and catching up---everyone getting ready for the holidays, be it Christmas or Hannukah. I never did get around to putting any decorations up but I'm okay with that. Not sending any Christmas cards either or doing any baking. No shopping as we don't exchange gifts and the adults opted out of the Christmas drawing some years ago. DJ takes care of his own cards and whatever he does for her grandson. Children are what make the holidays fun--seeing the excitement and wonder in their eyes. It will be a special day because I am spending it with DJ and will make us a special meal.

I am excited about getting together with my family for our family gathering and crossing my fingers that the weather behaves itself. My brother, sister-in-law and niece have invited us all to Tennessee the weekend after next. We have quite a few of the family in the medical related field so it has always been a juggling act to get the hospital shift workers schedules to mesh. I used to be one of them. Then one sister and I moved out of state and now, one brother. DJ has agreed to go along with me---boy, he better!! Pippi will be okay with a full bowl of food and fresh water when we leave. Might appreciate us more when we get home too.

Guess that's about it for now----

Dec 17, 2006

free at last

I took the last stitches in the three commissioned quilts yesterday at about 2:30. I knew that I wanted to get a picture of the T-shirt quilt and had a batting roll to deliver to the church along with our hanging pole set up so off I went to our meeting place. OH OH. Something was going on in the fellowship hall but some cars were leaving as I pulled up so I thought that I had come 12 plus miles and wasn't going to turn back around. Of course, I was not dressed for company--sweat pants and an old baggie shirt, ponytail, no makeup--I hadn't really planned on leaving the house, after all.

They were all busy taking group pictures by that time and I snuck into the closet with our supplies so I don't know that anyone spotted me coming in. The first person I talked to said they were celebrating someone's 100th birthday and pointed me to the one in charge. Could I lay out my quilt since I had already driven that far and get a picture quick?? Sure, she says. Unfortunately, my batteries had just run out-----argh. I gotta start either carrying a new set of batteries in my purse or get a 2nd set that I can recharge. One of the fellows there took pity and took a couple shots of it for me (bless you, Mike!!) and emailed them to me this morning. Some of the ladies came over to see what I had laid out on the floor. See below.

Judy asked what the problem had been that I had to re-do sections of the t-shirt quilt binding sewn on by the longarmer. First, I don't know if this is standard practice for a long armer but it was trimmed off right to the edge. When I machine quilt I leave at least an inch of the batting, backing all around before I put on the binding. Then I don't have to worry about the two layers shifting as I stitch around the outside. She is in the habit of putting the binding on the back and pulling it to the front and machine stitching it down so I had to tell her how to do the mitered corners and have her apply it the OPPOSITE of what she normally would feel comfortable doing. SO what happened, there were several places were the top pulled away from the edges and the binding did not catch---raw fabric exposed. The biggest problem was the big pleats one side. I was taught to do this with the walking foot on--makes sense to me as it "quilts" the edge. She did not but as I said, she may have had a machine with the differential feed built in. I had to cut the binding apart and add in a section to make up about an inch to inch and 1/2 of the quilt---just wasn't good BUT it is fixed now. All three of the quilts will be delivered Tuesday at 10.

Today I took the day off from any stitching, hand or machine, and concentrated on doing my Home Extension and Bama Belles treasury job. Push a little paper around and deal with the piled up mail. Stayed up way too late last night reading a new to me author Jennifer Crusie Bet Me Our public library has a couple other titles by her so I'll track another book down when I go in for quilt delivery date. Just going to kick back and spend a quiet evening--maybe give DJ that haircut I told to NOT even think about with all that binding hanging over my head last week. Errands tomorrow and maybe get busy on finishing up my Santa redwork piece---or not, LOL.

Dec 14, 2006

Friday check in/replies

Wahoo, done with all three of the quilts except for inserting the labels. I just got the email with the text that goes on those, prepared the document and printed it. The literature varies on how long you need to let the ink set up but I'll give it till tomorrow afternoon before it hits the Bubble Jet Rinse. We set the delivery date and time as well. By now I am mightily sick of binding--never my favorite part of the process to begin with--and to spend the better part of 5 days time doing it? Well, the best part is that it is almost done. It will be so nice to have my life back instead of nose to the grindstone with deadline stuff.

As I was pressing back the binding on the t-shirt quilt I spotted some areas that needed to be taken apart and re-done--most of the first side actually and some other smaller spots on all but one side. I told DJ this at lunch yesterday and got a rather odd reaction. Like killing the messenger?? "Why do you let people do the work if they aren't going to do it right and you have to fix it?" HUH??? She is a professional quilter so I didn't think I would HAVE to. She didn't use a walking foot but maybe her machine had one built into it--some do. I guess all that bellyaching about the round robin debacle carried over or something.

Because the t-shirt quilt is almost a king, I got a brain storm to make more room to spread the thing out so I could work on the binding. I took the machine out of the sewing table and cleared all the sewing toys off of it. I turned it around for face the bookshelves so I could keep the attached light source to my left and then use desk light to my left and be seated directly below the over head light. Dark charcoal gray binding is NOT easy on the eyes. I put the forward table in front of it so help hold the quilt and still had the desk to the right for support as well. Actually reversed the whole thing from the direction I face when I quilt. Could even see the TV for a change and watched a couple of the ones I had DVR'd as I worked yesterday.

Amy, I don't know where Judy got her quilt hanger but it is entirely possible that her husband rigged this up for her. He is one of the those fellows that can do about anything he sets his mind to--carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, etc etc etc. I will ask her though next time I see her.

Conray is the one that we put to work trying to figure out what to do about a hanging method for the group quilts. Not that I am tired of them wearing tennis shoes and feet and/or hands sticking out as one of the Belles joked. It would be nice to have them hang straight, LOL. I've got a 6 foot bar in my car along with some curtain type rings with a clip similiar to what Judy used on her quilt to take over to the church along with a big roll of batting. (I'm heading over next week so I can get a shot of the commissioned quilts on the floor there. ) We can set the whole deal over the doorway and open and close them as needed to accomodate all but the widest of quilts. Those will probably have us standing on chairs and taking cockeyed quilt pictures still.

Veronica had asked if I would post the recipe for my quick and easy Mulligatawny Soup. Be happy to! I love soup! We have soup and stews a lot, even in the summer if it "sounds" good and the house is not roasting. I think it is one of the best things I make. Depending on what it is, I don't enjoy chasing the contents around in a bunch of liquid and make them fairly thick. LOL, DJ says if I were cooking for a restaurant, we would go broke serving it that way but fortunately it is just the two of us and enough for several servings and often something for the freezer. Poor guy had a can of chunky soup one evening while I was gone and not cooking--he told me how spoiled he had become for my homemade stuff. Off hand compliment.
Because it calls for about 2 cups or so of cooked diced chicken meat, you might want to consider using leftover turkey instead for a post holiday meal. (I used a rotisserie chicken because all of mine was rock hard frozen and this was a last minute meal) Most ingredients are probably something that you are already have on hand. I didn't really measure anything but the seasoning when I made this. Add more water if you need it and like yours thinner.

2 cans of chicken broth
1 can of water
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped--I use Granny Smiths for the tartness plus they don't mush down
1 14-0z. can of diced tomatoes, with the liquid
a couple of carrots peeled and sliced or chopped--about a cup
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup long grain rice (not Minute Rice), uncooked
1/4 cup raisins
1 tbsp of snipped fresh cilantro or parsley---dehydrated parsley works fine but use a bit more
1 teaspoon or more of curry powder
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coriander (optional)
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked chopped or diced chicken
(probably don't need any salt--with the broth and if you use rotis. chicken)

Combine all but the cooked meat in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Stir in the chicken to heat through. Makes 4 to 8 servings depending on whether it is a side dish or meal serving.

Christmas party, part 2

A few more pictures to share from the Christmas party. Judy's home was decorated for the holidays and the tables set beautifully in the "sunporch" that overlooks the woods and the lake. Each place setting had a pomander (picture below) for us to take home matching the gold charger and the gold colored floral piece that she had fastened around it for a napkin (cloth) ring. I should have taken a picture of the tables! Fresh rose floral arrangements on all the tables too.

Judy had purchased this cute arrangement at craft sale---set up on a man's cane

The tomato cage Santa that she found last year--I was trying to tell Mel about this around Halloween so will need to direct her over here to see this. Every quilter should have one of these!!

The pomanders (I've got Linda S's too--yum smell with the cloves)
Jane in the foreground with Judy's "Monticello" quilt in the back---Jinny Beyer pattern

Pippi playing with the tissue paper around a gift Aline had given me

And, the contents of said package, LOL once she got off the package
The "little kitty" nest is set up with one of the SEC quilts that I had completed along with towel covering it. Mostly this is to give her a spot to lay which in NOT on the one I was working on. Spoiled rotten kitty! I can be delusional and think it is on MY terms. Both SEC's are now done except for the opening left for the label---I need to call him to finalize the text for the t-shirt quilt so I can print all three at once.
Veronica, I'll post the mulligatawny recipe on my next post. It would be good with turkey too so might be a good post-holiday meal when you are trying to come up with alternative ways to use the leftovers.

Dec 13, 2006

Challenge quilts and parties

We had a lovely potluck lunch at our friend Judy's house yesterday. A few folks could not make it and couple were running a bit late but it was good to sit and visit. Good food and good company in a lovely setting. Judy sets up the tables in the room that overlooks a lake--just feels so serene out in the country.

The last thing that we did before heading home was have show and tell of the butterfly challenge quilts that were to the "flimsy" stage or completed. There are a few more out there but I think we will do this again. I had thought that the butterflies would probably go to the Presbyterian Children's Home since they might be a little more "girl" themed but a couple of them could really go either way.

Beverly's--2 patch, 4 patch and 8 patch
Carolyn did an Album Cross with the butterflies as the cornerstones and block centers. Traditional pattern. Fleeta is inspecting on the left ( Linda S is the barefoot one, LOL)

Our lovely hostess Judy holding my Mom's Dandy quilt--not sure who is on the other end hiding. We decided we all could see them better if they hopped on the fireplace mantel. Traditional pattern.

Judy holding Lois' Log cabin--I'll show more of the quilt on the wall in my next post. Traditional pattern.

My challenge quilt but some of you may have seen it already. Interlocking Squares from Trudie Hughes Crib Quilts book.

Theramae Butterflies--Marsha McCloskey pattern from Quilts for Katie Rose
I think DJ and I have finally turned the curve on this cold and cough stuff---been two weeks. I finally got a decent night's rest while his may have been a side effect of his cough syrup, LOL. Pippi came charging in the room about 6:30 and twanging the blind so after a few minutes of her kitty kisses etc, I just got up since that was what she so obviously wanted. I had thrown a load of clothes in the washer when I went to bed so got started with laundry earlier than usual so now I'm done earlier than usual.
No cooking last night but now I need to come up with something quick for lunch. We have been eating too many sandwiches lately since I've not been interested in cooking. A dash to grocery store for some rotis chicken (all mine is frozen) and an apple so I can make a pot of mulligatawny soup. Easy, peasy. Then back to binding---only got short side done yesterday after I got home. Actually, not quite that much---Pippi parked on it and the last six inches were not even done. The sleeve is sewn down though if that counts at all. Hope my arthritic-y hands will hold up!
A couple of readers have been telling me that they are having problems commenting. I am not sure but they may not have made the switch to beta yet? From what I was reading on the dashboard notes it sounds like the beta part is going to be over soon and we all should have made the switch. I know it is annoying to keep signing in on beta so I hope once they have everyone on the same wave length that will be eliminated. The blogger sign on will be obsolete or already is with beta anyway. If you tell it to "remember" me, by golly, it should!!
Next post: some pictures of Judy's Christmas decor---a really cute tomato cage Santa, etc.

Dec 12, 2006

a repeat--well, maybe not so much

Nadine wondered about and commented on the unusual basket pattern on the quilt Pippi was laying on in my last post. Not the best pictures since they were scanned from a photo and resized but here you go, Nadine! I had shown this previously on my "lost" blog so for anyone reading THAT long ago, this is a repeat.

New readers--this is my wedding quilt that my mom took to the hand quilters almost immediately after I told her that we were getting married a week later. We had been in a long committed relationship for 21 years at that point so no doubt no one ever expected us to tie the knot---finally it was time! Can't say that I didn't know what I was getting into, LOL.

I am afraid that neither of us knows the pattern source but we call it "Falls City Basket" as we saw it in an antique store in Falls City, Nebraska where my grandmother was living at the time. The closest I can see in BlockBase is # 674 where it is found in a book edited by Ruth McKendry called Quilts and Other Bedcoverings in the Canadian Tradition. (Von Nostrand, Reinhold, Toronto, 1979.) Another source is an Unnamed block from Old Chelsea Station # 5832 and 7477. This has a squatter basket and a longer pieced handle that that one. Mom drafted it later to use for a pass around quilt around the time I moved to Alabama so several of my quilting friends have blocks in there as well. I DID make her two blocks for the quilt though---little did I know that they would later be returned to me, LOL. Pippi has gotten some spots on that lovely white so I don't put this on my bed a whole lot though I love the quilt. It is just the right weight for sleeping under and one of the few that completely covers my bed.

We married in January of 99--just the two of us and the local Methodist minister. The church secretary took a few wedding pics for us. What you don't see is that I had taken off my heels by this time. First because they were killing my feet and 2nd, I would have been as tall as DJ. Silly me, I took the best print of us and made copies to send to everyone as an annoucement---didn't even notice that stocking feet till much later when it was too late. Of course, we got all the ribbing about keeping me "barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen" Mom said that she had kicked off her shoes for the studio shots in her wedding gown.

We traveled back to Illinois for a visit in May or June of that year and by then the quilt was ready. My family hosted a little wedding reception for us. (I've got hard copy pics of us with the wedding cake but would have to scan those and don't have time right now.) My siblings purchased a golf package for us at Sea Palms Resort on St. Simon's Island near Brunswick, Georgia for a honeymoon trip. Cashed that in November of 99. In January we had gone down to Montgomery for a few days and stayed at a Bed and Breakfast there and toured several of the Alabama capitol sites. A honeymoon and a "2nd honeymoon" all in the same year, LOL.

I need to hop in the shower and throw my potluck contribution in the oven. The Belles Christmas party is today and I am to pick on of the girls up who lives near me. On a present quilting "check in"---I took the binding up yesterday for the t-shirt quilt and the long armer insisted on putting it on right then to spare me another trip back. I just killed some time in the shop chatting with her and looking at fabric. Then came home and managed to get one of the SEC quilts bound minus an opening for the label. Dad didn't get back to me about what he wanted on his son's quilt and I want to print all three at the same time.

Well, you will know where to find me------sitting in front of the computer, binding my fingers off. I am shooting for these three to be out of my house (and off the hamper top) by Monday the 18th if at all possible. I've been reading your blogs but not commenting as my fingers are otherwise occupied----catch up with you next week in that department. Busy, busy----all of us!

Dec 10, 2006

Sunday evening

Pippi on my wedding quilt
I finished up most of the quilting on the 2nd SEC quilt yesterday and today returned to finish up the banner part on both of them and prepped the hanging sleeve sections. Just finished attaching the binding on both and decided that was enough for the day. When I started on Thursday, I hope to be at this point----and I am.
The t-shirt quilt is done at the long armer quilters but she called late Saturday to ask if I wanted her to put on the binding---which is at my house. I needed it for the two SEC quils as well but will run it up to her tomorrow and then pick the quilt up by mid week. I'm going to be hand finishing binding the better part of the week, I'm afraid.
Norma and I were talking about our New Year's sewing goals since some of our deadline stuff is getting finished up---like, what is next on the calendar once the holiday sewing is done? Some time back we had talked about doing a UFO challenge in 2007 and hopefully get a "kit" a month to the flimsy stage or get a partially quilted project finished up or perhaps some cut squares from the stash turned into something usable.
I don't seem to have too much trouble finishing up the donation quilts but when it comes to my own personal stuff, it gets pushed to the back burner. I had suggested to Norma that maybe we need to make a list of the Top 12 things we would like to get done or moved along---like a project a month. I'm going to give that a bit more thought as I trudge through that binding.
One goal I have kept this year is NOT to make another big scrap basket. I spent three days cutting my way through a big pile earlier in the year and never again if I can help it. Today was an example---I made the sleeves out of the cutaways from the backing muslin and still had some fabric left so I cut that up into 3 1/2 inch squares for bowtie blocks. Last week when I cut squares for the "thank you" gift for the robin fill in person I cut some from me---if I couldn't get a 5 inch or 6 1/2 inch square out of the piece, then it was 3 1/2 and 2's for EZ bowties. Think purple bowties might look too girlie???
Guess that's about it--other then grocery shopping I've not really bee anywhere but that happens when you are quilting.

Dec 8, 2006

round robin 2--other group's projects

Interesting comments on the last robin--some had more appeal that others probably due to a preference in style or color. On my own, overall I really like it and do not want to sound ungrateful for the efforts made on my behalf. BUT I am not at all sure about the dark solid colored brown (ugh) border. The leaves are well done and since it is applique, it could be conceivably applied to something more pallatable to me. The string pieced stuff in the corners will definitely have to go though. For now I will set it aside and leave it intact for the quilt show next fall so the person who made the offending border will not be hurt. After that, it is my quilt and my choice. Actually the size is one of those that is too big for a wall hanging and too small for a full bed quilt so I may continue on with it----or not.

On a personal note, our expected guests opted to stay down in Florida another day or two when told about the cold snap that was due in (down to 16 here last night---brrrr) and that fact that they would take a chance on re-infection of creeping crud if they came here. Good choice, LOL. Catch you next time. I went to our meeting place this morning to pin the 2nd SEC quilt and then came home and finished quilting the remaining blocks on the 1st one that I pinned earlier in the week---still have to do something about the banner part of the piece but I've had enough for today.

Ready for another round of pictures then--group two's robins? These, I thought, showed a bit more artistry. I like them all but probably Nancy's was the one that appealed to me most.

Janet's Nosegay floral theme

Deb's Lighthouse

Edna's Floral Batik theme

Nancy's Pineapple Country Theme

Betsy's Little Red Hen--quilt tells the story from the children's book

Sally's Souped Up Sue

Rita's Butterflies

Dec 6, 2006

round robin pics

As stated in my last posts, the round robins came home to roost last night so I have pictures to share--not sure how many blogger will let me add at one time so it may be scattered over a couple of other posts. DJ ended staying home since he still was not feeling up to dinner out if he couldn't come straight home after the meal. I didn't get back till about 8:30 so that might have been a better plan. These are the ones in my own group--next time I'll share the ones from the other group of 7. I apologize in advance for the picture quality in some cases. The quilts were getting so big that it took two people hold them and the variances in their heights left for some lopsided quilts. I tried to straighten some of that up in Picassa and it made for chopped off quilts.

My Fall themed robin
(I have some opinions about this but will keep them to myself right now)

Aline: Oriental Theme

Pat: Honey Bee theme

Lauren: Grandmother Flower Garden

Mildred: Floral (and she is the one who loves all that dark fabric--ironic, huh?)

Karen: Batik Brights

Gary: Civil War Theme (this time off the BR floor)

Dec 5, 2006

not much happening

Pippi on her scratchy box. One of her little safe spots to be that is out in the open. They sent her home from the animal shelter with one of these almost 10 years ago. The mouse is largely ignored though she used to routinely toss and throw them around, many times losing them under the opening at the coffee table base. The little blue thing sticking up at the end of the box is rubbery tennis shoe shape that came with some Reeboks that I stuck a little chain through for more dangle enticement. She will pluck that out of the edge of the box and drag it up the hallway to me like a mouse she has caught, mewing all the way. She doesn't do this as often as she used to but still enough to make me laugh at where I might find it in the morning

Not much happening here--the creeping crud symptoms continue but perhaps a better night's rest. I mostly feel like someone ran a weight up and down the length of my body and have zip energy. Yesterday I managed to cut up a bunch of my purple fabrics in either 6 1/2 inch squares or 5 inch nickels for the "thank you" for the fill in person in our round (and some for me as well) . Actually I needed to find space for some of that round robin/fats purchases from last month-- this method seemed as good as any. Can't bring anything else in here without using something else up first. Some got tossed (poly cotton or just sick of that piece) but I have a nice pile of bowties cut and some 2 inch strips to add to the strip basket.

Other than that, just pressed miles of binding for the commissioned quilts and two WTIL tops. Took a nap which I rarely do--DJ was so sweet and came in and put a throw over me. (I was on the bed fully clothed so I had not pulled up the covers) Today I am going to make myself go pin these SEC quilts in a few minutes since I unearthed the batting rolls from the sewing room closet. I doubt I will feel much like quilting them once I get home. As far as I know, our guests are due back sometime tomorrow evening for a couple of days. If my husband gets the phone call, I wish he would discourage them from coming and let them get up to their son's house in NC a little quicker. We are both not well and he has no business dragging out to the golf course for 2 rounds of 18 holes in the cold weather mornings. It might get up to 40 or 50 by afternoon but it is supposed to be below freezing most of the week. Neither of us has the energy to want to clean up the house again either.

Tonight is the round robin pass off thing. DJ was going to go with me for the BBQ but he didn't want to stay long. It will take some time to show the quilts so I am guessing that he will decide to stay home if he doesn't feel any better than he does this morning. I can't blame him and can't help but wonder how many of the spouses are going to show up anyway. I'm going to take my digital camera so I should have some pictures to share--there are 14 quilts so not all in one post anyway. You haven't even seen the ones from the other group of 7--just the ones I have had in my possession minus one from Aline who might check my blog.

DJ had to run the neighbor down to the gas station and left instructions for me to pull the clothes out of the dryer about NOW so best get going. I guess whites were getting low, LOL.

(Norma, I think I got the email thing straightened out now? Let me know--I knew the setting was okay in one spot but forgot about the profile thing. Changed the picture while I was at it too)

Dec 3, 2006

KISS philosophy

All finished with the round robin as of about 8:30 p.m Saturday. Just missed crossing it off my November goals list by two days. No matter though--it is done now. Actually I did pretty well at reaching my goals this past month. I kept it simple for December though--mostly centering around the commisssion completion, maybe complete a long neglected redwork piece for a UFO completion later in the month--just for me. KISS philosophy there too.

Okay, it measures 64 1/2 inches square and I think my addition helps tie it together. Simple enough to frame the piece and leave some area for quilting. I cut the length of the bias binding that I had on hand into fourths and that was a long as this thing was going to be, LOL. One time when overcutting/sewing paid off as it is the same stuff I used in a previous applique round Not quite completely around the quilt but close.

Colorwise, the dark paper bag print goes with the center and that SW flavored background. The green is repeated in the bricks area and on closeups the inner row of stars. The reds range from burgundy to rust in this thing and probably go best with the brick round as the print is similiar in tone and style. I am relying on the theory that all reds together there. The gold flower centers centers is similiar to the 2nd row of friendship stars and the Carpenter wheel center. I blanket stitched around those though to give it some more texture--cut that small the marbled effect of the fabric was lost. I used that same fabric on the "wrong" side on a batik themed round seen HERE (the other round where I had to re-sew for two days to get it to lay down)

I know that I have been complaining a lot about this whole robin thing and that was purely from frustration. In retrospect I wish that I had not agreed to do it in the first place. I made time for it and neglected other things to work on it. I was going to be the fill in person if someone dropped out --someone always does and it didn't take long either when one moved out of state. But Gary wanted 7 in the group and I got pressed into service sooner than planned. Elaine had some good points in a comment she left on a previous post that one should not expect perfection from the previous participants. Honestly I didn't--and I try hard not to criticize someone's work and give suggestions only if asked for. What I DID expect is some improvement along the way which didn't come. I should have been looking at it as a learning experience and accept it as a challenge of blending my work with theirs--pretty tall order. I agree, in part , with what she said but I also think that it would not hurt for someone to try to cut and sew a little more accurately. I could have done with a little less challenge, LOL. I DID learn that I don't hate applique all that much anymore if the edges are already turned down in some manner--does that count for anything??

So I'm free from this albatross with the exception of the journal note which seems to be missing from the project box. What's next? Purple nickel cutting for the fill in person's "thank you". I really need to pin the two SEC quilts but that will wait till Monday when the church is not in session. Who knows what they may have planned for the facility this afternoon it being the holiday season? I probably will go ahead and get groceries a day early to keep the day open for that detail. I want all those commissioned stuff out of my house by the 18th if possible. The t-shirt quilt is supposed to be ready for pickup sometime next week but will have to be bound by me.

Our guests are not slated to return till sometime Wednesday. Sure hope DJ and I are feeling a lot better by then--right now I would say we should almost be quarantined. Phyllis would not need to be re-infected after just having a spell of it herself. The Nyquil purchased in desparation yesterday didn't help much. I know that there are far worse things than a cold/flu but when you are miserable and cannot sleep, it is hard to think what that might be. It will pass soon enough. It is human nature to complain and I am all too human lately, LOL.

I had a picture of Pippi to share but blogger is not behaving for pic upload--well, I had it up there once but one was the dreaded red X and when I tried to delete it, both of them disappeared. Beta was doing better with the photo upload business so must have just hit it at the wrong time. I had to copy the code from my play blog to even load the robin pic and Picassa loaded it--that hadn't been working with beta. HMMM. Here it is after I tried Norma's suggestion. She was about falling out of her perch for neck and chin scratches.

Dec 1, 2006


How could that be? It's Friday already and time to flip the calendar over to another month. Next thing you know it will be '07.

I'm still plugging on the round robin--yesterday was finish up the leaves, the flower centers and piece the flowers. The block at left is 3413 Eight Points in a Square from KC Star. I wanted the points to be finished off for applique so I blunted off the template and made it slightly longer so I wouldn't have to worry about the center circle not covering it. Well, that part would not have mattered anyway as I cut it bigger to start with. The motif finished at about 3 inches so those little tumblers folded in half are about too small for my big 'ol fingers. Stiletto to the rescue.
The "red" fabric that I had hoped to use will not work with what sits next to it--those burgundy and navy squares--so I had to dig into my stash. A piece of my prized Smithsonian reproduction "Grooms Fabric" from the late 90's was cut into for two strips. It has a burgundy like background and picks up on the fabrics used in the bricks round. The flower centers are like the fabrics in the stars round and his center while the green vine goes well with the bricks too. Should be okay--not my favorite but at this point it will do.

The vine and leaves are basted down so I can start stitching on those but the flower parts are parked here on my desk. I'll get started after lunch basting them in place. Then my fingers best get to flying on THAT instead of the computer keyboard.

Gary called the other day to see if DJ would be accompanying me to the Round Robin finale thing--spouses are invited. They are catering in BBQ from one of the county's restaurants that provides that service so he needed a head count. I told him that my commission work had kept me from getting started on his robin any sooner and that I lost two days just straightening it out. I am trying to get it done but it might be like that Christmas box with fabric and a pattern in it---hand it back to let me finish up. Tuesday evening will be coming around too soon. I really do hope that I am done by Sunday night though.

Sometime between now and Tuesday I need to cut some purple nickels as a "thank you" for the person who filled in for the girl that moved. Gary had wanted us to make some 12 inch blocks but no color, theme or whatever specified. When he said she liked "purple" I told him I KNEW which quilt (the Vestibule or Morning Star quilt in Nickel Quilts) she wanted to make and giving her the nickel squares would be far more meaningful and useful to her than some block that she had to find a use for. He said it would be okay, not that I wanted his permission about anything at this point, but he was going to make a block anyway. I told Ada about that idea and she was quite excited about that--oh yes!! that would be far better than any old block in any old color. I know at least two others in my group will do the same. She was buying background fabric at Joann's when we took that field trip to Douglasville, GA last month. Better than making a block but when time is closing in, I am wondering why I was making more work for myself, LOL. It will get done or she gets the strip I have cut already with an IOU.

All this is hampered by the fact that I feel awful and have since Wednesday. Our guest was coughing his fool head off and said that his wife was sick at home as well. Now DJ and I both are coughing, blowing, sniffling--gee thanks, Herb. I don't know where else I could have gotten it as except for errands I have not been around anyone but DJ. I've barely been out of th house lately. My throat feels like some had a rasp in there, sleep is even more disjointed than usual--in a word, miserable. It will pass but I just want to crawl back in bed and stay there.

That cold front that dropped all those pretty snow pictures on your blogs is on its way in here. Probably no precip with it, thankfully, but they say we will struggle to reach 40 over the weekend. Even more reason to be home, right?

Nov 28, 2006

wrestling a bear

It has taken the better part of a 24 hour period to get this round robin to this point. First viewed in this post when I asked for your help. I don't think you can tell just how wobbly it was on the outside edges.

I re-sewed the seams that were pulling apart, taking slightly bigger seams. Then I stay stitched it all around the outside as the fabric was raveling and I did not want to have to patch up more opening seams.

My mom had called to see if my day was going any better than yesterday. Well, that was good question as I had just discovered that I was Still a half inch off in either direction. She suggested doing an easing stitch like one would do in garment making--Cher and Pam concurred. It helped square it up but there are a few spots where I had to just trim out a quarter inch seam allowance on one side and re-sew to take up more so the borders will match up at the quarter points. What a giant pain! It is as squared up as it is going to get and laying down the best it will on the carpet.

Okay, the applique people will say that I should have done the applique off the quilt and mitered the corner. I know that is the normal course of action but it isn't happening with this thing. So what is next? Something simple like THIS like I did on Pat's quilt but without the bee hives and maybe less flowers. I have misplaced my templates for the dresden plates and the leaves but overcut the bias stuff on that round so should have enough to go around two opposing corners without cutting more.

Many of you have said that my experiences have kind of turned you off to the notion of making a round robin. Know the ones you work with, is all I can tell you and there are still no guarantees that it will all work out. My problem is that I had to follow someone who was an experienced seamstress but not necessarily a quilter. The seam allowance variances are enough for me to tell that, the fabric choices etc. Medallions are NOT for the accuracy in cutting and sewing challenged. This is the 2nd time I have had to really re-work something she has done. And look, it is a simple checkerboard that could be easily cut and sewn--should not be difficult, SIGH.

On a much happier note, I am going to get a new machine. My good ole Viking is going to be relegated to quilting or backup status. The timing is off yet again and will need service if I wish to sew with it or deal with a very short seam length. It will do okay with the walking foot on or at least this is the pattern we have gone through each year. The shop is about an hour away. I admit to being hard on my machine with all that quilting and charity quilt sewing, broken thread etc. You cannot open this to clean it out properly as the dealer is supposed to be the one who does it......blah, blah, blah.

Mom had mentioned a few months back that the Brother Pacesetter model she had was going to be closing out--those can be serviced here locally. I had been considering it or a baby lock that was a similiar model for that reason. I should have done something about it sooner but was saving up money for airfare to OR. She called the dealer for me today and I could get the model that replaced hers--Brother Innov-is (think that's right) NX450. Pam and Cher said that a working machine was more important; I should get it first and then start saving up again for my future trip. Mom will float me a loan for the balance and I should be able to bring it back with me when we gather for our family Christmas at my brother's home in the Nashville area. Thanks, Mom!

Our guest is staying over another night. I didn't have to cook tonight though I was prepared to make some chicken enchiladas if I had to. Sometimes he wants to go out but no one said anything when they left this morning for the golf course. Popped the chicken in the crockpot and it can wait if not needed. DJ, I knew would want to see part of the Illinois basketball game if possible and I needed to keep stitching. We got pizza instead.

Guess that's about it---applique prep tomorrow........the quilt that keeps annoying