Sep 29, 2007

Happy dancing! I am done with my part of the row robin and ready to mail as soon as the local post office opens today. As planned I finished piecing the three blocks that remained on Wednesday. Thursday, I concentrated on appliquing down the stems, leaves and the flower centers. I decided to buttonhole stitch around the flower centers with two strands of floss though as I thought it added a bit of texture to the Poinsettia centers.

I love the piece of pine needle fabric I found for the setting triangles. A few weeks ago Judy L mentioned an online shop that specialized in Christmas fabrics called the Christmas Cloth Store . Thanks, Judy! Because I was not sure that I had enough of what I thought I might use in my stash, I went over posthaste to check it out. The pattern showed a warm brown tone piece but I wasn't so crazy about that idea. I found some snowflake stuff that might work with my bluework snowmen blocks and this Maywood "Ho, Ho, Ho Pine Needles" in gold. It seemed to be the perfect choice with the block background fabric I had used. That is some of the yardage I got at the retreat in August, the red a piece from the yard sale earlier this month and the green, a Debbie Mumm from my stash that I probably had purchased for some fall raffle blocks. Not much stash busting there but at least some of it got used, if not used up.

My row measures 72.5 inches across so it was hard to get a good shot of it from across the room. I knew better than to ask DJ to hold it up though unless it was held sideways or something, LOL. But there it is........

So what do I want to work on today? HMMMM. I have 6 donation tops pinned but there is not a rush on any of them. I promised myself that I would work on something of my own for a change. Maybe some more 4 patch posie blocks?? Or that friendship star that I had been working on months ago and had to set aside--on my top ten list for all these months. So far back that I cannot even find it to refer back to?? No shortage of things I could sew or finish up. But you know what I really feel like doing today? Hand quilting some hearts on the Joanne BOM--at least for a little while.

I had to laugh at Pippi last night. I was working on the row so needed the pressing surface for something other than her pathway to the water bowl. She was just standing and appeared to be looking for something. Hey, there was no quilt for her to sit/lay on! As soon as I laid one down she was snuggling down and keeping me company. Is she spoiled or what?

Other than running a few errands yesterday, my morning walk and going back to the hairdresser to get the "Hooty Owl" look trimmed out from above my ears that is about it around here. It is probably too short now but DJ thought it looks better without the tufts. I was beginning to regret ever getting it cut in the first place so this IS an improvement.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend----

Sep 24, 2007

Caught up----temporarily

When I last posted, I had just begun some machine quilting. I did 6 large block Rising Star on Thursday. The picture links are in my last post for all but the snuggle up so the links are for the online patterns.

Friday I started off with a Snuggle Up with 6 inch squares and double border that Marilyn had made and donated. I followed that one up with a 4 x 6 block set of Faux Log Cabin and finished off the evening by doing the horizontal and vertical lines on Boot Scootin' Boogie in the Warm Wishes.

Saturday, it was back to the center rails on the Warm Wishes and next up the Hidden Spools By mid afternoon it was onto the last one, Cross Roads to Jerico (see the link to Nancy's original top--I don't see a pattern online)--now that one was a bit labor intensive since I only do ditch work but it was worth the effort even if it took me longer to do it than the other two.

Sunday---bound, labeled and trimmed all 6 of them so the Belles will have plenty of binding to keep them busy at tomorrow's meeting should they not want to pin some of the tops I have on hand.

LOL, no quilting today--I walked, ran a few errands, got my hair cut (short) and worked out some pictures that I can share with fall and/or Thanksgiving themed quilt blocks. You know how many blocks share the same name but can look completely different. This will be the case here. Turkey Tracks, Wild Goose Chase, Maple Leaf.........The numbers are the Brackman assigned numbers from BlockBase software or her book Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Blocks

Top row: Hickory Leaf or Oak Leaf #3110, Providence #1819 or 2920

2nd row: Duck Tracks (found it on Quilter's Cache), Peace and Plenty #1201

3rd row: Hearth and Home Quilt #3230, my attempt to draw Harvest Basket from the 365 Quilt Blocks a Year Calendar atop my computer---something is wrong and I can't color the danged handle so gave up for now

4th row: Spider Web (there are about 20 some blocks listed in BlockBase that have Spider in the Name so lots of choices there!), Corn and Beans #2486---six blocks with that one.

Moving onto the word "turkey"---all the ones in the right column are called "Turkey Tracks" BlockBase lists 7 of them but these are 1883, 3098 and 3109 from the top.

Left column Turkey Giblets #1305, I would call the next one "Bear Paw" but one of its alternate names is Illinois Turkey Track #1879 and the lat one, Turkey in the Straw #2782

Let's try geese named blocks

Top row: oh this is a good one Wild Goose Chase but alternate names are Ducks and Ducklings, Corn and Beans, Hens and Chicks---its all good, LOL #1859b--the other block is labeled 6-grid Wild Goose Chase in EQ

2nd row: Wild Goose Chase or Birds in Flight but they were flying the right direction till I rotated it #480, the other one also Wild Goose Chase #2051

3rd row: Flock of Geese #1321, more commonly called "Dutchman's Puzzle" but it is another Wild Goose Chase #1339a

4th row: Wild Geese #1692b, Whirling Geese (or Cyclone). You can google them--one is one the McCall's site online and the other Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day

Then there is the variety of maple leaves and its variations in spelling

Top row: The Maple Leaf #3736c, Maple Leaf or Autumn Leaves #1887

2nd row: Maple Leaf--that might have been one of the foundation pieced ones, and that other one is called Oak Leaf

3rd row: Maple Leaf #1740, Tesselated Oak Leaf--this started out in BlockBase as #1440 but I eliminated a couple of the extraneous lines

Other suggestions might be Autumn Tints 1103c or 1886, Autumn Star #4186---too many pieces on that one!, Hovering Hawks #1323, Puritan Maiden #2009 and another name for a Lemoyne Star is "Puritan Star Quilt" #3735b

Soooooo when I get those three Fall/Thanksgiving themed row robins coming through here it looks like I will have a lot of choices as this just touched the tip of the iceberg. There are 8 of us in the round this time including me so we will go a little longer and have 6 weeks between rounds. I sure don't want to do the same thing on all three of them as it will not keep their section a surprise when their buddies tops cycle through.

By Wednesday I will be back working on my own row to get those blocks finished up. They are supposed to be in the mail by the weekend. Will I make it?? Going to try but why or why did I procrastinate--guess I was just too busy with the donation work as usual. I think my pot roast is done so catch you later

Sep 21, 2007

some progress 'round here

I'm making some progress around here on that Christmas row----and otherwise, LOL. Two of the blocks are complete except for the appliqued bits and the other three have all the components done. There they are stacked and pinned down to my flannel workboard.

This is often how I work---print out a mock up of the block for reference and keep it right where I can see it. If it is a quilt, then I print that out too especially if I need to know how much sashing to cut, etc. This time since I was foundation piecing I needed to watch the sectioning so I did a screen shot of the EQ page that shows that prior to printing. I had to be mindful that not all those tips were red and mark the foundation as such.

Yesterday I prepped all the leaves and the little gold circles that will form the center of the flowers. The bias strips for the stems I did while I was working on the first block. I MAY use that old Jinny Beyer border stripe between my rows depending on what my rows turn out to be. I have owned this piece of fabric for a long time so this might be the perfect chance to use it in some manner, don't you think? Bust some stash? The pattern calls for a lot of red and white checkboard but I don't think the pattern needs to be slavishly followed--that's for inspiration. I am setting this aside for a few days though as I need to get a couple quilts quilted before our Tuesday meeting.

Yesterday afternoon/evening I quilted the other half of the Rising Star in those purples and teals that I love so much that Nancy sent us earlier this year. Well, HERE they are before I made them into two smaller quilts rather than one large one, including the Crossroads to Jericho and Boot Scoot Boogie that are in my "to quilt" stack. The original faux log cabin is HERE shown with its original border. That one is now living at the Boys Big Oak Ranch while the 2nd half is the one that I will be working on today--maybe a quick zoom lines one first though. I don't like having to change thread on the needle when I am on a roll quilting so decided that I am going to do something different this time---keep quilting however many I am going to do in the couple days and THEN do all the binding and label application as one step. Normally, I get that part done before I move onto the next quilt and have to stop to unthread/rethread in between. See how this goes.

I guess Sunday is the first day of fall. We have had a few cooler nights lately and have been able to forego a/c completely for two days and reduced time the last two. I don't have to get up quite so early either to avoid the heat and sun which is nice. I think we are in for some rain today though--a little muggy, overcast and a bit of a breeze blowing in. Maybe due to that approaching storm in the Gulf?? We still need it as our little burg is still under watering restrictions. The burn restrictions were lifted a month or so back, unfortunately so one of the neighbors is back to smoking up the neighborhood--then we have to close the windows and doors. Good bye fresh air. GRRRRRR

Good thing I did my grilling LAST night if we are due for more rain. We tried out a couple of the steaks that came in our meat package and yummy!! I fixed baked potatoes and since I had the oven on, blueberry peach cobbler. We also had the last of those green beans that the neighbor had brought us (I blanched and froze most of them at the time) and a tossed salad. All we needed was some yeast rolls and we might have thought we were out at a restaurant for a special occasion meal. I think DJ felt like he was a king last night eating that good as it normally doesn't happen. He does not often rave about my cooking but he specifically came back to the sewing room to thank me. Usually I only get that kind of high praise after a holiday meal. I am not saying this right---he doesn't take it for granted or anything but he is just USED to things being good that he just doesn't compliment me all the time about my efforts. AND if we have guests for dinner, he will not say "this is really good, Linda" in front of them and put them on the spot either. He might chime in and say, "she is a good cook" if they say something first.

I have no confidence when it comes to making steaks though---I always afraid I am going to ruin an expensive chunk of meat. A roast, no problem. Cheaper cuts, no problem. I may have told you this story before--my parents were gone on vacation and left us older three kids home as we all had to work--late teens. My brother Steve had bought a t-bone steak and asked me how he should cook it. Why I didn't consult a cook book I don't know---I would now--but I said that Mom always put the meat in before we went to church (obviously a roast) but I must have told him to put it on broil??? I will always remember his coming out like, an hour later, to see the last charred bit from the rack blow away with the wind. (Mom, there may have been a very good reason for all the potato peeling detail though I could make a mean fruit salad and stir ice cream custard pretty good then, LOL. Obviously I was NOT ready then but could follow instructions when told what to do.) Live and learn.............

Speaking of fall (LOL, several paragraphs ago I was---my mind is not going in a linear fashion today, is it?) Jeanne has been making some neat blocks lately, some with a decided fall theme. Three of the row quilts that I have coming up are fall/Thanksgiving themed so I had been looking for some appropriate blocks in BlockBase and have a list of some possiblilities if someone else doesn't use them before I do my part. I mentioned this to her in comments and Jeanne asked me to post what I had come with. I will next post, with thumbnails---this quilting isn't going to give me any blog fodder for a few days.

Till next time---

Sep 18, 2007

this and that on a Tuesday

We had had some glorious weather here in my part of NE central Alabama. A little cooler in the morning so I don't have to get up quite so early in the morning to try to beat the sun and the heat. Nice breeze blowing, sunshine and just the hint of fall in the air. I live for days like this! Pippi is seen enjoying some of that morning sun in the picture above. Afternoons, will find her in either of her perches on the opposite side of the house though I accidentally shut her in the bedroom closet yesterday. My friend Joy was coming by yesterday afternoon to pick up a few of the donation quilts to display at the Collinsville Quilt Walk next weekend so I had the door wide open while I picked out six of the quilts. Unbeknownst to me, she must have taken that opportunity to sneak in there. I thought she was hiding under the bed and didn't go looking for her for several hours. Of course, when I opened the closet door, she comes out nonchalantly with that "I meant to do it" attitude.

I have gotten a couple of the main piecing bits of my Poinsettia row blocks done--three more to go and then applique the stems down and make the gold flower centers and the leaves. Since the pieces are a little on the small side I am foundation piecing these and eliminated some of the seams by doing small square in the square units where the blocks join. The 1st block was the one I learned on with the 2nd going more in assembly line process.

I got the prettiest piece of Maywood Ho Ho HoPine Needles in gold yesterday in the mail from Christmas Cloth that goes very well with the background fabric I am using and just the hint of green. I appreciate JudyL mentioning this site on her blog as I have some possible snowflake/snowmen fabric spotted for my bluework snowmen too. The order arrived quickly and at a reasonable price for the weight of the item in a flat rate priority mailing envelope.

Sunday I finally did a little handquilting on the Joann BOM--just one more heart shape to go on the first of 7 blocks. I don't know how well it shows up in this picture but I am liking this template. I think that I probably could have done this on machine though the base of hearts might have been a little tight but I am enjoying the process.

I think one or two more days of piecing and then I will have to get the Viking out and get a couple of the donation quilt tops done. A few of the girls will be looking for some binding to do at our meeting next week. The robin needs to be done and sent out by October 1st or as near as I can get it heading just over the Georgia line.

Other than that, DJ and I went up to a meat packing place today and got a grand opening special that included like, a side of beef along with a big ham, a huge bag of shrimp, chicken, bacon and sausage and 10-2 lb bags of frozen vegetables. My chest freezer is packed! I know we both will worry when the electricity goes off the next time---and it will.

This afternoon I met with the woman who had called about quilting some family quilts. Two of them I could have possibly done for her as they were easy grid zoom lines though the tops were full sized but I just really don't have time. The other was a nosegay top with 30's and 40's fabrics, hand pieced. She also had a pile of double wedding ring blocks that asked about---they are missing that piece that goes between the blocks. I had my list typed up of some longarmers that she could consult with and told her what she might expect cost wise. I had some advice about what she needed to check with the quilter: do they provide the backing and batting (included in the costs of quilting or extra?) and who does the binding. She said that I had given her some good information about the quilts and how to proceed. The quilt group can do the binding if the quilt shop won't--she can call.

It is about time for dinner so I'll close---I had put some beef stew in the crockpot right after I finished my morning laps and it has been smelling good at my house!

Sep 14, 2007

a shopping we will go........

I know this web ring is supposed to be about stashbusting....and I do my fair share of that. This post is more about stash-augmenting or plugging up some holes in the stash. Even the stashbuster yahoo group calls the B stuff as in batting, backing, borders, binding "legal" purchases in spite of their pledge to use and reduce.

A Time 2 Sew in Collinsville had their "yard" sale yesterday---in this case, literally a yard was on sale for $2.50. Normally the shop is closed on Thursday but they were hosting this special event at the same spot where I attended the quilt retreat last month. Actually most of the town shuts down on Thursday as well, a habit they formed back in WW II so people could work in their Victory Gardens. Joy said that the townspeople just got used to it and kept up the tradition 60 years later. Anyway, two of my quilt group and I drove up together while another friend who shares membership with another area quilt group rode up by an alternate route with 3 friends from that group.

Some was cut already into yard cuts but they had bolts available as well that Sheila and Nessa were helping to cut and ring up while Mamie was stationed over at the quilt shop if there was something you needed. I didn't realize that the shop was open or I believe a piece or two might have followed me home. I got 15.5 yards for me as it was.

First up, I found some sashing fabric for my 4-patch stacked posies--the narrow frame that goes around the blocks. I put some of the blocks on top to audition it--the busier pink blocks don't show up as much contrast but I think this will work. The wider sashing choice will have to wait though I am leaning towards a yellow-green at this point. BUT I also found a yard cut of the floral print so I figure I can line the 3 leftover sections I had from Sunday's "playing" and get the 4th identical section and not have to cut into the yardage reserved for borders now.

Next up, the yardage---two Christmas prints on either end of the piles, the red will be used soon for the poinsettia blocks I will be piecing for my own row. A nice red tone on tone---several quilts can use that. The gold leaf, I have three fall/Thanksgiving rows in my row group to do this year. The lime green print, the merkitties challenge. Neutrals, who can't use those? Oh, and see my cute little hammer---the handle holds screwdrivers but I got it for pounding seams. I would have gotten one last month but my fellow retreat attendees got the last ones the hardware store across the street had in stock. Woodlyn was giving hers a workout with the pinwheels she was working on so I've seen it in action, LOL. Plus the floral pattern is just plain cute!

Aline suggested gave me permission to spend some of the quilt groups monies to get some yardage for the quilt group if I saw fit. I picked out 14 yard cuts of juvenile prints--I left those out in the car though. Pat turned around and handed me some money as donation that paid for most of it. Actually we had 5 members of the group present come lunch time so I guess we had a quorum and now some backing fabric or some fabric to use at the fall sew-in.

The 2nd group was a little late in arriving as they made a wrong turn and wound up on the Georgia-Alabama line. Aline, Beverly and I were done shopping and ran over to see Joy who was just on her way to the quilt shop. We visited for a bit and saw some of the things she was working on and then met the others at a Chinese restaurant up the road. Turns out that the group of shoppers we saw when WE arrived had made the same decision for a lunch spot---they said they had forgotten about the hours time difference and arrived early, meaning they were all from Georgia. They may run into each other again as the East Cobb Quilters Guild is having their quilt show this weekend. I know the JOY group is taking a van over from here.

Speaking of Christmas fabrics and Christmas rows---this graphic shows what I will be working on soon. I am using the Fons and Porter "Christmas Joy" pattern that was featured in their magazine about 7 years ago but it is printed up in booklet form now. I would love it if it were replicated, LOL, but I don't expect the quilt to be made exactly as shown. They can use the patterns for inspiration--or not. I drew it up in EQ because I know that this could be foundation pieced and eliminate a few lines where the sections join. But my leaves sure don't look like the original drawing!

Last night I started going through two of my containers that held Christmas fabric looking for a green to use for the blocks. I could have sworn that I had some Moda Marble Christmas green around here somewhere but found something that will work just as well as I kept digging. I refolded the fabrics but could not get it all in one spot. There is another basket of Christmas fabrics type atop my 3rd bookcase, in the corner with my desk and file cabinet-- not in a handy place to retrieve it. This morning I came to the conclusion that having this stuff scattered and stored in three pieces is not a good option so I retrieved a bin from the storage room, dumped out the batting bits that were in it and will get this stuff in one spot. I know it will lead to more fabric shuffling or shelf rearranging but so be it. More of that one thing leads to another action around here. It needs to be done when space is finite.

In chatting with Cher on IM this morning about my "girls day out" she asked me where I was going to put the stuff I just bought. Well, most of it does go in the categories -- Fall, Christmas, neutrals so not a big storage problem. Plus there is room in the bag from my last month purchases if I have to leave it there because I have already used several 2 1/2 yard pieces for backing recently. Might have to double bag it though but that can be done. Some will be used immediately for the Christmas row and other soon for my challenge quilt(s) When I mentioned that to Norma in an email yesterday, her response was to ask if I was working on a "one to one trade"--use a yard, get a yard? Maybe, I am, LOL.

Speaking of Norma, I got this package from her on Tuesday--not necessarily as a birthday gift but also things she was putting aside to mail to me. I'm doing the same thing for her actually. Maps and picture postcards of her area, a pattern or two that will work out well for our donation quilts, Canadian items, some pink kitty paws fabric from one kitty lover to another and that cool dogwood penny rug kit designed by one of her local quilt designers. She had it all in that little narrow box that once held pork ribs and quite appropriately, wrapped in freezer paper! Thanks again, Norma.

We are getting some much needed rain today--the slow and fairly steady kind, not wind and lightning. It kept me off the working trail this morning but that has been rare this very dry 2007. Looks like I can get a bit of a workout in the sewing room today though--lifting and toting while I revisit my stash remind myself what is in there and purge what I no longer will want or will use.

3:23 p.m.

Two posts in one day--and in between I DID get busy in straighten things up in here. The Christmas fabric is all in one spot and the bin is temporarily in the bedroom till I get my row done--after that, anyone's guess. (May have to attack one of my bedroom closets to make room.) The greens moved to the spot were some of the Christmas HAD been so that freed up those two baskets on the end top for something else--mainly those smaller white baskets---I was able to empty out three total.

One large grocery sack full will be donated to a local quilt group with little resources once I track down the contact number. There are even a couple of old quilt tops that they can have that I know I do not want to tackle so they can have them as long as they go to a charitable cause, I don't care nor would the peson who donated them.

Looking from the other angle on the 2nd shot. I got the project boxes moved down to the other end which I wanted to do for some time except for one that will be completed fairly soon. No shopping bags full of fabric under the cutting/pressing table on the opposite wall either--it found a place. It even looks a little better in the closet though we aren't going to take any pictures of THAT!!

I should have taken a "BEFORE" picture but trust me, it does look better in here with less stuff crammed in above the lower shelves baskets. My husband asked what had gotten into me as I guess I make messes, rather than clean them up as a rule--that's more fun in the first place! Oh, who knows but even he thought it looked neater in here but that might be as much for vacuuming the strings up.

(Norma, see the thimble rack on the button bin storage containers? in the 2nd picture?)

Well, got a post office run and need to run by the grocery store since I do not want to eat last night leftovers for supper. Those pork chops were not that good to start with and nuking them isn't going to improve them any. Then I will definitely finish up the binding on the Joann BOM and maybe hand quilt. Ooops, DJ reminded me that I promised to give him a haircut too. Woman of many talents, LOL.

Sep 12, 2007

one of those days

It has been one of those days----not getting much done but not totally goofing off either though I did waste an hour playing La Belles Lucie with a Draw---I admit it. Mostly it seems like I have started a task but then it lead off in other tangents.

Right after I walked this morning, I had to go buy some packing tape and an ink cartridge to take care of some of the odds and ends the meeting yesterday. I hit Walmart at 7 a.m. so you would think I was thinking ahead and combining my trips---generally being organized. You would be wrong. I still had things to put away from the meeting and that led to a general desk clearing. Below is what it looked like in here when I got home yesterday so you can see why.

A document I was to email needed updating first--okay, hope she got it but will tell me if she can't open it. While I was it, I updated my notes about machine quilters in the area. Now that might be construed as thinking ahead a bit. When I meet with the lady next week to see what can be done with grandma's tops, I will have alternative information of where she might try next if I don't want to deal with them. A little side tracked but no biggie.

But, when I went to print up my newly minted document, my newly installed the black print cartridge was not working. I cleaned the nozzles like 5 times and it was still not working. I read up on the companies' suggestion for cleaning it manually. No go. So I packed up the other box I need to mail to headquarters so I could combine my trips. Box 1 is parked in the living room in my cart that I carry stuff into the meetings. Oops, almost out of mini sheet mailing labels so I stopped to order them online--can't find them here in town. Then I make another trip BACK to the store and got a refund and another cartridge though I checked out other printers if this one doesn't work (it did but I've done some homework). I also picked up the envelopes I should have gotten on round 1. I mailed off the boxes on the way back home. Then later I looked for some fall clothes at a vendor online and wound up ordering some flannel sheets for DJ at a totally different site instead..........
LOL, as I was typing this, DJ found out that we cannot get two of his fav stations on DISH on the two sets with the DVR receiver and wanted me to check the link online. 20 mins later and a bit of clicking no information seems forthcoming. He can call tomorrow.......and that is how it went. No piecing, no quilting going on today. I have plans for tomorrow and possibly Friday morning so things are definitely slowed down for a few days.

We had a productive meeting yesterday---9 quilts pinned, 8 are in those piles you see above so you know what I will be doing next week. Most of us were helping to pin though I had a lot of quilt pics to take. Lois was sewing some more Lauder styled Puss in the Corner blocks and Rosa helped her by doing the secondary cuts and pressing. This has been an ongoing project but they worked till they had enough made for a 5 x 7 block set. I am going to square them up and Theramae volunteered to take care of the assembly.

Rosa had been working on binding at the last meeting and had brought her notions to pick up where she left off but we had parcelled out the quilts between Jane, Sarah and Theramae to get them finished up in the intervening 2 wks. She looked crestfallen when I said that we had gotten them all done----but I assured her that I would definitely have some for her in two weeks time so plan on doing binding!!

Theramae brought an interesting package----a friend of hers is going through her things and passing them on to people she thought might like them.

A little folded cover containing a lot of vintage appearing hankies. They came home with me but Aline has been making a hankie quilt so I let her pick out the ones she wanted --the embroidered ones. She knows where the rest are should she need more.

Lois also had a pile of blocks to share--- she and Beverly have been taking little sessions at the quilt shop where they work with a ruler or technique of some sort so she has blocks without a home. I will add them to the other abandoned blocks that I have on hand. Ride that 'ol Orphan Train, right, Finn?

Here are a few of the quilts that were turned in---Ashley from GA sent us the tops, I quilted them, the girls bound them and they are now on their way to WTIL headquarters. Nice and bright and kid friendly.

There are more but I'll save that for another day. Tomorrow, several of us are going up to Collinsville for the Quilter's "Yard Sale". They will be selling a yard for $2.50 in the same space that we used for the retreat last month--day out with the girls. In spite of us buying 280 some yards they still have more so some more quilters will have some fun too. The only thing I really "need" is stuff for sashing and cornerstones on my 4 patch posies but that may be hard to match and I am not all that sure what I am looking for either---I'll take the project box. Doesn't cost money to look, right?

Sep 9, 2007

something fun

The quilt at left is a UFO that Nancy started and sent on to the quilt group. Theramae was up to the task of assembling the Double Irish Chain. I quilted it on Labor Day and finished the binding on Friday. It will be going out to Wrap The in Love Headquarters sometime next week with whatever quilts are turned in at the meeting. I love the little daisy print in the Puss in the Corner type squares. Too cute!

I'm almost done with all the binding lacking one short side and about 20 inches of a long side to go on the last one. I have stated before that it is NOT my favorite thing of the quilting process but in the interest of getting that box sent, I opted not to wait till month's end t0 let someone else in the group do it. Here is Pippi (below) "helping" me bind the abandoned block quilt and generally, settling in for the evening. Okay, cat, I can take a hint and quit for the night.

After spending three (or was it four?) days, working on binding the four quilts in my stack I was ready to do something fun today. I was chatting with Norma yesterday; she has been working hard on customer quilts and was also ready to take a break from the "hafta" work. We have been talking about trying the 4-patch Stacked Posie from HD Designs so today was the day!!

This is a "stack and whack" type technique but so much easier than the other two versions I have tried in the past. You just need four pieces of fabric and it is four patches---easy peasy piecing. No weird angles or bias edges to contend with. I had to cut my strips/squares 2 3/4 inches as I had a wide repeat and not much fabric for the 4th strip I needed. My blocks will finish at 4.5 inches and I got 32 out of half the yardage I had available. This was what was left on the bolt from some fabric I picked up the retreat. Busting stash and having a ball sewing today!

Norma apparently could not wait to get started because she already had her cutting done and a few blocks made by the time I caught up with her this morning. I think she had 12 blocks done while I was just studying my fabric for the length of the repeats but that helped get me started because she could confirm what I thought the first steps were. She might have made a decision about her sashing and cornerstones fabric too. Me? I'll wait till I make all the blocks I think I want to make and then decide. I am cutting the other half of the yardage tomorrow. Someone asked if I'm going to keep this one or not---that doesn't matter, I am just happy to be trying something a little different and playing with fabric today.

I have other piecing I want to do---my part of my Christmas row quilt has to be done by month's end. The merkitties challenge at some point but I have till December. Speaking of which, my mom already has hers done--quilted and everything. So cute--sorry for the fuzzy pic though. I'll take a better one at the meeting spot in a few days. She also sent Grandma's Scrap Bag top that I will quilt for Pam's Mexico project--another pattern that I am wanting to try out--nice and scrappy! I bet is was some of that fabric I spent time cutting when I was back visiting too.

She also sent a bit of fabric--one that she and I will do as a challenge between the two of us though it can wait a bit. The Puss in the Corner I cut out recently from Ellen's challenge box is one that I would like to do fairly soon. And of course, I have any number of UFOs to chose from including a whole list of personal projects I would like to get to one of these days.

Someone called about the possibility of some commission work but I have no details other than tops of her grandma made finished up for some nieces and nephews. Same thing happened last year though. I was finally done with the donation quilts and then the guy calls and needs 3 more SEC quilts made up by Christmas. The money was nice and helped pay for my new sewing machine but my stuff just got postponed-- again. We'll see what she has in mind. I can always refer her to a longarmer!

Sep 5, 2007

caught up--temporarily

I have been machine quilting since last Friday and finished up the 4th one in my stack this morning. I am caught up temporarily again till we pin some more next week. Really I am just trading one job for another as now I have binding to work on for a few days.

Notice anything wrong with this picture?? Yep, I was sewing on binding with the fold to the edge, not the two raw edges to the batting side. Thankfully, I noticed it when I got to the corner and attempted the miter and did not go clear around the quilt--more like 20 some inches worth of ripping. I know that this the first time in all my 20 years of quilting to pull that particular error.

The first one of the four I mentioned in my last post, the Joann's BOM quilt, (shown HERE) I was about to mark it for a wide crosshatching in the borders and will hand quilt in the plain squares, just for fun---LOL, in my spare time. The machine quilting was done by Saturday evening. Sunday I quilted up THIS one of Joy's (from Quiltmaker's Gift fabric) . Monday was the third one-- a Double Irish Chain top that Nancy had started and Theramae finished---no pic of it till the binding is done. Yesterday afternoon and this morning, the abandoned blocks quilt from the retreat, shown HERE. I think you might be able to see how much quilting I put in it at least in the lighter parts in the picture, wherever it lands on the page.

I took a picture of the abandoned block quilt back to show the stash busting I used to squeeze it out for this slightly oversized top, almost square top. Appropriate, I thought, since the blocks are all a hodge podge of color. That same blue for the binding I tried to mess up is used on the back--some that Aline donated to the group. Mom, you will remember this pink print since it is one I brought back from your bin purge. Its on the back of Joy's Compassionate Stars too. The other pinks have been hanging around a while but they are gone now!

Oh, in that same post where I showed you the Joann's BOM top and mentioned about the tree next door almost taking ours and our neighbors power line down? Well the power guy did the absolute minimum amount of work with the limb removal, sawing off only the limbs directly around the power line. The limb snapped off the tree the rest of the way and thankfully, landed on the kudzu and did not plummet the 12 or more feet down to the busy road below. Also I found out that the other neighbor's fence across our lane was NOT damaged by the same storm that caused the limb breakage---turns out his trunk rolled out of gear and smashed into it and would have kept on going down hill had his fence not stopped it. They are replacing part of the fencing today.

DJ is taking advantage of some of the cloud cover to do a little painting on the soffit in the back of the house. We are not getting much rain again so the lawn mowing has slowed and the kudzu is flowering so its growth slows and so does his trimming it. I don't envy him any of these jobs. Me? I fixed lunch, ran some errands and will have to start supper soon enough. Pippi doesn't know it yet but she'll have to go for her lab repeats tomorrow--we blew it off last week when company was here. That's about it in my little corner of the world.

Sep 1, 2007

How did it get to be Labor Day weekend already? The year seems to be slipping by so quickly and here we are changing the calendar page again. It will be a quiet weekend around here---DJ and I aren't going to any cookouts or family gatherings. He'll play golf, I'll walk and work on whatever quilt is in the works---same as usual.

Here is one that I took the final binding stitch in Thursday evening and pressed Quilt Holder to work before he could plunk down in the recliner after lawn mowing duties. Nancy sent a half done top and a gob of blocks to Pam who just didn't have time to finish this one up so she passed it on to me and the Bama Belles. I've shown the top before (with the door behind him open and the sun shining through the top making the fabric glow like jewels ) but here it is all quilted up and bound. I have about 40 blocks leftover as I think Nancy intended to make a much larger top. I have decided to just make some of these 4.5 inch finished rail blocks as I go with my scraps----an ongoing project and when I have enough, make a top or two.

DJ called me outside to see what the sky looked like the other night. Storm clouds were gathering and we later did have a bit of rain. :ast night it was mostly cloud to ground lightening and a lot of it. It was just as pretty on the sun going down side but by the time I went back in for the camera it was out in full blaze---before it looked like silver and gold lace with the sun barely peaking out from behind the clouds to the west.

This is our little ranch in the picture, obviously. The window you see between those two overgrown bushes is my sewing room. Pippi was supervising the proceedings from her perch in the sewing room as I came back towards the house. The picture looks back towards my computer if you can see anything through the screen and glass window and know what you are looking for.

I started machine quilting a bit yesterday afternoon on THIS top. It was a Joann's BOM that Nancy had started and one of the projects I worked on at the retreat a few weeks ago. I have the pieced blocks machine quilted and spent some time marking the borders with a wide cross hatching. I plan on hand quilting a heart motif in the alternating blocks.

Other than that, not much going on----and that's fine with me.

Hope you all have a happy and safe holiday weekend in whatever you chose to do.