Jan 30, 2007

I'm back

Another goal met and a day earlier than my initial expectations. I took the final stitch in the t-shirt quilt top at about 9 last night (Monday) By late Sunday I had the 5 strips done and assembled, the lettering for Donoho done and the top border completed. That just left the Falcons lettering and the outside vertical borders for yesterday afternoon, after errands were run. Wouldn't you know that I started goofing up on the letters? Even the simplest one of all--the "L"? Had to start all over on the "C " as well as it was easier to print a new one than ripping it out.

ed. note: I had meant to post earlier that someone had asked if I had used a walking foot when I pieced the first t-shirt quilt. (Veronica, maybe it was you?) I had not but did take that suggestion for this one and I am very pleased with the results. I didn't have any problems with the sashing not lining up properly with the interfaced shirt pieces, no incidental stretching. Amazingly too, all the pieces in the strip measured exactly what they should have measured mathematically and that included both the vertical and horizontal measurements. I measured them anyway to be sure but it was all right on the money. How often does that happen? The weird thing is that I never know exactly where to line up the foot when I am putting on binding but it worked for this project and worked well.

It did help that I had it all figured out on paper (in EQ after my rough calculations where in place) so I knew exactly how many pieces to cut in what sizes and could make the best use of the yardage I had bought. The t-shirts were all cut and labeled with sticky notes so I wouldn't try to stick the filler strips on the wrong blocks. I kept all that blocks in rows with a binder clip and in the order they were to be added. Also I learned on that first one---I had a ball park idea from the last one how much interfacing it would take (about 13 yards) and how much sashing fabric (5 yards with a tad leftover which I don't mind since I can use it on something else). I don't think I will doing any more of these things though.

"Done is a very good word", to quote Pam. There was not as much variety of shirts or the shirt colors this time. I had to repeat three of them and yet still get it up to full/queen. It measures 87 x 94. DJ and Eva Marie the longarmer held it up for me at the shop but neither of them was quite tall enough to get a straight on shot but I didn't think I better complain about that. Those t-shirts are heavy!! I had to promise to hurry up and take the shot but of course, DJ didn't believe me. HMMM mutiny in the ranks.

DJ has not been playing golf this month much at all. Too cold, too windy and/or too damp. He did ride up with me today just to get out of the house, more or less. I asked him if he helped that cabin fever any. He thought that riding in the car wasn't much better than sitting in the chair at home. I commented that at least it was a change of scenery on a sunny day. He compared that comment to watching TV sitting in his car. He needs to get out of the house about as much as I need him to. (We got word that his golfing friend from IL will be here on 2-7 and 2-8 as his way to Florida to paint an elderly friend's house but that is not soon enough for DJ to get out for a couple hours and practice up on his friend)

So no sewing or quilting today as I am taking the day off. Other than trying to track down some 6000 yard Tex 30 cotton cone thread, I have not done anything quilt related today. Still, it is a long time till bedtime so I think that I will dig out the July snowman block and do some embroidery. Pam emailed me that she has 4 done already and she started waaaaaaay after me. It sounds like she needs to make doubles as her momma has fallen in love with the blocks and won't let her bring them home from the care center, LOL.

Maybe I can at least start trying to get caught up with the ring and other friends while I stitch in front of the computer-------

Jan 27, 2007

break's over

At left--Pippi looking for trouble---she had been way up high on the top board of the kitchen pass through and coming down. Surprised I didn't get a kitty blur!

Well, my break time for donation quilts is over for the time being. Yep, my expected fabric for the t-shirt commissioned quilt shown in the EQ sketch HERE arrived just before lunch this morning. It hit the washer and dryer immediately. I just finished cutting out all the sashing, borders, fill in bits etc for the blocks.

A few blocks are just big 4 patches--that will be a snap. The lettering will be foundation pieced--that is a "cut-as- yo -go" kind of thing. but the framing sections around the letters are cut. The printouts are all printed up. I think that I can get the top together fairly quickly if I watch what I'm doing as it is basically a vertical strippie with 5 rows with lots longer rows than I was working on the past two days is all. The lettering will take a little longer but I hope to have this delivered to the quilter by midweek. Like Judy Tenuta says "it could happen!"

I suspect that I will be absent for a few days while I try to get this thing done. I had to laugh at an email I received from my SIL last night. I guess I had posted later in the day than usual and a couple of days had elapsed. She said teasingly "Ah, yes, when you are a celebrity your fans expect things of you! :)" I bet all of us blog gers hear from our friends and family if we don't post--good that they notice, right?

This morning I set up some webshots albums if you would like to look of some of the quilts I have pieced, quilted, made blocks for or just plain own. I also loaded the Belles quilts for 05, 06 and what we have for 07 so far. Click HERE if you would like to take a peek. Some you have seen on the blog over the last year, some not. Those of you who have sent tops and so forth to us for donation will spot some familiar looking items--provided we got them done, that is. (Sorry, Jeanne--next thing up!)

What started all that webshot stuff is that I wanted to comment on something I had seen while searching online for a set for those framed 4 patches. Somehow I stumbled upon someone's album with a bi-sected nine patch technique shown HERE. This intrigues me and I wondered how big the block must start out. I am going to try it! I can see how cool it would look in scrappy colors as well as planned and a good stashbuster to boot! Pat has been cutting us 4 1/2 inch strips from the donation bin so this might be a thought for mix and matching.

Almost time to start thinking about cooking dinner and I'll tell you, my heart is not in it today. Dang it, we already ordered pizza earlier in the week and nothing easy to pull out of the fridge or freezer. Must do something about that come grocery shopping day. Catch you all later-----------

Jan 26, 2007

checking in

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary. In a previous post I spoke about how this came about and showed our wedding picture. It does not seem possible that we have known each other for about 29 years! How did that happen?

The mums are one of my presents--there was some lovely green paper on the pot but I had to take that off when I put some water in the pot. Pippi is enjoying one of my other gifts---it is pretty cuddly, after all. Baby blue polar fleece top, hooded pullover with pocket and Eeyore on the front. It says "BORED" on the front. That is a bit odd as I am rarely, rarely bored. I think he liked the color and the hood part, LOL. We went out for catfish--about the only time we go to this particular restaurant is for a special event or when visitors come from out of town so it was a nice treat.

I have been sewing a bit the last two days as I really did not feel like quilting though I did get one done for my pal Marilyn on Wednesday. The fabric I ordered for the commission t-shirt quilt is NOT here yet--a week later. I pulled out some blocks that Pam had sent me that Nancy had shared with her. It was my understanding that Nancy did not care who had the blocks as long as they would be used in a donation quilt. And they will be.

I believe that the blocks may have been from a centralized swap at one time. I kept finding labels on the back of the blocks as I squared them up---thought that might be a good idea when things came from more than one sewing machine. There was a goodly number of pinkish/brown framed four patches that I set aside for their own special quilt which will be set a bit differently. Below (or somewhere) on the page is the top that I finished up this morning. There were a lot of

blue and green blocks---maybe that was part of the swap plan or just that the block makers had a lot of those colors in their stash at the time. A few teals and purples worked in as well---I just tried to distribute the color evenly throughout.

The 9 patch blocks are some that Carolyn and Ada made at the fall sew-in from my 3 1/2 inch squares and strip box. How about that?--stashbusting and I didn't even do any of the block sewing, LOL. Even the muslin alternating squares were cut from backing cutaways. I really thought about setting these in a more enticing way but since I already had the squares cut, thought I best use them. Naturally, I overcut the number of squares but the leftovers can be used for heartstring blocks. I marked the blocks as I joined the rows in a simple 3 x 3 grid but didn't prep any quilt backs or binding. It can wait and I'm having too much fun assembling.

Tomorrow? Borders on two tops that Jeanne shared with the Belles probably. Fed Ex better be getting here one of these days!!

Guess that's it for today-------

Jan 24, 2007

heartstrings, snowmen and quilt meetings

Yesterday was the Belles meeting day. Busy as usual! I believe that they pinned 6 tops yesterday and 5 were turned in. I think we all are enjoying the new quilt hanging method because there are plenty of "oohs and ahhs" as the finished quilts are hung. Carolyn got a digital camera for Christmas so she was taking pics too so she could share them with her family--one of the quilts was one she had made but that didn't matter. Some of the girls kept to the pinning table, one was cutting strips again from the donation fabrics, one was quilting and 4 of us did get some machine time in---me included!

One thing I had found was I should have used a different foot. I had the Janome and the quarter inch lipped foot was on -- the open toed one was at home. I kept catching the fabric base in that lip. Really I think my blocks looked a lot better and smoother on the back when I had just used my walking foot out of not wanting to bother to take it off the Viking just to put it back on.

Silly me had went off without my 9.5 ruler so I just "got them ready for their closeup". The June snowman snuck in too as I had just finished it right before I trimmed down the blocks. (I started it Monday evening and did a bit more of it last night so there was not much more to go this morning)--no biggie)

I had brought the 2 inch strip baskets along with the red centers and bases I had cut. Pictured above is the string output. These strips were part of a diminishing box of 2 inchers that Ellen, the WTIL founder had sent a couple years back. It was a xerox paper box packed to the brim!! I've made log cabins, RR crossings and drug them to the meeting a time or two and they are getting down but then I have added more to them as well. I had mentioned before about my cutting my way through a scrap basket that measures about 13 high by about 20 wide that stuffed to the gills last year. I vowed then that I was NOT going to keep a scrap bag or basket anymore and have stuck to my guns. I have 1 1/2, 2 and 2 1/2 inch strips, 3 1/2 inch strips and 3 1/2 inch cut squares mainly on hand. I told the girls that at our next meeting that maybe we can whip up some bowtie blocks (or make some nine patches.) All part of stash busting---just a little at a time.

I keep thinking that I should also cut some rectangular strips as well so some of the short pieces can be made up into a RR crossing or Chinese coins. What stops me is that I have a foundation pieced pineapple log cabin started with 7 inch finished blocks and it also uses the short ones. While I agree with the concept of leaders and enders, I do not work well with divided attention---next thing you know I am off piecing 8 patches instead of the project I was originally sewing, LOL.

Pictured at right, or I am guessing that it around there somewhere, is Lois' top. I was not sure exactly what to call the pattern--Stars yes, but there are also Puss in the Corner elements. The green print has sail boats on it and I thought it was cute that she quilted in a fish motif in the PIC element.

Both Lois and Carolyn reported that their husbands had really taken a liking to quilts they had done for the kids. I told them if they really wanted to keep it, I would understand and they could substitute something else in its place. It made them feel good to think that if they liked them, then one of the boys would as well. Sometimes I think it is easier to make a girls quilt because we KNOW what we like.

I spent yesterday afternoon/evening tying up some loose ends for the Belles. Updating my quilt document, assigning numbers, prepping labels for the ones I brought home, edited the pictures. One person needed a handout that I had run out of and couldn't copy so emailed that out. Another needed a recipe from a long ago sew-in to serve her circle. Another left her scissors and did she need them soon? Who all would be going to the UFO sewing retreat next month call to our hostess. Cleaned out my tote bag and my purse and put most of the stuff away though one bag is parked in front of the front door till I go out to the car in a bit. In the hurry to leave I just more or less dump anything anywhere, LOL to get it out the door. The machine foot is NOT with machine. The cone thread and holder stay out in the car and so on. Still need to run to the bank and will go in a minute. All part of being the group leader. Few other things to attend to but it can wait for another morning.

Between DJ and I the laundry is done. Lunch will be easy as I pulled some veg beef soup out of the freezer, dumped it all in the crockpot and added some more leftover beef from the freezer, broth and frozen vegs last night. Since the fabric is not here yet for the t-shirt quilt, I'm going to quilt one of the tops that Marilyn has asked me to do for her. Next thing I know it will be time to fix supper and head to bed to start it all over again. I am rarely bored when I keep busy doing what I love.

Jan 21, 2007

at last!

As I told you in my last post(s) I have been asked to make another T-shirt commissioned quilt. This one will be auctioned as a fund raiser for one of the local private schools. The fellow that has asked me to make this quilt and other recent commissions is on the school board.

SO Friday I whacked up the shirts to get a ball park idea of what size they might. This time, I had a lot of duplication of the shirts. Someone even donated one of those fish net looking football jerseys---no way could that be used. There is not a lot of color in the backgrounds this time either--lots of white and pale gray. Because I was told get this up to full/queen, I did the best I could with the duplicates but tried to keep them separated out in the design.

Those large black squares--the same shirt back. The small black squares in the 4 patched blocks? The front interest of the shirt. I actually pulled one out of the trash when I found I had enough 6 1/2 inch squares to squeeze out 4 blocks like that. Luckily the trash had just been empty and nothing wet or icky had gotten to it since it was on top of the heap.

Yesterday was spent doing the fusing part. Today the final trim and then laying them out on DJs bed to figure out placement. From there I could get the mathematics worked out with the sashing etc and draw up my working model. I will foundation piece the letters but have to wait for the fabric to come in from Hancock's of Paducah.

DJ and I almost went up to the quilt shop/longarmer about 30 some miles from here. I thought perhaps that something I had purchased there for use in one of the round robins might work. He said he had a bit of "cabin fever" but his fever only extended as far as the next towns north--like 10 or 20 miles worth, LOL. He also asked if my car heater was working---I hate getting hot when I drive so I don't even turn it on when I have a coat on. What a goof ball! All these conditions applied to whether he wanted to go or not. I ended up just ordering the stuff online as I would have had to get the brick red/burgundy stuff there anyway.

DJ actually cooked lunch for us Saturday. We had had some discussion about what we could have for lunch if I didn't cook supper Friday. We had a few hot dogs left from the possible ice storm preparation. He mentioned wanting some Mac and Cheese--one of the few things he knows how to fix. The thing is, I ate so much of that stuff in nursing school in the early 70s that I vowed I wouldn't eat it anymore if I could afford NOT to . The other thing was I don't cook lunch--I re-heat or will make sandwiches but that's it. He must have wanted it BAD as he got a box of it at the store. He did all right except for asking me how much was a quarter cup of butter and what had I done with the hot dog buns? I said to use margarine and that just garnered the question about where that was too, LOL. (2 trips out to the kitchen.) Other than not calculating how much time it took to bring water to a boil, he seemed to do okay. I cleaned up after him but that is often his job with me--load the dishwasher after we eat and take out the garbage. Got to wonder if the reason they act so helpless if that we will just go ahead and do it anyway OR are they really that clueless?

DJ is, of course, elated about the Bears winning the NFC championship. At this writing the Colts and NE are tied in the 4th quarter so who knows who their opponent will be? Hope have had a good weekend at your house-------

Jan 18, 2007

2nd quilt done

Just finished quilting a 2nd quilt--this was a top that Finn sent to us late last fall. With the holiday lay off, we didn't get it pinned until our first January meeting. I'm sorry but I'm getting a server error as I was going to link you back to her page.

I had planned on quilting two donation quilts and then taking the day off to just play with my new sewing machine (a Brother Innov-is NX 450). My replacement sewing table insert arrived on Tuesday along with two other fun boxes of quilty things from two friends and a CD of the family Christmas pictures from my sister.

You know there is BUT here, right? I got a call I was half expecting from the man that I had done the commission work for recently. We had talked about the possibility of my doing a smaller t-shirt quilt for the private school fund raising auction in December but it was left open ended. At the time that I delivered the quilts right before Christmas, I told himthat the long arm quilter needed about two months time after I got the top done, should he want me to make the top. The call came today and I'll be running in to town to pick up the t-shirts and then shop for a gob of interfacing. Got to be flexible schedule wise---looks like I'll prepping shirts and doing some design work tomorrow.

Jan 17, 2007

Quilting mode again

Sorry that this looks so dark---just sharing the last two bluework blocks that I have done recently--finished the May block last evening. I knew quilting would wait since I was SOOOO close to done. I set the project bag aside again.

I did get a bit of machine today though. The plaid bricks is done since I only had about 1/3 of it to go and can be seen HERE in the pre-quilted state. Just ditch work so it won't look a whole lot different to you even if the binding was done. Lois offered to take that part off my hands since I quilted her donation quilt last week. It's a deal!

Next up is that one that you see the back of in the snowman picture--that ubitiquous WTIL kit cobblestone stuff. Here Pippi is parked on it. I moved it this morning to a different spot to keep her off of it but I substituted two others that she could get on. Silly goose hops up on my desk and walks over the basket atop the printer where I had stashed it near the machine. I swear for a minute she was going to hop up there. She had given the proffered two a token paw but she almost made a beeline to get to the speckled one, LOL.

Other than that a pretty quiet day over all. Still colder but the sun was even out. The weather staff still say that there is a possibility of some sleet/freezing rain/bridge icing tonight. Nice chat with my mom this morning.

That's all for tonight-------

Jan 16, 2007


I learn something more about html everyday. Good thing! Someday when I don't have much of anything else I feel like doing I AM going to review the chapters on the web design self study I had done before. It is a challenge to me and makes those brain cells work a bit plus makes me a little bit better informed for tweaking my blog template.

Pam commented to me yesterday off post that I didn't have a view profile link on my blog. I knew I didn't because I had not wanted it to say "About Me" like everyone else's set up. There are other ways to get there if you really want to see it, I had though. BUT there is that challenge again--see if I could put it back in.

I know Finn has the same blog set up as I do Bowman's Minima which is somewhat of a blank slate so I snuck a peek at how it SHOULD read, got my own profile html to plug in and the view button is back. BUT it was not aligned at center. No biggie but it sorta bugged me when the rest of it was where I wanted it.

The light bulb just went off--you have to have the paragraph opening and THEN the centering tags---not the other way around and of course, the closing tags in the same sequence. No wonder it hadn't worked before. I finally have the graphic garden and power blogger button centered, the view profile tag that I just added back too----only took me a year to figure this out, LOL.

Not much going on here this morning. We have had some rain but the temps are hovering in the mid 30's. If the freezing stuff comes, it will depend on what the temperatures are later in the day and naturally, if we have precipitation. Electricity is still on though I know that others in the US are not so lucky with this wild winter weather. I threw some beef stew in the crockpot for supper and baked a spice cake from a free with "over 25 bucks purchase" at Winn Dixie. (still gotta frost it) So a few more stitches in the May snowman---basically just a clump of flowers and this thing is done. I'll quilt a bit after lunch if I feel so inclined but something tells me I'll keep putzing with this block if only to have a quilty picture for "blog fodder".

Jan 15, 2007

Well, I'll be!

From Patti's blog via Nancy's blog

You Are An ESFJ
(Extrovert, Sensor, Feeler, Judger---I looked it up, LOL)

The Caregiver

You are sympathetic and caring, putting friends and family first.
A creature of habit, you prefer routines and have trouble with change.
You love being in groups - whether you're helping people or working on a project.
You are good at listening, laughing, and bringing out the best in people.

You would make a great nurse, social worker, or teacher.

Amazingly they may be right--I may have been in the right profession after all? I had wanted to be a nurse since age 7 and my high school course work led in that direction. I practiced for 24 years but never went back to it when we moved south though I do keep my license active "just in case". As I age, I am no longer filled with the milk of human kindness nor am I as naive and idealistic as I was in my 20's. I don't suffer fools gladly either and my tears are pretty close to the surface when moved emotionally but those are not necessarily good qualities in a nurse.

Weirdest thing, when I awoke this morning I was having a "work" dream which something I rarely do. (My husband has them all the time and he spends all night looking for his time card or some such variation) I could not figure out how to translate someone's temperature from celsius to farenheit to tell the patient if they had a slight fever or not. Now that I am awake all I can think is 32 F=0 C and where is that table we used to refer to? Can I find it online? LOL

On a quilty front this weekend--well, no quilting but mostly because Pippi looked so comfortable on the one I had been doing and set aside. Eventually she DID get down and I substituted the next one in line. She's not that particular, LOL. I was having fun working on the May snowman block anyway so got it moved a little further along---the bottom half of the block to go. Norma is showing her first ever redwork in blue project along with me but I have a jump start because I intended to do mine LAST year, LOL. Pam will be joining in as well and is one step ahead of me by having the "go with" fabric purchased. She claims it jumped in her arms on the way out of the shop.

Susie Homemaker chores took over yesterday. Ugh, but gotta be done sometime. I was half listening to the Bears-Seattle game and my husband alternately agonizing and cheering yesterday. I can't just sit and watch TV or I would be a nervous wreck when the games get this pressure packed. I go watch the replay if something good happens but do not get frustrated when the QB is intercepted near as much this way. When it got to the overtime period, he decided to go walk and asked me to help him set up the DVR recording. Then I DID turn on my set but with my back to it and the volume down. I didn't say a word about outcome but since he asked............I DID watch the recording with him since I knew who won. Remember me telling you once that I had a hard time reading a book without turning to see the end?? It is the process that interests me most and how they arrive at whatever conclusion. Mrs. Columbo---sure that thing shouldn't have said I would be suited for detective work?

I also found time to set up my 07 quilt document for the donation quilts. I logged in the quilts on hand and then separated out the ones that are going to the Boys Ranch. DJ helped me load those up in the car to take to someone's empty closet for storage. (22 if I counted correctly--most saved from last year as boy quilts more than girls when we had more than we needed for them.) I still have 7 here at home that have a different destination but at least could claim back some space for my personal quilts and get my hamper top back, LOL. Pictures are properly labeled with their corresponding number. DJ was only asked to hold up one quilt.

Today, deliver those quilts, put a few more lines in the plaid bricks and hopefully run errands before the rain hits. A couple usual stops will be left off as banks and post offices are closed for Martin Luther King Day here in the States. (Almost three Monday holidays off in a row.) Tomorrow and Wednesday may be interesting as the temperatures are going to drop like a rock. Depending on how far down the cold air dips South we may also be in for some freezing rain so much of the Midwest and Plains states have had. The weather team cannot be sure so forewarned is forearmed and best get some food that can be cooked stove top rather than rely on my usual oven, crockpot or microwave.

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

Jan 12, 2007

this and that on a Friday

At left you see the blocks I have completed so far towards a heartstrings quilt for the Boy's Ranch. Blog fodder, LOL. I finished piecing these on Wednesday and then put the strings up for the time being. I had told the group to bring their machines for our next meeting and I'd bring the strips and the backing muslin if they want to lend a hand and make a block or two.

Yesterday I wound a "bazillion" number of bobbins because I need to hit the machine quilting for a few days. Oddest thing, since my motherboard was replaced on the Viking, I cannot fill the bobbins as full. Anyway, I have some for pay that will help towards my new machine purchase and some for WTIL. I'll get back to my big 30's sampler sometime this month though as that one is my choice for personal unfinished project goal from the Top 10 list. I got one top done (see below) and still had the time and inclination to work another hour so pulled out the plaid bricks that had started on last month and put a few more lines in it.

This is Lois' top from her quilt shop class. She said that one of the shops has an afternoon where they demonstrate the use of a ruler or technique and this "Peaky and Spike" was one of them. As near as I can tell THIS is probably roughly the same pattern. Darlene Zimmerman who designed the Tri Recs ruler and the pattern called it "Granny's Flower Patch".

While we were pinning it, I commented that it would not be too hard to do one continuous line on this,. Not her favorite part of the process so I said that I would do it for her. I flipped the corner though so you could see the neat back she chose. Our Hancock's had a good sale on boy type prints for a buck a yard, I was told. Anyway, Lois wants to take it to the next quilt shop afternoon and show the instructor(s) that some DO finish their projects. I passed it on to her to day to finish up --she gets it back for binding though I would have sewn it on had we had the strips cut and pressed. Today she told me she felt like a weight had been lifted off her. This isn't supposed to be a chore and I don't mind doing them.

Today several of us from our quilt group and the guild in Jacksonville went to our friends bee. On the 2nd Friday of the month they open their home to whoever wants to come and serve us soup and cornbread for lunch. I had not been out in awhile but Marilyn wanted to go and was not sure on the way to get out there. Initially Marilyn was to drive and bring another friend along and pick me up on the way. Change of plans at the last minute and her husband dropped her off at my house so I needed to drive. No problem. We swung by the pre-arranged spot to meet up with Lois who was going to follow in her car. I got about half way there and my gas signal light came on and stayed on---NOW I had a problem! We were way out in the country and no service stations anywhere around. I thought there might be one on the route we turn onto but the pumps were no longer in service. We got to our destination and then inquired where the nearest station was. Gary put what little bit of gas he had in it to get me that far but I sure felt better once I got about 10 bucks worth in it. Lois was prepared to drive us back home to get either of our husbands and/or the gas can. Since it all ended happily, I doubt that I will confess my goof up--spare myself the "lecture"

My table insert came for my new Brother yesterday. Unfortunately, no bubble wrap or styrofoam packing was put around it and something heavy had fallen on the box. Yep, the section that goes on the front part of the machine is almost snapped clean through. Since there was a 800 number on the label from the company that makes and ship them, I called there first as I did not think it was the shop I ordered it from fault/problem. Turns out that was not the proper procedure but the person who answered the phone was able to look back to get all the information and said to toss that one and they will drop ship another at no charge. She indicated that they had new shipping boxes and the guys didn't seem to think they needed any padding. Trust me, I said, they do at least in my case. Want to have to keep replacing them for free, then don't pad them. Still haven't plugged the thing in BUT it will be a reward for quilting when I do get all my ducks in a row.

Not much else going on here on the home front. Our siding project is complete and the weather warmed up enough (low 60's) so my husband was able to start painting it much sooner than he though. The same contractors will be back to do a wood repair job around the chimney over the weekend. I do not want DJ up on the roof doing it--leave that to the professionals.

Guess I'll put a few more stitches in my May snowman block as it is too late in the evening to want to quilt. Pippi is napping on it anyway, LOL. I don't want it THAT bad. Norma said she was about done with her January block so I hope she posts a picture soon. Pam is going to join us as well. With these two pushing me maybe I'll get them done this year?

Jan 9, 2007

Back in the saddle

Back to work for the Bama Belles with the first meeting for 07. It was good to see everyone after the break for the holiday season. Today was mostly pinning day and a lot of chatting. Judy was tying a flannel quilt she had made for her daughter. Lois was sewing--actually finishing up at top we later pinned. Pat volunteered do some cutting so I dug through the bins and asked her to cut some 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 inch strips, whatever she could get out of the small bits and pieces. I ended up taking my ostrich RR in the hopes of prepping some bias strips for an applique vine but didn't touch it--other duties intervened. Sarah was sewing bits of batting together so we get a bit more mileage out of the roll. Ginny and I were discussing what she might do for a commissioned quilt she has been asked to make for a school fund raiser. Whoever wants to bring their machine next meeting can help with some heartstring blocks if they wish. I came within a whisker of hauling my strip baskets this morning.

I got to test out our new hanging system. Judy's husband rigged up the rod for us and Judy got some clip on shower curtain type rings. We thought how bad can it be? The first (almost )1400 quilt pics have hands sticking out the top, wear tennis shoes, have one corner higher than the other, the wind blowing them OR only have part of the quilt. I may need to look into getting a tripod.

I came home with 8 completed quilts and 3 pinned. Just checked and I have 29 finished quilts here at home--the closet is already stuffed, LOL and the hamper has a big stack on top. Most are slated for the Boys Ranch and are leftover from last year's donation but the more feminine ones will go to the Presbyterian Children's Home in Talledega. I might have come back with a 4th pinned top added to the mix but Ginny has just gotten a Hinterberg frame set up for Christmas from her husband. Right now she will use it with her domestic machine and the Voyager part of the package, she said, will have to wait a bit. She wanted a quilt or two to practice on. I picked my toadie BQ since that is the one I was puzzling on how to quilt. Since I am not comfortable with my free motion abilities, by all means, go for it, Ginny with my thanks! Of course, everyone was looking at the pattern and wondering just how it was made and LOVED the fabric, Finn.

I have included a couple pics for you to see. The first is Ginny's Pioneer Braid above. She had a long strip started at one of the "bring your machine" meetings but since she was using the same color groups from her scrap bin, we thought maybe she should make a couple more for a complete top. Theramae pitched in to finish up the binding.

At right, some of these "boy" fabrics might look familiar to Cher and Finn. Those are baseballs, not big polka dots and racing flags---all sports/boy themed stuff. I cut out two tops with extra strips at the fall sew in for Theramae and Sarah. This one is done "Snuggle Up" style but Theramae had a 2nd top made with the leftovers. This one is backed with a blue print with larger footballs, etc. Had we cut it, the motifs might not have been recognizable

Aline came in with a couple tops as well. This was her butterfly challenge top. I had showed you some of the others that we had done HERE. (Beverly is seen walking in the background of the picture.)

It got really blustery today and barely made it into the low 40's today, one of those days that you probably could discuss wind chill factors. Needless to say, my golfer guy stayed home and bless him, did the laundry while I was away. We will be having some water damaged siding sections replaced on the south end of the house sometime next week so were happy that they had not dropped off the sections yet. The wind would have toppled them over really quick.

Other than that, I do have 12 heartstrings block under construction and was working on them yesterday---till I got to chatting online with Pam and Norma, LOL. I'll be back in quilting mode tomorrow so will set those aside for a few days. Maybe if I get a couple of these quilted there will be a binding volunteer when we got to the Bee on Friday. Hope spring eternal???

Jan 7, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Those of you who read around the stash webring probably read Nancy's invitation to help her celebrate her birthday today by making some string quilts to aid the Heartstrings group. The blocks can either be sent to Nancy or one of the other volunteers to assemble the top with the resulting quilts being donated for those in need OR kept in our own communities to fulfill a need there. I'm planning doing both, LOL.

So Ms. Nancy, Happy Birthday to you--the red ones are to honor you on your special day. I could not resist sticking a bit of cat fabric in there but you might have to enlarge it to see better. The blue ones are to honor your dad's life as you said yesterday would have been HIS birthday. (A tad of cat fabric there too).

I'll get them in the mail tomorrow when I run errands.

Finn, any of those fabrics look familiar to you? Told you I was going to put those into use! Off to start on a few of my own now. I left the walking foot on--it might be helping to keep these things in line on the muslin base but truth be told, it is a PITA to remove it and I'm being lazy. This is not rocket science after all and is meant to be fun.

Hope you all are having a good Sunday------

Jan 6, 2007

Saturday doings

A few months back Finn sent some fabric and quilt kits down for the Belles' use--some was bits and pieces left from previous projects from both her and her pal Betsy. Cut squares I gave to Theramae since she loves making nine patches. Abandoned blocks went to Sarah as she works wonders with tops made from "nothing" and so it went but the dribs and drabs came home with me. Since I will be making some Heartstring blocks before long, I thought today was the perfect time to visit that box!

The carpeting felt a little dampish yesterday so I got to cutting. I've got a stack of muslin cut for the foundation and the red strips for the block centers. In true stashbuster fashion I cut my way through the muslin cutaways from quilt backings---so I cut 10 inch squares for the string blocks, 9 1/2 inch squares for an alternating block for some nine patches made at the fall sew-in, 6 1/2 for bowtie alternating squares if you were to put them on point and a gob of 3 1/2 inches for bowties.

The fabric from Finn I am cutting whatever I can get out. It is shaking out like this with half of the box yet to cut :
  • 3 1/2 inch strips
  • 3 1/2 inch squares for bowties
  • 2 inch strips
  • some 2 1/2's and 1 1/2 for the string project
  • some 2 1/2 inch squares---Rd to St.Louis
  • 6 1/2--not sure about those but if the piece is big enough, why not?

So what is with these pictures? Well, I found one piece big enough with a large enough print that I decided to use it to recover that awful mess of a foot stool. Finn has said to use the stuff how we see fit--donation quilts mostly of course but there is something that I want, I get first dibs. I keep the footstool under my desk to prop my feet up when I am sitting at the computer. The tapestry fabric on the edge is pretty frayed and I had stuck a bunch of packing tape over it the other day as a temporary measure. Yeah, I know it would probably be easier to go buy a new one but they don't have them at Wally World anymore---I looked when the leg needed fixing.

I've got my own tool boxes so I hauled them in and had DJ take the hinges off though I could have done it myself. (I was trying to get dinner started at the time so I just let him.) You know, my mom sent me away to nursing school in 1970 with those two blue handled screw drivers, a hammer and a pair pliers. Boy, did those come in handy and they still do. I have accumulated other things over time--a Phillips screwdriver or two, a variable speed drill for my birthday one year, that staple gun to frame pictures etc and the tool boxes as well. I pried those staples to take off the nasty cover in no time. . The foam that was under looked nasty so I replaced it with some scrap cotton batting--8 layers since it was the thin kind. AND here it is. When it wears out again--and it will---I'll do it again. Just like my pressing table board and the June Taylor mat that I covered with teflon cloth. Have staple gun, pliers and screwdriver, I'm set.

Oh, that bow thing is a cat toy in case you were wondering, LOL. She does bat at it especially when the fan currents get it stirred up.

So no sewing or quilting yet but I am sure getting ready for it. The quilt group meets for our first 07 meeting on Tuesday so I know a few more pinned tops are probably coming home with me if not at this meeting, then the next. It will be good to be back in the swing of things again. Guess that's it for now..............

Jan 4, 2007

stalled out

Pippi hiding her eyes from the desk lamp

Yep, kinda stalled out the last two days. Some of the quilt Pippi is laying on has a little bit done and I had intended to get back to it yesterday but got off on a tangent. The day before no quilting got done but a lot of stuff on my computer was dealt with--okay, you got me. Some card playing too, I confess.

Anyway I seem to be having problems finding a good pillow situation lately. The firm, slightly concave one is best for certain bed positions but I needed just a little bit more elevation for others. So I got the bright idea to adapt on old bed pillow for my needs--use the case and the stuffing to the degree of firmness I needed for a small neck pillow for me, a back up one for DJ and a new back pillow for my chair.

First thing out of the box in retrieving the serger, I knocked over the small paper shredder. Of course, it was almost full. I got most of it up but figured I wasn't done making a mess with the pillow guts so I would wait to clean it up. Wouldn't you know I busted both needles on the serger just trying to get the first seam started? Man, it is a pain to get those installed in that little bitty space allowed. I don't use the thing often enough to remember what to do and needed some thread to boot. Off to Hancock's but I needed some red yardage for Mary's Heartstring Project so that was not a wasted trip. DJ had seen the paper mess on the floor and vacuumed it up while I ran off to the store. I thanked him but didn't tell him he was a little premature in the cleaning department.

Three attempts at threading later, I was in business. Made three little pillowcases to cover them---wahoo, stashbusting a little bit. He gets up from his nap to see the vacuum sitting in the hallway and pillow guts of shredded cotton batt were all over the floor in the same spot that he had vacuumed earlier. I was just waiting for him to wake up before firing it up.

I still had time to quilt a bit but by then he got a call back from a carpet cleaning company he had called. They will be here ASAP which means this afternoon. The sewing room, one bedroom, living room and hallway will all be done. That meant packing up the machine, taking down the sewing table for the first time in I don't remember when and dragging anything that can be moved into my bedroom. Pippi is freaking out since nothing is where it belongs. That quilt above would be laying on the sewing table, not my desk. The things she rubs on when she passes aren't in their usual spot. I am guessing that she will be under the bed once they get here and the kitty eating machines come out.
I'm ready for them except for putting up two items up on the cutting/pressing table at the last possible minute--one the wastebasket as I am going to do a little cutting this afternoon and the other this basket as seen below. (It contains my quilt kits now instead of being stuffed with scraps.) Minus all but the one quilt on top (which is hers but naturally she lays on everyone BUT that), this is her launching pad to the water bowl which is back on the cutting /pressing table. She kept drinking water from the ironing board cup again and ignoring her water bowl on the floor so I figure it must be the location that was the attraction. We've been through the bladder infection and impaction once so I don't care where she drinks as long as she drinks. Take that back, not out of the toilet but I don't think she would anyway.

Sewing is out, quilting is out for the day but I can still cut. I would like to get some muslin foundation cuts and the center strips for the Heartstring blocks. Strips, I have tons off in varying sizes but they are asking for group blocks to have 2 inch cut strips of red or blue at the centers set at a 45 degree angle so the blocks look like they self sash. (Mary has pics on her blog, I know) I can cut and then put the stuff up when the carpet crew gets here. Also need to run to the library and get a missing food items at the grocery store. I may have a vague idea of what I want to eat when I get groceries early in the week but the menu plan changes or sometimes, an item needs to be fresher.


As a followup to the previous post: I got my new machine's table insert ordered and it should be here in two weeks time as they drop ship from the company. Nope, I still have not tried to use it and probably won't till the insert gets here.

I knew Pam would nail me for not showing any people pics in the last post about our family gathering. She had asked if I had the batteries all charged and packed before we left. I did bring it with me but left it in the car when we first arrived. Then when four or more cameras were taking the group shots I knew that I didn't need to add to that. My sister sent a preview copy, email sized, of the ones she had taken and she's going to burn a CD for me and my folks.

Judy commented on the family size---no great grandkids yet but the oldest grandkids are in their early 20's so it will happen some day. When the grandkids bring their s.o.'s then that would add a few more faces to the table, for sure. The fact that three families are out of state now it is harder to get us all in one spot. Before the catch was mostly those of us working hospital schedules.

Guess that's it for now---get this "party" started, LOL

Jan 2, 2007

Happy New Year--long

Happy New Year--a few days into '07. I can't believe that it has almost been a week since I last posted---usually just 3 days at the most between journal entries but here I am. This will be long to make up--just warning you!

DJ and I had a great time with my family over the weekend. My brother and his wife who moved to TN a year ago invited all of us to come and celebrate a family Christmas. We accepted that gracious invitation with fingers crossed. Realize that this is no small undertaking when you are talking 6 kids, their spouses and the 11 grandkids. My SIL deserves a medal for taking us all on -- the thought and prepartions they put into hosting this event! We numbered 22 or 23 people. Other than my parents 50th wedding anniversary in 01 this is the first time we have all been together in the same place. Someone is always missing at the Christmas gathering--either as they have to work (several in the medical field) and you have to schedule when most can be there or distance away from IL. Three of us live out of state now. DJ and I have not gone back at this time of year since 98 preferring to travel in the spring, for example.

The weather held so my sister in CO was able to drive to TN between snowstorms and my BIL was able to get off work to come with my sister and two nieces but will fly out today to get back to work. My sister will drive back with the girls on the 4th. They went back to IL and will stay with my folks for a few days and see the other side of their family.

The Illinois bunch ALL came minus two nephews and one niece who either had to work or had made alternate plans before this all shook out. One brother from Bourbonnais picked up my mom and dad so they would not have to drive. The youngest brother from LeRoy already had a car full---four kids, two adults. My other sister and niece and my BIL from Clinton left a little later as my BIL had to work a half day on Friday. Anyway, they were all there by sometime on Friday. Oddly, the car from Bourbonnais and the one from CO got stuck in a two hour traffic jam on I-57 at Marion as a truck containing hazardous materials had overturned--they were about 30 minutes apart on the same highway though the CO car had crossed over from I-70 to get to 57. They even ate at the same restaurant in Paducah (think that's right), it turned out--again 30 mins apart.

Every body had a bed or a blow up mattress--the ones with kids all were at a 2nd property the hosts own not far from their home. Their daughter wanted to stay with her cousins opening up her room for two adults. Their across the street neighbors graciously offered their guest rooms to DJ and I. It all worked out but we must have driven Jan crazy when the emails or calls came in---constantly shifting, adding and so forth. A big thanks to you, girl!

DJ and I left here on Saturday morning since we were not going to board the cat or ask anyone to come in to feed or water here. Trip took 4 hours almost exactly because 1) DJ was driving 2) no meal stops. Except for a minor misdirection on my part we did not have any problems in the travels though we drove home in almost steady rain.

There was a pool tournament going on and a spirited game of Phase 10 being played. A couple trips to walk the dog. The kids were in and out of the house playing while the adults visited and enjoyed the mild weather. Lots of good food was enjoyed with kitchen helpers as needed. Diane and I teamed up for green bean casserole. A neighbors oven was borrowed to cook the ham. LOL, one year one nephew, probably about 8 at the time, was groaning about the "death hour" and when pressed about what that could possibly mean, he said that is when the adults were done eating and just visiting around the tables keeping them from getting at their packages. After 5 or 6 hours, I was just surprised not hear some comment from the kids about when they got to open their presents. The adults opted out of the gift exchange some time ago but it is fun to see the kids open theirs. Then we had a little "talent" show, much to the amusement of all present. The finale was the adapted version that we wrote to "My Favorite Things" that 4 of us wrote on the car trip back from Grandma's funeral.

My one sister and her family left shortly thereafter to drive back to IL. The rest of us came in for continental breakfast Sunday morning at varying times. Jan had asked my friend Cindy to come over to see me for a bit before we left so it was nice for us to have the opportunity to chat. Mom knows Cindy as well; Cindy and Jan have become good friends too. Poor Cindy though had to see the "goodbye scene" which no one is ever good at doing. She lives some distance from her family as well and probably has to do much the same when she leaves WI.

I came home with two quilts that my mom had made and donated to the Belles towards our 07 goals for the Boys Big Oak Ranch. Norma will recognize the BQ (Debby Beaves design) quilt in the blue and yellow one. The other is a Bright Hopes or Twist block with a patriotic print so it should definitely stay in the States.

I also brought back the new sewing machine that my mom got for me in IL at my request. It is an Innov-is NX 450 from Brother. I overheard my brother say something like "no Linda, no machine"--apparently the decision was made that if I didn't show up at the shindig the machine was to remain in IL. It was not going to be held at my brother's in TN till I ventured up that way. I've paid for roughly two thirds of it and will pay my mom back for the remainder over the next few months.

No, I have not even plugged the thing in and it is barely unpacked actually. LOL, I am a little afraid of it or rather learning to use a new machine when my Viking has been such a workhorse for me for 12-13 yrs. I figure I'll look through the manuals, order a new table insert to fit around it and when all the ducks are in a row, properly break it in.

I awoke early Sunday morning with a horrid headache and probably should have taken some analgesic then. We were at the neighbors house and there were no drinking cups and I didn't want to go opening their kitchen cabinets looking for a glass. I hoped it would go away as the night time ones often do but no such luck. Nothing I took for it touched it and the four plus hour car ride didn't help. Essentially I went to bed once we got home. Not that DJ and I planned on doing anything for New Years Eve--we so seldom do. Heck, I already had the headache even without alcohol, forget the overindulgence part. Our neighbors were setting off fireworks at midnight enough for the whole sub-division so big deal, its 2007, was the attitude at the point.

I heeded the notion that "whatever you do on New Years Day, you will do all year" and pulled out a WTIL quilt since the walking foot is still on it. I was struck on how little donation quilt sewing I had done in the past two months. Other than the butterfly challenge quilt I did in early November or finishing the Toadie top---none. Amazing to me since I never really ever quite finish working on this stuff. That round robin stuff and the commissioned quilts just took over. The top I am quilting is plaid bricks one I made at the fall sew-in in mid October shown HERE. I know I have 5 or 6 more tops that could be pinned at the Belles first meeting a week from today--2 of Mom's donation, 1 or 2 of Finn's and 2 of my own. It never quite stops.

So for today, work on the bricks top. Tomorrow, try to finish the 30's sampler. The snowmen are set aside for now with a January through April done--more than I had a week ago and definitely more than was done last year. No resolutions made but goals that I would like to attain are listed to keep me on schedule. Donation work will take precedence in coming months as it has since 2000. I am itching to do some string blocks for Mary's Heartstrings Project so that will be next on the piecing horizon, I'm sure. Unless I have to make another T-shirt quilt for private school fund raising, I am off the hook for that stuff for a time.

Well, I've prattled on long enough--that will teach me not to wait so long to post, LOL. It is almost lunch time, for pete's sake.