Jul 31, 2007

why didn't I think of this sooner?

Color me silly---after I posted all those still pictures of the quilt display, I could have just loaded them in my webshots album and let you look at them floating by in a slideshow. I did that yesterday, after the fact because I needed to order prints for our photo album. Then the light bulb belatedly went off. I DID try to embed the link but all that did was mess up my sidebar section--maybe I should have shrunk it down to fit the existing size of my sidebar??

If you feel compelled to go look at them all again, here's the link:
I forget sometimes that I DO have albums up HERE that contain a couple years worth of our quilts--many of the same ones out on the pews are in the 07 album, save the ones from July that I haven't had time to add.

Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments about the quilts. I look at them all spread out on the pews and visualize a young person who might be seated there with that quilt wrapped around them. I am proud of our efforts but we "ain't done yet" This is only the third time in our 7 year existence that we have been able to spread them out like this. In past years they were mailed off or donated locally in smaller numbers to various locations. It has just been the recent push to gather a nunmber of quilts for the same spot that we have stockpiled quilts for any one year. We don't take them up till we have enough for ALL the available beds with some to spare so the kids don't have to worry about "when will I get my turn?"

I have gotten some questions from some fellow bloggers about what they can do to help our efforts and offers of donated tops and so forth. While we are happy to take those unfinished projects on, I know of another effort that might be a way you can help an equally good cause. I would like to direct you all to my friend Pam's website (formerly of this stash webring) HERE. Pam and several of her local friends in Oregon are trying to get 200 quilts for Mexico by April 2008. I know first hand what an effort it is to get THAT many quilts together and I have about double the amount of people making them than she does! Stop by her place for the particulars. She has tons of pictures of children in Mexico and Sierra Leone where they have delivered quilts in previous years.

On a more personal note, I hope to have the little Ohio Star quilt done today so have something new to share with you. I took the last hand quilting stitches last evening and got a good start on the binding. Then the phone rang---my mom who I had talked to in a little over a week so let the gabbing begin. No sooner did I hang up did I start IM'ing Norma. Those two are leading me down the primrose path, so to speak! I want to do it all, don'tcha know? My mom pointed out the Grandma's Scrap Basket pattern from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company that I believe could be used for a Heartstrings type quilt and Norma's color catcher pieced strings. I had emailed her a site to look at and we were off and running. Then Norma found a picture of one in a webshot album HERE. Between this and the 4 patch stacked posie Norma shared with me a few weeks back, I may have picked out part of my upcoming birthday present, LOL.

Sorry for the pictureless post but there are plenty to be seen in the previous 4 posts, so maybe I'm not all that sorry after all, LOL. Have a great day in whatever you chose to do...........

Jul 28, 2007

quilt display 1

What a wonderful day for the Bama Belles Quilting Club! It is always so moving to me to see the quilts laid out on the pews like this--reminds me of seeing "old friends". Friday afternoon, 5 of the group and Jane's granddaughter laid out 93 quilts. A disclaimer: 17 of them were quilts from '06 that I had set aside for the Boy's Ranch so you may see some of YOUR old friends as well. I told the girls that I knew that they were in the bunch at Linda S' house and could easily pull them out if we did not have enough room. Consensus was: put them out and we will enjoy them again. I guess that makes up for the ones we have already delivered to Presbyterian Home for Children (PHFC) in Talledega earlier this year that didn't land on the pews for the exhibit.

I posted the pictures "backwards" as you know how the blogs go newest to oldest--there are 4 posts (20 pics) to see. Right after our display ended the girls helped me gather up the quilts since they were headed to three different locations. The bulk of them, of course, were delivered to the Boy's Big Oak Ranch. Lois counted 68 but I have been number crunching and verifying my documentation from the past two years with the pictures all evening-- mathematically it should total 67. I seem to be missing one, LOL--I looked very carefully at these pics to be sure I didn't spot it.

I set aside 11 that will go to PCHC soon and have 15 to send to WTIL headquarters as soon as I round a couple of boxes. Of course when I asked DJ to help me haul them back in the house his comment was "I thought you gave them all away today" ---close but not quite yet. . Thanks again to the blogger friends who have helped us to reach our goals for the kids and of course, my dear Bama Belles---look what we can do when we put our minds to it.

SOOOOO, I'll hush up and let you enjoy the show-----

quilt display 2

Continuing back up the right side of the pews

Now, starting from the back of the left side facing the entrance

quilt display 3

Amen Corner 1

Amen Corner 2

Looking right from the altar back--moving towards the back in rest of the pics

More follows---

quilt display--overview

Jul 25, 2007

wrapping things up

Because my mom knows what the Bama Belles meeting schedule is, she told me the other day on the phone that she knows I am going to be posting some quilt pictures right around that time. LOL, today is no exception.

We are, more or less, wrapping things up for the Boy's Ranch since we will put the quilts out on the pews on the 28th and then deliver them to the facility right after that. If you are interested, photos of last years exhibit can be seen in my August 06 archives---two posts, I think, starting with THIS one dated around 8-19, I think. I'll be posting pictures again this year so stay tuned.

Pictured is the Heartstrings top the Belles pieced, I assembled and Ginny quilted with a nice red zigzag. I spent a good chunk of Monday doing the binding.

I just took a trial run up to the Ranch right after lunch since I was not sure how to get there. Good thing too, as I misread the directions the Social Worker had given me on the phone. I got it straight in my head now and enough to write up directions to anyone in the group who needs them.

When I arrived at the meeting site yesterday, there was a package waiting for me. Ashley (I don't believe she has a blog for me to link to---yet) had emailed me a couple weeks ago to ask if we accepted donated quilt tops. She had a couple of children's quilts sitting in the closet that she knew she would not be quilting. I think she felt that they might be better put to use by someone else.

So here they are, with our thanks! Finn will love her orphaned block quilt on the left---a little Ohio Star is peeking out along with a couple of scrappy nine patches and crumb blocks. The center one has cat fabrics plus the same fabric she used for the one on the end in a Once Around log Cabin type set. The group loved them, Ashley. They were trying to figure out just how that third one went together--just where the blocks were. I half expected to see someone with a ruler and paper mapping it out. We dug around in the donation bin and found backings for all three of them and they are pinned and stacked on my armoire.

Next up---Beverly's mystery quilt from the JOY quilt group '06. She had just picked it up from the long arm quilter. I love the blue and yellow combination for quilts. We asked the two tallest people to hold it up for a better picture but they were begging me to hurry and take the picture while someone else was giving them instructions to lift that corner or the other. Aline's version of the same pattern that looks so different because of the colors used can be seen HERE

I think they pinned 6 quilts including the three tops that Ashley sent. I had told Theramae that I didn't want to pin all day since I wanted to hand quilt. I knew there were 7 tops in the closet if they felt like pinning---and there still are, LOL. She and I got things set up to pin a top she had made and I started to help and so did Lois. Then reinforcements came and Lois and I started on other things. I got busy taking pictures and helping Beverly with a quilt idea she had. (It's on point so she needed to know what size to cut the setting triangles and so forth)

Jane had a really pretty Warm Wishes variation in purples and a really cool folded pinwheel top that she is still working on. I hope that she and Sarah will show us just how they did the block at a future meeting. She said that you cut a square in inch smaller or larger than the background and it looked as though you folded it in half on the diagonal and then folded the tip back so it almost looked like one that you would make from paper. Sound familiar to anyone? One of the girls thought it might be a fun sew in block. Agreed!

The bowtie quilt is one that I assembled from blocks that Lois, Beverly and I made. Boys need a bowtie quilt! There may be another one that I saved out from last year for them but I would have to check my documents to be sure about that. Pat had put a rush on the binding so it would be ready in time.

A couple of the girls were sewing--Lois on some more Puss in the Corner blocks. Janet was working on her "Crossing Pathways" top (Eleanor Burns Still Stripping book) from the last meeting and just lacked sewing on one border. I was hoping it would be done so I could share a picture of it. Diane is making the same quilt--they took the same class--but was not happy with her color choices. Diane recently retired from teaching so we hope she can come sew with us more often. Pat was trying to figure out what to use for a backing on her McCloskey butterfly quilt---I found something that I thought might work in the donation bin. Judy and I convinced her it was a better choice, LOL. Of course, Judy had just come from getting her eyes dilated for an exam so Pat had to take my word for it. It needed seaming but she borrowed Janet's machine to take care of it and it is pinned as well and sitting on my armoire.
Some of us had not brought lunch with us and Pat ran us over to Quizno's to get some sandwiches to bring back. Love those turkey bacon, guacamole sandwiches. Judy got us started on them. Next meeting they are planning a potluck for my birthday. How sweet of them!

I came home with 7 finished quilts and 4 pinned tops. I counted 30 finished quilts in my bedroom and I can only guess just how many are over at Linda S' house. Monday evening I told Mom that I was down to 3 tops and thought I could get them quilted this week . I could then say, however, briefly that I was caught with the Wrap 'Em quilts. But that's okay---more quilts for more kids somewhere.

Here is Finn's Ohio Stars #1 all quilted. I have two motifs of 7 hand quilted on the stars with alternating snowballs. That's what I'll work on today for a while. Not sure what happened to today but it is 4:15 already. And I've done diddly except walk, make breakfast and nuke lunch, update the quilt document, take care of our banking deposit and run up and back to the Ranch--oh and type this up, of course. Till next time-----

Jul 22, 2007

quilting--the slow way

I was about ready to start binding our Heartstrings quilt yesterday but then realized that I needed to print up a special label for it. Since the ink needed to set up and so forth, I opted to machine quilt the little Ohio Star quilt (some of Finn's blocks and some blocks I made with Finn's fabric and/or my stash). I started hand quilting the heart motif last evening. I enjoy hand quilting but really don't get much time to do it anymore---not when there are quilts to get done for donation. Well, this is one too but since I know we have enough to take to the Boys Ranch, the biggest push is about over. I am having fun with this!! Even better, no seams to deal with. I could totally see doing a whole cloth quilt.

For years I did not machine quilt and resisted it like crazy. I like the looks of hand quilting best for my own quilts but who has the time? When Joy and I got started making them for WTIL and she was getting stuck doing mine too, it was definitely time to bite the bullet. So sometime in 2000 I learned how. I still do not like to free motion. I don't like a quilt to be stippled within an inch of it's life either--not for kids anyway where I am a firm believer in the "cuddle factor". There are some fantastic machine quilters out there using domestic machines, long arms and everything in between. Just won't be me, LOL.

So the binding will get done by Saturday on the Heartstrings top but I am going to enjoy slowing down and taking these stitches. DJ noticed what I was doing and asked me if was hurting my hands. Not really but machine quilting isn't any easier of those bothersome thumbs either or cutting and doing the claw fingers thing. Look at it as exercising the joints. Where is this day going to? It is almost time to think about fixing supper. Didn't we just eat?

Jul 21, 2007

Saturday doings

My latest completion---the beetle quilt. I went over to the church after I walked yesterday to re-pin this top. I want to hand quilt the motif I had marked in the alternating square and after the fact, discovered that the backing I had used was much too high of a thread count to be able to needle it. I'll save that for another machine quilted piece as I have more yardage in case the quilt is over-sized a bit. I knew that there were some nice floral fabrics in the donation bin that my mom had sent back with me so I snapped up a peach colored one that should work out fine.

Ginny had completed the quilting on the Heartstrings top the group made while her two young daughters were at day camp. Interruptions at home made her afraid she would not get binding finished in time for the quilt display next weekend so they ran it by for me to bring home to work on. May have pictures of that one in a day or two.

Shortly after lunch the power went off and stayed off for 5 hours. DJ and I left to get a sandwich for supper since cooking was out. The power company had indicated on the phone that a tree had fallen on the lines somewhere and it might be 7 before we might have power resumed. ( Somewhere in the half hour we were gone it came back on earlier than their estimate. ) We had a pretty good band of thunderstorms and rainfall totals through all that. Fortunately that kept the temps down enough to open the windows and doors because fans and a/c were out. Sewing and playing on the computer were out, binding and any other handwork was too since it was too dark so I read for a bit but could not get into the book, took a little nap, considered going somewhere once the rain cleared up but where? I was bored out of mind. That happens so rarely.

Pippi's labs had shown some slight improvement for which I am grateful. Holding her own in that department though I guess she will have to go back for monthly checks from here on. They took her back for the blood draw and then had us wait out in the reception area for the results so she didn't have to stay all day this time. Next time I'll take a book or handwork with us. Won't help Pippi much but it will me, LOL. She didn't mind being in that carrier near as much when some large dogs came in to be boarded.

Today, a little laundry, walking is done and a couple of errands run, will have to come up with two meals since there are no leftovers except that Blueberry pudding cake. Now, I'll hit that binding--more blog fodder, after all.

Jul 18, 2007

this and that

If anyone reads my postings from a RSS feed through their web browser, you may have seen an old June post that I edited to replace the picture. Roger kindly sent the original jpeg to me so I took the old scanned photo off and put the real image up. Sorry for the confusion but much better without the glare off Dad's and my shirts. And if none of that makes any sense, I'll refer you back to the original post HERE .

Been somewhat quiet around here the last two days. I finished quilting the sashed Ohio Star quilt seen HERE yesterday afternoon and started finishing the binding on my Beetle quilt. Pat came by to pick up 3 quilts since she volunteered for binding detail. I dropped Lois' quilt off for her yesterday morning and caught her in the middle of freezing corn. She sent some cukes home with me but unfortunately, DJ thought it was a bag of kitchen scraps and tossed them. ( Color me sad)

I had a few errands to run this morning as well as a couple of calls/emails to make in regard to the quilts we will be delivering to the Boys Big Oak Ranch. We CAN deliver them to the facility the day we lay them out on the church pews which will be a good deal---won't have to haul them all back to Linda S for storage just to drag them all back out a few days later. And, I sent something into the community pages of our paper as invitation for anyone to come see them that would like to do so. As part of the press release I needed to get a tally of just how many quilts we have donated since we started in 2000----1575!! and we aren't done for this year yet. That's a lot of kids wrapped in love. Of course, we have had help over the years---our friends who have come to sew-in's we have hosted over the years have helped sew and donated tops; friends from the internet have sent tops, blocks and fabrics, my Mom who is a long distant Belle has made tons of quilts for WTIL and so forth. Still, not bad!

I don't have any finished tops to show you and Pippi has been making herself scarce lately so no recent pics of her either. SO I'll guess I'll share a picture of the WTIL raffle quilt. The yahoo group helped make blocks some time back and my mom came down to Alabama for us to assemble it. Ellen asked someone to quilt it but that did not work out because of the quilter's teaching and traveling schedule but no matter, it is done now, thanks to Ellen.

Tickets are available on the Wrap Them In Love site (which I cannot open at the moment. ) Go to the home page HERE and click on the raffle quilt if you are interested in purchasing tickets. I don't think that this is going to click bigger so please check out the one posted on the website so you can see the quilting better. I believe that the drawing will be held in December. I thank you for your consideration of a cause that is near and dear to me and others.

We have been having a bad time with ants this year, both inside and out. Remember when they zapped out the switch in the air conditioner a couple of weeks back? I have had it with insects that belong outside being inside though. Last week they had gotten into a cupboard with baking supplies, sauce mixes and pasta. Tonight just as I was starting supper I discovered that they were in the muffin mix (double corn casserole was intended), dried soup mixes, puddings and jellos. When I think about the money that just went down the drain in recent days with those pests it about makes me sick. We have tried everything to get rid of them! Right now the cupboard contents that could be salvaged are sitting in laundry baskets on the kitchen floor. I do not want to deal with putting the stuff away tonight.

Speaking of Pippi, we have to go for her followup labs tomorrow to see how her kidney function is holding up. Of course they would like us to make an appointment. HA! She disappears and pops out when she darned well feels like it. Just when she is starting to trust us NOT to be putting her in the carrier every time she turns around, I'll prove that her trust was unwarranted. Bad kitty mama! She has been staying out from under the bed a bit more during the day time hours. In the evening and at night she curls up on the sewing room pressing/cutting table on whatever quilt is laying out but retreats once DJ and I get navigating in the morning. I think she could be eating better but subjectively she seems to be acting okay. Cross your fingers that she doesn't have to have IVs for a couple days again.

I tried a new recipe tonight from the Southern Food about.com site---if you have fresh blueberries on hand, you may want to give it a whirl. Pretty tasty and not too sweet.

Easy Blueberry Pudding Cake


  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

  • juice and zest of 1 small lemon

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup low fat or whole milk

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 cup boiling water

Place blueberries and lemon juice in a buttered 8-inch square pan. Mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt, spices, and 2/3 cup sugar. In another bowl whisk together the milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla.

Stir dry ingredients into the milk mixture; pour evenly over berries, spreading if needed. Mix 3/4 cup sugar with cornstarch and sprinkle evenly over batter. Slowly pour boiling water over all. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes.

Guess that's if for today--------

Jul 15, 2007

It's raining again this morning---enough to keep DJ home from the golf course and make me want to dive back in bed. I probably won't but the possibility is there. With the rain falling, I'll take this as one of my day's off from walking but am up anyway. Sleep was eluding me since 4:30 but I think that is part of that summer internal alarm clock thing. Nice and peaceful---little car traffic since it is Sunday, birds chirping, neighbors must be sleeping in.

Here is the official portrait of the Framed 4 patch on point. I finished up the binding on Wednesday. Judy dropped off the batting roll so I ran it and the quilt over to the meeting place to take the picture. The blocks were donated by Nancy. There were others in brights that made their way into their own top that Ginny quilted a few months back but the pinks and browns needed their own dedicated top, I thought. Reminds me of Neopolitan Ice cream with that soft pink background.

I've been busy quilting since Thursday afternoon and have 4 tops done---one of Lois' that she could not get to, my Beetle top, Bowtie top and a red crazy patch whole cloth. 3 of those are definitely going to the Boys Ranch--the red one not so sure (girlie??). Lois will get hers back to bind and Pat has volunteered to take a couple of them. I'll do the Beetle one myself for a handwork project over the next week.

Other than that, I have pretty much been chained to the sewing machine quilting. Woman on a mission, after all. Computer access has been limited by the quilting set up or I am so butt and back weary that I don't feel like sitting to read. I am so far behind on blog reading/commenting again. As Patti mentioned in her blog yesterday, you have to make a choice---sew or be on the computer. I can either talk about quilting or actually do it but not both. We had friends over for dinner on Friday evening so preparing for that provided a little break in the action. DJ commented later that he had not seen me sit down and do nothing in the living room for that long a time in awhile. He's right.
I thought I would post the picture of my pastel-ish "Star Trip" quilt--same pattern as the QOV top Betsy made in my last post. I was wrong about the pattern name---I am always want to call this Star Daze for some reason! It is a J. J. Stitches and Co. pattern (Sun Prairie, WI designer) and the quilt minus borders is 54 x 72. One of the few quilts I have ever made that came completely from a quilt shop with fabrics purchased specifically for this quilt all in one sitting. Everything, but the binding that is. That took a run to Hancock's for something waaaaaaay after the fact. Usually I am pulling something from my stash to use in any quilt I make for at least part of it anyway. Also it is rare because it is a quilt for me, made by me----only me, not anyone else. LOL, I have never used it, not even for a couch throw or nap quilt. Silly, huh?
Everytime I look at this thing I am reminded of a car mishap I had the same day. I had started the quilt top with Marge LaBenne at a class at Quiltmaker's Workshop in Trussville, AL back in about 2000. It was late in the evening, pouring down rain and we attendees had pulled our cars up a little closer to the door to load up our machines and such. I backed in up to the curb and loaded up without too much problem but the windows immediately fogged up. I needed to move out to allow another driver access to the door but as I pulled away---crash--right into a light pole with front end of the car---front fender was creased but good and no favors to the hood either. I had planned on staying overnight with a friend in the area but missed connections with her. The quilt shop was located right behind a Hampton Inn so I checked in for the night. Then I had to call my husband and tell him where I was since my plans had changed and what I had done. "Why/how did you do that?" Uh, they call it an accident for a reason, DJ. I could not visit that shop without looking for red paint from my poor little Mirage.
5 pinned tops remain in my stack so you know where to find me---I think one of the Ohio Stars from last week today plus get groceries at some point today.

Jul 10, 2007

this and that on a Tuesday

I think I had a day like Pam described in her post as far as productivity yesterday. A little of little odds and ends were tended to.

  • First off, I recovered my little under the desk footstool again. I found this piece of tapestry in the Christmas fabric basket and hopefully it will wear a little better than the cotton stuff I put on last time. I stuck down the batting this time with double stick carpet tape. The corners aren't the neatest but it beats the way it did look! See the kitties on there and snowmen too--two fav motifs.

  • Put some elastic back in a bow and garter thing for a basket of hair brushes and doodads that sits in the bathroom

  • Pressed and wound up 6 quilts worth of binding--ugh but necessary

  • Trimmed down those 28 HST squares from the snowballs from Sunday--3 1/2 unfinished so little Churn Dash blocks might be cute?

  • Marked a heart motif in the snowball blocks---might hand quilt them and live to regret seaming that one white block

  • Started the hand finishing on the binding on THIS quilt---since it is a girl quilt, there was no rush though the top has been quilted for some time.

  • Load of laundry and pot of vegetable beef barley soup for lunch

Here is Pippi catching the last bit of afternoon sun. We had a band of high wind and rain come blasting through here just minutes after I got home from our quilt meeting today. The sirens were going off when I was about half way home but no local news about what was happening. The skies looked ominous and the cloud formations looked worse and worse the closer I drove to home. I had to wonder if we had tornado warnings but DJ said not. We got about an inch of rain in less than an hour and then it cleared up leaving Pippi her sun patch.

Here are a couple of the quilt from the meeting today. Lois made this little cutie for a friend of her mom's who just had a little girl. Knowing that it was going to the little one soon I took the picture, clips and unfinished binding and all. The bear motifs were made on her embroidery machine. Just a sweet little quilt, I thought.

This is an adapted BQ top--we resized the pattern to use 9 inch finished squares of the focus fabric. Lois pieced this one as well. I love the black check binding on this one. We had to laugh when Pat said that she knew that it was a car print but from where she was sewing it looked like fish instead especially on that bright blue background.

I pinned 5 quilts today till I emptied off the batting roll. We have more but it was in storage at one of the girls homes and she had a previous obligation. That was okay though---I had enough! Theramae had been helping me but left early as she was not feeling well-- I just kept plugging with some intermittent help from the others. Lois had her machine and was looking for something to work on---I remembered that we had a bunch of 5 inch squares leftover from some Puss in the Corner blocks "Billie Lauder style" and got her started on those. Janet was working on a quilt from "Still Stripping" called "Crossing Pathways". She said she had made a mistake on the blocks but made it consistently on her blocks so it was her own version. We put our heads together for block setting opinions and how it might be quilted. Pat was putting borders on a Marsha McCloskey style butterfly quilt--from "Quilts for Katie Rose" I believe. Aline would have been sewing but left without her sewing machine foot--oops! She helped me pin for a bit instead. She had been sewing a lot at home so we just figured she could use the break.

Betsy had another meeting in the morning but came to quilt group from there. She had a Quilt of Valor that had just returned from a TX quilter to trim and finish the binding but also had this top made. I am pretty sure that the pattern is called "Star Daze" (I have a quilt made from it in pastel-ish fabrics done in a quilt class several years ago) I love the vibrant colors in this one as much as I love my version though. She said it might be a raffle quilt for DAR or will also be a Quilt of Valor. The quilt is done as 9 patches with the stars pieced in and then the edges of the quilt are filled in with the properly sequenced colors to complete it.

Since I now have 9 quilts in my pinned stack, you will know where to find me this next week or so. Three of them are definitely heading out of the Boys Ranch -- those are on the fast track and need to be done by month's end. The others can wait a bit longer.

And so it goes in my little corner of the world.........

Jul 8, 2007

stashbusting my way to another top

Hot off the press--the top using the leftover blocks and yardage that Finn sent. I showed the 12 blocks I sashed and cornerstoned in yesterday's post. I had the 4 Ohio Star blocks done yesterday and today worked on the snowballs. I had pulled some greens out of my stash for a few star tips; when I went to put them away, I noticed a piece of peach colored tone on tone that might go with the blocks---5 of the block had a hint of orange or coral so it looked like a good choice. The white on white is the same piece I used for the sashing on yesterday's Ohio Star top but actually it is leftover yardage from those SEC quilts I was commissioned to make last fall. I did not want to cut another strip for just one block so I seamed the white on the bottom block from the end fold. Seems like someone is always wanting blocks WOW . My stock is low so I still have a strip about 14 wide by 90 long for another use. Not sure where that peach piece came from but there is are only a few bits of it left for the strip boxes.

I stitched up the cutaways from the diagonally flipped corners for the snowball blocks so have a nice pile of HST's to trim down for something----maybe include them in the orphan block pile I came up with when I was cleaning last weekend. A green floral Debbie Mumm print with white lilies of the valley I had intended for binding on another quilt a couple years back has finally found an appropriate quilt. Plus I had enough of a green scribble on white background leftover from a Hancock's closing sale purchase to use for the backing.

There were some pretty 4 1/2 inch squares left that were cut for block centers and some background fabric left but I'll set those aside for another use. Nine patches or something ?

Done stitching for the day----

Jul 7, 2007

drippy day

I think this is the first morning in months that we have had rain in the morning. Of course, DJ was set to play golf. I got in my walking clothes, including shoes/a double pair of socks, waiting to see if it was going to stop. Not pouring, just dripping--two hours later, it is still at it. I briefly considered walking in Wal-mart which is close--the enclosed mall is about 12 miles away but decided I get an extra day off this week instead. Got find an alternative walking site, obviously, for days like this or when it turns cold. I made some tuna mac salad for our noon or evening meal in the meantime.

In my last post I reported that I had been tackling some things in my sewing basket. I've got quilting to do but just haven't felt like doing it plus some of this sewing stuff has needed my attention far longer. With all of our efforts combined I now have a stack of 9 tops "pin ready" to take to the meeting. By "pin ready" I mean that the top is done, it is paired with the proper sized backing (seamed if necessary) and the binding joined (hopefully pressed) and placed with the top. When I am in quilting mode I do not want to have to stop to make binding. At that point I am ready to move onto the next quilt, not cut or sew. Anyway, 3 of the Belles tops were complete but just needed to be paired with backing and binding --not a lot of time involvement on my part. 2 of them were Nancy's previously prepped tops from a few months back. (Boot Scootin' Boogie 2, the link below for original quilt, and Faux Log Cabin 2--the original halves are already quilted, Nancy and I'll have pictures for you soon)

So, my tally for the last few days:

  • 2 tops from Nancy reassembled and bordered--Hidden Spools and Rising Star, the bottom one in Nancy's post. These were twin tops shown here and we will get two small ones from them as we did with the other two I mentioned.

  • 1 set of blocks assembled in a 5 x 7 set---Nancy's Cross Roads to Jericho--the quilt at the top of her post is already quilted but see the stack of blocks to the right? That's the group I was working with. No need to post the pic as it looks very similiar to the part she had together

  • 12 blocks sashed and assembled--some of the Ohio Star blocks Finn sent as seen in the picture above

  • 5 backs laundered, pressed, seamed--I got lucky and two of the 9 didn't need seaming.

  • 1 back marked in a big diagonal grid since the front is a whole cloth thing. We'll pin it backwards for quilting

  • 6 quilts worth of binding cut and joined but still need pressed---ugh. I got lucky and was able to pull from some leftover binding or some that I had previously cut and changed my mind for two others in the stack. That's when it pays to over cut. Stashbusting, at its best.

  • There are some leftover Ohio Star blocks and Finn had included the pieces to make at least 4 more which will be good. I am thinking that I could use 8 blocks with an alternating square of some sort to get another top out of the deal. Got any other suggestions for an alternating block besides something plain? These are 12 inch blocks and something like nine patches would just look odd that big. Maybe something like this though the colors are not right in the EQ sketch. In reality the background color is a nice light green with a ribbon figure on it but probably from a distance reads sort of grayish. Part of the reason why I chose white for sashing on the top I assembled is it would have been hard to match the colors in the background and there was not enough left if I want to squeeze out some more QST's. The snowball colors would be dependent on what color predominates or contrasts best with the available blocks.

    Joy will be bringing me the last row robin top in a few hours. Knowing me, I'll put off working on that since I have nearly a month to do my obligation but I still want to see what it is! Appliqued and houses, I have heard. But for now, I'll concentrate on those Ohio Stars for the remainder of the weekend. Beyond that, a stack of 4 quilts is waiting for me with the possibility of bringing more home after the meeting.

    And so it goes in my little corner of the world..........

    Jul 4, 2007

    Happy 4th of July

    Happy 4th of July!

    (Detachable center design from Sew Precise software--base quilt from Katrinka Designs "Multi-Seasonal Banner" )

    Jul 3, 2007

    Best laid plans.........

    I "overslept" this morning---lately with the summer heat and trying to get my walking in early, I have been getting up anytime after 5 but usually no later than 6:30. That is not easy for a confirmed night owl to do. An "up and down" night made me awake with an "oh no!" when I spied the clock. But walking was not too bad---it is just enough overcast and a bit of a breeze is blowing with temps about 70. What a blessing that is!

    I thought I would share some pictures of the crepe (crape?) myrtle trees that are just starting to come out. There are four total in our yard. This red one is probably my favorite, colorwise. When we first moved here 10 years ago, it appeared to be a fairly recent planting and it was growing as "crooked as a dog's hind leg" as DJ would say. It spent some time getting staked up. The kudzu, of course, is the greenest thing around but the yard has shaped up considerably with a bit of rain in early June. It has been a little spotty at our house lately with other areas getting some measurable amounts. (The bare patches on the yard were once fire ant mounds)

    Still, voluntary water reduction made no difference in the town's water tanks and our little burg is now under water restrictions--several towns in the county are since they estimate us to be anywhere from 14 to 20 inches behind on rainfall totals. This ban won't effect DJ and I much since the two of us use well below the gallon uses before they would tack another 40 bucks on the water bill. Having said that, we will do our part in the home/yard just because we ALL should conserve that precious resource, drought or not. Off the soap box---that would require rinsing, no doubt, LOL

    Two white crepes greet you at the entrance to the lane---one is tree like. The other, small--DJ and I had to reclaim it from the kudzu vines our first fall here. The pinky/purplish one really looks skimpy this year but truthfully, as dry as it has been, we didn't much expect any blossoms.

    Somewhere on the page, the Rose of Sharon in the back yard that has a bunch of angel trumpets and day lilies underneath it. Rather an odd color mix with those pinky purplish flowers but it gives DJ something to look at while seated at the kitchen table. To the right, his pampered princess, lilac bush. Those are not native to Alabama apparently so he has to augment the soil, fertilize etc to even get it to grow. He mowed last night but needs to weed whack!

    Rose of Sharon blooms up close. You know that there is an appliqued quilt block named after these. It does look like this bloom. The park where I walk has white ones but they are not out yet.

    So anyway, in spite of my "late" start this morning I quickly sorted the laundry and got that started, did my walking and ran a quick grocery errand for a couple items needed for the next couple days. Actually I was half considering what the supermart would have thought if I just grabbed a cart and walked for 40 some minutes really fast as it felt so cool and climate controlled in there---I could grab the produce quick on the way. Several laps from one end to the other and front to back might do it?? Took the pictures on my return and started my post. Nothing exciting but hey, I can live without that.

    Speaking of excitement (read: expense) we can do without--- the a/c problem from Sunday? Believe it or not, it was caused by dead ant bodies. They are awful this year with the drought but who knew they could cause this? Apparently the contact points inside the switch attract them. They all follow each other so the gap is filled up with more and more of them. The a/c repair guy said that roaches will do the same thing. Now that DJ knows this, he can keep on eye on things. As for the vacuum cleaner I may have ruined (third time the card has been electrical taped, after all), he did some minor repair but I believe we are in the market for a new one--at least pricing them for now and tracking down a "Consumer Reports" best buy recommendation first.

    On the quilting/piecing front: I have a small basket with quilt kits stuck in it that I intend to work on over the next month or so but it was packed to the gills. Some of the "packing" is the other half of the blocks from Nancy's donation this spring---they were twin sized and we can get two quilts for the kids made with those. (One quilt I cannot bear to re-size yet and the group had some other suggestions for it that we will re-visit). I re-assembled one top yesterday, bordered it with some fabric from my stash, found a neat border stripe of undetermined origin (all I know is that I didn't buy it, LOL) that I cut on the bias to set it off and then backed it with yardage from my muslin bolt. Silly me, bought 36 wide so everything takes two widths of fabric. I washed and ironed about 8 yards of that yesterday---my low back is NOT happy with me. Who knew that ironing could be injurious to your health? I knew I didn't like doing it! Now Pippi thought it was great!!! I could not keep her off the fabric as I pressed it--the teflon coating on the pressing board was nice and hot and the muslin smelled nice and clean. Met the kitty criteria anyway.

    I had missed Judy's post about the July challenge till I read it on Mary's post ( behind on reading-- again)---guess I just met some of that challenge criteria and didn't even know it! I had started on a 2nd set of blocks last night--the body is back together; the border fabric is pulled and pressed so I'll pick up with that one. Time to check the dryer.............the stuff that life is made up........

    Jul 1, 2007

    busy busy but not quilting

    Pippi is no doubt wondering if it is safe to stay out on her perch. I have been busy cleaning for two days straight but finally finished the job about 3:30 this afternoon. Since my work involved the vacuum cleaner AKA kitty eating machine she stayed under the bed most of the day. Poor kitty---I've been calling her "Poodle Paws" with those shaved spots on her front legs. I notice it more when she is standing up. This angle is making her look chubbier than she is right now too---she has lost about 3 lbs with this condition she has and it really bony in her back.

    I cannot show you how the patriotic row came out and that is the nearest I had been to piecing anything late last week. Kept changing my mind about what blocks I wanted to do. One involved a star on a big circle so that challenged me and amazingly, turned out well. I had thought about doing a Sky Rocket block as shown( below). I still like this one but decided I would be better served to just get the work done in the interest of time. I really was having a harder time working with such a limited palette of colors more than anything--Betsy makes Quilts of Valor so I had told her she is welcome to some of the leftovers. One last project is coming. The "reveal" is scheduled for my birthday weekend along with a 3 day retreat next month. Should be fun.

    I had told DJ that once I was done with the row obligation I intended to give this house a thorough cleaning. I was tired of looking at the clutter I had been piling up in the sewing room and in/on my desk. I was tired of looking at the dust and it was just time before I start quilting or piecing again. Of course he asks "who is coming to visit?" No one, but I want it clean for US. He, of course, could care less but did vacuum part of the hall and living room for me. What I really wanted him to do was mop the kitchen floor but NOOOOOO. I may tackle that tomorrow.

    I cleaned out the desk, the stuff on the desk, the TV stand that holds quilting stuff, all the bookcases in the entire house, save one (he can clean his own room and bathroom). Boxed up some books for library donation and went through all the stuff on my sewing room shelves today. Tossed some but not much. I am beat!

    My husband has a goofy way of running the a/c. It has to get to about 80 in here before I can turn it on or 1130 a.m. or thereabouts. It goes off at 10 p.m. regardless of the house temperature. Just stating fact---I have gripped about this incessantly over the years. It does no good to try to tell him this is less than efficient way to run it. He's the one paying the bill and I have far more um, "insulation" than he does so the heat bothers me more than him. Well, today it didn't matter. I turned it on all right but it was not cooling we discovered about 2 hours later. Sure enough the fan unit outside was not working. He could not reach any heating/air conditioning guy to come out, this being Sunday in the Bible Belt. It was miserable---outside temps 88 and inside the same and me, trying to get my work finished. I was just about ready to get in the car and blast the car a/c. At that point I was dressed in the coolest thing I own (my nightgown) and had my too short hair yanked back the best I could, sweaty, sticky, gritty, dirty and no way could I remotely get out of the car anywhere. Shower first and then consider it. Finally an afternoon thunderstorm came blowing in and that provided some cloud cover and about 5 degrees of temperature drop. Another reason for Pippi to lay low--thunderbumpers. We didn't get much in the way of rain though I suspect that other parts of the county did.

    The other thing---I probably killed the vacuum cleaner. I got a little tingle in my finger when I was doing the final vacuum in the sewing room. I must have vacuumed over the cord and it chewed through to the wire. Third time one of us has done that but this time was worst. I don't know if he can fix it or not but the thing sounded like it was on its last legs. More expense even if he can replace the cord.

    And so it goes at my house----I am going to be happy to get back to the walking trail tomorrow since I felt I have worked harder with housework than walking 2.2 miles.

    Happy Canada Day to the bloggin friends to our North though I guess this being Sunday it will be observed tomorrow instead?