Feb 28, 2008

meeting wrap up

Busy weekend and busy week for me. Errands to run after being away and things to follow up on after the retreat. Tuesday was our regular meeting date for the Bama Belles so another day with a good chunk of it away from the house.

Theramae is still not feeling strong enough to be out after her recent hospitalization so I ran by her house on the way to pick up some things she had at home. One was this completed top from the fall sew-in. She and I were both stitching up these rail fence blocks and swapping them out for a good mix of color--our ongoing project.

Nancy finished up the Trip Around the World I had helped her cut out. She stitched that up pretty darned quick and had picked it up from the longarm quilter a few days ago and working on the binding. It is a gift for a friend so she was taking it over to the friend's home after the meeting. I tell you the girl is bit! Nancy and her MIL Beverly had worked for two days making another one for a nephew/cousin who is ill. I hear a pink version is also in the works.

Judy and I were sewing while the others pinned. Well, she was sewing up some strips to make sashed blocks and I was quilting a top of Aline's. Judy mentioned that she either needed to deal with the strips or toss them. I would not hear of that as I could use them in some manner. She decided to just had over the bag of them when it came time to pack up to go. I'll sort through them to add them to my strip boxes. Still need to do that with the leftovers from the bargello as it turns out as I will NOT have a scrap bag if I can help it! Pick a day this weekend and take care of that.

Jane and Aline finished up the binding on another top I had quilted last week for her, at right. She brought the binding to the retreat and I put it on the top after she joined and pressed the strips as I had my walking foot along with me and she didn't. Always good to have a bit of hand work, right? (I forgot that she had her redwork Sunbonnet blocks with her at the retreat and put a few stitches in after she packed up the machine.)

Pat helped with pinning, pressed some binding for me and trimmed down the edges of Linda C's top that I quilted last week. She was at the ready to work on any binding that I might have had done but I got sidetracked Mondy and didn't get that quilt started let along finished. Linda came by to get her top and will do the binding application honors.

I had the heart blocks that had been turned in out for the girls to see for Sarah's Memorial quilt. A few more are out there so I will wait to start the design work but I tell you, that Nancy girl is bit! (She said "mauled" was a better term. ) She had them all arranged on the table for me, LOL. Also passed out the 1st step instructions for the non-mystery mystery quilt since many of them didn't get it in January. We'll get back on track next month.
I quilted another top yesterday--one of the 11 tops my Mom sent that will be going to Pam's Mexico Project. "Checkboard Plaid" from Evelyn Sloppy's 40 Fabulous Quick Cut Quilts. Today it will be my version of the rail fence quilt after I press a pile of binding that has been sitting near the iron for well over a month. LOL, should have taken THAT to the meeting when I had a willing helper. OR the next one up of my mom's has the binding all ready---may change my mind. I plan on quilting for two or three more days and then it is back to the t-shirt quilt in earnest. Then drop off a few quilts to the binding volunteers, pick a finished one up and I can get a box of quilts mailed off to headquarters.

Need to get dressed and run to the store now that DJ has my car back from an oil change. What I thought was a package of ground beef thawing was stew chunks instead and now I'm missing an ingredient to turn it into stew. It is a chilly day so I won't mind slow cooking it in the stove on a day like this. Thanks for stopping by! I am terribly behind on blog reading but hope to get around to visit you soon.

Retreat wrap up

A week ago I was preparing to "roll on outta here" for the quilt retreat. I picked up Aline Thursday afternoon. It was pouring down rain, and would for a good bit of the weekend, but that didn't dampen our enthusiasm for the getaway. We were up in Collinsville (AL) in time to drop our luggage off at Joy's house and stake out our sewing spot for the weekend before dinner. The Georgia girls, Debora , Kim and Patti were already there along with Joy. We made two new friends from the Birmingham area , Jewell and Unav.

This is a great sewing space since the quilt shop is right next door if you need anything. Plenty of tables to sew on, huge cutting table and pressing station set up, lighting is good too. The GA girls stayed upstairs in the small apartment area rather than Joy's house this time. Didn't have too far to go to crash for the night. Seeing as they were are used to the EST time, that was good idea. They were up and sewing by the time we got uptown at 8 or so.

The food was provided by Nessa in our retreat costs. How wonderful to just be called to the table! One afternoon they were baking a ton of cookies!! It smelled heavenly. She brought down a freshly baked berry banana bread that tasted even better the next day. We had tea cakes ( melt in your mouth sugar cookies to me), chocolate chips, peanut butter cookies the size of saucers----yum! The best was a pecan pie cookie made from a recipe Kim had brought Nessa to try. Kim said her 9 year old boy was telling his daddy "I can't believe Momma is going away and didn't even make us any cookies" Guilt trip?! She loves to cook and bake anyway so made them 6 dozen pecan pie cookies. When the daddy joined us for supper Saturday night and Nessa served cookies along with peanut butter cake for dessert, he said he was sick of eating cookies. Wonder why? I brought a few home for DJ after Sunday "leftover lunch".

I did get my bargello top completed at the retreat. That's it up higher on the page. The quilt shop had nice yellow that I could use for the first border. I also found the Jinny Beyer greeny-blue print to go with it. I couldn't decide if I saw more blue than green in the top but I have forest green carpet so was leaning for green anyway. Got the backing as well from the markdown bin and sewed it together as well as cut and joined the binding. As I said in my last post , if I had had a big enough batt on hand, I would have probably pinned this at our meeting this week. Closer to be being on my bed and big enough to cover the blankets and pillows with that oversized mattress.
Debora and Joy were both sewing on rag quilts Thursday when we got there. Jewell is fairly new to quilting and was working on a large nine patch block while Unav was cutting and working on a double Irish chain. Aline was stitching all weekend on a Peony quilt using a pattern from Eleanor Burn's Egg Money Quilts. She found a nice fabric for the alternating blocks so had started to assemble the top by Sunday morning. I didn't get a picture of it before she packed it up, unfortunately. That's Debora with her quilt at right.
She also whipped up this little rag quilt for her niece Rosie's dollies. After that she shifted over to a star project that she had been working on through 3 or 4 retreats, shown below right. I think she said it was called "Memory Star" and was from the Caffrey book Another Can of Worms.
Joy moved onto a miniature log cabin blocks for the rest of the weekend but I don't have a picture of it.
As my other project. I got all the 1/2 inch finished frames sewed around all of the 64- 4 patched stacked posie blocks. BORING!! And I have a hard time working with such skinny pieces accurately. Won't do that again. I think I was over-tired though when it came to making the cornerstone and sashing units. DUH!! Not every strip needs a cornerstone when you pre-sash blocks, Linda! Plus they were all too long. I had to pull the stones off half of them and re-cut. I set it aside and put the borders on the bargello instead. Didn't touch my Christmas Patience corners but found a nice piece of Moda "ho, ho, ho" fabric to add to it.
In looking over the pictures I took, I realized that I had a bunch of stuff I could not really share with you. Patti and Kim were both working ahead on the row quilts. On the off chance that one of the row group will be looking at my blog, I best not post them. I DID find out that I had made two extra blocks for Joy's quilt I could have sworn that Joy said her quilt was 72 inches, not 60 and didn't bother to measure it when finished with my part. It was 72.5 on the nose, LOL. I can put the extras in Sarah's memorial quilt so no harm. I also got to see what will be coming to my house before long to get some ideas.

The Georgia girls are doing their own Block of the Month of some Mariner's Compass blocks taking turns teaching each other the blocks. Patti had her finished block to show and somehow Kim convinced Debora's sister Teresa to try it. Now, bear in mind that Debora has been trying to tell Teresa how much she might like to foundation piece since she is already sewing and flipping making crazy patches. Off to the quilt shop to pick out her fabrics--nice brights! They have a washer and dryer on premises for the tea rooms linens as well as pre-washing fabrics so she was set. Teresa ended up borrowing some pjs and a change of clothes and staying over on a blow up mattress just so she could finish her block! Jewell and Unav were Kim's other pupils though it kept her from working on the handquilting on her husband's quilt as much as she would like. Two of Debora's students Sandra and Ann came to sew with us on Saturday. Sandra was working on a some "homework" from class and Ann, a pink rag quilt.

This is a top that Aline had recently completed after Janet Worley visited the JOY group in Jacksonville. All the quilts are named after food, not sure of the book's name but this is Aline's version of "Red Velvet Cake" Beading, ruching and so forth but hard colors to pick out a backing---she will keep looking. (I have a shot of the one Lois made but will show it in my Bama Belles note. )
We had spa lady come on Friday night after supper. Penny is a good friend of Kim We got a facial as well as a hand care treatment and ran around with some foot creams and spa socks on. Penny led us through a relaxation technique at the end and had product available for sale if we were interested.
Saturday a massage therapist came for neck and shoulder massages and then led those who wanted to, in a yoga session. It was billed as "gentle stretching" but I was a bit stiff the next day from doing it. Using different muscles, I guess. I don't think I better go into what I was thinking about "air on my toes, softening eyeballs and relaxing organs"---stop laughing, FABS!! I don't think I am quite cut out for some of this "New Age" mumbo jumbo though the exercises would be good thing to continue if I could remember what she had us do. One of my local friends teaches yoga but she said "soft eyeballs" was a little out there for her too but they call it the "wind position" for a reason, LOL.
So we had a wonderful time away last weekend. Lots of laughing and bantering, good food, good company and some production. Could you ask for anything more? Aline and I will be back in August when we have the "rowers reveal retreat" Arrangements are being made at a retreat house that is opening up in the country about 5 miles out--house sleeps 10 or 11 but we will still sew near the shop and eat at Nessa's, Debora said.
Actually, Aline and I plan on going up to Joy's again late next month with two of our pals from here who could use some time away. We told them we would kidnap them if we had to. It will be dialed way back though. We will sew if we want to--or not. Relax at the house, work a puzzle, play dominoes, watch movies, or do handwork. There is a quilt show not far away and a couple of fabric shops we could visit. Nessa will be vending at that quilt show so we will be on our own for meals but that's okay too. DJ can't say I didn't tell him I'm headed out again but will need to remind of the dates when it gets closer. Think I have to bribe him with 6 doz. cookies?
That's it for this note--I'll post about the meeting in another note.

Feb 25, 2008

ironing boards

Just a brief check in note for now. Libby wanted to see pictures of blogger's ironing boards in a recent post on her blog. Not sure if we are having an ugliest c0ntest or what!

Anyway, here are my three. I have a real standard ironing board but it is at our meeting place at the church and I visit it there, LOL. I keep the little board for when I am compelled to want to iron a shirt (rare, people) and need that pointy end. The board I covered with teflon cloth and batting is the main pressing board for quilting, of course. I had enough fabric left over to remove that awful, ugly stained cover from the larger of two June Taylor ironing pads. I use that one when I am foundation piecing and lay it across the waste basket top and move the whole thing over to the sewing table on the other side of the room. I think I must have tossed the smaller June Taylor thing---it needed it, badly and rivaled Libby's in the ugly department. It had gotten relegated to propping up the Jem in my sewing table to get just a tad higher.

I do have a lot more to say---(hush, you that are thinking that I always do). After all, I just got back from a fun retreat weekend and some of you are waiting for pictures and the report! But I am in a time crunch today getting caught up with my home chores and getting ready for the Belles meeting tomorrow. I still would like to get another top quilted if I can as I know one of the girls will be looking to help with some binding. Aline has the one I did for her last week but the 2nd one I did for Linda C didn't have binding sent home with me--not sure if I am supposed to do it or she will but I'll drag my machine anyway.

Biggest news flash though: my bargello top is completed, the backing seamed and the binding cut and joined. If I had the batting here, I would pin it tomorrow but it is on order. Not like I don't have other things to quilt in the meantime, LOL. Till next time--------

Till tomorrow then---

Feb 20, 2008

getting ready to roll

I'm getting ready to roll on out of here for the retreat tomorrow afternoon. A load of laundry is tumbling in the dryer. The wardrobe selections have been narrowed down--some lighter clothes if the room is too hot and sweaters if it is not. The suitcase is on the bed ready to be packed. Pippi is not sure that she likes THAT idea since it is encroaching on HER space. The car trunk is emptied of non-essentials since I need to make room for Aline's luggage and sewing things too.

My sewing projects that I would like to work on are all set and packed up as of yesterday afternoon incorporating something old and something new. Do-able in that time that I have to work:
  • Bargello--WIP
  • 4 patch posie--UFO
  • Christmas Patience Corner--PIM
We had thunderstorms and tornadic activity here in Alabama on Sunday and I had intended to get some bargello sewing done. Instead I had to bail from the computer and sewing machine for a good chunk of the afternoon. To make good use of the time, I cut bargello strips and paired them up for sewing the last two stratas. In the end, the only sewing that got done Sunday was joining the subcut sections for the 3rd panel and adding it to the two I had done already. Then on Monday, between errands, walking and a haircut appointment , I got the 4th panel done and the 5th panel up to the subcut stage---it is about done, in other words. I hope to find some border fabric at the quilt shop this weekend as I know I do not have any long enough dark green yardage--at least so far I am thinking green will work. I need it all to be spread out and look at it first.

I did some cutting yesterday trimming a pile of print Christmas squares to a uniform 5 inches for the Patience Corner I intend to make (like Finn's and Norma's). You see who had to test it out at least temporarily. Earlier in the afternoon I had cut a stack of squares from a scrap bag from the Christmas Cloth Store. I had purchased it a month or so back when Norma and I were talking about my making one of these quilts. (The website/store is merging with the fatquartershop.com site today and the site indicates that. ) So anyway, the Patience Corner is all cut and kitted up in the pizza box, minus the cat, of course. I also cut out the sashing strips for the 4 patch stacked posie UFO so I am ready! It won't take me long to grab my sewing supplies though I know I have to wind a pile of bobbins for the machine I am taking first.

I plan on quilting a bit this afternoon and tomorrow morning so best get the packing part done. In some ways it would just be easier to stay home and sew by myself like always but no way, no how would I want to miss out on this fun time with my friends! DJ is acting like I am abandoning him and pulling that "poor me" act but it won't hurt him to miss me a little. Good company, good food and shopping plus a break from the home routine? No contest. I'm there!

Feb 16, 2008

stitching away

I've been stitching away on heart blocks for the past three days. I am calling myself done for now except for a little embellishment on one of the kitty heart blocks. There are others that the Bama Belles will be turning in to add to the quilt top.

Three of the blocks are free patterns from the Ula Lenz site--double hearts, inverse heart at the bottom of the picture and the corded heart in the middle row, right. The ruffled heart block was in Sew Precise 1-2 software but I also found a version of it on AZ Patch, actually I think several of those ARE also in the same software. The block on upper right is Friendship Heart from Piece by Number .

I got the bright idea to take the cutaways from the blocks and make a crumb pieced heart though I am not sure that I like the resultant piece. I don't have to include it in the quilt top if there are extras. Sarah did a lot of crazy patching for fillers around donation blocks. She, like Theramae, hated to see us throw anything out and would often take the cutaway strips from the quilt backing. It would not take long before you would notice those bits turning up when we pinned a top.

I still need to put the eyes, nose and whiskers on the Kitty Love block--the link is in the previous post along with the one for the cat with the heart. The last small block, "Heart in Hand" is a freebie from Christine Thresh and one that I have had in my files for some time. I included it here because it is a traditional symbol of friendship. The other two blocks I made earlier in the week are in the last post.

I got a call mid week from the lawyer who had commissioned a couple of t-shirt quilts and 4 or 5 SEC quilts in the past. Initially he said he wanted a simple quilt done with some neckties given to him from his former father-in-law's estate. By the time I arrived to pick up the ties, his ex had convinced him that pillows would be better. He plans to re-gift his former mother-in- law with the pillows. Seems she has a neutral, Oriental feel going on so avoiding the Victorian look of crazy patch and velvets.

So it is going to be two pillows using a fan design and thankfully, no giant rush on these. I don't think I know a whole lot about making pillows or working with ties but I will learn. They are slippery, slide-y fabrics cut on the bias and contain how much fabric???? I ordered a used copy of Shirley Botford's Daddy's Ties for my reference library as it was the only source of help that I could think of on the subject. (I may pick my friend Ginny's brain too as I think she made something with her FIL's ties? Not sure about that plus she is busy with an out of state move.) The daughter has some ideas about the backing fabrics. At some point she will go shopping with me to get that and the pillow forms. I just hope that there is no fancy cording or gee gaws involved. I am a quilter, not a good seamtress. I can do enough to get by but sewing clothing was abandoned years ago. I'm definitely not a decorator. I'll call her after I get the blocks done to set that up and just ordered the Moda shade that come closest to matching one of the tie colors for a background.

The ex would also like a t-shirt quilt done for her younger son at some point. I will probably do it because I already did for the half brother and she had mentioned this before. It doesn't mean that she will follow through. Every one I have made so far, I have thought it was the last one. Speaking of which, I need to get busy today on the present one to move it along. Tomorrow I play with my bargello again--Norma will be working on her borders while I still have two more stratas to make. I would also like to get a couple of tops quilted sometime before our next meeting on the 26th.

I am going to a retreat up in Collinsville is coming up this next weekend from Thursday evening till Sunday afternoon. Joy and Debora are our hosts and Nessa will feed us some of her good food. My pal Aline from here is going with me and some of the my row group are coming. My 4 patch stacked posie is my UFO of choice to work on though I have more blocks done than shown in the linked post. My choice for new project would be the Christmas Patience Corner like the one Norma is working on shown HERE Both she and Cher sent me some cut Christmas squares and this is my choice of pattern for how to use them. I would still need to cut them to a uniform size along with a packet I already own as well as cut the sashing bits--maybe Thursday morning before I go I can get that kitted up. I may take my last two snowmen bluework with me for a change of pace when I get tired of the sewing machine. Don't we also drag more than we can possibly get done to these things?

That's the long range plans--more immediate plans, go heat up my oatmeal (double batched it yesterday) and get dressed. Temp is at 51 degrees, a little overcast and not windy so perfect for walking. Hope you have a good weekend in whatever you chose to do.

Feb 12, 2008

meeting day production

The quilt group met today as planned. We were still missing a few of our folks---one out of town, another in the hospital, another is moving to Georgia soon. Some have other home and family obligations. The 8 of us that were there had a couple machines set up as well as the pinning table. Aline had sent a couple tops with me so those got pinned after I prepped a back for one of them. Pat F. had a tractor quilt to pin for her baby grandson while Linda C. had a zigzag strippie top that I will quilt up and a personal project for a family member gift. Fun quilts that I will share with you in the future, I am sure. I came home with more stuff than I took--typical, LOL.

Pictured at left is Beverly's completed challenge quilt. I think that this is "Strip Twist"? Something like that anyway. She had used Kairle's strip quilt tutorial after I spotted it and sent the link to our private yahoo group. Always fun to see the girls try something I think that they may want to try. Thanks, Kairle for the inspiration and "how-to's"
To the right, is my output for the meeting. I was showing Nancy some of the fundamentals of paper piecing today. What a sweetie! She not only shared the fabrics for the blocks and background fabric for the quilt but even brought some sandwich makings for our lunch! Yummy turkey breast. The color is not right as these are more a hot pink. Nancy took over and added the frame on the simple block and tried out my little Janome Jem as she has the opportunity to buy one used from another group member. I did the other block called "Candy Box Heart" from Piece By Number.

I had printed a bunch of the heart patterns off from various sources, EQ and online, when I made the heart block row seen HERE . I just took the whole notebook I just reorganized with me as I had all the heart blocks were right on the top. Appropriate blocks since it is almost Valentine's Day, right? Nancy as a cat owner particularly liked the Kitty Love heart block also on Piece By Number. So do I, along with this one of a cat with a heart on its belly http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art1667.asp Guess you know what I'll be doing tomorrow? We are making these blocks in memory of our Sarah; she did love her kitties so the inclusion of them in the quilt would be appropriate.

Another prefers to applique and will probably try "Emily's Heart" found HERE. Others liked the scrappy heart on the Delaware Quilts and others, our old standby, vertical heart block from the World Wide Quilting Page. Beverly was making a nine patch hearts-- Billie Lauder among others on that one. I will do a few more as I told the girls to make any sized heart block, any technique as long as it was a shade of pink for the heart and white/WOW backgrounds. With smaller blocks such as these we will need more than they finished up today by month's end. Another had some raggy hearts on hand---it will all work.

Before I left for the meeting, I was able to finish up the 2nd bargello strata and add it to the first one. I completed the 3rd strata and sub-cut it after I posted yesterday. I'll take an updated picture after I get the next section added. Definitely looking more like a quilt. Heart blocks first though. Bargello on the weekend again. Next week I think I better try to do a bit of quilting. Some of the girls came prepared to help with some binding and I didn't have any for them to work on! When you have willing helpers, it would be good to have something for them to work on! T-shirt quilt? Yeah, I know---fit that in there too. Never enough hours in the day, are there, when you are a creative person with more ideas than time. And, it looks like I am up later than usual as it is...........time to tell Pippi to move on over.

Feb 11, 2008

Monday, Monday.............

That goofy cat---still seems enamored with sitting on top of the TV set though that seems to be an evening thing. She even slept up there for several hours the other night. I figured she might as well be comfortable and folded up her thermal pad to put atop the flat part of the set and away from the vents. Good move till she wanted to get down. The whole thing including cat slipped to the bag of fabric below. Of course, she walked away from the spill like she intended that to be her exit though far from graceful. Pictured here, she was keeping me company while I stitched and watched an episode of "Without a Trace" I had on the DVR.

When I changed the bed linens for our guests, I also switched out the bed covers to rotate things around. Now the goofy cat will not have anything to do with her thermal pad. LOL, "give them the books and they eat the covers". Instead, she seems to have fallen in love with this particular spot on the bed. No laying at the foot of the bed or any location on the left side , this one area. HMMMMM Wonder where it will be next week?

I have gotten a bit of sewing done since my last post. During my Friday and Saturday sewing time, I got busy with moving that t-shirt quilt along. All the t-shirt sections have the black and white gingham the future owner requested around them. I will be adding what looks like a shadow to the right and bottom sides of the blocks and I got that all cut out and ready to strip piece . After that,I will fill in with more of the white to accomodate the various sized blocks. Some design time will be needed in EQ so I know exactly what sizes to cut that white sashing fill. It will look sort of like framed pictures. Well sort of like the SEC quilts shown HERE but not with uniformly sized blocks. The gingham sets off the whites, grays and reds of the shirts. One brown one and one blue in the mix but all in all, pretty monochromatic.

Yesterday was fun sewing with the bargello. I finished up the 2nd strata which was lacking the lower third and cut did the secondary strips and de-looping so I can see what it might look like. The pile next to the machine is the 3rd grouping (I am doing 5 bands for a full sized quilt). I left off last night joining pairs of 2 to make groups of 4. Once joined I'll have the 3rd strata over 30 strips completed.

A box of strips had arrived from my mom last week so I was having a lot of fun pulling stuff out of there and pairing it up with the stuff I already had cut. I am not cutting any of the strips to length, in my case 20 inches, till I am ready to use them. Mom's are cut 3 1/2 so any extras will be used for another purpose. I almost wish that I had tried the trip blocks instead and briefly thought about switching horses in mid stream, taking the first band down to 5 blocks instead. Naw, just go with what you have--too much work to rip and reinforce the seams when you have more scraps and strips to play with!

This might take a 3rd weekend of sewing for me to get closer to a finish but this one is mine and it isn't supposed to be a race.

Tomorrow is the Belles meeting. We will be making heart blocks in memory of Sarah so I need to pull the container of pinks and get my sewing supplies packed up. Yesterday I had tried to pull out my door peephole on a string that was tied to the handle of my carry along basket to get a better look at the bargello. Unfortunately as I pulled the peephole out, I yanked up the divider in the process, up enough that I cannot get the divider to seat properly. I will need to empty part of that and straighten it out before I can even think of loading it in the car. Sounds like a good "before lunch" project to me.

I am not sure but I think I have passed my two year blogiversary and this is will be my 367th post on this version of my blog. Pam and I both started blogging in early Feb 2006 shortly after Cher started hers joining the stashbuster ring. I am still in the ring while they have moved up but still blogging independently. Through a stupid error on my part and blogger not cooperating I deleted the first one and lost 6 weeks of posts so that is why I cannot be sure of the exact date. It's been fun and I am happy for the friends I have made and the people I have I visited along the way. Thanks for stopping by!

Feb 8, 2008

checking in

Checking in now that things have settled down at my house. Our guests left yesterday morning, early, on their way up to NC to visit their son. A little excitement was had on Wednesday morning. DJ and I were just getting up when the tornado warning sirens went off as well as our indoor warning device. That thing is enough to wake the dead and only sounds for a chemical emergency at the incinerator and tornadoes. Or so I thought--- I think Phyllis must have sleeping very soundly at that point as it didn't even rouse her. By 11 the weather system had completely moved out and they were all able to head over to the golf course. I stayed home to walk and tend a pile of Home Extension paperwork that needed to be done prior to a meeting with the "prez" yesterday. We went out to Lonestar Steakhouse for supper but I had made Shipwreck Casserole earlier in the day in case anyone was around to eat it. It turned out that I dined alone for lunch but Herb and Phyllis had a bit when they got back from the golf course while Herb had some automotive work done.

No sewing or house messing up while the guests were here. I got a bit more of my cardigan done---at 12 1/2 inches from the armholes at this point so it is growing and actually looking much more sweater-like. I also finished up the lower half of the October snowman block--just two more to go as I did them in sequence.

I loved the redwork Santa blocks that I saw on one of the blogs---Carol at Brown Quilts maybe? I'm sorry that I am not pulling that out of my brain cells--one of the girls who had been to Road to California, for sure. I wanted some too and ordered them from Birdbrain Designs as a kit with the red perle cotton and fabrics. I told myself I cannot get started on these until the snowmen are stitched though. I can't hardly wait!
I am supposed to be stitching on that t-shirt quilt as Cher is holding my feet to the fire but so far today, anything but. Got my walking in right before lunch and laundry chores before that. I almost forgot that I needed to put a turkey breast in the crockpot for supper and was late doing so. Then I decided to make DJ a pecan pie for dinner. I had some homemade cranberry sauce and some of the stuffing in the freezer and thawed them out so that just leaves making mashed potatoes and a veggie this evening. Hurray for leftovers.

I believe that I have run out of excuses not to be sewing. After all, I want to play with my bargello again on Sunday so best get to work.

Feb 5, 2008

bargello bowling--standstill

Norma posted on her blog about our sewing together on Sunday. I got a bit of a jumpstart on Saturday joining some strips but she soon caught up and surpassed me. Time out for groceries and cake making will do that. And guess what? My husband thought we should eat, LOL.

This is how things looked by yesterday morning. 1st strata completed and 2/3rd of the 2nd one joined. I sewed for about an hour but then needed to go walk, run a quick errand for something I was to bring to the funeral luncheon, shower and get ready to roll on outta here. Another of our quilt group is currently hospitalized and I stopped to see here briefly since it was on the way to the visitation.

Next thing I knew, it was 3:30 and I was just getting home. My husband greeted me with the news that the house guests we expected this afternoon would be here in about 2 1/2 hours. Thank heavens the house only needed some touchup work---mostly vacuuming though I did have to change the bed linens and clean the bathroom too. He also told me that they would be here for dinner and told THEM we normally eat by 6 p.m. I could have slugged him---hurry up and clean and cook besides??? Man, you aren't wanting much are you? But I pulled together a decent meal aided by leftovers from the luncheon. Then no houseguests arrived. We turned in at our usual time as sometimes they do arrive late and stay out in the van.......

No van this morning either......I am sensing some major miscommunication between the two husbands at this point. Maybe DJ just thought they were coming last night and got the cell phone number out. Meet you at the golf course at around 12. The wife decided to ride around the golf course with the guys and I decided that was not my cup of tea and stayed home to enjoy the peace and quiet, a nice breeze from an opened window and knit. Up to the 70's again today but storms are expected tonight and through the night. Trust me, my sinuses are well aware of that change in barometric pressure. (The crocuses loved the warmer weather, I think, as we now have 29 blooms up instead of the 7 or 8 we counted two days ago. No sign of the purple ones but we saw that the daffodils might not be too long in making their appearance.)

No more sewing till they are gone---all the strips are put away including a nice stuffed shoe box full of cut strips from my mom that I can't wait to get into. Enough for two quilts probably, LOL but since she cut them a half inch bigger than I am using, I have more for bowtie blocks with the leftovers. Busting stash from her and me, I would say. T-shirt quilt stuff is put away but Cher and Finn, I promise you I will be good and get back to the t-shirt quilt before I start sewing more bargello stuff. I had already gotten a bit of the first round sashing added when I decided to "play" this weekend.

Well, my solitude has come to a screeching halt---they are home. Where is the aspirin? Oh, no cooking for me tonight. If we are going to eat at home, it is leftovers from last night, I already decided, LOL.

Feb 3, 2008

Look what popped open yesterday? DJ called me outside to take a peek at the crocuses that he said appeared overnight and in spite of a heavy frost and 26 degrees when we got up. I don't care what Punxsutawney Phil said or didn't say (we have the "Birmingham Bill" counterpart--spring is right around the corner here.

I have gotten a little of my scrappy bargello top together---one of the stratas using 30 strips cut 3 inches for me. I just did the sub-cuts and will start joining them when I get back from walking. You may remember that nicely stacked pile of strips from my last post? Well, they don't look like that now!

The quilt group received some bad news Friday evening. Long time readers will remember me talking about Sarah, our oldest Bama Belle. Her daughter Jane is a member of the group as well and they did about everything together. Sarah had been ill and hospitalized for about a month and succumbed to that illness. Just too much for her body to take and continue the fight. The funeral is tomorrow and the quilt groups are helping with the luncheon.

Please say a prayer for Jane and her family--it has been a rough month.

Okay, the cake I am taking as my offering is done, shoes are on to go walk. I'll frost it when I get back and then back to these strips to see how it looks. I put some fabrics that some dear friends have given me over the years in here so this one is mine, no matter how it turns out!

Feb 1, 2008

BargelloBowl 08 and so forth

I don't really mind watching football when a team that I follow is playing . Around here all that we seem to see during the regular season is the Green Bay Packers and whoever they might be playing. I tell you, that does not sit well with THIS Chicago Bears fan, needless to say, LOL. Does Fox think that this is the new version of "America's Team" or something or signed a big multi-year contract to televise their games??
Anyway, making a scrappy bargello quilt sounds like fun and it is a pattern I have considered trying from time to time. I'm in! Thanks to Jane, we participants have this cool graphic to use. I had considered doing this with Christmas fabrics similiar to one shown in Bonnie's gallery pages at the end of the pattern instructions. I love that zigzag effect across the whole quilt. Ultimately I decided since I already have a Christmas log cabin quilt made and pinned plus I am planning a Patience Corner in Christmas colors like Finn and Norma's, I would go scrappy instead. Bust some stash a little bit at a time, right?

I am going with 3 inch strips and will do a 5th panel to make it wider and 30 strips long---or that is the plan at the moment. I had a handful of 3 1/2 inch strips cut already so trimmed them down. Sewed some of the shorter strips together to insure 20 inches across the width of fabric as well and trimmed them down too. A start.
Then I drug out that container you see to the left in the picture. This is the odd ball fabrics for the most part that don't quite fit the other categories of colors or motifs---secret pal stuff, swap things, donation bag, whatever except or that one set tied together with ribbon. Even called my mom who is the "queen of scraps" and told her to just box some of hers up---I'll cut it! Such a deal, right? Won't be here in time for Superbowl Sunday but no way would I get the top done in a weekend anyway especially if I re-size it.
If the yardage would allow it, I cut some 2 inch strips and 3 1/2 inch squares while I was at it. Triple rail blocks and squares for 3D bowties are my two ongoing blocks for the donation quilts, after all. I also need strips 2 inch by a little bit shorter for "Grandma's Scrap Bag", a pattern I like from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company. My mom has already made one probably using some of those strips I helped her cut last summer on my busman's holiday. I have it here, pinned and ready to quilt up for Pam's Quilts for Mexico along with about 13 others slated for there.
But other than cutting and a bit of knitting there is not a lot of anything creative going on around here. Laundry detail today. An hour at least out for walking every day or most days. Last night we invited my friend Marilyn over for dinner as her husband has been out of town all week--no sewing with dinner preparations and our visit. The cutting project to help Nancy took a few hours but that's fine--glad to help. Company is supposed be back this way on Wednesday so that shoots a couple of days again--housecleaning/straightening but mostly, non-mess making in the sewing room.

Meanwhile those t-shirt quilt sections keep staring at me. I know I said I would get them trimmed down to size some day this week but I can't seem to make myself get started on it. Feet need to be held to the fire so I can get this thing moved on and outta here. BUT first, I am going to do some fun sewing with that bargello. Maybe that will get me off my duff and excited about the process again. Stay safe and warm--