Dec 31, 2009

Happy New Year

A happy and prosperous year ahead, I hope, for all--parts of 09 were not so hot but other parts were good. In that regard, I am guessing that makes it like most years and differ only in that you are more likely to recall the recent events.

I took down the Christmas decorations yesterday but left the snow/winter things out for this coming month. It perks up the house a bit but I hope I remember where I put them come December. They probably won't go back in the Christmas storage boxes where they SHOULD belong. I hope to save myself from the treasure hunt I did this year, LOL.

Be Attitudes from last year

Pictures on the shelf were drawn by my friend Janet and set as Christmas cards. The mitten was added as a gift tag for Christmas gift I was given years ago. I made the snowman several years ago. The Quiltmaker's wallhanging is labeled "04" but I just sewed the sleeve on this morning. Actually I decided this morning as I stitched that one on that I am going to start sewing sleeves on everything that could conceivable put on the wall or displayed in a quilt show later. Phooey on doing it after the fact!

This wallhanging is from one of the Tonee White Appliquilt books--when I was in my homespun phase, I would say. Still have a bunch that should be stitched up in some manner.

The welcome sign has little pieces that switch out for the year so this snowman will be right at home. The tree wallhanging was made for me by a friend. Gorgeous hand quilting

I didn't get a whole lot of sewing done yesterday. I baked some bread and putting away the decorations took a chunk of the day I had not planned on as well. I did get the further cutting and sewing done for the way I wanted to do the sashing--- pre-sash or add those bits to the blocks or block pairs instead of sewing a long skinny strip to a long row. I got one row together though so I could see how it looked with the red "flower" that forms where the blocks join.

I like it! I had been debating about what to use for borders on this but it turns out it was right under my nose. I had purchased that aqua stuff for my half done Cheap Trick quilt but it will work here even better than my original plan. I also have just enough red left to use it for the narrow 1st border. The color is a bit off in the picture, thanks to the fluoroscent bulbs, but in person it works out fine in constrast to the blue-green flowers. I'll get cracking after lunch.

A special meal is planned for tonight . I baked the cream of coconut cake this morning and I'm waiting for it to cool enough to add the whipped topping and coconut. Spend some time with my sweetie this evening---hope you can do the same!

Dec 30, 2009

Daisy Chain progress

Here is my progress so far on the Daisy Chain project. Blocks laid out and awaiting sashing. I am going to veer off in my own direction from the pattern for the actual joining but that's my choice. Strip piecing the sashing bits is next.

Christmas tree and decorations are down excepting a couple of Santa wall hangings. Skyler kept trying to chew on the tree so it is time. A little bread baking this morning so it has been a busy day already. I have a feeling I will still be sashing and joining rows for a day or two more.

Dec 28, 2009

48 blocks and more

Norma and I have wanted to sew our version of Atkinson Designs Daisy Chain for some time. When she knew that she was going to be on holiday between Christmas and New Year's we planned on getting started. But first, she needed to prep fabric and do some cutting. In the meantime, I got busy sewing the Sisterhood Gratitude top that I had cut out recently---my Saturday project, LOL. It still needs borders--a pretty blue inner border and the outer border is that patchwork fabric you see in 6 of the pieced blocks in the picture below.

Sunday after I had lunch out of the way, we got our sewing machines revved up. Here's my project box. I am using 30 repros (I'm working in series, ha!) If you look at the pattern leaflet, the greens and pinks form little flowers in the diagonal chains. Well, in my version the blue-green/aqua fabric you see is my green in the design and the red dot takes the place of the pink. My yellow for the flower in the chain has both the aqua and red elements but I don't think it showed up in this shot.

Here I am ready to start Step 1, part C. I had cut pairs of two of about 60 fabrics in 5 different colors. Some were too light or didn't contrast enough with the accent pieces. I weeded those out but still have a few extra, should I need them for variety.

Where I left off last night----half blocks for 48+ blocks. Today we start off with the strip pieced sections that go between the block halves. I know the blocks don't look like much at this point but they will! Judging by the piles of colors, I have more blue cut than any other.

You may have also spotted the iron on pressing surface in that shot? Funny story there. My Christmas pants turned into an iron. As background information---DJ, bless him, often takes on the laundry as his "job" so he had seen the one pair of my slacks was looking a little worse for wear. He has gotten me a top, a sweater (a set of silverware for both of us even) before but didn't want to repeat himself. Walmart doesn't carry quilting hoops anymore or he would have gotten one of those for me. He checked after he was recruited to repair my favorite broken one last week. That is taken care of anyway as my mom called after reading my last post and offered me hers since she no longer hand quilts. Thanks, Mom!

Well, you know we women can be a little picky about our jeans so it surprised me that he ventured out in that territory. Actually I HAD bought a pair to replace the worn ones but he didn't know that. I do appreciate his trying to get something for me though so I would have a package to open. The store didn't have a different color in the correct size. Actually I want a t-shirt from JSU but WM doesn't carry them for some reason and I haven't gone up to Jacksonville to buy one for myself. The other thing I needed was, you got it, an iron. I was currently using an old backup one which was neither hot enough and not steaming anymore. I took the pants refund, added in 20 bucks of my Christmas money and got the Hamilton Beach Easy Touch model. Good choice! But woe be to the husband who bought an iron for his wife for Christmas, right? Well, he didn't, I did ! I'm happy, he's happy--works for us.

On Christmas Eve he had asked me how I planned to spend the check he had given me. Usually there is some quilt book that I have my eye on or I want to renew a quilting magazine, pattern or two, something quilty that has caught me eye. The money is usually spent earlier in the month and he reimburses me, in effect, but not this year. I couldn't really come up with anything I "had to have". A replacement iron, fabric for borders for the Daisy Chain quilt----boring! It is also not something I could point at and say" here is what you got me" like say, the Amy Bradley Kitty City patterns or Dazzling Dog patterns we had gotten in the past. When I worked on those blocks, he was actually excited about my project, often commenting on how cute they were turning out and asking which one I was doing next. It was like he was personally invested in the quilt. Trust me, this is NOT how he usually acts about my quilting. When the quilt failed to take a first place ribbon in its category at the quilt show, he thought it was a personal affront to HIM! LOL. But I digress.

The answer came to me after a few days of pondering. I ordered a couple things online once I decided. The first was the custom button sets for the two of Nancy Halvorsen's books that I already own, Calendar Quilts and Stitcheries and In Season. I am going to do the applique version of the calendar quilts this year as my monthly project in 2010 as I did her "Be Attitudes" this year. I had so much fun with those and expect to with this as well. I also ordered a couple of quilt hangers from Ackfeld Wire similar to what I am using for the Be Attitudes quilt-let display. I'm happy, he's happy--works for us. I am blessed.

Well, my sewing partner has plans with her family this morning so I will work on something else in the meantime. Maybe hand quilt a bit or put borders on the Sisterhood top but leaning more to the hand quilting. I'll get enough machine time put in this afternoon working on those strip sets, LOL.

Hope that you have a good day in whatever you chose to do-------thanks for stopping by!

Dec 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends!

It will be a quiet day here, as most holidays are, with just DJ and I and our fuzzy little "boy" Skyler. The weather report looks to be a little forbidding between here and IL where most of our family is located. We didn't plan on going back anyway---normally we wait till May or June if we are going. My family had "Christmas in July" earlier this year though not everyone could be there. Actually the wind and rain is picking up since I sat down to write this post.

I have been busy this past week though don't have much to show for it. Hand quilting continues on my FAB challenge quilt though I have the body of the quilt done and marked the borders yesterday. My favorite quilt hoop bit the dust this past week though so I am in the market for its replacement----a 14 inch round that I had since 88. DJ tried to re-glue the join but it is not going to hold. :-( I need the half hoop now for the outer border so no rush.

I also found time to cut out my Sisterhood of Quilters Gratitude quilt and had enough leftover to share with my FAB pals and cut for them too. (Merry Christmas!) The Atkinson "Daisy Chain" that Norma and I plan to sew next week is cut as well except for one piece that was on order. Looking forward to both projects.

I gave up on the last two donation quilts for now. Yeah, I wanted them done before year's end but it isn't going to happen. I'm okay with that. I figure the quilt group meets on the 2nd Tuesday in January so I have a little time if I really want them moved along. At some point I will get my own donation quilt pinned and add it to the bunch.

A little extra cooking going on as well. DJ is enjoying a batch of homemade cookies made earlier in the week. You don't know just how rare it is for me to bake cookies but I had promised him I would do so. I had also made a batch of Maple Nut rolls recently with a mix from Prepared Pantry----yummers! Most of all those baked goodies went to the freezer to be parceled out over time. Did I say how much I love my new mixer? Well, I do though I still need to make something with egg whites to use the whisk attachment. One of these days..........

I will pass on a little something from a quilting friend before I go.

Twas the night before Christmas, I'm glued to the tree.
I'm wondering what Santa brought just for me.
Could it be fat quarters or a pattern or lace?
Or a quilt kit, I said, with a smile on my face.
And that's when I heard him,

"Hi Santa," I said
"You know....good little girls should be in their beds ".
"I know I should Santa, and now I've got caught..
But I was just so excited to see what you brought."

"Well, let's take a look in this room where you work."
He shook his head quickly, And left with a jerk.
I heard him exclaim as he put it in gear.
"You've got enough stuff, I'll see you next year!"

Dec 15, 2009

looking ahead

I have nothing to show, really, for a week's worth of time in the sewing room, LOL.

I have been in quilting mode again. 1 comfort quilt is done for my quilting pals' guild bee and picked up but I didn't snap a picture of it though the cable I did in the border sections looked pretty good. 2 WTIL donation quilts are also done though someone else will do the binding down the line----you'll see pictures of them down the line when posed for their "official portrait."

I have two more to go as pictured above with the backing side out. One is a larger version of one I just finished-- 24 blocks of 16 patch HST blocks sashed and cornerstoned provided by Linda C. After doing the 16 block version, I have the SID quilting path down on that pattern! The other one you see folded up was made by Aline's granddaughter who has been so sweet to think of the kids and provide some tops to the group. I know her grandmother is quite happy to have her follow in the sewing foot steps! Because Aline has had some physical problems this past year, she is not able to do the quilting so I will finish up. While I know what I will do in the body of the quilt, I am not sure what is needed on the triple borders but trust me, it won't be cables!

By Sunday I needed a break from the machine and hand quilted for two days on my FABS friendship quilt, a personal project. Some progress is being made on that score with the two alternating blocks completed as well as the "right side" of the quilt. By that I mean, two setting triangles and two corner triangles if you were to look at the picture shown on the link. Now my poor stuck fingers, wrist and thumb need a break! So if I am not abusing my back, neck and shoulders machine quilting I can make something else tender, it would appear, LOL.

I'll get back to the machine work today as I am postponing the reward for finishing the stack. If you look back up at the picture, that stack of fabric represents the next two sewing projects that need to be cut. I want to kit up the Sisterhood Gratitude for sewing and while I am at cut for the Atkinson "Daisy Chain" that Norma and I plan on sewing between Christmas and New Years' when she is on holiday. The pattern is hanging off the peg board or click HERE. We have been talking about this for months and month while looking at some gorgeous examples of colorways on webshots. Going to make it happen!

So 10 more days till Christmas! DJ put up the tree and put on the lights last week but it took me a couple days to decide if I would put ornaments on it or not. Last year we just did lights and bows as I didn't know how Skyler would behave. LOL, I still don't know! I put a few cloth ones down low that I wouldn't mind if he drug off to play with. (Pippi did that and they became some of her favorite cat toys.) So far, so good! I would like to make a couple of holiday themed placemats so may drag out the Christmas fabric bin from its hiding place to see if there is enough yardage on hand to whip up a couple of them for our holiday meal.

It finally occured to me about two weeks after the fact, where I had put a missing decorative snow scene plate so it is back on display as well. I spent a good part of the afternoon on decorating day searching for it in every conceivable spot I could think of. Turns out when the Christmas decorations were put away last year, I had kept it and a couple other snow related items out for January decorating and naturally, they didn't get put away with the rest of the holiday stuff. Now the great hunt is on for the owner's manual for my DVD recorder/player but I found a copy of it online so may give up looking. How much do you bet that once I get the pages that I need printed off, it will show up?

No holiday baking though! I did make some banana nut muffins yesterday to use up the over-ripe "naners" from the freezer. In error, DJ was saying "cookies!!!" when he spotted the racks. He was so excited about the prospect of them that I promised to make him a batch of less healthier ones next week. I keep tell him that I would consider making him cookies, now and again but as long as he is happy with the $1/pkg oatmeal ones from the store, why bother? He said he eats those because he thinks they are a healthier, not that he loves them so much. He will not express a preference so what kind do I want to make? Pride of Iowa which is an old family favorite or Hilary's version of Oatmeal Toffee if I can find the almond brickle on the grocery run? Or my personal favorite, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut??? Oh, that would be dangerous!

I don't know that I will be sending out Christmas cards this year or not. DJ always does his own and some have shown up at the house for both of us. I debate every year about the expense. There are other means for me to communicate these days. Time may just slip by without my getting around to it, I'm guessing.

The weather has warmed from the 20s of last week to 50's, 60's. Warmed up to rain. It was 55 out when I got up this morning but damp and probably foggy in spots. DJ pointed out a neighbor mowing over the weekend but what he was cutting down, we don't know. An errand at dusk last night showed a lot of Christmas lights up to enjoy and our small town's Christmas parade has been moved from a Saturday 10 am event to a Friday at 6 p.m. followed by caroling at the park instead. It would be nice if the weather would hold a few days if the townsfolk are going to be out on the 18th!

Best get myself on the move---errands to run and then back to the machine and the audio book I was enjoying (Dismas Hardy legal mystery by John Lescroat---onto my third one though not in order). Hope that you have a good day and thanks for stopping by------

Dec 7, 2009

finished to flimsy

I had set a goal to get the blocks of my strip twist out of the sack they were in and to flimsy by the evening of December 5th. I didn't make it. By the time I had put up the Christmas decoration one day last week, I sure didn't feel like sewing that evening though the quilt was about half done at that point. What difference did one day make anyway---it was still the weekend and a self imposed goal.

The pattern was designed by Gudrun Erla of G. E. Designs. It is set up for jelly roll using a partial seam technique. It is the project we chose to do at the FAB + 2 retreat this past August. Because I needed to make a ton more blocks and had other obligations, I was lagging behind.

All of our quilts have all turned out so differently! You can see Norma's version HERE. She and I both went with a fall type theme. Cher's version can be seen HERE. While it is not Cher's usual palette, she had pulled fabrics from her stash and the quilt was gifted for someone who needed a comfort quilt. Pat went with a Christmas version. It was quilted this past week and she is probably working on the binding as I write this. I can't wait to see the Christmas pig fabric she said she used for backing! For a pre-border, pre-quilted version click HERE. Pam was working on 30's version at the retreat but wants to make more blocks for a completion. I think the only posted picture I know of her blocks can be found HERE.

I had hoped to get the backing pieced last evening but petered out after wrestling rows and halves around. The extra blocks will go back there in a nothing fancy set but make my available yardage wide enough for the long armer. As pretty as it looks on my bed, it actually will fit DJ's queen a little better so I am going to give it to him once it is done. It is what I have been thinking about doing as I worked on the blocks anyway if he indicated he liked it at all. Our anniversary is coming up and of course, his birthday is not far off either.

You see, most of my work gets a typical DJ reaction--- a nod, "oh yeah" or "that's nice" reaction from him meaning "no big deal--you are just going to start on something else next. You are never finished" When he told me to make it warm, that meant he will use it. ( Gee, don't make me twist your arm or anything. I do love it enough to be take it back!) Moreover, he can give me my full sized Boston Commons quilt back that is a little small on his bed. Oh don't think I haven't made him one before and that the poor man has been deprived of a Linda made quilt! He has a big, almost king sized, sampler I made years ago-- my first quilt as a matter of fact. It is too big and too heavy so he has preferred the one he had borrowed from me more. For a view of that one, try this LINK to a previous post about quilt beginnings.

I am working on the reward system---so now that this is almost put behind me what is next up? Postponed pleasure, LOL. Piecing will always be my first love but I do have some obligations that need tending too. That means some machine quilting first. I have a comfort quilt to quilt for my friend's Jane and Aline's guild bee for pay and 4 donation tops to move along to finish up this program year for the Belles. My reward project will need to be cut out but I have all the fabric on hand to make the Sisterhood Gratitude quilt from the panel that Cher gifted us with at the retreat. I hope that in another week, I can get started on it. That's my self imposed, arbitrary goal anyway!

Hope you have a good day and thanks for stopping by------

Dec 4, 2009

I promised more pics

...........and here they are! I do love show and tell.

First up, Lois' Flying Geese in the Cabin. She pieced most of this in a class with Trudie Hughes at her then local quilt shop we were guessing in the late 80's/ early 90's. She said that the colors never did go in her home and after antiquing for a long time, she wasn't going to put the borders on it at this stage of the game. She was donating it. I quilted it for her---in the ditch so it looks as pretty on the back as the front. I thought I posted this before but the batting was sticking out or we had it on the pinning table. This is it's "official portrait" shot for our photo albums and personal copies.

Next up, Lois peeking out above her quilt with machine embroidered mouse squares. I had to clear the girls out to get the picture as they were drawn like moths to the motifs, LOL. She used a large cat print for the backing and the block is Puss in the Corner. Appropriate, I thought.

Next up, Betsy's quilt that she will gifting to someone soon. 30's prints which is one of my favorites. She did a modified curve in each square of the quilt forming what looks like orange peels or that cathedral window shape on the back. I should have taken a picture of that too! Click bigger and you probably can see the lines she free motioned in.

The next quilt is also one Lois made. I asked her what the block was named since I didn't recognize the pattern. She said she didn't know but "Lois Has Scraps" to use up. Boy, does she since Linda C keeps supplying her with more! It does have a Hovering Hawks appearance in some blocks but her name works for me and my documentation of the quilts. Check the quilting motif at the block centers. I love the flying frog borders, originally planned to be a square dance skirt but what fun here! It had a different frog print on the back too.

Lois made two Twin Sister quilts like the one below---this is one of them. One was backed with robots and the other with a motorcycle print so that will be fun for the youngsters that get them.

Lois also turned in another Scrappy Trips similar to her challenge quilt in the last post so I did not include it here. I should have noted the great job she did in quilting them though---nice wavy line in diagonals on the quilt. Why can't I make myself try that?

So me on a personal sewing level have made some progress with my strip twist top. 6 of the 12 rows are done and a couple rows joined. More today and maybe done to flimsy by Saturday evening--that's my goal anyway! Hold my feet to the fire, will ya? Right after the Christmas decorations go up, I promise!

Dec 2, 2009

challenge quilts, edited

The Belles Christmas party was yesterday. This year we opted for a stress free celebration in which no one had to clean or decorate their home. No one had to make a potluck dish either as we had arranged for a large table at Olive Garden. Order what you want and we would go back to the meeting place for dessert, coffee and Show and Tell.

We always do the year's challenge fabric reveal at the party. Some are still in the planning or sewing stages including my bonus quilt from the leftovers. Come to think of it, I still have a bonus one from Marilyn's leftovers from LAST year's to make. I had to laugh though---one of participants asked if I had fabric for 2010 yet. (I do but I had left it home. ) One of the Belles' said, aghast, "Nooooo, not yet---I am not done with this years!" Like I would be piling on more---I try not to do that, ever. I did describe what it looked like though to whet their appetite and will pass it out in a month or two.

Thanks again to WTIL friend Kitty for sending on the fabric to use to use. This year's selection was a Moda print from 3 Sisters called "Mrs. Nelsons' 2nd Grade". It is the plaid lunch pail fabric you will see in the pitured and each used so differently. I can't wait to see what the others out there will look like!

Beverly chose a block called Squares Within Squares

Linda C used "Just Can't Cut It", a commercially available quilt pattern

Lois, our queen of scraps, selected the Bonnie Hunter pattern Scrappy Trips Around the World and used the challenge fabric for a border. Linda C loaded her up with a pile more ammunition to take home for more, LOL

ED. NOTE: I missed one on the initial posting. Sorry about that, Betsy! Betsy chose a framed food patches and said "this is some of the things you might find in that lunch box" Fun idea, right? She had quilted the neatest spirals on the block, just awaiting binding before mailing it out.

You may have seen this on the prior post--or not, LOL. I used a slightly modified version of "Picture Perfect" by Diane Weber of Sew Biz. Lois held it up so I could take the picture.

I will have other quilt pictures to show in another post later in the week but will include one more here since it is NOT a donation quilt.

The Belles were so kind to give me a monetary gift last year and have done so again this year. Aren't they sweethearts? Their only instructions is that it is to be spent on something for ME. In that spirit, I used my gift last year on the Williams Inn fat quarter fabrics for the "Be Attitudes" quilt which trust me, I would NOT have done without their help. Normally I would have made do with what was on my shelf or not made the quilt, most likely. It would not have achieved the same look that I loved in these quilts. Because many of them had not seen them as I worked on them through out the year, this was my "show and tell" piece. I laid out the mini- wall hangings how they would look as a whole quilt for this shot.

How will I use my gift from this year? Not sure but there are a couple of things I had looked at and admired. I'll figure it out, LOL.

Tune in later in the week for the donation quilt show---thanks for stopping by!

Nov 24, 2009

A finish

Okay, the challenge top is done about an hour ago. I don't know how successful I was with this one. Now that I look at it, that red piece looks too bright in the picture but in person not so much. Maybe because the plaid reading more as a dull red from a distance? Actually I had put more of the plaid piece in there first and ripped it off as there was not enough contrast and now I am second guessing that decision.

Some of the fabric is from my stash, others were donated so it has found a new home. SOOO I will say what Pam says---IIWII and done is a good thing since the deadline was a week away. Only thing left is the binding seaming. I should have pics of the other Belles efforts next week and will post.

Skyler just popped up here as I loaded pics to the computer. Don't ask me what he wants---a mouse and a squishy toy are sitting there but he wants neither of them. A puff ball instead or more pets?? Funny boy!

Jane called this morning with an invitation to join her and Aline for a movie this afternoon plus a stop for lunch and a Hobby Lobby run. She picked me up about 11 and off we went. I've hardly been out of the house lately except to run errands so it was good to have a girls day out.

Tomorrow it will be cooking day. If we are going to have Thanksgiving meal at noon time or thereabouts, I want to get as much prep work done as I can. Not unlike a lot of women in that regards. You'll know where to find me--I'm the one in the red chef's apron, LOL.

If you are so inclined, please say a prayer for my BIL Rick who is recuperating from heart surgery done today. Sister Diane said that surgery went well, praise God. THX

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

Nov 20, 2009

sometimes just sewng IS the challenge

The sum total of my sewing this week once I finished up the Be Attitudes quiltlets? One seam, just now on a large HST. Some weeks, as I said the title, just sewing can be the challenge.

See that lunch box fabric? What would you do with it if you had a yard cut? It is an older Moda print from 3 Sisters called "Mrs. Nelsons' 2nd Grade" It was given to the group by a WTIL list friend from KY. Kitty gave us enough challenge fabric at one time to take care of 4 years worth of annual challenge. I handed yard cuts of it out month's ago to those who wanted to participate but yet, this is the first year I haven't had a clear cut idea of what I wanted to do. I have looked at my pattern collection, magazine clippings, online for inspiration for this and for the FABS challenge too. For weeks I have basically waffled between two ideas. We like to share the finished tops at our Christmas party meaning I have less than two weeks to get it done. Make a decision already!

I picked Diane Weber from Sew Biz "Picture Perfect" Wednesday I pulled more fabric from the stash and pressed it. I tweaked the design in EQ though. Ms. Weber showed it in a rectangular and a square design but I wanted it a little longer since it will be donated to Wrap Them. Yesterday I cut it out. A bunch of half square triangles are involved. Some, I can use my trusty Triangles on a Roll. I am using my quick quarter ruler to mark most of the larger HSTs but it turns out one print is directional I am going to end up "wasting" the one half of the square and sewing traditionally. Well, nothing really ever goes to waste around, more like re-purposed. I might use that stitch in the ditch stuff to stabilize the seam though as I have never had much luck trying to sew those bias seams by traditional "match 'em up methods". I veer to the left with it seam allowance or the machine eats them. Not pretty! I did cut them oversized though so should be able to trim them down to what they should be.

Want to hear something funny/ironic? I used so little of the challenge fabric plus have some that one of the Belles didn't use on her project that I will probably get a bonus quilt out of it. Chances are, I can use my runner up selection with some of the same fabrics I will use in Picture Perfect. Here is a link to it--- Mahjongg, Anne Wiens' design for Sweetgrass Creative Designs. Doubt I will have it done in time for the party but who knows?

And on the subject of cutting---production is so down around here lately that this is the first time I have used either my newly applied iron quick on my pressing board and the newly replaced 24 x 36 Olfa cutting mat. I remember quilters talking about the smell of the mats but now know first hand what they meant! I don't remember needing to let any of its predecessors are out. Even DJ was walking by the door saying "what's that smell?"

What have I been doing if I am not sewing? Tuesday was the quilt meeting. LOL, I filed some more papers in sheet protectors---patterns and clippings donated by one of the members that were just stacked in a pile where you couldn't really see what was there. Had a nice lunch and visit. Came home to format and print out a postcard to send out to the members with the party particulars. Looked for and mailed off a picture of a "Tennessee Waltz" (combo of Snowball and 54-40 and Fight blocks alternating) that another girl was looking for. Rosa will buy the pattern and the fabric if her granddaughter likes the looks of it but she needed something to show her first. Order prints of the recently turned in quilts.

Wednesday, DJ and I had errands to run and he had me looking for something online once we got home. I have been goofing around in the kitchen baking and/or playing with my mixer or thinking about playing with my mixer by collecting recipes online. (More practice needed with pie crust---just sayin'.) Time just got away with the usual time wasters---solitaire, marbles, yacht and farkle. Next thing I know it is time for bed. Today so far has been more of the same and supper preparation will begin in about an hour. My fault, just not so motivated, I guess.

Well, it is not going to get done just talking about it, it is? How is that for a kick in the patootie? First, ditch the sweater and the tennis shoes I have on--can't sew with sleeves or use that foot pedal with that elevated heel!

Nov 17, 2009


I had requests for both of the recipes that I used yesterday----so I'll post them here

so good still warm from the oven with melt-y chocolate.
serves 8---very rich so you will want small slices

2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
1 cup pecans or walnuts (I used walnuts)
1- 9 inch deep dish pie shell---thaw it for 15 minutes, prick it, place on a baking sheet and
pre-bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes

Lower the oven temp to 350 after the pie shell is baked

Beat eggs until foamy in a large mixing bowl.

Add sugars, softened butter and vanilla. Beat until smooth. (Speed 4 with the kitchenaid with flat beater)

Add flour and salt and mix until well combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spread into the pie shell. Place pie pan on a baking sheet and back 55-60 minutes until the top is puffed a bit and golden brown. Cool before serving. Serve with whipped topping if desired.

If you are not using a KitchenAid stand mixer, the speed 2 that it refers to is a "slow mixing"--whatever speed you would use for mashing, heavy batters or your bread kneading setting.

(I suggest a bit more salt 1 1/2 teaspoons and definitely more garlic, doubled or even tripled)

1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons if you use bulk yeast)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water (105 F to 115 F)
3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon minced garlic--I used the bottled minced stuff
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold water
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash---it will be used twice so don't dump it out

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.

Place 3-1/4 cups flour, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, and salt in bowl. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl.

Continuing on Speed 2, slowly add yeast mixture and cold water, mixing about 30 seconds. If dough is sticky, add remaining 1/4 cup flour. Knead on Speed 2 about 3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

On lightly floured surface, punch dough down several times to remove all air bubbles. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 12 inch long loaf. Place each loaf on greased baking sheet or in greased baguette pans. With sharp knife, make 3 to 4 shallow diagonal slices in top of dough. Beat egg and 1 teaspoon water together with a fork. Brush each baguette with egg mixture. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Brush top of each baguette again with egg mixture. Bake at 450 F for 15 to 18 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Tip: Freeze up to 2 weeks. Thaw at room temperature. Wrap loosely with foil. Heat at 375 F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Nov 16, 2009

if it looks like bread................

it must BE bread, LOL. Ignore the chunk the cook cut off for quality control purposes. (I think it needed a bit more salt--tastes a little bland in spite of the herb and garlic mixed in)

After spending a couple days reading the kitchenaid forums and printing off recipes and filing them along with my previously acquired yeast bread/quick breads I finally fired the mixer up. Big old 3 inch ring binder is full!

I ran into one of the Belles at the store yesterday. Jane suggested maybe we could do soup and cornbread for lunch at our meeting on Tuesday rather than head out to a nearby restaurant for "more chicken salad". Yeah, it's good but she wanted something different for a change. I asked her which one did she want me to fix--the bread or the soup? She chose soup, LOL. I added buttermilk and Martha White cornbread mix to the grocery list. I have all the ingredients measured out and along with the utensils so I can just mix that up quick and bake it there in the church oven. The Herb Garlic Baguettes will be shared---well, one of them will. The one I whacked into can stay home for our supper. Two different sizes and a little mis-shapened but it is bread. It rose and did all the things it was supposed to. (I made DJ a Toll House Pie before that as his "thank you" for the mixer so that was the inaugural dish, I guess)

So after playing the kitchen for several hours I think I am ready to do something quilt-y. Have a good day and thanks for stopping by---------

Nov 15, 2009

A finish

Woohoo! All done with the "Be Attitudes" series when I took the last binding stitches on December's and sewed on a little pompom instead of a button. I had them on hand so why not?

I think today will be a hand quilting day, another block on the FAB friendship quilt is the goal. Next up to sew will be to get my queen sized Strip Twist blocks into a flimsy--last seen HERE a month ago. They have been sacked up in stacks waiting for me. Next up to cut, my Bama Belles challenge quilt though I best decide what pattern first! I'm waffling between two ideas but have compatible fabrics pulled so that's a start anyway.

Hope you all have a great day in whatever you chose to do-----

Nov 13, 2009

checking in

Well, I got the binding finished on the November "Be Attitudes" quiltlet and it is up on the living room wall. Most of the October one is done, minus one long side and the buttons that will be added to the dog's cute face. I'll post the October and December blocks when both are done.

I've been busy though with other stuff around the house. On
Tuesday evening, late and in the pouring rain the UPS fellow delivered my new KitchenAid mixer. I didn't realize just how tall these thing was going to be! And at first, I was not sure that I wanted it up on the cabinet top either. It is way too big to fit the spot that used to house the Oster Kitchen Center as well but there was sure a lot of nice storage room for the cookie sheets, muffin tins, wire racks and such!

Wednesday I set about to make room in the cabinets and found a spot by moving some things around. You just know that led to some serial cleaning, don't you? Yep, one cabinet affected three more and then the standing unit above the buffet. That led to some clearing the laundry room shelving where I store my baking stuff. Then on out to the storage room off the carport. What we didn't need was either tossed or delivered to the thrift store.

Mid morning today, I head out to the kitchen to find that DJ moved the KitchenAid back up to the counter from the lower cabinet. He had put the food processor down in its place which we had discussed doing. What a sweetie! He said he just knew that when I needed it, he wouldn't be around to hoist it up to the counter for me as he had offered to do. He didn't want me to strain my back lugging it out myself. A big plus is that the kitchen appliance cover that I had originally made last year for the food processor that was wayyyy too big, fits the mixer perfectly!

My manual came with just a few bread recipes but referred to some cake recipes that would help you adapt your existing ones for use with the KitchenAid. I joined a yahoo group and a sweet lady was able to share them from her manual. I spent some time adding those to my Mastercook software along with a bunch of others that I had accumulating in my email files. That and a mailing for the quilt group kept me busy.

Today I was able to get a text file from the kitchen aid forum but spent some time re-formatting it for my use, 200 some pages, LOL. The cake recipes were among them but lots of other good sounding things. There went a good chunk of the day today. I think I have a better understanding of how this works as compared to less high speed mixers after all that proofing, spell check and such!

So I still haven't actually fired the thing up yet, LOL. I really want to try one of the bread recipes though---maybe Honey Oatmeal Bread but the basic sweet dough to make cinnamon rolls looking tempting too! I may give that a whirl tomorrow provided I have all the ingredients on hand. I did notice that they called for using 2- 8 1/2 inch loaf pans. I only have one that size and another larger than that. I was not able to track down another at the three places I checked. The aluminum foil, yes, for holiday baking but all I seem to be able to find is the 9 and 9 plus. Two sized loafs, does it matter? What do you think??

The other thing I would like to get in coming days is filing the quilt patterns and printouts that have stacked up again. I think I should own stock in the sheet protector company as many of them that I use for recipes and quilt stuff, LOL. I see a run to the office supply store in my future.

Guess that's it for this installment---thanks for stopping by!

Nov 10, 2009

Tuesday check-in---10 n 10 plans

So far Ms. Ida has dropped 2.5 inches of rain in our rain gauge here in the NE central part of Alabama. It is still pouring and breezy so who knows what the final tally will be for this rain event? (ed: note---we topped out at 5 inches plus. The rain gauge filled but DJ was not going out in the pouring rain to empty it ) Last I heard we were 10 inches over our annual average rainfall totals and the ground is already saturated. In fact, we went through a 9 day stretch without any rain --first time since a period in late June/early July!

I canceled our quilt meeting till next week as there we were in a flash flood watch--no one needed to be out slopping around in that mess today. Also I had woke up for the 2nd day in a row of almost like migraine-like headache. I'm the one with the key to let us into the fellowship hall so I figured it would be best to just head any of the regulars off at the pass. Skyler and I went back to bed for a couple hours and I feel a bit better now.

Yesterday I spent some time doing some hand quilting on my FAB friendship quilt, something I love doing but often do not make time for. The stencil I had selected is called Four Fleur from The Stencil Company. Part of the reason I selected it was that I also needed it to provide some fill for side setting triangles and use a portion of the motif in the corner triangles as well. I am still debating whether I want to do some hand work in the outer border. After all, I do want to hang this on the wall in the bedroom at some point, LOL. Their Gentle Wave border is on hand if I do want to use it---it echoes that knobby look.

Of course, my handsome boy kitty HAD to come sit on the quilt in the hoop---just HAD to! Twice we had some snuggle time and quilt testing and a break from stitching. My camera was already out in the car or I would have taken his picture to share. I plan on working on the binding on those last three "Be Attitudes" quilt-lets I shared in the last post---got them all quilted over the weekend. Woohoo--almost a finish!

That leads me something that Norma and I have been talking about for a couple weeks now, brainstorming and tweaking as a way to keep ourselves motivated and on track. We are both impressed and inspired by how our pal Pat managed to get things done on her lists. Norma and I both would tell that all too often we want to do everything and then end of getting sidetracked. Or worse, get ourselves so bogged down with other peoples stuff that our own projects are neglected.

To that end we have come up with a "10 in 2010" plan (10n10) for next year but I am implementing it a bit early as an organizational tool. Here is what we have so far and how it should work in theory:

We think that there are several areas in our quilting lives: UFO, finish to flimsy, quilt/bind it, cut it and rewards. We should be able to pick at in any category depending on our mood at the time.

  • UFOs--something you have pretty much abandoned for some reason----pull it out and work on it, re-purpose it or give it away/toss it but deal with it in some manner. Those things are like weights pulling you down and making you feel guilty.
  • finish to flimsy --you may have started the blocks but set them aside and you want to get at least the top done
  • quilt/bind--maybe it's pinned or you have to prep the backing and binding yet but could be worked on and the quilt completed
  • cutting/kitting -- usually there is something that you need to cut out in order to keep rolling
  • Rewards--what are you "itchin' to stitch"? Finish a UFO or a deadline task then you can pick something from this "fun" list. Norma and I both know we need this to jump start our creativity and give ourselves permission to play. She explains the "reward" system on her blog post.
Now pick two items for each category that you want to focus on. 10 total should be a fairly manageable number. Things should cycle through a bit and you can add another item in its place if you want.

On further consideration I decided I needed two more categories for my list writing:
  • donations and deadlines---I do some commissioned work on occasion and always have some quilt, mine or one of the groups' around for WTIL. This would include any challenge quilts I do.
  • ongoing---blocks I make till I have enough for a top, my red work Santas, the Seasonal quilter I want to do next year are examples. Hand quilting too.
Want to join us? Jump right in! Tweak it to suit your needs but any way you chose to do it, keep busting that stash and have fun!

Thanks to those who commiserated with me about my mixer and had suggestions of brand and ideas of where to look. Because I had primed DJ for months with how much these things run, he asked me to look online to price them. It turned out that shipping was going to be less than the 10% sale tax we would have had to pay had we found a bargain here locally. I am getting a refurbished 5 qt heavy duty professional Kitchen Aid with a 475 wt motor----in boring white. Yeah, I love the red but the rest of the small appliances are white so watcha going to do? It should be delivered this afternoon and from the tracking, it is out in the county somewhere with my UPS person. 6 qt would have been nice but I didn't want to push my luck with the fella paying for it.

Nov 4, 2009

WIP Weds

Time for another addition of WIP Weds. What's up for today? Machine button hole applique around the latest and last prepped "Be Attitudes" quiltlets, shown in the "before" stage. "Be Forgiving" for October, "Be Grateful" for November and "Be Joyful" for December. Only a little behind here but that is what happens when I spend a goodly amount of time machine quilting. I am thinking I will quilt the November one first. If things get set aside a bit---that happens around here, a lot--then at least that one should be finished for hanging and decorating this month.

I have so enjoyed having these little projects to look forward to even though I have been playing catch up and working forward the latter half of the year.

I am thinking that perhaps my next year's fun project will be to work up the Amy Bradley "Seasonal Quilter" series which I have owned for a couple of years. Not only is the Quilt Diva character cute but the fun banners that she holds are perfect for seasonal decorating with birthday cakes, Halloween, St. Pat's,Valentine's Day, Easter.............well, you get the picture. There are 9 banners in all--a house block that says "welcome" is the one that hangs between holidays. Actually I already did the "Boo" banner as a quilt block, slightly resized, on someone's seasonal row quilt a few years back shown HERE--scroll down to Debora's top . I had considered the pilgrim block and St. Pat's for two other members of the group BEFORE I saw what they had already completed by the other participants. Yep, I think that is what I will do! Either that or Nancy Halvorsen's In Season wall hangings but I am leaning more to the monthly thing rather than quarterly.

Looking back in the archives for the link to Debora's top reminds me that I have not completed either my 07 or 08 Collinsville rower tops or come to think of it, my fall medallion round robin either. One of those had better go on my "hope to get done" in the coming year piecing to flimsy projects! Always something---well, just talking about it won't get it done, right?

I see by the clock that I better head on out to the kitchen. I want pizza for lunch and need to throw the crust ingredients together. This time out I think we'll go with a Tuscan Chicken version. I'm getting better at crusts but still keep trying new recipes to get the version I will stick with as my "tried and true", go-to recipe. If you like to experiment as I do, you might like THIS one from a recent Taste of Home issue for "Perfect Pizza Crust" I thought it was a slow riser and gave up on it and threw it in the freezer and used a different recipe for the meal. It turned out fine once thawed and rose nicely in the oven when I DID use it weeks later. Good flavor to the crust.

ED NOTE: May we please have a moment of silence as my stand mixer just died. Yep, just started to knead the crust and the motor gave up the ghost. I threw the dough in the food processor so I think I was able to salvage it but it's gone, gone, gone. Dead and gone. I had just finished saying to DJ "you know how old this thing is? No grounded plug" For months I have been telling him that if this thing ever gave up the ghost I want a Kitchen Aid and we know they are pricey.

Once upon a time it had a blender attachment. It died long ago. The Salad maker attachment was next--something broke off the head and it was shooting cabbage all over the counter. The bowl has been replaced once but has annoyed the living heck out of me as there is no pouring spout plus its heavy and hard to get batter out of it without wearing some of it or asking DJ to hold it while I scrap. NOT ergonomic, at all. But still, I have had it since the mid 80's and fixed a lot of good food with it. Out to the garbage it all went with the grinder attachments which did still work along with the beaters, bowls and dough hooks. DJ, being a guy, wanted to tinker with it to see how it works but he'll have to drag it out of the trash can if he is serious.

Now it will be scour the sales ads. Maybe since the holiday baking season is coming up they will be priced down. We'll do some research at the library in the Consumer Reports but I am open to any suggestions as to what models you use that won't break our bank. I have a hand mixer but that won't work for all my needs by a long shot.

Thanks for stopping by---------

Oct 30, 2009

quilt meeting

In my last post I promised some pics of some of the turned in quilts or some in progress. These are all tops that Lois made.

This one is called "Four-in-Nine-Patch Zigzag" designed by Barbara Douglas and shown in the October 09 issue of Quilter's World. It uses 2 1/2 inch strips or cut squares.

Lois is probably our "Queen of Scraps" though she does some lovely planned quilts as well. Linda C came in with a bag full of scraps and handed it to Lois so bits and pieces of those will be turning up before long. Really it is kind of fun to be pinning and spot something that you know was a backing trim away at one point, LOL. "I remember that one--and this one!" moments.

Next up is Lois' version of Disappearing Nine Patch. It was a block of the month choice at the JOY guild last year and the suggestion was to use a center on the block.

Lois made a semi-planned quilt with the pattern using the same red throughout the top. The twist to the usual version was placing the blocks so they looked like large split framed 4 patches. She carried the same red out to the cornerstones and used the same background fabric for the sashing. It definitely does not make it look like a big blob of color that some D9P's can come out like. Love the scrappy!

This is Lois' version of Eleanor Burn's "Lover's Knot" I love that border print that she used.

I think this one she had made a meandering loopy motif that she free motioned on but a couple of the quilts she described how she did a more planned quilting design. I hope I have the story straight. If not, she reads my blog so can straighten me out, LOL.

She copied off a motif or quilting stencil on the printer and then ran however many copies she had onto erasable bond paper that she had on hand. Then she pins that to the quilt top and stitches through the paper removing it when done. One quilt I noticed she had a flower motif and on the next one, something that reminded me of a molecule or some such scientific symbol. Click to make it bigger and see if you spot it.

Lois also has an embroidery machine so this one has embroidered butterfly motifs scattered on the small triangle areas of the quilt. It looked really cool on the light colored backing she used as the butterflies showed through all layers like they were flying on the background!

I am not sure about the pattern name but I do know that it was designed by Karen Casey at Sew What! quilt shop in Oxford. Linda C made one first and has given away a lot of her old patterns and this was among them. It is oriented on point though---maybe not what you think at first glance. I know this because we helped Linda figure out the pattern at one of our summer meetings pinning the sections to a sheet for her so she didn't lose the pieces as they were laid out. Her version can be seen HERE for a different colorway. LOL, I didn't know the name of it then either! Made with a tricolor strip set is all I know and a good way to use a focus print.

I love looking at quilts like these because it starts me thinking about how I might use my own stash or scrap bins. Who doesn't need a little kick start now and again? I have a couple challenge projects coming up, after all. Tripping through my inspiration photo file, through my purchased patterns and clippings notebooks helps too. Even spotting some one's blog pictures can trigger an idea so it is my hope that you find some inspiration, now and again, from me or someone in my quilt group.

As to what I am working on today----the last three "Be Attitudes" quiltlet bases are stitched up and waiting. Yesterday I rough cut the applique sections and kitted those up. I also checked to see if I had enough binding leftover from the preceeding quilts and added a strip if needed and paired it up. I am ready to "play with paper dolls" as DJ calls it this afternoon--tracing, cutting.

DJ, bless him, was out washing and waxing my car for winter even though it looks like it may rain any minute. Probably on his "to do" list and his is next before he puts the hose up ahead of the colder weather. Leaves are starting to change in earnest this week, I have noticed. More rain is due in but it sure beats the snow that hit my sister's home in the Denver area (she sent pictures--wow, Jan! No wonder you had to shovel twice, maybe more. )

Hope you have a wonderful weekend in whatever you plan to do----

Oct 28, 2009

WIP Weds

So it's Wednesday again. What am I working on? Yesterday the quilt group met and I pulled out the 3-D bow tie blocks I had started two weeks ago. I had quite a pile going and sewed on the center seams while at the meeting and kept going once I was home. I had them sorted out by color groupings this morning and ready to press.

I had originally thought about using an on-point set and would have used 35 blocks for that but I thought that the bright yellow gold background might be a little too much of a good thing. I decided to go with either a zigzag set or block to block instead and probably no borders so a 7 x 9 set should work. I needed just a few more blocks to get to that block total and whipped those up fairly quickly. BUT back in the sack with it for now as I have a few other things I would like to accomplish in the next week or so. Swap out the sewing machines---again.

This picture shows what I was REALLY doing this morning. I came home from the meeting with 8 finished donation quilts. Add that to 7 more stuck away in my bedroom closet and it is time to mail some off to Wrap Them headquarters. I drug in a box from the storage shed and started rolling them up, sleeping bag style. (The strings on my desk are to hold the rolls together while they are transported.) I got all 15 in there with room for one more at the top. The rolling cart is back in the car, the box in the bedroom in a holding pattern.

I was caught up with the donation top quilting for about 24 hrs when I cam home with two of Linda C's tops----those can wait a few days. Aline may be bringing me a couple tops her granddaughter made for donation as well but those can wait too. I've earned a little reprieve after about two weeks of quilting. I keep saying I want to do something "fun"!

So what's fun to me? I plan on prepping one or more of the Nancy Halvorsen "Be Attitudes" quiltlets---October, November and December. If I get all three layered and quilted, fine. If I don't, there is always next month. I didn't even hang the August or September blocks this year even though they are done and shown in the later part of this post . October is essentially gone. I'll get caught up in spite of myself.

After that, my plans are to get my strip twist blocks up to a flimsy. They have been arranged and stacked for two weeks now and I am tired of looking at the bag holding them. I guess I am doing okay if I still notice that said bag is there---after all, things become part of the landscape when you don't notice that they are still around, LOL.

The pest control people were finally able to come out on Monday to treat the termites---drill and spray from what I could tell-- as we had a few dry days. DJ had put a screen and fan at the crawl space opening to dry out the area as best he could too. We didn't see Skyler for hours with all the noise going on. Yesterday it poured again, more apparently in the part of town that I was than at home. Last I heard we were 10 inches above our yearly average for rainfall due to the effects of El Nino, they say.

Today it is up in the mid 60's and sunny. I was able to fire up the grill to make our lunch---yum, chicken gorditas. I pulled the flat bread I had made a month ago from the freezer to warm it on the grill rack and the rest of the meal I cooked on the grill or side burner. You can find the recipe HERE. I just used sauteed tri-color peppers and onions instead of roasting other veggies though--still good!

I will post a few of the pics of the quilts from the meeting but in a post later this week. Lois had some pretty ones! Till next time------thanks for stopping by.

Oct 21, 2009

another addition of WIP Weds

Yep, another week has flown around again. Earlier in the day I had errands to run and things to do around the house. DJ spent some time calling to set up appointments for more estimates about the termite treatment. Return phone calls, a couple came out today but this way he can make a more informed decision about what we need to do.

Skyler spent a good bit of his time on the perch enjoying the view out front. DJ eliminated one of the despised holly bushes outside the sewing room window so we have lots of good light coming in. Since he was occupied and apt to stay off my quilting surface, I pulled out my FAB friendship block quilt.

The pieced blocks are quilted. Alternating blocks and setting triangles are marked for hand quilting. I am not sure what I want to do in the borders, if anything, so I went ahead and put the binding on. If the Stencil Company has something similar to the motif but for borders I may go for it. I plan on hanging this above my bed and sewed half of a sleeve into the binding at top. Think I'll put a few hand stitches in this tonight to try the motif I selected.

Earlier in the week I put the binding on the 3 map panels that Joy's daughter donated after her passing---one of the US and two world maps. Tomorrow I plan to get back to Lois' log cabin variation and then I should be caught up with the donation stuff till next week's meeting. Never know what I'll come home with.

Piecing wise, I need to give some thought to what I want to do for the group's challenge quilt before long. I've got some fabric pulled for a possible idea. Sometime in coming days, I would also like to prep the next couple "Be Attitudes" quilt-lets provided I have enough Steam a Seam on hand to do so. Always something!

Oct 15, 2009

WIP Thursday

I should be machine quilting but...........

These 3-D bow tie blocks are more to my liking at the moment. Just some simple mindless sewing until I have to finish up the center seams. The shoe box sized container is full of 3 1/2 inch squares gleaned from my scrap bags. I don't know if I want 24 blocks for an on point set or 35 for straight set but either way a quilt -- more like, quilts, plural--- is hiding in that container. I'll set the whole deal aside till our next meeting date soon enough and the Jem will go back to the car trunk. In the meantime, just for today, I am enjoying these bright colors on a grim, rainy day and keep playing.

And speaking of rain, we heard on the news in early October that we had already reached our annual rainfall totals with three months to go. I don't know how much we have exceeded that total but it seems like it has been raining or looking like it might for weeks now.

Related to all the wet ground, we have found out that there is a termite problem in the master bedroom area. DJ had moved something around in the bedroom or he might not have spotted it for awhile. The guy that came out yesterday said that the bugs eat the glue in the paper on the drywall or some such thing. The paper on the drywall lifted off easily and the plaster-y stuff was disintegrating so a patching job will be required at some point. BUT as far as instituting a treatment plan, it is far too wet in the foundation and crawl space with all this rain. It is possible that they may have to install some sort of a drain to get the water out. I am just going by what the guy told DJ and DJ relayed to me. The joy's of home ownership--sarcasm intended. This is as wonderful a deal as when the ants zapped out the air conditioner unit going over the moisture that collects there in one of our recent drought years. Can you say "ka-ching" ? SIGH.

Oct 13, 2009

meeting day

Today was our quilt meeting day. Since I have been quilting all last week, I personally do not have any quilts to share but our friend Lois did. I told her as I snapped pictures that here was some "blog fodder", LOL.

Tennessee Waltz--Eleanor Burns pattern--a little girl somewhere is going to adore this one

Traditional pattern--Squares Within Squares. She put lizards at center and it has a fun backing---a boy should love this one.

I think this one is pretty cool and made a little dent in her 2 1/2 inch squares stash. Some of the fabrics in here might be from Linda C or that might be the top that she was preparing to pin?? It is almost a joke between the two of them. Linda gave up on her scraps too soon if Lois whips them up into something interesting later.

I had intended to sew some 3-D bowtie blocks at the meeting today but when I opened up the sewing machine carrier I realized that I had left the open toed foot on my Jem rather than the 1/4 inch foot. The feet, bobbins and other accessories were 10 plus miles away at home. I DID make a couple of them but just to show Linda C how to make one and one to play with so she could remember how it was done by the time she got home. I'm set up now at home to do a few more this evening.

Since I had been machine quilting all last week, I had taken the last two days "off" leaving off eight block into the last one in the stack. I had found that next to last one had some issues and would need a border removed and re-pinned so that one was taken to its maker to straighten out. Marking my FAB challenge top was the only quilt related thing I did other than surfing with Norma online for some donation quilt ideas and such.

I pinned that top this morning. Lois had a couple tops and 2 world map panels from Joy were pinned with Jane's help. I kept busy laying out the blocks for my strip twist top since I had plenty of room to spread it out on the fellowship hall floor. We went out for lunch a shop that re-opened under new ownership just down the road from the meeting place.

Guess that's it from this entry. Hope you have had a good day and thanks for stopping by--------

Oct 7, 2009

WIP Weds

I had been busy stitching up Strip Twist blocks over the weekend and made 51 more for a total of 144-8 inch finished blocks. I will put 12 of them on the back to expand the backing surface area. Having reached that goal, I set these aside so I could begin machine quilting some of the tops in the donation quilt pile.

Skyler doesn't seem to mind that this is not quilted yet and is giving it the kitty approval test for softness and cuddle-ability. I took this picture this morning and he is back on it now--12 hrs later, LOL.

DJ and I had a project to do in the kitchen this morning. We have a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen so the space above our cabinets is open. The shelving paper needed to be replaced as we had not done that since we moved in 12 yrs ago. Skyler runs around up there and on the pass through ledge so we knew it needed to be cleaned up. He climbed up on the step stool and I was the ground girl-gopher. Of course, Mr. Nosy had to climb up atop the pass through the closer DJ got to the fridge area. We had to move the fridge out so he could get the stepladder closer to the cabinets. Skyler couldn't plan ahead and could not figure out how to get down with his launching pad moved. Silly boy!

So here we are this afternoon but testing said quilt from the top. That's okay as I needed a break. His other trick to crawl underneath the quilt as he would any bed cover.

I finished up this quilt and tomorrow will do the other one that I made similar to it shown HERE. Monday I was able to quilt two smaller Snuggle Up quilts that Linda C had made. Yesterday was a memorial heart quilt for our friend Joy---actually Theramae had made the top for future needs and it had been waiting in the closet. I still need to seam some binding for it.

Other than that, it has been pretty quiet around here. Not much to report since I haven't been out of the house much in recent days but some weeks are like that--not complaining, just stating fact.