Mar 30, 2009

Let the dancing begin!

Color me happy today! I was preparing our lunch when Janet, our postal person, honked to let me know that she had a package for one of us. I am expecting a small fabric order but imagine my surprise when it was my Superbowl 08 bargello quilt that Norma just finished quilting 10 days ago! I know it went in the mail on the 21st but she told me to expect 12 business days. It is here---already! I had to restrain myself from ripping into the package till I finished fixing lunch and dishes were put up.

I trimmed off a good bit of the extra batting and backing as I intend to sleep under this tonight even if the binding is NOT on yet. Norma did a wonderful job of it and took some photos of the closeup quilting--allover Baptist fans in a nice green that goes well with the borders and backing---two different shades of green there.

Well, you can see the borders better in the picture below. Thank you so, so much, Norma. You know I will always think of you and the two of us sewing over that weekend. Of course, there is the origins of the fabrics to think of as well. There is some sent to me from the FABS as gifts. When my mom knew I was making a scrappy bargello, she sent a box of cut strips. Of course, I dug out stuff from my own 3 1/2 inch scrap container and trimmed then down---my squares finish at 2.5 inches. I DO recognize bits and pieces that had been used in previous donation quilts so all in all, a memory project. Skyler is checking it out now though not the strip that Joey tested out.

As far as any production around here. I was right---not much to show for my efforts. I took yesterday off from sewing and moved the Bird Brain Santa I showed you in my last post along. Except for the coat buttons and face stuff, the main Santa figure is done now leaving the birdhouse and standing tree to complete. Not done by month's end but getting closer than it was!

The t-shirt top is moving along nicely as well. The shirt sections are all framed and have the shadow sections applied. Saturday I worked out the layout and drew it up in EQ and finished off the evening by cutting out the background sashing for between the blocks as well as all the vertical spacers. I also cut and joined all the binding strips so that will be ready for the long arm quilter. I will start on the vertical row assembly after I post this note.

So this week's and next short term goals
  • finish and deliver the t-shirt top
  • applique and quilt "Be Kind"
  • binding----first Judy's commissioned binding as that needs to take precedence and then my bargello. I will definitely have some hand work to do in coming days
  • redwork when my hands will forgive me
Hope you have had a good day and thanks for stopping by----------

Mar 25, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I can tell that this is going to be one of those weeks where I am not going to have a lot to show for my efforts, LOL.

I just started another Birdbrain Designs Santa last night and didn't get very far with it. I will pick it up when I need a sit down job today. Ordinarily any piecing or quilting takes place in the afternoons so it is nice to have something to grab for handwork in the morning hours. Even a couple inches at a time will add up.

Monday I whacked the 20 t-shirts apart for the commissioned t-shirt quilt. I cut out the interfacing while I was at it so I'll work on the fusing and secondary cutting after lunch. The sashing fabrics and black for the shadows are all wash and pressed. I expect the background fabric to arrive in a day or two. This project is started but won't look like anything till some sewing can really commence. Some drawing in EQ will be needed as well.

Yesterday was the quilt meeting but I was "it" till about the time I was ready to pack things up and go get lunch. Some are out of town, another recuperating from surgery, other plans and obligations obviously.

I pinned my two Twisted Sister tops and because it needed done, joined the cut away batting strips into a piece large enough for another quilt top. Sarah used to take that on as her "job" and now it kind of falls to me or let it pile up.

Nancy arrived about 1130 and about 15 minutes later a lady from the Monday evening quilt guild who Nancy had just told me was interested in coming to our group. LOL, of all days to have NO group. (Actually I had met Jackie before at the Collinsville quilt shop as her MIL who also quilts lives there) We just suggested she join us down the street at a local deli/bakery--she had already eaten but she could get a cup of coffee and dessert or something and we could continue our visit.

I didn't feel like standing up at the cutting/pressing table working on those t-shirts once I got home. I had spent almost 4 hours standing on that hard flooring at the Fellowship Hall and my back and knees were telling me to sit down. I listened!

Shown above, Skyler looking fairly docile. Lately about 8, 9 o'clock at night he takes to tearing up to the top of the kitchen pass through at 90 m.p.h. Cats like to be up as high as they can get, I understand that but this little goofball has taken to STANDING up on it. I have not actually seen him do it but DJ sure has. He has the lightbulb shape and a lot of bulk in his hind quarters so I am guessing that his center of gravity is such that he can sit/stand fairly easily. He does it often enough on terra firma. But enough with this appearance of being a tightrope walker already, Little Boy! Normally he gets down if I go in the living room but later I'll hear DJ saying something like "Skyler, settle down" and he has run up there again meowing like crazy to let you know he is there.

As I was driving to the meeting place yesterday I could see that the dogwood is out. Not a lot of the azaleas yet though it won't be long. DJ said ours have budded but just aren't open yet. It is raining today and the weather guy says we might be due for stormy weather by Friday and possible rainful totals from 5-8 inches. I guess the fronts that are passing through the Midwest that are creating flooding there are just moving on down. We are behind a few inches on the rainfall totals but it would be better not to get it all at once!

That's it from here---need to go start re-heating our lunch anyway.

Mar 23, 2009

Move It Forward weekend

Hope you got to do something quilt-y this weekend.

Norma and I are always bouncing ideas off each other and tracking down websites and blogs that have quilts that we would like to try or that might be suitable for donation quilts. In some ways, that is bad because we have more ideas than time but mostly, that is great! We get an idea percolating and we are off and running. Perhaps in a slightly different tangent than originally planned, but we go with it.

To that end, we issued a "Move It Forward" challenge to whomever of the FABS was available for this Saturday. Could be an old UFO or just something you were dragging your feet about sewing, binding, quilting--whatever you needed a push to get going on. I chose my 4 patch stacked posie which has been antiquing for at least a year. I could go back through the blog entries but I would guess early 08 anyway. The picture above shows where I left off----the BEFORE shot. That stinkin' narrow border (cut 1 inch wide) about did me in and it got set aside.

There are 64 blocks and will be a square quilt---70 ish in size when finished, 8 rows of 8 blocks. I love how interesting the blocks look and I think it will be pretty quilt. I didn't get started sewing till Saturday after lunch so the AFTER pictures shows that I managed to get one row sashed and joined. The stack on the sewing machine table shows that the bottom sashing and the right side sashing w/cornerstones have been added to the other 56 blocks.

I hate to put this aside as I did have some momentum going on it. I might drag my machine and work on it at the meeting tomorrow. Best be deciding soon so I can finish packing up the car. I know feeling that the two pay projects will take and should take precedence. I'll probably need another nudge next month. The fact that it is a personal project normally would doom it from the beginning in my case but the FABS keep telling me how happy they are that I am making something for ME. We have found that it really does help to have someone else pushing you and cheering your progress with time out for chat on break time. Somehow it seems to make you more accountable then just setting a goal and then blowing it off in favor of something else.

I am so excited though! Norma officially began what she thinks should be called (and I agree wholeheartedly in this small world) International Quilting Day by finishing up the quilting on my bargello quilt. Woohoo!! HERE is the link to her post with pictures of the top beautifully quilted with Baptist Fans. I won't post the pictures here preferring to wait till it comes home and I put it on the bed. Knowing me, I will get that first sleep under it even if the binding isn't on, LOL. I had to go on a treasure hunt this morning knowing that it was one of two places in the bedroom. Because I was digging in both areas, I straightened them up and even have some stuff to donate to the thrift store the next time I am over that direction.

We have had cool mornings and by afternoon it is up in the 60's. This is what I call a"two shirt"s day---cool enough for a sweater or long sleeves in the morning and change to a short sleeved t-shirt by afternoon but not hot enough for my short sets. No rush for that as the heat and humidity will be here for months when they arrive. I love spring! I don't love the yellow pollen stuff that has just started but that is part of the process, I guess. I noticed that the tulip trees (not their proper name but what I have always heard them called) are out now. The Bradford Pears are done but the redbud is out and I have seen some flowering cherries or flowering plums. Next up will be the dogwoods, azaleas and wisteria. Actually just today on my trip into town, I did see one yard that has a few of their azaleas in bloom ---the dark pinks. The owner also has white and pink ones but I did not see them blooming yet. Lovely!

DJ has taken advantage of the nice weather to do some painting on the house. Others in the neighborhood are also in involved in outdoor projects. The neighbor that died left the house to his step-daughter and they just put a chain link fence so their dog has place to run. Across the road behind us a neighbor knocked down his existing privacy fence for some reason and seems to be putting up a more open variety. DJ of course is wondering why since they have a small pool in the backyard. I tell him he is asking the wrong person, LOL.

Well, I have some t-shirts to whack up and interface so best get cracking. Could probably toss the framing and shadow fabric in the wash too. Background is ordered but I can at least get started on the process.

THX for stopping by------------

Mar 21, 2009

National Quilting Day

I guess that this is considered the official National Quilting Day but I believe we quilters here in the U.S. celebrate it with sewing events at various weekends throughout the month. Normally I would be hard at work on some donation quilts here at home but I spent all week quilting my way through the "stack". I showed you two of the ones I did for pay in my post earlier in the week. I also did 5 donation quilts done since then. That just one leaves one that I will set aside for now. Of course, I will add 2 more to it when we pin my Twisted Sister tops. I have something else to do today'this weekend but will get to that in a minute.

DJ said it looks like we had a rabbit invasion around here. LOL, it kind of does! I have not put out the Easter decorations in several years so it is fun to see these again. Since I won't take pics of the donation quilts till the bindings are completed, this is what you get for post pictures---past crafts and such. Even the "Be Kind" be-attitudes block I prepped last night has a rabbit on it. I'll get a picture of it once it is hung on the wall though as I still need to do the button hole applique and hand applique touches to bring it to life.

So what are you looking at here?
Above, the Easter wreath that I made several years ago. I do not have a clue about the pattern source at this point or if I even still have the pattern to go look. I used to hang it on the door between the utility room and the kitchen. However, we took that door down several years ago. (It was just in the way especially when you opened the utility room storm doors to let some cross breeze through.) Not to be deterred, I dug out the hanger from one of the Christmas decoration boxes and put it up on the inside of the living room door.

We just re-connected to a satellite TV service so we are back to a box on the entertainment center. No more decorating surface up there again. Still, Fleece and Floppity beanie babies found a spot they could sneak onto.

Proceeding up the hallway you can see that I put in the rabbit insert to my Katrinka Designs multi-seasonal banner. I love the little pompom that I used for the tail but Skyler better not see it or he is apt to want to paw it off there. I hung my little floppy legged bunny from the rod as she just won't sit up anywhere. I used some same fabrics in her outfit that are in my appliance covers, LOL.

Next up on the opposite side of the hall---about the only decorating space left in the house so it is over crowded.

Top shelf--a little ceramic bunny container that my mom made on the left. Purchased resin bunny but I think it might have been a secret pal gift. Little bunny basket with wooden eggs, I picked up at a craft sale. Those had to be glued down to keep Pippi from digging them out!

The cookie cutters hanging from the knobs were a secret pal gift though I have never actually used them for cookies, come to think of it.

The quilt is one I made from Tonee White's Appliquilt. Not sure if I decided one of the carrots should be wilted or she did but I think it adds a whimsical touch regardless.

I also made the Gardening Rabbit and the accessories. Well, not the watering can but the other stuff. The cabbage was styrofoam balls covered with raffia paper twist. I painted the purchased wheelbarrel though and tracked down the veggies in it---also glued down to keep Pippi from running off with them. I didn't have room to put up the Easter egg tree but then I am not entirely sure which box it is in either.

Lastly, the computer/sewing room. Two little resin bunnies---him and her. I changed the desktop wallpaper to a cute one from the Debbie Mumm site in honor of the holiday and switched out the insert to the door welcome sign.

Today I am going to participate in a Move It Forward challenge with any of the FABS that want to do so. 4 Patch Posie that got hung up in the sashing phase. I'm won't do the next one like that skinny stuff but love the idea of just four pieces in the Stack and Whack.

Next week will be busy---doctor's appointment, Bama Belles early in the week. I have been asked to make another t-shirt quilt for a client of the quilt shop many of us use for long arm quilting. I knew it was a possibility when Judy and I ran some tops up to Susan and she asked if I was interested. She called mid week to say it was definite and the box of shirts arrived yesterday. Looks like I will need to round up some background fabric first though. As payment Susan will quilt my Cheese and Crackers top and reimburse me for the supplies I use. I asked if she would consider quilting my 92 x 102 sized quilt in lieu of payment as chances are she would have gotten the top for quilting anyway. I think we both win on this one! In addition, Judy dropped a quilt off that she made for a fund raiser for a group she belongs to. She is paying me to put the binding on it--machine and hand finish if that is my choice--as that is not her strong suit. Busy, busy as always

Well off to see what I can get done on the Posies to move it along. I need to go walk but there is frost on the ground and down in the 30's when I got up. I'll squeeze it in sometime this morning--like when it hits mid to high 40's if there is no wind. Either way, I am out of here for now.

Mar 17, 2009

Happy St. Pat's

I woke up a bit ago to a quiet house and Skyler curled up beside me. DJ planned on heading out for 9 holes of golf so must have gone? Stayed in bed another 20 minutes enjoying it till I remembered it was St. Pat's and that corned beef needed to get in the crockpot! I had fixed the green dessert stuff yesterday morning when I made a seafood pasta salad for our Monday evening meal. Just in case I pulled on some green socks for the trip to the kitchen just so I wouldn't get pinched should he be reading quietly in the kitchen. Oh so cute with the pj's and bed head, LOL. It turns out that Skyler and I DID have the house to ourselves for a little while. (He's birdwatching in the sewing room perch and I'm posting, still in my jammies)

I got both Twisted Sister donation tops done this weekend. The blocks are arranged slightly differently on both and the reds are slightly different too should they be going to the same location in the future. Since all but one block are in pairs I can imagine a child playing a matching game with them. Both are bright, happy quilts and were the perfect foil for a dark, damp, gloomy and rainy weekend. I had the perfect backing fabric for one of them in my stash filed in the yellow and orange bin. Orange with a lime green squiggle if you remember that one, Mom from the Hancock's sale table -- enough leftover for binding both of them. I used more of that background fabric color for the other one which will also help to distinguish one from the other. Ellen sent a big roll of the gold on gold for the Belles and I to use so it shows up a lot but I have yet to tire of it.

Yesterday I spent some time quilting these two tops for my pal Marilyn for pay. Yep, my favorite 30's repros, LOL. We share that love. She had enough backing fabric of the pink for me to make binding for it. There is a possibility that she will turn the backing to the front to finish off the lilac one. I decided I better run a row of quilting around the edges on it. Essentially I am done with them though and can call her to have them picked up.

6 others wait in my stack. My WTIL challenge top shown HERE is on tap for today. I am not as crazy about the blue on gold fabric but that is what makes that a challenge, I guess. Should I get done what that top, I'll start on the one of other green Habitat challenge tops 2 of the girls turned in at the Christmas party shown HERE. Scroll down to Marilyn's and Linda S's top--that's the ones in my pile that Nancy fired the girls up to pin last week. The only other one in the closet was turned in early in the year. I am not quite sure just how I want to quilt Lois' flying geese in the cabin top that I volunteered for. I don't free motion and this is not one that I want to practice on either. I don't think I want to go in every line and SID either. Any suggestions? Several of the girls have been asking if I have any ready to bind lately. Nope, I am working on some of my own stuff, I have replied. I should be able to oblige when we meet again on the 24th!

That's about it from my house. I'll be the one hunched over the sewing machine and listening to the last chapters of Live Bait by P.J. Tracy. I don't know if the latest developments are a red herring or not but I am sure to find out this afternoon!

Mar 13, 2009

hip to be square--EDITED

Yeah, I'm back---and posting two days in a row

I thought I was finished with enough blocks for two donation quilts but turns out I need four more blocks. I miscounted when I didn't have enough fabric for 4 wedges from three different fabrics, I guess. No problem--I tried to use two shades of the same basic color for the wedge color and could use a stronger purple toned one to balance things out. Not like I don't have any fabric to pull from.

First though---these things are not square. I am not entirely sure how that happened other than you are dealing with a good bit of bias on the wedge even though she tell you to stitch from the straight of grain side. That should have controlled the bias part. I was careful in my pressing on the seams as well so I didn't yank the heck out of the block there.

Did I miscut? Our teachers had told us to cut the background color 5 1/2 inches wide rather than the 5 1/4 because they had found on their pressing that the strip was consistently short and did not meet the end of the template. Makes sense but I just ended trimming it off so won't do that on the next set just to see what happens. The biggest thing was keeping the marked line of the template right over the sewn seam in the strip set, they cautioned. I butted a ruler to the left of the template before cutting and had sprayed the back of the both to control slippage. Doubt I mis-cut.

On just about every side of every block the wedge overhangs the piece next to it by about 1/8 or 3/8 at worst of an inch. Maybe you can see it on the block on the right in the picture?? I already squared up the worst offender before I took the picture. but trust me, it is there. Okay, the 1/8 inch I could probably finagle in and not worry about it. The wider variance, no way! I am using my Jem and it DOES sew a bit wider than a 1/4 inch. I know that but I have used the same machine and same machine foot consistently throughout the same project. I am not anal about it but I try to be accurate in all my sewing.

Okay, the whole pile needs to be squared up or to use an Eleanor Burns phrase "sliver cut" to what looks like a hair under 10 inches. If I don't do it, I will constantly be zigzagging seams to make sure they don't pull apart and the quilt turn into a rag in a heartbeat. I found where the center 3 inch finished square should be and then slapped a Masterpiece Static sticker over it to help line up, trim down right and top and then turn block and ruler. Not my idea---this was something that Fons and Porter instructed on an Album Cross block that did not use templates for the pointy end of the cross part. (They used an over long center strip and then you trimmed with the ruler once the block was completed). If it worked for that, then it will for this too.

I don't normally square up much of anything so this part is a little tedious. I still think it will make a fun quilt(s) for the kids. Just grumping about more work when I would rather be assembly the said top. I'm going to ask my classmates if they had to do the same thing next time I see them. How about any of you reading this? Your edges nice and straight or all wonky like mine??

ED. NOTE 3-14

Here is the completed stacks--all trimmed and ready to join into the two planned tops. I made 4 more purple blocks this afternoon and had the same problems with the same set of variables. I finally came to the conclusion that my wedge sections were just too short. When the teacher told us to cut the backgrounds 5 1/2 rather than the 5 1/4 it says in the pattern I did that BUT I trimmed around the narrow end to the shape of the template. I either didn't hear her say that part or did it anyway but so did everyone at my table.

After I finished up with the one needed for the quilt I cut prepped two more blocks. One I cut the background 5 3/8 and other 5 1/2. The shorter background was just the teeniest bit off but passable and produced a usable block---no real wonkiness. 5 1/2 was even better!

SO I would suggested making a trial block first and see if you need to do the same thing. Unless she has revised these templates on another printing I sure needed to make the adjustments. Off to mark my pattern accordingly!

Weigh in and let me know how yours worked out if you have made one?

Mar 12, 2009

WIP Thursday

My quilt group met on Tuesday and I was able to spread out my recently completed Cheese and Cracker flimsy and get a better picture of it. Well, better is debatable. I had to stand up on one of the chairs and I still managed to nip off a corner of it.

It was fun to see that two other pals were working with 30's repros as well---or about to. Nancy had a pattern called "Blooming Bowties"
designed by Sherri K. Falls from This and That Patterns that is scrappy bowties with some fun applique applied on completion. It is one purported to work well with layer cake cuts and fat quarters for the fabric collectors out there. Linda C was working on Oopsie Daisy designed by Darlene Zimmerman. I believe an order has been placed for more of those Mama Cottons 2 from Connecting Threads--or about to be. You think it might be the pastel, fun colors that is appealing to us since spring is coming?

Linda C came back to my house after the meeting so I could help her with bias strips for the stems and showed her how to use templar for prepping the leaves she will need for "Oopsie Daisy". I have extra supplies here to share especially since her sewing room is all packed up and in storage while the repairs to her flooded house continue for who knows how long. It is fun for me to mentor our "newer to quilting" members and show them the shortcuts or help them interpret a pattern. While I encouraged to "go for it" when she found a Lady of the Lake pattern similar to the one in the link, I also said "Thangles or Triangles on a Roll if you are going to do that many half square triangles!" and let her have enough of them from my stash for the top she was making. The pattern was found in 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts. Our Theramae had this book in her home library and when she passed away, her family donated her quilts book to the quilt group. Actually Theramae lent this book out---a lot!-- so it makes me smile to know that another one of the girls is enjoying the patterns and quilts in it too. We recently had a library cart donated to the group as well so I imagine it will be in and out of circulation along with other stuff we have on it.

I had taken my machine with me and gotten another wedge applied to my stack of Twisted Sister blocks at the Tuesday meeting. Yesterday I added the 4th one. All that remains is the last completing seam. See the stack next to the sewing machine. It represents two piles ready to chain into the machine. Clipped to the shelving unit is the next "Be Attitudes" base and rough cut for the applique that I prepped on Monday. Yeah, same old "Convergence" is still up there needing a border.

Hey, maybe that should be my "Move it Forward" Fab challenge?? LOL, too many choices to make for that one but I'll get it narrowed down by the 21st, when we plan to convene for our next online sewing session. We have found that this makes us a little more accountable and adds that little extra push towards a finish. It helps to have our own cheering section too. I am leaning towards either an old Stack and Whack or my 4 patch posie that has antiqued for about an year and a half. That narrow sashing about did me in on that one!

We had a potluck lunch and about 11 of us at the meeting. Lots of gabbing, laughing and joking around. I think a total of 7 quilts were pinned? Lois had her Twisted Sister top done from an earlier class. I had two small tops that Marilyn had asked me to do for pay that I wanted to get pinned. (Fun 30's 4 patches) Nancy was "cracking the whip" and pushing the girls to take care of 4 tops I had left in the closet some time back. Good to have them taken care but I don't think she realized that made more work for me, LOL. Hanging, they were out of sight and out of mind. Now, not so much! I had two more donation quilts pinned and in my closet so all the sudden I have a stack again and a total of 8 to tend to. Guess I better get those Twisted Sister blocks dealt with, swap out machines and get busy!

So far it has been a pretty lazy morning. The temperatures are down to a more seasonable expected high in the low 50's but rain is on its way in. It was in the low 80's on Tuesday and that was too hot, too soon for me though we could shut the furnace off for about 4-5 days recently and air the house out. Many of the Bradford Pears are in bloom. Our camellia has some blooms in spite of itself. It is always trying to come out too early and then the buds get zapped by frost but some late comers have made it to flower now. DJ dug up some ground so I could toss in some zinnia seeds from my dad. He always has a bumper crop in the summer time and tons of seeds to spare. Who knows if this is the time of year to plant them here in the South? Got to dig when that old red dirt is a little softer was DJ's theory.

Pictured is Skyler on the hunt for another puff ball. I have not gone on puff patrol for a few days having just bought another bag in his preferred size. Batt them wherever you want, little boy! He hops on the desk and sits right on the mouse waiting for that container to pop open. If he had opposable thumbs, no way would he need me, LOL. At the moment he is napping dead center on DJ's bed . Must be all worn out from chasing balls and monitoring bird activity in the neighborhood.

Sewing awaits then. The past couple days I have been enjoying some audio books while I work downloaded free from Overdrive. DJ found the link in either the AARP magazine or bulletin or the paper's "Parade" section. Turned out our county library was one listed as a participant--woohoo! The link will take you to a page to see who might be participating in your state/area. Plug in your library card number, download the software and you are good to go! Some books can be burned to CD and/or transferred to your personal media player increasing their portability. Others are limited to your installed media player. I prefer music when I am walking to keep my pace up but it is a thought for a change of pace.

Guess that's it for now! Hope you have a good day in whatever you chose to do and thanks for stopping by!

Mar 9, 2009

Monday check-in

Skyler hiding up in the baskets but guess what? I know you are there, LOL. Too bad I didn't get the camera fast enough when he was wriggling to get up in that tight spot. (Pam, recognize that Hunter Star foundation stuff?)

It has been a kind of lazy day today. Just one errand to run after lunch. Marilyn came by with a couple of small quilts that I had agreed to quilt for her. A couple of phone calls from friends. The Belles decided to have a potluck lunch tomorrow so I made my dish for that plus threw something in the crock for supper so dinner prep will be a snap.

I had been working on my stack of Twisted Sisters blocks and have two wedges on a pile of close to 50 blocks. I only completed one when I took the workshop shown HERE. The background are all the same as are the bright orange centers. Gonna make two happy, happy quilts for donation. Well, you catch a glimpse of it in the picture to the right, below, as well. I packed up the blocks, machine, sewing materials and loaded up the car for the meeting as I am always rushing to get out the door in the mornings. I can find something else to work on tonight, believe me!

During some TV viewing time with DJ I have been putting some stitches in another of my Birdbrain Design Santas. I had just those dangling hearts and stars left on the hat plus the eyes and nose to finish up today so this guy is hot off the press. So far I have been able to stick with the one a month idea with these. A finish is a finish no matter how small, right?

I am thinking I will pull out the Williams Inn bin and cut out the base for the Easter themed block and get the rough cuts for the applique ready. This system has been working out well. It is ready when I have time to do the fusing and machine applique allowing me to stay on track.

The FABs have been talking about what group project we might want to do next. We find that working as a group spurs us along towards a finish. There is some talk of jackets, specifically the Heart Warming Jacket from Back Porch Press. Problem is, they don't list the adult size on their website but do show a child's version. I know this one has been around since I started quilting back in the late 80's--classic design. We might just pick a pattern from our collections and run with that instead. Some of us think we should pick a Saturday or a weekend to get a UFO or some other project that is nagging at us moved along. Again, if you are accountable to someone it might just happen. I have a pretty good idea which one that would be but will keep it to myself since I am apt to change my mind, LOL. No one said I couldn't!!

Till next time---thanks for stopping by!

Mar 4, 2009

let the dancing begin

Today's goal was to get the top and bottom pieced borders on Cheese and Crackers. Just finished though the whole thing could use a good press.

I found that I had to trim a 1/2 inch off the inner border all around as my pieced side bands measured a full inch differently on the quilt. Once I did that, I was able to get the side bands done and applied yesterday

Time to vacuum up my mess-----

Mar 3, 2009

Tuesday rolls around again

My latest finish is shown at left. After taking time out for the TwSis class on Saturday and finishing up all the needed wedge and additional strip cutting on Sunday, I got back to the machine applique I had left to do.

I tried a different colored thread this time for the button hole work--"milk chocolate" Essentials cotton. I really like the color for the body of the work since the fabric has a greenish-brownish undertone. Not so sure about using it on the letters since it is a much darker fabric involved there. It looks almost gray there but the shade may be more ""forgiving" than the black? Less contrast for an errant stitch to show up around those letters perhaps. I might try matching the color on next month's mini-quilt.

Some hand work was needed to embroider the ant's legs but it did not take long to get the machine quilting done. After piddling around the better part of the afternoon yesterday doing everything BUT being creative, I did the binding hand finish while watching TV last night. Woohoo! A finish. I am having such fun with these quilts!

While I had the camera out, I had DJ hold up this sweet quilt that Pat turned in at the meeting last week. Love the colors and I am sure that a little girl will enjoy this s well.

So what is next? What is on tap for today's sewing, you ask? Back to my Cheese and Crackers, last worked on a week ago with plain inner border application. I had other fish to fry and put mine on the back burner.

Pam has taken to calling this "Cheese Spread" but I don't think she has publicly posted her top yet. Pat has gone a step further naming her version Blueberry Cheese Spread. I know in a later post she was working on her pieced border. Norma had her flimsy completed as of Sunday evening. She seems to be alternating in using the real name and the new Pam applied nickname but her daughter seems to have christened it "bug-eyed bunny" or the "Easter" quilt. Hey, it is a finished top and she can call it anything she wants!! I've just been abbreviating it "CNC" when writing about it. The Brother is set up for some "pedal to the metal" action so you what I'll be doing in my attempt to bring up the rear, LOL. If it is done in time for next week's meeting I will have the perfect spot to spread it out for it's closeup. How about that for a goal?

For those of you wondering, our little snow on Sunday did not last. The sun finally came out for the first time in what seemed like days and melted most of it off by mid afternoon. They started school about two hours late yesterday as a cautionary measure for possible road icing but it was in session. Sorry, kiddos! Of course the local paper was full of snow pictures from the newspaper staff and those sent in from the citizenry---just as DJ predicted. How much fell? Well, the airport which is the official measuring location for weather related things around here is not set up to measure snowfall, just rain totals. My guess would be about half an inch since that is what I had to scrape off my car windows yesterday when I headed out for grocery acquistion. It had crusted there in the changeover from rain to snow. From what I could tell other spots in the state got far more and then it moved on to Georgia, the Carolinas and up the Eastern seaboard to do its thing.

Looks like the UPS truck just pulled up. That means that our little phone router replacement arrived and I will be crawling under the desk hooking up the ethernet cords in a few minutes. It had crashed on Friday. At first I thought I had lost my high speed internet connection but we had TV service. It was storming and I was busy in the kitchen so I let it ride till after lunch. A call to Cableone got me back online but Vonage had to send out the equipment leaving us with cell phone only for a few days. I'll hit ""Publish" and get right on it!

Mar 1, 2009

0900 snow shot

about 90 mins after I took the snow pic in the last post from about the same angle

Maybe we will get what is predicted at this rate?

this and that

One of my friend's (Marilyn) had invited several of the girls from my quilt group to her home yesterday for a Twisted Sisters class. Her husband was out of town at a hunt club with their son so it was the perfect time for a bunch of us to come over and sew. Several people from her church came as well but they had not done quilt piecing before. Marilyn with Ada helping her worked more one on one with them through the process---how to cut, make a strip set and then proceed with the block.

She ordered the books and templates for us and there was some question about them coming in time for the class as things were in a reprint/revision mode. Had I had mine in hand prior to class time I probably gotten more than this one lonely block done, LOL.

You are instructed to cut the strip sets in 4 1/2 inch chunks but that seems to be an extra step in the process when you can line up the marked line on the seam and cut on all four sides. One of the girls was using WOF and found that she could get two extra blades out of the strip by NOT chunking it up first. She was working in patriotic colors with set colors through out---same print in the background and a stripe for the blades so it was important for her not to waste too much fabric. I can understand why you might want to do it as instructed but probably would alter my plans next time.

I cut too many strips! Not having the booklet ahead of time I just whacked up 4 strips for the blades in about 11 different colors. That will net me just about enough blocks for two donation quilts so I'll make one more strip set. I am still cutting wedges---with about 24 to go--because I want this project bag ready to roll when I pick it back up again. I'll go like fire chaining these things through. That Jem will be smokin'! Now I could have sewed a bit more at class yesterday but it was my choice to keep cutting. It was fun to watch the others and see their progress. Visit and see the different color combinations they picked and such. I am using the same colored background through---that kit fabric gold on gold that I love and a bright orange for all the centers with brights for the blades. One of the sewers brought her, I would guess, about 12 yr. old son with her; he guaranteed that kids will like those bright polka dots! Just the stamp of approval I needed then.

You see, I knew that I was going to have to set this aside for a few days while I finish up my March "Be Attitudes" block and my Cheese and Crackers borders. That means working on all three of my machines as each project was started on a different one. I want all the tasks done on each machine before I swap it out. The Viking I use for machine applique and quilting. The Brother was the machine of choice for CNC so I want to maintain the same seam allowance for the pieced border, for sure! The Janome Jem is my "haul around" machine so TwSis needs to be finished on it.

What else is going on? Skyler was in maniac mode and about to jump atop the fridge so he could get up on the passway. Silly boy! I have a bit of video of part of that. He got up there too quickly for me to switch the camera over to record.

Well, it is snowing and I will need to get a better picture that I posted with this an hour or so ago. I actually took some video and some stills. You can see some movement but little accumulation as the ground is too warm for it to stick at that point. Now it collecting everywhere but the lane and the driveways. Birmingham had the possibility of 2-4 inches.

I am from the North but have lived in Alabama since the summer of 97. Snow is not such a big deal in Illinois of course but down South? I know the kids are dreaming of sledding, making snowmen or snowball fights and no school on Monday, LOL. Fortunately we did do not have to be out driving in it today. I normally go on grocery errands on Sunday but it can wait a few days. I worry more about ice than snow and of course, there are no plows or salt trucks. Just sand.

This was taken about 7:30 when the snow started. I'll update later...........

It's making me cold just looking at this stuff. Hot chocolate anyone?