May 26, 2010

WIP Weds, #21

A little of this and that going on around here---or about to, LOL. I finished up the slightly resized May block from Nancy Halvorsen's Calendar Quilts & Stitcheries and will be cutting some borders for it later today to get it up to flimsy and maybe spray basted if I have time. A little ladybug button will be attached and some running stitch applied to quilt it. I like the natural Moda Marble for the background better than the Kona cotton I used for the April quilt-let.

Next up:
I started this top on Saturday and didn't touch it since. I was stitching, dealing with paperwork on the home front and for the quilt group. I have also been adding recipes to my Mastercook 11 software from my mail lists and such intermittently.

Oh and last night I was re-arranging the quilting stuff in the "annex" since some fabric followed me home from the meeting yesterday. It all started with my dragging out all the personal tops on the far end shelf of the closet---all pinned and ready to quilt(6), one even mostly done. Some stuff got tossed because no way, no how am I ever going to deal with re-making those wonky tops. LOL, I can make my OWN wonky tops and not rescue someone else's castoffs if they are that bad and the fabric isn't even worth saving to re-purpose. Some of my unearthed fabric finds might work for Bridge Creek Blossom. Some I would like to pass on to Aline's granddaughter, a fledgling quilter. Space is finite.

If I get the borders on that little quilt-let as planned, I will lay out another row for TV viewing time. (Mom, point out to Dad who well the table insert fits the machine, will you? THX again to Dad!)

I don't know if you can see that pattern clipped to the basket very well plus it is turned the wrong direction. Try THIS for a better view of the sewing machine cover that I want to make for the Singer---the cat version, of course! But wait! See that cat wallhanging right next to it on the Cotton Ginny site? Looks just like Skyler! I got to get that pattern!

Lastly, I have been dealing with this stuff for the last couple hours When Sarah passed away, sewing the batting cut-aways together into something usable fell to me. She was so good to take that on for the group. Others are stalwarts at the pinning table but Sarah hated to see anything go to waste. I have one large long piece to sew on and it will accommodate that top above that I am supposed to be piecing. The top will finish about 52 x 68 while the batting is 48 wide and purchased in 60 yd (?) rolls.

I suspect but do not know for sure ( yet ) that the stuff in the bag is NOT the same type or weight of batting that we normally use. Linda C dropped it off in the closet from her projects at home so I have a feeling it is a "mixed bag" I'll see what is hiding in there in a bit. (ed. note: no such luck. The lightweight stuff on top made me hopeful. Counting the custom piece above and cutting a bit off the existing roll I sewed together 4 batts WTIL sized. There was even one large piece in there! That is all I got done after dealing with the batting till after 8 p.m.)

What I don't get done goes to tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after...........Thanks for stopping by!

May 25, 2010

Meeting day

Quilt group meeting today----and it looks like Miss Jane has been very busy with binding! Because I have been very busy quilting (done for now on the donation stuff anyway----woohoo!) she went home with three more to finish up and Linda C got three of hers back as well. When it was time to pull out some handwork, Beverly and Lois were binding on two of their quilts so I should have more pics to share before long.

This one is one I made----I do love making 3-D bowties but this is the first one I made with something other than a muslin background. I would do it again and in fact, I may have to, LOL. I have way more of those 3 1/2 inch gold squares cut and more yardage on the roll the WTIL head sent me.

At right---Aline's Stack and Whack fans. Pattern source : Bethany Reynolds. When DJ was holding this one up, he told me that he really liked the wild colors. I totally forgot to pack my camera (again!) so he got roped into being quilt holder after he was done riding his exercise bike.

This little cutie was one that Linda C whipped up from other project leftovers. Looking at it you might think that she used that old favorite "Snuggle Up" from the Quiltmaker website but that was not the case. Easy, peasy for me to quilt with zoom lines.

And this last one, our dear departed friend and fellow Belle Theramae made most of these blocks. When she passed away, her family donated a good bit of her sewing things to the quilt group and these were among her fabrics, books and magazines. I made maybe 5 or 6 more to have enough for the block set and assembled it. A little poignant for me to work on this quilt, I will tell you.

It was a fabric kind of day today. One of Linda C's friends had done a bit of spring cleaning of her quilt supplies so she had fabrics and patterns for us to go through and "help yourself" Linda said Sonia's only stipulation was that they NOT come back to live at her house. What we didn't want was bound for the Salvation Army thrift store.

Also Kris the church secretary had brought some kid novelty fabrics that her friend in Mobile had passed along. Becky had recently passed along some fleece throws and whole cloth quilts that she had made with her nieces and nephews. (I mailed them on to WTIL headquarters)

Lastly, I passed out the next Belles challenge quilt fabrics. Cute Michael Miller "Romance" from some time back that had been donated to us by a WTIL list friend in KY. Should be fun, nice primary colors in it.

Well, I said I would pick up the pizza so best be off. I'll do WIP Weds post tomorrow---not that I am doing a whole lot, LOL.

May 19, 2010

Still at it

I think this quilting has become a bit like taking a multi-vitamin lately----one a day, LOL. I took Sunday off but I have essentially had that kind of output as you will see from the stack below on the right.

I had just started #6 of 7 when DJ took this picture after lunch today. It is a 12 block Thimbleberries sampler that Linda C made. Since I basically just do stitch in the ditch, it is taking a lot of pivoting and quilt wrestling. My upper back and shoulders have had it! I quit with 4 blocks and borders to go for tomorrow's detail.

There is one more in the stack but I honestly do not feel up to the task. It is large, backed with flannel, bulky and the pattern does not excite me since I just quilted one like it but with smaller blocks. I didn't volunteer to quilt it in the first place so that might have something to do with the attitude. Whine, whine, whine. After spending the better part of 2 weeks quilting, I am SO ready to piece or finish up my embroidery block(s). I know that my pal Norma is due some comp time and has a national holiday coming up this weekend. We normally get a lot done when we have some time to work together even when we are not working on the same thing. I'll think about what project I want to tackle while I finish up #6.

SO, onto another topic. My friend Mary Frances used to be with the Master Gardener group her in the county before she and her husband re-located back to eastern Indiana. She didn't recognize my mystery shrubbery from the picture and referred me to the county extension agent. Pointed to the picture on my blog---the verdict was that it is a form of Chinese privet. Thanks for the help in answering that question!

It has been quite pleasant out the last two days with no need for a/c though I hear 90's are coming and maybe rain come Friday. We need the rain. DJ has been trying to reclaim a bit more of the yard back from the kudzu vines and is trying to grow some grass seed. Watering that spot requires two long, long lengths of hose so he would rather Mother Nature tend to that, LOL.

Walking continues 6 days out of 7 and I will be adding another quarter mile lap next week. Not much else going on but that's okay. Hope you have had a good day in whatever you chose to do. Thanks for stopping by!

May 12, 2010

WIP Weds, wk 19

First, some of the flowering things around our house

The honeysuckle is out in full force---and taking over this holly bush at the entrance to our lane. I love how it smells but it sure can stuff up my nose! There is some that grows, just as wildly, at the city park on the south and west ends where I walk my morning laps.

The climbing rose is in full glory while the white azalea is almost spent. I should have taken its picture last week.

I have seen some magnolias out in my travels but the people across the lane have one so we get to enjoy theirs from afar.

Then there are these bushes, whatever they are, LOL. They also have a scent though fainter than the honeysuckle. We have two of them in the backyard but it also seems to grow wild as I see it all along the places I routinely drive. The two bushes are huge and were originally planted in a planter area with a bird bath in the front yard. Obviously not a good choice for such a small area if they are going to grow up taller than the house! Does anyone know what it is? I don't think it is spirea but what do I know about these things?

Next to bloom, the Rose of Sharon bush and the crepe myrtles in another month or so.

SO where are the quilt pictures? I am in quilting mode so unless you want to see my room set up while I work there aren't going to be any till the binding is done. I got three of the donation quilts done in recent days and took them to the Belles meeting, binding one of them while I was there. Jane and Lois were up for the hand finishing detail so those are out of sight for the time being. The stack was down for a few hours anyway...........then three others took their place. We pinned the Rails in a Square that I showed in the last post. I had volunteered to do one of Lois' tops so that added the 2nd one. Some time back a friend had asked me to do a small top for pay and that was dropped off -- there is the 3rd addition. 7 to quilt and DJ's Strip Twist to hand finish the binding. I'll see how far I get this week and then I am back to piecing something---I have a couple options in that department, LOL.

You know where to find me...........

May 7, 2010

Finished to flimsy

Here is the view I saw while I attempted to join the top and bottom halves on the donation quilt I had been working. Skyler loves to dive under any protective covering--- a quilt, a towel, the sheets and blankets while you try to make the bed, a piece of fabric, even a quilt block. We ordinarily play a round of "where's the kitty?" but not with quilt tops still in the machine, LOL. He cracks me up! At least he was not laying in the front of the machine this time!

To the right, the finished remodeled top. You know, I did not notice that a block in the bottom row is not oriented the same direction as the others till I rotated the image. Well, it is too late now----IIWII. I had debated about trying to use a rusty colored leftover fabric that I had on hand for cornerstones. It might have worked with the other fabrics but I found I had just enough to use that yardage for backing. Back to the "no stones" plan then. I still pieced it as a pre-sashed blocks rather than line up long narrow rows of sashing. Since I used a tone on tone the seams are not glaring and would it matter a whole lot if they were? I seamed the backing and binding before I called it quits for the night.

It is supposed to hit 90 today--ugh. I believe it, as it was 68 when I left to walk at 8 a.m. I added another lap this past week so I am at 1.4 miles now. I must have sped up to a 5 minute lap because I still only got 25 minutes in, LOL. Some progress, however slow.

In spite of the heat I am going to set up to quilt some of those donation tops. Yeah, I know--hot stuff on my lap. Jane has been asking if I have any done tops done for her to work on binding. Nope, I keep saying in response. Well, that pile in the bedroom is not going to get any smaller. I have vowed that I am not going to pin any of the tops I have ready (3 at this point) till I get something, anything moved along. Two of the 7 in the pinned stack are ones I either assembled or made start to finish so I'll start with them.

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

May 5, 2010

WIP Weds, wk #18

A little of this and that going on around here. The May calendar block stitchery with a bird house theme for hand work--usually that means mornings before lunch or during TV viewing time in the evening. LOL, sometimes all day long if I feel like it.

The blocks are those big triple rails that are set on point in the block with a square in a square process. Yesterday I only got one HST sewn on each block so not a lot of progress being made but I'll get busy with those in a bit. (I have fabric in the washer that will need pressed after a little of dryer tumbling) I hope to have the top finished and ready for pinning at our meeting next week. LOL, another for the armoire stack.

This week I seem to be more into "fabric acquisition" than stash busting. I was talking to my mom the other day and mentioned that Norma and I are planning a sewing day next month to try a version of Terry Atkinson's Bridge Creek Blossom. I was looking at possible yardage to pick fabric from but I was convinced that nothing I had on hand served as a good jumping off point. For example, I have a nice piece of paisley but it is basically green and pinks on a tannish background. Really no place to go with it. Pretty but I couldn't envision enough variety in the blocks that would result from my stash.

Also I had decided I wanted to do a donation quilt sized top to test this pattern rather than another full/queen sized bed quilt. I would have raided Mom's stash when I took that fleeting trip through IL a month ago but we just didn't have time. She has made tons of quilts for Wrap Them in Love over the years, made a bunch for the Fellowship of Christian Farmer's Novgorod project and now, QOVs with her local quilt group. Trust me, she has a sizable stash to pull from. People know she does pro bono work and they give her more or give her their scraps. I know this from helping her organize it a bit and move the bins all around on previous trips "home". Mom took pity on me, LOL and sent me some possible choices. That jig saw piece should be perfect with lots of color to play with! Okay, this time I was busting HER stash though the go-with's will come from my brights bin. The turtles and ABC's are cute too--if not used for this project, then for something else down the line. Thanks for coming to my rescue, Mom! Nice package filler, LOL.

Yesterday was girls day out though Beverly was not feeling well and stayed back to hopefully see the MD. We took her quilt up to the long arm quilter for her. At left you will see my purchases. They all have a purpose, not purchased on speculation or "hafta to have it". The green tone on tone is for sashing on the aforementioned triple rail square in a square. The blue tone on tone, white on white and blue print (for backing) are all for my niece/godchild Allison's t-shirt quilt she has asked me to make. The white and aqua ribbon fabric is backing for my Daisy Chain top last seen HERE.

I asked Susan to put my name on her quilting list but I think the one she will be quilting is the t-shirt quilt, not the Daisy Chain. Provided I get the t-shirt quilt done in a month's time, that is the one I will take up. The shirts are already whacked up, the interfacing is purchased but I couldn't get to sewing till I got the sashing and background materials squared away.

Well the dryer is calling my name. Ugh, I hate ironing when it is as hot inside my house as out for the a/c battle starts for another season :-( Happy Cinco de Mayo!

May 3, 2010

busy, busy round here

I have kept fairly busy since I last posted---a little of this and that. One thing at the top of the list was this little wall hanging for my pal and fellow FAB Cher who had a birthday last week. The pattern, originally purchased as a kit from Keepsake Quilting, is "Don't Go Out of the Lines, Plant the Seeds" from Plain Brown Wrapper. Because it has a gardening theme, I thought it made a good choice for Cher.

The original pattern called for perle cotton stitching and raw edges with maybe the batting sticking out or some such thing. It had jute ties and a stick for a hanger. Now I would like that folk art-y vibe but it just didn't seem quite Cher-like. Nope, I ordered a little split bottom hanger from Ackfeld Wire and put hanging tabs on the back instead. The pigma pen writing and coloring were fun, fun, fun!

The plaid fabric that came with the kit was filched for my last two months Calendar quilt stitcheries. I substituted the little bit of fabric leftover from my Sisterhood of Quilters instead. There are little butterflies amongst the ivy, butterflies being a motif Cher enjoys. I did purchase the darker green dot to complete the project---also from designer Jodi Houghton. I hand quilted around most of the small motifs which wasn't easy with whatever batting I had stuck in there-- just some piece leftover from something and in the sewing room closet is all I know! So Happy Birthday, Cher-- a few days late.

I picked up a "new to me" sewing machine from my friend Lois on Friday. It had belonged to her mom who recently had to be admitted to a nursing home. It is a Singer Stylist 6548 circa 1978 (with cams) but let me tell you, it has a nice stitch. A lot better than my carry around Jem is doing right now----tension issues that I need to look into a little closer. My dad will cut me out a sewing machine table insert as I was able to trace off the table extension around the free-arm (it is missing some legs) but I did put the machine to work.

I whipped up a pile of triple rail blocks for a donation quilt I will be making. My friend Norma does strings as an ongoing sewing project when she doesn't feel like anything taxing, matchy-matchy----I do triple rails or bowties, LOL.

Since the triple rail project will go on point I prepped fabric and cut the side setting, alternate blocks stuff along with new HST's for those donation blocks we received last week. I pulled those blocks and rows apart essentially starting from scratch with most of the same fabric. You see, whoever had made the blocks had used QST's around a large triple rail for an Economy block type thing. You guessed it---big time bias problems on the outside edges of the blocks. Since I had it all apart, I scaled the rails down a bit and the blocks will finish at 10.50. With sashing it will make a nice quilt for the kids.

Other things on the home front that kept me hopping over the weekend:
  • finally boxed up that stack of donation quilts so I could get in the closet behind it. Woohoo, two boxes on their way to WTIL as of this morning
  • Because I could finally get in the closet easily, I switched out the seasonal clothing and purged two lawn and leaf bags of stuff out of both closets, plus the armoire and the blanket chest while I was at it. I subscribe to the theory that if you bring something into the house, you get rid some thing else. (My husband does not do that though, LOL) In this case it was a few new pair of jeans and a couple t-shirts for two big bags for the thrift store. Delivered that stuff this morning too.
  • I put the bunny/Easter decoration stuff away. It's May so it was time. Well, all but the April calendar quilt piece was put up I don't have the May piece stitched yet but I did trace off both it and the May Freckles snowman block. I have just a little bit of calendar stitching done---not much.
  • Walking program resumed. I laid off too long. Bad girl! Put some weight back on. My triglycerides are probably back up or still up, more like. I made a pact with the MD to let me get back on track with my walking and then see where the numbers are in 6 months. Still up after I have been exercising and making some dietary changes?? Fine, put me on meds if I have to but give me a chance to do better first. I started slow and am going just a hair over one mile 6 days a week which is an increase over the every other day I had started with. I had to wait till my knees and shins forgave me. Another week like this and I will add another lap every two weeks till I reach 10. My pace is pretty good though I am not out there long enough quite yet---.28 miles in about 6 minutes consistently.
  • Went thru all my recipe clippings and printouts and kept only the stuff I have actually made or will make soon. I had enough paper removed to ditch one entire notebook and a pile of mixed paper to take to the recycle center in town. That was my late Friday--early Saturday foolishness, LOL.

I took this pic of Skyler a few days back. This little sunny spot in DJ's room is a new haunt lately as he tracks the sun thru the house. He has not been sunbathing the past three days though as it is has been very overcast, windy, humid as all get out. Rain and storms were in the forecast but nothing came of it most of the weekend. Finally we got some rain after we went to bed last night----just a tad under 3 inches according to our rain gauge.

We needed some rain but TN really got hit! My brother and his family, a dear long time friend and a former secret pal all live in the Nashville and surrounding area so I could not help but wonder how they all fared. 1-24 is the route we travel yearly on the way back up to IL. Hard to imagine a manufactured house floating down that interstate or the prospect of the Titans' football stadium being covered in 2 ft of water. My prayers go out the residents dealing with this massive flooding as well as the oil spill mess down in the Gulf that effects my state as well as LA, MS, FL and TX. What a mess!

Guess that's it for now---time to heat up our lunch. Where had the morning gone?