May 23, 2011

nothing much

The color is not quite right on this as it is not an orange-y red but whatever!

After a panicked few days as to where the package might be in the span between coastal OR and NE central Alabama, look what arrived. Pam was so kind to finish up my machine cover for me after I could not 1) put on the piping correctly 2) correctly do the math for adjusting the changes I had made for the height of the machine.

There were other goodies she packed along with the cover. A pattern I had admired from Connecting Threads, a layer cake of winter batiks that she did not want. Thanks again, Pam for bailing me out!

I am going to have to come up with a good idea for those although a few of the batik prints would work well in a patriotic quilt. I DO need to make a couple of tops for the veteran's facility being built in nearby Pell City for the guild. I would do it anyway even if I were NOT a guild member to help them reach their goal. The plus is that is for something in my own backyard and I may not have to quilt them.

As far as anything quilty happening around here? Not a whole lot. I did a little embroidery on the next Bee Tree Design basket blocks----the current one I picked to work on is the button basket but I set that aside since I have a car trip coming up. I hand quilted a bit more on the Bird Brain Santas but then it got hot again and who wants that anywhere near your lap? I want to sew but I don't know what other than, I want to do something fun or different than what I already have started. But what?? I think one or more of my machines may need to go in for servicing so that may have something to do with my reluctance to sew. I've cleaned them out the best I could and done the things I know to do but still not happy with the stitching. SIGH.

It is not like me to be bored but I have to admit that I have been a bit. Restless or something. I have been reading a bit more lately, watching season finales on TV and playing way to much House on the Hill solitaire, I admit it. Oh and looking thru my quilt books for ideas that might jump start this malaise. A 3-6-9-12 idea from a Fons and Porter March April 2003 intrigues me more than anything at the moment and would work for the 60 x 90 plan. HMMMM

Back to dusting and straightening things up around here. If I am not going to be making a mess being creative then I have to clean up the mess I have made and/or ignored, right?

Hope you have found something that "floats your boat"

May 16, 2011

some that caught my eye at the show

More quilts from the 2011 JOY Quilt Festival this past weekend.

One of my friiend Marilyn's quilts. She is originally from MN and the panel pieces and fabrics were purchased on a trip back to visit with family. It serves as a reminder to her of the North Woods. I like it as an example of what you can do with panel pieces to dress them up.

Karen C's "Betty's Garden" Karen taught this in a class at Sew What in Oxford when the shop was still open. Actually the block is Antique Tile Block (Nancy Cabot 1938) I love how the pattern forms rings with the color placement. I had seen pictures in the guild's online photo albums but this was the first time to see it in person.

I do not personally know the maker of this "Dear Jane". It won a 3rd place ribbon in the Viewer's Choice selection. Some day I will make one of these or at least get started on it. Got the book, the software, some of the fabrics and have thought about it for years.

The same person took the 1st place ribbon for a quilt she owned that was made by for her family member. Lots of stitcheries, good applique and excellently hand quilted. Lovely but I missed taking a picture of it.

Can you see the back of my strip twist peeking thru below it?? I had put the row of extra blocks down the back to expand my available backing yardage. I also see the label I put on it.

Sue Ann's Stitchery quilt took the 2nd place viewers choice ribbon. Well done quilt that Sue Ann made for her sister. I am pretty sure that some of the blocks are Bronwyn Hayes' designs. She just said an "Australian designer" when I talked to her briefly. (The card on the quilt did not say) This picture was actually taken when it was exhibited at the Gadsden Quilt Show last fall. I knew I had one on file so did not take it again.

Sue Ann also had several other quilts entered but the one that I was most impressed with was a reversible whole cloth quilt. The hand quilting was wonderful! The quilt was made long enough that the top of the quilt folded back over top of the pillows and the design was still maintained once you did that. She had used a contrasting color on the back. Lovely, lovely quilt.

I do not know the person who made this quilt either. I do know that the pattern source is Jackie Robinson of Animas Quilts "Eureka" The card indicated that it had been recognized and ribboned at many quilt shows and had been juried into the AQS show in Nashville or Knoxville. Well done but did not get a ribbon this time. It got my vote, if that counts for anything.

This is the quilt that I needed my camera for at our meeting the other day so I am glad that Aline entered it for her daughter Fran! Fran made this for her husband Rick. There is music fabric in it and he loves the deep rich colors. This picture does not do it justice. Pattern: French Braid but I do not know the designer for sure. Jane Hardy and Arlene Netten have a book out entitled French Braid Quilts but I do not know that is what Fran used for her pattern.

This one caught my eye more for the pattern than the execution. It is one of those where you wonder "how did that go together?". I thought it might be a good one for donation quilts with that large square and 3 color choice. Jane referred to it as a "mystery quilt" but I don't know which quilt group had used it. I will find out more when I see her next time.

Not many people can go to a quilt guild meeting and quilt show all in the same day but I did! Since I had to stick around to pick up my quilt, I helped catch quilts a bit though they seemed to have things well in hand. The same crew taking them down is the same bunch that has done it many times before.

my quilt entries

A trip down MY quilting memory lane---a few that I have kept. The pics are a little dark but one of the few times I can get a full shot of them so I went for it.

Star Trip c. 2002. Pattern Source: J. J Stitches and Company. Class taken at Quiltmaker's Workshop in Trussville, AL

Kitty City c. 2004. Pattern Source: Amy Bradley Designs. I have the Dazzling Dog blocks done as well but so far, they have not gotten passed the block stage.

Daisy Chain c. 2011. Pattern Source: Atkinson Designs.

Cheese and Crackers c. 2009, I think, LOL. (They had to pin the bottom up and unfortunately there was a shadow from the rack set up falling across the picture)
Pattern Source: Atkinson Designs. I do love me some 30's prints.

Strip Twist c. 2010. Pattern Source: G.E. Designs. DJ got his quilt washed just because I wanted to enter it in the show.

Lastly, look who was playing with the quilt he never gets to see. Skyler was specifically attracted to the buttons in the cornerstones. He was also pawing on the blocks at glasses and binoculars, possibly thinking they were balls he could play with?? Then he thought that the embroidered whiskers were strings he could chew on and was pawing them. We slept under it last night. The weather had stayed in the mid 50's all day, cloudy and damp so it was a little cool in the house. NOT complaining as it will be hot and stay hot soon enough.

So even if I am not getting much done lately, or if I have it is stuff I can't show you yet, I do occasionally get some things done for me. See above, LOL. I continue to hand quilt on my Santa with a little basket embroidery thrown in.

May 14, 2011

one of THOSE days............. of those weeks, really. Today, I can laugh about it so that is what a little perspective can do for you.

Some days I do not know where my head is at. I got up and went about my business yesterday without too much trouble. I had breakfast, showered, got dressed, goofed around on the computer and made a no bake pumpkin pie to go with our planned "turkey breast in the crockpot" meal. Between us, we had the laundry detail well in hand. So what happened?

I forgot to plug in the danged pot and discovered this an hour in. Often I run it for an hour on high just to get the contents started and set the oven timer to remind me to go back in there to back off on the heat. That was when I discovered it. Sheesh! Worry about food safety much?? How did that happen? I had asked DJ to get the pot out for me as it is fairly heavy rather than lugging it out myself. That little thing was enough to throw me off the routine, I guess. I am NOT blaming him as I am still the one who did not notice he had not plugged it in or did that simple task myself. It tasted fine but you know I am going to worry about making us sick.

The other worrisome thing was that we were in the middle of a severe thunderstorm for a time. The electricity has been going off a good bit again, and not just when the wind blows. I had planned to go to the quilt show in Jacksonville with my friend Marilyn in the early afternoon. I told DJ if the power went off, we would stick the crock in the fridge and we could have pie and cranberry sauce for supper. Well, maybe the mashed potatoes and vegetable too but the heck with the turkey, LOL. I would take that as a sign that turkey was NOT meant to be.

What you see in the picture at left, is what happened next. I had walked over to put the cookbook back on the shelf and the whole thing dumped. The shelf flipped off the clips holding it and just barely missed my foot. (We had moved the chair that sits in front of the window, fan and some of the books by the time I took this picture though---it was a worse mess before that.) DJ thought one of the clips looked bent, probably a victim of the weight of the books would be my guess. At my suggestion we traded them out for the more sturdy ones on the smaller book shelf in his bedroom------one that I had just taken a lot of books off of and taken to the library. If his shelf flips there is only a few small stacks of golf magazines on it. That seemed to work and I would do it again. I figure we have three other shelves we could borrow from if we had to.

Other than DJ having the glass cranberry relish dish slip out of his hands at dinner, we got thru the rest of the day okay. Just a few cranberry splatters but the dish did not break. I went to the show with Marilyn, the electricity stayed on, I hand quilted a bit, the Cardinals lost in extra innings. You go with the hand you get that day.

Okay that was just one day's minor "catastrophes" want to hear the weekend bone head move I made a few days earlier?? I forget now what I was making but I was preparing to make some corn bread muffins to go with the entree. I keep the bulk flour and sugar containers on one of the shelves above the washer and dryer. When I picked up one of the containers, I accidentally knocked a box of half filled rotini pasta (in a ziploc bag) off to the washer below. It didn't go in but was sitting wedged up against the rim. No biggie, back on the shelf. BUT you know where this is headed. You just know I had washed something I did NOT intend to.

I started up the load of towels that had stacked in there, probably even added some more towels to the top without looking any further. When I found a jumbo shell sitting atop the towel, I was puzzled. Turns out I had forgotten about the box of unopened jumbo shells that was atop the rotini box on the shelf. Then I spotted the shreds of the box and more gooey pasta and pasta bits. What a mess! Thank heavens, it was not the usual large load though. Shake the stuff out, outside, then try drying it. Vacuum out the washer with the wet-dry vac. Empty the lint filter.......twice. I polished off that fiasco by knocking the wet-dry vac over, not spilling the contents however which has happened before, but I couldn't get the thing to run. DJ checked later and it was fine, not sure why it snapped out of it for him and not me.

I went through the rest of the week without too much mishap other than my quilting not going as well as I would have liked. One or both of my two main machines probably do need servicing and might have something to do with it or the bulk of the seams I was stitching through. The binding is done and I will hold up the giftie at the guild "show and tell" in a couple hours. I didn't go to the meeting last month and have a couple of my small finishes to show at Friendship Quilters.

It was nice to go "visit" a few of my quilts in the show, particularly one that I do not see often as it is usually folded up in the armoire or closet shelf. I got some decent pictures of them, I think. Post those next time. Ran into some friends I do not see very often at the show. Nice selection of quilts, some I had seen before at other shows but still enjoyed them. Bed turning, a few vendors and a scissor sharpener fellow took care of a few pair of embroidery scissors for me. Best get dressed as I need to head out to catch my ride to Pell City.

May 11, 2011

WIP Weds

If I live to be a 100, I will never get these silly photos to load in the order I want------grrr.

Skyler in his favorite spot lately---watching the birds from the bedroom perch. He is so near but yet so far from their nest in the holly bush. The problem is that he almost insists on having the blind and/or the window open as soon as it is light so he can start his patrol. It has made for some early, early mornings lately.

I finally got the giftie quilted on Monday. Not an easy process because neither of my quilting machines seemed to be doing a very hot job of it. It is a gift after all and I want it to be special instead of adequately holding the layers together. SIGH. I am working on the binding now. Obviously can't show you yet.

Just to have a quilt related picture, I took my hand quilting to the meeting yesterday. The binding is dark fabrics, dark thread and I needed far better light than I had available to me at the church. So hand work it was though I debated about this or the basket blocks right up till the last minute. One block of the 12 is done and most of the the one you see hooped up in this earlier shot. Maybe I stand half a shot of getting this one done by Christmas! One of the Belles asked if I was planning on quilting something more in the sashing area, other than the SID I had already done. I wasn't necessarily but may see if I have a nice cable that would fit there. I have a bunch of quilt stencils in my sewing room closet and if you don't use them now, then when?

We had a good time at the meeting. Some of the girls could not stay long for various reasons but it is always good to catch up with each other. In this case a lot had happened since we last met. We met on the 26th and the EF4 tornado for one thing and whatever they termed the morning storm---straight line winds or tornado in roughly the same area came the very next day on the 27th. Some of the girls have been busy helping with the Salvation Army tornado relief efforts. The old Fort McClellan commissary has been set as the distribution point--good plan since it is centrally located in the county plus has a big enough warehouse space to do this. They were helping sort the donated materials and getting what the people needed on their lists once folks were I.D'd by FEMA number. Another of the group and her husband are first responders so she was telling us what her day was like during the storms. Another related how the family farm was hit earlier in the day by the first round of storms---outbuildings destroyed, downed trees, power out but no one hurt. Cows are missing though. I digress...................

Rosa has her house on the market so is purging things and brought a big pile of magazines to share. I came home with a few issues to study a bit closer. We have a library cart at the meeting place where we have some quilt books and other literature to share with each other so I stashed the mags on there for other meetings and ideas.

Silly me though---I went off without my camera! Aline shared a quilt her daughter had made that was recently picked up from the long armer----French Braid in deep rich, masculine colors. Gorgeous! Lois had a cool top that definitely requires a design wall, not sure of the pattern source but I will find out down the line.

Janet was working on binding that cool runner she had started at the sew-in but needed help with the join. Brenda was pressing fabrics in preparation to a cut a 5- 1 yard quilt pattern she had picked up at recent Atlanta shop hop. Beverly was binding her gift quilt for a great-nephew while Rosa had her machine out working on her hidden spools.

Jane was busy dispersing quilt show entry forms for the JOY guild show this weekend. Many of our group are members of that group but the show is open to anyone, not just member owned and member made. LOL, how many do you want, Jane? Quilts and wallhangings, I have. Which ones already have sleeves on them? I got busy this morning and filled out entry forms for 4 of my collection. I saved out my most recent completions so I can share them at the Friendship guild on Saturday though.

And that is how it goes here. I best get my fingers to stitching this binding as unfortunately, it does NOT stitch itself. Darn it, LOL!

May 5, 2011


Why we will never forget 4-27-2011 in Alabama

(Image Source: HERE at

Look at all the tornadoes that came to the state that day and see how many were EF-3 and higher.

This map does not include the whole state at this point though the southern third was largely uneffected by the storm systems. I think that this map might be just the market area covered from the Birmingham branch of the National Weather Service. The

Huntville, Cullman, Dekalb County, the counties in the upper Tennessee Valley are out of the "Huntsville TV market" . Here is more info on the mystery northern section---HERE)

News cycles are short. National news especially will move on to the next "shark attack"...........or oil spill, Mississippi flood, etc. They always do. Prince William got married, bin Laden killed in the intervening week. We won't forget when so much work still lies ahead. I have not been north on 431 since this happened but the landscape will be unmistakably changed on that oft taken trip.

Here in Calhoun County:

  • Tornado classified officially as an EF-4. It was part of the same one that hit Tuscaloosa and the BHM suburbs that lifted briefly and reformed to angle across the north end of the county.

  • According to the local paper, 3500 homes affected

  • 11000 residents impacted and 9 fatalities

sew-in pics #2

Pat was working on this piece. She had found a clipping in the magazine and located the pattern source to make it--- "30 Stars for 30 Years" from Country Threads.

Lois was busy with her 2 1/2 inch strip bin for the starts of another Scrappy Trips Around the World from Bonnie Hunter and I believe this may be part of the Belles' scrap challenge this year---or at least some of it is.

Betsy was working on completing this Disappearing Nine patch. Some of the blocks were donated. In fact, Linda C made most (if not all) of the purple ones. Betsy had requested abandoned quilt blocks from her quilt group to make Quilts of Valor so she gets a lot of blocks to assemble.

Janet was preparing to make this wonderful ring runner featuring the wild life yardage. I can't wait to see how this turns out as the technique looks interesting. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can read the pattern cover and designer.

Brenda was working on binding when I took this picture but this was her sewing project. The blocks have a cathedral window feel, don't they? "Wild Roses" from the quilt mag you see on the table next to the pieces.

Aline was sewing some of the sampler star blocks from Eleanor Burns' Stars Across America book. I may be wrong but I think she started this project as a block of the month with the quilt shop that used to be in Pell City. It, like the other panel piece in the previous post, will be going to the Veteran's Home. I showed you her table mate Jane's quilt project in the previous post.

Beverly was busy with the wonderful scrappy string blocks that is part of our scrap challenge for the year. The pattern is "Waste Not, Want Not" which you can see when you click the picture bigger. Not sure of the pattern source but I can find out.

Linda C had several projects with her and this was from a Fons and Porter magazine. Not sure which issue but I can find out. She also has a cool wool project going but I didn't get the camera out till after she had put it away.

Like Linda C, I had a couple of things that I can't show you right now but I got a bit more of the triple rail donation challenge top assembled. It is approximately half done at this point. I cannot decide if I need 11 or 13 rows though. Pattern--public domain. Strips are cut 2 x 5 and the blocks finish at 4.5 inches.

And here is Rosa's project, Hidden Spools from Quiltville. She had started these a few years back, she said, before she and her husband had moved to Alabama.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what the group was up to!

sew-in pics #1

Aline's Patriotic quilt for the Veteran's Home being built in Pell City, AL. The panel is designed by Marcus Brothers and available at Hancock's of Paducah HERE.

Aline's challenge quilt with the Michael Miller "Romance" fabric. Aline and her granddaughter LeAnn shared their yardage and this was all that was left after LeAnn made two tops. Cute, huh?

Linda C. turned in this disappearing nine patch quilt

Linda C turned in this Thimbleberries sampler that I had quilted sometime last year.

Jane was working on this colorful Snuggle Up quilt.

More picture in another post----------


I guess you can tell what I have been stitching on by the picture at left. I DO love to embroider! I just got done with a bit of stitching on the left side of the design and all those French knots.

March themed basket block from Bee Tree Designs--pattern found on Flickr HERE .

I don't feel like sewing or quilting, unless it is hand quilting right now. That's okay. This happens and it passes at some point. I may do a little hand applique or hand quilt this afternoon. Or read since I picked up a couple books at the library when I delivered the donation stuff in my last post around town.

Actually the only thing that I have sewn this week was a project DJ and I had. The cover we bought for the BBQ grill keeps blowing off as the wind billows up under the cover. Next thing you know it will laying out in the backyard somewhere. DJ had an idea to put some holes in the cover and then bungee cord the thing down. For that purpose, I had picked up some grommets at Hobby Lobby for this purpose a month ago. The instructions tell you to use some reinforced twill tape or double layered fabric behind it. I used some steam and seam 2 and fused a couple layers together and then stitched it down through the cover before cutting the holes. Of course, as is typical of the two of us, we could not get it work properly the day we tried and gave up, thinking we needed to get the industrial strength kind from the hardware store. Still, even with the holes I had cut into we could at least bungee it down. Not ideal but it would work. DJ got the grommets in yesterday. Woohoo! Turns out we were not doing anything wrong with our process but it took way more hammering than we saw in a video online, let me tell you.

I still mean to post the sew in pictures and will do that in another post.

May 2, 2011

not quilting

I wasn't sleeping this morning either. Awake at 330 and did not go back to sleep. By 515 I just bailed and started cleaning out my dresser drawers.

I went thru the blanket chest, armoire, dresser drawers and both closets plus the book shelf and under the bed storage. I even straightened out the jewelry box which I had dumped on the floor recently and just piled stuff back in. Summer clothes are pulled out and swapped with heavy winter stuff---now watch, we will go thru a cold spell. Have you ever seen it to fail?

The 4 bags of books you see above are going for donation to the Friends of the Library. Not sure when the sale is coming up but normally it is in the spring sometime. A couple of the books came from there to start with, LOL. Book recycling.

DJ calls my car trunk my "office on wheels" and he may be right. The file boxes of handouts, strip plugs, cone thread holder, table risers and so forth. The fold up pull cart is under the bags. My Jem sewing machine and two project boxes are in there as well. If I have my car, then I can sew anywhere though I might need to borrow a pair of clippers.

But the 3 large bags of clothing are ready to be donated. I guess I took a cue from my friend Pat since she and DD have been hard at clearing the play room and bedrooms this past week. LIM

I still need to dust and vacuum in there but that can wait till tomorrow. That early morning hour is starting to catch up with me. That, and Skyler has been quite intent on birdwatching from the bedroom perch. I think the birds have built a nest in the bush right in front of him. At any rate it keeps him busy for hours! If I fire up the vacuum, he loses his vantage point.

And so it goes-------no sewing or quilting but a productive day, nonetheless.