Oct 31, 2012

WIP Weds

 Happy Halloween!

This is one I made a few years back----well, I made three of them.  My FAB pals Pat and Norma each have one but it was too darned cute not to make one for ME too.  Amy Bradley pattern in a McCall's magazine, if I recall correctly.

Tomorrow I'll switch out the Halloween stuff in favor of the fall themed pieces.

Meanwhile------my WIP.  The photo below shows how far as I got with the Happy Halloween #BU 19.  The photo jacket calls for tan but the picture looks like a light yellow to me.  After digging around in my stash I came up with this "honey" Moda Marble---mostly because I had enough of it though I still need to piece a bit on the last row of the pattern.  It also shows some bands of green fabric---oh I can come up with that in several shades.   My FAB pal Cher even had something that might work in a box she had gleaned from her sewing room organization project and passed on to me!  Thing is, that green was based on having a green and black plaid print for the border.   I have a fairly good collection of plaids and homespuns but none of that.  Even a black and purple plaid would have worked but that was used in a long ago project.

 So my mind flashed to the three little packets of "benarbasics" I had picked up at a long ago AQS show.   These are pre-charm square days so they measure 2 1/2 x 4 a little longer if you count the pinked edges.  I was to cut 1 1/2 wide and 2 1/2 wide pieces of the green sashing the specified length in the pattern.  I pieced 11 pieces of "half charms" and then cut them into the widths I need.  I believe I like this idea better!

I let that measurement govern the length I cut the other bands of the Moda and will probably skip the borders.   This had been laying atop the sewing machine cover.  I spotted that striped yardage and believe I will use it for the binding.  The colors are similar enough.  I could even pick something other than purple to spell out the words "Happy Halloween" if I wanted.  Bonus:  I have the binding already cut as I had thought of using it on another project.

Sewing the base will be minimal.  The rest is prepping applique really.  The pattern also calls for black baby rick rack for use in cat's whiskers and spider legs.  Naturally I don't have any---I have some but not in black.  I ran back over to Walmart only to find that they have just slightly more than me.  Much depleted inventory--some medium white and that was about it except for a pre-made binding and blanket binding and not much selection there either.  I asked the person working and she pointed me to a box of discontinued items which was just more of the same but with some metallic gold and silver.  It was about 3 p.m. by that time and I was NOT going to chase all over town looking for it.  There are three possible sites for sewing stuff---one a family owned general store in downtown Anniston and two off in Oxford, Wilson's Fabric Discount (the one in Boaz is much better stocked) and over to Hobby Lobby.   I asked on FB if any of my local pals knew where to look for it in the first place or had some they could spare.  Marilyn does---I thought she might as she sews clothing for the American Girl dolls. 

I finished off the day knitting-----since I had grabbed a skein of primary multi-color yarn on my fruitless run to the store.  I just had to do the decrease rows on the cream colored hat for Cindy's project.  I have the ribbing done and a few of the stockinette rows on the pretty stuff.

I did get a couple of the other things cut that were on my list earlier in the week----my Tons of Black challenge piece is kitted up.  I cut binding for the two quilt tops that Cindy had made at the Fall Sew-In--not seamed yet but will be.  Fabrics are pulled for the other faux-button up piece I want to do.  (Harvest from Folk Art Favorites).

I am not pushing it as hard as I often do though----or I would not have been knitting---but I enjoy both and even spent some time reading last night.  DJ and I had been to the library on our Monday errand and lunch run so why not?   Something else always gets neglected around here when I am really on a roll.  I'm giving myself permission to play or do something else.

And sew it goes------

Oct 29, 2012

Monday check in

I have to laugh at Skyler.  First he rousts me from bed anytime from 0545 to 0630 usually insisting that we go to the kitchen to get his treat bite.  The heck with the crunchies since he ate those all up before he got me up.  Pony up with the good stuff, Mom.

So I head back to the bedroom to get dressed and make the bed and look who crawls back in the sack?  (He was sleeping till I got out the camera and gave him some pets).  Bed is still not made and I'm still not dressed as I'm blogging, LOL.   Pretty chilly this morning so I am debating what to put on more than anything.

Well, how do you follow up a great week of sewing with your buds?  I don't know that you can necessarily. Yesterday I decided to not even start up the machine.   I pulled out my Halloween blackwork piece and later the hat I had started knitting while Cindy was here.  She makes hats and mittens for kids in need at the schools near her as an on-going project.  When she pulled out her knitting needles on Monday evening, I asked her how many stitches to cast on and pulled out a skein of yarn I had tucked up in the closet.  Only thing was I misunderstood---60 stitches if I used two strands which I wasn't.   I got a good bit of it done and when I got the email with written out instructions, it said 70 stitches for a single strand.  OOPS!  I ripped it all out and started over while I was watching TV on Thursday evening.  At this point I am a few rows over where I was on Monday night, LOL.

 I had sent some yarn from a project I had started and supply of knitting needles that she can use or give away as she sees fit to any knitting helpers she may have.  I only saved my double points and the sizes I had below 5 to over 13.  You see, I have a wonderful set of circular needles from Denise interchangeable knitting needles that my parents gave me back in high school.   One of the best presents, I have gotten in terms of how much it has been used over the years and enjoyed.  Oh, I have added a couple extra needle tips and more lengths of cable and buttons in recent years now that they have an online presence.  It is an interesting story of how the present owners took over the business---satisfied customers like me but could not find the product to order sets for their children.  When they did locate them, the originators were ready to retire and sell the business.  A portion of their sales goes to breast cancer research too.  I see that they even have a crochet set now---how cool is that?

I finished off the evening by typing up the minutes for Friendship Quilters.  Jackie, our newsletter gal put a bee in my bonnet and needed the materials ASAP.  I really should do the whole job within days of the meeting as the notes get cold.  Normally I type up the show and tell list because I know Beth will be posting the pictures from the meeting to a Facebook album.  I have to write the info down anyway for the minutes so I always send her THAT portion within 24 hrs of the meeting.  Minutes?  Naw, got other things to do, LOL.

Plans for the day?  Get my bed made and get dressed!  Only half kidding there.  I could happily keep knitting and/or embroidering but other things have been on the back burner this past week.

First, my Bama Belles "Tons of Black" challenge will need to be at least pieced by our December meeting.  Cindy had gone through her stash and pulled some fabrics she did not wish to work with for the Belles---for piecing or backs, however we saw fit.  I got to go through it first being as we are long time pals.  I spotted that dusty teal piece and immediately thought of the TOB challenge.

Bev had donated about 20 yards of that black---well, I call it black but actually it is more like a directional dark gray tone on tone.   That is a lot of fabric to find a use for so it became a challenge piece.  Beverly and Lois, I know have tops done already---even pinned and ready to quilt them.  Me?  I know what I want to do and have all along it was just which piece of contrast and background would make the cut.  I had raided my mom's stash, with her permission, when I was "home" in June.    That is where the black on white/cream came from.  The pattern is Mock Trip Around the World from quilting assistant.   My FAB pal Pat has made several of these and I have loved  them in the various colorways she has done up.  HERE  is a one such version showing her quilting choice.  Well done, Pat!   I almost emailed you to see what size blocks you normally chose and how many strips as my brain was a little slow to get going in the math area this morning.  I drew it up in EQ just to get things clear in my head.  Mine will finish at 7.5 inches, 48 blocks in a 6 x 8 set to get that medallion effect.  Without borders, 45 x 60 which is around the WTIL range.

 Secondly, I also want to cut these two projects out.  I have spoken of them before.  Joined at the Hip Button Up  #BU 19 Happy Halloween and the Harvest Door Banner from their book Folk Art Favorites that I will bump a tad in width so it will cover the Button Up Base.  Either of them are "reward projects".  I have completed all that quilting recently and made two more pro bono tops so I am due!!  Past due.  Of course the Halloween deal would just be ready for hanging NEXT year but the Harvest one could go most of the fall, when I didn't hang the turkey featured on the "Give Thanks"

And then there is this---Farmer's Wife Inspired Sampler though there is a whole 20 qt tote of fabric stored elsewhere.  I want to get the next batch cut out--25 more and I will be at the half way point.  If those little cuties are prepped and ready to go I am more apt to stay focused and sew a couple each week or however my heart leads at the time.  Kitted is always better, in my book, than thinking about cutting them.  Just do it!

Then too Christmas is coming.  Which of the holiday projects might capture my attention?     Maybe make more of the blocks for that long awaited Oxmoor House project?  Sash that Christmas JOY?  Make Allison a tree skirt?  HMMMM  finish the binding on my Twister wreath might be a start!

I already know that DJ wants us to go downtown to complete some papers at the tax office and has offered lunch out.  He asked me last week when I was trying to sew between the two sew-in dates and I said any day THIS week would be fine.  Maybe a stop at the library as well.  Best get off the computer and get to cutting and playing with fabric!

And sew it goes-------

Oct 27, 2012

Retreat---what fun!

Friendship Quilters Guild had the retreat at the Chula Vista Conference Center the past three days----as I have mentioned in previous posts.  This is an Assembly of God no frills facility near Pell City.  We have had sew-in events out there before---quiet, near some water, back in the woods.

The retreat committee allowed us to go as day trippers if we wished while most of the group stayed over.  They started on Thursday morning while I was home "sewing in spirit" with them.

DJ, unbelievably, had decided to play golf on Friday---the first time in a very long time.  The house was quiet, dark. cool---ideal situation for sleeping.   I had not told him to make sure I got up before he left as I have been routinely waking up anywhere between 6 and 630.  I didn't need to set an alarm.   Even if I wanted to sleep in, Skyler gets me up wanting to get his treat bite.  Even he fell down on the job!!  I woke up at 0830 and that was when I was to meet Aline at her house, about 20 minutes from me.  Actually that worked to her advantage as she was scurrying around trying to get ready to go and everything was not going according to plan.

I had half of the top together and the last 4 rows assembled but not attached and finished that up at the retreat.  Horrid picture though.  The colors are much, much prettier in person.  You'll have to trust me on that one.

I had taken a couple of things with me----one was this old class sampler.  Everything I had a class I cut out another one because I had donated away the one I had made as the class sample.  I needed some starch or sizing for these blocks.  The fabric feels nice and soft but not necessarily easy to sew with so little body especially on standard made half square triangles.  Since we were using someone else's ironing boards and iron, I elected to do something else on day two.  10 more blocks to go!

Today I was driving myself so I left here about 0730.  Skyler and DJ were both getting up at their usual time so no way was I going to sleep the morning away THIS time, LOL.

My sewing choice was Eleanor Burn's "Twin Sister" from her book Quilting Through the Seasons.  The cool part is that you get two blocks from one strip set, kind of a positive and negative of the same two colors.  She calls for 2 1/2 inch strips in the book.  The resultant blocks are like 5 inches----a bit small and you need way more blocks to get a top.  I had cut a bunch of 3 1/2 inch strips instead and the block looks like it will finish close to 7.5 inches instead.  Only thing, that is bias edge on the outside of the block.   Handle with care.  They will be sashed in the quilt adding some stability.  I still need to sliver trim them but elected to just sew some more strips instead.

OH, you cannot fold the strip in half  and/or stack cut to cut the diagonals for the half square triangle bits.  I messed up and have the things going the wrong direction with the remainder of this pairing.  When all else fails, read the directions? LOL

The retreat planners really took good care of us overnighters and day trippers!  They had contacted a bunch of vendors and had received donations for the retreat.  All kinds of goodies---and I'll show you here in a minute.

This was a cat panel piece from Red Rooster.  One of the other cat crazy gals had one as well.  Because they were rolled up and tied with a ribbon I don't think Irene knew how perfect this was for Terry and I.  Terry got hers in a trade come to think of it---mine was a cat panel.  Too cute!  I don't know that you can see the little sayings printed on each cat but it says stuff like "Love gently" " forgive easily"  "Nap often"  etc  Cattitudes by Carrie-Along-Quilts for Red Rooster DSN #22549.  Others had really cool Christmas panels and the like but I am glad the cat one is mine, LOL.

This was stuff either in my tote bag or that I received as door prizes or that were passed out by the committee at intervals.  The purse pattern was a stand up and stretch, move around game----kinda like playing "musical chairs"  They had the purse patterns arranged in a circle on the floor upside down.  When they had us stop you could either accept the one you  had in front of you, or keep going.  Actually I swapped with the gal standing next to me.  I like this one better as it has a zipper at the top, LOL.  They had done this on Thursday as well but for a different type of pattern.

Jackie C's husband made the thread holders and Jackie put on the little leather scissor holder on the side as well as the pincushion end.  Not sure who made the little thread catchers but aren't they darling?  Inside was a couple pieces of chocolate and a spool of neutral Guterman thread.   Irene made the little fall colored bag---she said where the pattern came from but it escapes me now!  Inside is a tube of Avon Care Silicone Glove and a packet of tissues.  There is also a rotary cutter holder made from a pot holder!  Clever, I tell you.

2 of the fat quarters I received today but I won one of them in a fat quarter toss.  They handed out the fats and gave us a rubber band to snug it up for tossing.  Then Jackie put a pumpkin basket on the floor placing it about 6 ft away.  I think only 4 of us made it in the basket the first toss---my luck of the draw was that pink piece in the middle.  The others all went varying numbers of rounds but the final one she practically put the basket right at their feet.  We were all laughing with some of the antics.  Fun, fun, fun.

Thursday several of the group had made hootie owl pot holders---those were oh, so cute.  They had done some mug rugs too and were voting on Viewer's Choice when I was leaving this afternoon.  Some were making a cake carrier pattern from Terry Atkinson and some were still doing the Jelly Roll 1600 but making much, much larger versions of them.  Two sisters, one from BHM and her sister from one of the Plains states, were teaming up to make sisters quilts with pineapple log cabins---those are going to be gorgeous.  Others were working on old stuck away projects.   Lots of fun stuff, even hand work and knitting going on. Aline, an animal 12 triangle donation quilt---you'll see it down the line.  I did NOT have my camera with me.  I know that Beth, our historian, was getting some good pictures that she'll post on facebook.

We even had a quilter's garage sale!  I got a couple of quilt kits.  The one on the left is actually cut out and partially pieced.  Denise indicated that there is some extra in there so I may well be able to make two donation quilts from this.  The backing fabric was included.

The other one I may not use as planned but it is nice pinks and brown tones.  I made an Indiana Puzzle for my niece once and have a good bit of leftovers to make another---for me.  Sherry said that backing fabric was at home and she'll bring it to the next guild meeting for me.

This morning they asked us to help sew up some pot holders for the 4-H /school kids program.  Some giving back---after all the bounty we had received.   They had done this last year and had the 4th grade kids throughout the county quilt up a pre-made potholder with a large X.  (Later they were challenged to make their own quilt a certain size and those were judged by the guild.)   This year they are going to do it again----the newest batch of 4th graders do the quilting but the 5th graders will work with an appliqued heart pot holder and button hole applique around the motif.  Apparently they know this is coming and are looking forward to the sessions.  We got busy this morning and Jackie said we had 135 heart pot holders and 30 plain ones were whipped up!   Normally they get together on Monday's to work on these but I cannot keep running over to Pell City.   So far they don't want us taking homework---not till we hit crunch time, I guess.

What a fun time and a chance to visit with folks more than at regular meeting.  I'm the secretary so I have to sit up front and take notes-- can't chat with the person sitting next to me.  Especially chatting with some that you don't know near as well.  THX to the retreat committee for a great weekend!

Oct 25, 2012

Moving along

 Hopscotch top finished up---what I had been working on at the Tuesday sew-in.

Then I moved on to the revised Debby Kratovil Chantal quilt that I wrote about back in THIS POST a few months back.  It is originally designed as a square quilt featuring fabrics from Blank Quilting.  If you like square quilts, you can find the original pattern on the Quilter by Design site HERE along with others from Ms. Kratovil. 

The pieces are large so the assembly is minimal---mine will finish at 7.5 inches to get the size I need for a WTIL quilt in an on-point set.  The diagonal of the blocks always adds a little bit more to the length and width of a quilt.  I cut the background colors over sized so that I will not have to add another border, floating the design.  Using one of the charts for setting triangles I just go about 2 inches bigger than my block actually finishes.  Here is one such reference chart from Bethany Reynolds website.  I keep a copy from Fons and  Porter's Quilters Complete Guide right in easy reach hanging off the sewing room pegboard along with some other often used information.

Then when it comes to piecing I use a picture of my quilt and fold it to isolate a row at a time to keep me on track.  I do this particularly with on point sets but sometimes it helps in standard piecing as well.

This should not take long to put together but I can finish up at the sew dates if I don't get it done by time to pack up this evening.   I have a couple of things pulled for the retreat so I can go one of two directions depending-----"boring" strip sets to sub-cut for a Eleanor Burn's re-sized Twin Sisters or 12 inch sampler blocks  from a class I used to teach at Hancock Fabrics.   

 I still need to make something "snacky" to take with me and take care a few other things here at home.  We'll see how far I get!

And sew it goes---------

Oct 24, 2012

WIP Weds

 Me, working on my current WIP.  Cindy had just finished the joining rows on her 2nd top of the day and I was trying to get the last pieced border on my Hopscotch top before we left for my house.  LOL, she tried twice to get my picture but I kept looking back at my work.

Today I just need to add a 3 1/2 inch border of that same rust print all around and then this puppy will be done!

I'll post a few more pictures later in the week but here is Aline with a top she had recently completed from leftover bits of batiks and such.  It will be large enough for taller person so that is always good.

I've got some batting bits to stitch onto an existing piece that I had already prepped before we can pin it up.   Cindy had brought some fabric to share with the Belles, some large enough for backing---there was a perfect neutral toned piece among the selections.  Woohoo!  Love it when a "plan" comes together!

 And here is my pal Cindy with her first completed quilt top.  Cindy is more a hand piecer than a machine piecer but she had her little featherweight just a hummin'.   In fact, she is even teaching hand piecing with some applique at a Joann's near her home in Mt. Juliet (TN)

 I was intrigued with her method of chain piecing her rows---maybe how Eleanor Burns does it but I never try??   It worked for her, that is all that matters.  Cute water melon print!   There was a piece of shamrocks on white that may well work for backing this.

Here is the 2nd one---with Scottie dogs on the pink background. Actually it is a bit longer but folded over.  Cindy pointed out that this was the same print I have in my scrappy bargello quilt but mine has a blue background.   She noticed it as she pulled up the quilt on my bed.

I had found a black print with pink and red words on it that should be perfect for this.  We'll get them pinned and I'll quilt them up for the kids.

This is some of the fabric that Cindy brought that I  kept to use at home.  The top fabric is a good match  for a grouping I have but am not quite sure what I will do with yet---some Marilyn had given me.  I am pretty sure that the two under it will go with another project that is missing a "bridger" piece.

The one of the very bottom will be perfect for the Belles "miles of black" challenge.  I know what I want to do there but just need the light background piece for a three color quilt.  There is may be enough for another quilt or even the backing.

More later----I have a 3rd border to put on!  Then move on to another that I can finish up at the retreat days on Friday and Saturday.  (I'm day tripping for that one)   I just about left the car packed up, LOL.

Oct 22, 2012

Design Wall Monday---10-22-12 edition

 I declared my part of the great fall clean up detail done after the kitchen floor was mopped.    Then I decided I was going to sew anyway and vacuum it up again if I made too big of a mess.  After all, my friend Cindy knows I sew.  Threads happen!

My design wall shows where I left off last night.  Notice that I did clear it off a good bit and filed the display pieces away for the most part?   I can drag them back again when I'm ready to sew on Christmas stuff.

I got the 12 block assembled for my Hopscotch pattern and moved on to the pieced sashing last evening taking into account that this is directional print.  This pattern is from my fav designer Terry Atkinson but is no longer shown on her website.  You can still get copies if you search them out, however sometimes in the secondary market on ebay.  The link goes to Virginia Quilter who has a good representational group of Atkinson Designs.   I know Norma found a mother lode of her patterns at a different site but I cannot find the link at the moment.   My design wall shows where I left off last night.

This bunch is pinned and ready to feed into the machine.  I don't know how much more of this I will do today.  I had planned to work on it at the sew-in day on Tuesday but I also have two other kits pulled should I exceed my expectations.  There is a small pieced square border so I know I will have to make a few more strip sets for that deal.   Borders, period, are not my favorite part of the deal to begin with but I'll keep plugging till the top gets done sometime this week.  A long time kit will be completed to something usable for a young person which is the most important part.  OR it could be a comfort quilt for Friendship Quilters as well.   Think that peach looks too girly so it is not as unisex as I had hoped?

And sew it goes---------

Oct 20, 2012

Break time

Most of the thorough house cleaning is done--at least for me.  After stringing it all out over two days, I am ready for a break!  My two rooms are done, my bathroom and all the dusting in the living room and kitchen.  I'm on my third load of wash in as many days.  Bedding, curtains, table skirt, etc.  Towels, rugs, shower curtain.  Now regular laundry.    DJ has his marching orders for tomorrow to move the kitchen chairs out and sweep/vacuum so I can mop plus vacuum the living room and hall.   I hate to vacuum, he hates to dust so that division of labor works for us.  

I know what I am going to fix Monday evening while Cindy is here and what I will take to the Belles Sew-In on Tuesday.  Just need to get groceries tomorrow.  I already did the Dollar General run along with a stop at the Oriental grocer and the meat market spot that has a 5/$20 deal on some bulk frozen items we use.   It is all getting done.   I got supper covered so just re-heating required.  

So what can I do that won't make a huge mess?  Hand quilt on my "Here Comes Santa" OR binding on any of the recently quilted pieces OR embroidery.  I think you know the answer to that!  Yep, the Bird Brain "Witches Hooray" piece that will go in my FAB Halloween Row at some point.  

My lefthandquilter pal and the "other" Linda are doing what they call what they have called a "Leisurely Turtle Race to Christmas with Squirrels Allowed (LTRCWSA).    Both of them have been trying to convince me to join along.  I do have some Christmas stuff waiting in the wings that I could work on.  She even told me that the twister wreath might count, even the hand quilting on the Santa piece so maybe I am already in.  They must be rubbing me off on me, do you think??   Christmas Joy deserves to see the light of day or I could work on my long planned adapted Oxmoor House Christmas sampler piece.  Or start something totally different---my niece/godchild was teasing me about a tree skirt.  If she really wants one, I might be persuaded.  

The 3 sew-in days that I am involved with next week are for pro bono stuff.  I have not forgotten that I am due a reward project for doing all that quilting.  I am thinking that I might do the Joined at the Hip BU #19  "Happy Halloween" piece even though there is no way on God's green Earth that I will hang this year.   Still I could play with the stuff that is holiday themed.

The other choice would be the modified to be a button up  "Harvest" piece that would span the fall months from the Joined at the Hip gals book Folk Art Favorites.    The material is copyrighted but you can look for the book in amazon, search the images and you might be able to see what I am talking about.    The length is piece is fine but the button ups finish at 22 inches wide while the door banner is 18.  I know how I will do it.  I also like the "Bloom" piece for the spring.   The only other Button Up that I would like to do after that is the May basket piece.  Those 4 and I'll move onto another themed project---probably Amy Bradley's "Seasoned Quilter".  I mentioned this on Facebook the other day and a friend of mine who had started these got busy with hers and prepped the 4 or 5 little quilts she had left.  Too cute!  Of course, that just gives me the itch to want to start on my own version!

So I plan  quilts even if I am NOT actually able to sew them.  Get those priorities set when the opportunity comes.  Actually I should also be thinking about what I want to do for sure for the Belles "use that black tone on tone" yardage thing----I kind of know but have not done any cutting on the top.  Deadline:  Christmas party in early December but just a top is fine.  

For now, some hand stitching then-------

Oct 18, 2012

Today's project

between some cooking chores (Fish tacos with avocado sauce and homemade salsa---yummo!) and an errand or two----today's project was getting the Twister Wreath quilted up. I will still need to hand sew the binding back but the label and hanging sleeve sections are also applied. Closer to a finish in fairly quick fashion when you compare how long those donation tops waited, LOL.

Tomorrow I start cleaning, room by room, more than the high spots. Not that it needs it or anything, as my husband would say.  My pal Cindy will be coming down from TN on  Monday in order to be here for the sew-in date on Tuesday spending a couple of nights in our home.   Looking forward to it but no sewing mess for a few days---maybe some hand work with binding or embroidery but frankly I am looking forward to a little break from the machine after hitting it pretty heavy for 4 days on those donation quilts.   I've got three sew-in dates coming up on the 23rd, 26th and 27th so a break may well be in order.

And sew it goes----------

Oct 17, 2012


Well, I just got the 4th one of my pinned donation tops quilted--reaching the bottom of the pile!  Binding and label are also applied.  Pattern:  Bridgecreek Blossom from Atkinson Designs.  Top finished in Jan. 2011----in other words, about time for the last bunch of quilts!

There are other tops in the closet---4 are personal tops and one a pro bono for Friendship Quilters.  All membership is being asked to make 1 donation quilt minimum 45 x 60.  It is in the bylaws that the executive board re-worked and I should know since I had to type it all up along with the minutes announcing it, LOL.

BUT I am planning on quilting up my twister wreath before I close up shop and clean up around here.

I am just glad to be done with this one as I was getting tired of wrestling it around.  Hope you have had an enjoyable day.

Oct 16, 2012

some progress

The scene early Monday afternoon----last of the hearts quilted in the lower half of the quilt.  Binding applied by machine and label put on.  Skyler wasted no time in hopping over from the window perch to test it out.

This is a Faux Railroad Crossing quilt in that I used a striped fabric to make the bands rather than string pieced sections.  The striped fabric was a "Pay It Forward" selection sent to me by Over the Rainbow in Washington State.  The picnic fabric in that recent BQ1 completion came from there as well and there is still some more that I have not quite found a use for yet---but will.  I dressed it up a bit with the double heart quilting pattern.  Top was completed Jan 2011 so closer to a finish.

Same spot about 8:30 last night----Skyler is in the recliner with DJ watching TV and napping and by that I mean BOTH of them.  Binding and label to be done today.  This one is a Modified version of Prairie Window from Quiltwoman dot com meaning I left off that last border and modifed the panel and striped bands.  The sea shell fabric was in the Belles scrap bag challenge last year, the pink and brown fabrics are from my stash.  Doesn't that dark tan look like wet sand?  If you saw it up close, you would definitely agree, LOL.  I believe that the stripe came from the donation bins at our meeting place but coming from all different sources,  I think it all  "works".  This one dates to September 2011.

The next one up is Bridgecreek Blossom #2.   A Terry Atkinson pattern, I made enough blocks for a full-queen sized quilt but made two donation quilts with the output.  One has already been donated to WTIL but this one awaits.  Jan 2011---time to get it moved along.

I may be quilting my Twister Wreath sooner than I thought!

Oct 15, 2012

Design Wall Monday

This was yesterday's view.  No sooner did I set up to machine quilt and wind some bobbins then you know who was piling on the quilt.  I had to look high and low to find that new cone of thread that I had ahem, "put in a safe place".  Skyler was taking up residence and of course, I wanted him to decide to leave on his own (he bites!) rather than me make him get down, off the quilt, whatever.

 I even went so far as to put the regular sewing foot on the machine and started laying out Hopscotch sections only to find out I had lost 2 of the HSTs.  Thankfully I found a bit of the background fabric up in the bin as it was NOT in the kit box for some reason.   After I had those whipped up he decided to vacate to the window perch for a nice long nap.  I got all the locking lines done and half the motifs I had put on the top so will finish that up today.

The Design Wall
Honestly I need to take some of this stuff down
 and put it in the Christmas pizza box.   It is looking too cluttered and there is no such thing as "design" going on.   I will be cleaning and straightening up by week's end anyway so this will be part of it.   I was trying to figure out if I even like that 2nd twister block on point----answer:  no I don't, LOL.   The two blocks on the bottom (Bed of Roses and Lazy Girl Butterfly) go into an abandoned block project.  And see the little GFG rosette that Brenda gave me?  The purple and peach fabrics will be perfect in my FWIS.  Just need to applique it down to a base and pop those little plastic templates out as I stitch, she said.
Secondary design space.

I would like to get the twister wreath quilted up if I have time this week.  There are two more quilts, slightly oversized, in the pro bono pile but maybe by Thursday or Friday if all goes well.

"Boo" could go back in the BOM box but I may leave it out since Halloween is coming.  I switched out a few wall hangings already that were more Halloween themed than fall so why not?  Eventually it or a re-done version of "it" will be in a real quilt.

This last picture is for my pal at lefthanded quilter.  I was admiring a little foundation pieced floral wall hanging she had posted.   Get this, her 1st attempt at foundation piecing and she gets a 2nd place ribbon!  She mentioned that if she were doing it today, she might have used a different sashing that than pink-rose tone on tone.  I commented that I thought I had the same print but in a yellow-gold colorway in the Hopscotch kit.  So what do you think, my friend?  Same or just similar?   I'll get back to this but it might not be till next week at the Belles sew-in.  I have two other kits pulled as well as I am Friday and Satuday day tripping at the guild retreat next week too.

Today though----finish quilting hearts in the open spaces of this flimsy.  Get done with that?  Start quilting another one----Bridgecreek Blossom or this modified Criss Cross/Prairie Window are both in the stack waiting.  All from 2011.  All this provided that Skyler doesn't take up short term residence, LOL.

And sew it goes-----------

Oct 13, 2012

Saturday check-in

My Saturday started a little earlier than most as DJ and I HAD to get up in time to be downtown at the  Pancake & Sausage breakfast at Jane's husband lodge.  They do these 3 or 4 times a year Jane and Hugh are so kind to share tickets with us.  We had somewhere to be by 9:30 with about a 40 minute drive in between.

Today was also Friendship Quilter's guild meeting day, being the 2nd Saturday of the month so Jane, Terri and I would shoot over on AL 78 to Pell City after we ate, leaving the husbands to fend for themselves.   We got there plenty early to have time to visit with some of the gals ahead of time and hang the Show and Tell items we had.

Jane had gotten both of the QOVs bound but the coordinator was to have made the label for it.  Jane was stitching it on at the meeting so she could leave them both with the coordinator.  The latest word is that the Veteran's Home is open on November 1 with a ribbon cutting and tour of the facility.  The guild's goal is to actually have the quilts put on the beds in anticipation of the tour.  I think THIS article will open.

One of the gals who also follows me on my blog knows how much I like to do little themed/holiday wall hangings.   She said that she wasn't really interested in Halloween as a holiday so she wanted me to have these charm packs.  There are doubles of each of the prints from Studio E and there are two packs so I guess that makes it the equivalent of a layer cake.   Cute Halloween prints. Wow, thanks Ms. Brenda!  I asked her if there was anything that I could swap with her, what she might be looking for.  She replied that it comes back to her in some manner so don't worry about it.  What a sweetie!  I WILL pay it forward.

I also won a door prize. The president thrust the basket at me and told me to draw but you are not going to believe, that out of 40 tickets I actually pulled my OWN number.  I started to put it back to draw again but they wouldn't let me.  That is where the mushroom shaped pin cushion came from and the fall fat quarter.  Two other ladies were blessed with the same (I think) contents in their bags.

I spent all day Thursday on binding that Prairie Window quilt.  Beth should have a good picture that I can share since I took it for guild show and tell.  Yesterday just some embroidery on the halloween row project from Bird Brain Designs.  Actually it is a table runner but I am not going to use it for that!  I pulled some patterns I would not be using to share with a friend from guild.   One of the Belles needed some help with a block setting question too so it took some time to find the answer and an example of what I was talking about to her.

And sew it goes.  I may sew a bit now that I am home---back to the Hopscotch quilt blocks. (see previous post).  I have more or less decided that my goal for next week is to finish quilting the other three pro bono quilts.  Then cut another pile of FWIS blocks.  Then maybe I can just play and piece for awhile again.  A couple of online friends are tempting me to want to drag out some Christmas stuff and play along with them.  We'll see!

Ignore if you are not a sports fan!
Those of you that really know me, know that I am from the Midwest originally and know I am a St. Louis Cardinal fan.  Chicago Bears for football but Cards all the way for baseball with the Atlanta Braves as my secondary team.  ( I don't care about professional basketball at all.  Hockey is for my pals Norma and Pat,  LOL)

Well, DJ and I had just gone to bed last night thinking that the Washington Nationals were probably going to win the MLB National League Divisional Series.  In fact, I knew we had started out the games down 6 runs early on but the Cards had started to chip away at that.  I knew it would be too painful for me to watch or listen to though DJ would holler out that it was 6-3, now 6-5.  I flicked the set on to see it 7-5 in the top of the 9th with 2 outs already and not sure what the count was on the batter.  Nope, not going to watch the Nationals getting all happy here in a minute.   I was making my peace with the fact that it is very hard to repeat, thank you for the good run and all that.   Get 'em next year.

Then the phone rang.  I told DJ to get it even though no one calls at that hour unless it is an emergency.  I had a feeling it was DJ's son calling to tell us that the Cardinals had pulled out another miracle, somehow, some way.  We watched the bottom of the ninth and then the network replay of the salient plays.   Wow, 4 runs to win it and the division series over a tough team that had been in first place in the National League East all year long.  Even though the Cards were defending World Series champs I think most were still picking Washington.   I am still stunned they pulled off another miracle similar to last year.   Go Cards on the next leg of the playoffs!   By then I was far to wound up to get to sleep and I was still awake at 2.  Short, short night but I don't care with news like that!

.....................AND Roll Tide!  73 yard run for the first TD of the game.

Oct 11, 2012

WIP Thursday

Yesterday's project----get the twister wreath to flimsy.  I had asked DJ to hold it up so I could get a picture but he and Skyler were entrenched in the recliner at the time.  He didn't want to crawl out of the recliner and disturb the cat.  I just temporarily pinned it to the wall hanging on the sewing room door and snapped it that way.

Marilyn had called me last night to see if she could possibly work out a swap with me for some "green" fabric.  She is doing  that Sentimental Journey 2010 BOM from Block Central with the JOY group.  Lovely quilt, huh?   But her version will use a lovely pink floral as the focus piece and I think greens, burgundies rather than reds and browns.    What would I want in exchange? she asked.  I knew she had a bolt of backing fabric at the meeting on Tuesday and said a yard of that would be fine provided I had something that would work.  She and her mom would be over across the lane getting their hair cut at our mutual hair dresser's shop.  I was not planning on going anywhere as I ran my errands yesterday.

In advance of her trip over here, I pulled all the possible bins of greens out---some of was stuck away in the Christmas tote so I separated out the prints that screamed  "Holiday".  I knew there was a little bit in the fall basket----pulled it.  Then there was a 20 qt snap lid container in the sewing room closet and that huge combo tote under the sewing table.  We pulled some possibles or some that would add some texture to the subsequent blocks and some with a lighter shade that might work.

When you are pressed for storage space, you have to stack things and maybe move two or three things to get at what you want.  Look what was on top of my pizza box of completed BOM blocks!  I made this originally for someone's fall row robin and then didn't use it after all for some reason that I do not recall at the moment.   I have to stick this in my row quilt somewhere----or make another, just a bit smaller  I know I don't have anymore of that purple fabric if I have to blend it in.

The pattern is from Amy Bradley's "Seasoned Quilter".  Looks like she still has it on the website thought in the last chance section. As you can see, the figure is holding small themed blocks that you velcro on.  Actually I almost started on this pattern as my yearly calendar type project but then decided to do the Button Ups instead.   I'm still not "done" and will be starting into year 3 with those, come January.  I know there are 4 more I want to do and two of them are from a Joined at the Hip book.  I just need to bump up the width and they will work perfectly on my Button Up base.  One of these days I am going to do that "Seasoned Quilter" as I think it is just too, too cute!

But this is what I am really doing today.  Binding.  On Tuesday morning I was up and pressing the binding back at about 0645.  I rarely am working on quilty stuff THAT early so DJ commented on it.  Then because it was "ironing" he wanted to know why it was that I would get right on binding detail but I get all mad when he asks me to press a collar or mend something.  Well, darlin' timing is everything!   I once kept two of his cotton shirts in here to iron for months so he should know better.  He knows how to use the iron.  My big ironing board is at the meeting placed because I don't need it with my current set up.  He can get out the short table top board.   I also told him that what he wanted me to do was drudgery and this was creativity.  Which do you honestly think I would pick, hands down, any day?   That might have been stretching it a bit too---as I think binding is just a  means to an end.  My true motivation is that guild meets Saturday and I wanted to show them a finished pro bono quilt.  Good enough for me!    I know that I have been far busier piecing lately and nothing but this close to done including that wreath that won't get quilted till after the meeting.

And sew it goes--------

Oct 9, 2012

meeting date

Meeting date today---fun time!   We had a special guest---one of the girl's cousin was here visiting from Indiana.   We also had a "not originally planned" potluck lunch that allowed us to keep sewing/cutting/playing without losing time.  Miscommunication may have set it up but it worked out just fine!

Teresa had her pink rag quilt done and just about ready to turn in but washing had made some pills on the back that she wanted to de-fuzz.  I am sorry that I did not get a picture taken of it to share.

I also failed to get a picture of the fall Log Cabin blocks that our guest had won in a block lottery from an online Facebook group.  They were gorgeous!  Sorry about that too but I was sorta busy today and dropped the ball.

This one is called Night and Day, I believe.  I think Lois said it came from Quilt in a Day and there was an easier way to piece this than you might originally think.  LOL, I'll take her word for it!  I did mention that something like this is supposed to be shrunk down to 6 inch for my Farmer's Wife Inspired Sampler but so far it had NOT made the cut.  Didn't Lois' version turn out pretty with that red just popping.  The black is our challenge fabric piece, actually.  This was the only one that was pinned, this meeting.

I have to tell you a story though---Bev told me that she had showed the Lick Skillet Guild that meets on the 2nd Monday evening in Oxford how the Belles approach pinning a quilt.  Hooray!  That shows that Bev has learned her lessons at the pinning table well if she was confident enough to share how to do it!  Learn and then teach.  Proud of her and it makes me smile.

Several of us had planned to work on the Lil Twister Christmas wreath today with me demo'ing and walking the girls through the process of cutting the sections for the pinwheels.  We are a casual group so no one is quite ready at the same time so as each one was ready we went through it on their piece.

Thanks to a link I had found on pinterest Lois was able to have her husband help her with cutting some plexiglass to make her own cutting tool.  She also had a couple extra to share so tested hers out prior to the meeting and had it sewn up to the borders.  Lois said she had used a fat quarter for the green and did not have any left to use for the rest of the piece so would border in the red.  She mentioned a bow she had seen from Eleanor Burns.  I don't know if you can see the picture but there is a fair amount of gold in the green print.  I asked her if she wanted some of the gold print that had with me today.  It looks like it will be perfect!   I'll have to find out the source of the bow in case the others want to do this as well.

Here is Beverly's version.   I had suggested pinning the sections to some batting, like a portable design wall as I would hate to get all this mixed up like a jigsaw puzzle.  Beverly has a problem with the polyester batting we use so I swapped her the warm and natural piece I had mine pinned to.  I wanted her to get the project moved forward since we were sharing rulers.

I had told the girls that I had been told that the 5 x 5 bases turned into and 18" square once the sections were cut and sewn into the pinwheel shapes.  Beverly misunderstood me and trimmed her blocks down by an inch on her first attempt.  My fault but I told her that I thought I could make it work by rigging up something else for her to use as a cutting tool.  A slightly smaller sectioning.  Really, I think it will be cute!  I did that project this evening (FYI:  a square slightly over 2 1/2 inch will be fine but 3 inches is too big) 

And here is Marilyn cutting hers.  She plans on making two of them but missed the directive to sew a 3 1/2 inch border around the square base.  Fortunately she had white fabric for one of them and her machine so we got her on track after a minor delay.   She was just about done when I took the picture.

Brenda was unable to come till after lunch but I handed her my ruler and got her to cutting.  She and I closed up the shop about 1430.  She showed me the pattern and the itty bitty twister that calls for 2 1/2 inch cut squares and I swear that ruler was probably 1 inch square-----yikes!  Apparently she had picked it up at a shop hop or quilt show and forgot about it.  Well, now she knows how to use it!

Brenda had a grandmother's flower garden section with those little pieces of plastic with the hole in them---that you pop out?  The name is escaping me at the moment.  I told her that I was considering just one rosette like she had for my  FWIS Sampler and asked how big it finished.  She gave it to me!  One block more block done---but I will need to stitch it down and get the little pop out sections out of there.  I started to take them out to give them back to her but she said you stitch each piece down and THEN remove it from the back, one at a time.   THX Brenda!  It is even a nice purple print that will be fine in the scheme of things.  You'll see it on the next design wall post, LOL. 

Rosa and Lois were working on an embroidery project.  Lois was helping Rosa get her machine set up, the stabilizer applied and such.  It was a t-shirt that was promised to Rosa's grandson.  Again, I was busy and didn't get a picture when they held it up.

Me?  Mostly helping out the others but I finally got the pile of Thangles for Hopscotch all trimmed down and the paper removed.  Not pressed but ready to!   I cut the last column on MY base here at home so it is ready to stitch up tomorrow. 

I'm beat so I think it is time to get into those jammies and go watch TV for a bit-------another day to play tomorrow.

Oct 8, 2012

WIP Monday

Today, overall has been a fairly laid back day.  PJ day literally for far longer than I should admit to.   I didn't have anywhere I needed to go.  No one was dropping by.

Oh, the laundry got done.  Files and pictures got organized a bit better.  Norma, Cher and Pat were in and out to keep me company in chat.   My mom called to tell me about their recent trip to Denver-----my oldest nephew Blake was married this weekend to a lovely girl named Julia!!  Woohoo there.  I switched out some of the summer clothes for the fall/winter wardrobe.  I fixed some Chicken Gnocchi soup to take to Belles tomorrow for an impromptu potluck with our sewing project day.  I packed up my stuff to take to Belles tomorrow.  Eventually I finally got dressed but only because I needed to go out to use the grill for supper.  We enjoyed watching the Cardinal-National game too.

Still , no sewing till 7 p.m. and even then I only did a pile of  half square triangles for 12 blocks of the Hopscotch quilt I talked about yesterday.  I had done the strip set sections last evening.

This is sorta where I am headed with the quilt though the red color you see is actually a rust fabric.  This is an old kit I had prepared who even remembers when. The fabrics are probably a little dated by 2010's standards but hey, that stuff needs to be used too.  I hope that it will make a nice lap sized quilt for someone.   This is a Terry Atkinson pattern but I had drawn it up in EQ5 some time back because I knew I was going to have to swap out my own fabrics in place of the tans, reds, greens that she lists in the cutting directions.  It is always better for me to see what I am working towards visually then read the pattern notes in that case.  There are really just 12 blocks in this thing but the pieced sashing gives the appearance of an alternate block. much like my previous Atkinson Designs Daisy Chain does. 

And sew it goes------

THX for stopping by!

Oct 7, 2012

more twisting

Here is the finished up Halloween row---first of about 7 or 8 we have planned.

You may be wondering what size the block 2 x 2 grid blocks finishes with 5 inch cut squares and 3 inch border sections----9 inch finished, 9.5 with seam allowances.  Nice size for a row quilt if you are involved in one with your quilt group.

Norma and I were debating about how wide we wanted to make our rows.  I said I was going to start with 36 inches and adjust with spacers and/or make more blocks if I change my mind, aiming for lap sized quilt.  Our inspiration piece has a silhouette of a tree in a night sky but I don't know if I will do that part----we'll see. 

I got the Christmas wreath base seamed together and started cutting so the girls can see what this might look like "in person".   leaving the last bits uncut for demo purposes.  I think they will be able to see what is going on with the cutting, leaving me a bit to cut and finish up.  Even if I DID cut out my whole piece, I could offer to starting cutting a row on theirs, LOL.

 I am debating about what I want to do for the rest of the evening.  I am tempted to just pull out out another pro bono quilt kit and just keep piecing.   There are two kind of girlie looking quilts in reach of my desk, one that revised Chantal quilt from Debby Kratovil.

The other kit uses some leftovers from one of the Belles in an aqua, pink, soft green and yellow Oriental palette that has been cut out far longer.  I am sort of re-thinking my original plan of huge 4 patches on point in sort of a zigzag set.  They could easily become Puss in the Corner blocks instead----and still go on point since I have the setting triangles already cut out.   Or Disappearing 4 patch would work too.   You will have to scroll allllll the way down to see my previous QOV version.   With such ambivalence it might be better to just grab the other one, LOL and mull this over a bit more.

There is also a call out for unisex teen sized quilts for a friend of a friend's project and needed by Christmas.   I might be able to fill if I pull out a kit from the sewing room closet .  So maybe that long cut out Hopscotch pattern from my favorite designer Terry Atkinson may finally see the light of day?? Think I'll pull that puppy out and see "what's up" with it.   Never a lack for something to do, that's for sure!  Almost time to head out to the kitchen and fix supper too.   Creativity can wait, LOL.

Oct 6, 2012

Twistin' the night away---twistin'.............EDITED!

 This is how I spent the last few days----machine quilting this monster donation quilt.  Really it was about time as this was the challenge quilt fabric choice for 2010.  The quilt was done in December of that year.  Yesterday all I had to do was the top and one side of the quilts piano keys and put on the binding.

Then I started piecing the giant 4 patches that will become the twister row for a Halloween row I will be doing with some of the FABS.   I called it quits when I had the longer pieces of the 4 blocks' "borders" to apply.  They are on now and ready for me to get out the twister ruler.

We are using some elements of a quilt we saw on anna lena land as inspiration.  I also ordered the Spooktacular Row quilt kit from Connecting Threads as I needed the fabric.  The pattern is gravy!  I like the cats face row and the candy corn row the best so they will probably be used in my version.  You can see some of the fabrics from the kit in the twister block starts above.  OR if you want to see the kit contents or the quilt out flat, click on the see more images, view the kit contents on the spooktacular link. 

I get the twister row done and then I can finish sewing this one together from the Belles demo though I am not entirely sure what I am going to do with the piece once it IS done, LOL.  Stick it in my Christmas sampler quilt probably. 

And I still need to piece the base from the Christmas wreath thing the Belles and I will be doing on Tuesday.  I just want to get mine done enough to show them the next step---as not everyone was present last time.  Finish it up later after I lend out my ruler at the meeting.  ( I cannot decide if I want a touch of gold border or red before I go out to the green cardinal print border so pulled all three.) 

I also took a piece of acrylic templates I had from an old Pandora set--the square that measured 3 1/2 inches and marked the lines on scotch tape as suggested in this link on the quiltingboard site.  Pat was telling us this morning that someone had cut 8 inch squares and then transferred the angles of the Lil Twister ruler to their 6 1/2 inch square ruler to make a smaller version than the 10 inch.  You really just need to establish the same angles in the line placements.  Bet it works pretty well.

I found this Trip Around the World tutorial twister version this morning----I love this idea!!  Here is the link---http://www.conniekresin.com/2011/10/worldly-lil-twister-quilt-and-giiveaway.html     All kinds of cool ideas out there!


Carole from my Friendship Quilters group is the one that gave the group these two suggestions when she walked us through doing the little Christmas in July twister wall hanging.

1)  Put a dot of  fingernail polish or something similar on the upper right of the ruler so you will not mess up the orientation of the cuts when you move across and down the seam lines to cut.

2)  Consider getting a cutting turntable to help with that last cut.  Normally I can get around three sides fairly easily but you are going to feel like a contortionist at some point.  Turn the mat instead of YOU. 

I just butted up the regular Big Mama ruler against where the twister had been and cut from the right side as always BUT Connecting Threads had a 40% off tool sale and that price while still more than I really wanted to pay, was more reasonable for this thing.  It has helped for cutting some of my FWIS blocks already so I guess I made an investment in ME---and more poor aching lower back.

Well, I am off to cut and then sew.  I'll post the after pictures in a bit.