Dec 31, 2013

Slightly sidetracked with serial re-organization

It was one of those nights last night---- awake at 3 a.m. and never did go back to sleep.  I finally bailed at 5 a.m. when Skyler was wanting me to get up to feed him.  Poor kitty had only a few crunchies in his bowl but he had drug in Ms. Mouzie for a nosh sometime during the night, LOL as her tail was hanging in the food bowl.  I took care of a few things on the computer, checked facebook and once DJ was up switched out all the Christmas wall hangings for the January, snow themed things.  I still need to take down the nativity set and the wreath from the front door but that can wait till tomorrow or the next day.

Lois had called me yesterday to see if I planned to go over to our meeting place anytime soon.  We take most of December off so it is a month before we go back, sometimes longer if there are 5 Tuesdays in a month.  I had told the girls at the last meeting if anyone had a quilt/quilts that HAD to be pinned in between meetings to call me.  They could either borrow the key and go pin or if I was free, I would go help them.  Lois took me up on it.  Actually I was glad for a little break from the sewing machine!  Bev came to help us and we got 3 donation quilts pinned fairly quickly.  Even with running a couple of errands on the way home, I was back about 11:45, before lunch.  I have two tops in the closet we could have pinned but I told Bev and Lois that I wanted to preserve the notion that I was "caught up" a little longer.

How did I get sidetracked??  Well, I had to run to Walmart to pick up a prescription before I came home.  Right near that entrance they had seasonal snap and stack containers.  The 6 x 9 ish rectangular ones like I just bought recently but a lot cheaper!  Not just 2 sections either---these had 4!  The two section one I got earlier this month was like 9 or 10 bucks.  The 4 sections, same size but different colored lids (red and green) were 6 bucks.  Oh you know I had get some.  I got 3 of them but I may take the 3rd one back though I am debating about that. About as soon as I take it back I will find some use for it or wish I had it back.  I used all but one compartment sorting thread by color and by type. It is not such a jumbled up mess now with three or more colors in one container.   Now all but the cone thread can stay on the table as I moved the art supplies and perle cottons to where the containers I had been using had sat.

BEFORE while sorting


So this area changed a bit too.  Most of the cone thread is in the big blue container.  The container above is bobbins for my various machines.  The present arrangement is okay but I almost drop the container every time I get it off the shelf, even with a big rubber band around it.  I know now that other snap and stack deal is staying, LOL.  The bobbins have a new home--show you in a minute.

Above the hinged container is one of 5 DMC floss containers that will not fit where the other 4 are.  I would love to have these all in some slotted shelf type unit but so far that is not happening.  Maybe once my brother retires and gets back into wood working we can work up a design.  I visualize something like an office "in and out" box deal.   LOL, maybe I just need to visit an office supply store??

Then I took down this pile..................BEFORE

Since I knew I had hinged containers available after emptying out the thread, I replaced the shoe box type. The lids don't stay on very well and I am probably going to drop them off at the thrift store donation box.  They may have a use for them unless one of you wants them.  I think I have 5 on hand.


Looks like a bit of an improvement.  There are 3 hinged containers that ride around in my car with various squares and strips in them too.  I can sew at a meeting a  minute's notice, LOL.

The bobbin/accessories box looks like this now except that the Singer has a bunch of cams, foot pedal and other feet that will not fit in the sectioning but that stuff is in another blue topped container on the book shelf.  I'll change where this sits.  I guess it was a good thing I DID get three of these after all!

Next I think I am going to combine the stuff from the tote basket back to the fishing tackle box.  Lately when I go to a sew-in I don't even bring this and just sack up the cup with apron organizer I use here at home by the sewing machine.  I love the basket though and could have sold this many times over.  I think it might be put to use holding the ironing accessories if the fixed handle is not in the way.  It all works out in the end, right?

The room still looks like a wreck as I am semi set up for quilting and things are not sitting where they belong.  All three quilts are quilted as of last evening.  Woohoo there as that big one was a bit of a bear since it measures about 57 x 75.

The binding has been put on the last one I did----the big one that has 6 sections of what looks like jelly roll 1600's.  Today I had intended to glue down the binding in the back and attempt to machine stitch the binding.  That is not apt to happen with my going off on a tangent, LOL.

Now it is almost supper time and I still want to take care of that stuff above.  It is a lead pipe cinch that I am NOT going to sew tonight.  However, it is a tradition for the group of Wrap Them in Love listers to spend some time sewing, quilting or whatever for Wrap 'Em tomorrow.   We believe what you do on NYD, you will do all year.  Lord knows, I do not want to do binding all year but I will try to finish up the half started one and pull out something to piece, old and new.  DJ wanted pizza for lunch today, ordered it and picked it up.  No cooking since I have leftovers from yesterday for our evening meal.  My energy is going to be lagging soon enough from that very short night I had so I can't say that I am unhappy NOT to be spending time out in the kitchen, LOL.

The other thing?  I am supposed to doing the guild newsletter this coming year but find I am in a holding pattern waiting for the stuff I need to include.  I will need to start at least the shell of it, I guess, while I hold for the items that need to be included.

So in closing let me wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2014.  Find a fun way to welcome in the new year or do something YOU love.

Dec 27, 2013

Between Holidays

I trust those that celebrate it had a Merry Christmas?  Now we are into the gap between holidays switching from the "eating events" to reflecting on the past year and making plans for the next one to come.  I know I am trying to wrap up those long pending quilting items so I can make a new list.  Really I could put quotation marks around new since many are carry over items or UFOs of various vintage.  While I work on these donation quilts, I will ponder the weightier matters, LOL.

As I have stated previously, I received some holiday shopping money from both my husband and my quilt group.  Bless them both! It is easier for DJ to let me pick out my own stuff as he hates to shop though he often will get me a little something to stuff in my stocking.  With his surgery two weeks ago, that didn't happen.  (He had not driven until today actually.)  I have a few of my shopping choices here to use and enjoy but others are going to be shipped.

From DJ:

  • The Kay Buckley medium sized applique scissors.  I hope these will eliminate some of those itty bitty hairs that drive me nuts with fusible applique. 
  • Mary Ellen's Best Press---you can see that I have already refilled my spray bottles, LOL.  Joann's dot com had it for 21 bucks a gallon and even though a little leaked out in transport I went for it. I recently paid 8 buck for a 16 oz. sized Lavender fields at the quilt shop.  While I would have preferred the other scent, at this price, Linen Fresh will be just fine! 
  •  My stocking stuffer gift was the glue bottles and metal tips which I have already pressed into service.  Make a note there though----I was squeezing for all I was worth and even cut a tad off the tip of the applicator.  They stuck a piece of bottle topper type stuff in there and I didn't see it till I tried to put a pipe cleaner down from the top of the applicator and hit resistance.  I need not have poured the glue out of the Elmer's bottle after all. 
  • Ordered is a more substantial Hemline Studio sewing machine hand tote  for the Singer machine. It is supposed to be dropped shipped from the manufacturer.  I have a Cotton Ginny machine cover but the machine itself has no handle on it so handling it is a bit awkward, picking it up and carrying it on my arm near the opening part. (whatever it is called, LOL).   I'll still use the cover when any of my machines are in use on the sewing table. 

From the Bama Belles---

  • in the first picture, the Set G Perfect Patchwork Templates from Marti Michell but Joann's had them for about 5 dollars cheaper.  This is for 1 and 2 inch sided hexagons and related bits.  Set H is for larger ones with measured sides 1 1/2 and 3 inches and their companion templates.  Maybe come birthday time??
  • 2nd picture, I got one of the Snapware Snap 'n Stack units 6 x 9 to hold a recent addition of threads when Connecting Thread had the sets on markdown.
  • Ordered---oh how I love Connecting Threads!  I have a Pow-Wow Quilt kit on the way---apparently one of the last ones as they are selling the pattern download now but not the kit. This will probably be a pro bono for next year although..........we have recently learned there will be an addition to the family so you never know!  The fabrics may show up in a different configuration but I still like the pattern!
  •  Also a set of Karen Buckley perfect circles in the smaller size are coming.  I already have the larger ones on hand.  
  • Just a little bit of fabric is coming---Nana's Pantry Stack layer cake of 30's repros.  There is a pattern in one of the Carrie Nelson books that has captured my eye that I may try but it will require augmentation from my stash to complete.   This adds a bit more ammo, so to speak.
So anyway, I feel more blessed any one person should be.  Thank you so much to my husband and my dear Belle buddies.  You sure know how to shop!

I also had to order a replacement to my phone charger----you'll see why below!  Vacuuming and me are never a good mix.

Just that quickly the cord completely tore loose, stripped the wires and wrapped around the beater bar before I even knew that I had sucked it up.  The receptacle case broke in half and I found wired section about 2 feet away under the night stand.   Had I not just charged up the phone, it would have been stashed away in the drawer.   I debated about replacing my tracfone with a newer model just to get the charger but it turned out to be cheaper just to order one online even with the shipping costs.  I also didn't want to risk losing my existing number or transferring all the numbers I have programmed into it.   Till the new charger comes, I am going to limit how much I have the phone on.  Translation: use the house line, LOL.  One of us is almost always home so it rarely has to roll over to the cell. 

DJ and I had a fairly traditional Christmas meal though he was hoping for turkey and trimmings.  I insisted it was ham and scalloped potatoes, LOL.  He was also hoping for pecan pie.  Never my favorite but I promised him that sometime in January, maybe around our anniversary even, we would have the "spoil your husband" meal.  I've been stocking up on cranberries and pumpkin so I'll be ready!  He was with me when we picked up 3 turkey breasts so he knows we've got them!

I spent part of the day yesterday quilting on the first pro bono in the stack Modified Chantal after seaming two sets of binding.  I had cut two out for the quilt thinking I would use the darker of the two prints.  Oh oh, short about about half a strip and no leftovers to be had or if there were, I sent it in the scrap bag box that I shared with my left handed quilter friend.  Striped binding, it is then.  I also had to do some minor marking on it.  I finished the quilting about 9 last night and called it quits with trimming and binding to go.  I think I'll wait to bind and label the quilts till the end.   So today, I'll plan on quilting up the Prairie Stroll.  After lunch---DJ is apt to be asking me if we are going to eat soon about any minute.  Best quit blabbering and get lunch rolling.  Stay on task to reach my self imposed goals.  

And sew it goes-------

Dec 24, 2013

glamour shot time

PopStix complete with kitty tester.  He was being particularly silly since he had been in the catnip shortly before, LOL.

The quilting showed up quite well without the overhead light on.  Denise did a great job in on it and the swirly quilting panto was a good choice with all these strips!

Now what do I want to do first?  Vacuum up the floors or go bake a cake for tomorrow?

Dec 23, 2013

A finish!

Woohoo! I've got my Popsicle Sticks quilt completed. The binding is done but get this. I had optimistically put "completed Sept 2013" on the label when I added it to the binding of the quilt. My friend and fellow guild member Denise had long arm quilted it for me and she returned it in early August. I did one long side and the sleeve and then it just sat, till yesterday afternoon.

I think you can see why I am not going to put it on my bed to get its picture taken. The matching pillowcases were made already, back in early September  HERE.

I also got the friendship block done this past weekend and it is winging its way to the person assigned to piece the top.  Nope, cannot share that one yet!  In addition the cuffs were finished on the quilt cases.  In fact, I pulled out the list of my submitted items and bagged them up.  No, the show is not until March but I cannot remember when they are supposed to be turned in. The only ones not in that stack are the Christmas quilt  on my bed and PopStix.   Well you see why---Christmas quilt waits till I take the decorations down.  Skyler will have to eventually get up, LOL.

So what is next?  I have those three pro bono quilts to quilt so sometime between now and the end of the year-----------

  •  A modified "Chantal" quilt using Debby Kratovil's design for fabric company.  Circa Oct 2012
  • Prairie Stroll. Actually I have two of these but one is not pinned.  I don't think that one is going to be a pro bono quilt.  Circa Aug 2012 .
  • A strippy quilt of Aline's that I said I would quilt for Bama Belles---been awhile since I had it unfolded.
Of course it being year's end I am thinking about what projects I would like to do.   Which UFOs do I want to see moved along?  Two or three spring to mind.  What new projects are tempting me?  A few more are on that mental list.  I know I will be participating in the "Please Don't Stop Me" blog at the end of January and plan on joining in more.  Also there are a couple promised items---a thread catcher for Cher and a purse for my mom.  You know I don't ever have too much down time, LOL but I'll probably just concentrate on a little embroidery on Christmas Eve and Christmas if I do anything creative besides cook.  Those quilts can wait a few more days, after all.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 18, 2013

some output

Getting a bit done on these pillowcases and smaller bags for quilt show items. Here are the Christmas themed ones with the one on the left going to my niece for her tree skirt.  The other one can house the Christmas Patience Corner, come show time.

Then this stack of 4 are using up some recent quilt back yardage for some of the small wall hangings I have entered.  I may need two more for "Juggle" and "Reflections" but will check the supply of old pillowcases first.  I seamed them on the serger but they need the "cuff" edge stitched down on a regular machine.  There is no room to have both machines up so that task will wait till I switch out the serger.

Then this one is Halloween themed.  All prepped and ready to go in for the first seam on the cuff.  I am liking the "glue pinning" idea I shared yesterday.  You may not see this one completed as it may show up in Wicked Blog Hop #4 in 2014.  LOL  I have several ideas for that one!

On another note relating to my quilting group, the Bama Belles.
Recently I had delivered a total of 14 quilts that were to go to Gene's Quilt Angel project.  He delivered these to Ogden House this past Saturday.  I am going to refer you to his two recent posts about this. Links below but as explanation.
In the first post and video, Lois name was pulled for the drawing.   I did not tell the girls that they were entered in a sponsored drawing for just for having a quilt they shared for this project.  (Gene had 5 sponsors and they are listed in the tab area.)  He emailed me to ask about her contact information since I am the go-between.  I told him I should probably call her first to tell her she was entered in the first place and get permission to share her information.  I spot Bev's "Owl in the Garden" quilt in one of the still photos.  A couple of Lois' contributions (the Split Nine Patch is one that Lois just turned in) and even the back of one of mine are in the shots.

The 2nd post has video of a young man thanking the person who made his quilt who I know is our Bev.  Gene said he was thrilled to have a fishing quilt.  Well, you can read what Gene posted about the story behind it.  Apparently there will be another video in a few days.  Wonder if that might show a familiar to the group quilts?

I am glad that we could help Gene out this year. Though the ones I had made were going there anyway, we had enough of hand to do more.   The girls leave it up to me where to donate the quilts and sometimes make suggestions but they do prefer that they stay here in the area or the state of Alabama if we can.  I am so proud of this group of ladies who are kind to each other as well as people unknown to them.   Pro bono quilting is not a membership requirement, by any means.   Some participate by finishing binding, donating to cover the batting costs and helping to pin.  One gal made my week and year by asking if we had any tops that she could practice her free motion quilting lessons on.  Do I ever!!!  Three quilts in my stack that I had not originated were gone, just like that!  Love you all.  

Just talking about a task does not get it completed and besides, I have laundry to do, a bed that needs made, etc etc etc.  THX for dropping by---------

Dec 17, 2013

trying something

Yesterday I mentioned needing to make a pillow case for my niece to store the recently made tree skirt.  I had sent a note that I "owed" her one, LOL.

I pulled the written instructions from an area quilt shop and I guess enough time had elapsed that I forgot how to do the cuff and the rolling up of the body.   All I knew is that I wanted to sew it on the serger so the edges would be finished nicely.

Off to you tube land.  Cynthia Dickerson has an instructional video posted HERE but minus the accent strip. Because I was not clear on the directions, I thought I would make a trial run pillow case and Kristine would get the better of the two.  I am going to need extra cases anyway come quilt show time so no loss of time or effort, right?

I got the job done but I had to pin twice and actually reach in and pull the pins I had just placed.  Pins and the serger do not really mix close to the edge anyway---or you pin parallel to the edge and back a good bit from the presser foot.

Fast forward to today but still side tracking, LOL.   Sharon Schamber advocates using little dots of glue in doing her binding and uses Elmer's glue but replaces the applicator with a very fine tip metal set up.  DJ had repaid me for one of the Christmas gifts I ordered and said maybe there was some other little thing that I wanted to get with the re-payment.  There was actually.  A Passionate Quilter had a post that she had found a 14 pc bottle and tip set at Michael's made by Loew and Cornell.  Joann's had them online as well---and for a reduced rate.  I knew that my area Walmart didn't have anything like this on hand so I ordered it. Well, I also found a Marti Michell set G hexagon and companion pieces template set that I had my eye on for some time and cheaper than directly from marti.  My sweet Bama Belles had given me some mad money so the template set will be from them.

I remembered that I used to have a Roxanne Glue Baste It set up at one time.  Did I still have it?  Where is it?  Not with the applique/hand quilting bag.  Not in the cart around supply basket where it had once been.  I found it in the applique tote that holds the templar, the teflon pressing sheet etc  The Roxanne set up is like a 20 gauge syringe that has been whacked off so there is no beveled edge as a real needle would. It does clog up.  Ask me how I know!  It will still be good to have a back up option if one is soaking or unclogging or one to carry along with me on quilting days.

So back to the story of what I am trying----I am sticking down the accent strip with the little glue dots and heat setting it with the iron as Sharon advises.  I had not stuck any glue dots between the layers of the accent strip but I think it looks like there is enough glue that it seeped up to the top layer anyway.  Sharon does glue her binding together first so the accent strip IS like binding since you double it with the wrong sides together.  My plan is to dot glue the wrong side of cuff to the accent strip right side up, roll up the body and then only have to pin that last edge.  Or maybe glue the whole deal and skip the pins all together on the cuff part anyway.  Takes time to pin and remove them after all.

I DO want to try that binding deal at some point, maybe when I get around to quilting up the 3 pro bono quilts I have on hand though the binding is already pressed and rolled.  It can be un-done.  Mainly I just want to be able to do a better job of it in the machine for the donation quilts anyway.  My own personal projects I would probably continue to do it by hand-----unless I get really, really good at it, LOL.  Like wayyyyy better than I do now.

Well, back to the prep work.  Pictures to follow of both pillow cases and whatever else I manage to get done.

Dec 16, 2013

check in

There is absolutely nothing quilt-y going on around here.  Oh there are things I need to, yes but it has just not happened yet.  I got as far as digging around in one of the three containers that holds Christmas fabric.  This large hinged however many quart container (32, maybe 40 some?) is one container of holiday fabric to check first, more recent additions Then there is a large 15 x 21 x 16 Rubbermaid tote has been sitting by the TV stand next to the sewing table for well over a year--loaded to the gills.  There is also a small basket 12 x 6 x 9.5 that is overflowing with yardage and small pieces suitable from some log cabin blocks etc.  Some is Christmas prints and tree skirt leftovers.  Wish it could be combined but it just won't fit or if it did, the container would not stash away.

 I was previewing fabrics to make a pillowcase to hold Kristine and Andy's tree skirt.  I think the one on the left will do just fine.  I'll track down my pattern and cut it out in a bit.  The serger is already out and set up though I think my tension may need some adjusting judging by something I stitched a few days ago.  Kristine  posted a picture of the tree skirt along with their dog Sydney and their cat Franklin. I borrowed the image.  Sidney is named after Sidney Crosby the Pittsburgh hockey player as Andy's family has connections to the area.  Franklin remind you of anyone of the feline persuasion?  LOL  Kristine said she had to take the lower branches off to accommodate the pets.

DJ seems to be doing fairly well post surgery.  I brought him home from the hospital Saturday afternoon.  He is on some activity restrictions, like no driving for a couple weeks.  No lifting or exercise bike and floor exercises.  He is not ready to be too far from home either or I would suggest a drive just to get out of the house.  The weather has finally cleared and while still a bit on the cold side, at least the wind and rain are gone.  They had projected highs in the low 50s but that did not happen.  Maybe tomorrow?

I did a bit of stitchery on Bird Brain Designs "Snow Happens"  table runner while I waited at the hospital with DJ.  Very little completed.  I had the bird house top done once with #8 perle cotton but did not like it that thick and took it out.  Had I had 311 DMC on hand before I did that stitching I would used it to begin with!  I'm stocked now.  I know from doing other Bird Brain Designs that two strands of floss is enough to suit me and sometimes the more intricate areas I drop down to one strand.  I traced this off late Wednesday evening and serge the edge to keep it from raveling.  I had gotten this as a kit with some of my Bama Belles gift monies last year so I am sure that they would like to see me work on it!

I've been busy today but not entirely sure with just what, LOL. I had the typical errands to run today plus a few things to pick up for DJ.  As it was I forgot to run by the pharmacy and will need to do that tomorrow sometime.  I also needed to come to some decision about my health insurance, get enrolled online and such.  Now it is almost time to think about what to do for dinner.  Time is just slipping away today but I have not been goofing off and playing Solitaire or anything.  Pillow case, cutting it is.  Maybe it can get mailed out with tomorrow's run?

Dec 13, 2013

This Is My Wish

I know it is being played in a 30 second commercial but the song is quite lovely.  There is a free download for the mp3 file through 12/31/13,  courtesy of Glade at

Featured in this Holiday Anthem are Jordin Sparks with the Young People's Chorus of New York City.  Glade is making a generous donation to Toys for Tots as well.  Lyrics below, posted courtesy of a you tube commenter.   I want to be able to find this again even if it does make a little teary---I am such a sentimental sap.   After all,  I can't get through "Silent Night" and "How Great Thou Art" without tears running down the cheeks.

This is my wish, my wish for the world,
that peace would find its way to every boy and girl.
This is the time, the time for harmony.
Let love be the song that everybody sings.

Fill the air with joyful noise.
Ring the bells and raise your voice.
Let there be peace on Earth.
Let there be peace on Earth.
Lift your light let it shine... shine, shine, shine.
Let there be peace on Earth.
Let there be peace on Earth.

I hear the sweetest sound,
the sound of hope to come.
Together we can bring good will to everyone.
Let it start with you.
Let it start with me.
Let every nation rise to sing this melody.

Fill the air with joyful noise.
Ring the bells and raise your voice.
Let there be peace on Earth.
Let there be peace on Earth.
Lift your light. let it shine... shine, shine, shine.
Let there be peace on Earth.
Let there be peace on Earth.

Fill the air with joyful noise.
Ring the bells and raise your voice.
Let there be peace on Earth.
Let there be peace on Earth.
Lift your light. let it shine... shine, shine, shine.
Let there be peace on Earth.
Let there be peace... on... Earth....

Dec 11, 2013

party time

Yesterday, as I mentioned previously was the Bama Belles Christmas luncheon at the Oxford (AL) Olive Garden.  Good group!  Yes a few faces were missing at the table for various reasons but many of us were there.  Some of us went back to the church afterwards for a little show and tell. We also helped Teresa get her ginormous Carpenter's Star quilt that will be her daughter and son-in-laws Christmas present pinned.  Well maybe it wasn't that huge but compared to the donation quilts, it was!  LOL.  pin and shift up the center section, pin  and shift left and then up, then shift right and then up and pin, pin, pin.

I showed you my challenge top last week using the "On the Boardwalk" pattern.  Here is Lois' version using scrappy nine patches to offset  her Debbie Mumm yardage in the snowballs and binding.

 And this is Valera's.sweet quilt.  She has yardage for another quilt or two down the line as her focus is the lightest print used in the triangle wedges.  I don't know that she gave a name for the quilt but she told me she used a trio of Scrap Crazy rulers.  I believe that THIS LINK , if this is the right set, is from Creative Grids.  She can let me know if I am wrong.

Lois had a few more to turn in so I was getting pictures and logging them into my document before I could help pin.  Some of recognize by name, others not.  LOL if you ask Lois she usually says something like "I had lots of scraps to use up" or "I spotted it in a magazine".  Either way they are wonderfully scrappy and quilted in interesting ways.

Here is Shaded or Split Nine Patch.  is one version I found that they had recreated from the old HGTV "Simply Quilts" website.  Billie Lauder was demonstrating the block and its versatility.  Because of its diagonal properties of half light-half dark, it works like any log cabin block or for that matter, faux log cabin blocks to make Lois' Medallion  or Barn Raising version.  Other options would be Streak of Lighting or Sunshine and Shadows sets.  Look at THIS LINK from Big  Horn Quilts for various log cabin sets and you may see other possible sets for this simple but effective block.


This one I just called  Rails with alternating blocks.  It was one of two quilts using similar fabrics.

Lois uses this pattern a good bit, probably a go-to version when she has 2 or 2 1/2 inch strips on hand.  You may recognize it as Bonnie Hunter's Many (or Scrappy) Trips Around the World.  She called it both names in her tutorial.

Here is one that Lois couldn't tell me BUT I think it is a version of Disappearing Nine Patch.  Different setting that you may normally see though.  Anne Weins of Quiltwoman calls her version "Scotch Blocks" but they look considerably larger than these blocks.

This pattern I do know as I have made two pro bono quilts with it.  Atkinson Designs "Bridgecreek Blossom"  .  Lois has an embroidery machine and used it to quilt the setting triangles.  Doesn't it look neat?


Lastly there is this mystery block quilt.  Yep, she said she saw it in a magazine but didn't know which one.  I spot a pieced in Friendship Star at center. This one intrigues me! Valera and I were both trying to figure out how it was pieced.  Was there partially seaming involved?  Lois said not but I think you do that 4 corner sections and then add sashing with flipping corners that form that star when joined.  Fun cow print at centers and the same color background for the blocks and the stars tie it together.  I am drafting this one up in EQ.  Perhaps someone can tell me the block source???

And there you have it for show and tell.  As I hoped to do, all but Valera's quilt were delivered to Gene on my way home for his Angel Quilt project.  It was a bit short in length so it will be a better option for the younger kids.  I have about 8 or 9 others that fit that bill at the moment.

What is on tap for today?  Judging from the way things are scattered about in my sewing room, I need to do a bit of picking up, paper sorting and so forth.  I had hoped to start the friendship block project but I am awaiting some confirmation on some details before prepping for it--don't want to not conform with the other participants at least on a few points!  DJ's surgery is eminent so my time will not be my own but I have a book and some embroidery to drag along with me to help pass the time.  Knitting too if I chose.  I don't think binding a queen sized quilt or hand quilting would be as good an option though that is all on my to-do list.

Till next time--------

Dec 10, 2013

finished to flimsy #2

After leisurely sewing for the last 4 days I finish the pro bono top and finished up my afternoon by prepping the backing fabric and binding.  Not pressed, nor is the other tops but I'm done.

Pattern source:  Billie Lauder's Uneven Nine Patch from More Quick Quiilt Tricks.  Quick?  Maybe not so much but I started with 5 inch squares, not sections I could strip piece.   I have always wanted to try the "Battlefield" block from the same book which starts with 10,5 inch squares.  Maybe one day, I will. when some fabric comes along that seems suited to it.

 I used Judy's leftover Oriental fabrics and kitted this up with the same background print she had used in her quilt, that Lake colored Fusion from Robert Kaufmann.  She had originally made a baby quilt for a friend's long awaited grandchild .  She really likes the blended looking quilt and combines neutrals beautifully.  The way the pink pops out and makes this prints form their own motifs it looks like I blended too.  Experimenting here.

I have made alternating colored Puss in the Corner blocks before but the background stayed the same and  it was sashed and  had cornerstones.  Seen below from one of our fabric challenge reveals back in Dec 2008. Lois

Lois had done one as well but hers looks totally different than either of the ones I am showing today-----It's all in the fabric itself and the placement in the block, I guess..

Soon I will be off to Olive Garden for our Belle's Christmas lunch and then a reveal of that Mumm fabric.  One of the gals has said she would like to pin her daughter's Christmas quilt.  Normally we would not do this on party day but she needs to get it done and I'll help.  Also I want to get pictures taken of the donation quilts Lois has ready to turn in.  Spare the husband the holding them up and complaints that his shoulder hurts.   If they look suitable for teens 12-17 then they are going to go to Gene's Angel Quilt project.  I just need to get them logged in the quilt document, number assigned and the pics taken.  If he is available, I hope to drop them off on the way home as I would be going right past where he works on the way.

DJ's surgery is coming up on Thursday and I do have some handwork to prep before then so that is next up.  That and a holiday pillowcase for that recent tree skirt and maybe a few quick bags for quilt entries while the serger is out.  Never stops here for long, LOL.

Dec 6, 2013

home sew-in

I was supposed to go to the guild "impromptu" sew-in today and tomorrow but elected to stay home and concentrate on sewing here at home.  Minus about 4 hours of driving time, the fee for the sew-in and whatever I spent for lunch/gas.

I had to put my plans for doing "On Parade" on hold as I do no have enough of the background fabric it would require.  I did order something but it will not be here for a few days and I will be busy with something else by then, LOL.  You know I will!  I'll be serging pillowcases  (probably!)  and then quilting those three donation quilts soon enough.

I pulled out something that has been in my storage stack for a long, long time intended for a donation top.  Chances are, I would have been working on something pro bono there.  The friendship block can wait a day or two and requires some hand embellishment.  I will have plenty time to do that at the hospital next week.  This particular quilt kit, a large 4 patch on point with a zigzag setting, was taking up a ton of room since I had the backing and all the extra fabrics stuffed in with it.  I elected to move it along, get it out of there.

In the midst of sewing these ginormous 4 patches I elected to change my mind about the design.  Now I am doing Billie Lauder style Puss in Corner or uneven nine patches alternating the background colors and what fabric will show up in the corners of the blocks.

I think what clinched my decision was a picture of a scrappy one that cycles through on my screen saver but this will be more planned as I had a stack of leftover Oriental fabrics in pinks, aqua, yellow one of the Belles had passed on.

Here is the older quilt from August 2012 but I have made others over the years.  Triple Rails, bowties and Puss in the Corners are often my go-to scrappy quilts.

Well, I have a stack of blocks pinned and ready to feed though the machine so best get back to it!  I can talk about piecing or I can actually DO it.  Hope you have had a good day.  You know where to find me this weekend!

Dec 5, 2013

finished to flimsy

On The Boardwalk designed by Anne Wiens, Sweetgrass Creative Designs and published by Quiltwoman dot com.  Most of the sewing was done today and I put the two long side borders on after supper.  The backing is made and the binding seamed.   I did not really follow the designers directions and strip pieced a good bit of this.  It made more "sense" to me to do it that way, but someone else would be fine with the original action plan.  It finished about 45 x 58 inches.

I used just two Debbie Mumm  fabrics in the strips.  and I know this reads as a "tan" print from across our living room.  The green cornerstones and border is also a Debbie Mumm print but some stuff I had leftover from making appliance covers for the kitchen.  The Mumm fabric was donated to my quilt group from an area quilter.  Since there was a good bit of it, I spread it all out at our meeting site and issued the challenge---use it to make a quilt for the kids.

 Here is the stuff up closer.  The yellow, green and pink just sort of blend together in that long shot.

So what to do tomorrow?  I may cut out a version of the other pattern I linked to the other day.  On Parade.  I DO like a combo of fabric that I stumbled upon the other day and think it would be fun to play with.  My pattern shows it with the yellow background version, in the smaller thumbnail.

OR I could do the friendship block (shhhhh) or dig around in the Christmas fabric bin to see what I can find to make a pillow case to put Kristine's tree skirt in.  I did not have time to whip one up before I sent the skirt on earlier this week and told her I "owed" her one.   I am not quite ready to switch out machines again though.  I have 5 machines and do like to rotate using them so this time it was the Kenmore electronic slant- a-matic.  It has a nice stitch even if I do miss a few of the features of the other machines---like being able to change the needle position.  If I am going to make another top, I want to complete it on the same machine.

I'll see how it shakes out in the morning after I read through that pattern, LOL.  For now I will content myself with the fact that I did reach another short term goal and my Belles fabric challenge is completed with a few days to spare.   Can I get a woohoo?  LOL

Dec 3, 2013

Finished--temporarily anyway.

This was this morning around 10 with one long edge to go.  Skyler parked and did not really want me to proceed with the rest of  the binding.  You rotate anything and he'll nip at you.  I gave in and headed to the shower, LOL.

I finished the binding about 3:30 and then called Gene to see if he was available to deliver this one and the other 6 that I was donating on behalf of Bama Belles.  I don't live far from his work site so said I would be there in about 10-15 minutes.

However, I needed to get a picture of it for the Wrap Them gallery pages first.   Now I see how truly awful that picture turned out.  Very fuzzy--sorry about that.  DJ was griping at me that his shoulder was hurting from holding it up, especially after the last time when he had to hold up about 15 of them.  This is "oversized" compared to the usual ones too.  I was griping at him to hold it straight at the top when all he wanted me to do is hurry up.  

This is Hopscotch, a Terry Atkinson pattern.  I like it and would make another one but in different fabrics. I was using what I had on hand and busting stash.  I do not think that this pattern is available any longer though I did spot one at The Virginia Quilter but there are some listings in the secondary market as well.  

So what is next?  The Belles Mumm challenge project.  I was emailing back and forth with my lefthanded quilter friend yesterday and mentioned that I needed to get a quick quilt ready with challenge fabric.  She suggested a tesselated friendship star on delaware quilts.  I will not link to it directly as it takes you to a pdf file but you can find it on this page and look for 2008 Mysteries for Relay and then right click on her link.   Great two color quilt, I told my friend, but I had a mix of two maybe three fabrics to use.  Save that tesselated star thing for a two color donation quilt.

 I am toying with this one---from my pattern files 

OR this one which might play well with the subtle stripe piece

LHQ:I like the second one - it looks more complicated - but if you're short on time - pick the easiest one - ;)) 

Me:I'll do that one but think I will use some fabric that I stumbled across (again) in an overflow bin this morning.  Trust me, it will be prettier with that mix of fabric than these Mumm prints---which you haven't seen, come to think of it, LOL.

You all will see if soon enough.  I'll be cutting tomorrow but I already know that I am going to do a strip piecing approach  to the "On The Boardwalk" rather than cutting and then sewing long strips of pieced sashing bits.  Sew it and then cut it makes more sense than the designers direction.  In the end it looks the same.  

I have also found a couple of idea for the door stop or "pincushion on steroids" hop.   Pinterest, etsy and craftsy looking.  Googling.  I've got some time there but it is good to have a plan.   Should be fun.  Formulating my action plan and keeping busy is the name of the game. 

It turns out that DJ will be having a surgical procedure later next week.  There will be time spent at the hospital and a couple nights stay for him.  It needs to be done and I'll work around it.   He apologized to me because I had planned on attending the Friendship Quilters Christmas party.  He didn't have the calendar with him to check if it was okay.   Really he does not ask a whole lot of me so I just let the leaders know that I will not be at this weekend's sew-in or the party.  I need to use my time wisely the next couple of days and running back and forth would waste 4 hours of sewing time.   There will be other sew-in's.   

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

Dec 1, 2013

two down!

In the picture below I had 106 more inches to finish binding-----------

I had this all done by 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.  Then threw it in the washer along with the Juggle and Reflections quilts I had made for the last two hops I participated in.  Now all three have that crinkled aged look.   I will be mailing it on to my niece as soon as I find a box to put it in.  Folded up it measures 14 x 14 x 4 so good luck with that, huh?

Then I moved on to Harvest and finished it up around 4 this afternoon.  Horrid picture of it though.  I need to borrow Glynda's fence or put a rod on the back of the shed again to get an outside shot.  I pinned the paint chip to the piece so I don't forget to take it with me to guild.  Hooray for a finish even if I won't display it this year.

When I stripped the sheets off the bed to launder them this morning, I switched over to the Christmas Patience Corner.  Then switched out all the wall hangings to the winter/Christmas themes.  Other than getting out the Nativity set and maybe the ceramic Christmas tree that might be it for decorating this year.  DJ and I will have to decide if we trust Skyler enough around the artificial tree.  Lately I have had to tell him he is getting a lump of coal in his kitty stocking, LOL.    Biting and getting on the kitchen counter to get in the sink!  Bad kitty, bad!

I also had  him help me get pictures taken of the donation quilts we had on hand.  I needed to put numbers on the ones most recently turned in and get them logged into the document.  Also I was looking to see if any were large enough to go to teens 12-17.  Looks like I will have 7 to take to Gene for the Angel Quilt Project once that binding is done on the last quilted item.

So donation quilt binding awaits but I decided to give my hands a rest and think ahead to my next projects once I am done.  I DO have friendship block to do for someone special but first, I need to visit that Debbie Mumm challenge fabric to see if I can come up with a fairly quick top idea for Belles.  Needed by Tuesday the 10th.  HMMMMMM

Longer range goals:  quilt the three donation quilts that remain atop my armoire.  They need to be gone and start the year off fresh.  Also I signed up for the "pincushion on steroids" blog hop in late January and need to entertain some ideas for that if I get in, LOL.  Other than that I am still forming some ideas of what I want to focus on in coming months.

Hope you have had a good weekend----

Nov 29, 2013

staying on task

I'll get the glamour shots later when these are completely finished but this is how I have spent my week----quilting, quilting, quilting!

After I posted on Monday, I quilted Kristine and Andy's tree skirt, shown in THIS POST.  It is on the bottom of the pile in this picture.

On Tuesday:  I had my Bama Belles meeting.  I cut the center holeand side slit and got most of the binding attached to it before I went home around 2.  I needed to do the join essentially and did not have what I needed to finish.  I finished off my afternoon evening by completing that and started quilting my paint chip challenge.  That is it on top.

On Wednesday:  finished the challenge piece, put on the binding and tabs.  I marked the wide border and locked in the blocks. Pressed the binding for it.  Then I headed to the kitchen to make cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins and our supper.  I finished off the evening by working on the tree skirt binding for a couple of hours and read part of a e-book on the computer.

Yesterday---yeah, I know it was a holiday but we were not eating our holiday meal until evening.  I told DJ that the Wednesday leftovers needed to be consumed first to make room in the fridge for turkey leftovers. I also needed some of the baking dishes.  So I quilted most of the day, before and after our meal watching "Castle" marathon on TNT.  I was just about done!  More binding and finished the e-book.

This morning:  I finished up between laundry detail.  about half of the last side of little blocks, all around the outside border and slap on the binding.  I remembered to put labels on the challenge piece and the donation quilt too.  I do not know how long that Hopscotch top (Pattern:  Atkinson Designs) has been pinned and waiting but I finished the top in late October 2012---shown here.  I know that I was working on it at the Belles fall sew-in date when my friend Cindy came to join us.  About time it was moved along!  It is about 55 x 68 big so should be good for an older teen and I hope it will work out okay for Gene's Angel project.
Next thing I knew it was time for lunch---fast food run, showered, vacuum up the strings and put things up a bit, now posting.

Now I will spend another 5 or 6 days working on binding.  I WILL make my deadlines even if my bottom is permanently stuck in this desk chair doing it.  Maybe I can finally catch up with the blog hop---yeah, today is the last day but you see, I have been a busy girl! Three more await quilting and that is part of my December goals.

Nov 25, 2013

binding, tabs and ties

On Friday I had completed the pieced center of the paint chip challenge with some half square triangle unit trimmings to go.

On Saturday, I trimmed the units and got the borders on it and began the button hole applique that it required.

On Sunday I finished the applique, pieced the batting, marked it and pinned the piece---it is there on top.

This morning I am pressing binding in preparation to quilt those three pieces----the challenge piece, the tree skirt and a donation quilt that I would like to go to Gene Black's Angel Quilt projects along with another I have been holding till I get this one finished.  You can read about the effort on his blog HERE.  I discovered that I had NOT pieced the binding for that particular quilt or another one that is sitting atop my dresser.  I also forgot that the paint chip challenge needed some tabs made, it being a Button Up version and that is how they hang.  I'll do that before I start quilting today.

I follow my dear friend Joy's example of cutting the binding right along with cutting out the quilt top, seaming it when the top is done and then rolling it on section of cardboard like you do embroidery floss.  I pull and prep the backing as well and then pin it when it is convenient (read: corresponds to a meeting date if possible).  Joy often left "the spool" in the folds of the quilt.  I sometimes do that as well but mostly I file it in a couple of containers that I have set aside for this.  I check there first.  Occasionally I slip up or change my mind about what I want to use but I do try to make a habit of it.  Then there are no deterrents to quilting if the quilts are pinned.  If there is no deadline to worry about, I can pick whichever quilt I am in the mood to deal with.

All three of these have a deadline----the tree skirt I want done ASAP, the Angel Quilt before the 12th and the paint chip challenge on December 14th.  I best get cracking!  I'll see how far I get.  Guess that means I am quilting or working on binding at Belles tomorrow.

And sew it goes------

Nov 22, 2013


I have Nancy J. Martin's Perpetual Calendar 365 Quilt Blocks a Year
 atop my computer.  Today's block is a 12 inch block called Indian Mats.  Now I know what my recent "Reflections" most reminds me of!  I thought Delectable Mountains maybe but still, that Southwest vibe.  Not quite it.  

This block according to BlockBase software is attributed to Nancy Cabot and dates to the 30's.  (BlockBase is the Electric Quilt's software version of Barbara Brackman's ground breaking work in Encylopedia of Pieced Quilt Blocks and is derived from print sources from 1830 to 1970.)

On the notecard is a little bit about Nancy Cabot.  I don't know how well the font will show up in the screen capture or of course, who really designed the block.  Do we EVER really know when one is dealing with geometric shapes?

My Billie Lauder version is quite similar in the basic shape outline, though the technique of arriving at that point is quite different.   Visualize lines across the block and a change in coloration.  The Reflection block is slightly rectangular with blocks finishing at 9 1/4 x 10 and working with two pair of essentially 10 inch squares.

Below my quilt for comparison.

Back to sewing---at the moment I am working on the ties for the tree skirt before I change out the thread and start sewing on the paint chip challenge.  The applique stuff is all ready to roll and I hope to have this completed by tomorrow evening.   We'll see!

Nov 21, 2013

this and that

When I was back in Illinois last month visiting with family, Mom and I were discussing some possible quilt choices for the grandkids.  She has been working steadily on making full sized quilts starting with the older grands and working down from oldest to youngest, more or less.  Two are married now and received their quilts as wedding presents.  Allison was engaged and has her quilt.  Other tops are done, one or more quilted and waiting.  Another in the works that she laid out for preview.

Mom has some thoughts on what she is making for the younger set based on their color choices.  Anyway, this block came up though neither of us could remember what Judy Martin had called it and could not lay hands on her Scrap Quilts book right away either.  It is called "Country Cousin" and has sort of a "Rob Peter to Pay Paul" positive/negative deal going on.  (ED:  11-28 on the 365 Quilt Blocks perpetual calendar calls this 4 Knaves.  BlockBase #1197 Nancy Cabot 1938)

We had done  this years ago as a block raffle at Hands All Around Quilt Guild.  I won a pile of them and have obviously done little with them.  However, I did make a more, even hand piecing some of them in the car on vacation even.    There are 45 in the stack, 4 are joined even as it makes a secondary pattern when the blocks are joined.  BUT check the year on the postmark!  While I still like the blocks, like the red and lights combo etc after this length of time am I really going to ever get to them??

I told Mom that she was welcome to them to jump start her granddaughter's/my niece's quilt proposed quilt.   I keep forgetting to box them up and she had to remind me at one point too. That "remember-er" is not working as well as it once did or I am more easily distracted and less able to do 4 things at once, LOL.   First I needed a small box, then needed printer ink.  I've been a little busy sewing and quilting lately, really busy and it is not apt to slow down for a couple more weeks either. Well, they are boxed and ready, Mom and I'll be making a post office run as I have another outside errand (or two) to tend to before I hit the machine.

Skyler rousted me at 6:15 wanting his treat bit of Fancy Feast.  Unfortunately that hour was after only about 3 hours of sleep.  SIGH, one of those nights where I could not get settled, restless, uncomfortable in bed, pj's kept getting all twisted up.  Little booger rousts me so HE can climb back in.  Well, forget making the bed for awhile, LOL.  Normally I am up at 7 or so but there was no going back to sleep.

Instead I have been preparing that mailing and found a box that might work for the tree skirt mailing while I was it.  I have pre-washed some fabric for a friendship project (requiring two loads of wash be done).  I actually made oatmeal for breakfast instead of my usual peanut butter on one slice of whole wheat bread . I hate cooking in the morning!  Also not all that fond of cooked cereal but toss in some walnuts, raisins and cinnamon, it was not that bad.  Looked for a decent recipe for cooking steel cut oats in the crockpot thinking I could just re-heat a portion.   Checked my email, checked facebook and a few headlines that caught my eye.  Looks like the Cardinals can forget a trade with the Rangers that might include Ian Kinsler as he is headed to Detroit in place of Prince Fielder.  Detroit loses about umpteen million dollars and 7 year left on that contract.  HMMMMM.  Will need to catch up with the blog hop when I have time for a computer break, here and there.

I have also done a bit of prep work for the applique elements of the paint chip challenge.  I cut out all I could of the pieced elements yesterday.  Because of the adjustments I made in the width a couple things will have to wait.  I can start sewing but there are a couple of appliqued elements that can be stitched into seam lines so I'll get that part ready to go.  The fabrics are pulled and pressed already, waiting.

And sew it goes----you know where to find me!