Jan 30, 2013

Weds check-in

I'm afraid that this is going to be another picture-less post.  That is how it goes sometimes.

My second eye surgery on Tuesday went well though the hospital did not have its act together quite like they did on round two.  The doctor was ready for me but they had not had the anesthesiologist chat with me or even started my eye drops.  He took the guy that was ready instead and I was the last one for the morning.  It matters not, really.   It's done and I'm doing well which is the important part.   My left eye is my "master" eye so it sort of felt like my field of vision was more drastically restricted last night but you only have to wear that shield at bedtime or naptime after the first 24 hrs have passed.

I had hoped too that I would be able to nap once we got home. I did not seem to be as asleep as I was on round 1 for one thing.    The externals here at home were not helping.   DJ was blasting the TV and then was out using the lawn mower to knock down the weeds that had sprung up.   I had a horrible time getting to sleep Monday night---awake till way past 2 a.m.  It did not help that our idiot neighbor was over ringing the door bell after 11 p.m. (stating it was an "emergency" but not what and she "needed 22 dollars."  DJ told her to call her mom.  Or ask that guy that is always hanging around her house lately.  We have been down that road before). 

This morning all nine of us post ops were back in the office at 8 a.m. but the weather forecast was not good!  They predicted the storms that had been percolating in Mississippi and west Alabama would hit here about 9 a.m. to 12 noon.  Damaging straight line winds and flash flooding was possible.  It was not raining when we road into town but the skies opened up while we waited at the office and then the tornado sirens sounded.  The office staff told us to move to the interior part of the building if we wanted.  I was the next one called back that way anyway.  DJ said there is 2 inches of rain in our gauge. 

My right eye tested out at 20/20 and the left at 20/25 though I could have made my best guess on a couple of letters and maybe passed that, LOL.     The doctor is pleased.  I'm pleased.  I will not require corrective lenses for driving and TV viewing is so much easier these days, especially when I don't have to look through tape and shield holes----go figure!  Readers for computer use and hand work, no biggie.

I told DJ that he will probably be the happiest fellow around once my activity restrictions are lifted.  He is willing to help and all that but all the kitchen clean up jobs are pretty much landing in his lap.   He has always unloaded the dishwasher and I help by cleaning up my mess while I prepare the meal.  Let's face it--when it is meal time he is used to just being called to the table.  Now he has to stay in ear shot to help me with the oven or moving food to the table.    Also I need help with the main grocery run---no bending, no heavy lifting or straining.  All this will pass soon enough.

Knitting continues---just finished hat #30 and started another.  I think tomorrow I will sew---those heart blocks are waiting---but not today with the storm systems that may still hanging around in the area.  Tomorrow is supposed to be better and with more seasonal temperatures.  (70 degrees in January with high dew points are NOT good. )   I'll be able to drive myself tomorrow for any errands that need run--cut DJ some slack.  The poor guy is tired.

So who knows?  Maybe one of these days I will have something quilty to show you! 

Jan 28, 2013

Design "Wall" Monday

Well, it isn't the wall but it will have to do for now.

The next row for "Seasons in a Row" is hearts for February though I decided to go with a slight variation over the pattern used and foundation piece mine.  I use EQ and have it linked with Sew Precise software so that increases my options of finding something I can use.   Then I rough cut fabrics by using the rotary cutting directions in EQ and adding extra fabric since I'm foundation piecing.  It is ready when I am ready to sew. 

 I'll be out of pocket for a couple of days so today was laundry and errands day.  One stop was at Hobby Lobby for some striped fabric for a project that will be coming up.  Well, "It's All About Me" project sponsored by Sew We Quilt.  I received my day assignment, bringing up the rear on Thursday, February 28.  The official start is February 19th.  I am pretty sure I know what I want to do but will need to do a little design tweaking first.  I am not sure that I will use all of this for the project but it would make a neat quilt down the line with the leftovers or whatever, LOL.

And sew it goes----------   

Jan 27, 2013

Sunday check-in

By golly I think she's got it! Using a kit for what was supposed to be a messenger bag, I turned this pre-quilted fabric into the needle roll I needed.     I just finished the hand finishing on the binding a few minutes ago and was in the process of figuring out where to put the self tie.  I was following the format of the little sewing accessory that Betsy and Pat made for each of us in the quilt group some years back.  Actually Betsy was making them for two other quilt groups so I said to just give me the material and I would bind it and finish up, LOL.  See how accommodating I can be?

Here it is with the double point needles loaded in their pockets.  I decided NOT to label them as I can count over number wise from the left, the needles are marked and I can see at a glance what is missing. Should I change my mind, I still have light colored fabric that would hold up to the marking/stenciling.  My mom told me to use the machine embroidery numbering system and she would tell you that I was not too crazy about THAT idea.  Just because I could does not mean I am crazy enough to WANT to, LOL.    That interior fabric would not have been my choice even though I gravitate to purples.  IIWII.

And here we have it all packed up and rolled up.  Woohoo!  Hooray for a finish.

So next I think I will print off some foundation piecing papers for the heart block for guild although I am going to do a variation of that block.   These are to finish at 4 inches 10 of them and spacers.  

Meanwhile I start prepping for the 2nd eye surgery putting drops in BOTH eyes essentially.  DJ and I were happy to learn that we won't have to report till 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday rather than the 6 a.m. the office had said.  Assume 6 unless they call to tell you otherwise, was the caveat.   My eye doctor was featured in the local paper yesterday but I don't know if you will be able to open the article.  Try THIS link. 

I had told him about my attempts to do my quilt piecing, embroidery but I had not tried quilting or cutting out any quilts at that point.  I mentioned that I was returning from my guild meeting on the way home too---and how many quilts we had made since 2000. (about 1500 some quilts).  He said he was humbled by that BUT here is a man who is giving back to HIS community too.   DJ and I really like him!

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

Jan 25, 2013

a plan?

I think I have a plan------

I have been looking at knitting needle rolls idea for months, probably as long as I have owned my set of 5 double point bamboo needles in 15 different sizes, ( I wrote about it this post.)    I have been pinning ideas right and left but none of them really seem to be what I am looking for---not enough spaces or I don't "get" the instructions.

Today I decided to pull out some freezer paper, only because it is large paper and on a roll, LOL and see if I could figure this out for myself.

2 levels of pockets?  Check.  Small slots for the skinnier smaller sizes--  #0-4 won't take up much room but #10.5-15 sure will.  I didn't unroll enough paper to make it as long as it should be but I know what I am shooting for now.  Cutting directions are written on the front side.  It will need to be lined (quilted?) and probably interfaced a bit on the pockets. 

I suppose the fabrics will need to be fairly light at least on the pockets so I can stencil on the needle size or figure out an alternative way of affixing a number.  The needles themselves are marked and I will be ditching the cellophane wrappers on the ones I have not used yet.  I guess the next step is to dig a bit in the baskets but not so much that it will be stretching my "no lifting" imperatives.   No way on God's Green Earth am I going to ask my husband to come in here and pull bins out for me!  He does not need to see what is stuck away under the table, on the shelves or in the closet.  I have some pre-quilted fabric that someone had given me as a kit for making a messenger bag. I will have to see if it will work for this project instead.

Speaking of husbands, our 14th anniversary is tomorrow.  I was given three choices of what we might do for our special day.  Often we go to Top of the River for their January special Riverboat Special but that is only available on Monday through Thursday---and our day is Saturday.  I passed.  2nd option left me cold and the 3rd was lunch at Golden Corral but I thought there was a price break during the week so we went today.  Less busy too. 

He brought me a single red rose.  I told him earlier in the week to not get me flowers as he was really sweet and took my car into to the oil changed.  I so appreciate him taking care of the vehicles so I don't have to even think about things like air in the tires, water in the battery and when it is due for maintenance.  The car would never get washed and waxed if it were not for him either. 

Other than that it has been a fairly quiet day.  The freezing rain they had predicted didn't materialize, thankfully.   However, the school system delayed the start time by two hours according to their best predictions Thursday night.  By the time I did my post office run I was right in the middle of the parents dropping their kids off.   All in all, a gloomy cool day but not cold enough for the furnace to run much.  I had two sweaters on for a time and was considering hopping in bed under an afghan for a while, LOL.

And sew it goes-----I need to look at the heart row too since I DO have some deadline things approaching.  Get over this inertia and feeling I want to hibernate!!

Jan 23, 2013

this and that/meeting notes

A little of this and that going on around here.  Of course, knitting that has gotten me through hours in the doctor's office and before they started dilating my eye in earnest for surgery.    I've collecting my efforts for about a month, with the two rolled brim ones on the far left being the two latest.  12 hats in all but I almost have another watch cap done in another colorway.  I packed this all up and mailed it off to my friend Cindy along with a crocheted cap that Marilyn had given me to pass on to her.

Sunday I DID fire up the machine and got a few more blocks added to what will be the base for Allison's Christmas tree skirt---two more blocks to go as it will be 7 blocks x 7 blocks before I whack it up. 

I took my embroidery to quilting yesterday and didn't even touch it.  Come to think of it, I didn't touch the knitting either except to pick up and put it back down again.  We had several guests join us and another friend that has not been able to come in several months but a few others were missing due to illness and other health concerns.  Kind of a spontaneous potluck was planned after Lois posted "if I bring some soup for lunch will you join me?"  Others responded with what they would bring, LOL.   I think there were 5 machines up and running at one point.  Two were binding.  Several of us were involved with pinning but we had to deal with the monster roll of batting first!!   I could not have brought that down to the church in a more timely manner as we were only able to get two more quilts off the little bit that was left.  Lois and Rosa each had one to pin and I had two of mine in the mix.

 I had spent some time Monday evening prepping backs for them.  One of them I had to prep the batting  too from varying lengths I had been given by a long arm quilting friend.   Gotta love that heat fusible tape for the super flat batting..  Since then, I have prepped two more of my tops for the next meeting's pinning.  One or more of those will be going to the Friendship Quilters group since donating one pro bono top is a condition of membership now---1 minimum but Wrap Them in Love might be one of the donation areas but I don't know if we can designate that or not.  I WILL find out! 

There were no finished quilt to show you but Bev's personal project is about done.  Beverly's Tons of Black Challenge piece as well!  I shared that back in early December and will post its glamour shot once she turns it in.

Bev had made 10 quilts for the Veteran's Home project and had patriotic fabric to use up.  She plans for this to go on the back of one of the couches at home.  She was still working on the binding finish.

The girls were so helpful about helping me avoid the bending, stooping, lifting with assistance in loading/unloading the car.  I had left my grabber at home and there were a few times I could have used it---like when we were dropping binding clips off the pinning table right and left, LOL.   You think I will just be lazy if I keep using it once my activity restrictions are lifted?  Yeah, I thought so.

I had a followup appointment with the eye doctor on the way home.  That worked out well because I go within a block of his office on my usual route home and the timing was perfect.  We got done putting up the lunch supplies, picking up and rearranging the chairs/replacing table cloths etc and said our good byes just a bit after two, leaving me just enough time to drive back.   My right eye is doing well, according to the doctor and in my estimation too.  Preop instructions were given for the left and we are track to have round 2 on Tuesday the 29th.  I did ask him about what strength readers I would be needing----1.75 or 2.00.  I have several pairs of readers and one of them is 1.75, LOL but no higher.  I picked up another pair while I was in town on errands.  Seems like everyone you talk to that uses them does-----one in the spot they read, at the bedside, in their purse or project bag, etc.   You never want to be caught without a pair available.  LOL, I know my husband had to ask if I had any with me the day I went for my lab as he was looking at one of their ancient magazines in the waiting room----and I did though they looked a little goofy on him and the strength was not the same.  He is doing a little better about having his pair with him if he thinks he will have to read or sign something but only if he has a pocket in his shirt.   Not that time though.  I do need to make a few slimmed down glasses cases for them though.   I bet I can find a free pattern online and fabric in this room to get the job done, don't you?

As far as other sewing/quilting plans go, I am not very ambitious, I'm afraid.  I would like to track down some primary colored fleece to back a piece Nancy M gave the quilt group recently and do one of those fleece tie throws.   (The link will take you to the free patterns on the Project Linus site and then look for the "no sew fleece blanket".  It opens a pdf file so I did not want to post the direct link.  There is another pattern for just fringed blanket among other pattern choices.)  I did one for DJ years and years ago and will need a refresher course!  Once I get a measurement taken, I can get the ball rolling there though it might be easier for me to do it at the meeting place on an elevated table.  Since my table is in the corner of the room, it is not always handy for a project of this nature.  Also Nancy had given us a large pieced bow tie top that I think can be disassembled and made into two but may need a border or whatever.

I had changed my mind about how I want to approach the stack and whack hexagon stars----no big blob of green print in the middle??  The mottled antique quilter candy yardage from Connecting Threads arrived yesterday while I was out and it will surround all the blocks using the green for an inner border and binding and of course, the focus prints for the border.  I will use that pretty mottled print for something else down the line.  I honestly do not think that I need to be dealing with the rotary cutter till both eyes are on the same playing field.  I have a sort of plan but just not yet!   I did find a good site for Stack and Whack instructions though!  Lyn Brown is doing tutorials she is calling Repeat Revolution  that shows the same Hexagon Star thing I started oh, so many years ago.  18 blocks.  She is on lesson 3 at this point and showing how to sew the fill-in equilateral triangles.   She even told how she drew up her design in EQ6  which may help ME because I know I am going to have more blocks that than!  25 plus, I believe.

If I want to piece, I can do a few more blocks on the tree skirt project.  If I don't,  then I have a few things that keep me thinking "quilt" even if I am not actively doing it.   And there is always knitting, right?

Come to think, I DO have one deadline sewing project----Seasons in a Row---a heart row is due at Friendship Quilters, 2nd Saturday in February.  I best be seeing if that is foundation pieced or what.  I do know the row does finish narrower than the snowman row did. 

I also have an idea about what I will do with the "It's All About Me---I'm a little Biased" shop hop I told you about in my post.  Really it is the idea that came to me first and it is something that I need and will actually use.  I'll keep that under my hat for now though.  I don't need more stuff to put on the walls, if that is any sort of clue, LOL.  Nor does it combine another fabric challenge---too bad, huh?  HMMMM  I need to ponder that a little longer---maybe I can??

I know exactly what I am going to do with that cupcake challenge piece I drew at Friendship guild---foundation piece the cupcake block found at Bubblestitch Quilts which is offered as a free pattern and apparently used in a block swap last year.  I had it downloaded in my files and rediscovered it when I was doing that file reorganizing/backing up deal a week or so ago.   I've got a bit of time yet since that is not due till the 2nd week of April.

What else?  Explore my idea for a knitting needle roll for my double point sets.  I have several marked on pinterest but I think mine will need more pockets.

And sew it goes------ I suppose my husband expects to be fed.  The nerve of him!  LOL  Our anniversary is coming up on Saturday and there is some debate about what we are going to be doing.  I think they jack up the prices on the weekend so I had suggested going to one particular spot on Friday instead.  HE doesn't think Golden Corral does that and was going to call them to ask.  We would go for lunch, not supper anyway.  There is a chance that we will have freezing rain on Friday in which case it will be a moot point in the first place if we have to stay home, right???

Okay, I think there is something in the freezer that can be heated up and no cooking, per se

Jan 20, 2013

It's All About Me......let me explain

If you are looking at my blog on site versus a feed reader, you might be noticing the new button up there on the right.

I was just informed that I can participate in the "It's All About Me" blog hop sponsored by Madam Samm at Sew We Quilt and helped by cheerleader Marlene who blogs at StitchinByTheLake.   They were full with sign ups but added two more days.  My friend Cher got one of them and I think I may have gotten the last one.  I figured no harm in asking, right?  If they had takers for the last two spots, then I should have found about it sooner.  I understand about being a "Johnny Come Lately to the party" , LOL  They said yes though.

It looks like they are gearing up for a heart themed blog hop here soon---that should be a fun one to follow around and see how others interpret the pattern or theme!!  I know the stacked bowls one was interesting and a local guild friend participated with that one.

What we will be working on and hopping from blog to blog from February 19th to February 28th will be an applique pattern designed specifically for the group by THE Amy Bradley. Marlene's post will describe what we are doing far better than I will be able to do.  Cher said she already had some ideas and I'll start once I get more info from Madam Samm.

As an aside, I love Amy Bradley's applique designs having made both Kitty City and all the blocks for "Dazzling Dogs".  My completed Dazzling Dog examples HEREHERE, one HERE  (below the embroidery---keep scrolling, LOL).  I haven't unearthed them all but you get the idea anyway!!  They need to be in a quilt---all 12 of them. This are a 2007 project after all and it is just too cute not to finish up.I also have plans to do her "Seasonal Quilter" designs which are in my pattern library if I ever decide that I am done making Button Ups, LOL.  (Three more in the works!)  Oh ......and I have all the fabrics to make her Quilt Diva that is buried in the pizza box kit pile.  I would love that on my sewing room door!  Then there are the 3 Happy Halloween pieces I made from a Bradley pattern in Quilter's World magazine in October 2003---one for Norma, one for Pat and one for me!  Okay, I think you understand that I adore Amy's designs almost as much as I adore Terry Atkinson's designs.  I am a fan!

I'll wait for further instructions of what I need to do and also, just what I got myself into here.  In the meantime I am going to crawl under the sewing machine table, plug in the machine, attempt to thread it and see how sewing goes with a lopsided visual field.   First time in weeks!  I did some hand embroidery yesterday and of course more knitting but I'm ready to take the plunge.  LOL

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

Jan 18, 2013

"that" fabric edited

I had asked Ellen the founder of Wrap Them in Love to send me/Bama Belles some more quilt labels when she had a chance.  I knew she has sent something far more than that though when the mail lady pulled up a few days ago and honked.

The fabric on the table is the contents of the priority box and made me smile.  Some time back Ellen was gifted a bunch of these same fabrics.  Ellen packed them in up in red color way and the blue colorway for 5 bucks each.   They may have done that more than once. 

Now you do still see quilts turn up with this in it on the gallery pages.  Some I know has been used for backs.   I still have some because I have gotten some long past the time that the 5 buck kits were dispersed.  I even loved that gold on gold vein so much that at one point Ellen sent me a roll of it.  I shared some with my mom since she works rings about me (700 plus quilts since 2000!) but there is still some folded up along with some bits of many of these and more of that cobblestone blue.

Way back in July 2006 I was working in a series with this stuff----take a peek of what I did with the initial quilt and how the leftovers became two more quilts in the blue colorway.  HERE I doubt that they will click much bigger than shown as that really was in the early blogging days.   OR I could repeat this top from back in June 2009 to use up some more of it.  I wrote about it HERE but long story short I used the backside of the blue to tone the veins down and left the yellow texture intact.  Pattern Source:   Quick Cozy Couch Quilts by Sandy Thompson but resized to fit the WTIL target range.

Moving on----------

So I am still more or less just thinking of sewing rather than putting needle to thread.  I could try sewing though there is some disparity between my fixed and my unfixed eye at this point.  I just honestly do not "feel" like it.  I know better than to force myself to do so--recipe for disaster.

I did come to a decision about my stack and whack though in that I am going to make the background fabric all the same piece rather than mess around with the star points.  I think that the green I had selected oh so long ago will just look like a big green blob.  I liked the looks of putting it against the Connecting Threads Mirage cream I had on hand but thought I could go a hair darker---and ordered the antique color and enough to accomodate more blocks.  I think I want it just a bit bigger.   Mary Frances who took the class with me and her daughter along with two or three others sent me pictures of the two she completed (back in 2002), hand quilting them!   Mary Frances' quilt used the same background throughout and I like the looks of it.  Stirred up some memories for us both.

I have been knitting and currently am on hat #12 for this box.  I'll be mailing it out soon.  I was going to try putting a few stitches in my "Witches Hooray" just to see how that works out.

 Last night I went through the photo boxes---there were 3---and got it whittled down to two by discarding all those old quilt show pictures I had developed.  Oh I saved a couple but most are gone.  I believe that I could do the same with the photo albums, come to think of it.  I have not looked at them in forever.

Today found me backing up the computer (It took about 7 hrs today---ugh) and cleaning out the lower drawer of my file cabinet where I discovered checking account statements from way back in 1995 and earlier.  I had to save them when we first moved here in 97 but I think they can hit the burn pile.  DJ is in charge of that!  I gained a little bit of space and that is all that mattered though there is more I COULD do.

Our snowfall lingered on the grass in the back  yard especially for a few hours this morning but once the sun came out-----gone.  DJ had scraped my car windows off though since there was ice under the snowfall that collected.  It is great to see the sun and even Skyler is enjoying the window seat with the afternoon sun streaming in.  I left on errands since I had stuff to take to the donation bins and a run into town and the thermometer was at about 48 but felt warmer with the sun..  The weather dude says don't get too used to it though---another cold front is on its way.

Nothing much going on really and I am half tempted to go lay down for a bit as I had a "couldn't get to sleep and couldn't stay asleep night" last night.   I will be happy when I can lay on whatever side I want, LOL---just sayin'.

Jan 17, 2013


It is not sticking so far but it IS snowing----big fat fluffy flakes. I also wanted to get a picture of the camellia before all the blooms get zapped from the low temps. Right at 33 degrees according to our thermometers.

All the streets are wet from three days of rain and the ground as well.  2-3 inches of snow was in our forecast supposedly ending by 7 p.m.  We'll see.

I did hear something weird though on the Weather Channel.  Some place in Mississippi has had more snow this winter than has the Chicagoland area.  Could that be true???

Jan 16, 2013

Weds check-in

I'm afraid that this is going to be a picture-less post this time.   Sorry about that but I know a few of my Belles were going to check here to see how my eye surgery went yesterday.

I had right cataract surgery done at the Same Day Surgery Center of one of the local hospitals.  DJ and I used the same doctor but he went to the other hospital.  We were not impressed but that facility is going through a much needed expansion of their SDS set up so hopefully, one day it will improve.  I reported at 0830 and left about 11.  DJ and I stopped to get something to eat before we went home---the man is NO cook. 

It seemed as though I was awake for the procedure though I had been given some IV sedative meds, so who knows.  Maybe they woke me up at some point or the twilight deal made it seem like I was awake;.  Anyway, nothing objectionable about it---I was a nurse for years so some of that professional curiosity remains.  

After calling my parents who were waiting to see how things went, I went to bed and took a long 4 hour nap.  Me--who rarely takes a nap because I have a hard enough time sleeping at night.    Between not being able to turn to the operative side and Skyler being a bed hog we both had some wakeful times, LOL.  What else is new??? 

The doctor asks his postop patients to return to the office for a check of the operative eye the morning after surgery.  Vision 20-20 now where it was 20-40 preop but the right eye was my better eye to start with.  Closeup is now fuzzy and distance vision is great!  Readers will be required but I am not sure about the strength I will need.  Of course, I have several pairs of those already if they will do the job. 

I don't know about sewing, embroidery or quilting for the time being.  It is a little disconcerting to have one eye be so good and the other, such a disparity.  Not today anyway.  I have another hat about to the shaping point so I will no doubt just keep knitting for now.  One more and I'll probably be ready to mail a box off to my friend Cindy.

It is still pouring down rain.   We have about 3.5 inches in our rain gauge over a two plus day period.  Tomorrow there may be snow.   Oh, boy!   I just want to stay home and hibernate, LOL.

Jan 13, 2013

guild meeting/Stack 'n Whack

Yesterday was Friendship Quilters Guild meeting--2nd Saturday of each month over in Pell City (AL) starting off the 2013 program year.  As it turned out Jane and I were the only ones that went as others either had plans or were not feeling up to the trip.   The group had gotten an email that the sewing machine guy would be coming.  If  anyone had a mechanical machine or serger that needed cleaning or repair, he would pick it up.  My older model Singer needed some attention after my last use, trying to use the cams.  He agreed that it was probably something the feed dogs, some gear or belt or some such thing and expect a call in a week or so.

We also had the fund raising raffle table set up.  It was also time to complete the membership information sheets and pay our dues.   I had various things to hand off to some of the gals at the meeting.  People to make connections with, chat with.   A lot going on!  

You might be wondering what is with the Michael Miller fabric samplers I am showing you.  Well, when we had our retreat this fall the girls had contacted various fabric companies and suppliers for promotional materials and anything they wished to contribute.  We had some great swag bags!!  This arrived AFTER the retreat but the organizers didn't want this to go to waste.  Jackie W set up bags with a fabric grouping and it will become a challenge project instead.  You were to reach in the larger bag but were not allowed to dip in there again if you were not crazy about what you drew.   I loved mine though!!   Cupcakes and daisies on a chocolate brown background.  

There was one last bag left and break time was over.  Jackie couldn't get the group's attention to say there was one more available.  I told Jackie I would take the last one and see if one of the absent Belles would want to participate.  If not, I will do two of them. 

The rules are simple----just make something, anything but you have to use a bit of however many fabrics are in the little packet, adding as much of your own fabrics as you wish.  The object should be done by the April meeting.   They have something else in mind for the later part of the year.  I know a good portion of the group was hopeful we would do another paint chip challenge. 

(For the pieces on the right--there was only one piece of fabric in one packet so they put the "berry" toned one in with the other "cocoa" toned piece. ) 

We got the meeting done at least 30 minutes earlier than usual and did not stop for lunch before heading home.  I walked back in the house a few mins after 12!  I had some grocery errands to run and a few things to tend to once home.

Jane had received a bunch of bags of fabric from one of the gals in the Piecemaker group that meets on Thursday evenings.  Rita had mentioned that she might have some stuff for Bama Belles when I saw her at the Gadsden Quilt show set-up or take-down but more or less, forgot about it.  When Jane arrived and we were working out who was going to drive,  she was prepared to empty out her trunk into mine.  Six bags about this size!!!  I only had DJ bring in one of them to start with when I got home.  

Before I turned in for the night I sorted through the bags.  I may be issuing a challenge of my own for Belles by mid year, LOL but not telling them just what yet.  There are still some "Tons of Black" challenges in the works, after all!  Some things we can use, some things I can use at home for various project, pro bono and otherwise.   Some will be donated elsewhere and a few odd things were tossed.  A couple of the gals work with flannel making rag quilts so I set that aside for them.   I thank Rita for thinking of us!  As far as me hauling it in from the car, I may need some help with that, due to the eye surgery activity limitation.

Now on to why I titled this post Stack 'n Whack, LOL

I caught up with my friend Norma sometime yesterday afternoon chatting as we often do on Windows Messenger.  It started off innocently enough with a simple question. "What was your program about today?" No blame can be assigned for leading the other astray---just one of those offhand comments.  Oh I could say it was Jackie C and the program committee but why?  LOL

It went something like this---edited a bit.  You can read her version of this story on her new blog location:  

Norma says
What was your program today?

Linda J says
stack and whack
they are going to do a class on the stack and whack fans...............................................
she was talking about what fabrics were appropriate, what a repeat is, and some idea about how much fabric you would need
they will be doing it the same time as the next sew in scheduled in February
Norma says
so you would be prepared for the class?
Linda J says
right BUT I have a stack and whack the hexagon type, just the blocks.  I could get the top moved along so I decided maybe I better work on that instead.   
Norma says
I have one too
no surprise
I made a hexagon stack and whack table topper for my mom several years ago

AND you can almost tell where this is headed, right???

Norma says
i have enough blocks to make myself one
mom had it on her table today
i saw it in the camera  (they were using Skype)..............I forgot about it till I saw it today 
Linda J says
well then maybe I need to challenge YOU to finish yours next month too
Norma says

Yep, here we go----again, LOL

Linda J says
do you know where yours is?
Norma says
oh yes
safe and sound in a box
Linda J says
I have a pretty good idea where mine is----though it has moved over the years
Norma says
what size are you making yours?
Linda J says
oh my---who remembers?
Norma says
Linda J says
like the book
Norma says
ok, that does it - we both need to move these projects on
Linda J says
yes we do
Norma says
i didn't remember i had one, you aren't sure about the details about yours
Linda J says
seriously we do
Norma says
they have been ufo's too long
Linda J says
if that is not a sign of too much water over the dam I don't know what is

And really that is how we get ourselves off track,  so to speak.  If I were to decide to do one later, a couple of the Belles have the pattern and ruler and would let me borrow it.  I'll quote Norma here as she put it rather well 
"And so it always starts–from a small spark in a conversation.  Before we know it, we have plans for the next project.  We keep each other motivated and on track to completion.  We are also responsible for creating a few new UFO’s along the way.  But given that UFO’s are a part of this creative process, this should not be a surprise.  We both have way more ideas about what quilts we want to make than we have time to finish them."

We were telling our FAB friend Cher about this today---and even she said she has a stack 'n whack somewhere in her home.  We may have roped her in as well as soon as some of her current projects are completed.  

Norma posted pictures of her experiences with stack 'n whack and I told her that I would do the same, by way of showing her what I have to work with.  Her parting comment to me on our saying "good night, see you tomorrow" was that we would be "dreaming about UFO's".  I replied THAT idea was more like a nightmare, LOL.  Maybe it was more like haunting my sleep but she knew what I meant.

So more pictures----I have 24 blocks so apparently I hoped to enlarge it from the book that called for 18 or 32 if you want it huge.  I marked my book 25 though for some reason as it is arranged in row groupings of 4 and then 3 ending with 4.  Do I make another block???  Do I have enough fabric to do so??  Or enough background on hand---I think so.  BOY oh boy did my notes get cold!  I can't even remember how I cut the 60 degree triangles out--surely not how she shows in my ancient book!

My fabric choices---Michael Miller main fabric

First half of the blocks on the background fabric----------

2nd half of the blocks-------

I believe that this is a circa 2002 or 3 project.  Several of us Belles took a class at Heart to Heart in Trussville.  3 people I know for sure----Betsy B, Joy, Mary Frances, me but perhaps one or two more.  Betsy used the same main fabric that I did but her background and contrast colors were different.   Mary Frances follows my blog so I imagine she might have some insight into this.  More importantly, did she finish HER version???  Anyone else out there in the same boat we are in???

Norma and I were bandying out about dates to possibly sew and encourage each other as that really works well for us both.   I don't know that we came to a firm decision on that score but it WILL happen.  I can't find my 60 degree ruler and in fact, ordered one so that will cause a little lag time on my end.  I know I had one at one time!  She has some projects that need moved along first as do I.  Tree Skirts, anyone?

It is doubtful that any sewing will get done before Tuesday and my first eye surgery.  It also remains to be seen if this is any deterrent to my sewing.  I know that there is no bending, lifting, stay away from steam, etc and tons of eye drops.  Guess I wait and find out!  Plenty of knitting at the ready to get through the hospital waiting and doctors follow up.

Till next time----------

Jan 11, 2013


It has not been a particularly productive week but I have been busy---mostly with things on the home front, I guess.   It seems like one of those weeks were you look back and you have to ask yourself "where did I go when I don't have much to show for it?"

I have not sewn a lick all week-- I did a little embroidery on the Halloween row but really nothing to show there.  I know a bit more of one of the witches is done but you could barely tell.  I've knit a good bit---maybe added 3 more hats to the box that I will be sending on to Cindy.  I am sort of saving some of that for next week though as I have a good bit of wait time ahead---same day surgery and no one can really tell me where I am in the order---1st or 6th or somewhere in the middle.   Hospital are so helpful (not!)

 Tuesday was Bama Belles day.   I do have pictures to share with you in a moment.

 Wednesday my preop doctor visit, get the preparatory meds and go for the preop lab and history taking.

Yesterday paperwork and closet rearranging to make room for some yarn that followed me home from Belles, thanks to a generous donation from one of the gals who came to visit us.  Cindy said she was covered up with yarn right now and I WAS able to make some room.   I also had to go BACK into the eye docs office to pick up some sample meds.  We found out the one med was generic and cost 30 bucks--the other two were not and cost $105 and $155 respectively.   Are you kidding me??  I figured I had to pony up the bucks as I have to have it to prep for the cataract extractions.  Didn't sound there was a substitute for it either.    (They were out the day I was in the office, I guess)  DJ had a cow, called the office about the samples and made Wal-mart take the meds back that I had picked up as they were still sealed, unopened.    While I was out and nearer the meeting place, I took the bulky boxed up batting that we will be needing soon.  Seems to me that there are lifting and bending restrictions after the surgery?  Trying to remember what DJ was cautioned to do when he had his done.

The laundry is all done, turkey is cooking in the crockpot, the rest of the paperwork pushing is done and now I can play.  The car is packed for guild tomorrow.  As luck would have it, the sewing machine repair guy will be at the meeting to clean/pick up machines.  He works on sergers and mechanical machines----my old Singer needs some attention so we'll see what he has to say.  The guy lives about 20 some miles north of me for pick up later---whether it can be fixed or not.  Funny thing is that it runs if you hit the pedal with yoru hand or foot but put something under the feed dogs, no go.

Back to Belles---considering that we are right in the heart of cold and flu season it was amazing that so many of us were there. We are right back in the swing of things now that the holidays are passed----7 quilts pinned, I think??  (Hence the need for the batting I have had in storage in our shed, LOL)  We also had two visitors and one of our friends who used to attend the group but we all still know her from another guild.  Ada laughed and said she might have to re-introduce herself when she introduced us to Donna, her guest.  Nancy M was able to come this time too after contacting me a couple months back about the group info.

Nancy met Bev, Teresa and me online in a Facebook quilting group though they are far more active there than I am.  But she had been cleaning out her sewing room a bit and brought some things that she thought we might be able to use.  There was a bowtie quilt top someone gave her that might work up into two kids quilts if I get out the seam ripper.  Some fleece fabric that would make a nice tied throw.  A little bit of cotton yardage along with some materials that she thought Teresa could use for some crazy quilt things she has going on.  And yarn---as she knew I had been knitting those hats along with a sock loom and circular knitting loom in various sizes.  Some books for our little quilt library cart and a few smaller items that were distributed for use.  So sweet of her to do that but Nancy said she would rather give that stuff away to people that will use it rather than take it somewhere and it gets tossed.   I think we sent her home with just a few odds and ends and the container which she said normally holds her Christmas decorations.  THX again, Nancy!

Several of the girls had machines fired up.  Rosa needed help getting some backing together.  Donna needed to cut borders for her first quilt.  Nancy had some heart blocks she was sewing to interfacing, grid work similar to how watercolor quilts could be done.  Bev and Teresa were exploring some silk ribbon embroidery and such.  Marilyn had her machine out too but I am not sure what she was sewing on---mostly because she was helping to pin and such.    Me?  Pinning and helping the others out a bit.  I didn't even touch my embroidery other than to drag it out of the tote bag.  Next thing I knew it was time to go home, LOL.

Bev had to take pictures for me again(!)  I had remembered the camera but did not check the battery status as it had been working just fine at home.  Lois had 4 to turn in.  Two look a lot alike but the border fabrics are switched out.  I do not know the names or pattern source.  I asked but Lois just replied that it was out of a magazine.  I told her I might be labeling them all "out of a magazine 1, 2, 3 and 4 " on my quilt document, LOL.  I should tell you that the pretty chaining star below has 4 patch posie centers in the stars.  Really lovely quilt!   The other one is just a fun sporty themed one--good for boy, perhaps?

So I guess I'll see what Friendship Quilter's will have in store for us tomorrow.  Raffle table, pay the dues and fill out membership forms, take the machine, take the row quilt section, deliver a few other items, take my stuff to take notes as I am still the secretary, etc.  There was a executive board meeting today but one of the girls emailed me to tell me she would be happy to take notes so I would not have to make an extra trip.  Good thing too as I had a little tiff with DJ about quilt groups and my being gone "so much"".  The blow by blow does not bear repeating but I don't know why my being away for only 3 days out of the month for 5-6 hrs bothers him so much.  It could be far worse as I could be gone almost every day of the week, some weeks if I went to every group I am invited to.  Trust me, I need this time away from the house---and my girlfriends!  Men can be such small boys sometimes, no matter how old they are!!

Guess that is it for now-----------


Wordle: quilting
Just fooling around with wordle.net

Screen capture version

Jan 6, 2013

What the heck? EDITED

Back in early December I was working on the photo re-sizing/editing of the archived blog material.

At that time I mentioned I had whittled things down to    

You are currently using 699 MB (68.3%) of your 1024 MB. 

I was thrilled because it had dropped from about 98 % capacity, thanks to my efforts.  Now today I had planned to work on my hand quilting but my thumb is still a bit sore to be pushing a needle-thimble combination.   I did a bit more on my blackwork embroidery instead and THEN decided to edit a bit more---about two months worth of material.   I'm into late September 2011 now so slightly one year of blog material. 

Any guesses what my capacity is now???  I was allowed 1024 MB and now it is 5120  MB??  How did that happen?  Change of policy?  I didn't pay for anymore storage.  If I had then I wouldn't bother resizing the old stuff. 

You are currently using 654 MB (12.78%) of your 5120 MB

  So what is my true standing in this area, I wonder?  Anyone else out there seeing weird numbers??

EDITED:  I may have found an answer to my question on this page

it says something about the photo size so that fact that I am making mine 800x 600 pixels is a good thing.

It makes a difference if you do or do not use Google +  ( I tried it but I didn't see the point of it when I use Facebook)

For us hold outs then it goes as follows----. 

Free storage limits

Photos up to 800 x 800 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won't count towards your free storage.

Automatic resizing

All photos uploaded over the free size limit will count towards your 1 GB of free storage. When you reach your storage limit, any new photos you upload to Picasa Web larger than the free size limit will be automatically resized to 800 pixels (on their longest edge).
Note: If you reach your storage limit when uploading from the Picasa desktop software, you'll only be able upload at free storage sizes. Larger uploads will not be automatically resized to the free storage limit.

Jan 5, 2013

Saturday sewing

A little more progress had been made on the Criss Cross quilt.  The two block components I wanted to add to get to the half way point were pieced with just sashing bits to go. 

Then I added some sashing bits to the left hand side of the block---that didn't need left handed sashing.  Only the first block in the row gets those.   That was last night.  I was tired, it was late and just quit.

Then today---I took off the part I goofed up, patched up the seams and promptly sewed the block on---to the wrong side and rotated a quarter turn clockwise. I meant half way horizontally, not vertically, LOL.   I was beginning to think that sewing was not meant to be on today's schedule.

If you are going to sew, you have to be ready to unsew as mistakes will be made.  I got it straightened out and the last block added in so I am officially half done with this.

Not entirely sure that I like it but you know what?  It will NOT be living at my house when it is done. Maybe one of the teens at Gene's Ogden House project will be the beneficiary of this one?   I am half done and the rest of the colors will blend in with these choices as I know there are couple more gold to mustard colored ones, more of the rusty red too. 

As part of my Christmas gift from my husband, I had ordered a walking foot for the Kenmore electronic machine.  It arrived yesterday and I am going to test it out but nor more sewing for the day.  I had promised myself that I would do some redwork (blackwork, greenwork, whatever color floss I am working in, LOL) on Saturday's.  I'll be pulling that out of its tote bag shortly after play time with the machine.

Nothing else to report, I guess.  I hope YOU have had a good day creatively-------

Jan 3, 2013

Thursday check-in

When I left off on New Year's Day, I talked about the old quilt list adage about what you do on NYD, you will do all year long.  I am striving for a balance in the aspects of my creative life so I did a little bit of everything.

So I knit----and did a little bit on hat number #2 out of this Mexicana yarn.

I finished all but the gathering yesterday on a run over to Springville with Aline and Jane to deliver a couple quilts to one of the gals from Friendship Quilters that does long arm quilting.  It looked like I had a bit more yarn leftover than usual (change in the needle size) so I started hat #3 casting on as we were about home.  I posed the question on FB about  how far I might get that ball I rolled up.  A pal offered to send me some of her leftover yarn the same color if I didn't have enough to finish the job.  But it's done too, LOL.  Started another more girlie looking one.

Tuesday also found me putting a few more stitches in "Witches Hooray" from Bird Brain Designs.  This is supposed to be a table runner but I am going to use it in my Halloween row quilt. 

Then I pulled out the hand quilting----this design is also from Bird Brain Designs called "Here Comes Santa".  I love hand quilting and I don't know why I don't make more of a point to do it especially since I would love this to be hung above my bed next Christmas.  It would make a nice quilt show entry as well.  My plan is to hand quilt on Sunday afternoons-----then I will be able to put a little time in towards getting this done and have a more laid back day.  Maybe work on my embroidery on Saturdays.  Unless I am on some sort of deadline or push on a sewing project I think I can make that happen.

Next up was a few blocks of the re-sized Patience Corner blocks that I am going to use for Allison's tree skirt.  I KNOW for sure now that I am on the right track and she saw the pic I posted on facebook---and loves it.  That blend of traditional and non-traditional holiday colors will be fine. 

Finally I got another block of the Criss Cross quilt foundation pieced.   That one with the red half square triangles in the middle and started sashing some of the blocks.  Today I got the top row joined and that lonely block in the 2nd row.   I was trying to get a picture taken so I can post it to the Wrap Them yahoo group or point them over here.  BUT look who had to come in and see what was going on!  When I pulled out the camera he was sitting in the upper left corner but then decided to try crawling under it.  The colors are way off---that brown is more a milk chocolate color and the greens are brighter. 

So here is the official shot once he decided he was tired of that, LOL.   I am going to foundation piece and sash two more blocks to get this to the half done point and then put it up and get back to the Christmas tree skirt(s).  I can work on this at the Belles' meeting next week if I want to haul my machine.   Ignore the filthy floor!  You know what a mess it is pulling paper when you foundation piece even though the newsprint sheets from Dick Blick come out pretty easily.  ( Get it by the ream, 8 1/2 x 11 sheets that I can put through the printer and use my EQ project files.)

And sew it goes----just like that it is time to go fix supper.