Mar 30, 2013

Not lovin' this!

UGH!  My bloggy pal Left Handed Quilter saw my circle project yesterday and we struck up an email conversation.  She said she had tried this, had a hole at the center where they joined and ended up setting the whole deal aside.  More power to me if I could get it to work out.  I told her she made me scared to continue after that story.  She suggested that I try sewing just 4 of these puppies together to see what I thought before I invested all that time and effort into turning all those circles.  Good plan, LHQ---thanks!

Well, there is a fairly small hole, the back seams don't line up properly and it is hard to get the seams started no matter which direction I start and end.  You are instructed to sew with the walking foot---not a problem I have one for each of my machines but still.  Truthfully, I do NOT like this technique enough to want to continue. You know life is too short to make yourself work on something you don't want to do.  This is supposed to be fun, after all----not work and drudgery.  But I have a plan for what I would rather do!

I spent a good chunk of the day trimming all those 40 some circles down with the pinking shears.  It felt like they were bound up at the teeth near the rivet of the scissors.  I squirted on some PAM release spray thinking that WD 40 might be better but it stinks and might stain the fabric.  It worked.   Man, those things were sailing through the fabric much, much better or I would still be trimming. 

I am glad that I had not wasted anymore time prepping those pieces because I know what I would rather do with those pieces though I will be wasting some fabric.  Puss in the Corner, uneven nine patch and I think I can do what I want to do using Billie Lauders's "Four=Nine Uneven Nine Patch" from her More Quick Quilt Tricks booklet.  Whack these up to get 5 inch squares and just be sure to dispose of the areas that have a slit.  If I don't have enough fabric for my plan than I have cut 2 1/2 inch strips.

What I want to do with them is:  A Simple Cross from Fons and Porter "Love of Quilting"  Sept/Oct 2000 like my friend Norma has made.  I LOVE that quilt as much as I hate the start of this circle deal.   I can't find a picture of the finished quilt and if I remember correctly it was to be gifted to to a family member but I did locate the top  HERE.  Scrappy and anything goes.  Yep, this will be converted to that with a little un-sewing---not much just not today.

I am going to switch gears again----get some white felt when I run on the grocery errands and I am going to applique rabbits for my guild row quilt.  I also have a bit of prep work to do in the kitchen for our Easter meal.   Yep, that is my plan-----

Mar 29, 2013

Last Day "Stitch Me Up" Blog Hop/ GIVEAWAY signup

First of all let me thank all of you who left such sweet comments about my contribution to the hop yesterday!  You warm my heart and I had lots of positive reinforcement.  Who doesn't need that??

There is still time to comment on that post and be eligible for the drawing.  Drop back to THIS POST to be entered!!   I have decided that I will pull the name on Monday if you promise NOT to think that I am pulling an April Fool's joke on you if you won.  However, several folks were "no-reply blogger".   If you do not know how to possibly change those settings, then please leave me your email so I can contact you!  I have tried to respond to each of your notes---if you didn't hear something back in response to your lovely note, that is why.  THX again and good luck!

Oh you might try either of these links to straighten things out on your end---that danged google plus is responsible I think!

Here are today's featured blog hop participants----then I have something to show you after that, a "check-in".


Patricia @That Other Blog  no show?
Dachsies with Moxie  no show?  no badge?
Madame Samm

2 more no shows??

Wednesday's project completed.  The blocks will finish at 2.5 inches but currently measure 3.5 only because the organizer did not want us to trim down to the seam allowance edge so I have an extra inch all around.  BUT I am done!   These will go in a guild mini log cabin quilt for the quilt show auction next spring.

Yesterday's piddling---I stitched 4 more circles of this ancient project that was stashed in the sewing room closet, like that attic window I finished on Tuesday.  Quilt as go sew and fold circled patchwork from Quilter's Rule International.  Some birthday swap fabric from way back when----early 2001 or 2 ish I'm guessing?  Well I messed up the very first block I had just sewn and tried to turn last night----you got it, I slit the fabric on the white side that will show not the colored part!  My goal today is to at least get this pile of approximately 40 circles pinked and turned.  I'll sew at the next Bama Belles meeting.  I had this out earlier in the week trying to figure out where I was headed and it looked like I needed to sew 4 more blocks for 64 and an 8 x 8 setting as that is all the white I had cut.  Or better yet 7 x 9 would work.  The pattern said 7 x 12 was a lap sized but no way am I making 84 of these when I can't match the fabric for just one block!

Okay goal set and I can get cracking between blog visits, comments, household tasks, etc---ah, who I am kidding, any other day, LOL.

THX for stopping by!

Mar 27, 2013

Day 7 "Stitch Me Up" Blog Hop---MY day!----GIVEAWAY

It is finally here!!  It is my day to share what I have made up for the blog hop. Thanks to Mdm Samm, our fearless leader at Sew We Quilt and our cheerleader Jane of Jane's Fabrics and Quilts for putting this together for the hop participants.  Thanks also to our sponsor Colonial Needle!

Way back in January when we signed up we were sent a sheaf of patterns to select from designs by Cyndi of Bee Tree Designs,  Mdm Samm's adorable wee tots and sophisticated ladies designs as well as two pattern from Debbie of Busy As Can Be.

I have worked with Cyndi's designs before---her basket blocks that I am doing in 30's green---and began fooling with the elements block files she had sent.   In the end, however, the design that spoke to me most was the Victorian cottage---in red, classic embroidery.  It reminded me of a home my grandparents had lived in for a time in Missouri and a house I go by frequently on the way into town.  You know, one of those that you wonder what it looks like on the INSIDE?

I was recuperating from bilateral cataract surgeries and had also participated in the "It's All About Me" hop so did not get started on my piece till a month had already passed.  I had asked Jane if I had to actually make something with the finished stitchery, thinking I would add it to a mix of another designers blocks, some that I had downloaded in my files several years ago would have worked well.  I ordered the gorgeous Presencia Finca perle cotton #12 thread selection that was offered at a great price.  I had hoped to use it on my piece but was afraid that I would not have enough to complete the entire proposed quilt.  I dropped back to my standby two strands of DMC floss. 321 this time instead of 498, the more scarlet (Roll Tide!) color.

 Shown below marked for quilting but I am glad that I had tested that Frixion pen on something else recently or I would have freaked getting the black marks out after all that stitchery!

The stitchery was finished earlier in March, pressed and pinned to the design wall.  Finally last week it hit me what I wanted to do with the piece!   I have 3 other redwork/embroidery quilts waiting to be hand quilted and only have the first one started---- HERE for the Santas in 2011, HERE for Alex Anderson's 12 Days of Christmas in 2010 and HERE, Pieces of My Heart calendar cats circa 2006 maybe?  The thing is,  I don't need another quilt just yet unless it is going to be my goal to have one for each of my 7 nieces, some day!! You get the picture----I love to embroider!

BUT you came to see what I did with the stitchery piece THIS time.  I made an embroidery roll/tote out of it finally using up some redwork fabric that has been, er, antiquing for some time!  It IS rectangular---bad camera angle in spite of my standing on a stool atop it.

Quilted up, top side

Folded up

Opened up

The ziploc idea is from Fons and Porters book Quick Quilts From the Heart.  I had made one of their chatelaine and sewing kits for a secret pal years ago but never one for me!   The shape of the case with the needle case and zip pocket was modeled after something that was made for me by a quilting friend.  I just modified its components to make my own desired version!  Recently a dear friend had given me a red work panel piece that I had considered using on the inside pocket but instead I appliqued the adage on the pocket to dress it up.  (THX Maggie.)  It reads "I count the stitches line by line and watch the threads record the time".  One of Cyndi's baskets is at the ready on the left.  


Showing more detail
The scissors holder strap idea is straight off my old bandage scissors/pen holder from back in the nursing days.  It was blue velcro---this is color coordinated fabric with snaps. Must be quilt-y! Actually I had planned to use more of the strap/tab material  for a covered button closure but duh!  That would have landed right in the middle of the stitchery.  Scratch that idea!! The elastic spool holder idea is from my cosmetic case I use for hand applique and quilting.  Thread Heaven fits in it well.   

And then last Thursday, as I was putting the fabrics away, I decided that I needed to include a thread catcher similar to one I had made the preceding week for a guild challenge  project.  This thing twists to close up and I used the other half of the 4 inch embroidery hoop minus the hardware, taping the edge closed. I showed the first one so you can see it open and the new one, closed up and ready to slip into the zippered pocket.   Pattern can be found HERE in pdf format.   The fabrics coordinate with the needle case thing above.

I do have a little giveaway and am willing to ship wherever----the embroidery hoop is a 7.5 inch and the clover threader, well let's just say my missing one mine showed up a couple days after this one was ordered. My temporary loss is your gain, should you win.  I may toss something else in for padding too.  Please comment should you want to be entered in the drawing and make sure you are NOT a no-reply blogger.  You don't have to be a follower but should you feel inclined to do so, add a 2nd note telling me that for a 2nd chance. I'll have DJ and Skyler help me with the drawing on Easter Sunday.  Good luck!

So there you have it!  Thanks for stopping by to see how my project turned out.  Here are the participants that share the day with me----hop on over to see what they stitched up as well


Kristin @That Other Blog
Jane's Fabric and Quilts     sorry I messed up the link but corrected now!

Day 6 "Stitch Me Up" Blogspot

I may be off foundation piecing itty bitty log cabin blocks for guild today OR thinking about rabbits for the row quilt BUT will make time to pop in and see what these stitchers have been doing.  My item is featured tomorrow---so excited to join the others in sharing that with you!


Judy @That Other Blog   no show

Mar 26, 2013

meeting day

Good meeting today with the Bama Belles Quilting Club.  I mentioned the other day that we had planned to do a bit of sewing for a mission field project so a good many of us had come prepared to sew.

As usual, there are few people out of town, some under the weather (one left early) or had home matters keeping them from attending but I think I counted 12 of us today.  We were happy that Brenda (on the left) could be with us.  A new job position has been a deterrent to coming since the first of the year. We have missed her!  That lovely sampler is Brenda's quilt, recently long arm quilted and all bound and labeled.

Donna was working on binding on her first ever quilt with a push to have it done for Show and Tell at the JOY group next week.  You cannot help but be excited for her!  Valera was pinning for the next step of project is she sewing on with a Christmas theme---the sections were foundation pieced and include a sharply angled piecing on the join.   Rosa had a trimming project to tend to---something I had agreed to machine quilt for her in a couple of months actually.

 This is Bridget's Gordian Knot quilt with the lovely pieced border.  I believe she said that this will be going to a family member open completion.  She was cutting out her next project, a series of small pillows of lavender to hang on a door knob.  She was using one of those panels with the saying on them.  While I am not sure where she found them, they were on the order of some I have seen screen printed at Block Party Studios and may have even been the one that I link to--prayer shawl fabric panel.

There were varied projects going on at the machines---

  • Marilyn and Brenda were making string blocks with a lot of strips, with some of the fabrics others had brought for that purpose. We were using some thin fabric that had been donated to back those rather than worry about pulling paper after
  • Pat pulled out a "Many Trips around the World" she had been working on previously to move it along.  
  • Lois had found a G. E. Designs pattern called "Strip Stacks" and was making a totally scrappy version of this rather than using a jelly roll.  It reminded me of a cross between our old favorite  Snuggle Up and a Staggered Bricks but just more white space between the sections.  
  • Ada chose Reversible Quilt as You Go pattern that she had found in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine July/August 1998.  Article/technique by  Margaret Gutowsky.  The pattern called for 4 1/2 inch cut squares but she was using 5 inches and the blocks were finishing at 6 1/2 inches.   You make big 4 patches and then fold them in some manner to actually make an hour glass block.  Batting is already added to it and then you turn it right side out.  Pretty slick really.  I had seen this before as my friend Joy had a workshop somewhere along the way but I think the technique was attributed to Elsie Vredenburg at that time.  Actually in looking for a link, I found a tutorial for this on Quilting Board!!  Marking on Pinterest so I don't misplace the link.  LOL
  • Meanwhile Beverly was using some feminine colored 2 1/2 inchers to make a top like Bev had made recently.  I don't know the pattern source and just dubbed it "Flower Power"---in a post last month, 4th photo down .  If anyone knows more about it, please let me know!

And what was I doing?  Actually getting some sewing done, LOL.  The blocks for this were done and if I recall correctly, something the Belles and I had tried for an easy version of Attic Windows in the distant past.  I did not have enough of the cow pasture fabric so those 4 odd ball squares are little yellow flowers on the same green background.  I staggered them.  Finished joining the blocks into rows and finished up the top.  It is a little small but this will be going to Mexico and I don't have to quilt it, just make a top or two.

I came home with some string blocks and an idea of what to do with them as there are two sizes of blocks and some leftover heart blocks.  Lois and Beverly passed on some abandoned blocks that I will combine in some manner with some I already have here at home.

Actually I sort of traded with Lois, LOL.  When we first met years ago at the JOY group, Lois asked if Belles took donation blocks as she had a lot of machine embroidery blocks that we might be interested in.  Someone at JOY had told her we did pro bono stuff for kids, I guess.  I took a pile of them, made two quilts at that time but there were a few that did not quite fit together theme wise but you never know!  Then recently with another influx of donation material there were some really cute transportation things---too cute!  I asked her if she would look at them and see what she might have, and wanted to donate, that would go with some of the designs.  I can sew them if she doesn't want to but perhaps we could get those moved along in some manner.

About half the group made the run down to the new grocery store deli again---you can pick out just about anything you might for a quick lunch.  Like grab a small two serving size of chicken salad, walk over to the delil and get one roll to put it on, grab some fruit from the produce section and check out.  The soup was a good choice on a cold blustery day for a couple of the girls.  I had intended to bring my leftovers home but I either left it sitting out on the counter or it is still in the fridge.  I got sidetracked in our efforts to straighten up the tables, get our stuff packed up and out to the car, try to figure out who might be missing a rotary cutter, clean out the coffee pot etc.  I have to head into town tomorrow so will run by there to see what I did for sure.  Sometimes the mind is going  or becoming a one track kind, LOL.  By the time I dropped my friend off I didn't get home till almost 4 and had left the house at 8:30.

I started my pom pom project last night and thought that perhaps I would get back to it this evening.  By the time I got my meeting stuff put away and supper tended to, posting this etc I am out of the notion.  Tomorrow is another day for playing and I have any number to choices of where to start too.  Debating if I came home with more things than I took in spite of being able to empty out one project box---I think I did, LOL.

And sew it goes---------thx for stopping by.

Day 5 "Stitch Me Up" Blog Hop

It's Bama Belles Quilting day and we plan to do some block sewing for a mission field project.  I'll be checking in to the hop when I get home, if I haven't already taken a peek....or two!

Here is today's featured stitchers


Isabel @That Other Blog
Jeanette @That Other Blog     not up

Mar 25, 2013

Check in/ Day 4 "Stitch Me Up" Blog Hop

Tada!  Shamrock row is done,  my weekend project as it turned out.   I pulled the quilt back to lay the three existing rows on the bed and get an idea of what this is looking like.  Naturally Skyler had to hop on over from his perch to give it the kitty roll of approval! 

The next row is bunnies (for April) but I am still thinking about doing an applique version---possibly similar to the ones shown HERE but will need to get some measurements first.  I may also get started on my entry for the "Shake Your Pom Poms" hop later due in late April. 

I'll also be picking out a project to work on at the Belles sewing day tomorrow.  I had asked the girls to bring their machines so we could so some string blocks, work with abandoned blocks, whatever trips their trigger for a mission field project.  The plan being to crank out some blocks that we can combine and help make up some tops for the other group to finish up.

To that end I am thinking that any of these boxed up quilt kits but the top one (personal project there) would work for this mission  And if I don't feel like stitching then up, then I may drag a few with me and offer them to the others.   I will probably give myself a concussion dragging some of it out of the closet shelf, LOL, but we'll see!  Never a shortage of things to do around here!  Seldom bored, that is for sure!

Ready to start hopping again?  Here is the list for today's participants.   Such clever works of art have already been featured!


Beverly @That Other Blog
Creating My Comforts     blog not updated since Jan---not up

Mar 23, 2013

Saturday check in

The Boys watching Alabama play Stanford in the 2nd round of the NIT Men's basketball game.  Seriously Skyler IS watching and has been sitting up there with him for about an hour and half.   DJ in team colors (almost)  ROLL TIDE!

Meanwhile I am watching my Cardinals play the Marlins in another spring training game and preparing to get back to these-------my shamrock row with 5 more to piece.  One IS pieced but the sections are not joined. I should be thinking rabbits but might just be destined to be a month behind at this rate!   I was half thinking about borrowing an applique idea from another quilt I own rather than piecing another row anyway.

I was doing some organizing in my ribbon container yesterday and made room to add some soutache braid and rat tail cord that was stuffed in my button etc organizer above the TV unit.   I unearthed some candy cane and snowflake findings that I had forgotten about that should work out great on the January row once quilted.  Woohoo!  It is like being on a treasure hunt around here sometimes.

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

Mar 22, 2013

Check in----Day 3 "Stitch Me Up" Blog Hop

Here on the home front I should be done with the tweaking I decided to do on my stitchery piece---that idea that flew into my head Tuesday!  Oh, I had set backs in making this happen but that is what I get when I am not using a pattern and combining elements from other books and projects.  Still, I have concluded that a day spent in sewing, even when things are not going perfectly, is better than cleaning house any day.  That is precisely what I was doing for about 3 days LAST week........ so I know!

Isn't this the coolest wreath ever---though I doubt I would want all my spools of embroidery thread and perle cotton tied up like this----found it while surfing yesterday and here is the link

I hope to be moving on to some itty bitty 2.5 inch finished log cabin blocks that we are doing as a group project for quilt guild today.  In the meantime, pop in to see what the other blog hop participants have been "hooping up" from the pattern packets we were sent.  We take the weekend off so you can always go back and see what you missed!

FRIDAY March 22nd

Heather@That Other Blog
Pigtales and Quilts  (moved from Wednesday 3-20)
The Sewing Club     not up---blog not updated in a month
grymerspalet  no button so dropped out??

Mar 19, 2013

What to say to a quilter you love

I should have this laminated for my husband.  Half the time I don't even show him when I am done with something I have made as it just gets the non-committal, "oh yeah--finished something else.  You'll just start another one and you are never done"  Oh, he might have to hold said item up so I can take a picture for the blog but even then he asks who made it.  I store the group's donation quilts so that is a fair question and does not get my dander up.  The dismissal of my efforts does though.  What does he think I do in here all day, anyway??

Well, regardless of his response or total cluelessness I hope I never am totally done!!  And I did get a couple little things finished completely yesterday---binding tasks.  The third one will be done today, thank you very much.   LOL.

Mostly my thoughts were racing about how I want to complete my item for "Stitch Me Up" which I had not intended to do initially.   I wanted to leave it as a stitchery piece in a larger, some day quilt but changed my mind as I am ready to run with my plan.  Stay tuned.

Mar 18, 2013

Handwork Central

Well, St. Pat's is passed and I switched out the wall hangings and other doo dad's for the Easter things.  I still want to grab a few things from the storage room but I am not running out there in my jammies.  A button fell off my Spring "In Seasons" quilt so I hauled out the hand stitching bag.  I need it anyway since I have binding to do on a couple items from my  recent Saturday post.

How do you store your hand quilting and hand applique items?  This cosmetic case works for me as I have space to stow some thread, a zipped pocket for the duck billed scissors and all manner of needles, as well as the sewing set that my pal Pam made for me years ago.  Another zipped but covered pocket.

I keep a few generic hair clips for holding the binding.  I know Clover makes some neat super dooper ones now that are tiny and supposedly make it easier to sew binding down by machine but they ARE pricey!  Like, put it on my Christmas or Birthday list, pricey. Or I'd rather spend money on fabric, pricey.  I had at one time a package of 100 of these but have from time to time given away a half dozen or so as that is really all you need as you work around the edge of piece you are binding---keep moving them up and away.

What I was really looking for was the desktop needle threader that Cher had given me years ago.  It was in that covered zipped up pocket as look, I still have the instructions on how to operate it.  I did not used to have much need for it as I did not struggle threading needles like I am now-----read:  I'm far sighted now where I used to be near sighted for most of my life.  I swear, I struggled with just regular thread and a normal sized needle the other day far longer than necessary.  I finally gave up and grabbed a different kind but it left larger holes than I wanted.  SIGH  I doubt that even a wire threader would have been on much use when you cannot even see that there IS an eye on the needle.  I drug out the magnifying glass DJ gave me for Christmas but did not have enough hands, LOL.   Do they make magnifying readers??   Let's hope that things go a little easier today.

I quilted up the cupcake wall hanging yesterday, made and applied the binding on the machine.  Not very ambitious yesterday.  That little piece and the fabric basket both need hand finishing as does my little ORT jar thread catcher, just along the outside of the thing.  My interior stitching looks horrid!!  Good thing it is on the inside and I can see that I was far too particular about stitching together the base sandwich, trying to bury the stitches and such.  I wondered too if you were supposed to gather the edge up in some manner before you tried to apply the smaller diameter base??

Upright---well, kinda upright!  The heart stuff is challenge fabric and yes, it is laying down on the job.  Oops!


Twisting it closed---not enough of the heart fabric so used the stuff from the sewing machine cover adventure in the interior.  Don't look at that mess on the base.  I'm going to fix it as best I can.

And closed or nearly so.  It looks kind of cool closed up.  The base fabric matches.

And sew it goes around here for the day.  I have a couple errands and paperwork that will slow down the creativity and we may be due for some more stormy weather.  The running errand part may have to wait for better weather.

Oh, you might remember me talking about my husband working so hard to remove the Chinese Privet in the back yard last month.  Here he is at the time, still working on the small volunteers that make this such an invasive plant.

When we went out to breakfast Saturday at a local fast food place near here with our house guests, our neighbors across the lane were there too.  Glynda is my hair dresser and Robert does concrete work professionally but is a jack of all trades too.  He is also the one with the equipment to pull that stump.  The guys were kidding about bartering services as Robert knew DJ had done that painting project with the cabinets.  Glynda had a painting project for the beauty shop and had enlisted Robert's help.  Good natured ribbing back and forth.

A few hours later, between the endloader and a borrowed excavator that thing is gone!  DJ spent a good bit of time yesterday removing small roots and the little stubborn volunteers beating them with an ax down on his hands and knees.    He has it raked and the dirt clods broke up as best he could so he can put down some grass seed.  Soon he should be able to get the mower back there which was his main objective.  While the flowers were pretty on that huge bush in the spring, the scent would plug up your sinuses in no time!  Here it was two years ago and trust me, it had gotten way bigger than that!!  Good riddance.

Shower, get dressed and get this day really rolling----------

Stitch Me Up Blog Schedule

Just a few days off between blog hops!  The "Stitch Me Up" Embroidery blog Hop will begin Wednesday and conclude on Friday March 29th led by Mdm Samm at and cheerleading this round provided by Jane of Jane's Fabrics and Quilts

This time I have participated though my day is not till next week, I think on Thursday, but I'll be checking into that a little more closely as the day nears!

Here is the entire schedule but I will update with the daily schedule as well.  Things changed each day it seemed, but as far as I know this is the correct schedule and all the links should work.  Stay tuned for this and any other little do-dad's I may manage to get done this week.  A few things are close, after all.

WEDNESDAY March 20th

THURSDAY March 21st

FRIDAY March 22nd


Beverly @That Other Blog


Jeanette @That Other Blog




Kristin @That Other Blog


Patricia @That Other Blog