Aug 31, 2013

lists---do they help??

I am just about finished with the great clean and purge job here at home.  In some ways I might be the only one that really knows what I did but to me, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is better than it was.  DJ has gotten in the act a bit and will be painting the last shelf/wall in the utility room some time today.  I already have cleaned up and/or thinned down the storage containers that go in that spot as we were working in there yesterday.   He painted the bottom two shelves and boy, did that freshen and brighten it up in there!

Today: I cleared out my area in the outside shed this morning, made the run to the recycle boxes and the donation bins----again.  I also straightened, cleaned, thinned out the pantry room off the car port.  That was one hot job as while the temps were not high, the humidity was.  Sweat in the eyes---ugh!I finished dealing with the kitchen food cupboards.  I am currently satisfied with the stuff and the amount of it in the kitchen.  I could move all the cookbooks and dust but I think that is one job that I could just plan on doing some morning.

That just leaves the sewing room closet which, to my mind, needs the most attention.  If I can work up enough energy to deal with it, LOL.  Right now, I am wearing down quickly and just want to take a shower, pop a couple Motrin and lay down.  I won't yet but I want to---there is a difference!

So, as this cleaning/purging deal winds down, I should be able to get back to sewing early next week as I planned but on what??  I had considered joining in the batik/60's themed blog hop coming up in late September/early October, thinking it might jump start a project I had cut out but not sewn.  I have some leftover from a kit that Lois had used to make a top, something from a quilter's garage sale, that may have worked in this too.  Ultimately though I expressed my regrets to Mdm. Samm this morning.  Making something 60's themed might mean it has to live at my house.  That is not necessarily a good thing, LOL---butterflies, big dots, chevrons, houndstooth.  Oh wait some of that stuff has made a resurgence!  Take a look at something that arrived in my email box just this morning------lava lamps and love beads from Lyn Brown.  Nice!  but I don't want it even for nostalgia's sake.

I had a Kit It and Hit 2013 list and it is right there on a tabbed page.  Have I done anything on it??  UH, not much.  I'll cross through what I have managed to get done on those lists.  The descriptors only really matter to me.

"Mostly donation items I want moved on from the tower container in the sewing room.  There are also a few personal items I want moved along too.  My goal is to at least get these to flimsy stage in 2013.  "Squirrels" are allowed.

  • Adapted Oxmoor House Christmas quilt--personal
  • Basket Button Up--personal
  • Bloom Button Up--personal
  • Harvest Button Up--persona
  • Bears---Puss in the Corner or Patience Corne
  • Cat panel medallion
  • Anne's Fall Strings---maybe a RR Crossing.  Cher get the other half
  • Nancy's Blue and Fuschia mystery quilt
  • Twisted Sister--- need backgrounds cut
  • Billie Lauder Pinwheel---one or two quilts in that bag???
  • Chunky Churn Dash
  • Mystery Blockaid or figure something else out with the components
  • Naptime in pinks and teal
  • Snuggle Up or Boardwalk with the fallish strips
  • Twin Sisters---a few blocks already made
  • Oriental Puss in the Corner on poin
  • Finish up the Hexagon Stack and Whack
  • Criss Cross---finish it--about 4 blocks are made

  • Halloween Row x Row
  • Friendship Quilters Row x Row
  • Farmer's Wife Inspired Sampler--continue on from block 31 to 110
  • Stitches from the Heart---Sunbonnet Sue from Mary Alice 

  • Allison tree skirt
  • Blake and Julia tree skirt      
  • And the recently I added in an other one!  that will go to Kristine and Andy

  • Judy's Country at Heart BOM---probably is two tops 
  • Start Marti Michell BOM kits

Pretty ambitious, right??  And in past years all those donation quilts may have gotten done.  I'll cut myself a little bit of slack on the on-going stuff.  It is all stalled out though.  I have a few rows done on the Friendship Quilters row but that ended in May??  I am still stitching on the Halloween stitchery that goes in the middle of the Halloween row but not consistently.  The Sunbonnets?  Well, I had hoped maybe that would happen but I am still just collecting patterns.

So I'm thinking I should just scrap that whole list and work from the one I mentally established earlier in the month. A few things are actually done on this one!  Just stating that I have a list normally makes me follow through especially if there is a deadline involved.  At least 4 things on here do have a deadline.  Some can wait.

  • Hexie Hop Items
  • Bday present :items for Norma
  • 2 pillow cases for the tree skirts
  • Hand finish the binding on PopStix
  • Pillow cases to match PopStix
  • Kristine's Tree skirt and case
  • Harvest Paint Chip Challenge
  • BB Debbie Mumm Challenge
  • Purse--either 4 fats or batik'ish one
  • donation quilt for Gene's Quilt Angels
  • quilt up the 4 donation qlts left in the stack
  • serger cover---post haste!
  • let this please be the year I replace those awful backwards Christmas stockings

Actually it might be more enlightening to me if I were to list just what I DID manage to get done this year!  

I have NOT been a total slug in the sewing department.  Hops happened.  I am glad that I participated and do not regret one minute that I spent working on my items for them.  It is fun, challenging and interacting with other quilters and crafters has been a blast.  I used to be totally focused on donation quilt work and was for 10 plus years.   It has been good to do some things for just me, and just for the heck of it.  I have the one required quilt done for Friendship Quilters and will be quilting up a few more as they are just waiting for me.  It just has not been my entire "bag of tricks".  

What will I do first?  Whip up those matching pillow cases for PopStix, work on the binding at quilt meetings and get some measurements so I can make the serger cover.  I've got fabric that matches the sewing machine cover that was my entry for "It's All About Me" (I'm a little biased) but I'll forego the applique this time, LOL.  

Well, DJ is done with the painting task.  We can re-load the shelf in about an hour.  Leftover vegetable beef soup is thawing in the fridge for supper so cooking tasks are minimal tonight. That closet is not going to straighten up by itself.  I want the holiday on Monday to be just that, a holiday!  No housework. 

Aug 30, 2013

this and that

Dribs and drabs, scraps of life..........

The "less is more" purge continues.  Bedroom is completed, yesterday the bathroom. Skyler loved that because the smell of the bleach in the soft scrub I used on the bath tub produces a catnip like effect on him.  Weird, I know!

Today's plans: both utility rooms, one is the laundry/pantry and the other is storage and the REAL pantry.  I also will dust in the living room..  My throat is getting scratchy and sore so I hope it is only because of the dust I have been raising and not a late summer cold.  (Stuffy, drippy nose but what else is new there, LOL. )

Progress being made and that is good.  DJ said the other day that they must have replaced his wife with someone about 10-15 years younger as this one seemed to have a lot more energy.  I told him that he could go get started on HIS closet.  I had cleared out space elsewhere for some of the items he was storing so get busy!  I believe that he has done a bit, at his own speed, but I have not inspected it.  He knows better than to turn me loose in there as I would be ruthless about tossing and he is more of a pack rat.  Somewhere in between is a more moderate person.

When it came time to fix supper and I had completely run out of steam, I was ready to run out for a sandwich.  I meant to just hit the drive up and bring it home but DJ thought I meant go eat there.  Anyway, he was worn out from his own outdoor tasks and offered to heat a can of soup that we keep on hand for lunches when I am away. Plus he was prepared to try his hand at making grilled cheese sandwiches. The man is no cook!   Just to keep from having to put his shirt and shoes back on and get in the car, he offered.  I did not discourage him but prepped the sandwiches quickly.  I told him which pan, how high the heat should be and left him to flip and stir while I tried to finish up the bathroom cleaning.  He had asked "when will you be ready to eat?" and I said "just fix it and call me to the table like I do you"    Still, that is as close as I will get to having him fix us dinner.  I appreciated the effort though it did surprise me more than you will ever know.


On a quilty front, well that is just not happening this week.  I said I was taking the week off there.  Other than working on the hand work on Pop Stix at the quilt meeting that has been it.  However,  look what came in the mail yesterday.  I had won one of the blog hop giveaways offered during the HO HO HO hop.  This came from Robin at Robin's Fabric Nest.  Among her entries were these cute little fabric baskets of various sizes though this was not one that she showed.  The fabric is a bit different!  Go look, LOL.

 Robin likes to make fabric postcards and also included some of her holiday scraps in the package.  Actually she could not have chosen better fabrics for my basket.  I have that same red poinsettia tone on tone, and love it.  Wish I had more as it is the perfect color of red..  Also I had purchased a Connecting Threads Holiday fabrics charm pack to use in my Christmas Patience Corner.  I recognize that green lining as well as some of the scraps from that fabric line.  I could go pull out the quilt to show you, LOL.   However, they are going to join the the basket below.

 That blue tote is full of Christmas fabric, not ALL the Christmas fabric but most of it.  The basket is set up with holiday scraps or small pieces of appropriately colored lights etc that will work to make some of the scrappy blocks in that Adapted Oxmoor House Christmas sampler that I have been talking about for years.  The filler blocks are foundation pieced ornaments, log cabin blocks, etc.   The larger squares on top are leftovers from the tree skirt project and I DO have one more to make for my niece Kristine and her husband Andy. Let's call this Scrap Basket Jr.   The new scraps will fit right into this basket to be worked in with the future blocks.  Maybe they will be a mug rug or two--or four, LOL.  THX again, Robin!

THIS basket is my real scrap basket.  Scrap Basket Sr.

Hey, I used to have a whole blanket chest basket worth of scraps.  Occasionally I just dump the whole thing and pass it on to a friend.  My left handed quilter friend swapped something with me once for the chance at the basket, LOL. Hey, whatever keeps this from getting to blanket chest sized again!!

And just because I like dreaming about this quilt and wanting to work on it, "someday"  I am going to repost where I am headed with it.  I think.  Always tweaking it when I find a block I want to try instead.

Girl can dream, right??   Beats dusting and "Less is More" purges any day.   I do want to be back to doing what I love next week.  That means doing what I don't love but need to do for a few more days. 

Aug 28, 2013

Final Day--Hexie Queen Blog Hop/big plans

Last day----and what a fun hop this has been!  I will be sitting the pin cushion hop out as I have some things that need tending here at home, quilty related and otherwise.  I hope to sign up for the batik one that follows however, once I check what Mdm. Samm has in mind.  I am hoping that it will jump start something, like what happened with the Stack and Whack.

Here is who is hopping today!
Sew We Quilt


Come to think of it, I am not sure that I have ever pieced any hexies together.  BUT I had plans!  Does that count? I even managed to mess up a method for folding a hexagon by using a canning jar lid.  All thumbs!  Because I couldn't get even one made at guild, then I sure didn't have two to join together either.

Yesterday I mentioned a project from way back when that involved hexies.  Okay, way back in 1991 about 10 of my guild pals decided to a charm patch swap.  We could pick our own size and the color changed monthly.  Eventually I wound up with 32 pages of a notebook that looked like this, all different fabrics but of course, in the 90's country color palette.

I cut my 3.5 x 4 rectangles down into 1 1/2 inch finished sized hexagons once I got my swap items using this Ardo windowed template.  They are metal so you can cut around them with the rotary cutter and the window lets you mark the sewing/handstitching line inside.

I love the idea of that whirling hexagons so I think that is why that particular quilt mag cover made it to the notebook.  But I liked this quilt best though I don't know how well you can see it,  Joseph's Coat.  The magazine said the quilt was begun by Betty Harriman in 1956 and finished by Mary Schafer in 1990, made of cotton fabric from 1920-1940.

The thing is, the center is the only part that is a hexagon and it is shown in background color.  The shape is really a very short, fat Dresden Plate but it IS smaller than the hexies.  I suppose they could all be trimmed down should I decide to ever do anything them, LOL.  For right now I guess I am preserving some quilt history.  Yeah, my story and I am sticking to it!

I will probably not be online a bit as I am sort of taking the week off from sewing to do a home reorganization, Less is More Purge ( donate, discard, clean).  You know, I think it is good that people move every once in a while because you are forced to take a more critical look at what you have been accumulating.  We however, have just kept cramming things in here for the past 16 years.  I, more or less, assume the "put something in, get rid of something else" to anything but sewing stuff, LOL.

I have already started in my bedroom on Monday.  You see, DJ had asked me where I planned to put a serger if I got one.  I told him I might have to get rid of one of my  5 sewing machines.  I use 4 of them---a lot---and had just spent half my Christmas spending money getting a walking foot for the 5th.  I don't want to get rid of any of them.   What I really needed to do is make some room in the closets and/or under the sewing table.

I have made some progress as two machines will fit in the bottom of my bedroom closet.  I also cleared the bins that were blocking access to the closet where I store the donation quilts.  The bins are fitting better under the cutting/pressing table which is good.  For the first time in weeks I only have to move the clothes hamper (on wheels) in order to get in there.  I've gone to the donation bin two days in a row and the recycle center.  I still have plenty to do plus dusting, vacuuming etc. while I am it.  Eventually I will hit virtually every room in the house and my part of the shed.  Not exactly my idea of fun but I will feel a whole let better about clutter reduction.  The sewing room, while it needs it, may be passed over as I really do not want to get rid of anything in here:   fabrics, tools, books or machines.  However, the sewing room closet is a disaster area!  I am hoping that will be contagious and my husband will follow my lead with his closet mess.

And sew it goes...........or not, LOL.

Aug 27, 2013

Day 6 Hexie Queen Blog Hop--Hexagon Magic

Let me thank you all again for your lovely comments on my day.  You all were so kind and made my day! That one of my entries was picked in top two was icing on the cake as I honestly did not expect it.   It is fun to read the comments and see how one person likes the pin cushion best, someone else the hexie quilt and then the next one mentions the stack and whack.   I guess it is all part of our own piecing reference or interests.  Just makes me smile.

I had a ball playing in my sewing room preparing for the hop, exploring a new shape and piecing options.  I hope that you will also cheer on today's group of participants.  Some blog names I recognize, some I do not but I can guarantee that we all are going to be in for a treat! 

Tuesday, August 27
Sew Mollie Sue, Quilt Much?

I've got quilt meeting today so will have to hop on my return.  While the car is packed, I still need to shower and dress!  However I did want to talk a little hexagon first since I have a few minutes, LOL.  One of the posters yesterday asked what our first hexie project had been/would be. I think I forgot to answer that in commenting on her blog but it did set me to thinking, later when I couldn't sleep. 

I began quilting in the late 80's joining the Hands All Around Quilt Guild based in Bloomington, Illinois shortly thereafter.  One of the speakers shortly after I joined was Janet B. Elwin who may have been that era's Hexie Queen.  I have a copy of her book written in 1986   Hexagon Magic: Using the Versatile Six-Sided Shape to Create New Patchwork Sensations.    I am searching my mind (and coming up blank right now!) but I believe that cover quilt was one that was recognized in the top 100 quilts???  Google and Wikipedia are no help on a quick glance and I really don't have time to find more details.

The link will take you to amazon where you can still find the book on the secondary market and essentially pay for shipping.  Anyway I took a guild workshop with her at the time for "Ode to Grandmother" which I never finished and finally tossed what I did manage to get done.  This was back in 90 so my skills were NOT there yet.

Still, it was a good exercise in not only drafting circles but also drafting sectioning in the hexagon shape itself.  I think that is part of what our cheerleader Debby Kratovil with the half hexie rulers and 60 degree equilateral rulers she has developed.  You can see from the opposite page a few of the break downs and trust me, there were a ton more in the book. Some using curved shape in a rob peter, pay pal or orange peel arrangement.  "Ode to Grandmother" would be a fun one for me to try now that I think my skills may match up a bit better, or I would sure hope so about 20 some years later!  Especially if Mdm, Samm has another hexagon blog hop.  This one was popular enough to add another day, after all.

I found the Hexagon size chart on Chapter 2 page 16 helpful for this hop especially since I was having a break down in communication with my ruler substitution.  ( I do NOT want to keep buying specialty rulers to get the job done, nor do I think I have to when others should do the job.)  Another interesting reference point was a drawing with all the different sizes of hexagon, measured by the length of the sides.  This is exactly how the Marti Michell ruler set up does it,  From what I can tell the length of the hexies measures from the middle point to middle point, approximately and inch to an inch and half in difference.  Width then is the height of the hexie from the flat side down.  I know that sounds a bit confusing--perhaps this link will be of some assistance.

Tomorrow I will share one of my other early hexagon ideas but now, I really must get going!  30 minutes till blast on outta here!

Aug 25, 2013

Day 5 Hexie Queen Blog Hop---my day!

Well, it is my day to show what I have made up for the Hexie Queen Blog Hop, along with 10 other eager participants listed below.  As always our special thanks goes to Mdm. Samm of sewwequilt  who dreams up these wonderful themes. A big shout out of thanks goes to our head cheerleader this round, Debby who blogs at  Debby Kratovil Quilts.  THX for letting me join in the fun!  Hooray for Connecting Threads being our sponsor too!  I have to say that they are one of my favorite online vendors.  Since I blew through the small spools of looper thread playing with my new serger, I will be placing an order soon.

Monday, August 26
Nunu’s Quilt World

I have made a couple of things to share this time around so I guess I'll show them in the order they were made.  That makes sense to me, anyway.

I have a thread catcher that my mom made me years ago that was looking a little dated and worn. Okay, I will confess that I "killed" it to get the tile out of there!  My girlfriend Norma had made some sewing room accessories a few years back in my beloved 30's reproductions so I think you know where I am headed?   I had admired the lovely dresden plate pincushion/thread catcher on Curry Bungalow and had gotten the pattern. The more I looked at the plate part of her design, the more I thought that perhaps I could substitute a hexagon in its place re-sizing if necessary.  Y'all know how to draw a hexagon from a circle any size you want, right?  HERE is a link if you don't and three ways to do it.

Between a run through Pinterest and Google, I found a Hexie Pincushion at Feed Dog Designs originally set up for an AccuQuilt Go die.  I tried it making the pieced block first.  It might work.  After reading the pattern directions for the thread catcher I knew it would work in the available space. Then I hand dyed some white rick rack making it a pale yellow to use instead of the pom pom thread used in their example. Here is the detachable pincushion so you can hopefully see the block a bit better.

And here we are in a posed shot with my other accessories.   I increased the size of the cuff, accented it with more hand dyed rick rack and did not use any boning using a heavier sew-in interfacing than originally called for.

And here it is, in its new home------

Next I turned my attention to making a small quilt from one of the Moda Honeycomb packs I had recently picked up from a nearby quilt shop.  I used the "Juggle" Pattern designed by Camille Roskelley for thimble blossom.   I know you have probably seen it on the Moda pages or her blog.   Well, here is my version on my kind neighbor's fencing (when I moved the water jug a little green lizard about the color of my background popped out at me!)

I used some Connecting Threads (told you I love them!) "Sapling" colored Quilter's Basic Mirage for my background fabric for a more 30-40's vintage look.  I added one more column so my resulting quilt finishes around 46 x 52 or so, not quite square.  The original calls for 45 charm piece or subbing out some pieced  blocks giving you a template for cutting more. Mine has 52 hexies in it. (The pack has only 40 in it).  Not only did I use most of the "Happy Go Lucky" charm pack but I added in some of the fabrics I had gotten with past birthday purchases from Bonnie and Camille's "Marmalade" and  "Vintage Modern" lines.

To be truthful, I struggled more with dealing with the same prints but in different shades landing in the same approximate area and trying to separate the colors. I did not think that the template was correct in my pattern printing either so I cut them over-sized and trim them down.  In the end they landed where they landed.  I was not dismantling it anymore to try to replace one here or there.  Or trying to work around the fact that I reversed a row from where I originally planned.   See, I knew there was a reason why I do not often use pre-cuts!

Originally I thought that this might be a wall hanging to go with my Farmer's Wife Sampler should I ever progress past the 30 blocks of 111 needed.  (Last seen in Sept. 2012 HERE HERE and HERE .  It is on my list but then blog hops happened, LOL).  Meanwhile,  Skyler has been using it as a tunnel to run through or hide under------

OR as his afternoon nap spot once the pictures were taken!  He left plenty of black hair on the back while I was trying to finish the binding last week!

I guess that you could consider making this little "Juggle" quilt practice.  I do love how hops are good for jump starting an old projects too.  I drug out a long set aside pile of finished Hexagon Stack and Whack blocks from a class taken at a Birmingham (AL) area quilt shop with several friends from my small quilt group. A friend who took the class with me said she had completed hers back in 2002 so that helps in dating it.  We used a pattern in Bethany Reynolds book though I changed the background to one color as well as the methodology for joining them too.  No pieced equilateral triangles in the background for this girl!   I blogged about having that one stuck away back in January 2013 if you want to see the blocks a little better.   Well, this puppy is completed to flimsy----not a fresh project when all but 3 blocks of it were made 10-12 years ago!!  LOL  (I did show it in progress last week on my blog.)

The leftover blocks went on the backing---I didn't order enough from Connecting Threads!.  In the end I needed the extra width another column of blocks gave.

Lastly, I made one block of the Atkinson Designs Hexie Garden in my beloved 30's prints to try out the pattern.  The same quilt shop I visited recently had the pattern in stock.  I do not own the same ruler set that she advises for cutting hexagons, 60 degree diamonds or 60 degree equilateral triangles. I used the Marti Michell set up that I do have and she measures the finished size of the hexies, not the height of the block.  That may have made a little difference.

The block sections finished about a 1/4 inch larger in height anyway and I assume, proportional point to point.  This thing looks huge to me at about 13.5 inches. I laid it out on my bed to see if I liked it any better and you see how large it looks in comparison to my standard pillow.  Maybe it will become a bed runner as I don't think I want a full bed quilt made with this big a block.  Nine inch blocks would be good maybe but I want a lighter, brighter background as well.  The center is supposed to be the same color as the background.  I just like yellow, LOL.

And there you have it.  I appreciate your stopping by and hopefully, commenting.  Enjoy the rest of the hop!

Aug 24, 2013

one down, two or more to go /additional note

One pillow case/tree skirt holder down.  Two more cut out to sew.  Er serge, I mean.

Roughly following the directions on this youtube video   from Cynthia Dickerson but inserting an accent row, I did this all on the serger.  I still didn't get the accent row to line up as wonderfully as I would like but that might be because I sort of basted it down a bit first and then re-serged it.  Also I was perhaps inconsistent on lining it up on the seam allowance marks.  I didn't see those at first!

Because the green fabric was used for the borders on Allison's tree skirt and it is a directional print I wound up with about 28 inches width of fabric but about 2 1/2 yards long.  I sort of fussy cut the 2nd section, splitting it along some of those trees to line it up. That allowed me to use what I had sewn on the conventional machine as an uncalled for 2nd side seam.  It worked out, I believe.

I used that floral piece that sort of reminds me of poinsettias for the cuff.  Originally I had bought it to use as setting triangles but blended too much with the sashing of the blocks.   I found a use for it in the case.  Only scraps remain of most of the yardage and that's fine for the Christmas fabric stash or bits will show up in the tree skirt I will be making for another niece.

I had gotten a comment from a local friend Gene who said  "Have fun with your new serger --and don't say bad words if you have to re-thread it."   I am happy to report that I did have the opportunity to practice threading--twice and did so without spouting off though I did leave and come back to it.  It was time to fix supper so I didn't get as frustrated as I would have had I not walked away for a bit.  The first time I did not quite have the sequencing right on one of the loopers so it snapped again.  BUT going through the process not only gave me more practice but reinforced the step where I had messed up.  I also did up the reference strips I mentioned yesterday before I started on the pillow case. That gave me an idea of how firmly to step on the pedal and start up the seam.

Today I am going to try to tie on new spools of thread as I need to get down to a more neutral color for one of my cases.  Norma swears it is not hard and she, in fact, uses this method for her long arm.  She even linked me some more you tube video.  The girl should have shut off the TV and put a little more light on the subject but I think I get what to do.  I think one of the things that should be on my serger to do list is make a decent cover for it.  No self respecting sewist/quilter should have an ugly plastic cover on their machine, for pete's sake.  LOL  I believe I can find some fabric even if doesn't go with anything else I have made up.  Stash busting!  I already know it needs a pocket to hold the pedal and another for accessories.  HMMMMM.  The hunt is on for guidance there.

And sew it goes-------

almost 5 pm and I have a 2nd one done for Blake and Julia.  A different red for the accent but the ivy matches the backing.  I only have enough left of the green check I used for sashing and binding on the tree skirt to use as an accent piece on another one so subbed out a different green with gold stars.  It will work.

Supposedly this is a 15 minute job but just as I was about 6 inches from finishing, I ran out of thread in first one looper and then the other.  I was going to re-thread anyway.  I hope that I get a little speedier with that job is all I am going to say, LOL.  I will be ordering thread soon.   I didn't get to try the tie on thing this time after all but I am sure there will be other opportunities!

To see the tree skirts full out open see my HO HO HO blog hop entry  HERE.

I have my pictures all taken to post late tomorrow night as come Monday it will my day along with 10 other participants.  Hope you'll come to visit then!

Aug 23, 2013

Day 4 Hexie Queen Blog Hop/serger notes

Hasn't this hop been quite inspiring so far?  Tree skirts, even a skirt on the cutest little one, bags, pillows, mug rugs and candle mats, quilts and exquisite wall hangings.  Wowie!  I wonder what this group of participants will bring today!

Friday, August 23
Sew Peace to Peace
Moneik Quilts

On a personal note, I did finally finish that binding but not before I wondered if I was not going to develop calluses on my backside or a permanently bent neck.  Skyler let me sew on uh, without his "assistance" yesterday, LOL.

The serger is out of the box but still have not plugged it in.  I spent part of the afternoon/evening jockeying between you tube videos on sergers and the Cards/Braves game scores.  I went through the manual as bedtime reading.  Today I want to look at the two CDs that came with it: one of instructions and one of serger techniques though I think it might be similar to the 7 part you tube videos from the Brother educator.  I should say that I have had sergers before.  One  I gave away to a fellow but far more prolific Wrap Them in Love quilter who needed it far more than I did and her machine had died a noble death.  A second one, I sold to one of the Belles because I was not doing any craft sewing.  Now I am.  These are not totally foreign to me but a little review or learning what is different about this one is always good.

One helpful video I spotted from a serger user "Crafy Kraut" at that advised making a quick visual for serger tension.  She used strips cut and then numbered 0 through 9 to correspond to the tension settings, using one strip for upper looper, lower looper, right needle and left needle.  You put the machine through its paces and slowly work up the tension dial concentrating on just one area at a time.  Then when/if the machine' stitching looks a little funky you have something to refer to and can change the number accordingly and be able to know which dial needs to be turned.  That is important when there are 4 of them!!  Then zeroing in the culptrit does it  need tightening or loosening, which way should you turn the dial.  She said she had used a spotted it on a you tube video but had lost the link.  A commenter told her that the video in question was probably The "Secret" to Taming Your Serger by Susan Nixon1.  Ms. Nixon gave directions on what size to cut the strips so it might be more helpful.  I'm pinning both of them, LOL.
Anyway, I finding some light fabric I don't mind giving up and doing this little exercise while it is still threaded with the multi-color threads at the factory.

Then I want to do this------

Cut some of the leftover fabrics to make a case to hold the two tree skirts I made for my family members and zip those up!  Get those mailed on up to the niece and nephew.  I don't think I want to pack these in my suitcase when I go home in October!

You know where to find me!  Yep, I am going to play with my new toy and I believe I have earned the right to tell my slave driver boss (me of course) to take a hike!

Aug 22, 2013

Day 3 Hexie Queen Hop/check-in

Thanks to my dear husband and my sweet Bama Belle pals for the birthday spending money, this is what has come to my house.  I picked it up yesterday, site to store at our nearby Walmart.  My lefthanded quilter blogging friend suggested I look into this model---uses regular sewing machine needles and regular spools of thread and had overall, good reviews.

You notice too, that it is still boxed up,  I cannot take it out and to play with it until I finish binding my hexie project, after all, I am on deadline for this piece!  It must be done.  I did NOT finish as I hoped with about half of the top edge one one longer side to go.  Here is part of the reason why I am not done----

In two separate sessions he parks right on the quilt to keep me company.  The green back is loaded with black cat hair, LOL so I may well have to wash this before sharing the top side!  Move him, you say?  He nips at you if you attempt to dislodge him too or rotate the quilt as you move down the line. It is almost better to let him decide when it is time to go.  Those little teeth are sharp.

I did manage to at least read and look at most of the participants yesterday but could not comment, keyboard unavailable though I could get to the mouse.  I'll go back and re-visit, provided he doesn't take up residence and/or I manage to finish up, LOL.  Whichever comes first??  I do want to play and also cut out something to serge up.  I want to make a couple of pillow cases to go with the tree skirts actually so those can be mailed out.

Here is the list of today's featured participants

Thursday, August 22
Negligent Style
Sue Mac Seeds  

Aug 21, 2013

Check in/Day 2 Hexie Queen Blog Hop

I will have to confess to lagging behind here and horrors, did not find time to start Day 1 hopping because I was busy quilting!  In my defense, the way I have to set up my room TO quilt blocks access to the keyboard, my chair, monitor viewing----- for anything but the most cursory glance at email.

And then you have this------

I had about one more inch to go of attaching the hanging sleeve to my PopStix when you know who hopped aboard for a little nestling in the quilt folds.  This was shot  from my seat at the machine, forward table in front, desk and computer at the left.  There is about a foot to get around the table and out of the room, here in the smallest bedroom in the house.

Yesterday I was able to quilt my hexie entry and get the first side of the binding attached, hanging sleeve attached.   While I had the machine set up to quilt, I also quilted up a chevron donation quilt that Donna H. had made.  Then I pressed all the binding for the PopStix and attached MOST of it before I gave up for the night at about 9:30.  I finished up the last joining edge this morning and well, you see the rest.

Oh, the stack and whack top is done as well but I did that over the weekend.  I finished up the borders and then turned my attention to piecing the back.  I had to piece it as I just barely had enough fabric for the width of the quilt.  The 4 leftover blocks were pieced in a column and off set symmetrically, again out of necessity.  I think I can quilt is as it finishes approximately 55 x 65 but I want to use some of batting leftovers to augment a 45 x 60 batt that I have on hand before I think about pinning it.

On Monday, I pieced a Hexie Garden block using an Atkinson Designs pattern but I am not sure I like it.  It looks huge but part of that was my fault for not using the suggested ruler system.  I may try it again with the next size down cuts and see if I like it any better but not till I get the real hexie entry bound!! ( I will share it on  my featured day 8/26.) That is today's plan----binding.  Not my favorite but I will have access to the computer (best light for binding is here at the desk)  and I can get caught up with yesterday's hop participants and today's featured hoppers.

Here's today's list:

Wednesday, August 21
Sunshine Girl Nicola 

Hopefully I will be able to report a finish soon and take advantage of the sunny weather to get some pictures taken!
THX for stopping by---------

Aug 19, 2013

Time for the Hexie Queen Hop Aug 20-28

Time for another hop----I think our cheerleader Debby Kratovil said that we have 76 hoppers participating this round, so many that they had to add an extra day!   It begins Tuesday as you will see with Debby leading things off and ends on the following Wednesday with the weekend off.    Of course we are always led by the wonderful Mdm. Samm of  I do not know if a sponsor has been named to this point but will amend that statement when I find out. Woohoo---one of my favorite spots Connecting Threads is our sponsor this time.  See Debby's blog or sewwequilt for details.

I am posting the whole schedule for hopping use in this post.  Wow, I have been so focused on working on my stuff and my targeted day that I almost forgot that I had four days to visit with those I recognize as frequent participants and meet some new bloggers along the way before I must be absolutely done and ready to post.  Scout out that photo op site, LOL.   I am going to play with one more idea today, for a future project really,  and then get to quilting on my actual entry! 

Tuesday, August 20

Debby Kratovil Quilts   

Wednesday, August 21
Sunshine Girl Nicola 

Thursday, August 22
Negligent Style
Sue Mac Seeds  

Friday, August 23
Sew Peace to Peace

Monday, August 26

Tuesday, August 27
Sew Mollie Sue, Quilt Much?

Wednesday, August 28
Sew We Quilt

There you have it---I'm off to cut! 

Aug 17, 2013


On today's stitching plan trim and assemble that last 5th column of blocks and then join the rows.  I got as far as the first border as well.  Skyler jumped on over from his seat in the window to give it the kitty roll and paw of approval.  Picture taken about 7 or so.

I just got done seaming the binding for three quilts and the little flap of color that goes between the Stack and Whack body and the border which showcases just what this fabric looks like before it was whacked.  I'll press some of that pile tomorrow, LOL.

I do hope to have this project wrapped up by tomorrow afternoon or evening which is actually sooner than I thought/hoped it would be done.  I had to do some unsewing yesterday though.   After I sewed both the 2nd and 3rd columns "upside down" of how I had laid them out hoping for some separation in the rosy pink and the purples of the blocks.  I was also trying to keep the more "packed" blocks away from the ones with lighter predominance.  When I put the first row on "wrong" I thought "it is was it is and it is staying"  The second one??  Nope, can't do it but I took the first row off and reversed it.   I also took out and replaced one block from the middle or row 3.  I know I would have looked at it and wished I had done so every time.

I used a "new to me" tool take the long row loose and it worked great!   I won it in the guild raffle table grab bag last month----and it is that purple thing near the pencil and small scissors.  It has a razor like edge that you use like a scalpel to cut the threads in the spread seam.  Yeah, you have little threads to pick out but I have that even with my Clover ripper.  I asked the gal at guild who told me that it was meant to be ripper where I could find a couple more for backup.  There were no markings on the packaging.  She said that you could get 3 in a package and maybe Walmart.  A little research (good old Google) told me that this thing was most likely an eyebrow shaper!!  LOL who knew??  Obviously not ME but then I was blessed with decent eyebrows, if not long eye lashes.  I looked when I was at Dollar General earlier today---yep, three to a pack and not pricey either.

And here is that silly boy again.  He enters the room and leaves the bed area by way of the quilt rack most of the time.  Strops his paws on the quilts just like one uses a scratching pad.  It would be far easier to enter the room on the floor and then jump up on the blanket chest at the foot of the bed.  A good leap of about a yard onto a narrow board. You have to just shake your head and wonder what he is thinking!

That's it for tonight----just found out that Mamma Mia is on network as DJ was flipping channels in the other room.  I've seen it about 4 times but I'll still watch the end and sing, whistle, hum ABBA songs for days.

And sew it goes------

Aug 16, 2013

silly kitty

Where Skyler's food bowl wound up last night. Note: he shares with his friend Mz. Mouzie who normally lives on or near the couch.  Also note cat, waiting for his treat bite.

Where his bowl actually belongs and enjoying said treat.

The other silly thing he does:  gets out of the litter box in the adjacent area in the laundry room, comes back to food bowl and tries to cover it up as he would the litter.  He often flips the placemat over the bowl contents.  I need to get another plastic type as he uses for his water bowl here in the sewing room but it is interesting to see how things look when I get up in the morning.   Silly boy!

Aug 15, 2013

Sewing and UFOs

One row of 5 is done on this stack and whack 60 degree triangle deal though I am not assembling it like the book says.  This way gets trimmed down on the top and bottom once the rows are joined and I don't have to fool around with piecing half hexagons, diamonds or a bunch more equilateral triangles of the same colored fabric.   Much better plan, I think.

I would be much further along with this if I would not disassemble the blocks that had a less than stellar piecing job at the center.   I've taken three of them apart and started over.  I've decided that will just take the center seam out and try to align it better there but not the whole danged block.  I might be able to replace a wedge if it is badly cut but it might be problematic anyway.

I would be much further along if I didn't think that I need more variation in the colors in this.  I made two more blocks at this writing.  Once the borders were cut (should have waited)  I decided that I needed a block with more rosy red in it and a less packed design.  At that point, I had little fabric left and what there was had already been "Swiss-Cheesed" once ( to get the butterfly block at the top squeezed out).  I actually had to take some of the border fabric ends, piece it a scrap piece to it on two sides get out one of the wedges.  I had enough for the other 5.

I would be further along if I had not cut the triangles over-sized but I preferred to do this rather than miscalculate on the math and have to re-cut a whole pile of them and waste even more fabric.  Plus, I never did find whatever ruler it was that I used on this umpteen zillion years ago.  I am using the Marti Michell #8962 "2 to 6 inch" 60 degree triangle ruler which measures by the finished edge size more than the size of hexie it fits up against.

I would be further along if I would remember just how far to off set those joins and my machine would sew through more than 4 thicknesses without balking.  I DO get it now that the join area is overlapped by the same itsy bitsy equilateral triangle at that spot and the triangles make the same shape at the ends too.   I only had to take out two and try again.  It is getting better but I better quit bragging or the next one will be way off!

Silly girl.  Really I am NOT a perfectionist but I DO have standards that I try to meet in whatever I sew or make.  I try to do my best work and what's more, I want my work to look like I did.  I don't do "wonky" because that just looks, to me, like I didn't try to do it "right"  If you want to, fine, go right ahead.  I would rather that my work reflect the lessons I hope that I have learned over the last 25 years or the sewing lessons I learned from my mom before that.  Crumb or string blocks will be as close to unplanned as I will get, to this point.  Never say never.

And the other thing I don't get is someone saying that the Amish would make a "mistake in their quilt as only God is perfect", like they deliberately planned to make a mistake.  To me, that whole thing seems like the height of arrogance.  Your work is so perfect that you pieced in a mistake, on purpose??  Honey, that is a design decision!  I can make mistakes without trying but I DO try to fix them.  A few threads off maybe not so much but the ones that glaring to me, definitely!  When is the galloping horse theory just an excuse to be sloppy in your efforts?  Guess you are the only one who can decide what you can live with.

Since this thing has waited so long for me to work on it, best estimates 2001 or 02, what is another extra day or so.  Hopefully it will be done by early next week as I still need to quilt and bind my hexie entry.  I am NOT going to hurry up to pin and quilt this before my assigned day of August 26th anyway.  I'm shooting for done by Monday evening.  Best quit yapping and get to sewing, right?

Oh, did I tell you that some of the Belles want to try a stack and whack?  I suggested we try the 4 patch stacked posie version just to learn the technique.  Some have already done the stack and whack fan and don't need a lesson but it might be fun.  4 little squares versus equilateral triangles, yes, let's go for squares! Besides you can use those in other fun ways.  I said I would bring the 4 patch stacked posie top for them to see what it could look like.  Yeah, I have one, still needs pinned, personal project so it waits.  April 2009 on that one.

In case they want to see it before next meeting and to remind myself of what it looks like, LOL, since it is buried in my closet.  I have long admired a version that I found on this website----    scroll on down to 4 patch posie in a BQ setting of ctrl+F to zero in.  Get a load of the stacked circles version too---rounded shapes but wowie!  I will not make another with this skinny sashing stuff every again though.  Giant ugh there.

THX for stopping by-------seriously this time,  back to sewing for me!

Aug 14, 2013

sew-in, quilt meetings and the stuff in between (EDITED)

Always playing catch up lately it seems.  I've been busy sewing so hey, it happens.  More on that in a minute.  I had planned to tell you about the Christmas in August Sew-In that I went to this past Thursday and Friday!

This is the 2nd year that Friendship Quilters had a holiday themed sew-in for three days.  I normally just go to these things for two days as I get complaints about my being "gone all the time". Uh, 3 meeting days a month ordinarily is NOT being gone all the time but perception is reality???   DJ, recalling all the times I skipped out on his birthday to go to the AQS show in late April, could not believe that I would want to go to the sew-in on MY day Saturday.  While on one hand it was my birthday and I should be able to do what I want, I opted to keep peace and attend on Thursday and Friday instead of the usual Friday and Saturday.  My buddies signed up for the same dates since we share rides.  A friend pointed out that it was sweet that he wanted to spend time with me so that really changed my perspective from resenting his telling me what to do.  Smart friend---you know who you are!

Anyway, the wonderful program gals pick some things that could be given as gifts and stocking stuffers displaying them at our previous meeting.  We sign up for what we are interested in making so kits or partial kits can be prepared as needed.  Peggy led us through a microwave cozy bowl. I used some of the leftover backing from my PopStix quilt and shared some of my batting bits too rather than the kitted stuff.  Here we go posed with what we will have for one meal today,  leftover turkey pot pies from last night.  I probably should make a few more since I know they will have to be laundered.

Denise did a wallet and mug rugs.  I messed up and had to use another kit to replace the pieces and then the backing check wound up on the front.  It still needs quilting and a replacement backing, LOL.  However I got it this far!   She also did a magic wallet but I needed to work on my hexie project.

Judy S led us throw a cup painting session passing out stencils, graphite paper and markers for this purpose.  They were baked in the oven the next day so I'll be picking mine up at the next meeting.  Mine is that white one between the clear glass and the soup bowl with a stylized L on it.

Then Shelia did a session on making a mug carrier similar to this one that Norma had made for me several years back.  I love 30's fabrics and she knows it!  I was signed up for this but they called a short executive board meeting.  I'm the secretary so I have to do notes.  By the time that was finished, my three pals were packing up, it was close to 3 and when we said we were going to go.   I have a kit to finish up and it would coordinated with the mug rug.

I HAD planned on doing the Magic Christmas Stocking that Erika was leading the group in making.  That got moved to Saturday and I was not going to be there.  Erika said she would get me the pattern at the next meeting.  I think I may have found a tutorial for something similar or at least one I like and would consider making, LOL.  Of course, it was on pinterest but try this link from Diary of a Quilter.

I don't bake my own birthday cake but I DO occasionally bake a few days before my birthday.  After all, I needed a dish to pass for the sew-in.  This time I made a Peanut-Cola Cake with a cooked Peanut Butter Frosting.  I thought when I first looked at the recipe that it was supposed to be baked in a jelly roll plan as you do for sheet cakes BUT nope, 13 x 9.  I did it in the sheet pan anyway and just baked if 20-25 instead of 30-35 minutes.  The icing is cooked and you put it immediately on the still warm cake, just like all the other sheet cake recipes I have made.  Strictly for quality control we did test it out on Wednesday afternoon, LOL.  Uh,  the cake was still too warm and we had to sort of chase the cake bites in the frosting puddle.  Yeah, I know you should not try new recipes on folks without testing it out first but I figured if it was a flop I would just grab some chips or something at the store instead.

Well, that was the only piece of cake that HE got.  I'll make one for Bama Belles later in the month and be sure more of it stays home for him.  One girl told me to never, ever make that again as she could not make herself quit eating it.  I also made our youngest members day when I handed her a printout of the recipe on Friday morning.  Shelia had shared the link I had posted on Facebook so I knew Mallory was looking for it.  I think it was a hit since the pan came home empty.  I should say to store it in the fridge.  Someone had put the leftover in a ziploc bag and the frosting got watery come Friday morning.  NOT that people quit eating it, LOL.

DJ took me to Panera Bread for lunch since that was my request.   He had been hoping that I would pick his favorite, which was located across the road but it was not his turn to chose.  Besides, he could go to Golden Corral's buffet anytime he wanted to pay for a meal out or wait till I am gone to Illinois in October.  The day was pretty quiet.  I did some sewing (no surprise there, I am on deadline), listened to the ball game, spent a peaceful day at home.

I got my hexie project finished up late Monday evening taking the last seams in the borders and backing about 11 pm.  Constant unsewing and re-arranging trying to keep various prints away from each other---well, you'll see soon enough.  Let's just say that it was more time consuming that it needed to be.  I was determined to be done so I could pin it at Bama Belles yesterday.  Bev helped me, I helped her pin one of hers but I had yardage to iron.    Some of the others had come in by then and she had help for the 3 tops she needed to pin.  We had a good turn-out in spite of the 5 girls that were not there.  Some of them went out to lunch but I had brought mine for a change.  I kept Janet company while they were out.  (EDITED: Because my reason for ironing at the meeting site was not clear.  While I can iron at home, it was easier to be able to let the fabric fall on both sides of the table. You see,  my ironing board actually lives at the meeting place and I just use the table top with a covered board.  Drawback: the table has to sit in the corner of the room so I end up rolling up the just pressed yardage.  That okay for smaller yardage but not 6 yards of fabric.)  

The girls were so kind to give me a lovely card with some birthday money that I will put in my serger purchase fund along with what DJ gave me.  He asked if I had room for another machine.  Uh, probably not but I could probably part with the one I use the least and/or  make room.  I have been doing so much non-quilting sewing lately that I want one again, low end model that I can afford.

One of the reasons I signed up for the hexie hop was to jump start that old Stack and Whack 60 degree Triangle Magic from way back when (2001 or 2?)  I posted about it back in January of the this year.  Norma and I both had blocks but she has turned hers into 3 different projects.  Mine are still sacked up.

BUT I have a plan.  I know what I am going to do.  That is why I was ironing all that fabric.  I made a template of the hexie shape by getting out the trusty compass and drawing pad.  I know how I'll cut the 60 degree equilaterals and it won't necessarily require my following Ms. Reynolds instructions.  Ready all that confuses me a bit but I know what it is supposed to look like in the end.  I was doing some cut and pasting on something I had copied from the book for my mock up at midnight last night.  I don't have to make any extra blocks so other than cutting those triangle units in a bit, I am good to go.  I can talk about this project because it has already been featured on here and is NOT a fresh, made specifically for the hop project.   The blocks are in THIS POST for a preview of coming attractions.  I may not get it quilted for the hop but I will get it moved forward.  I'm stubborn and will get it that far, you know I will.  LOL

DJ and I will be heading into town to get our car tags, library drop off, lunch at KFC with that "BOGO" coupon from the Sunday's Parade section---lunch for 5 bucks for two of us.  I can't cook for that most days.  He also has another stop in mind but I hope I can put that off for today.  I have things to do and the affect of it is a year away, to my mind, it could wait.  He won't see it that way probably.

And sew it goes-----