Oct 29, 2013

Something Wicked----Day 7 Wicked Hop #3

"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."
                                                           Macbeth, Act IV,  Scene 1--William Shakespeare

What fun this Wicked #3 has been!  Such creativity and general spookiness.  This bunch knows how to represent a theme presented by our head honcho hosted as always by Mdm. Samm of Sew We Quilt and our most fabulous cheerleader Wendy of Why Knot Kwilt.  Thanks to them for the continuous encouragement and support.  Sponsors this round are Reliable Iron (an orange iron!), Windham Fabrics and Bird Brain Designs, one of my personal favorites!  LOL, you will see why in a minute too.

I have made 3 items this round and just barely touched the mother lode of patterns I have stored in the computer in that ever expanding file labeled "Halloween" and a notebook full of holiday ideas.   Hopefully there will be a Wicked #4.  Using the signup to jump start something my friend Norma and I had discussed and planned last fall, I made this row quilt.

Several pattern sources were involved. 
  •  I had gotten a quilt kit from Connecting Threads last fall.  Some may recognize the fabrics or the "bones" of Spooktacular Row Quilt designed by Mari Martin for Connecting Threads.  I loved the expressions on the spider and cats faces!  Those had to go in.  
  •  The twister row and bat/star row was in a picture Norma had seen online  (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/100697741639428186/)  that originated with annalenaland.com.   I emailed Karen and asked if there was a pattern but she said it was a row quilt that someone had shared at retreat. 
  •  I used a re-sized bat from a Fons and Porter magazine pattern called "Bold and Batty".  The floating star idea I drew up in EQ and foundation pieced.
  • I was not crazy about the candy corn row in the kit pattern so substituted one that I had made last year from Joined at the Hip Button Up #19 Happy Halloween.  Only thing was, I had given away my pattern so had to scan the quilt to make another template.  They were strip pieced and then the shape cut on freezer paper.
  • I foundation pieced the Jack o' lanterns using a design in Sew Precise I believe. 
  •  The phrase?  Picked a font I liked in Word, set at about 200 pt. Fusible appliqued. 
  •  All but the cat and spider eyes were machine buttonholed. I did those by hand along with the hand embroidery when I was back in Illinois visiting with my family.   See a tip I posted earlier in the fabric prep HERE. 

Then the tombstones.   Those I enlarged from a graphics I found in a book called BOO by Harriet M. Wyant.  Try as I might, I cannot get a decent picture so you could read the epitaphs. Truth be told, you probably would not be able to read what they say anyway with my "old nurse and too many years of charting" handwriting.  I'll write them down here---
  • "How was I to know he would take it so hard?  After all....it was only a yard"
  • UPS was coming, so I raced to the door.  Bob tried to get there first, He won't do that no more!"
  • "The fabric was delivered, sweet hubby paid the bill, Guess it was too much for him, He rests here on the hill."
  • "The house was getting crowded and something had to go, Although I picked the fabric, I really loved you, Joe"
  • Here lies Sam, a real maverick. Peeked in the closet and found the fabric."
Now, I thought those were hilarious and so did the Bama Belles the day I was working on that at the meeting but somehow DJ was not near as amused!  LOL.  The little ghostie on block 2 from the left was necessary as I accidentally cut the fabric trying to get the freezer paper out.  OOPS!  He was a re-sized sweetie from a McCalls Ghoulies and Ghosties free pattern that I had in my files.  No more slit to be found.  Lorene showed a quilt she had made from this pattern yesterday.  

Project 2:  
I will be a little briefer, I promise.  Originally this stitchery piece was to be part of the row quilt with some pieced blocks on the side, spider webs maybe.  I decided to do the "something wicked" thing as I told Norma, "there was no way I could get all that stitching done in time"  Well, turns out I did---again on my recent 6 day trip.  I only had two motifs done of the 5 when I left home. The banner and part of the last witch was done once I got home.

The Patrick Lose border fabric is what I used for backing on the row quilt and the red-orange was in the star points.  The pattern is from one of our sponsors Bird Brain Designs and is called "Witches Hooray"  She shows it was a table runner with pinwheel blocks around it.   Last week Quilt N Queen used some of the motifs on towels  shown HERE.  I went with a wall hanging instead and used the opportunity to bust more stash by backing this piece with the ghost fabric featured in the row quilt.

Lastly, I whipped up my own trick or treat bag yesterday using some yardage featuring Licorice Allsorts that Norma got me for my birthday several years ago.  She had told me about them and I was intrigued with the idea of black licorice!  I also got a couple bags of them along with the fabric and used to be able to find them at a local Rite Aid Pharmacy but sadly, no more.  Orange polka dot was used for the bags interior  a black print from  accents my wild little envelope bag.  

I don't know the pattern source for this.  One of the Belles said someone at the JOY guild had shown the group how to make them and then she was showing some of the Belles.  I just had to remember what I heard as Donna guided several of the girls through the process.   I have pictures taken to share as a tutorial in coming days if you want to stop back and see how to whip one of these up.  

One last picture since this blog is called "life, quilts and a cat too".  When I took this autumnal quilt off the hanger to put up the stitchery piece, look who crawled up under the wall hanging?   The picture I wish I had gotten was him jumping off the couch with it still on his back, looking like saddle bags.  Once it fell off, he was on to diving under it using his paws and nose like a snow plow!  Too funny.

Now that you have seen all I have to share today, please go on over and see the rest of the group and what wondrous things they have come up with.  THX for the visit!

Wednesday, October 30th
Life, Quilts and a Cat Too    <<  THAT"S ME! >>

Oct 26, 2013

Getting there!

Hooray for a finish!  Yep, just took the last stitches in my Wicked Blog Hop entry when I sewed on a couple of buttons this morning.  Nope, I cannot show you but my day IS coming up on Wednesday the 30th.  There have been some amazing entries already and you can see the over-view on a Pinterest page that Mdm. Samm has set up for this purpose---- go to http://www.pinterest.com/mdmsamm/wicked-2013-blog-hopwere-back/

I had hoped to get another small craft project done for the hop but a peek at the calendar has convinced me to set that idea aside.  Turns out that this particular Wicked hop is the 3rd annual so I'll save that for next year's participation.  I thought it was a clever idea and something that has been waiting in my pattern library for a while, LOL.  I do have another small project to quilt today and then I'll call it good and try to get some decent pictures for "my day".

While I am working, I will firm up my plans for what follows----

  • For the Boys hop plans---featured day is the 15th.  The button says it goes till the 13th so I believe that Mdm. Samm and our cheerleader Amy of Sew Incredibly Crazy  had to add a few more days.  I am fairly sure of what I plan to do.
  • Kristine and Andy's tree skirt so she can have it near Thanksgiving and holiday decorating season.  As far as the design, she liked the one I had made for her cousin Allison best of the two I had previously made shown HERE for the HO HO HO hop.   I will do something similar but use Patience Corner blocks instead.   

 Something like this---I like that notched off corner deal, LOL and the original EQ sketch would not have shown where I was headed with it.
Then there is:
  • Guild paint chip challenge where I have a peachy/orange range of colors but I know exactly what I am doing for that.  The fabric is stacked and waiting for me.  Due on December 14th
  • Belles fabric challenge piece.  HMMMMM .Thus far I have not given that a whole lot of thought and need to.  I had a vague idea of an attic window piece so I can try Cheryl Phillips re-released 3-D folded technique but I don't know if the piece I have will work for that idea.  The top at least needs to be done by Dec. 10th.
Of course there are more items to go---purses, thread catchers but the 4 things above are the most pressing.  I am still considering a quick purse idea as I still want to do that purse Donna showed up back in September that a few of the Belles were whipping up.  Tutorial it if I can remember what she shared on the how-to!  Quick reward project once the hop item is done??

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

Oct 20, 2013

Wicked Blog Hop

It is almost here---time for the Wicked Blog Hop hosted as always by Mdm. Samm of Sew We Quilt and
our most fabulous cheerleader Wendy of Why Knot Kwilt.  To this point the sponsor has not been named unless I missed it while away.

Below is the schedule for the entire hop.  I am not quite ready but I am sort of bringing up the rear this time. BUT still it is getting to crunch time!!  Unfortunately, sewing time will be a premium here at home as I have found out that DJ's golfing friend and his wife will be here sometime Monday evening until Wednesday morning.  Some cleaning will be required first but I also have a bit of baking and preparation to make for our extended meeting sew-in day for Belles on Tuesday.  I told Herb and DJ both that I am unavailable and the wife will have to entertain herself unless she wants to come with me.

 Tuesday, October 22nd

Wednesday, October 23rd

Thursday, October 24th

Friday, October 25th
Tuesday, October 29th

Wednesday, October 30th
Life, Quilts and a Cat Too    <<  THAT"S ME! >>

Thursday, October 31st

Oct 18, 2013

Long Time, No blog

Been awhile since I have posted, hasn't it? I have a good reason though! I had gone back to Illinois to visit with my parents and catch up with some of the siblings and extended family. Bama Belles met on the 8th and no wrap up to be had.  To be honest, I really did not have time to blog as I was still trying to get more of the upcoming blog hop project done.  I did the best I could and some that needed embroidery embellishment and could be hand done, I packed!

We all know what it takes to get things lined up and packed up when you are going to be gone for about a week.  My husband is NO cook so I had to be sure he knew what was in the freezer or fridge for his use while I was away too----typewritten and posted on the refrigerator door.  This time he did NOT brag about not having to run the dishwasher while I was away nor did he eat but two meals away from home either.

I flew into the Bloomington-Normal area mid-day Thursday and my parents picked me up at the airport.  After lunch at a Chinese buffet they recommended, we headed up to their home.  That evening, her local quilt group was meeting at the Community Center. I know about half the group members from the "old days" since I was a charter member of Sew and Tell and the Magic Needle group too.  (Both groups are small groups from the Hands All Around Quilt Guild of Central Illinois.)  The gals are doing row robin pass arounds this year but each month is a reveal.  I always liked that better than waiting till the end, watching the quilts grow month to month.  Maybe for my benefit, they pointed out which quilt belonged to them and a little bit about the rows.  Varied themes, colors---what fun!  I got to see what Mom had been telling me about over the past few months but shoot, left the camera in my suitcase.

My sister who lives in the area came up to see us Friday after work.  I had hoped to meet her new daughter-in-law this trip but she and Blake had planned a trip to Japan for their first anniversary.  She has a sister living there and were also to stay with a friend for a few days.  Maybe next trip?

We met another brother, my sister-in-law and my niece/godchild sort of in the middle on Sunday evening for an early supper in Dwight at Station 343.  While the building is not the old fire station, the guy that owns the place was a firefighter in Cullom, Illinois and wanted to honor the 343 firefighters and paramedics that lost their lives in 9-11 hence the name and the decor of the restaurant.  There is even an actual 1917 fire truck used by the Pontiac Fire Department inside the restaurant but mounted up above the area where the restrooms are.  We were all wondering just how they managed to do that!!  Good visit.

Tuesday evening, I borrowed the car and ran into Bloomington to meet up with DJ's son and daughter-in-law.  While I waited I called my sister-in-law who said they were on their way into town to watch my twin nieces play basketball at an area school---7th and 8th grade team.  I swung by and caught part of the 4th quarter of play.  My sister-in-law, brother and her folks were there.   Missed my youngest nephew as he was not back from football practice when they had to leave. The oldest of their kids is away at college now.

I got to talk to my sister-in-law in TN too when she called to return a call Mom had placed.  Turned out she was just back from IL and visiting her family.  She had rode up with a cousin and flew home.   I just missed my sister and brother-in-law from CO however as they are due in a couple days next week.  Their daughters both attend school in the Chicago area so they were headed for a visit and will see my folks for a couple days.

A lot of times when I head home, it is a bit of a "bus men's holiday" for me as we are both quilters.  Dad was just sure we would be hauling out the back up machine and get the sweat shop rolling, LOL.  Mom and I didn't do any quilting or cutting together this time around but I did see what she has been working on in her quest to get adult quilts made for each of the 11 grandkids.  I believe at this point she has 3 to go.  I needed to work on the blog hop project so that and another embroidery piece kept my fingers flying.  You'll see in a minute.  The only fabric shopping I did was in "Elsie's Stash".  We both found fabric we liked for some purses I will make.  I have some possibles for a sewing organizer/thread catcher thing I want to make too.  Some books also followed me home--some that were given to mom by a friend and she was sharing the ones she did not want.  I tell you, that suitcase looked like it was more stuffed and heavier than when I left!!  THX Mom.

I did make a suggestion for the next row is making; when she said she wanted a rotary cutter and scissors block to go with a foundation pieced pin cushion.  I knew I had a book and foundation pieced software that would be helpful here at home.  She was wondering aloud about background choices and colors for a sewing machine block.  When she said "green" it came into my head to suggest using a green that would look like omnigrid mat behind that rotary cutter, meaning it would have to be appliqued.  She ran with it!  It must have looked really realistic out of the corner of her eye because she kept reaching for it to actually cut, LOL, she told me.

I flew home on Wednesday leaving again at mid-day.  Takes about as long for DJ to drive to Atlanta as it does for me to fly there from Bloomington.   I was beginning to think I was going to have to page him as he was not standing in baggage claim as I expected him to be.   The plane was about 15 mins later coming in but it turned out he had looked at the departure time rather than arrivals and thought I was not due in for another hour.   Anyway, we got something for a late lunch and headed home walking in our door about 5:30.  
Okay, here is the lone picture for this post.  I had the witch on the left and that cat on the pumpkin done and maybe half of that post she is hanging on to before I left.  Mainly I worked on this at quilt meetings so it was not getting done any too quickly.  By the time I boarded the plane to head back to Alabama I only had the pumpkin and oak leaves from the witch on the right to do along with the rest of the banner.  I did work on it a few hours yesterday afternoon.  I finished up the lettering on "Halloween Parties are on the Way" this morning.

So what am I going to do with it??  The original plan was that Norma and I were going to include it in our version of a Halloween row quilt.  The pattern is called "Witches Hooray" from Bird Brain Designs and it is meant to be a small table runner.  We thought we could put some other blocks on either end of it if needed.  I may proceed with that plan, or maybe not.  Norma had asked me about it recently but I had told her that there was NO WAY I could get it done in time for Halloween.   Looks like I managed to get it done to this point anyway. Interesting to see what I managed to get done when I wasn't playing on the computer and had no real home duties to interfere with stitching time, LOL.  I could use my dad's computer but silly me, went off without my passwords!  I ended up updating some of their software, managed to see a bit of Cardinal highlight video and drew up something for Mom in EQ.   Other than that, off line.

Yesterday was so rainy that I elected not to run the few errands that need to be done.  Since the stitching is done, I will do that this afternoon.  Then I will turn my attention to my project assembly, pin and quilt it.  Bama Belles has an extended meeting next week and we were going to try that 4 patch stacked posie thing.  Lots to do!  When do I not have lots to do though???  Always thinking a month or two ahead or at least till the next hop I am doing, LOL.  A couple challenge pieces are coming up too!

Guess that is it for now with lunch time coming up.  Good to be back--------

Edited:  While I was standing in the store looking at cat food, the cell phone rang and looks like we will have guests sometime Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Yep, the golfing buddy with wife on the way down.   Guess I will have to take time out to dust etc. just when I preferred to make a big sewing mess, LOL.

Oct 6, 2013

sewing machine tension chart

Someone posted this on facebook and I want to be able to find it again.  Think that this might help a bit in the future on my sewing machine AND my serger.

Facebook also cut off the attribution site but Pinterest did not.  It came from Superior Threads and includes a good article that explains things a bit more, comparing thread tension to a "tug of war".  Bet that graphic makes a bit more sense now!

So here you go for future reference:

Oct 4, 2013

this and that

It is not going the way I would like it to go at the moment but this is what has most of my attention today.  Listening to Mike Shannon and John Rooney on KMOX and Gameday Audio but got the TV on MLB with the sound muted.    DJ's grandson and his girlfriend are at the game in the 2nd tier behind home plate and I had hoped they would have a game like yesterday.  Is it greedy to want my team to score 7 runs again???  The Pirate's Alvarez is once and always a Cardinal killer while we are facing a pitcher that we haven't seen before which turns that guy into Cy Young.    GO CARDS, please?!

 I have been steadily working on my Wicked Hop item.  As usual, I can't show you much.  Well maybe this idea, I could.  My project includes some lettering as you can see.  As I was cutting them out and removing the paper from behind the words,   I needed them to stay in place and in order for later fusing to the base.  I had these disposable dialysis trays that one of the Belles had brought for us to use and had lined it with some batting.  I tried a section of Press N Seal as the tacky side of it was enough to hold the motifs in place.  Then I  laid that whole section on the tray placing a sheet of freezer paper of the top of that.  I need the freezer paper for another part of the project so no waste.  Worked great! This is not a tip that I had read anywhere but something I came up with.

That stuff is great but you cannot really un-do it if it sticks to itself.  Once when DJ and I needed to take one of windows in to have the glass replaced,  the window configuration was such that I needed to cover the opening while DJ went to the glass store to have the glass measured and ordered.  You guessed it---Press N Seal to the rescue, not once but twice as we had to repeat the process when the ordered glass came in.   I hope this stuff never goes off the market.

I have switched out machines for what I need to work on today and will do so again when I am ready to button hole applique.  Some hand embroidery will be needed as well.  I am enjoying the process as it is encompassing a lot of the things that I like to do.  I have a feeling I will be doing the hand work when I am gone on my trip to Illinois late next week.  I hope to be done with all the initial prep work in a day or two.

It has been a fairly quiet week otherwise with few errands to go to and no meetings to attend.  Not much to report, in other words.  I am perfectly happy to stay home when I have creative things to do.  And sew it goes---------

Oct 1, 2013

New Button

You may notice the new button that Mdm. Samm has created in my sidebar but here she is!

As you know I have been participating in these all year.  Not all of them but a good many of them and having a blast doing so.  I'm working on my items for the Wicked Hop now and wondering what the next one is all about---for the boys, HMMMM.

But there will be a special drawing, spending money for 5 different sponsors, coming up in late October.  For the best of explanations how this might work-- please see Mdm. Samm's post here


In the meantime there are still 4 days of the Twist to the 60's left to go.  There are not as many participants this go round but these girls are knocking it out of the park!

THX for stopping by.