Jan 29, 2014

twist, loops and turns/THX and snow days

First let me thank the lovely folks who stopped by my place to see the Door Stop Hop item.  I had a ball making them, learned a few things along the way and reminded myself how much fun it is to make things that are more crafty than quilty.  These two critters just make me smile and if they elicited the same response from you, then so much the better!

You may also be aware that we had weather situation here in Alabama yesterday.  We don't get snow often but when we get anything collectible it is usually a problem.  I know my friends and family in the Midwest won't understand how 2-3 inches of snow could paralyze the state but it does. It started around 10 or so and kept up for 4-5 hours.  Dry powdery stuff, not the snowball packing kind.  Not that windy either but I think the sleet-y stuff froze and then the snow came.

The roads are often hilly and winding with  deep ditches and a ton of trees so it won't melt off quickly.  There are no snow plows to speak of either.  Or salt trucks like we had in Illinois.  They do spread some sand but they cannot get to all areas where there are slick spot quickly enough to spread it.  The weather dudes in missed the prediction of just where the bands of dusting/ 1-2 inches/3 or more were going to be by about 125 miles.  The kids went to school rather than cancelling to begin with.   People went to work.  When they realized that they missed the forecast and were going to send them home a few hours early it really was too late.  The interstates were iced over and turned into virtual parking lots. The parents left to pick up their kids--some did and some got stuck out on the interstates and secondary roads.  It was taking hours and hours for folks to get home if they did at all.  Some were stranded at work and some kids and teachers spent the night at the schools.  A real mess.  Believe it or not, it was worse in the SOUTHERN half of the state where there was less elevation a factor.  Who knows how many accidents?  I know there were some fatalities down near Montgomery, a good 100 miles south of us.

Here in Calhoun County---the midsection of the state roughly on a line from Birmingham to Atlanta and I-20--we were expecting a dusting and got 2 inches according to my crude measuring device.  That is a 6 inch ruler atop my car, right at the 4 inch mark.   While early on I was afraid that I might have jumped the gun on cancelling our Bama Belles meeting, I am so glad that I did go with my gut of "what happens if they get it wrong and the girls come anyway."  That line of demarcation they suggested was just below I-20 about 30 miles or so and too close for comfort to me!

The view out the kitchen window in early afternoon

This was taken around noon and the car was covered but not as much as it would be.  I about fell on the carport heading out to my pantry closet.

So today dawns with snow still in place though maybe clearing a bit on the road. The sun is out but it was only 11 degrees when we got up.  Only up to 19 now as I write this but the temps are going to rise to more reasonable, seasonal levels by the weekend.  If it does melt, is it going to refreeze or get slushy and still freeze?  Thankfully, we don't have to go anywhere.  DJ had a doctor's appointment yesterday but they called to cancel it but rescheduled for tomorrow.  Who knows?  I just wish I had picked up some eggs when I was at the store Monday.  Yeah the old cliche--stock up on milk, bread and eggs, LOL.  We are not going to starve but it may change my menu plan a bit for the want of an egg.

Moving on:
Susan from patchwork reflections emailed a pinterest link this morning and said that "this looks a lot like your block.  It is called Celtic Twist"  The link sent me to http://madebychrissied.blogspot.com/2013/02/were-gonna-do-twist-and-it-goes-like.html.    The pattern is from McCall's Quilting and they do have a pdf file if you are interested.  The McCall's link will take you there.)   Apparently this chrissie's NYC Metro Mod Quilt Guild explored this last year as their February Bee block.

I told Susan I would draw it up in EQ to see what happens when you join actual blocks.  Let's contrast the two blocks---my modified version of Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie

Celtic Twist---okay draw a magic line horizontally and vertically separating into 4 quarters----looks like just an extended version of Roosevelt's Necktie to me.  An old block revamped.  I colored it the colors I might use if I were to make this for my challenge quilt.  You want rainbow colors then I'll share a coloring sheet with you--just ask.

And what happens with you join these things?  Really the whole quilt is just alternating Bright Hopes (twisti blocks) and Snowballs again---features of Around the Twist.  That is not new either only it is set horizontally, rather than on point.  Okay, 12 inch blocks 4 x 6 set 48 x 72 without borders but ugh, joining lines.

Then re -drawn in custom set and without lines using the two alternating blocks and half blocks as filler around the periphery.  Looks a little cleaner to me.  In my opinion, make a Celtic Twist block if that is all you are going to make---one block for a sampler or to learn a technique or something.  A whole quilt?  You may want to revisit your construction method and see the one below but I may be wrong, LOL.

Stay warm you all!

Jan 27, 2014

Day 1 "Don't Let the Door Stop You" Blog Hop

I hope you enjoyed hopping for the first day of "She Who Sews" on Monday.  This time around the two hops will be alternating and this will go through Friday, February 7th despite what you see above in the banner.   We are lead in both hops by our cheerleader Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks and our head honcho Mdm. Samm.  THX to you both and our hop sponsors!

Thanks for stopping by today and please pop over to see my fellow bloggers on our featured day.  Here is the list for today:

And here is what I made to share with your today.  I believe, Mdm. Samm said to think "pincushions on steroids"?  Well, you know me and cats!  I found Cotton Ginny's "Mini Puffs" Cats and Dogs to be right up my alley!  These are not so "mini" though as they finish about 10 x 10.  It is made with the wool/acrylic blend of felt that Cindy recommends though I did not launder it first to get the puff effect.  Because I wanted my version to be able to hold a door should a breeze come up, I used an entire bag of poly-pellets to weight it down and then the stuffing material.  I don't think it is going anywhere!  LOL

I did borrow Cindy's idea of a white patch on the belly that comes on the larger puff model so it would look more like my Skyler.  Also I did not quite understand what I was supposed to do with the nose/muzzle combo. (I do now but at the time I didn't.)  I ended up digging around in Skyler's puffball (pom pom) stash, cut it in half and sort of slip covered it with pink felt as you would make a yo-yo.

 Here he is from another angle so you can see his tail a little better and just how chubby this dude really is.

On the job propping the bedroom door.  Those whiskers crack me up.

The pattern also featured a really cute dog and after all,  I have more than one door that needed propping.  Here he is hanging at the local park.

Showing his cropped tail

On the job at the front door.  Actually he took over for the molded resin dog that we have had for years.  I put that one out in the utility room and the rubber wedge ones are going under my sewing machine!!

How can you not smile when you see these two!?  Even DJ was getting into the process---"what did you put in this to make it so heavy?"   "Do you have its head on yet?"   Rarely is he that interested in what I am doing!

You may ask what Skyler thinks of the new additions?  Well, so far he has left the bow and scarf alone.  He has sniffed things quite intently too. Actually, I think I got in his catnip on the living room floor near his scratch box when I was taking dog pictures on my belly in the living room.  Skyler was getting quite silly when I was trying to get them both in the same shot, LOL

Hope you enjoy the remainder of BOTH hops.  I have to say that I missed last one, both as a participator and cheering the group on.  I got so far behind with the sewing room re-do that I just had to go look at Pinterest.  That's always an option if you find yourself lagging or need an over-view and here is the link for it  http://www.pinterest.com/mdmsamm/

a coincidence?

Often on the weekend some of my FAB friends and I get together in chat and sew together or at the very least, cheer each other on.  Sewing together across the miles, sharing links that we have found or projects that have caught our eye, touching base after the work week for some of them.

Cher has been on a mission to clear up some donation tops for 2013 and had finished one, featured in THIS POST.    On Sunday she turned her attention to a pile of muddy  fall colored strip sets and some background strips that she thought her boss had passed on to her when the boss moved on from sewing.  I mentioned that I might have something similar to what she described.  One of our former Belles had passed along a good deal of her sewing stuff and some of it is at my house.  Dark colors, good for a boy maybe but definitely not a Cher palette of colors.   Since no pattern was with the materials, she did not know where the maker was headed.  Same with my pile of strips and fabrics.  I was thinking like planned strings half square triangles or maybe Hidden Wells, something along those lines for what I had here particularly because I had some background fabric that went with it.  I would be interested in what she came up with.

SO this morning I find a picture in the mail box----I know she will want to post about her top on her own blog so I cropped the picture

Oh my word!  Take a look at what I have here at home.  It looks like the same strip sets to me!  Too funny after commiserating with her about this weekend.

and the same go with's.  

This is just too much of a coincidence!  Then I remembered that I may very well have sent this on to Cher about this time last year.  She said that she would take one or two of my quilt kits off her hands in an effort to make 13 donation quilts in 2013.  If it was already cut and ready to sew, then it would expedite things.  I know I sent her a Lyn Brown "Cypress" quilt kit---the pattern is for sale now in her Craftsy shop but there is a picture of what I am talking about in THIS POST.  (BTW that Boho Bricks Quilt is pretty neat too.)

What I only vaguely remember is that there were so many strip sets that Anne had made up that we split those and split that gold colored background stuff too----or it may have already been cut strips.  I do not remember at this point.  If I don't remember, then Cher may have just assumed that it came from her bosses' former stash.

For now it all goes back in the storage tower.  I need to get back to my foundation piecing project!

Jan 26, 2014

2 blog hops in 1 time frame

Mdm. Samm our head cheerleader from sewwequilt is being assisted by Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks with TWO blog hops over the next week or so, run alternating days.  We start tomorrow, Monday  January 27th and the whole deal wraps up on February 7th.

The first is She Who Sews and I'll post that schedule first:

Monday, January 27
Joy Studio

Wednesday, January 29th

Friday, January 31st

Tuesday, February 4th

Thursday, February 6th

Lixie Makes It
How ART you?
Seams To Be Sew
threads on my socks
Quilted Delights
Life in the Scrapatch
Sew We Quilt

Then on the alternate days, we do the door stop/draft dodger day.  Here is the schedule for that!  Some are doing both, I see.  Not me but I am  up on day one, LOL.

Tuesday, January 28th
threads on my socks
How ART you?
Den syende himmel
Moosestash Quilting
life, quilts and a cat too   <<THAT's ME>>

Thursday, January 30th
Just Let Me Quilt
Quilted Delights
Hill Valley Quilter
Pampered Pettit
Life in the Scrapatch
Seams To Be Sew

Monday, February 3rd
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Marjorie's Busy Corner
Shepody Mountain Crafter 
Lydsfire Sewing
Creatin' in the Sticks

Wednesday, February 5th
More Stars in Comanche
Buzzing and Bumbling

Sew and Sow Farm
Purl Buttons Blog

Carretel E Agulha
The Quilting Queen
Pig Tales and Quilts

Friday, February 7th

Pickles Quilting
Made by Me in Red
A Passion for Applique
Living With Purpose
Tipsy Teacup Creations
Sew We Quilt


And as a personal note about the only creative stuff that got done here yesterday was this:

I had gone on the grocery run and DJ said while we were eating lunch "You didn't get me any cookies, did you?"  Well, I don't eat those awful things so he has to tell me if he needs them.  I said if he talked nice to me, I might just bake him some.  I did obviously about 5 dozen of the family favorite Pride of Iowa oatmeal cookies.  Trust me, they like them at quilt guild too, LOL.  

Also we don't normally have flowers in the kitchen either.  Today is our 15th wedding anniversary however.  I told him NOT to get me any flowers as he had paid for the quarter round and door threshholds when we did the flooring---30 bucks worth of that plus what was left of the paint practically.  (I had picked up a little something I thought he could use earlier in the week so no surprises today except for the cards).  After some discussion, we decided to go out tomorrow as it will be less crowded and a little less expensive on a week day at Golden Corral.

Later, I did finish up one foundation pieced block for the Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop.  I know what I am making with the blocks and I will get back to sewing in a bit.  Nope, I don't think I am supposed to share a picture of THAT just yet though we are all basically working with the same three patterns.  It is the what we do with them and the fabric choices that is more a secret, LOL.

Anyway, I spent some time today getting some pictures for my blog hop post.  I am up on Tuesday so I hope you will come on back to see what I have been up to!  Thankfully, we had a warmer day of it and I was able to get some outside shots of my items.  We are headed to another arctic blast again come Tuesday, with the weather dude saying overnight temps in the teens and maybe even single digits.  UHHHH, I live in northeast central Alabama and it is not normally this cold.  If I wanted to freeze, I could have stayed in Illinois!    What a weird winter all across the country!  Stay warm if you are having a similar weather pattern.

Jan 23, 2014

Still playing

Today's play date with EQ, LOL.

When I first saw that Loop the Loop block in the previous post, I initially thought of the block called Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie.  Quilter's Cache has one and I am using their image.  You can see the quarter snow balls but not the Bright Hopes or Twist block portion.

Then here is much the same block but I revised it for less pieces and recolored it

Long ago I had cut a kit and did one block and portions of a block for a block called Y Bridge on the World Wide Quilting Page, a block of the month of 1998-99.  My printouts read February 19, 2000 and were stuck in the project box.  I had it drawn up in EQ at the time but cannot find the project file at this point.

BlockBase does not list a block called Y bridge but really it is just a variation of that Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie.  Blockbase does show another version though with the same name.  LOL, they often do.  #2534.  How do you even piece that?? Avoid miters at all costs!

 So I set to revising and because I love red and aqua together I recolored it, LOL

A quilt with the revised block

Too many joining lines again---I hate sewing the same colored block to the same colored block when a larger square would work better.  I drew grid lines through my printout. You can see the square in a square, plain squares, two patches of  rectangles and filler around the periphery of the quilt.

I drew up block sectioning---you can see them there and I based everything on a 2.5 inch grid for a quilt that would finish 50 x 70 minus borders.  That woman who wrote that book about borderless quilts has nothing on me, LOL.  A screen shot of EQ with a portion completed.

And finally, here is the revamped quilt with the revised block of Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie

Would I make one?  Maybe but it is too late for the quilt kit I have cut out.  Will I ever finish that one since it has been sitting for 14 years now?  Who knows?  I would be MORE likely to do the revamped version and I am not that nuts about doing square in squares either.  Thing is, can I even call it Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie at this point with all those changes?   In fact, now it reminds me more of a block called 1727d Broken Wheel, a Rolling Stone Variation

I think I will call it Honeycomb now that I did all that rearranging and such.  My quilt, if I make it, and I can call it anything I want just like the quilting foremothers did.
For now I am going to leave that one alone, LOL but mostly because I already know how I would piece it, don't I?

Now that lunch is over I am back to my door stop sewing project #2 that could be possibly finished up today.   Cross your fingers!

Jan 22, 2014

Adapted Loop the Loop AKA adapting patterns

You just knew I was going to fiddle with that "Loop the Loop" letter L challenge quilt some more, didn't you?  I thought later today but EQ was singing its siren song, LOL.

Really this pattern does intrigue me.  My mom called a bit ago and she admits to see the possibilities as did Susan of patchwork reflections who I know is looking for a Wedding Ring styled quilt but without the curves and all the wedge segments.  Beth of bzyqltr commented this morning on my previous post
" It looks like a Garden Twist variation.  I like it alot!  I can see there would be many color variations that would look great in this pattern.  Can't wait to see what you pick."
You know, she is right!  When you look a little closer at the original block, you see a more compacted version of a Bright Hopes block along with a quarter Snowball block.  That really is all that a typical "Around the Twist" quilt is, alternating blocks of those two blocks.  You can use more colors, put it on point but it is still those two and some of the balls don't get a flippy corner.

Here are the two blocks
Bright Hopes


Okay, now contrast that jpg from Trudie Hughes pattern page with the Loop the Loop from my previous post.  It just has pieced stuff in the middle and set block to block rather than on point.

SO I've been drawing and using custom set in EQ to ditch the block joining lines.   As I see it there are two basic blocks and then filler stuff around the periphery of the quilt.  I drew dark lines on my printout where I see natural divisions in the quilt and could isolate those areas for drawing.  I based my drawing on 12 inch blocks and 2 inch divisions in the blocks.  Drafting is not hard and in my opinion is a skill all quilters need so you are not held captive by an existing block size or written pattern.  Make it your own, folks!

Modified Snowball

Modified Snowball with coloration changes to complete the rings

Modified Bright Hopes block----you have to rotate the block to complete the ring color.

Then we have the filler blocks

The corner blocks---rotated as needed

Two colorations---also rotated and flipped as needed

And there are few of these as well

Put all that together and you have my newly improved and completely do-able challenge quilt idea that sort of, kind of looks like the original but without all the sectioning and pieces.  I think I even have the fabric to pull this off with the possible exception of the lime green.  I'll have to look in the stash.  It would be pretty in more colors for the rings, I think,  rather than the limited palette I used for the drawing purposes  BTW my dad added the color lupine to the list and really that adds a lot of possibilities as they varied colors..

BTW my dad added the color lupine to the list  of L colors.  Perfect, as it really that adds a lot of possibilities in varied colors of purples and pink shades.

I'm back to sewing as soon as I get the "spoil your husband" turkey in the crockpot.  I did the cranberry sauce and pecan pie bars yesterday so really this is just making his favorite meal as an early anniversary thing.  Also it will make up for insisting on ham for Christmas.  (I was not ready for more turkey so soon after Thanksgiving especially with a leftover turkey meal midway between)   Just another meal with more sides, LOL.

THX for stopping by

Jan 21, 2014

more on the L---UPDATED

I've been busy today but I am not entirely sure doing just what, LOL.  I was looking at patterns on quilting treasures this morning, downloading a few of them.  I wound some bobbins for the door stop #2 project.  (I finished #1 last night except for some minor embellishment).  Posted a couple things on Facebook, checked a few things on Pinterest and read a few blogs. Ordered a replacement USB cord for my camera  (costs a nickel and mails for almost three bucks).  I ran an errand in town, did a load of laundry.  All told between two meals and getting a few things ready ahead of a turkey dinner tomorrow night,   I spent a good bit of time in the kitchen.   Nothing exciting, just a regular old day.

AND the mail lady came by---with a block diagram that my mom had found in response to the L challenge ideas I had posted the other day.   This is called "Loop the Loop".   Do you see the little paper ones she printed off for me to play with?  Cool!  She found it in 120 Patterns for Traditional Patchwork by Maggie Malone.  I have not found anything like it Blockbase yet so who knows where the author found it?

Mom suggested lemon yellow, lime green, lilac and lavender and white.  It could work!  THX for thinking of me.  Now that I see the picture of what she told me about on the phone, I could see the block divisions and how it might go together.  Parts of it could be strip pieced plus I think I could play with the block intersections and change out the many lines.  For now I just committed it to file in EQ and will play with it a bit more before I consider myself done with it.  Print it off and see where the sections break down is a starting point.

Mom said her feelings would not be hurt if I don't commit this project to cloth but you know, I might just do try it.  I know I have some of the fabrics on hand in that coloration.  Bet no one else would make one like this either!

I love getting quilty mail.  This came Saturday from my lefthanded quilter friend.  I swapped her some plaid fabrics and I knew that she was sending some sail boat foundation pieces but she also packed in the stars, cats and dogs and airplanes.  Woohoo! and thank you, my friend.

The sail boats may work in that baby quilt for the "great baby" due in July.

Look at this silly kitty.  He is absolutely in love with this wool throw.  Anytime he sees DJ in his recliner he finds his spot between the legs and curls up.  It is not unusual to see one or both of them sacked out.  If DJ leaves the throw on the back of the recliner folded up, he gets up behind DJ's head and sits there on it.  Thing is, it is my throw and something I picked up on a long ago trip to the Amana Colonies.  As attached as these two are to it, I guess I should just pass custody of it.  DJ would tell you he does his best napping under this cozy thing.  Me?  Makes me itch, LOL.

Well, I still have some vague idea that I am going to sew a bit this evening.  Get started on that 2nd project.  I said I had practiced on the first one so I might just know a bit more about the job ahead of me for round 2.  If I quit goofing off, it might happen sooner too, LOL.  We are having another one of those super cold snaps again (for us) for a few days so it is a most excellent time to stay in and sew.

THX for stopping by--------

UPDATE:  1-22

OR here is a lighter version but I still want to tweaking this some more to get those extra line sections out of there.  OR not, LOL.  Still have all the requisite colors  Lemon yellow, lime green, lilac and lavender but toss in some white.  What do you think??

First, I need to fix a boo boo from last night's sewing.  Scarves have fringe on BOTH ends not just one. You'll see next week why I am sewing yarn on some fabric.