Mar 27, 2015

finished to flimsy

I am finally finished with the 100 Good Wishes quilt top having assembled the top and bottom halves today and applying a small border of the same muslin that I used to frame the handprint and Grandma's embroidered piece as well as make the 15 inch Patience Corner blocks.

I would have to move the command strip hooks to raise the curtain rod I have mounted on the master bedroom wall in order to get this up off the carpet.  Ain't worth it, McGee!   Maybe you will able to see the fabrics a little better in this shot of the lower 3 rows

Here's the upper portion of it though you saw part of this on Tuesday, LOL

And here's the long shot.    Truthfully it is a bit of a hot mess but that's what you get when you have people giving you fabrics and pieced blocks.  I had to interface the backs of some of them as they were not good quality quilters cotton.  There is also too much poly cotton in here to suit me but no choice there.  I did my best to incorporate the handprint and embroidery pieces.   Best thing, it is done to this stage.  Grandma will meet me next week and she'll have to tell me if she wants another border (Good heavens, I hope not!) and pick out the backing.

It measures 63 x 78 now, certainly large enough for a throw for a 10 year old girl.  I left the extra tables set up around my sewing table "just in case".  I think she wants this "birthed" and no batting.  That part is okay but I think the blocks should be locked in at the very least and bind it even if I am the one that has to do it.

Tomorrow I most definitely have to dust and run the vacuum as it is horrid in here.  The temps this weekend are dropping down to the low 30's-high 20's after 50's lately for overnights.  I've had the heat shut off for over a week but that's gonna change, I'm thinking!

Oscar is wanting to go walk.  I am happy to report that he was a good boy and napped while I got the side borders put on.  I told him he could go in the back yard but he hopped in his crate rather than do that.  He goes to the carport door when he wants to walk and thought I wasn't getting the message.  HA!  I cannot stand the whimpering and whining though.  Only one way to stop THAT---get up and walk!

Mar 24, 2015

Meeting day and so on

Today was Belle's meeting day.  Off I went and on time today even though I still didn't get to sleep till after 1 a.m. but woke without benefit of alarm or nagging cat.  Though it was a little cool early this morning, we were headed to the low 70's and a sunny day.  Oscar could stay outside while I was away.

The others were mostly involved with pinning.  Bev had two adorable baby panels in colors for each sex that she had picked up for a song at a garage sale.  Lois had two tops done from sections they had worked on sew day last month.  She said it is called "Rolling Fields".  I told her she will probably have to remind me when she had them quilted.    I found an image on google search and there is a pattern for sale.  It is jelly roll friendly using two of them- but the girls did them scrappy.  I saw a bunch of my Popsicle Stix leftovers in it.    The third top was an Arrowhead quilt from Quiltmaker Magazine using Anita Grossman Solomon's techniques and layer cake friendly.  The link will take you to a free pdf pattern for this.

I didn't get any pictures today and Shawnee had a pretty one to turn in.  Purples and yellow but we did not recognize the patternm maybe Turning Twenty but there seemed to be at least two different blocks, Shawnee thought there was 4 different blocks.  Linda C had sent the tops some time back and this was one Shawnee promised to finish up. She emailed a copy of picture she took of it but so far it seems to be lost in cyberspace.  I'll get one taken to share if it doesn't show up but the space on the bedroom wall is currently occupied.

I had started piecing the 100 Good Wishes quilt yesterday afternoon, putting the top three rows on the "design wall".  I got 4 blocks done before I packed up the car so I could work on it at the meeting.  I joined the blocks in row one and started piecing row two, joining it.  The others left for lunch though Julie kept me company while she waited for her son to pick her up (he had borrowed her car).  I sewed the two rows together once I got home.

Anyway, you can see where I am sort of headed with this.   I have placed the Oriental fabric squares and blocks around the little girl's hand print at age 3.  Row 3 will carry that out a bit more.  I have to use what I was given and it will be what it is and try to bring some order to all the disparate elements.  I've got 10 more large Patience Corners blocks to make.  Grandmother's embroidered piece goes in row 4.    I should be done by the end of the week.

Other than that, there is not a lot going on.  The days go whizzing by in spite of it.

Mar 19, 2015

this and that

Been a busy couple of days since my last post, mostly dealing with household tasks.  Yesterday, 4 loads of wash including bedding, towels and the usual two loads of clothes.  It is just unusual that it all happened the same day.  Ran the dishwasher--twice actually-- as I decided later in the day to bake some pumpkin muffins and baked oatmeal since the oven was already on.  Today it was errands mostly and some minor food preparation this morning.

In between yesterday's housework I did some sewing,  This was the log cabin block I re-did.  On the left is the scan of the block though the corner got flipped.  I had put the 17 strips in reverse order was I un-sewed it but it still helped to have a visual nd the numbers.  I did not mirror the block when I printed it so it looks different next to the re-pieced now 6 inch finished blocks.  At least I think that is what has happened to it, LOL.   I pieced another log cabin block this afternoon using leftovers from the 4 patches I had cut trying to combine some of the larger squares.  I have one more block to piece, a variable star with a teddy bear center and then five blocks with some minor machine applique to do.  I'll need to swap out machines for that purpose.

Then when I could not get to sleep last night, the idea came to me on how I could handle these 6 inch bits of fabric and/or blocks and still allow for the two odd ones I must include.  Patience Corner but larger blocks than I have done in the past--up to 15 inches.  I could NOT figure out how to it the odd balls in and still maintain the columns of fabric.  This way, I don't have to as it is 18 blocks if I didn't miscount.  I build up the one oddball block to 15 inch squares framing it and put half blocks around it . The grandma piece bumps out to out to 15 x 30 inches.  It will work.  See computer and EQ sketch I was playing around with.   I may slide this up a row higher but the piecing will still be the same.

The sleeping thing?  Or rather not sleeping thing.  Ever since we changed the clocks I have been having problems getting to sleep in the first place.  I am tired when I go to bed and then I just lay there---midnight goes by, 1 a.m. goes by and it is often after 2 a.m. before I go to sleep.    I'm not really worried about anything so I am not sure what the problem is.  Skyler is hogging the bed or bites me when I get too restless and flop the covers around too much.  I made him get out and closed the door but then he just meowed till I let him back in.  One night I went across the hall to the master bed, closed the door and finally went to sleep.  I almost got up last night and sewed, figuring that I might as well use that time if I was going to be awake.  I don't wake up till after 8 so I'm getting 6 hours of sleep or there abouts but still!  This is getting old.  I hope tonight is better as I won't be thinking about this stupid quilt anyway.  I've have a plan and just need to get some fabric for the sashing.  The grandmother sent some muslin scraps mostly but I'm afraid it will not be enough to get the job done or it won't match.
My quilt guild is having a sew-in right now but I have decided to stay home.  Two of the girls are out of town though one will be back late tomorrow and would go if I wanted to go.  Another is having a surgical procedure.  I still need to get my fabric and cut.  I thought my time would be better served, this time anyway, to stay home and get some sewing done.
I see that the NCAA Men's basketball tournament has started so nothing I want to watch on TV tonight.  DJ was really into the March Madness thing, whittling down the brackets, watching the games he was interested in SEC or Big Ten.  I would help him if he missed getting the outcomes of some of the games written down checking on the computer.   Watching the games was his thing though.

Oscar is snoozing on the couch beside me while Skyler is staking out his claim to my bed.  I think I'll read for a bit and try to unwind.  And sew it goes---------

Mar 17, 2015

Tuesday rolls around

 Poor Oscar---he's worn out but I think happy to be back in the house.  We just got back from walking up and down the lane and it pretty warm out with full blazing sun.   (My home thermometer says 74 but my phone thinks its 78.)   He was panting by the time we got back and I was about to join him while we headed to our mutual watering stations once back in the house.   He is conked out near the door and Skyler's scratching post now.  Meanwhile I think I may have sunburned the back of my neck.

Almost offficially spring!  The Bradford pears are open in their full snowy white.  Tulip trees are in bloom and the forsythia bush is open as well.  Today I noticed that my neighbors pink tree is blooming  now too--not sure what it is as first glance it looks like a dogwood but possibly is a flowering cherry??   Pretty.  The azaleas don't appear to be doing anything while the camellia is still flowering.  The daffodils are done but I think the star gazer lily stalks are trying to come up.  Robert hit part of it with the lawn mower today.  Yep, the yard had to be mowed to knock down all the weeds.  He did some of the weed whacking in my back yard dragging out the electric whacker from the shed as his apparently did not winter well.  Meeanwhile I was out pulling some of the weedy stuff up from around the fence and the area out in front.  I started spraying near the chain link fence at his request too.  Rain is due in tomorrow so I'll have to wait to continue with my part of the yard work.  It looks so much better out there now!  

Inside I have been working on the commission piece.   Mostly  I cut yesterday to get the squares down to a uniform size but I bordered the grandmother's embroidered piece after taking the stitching out that kept the piece from raveling while she worked on it.  I needed to get it flat in order to sew on the framing green.  I just pinned the squares that need to be included near it on the back of one of my existing quilts.

The handprint is a special piece celebrating the young girl it is going to as are the Chinese themed pieces as she was adopted from China.  There is apparently a tradition of 100 days of gifts for a child and this quilt is to be made with 100 pieces of fabric that her grandmother collected.  The result will be her 10th birthday present.

 To keep the quilt from getting too huge I have combined pieces by making 4 patches and 3 D bowties, etc.  One block is a log cabin block but I have to remake it--smaller, 9 ish down to 6 inch finished.  I drew it up in EQ so I could use the 17 existing fabrics once I took it apart.   I got a few of the pieced blocks done this afternoon but much more remains.  Unless I have Oscar go back outside, it might be tomorrow.  I've got it down to 72 sections plus grandma's piece but I'll still need to figure how it all fits together from what you see above.

Meanwhile to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, I have been listening to a mix of Celtic Thunder on you tube.  This will take you to "Ireland's Call".  This is one of my favorites along with "Caledonia".  I left my "Kiss me I'm Irish" button put away.  The anniversary of DJ's and my first kiss, one of our memories.   

Not much going on, not much to pass on.  Think I'm heading to the kitchen for a bit.  Peel some taters for corned beef hash??

Mar 11, 2015

Wednesday check in

Completed Children's Book Challenge quilt.  Oscar went outside for a bit Monday afternoon and I got to go finish up the binding. Oh yippy.

 I had decided to sew the binding on to the backside and fold it over to the front.  I Elmer's Glued it in place so I could stitch it down as required by the organizers.   NOT my idea.   I have been quilting since 1988 and trust me, I do a much better job stitching the 2nd half down by hand using a close applique type stitch.  I know, I know--- I complain about having to do that part too but at least I do it well.  My complaints there are mostly I am just tired of looking at the same project and am so ready to move on.   BUT why would I want to deliberately do a method that I frankly do NOT do well, by machine?  Because I was told I had to---only reason.  I will not participate if I have to again.

I hung this quilt for its glamour shot over the one that is currently occupying this space to if you see something peeking out around the edges, that's it.  The quilt IS square.  Pattern is BQ2 from Maple Island Quilts but the scaled down version.  The pattern calls for like 18 inch blocks BQ stands for BIG quilt.  I have no desire to do huge simply pieced blocks.

This picture shows the backing fabric but worst, the poor job I did in stitching this binding down.  While I went right on the folded edge on the front, there is an obvious "miss" for landing in the ditch on the back side. Had I stitched in the ditch from the back I would have just missed the edge and it still would look bad and leave a black line on the light background border.   It just looks sloppy to me.  No point in taking it out and trying to do better sloppy, ruined my quit, not going to do it ever again, not good.  It does look a little better now that the quilt has been laundered, I will say as it is a bit more disguised.  SIGH

Inside, because it is raining, here is the view in the kitchen.  Oscar could go in the living room as the gate has been moved back from the kitchen entrance but I'm at the kitchen table.  He drug his blanket out and decided to nap near my chair.  He's got his rawhide bone one with him.  Amazingly, earlier he did "ask" to go out to do his business in the rain and then crawled into his dog house.   I was expecting him to bark to let me know he wanted back in.  I just checked the rain gauge and it looks like an inch collected.  Worms are slithering out on the carport only to dry up.  We'll go walk once it clears up a bit.

There is not a lot going on around here.  Bama Belles met yesterday though I was about a half hour late getting there.  Bev and I usually arrive around the same time and she also has a key so I gave her a heads up that I had overslept/actually slept.  For the last week I have been having troubles getting to sleep until after 1 or 2 a.m.   I then wake up around 7:30 so do get some uninterrupted rest. Then we changed the stinkin' clocks and I am all messed up. Now I can be awake till 3 a.m. instead---yippy!  Now add having to get up to an alarm.  At 4:15 I removed Skyler from the bed and his morning bath complete with claw cleaning, shut off the alarm and closed the door. I slept till 8:15 when Skyler's meowing and pawing the door awoke me.  I knew he would get me up as he is pretty vocal when he is waiting for his treat bite in the morning.  I put it in high gear once up.

Because I am between projects I had grabbed my embroidery bag to take to the meeting but didn't touch it.  There were 6 of us present and Lois had 4 tops to pin.  We would have helped Teresa pin her projects but she woke up not feeling well and missed the meeting.  Aline had finished her blue Fiddlesticks top from our last meeting so that got pinned as well.  My Fiddlesticks top stayed home--maybe pin it next time.   Then we called it a day and went out to Cracker Barrel for breakast/lunch.

One of Lois' tops was what she, Bev and Teresa were working on at the sew-in day.  Got to find out the right name as it makes use of a lot of bits of fabric, 2 1/2 inches.  We were picking out bits and pieces from our stashes, LOL.   She had also made a fallish type Bali Sea Star, that is the cover quilt of Kim Brackett's Scrap Basket Surprises.   Probably the one she had done that drew the most comment was her pastel version of Emily's Wedding Quilt from Fons and Porter that alternates a 54-40 or Fight block with a simple shoofly block.   (There is a free pdf file for a similar quilt as well as a digital download).    I forgot my camera so you will see these all quilted down the line.  The 4th quilt was a scrappy 16 patch with stars pieced into the sashing.

I think Oscar and I can make a trip up and down the lane now.  It is staying warm in the 60s but we are in for varying degrees of rain through the weekend.   Possibly some storms.  We are in the first tornado season now so anything is possible.  Till next time-------

Mar 6, 2015

It's finally Friday

It's finally Friday---though that used to mean a whole lot more when I was working and had the weekend off.  So it has snuck into March I would say as a lamb more than a lion, not counting the weather threats again this week.  Yes, it was raining---I dumped about a half inch from the gauge at one point---but our temps stayed above the freezing mark just enough.  I know other parts of the state were not so lucky.  There was a 14 car/semi pileup at 1-20 and !-459 in Birmingham and ice plated car pictures all over the news coverage yesterday.  Here,  school was cancelled on Thursday probably as a course of least regret and delayed two hours this morning.   I've barely been out of the house so the only icy spot I saw was that area on the carport that pools a bit of water  (by the car and garbage can).  It would have been worse had I not swept it out towards the yard.

I've got all the blocks quilted on my challenge piece as I was able to go in and do the last 10 of the 35 done yesterday.  That just leaves the binding application but I still need to press the joined strips for this quilt and the Fiddlesticks top.  (I hate to iron!)  We have been told to finish the binding by machine as it is going to Children's Hospital.  UGH-- frankly, I am not fond of the look of it or more precisely of the look of it when I do it.  Let's just say it is not my forte or my choice.  My binding is black, the backing that pale blue animal print I picked up at the Ashville Quilt shop.  I'm thinking about applying it to the back and pulling it to the front as I don't make a mess on the light background border.  I think it will work anyway, she says with shaky confidence.  (You can see the quilt under the needle in the previous post.)  Mostly I just want the think done at this point.

Next up: I've got that top to assemble with the "100 pieces of cloth" next.  I've got some ideas but have not organized the fabrics yet though I have a working idea.  Some can be cut and some need to remain intact.  EQ will come in handy to work out a design.  That and putting the vinyl table cloth up in the master bedroom as my make shift design wall.  I promised the grandmother who asked me to do this that it will be ready in time for the granddaughter's 10th bday in mid April.   Should not take long to sew the top once I arrive at the design.

As I write this, Oscar is stuck like Velcro to me taking his morning snooze here on the couch.  Skyler is off in the master window perch.  All is quiet, for now anyway.  Skyler was being a holy terror yesterday chasing the dog and worse, sneaking up to the couch and poking Oscar in the face with his paw as he was under the coveted wool throw.  Oscar was not retaliating and actually flinches when Skyler is batting at his nose.  He will give chase is Skyler runs though.  Oscar was not entirely behaving though either.  I was in the kitchen making chicken salad and trying out the grinder attachment to my KitchenAid mixer, Oscar near my feet looking for a chicken hand out.  I needed something from under the sink, what does not matter, and the door was open.  Next thing I know he is crawling IN the cupboard.  There is not enough room in there for him and the things stored there.   See the picture below for an idea of what I'm talking about.   He would NOT get out either.  I don't know if he got stuck back there and couldn't turn around but he was under the plumbing pipe behind the tan basket.   After I removed the things on the right hand side, I could reach him and get him out of there.

I should also tell you at the same time the smoke alarm was beeping and why I didn't know as I had not turned on the stove or the stove top.  It sounded like the wired in one.  Come to find out, the carbon monoxide/radon(?) whatever that thing is in the hallway is had somehow become unplugged and it was lying on the floor intermittently beeping.   Did Skyler knock it off the receptacle???  I didn't though I have gotten the vacuum cord caught up in it before and accidentally unplugged it.   Boy, do I need out of the house and away from those two for a hour or so!  Give myself a chance to miss them.  Sheesh.

Day is half over and I still have not made any plans for the day.  Guess I'll go walk the dog and think about what I might do for lunch.   Chicken salad anyone?  The sun is out and it might be 35 or so, depending on what source you want to use, LOL.

Till next time--------

Mar 3, 2015

checking in

We are currently in a "warm up to rain" pattern so it is intermittently raining or mistiy rain. mooshy underfoot.  The mail and newspaper people are leaving muddy ruts which can't be helped.  Word is, that late Wednesday-early Thursday the temps are going to drop like a rock and my area is at risk for freezing rain/ice, depending on the temperature at the time.  I guess we'll see.

Meanwhile I need to get my challenge quilt dealt with!  Jane, Aline and I met up on Friday to pin two tops and then went out to lumch at Panera Bread.  We had planned on doing it sometime this week but the sew-in they had planned on going to in Attalla was cancelled due to the weather.  (Etowah County, just north of us got more snow and ice in the last weather event.  Some places up closer to the Tennessee Valley reported 10 to 12 inches so it could have been way worse for us but the kids still missed a day of school and another delayed start on Friday.)  So the pinning was done but I elected NOT to quilt it quite yet as I had the guild newsletter to deal with instead.  I set the forward and side tables up and swapped out machines but that was far as it got.

It was warm enough for Oscar to be out but too wet to remain out there long.  I really don't want to have to clean up red dirt paw prints.  He was cooperating by sleeping a good bit on the couch and had his belly band on so I snuck in the sewing room.  "Do a line, check on the dog,  Repeat."  LOL  The blocks are "locked in" as my friend Joy called it and I did one block just to see about how long it would take--approx. 5-7 minutes.  There are 34 left to do.   I may go back in there after I get Oscar to bed tonight as there is nothing I care to watch on TV tonight.  This must be done by the 14th!  Time's a wastin'

Shown is Oscar and his stuff.  He hauls it all out of his bed each morning.  I don't think he likes these new Milk Bone biscuits as he still has not eaten his "good boy" biscuit.   Food normally does not last long around him!

Skyler wanted in the sewing room in the worst way!  Actually he had come in and immediately was goobering up a dangling string from the quilt backing.  I nipped that action in the bud and then he wanted to park up on the quilting tables and the quilt.  Nope, you are not welcome to stay.  I closed the door and moved his water bowl to the master bedroom.  He hangs out on his perches but has always liked the one in my room best.  Sewing is off limits for the time being, Skyler Lee!

I see we are to change the clocks come Sunday.  I realize that I already messed up which direction they need to be turned too.   DJ would be getting a big kick out of that as he teased me about not keeping it straight just about every year, for years! The kitchen clock battery had died and I replaced it thinking it is only a few more days before I would have to hop on the chair again to chance the clock.  I've moved it back an hour----and it should have gone forward.   It took me whole day to realize that too and it is still "wrong"  We lose an hour of sleep, right?  I wish we would just pick a time and leave the stinkin' clocks there!   GRRRRR  I also changed the battery in the smoke detector after I did the clock so one up there.

Last night's "goof up" was the bulb went out on the night light but it sort of sparked when it did.  I shut the switch off at night so it is not so bright in the hallway and disturb my rest but I had needed something from the medicine cabinet.  That's when it sparked.  OH OH.  I tossed the bulb, replaced it with another and it still didn't work. I went back to sleep.  At 4:30 in the morning it dawns on me that I had probably tripped the circuit breaker as the lights and receptacles in that part of the house were off.  Oscar was whining to go out so I got that dealt with though it means going out off the carport to the utility room.   Thankfully, I went back to sleep though not right a way.

I've got groceries on hand in case we cannot get out due to icing for a few days.   Laundry is caught up but I could stand to vacuum and dust---again.  Thought about doing some baking but talked myself out of that.  Usual stuff.   My sister Janet is flying in from Colorado to see me next month for a few days so that is something to look forward to!

and sew it goes------