Showing posts from August, 2011

WIP no more

Another finish to flimsy. Not the best picture perhaps as I had to turn on the overhead light and then I got a nice shadow from the entertainment center but no is done. The backing will be the same as the cornerstones as I have plenty of it, thanks to my mom.

I am going to seam the binding, press and roll it and then vacuum up the paper bits off the floor. Actually considering that most of these blocks were pieced to pages from an old phone book you would think it would be more of a mess in here. I was fortunate enough to get most of it removed intact and dumped into the trash collector hanging from the sewing table. BUT I have a box fan at floor level trying to disperse the cooled a/c air and probably fluttered a bit of paper around. It has looked far worse in the past.

Probably broke 4 needles on this project which probably a record for me considering it is a small quilt. This machine definitely does not like pins or I just had a knack for hitting them dead …

a start

I reached my short term goals yesterday plus a bit of a start on another project to follow. When I quit last night (time to watch "The Closer" and "Rizzoli and Isles", after all) I had two blocks of first row dealt with. I did the other two this morning first thing. 5 more rows to go. I will have finished another Belles Scrappy Challenge top when I'm done.
I had a little light snafu in the sewing area this morning in that the light bulb in the halogen lamp I use on the left hand side of my machine table seemed to have blown. Well, I use the thing a lot and the original equipment had never been replaced. Nothing lasts forever. I had purchased a couple of replacement bulbs along with the lamp just to be sure that I had one on hand when I needed it.
You would think you should be able to just pop another one, right? The screws holding the lens on were factory tightened so DJ had to help me get it off as we didn't want to crack the glass. I would have f…

"Design Area" Monday, wk 36

Yeah, it doesn't look like much, does it? I should have included my pile of string blocks perhaps. I arranged them in rows yesterday but didn't take the project any further. Instead, I downloaded a pile of recipes from into my cooking software and worked on my green work baskets. (The combo of recipe fox, firefox browser and Mastercook makes this process very easy---click, click, click)

My goals for today include pressing and winding up these two piles of binding, mostly because they are in my way for cutting into that pile of fabric on the left end. The cutting mat is under the pressing board, meaning you do all the pressing tasks before you remove said board to use the mat and rotary cutter jobs. Small jobs cutting jobs I tend to use my 12 x 20 June Taylor press/cut board with the small Olfa mat over cutting surface. June Taylor stuff is too hard and will dull up your rotary blade in no time flat. That's how I roll, LOL.

I have done my calculation…

blocks done

Today's goal: 11 string blocks to go with the 13 I already have done.

I used what strings remained in the Belles scrap box, raided my scrap basket and grabbed a handful to 1 1/2 and 2 inch strips from their respective containers and went to work on pages from the old phone book for foundation. I see a lot of previous projects in these blocks, LOL.

And here is where I am headed with it. I use the print out to figure out how many strips of sashing I need to cut but it probably won't be this pretty aqua/turquoise color. Try muslin and a neutral for the cornerstones, LOL. I wish I DID have something that color but I don't, nor am I purchasing any.

I do NOT do the sashing they way they often show you in the quilting mags and books. They will often instruct you to make a long skinny string of sashing and apply that whole little thing to a row of blocks with sashing in between the blocks. Nope, I do what I call "pre-sashing" the blocks.

Let me see if I can exp…

another finish to flimsy

Hot off the press---whatever you want to call this. Let's go with "Staggered Bricks"

I sort of wish that I had put a flap of something dark between the body of the quilt and the outside border but I am NOT taking it off to make that happen. It would have provided just a bit of separation between the elements and taken the dark out one more level. IIWII.

The binding will be the reddish looking print and I still need to seam it. Backing is in the washer.

I am not sure which project I want to work on next---too many choices, LOL. Maybe just some simple strings. I was packing up some abandoned blocks to send to a friend in another guild for their donation quilts and found a few blocks that could be trimmed down to match a pile I have started. That gives me 13 blocks that are done and some are from the Belles scrappy challenge strips/strings. With sashing I would need 24 blocks so looks like I am half way there. I love it when a plan comes together.

WIP Thursday

I never did get around to sewing anything yesterday. Paperwork, a few errands and the next thing I knew it was time to fix supper---almost. By then I was out of the notion. I looked at quilt magazines last night instead.

I had intended to take my Brother machine in for servicing but when it came right down to it, I didn't feel much like leaving the house. Maybe tomorrow. I set up the older model Singer that I got from Lois' mom estate. Though it is a mechanical machine it has a nice stitch on it. I did have to pull out the manual to remind myself how to thread it though. Had I needed to wind bobbins, I would need a refresher on that part too.

So, I am sewing 6 1/2 inch strips together. Thus far I have changed my mind about the inclusion of one fabric and then later the color sequencing too. Read: more unsewing perhaps than sewing??

This is a case of using what you have on hand. In this case I had only one strip of a lighter olive-y green and needed more but found …

Meeting day

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, my quilt group met today. I had taken my hand quilting along with me but it was left untouched. I helped pin and sewed together batting bits mostly---and a lot of yakking, LOL.

Shown at left is an adorable top that Lois made. We all fell in love with the embroidered butterflies that Lois did up on her fancy dancy machine. Of course two of the grandmas in the group would love to have some of the blocks for their granddaughters. Got to pay her something for the deal so she can keep herself in thread, right? By the time we left Lois and Marilyn were working on a barter---butterfly blocks for a decorated cake Lois needs for a club function in about 10 days, LOL.

(I should have taken the picture BEFORE the pins went in and made sure I had the butterflies flying right side up when I handed it to Marilyn to hold it up.)

I told the girls I wouldn't need to have them sign a release form as all I took was their hands on this one, LOL. The top is a…

another finish to flimsy

Finished the top after supper tonight---woohoo! Note Skyler in string chewing position next to quilt holder's feet?

A good many of the blocks that I needed for the last 6 rows were already joined in pairs. I DID need to make the equivalent of the last row in triple rail blocks, probably because I couldn't decide if I needed 12 or 13 rows.

But, it's done except for selecting/prepping backing fabric and binding. I noticed that I have quite a selection of binding bits so it is possible I will go with scrappy binding on this one. Again, I am not planning on bordering but should I change my mind it would be a narrow one.

Off to watch "The Closer" and "Rizzoli and Isles"

Finished to Flimsy

I hesitated to call this a "Design Wall Monday"post since I have only gotten as far as setting up the machine to sew. I don't even have it threaded up yet.

Just plain busy day so far! Today was laundry day. I also needed to vacuum up the sewing room as I was tracking thread everywhere in the house. DJ did the hallways but I know I was the source, LOL. I had about 90 minutes of kitchen time this morning with about 30 minutes off before I had to start up the grill to finish up the noon meal preparations. (DJ wanted brats so I was making some Hot German Potato salad and braised red cabbage and apples to go with it. ) Thankfully, last night leftovers will be a fast re-heat.

The picture at left is my weekend sewing project, another WTIL donation top finished to flimsy last evening. This one counts under the "Belles Scrappy Challenge" banner for the year. I do not know the name of it or the designer and call it "Diagonal 4 patch chain". I …

Yesterday's output

A little bit of sewing done yesterday and-a few more things to cross off the "list".

Yesterday morning I did a bit of little bit of recipe transfers to my cooking software, enough to clean out some of my email boxes. So I didn't settle down to the sewing tasks till afternoon.

First up, binding for the Skinny Strips---and maybe those 3D bowties if I do them as a QOV. I cut up a 36 inch square for bias binding cut 2 1/4 so that should net me about 544 inches of binding. One quilt will take about 480 plus so not quite enough for two quilts but I have more yardage. Knowing my aversion to pressing this stuff right away, you can rightly assume that it is still piled up on the ironing surface, LOL.

Next up, the hanging loops for "My Cat" wallhanging. Pat had sent the fabric yardage she had leftover for me to use my own method for creating them. I also cut out a giant 4 patch so I can show Teresa how you do the d4p blocks when I see her later today but I put the…

quiet day

Well, here it is after supper and I have yet to break out the rotary cutter or mat but that's okay. After sewing like crazy for 3 days, a day off is good. It is as my husband says too often to me "who gave you all these jobs?"

This morning I watched him---and our neighbor--- work instead, LOL. DJ has been slowly and surely getting rid of the overgrown bushes out in front. We want to replace all the black plastic stuff and plant something low maintenance that will stay small. Whatever that might be. He recently tore out the boards that were out there as edging when he discovered some insect infestation. It was on!!! For the last week he has been out there for a bit while the sun is on the back of the house pulling up roots, torn black paper and getting the wood chips out of there.

There were two huge "not a foundation" shrubs flanked by two "growing far too big" needle point holly bushes. I don't what the heck those things were/ar…

Finished to Flimsy

......x2 finished to flimsy. Woo hoo!

I left off Sunday evening with just three section joining rows to go. Norma was keeping me company and finishing up hers at the same time . I have seen a photo of hers but it is not posted on her blog yet. After lunch today, I finished up my top as well.

Almost immediately after I took the picture of Skinny Strips, I moved on to the bottom half of D4P The top half was done as was the 5th row and half of the 6th when I picked it up.

At 4:30 and two movies later I had the last 2 1/2 rows assembled and the sections joined. Another flimsy finish! Woo hoo again!

Not sure what I will work on next but I am thinking I will finish up the hanging tabs and the binding on my birthday giftie tomorrow. Maybe slip cover the insert for my new bday purse as well. That should not be too taxing after two days of heavy duty sewing--- a nice break. Mid-week maybe I should concentrate on quilting up July Button Up and "Summer". LOL, lo…

FAB--ulous Bday

I tell you, I have some FAB-ulous friends, local ones and long distant ones. Truly a blessing to me in more ways than you will ever know.

This year we 5 FAB friends are taking turns celebrating our birthdays with one another in a virtual format. Probably the hardest part is gathering 5 busy women in one spot long enough. Since we also planned to sew, Saturday was best. But first I got to open those presents that had been arriving at my house all week. Wanna see what these talented pals made for me? These did not post in the order that I opened them but that's okay, I guess.

Here we have a bag made byPam out of my (our) beloved 30's prints. The pattern is in a past issue of "Quilts and More". I know this because I had plans to make one and have the magazine. I had admired one that she made one before---she called it a diaper bag, LOL. This is the back side. Tons of interior pockets in there!

Pam suggested that I put something in the bottom to stiffen …

stitching away

A little update on D4P. Top half is done, all the blocks are now sewn. Row 5 is done along with half of row six. It should together a little more quickly now since all I have to do is join blocks, not piece them. Woohoo!

When I took this picture, I still had 4 more blocks to finish up.

I took time out to clean out the machine, change the needle and do up a pile of bobbins. I had noticed that the machine was skipping stitches especially when it came to the joins-----grrrr. It may need to go in for servicing yet but got to try the simple fixes first, right?

I've been busy today but not necessarily at the sewing machine. DJ and I teamed up to clean up our two box fans and a small one that I use in the bathroom. While I had the vacuum out, I did the floors too. The other big project was cleaning some of the stuff out of my car trunk or what DJ affectionately calls my "office on wheels". I decided that I no longer needed to haul around the file box of old handouts …

Happy Birthday

Yep, another one has rolled around but I feel like I have been celebrating for a week, with more to come.

The quilting group met yesterday back in our usual location. My pal Marilyn was able to come to the meeting and I had offered to pick her up. She made me a birthday cake! It is easy for her to remember what day as her son and I share it but Ronnie was getting a cheesecake. I got chocolate cake with yummy icing and purple flowers! You will just have to imagine what it might have looked like since we cut into at the meeting and I told the girls to take some home if they wished.

The girls were also so sweet to give me some bday spending money. I feel funny being singled out this way since we don't celebrate every one else's bdays in the same manner even if I am the group leader. Still, it is kind of them to do this for me. I will have to give some thought to how I will use this gift.

I thought my friend Teresa might be joining us for lunch so we did a sandwich ru…

Lazy Sunday afternoon

I think that I will take a cue from my Skyler and take it easy this afternoon now that I have the tenative menu planned and the groceries laid in.

With yesterday's sewing I have 32 of the 48 blocks I need for the QOV completed. I think I will take the day off from machine work though. The hand work on the Overall Bill blocks that I recently button hole appliqued is on today's "list" and maybe some embroidery or hand quilting on my Bird Brain Santas if I feel like it.

After we ate lunch, I mixed up a packaged mix of pound cake. It smells pretty yummy at my house! Even though I do have a birthday coming up this is by no means, "birthday cake". Everyone knows I do NOT make my own cake, LOL. I couldn't find any already made in the store bakery so made a pound cake in a loaf pan. I wanted to try the chocolate panini recipe in my 4 in 1 grill manual which calls for sliced pound cake (with Nutella and sliced strawberries on the inside) I WILL track dow…

a little progress

At this point I have 20 blocks done of the Disappearing 4 patch (D4P). Most of this was completed on Wednesday as we had a lot of thunder rumbles going on yesterday. I don't sew if it is storming or lightning near by.

Shown are the twelve non--duplicating blocks that I joined into the upper 2 rows or 1/4th of the quilt. The blocks go together fairly quickly considering that there is a fair amount of seam matching. So far I am liking it. Seam matching doesn't scare me, LOL--that is a basic quilting skill learned long ago.

I will admit to pulling two centers apart just so I could keep a few of the directional fabrics going the same way. LOL, it may come up again. Block placement is purely random in that what comes up next in the block stack. My plan is to sew thru the box till I hit the bottom and setting any duplicates aside (those in the box lid) and then repeat the color sequence in the bottom rows.

Actually, I am never one to want to agonize about color/bl…

WIP Weds

Wednesday finds me in day two of cutting. Mainly I am still kitting up the components of Skinny Strips but I need to do the same for the bowtie medallion I drew up yesterday. Both tops will be part of my QOV donations for the veteran's home due to open up next spring/summer in Pell City.

I had cut thru the blue basket recently and cut strips and squares for both projects. The pattern calls for 32 1/2 inches lengths of the colored fabric and jelly roll width. Since the quilts are to finish in the 60 x 90 I cut mine 3 inches instead and surprisingly with the changes, I need one strip less than the pattern calls for. Yesterday I trimmed those down to size and cut bias binding from a RWB striped fabric. Today's goal: trim the white background down to the 21 inches I need.

For the bowties: yesterday I cut the red I want to use for the bowtie 3-D knot. I originally found this pattern years ago on Debby Kratovil site but here is a good tutorial from Bear Creek quilters blog…

Design Wall Monday

Wow, how did it get to be August 1st so quickly!

I got "Summer's" buttonhole applique done yesterday afternoon so back it goes on the design wall till I am ready to baste and quilt it. Check one thing off the quilt "to-do" list.

I started on another project right after that but Skyler was insisting on sitting on it. I took the hint, LOL.

And here he is, being helpful with the kitchen floor mopping detail. Mostly, I think he just curious about why the stuff is sitting in the living room. Why is the food by the couch?

He picked out one of his two favorite chairs. You know which ones right away since I have tried, with little success, to de-hair the chair pads. Normally one sits right under the window so he can sit and sun himself. The other is a guest chair that NO guest would ever want to be seated on unless they like their rump covered with kitty fur. It is pushed up under the table and he thinks we don't see him there. I threw the towel over DJ…