Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get......

That old Pennsylvania Dutch saying rings way too true, especially these days. We had the grandchildren for the weekend, which means we didn't get much of our stuff done. Miss Thing and I did work on her quilt blocks, but this time we didn't quite finish, so no pictures of them yet. I still haven't gotten around to putting borders on the two quilts I assembled at retreat. I'm trying to catch up on some chores around here, however, I did get some sewing done. Back in the spring I showed some pictures of Fabric Art Postcards that I am doing as part of a birthday swap. Well, we are down to the final two people, one in November and one in December. I decided while I was making one, I might as well make the second, because this time of year I may just never get the chance again! Here they are.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Retreat part deux

Thought I forgot to include what we actually sewed, didn't you?? Here are just a few of the projects being worked on, some folks pieced blocks, some assembled blocks into tops, some added borders to tops, and some basted tops for quilting. We all brought more quilting projects than we could possibly work on and precious few clothes! Here are Murrell's lavendar and green blocks, Carols lively pastel blocks, Jane's top, Pegs pieces on her design wall,and Ann's spectacular dahlia, which she intends to hand quilt. I didn't get pictures of everyone's projects, and one picture that I haven't included is Ellen's new design. I didn't include that because she may publish it. I also haven't taken pictures of the two tops I worked on. I finished making the blocks (about 140 of them) and put them into rows and it is now ready for borders. I had brought the border fabric with me, but when I laid it out, the fabrics just didn't seem like the right choice, so I moved on to the next project. That next project was Judy's Winter Break that I started way back when. I'm down to the last of the borders on that one- pictures when I get that far.

Retreat !

My guild just had its annual retreat, and for the first time I was able to go- color me a happy girl! We met at the FFA camp in Covington. What a nice place that is, I'd love to go back again, soon. There were ten of us for two and a half days of sewing and eating. We sewed from breakfast to bed time in a room below the dining room. That was so convenient, only having to go up the stairs, have our meal ready for us, and return downstairs for more sewing. Here are some photos of the facility, which was well off the beaten track and manned by some of the nicest folks you could ever want to deal with. Our cottage, the dining hall, different angles of our sewing space and an early morning shot of the mist rising from the lake behind our cottage.

* FFA is Future Farmers of America

Sunday, October 05, 2008

New Quilt for new baby

My brother has recently become a grandfather! We just won't say what that makes me......shhh! Anyway, when we were at his home last summer to bury mom, I saw the preparations for the baby shower and absconded with one of the napkins. Since we live so far away, we all knew I wasn't going to the shower, so I guess having a 'souvenier' didn't seem odd to any of them. My newphews wife said that the baby's room was going to be blue and tan and that they were going with a cars and trucks/transportation type theme. The napkin was a train. You quilters know what I am getting at, I made an enlarged version of the napkin into a crib quilt. I did make a few changes, but basically, I think it looks a whole lot like the napkin. I'm about halfway thru the quilting.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Orange Crush

Hooray! My OC is quilted and awaiting binding. The binding is ready to apply, I'll do that tonight and then the hand sewing will be 'TV watching work' until its done. Also, will need to stitch on a label. So, while it isn't 'done-done' it is much closer to being done than anything else. I couldn't wait to share a picture, so here it is, sans binding. I think that it looks different in the photo than it does to the eye. If you scroll on back to see the earlier posts with OC photos, you may be able to see what I mean. I think the dark borders have a definite influence on the appearance of the blocks, and I like the quilt so much better with the borders on than I did before. Those borders are not solid black, but a black with olive drab fluer de lis, this will be the last of that fabric, and it has been one of my favorites.

There is also a picture of the back, which is pieced with assorted fabrics from my stash, The whole thing is leftovers from previous quilts and small stash pieces. The back may not be beautiful, but it didn't cost anything additional. Since this entire project was a stashbuster, can I consider this quilt a 'freebie'?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Would you believe?

Because the rawhide bone was a bone of contention between Mac and Nic (German Sherpherd), MOTH decided to put it out of site to be forgotten. I guess the thing has a really unique and appealing aroma, because Mac found it inside a plastic bag, on a table out of his reach (yesterday's post). This time it was put higher, and behind other things. See what MacSmarty is doing? He's got it in his radar and has been relentless. I bet if we leave the room and he is unattended that he may find a way. The amazing climbing Silky! Should have named him Sir Edmund Hillary.

Failing that, he is not above resorting flattery and oh-so-adorable cuddles.

I actually have gotten into the sewing room-really. I put the thin and then pieced borders on my OC. I like it better with these on it, it balances out the lighter colors. I will probably add another unpieced dark border. I have yet to start JudyLs Star BOM 3, but that is on the list for the weekend, too. I want to get the OC onto the frame and would really love to get it quilted so I can take it to my guild meeting on Wednesday, but that would really be pushing it. Pictures when I get progress worth showing.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A new face at our house

We recently adopted a 5 yr old, 13 lb Silky terrier from the family that could no longer keep him. They called him Max, but we have renamed him Mac, as every third dog we know, including within our family, is named Max. We thought this was not too big a change for him and that he would just think we have a funny accent. LOL He seems to be adjusting well to us, our German Shepherd, our revolving-door sons and grandchildren. He is affectionate, eager to please, energetic and just a little too smart for his own good. ;) I was in the 'powder room' minding my own very important business and I heard the rustling of plastic bags. The rustling went on and on and on. So, being unable to investigate, due to pressing circumstances, I yelled out "is that you, dear?" Of course, the Man Of The House [hereinafter referred to as MOTH-because this is a G-rated blog], without rising from his seat or even looking around, replied that no, it wasn't him. HE was unable to investigate due to the pressing nature of the televison program he was watching. ARRRRGH! When I was finally able to come out, all appeared normal. Until MOTH asked "were did Mac get a rawhide bone?"

Well, that rawhide bone was in a plastic bag that the former owner had given us, and that was on the kitchen table. Little Mac Trouble discovered that one chair wasn't completely pushed in, jumped on it and from there to the table. All the rustling was him finding the opening of the bag and withdrawing the bone. You should see the size of this bone, it is the size I would give to the 90 lb German Shepherd! The end knots are almost as big as his head. Mac Clever got the bone, jumped down to the chair and then to the floor and proceeded to carry it with him all about the house, settling in different spots and happily gnawing away all evening.

Now, any of you that have lived with children, can you tell me when does the Woman of the House ever get to tend to business uninterrupted? The last time that I can remember was pre-motherhood, over 35 years ago. I thought when they were grown and gone...sigh... but now I have part-time live in grandchildren and fur kids, all of whom conspire against me. MOTH even put a phone in the powder room so he wouldn't have to answer it when I was in there. PLEASE- don't anyone tell him there are phones that can be installed in the shower!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Star BOM block 2

Finally had a chance to make the second block of JudyL's Star BOM. I find that I like the soft blendy quality, but also that I wish I had more contrast to liven things up. Methinks I need two quilts.......but that won't happen as I have too many other UFOs PIGs and things on my 'to make' list.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Star BOM-first star made

Since I was busy helping DGD with her log cabin rainbow, I didn't get to work on the JudyL Star BOM until today. In the category of 'do as I say, not as I do', if you are not feeling well, don't sew! I can't tell you how many mistakes I made and how much frog stitching I did for this block. I have one of the worst summer colds that I can remember, big time pressure in the head, congestion, pressure in the ears, get the picture. I wanted to work on this so badly that I forged ahead. I should have given myself another day or two and avoided making some really dumb mistakes.

In any case, it is finished. I am still concerned that there isn't enough contrast between my two dark fabrics, but since Vicky has become my hero, I will adopt her motto and boldly declare "It stays where it lays!"

edited to reply to QUILTER POLLY: Polly, I see that you have asked several of us the same question, however your blog is set for 'no reply' so we have no address to send you the answer. I hope that you stop back, in case you do: I'm using Omnigrid, that's what I have. JudyL says she uses Creative Grid. The rulers aren't marked with 16ths, they do have 8ths. Think back to math class (UGH!) if something says 3/16, that is between the 1/8 (which would be 2/16) and the 2/8(which is also 4/16 or 1/4)-so basically you line up your fabric betwen those marks. It takes good eyes and a leap of faith, but it works.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Miss Thang makes progress...I don't

This is the weekend the grands stay with us, so Miss Thang was eager to get to my machine and stitch some more blocks. This weekend we did the pink and orange blocks. Here is a picture of her with the latest blocks, and also a photo of all the 10 completed blocks arranged pretty much as they will be in the quilt. You can see that the rainbow is being created already. I had put the blocks on the wall so she could see for herself just how things are coming along. Sharp eyed little miss noticed a mistake in the book and was oh-so-quick to point it out to me. LOL. By the way, the book is "Strip Happy - Quilting on a Roll" by Donna Kinsey. There are other neat quilts in the book, and I may well make some. She seems to be enjoying this project, even suggested that next time we sew on both Saturday and Sunday and then we can get 10 blocks finished in a weekend instead of just 5!

Meanwhile, I am waiting until the kids leave (or maybe even tomorrow) to get started on my Star BOM. After seeing what some of the others have made, I'm particularly anxious to start and see how my fabrics work out. I also want to start assembling the OC top now that the blocks and rows are put together. I will then need to do the borders to get it to the 'flimsy' stage and into the pile to be quilted. I have a couple that I really need to get into that pile.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Finally decided on the fabrics I will use

for JudyL's BOM which starts tomorrow. I've included a second photo to more accurately show the color of the darkest fabric.

I have also made progress on my Orange Crush. All but one row is sewn together and on the design wall. The little yellow sticky is to mark a 4 patch that I sewed in incorrectly and have to go back to correct. Of course I didn't discover the mistake until the row was sewn together! I guess I need to be grateful that the whole top wasn't finished or even quilted before I noticed the mistake. I'm not too crazy about this one (it was done as a mystery, if you haven't heard of it before) and of course, that is the risk you take with a mystery. Someone pointed out that I may like it better when its all together than I do as individual pieces, and seeing it on the design wall, they were right. I do like it better than I did, but in general, its way to busy for me. If I were try this design with what I know now, I would do it much less scrappy, perhaps controlled scrappy, so that the star shows up more.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's been a while since I've posted, not much 'quilty' has been going on. I've made the drive up to the northeast to finally bury mom. Had a visit with some old friends, my brother & his family, and then down to the Jersey shore to visit with cousins I hadn't seen in ages. Aside from it being a sad occassion and a lot of driving, it wasa good visit with some great folks.

I haven't done much knitting either. Somehow the knitting aggravated my left hand (I have trouble tensioning, I think) and I have had to stop for a while. I have learned of a method called Portuguese knitting that I am going to try. I'm hoping that the rather different way of tensioning the yarn with this method will enable me to continue knitting--I've started a yarn stash that I MUST use!!

While I have plenty of WIPs and UFOs, I have some more in the thought stages and am still plugging along on the OC(Bonnie Hunter), although in a smaller version. I also have the fabric put aside for JudyL's last HAD that I want to do so I can try her upcoming BOM without feeling even more guilty.

The only quilt related thing that I have done recently is with my DGD. She accompanied me to one of our LQSs a few weeks ago. I pointed out a sample quilt for her, "Do you recognize that?" And she did! It was a log cabin quilt from a jelly roll book (title escapes me at the moment) and is called the RainBow Quilt. We had seen the book last summer while we were visiting another store, and she asked if I would make her the quilt-they didn't have the jelly rolls and I wasn't about to start scouring the store for substitutes. This store didn't have the jelly rolls, but had kitted fabrics in the same colors. Her plea was "Can WE make this, Gram?" - Yes, I knew the quilt sample and the kit was there before I brought her.....I figured if she still liked it, I would make it for her. Since she indicated she would like US to make it, I'm even more pleased. Miss Thang stays with us every other weekend, so we got started and made this block combination. Next time is the pink/orange combination.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Time sure flies by....

We went camping with our son and two grandchildren. We slept in the little camper, son and children in a tent on our site. Once again we camped at Lake Lanier, which is close to home. If anyone had a problem (little one was a first time camper) or the weather had been tooo inclement, it would have been easy to go home for a spell. It did rain and thunder the first two nights, but we all stayed dry and the days were great. Our area is still suffering from a bad drought. You can see in the photos how the lake has gone down. The water usually goes right up to the trees, and the depth post is usually under water at the end of the swimming area. (first pole photo this year, second post photo last year)

Even just last year, which was bad, the pole was still in the water- you can see where the water should have been. Needless to say, we were blown away to see how much worse things were this year.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Green" Shopping Bags

By now most of you have probably seen the green (as in conservation, not the color) bags being sold at many grocery stores. One of the major grocery chains in my area is Publix, and they sell these, as does Wal-Mart. The whole idea being that using and reusing these each time you shop will cut down on the use of paper bags or those plastic ones . I bought a few in the hopes I would manage to remember to put them back in the car after each shopping excursion. The day that I bought mine, the packer immediately used them, and I was surprised just how much they hold. My packer was quite the salesperson and informed me that they are designed to hold the equivalent of 5 plastic bags.

My only objection was that these beauties have the store name emblazoned across them, fore and aft! Now I never bought those designer jeans, ‘back in the day’, because I refused to use my backside as a billboard, and I still don’t want to! Besides, I want to be able to take these into whichever store I need to, and I would feel ‘tacky’ walking around with a competitors name all over. And how would the store know that I had already bought and paid for these on a previous visit??? I worry about stuff like that.. ....

Being the crafty and clever person that I am *choke*I decided to eliminate the advertising while personalizing and beautifying my bags. Being the oblivious dork that I sometimes am……well, take a look!

See bag melt; see iron with bag fused onto it! I thought I would take the quick and easy route and use Heat N Bond, but as you can see, the bag is now ventilated and my poor iron is a mess. Since I had been pressing some OC blocks (gratuitous quilty comment) I thought the iron may have still been too hot….I waited a while and tried again with the iron at the lowest possible setting. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!! All I can say is, bless the guy that invented Teflon and the guy that put it on irons! Without them, I’d be out iron shopping.

Anyway, that put a hold on things for a bit. Last Wednesday my quilt guild took a field trip to 3 LQSs and followed up with lunch. The first store that we visited had some really great food fabrics in FQs. You know that they just called my name! How perfect for my green bags! (You do realize that buying an FQ is like eating potato chips, once you start……)

This time I used a decorative stitch around the rough edges. The FQs were of watermelon, chili peppers, oranges and one with artichokes and rutabagas.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


As stated in previous posts, I have taken some knitting classes recently and have a few things on the needles--just like with quilting, I have several going at once! Bad habits die hard, but knitters have a really good rationalization-keepping projects using different size needles and yarns going simultaneously is a GOOD thing because switching between them gives your hands a 'break' ! Gotta Love it!!

One of the things that I have started doing is a weekly dishcloth (from a yahoo group). This gives me something small, 'quickly' finished, economical (cotton yarn) and useful while I practice and learn new stitches and techniques. The pictures show the first couple of cloths that I have done-a third is on the needles and about half finished.

Okay, so, I couldn't wait

Even though it defeats the mystery part of a mystery quilt- since I have lagged so far behind, I know what the finished quilt will look like and couldn't wait to see how my fabric choices will work out. So, while waiting for the grandchildren to arrive, I skipped over step 3 long enough to cut out a few pieces of step 4 and 5 to see how they will work up.
For step 4, I was wondering whether to put the darker color as the star, or the lighter color- see pictures of how the finished square will look for each option. I'd really like the star feature to show up and not just blend in.
Then I started wondering about the alternating 'orange' block. I had thought of using up a bunch of my browns for the centers, then started second guessing that choice because I already have a lot of darks in the quilt and that might be too much the same and too autumnal. My second choice was a group of almost neon greens. I had been debating these to liven things up and thought I would have to wait to see the block to make the final choice.
So, here's what they will look like - what do you think?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Orange Crush update

The last time you heard from me, I was a contender in the 'last one to start on Bonnie's OC mystery quilt contest'. I think I may have been frontrunner for Queen Lagaholic. Now, I am pleased to report that I have started and have finished steps one and two, hoping to at least cut for step 3 before the grandkids arrive this afternoon to spend the weekend. Forgive the fuzzy photos- the camera hasn't had its morning cup of coffee, but I have and we just couldn't coordinate our trembling!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I've been doing a little of this, a little of that...

and not having a whole lot to show for it! I decided that the knitted cape/shrug that I posted earlier needed to be adjusted. The neckline was too strechy and was gradually working its way down off my shoulders. So, I undid the bindoff and added some more rows, decreasing as I went. Now it has a much firmer, and narrower neckline. No picture-it looks pretty much the same. I have been working on my shawl little by little, not a lot of progress, I kept making an error in the same location and had to repeatedly frog several rows. UGH. I am mid cuff on the first sock of a pair, using a varigated Tofutsie yarn, size 1 dpns. Mindless, but very small and taking forever. Last night I cast on and got halfway through a washrag while watching NCIS. This is really mindless, work on auto-pilot and just what I need to keep my hands busy while watching TV.

On the quilting front, I have actually started the Orange Crush Mystery Quilt. I'm one of the all time great 'laggers' on that. I'm still working on step one. I have also picked out the fabrics for JudyL's newest hour a day quilt and hope to get an hour or so of that one done today-not lagging so far back, its only day three. I really love this pattern, I'm looking forward to having this top finished.

For eye candy, I have now received all 5 of my FiberArtPostcards for my birthday swap, take a look. That paisley looking one has some amazing beadwork and trapunto-I wish it showed up better in the photo.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A little of this, a little of that...

Things have been busy around here for the last month or so, I'm hoping things will soon settle into a calmer routine.

Today is my birthday. Since I am the first to rise, I usually enjoy an hour or so of quiet with a cuppa, my devotions and the puppies. I decided to make today a little more special and use the lovely teacup and saucer that I purchased on ebay last week. I really wanted a super pretty and feminine teacup to enjoy some of my teas in a truly girlie manner(I've been visiting Gracious Hospitality too much, but I just love the mood and feeling that blog evokes). I brewed a little pot of Earl Grey Creme (do you have a Teavana store near you, mmmm) and drank it from this cup.

Then, from elegant to totally fun and fiber related: I have shown the two Fiber Art Postcards that I have sent out as part of a birthday exchange that I participate in. Here is the first of the FAPs that was sent to me for my b'day.

I'm also doing Bonnie's Orange Crush, but I'm definitely one of the lagaholics- I've yet to cut the first peace, so I suppose that I should say that I'm planning to make the OC.

I have completed the current session of beginner knitting lessons at my local yarn shop, although I will probably sign up for more classes in a month or so as I am mid stole and mid cuff on my first sock and will undoubtedly need assistance. Not much to show there, yet.