Monday, November 30, 2009

Um, Where Is Winter?

Saturday when we got home we were shocked to see this:

And, surprise again, this:

Those are some of the 75 daffodil bulbs we planted in October or so. It is one of the few flowers we can have because the deer don't like them. So we went wild with them. The weather is getting colder over this week. I hope it doesn't hurt the bulb... hum will we get flowers from this bulb this year or will it wait for next year?

No quilting/sewing was done Sunday. Church, then Ragg's obedience class and a little shopping.

Here's Pat before he went to sing with the Choraliers a community chorus. He performed Sunday, and will have 3 more concerts over the next week.

Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Great Weekend!

Friday with Kevin and Aimee in Maryland

Two Dogs On A Couch
Posing Most Kindly For Me
And Soon Off They Go

Raggs on the left and Homer on the right. Attempted Haiku by Bonnie.

People posed fine but Homer, on the left, didn't want to pose with Cassie on the right. Aimee and Kevin did well.

Aimee did some really early shopping. Pat and I came over for breakfast that Kevin made after Aimee came home. (Sorry, I just couldn't get up early enough to do early morning shopping.) We were lucky to be able to stay at Jen and Brian's townhouse while they were in Ohio.

The boys did some "This Old House" work on the bathroom. They were going to put a new flooring down. But decided to remove the floor and then realized the toilet bolts (you know those little bolts under the funny cap that is a pain to clean around) were completely corroded. So off came the toilet (it's in the bathtub in the picture to the right.) Then the flooring was done, next the toilet was replaced. And, how uncomfortable is that -- no toilet for several hours! It all turned out well though.

Aimee was productive -- she cut out two Take Five quilts. I kept her company and read a book. We brought Chinese in after the bathroom was restored.

Pat and I came home Saturday as Pat had a concert on Sunday. I put in a couple of hours in the studio on Saturday afternoon. It felt good to be back quilting. I decided to make Carolina Christmas mystery quilt at I've got more photos to share but will wait 'til the next post.

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

My big contribution to today's Thanksgiving Dinner is an apple pie. I made it Wednesday afternoon. It was cooling on the stove top when we were making dinner last night. We had thrown a couple of potatoes in the oven to cook at the same time. But, I didn't think the 'tators were cooked through. So, we popped them in the microwave oven for 9 seconds. Pat was shocked when he saw potatoes exploding in there. And, they kept exploding when he opened the door. Check out that lovely pie picture again. Do you notice some little white pieces? Um, ur, a little potato with the apple pie there. I was laughing my head off trying to talk to Jenny on the phone. Another grand cooking adventure in the household!

Hope your travel is safe and day is joyful.

Happy Quilting and Thanksgiving All!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Day Before - - Big Eats

I am blessed with not being responsible for cooking. It was going to be just Pat and I home for Thanksgiving when, surprise, surprise -- Kevin invited us over to his place for dinner. Cool. We'll be driving down to Maryland tomorrow and coming home Saturday. We'll be staying at Jenny's townhouse cause she's in Ohio with Brian's family. We're official cat-sitters and bringers-in-of-the-garbage-can people. Sweet!

I finally finished the binding on the quilt from Stash_Quilters on Yahoo groups. It went in the mail today winging its way to someone at Everett Naval Station. How appropriate for me as my Dad was in the Navy for 30+ years. I believe this was a quilts of valor quilt but I didn't get the address so I'm not sure.

I had promised pictures of a quilt I finished a week or so ago but never took the photos. So here is Bricks and Stepping Stones from Quiltville. This will take you directly to the directions for the quilt. I need
to decide whether I'll be starting another quilt from here as a leader and ender. I'm inclined to say no as I have several quilts in various stages that I should use as enders... (I really don't do a leader usually. ) I started with some basic, rather dull fabric. Then as I was doing things with brighter fabrics so I added them. The overall quilt looks bright but you don't have to wear sunglasses with it. I used the same blue fabric in the four patches although the whites were anywhere from beige to bright white. The border was a different blue fabric that was about the same color. Everything on this quilt was from my stash. You can barely see it in this photo but the corners of the borders are 4 patches because I didn't have enough fabric for the borders. And two of the 2" squares are pieced. I think I had a 3 1/2" by 1" piece of that blue fabric left when done.

And check out the backing. I don't usually buy big pieces fabrics for my stash so there wasn't nothing there for a backing. So I decided to use some left over blocks and add 10.5" squares to make up the backing. I thought 10.5" squares would be easy re: math. Evidently I was wrong about that. Oh well.

I have to get my stuff ready to go south tomorrow morning. I am working on my A Tisket, A Tasket baskets from Bunny Hill Designs. I have 4 blocks nearly all completed. Although I think I need to do some embroidery on them. I have 2 in progress. And that leaves 5 not really started! Hopefully, I'll take one or two blocks ready to stitch on while I'm gone. Of course, we might do something completely different. Who knows?

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Pat and I had a shopping day today. Most of what we got was for me. New turtleneck, sweater and vest. Will be good for Christmas and then the rest of winter. And, did a little, tiny bit of Christmas shopping for the family and others....

On the way back we stopped here for dessert:
It is the Pocono Cheesecake Factory, a bakery. Pat had a piece of cheesecake and I had a chocolate eclaire. Mine had the very best filling! Nowhere to sit and eat in this store -- so we sat in the car and enjoyed the goodies.

Before we left I got these two blocks ready to send to Kathy Tracy. Her most recent book is Remembering Adelia: Quilts Inspired by Her Diary. She is currently writing a new book and has asked members of Small Quilts Talk, a yahoo group, to make friendship blocks for her. So I got to searching through my fabric stash and found these 19th century reproductions to use. It will be fun to see what Kathy does with the blocks.

I have finally finished the binding on the charity red, white and blue quilt. We'll take pictures tomorrow before we package it up. I've got a few other things ready to mail various places so I might get them ready too.

Happy Quilting All!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Binding Thoughts

I've just finished the binding on the red, white and blue quilt. Let me clarify that! I've finished the sewing machine part, I still need to turn and hand stitch it. I don't mind doing binding the way I used to. I hated trying to get the two sides to match beautifully and not be big bump. I've found the answer to nice joining of the beginning and end of the binding.

Are you a fan? I am. I've done several quilts from there and Bonnie Hunter has the BEST method for meeting up the beginning and end of binding. Go to Quiltville. That is a direct link to Bonnie's tips on binding. I actually do my piecing of binding about the same. But, my, oh, my I was thrilled with her instructions to join the beginning and end. For the first few times I had to have pictures right by me. But, I've done it so many times now I've got it down.

If that is something you struggle with take a look at it. Then hunt around the site. She has some great quilts and hints.

Happy quilting and finishing!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Years Eve Mystery Is Coming

Notice something new in the sidebar? Yep, I've got a new button advertising the upcoming New Year's Eve Mystery on Fabricholics Annonymous yahoo group. You can join the group until Dec. 15th and then it will be closed until Feb. 1. We'd love to have you join us on this mystery.

Ann usually designs our mysteries -- in the past two a year from her. Here are two that I could find pictures of. I believe I was a tester on this one. It is actually a top without borders but I guess I haven't taken a photo of it. I have more of the light blue bumble bee fabric to use as borders but I am trying to force the grey into a little border and I don't think I have enough of that. I should pull it out and finish it.

This was Ann's nickel quilt. It started with 5" squares. I have finished this one and I use it as a bed runner. (that would be a quilt at the bottom of my bed.) I liked this one so much that I have been making these squares for a while. I hope to put another one together for charity. And, hum, same block as the RWB on the post before, I think.

I have ignored Ruthie too long this morning. It is time to finish that quilt off. I have a few miscellaneous blocks I want to finish and some quilts I need to send off to people.

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's on Ruthie Today

Here's what's on Ruthie today. She's been getting a work out this last week or so.

Today I was working on the red, white and blue quilt made by the ladies of Stash_Quilters on yahoo groups. It was going great until I ran out of the bobbin thread. I wound another bobbin and then couldn't get it balanced right. I wonder what I did to the bobbin to cause the problem. I was getting frustrated so decided to wait until Friday to give it another try.
Monday night at the Mt. Laurel Quilt Guild meeting we learned how to make Moravian stars. This is made from strips of paper and basic folds and tucks. Luckily there were a couple of people helping cause it took me a bit to get this figured out. And, I have enough to make one or two more stars. And, I have directions, with pictures. I'll keep you posted if I ever get another one done!

Happy Quilting All.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Photo Upload Working Now

This is the charity quilt I did Tuesday. I think the stippling looks fine ... did I overlap that spot above the star? Hum, maybe just a close fit.
Here's the one Sharon did. That is actually the same lime green.
Here's more of the one Sharon quilted on Ruthie. At least hers has some of that lime green in the hello kitty fabric. The one I did had NO lime green except the solid.
These were both flannel quilts and really quilted up nicely.

Are you working on the Bunny Hill A Tisket, A Tasket block of the month? I am. If you remember I started late. And, I've been neglecting them recently. Today I worked on a block at Wednesday quilters. It is almost done... and when it is I'll have 5 blocks done. Hum, I'm only 6 blocks behind! Hey, that isn't too bad, is it? Of course, some that I still have to do have a LOT of pieces to them. I'll keep plugging away on them. They will be done sometime.

I'm off to read a bit and then to dreamland. Happy Quilting All!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Week Almost Gone

Where did my daily blogging time go to? I haven't blogged daily for a whole week in ages. I guess I am getting busier, or playing more games (have you played Bejeweled on Facebook yet?) or reading a lot. Well, and the most obvious is quilting a lot. And over the last few days I have been quilting and piecing a lot.

Sharon arrived Thursday afternoon with no problems. I left her to do my library volunteer time but did get back a little earlier than planned. Friday we hit the studio pretty early -- well 10 am or so is early for me! She decided to start a scrap quilt and wanted to raid my scraps. Yee Haw! Stuff out the door...until I realized the biggest piece she needed was about 2 1/2". She worked, I cleaned up my space. Nothing like having entertainment while I put stuff away. I still had fabrics out since the middle of the summer. I kept piling little bits and pieces up for Sharon to cut what she wanted. It was nearly 5 pm when we stopped. We were tired and hungry. My infamous watch did it again -- I lost an hour as it said it was around 4 pm. I should have listened to my stomach.

Saturday we worked on Ruthie. I had started to quilt a twin charity quilt using a panto. Sharon did a few rows and then went back up to the studio while I finished it. Then we loaded a baby quilt -- cute flannel Christmas prints. Sharon freehand quilted the whole thing Sunday before she left. I made binding and trimmed the twin size quilt. She'll finish it and turn it into the guild. Although she brought me 5 more quilts I sent 3 back home from my previous group.

I was pooped so Monday I rode along with Pat on his errands.

Today I free motioned another flannel Christmas baby quilt. I was using it to practice for my next quilt. I did a stipple with stars which is what I am going to do on a soldier quilt made by the members of Stash_Quilter yahoo group. This quilt is a red, white and blue and I have it ready to load on Ruthie. I'll work on it Thursday as I'll be gone tomorrow.

Well, harumph! Blogger is having issues and I can't load any photos. I'll visit it again later tonight to see if I can add some. For now, it is on to some hand work and watching a movie.

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Tale of Two Raggs

Raggs on Sunday, at Obedience Class ...
Raggs on Wednesday after his most recent Spa Day.

I had spent a couple of hours over the last few days trying to get his coat de-matted. Nope, it wasn't going to happen. After 20 minutes on his chest and one small loose tick, he still had matts close to his skin. So, he is now a skinhead so his beautiful coat will grow back for Christmas. Shoot -- I can't do a Christmas photo of him before Christmas. I got to tell you he is pigeon toed from behind.... Next year this will be his summer do not prewinter!
And this is a wooly caterpillar I saw this morning while I was out walking Raggs. Hum, that is one fur coat on the guy. Perhaps we are going to have a bad winter. The last week or so have been fairly nice -- 50's and some days nearly hitting 70. We're getting the remnants of Ida on Sat/Sun but much less than our friends in Baltimore/Washington area. Maybe one of the few times our weather is less severe.

Lots of cooking going on -- Sharon's on her way up and Pat will be in Philly with Kevin over the weekend. No quilting for a while -- maybe tomorrow...

Happy Quilting All!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back to Ruthie

I've been ignoring Ruthie a bit over the last 6 weeks. In fact, I only quilted one quilt in October. So, now I am working on Ruthie a bit more. Today I started on a twin size charity quilt from Faithful Circle Quilters. I pulled out one of the pantographs I bought a while ago. I'm a bit more smooth doing it but I'm not overjoyed with the results. I still have some funny looking designs!
See the cute little design below. I just picked one that actually could be seen in the picture.
And, here's what the panto looks like. I'm not sure I would buy this now, after I've seen it sewn up. But, maybe after I get this whole quilt done I'll like it much better in reality. I really liked the panto.
The next quilt up after this one is a charity quilt made by members of Stash_Quilters on yahoo. It will be going to a wounded soldier as soon as I am finished with it.

And, around the corner is a super deluxe BIG king size quilt for Jenny. Remember seeing this one? It is the one behind all the others. It will just barely fit on Ruthie. I'm pretty sure I will be doing free motion on this quilt. And, knowing my luck I'll probably have to flip it also. I am sure learning about machine quilting with all of these quilts!

And, still waiting to be sewn together is the Mystery Quilt. And, I want to put the binding on the Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt... .... .... time to get onto to all that!

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mystery Day Results

Yikes! I've missed nearly a week of writing. No wonder my readership is dropping! Sorry folks. Here's what's been happening:

Have you ever pulled out a fabric and looked at the selvedge closely. YIKES! I did recently. This was a 2 1/2" strip that was used in the mystery quilt -- it was from 1990. (um, that is ridiculously close to 20 years old. It's old enough to vote and next thing I know it's going to get to the wine rack.) I feel quite virtuous for slipping it into this quilt.

Mystery Day at Mysteries for Relay was great. I guess I am a pretty slow sewer because I just barely got the blocks cut and not sewn back together. These are spread out on a queen size bed. I've taken close ups of a couple of my favorite blocks (to be since they haven't been sewn back together.)

I liked the way the red, white and blue blocks popped so nicely. They would look good as their own quilt. And this teal one is a real stand out also. (no, don't you dare say it sticks out like a sore thumb! LOL)

Friday we were doing a quick trip to NJ to order some chairs for the kitchen. Pat played a fast one on me cause we ended up going to a Sonic Drive In about an hour south of us. Little cold for the young lady delivering the food but not too bad for us.

Saturday I squeezed some quilting in but didn't finish as much as I would have liked. Heaven only knows what else I was doing but probably working on other blocks at the same time as I did this mystery.

Sunday after church and choir practice we took Raggs in for day 2 of his obedience classes. He is the star pupil. Well, the only other pupil is a big lab/shepherd mix with attention deficit disorder. He'd rather sniff the world then follow any commands. I have worked a lot with Raggs so he has most of the common commands down. I still need to work on him learning to bark and more importantly NOT bark on command. And, I think he needs to learn to come when asked and to drop what ever is in his mouth. I have been diving into his mouth to get all sorts of fun sewing stuff out -- usually just fabric. But, shoot... the other day he had part of a block in his mouth. UGH.

Take care all. I am in big clean mode for the rest of today. We are hoping to get the dirt and the dog prints off the hardwood floor. Happy Quilting

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mystery Day

It's Mystery Day at Mysteries for Relay on yahoo groups and I am READY! The last several mystery days I've skipped because I had so many projects hanging around. Not this one! After I finish this short post it'll be time to get ready. Hum, did I wind some extra bobbins? How long ago did I oil the machine? How old is that needle.

I actually have the answers to all those questions except the bobbin one -- but I don't think I did any bobbins recently. I know about the oiling/cleaning/new needle because I have put a bright pink sticky note on my sewing desk. I have an older desk that the machine sits down in a well (so to speak.) I have stuck the note on the piece that holds the machine so it doesn't get brushed off as I sew. I'll check those notes and do what is required. I'll be up in the studio shortly so I can begin.
These guys were tromping through our woods a couple of days ago. I'm surprised they aren't hiding ... but I guess they feel fairly safe cause no hunting is allowed in the neighborhood. (thank goodness!)

The bird feeder is back up after the summer and birds have found it -- they ate about half of the seed . Of course, a squirrel or two tried to hit it two. Were they shocked when they heard Raggs go nuts after seeing them. Hum, we may have to reconsider the feeder if he barks his head off.

Off to the studio for a fun mystery. You can join for the next mystery by clicking on the button on my sidebar. Happy Quilting All!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bricks and Stepping Stones -- Quilted

Bricks and Stepping Stones is quilted. I am harried. Evidently I picked up some needles that "looked" like they were the right ones for my machine but were in reality, a hair too long. That translated into broken needles while sewing -- at least four of them, maybe five. And, every time a needle broke it left a little hole in the quilt. URGH. Luckily this quilt is for me. I will be repairing the little holes and I doubt anyone will know except me. I have needles directly from the Nolting people coming in, hopefully soon.

Next up on Ruthie will be a twin size charity quilt. I don't know what I will quilt on it yet. Something free motion, that's for sure. But, I won't even consider starting until the new needles show up.

I signed up to take classes next April at MQX the big machine quilting show in the northeast. And, surprise, surprise, -- I got all the classes I wanted to. Hopefully I will learn lots during that week. Anyone else going to MQX in April. We'll have to plan a meeting!

Here are a couple I noticed in the lobby of the Shawnee Inn where Quilter's Day Out was held. It was
hard to get a decent picture but they were quite the couple!

Pam -- here are some of the blocks I sent
you . I just loved this little witchy. I don't think I have any more fabric with it on. I may not have had yardage -- I might have gotten it with a batch of 4 1/2" squares.

Have you tried this block yet? The
directions are here Twisted Happy Block. I have wanted to do some but just hadn't gotten around to it until Pam wanted some for her blocks for FCQ Equilters. I whipped out 10. I'll probably make others but I am trying to finish up enough regular Happy Blocks for a charity quilt. And, I have to get a few charity quilts packaged so I can mail them out. I think I have 6 hanging around in a closet upstairs.

Tomorrow I start another mystery quilt over at Mysteries for Relay. I'm jazzed because it uses 2 1/2" strips. My drawer of 2 1/2" strips was overflowing. While watching Antique Roadshow I sorted through and grabbed a goodly number of light and dark strips. My plan tomorrow is to be ready to go at 9 am for the first installment. I can sew until 3:15 or so when I have to leave to volunteer at the library. Should be a great day.

It is past time to get ready for my Wednesday quilt group. I still need to make my lunch and grab my project. I plan on working on a Tisket a Tasket applique from Bunny Hill Designs. I haven't done a thing on any of the blocks for a couple of months.

Happy quilting all!