Monday, August 29, 2011

Design Wall Monday 8/28/11

Yeah!  A little something new on my design wall.  (I guess I shouldn't mention that I woke up at 5:30 and couldn't get back to sleep so went up to the studio and made 2 blocks to stick on the design wall!)

These are the blocks I need to send to Fran for the FCQ Equilters.  Contrary Wife was the July-August block.  For some reason I just couldn't get into making them.  I had one cut out so I threw that together this morning and cut another one.  I actually really like the block now that I've made it.  I'll be adding more to the pile sometime this week. I need to get these in the mail to New Zealand before the next block instructions comes around. 

This is on Ruthie.  I was hoping to get it completed before I went to Maryland so I could pass it off to Jenny to complete and then take out to California.  It just didn't happen. I hope to finish it and get the binding on it before the end of August.  We'll see if I am successful. 

These are doggy bandanas that slip onto the dog's collar.  I am making them to donate to the guild for an upcoming craft sale.  They are quick to make and use a nice bit of fabric too. 

True Confession time now.  This is my cutting table -- from the back side.  EEK!  It is a total mess.  It is time to slow down on the sewing and spend some time cleaning and putting away fabric.  I honestly think I have bits of fabric out from last fall.  So, I'll be working on clean up a bit over the next few weeks. (just in case I don't get it completely done this week... I've left myself an out!) 

And here it is from the "business" end -- I do try to keep the cutting mat some what cleared off.  But it is definitely time for a clean up! 

Below are two pictures of my fabric wall.  The stash in the shelves isn't in too bad of shape but the fat quarters on top are a mess.  

I tend to pull from the fat quarters when making blocks (like Contrary Wife.)  Sometimes I get them back in the right place and sometimes they get piled in front or on the cutting table.  So, time to clean that area up too.

Maybe it's time to organize that top shelf.  Of course, I do need to take care of the cardboard box too.  It is the fabric for the applique block I showed here.   It is definitely time to get that finished and mailed off to someone else in the group.  I've had it way too long. 

Goals for week of 8/22/11

Shopping for less formal dress for Kevin’s wedding √√√
Eye appointment √ and new glasses are picked up,
Quilt and bind Red & White Baby Quilt it’s half quilted
Finish a few of the dog bandanas
Put binding on Chunky Churn Dash & Winter Rail Fence binding is ready to sew on by machine
Celebrate Sophia’s birthday party
Knit on sock

Goals for week of 8/29/11

Buy shoes for new dress
Finish a few more dog bandanas
Finish quilting the Red & White baby quilt, make & apply binding
Start cleaning house for post wedding guests
Add borders to Komen donation quilt
Make & send blocks for FCQ Equilters (really, it is time to get this done and in the mail…)
Finish Winter Rail Fence binding
Clean up cutting table & organize fat quarters
Well that's it for this week's design wall Monday.  Stop by Patchwork Times  to see what other folks have on their design walls. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Birthdays and Hurricane

 We celebrated Sophia's first birthday between the earthquake and the hurricane.  

We didn't get out of the house until 11 am because we had to do some hurricane preparedness things.  The biggies were consolidating the freezer and piling lots of ice around our food.  Filling a tub with water so we could flush our toilets if the power went out. And, securing the out door furniture and potted plants. 

Here's some of the earthquake damage in Mineral, the closest town to the epicenter. We drove right through Mineral to get to Jen & Brian's house. 

This manor house is known as Cuckoo (I have no idea why -- I never can read the historical markers fast enough as we drive by...)  It was shown quite a bit on local news.  There were cracks on some of the inside walls also.  We saw a lot of crumbled chimneys on our drive up. 

When we got to Jen's house we pitched in to help them get ready for the birthday girl's party on Saturday.  I decorated another batch of cupcakes. Aimee brought up her cupcake tree so they looked nice. (Although I think I need remedial frosting instructions...) We helped get their house hurricane ready -- they were likely to have more problems than we were.  And, we chopped and diced and etc to get the food ready for the party. 

The birthday girl took a good morning nap and was ready to party! Sophia, Jenny and Brian are getting ready for Sophia to have her first cupcake -- with frosting! 

She didn't go wild for the frosting -- although she did eat some of it and the cupcake. 

Folks needed to get home before the hurricane was scheduled to hit Maryland so everyone was gone by 3 pm. 

Here's Aunt Aimee crying with Sophia over the Ravens jersey Uncle Kevin got her. She liked the toys much better. Her nana bought her the cutest little Vera Bradley purse.  Keep an eye on your Mommy Sophia, she might want to use it too. 
She really wanted to check out the baby in this photo frame that Grammie and Grandpa got her and fixed up.  

We left a bit before 3 ourselves.  The drive home was mostly uneventful until we got about an hour from our house.  Two or three times small branches slammed into the windshield but didn't break it.  Scared the dickens out of us though.  Then one decided to drop on the roof.  I thought for sure it would leave a dent in the car but Pat couldn't find one.  The wind picked up and the rain wasn't all that heavy so we really didn't have that hard of a time.  Of course, we went country roads rather than face I 95.  It's always a mess. 

As we turned into our street we were stopped by a tree on the road but luckily we could get by on the left side.

And the final "kick in the pants?"  We had no power.  Evidently it went out around noon on Saturday.  And, darn it, it didn't come back until about 11 am on Sunday which was a lot sooner than we were told to expect it.  Thank goodness we had made the preparations before we left.  I have two book lights and lots of rechargeable batteries so we read our books and went to bed early.  Next morning we banged on our neighbor's door early so Pat could plug his coffee pot in --- they have a generator.  Hum, we may want to look into getting one of those.  Although 24 hours without electricity isn't too bad.  

I spent part of this afternoon getting the binding on a quilt so that I can hand stitch it tonight.  I've got another one ready to pin the binding on and get it sewn tomorrow.  I'm working hard to get more quilty things finished so I have used as much fabric as I bought this month.  Remember this lovely field trip? I'm within 2 yards of using as much as I bought.  I'll have to see if I can finish a few more things before Sept. 1. 

Happy Quilting All!   

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Yep, we had a little earthquake here in Central Virginia.  5.8 on the Richter scale.  We live about an hour from the epicenter.  But I was off shopping in Richmond.  Nice ride and I really didn't think it was an earthquake.  I thought a big train must have been going by close by.  No, no train going by.  Definitely an earthquake.  Within about 15 minutes both of my kids had checked in with me.  

Here's my earthquake damage.  Yep, a plastic bag fell down from the shelf. And that's it.  I didn't even see anything that moved on table tops or shelves.  Much better than a couple of my neighbors who had a little breakage.  

And now we're getting ready for hurricane Irene. We'll probably only get rain and we'll be in Maryland over the weekend. 

After the quake, I kept shopping.  And, YEAH!  I've got a dress for the wedding and I love it!  Only downside is I need black shoes.  I checked out the two pairs of nice black shoes I own.  Here's what I found.   I have no idea what happened to them.  I dropped them on the floor and stepped into them.  They were stuck to the hardwood floor.  The soles were completely rotted out. Yikes.  The second pair had a broken strap and and didn't fit. So both of these pairs were dumped in the trash.  Next week my "consultants" and I are going shoe shopping. 

No quilting has been done yet this week.  Today I'll be quilting the red and white baby quilt.  I'm irritated with my backing.  The quilt is 42 1/2" square.  But the backing fabric is only 40" wide. ARGH!  So today I will piece the back and then load it up on Ruthie.  Pictures will be posted after I get it done.  At some point I need to cut some binding for it and the last two quilts.  

Now it is off to the Y so I can do my walk.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Design Wall Monday 8/22/11

The same two or three things are on the design wall this week.  So, I'm not showing them to you.  Sorry.  What I will show is the quilt I took off of Ruthie yesterday.  This hasn't been a great week for me getting things done.

I used Quilter's Dream Blend batting, So Fine thread and did a free motion flower looking thing.  The advantage of free motion quilting is you can usually move so much faster.  The disadvantage is the bobbin keeps going faster and eventually will spin back on itself causing the thread to break.  This isn't a problem when I used Magna Glide Bobbins because the magnet in the bobbin doesn't spin.  Unfortunately those bobbins are a bit expensive compared to winding your own.  But, I really like how they function in the machine. Note to self: buy a few more colors of magna glide!  
Next up is the red and white baby quilt which I hope to do this week.  

Goals for week of 8/15/11
Add borders to Komen donation quilt
Make and send blocks for FCQ Equilters
Quilt and bind Red & White Baby Quilt
Quilt any of the following quilts: Quilts for Kids quilt, Winter Rail Fence, Chunky Churn Dash
Make a couple of practice dog bandanas
Go to Sew-In at the library
Decide on next UFO to work on

It wasn't a great week for me according to the list of goals. (There is a definite reason I make this list and refer to it during the week.)  I had several days of non-sewing activity, including having my MacPro laptop checked out.  I also had a trial run on a manicure for the wedding.  Love the new gel polish but not the color I chose. Today it has been on one week and there is not one chip! Wow.  Of course, it has grown out a bit from the nail bed but not all that bad.  I will definitely have this done again right before the wedding.  Unfortunately there aren't a lot of colors to choose from.  Sigh.  Also went to the monthly tea in the neighborhood. Had a hair cut with a new gal. And spent most of Friday sewing for a guild craft show.  I'm making dog bandanas.  I got several Halloween ones made in two sizes, I just need to sew one seam on them.  (They need thread to match the top and bottom and I didn't bring all that much thread with me!) 

Goals for week of 8/22/11
Celebrate Sophia’s first birthday party
Shopping for less formal dress for Kevin’s wedding
Eye appointment and order new glasses 
Quilt and bind Red & White Baby Quilt
Finish a few of the dog bandanas
Put binding on Chunky Churn Dash & Winter Rail Fence
Add borders to Komen donation quilt (honestly, I don't think I'll get to these 2) 
Make and send blocks for FCQ Equilters
Knit on sock

It may look like a long list but it doesn't have all that much sewing on it.  I'll be up with Sophi over the weekend.  I'm out shopping today. Why is it so hard to find the right dress for the wedding?  Last week I returned one of the two dresses I bought.  Same dress, different sizes.  I returned the larger one as I am losing a bit of weight except this weekend when I seemed to eat a bit more than normal. (OK, so I went for ice cream last night...) My hopes are that I find a dress that is a bit more casual today.  I've recruited my shopping buddies to help me find something.  I tend to be overwhelmed at stores and think there's nothing there for me.  So hopefully with a couple of extra pair of eyes I'll have better luck. 

Yesterday we ordered the wines and beers for the wedding.  Here's one of the wines we tasted and ordered. Less than 3 weeks!  I'm looking forward to seeing a bunch of friends we don't see on a normal basis. 

Check out design walls across the country/world by visiting Patchwork Times. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Design Wall Monday 8/15/11 -- Ooops

Not a darn thing new on the design wall...  you can see what was on last week's design wall by clicking here.  And see what's on design walls across the country by visiting Patchwork Times. 

I finished quilting the Disappearing 9 Patch UFO and then got the binding done at my local guild meeting. (It was a longer meeting than normal...) Sorry I didn't get a picture of it finished.  I used Quilter's Dream Blend for the first time.  It is 70% cotton, 30% poly.  It is extremely flat but I like it.  I'll have to see how I like it once I try to use the quilt.  I was really pleased how fast I was able to quilt this one.  It was all free motion swirls. 

I got this pattern from a Robert Kaufman's web site.  Cute purse but not the best instructions.  And, I used what I had on hand so "heavy weight" interfacing became craft interfacing which was used in the bow.  Yikes, way too stiff. I didn't put the points? swags? on.  I'll try them and see if they work or not.  And the handles are too short for my likes.  I love my colors though.  I'm going to do a little bit more work like sew the little knot part instead of pinning with a straight pin and add a little loop and button to keep the thing closed.  Oops -- I strayed from my goal list on this one.  

Goals for week of 8/8/11

Finish Twister top, quilt, bind
Make Bow Tote √ needs a little hand work
Quilt & Bind Chunky Churn Dash
Go shopping at outlet stores
Figure backing for Disappearing 9 Patch
Get fabric “entries” for retreat weekend made
Quilt any of the following quilts: red & white baby quilt, Quilts for Kids quilt, Disappearing 9 patch √ and bound just the D9P one. 

Goals for week of 8/15/11
Add borders to Komen donation quilt
Make and send blocks for FCQ Equilters
Quilt and bind Red & White Baby Quilt, make binding and bind
Quilt any of the following quilts: Quilts for Kids quilt, Winter Rail Fence, Chunky Churn Dash
Make a couple of practice dog bandanas
Go to Sew-In at the library
Decide on next UFO to work on

I've got several commitments this week so my sewing time will be more limited. Today I'm heading off to the Apple store to have a little repair talk regarding my laptop. Not sure if I just need some cleaning up or whether there is something lurking that needs to be repaired.  

On a different note, we got our T shirts for the wedding 5K.  I really think they are cute. 



These are representative of Kevin's and Aimee's dogs.  

For those of you thinking it, nah, I won't be running a 5K the morning of the wedding.  I might be walking a mile or two but nothing too strenuous. 

It's less than a month away.  Pat and I are taking a refresher on dance lessons.  We can do most dances for 30 seconds but we need some sustained dancing to get so we can actually dance through a song.  And, a lot of practice on determining what dance to do to what song.  Sigh.  I'll probably be stumbling about no matter what practice we have.  

Not sure how much quilting time I'll be getting this week but I sure hope I can get at least one quilt quilted.  

Happy Quilting All!  

Friday, August 12, 2011

Two Little Quilt Tops

I've wanted to do a twister quilt for some time.  Now I've tried two...
I was going to try to make the twister block into a pumpkin, hence all of the oranges.  It was a good idea but didn't come out right in the planning stages (see block below...) 

I actually like this orange version.  

Here's how it looked while I was working on it. 

And here is the practice plan for the pumpkin.  I flipped the ruler over to cut the two blocks on the right side thinking I could get the cute little indent at the top which I felt a pumpkin needed.  Which actually gave me a completely different look for the center of the quilt.  I don't know what I'm going to do with this knowledge but it didn't scream pumpkin shape to me so I made up the orange blocks in the regular style.  Any ideas on either making a pumpkin with a twister ruler or what we can do with the upside down ruler blocks?? 

Jennie, Diana and I went down to Williamsburg outlets for some heavy duty shopping.  I was looking for a different dress for the wedding and some pre and post wedding clothes.  Not much luck for any of that but we all got some things. 

Jennie loves caramel apples so we went into old Williamsburg so she could get some apples. 

Look at that Jennie -- she always knows when I have the camera on her!

We had a great time even if I wasn't thrilled with the clothing I saw.  Sigh.  Guess I'll have to go again sometime!

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Design Wall Monday 8/8/11

Long time followers know I show my design wall every Monday and post goals for the week.  I started this  because Judy at Patchwork Times has a page I can link to and folks can easily visit a lot of design walls and see what people are working on.  I find it is a great habit to do this -- here's why: 

1) I really try to get most of the things done on my goal list done so when I "confess" I have some progress to admit to! 
2) I try to keep new things on the design wall 
3) I like lots of people visiting the blog -- I'm not sure "If I write it they will read" really works so I'm happy to have the publicity. 

Here's the problem -- Judy is moving this week and it will be a bit before she has her internet service up and running again. So hopefully she'll post her Design Wall Monday link soon and we can all pop into Patchwork Times and go visit lots of wonderful design walls.  So don't forget to visit Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. No worry -- here's what's on my design wall today: 
This is the center of a quilt that will be donated to raise funds for breast cancer research.  I've had this way too long to admit to.  In fact I think I totally forgot about it for a while... yikes! But now it is out and on the design wall to be worked on. My initial thoughts are to put it on point.  I'll add some flying geese or half square triangles around the outer edge or both -- one around the block before it is made larger and again after it is put on point.  Of course, I need to do some looking at quilt books and magazines to see what strikes my fancy.  Pam will hand quilt this so she will need some space to show off the quilting ... hence big white triangles!  I'll keep you posted on this one. 
I am finally getting around to doing a twister quilt.  I'm going to practice with this little quilt to see what I can come up with. I grabbed a bunch of precut squares and added one or two more to make this beginning.  I ran out of time to actually try the cutting part.

Argh -- the photo uploader isn't doing what I want it to do... so I'm just going to leave this on the side! Here's the finished top -- disappearing 9 patch. 

Goals for Week of 8/1/11
Finish Jennie the Baker’s quilt
Finish ripping out Winter Rail Fence ¾ done, quilt it again Ordered new threads so waiting for them to arrive
Make and apply binding for Winter Rail Fence
Go on field trip with quilt group to new store
Plan borders for charity round robin with FCQ Equilters I've got a few ideas... 
Go shopping to outlet stores postponed…
Sew disappearing 9 patches together
Back burners to dos: quilt red and white baby quilt, chunky churn dash and Quilts for Kids quilt. 

Goals for week of 8/8/11
Finish Twister top, quilt, bind
Make Bow Tote
Quilt & Bind Chunky Churn Dash
Go shopping at outlet stores
Figure backing for Disappearing 9 Patch
Get fabric “entries” for retreat weekend made
Quilt any of the following quilts: red & white baby quilt, Quilts for Kids quilt, Disappearing 9 patch

That's it for this Design Wall Monday.  Happy Quilting All! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Field Trip!

My guild took a field trip to Threads Run Through It a new quilt store in Phenix, Virginia.  Wow!  What a place and what a welcome for 15 ladies from the guild who traveled the back roads to get to it. 

A great front porch where the non-quilter can sit, rock and view the beautiful countryside. 

Two quilts are shown on the porch. 

Then you step into the store and wow!  It's beautiful and that's not even looking at the fabrics and quilts! 

We shopped our hearts out.  And then they served us a light lunch! 

 Some were finishing up their purchases . . . 

 And some lovely quilts to look at while eating. 

What would this look like in purples... 

And, wait, I have this pattern ... hummmm I may need to make one of these.  It's a 5 yard quilt. 

And here's the wonderful fabric I got while I was there... yep I went a little wild.  Fat quarters were $1.50, $5 1 yard pieces, and some at 50% off.  I bought mostly fat quarters but a few yard pieces and one 4 yard piece.  

Afterward we went to another shop and I did some more damage -- 40% off there.  I now have enough white on whites to last for quite a while.  And, I have a couple of pieces I can use for backings for smaller lap quilts. 
Surely I have enough fabric for a while!  Oh but what fun it was to go on this field trip!  Who knows what I'll use all of this fabric for but I love it all.   Stay tuned to see quilts from these great fabrics!  

Happy Quilting All!