Thursday, December 31, 2009

2 More Finishes in 1009

Mystery #11 is now done. Marge is selling the pattern on her site as Quarter of a Court House Square. A portion of the cost goes to the American Cancer Society. I finished the binding last night. This is the front:

And, here is the back. I used left over blocks laid out in a different pattern. And then added various fabrics from my black collection. This used up some of the fabrics, others I have bits left. Hum, wonder if they'll end up in other scrap quilts?
Today I quilted a String X from Quiltville. Tomorrow I'll get a picture of it to post. I started with a pantograph and then didn't like how it looked. Tore out 3/4th of one row and then I did a stipple stitch on it.

The pups had a great time playing in the snow today. It is nice to see the Kona is playing with Raggs a bit more. She still doesn't do much with toys but she runs around and chases Raggs. Tonight I took out a little metal dimpled disc from Ragg's mouth. Oops. I think he ate my entire leather thimble except the metal disc. I'll check upstairs to see if the leather part is up there but my guess is it is being digested.

Hope everyone has a safe New Year's Eve and a great 2010. (Wasn't it just yesterday when we were worried about what would happen to the computers when the year changed from 1999 to 2000?) I'll be watching the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl. Maybe we'll see Brian and Jenny there. They'll be sitting in the end zone pretty low so we might be able to see them during field goals. Brian is, OH NO, an Ohio State fan. We SC fans are somewhat tolerant.

Happy Quilting All!

A Moment for Nature

When I woke up this morning I watched this young buck grazing in the back yard. He was still for a long time so I was able to get my camera and snap a few pictures. There was a doe (at least I think it was a doe...) further away in the forest. I also watched a deer on the road next to the house for a good 5 minutes. Unfortunately they don't come quite close enough to get a really good picture with my little camera. And, yes, it's snowing again.

I'm off to quilt on Ruthie this morning in an attempt to finish one more quilt this month. Happy quilting all!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quilt as Desired

Don't you hate it when directions say quilt as desired? I do although I am getting over that. I realize I must have a plan before I start quilting on Ruthie. I have been having pretty good luck with pantographs lately. Monday I finished Mystery #11 from Mysteries for Relay. I loaded it on Ruthie with the plan to try a new pantogram called Angel Wings. Yippee! It looked like what it was suppose to when I did it. Woot! Woot! Yesterday, I put the binding on and got the next quilt ready to go.
See the shapes that really look like butterflies? That is what the pantograph looks like! I am not sure it is the best design for this very busy top but it is now completely done! I took it with me for Wednesday quilting. I also pinned the next quilt on to my zippers so I can finish one more quilt this year.

My kids sabotaged my efforts to USE more fabric than I buy this year. In last accounting I had purchased 1 7/8th yards more than I used this year. But, both Jenny and Kevin gave me fabric -- wonderful, fun fabric. But, it was enough to wreck my plans so I decided I would get the borders on the string x that was almost done. It's ready to load on Ruthie so hopefully I'll have it finished by midnight on Thursday. I don't know what my final numbers will be this year but I'm pretty sure I'll at least break even.
Here's Jenny showing off her Christmas quilt. Darn, you can't see her quilting. She used white thread and did a very nice stipple. She used a red on the back. (I was happy because I had way too many red bobbins wound for a quilt I was doing and then changed my mind about the color.)

Have you made any New Year Resolutions? I'm not very good about doing what I've resolved in the past so I may skip it this year. If I think of something I'll let you know though. Except, I resolved to continue to quilt and to try to make a dent in my stash. That's a start at least!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wonderful Christmas

What a great visit with Jenny and Brian and Kevin and Aimee. Christmas day was great. Super gifts, great food, lots of fun.
Saturday the weather turned a bit nasty. Our plans to go snow tubing got sleeted out. Nobody wanted to get wet and cold and icy!
The driveway looked pretty treacherous in the morning but mostly melted by the afternoon.

Jenny spent the day quilting this Christmas log cabin quilt she made over several years. My friend Sharon made two of these Christmas quilts. I let her cut strips from my Christmas stash so she cut a strip or two extra for me. I passed them on to Jenny about 5 years ago and she has worked on them on and off. On our road trip to Mary Jo's this past summer she purchased the backing fabric.

Jen gets really focused if she wants to get something done. She set the goal to get the quilt done this weekend. She actually started and finished it on Saturday. I cut the binding for her from leftover backing. She also got the binding on the monster quilt. (117x117" is big!) We got half of it hand sewn down.

More during my next post. Happy quilting all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Everything Done and Ready!

As promised here is a picture of Jenny's king size quilt. It hangs to the floor on both sides on this queen size bed. She sewed the binding on by machine this morning. Now she is working on hand sewing it down. I couldn't hang it over the bannister on the upper level and take a picture cause there is garland and lights on it. At least you can get a feel for the whole quilt with this picture.

And this is the little tree upstairs overlooking the great room.

I wanted to show the upstairs decorating but Raggs decided he needed to supervise. Honest, he sat there waiting for me to take the picture. He did such a good job I gave him a dog biscuit. So now ...
He wants to get in all the pictures! And he sat still while I changed to a tighter view. Hum, a photo hound!
These Santas are sitting on a small table on the landing of the stairs with a little soft angel horse. See the little cat? It is a new pin cushion my friend Judy gave me. It is made on top of a wooden spool. Too cute. The quilt to the left is a Pineapple Blossom -- directions are at Quiltville.

Kevin and Aimee arrived early this afternoon with Jenny and Brian arriving yesterday evening. We are all ready for Christmas. The presents are over flowing around the tree. Yikes, and there are no children under 26 here.

On the quilting front, I put the last two pieces of the border on my Mystery #11 from Mysteries for Relay. I am ready to piece the backing over the next few days. As I've said before, I want to have it completely done before 2010 starts! I'm on schedule for it so we'll see how it goes.

Hope your holidays are enjoyable and Happy Quilting All!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

3 Days and Counting

I can't believe I am right on schedule. The house is ready -- cleaned and decorated.

The four stockings are done with names ......
And hung by the fireplace with care . . . .

The bears are trying hard not to pout . . . .
Most presents are wrapped and under the tree.

Tomorrow I roll out sugar cookies for the kids to decorate on Thursday. And, I think I'll squeeze some quilting time in there too.

I have one or two other decorations to show but the camera battery is low so I won't be able to until tomorrow. Until then --

Happy quilting all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Making Christmas Progress.

As of last posting 1, 6 and 7 were either done or well on the way to being done.

I've been a busy quilter -- working on the rest of the things I need to do rather than the things I want to do.
#3 is done -- all four stockings are hung by the chimney with care along with the other 4 stockings. (some of the dogs will have to share stockings unless their mommy and daddy bring a stocking for them.)

#4 is 3/4th done. Names are on all but Kevin's stocking. All I need to do is cut out the letters and apply them. (phew, no handwritten paper notes pinned on the stockings!)

#5 -- presents wrapped. Well except for one person's who will remain nameless. (I got to lock myself in a room to wrap those presents...)

#8 -- Food shopping is done after hitting two different stores. Ooops, we still need orange marmalade, and lettuce and celery. Ok, BIG food shopping is done. Smaller, local stuff will be done, probably on Tuesday.

Our kids were hit with the 20+ inches of snow in Maryland. CraZy Kevin took his mountain bike and hit the trails in a state park earlier in the morning on Saturday. Aimee, smart woman that she is, stayed home and quilted. Brian and Jenny were in Ohio missing most of the fun. Nice that they have a townhouse to come home to as the snow removal is done for them.

We only got about 5". Not all that big a deal. I don't think we have any more snow coming this week. This will hold until after Christmas as we don't have any days with temperatures above 32 until Thursday.

Among all the Christmas preparations I have been working on mystery #11 from Mysteries for Relay on Yahoo Groups. The top is ready for borders. I have some of the back pieced. After I put the borders on I will use some of the border fabric to fill out the backing. (not that I have enough and I think I will save some for the binding.) I am hoping that I can quilt and bind this before the end of 2009. I'd like to use a substantial amount of fabric for December. And, that way I would actually use more fabric than I brought into the house in 2009. I have one other quilt that just needs borders (which I have) and then quilt it (and I have the backing!) Maybe that one will get done in 2010.

Happy Quilting All!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie Swap II

Cookie Swap II is today and I am ready! Here are all my cookies ready to go in a basket. I couldn't find a big enough basket to carry all of them so I have to bring some in a shopping bag. At least it looks festive here -- red plaid.

We've got two more boxes to go through to add to the tree. But that will be another day. Raggs has been pretty good about it. He sniffs it but that is about it. On the other hand, we've both been about when he's been near the tree. Wait til the whole pack shows up. (3 more dogs for Christmas!)

And, Raggs has to be spruced up too. Here he is after his bath. Doesn't he look pathetic here? Poor baby. But he smells much better and someday that fur will grow out. And, in the meantime he curls up pretty tightly when he goes to sleep.

You might be asking how I am doing on my to do list from last posting?
1 -- Hair is cut and looking oh, so much better!
6 -- Started meal plans. Need to add to them so we have meals for all the days the kids are up here.
7 -- Cookies are ready to be taken today.

The rest are in the works or a day planned to do so.

Keep warm and Happy Quilting All!

Monday, December 14, 2009

TWO Weeks to Christmas

And I'm not ready. So, let's make some plans here to get it together.

First -- hair cut -- I can't stand my hair now -- too long
Second -- last minute gifts. Hum. . . can't admit who is on the last minute list they all read this.

Third -- finish the last stocking.

Fourth -- get names on all four stockings.

Fifth -- wrap

Sixth -- plan meals

Seventh -- make 8 dozen cookies for swap #2.

Eighth -- shop for food

Ninth -- oops got to go to get ready for hair cut.

I'll be back! Heheheh

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cookie Swap I

I made 3 batches of cranberry, white chocolate chip cookies! I decorated bags, made little tags, stashed the cookies in and tied it all up with a bright red ribbon.
I stashed the bags into a decorated basket to tote to the swap location. I wish I brought my camera to show you all the gorgeous containers filled with cookies!

And, if you've been hearing about the cold weather -- here's our morning temps. Top is outside, bottom is in the house but right next to the window. I'm sure it wasn't that cold inside!

I was able to get nearly an hour and a half of sewing done. Tomorrow I'm planning the whole morning in the studio. I'll get one top done, finish clue 1 of Carolina Christmas on Quiltville. And, maybe I'll get the last stocking done. We'll see how it goes. Raggs isn't particularly fond of the snow we've got. He's hoping for some warmer weather!

Happy Quilting All!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Taa Dah!

Making progress on the Monster Quilt . . . batting is off the floor.
The take up roll is running into the machine head... must mean more is getting done!
Batting moving up . . .
Oops... that's all the batting that is left after finishing the quilting. Phew. One good reason we didn't want a lot of quilting on this quilt.
It's DONE!
I'm going to let it "age" on the rollers for a few days -- I don't need Ruthie for a while.

Now, it is time to get on to baking cookies for two swaps. Tomorrow night I need 5 dozen bagged by the dozen and ready to go. Next Wednesday I think I need 9 dozen bagged in half dozens. I've already planned the recipe and the trial run of it turned out great. So tomorrow I'm doing cookies (probably 3 batches.) And, then I want to dress up the bags I am putting them in so they are "cute". Any spare time I think I will sew the rows of the last Mystery for Relay quilt which is all over the bed in a guest room. Hum, need to clear that off as Kevin and Aimee will be up for Christmas as will Jenny and Brian. So we're looking forward to a full house.

Time to make dinner . . . or at least my part of it.
Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Let the Lights Shine

Pat got the pine trees on the driveway decorated with lights this week. I thought they looked great! He thought they would be good photos to show on the blog. He's right.
No quilting getting done today -- it's party time. I'm going to a volunteers dinner for the homeowners association. Pat is going to sing two concerts today. (I refused to join as the practice was the same time as a new quilt guild I had joined. Maybe next year.)

Yesterday I didn't get as much quilted on Jenny's quilt as I had planned to. My back starts giving out and the hands start aching a bit holding the ruler in place. So, slow and easy will still get it done way before Jenny shows up. By the way, Jenny made this quilt not me. I am only quilting it for her. She gets to put the binding on -- all 456" of it.

The snow is about 4 to 5" deep and not too much melting go on today -- it's only just reached 32 now. Raggs doesn't quite know what to do in the snow. And, he doesn't have enough hair/fur left to keep him really warm. So we don't go play in the snow. We do try to have him do his business out there. I would imagine it would be pretty shocking to wake up first thing in the morning and have to go out side -- it's been in the 20's the last few mornings! Time to get Raggs out and then off I go.

Happy Quilting All!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Monster Day 2

The monster quilt is on Ruthie and the quilting has been started.

I am using a ruler to guide the machine. It takes a bit of getting used to but it does give nice oval shapes around the squares. This isn't the ruler I should be using. I found a ruler on the internet that is an oval with lines on it and that would have been perfect. But this ruler is on loan and you can't beat the price! I need to acquire the oval as I like this look on squares. I think I need to try the other rulers that were loaned to me. FYI the rather blue looking thing in this picture of me working is the ruler.

Here's the plan to get this thing done. And, wow, if I stick with it I'll be done before I know it. The quilt is basically made up of 4 squares with in square units surrounded by red sashing. Today I got one row within the red sashing done. (hum 6 of these big blocks per row and 6 rows = 36 units.) Ruthie is a petite little gal and I can only do half of the block on each pass. My plan is to get two of the red sections done each day which means only 4 passes. Should take 3 more days. Of course, I might get a wild hair and just keep working on it and get it all done faster. Nothing will get done on Sunday as we have commitments all day long.
Ta dah! A finished section! You can't tell but the same curved shape is on the inside of each square too. Black thread on the black fabric. By the time I am done with this I think I just might be an expert on this ruler. We newbies are always amazed when we see folks whipping around their rulers! (string is hanging off the one of the circles in the right hand pic.)

So, Jenny, when you have time make up your binding cause this thing will be done by the time you come up. And, I am knotting and burying some of the threads but I will probably leave some for you to do also. You can cuddle under this and tie away one day while you are here. Once you get this on the bed no one is going to be able to move as it weighs a ton!

I also got the third Christmas stocking done. I'm making stockings for the kids so Santa Claus can leave them some presents. I'll be putting the names on later by hand (or I'll pin the names written on paper on the cuff if I run out of time!) One more and I can go back to doing other things like sewing mystery #11 from Mysteries for Relay together. The blocks are sewn in rows I just need to press seams and put it together.

Happy Quilting All! Snow is forecasted for tomorrow so a great excuse to stay in an quilt!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Loading Up the Monster Quilt

If you've been following my blog you know I am going to quilt a monsterously big quilt for Jenny. It's about 117" on all sides. Heck, Ruthie only has 122" of leader so this is really pushing it! So it began today. This is the quilt top with its zipper on ready to roll on to the top bar. Next, rolled up on the top bar. It sure doesn't seem all that big but wait until I start rolling the finished quilt onto the take up bar. I may have to turn this baby to finish it all.
Raggs wanted to help by stealing the end of the zipper but I convinced him not to. So he's decided to be in charge of quality control.
I'm pinning the zipper to one end of the backing. Ugh -- Miss Jenny needs to prepare her backings a bit better... but she was about to go on vacation when she got all this stuff together. (I told her she'd be charged extra for the squaring up of the backing and removing the selvedges. 8-) )
UGH! The backing had to be ironed -- all 15,876 square inches of it. (sounds more that way, doesn't it!)

It is now hanging over the upstairs bannister waiting for me to put it on Ruthie tomorrow. I was too tired this evening after my library volunteer time.

For those of you who might be awaiting the photo of the finished Inchie ornament I'm sorry to disappoint you. I was in such a hurry to finish it and get it in the mail before pick up I forgot to take a picture. So, maybe I will make the extra little pieces into a matching ornament and show a photo of that. Don't hold your breath. I've got a zillion other things to do before that gets tackled.

I'm off to bed and dreaming about the fantastic quilting that will be going all over the monster quilt!

Happy Quilting All!