Monday, August 31, 2009

If You See One, Are There Others to Follow?

When we took Raggs for a walk last evening I grabbed this leaf off the driveway. WAIT it isn't even September! YIKES. It such a wonderful red -- I love it. We had such a wet summer we should see a lot of leaf colors this fall.

I'm off to work on the binding of my wonky 9 patch. Not sure what is up tomorrow. Our work date fell apart because I forgot about a meeting. We did move a little furniture and hung the thread rack. Pat will be cutting a piece of furniture into two pieces. But, that will be done over a couple of weeks.

Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sign Your Quilts!

I try hard to sign all of my quilts. Sometimes I just don't have the energy. When I made the backing of Sarah's quilt I decided to incorporate the label into the backing. No way it can be taken off without destroying the quilt.
I also made this pillowcase to stash the quilt in. I had a few extra blocks so I put them to use. This one has the edges turned under and just sewed down.

Now that Sarah's quilt is done I've been able to focus on other quilting. But YIKES! My thread combination is beautiful but the top thread kept breaking on this one. And, I do mean breaking. I only made it across the quilt once without multiple breakage. I used prewound bobbins with a very thin thread and a lovely variegated thread on top. I kept loosening the tension but I'm guessing I could have loosened it even more. The bobbin thread was VERY thin -- two strands.

I decided to do free motion flowery type things. I got the idea from Dawn Ramirez's Pajama Quilter Reloaded. I was happy with the results even if I had to tie off threads all the time!

Tomorrow I'll be putting the binding on so I can have another finish during August!

Plus Pat and I have a work date to reorganize the former office. It is now Ruthie's room. We still have a computer and way too many printers in there. We're hoping to use the space that's left more efficiently. I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy Quilting All!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It's All Done!

Do I have to give this away? I love it. Of course, I don't have any twin size beds in the house. They are all queens. And, no way would I do this as a queen. For those who are interested this is from Heather Mulder Peterson's book Sizzling Sixties book. You can see all the different quilts at this web site.
Here's a close up of the quilting. This is Popcorn, a pantograph from Willow Leaf Studios. I am not an expert but it certainly is acceptable. Signature Cotton thread and Warm and White batting.

I've loaded another quilt on Ruthie. I am freehand quilting with flowers. And, I am pleased with the 100 square inches I've done so far but the thread is breaking. Which said to me I needed to step away from the machine. I am not sure what the problem is but I like what is done so far. I'll have pictures later in the week depending how many breaks I get.

After this quilt I will go back to some serious piecing. Or so I think!

Happy quilting all!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sneak Peak of Sarah's Quilt

Ok, I can't stand it -- here are a few pictures of Sarah's Quilt. I love it. I don't want to send it to college. I want to keep it. Sniff.... next Wednesday or Thursday it goes to college though cause Sarah is there now.

Sigh. It was a big hit at quilt guild last night. And, I'm almost done with the binding ... less than 1 side to do.

I'll take more pictures tomorrow that will show
the whole thing. Or as much as I can get when I pin it to the stair railing. And, I'll show the label incorporated into the backing. And the pillow case to store the quilt in. I am busting fabric with this gem.

Today I put a couple of pieces of OLD fabric on Ruthie and just practiced. I figured out I can use a long basting stitch to sew fabs to my zippers. I think it will come out pretty easily. I had an overall free motion plan for my next quilt. Um, er, my practice was ok but I need more. So will work some more on it tomorrow and then get the next quilt on Ruthie. I want another finish this month so I can really bust some stash this month. I WILL use more than I bought in August. Check back on September 1 -- I will succeed on this!

Now it is off to the library for my volunteer time. I think I'll bring a long sleeve shirt with me as it hasn't gotten beyond the low 70's and NO humidity! Yes!

Happy quilting all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekly Work Day

Pat and I decided to have a weekly work session to get some things done around the house. Here's today's progress.

This is a pretty big closet filled with boxes of books. We haven't had a bookcase to put them away cause at the last house a lot of bookcases were built in. Kevin to the rescue. He gave us this old bookcase
We made a "date" to work for 2 hours today. We got the bookcase filled. The second row down are my paperbacks... double layered. I'm going to start reading them again -- I'm sure I've forgotten the stories by now!

Third row down are children's books -- some from my grandparents, some from my parents, some of my kids and some from years of being a media specialist for elementary school.
The closet looks better but it still needs some work. Oh well. It's a start. Hum, now to figure out what to do next week.

I'm taking a break off my feet before I go back to finish the quilting on Sarah's quilt. Yehaw! Almost done.

Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quilting Nearly Done



Hold Ups

Sarah's quilt is on Ruthie. It started with me not being able to get the tension right. But in the end I realized the thread had come out of the tension disk.

Success got several passes done. Then, ran out of bobbin thread. Replace, tested -- bummer tension problems. Rant, raved, cleaned, oiled, changed. Finally realized thread had come out of a guide. Few more passes done.

Next day had more problems but I was better able to correct them. Ran out of bobbins that were wound just before a late dinner. Decided to hold off until tomorrow to finish -- probably 3 passes and then on to the binding.

One thing I know for sure I won't be using Signature 100% cotton thread again -- too much lint. I'm having to blow out the bobbin area after each bobbin. Bummer.

Sorry Bloggetts -- no pictures today but should have some tomorrow.

Happy Quilting

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Great Progress Report

I had a very productive day in the studio. Here's what got done:

•Sarah's quilt top is done -- and pressed and most of the loose threads have been trimmed.

• made an extra hexagon block to use on the back.

•made the label which I actually sewed into the backing.

• sewed the backing together.
While I was doing all of these I was sewing blocks together as my leaders and enders. That quilt is Bricks and Stepping Stones from . I've been working on this off and on for several months. So, I guess that is the next top I will finish.

For those who like to see what is on design walls -- here's mine!

The top was a practice of a technique.

Next are a few happy blocks and a piece for the center of a block.

Purple pinwheel is a sample for Sarah's hexagon quilt. And, the little pieces below and to the left. That's another way of putting together 60ยบ wedges.

At the bottom right is an applique project. I have done about 3 or 4 12" blocks but have lost interest in it. Maybe I'll pull it out after I finish the Bunny Hill block of the month. (Don't hold your breath!)

That's it for tonight. I'll be showing off Sarah's quilt after I get it quilted. Now, to pin the zippers on so I can load it on to Ruthie tomorrow. I am anticipating quilting on this over the next several days.

Happy Quilting All!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Crowing! Just a Bit . . .

Remember my Hanky Quilt? We got them back at the guild meeting last night. Notice the little extra thing hanging on it? YEP! I got a 2nd Place for this little baby. WAY Cool.

And, isn't this the cutest ribbon? Judy, the chairwoman of the challenge, made the centers from another hanky. My quilt earned 76 out of 80 points. Woot! Woot! Truth be told there were only 8 entries. There were 3 or 4 awards for best color, best use of the hanky, etc. I was beginning to think I would get nothing cause I didn't get one of those. But, my number was called for 2nd place and I was thrilled. The only other time I've had one of my quilts judged I received an honorable mention.

News on the Sarah quilt. All but 2 sides of the last border are on. The backing is ironed and ready to be pieced. I've got to get another piece of fabric ready to run down the middle of the back. And, in a bit of spare time I pieced more of my leaders and enders quilt. All the blocks are ready to be sewn into rows. I guess I'll keep on working on them in hopes of finishing them this month. Wow, could I actually get two decent quilts finished in one month!

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Machine Applique -- Give it a Try

One of the things I get to do for my local quilt guild is to choose a block for the block of the month.
The next one for Mountain Laurel Quilters is a Halloween theme -- 8" finished. Today I made a little machine appliqued witch as an example. Here's how I did it. I'm no artist so I went on the Internet to find a witch I could machine applique. She's doable -- not a whole lot of lines but she's too big. So I reduced her... it's hard to see but I wrote 85% on the smaller one. I generally write down the size I reduce or enlarge on the copy.
Next I traced the witch pieces on fusible web. I began picking my fabrics for the different pieces. Luckily for me it was easy to pick fabrics for my little witch. After ironing them on to the fabric I put the witch together on a piece of mylar so when she gets put together all I have to do is iron her on as a whole, rather than pieces at a time.

Because the witch was all together I decided to audition various background fabrics. Here's a background -- purple on purple print.

Then I tried a blued purple solid. It washes out the green face.

I tried it on a darker purple. I was happy with this one. Just an aside -- this fabric is from the very first large quilt I made. It was the backing to a Quilt in a Day, Log Cabin. I made it in 1982 during a class with Eleanor Burns.

Here she is being ironed down. Silly me, I forgot to peel the paper off the top of her hat.

Then I put a piece of stabilizer under neath it before I machine applique the pieces down.

Here she is with a tiny zig zag stitch over the pieces. Usually I do a tight zig zag on machine applique but this time I wanted less weight from the threads. She still needs her face which I will probably embroider on her. Notice the fringe on the dress -- the fabric was frayed and before I cut it I decided I would use it on the dress.
Here she is ready to trim down the background fabric and add her face. We'll see what she inspires in the guild members.

Happy quilting all!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sewing Progress With Lots of Distractions

Here's a new photo of Mr. Raggs. Wow, you can actually see his brown eyes in this picture! He was hanging with his buddies, Cassie and Kona at the local park. Thanks to all who have said how much they enjoy Raggs' antics. He thought seriously of taking a strip of border fabric today, but he decided to be well behaved instead!

The hexagon top is pieced sans borders. (Heck, I had to get it all together DS Kevin and DS-I-L Brian arrived Thursday night. I had it laid out on Kevin's bed!) I've got the first border ready to put on tomorrow.

Did my volunteer time at the local public library. Ooops -- the computer system went down -- what a pain that is when you can't check the books out electronically!

Attended a community meeting -- not terribly interesting but we continue to go -- snore-- advantage is I usually bring some knitting and get a couple of inches done every meeting.

Friday was a play day. We went to Promise Land State Park with kayaks,a single skull, Cassie, Kona and Raggs (the dogs), Pat, Brian and Kevin (the boys) and me.

Here's Pat and Raggs coming in from a paddle. Raggs sat quietly and enjoyed the trip. And, there's Pat in his single skull. (Pat, is that the right name???)

Cassie, Kevin's dog, LOVES Promise Land. She will chase a ball into the lake all afternoon. She's a very sweet dog and kids just love to throw the ball for her. She's a bit too fast for me to get all of her in the picture! Sorry Kona, I didn't get your picture too. I'll get one before you leave tomorrow!

The boys and dogs go home tomorrow so things will settle back down.(Reading between the lines, get boring!) Raggs will catch up on his sleep the next few days. I'll get Sarah's quilt top finished and prep the backing so I can quilt it. Oh yes, I turned Ruthie on today and quilted a charity quilt. Brian tried it too -- did two rows with stipple and freehand flowers. I am happy to report that my flowers look better than his. (boy, would I be in trouble if they didn't!) I need to keep something on Ruthie all the time so that I practice every day.

Happy Quilting All!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Minimal Advances . . .

Meetings today took up all afternoon . . . Ok, lunch with Stephanie from Faithful Circle Quilters. She vacations up near where I live so we met last summer and then again today. We chat, have lunch and visit my local quilt store. Then I met with Jackie at A Stitch in Time.

Novel got me in the early morning . . . need I say more...

Midmorning I sewed . . . I have two or three rows together. Here are two sections of 2 rows. OOOHHH . . . I really like this A LOT! The blue is supposed to be the backing but see my dilema below!

Late afternoon . . . I prewashed the backing. UGH! This was 44" wide before I washed it. It is now 42 -1/2. Which means the widest it will be sewn together is maybe 85".

But wait there's more . . . I bought this at JoAnnes. It is a Heidi Grace (who the heck is she? I'm not familiar with her.)
And more . . . But the big pain is one of the seam allowances is 7/8" wide; actually on remeasuring it is 1" wide. Who needs to have an inch of seam allowance screaming that it is made for JoAnnes?

It was nearly the end of the bolt so there is no way I can get enough to do it up and down instead of cross wise. I'm thinking I am going to use part of this seam allowance in the darn seam!
I guess I will play with the borders again. Maybe I won't have enough of the borders to do what I wanted to anyway. I was going to make each of two borders about an inch bigger to make sure it covered the twin mattress well enough. I guess that won't be happening. And, I may have to sew leaders on the edges to be able to quilt all the way to the edges. I guess I won't worry about that until I get the top done which will never get done at the rate I am going!

And tonight I'll a) read my novel, b) sew, c) watch tv.

Who knows.... probably a but it could be b.

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, August 10, 2009

As of yesterday the blades were still parked by the on ramp. I guess no one can move them even if they wanted to steal them.

Sarah's quilt is still in progress. The half hexes are almost all in rows. Should get that done tomorrow.

And, if I'm really dedicated and/or lucky, I'll get at least half the rows sewn together.

After an hour to an hour and a half of sewing I find I'm worn out and need to take a break. And, heaven knows, I'm not a fast sewer!

And, Amy, the "filler" hexagons is Kona snow. At least I'm pretty sure that is what it is. I bought it years ago to make something else. I raided a pig that wasn't even started to get the fabric. I figure when I get to that project I'll check the stash or buy something new.

Tomorrow -- more sewing, meeting a quilting buddy from Maryland, and chatting with Jackie at A Stitch in Time in Honesdale.

Happy Quilting All

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Progress on Sarah's Quilt

Here are the pieces for Sarah's quilt.

This was taken yesterday before I sewed any together. It all has to be laid out and assembled carefully so the right hexagons match up. I am now sewing the blocks into 18 rows. Because these are hexagons there are all sorts of funny angles -- I'm ripping once for every 3 to 4 pieces that are correct. Not fast sewing. The cool part is there are no inset seams because the hexagons are sewn into rows as a half hexagon and then the rows are sewn together. Unfortunately, I'm getting bored, tired, ____ (fill in the blank) and I am only sewing about 3 to maybe 4 hours a day and not all of it is working on this quilt. I've got about 5 rows sewn together with another 5 partially sewn together. I've got to up my output. I may go sew tonight for another 30 or 40 minutes to get some more rows done. I really like the fabrics -- they are Mary Engelbreit's Garden of Flowers. I won a jelly roll which is what I used with some additional fabric that blends. I've got a yellow solid for the first border and a green tone on tone for the second border. I'm going to hate to let this go but I think Sarah will like the happy colors.

So folks -- this is what I saw Thursday afternoon at the on ramp to 84 east.
And, one wasn't enough -- there was another one.
Do you know what these are?

Here's my guess:

There are several wind turbines on the crest of the hills here in the Poconos. I think these are the blades for the wind turbines. Of course, I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure. Pat isn't so sure.

No more quilting tonight -- I'm tired. I may do a bit of knitting while I am watching an old movie, The Shop Around the Corner. (You've Got Mail is the updated version of it.)

Happy Quilting All!

Friday, August 7, 2009

nose to the grindstone... kind of

Progress Report on Sarah's Quilt
All 42 half hexagons -- done (actually 84 half hexagons)
18 pairs of triangles -- done
42 cream hexagons done (again, actually 21 half hexagons)

Up Next
Lay out the pieces to make rows

Don't have a picture to show yet, but here's the book it is coming from. And, best of all, no inset seams~! YEA.

Back up to the studio to do the layout.
Happy Quilting All!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Knitting Show and Tell

At one stop on the way home from Maryland, Raggs decided he should drive. We were not amused. (ha!) We always try to stop at Brewster's for ice cream. If it is raining or snowing you get a second scoop free. And, Raggs loves the bowl of ice cream topped with a dog biscuit that he always gets. The best part is it is good ice cream!

Here's the little baby hoodie I made for the Kim's baby. It zips up the back. (and, the pattern doesn't call it a hoodie -- it's from 1981 or so!) I first made one of these for my son when we lived in California. It was so easy to unzip it from the back and pop him into it. And, we seldom needed anything heavier. Not so in Maryland. Hopefully Kim can use it for the first couple of months.

Not all that much quilting got done today. I missed half of the Wed. quilters as Pat and I had some things to do. I am close to finishing my third block from Bunny Hill Designs. (Which is actually the block for January . . . I am not doing these in order.) Tomorrow I am back to work on Sarah's quilt.

Happy Quilting All!