Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Christmas Stockings

FCQ Equilters made 52 stockings that will be sent to Columbia, Maryland. I hate to admit that I forgot which good cause will be getting these but, I did forget. These were very easy and I was delighted to put some of my old Christmas fabric to a good use. There are 6 of us in the group. I was a slacker and only made 5 or 6 of them...!

Here are some directions that I used to make my stockings. http://everydaycelebrate.blogspot.com/2008/11/tutorial-lined-stocking.html
The Witch is In is finished and up on the wall. Picture shortly.

Only 2 seams left on the Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt. Then on to piecing the backing.

Need to make a couple of sample labels for my demo on Sunday at Quilter's Day Out.

And, pull quilts for examples for the demo...

Short today, but better than nothing! Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm On a Roll Here

Wow, two posts in two days. Will wonders never cease. Here are a few excuses for my neglect of my blog buddies:

I'm addicted to playing Bejeweled Blitz

My glasses were broken and I couldn't see much up close when I attempted to wear multi focal contact lenses

We went to Cleveland

I read two big books

The battery on my laptop is failing. Everytime I used the laptop without being plugged in, it would turn itself off with no notice. (new battery ordered, wrong battery. Another new battery on order.... so I'll be able to be free again soon.)

Actually all of that happened in the last week or so. I have given up trying to make the multifocal lenses work for close up, mid distance and long distance.

I am swearing off Bejeweled Blitz for a day or so.

I finished The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and Echo in the Bone by Diane Gabaldon.

I have been doing a little quilting and here's proof. This is a little quilt that I made for the guild's raffle next Sunday. The little sashing blocks are 1" finished .... or at least I think they were. I used my thirties fabrics that I've got stashed away to make a Terry Atkinson design. I think it is cheese and crackers but it is upstairs and I'm not going up there to find out! Someday I will make the quilt. And, I think I have plenty of these fabrics left to do so. (darn, now that I think about it I have fabric pulled for another quilt Terry designed. )

I've been having a bit of trouble with old fabrics. WHY did this have to bleed all over my new ironing board cover? And, yesterday the stuff from the cover bled onto a piece of muslin I was ironing. Honestly.

And the next big question? WHY do I think I need to rescue this piece of fabric? I'm going to throw that baby away as soon as I hit the studio today. WHAT was I thinking -- I don't really need the fabric. I guess I'll be buying a new piece of fabric to cover the board again. Hum, note to self... put another piece of batting over it also. Try to staple it tighter next time round.

Time to get breakfast. And then up to the studio. I'm coming close to a finish on a top so need to figure out a backing for it. I'm afraid it will be a pieced back as I just don't buy fabric in 3+ yard pieces. Happy Quilting All!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tree Removal

Last week we had the tree I called the squirrel highway removed. It was just too close to the house. Our neighbor had 3 or 4 trees removed at the same time. So it was noisy around here for the morning.

At first they planned to lift it OVER the house. Needless to say I wasn't really thrilled with that as it was 3 stories at the back of the house.

They decided that wasn't quite the right way to go. So they moved that truck to the side of the house.

You can see the orange tape and the blue x on the tree that was removed on the third picture.

One of the guys rode the crane up to the top of the tree to attach it to the crane and cut the top off.

This was a lovely red maple tree so we are having the wood made into lumber. Pat will be making night stands for one of the bedrooms upstairs.

I know that tree top is somewhere in this last picture -- but I'm not sure where! I was sewing away at the time this was done although I did come out to take one of the pictures. Pat took the rest. I need to apologize to the squirrels for taking their tree. It is about time to put the bird feeder back out on the porch. I wonder where the critters will carry their seed to in order to eat it by themselves?

We've also planted 75 daffodil bulbs in hopes that we will have some spring flowers. Supposedly deer won't eat daffodils. Squirrels will, but not deer. Something has been digging up the bulbs but the two I replanted today (in the rain) weren't chewed on. I've still got some gladiola and hyacinth bulbs to plant. Should have done it when the weather was good. Hopefully we'll have some pretty flowers in the spring. I'll keep you posted.

I've been finishing some small projects quilt-wise. Today I realized I'm not exactly sure where the "The Witch Is In" quilt is. I was sewing on the binding on Monday night at guild meeting. I sure hope I didn't leave it there. Although I am sure someone would have grabbed it for me. (just remembered what bag it was in and sure enough -- it was there. Tomorrow I'll finish it. )
Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Eyes In the Making -- Hopefully

Remember last post with the broken glasses? Well, new glasses take a while with my prescription so I am trying multifocal lenses. I've worn them a little bit on Thursday -- didn't want to try to drive in the snow storm. Wore them 3 hours on Friday. Um, er, folks, I can't see up close to do anything except knit an easy pattern. Saturday I wasn't home long enough to be able to wear them. Now I have them in again. I can't see details very well. No sewing for me cause I can't thread the sewing machine. Can't see well enough to hand quilt the witch is in wall hanging. I can barely read what I've typed here so please excuse me if there are errors! I believe a different pair is on order that might have more power in the left eye. So, I'm close-up blind until around 8:15 or so.

We were forecasted to get 4 to 8" of snow. It was snow
ing in the morning but didn't keep it up. And, then the temperature started going up. Supposedly we'll have a couple of days in the upper 40's, lower 50s. Yee Haw!
Tomorrow morning I hope to get some sewing done before wearing the contacts. I'm trying to make this little pumpkin quilt as a give away for the quilt group. I'll keep you posted. I'm off to suffer not seeing up close right now -- no quilting, no reading books, no reading emails! What's a girl to do?

Happy quilting all!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not Again!

Honestly, this should NOT be happening. Look carefully at that picture up there. Do you see the faintest tinge of white on those GREEN leaves. No, it isn't pollen. It is SNOW on October 15th. ARGH. NO, no, no. That was around 10 this morning. At 8 when I came home from a library event there was snow on the fields, houses, driveways, trees. Everywhere except the street. (THANKS BE!) But, there's more. We are under a winter storm watch until Sunday afternoon. That means, yep, you got it, more snow is on the way. On my dashboard on the Mac it shows snow tomorrow and Saturday and then snow-rain mix on Sunday. Too early. Too cold. Too much. (now, everyone pray that it stays light snow not big, heavy, wet flakes that makes the tree branches break off and pull down power lines. I will NOT be happy if we lose electricity this year!

I guess that means I'll hole up in the studio and sew. There are some finishes coming. And, I promise pictures as I am done!

Happy Quilting All!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Do You Mean It's Been a Week?

ARGH! I didn't mean to ignore my blog buddies! Honest. I have been super busy for some of the days but certainly not all of them. While Pat was busy getting estimates on repairing the house and getting that tree taken down, I was back and forth with appointments.

Raggs had his ears checked . . . long droopy eared dogs get ear mites and yuck. I try to be good but just wasn't quite on top of it as I should have been. So, he was at the Vet first thing. Then, I had a teeth cleaning.

And then an eye appointment. Have I mentioned I can't read very well? Well, actually, I read very well I just can't see up close that well.

Notice the glasses picture? The tech ran into some problems with my frames while trying to measure the prescription. Yikes. I have what used to be called Coke bottle glasses. Astigmatism, nearsightedness and bifocals. I can't see without my glasses. Luckily I had brought the glasses I used before the ones to the left. I am now seeing with those but even worse than before! Surprisingly this prescription isn't that far off for distance but isn't all that good for close up. Needless to say the tech was upset and the whole office was bending over backwards for me. It was getting so late that afternoon that I couldn't even order the new glasses as I was going to be late for my library volunteer time. And, when that was over we were off to a meeting of community associations we attend as representatives of our community association. (er, um, and it is a fairly boring meeting but we still go to...I sit and knit through it.)

I thought I'd spend Friday sewing to my heart's content. Um, wrong again. I had a meeting for my community on their web site. (Why did I get on all these committees?) So after that I went off to order the new glasses. Then went to pick up a pattern I'd asked my quilt shop to order for me. A quick fast food lunch -- a real treat for me as it's 30 minutes to any fast food locations and I like to go out to eat, even if it is just fast food! Then, I had a pedicure. Ah, does that feel good. I now am sporting hot red toes!

On my way back from the "big city" Saturday I
snapped this picture of the trees. Not a great picture but you can see some of the yellow, oranges and reds on the hillside. Since then, many of the leaves have blown off. And the weather people mentioned the possibility of the "S" word. I don't think it will happen although it did snow in October last year.

The rest of the week seemed to continue like that. I have been doing some piecing. I've got a doll size quilt ready to stitch in the ditch. I've made the block that is used for a nametag for one of the guilds I am in. I've been doing a little knitting. And, oh yeah, I've been reading the newest Diane Gabaldon book, Echo in the Bones. It's long and with not quite right glasses, taking me quite a while to read.

I also ordered new sock needles. I broke and lost some of the needles. I finished my last pair on a needle that was about 4" long along that I had sharpened in my pencil sharpener and then sanded so that I could continue to make my socks. I mail ordered these and when the box arrived I realized it may be the exact same yarn I used on the socks I just finished. (I wore them yesterday and loved them!)

Must get ready for Wed. quilting. Then a guild meeting tonight. I'll try to do better on getting news up on the blog. I should have more photos to share too. Take care all.

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We Interrupt this quilting for . . .

And then the wind blew . . .

I rushed out of the shower after I heard a second banging sound. The first one was a tree falling next door. The second, bigger one was on our property. Yikes. I dressed REALLY fast.

This looked pretty weird -- our bedroom has cathedral ceiling and this was visible from the top window. Not really what I normally look at.

And here's what it looked like from inside of my bedroom.

And what it looked like from the backyard.
And, of course, the wind continued to blow most of the day and the night. Do you know how hard it is to sleep next to all those windows on the right during a high wind? YUCH. We were lucky no windows were hit. Tree man, builder and insurance is all in the works.

I wasn't going to go to Wed. quilting and then decided to anyway. Except for the wind, I was ready to get out and about. I got a good part of The Witch Is In quilted with 2 strands of embroidery floss.

On the way to one of three appointments today: dog, dentist, and eyeballs. Take care all.

Happy Quilting.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Quilting -- What's Going On

Today I go to the Wednesday quilting group where I'll be working on the "The Witch Is In."

It was basted (actually pinned) this morning on the kitchen counter and is going to be hand quilted. It is only 18 by about 36". I'm thinking of using embroidery floss to quilt it -- maybe two or three strands. I plan to outline each letter, and the hat/shoes part. I may also put in some swirls of wind or some such thing in the empty spaces. I do not plan to quilt on top of any of the appliques. I'll keep you posted. The next picture will come when it is all done. And, yes, I made the binding in advance. It's hanging on a doorknob ready to apply.

High winds today -- gusts to 40 miles an hour. We had one flash of lights off and then right back on. The leaves are falling like a heavy snow. Hopefully, no trees fall on our property . . . especially not on the house!
I leave you with a photo from Pennsylvania Quilt National 2009 show. I didn't record the maker but he/she did a wonderful job on this quilt. I particularly like how color was used to create a secondary box within the main square. Wow. It really sings!

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Irish Chain Finish!

I have no idea what I've been doing but it certainly hasn't been blogging. Some of my time has been wrapped up in The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I got it from the library on Thursday and then Saturday I got a message that Diane Gabaldon's new book was also available for me to pick up. YIKES two 500+ page books coming in at the same time. And both have reserves on them beyond me so I knew I would only have them for 2 weeks. HELP. So I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend reading The Lost Symbol. I found the sheer amount of information in it amazing. I learned all sorts of new things. The mystery part -- well, not all that great. But the other stuff held my interest. A lot of what he included was factual.

I've got a paperback going now. I will be picking up the Gabaldon book on Thursday. Another long book but I've been sucked into all her previous books so I am sure I'll be into this new book next weekend.

This is the Irish Chain quilt that I finished last week. For some reason whenever I take a quilt photo Raggs stands in front of it and poses. (Have I taken that
many pictures of Raggs?) Also wanted everyone to see the state of the trees around here. My back yard trees haven't turned more than yellow but trees around the area are various shades of green, yellows, reds, browns. Fall colors are doing there thing here. Anyway, it was a mystery quilt presented by Marge at Mysteries for Relay. Each mystery costs a $5 donation to American Cancer Society. There is another mystery coming up the first week of November if you'd like to join in the fun. Marge uses this site to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. So, if you'd like to do a mystery quilt Marge's are well written and lots of fun to do. On this quilt when I got to the part where we were laying this out I told Marge how much I liked it. And, I knew I would never have made an Irish Chain knowing what it was. Yet I really like this quilt -- but it is a gift to a friend so I won't be keeping it. I liked this because I'm pretty sure all of the fabric came from my stash. And, if it didn't, I only bought the brown. (oh, where oh where has my memory gone, oh where, oh where did it go? . . . ) Everytime I talk about Mysteries for Relay I do a sales job too. So, those of you have heard this sorry for the repeat but it is for a good cause. For those of you who have joined or are planning on joining thank you so much for supporting this worth while effort.

Here's what I've been working on most
recently. The pattern is called "The Witch Is In." I've still got a couple of bats and the letters to stitch on. And, don't you just love my big board! I do. I have room for the whole wall hanging on this. Nothing is hanging off the edges.

As I have been machine buttonholing this I've been using phone book pages for the stabilizer. I have fancy stabilizer that actually washes out but it gets expensive or at least it costs money! However, I've read from many of the blogs I read that the gals use phone book pages especially for string blocks. I've been against it because of the ink transfer I thought would happen. So, I grabbed a piece of white scrap and rubbed it against the page. Not much came off. I was really surprised. So I used pages under each design element. Because it is so thin it pulls off easily. After doing these parts I noticed my machine bed was a little dirty. Hum, the big question was -- was it dirty before I started or not? I hadn't looked. I cleaned it off and closed up for the night.

Today's plan is to get the letters on and the bats. So I'm heading up now to quilt. I've already put dinner in the crock pot and now blogging for the first time in 5 days it's time to get going.

Happy quilting all!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Fabric Used -- Less Purchased

Beginning of the month means reporting on fabric ins and out. Let's hear it for the outs! Pat says I don't have much fabric especially when I show him pictures of other quilter's stash. But, I feel I have more than enough. And, using up some feels great. If I could make a decent dent in the fabric then I could buy more. What a rational!

Here's my report for fabric usage from September.

Fabric used: 8.5 yards

Fabric purchased: 1.5 yards

Net fabric USED from stash: 7 yards


Year to date fabric used: 71.875 (71 7/8ths) yards

Year to date fabric purchased: 82.875 (82 7/8ths) yards

Net Year to date USED from stash :(11) yards

I am still not in positive numbers for stash usage over the year but I have a couple of quilts that are close to quilting. I wonder if I can get two or even three quilts finished this month. One just needs borders. I already have the backing. That could be done. And, I need to not buy anything for this month. Fat chance!

Happy Quilting