Monday, May 30, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5-30-11

Here's what I put up on the design wall especially for today's post:

These are some of the blocks returned from the FCQ E-Quilters.  Thanks Pam and Fran!  I threw a few of mine in also.  This is just one of the ways this quilt can be laid out.  I'll try other ways when I have some time.  See what is on other folk's design wall by visiting Judy's blog

I'm trying hard to get one quilt done before the end of the month -- you might remember I don't count fabric is used until the binding is finished.  So, not much of a post today -- I've got 1 and a half days to get some finishes!  

Goals for week of 5/23/11
Work on Ruthie until she is happy again.
Quilt Happy Quilt and bind. Almost finished quilting…
Quilt Quilt for Kids Quilt and bind not started
Finish hand quilting doll swap quilt, bind and mail. (Need address still so I may not get that done!) A little farther along…
Make something for the retreat gift swap. Started one, planned several
Finish the Easter block swap top.  (border, quilt and bind.) ARGH – not touched…
Put the other Quilt for Kids kit together. Started
Pick another UFO to finish or pick a new quilt from my list of want to make projects.  New quilt picked, need to check fabrics and cut out

Goals for week of 5/29/11
Finish retreat gift swap items.
Finish quilting Happy Quilt and bind.
Work on finishing hand quilting doll swap quilt.
Pick fabrics for main retreat projects.
Pick and cut fabrics for backup retreat project.
Pack stuff for retreat.
Enjoy retreat!  Yea! 

Not that much on this list as I'm going up to a retreat in Maryland starting Thursday.  The retreat starts on Friday afternoon after a bit of shopping at a quilt store not too far away.  I'm spending Monday with Jenny, Sophia and Brian so I'll have some new Sophia pictures.  

Now, on to make lunch for Pat and I and getting the binding made and sewn on the Happy Quilt.  Happy Quilting All! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ruthie's Back!

Monday I worked on Ruthie.  I was able to get a practice run of cotton thread top and bottom to work quite nicely.  Then I put on Sew Fine on the top and Magna Glide bobbin and adjusted so it worked too. Then I loaded this Quilts for Kids quilt and did free motion stipples and circles.  I tried a wavy free motion border.  For the most part the tension was fine.  There were one or two spots where the tension went a little loose but not bad. 

Today I hope to load the little Happy Quilt with the bears reading books onto Ruthie.  I'll use Sew Fine on the top and Magna Glide bobbins.  For those of you who don't know about Magna Glide -- it's a way cool concept.  These are prewound bobbins with a magnetic core so you don't have backlash.  (Think of the bobbin spinning like crazy and then stopped. Sometimes the bobbin keeps spinning.)  The times I've used Magna Glide (before the tension issues) I had great tension so I've bought a few basic colors to have on hand.  Unfortunately, prewound bobbins are more expensive than winding your own.  On the other hand, they can cram a lot more thread on the bobbin then I can on mine.   Maybe later this week I'll have another photo of a finished quilt.

  First I have to run some errands.  It's hot here so I get really overheated running around.  I can't imagine how women and men lived in the South before air conditioning.  The layers of clothing they wore!  Yikes.  Of course, if they were wealthy they would not have to work.  But even sitting and embroidering in a big hoop skirt with layers and layers.  No thank you! Here's a photo of a gown.  Go see it with wonderfully detailed photos here.  The fabric is wonderful.  I didn't snoop around enough to find out if this was a reproduction or someone's actual dress from the 1800's.  The fabric is fabulous though. This was a day dress. 

I'm off to start my day.  Happy quilting all! 

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5-23-11

Lots of pictures today:

Here are a couple of blocks that I thought would look great as a 12" block.  They are from the book Rotary Cutting Revolution.  You cut two blocks at a time.  I'm going to make 4 more blocks so I have one dark background block and one light background block.  
I'll be doing the sewing as enders for another project. 

These two blocks came from Bonnie Hunter's scrappy block feature in a recent Quiltmaker's magazine. I resized it to 12" finished.  This too was an easy block to make although a lot more pieces were involved.  I've got blue fabric cut out for another one just need to cut some white squares to go with. 

I'm making these blocks for a challenge posted by Sew Cal Gal.  She has challenged her blog readers to make quilts, tops, or blocks to support Quilts of Valor through Dick and Tink Linhart's chapter.  I like to make blocks and send off to worthy causes.  I get to try new blocks, use a bit of stash and help folks who need a quilt.  And, yet, I don't have to do the whole quilt.  It's a win, win for me and the charity.   

Go to Patchwork Times to see what's on design walls across the internet. 

Next up is a series of pictures of the Easter blocks with different final borders to consider. 

Border 1 -- pink with little bunnies on it. Disadvantage -- that's all the fabric I have -- maybe a quarter yard.  So the side border would have bunnies on their heads or tails, so to speak. 

Border 2:  Lots of this fabric is in the stash.  I've had it for a long time and I do like it -- don't know why I haven't used it yet!  And, even if I use it for the border I'll have plenty left to do something else. 


Border 2: Showing it around the whole quilt. (Sorry for the shadow in the left corner... the room gets a ton of morning sun.  Even with a flash I got my own shadow!)  I'm thinking of using a 2" finished border and I think I would have the stripes go the way it is shown here. 
Border 3:  Another resident of my stash.  If I use this I think I'll use some as the backing also.  I can't remember when I got this although my guess is in the last 3 years or so.  And, probably on sale.  

And here is Border 3 with the whole top on it.  Again, 2" borders is what I am thinking. 

So friends, let's hear what you like the best.  Tell me your choice.  Let me know why you like your choice the best.  

I keep changing my mind!  I think if I had more of the bunny fabric it would be my first choice. Sigh.  Who knows why I don't have more of it! 

Next up is how I did on my weekly goals last week. 

Goals for 5/16/11
Get Ruthie back working. Was able to finish one quilt but not quite back to perfect.
Finish Quilting Jenny’s quilt.
Quilt Happy Quilt. See above
Mail needle case swap.
Put borders on Easter Quilt and get it ready to quilt. One border but still thinking about the next border.
Finish doll quilt and get it ready to quilt. Finished top, half way done with hand quilting. 
Make something for the retreat gift swap. Oops…
Pick another UFO to work on. Decisions, decisions…. except I may wait to pick one as May is almost over and I will be in and out of town during June.  

Goals for week of 5/23/11
Work on Ruthie until she is happy again. 
Quilt Happy Quilt and bind.
Quilt Quilt for Kids Quilt and bind.
Finish handquilting doll swap quilt, bind and mail. (Need address still so I may not get that done!)
Make something for the retreat gift swap.
Finish the Easter block swap top.  (border, quilt and bind.)
Put the other Quilt for Kids kit together.

I think those are more than enough goals for now.  Later this week I'm going strawberry picking. And over the weekend we'll be visiting Aimee and Kevin.  Today, I'm up to coax Ruthie into being a happy long arm again. 

Happy quilting all! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More Home Improvements

This week our contractor started on redoing our patio/deck.  So, now I get to hear pounding and the dog barking. 

Here's how the back deck area was left on Friday.  The workers lasted until 11 am when they ran out of the correct size boards.  Hum, doesn't bode well for efficient work. 

And here is the three boards placed so I could get the dog out in the back yard.  Um, folks, I have a cocker spaniel and this is way too high for him to jump down from.  Ugh.  And, there is no way he can get back up even if he would jump down. 

So, front yard on a leash for Raggs until this is set so he can get down easily.  (And, I won't mention me trying to get down!) 

I was able to get Ruthie working enough so that I could finish Jenny's quilt.  It looks pretty good considering everything.  
But after I took that quilt off I put some cheap muslin on to do some fine tuning. Ugh. Didn't work with another type of cotton thread top and bottom.  So, I quit trying as it was lunch time.  Today I'll go back up and try some tweeking.  This is frustrating but I am sure I'll get this settled soon. (And, probably would have gotten it figured out a while ago if I have stayed at it. I went and pieced instead.) 

And here's a parting shot of Sophia on the new lawn mower.  She wasn't so sure about it when Pat took her for a little ride on it.  I guess she won't be asking for the car keys any time soon.  But watch out world, Sophia has started to crawl

Happy quilting all! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5-16-11

I didn't get much sewing time this week.  So, I'll show you a new hand project I started. 
Yep, I've fallen for hexagons.  I've made two flowers.  And, I've got 2 or three flowers ready to sew together.  These are going to be sewn to small squares rather than making a quilt totally from hexagons.  

Each flower will be from a different fabric.  Most of the fabric is from two 1800s reproduction fabric lines that are from the Smithsonian. 

Here are some suggested back grounds.  What do you think?  The one I like best in person doesn't show particularly well on the camera.  It's right above this paragraph.  There are very fine vines on that background fabric.  The gold one looks pretty good on these pictures.  Decisions, decisions. I need to cut out the pieces so I can start sewing the finished flowers down. Then I can pop out the hexagon papers and reuse them.  No way am I hand cutting bunches more of those things! 

Now on to my weekly goals.  Was I productive this past week? 

Goals for 5/9/11
Get Ruthie back working. Almost there…
Finish quilting Jenny’s quilt. See above…
Quilt Happy Quilt. See above …
Gather goodies to send with needle case & mail them. Gathered but not mailed.
Put borders on Easter Quilt. Oops.
Make quilt for doll quilt swap. A little further along
Start on the 4th of July banner UFO. Finished. YEA!
Pick fabrics for workshop at June retreat. Second oops.

I was trying to decide why I got so little done this past week.  Wed was our tea and craft group.  Thursday sun screen film was applied to the windows and one was right where the sewing machine usually sits.  Friday a group of us were out and about for almost the whole day.  Saturday Sophia, Jenny & Brian came and stayed until midmorning on Sunday.  I really could have sewn Sunday afternoon but it was such a gorgeous day that we took a walk, worked on the roses and read our books.  A lovely leisurely afternoon. So, a not very productive week -- quilting- wise.

Goals for 5/16/11
Get Ruthie back working.
Finish Quilting Jenny’s quilt.
Quilt Happy Quilt.
Mail needle case swap.
Put borders on Easter Quilt and get it ready to quilt.
Finish doll quilt and get it ready to quilt.
Make something for the retreat gift swap.
Pick another UFO to work on. 
This sounds an awful lot like last week.  Hopefully I'll have less oops and more finishes! 

Don't forget to visit Patchwork Times to see what is on design walls across the country. 
Happy quilting all.   

a final picture of Sophia and Pat looking at the magnolia tree in the back yard. Photo by Jenny and a much better camera than I have! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Trying Something New

Sophia and her mom and dad visited this weekend.  I've got some new photos to share.  I also recently purchased a ready made layout for a digital scrapbook page.  Today, I figured out how to place the photos. Someday I'll figure out how to get some words on the page.  But for now I'd like to share the page.
The page is part of 365 Days May by Baers Garten Designs at Studio Baers Garten

How fun is this! Maybe in the next week or two I'll figure out how to add the text.  Sophia was in a great mood this weekend and we all had fun.  

Sorry to report that I've not gotten any sewing done except for about 10 minutes on Friday morning.  I'm planning on working with Ruthie and Bernie next week.  

Happy Quilting All!  

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bag Ladies

I went to Jennie's house yesterday for tea and a craft.  (Notice "ie" not "y" -- Jennie is my next door neighbor, not to be confused with Jenny, my daughter.)  Wow... tea was breakfast. And it was great.   The craft was a hoot.  We made bags from bags.  Ok, that sounds funny but I'll show you what we did with duct tape and used bags. 

First we trimmed off the bottom and top of our bags.  Jennie (on the left) had saved a lot of dog food bags for us to use. (Yes quilters, we were using a rotary blade on a cutting board. ARGH!) 

Carolyn was using a wooden ruler. (Double Argh!)  But, it worked. (Hum, I wonder if I have an older mat I could pass on to Jennie?) 

Here's Diana using yellow duct tape to close off the bottom edge. The hardest part was keeping control of the duct tape. Have you seen all the colors duct tape comes in?  Amazing.  I wonder what else we can do with duct tape?  

Ardie is covering the top opening.  We used a piece for the front and one for the back. 
Humm ... I missed getting a picture of doing the straps.  We used a 1" piece of the cut off bag. We put a piece of tape down on the table sticky side up and carefully put the strap piece on it.  We attached it to the inside of the bag.  We reinforced it with another piece of tape.  Duplicate for the second strap.  Then we carefully folded each strap in half so the excess duct tape adhered to itself.  A little tricky but it worked.  You leave the last 1 or 2 inches open (ie, not folded.) 

So, here we are with our bags.  Two chip style bags and 3 dog food bags. I guess I will put mine in the car so I can use it at the grocery store. (note to self... clean it out again, maybe with a little 409.) 

Here is mine hanging on the door handle. (By the way, those Veggie Straws are great!)  

Ruthie seems to be back to almost normal.  I need to go fix her tension which really isn't all that big of a deal.  After Pat worked on her a bit last night I sewed a bit to see if the thread was still breaking.  Nope.  At least not on the 40" or less that I stitched.  But the tension was off.  So after lunch I'm upstairs to give it a try. I would really like to get Jenny's quilt done as she, Brian and Sophie may be coming down this weekend. 

Yesterday I got one of my weekly goals almost done.  Yippee!  Progress.  I'll save pictures of it until I get the binding sewn down.  

Happy Quilting! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5-9-11

This one is now sewn together and came off the design wall and on the pile of quilts to be quilted (with the backing that does not have to be sewn together.) This will be sent to Quilts for Kids when I send back the 2 quilts from their kits.  I usually use brighter colors on the inside squares but this softer inside square works well.  And, the fabric was a real bargain!  
1994 -- that's when these Easter swap blocks were made. I added the four patches.  I want to put a border on it to make it a little bigger.  Do you have any suggestions?  I'm going to think about it for a few days and play with fabric I have so please share your ideas.  Flying geese around the outside?  More four patches? Plain border? I thought I had planned the directions the four patches were going but evidently I didn't. I think I need to change the four patch second from the end in the second row.  This week I made the little blue basket at the bottom. Next time I am at Jo-Anns I'm going to look for some easter egg buttons.  I think they might look cute in the basket, so to speak.  I'm happy to be closing in on another finish for a UFO.  

Last Week's Goals 
Quilt Jenny’s quilt. 3/4th done.
Quilt the last charity quilt. Not started.
Finish the needle case and mail it out. √Finished but holding it for my add-in.
Finish sewing Happy Quilt together. √ Quilt it. Sewn together but not quilted.
Sew Easter quilt together.
Start on the 4th of July banner UFO. Not started – boo. 
Start on doll quilt for swap. Oops but fabric gathered.
Piece second Quilts for Kids.  Double oops.

I've now got a big issue with Ruthie so very little of the quilting on her got done. She had an issue getting through a particularly thick area on a quilt and broke the needle.  Then, she started breaking the thread.  I checked all the parts of the machine that could cause the thread break and all was well.  Next step in problem solving was to reset the timing.  This is a very doable thing and I have instructions to do it. Pat had learned how to do it when we first got her.  Except we haven't had to retime her before and what we thought we knew we don't seem to know now. So Ruthie is down for a bit. I'm doing a bit more research and will probably make a couple of phone calls. Hopefully Ruthie will be feeling better by the end of the week. So most of my quilting goals didn't get done. And, I was pretty slack on the piecing goals.  Sigh. 

Goals for 5/9/11
Get Ruthie back working.
Finish quilting Jenny’s quilt.
Quilt Happy Quilt.
Gather goodies to send with needle case & mail them.
Put borders on Easter Quilt.
Make quilt for doll quilt swap.
Start on the 4th of July banner UFO.
Pick fabrics for workshop at June retreat.

Here's hoping I can get through more of these goals then I did last week.  3/8th of goals completed for last week isn't a good showing.  Let's hope for 3/4 of the goals completed this time! 

Visit Patchwork Times to see what others have on their design walls. 
Happy Quilting.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

One Block

Apparently I am slowing down on my blogging.  I have been hard pressed over the last few weeks to get more than 2 blogs a week.  I was trying to figure out why I didn't have more to say.  I have no idea!  After reading blogs on Google Reader I thought I should post a little bit.  

My rational for blogging is folks like pictures.  I often read complete blogs but sometimes I just enjoy the photos.  It's a great way to get ideas -- designs, colors, projects.  Sometimes I see new products I would like to own. (Hey, I'm a ruler junkie!)  Sometimes I see a quilting design that I would love to have the panto.  And, honestly, I forget a good 75% of the stuff I see.  Sigh.  But it is fun to look at lots of blogs.  And save patterns and tutorials.  Who knows if I will ever make any of them although I have made a few.   

It's my turn to request blocks from my FCQ Equilters group.  I just was up in December and haven't done anything with those blocks yet.  How could I come up with another block so soon.  So, I procrastinated (I'm good at that!) but finally came up with Attic Windows.  No, not the one you are thinking of but the one here at my friend Marge's web site, Delaware Quilts.  But I couldn't ask for it until I tried it my self. My request is red, white and blue.  I'll either make a quilt for a state-wide initiative to make quilts for families of fallen warriors in Virginia or a Quilt of Valor quilt. Time will tell.

I've been working on Ruthie and as of late she is being ornery.  I am trying to finish a quilt so I can load a charity quilt that needs to go to guild tomorrow.  Let's hope she's in a better mood today! If not I'll do some piecing. 

Happy Quilting all!  


Monday, May 2, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5-2-11

Welcome May! 
Not much new on my design wall . . . 
I've been looking at this, the bottom half of a scrap quilt for weeks.  I was just tired of working on it. So I've ignored it and gone on to other things.  Just including it here because it is on one of the design walls and I haven't shown it for a long time! (lousy excuse but, what can you do?)

This quilt is waiting to be loaded on Ruthie to be quilted.  And, yes it is bright.  And, no it isn't mine. Jenny loves bright colors and this is a baby quilt.  Hum, maybe she needs to give it with a little pair of sun glasses! 

The pattern is available at Here's the link to Pineapple Blossom if you want to make your own. 

I am going to use a sun like panto on it. Remember when you were a kid drawing a sun? You would draw the middle and have rays going out from it.  There you go, that's what the panto looks like. 

Last Week's Goals 
• Finish quilting on mystery quilting. √ Done.
• Quilt 3 small charity quilts. Kind of done.  I realized I had one more week to finish this so I got 2 out of the 3 done.
• Quilt Jenny’s quilt. Up next.
• Sew Happy Quilt together. Started.
• Sew Easter Quilt together. Oops.
• Start needle case for Small Quilts Talk swap. √  Practice one done, swap one started. 
Goals for 5/2/11
•Quilt Jenny’s quilt.
•Quilt the last charity quilt.
•Finish the needle case and mail it out.
•Finish sewing Happy Quilt together. Quilt it.
•Sew Easter quilt together.
•Start on the Fourth of July banner UFO. 
•Start on doll quilt for swap.
•Piece second Quilts for Kids. 

I'm very late this morning -- too busy reading emails and etc.  Don't forget to see other Design Wall Mondays by visiting Patchwork Times.

Happy Quilting All!