Saturday, December 31, 2011

Clue #1 Done

It's 10:06 p.m. and I am finally done with Clue #1 of the NYE Mystery!! I'm sure you will notice in the photo that I have a different fabric. I discovered that I hadn't bought a border for this quilt. Visiting another quilt shop to pick up something, I saw the perfect green to go with the red, so the poinsettia fabric will be used in my border. Makes sense. Turns out clue one cut pieces into 2.5 inch squares and this print is better used in a larger element.

Why so late? My Mom's replacement Ipod showed up yesterday and she wanted to fill it. It's an 8 Gb Nano, not the paltry 4 GB one I bought her (used 1st gen nano). Did a pretty good job. I have 5.4 Gb on it now, but it took from about 4 until nearly 9 p.m. to do so. I know she has more music, but that will probably have to wait until I buy a new, larger drive. This hard drive isn't big enough for the both of us (said in a Clint Eastwood mutter). We have 2 large music/audiobook libraries. I plan to buy the new hard drive later this month. Then, I get to reload all her CDs.

This is a lovely emerald green. Sorry, the 'daylight' fluorescent makes this look weird.

New Year's Eve Mystery

I'm participating in the New Year's Eve Mystery quilt-a-long done by Ann and Cal. Yes, I'm a little behind, so it is more like the NYE Weekend mystery. I have my fabrics, photo below. The requirements were a background,2 medium colors and one pop color. Since I didn't get to the precutting during the week, I've opted to do a lap size instead of a full/queen size. I'm primarily using Hoffmann fabrics (half off at the quilt store!). I will post as I get clues done. I know that the rest are already done with clue #2 and are awaiting clue #3, but that's ok. I didn't even have my sewing machine back from getting an adjustment until last night!

L to R: goldish marble, red w/quitlers gold, gold w/quilter's gold, poinsettas on black

If you are interested in participating, the quilt-a-long is at Yahoo Groups. Search for the group at QTMysteryQuilts. There are several other New Year's Day mysteries - I usually enjoy the one at the quilt group at, but won't be doing that this year.

In addition, completely unrelated to quilting, if you know anyone with a 1st generation Ipod Nano, they should know that if they have a metal back, those Ipods are being recalled. In many places, you will be getting an 8 GB 6th generation Ipod (current model) as a replacement as they've run out of 1st generation refurbushed. The recall is ONLY for the Nano due to batteries that potentially catch fire as they get older.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A House A Day

A gal in Scandinavia is spearheading an international quilt-a-long for all of 2012 featuring a little paperpieced house - one for every day of the year and a larger one at the end of the year (to account for the extra day in 2012). She asks that we don't share photos on our blogs until the end of the year, but you can discuss your progress. At my group at QATW, we are going to do a modified block with options for other sizes. For one thing, some of us (me) are terribly paper-piecing challenged. No matter what size you do, be part of a 2012 quilt-a-long and well, quilt-a-long. A free paperpiecing pattern in .pdf form is provided at the link. I've also included it in my buttons at the bottom of the right panel.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Peek-a-boo Bag

Made this bag at a quilting shop class last night. The pattern features a vinyl window so that you can see what it contains. It also has a zippered top and box bottom. I plan to make several more of these to contain my sock projects in safety from my cat.

The bag took 2-3 hours to make the first time out. Now that I know what I'm doing, it can easily be done faster. If you do this bag, a GREAT tip from the instructor is to use a teflon foot for the vinyl. Really helps as the other feet tend to grab on the vinyl and not let go. I'm going to also try it with leather rolling foot. Maybe I'll make a few to sell to help buy the new foot.

Anyway, I really needed this project to get myself going on making bags. Have another class tonight for another bag. Maybe I should join that group that makes a bag every month. How soon would I be overloaded with bags? Hmmm...

Peek-a-boo bag Back

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Happy Birthday Sis!!

Yes, my sis is now another year older than me. How does that happen you wonder? Well, I stopped advancing in years at 39. So, she's getting up there a little faster than me. I'm also late with her birthday card (again), but that seems to be me these days. I just can't manage deadlines very well. On the plus side, she will be getting a gift this year, but I can't post it until I give it to her.

With that in mind, I am doing the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt this year. Yes, I'm behind on that, but I dithered over whether to participate because I didn't want to buy a bunch of fabric. My Orca Bay is going to be in holiday colors - red/green and cream with black highlights (I did buy the black since I have none on hand).

I'm making a lot of progress on my 2 HST quilts - Zig Zag and Lady of the Lake (LoTL). I want to get all the rest of the cutting done this weekend and then sew, sew, sew. I might even have one top done by next weekend.

On the knitting front, I'm going to try to do a pair of socks every month. While I love, love, love patterns in socks, you don't really see if unless you are wearing it. So, I'll give the patterns a break for awhile and just get 4 or 5 done.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grumpy Witch Quilt is DONE!

I always seem to be apologizing for my photos and today is no different. However, I will update these with better photos when the sun comes out.

I finished the Grumpy Witch quilt a couple of days ago. I've been waiting for the sun to come out so that I could take good photos, but, alas, not only is it not out, but the ground is pretty wet as well. So, here it is! I entirely machine stitched the binding using a type of zig zag. Yes, I prefer the hand stitched look, but with bursitis issues, I thought it was time to start learning to do it with the machine. My corners are horrible. I can live with that, but I need to practice on smaller projects so that the next quilt will have better corners. The only thing I regret on this quilt is using a solid black border. Just not something to do when you have cats with white fur. I'll live with it though. The bats came out pretty good. Quilt is about 76x96 inches.

Cat help as always.

Closeup of the quilting. I did modified feathers in sashing and spiderweb in the center witch blocks with a filler stitch in the rest of the block. Thanks again to Leah Day and her wonderful videos for doing filler stitches.
Here's a closeup of the bats that I quilted around the whole border.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I Won!! I Won!! I Won!!

One of my local quilt shops had a drawing to celebrate their 7th anniversary. I won one of the quilts!!! It's called Autumn Braid. The leaf fabric that surrounds the braids is very sumptuous color with quilter's gold. Just makes this quilt sing. This quilt will be going on Mom's bed, at least until Christmas season, which obviously is not far off. I'd really like to find a good place to hang it though. So exciting!! I couldn't believe it. Sometimes my impulse buying of quilting stuff pays off. (he he he )

Autumn Braid

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Quilting Guild Photos

Here's a visit to my quilt shop quilting guild. They are so fast with that camera!! Most of the photos here are either things I admire or plan to make in future (at least one is already in progress).

Recognize this?

Beautiful use of Asian fabrics

One color!!

On my UFO list

Perfect for scrap asian or themed fabrics

How's this for the BACK of a quilt?

This quilter always has the greatest miniature quilts.

A great way for me to use some of those fabulous christmas FQs I haven't used.

This is just to remind me that I bought this pattern just to use up halloween fabric

I am progressing on the Witch quilt. The first row is entirely quilted, the 2nd and 3rd rows partially done. It's going pretty smoothly. I expect the Apple Core Quilt to progress a lot this week - it is part of the QATW UFO project this month as well as having 2 appointments this week (it is, after all, the take-a-long project).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Quilting

I have been progressing steadily since August, sewing 2 7/8 inch squares into Half Square Triangles (HSTs). My container had been so full, that not another scrap of fabric would fit and still close the cover. Here is what is left! Still enough to make a twin sized quilt.


Enjoyed some of the pleasant Fall weather today with a backyard french fry and marshmallow char. Yes, that is the Christmas train in the back.
Oct 2011 Backyard  French Fry

Oct2011 Marshmallows
Leftover bunnies from Easter marshmallows can char nicely.

Here's an example of the crummy meander quilting I did on the Witch quilt. I have now taken all of it out and am in the process of requilting. If I had used orange thread, it would have looked pretty good, but the purple was just awful.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Finished 2009 Block of the Month

Takes me forever, but I can finish a block-of-the-month. This is the 2009 BOM from I got behind because of computer problems and then once behind, I just didn't get to it.  As part of this month's UFO challenge, I finished the remaining blocks and then the borders and it all looks spiffy now!  Yes, one block is wrong - but I would bet you wouldn't guess which one, so I'm not saying.   I totally loved that turquoise fabric, so paired it with purple.  This is a pretty large quilt roughly 85x101, so quilting will be a challenge. I do plan to put feathers into all those side triangles. Haven't yet decided on the blocks though.  Should I do stitch-in-the-ditch or plan on even more feathers?  Not sure.  Plenty of time to decide.  I hope to finish the binding today and then can put it in the To-Be-Quilted box. Yes, I now have a BOX of flimsies to quilt!  It's not that I have a lot (6?), but I am also making the binding as well as backing (when it gets made in advance) so needed somewhere to contain these parts.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Not a lot on the crafting front to report. I decided that I hated the purple meandering on the witch quilt, so I'm taking it all out.  Since I had done about half the blocks, it's taking some time, but I still hope to finish the quilt before Halloween.  I hope to finish the assembly of the QATW 2009 BOM today. 

I just found out about a "There and Back Again" Block of the month.  I totally do not like paperpiecing because I can't get my head around it, but my interest in this BOM is so great, I will TRY my hardest to figure it out.  The BOM just started Oct 5 and the first block is Gandulf.  So, give it a whirl!  I'll be posting any finished blocks here.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Progress on QATW 2009 BOM

Posting during a break while sewing.  It's hot and humid today, so I'm not getting a lot done. Here's a photo of what's was done last night on the QATW 2009 BOM.  I changed the layout slightly (just switching two blocks).  All the flying geese were done long ago and those rows are in partial assembly.  I've sewn a row of flying geese to the first row and have started attaching triangles on the 2nd row.  I need to cut more, but have to wait for Polly to wake from her nap since her napping box is on top of the cutting table. This quilt is also large, so I'm going to be quilting it in several pieces.  Just trying to decide whether two pieces  is going to be too big to manipulate the fabric. Mrs. Trish, the original designer listed that this quilt is 83x101, so you can see why I don't want to do it all in one piece! I still have hopes of completing this today, although I admit, I always underestimate how long it takes to do rows.   The humidity seems to be going down a bit, so I'm hopeful that I might still get some quilting on the Witch quilt yet tonight.

Blocks are done

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Still Chugging On Old Quilt Projects

This is primarily a month to work on old projects.  I'm happy to report that I finally finished the last block for the 2009 Quilting Around the World Block-of-the-month (QATW BOM).  Happy dance, happy dance!  Still ahead is row assembly, but I should be able to get that done fairly quickly.  The goal is to have a completed top and binding before the end of the month. The quilting on this isn't planned until January.

The Witch quilt is pinned and I plan to start meander quilting on that tomorrow.  I still do a lot of HSTs when I get around to them, but I did start some assembly on the Zig Zag quilt.  All leftovers go into the Lady of the Lake Quilt. Yay! The Apple Core quilt (hand piecing) is chugging right along.  I have 5 rows now complete. I've decided to finish this top before the end of the year, so will start hand piecing while watching TV. I just have to find something I watch that is less action, more dialog oriented. 

Other than that, I've attended a couple of Masters classes for my Bernina.  Trying out more stitches and of course, there are those dozen feet I want (all expensive).  But, I am THRILLED with my machine. Tonight, I decided that the cats were finally over the new machine, so stuck the slide on table on. Sewing is even easier with this wide table.  The cats have a tendency to bite my new toys, such as the corner of my Netbook (the day I bought it).  My stitch card is still a little threatened, but I keep it down so as not to tempt the little creatures.

I have a tip for all of you Kindle owners. I adore my Kindle, but that screen is really delicate!  I was fortunate that Amazon decided to replace my damaged Kindle under warranty (almost a year old).  I tripped (over cat) and grabbed the edge of the Kindle so as not to drop it and it damaged the screen (sob!). It was in the nifty case I had made. Due to this, I am coming up with a new Kindle case design that includes handles.  For now, I will just add a short handle to the cow case because I do love my cows.

I have to mention that I think many of us will feel the loss of Steve Jobs. His visions have changed the world and I for one have benefited from that.  I bought my first Mac, a Mac Plus in 1987.   I still have my Mac Performa 6200CD. Yep, it still works, but I have no mouse now and don't play games any longer, so it's time for it to be recycled (sob).  I had planned to get an Ipad2 this month, but with the Bernina buy, that is on hold. I will just continue with my little Netbook.  (sigh)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bat Placemats & Recycled Batting

I finished my bat placemats.  Yay!!  I had a fire under me on this because the Guild challenge was to do something 'for the table' and this qualifies and my meeting is tomorrow. So, for once I'm not finishing a holiday thing the last day it is to be used!  I've had this pattern since about 1991 and just knew I HAD to make it.  Cute, cute cute.  I did one with pumpkins on the back because my sister wanted something more 'harvest' like for use in November.  I don't know. Reversed, it still looks like a bat to me. Mine, intended for my teapot, has scarecrows on the back.
Here is one bat.


So, what did I use for the batting in my bat placemats?  Leftover Warm and Natural!  When I have leftovers, I like to use them in Quilt-as-You-Go preplanned projects.  How you connect them depends on the type of batting and the depth.  With Warm and Natural,  I first cut out 7 inch squares and 5 inch hexagons. So, what is left over are narrow batting strips that are usually about 3-4 inches wide.  I even up the strips and zig zag them together.  I take the opportunity to use up bobbins and nearly empty spools of thread with this projec.t  This particular group was mostly leftover from a wallhanging, so I added a couple of pieces to make it large enough to cut out two batts of bats. As nice as it is to use up narrow batting this way, there are limitations on how to use it.  The zig zags do not hold the batting together all that well with any weight even after quilting, so you would want your project to either lay on the table or be hung lengthwise.   All these narrow strips would be very irritating in a quilt and they likely would separate with regular use.
Sometimes you get a little wave in your batting unless you are very precise in your cutting. I'm not that picky, so this often happens on the edges.  You can't leave it this way or your project will never lay flat, even with quilting. Yes, quilting fixes a lot of evils, but not all of them!
Easy to fix.  First, cut where the wave is the highest and fold the edges over each other until your piece is laying flat. Sometimes you can eliminate several waves with just one cut, as I did here.
Next, use your scissors and cut through. You will have a leftover piece on top and on the bottom and your cut edges will match straight.
Finally, zig zag over the cut edges and you are done.
All Fixed now!

My Bernina is Here!!

Ah, yes, joy oh joy!  I love, love, love my Bernina.  I received my Bernina 440 QE earlier this month and WOW, it is so worth every darn dollar.  My favorite feature is the stitch regulator, which I used to finish off the trees in the Pine Grove Quilt, but I was surprised that the little needle up/down button makes sewing so much more pleasant. You press it and the needle goes up or down - one stitch is all you want sometimes and this does it. Another feature I have used a lot is the speed regulator.  Doing applique or really curvy things, I can slow the speed significantly reducing the need to redo sections.
As always, anything new requires special kitty investigation.  Polly just wouldn't quit, so I finally set the box up higher so that she could be ON the box AND look out the window.  I still have parts to get out of the box, such as the wider table piece, but so far, just did without to let her have the darn box.  Yes, Yes, I know, I need to start putting more photos up of the OTHER kitties, but she is far more dedicated to quilting than the other 4.   Sylvester, for instance, only comes in to get a pet and go into the window to look for chipmunks. He does make an excellent quilt inspector - just not so much into the sewing part.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pine Grove Quilt is DONE!

Finished the Pine Grove quilt last night.  It's about 86x108 inches, so a large queen size.  It was done with mostly Thimbleberries fabrics and Quilter's Dream batting.  This quilt was originally intended as a 50th wedding anniversary quilt for my parents, but quilting such a large quilt was impossible for me at the time.  I was also frustrated to discover that the person who helped me pin it, insisted it was straight, when it was not, so I had to piece one corner on the back to have enough fabric to quilt it.  Grr.  Most of this was quilted using my Brother, but I did all the trees using my new Bernina with the stitch regulator. That alone was worth the price of this machine. Oh my gosh, the results are SO nice.  The original pattern is by Lynette Jensen in the book Thimbleberries Book of Quilts

That bright spot in the middle shouldn't be there. It was the sun peaking through tree leaves, I think.  I need to do an additional photograph to show the quilting since it never shows up in the patterned fabric.  Oh, and this is possibly the only quilt that I bought all the fabric for this single project at the same time.  I just knew what had to go together. 

Sadly, my Dad passed away 2 days before their 56th anniversary.  He did see the quilt though I think he preferred the boat wallhanging and train quilt.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Bernina!!

I have been meaning to post, but I misplaced my SD reader. As a result, I have no photos (sob).

On Monday (a mere 6 days ago), I got a Bernina Aurora 440QE.  Totally love it.  Love it, love it, love it! My first computerized machine and worth every penny.  The only problem I've had is not threading it right, but I'm getting there.  I think it's actually the bobbin going in backwards that is the problem.  The BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) is so worth it.  It made finishing the Pine Grove quilt such a treat!  Also, one little thing it does that I totally love. If you leave the presser foot up, it beeps at you.  Saves a LOT of effort. Unfortunately, this feature doesn't work with the BSR, but you can't get everything.

As for the Brother machine, I will fix the tension and it will be my sewing machine to use for quilter's nights out.  It works fine for piecing. It was quilting that it was horrible at (and which messed with the tension so bad). 

Today, I finished the Pine Grove quilt, but the sun had already gone down so photo and more details tomorrow.  I have made more HSTs done.  I have plenty for the first HST for the first two quilts now. Tomorrow, I'll start cutting the black fabric and assembling blocks. Finally, I now have 3 rows of apple cores sewn together, so this take-a-long project is coming along nicely.

On the knitting front, I am starting a pair of socks called Croakers, as part of the Scarefest Sockfest on Ravelry.  I am confident that I will eventually be able to read a regular knitting diagrams, but if not, there will be plenty of folks to explain it to me. That's it for now. Photos as soon as I find or replace the SD card reader.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 13 - The Last Day!

Sis and BIL are home! However, I'm holding off on going home until tomorrow morning so that I can time it right to visit a quilt shop. Also, so that she can harvest stuff like cucumbers in less heat (it was pretty hot by the time they got here).

So, what did I do today? I did the continuous binding for the Pirate Quilt. My sister's counter is so much easier to do the layout and cutting on, that I couldn't miss that opportunity. I wrapped it on a toilet paper roll so that it feeds out nicely when I am sewing. While visiting a blog, one blogger suggested NOT pressing the binding, but folding as you go. This is because one side needs more fabric than the other because of the 'edge'. Make sense. So, I'm going to try it.

My sister found my other sister an old Kenmore for $5 at a sale. While she took it apart, cleaned and oiled it and adjusted the settings, I worked on more HSTs. Hundreds of HST's and the box still looks pretty full, so plenty more to be sewn.

On the left are sewn, but not pressed HSTs that I made this evening. On the right are pressed and dog ear trimmed HSTs. In the center is about 12 yards of bias binding on a roll.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 7 - A Trip To Sortof Local Quilt Shops

Today was a change of pace. Picked up my bro and went to Brainerd to visit quilt shops. That's about 45 miles away from where I'm housesitting. You will be impressed on how much I limited my purchases, but it was hard. I still got a few things not on the list with the excuse that I could use it in this quilt or that quilt, but really, I just bought it cuz I wanted it.

So, what did I get? Well, the first 3 pieces are for the kitty cat wallhangings I'm doing. The two marbles are 1/8 inch cuts for inner borders. The polka dot is for the border of one wallhanging. Then we have the popcorn and Dr. Suess pieces. Largest is 1/2 yard, so reasonable. Didn't need them, but they will go into the quilt "My Favorite Things". The kitty cats at a scary movie - No idea what I will use that for. On the bottom is a rooflike fabric for my planned wonky house quilt. Ok.. go ahead and laugh. Get that out of your system. EVERY quilter should one day try to do at least a single house quilt block. If you don't get to it, you don't, but the thought should be there. The last 3 pieces (one doesn't show in the photo) are fat quarters from the new Stonehenge collection from Northcott fabrics. WONDERFUL stuff. I can see buying yards of this stuff for several projects, but I promise - not until I have the project planned out.

Here is my helper Huff. He keeps the chair warm if I get up. Even if all I'm doing is threading the machine and need to get up to move something. Yep. Right there, keeping it warm. He knows he's not allowed in the kitchen chairs. My sister and BIL put stuff in the chairs deliberately to keep him out of them, so that they can sit down without getting their rumps covered in fur. However, he was recovering from a thunderstorm last night, so after taking this photo, I gave him the other chair to sit in. He was much happier. When there isn't a chair for him to sit in, he scoots over and lies on my foot. Yes, the foot that is operating the sewing machine pedal. Huff excels at hampering.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 5 - Pirate Quilt Top Done

Yeppers, I finished it. :) I tried to get a closer photo, but had to do everything quick because of the skeeters. They love me. This is my version of what to do with a can't cut it fabric. The size is about 74x96 inches including those 2 inch borders.
Closeup of Fabrics - I bought them at Hancock Fabrics maybe 2 years ago. All 3 were part of the same line and as close to Pirates of the Caribbean as they could get without getting into trouble for licensing. It's called Doom of the Sea by Fabri-Quilt. I still have to make binding. Leftovers? Maybe a pillow? Maybe a tote bag? Knitting needle bag? Pincushion. We'll know soon.

Totally unrelated to my quilting vacation, here's your chance to see the little Vikings pincushion I made with leftovers from the Vikings/Tree quilt I made for sis and BIL a couple years back. Just a simple box pincushion. It lives here at my sister's house. :)
Ok.. so now I'm back to making HSTs. The plan is to work on Bambi quilt all tomorrow. Maybe I'll get that done before it becomes a UFO?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Disgusted with Mistake

Didn't post yesterday because I was mad at myself. This is like a beginner mistake. Didn't realize that ALL the fabrics I had for the Pirate Quilt were directional until they were sewed. So, I spent hours and hours yesterday and today taking those stitches out. I left one strip backwards because you can't tell when 5 feet away. Anyway, getting these sewn tonight, so a photo tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I'll be back to HSTs. I can't do the back of the pirate quilt because I'm missing some fabrics as well as having no light fusible, so I'll fold those up, put them away and move on to other projects. I plan to work all day on the Bambi quilt starting first thing Tuesday a.m. I have a lot of space to lay it out in the correct order, making the sewing WAY easier.

Oh, and good news! I'm going to be the owner of a Bernina 440QE in mid-September! Happy dance, happy dance. Expensive and likely the last machine I will own, but I'm thrilled. Every time I think...gosh, maybe I shouldn't have spent so much, I remind myself that Consumer Reports even considered this a best buy. Bernina is replacing this model with another one that is more than $1,000 more with features I don't really want, thus the push to get a machine. The ONLY negatives I have heard about this machine involve the embroidery module and since I'm not getting that, it's a nonproblem.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 2 - Thunderstorms

Almost couldn't post today due to thunderstorms. I will make this short. I've continued making HSTs. I also pressed fabric and started sewing on the pirate quilt top. This will be a reversible quilt, one side has pirate fabrics, the other will have jungle birds and diagonal strip blocks. I will be able to cut and sew the strips together, but have to get some lightweight fusible before I can cut them into squares since they are cut on the diagonal.

This photo shows you the mess I made in order to completely mix up all the finished sets of apple cores. Flip, flip, flip.

All neat now and ready to sew into rows!! The storage container is one of those packages of baby spinach you buy at Sam's Club. They are kindof flimsy containers but fine for storing a project of completed pieces. The Kitty Cat Quilt is the one I made for Sis and BIL several years ago.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quilting Vacation Day 1

I am on a quilting vacation that is disguised as housesitting! The goal is to try to post every single day while I am on a mission to complete my tasks. I've managed to get all my stations more or less in order: Sewing, cutting, project bags. I'll be sewing at this spot in the kitchen. While the round table is sometimes a challenge, it works well. What is especially good is that there is a bright, hanging light directly over the table making a well lit work area. Yes, I know - part of my machine is missing. Not a problem - just mislaid it at home and wasn't going to scrounge for it too long.


Today, I went for simple and am making endless half square triangles (HSTs). My 2 7/8 in square box from scraps is FULL. So, I have 2 HST projects. The first is an HST project I saw in an issue of Fons and Porter (Sept/Oct 2011 edition) that I just received the other day. I will give more info on that as I progress. I actually stopped at a quilt store on the way here to get the black fabric I needed. In addition, I'm making a Lady of the Lake quilt. I could not decide on the fabrics to use for the large blocks, but it needs a LOT of HSTs.


No quilting holiday is complete without quilting helpers. I have 3. They are Spitty, Huff and Ptolemy. Spitty (beautiful , but very shy girl cat) has stayed out of the way, but the boys have been helping. Ptolemy lays in the middle of the floor forcing one to walk around him (cat hampering technique), and Huff sleeps on my foot pedal (supervision, apparently).

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Jammies are Done!

Finally finished my first pair of jammies for my Mom. I know she thinks the pattern of the fabric is a tad wild, but she's so desperate for jammies, she doesn't care. The fabric is Moda one that I think was called Italian Renaissance. Simple pattern taken from taking apart her old, well loved jammies. I had to follow a shirt pattern instructions to get the top done in the correct order. It's also my first more complicated project using my new-to-me serger. I have to make her 3 more pairs, 2 with full sleeves and then I will make some for myself as well as making flannel bottoms for the top I have already completed.

Shortsleeve jammies with pocket in both pants and shirt.

Knitting, yes KNITTING!! Ok.. well, this is the cat bed now that the knitting is completed. Alice is my model (she is the blanket cat - loves being under blankets and fighting under blankets). This is pictured before the felting. I plan to felt tomorrow and hopefully, it will be all dried by Saturday or Sunday. I've done a little bit of knitting and still having a bit of trouble with the tennis elbow (yes, 10 MONTHS later!), but I'm going to try some sock knitting soon to see how that goes.

I'm looking at buying a Bernina 440. This model is being discontinued and replaced with a model that is over $4000. I have to clarify the financing issue. If it really is zero percent interest for 12 months, I will be a Bernina owner this month. If not, well, we'll see what's in store. I hate, hate, hate quilting on my current machine. It sews fine, but the quilting, well, I think you have an idea that I am not that happy with the results. If I do buy the Bernina, I will have to very seriously stop buying fabric for a year because my budget will go for the payments.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lost My Dad

My Dad passed away on June 30th, so things have been a little awry. He was 79 and he told me himself several months ago that he didn't think he had a lot of time left primarily due to his heart problem. He was buried in Fort Snelling Cemetery as he was a Navy veteran during the Korean Conflict. I was surprised that he got a rifle regiment and bugle - I thought that was reserved for active or career military.

I just don't FEEL like doing stuff, but I am still accomplishing slowly. It's been particularly hard to pick up the Pine Grove quilt to finish it. It would have been done on June 30, including the additional quilting my Mom and Dad asked for (it is for them). I'll likely get it done sometime in August, but for now, I'll let it go. I have continued to work on the Apple Core quilt at appointments. My relative will done with the twice weekly physical therapy and going to once a week, so my opportunities are going down for awhile. On the other hand, I am confident that I will probably finish all the sets needed to make a full sized quilt. I've decided that the apple cores will go right to the edge with a nice wavy binding at the end. It's a challenge I will try to meet.

I am making these cooling neckerchiefs for family members. I bought an example one at a craft show a couple of years ago and finally got the little crystals that are super-absorbing. Here's a photo of the ones I made for my sister and BIL. The Vikings one illustrates that you can use two different fabrics, although I'd go for the same color. If you decide to make these, be sure to go over your stitching twice if you don't have a specialty stitch that does it for you. You do NOT want these crystals leaking out where pets or children could eat them. In addition, this is not an item for children. I have 4 or 5 more to make. I'm also going to make some wider ones that attach with velcro for muscle injuries.


Finally, I will be getting back to knitting when it cools down. Right now, my hands always seem to be sticky due to either sweat or high humidity. I still have the tennis elbow, but if I don't overdo it, I can knit again. I need to get those 2nd socks done! Crocheting is still out, darn it.

Here's Polly earlier today keeping me company while I sewed. The Wall, basic structure anyway, is done, so once it cools down, I'm going to do something about those weeds. Photobucket

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Progress with Photos!

Making lots of progress despite feeling like I go at a snail's pace.

The Pine Grove quilt is part of a QATW June contest, but I'm not quite sure if I will be done by then. Working hard at it though!
Pine Grove
Highlights the quilting.
Pine Grove Border
Freeform leaves in border

I've been working hard on my take-a-long project of Apple Cores. After a trip to the ER (he's fine now), I really accomplished a lot! I've made over 200 light-dark sets and need maybe another 50, so I have to start cutting more apple cores tonight to be ready for the next appointment! I'll be able to start rows soon. I'm thinking of hand quilting this using embroidery thread and primitive stitch. I think that will give the North Woods feeling I was hoping for with the plaid. That pincushion thing was too small for use in my chair, but perfect for across my thigh while working at doctor's office waiting areas. Using a larger eye needle also helps to make threading easier. I've recently read that a straw needle is even better for piecing, but haven't seen it sold locally. Will try it. Sometimes gadgets work. Sometimes they don't. Oh, the Mickey Mouse bag is my current project bag. My sister bought it a long time ago and was going to sell it on Ebay. I convinced her to wait, hoping she might find a use for it. In the meantime, it works great for quilt piecing. Lots of pockets and plenty of places for stuff without being bulky. I store my competed units in a salad container (Sam's Club). Yes, they break down over time, but great for storing lots of small pieces and they are free.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Progress on Quilting

Not much going on in the knitting front. I hope to do the cat bed tomorrow, so maybe some before and after photos on Sunday.

I joined a June contest where I have to get an old project done before the end of the month to be included in the drawing. So, I've been working hard on the Pine Grove quilt which was started 6 years ago. I have roughly half the quilting done. It sortof halted a bit while I removed some quilting. Originally, I meander quilted in some of the sashing and then just gave up finishing the quilt because I was just exhausted from trying to quilt a queen sized quilt. Now, I take it in smaller chunks and have advanced to feathers.

So, all the sashing is getting freeform feathers. I still have to remove the meander quilting from 2 more sashed blocks, but I'm glad I decided to make the extra effort. The back, where you can see the actual stitching much better, looks great. Still to do are the trees and the large side triangles. I would like to do a fabulous feather for the border, but we shall see how that goes. I NEED to finish off the sashing, inner border and trees this weekend so that I can concentrate on the outer edges. My binding is already done and ready to be attached, but I still have to allow 4 days to get the binding sewn to the back. Yes, some of you are really fast at this, but I tend to be slow. One of my favorite parts of quilting is attaching that binding.

I'm also spending some time in doing reduction of stuff. I found my box of quilting books in the storage unit a few weeks back. As a result, I am parting with 15 books to make room for those books I really want to keep. It's tough, but I really don't have more space to expand to. Same thing with the fabric, although in the coming couple of weeks, some will become jammies and some curtains as well as a few other smaller sewing projects.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Asian Sidelights

Yes, all that Asian fabric I bought because I had to have it, is now getting some use. I completed the first wallhanging last night!! This design is based on the Karrie Nichols' pattern Sidelights. I did it up based on the photo. If I did this again, I would miter the outer borders. I think mitered borders look much better on a wall quilt and is worth the extra effort there. I used fabric from the Han e mei fabric line from RJR Fabrics to make this. One down, a bunch to go.

Asian Sidelights

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hearts Quilt Sashed

Hearts quilt sashed
Originally uploaded by Tarana5
Finally sewed the sashing on this quilt. Yay!! as I was constructing it, I decided that I'm going to quilt it in 2 sections, attach them, then add the borders and quilt those. I used clothespins to connect them for the photo. I have a light pink marble fabric that is perfect for the back. After quilting and attachment, the separate pieces won't be obvious.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Progress on Hearts Quilt

Progress Hearts Quilt
Originally uploaded by Tarana5
Be patient knitters and crocheters. I'll get to those projects.

Today, however, I'm continuing to work on the Hearts Quilt. I've sewn together 4 of the 10 rows so far. I found this fabric by accident and apparently had intended it for this quilt since the borders were already cut. If it was intended for something else, I can't figure it out. It's a nice reddish purple with coffee berries. I plan to continue to complete the rows and sashing today.

The rest of the day is going to cleanup and decluttering. Seriously, I feel like I'm walking in a rabbit warren and it's all my stuff. I hate to have yet another miscellaneous fabric box, but I see no option right now. Just need to separate those things that are part of projects from the rest, especially since I have yet more Asian fabric!! I will be good now though. No more until I get the planned projects done.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mystery Top Done

Mystery top done
Originally uploaded by Tarana5
Here's the completed mystery quilt that I did for the Home Retreat at this week. I'm actually glad I got 'stuck' with the brown for the dark color. It makes the quilt pop much better than navy blue would have done. Just shy of 57 inches square. That is the helper cat that you see at the bottom of this photo.

The rest of the evening is dedicated to working on sashing for the Hearts quilt. If I can get that done in a reasonable time, then I'll do the finishing work on the not-yet-felted cat bed that needs to be done before it is felted. I was just bummed - beautiful and perfect week for a felted item to dry and I just could not get to it to sew in some few yarns!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hearts Applique Quilt Is Progressing

The day before yesterday, I finished the 70th applique heart for my quilt. So, this quilt is ready to be assembled once I have the fabric for it. I also need to figure out a new take-a-long project. I can't really afford to buy fabric to finish this until next month, but I might just buy what I need for the sashing and leave it at that until next payday.