Saturday, September 27, 2008

Help needed - Asian fabric

My granddaughter and her boyfriend met me at the quilt store to pick out fabrics for a quilt. I was quite surprised that the girl who wanted orange and brown gravitated towards the Asian fabrics, found one she fell for and would not put it down.

Her excitement grew the more she looked at it. She said the bed could be on the floor, there could be a low table to sit at and drink Saki (until I informed her of what it is), she could use Feng Shui when doing her room, paper lanterns, etc.

The point here is she loved the fabric. Then they saw photos of kaleidoscope quilts and loved those. Eeek. I've never used Asian inspired fabrics and have not made a kaleidoscope quilt before.

Does anyone have any advice or know of any websites that I could look at quilts using Asian fabrics or kaleidoscope quilts? I've googled but keep getting a random picture here and there and I'd like to look at lots of them.

If it comes down to it I will use it for the backing and use matching Asian themed fabrics for blocks on the opposite side. She could use either side then. I bought 10 yards of the fabric. One definite good thing is Asian fabrics were 30% off and I bought the rest of the bolt so got an extra 5%. Super price. Also purchased a couple other matching fabrics then got burnt out and left. Have a few more days to go back and get 30% off any more contrasting fabrics I might need.

All advice or suggestions welcome.

Here's the Kona fabric she chose:

Thursday, September 25, 2008


He's done and ready for Halloween. One UFO down and 3 to go for my end-of-October goal. Isn't he cute? I mean scarey? Haven't washed him yet to get that nice puckery look that Warm-N-Natural gives and to get the chalk marks out but I was so excited to have him done after being a UFO for over 10 years. (Insert red-faced smiley). He will get a button or two or three down his shirt after being washed.

By the way, if you don't have a walking foot you should get one. It's one of the best investments I've ever made for my machine.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Snow White

and all her friends are here right now - Grouchy, Grumpy, Moany, Whiny, Pouty, and a few other unmentionable names so I've not been in the mood to post.

I have been working on quilty stuff though in between the above visitors. And looking at quilty magazines. I've finished 10 or 12 quilts in my head just flipping through them.

Can't find the cable to upload from my camera either. Hence, some of the names (and lack of posts).

And dh really made me mad but I won't go into that. Just think when your dh made you mad and you will understand. More names.

Plus, you should see the unbelievable mess my dd and her friend made in her room. You would feel sorry for her me, no her, when I inform her she has to clean it tonight. Names, names, names. I'd bet my camera cable is in there. But why?

It must be time to throw a temper tantrum again so they will hear me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

In my hallway - 19 Sept 2008

Nothing new. I dug through them and just couldn't decide. Besides I'm tired and felt like playing with my dolls.

But, here is my Kish Lark Little Lady. She borrowed a dress that doesn't fit her. But she was in a mood and this fit it. She's demanding her own Halloween costume and I'd better get to it if I don't want to hear her whining. She just doesn't understand that I only put this on her to see where to make adjustments. She wants it NOW.

I can see they are all going to start up about Halloween and Christmas outfits early this year.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Almost back in the UFO pile

Worked on two of my UFO's today. It's amazing how much sewing you can get done if you ignore housework (and the computer).

Today I pulled out the block I didn't like from Frank and just put a simple string pieced block in it's place. The colors work much better. I also buttonholed around the cat, stars, bat, etc. Frank is ready to add a border to and quilt. Won't take a new pic until he's quilted. Woo hoo. He will get done, he will get done, he will.... You must have been reading my mind Melissa. :)

Not only that but I actually finished putting the bias on the last E and stitched all the bias down on the letters. A twin needle made quick work of it. Found one more mistake on the P. In the picture of it (in my last post) if you look you will see that the colors don't line up across. I added an extra turquoise piece below the red.

What's funny is that was probably the first letter I did and I screwed it up right at the beginning. That thing would have been in the UFO pile before I even did the other letters. Good thing I didn't catch it. I was feeling totally disgusted thinking a new P would have to be made then really looked at it and figured it out. I quickly removed the red and first turquoise piece and fixed it before I walked away from the machine. Only took about 10 minutes. Now the PEACE letters are ready for a backing and to be quilted. Double woo hoo!

What a good feeling today. Maybe I should clean something in celebration - not! Maybe I'll go watch "House" (he's such an obnoxious hunk) and eat pizza.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today's UFO Quilt plan

Subject to change at whim, of course.

I had a funny conversation with my sister-in-law earlier this week. She asked me if I had ever gotten the quilting machine I'd wanted yet. "Nope, talk to your brother" I said.

Then we got to talking about UFO's and I told her I'd been sorting through mine and probably had a good 50 projects. She tsk'd, tsk'd me, and said she only had about 5. Wow! And she mostly hand pieces and hand quilts and seems to get a lot done. Then she said if I got the machine she had lots of tops to send to me to quilt for her. Huh? Wait a minute, I thought you only had 5 UFOs??? “I do” she says “but I have a lot of pieced tops ready to quilt“. hahaha So, her idea of a finished quilt is the top being done.

Yay! Great theory. I have fewer UFO's than I thought! And, my plans should be to finish piecing the tops so there would be more “finished" quilts which equals less guilt when buying new fabrics and starting new projects.

This led me adjust my lists in my side bar from UFO's to read Ready to Quilt (finished technically - right?) and Ready to Piece (basically kits or not a whole lot done). I think I should add a third category - the “there is so little done that this is really just fabric and not a UFO).

Adjusting my lists led me to today’s plan. After going through all UFO’s I decided to pull four items out to finish before the end of October. This sounds like a lot but they are so close to done that it could happen. Here is what I chose and why they were never finished to begin with.

1. Christmas quilt - Pieced this about 15 years ago from a 9 patch block swap. Had it quilted about 5 or 6 years ago. Only needs binding but instead of just doing it I chose to do creative folding to display at Christmas. Reason for not finishing? Basically, laziness.
After all, it is only a display for a month or 6 weeks quilt.

2. Frankenstein. He’s about 10 years old - looks older doesn’t he. Why not finished? The blue block with the lightning bolt on the right. Don’t like it. Off to the drawer with him for “later”. It’s such a quicky fix too. The plan: fix it, finish it, display this Halloween.

3. Your Special Day birthday banner/pillow topper. This was for dd’s special day 5 years ago. Hey, at least it’s less than 10. Problem? I zig-zagged around all those little pieces when I should have buttonholed. You’d think that I would have realized I didn’t like it after a couple pieces, but, no, almost the whole thing is done this way. Solution: get over it. Finish zig-zagging and hang the darn thing up on everyone’s special days.

4. “Stained glass” Peace banners. These letters are so much prettier in real life. Put so much time into this one too making all that bias. Big icky here. Not thinking it through I put the back on the P before stitching the bias down. Icky, yuck, nasty looking on the back. Used a twin needle to stitch the bias and it shows as a big black zig-zag on the back. Where did it go? In the projects to be finished pile. But, hey, I’ve almost got it apart today. Didn’t worry about saving the back since it wasn’t my favorite anyway and I want them all to match.
Should have done this before I added the back:
Instead I did this:

The finish-by-the-end-of-October does not include the two new project tops that I just pieced because they will get quilted no matter what.

Hmmm, just making these lists makes me have that “accomplished something feeling”. Makes me want to start something new.

I am going to cry

I have typed, typed and retyped a long post 3 times and put in pics too and it has disappeared every time. Now watch this *(&*! one will go through.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why I picked my blog name - why did you pick yours?

After starting this blog I was kind of worried that my blog name would seem, hmmm, well, raunchy? I hope not though.

It really started because I'm a doll collector. Mostly vinyl play dolls. And those kids are always wanting new stuff - accessories, clothes, shoes, furniture. It's like having a couple hundred kids to support. I'm currently thinning my collection and let me tell you, it's hard to let them go. But unless I want to move to a bigger house (that sounds good - can it be where it's cooler?) I have to pick and choose and let go.

Then my thinking evolved and it seemed to just fit my life. First, I have a couple young drama queens in my life - dd (10), and dgd (20) and no, I don't have those ages backwards. After these two my son and dgs are pieces of cake.

Also, I grew up with 4 sisters. Talk about a hormonal nightmare growing up! Nothing more need be said.

Now, I'm helping my mom out a lot. There is 70 years difference between her and my daughter and my arms have stretched out a couple feet from the tug of war between dh, dd, and dmom of who gets my time. Yup, very demanding.

Finally, this is the ugly middle-age menopausal part. I said "enough!" Between dh, dd, mom, I was going nuts and started stomping, screaming, ranting and raving that I needed time to do what I loved too and pick up after yourself, I'm not a short order cook, no I won't take you to the mall, etc. They kind of went in shock and I got my way (somewhat, kind of - because they keep trying to take over again). But, sigh, it's been better and I have absolutely no problem with throwing a temper tantrum again if that's what it takes.

So, now, I'm "the demanding doll" and plan on staying that way for my own sanity's sake!

To all those nice quiet little kids that sit on my shelf - thank you.

Where did you get your blog name from? I'd like to know.

Effanbee baby and My Twinn Cookie
Effanbee baby and My Twinn Cookie

Kish - Mowgli and Hallmark pedal car - he wants (needs) new clothes. See his cute toes on the pedal. Awwww.
Kish Kid in Hallmark pedal car

More Kish kids - I just love these little ones. They have too many toys. (Ignore bad photography and scrapbook paper background).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Patchwork Puzzle game

This link was given on the Yahoo Cyberquilters group. For those times you just want to veg out in front of the computer. Here's the link.

Later...hmmm, I see the link isn't working correctly. The game is patchworkz though. I'll try to fix it soon.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike

We are waiting for news from my sister, her kids and grandkids. They are in Houston. Yesterday she said rain had not fallen yet but there was already flooding in areas from the ocean surge. They are prepared, on the N. side of Houston, but it's hard to wait for word.

More family will be feeling the storm as it's headed straight for the St. Louis area after going through TX.

Friday, September 12, 2008

In My Hallway

The colors in this quilt are just right for Fall. It was paper-pieced which is a wonderful way to get crisp points for miniature quilts. I believe the pattern is the Flat Iron so with that in mind this was named "Pressed Leaves".


Minis are one of my favorite quilt items to make. They are a great way to practice a new pattern or technique, get something quick done (compared to a large quilt), use up little bits of much-loved-kept-for-10-years fabric pieces, and to give that sense of satisfaction in completing a project.

Even though this mini stays out year round I had decided to rotate a mini or wallhanging out each Friday in my hallway. Then, on Wednesday, a member of the quilt group I recently joined shared a display tip. She stitches the soft side of velcro to the back of her small quilts and mounts the hard, scratchy side to a permanent rod. She can easily change out her quilts for display. Great idea! I could see having several of these bars to fit areas for minis and larger wallhangings. A constant revolving gallery to show off your art without using push pins. Her idea clinched my rotation plans.

Now off to get ready for a scrapbook convention today. Gotta oooh and ahhh over all the pretty paper fabric.

Enjoy your day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nothing in particular...

but still exciting. We had weather! Rain! The real stuff on Tuesday! Yeah, I know, big deal, but I love the rain and the way it makes the leaves greener and that bit of fresh smell and the thunder and lightning. Just love it! And, we had bonuses with it. It hailed first! Lots of nice, hard, rocky, little balls that melted the instant they hit the ground. You might see a few in the pic - maybe not. It stopped almost as fast as it started and I went running for the camera so kind of missed the few minutes of hail. We almost always go outside and just watch any weather that isn't just hot sun and more likely than not walk around a bit in it. Oh, to have REAL seasons!
Photobucket Image Hosting

Now, tilt your head to the right, maybe to the left a bit, rock your monitor forward just so. Do you see it? A rainbow. Who doesn't love a rainbow after a rain?
Photobucket Image Hosting

In celebration, I took a shot of this cute little quilt I made years ago. It says "I bring fresh showers for thirsting flowers".
Photobucket Image Hosting

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quilty Morning - That a Q not a G - :)

Getting a move and groove on this morning. Besides doing some of the necessary evils (a load of laundry, picking up, etc.) I've gotten a few quilty things done.

So far I've prepared a backing, cut some Warm N' Natural, and pinned the runner I made from Happy Zombie's pattern!
Runner pinned

Then I started a list (embarrassingly long) of UFO's. Gave up on that because, ugh, I got tired of going through the project drawers.

Decided time would be better spent working on one of those UFO's so I pulled these
from this
and here is the back of a paper pieced log cabin mini ready to have a border put on and be quilted.

Not only that but I organized a bit more of my fabrics (it will get done eventually), paid a few bills (very depressing), read blogs, had my coffee, put up last night's dishes and it's only 7 a.m. Can you tell I'm a morning person?

Yeehah, I love it when a day starts out this smoothly and tomorrow is quilt group meeting. Double yeehah. I'm hoping to have the table runner quilted so I can work on the binding during the meeting. We'll see.

Til next time...have a happy and productive day.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Figuring out blog layout

Whew! I'm starting to figure out this page layout thing. Look. I got 3 columns! Will I keep it? Who knows. I figured out how to put an image in the title section too but can't get my title to sit anywhere at the very top edge. So, if it bounces from this to that to the other don't be surprised. Eventually, I'll figure it out and choose one...maybe.

Did it take you all a while to figure out your layouts and to finally stick to it?

ETA: haha - look at the little tiny title with a cutesy background to the left. Getting closer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pillowcase - a first sewing project

A sense of pride and accomplishment. That's what my baby felt when she completed this pillowcase last weekend. Even if she is not that interested in sewing now perhaps these simple little projects will encourage her to take it up later on. She has plans to make daddy a pair of flannel pajama pants and a cowgirl pillowcase for her friend for Christmas. Just her thinking along those lines shows she might find a continuing interest.

She says she is "Wilson" from Home Improvement in this photo...

(Oh, and, uh, I really don't let her wear those fake nails. She went to Walgreen's with her daddy and can talk him into anything. She's fascinated by those things because several of her teachers wear them. They come off before school. )

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Free Basket Tutorial

Cute! Cute! Cute! and quick!

I found the link here! at This That and The Other and she got it from here - Pink Penguin! I prepared it last night and stitched it up this morning.

Don't cha love blogging!
Basket from Pink Penguin tutorial

Friday, September 5, 2008

In my hallway

Do you ever fall in love with a piece of fabric and buy it "just because"? No plans, no pattern, and no idea what to do with it. That is the way I felt about this fabric with a blue background and pink roses. I bought the fabric, took it home, and used it right away. It all just seemed to fly together. One of those rare times when I used a fabric I loved instead of saving it for "the perfect quilt".

Maybe I had blue in my house at the time but there is no blue to be found anywhere now. So it hangs in the hallway just outside the sewing room door.

I still love it and enjoy it every day and I'm so glad I used it instead of waiting for the perfect quilt.

No dogs allowed

Poor Rosy. She knows she's not allowed in here but she still tries anyway. Inch by inch and step by step. Her favorite spot is always under my feet and that just doesn't work when you're trying to sew. So, the rule is "NO DOGS ALLOWED" in the sewing room. Why do they want to sit right under your feet anyway?

Please can I come in? She's learned that this is as far as she can go.

She must have known I was going to put her photo up. I'm just sure she posed for the photo below. Isn't she too cute? She has a great personality. BTW - she's half Jack Russel and half Australian Cattle Dog. In other words, a hyper, ball-obsessed, highly shedding, nut. But we love her.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rambles over the completed dog quilt top

Yay! I finished piecing the dog quilt top yesterday for DGS-yet-to-be-born. I'm pleased to have it done but had arguments pro and con with myself over it and even thought of not giving it to him for 5 years or so. So I slept on it and worked through the pros and cons.

Con - it's not very baby-baby. Not the typical quilt perhaps for a newborn.
Pro - it reflects the love dgs's parents have for dogs. How will he not be able to love them too. It will give him something fun to look at and point out as he starts to notice these things.

Con - it's big for a baby quilt. It's too wide for a baby bed and too small to fit a twin for later on.
Pro - it's big enough to cuddle under and mom or dad can cuddle under it too (and maybe a dog or two). Hubby made brownie points last night when I was second-guessing myself and said "he'll be able to enjoy it longer". Big smooches to him.

Con - it is squarish. Not exactly square because it's 2" shorter than wide - 52"x50". This is because the top and bottom row of blocks are 14"x14" and the middle row blocks are 14"x12" - this is on purpose. I wish now that I had added another row of 14"x12" blocks and considered taking it apart and redoing but... yeah, right.
Pro - the top is done and the baby won't care. My son will just be shocked that it's done before he turns 10 and hopefully dd-i-l will be pleased that it was made especially for dgs.

So, those were my arguments as I hung it up and looked it over last night. It is overall cute though and I was able to get the weiny dogs fully on the border. They have 2 of the little stinkers - a red one and a black one. (They also have an old pit bull rescue dog who is one of the sweetest, gentlest, most chicken dogs I've seen. She looks scary, but she's not. They just lost their chow/shephard mix who was a sweet but scared rescue dog. What a mix of pooches!)

Have not decided how it will be quilted. It would be cute to do dog bones or something all over except on the pics of the dogs. I'd quilt around the square/rectangle for them. And, I have extra dogs that I can choose from for a label.

What else doggie can I make? Hmmm, a stuffed weiny dog would be fun. I still have until 10/30 to go. Plenty of time. :)

Oh, and don't mind the "off" picture. You know how it is to photograph a quilt, one side always has to wave at you so I just cropped the darn photo to hide the white walls behind it. The border is 4" all around. I decided to use a solid black for the inner border because it needed a rest between printed dog blocks and a printed outer border.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Being Midwestern born and raised then transplanted to the dry, hot desert I'm always surprised at the first signs of Fall. It's not in the cool, crisp mornings - it's still in the 100's during the day and 80's at night. The leaves aren't changing color - the plants are still shades of brown from the long, hot summer. I haven't really noticed scarecrows, cornstalks, or gourds in front of houses - they'd just fade out in the sun.

Where is the first sign of Fall?

My daughter's doll and toys. After seeing Halloween goodies out at the store (over 2 months ahead of the day - geesh) she wasted no time in getting in the spirit (no pun intended). Here's her little "sister" JJ with her old friend Bluebeary. JJ gets to snuggle Bluebeary during the day. JJ is wearing a Halloween sleeper to keep her warm and to get ready for trick-or-treat. The next photo is Bluebeary after being hugged and loved for 7 years along side Newbeary.



Hard to believe Bluebeary ever looked like Newbeary. Did you ever see the commercial about the missing favorite toy and the mom bought a new one and did all sorts of things to it to make it look old? That's what I was thinking when I bought Newbeary but dd found him hidden away and promptly named him Newbeary. Heaven help us if Bluebeary ever comes up missing because Newbeary will not work the same magic. It would be drama to the max!

For some reason both these guys have worn sweaters since day one but, Fall it is, since the dolls and bears are getting redressed. Now I just wish it would cool down.