Friday, October 31, 2008

Square in Square almost together

I have about 20 more seams to sew and this top is together. I will have to look for some border fabric but it won't hurt the pocket as much since this was scrap and on-hand fabrics.

On Wednesday my dd was looking at all the blocks and asked if I would finish it for her birthday. Had to laugh because her birthday was the next day (yesterday). Lots of non-quilters think we can whip them up that fast too though don't they?

Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of going to an informal get together of quilters. They meet once a week to sew, chat, and munch. It was so nice to be around others who love fabric, sewing, and quilting and just the female yakkety-yak. Thanks Suzanne for inviting me! and I look forward to coming again.

Got a start on putting the square-in-square blocks together there. Then yesterday afternoon while the cake baked I hung the warm n' natural on the wall and laid out the blocks. Tried not to think too hard on what was next to what but with only 12 purple I wanted them spread out. DD walked by when she got home from school and said "this is for my room. These are the colors I love". She doesn't know that it is for her for Christmas. I'll have to see what she thinks of the snail's trail as it's pieced before I decide which to give her. Caught her looking at the picture of that one and she said she liked it too.

Maybe she will be a quilter one of these days. It warms my heart to think she might be.

Back to sewing and finishing up Halloween prep for my little ghoulie.

If you "do" Halloween, have a fun night. If not, I hope you have a quiet, peaceful evening and no t.p. in your trees. :)


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just a little side step...

Did I get the baby quilt quilted you ask? Ummm, well, uh, okay fine! No, I didn't. However, in my defense, the day was not wasted. More on that below.

Got the baby quilt out, got the backing out, got the Warm N' Natural out. All was ready to go and then BAM - quilter's block. Is there such a thing? I'm sure there has to be. Just could not decide how to quilt it. So I hung it up in the hallway just outside the sewing room door so every time I turn around I would see it. Believe it or not I think it worked. I realized that each dog block needed to be quilted in it's own way. Each looks like someone took a picture, framed it, and now it's sitting on the desk to be admired. With that in mind I decided to let each block speak to me as I get to it. The frames will have zig-zag or swirls or just outlined stitched. Just whatever it says it wants. The border will be "whatever" too when I get to it. Guess you could say my plan is to have no plan.

So on the backburner again until tomorrow. But hey, I'm not going to feel too bad. The baby is due any day and they still have not decided on a name.

Now for the "not wasted" day...

First, two quilts were cut out to save me from pulling, ironing again, etc. all those fabrics. I wanted them used up. Here's the Snail's Trail waiting to be pieced. Might add a few random purple snails but we'll see. Total coincidence that they are sitting by a diffuser that says "peace". haha

See the little girl sitting by by those pieces? She and her two sisters are a bit upset that they've been ignored so much and she was letting me know it. I caught one of the girls on a chair trying to find snacks while I was busy sewing. Unfortunately, the cupboard is bare so a trip to the grocery store is on the agenda for today.

What was I doing while ignoring the kids? I stitched Square in Square blocks until my eyes were squared off. Out of 72 blocks all but 17 are done. Those 17 just need the 2 large pieces stitched on. That will be done after this post. Here are some of the blocks laid out. Not the final positions.

Now here is my take on these blocks:
Cons: 1) a pain in the butt to cut from scraps; 2) boring with a capital B to sew, just no challenge at all

Pros: 1) lots of scraps are finished up, gone, finito, outta here, YAHOO!; 2) quick to piece - no points to match up; 3) nice and random with no thinking in regards to colors other than making outer pieces all blue, all green, all purple; 4) no pinning, I don't think I pinned anything at all which adds to the speed of piecing.

Even though I didn't like cutting it I would do it again to use up my scraps. Here is the birds share of those scraps. I'd say there is probably a yards worth of little pieces. :( But you just can't save it all or use it all. And, in looking at an old 2001 magazine last night I saw some of these fabrics in an ad so they have been hanging around long enough.

Couple other thoughts on this quilt. I was going to do just greens and blues then thought it needed one more color so I cut out a bunch of creams from scraps. The creamy ones didn't look right. They appeared too countryish alongside the modern lime/turquoise pieces. Now I have a nice stack of pre-cut creams to use elsewhere or maybe I will cut out browns from scraps and make a lap quilt. (That brown fabric is the back of the baby quilt).

I then cut out purples and I think the small amount of purple blocks not only works well with the blue and green but it will add a bit of interest and spark.

I ran out of the long pieces of green but had enough 4.5" pieces left that I sewed a couple up and used it as a long piece. If this hadn't happened at the end I might have purposely done other blocks this way just because it would be less boring to sew.

Also, since I was using scraps in blues and greens I used "scrap" bobbins. Any bobbin with blue or green thread on it was used to piece these blocks. Now many are cleaned up and I'll do the "buy two spools" tip.

Well, this has gone on long enough. Now to finish off those 17 blocks. Then I'd better do the "real world" stuff. Poo - I wanted to sew all day again today too.

Until next time have a fun and productive day.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

cut and cut and cut

This past week I didn't sew at all. I only cut. It is a ton more work to cut a quilt from scraps than yardage. BUT it's done and there are now two ready-to-piece tops sitting on my cutting table - one a full and one a queen. Or is it two full? Can't remember now.

The strings are neatly stacked for a string quilt so maybe I've cut 3 quilts this week. The really small strings are going to be thrown outside for the birds to (hopefully) use in their nests. Could you imagine how pretty their nests would be with quilt scraps wound through them?

My hands and arms are really aching. Part from cutting the fabric and part from trimming my mom's orange, grapefruit and fruit cocktail trees, pulling weeds, and raking... OUCH!

I REALLY need to get the baby quilt quilted. I was almost a grandma again this weekend and the quilt should be in Oregon waiting for baby, not here. So tomorrow I'm going to stay in baggie flannels, drink coffee, and quilt the baby quilt.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Decision made - green/aqua

I'm doing both - haha - the snail's trail and the square in square. Figured since I was cutting I may as well cut both.

The main one is the snails trail and I've cut 30 blocks out with 40 to go. The other quilt will be cream and aquas/teals with green centers. I liked the black center but decided I wanted to keep it light.

I'm going to use up these greens and blues that have been in my stash for ages and not have all those little 6-8" pieces laying around for a few more years! Although I did save the little strips for a future strippy quilt. That's my grandma's fault since she always quoted that depression era saying "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without". Translation: save it all.

Pretty good start since this all just started yesterday. I feel good!

Now if I could make a decision on a pattern using the Asian fabric dgd picked out.

Snails Trail pile

Square in square
Square in Square

Future strippy (yeah, right - maybe 10 years from now)
Scraps again

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Planning a greenish lime and aqua/teal quilt

I have two quilts to make for Christmas gift-giving. Both are in the planning stage. The main requirements are both patterns need to be simple so they will sew up quickly and both need to use as much fabric on hand as possible.

For the green and aqua/teal the September Fons & Porter had a snails trail quilt in the perfect colors. The other pattern I'm looking at is in the Fall Quilts and More issue. Both are simple enough to work up fast. I'm leaning towards the snail's trail pattern at the moment. I love that pattern and it will be fun to do in a big mix of fabrics.

So I pulled fabrics in the colors needed and was quite surprised to find how much of this mix I actually had. Made a couple sample blocks of the square in square with two different center fabrics. Not sure about either. The room the quilt is going in is quite green/aqua already so the quilt might need more black or cream in it.

Here's a few pics of the room, the fabrics, and the Splashes of Color pattern samples I worked up. (I've been thinking of it as Square in Square). I'm thinking the border may need to be more plain and there will be an inner border too.

If you have any thoughts please leave a comment. Opinions definitely welcome and appreciated.

Current bedding:
room bedding copy
room curtains copy
Little funky accessory with wall colors.
room letter holder copy
Square in Square blocks with two different center options:
room sq in sq 2 copy
room sq in sq 1 copy
Stash fabrics 1:
room fabrics 1 copy
Stash fabrics 2:
room fabrics 2 copy

I'm a procrastinator and work best under pressure but even I know a decision can't be put off much longer if they are to get finished.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another giveaway - Halloweenish

So many giveaways from so many wonderful bloggers. Check out Pumpkin Patch Primitives Quilt Shoppe here and enter to win a Halloween surprise.

What fun!

Pigtails and Snails quilt give-a-way

Wow! What a generous give-a-way and she has second and third place prizes too. Check out the quilt and her blog here.

It's too cute! I think she will do well with this pattern at the Houston Quilt Market.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Got motivated and finished something!

One of the requirements of the quilt group I'm in is to make two little preemie quilts. One of the local hospitals let us use a room to work on our projects and the groups way of saying thank you is to donate these little quilts to cover the isolettes. The group provides the kits for us to assemble and complete.

The pink fabric has a simple little flower so I chose to mimic the design and did free motion quilting. Got brave and used a pink thread to make it show up a bit more. I used my walking foot and eyeballed the X across the larger blocks. They came out pretty straight.

It was a quick little project today and best of all I can cross a project off the list!

FQ quilt close-up

No pics - just yakking

Wow. I can't believe a whole week went by without posting. Last week was a run, run, run week and I barely had time to catch my breath. My energy was gone.

I'd walk into my sewing room, straighten a few things up, look at my pile of projects, and walk back out. Made a decision to sign up for a couple work days at a local quilt shop. No distractions are needed to get things done sewing-wise. It's $5, I think, to use a table and it will be money well spent. Signing up is on today's to-do list.

The weather changed - finally cooled down and it's been too hard to resist being outside. Supposed to be back in the low 90's later this week but I think we've finally reached the turning point. YAHOO! We went to a Fiesta and enjoyed the chilly air, listened to music by local bands, and watched dancers of all ages. Forgot my camera though. :(

Along with the weather change maybe my medicine changes will help with energy too. I saw my dr. last week about feeling run down. I have an underactive thyroid and have been on medicine over 20 years. My doctor (I just loved her and really miss her) left the HMO and I was assigned a new doctor. After my bloodwork "new doctor" lowered my medicine dosage. Then a couple months later she lowered it again. I kept saying it doesn't feel right, I'm tired all the time, etc. She insisted I was fine.

Finally, after a whole year I'd had enough. Changed my HMO doctor, made an appointment, and went to it armed with research info which in part said you do not just treat according to the bloodwork but according to how the patient feels. Well, my new-new Dr. really listened and he raised my dosage. It's been a week and I'm starting to feel more energetic again. My mood seems better too.

My point of this non-quilt info is to say "stand up for yourself if you feel something is wrong. Change your doctor, do your research, tell him you know how YOU should feel, and fight for it. Doctors can be wrong and who knows your body better than you."

Looking to getting more accomplished this week...


Monday, October 6, 2008

Do it yourselfer - aka a new fan

I'm a do it yourselfer type person. Mix that with a good dollop of impatience and I'll try to repair what I can around the house. So years back I decided to put shelves up above one of my work tables in the sewing room. And since I knew I wouldn't be putting heavy things on it I didn't use anchors. It held quite nicely to display dolls and whatever.

Unfortunately, after a few years I forgot that there were no anchors in the drywall to support the shelves. One day I was sitting at the table on my laptop and crash! I mean CRASH! Everything came down on my head and lap - books, dolls, storage bins, scrapbook supplies. The worst of it was the heavy shelves, brackets and rods themselves. Fortunately, my daughter wasn't sitting at the table and my Mom was far enough back not to get hit by anything. At the first crack I had bent over to protect my laptop. Duh.

A few cuts, scrapes, and bruises later taught me a good lesson... let your husband do it. Haha. You thought I was going to say be patient or use anchors or something really deep didn't you. Nope, now I just nag my hubby to death until he does it. (Don't tell him I admitted to nagging please.)

So it was quite a surprise yesterday to find a new ceiling fan had been installed without even asking. The old one shook, wobbled in wild circles, and was horribly noisy. It felt like it was going to come down at any moment. Maybe he was afraid I'd try to change it or maybe he remembered my kitchen sink repair or the shelf installation. Whatever the reason it sure feels cooler than the other one and looks so much nicer. And he even cleaned up the dust and insulation mess!

What a nice guy. Hmmm, and looking at the picture I just remembered that I wanted to remove the popcorn ceiling. Nag or just do? ;0

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Enabling, new goodies, a fun website and a smidge of sewing in between

This past week did not include much sewing but it did include a bit of light shopping.

I did work on the little Halloween quickie quilt to feel like something was accomplished. Did a bit of quilting around the motifs so all that is left is the binding. I might just use it as a little table mat. I could not think of anything cutesie to embroider so put "black cat, orange pumpkins." I showed it to my 9 yr old and she just laughed at me. She said in that boy-you-aren't-real-smart-tone that kids that age can have that there was only one orange pumpkin and the other is red. Hmpf! One is just a very dark orange bordering on red. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Made a trip to Joann's where I bought lots of interfacing. When I got home a new flyer was in the mailbox with, yup, you guessed it, all interfacing 50% off mid-month. Figures.

Bought a new book
Photobucket and found several quilts that I'd love to make. Oh, oh, more projects. You know how it is! Forgot a few of the things I went for but sometimes I think this is the brains way of making sure another trip is in the near future.

Online, a member of the Yahoo group I lurk in shared a fun website with lots of freebie patterns, swaps, etc. The Family Dirt section is pretty funny. I'm sure we all have stories like these to share but she was brave enough to put them in writing.

While surfing online and going back to some of the same sites to look at some of the same patterns I found I could no longer resist this one from
I thought it would make a great take-along project. I'll use the cream/tan something for the background like in the pattern and will have plenty of time to decide what color to use for the flying geese. Finish goal: the end of October next year. Oh, and this pattern arrived incredibly fast!

Since I was on a pattern shopping binge I decided to get this one by Lori Smith too. You can find her patterns at
Golden Memories by Lori Smith
No real plans for starting it yet. I love the colors she used in her quilt and the stepping stone blocks in between. Check out the fat quarter patterns on her website. I think it would be easy to get addicted to just doing these little quilts.

Also, a big thank you to Melissa at Cornbread and Beans Quilting for sharing a great prim website . Lynda has wonderful areas to explore on her site. I wish I could go to Houston Market to see her quilts in real life. I definitely see a project coming on from one (or two or 3) of her patterns.

Well, that is enough enabling for one day. Hope you check out all the links. They are all well worth a look.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The last couple days...

Monday I added another year to my age. I have no problem with that considering the alternative. The biggest surprise is waking up some mornings and feeling an ache or a pain here and there without a real reason for it. I mean, in my head I'm still 29 but the body is constantly calling me a liar. My daughter now knows my real age but it was so nice when she was little and told everyone I was 29 (and I was deep into the 40's). Maybe I could convince her to say 39 now instead of one of those 5.. numbers.

Mom took me to lunch at Panda Express. Little did I know that hubby had planned on making dinner (total shock). Well, haha, he brought home a bakery cake and a frozen lasagna. He called "dinner's done". Got to the table, no plates, glasses, or anything extra. Dinner was just that - lasagna and cake. I was a good girl and said nothing and just counted it a plus that I didn't have to cook. But, ugh, what a combination of food that day. I've never told him I don't like bakery cakes when he is nice enough to bring one home. But I did tell him that dd could make a cake next year. Subtle hint.

Now to quilty stuff. Recently I've been working on UFOs and made the binding for my large Christmas quilt on Monday. But decided I didn't like the binding and got disgusted and put it all away. So today I felt the need to make something new. Couldn't be something big because it would end up a UFO. Sure don't want another of those darn things.

Decided on something Halloweeny and pulled out Angels Among Us by Nancy Halvorsen that had a calendar quilt in it. The October one was just the right thing.

A couple of hours, fabrics from the scrapbag, fusible web, and a bit of buttonholing and here is the almost finished mini quilt:

I'll add the kitty's face tonight and maybe a kitty-pumpkin saying and do a quickie quilt job. Ahhh, these bouts of instant satisfaction feel so good.

Now, just because I felt like uploading pictures here are a few of the dolls from last year dressed up for Halloween. Tonight dd and I are going to sit down and try to fashion some costumes for some of her vinyl children.

That's me on the broom.
dolls, Halloween

Bitty Bethany wearing a dress made from a pattern by biscotti725 on ebay:
dolls, Halloween

And here is Leeann wearing a dress from that same pattern.
dolls, Halloween

Back to playing (and laundry). Dinner is leftovers so plenty of time for more playing this evening.

100th post give-a-way for Quiltergoingbananas

Check out this fun blog and leave a comment to be entered in her give-a-way. Lots of eye candy to enjoy.