Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blogger is in need of repair!

I've been reading about people having trouble with not being able to post comments or pictures on Blogger - guess it's my turn today!  I'm going to try and post a picture - let's see what happens there!

Well, guess I'm able to upload pictures :-)  I just can't make comments - bummer!  I might actually have something to say.
The above picture is my testing the Lil Twister pattern without having to actually buy a special ruler.  I simply taped my 6" square ruler and went from there:

This pattern is really quick and easy.  I even had my DH take some scrap clear plexiglass that he had and make me a 4½", 5½' and a 6½" square.  I can use these for square up or draw the lines on them that I need for different purposes, but I was thinking of the Lil Twister when I had him cut me the squares ;-)
I have managed to get a few more quilts to the finished stage.  I had 2 quilts that just needed their labels and binding - done!  I had a couple quilts needing quilting and finishing - done!  I still have 3 quilt tops needing quilting and I have 2 more tops enroute to me!  Then I signed up for a couple swaps.  One is a Fabric postcard swap and another is a miniture quilt swap.  I've never made a miniture quilt so I'm thinking this will be fun.  I want to actually do a quilt in miniture.  Instead of the 12" quilt squares - I'm thinking 6" quilt squares.  I've also considered doing 4" - but we'll see how that goes!  I have quite a few of the triangle pieces that I've cut from Snowball blocks or Flying Geese blocks that I will play with and see what I come up with!
Hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day weekend.  Please take time to remember those who gave so much to insure our freedoms.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Routine? or Not?

I'm curious here - Do you have a basic routine that you follow daily/weekly/monthly or do you 'fly by the seat of your pants'?  When my kids were younger, I definitely had a set routine.  The get up, get DH off to work, get kids off to school, same order of house work done every day, kids home, DH home, dinner done - well you get the idea..... Then I became employed out of the home (being a stay at home mom is a JOB)  and still I tried to stay to a routine, which I was fairly successful at.  Fast forward 25 years, the kids (thankfully) are on their own, living their own lives.  DH is retired and I'm unemployed/retired.  Ah.... the good years - well sort of.  The more time I have the more time I waste - sort of the 'more money you have the more you spend!'.  I'm an early person.  I think when I was younger the reason I was successful at my routine was because I got up early and did what needed to be done early.  Now I get up early (5:30am), make coffee, read email, read the blogs I follow, and wait for DH to get up.  Then he want's to watch the Today show, talk a bit and maybe by 9am things get moving.  Okay, so to me 9am is half my day gone and I feel like I'm dragging - can't get up steam to get done what I'd like to in a day.  So thinking I need to figure a new routine... I've never - ever- been a list maker.  Maybe it's time to plan my week on Monday and assign different household chores to certain days.  Today, after I have a bit of breakfast and get the kitchen cleaned up, it'll be into the sewing room and get it straightened up as I pick up my granddaughter from school at noon and she wants to work on making a T-shirt.  Guess I'd better get at it - it's 7am and DH is still snoring - maybe he needs a new routine :-)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Kitty over on "A Left-Handed Quilter"  asks 2 questions every Tues.  Today one of her questions was "do you like swaps?" Because I don't want to 'hog' her blog - I decided I'd go into more details here.
I do like swaps.  I joined quite a few swaps when I was first learning to quilt.  It gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and try new things.  I joined one swap for "beginners" and the swap hostess was very clear about she would critique everyone's quilt blocks and send you her critique on your blocks when she swapped.  I truly did appreciate what she had to say and I think it helped me.  Only one time did I get totally burned.  It was for a Maple Leaf block swap and one of the requirements was that everyone had to buy a certain brand black background fabric.  I love the Maple Leaf block and liked the idea of a black background.  I signed up for two sets.  I bought not only the specific black, but also invested in quite a few fall color FQ's batiks.  I sent my 24 blocks in and in return, I received an empty envelope.  It was stamped by the postal service that it had been received (somewhere along the way) opened and empty!  I contacted the swap hostess and got no response from her - nothing!  I did also post on the site publicly about receiving the empty envelope and a few of the other swappers individually sent me replacement blocks.  I never did another swap from that site.  And it wasn't the site's fault.  The particular site has guidelines for their swap hostesses and not just anyone can host a swap, but I was done at that point. (I want to insert a note here - one of the requirements for these swaps was to send all your blocks in a ziplock bag that was labeled with your name and address on it - your swap blocks would be returned to you in said bag.  Now I would think that because my label was on that plastic bag, and that said bag had (or should have had) 24 quilt blocks in it, that somewhere along the line the postal service would have found said bag and sent it forward???)   I also have received in swaps some (IMO) just plain junk.  Blocks where the fabric was pieced then cut to make a block unit.  Blocks where the fabric looked like it came from a shirt that had been washed a million times.... but that's a chance you take when you swap.  When I swap, I feel as though I'm representing myself and I want to give the recipient my best.  And... I've also hosted a few swaps which I believe were pretty successful (I didn't hear otherwise!)
Okay, Swaps I don't like - well the specific brand requirement burned me - so I would no longer join a swap that was brand specific.  I don't like swaps where you're required to purchase a pattern, book or magazine to participate in the swap.  I don't like a swap that says "LQS" (local quilt store) fabric.  Who the heck ever said that quilt store fabric was so superior?????? I've bought some beautiful fabrics from JoAnns and Hancocks (and on line) and I've also bought crap at quilt stores.  Also, how do they know where I buy my fabric?????  And lo and behold - I also buy sheets and shirts at thrift stores to use in my quilts - OH CRAP - hope the quilt police don't read that - I may end up in quilt prison!
Better go before I get into some real trouble :-)


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Row Quilt

This is a Row Quilt from several years ago that I joined on the quilting forum.  There were 6 participants.  Each person started their own row and it was then sent on to the next person on the list with the original row, the theme for the quilt and some fabrics to be used in each row by all participants to tie the row together upon completion.  Each person had (I believe) one month to complete their row and send everything on to the next person.  My theme was friendship and color and the first row was my original row.  There is printing over the 'hill' that says "the road to a friend's house is never long".  I really enjoyed creating rows for others related to their themes. 

some close ups of the top and bottom of the quilt
Sorry for the quality of the pictures.

A sampling of some other rows I've done to be included in row quilts.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  I've spent time in the sewing room but not on quilting stuff.  I've been mostly just playing around with different things - Sometimes you just gotta play!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Quilting slump

I'm in a quilting slump.  Can't seem to find anything that sparks my interest to get me going.  I've done a bit of garment sewing and working on some machine embroidery so not completely away from the sewing room.  Today I did put the borders on the yellow/lt. blue quilt, got the backing together and it's all on the frame waiting for when the 'urge' hits me!  Maybe I ought to just stack up some fabric and do some stack n whack blocks - no need to think for those - just cut and sew! Oh, well, such is life - I'm sure this too, shall pass!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kari and shopping!!!

If you've been following along, you know that my granddaughter is spending time learning to sew.  I have said to her that if sewing, quilting, crafting is not for her, she needs to say something.  I told her it really is okay if it's not something she enjoys.  From what I can tell, she's really enjoying it.

Tucson has a store called SAS (no not the shoe store!) and it has sewing stuff - lots of it.  Elastic of all kinds - sizes, shapes & colors!  Trims and lace you wouldn't believe.  I liken it to a fabric thrift store - the fun sometimes is simply the hunt.  As Kari and I walked around the store, she kept asking "Grandma, where would you use this?" or simply "what's this?"  She found a soft black tulle with shiny silver dots and really wanted to use it in 'something'.  She kept going back to it - so I finally told her to get it along with a solid black cotton/poly knit.

 She also fell in love with Minky.

 They had bins of remnants for $5.99 a lb (yes by weight not yardage). Ended up with a couple pieces and they will end up being pillows for her bed!  As we walked around she finally stopped and said "Grandma, I could completely redo my bedroom from here"  I do believe this journey is going to get interesting!  We ended up at Hancocks and she picked out a couple patterns, keeping the fabric she chose in mind.  She picked out a pattern with a knit top that has small pleats around the neck line and has a very loose, drapey type vest.  She'll use that pattern with her black knit and sparkly tulle - I would so love to make it up to surprise her, but that's not going to teach her anything!  Patience Grandma, Patience!!!  All in all, it was a wonderful day spent with a wonderful young lady.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A little bit done

I was sent this quilt top without the two side borders.  It was very narrow yet very long - so I added the burgandy borders to give it some width a bit more consistent with it's length.  I practiced doing spineless feather quilting and continuous curved quilting on this one.  Turned out okay - I think I'm improving :-)

This was another quilt that was sent to me.  It was symetrical but needed to be a bit larger for the May/June cause for QFC, so again I added the outside border and quilted it.

I needed to come up with a star block in patriotic colors and decided to use some of what I had on hand.  The little 4 patch block in the center was only 3½" so I added a white frame to it.  And because I like flying geese units and I had some short cuts of 2½" strips, I made those into flying geese and went from there.  I wish the red half with the flying geese matched the red of the center square - but such is life!

I came across these designs at Kreations by Kara and thought they would look great in a Patriotic quilt.  There are 18 designs in the set - so have a few more to go!  but I do like them - sort of abstract.  The one on the top right took me a bit of looking to actually see the eagle - I was looking at it horizontal instead of vertical :-)
An update on my friend:  Her surgery to remove the cancer from her colon went well and the preliminary results are looking good.  Thank You, God. 
Have some sewing to get done - guess I'd better get to it.  I hate wind and we're having quite a bit of it.  It rained for about 2 minutes while we had full sun - gotta love AZ!  but the wind seems to blow my energy away with it, so think I'll go push myself to get something done!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Saturday

Some of my fabric postcards.  I have a 'few'....  These are some of the ones I've received.  My 16 yr old GD, Kari (the one who spends at least one day week with me learning to sew!), saw one that I hadn't put away and she fell in love with them.  So, next on our agenda of things to learn to make is a fabric postcard.  If you've read any of my previous posts, you know about the Viking machine I bought at the thrift store.  For those who don't know just real quick - it didn't work as I'd hoped, but did work.  Okay......well, I showed the machine to Kari and told her about all it's quirks, what worked, what didn't, and then proceeded to tell her that it was hers if she wanted it, but not to feel as though she had to take it.  I told her she could consider it a 'play' machine and then if she really decided that she really likes sewing, whether it be quilting, garment or artsy type, then maybe she'd have a better idea of what she'd really like to have in a machine and we'd go buy her what she wanted (within reason!).  She was thrilled.  Put together a sewing kit for her including rotary cutter and mat (along with a klutz glove!).  She pulled some FQ's out of my stash and some just plain muslin to 'play with'. When we got her home and had her dad help us cart all this stuff in, he said, "I guess I'm not going to get my train room - looks like I'll be making a sewing room" - He's a great dad and he has done a wonderful job with Kari.  Note here:  My daughter is Kari's mother but unfortunately has substance abuse issues and Kari has been raised by her dad.  Enough said on that front.
I am so enjoying the time with my granddaughter and she seems so eager to learn at every level that we sometimes are getting disjointed, but in a way, I think it's keeping her interested.  By not focusing on just one aspect of sewing/quilting and showing her different things that involve sewing - I think she's not getting bored with it.  So anyway, This is a good time being spent with a lovely young lady.
On a more serious note - found out yesterday that a very dear friend will be having surgery on Monday for colon cancer.  I haven't talked to her yet - her husband told me - but we'll be spending time together today.  I'm not sure what she'll need from me so I'll have to let her know right up front that she'll have to be bluntly honest and just tell me.  I'll be there for her for whatever - moral support of course, but if she needs to rant and rave, cry, laugh - or just sit with someone and be quiet.    But today we will be out in the AZ sunshine, riding our ATV's and enjoying what God gave us and while I'm out there, I'll be asking God to please watch over my friend and give her strength.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Question about surprises.

Kitty at  asked a series of questions (4)   One of those questions was "do you like surprises?"  I answered "they make me cry"  and because I did not want to hog someone elses blog space, I decided to tell my last 'surprise' story here on my own blog!
A few years ago we started Christmas day with a nice breakfast.  When my son came in he was carrying a package of pork chops and he asked me to cook them up for him.  His wife was appalled because I'd already had a nice big breakfast going.  I told him of course I would because after all he is the baby and he has always been spoiled - why stop now?!  Okay, so it's been a sort of joke every since - David brings his own food so he can have what he wants - sort of thing.
This Christmas my son pulls up out back - not unusual - he often has things he puts in the shop.  But everyone was getting settled in the living room and we were still waiting on my son and husband.  Finally, they get in and the kids are anxious to get at their gifts.  After a couple of gifts had been passed, my son hands me a gift bag and it's a baby shower bag.  Now mind you the last baby was a surprise and son has since had a vasectomy, so I looked at the bag and told him "you better not be trying to tell me something" and he just laughed.  So I pulled the tissue paper out of the bag and there in the bag was a brisket.  So I looked at him and said, "so are you trying to tell me what you want for Christmas dinner?" and he said "maybe" and all of a sudden it hit and I jumped up and said "you bought me a smoker!" and when he smiled, I knew what had kept him outside so long - I ran out and sure enough there on my back porch was a nice propane smoker and I started to cry.  I smacked him and said, "you made me cry on Christmas".  It was a bit later that I learned my 7 yr old grandson (his son) had come in and told his mom, "he made my grandma cry!  If he does it again, I'm going to turn his world upside down"  Hearing that almost made me cry again.  It's a wonderful feeling to know how loved I am - God has blessed me so much and I'm so very grateful!  OH, and how did I know it was a smoker?  Well, my son and I tend to think alike and a couple weeks before Christmas he'd called me and asked me my opinion on smokers and we discussed what I felt would be better for him and the pros and cons of the different type - little did I know at the time he'd called to pick my brain about what I'd actually like!
So how about you?  Do you have a story to share about favorite surprises??

Katie who really does love the thought that goes into surprises!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Just because.....

Guess I better post something - just because...... Had a very busy week last week so not much time spent in the sewing room.  I have managed to get a couple quilts quilted and that's about it.  I was in a thrift store on Sat. and ended up purchasing a used Viking machine with the intention of giving it to my 16 yr old GD.  It's a 1980 electronic machine with plug in cassettes for decorative stitches.  Only a couple problems - the reverse sewing doesn't work - therefore many of the decorative stitches don't stitch out right and the biggie -  the stitch length regulator doesn't work.  I'd guess it's probably sewing 20 stitches to the inch.  So, all in all, the machine is usable and I don't feel like I wasted my money but will give my GD the choice of whether she wants it or not.  With that  tight a stitching, she may pay real close attention to her sewing - I know I wouldn't want to rip out something that tight :-)  DH mentioned taking it into a Viking dealer to have it serviced, but I know the Viking dealer will charge $79 for a basic maintenance and frankly, I could buy a new machine for just a bit more than that and have a warranty, so maybe GD can use this for awhile and then have a better idea of what she would really like in a machine.
Okay, hope everyone is being more productive and creative than I am :-)

til next time,