Saturday, June 30, 2012

Some Updates

As promised, I have some photos to share.  I told you about my practicing feathers….. I still haven’t got the quilt bound but I will share with you my feathers.  I rarely show close up of my quilting because in my opinion it leaves a lot to be desired, but I’ve been told I’m my own worst critic – and I guess it’s not horrible, so here you go:

IMG_1564Doing the circles gives me an opportunity to make feathers going many different directions.  I find with larger feathers I am not very consistent.  This is a large ‘block’ at 16”.  I need to make myself several size circle templates so I can get some registration marks to help with my consistency of size.  I put ‘vanes’ in the center of the outer feathers – not sure I like it or not – maybe if the feathers were more consistent,….

IMG_1565A little better here – still need work on the larger size feathers.  I did just straight line feathers in the borders using a different technique – if you look top and bottom, you’ll see the feathers are going opposite directions.  This was more practicing making feathers in different directions.

IMG_1503I told you about this quilt here.   This shows the blocks laid out, it has since been assembled.  I’m undecided about a border fabric.IMG_1504Here’s a bit of a close up.  I thought about a navy as there is some navy in the darker print.  But I think it would be a bit over whelming….. I’m also thinking of just a very narrow (maybe 1/2”) navy with a 4” border in white….. And then again, I might not border it all.  But I really love the colors in this quilt, so I’m thinking this is going to be a keeper for me.

IMG_1566These are the placemats  where I learned a valuable lesson – Don’t use straight grain binding on curved edges!   Looking at the mat on the left, you can see where the mat curls up a bit whereas the mat on the right lays nice and flat.  I just used 2½” strips, stitching and flipping (quilt as you go), trimmed to 15” X 17” then just used a dinner plate to cut the curved corners… quick and easy and most of all I used SCRAPS!

And talking about strips….. a fellow blogger was kind enough to send me some “scrap bags of the month” from Keepsake Quilting.  I took one and cut it into 2½” strips so I could do one of those “Jelly Roll Race” quilts.  I wanted a wider quilt so I added wide borders to the side, but leaving the top and bottom borders at 2½” to better blend with the  ‘body’ of the quilt:

IMG_1567I will be sending this quilt, as well as the ‘feather practice’ quilt to Michelle as per this post by Bonnie Hunter to help with the fire victims in Colorado.

I am still embroidering “Sea Birds” and I really think they’re cute.  Not sure they’re a perfect match for the panels I plan on using, but as most of you know “I am no perfectionist

I wish you all a very safe and happy 4th of July and if you are a reader living outside the U.S. – I wish you a safe and happy week.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

well… actually….

I don’t have pictures, yet, but I have actually worked on a few things.  Guess I wasn’t in a slump – just needed to acquire some energy……  I quilted the quilt I had on the frame.  I want to get better at making feathers, so that’s what I practiced on that quilt (pictures will come later, I want to bind it first).  My friend came and got her quilt quilted.  The TL wasn’t playing nice with her (might have been user error…..) I walked into the room and didn’t like what I heard, so I asked her to stop the machine.  BIG loopies on the back.  Took about 40 minutes to pick that all out.  But it all worked out and she was happy.  I started sewing up hubby’s shirt.  I’m using a new pattern, marked all the dots and ended up having to tear out both pockets as the western yoke didn’t match up.  The points of the front yoke are the ‘flaps’ over the pockets…. I will have to make up my own yoke pattern and throw those pattern pieces away!  While I was working on that, I was embroidering a set of designs, Sea Birds from Ace Points.  I have some pillow panels that have ‘sea birds’ on them that are close to these designs and I will put it all together in a quilt.  Thinking I need to make up some flying geese units for this quilt – no real plans as yet, but it will come together when I get to that point Winking smile  I really enjoy working with curves – am I nuts?  - maybe…….. I pulled out one of my curved rulers and played.  I have an idea in mind and it might work, not sure yet but when I get it figured out, I’ll let you know.

I will have Kari today.  She needs to practice her parallel parking so she can get her driver’s license and grandma has a small car (her dad has a pick up).  Not sure what else we’ll do.  Maybe today would be a good time to have her help me incorporate the fabric I bought at the estate sale into my stash, which will mean clearing off the shelf and ‘restocking’…

Pictures next time – I promise Smile


Thursday, June 21, 2012

okay, who hid it?

Hid what? you ask….. my energy, my ambition, my creativity, my…. well, you get the picture.  I’m in another slump.  Probably not really a slump, probably more just simply ticked off…..I need to replace the tension spring on the Tin Lizzy again.  That is a real PITA to do and I’m avoiding doing it, but I have a quilt on the frame and a friend who is wanting to use my unit as her machine is in the shop…..Maybe I can convince DH to get it done after I cook him one of his favorite dishes for dinner.

I’ve spent the previous 3 days babysitting g-kids while their parents (my son and DIL) went to Vegas.  DIL has had some stress stemming from her family and my son decided it would be nice to get her away for some fun time – it was good for both of them.  As for me and 3 kids, well let’s just say I’m not as young as I used to be.  And what kid wouldn’t try to pull something over on gramma?!  They found out real quick that gramma isn’t a push over….. Overall they are really well behaved kids and I enjoyed them.

I had taken some yarn for knitting, a couple patterns and fabric to cut a couple outfits out for the G-daughter, and never took any of it out of the truck…The yarn is back in the knitting bag next to my chair.  The fabric and patterns are still out staring at me…….  Maybe I’ll get an increase in energy tomorrow and get those cut out.  I already have a blouse for me and a shirt for the hubby cut out, sitting next to the machine waiting to be sewn up.  If I get a surge and get the quilt on the frame done, I’m thinking I’ll be doing some embroidery while I sew up a few garments. 

So for now, nothing on the quilting front…….


Thursday, June 14, 2012

This is really more of a rant.... I don't blog everyday. Why? well because sometimes what I have to say isn't even interesting to me!  I did sign my blog up on when I first started blogging.  I enjoy reading the blogs and have found a lot of interesting patterns, techniques, etc... from reading blogs.  There are a lot of quilters and crafters willing to share their talents.  The generosity of others is always so appreciated.  I have to say here that has a lot to offer and what annoys me - well, it just does...... The site did a bit of revamping a while back (sorry, some things are better left alone) and the side bar advertising scrolls as you scroll down the page.  After a short time, that darn scrolling gave me a headache.  Well, I fixed that!  By doing a 'minimizing' of my screen, it blocks out the ad.  The thing that is annoying me lately,  I can read the blogs from one page, and three pages over... it's the same as page one.    I can go, say, 8 pages, and in those 8 pages there will be duplicates at least twice, usually more!  Now, I don't know how that all operates.  I don't know how the blogs appear.  I don't know if they're read by someone, approved and then posted.  Maybe the blogs are read by more than one person and that's why there is duplicate posting...... Anyway....... as much as I enjoy reading the blogs, I don't enjoy seeing the same post over and over and over again......
Just my opinion (or rant)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And today I will…..

Today I will…. who knows what I will do Smile.  I know,  you thought I was going to give some great declaration.  But, alas, I have doing more puttering than any actual creating.  I am drawn to my scrap bin and I don’t know why.  Well, I do love scrap quilts but rarely make one.  I look at my fabrics and nothing is jumping out at me, encouraging me to cut into them.  So I pull the scrap bin out.  Today I was looking at the slide show on Bonnie Hunter’s blog  Jared Takes a Wife and I really like that block.  So, today, I may pull out the scrap bin and start making up some 4 patch blocks.  Then I can find some fabrics that call to me to put with the little 4 patches to create the block…..

Yesterday, I did work on making some little mug rugs/snack mats for the ladies who will attend Sew Fest (just a month away).  I used some Patriotic themed scraps I’ve had for quite some time.  So this morning (after I start the laundry), I will finish those.

I did do a stitch and flip, sort of quilt-as-you-go method, for place mats.  I pulled out the left over bindings I’ve shoved in a drawer (back to that scrap thing).  Pressed open and in no time had 4 – 15 X 17” rectangles done.  I decided I wanted to round off the edges as I have a round table.  Then because I’m ‘scrapping’, I used more ‘left overs’ to bind.  Note to Self:  Use bias binding (not cut on the grain binding) for curved edges!.  Guess who’s curved corners are curling up on her place mat?!  Maybe I can use that one for one of the g-kids and if they spill anything it will contain it – but maybe I’d have to scotch gard it??? ah never mind, I’ll just make another one.  SO now, I have to cut some bias strips to made some bias binding if I expect my place mats to lay flat……

Sew, guess I do have things ‘in the works’… now to just get working on them….

Until next time – “If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.”


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Heirloom? Antique? Old?

Now that is the question!  When you look at this picture, what do you see:

IMG_1533Do you see just an old quilt?  Would it be considered an antique?  Is it an heirloom quilt?  I think those of us who aren’t quilt historians or true collectors would have our own opinions.  If I saw this quilt at a “thrift” store, I’d pass it by because it is in pretty bad shape:

IMG_1534The seams are coming apart.  If you look closely, you can see that the batting was probably a flannel.  The blanket stitching securing the Dresden blades is coming apart:

IMG_1535And the fabrics are so faded it’s hard to really tell what the pattern or even the colors of some fabric were:

IMG_1536So, how would you classify this quilt?  Me? Well, this quilt was made for my brother and he was born in January 1952.  My mom used it for me and my sister, who was the ‘baby’ born in 1961.  It has seen countless washings.  The lady who made this quilt was referred to as “Grandma Corey” and she was not related.  But she probably made a baby quilt for every new baby born in our small town in the U.P of Michigan. 

Is this an OLD quilt?  Well, I can’t say yes, because that would make me old Smile

Is this an ANTIQUE quilt?  Well, probably not.  Here is the definition of antique:

A collectible object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its considerable age.

I doubt this quilt has a “high value”.  So…. is it an HEIRLOOM?  Again, if you look at the ‘definition’ >

A valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations

It isn’t even considered an Heirloom….  But that’s all to the general public.  To me it is an extremely valuable piece of art.  It has a history.  It has wrapped 3 babies in it’s love.  And like me, it has seen better days and is a little tattered and even coming apart at the seams…. so maybe it could be considered old…….  To me this IS a family Heirloom…..

This quilt has both machine and hand work.  The Dresden plates appear to have been hand pieced and as you can see, hand stitched to their squares. But the actual construction of the blocks have been machine stitched.  The quilt has a machine stitch around the entire outside edge.  Then the quilt was tied.  Over time, the ties have either come out or have worked out of the front.  I don’t have a picture, but from the backside of the quilt, there are still tie stitches visible.  I have been acquiring fabrics in hope of producing 3 quilts similar to this.  I can’t say reconstructing or copying as I know I’ll never find the exact fabrics.  I will use similar colors and size of prints.  I know the yellow was probably much brighter that it is now.  Once I get those quilts done my brother, sister and I will each have one.  I plan on having this actual quilt professionally framed and then the decision will be made as to which of us will ‘own’ the original quilt.  I doubt my brother even knows the original quilt actually is still in existence.  My sister?  I don’t know how she would feel about it.  When we came across this quilt when my mom passed, she said, “Oh, here’s my baby quilt.”  I told her it was actually made when my brother was born – it sort of took the wind out of her sails.  Me?  I love the quilt because of all it is.  But whichever one of us ends up with the original, I think I am very fortunate to have been wrapped in the quilt’s love.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Little here, a little there

Seems like I’m just puttering these days.  Getting a little done here and there which I guess eventually will add up to something…..

I love Ace Points designs for embroidery.  I did these Delft Eagles to send on to the ladies of QFC who are attending Sew Fest this year:

IMG_1531While I was at it, I thought I’d make up a set of ‘filler’ quilt blocks to go with the Eagles:

IMG_1530I used the ‘tube’ method and I don’t know why…. I’ve worked with it before and, really, I don’t much care for it.  Maybe it’s the “I’m going to conquer it” attitude I sometimes get.  Anyway, the blocks end up measuring 13½” unfinished, so I will have to frame out the Eagle blocks.  I would like to keep to a more blue color scheme in honor of the Delft…. I’m thinking a navy blue that is more on the blue side than the black side.  Does that make sense to you?  Some ‘navy’ blues are more blue and some are more black – at least in my brain…. or maybe what I think is blue Navy is considered indigo???? whatever – I have an idea in my brain, now to find the fabric!

I went back to the ‘Estate’ sale and scored about 15 yards more in fabric, a pattern, and a ruler I’ve never seen anywhere before:IMG_1532It has slots at different partial inch intervals.  I don’t know what this is used for, but I think it’ll come in handy….I picked up a ziplock bag with 6 quilt magazines from the late 1990’s.  One was a Christmas issue still in it’s plastic covering.  I don’t think any of these magazines had ever been opened.  I have to say here that I didn’t become a ‘quilter’ until 2001 – you’d have to read “about me” to get the whole story – so I really have enjoyed going through these magazines and have actually marked a couple quilts I’d like to try my hand at.  I’m thinking I need to go back and go through more magazines Smile

Scored a few other items that I knew I just had to have…. DH shakes his head but indulges my whims – guess I’ll keep him.

Happy Friday to All,


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kari quilts

My 17 yr. old granddaughter, Kari, finished her first, totally sewn and quilted by her quilt:

IMG_1528I think she did a wonderful job!  She is going to give this to her dad for Father’s Day – I know he’s going to love it.  The hard part for her will be waiting until then Smile

I finished up the last of the QFC quilts I had waiting for me:

IMG_1521This one you’ve seen before when I was trying how to figure out the ‘center’ of the quilt.  I quilted it in a simple free hand meander.

IMG_1522This is such a cute quilt.  I love the embroidered animals that Mickey M. used.  Far from perfect but here’s how I quilted it:

IMG_1523I really need to work on corners!

And here are the total quilts that will be sent to Alabama later today:


and another angle:


I have a Patriotic quilt kit I’m putting together to send off for the ladies going to Sew Fest.  I’m unable to attend this year and it’s driving me crazy!!!!!  Quilters for Comfort also does Aug/Sept cause as our last endeavor of the year then it’s time for working on those holiday projects…Can’t believe it’s so quickly approaching!  For Aug / Sept. the cause is for a boys home and I’m thinking some sort of motor vehicle – motorcycles – what boy doesn’t like a motorcycle?!

And then there’s this little cutie:

FeatherweightMy Featherweight….. I’ve written about her before – my dad was going to throw her away in a dumpster!  I rescued her and taught all my kids to sew on her.  Yesterday while Kari was working on her quilt, I pulled her out and did some sewing (you can see my strips bunched up behind her).  She’s not in pristine condition and her box is in really bad shape (and smells awful!).  She lived in a rickety old storage shed for who-knows-how-many years.  I have scraped the old peeling paint off the bottom of her and repainted – but I’ve been thinking of giving her a face lift!  I see pictures of the little colorful Featherweights, I’ve seen them at quilt shows – they’re so cute…. but quite frankly, I am not going to pay several hundreds of dollars to have someone paint my machine.  Looking at her yesterday, I think between the hubby and myself, we could probably do a pretty good job of fixing her up.  I would love to see her a beautiful lavender color.  And you can buy those gold paint pens….. I could trace and cut stencils for her decorative trim….  Just some stuff I’m thinking about….

Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesdayl


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Update on fabric find…..

What fun – I wish you could have all been there – well, except that would have been less for me, so…

IMG_1505So here is the neat version.  Fabric all nicely folded (most of it is yardage), some patterns (all vintage), batting, a couple “gifts in a jar” books that I plan on giving to my DIL as she does a lot of small gifting to teachers and the like, and a new pair of sandals for Kari (my granddaughter) who wears a size 10.  I have to say here the lady who owned all this had really good taste.  I think she was quite a classy lady.  I wish I was a few sizes smaller, I would have come home with not only fabric, but a ton of clothes and shoes (I only wear a 7.5) as well!   Anyway……

IMG_1506Here’s the fabric a bit more pulled out.  There actually was more clothing than fabric and a lot of the fabric was for garment sewing.  There was some super cute printed corduroy but not much call for that in Arizona…. and wool… again not something that is needed in AZ and I don’t work with wool because I’m allergic…Yes, I did think of those penny rugs that was popular a while back…

IMG_1507I’ll show you some of the fabrics a little closer now.  The fabric on the left is ‘seed packets’.  Not sure what I’ll do with that, but I really liked the colors and all.  The fabric on the left is tea pots and flowers – another “I don’t know” but I liked it.

IMG_1508I liked the tea cups and saucers.  I may be looking at my embroidery designs for some tea pots and do some combining of the two fabrics…

IMG_1509Strawberries!  This lady must have had a real love of strawberries as there was A LOT of strawberry fabric.  Guess who will be making a strawberry quilt ?!

IMG_1510It doesn’t show up real well in this photo, but there is quite a bit of gold outlining on the print.  I really like the black background of this fabric and there’s about 3 yards of it.

IMG_1512This fabric was all rolled together, so I’m assuming the lady had a plan for these.  They are all quarter yard cuts.

IMG_1513Sunflowers must have been another one of her loves.  I also liked the squared daisy fabric and the yellow gingham print would work well with all this fabric.

IMG_1514Birdhouses…. Now that’s a love of mine!  I really liked that the print of these fabrics was of a more neutral nature.  Most of what you find in birdhouses is on pale blue or white backgrounds. 

IMG_1516These were all rolled together, too.  I think these are all from the same ‘design set’ and are all 1/8th yard cuts.

IMG_1518Apples!  Sort of unusual colors but I liked them.

IMG_1519Here they are again in greenish but there was only the border print with this one – I’m actually thinking this fabric would make up into cute placemats….

IMG_1520And just some miscellaneous…..

I started washing fabric after I got it home.  It looked really clean, was nicely folded and in totes, but I was not sure where it had been stored. SO 5 loads later and one more to go….

I was reminded that they will still be getting another truckload next week and would be ready for sale by Wed…. Now I have to decide if I really need to add more to my stash….

Hope you enjoyed my adventure with me, 

Til next time


Friday, June 1, 2012

And the FUN begins…….

My idea of fun and yours are probably very different… and really I might be totally out of my mind on this one…..

Back up to this past Wed.  Had a Dr’s appointment in Tucson with a date to pick up my g-kids for a sleep over on the way home.  I stopped at this place in Catalina (just north of Tucson) where it’s like a ‘never ending’ yard sale.  I bought some sheets for quilt backings and was talking to the gal about fabric as I was leaving (she’s also a quilter) and the guy who owns the ‘yard sale’ asked me about fabric and he recognized me from being ‘in’ before.  I told him I’m always on the look out for fabric.  He tells me, “we have tons of fabric”  I tell him, “no, I looked and you have very little”  Long story short, he takes me out to an 18 foot enclosed trailer where tote, upon tote, upon tote of fabric is piled.  He ‘bought’ an estate where the lady was a hoarder of fabric and craft stuff.  He was unloading this trailer so he could go and pick up another load.  He told me he was overwhelmed and wasn’t sure how to deal with all the stuff.   I gave him some ideas – something to think about and told him I’d be back Friday (today) morning.  So… with friend in tow, I will be heading down very soon to see what all is entailed with helping this guy…..  I guess you could say ‘I’m going to be working for fabric’  Smile  Not sure what I’ve got myself into, not sure if it will be for my benefit, but…… what the heck, it’ll be an adventure.

Stay tuned for pictures and an update