Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Already?

This has been the fastest week!  I guess I’ve been busy….. I did manage to get three quilts quilted and finished.  Started pressing and trimming a ton of HST’s that I will try to use to widen the Swap Block quilt.  I had a day of company on Thurs.  and a day of shopping with Kari yesterday.  I bought fabric for a special quilt.  My DIL has a friend who will be undergoing chemo and radiation after having a tumor removed from her brain.  My DIL put a call out for people to sit with her friend while friend’s husband is at work.  I am not a good nurse… especially with people I don’t know.  So I call my DIL and tell her I can make a quilt for her friend to take to her treatments.  My DIL has a Bible study group and I suggested that once the quilt is completed that her group have a prayer over the quilt.  DIL was excited over the idea, so I need to work on getting this quilt done ASAP.  I need to come up with a very simple, quick pattern.  I’m going to embroidery angels to incorporate into the quilt.   That’s my plan for the weekend – hoping for nothing to interfere…..

I live in Arizona.  We have ‘critters’ of the creepy crawly variety.  I live with it… they can be outside, but they are not invited in.  For some reason this summer I have been freaking out about scorpions… I don’t see many of them around our home and we live directly across from the desert… but for some reason.  One evening this past week, watching the news there was a report about scorpions, tarantulas and black widows being more prevalent in the city  than in the desert.  Now I live in a rural town, not really a city by any stretch of the imagination, but still… So I get up Thurs night, needing to use the bathroom.  Now I normally don’t turn any lights on at night, but I hear a scratching noise (and I have very poor hearing!), turn on the light and there in my bathroom sink is a not-so-cute scorpion.  Normally, I would have screamed bloody murder, cried for hubby to come…. but I’m home alone!  Crap, what’s a girl to do?  That critter can not stay and visit…. SO being the brave soul I am (NOT when it comes to those type of critters), I grab my closest flip flop and beat that critter to smithereens….. That said, while I was out shopping with Kari yesterday, I stopped at an extermination place and bought some super, heavy duty bug spray.  This morning I will have to mix a batch and start spraying.  Talking to my son last evening, telling him the story, telling him I have to put on a long sleeve shirt, a pair of gloves and pull everything out from under all the sinks to spray – he laughed at me!!  I think he was picturing me with the whole  ‘get-up’ and probably added goggles (maybe I need to find some of those too….)  but he does agree, the scorpions have got to go….. I’ve lived here for 34 years and this is only the third live scorpion I’ve had in my house.  Not really a bad number when you consider how close I live to the desert……

Better get myself busy if I’m going to get a quilt made and go on an exterminating expedition.

Thanks for reading.  Hopefully, I will finally have some pictures to show in my next post….


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sew much for……

I had such great expectations for myself this week.  I managed to get one Patriotic quilt quilted – the other three are still staring at me…… I planned to get some sort of scrappy border on the Swap Blocks quilt…. nope, didn’t happen.  I did manage, though, to take time to enjoy my son and his family.  They are so good to me!  Included me in a trip to a water park in Phoenix.  I was at first inclined to decline – after all, me & a bathing suit do not make a pretty picture – but I am what I am, so I went.  SO very glad I did.  I had such a really great time.  We’ll be going back before the end of the ‘season’ and I can hardly wait….. Most people know that I’m just a big kid at heart.  I’ve had people ask me “don’t you think you’re a bit old for that?”  WHAT???? Age is just a number and just because a calendar pushes me closer to social security doesn’t mean I have to stop participating in things I really enjoy doing.  I may be slowing down, but I’m sure as heck not giving up!  OH, dear, this could turn into a rant, so I’ll stop here… But in ending, all I can say is – Life is for living.  Life is NOT a spectator sport.  We all have our limitations.  There are things we may no longer be able to do the way we ‘used’ to, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things or other ways of doing what we love…. SO, I will continue to enjoy my life without regrets  AND… if someone doesn’t like the way I look in a bathing suit, then put on blinders!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Swap Blocks

IMG_1606These are blocks from several swaps from approximately 10 years ago.  I was just learning about color values, about the importance of a consistent seam allowance, the fact that not all rulers are created equal!  Most of the blocks in this quilt top are ones I received from fellow swappers, but there are also a few of my own.  I want this wider, not sure how I’m going to accomplish that, but I’m thinking of all those HST pieces I have from other quilts.  Maybe I can add a ‘sort of’ Sawtooth border on each side from those pieces and keep within the scrappy look.  I know I won’t add a consistent color border to this, I don’t think I want it ‘framed’….. but never know

IMG_1603And the strip quilt done in the Jelly Roll Race style is done and ready to send off to Michelle for donation to the fire victims of the Colorado wildfires.  I just did a sort of popcorn flower and ribbon meander on this - IMG_1604the prints are really too busy for much more elaborate quilting.

I did not attend Sew Fest this year, but I am still doing a little to feel like I am contributing.  I finished quilting one Patriotic quilt and have to get the backing pieced to get another on the frame.  I have four to quilt then I will bind them all once they’re quilted…. Guess I’d better get busy Smile


Monday, July 16, 2012

…..and where am I

Sew Fest……if you’ve followed me for a while, you know that Sew Fest is where a few ladies from QFC (Quilters for Comfort) get together for a week and sew quilts with a Patriotic theme and those quilts get donated to various veteran organizations, hospitals, etc… This year Sew Fest is being held in PA and I’m not there!  I am so sad about that.  We held the first Sew Fest in 2008 and met such a wonderful group of ladies and each year since has simply been amazing.  QFC (for those who don’t know) is a totally voluntary, on line group that has donated well over 1000 quilts to non-nationally recognized ‘causes’.  QFC, as well as all the wonderful ladies (and a couple gents) who help out, is very dear to me.  I’ve personally met many of the ‘volunteers’ and I have to say I truly believe that quilters have to be the most generous people in the world – to work so hard and give so much……  Guess I better add a note here: QFC doesn’t just do Patriotic quilts! We have donated quilts to NICU’s, cancer centers, women’s shelters, crisis nurseries, children’s camps, boys homes and the list goes on….

So here I am – home, in my sewing room – alone and sad that I’m not in PA sewing with friends and having the best week of the year.  So, what am I doing?  Well, as you all know, I have this love/hate relationship with my scraps.  Yesterday while I was brooding, I pulled out a basket of ‘swap blocks’ that I’ve had for probably 10 years (or more) and decided they’d make up a scrappy quilt.  Most were 6” (finished) blocks.  I had some 3” and I sewed them together to make 6” and started assembling into 12” blocks.  I also have some orphan 12” blocks that I will incorporate into this quilt.  Today, I will trim blocks (as not all blocks are created equal) and assemble the quilt and see just what I have.  It may not end up being a ‘pretty’ quilt, but I know it will at least add some warmth to a bed for someone…..

While I was going through and sorting the different swap blocks, naturally there were a few of my own in the mix.  It was interesting to take a look back in time and see my progression, not only in fabric choices but in skill level.  I’ve only been quilting since 2001.  Well, actually, I did take a class somewhere around 1980, but I can’t say I was a quilter.  I took that class with a friend because she was interested – me? not so much.  Again in 2001, I took another class with another friend because SHE was interested –me? not so much…. UNTIL, I put the quilt together and actually LIKED it.  And the discovery of the rotary cutter, ruler and mat helped a lot!  Okay, so now I’m just rambling, but I did enjoy seeing and discovering that I have, indeed, improved my skills over the years Smile


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Now to Quilt it

The Kaleidescope quilt top is finished:


I managed to get it completed before the hubby and I headed out Thurs. morning.  I really like the triple color border.  The most I’ve ever mitered before was 2 colors and those were each done individually.  I sewed the three stripes first then attached them together.  I like the miters and it’s easier than doing each border separate!

Sister-in-law wasn’t kidding about a mess in the house she purchased.  I’m not a neat freak, but I keep a relatively respectable house…. and how a person chooses to live is their business…. but I have never seen so much dirt and pet hair all in one place –ever!  The pet hair was so embedded in the carpet, I couldn’t get it to vacume out.  I shampooed the carpet and I truly got over a 3 gallon bucket full of pet hair that I had to pull off the brushes of the shampooer….. Anyway>>>>> 4 days of 10-12 hour days cleaning, scrubbing etc…. I’m tired and sore and sure could use a manicure….  Home for a couple weeks, then we go back to paint, lay tile, wash light fixtures and windows and who knows what else.  DH spent the 4 days working cleaning animal poop and weeds out of the yard and doing home exterior repair.  We’re both glad, though, that we’re able to help his sister. 

Katie who hopes I haven’t offended anyone with my critical assessment of someone else’s house keeping.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A bit more done

I had some fabric left over from DH’s shirt I was making.  This was fabric my hubby had chosen, and this is what I decided to make with the left overs:

IMG_1577As I was sewing the shirt, I got to wondering how it would make up in Kaleidescope blocks. 


Here are a couple close up.  I did make a bit of an error and if you really want to look close, you might find it……I needed 8 strips of exact cuts, but when I went to stitch up the first blocks, I realized I only had 7.  I had to cut an additional strip and it wasn’t perfect… but that’s okay, I still like the blocks and once the quilt is quilted, the imperfections won’t be as obvious.

I decided to sash the blocks with white and red cornerstones.  This picture shows how it will look – they aren’t sewn in the picture.  I did manage to get the body of the quilt assembled this afternoon, but I won’t post until I get the border done.


I’m thinking this will have a double border.  A narrow red with a wider blue. or I might make it equal wide strips of red, white and blue… Still a bit undecided about that one.

I will be MIA for a few days.  DH & I will be heading to Prescott Valley, AZ to help his sister.  She bought a foreclosed home, allowed the widow to live in the house until she found a place to move to.  Said widow left the house in really bad shape.  I know we will be tearing out carpet, painting, cleaning (inside and out) and possibly laying tile.  I think it’s awful that someone can repay a kindness by leaving such a mess….  Not sure I will have computer connection, so if you leave a comment and I don’t reply, it’s not because I don’t care, it’s because I probably won’t have read it yet.  Just be patient, I’ll reply as soon as I can.