Friday, August 24, 2012

checking in

Happy Friday!  This is just a checking in post to say "please don't abandon me"..... No pictures and no finishes right now.  I seem to be doing more reorganizing than any actual construction of anything.  I had Darlene H. from QFC send me four sets of embroidered squares that need to be put into a quilt.  She sent me 3 sets of realistic cars and a set of 'gone fishing'.  Looking at my stash for fabrics that are 'manly', I find I don't have much.   Most of the males quilts I've made have been for my grandsons and they are young and still are okay with sports and 'cutsey' type fabric....  I do have some fabrics that I think will work with the 'gone fishing' theme.  I'm just hoping I have enough.  I'll probably do something along the lines of strip piecing.
So, until next time, I do hope you're all having more creative adventures than me :-)


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Question time

I'm simply curious this morning.....I really enjoy the creativity of quilting.  I like the use of colors and patterns.  I use my EQ5 (yes I know it's outdated!) to 'draw' out ideas I have rambling around in my brain.  I  rarely use the same pattern twice.  And that is my question - Do you tend to stick to a favorite tried and true? or are you always on the 'prowl' for something different?  Are you drawn to the 'newest' block/quilt patterns that are floating around blog land?  and what about fabric lines?  Quite frankly, I can't afford to buy all LQS fabrics.  I keep telling myself I WILL use up my stash.... well, maybe in my next life time.  What about books?  When I first started quilting, I loved books!  I bought books (and the specialty rulers that went with them)!  I bought magazines and subscribed to several!  Now, I look at a book, put it back.  I look        at the cover of a magazine, put it back.  Rulers - well, I'm still a ruler junky, but not so much what's considered 'specialty' or a ruler that was designed specifically for a certain quilt pattern.  My quilt book shelf has gone from a full shelf to less than a half shelf and could probably be trimmed even more....  My last book was the "Farmer's Wives" book and I did get the companion CD for EQ.  I will, maybe someday, get those blocks done.  I also got on the 'craze' for the "Dear Jane" quilt - well at this point in time I'd have to say that was a total waste of money for me.  I think I have made 4 blocks ......
That's it for my curiosity for now.  If you have any other questions that you'd like to ask ME, please just ask away...


Monday, August 13, 2012

Some days…..

In one of my previous posts I mentioned about my Christmas quilt and the pattern I was thinking I would use.  Well, here is block #1":

IMG_1671I was going to use a gold trees on white print:

The background is more of a creamy color than white, but what made me decide against the gold trees was that it is a directional fabric and I was already working with the wording on the red.


I feel I’m pretty good at paper piecing with minimal waste….. ummm, not today.   The segments of the sides of the center triangle pieces was a bear to get the right size.  Here’s my first try:

IMG_1649Needless to say, that’s way too much waste for me – even if it does mean scraps!  And I didn’t like that the wording was ‘crooked’ (see the picture of the completed block – the bottom segment).  Well, due to the beauty of EQ, I printed out the templates, cut out about ½” larger, traced that onto a piece of foam board and there was my rotary cutting template:

IMG_1651and now my wording (see top segment) is more horizontal!  And a whole lot less waste…..

IMG_1652Once I managed to get the template thing figured out, it did not take long to make this block.  Once sewing the four sides on like I was adding a mitered border, the “Y” seams were a breeze:

IMG_1668A lot easier folding that small center block in half diagonally then a whole quilt when you’re doing a mitered border!  Now to get designs for the center squares embroidered and I’ll be ready to sit and do more paper piecing.

And remember, I told you about my desk?  I am so please with it.  It sure dresses up the sewing room. 

IMG_1638It has so much space in it.  I have really old, really large computer accessories that they take up a whole lot more space than I’d like, but I won’t replace them until I have to.  I’ll show a picture later when I get everything settled in…..

‘til next time……


Saturday, August 11, 2012

More Scraps

Headed into Tucson this morning to use a 50% off JoAnn's coupon for a roll of batting.  Got home and saw some bags in the carport.  I asked DH if he was expecting someone to drop something off to him.... ummm nope.  He picks the bags up and says, "looks like clothes"  What???? I ask him, "you mean maybe material?"  "oh, yeah, Maybe that's it."  Okay, so who's left me fabric....I go in, listen to the answering machine and sure enough a friend left me bags of fabric - more specifically, bags of scraps.  Now this friend does not know my love/hate relationship with scraps.  All she knows is that I quilt.  I call her up to thank her for the scraps, wondering where she got them as she doesn't sew.  She was at a yard sale yesterday and the lady had 'grab bags' of scraps.  My friend thought of me and grabbed some bags.  I am so appreciative of her thoughtfulness.  I truly am, but wasn't I just saying not too long ago it was time to get control of my scraps?!?!   Now I will make her something to show how much I appreciate her.
Also today I scored a really nice desk.  I've had one of those clunky huge metal military style desk that was my 'office' area in my sewing room.  I've been talking about wanting an armoire type set up to replace it.  I go into my favorite thrift store today and lo and behold here's this nice desk with the hutch.  Oh, Oh... it also has a $500 price tag on it.  It's an Ethan Allen desk and I'm not going to pay that much for something to just replace something that is already functional.  Long story short.... I get the desk for $150 and they will take my metal desk and an oval oak coffee table I've been wanting to get rid of also.  They will deliver the desk tomorrow, then it will be more rearranging of the sewing room.... but it will so be worth it.

Happy Weekend to all,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Playing in EQ

I have an older version of EQ – it’s EQ5 and I think EQ is now up to 7??  I don’t think I can even upgrade to 7 at this point…. maybe I ought to check it out…..

Do you have a Christmas quilt?  I’m talking one that you wrap up in during the holidays and let the warmth of the season comfort you.  Is it a quilt that simply screams CHRISTMAS?  I have a Christmas quilt, but it’s subtle.  It was made from swap blocks where we all had to use the Hollywood & Vines line from 3 Sisters (moda).   So, I’ve been thinking I want to make a screaming Christmas quilt… Several years ago, my sister hit JoAnn fabrics after Christmas and bought a bunch of Christmas fabrics and sent them to me (sis doesn’t sew).  My plans were/are to make Christmas stockings for charities, but there is one fabric that is red with white lettering – the wording is “bah humbug” – not very fitting for a charitable cause, but sort of fits me during the holidays …  I’m planning to embroider some fun type Christmas designs and using this “humbug” fabric.  I was thinking of a ribbon star block, but then I got to playing in EQ and came up with this:

Christmas quilt_thumbthe white squares indicate where I would insert Christmas embroidery.  I wanted the tan/gold to help tone down the brightness of the red and green.  Still not sure what quilt block design I’ll use – figure I still have a couple of months to get it done……

Need to get busy (translated “get off the computer”) as today is the hubbie’s birthday and we have friends coming over for a BBQ this evening.  I have the veggies ready for the grill.  The cake is made.  The watermelon cut up.  I will cube up pork and chicken for skewers and get them into a marinade and will make some bread this afternoon…..

Hope everyone has a great day..


Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend work

No finishes to talk of but I did get a bit accomplished:


This quilt will be donated to a teen boys home in Pittsburgh, PA.  I chose the gold thread on black as those are the colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team – and we all know how boys like their football!  I will quilt this using a freehand flame motif.  I need to practice a bit as I plan on using a red thread which will definitely show up on the black.  I did have to change out the tension spring on the quilter, so need to use a practice quilt to set tension IMG_1635anyway…..

Also worked on a couple Farmer’s Wives blocks:

IMG_1634On the right is Birds in Air.  I used HST units cut from trims from a previous quilt – I almost threw those little bitty things away!  I did not have matching fabrics for those HST’s but I think I did an okay job of matching the colors…. On the right is Bouquet.  More fabric from the scrap bin.  Which lead me to do this:

IMG_1636I took a couple hours, sorted by color and put into bags.  I took anything 2½” or smaller and put it into a strip pile as I’m still working on these:

Someday I may actually have enough to do something with!IMG_0317

I still have a filing cabinet full of odd pieces of fabric.  I also keep a trash can next to my cutting table for ‘scrap sized’ pieces that still need to be sorted.  We’ll see how far I actually get, but it’s time I get some sort of control over my fabric.  Actually, I really need to see what I actually have and use what I have.  I’m on a mission to use up my older fabrics….. Again, we’ll see how far that goes.

Hope everyone has a great week,


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Smart ? Phone

Disclaimer: This post is NOT quilt or even sewing related, sorry….

Cell phones, Mobile phones, land lines, smart phones…. okay, all used for communication purposes.  Some even send photos…. but the “smart” phone.  I guess it’s a little computer, GPS, camera all built into one little device.  But, hello……. Not everyone uses a smart phone.  I’m seeing all sort of things pop up about ‘just scan for coupon with your smart phone’ – okay, so how do you get a coupon if you don’t have a ‘smart’ phone???  Or “scan here with your smart phone for more info”, so where do I go to get more info???  SO, do I need to get some sort of scanner for my computer for use at home? 

I have a cell phone – it’s a pay as you go sort of thing. very basic and I pay $20 every 3 months to keep it active.  I have well over $60 worth of time still available and it’s time to add the $20 already… SO, do I really need a ‘smart’ phone?? I’m at home 90% of the time.  I can use my computer, I can use my camera and download into computer, I have a GPS for use in the car and I even still have a land line that works when I lose electric power (which fortunately is rare)

Okay, so someone please explain to me why I should have a ‘smart’ phone…  and tell all these businesses that not everyone owns a smart phone!



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

As Promised!

Finally – I have some pictures for you….

IMG_1611This  quilt is made from orphan blocks that were set into rows then made into the quilt.  I personally love row quilts – I’ve been in one Row Robin and I so enjoyed it and absolutely love the quilt that was created from that ‘robin’.

IMG_1614I embroidered the burgandy color blocks and sent them onto Mickey M. from QFC (Quilters for Comfort), she then embroidered the navy blocks and assembled this quilt, sent it back to me for quilting > here’s a few close-ups:
IMG_1615IMG_1617I quilted this using a varigated red, white & blue thread.  I wanted to outline the blocks and then do a simple stipple to help the designs stand out.  I then just used a sort of serpentine stitch around the squares.


This is another quilt assembled by Mickey M. from QFC.  I sent her the jeep designs and she put them into this quilt.  Returned to me for quilting.  I did a simple free motion meander on this – the stack-n-whack blocks did not require much in the way of quilting – of course, as everyone knows, I’m a simple freehand quilter…..


This quilt I made for my DIL  to give to a friend of hers that is undergoing treatment after following surgery to remove a brain tumor.  I came across the cross print and decided on the dark pink and blue as I simply am not much of a pastel person.  I liked the idea of pairing the print with the embroidered angels.  This is layered with flannel instead of a traditional batting.   I wanted it to be warm without being ‘heavy’.  I hope it brings some comfort to my DIL’s friend.  I believe my DIL had planned on taking the quilt to her Bible study group to have it ‘prayed over’……

I’ve started on my next projects – yes that’s plural….. I’m embroidering some really cute cats that I’m anticipating putting into a quilt for youngest granddaughter.  I’m also working on a quilt for QFC that is motorcycles embroidered using yellow gold thread on black fabric squares.  I will be using a flame print fabric with more black & red solid fabrics to create the quilt.  The quilt will be sent to PA to be donated to a teen boy’s home.

So are you watching the Olympics?  I’m trying to keep up.  There are some events that I simply don’t care much for.  I’m proud of the USA and the athletes that are representing us but there is a ton of talent at the Olympics and I appreciate all the hard work and sacrifices these athletes have undergone to get to these ‘games’.