Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September is over

There has been NO sewing/quilting here since Monday. So I walked around my yard (5 acres) to see what was going on in the Fall. As I stepped out I saw the sky.

It didn’t even look real.

I came upon wild Morning Glorys growing at the side of the driveway.

I wanted to get pics of them closed at the end of the day but keep forgetting to go out at that time.

I also got some pictures of one of the older trees here.

Look at the character. We are so lucky. We have these older oak trees all around the perimeter of our property, kind of like a very large fence.

I have been involved in routine household tasks and getting ready for my first WW class. Tuesday I was on the road : I drove DH to one of the campus’ where he is teaching and then I went to the local WW office to get all of my materials and learn, kind of, what all I need to do each week. After that I went to the Babylock dealer to get my machine back from being repaired. However, today I didn’t have any time to even check it out. This morning was taken up with finishing the laundry and reading all the WW material in preparation for my first class this afternoon. And, how did that go?, you ask. Well, it went great! The ladies in the class were responsive and after only one week, everyone had lost weight. I got a little nervous while weighing everyone: afraid I might write the wrong weight or weight loss, but we all got through it and the time went really fast. I have to say I drove home smiling all the way. But tomorrow, after I finish the WW paperwork, I will be in the studio and may not come out for a couple of days. One cannot go too long without a little sewing therapy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

this weekend

What do you know? I thought I was not getting anything done and instead I finished two small quilts this weekend.

I pieced leftover binding pieces from earlier kids quilts and I really like the effect. My guild donates kids quilts to local law enforcement agencies to give to children that have to be removed from their homes and this one will be going to that cause.

The other finish is for me. It was a mini quilt challenge given by Sandi of Legacy of Stitches through her Seasons yahoo list.
She gave us a mini quilt pattern and those who wanted could do it by a certain date: of course there was a prize, which I didn’t win. However, I love this little quilt and, when I come up with an appropriate hanger, will be putting it on my front door for the month of October. How cool is that?

Judy challenged people to each Monday show what was on their design wall and that way we attempt to keep things moving and getting done. Well, it seems to be working. Here is my design wall, as it looked Sunday afternoon.

And, as you can see, the mini quilt was unfinished when I took this picture then got finished and is off the wall now. The black and tan block is for a block exchange at guild. The Peony block, not yet finished, is part of an Eleanor Burns BOM at my local LQS. All I have yet to do is the appliqué but the machine I like doing appliqué with is the one I took to be fixed and will not be picked up until Tuesday so it will have to wait.

Interestingly, I don’t have another quilt in the making so I guess I better get busy. I am going to be working on quilting design planning for a gift quilt that I hope to get on the frame this week and for a Christmas quilt I made for us but didn’t quilt last year.

But for tonight I think I am going to read blogs, watch TV, and rest. Then tomorrow I will be out in the woods, looking for a hanger for my new mini quilt. lol

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Venture

Before I tell about that, I will say that this week has been busy. Monday, we already know, I made the Halloween mini quilt and then I worked on a couple of BOMs (nothing completed).

Tuesday I rearranged the cutting/pressing room in the studio so I can sit in my recliner and either see the TV or DH when he visits. This, of course, required me to clean off the pressing table and a cedar chest that is located there as well as the hide-a-bed so it was an adventure as well as work. Then I traveled 70 miles with DH and while he was teaching his class I took my sewing machine in for some repair. Of course, on the way home, we stopped to eat and found a wonderful steak house way out in the middle of nowhere.

This morning I continued work on BOMs as well as doing some appliqué using an older machine. Now that was interesting as it has been a while since I used the knee lift. That really takes some eye, hand, knee and foot coordination. Then, this afternoon, I showered and dressed nicely to begin a new venture. I am now a Weight Watcher leader. And I am really excited. I went to meet my new group, a WW at work meeting with a room full of teachers. The district manager met me there and led the meeting while I took down the weights and smiled. However, next week the meeting will be all mine. I haven’t worked for the last three years so even a couple of hours a week seems daunting right now. However, I feel that I have something to contribute and I have always loved helping others achieve their potential so I am really excited.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Frustration and Success

I have been unable to solve my “machine” problem so I will probably have to take it in for “fixin’.” I am going to call a dealer Monday and see if I can get it in next week. This, however, does not keep me from working on stuff: I have more than one machine, but I was humming right along on my appliqué and really hated to get bogged down.

However, I moved to my straight stitch machine and began working on a fabric bowl. I sewed fabric on lots and lots of clothes line and started the trimming. I had to push pretty hard to get the cord right up to the zipper foot so my right hand really hurts, the old arthritis, you know. I didn’t get all the trimming done but will try to get back to that on Monday. I did take pictures but I must have put them on the other computer. lol

Saturday I started quilting Fish, the charity quilt. And this is how it looks now: I finished it this afternoon. This was free motion: two types of meandering with some fish added in the borders.

I pieced the batting and it worked excellently as I can’t feel the joins.

And these are the strips I plan to use for the binding.

Saturday afternoon I decided to see if I could find the sewing machine needle recommended for the fabric bowls (resting some from the quilting). Neither of the fabric stores in our town had the needles so DH and I took off for NWFL to a LQS that I knew where they have a great selection of needles and sure enough, there was just what I wanted. And, of course, I purchased some fabric (only 1 yard) while I was there. This picture is also on the other computer so my next blog is already looking good. And, as long as we were out of state, we went on to a bigger town where we dropped some coin at Office Depot (ink and various office supplies), Moes (burritos) , and Publics (WW food we can’t get at home). And, lucky me, we got home in time to watch some college football.

This evening we are NOT watching football. DH has taken pity on me and we are watching movies. A nice way to rest from a very productive weekend.

See ya all next week.

Edit: I didn't have anything on my design wall this morning so I jumped up and made this mini quilt so I didn't look like I wasn't doing anything.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some work - Some play

So far this has been a great week. Monday I spent almost all day in the studio.

I squared up the Fish charity quilt, pieced batting (a tedious job) and found a piece of heavier shirting that was just the right size for backing. So Fish is on the HQ ready to quilt. I am still mulling over quilting ideas so I moved on to other things.

I worked on getting caught up on my calendar challenge strips: I had only completed through the middle of June so I had some catching up to do. I got June done, fabric picked out for all of July and August is almost complete. I also have strips ready for most of September and some for November and December. My next job in this area will be to get caught up on the appliqués for these strips. And I had been doing so well, too.

Then I spent some time on organization. Not the kind that results in a cleaner studio, oh, no! I made lists: UFOs, tops that need quilting, monthly BOMs and such, gifts I might make (ha, ha), and ideas for new projects. I put these in my day planner so I could refer to them as I go along and hopefully cross some off now and then. lol

Tuesday is laundry day at our house. So I spent the first few hours on the computer watching the first of two disks of “Mrs. King’s Gallery Baskets.” This is a workshop video to make fabric baskets and I can tell you that the DVD is very well done. It made me want to run right over to the studio, cut 1 ½” strips and get going. However, it still was laundry day and so far neither of the machines were making any noise. So I sorted and loaded the washer, good girl that I am, loaded the dishwasher, and decided what to fix for dinner (my turn in the kitchen). Then I decided that while everything was doing it’s thing, I would go grocery shopping. Now, I don’t know about you but the fact that the LQS is clear across town doesn’t mean that I can’t stop there before the grocery store, does it? So a few (quite a few) minutes were spent visiting with friends and buying fabric.

The picture is a little washed out, the background is a very pale green. This will be used as a backing for a gift quilt I am working on. That is all I bought. I usually do not buy fabric for a project, I prefer to buy because I like the fabric and then let it tell me when it wants to be used. But nothing in my stash wanted to be the backing for this particular quilt so I had to go fabric shopping. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The last pictures are of my hydrangeas. Look at how cute they are.
The three new buds are on the already blooming bush and the one bud is on the other bush. These bushes are only about 2’ high and the blooms are about 3-4” around but I am so excited.

And of course the roses just keep blooming and blooming.

Oh, and the laundry did get done. lol

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Is Football Season Over Yet?

It seems that Dish offers a special deal to be able to watch all the Big 10 football games. Ask me how I know. Football started Friday and was on ALL weekend. I must say that if I am at the stadium to watch a football game, I am a real fan and can yell with the best of them. But on TV, I don’t think so. But 3 solid days of football and I am so over it. Lol

So while the games were on, I spent all day Saturday in the studio. I worked on some paper pieced blocks I had been gifted by Pat and completed a quilt top that will be a gift so can’t be shown at this time. I, however, was really impressed that I got a complete top done in one day. The blocks were a little rough, some still had paper on them and some were made using cut away stabilizer and wash away stabilizer that had been “fused” to the back due to steam pressing. And, of course, they came in several different sizes. lol So, most of the morning was spent cleaning up the blocks and cutting the sashing strips and borders. The afternoon was spent sewing it all together. This is the layout that I have drawn: sorry I can’t show the work until later.

Sunday, because football continues all weekend, I worked on this charity quilt. Last week I cut out and sewed the blocks for this quilt, a D9P using shirting and fish fabric.

I had decided on no sashing between the blocks so it went together pretty quickly. All of the fabrics came from stash: I am so proud. Once I figure out a backing I hope to get this on the frame Monday and try a new panto on it. I really like these bright quilts.

Last week I finished the block at the top of this picture and was really excited. I had started this BOM in April or May and now I was caught up. Just as a matter of course, I counted my “finished” blocks and it came to only 7. “That couldn’t be right” I thought since I had just finished block 8. I got out all my instructions and low and behold, I hadn’t made block #7 cuz it wasn’t even in with the other patterns. But now I am all caught up, even have #9 done. These three haven’t been machine appliquéd yet but that will be part of next week’s work.

While I was working away in the studio today, DH was fixing brownies. Ask me how I know…

So, between daily rain and football, I have had a very productive weekend. How about you?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Sunday I quilted South Seas and Monday I sewed the binding on. This has been one of the easiest quilts I have ever done.

Last night I took South Seas and Alabama Escargot to guild to show off. I love showing my quilts but the guild has so many excellent quilters that I usually feel a little intimidated and “less than” when I am showing mine.
The guild had a challenge this year and yesterday was the judging. Only 9 members participated and, no, I did not win. But this was my entry.

The challenge rules: no more than 30 x 30, two required fabrics (ucky green at the bottom and a butterfly print – see seaweed), plus up to four fabrics of your choice. I had this fish fabric and the ucky green reminded me of the pool when it begins to grow algae so it was a no brainer. LOL I did the “birthing” technique rather than a binding and quilted it with metallic thread, not an easy task. I still need to make a label for this and South Seas but am already moving on to new adventures.

This week I am concentrating on catching up on all my BOMs and then I will concentrate on two gift quilts and possibly working on another UFO. I did start cutting out a charity quilt yesterday but it is a D9P so should not take too long to complete and then I will have something on the frame: I love the quilting process.

Oh, I forgot to show the pictures of the guest we had on Sunday.
She didn’t seem to be concerned with the multi-dog barking that was going on inside the house and came within 10 feet of the back of the house. I have to say that I didn’t see her as I was in the studio, quilting, but DH and the dogs did and fortunately the camera was in the house with them.

Well, it is time, again, to get off the computer and get to work. Have a great and productive rest of the week, I will!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Little News and Bigger News

This has been a week of working and a weekend of accomplishments. I embroidered, pieced, pressed, cleaned, washed, read, played, and rested Wednesday and Thursday. And, I did get the Eleanor Burns BOM block done.

Then Friday I was off to NWFL to visit with friends. My friend, Nita O’Keefe, was in Ft. Walton Beach, at the LQS doing a trunk show of her embroidery designs.

See that table? That was 1/3 of the samples she had to show. She and Holley Pike have formed a union with Becky McNeal, Gal Pals, to sell their designs. For the last two years their designs, along with thread, have been part of a subscription so I already have most of them but it was great to see them stitched out. And did I get pictures? No, I forgot to lift my camera I was so entranced with what she had to show.

Also while there I got the swap blocks I completed in March. It seems that some people signed up for the swap but didn’t do their blocks so others had to be recruited in order to complete the swap.

These are the blocks that I now have to work with. They range in size from 11 ¾” to 12 ¾” I see this as a challenge but as of right now I have no idea what I will do with them. As you probably have seen, I really like bright fabrics but I also like a challenge so we will have to see what my fertile imagination will come up with: a UFO all ready for next year.

After the show I was able to go out to lunch with another friend, Jeannie no blog (a wonderful seamstress), and then spend a little time, and money, at Joann’s and one of my favorite quilt shops, Margie’s.

The big news:

South Seas is quilted. The panto came in on Thursday but, except for setting it out on the frame, there was no time to quilt. However, this morning I was in the studio, ready to quilt. This is the panto, a 9” swirl.

I guess I have been spoiled by the pantos I have been getting from Urbanelementz. They come with 2-4 rows printed and nesting designs. As you can see, this is only one row and I would have to move the panto for every row to make it “nest” with itself. So, I quilted the rows as you see them and then was left with large blank spaces. So this is how I decided to cure what I saw as a problem: click to enlarge.

I quilted a water-like meanter between the swirls and I really like the effect.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We had an uneventful weekend. A movie, quilt piecing, quilt block embroidery, and a visit from the folks who live on the back half of our property. I had just seen them out the window (too dirty to take a picture through) so I ran out the front and around the deck, just in time for them to hear me and high tail it into the woods. I didn't see the mother anywhere but this was the first time I have seen two babies. I should tell you that I have told my SIL that he is NOT ALLOWED to hunt on our property.

I have the South Seas top done and basted on the frame, waiting for the new panto to arrive.

See, even Hungry is wondering why we aren't quilting. LOL

The embroidery blocks are coming along slowly: 18 color changes times 12 blocks is 216 color changes. I have come to really dislike this design. However, I have only one more to do and then I can finish the blocks. I plan to turn them in Friday when I go to NWFL to visit friends and use my 40% coupon at Joanne's.