Monday, August 30, 2010

Late Design Wall, etc.

I am very late in posting today. My design wall hasn’t changed since last week because I seem to have either not been sewing or I have been shoved off in another direction.

I got my “new” featherweight back this week and doesn’t she look great!

As I thought she only needed a few minor repairs to the electrical wiring and she is as good as new. So I spent some time setting up my paper piecing area and began relearning how to do it.

My first problem was that I needed to learn how to use this machine. I threaded it wrong and had to go online to find a picture of how the thread goes on this machine. Of course it is different from the machines I have! And I actually have to stick my head down in that little space to thread the needle, from the inside out. But we got her done.

The next learning part was the foot pedal.

You don’t just push down on it like I am used to, oh, no! You place your foot on the solid knob (right) and then twist or rotate your foot to press down on the button (left). That takes some getting used to.

But the hardest part of this machine is that when I reach up to touch the thread cutting button, it is not there. Every machine I have, except the HQ, cuts the thread, so I have reached for that darn button every time I need to cut the thread.

However, I did get 1/4th of my first block done, and this will be my “design table” for this week.

This will be a Carol Doak Radiant Star block, when the other three parts are done. And all I can say is that I am glad I like paper piecing because this was not easy. It’s not the pattern’s fault, it is definitely the sewer’s. I made almost every mistake that could be made but I am remembering and will do better on the next one. And, maybe, by January I will have this block made….ya think?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Out of Commission

Well, this has been one of those weeks where my energy flagged. I spent Monday and Tuesday just vegging with my puppies. Oh, and watching our new kitty family.

But Wednesday I was back in the studio: I have almost completed 1/3 of the Christmas project: I am so proud.

I also started pulling fabric for my UFO blocks but nothing is looking right. I have this horrible fear that I will have to go fabric shopping, oh, my!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yikes, it's Design Wall Monday again

Well, another week has passed and here we are again, Design Wall Monday. And since nothing has been on my design wall all week, I decided I better get something up there that I plan to work on. So, this is my new UFO project.

These are swap blocks that have been sitting on a shelf for at least the past 18 months. Saturday night I worked on a plan for them (see the center of the wall) and Sunday I put them up so I could look at them: hadn’t seen them for quite a while. This week I will have to start looking for coordinating fabrics and figure out how to do that very large Dresden plate. I was thinking about putting either an applique or embroidery in the center of it.

What I have been working on is Christmas: I am very pleased with what I am doing but can’t show it yet. What I can show is some of how I am able to get it done. Does anyone remember the towel holder I used to hold my bias stems? And the strips for Going Dotty? Well, now it is being used to hold my cut fabric pieces.

I have had trouble carrying the cut pieces from the cutting table to the sewing machine (two different rooms) while keeping them in order. So, I cut an old cutting mat in half and duck tapped them back together, making a kind of book. I can lay the pieces on the inside and then cover them and everything stays in place.

However, once I get to the sewing machine the fan in the room wants to blow them all over. So, I use my towel rack to hold the top of the holder thus keeping the fan away from the fabric pieces.

See how I can keep it from moving either way?

I am really proud of this invention and how versatile my towel holder has been.

I did spend a little money last weekend.

I found this at an antique/flea market place for almost nothing. When I plug it in no electricity happens so it is going to a Singer repair place today and he thinks that it is just a cord problem. The machine doesn’t look like it was much used: no scratches, the gold etching is perfect, and I am really excited. I have never used a featherweight but I am anxious to try.

And one more thing. Do you remember the cat my dog chased up a tree? Well, she and her two sisters have been visiting and the little calico has become very friendly.

The other two still run when we come around but that’s ok since we don’t really need pets but if they want to take care of any vermin living in the fields around us.

Be sure to visit Judy's blog to see what other quilters are working on.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What a Wonderful Weekend

Nothing on my design wall this Monday: see some of the reasons below.

If you read my last post, you would know that this weekend had a rough start. But when our DS#3 and DDIL arrived, late Friday evening, the fun began. At almost 9pm we were eating breakfast and catching up.

On Saturday morning we started the day learning about
tech toys. I let them play with both my iPad and Nook. Look how much fun they are having.

I suppose it is not fair to tempt people like that.

I think she tried almost every app I have, which is not a lot, yet.

We did a short tour our little town and then started out for DS#3’s twin sister’s. We, however, had to make a stop on the way. DDIL had never tried boiled

peanuts, a southern favorite,

so we stopped so she could buy some.

And then she ate half the bag. She just might make a good ole Southern gal yet.

As we drove up to DD’s this is what we saw.

Once again our DSonIL and his homemade grill.

We feasted on grilled chicken, yum!!

After dinner we were highly entertained by our great grandson, Skylar. In these pictures he is showing his Aunt Jessica and Uncle Todd how he uses “his” phone (good phone but not activated).

He plays games and takes pictures with it.

This was also when he was FINALLY running down from a high energy afternoon.

As we were leaving we had to have some “our twins” shots.

Some things never change.

And finally my one quilty picture.

Look what I won from Quilter Jan. The jelly roll is called Basic Gray by Moda. It looks like really neat fall fabric. And it came in this neat lunch box. I think I will use the box to hold ongoing applique pieces and the jelly roll will have to tell me what kind of quilt it would like to become. I kind of hope it waits a while since I am started in Christmas projects and need to get them really off and running.

Now go to Judy’s blog to see what others have been working on.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It’s Friday the 13th For Sure

As I type DH has been sitting in IHop in Birmingham, AL for the past two hours. He got up at 4 am to drive the 3 hours to Birmingham to pick up DS#3 and his wife. But let me go back a few days and tell you the whole story.

Last week DS#3 called to say they were thinking of coming for a short visit this weekend, if we were going to be around. We assured him we were and would be very happy to have them come. He said they would be flying in and I assured him we would pick them up. Then this past Tuesday he called to say that their flight would be arriving at 8 am on Friday morning and that they would be flying out again at 8 am on Sunday. Now remember that we live 3 hours away from Birmingham. But I assured him that would be no problem and we began to make plans. I really wanted to go pick him up but I lead a Weight Watchers group on Fridays at 1 pm and was afraid that we might not be able to make it back in time. So DH was elected to go by himself, GPS in hand since he has never been to the B’ham airport.

Fast forward to 8:30 this morning. I get a call saying that DS#3 (slowly sinking to #4 of 3 sons) and his wife missed their flight by 5 min. He says that they tried to get another that was leaving at 11:30 but can’t get on. They are now trying for one a little later that would get them in at 3:30 but don’t know yet. And, our very bright son (did I mention that he has a PhD and his wife is in graduate school) said that maybe his father would like to just go home and come back later? 3 hours home and 3 hours back, not to mention the gas, I don’t think so.

Anyhoo, that’s why DH is sitting in IHop in Birmingham. He plan to visit Barnie’s Coffees to pick up some of our favorite coffee flavors (the one in Pensacola where we spent many happy hours and monies closed 3 years ago: sob) and then will go to Barnes & Noble to wait out either the verdict or the company. At least it won’t be a wasted trip. He loves coffee and bookstores and me, not in that order.

Edit: It is now 7pm and DH and the kids are 30 miles from home. Even after everyone's eventful day they want to take us out to dinner so I will get to hear all that has happened to everyone, but me.

To be quilt related, look at the fabric I bought last week.

I don’t have any plans for it yet: I really liked it and it was 50% off, who could resist?

And I am sewing. I have started some Christmas stuff so I can’t so much but I can show this.

This is mindless sewing if I ever saw it. But when done it is very nice looking.

Well, we still have several hours left of this Friday the 13th so I better brace myself. ;-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

WooHoo, It’s Monday, again

And here is Better Late, again.

After getting the center sewn, I decided to look at two ideas for how to sew on the borders. My initial plan was to ask you all which way looked best.

I got the borders all cut and prepped. And here they are, all ready to be sewn on.

But not wanting to wait until Monday, I went ahead and sewed the first two.

Then I decided to stop. Would this be a good time to stop and bind? My original plan was to make these blocks into a table topper/table cloth. Then the top plan just grew. But with a green binding, wouldn't this be good? So this is where we are right now. Later this week I will make a decision.

I did some fabric shopping this week. I love Maxine and my studio has to always have one of her calendars. I have no idea what I will do with this panel but was really excited to find it.

I do have a plan for the owls and it will be my next new project which will start after I get a new charity quilt going.

I did get the last of the Jelly Roll Sampler blocks done. I really hate that this series of blocks is done because I have enjoyed it. However I am glad it is done because I am almost out of fabric from my jelly roll. I did a really good job at only using the jelly roll and a little of a background fabric. I wonder when I will find a good/great idea for how to use them.

Inspiration did come in the mail this week. Joanne from Splitting Stitches sent me this bunch of flowers. Se recentl won a GO and sent out some of these to entice other to want one, too. These flowers are already backed with fusible web and ready to GO. Funny, huh?

I also was sent one of these. The little one is a "scrubbie" I received quite a while ago. I use it all the time and love it. The big one is a "wipe" and is new to my kitchen. Each is knit by Karen of Messy Karen and I really appreciate them both.
And now I must get back to work. Today we are changing our TV provider and then I get to clean house to be prepared for a visit from DS#3 and his wife later in the week. With any luck, I hope to spend some time in the studio. Be sure to drop by Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are working on.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Did you know it’s Summer?

Well, it sure is here!! It was 102 on Saturday, 104 on Sunday and predicted to be at least 101 today. I am fondly remembering the freak snowfall we had last winter.

So, of course, I spent most of Sunday in the studio, next to the air conditioner.

What I worked on was my orphan blocks that I showed a couple of weeks ago.

Then I posted this picture of the quilt design I came up with in EQ7.

And today I have this (on my design wall).

I have sewn three rows together and hope to be finishing the rows today. This should be the center of the quilt but I haven't cut the borders yet. This quilt has gotten a lot bigger than I originally planned so I am not sure what I am going to do. Stay tuned.