Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Busy, Busy

First I want to thank everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday last Monday.  Between my blog, Facebook, and family I really felt the love.  And I won’t count out Margie’s Sew Much Fun (read LQS).  Batik 1

Margie gives her customers a significant discount during their birthday month (once).  I am old enough to have reached her ceiling discount so I took full advantage of it.


Batik 2 I visited the extensive batik section and this is what I got.  I tried to focus on lights and brights because I already have several darks.  But you can see that one dark snuck in there.  It is a wood grain and I just couldn’t pass it by.  Also on the table is a wool roving pincushion.  I have one and love it so now another machine will have one, too.


sewing earrings


And for fun I bought these earrings.  Now I just need to get something purple to go with them.



On the sewing front, I have been busy.

busy busy

Today I had three machines going.  Here you can see one embroidering a label for Autumn  Breeze, also pictured.




Autum binding

While that was going on I was at my straight stitch machine putting the binding on.  Then I used another machine to prep the label so it could be sewn into the binding.  I just have a little hand stitching to do on the label, tonight’s project, and it will be done.  Then tomorrow I hope to get back to my table runner so I can get it on the table to start December.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Wall/Birthday

Design Wall:  Nothing.  Everything is off the DW and all the things I am currently working on is Christmas so no DW updates today.


up a tree 1

However, I have been busy.  On a break from sewing on  Friday I found our cat, Ms. Murphy, up a tree.  I was a little concerned seeing her up on those little limbs but she didn’t seem worried at all.


up a tree 2

However, this picture was taken right after she fell (broken branch) and caught herself by her claws and then swung back up where she rested before continuing down.  I would have taken a picture of her hanging but I was too busy holding my breath.


coming down

Then she proceeded to walk on down, just as though nothing had happened.  You gotta love cats.




apron contest

Saturday I visited a LQS where they are having an apron contest.  I didn’t photo all of the aprons, only the ones I voted for.  these are children’s aprons but my mother loves chickens and I immediately thought of her when I saw this one: the two of them are one entry.  While I was there I also bought fabric.  This store gives you 1/2 your age as a percent off of whatever you purchase.  This year, since I am turning 69, I am getting a pretty good discount, don’t you think?  I forgot to take a picture of my new fabric so will be showing it later.


Sunday I planned on sewing again but somehow got a sitting area 1cleaning bug.  I have been wanting to move a few things around in the studio so I began what will be a month long process.   Anyway,  This is one shot of the seating area of the studio.  The ratty footstool is from our ‘65 VW camper.  It went through four kids and several camping trips before the camper was traded: the footstool stayed.  I keep thinking I am going to recover it but it has not made it to the top of the “to do” list.


sittin area 2 And the view from the other side.  I had this room set up to also function as a guest room with this hide-a-bed.  However, we do not have company often (3 times in 5.5 years) so I decided I don’t need to keep a space in front of the couch.  The problem is that the couch was covered with fabric, pillows, quilts, etc. so everything had to be gone through, folded and a place had to be found for it.  But my seating space is now ready for me to take breaks in comfort.


Now, today is my 69th birthday.  I have always had a policy of not working on my birthday so today is no exception: my Monday WW meeting has been postponed for this week.  But, for the first time, DH cancelled his classes and is spending the day with me.  We will be going to NWFL, to Red Lobster to eat crab legs by the water.  Then we will spend some time at the beach, do a little shopping and wind up back at home where our puppies and cats will be waiting to show a little love all around. 

Now, since there was no creativeness in this post, you better go to Patchwork Times to find some.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Design Wall Accomplishments

table runner


This is my very first table runner.  The picture was taken Sunday evening, after the sun went down, so the color is somewhat strange: the bottom square is close to true.  Anyway the runner is 56” long and 14” wide.  I am using 2 swap blocks (tan) and 2  new blocks made like the ones I sent for a Christmas swap.  I hope to get this quilted this week so it will be ready for our table right after Thanksgiving.








Before I can start quilting the table runner I need to finish quilting this swap block quilt.  (Does it seem I am swap block obsessed?) 



My original plan was to practice some ruler work while doing this quilt but then I realized that I needed to get it done quickly so I could do the runner so a medium meander seemed like the best way to go.


swap backing

Here is the backing I chose.  It is in the center with a border fabric on the sides (not shown).  I love this fabric and did when I first saw it in the shop so I hated to use it for a backing fabric.


swap backing 2

However, it was perfect for this quilt so here it is.  I have about 3 more passes to complete the quilting.  I have been having a little trouble: my stitch regulator is not working very well.  I will probably be calling HQ later today to see if they have any ideas why it is “dragging” and/or falling out of regulation all together.  I can get pretty regular stitches unregulated but I really like not having to work at keeping my speed steady.

One last thing:  today I found a top from a BOM in 2007.  It is the second top I ever made.  I haven’t unfolded it yet but I believe it is a king/queen sized and the original plan was to make a duvet cover.  I remember I bought two king sized sheets to complete the task but then put it aside.  I think the next thing I will be doing is seeing if I can find all the parts and get this UFO underway.  If I do I think I will have all my swaps and BOMs either completed and/or ready for quilting.  Maybe I’ll even have it out so I can show it next Monday  Yea!!

Don’t forget to go over the Patchwork Times to see what other’s are creating.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crazy Weather, Crazy Busy

First the Crazy Busy part.

I have been working on my table runner in the hopes that I can get it put together and quilted before December 1. However, look at the back of this block. These are swap blocks and I don't expect everyone's 12 1/2" blocks to be the same size as my 12 1/2" block, heck, even mine aren't always the same size. But I would think that any sewer could see that these seams are being "pressed" wrong.

A n y w a y, I worked on them and finally got my blocks all sewn together. And I really am likeing how this is looking.

Then I stuck the 1" border piece on there to see how this was going to look. Great, huh? What I like about this runner, my first since we only recently got a rectangular table, is that it will not only be good for Christmas but for January too as it has a Winter theme with Christmas colors.

Now, what else is keeping me busy, besides not quilting my quilt, is that I am supposed to be studying some new stuff for Weight Watchers. And for some reason I have been avoiding it. It is just reading some stuff and watching a video but between leading my 4 meetings, the 400 miles I drive to do the meetings, sewing, housework (uck), and traveling to spend money with DH, I just haven't had the time to sit and concentrate. Oh, well, it will get done, sometime.

Crazy Weather

Ok we had a week of cold weather, 50F during the day and 30s at night. This week, and especially today, it has been in the 80s during the day and 70s at night. Seems it is either Summer or Winter here this year.

We have had Fall, however.
Oak trees are not the best for color but even they have been showing yellow and orange leaves. And, of course, dropping little acorns all over the yard: very difficult to walk on, both for people and animals. We have one dog who almost insists on being carried when we walk under this tree.

The front yard is looking decidedly fallish but the hammock is looking like death. I sat down on it the other day and several of the strings were shredded. Now I know I'm not that heavy, WW remember, so I guess next Spring I will be buying a better hammock. The one I had in FL lasted 17 years and was never taken in. It looked terrible but held itself and me together.

My ever blooming roses seem to have given up, and I don't blame them. The contrast between the fading flowers and the ground cover of leaves is striking. I would rake those leaves but we can't burn them anymore and that was the gratification of raking. I really miss the smell of burning leaves in the Autumn.
Anyway, it's time to get off the computer and get busy, again.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Busy Week

Now I know that you all have not been waiting with baited breath to learn that we got our 3D TV butI’m going to share anyway.

We had already moved the old TV off of the high shelf and onto the table where the new one would be going. Here you see the old one being disconnected from the amp, blu ray, Direct TV, and DVR. And the new TV is in the big box. Look what a mess we had.

Even the antique cradle wasn’t spared the involvement in the mess.

And here we are with the new TV up and running. Unfortunately we couldn’t hook
up the studio sound system because the amp is not new enough to connect to the
TV. So Sunday was taken up with a trip to Best Buy. Little by little we will
have the full theater experience. Fun, fun.

Even with all this excitement I did get a little sewing done. The design ironing board has the layout of the Christmas table runner I am making for our new dining table. I made more of the swap blocks I had on the wall last week and paired them with two of the swap blocks I have been trying to make a quilt with. I like the contrast (thanks for the comments last week) and then added some applique mittens in the middle. These are not sewn together yet, that had been part of the plan for Sunday, before the trip to Best Buy.

Friday I did get this quilt on the HQ. I am still debating if I will quilt it with a meander or practice some ruler work on it.

I am going to again share how much I love my Red Snappers. It took me all of 10
min. to load the backing of this quilt. It wouldn’t have taken that long except
that my studio doesn’t have central heat and it was cold (48F outside) so the
plastic was a little harder than usual.

Here is the bobbin thread.

and I am still trying to decide what thread to use on the top.

Meanwhile, DH and I shared one of our favorite meals. Look have excited he was
when it was delivered to our table.

This is a taco pizza from Pizza Hut. It is so very good and we love it.

And now it is time for all of us to go to Patchwork Times and see all of the creations in process. Each week I try to check in on all the blogs that are posted there cuz it gives me such inspiration. But to not get bogged down by being on the computer for too long at a time, I read them in 10 blog bunches. Most of the time I get all the
way through by the end of the week: sometimes I don’t, but I try. There are
some very creative and artistic people out there and I don’t like to miss what
they are creating.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's a Party

First: November is my birthday month. Well, since my birthday is almost at
the end of the month, and since it is sometimes even on Thanksgiving, and since
it is so close to Christmas, I celebrate all month. Hence, I got my iPad2
already (of course the giver then got my iPad, but who’s to notice a little
thing like that). Well, then I won a giveaway at Joanne's
and yesterday my prize arrived.

So this morning we had a party. Doesn’t this look festive? And there are my
gifts. What? You can’t see them so well?

Well, here is a closer view. There is a great quilt pattern by Joanne which
looks like I can use over and over to use up the scraps that seem to accumulate
in the studio. And that pattern also includes several sizes so I don’t have to
do too much thinking, something that becomes increasingly difficult at my now
advanced age.
Also included was a strawberry recipe book and these wonderful food fabrics,
the reason I entered the giveaway. And do you see that cute strawberry. At
first I thought it was a pincushion, but no. Look what it really is:

It opens up to be a nylon shopping bag. And when empties, the bag is easily
“stuffed” back into the strawberry. It is going in my car and will be used a
lot. I love it and THANK YOU, Joanne, for all the great goodies. Happy Birthday Month!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Design Wall and a little more

two in one

Here is my design wall.  Up there are blocks for two different quilts.  I finished the Christmas swap blocks and as I did I put them amid the deco swap blocks that I was working on a couple of weeks ago.  Until I started posting this picture, I didn’t realize that the Christmas swap blocks are really almost the same as the deco swap blocks.  Funny, huh?


dot blocks

Here are the Christmas blocks, in process.  I have difficulty chain piecing and still getting blocks together right.  So I get all the pieces prepared and then I put them together.  In order to keep all the pieces together I set up each block either in a manila folder or on top of one.  Here are just two with four blocks ready to be sewn.

Today I will be sending these blocks off to the “swap mother” and someday I will get a package back with blocks made 11 other quilters.  I don’t plan to make a quilt with them this year so I will start 2012 with at least one UFO ready for me.  Rolling on the floor laughing

But, that’s not all I got done this weekend. 

bluish cat cat flowerThese are my newest


Crazy Cat blocks.




cat fish


I have really enjoyed making these.




cat heart


I have a couple more to do and a little hand embroidery to do on all of them.




Because I do three WW meetings on Monday and Tuesday, I have decided that the rest of those days are devoted to household chores.  But Wed – Friday are planned for the studio (of course the best laid plans …….).  The weekends?  Well, they are just up for grabs.  Open-mouthed smile

Friday, November 4, 2011

Swaps and Stuff

Once again, I have had difficulty finding sewing/quilting time.  Monday and Tuesday I was busy leading 3 of my 4 Weight Watchers meetings.  By the time I did all the paperwork and then drove the 50-60 miles home, took the three dogs out, fed the cats, fed the birds, fed the dogs and took them out again, reloaded the washer and dryer, and started dinner, I was too pooped to even open the studio.  So the plan was to sew Wednesday and Thursday. 

However, both those days I moved furniture.  Some of you may remember that on this post I reported that we purchased a new TV and that we agreed to place the new TV where I had wanted the old one 5 years ago.  Unfortunately this necessitated moving almost every piece of furniture in our great room.  It also would mean some moving of the wiring for the TV, DVD/BlueRay, and the Direct box.  So I decided that we needed to start before the TV got here and that’s what I did all Wednesday and Thursday.  I’d like to say that it is all done but only the big pieces are more or less in place.  We did move the old TV to where the new on will be going and I really love it there.

Today I finally got into the studio.  I am working on some swap blocks through some internet friends.


Dot Block

We were given the pattern and colors and told to make 12 12” blocks to swap.  Now, this is not a difficult block but today, as I was trimming 48 HSTs, I couldn’t help wondering about those people who do quilts with hundreds of HSTs.  Rather than make quilts with lots of little pieces, I think I may try to learn how to be an art quilter.  Smile with tongue out  Anyway, I have 5 blocks finished with 7 more to go.

Tomorrow I will be leading my 4th WW meeting in the morning and then traveling to attend a WW staff meeting so no sewing will get done.  But Sunday I hope to get  the rest of the blocks done and ready to send.  Then it will be back to the blocks on the design wall and some Christmas gifts I have just barely started.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We have a Winner

Thanks to all who entered the My Memories Software giveaway.  Since I don’t know how to do the random generator thing, I drew a name out of a hat.  And the winner is Bonnie from In Stitches With Bonnie.  Congratulations Bonnie, I hope to see lots of neat journal pages in the coming weeks.

For those who didn’t win, don’t forget that you can purchase this software with a $10 discount just by entering this code {STMMMS26911}.

Thanks again for playing along,  Gari