Monday, September 26, 2011

Design Deck

URR top complete

This is my Design Deck for today.  It is my Underground Railroad top, complete.  I love it and it is perfect for a new fall quilt.  With any luck I will be getting this on the frame sometime this week.


URR center

This was where I was on Wednesday, got the center done with the 6” center panels and the 1” black sashings between and on the ends of the blocks.  I really like how the little black lines separate the blocks from each other.


URR & 2 borders

Here we are with the first two borders on.  I do have to admit that I put one of the borders on backward, you know, right side to wrong side.  Those are pretty long seams to have to unsew but unsew I did.


And then yesterday I got it finished. 


After completing the above I decided to use my time wisely and make the binding for my tumbler quilt.  tumbler binding

It is a scrappy binding using the scraps from the front as well as pieces of the backing.  I’m afraid I got carried away attaching the pieces together and I think I have enough binding for two comfort sized quilts.  We will see when I sew it on today.


In addition to sewing, I walk.  DH and I walk 2 miles almost every day.  On our walk the other morning we saw this:

spider web


web sideshot

This spider web was more than 3’ wide and almost perfect.  We looked and looked but couldn’t find a spider.  It had rained very hard for two days prior to that so it had to be spun that morning.  And can you see the fog?  That stayed around until about 10am.  Spooky, huh?  Perfect for getting in the Halloween mood.


AU Buffy

This is Buffy.  She has felt left out since both Ms. Murphy and Abby have been spotlighted on the blog and she hasn’t.  The sweater is one that Abby had on when she came to live with us.  It doesn’t fit her anymore but is perfect for Buffy.




Eric-Buffy AU fans

Buffy is primarily DH’s dog and he is way proud of her for being an Auburn fan. 


Besides being an Auburn fan, I am also a Patchwork Times fan.  I encourage you to drop over there to see all the wonderful projects her other fans are working on. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Its Progress, Here


It’s quilted.  I finished it this afternoon and am very pleased with how it has turned out.  Now all I have to do is make up the scrappy binding and this comfort quilt is good to go.



I used a panto and I know I took a picture of both it and the name but for some reason it didn’t make it so I will retake those pictures and share them later.



The quilting does not show on the back unless you look at it at an angle.  Usually I like that Winking smile but this time I had no tension problems or breaks so I would have been happy to have the quilting show.  However, since this will go to a child it is probably best that it doesn’t show anything, quilting or dirt.


When I finished the quilting I started working on the Underground Railroad quilt: I squared up the blocks and began sewing the sashing between the blocks.  As I walked into the sewing room of the studio I suddenly really saw what that room looks like.  016

You would have thought I would have noticed that mess before but I tend to just see what I am working on and not anything else.  Well, I took the picture so I would be so embarrassed that I would make time to find that table top, and the one you can’t see to the right.  There must be at least 4 projects scattered out in that space. 

However, when I turned to walk into the next room, the cutting a pressing room, this was what I saw:


Well, my goodness, there seems to be a pattern here.  So now, here is my dilemma, do I take some time to really clean this up or do I use that same time to get some sewing and/or quilting done.

Well, I guess I will take some time to ponder that question, so I’ll get back to you as to what my priorities are.  Be right back

Monday, September 19, 2011

Working on Finishes

This is the week I get everything, well almost everything, ready for finishing.


Tumbler ready for quilting

My tumbler quilt top is finished.  I put the backing together Sunday and here they are, resting on the HQ, ready for me to get the backing together and begin.  Of course that will also mean that I get to sit on the floor and go through all of my pantos to find a good one for this comfort quilt.



Underground Railroad-planning finish

And on the Design Wall?  Well, here is my Underground Railroad quilt, on the DW again.  I have all the blocks finished and have drawn up several layouts in EQ. 



EQ picture

This is the plan I have chosen, I think.  I have the border fabrics hanging on the DW and I have cut the 1.5” black strips to put between the blocks.   If I get the tumbler quilt set up on the frame I will cut the borders and begin putting this together, too.


If you look at the lower right corner of the first picture you will see the rack where I hang the completed tops.  I counted 5 already on there.  That’s when I decided that I needed to focus on finishes.  If I can get these 7 done I then will have some time for the current BOMs and the swap blocks I also have waiting for settings.   Wow, I seem to be way behind in getting things done. 

Saturday we went to a model train show.  DH has talked about setting up a train set for several years but mostly he has been collecting ideas and parts.  At the show he collected this.

cool DD truck

This is a toy Dunkin Donut truck sitting on a Dunkin Donut box (with only one donut left).  Someday it will sit on a road next to a great train layout.  Now it is just a reminder of the great donuts we had yesterday.

Now, grab yourself a cut of coffee and a donut and check out the wonderful quilting being shown at Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Confessions of a Mad Housewife

Wasn’t there a book with a title similar to that?  Well, whatever, that is me today. 

First I must say that we have been eating healthier for the last few years and feel really good about that.  However, after the first 27 years of marriage, I made the startling discovery that I didn’t really like to cook.  I am a good cook but it just isn’t my creative bent.  Well, having said that, I recently bought a book called "Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook.”  What could be better: healthy, small amount of kitchen time, more time in the studio. 

The first dish I tried was pork chops with onion, apples and spices.  It tasted good but the chops were a little dry: I attribute that to the fact that they were really too thin but all I could find at the time.

So today was my second try.  receipe 

This is not only something I have never made but I have never eaten, but it sounded good.




I got busy dicing cabbage, slicing an onion and cooking and breaking up a can of tomatoes.  Doesn’t it look good.  And with the spices it was smelling good, too.  Then I went to the recipe to see what to do next.  Oh, steam some whole cabbage leaves….no problem.  And they steamed beautifully. 

Next step was to mix the egg with the cooked rice.  cooked it said. Well, I had the rice but it was not cooked and there was no time to cook rice today.  So, I quickly defrosted a pork tenderloin, added a few more spices and onion to the tomato mixture and all is now in the crock pot for a great dinner tonight.  Lesson 1: read the directions the day before to be sure everything is ready.  Lesson 2: read the directions again, all the way through, so you know you have everything before you begin.  And I always wondered why I don’t like following a quilt pattern.  I never learned Lesson 1 or 2.  However, when I get this posted I am off to the studio and won’t have to come out again until dinner is ready  Yea!!

I can’t leave without my pet picture(s) of the day. 


This is what I wake up to almost every morning, when she is not curled around my head telling me I am sleeping too long.  She is really a quilt baby.

Murphy & birds

And this is the excitement Mango and Mickey live with since Ms. Murphy came into the house.  We do keep the top of the cages covered so she can’t reach down to them and they have done a great job of staying in the middle when she gets curious from the sides.  Mostly she just watches them although she is able to open the food dish door so we have those closed off.  Smart cat means that we have to be smarter owners.  Not easy with a cat. Cat face

Monday, September 12, 2011



This looks a lot like my last Design Wall post (2 weeks ago) but there has been progress.  The top two rows are all sewn (done after this picture was taken).  The rest is sewn into two piece blocks, ready to be completed.  I think this is going to make a really neat comfort quilt.




I got a little bit done on my Hearts Desire block.  These are the flowers for the block and some of the stems and leaves.  I still have several more leaves to make and a lot more other stuff.  And then I have to do the whole thing three more times.  I am really challenged by this quilt and have decided to slow down and only work on it a little at a time and spend more of my limited quilting time on other projects.

This past week I experienced the “end of an era.”  I did my last Weight Watcher meeting in Port St. Joe, FL.  I have been traveling there once a week for a year (365 miles round trip) and have loved it but finally both WW and I decided it was time for a change.  For the past 10 weeks I have been training the new leader and Thursday I left all the paperwork and products with her so now that wonderful group is her own. 


To celebrate the change on my way home I got something to eat and had my dinner at the beach.  I have been able to go to the beach every week for the past year: I will miss it.



And when I got home, this was what was waiting for me.  DH had gotten me flowers, the new cookies we like and a note that made me feel ever so good.


But I am  not done with Weight Watchers.  Tuesday I started leading two groups (9 am and 12 pm) and another on Saturday morning.  It is a brand new center so the groups are small ( 1 & 2 people) but we hope that they will increase with time.  It is exciting and I am only driving a little over 100 miles each day.  And I drive by two quilt shops and my sewing machine dealer.  Now how’s that for a great way to work?



And now for another  gratuitous cat picture.  I heard this funny noise and turn around to see this.  The container is where we keep the cat food.   Someone, it was me, left the top open.  There she was, tottering on a large plastic bowl, attempting to get into the container.  However, almost immediately after this picture was taken, down everything went.  What a mess.  But Ms. Murphy helped by trying to eat as much as she could before I could get it all up.  Wasn’t that nice of her?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In the Beginning of Fall

Fall's Beginning


How do we know it is Fall in the Deep South?  Well our leaves do turn, more of a rusty brown than bright yellow and gold, but they do turn and fall all over the ground.





excellent view

But even more importantly, football fanaticism begins.  So where did we find ourselves last Saturday?




At Auburn University for the first game of the 2011 season.  As some of you may know, and other don’t care at all, Auburn won the National Championship for 2010.  Everyone knows this is not going to happen this year but it doesn’t dampen the school spirit.  Just look at the picture above again and you will see a sea of orange, my favorite color, which was the cheering fans of Auburn.


section 48

And where were we?  Well, see the third light pole from the right?  Well, our seats are just a few rows under that.  We got all our walking exercise walking up the ramp and then the full 30 additional steps to the row we sat on.  However the view was terrific.  And, the weather was perfect: full sunshine, not too hot, and a great wind that kept us cool. 


A sea of orange

Now, it wasn’t the best Auburn game we have been to (1 a season) as we were behind most of the game (which we were 22 point favorites) but in the end we won and that’s what counts.  And, as you can see, it was an enthusiastic crowd that did all it could to cheer our new and very young team to victory.  Great Day!!

On the home front, there has been no sewing or quilting.  I am hoping that will be changing but probably not until this very busy week is over.  Yesterday I helped open a new Weight Watcher center where I am scheduled to lead three meetings (Tuesday 9am and noon and Saturday 9am).  Also tomorrow I go to my last meeting where I drive 360 miles.  I have been leading that meeting for 1 year and have really mixed feelings about leaving them in someone else’s hands.  However, I will not miss that long drive every Thursday.

On the home front, I caught Ms. Murphy, again, being cute.

Hoppy Fan


I call this her “suck up” pose.  DH is a Hoppy fan and now Murphy seems to be also.




Cat with a view

And here she is trying to tell me that she, too, can get a good view from the high bleacher seats.  DH was pretty sure that wagon train lamp was going to tumble as she came down from her perch but she wiggled around it and it stayed put. 

Well, that is all from our home front.  Today I hope to at least see the inside of the studio but most of the day will be spent getting all my WW stuff here ready to hand over tomorrow.  It will be nice to get some of my space back, not to mention a large portion of my trunk.

Thanks for visiting and come again.   Gari