Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Start of Another Week

Here is my Design Ironing Board for 7/30/12.  Here are 6 of the 10 completed blocks for a swap: two more to go.  These have not had their final press so they hare not in the BOM box, yet.  I still have 12 blocks for a second swap to sew but they are all embroidered and the pieces cut so it will just be assembly line sewing on Wednesday to have them ready for the mail.

My real accomplishment was my apple core placemat.  I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with my apple core experiment but this past weekend I decided that it would make a great table mat and decided how I was going to accomplish it.

The first thing I did was to find a backing fabric: a fat quarter from stash.  Then I pinned the cores to the backing, right sides together, along with a leftover piece of batting.

I realize it is hard to see one piece from the other so here is a close-up of the one pinned to the other.

I then sewed all around the outside of the apple cores, 1/4” away from the edge, leaving about a 4” opening at one end.

I then cut the new sewn together three pieces right at the edge of the cores. 

Next I cut the outside edge of the batting as close to the stitching as I could get.

Now tell me, doesn’t this look funny?  This is what my mat looked like while I was turning it.
Before I turned it I trimmed the corners to have as little bulk as possible.

After sewing the turning hole closed (whip stitched) it was time to quilt.  The first thing I did was to stitch in the winding ditch.  I did this on my domestic straight stitch machine that has a pinstitch feature.

But once I had the ditches stitched I decided to add some echo stitching.  And I must say I really like how it looks.  I, however, did decide that when I make a larger apple core quilt, I will not quilt it this way.

And here it is in it’s new home on the deck.

My apple core GO die has arrived at my LQS and I will be picking it up Wednesday but even though I really enjoyed making this mat, it will be a while before I start a full sized apple core quilt.  I have way too many on going projects to start that anytime soon.

This week I will be working on my Carol Doak BOM block, the rest of my swap blocks and the borders on Henrietta.  Let’s see if I can get most of that done, shall we?

Deck update:  049
I bought another hanging plant.  It is not easy to find orange flowers so when I saw this it had to come home with me.  We have also be sitting in a lot of rocking chairs but it is hard to find one that fits and rocks well so we keep sitting and sitting.

Now, if you are not too tired, why don’t you hop on over to Patchwork Times to see what a bunch of other quilters are working on.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Very Little Sewing Going On

Last week I posted on Facebook that I think we may have to take the roof off of our deck.  It seems that it is so nice out there that I spend a great deal of time out on the deck, reading and/or on the computer.  I spend very little time doing the menial, unrewarding housework type things and almost no time in the studio doing what I really like (but can't do on the deck).  My daughter almost immediatly replied that she would be willing to take the roof off my hands so I had to rethink my solution to this perplexing problem.  The roof stays and I must use my time better in order to enjoy all my time and toys.  How's that?

On Friday I went to my LQS because she was having a sale that included batting.  I like one particular type of batting so try to buy it (like all she had) in bulk and on sale.  While there I asked her if she had the apple core die for the GO.  She didn't but would order it for me and then she gave me 6 precut apple core pieces to play with.

This is my first experiment with sewing nothing but curves.  I have to say I was pretty pleased with myself.  I'm not sure what I will do with it, it is a little too big to be a mug rug and maybe a little too small to be a placemat.

I even like the look of it from the wrong side: I like seeing how well I did on those curves.  

And, as long as I have your attention, I will share one other thing I bought while I was on vacation, the Pooh doll.  This was a doll that was sold in limited edition about 10-12 years ago.  I saw her when a patient of mine was given one.  I tried to get one too but they had moved on to another doll and I never could find her.  Then, while in NC, there she was, still in her box (a little shabby now, but in really good condition and will all her tags and everything.  And, a whole lot less than she would have been if I had gotten her new.  I should say that I have a pretty large Pooh collection of stuff and that I stopped collecting Pooh things about 3 years ago.  But I couldn't pass her up and she fits very nicely in the cradle with my other fun doll.  I think they make great playmates and pretty soon I will need to make them a new, bright and cheery quilt for their bed.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday and More

My Design Wall contains Henrietta  Whiskers.  All of the blocks are done and the borders are cut.  Here some of them are on the wall so I could see how they played with the blocks.  Now, nothing is sewn together.  My plan is to sew the cream and small brown borders together first so I can do the applique that is supposed to be on them.  I must say that I usually do not follow the designer’s plans for their blocks but in this case I am going to try to come as close as I can.

Color Challenge visor (2)I do have one finish, this visor.  This is my Color Challenge piece.  And the visor came from a tutorial offered by Vicki.  It is a wide-brimmed visor and is pretty easy to make.  I plan do to a couple more (I do drive a convertible, you know) but will probably make a smaller brim for car use.

purple stitchng
You may notice that my fabric has all of the bright colors and to get the purple in, I used purple thread for the quilting on the brim.

ugly cutting
On Sunday I started cutting my “ugly” fabrics.  I cut strips that should fit the paper piecing pattern I created last week.  I still need to cross cut these strips but I feel I am on my way.

Christmas 2012
And, while I was doing all that cutting, I started on my first Christmas project.  Don’t hate me!  I just got what I think is a great idea, found what I needed so there was no reason not to get started.  And, of course, I am more than a little proud of myself.  Angel

deck seating
I have set up some temporary seating on the deck but now I am on the lookout for a set of rockers.

deck flowers
But while I look I found some hanging basket flowers for the roof.

more deck flowers
I have always wanted hanging flowers and was really excited to find these that offer color in our gray and green world.    I plan for more plants, maybe after I find the rockers.  Can you tell I am still excited about our covered deck?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Singing in the Rain

So, I came out of the house and was on my way to the studio when this happened.

Look at that rain!  It has been pretty dry here and the rain has been spotty and short lived.  DH said it was like sitting under a waterfall.

So we took full advantage of being able to sit outside, on our deck, under our new roof, in the rain.  Can you see where the wet and dry is?  One of our puppies didn’t notice the difference until she wandered out into the rain.  She jumped, startled, and hurried back into the dry, shaking all that wet stuff off as she went.  So fun was had by all.

Then, when the 011rain stopped it was off to the studio to get some sewing in.  The first thing I did was complete the applique on the last Henrietta Whiskers block.  I am not embroidering the eyes on any of the blocks as I plan to use crystals but they will not be put on until after the quilt is quilted.  I really like a little sparkle on wall quilts and this one will be hanging in the dining room come Fall.

And here is my Carol Doak Mystery Block for July, all sewn and pressed.  And, since she is traveling, she has already given us the August block.  However, I am putting it a little further down the “to do” list in the hope I can get some other things done.

The last thing I worked on today is the beginning of my Color Challenge for July.  This is a very different project for me but so far I am really excited about it.  I won’t share what it will be until I get a little further along but it is not a quilt but will be quilted.  How’s that for an enigma? 

Now that I think of it, this has been a really great day.  I got everything done in the house I planned to do, I had a really nice call from my mother, lunch out with DH, fun in the rain under the roof, and progress in the studio.  Very nice.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I’ve Been Busy

All this past week I have been beginning a reorganization project in the studio.  I began by emptying a large 9 shelf storage unit in order to replace it with this:

It is much smaller and I had to find new homes for much of what was there.  What is left for this “wine rack” is all the UFOs that I unearthed, many of which I didn’t remember (2007 and up). 

The top two boxes are BOMs: green for the ones that are completed but not yet made into a quilt and the purple one is for ongoing BOMs. 

The wine rack is solid wood and wrought iron: very heavy, but small enough that I now can get to all of my design wall.

Design Wall 7-9-12
So on my design wall today are two of the many UFOs.  On the right is Star Struck by Bonnie Hunter (I attended a workshop with her which was wonderful).  This will not get any larger but soon I will plan borders for a child’s quilt.

To the left is the result of a workshop where we learned how to use a wedge ruler. 

tree skirt-maybe
My plan was to make a Christmas Tree skirt but somehow I seem to have fallen down on the job.  I have several more segments done so we will see how close my circle gets.

Block 9 finally
Another UFO I have been working on is my Henrietta Whisker’s blocks.  I embroidered the first 8 while we were in NC and I just made 9th block over the  weekend.  I still need to applique it down but that will get done soon.  It is the last block and then I just have the setting pieces and final applique to do and I will have another top that needs quilting. Sarcastic smile

CD Block 3
I also have prepped the pieces for Block 3 of Carol Doak’s BOM.  This will be the first thing I do this morning (after dishes, laundry, etc.) and I will feel so good when at least one BOM is on time. Angel

ugly fabric
I even decided on what fabrics I will be adding to my ugly fabric challenge fabrics.  The pink is added and I will also be using a white.

ugly fabric plan
And this is my plan.  The block was a Quilt Pro block of the day which I redrew in EQ7 and then designed the plan on the right.  Now, of course, I just have to begin making the blocks, always a problem when I have so many projects going at the same time.

NC fabric
I forgot to share the last of the fabrics I bought at Mary Jo’s.  Isn’t it beautiful?  I have no idea what I will be using it for but I have 2 yards of it waiting for inspiration.

NC overalls
And one last picture.  These are the overalls I found in an “antique” mall.  Of course they are not old but I fell in love with them.  And they are oh so comfortable.  I now have almost enough overalls to wear a different pair every day.  DH says I am still a hippie from the 70s and I guess in some ways I am.

That said, I guess it is time to get on those household chores so I can get back to all my waiting projects.  And you can get over to Judy’s blog to check out all the other Design Walls.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Excuses, Finds, and Purchases

Well, we have been home for 4 days and I have yet to turn on a sewing machine or even pick up a needle.  First there was the unpacking and cleaning.  Then there was WW work.  And for the last two days I have been involved with a studio project that seems to not involve any creativity: I am cleaning off a set of shelves in order to install a new set. 

I have laughed when other quilters have “found” UFOs and blocks they didn’t remember they had.  Well, I’m not laughing anymore.  I have found 4 sets of blocks I didn’t remember (2 I don’t remember even making).  Additionally I found 5 self kitted.  The sad thing is that they were dated 2007 and 2008.

So, to make this post more interesting I am going to show some of the things we bought on our wonderful vacation.

05Eric's new toy

DH’s big purchase was this ‘Hop A’ Long’ Cassidy toy.  It is tin and made in the early 1940s.  It is a wind-up toy that rocks and the lasso swings around.  In our cowboy museum of a front room we have many Hoppy things but we have never seen this toy before and were all excited when we (I) found it.


I was really excited when I found this really cute basket.


Inside is a charming tea set.  The interior of the basket is made of foam covered with fabric.  Since there are no nicks or cracks I don’t believe it was ever used.



Isn’t this pretty?  I am looking forward to evening tea.






I have another tea basket I blogged about in March but this one is different in that it not only has the teapot but also has two cups.


I also got this set of glasses.  They are not old at all but since I collect owls, which are all over the house including the cowboy museum, I figured we should have owl glasses, too.  Plus the former set of glasses, I bought 25 years ago, has been growing smaller due to husband dropping.

Tomorrow DH and I are going to try to pry the older shelves out of the studio: not an easy task since I have a lot of furniture in there.  Then we have to move the new shelves into the sewing room.  The new shelves are made of solid wood and wrought iron.  I figure these two moves will take all day.  Then, if we are still able to move, I will be putting stuff away and getting ready for Design Wall Monday by trying to sew a little something.  Winking smile

Monday, July 2, 2012

Design Wall Preparation

My design wall was abandoned last week in favor of a vacation trip to North Carolina.  However what would be coming to the wall was uppermost in my mind: please check out my last post.  Here you will see how I worked to make sure I am supplied with the wherewithal to keep that wall alive.

Mary Jo's fabric
I had a great time at Mary Jo’s in Gastonia, NC.  All of the top fabric is batiks.  I tend to buy darker batiks so I made myself get lots of brights and even some lights.  The bottom three are fabrics that I just couldn’t pass up.

plus thread
Then I added new quilting threads from Long Creek Mills, also in Gastonia.  I tried to choose colors I don’t already have.  These were $4 each and are first run.

Wanda's mug rug and mug
And for additional inspiration I brought home these lovelies from Wanda’s show (again see the last post).  I could find the same triangles in one of Wanda’s pieces so I figured I had brought home a piece of one of her “real” quilts.

All of that happened in one day.  Then we began 5 days of doing this.  Here you see our granddog, Ponce, doing what he does better than the rest of us.

on vacation
Here are the guys, DH and DS#3, doing what they did best…resting.

each own thing
And here is our DIL doing  a crossword.  She made us hunt down new papers every day just so she could work a new one. 

stitching station
And what was I doing while they were all relaxing?  Well, this is my sewing station, set up on the back deck.

hand appliquing
And I began appliqueing the Dragon. 

tiny stitches
See my tiny stitches?  Because of my arthritic hands I can only stitch for short periods (no more than an hour) so I will be working on this for quite awhile. 

I did work on a couple of other projects, one new and one a UFO, and hope to show them later, maybe even on that design wall.

family at play
The week was one of rest, eating great food, antiquing, eating some more, and fun.  I took this picture on our last night in NC.  I was outside, walking Ponce, and the others were inside playing a board game.  I thought this was a beautiful sight, fun with family.