Thursday, August 30, 2012

Little by Little

It is really funny that with all of my days mine to do with what I want, I still am not getting much done.  Of course I am spending a lot of time on this computer, trying to catch up on my blog reading and I have started reading a new book.  Then there is time in the pool, out to lunch with DH every day, and even a little housework (very little so far).  So my sewing time has been only a little over an hour a day.

However I did get one thing done:  my Color Challenge for August.
August Color Challenge 2
It is another Mug Rug to sit next to my Lazyboy: I now have 3.  It could have been a potholder except I didn’t put the insulating batting in it.

I did the birthing method and then chose a very simple quilting pattern.

August Color Challenge 3
These were the colors as presented by Vickie.  I told her these were so not my colors and it has been very hard for me to think of anything to make with them.  And then, it was very hard to find fabrics in my stash that would go with the challenge.  But at the last minute I decided to do a small rail fence mug rug and it came together quickly.  I made enough rails to make this rug reversible so when it gets soiled I will only have to turn it over.  Be right back 

teapot 1
And, because I don’t know what I am doing, I decided to start a new project.  This is the first teapot block from Rhonda.  When she first wrote she was going to do this one I decided I wanted to do it, too, as a replacement wall hanging in my dining room. 

coffee with friends 2006-7
This is the quilt that has been hanging there.  It is called Coffee With Friends and was made with the fat quarters I received from my FL guild members when we moved back to AL in 2006.  I love this little quilt but I also think it is now time for it to allow something to begin the rotation process.

And now it is time for me to get off this computer and get something done.  The dishes are calling me and then it is off to the studio to work on Christmas gifts.  Yea!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ready but Not

Gratitude.  That is how I am feeling right now.  Six years ago I moved from the panhandle of FL back to South Central AL because of hurricanes.  And, as I write, the first one since that move is coming ashore on the gulf coast.  It is an interesting feeling when you are praying that it doesn’t hit you but you are also praying that it doesn’t hit anyone else either.  And all the time you know that one of your prayers will not be answered the way you want.  So, as you pray, you prepare.

Stubby-hurricain shelterEven Stubby was seeking shelter before the storm.  And I don’t think he was happy to be found out

deck cleared
The deck was cleared, except for the chairs and swing.  I figured we would move them as the storm began to pick up steam in our area.

stuff stored
I put most of the deck things inside this gazebo which is located between the two buildings.  Can you see who is also stored in there?

Stubby too
And once again she does not appear happy to have been found.

rain guage ready
I even put the rain gauge in a place where I thought the wind wouldn’t move it but the rain would come down there.  So now we were ready.

morning blue sky And then I looked to the sky.  Can you see it?  It is blue, bright blue.  And it stayed that way all day.  Oh, there were periodic clouds that flew by but then the blue and sun returned. 

So, am I putting things back out tomorrow?  Well, no.  I have learned that the weather, and especially hurricanes, can cause problems, even after they make landfall so we will wait a day or two before putting things back together.

Meanwhile, I have things to do in the studio.  Oh, yes I do!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Change is Good (?)

Saturday and Sunday I spent a little time in the studio.

Carol Doak 4
Saturday I finished my block 4 of the Carol Doak Mystery BOM.  If I say I am really excited about how these fabrics are looking with  these blocks, will it sound like boasting?  I think this is going to be a really classy quilt.  However, Carol is one month ahead of herself (this is September’s block) so I may have to find something else to work on next month.  Rolling on the floor laughing

Jamie Christmas 2012
I have also started work on one of my Christmas quilts.  What you can see here is the center with three rows sewn together.  I would have gotten them done but DH came in and invited me out to dinner so there goes my sewing time for today.  However, an invitation to the Mellow Mushroom is not to be turned down!  Tomorrow I hope to finish the rows and put a red stop border on before turning to other projects.

phone cover
And I have to add a picture of my new iPhone cover.  I found this in Books-a-Million this week and was so excited I didn’t even get upset when the clerk and customer ahead of me talked for 10 minutes.  What you can’t see is that this is 3-D.  Isn’t this just me?

Now, to the change………

This has been a very busy and eventful week.  I did get some sewing done on Monday but Tuesday, Wednesday,  Thursday and Friday were all devoted to Weight Watchers.  And all through the week I began to feel tired and wiped out.  I do have a heart condition, rapid heart beat, and it got triggered Tuesday and I couldn’t get it under control until late Wednesday with some slight flair-ups on Thursday and Friday.  And I found that during this time my ability to deal with job or home irritations was limited.   So as of Friday I am no longer working for Weight Watchers. 

I can’t tell you how sad I am about this change but I also know that this is really the best thing for me.  I am a retired person but have been working for WW, more and more, for the past 3 years, and really need to get back to a more peaceful way of life.  And both my puppies and the studio are very glad that I will be home more. 
So today part of my time will be spent working on setting up a new, not too busy, daily schedule: wish me luck.

Monday, August 20, 2012


These chickens have come home to roost.  These are the first six blocks of the Funky Chicken BOM from  I only have two more to make and I will be all caught up.  And I cannot tell you how much fun I have been having picking the fabrics for all the pieces.  I am hoping to be able to start some of the stitching this afternoon but first I will need to decide on thread and what stitch I will be using. 

And this is what is on my main wall.  Actually, these are two sets of Christmas swap blocks that I need to get made up (2009 & 2011).  I did have some heart stopping time when I went to get both sets and could only find one.  It took me a couple of days to spot the second set.  And then, when I found it (set on the left), I found that I had already made a second set of blocks to go with them.   

I have 13 of these as well as the sashing, already cut (light fabric) and borders (darker fabric).  Looks like this one is going to be pretty easy.

Now all I have to do is figure out how I am going to make the blocks on the right become a quilt. 

One thing that has been keeping me out of the studio is that I have been working on EQ7 lessons.  I joined an online group that is working on the lessons that are found in the program.  I have to complete 2 lessons a week and post a picture of whatever was covered.  So far I have been able to do everything and am even a coupe weeks ahead.  It really is fun to be able to make that program work.  There are still several more lessons to work on so I have a lot more to learn. Computer

I have even less time for sewing now-a-days as I , once again, have agreed to lead a new Weight Watcher’s meeting.  The really good thing about this meeting is that it is only 5 minuets from my house so I will be able to run right back to my sewing machine.  Angel

But before I get back to my sewing, I'm going to spend a little time with Judy at Patchwork Times.  I know she will welcome you, too. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

New and Old Projects

DW 8-13-12
This is what is on the wall in my studio. 

On the right are two Funky Chicken blocks.  I had the top one done early in the week and put the second one together on Sunday. 

Funky Chicken 2
I am really having fun dreaming up the colors for these chickens.  They are  fused using as colorful batiks I could find.

I am still 6 months behind in making these “funky chickens” so the fun is going to be going on for quite some time.  And I have several batiks I haven’t even used, yet.

Hearts Desire
And here are the five blocks I made for the Heart’s Desire BOM last year.  I loved making these blocks but they were way beyond my abilities.  So I stopped with just these 5.  And now I am feeling the need to figure out how to make them into a quilt.  So I put them on the wall so I can begin the process of designing. 

003 (3)Sometimes this works as it did with this quilt.  It came from 5 leftover blocks that I didn’t much like.  I put these blocks on the wall three times before a quilt bloomed.  Because of how long it took, I called it “Better Late.”

Other times the blocks wind up back in their box waiting for another day to strut their stuff on my quilting stage: the design wall.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Checking In

Funkey Chicken 1
After finishing my 24 swap blocks on Monday it seemed as though I was never going to be able to be  back in the studio.  However, this afternoon I got to begin a new project, one that I have been looking forward to for a couple of months.  This is my first Funky Chicken block from Fat Cat Patterns.  I have been saving the patterns and even made this one before (see earlier post) as a birthday pillow for my mother.  I do fusible applique and have the pattern pieces drawn for two more chickens which I hope to be able to work on in the next week.  This one is only pressed but I really like the look, very different from the first one I also liked.

background fabric
This somewhat fuzzy picture is of the background fabric I chose.  First, there is no green in the real fabric.  Secondly, I picked it because the “leaves” kind of looked like chicken tracks.  I think the fun of doing this BOM will be that the blocks make me smile all the while I am working on them.  Smile

Henrietta plan
The other thing I worked on today was Henrietta Whiskers.  I got the center all sewed together and was just about to add the borders when I realized that it might be getting too big for the place I want to hang it.  So off to measure the space and the center and sure enough, I needed to make a change.  The original plan was seen here.  It is just the same as the original pattern.  I have decided to replace the original partial border, top and bottom, with smaller versions of the original outer border and will do a single binding using the original stop border.  It will then just barely fit in the space but will be the perfect Fall wall hanging for our dining room.

I started one other project but did not take any pictures, yet.  I bought a panto-cam and it came last week.  I opened the package, took out the instructions, read them and then decided I was too tired to deal with it.  Today I reread the instructions (no pictures) and took all the parts out and laid them on the quilt frame.  I then decided that I needed to see the video again to see where all those parts went and how they were to be put on the machine.  I may have to watch that video several more times before I get mine up and running but when it is done I will/should be able to view my pantograph from the front of the machine as well as see how the bobbin is doing as well.  Cool, huh?


Monday, August 6, 2012

Completion and New Shoes

Dot block 1
I have been doing some sewing.  This is one of the swap blocks I have been putting off making.  I agreed to participate and then found what the colors were (not my choice) and that we were to prewash all the fabrics.  Have I ever said that I don’t like to prewash?  I have not seen the need but the real problem is that I don’t like to have to press all that fabric.  So I started with great intentions and then pooped out when it came time to press and cut the fabric.  And then the deadline loomed….and loomed…..and loomed.  So this week I pressed, and pressed, and cut, and sewed.

During all of this I also remembered that I am not a fan of chain piecing.  I did, however, figure out that if I marked my machine (see the pencil mark in the photo) I don’t have to draw a line on the fabric.  It made it a lot easier but I find chain piecing kind of boring.

Dot Block 2
11 blocks are almost finished.  This is the one I made so I could see how they will look.  Today I will finish putting them together and then get them in the mail and then I can get back to making a couple of fun quilts I have in mind.

white sandles
On Saturday we shopped.  I “needed” to get some white sandals along with birdseed, pool stuff, and big magnets for my HQ.  I found my sandals right away but while I was looking DH started looking too which left me some time to browse.  This was not a good idea as I found these:

010 Aren’t they beautiful? 

They are covered with owls with a background of orange (my favorite color, if you didn’t already know it).  Even a metal owl on the strap.  I wore them all Sunday and they are really comfortable.  My feet are not used to being enclosed but they are willing to allow it once in a while, as long as they are comfortable. 

I did take sewing brakes with a little reading and this:

I do have to say that this is a great way to relax.  30 minutes in the water and I was ready to go back to chain piecing.

Now that you and I are fully relaxed, lets check in with Judy at Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are working on.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Early this week we had rain:

Heavy rain and sunshine at the same time.

We even had hail.  And I learned something: hail makes a lot of noise when it hits a tin roof.



This is what I woke up to on Wednesday.  What is it, you ask?  This is the container for cat food.  And you probably can see that it is completely empty.  I have to tell you that I was not a popular person when I walked right by the hungry cats.  I tried to tell them I was on my way to the grocery store but it didn’t seem to console them, at all.


When I got home I was faced with this.  This is my Weight Watcher’s paperwork and I usually

make a mess of 1/2 of the dining room table while I complete it.  But after a little while it was all done and ready to get in the mail.


Then, finally I could spend a little time in the studio.  Here I am showing the completed Block 4 for August of the Carol Doak BOM.  I am really enjoying her foundation paper piecing a lot and may have to make more of her blocks on my own.  Of course, I also really like the fabric I chose for this BOM.


Today I finally began the piecing on the second set of swap blocks.  I thought I had all the pieces cut but soon figured out that I hadn’t cut at least half of the parts.  Here I am chain piecing flying geese parts.  I did figure out that I really do not like chain piecing, just sewing the same thing over and over again.  However, I will continue sewing these since they need to be done SOON.  With luck, maybe, I can have all the blocks done by Monday.

Saturday, after my WW meeting, DH and I are going to Pensacola to do some serious shopping.  I need a new pair of shoes (oh, yes I do), the birds need seed, and DH wants some new pool toys.  We have been making a list because when one lives in a small rural area, one needs to use her city time wisely. 

But, before that, I hope to spend a great deal of tomorrow sewing, swimming, sewing, reading, and sewing.

Have a great weekend everybody.