Thursday, January 31, 2013

New and Ongoing

001I am so excited.  I have only one block and one triangle left to make and all of the Easy Street blocks will be done.  Also, I have sewn one large corner together as well as two long rows.  This afternoon I will be finishing the blocks and sewing as much of this center together as I can.  However, once the blocks are done I will have met my goal of getting them all done by the end of the month.

The funny thing is that a couple of days ago I saw a mistake up on the wall.  It is already sewn in and I really hate the idea of unsewing so I am thinking of it being my “humble” piece.  I then will be calling this quilt the Contrary Goose.  It really doesn’t bother me but it does make me laugh.

006This is what is new at our house.  I saw this at an antique mall but didn’t buy it.  However DH really liked it, too, and decided that if we could display our Parrot Depression Glass pieces in it, we should get it.  So Tuesday we picked it up (100 miles away) and the two of us old folks hauled it in the house, and then collapsed. 

Yesterday I moved furniture around all morning to find the best place to put it.  It is sitting in an opening between two false walls that contain our dining room.

007The dishes fit in there perfectly but because the cabinet is not lit I will be putting mirrors behind the plates and serving pieces.  Right now I only have two 12x12 mirrors so we will be buying more and then will be cutting them down to fit (oh goody, more projects).

Behind the new cabinet I have placed an antique piano desk we have had for years.  It has moved with us from IL to KY, to AL, to FL, and back to AL  and shows some of the wear and tear but I love it.  The funny thing is that I can peak at the TV in the living room through that little space to the left of the cabinet.

The picture on the cabinet back is one that DH bought at an Arts Festival a couple of years ago but we never had a wall to hang it on.  And we hung it on the back with velcro. Winking smile
Well, that’s about all that is happening here.  And I need to get off this computer and get to the studio before the month runs out.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Closer to a Finish

ES-corner sewn together
Any chance you are getting tired of seeing the same thing on my design wall?  I know I am.  So, even though I have 4 block As, 3 large triangles, and 2 small triangles left to make, I started sewing blocks together.  You can see the corner in the upper left (1 blocks, 2 large triangles and 1 small triangle).  It doesn’t seem like much but I was really excited to see this move toward completion.  And I have continued to sustain the one block a day (Friday I did 2 and then was gone all Saturday).  If I can do 2 a day this week I should have all the blocks done by the end of the month: wouldn’t that be great?

Feathered Star quilting complete
And guess what else I got done.  I completed the quilting of my feathered star table topper.  I guess I , once again, need to thank Judy of Patchwork Times for her lessons on quilting feathers for even though I am still learning, I am very pleased with the results on this quilt.

fabric found
One other great thing that happened for this quilt this week is that I found, buried in my stash, more of the background fabric.  I had been fretting over what I would use as a binding so I began digging in the “yellow” section of fabric to see if I had anything that would compliment these two.  “And what to my wondering eyes should appear” but the very fabric I was trying to match. 

Binding half completed
So Sunday I cut, pressed and sewed the binding on this little quilt.  Today I will finish the binding and this quilt will be residing on our table.  DH has already decided that his “new” globe will look great on it so that will be our table decoration…….for a while.  Winking smile

On Saturday DH and I took off to do a little antiquing.  Although several of the antique malls we have loved have long since disappeared, there are still a few in and around here so we try to do our best to keep them in business.  I really do not like shopping except when we are wandering through looking at old things, some of which remind us of our childhoods.    It was a very pleasant day.

Elsa and her frog quiltAnd now I leave you with a picture of our most recent grandchild, Elsa Grace, lying on the Frog Quilt made for her by me.  Most of you will have already seen this quilt but I also wanted to share it’s being put to good use.
Have a great, productive, and inspiring week.    


Friday, January 25, 2013

Break Time

taking a break
I sat down to take a break, read a few blogs, and perhaps even work on a couple of EQ designs.  And look what happened.  Everyone else decided it was “break time” too.  With a lapful like that, who can get anything done?  And who would want to?  So we clicked on the TV, watched a little HGTV before returning to housework and quilting.

Feb blockI won’t share pictures of my housework (boring) but here are the completed February, yes I said February, blocks for the Carol Doak Mystery 2012-13 quilt.  If I read her right these are the last blocks and soon we will get her plan for the layout.  I am all caught up with this one so I am ready for the next step so I can have another UFO to guilt me.  Nyah-Nyah

F Star quilting
The quilting on my feathered star is coming right along.  I only do a row a day but I am very happy with what I am seeing.

F Star Quilting 2I did draw out, on a sheet of Plexiglas, my quilting design plan and then I took pictures.  I printed them and that way I can make sure I am quilting the same thing in each of the stars and/or star points.  I have two star points and then the final border row to do and the quilting will be done.  I guess I better start looking for some binding fabric.

I am also still chugging away on Bonnie Hunters Easy Street.  I am 1 block away from being on the last row which includes 4 blocks, 5 large triangles and 2 small triangles.  And then, of course, I still have to sew all those blocks (and intersections) together.  I know what I am going to use for a small stop border around the center but I have no idea about an outer border.  And I don’t think I have anything in my stash that is jumping out and saying it is ready to play with this very bright and busy quilt.  What fun it will be to be taking ES to the quilt stores to look for the best playmate.  Open-mouthed smile  But I don’t think that is going to happen quite yet.

Have a great weekend, I know I will.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Things Are Progressing

DW 1-21-13
My design wall this morning is almost all covered.
As you can see I have completed more Easy Street blocks: I have continued to do one block a day (except that I made two blocks yesterday).  I have 11 full blocks, 5 large triangles and 2 small triangles left to do.  There are only 10 more days in this month so unless I up my work schedule to two blocks a day, I will not have this center done by the end of the month.  We’ll see what happens.

Jan Fishy block
Also on the wall is my completed Fishy block for January.  I love the background fabric but it is a little dark so I will have to be very careful to choose lighter fish fabrics so they don’t get lost.  I think this is going to be another really fun quilt top.

CD Feb 2013 block
I also have completed 2 of the 4 mini blocks for Carol Doak’s mystery quilt.  I think she said this was the last of the blocks so next we will be getting the setting directions.  I really do enjoy paper piecing so I hate to see this coming to an end.  Maybe I’ll look into a New York Beauty type of quilt to do next.

Feathered Star quilting
I did finally start the quilting on my feathered star table topper.  I thought I had made it about 2-3 years ago but was told this week that we got together to learn how to make feathered stars 4 years ago.  So this qualifies as my oldest UFO, soon to be completed.

friendship star quilting
It’s not very big, about 40” square but is going to look wonderful on the dining room table.

circle tools
These are the fancy tools I used to mark the squares for circle feathers.  Nothing but the best here.  Flirt male

can't make the bed
This is all the help I have around here.  They were refusing to get up so I couldn’t make the bed.  Of course, I was very disappointed.

how can I make it move
And Ms. Murphy is still attempting to figure out how to use the Pilates machine.  Just this morning she was asking “how do I make this thing move?”

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Special Week

This is a special week.  No, not because I have finished my Easy Street.  In fact, I have only continued to make a block a day. 
Every day I do my devotions, exercise on my Pilates machine, eat breakfast, do as little housework as I can get away with and some computer work.  That usually takes all morning and it is now time for lunch.  Then I can go to the studio for some quality sewing time. 
The first thing I do is my Easy Street block.  I know that if I put it off I will get involved in something else and then quickly fall behind.  001
I finally set the blocks for the full queen size: wow it really is going to be big.  But the problem is that I now can see how many blocks I still have to make.  Surprised smile

Second I have been working on a Carol Doak heart pattern.  CD heart
Originally I was making a purple and white heart (Northwestern University) and a blue and orange heart (Auburn University) to make Valentine placemats for us.  However after I made the two purple and white parts I discovered that I had made two of the same side.  After cursing myself and then sleeping on it I had the brave idea of joining the two parts and I really like the outcome.  The blocks are 10” and the dots will be border around the block, a block beside the heart and the binding.

And thirdly, I finally got a chance to work on my new BOM from Fat Cat Patterns, Wonderfully Fishys.  003This, like the Funky Chickens, will be made of batiks.   Here the fish parts are just lying together and the background fabric is folded next to them.   The funny thing is that I already have three different people I am thinking of for this quilt: it’s a good thing I have a whole year to decide who it is for.

Oh, and why is this week special?  Well, tomorrow my husband and I will have been married 52 years.  I may have to do some catching up on my blocks this weekend.  Open-mouthed smile

Monday, January 14, 2013

Not Quite Half-Way

so far so goodThis is my Easy Street, moving right along.  And I have kept up with my “at least a block a day” plan.

small triangleHere is the small triangle laid out, ready to be sewn on Saturday.

large triangleAnd Sunday morning I made another large triangle. 
However, that is about all I got done this week.  Every time I got a block done, DH came up with something for me to do that took the rest of the day. 

I did decide on a paper piecing project to start today and I copied the pieces for new applique BOM.  The problem is that if I can only get an ES block done each day I am not moving forward on any other projects.

For those who read my post last Wednesday, I have been doing great with my new Pilates machine.  And I am even sharing it, with:  Ms. Murphy. 

When I came in to do my routine last night, there she was.  I almost left her there but that would mean I would miss my exercise so off she had to go.  Poor Murphy!

Now, I have a favor to ask of longarmers out there.  I have been asked to meet with 2-3 new longarmers and give them so “tips” on how to get started and things that would make their beginnings easier.  I have to say, I am not a teacher by any means and since I am totally self taught, I am having trouble thinking of what “tricks” I have learned or thought of.  So, if you have any ideas, please share, PLEASE!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not a Resolution

005But this is what I am planning on using, daily?
My favorite exercise is Yoga but over the last several years  I have developed a knee problem that makes kneeling most painful.  And I have always wanted a Pilates machine.  So I ordered one.  They “said” it came fully assembled, just pull it out of the box and go.  Well, they lied.  The main part is assembled but lots of little things have to be put on it to make it work. 

This is in my bedroom where I spent one day moving furniture to make a space for it and the next day “assembling” the machine.  And last night I finally was able to do my first full routine.  It was great and I look forward to many more stretching and core strengthening routines.

003Also this week I baked bread.   This is a cinnamon loaf we got from our #2 son and daughter in law in CO: a Christmas gift.  I was planning on making it New Year’s Eve to eat on our way to the Gator Bowl but since we left a day early it didn’t get made until this week.  And it was gone within 2 days: really good.  I usually don’t like getting food gifts because we eat Weight Watcher’s and most of those food packages we have to give away because of too many points.  However, this was only 3 points a slice so it was a reasonable, and good, snack.

007I also was able to pick up my new rocking chair for the front porch.  DH got it for me for Christmas but he knew I wanted to try out chairs before bringing one home.  I went to do that right after Christmas but they were outside and it was way to cold to get comfortable in any of the chairs.  So this week, with 65F weather, over we went and this was the one I picked (rocked in 12 chairs first).  And you can see that I have given Fred, our porch friend, the recliner.  Right now the porch is looking a little crowded but in the Spring I will be working on a better layout.

004On the computer front, I decided to move my downloaded quilt patterns to a flash drive.  Look at how many I seem to have.  Do you think I will ever get all of them made?  And I only dl the ones I really think I might like to make.  Oh, my.  I think I could stop going online right now and be perfectly and completely busy with just what I have.  Now I am afraid to do the same thing with the embroidery designs I have collected.  But I need to free up some of my hard drive so things will move a little more quickly.

I have been sewing.  I have made one block every day for Easy Street, have been removing the stabilizer off of the Funky Chickens, and have been looking at BOMs to add to my work plan.  There haven’t been as many posted this January so I may go to one of the ones that I saved but did not make last year.  I like to have 3-4 BOMs to add diversion when I am also making 2-3 quilts.  And, the two BOMs I am currently making will both end in May.  So I need at least one more now: of course I do.  Angel

So this is Thursday morning.  I need to get off this computer, do my morning Pilates routine, get dressed, and get to the studio.  I think it is time to make some quilting decisions on the Feathered Star!

Have a great end of the week and weekend.

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 Begins

Everybody ready for a fresh start in this brand new year?  Well, I am making a stab at it.
DW 1-7-13
So this is my Design Wall today.  On the top is what I have done, so far, on Easy Street.  I really like how it is looking and am loving my color choices.

Easy Street Prep
I decided that I would kit up each block and triangle so all I have to do is pull out a baggie and sew another piece together.

ES more parts needed
Well, that’s not quite all.  While doing the kitting I discovered that I must have misread the cutting directions a couple of times and there were not enough of some parts.  So I made a list of what was still needed and put those blocks on top of the box of fabrics, ready for me to do the cutting, after I get all the ready blocks sewn together.  I am calling that organized disorganization.

This is teapot 6the Teapot for January.  Again I had a small piece of funky fabric and was just waiting for the right teapot for it.  I will eventually be appliqueing it with navy blue thread so the outline stands out.

scrap placemats
I also got the second of my “scrap” placemats started.  The colored lines are actually the strips of fabric cut off of the Funky Chicken applique pieces.  I hate to waste even little pieces of batik so I have stuck them on this pretty fabric.  Later I will be putting them on a backing fabric and quilt them both at the same time.

feathered star
Yesterday I put my feathered star table topper on the frame.  This little top has been ready to quilt for about 2 1/2 years but I have been afraid to quilt it.  Since we used it in our Christmas decorations, I decided that it shouldn’t go back on the “to be quilted” rack so on the frame it went.  I will be roaming in and out of there , in between Easy Street blocks, trying to decide how I want to quilt it.

sleeping beauty
I think the holidays wore Abby out.  But she sleeps under a beautiful quilt and looks like a princess.  This is one pampered pup.

I am linking with Patchwork Times, Quiltville, and What A Hoot.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Oh, My, 2013 is going to be BUSY

I had kind of a rough start for this new year.  I have a heart condition and it decided to act up starting about 2:30 am New Year’s Eve.  This was quite distressing since we were supposed to be leaving for Jacksonville, FL at about 9.  At about 10 I finally started feeling better and by 11 I felt well enough to get going.

Gator Bowl 2012
The next morning found us at  EverBank Field ready to watch the Gator Bowl.

And then it was time for the kickoff.  DH and I have gone to several bowl games when Northwestern is playing and he is ever hopeful.  Confused smile

It was a really good game, both NU and Miss State played well and there were very few penalties.  And the best part:  WE WON. 

Winner up close
DH says that he has been a Wildcat for 50 years and this is the first bowl game they have won in all that time.

He got that shirt right outside of the stadium: didn’t even ask how much it was.  And he is still wearing it.

So, this afternoon I finally was home and somewhat rested and ready to sew.

The first thing I did was to sew the 4 segments of the Carol Doak BOM block for January.  Even though the picture is fuzzy, I think you can see how beautiful this block is.  I am continually impressed with how these blocks turn out using these batiks.  It is really hard to believe that all of the color is coming from one piece of fabric.

But the real work started with Easy Street.  Oh, my goodness!
Easy Street triangles

The first thing I did was get all my baggies of parts out and then start reading the directions for what parts I needed for what blocks. 

Here is one of 4 small triangles and 1 of 16 large triangles.  And believe me, making one of each was a big deal.

Triangles   block A

But I didn’t stop there.  In between the triangles is Block A.   Can you see that this is a lot of little pieces?  I mean A LOT OF LITTLE PIECES.

Triangles   Blocks A & B
And then I added Block B, even more little pieces.  I love how the colors are playing with each other and can see that this is going to be a great quilt.  However, with all those pieces, it may take me all year to get this top together.  I have to make 15 more Block A’s and 8 more Block B’s, 3 more small triangles and 15 more large triangles.  So, I am thinking that I will work on this a block at a time and we’ll see how long it takes me to get it together.

While I have been writing this I have been watching the Rose Parade.  It was really hard to be away from my TV yesterday and miss this parade but knowing it was being recorded for me make it OK.  I have watched this parade ever since we first got TV (way many years ago).  I first saw it in black and white and was blown away when it came on in color.  But every year this parade astounds me for it’s beautiful color and creativity. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.  Hope this year brings the best for each and every one of you.  Gari