Sunday, March 30, 2014

Boots and More

This is what I have mostly been working on this past week. I showed it, again, to DH and he began singing Happy Birthday all over again.  I figure I can draw his birthday out for 2-4 weeks as I prepare a backing, load it on the frame, quilt it, and then bind it.  Maybe he will get a birthday month after all.

The boot appliques are from a 2012 BOM by Moose on the Porch.  I had so much fun making these boots but then just couldn't figure out a setting I liked.

Recently I found the embroideries at Artistic Thread Works and I knew how I wanted to use them.  The embroidery went find but then figuring out how to set them (math to figure out the sashing) took some time.  However I am more than thrilled with how this quilt has turned out.  DH is happy but says he doesn't plan t use it until it can hang in our local quilt show that comes in November. 

I did spend a little time doing some machine applique and got completely caught up on my What a Hoot BOM blocks.  However I do also realize that as of Monday I will be back to choosing owl fabric again.  I would kind of like to have this one done by November, too, so I may work ahead and get it done now that the fish are complete.

I have really been enjoying knitting these simple dishcloths.  I also have come to realize that although I love knitting it has taken me away from quilting quite a lot.  With quilting I can be very creative, go my own way, make changes whenever the mood strikes me.  Knitting is not like that, at least for me.  It is much more pattern controlled.  So I an going to cut back on knitting, using it as a form of relaxation, usually as a break during sewing/quilting sessions, rather than putting in a lot of knitting time.  Of course this may change from time to time but I think this will work best for me.  I do still plan to knit a sweater but I will be going very slowly cuz the sewing machine and quilt frame have been calling me.

I do have to share this, a birthday gift for me from our oldest son and his wife.  They were to have come for a visit shortly after my November birthday but I got sick and we postponed it until last weekend, DH's birthday.  Anyway, I got a gift too, this striking owl ring. 

I do realize that it is a little difficult to see that it is a ring so let me pull back so you can see it better.

Can you still see it?  You can see that it is a little big but it is also very noticeable.  Of course that is kind of a strange looking hand, isn't it?

Thank you Scott and Sue.  The ring fits in perfectly in this setting on my fireplace mantle.

And they gave DH a gift card to Dunkin Donuts, which we have already used once.  This birthday thing is great, even in your 70s.

And now I am going to work on getting this new computer filled up with the programs I use.  Of course I have to find the disks and manuals, which are not always where I think I put them.  I have one that seems to have moved out cuz I haven't been able to put my hands on it but I will keep looking.  And I will have a good week, how about you?


Monday, March 24, 2014


No pictures today.  About three hours after my last post my computer gave up the ghost and died .... while I was using it.  So for DH's birthday I got a new computer.  I am not complaining, really, except that I am not a Win 8 fan.  I lost Live Writer, which I have used faithfully for years to write my blog , and I now have to learn how to function with this new, to me, system and then find the disks for the programs I use a lot.  Additionally I will be trying to see how much I can get off the old disk.

Contrary  to what I just said I figured out a round about way to get a picture into this new computer and am really glad to share our oldest son and his wife's picture.  They came for a weekend visit, from Atlanta, to celebrate DH's birthday.  We antiqued, ate and laughed throughout the weekend and had a lot of fun together.  Thanks, Scott and Sue for a great visit.
Almost immediately after they pulled out of the driveway, our daughter arrived with her husband and son to take us out for dinner, again to celebrate DH's birthday and also her husband's birthday which is today.  Sad to say, we were so busy eating and laughing that I forgot to take any pictures so that will have to wait for another celebration.
Given the above, there was NO SEWING this weekend.  I have, however, already turned on the heat in the studio (just to take the 50F chill off) and am off to do some damage in there.  DH is home for Spring Break so he is the dog sitter for the week and maybe I can at least get the top of his birthday quilt together in this time.,
Have a great week everybody.   GARI 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Many Projects/So Little Time

Eric's Calendar PicturesTomorrow is DH’s 73rd birthday.  Sometimes it is hard to believe that we have been together as long as we have and it is only by looking back at all we have done and been through that we can see the very large number of years we have both lived through and been together.

boots coming alongMy big project this week, however, has been this quilt which is DH’s birthday gift.   And I can’t say that all has gone well. 

layout=wrong    The first problem was that I couldn’t figure out how to draw the layout I wanted in EQ.  I want to use two or maybe three different sashing sizes and EQ didn’t seem to allow for that.  So I decided to revert to graph paper, which I used to do all the time, and really enjoyed working that way again.  BUT, after I was cutting my pieces to match my drawing I realized that I added a row to my center panel which isn’t in my real plan.  So back to the drawing board I am going to figure out how to make all my pieces fit.

embroidery done    These are my 9 pieces before I started cutting to size.  They are embroideries from Artistic Thread Works and I am thrilled with how they came out.  Now I just need to figure out how to make them fit. 

dishclothEver since I started knitting again, July 2013, I have found it the most relaxing way to avoid doing either what I should be doing (housework) or am frustrated doing (quilting).  However lately I have grown tired of just knitting socks and am still afraid of starting a sweater so I took up knitting dishcloths.  This is the second one I have done and I really like them: they are soft and easy to work with.  And they have kept my hands busy.  Flirt male



Jessica's Birthday mug rug
    And last, but certainly not least, one of my mug rugs has found it’s new home.  This is my DIL(youngest son) with her birthday gift.  She tells me this is how she looks before she has had her morning coffee and that my son is “very afraid” of that look.  The funny thing is that my son does not drink coffee (can’t believe he is my son) but has always gotten up in the morning and made coffee for his wife.  I guess I taught him well: happy wife, happy life. 


Our oldest son and his wife will be here tonight so there will be no sewing until possibly Sunday afternoon.  Guess DH will be getting quilt pieces for his birthday tomorrow.  Confused smile

Sunday, March 16, 2014

BOMs Away

March completedMy Design Wall for St. Patrick’s Day.

This week’s BOM is Fishey from Fat Cat Patterns.  For some reason I don’t have all of them (15) so I am going to have to look at the finished quilt and then see what one’s I am missing.  There are 14 here but I accidently made a duplicate so I really only have 13 of the 15 done.  I realized that I don’t know how many we are making: I guess I need to pay a little more attention.

#14  Here is my #14.  She looks so  girly, don’t you think? 

#15 And here is #15.  I have a pretty good supply of batiks and each fish seems to take on a personality of their own just by the choices I make.  I love quilting.

This past week I completed the March blocks for the Alphabet BOM and began working on a setting for the Boot Bash BOM of 2012.  This work can be seen here.

My Mug Rug
And I finally got my Mug Rug finished.  And, of course, it is on the table with a coffee cup sitting on it. 

So far my plan of working on one BOM a week is working GREAT.  This week I will be making the two blocks for Denise’s BOM.  Although I stated her “From Head to Toe – A Knitter’s Gifts” BOM was only having us do applique, the “sock” blocks are pieced.  So I will be stitching, appliquéing, machine embroidering, with a little knitting thrown in the mix.  My, what a great week I have ahead of me.  Open-mouthed smile

Sunday morning the tornado sirens began blaring to tell us that a tornado was on the ground and coming our way.  As we listened to the radio the roads and highways that go by our house were the ones mentioned as in the path of the on the ground tornado.  Our daughter, who was home alone, jumped in her car, drove much too fast, and came to spend the scary time with us.  We got wind and rain but no tornado (not complaining) and were reminded that no place is totally safe so we must appreciate what we have while we have it.  I hope I can keep that reminder.

And now it is time to get back to my Spring Cleaning as we are going to have company next weekend: our oldest son and his wife are coming.  We rarely get to see our sons (MD, GA, CO) so it is a rare pleasure.  So while I sew and clean, you all have a great week.  GARI

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On Fire, Creatively

I don’t know what has come over me but I have been working steadily and even getting stuff done.

March-aI continued to follow my one BOM a week and began working on the Alphabet BOM.  The first of the two blocks for March was this house block.  I did change some of the colors: I really like the coral house.

March-b prepedThen I prepped the second block.  I have always wanted to make an Irish chain quilt but for some reason thought that it was too difficult for me.

March doneBut it really was very easy.  As you can see, the block came out just fine and I am now completely caught up with this BOM.

March up to dateSo this is all of this BOM, up to date.  The instructions have the sets of blocks with sashing completed but since I never know if I want to set my blocks the same, I am waiting until all of the blocks are done.

Boots layout planI know I said I was going to get back to the Celtic Solstice quilt but then I remembered that DH has a birthday this month and I had planned to make this quilt for him and his Cowboy Family Room.  The blocks are from a BOM in 2012 but, again, I was stumped by a setting.  I really wanted to set them this way but couldn’t figure out what to put in them.  But this week I found just what I want and the fabric to go with it.  I hope to start working on that part tomorrow but will hold off showing it until after March 22.

Fred helping hold things togetherFor those who read my blog regularly might remember that Fred came inside after being attacked by our new dog.  I still haven’t fixed his foot but you can see that he is using his inside time well by holding my mess together.  I kind of enjoy having him in my sewing room, he just laughs along with me when I make mistakes.

dinner theater flowers
I am closing today with these flowers, a sure sign of Spring.  Actually they were table decorations from a play DH directed for a dinner theater last night.  It was a mystery: see the spy glass, question mark, and Poirot mustache stuck in the flowers.  The play was a success, DH is happy, and I get to have these flowers in my house.  Life is good.    Gari 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

It’s Monday so Here We Go Again

design wall ready to workHere is my design wall today.  The only owls up there are the last ones that need to be appliqued: they are there to remind me to get them done this month.  The BOM of the week is the Alphabet BOM. 

March 2014 blocksThey are being nicer this month and there are only two blocks  this month.  Here is a picture of the pieced part of the blocks, which I have not yet started.

March letters ready to fuseI did get the letters drawn and fused to the fabric, ready to applique when the pieces parts are completed.

My plan is to get these blocks done this week and then do some more sewing on Celtic Solstice.  I realized, Sunday, that I can’t remember what I was doing so I also get to spend some time rereading the pattern parts.

worsted socks almost doneI have been doing some knitting and got the foot and heels done on both.  I am always amazed at how easy these heels are to do, and quick.  So now all I have left is the ribbing which I do rather short.  Now I do have to tell on myself, when I started the heels on these socks, for some reason I did the heels on different sides.  It was a little confusing  but worked out in the end.  Confused smile

I think this week I am going to spend some time reading through the sweater pattern I got and then maybe even cast on the beginning stitches.  I have been procrastinating starting this because I am not sure I am ready for something so big.  But I can’t just knit socks forever.

no coffee mug rugThe last thing I worked on was to begin quilting my mug rugs.  I started with the background but still have the figure to do.  Everything is set up so I can do a little quilting whenever I get tired of what ever else I am doing. 

Our weekend ended very nicely.  Our granddaughter, her husband and son came from NC for a very short business trip and we were able to visit with them over breakfast Sunday morning.  She only recently moved to NC (husband is in the Marines) where she has encountered winter like she never had in AL.  It was fun to see how well they all were doing and to help send them on their way back to their new home.

And now lets get on with all the projects we have planned for this week.  I am also including some Spring Cleaning and  am planning to put together several bags of clothes and other stuff for Goodwill/Salvation Army.  I love stuff but find I am living in a world of clutter, both in the house and the studio.  So I am going to work, little by little, on clearing out some of it.

Have a great week, folks, I know I will.  Gari

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lost Weekend

owl wall 3-2-14This is all that is on the wall today.  I have decided to work on one BOM a week this month and since the fabrics for the owls was already out, this is the BOM for me.   At the top left is the block I completed this weekend.

last set of threeI believe they are the last set of three in one block.  I am amazed at how much time it takes to draw the pieces and then cut them individually out, find just the right fabrics where I am not repeating fabric combinations, fuse the pattern pieces to the fabric, cut each piece out, place the pieces together so they look right, fuse the pieces together and then fuse the completed appliqué to the background.  And that, just in time to do it all over gain for the next month.

March owl patternAnd on Saturday the March patterns came out.  So I printed all of them (except the one that doesn’t come out until the 15th, of course).  As I took them to the studio I found just looking at the patterns made me tired so I spent some time just sitting in the recliner, looking at what was ahead of me.  Disappointed smile

March owl drawnThen I got busy drawing the pieces for March.  I was just beginning to cut them out when I realized that it was time for Sunday dinner so that has been put off until today.  I will cut the pieces as a break from laundry.

sweatshirt jacketPart of the reason this weekend was lost to quilting was that DH and I went to a quilt show in Prattville, AL.  The quilts were great and there was a wonderful selection of vendors.  I didn’t take pictures of the quilts but I did of this jacket because I think it may be the inspiration for a blue one for me.  It is a sweatshirt jacket but the outer fabric looks like suede.  the back is also squares on point but they are larger squares.  I have made three sweatshirt jackets but really need a blue one to go with my many pair of jeans.

featherweight longarmThe other really interesting vendor was one who makes a stand-up quilter using featherweights.  All the wiring is in the base under the machine and it comes with a light and stitch regulator in the handle.  Very tiny throat space but cute as a button.

new ironAt the quilt show I attended a couple of weeks ago I bought this new iron.  It has a steam generator built into it and blows a strong steady stream of steam (try saying that three times).  It has a constant heat setting, does not scorch, and lets the steam do the work.  For pressing I really like it, my seams press very flat and I can let the iron sit on my fabric while I fuss with it and don’t have to worry about burning anything.  I even think my ironing board covers will last longer.  The only problem I have is that it doesn’t heat enough to fuse for applique: I don’t think steam will help the fusing process.  So I am using an old iron for fusing but the new one for everything else.  I’ll have to wait a while to see how long it lasts.

vert weatherMy  plan for this weekend was housework on Friday, Quilt show on Saturday and studio time on Sunday.  Well the first two were accomplished but on Sunday DH decided he wanted taco pizza and the closest place is almost 60 miles away so off we went.  And since it was 72F as we left we decided it was the perfect day to put the top down and let the wind blow through our hair …… well my hair.  The sun was out, it got up to 81, and was a great day to be on the road.  Needless to say, life and convertible weather does get in the way of the quilting experience.

Today is gray and rainy, the perfect day to stay inside and do laundry.  And, of course, occasionally draw, cut, and fuse owls.

Have a great week everybody and if it is snowing where you live, STAY OFF THE ROADS!!   Gari