Saturday, January 31, 2009

Finally...2009 finishes!

I'm done with the Valentine/February quilts! I think. Why is it that we always end up trying to get things finished right before the holiday? I decided I'm starting the Christmas quilts next week! lol! Seriously, I am!

SO here are the big guys...

Hugs and Kisses
53" x 53"

It's from a very old pattern by Cheri Saffiote Payne, like 1997 or so, when she was with Indygo Junction. Don't know where to find it now, although someone found one through ebay! It's not rocket science to make the blocks either..just a center and 4 rounds. I used muslin for the letters and circles, which are muslin circles with red circles on top. Very quirky circles too!

Folksy Hearts
29 x 43

Cheri again, I finished this a few months ago and wanted to hand quilt, but the arm just wouldn't cooperate, so I did a free motion baptist fan pattern using 8 concentric card stock arc patterns. It takes a long time and a steady hand. Not again until I have a longarm and the quilting template! This pattern I'm sure you can get either through Country Loft (who still has this in their pattern section) or Fat Quarters Quilt or call Michelle and I'm sure she can help you out.

Now I need to do some serious work on all my bom's! I have a few new ones waiting for me to complete Month One. A couple waiting for me to catch up, and two that need to be finished. I'll make a big list soon so you can follow along. Back to the machine!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Not a bad finish...

Got it done including the machine sewn binding. I am finding that easier in these smaller quilts. Zip right around and ready to go!

just a quickie quilt....

Monday afternoon the UPS man came and delivered a surprise. I signed up for Jan Patek's Mini quilt club and we got our first kit in late December, so I didn't expect another so soon. There are only 6 or 7 in the whole year, so I figured every other month. But, I opened the box and out popped the mini kit for a sweet little valentine quilt.

Yesterday I started cutting the pieces and prepared the applique hearts, sewing as much as I could before starting the applique. This morning, I finished up the applique and got to putting the top together. Simple as pie. It's supposed to be a bit larger, but they didn't give us enough light background to cut all the block without piecing some so I went smaller and as a result left off the wording that went around the inside heart. It's cute and will go with the others for the holiday.

Now to pin it and do some simple cross hatching. I'm almost finished sewing the binding down for Folksy hearts and the other February quilt, so I'll have plenty to show later this weekend!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cheri fans, heads up!

Betty aka Fudge left me a message that one of our fellow bloggers named Julie Isa had posted pictures of a great big Cheri Saffiote Trunk show was currently going on at Fat Quarters Quilt Shop. Now I do love me some you are all aware, so I tootled right over and begun drooling! I have almost all her books, so I've seen pictures but the quilts in person looked wonderful!! Who knows, but I might need to email Michelle and get the last couple books to round out the collection. WOW, that shop is great. Michelle has gotten Cheri patterns for me before and couldn't me nicer to deal with long distance. I think this is where Libby gets those cute bundles of homespuns!! Right?? YUM!! Wish I lived closer.

Speaking of California....Looky what came from the Country Loft yesterday! My 2 new Blocks of the Month. I signed up for the new stitchery Baskets of Life from JoAnn Mullaly and the Deck the Halls wreaths from Donna Yackey. I also went ahead and purchased the thread packet for the stitchery. You can do them in anything, but don't you just swoon over those variegated Valdani threads?? Okay so maybe it's just me.

Well the big quilt is done and needs to be trimmed and binding sewn on, it's slow, but making progress...sometimes life just creeps up and demands some attention!! Now after doing a test run on freemotion MACHINE baptist fans, I'm all ready to do it on the smaller Folksy Hearts quilt this morning. Back to sewing!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

LOSER Monday...week 3

Hey I'm still doing it...DOWN 2 pounds! I would have lost more but I just had too many chocolate kisses. Now no fingers wagging, I have to have something chocolate or I'll hunt the house and end up eating 5 pieces of cinnamon toast!! So 3 or 4 kisses a day keeps me sane.

I also craved meat this week! Finished off the most wonderful New York Strip ever! I don't usually eat red meat, but somehow I just wanted real that's what jumped into the cart at Trader Joe's. Not something to do all the time, but wow it was good.

So my plan is to cut out a little bit more this week.
Too many pretzels with salt...water gain.
Too many kisses of the chocolate variety..we know the others burn calories!
No more white rice!

I'm also gonna check out this blog for some great vegetarian recipes to make in the crock pot. Check it out, I bet you can find something you will enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

GHI block

Finally had a few moments after getting the latest top done to finish my GHI block by adding the ice cream cone and the tiny blocks. What are they actually? J's? I realized just now that I forgot the tiny grass and flowers beside the house! Have to go back and add those. I also must sew on the big initial J also before moving on with assembling the top section and then KL & MN. By then I'll be all caught up with the bom.

*** As can find a more detailed explanation of how I made the block here in the section for this quilt.***

I think I somehow gave you guys the impression that I hate pinning. I don't really. It doesn't bother me except for the back hurting from standing for all that time. But working them really goes super fast and with a good handy serrated grape fruit spoon... to click them shut, it's a piece of cake. I have tried the spray and just don't really like how it keeps everything stuck...which sounds absurd. What I mean is that I don't always wash my quilts right away and I don't like the look if I don't. SO on quilts I do wash immediately it would be fine. But I really don't mind the pinning...honestly. Hopefully in a year or two I'll have a big frame that won't require anything but rolling on the fabrics.

Friday, January 23, 2009

becoming one with the pins....

Here's where I and the pins are getting VERY acquainted. I figure if I'm gonna lug Daisy Mae up to the table...and she's not a thin girl....I better have loads of stuff to quilt! This one is all done and I got the Folksy Hearts quilt ready too. I was going to big stitch quilt it and I really wanted to. But after trying several times, the arm had other thoughts. I'm sure I could get it done by next year, but I want it up now. SO I'll sacrifice hand quilting for seeing it on the walls completed.

I also hope to get my Blind Man's Fancy pinned too, so I can get it finished. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with that one, but it will hopefully come to me when I'm ready. Also waiting in line is the Patriotic Top Hat but I don't want to kill myself's tough on the shoulders and back. We'll just see how much I get done.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

free boms...

I'm sure you've seen the free bom's all over the blogs these days. They are all so cute, but since I have lots I've already started I passed on all but just one! I just couldn't pass up these pretty little stitchery patterns.

Gail Pan's free bom called A Christmas Wish. Simple and pretty. After seeing someone else... who I can't remember...sorry.... pick similar CW prints, I decided to use my lovely reds and greens that remind me so much of Christmas. I'm going to use a bunch of different ones on the borders and I was able to still find a nice CW Christmas-y green for the borders too online.

Now someone asked if I was teasing you with my February quilt...not at all. I just didn't think a picture everyday showing the next 3 blocks made was very interesting! So here's a shot from a few days ago.

I swear I have been sewing like I'm shoving the deep mud aside to get each stitch sewn! S-L-O-W!! Ever have those dreams where you are walking for hours trying to get some place??? it's sorta like that. This quilt took forever and I don't know why??!! But guess what...
It's DONE!! The top anyway. On to pinning and getting it finished on Daisy Mae!

One more tiny item...a couple people asked about the books I showed. They are great mystery books and I love them. It centers around one gal who solves murders in her tiny town and if you decide to read them, you really MUST start at the beginning and read in order. It's not totally mandatory, but you won't get half the references if you don't, and that's half the fun!

****Paula asked for the name of the FIRST book! It's the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder!
Here's a page listing all the books, and if you scroll down, you can see the books and the order written underneath each title. I realized that the Candy Cane Murders is actually 3 different novellas. Two are by ladies I read and one I don't, but it should be fun! I just finished the Peach Cobbler Murder this morning so I'm moving on to the Cherry Cheesecake Murder!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Loser Monday... week more

Well the big loss the first week was more of a water weight, shed the easy excess kind of thing that usually happens to me when I start diets. This week: 0 Pounds lost!! I didn't fair as well, but evened out it's not all bad. A week doesn't begin to matter when changing habits. Habits are formed over lifetimes...or certainly more than a week.

I did learn a few things this week. Don't eat beans and franks anymore! Hubby loves nothing more than eating a whole can of Bush's baked beans with buttered rolls for dinner. We used to eat these all the time with hot dogs and loads of onion. So I tried some, adding my hot dogs separately. WOW! I think I gained 4 pounds the next day. Never again. I also don't weight myself every day like I used to in the old days. Twice a week, that's it. Usually on Monday for this post and again on Thursday or so. It keeps you from getting disappointed with the ups and downs that will naturally occur. Keep up the good work ladies!

Onto other things, I went by Barnes& Nobel this morning to get my new QuiltMania magazine. Darn thing is not in yet, so I bought last months and a couple new books to read! I used to read voraciously before I started quilting, but ever since them I always feel like I'm cheating on the sewing when I do something else! Isn't that weird? These are some of my favorite mystery books to read. PLUS, they have the BEST cookie recipes in them. (close your ears Sharon) I'm going to start making time to read again during the week if it kills me. But not until my new quilt is done and quilted.

Then I stopped by the LQS after to pick up 2 new rulers...Creative Grid rulers, my favorites. I hate those lines covered with fat yellow blobs, so I order two new ones. 15.5" sq and a 10.5" sq. Those will do everything I need, especially for this quilt that's almost finished. It seems to be taking forever to get done!! Why does it seem like January goes in slow motion? My top is taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I have one more row to make of the blocks, and then applique on about 2 rows. Since this quilt has both I don't have another project getting completed along side it to show you any pictures. Sorry. Soon though I promise!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Our Goodwill is new and still really unknown so that's why I think they don't get the super good stuff like the DAV site does. Of course they don't charge $8 for a cotton shirt either like the DAV does. They have great clothes, but the other stuff is really not thrilling. I had to get blood work done for my check-up so I stopped by on the way home.

I start in the ladies suits and jackets and Jackpot! Found three great all wool jackets. $5.99 for 2 and $4.99 for one. I love the dark gray with the red big check. This will make great stuff like backgrounds and stuff for Christmas. Normally I wouldn't be so excited about finding camel and navy but look at the back of that jacket...NO SEAM!! Both the camel and the navy have no seam so that's a big wool section with no backing.That's 28 inches long and 18" WIDE between shoulders and 22" wide in the waist. That's a huge piece of uninterrupted wool. Both can be used for the background or base of a nice table piece, or pennie rug, or Christmas stockings, many things. Then I wandered around the rest of the store and found a cute little nativity set. It has a little wooden base under the bottom that they sit on. Who can't use a second set for the house.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

GH block...

Got the next block done for the ABC sampler, but I stopped at the GH part and haven't added the I part since the sections kinda need to be included around both sections.

By a strange coincidence I had the exact fabric Cheri used for her house so I thought it was fitting to use it! I also reduced the size of the cat. He was huge! Again the measurements are a bit iffy so if you want to see the total directions with measurement changes, you can go to my ABC Sampler page and see all the details. Now to make the I and the ice cream cone, the pieced blocks and add the lower section for the flying geese.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

secret's out!....

Okay so it's not a secret anymore, and actually I haven't shown you my big Christmas gift yet either...still need to write that post. Sorry I didn't write back to you all and give it away. I thought sharing once was a better ta-da moment and I'm also begging forgiveness since writing back an answer to each and every one of you gals is just too hard on the arm. But never mind...the NEW TOY!!!Sorry it's just the stock picture. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it sitting in the table but I forgot and it's taking a nap on the floor right now while Bernie does piecing duty. Her name? I'd have to say I don't normally name the machines but Roadrunner? or Speedy Gonzales? come to mind. Actually I think I'll call her Daisy Mae.

I think the first thing I said to Kim on Friday was...This machine is AWESOME!!!! Kim knew it was coming, I had questions. After seeing the store link over at Beth's blog, I went and checked out the machines and decided that I just couldn't pass up no tax, no shipping. I called the place New Years Eve! and they shipped it the same day. Sometimes you just have to love the 3 hour time difference! I get her out last Thursday, I lifted her up and she did NOT FIT in my table opening!!! I was running around like a nut trying to find anything to cut that hole larger right then and there but nothing. SO hubby brought home the jigsaw from work and I finally got her in at 7pm. I was too tired by then, so Friday I spent the morning learning, doing bobbins, learning to thread and getting ready. By lunch I was ready to go!

I think I got this topper quilted in about 15 minutes! It only took 3 spurts to get her up to top speed. When you do hang on. Oh my stitches are no longer toe catchers. I'm getting used to her speed and how fast I can move my hands still, as evident in the next job. Now don't go hating on the snowman ladies. He fell on his sword for the cause! I tried Kim's tree swirls...badly. Yes he looks very goofy and I think I got one swirl perfect..ONE. Hubby was inhere watch the Andromeda Strain on instant Netflix and said good job!! I said thanks babe, but it was pretty much an accident. Admittedly I rushed in, did not do my drawing practice and hey...I'm fine with it. He's goofy and quilted, and even he has issues with that tiny bottom.I have to sew his binding and then quilt the border but I'll always remember him as the one who took one for the team! You have to Kim major props, that is one hard stitch to do well! I'll do a lot of practice before I try it again. Maybe if I leave off his eyes he won't see how badly he's quilted!! LOLOL!!!

** Hey, I forgot to say BIG thanks to everyone for the diet encouragement!! You gals are so great**

Monday, January 12, 2009

Loser Monday.....

Okay, so who knew it was Monday already??? I was making a new quilty post and suddenly BAM! The mind hit on Monday and I knew I had to put that post aside and do my LOSER MONDAY post or Miss RED will have a fit! Now I am not sharing what I actually weight with everyone because it's probably WAY more than you other skinny gals and I don't want anyone to hurt themselves when running from the computer screaming in fright. Just guess to yourselves. However..

I LOST 5 POUNDS!...this week.

Okay is before shots day, so here I am. I tell you this is hard. It's a b-a-d picture! Hurts my eyes to look.I don't even get to have cute hair in this one like Sharon did in her shots. I will explain why I look so washed out. This was June 2007 at Primitives of the Midwest with Libby. We had gotten up at 6am for class, ate, gone to class in the morning and then got picked up by Quiltgranny Sharon at lunch for some serious shopping. 95 degrees, hot as heck, in and out of the car and shops, and walking, and shopping. We didn't think to take a picture until 11PM at night. I was walking dead and it shows. I haven't changed much since then except gaining about 10 pounds, so I'm using this picture rather than take another now. Heck it gives me hope that the after shot will be better by leaps and bounds!

did I mention....I LOST 5 POUNDS!...this week.

Now my eating tip for the week. if you have a Trader Joe's near you these are worth a try. I eat one every day for lunch. They are all organic, wheat free, and dairy free. Best part about them is they are ONLY 130 calories.Seriously, they are really good. But I will warn you they can be gummy to some, so I wouldn't go buy 10 of them at first. Try one and see how you like them. I LOVE them. Here's a yummy shot after the first 4.5 minute cooking. I usually separate them and turn them over for the last 1.5 minutes.
Okay so go forth and eat healthy! Oh and yea...
did I mention....I LOST 5 POUNDS!...this week.

Friday, January 9, 2009

save the search party....

or did no one miss me? I've been busy working. I really must find a balance between spending 3 hours on the computer and getting less than I want done on the sewing machine....or...spending no time on the computer at all. I'm still struggling with getting it balanced. I did not do a very good job this week at all.So these blocks are what has kept me busy this week among other things. I have many more done by now, but this was the first picture I took of them. A little tease of what I' m doing with all those lovely birthday fabrics. I also got a new toy yesterday and learning to use it took most of today away from sewing...well sort of, so I have to play catch up tomorrow making more blocks.

So hopefully I'll be back in a few days with lots sewn, some quilting, and maybe a little extra.

Monday, January 5, 2009

non- quilty stuff...

Recognize this lady? She's now residing over on the left sidebar and will stay there until I either get very thin or get tired of the diet.

I'm joining Sharon and loads of others who decided to spend a little while watching what we eat and maybe shedding a few pounds along the way. Lordy knows I could stand to lose a few..let's face it more than a few.

So every Monday, we'll be posting updates to our progress and the groups progress on our blogs.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

an early return..

I think my sneaking suspicions were right, the new medication I got was the culprit for all the muscles spasms. I knew I had too much handwork allotted, but I was going slow and doing fine when wham! the arm was just instantly shot. Now that the med is wearing off, it's better again. Still a bit touchy but going slow, I've managed to get my block done. I must stop to say though that I feel all warm and fuzzy over all the well wishes and "mothering" to stop working and rest up. You guys really are the best friends a girl could ever wish for!

Before the arm went I had plans to get the Month 2 sampler block done in the ABC Quilt. Since I figured there was a lot of piecing it was all good. Whew...this was like making a mini quilt! There's more going on in this block than some of the recent Cheri quilts! I approached this block a little different than normal since I wanted to conserve hand movements, so I got out my starch and freezer paper and did that method of turning under the pieces that could be done ahead of the time. I did all the letters, the duck, heart, and flower circles. I even pre-pressed the edges on the background pieces behind the letters! Slowly but surely I got it finished last night. ***Remember that I also post a more complete "how-to...what I did" post on the page for this quilt, for those who might be doing this quilt too. The link is right on the top of the right sidebar titled ABC Quilt Sampler Blocks***

All the decorations are down and the house is back to normal, although I miss things each year once they are gone. Not yelling at the cats for eating the tree...but I do miss that glowing light on the counter from the church. I really need a lighted house for that spot. All my new goodies are packed away, and I just have one item left to assemble. I'll keep it a tiny surprise and let you know in a few days...I will say that with the help of a wonderful blogging friend, I got exactly what I wanted!

Today, it's cutting some strips for a new february quilt, and making the economy blocks for the sides of the Sweet Land of Liberty quilt. I'll be ready to get that top finished and off the design wall.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

couldn't resist...

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends... many grand hopes for the next year.

Been thinking of what I accomplished last year, what I WANT to get done this year, and how I'd like to live this year to come.

The arm gets better as the new med wears off. I'm overwhelmed at the well wishes. You are such a great group of friends.