Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm still sewing trees...

Libby wrote a very nice post about getting less done than she had envisioned this week and well, it happens to the best of us. I'm still plugging away on the tree blocks. Slower than I thought, but life has a way of distracting you at times and begging for attention. I could still have them completely done and ready for quilting by Monday...that's the goal anyway. I have both the red and white blocks done waiting to be trimmed once I find the final size. I started the green pile yesterday afternoon and stopped so I could make dinner and watch a movie with my sweetie. The rest...cross your fingers...might be done tonight. It's iffy, but possible. Wish me luck.

I picked up some more Debbie Mumm snowman fabric for the back at JoAnns Thursday and bought the last 8 yards of Warm and Natural they had in the place since I had my 40% off coupon. I like it for heavier, machine quilted quilts. But I need to order a 40 yard roll the next time from online instead.

Happily, we got all the normal chores, errands, and grocery shopping, etc. done this morning, so we don't have to brave the stores tomorrow. Except for some online things I need to get ordered for Christmas tomorrow, I'm staying out of the stores and home with my machine!

A much happier place to be!

**UPDATE: I noticed on a few blogs when I tried opening the picture for the larger view that instead of getting the big picture I got asked what I wanted to view it with?? or download it? This isn't the normal choice, but I'm guessing a new thing with Blogger. if you choose to download, it saves it to my desktop where I can open it and then have to delete it off. I can also chose to view it in something like Paint or Picasa..but it's a hassle none the less. So sorry to anyone who gets this new option. Not my fault, not something new I am doing...just something Blogger has evidently decided to do rather than host the larger jpeg picture anymore.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New projects...

It's not like I don't have plenty of current projects going at the moment, but sometimes you just shove a few more in there to keep you on your toes. I knew just what I was going to do next. A Christmas Tree quilt done in the "chop and re-sew" manner. I've had the FQ's already picked out and tucked away with the pattern waiting to be done for this Christmas all year, but I got a late start. Better late than never I say.

Sunday I started ironing all the FQ's and lining them up on top of each other for cutting. 10 FQ each of red, greens, and cremes in my case. Laid out and cut on the lines. These is the white and green backgrounds waiting their turn for sewing.
Once I got all the pieces ready for cutting, I started sewing the group with red backgrounds yesterday afternoon and got all but the last 2 seams done last night after hubby went to bed. This morning I got all the red background pieces finished and ready for trimming. I have to wait until all the blocks are done to find the final block size.

With any luck, I hope to have this tree quilt done and on the wall after this weekend. I realized yesterday I am sorely lacking in Christmas quilts. I put up my only finished quilt last night and thought I would share it again. I think this was one of my very first quilts. I call it Christmas Star.
I have a few more things to make for this year. I need to adapt Marcie's Tree Topper pattern into a new tree skirt. I hope to get that finished next week and under the tree. I also would love to get a copy of Libby's Christmas Angel done. I'm not as confident of getting that one done, but I'll cut the fabric strips and make the blocks while I sew other things. If it doesn't get finished for this year, I'll have a big head start on next years decorating.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

New BOM started...

I started a new BOM called Sweet Land of Liberty today and got the first section done.
I'm using what I call faux paper piecing. You don't sew through the paper, but right next to it, thus not having to rip off pieces of paper. I posted a detailed description of the technique on my blog last summer and also over on the Sweet Land of Liberty group BOM. You can find both links on my sidebar for the technique and the group blog. Now I'm going out to work on my needlework bag for a while and watch some tv. Have a nice Sunday tomorrow!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanskgiving Everyone...

Make sure to pace yourselves and eat in shifts so you don't blow any buttons! We are staying home this year and enjoying ham and all the trimmings. No turkey this year, and I really am not going to miss it one bit. I've got lots of things to fill the void...and the tummy!

Like my paperweight? How can I possibly read anything with that big tub-o-fur on my table...not that I'll read but a few of the ads anyway. Poor hubby almost got a hernia lifting today's newspaper. Why must they get so overindulgent with all the ads? Years ago I would be right there, but you couldn't find me within 2 miles of a mall these days. I stay home and skip the whole thing now. I'm off to do my Jumble and Celebrity Cipher and do some pre-cooking cleaning. Hope you all enjoy the day with your families!

Buckeye Queen finished...

Here's the finished Buckeye Queen quilt. Does everyone name all their quilts? I don't think it's all that necessary on every quilt, so I'll skip it this time. It was a very easy quilt made simple by a good pattern.

I stuck with my plan to just cover it all with a simple medium meandering and it worked out very well. I used an Aurifil color (#1318) that Libby shared about a year ago and blends with almost every fabric color very well.

Thanks Lynda! It's going on the sofa ready for use on cold winter days.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Little Red Schoolhouses...

Cute isn't it? I wasn't planning to sew this today but I finished cutting the background pieces and was so intrigued at what size they would end up, that I just kept going. These are super tiny little schoolhouses! They finish at 3 1/2 inches! I don't know that I'll do all the quilts in the book, but a few of them really caught my eye. This was one of them. Now I'll spend the night getting my binding sewn down on the Buckeye Queen.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Here's where I am this weekend...

I got most of the quilt pinned last night but dinner was getting late and my back was feeling the strain of all the standing. I took this picture before I finished pinning. Now, Buckeye Queen is all pinned and in a few minutes I'm going to start quilting. Hopefully it will only take a few hours to do a nice overall meandering.

My husband got up this morning and was at the Red Cross at 6:30 am for his platelet donation. Normally they give out t-shirts but this morning he got the neatest kitchen apron. I thought it was so clever that you would appreciate seeing a picture.

Can you read what it says?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Top finished!

Buckeye Queen
53 x 62

I know I have so many things in the process of getting done at the moment, but when I got this new pattern from Lynda Hall I just knew it was the perfect thing to get me back in the swing of quilting. A very dear blog friend gave me some great advice to do whatever interested me, not what I should do, to get my quilting mojo back. I think it worked very well. I loved this pattern the moment I saw it in my winning package of new patterns from Lynda's drawing. You can find Buckeye Queen in the pattern section, Page 6. It was super simple to do and will be perfect for keeping my toes and legs warm on the sofa! I hope to get the top pinned and ready for quilting this weekend. Cross you fingers for a weekend finish!

** I'm slowly adding old posts back onto the blog. Changing the date makes it simple to add them without messing up any new post. So if you see 40 or so post pop up, never fear. Anything new will be at the top**

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finally found the change date button!

Thanks the heavens, I knew there once a rumor about being able to change the date...Tonya said you could but I looked and never found anything, until NOW. Look on your page when writing a new post. Right on the bottom left is a link called Post Options. If you click it it allows you to turn off the comments on a particular post and change the date and TIME! No more backwards posts, no out of order instructions. Yippee!

So my old posts are going back... in order. You can catch the archives as they build up. I only have back until April, but that's fine. It's better than nothing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

UPDATE: Thanks to wonderful Leah mentioning that she could see all my post from Jan 07 in Google Reader I realized that Bloglines might have them, so off I went. Good news! I was able to get from April to present and save them all. Now, what to do? Some post are just silly, some are worth tutorials. But the dates will still say today if I restore them because I can't find out how to alter the date in blogger. Anyone know? I can title them by the original dates and that would work, but I might not put them all back in that case. So in the next few days if your counter shows 100's of post, check for any new ones and then mark them all read. Thanks again Leah for the tip!

Looky what arrived today! My very first month of Cheri Saffiote Payne's Sweet Land of Liberty BOM from Homestead Hearth. Can't wait to get started on the blocks! They did a perfect job marking everything for us.

Well most of the stuff is back in the sidebar. Thanks be to the heavens that I saw that nice..."go back to the old version" again and it takes your right back to html code because no way could I have figured out how to do all the sidebar stuff in widgets. Yuck!

Okay, I can't remember where the thing is to click that lets your comments show your email. Anyone? I need to make sure I have to clicked. I have to thank Dawn, although she doesn't know she helped me, but she asked me about the sidebar status pictures and progress bars a while back and put them on her site. Thanks Dawn, this allowed me to go to your site and view the source code and get them back on my blog!

I've got my whole template saved again...hadn't done it in over 10 months...very bad. I can't say I will get any of the old post back but nothing I can do now. Oh well, I messed with this all day and now I just want to sew for a bit.


Yea, make that two of us. YEP, the whole blog is GONE. I stupidly decided to make another blog this morning for a team thing...not important, and when it wasn't working out I just deleted it..or so I thought. Seems somewhere in the mix blogger moved over or open my main blog by default, the cats were screaming for attention and GONE GONE GONE...

ALL gone. SO enjoy the mess. I haven't a clue how to work with these freakin widgets so I doubt I can ever restore the sidebar the way I like. I kept html for a reason. Lord this will take all weekend to get settled. So you'll see changes for a while. I have some of the archives saved and I'll have to get hubby to help me restore those...but much later.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph I can't believe the whole thing is just gone. OH well. Too late now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Book correction...

Passing along something I found this morning while cutting pieces...anyone who has the book Prairie Children and their Quilts...there is a mistake in the dimensions of one section for the Little Red Schoolhouse Quilt.

Under CUTTING... The book says:

From each of the 4 red prints, cut:
2 squares, 1" x 1" (8 total)
4 pieces, 1" x 2" (16 pieces total)
2 pieces, 1" x 2" (8 pieces total)
2 pieces, 1" x 3" (8 pieces total)
1 piece using template 2 (4 pieces total)

This should read:
2 pieces, 1" x 2 1/2" (8 pieces total)

I couldn't figure out why they would separate the same size until I counted where they were and knew something was I looked at the sizes for the blue house and saw the mistake. Pass this along to anyone you know who already owns the book please.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Dance!!

The mailman just delivered my new learning project. Thanks Lynda! I named it that because unless I learn to do it, it won't get made...I'm talking about knitting. Now I have done knitting before but it was a bookmark and I learned in the Girl Scouts. I'm not even guessing how long ago that class occurred. No one else guess either, please! Can't be but so hard, I remember knitting, I remember having tension issues too. I think I'll call the local knitting shop and see if they can set me up with a refresher course and some one on one help to start off the project.

Too bad it's not crochet, I could do that in my sleep I've done it so long. I was reading Libby's list of things her grandmother taught her and I had to think back to my own grandmother...Nama we called her. My oldest sister's G's came out like N's and the name stuck. She taught me everything I know. Not her only mother is severely craft/sewing handicapped, but it dawned on me that I was the only one who ever learned anything from her. I guess thinking about it now none of my 3 sisters do anything crafty. NO interest at all. But I loved it.

Here we all are. That me in the fabulous pink and grey Easter dress standing next to her. I was about 7 or so I guess. She taught me to crochet at about 9 or so and it was tough going at first because I am right handed and she was left handed. We tried sitting across from each other, nope. She tried doing it right handed...nope. Finally I grabbed the hook in my left hand and said just show me. I still crochet left handed to this day.... with the hook she gave me to use. A very heavy steel hook, can't use any other as they don't feel right in my hand.

She taught me crewel and needlepoint, and how to make the most amazing placemats from this weird fabric with a strange weave that we pulled long pieces of floss through to create all sorts of designs...Christmas trees, indian/aztec geometric sort of designs. I really ought to get some of that if they still make the fabric and make some more placemats. Anyone know what that was? I think my mom still has the sets I made for her. Funny to think that with no kids of my own all this stuff will stop with me. None of the nieces care to learn. Maybe one day they will before I'm too old to pass it along. Well I've had my cry for today missing my Grandma, so I'm off to sew and finish a top. Thanks for starting the trip down memory lane Libby.

**Thanks to Vera for the info..It's called Huck Toweling and Swedish Weaving!**

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

As strange as it might sound, finishing that little Christmas quilt, start to finish, gave me a nice feeling of accomplishment that was the kick in the rump I needed to get moving again. I have several things cut out and ready to start sewing as soon as I'm done here. Thanks again Marcie for that super free pattern you provided so graciously. Making one inspired me to get moving on more. I'll make one for my Mom and I decided to make another one for me, a bit larger, to use as my new tree skirt. A few adjustments should make it perfect. Leaving off the center pinwheel...since it will be cut out...and leaving one side un-sewn so I can bind it along with the outside edges.

With those two in mind I took a trip to JoAnn's for more background fabric and some brighter reds. Now normally I don't do a tons of fabric shopping at JoAnn's because I've heard the "stories" about inferior fabrics, etc. Plus they don't carry civil war or much homespun. But inferior?? Well some is, but some is very nice. In fact, the topic for quilt guild this month is by the owner of the local quilt shop. Her discussion is about why her fabric is much better than inferior shops like JoAnns, Walmart, Hancocks, etc. Okay, I'll give you that the $1.99 fabric isn't the nicest. It's rough...sometimes weird, stiff and seems a bit odd. But if that's what you can afford, go for it! Why should anyone discourage someone from sewing for that reason. These days the fabrics are much better at my JoAnn's store. They even have a new line that's what I consider a knock off of the Denise Schmidt, Amy Butler type lines that ranges from $6.99 to $8.99 and that's right in the same range as the fabric store! It's wonderful fabric with very cool designs. What I went to get was more background fabric from Debbie Mumm. Since when did Debbie Mumm become second rate fabric? I don't think so. She has a whole line there in cotton and flannel for Christmas..once again in the $6 - $9 range. 40% off I might add right now. So I picked up enough for two more Tree quilts. The light is the background fabric. The snowmen pattern will be used for fun backs, and the plaid will probably be another border to make the quilt a bit larger. Those were all Debbie's fabrics as well as the lighter print with the darker green and red stars. The others are nice true xmas colors to be added in. I'm not making heirloom quilts here people. They are going to be washed a ton, crawled on by the cats, and enjoyed. Who cares if the fabric came from JoAnn's. Oh yea...well except maybe the quilt shop owner who lost out on the money.

Do you enjoy peppermints? Do you live near a Trader Joe's store? Then I implore you to go try these cookies. I'd easily weigh 500 pounds if these were available all year. They are that good! Real candy cane in the filling, so cool and refreshing. I grabbed a box on a whim and we loved them so much I had to go back for more.

Now, I'll climb off my soapbox and start sewing.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Christmas Sewing...

While I still consider myself to be in a major quilting slump, things are beginning to look up. I often had issues when I was working and found my desk littered with so many tasks that I sometimes considered calling in sick and forcing someone else to deal with them all...(not exactly what bosses look for in an employee)...but I never actually did in real life. Sounded like a plan though. Rather, I would work through it all by making a list, starting with job one and working through them all until they were done. It always worked before, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I'm a big list maker, it just works for me. To that end I mentioned the other day taking the time out to pre-cut the quilts that I wanted to work on and get them orderly, planned out and ready to go with the most difficult part done...the DECISIONS!! Why do I find it so hard to decide what to use for a block...let alone a whole quilt? For example, I agonize over picking the color combos for my swap blocks every month. I want them to be just perfect. Some months are easy, and some, like this month, are worse than hard. But I picked and cut, and today I'll get them sewn and in the mail tomorrow....5 days late. Sorry ladies.

One task I did complete was to make my very first Christmas piece for this year! Marcie was so generous to make a table topper pattern and share it with everyone who reads her blog. It can be found at her pattern website. Just follow the above link. I know Libby made one, and I think others have a well...I put mine together this weekend and finished sewing the binding last night. Marcie this quilt is so cute! I'm gonna have to make another with the green border and Christmas reds! ** Wow, I went to get the link and was shocked! Check out Marice's website gallery and you can see pictures of ALL the wonderful versions of this table topper!**

Now I'm off to finish cutting the last of the triangles for my sofa quilt. My toes are getting colder and colder as our weather finally turns fall! We are settling into the low 60's this week and high 50's next....hubby is less than pleased, but I love it! Finally fall! Happy Quilting!