Monday, April 27, 2009


What do ya know, I remembered Monday! Don't faint or anything Sharon!

I did pretty well this last week, although the scales stayed generally the same. But I think that's due to my right knee being testy at the moment and making the thigh above the knee swell up. That could account for a few pounds. It's weird looking and a bit uncomfortable but fine. Some Aleve and a few water pills will hopefully fix it right up. Geez, what the heck?.... I thought you fell apart at 50? I'm only 47! I'm still getting used to what I can and can't eat again due to the diabetes and meshing all that with weight loss, but it will all be fine once I get in the groove.

Earlier, the mailman rang the bell and handed me my goodies from Amazon! Two new books I found just this weekend! I saw the applique book over at Megan's and knew I had to have it! Then I got an email from Amazon announcing the new Freddy and Gwen book (out May 5th) and that clinched the deal!...that and free shipping! I peeked at Tonye's book but I'm saving Freddy and Gwen's book for a spot on the sofa and my full attention! oh..see the mustard and black plaid? that's the sale backing I got for the tumbler quilt. $4 yd at Quilter's's now all 60% off on sale for $3.20 a yard.

Now I promised a quick look at the taupe tumbler when I had it on the basting table. I just have the bottom left to turn and baste when I get my errands done and then I'll be deep in quilting for several days! I'm doing a big overall meander that shouldn't take too long on both this and the Four Seasons embroidery quilt.

Another odd view...I tried to get the whole top and it came out looking more like the cover of a very odd book! Wow is this going to be a heavy quilt. I'm not looking forward to quilting through some of those blocks with all the seams!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

spiderweb quilt...

hey ladies... has anyone ever done a Spiderweb quilt one, two, three, four....without doing the pieces on paper? Or maybe on some sort of very thin interfacing? golden paper? I h-a-t-e paper piecing and always use the freezer paper method...which might work. Just thought I'd ask.

PS: the Taupe Tumbler top is .....FINISHED!!

I'm making the back now and getting ready for pinning. I'd show it but it's just as easy to show after quitling in a few days. I'll take a picture when it's all laid out for pinning. How's that?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

basting in a tight confined space....

Cathi mentioned in her comment that she was amazed at how I got big quilts pinned/basted in such a limited space. Well that sounds like a great idea for a post!! It's not easy but if you work methodically you can get it done with ease. Here's how I do mine.

My room has a center cutting table from Joann's. Most of you have probably seen it at some point. The big white one with the drop leaf sides. I keep one side open all the time for cutting with one side down because otherwise I'd never be able to move in here! I don't have the floor space to lay out anything, and it would be covered in cat hair if I did, even if I vacuumed 10 times before starting! Besides WHO exactly would be getting on the floor? Not me!! Kim has a wonderful system of using two folding table together to lay out her quilts and I thought of doing that in my dining room but I realized I'd have to use paint can or bricks to bring it up to the height I needed so I didn't end up bent over the table.

My room is packed! Just look at the enlarged picture above. My design wall has tubs on the floor under it and my Juki sit right there waiting for me to need her. The drop leaf is down as you can see, and I used my small ironing board to show off the border, but you can see the area for walking in the picture. I can walk around three sides of the current system and the other left side is doable but being so fat I really have to squeeze if my sewing machine table has the leaf up for quilting too. When I made the table I included a 12" drop section to give me more table top for quilting. Piecing can be done with the leaf down.

So to the good do you baste a big quilt in such a small space? First, I use a big table from Joann's that's 36 x 70. It's also 34" or so from the ground. That allows me to pin with no bending over at all. I start at one of the corners and lay out my backing on the table pulling it taut but not stretched...we all know the rules for layering right? I usually let it hand over about 2-3" inches off the table and that gives me the extra I need so I can lay the top right at the edge of the table. I use the big clips to hold it to my table top. I can pin half the quilt from one side and move to the other to pin the second side. Above shows it all laud out ready to start pinning.

Once I get that first full table section clipped I pull off all the clips and slide the quilt over keeping the top edge the same, just so the last pins are on the table edge. I clip down that basted edge and and then carefully pull back the top and batting just enough to smooth out the backing, making sure it's taut and clip it again...then the batting... clipping it down. Then I smooth out the top and pin everything on that table top. Smooth fro the center out towards the edges. If I have to move it again I do! This quilt was small enough to only need one move, but you keep moving section by section until the whole top width of the quilt is pinned.

Now the whole top edge is done. SO I un-clip and slide it down to do the bottom to the corner...if it fits. OR in this case I turned the quilt, getting the whole bottom in one section on the length of the table. Go through all the layer again clipping. Here's a little map I drew to show how I work. The black lines are the table orientation and the red arrows show how you move, section to section.
The 4 Seasons was small so I did section 1, then moved to #2, and was able to turn the quilt so all of the lower 15 " or so could be on the table for Section 3! For a larger quilt, just move along getting that top section done, then slide down to 4...moving back across the center, then work out the bottom the best way it fits.

It's all in keeping it very methodical, one table sized section at a time. The size of the room I can't help for the time being. Hubby's offered to switch bedrooms, or even let me have the whole front of the house...but I make this work for me until I have to space to invest in a big frame with rollers...then watch out!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

brain freeze....Loser Tuesday!

What is it about Monday's that has me in such a brain freeze...darn! I can't seem to remember it's MONDAY! SO's my day late... Monday but really Tuesday Loser report!

LOST 1/2 pound for the week.

Hopefully it will be more next week but I'm trying. The new meds she put me on...glucophage, has mild stomach upset and some digestive issues in most. Well meds for me tend to run about 10x the normal side effect! So I was sick as a dog for 2 days with nausea and upset stomach...ugh! New meds started today and we'll see how this one fairs! I only have myself to blame..if I had eaten right and taken care of this I wouldn't be in the situation again after 13 years. I totally did it to myself. Now I must do the work and I shall.

Here's the Four Seasons all laid out before I started pinning. It's done now and waiting for the quilting to begin. Don't they look pretty all smoothed out like that? Man I need a nice big longarm frame with roller so I can skip pinning...oh to have the space! Next house. Now I'm off to get my hair colored, then back to sew more on the Tumbler quilt!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

which to use...opinions please!

I'm thinking of the thread to use on the Four Seasons quilt and I narrowed it down two 2 choices of Superior's King solid and one variegated. It will done in a simple meander all over with the quilting going right over the embroidery sections. Please click on the pictures to get a nice big look!

So what do you guys think? The darker one is lovely on the cotton colors and hides almost all the time, but the darkest shade is really going to stand out on the embroidery. That can look rather harsh.

The lighter color almost seems to disappear on the embroidery squares but shows up more as a lighter color on the cotton pieced sections. I don't really mind that too much. I think I'm mostly leaning to the lighter choice...
What do you think? Don't be shy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

four seasons...

Finally got to work and finished the quilt top for the Four Seasons embroidery and pieced quilt. It's not the sharpest picture, sorry, but the quilt holder sways a bit while holding them up.Tomorrow I'm planning to clean off the big table and get to pinning. I really hope to have about 4 quilts ready to quilt next week. The Topsy Turvy taupe tumbler should be one of them too, if I can ever get the applique finished! You'd think it had tons of applique to do but really there is just a tiny bit. I just have to get situated and get it done. Other things have pushed their way into the mix and taken up my time.

I'll make sure to pop back in more frequently to let you know how things are coming along next week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

working on those finishes...

First things first...who knew it was already MONDAY??? I think I need a reminder each week. I didn't do too badly since I was busy being the good little diabetic girl again. Lordy I miss the chocolate!!!!!!!!!! I am missing anything sweet and I don't even have that big of a sweet tooth. I'd rather eat salty Payday bars but the salt is bad for us too so I limit that and the caramel center of goodness....drool, drool. SO anyway I lost 2 pounds this week! Not bad for starting back. Back to sewing stuff.

I joined the Spring to Finish and I definitely have lots to do and lots to finish! I'm busy getting some things finished and pinned so they are ready to hit the quilting Juki when I switch out machines. I hope to have about 5 quilts ready to do.

Here's the latest mini from Jan Patek's Mini Club. A simple Easter wall hanging. I didn't get it finished before Easter, since it came really close, but it will be ready for next year. I changed out the bunny color and I also used a different red border fabric. I didn't like the older dull red and purple dot fabric that came with the kit, so I grabbed a better choice and used some stash in the process.

I also got my next two Gail Pan blocks done. I started to put the fabric around the embroidery but realized I'd need more info before I did is their sashing between the block? SHould all the red be the same and all the green too? or mix them up? I think I'll wait for more info before I do any more borders.

I also got the last of the Four Season blocks embroidered and the fall block all put together so I'm ready to assemble the top and quilt! Hopefully it will be one of the things I get to quilt this weekend after getting it all pinned. Ialso started on the first block of the Baskets quilt from Country Loft!

I swear that Tumbler quilt is still getting done too. I just have to sit down and get the applique done of the second border and then do the little flowers on the sides. Then it will get put together and pinned for quilting. But not today. I've been running from doctor to doctor all day today and I am now pooped! I'm hitting the sofa for a nice nap!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter past...

Happy Easter to everyone....

I've shown this picture before but on the lost blog so I thought I'd add it again. I love it that much! All 6 of us at my grandparents house, in the backyard in front of Nama's azalea bushes. I miss those two people a lot.

Our ages in May 1970 older sister in the back was 18, my brothers were 13 and 12, I was 8, and my sisters were 5 and 2. I'm the brunette next to my grandma in one of my favorite dresses. I actually do remember it. Pale pink on top and this lovely gray green on the skirt. I miss that yard and that house..which should have been mine..but that's a rant for another day. I just miss them, who they were when they were well and happy and so fun to be around and visit.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

april's Spring to Finish...

On my way over to Anina's blog to check out her newest creations, I saw this! Jacquie is inspiring people to get moving and least one project in April. Lord knows I have plenty to finish so I'm game.

3 weeks left and who knows how many projects that could be finished!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Loser Monday...

Fat girl is back.... I just took her little badge on the left off last week since I got tired of reporting bad activity and I wasn't working at it anymore. Well now she's back and reluctantly I have to get moving on this again in a big way. Not that I really care to but I realized something bad on diabetes, which has been totally under control since 1998, is now raging again...B-A-D! I had suspicions, if I admit it to myself. The last hA1-C test wasn't that great and the doc asked me to start testing my blood again...which I did not do because I hate pushing that finger pricker. SO Saturday on the way home from grocery shopping I realized that I couldn't really see that well. Usually my first side effect of too high levels. So I faced facts and plucked up the courage to finally stick my finger and whoa...not good. Very not good.

So me and fatty over there will have to be back on a serious eating schedule and no more sugar. Geez, I hate having to deal with all this again. Sticking my fingers. I think I'll get one of those machines that need way less blood and save my sewing fingers. Soooo, I have lost 5 pounds since the beginning and that's where I start again.

The other day while checking blogs I went to Crazy Mom Quilts and she linked to some cool earrings that inspired the colors of her kids new quilts. SO I had to go see what inspired her and wow! The earrings are to die for. I love colorful bead earrings and these were so cute I had to order some. Don't ya just love those yellow apples?

Oh I do still sew you know. yes, quite a bit. I finished my new mini Easter kit from Jan Patek, but I hate the red border fabric so I have to find another and do the borders. I'm also sewing the border applique for the tumblers, and doing the Nine Orange Pumpkins blocks for the ABC sampler quilt

Thursday, April 2, 2009


The axe fell and hubby is still employed. They didn't cut as many from his facility as they did others, but people who wanted to be laid off are staying and others who wanted their jobs are going as of tomorrow...which sucks. They gutted most of the company. For some it's ended 9 months of back and forth nail-biting uncertainty, for us..we, again, wait to see if and who might buy his location. I'm glad at this point, but it's more months of feeling held in suspended animation.

Thanks for all the support and the kind words. I'm still seriously pissed about these company heads who tank businesses and walk away with their pockets stuffed with CASH. **UPDATE* Today's paper said that a few companies have given back (paid back) their money they rec'd from the government mostly due to not wanting to live under the new regulations and restrictions imposed on CEO bonuses!! IE...Who cares what happens to the company or the employees! Whatever, I need my CEO bonus and I don't want it taxed by 90% so here's your money back!****

I did get my shelf up in the sewing room for all my Annie's. They are stuffed up there, but so much better. Only the Easter gals are down now and I'll rotate.

I also got the last touches done on the Mother block. I'm busy sewing Tumbler applique and doing the Nine Orange Pumpkins blocks too as well as working on the house.