Thursday, December 24, 2009

White Christmas Eve in Oklahoma

I finished my sewing...gifts for Josh, Mimi, Katy, Gabe, JoeE, RoseE, Johnny, Ginger and Jim and Gail. We were going to go buy a few things today when Denny got off work, but it had started snowing, so he went to do it himself and called me for consultation on gifts. But he wasn't able to get to Wal-mart for the groceries I wanted. And he isn't able to get home! He's staying with friends tonight. Masses have been canceled for tonight and we are hoping we can get in for Mass in the morning. Fortunately the Astro has 4 wheel drive....


video

Note the depth of the snow by the minivan...that's a lot for Oklahoma! And we have plenty of firewood to keep us warm.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Reversible binding"

I was asked how I did the biding on JoeE's quilt and since I had some of the binding left over I took a few pictures to help explain.

First I joined a 1 3/8" strip of the turquoise to a 2 5/8" strip of the navy along the long edge and pressed the seam open, resulting in this 3 1/2" wide 2 fabric strip.
Next I pressed that in half to form a folded binding one side showing only the navy, the other both fabrics.The folded strip was then attached to the back of the quilt using a 1/2 inch seam. In the picture the orange fabric represents the quilt. Pins represent the stitching line at 1/2".
Binding is then folded away from the quilt

and then wrapped around to the front and stitched down as desired.

JoeE's quilt is done!


I decided to make Christmas presents rather than use credit and asked the kids for gift ideas. JoeE requested a warmer quilt. Since his present would take the longest to make I did it first. First I checked my stash of blocks, but found nothing that was appropriate for him, so I started from scratch. I decided to do quilt as you go string blocks and use up some of my smaller pieces of batting and the strips and strings of which I have bins full. For the backings I grabbed things out of the bin waiting to be cut into the scrap users system...the only yardage I cut into was for the joining strips/sashings and bindings. I did the binding in 2 fabrics so it shows one on the front of the quilt and the other on the back, and I am really pleased with how it turned out. This gift will not be a surprise...he has seen it during construction and helped hold it up for the picture taking. I guess that is a disadvantage to homeschooling...the kids are almost always home and it's hard to make surprise gifts! No one else asked for a quilt, so the rest of the gifts should be faster to make. I hope they all turn out as well as this did. Amazingly, I am really not feeling stressed about getting gifts done....maybe I'm delusional?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I forgot to mention

Somewhere along the way while figuring out how many squares to cut for the checkerboard border I messed up and so I have 40 extra 4" four-patches. I have to decide if I want to use them in the backing for the quilt or start a whole new top...maybe a simple row quilt with bright strips between checkerboard strips.....this is how one quilt leads to another and on and on!

I just wanted to try a block....

Last Sunday I came across a block pattern I wanted to try. It's a paper pieced, 12" block, found here . I liked the block, but decided I didn't want to do a whole quilt top's worth of blocks. Paper piecing is nice but gets tedious. So I decided to use the block as a center for a nesting robin I had started doing and not finished because it was getting too big and I didn't like it. The rounds were to add a round using triangles, add a plain strip, a stop sign border, a rail fence or braid border, add applique, add a checkerboard border, and add stars. Since the whole list had already been selected I decided to combine some. So I did a round with stop signs and rail fences alternating and put stars into my applique round. I really am pleased with how this turned out. Now I just have to decide how to quilt it. I don't think my typical allover meandering style is what this quilt calls for....time to grow a bit! The inner black with bright dots strip I used was leftover from that baby quilt, but I really want to bind the quilt with this fabric as well, so I called the shop in Texas, and ordered 2 yards. It just works so well with brights that I want to have some for future use! This quilt was made just for the fun of it and I will be donating it to my guild's community projects. We give quilts to Allie's house (kids in chemotherapy) and to Abbott House (a place for children who have had to be removed from an abusive situation) and I think some child will get some cheer and encouragement from this quilt!
After finishing the top today I decided to do a few blocks for an upcoming lotto.
The top right block was pieced, a circle into a hole. That was tedious! The other 4 are appliqued. I made a freezer paper circle, ironed to the back of the circle fabric, cut around leaving an approximate 1/4" turn under allowance. Than I applied starch and turned the allowance under and ironed. After applying a bit more starch to the edge and ironing stiff and dry, I removed the freezer paper, pinned the circle to a slightly oversized square, and top-stitched close to the edge with invisible or color coordinated thread. I think I may do a few more blocks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My thrifty Mother

Look how my mother decided to deal with strips of batting trimmed from the edge of quilts. She can't bring herself to throw away something perfectly good....
I'll admit I scoffed at the idea a bit, but she did it anyway. And it really does work. She loosely wove the strips of batting together and then zig-zag stitched around the edge of the resulting batt. This lays flat, and is as flexible as a regular batting. It is extra thick because weaving makes it double, but with cheap polyesterbatting this is not excessive. And in the one Mom has layered and basted already it seems to look just fine. Lesson learned:don't throw away anything! Alright, maybe not....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Baby Quilt and Lotto blocks

Well, I didn't have any baby appropriate blocks in my stash, but I decided to make a disappearing 9-patch, and picked out 9 fabrics...just a FQ worth of each gave me leftovers. I started with 4" squares of fabric and ended up with 10" blocks. It went together very fast. The most time was consumed trying to decide how to quilt it. I think the total time spent was 6 hours or maybe a bit less. Anyway it turned out nice. Unfortunately Gabe took the camera on his youth group trip,but Denny showed me how to get pictures off the camera on the phone. I used his phone to take a picture of the Baby quilt.
Then last night I got back to the lotto blocks I had started Monday before the baby quilt interrupted me. I finished them up this morning and took a picture with my phone, which unfortunately has a scratch across the lens. Johnny was eying the blocks as I was sewing and commented that they were "nice blocks".
Now I have to get busy. My little slave driver is ready for her spelling and reading lessons. She wants to get done quickly so she can go over to Grandma's to sew.

Monday, November 16, 2009

No pictures today.

After a very productive Saturday, I was gone most of the day Sunday. I did get some lotto blocks started. Maybe I'll finish them up this afternoon since we're done with school and a I have a couple of hours to get ready for Guild meeting. Denny wants to know could I make a little girl baby quilt to give to one of his students whose becoming a daddy at age 48. Kicker...it needs to be done by Friday. My immediate answer was "No", but I really should see if I have some appropriate blocks on hand that I could throw together....but it won't happen if I spend too much time on the computer!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And yet another!

Here is the final quilt top of the day for me...

The box for Bev has 7 quilt tops in it now. I think I can probably fit another two or three in there, maybe by week's end... and here is a picture of the top Mom donated.

Another one done!


So I went and pulled out my box of UFO's and found Hope of Hartford blocks I won in the lotto over a year ago. Twenty 10" blocks. I picked out 9 that played well together and pulled out some 2.5" strips of 30's repros and was able to finish this already. I have another 9 blocks on the design wall and need to go hunt for sashings and a border. But I think I'll eat dinner first.

Getting back in the groove..

This week I have been getting back in the quilting groove. I finished the ABC Quilt which will be gifted tomorrow
Here you can get idea how it looks with the quilting of the letters.


And then I pulled out a box of orphan blocks/rejects I had been sent for making Sunshine quilts.
The first 2 were super simple. The Christmas fabrics had been cut into 9" squares, I just did an alternating layout and added borders.
The next one had 2 different blocks made, but not really enough for a quilt top and I had no fabric to make more of the same blocks. So I put together what I had and found a print that picked up the 2 main colors and pulled in the blue as well. Then I added the fun polka dots.

So that makes 1 quilt completed this week and 3 tops for Sunshine. Today I am spending the day relaxing...in the sewing room. 1st on the agenda was a set of hour glass blocks . I had to trim them all to a consistent size and decided to alternate with crumb blocks . I added an inner border andthen did crumb block borders as well. So make that 4 tops for Sunshine....and when I went to show this one to Mom she added one of hers to the box as well.
Next I plan to pull out my UFO bins and see what I can find to complete another top quickly. I want to fill a Priority Mail box and get it off to BevB ASAP...

I almost forgot...I also quilted a quilt for Mom's Care Quilts group. She felt the quilt needed something other than straight line/walking foot quilting. I had said I might bre able to do it, and Wednesday she asked could it be done before Dad leaves next week so he can deliver it. I said I'd be able to get to it Saturday (today) but then decided to get going on iot that evening while everyone was gone. I surprised myself...it turned out pretty good, and since Mom's lights were still on at 11:30 when I finished it I took it over. Was she surprised, and thrilled. Here is the front.
I first did the straight lines with the walking foot, then did free motion around the magnolias. Then I just tried out some free motion designs I had seen in a video. Since it has a solid maroon back and I used natural color thread, the design rally shows up well....just don't look too closely, because it's far from perfect!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Busy Week

The weather cooperated and I was able to get the new siding on the front of the house painted. No small task, as I found it best to brush the paint on rather than roll it. 2 gallons of paint applied with a 3" brush....can you say "sore arms"? But the resultse are worth it.
This is just a glimpse of the color scheme. Excuse the construction mess. Eventually (hopefully next Spring) there will be a raised bed vegetable garden here, surrounded by a fence. We are slowly re-siding the whole house with concrete siding. This is the first side done. The end around this corner should get done this month if we have decent weather.

I got the alphabet quilt top pieced, and have it basted and ready to start quilting just as soon as I pull myself away from the computer. One week until the baby shower it is a gift for....better get busy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

After months....


I'm finally working on a quilt again! I am making a quilt for a friend's baby shower which is on Nov. 15. Having a deadline is motivating. I have had these ABC blocks for quite some time. I set them out in alphabetical order and left spaces between for solid squares which will have their letters quilted on them....This will count as a UFO finish when I get it done! Now I have to rush to get a few errands done before my board meeting tonight at 7:00.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More than a Month!

It's been more than a month since I posted. In that time I have been in the sewing room a lot, but not quilting. I got the girls swimsuits done, and they turned out quite nice. Also I made myself 3 pairs of capris, a "square " shirt, and a t-shirt. And 2 pairs of shorts for RoseE (she still needs more) I still have piles of fabric and patterns and a need to get more clothes made. One day last week I decided I hade to do something "quilty" so I quilted and bound a charity quilt I have had sitting waiting for about 3 years or more.
It turned out nice, and I used fabric I had bought and rejected for bathroom curtains as a back....stash reduction is a good thing. If I just had time to practice more, I think I could get pretty good at quilting on my Viking Sapphire.

Although I haven't done much quilting I have received blocks from the "birthday" block swap, as May was assigned as my month. I requested 12" NYB blocks made of batiks. So far, from 6 of the 11 swappers, I have received 8 blocks. I'm not sure what I'll be doing with these. in retrospect, I should have specified a measurement for the placement of the final arcs so there would have been more consistency between blocks. As it is the final arc on one is actually the edge of the block, and a few is at 1/4 inch and will be the edge when the blocks are sewn together. On one block it is over 2 inches in from the block edge. I think about an inch in from the finished edge of the block would have been best on this size block. As with all the swaps I've done, I've learned for the future....but even with the "problems" they are a lovely bunch of blocks, aren't they?

.
Yesterday I realized the end of the month is sneaking up on me and I hadn't yet done Kate's block for the "Birthday" swap. It is the last month of the year long swap, and time to wind it up. Kate requested blocks with a dimensional aspect. So last evening after I finished my t-shirt, I pulled out some fabrics and started ...and I finished. I paper pieced a ring of prairie point type triangles and then set the ring into a square of fabric. The center circle was machine appliqued and then I stitched around the outside of the ring to match. I thought about stitching the points of the triangles down on the seamlines with a bead, and even tried it on a couple, but decided to leave them loose. Kate might want to try stitching them. The look is different depending on where the point is placed when stitched. Anyway, I thought the block will travel across the pond better in a flatter state.
I took a cue from Kates's blog and took a picture of the block from a side angle to better show the dimensionality.
Once I got going on this it went together pretty fast. Less than 4 hours start to finish...including the designing period. It was lots of fun to try something so different. And now I need to get back to sewing clothes again. Maybe some day I'll take some pictures and have a style show here...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This n' That

That's how life as been lately...a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Car problems...computer wasn't working in mine and the front suspension had issues. We finally have the computer fixed, but there is still a noise in the front end, so I guess I'll take the car in again tomorrow..3rd time's the charm right? Hopefully it won't cost anymore, we've alerady sunk over $1000 into it in the past 3 weeks...OUCH! I sewed an inset for organizing my purse. Took all day Saturday, but it turned out nice, and will make it so easy to change purses. I sewed up some Lotto blocks yesterday...I wasn't feeling well and stayed in bed until afternoon and then just relaxed in the sewing room. I'm better today, but haven't accomplished a thing yet. Since the weather finally dried out this week I have done lots of laundry and hung it on the line..makes a big difference on the electric bill.

Sunday is JoeE's birthday, then the next Sunday is Ginger's . The following weekend I am going to Missouri for the Communion and Liberation Spritual exercises. And Kristi Victoer and the boys are coming here to visit for the week. Then June 13 we head to Texas for the big birthday bash for Mom and Dad. Middle of July is the CL vacation. Gabe will be at camp OLOG for July. And I still have lots of sewing projects I want to work on. Next in line are swimsuits for the little girls. I'm starting to look into a new serger...I'd really like a machine that does cover stitch as well as overlock and flatlock we'll see, that's a lot of money. I guess I need to really try to use what I have to it's full potential before deciding to get something better.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What's up?

Since my last post, I went to Virginia Beach to visit Nick, Jackie and Serenity (6 day visit). They just bought a new house and are settling in. Serenity is a cute little sweetie.

We visited the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens (250,000 azalea plants in bloom...beautiful!) and the beach.





The botanical Garden has 5 bald eagles in residence (nesting) mother, father and 3 babies. We were able to see one of the adults sitting in a tree a way from the nest, I assume he/she was standing guard.(in the center of this photo).

Then we looked through a telescope that was available and Nick was able to take this picture for me.


It's too bad vandals had scratched up the lens of the telescope, or the picture could have been even better!

Since I've been home I have been playing catch-up on housework..the family saved all the laundry for me. Unfortunately it has been very rainy, so I haven't been able to hang laundry out to dry very much, though I did get 3 loads out yesterday...rain forecast again today (warm and muggy..yuck!) then cooler tomorrow with more rain and a very cool Mother's day, maybe wet.

I seem to be a bit sick...sore throat, headache, slight fever. Yesterday I just did laundry and worked on sewing projects. I completed my birthday swap 2 block for April (late!) . I think Sophie should like it. Now I need to find her new address and mail it this weekend.

I found this pattern, by Sindy Rodenmeyer on the internet. At first I thought I would do it with back basted needle turn applique, but after starting I realized it would take way too much time to finish it and I have many other projects I need to get on with, so I did fused applique with satin stitch. I am pleased with the results.

Now I am working on Nickels and Nine-Patches for a swap I joined. I started (and finished) cutting my light Nickels yesterday. While in the process I did a bit of cleaning up and organizing in the sewing room. I washed 1 full load of FQ's which I had been given a while aback and ironed and folded them all. I probably have about 3-4 more loads of fabric that I need to wash Iron and fold. I'll be working on that the next few days. I love the damp dry signal on my dryer. If I use that the fabric is easy to iron.

Next up after the Nickels and Nine-Patches are done will be getting my lotto blocks for May done and catching up m PPM2 stars, Sunshine Sampler, and Nesting Round Robin. I won't join anymore swaps for a while (probably nothing before mid-summer) because I really do need to get some clothes made for myself and the girls. Mimi finishes up at school today, and will move home for the summer tomorrow. Maybe I will help Katy get the bedroom rearranged to make room for her today...... Gabe will be working (in the kitchen) at Camp OLOG in July. Katy is job hunting and hoping to hear back from La Baguette soon.

Denny started re-siding the house with concrete type siding while I was in Virginia beach. Once he gets the siding up I will need to paint. since the whole front of the yard needs to be regraded and landscaped i came up with the idea of using the area close to the house for a fenced in garden. Denny likes the idea, so we will need to be getting that started too. I hope to have walkways in, fencing up, and beds ready for spring planting....possibly even in time for a few fall crops....

And as always I want o get some more quilts done!

Monday, April 13, 2009

What a great idea! Rather than just a few pictures someone on Stashbusters made a video of her sewing room and put it on her blog. I thought "I can do that!" So I did and here it is. It is taking a long time to upload, so I guess I'll add some print commentary as well. My Sewing space is unorganized. videoThe problem with getting it organized is that in the process I run across a started project, or a pattern or a piece of fabric that grabs onto me and demands attention. And if there is enough room to work on the project, the organizing stops and the project takes over, which of course causes more mess. I only seem to manage to clear enough room to work and the organizing ends. I know...I need to discipline myself to get it done, but how much self discipline can I have at once. It seems to be taking all I have to stick with my low carb, low sodium eating....which seems to be working! My weight is going down and so is my blood pressure. In the grand scheme of things, if I need to choose I'll choose the better health over th neater sewing room!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday, April 10, 2009



I've been sewing...no, not quilts. Its that time of the year again...Easter dresses for the girls!














They are done (and we went and found new shoes as well)
and I have made a skirt for me and have a blouse pattern and fabric ready to go...tomorrow. Today is reserved for Stations of the Cross on Campus this afternoon (need to get music together and tune up the guitar, etc...) and evening service at Church.

For a time yesterday evening we thought Annie and her sister might need to come spend the night here. Their parents' house was threatened by the wildfire spreading through MidWest City and Choctaw yesterday afternnon and evenng. But with the change in wind when the cold front came through around 10:00 the dange eased up and evacuation wasn't needed. Now we need rain!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Always trying to play Catch Up

It seems I'm always trying to catch up. Too much to do and not enough time. We are getting back into the swing of things with schoolwork now that a very tiring Spring Break has ended. Mimi is back at St. Greg's. She broke up with Eric after his visit. What a soap opera! And I'll leave it at that! RoseE finished piecing a quilt for Serenity, Mom quilted it in the ditch and it needs tying in the center of the blocks to be ready to go with me to Virginia Beach April 22. Nick and Jackie are closing on buying a house tomorrow. I need to see if Jackie has a sewing machine and if she'd like help making some curtains while I'm there. I figure I could take my singer as my carry-on luggage if she's interested and doesn't have a machine. I finally got in some sewing time this past weekend and did my Spring Postcards,






































and some green and white blocks for Sunshine.

















Monday was community quilting for guild, but I couldn't get away. So I basted and quilted a top I had waiting for donation. Finished binding it Tuesday morning. And I finished my March blocks for the Stashbusters not so Ugly, Sunshine sampler.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm Home, and Tired!

I went to Houston, Thursday, February 26, stopping in Dallas to lunch with a friend. Itook my sewing machine, Jamie's NYB Quilt blocks and fabrics, supplies for a string spiderweb quilt and a couple of quilt tops I want to get quilted for community projects. I figured I'd have time to sew wile the boys were in school, and after they went to bed. Yeah, right! Ginger came with me so Gianni would have a playmate while the bigs boys were in school an his non-school days, and because she didn't want to be away from me for that long!

Friday was spent getting to know routines and where everything (schools, hospital, grocery store, library, church, and Hancock Fabrics) is located. Saturday Kristi was finishing up laundry and starting her packing, then we went to see "Marley and Me", to evening Mass, and out to dinner. Sunday was Kristi and Victor's cruise departure. We dropped them off at the ship in Galveston about 1:30, then headed back to Houston. We went to the library and I found that they had 2 copies of Liberated Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston, and both were checked in (in other branches). I reserved a copy, and wemnt to see what was on the shelf at 746(quilting books). grabbed a few to take with me and then took the kids to the park.

Monday dawned bright and early. The boys were up by 6a.m.! Took Ski and Tony to school, went home, showered, cleaned up breakfast mess and it was time to take Gianni to pre-school (M-W-F from 9-1). After dropping him off Ginger and I went to the grocery store and then Hancocks. Found some cute PJ satin with cats on it that Ginger loved and bought a nightgown pattern to use it with. Then we went to the library for a more leisurely lookat the books. Home, lunch, clean-up and it was time to go get Gianni. Played on the playground for a while then home and I did my Walk Away the Pounds video while the kids played outside...and then it was time to walk and meet the boys coming home from school. Snacktime, play a while, time to fix dinner. Eat, clean-up, time to start baths and bedtime routine. Evryone settled in bed by 9:00 and I was too tired to think about working on the NYB!

Tuesday was pretty much the same, except no school for Gianni. Ginger's bike kept having the chain jump off the gear...no telling how many times I had to fix it last week! I decided to make Ginger a couple of headbands and found that if I was sewing Gianni wantd to be right by my side watching. That meant no way I cold work on the NYB with it being paper pieced and needing to be cutting/trimming all the time...I was afraid I'd have little fingers in my way! Wednesday was a reapeat of Monday, but I did manage to get Ginger's nightgown cut out. Thursday my reserved book came in at the library. A good read, but I'm glad I didn't have to buy it at $70-100 to be able to read it. All told I thing I checked out 15 or so quilting books during my stay and did read most of them, so even though I didn't sew as much as I had hoped I did learn a lot and get inspired for future projects. Friday I did laundry, sewed Ginger's nightgown and helped the boys clean their rooms, and told them I had every intention of spending lots of time Saturday sewing. After reading Liberated quiltmaking I wanted to try out a few things while the ideas were fresh, so I went to Hancocks Friday morning and bought 3 remnants and 7 FQ's to have something to work with. Saturday I sewed 10 Liberated star blocks.

I tried to get the kids settled down early Saturday, due to the time change and needing to be out of the house by 7:15 am to pick K&V up in Galveston at 8 o'clock. Thay just wouldn't settle down...they all were awake until well after 9:00. And quite grumpy when I woke them at 6:00 in the morning! We picked K & V up and headed to church for Mass and a breakfast. then back to the house. I made 2 more star blocks and sewed all my scraps together for future use, and started getting my things ready for heading home.

Monday I took my time but was packed and ready to leave by 10:15 or so. We made fairly good time and got to Dallas about 4:15 and missed the bulk of the rush hour traffic. Stopped in Gainesville for dinner and were home, totally exhausted by th elong hard week, by 8:30

My house is in total chaos. Denny has been working on the bathroom update, and construction mess is everywhere....and only 1 bathroom is working right now. I have been paintg the shelves for reinstallation. Floor will be grouted tonight...wait 16 hours before walking on it, 3 days before sealing. Mean while Mimi's boyfriend Eric is coming to visit over spring break, arriving lat tomorrow night/ early saturday. I need to be cleaning house, not blogging, but I have a horrendous sinus headache. And I'm still very tired. I hate time changes!!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb 16, 2009

Another non-sewing day today, and I'll be gone all day tomorrow. But I did spend some time sewing yesterday evening. Just some playing around. A friend gave me a link to a mystery quilt block. I really like the block, but it called for 2.75" squares and rectangles 2.75" x 5" and makes a 9" block. Well I don't have pre-cut strips or squares at 2.75", but lots of 2.5", so I did the figuring and I can do this with 2.5" squares and 2.5"x 4.5" rectangles and get an 8" block...so I did:
Then I played with the cut off triangles and made some 6" "maverick stars" a'la Bonnie Hunter. and a block that will be used with my crumbs...
And I did some more figuring. That Fractured Star block can be made 12" finished size using 3.5" squares and 3.5"x 6.5" rectangles, or 10" finished size with 3" squares and 3"x 5.5" rectangles....