Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy July 4th

It's been over 2 years since my last post.  Life keeps getting in the way.  Just went thru and deleted a lot of my old blog posts. Hope to try and start blogging with a cleaned up blog.  Also hope to add more photos and links to great sites that I find online.

A lot has happened in the last two years - the shop I worked at "Arlene's Clothesline" closed due to Stan's poor health.  They wanted to spend more time together before his health prevented traveling.  Shortly after closing the shop my best friend Arlene passed away from a heart attack.  Its been more than 2 years, and I still miss her, she was like a mom to me. 

A couple months later I started working for Eurest, as a housekeeper for Haliburton.  I mostly clean offices and bathrooms at nights.  Go to work at 5 pm, get off at 3:30 am.  I work 10 hour shifts the pay is good and the work is not hard.  Working so much that I didn't have time to quilt, barely had time to read.  I worked and slept, and that was how my days would go.

Six months later I had to have an operation.  Told it would be a 30 minute procedure, go home that afternoon, and off work for 3 days.  Boy were they ever wrong.  Try a several hour surgery, two days in hospital, and 45 days off work.  And to top it off a cancer scare.

Finely get back to work, and three months later my father passed away.  He had cancer, and at the end his passing was a blessing.  Regret not being closer to him in the end, guess that is normal.

Slowly getting my life back on track.  Have come to realize that I was suffering from depression, and just as I started to adjust and get on with my life, something else happened.  Lost my mother - lost my job (at Arlene's Clothesline) - best friend Arlene dies - my health issues - lost my father.  Have to ask myself what is next.

Enough depressing stuff, life goes on and so do I. 

Quilting Update:  Have not done any to speak of for 2 years. Although lately I'm getting the quilting urge.  I can't seem to stop buying fabric and quilting books.  I guess once a quilter, always a quilter.  Recently renewed my subscriptions to all my favorite quilt magazines, and have several quilt patterns that I have marked to make.  Just ordered Bonnie Hunter's newest book "String Fling", and also ordered another copy of her "Leaders and Enders".  Loaned out my copy and never got it back. 

Have been using my Accuquilt GO and cutting pieces of fabric for future use.  Have a good assortment of "Triangle in a Square" pieces cut and ready to go.  I always seem to go back to this pattern, and still hope to one day make a totally scrappy 54/40 quilt, so this is going to be my current leaders/enders project .  Also c utting strips 1 1/2 inch wide for future projects - seems that since honey buns hit the market, there are more quilts using this size.  I remember when jelly rolls came out, the same thing happened.  Everyone was trying to use patterns that called for 2 1/2 inch strips.  When I do get the time and the desire to quilt again, I will be set and ready to go. 

Reading Update:  As the proud owner of 3 e-readers I do make time to read.  Nightly at work I read on my dinner break, and when I get of work I ususally read for a couple of hours.  Several books on my "To Be Read" list, and more coming out soon that will go on my TBR list. 

Vacation:  Started a short vacation today.  Only off for 6 days, return to work on tuesday.  My sister, Tarranda and I are going to Dallas for the weekend, friday to sunday.  We already have tickets for a  Medieval Times show, and plans to visit the Dallas World Aquarium .  Looking for great places to eat seafood.  And planning on hitting Quilters Connection a quilt store that I order from online, will be great to see it in person.

Tarranda and I went to Oklahoma City and Tulsa for a couple of days early last month. Had a blast and it was great to spend time together. Here are a couple of pictures I took at the Tulsa Aquarium.

Here are a few from the Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City.

Hope to take lots of picture on the Dallas Trip.  Have been using the ones I took as jigsaw puzzles and screen savers.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Update for Week ending Jun 19

SUN - Still sewing strings for tumbler blocks. My strings are getting real low, and the assortment of colors and fabric is poor. Will have to stop making strings until I get an influx of strings/scraps. Maybe I need to start begging from my friends. I have started cutting some fabric in my GO cutter, before I was just using scraps. Trying out the strip cutters, 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 strips. I have two of the Bonnie Hunter patterns that I want to try, they both take 2 1/2 inch strips. And have been going thru my scraps and cutting 1 1/2 inch strips for my string basket, although Bonnie's does have a pattern that takes 1 1/2 inch.

Reading - Had fun last week, so this week I am re-reading, L.K. Hamilton - Anita Blake series. There are currently 19 books in this set, all are worth reading. Best if read in order, you get more of the back story that way. Finished #1 - Guilty Pleasure, my favorite quote from this book has to be "An Atheist waving a cross at a vampire was a truly pitiful site." Also finished #2 - The Laughing Corpse, favorite quote "Coffee was my comfort drink. Better than alcohol, I guess." I can relate - I drink coffee all day long, and consider running out of coffee an emergency.

MON - Cut a few more strips in 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inch. No sewing to speak of, weather is poor. I don't like to run my sewing machine when there is lightning around. Murphy's Law always takes effect around me. If it can go wrong it will at the worst possible moment.

Ordered more GO dies - bought the "Diamond in the Rough" bundle. Its has Applecore, Triangle in a Square, 4 in diamonds, and the Chisels die and also includes the cutting mat. Although the Applecore is over twice the size I normally work with - I think it would make a good signature block, might also work for strings. The Triangle in a Square is my all time favorite block, I grew up calling it 54/40 or fight. It can make the Tenn. Waltz, the 1904 Star and several other quilt blocks. The 4' diamond is great, I already use this size when making my 6pt stars. So i will not have to recut any of my diamonds. As far as the Chisels die, I have one pattern marked that could make use of this die. It's part of the Jinny Beyer - Block A Week called "Twin Sister". Will have to try and find some more designs that make use of this die. Should not be hard - I collect quilt patterns, like I collect fabric. If I live to be 200 doubt that I would get to them all. You know how it goes, collectors keep adding to their collection.

Reading - Finished #3 - Circus of the Damned. My favorite quote is, "I had been stabbed, beaten, shot, strangled, and vampire-bit in the space of four months. There comes a point where you just have too many things happening to close together. I had battle fatigue." Started #4 - Lunatic Cafe - late in the day starting this one, will not finish until tomorrow.

TUE - Got email from Accuquilt, my new dies should arrive Thurs. I have been going through my fabric looking for my next 54/40 quilt. This die is smaller than I normally work with, and I will be using both die cut blocks and ruler cut blocks. I love to mix two sizes of blocks together when doing this quilt, just looks better. The small size becomes part of the sashing.

Reading - Finished #4 - Lunatic Cafe. and started and finished book #5 - Bloody Bones

WED - Still going thru my fabric looking for the perfect fabric for a 54/40 quilt. My last one was done with scraps, in each star the 8 points are the same fabric, with the center square a contrasting fabric. I have been thinking about doing one completely of scraps, where each of the 8 points have different fabrics, but I'm running real low on scraps. Maybe all one color family - my stash is heavy on blues. So maybe blue with cream/tan, and make the background out of as many cream/tan fabrics as I can find. Will have to play around with this one. Might make the bigger blocks in blue and the smaller in purple or green, which are also heavy in my stash.

Reading - #6 - The Killing Dance. This is one of my favorites of the series, it plays a pivotal role in the series. Best quotes (yes more than one) - "My life was a cross between a preternatural soap opera and an action adventure movie. Sort of As the Casket Turns meets Rambo." and this one, "I'm your bodyguard. If you die under my protection, the other bodyguards will make fun of me."

THUR & Fri - Doctors appointment Thursday that took most of the day, the rest of the day spent in bed.
Reading - #7 Burnt Offerings, #8 Blue Moon, favorite quote - "Being Possessed by anyone would have scared me. Being possessed by a sociopathic nymphomaniac sadomasochist that I had killed personally was too frightening and to ironic for words" .
#9 Obsidian Butterfly, my favorite of the series. Quote that I enjoyed - "I hated to be in a plane being flown by someone I didn't know, who I had not personally drug tested. I just wasn't the trusting sort."
#10 Narcissus in Chains. This book introduces Micah. "Maybe they know what I know, that the true way to a man's heart is six inches of metal between his ribs. Sometimes four inches will do the job, but to really sure, I like to have six. Funny how phallic objects are always more useful the bigger they are. Anyone who tells you size doesn't matter has been seeing too many small knives."
#11 Cerulean Sins - started late Friday, won't finish until Saturday. Anita becomes closer to Asher, fights Belle Morte, and learns about the Mother of All Darkness (old, scarier than normal vampire)

Started pre-cutting strips to use in my GO for the Triangle in a Square (54/40) and Diamond die. Going to try for blues and creams/tans. For the blue everything goes, if it is medium to dark and has blue as a main color I'm cutting one strip of my fabric. At the same time I'm cutting a strip for the Diamond as they both need 4 1/2 inch strips. Also cutting a set of strips from the 1 1/2, and the 2 1/2 die from each fabric as I have them out. I use a lot of the 2 1/2 inch strips. Anyone who is a fan of Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville uses the 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 inch strips. Finished cutting the strips and started cutting the 54/40 pieces - complete quilt cut out in less that 2 hours. So glad I got a GO, should not have waited so long.

Reading - finished #11 Cerulean Sins. Started #12 Incubus Dreams. will not get it finished today. My main goal is to work with the Go dies and get the 54/40 quilt ready to work on.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Update For Week Ending June 12.

Sunday - Spent part of the day on the internet looking over the blogs, the rest of the day reading books. I am re-reading the Janet Evanovich series Stephanie Plum. There are 15 books currently out, and book 16 comes out on the 22nd. Been several years since book one came out so I want to read them all again. Read books 1-3.

Monday - got email from AccuQuilt that the GO I ordered over the weekend would arrive on Thursday, did a happy dance (almost threw out my back . . .LOL ). Still reading the Stephanie Plum series books 4-7 today.

Tuesday - Internet and blog surfing. Still reading books 8-10.

Wednesday - Still reading books 11 - 12. Got word that I had won the 60 charm square at SewCalGal facebook site. This was the post I found when I checked Facebook 'Charm Square Giveaway winner is Lovie Ball, who was selected and announced last night! But I do plan on having another Charm Square giveaway soon, so maybe next time you will win". You might want to check out her page.

Thursday - Doctors appt. cancelled - rescheduled for next week. This was great news as my new GO arrived this day. Still reading only book 13 today, less time to read - have to watch (and pace floor) for the UPS man.

Friday - Found out I won a a Leisure Art quilt book at the In Stitches blog. Its the blog for the Quilt Shoppe, looks like they have fun over there, with different giveaways. They have a blog bingo going on right now. Next BINGO will start in December, so mark you calender. Still working on the Stephanine Plum series, only read book 14 today.

Saturday - Just finished - book 15 - yea, I'm done with the series until the 22nd. Waiting for "Sizzling Sixteen" to come out. Have already pre-ordered at Amazon. One of the few authors that I buy in Hardback, since I got a Kindle e-reader most of my book purchases are electronic downloads. Don't want to wait for the mail - but also don't want to buy the book twice by getting it as an electronic download. Wish that you could get the electronic version free with purchase of hardback. Working up string strips to feed to my GO, to make more tumbler blocks. Wonderful week overall - so lucky that I am planning on getting a Powerball ticket for tonight.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm Back

The last year has been real rough for me, basically I just shut down, and got thru each day. Thats one reason that I did not have any posts. I did not even do any quilting or collect any fabric for my stash, spent most of my time reading books. But, I decided last week that enough was enough. And to start off with a bang I got a Accuquilt GO, received it yesterday. A friend sent me a link to the AccuQuilt facebook site, they are trying to build up members and having giveaways for every 1,000. No I didn't win one - used my charge card. But it started me thinking about my life, and how depressed I had been - and helped give me the kick in the ass I needed.

I started looking at other sites on Facebook and reconnected with the quilt world. Which brought me back to Blogger. For a week I did a review of several of the blogs that I followed. Even entered for a couple of giveaways. Have marked several with pictures of quilts that I have to make, and spent hours going thru my fabric stash and making plans.

I sorted and ironed most of my scraps for use with the GO. Since I ordered the Tumbler die I have been making string strips that are just larger than 7 inch wide to use with it. I can picture a quilt with nothing but string tumblers - some of the strings going up, some down (have to make a new string strip the width of die). Or make string tumblers and alternate with a background tumbler. Will have to play around on the design wall and see what happens.

Got the strips dies in 1 1/2, 2 1/2, and 3 1/2 inches. I have been taking some of my oldest fabric and cutting into 1 1/2 strips to add to the strings basket. Once upon a time I used strings to make blocks for heartstring projects, now I make strings for the GO.

Thats all for now - Got to feed the Go.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Where has the month gone?

Not a lot of quilting done. Still have the same 54/40 quilt on the design wall, seven rows left to put together. I'm sick of working on it, and took a break by making blocks for the mystery quilt. I got part of the blocks made, and started sewing them together when I realized it was the "Star Struck" quilt from Quiltville. And Bonnie Hunter's directions are easier to follow - so I'm going with her directions. I have all the sub-blocks made, just need to assemble them into a top. My sister Charla will get the Star Struck quilt when finished.

Today I sent most of my 30's prints to "Canton Village Quilt Works" to have them cut using her Accuquilt custom die. Hard to describe, I don't think she has given it a name - my description is a modified Drunkard's Path. She has photos on her blog check it out. I picture a different layout - and depending on the size of the blocks, I can see them used as setting triangles on a diagonal layout. I'm having her cut 2 yards of black fabric for setting triangles, hope they will make a border design on a scrap quilt. I'm also having all the leftover scraps cut into 2 1/2 inch strips of whatever length, I'll use them up in 4 and 9 patches. I was getting tired of the 30's prints - does anyone else just get sick and tired of looking at a fabric in their stash?

Not a lot of sewing going on, but lots of books read. My second addiction is reading. . . .currently reading Katie MacAlister "Playing with Fire" one of the Silver Dragon books. Next up to read is David Weber "Storm From the Shadows" so there will not be much sewing for the next couple of days. I also ordered Alice Henderson new book "Voracious", if it comes in soon that will delay the sewing even more. . . .LOL . . . but I promise to post more often.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Update 54/40

I have not been able to do a lot of quilting. My Uncle passed away on the 12th after a two week illness, and things have been hectic. Doug was diabetic and on dialysis for several years, he and Vickie (my Aunt) made the decision to stop all treatments. It was a very hard decision, but one I agree with and support. His death has also dredged up memories of my mom's passing (a few months ago), leaving me sad, blue, and in no mood to quilt or do much of anything. I also worry about a friend who is also diabetic and is not even willing to talk about dialysis. His doctor has said that without dialysis he has at most 3 months. Stan is worn out and tired all the time, and has been having bouts of confusion, I doubt that he will last the 3 months, more like 3 weeks.

54/40 Update - Well what started out crib size, made up from a few orphan blocks, has morphed into a King size top, yes that's right, I had to make more blocks. Tarranda asked me to make it big enough for a bedspread, so its now 96x108. Still on the design wall - at least half of it is - won't all fit so I'm having to sew it in sections. I have all the row components finished and just need to assemble the last few rows (6 rows left), then sew them together. The borders and binding are ready to go, and the longarm quilter is expecting the top the first of next month. With luck I can get it finished up tomorrow, I am eager to get started on a different quilt - am getting tired of this one.

Have done some sewing on the Jan 24th "Mystery Quilt - Scrappy Stars". I like how the sample blocks look, might have to make it my "Leaders and Enders" project. My next quilt has to be the "Hearts", I need to get it made and quilted before the first week of April. I hate deadlines, but it is an anniversary gift for Arlene and Stan. And if the worst happens, and Stan passes away, it will become a "Quilt of Comfort" for Arlene.

Here is hoping that the next few weeks will be easier.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Going to sew like a mad woman,

Time gets away from me, how about you? I have had the same quilt on the design wall for over 2 weeks. This started out with me trying to use up some orphan (leftover) blocks, I needed just a few more to make it twin size. Once on the design wall I decided that I really loved it, and that I needed to make it Queen size, so off to the scrap pile to select fabric for more blocks. I'm loving making this quilt using only scraps, except of the background this entire quilt is from scraps. I'm ready to move on to a different quilt, so my goal for the next couple of days is to sew like a mad woman and get this top done. I already have a home for it, and the longarm quilt is booked.

Just got a box of scraps that I need to sort and cut. Like I didn't have enough scraps, I bought some on line, this is my second batch in two months. I was getting tired of the scraps that I have, and wanted some new ones to play with. The selection is so good that I almost ordered more - before even getting this batch sorted, much less used. Have decided no more fabric, at least not before I get these cut and sorted. Have set aside several for my "Broken Heart" quilt, and a few for hexagons to use in my next "Grandmother's Flower Garden".

I need to quit dragging my feet and just start sewing, so I'm off the reacquaint myself with my sewing machine. My goal is to finish the 54/40, sort the new scraps, and finish the sewing on the "Scrappy Star" that was the Jan 24th mystery quilt. I have to finish the 54/40 so I have the design wall available for the Scrappy Star.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More bleaching.

Did some more bleaching, for the most part I like the way the fabric turned out. If nothing else it is expanding my fabric stash . . . like it really need expanded. I am setting aside most of the ones that come out brown for a earth tone quilt, and cutting up the ones that came out really ugly into 1 1/2 inch strips for small 9-patches. Nothing will go to waste, if necessary they become string quilts and 9 patches. Had enough fun with this bleaching that I'm taking fabric that I like and bleaching just to see what will happen to it, what have i got to lose - a FQ. Just when I think that I know how it will come out, I get surprised. Had a black background that I expected to become brown, I turn into a great plum color.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bleaching fabric

Have been playing around with bleaching fabric. Now don't send the quilt police to my house . . . I took fabric that I have 1 yard of and cut on the fold, bleached half and look at the results. I love the black that went to a chocolate brown, and the brown that went to orange. I have already cut some of these up and they are going in the 54/40 quilt. Even had some fabric that had no change what so ever, I'm making note of it - will be great in crib quilts. I think most mothers will like knowing that if necessary they can bleach a quilt. I have selected several more fabrics, those that I no longer care for and those that I just flat out dislike, and will be bleaching them. I have nothing to loose, if they turn out real ugly, I'll just cut them up and make string quilts, or small 4-patches. If you cut a piece of fabric small enough you don't notice the ugly anymore.

UPDATE: When I bleach a fabric I just toss it into a normal load of laundry, usually with my towels. Clip off the four corners of the fabric to reduce raveling. If I like to way a fabric comes out I have been known to bleach the rest of the yardage. I only use fabric that I don't worry about messing up. You know the kind, you get it as a gift, got in a swap, or its so old that you don't even remember getting it. I don't know if it weakens the fibers, but I don't make quilts that I expect to last 100 years. I want my quilts to be used and wear out, or as I like to call it, "Loved to pieces". So grab an ugly piece and toss it into your next bleach load, this might even make laundry fun. . . .well one can dream . . .

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

54/40 Change of Plan

Started sewing the extra blocks needed for the 54/40, got the 12 extra done. When I placed them on the design wall I really liked how it is all coming together. So now I need 28 more blocks to making this one Queen size, unfortunately I have already sewed 3 rows together, and to add more rows I will have to work to make all the stars work together. I'll put one row on top, one in the middle and one on the bottom, this should spread out the new colors.

My sister, Tarranda, has hinted several times that she needs a queen size quilt to fit her new bed, I think that this one will be for her. Once it's done I will decide then.

I have all the new blocks cut, and set up ready to sew. Will have just enough of the background fabric, I think that I have about a third of a yard left. So I can't make anymore changes to this quilt, as it is I will not have enough to put a border of the background fabric on. Either I purchase more fabric, or run the stars to the edge of the quilt, which means using a small binding so as not to cut off the star points. Think I will be going to the fabric store. . . .LOL . . . I like a wider binding usually 5/8 inch

Monday, January 19, 2009

54/40 blocks

Yesterday I put the 54/40 star blocks on the design wall. Mixed the 9 and 12 inch blocks together, using the middle of the 12 inch as the lattice pieces. After I got them all placed I decided to enlarge the size, so I cut and started sewing more 9 inch blocks. I just selected 6 new fabrics that with luck will go with the others, this also allows me to use more red and bright pink. I had a couple of blocks that really drew the eye, by adding more I hope that it will all balance out the entire quilt. I have all the individual units of the new blocks sewn and the center squares selected. Need to cut the 1 1/2 inch strips to use in the construction of the lattice pieces, and figure the size of strips on the outer rows between the star points. Will leave the top on the design wall for a couple of day, making little changes as needed (rearrange), and think about the border. By next weekend I should have the top completed.

I have also cut more pieces this time in batik for the 54/40 pattern. I have made a commitment to use these blocks as my leaders and enders project. I used this technique to complete most of the 54/40 currently on my design wall now. Sending thru in sets of 4 takes only a couple of minutes, and allows me to really use the blocks. I have a zip-locks full of 4 patches in different sizes (2, 2 1/2, 3, and 3 1/2 inches), I have no idea what to do with them, they don't really go with any project I have going. The fabric is not a good match for my 54/40's although I have thought about doing a totally scrappy 54/40. Using 8 different fabrics for the star points, what ever piece comes to hand. I have extra pieces cut of several fabrics, but not enough of one to make a complete block, making scrappy will allow me to use up these pieces.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quilt Update.

Not a lot of sewing last week. Did sew more of the 54/40 stars, I am working in the 9 and 12" blocks. As of right now my plan is to make the 9" blocks, and use the 12" for sashing or lattice at the block intersections (actual size of lattice will be 4").
I took some 5 orphan 54/40 and placed the large star in the middle and 4 smaller for the corners, made a cute little wall hanging. I liked that the setting was different, have been doing the 54/40 stars for a long time, needed to change things up a little.
Currently making them with cream colored backgrounds, but I believe that I will start cutting batik and blacks in the 54/40 and make it my Leaders and Enders project. I have so many 4 patch blocks that I might never get them used up, by making the 54/40 in sets of 4 (what is needed for one block) it will not take long before I have my batik and black 54/40.

Also started cutting the batik scraps up for flying geese blocks. I like how the bright fabrics play against the black background. Need to find different patterns using flying geese, don't really want to make rows. Have been playing with different layouts, like using a solid square in the middle. But this would involve set in seams, not sure I want to go there. Although I have decided to keep this quilt.

After 25 years of quilting, the only two quilts I have are the ones I got back after my mother passed away. As a quilter I am ashamed to admit that I have a blanket on my bed. . . LOL . . . however that is about to change. I have made a vow that before the end of the year, I will have made ME at least 3 quilts. I want all 3 to use black for a background and an assortment of batiks for the prints. My plan is to make a 54/40 stars, Flying Geese, and most likely the disappearing 9-patch (using up all those 5" squares). All subject to change without notice. . . must keep my options open . . . never know when I will fall in love with a new pattern.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Blog Hopping

Have been checking out the blogs of the "Whirl into Winter" giveaway. Only entered a few that had something that I really wanted. Have had a great time, checked out several sites (not just the entry page), found several tutorial that I will have to try. Saw a new color combination on a old quilt pattern, must also give that a try. And best of all my life reflections -
  • my favorite Christmas gift (a hug and cookie from a small boy),
  • my favorite quilt project (GMFG that used flower round from me, my grandmother, and great-grandmother - Made for my Mother),
  • my milestone for next year (standing up for a friend wedding as she renews her vows).

This blog hop has reminded me that my life is great, and friend are to be cherished. Thanks for the memories.

Another Year Started

Another year is upon us. My wish for the New Year - "May this year be better than the last. Not just for me, but for the entire country and even the world."

I have followed the family tradition of eating: black eyed-peas, cabbage, and pork for my first meal today. I cooked a small ham, fried the cabbage with garlic and onions, and just opened a can for the black eyed-peas. The peas are said to avert the evil-eye and bring luck, the cabbage brings good health, and the pork is for prosperity. I had a double serving of everything. . .LOL. . .need all the help I can get.

Tradition says that what ever you are doing when the new year arrives, is what you will be doing all year. I was in bed - maybe I get to be lazy this year. Hope that this is one "rule" that proves false. My best friend, Arlene, was admitted to the hospital yesterday. She is a great lady and does not need this, her husband is diabetic and his kidneys have stopped working, the doctors don't foresee a good outlook for him. She is in my prayers.

Hope to get some sewing done today. Yesterday I made a start on a kids quilt, got one block made, that should count for something. Fussy cut the center motif, put black HST's in each corner and framed with black. Then added HST in blue/black print and framed again in the same print. Thinking about adding a red/black print as the final border on each block, and then setting together with a yellow print. The colors are all found in the focus fussy cuts. Might never get any further on this, another orphan in the making.

I have also been playing around with "square in a square" blocks. I took a pair of 4 1/2 inch blocks and cut on the diagonal, then sewed to a 4 1/2 inch block. Might make several and use up some of my scrap squares, possible future quilt. I also have lots of 5 inch squares in batik, would look good with black, something to think about. Made no progress on my UFO's, can't seem to get motivated, not in the mood to work on the old, want to work on the new. That's one reason why I have so many unfinished quilts.

Even though I have lots of fabric and even scraps, I fell off the no-buy wagon, and bought scraps from a quilt store. Received them yesterday, and I'm having a blast sorting and planning what to do with them. I was getting real tired of the scraps that I had to work with. That's me, never happy with what I have. . . LOL . . There was two pieces of blue that will work great with a set of orphan blocks I have. Going to make flying geese and put on each side of the blocks, making them into stars. Only have 10 blocks, they are square in a square with animals in the center, and have a blue batik for the outside 4 corners. Adding the flying geese will set these blocks off, or at least I hope so. Since I only have 10 blocks I will need to combine them with others. Another project, will I never learn.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ugly quilt top done

Finished sewing the random scrappy string quilt together. I have 3 different sashing strips. Used a Dark Blue and White stripe on the outer border, a Dark Blue with bright orange cornerstones. And to make it even more ugly I used the bright orange as the middle of the quilt as sashing. The quilt finished with the orange sashing forming a cross in the middle of the quilt. Finish size in the 6x8 block layout was 72 x 96 inches. Hopefully it will work on a twin bed, I tried to plan for the last sashing row to frame the bed with the outer row of blocks hanging over the side of the bed.

Need to get a digital camera so I can post some pictures of this ugly quilt. This is very different from my normal quilt style. And I will admit that 3 blocks were put in backwards, I didn't notice until it was finished, and I had no desire to rip it out and fix it. I must also confess that not all my seams matched perfectly. Truthfully I don't care . . . this quilt was made to pass the time during this holiday. I started it on Christmas day, and was able to finish it today. Might never have this one quilted, not sure I want to waste the money. If I every get it quilted I would have a hard time finding a backing with blue and orange.

Friday, December 26, 2008

String Quilts Update

Spent the entire day working on the string blocks, (13 hours). I had a blast - quilting is always relaxing and gives me a sense of peace. I was alone for most of the day, and the time just flew by. Looked at my watch and it was 1:30 in the morning, couldn't believe that I had spent that long sewing/quilting.

  • Red string quilt top is finished, I have decided not to put on borders.
  • Blue string blocks are still finished, but have not decided how to lay them out.
  • Random scrappy, the blocks are on the design wall. Have decided to use sashing strips between the blocks, selected a dark blue stripe on the outer rows, kind of like a border - with luck it will fall just right to frame the bed. I'm using a dark blue sashing in the center rows. Not sure what fabric for cornerstones - most likely a bright yellow. What started out being a crib quilt has turned into a full/queen. I like how this one has turned out, I might just have to keep this one for myself.

What is shocking is the fact that I have been quilting for over 25 years and only have two quilts that I've made. And those 2 quilts are ones that I had given my mom and retrieved after she died, a Double Wedding Ring, and a hand pieced Grandmothers Flower Garden.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fabric Scraps Under Control

Spent most of the day cutting my scraps into assorted size squares and bricks. The smallest square is 2 1/2 inches the largest 6 inches. The bricks for the upcoming scrap mystery and are 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches, I needed 100 light and 100 dark, now have about 500 of each, and about 750 that I would call medium. Needless the say I think that there will be more than one quilt from these bricks. I also finished cutting the 3 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch bricks needed for the broken heart quilt.

I have finished sorting and cutting one of the boxes of scraps, anything that is to small to get a 2 1/2 square from, is being passed on to a quilter who makes "Crumb" quilts. I have made a total of 4 crumb blocks, what was I thinking. . . lol . . . gave me flashbacks to the "Postage Stamp" quilt that I make years ago.

Had a great dinner, added Gorgonzola cheese, and Cajun seasons to some venison. Made two small meatloaves, so I had dinner tonight and a meal tomorrow. Giving me more time for quilting or reading, love it when a plan comes together.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More UFO's found

Started going thru all my UFO's this morning. Wanted to kit them up, to make it easier when I want to work on them. Found a few more that I had forgotten about

  • "Point-Less Wonder" blocks from several years ago. If I put sashing strips between each block I will have enough made for a crib quilt. The blocks as all blue prints, and I did not follow the pattern so they are rectangles not squares. If I do a 4 x 5 layout it will be almost the size needed for a crib quilt. Must go thru all my yellows and see what I have for cornerstones and outer border/binding. Hope that I have enough of one fabric to also use it for the backing. I love the combination of blue/yellow together.
  • Also found the blocks of 30"s print and black that I had made into 4-patches for a "Double 4-Patch". Really did not like how it was working up, so it went to the back burner. Might need to find another pattern that will allow me to use up the existing 4-patch blocks
  • And as I dig I'm sure that I will find more.

Well I back to the mess that I laughing call my quilt room.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

UFO listing

Well this is my first post, on my first blog. Not sure that I have that much to share, just my current quilt projects, and the books I'm reading. First I guess that I need to list my current quilts in progress. I consider a quilt done when the top is finished, I send them to the longarm when I need a finished quilt for a gift. Have burned my family out on receiving quilts from me. And I've found that a top take less room to store than a completed quilt. I give most of the quilts that I make away, usually to charity.

Quilts in progress: AKA - UFO's
  • Three string quilts from Bonnie Hunters site Quiltville, one with a red center strip, one dark-blue center strip, and the third is completely random (scrappy). The red only needs the border put on, the blue blocks are completed, and I just need to decide on a layout. I have thought about taking the blue blocks and using them as a framing border around the red blocks, this would make the quilt a queen size.
  • Crazy quilt, using the templates from Shar. Using a mixture of scraps.
  • 54/40 star quilt. Using the template/ruler from Eleanor Burns. I'm making the 8 points from the same fabric for each block, and using different center squares. Might do a 4-patch in the middle of each block. Have most of the star points made, just need to audition the center squares. Have made several of these quilts, and love them.
  • 6-pt Diamond, still making practice blocks. Not sure if each of the diamonds will be the same fabric, or if I will use two or three fabrics in each star. I have decided to use one fabric for all the background diamonds, selected a tone-on-tone white. The colors really pop, now I just need to decide on the numbers of fabric in each star. First time to do this type quilt on machine, normally I would just use English paper piecing. Not sure that I like the set in seam (Y-seams).
  • 9-Patch out of blue and white. One day this will be a baby quilt. I dislike the fabric, it is so thin you can almost see thru it. It was given to me in a Precut kit, was a rail fence and I took two of the fabric to make 9-patch blocks. Still have the other strips to do something with, two shades of dark blue, pink, and green.
  • Dresden plate, using fabrics with gold and silver highlights. Have been calling this one "Metallic Dreams" I have all the wedges sewn together and need to applique the center circle down and sew them to the backing square. This has been a long term project, truth be told I just found it again.
  • Also have a lavender "Double Wedding Ring" that I've started doing machine embroidery in the open areas. For some reason I selected little boy and girl ducks. Yes I said ducks, what was I thinking, its a full size top not a crib or twin.
  • Broken Hearts, made from scraps. Have started cutting the 3x6 inch strips and have most of the squares cut out. Not one block is sew together.

Well my list is not as bad as I expected. I have less than a dozen quilts in progress. Have thought about doing the NYE mystery quilt, although I have never done a mystery quilt and I'm not sure how it will work out. I'm kind of a control freak, I like to know what a quilt will look like. What have I got to loose, I'm going to use only from my stash. Might just be another charity quilt.