Feline Friday is hosted every friday and HELP for Hexie-aholics is hosted on the 17th of each month. We hope you'll join us!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 1/31/11

Sorry - gonna have to be a quick one today...too much work to do.

The class I was helping with at the LQS this weekend was a Disappearing 9-patch which gave me the push to finish this D9P top that was started back in August using Sew Tweet fabrics. I just need to pick fabric for the back. I must have something at home I can hobble together since it's couch sized.

Cali, today's Quality Control Officer, could have told me she wanted the blocks arranged differently BEFORE I had it together...

I started working on a class sample using "Blendable Curves" in blue, gold and purple. Will post more later this week along with a link to the book we are using.

I also finished my UFO for January but will post about it later...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Feline Friday

Pepper is my little wussy boy, my scaredy cat. He's also a bit of a chunky monkey. Lets blame that on his big boned momma cat who was part Maine Coon.

It's so hard to get a scratch or cuddle, let alone to get a picture, since he generally lopes off to a different part of the room to hid under a table or chair if I dare even walk through the same room.

Quite often, tho, if I lay down on the quilt room floor near him, he will roll over for a full tummy rubdown. Ooohhhh and I am such a tummy girl cuz he has a very soft and fuzzy tummy! Yesterday, tho, he ran to the other side of the room and posed. Yeh, in the box. And no, those are not stacks of fabric, books and UFO's in the background. Don't ask what they are...cuz I won't admit to anything.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

UFO progress

Hah! This is as far as I could get this morning on the t-shirt quilt because it was the point of jumping into the shower at that very second or being really late for work. You'll need to trust me that I have the green border on all 4 sides and this is the second side of the black/final border that I'm about to finish. Thankfully I can pull out that top drawer and/or slider tray to support the body of the quilt while I wrestle with the borders. Saturday I am pinch-teaching a class at the LQS so I can scope out the flannel for backing this.

And here are the centers of my RRCB blocks. When making the twosies, I used 30 different greens and 30 different neutrals. Wish I had done the pinks that way, of course, I don't like pink, so I don't have 30 pinks, so I couldn't use 30 pinks, so why am I fussing about it? I still need to complete 580 more red/neutral half square tri's to finish these but at least we are making progress.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tea for Two + Two

This past Sunday I finally got to host my tea party. It's been in the works for quite a while, after I started going through the Tea Time magazine at the library. I spent months collecting recipes and ideas. I had decided to have the party the Sunday before my birthday, not as a birthday party but I needed to pick a date (I hate making decisions) and that gave me enough time to pick who would attend and plan the menu and decorations. Of course, then I got bronchitis days before my birthday and was not energetic enough to cook or clean. Moving the party then meant that our party of 6 became 4 due to busy schedules which was too bad because I had picked the guest list from different circles of friends, making sure that everyone knew at least one other person. We certainly had fun tho and the girls want another tea party.

Tea parties typically have three courses: Scone, Savory and Sweet. My menu was: Apple Cider Scones, Toasted Smoked Gouda and Baby Swiss on Raisin Bread with apple slices, Triple Decker Ham Salad Stackers, Cucumber Sandwiches, Cumin Cream Cheese Crudites, Pear Puff Pastries, Martha Washington petite fours, Lavender Tea Cookies, homemade fudge and truffles. We voted for our favorite Savory dishes and the stackers and cheese/apple sandwiches tied.

Here's the table set with the first 2 courses: Scones and Savory. You can see the tea selections at the far end of the table but I now realize that my tea pot isn't on the table. It's an elephant that pours from his trunk!

Check out the giftie bags made with mouse-in-a-teacup fabric stuffed with tea bags, lemongrass hand soap and chocolates.

Wow - didn't realize this photo was so out of focus. Work with me here but this is part of the chocolates, the petite fours, puff pastries and lavender tea cookies. I guess I need to tell you that I am obsessed with petite fours, begged Santa to bring me an antique petite four server (he pulled through!!!) and then they were such a PITA to make ice that I may never make them again. Will have to work on the technique because Meghan threatened to make this my signature dish requested for all occasions. In the background is the card that Tyler drew for me. I have a great tan in the picture, no hair, no glasses and a purple belly. Ohh to be 5 again!

And here are the girls having fun. Kim was sniffing the (locally grown) chocolate mint tea bag before steeping it in her cup. From left to right is Kim, Erin and Meghan. Can't wait for the next tea party!

Etiquette lesson of the day: large dinner napkins remained folded in half with the fold towards your tummy in case you need to tuck something into the napkin for later disposal.

Vocab word of the day: doppelganger. I've never heard the ghostly part of this definition, just used it as someone who looks a lot like another person. As in my ex married my doppelganger...true story.

We had some other quote of the day but I can't remember. Hopefully one of the girls will post a comment if she remembers.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 1/24/11

I'm afraid I wasn't nearly as productive this weekend as last. I had a tea party at my house yesterday (look for pictures tomorrow) and spent my time cleaning and cooking. I sew wanted to sew but it didn't happen.

--I did purchase more fabric to do the borders on my t-shirt quilt and have started cutting the fabric. Hopefully after Library Board meeting tonight I can get at least one or two sidea sewn on.
--I did lay out a few blocks to sew on my RollRollCottonBoll but couldn't quite make out which way to lay out the pink/brown half square triangles given that I printed the directions in black and white. That got set aside because I was not going to frog out mistakes.
--I did start working on the red and neutral half square triangles (for RRCB) this morning...only 580 more to go!

I also started this little project. I don't like V-Day so I surprised myself by buying the kit. It's really tho. These hearts will be sewn into a red bias binding to create a little banner strip to hang across the window or door frame. I think it needs more reds and one black :)

Can't believe I almost forgot to tell you that it was -13F when I got up this morning. It dropped fast last night and there wasn't a cloud in the sky to retain any morsel of heat. My windows/frames were cracking in the cold - it was a little creepy. It's currently +13F and tomorrow is supposed to be 32F. WTF?!?!?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Feline Friday

The girls don't like each other very much but when it's cold outside the rules change!

Do I look fat in this fur coat?
Somebody has been scarfing somebody else's food when Momma isn't looking...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

UFO Challenge Update - 1/20/11

As you may recall from last week, I had the middle of the top into two sections on the LR floor. When I came home from work Friday it was remarkably untouched given that there are 3 cats in the house who like to run the length of the house, ie thru the middle of the LR. Of course, as soon as I came back downstairs from feeding the cheeky monkeys and changing clothes I found that they had indeed been having fun. I walked past the scene of the crime into the quilt room and out ran the perps. You can barely make out their outlines as Pepper and Cali fled the scene.

Well, I had stopped at the LQS on the way home but "we" decided to just use the fabric I already had to do a skinny lime green inner border and black outer border. I went to bed early Friday and got up to a perfectly positioned quilt on the floor. But as soon as I walked to the kitchen I saw Cali make a run for the LR where she jumped, dived and twisted onto the quilt to end up like this. Doesn't she look proud of herself?!

Any way, I did get the two halves together and then realized there was no way I had enough of the green fabric to even do a 1" unfinished border. Harumph. The snow was blowing for the traditional birthday storm so I resigned myself to getting the needed fabric this coming weekend and made binding. I just love how the zig zag comes thru on the binding and how it will pop off the black border.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wazzit Wednesday

This update has been long overdue...If you remember, way back last year I posted a picture and asked you to guess what it was. I had updated that same post with more "parts" coming through town but I never got a chance to get a photo of the finished items.

A couple weekends ago, I found these parked at a local train overpass.

Each pair of blades is on an extended rail car but further extends into the cars next to it. These things are Ha-Yuge. My shoulders didn't even reach the flat beds. The cars sitting there were about a half mile long and contained blades and hubs. The parts that passed through town are supposedly going down to Pennsylvania, not sure where the train was going.

 These are just a few of the local Windmills! Each windmill is made of three of those rounds sections I originially posted, then the hub at the top and 3 blades. They are any where from 100 to 400 feet high. Wyoming County is very hilly and windy so we have a lot of turbines around altho they are VERY controversial. If the blades are facing just the right way, the doppler rader is goofed up by showing or not showing "weather" in the denser wind farms. I thought it was funny the first time I saw it on tv.

Happy Brithday to my favorite Brother!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Roll Roll Cotton Boll update

I’ll be honest, now that the whole RRCB pattern has been posted, I'm working out of order. I work on what I feel like and what I can do with the parts already sewn. Essentially it will come down to the string blocks (part#3) being done last. I don't particularly care for making them so I don't keep strings. I'll have a lot of cutting to do before I can make those blocks and I need to locate a phone book I can dismantle.

 I haven't made much progress partly because I saw someone’s string blocks with black as a neutral and I was trying to decide if I wanted to do mine that way. I no longer can find those pictures online but this weekend it dawned on me that I have already used brown for some parts (which I am not going to redo) and I didn’t want black and brown in the same quilt. That finally got me back in gear!

These are my trapezoids from Step 6. I love the bright pinks and greens and  the dark browns together.

I'm almost finished with Step 4. The 9" strips are sewn together and I have just a few more to subcut while I am eating lunch today. I didn't trim the neutral strips to 9" as directed. That means some of them were long enough I could also get some 2" blocks for my Oh my gosh quilt. I need a bazillion 2" and 2.5" neutral squares so any opportunity for variety is appreciated.

 Ok - this one is weird. You probably noticed I keep old crocks near the cutting mat for trimmings and before I dumped it in the actual trash, I just liked the way it looked. I mean your "trash" says a lot about a person, right? Like the couple who live across the street and have 2 overflowing garbage cans every week for my one or two grocery bag bags. Ok, back to quilt stuff. I just like to see what makes the trash and what doens't. Maybe I can make this a periodic pix of what I chose trash. Needs a MUCH better name tho. Ideas?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 1/17/2011

Bronchitis knocks the wind out of you…really, it feels like you can’t breath and the hacking to get the crap out of your lungs is no fun either so once I got home Friday night and got into my comfy pjs – that’s how I stayed until dinner time on Sunday. I can’t remember the last 2-full-day-weekend that I just did what I want when I wanted: sewing and reading and sleeping in and staying up late. Be sure to check out my other post today to see why I really wanted to do “nothing” all weekend!

Friday night I hit the LQS after work and came home to dinner and time in front of the boob tube. Saturday morning the sewing marathon began. I won’t show pictures of everything so I have some fodder to talk about later this week but this is what I accomplished over the weekend:

1. Remember the pink alert? I finished 6 little treat bags for my tea party that got postponed until next weekend.

2. The center of my t-shirt quilt (UFO #6) is finished but I didn’t have enough border fabric so I’ll have to go back to the LQS. Will post more on Thursday…

3. Remember DWM last week with the experimental windmill runner? I finished the top but I think it leans towards failure. I just don’t care for it although I am sure someone else will. It was a good study to see how a row of all of the same fabric charms works - maybe that is the problem: one row might have worked but not the black and cream rows. It will be a good sample for class but I won’t do another with rows. I like 2 fabrics, but not rows. I am not sure if I will bind it in the brown or the cream color...leaning towards the cream to pull it in more (it does match the wheat fabric).

4. I finished the last 2 green and cream Turning 4-T blocks. This was supposed to be for my b-day so I’ll work on it some more tonight. I am designing this quilt myself and it’s turning into a design as you go kinda thing so I have to decide how I want to proceed. I’ve only changed it 3 or 4 times so far.

5. I also worked on 2 sections of my Roll Roll Cotton Boll blocks…will post more another day….

It's my birthday! It's my birthday!


July 1972

Yeh, this is the big 4-0! Age has never bothered or excited me. I breezed thru 21 (yes, my younger friends sent me shopping at midnight), 25, 29, 30, until I suddenly wanted to stop at 39. I just didn't want to hit the big four oh. My life should have been "different" by now. I didn't have specific goals but, you know, things just should have happened by now. On their own. I've got the proverbial bucket list but with few deadlines and nothing that I wantonly pursued before today hit.

Anyway, today has turned out to be just another day, age wise, but it has been ohhhhh so fun thanks to family and friends. Yesterday I went to Mom and Dad's for Birthday dinner. My 2 nephews joined us. Ty made me a bday card, which I forgot to photo so I'll add it later. Dinner was all my favorites: dad's meatloaf, scalloped corn, baked potatoes and broccoli salad. Dessert was 3-chocolate brownies from scratch with Andes Candies frosting and ice cream. Two little monkeys serendaded their hearts out.

The boys had helped wrap my gifts from Mom and Dad so they were quite eager to tell me what they were and to help un-wrap them: jewelry from Ireland, a DVD of Irish lighthouses, tea spoons and another place setting in my silverware pattern, and a small print of "daughter" in an Asian script. Technically the sweater and turtlenecks I opened at Xmas were also b-day gifts.

The local "Shopper" is delivered to my house on Saturdays but given that I was spending the day in my pjs and it was the traditional b-day snow storm, I never went out for it. I actually forgot it until I was coming home last night at 10:15 and then even forgot to look at it until I was going to bed. To the right is what I found on page 4! NO ONE in my family or at work admits to placing the ad altho someone in my family gave up the photo.

I had been ducking out onto the porch this morning to check the temp (-7 F) but didn't look further until it was pretty light out and I looked at my car where I could see something on the roof. I immediately called my brother (I am 4 years older than him for two whole days) and asked what he did to my car while I ran out to find the safety cone to the left. He has since sent me txt messages of Old Fart type signs with a warning that more are on the way.

When I got to work this morning, copies of the shopper ad were plastered every where - the copy room, the front door, in my desk drawers and even in the loo. My boss left roses and funny bday balloons and my deputy clerk got me a book on christmas gifts from the kitchen and a really cute cat tape dispenser. Everything has made the day really fun. I even hear that we will be having White Cat wine with cheese and pepperoni later today.

I'll update this post if anything else happens...I have a feeling it will :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

UFO Challenge Update - 1/14/2011

Turns out that hacking cough was bronchitis thanks to recent alleries and asthma. Doc sent me home Wednesday with lotsa good meds to rest and relax but what's a (quilter) girl to do? Sitting in an upright position is the best option when breathing is important so...I sat at my sewing machine.

All blocks are now done and squared up to 18" using a neat gadget I got for Christmas.

The Quilt Ruler Connector holds any two rulers together. Small drop down tabs and a ledge at the one end help line up the rulers and the 4 suction cups hold them in place. Works like a charm! My only improvement would be an additional pair of suction cups at the last third of a pair of long rulers that may not be the same length. When I picked up the 24" and 18" rulers I had used, the far end was a little floppy.

Back to the quilt...the rows are almost together...just need to get the two halves together. Then it's on to the borders which means I kinda need to decide what I want to use it for. It's already 74" square or bigger than my fav couch quilt. This morning I thought I wanted a small inner border of that central green marble to tie it in and then I could surround it with that zig zag fabric. I'm just not sure if there is enough zigzag to go around. I could make the quilt rectangular with zig zag on top and bottom but it will be hard to match the pattern and I'm still not sure there is enough. I could also use the green and black for borders and use the zig zag for binding. I think this might be the best because there is soooo much purple background, the black and green might ground it. I still need to decide how much bigger I want it...might be time to go measure the bed again. Maybe I should even write it down this time.

I'm also thinking that a t-shirt quilt is heavy enough, I could skip the batting and just back it with flannel. Anyone quilted a t-shirt quilt or something with flannel. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pink alert!

I can't actually tell you what this is because it's a surprise for several people. Pink is generally the last color of choice at my house but it worked with the mice fabric. I'm hoping I can get them done tonight but this hacking cough is wearing me out...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 1/10/11

This morning, while eating my Special K, I had thought of a snappy line to post today along with a bunch of pictures from this weekend. It's now 4:42pm, I'm just getting time to post and I have no idea what it was so I guess I'll just go with...

When I taught my windmill class, a student brought charm size squares of all the same fabric instead of a pack of charm squares. I got her to purchase several coordinating fabrics but it lead to a discussion on a 2 color windmill runner. I purchased the wheat and green fabrics right then and there but thought it was too short. As an experiment I just got the black and cream fabrics to see what they will look like - will they come thru as a stripe or a blur? I have to add the outer brown border and then I can begin subcutting into the windmills.

It's late and I still have lotsa work left to do before I can go home and sew...cya tomorrow.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

UFO Challenge update - 1/6/11

In the month of January we are working on UFO #6...which is my t-shirt quilt started in a class about 3 or 4 years ago that then snuggled in this drawer ever since.

This is a big drawer but when I actually started digging, I discovered it's mostly full of extra shirts and shirt parts to fill out this quilt (like breast pocket logos) or to make another quilt. The 13 t-shirts I need for this design (yeh, I even found a diagram of my design with color layout) were already ironed to the woven interfacing and 2 of the blocks had the corner triangles sewn on. I had even cut out the rest of the triangles I would need for the corners and setting triangles. I already have the zipzag stripe for borders and binding.

What I discovered is that, unlike the original pattern which called for a different fabric on each t-shirt, I had planned to square up each shirt with the same fabric. Boring! I'll be at a few LQSs this weekend so I am going to look for a black TOT and maybe something else to go around the middle block. The black should tie in the purple fabrics that have a black stripe and a lot of the t-shirts also have black. If I don't find anything for the middle block I can either use the purple flower fabric or some of the stripe.

I've now got 8 blocks done and I don't think it will take more than a couple hours to finsh the remaining 4 when I get more fabric. And then it's on to borders.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Furry Flurries

Last night we were gifted with that beautiful fluffy soft kind of snowfall that I can sit and watch forever. Especially since a lot of houses still have their Christmas Lights on at night. It was really coming down when I went to bed – oh, how I wish I had thought to get a photo of that.

That meant that this morning I got to play in the driveway :) Snow accumulation on the driveway wasn’t so bad but the street and sidewalk plows had really piled it up at the end of the driveway and it’s just easier to shovel it now before it’s all compacted. I can’t complain too much as this is the first time I have had to shovel this winter.

In addition to the birds, I could hear the scrape of other shovels as the neighbors shoveled their driveways and then I saw a couple walking up the adjacent street. He had lengthened his shovel handle by attaching another handle to the original. Why didn’t I think of that??? I despise leaning over to shovel because the handles all seem so short (and I’m already short!) unless you buy an ergonomic shovel that costs 3 times as much. They also had a stick with what looked like a paint roller on the end – perfect for pushing snow off the roof of a car.

Time outside also gave me pause (or is it paws?) to say a brief prayer for the shy little stray that often leaves footprints on my porch and probably sleeps underneath when the wind and snow blow. Later, when I was making my lunch I was nagged by the little woman to the left for a snack…she doesn’t know how good she has it. Just ask Cali who spent the last two winters out in the snow...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Surfing the blogosphere yesterday I noticed several pictures of empty thread spools that people have accumulated during 2010...I have no where near the same size collection as what I saw yesterday but it's an interesting study to look at how many of each color I have used.

The bottom 6 spools are medium gray Masterpiece thread that I use for piecing. It's a finer thread and has 600 yards to a spool. It's wonderful to use as the seam seems to open up and lay quite flat when ironed. Yes-Quilt Police-I iron, I don't press! The top 4 spools are from King Tut threads that I used for quilting. I know I've started many other thread colors for quilting but I guess I just don't finish those as quickly. I later use the partial quilting thread spools and matching bobbins every fall to make a bunch of little gifties. 2010 was magnetic bookmarks with a satin edge and 2009 was luggage tags.

What I could have also added was a photo of the wooden spools that I have accumulated or acquired from friends or family. I store them in a glass biscuit jar in the studio and hope to someday make something (a garland?) for my Christmas tree in the studio that has quilty ornaments.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 1/2/1011

Welcome to 2011!!

There are a few older projects on my design wall this week. They are soooo last year (sorry but I couldn't resist). I finally finished the binding on this windmill runner. It was a Christmas gift for mom so it's about time. It just needs a good wash to get to the crinkly stage and then she can use it on her new dining room table. Like my freehand fans? They are catholic fans - we don't do baptist in our house ;^)

This little table topper is for a class I am teaching at my LQS. I bit the bullet and actually stitched feathers in the borders. I learned from Patsy's DVD series but this is the first time I have actually quilted them. I was very impressed with myself, especially since the border was so narrow and confining. Can't wait to let loose on a larger quilt with the feathers.

This is the other topper I made to time how long it would take for the class. If you remember from previous posts, the middle was very "smooshy" color-wise but I think the red flange and the blue border does actually bring the green fabric out. I need to quilt this and then I can use the new curved corner template my friend Liana sent me for Christmas. I can see it needs a good ironing before I quilt it...it's been folded for too long.

Finally, I did pull out the UFO I will be working on this month. Judy drew #6 and that is my t-shirt quilt. From a brief glance it doesn't look like it will take much to get the top together. I hope that really holds true. I am thinking that I will try to post weekly updates on Thursdays...

Oh BTW - our 5 minutes is up. Yesterday was 25 degrees and snowing and OHHHHH did it feel bitter after 2 days in the low 50s. This morning was 18 and I was outside in my pjs to start the car and get these photos. Not so bitter today.