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!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

UFO Thursday

I was a naughtly little girl. I didn't finish my #1 UFO this month for the Challenge.

  • I finished my quilted jacket that was started almost 3 years ago
  • I worked on strips and blocks for my Omigosh quilt, a lonterm project
  • I made half square triangles for my rollRollCottonBoll mystery quilt that was started last year
  • I worked on cutting brown and gold strips towards my sweetPotatoPie that I started 3+ years ago
  • I started and completed the top of a hexie doll quilt to use for National Quilting Day Weekend activities at the LQS
  • I finally started the hexie project to replicate the bathroom tile floor at work. Have wanted to do this for almost 3 years
  • I started another hexie project that will be considered longterm
  • I started a fruit & veggie quilt
  • I finished up a table runner and 2 quilt top samples for coming classes at the LQS
  • I painted the office/library
  • I attended 5 non-work related meetings, including dinner for 20 at my house
  • I attended 2 birthday parties and other family events
  • I answered I don't know how many rescue calls
  • I've chased socks all over the house (yes, the saga continue)


I didn't finish my UFO for Judy's Challenge.

What do you think my punishment should be?
Do you want to stone me with new spools of King Tut thread? Do you want to bury me under fabric cut into 1", 2" or 2.5" strips? You choose and let me know. I'll be in the studio when you decide!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Be Prepared...

...when you lend a 6 year old your digital camera...some of the photos might be pretty good...

portrait of the artist

current obsession

Out of focus but I love how it's framed

no head but this is the perspective of a 6 year old

Not afraid to take portrait photos, even tho my mouth was full of yummies

We played with the macro function, altho he doesn't quite grasp the concept yet. I just need to figure out how to get him to slow down and focus before pressing the shutter. A lot of interesting shots/subjects but he was moving so fast they are just completely out of focus.

All on his own, he decided to do some motion shots - while twirling around the living room he would randomly push the shutter button. 

Quite the creative kid - don't cha think?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Painting blues

Let me just start by saying - I lalala-love my new accent wall but now I'm thinking my rationalization for which wall to accent was thoroughly off.

Ok, picture a rectangular east-facing room: 1 short and 1 long wall each have a window. The other long wall has a centered door and the other short wall has nothing. Yeh, no closet, welcome to living in an old house ;)

I had originally planned to accent the blank wall but realized that several file cabinets, a mounted 4'x6' map and possibly another bookcase would cover it up. I debated and debated on the other three walls - did I want to see it as I entered the room or only when I was in the room and turned back towards the door. Then one spring morning the sun actually came out and reflected on the short window wall. That was it. The sun would highlight the denim-like texture perfectly.

These colors are more realistic than the sunlit version below
Amazing how the morning sun can change the color so dramatically

This weekend I painted, made a mess and had a ball! I tried to do a little too wide an area at once so the glaze was tackier than it should have been so it looks organic instead of perfect. It was great to see the light bouncing back and forth on the semi-gloss paint (remember, the room had been matte pink before = yuck!)

Then this morning it dawned on me - that wall will have 2 bookcases on it. Most of the wall will be covered. wahhhhhhhhhh :(  We still have to put the new floor in and probably will move the bedroom furniture in here so we can work on that room - I may not get to see it "finished" for several months.  I'm sure it will look great when it's done, I'm just getting anxious to getterdone and get everything back to where it should be.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 3/28/11

Last week, Mary posted a quilt design she was going to make with her Farmers' Market fabrics and a new Accuquilt GO die.

I certainly didn't need another project myself but I have been collecting these fabrics for several years now and I would see a nice pattern, print it out, add it to the idea pile at home and the fabric never got used. I finally decided to just do it and get those fabrics off the shelf.

I don't have a GO cutter so I am cutting every thing by hand. It's getting a little tedious but it's almost done. I cut my FQs into 5" strips and sewed them to 2" strips of the brown sashing. (Gosh it's even a brown basket weave, just like Mary. How unoriginal). Then I subcut them into 5' wide units.

Next I'll sew 5" strips of the brown to 2" strips of the fruit and veggies. Subcut those into 2" wide units and sew them to the right side of first units. Wala - my sashing is done!

I'll be using the sashing/cornerstones for the outside "border" and I'll probably use the same brown for the binding. Might have to run and get some more tho.

Each FQ gave me 3 5"-strips and 1 2"-strip. I've only used 2 of the 5" strips for each fabric sew far, just to see how big the quilt would be. I'm thinking now that I should just use the other strip and get it used up. I'll just need to make sure I have enough for the cornerstones.

I couldn't decide which view I liked better - so you get both!

I wish I had potato, garlic and onion fabrics but I decided this morning that I just need to use what I have and getterdone.

I have apples, tomatoes, pears, "fruit salad", cukes, peas in the pod, raspberries, avocados, coconut, lettuce, blackberries, asparagus, blueberries, red grapes, lemons, chili peppers, pomegranates and green grapes. Are you hungry yet? I was!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

UFO Thursday

I've worked on UFOs this week but haven't made a lick of progress on my #1UFO for Judy's Challenge yet this month and there are only how many days left?! As close as I have gotten to working on it (remember, I only need to finish quilting and bind a table runner) is to look thru my new book for quilting designs. The last time I posted about this runner someone suggested I quilt a vine in the center of the runner. Good idea! You can see I marked several pages for possible border designs. Hopefully tonight I can narrow down the choices.

You can see the sun came back out. 4+ days of no sun were a real downer. On the up side, having the sun come into the office this morning, where I still needed to decide what wall to pain the accent color, made an easy decision for me this morning. The wall I chose is the only wall to get hit with the sun in the mornings (no walls get sun in the afternoon, wrong side of the house).

I neglected to take a photo but I have worked on my Omigosh quilt. I cut 2.5" squares on the diagonal and sewed them to the sides of 4-patches made of 1" strips. The 4-patches were already made and some of the triangles already sewn on so this didn't take too much time altho it had been sitting for quite a while. Now I need to trim them up. I think it will add up to considerable waste but with this many seams and such tiny pieces it will turn out better when everything is squared properly. Lots and lots more of these to make so I'll take a photo on another day.

I've also made a little progress on my mystery quilt from Bonnie. I'll sew a few more tris, press them open and then count them to see how many more I need. I know I also need a lot more but no use counting too soon and getting depressed about it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Remember 13 days ago when my day lillies were popping up thru the remnants of the snow?

And then it was in the high 50s and I could already see the sedum poking thru the mulch
and the yard looked a lot like this old photo.

Never mind! Cuz now Spring is here and it looks like this:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Bathroom Quilt

Val named my tile floor replication project The Bathroom Quilt. Others think I'm going to put my quilt on the floor or hang it on the bathroom wall when I tell them about it. Neither were my original intention but that drab room could use some color on the walls...

Too many other "work" activites have been going on around here to get much of anything done. That makes it an easy excuse to watch Deadliest Catch Season 5 and work on hexies when I get a few minutes. Progress is Progress is Progress! I'm still working out in my head how I will assemble the whole quilt around these diamonds. Just add background rows around the diamonds or a large background section that attaches to the diamonds?

Just promise you won't notice that the floor need a good mopping.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 3/21/11

Hi - my name is Sarah and I'm a hex-a-holic!

For National Quilting Day Weekend, the owner of the LQS asked me to demonstrate something. I have been wanting to do English Paper Piecing for some time so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity. I had just bought a book on civil war quilts from this store and they had a doll quilt on the cover with EPP flowers appliqued onto background squares. The store made up little kits for people to make the flowers. Some people even brought their flowers back for show and tell and to get more kits or fabric to continue. I'm such an enabler.

I had started making Black Eyed Susans a week ago while watching TV and was able to get the whole top together by Sunday morning. The FQ to the right is what I am thinking of using for the backing. I have enough of the brown from each flower center to do the binding but I'm not sure if it goes well with the backing or not. I might still change either.

After I got those done I wanted to do a little practice piece of a diamond shape. I will continue to randomly make these with scraps altho the center will always be the same green for some tiny bit of cohesiveness.

When I get enough of these, I hope to make something along this line. I'm still debating the color of my second round...not sure if I should stick with tone on tone neutrals since the separator strips are also a neutral...

Then I finally got moving on the project that started this whole thing. I needed some color in this dismal time of the year and I think purple and orange will fill the bill. This photo also shows how I worked on the hexies using this nordicware "tin" with slots for the paper pieces, each color 2" fabric square,  thread/scissors and the required jelly beans (which appear to be gone). That particular tray is pretty heavy so it sits nice in a lap - when I can get my lap back from a cat.

Did you see the little green project in this photo? I've been using 3/4" hexies but I had originally started it in 1/4" hexies - that is as big as that sample will ever be because it just wasn't fun and I refuse to work on something that is that much of a hassle.

And the project that started this whole addiction? The bathroom floor in my office building! I doubt that I will make the quilt the size of the bathroom floor, maybe just 5 of the double diamonds, but I'm looking forward to using seminole piecing to replicate the tile border.

 Lemme know if I can help you get addicted too!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Feline Friday - The sock thief episode

I think there is a thief in the house - a sock thief. It has nothing to do with the washing machine and I can't mention any names because I haven't seen the perp, yet!

I live in WNY - it's cold at night in my big old house that doesn't heat the upstairs very well. I, therefore, wear white socks to bed at night. I only own white ones - easier to pair up. In the morning I drop them off by the pillow at the head of the bed - I am rarely caught in the daylight with socks on, much to my Mother's chagrin. She's cold so I should put socks on!

Last week I noticed that one of my socks walked to the middle of the bed, apparently right past one particular calico cat. Did she even notice?

Over the weekend, one of my socks appeared downstairs in the dining room. I wish I knew how this was happening?!

Sunday I had worn white socks in my boots for the scavenger hunt. When I got home I dropped the socks on top of my pink fuzzy slippers that were on the road salt bucket. Twice since then, the white socks have been dumped on the floor and one pink slipper has been in the living room somewhere.

I swear - someday I will find out who is stealing my socks and I will let you know when I figure it out!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

UFO Thursday

I have made no progress on this month's #1 UFO for Judy's Challenge but I did finish a different UFO.

I purchased this fabric and the Cherrywood dyed fabric pack about 3 years ago at the last quilt show I attended in Miami. I knew it would be a good project for the chilly north - can never have enough sweatshirts up here. The problem was deciding on a pattern. I've picked up several over the years but just never got to it. I had spent so much on the fabric, I wanted the perfect pattern. When I finally found the one it turns out I had already owned it. Who knew?

At last month's guild meeting our speaker brought patterns to sell. I was looking at a sweatshirt pattern and Noel was looking at it also. We decided to get together at my house and make them together. A little motivation never hurts anyone. The plan was to get them done in time for guild meeting and I did so with hours to spare. Ok, so the cuffs aren't done but it was good enuf for who it's for and maybe I will leave them as is. We shall see.

I think the hardest part, after picking a pattern, was taking the fool sweatshirt apart. All the seams have to come apart and all the threads have to be picked out. These are serged seams so there are about 3 levels of seams to take apart. Ick. I think it was Linda who said to trace the sweatshirt parts and buy the sweatshirt material at JoAnn's to save taking another one apart. Brilliant!!

I quilted the sweatshirt with fantasy feathers, thanks to a DVD from Patsy Thompson, using a blue-gray King Tut variegated thread. As I posted yesterday, despite being washed several times, the sweatshirt stained my machine. I haven't had a chance to try to clean it yet but I am open to any suggestions.

I think I would like to make another sweatshirt but maybe with less quilting so it's not quite so stiff.

Cali was the Quality Control Officer on duty:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Machine discoloration

This was really hard to photograph so you'll have to trust me but my latest project turned every "edge" of the throat of my machine and table pinky-purple. The sweatshirt was washed twice before I started the project and the white washcloth washed at the same time is ever so slightly purple - nothing like my machine, which got worse after this was taken. I've only given it a lick and a promise while I was sitting there so I am not 100% sure it will come off but it better! Guess I better wash the sweatshirt again with a dye catcher and I won't be wearing a white t-shirt with it, like ever. Harumph!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meghan's Scavenger Hunt

Meghan always has the best ideas to celebrate her birthday. Last year she treated us all to a Zumba class. I had a blast since I love the Latin dance music that it uses. Some of the girls weren't so into it...too much sweat and hard work :) I think it allowed us to enjoy the three kinds of cake with no second thoughts.

This year Meghan arranged a scavenger hunt in downtown Perry. Her husband put together the list of items and we had to fill in names of the 5 hair salons, find pieces of the architecture and even take pictures of certain things. We broke into three teams after meeting at the bookstore and ventured out for about an hour. Some of the scavenging took place IN the bookstore which was a great way to warm up on a brisk day when it was grappling out. We all then went to Meghan's great Victorian house for tea, cake and conversation. Can't wait to see what she comes up with for next year.

The Perry mascot is the Silver Lake Sea Serpent (the sea serpent was "found" in the Castile part of the lake but that story is for another day) and there are many Serpents around down town.  Over the course of the day we found 10 and missed 2 others. Here are my teammates with two tech-savvy serpents:

This is the remains of a great mural:

Proof that I participated - this is the door to nowhere in the bookstore. Can you believe I have never even noticed this non-door and I am in this store every other week or so since it's right next to my office?!?! You can see they offer coffee and fraps, etc.

Santa's Workshop is still set up so two groups posed together for a required photo.

Here's the birthday girl.
Hope you had a great day Meghan!
We certainly did.

And yes, we even take pictures of people taking pictures of food!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 3/14/11

I can't actually show you what is on my design wall yet - not until it's finished...

Will these walls suffice in the meantime? I still need to paint the accent wall but it is sewwwww much better than when I started. Those of us at the ATEP are pleased. The only pink left in the house is the carpet in the studio...Yuckckckck. The paint color is Colorado Springs but it is a light blue that has a little gray when there is no sun coming in the windows, like the last 4 days. (Check out the second picture - the living room also has the same paint color, long story) Yeh, the room is a little darker than when it was just white but I need COLOR!!!

And here is a great photo of the definition of overcommitment. Each pile represents a project that needs some kind of progress or completion by this weekend. It could be ironing, quilting or just packing to take to the LQS for National Quilting Day events/show-n-tell. I will be glad when the weekend is over...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Feline Friday

I guess I'm not the only one with Spring Fever!

Cali was watching the rain so I opened the window on the left.

Smokey came to check out what was going on so I opened the window on the right.

Pepper came to see what his girls were doing, decided it wasn't anything exciting and left.
Not exciting, his butt is too big for a windowsill and there weren't any windows available to even look out of...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

UFO Thursday

Most quilters think of a UFO as an UnFinished Object or an Unfinished Fabric Object. I generally go with the first definition and that almost works with both photos today...

Let's just say I've wanted to work on this project for a long time but could never even get it started. This photo was taken last weekend. I'm hoping to have it done next week for quilt guild. Wish me luck quilting this weekend- I'll be working on the dreaded "f" word - feathers...

This next picture doesn't fit the true definition of a UFO but I am pretty sure we are not finished with winter and Mother Nature is really pushing the issue here. It's 49F and raining today but it's only early March. It's time to make the veggie seed list, not to be searching out sprouts.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


When it's time to quilt something I sometimes get stuck on picking a design and need inspiration.

I have plenty of pattern books that show quilted quilts but rarely look at those design. 

I have about 6 books on this shelf that are just on quilting. There is a book on McTavishing, another book has three increasingly difficult quilt designs for 6 different quilts and the rest of my books show doodles or designs for specific block shapes.

I even have DVDs from Patsy Thomson for design ideas.

I also have a sketchbook of designs. Anytime I see a quilting design that really grabs me, I cut it out of the magazine or sketch it on scratch paper. The ultimate goal is to transfer those ideas into this sunny yellow sketchbook.

When I get ready to quilt a specific quilt I approach the design two different ways. Generally I take out a muslin sandwich and draw out the quilt block and quilting design. I will practice over and over on the sample and then they're saved in a drawer for later inspiration. I can see a lot of improvement from my earlier samples but I think I need to date them...

Last week when I was going to quilt my zigZapp runner, I looked thru the sketchbook for ideas (recognize that design bottom center?). When I had a couple possibilites, I traced the leaf shapes onto paper and drew in the quilt design. I took that paper with me to work and every time I sat back down at my desk I had to retrace it with a pen. By the time I got home I was all "warmed up," had formed the necessary "muscle memory" and decided to forgo my usual muslin sandwich. It worked great!

so...How do you store your quilting ideas? And where do you find inspiration?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

You might be a redneck if...

...the highlight of the week (month?) is going to the Wiscoy-Rossburg Fishfry!!

W-R is a volunteer fire department in the neighboring county that has been having a monthly fish fry for as many years as I can remember.

Below is one of the two rooms for eating (this room is actually a 2-truck bay in the firehall) and you can see the kitchen in the way back and the cake cutting station on the far right. There was a large amish family eating in the other room. It's clearly served family style and it's all you can eat fish, coleslaw, cottage cheese, rolls and french fries. We got there later than normal so only had a short wait but I can remember waits of over 30 minutes, outside, in the cold. And it's always soooo worth the wait too!

 #1 Pops is a real prankster and posed for this entertaining photo.

Mom wanted a normal pose for posterity so I retook the shot.

Mom doesn't do funny faces but I really like this one. Wish the eyes were more in focus.

We were sitting very close to the kitchen and I had spent the night trying to get the chefs from afar but someone always walked in front of me. Finally mom dared me to walk over and ask to take a close up. What's a redneck to do but comply?! Thanks for a great dinner guys!