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, February 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 2/28/11

First, those of us at the ATEP** are happy to report that we are making considerable progress at CasaGrande.

Second, there is a house rule that there will be no white rooms (I've lived in too many white rentals), so this is just primer and within a week, the walls will be 'Colorado Springs' blue with an accent wall of a darker blue. The baseboards and window trim will remain white. The wall to the left of this picture while host a 4x6' USA map with map pins for all the places I visit(ed). Can't wait to get the map up there and remember all those trips.

On the quilting front, I am working up this little table runner and wall hanging using zigZapps. I'm still working out the design for the wall hanging (on the left side pf the photo) but both pieces will look great in my dining room. You can see with the partial runner on the right that I am working on trapunto for the leaves and flowers. I need to do some more trimming and free motion quilting on those pieces tonight and then hopefully get it sandwiched and quilted by week's end.

**Alliance To Eradicate Pink

Friday, February 25, 2011

Feline Friday

Momma, I know I snuck out the door when you got home from work
but I really really want back in
Puhleeze, Momma!

(First remember that Cali used to be a stray. She really did scoot out the door as I was unlocking it. She took a quick look around, looked in the storm door several times and then tried to use her paws to pull open the bottom of the door. She really hasn't tried to get out since then.)

(luckily for Miss Cali, this photo was taken a week and a half ago - we are getting 1-2 inches of snow an hour today and while it's supposed to slow down any time now, it's not supposed to stop until sunset)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

UFO Thursday

Remember the Sweet Potato Pie (drunkards path) blocks I pulled out recently? Well, I also pulled out some more browns and golds to continue making blocks. I have twice as many new golds to use as browns so I'll need to look for some FQs the next few times I am at a quilt store. I'm not in any hurry to get this done so I'll just buy a brown here and there. After making blocks with the new fabrics, I'll have 40 blocks and that should be more than sufficient. Each block finishes at 7" so it would make a nice couch size cuddle quilt with some fancy borders.

I’m still plugging away on my blendable curves class sample. About another 37 minutes and I’ll have all the curved blocks together. Then I just need to square them up. I don’t normally square blocks but these babies really need it due to all the curves and bias edges. I’ve noticed while working on this quilt that it’s a little small and I finally figured out why! I made the first 2 blocks for my own good after borrowing the book. I just wanted to have a sample of the technique. Then the LQS asked me to teach a class so I just continued with what I had started. I used already cut 2" strips for my first sample whereas the pattern calls for 3" strips. Well, duh! I know a couple outside borders will do some good but I also thought maybe I could add an interior border like on this other UFO to the right. The off-center blocks are very similar to my current project but I might have to make a few more blocks. I'll work on layouts for the rest of the week/end so hopefully I can make a quick decision.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


As is usual on a long weekend where you have lots to accomplish - it doesn't happen! Oh sure, I got some house cleaning done and went for groceries. A huge wind storm came thru Friday night/Saturday day and took my grill cover with it in exchange for someone's plastic plant pot. Dad and I cleared out the office/library so we could begin remodeling the room. Can't wait to lose the pink walls and grey-green trim. Yewchtcht.

I think I spent about 27 minutes in the quilt room, working on class samples. The rest of the weekend was spent cooking, vegging in front of Deadliest Catch or going on rescue calls. And, for lack of anything better to blog about, how about a PSA?

When was the last time you took a first aid class? A CPR class? Do you know how to use the AED in your office building? Do you know that CPR has changed, even since I was certified 2 years ago? It has. Do you know that starting CPR when the person first needs it can be the difference between life and death? It can.

I know you all have friends, family, neighbors, co-workers or even enemies and frienemies. Someday they may need your help. It could be for any problem, at any time but having the training means you don't have to stop and think about what to do. You just let your subconcious kick in and you do it. Someday, someone will thank you for taking a few hours out of your busy life to take a first aid or CPR class.

I shouldn't need to say this but I will - you should ALWAYS call 911 first. The ambulance or fire department will come at any hour in any kind of weather and we would rather go back home with everyone safe than be too late to make a difference.

I only know of one exception to calling 911 first. Do you know what it is?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feline Friday

I like a mancat who isn't afraid to let it all hang out.

Oops...time to adjust.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February UFO Challenge Completed

It was relatively painless to get this UFO finished. The math that I had been avoiding turned out fine and it fits relatively well together. I'm not super fond of quilts that start with borders and make the center fit but I'm more comfortable with it for now and would probably tackle it again if the right pattern comes along.

Just before I attached the braids I took another look at the pattern in the book. Turns out the beginning triangles (striped) should have been on the outside edges of the quilt. I rearranged the braids but, after looking at it with the ending/leaf triangles on the outside edges for so long, quickly changed them back to what you see above. The outside edges will be trimmed when it's time to add binding - didn't want to deal with bias edges any earlier than I had to.

The basket there in the back left side was my great-grandmother's laundry basket. I really need to find a better place to keep it.

This last photo shows the colors a little more realistically.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie

I didn’t win any official prizes at Chocolate in the Stacks yesterday but I did come home with two containers of extra chocolate treats and 2 bottles of wine. Not a bad way to finish Black Monday Valentine’s Day!

Hmm...that's an interesting seque into today's UFO blocks...I swear I was NOT drunk when I was working on these :) I haven't even opened those bottles yet...because...I picked up season two of Deadliest Catch while I was at the library!

I started these drunkard's path blocks based on the magazine patterrn shown in the background and the little templates that I already had. It seems to work best if I cut a 4" strip of the chosen fabric and then cut out the shapes I need. I'm saving the left over strip pieces to make the scalloped pie border. My blocks are much smaller than the magazine called for so I have no idea how many I will need. I might stop when I finally get truly sick of the curved piecing or when I decide I no longer want to look for more gold and brown fabrics (each is only used in one block and the border). But hey, who can turn down good gold and brown fabrics?

I think I probably got sick of these blocks before when I was having trouble with the curved edges. After doing the blendable curves that have convex and concave curves in each block, these seem much easier. I've used up all the pieces I had cut before this was put away. I'll need to check the stash to see if there are some other fabrics I can add...otherwise it may go back into storage.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 2/14/11

It's a lovely day in the neighborhood. Today started at 46 degrees F. It's now down to 35 and sleeting. We also have wind gusts up to 57 mph. Two barn roofs collapsed this weekend from the weight of the snow. I am pretty sure last V-Day we didn't have barely any snow. I only remember this because V-Day is Chocolate in the Stacks at my local library and I don't remember parking in snow at last year's event. For CITS, there are chocolate treats scattered all over our library and there are almost 60 raffle baskets for a Chinese Auction. I'm on the library board and I'm not afraid to yell over the din of people so I get to pull the winning tickets and announce them. Wish me luck that I win something too!

This weekend, after finishing my February UFO, I worked some more on this class sample. Doesn't feel like I got a lot done but at least I am progressing. Maybe it's because this project gets a little monotonous and I worked on some other projects. Of course, this one also made me think of a drunkard's path UFO that I had to dig out and work a little on. Look for more on both UFO's on Thursday.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Feline Friday

I caught Midge crawling into an open cupboard in the quilt room today but as soon as I quietly moved away to get the camera, she ran after me because I just might, maybe, somehow, probably, be heading towards kitty treats. No such luck cuz I still had to stuff things back into the cupboard.

You'll just have to suffer thru this pix of Cali, the Enforcer, chastising Midge who was actually playing with a cat toy (a treat in itself since she is the oldest cat and fairly sedentary) in the middle of my quilt pieces and made a mess. Cali seems to think that it's her job to rearrange my quilts. I was just happy that Midge was playing. The 2 older cats do a lot more playing now that Cali (only about 2 years old versus about 8 and 11) is in the house. Pepper and Cali even run laps up and down the stairs and upstairs hallway. I have yet to really confirm who is chasing who.

I now have the extra spacer strips onto the center panel. Maybe tonight or tomorrow I can get the braids onto the panel and have it done. That was easy!

You might be a redneck if...you get your Uhaul stuck in the driveway! The driveway is steep and icy enough that this Uhaul started from the parking lot across the street but the bumper is caught on the pavement.  It's still there as I post this so it's been stuck for at least 4 hours now.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

UFO Challenge update

I’d really like to blame this on Erin (my friend and local librarian) but I can’t, can I? Oh yes I can! Hello, my name is Sarah and I’m a Deadliest Catch-aholic. AND ERIN ENABLES ME! Basically, all I have done this week is watch season one on DVD. Not a lick of stitching or even worrying about not doing a lick of stitchin. Season two has already been placed on hold for me.

Anyways… a long long time ago in a state far far away….I should have been packing all my worldly possessions to move from Miami back to my hometown in NY. Instead, I was still taking classes at my LQS since I loved my friends and teachers there and feared the quilting here in NY would be different. That’s why this months UFO was never finished although it was sew close. And do you know what the biggest obstacle was to finish it?? Math!

Rusty, AKA Jane Hardy Miller, was a teacher at our store and the person who forced me to learn "color." She had already published the very popular French Braid Quilts and was working on her second book: French Braid Obsession. We were testing a pattern for the book and had we finished our quilts we might have had the opportunity to have it included in the book. Guess mine won't be in the book, huh?!

WWHHAATT?? – in looking up links for Rusty’s book, I see she has a new one coming out in June this year. Better start saving my pennies!

When I pulled this UFO out of it's drawer I found I had all four braids done with their purple spacer strip attached and some notes on the math to get the panel to fit into the center. I would have done things a little different now, such as cutting the panel slightly narrower and the extra spacers I still need to add bigger, so I could save the selvage dots for my collection and I would have purchased more of that great stripe for the binding. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20 and when you stall you can’t make changes. Either way, I have checked the math three more times and it still appears to come out ok so I finally cut the panel this morning and tonight or tomorrow (before season 2 arrives) I can get the spacer strips attached.

I didn’t lay out the extra spacers in this picture but that same purple will be used to add a 1.5” finished border around the center panel. Then I add the braids, trim the edges and it’s done. What will that take? A couple hours? And then another drawer is emptied!

I have always referred to this quilt as my wine french braid because of the grape/leaf fabrics and the colors. Maybe I should get some of that wine cork fabric for the back. It would really complement the top. Not that I have the money or time to actually finish the whole thing super soon.

Mainly because I did buy this flannel backing for the t-shirt quilt finished last month for the UFO Challenge. Think 9 patch: there will be 40” squares of the green in the 4 corners, the inner side rectangles will be about 12” of the teal and the center 12x12 square will be the green again. I thought it would be the best use of yardage and would make it as interesting as the front.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wazzit Solution

Nobody posted a guess in the comments? Did nobody have a guess or nobody read my post? Things that make you go hummmmm...

This is a tiny bit of Mom's Night Blooming Cereus. Hers was probably 6 feet tall and had run these spiky parts another 4+ feet along the ceiling. It finally got too heavy and was aiming for the floor. Dad insisted it be trimmed since it was hard to get from point A to B in the living room without being attacked by the green spikey things. It's fairly heavy for it's size so I'm glad I had that empty fishtank in the basement. It's just heavy enough to not be knocked over. I still wouldn't trust it around the cats so I normally keep it higher in a more protected area. I did check this morning and a few roots have come out. Yah me!

Here's a link to Google photos of the plant and flowers.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

it's tuesday...

...and I don't have much to share. I'm afraid I got sucked into watching season one of Greatest Catch after making a yummy dinner of sauteed onions, mushrooms and garlic served on garlic bread with roast beef and swiss cheese.

It snowed a lot last night. I knew it was supposed to and since I have been lazy about shoveling since last week, I got myself outside early to shovel before my neighbor would be out. I need the excercise and I don't mind shovelling but I just really don't want them to think I wait for them to do my drive. Low and behold she was also out early and saved me tons of work with her snowblower. Four trips up and down my drive with the blower and she was done. What would we do without these kinds of neighbors?! I just need to think of an appropriate thank you as they have helped me numerous times already this year. I don't think the homemade ice cream and pie last year was sufficient altho they tell me they do it just to be good neighbors.

And, for lack of any other photo - this is the remains of what I worked on this week.
The chocolate was quite necessary!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 2/7/11

Midge had the right idea this weekend - I sew wanted to be in that quilt with her!

I worked on these Blendable Curve blocks. They are relatively easy, even with the curves, but it just got tedious. I should have made more yesterday but I just couldn't make myself. Instead, I puttered around doing a little of this or that. I pressed, I trimmed, I made 170 more half square tri's for the Roll Roll Cotton Boll quilt, I trimmed the black border I need for the fireman quilt and of course two rescue calls and a bowling party for Tyler's Birthday. OMG, how did he get to be S.I.X.?

Here's a sneak peak at my UFO for the month...will post more on Thursday.
Doesn't that look like a Glamour Shots pose?

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Can you guess what this is? I'm talking about the things wrapped in plastic and newspaper so the cold wouldn't harm it on the way home from Mom's. Let's just say it was not easy to get it into my little car quickly :)

Do these give you a hint?

I'll post the answer next Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Historical Storm that wasn't

Blue sky and the sun coming over
the neighbor's garage
Between 10pm last night and 10 pm tonight we were supposed to get a "historical" storm of massive proportions with up to 18 inches of snow and blowing winds and blah blah blah. I was soooo excited for a snow day (I wanna sew!) but I knew when I took some work home with me that it would never happen. On the drive home at 6:30 it seemed foggy in the oncoming headlights but in my own I could make out sleet. Either way I never even needed to use my windshield wipers. When I went to bed at 11 it was barely snowing. Do you see where this is going? I awoke at 4:30 am and checked out the window. There was snow but nothing great. At 5:30 the siren went off for a rescue call. Ok, so it was a little deep to trudge thru while I walked to the fire hall but not the worst either. I did have to dig out the end of the drive thanks to the plows but when I finally got that done it was sunny and blue skies. It has rained several times and more snow is predicted but since every school is closed within 50 miles I think they jumped the gun a little. Hello, people, this is Western NY - it snows and blows here :)

I don't want to be anywhere close when these fall off my roof - I saw some fall off a neighbor's roof this morning. Love the sun lighting up the ice. You can just barely make out the icicle that runs down the vertical piece of siding in the right hand pic.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

January UFO Challenge Completed

January's UFO Challenge was #6, my t-shirt quilt. My goal had been to complete the top. I started this quilt in 2007 or 2008 and after I moved back to NY, I didn't work on it again until this month. I'm thrilled to say that I got the top completed and I've even picked out the greet polka dot flannel to use on the back! It should be nice and snuggly!

I had a great picture of the quilt...however...as soon as I put the camera card into the laptop I discovered that there is a "card error" and all my pictures are lost. Thankfully this was only a 512 MB card but since I also have a problem with my other card it appears that I have to go buy a new one tonight. Wahhhhh...all my pictures are gone - cat pictures including Cali when she was new to me, my birthday with videos of the boys singing to me...wahhhhh :(

Will post a pic of the quilt tomorrow, if I can get a new card tonight. There is a "historical" snow storm approaching and I have no idea how soon/quickly the weather will get bad.

February's UFO is #10, my french braid with wine fabrics. I "think" I have all the fabrics I'll need but I have little idea of where I stand on the project so I'll neecd to spend some time to figure it out.

UPDATE - I got a new camera card last night. Yikes 4GB - that's a LOT of photos. This was a quickie shot this morning so it's not laid out perfectly flat. Poppie posed as today's Quality Control Officer.