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!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Woot! Woot! I finally had time to sew...

Yup, I sewed a whopping 6 four patches.

AND...I pressed ironed them with the center seam spiraled.

Don't hate me for getting so much done :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

World's Bestest BLT

Ok, so I'm a little biased on this sandwhich but I think it's the bomb and after eating them all weekend, thought I should share!

Start by frying 3 strips of maple bacon. I found mine pretty greasy so I spooned off most of the grease when it was just over half cooked and then it crisped perfectly. Don't forget to dab off more grease with a paper towel.

Meanwhile, lightly toast 2 slices of herb bread baked in a beehive bake oven, prefereably at the Wyoming County Fair (ok, it's the only BBO I have access to and it's almost gone. boohoo.). Slather one side with Guacamole dip. Lay down 2 thick slices of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and the maple bacon.

Cover the whole sandwhich with romaine lettuce and slather the other slice of bread with good-old-fashioned-mayo. Complete assembly and enjoy your sandwhich while watching Six Feet Under Season One on DVD.

Funky fish-shaped sushi plate is optional   :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 8/29/11

Nothing new on my design wall. As you may remember from last week, I was pretty lazy and got nothing done. This weekend I started working on school taxes (my second job) so nothing sewing related was accomplished then either.

Hurricane Irene was pretty much a nothing for us altho I just found out my brother, who works for RG&E, has been shipped out for at least a week to repair power issues from the Storm. I'm not even sure if he's still in NY or another state.

The highlight of the week was...

   "my parents went camping in the Adirondacks and all I got was a rock and some fabric"

LOL - the big rock is for my garden beds (sorry, no photo until it's delivered to my house) and the fabric was for watering mom's plants. Aren't they pretty flowers (see a theme??!!) and stripes? And of course, there must be neutrals!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of your new haircut without your eyeballs behind the frames of your glasses, your double chin showing, a silly grin or that little something stuck in your teeth. yuck!

This is really the same style but shorter and I let the stylist blow dry it and she went straight instead of my normal wave/curl. I'll have to let her do that more often as I've gotten lots of comments.

Exactly, a photo of me (egads) means that no sewing has been done this week...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

70 days, 23 hours, 53 minutes and 17 seconds until ...

Anybody out there taking the same classes?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Road Trip to Penn Yan

I can't find the post but last month I lamented that I wouldn't be able to make my road trip to Penn Yan when I had wanted. Well...it finally worked out last Friday - yeh, during fair week - what was I thinking??

Penn Yan is home to Penn Yan Sewing Machines, a machine sales (Bernina) and repair (electric and treadle) shop ran by Mennonites. It's well worth the 2 hour drive since you can make an appointment and have your machine back the same day instead of leaving it at the more local repair shop for 2 weeks. That would drive me absolutely bonkers. Oh, stop laughing...I am not already bonkers...

I started the trip by stopping in Dansville at one of their LQS and ran into a friend as I was getting ready to get back on the road - what a lucky surprise. I just couldn't pass up a yard of this wonderful fabric. Can you see how one selvage is more blue and the other more green? I loved that.

The sites were great as I continued down the highway. Rte 390 winds thru a lot of pretty hills and after getting off the expressway there is a lot of lush scenery including the Finger Lakes with it's grape fields and farms to look at. No pictures as it was just me on this trip and I can't photograph, listen to the GPS lady recalculating while I take a quicky side trip and drive all at the same time. I stopped at a fav little Mennonite nursery that always has perennials on sale this time of year - picked up 3 Russian sage for $10.00 - car smelled great the rest of the day.

I dropped my machine off and ran over to my fav quilt shop - Golden Lane Fabrics. Most fabrics are $6 or $7 a yard with a $3 close out shelf. I headed straight to the FQ bin to see if anything matched that new blue/green fabric and then started perusing all the bolts. I came across a row of Moda Marbles and it dawned on me those colors would work great with the new blue-green fabric. I've started with the following colors but I figure I will add a few more before I'm done.

I plan to pick a pattern out of the book that I also picked up in Dansville. I had seen the book online and after viewing it in person felt it was worth the money. I hemmed and hawed about the (expensive) ruler - I really could do these patterns without it but as my friend said - she's all about convenience and the ruler came home with me.

Then I walked the historic district in down town Penn Yan - you know where my camera was? right? In the car! Next summer, I promise. I ate lunch at a little cafe run by volunteers and all their profits benefit a weekend backpack of food program for kids who don't get enough to eat. After receiving a call that my machine wouldn't be ready on time, I took the long way back to the shop. I stopped at a little dry goods place. There wasn't anything that I just had to buy but the pet fawn playing with the girls in the yard was priceless. I also got to drive along another of the Finger Lakes. I found a great place to park and eat a picnic lunch for next summer.

My machine was finally ready a little after 4 and I had to be at the fair by 5. Oops, that won't work. I made some calls that I would be late (it helps when you "work" for your parents) and boogied back to Wyoming County.

Penn Yan was a nice little jaunt and now I need to pick a pattern for my new fabrics...will I use the blue/green as a panel? 3 long panels? borders? Yikes - too many options...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 8/22/11

Are you a list maker? I am. Having spent last week at the Fair and the week before getting ready for the Fair - I had certain chores that had been seriously neglected for a while. Saturday night I made my honey do list for Sunday and woke up nicely rested. I spent the morning picking up some hotspots (the dots are what's started) while waiting for stuff to load on the computer. By noon I was thoroughly disgusted with the computer and had completely switched to sewing - which I continued doing until I decided I should really make supper at 8pm. Thankfully sewing had been on the list and was the one item I could actually cross off!

Now this certainly wasn't a rocket science project and I wasn't really in a hurry but I finished an ok audio book and started a great one so it was a nice afternoon in my pjs watching thunderstorms come and go while working on this project. I used the "recs" ruler from my tri-recs set to make these rectangles. I had seen a quilt made in this style with various neutrals and red/green Christmas fabrics. I liked the other quilt much better and think it's because these colors are so vibrant and contrasty. There is no mushiness or even scrappiness here at all. Is that maybe why I never use my 30's repros?

Any way...I will be adding borders to the top/bottom to make this a more usable size since it's too big for a runner and too small for even a baby quilt. I'm not sure what it's for, other than to show another design with this ruler set which is a required ruler for a BOM class I will be helping to teach at the LQS.

I would love to see any design ideas you guys have for using the tri/recs ruler so I can share with my students.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google Reader

Anyone else out there use Google Reader?

I love the concept because I can spend time reading instead of spending time to find out who updated their blog. Of course, it's also too easy to add a new site to my roll.

EXCEPT - this afternoon there was some kind of Google burp and all my unread posts were marked as read. Now, I was behind (it's fair week!) and I was kinda stressing about it but this was not the way I wanted to mark them as read.

breath in
breath out

I'll be fine, I'm just miffed...

Hexie Update

Blogging will be sporadic this week as it's Fair week and I won't be home (quilting) very much.

Saturday I wore Mom's Civil War dress while I worked in the Griffith House, which is the 1806 building on the fair grounds where the historical exhibits are housed. The front room is decorated in a different theme every year and this year, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the CW, it's decorated to represent the US Christian Commission. The USCC was started by the YMCA as a religious group but they soon realized the soldiers needed supplies. The ladies made bandages, pillowcases, socks and quilts to be sent along with eggs, potatoes, apples and other foods. Everything was sent in wooden boxes with letters the ladies had written. Does this sound familiar at all to anything modern? The USCC eventually evolved into the Red Cross. I'll try to get a picture of the room this week.

This picture of me was taken with my cell in the evening. I'll be in the dress again Friday so I'll try for a better photo. This is the front of the Griffith House and a repro-CW flag.

While I was working (making sure nothing is stolen and people sign the guest book) I was working on my hexies. I explained that EPP is an old technique but my fabrics were too modern. Since I was stitching large sections together, people often saw the back side and thought it was beautiful. It's even better from the front. Oh and I think I have 2 new converts!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Feline Friday - 8/12/11

A girls gotta keep her food bowl within reach!

Have you ever bought one of these scratchy boxes for your cats at the pet store? The inside is full of heavy cardboard on it's side and is great for scratching. Yeh, the bits of cardboard make a mess but it's better than making a mess of your couch arm - ask me how I know?!

Anyway, I had just flipped over the cardboard and coated it with catnip. Cali has barely left the scratchy box - she even sleeps there now. As I was trying to take her picture she started reaching towards the little plate I use to put out a little wet food. Do you think she was asking for a treat?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nothing to show

Ok - I'll be honest - I've got absolutely nothing for you today...

  • I'm still working on the same quilt.
  • I haven't worked on my gardens in a while - I am 99% sure the peppers are ripe but what about the tomaters? Do the flowers need watering?
  • I've got my menu planned for what I'll be cooking at the fair (18th Century, open hearth style cooking). It will be easier to show pictures after the fact than to explain it now.

And that's it. Nothing else. Nada. Sorry.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I thought you might like to meet the crew!

Biggie size the pictures to see the quilting (yeh, that's what we're looking at with half-nekked men) but keep in mind I'm still working on them and need to add red, gray and black quilting...




Randy and Spot

Yup, I've officially lost it! LOL!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

In a bind

I'm afraid it's terribly difficult to get an interesting picture of me binding the same quilt you've seen me working on for how many days now...I hope photos of my set up and helper will suffice :)

Yeh, it's a pretty dark picture but it's really hard to get a good shot when my bright Ott light is doing it's best to highlight only the area I'm working on. I was watching "A River Runs Through It" on the laptop while binding...

How do you bind?
I know of some righties, like myself, who bind left to right while I prefer right to left. I also am essentially doing an applique stitch, not whipstitching. My thread travels underneath the quilt backing, usually about 1 or 1.5 lengths of the machine stich I used to sew the binding to the front. My needle then catches a couple threads of the binding fold. This is completely backwards of how I was originally taught to bind. You can see in the photos I use those hair clips. I prefer to only use 2 at a time, about a 1/2" apart, that are leap frogged along as I work. The yellow "truck" pin, shown below, is placed where I started binding so that it doesn't catch and tear.

After a hard morning of supervising my stitching and periodically blocking my view of the movie, it was time for a stretch and to see if anything interesting was happing all the way down at floor level.

Again, too bad the corner is washed out from the Ott light but I do adore this photo.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 8/8/11

Today's post will be brief as I need to spend my lunch hour working on binding.

I have completed quilting the arrowhead blocks and machine sewn on the binding. As of this morning I have half the binding hand sewn. I still need to quilt the firemen in the center but my goal this weekend was to make it "portable" since I can do binding during lunches and before meetings the next 2 nights. I worked on it for several hours yesterday at an outdoor event called "The Pioneer Picnic" - it was quite warm to have a huge quilt in my lap but the music was great. I am not really enjoying stitching the black binding as I knew I wouldn't, but it looks great with the inner black border.

I neglected to take a picture of the quilt opened up this morning so you'll need to accept this picture of the Quality Control Officer, Pepper, checking it out. And yes, he also sat one end WHILE I was binding the other :)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Feline Friday - 8/5/11

Remember yesterday, when I was talking about puddling while quilting and how great my slippery table is for the process of maneuvering the large quilt I'm working on?

There's only one time when the whole process I've developed comes to a screeching halt and that is when there is 20 pounds of fluff lounging on your quilt! The quilt still slides on the table (with greater effort on my part!) but after a couple swings my Quality Control Officer had had enough and beat it.

Keep in mind that Cali is not the most graceful jumper I have ever met when I tell you that a couple days ago she also wanted to jump up onto the table while I was working. I wasn't really paying attention until she was airborne and she didn't realize that under the quilt the sliding tray was pulled out. After landing on the tray and not the table, her momentum caused the tray to slide closed and she fell to the floor. I laughed hysterically but she obviously wasn't deterred from jumping again altho she did take her time checking the table top first and jumped from the side of the table.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Quilting continues

I've managed to get quite a bit of quilting done in the past 2 days thanks to a couple late nights and plenty of time after an early rescue call this morning. I think it's coming along nicely but flipping the quilt back and forth to stitch the straight yet diagonal lines is getting old. Thankfully I have the 2 drawers to provide extra work space and the surface is smooth and slippery. There is only one deterrant but you will need to wait until tomorrow to see her that...

I think this is nice shot of how the quilting looks at each intersection

Can you pick out how the quilt is "puddled" around my work area - to the right and left as well as in front of me (the fuzzy part)? It's important to have a puddle so that there is somewhere for the fabric to easily move to while you manuever the quilt. If it's all laying flat on the table there is too much resistance and it takes more effort on your part to keep the quilt moving smoothly, especially important if you are free motion quilting.

This was actually what I saw as I was getting up to go get ready for work this morning - I had flipped the quilt up so I could close the drawers and get out of my chair. I like how it shows the RWB backing but it also shows the intersecting rows of quilting.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


I took more pictures of my quilting progress but halfway through the morning I decided they would wait until tomorrow and that's because I'm dying to tell you about the reservations I made this morning. Do you remember where I am going? I may have only mentioned it once or twice...

In exactly 92 days and 20 minutes from typing this sentence I will be landing in Houston to attend International Quilt Festival-Houston !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While working on my airfare the last couple of days, by taking my time and reading all the little bits and a few extra clicks, I discovered that for the same amount of flier miles, I can travel first class both coming and going. How cool is that?!!! I am pretty sure that USAir also has free baggage checking for first class customers and then I won't have to drag the suitcase(s) thru the airport and I won't have to worry about TSA taking my scissors or other class supplies. I'll just have my purse, my snacks and my hexie project. I am confirmed in seat 2F the whole trip so I won't knock my neighbor with my right elbow while sewing away. Hmm...there doesn't seem to be much food offered on these flights but I think they still have real drinks...anyone know for sure?

Anyone out there going to Houston? What classes are you taking? My first choice classes were 521, 555, 605, 733, 811. I will elaborate on my classes once they are confirmed in a few weeks.

92 days and 19 minutes
92 days and 18 minutes
92 days and 17 minutes
92 days and 16 minutes
92 days and 15 minutes...

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Quilting has begun

I'm afraid you guys are going to be seeing a lot of this in the next few days...

I am doing the straight line stitching right now which, in itself, is quite easy. The hard part is maneuvering the heavy quilt back and forth as I zigzag around the quilt top tracing the seams. At least I was smart enough to start quilting so that there is no more than 2 or 3 rows of blocks under the machine arm at any given time. The drawer and slide out tray are open to distribute the quilt top.

I also discovered that my Halo (rubber coated, heavy iron ring) was quite useful for straight stitching along with my walking foot. I generally only use the Halo for free motion quilting but it's helping me hold my work area flat while I puddle the extra around it allowing it all to move along much easier. I highly recommend the Halo for lots of reasons!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 8/1/11

I had a busy but productive weekend and it's about time because the fair is 11 days away!

We are decorating the front room of the historical building in a Civil War theme this year. There were at least 2 ladies groups that made supplies for the soldiers - socks, quilts, bandages, etc. I am trying to get as many of my CW blocks sashed so that we can use that as part of the display. If I get that missing middle block done, I can finish these 3 rows - they are just missing 1 block on the right of each row and no one will know unless you are 1 of my 8 followers or 18 google readers :) You might also notice I have 2 more Floribunda/Jacob's ladder blocks done as I am using them as leader/enders.

I also pieced the back for my fireman quilt and mostly have the whole thing spray basted. The back is 3 rows of red, white and blue. Now I can start on the quilting which won't be too hard. I'll use RWB thread to stitch 1/4 inch from all the diagonal seams in the arrowhead blocks and then outline all the men with free motion quilting in brown. I will probably leave that 1" black border plain after a simple black SITD around both sides.  Wish me luck!