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!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I wasn't sure you were willing to look at this again:

so I thought I would share some new acquisitions. One of my not-so-LQSs has a sale on the last Monday of each month - pick one item for 30% off. I don't normally head to Arcade on a Monday night given it's 30 minutes away and the weather can be nasty between here and there. *However* I did have to be at EMT class in Bliss last night and that meant I had to drive half way there anyways...

I left work as quick as possible (and I was still 15 minutes late), made quick stops for gas and audiobooks at the library and then drove to Arcade. Oh it was snowin and blowin but I persevered because I really wanted batting at 30% off!! I think I left the store in record time, ran to Mickey D's for dinner and headed back for class. I arrived with 5 minutes to spare but the weather had cleared - really weird. Even weirded is that it's currently 51F and the foot of snow from Sunday/Monday is melting. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain. No wonder I'm still sick. Oh but I digress...I'm now recertified in CPR in case you need me and you know I left that quilt store with more than just batting! Right?!

Who could pass up these cute kitty fabrics? I mean cats with hats? Or fuzzy kittens? Neither is something that I would cute to piece a block but I thought they might be cute backings for the year of doll quilts I hope to make.

The giraffes are sew not my normal fabric style but they are giraffes and I absolutely adore them. I still don't understand why my favorite bro wouldn't bring me a giraffe back from Florida's Animal Kingdom last year. He sent pictures and everything just to tease me. I mean - Hello - I managed to get one back from Africa!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday - 1/30/12

I know I was busy all weekend sew why oh why don't I have much to show for it?? I guess cuz most of it wasn't photo worthy. I mean who wants to see a pic of my clean laundry or shoveled driveway ?? :)

I put together a few more "kits" for my hexie diamonds - can't wait to see how the cork fabric looks on hexies. Once those kits are sewn together I think I'll need only 2 or 3 more diamonds for this round. At that point I'll decide if it needs to be bigger and if not, do I square it off or maintain the diamond/star points? It might come down to deciding how to finish the edges that determines if it's squared off or not.

I worked on hexies while watching season 6 of Lost. I'm pretty good at stitching and watching movies but I do think I want to watch the last episode again solely because there was so much going on. I would watch the whole season again but it's due back at the library Thursday... Watching the DVD specials certainly helped explain a few things...

I putzed at putting some of my selvages together. I sewed them into twosies and then into foursies. I now have a whole 4 blocks together :) I think the remaining foursies will need only 1 or 2 selvages to be the right size. I still need to go thru the second box to cut at least one 7" section from each selvage. After I see how many blocks that becomes, I'll decide if I obliterate the collection to all become selvage blocks or if I just need a portion of them.

I also worked on this purple project which I can't show you until it's done. It's pretty fussy but I like the final look. The only hint I'll give is they're for my studio...I guess that was 2 hints...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Feline Friday

Almost 4 years ago I bought this little stuffed kitty in Franklin, TN. I've always thought of her as a calico kitty even tho I'm sure these are not considered calico fabrics but she is made from an old quilt.

3 years ago I bought these kitties at a local craft show. They are made from upholstery fabrics. The darker kitty even has pretty purple button eyes.

Who knew that eventually CasaGrande would house 2 tabbies and a calico?!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

UFO Thursday - 1/26/12

Remember how I had hoped to get both borders on my Blooming 9-Patch last weekend?

I was tootling right along, drawing out the borders in EQ to see if I liked the widths and finally decided yep, these are the measurements I'm gonna go with. I got the dark purple on. I got the four sides of the light purple and then realized I only had enough to get 2 corners on. That last piece of the yardage was 1/4" too narrow. Phooey. No worries, tomorrow I can go buy a little more. Purples are still on sale so it's all good :)

I'll have to measure much more closely before cutting the outer green border...it's so old I can't get any more.
You can also see I laid out one of the lime green binding strips.

My goal for the month was to complete the top, sandwhich and quilt it. Doesn't look like we'll get quite that far but I can at least finish the borders this weekend and piece the backing. Any extra fabric will be trimmed right into the strip bins. One of my LQS has their end of month sale on Monday - I'll go get some batting.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday - 1/25/12

Not sure I would buy these even if I did have a dog...

I really really did get them all done and what beautiful colors they are...

And I barely had any strings left at all. These were even too small for my Omigosh quilt which uses 1" strips

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


For year's I've had a copy of Karen Griska's book "Quilts from the Selvage Edge" and I also follow her blog which regularly features projects from people around the world. That of course, means I have also been collecting selvages both from my own purchases but also giving homes to selvages of friends and my LQS (and there *is* more room if you are looking for a non-smoking, cat hair covered, hexie obsessed home for your selvages...I'm even willing to trade).

What I'm really getting at is that my inability to pick a project to use the selvages I have has lead them to accumulate but not become anything. Until this morning...

Riel at Q&U has a tutorial to make Simple Selvage Squares that eventually become a basket weave style quilt and I periodically reread it when I catch up on her blog. This morning I had about 30 minutes to work on something.

I wasn't in a hexie mood (did the earth just stop rotating?) and I wasn't mentally ready to start the blue string blocks for Orca Bay. I turned towards my Bernina and there sat a pile of selvages from cutting red FQs. It was TIME to just go ahead a make a block. I had read the tute so many times I had it memorized and in no time I had not just one but two blocks done. Woot Woot!

I trimmed my blocks to 6.5" instead of Riel's 6". I also tried to use my walking foot to eliminate some of the puckering I had on the first block but it just seemed awkward with the small pieces of fabric so I went back to my good old #37 or quarter inch foot. (A really good pressing ironing eliminated all puckers!)

This project uses white thread instead of my normal Master Piece gray for piecing so it's not really a leader-ender style project...meaning it's also not a hurry up and gitter done project since I want to make sure the selvage colors are mixed throughout all the blocks. I'll probably cut at least one 7" section from each selvage I currently have and put them in a basket for when I have some no-brain-needed sewing time.

Yet another NewFO for January...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday - 1/23/12

I was sew proud of myself for finishing my red strings this weekend and getting all the wings sewn on that I took at least half a dozen pictures this morning to make sure I would have something good to choose from.

Except, apparently, when the battery-almost-dead symbol is flashing it won't save any pictures.
You guys will just have to trust me. I'm good for it, I swear.

Stupid Camera. Stupid Operator. Stupid Camera.

Now I just need to make the 3.5" QST and the blue strings. WootWoot! Almost done!

Friday, January 20, 2012

UFO Friday

After being up since 1:51am and not getting home until 9am for a rescue call (FYI-Water Rescue equipment is owned by my/Castile FD and Silver Springs FD also works with us, it's not a County-wide team), I decided to take advantage of all that accumulated sick time and called in sick so I could get some sleep. I figured I would never get to sleep after the adrenaline but I briefly woke to the noon whistle and finally got up at 1pm for another rescue call. Getting home just before 3pm I figured it was finally shower time instead of another nap or I would never sleep through the night. After that I thought I would have hours to sew!!! Except... I dragged my feet and barely got much done. Phooey. I am pretty sure it's because I woke up sick again today :(

I worked on my red strings another 20 minutes and they almost all have the strings on them. I just need to cut 2 more strips and I should be done with the sewing. Just need to trim them and remove the papers.

Then I worked on my January UFO (finally, I know, we are getting to the title of this post). I had to trim each side to straighten it before I added the first border, cut out the borders and sew them on. Good grief - it felt like it took 2 hours to get that much done. I am maintaining the angled corners which takes a little more effort but I think I am going to enjoy the look. Only 2 more borders to go! I am hoping to get 1 if not both borders done this weekend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rose Star

OK - I know it's a sickness but I'm going to blame this one on Michelle. Just look at this awesome EPP block she is making: http://daisyhillquilts.blogspot.com/2012/01/sunday-sewing-with-girls.html.

Just how do you think I could pass that beauty up???

I did a little online research and found a tutorial for the darling mini/doll quilt shown to the right. Essentially the block is created by cutting larger hexies into smaller pieces the author calls kites and petals.

I had some 2" hexies so I thought I would just get one set cut and see how it looks ;)

Yikes, a little dark, but you get the point. Each rose will be about 12 inches so it should go together pretty fast...if only my EMT class wasn't cutting into my sewing time...

And then I started thinking about fabrics. I would really like to not have to buy anything, how anti-quilter of me!, and then I remembered I had this 9 piece FQ pack. What do you think? Enough contrast? Some quilters in the Flicker group noted that solids really helped give their blocks some pop. I am certain I can find a few solids to add and that stripe would be an awesome binding.

Oh whoa is me...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Birthdays, hexies and doll quilts...

Happy Birthday to ME
Happy Birthday to ME
Happy Birthday dear ME
Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Today was also my Grandmother Campbell's Birthday and for two whole days I will be FOUR years older than my darling and favorite brother, Thomas.

Today I am wearing one of Grandma's rings. It's very delicate so I don't wear it more than once or twice a year. It has our birthstone (garnet) and an opal.

Back in December when I started reading Julie's blog at http://quiltjewelry.blogspot.com/ I printed out a page of her hexie pendants and told Mom that was what I wanted for my Bday. I never thought I would get one because she asked me why I didn't want it for Christmas (too late to submit request as far as I was concerned) and what if she had already bought my Bday gift. After Christmas I said something about Bday/gifts and she said she wrapped "everything" for Christmas (we often got bigger gifts that were half Xmas/Birthday as kids). BUT, lo and behold I went to Mom and Dad's for Bday dinner Sunday and there was a large box. It was mostly stuffed with garbage bags but on the bottom was a hexie pendant in my favorites of purple/green/gold!!! Whew - now I don't to get the hexie tattoo we were joking about ;)

I've also taken to reading Kathleen's blog at http://sentimentalquilter.blogspot.com/ after I bought one of her books. A lot of her quilts (she has 4 books) are doll quilts and for 2012 she is doing a doll quilt-a-long. Each month she will pick a doll quilt and then we have a chore to do each week so that by the end of the month we should have finished it. Week #1 is picking fabric, #2 is piecing the blocks, #3 is adding sashing and borders and #4 is quilting and binding.

This 17" quilt top was pretty much from stash, including all the block pieces from my strip bins. I have enough of the border and sashing fabrics to use for the binding - which would you choose? The back will probably be a FQ out of my stash as well and I'm thinking of machine quilting fans on the quilt for that old timey feel.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday - 1/16/12

Bonnie - we need to have a talk. What's with you and these string blocks? I spent all weekend working on those blasted red strings and they are still not done. It's sewwww hard to cut strips crooked and without really measuring so that there is enough variety. Then the sewing and the sewing and the sewing. I mean I have no problem cutting and sewing 700+ half square tri's so why oh why can't I sew a measly 64 string blocks? and then trim them? and then tear the paper off?

I have at least 1 more row of red strings to add to this pile:

And I have to remove the paper from this pile:

Now I just have to do the tiny blue string blocks for Orca Bay and the neutral string blocks for Roll Roll Cotton Boll...

Ok, the blocks are pretty - and yes, I finished 2 great audiobooks this weeked but these blocks just drive me CRAZY...

If you don't hear from me in a while...check the local loony bin...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Feline Friday - 1/13/12

I don't know if kitties have superstitions or not but today we wish you a Happy Friday the 13th!!

The kids were happy this morning to get a wet food snack...which for Squeaky means she gets to lick the spoon as well. Midgie helps with the licking but really wants a plate full so she lets Squeakers finish up while she goes to the living room to wait for me to deliver little plates of food for everyone.

Can you see her sweet little tongue?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

UFO Thursday - 1/12/12

I'm afraid there aren't going to be too many pictures today. You see when I went to grab the fabric I bought for this project it was no where to be found and I mean no where cuz I searched every "where" I could think of. Until... on the drive to work this morning, I think I remember putting the new fabric back in the drawer where the leftovers to this project were found. Humph...who puts stuff away where it belongs? Must have been the cats!

As you may recall from last week, my UFO for the month is my Blooming 9-Patch. When I went to take pictures last week I found the top was together and threatened to make you guys pick border fabric for me. Unfortunately, for you guys, when I layed out the scraps from making the center it was rather obvious to me where I should go with the borders. Yup - I went to the LQS!

The orange fabrics were both used in the quilt but I just felt there was already enough orange and eliminated them quickly. The fabric on the left is a pinky-purple that matched the pinky purple in the orange fabric on the far side  (I had bought it in case I wanted another round on the center) but it just doesn't match the purple in the center. I think there is plenty of the green in the foreground and I'm happy with that.

I purchased a half yard each of light and dark mottled purples to use for inner borders. Should I go simple and get it done or do something pieced? Unless someone has a simple pieced idea it's going to be something simple. I also bought a lime green for the binding. I think there will be enough scraps to piece the back, which I've never done but there's a first for everything...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I've had a 4' x 6' USA map since the beginning of time! Really, it's dated 1987, and that's forever ago...

I wanted to hang it up in my home office slash library and use map pins to mark all the neat places I've been. Unfortunately, a bulletin board this size was going to be upwards of $300. It was never going to happen on my salary. BUT - Daddy to the rescue!! He made me a board for Christmas!!!

I still need to look up some of the other places I've been but weren't on the map but I've already put 84 pins in! That's a lot of places to have visited but when you look at the whole map it's pretty concentrated in NY and FL. I still have a lot of the Wild West to cover. My Bucket List includes visiting every state and I better get a move on...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sew - this morning as I was trying to think of something to post about I remembered these three books I got for Christmas.

Ah, yeh, I am obsessed enough to have a jar completely devoted to EPP parts. A small mason jar holds the hexies for current projects... these are the someday parts...

Back to the books...specifically the one on the bottom titled "American Quilts" which is a history of quilting from 1780 to 2007. She's a heavy book but that's just from the quantity of information she contains :)

My favorite photo so far is this one...

The man's name is Albert Small and he holds the world's record for the quilt with the most pieces. This book measures hexie sizes across the paper piece instead of along one side so it's a little hard to gauge the size of his hexies but I read that there were 15 hexies per square inch. And y'all thought *I* was insane!

Albert started quilting after teasing his wife on the amount of time she spent quilting. In order to make his world's record quilt he spent 4 hours a day (after his full time dynamite job at a quarry) 6 days a week for 3 or 4 years! I think I also read that he "only" finished 3 quilts. Of course this was in addition to all his other hobbies. I would love to find a better copy of the above photo to recplicate some of the designs but everything I can find online has very small scale photos. I'll just have to wing it and design my own quilt.

Feel free to Google Albert as there are some pictures of his quilts online...

Monday, January 09, 2012

Design Wall Monday - 1/9/12

Project #1 over the weekend was to make this little mug rug from a new pattern I picked up. A quick wash and the frayed edges of the hearts are even cuter. This could be one of my donations to the Library for their annual chinese auction.

If I make another mug rug I might make it so the heart points are in the center of the mug rug - in other words fold the charm square on the diagonal to cut the heart instead of just in half like normal. My next project in this style will be to cut hexies instead of hearts. I am sure almost any shape would work with a little effort.

Project #2 was to finally start working on the sleeve for my Kindle. I have all the purples I cut out stitched together but I think it will need to be just a tad longer. Now I need to do the greens for the back side.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Feline Friday - 1/6/12

It looks like they are having some kind of conference. I would have to guess that Pepper is questioning why he has to have the little red bed when he is more than twice the size of Midgie in the blue bed.

I have thought of getting a third bed. I usually only have that blue bed by the heater and the 3 rotate thru - kind of a move it and lose thing. There is also a kids stuffed rocking chair that Pepper and Squeaky take turns in plus tons of other spots - there is no lack of cozy places. I even thought of getting a big dog bed for the three to sit in together. Ok it was a fleeting thought cuz I KNOW that little Midgie would take over the whole thing!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

UFO Thursday - 1/5/12

For the month of January we are supposed to work on UFO #5 and for me that's my Blooming 9-Patch. You can see the rest of my UFO list on the tab at the top of this blog.

When writing UFO list I pulled some of the leftovers from my 2011 list and added in some "new" things I had run across recently, including the Blooming 9-patch found when I opened the drawer with the left over fabrics and pattern.

I finally unfolded the top this morning and discovered it's already done...didn't remember that! Anyways, I think it needs a border only because it's just not that big - I guess I would currently consider it a lap quilt. I prefer a couch quilt - meaning a quilt that will cover me from shoulders to feet while laying down on the couch with at least one cat and this won't cut it so far.

I do have some leftovers of the outermost fabric altho I have to measure it before I decide if there is enough for a border. I started with the purple/lime fabric that is the second row and now it reads as very reddish-orange so I'm not sure this is were I want to go with the quilt. There is also a pinky purple I had purchased in case I wanted to add that as the next row. Maybe that has enough for a border but again it's far from the colors I had envisioned. I will have to lay out all the possibles this weekend and see how they actually look. Hah! Maybe I can post that for next week's UFO Thursday and make y'all decide for me ;)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I worked on cutting strips this morning for the red string blocks. I still need to work thru that pile on the right but I have an inkling it won't be enough strips to make 64 blocks...I better pick some more FQs and keep cutting so I can have a good variety from the get go...

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Design Wall Tuesday - 1/3/12

I've spent the last three days working on my Orca Bay mystery quilt. It felt like I got lots done (I did!) but when I went to photograph the pieces it didn't look like much. Oh well - I had a blast mostly ignoring housework, playing with the kitties, listening to several good books and sewsewsewing :)

I finished the black Ohio Stars.

I finished all but the extra 4 half square tri wings.

I then took 100 of the wings and sewed them to 100 neutral half square tris.

Next up? I stacked just some of the (new) reds I'll be using to make string blocks...