Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final finish for 2008

There is nothing like getting in just under the wire. I finished the binding at 6 p.m. This first picture is for Julie, who couldn't wait to see it tossed over a chair. Well it is a love seat, but that's the best I can do.  This is the Bento Box pattern done in batik fabrics. Here is the whole quilt, with the border added and binding finished.
Here is a close up of the border and binding. I love the border fabric and now it is almost all gone. I always like the binding to be just a little darker than the border so it looks finished.
Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for all of the good wishes you have thrown my way. I hope next year is prosperous in many ways for each of you, and good health to all. I don't usually make resolutions, I just start new projects.

Still stitching that binding

I'm still doing the hand stitching on the binding on Bento Box. I need it to be in the 2008 finishes so you know what I will be doing today. I think I need to explain a little bit about how I knew I had my 100,000th visitor yesterday. There was some confusion because I have 2 counters on my blog. I added Sitemeter, which you can see a little logo for on the right side bar, about a month after I started my blog. If you click on the Sitemeter logo it takes you to their site but my information is not visible to you because I checked the box for it to be private. That is the meter I used for my information. It tells me a little about the visitors, country, town, state, if you were referred to me by another source (or unknown), and what operating system your computer has. There is no personal information about you. In fact the towns aren't usually correct unless you live in a big town. It says I am from Yorkville (12 miles away) or Oswego (20 miles away) when I visit another blog. They are larger towns than the one I live in. I don't know if you showered before you read my post or whether your house is dusted, LOL, so your privacy has not been invaded.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

100,000th visitor

The 100,000th visitor came while I was eating breakfast. He/she is from Beveren, Belgium with telenet Operaties as an ISP. They have Microsoft Win NT as a computer system with Windows explorer 7.0. Whoever you are, if you check back and speak English, I will send you something.

Plan B

Now I know why I didn't cut the last blocks for yesterday's problem quilt. The pieces that I have left over are not quite big enough to cut the squares in the size that I need. So Plan B will be to cut new centers for the 12 blocks that are swirling in the wrong direction and they can probably be used in the 4 corners of the quilt without being noticed too much.

Since I couldn't work on that I cut the binding for the Bento Box quilt and sewed it on last night.
I will have my 100,000th visitor this morning. If I can figure out who you are, I may send you some little treat. Watch for a second post today.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Time to fix it

In 2004 this book came out and I really liked quite a few of the quilts in it so I bought the book. I chose to make this one and knew I had the fabric selection to make it very similar to the picture.
For this one you made 5 decks (stacks) of the fabric. I did 4 of the decks right away and pieced the blocks and then put it aside.
Then when I was ready to cut the 5th deck, I made 2 errors. I probably had the first 4 decks right side up when I cut and did number 5 face down, which makes the block swirl in the opposite direction. Now if that wasn't bad enough, mistake number 2 really did it. You were supposed to then remove the center stack and using one piece as a pattern, cut all of the centers of the same fabric for all of the blocks. I picked up strip 1 by mistake and cut up all of the remaining green fabric that I had. I realized my error as soon as I got to the third strip in sewing.
I put it aside again for a couple more years, and now I think I need to fix it. I have enough fabric of everything but the center to totally re cut the last block and make them swirl in the right direction.
You can put these blocks in any log cabin layout and I think I will do a zig zag because then I can hide the ones with the different centers in the layout without it being obvious.
Now I just have to think backwards and try to figure out how to cut the last set. I only have one more chance.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Today's dilemma

Last night the motion detector light came on around 10:30 and when I looked out, this is what I saw. The red bud trees have several trunks at the base, or maybe it was several seeds that all came up at once, looking like one tree with many trunks. This is the branch the squirrels use to get onto my roof, and I cut off several of the branches this fall. I was standing on a 4 step ladder and reaching as high as I could and cut off about 4 or 5 branches, but a couple were too high and left leaning on the roof.
I should have realized at that point that the branches weren't just hanging lower, that the whole trunk was starting to lean. Last night's storm was the final straw and it just leaned over with the top branches still hooked over my roof. I will call my brother and see if he will come over with his chain saw. It is 26 degrees and windy out, AND today is the Christmas party at my house around 2 p.m. Why couldn't this tree have gone down when it was near 60 degrees yesterday?

And I was hoping to write about something quilty today!
Added 10 a.m.: My brother came over and sawed the trunk at the mid point and removed the branches that were leaning against the house. It is bitterly cold with the wind chill so we'll deal with the chopping up of the pieces when it gets warmer.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa's "rug"

Cheri mentioned yesterday that she liked Santa's rug (from picture in yesterday's post). I looked back in my picture archive and I don't think I showed this one before. It was my sample for a class several years ago teaching crazy piecing with the fancy stitches on the sewing machine. I provided kits with pre-cut chunks of fabric that the class worked with. Each of the 4 quarters is different (no paper piecing).

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chrismas cookie jar

My brother's wife gave everyone ceramic cookie jars for Christmas either in the late 1960's or early 1970's. I have lost the feather (quill pen) that should be in Santa's hand as he writes names in his book. She wrote the names of all of the family members in the book. The wastebasket is for bad boys and girls. The 2 buttons on the side of the desk are for bells for reindeer and helicopter. I keep this in the attic and some years I forget to get it out but we will enjoy it this year. Last night I searched for border and backing for this Bento Box quilt top The green with blue flowers will be the back.
You can see the whole top posted previously here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Jack Frost visits again

Our temperature dropped from 34 degrees yesterday to 0 this morning so Jack Frost visited my kitchen windows again. Click on the pictures for a closer view. This one below looks like a fern garden.

Jack works all the way around the corner of the window.

My company didn't come from North Carolina. I wonder why. 0 degrees here, 60 degrees there, hmmm. Hopefully we will get together in warmer weather. They can enjoy the pictures of Jack Frost's work on my blog.

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth, to all of my blogland friends. I wish you all a happy holiday season. Blessings to all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snow, and more snow

I can't even remember how many days in a row we have had snow. It's all beginning to blend together in one big white blur. Today we are above freezing and huge snowflakes. My snow plowing bill is going to be huge. AND he hasn't been able to break up the rest of the ice underneath it all so I still have to go out and work on that. It seems that the city plow always goes through right after my guy plows so I have that big pile at the end of the driveway to clear too. AND it has only been winter for 4 days.

The squirrels don't mind that the snow piles up on top of the seeds. They just burrow through making little paths as they search for the seeds 2" under.
This year I invested in some cast iron cages to hold seed cakes. The first day the squirrels had managed to turn the little knob and open it up and dump the cake to the ground. I bought some of the chains that you hang bird feeders from and wove them through and through to hold it shut. Now instead of having to fill them every 2 days, I can fill them once every week or sometimes longer. The squirrels still get their little paws and teeth in and eat some of it but the birds have a better chance now.
Well it is time to go out and shovel the sidewalk and porch again. I did it twice yesterday. I wonder how many times I'll have to do it today. And all I wanted to do is cut fabric and sew.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter scenes

I guess we can finally call it winter now that the official first day happened Sunday. Look at this fatty eating the bird food. And Jack Frost was busy on one of my windows.
Thank you everyone for your votes on yesterday's post. As each person explained why they chose what they did, it made me look at some of the fabric choices with new vision. Here is the final count:
#1 had over 20 votes
#2 had 12
#3 had 9
#4 had 5
#5 had 4
and the fabric I showed the first day got 3 votes.

As second choices each of the fabrics got either 3 or 4 votes.

I haven't done anything with them yet but I have made the decision to make 2 small pieces so I can use 2 different fabrics. There are 2 blocks of each combination so I will put one of each in each little quilt. I probably won't get them done until after Christmas but hope to do them before the new year.

We are in for snow or combination snow/sleet/rain for the next 3 days. That sounds like a lot of cleaning off the sidewalk for the mailman and/or company. I would almost rather have a foot of snow than the freezing rain combination.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A few more choices

I didn't know how sore I was from shoveling those huge chunks of ice a couple days ago until I lifted my 3 gallon bottle of water onto my cooler. I had taken aspirin earlier in the day for shoulder pain, but my arm muscles didn't hurt until I lifted the bottle. I am sore today, which surprises me. I thought I would be sore the day after, not 2 days after.

Yesterday I spread the blocks out over some more choices. I kind of like this one. (#1)
I really like this one (below) because I like busy quilts. (#2)
This blue is one of Kaffe's plainer fabrics but is a little stark for me. (#3)

Here is a light colored batik with swirls. I like this one too. (#4)
And then after I baked these and ate one too many........
I tried this one. It might be too busy even for me. (#5)
So, now what do all of you think? Does one stand out more than the others as good?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Time to decide

This is what I had in mind when I started these blocks, that I would use a light Kaffe print to border each block and then trim the blocks all to the same size. I'm not sure I like it now. Here are the blocks I made last night. Notice they aren't all the same size because I am using clean up cuts to make them, and they vary anywhere from 1.25" to 2" in width.
I will have to do a little more playing with this one yet.

It is -5 degrees at 9 a.m. I wonder how cold it was at 6 a.m.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh, Mother Nature

This is what I did yesterday afternoon. The frozen ice pellet base is a little over an inch thick with a coating of snow on top. It got up to 33 degrees so I went out and started breaking it up and shoveling it off the driveway. I could only get the ice off half of my sidewalk so I'm hoping it will get up near 30 degrees again. I put ice melter on it last night. I was able to clear my porch and cement steps by putting the ice melter along the front edge and then I could lift up the huge ice chunk, drop it and let it break up and then shovel it off. Last night the motion sensor security light came on in the back yard and here was my visitor.
I had a good response to cutting strips yesterday, and I wanted to add, you can make a viewer to see what any fabric will look like cut into strips. Just take a piece of paper and cut a 2" strip out of the center of it and lay it on your fabric to see what a 2" strip of the fabric looks like.

Mother nature is going to dump Arctic air on us for a couple days starting tomorrow, so I need to go out and work on that ice.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cut strips!

Vicki F mentioned in yesterday's comments that it is hard to see how all of the Kaffe fabrics go together when you see them on the bolts. I always say that you don't see the personality of a print fabric until you see it cut into strips. Large prints fool you into thinking you have to use large chunks of them, but if you cut a strip off you see something new. Here are my bags of 1-1/2" and 2" Kaffe fabrics. I have only played with the clean up cuts so far. I think I'm almost ready to pick a project for these. We didn't get a lot of snow from the overnight storm but there is a coating of ice pellets over the top of what we did get. Now it is snowing again, little puff balls for awhile, and now just flurries. All of the schools around us are closed. Yes, we will have a white Christmas, with the temps dropping into the teens next week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just playing with Kaffe

I am between projects but didn't want to sit idle while I watched 2 shows on TV last night. I picked up the clean up cut strips from a bunch of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and some rectangles left from another project and just played. It is all the way up to 8 degrees this morning at 9 a.m. The sun was shining most of the day yesterday so that helped to clean the streets off. One more day of cleaning and then I can start baking.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December finish

I got this binding done last night so it could be in my December finishes. I like casual quilting as an all over design.
Yesterday morning I woke up to a 52 degree house. The batteries in the programmable thermostat had died. Once I got the house warmed up, it started to snow and snowed for almost 10 hours, 5" approximately. The storm I'm more worried about though is the one that is coming tomorrow night. They are saying and icy mix, or all ice or if we are lucky just a foot of snow. I keep hoping for a heat wave.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December Journal Quilt

I decided that my first attempt at making a selvage quilt would be for my December Journal page, which is dedicated to trying something new. I used a black and white variegated quilting thread for the satin stitch edge. If you haven't visited the selvage blog yet, click here and check it out.

In case you think I ran out of dotted fabrics when I made those bags this past week, here is the bin of what I have left. Yes, that is a big bin, what they used to call blanket boxes. Now they are specified by the gallon.
It is supposed to snow by 3 this afternoon, an accumulating fluffy mess, so they predict.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The weather man was right

for a change. Why couldn't he have been wrong this time. It is 5 degrees with a 20 mph wind right now. There is an ice coating that started around 11 p.m. last night and then a light snow over the top. I'm going to cancel my dad's dr. appt. this morning.

Meanwhile, last night I decided to start playing with my selvages. Some people like only the white selvage to show where others like some of the fabric to show to. I'm just experimenting at this point.

I really need more variety if I am going to do a very large project so I will just do a couple small things right now.
On Saturday night I also got the binding on this small quilt (about 42" square), also all by machine. I sewed it on the top and then flipped the binding under and stitched in the ditch on the right side next to the binding to catch the flap on the back side. The center of this quilt was a sample of one of the packs of Trip Around the World fabrics that we used to choose and bundle at the last quilt shop I worked at.

I'm not sure what it's use will be. It isn't really baby colors, it is too small to cuddle under. I think maybe it would be a nice piece to drape over a table.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I showed this top laying with the border fabric and backing fabric here. I got it quilted this week and put the binding on last night, all by machine. It measures 62" x 76" so it should be a good cuddle quilt on the couch.

I finished the 2 bags with the triangles leaning to the right

and leaning to the left.

It is going to get up to 50 degrees today before the drop to the 20's tomorrow morning. The snow has almost all melted and it is a brown and grey landscape. Luckily I have my sunshine lights in the 2 studios. Off to play.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I have 3 quilts ready for binding, this one below, the Christmas quilt I showed earlier this month, and another that I just finished quilting. I haven't decorated for Christmas yet. The major cleaning, and decorating will be the day before my company arrives for a week visit. I did some Christmas shopping yesterday, and some on the Internet as well. I guess Christmas will come whether I am ready or not.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where do the days go

I feel like I'm losing days. I can't tell you what I did yesterday afternoon. I seemed to be busy all day but I didn't get much accomplished. I guess this is what it is always like just before Christmas. There are a lot of little things to do. I did get busy at night though and sewed the rest of the little triangle squares. Here are the rights and the lefts. Two bags. The one below looks like a game board as it is waiting to be quilted and assembled.
We're back in the deep freeze today and then 2 days of thawing over the weekend. And then snow and freezing rain again on Monday. It is definitely winter here.