Thursday, December 31, 2009

Still counting

After pulling the Blooming 9 patch (link in yesterday's post) out of my storage box of quilt tops and seeing how wrinkled it was, I am determined to get all of the tops up on hangers. All of these have been on hangers all along, all 21 of them You can see I have found some batting pieces for a few of them on the right in the picture.I'm working on that list of priorities for next year too. Hopefully at least half of my UFO's will be finished in 2010. There are at least 10 more in the storage box.

I got about half of the big Blooming 9 patch quilted and hope to finish it today. I don't party on New Year's Eve, I sew. That's my kind of party.

My brother had my new battery in my van by 2:30 yesterday so I still had time to run errands before we took pizza to Dad's apt. last evening. There were snow showers off and on most of the day but it hasn't amounted to much on the ground. I decided not to go to the movie theater and have the car coated though. I can go next week.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Trying to finish another

Last night I decided I would check out the temperature outside by driving down to the grocery store and if it wasn't too bad, I would go to see a movie at our local theater. I didn't think it felt too bad, even for 17 degrees so I went home and put away my groceries and went back out to my van to leave. The battery was dead! I guess it's a good thing I didn't get there and find it dead when I came out of the theater. My brother is an auto repair guy so he will bring me a new battery later today. My van will be 6 years old in April so I guess I did pretty well on the first battery.

As long as I was home for the evening I decided to finish this quilt top. All it needed was the 4 corner triangles. Rather than spend the time looking for the rest of the pansy fabric, I used 4 leftover setting triangles on the corners. The outside edges are bias on them so I am going to leave them oversized until the quilting is done and trim them when I trim the edges.

I had purchased 8.5 yards of this yellow fabric when a quilt shop was going out of business and having their sale. I had the fabric wrapped on a bolt board so there was minimal pressing needed on it. I got the 3 pieces sewn together and pressed.
Since I will be home all morning I might as well keep working on it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another finish for 2009

I finished the binding and hung this on my design walls for its picture.Here is a better look at that diagonal stripe print that I used for binding.

I love the assortment of fabrics in this quilt, some early Kaffes, some newer ones. I couldn't resist showing you the coneflower seedheads with their snow piles. I have been busy making my list of which quilts I'll work on first in the new year. It is getting longer and longer, and that is just the ones that partially done. A lot of them just need their borders so after I make the decision which fabric will be used it won't take long to be a completed top.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The best part of the pillowcases

is this little pile of scraps left from 16 yards of flannel fabric.Here are the same sedum blooms I have been showing as they looked after the final snow. They were starting to collapse together. You can see how deep the snow is next to the sidewalk. It is already starting to compress so it looks more like 8" or less now.
It didn't feel as cold out today with no wind blowing but it's still below the freezing mark.

35% off sale

All of you readers know how much I love the Kaffe Fassett fabrics and none of my local stores carry them. One of the first on-line stores I found that had them was From Here to Quilternity. Well, she is having a 3 day sale, starting today. Go over to her blog and check out the details of the sale. If you place an order you may want to mention my blog (Wanda's blog) in the comment section of the order page so she can see how you heard about it. She has other brands of fabric too.

I always love a sale to fill in the holes in my collection. The ones above were some that I used in my latest log cabin quilt, some older ones, some current ones.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Flannel pillowcase tutorial

I called these pillowcases European style the other day, but I don't know if that is the proper term. I had never seen them until I was gifted a pair from Liberty of London so I figured it might be the style from across the pond rather than American.

I made mine with 3 separate pieces but you could make them with one big long piece if it is going to be all the same fabric. I was working with pieces 2 yards and smaller so I just took measurements from the Liberty cases (which were made from 2 different fabrics) and added 1/2" each way for the shrinkage of the flannel.
It takes about 40" for one pillowcase, or if you want to make 2, it takes 2 yards. When cutting for one you have a left over piece that you can use on a second pillowcase.  With the fabric folded as it is when you buy it, I cut 1 piece 29.5" long and 1 piece 10" long. Then I turned the pieces and cut a tiny sliver off the fold edge and 1/4" off the selvage edge. This gives me 2 pcs. 29.5" long. Also you will have one piece of 10" left over.

Step 1 - Hem one short side of a 29.5" piece with a 1.25" hem
Step 2 - Hem the 10" piece on one long edge with a narrow hem
Step 3 - Layer the 2 - 29.5" pieces with the unhemmed one on the bottom, matching all raw edges on 3 sides.

Step 4 - Place the 10" piece on top of the end with the 1.25" hem matching raw edges on 3 sides. Pin as much as you want. Step 5 - Sew all around with a serger or with straight stitch and then come back and zig zag the raw edges.
This is what a serged stitch looks like.
Step 6 - Turn the 10" piece right side out. this is that the finished end looks like.
Step 7 - Turn the whole pillowcase right side out. this is what the finished back view looks like.
When your pillow is inserted and the end of the pillow tucked under the 10" piece, you have a case that is just the size of the pillow without any open extra flaps like a regular pillowcase.
You can see here what happens with a one way print (or directional of any kind) so if this bothers you, make sure you choose an allover print.

Sewing on binding

After my company left last night I started sewing the binding on the summer quilt. I'm sewing it on the back of the quilt and will flip it to the front and finish with the narrow zig zag which I have shown on previous posts. I'm using a diagonal stripe for the binding so I will have the look of a bias binding with a straight of grain one.Well, it snowed, and snowed, and snowed here. It started about 2 p.m. Fri. and didn't stop until around 7p.m. Sat. These sedum flowers were shown as cone heads a few days ago with icy snow. That all melted with a 40 degree start to Friday. I took this picture around 3:30 yesterday afternoon and we got another 3 or more inches after that.
My snow plow guy came at 3:15 and by 4:15 there was another 2" of snow that I went out to shovel off the driveway. My family started arriving shortly after that and 2 of the younger set took over and cleared it so my dad would not have to walk in snow. The bad news is that we aren't going to get above freezing for about a week so this snow is staying.
On the pillowcases from yesterday: I made them with 3 pieces, using the width of the fabric minus a sliver cut off at the fold and about 1/4" cut off the selvage edge. The length of 2 pieces was 29.5" and the third piece was 10". I took the measurements from my Liberty of London pillow case. I sewed mine together with my serger so all seams are finished. One of the 29.5" pieces has a 1.25" hem on it and the 10" piece has a narrow hem. I will make one more and take pictures of the steps and hopefully post them tomorrow. You could make it with just 2 pieces and eliminate sewing on the smaller piece. Now that I look at it, they did it the way they did because the pretty fabric is just on the outside and the plain fabric is the back and the inside flap.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Final Christmas sewing

I finished making 15 flannel pillowcases for all the members of the family to choose their favorite. I made the European style with the flap on the inside to tuck the end of the pillow into. This way the pillowcase just fits the pillow without the extra length of a normal pillowcase.
I was pleased to see another flower blooming on the orange Christmas cactus.
I love the contrasting hot pink part.
There is a pink bud or two opening on the other plant too.
We had a 20 degree drop in temperature yesterday, starting out with rain and ending up with snow so we had our white Christmas. Our party is tonight so I hope we don't get too much more snow.

Friday, December 25, 2009


I wish you all Peace and Joy on this Christmas day. Take care if you have to travel in this winter weather.
Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winter morning pictures

Snow cone anyone?The seedum blossoms are a bunch of coneheads this morning.

When I see this melted off I will go outside.
I think this last one looks like a Christmas card picture.

Icy day, good day to sew

This is what the tree near the front of my house looked like last night. The freezing rain started in the morning. I think it might have been just rain for part of the day and then back to freezing rain again at night. I went to the post office in the morning and was just happy to get back home and stay in all day.I finally got in gear and got gifts wrapped, and some mailed. Then I quilted my summer quilt, just meandering again, my favorite all over pattern. I was going to quilt some hearts in it too but I got going and forgot all about them.
I used this Kaffe fabric on the back. It was a good buy a couple years ago when one of the online stores was closing out all of the older prints.
My brother and I decided it was too icy to go out to get a meal to take to our dad's apartment last night so I hope we can go tonight. We're supposed to get a lot of rain today and temps near 38.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Playing with blocks

I was going through some piles of blocks and decided these 2 groups will be the next table runner candidates that I practice my quilting on. The are left over from this quilt that I made almost 2 years ago. I need to square up the blocks and maybe add a log on the edge of a couple of them to get them up to the right size.

I hung a large seed cake in a cage yesterday and the furry friends have found it already.
We have about 3" of snow on the ground and now they are predicting freezing rain starting tonight and all day Thurs. I hope it gets warmer than they are predicting and then it will be just plain rain. I would rather have snow than ice any day. Luckily our party isn't until Sat.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lunchtime entertainment

While I was fixing my lunch I saw this squirrel grab a gourd that has somehow ended up in my yard. He ran up the tree to the little perching spot that is right outside my kitchen window.He's chomping away at it.
He's working his way all across the top of it, peeling it and dropping the skin to the ground.
A little later I looked out and he had left it up there between the "fingers" of the broken off branch.
About a half hour later I saw him back (I assume it was the same one) and he grabbed it in his mouth and took off down the tree and ran all the way across my yard and into the neighboring yard. They are fun little creatures to watch.
Anonymous, you asked me a question yesterday, but I have no way of getting back to you. If you are an anonymous and you have a question, there is a link to my email on the right sidebar of my blog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Special on templates

Here is another view of the texture on the Strips 'n Curves Christmas quilt.For those of you trying to find the templates, Alderwoods Quilts is having a special on the templates until the end of the year. Read down the post on her blog to find what you have to type in the comments section of the order page to get the discount. I used the Basic Set and Basic Set II.

A little bit more done

I did the vacuuming and made 2 batches of Chex mix yesterday so it wasn't a total wash. I hung a few more ornaments and pulled out the strands of lights that I place over the fireplace and through some shelves. I don't put up a tree any more. I have very little company at this time of year and just one party that lasts a few hours. I have all of my Christmas table runners out on display too. I've shown them in previous years. Last night I looked through the 2 latest issues of Studios. I find a lot of good ideas for storage and display in them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Still playing

I'm just playing with value changes and warm vs. cool colors at this point so these blocks are just a test to see how strong are the dark X and light square on point (small squares paths). I don't think they are strong enough so I might try a positive/negative black/white and white/black batik for the paths. I still haven't gotten out all of my trays of cut pieces. This is just the last groups that I had cut and hadn't put away yet.I need to get serious about Christmas and wrap gifts today. I have to get a package ready to mail to my daughter's family too. And I need to clean the house. I think I have a bad case of procrastination.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mock ups and orange flowers

I did a mock up with pieces on the flannel wall to try the block from yesterday's post. I have the rectangles in the outside row like my drawing in this version. On this one I put both light and dark in the outside row and did mirror image corners. I think both of these versions might be interesting. I haven't gotten the trays of cut pieces out yet. I just worked with one small group that was not put away yet.

The orange Christmas cactus is starting to bloom. I haven't figured out whether it will be a double decker flower like my pink one.
I brought it out to the kitchen and set it on the edge of the counter so I could get down on my knees and take a picture up into the flower.
Now if I was smart I would look for a high place to set it so I didn't have to get down on my knees. I'll be looking for that place today.

Friday, December 18, 2009

My childhood home - aerial view

Here is an aerial view of my childhood home, toward the bottom right. Follow the road to the left up to the next crossroad and that is the little one room school I walked to in first and second grade.

My childhood home

This photo was included in the negatives that my friend scanned. I was so happy to see this view of the farm since it showed all of the buildings except the chicken houses. The house had an attached back room (unheated) and garage. Then came the old shed, the corn crib, the little feed storage building, the old barn, and the dairy (new) barn.Dad took this picture from the corn field across the gravel road. We had huge elm trees lining the driveway and a cottonwood tree next to the house.

Just doodling

I was in the studio last night, but all I did was try to clean off the cutting table and then I found an idea I had scribbled on a piece of paper. I spent some time redrawing it and making notes for myself. This design would use all of my trays of 2.5" squares and 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles and would be a scrap quilt, not the same fabrics in every block. I spent part of the morning yesterday helping a friend measure her quilt tops and cutting backings. Then I ran errands. The computer club party was in the evening and the food was great. My cookies barely got touched because so many other people brought dessert. Only 2 others had signed up for it according to the newsletter, but a bunch more brought some pretty elaborate desserts. I sent home a bunch of cookies and fudge with my friend Louise.