Monday, August 31, 2009

Another journal cover......................
A friend of mine wants to buy several of these journal covers so I am trying to make a stack of them that she can choose from. This one is similar to one I made last year, but with different fabrics. Either side could be the front of this one.......side 1
Side 2
The whole thing opened up. This one is made from the leftovers of the strata for my Prismatic Garden quilts (see Label list on right side bar for posts with those quilts).
A nutting we will go.................. Is that part of a poem? or a song? The squirrels are snatching up the few walnuts that have fallen.
See how wide he can open his mouth? This just cracks me up that they pick up a walnut off the ground but then they climb a tree to shell it. Can you imagine climbing a tree to peel an orange?
I am typing this at 11:30 p.m. Sunday night and it is already down to 47 degrees. I hope it is warmer in the morning when this posts at 5 a.m.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another journal cover.....................
I learned a lot on the first one with the selvages so this one was fun to make.
Here is the open view, front and back. It is headed to CA to its new owner.
I went to a 50th anniversary party for friends yesterday afternoon and connected with people I hadn't see for quite a few years. It finally turned warm in the afternoon so the party outside was comfortable. It is only 50 degrees out this morning. It definitely feels like fall.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Vanilla 9 Patch update

Click here to see where the vanilla 9 patch is living now.

I needed this

A recovery day..............................
I feel like I have run a marathon for a month with my dad's situation. Yesterday was a recovery day, to reorganize my thoughts and projects, to clean, to shop. The health food store where I buy my supplements is going to close at the end of next month so they had a good sale for their best customers. It just happens that there is a quilt shop in the same town so I made a little side trip over there and picked up some black and whites, half yard cuts.

Friday, August 28, 2009

After the eye appointment

While I waited for my dilated eyes to return to normal.......
I sorted through more things in the basement. I found another class project that I started at least 8-9 years ago. I guess I need to put it on the daily schedule for one day and finish it and donate it or gift it.
It is the double pinwheel blocks from this Eleanor book.
There is a pile of sewn segments.
A pile of strips sewn together.
There are even more strips cut for this. I must have been planning to make a large quilt. Since the green pinwheels revolve in the opposite direction from the purple ones, you can make 2 separate quilts or one color is used for the center and the other for the border blocks.
My dad called me last night and said he wanted to call off the surgery. I told him I thought he made the right decision. He had told my brother that he had pain but he admitted to me that there is no pain. I suggested an elastic support but he said no he was fine without one. There were a lot of people praying for him to make the right decision. This is a HUGE load off of me and I can breathe again. I didn't want to have to make the decision for him and then live with the guilt if I had been wrong.
I want to thank all of you out there in blogland for your support, your comments and emails, your prayers and good thoughts. It was good to hear all of the stories and similar circumstances and encouragement.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Garden beauty

No I didn't get to sew yesterday...................
I needed some soothing flowers to calm me.
The girl doing the prep work for the stress test for my dad prepared him for walking on a treadmill. When I questioned did they walk on the treadmill with a chemical stress test, she gave me a funny look and asked is that what he is supposed to have? She called someone and told them that wasn't the message on her voicemail. I've heard about the miscommunication in hospitals and now I have witnessed it. I don't have any solid answers yet. Today I go in for my annual eye exam.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Argyle quilt

The top is all sewn together except for corner triangles.............
I think this quilt will go on one of the twin beds in my house. It should look good in either the yellow room or the pinky/purple room. I finished sewing about 9 p.m. and was too tired to look for the corner fabric.
I spent part of the afternoon drastically pruning my weigela bushes. We only have 2 more free brush pick-ups before winter and I have a lot of volunteer redbuds to cut down in addition to the trimming of the bushes. I am going to take the bushes all the way down to about 24" from the ground. If they make it OK, and if they don't I'll dig out the roots next year. I'm tired of bushes 2 feet taller than me. My rose of sharons are getting whacked too.
My dad goes in for his heart ultrasound and chemical stress test this morning. He is not in any pain with the hernia so my brothers and I are against the surgery. I don't want a bedridden total stranger for a dad when I can have one who gets around with a cane and still has some of his memory. I have checked into recovery time for 4" incision/mesh hernia surgery and it is a minimum of 3 weeks and maybe up to 3 months. For a 95 year old, who knows.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Journal cover

I started this journal cover on Sunday night...........
but I wasn't sure I liked it so I waited until yesterday morning to finish it.
All of the selvages are from Westminster/Rowan fabrics and all Kaffe Fassett even though one doesn't have his name on it.
I had started this pastel one several months ago but couldn't decide what to put on the front of it for some interest. Then last week I pulled out some of my sample embroideries and decided this one was perfect for it.
The stripes on the back go in the other direction.
Here are all of the ones I have made in the last 2 weeks plus the blue one made previously. (see previous posts for full views)
Yesterday was border day so I started with this one. I took the easy way out and used the piece that was already cut on the lengthwise grain for a previous quilt. This used up all of the leftover piece. This one ended up 58" x 84", a very respectable size for a couch quilt.I don't have a design wall large enough to photograph the whole vanilla quilt top now that the borders are on it. It measures about 82" x 105" which is only double bed size with the new tall mattresses. After it is quilted it may even be a little skimpy for a double bed.
This is the fabric that I am going to use on the back. I have never been a beige lover, but I really like this fabric. It is almost like a sepia tone photograph.
Today is beaded curtain/argyle quilt day so I hope I can get the last rows sewn and get it down off the design wall. I have just recovered most of my other design walls and want to do this one too.
I have had the double walls covered with one piece of flannel but it is a real pain when I need to move them. If they are each covered separately and just placed next to each other I can just slide one in front of the other to get to what is behind them. I have a fruit cellar behind one, which is filled with sewing stuff. I have storage boxes of fabric behind another double one, and the third double one gets placed in front of my washer and dryer when the art quilters come.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What time do I post?

I have a confession to make...............
Even though my post each day says I posted at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. I am not really up yet. When Blogger offered Post Options a few months ago one feature was to set the time you want the post to be published. I type my post around 11 p.m each night while the day's events are still fresh in my mind. So, don't call me until after 8 a.m. LOL.
I forgot to post this picture when I mentioned I had sewn some more rows of the Argyle quilt. It is important to trim the corners from the oversized setting triangles before you sew the rows together. Notice that the ruler is lined up on the 4.5" line all along the edge of the row before I trim so it will be straight.
I found 2 more boxes of flannel fabrics so I went through them and found three black background ones that might work as the outer border. The one on the left is already in the quilt. The one in the middle is left over from cutting the border for this quilt. The one on the right is kind of a combination of both of the other 2.

While I was digging I found 2 more groups of flannels that I had pulled to go together. Some of the pieces are less than 1/4 yard and others as big as a yard.
Not all of the birds that come to the feeder are brown. This is a house finch I think. Monday is borders day so I will decide which one (or ones) will get their borders today. I'm hoping to maybe get 3 of them done.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stash fun

It was a miscellany day........................
That is a word isn't it? I started out the morning vacuuming all of the threads in the basement. Then I decided I should look for some black flannel to make the final border on the flannel quilt from yesterday. I would settle for plain black or a black plaid. I haven't found any yet but I still have one more box behind the design wall that the argyle quilt is on so I will check that later. What I did find is three groups of flannels ready to make quilts from.

Some are the brushed fabrics from Moda, but then so is a flannel a brushed cotton so they all fall in the same category for me.
Then last night I made another journal cover. You might remember the little paper pieced squares I did a couple months ago. I really intended for the 2 small squares to be at the bottom but I cut the fabric wrong so they are at the top. It almost looks like a face. This one is a little plainer than some that I make. I did some random parallel stitching rows on it. I also sewed a few rows of the Argyle quilt. I have 11 more rows to sew, the longest ones because I pieced together 9 rows in the other corner opposite the corner that I sewed on Tuesday.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another WIP

The flannel quilt at the top left is my inspiration........
for the flannel quilt that has been waiting for about 10 years to finished. How can I remember how many years ago that I started it? I was still working at the quilt shop and I quit that job in Aug. 2000.
I like most of Country Threads quilts and have a pile of their books. Below is what I had already made. I think the reason I didn't finish it is that I was too lazy to make the 6th star block that I needed and I just stuck in a plain block. A friend was nagging me to take it out and make the star about 8 years ago. I have decided now that I really like it like it is.
I even had the strips sets all sewn to make the last few blocks I needed. I used a lot of red where the one in the book has rust. Now I just have the final border to add and it can be quilted. When I was eating lunch there were a lot of birds chirping in the backyard. I looked out and the sparrows were here, fighting over the feeders. My dad says sparrows always hang together in a flock so that when the sparrow hawk comes he is confused which one to go after. I haven't chosen a project yet for today. I may need to call this cleaning day. The 9 patch quilt and this flannel quilt have spread an amazing amount of threads in the sewing area in the basement. I'll find time for something fun though.
My dad saw the cardiologist yesterday and now we will go to the hospital for an heart ultrasound and a chemical stress test next week. The cardiologist is a very nice man, very concerned.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Choosing borders

I have a possible border combination picked out...........
for the vanilla 9 patch.
Here is the whole top sewn together and pressed.
This is what the back looks like. All of the last seams in the individual blocks are placed in the same direction for a smoother finished quilt top.
Thursday was basting or binding day but I didn't have anything I wanted to do in either category so I made 2 journal covers. I salvaged some of my machine embroidery samples for decoration. You might recognize the one on the right as one of the new strip pieced playtime pieces from last week. There is a tutorial for this if you go to the Labels list on the right side bar and click on Tutorials.This picture is a little blurry because I took it through the screen on the front door. I usually cut the dead heads off the coreopsis so it will bloom again but now I see I need to leave them there for finch food. This little fellow was on the cone flower first and then flew over to the coreopsis. His missus was there on the sidewalk right after I snapped the picture. Today I will pull out the flannel quilt from years ago and see if I can finish the top.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lots of sewing

Vanilla 9 patch-all sewn together....................
I sewed on the remaining 8 rows and then sewed the cross rows together, each one with 59 seams to match up. Yes that is 14 x 59=826 intersections of seams to match (every 1.5").
The next job is to press the whole thing. After all of that sewing (finished at 10:45p.m.) I just wasn't up to pressing last night.
Here is a shot of it at the machine with all of the seams showing. The last 2 seams of each 9 patch are placed vertically which insures a more consistent smoothness after it is pressed.
The last thing I need to do is a row of staystitching a tiny bit less than 1/4" all around the outside edge to insure no popped seams and no stretching when sewing the border on.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Setting trianges, how many colors?

I thought I was going to use a single color................
for the setting triangles but no matter what I auditioned, it just wasn't right. Then I went back to the Kaffe book to see the inspiration quilt and it has multicolor so that is what I went with too.
I have 7 fabrics that I cut one strip each from and then cut the triangles. It worked out to be an exact repeat and I didn't even plan that. I think the corners are going to be a lavender. In the upper left of the picture below are the 9 rows that are sewn together. I think mine looks more like argyle than a beaded curtain so that will be in its name somehow.
A couple people mentioned in the comments yesterday that their hostas bloomed earlier than mine. I have about 8 varieties that bloomed earlier and the flower stalks are all dried up already. I have 2 late bloomers. One is this one that I call elephant ear.
They are sweet smelling lily style flowers. They are at least 6" long and are just starting to open.
The other is this pointy leaf variety which I showed yesterday. These flowers are probably about 2" or a little bigger.
You can see there will be a huge cluster of them when they all open.
I bought one new coneflower this year. It is called tomato soup. This one is just starting to open and will be a little deeper red.

I took the nature shots at dusk so the backgrounds are all dark. It is fun to take pictures at different times of the day to see how the color is affected by the available light.