Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Busy day

I spent a couple hours in the garage yesterday getting ready for the double bed that I am storing until late summer.  I put away the snow shovels and filled a couple containers with the ice melter from an open bag.  I hope I don't have to look at them again until next winter.  We got the twin bed moved to Dad's apartment too so I went back and put the sheets on it.

I have been cutting a couple kits for Bento Box.  Several people requested that I teach it so it is on my schedule in April at the sewing machine store.  At least one person wants a kit and I figured I will make another from that pattern too in my favorite fabrics.  I will probably add a few batiks into the mix yet.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring is here! and zig zag sewn together

Finally I have some flowers blooming.  There aren't very many buds yet but I think half of them are a different variety that blooms a little later.

Sound the trumpets, and drum roll please!  I finished sewing the zig zag top together and did the staystitching around the outside edge.  It is a charm quilt which means only one piece of each fabric, 308 of them, all Kaffe Fassett prints.  It measures 62" x 78.5".

I'm way behind in my goal of quilting 4 quilts a month but I guess March was pretty much a wash with my Dad's problems and my sore hip joint.  I have been pain free for 2 days now and Dad will be moved back to his apartment tomorrow so I hope to catch up soon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

More rows sewn and a little play

I sewed 5 more cross rows on the zig zag quilt.  It is slow going matching the points.

Last night I decided to lay some of my little bits blocks on fabrics to simulate sashing.  I have no idea what I'm going to make out of them so this was just play time.

This one was a little shocking.

This is a black batik with squares of varying shades of gray.

I have thought of bordering each little square and alternating light and dark also.  Just playing............

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sweet smells

I called my neighbor who is moving to see if she wanted some boxes I had in my garage.  When she came over she brought me some hyacynth blooms.  The scent is so strong that it carries into the adjoining rooms.

My dad wants a single/twin bed now so we are moving the double bed out of his apartment and into my garage until a relative can take it later this summer.  Yesterday I worked on organization of all of the stuff already in there.
I sewed the last 7 rows of the zig zag quilt and then started sewing the cross rows (2 are done).  All of the other rows are hanging by the little threads from sewing the seams in the first direction.  Here is the tutorial I posted on that method.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Finally sewing rows

I had an almost pain free day yesterday so I finished sewing blocks and started sewing rows on the zig zag quilt.  I have 7 of the 14 rows sewn so far.

We're back in cold weather again right now but next week it is supposed to be 60-70 degrees for a lot of the days.  I can't wait.  I'm tired of my winter coat.

Friday, March 26, 2010

More little bits

I sat down a couple times yesterday and sewed some more little bits.  These are waiting to be trimmed.  You can see how small they are by the grid on the mat.

This is all that goes into the trash after trimming.

This picture is to compare the size of the little bits blocks with the triangles that I am almost done sewing into squares. 

I think I will be able to sit longer today and get the last row of triangles sewn.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I have down days too.

Yesterday I didn't feel like doing anything.  I ran a couple errands and delivered my Dad's clean clothes.  I have had a sore hip joint for about 5 weeks that was getting a lot better and I twisted it yesterday morning.  It hurts to sit in my sewing machine chair but I was OK in a recliner reading.  Last night I trimmed some of the little bits that I am making and found out they were big enough to trim at 2.5" instead of 2".  There were a couple that ended up 2" so I have 2 projects started instead of one.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lack of concentration

When the new quilt didn't work out yesterday I just sewed some more rows on the zig zag quilt and did laundry.  Last night I just couldn't concentrate on anything so I watched "Castle" which I had taped and made more of my little scrap blocks that will be trimmed to 2" and finish at 1.5"  I have been making them for a few weeks but the box isn't very full yet.  I haven't trimmed any of these yet.

Dad has 8 more days at the nursing home and then he should be able to go back to his apartment at the independent living building.  He is getting physical therapy which he needed after laying in a hospital bed for 4 days.  He did walk the halls at the hospital but they are working on all of his muscles in the therapy sessions.  He looked so old today when I went over there to pick up his laundry.  I guess he should look old at 96 but he has very few wrinkles and most people don't have a clue he is that old.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The quilt that won't be made

Just in case you think everything that goes up on my design wall gets sewn, I'm telling you that sometimes they don't.

I took the identical set of triangles that I made the zig zag quilt from and took an idea I had drawn on graph paper and spent all morning on this.  It will NOT be sewn.  I will go back to sewing the zig zag and when I'm done, all of this will come back down off the wall into piles of color.
Added 7:20 p.m.  This group of fabrics is a charm quilt, only one piece of each fabric.  Therefore I can't add the "right" color in or it won't be a charm quilt any more.  I will use this design later in a more controlled group of fabrics.

More inside blooms

The pink Christmas cactus is at the end of its blooming time.

Now that I know how to use the super macro on my camera, I have to practice with it now and then.

The orange cactus has a bud on it now.  I hope it decides to have more than one bloom.

I went to the sewing circle at church yesterday afternoon, and then on to a store to get my dad 2 new short sleeve shirts.  He only likes the western style with snaps and they are hard to find except at Farm and Fleet.  It was a tiring day so I only got 3 more rows of blocks made last night.  I am just fingernail pressing them and putting them back on the wall.  I will have to take them down and press them with an iron before I sew the rows.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A very good day

Here are the 26 triangles that didn't make the cut in the zig zag Kaffe fabric quilt.

I sewed last night and got the diagonal seam sewn in the blocks in 6 rows of the quilt.

The sun came out yesterday afternoon and the snow melted.  That's what is nice about spring snowstorms.

My daughter was in Chicago last week at a conference and she had yesterday morning free so my son drove and we picked her up and had a leisurely lunch at a nice restaurant near the airport.  I hadn't seen her since last May so this was really a treat.  We dropped her off at the airport and she texted my son about a half hour later.  She spotted my sister-in-law at the terminal getting ready to catch a flight so they had a chance to chat.  What are the odds that they would have been flying on the same airline and catching flights within minutes of each other.  It was a great day.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First day of spring?

This is what we saw yesterday morning.  It is pretty typical for the first day of spring in northern IL.  It snowed all day but melted on the roads.

I have spring inside though.  I have all of the old amaryllis bulbs that I have kept for the last 5 years and 2 of them are just sending up bud stalks now.  They are pretty spindly so I'm not expecting too much.  The big pot has 4 bulbs planted in it.

This is the final layout and I will start sewing blocks today.  I changed about 5 triangles and I'm happy with it now.  It has 308 different Kaffe fabrics in it.  There are only a little over 100 different patterns in his line so some are repeated in more than one colorway. I spent a lot of hours yesterday putting away the Kaffe fabrics (in order by style number).

I also added more swatches to the Kaffe file cards from the scraps left over from cutting.  I feel pretty organized now.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Post #1111

I just noticed the post number as I was clicking on the New Post button,1111.

The 4 blocks have been on the design wall for over a week with 3 strips auditioning for sashing and/or borders.  I hope I can work on it next week.

This is the way I have been designing the zig zag quilt, sideways on 2 design wall panels.  I have all of the pieces up on the wall and will see if it needs fine tuning today.

This is the way I have been showing it on my blog as I was working on it and below I have flipped it end for end.  I don't think it really matters which way is up unless it would be hung on a wall.

A lot of times I design a piece and then I look at it flipped and usually like it that way better.  I guess that means I design backwards or upside down.  What does that say about my brain?  That I'm eccentric and weird?  I have been accused of both of those before.  By non-artistic people and non-quilters of course.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I got up with a migraine yesterday but was able to squash it within hours.  I went to embroidery club in the afternoon and computer club at night.  In between all of that I did get some more triangles cut.  If you have been following along you know this is a charm quilt, every fabric used only once.  I am happy and re-inspired with the rows I moved yesterday and I got 2 new rows started.  I'm building this sideways on my double design wall but I turn the picture vertical for the blog.  Unfortunately the bottom edge is in the area where there isn't enough light so that row looks pretty muddy in the photo.  They are nice dark browns and purples.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A good night's sleep fixes all

The row I am calling gold is reading brown to most of my readers.  I call the other row yellow and this one gold.  Kaffe's name is ocher for most of these prints.

Here are some more of the gold prints.  I will have a row of darker browns coming up soon.

Here is my "fixed" version.  I exchanged the red row with the gold row.  Then I took out the weak light row (mostly pink, see previous post) and I'm half way through moving the red and green rows over next to the light blues.

Some of you might remember that I write my post around midnight and set it to publish at 5 a.m. central US time.  So the previous post was where I ended last night and this post is where I am at 10:30 this morning.

Triangles and backyard visitors

I did get some more triangles cut and finished the green row.  I switched the green row and the light blue row and I'm not sure I like the green next to the gold any more than I like the blue one there.  All of the loose triangles at the bottom are ones that don't fit any color or value range right now.

I saw some robins yesterday but wasn't quick enough to get a picture of one.  I did catch this pretty guy at the suet cage though.  If you look to the background you can see a squirrel sitting on a log.

The cardinal has been brave and shows up every morning now and dares the squirrels to tell him to leave.  The female sits in the tree and waits her turn.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Errand day

I try to get all of my errands done on one day of the week so I can stay home the rest of the days.  I had to get Dad to sign his tax return yesterday so I did the errands too.

Last night I figured out the measurements for the Bento Box pattern when using a 2.5" strip instead of the 3" called for in the pattern.  I had some strips left over from the kits I cut for the last class so I used them up and made 9 blocks for a baby quilt.  It will be 36" square so I'll probably add a border.  I didn't get any more triangles cut for the zig zag yesterday so I'll get back to that today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The letter K

I am back to the alphabet quilt that is a store sample.  We have an embroidery club meeting on Thursday afternoon at the store and I want to have 4 rows sewn together to have on display.  It might be a class that the owner will teach if there is enough interest in it.  I have 3 rows completed and one more block to do in this row, the "J".
I have seen some signs of spring out in my flower beds.  The sedum plants have new growth so it is time to go out and break off all of last years flower stems.  It might even be warm enough this week to enjoy that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Peaceful Sunday

This may not look any different than yesterday but I added one more row on the right edge.  Now it starts with an "up" movement and finishes with an "up" movement.  Check out yesterday's post to compare.  I added about 15 more fabrics today.

I showed a pile of triangle squares a couple days ago.  Last night I sewed 2 more blocks to go with the ones I made a few weeks ago.  I think they will have sashing and a border.  They are 8" blocks.

My brother and I visited Dad last night.  We didn't go over for 2 days so he could get into his routine there without outside interference.  He is adjusting well and even said the food was good today.  I will be getting his tax return done this afternoon and end last year's bookwork.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Still cutting and playing with triangles

I moved the triangles for the zig zag quilt over to my double design wall and cut some more fabrics yesterday.  I turned the picture because I think the design should go across the quilt.  I am only a little over half done with my cutting so I could make this bigger than I had planned.  I guess I'll just keep working on it and it will tell me when it is done.

I want to thank everyone for your good wishes and prayers for my dad (and me).  Even though he has had a rough week, he walked into the nursing home by himself with his walker and he does almost everything for himself.  He just needs someone to tell him what to do. I am fortunate to have a dad who has been so healthy all of his life, still has his hearing and his own teeth. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A day of changes

I pieced a block yesterday, out of the tiny strips trimmed from other blocks.  It will come out 2" when trimmed, 1.5" finished when sewn into something.  I think I have the beginning of  a new project.  I will just make bunches of little 2" blocks and toss them in a plastic bin until I have enough to make something.

These are the blocks the trimmings came from.  They were several different sizes and all trimmed to 2.5".

While I watched "Numb3rs" last night I sat and wove together the little leftovers from the star quilt from a few weeks ago.  This is the mindless playing that keeps me sane.

I got to the hospital at 7:45 a.m. yesterday and by 11:45 a.m. I had Dad situated at the nursing home. Luckily Dad's problem from the night before was gone.  The nursing home is very clean and 2 of my quilter friends are employed there.  I know they will take good care of Dad. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Student's work at finishing class

Student S-1 (2 students with the same name) has been working on her Strips that Sizzle blocks for awhile and was finally at the layout stage.  The quilt is for her daughter and there were 2 layouts she liked so we combined them.  After I took this picture she sewed the 2 side panels together and we flipped them so the light block in the middle of the outside row is touching the center star block, and we liked that better.  I didn't think to take a picture of it. She will be making more rows of the light squares/dark squares to go above and below this center panel for a queen size quilt.

Student S-2 emailed me to see if I was going to be doing a strip pieced Kaleidoscope class in the near future.  I told her I wasn't but suggested I help her start one at my finishing class.  We emailed back and forth for about a month with her sending me pictures of fabric choices from her iphone.  Once we decided the fabrics were right, I sent her cutting and strata sewing directions and she came to class ready to cut wedges and create blocks.  It was a great class and the other 3 students made progress too.

Dad had a set back yesterday and had to have a scope down his esophagus last night.  He has been off oxygen since Wed. but his cough was worse again yesterday morning.  He has congestive heart failure like so many people over 90 do.  I hope today is a better day for him.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another new project

I pulled a few more fabrics for the quilt in the new Kaffe book.  I still need some more pinks.  In one picture in the book the purples look like pink so I hadn't pulled any purples until I looked at the other picture.

I had one kit left over from the class I taught the last 2 weeks so I sewed sets of 2 strips.  I started out with the blocks in the upper left corner but then I wanted to see how it would look in a zig zag pattern too.  No decisions yet on this one. 

Dad is still in the hospital but he will soon be discharged to go to a nursing home for 20 days paid by Medicare.  He will get physical therapy and possible breathing therapy there.  It is right next door to the building his apartment is in so it will be easy to retrieve things we need.  After 20 days they will evaluate him and see if he can move back to living alone.

I added another page at the top right side of my blog; quilts  with Kaffe Fassett fabric.  I will be adding more quilts to it as I find time.  I have a finishing class to teach today.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An errand day

Yesterday was errand day. I also visited Dad twice at the hospital.  Fit my nap in there and there wasn't a lot of time to get creative.  I looked through the new Kaffe book again last night and decided to pull some yellows for one of the quilts.  These are mostly Martha Negley and Philip Jacobs fabrics with just 2 Kaffe fabrics.  In the book there are 2 pictures of the quilt and they look totally different from each other.  One is outside in natural daylight and I'm sure the other is inside.  There are some oranges and pinks in the quilt too so I will pull some more fabrics today.  I will be using a different assortment than he did.

I'm hoping to be at the hospital this morning when the Dr. makes his rounds.  I think I may find out which day Dad will be discharged.  Today would have been my parents 73rd anniversary.  Mother passed away 10 months ago.