Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sewing and mowing...........

I was thinking 'baby quilt' when I made this one, but I decided with a border it was a nice lap quilt for an adult.  I made the borders a little wider on the sides than they are on the top and bottom because it was already almost long enough.

This batik has several shades of blue and lavender in it so it looked good with the quilt.  I have enough of it for the back too.
I also sewed more strip sets for the QOV project so I will have enough to make 2 quilt tops.
I mowed about half of my yard with my push mower yesterday.  If I don't keep up with the grass it gets too long for this mower and then I have to pay to have it cut.  I will finish the mowing today and then it will be time to start in on it again by the weekend.  They are talking heat and humidity again for Sunday and more possible rain Sunday night.  I really hate to see this nice weather leave us.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I feel like myself again..............

The weather has changed, cooler, less humid.  I feel so energetic when it is like this.
I sewed the tesselating blocks together into a top, sewed several strip sets for a twisted rail quilt for the QOV project.  Then I sewed some more of my little bits (2.5" squares) to store in the box with the rest until I decide what the project is.

The whole week is supposed to be like this; good sleeping weather with the windows open, no A/C.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yes I did! Sew, that is................

I finished sewing these blocks together.  I had cut them out over a month ago.  I showed this as one of the ways to use the rectangle squares at my scrap class.  It is a tessellating design.  The dark shapes are 4 pieces of the same fabric, and the light ones are 4 different fabrics and are formed when 4 blocks come together.  I didn't get this sewn together as a top yet.  It will finish at 32.5" x 48.5".

I chose the fabric for the setting triangles and got this top sewn together.  It measures 36.5" x 43.5".  Both of these quilts are made from the same block, with the zig zag being scrappy instead of a controlled group of fabrics.

This is what the setting triangle fabric looks like as it is rolled off the bolt.

In the garden the tiger lily buds are just starting to turn orange.  They will be blooming earlier this year than they did last year.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I would like to say I sewed............

Yesterday was recovery day from standing on the cement for 3 days getting ready for and then working at the garage sale.

I purchased a chair with motorized lift for Dad at the suggestion of the home health nurse.  We are pretty sure Dad has a cracked rib from his fall and it has been hard for him to get up out of his rocker-recliner.  I had to be available for the delivery and moving furniture around in the morning.  Then I had to run to the hardware store for a longer phone cord so I was able to check back to see how he was doing with the chair. 

I hope you enjoy more shots of the Red Admiral butterfly.  Thanks to Eva I knew what to type into search and I learned a little more about this butterfly species.

One more hot day and then our weather should break for cooler drier air.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The garage is mine again

The garage sale ended at 3 yesterday; we loaded her car with the leftovers for Goodwill and I put all of the tables away.  My van is in the garage!!!

The milkweed is starting to bloom so I got some close-up pictures.  There were honey bees on it too. 

I don't remember it having this kind of a bloom last year.  There was a butterfly on the butterfly weed too.  There weren't very many butterflies last year so I'm hoping I'll see lots of them this year.

I took this picture from my kitchen window last night.  I don't know what kind of butterfly that is.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Or is it bone weary?  After 2 days on cement floors, I'm starting to fade a little.  The garage sale went well yesterday.  One more day and it will be all done.  After taking a meal to Dad last night I came home and finished cutting the rest of the pieces from the sewn strips.  I think I will have a baby size quilt by the time I add the setting triangles and a border.

It was a little less humid yesterday (and a beautiful day) but it was still HOT.  When they report that a cool front is coming through, I expect it to be cool.  Is that so much to ask?  We are in for a really hot and humid weekend, and more maybe severe storms.  My house is a pit so I will turn on the A/C and clean it up tomorrow.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Preparation day

I had to do some shopping for my dad in the morning and then spent the afternoon with the final clean up of the garage and setting up the tables.  My neighbors who have moved started bringing all of their things from the storage unit for their garage sale in my garage.  It was very hot and sticky yesterday and then severe storms came through around 5:30 p.m.  There were lots of tree limbs down and wind damage.  Some of the farmers' cornstalks were flattened.  We finished working on the set up of the sale by 9:30.  It had cooled off considerably after the storm and today is supposed to be a beautiful day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Scrap quilt class

One of the ideas I presented at the class yesterday was the 2 bricks sewn together and then placed on the design wall.  Here they are with a straight setting.

I like them on point even better.  The zig zags can run vertical or horizontal.  I have a lot more strip sets sewn to cut into squares so I can make different color bands.  I had a bunch of 3" strips left from some other project and none of them were full width strips.  Most were 12" or shorter.  If anybody in the area is interested, we are doing another class on the fourth Tuesday in July.  If we get more than 6 people I'll set up a Saturday class too.  I forgot to get my camera out and take pictures.  I promise to try to remember at the next class.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rounding up my class supplies.......

We had rain in the morning yesterday and then it turned into a hot and very humid day.  I spent most of the day rounding up all of my supplies to teach my scrap quilt class today.  It is supposed to be 92 degrees and humid.  I hope the a/c at the store can keep us cool.  My old neighbors' garage sale (in my garage) is going to be Thurs. and Fri. this week.  I wonder how many people read the ad titled 'moving sale' with my address and wondered where I was moving to, LOL.

Today Dad's bath aide will come and help him with his shower.  He doesn't want to fall any more so he would rather be seen naked by an aide than to get hurt.  To answer a comment yesterday, my dad has a shower chair.  He fell because he reached down to pick up something and his balance is not what it used to be.  Actually he has done really well for 96 years and only in the last 6 months has become quite unsteady.  I'm glad he is willing to accept help now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stroll through the garden with me...........

The balloon flowers have changed location.  I had read that they don't like to be transplanted, but they sure like to plant themselves all over the place; self seeding I guess.

There are a bunch of them right at the edge of the sidewalk, in front of the coral bells.  The red penstemon planted itself there too.  It is a huge plant and I will transplant it to the back yard.  I usually only get a year or 2 out of them after I move them.

My flower beds are jungles this year.  I don't need to mulch because everything is jam packed in next to something else.  This flower bed is 6 years old and really needs to be thinned.  The tiger lilies are tall but haven't bloomed yet.  There a couple little maple trees in there too.

A friend gave me a butterfly weed plant a couple years ago.  It is really tall and ready to bloom.

I don't know where the milkweed plant came from.  It just appeared last year.  I was expecting pods but this is what it has on it.  My neighbor has one in her front garden too and she didn't plant hers either.

The porch pots love all of the rain we have had.  I found a couple hostas in pots next to the house.  I planted them last year and never found anyone to give them to.
It has been a tough week with Dad.  He had his blood test and Dr. appt. as usual and then he needed to see his regular dr. for some sores that weren't healing.  The good news is the sores aren't deep and he now has a home health nurse coming in to help him.  We did the preliminary set up yesterday morning.  Then Dad fell in the shower in the afternoon.  He seemed more confused last night than he has been.  We just take it one day at a time.  He is a happy good natured guy which makes it easier for me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

24 blocks

I didn't get any new blocks made but I did mix the 9 new ones in with the other 15.  A few people without email links have asked about the size.  The blocks will finish at 8" so I will be working on this one for awhile.  If you missed the beginning of this quilt, here is the post where I showed the rulers I am using.  I can get 3 blocks out of 1 set of 2.5" strips and half of a set of 4.5" strips.
I think the next blocks need to be purple.  The lavender that I used looks like gray in this picture but in real life it is pretty. 

It was a beautiful day yesterday, just like they predicted with lower humidity.  Now we have storms back in the forecast for the next few days.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

finally catching up

93 triange squares as they came off the machine in one long string.

Pressed and ready to sew blocks.

9 quilt blocks finished.  I was too tired to put them up on the design wall last night.
I got outside around noon and planted some flowers in the area my friend pulled the weeds out of.  I knew it was supposed to rain in the afternoon and figured it would be a good time to get them in the ground.  I also got 10 minutes of weeding in just before the rain.  We had several waves of storms with strong wind but not a huge amount of rain.  Today is supposed to be hot but less humid. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

No sewing again

I decided I should pull weeds after I got home from my haircut instead of sewing.  The humidity level is supposed to increase dramatically today and even higher temperatures so I knew I wouldn't want to be out working hard today.  I did search for the next 2 fabrics I will use so now I can cut the 2 sets at the same time.  I went to computer club last night and the program was about Windows 7 so I learned a couple new things I can do on my laptop.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Errand day again

The closest I got to fabric was to choose the 2 pieces for the next 3 blocks.  It was errand day.  I started out by getting the oil changed in my car, then a long list of places to stop.  I met my new neighbor and her young and fit brother finished mowing my grass for me.  Late in the afternoon a friend came over to get some hostas from me and to thank me, she pulled weeds in the back shade garden for about 40 minutes.  Now that was a trade I liked.  I pulled some too until the mosquitoes started in on me.  When I got from Dad's last night I pulled some more weeds in the front garden.  I am a fair weather gardener and so far we have had heat and rain alternating every day that I was free to be outside. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

15 blocks

I had too many blocks for the little design wall in my studio so I took the blocks to the basement and put them on a big design wall.

I wonder if I can keep this up, making 3 blocks every day.  This butterfly print is an old one, the batik is fairly new.

I didn't get very much mowing done because the grass was too wet in the shade of the trees and then it rained late in the afternoon.  It sounds like no rain today but it is going to get hotter. 

My new neighbor will be moving in soon.  The closing was this morning.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two out of three

I got 2 out of the 3 blocks pieced yesterday.  I wasn't sure which light fabric I was going to use until I spotted this one in the pastels box.

I helped my youngest granddaughter make curtains for her closet out of twin size sheets (zebra pattern) yesterday morning.  In the afternoon my neighbors who are moving put things in my garage for their garage sale which will be in my garage and driveway on June 24 & 25.  They have to be out of their house by Wednesday when they close on the property.  I mowed part of my yard with my non-motorized mower.  It has been hard to find a dry spell to mow and there is more rain in the forecast.

Monday, June 14, 2010

1200 posts

I just noticed last night that Sunday was the 1200th post in almost 3 years (July 4 blogiversary).  Another milestone.

I got up with a migraine yesterday so after going to church and making an appearance at a party I crashed and slept.  Then it was on to Dad's at night with a meal that we picked up at a local restauant.

I didn't get any sewing done but I took pictures of the 2 Nancy Crow fabrics I have used already and some other favorite prints that I found.  It is pretty exciting that several of you mentioned you have these fabrics too.  That means you  have been quilting/collecting for awhile too.

This is a large print I have had for close to 20 years.  It is a favorite but too large of a print for the current project.  I may have to do a strippy quilt with some of the strips quite large to show off the prints.

I bought this print in the late 1970's and I have it in blue and green also.  It's another of those 'too precious to use' fabrics.

The next block will have this print in it.  It is a pima cotton from Robert Kaufman fabrics in the early/mid 1990's.  Because it is a pima cotton it is silky and the print is very vivid.
I hope you enjoyed the trip through some of my older stash.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Finally some blocks

But first let me tell you who my 400,000th visitor was.  I don't       know his/her name but here are the details: Prescott, AZ, comes to me on a link from Mel's fibermania, provider and uses Windows XP.  If you want to identify yourself I'll send you a little gift.

Now on to my sewing.  I got 8 more blocks made yesterday.  I can get 3 blocks from one 2.5" strip and half of a 4.5" strip.

This is the same Nancy Crow leaf print as the first block, just a different colorway.  It is my all time favorite piece of fabric.

This block has the most stark contrast.  I tend to like busier blocks but I want a good mix of busy ones and high contrast ones in this quilt.

I had plans to go outside and take pictures of the hydrangea bushes while the flowers are still white, but we had rain off and on all day and I didn't want to get my feet wet so I took the picture through the window.  The flowers turn lime green for the rest of the season.

This bush is by my dining room window.  It is a start off the big bush in front of the house and it took about 4 years for it to really take off.  I have to go outside to see the other bush so I'm happy to have one I can enjoy from inside the house.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

400,000th visitor today

I have to do some sewing today.  I was sidetracked too much this week.  It was a hot sticky day yesterday for the garage sale and I was totally wiped out after I closed the door.  I got rid of a ton of stuff but didn't get rich.  I had about 60 record albums from the 1950's-1970's.  I had them marked 25 cents each (and this is their second garage sale).  No one even looked at them and one guy came in and said he would give me $10 for all of them.  I was so glad to get them out of my garage.  I have kept a few of my favorites but I won't miss the rest.

Today my 400,000th visitor will read my blog.  I don't know if I will be able to tell where they are from because sitemeter has 'unknown' for about half of the visitors.  I can tell what their IP address is and what browser and version they use, and whether they have a PC or Mac but may not know where they are from.  I am only telling you this because even if I wanted to send them a little gift, I can't usually identify them. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Clean the garage, mark the items

I decided to go ahead with my garage sale even though my next door neighbors that are moving won't be home in time to participate.  The neighbors across the street have advertised their sale as a 13 family sale and it is huge.  I don't have much to sell but I hope to have some things leave my garage.

The picture is the pot that sits on the twig table on my porch.  I like the pink leaf plant.  It is called Irisene.  I had a small leaf variety of it several years ago.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Press seams open? to one side?

Wow, that opened up a lot of discussion about pressing seams open vs. pressing to one side.  I came from a clothing construction background so I always pressed seams open.  I started quilting in the late 1950's there weren't very many books about quilting.  I learned from the McCalls Needlework and Craft magazines and trial and error.  I think the pressing to one side came from the hand quilters.  They did it so the batting wouldn't escape out of the seams, which it might do if they were pressing the seams open.  Batting has changed a lot since then and machine stitching is more even and tighter.  Therefore I feel we are justified to do what works best and not consider either method a "rule".  As you can see above, I pressed seams to one side so they would butt up against the other seam when sewing the 4 triangles together.  I also did that for the seams when sewing the quarters together.  The drawback to the seams pressed open is that you don't have the ditch to quilt in.  I like ditch quilting to emphasize the geometric shapes in a lot of quilts, especially wall hangings. 

Stitch length for piecing patchwork is 2.0 (about 13 stitches per inch) .  The machine has a default starting length of 2.5 so I have to change it after I turn the machine on.  This stitch is big enough to get a seam ripper under.  But now, let's talk seam rippers.  I always tell my class that they need a grown up seam ripper, not a jr. high one.  Below, jr. high one on top, grown up on the bottom.  See the difference in the point size?  I was first introduced to the smaller one when I bought a sewing machine in 1978 and a fine point ripper came with the machine.
The white one is a Clover brand and I like the fatter handle.  They weren't kidding when they said we would lose our grip when we got older.  It is hard for me to grasp really small things. AND yes, I do need a seam ripper!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

first block, yay!!!

It's about time I got the first block made!!  I'm trying to match all of my intersections really well on this quilt.  I pressed the seams open on the triangle blocks and on the last seam across the block.  That should make it less lumpy for quilting.
We had a rainy cool day yesterday.  I pulled some weeds last night and they came out easily, roots and all.  Now I just need to do a little more weeding each day while the ground is wet.  I'm losing my gardening neighbor (moving), but the lady who bought the house wanted all of the plants left in place.  It is a beautiful view from my bedroom window.