Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting in the mood...........

I usually have a hard time convincing myself that it is time to get the Christmas decorations out.  I decided that this year I need to do a little bit every day until it is all out.  I found these embroidered squares when I was looking for something else.  I got my first embroidery machine in 1994 and I did a lot of samples on denim cut from old blue jeans.  Here is a picture of the quilt I made from those squares.  Every year I embroidered a few winter/Christmas designs on denim.
I think this will be my first Christmas project for this year.  I will look through my flannel fabric for red plaids and stripes and green ones too.  The squares are 8" so I'll have to figure out if I need to embroider a couple more.  I used to to extensive hand embroidery and no longer do because of arthritic thumb joints and carpal tunnel problems.  I have always loved embroidery so I get my 'fix' watching the machine work now.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Another row...........

After I finally finished cleaning up the basement yesterday I made 2 more sets of blocks for this quilt.  I found the squares already grouped and ready to cut when I was cleaning off table tops.  If I add one more row it is more the shape of a twin bed and then if I add a border it will be a twin quilt.  That settles the question of border or not.

Today the art quilters are coming.  A few years ago we had to cancel several of our dates because of snow and ice.  This year we have lucked out.  We won't meet again until the new year.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baking, cleaning the basement.......

The art quilters' group is coming Monday so I baked the 2 batches of cookies last night; their favorites, chocolate chip and peanut butter.  I also made a batch of fudge because I wanted some.  I might share it with them.............

I finished sewing the rows of the batik Winding Ways and got one cross row sewn.  There is so much matching to do that it is slow going.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The day after...........

Was anyone else dragging the day after Thanksgiving?  I sure was.  I managed to get a Trip Around the World quilt cut for a friend and sewed a couple more rows of my batik Winding Ways while I had some pep.  I spent more time looking at quilt books than anything else.

You all convinced me yesterday to give the skeleton scraps I showed to my friend.  She will be here on Monday, art quilters' day at my house.  I will go on to the large scraps and yardage.  Thanks for the help!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Skeletons, no not in my closet..........

I hate to admit it but I was way too tired after my company left to do anything.  I went into my studio and looked at the stuff piled on my sewing cabinet.  One of the things was this pile of skeletons.

This skeleton is what is left of the hand dyed squares that I gave to my friend to cut on her Accuquilt Studio cutter.  I can cut the larger chunks at the centers of the sides and use them in crazy piecing.  They are between 3/4" and 7/8" wide.  Or I could just forget about it and give this bag to my friend who likes scraps. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! and pictures today!

Here is the latest batch of blocks that I made Tuesday night.
Blogger is cooperating today and letting me put my pictures in.

First I took all of the blocks I have made and put them in one big layout.  I'm not sure it looks so great.

Next I pulled all of the blocks that are made of the same 2 fabrics plus a couple others.  The circles realy show up in this.

The last layout was all of the darker blocks, the most intense of colors and lower contrast between the 2 fabrics in each block.  I was surprised the circles showed so much with the low contrast in the blocks.

I have at least 16 more blocks to sew, so I have awhile before I have to decide how to finish them.

I will have 8 or 9 at my dining table this afternoon to give thanks for all good things.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of my USA friends.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Errand day, more hand dyed blocks...........

I had a lot of errands to run and knew it would be easier to do them yesterday than waiting until today.  We went from 60 degrees Monday to 28 degrees yesterday.  Now the weatherman says that might be a typical pattern for our winter.
I can't upload the photos I wanted to show you because Blogger has blocked them and gives me a message to only upload ones I know I have permission to use.  I think I have permission to post the ones I just took 15 minutes ago, but Blogger doesn't think so.  I went into my Picassa Web Album and it let me upload one from there, the squirrel.  Hopefully I can post photos tomorrow.  I got 8 more Winding Ways hand dyed blocks made and grouped them 3 different ways.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Change of pace........

It was one of those days; I can't honestly tell you anything I did yesterday except a short trip to the post office and grocery store.  We got a lot of rain early in the morning and again in the late afternoon but  the severe weather was west of us.  Last night I decided to just do some relaxing strip piecing while I watched "Lie to Me" on Fox network.  Today I need to get serious about the last clean up for Thursday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

One top together..........

My goal yesterday was to get this top sewn together and sew the staystitching line around the outside perimeter.  It finished at 64" x 80".  I have to decide now whether it needs a border.  The one in the book has one.

This is the book the directions are in and there are a few other fun quilts in it that I may have to make.  I have 3 of Karla's books and this is my favorite.

My son came over yesterday and cleaned all of the leaves out of my gutters and put on 2 storm windows.  He carried all of my porch pots around to the side of the garage where they will sit all winter.  I cleaned out some of the dead flower stalks and have a little more to finish today if it doesn't rain.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday sewing..............

While cleaning off the kitchen table I found 5 more sets of 4 fabrics ready to cut for the quilt I showed yesterday.  I guess it is going to be a row wider and a row longer (64" x 80").

I also sewed 4 more Winding Ways blocks while I watched "Til debt do us part" on CNBC.  I like watching the lady get tough with people who are over spending.  That show makes you want to draw up a budget and stick to it.

We're supposed to get 2 days in the mid 60's today and Monday.  Maybe that means everything will get done outside before winter.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lots of sewing.........

The sun was shining yesterday morning so I got my dusting done in the living/dining room.  I only like to do it when it is bright in there.  Then I went down to the basement and removed the batik Winding Ways from the design wall.  I started sewing the rows together.  Nobody told me that making the blocks was the only fun part of this.  I took out the seam between the first 2 blocks twice and finally got the points to match.  It got a little easier as I worked on it and I have 3 rows sewn together so far.  I did take out a few more places where the points weren't meeting to my satisfaction.
Then I sewed 16 more of the hand dyed blocks and put them up on a design wall to see how they look.  There is a lot more variety yet to sew.  I don't know if they will all go in the same quilt or be 2 smaller ones.

The centers on some of the blocks are off by about a 16th of an inch and I haven't decided whether to take them out and try again or just leave them.  I'll have plenty of time to think about it because I have a lot more sewing to do on other projects.

Several times this week I sewed a few blocks for this quilt so I put them up on the double wall that I had taken the Winding Ways off of.  Right now it would sew up at 56" x 72" so I may be done with it.  I don't think it would look too bad with a narrow border and then a wider one if I decide it needs to be larger.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Didn't make it to the sewing machine......

This is as close as I got to sewing.  I pulled the next 2 stacks of hand dyed fabrics out to see if I had paired them very well before my friend cut them.  I think I may need to do some shuffling.

I went to embroidery club in the afternoon and computer club at night so it was a learning day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mostly cleaning, a little fun..........

I was a good girl and spent the major portion of the day cleaning house.  Then last night I wanted to watch a movie so I pulled out the box of hand dyed Winding Ways blocks that my friend cut for me on her Studio cutter.  There is a lot more variety in the box.  This was just the top 4 layers.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

this is where my heart is........

I didn't get much cleaning done, mostly picking up (cleaning off table tops), running errands and parking the vacuum cleaner in the living room, and the day was gone.  Time to play!  Here is where my heart is, putting groups of fabrics together.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another totally finished..........

I finally finished hand stitching the binding and then I washed this wallhanging.  I didn't do a very good job of basting and it got a little puckery in a couple places so I decided to pucker the whole thing.  It is hanging in my main level studio, an 11' x 15' room off the kitchen (behind the garage) in a ranch style house.  We put up that ugly paneling around 1984-5.  It is fake wood and was very popular at the time.  The only good thing about it is that I never need to paint that room.  This would be a family room if an ordinary family lived here.  We used it as a third bedroom when the kids still lived here.

Here is a view that shows the puckered look better.

Today I am going to start cleaning the house for Thanksgiving.  I'll do a little each day so it doesn't get boring.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thank you to all of my readers............

Thank you so much for all of the happy birthday wishes and other kind comments.  I appreciate the time you take to comment on my blog.  I had a wonderful day with family and got to see where my college age granddaughter lives.
Last night I took the last Winding Ways blocks that I created down to the design wall and mixed them into the other blocks.  I think this is the final layout but I'll look at it a few more times before I make the final decision.

I had more of the blocks cut for this quilt (scroll down to second quilt) so I sewed them too while I watched CSI Miami.  As soon as Winding Ways comes off the big wall this quilt will be put up there.

Today I have another birthday lunch with my friend who is 10 days older than me.  Then I think I'm done birthday lunching.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The photo says it all................

Yes it is that time of the year again.  I have decided that my age is "ageless" in case anyone asks.  I am going to lunch with my son's family and because it is Sunday, the regular routine of taking supper to my Dad is on the schedule.  He doesn't deal well with a break in his routine.  He gets confused easily.

I finished the last batch of blocks for the Winding Ways quilt.  I didn't put them up on the design wall yet.  The one on the bottom right is the lowest contrast in values of all of the blocks.  I wanted some with high constrast and some with low contrast.  That way there will be a lot of movement to the design in addition to the circles.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Almost...........just 8 more blocks

This is the latest batch of blocks that I made last night.

I have mixed them into the group but I'll have to do a little more shuffling when I get the last 8 done because they can't all go in the bottom corner.  The circles will be more prominent when the blocks are sewn together. 

There are 72 that will go in this quilt and then I'll take all of the identical pieces and mix them up and make another 72 scrappy blocks for another quilt.  I wonder how well the circles show if the quilt is laying flat (as in bed quilt) or if it needs to be a wallhanging where you always look across at it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Social day............

Yesterday started out with errands for my dad, then lunch with the sisters-in-law for a birthday celebration.  I ran another errand and barely got a nap in when my cousin called to see if I wanted to go out to eat with him and his wife.  I knew they were coming through town and stopping to see my dad in the middle of the afternoon but didn't know I would get to spend several hours with them too.  I noticed my burning bushes had finally turned red and in fact were losing their leaves so I got a picture of the berries.  The full shot photo wasn't very good so I need to get another shot of them today.
I spotted this plant on my way back to the front door.  I think it is one of the invasive perennials that I try to dig out each year.  Now I'm thinking maybe I should leave it in the flower bed for its fall colors.

I managed to get in a couple hours of sewing last night while I watched CSI and the Mentalist.  I got 16 more blocks done for the wavy seam quilt.  I could hear it raining while I was sewing.  We have had so little rain since the end of Sept. that I was glad to hear it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

No stitching.........

I didn't get to do any stitching so I'll show you some of the new Hoffman batiks that I purchased from Batiks Plus, the internet store with 40" yards.  Only one store near me (20 miles) carries the Hoffman batiks and they were already out of a lot of them.  I really like some of these new colors.  If you click on the photo and enlarge it you will be able to read the style number and color.  If you sign up for their newsletter you will get a gift and also emails with specials now and then.

I spent 3 hours yesterday trimming bushes and cutting down goldenrod and aster plants and volunteer raspberry plants that migrate from my neighbors' yard.  Also I picked up all of the branches that fell with our bad wind storm a couple weeks ago.  There won't be a brush pick up until April so I had to stack it in the back garden for the winter.  It will give the birds a place to perch while they watch the squirrels eating their food, LOL!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday......Winding Ways day

I spent a portion of the day yesterday with friends, fellow mid-arm and long-arm quilters for show and tell and lunch.  On the way home I needed a battery for my watch which I had been without for 2 days.  It's amazing how many times I looked at my empty wrist.  Last night I made 12 more Winding Ways blocks.  I just have 16 to go for the first batch of 72.

It was over 70 degrees yesterday and is supposed to be warm today too.  I really need to get my bushes trimmed today.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lots of pillowcases, no photo...........

At the end of the sewing session at church we had 34 pillowcases totally finished and 6 almost done.  That includes the ones I showed at the end of October.  Our goal is 50 to be delivered before Christmas.  I have a lot of poly/cotton solid color fabric that we are going to use for them too.  I know I'll never used it for anything else.  We used to make ruffles and backs for patchwork pillows out of it back in the 1980's.  I need to get it all washed and cut for the second Mon. in December.
I didn't feel like sewing when I got home so I did more cleaning of the cutting table.  Now you can imagine what a mess there was when it takes me parts of 2 days to clean it all off.  I found the 3 crazy pieced blocks in the photo above.
I also found this little group of Kaffe scraps, all 3" tall but different widths.  I thought about trimming them all to 1.25" wide and making a Chinese Coin little quilt, but maybe I'll leave them all different sizes and border them all with a solid color (or more than one) and then trim to blocks all one size.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sidetracked..................focus, focus...........

I spent some time trying to clean off the cutting table in my studio.  The scrap piles, little leftovers from recent cutting days, are calling me to play.  I resisted and finished the binding on the small zig zag batik wallhanging instead.

Today is our church sewing group again and we will finish another bunch of pillowcases.  I'll spend the morning cutting a few more fabrics and then leave shortly after lunch for church.  Maybe tonight I can sew some more of the wonky seamed blocks for the new quilt I started.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Winter is coming............

There were a few green redbud leaves and one small maple tree that still had leaves yesterday morning.  By afternoon however most of the leaves had fallen.

The leaves on this tree just went straight from yellow to brown instead of turning oranges and reds like the tree next to it.  When I went out to fill the bird feeders and fill the water bowls in the afternoon I found ice still in the bowls.  The sun wasn't hot enough to melt it.  That surprised me.  I guess I was in denial that winter is really on the way even though it was only 20 degrees when I got up.

I cut more fabric for the yellow quilt border and the for the wonky one I showed yesterday.  Then I just played with my stash.....no guilt for time wasted.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Winding Ways and new quilt.........

I probably won't sew any more of these blocks until Tuesday again since I have made them more than one day this week already.  They are on the double wall now so I can continue when I sew the new ones.

I started these blocks while my students sewed in the finishing class on Thursday.  There are 4 blocks with the same fabrics in them.  If you zero in on one fabric you will see it twice in the smaller size and twice in the larger size so there are 2 distinctly different blocks within one group of fabrics.  This takes a lot of concentration when putting them up on the wall but I find that to be fun where some people would find it frustrating.  I showed the pattern for this one here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

More Winding Ways, Finishing class......

I finished the 2 half blocks and made a bunch more. 

The last 6 that I made last night.  I now have 44 blocks made so I will be switching them over to a double design wall now.

At the finishing class Student C finished her quilt that she worked on last month.  I had cut the kits for this quilt when I was still working.  The batik line had a brochure that came with it with the directions and I had made the store sample.  I realized I don't have a photo of the one I made so I need to take my camera back down there some day and take one.

Student S finished the one she was working on last time too.  She had purchased a kit somewhere when she first got into quilting and this isn't her color and fabric preference any more.  It is going to be either a baby quilt or a table cover. 

I worked on a new quilt but I haven't pressed the blocks yet so maybe tomorrow I'll have a photo.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Great mail!

I'm sure my mailman   was amused and possibly surprised that this came 'naked' in my mail.  The rest of the mail they deliver is so......generic, LOL!

Here is where it was mailed.  Isn't it amazing that it arrived in perfect condition from so far away?  Check out this post on Kristin's blog to see why she sent it to me.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have one of Kristin's wonderful creations.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More Winding Ways.......

Tuesday night is my designated time for making Winding Ways blocks, mainly because there are 3 TV shows in a row that I watch.  Last night however was all reruns and election news.  I was tired too so I only got 4 blocks completed and 2 more half blocks made.

Today I have to take my Dad to the clinic for his monthly blood test.  Home health care ended the first Mon. in Oct. and they had been doing the blood draw right there in his apartment.  He is not very steady on his feet even with his walker but he doesn't want me to use the wheelchair for him.  His birthday is this month and he will be 97.  For his age he is doing pretty well, still living in independent living where his meals are provided.