Monday, October 31, 2011

A few more stitches......

I stuck with it for 3 hours and finished the hand stitching on the binding but still have to sew the bottom edge of the hanging sleeve.  Now I'm glad I only had one choice that worked for the binding because I'm really happy with it.
Gene asked if that was an oil painting next to the bookcase unit that I just moved.  Yes, this is my art gallery wall.  Back in the  1970s there was a really active art league in this town and I bought several paintings from the artists.  The art has hung in various rooms and now I just enjoy them all in one spot.  The one on the far left is a quilt pattern made of painted wood pieces, very popular in the 1980s. 

I moved my blue and turquoise stash onto the bookcase last night instead of boxes on the bottom shelf.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Time to finish something.....

When I finish quilting a piece with a polyester thread I like to let it relax a few days before I trim it and put on the binding.  This one ended up waiting a few weeks while I decided what to use for binding.  I have very little of any of the fabrics in the top left over and I couldn't find any other piece that looked right.  I finally decided to try the same fabric as the inner border which I had barely enough of.  I had to cut the strips in half and insert a small piece of another green that matches quite well to make the color sequence follow the inner border.  I like it.  I have one side hand finished so maybe I can finish the other 3 sides and the hanging sleeve today.
It is almost impossible to get a true color photo of the cacti.  They are near an east window and too much daylight washes out the colors and not enough makes a dark photo.  I'll try it with a flash next time.  If I move them to a better location for a photo I take a chance of the buds and flowers falling off.  The 2 tone flowers are quite pretty. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Where there's a will, there's a way........

The area in my basement where I have a ceiling (drywall) is the eating area when my group is here.  It is also the area the pool table and another cutting table are located.  It is about 15' x 30' and is the only part of the basement where dirt doesn't sift down through the floor boards onto everything.  I moved the first wire rack over there last week, one was already in that area, and there was just one more piece of wall space for another shelf unit.  This piece is from my quilt shop in the early 1980s.  I forgot how heavy it was until I started to move it 45' from another corner of the basement.
I remembered my little wheely thing so I tipped the shelf unit over on its side and put this under the center of it.  It didn't work.  The shelf unit just kept sliding off of it instead of pushing it.  I had to put one foot on the edge of it and push it along.  It only took a few minutes to get it over to the new location.
Then I started the load bearing exercise that is supposed to support our bone health.  I made 10 trips up and down the basement stairs carrying these fabrics down from the main floor studio.  Fabric is heavy!  I do most of my cutting in the basement since I have 3 tables with 6' cutting mats on them.  You can see by the clock I finished at 11 p.m.

We were pretty busy at the Quilter's Heart going out of business sale yesterday but there is still a lot of good stuff left at 40% off.  Batting is not included in the sale since Sandy will continue quilting for people in the same location.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Top finished, binding chosen......

I know this photo doesn't look much different than the last time but it is all sewn now.  I was happy that the end borders fit just fine without a problem.  I have the binding tucked under the right side edge.
I need 17.5" of this narrow stripe fabric for the binding and I have 18" so I will be cutting it very carefully.  I think I might put a Kaffe stripe on the back because it is so soft and would make the quilt feel very lightweight.                                

I'm working at the quilt shop again this morning so I won't sew until afternoon.  I'm also trying to rearrange my main floor studio to the winter configuration.  I don't want to sit by the window in the winter.  If we get the winter they are predicting I think I will be in the studio a lot.  I will not drive on snow and ice unless absolutely necessary.  When I was younger I drove anywhere anytime.  I'm older and wiser now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Errand day, more playing with fabric......

I want to make another zig zag quilt like the one in my header except this time I want to alternate rows of warm and cool for contrast.  I don't think I am going to add any orange or yellow, but if I get bored with this selection I probably will have to try it.  I will still pull at least another 10 of each temperature to add to the pile before I start cutting.
A third Christmas Cactus is in full bloom now.  The flowers are 2 tone, bright deep pink and white.  When I bought the plants they all had buds but some of them dried up and I never got to see what color they were.  They don't like to be moved once they get buds and a lot of the time they will just fall off and not bloom.  I noticed 2 more of my plants have buds too.
This is what an autumn shade garden looks like before a heavy frost.  all of the hostas start turning yellow.
This shot is looking through my 2 bare Redbud trees to the maple which is just starting to turn color.  Just beyond the maple on the left are 2 Junipers which planted themselves.  This view is from the dining area window in my kitchen.
I ran errands yesterday morning and then sewed the 16 patch ends onto the quilt top but I didn't press it yet so no photos until tomorrow.

I'm helping at Quilter's Heart this morning for her 40% off going out of business sale. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last warm day...

We have had some beautiful weather for a few days and it is ending now with a cold front.  We had a couple little showers and then a lot of rain last night.  This is my viburnum bush which is just outside my kitchen window.  Two branches of leaves have turned color and the rest are still green.
I helped a friend baste a quilt on my empty tables in the basement yesterday morning and then worked on some pillowcases for my church project.  The rest of the day I just petted fabric and dreamed of new quilts.  Today I will sew the 16 patch blocks into strips to add to the checkerboard quilt.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Final blocks..........

Last night I made 2 more 16 patch blocks, the last ones I think.
I think it looks more balanced now with some lighter blocks in the end panels.  I'll look at it again this morning and if I'm happy with it, I'll sew it.
Here are the 4 losers that didn't make the cut.  They aren't rejects by any means but they were too solid and dark with the rest of the blocks.  Now I have 20 more blocks I can sew since each strip set makes 2 blocks alike.  I won't use them on the back because the quilting wouldn't line up in them.  I think I am going to do diagonal lines both directions through the 2" squares.  Whether I do it through every square or every other square will be decided later.

The art quilters and I made an appointment to go to the quilt shop (Quilter's Heart) yesterday for the 40% off sale.  We did show and tell, shopping, lunch, and then got into projects.  Doesn't that sound like a perfect day?

Monday, October 24, 2011

One block, lots of cleaning up.....

I only made one block yesterday.  I baked 2 batches of cookies for the art quilters group that is coming today and continued cleaning the basement.  It takes a long time to put away everything.  Every table has to be cleaned off, every design wall delinted with a lint roller.  I also clean my machines that are down there as well as one that one of the quilters leaves at my house.  I always finish up around 10 p.m.  And this is after 2 other days of picking up and putting things away.  The trick of course is to put everything in a place where I can find it after they leave, yes, that is a trick.

For everyone near Sandwich, IL, the Quilter's Heart closing sale continues this week with 40% off.  She is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 to 4.  If you come in the morning I will be there.  By mid-afternoon I need my nap......

Sunday, October 23, 2011

16 patch audition.....

I put the last five 16 patches up on the wall and I like the lighter block on the left column. It may be just a little too light but I'm going to make a few more blocks with lighter fabric and then decide which ones to use.

I have to share my indoor blossoms.  The 4 plants with buds are opening a few days apart so I hope to have flowers for quite awhile.
This was the first one to have more than one bloom on it.  The white followed it.  I have another just ready to open that looks like it might be a deeper pink.  I'm not sure what color the 4th one is.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Continuation from earlier post today.............

This is my view this morning with all of the trees removed.  My neighbors moved in just a couple months after we moved here in 1972.  We raised all of our children and have adult grandchildren now.  The neighbors are very nature oriented but as we become elderly people, we worry about something on our property harming someone else, and that's why the trees needed to come down.  I still have my 5 redbuds, a maple and a juniper so in the spring it won't look this bare.  We will plant a couple new trees.

While the tree guys were here I asked how much to take down the redbud in front of my house.  It planted itself there about 21 years ago.  I was going to dig it out and next thing I knew it was too big to dig so I left it.  It is right between my water line and gas line leading up to the house so I felt it was a danger to both sets of pipes.
It took them less than 5 minutes to fell it and haul all of it around to the back and to their chipper.

My shady back yard.........

About a week ago my neighbor back to back with me, to the west, told me they were going to have all 7 of the tall walnut trees taken down.  Most of our storms come from the west and they were afraid of the trees landing on my house in a storm.  I have a ranch style house and the trees were very tall.  This is the view from my kitchen window looking to the south, through a redbud tree to 2 of the walnut trees.
This view is straight west showing 4 walnuts and a maple tree.
The tree guys came sometime before I got home from the quilt shop at 1.  They had already cut down the maple tree which I thought was on my property.  When I investigated though I found that it was right on the lot line.
This is what my back garden looked like most of the afternoon.
Two of the last three trees.   They left this part to do last on all three at the end of the day.  The sun was shining too bright to take a photo of the naked back yard when they left and I had to leave to visit Dad and didn't get back until dark.  I'll take a photo this morning and post it later.  My neighbor told me there is a big hole in my garden where one or more of the heavy sections dropped down.  I can empty all of my porch pots into the hole since I was getting ready to dump the dirt anyway.  I was thinking about making curtains for my large window in the kitchen and now I know I will have to do it.  I have had shade on the west for a lot of years and hadn't put up curtains the past 15 years.  My peonies might have more blooms now because they will have full sun for the first time in years.
I sewed the last five 16 patches last night but haven't put them up on the wall yet.  I have 2 of the oldest of Kaffe's fabrics in the top 2 blocks and one of his newest in the bottom left block.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Busy day

Here is another piece of fabric I found while I was moving lots of my stash.  It is from 1981 from the Yours Truly company in Atlanta, GA.

I worked at Quilter's Heart until 1:30, came home and took a nap and went to Computer Club at night.  I got some more strips sewn together but didn't get them made into 16 patches yet.  I'm also cleaning the basement for Monday when my art quilters group comes so I clean a little, sew a little.  It has turned really chilly and dreary the last couple days.  Sun is predicted for tomorrow.  I hope the clouds heard that!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

9 more blocks.........

I got 9 more blocks sewn while watching TV last night.  I only had to rip out one seam where I was sewing a piece from the wrong block onto another.  I'm never sure if my combinations will be what I need when I'm choosing them so the test is always to put them up on the wall and see.  I may have to make some lighter ones. I wanted the ends to be darker but maybe it is too dark.  I'll be able to tell better when all of the blocks are sewn.

I have a hair cut appointment this morning and then I'm going over to the local quilt shop to help at her going out of business sale, another shop closing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If you get to Charlotte, NC.....

If you live near Charlotte, NC or happen to be there on the first Friday of the month for the gallery crawl, you may want to visit the gallery that my daughter is in.  Here is a video of the opening after a lot of hard work getting the building ready......She is one of 5 that own the gallery and here is a video of the opening.....

2 blocks.......

I vacuumed, did a little sewing on the pillowcases and made 2 16 patch blocks.  I haven't pressed them yet so they are not laying flat.  I forgot that each pair of fabrics will make 2 blocks so I have enough chosen for 32 blocks instead of the 16 I need.  If I want them all different, then I will have 16 blocks left over, seeds for a new project.  I guess I'll decide that while I am sewing them, whether I want the same 8 on each end of the quilt or all different.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A social day with a little playtime......

A niece that I haven't seen for 14 years was visiting our little town yesterday.  We had lunch and visiting time at my sister-in-law's house.  Then my niece came by my house and I had her choose 2 quilts to take home.  It was wonderful seeing her again. 

Last night while watching Castle I chose the 16 pairs of fabric for the 16 patch blocks that will go on each end of this quilt.

Then I cut out 11 pillowcases since I will miss the next 2 sessions of my church sewing circle.  I will go ahead and sew these and cut some more to deliver on Sunday.  A friend donated the Kaffe print for our project and I paired it with some poly/cotton fabrics from the 1980s.  I also cut some more blue jean squares with my Studio die cutter.  I realized I need 4 denim/corduroy/homespun plaid quilts and I had only cut for 3.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Checkerboard progress......

I spent time trying to create some order in the basement.  I exchanged places for a 6' table and a 5' table that allows me easier access to some of my storage area.  I was itching to sew something though so I finally sewed the blocks together on this quilt.  I added the stripe and now I have to make sixteen 16 patch blocks for the 2 ends.
This is all I have left of the stripe fabric.  It is one of my favorites.  I searched for it on the Internet but only found it in purple, not red.  I don't really need any more of it.  I'm just sad to see it gone.
It will probably take me several weeks to give you a verdict on the ruler I showed yesterday.  So far I like it and can't see any negatives.  I save all of my dull blades (no reason, I just do) so I think I need to put one of them back in my cutter and see if it gets sharper using the ruler.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bargains, bugs, etc........

Wednesday I was at the quilt shop in Morris, IL for a meeting and picked up a couple bargains.  There is enough of the one on the left for a backing, and yes, that is a Kaffe dot, both on sale for $4 a yard.  I got all 2.75 yards of the dot.
A friend called yesterday and gave me the name of the sticky traps for spiders and crickets.  I hope it will trap centipedes too.  There are 4 in the package so one went under the steps coming down to the basement and the other 3 went under shelf units.  As large as my basement is, I think I'll go back and get one more package.
I invested in one of the new rulers with diamond dust on one edge.  It is supposed to sharpen your blade as you cut.  I got the big one, 6.5" x 24.5".  It has a gritty sound when you are cutting but not as bad as I had heard it described by some others.  I'm anxious to do some cutting now after several days of reorganizing.
The first buds on the Christmas cactus are almost ready to open.  This photo shows 2 plants and I think they may be 2 different shades of pink.  A third one that has buds looks like it might be white.  I have 4 out of 8 plants getting ready to bloom.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More stash.........

I did part of my job yesterday on this shelf unit which was already in the area with the ceiling.  On top is my heavy interfacing and Timtex or other brand of really stiff interfacing.  Also up there is my box of hand embroidery thread from when I used to do counted cross stitch.  That will probably get moved.  The 2 boxes on the bottom shelf will be moved and smaller boxes will be in their place.  Maybe it will be boxes of cut pieces.
I had 2 boxes of light fabrics.  One was mostly beige prints and white on whites.  The other had the pastel colors in it.  Even though there are a couple floral prints there, most of my florals are in 3 more huge boxes.
I know this looks like purple and blue but it is really red-purple and blue-purple.  The stack on the right of them is miscellaneous prints with black backgrounds.  I want to work with some brown/gold/rust with purple in a quilt so I thought having them on the same shelf unit might help me make decisions.  My basement is a total disaster area right now with all of the things I have moved.  I need to spend some quality time straightening it today.