Saturday, September 30, 2017

September recap...........

There were no complete finishes in September.  Because of the restrictions on my left arm after pacemaker surgery there wasn't a chance I would do any machine quilting.  

I made this little baby quilt top in September with a box full of 3" flannel tumbler shapes.
I'm not sure if this tablerunner top is finished or whether it will get a border but it is the only other thing I assembled in the month.

I did finish sewing all of the Australian fabric Hunter Star blocks and now that I can move that arm more I will be going to the design wall with the blocks.  

There are still restrictions on the left arm for cyclic motions like vacuuming and window washing for the next 60 days.  Machine quilting whether on the longarm or regular machine would need a lot of action with the left arm so maybe a small project or 2 may get finished next month but nothing large that would take hours of action.  I am so happy I pushed to get a lot of finishing done in the first 7 months of the year.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pressing and trimming.......

I had the iron on so I decided I would press the flannel tumbler baby quilt top.  Then I trimmed the sides and now it is ready to be quilted.  I will be looking for a backing fabric.  This ended up 38.5" x 57" so it will take just one width of fabric for the back.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

More fun sewing.......

There were 2 more new shows on TV last night so I sewed more blocks like I showed yesterday.  When I run out of one fabric I just substitute one that is similar.  The cross bars are the same in both blocks, the verticals are different.
I end up with three of the square blocks and one rectangular block with the number of strips I am using.

This is the variety so far.  I don't know what I am making so I'll keep making more of them and then eventually get to a design wall and play.

The bees and butterflies are still flocking to the aster blooms.

This shot shows the two different colors of blooms and how full the plants are now.  I have never had luck wintering over chrysanthemums so Asters are the next best plant to have lots of blooms in the fall.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Playing, cleaning.......

I started cleaning the area of the basement under the dining room and hallway.  When they put in the new carpeting all kinds of grit filtered down through the floor boards.  Luckily there is a drywall ceiling in the area under the 15' x 30' living room.  The carpet was laid 6 days after my pacemaker surgery so I didn't even think about the dirt sifting down.  I have all of the table tops and the floor clean in that area now.  While I was down there I pulled out the batik orphan block box and looked through it.  The new rust orphan blocks are going to be quite a contrast with the rest of the blocks.  Here is the first orphan block quilt I made.
Last night the new season shows were on TV so I needed 3 hours of sewing to do.  There is a new book coming out in about 3 weeks from C&T publishing by Maria Shell.  Check it out here.  Look at the 3rd image from the book.  I have always loved Maria's quilts and now I can try some of her blocks.  I used the strips that I sorted back on day 6 of my recuperation.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A few more orphan blocks

I still had the remainder of pieces left from another quilt laying on my sewing cabinet so I decided to make as many more blocks as I could.  I will throw the last few pieces into my scrap bag.
Here are all 8 blocks together.  As soon as I get them pressed they will go into the box with all of the rest of the batik orphan blocks.

We have had several days of 90s now with Chicago breaking the old records with many of them.  One more hot day and then the cool off comes.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Restful lazy Sunday......

My son-in-law was here from NC for his mother's 90th birthday and he stopped by for a nice visit.   I finished the purple dishcloth and started a red one for my kitchen.  I rarely use the solid color yarn so this one is different for me.

I was looking through "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts from Italy" and I find the quilt that was my favorite when the book came out is still my favorite.  I know how hard it is to keep a quilt from bowing out at the center of the sides when adding border after border.  I think I do want to make one like this anyway.  I have about 3/4 of the fabrics used in this quilt but I might not make an exact copy. 

I'm at day 25 after pacemaker surgery.  For the first 30 days I was instructed to not raise my left arm above shoulder level.  This is time for the leads that were inserted into the heart to be held securely in place by scar tissue that grows around the ends.  Since I frequently switch hands (without thinking) when placing blocks on my design walls I didn't dare take a chance of accidentally raising that arm too high.  I will be happy to get back to the design wall in another week.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Playing with more leftovers.....

I had some leftover cut pieces from a quilt that I made before I had my Studio die cutter.  I decided to sew up a few orphan blocks for my collection.  I probably have enough batik blocks to do another orphan block quilt now.

There are still more triangles to sew together and some squares too so there might be a few more blocks.  This is just fun relaxing sewing. 

I also sewed the last 2 rows for the Australian fabric table runner.  It is 10.25" x 23.75" right now.  It could probably use a border all around.  There are 60 different Australian fabrics in the 2" pinwheels plus the yellow alternate square fabric for 61.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Last seams next........

I just have center seams left to sew on the last 16 blocks of the Australian fabric Hunter Star quilt.  Then I can start playing around with the pairs that will make the full star blocks.  There will be 2 blocks alike of each combination.
Last night I knitted while I watched 2 episodes of "Anne with an e" on Netflix.  It is based on Anne of Green Gables which I just read for the first time about 3 years ago.  They have the perfect girl playing the part of Anne.  

I give the multi-skein dishcloths to my youngest granddaughter.  I knitted about a third of the multi-skein one and half of the new one on the needles.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fun sewing........

I found enough flannel scrap pieces to cut the last 4 tumbler shapes.  I sewed the last 4 rows onto the quilt top yesterday morning.  I will press it later.  Since I can't do any machine quilting right now there is no hurry.
Last night I was looking for something and came across a bag of scraps from this quilt that I basted right before my pacemaker surgery.  I paired the scraps and sewed these little wonky blocks.  I'm not sure what they will turn into.  They are small, about 4" x 6".  They haven't been pressed yet.

I decided I need a mug rug for my living room in lavender shades.  I took two 1.5" strips and sewed and cut and sewed and cut until I had this little 7 rows by 8 rows checkerboard.  Fun sewing!

I'm always surprised by the color of the asters each year.  I thought they were a darker shade last year.  Maybe our lack of rain has affected them.  The bees are loving them.  They look pink here but they are a pinky-purple.
The volunteer plants along the driveway are in full bloom now.  I cut down quite a few of the plants early in the summer but there are still a lot of them blooming there.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Needing 4 more pieces..........

I needed to get this flannel baby quilt sewn so I can use the table top.  I need to cut 4 more tumbler pieces before I can sew the last 4 rows on.  I usually have a little pile of flannel scraps that I put near the big boxes of flannel but last night I couldn't find any.  The box of flannel that I need is on the bottom of a stack of 3 boxes and I can't lift anything heavy right now so I'll keep looking for random scraps laying around.  I'm sure I'll find some.  

My granddaughter drove as we completed some errands yesterday morning and then in the afternoon I had a nice visit from the pastor of my church.  We are in our heat spell now, 90's in late September.  One weatherman says we will probably set a new record on the next 2 days.  It sounds like it will be next Tues. before we have relief.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The back garden...........

The back garden is really showing signs of fall.  The Rudbeckia which was so huge and full of flowers is dying back.  The birds will love all of the seed heads.  Now I can see the Cannas better.  I won't be digging up the bulbs this year so I'll find out if they can survive our winter.  I have 2 pots with them that I will bring inside and plant again next year.  I'm glad I worked on the back garden as much as I did because I won't be doing much to it now.
The leaves on the walnut trees are turning yellow and it looks they have already dropped the walnuts.  The Redbud trees have some yellow leaves too.  They usually lose almost all of their leaves in just a day or two but I don't think they are ready yet.  We got 3/4" of rain Monday night and it really is the most we have had for almost 3 weeks.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I'm working on them..........

I'm working on the last 4 combinations of the Hunter Star block little by little.  

It was a beautiful day yesterday and now we are going to have the hot humid weather that we usually have the last week of August and first week of September.  It has been nice to not need air conditioning for several weeks.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Restful Sunday

I had bookwork and computer work to do yesterday so no sewing.  I have been looking for things to sell and this little 9 1/2" square piece is one of them.  The finished squares in this colorwash are 1/2" (cut size 1") and there are 144 of them.  Yes it was a little tricky to sew, no gridded interfacing, just little squares to sew together.  It is just a top, needing someone's loving touch to finish it.  I'm hoping someone will want it for $25 which includes the postage.Sold!  Thanks everyone!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Cutting the last blocks............

The blocks for the last 4 stars in Hunter Star have been cut.  I thought I might start sewing them but read and knitted instead.

I also cut the little pieces for the last four 2" pinwheels out of the scraps.  They are sewn but not pressed. A couple of them don't have much contrast between the dark and light but I think they will be fine.  Maybe I'll get the last 2 rows sewn onto the table runner today.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Some sewing, some nature.........

I sewed a little bit yesterday.  I have 8 more pieces to add onto each row to finish the bottom half.

I spent a few hours reading finishing a murder mystery.  Now I need to look for another book to read.  There are plenty of them waiting to be re-shelved.

The asters are just starting to bloom.  They are so much darker than this though.  Sunlight washes out the color.

This little group is in the shade and they look bluer but are still lighter than looking at them with the naked eye.

I'm not sure if these are petunias or if they had a different name.  They were a really deep intense purple all summer and now have started fading.

My friends shared some compost with me and she mentioned they had tomato plants coming up in their flower pots.  Lo and behold I have one too.  It looks like the Roma variety.

A few days ago I got a card from my friend Julie.  She uses her scraps and makes her own note cards.  I don't have any of those fabrics; maybe I should save them for a crazy pieced block...or maybe I'll just save the card and enjoy them that way.  Thanks Julie!


Friday, September 15, 2017

top part sewn...........

I have knitted 3 more dishcloths and have a 4th one started.
I decided not to web all 19 rows together on this baby quilt.  This is the top 10 rows sewn together.  Now I need to sew the other 9 rows and then sew the 2 sections together.  I need to cut 6 more little tumblers too to finish it.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Pre-cut pieces..........

I was looking for something fast and easy to sew last night and spied the box of 3" flannel tumblers that I cut from scraps last winter.  Luckily I had put the note in there of how many I had.  Also noted were the number of pieces across and the number of rows I could do.  It will be a baby quilt.

I was just ready to sit down when I noticed all of the junk caught in the wheels of my sewing chair.  Yuck!

All of this was caught in the 5 double wheels.  I couldn't get it all out but at least it looks better now.

Then I sat down and started sewing rows.  This will be some good sewing at night for a couple nights.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mostly cutting yesterday.........

I went through the Australian fabrics looking for 4 more pairs to make Hunter Star blocks.  I started the quilt with mostly red, black, and light neutral.  I added several purples and now I'm adding a couple blues.  I think the quilt will still read mostly red/rust/burgundy/black and light neutral.  The pieces shown are ready to run through the die cutter.
I got the strips for my friend's quilt cut to the right lengths.

Late in the afternoon my granddaughter and her 2 little ones came over to vacuum up all of the little fuzzies and a little later the 3 guys got here to move furniture back into the living room on the new carpeting.  There are still piles to go through on the 3 shelf units and on the fireplace mantel, little by little since I'm not supposed to lift anything heavy.

Choosing fabrics......

I didn't do any sewing yesterday but I did play with fabric.  I have been cutting quilt kits for a friend this summer and this is the next one.  Luckily all of these squares and strips were cut a long time ago and just needed to be co-ordinated to work together.  Now I need to cut the strips to the right lengths.  I cut this same kit for her last year and she enjoyed making it so much she wanted to do another.  Here is the block instructions.
I got a wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday, a fabric postcard made of hand dyed fabrics from my friend Vicki W.  

It was nestled between bills.  I wonder if my mailman read it.  I'm sure it is a novelty at my small town post office.

Monday, September 11, 2017

8 blocks 6 pinwheels...........

I sewed the last 8 blocks, 4 of each of the two shown, and 6 pinwheels.  Looking back at my previous post of the other blocks it looks like I need to find 4 more fabric combinations.  I'll work on that today.

I used 5 of the 6 new pinwheels to add 2 rows to this little piece.  At 10" x 20" it is almost a table runner size.  With 4 new combinations plus the 1 pinwheel left over I will be able to add 2 more rows. 

I want to clarify the 6" distances that I mentioned yesterday.  They are 6" from the pacemaker, not from the rest of me.  If you hold a 6" ruler in front of the area below your collarbone on the left side of your body you can see I'm more than 12" from the sewing machine motor which where the interference with the pacemaker could occur.  Being too close could cause dizziness or heart palpitations.  Magnets are a danger too.
Anonymous, you want me to go back and label all of my 16 patch block posts.  I intend to do that someday but it will probably take about 4 hours to search for all of them.  If you want to find the 16 patch posts go to the search box at the top left corner of my blog and enter 16 patch.  It will bring up any post where I said "16 patch".  If I had known I was going to make so many of them I would have created the label with the first post.