Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Sunday Morning.....

Deb, Jim and Jess were here this weekend. They came home to attend a wedding of one of their friends. Now the weekend is over and they started on their way back home bright and early this morning. We had a great visit as usual and it was wonderful to have them here. Even if it was short and sweet.

While they were gone Friday afternoon visiting with other friends and family I decided to make a pattern for a grocery bag I had seen here.
Both Deb and I want to start using our own bags to carry home our purchases. You know.... gotta get on the Green bandwagen. This was very easy and very well written .... but I do think I'm going to change the size just a bit.
We both would rather the handles are a little longer and the bag a couple inches larger.
So my plan is to get some of that *what was I thinking* fabric out of my stash and sew up some of these.
Deb, however, wants hers to be pretty. heehee I'll take her to buy her fabric when we go down in a couple of weeks.

So now...... As we all move along this bright sun-shiney day.....
Have a little Happy......

She just tickles my heart and puts a smile on my face.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What I'm reading...

My Amazon order came the other day and I've been spending my time just dreaming.
I've always loved the Storm at Sea block and this book is full of great ideas. I'll be starting one of these very soon.
Just as soon as I narrow down the colors I want to use for sure.

I'm thinking I may use black/white and make my DH his quilt.
Or I may do his black/white in one of the braid patterns.
Oh decisions .... decisions.

I do know it will be a mighty long time before I tackle a spiral quilt. OMGosh! There are some fantastic quilts in that book...but my! They do look very complicated.

And the Elm Creek Quilts project will be really good to take in the camper whenever we go. I wouldn't have to take a huge amount of fabric (FQ's will work well) and yet each block would be just enough to do in a short amount of time. Which is ideal for the camper.

I have been playing with some of my flower pics and have this one to share.
When I want to really get in there and do lots of editing I will open Photoshop. But when I just want to quickly edit my pics I use Picasa. Like this columbine picture that I quickly edited by using a focal black/white.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jim's quilt finished....

Here is the final picture of Jim's quilt - finished.
He is a die hard KC Chiefs fan so he will LOVE this *blanket*. heehee
(He has been whining since Christmas about "when was he going to get a blanket?")

Now I know that many many quilters put backings on quilts that are pieced. I've seen some really nice pieced backs.
However...I've never done that before but ....
I decided to try doing a pieced back and put it on Jim's quilt.

Here is the "back" of his quilt......

Look familiar?
Yes. It's the one I showed you a few weeks ago when the borders were on.

Even tho Jim loves the Chiefs.... the colors just don't *fit* with the color scheme of the TV room where this quilt will be used.

Soooo ..... when it's being used the red & yellow Chiefs side will be out so Jim can enjoy it.
But when it's folded and laid nicely on the chair.... the *back* will be showing.
Fitting in very nicely with the room.
Everyone is pleased!

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.
We spent a quiet day out on the patio and walking through the back yard pulling a few out-of-place plants.
Watched the birds and enjoyed the patio.
Happy thoughts!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hey Jess....are these the white ones you asked about?
This is my snowball bush.
They were in full bloom a week ago.
I did get some nice pics of them and a few other flowers.
I hope you enjoy these.

I'm still plugging away, sewing on my homespun blocks. Yesterday I needed a break from them so I got out the guild pizza box and did the block for Anita.
This is going to be a beautiful quilt when she gets it all finished.
The block name is Contrary Wife. Anita had all of the cutting done for each block so all we have to do is sew it together.

I hope you all have a wonderful -- patriotic -- flag flying -- tummy filling -- family filled -- full of giggles and love weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Late spring pics....

I love this time of year.
The weather is warm enough to be able to sit comfortably on the patio without a jacket.
Yet cool enough that I'm not sweating from heat.
And the best part.... my Scarlet Oriental Poppies are in bloom.
I grabbed my camera this morning and got some pics of some of my favorites.
I've played with them a bit and made this collage in Picasa and I wanted to share the beauty.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Block organizing....

After seeing my design wall ..... Crispy asked if I pinned so I would know which seam to sew.
I started to email her back and then decided.... maybe others would be interested in how I keep my blocks straight when I take them off the design wall (my doors).
First.....I always put a safety pin in the very top right block of the quilt and it stays there until the quilt top is finished.
That always tells me which way is up. heehee

I sew one row at a time and as I remove the blocks from the design wall I start with the right side of each row.... and start stacking the blocks on top of each other until I get all the blocks in that row added to the pile.
I'll put a flower pin in the top left corner of each block (keeping them in order in the pile).
Then I can square each block if needed without worrying about getting the block twisted around. As I sew the blocks together (I chain sew the row) I will remove the pin from the right (not the left) block(s)..... always leaving the pin in the far left block.
When the whole row is sewn I wind up with just the one pin in the far left block and I leave it in until I have one row sewn to the next.
Remember I can tell which end is up by the safety pin. (smile)

And that my friends is the way I sew.

Now wasn't that enjoyable? hahaha

Here's something that might tickle you...... busy little bee isn't he?

Monday, May 18, 2009

What I've been working on.....

My homespun quilt.
I now have all the blocks together and I probably will square them up just a tad....
but in the meantime.... I started sticking them to my flannel doors just to see the layout I wanted to use.

I've settled on this one. It's a little bit complicated to lay out so I hope I can keep things straight as I sew them together. I sure don't want to be froggin' again.

I set the design up in EQ and the plan is to have 11 blocks x 13 rows. I'll probably sew about 4 rows together then put up the next four rows on the door so I can keep the rows straight.

Jim's quilt is off the frame and I'm in the process of hand sewing the binding now. I only sew on it while I watch tv at night. I'll get a pic when it's done.

Here's a little bit of sunshine for your day.....

Friday, May 15, 2009

My kitchen window.....

Yesterday I was at my kitchen sink and as I looked out the window I saw a beautiful Oriole on the feeder table. They are rather skittery birds and don't stick around for long. I ran for the camera to try to get pics.
Not very successful but here he is sitting on top of the pole. This is the only pic that turned out to even resemble the bird. Sorry it's of his backside. And taking pictures through a window screen doesn't make for the best outcome.

And then later in the day I captured these Brown Thrashers as they were bossing all the other birds on the table. The blur you can see just left of the pole is one of them chasing off a smaller bird. Greedy little things aren't they?
And far left is a morning dove just coming in to land.

I could sit and watch the birds for hours. Especially during the migrations. I have a bird book that I mark different species that have stopped at our feeders and when they have been here.
And I'm especially happy when I know a pair is nesting in our yard.

I wonder if these Thrashers are going to nest close. I hope so. They love underbrush and boy we certainly have that.

Yesterday I did get a few (about 1/2) of the homespun blocks sewn together. I still haven't finished quilting Jim's quilt (sidetracked again) but I do plan to get it done today and that binding sewn on. However I did NOT write that in stone and I am always able to change my plans at the drop of a hat. heehee

I've also been designing Trent's quilt. Well at least I've been bookmarking sites that I can use for the applique'. I know what I'm going to do now .... it's just getting the patterns all sized and finding just the right fabrics. This one may take awhile. But I've got plenty of time.

You all have a GREAT day today.....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Busy day.....

We sure crammed a lot into yesterday. We both had Doctor appointments yesterday morning and Don had a few tests that needed to be run. Our Doc got him scheduled in right away so we didn't have to drive back another time. We live 50 miles from our Dr so this was very nice. He gave him sample meds to start him off (that's always a big help)

Went for breakfast after all the tests.... then on to Kearney for some major shopping. I had a two page list that just needed to be bought. Found everything on my list so that was good. Usually I have one or two items that I can't find. Used a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby for a new 18x24 cutting mat. I plan to have Don glue it to a board that has a handle cut out of it so I can just grab it and go to guild sewing days.

All shopping done and we were headed back home by 3:00pm.
I repackaged about half of the meat I bought and the rest I'll do today. Now our freezer is stocked again and that's a good feeling. It had been so long since I'd done a major meat purchase so it become much harder to make decisions for meals.

I threw a pizza in the oven and then headed for quilt guild meeting. I knew I wasn't going to stay long so I didn't pack and take my machine. The girls were going to work on a paper-piecing project that one of the girls had put together as a mini class. We have several girls that are new quilters so this hopefully will help them.
I left early after the business meeting and was more than ready to call it a day. My back was screaming at me.

Today I'll go work on the books then get back to my quilting. I still have to get Jim's quilt off the frame. (I got a bit sidetracked the other day) And I'm ready to get back to sewing more of the homespun blocks.

Have a great day all......
It's cloudy and windy here......

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Well I finished re-sewing the goofed up patches. It actually didn't take as long as I thought it would. And I've started adding the longer strips.
After a few blocks.....I set them aside to take a break.... and decided I wanted to do some more quilting on Jim's quilt. Almost done. I should have it off the frame today. Tomorrow I'll get the label made and binding sewn on then I will have hand sewing left.

Today we're going to Laura's graduation this afternoon. Then to their home for a reception with family and friends. That will be fun.

BTW.... remember when we went to Deb's to help them move in? Well in the process of unpacking things I found the first *quilt* I ever made.
I made this for Scott. (years ago)
He was just a young boy and already had a passion for sports.
His favorite team was (as you can see) The Warriors.
So I made him a bed quilt. Somehow I copied their logo and cut the fabrics out and put this thing together.
OMGosh!!!!! I had NO idea what I was doing at that time.

I did know enough that if I would cut out material I could attach the words etc to the base fabric and sew an edge around it.
So I tried. hahahaha criminy!!
I did NOT however, know that I was supposed to actually quilt the thing. Or.... that I should have made the stitching either closer (satin stitch) or farther apart (zig-zag) So I just put it under my needle and did the best I could, with what I had at the time I must have thought I'd done a pretty good job or I would never given it to him. Of course.... what would he know anyway?
This thing is sooooo bad!! hahahaha

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My way.....

Sooooo as I've already posted..... I've been busy cutting and sewing strips together............. like this.
Sounds super easy. How hard can that be right?

Mindless sewing right? (two strips sewn together and add a square) No problem.
I could do that! Easy!!

So I did!

141 patches later..... when I started adding the longer strips to that very same patch that I'd just finished
................... something wasn't right!
I flipped the square patch around ........................ still not right!
Nothing I would do made it right!
No matter which way I flipped it..... just wasn't right!!
DUH!!! I had sewn the tw0-strip patch on the square the wrong way!
See the patch on the left........

It's wrong!!
The right one is right!

Well.... I did seriously think about just leaving them and calling the quilt 'My Way'.

But then I knew I would hate it forever if I didn't fix them. So I started froggin' those dang patches and resewing them the right way. 141!!!

Guess what I'll be doing today......

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Homespun Fabrics.....

Wow! I've been missing here for awhile.
I really have no good reason for why it's been so long since I've posted. I think I'll use Dee's excuse. The aliens abducted me too!
Or.... I could say that I just melted away since we got rain this week. We had a whole 1" and a day of drizzle so that must be what happened to me. (or not)
Could be that I just didn't have a thing to say. Yeah! That's it. Pretty boring around here for a week.

What have I accomplished since I last posted? Well.... I did get Jim's quilt on the frame and I've gotten it almost 2/3 done. I only do a couple of passes at a time because my back starts to scream at me. And I'm in no big hurry since this quilt will be a Christmas gift. So I have plenty of time. Which of course I need since I'm the slowest!!
Anyway..... I decided I needed to get something new started so I could sew a bit .... then quilt a bit.... and then sew a bit..... etc.

When I was cleaning out my old bookmarks several days ago I found this site: Victoria Quilters. She has stash busting patterns BOM and last month it was a simple one using plaids. I quickly printed it off and decided I'd use this patterns and bust that pile of homespun fabrics (FQ's) that have been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now.

A year and a half ago I made this top using the homespun. It was an applique' quilt and I used a machine blanket stitch. This was a pattern from Apple Blossom Quilts.
As usual.... I don't have it quilted yet.
And here's a closeup of one of the blocks to show the true colors. The whole quilt pic has the colors washed out.
These are much better.

So anyway..... I got the pile of homespun out and started cutting them up. I have no idea how big this quilt will turn out to be.
Here's a pic of the cut pieces. I'm going to just sew the blocks together until I run out of strips and then use the larger pieces for a scrappy borders. I'm thinking I'll back it with flannel so it should be nice and comfy.

This will be how I'll be passing my day today.

Oh.... and BTW..... The Sun I Shining!!!!
Have a great one!!