Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New purchase



I went to the store yesterday and took my time to really look. I have been really hard on my cutting mats. I soak them and they just get such grooves in the surface. I change my blades often. I found this Fiskars 12 X 20 inch cutting mat. 

This is the back side to the mat. Yes two lined cutting surfaces. Maybe this will turn out to be a good purchase. My mother couldn't figure out how I went through mats like I did, but she didn't do as much cutting as I do.  

This is the label on the mat. It says Two-Sided Cutting. Yes I cut on the back side of several of the mats I have had, but I use the lines to square up my pieces for cutting. 

I went into the sewing room and took two mats out to the garbage. My husband has an old one to use for his cutting with and Exacto knife. Sometimes he make stencils and patterns to save. 

I am not associated with the Fiskar Co. Just wanted to pass on a hopefully good buy. They did have other sizes and when I need them I will replace with this brand if it works out well. I threw my receipt away but I think it was under $16 for this size. 

I don't care if I have a blue one or a gray or green mat just so they work.. Chris 

Changed Gears

My shoulders and neck have been bothering me of late. So I decided to walk away from the sewing machine for a couple of days. I needed something to do. Yes you say there is always cleaning. Well pushing a vacuum cleaner wasn't letting the shoulder rest.So I got this back out. I think I put it away about Christmas time and just haven't been back to it since then. I started this one yesterday. It isn't complete yet. 

This is about a year and a half worth of sporadic work on this. They are 1/2 inch on a side Hexagons all hand worked. To give you a reference this is my dining room table. So it is progressing in size. 

Auditioning another round for this star shape. I knew I cut extra 1.5 inch strips for a reason. That is the size strips I need to make these hexies out of.

Today I need to try and vacuum. Do a room at a time and see how far I get. I use to clean three houses in a day and my own takes a week to clean now. What is wrong with that? Like 25 years older I guess......

Hope you have a good day. Chris

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rut Row

Well I thought I was smart. Now I know I am no smarter than Scooby Do!
See the top left block. Well I thought this was right. I finally read the instructions and found out it was suppose to be a 9-patch instead of 4-patch. So I had to add to the blocks to make them. Also I need a light and dark configuration. So 110 of each type of block. I have quite a few already corrected. At least no ripping out had to happen.

I had the right size of squares to sew together, but the total size of the block was wrong.

It has rained 2 1/10th inches in the last 24 hours. I think we might get a little more before it is overwith.

The grass is getting green already. The sun come out and we will be mowing real fast.

Have a good weekend. Need to cut some more. Chris

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Small parts and pieces

4-patches for sure. I have been cutting and stitching most of the day yesterday. The pressing has been almost an hours worth of handling small blocks. These are 2.5 inches 

These are a little larger. They are 3.5 inches. They go in the outside border. I have 58 of 360 of these sewn together. Long ways to go. 

These are 1.5 inch strip sets ready to be pressed and sub cut for the 2.5 inch blocks. I cut full width of the white and add small pieces of the colors I am using in the string blocks. Then I cut them into smaller sections and sub cut to the 1.5 inches. 

This is how they look when sewn onto the centers for this block. Now this block has a 1.5 inch black sashing sewn around the block to match the size of the string blocks that are pieced already.

Here is a picture of this quilt. It a Bonnie Hunter quilt. This is the "Fair and Square" in the book "Scraps and Shirttails II" She uses mens shirt pieces and scraps to make this quilt and most of them in this book. 

Intense stitching to get this scrap quilt made. It is 81.5 X 96 inches when finished. The combination of scraps will be individual because you use your scraps and your color choices are your own. That is the fun of scrap quilting. 

Raining here and suppose to rain the whole weekend. My husband mowed yesterday to clean up the leaves from the neighbors Pin Oak tree that doesn't loose it's leaves in the Fall. Other neighbors don't clean up their yard so all their debris blows around during the Fall and winter so it looks bad in the Spring. 

Today I need to run to the grocery and then back to sew. Also a few minutes today to vacuum the living room. Some each day makes it easier to keep up with. Chris 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Walked outside that was a mistake

I walked outside to see what was coming up and my allergies are really telling me they don't like me. I hate that feeling, but I hate staying inside all the time. Guess I will take some meds to clear that up. I came back in the house to do something to keep busy and I sorted some  more smaller pieces out. Smaller meaning fat quarters or smaller for cutting. I need 2 inch squares and 2.5 inch squares for this quilt. I started cutting and decided I needed a break.

Here is the second pile that needs cutting. I am sure there are many more. 

This is the third pile. If I keep a pile or two ahead I can get variety that way. Some of the fabric in this pile is some I got at a thrift shop. So I will use up the smaller stuff and maybe stack the bigger ones for the next cutting.  

. I am making the 1.5 inch squares into 2 patches by cutting strip sets. they are left over hunks off of the string blocks I make. I have a bunch pressed and subcut into 2 patches. Need to go in and make some more 4-patches. 
I need 30 of these blocks. I have all 30 of the centers cut and and I think four finished. I will be working on those over the next couple stitching sessions.

I also have to cut my white strips 1.5 inches so I have them ready when I start to sew. I hate to have to stop to cut more when I am sewing.

Beautiful outside if you don't have allergies. Chris

Being a cut up today

Got my 2 inch strips put and started cutting. The tub is a little larger than a gallon size. Plenty more to cut to finish this scrappy quilt. 

While I was at it I took the 2.5 inch strips and started whittling on them. I have a future project for them. Start while I have the pieces in hand and get more cutting done. 

I got my 18 string blocks cut and assembled for this scrappy quilt. I also have the corner pieces because of it being set on point.

Suppose to be nice today. I got the kitchen floor swept and mopped already so let the rest of the day be what it will be. Chris

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Way to busy to sew

Four year old multi tasking while holding her sister. Kids! 

She was a little fussy and wanted to eat all the time so I upped her amount of milk and she slept really good that way. She has a check up today and I am sure she is almost 15 lbs now. 

Here is a better picture of Autumn holding Charlotte. She does pretty good with her, but as she gets bigger it will be to much for her to handle her. Autumn wants to change diapers and giver her a bottle so I think she will be a good mother when she gets older. 

So as you can see during the day I was busy with these two. Then after dinner came and I got the 2 1/2 year old. She spent the night. At three am she slipped off the bed so had to get up and help her back into bed. So I have been up since 3 am. 

The Internet went out last night and I was to tired to check on it. It was the modem needed to be rebooted. so at 4 am I got that fixed. I am sure it is about time to get a replacement modem. They do wear out. The you have to wait for it to be mailed to you. 

Well while it is peaceful I will catch up on my blog reading. Chris 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I can't count

This is suppose to be 60-8 1/2 inch string blocks. Well I must have been half asleep when I cut the papers for them. It is 66 blocks. Well I have some to start the next project. 

This is the alternate block. If you look at the picture behind the block you see it is sashed with a solid black strip. I only have the first one made. I need 30 of these blocks. So a lot more cutting and piecing small 4-patches to make. I have been making the 4-patches all along with the left overs of the strings when I sewed them on the blocks. 

The string blocks are cut in half. The 4 triangles are sewn together for the bigger block. 

They are bright and cheery. I really think this will be a fun quilt when it is done. 

I made up my mind today I would get the string blocks all completed. Now the  fun begins cutting them and stitching the four pieces to make the 30 blocks. 

Tomorrow is another day to get more done. I have had trouble with my upper back. Not sure if the chair isn't at the right height or I am just getting old. My shoulders and back are screaming when I get up. It doesn't matter if it is 15 minutes or 2 hours. I think the chair must not be at the right spot to keep my shoulders from pressing against my ears.

I ordered a couple new rulers. They have been on the market for awhile, but I will share them with you when they get here. I looked for them on Amazon and they were a good price. 

I walked outside today to see what is coming up. The Hydrangea has buds on it. The tree Peony has leaves opening on it and the Maple trees are really opening. I planted bulbs last fall and I am in hopes they come up. I can't see anything as of yet. 

I really want to be out in the yard, but it is a little cool yet. Getting closer to time. 

Hope you had a nice weekend. Chris

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Haven't taken a stitch today as of yet

I woke up this morning and I just couldn't get motivated. I went to the store, but came home and took a nap.

There is always tomorrow.

Maybe I will get into the sewing room to do some cutting this evening. I still need to get caught up with my plan of cutting about and hour every other day.

4-patches need to be sewn from 2 inch squares. So that means 2 inch squares need to be cut.

Hope eveyone had a good Saturday. Chris

Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patty's day, but I am Scottish

Most of my Mother's family on both sides were first generation from Scotland. My Father's family came from Sweden and Denmark so definitely European. When I was a kid we were told to wear orange to school on St. Patricks day, because we were Scottish. No one understood that line of thinking. I know the two countries have had feuds for centuries. Yesterday I got up and moved things around so I had a better cutting area. This poor little table was maxed out with to much weight and piles of paperwork, magazines, and stacks of fabric waiting to be cut up. 

I cut for about an hour yesterday and eliminated a lot of that pile of fabric. Then for about 2 hours I did some sewing of more string pieces. The small pieces left over from a string that I couldn't use for another total length I pieced on a white strip to be cut into 1.5 inch 2-patches for the small 4-patches for another element in this quilt top. I have two strip sets now to slice up. 

This morning I got up and sewed for about an hour and 20 minutes. I need to trim the string blocks to a uniform size. 

I would like to get some more of them done. I think I have about 40 of them pieced now. That is 40 out of 60-8.5 inch square string blocks. That uses up a lot of strips. 

When I was cutting of the pile of fabric I finished off some fabric that had been around for at least 15 years. It was transported here from Arizona where my Mother had lived. Might as well use it up.  It has been stored well and is still clean no color distortion at all. Many fabrics that old have a color fading on the folds,  but this is all good. 

Gloomy today suppose to get rain. We have had a little already. I think it will be showers here and there. Things are starting to green up and I think it will be an early mowing year. But I also think it will be a dry year this Summer. 

Stay warm and dry today Spring is coming they say. HAHA!. Chris

Boy I hit spell check and I cannot spell today...........

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Progress

This is the pattern I am using for this next project. It is called "Fair and Square" by Bonnie Hunter. I think I am only about a quarter of the way through all the piecing. 

This is a closer look to the pattern. It is string blocks and 4-patches in two sizes. 

Here are 15 string blocks I made yesterday and this morning. I have been up since before 3 am. So 2 hours of sewing this morning has happened. 

I did quite a bit of cutting yesterday and need to go back into the tubs and get some more colors cut. Yellow and pink are the two I need. Maybe some greens also. 

Today is errand day. I have to go to the Walmart and stock up on paper products, cleaning supplies and staples like cereal and flour and butter. 

I think it is suppose to be somewhat sunny, but really cold. I think it is like 6 F today. The windchill makes it below zero. 
Stay warm and I will still move forward with the sewing. Chris

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Did some more sorting

Found another container with 1.5 inch strips already cut. I added it to my bigger pile and got back into making string blocks. 

I know I needed some more variety so I dug into the tubs that my Mother's fabric is in and found fat quarters and smaller pieces to be cut. That will happen today. I was to tired last night to do that. Figured I would cut my hand off.  

This quilt pattern has lots of different elements to it. The string blocks and small 4-patches in two sizes. This is the 1.5 squares sewn into 2.5 inch blocks unfinished. There is another set of blocks that are sewn with 2 inch squares for a border.

This is a Bonnie Hunter pattern. So many pieces for this quilt.  

I have some garment fabric I have been storing for a long time. I thought why not use it up. So I bought some similar looking patterns in the sizes I needed and will start on these maybe over the weekend. They are loose fitting so the length is the big factor. The girls like sun dresses. I thought I would make some pillowcase dresses for them also. 

Mom is busy with farm animals and the house and three little girls so washable and wrinkle free clothing is a must. Ironing like we use to do is not ever heard of anymore.

We got about 4 inches in two separate snow falls yesterday. I really would like this to be the last  storm, but Mother Nature has her own mind on when she is done. I know other parts of the country are being dumped on. Stay safe. Chris 

Monday, March 13, 2017

No excuses I am just not organized at all.

If you look in my kitchen cabinets where dishes and glasses are they are organized and always have been. But the rest of the kitchen is search for things. Part of the problem is my husband helps and he puts things away in different spots and up high that I can't reach them.

.I am sitting here watching TV and looking out at the snow that is falling. It is starting to melt. We could have gotten 6-8 inches and so far it is only about 2 inches. Maybe this is the last storm of the Winter season.

I think I sewed for about 6 hours yesterday and today I haven't even been in there. I think I have been overdoing it. So my best friend today is Aspercreme and heating pad. Not together though.

I really would like a pain free day, but at my age it isn't going to happen. Living with pain is not fun.

Hopefully I can sew for another 20 years and not gt worse than what I am already. Hope your day is good Chris

What a mess

Ok Hettie here are pictures of this 8 X 11 ft. Room I use for a sewing room. I didn't take a picture of the closet.  

This is the opposite wall from the desk. I have so many things going on which is my fault, but I do try and place things back together for future finishes. My Mother's fabric is also included in this mess. So I did not purchase all of this. 

I just keep cutting and sewing. Someday I will get to finishing some of this stuff. Chris

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Strings everywhere

Stumbling around in the sewing room I ran across this container. I really forgot I had it stored. I then was surprised it was the size strips I needed. Can't leave it unstitched. So I started in and making string blocks. 

This idea I have has strings and pieced blocks in it.  I started with 8.5 inch telephone papers to use as my foundation. Yes I can do it without the paper, but I prefer it that way. Here are 10 all sewn and trimmed. They will be cut diagonally in half when I get ready to stitch them into the blocks. 

The pattern I am using for my design, the quilter used a lot of red and blue. I decided to use multi-colored strings. Blue is not a color I have a lot of so I am using what I have on hand and what is cut into the right size strips. The quilter used anything from 3/4-2 inch strips to make her blocks. I have plenty of these sizes already in storage.

The rest of the block is pieced. I am going to work on this one a little at a time. I am sure I will have to do some cutting to complete the top.

Oh I forgot to tell you I need 60 of the 8.5 string blocks. So this will not happen over night. I plan on powering through many of them, but I do have to work on other things so I don't get bored.

Today I do have to go to the store for a few things like milk and some fresh vegetables. I bought some asparagus the other day which it tasted good, but not as much flavor as I had hoped.

Storm on the way so turn on the lights and going to go sew some more. Chris

Friday, March 10, 2017

I just wish

I did some sewing on the star blocks this morning early. I did 4 loads of laundry collected trash. I emptied three baskets just in the sewing room. I cooked supper. I loaded the dishwasher and ran it then reloaded it and scrubbed the top of the stove. I want to sew more, but I ache so badly.

The weather is suppose to change again and the body is telling me to slow down. I wanted something to do without cutting strips.

I was looking for a container of 1.5 inch strips and I found it. So string blocks got started. I have a pattern that takes 60 8.5 inch blocks. I got 4 done while killing time to cook supper. I want to go back in and sew, but not sure my back will take it.

Oh the other thing I did was get a 1000 pc. puzzle out for my husband to do. I helped turn pieces and do some sorting. I do the borders and he does the fill in work. He has it 2/3rds done already.

I read a blog tonight that I was shocked in what the person said. It was the owner of the blog. This person was correcting grammer of a comment sent  by someone to her blog. I read blogs everyday and I write posts and sometimes I know I don't spell correctly. I try and double check.

This blog owner lost followers because of her outspoken rant about it. I hate to say it but this is the same blog owner that told me I was judgemental. I try and overlook this kind of crap. We are all human and we don't know what is going on in the other person's life.

As this year is unfolding there is a lot of stress and tension in the World and here at home. I try and loose myself in the blogging World and then hear all this stressful posting it upsets me. If I quit reading blogs then I don't stay connected with the quilt blogging scene.

Well sitting with my best friend the heating pad on my back. Chris




Neutrals or Low Volume

I guess I am old school. Neutrals to me were white, off white, or white on white. Now they are low volume. As you can see from the picture I buy more of the color saturated fabric and shirts I recycle. I need to change my purchasing ideas and look for more neutrals. 

In the corner are a lot of off whites, muslin and white on whites. I use them, but they can get boring. Everything on these shelves needs to come down and be used up. Some I have had for a number of years and there not getting used unless they are cut into usable sizes. 

I acquired a quilting book yesterday. I ordered it and it uses a good mix of neutrals and color saturated pieces in each of the quilts. I need to figure out where to purchase more neutrals. I know there is a quilt shop about 60 miles from here that has a whole section devoted to neutrals and men's shirting/Civil War reproduction style. 

I could spend a $100 there real quick. So I will be in search of neutrals for a priority in my thrifting and fabric buying binges. 

We got a dusting of snow. I slept pretty good for me last night. So I need to get in there and start slicing and dicing fabric again. I maybe will just start cutting today and cut for about 2 hours then stop and do something else for awhile. 

Are you a neutral rich person in your stash? I sure am not. I need to get on this right away. Chris

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Slow down Chris

Yes I make mistakes. I will be the first to admit I am not perfect by any means. I flipped this one in ironing and I just cut off the triangle on the back. Pressed it and thought ok lets sew. Well I didn't flip it the right way. 

So after the screw up I slowed down. I only got 4 completed and two in the works. I am cutting and also marking my triangles in the process. I have no deadline so I guess slowing down isn't a crime.

We are to get snow over the weekend. Don't want to go back to that weather, but I can change it. Chris

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Little more

To begin with this is 2.5 inch squares sewn into 9-patches. You can do this as a leader and ender project. Or power stitching can happen. 

The tan is a strip cut 2.5 inches X 6.5 inches and 4- 2.5 inch squares. I use 2.5 inch printed squares to make the triangles or points for the stars. You need 8- 2.5 inch squares for the points. Sew diagonally and trim the back off. I stitched the bonus triangles for small HST's to use in a border on something else. They are about 10.5 inch when sewn together.

You can use 2 inch squares or 3 inch squares for your 9-patch, but then use the same width for the strips and squares for the corners. The  sky is the limit. After all the blocks are finished you can sew 4 into a larger square and sash with a darker color. Or sash each piece. I am not sure what I will do.

Scraps can be your best friend. I pulled out all the shirting fabrics and homespun and I found so much on my shelf that needed cutting. I could spend weeks cutting. I think I will try and cut at least a couple hours each week to get somethings finished up. I sewed about 5 hours Monday. I need to do that every day. I did 5 loads of laundry and cut up shirts, fixed meals and I still have many more hours to go before this is a manageable system.

I buy yards of solids and also small prints that look solid at a distance. I want the colors of the 9-patches to stand out. I am not a white-white person. Off white, tan, ecru, colors up to this color, it is brown paper bag color.

I still have three shirts to cut up for this round. In a couple weeks I will go and look for more. No rummage sales yet. The weather is to up and down.

I hope this gives some of you some ideas to use up your scraps. Chris

Little sewing

These are the 80 9-patches I made up a year ago when I needed to be sewing, but no plan was made. Well today it is made. 

I cut side pieces of 2.5 inches and made flying geese out of them. I cut off the backside of the triangles and stitched them for something else.

Here is how that process looks. 

I added the two strips on opposite sides of the block. 

The last set of strips I added a square on each end to make a star pattern. So I will go in and cut strips and make up more of these blocks. 

I got yself upset today so I had to find something to distract me. Families and their issues. Never dull. Chris