Friday, April 30, 2010

Colors of Spring

The first Iris of the Spring.
Perennial Bachelor Buttons
Loaded with buds. A cool Blue color.

Blue Columbine

Not a normal color but a cool blue of Spring.

Hostas are doing great.

Flowering Dead Nettles. They are a fast growing ground cover for shady areas

This is the hospital bed in the process of being painted. It is a soft yellow and I think it will look well in the bedroom when it is completed.


No Frost Today

It is 5:18am and already 64*F. But we are in an area with possibilities of sever storms today. Almost May 1st. Hopefully we don't see a lot of sever weather this summer. Living in the Midwest you can experience it all in just a matter of a few hours. I have created a lot of extra work for myself as of late. I am switching rooms around. Need to utilize two rooms for different purposes and now the fun begins. Clean one out to change the furniture than fill the other one back up. I am getting to old to do this to many more times. The back doesn't like all this stress and pulling. Who said the "Golden Years" were so "Golden" ? I would like to have a long discussion with them. In fact I think that we should have a little bit of help with all the major help after 45years old. LOL That won't happen in my life time I am sure. I am way older than 45 years old and I get little or no help at all. Usually I can work around all the younger people and be done faster than they thought about it. We have been storing an antique hospital metal bed and we decided to get it out and give it a new life. It is getting painted and fitted with a new mattress and it will have a room to be placed in for guests. Now I have to figure out a new quilt for the bed. Also a dust ruffle. The bed is being painted a light yellow. So my choices are wide open. So light it is considered a neutral. Will have pictures tomorrow. My mind is mulling over all the patterns I can think of and the colors that would maybe work for a nice looking room. The big obstacle is the country blue carpet. It is in to good a shape to get rid of so I have to work around that elephant in the room. Maybe some throw rugs to cover it up. Off to get ready for a lot of lugging and tugging today to get mattresses and frames and furniture in the right places. Chris

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Frost this morning

No pictures today. I am so depressed over all this frost. We need some warmer weather. But I will not be saying that in the middle of July. I guess hurry up and wait. The Winter was hard on us and I want somethings to change and get nicer outside. Today is my shopping day. I go once a month and do major shopping. I buy most of my groceries at one time. I have so many food allergies that I can only get certain things anyway. I buy meat in bulk packages and divide up and I buy bulk in like rice, flour, sugar, and buy bread to freeze. I make individual hamburgers and freeze them in their own baggie. This way I can get out as many as I need to to fix. Never thought I would be this organized with the food thing. The sewing room is another story. I have been making a mess of it again and Taylor will be here in another week and she will be upset with me. Need to get in there and straighten up again. Shame on me. I need to go to the lumber yard and get somethings also. Plan on trying to till up the garden on Friday. Then I can get the rest of the stuff planted in the next few days. Oh yea I have to get Chicken wire to keep the pesky rabbits out of the garden. They love the new green bean leaves as they come up. The sun is out and I am going to get ready to go on my journey for the day. Don't know which direction to start with. I guess the bank and then on to the grocery store. Have a nice day. Chris

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reuse Reuse

My grandkids were here over last weekend and I cut off some pants for Taylor. She wanted capris. This is the leg of the pants made over into a purse for a 11 year old. One leg is the body of the purse and the other is sewn together for the flap. I added buttons layered on top of each other to make the flowers. Another leg of used jeans was used for the handle.

I lined it with some fabric with butterflies on it. It also has a pocket on the inside for all her small stuff. She wanted a purse at her dad's and so now she has one. I should make a small wallet for her too. On to the next project. Chris

Ok Questions today

When sewing small pieces together whether it be HST or 9 patches do you find that they stretch in the handling?? I read someplace, sorry can't give the quilter credit, that spray starching small pieces to make them firmer was a better option. I had some fat quartes that came out of the dryer very wrinkled and I sprayed them with starch to press them. In making the 9 patches for this dark quilt I used some of the fat quarters and they stayed more true to shape in the handling and when I did press the seams they were a more perfect shape than unstarched pieces. So my reading and doing this by chance was a good thing for me. Have any of you tried this or heard of it before? Ok figured out who said it. It was Sally Collins the Miniature quilter. She works with really tiny pieces with her miniature quilts. The other question is do you feel like there are so many things you want to do with quilting and that time is running out to get things done? I am a type A person and I have so many obstacles in my way to stay on track. I guess I need to chill and do the most important things I want to and fill in with the rest as I have time. This is my theroy that I can only do what I can if the rest doesn't get done someone else will see to it. Good, bad or indifferent! Have a great day. Chris

Monday, April 19, 2010

Been busy

This is a mini hothouse for pepper plants we raised from seed. They were taking over my house.

You can see the peppers inside. This is out on the south side of my house but it gets some shade during the heat of the day.

Jeff made the flower box for me and I needed to get the peppers planted. I will show you progress as they bloom and bear fruit.

Here are some tomato cages he made for me. We have a lot of wind where we live and I wanted something that would hold up. We are going to wrap in plastic until the weather gets warmer so the tomatoes can handle the weather on their own.

Here is the back side of a new birdhouse he has made. See the log rack. He cut pine tigs to put in the rack.

Here is the front of the condo. It is divided in the middle of the inside.

This is a lilac in bloom. We grew it from a start. It smells wonderful.

Here are the crab apple trees. They are almost in full bloom. As you can see we live in a Manufactured home park and we have the largest yard of anyone.

This is looking from yard to my neighbors. Lots to keep mowed.

This is a different Tulip. It is called a peony tulip. They are like double layers on the inside. Yes that is a dandelion

Here is a better picture of one of them. Also the yellow flower is Dead Nettles.
It is a ground cover and it was mixed in with the day lillies when I moved some of them around the base of the tree.

This is the first birdhouse he made this year. He likes to use scrap lumber and make things. Scrappy like me! LOL

That was a gate from the Family farm. So they were throwing it out and I grabbed it. He cut it in half and the vine behind is a trumpet
vine. Chris

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Looking more like a quilt

I am now piecing the strips together with the single sashing and colored squares. This is taking on a life of antique look to me. Here are a couple more pieced strips done waiting to be added. I need to make about 20 more of the 9 patch in the square blocks and sew together 4 more rows to have the middle section done for this top. Then 4 borders.

I decided to sew together the strips I had so I am not getting to much of the same colors in the same area. This way the last few I need to do I can be careful not to get to many reds or greens together.
I think I am going to quilt with black thread on the top and not sure what I will use for the backing. Something to blend with the backing fabric. This will have to be a cotton batting or at least a blend of cotton and poly to get the shrinkage and the drape for an antique look. Chris


I think all the neat little carrying cases and totes and storage units for sewing supplies are neat. BUT they cost a lot of money. I bought this chewing gum awhile back and used up the last of it. I thought what a perfect size to put used sewing machine needles in. I can set it by the machine and not have stick my hand into the waste basket to retrieve something and get stuck. Then when it is full it can be thrown out.
The Square buckets are ice cream tubs. They have a tight fitting lid. They are food grade so I can store like extra flour or sugar in if on sale. Also all the extra tomatoes at the end of the growing season can be placed in there for freezer storage. I have used them for quilt blocks and squares I am cutting from all my scraps. I have one for applique sized pieces and also one for hand piecing pieces I have cut out. Hey I paid for it when I bought the product I can repurpose it. The square buckets stack nice also. Look around you will be surprised at the uses for items can be interesting and useful. Chris

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do I wash Windows or Sew??

I guess that is the question. The sewing can wait the windows can wait. Do I want a clearer outlook on life? or do I want a brighter look at fabric? We are suppose to get rain and they say wash your windows and it will rain. So what is a person to do? The Winter grim is on the windows and it is driving me nuts to look out and they are so dirty, but I really would like to get this quilt top done and I guess I will put off the outside work for the quilt top. I can wash a window at a time on the inside and maybe it will look a little cleaner. The bottom sash on my windows tips in to wash, but it is the upper half with no screen that I notice the most. Oh well! Someday all my work will be done and I can sew for ever. Wishful thinking. Chris

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Experiment

We have an eastern facing sliding glass door. This year to give my husband something to do while recovery was going on we planted seeds for garden plants. This is some of the tomatoes and green pepper plants. Some have been transplanted three times because they out grew the pots.
This try is sage, flat leaf parsley and fern dill plus green peppers. As you can see the Tomatoes need to be outside. I need to move them today. They are getting stunted by being on the bottom of this table. No blooms yet, but I am sure they will have them before we get them in the ground. Still not warm enough to be planted outside.

These Peppers are colored ones. They are a sweet bell pepper, but yellow, orange, red, and purple oh yea also white. I am anxious to see them as they mature. We planted all the seeds we had and 42 plants came up. We are not planting all of them ourselves. We have a couple friends that will get some of them.

We must have the right amount of light as a greenhouse has to get them to germinate. Never thought we would get so successful with the project. Chris

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Antique looking quilt coming along

Im my previous posting I showed you blocks for the antique looking quilt. Here are some of the blocks sewn together and you can see the cross sashing has a colored 1 1/2 inch block in it. These are all from scraps I have dug out and cut up and sliced and diced in the last few weeks.
The sashing fabric has a story behind it. We went to a close by quilt shop and the lady has fabrics displayed in cribs. She said anything in this crib she would sell to me for 50% off. So I bought 6 yards for sashings for two quilts. Then My Mother was a long and she had a filled punch card for this quilt shop and she said I could use it on the purchase. Well the cost of the fabric was $27.09. The punch card was $25.00 so I paid $2.09 for 6 yards of Thimbleberries fabric. I thought I did real well for my purchase. Chris

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Scraps and More Scraps

Scrap quilts are very rewarding for me. I can see all the colors and the textures with one quilt. I like a coordinated quilt too, but the scrap quilts make my heart skip a beat.
These are small scraps I have collected and have piled up to cut up into usable pieces for scrap quilts. I have about 60 of the 100 scrap blocks I need to make for this quilt done.

This is the magazine I found this quilt listed in. It isn't as long as I need it, so I am making and extra long quilt to fit on my couch.

The final look is very country with the dark borders and it fits with my decor. This magazine is dated Feb 2009. The designer is Lynn Lister called Nana's Nine Patch.

The trimmings off of the stack of fabrics doesn't even fill a grocery bag, but I am using ever inch of the fabric I can for two different quilts I am making. Hey I paid for it so I can use every inch of the fabric right. Is that called being Scotch. Yes I am. Chris

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weather an issue

I would really like to sew most of the evening. I' m in the mood. Guess what the weather is not cooperating. We are to have more bad storms. Had to shut things down last night and this morning. My son is the asst FEMA Director in his County in Illinois. The Director is in Florida so he got a phone call last night and had to deal with it on his own. A small rural town of about 900 was hit hard and they had no electricity and the National Weather Service came to investigate and think from the path of destruction it might be a small tornado. That was at 10pm. At midnight it hit again and at 5am it hit again. Now we are in a Tornado watch until  10 pm. It is hot and humid and the air is still. You know they say the calm before the storm. So he will be out all night again and is suppose to be at work as a 911 dispatcher at 6am. Maybe I won't call him tomorrow and talk to him. Might not be a good day to ask him to do something for me. I should run to the store and buy some bread. No maybe not I would just eat the whole loaf being frustrated over worrying about the weather and him.              I started sewing and cutting scraps today again. I want this quilt to look like it is a period quilt from about the late 1890's. It is dark prints and shirtings and homespun fabrics. As soon as I can trust the weather I will get a picture on the blog to show you. Chris 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hope you had a nice Easter

My Easter was very stressful with a family issue. I made dinner for my Mom and we ate early so she could get home and have the afternoon to relax. She is 82. I then tried to sew some and the weather became somewhat ugly. Not bad storms but a lot of Thunder and lightening and hail. I unplugged the computer and quit sewing. Had a couple quilting magazines to read and went to bed early. I am up and trying to get up enough energy to do some cleaning. Jeff is somewhat better. He went to the garage yesterday and started making a fancy birdhouse. He seemed to work through his stress wish I could have. Chris

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What type of needles to use

I recieved this chart from a friend of mine Blewbird, She passed this on to me and I thought I would share it. Many people have stated they have had trouble with skipped stitches when using their domestic machines for quilting. I use to sell machines and so many times the wrong needle is being used and here is an explaination as to what needles types are used for. Thank you Carol for sending this to me. Many sewing machine stores want to sell you a universal needle. And as it states it is for universal uses, but not always the right choice for your needs.
I was always taught to use a ballpoint needle for knits and to use a sharp needle for woven fabrics. The Universal needle is suppose to cover both, but many are finding skipped stitches from using this for machine quilting. With the many layers of fabics and battings the universal needle isn't the right choice. A sharp needle mainly a denim or topstitching needle will go through the many layers and for a complete stitch. The needle is under a lot of pressure to pierce the layers and the universal needle is blunt enough not to go through all the layers especially at an intersection where seams are pressed in one direction. Hope this sheds some light on the problem and can say a lot of frustrations. Chris ps. Click on it twice and then save to you documents to see larger if you need to.