Monday, January 31, 2011

Chose Spring colors

I got up early like 4am. Couldn't lay there any longer. So I cut out templates for the next wall hanging. I think for my Mother I will make pastels in the next applique wall hanging. She is always looking for something for Spring. As you enter her house through the front door she has a blank wall. She has placed a curtain rod up a decorating rod and she hangs quilts there. It isn't close to a window to fade anything because of the porch roof.
We are to get a major storm in the next 72 hours. so I plan on stitching in between sessions out removing snow. Blizzard conditions expected. We brought firewood in for the fireplace in case we loose electricity. Hope not because we won't be able to get anywhere with 12-18 inches of snow they are predicitng. The grocery stores are being mobbed for people stocking up. I have plenty so I don't have to go and get in the crowd. I think a pot of Vegetable beef soup is in order though. Off to get the meat out to thaw. Stay warm and safe. Chris

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This just might be the next table topper

I found this in an old crewel book. I think this might be the next table topper pattern.
Have to audition the fabrics after while. Then to cut out the templates and see what kind of table topper I can do. I would like something with a little flair to the outside edges. I have a mental thought but not sure I can pull it off. Big dreamer the last few days. We have weather you know that four letter word is coming again. The thought is it will be a bunch. Sure glad we aren't living on the NE coast. We have had enough. Chris

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Finished Washed and on the Table

Finally finished. I got up early and decided it needed to get done. I had some hand quilting and then the binding. The basting is all gone and the markings washed out. I learned a couple things along the way. Learning is the key to mistakes. I learned by reading someone else's blog sorry can't remember who that I should have used a different batt. This person and I am sorry I can't give credit said to use a cotton batting and on top use a thin poly batt. Suppose to make the applique pop out more. In her blog it was evident it did. Mine kinda lays flat.
This is what it looks like on the Oak table and chairs in the dining area. I like it a lot. I have come across another design from an old crewel work book and think I will make one for the Spring time and I can change them as the weather changes.

This didn't cost me a dime. All was scraps and leftovers of other projects long done.
Only time and who has more than what I do as far as time. Ha! Kept me busy anyway. Chris

Friday, January 28, 2011


I know stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Well I am not eating desserts. I have had enough stress the last two weeks to weigh 500 pounds if I ate every time I got stressed. See this stack of cans. Well this is my husband's food for the next month. He can't swallow his food and he has a feeding tube. The Doctor that takes care of it is wonderful. And so are his nurses. The woman in charge of the food and the pump that runs the feeding is so off the wall it upsets me. I never get what I am suppose to. That cans aren't enough for a full month and the supplies she sent aren't the right ones. This happens every month. I worked at this hospital and even though I don't have a degree in this I know what she sent wasn't right. So on Monday I have to get back on the phone and go through it all again. What happened to comprehensive work ethics and bottom line listening to what the person says????
My husband's life depends on the right food and the right amounts. Can you believe this? I wonder if she would be upset if this happened to her husband? No wonder there are so many medical mistakes made. I have been doing some hand quilting on the table topper today, but I now have a horrible headache trying to figure out what to say to this woman to get through to her with out blowing my cork and regretting the things I would say. Ok I am off my soap box now and I am going to go feed my face. See I will be 500 lbs soon. Chris

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snowing again

A dusting is what they said. They the weatherman with no window in their office. LOL Over an 1 1/2 so far. But we are fortunate not to have the weather the East Coast is having. In the past we had storms like you are getting now. Back in the time listen to me I am really old here. 1978-1979 we had storms. We got 30 inches in one storm. We didn't know where to pile it. Just like the NE is getting now. As I get older I do not like this climate. Then on the other hand I don't like blistering heat and hurricanes and so I guess every part of the country has weather issues. 52 more days until Spring. I am ready for a big change around here. Off to the sewing room with all the lights on. I am going to find some jazzy music and do something even if it is wrong. Chris

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Xmas revisited

This was a Christmas gift we gave my stepson and his wife for Christmas this year. They live in Rockford, Illinois and they have woods behind their house. My husband likes to do wood working so he made several of these squirrel feeders. This one was placed outside on the tree and the squirrel decided he liked it within minutes of it being placed there. See the little chair and table that they sit at to eat. Looks like he is a well fed squirrel. These were scraps of lumber he had and he played around one day and came up with a plan. He is good at doing woodwork projects. Chris

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hands out of shape

I think this will be really pretty when it is all completed. I haven't done this much hand work in a long time and my wrist and fingers are sore. Now I guess I need to soak them in dish water. LOL Yesterday I did all the embroidery and then started on the quilting.
Lots of embroidery and basting and hand quilting all have made me do a lot of thinking that I really like the hand done look.

I got the border picked out and got them sewn on after all the embroidery, Then I layered it and basted. After quilting around the flower and petals I then marked it for the grid work. I can't wait until I can take all the basting out and remove all the washout marker.

The grid work was in and out of the applique pieces and a lot of traveling the threads between the layers. But I am not done yet. I have some add ons that will take place in the next couple days.
You will have to stay tuned to see what they are. I am mentally thinking about what I can do next for hand work. Now back to the cleaning. It hasn't happened. But I need to find my Templar plastic. You know how you put something so you know where it will be the next time you need it. Well I can't and I say can't find it. So I guess the cleaning will have to happen because I know I have about 5 unused sheets of it someplace, but where only the sewing ghost knows.
Do you have a sewing ghost? Well at my house the ghost takes my scissors and my needles and hides Templar plastic. I am sure you all know what I mean. I don't have any animals except my husband {did I say that??}. He doesn't set foot in the door afraid something will get him in there. Fine with me. He does pick up my sewing scissors and over the year used my best sewing shears to cut carpet with. So much for that pair of scissors.
Well I think I am going to take a nap and dream some more. Chris

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Inspiration from many

We all gain inspiration from things around us. We are influenced by nature, by interaction with others and our sense of creativity. This is a block I started and working still on. My inspiration for this block come in the form of influence by other quilters. My first inspiration is from Anita Shackelford and her applique work with the red and green color scheme. She would use the colors of the old quilts in her appliques. Even though I introduced the tan flower it still influenced me that she used the red and greens. The technique of the applique was from Erin Russek. She uses the templates and starch method to build her flowers and designs. Sandy Leichner is my next inspiration. She uses the colors to accent the design shapes and the details in the embroidery to make the flat shapes come to life.
I can't ever come up to the level of excellence any of these other quilters have shown and proven time and time again.

As you can see the flowers and leaves come to life with the accents of stitching. The last inspiration until I get farther along is the girls from Pieceocake designs. This is their design with my own twist. Colors are different the details are different. The last inspiration for this block really is my Grandmother. She like details and she would add to her quilting as she progressed with it. Hand work is a relaxation for me. I can loose myself in the work and all my troubles melt away. Who are your inspirations? Chris

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More snow and still not over the crud

I haven't had a lot to say lately. I still don't feel great. It is snowing some today, about an inch over night. Need to go to the store and do some shopping. No milk and TP. Can't be without that. Plan on some spaghetti for supper. I make a homemade Italian bread and plan on making a couple loaves of it to go along. I should make the spaghetti sauce from scratch today. Staying in so no reason not to. Ground chuck on sale at the store so need to get there for a good buy. I am buying extra for the freezer. $1.99 a pound. For here it is a good price. It is fresh ground and not prepackaged. Not much progress in the sewing room. Maybe after the store. Chris

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Little Bit of Progress

I dealt with snow yesterday and also doing laundry and dishes that I couldn't get to the day before because of the visit to the hospital for 5 1/2 hours. I went into the sewing room and decided cleaning one surface at a time was better than nothing. These are fabric scraps that my Mother several months ago threw away. I salvaged them from her garbage. She still laughs about it. I am cutting strips for a scrap quilt and they were on the table I started with. Now I can go in and do some sewing and make some progress besides cleaning.
As I slice and dice I am cutting two sizes of strips for these blocks for this scrap quilt. Not very big. 1 1/2 X 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 X 3 1/2 inches. But they are usable for this size of blocks.
See the waste basket is filling up. My Mother says she will never hear the end of this that she threw usable fabric away. She works with larger pieces as she gets older easier for her hands to work with. There is always someone that can use the scraps you don't feel are usable. If you belong to a guild take them and someone will be happy to get them.

We are getting flurries and today is a good day to stay in and get more sliced up and more thrown away. Back to this table to get some more done. Chris

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Not organized and maybe never will be

I know it is a mess. Not proud of this at all. I thought maybe I could embarrass myself into gething sonmething done if I posted this awful picture of what things are like in this small room. I wanted to stay home yesterday and start cleaning and work my way out of this room. Instead we spent 51/2 hours in the ER and outpatient surgery for my husband. Very stressful day. He has a feeding tube and it came out during the early morning hours and we went to the hospital at 9am.
Then after getting home late in the afternoon the snow we got about 3 inches worth was being rained on and it was cold and heavy wet. The snowplow on the mower wasn't working well and I couldn't ask Jeff to help so I did most of it on my own. The street guys plowed in the end of the drive up to almost my knee. It was really wet and heavy and I didn't want it to freeze down over night. Get up to snow again this morning. In between snows today maybe I can get in and clean a corner at a time. I bet in cleaning I don't find any money though. Chris

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lighter Note

Yes it is snowing out and yes it is gray. 49 of the States have snow right now. I want Spring. Along with Spring comes cleaning and purging of the leftover Winter crap.
The flower beds need cleaning even though I did that last Fall. The closets in my house definitely need it and the carpets need a scrubbing and maybe I need to rethink my blogs. I have read several in the last few days that are questioning if they maybe need to scale back on their blogs. Get rid of extra gadgets or just not post as often. I have a hard time finding enough to talk about some days. I can only devote so much time in a week to sewing or quilting or hand work. Those that work or have a business that they are involved with at home and families all get in the way of being productive. Many are retired and I am at that point but other family things take up a lot of my time. I have trouble with cleaning and laundry and cooking some days. Hence I have let things slide. I do the small stuff and try to keep the big chunks cleaned up in my house. When I really noticed a difference was when I was sick. Today finally I am starting to feel like myself again. Almost 4 weeks. It was no fun. Now I have to clean and figure out meals and I see a cobweb right now. Wait I am going to get it down before I forget. Hang on........... Done! There was more than one. Oh I shouldn't have told you that. LOL Oh wait a minute, the phone is ringing.......... My neighbor telling me that her neighbor hasn't cleaned her drive. SO! what do you want me to do about it. The dryer buzzer is ringing oh well I am busy right now. Oh no it is driving me up the wall hearing it. Maybe I should just get off the computer. But did you know that today is suppose to be the start of a long weekend. Martin Luther King Day is Monday. No mail no banking. Maybe I should get to the bank before it closes and see if I can get any cash for the weekend. Darn it! the dryer is still buzzing. Well I guess I had better get going. So do you see how it is hard to keep up with the posting? I sure do. Chris

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hand Applique Block

I guess I can do it. I did this one with a little frustration. I changed the centers on the flowers and also the size of the cherries. I think I am satisfied with it. Now onto the borders and the whole thing will be a table topper. I haven't done any hand applique for awhile so I contacted Erin Russek from One Piece at a Time blog. I asked her what her preference was freezer paper shapes or the Templar plastic. She was kind enough to contact me back and said she prefers the Templar plastic templates. I enjoy the hand work and need to learn how to do the machine technique. I know the look and I can do it, but not sure I like the effect. I maybe am one of those that need hands on work to be satisfied. Of course practice makes perfect. Right?? This is a Pieceocake pattern from a magazine and I chose the colors to work with the room I am putting it in. Change things up to suit your tastes. Chris

Never grew up

In the past I have been a grown up physically, but a little girl at heart. I have a passion for making doll clothing. I want the doll to have the look of a little princess and the only way I know to do it is with ruffles and lace. I have a granddaughter an even though I sewed for her she is a Tomboy. She liked jeans and bare feet. This is a copy of a dress I bought for my niece 37 years ago.
Ruffles lace and ribbon. Only a grandmother and a mother would appreciate all the foo-foo this makes for a fairy princess.
I had thought about making a children's line of handmade clothing, but my husband smokes and even thought the clothing would be washed it still carries an odor. So it was out of the question. The new thing in my life is a fireplace so still out of the question. I feel stifled because I can't create and get anything for my wares. Ran across this dress in looking for something else. This one fits a Lee Middleton Designer doll. Chris

Monday, January 10, 2011

Changing my mind

This is the current look of this block. The center of this flower is a stripe. Not sure it is right for the look I want.
On the right is a different fabric dot over the center and n the left is the one I currently have in place. I think the one on the right is a better fit for the overall look I want.

Here is a closer look to what it would look like if I change all of them. I feel that it is a better fit. The center is noticeable this way, but with he stripe it isn't as pleasing to the eye.

I think it will have to change, but today I have to get some cleaning done.
We are to get a snow storm today. The amount is up in the air as far as the amount. So time will tell. Chris

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Resized Cherries

This is what I had ready to sew down this morning. I felt they were to large for the scale of the block. I made a decision to re size the cherries and I am glad I did.
Here is the new size. Instead of being the size of a nickel they are a little larger than a dime. I think they fit in the design better for my taste anyway. Now I just have three more sides to do with this block. I still am debating about embroidery to finish it off. If it was to be a bed quilt and lots of wear and tear I don't think I would do the embroidery.

I think since this is going to be a smaller topper I am going to hand quilt it. I will put borders on it and decide what is the right design for the borders. I think and appliqued border is in order and then hand quilting to accent the applique. I run ideas through my head while stitching the block. Chris

He didn't care

Yesterday I told you about this pattern from Pieceocake. I said my husband would have a fit if I started something else. He said nothing. I asked him aren't you going to ask. He said why. Go figure! Here is the progress. As you can see the pins are in some of the motif yet. I think the red cherry shapes are to big for the design. I think I am going to modify the size a little and hopefully it will look more balanced. I forgot how much prep there is to get ready for this kind of quilting.
This is one quarter of the block. With most applique they make very large blocks. So it goes faster over all. I was going to use more red but this was calmer for where I want it to go. I will use more red in the border and the binding.

Today I plan on getting more of it done. After I reshape the dots or cherries I think I will be please with the look. On the left uncovered stem there is three more of the cherries and to me it is overpowering with the size they are. Then the next part is the quilting. Hand or machine echo quilting or outline. I think since it is a table topper I may do some hand embroidery to accent the leaves. I need to find my applique pins I know where they are so I am not getting my threads all tangled in the long quilting pins.
I rushed into doing this because I thought if this looked good I would make a couple more for Mother's Day presents. Chris

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Well what should I do

Ok here is the deal. I need to practice my applique skills before I start a major quilt I want to do. So my theory is to make a table topper using this pattern or part of it. I found it in an older quilt magazine. It is called "Faux Finish" by Pieceocake. It is in the June 2009 of Better Homes and Gardens American Patchwork. They use a printed background that is checkered so therefore the name of the quilt Faux. I like the size as they have done it 45 X 45inches. But I thought why not do it as a single block and place the borders around it. Sometimes in the quilt article they have another colorway set up, but not this time.
Here is a picture of what it would resemble as one block. The red and gold on a off white background is more my color choices.
The block is 14 1/2 inches raw so it is a fair size and with borders it would make a nice size center piece for my large table.

The glare is on this picture but you can see how it would look all finished as they have made the pattern.
Basically I would have a red and green quilt if I did it the way I have visualized in my own mind. Now to get it started without my husband seeing I am starting something else. He caught me measuring the table the other night so he knows something is up. LOL. Some days men are no fun at all. This way if I have a machine quilt started with piecing then I can have a hand quilt in progress so I can sit and watch TV with him at night. Doesn't that sound good? I thought it made sense. LOL See how brave I am today to get it started. I need to find a couple more pieces to make sure I have it all together to get started. I know if I look hard enough it will all come together without having to purchase anything more. Besides the machine quilting is for next Christmas. Am I convincing enough????

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Have you ever thought about why you quilt or what made you start? Was it to cover the beds in your home and for your family members? Was it a need to do something creative?
I found that my experience with fabric was my inspiration. I sold fabric since I was 16 years old in a department store in my home town. This store I had visited with my Mother since I was young. The colors the texture and the need to touch influenced me to work with this medium. My Paternal Grandmother was a quilter and my Maternal Grandmother was a seamstress. Most of their influence was out of necessity having lived through the depression trying to raise their families on what little they could get their hands on. Ironically my Maternal Grandmother had three girls. She would take the leftovers of others fabrics and combine them to make clothing for her girls. My Paternal Grandmother had three boys and she would take the shirts of her Father and Brother to make clothing for her boys. I have had it easier than that, but still try and use every inch and thread of my stash to the fullest. I would love to work in the fabric stores again. Dream is to own one, but at my age not in the cards. What made you want to quilt? Chris

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Not much going on

I think today I might be feeling somewhat better. I am a plant nut and this is some of the plants I have in my living room. They must like the filtered light they get where they are sitting. My poor garden looks so sad. The picture was taken through the window so therefore the glare, but it is dirty looking and so empty compared to the summer months. Can't wait to get out there and make it come alive again. I am so ready for Winter to be over with. I did hear birds chirping the other day when the weather got to 50*F. So maybe it will come.

Here is the latest blocks I am working on. Scraps are being sewn up and the pile is going down. But today my Mother called and said she had a pile more for me to pick up. She doesn't like working with the smaller pieces anymore. Hopefully they will work for what I am doing.
Here are the ones I have pressed and done. They will have to be trimmed, but for the most part are sewn together.
This is 17 of the 113 I need. It will take a bit of time to get all this cut and stitched together.

They will be set on point with sashing and it makes a 85X85 inch quilt. I know another queen size and I just complained about doing a queen sized quit last month because I finished 2 of them for Christmas. Since I have been under the weather I need to get some cleaning done today and then onto the sewing room. Oh yeah I need to get the scraps from my Mom's house. Off to do some more cutting. Chris

Monday, January 3, 2011

Suns out but really don't care.

I spent the last three days in such misery with this cold. I have no energy. Hope the end is coming with this cold. I get one about every 3 years and it is a doozey when I get it. Been up since 4:30am and going to go lay down. Hope no one else gets this crap. Chris

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Puzzle is done

I finished it,but I got told he was tired of it. My suggestion is don't do jigsaw puzzles when the guy is sick. So now on to bigger and better things. Chris

Yes I am sick but working through it

This is my back yard. We had almost 15 inches of snow on the ground last weekend. Temps got to 50 plus degrees and rain. This is what is left. Currently it is 12*F out right now. Quite a change. No wonder everyone is sick. My husband got his cold about 6 days ago and I have had mine for 4 days. I was up half the night coughing. So instead of laying around and feeling sorry for myself I got out some scraps and made a block to see how well it went together and how well I liked it. I think this is the next Christmas present and will keep cutting away. As I cut I am paring down the pile for two quilts. The extra pieces if they are 1 inch wide I am throwing them in a pile for a courthouse step quilt.
Here is the center of the blocks sewn and pressed for the next phase. I need 113 blocks for a queen sized quilt. They are then set on point with sashing and the outside borders. The soon to be 13 year old loves quilts. He has taken everything I have made for him and it stays on his bed. My other grandkids are the same way. Funny how kids appreciate the work we do on them.

This is a woven basket full of scraps. I have worked out of this basket many times and as you can see more to make out of it. As soon as I get through these two quilts I plan on a shopping spree. I read an article by the author of this quilt pattern. Her name is Katie Holland. This was in a Better Homes and Gardens American Patchwork magazine dated Oct 2008. She states that she buys 1/2 yard of fabric to build her stash.She then cuts it in half so she has two fat quarters. She folds one and places it in her stash. She cuts the other one into 6 1/2", 4 1/2 ",3 1/2", and 1 1/2" strips. She separates them into containers and when she needs a certain size for piecing she pulls out the container and cuts the size pieces she needs. Then if she needs more she has the other fat quarter in her stash. Now if that isn't planning I don't know what is. I have the containers sitting there to be used. Do you think I can get this job done??LOL I sure hope so. I plan on using every thread of the fabric I have until it isn't usable. Planning and implementing the plan are the hard part for me. Wish me luck. Chris

PS. What are you doing with your Scraps????

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sick but busy

My husband has been sick with a bad cold. He can't lay down because of the nasal pressure. I got out some jigsaw puzzles and he put three together real fast. I then went to Goodwill and found two on a 50% off sale. They were new and never opened. It is 1000 pieces and he is grumbling a lot. I walk over and place three or four pieces in and walk away. He grumbles even more. I got some old quilting magazines out this morning and looking for a quilt idea for a teen age boy for a Christmas present for next year. I found this block in the magazine and tried a block out.
He likes the darker country looking quilts I have made. It has 2 1/2 inch center and the strips around are 1 1/2X 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 X 3 1/2. It uses up a lot of little pieces in a hurry. Make a few up and see what I come up with. Here goes all the thread again. Happy New Year. Back to sewing Chris