Monday, May 30, 2011

Flower Factory

While it rained I mean poured yesterday I was going to starch and press all the seam allowances on these flowers. Well the lightening was horrible so I sat and did the basting by hand. We got company and I just kept sewing. I have garment sewn for years. I have a ton of bobbins with odd colors of thread on them. I decided instead of throwing the thread out I would use it up hand basting the pieces for the flowers. I almost emptied a bobbin just with what I did yesterday. As I said before I am cheap don't waste anything.

I got the borders cut and pressed this morning. Here is the lay out for one of them. I still have to cut stems. I will get that done today sometime. I have to cook for today and also try and see if it is dry enough to do the yard.

The borders will go fast. I hope I can get this quilt wrapped up soon. I have many more to get to this year. Hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day. Chris

Sunday, May 29, 2011

SHHhhhhhh!!!!!.......... Don't tell the Grandkids

I am an awful Grandma. I get into the kids markers and pencils for my marking tools. Hey they will dry out if I don't use them right???? I am making parts and pieces for the borders and I thought I am not going to the store to buy more marking tools for quilting. So I got out the kids washable markers and their colored pencils. They very seldom use the white pencil so why not use it for my marking of applique shapes.

It shows up really great on the darker colors. I think Yellow will work also. Wonder if you can buy just white and yellow pencils? Lots cheaper than buying the ones made for quilting. Anything cheap is me. I saved the small pieces I cut away from the stem pieces on the appliqued blocks I already completed for the leaves. Use every inch of that fabric until nothing is usable. I said Cheap and I am.

This is the raw shape that will be used in the borders on the quilt.

I have to cut stems and then I can go and get the pressing done which will take me most of the day I am sure. It is suppose to rain all day so I think I will get the starch mixed up and make a little spot with my mini iron and watch the races today. The 500 is today and NASCAR is this evening. Now off to cut more parts and pieces out. Remember those that we have lost over the course of many many years. I am 59 years old and I don't remember a time in my life when a military action was not going on. My generation has been through so many overseas events and yet we still stand up and are counted as peace makers. I went to bed and tried to remember a time that the World was at Peace. It was a reality check to me that there is so much unrest all over the World and we need to appreciate how fortunate we are to live in this Great USA. Remember Please. Chris

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Here is the completed appliqued blocks. They need pressing and also squaring up. You see the trapunto blocks have to be finished yet. I need to trace off four more and get them stitched. I plan on sashing the 9 patch blocks with some of this fabric. No this wasn't planned at first. I found this buried in my stash. The colors are perfect and the fact it is 3 yards and can be cut into long strips for sashing really pleases me. I think it will draw the whole thing together. I even bought a new pair of scissors to use too so it will go well.

Not sure if I will use the large stripe for the sashing between the blocks or.....

use this large stripe. They are both about the same size and the colors work well with both of them. Maybe one on the block sashing and then another appliqued border and then the other larger print stripe to outline it.

I hope this all turns out as I envisioned it. My mind gets muddled with many issues some days and then I second guess myself. Is that old age??LOL Chris

Friday, May 27, 2011

Can't comment on your blogs

I have noticed a lot of the blog spots I post on won't let me post. I think Blogger is in a sick way. No I don't think I am blocked. Has anyone else had this trouble? I thought I read someone else had made a comment about it. I would like to participate, but can't Chris

Thursday, May 26, 2011

3 posts today

I went out his evening after the sun came out. Been gloomy most of the day. These are the Chives. The flowers are pretty but they will have to be cut back soon. If they go to seed you have chives everywhere.

This is our porch we are making out the sliding glass door into the yard. When we moved here we spent all our extra money on the garage. So this year with me mowing the three yards I have had a little extra money to build this small porch. We have to add some dirt and mulch around the bottom and some more plants. There will be hand rails and also maybe a little canopy.

Just enough space for a couple lawn chairs and sitting on the steps. I can see some potted plants in nice pots on the steps. May get some guff over that idea.

The hose holder is a farm implement part on a post. A friend of ours makes them.

Underneath you see wood. We are going to enclose the ends with doors so we can place pots inside out of the weather during the winter. One step at a time.

Tomorrow the last three post holes get dug and cement to anchor it in the ground will be poured. Then the last step and then onto the leveling of the ground and the doors on the ends.

This is sick looking the weather the last few days has ruined the color in the blossom. We had hail and pouring rain. See the white stains on the petals.

Ok enough of me for today. I am wore out going to the lumber yard twice today and also lifting cement bags so I am going for the nightgown and the chair soon. Have a Good night. Chris ps. I cannot spell well at all.

Started sewing

I hand basted the block to the batting.

This is the batting on the back. no backing just sew through the batting. I used regular thread in the bobbin.

I used the wash away thread on the top. so when it is washed it goes away.

I stitched through the major outlines of the pattern. Didn't do all the inside lines of the pattern. Just the outline. You will do the details when you quilt the whole top.

I used kids blunt ended scissors to trim the excess of batting away from the design. They will not poke through the top block to make a snip in the block.

As you can see I did stitch the center of the block basically to anchor it so it doesn't shift while handling.

I will stitch the appliqued blocks to the Trapunto blocks in a big 9 patch. Then border the 9 patch with a brown striped fabric with all the colors that are in the appliqued block. More to come. Stay tuned. Chris

I don't have a lightbos do you?

I don't own a light box, but I have one of the largest ones around. I have a picture window. Remember as kids you held things up to the window to trace. I did this this morning. I taped the line drawing which is on tracing paper or Architects paper and then added the fabric block to the front of it.

Make sure you pull it taught when taping the fabric over the traced image. It was cloudy today so it would show up better on a sunny day.

I try and place it on the window so I can sit in front of it and not get a distorted image. Also you can use the marker at the right angle so the ink doesn't all fall away from the tip.

I trace the outline image as I see it through the fabric. I start in the center and work my way out. The quilter in me to get a more perfect tracing I make sure my hand is on the fabric to hold it to the glass also.

I use a common marker. It is a Crayola washable marker. I find they wash out easily. Remember no iron after this point until you wash out the markings.

I plan on doing trapunto technique with the plain blocks. You can use these markers for marking quilting images or line quilting.

Here is the totally marked block. All ready for the batting and then stitching. I plan on machine stitching with washout thread on the top and bobbin thread on the bottom. As I get to the stitching and trimming I will take more pictures. Now onto tracing 4 more blocks. Chris

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thought I had major problem with Blogger again

I was getting upset. I have been able for quite awhile to login and have no troubles until Blogger went down a while back. Well today I got caught again. I ran all my diagnostic cleanups and shut down computer, defraged, cleaned up cookies and restored to an earlier date. I got back on. I am still working on this block. So much for getting it done in a couple days. Tomorrow it is to the hospital for my husband. He has to get a treatment and it won't take long, but then after all the rain it is on the mower again. That is about a three hour job. My business idea is on hold for a time right now until we see how other things are going to pan out. I'm sure it will happen but not sure how soon. Maybe in the morning another stem will get stitched down. Keep stitching. Chris

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Not a lot of progress lots of drooling

I really have been day dreaming and not a doing a lot. Suppose to rain for 7 days straight starting this morning and yet no weather on the radar. Today I have been doing some research on different fabric costs and places I can find certain solids. We have little to no fabric available near me. Oh I read a report on Walmart the other day that they made a mistake and are going to offer fabrics in their stores again. Not that that is the kind of store I shop in, but sometimes you can find a designer fabric that was over printed and it can be used for backing fabrics.
Ok back to my research. I have looked on several online stores and I think I am more confused then before.
My grandkids got here last night and out of their mouths they went to the sewing room to see if I had made any progress cleaning it. Which I haven't touched anything in there at all on weeks. Oh yeah I cleaned of the ironing board and piled the stuff form one surface to another. Embarrassment you would think would work, but not. I do need to get in there and do some work. With all the rain coming I need to get something done even if it is just cleaning.
I do need a new purse for the summer and I have some techniques I would like to try and what a good way to try them. I also have a lot to do this next week. The once a month shopping needs to be done. Groceries and all the extra stuff we need to acquire. With the cost of gas I try and get it all done in one day and then I can stay at home and get stuff done. Boy is that a fallacy. I stay at home, but get nothing done. Today is laundry and also cleaning off my counters in the kitchen. Hopefully I can clear off the table in the sewing room and then I have a surface to work on. Goals! Chris

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Blue Flowers of Spring

This is the first Iris in bloom. There is all kinds of grass growing in this bed. We have had so much rain and not dry enough to try and get all the yard work done. These are perennial Bachelor Buttons. They are a bright spot of blue in a border in front of my hose.

Blue Columbine. This is an old favorite in gardens. Many are red and white or pink and white.

This is the next clean up space to tackle. This has a weed that grows across the landscaping fabric and underneath it also. It is a weed that is hard to kill. I brought it in with a pot of day lillies I bought from a nursery. Now it is everywhere. It has a seed pod that spews seeds in the wind. Some you can see and overnight they open up and reseed the area.

Not sure how I am going to get rid of it. I plan on trying to spray for the weeds with Roundup and laying newspaper over the open areas and topping off with Cypress mulch. hopefully it smothers the darn thing out. So lesson learned watch any plants you buy or trade with your friends for weeds that can take over your flower beds. Chris ps. more sewing going on. Hopefully another applique block in the next couple days.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Like a Kid in a Candy Store today

I ordered these two books last week and I about flipped out today because they came. It has rained most of the day and this was a nice break from the dreary weather outside. Michelle Hill's book "William Morris in Applique" is a treasure trove of old fashioned flower images. The Deborah Kemball book "Beautiful Botanicals" has such light and airy floral images. Both will get used a lot in my house. My mind got lost in designing a neat wall hanging and also a bunch of sofa pillows. I emailed my sister today and was so disappointed she hadn't read her emails, but she was doing a friend a favor today. Can't fault her for that.

I am not an agent for this company but I did get the books for 40% off. They have a lot of things on sale and I was so happy to find these two available. Off to read some more from these two authors and quilt designers. Chris

Why do we do what we do??

Have you ever asked yourself why you do what you do? I have and I guess it is satisfaction. My sister says I am nuts. All these small stitches and the time element involved.

I like the look I like the process and I like the finished quilt. Is that a good reason to spend this much time on something??

The basting the stitching then the quilting. It is a process that is fulfilling for me.

I use to think I couldn't do this. I guess the practice of doing it has paid off. I think it is ok for a beginner, and I plan on continuing to make more. Do you piece or applique for a reason? Chris

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still working

I had a down day yesterday. I was wore out from all the yard work a day or two before. It was sunny and cool here. Frost yesterday and today both. I did do three loads of laundry and dishes and make two beds and got rid of garbage, lots of garbage, Yard waste and household stuff. I did do some research and found some answers for this possible business adventure and also so more lists made. I was about ready to give up on it and I got some good answers from my research so I more than likely will try a few things to start with maybe at the end of the month. See how my time schedule falls out. This weekend is grandkids and that is always busy. Today I am back out in the yard. Mowing and trimming three yards. It takes about 3 hours to do it right. Oh the other thing I got done yesterday was to plant the beans and beets. That is all planted now unless I plant some more after a few weeks for more to come later. Now just have to keep up the clearing out of the weeds. They grow no matter what. Off to the sewing room for a bit until the grass dries out. Chris

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maybe a business adventure

My sister feels the type of work I do maybe could maybe would sell. I live in such a stagnated area not a lot of opportunities. I have fears about not meeting expectations and not meeting deadlines. Which I will have to have a long lead time with my live the way it is. I haven't said yes, but thinking a lot and my mind doesn't stop. I go to bed with ideas and fears and wake up in the night with them too. Not good for sleep. I would like to make this something she could be involved in. We are both in our mid to late 50's and it is hard to find work that would help pay the bills and yet is fun to do. I don't like doing housecleaning anymore or babysitting so those job choices are out. I am tied to my home and I would have to do something online or through a designer. I use to do a lot of sewing on a craft market basis when my son was young. The craft fair thing is hard because as I said I am tied to my home. The work isn't the issue it is anxiety of will it sell or will it work well. If I lived in Chicago or New York or even closer to a fabric outlet I would feel better about the ideas I am mulling over in my mind. The availability to get supplies and materials will have to be online and shipped to me. Which all adds to the cost in the long run. Marketing is another issue. I know there are several online sites that sell hand made items. I have to research all of them. I heard a saying the other day that hit home with me. "Dreams don't expire" So I have been dreaming a lot for several years and my thoughts are always on how and when I could do this. My sister and I have talked about this for over 20 years. She had a designer Teddy Bear business and was quite successful at it. Her health got in the way and she had to give it up. Now she is better and more able to be flexible with her time. I tell myself my Mommy didn't raise dummies and she made sure we were told we could do anything we made our minds up to do. The fears are overwhelming and the thrill of it all is bubbly. I need to make some samples up and figure time elements and also supply costs to get an idea if this would be a feasible undertaking. The lists are going to be endless and the machines will be hot. Will fill you in as I make a final decision. Still up in the air. I would like to and yet I have pictures in my head of total chaos. Going for another cup of coffee and see what the next list will be. Chris

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Outside work yesterday until it rained

We had friend come and dig the holes. Jeff had made the frame work and we finally got the last of the cement in around the posts. So much mud. We had over 1 1/2 inch rain yesterday and it rained more this morning. 90 plus degrees last week and today only about 48*F. What a change in weather. It will only be small because we don't use a deck as much as we do the yard. Now I have to redo the flowerbeds and clean up all the mud.

This is the flower bed I cleaned up last year. This last week we put the A/C in the wall in the garage. He has COPD and the humidity bothers him.

Here is the Lilac in full bloom, Smells so good.

Last Fall I thinned out the hostas and boy they are starting to take over again. They are up almost 20 inches high already.

Here is the Bleeding Heart my stepson and his wife gave me from their yard last year. It bloomed and survived the winter.

Gloomy and cold out so hopefully I can do some sewing today. My sister has big plans for me and I am not sure I am ready for the big change it would make. I will talk about it later. Chris

Friday, May 13, 2011

Been busy and then it rained buckets

I got up early yesterday and traced this design off on tracing paper. I must not have been totally awake. The lines are a little crooked. We have been getting ready to build a little porch off the sliding glass door and we got the old steps moved and got the frame work moved out and the holes dug and almost done. When it was like the sky opened up and poured rain. It is really wet out there now.

The rail at the bottom of the picture is the sliding door railing. We have one more post to cement in and I had gone to get one more bag of post cement and the Heavens open up and rained buckets of rain at one time. I ended up getting out in it because it didn't let up and my hair is still wet hours later, but I have thick hair. I drove home could hardly see and got here to see the hole was full of water clear to the top. It is 30 inches deep. When this gets all done I will get my track in the door frame cleaned and get the carpets cleaned. I know it looks horrible now, but change is always dirty in my mind. I can't wait. It isn't deck sized but just a small porch that one chair can sit on and be nice to look at from the street. I do most of the lifting and haul because Jeff can't do it. He has done well getting all this done. Chris