Sunday, July 31, 2011

96 HST Squares used

Well the numbers are up there. They are just a drop in the hat of how many I will use to make this quilt. Here are the first 6 blocks. They are 12X12 inches and they will cover a pretty big area fairly quickly. The pattern as I have seen it has sashing around all the blocks and several borders so it will grow quickly.
I need to get up away from the machine and get something else done today. I have several more patches put together, but need to make blocks out of them. I think this will be a colorful quilt and use up a lot of odds and ends that are hanging out in the sewing room taking up space. Chris

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The bug has hit

Here is the first block and yes it looks distorted it isn't pressed and the way I took the picture wasn't from a good angle.

The quilt in this issue of McCalls Quilting Sept/Oct 2011 is on page 20. It was designed by Sarah Maxwell and Dolores Smith. Their finished quilt is smaller than what this one will turn out. Their block size is 8X8 and mine is 12X12.

The sashing for the quilt sets it off and then the colorful borders put a nice frame around the quilt.

I can see a lot of scraps being used on this one.
Now I need to keep looking in my stash for sashing and more combos of light and darks. Chris

HST Mania

In the new Fall quilting magazines they all are using HST. It is either part or all of the quilt design. I got a bag of HST from my Mom and I guess I will add to them and see how I make out. I was cutting up scraps for other quilts and decided some were larger so I started cutting 3 7/8 inch squares. When stitched with another square they make two 3 1/2 inch HST square. Which is larger than the patterns in the magazines, but will get the size of the quilt done quicker than the smaller 2 1/2 inch HST squares.

They have a light and dark side to the squares and the possibilities are endless what you can do with them.

As you can see the slicing and dicing is still going on. I am now cutting pieces for about 5 quilts at once to get rid of some of the scraps that are taking up space. I will have to add to the mix at some point, but the bulk of it is working to get more mileage out of the scraps.

Here is some of the scraps cut into 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 inch strips that can be sliced into squares when ready.

This is a challenge I am making out of all this mess we cleaned up. To get things in a manageable state so it can become a quilt or quilts as it may end up being. Scrap quilts for kids are always a necessary thing and when the grandkids come they all have to have quilts no blankets. I guess they are spoiled.

Thoughts on Quilting

No pictures today sorry. The first thought is I don't have enough time to finish all I want to. The second thought is will it matter if I don't have enough time? I am not an Heirloom quilter, just a quilter who likes to handle fabric. I know others have said heirloom quilting is all you leave behind,I mean no whole cloth hand stitched lifetime quilt.
I am a scrap quilter most of the time and I really do envy others work. I guess I am a want-a-be quilter.
I have been cutting and organizing since the room got cleaned. I cut for about 2 hours yesterday. Today I think I will do some sewing. My Mom said if I sewed 24 hours a day for the next century I still wouldn't get everything done. She is probably right. Now the next issue is Here I am on the computer and not at the machine. LOL So what is more important. Speak our thoughts for others to appreciate, laugh at or ponder or be in there to sew quilt and create. Ok I know you all think I am nuts as I think too and I should get the kester up and get into the sewing room. At least the computer isn't in the same room. I tried that for awhile and I never got anything done. Hope some can relate to my frustrations and laugh with me. I know I am not sewing enough said BYE. Chris

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sorting, Sorting and more sorting to do

This is where we started this morning. Still piles everywhere. We worked at it together and got a lot done. She would work awhile and go play the Wii games and then she wander back in there and work some more. We moved some of the storage drawers to the end of the table to let more light into the window on the west side of the room.

This is the counter after major sorting was done. We got a lot sorted by size and also by whether it needs a lot of trimming before it could be used. The irons and the distilled water are all up on the shelf and not sitting where ever they were set.

This is two laundry baskets and a wicker basket full of fabric that was sorted refolded and stacked. After I got it all on the shelves I looked at Taylor and said now we need to sort by color and I thought her chin was going to fall off her face. She said No way. She wouldn't help me do that.

I still have a few storage containers to go through and make sure I have all the pieces for UFO's in place. I did place some blocks that were completed all together in gallon sized storage bags. All the over flow is on the extra bed and needs to be sorted through. Magazines and garment patterns are in there. Also the ironing board. Not sure where I am going to place it. Maybe folded up behind the door for now. I have a pressing board for blocks. Taylor was really great help so I need to get her dolls dressed now.
Isn't it amazing how much stuff we have and it can all be placed in some order and not look so cluttered. I still have some things to finish but this was a great lot of it done. Hopefully with some practice I can keep it this way. Chris

The room is better but not done

The process has started. We wanted to get done sooner, but after three trips to the hardware store and the neighbor coming with a lawnmower part that he needed help with we got the shelves on the wall. The batteries for the drills were dead also. They are up and the process has started.

Not sure I will ever be able to find anything. Taylor is a great help, but she has a tendency to move one pile to another. I let her go and when I get back in there I will sort one shelf at a time. She feels good helping.
We found a lot of things that got pitched. This room has been a dumping area of late and that is going to stop. We have more to go through this morning. In all that mess I have 4 sewing machines and she was floored to think I had that many.

My son said that when I pass away it is all going to the landfill anyway. Nice thought. I can always change my will right!

Well it is lightening and thundering really badly so I am getting off. Later Chris

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Things are going to change

My granddaughter is here for a couple days and threatening me that everything is going into garbage bags and to the dumpster. Well her Great Grandma told her to get hands off. I made her a deal. We would go tot the hardware store and buy some shelves and brackets today and bring it home for her brother and grandpa to put them up on the wall.

She thought that would be a great idea. Now to the other part of the story. When she was at her dad's she found a couple of her dolls she wanted new clothes for so that means I need to get some doll clothes made for her. She doesn't really play with them anymore but she wants them to look nice on display. So as soon as I can gt out the door we are on the run today to get this done. Chris

Friday, July 22, 2011

Who do I blame for this??

My sister came last week as I told she would. She did bring 5 bags of fabric. Now what do I do with it all? It is sitting on my freezer and I have to get it put away tomorrow.

She owned a designer bear business and dressed all the bears with real dressy clothing. Most of it is linen and cotton velveteen. Some lace and satin and taffeta fabrics are in the bag. This bag had some cotton prints in it that I can use for quilting. She told me she had a small box of fabric and she came with 5 bags full. I finally told her I would maybe do a crazy quilt with the velveteens and taffeta and satins.
I thought I would like to try my hand at all the embroidery stitches and the trimmings of a throw. Maybe I am dreaming, but I can't see good fabric go to waste. Now[as I am scratching my head] I need to find a spot for it. Under my bed, shoot I have it full now what? Chris

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


That is an understatement. The heat today is suppose to be worse than yesterday. We had heat indexes at 116*F yesterday. They said Iowa and I feel for all of you in Iowa had the worst heat indexes yesterday they have ever had. One was 131*F. That is the actual heat temp and the humidity added to it. Just the opposite of Windchill factors. I need to pick beans and also pull weeds. I think it will wait until it gets cooler this weekend. I do need to mow also. All this humidity makes the grass grow.
My sister was here for three days last week and we did some things together. My Mom visited with her more than me. Then over the weekend I had the two grandkids all weekend. So I was tired from all the confusion. I guess I live to much of a routine. When it has changes it is more than I can handle. I need to get my day started and yet I don't think I will be able to settle down to a whole lot today.
With all this heat watch for your neighbors and children and also for the pets that are outside. Really the pets need to be brought inside out of the weather. Stay cool and keep drinking lots of water. Chris

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When will the fear quit??

My sister is here to visit for a couple days. She is a landscape designer and learned to use tools to make her drafting of landscapes easier. We have had this conversation about making feather designs for quilting. She remembered she had these French Curve tools that she thought I could use to make the types of designs I am looking to use on my quilts. They are sold at most office supply places and can be ordered online. As you draw with them you can slide them to make an exaggerated line and then you have a more flowing design when completed.

There are several sizes and yet I can't make them work. I must not have a mechanical brain to make them work. She is coming back to visit today again, she has been staying at my Mom's so maybe I can get her to demonstrate the usage before I purchase some of my own.

I admire the designs of so many quilters and how they get the shapes they use to quilt with. Many have the skills to do things free hand, but I fall flat in that category. My hand drawn feathers are irregular and miss shaped so badly they look like nothing. Maybe I will be a grid person the rest of my life. The fear of trying to make something look great and then having to tear it all out is paralysing to me. The fear of not knowing what I am doing is also not a good feeling. I usually can figure things out with trial and error, but this has stopped me in my tracks.

Maybe these tools would help others that have my fears. Maybe you are talented enough to figure out how to work them. As I get older my ability to learn new methods is so daunting it scares the wadding out of me. I know practice, practice, but it is frustrating, frustrating. Chris

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oh A Starry Sight

Ok this is not for my house, but a request for a family member. She lives in a really old house and is trying to transfer her bedroom closet. The doors that were there fell apart so she asked me to make two curtains for her closet. She came up with the star pattern and the way it was to be placed on the curtains. I have put off doing them and today is the day to get them done.

This is the corners and they measure about 7 inches square.

Now that I have all the stars fused down I can stitch around them and they can be pressed and delivered.

I sure hope they are to her liking. It is an Onsneberg fabric for the main part of the curtain. They are 6ft long. Something like this might look good on a shower curtain front also.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Finally some rain

We finally got 3/10 of an inch. More than we have had in over three weeks. The grass is burning up. Lately up before daybreak and yet I still not getting a lot done. I sat and read a quilting book this morning and the time slipped away real fast. I envy those that have all the resources and the time to create. I am the chief cook and bottle washer, taxi driver and grandma to everyone. No ME days are available.
I caught myself starring out the window this evening while it rained and thought oh great more work. The rain brings the grass. The grass needs to be mowed and the way I use to do it was easy, but I have a second opinion being my husband and it doesn't go as well.
Patience isn't as much of a virtue as a learned reflex to being older.
I said to my husband the other day that we make better grandparents than we did parents. We have more insight as to what is important and more time to deal with the little things in life.
We were to busy trying to keep it all together and we forgot the fun in life. We were watching my grandson and his actions are so much like my sons' were at the same age.
Grandchildren are a gift we receive for being there for all the scraped knees and the runny noses. If you are a grandparent savor every moment. They grow up so fast and you will miss something if you blink to long.
I wonder why I didn't take that picture when she was three and doing the dishes from a chair. Also why I didn't have the right nails for him to build his fort in the backyard. Find time to tell stories and let them know where they came from. Family history is important. These younguns will be part of the backbone of our Country some day and they need to know we are a proud family and we stand our ground in a pinch.
The value of the rain to nurture the ground and the crops are as important as we are with our children and grandchildren. Keep them fed and happy and they will produce a nice family themselves. Chris

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Visitor coming just my Sister

My sister is coming to visit for a couple days from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is about a 4 hour trip. She will stay either at my house or my Mother's. Due to circumstances beyond her and my control she wasn't available to visit us all for several years and now is enjoying some family time which we all missed.
This picture is of the eating area in my kitchen. We had this farm table cut down about a year ago to fit this kitchen nook better. We refinished the top and made it a more sturdy finish than what was originally on it. I have decided to make a table cloth to use to keep it from getting scratched up. So far no damage, but there is always the first time. I have these Hexie flowers made and not sure what to do with them. Thought about adding them to a piece of flax colored linen to make a random placed table cloth. Not sure if I want stems or leaves. Maybe just appliqued on and placed wherever they drop. It is suppose to be terribly hot out the next few days and I should do some dusting and scrubbing before she comes and wants to leave just from my messy house looking as it does.

During the Summer months I let my house go and I shouldn't, but the outside and all the flower beds need attention too. I had a neighbor walk by yesterday and she was complimenting me on the flowers and my yard. Well she didn't get close to see all the weeds under neath the flowers that you can't see from the road. I didn't invite her to come look closer either. LOL

Jeff is feeling better and maybe I can get him to do a project out in the garage and I can clean some today.
Next week I should have green beans to pick. First of the this year. I can't wait.They taste so good fresh out of the garden.

Well my Brain is percolating as to what to do with the hexies so I had better go and experiment with them. Later Chris

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How do you buy your fabric???

Do you do it by the Internet? The color charts and hope it is what you want? I sold fabric for 18 years and I have handled fabric for over 50 years and I like to touch. How about you?

This is the type of fabric store I would frequent. All the bolts lined up in a row and every imaginable color and pattern available to touch feel and purchase because I know it is what I want. When you get a cut fabric online if you haven't felt the fabric before or the line of fabric how many of you are disappointed that it isn't what you thought it was and feel like you were taken? Other fabric sales people and I know several out there know what I am talking about, The fabric is printed on different weights and counts of thread. Some fabric lines are printed on several weights of blank fabric and not every store gets the same quality. If you have every tried to match fabric because you ran out you can be surprised at the quality and weight of a yard of fabric. Some of the Big Box stores get a medium quality fabric and that is part of the reason it is a lower price. The other is the sheer volume of a line of fabric sold to a Big Box store can cut the shipping and handling plus the cost of the bolts. Cheaper isn't always better. This is why I like to touch and feel what I buy. I have found very good quality fabric at Walmart believe it or not and yet I have gone to a high end quilt shop and got a well know designer fabric and I was really upset with the quality.
So are you a snob like me and want quality and the thrill of the feel or do you like what ever you get in the mail? Let me hear from you. The last picture was taken on the net from a website called I do not know even where they exist or have I purchased from them. Chris

Sun is out and warm today

The look out is really good other than we had all the rain early and now nothing. Things are drying up fast.
We spent the better part of the morning at the hospital yesterday going through another procedure for my husband. We made some progress but our hopes were up to far. He has to go back again in three weeks for more. This time it was more uncomfortable for him. Not the procedure itself, but the discomfort afterwards. Hopefully today he is better and can
get back to more normal activity.
Today is my day to do laundry and try and get something done in the house. I need to sew, but the time isn't in the schedule. Maybe if I scurry around I can find a few minutes to get something done.
Flowers are blooming and the dust is settling in the house. I need to get the dust rag going. See you later. Chris

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Ever feel like things never get done. The last few weeks have been kinda tough on me. My goals were derailed and I determined I need to get back on the saddle and get as much accomplished as I can and not get derailed anymore. Focus on the pile of scraps had been daunting. I have more scraps then yardage anymore. The colors and prints are fun to look at and see how many times you have used them in other quilts.

Trying to make something come together with all the scraps has been a challenge to me. I plan on a couch quilt out of this pile of scrappy blocks.

The colors in this make me want to smile and feel like my time has been worth while on my efforts to use up scraps. Still have more to get done and today is so humid out and I plan on turning up the music and rocking to the sounds of the machine and the stereo. Have fun today and look at the things as a stage of your vision for peace and happiness.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Have a Safe and Happy 4th

We are just going to stay in and stay cool. Saturday I think I am taking my mother to do some shopping. No real plans other than that. We can see fireworks from our back yard so why fight the crowds. We will just fight the mosquitoes. Would like to get into the sewing room, but had no interest. Need to buy some things to get back to working on some UFO's to finish them.
Hubby is doing so much better with the eating thing. We are just so pleased with the progress. He has another procedure on Tuesday and then I think our troubles will be put on the back burner for a while. The heat index for today right now is 108*F. Not nice outside at all. We mowed early to beat the heat. Everyone stay safe and enjoy the holiday. Chris