Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Progress in piecing

Here is my progress. I have some of the 9 patch sewn waiting for the flying geese pieces.

These take some time to handle all the small pieces. Remember they are 1 1/4 inch pieces through out the 9 patches and 1 3/4 inch pieces for the rest of the blocks.

The 1 1/4 inch strips are used for the rail fence blocks also. So I am slicing and dicing a lot of small pieces.

I need the color to offset the dark days of Winter, but is it Winter. Yesterday it got to 60*F and today is suppose to be 56*F so it feels more like Spring. The sun is out today and I need to chase some dust. Chris

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Tip a couple days late for me?

Yes it is Monday, but on Saturday I went out and shoveled the driveway. I have a snow blower and I thought oh I need the exercise. Well it set me on my can all day yesterday and today I am in shell shock with my back and hips from the shoveling. So the tip today is don't do something you will regret for a couple days.
I have issues with my back and arthritis and I should have remembered it, but oh no I want the exercise. I am paying the price believe me. Think things through and be smart about what you do. Chris

Friday, January 27, 2012

Where has the week gone?

My intentions were to get so much done this week and it is like I have not got a thing done that was on my list. I wanted to sew and also do some cleaning. Yea I know cleaning! Well get the big chunks up anyway. I have snippets of thread and corners of blocks tracked all through the rooms. I really want to rip carpet out and put laminate in my sewing room so it would be easier to keep up. Money not in the budget until maybe this summer.
I have done a ton of running. I buy my groceries and supplies once a month. Then all I have to do is add bread and milk as the month goes on. With the price of gas it is the only way I can keep ahead of the game.
Planning on getting some lumber tomorrow so my husband can finish his walls in the garage. We insulated because he has a furnace out there and also a A/C for the summer. We buy a few sheets of plywood to get around the walls and the last three need to go up. It stays warmer out there than in the house.
I figure down the road I can turn it into a huge sewing studio. LOL That will never happen while he is alive.
I have some closets and cupboards to clean out and get the junk out of them. I have some old paint clothes that need to be pitched out. I am sure they don't fit anymore. Also a huge pile of old towels and washcloths he can use as rags in the garage for painting or grease rags.
I have decided that we need a bridal shower thrown every ten years to replace the things that have worn out. I have more worn out that good right now. Not sure of colors I want to buy. I have been looking and I am not liking what I am finding. Maybe it will have to be white so I can bleach them if necessary.
Well tonight fried chicken and a salad for dinner. Leftovers for tomorrow. Off to the kitchen to start dinner. I hope your week went well. Chris

New light fixtures

We needed to replace the light on the front of the house. It was plastic and the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter had broke down the plastic material and it was damaged. We went to the hardware store and found this one for a good price. This is the front of the house. Then the light on the garage is a dusk to dawn light on low beam and comes on bright if someone walks in front of it. It was a used light and so we bought one for it.

It got to 41*F today and so we were out putting up new lights. Earlier yesterday we went to the Dr. for my Husband. He was pleased with his progress, but we have to change one of his meds. Also need to get more protein into my husband. So I will be cooking as a short order cook now. I sure don't need the kind of food he requires.

The last few days I have been shopping for the months supplies and have gotten away from the machine. I need to get back to the sewing room and try and get a back for a quilt made and get a quilt ready to sandwich and quilt. It was suppose to be a Christmas present and I haven't gotten back to it.

Today the rain and snow mix starts tonight and the snow fall will pick up over night. Hopefully the first predictions are right and a light snow. Yipppeeee! More snow. Chris

Monday, January 23, 2012

Followup on Monday's Tip

I had to stop and wind bobbins so I dug in the thread bin and got odds and ends out and wound all these bobbins with 6 spools of thread.
I am going to try and see how many spools I go through and how many bobbins to clean out the bin. Should get several quilt tops pieced if I just use it all up. Might be less lint in my machine also. Chris

Monday Tip

Having sewn for 50 years now, oh my has it been that long, well anyway I have a ton of odds and ends of sewing thread. Some of these spools I have acquired by those that quit sewing, but most are mine. I know they will rot if not used up. My son isn't into sewing and my granddaughter thinks she wants to, but then she is into playing volleyball and baseball. So I am not holding my breath over that one. She is who she is and I can't force her into sewing if she doesn't want to.
So to get back to the tip[. I am going to start using the more neutral colors on my bobbins and use them up in piecing. No it isn't all cotton, but you know I made clothing all those years and it didn't matter if it was cotton or polyester back then. I will use 100% cotton on the machine quilting though.
I even have some hand quilting thread that is poly cotton wrapped. So they never made a quilt law that said it all had to be cotton. I know I have heard the story about the poly cutting the threads of the fabric and yet none of the quilts I am making are going to be here in the year 2112. Do you know what I mean? Mine get used everyday and the issue of being a true quilter is the thrill of the challenge and the results for your purpose.
You use polyester quilt batting and poly and cotton batting and that never seems to matter. The quilt police will not be on my door steps at least not in my life time. I am using up the extra thread. Chris

I am not sure

Not sure if I like the stars over the square in a square. Both the same size both the same amount of pieces. My hand is sore from cutting all day and I feel like I have spent enough time in the sewing chair today. I did take time out to do 5 loads of laundry, cook lunch and dinner and do a load of dishes. I think tomorrow the vacuum needs to come out. The slivers of fabric and the threads are everywhere.

Here are some of the 9 patches. I need to cut more of the background fabrics and the HST for the star parts. I thought I could cut them to match the fabric in the 9 patches and have the difference in the textures that way.

These are 1 1/4 inch squares that make the 9 patches. I have large hands and trying to get them lined up isn't an easy task. My hands feel swollen tonight so I quit and will get back at it in the morning. A few here and a few there maybe someday they will make a quilt. LOL Chris

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yes I am Certifiable

I got up this morning looked at the Google Reader and decided it was going to be a day when I needed to get something done. I have had this pile of scraps on my cutting table and it has been driving me nuts.
I started to cut and got involved between laundry loads. Well I have cut for over three hours and still not done. This is the last of the pile. It is about half of what it was. I am cutting 1 1/4 inch strips and squares from this mess.

This is the pile my Mom the Enabler gave me. She would shoot me IF she new I called her that. Then she would laugh and say I have some more.

Here is my results after three hours of slicing and dicing. Some I cut an eighth of an inch off of and others I could cut a lot of strips and squares out of. Then I had some 1 inch pieces out of it and they went into another bin. Not sure what it will be.

Some of the larger pieces and the lighter pieces were cut into 1 3/4 inch strips and squares. These will be used on the square in the square blocks and the star blocks. I basically am cutting four quilt blocks at one time. My mind has to figure out how to cut all that I can cut out of a piece and yes I made a couple goofs but it worked out in the end. The challenge is to sew them all together when the cutting is done. I need to get back to it and also to get the laundry done. Take care Chris. ps. The guys in the white coats haven't shown up on my door yet, but I figure any day now. LOL

Friday, January 20, 2012

Who would have thought

Same pieces and yet different looks. I turned the flying geese section the wrong way or was it the wrong way. I wanted to make a star block and when I finished the first one it was a square in a square. Then this morning I made a star block. All of the pieces are the same for each block. It is all in the direction as to the outcome.

I might have to make both blocks and see what they would look like in a quilt together. So when I cut off small pieces from the rail fence pieces I can then cut the pieces for these two blocks.

With the weather we are going to face need to stay in and do something productive. Talking about 4-7 inches in our area. It is just off in the Iowa border to Illinois and we will be getting it in about an hour. I have all the groceries I need and I will just plan on staying in because the windchill is below zero right now. Hopefully little or no wind with all this snow coming. Stay safe and warm. Chris

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ok Ok I am really crazy and I have been up since 3:30am

This is the latest pile I got from my Mother. Fun to use someone else's scraps. They are different to me and yet I am having nightmares over using them all up.

I got up early and decided the pile of cut off pieces was getting to big. I started slicing and dicing. Well this is the results but it was a mistake.
I made the flying geese part the wrong way. I want a star and instead got a square in a square. Live and learn. My oh my do I dream a lot. As you can see it is finished at about 5 inches. Yikeeeessss!!!! Chris

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Progress being made

This is my progress. I have more blocks in the sewing stage. This is a queen sized bed I have them placed on and it covers about 1/4 of the bed. This is 19 blocks that I have done. My Mother has one of the blocks to show a friend. As you can see I am not fussy about the prints on the pieces as long as two of the same color isn't in the same section. Yes as the sections are sewn together sometimes they will meet. But they generally are going in the opposite direction.

Of course this isn't the final layout either. As I get more done and can get them laid out to look at I might be able to move some around to make a better looking quilt. I am going to look on line ands see if I can find some different layouts for these blocks. I know I can sash them, but not sure I want that. This being taken on point it might be a way to piece them together.

This is a straight look at the blocks and not sure I want this either. If I place them on point I maybe can introduce a solid triangle for the outside edges and make a totally different look. Have to play with the finished look in my mind and lay things out before I sew anything together. I hate to rip out after sewing all the seams together.

I am steering towards the on point look. I have some Navy blue solid fabric, but a solid looking print could work also. To many what iff"s. Chris

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

20 blocks made

Lots of cutting and stitching, but they are coming together. I am using scraps and getting a lot used up.

I now have 20 blocks sewn and getting ready to make some more. I am at a point I need to do some more scrap cutting so I have variety in the pieces I am sewing.

20 minutes here and there will get quite a few seams sewn. I think one day I spent three hours but most of that was cutting and pressing scraps to cut. I am getting anxious to get this one done and then I think I will start a 9 patch that turns into a star pattern. Yes it will be scraps again. I lay awake at night and think about what the next one will be.

I have been doing some research online for some other projects I want to do and it has taken some of the quilt dreaming away from my normal waking hours in the night. I haven't slept all the way through a night in over 35 years. I am an early riser and go to bed early. If I email you after 11 pm it is because I am awake looking at the computer. I was awake at 4:15am this morning but was emailing Wanda at 11 pm last night. Crazy life I lead.

Waiting for my Tuesday night TV now and then I will be off to bed. Have to watch NCIS and NCIS LA.

Need to put an extra quilt on the bed tonight. It is suppose to be only 6*F tonight. Chris

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ok I am Guilty

Yes I am a bad girl. I went to my mother's yesterday and I was taken into the sewing room and three tubs of scraps were there. No I didn't take them all. My Mother does a lot of children's quilts to character fabric was left behind this time. This was a Walmart bag full. I need to sort through it this morning and decide how much I want to cut up for the Rail Fence blocks I am making.

I know I need to cut into new fabrics and yes I will sometime this year, but a lot of my fabrics are getting down in size. I need to start picking up some lighter colors to use as blenders for some of these scrap quilts.
My Granddaughter saw the bag and she flipped out and said Grandma Nanna shouldn't have let me bring it home. She said you need no more scraps Grandma. LOL Chris

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sorting and found Odds and Ends

I never realized that I would be like this. I can't throw anything out. I am not a hoarder really. It is manageable, but still it is a thing that I need to let go of. Lace from some wedding work I did. Flower girls dress for my Granddaughter when she was 3 years old. Crocheting a kitchen washcloth. This one needs the threads tucked in and it can be used.

Buttons. Why, well my neighbor brought me three jars of buttons her Father had cut off garments so he could weave strips of clothing into rag rugs. Also I bought a large amount when I was making kids clothes and the bright colors were necessary.

Hexies that are made but not sure what to do with them. Thought about appliqueing them onto a table cloth and yet they aren't done.

There was talk about using our good fabric instead of trying to get all the scraps used up.
My Scottish heritage is screaming at me. Use it up!!!! I will make an effort to use the better stuff and yet I will have side projects to use up the scraps.

Where are you with your stuff? Hanging on or letting go of it? Chris

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday night no place to go and no energy to do it anyway.

This has been a funny weekend. The cold weather has drug me down. Not that I had to be out in it, but I guess because I couldn't get out and enjoy some of the day as we had been doing.
This morning it was 2*F out and the windchill was below zero.
My son was doing a training session out in the cold burning an old farm house. They call it a live burn and have firefighters go into the building as if the rescue someone in a fire situation.
The grandkids stayed here last night and wanted to go see Dad today doing this. They have been to many of these and their terms for it was "We want to smell like smoke." Sounds like a fireman's kids??? So they went and were all dressed up with ski pants and multiple layers on. They had the car there so they could get in and warm up.
I stayed for a few minutes and decided I didn't like the smell so I left. They will sleep tonight with all the bad smelling and the cold air they smelled today. It is in their blood like their Dad. I think both will be volunteer fireman when they are old enough. I am going to go to bed early tonight and see if I can get caught up on some sleep I have been missing out on of late. Stay warm Chris

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Up early waiting for the storm

We have our first major storm on it's way to our neck of the woods. Depending on which news source you look at it could be up to 8inches, Yikeees! I thought about going back to bed to get some more sleep but when I wake up early if I don't get up I have more of a chance of a migraine. So I am up coffee is in the cup and I am sitting here writing this.
Here is some of the progress I have made in the last couple of days early in the morning. Each part of this block is made up of 5- 1 1/4 X 4 1/4 strips. Yes it is smaller pieces, but it is what I had cut out. You can make the strips what ever size you want. After sewing them together I then clean up the edges so they are square. Sewing them together have been a challenge for me. LOL I find I reverse the way they lay and it makes them come out in reverse of the way I have them started.

Can you see the difference in the picture. The lower block in the middle had the reverse seam done. I have to rip out the seam and try and figure it out. This is the third time since I started sewing the blocks together. Not enough coffee HAHA! maybe to much.

Off to cut more strips and see if I can fix the block I screwed up on. I will be in and out trying to get something done while getting rid of snow. I am sure a nap will come also.
Hope you have good weather in your neck of the woods as Al Rooker would say. Chris

ps. The snow is an hour away in the Quad Cities in Davenport, Ia

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Mother the enabler

My Mother kills me. She won't go anywhere for days and she showed up here yesterday and brought me a handful of scraps. She told me she had a lot more and I should come and get them. She knows how I fuss over her throwing scraps away. She loves the looks of the scrappy quilts and she has made many herself, but she also knows that her likelihood finishing then is growing thin. Her hands are hurting and she can't make them work as she use to. The other thing was she was on a medicine that made her loose focus. Now she is off of it so I am not going to take everything away. She maybe will start over on something this Winter.

The news this morning has so many 4 letter words in it. I am just really offended with it.
S-N-O-W! We haven't had much and it all melted by noon that day. The other day they said we were 9 inches behind on snow fall. Well we are to get blowing and 2-5 inches of snow. Isn't that a slap in the face. I am running to the store and getting a couple things today. We need milk for sure. I want to get stuff to make a pot of veggie soup. Maybe I should go by my Mom's and get the rest of the scraps. I will not get all of it used up before I die at this rate. LOL Chris

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Tip

This may seem funny, but it is a way to use up odds and ends of threads. Over the course of time I have acquired a lot of different colors of sewing threads. Meaning polyester and poly blend threads. I have accumulated a ton of odds and ends of different colors. Many have given me threads that are half used spools that their mother or aunts had. Many times I use them to baste quilt sandwiches together. I have sewn over 50 years and many times you buy two spools thinking it will be enough only to have to go back and get another spool but you don't use it all.

It dawned on me today that I need to sort through the thread and make sewing kits for my son and also for my granddaughter. They are always needing me to sew on a button and if they had the tools to do it they could remedy the problem themselves.

I am going to the dollar store and see if I can find crayon and pencil cases like they have in the school supplies and throw several spools of colors they would have in the box with some easy thread needles and a small pair of children's scissors from the school supply aisles again. Maybe even a needle threader. What a great way to use up the odds and ends that fill our thread storage containers. This would make a nice gift for the small repairs for anyone that needs a small amount of pink or navy thread. White, gray, navy, black and brown for the guys. Maybe a tan also. The girls pink, red, yellow, blue and white along with navy, black, gray and tan. No money outlay unless you need needles and the boxes to put it in. I save button in several sizes of shirt buttons in a zipper bag maybe would fill the case up nicely. Chris

1 1/4 inch strips

Lots of sewing and only 5 blocks. Oh well! I think I started this because I saw a magazine article about the older patterns that are being revived. Last year, boy that sounds funny, I cut strips in 1 1/2 and 1 1/4 inch strips as I was handling the fabrics. I thought about making these in between making other quilt blocks. That way I won't get so bored with making all one style of blocks.

Sure is a mixture of different fabrics and yet it will be a utility quilt with a definite attitude.

I thought about using the Bishop Fan quilt design for the quilting on this quilt. I thought it would make a definite statement of looking old. Chris

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Over my head

I am a piecer and an appliquer, but not a miniature piecer. Hettie from http://stitchingmatters.blogspot.com/ tried talking me into the Building Houses from Scraps 2012 Challenge. I had thought about it. You can see the blog it came from here. http://www.buildinghousesfromscraps.blogspot.com/ They are 3 inches finished. OMG. I have a migraine and I tried two methods and I think I will pass on this project. Sorry Hettie. The first one was hand pieced and I didn't like the Y-seam.

It doesn't matter how I stitched it and it was three times it wouldn't lay flat from the blogs pattern. I am sure it is me. The templates I cut out I didn't add the 1/4 inch seam I tried cutting it onto the pieces as I cut them out. Not good!

Hettie and I emailed. She went onto her EQ7 and printed out a pattern with templates with the 1/4 inch seam added. So nice of her.

I then thought ok 1/4 inch seams I can machine piece this. Well the Y-seam was still there. Yuk!!!!!!

At the roof line I cut the Y-seam out and added a seam with the background fabric and tried adding it. Well the seam first looked great but the chimney piece is not sewn in the right spot. It over shoots the roof line. Not Good!!

I guess I wasn't cut out to do anything smaller than 4 1/2 inches. Then it didn't have as many pieces. I am not a paper piecer. I get crazy when it doesn't look right. So I tried. Not my cup of tea. Hope those of you that are involved have a great time doing the challenge. It looks like it could use up scraps and small pieces. Hettie, If you do try this you are a better quilter than I am hands down on that one. Chris

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Overwhelmed with scraps

I have some here and I have some there. They are all over the sewing room and I need to get them used up. I can't make myself throw them away. I have wanted to make some more of the traditional type utility quilts with scraps so here I go. These are 1 1/4 inch strips. My Mom had a container with pieces in them for miniature quilts she gave me and I decided to start using some of it up. I have added to the pile believe me.

The Rail Fence pattern goes together quick so this is where I started. I think this will work out doing these in between other projects.

After I cut a quilt I save all the usable pieces and ow I have to sort and cut to size. I have several containers with different sized strips and it is easy to slice and dice the pieces and store that way. Yes I am nuts just ask my kids and husband. Chris

500th post

Yesterday we spent it doing different things. We had a switch on our furnace act up and we knew what it was. Our furnace has a signal board on it and you can diagnose the problem. So we ordered the part and got it in two days. We could make the heat work in the mean time. But we knew we wanted to have it work all the time when the real winter weather hit. So we got it yesterday and we decided to tear the furnace apart and clean it really well. My husband use to do this for a living so I am fortunate that he knows what to do. He had the blower out of the furnace and we took it apart and I had the squirrel cage in my bath tub washing it up. Please don't try this yourself. We got it back together and now we have a clean furnace outside and inside. Maybe less dust for a while.
We talked about the real winter weather. The last two days we have had record highs of middle to high fifty degree weather. One record was beaten from 55 years ago. Also we were warmer than Orlando Florida. But we think the shoe or the boot will drop soon and we will get dumped on. Less than an inch of snow has fallen already this winter and we normally have about 5-9 inches by now. We have had rain which is good for the trees because this fall we didn't have much moisture before it did get cooler.
Have to do some errands today. Then I think I am going to do some sewing and see how far I can get. Ideas running around in my head and not sure which will work. Chris

Friday, January 6, 2012

Been thinking and the shame of it all.

Really has been a quiet New Year so far. I have been accessing my life style and also my bad habits. No I don't drink or smoke. I have a problem with procrastinating and also trying to cover up my feelings.
I am a very frustrated with my situation. My husband isn't well as many know and I have to stay around for him. Yes he is much better than a couple years ago and my freedom of staying in the house is relieved a bit. We have had a mild winter so far and I have been wanting to get outside and try and enjoy the fresh air. BUT.... Here is the kicker I tell myself that I can't leave him alone. So I sit and stay in the same room with him. Not good because I don't get out and move and I am miserable.
I stuff my feelings some days with food and that has been a disaster for me.
Then I want to sew and I feel like I am abandoning him by being in another room. He says come sit with me. I feel bad because I go to bed before him so I can have some alone time and I get up before him to sew. I wish I didn't feel the way I do about it. Being a caregiver and wife to the same person is hard. I need to spend some more time with my Mother and I feel guilty not getting there, but the time with my husband seems more important, but is it?? More than likely my Mother will go before my husband at this point. BUT... Am I fooling myself? Selfish I don't want to be, but I am frustrated as many caregivers get. Chris

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sewing off and on

I drug these out of a pile the other day and decided on sashing and I pieced it all together. I had limited amount of 4 patches which were orphan blocks left over from a bigger bed quilt. After a few hours here and there and some minor ripping and resewing I got this top done. I think it looks pretty good for the pieces I started with. Sometimes the final look is surprising because you are not really interested in the elements.

Here is a closer look at the blocks, sashing, and borders.
We all need to re look at the elements we have that we really don't care for and see if they can be used into something pleasing to the eye.

I still have enough for the binding out of the brown print, but need to sort and find a backing for the quilt. The other thing was I have lots of pieces that are good sized of batting that are all the same brand. I think I will piece a few of them to make the batting for the quilt. Nothing like being frugal and yet getting a nice gift out of the mix. Chris

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Using orphan blocks

I read Wanda's blog this morning and it put me to shame. I didn't stitch a single stitch yesterday. I have been burned out since Christmas. Well this was laying there and since I need to get something done or closer to done everyday I picked up the plastic bag these were in. I thought they need to be used up. I picked out a fabric that I don't like for other things because it is to busy and decided it was enough to cut sashing for these orphaned blocks. But I needed corner stones so I picked a complimentary color and started stitching. It won't be bed sized but a good sized lap robe.

I have three more rows to stitch on them a couple borders and I have some done. I have to run to the bank today my debit card quit working and yes I have money in the bank. LOL They think the magnetic strip is faulty. We just got the card and it is frustrating. Just goes to prove don't give up your hand written checks because you never know if something will happen. Chris

Monday tip on Tuesday

I tried to post a tip last night and it wouldn't let me. I was a bit upset and I just walked away.
The tip is this. On the 1st I made a housekeeping chore out of my Computer. I cleaned up a lot of old files and also deleted a bunch of pictures that aren't something I wanted to keep. I am terrible about downloading free quilt patterns thinking I will do them and after a year if I haven't touched them I just delete them.
I ran a scan disk and also defragged the computer. Yes I do it all the time, but I decided I needed to make the process a purging thing. It runs so much faster and I can get into several programs with quicker ease.
I also found in my experience that if I get onto a blog or website with a lot of ads in the side bars that I end up with more viruses and spyware. My email address has so many more SPAM emails when I spend anytime on them. You don't even have to click on the ads just roll over them and you can have a ton of exposure you don't necessary want. Also earlier this year I had 6 Trojan viruses hit me. I know it was from either an ad or Facebook. So many times we think things are safe and surprise it is infected. Make sure your antivirus and malware are all active and up to date.
The National news today said that mobile devices are victims of hackers this year so download your protections today. Chris

Sunday, January 1, 2012

We are old and we stay home for New Years Eve

This is some of the progress for the block I started. There are multiple layers and when you do all the prep for the block it takes some time to get it finished. Today I need to make a bunch of bias strips for the stems and then the leaves for the stems so as I work I can lay down the background pieces in order.

This is the pattern I chose to make this block. It is one of the patterns in The Rose Of Sharon Book by Sharon Pederson.
This is the project my husband did while I was sewing. He does jigsaw puzzles. He had dementia and it keeps his mind working to get these together. This one had 500 pieces and he has large hands and they were small pieces.

He started this yesterday afternoon late and got this far before he went to bed last night. I on the other hand went to be early and got up just before midnight and then went back to sleep, I am a morning person and I was up at 4:30am this morning.

Here is how we spent our New Years Eve. We are creatures of habit and we the age thing happens also. I hope every one has a Great Safe and Happy New Year. Chris