Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Ok here is what I mean. I made all these Star in a Square blocks. And the HST are from the cut off sections of the flying geese section of the blocks. As I cut them off I stitched them together. I cut the darker color over sized and then I could get the points right. I then stitched them together on the bias side and today I pressed them all open and now to trim them. I had 8 of these HST's from each block. That is a lot to waste. So I have a whole pile of them to use someplace else. I thought about a border of HST's for a wall hanging. Maybe will get used for something like that. Not enough for this quilt.

I have been doing a few of these each day so hopefully soon I will have enough to get a good layout and then get the top pieced. Thought about quilting as I go process for this quilt. After the last finish which was an over sized baby quilt size I have pulled muscles in my chest wrestling the quilt through the sewing machine. Crazy I know. You are suppose to relax and I am really sorry I was so uptight.

I plan on getting a couple more blocks finished today to add to my pile of HST's and then when they are all done I will see how many I have. Chris

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Tip

Have you ever washed your towels kitchen and bath towels and they smell like stale cooking smells and grease and bath towels like BO? Well don't throw them away.
The bath towels have deodorant and body odor smells from your skin. Also leftover soap and lotion residues. The kitchen towels have cooking grease and food odors on them. It doesn't all get washed out. I have tried Clorox and it never seems to go away. Well the trick is no Clorox. It doesn't take out grease or oils. Use a cup of Ammonia in your laundry at the start of the wash and you will be surprised at how clean smelling you laundry is. Ammonia cuts the grease and oils and gets your laundry fresh. Yes you can use the scented ammonia and them wash the clothes in the warmest water the fabrics can stand.
I worked in a bakery and the smell of the bakery smells good when you walk in but it lingers on your clothing. It takes all that out. A dog bed or a cat bed can be cleaned with this also. After the clothing dries the smell goes away. Hope this tip helps Chris

Sunday, February 26, 2012

First Finish of the New Year

This is a quilt that was made all from leftovers. The only thing I purchased was the backing for it. The blocks were made from extras from two other quilts and the sashing was fabric that my Aunt from Florida had and she didn't want. It is draped over the back of the love seat in the living room and the colors go well with the room. Not to bad for an old lady. I woke up with a migraine today so not sure how much I will get done. Wanted to get the backing for another one pieced and get it sandwiched. I had great plans and then get side tracked. Oh well it will be there tomorrow.

I tried something different with the quilting. I wanted it to be softened a little instead of the straight outline stitching I have used so much.
I have ordered some tools for the use in Free Motion Quilting and I am waiting for them to arrive so I can do some practicing. I have set a goal to get a handle on this process and I plan on making an attempt soon.

Suppose to warm up considerably today. Was 18*F when I got up and suppose to get to 47*F by 3pm. Maybe why I have the headache. Family is coming for late lunch today so I am off to make dinner and get ready. Chris

Friday, February 24, 2012

I had a really bad day

First off I went to bed and now I am up. 11:37pm so what do I do I sit on the computer.
Ok here goes the bad day. I got up and decided I would get the last of the machine quilting done on this small quilt. I laid it out on the floor in the living room to show my husband and bent over to straighten one corner and picked up my right foot and got it caught under the edge of the quilt and it tripped me and I landed on the floor on both knees. Not good. Then after that I went out to do the snow and I couldn't get the blower started I had the key in the wrong position.
My son called and said he needed me to drive to get the grandkids so I got ready and was doing fine. Turn onto a road we travel a lot and it was running fine. All of a sudden drifting across the road and the on coming van lost control on a glaze of ice. He slide side ways coming right at my van. I had to take the side of the road and when trying to recover it I lost control with the ice. I slide side ways twice and finally got to a dry spot and the drivers side tires came off the ground and I thought I was going to roll the van I was driving. It came to a halt and I just counted my luck stars. My husband said to me I didn't think you were going to save it. No contact with the other driver, but he did end up in the ditch. I was turn a full 180 when I stopped. Then it was a white knuckle drive the rest of the 15 miles to get the grandkids and back.
I wanted to sit and cry, but I had to keep my wits about me. Remember I said we just got Winter well yes we did and it about got me. This was my bad day. Chris

Finally got Winter

At 4am I got woke up with a cracking sound. The limbs that fell are right outside my bedroom window. They are about 20-25 feet long and the larger end is about 4-5 inches across. As you can see we had a wet heavy snow and it pulled the tree limbs to the ground almost. The one is only anout 3 feet off of the ground. On top of the house in the picture is limbs resting on the house. Lotd of clean up from this storm.

Not sure my snow blower will work on this mess. It is so wet and heavy. Well time to get dressed up and get out the door. Snow finally made it. Chris

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Quilting going on

The laundry is going. The day is going to be crappy. Rain/snow mix and we were told last night 4-8inches. Today it is different. I think the weathermen need a window to the outside to see what it is doing. I should get out and get some milk and some bread, but will stay in and quilt. This is the block details. Nothing fancy, but makes a little interest in the overall look.

A lot of stitching in the ditch on this one. Hopefully with the bad weather coming in I can stay focused and get the better share of this one done.

This is the back I chose for this small quilt. It seemed the perfect backing to put on it. Back to the machine see you later. Chris

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What is a quilt??

So many times you hear a term and it has many meanings in my book. We don't rely on the Websters dictionary anymore for definitions. We use Wikipedia. So who is right and who is wrong. Or is it an interpretation. What is a quilt? Many call this an Art Quilt. I call it a collage.

This is a pieced quilt others call it a work of art.

This is a scrap quilt block. Others call it a Hodge podge of scraps.

This is an applique quilt and I call it a Baltimore Album quilt.

I read a statement the other day when some one was not thrilled with a posting. They said Well after all it is an art quilt. Ok an art quilt. Isn't quilting a form of art? In my book it is. Is it a true form of art? Depends on who you ask the question of.

Your quilting is an expression of your artistic abilities and not every quilt is thrown on a bed. Many are on the wall, over a chair, on the table or used in the kitchen.
My interpretation of an art quilt is the image it makes. Whether it be a collage or a pieced design doesn't mean it is just a quilt to throw on a bed. Many times the quilts we make are created from a passion in our souls. Some have different ideas of what their passion is. If it is an Art quilt who is going to declare it an art quilt? Is there a doctorate degree in Art Quilts. Probably, but are they going to look at my quilts and say they have a value.

The price I place on my quilts is not of any value. Instead it means so much to the person I give them to.

One of the reasons I quilt is to keep my sanity. The other is I like the feel of the fabric and I like making something with fabric. The purpose is to satisfy the Artist in me.
I have pieced quilts I have spent many hours on and yet they are not true works of art they are art from my soul. So what does your quilt say to you. Am I quilter yes, am I an artist no, not in the literal sense. Do I like my art, yes I do.
So my quilts in my book are pieces of Art From Me. Chris

Monday, February 20, 2012

Started on the right foot this morning

Last night I had about half of this pin basted so I finished it before I went to bed. This morning I got up and made my coffee read a few favorite blogs and started out sewing. I decided that I had better put my best foot forward and get something done today. No time like the present. I have it 2/3 done with the stabilizing or stitching in the ditch. I now have to go to the store and then get back home and laundry and more stitching. I would like to get this one done this week. I have two more on my to-do list for the next couple weeks. They are larger quilts and will take more effort to get done.
I wish I had a long arm. But I don't so I will do with what I have and make good use of what I have. Suppose to be warm and sunny today. Then snow/rain mix over night. Last year at this time we had close to 36 inches of snow for the season and we have only had 10 inches so far this year. The allergies are kicking in because stuff is coming up and pollinating. Going to be a different year for Spring and Summer at this rate. Chris

Monday Tip

No pictures no promoting a product just a tip don't get in a rut. Always something to do and something to see and learn about. Have a Great Day. Chris

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Focus Chris!!

Ok this is my day lately. I have been reading and not getting anything done. I think Wanda had the same thing happen. I want to be sewing but I guess I needed to step back and figure out a plan of attack. I made another task for myself. Well you see I am obsessed with using all this fabric. Crazy I know! So when I made my flying geese segments for the star blocks I cut off the extra and made them into half squares. I got 8 of these off of each block I finished. They need to be squared up and all pressed.

As you can see the chain piecing as I was stitching them and now I need to press and square them up to a usable size. Now what do I do with them??

I am so nuts it makes my mind hurt some days. I have almost 5 different scrap quilts in the progress of stitching the tops and three to quilt. I always said I wouldn't do this and here I am writing about it and admitting I really am crazy. LOL

This is one of the scrap quilts from leftover blocks . I got it laid out to measure and cut a back for it tonight. I got it stitched, but need to press it now. I didn't want to stop and set up the ironing board so I will do that in the morning in the light. The other insane thing I have gotten into a bad habit of doing is open a bag of batting that I have planned on for another quilt and I have cut a section off for a small project. Now I have all these partial batts and I need to measure and find something to fit this small quilt. It is larger than a crib and smaller than a twin. Should be something in there to cut and make do.

As I said no focus. Nothing really getting done. I am frustrated and want to be doing something, but I can't make myself get in there and be a good girl. But who likes GOOD GIRLS! Chris

I was in the hospital 35 years ago today

My son decided to arrive on the 18th of Feb. 35 years ago. The sad part was he didn't come with an instruction book. Many mistakes were made and yet he survived all the different events of growing up. He is a wonderful Father of two healthy kids and a Fireman and dispatcher for the 911 system in his county. He is an instructor teaching firefighting training to others and and EMT2.
He is a very caring person and felt his calling to service while he was young. He begged the fire department to let him join before he was old enough. He had a police scanner and he would listen to it all night long.
We lived in a small town and about two blocks from the fire station. He would get to the fire station before the fire chief did. He would hear the call on the scanner before the fire alarm went off in the town.
To have this passion to save and protect life is a badge of honor for many. I am very proud of his dedication to the Fire Service and to human beings. Happy Birthday son. Love Mom

Friday, February 17, 2012

Read a really good article today

I was surfing the blogs this morning and ran across the best written article about questions this author was asked. Many of you read her blog and it is quite a source for a great amount of information about quilting. The blog is http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/. I do not read it daily, but I will catch up on her postings from time to time. If you go to her site you can read the article and the answers she has for questions she is asked. I agree with her subject matter and her answers. I talked about a few posts back that thread and quilting have had this stigma about using cotton all the time for the piecing and the quilting. She answers her feelings about the different kinds of threads and where she uses them.

The other thing is the many types of batting's and their uses. I am a stick to it one kind of batting and many others use a wide range of different batting's alone and together. Many times in my experience I don't have different types of batting's available without ordering them. I live in a rural area and unless I travel or order I am stuck with what I have on hand or what I can purchase locally.
The same is with the thread that I use. I think many times what we have available is our favorite for the time. I would love to have a store close that had every kind of thread available, but it isn't possible. Same with batting's. I know there are certain kinds of batting I am not fond of. As she said in her article she talks about a batting you try and end up with a horrible outcome and all your efforts leave a sour taste in your mouth.

She has stated the many reasons why she sticks with one type of batting and also reminds us to do samples.

I really think this article would be a good read for beginners and experienced quilters.Get a cup of your favorite beverage and sit for a couple minutes and see what she has to say. I thanked her for her post and was reminded that we do things to please ourselves and our experience can benefit others. If you can't learn something new everyday then is it all worth it? Chris ps. Thanks Leah Day

ps I disabled the word recognition for posting. I receive spams and it will change again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Setting on point

I think maybe this one will be on point. I haven't ever tried that layout before and I think I will try and see how I do. You never know if you don't try a new technique. This block is going slow. I do a couple a day. Unless I have several hours together it is a slow process for me. I guess maybe I am slowing down in my old age.

Trying to determine if I was sashing between the blocks. I can visualize it that way, but then what color do I use. Always a question as to the final look of the quilt and I don't have a clear vision at the moment. I maybe need to get to a quilt shop and look at the choices I have available. Then the half squares on the sides needs to be considered. Same fabric or a contrast. Lots to think about. Chris

Well I made it through the day

I had a quiet day yesterday. Yes Valentines Day. I turned 60 years old and I had a quiet day with my husband. In fact he left for a couple hours with a friend and I was totally alone. This very seldom happens. I did do a little sewing while he was gone and some cleaning.
Last night we watch three TV shows and we sat and watched them and the day was a good day to reflect over the last 60 years.
I have worked all kinds of jobs. Been several places and met many people, but I like quiet time also. I got up early and my first phone call of the morning was my granddaughter calling to wish me Happy Birthday. She called before she went to school.
An old friend came and brought me two chocolate roses on a stick and another called and wished me happy birthday.
As a child I never thought about being this age. I have outlived my Father by 11 years and yet I feel like I am about 102 physically, mentally I am still 30. It is just a number Right???? Chris

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday tip

Out of necessity and laziness I found this tip to be very helpful. I am an early morning sewer as many of you are late night sewers. I needed a way to mark dark fabrics with a lighter line to be able to sew my lines for my flying geese sections. I thought what do I have. The pencil is to dark for these darker fabrics. I have chalk, but it some times rubs off while handling. So I rummaged around and found this. A white pencil from the kids colored pencil set. As you can see it leaves a clear line to stitch against. This is the stitching line and I wanted something that wouldn't bleed through. So many times pens even permanent pens will bleed through and then you see it from the front. This will wash out and doesn't bleed.

This particular one was from the Crayola brand pencils. The light yellow and also maybe a light blue would work. I always have pens, markers and colored pencils around for me and also the grandkids. So look around and see if you can find something in your possession to make things work for you when you are sewing and hate to quit to go to the store.

I am sure any brand pencils will work. The Dollar stores have so many different things that you can find a cheap set for next to nothing. Then if you want to doodle you have some colored pencils to work with. Chris

Sunday, February 12, 2012

6 1/2 hours at the machne and cutting table

Well the blocks are getting worked on plus I am sorting and pitching anything that I can't use. I have thrown away about a 3 gallon basket worth of slivers of fabric pieces that are too small and threads. I am trying to use everything I can before I pitch it out. I worked so long at the machine my ribs started to hurt. Decided I had better get up and move. I keep thinking I will do one more and then it is three later.

I have been cutting for each block when it comes to the rounds after the 9 patches. I still have several 9 patches all pieced together and ready for the extra rounds.

If you can sew a 9 patch and then sew some flying geese you are set to make this block. The hard part for me is the way to press the seams after several rounds of stitching and all the tips from the flying geese seams.

I think I like the contrast on this one about the best. As I said I am cutting each block for the rounds as I pick it up. I have a better handle on the look of the block by doing one at a time.

While I am sorting I have found things I forgot I had and also some things I have been looking for. I opened a bin my Granddaughter had filled and I sat there almost in tears. The reason for the tears was I will be 105 years old before I get everything done. I would like to have the better share of this mess of scraps sewn before Christmas next year. Yes I am making Christmas quilts already for next year. Silly me. Chris

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Few more done

I have had a few bad days and a few good days, but none real productive. We still don't have snow and we still have gray skies. Today part of the day was sun and so I did get into the sewing room and do something. These are slow going and they do take some concentration to get everything to match up properly. So I am getting tired and decided to quit for this evening. More tomorrow. I have several in different stages of being done. Maybe I can concentrate on getting the blocks completed before I cut out anymore.

The color of the pictures doesn't do them justice. I took the picture with an overhead light and it is yellow looking. They are brighter colors than what they appear.

I found one more I drug out into the living room after I took this picture. I want to make either a twin out of these blocks or a couch throw. Both about the same size.

I have been cutting scraps for ever and I received a box in the mail from another kind quilter yesterday. She offered to send the scraps to get them out of her way. I have drooled over them for the last 24 hours and not sure when I will cut into them. Soon I am sure. Thank you Wanda from http://www.exuberantcolor.blogspot.com/ . This was such a nice gesture and it helps her to get rid of the small pieces. I plan on paying forward and if I can send pieces to others I will in the future. Thank you Wanda ever so much. Chris

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I want Spring

We have had such a different Winter. 40 plus degrees and no snow. Yes why would I complain. Well it has been dark and gloomy. The snow would help brighten the day. No I don't like shoveling and yet the dirty look of the streets and the brown grass is depressing. I ordered a new book. Well it is in it's second printing, but it is new to me. The www.connectingthreads.com website has all their books 40% off right now. Also all the Hobbs batting are 30% off. No I don't get paid or and I affiliated with them. I just like to pass on a good sale if I know of one.

Doesn't this look clean and remind you of Spring. Bright colors and white backgrounds always seems peaceful to me. My Mom and I talked about those days and the way things were so much simpler. Many times the only color in a bedroom was the covers on the beds. They had white sheets and white curtains. This makes a statement that reminds me of Spring. Where is it?? Chris

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Not sure of my sanity

Have you ever questioned your own thoughts and actions?? Well I am sure questioning mine right now. I have stitched all these small 9 patch blocks and then make them into star blocks now they are becoming 9 patch-stars in a square. Yes seams and more seams. This is the last one I did and I need to get some more fabrics to cut out for the rest I have finished.

Sorting the color combos isn't something I am finding easy because of the centers and all the colors in them.

I think this will have to all be sashed with a grounding like fabric. It will have to frame them all so they pull together into a quilt. Pulling my hair out. TTYL. Chris

Maybe creative

Yesterday was another day that I couldn't make myself do anything productive. It was foggy all day and we have the same thing today only instead of fog it is rain.

So this morning is the productivity day I decide I wanted more on these tiny blocks. So I add another layer of flying geese and squares. No to get back to the creativity. I didn't have a pattern in front of me. No dimensions to work off of. I winged it. I stated cutting and then I made adjustments to my measurements. I am sure someone else can take credit for this block design and I take my hat off to them for the original one whom ever you are. I just decided to try the look and this is what I came up with.
This was my first attempt to try and get this right. Well it isn't quite right. It is a little off grain and the seams are not exactly straight. I find the bias seam and I are not working well together. So I need to adjust my technique on this part of it. Drawing a seam is going to be my next step to get it right. Eyeballing it doesn't work for me.

This one I used the same fabric for the outside square in a square layer and it makes the block look different with all the same background. As I said I am playing with the sizes of the pieces and also the fabrics to come up with something that I am please with.

Of course all is scraps and all is what I have here at the moment. I have decided I need to make a sizing solution to help with the pressing. I have a liquid starch and I think a weak solution will work the best for this application.

Creative maybe, working at it yes. Have a Great day. Chris

Friday, February 3, 2012


My mind has wandered as of late. Where it goes only it knows. I have caught myself sitting and staring off into space and yet I really don't recall what I was thinking about. My Mother calls that open minded.
The creative juices have all but dried up in the last few days. Yes I have cleaned some in my house and looked at the new quilting magazines, but to no avail. My mind is blank.
Yes I am sleeping and little stress I believe at the moment, I think the weather is taking it's toll on my abilities. We have had fog and it has lasted all day long for three days now. My mind is literally in a fog.
I read in a magazine and on a blog about taking advantage of opportunities when the thought of desires have crossed your mind. If you have dreamt about doing something that is a stretch of your current abilities try it. You will never know unless you make the first step towards doing something you have dreamt about.
Whether a new technique or a challenge that you need to try and hone in on a skill that you have but you need to perfect. My skills all need work. I am lazy when it comes to cutting threads well. I am lazy when it comes to perfecting the best 1/4 inch seam. I get in to much of a hurry and find myself rushing to get something done for a deadline. Procrastination is a bad habit I have and I need to take care of the problem by not doing that anymore. Sounds good right?? Well making myself do it is like making a resolution for the New Year. NOT going to happen!
As a caregiver my blocks of time are limited and they change from day to day. Some days the time for me is not there. Other days it is not a convenient time. Yes some days we all don't have the energy to be productive. I have many of those.
Yes depression is a factor, but I guess I am a giver and my thought should be not selfish. So many times I think I should get up and get some knitting so I can sit here, but be productive. Then I don't do it. The creative juices are dried up like this old prune.
Well today I am doing my household chores and then something is going to get accomplished. Even if it is only to trace something off. I need to be creative and find myself.
I have wanted a light box for ever and the cost is my hangup. I read an article in a magazine that made sense the other day to be inventive. Use a clear plastic storage tub and a cheap like dollar store touch light to place under it and use it for the light box. I can do that. What was I thinking? Why didn't I come up with that idea. So many times creativity is there because of necessity. Someone found a way to make things from items they have in their possession.
Now if I could find a way to click my fingers and the laundry and cleaning would get done I would be in great shape right? Maybe not that creative. LOL Chris

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What to do with leftover polar fleece

I have small pieces of polar fleece laying around and I have made these dusting covers for my name brand duster handles. As you can see I have been chasing dust and decided today I needed another one. I have made them and given them as gifts.

Cut the fleece double and the width you want. I cut my 4 1/2 inches X 7 1/2 inches. double for the back layer. I cut the next layer 2 X 61/2 inches double.

I layer them one on top of the other to make sure the coverage is enough for my handle.

I have this picture out of order sorry. But when the two are sewn together they have one line of stitching down what would be the opening on the handle.

As you can see the rectangle on the back forms the casing for the handle forks. Then the stitching in the middle makes the sleeves to go over the forks to hold it in place.

At the folded end I have clipped the opening for the fork tines to slip into. This makes the cover stay on the handle.

This is the part where you need to make the slashes in the layers.

I make sure the opening is there for the handle to slip into and then you can see the layers to know you have the right end to start the slashing on.

The cutting begins. I cut the smaller layer first to form the flaps to collect the dust.

Then I fold them back and make the cuts for the back layer.

Cut them as small or large as you like. Cut only to the line of stitching that forms the rectangle to hold the forks on the back layer.

Insert the handle between the layers on the back piece. This will go easy and yet it makes it stay in place.

This is one that I have used time after time. It goes in the wash and dryer and keeps on dusting. I do use a spray on dusting product to help with the pick up of dust. A light spray and it collects the dust and doesn't leave it someplace else.

See the little tab that clips over the end of the center seam to make it stay in place. Now to get some more chasing done.