Saturday, March 31, 2012

Had this fear for a long time

Many months ago I was on Quilter's blog and thought I had better get off of it. Part of it was the SPAM and part of it was I didn't want to step on toes. I am a pretty private person and my sewing habits were placed on a blog for my own reference to my accomplishments. I enjoy reading other blogs and also enjoy the ideas so many of you have and then I think why didn't I think of that. I read about new techniques and also challenges others have and thinking to myself I wish I could be teaching a class. Well that idea is all going by the way side. This is my book shelf full of quilting magazines and instruction books. I enjoy reading all that others have done and see the potential of things I could do. Now I wonder if I should have bought them or should keep them. Big question is am I copying someone? Yes this issue is all over the blogs and has played out in the courts.
I question the legal ramifications of EQ7 and all programs like it. I question the purchase of patterns and the freebies off of the web. Who is right who is wrong?
Several have addressed the copyright issue in recent postings and many have a very definite opinion. Some feel the way I do and some are on the other side.
Copyright is a good thing if not pushed to extremes. Yes it is a tool that has been stretched to the length of the meaning of what a copyright is. Assuming is another issue that plays into the use of the copyright and the interpretation of the copyright laws is a fine line to hold us accountable. I am not a copyright attorney or a student of the law, but am I harming some one by sewing and making quilts? Some may question this issue and yet I want to make quilts for my own use and for gifts.
I wanted to make quilted items and sell them, but not now. I can't afford a law suit against me and also I don't want to be accused of showing something on a blog that will step on any ones toes. The question is do I blog, do I sew or do I ignore all the rumblings and threats and move forward?
I have scraps I work with most of the time. I do not always remember who's fabric lines they are and I have been given scraps that I used from other's without a label on them. Am I wrong to take pictures and show you my progress? Maybe I am boastful to think any one really cares anyway. Yes comments are wonderful to receive and I do comment on others of how much I enjoy looking at their projects. Is it wrong? Some in the quilting and legal worlds think it is.
If in fact I have stepped on any toes I am sorry.
What is a quilter to do? I want to show pictures and I like doing it, but am I setting myself up for a major problem?
I do not understand the laws to see where if you purchase a pattern or fabric that it becomes yours that you cannot use it with out a law suit coming into play. Ownership of a car after the sale doesn't make it belong to the manufacturer. To me, but who am I? The purchase of an item is my choice what I do with the item should be up to me. Most don't render a pattern exactly as it is in the book or on the printed page. So who is right and who is wrong? Are the Attorney's chasing quilters and are quilters being selfish?
There are copyright free patterns, but I don't want to make 4 patch quilts all the time. Is this what our fore sisters wanted when they created a quilt? Lawsuits are nasty and costly so maybe my quilts from now on will be 4 patches. How do you feel? Chris

Thursday, March 29, 2012

See I have been working at my scraps

Well that statement isn't completely true. I have been working at it. I didn't sew today yet. But this is the basket where I sit and sew and cut. As you can see it is overflowing with small pieces I have cut off. Yes some could be large enough for applique, but I am trying to let go of some things. I have been outside the last two days working in the yard and doing my monthly shopping. So I think tomorrow will be an inside day because of rain over night.
Sunday is my Mother's 84th birthday on April Fools Day. We are going to cook out and have my son and just have a quite celebration. As she says it is just another day. She loves food grilled so it will be a treat for her.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Maybe have a problem here. Obsession is a thing that makes me want to keep going. I did three loads of laundry in between doing this sewing yesterday. I did make a good supper last night and yet I got a lot of slicing and dicing done. The colors were a welcome change from the gray skies that were going on outside. My electric bill went sky high yesterday with the iron on from 5am until about 3pm.

Definitely a work in progress. I keep getting more scraps out and mixing them with a different batch. This way I have variety.

I was gifted a batch of leftover scraps from Wanda a while back and I am using them with civil war repros and more modern prints. I am sure she will recognize some of the prints when she looks at this block.

As they are laid out in the previous picture you see they have a square that is empty and is connection for all the blocks. I think this will be a 5inch block cut diagonally in two twice. So I will alternate the triangles of the octo with white and black, so it will give it sort of a Harlequin look to pull these busy blocks together.

Hope to sew some more today, but need to see if we need to mow again. The grass has grown so fast that every other day we need to address the mowing issue around here. We live on a River bank and the ground is really fertile and things grow so fast.

Today may well be another gray day and I think the sewing room will be lit up and bright in there. Hope you have a Great Day. Chris

Thanks again Wanda

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Tip

My tip is simple. Review your passions and go forward and pursue them. As you can tell I like scrappy. But I am so stagnant of my pursuit of doing different patterns. This is stepping outside the norm for me. Make goals and try them. Even if it is only one block. It needs not just be sewing or quilting. If you enjoy woodworking or painting or any other hobbies go out and find your challenges and meet them head on. The sky is the limit. Back to sewing today. Cloudy and suppose to get rain. Chris

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Three year project coming up

Yes I tried the scrappy look. Yes I am nuts, but I think the look will be interesting when completed. I am sure I will get tired of it and let it rest for a period of time, but it is going to be a challenge to get enough scraps to make this block. So far I am not repeating a piece in the blocks. I stitched my pieces so when I cut the wedge all are on the straight of the grain with the lines on the ruler.

Here I am testing the look before I cut this one out. Also pressing opposing seams helps in the over all stitching of this block.

Here are the first two wedges sewn together. I did as Hettie and Wanda suggested and trimmed the points off and it did help with the over all positioning to stitch everything together.

This didn't turn out to bad. The seams meshed together with opposing seam allowances.

Here is two wedges sewn together and the sections seem to be ok up to this point.

Here I trimmed the pints off and it makes it lay much flatter when pressed.

The two half Octagons are now ready to sew together.

Here is the stitching line of the two sections. So far so good.

Doesn't look to bad. Maybe a little tweaking. For a scrappy look it will use up pieces that I need to get used up.

This is the same block but from another view. I tried to get enough light and dark in the wedges to make it interesting. For a scrappy quilt the eye needs to move all over and not get stuck in one spot. Not sure what I will use to connect the blocks. Maybe white and black.

I guess it works and yet I am using up things that are laying around. Not sure if much more will get sewn today we have to fix out van. The belt came off in driving yesterday and it is going to take some will power to get it done. Car problems are not fun to deal with. Chris

PS. The van is fixed and runs fine. My husband has bruises and scraped up arms trying to work in the engine compartment of the car, but it is all done.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Trying but not succeeding

Ok here is my attempt. Doesn't look to bad this far away, but the points in the center are a little off. I think my ruler slipped when I was cutting the wedges. It seems awkward to me to cut this way. I am right handed and I guess I need a moveable table to get the other direction cut accurate. Wanda talked about the wedges she was using and I am not that good to try the cone shapes so I will do this in a center of a block. I got this ruler probably 10 years ago and never used it.

I think is the same one she uses. I showed Wanda's blocks to my Granddaughter and she said do it scrappy to use up some of this stuff you have. Well to get the design you need to be somewhat planned out to make the right look.

See my center is off with this first test. I know what the trouble is and I have to correct it.

I did attempt using a foot for a different purpose. This came with my machine for a blind hem stitching foot.
I thought well sewing long seams I need a true 1/4 inch so I placed the edge of the white piece on a 1/4 inch and guided my long seams up against it and it work wonderfully. So I have a true 1/4 seam allowance.

I also have made a purchase recently and I tried them for several applications and I am quite pleased with their performance. The Magic Bobbin Washers. They work really well.

I even use them in my bobbin case to sew regular seams and not just for quilting.
They make the best stitch and yet the tension is perfect now that I am using it. I have a front drop in bobbin case and it works well for it. Worth the little bit of money for them. As I said I am trying a few new techniques to get me motivated. Chris

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Tip

Storage is always a problem. I have this thing about visual images help me to remember where I placed things. I use a lot of generic zipper bags for most of my storage of small pieces. This has applique pieces or templates and small extra pieces cut out for circles and shapes that are left over. I have it pinned to a bulletin board behind my machine.

Here are some small sewn HST I have saved for something in the future. If I get anymore I throw them in the bag. But you see it is right in front of me and easy to get to.

Here is a freebie. It is a clam shell from Strawberries. I take it with me at times with hexie pieces. I keep the hexie paper pieces in the clam shell and it is handy to throw in a small pair of scissors and a bobbin with basting thread and also my hand sewing thread and a thimble and needle.

So many times I am tempted to buy the latest project storage pieces out on the market and I think I can use that money for more fabric instead of a fancy storage piece. Look at things as they come into your house. See it washed and made ready for hand sewing or small pieces of applique or template pieces.
Saves the landfill and yet it is useful all at the same time. Chris

What designs to quilt?

That is always the question I have trouble with. The magazines and instructions we have all say "quilt as desired". I have a lot of desired, but what looks right for the quilt I am working on. I like both hand and machine quilting. Do I do something simple or more elaborate. What kind of batting am I going to use? This makes a big difference with the closeness of the stitching. Do I want the quilting to blend in or stand out? So many what iffffsss!

I think you have to have a fairly simple quilt block to make any quilting design stick out. Many solid or solid looking sections to showcase the quilting that makes a statement. So many of my blocks are scrappy and the busy designs are nice, but don't showcase the quilting. Many of my quilts are outlined stitched or stitch in the ditch.

Some of these pattern designs are a lot of marking and I always get to the point I wonder on an everyday quilt if all the stitching is worth the time and effort. When and if I make an heirloom quilt HAHAHA! I will use the fancy designs. I guess I am to practical. Maybe a heirloom quilt for the grandkids for wedding presents. At that point in my life if they get used and destroyed I have no control. I can say well I did it once.

Many times young people don't realize the time element involved in making a quilt and the care they give them isn't as gentle as it should be. I have seen baby quilts given and never used and then there are those that are in shreds by the time the child is 5 years old.
I guess when you make a quilt for a gift you have to separate yourself from the whole process and say I did it, but it isn't mine anymore. Whether it be over used, dogs, cats or careless washing that quilt isn't part of you any longer.

When thinking a quilt through sometimes I get to the quilting design and I freeze. I usually go back to the outline because it stabilizes it and yet the urge to do more is there. What is a girl to do?

In reading this book written by Barbara Chainey called "Quilt It" I try and get some inspiration. I can see most of her work as hand quilting which I love, but do I have the time? Not at this point No I don't. I am still in awe of those that do such a lovely job of machine and hand quilting, I guess I had better get back to my simple life and see if I have the time to do some fancy stitching. Chris

Friday, March 16, 2012

Looky Looky

Red Penstemon, Columbine, and a dandelion in the right hand plant. All have come through in the last couple days with the heat we have had. Sedum by the Chicken. This bed got cleaned out yesterday.

Lilac bush is starting since yesterday. Look at how dry the soil is in the background. This is my veggie garden space and it is cracked and it really is dry. Hopefully this isn't a sign of the Summer to come.

This is a Maple tree and the buds on it are really red this year. That is the flower part and the part that causes all the allergies for those that are allergic to Maple pollen. ME!!!!!!

This is a clump of daylillies. They are later bloomers, but they sure are showing up early this year.

Remember this is only March 16th and the temps are about 30 degrees higher than normally. I still haven't put my snow shovel away yet.

Here are some of the tomato plants we have started. They were planted on the 2nd of March and are through the soil and looking good. Some will have to be thinned back, but they are nice and healthy so far.

Had a safer meal tonight for supper and hopefully tomorrow I will be in better shape to do some sewing. Chris

Migraine day

I woke to a throbbing headache and realized real quick it was a migraine. Last night I cooked Brats on the grill and it tasted so good, but I have a migraine triggered everytime I eat them. It is a reaction to the nitrates in the preservatives in the meat. I know better, but certain times of the year certain foods taste so good on the grill. Now I pay the price.
My Mom said go lay down and get over it. Do you know how many times I wish I could have done that and I worked right throught the pain and got over it.
We went outside and worked some on the flower beds. They needed the blown in leaves cleaned up. We clean up our beds every fall and the neighbors don't so we get their debris in ours when the wind blows. Not fair.
Today is a nice 71*F and cool breeze. Yesterday was 82*F and windy. Sure not March weather in our "neck of the woods" as Al Rocker says. We mowed yesterday and got all the mulching of the yard waste done and the yard looks more even. Some areas have grown already and the even yard looks nice. I need to get some weed and feed and get it on the grass to get it a good start. Maybe tomorrow. The more I fertilize the more you have to mow. But I like a nice yard. Noon off to get a sandwich no brats. Chris

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Somewhat better

Yesterday was a rainy and dreary day. I found this saying on the web and not sure who said it. Sorry but it fit.

My plan is to take it one step at a time and figure out the plan and hope I can execute it to the best of my ability.

So many times my life gets in the way and things go as they do. When you have a lot of factors that are beyond your control it makes it hard to make plans and get it all done as you planned. Some days flexible is the only thing I can be.

My husband's world has changed again and it has been a hard thing to deal with. Nothing that is life threatening, but a change in his routine has effected him and I have to adjust to the change.

I plan on some picking up and some laundry for sure the rest of the day will be what ever I find to do. I would like to get out and walk to regain some strength in my legs and back from all the sitting this Winter. Spring is almost here and the yard work will begin.

Watched the Robins yesterday and it made me want to be outside, but it was to wet. We had about 1/4 inch of rain yesterday and things are greening up. Hope you have a great day. Chris

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday tip

No tip today not feeling right. Not sick just down. Chris

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Not a good day

Yes this is a big quilt and yes I made the mistake to think I should do it this way. Thought about the fact that I should take it apart and then I thought about the borders. So I decided I would struggle through it. Well besides the mistakes of and poor choices I ran into trouble.

The amount of the backing fabric I had bought was about 2.5 yards not enough. Yes dummy me.

I figured and re figured about 10 different ways to make the black print go as far as I could. Cross ways of the quilt up and down all to no avail. I thought well now what do I do. I talked to my Mom and asked if she had anything that would work to add to it. I had a black fabric, but not enough.
I dug stuff out of totes and found this piece of old gold fabric and it blended with the golds in the print. So I measured and figured again. Then my husband knew I had about 13 inches of the black print the full width of the fabric so he said piece the ends so the black would for a frame around the gold. More figuring, and more frustration. I was so burned out by then I still have one piece of the black to sew on and press and then the back will be pieced.

This is turning into a negative project and I so want to get it done.

Today the grandkids and my son and Mother are coming for late lunch. I cooked chicken breasts all night long in the crockpot and I will make homemade egg noodles and serve it for lunch.

Then last night I got on the computer and realized I spend way to much time sitting in front of this screen. I went through my favorites section and I thought half of these blogs and websites I don't look at on a weekly basis anymore. I have the really favorite ones all in my google reader so I started a major clean up of my computer again.

The next thing I need to do it delete or move my pictures to a jump drive. I started that a few days ago and got side tracked. I need to even delete and move files on a couple other jump drives I have. One for Family pictures and one for documents, and one for misc. things. I guess I think my kids will want to see them later on after I am gone. But remember I have said before my son says that everything goes to the landfill so who am I fooling. Isn't it funny the things we save and think others will want them.

This time change is going to screw with the body for several days, but it is suppose to be warmer. The allergy count is way up with the trees starting to open. I have Maple leaves starting to peak out. But I am not putting my snow shovel away for another month. That way it won't snow. If I put it away it will surely snow like the dickens. Off to make the egg noodles and get the kitchen cleaned up. Chris

ps. I didn't do the homemade noodles. I didn't have enough flour. I had the packaged noodles and not as good, but passable.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This top needs finishing

This top was done before Christmas and yet it isn't quilted. The backing fabric was bought before Christmas also. I cut the selvages off and need to press the backing and get it pieced together. Then I can get it sandwiched. It is 93X111inches. I should have made it in sections and quilted each section and pieced them together. Oh Well It is what it is and I will have to wrestle with it. This is for my Mother and it is going to be her 84th birthday on April the 1st. It is a dark quilt and yet she doesn't like dark colors. She loved this one when I was making it.

This is the backing fabric. I bought it at a shop for 50% off and bought all they had. It is about 1.5 yards to small, but I have some black prints that I am going to piece on the back. Not a heirloom quilt so a pieced back will work. I have to get the ironing board out and get this fabric pressed. It is washed, but until I use the larger pieces I don't press them. Wish me luck on handling this large monster. Chris

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Testing, testing!

Thought about this for a sashing on this quilt. It is a deep navy and is solid fabric. I have had it laying there for several days and keep looking at it, but just not sure of the piece. I guess it doesn't strike me as the right one. It was a piece I had and thought if it would work I would use it. Just not doing it for me. So After the end of the month I plan on looking farther. In the mean time I decided I need to get some straightening done and get the sewing room more organized. I have drug out a lot and it is getting over whelming.
Sun is out but cooler today and I have seen two Robins. Well maybe it was the same one twice. LOL Chris

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Tip

Well three of them today are you ready? Coffee filters have many uses other than just for the coffee pot. They hold things in so why not grease when you pour stock you have made through them. They hold in potting soil when they are placed in the bottom of a terra cotta flower pot so it doesn't all run out when you water the pots for outside. Can be used in the house also with a tray under the pots. The other thing when you are tracing off a shape late at night and ran out of tracing paper it works. Also late night embroidery stitching they can be used as a cut away stabilizing medium. Did you know all that? Dawn dish soap. Well I use it to get grease spots and stains out of clothing as a pretreatment. I take my almost empty soap bottles and place them in the laundry room to use until I get the whole thing used up.

It also works good in a pan of water to drop unwanted bugs in like Box elder bugs and Japanese beetles and Asian beetles. They do not like it. Also mixed in water in a spray bottle and sprayed on houseplants to get rid of Aphids and spider mites works wonders. Spray all sides of the leaves and stems and it kills the bugs. About 1 teaspoon to a large spray bottle and soak the plants leaves and repeat as necessary. The eggs will hatch out in a few days and reapply.

Plant containers. These came from the garden store with plants in them last year. We save them and plant seeds we dried from the vegetables we harvested last year. They are red and green peppers also three kinds of tomatoes. So the potting soil is the only thing that cost me money for my garden this year.

So many things have many uses. Recycle and re purpose things saves the landfills and also saves your wallets. Hope these things help. Chris

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ok I need motivation

I have four more blocks to go and then I will have 30 of them done. They are 9.5 inches square. I need to decide if they are to be set on point or just a straight setting. Not sure of the sashing I plan to use and then after all that how to quilt it. So many decisions and I am have a Brain hiccup today.

I have tried to come up with enough lights and mediums to make this somewhat balanced for the eye to travel all over the place instead of one place and get stuck there. Some more moving will have to happen before I think it is right. I have used up a lot of small scraps and also several medium pieces. I sure would like the on point and I think that is what it will be, but my courage is waining on this. The set in pieces to square it up are bothering me. I know how to do it, but what if I don't like it. Oh well it is only fabric right. It will be more scraps if I don't like it. LOL Chris

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Nothing New Here

Didn't feel real good for a couple days and then decided I had neglected my house so I started cleaning.
I have sewn a little and yet I feel like I haven't done anything. I really am feeling cabin fever this year. I like sun and it has been so gray out. But I can't or shouldn't complain with all the suffering others are experiencing with all the tornados. Way to early for all this to happen.
Blame it on a the Leap Year. Have to blame it on something. Worried about how the summer months will go now.
Makes you want to look at your insurance policies on your home and make sure you have enough coverage.
Windy today and the mood is fleeting me. I cleaned up the kitchen and a bathroom and maybe off to the sewing room for the rest of the day. Hope you have a great day. Chris