Friday, August 31, 2012

One of many parts and pieces boxes I own

When life gives you a bunch of scraps make something of it. Is that a famous saying> I think not, but it is true. This is a box I get out from time to time and do some stitching with what is in it. There are scraps cut for sewing and yet I add some as I cut other pieces up from my working with other fabrics. Someday there will be enough for a quilt. Maybe only a lap robe, but I can say I used every last piece to an advantage.

Here are the two blocks I am accumulating in this box. I have more cutting to do before I can go any farther with them.
It was kinda fun to pickup something different last night to sew on and yet getting a few more blocks made to further my efforts.

I have been contemplating the Winter and what needs to be done before the cold hits. I know I need to purchase some staples for the house. Every so often I go on a staples buying spree. Flour, sugar, shortening and yeast. If we get snowed in I do some baking and we always have food in the house. I try to keep the freezer full and with the prices going up as predicted I need to watch more sales and get quantity. If you have tomatoes which I can and frozen vegetables like corn,beans, carrots, and peas a pot of soup can always be made.
I even make my own stock if I am cooking roast beef and chickens. Frugal is the word.

A couple split chicken breasts and some homemade egg noodles make a great meal.

We live on a tight budget and yet we eat pretty good for this budget. So flour in the 25lb bag and sugar in the 20 lb bag can last through several snow storms. Are you ready? Chris

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I am just here

Hi, how are things? I don't know anything new and I was wondering how your day has been?
The heat has come back and the A/C is running like mad. The shades are drawn and the house is gloomy because I feel like we are in a cave. I turn on the lights and think more electricity is being used. I am at a stand still with making decisions on the quilt projects I have started and in stages of being worked on.

I need to do Fall house cleaning but to early. We live in a middle of a corn field and the dirt and dust will be in the air while they are picking. It is so dry here it will be horrible this year.

I did a little trimming on some pieces today and need to get them sewn together. Then it is a choice to stop the making of these blocks and make more borders or make more blocks. I now have backing fabric for it so I guess I need to get off the pot and make a decision to get it done.

I have five tops almost or done that need sandwiching and quilted. My get up and go has got up and went. No desire today. Spent time with my Mom and went to the store and the garbage and sum total of my day.

Nothing new on TV tonight. Not a sport fan and yet I would just like to sit and not touch anything. Maybe a good nights sleep is in order. I didn't sleep well last night. No my mind wasn't working over time I was miserable. I am not sick just me I guess.

I read articles on the news websites of gloom and doom and then think maybe we don't have much, but we survive. I then think of the Pioneer Ladies and their trek across the prairies and no shelter from heat and bad weather and nothing to entertain themselves other than a Bible and a few pins and a sewing needle. The needle was bent and dull and yet they made hand pieced quilts to protect their families.

Many times they had hundreds of miles without seeing another soul other than the people in their wagons. They couldn't wait to get to another town or camp to talk to others to get news and supplies.

Why do we complain about being bored? Are we bored or not taught to entertain ourselves?
Dreams are cheap and eternal, Reality is current. Kick myself in the pants and get up and do something productive. Oh My where do I start??? Chris

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Here are three auditions

This is the first of them. It is a blue and white plaid. This is blue, aqua, yellow and white plaid

Here is a blue and black geo design print.

The first reads blue the second reads aqua and the last a busy design. The first is maybe the choice. The aqua one isn't quite right for me. The last design is a piece of 36in wide fabric from the early 50's. I have drug it around for ever. Once I get the pieces stitched together I may use it for a border or binding. What do you think? Chris

I am getting older!

No today isn't my birthday, but I feel ancient. My thoughts are old peoples thoughts or at least what I thought old people use to think when I was 20 years old. The aches and pains of aging the tired feeling and yet I still have so much to do.

Today was take care of my Mother day. She needed some errands done and she couldn't do them herself. She bought a new flat screened TV and the delivery man wouldn't take the old analog TV which weighted a ton so we had to take it to a recycling place. It was the next town away and she isn't familiar with driving there so I had to take her. With the price of gasoline jumping 30 cents in the last two days you need good directions where you are going. Well they sent us to the wrong place and it was a different direction. Needless to say the individual that did give us the right direction was dressed down over their people sending older people to the wrong place with the price of gas going up. I told him a memo needed to be sent out to all their pilot places to have the right directions. He agreed.

What happened to treat others like you would like to be treated? Especially if they are 84 years old and obviously need assistance. Good thing I went because she didn't know where we were at and she would have had all kinds if troubles dealing with the wrong directions.

How do some people get by in life and not treat others with respect? OK I am off my soap box. Phew glad that is over with.

Auditioning some fabric for sashing on these colorful blocks. Have three on hand that could work, but I think one is out of the running. I will take some pictures and get your opinions. Chris

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Trouble Now

Well not really, but it caught your attention. I have spent so much time outside working on this deck and now the fun part comes. I have to spend time inside and get the house cleaned. I have done a lot of piecing in the early mornings and hand work at night and those crazy threads never seem to hit the basket when you pitch them.

I have my Granddaughter coming this weekend and she wants to sew her rag quilt so we will be busy doing that. She gets Grandma all to herself this weekend. That hasn't happened for a long time.

The garden is winding down and I need to get out and get things pulled up and taken care of out there too. Not enough hours in the day to sew and do everything I want to do or should do.

I am off to the machine to get some trimming and more of the colorful hexies sewn together. Hope everyone has a great day. Chris

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pressure washed and needs hand rail

I went out early and then it still took me 2.5 hours and I got it and that end of the house pressure washed. So now the hand rail gets attached and it is ready to paint with solid stain. This is the ramp side of the deck. Here is the other side of the driveway and you can see the length of the ramp. It is about 14 ft. long from the deck edge to the ground.

This is the front edge with the steps and the whole thing measures about 24ft long. Most of this is recycled wood from my neighbors old decks. Yes two of them were taken down and they were then hauled here and we made this out of it.

We have about $320 in screws and extra wood we needed because of hand rails and supports underneath. We figured it would have cost us new and labor almost $5000 if someone else came in and did the construction for us. So I am glad he was still able to get it made before it was a needed thing. Now to get it stained and ready for Winter. Chris

Color color and more color

Here are a few of the blocks sewn together. I still need to applique the hexie in the centers of these. I had 2.5 inch strips of bright fabrics and I cut out the pieces for these wedges. I sat and sewed a lot of them together so I can have variety when making them into the blocks. As you can see lots of color is going on with this.

When I cut the wedges out of the rectangles I have sewn together I have leftovers. I looked at them and determined I can reuse the leftovers. I sewed the straight sides together and re cut them into more of the wedges for this block. Nothing goes to waste with this fabric. So I have twice the amount of wedges after using the pieces.

Here they are to be re cut for more wedges. I have a Scottish background and I guess you can say I am scotch when it comes to fabric. I don't like to waste a single inch of it. LOL

I did learn a trick when sewing the wedges together. Start at the outside edge to start your seam. It makes the seam more even and it flows under the presser foot much easier.

Up early and decided to get some sewing done now. Suppose to have dense fog today so it will be a challenge for kids to get to school today.

Two days without internet

Well that statement wasn't exactly true. I had Internet service my computer was sick. No virus. though. The automatic updates from Microsoft didn't install right and it screwed up the computer.

I handed it over to the tech service I have with my Internet provider and it took over 3 hours to fix. But it is fine now.

So I got some more sewing done. The deck and ramp is done. After it gets light out today I will go out and take pictures and you can see all the hard work that has been going on around here. Chris

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rows together and first border on it

I laid this out on the bed and it is going to have to have some extra borders. I plan on a flower border of smaller sized flowers and buds out of the hexie shapes. Vines and leaves will be mixed in. I am going to make narrower borders on the length of the bed and wider ones top and bottom. The bed it is on is a Queen sized bed so you can see that it is a far size already. As I sit to watch TV I am making the extra flowers for the borders. I needed to get the blocks sewn together to make sure I have the right measurements so I can cut out the borders. Tomorrow the borders will be cut and marked to know how many leaves and flowers and buds I need to add to each border piece. Later Chris

More scraps

Scraps are flying through the air here. Bright colored scraps at that. I had some and my Mom had some and I am still using some Wanda sent me months ago. I am cutting 2.5 inch strips 4.5 inches long and sewing two together. Press seam to one side. I end up with this and here is a link to a tutorial on how to make this block. Look on her side bar to the right and the tutorial for "Sonoma Rose Block Tutorial " is listed there.

You need a 60 degree triangle and scraps that work together to make this block. Also a little time to cut and sew. As I go through my scraps I am cutting different size pieces out and placing in the right containers. This chain stitching I did to make the sections can be done 15 minutes here and there to get the variety you need for this block.

The center is a 1 inch sided Hexie shape and you can machine or hand stitch in place. Trim the bulk from behind it because of all the seams. Visit Loose Threads blog and see what else she has. Take a cup of coffee and enjoy. Chris

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My days are busy

This is the latest project outside. My neighbor had two decks taken down and we salvaged the wood to make a deck and ramp for the kitchen side of the house. We hauled all the wood over to the van and drove it around the block and stacked it in the garage. That took two days. This is two days of work now cutting screwing it and trying to get the frame work sturdy enough to be a solid piece.

Where Jeff is in the picture is recessed steps to the main part of the deck. On the back side along the house wall will be a wheel chair ramp. We don't need it for him yet, but the steps are getting harder to take and he thought while he was still able he would build them the way he wants them to be. A herd of elephants can walk across them and they won't budge.

They will be closed in so nothing blows under them and gets trapped. Couple more days and they will be ready to pressure wash and stain. Talking about pressure washing my house is getting done tomorrow. More work. Chris ps. no sewing the last few days I get in the house and collapse.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I've done lost my marbles

Yes you read it right. I am crazy, foolish but I like it. I finished the last of the 25 blocks of the EPP flowers. As I was sitting and finishing the last three I decided in my mind, here we go crazy!, I need to add an appliqued border. So my mind wanders and my ideas formed while the Olympics are winding down. See the little pink flower in the corner. Well that will be like flower buds in the opening stage with vines and leaves for the border. I took the elongated hexie and cut the seam allowance off of the pieces I had the size for the first flowers. So I drafted a smaller piece and cut them out for more EPP but in a smaller size. I them used contrasting colors as I used in the bigger flowers and sewed two together and placed the other lighter one behind and appliqued to the first two I had whip stitched together. As you can see about 3inches across the widest point. I think I will make some of the regular sized ones in the same shape also to vary the sizes. Am I crazy or can you see it????

The whole flower is about 7 inches across so this should be interesting look for the borders. I need to sew together the 25 blocks and then a small well narrow border in the green to frame it and the off white for the outside border.

I have a darker green cut for a vine and I have plenty of it so I can use to to make my vine and add different green leaves along the way.

Yes I am nuts, yes I am crazy and yes I am going to do it. I have no marbles left. It is only cobwebs up there anymore. LOL Chris

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Down to the last few blocks

I had to lay them out today to see where I was at for background colors. I think I envision a checkerboard center with a green narrow border and a lighter outer border with a vine and smaller flowers in it. I need three green background and one off white background yet. I have a green background in the works. So my numbers are finishing up fast.

My tomatoes are ready for some canning today. In between batches I will stitch some more down to the backgrounds.
I think about 6 quarts of tomatoes today to add to the pantry for this next winter. I will be glad to get onto other things after I finish this quilt. My mind has to much ideal time as I am stitching and I dream up more. LOL! Chris

Friday, August 10, 2012

Correct sewing direction for opposing seams

Ok I was asked what I meant by sewing over the raw edge on opposing seams. I will attempt explain.
After you piece as I have done with this section of squares. I press all the seams one direction. The same as I do to the next strip of squares I plan on sewing to the first one.

I flip the two strips so that the seam allowances are facing in different directions. I then skoot the seam allowances together so the seam lines are the only thing meshing together tightly.

I then align the presser foot with my 1/4 inch seam and stitch towards the meshing intersecting seam.

As you can see the raw edge of the pieced squares is trying to pop up and you stitch over the top of the raw seam allowance. This helps keep the pressure on the top to mess better with the seam allowance on the bottom. The top slides the pieces into the grove to make a perfect seam.

See here I sew over the top of the raw seam allowance edge and finish
sewing to the end of the strip. The key is to make them mesh together as you sew them. No pins are necessary this way. The proof is in the pressing when you press open the seam allowance and see how close you are.

Also in opposing seams when you flip it over the same thing is going on because you have opposing seams.

The pressed open block shows it works. No bunching like when the seams are the same direction and yet no slippage to they don't meet. I hope this explains my statement of sewing over the raw edge when sewing opposing seams.

As I said in the earlier post I read it in some one's blog sorry I can't give you credit, but I had been doing it for a long time and didn't know why because it works. It also gives you less bulk to machine quilt over because the seams are not on top of each other.

Today is canning day so I will be checking in to see if any of you have questions. "Try it you will like it ,"Mikey says. LOL Chris

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Focus and Channel are impossible for me.........

I have this issue within my head. It is finding the focus point to get things done. My life is not my own and yet what would I do or could I do with all the time being my own time. I bet I would not focus anymore than what I do now.

Is it a flaw, is it overly passionate about certain things?? Or am I lazy??

I have lurked on several websites and blogs for the better part of 4 years now. I learn something new every time I look. Whether it be a design image or a pressing tip I still learn something.

Did you know when sewing opposing seams you should sew over the the raw edge side first and not the seam allowance. I learned that the other day. I do that but wasn't aware of why I did it. Luck!!!

I have this passion that wants to do so much more and yet I go to start something and I hold back. I look at my Mother's pile of started quilts and I look at my own efforts and I think who will finish them. I have no one in my family that is able or willing to try.

I read the blogs of others that have bought tops and quilt blocks in different states of being done from sales and I think is this going to happen to me? I guess I have to look at the fact at least someone has them and is putting them to use. BUT do I accept that? NOT...

I either need to only sew or I need to quit sleeping. Which will it be? I think neither. I need sleep and yet I need to sew and quilt.

Oh well, I guess I get done what I can in my lifetime and I accept the fact that I love the craft and I attempt to make it my way and the best I am able to do. Chris

Getting bored

With the the Olympics on I have done more hand work and I am getting bored. I started another block this morning and I am just burned out. Need to go onto bigger and better things. I get close to the end of my project and I loose interest. I have done some machine piecing also lately. I made several more of these big blocks in the last few days. Need to assemble in rows so I can see how many more I need to construct.

I was lurking on a site I frequent and noticed that this blogger has seen some old magazines in a flea market. This led to me thinking of the box I have of old quilt patterns. They belonged to my Grandmother and I dug it out this morning. They are printed on the back of the sleeve that was over the batting rolls. Some are dated back to 1931.

All of the designs shown on the cover were available free with the purchase of batting at that time.

As you can see the directions are on the back and it even has quilting suggestions for the quilt top when done.

This is another type of older quilt pattern. It is on tissue like garment patterns are printed on. I am sure it is from the 30's - 40's. No date is visible on this pattern, but all the applique shapes are shown on the sheet.

See this is on the Mountain Mist sheet. It is the detail of the quilting for the borders.

As time went by the changed some of the patterns on the backs of the sheets. My Grandmother tried to find different battings and hoped she would get different patterns to collect.

In this blog I was lurking at last night they showed in this magazine this particular quilt pattern listed. I believe this one is from the late 30's group.

All of the directions and the fabric measurements are listed, but remember they use 36 inch wide fabric then so you won't have to buy as much of the 44 inch wide fabric to make these blocks. This pattern is a typical Red and Green quilt pattern with the Pomegranate pattern.

Here is another pattern that shows it is pattern # 24. There must have been a lot of these patterns available. At one time there was a book available from Mountain Mist that had a lot of these patterns reproduced in the book. I am luck to have some of the patterns from days gone by.

My Grandmother had no daughters so I was chosen to be the keeper of the patterns and they stayed in my closet all these years since I was 10 years old. 50 years of storage and I take them out and move them as we moved from house to house. The box they were in is finally falling apart and I need to find a better storage method for them.

I might have to copy them onto a flash drive and put them away from sunlight and never take them out but on special occasions. I need to add a note as to who owned them and how I received them for the next generation to look at. Chris

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Couple more done

I guess this wasn't the right bed to place these on. It is an adjustable bed and it wasn't laying flat when I took the picture. But as you can see it is getting closer to a done deal. Still more sewing to do. I have done several with the Olympics on TV. This is just another angle.

I think it looks like a period quilt. Like the 40's to 50's look with the hand work and the colored background of the green.

Suppose to be the hottest day of this week today. Slight chance of rain and yet it will be more humid later in the week and cooler temps. The doors are open at the moment, but as the sun heats up we will go back inside and stay there. Chris

Monday, August 6, 2012

More Color

Got a call from my son and he is better. Still on meds, but the infection isn't as bad as they first thought but still Staph. Here is some more color to look at.

This is an annual vine and the little purple flowers are few and far between compared to last year.

Rudbeckia or Black eyed Susan's
Always a bright looking plant.

This is Taylor's quilting efforts. She wants to make a rag quilt for her bed. She likes the animal prints. So she pressed and cut 120 6 inch blocks by herself. She is with her Dad now so when they get back we will work on it more.

Nice day out and here I am at the computer. Chris

Riot of Color

Got up yesterday and went to town and got a few things at the grocery store. I went to my Mother's and grabbed some scraps she had been setting aside for me. Yes more scraps. These were brighter colors. Had to hide them so Taylor doesn't find them. Really it isn't that bad between us she likes to give me a hard time.

Came home and picked tomatoes and peppers and decided the canning needed to get started. These are stewed tomatoes with the onions and peppers already cooked in with them. I use this for soups and spaghetti sauce. Everything already cooked together this way. So 4 qts ready for the cupboard. Then the disappearing 9 patch came out and more sewing. My son has had a health issue that I have been stressed over and he has been to the ER several times in the last few days. He is out of town and I have been worried so I got the 2.5 squares out and started making 9 patches.

I made all the 9 patches and started slicing and resewing and I came up with these blocks. I made several early this spring and set it aside. Found more of my 9 patches I had cut out placed in another container when I was looking for some brighter strips that had been cut. Remember Taylor has been cleaning. I will find them.

This is the bin of scraps in the 2.5 square tub. She asked me the other day if I bought them that way. I said no I had picked up a piece of fabric to cut another sized piece off of it and then I cut it up into other size pieces and place them in the tubs to get out to work with at another point. She said believe it or not "Grandma you are smart. " I had to laugh. Not sure what is going to happen today.

My son has to go back to the hospital today for more treatment and we wait until he can get home then. He is getting good care where he is at, but when you are sick there is no place like home.

Suppose to be a nice day again today. No A/C yesterday and we slept with the windows open last night.

I have tracked threads through the house and need to clean some. I did get my kitchen floor cleaned yesterday. The automatic window on the passengers door of my van was acting up so that got fixed yesterday and the neighbor need some plumbing help. So our day was busy. Some laundry to fold and put away and I think maybe I can sew some more today. Have a Good Day.