Saturday, March 30, 2013

How can a pile of scraps turn into two more piles.

I haven't quite figured all this out. A small stack of scraps less than a fat quarter in size has turned into two more piles and almost twenty four blocks. So what is up with that.

At this rate I never will use them all up. I have a gift card for Joann's and I need to buy something with it. You heard need. Well the bobbin winder on my machine quit and the bobbin winder on my Mother-in-laws machine the rubber donut flew apart tonight.   I think tomorrow I'm going to buy a Side Winder bobbin machine. Might as well use it on something I need right???

Back to the scraps, I have got to stop and cut and I am sure I will make more piles before I am done.

Hope you all have a nice Easter. Chris

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fix and repair

Here are some of the blocks after I ripped out a square on each of the sides. No fun at all.
These are the squares that will get put back in the 2 1/2in square bucket to be used again.
Here is the alternating block for this Irish Chain quilt. It is modified for quicker sewing. Instead of individual blocks sewn together in the center I measured and cut according to the measurements. Less seams. 
See how it is next to the pieced scrappy block.
Can you see the Irish chain look with the modified block. I changed the block from the one Bonnie Hunter uses in her tutorial. I made it bigger than she did. She was my inspiration for this scrappy quilt. It is listed in her Tutorials under Leaders and Enders. Bonnie's blog is Hopefully you can find a scrappy quilt design on her blog she has many to choose from. Chris

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Unstitching YUK!

Well the dreaded unstitching is going on. I realized I hadn't got the right sequence going on for the Irish Chain. The center square of each side needs to be a light piece to work with the next block I will make.
See here I have a random situation, but the center of the 5 squares in a row on the outside rounds needs to be light. So Me and the seam ripper are friends for a little bit.
I found a light fabric that works and decided I would get started on this process. So loose threads are everywhere.
As soon as I get the pieces changed I will make the opposing block so you can see what is going on.
The last couple days we have had my husband's cousin staying with us and it seems different to have someone in the house. So things are not going normal for us. Our routine is disrupted. We are getting old and can't upset the eco system LOL. Chris

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Random scraps

I have done so much as far as hand sewing lately I needed to get acquainted with my machine again. I had a tub of 2 1/2 in sq.'s about half full so I decided to start sewing.  
I now have 11 blocks made since yesterday. I added about 20 new cut squares to the mix and yet have a ton more scraps to sew.  
They are all as I pick them up. I am trying to make an Irish Chain all scrappy. I will get them laid out soon and make the opposite blocks to work the chain part of the quilt. I figure it would make a nice couch throw. I have a couple twin sized batting and it would be a good way to use them up.

Snow today and it is windy again. Chris

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Long dry spell

No I am not talking about the weather. I haven't used the machine for at least 3 1/2 months. I have been in a dry spell and not interested. Today I decided after I got up I needed to feel the machine and needed it to do some magic for me. I pieced these last fall and I did quilt one a while back. Still had 5 more to finish. I had to move a sewing machine around to get to a bobbin winder and they came to the surface.
This is my Mother-in-law's machine and it uses the same size bobbins as my machine does. The bobbin winder on my machine is not working and we have had it apart and couldn't fix it. It is wearing out, but I prefer it to another machine I have. 

I moved this one close to my sewing table and decided I would use it to wind bobbins for my machine. It works fine and sews fine. It is a work horse and should be a boat anchor as much as it weighs.   
I completed all of the 6 place mats and have 4 on the table in the kitchen. I have a couple extra.  One for the center and another for a shelf in the kitchen.

Mentioning my Mother-in-law, she is not doing well. As you maybe remember she fell and broke her hip two weeks ago and had to have it pinned. She is in a rehab center and as you can imagine at 97 years old it isn't the way she wants to live. We are prepared for a dreaded phone call at any time. I wish she didn't have to suffer in pain and hopefully she won't linger long if it is her time.

We are getting some company next week to see her and we need to get some cleaning done. We started on it today and a good share got done.

Hopefully everyone is staying warm for the first day of Spring. The windchill this morning was -6*F here. Last year at this time it was in the 80's. Drastic change. I am ready for Winter to be over with. Chris  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Not Irish

Today when we were growing up we wore orange. My Mother was almost 100% Scottish and for centuries they didn't get along with the Irish. This was the Scottish way of thinking. I had never heard of it before or since so I am not sure of the authenticity of the idea of wearing of  the orange.

We talked about bagpipes and who was the originator of the bagpipes. Well look it up. You might be surprised. They found evidence of pipes in the middle east and Mediterranean. They migrated to Ireland and Scotland. The Scottish people continued the tradition and added the bag to it to make the sound change.

Both nationalities are a very proud people and the history is rich with survival and strife. Loyalty is the main underlying theme with both countries and today we celebrate one of the nationalities with a special day of celebration. Chris 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

30 blocks done and attached

I first thought I would make 36 blocks now I wonder if I shouldn't make 42 total. I look at the coverage on the top of the queen sized bed and think maybe 42 is in order.

I know I have to make at least 6 more and attach them. I guess contemplate the outcome as I proceed.
Today is International Quilting Day, are you planning on keeping busy and getting something done? I started out this way and we will see how my day goes.

This quilt top has been a challenge to keep going for me. I liked the handwork part of it while watching TV, but then I sit to many hours and get nothing else done. I think if I was at the machine sewing I would get up and get away from it faster than the handwork.  

We had three Cardinals in the tree the other day. Two were males trying to win over the female. A Red Winged Blackbird was seen and in rural Midwest areas it is a sign of Spring. Robins have been here for weeks. The Canada Geese are flocking to move north again. The buds on the bushes and trees are turn red. Sure signs, but the temps are below normal for this time of year.

On St. Patty's day last year it was 84*F and this year will struggle to be above freezing. Maybe wishful thinking Spring is around the corner. Keep sewing.... Chris

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Is Blogging worth it?

I wonder some days why if something isn't broke why do we change it. Well Google Reader is going away on July 1,2013. You will all have to find a different way to read posts.

RSS feeds is one way or just look up all the blogs you like and read everyday whether they have posted or not.

They changed the format of the blog posting awhile back and now it goes away. May not be worth it to continue. Chris

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not a lot of sewing going on here.I have done some cleaning in my kitchen. I got one wall of cabinets washed off on the outside and need to get back to the other side. Jeff has been making a few birdhouses in the afternoons.
This one is the best of this last lot of them. We found this wood in the trash. It was taken out of an old house and thrown away. If you look at the roof  it is a lap joint type planks. This is the way it was when we found it. Must have been used as roofing or flooring where something else was over top of it. Even the dark color was the natural color of it. We got a couple larger birdhouses and a wren house out of the scraps we found in the trash.

Well going to get something done in the next couple days. Chris

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Time change today and it will be hard to get up to dark skies again. We are so use to the time as it was.

I am still learning how to work the new program on the laptop. I was typing away and it disappeared on my. I obviously hit the wrong key while typing.

I know the weather changed some over night and it warmed up here. Almost 40F. Then today it is to drop again and rain we were to get will be snow. Can't win in Illinois. But wait an hour and it will change again especially in March.

I have looked online and in quilting magazines and I still can't get motivated. I think I will get out a WIP and do something with it today. Can't hurt to try anyway.

My husband was pretty down yesterday thinking about his Mother and her condition so we didn't do a lot other than talk off and on. He needed that. Today I think the grandkids will be around for a short visit.

The sky is gray and the weather is yucky. Chris

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Reporting in.......

Well this is a current report of my where abouts and doings. I haven't sewn a stitch in over a week. We dealt with snow for two days then my MIL fell and broke her hip so yesterday we drove to Rockford, Illinois to see her.

I did receive this in the mail on Wed. It is a new laptop.
It is a Gateway and it is the first laptop I have ever had. It is a different program than what I had also. It is Windows 7  because I have XP in my pc I decided since XP is no longer supported I had better get and upgraded model.

Boy am I old or what? Getting use to a new program and a laptop besides is overwhelming to me. I guess I need my Granddaughter sitting with me when I use it because she will understand what I am doing wrong and I am sure she will tell me. I can just hear her now. LOL

Back to the sewing issue. I am at a stagnated stand still. I want to sew and yet I can't force myself to do it. I guess in time it will come back. Maybe that hit on the head didn't do me any good. I still have a lump.

My MIL isn't doing real well. Her prognosis is iffy at her young age of 97 years old. The good thing was she knew who we were which made it easier on my husband. He is the baby and very close to his Mom. All I could say to her was try as best as she could. She accepted that and you can tell she is scared and in pain. She has other health issues that are going to deteriorate quickly.

We are to get two days of rain and the mood will be down today. We will be waiting for that dreaded phone call in the future and it will be hard to take, but we know it will come to this. Give your loved ones a hug today and tell others you love them. Chris

Friday, March 8, 2013

Making a trip to the hospital

No not me, but my Mother-in-law fell and broke her hip. So today we travel to the Rockford, Illinois hospital to see her. She had surgery and so far is doing ok. At 97 years old, age is against her.

Will be rough ride for my husband because 7 miles about kills him. We are traveling 100 miles round trip today.

We will leave mid morning and get back early afternoon. Chris

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

7 inches of snow and no deliveries

I waited all day for the new laptop to come and I looked at the tracking online and it was delayed because of weather. It was only 45 miles away. Oh well on the truck for delivery today. Yipppyyy!

We shoveled and blew snow twice yesterday and still some to clean up today. It is icy out there because it will remain below 32F today so we need to walk carefully.

Finally after three weeks the lump on the back of my head is going down. The scab is gone from the small opening, but the lump was very noticeable until yesterday. I sure watch where I walk now.

After lunch today I think my package will come so if I need to get anything done it will have to be this morning. Or I will get distracted.

Getting back to this snow fall. This is the most snow we have gotten this year. So we need the moisture because we are still in drought mode here. The trees are the thing that worry me the most. They have roots, but it is amazing how much they require to stay healthy.

No sewing yesterday, but I think I need to get farther along on something today. Maybe just cleaning off my cutting table in my sewing room. LOL Chris

Monday, March 4, 2013

What makes a quilt?

I have been reading several quilting magazines and many blogs of late. I see in details all the piecing and quilting that goes into quilting and my mind is overwhelmed at times. The question I ask then is it the color or the twist on the traditional pattern that make the quilt? 
Some quilters thrive on the color placement and the detail to piecing and I appreciate the efforts they put into the careful placement and techniques used to make the quilt pleasing to the eye and the effect is breath taking most of the time. Or is it the detailed quilting that makes a simple quilt over the top.

How far can you go? Then, is it enough? Who knows, only the quilt maker can decided.
In the case of a whole cloth there is no piecing and you have to use your quilting skills to promote the overall look of the quilt.  

What is your opinion on the question what makes a quilt?  Chris

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Are you superstitious?

Well I am and I am not. Not a pat answer, but I will try to explain.

I guess I have negative side to me and it reflects in some of the things I do day to day. When I was a kid well teenager I would get upset with a parental decision and I would sit on my bed and play solitaire until I wore out the cards or I got through my mood which would be foul at the time. I would play until I won. As a kid being angry and the hormone thing going on I lost a lot at playing solitaire and I had to learn self restraint and also discipline. I know strange thing to do, but it worked for me. I still have a short fuse when it comes to certain things. Like abusing an Elder and Children I do not hold back on those things.

I get up early most mornings unless I have had a bad night and I try and play at least on game of solitaire on the computer to make sure I have a good day. I play until I can beat the game. My rules though LOL! This is a crazy ritual, but it works for me. At least I have conquered something for the day.

I try and plan an activity everyday, but it is always subject to change which I understand being a caregiver and wife, daughter and grandmother things happen. I wanted to clean yesterday and instead we got company which we really had a good time visiting with. My youngest grandson came with his parents and we had a really good visit.

Superstitions are something that I never thought I would have. I do get premonitions and I somewhat know something is going to happen at times. My Mom was a widow and she was seeing this man whom we knew all our lives because he was friends of our family. I lived 90 miles away at the time and I called home and asked her what was going on. She said well I wasn't going to tell you. That day I just had to call home. Well she got married that day and they were going to tell us later. But I figured out something was going to take place. Something just told me an event was going to happen.

Many times if I feel uneasy I have to work my way through uncomfortable feelings and hopefully nothing happens. My Granddaughter is the same way. She is a sensitive child and she knows something is amiss and she will worry all day long over it. 

Do you know something is going to happen or do you have superstitions? My premonition today is I need to do some sewing but we will see if it happens. No I don't have a crystal ball and no I am not possessed, but I do like things to make sense at some point in the day and solitaire is on my list everyday whether I accomplish anything else in the day if I can beat a card game I am good for the rest of the day. Chris

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Progress slowly though

Five rows sewn together, but they need to be attached and all the connecting pieces need to be stitched on. The row on the left isn't connected yet.

This can be a lengthy task just adding all the connecting pieces. Still want to get all the hand work done before I start working on something else. I received a gift card to Joann's and plan on looking for border fabric for this one.

I think a darker border will make it work for me. It has to be fairly wide to do a decent drape over the edge of the bed.
The last few days I have had computer issues and finally restored to a different date and eliminated all the issues. Not sure if didn't happen when I downloaded a 1/4 inch graph paper image to print out. Free isn't always free it has add-ons sometimes. Not good.

The problem is resolved and that makes me happy. Waiting till the middle of the week for the laptop and then see what it has on it that can make my life easier or more complicated. Have a Great day. Chris

Friday, March 1, 2013

Nothing New here well there is something!

I got a belated birthday card in the mail and was surprised. I received a check from my sister and I was going to upgrade the Windows program in my computer and I thought I would use it for this purpose. Well the program was to big for the space I had left on the computer so after taking Wanda's advise I bought a new laptop. 

I looked online and found the things I wanted and decided to take the plunge. Also we hooked up with Netflix and we are happy with that.

We don't have cable or a satellite service so we needed some new watching materials and decided we would try this option. So far so good.

My purpose today is to get some cleaning done. My kitchen cabinets are in dire need of some cleaning on the outside. The inside will come another day. It is amazing the dust and crap that gets into every nook and cranny in this house. Pick a couple and get them done a few everyday and it will be done before you know it. HAHAHA!

I need to also get the beds stripped and washed and get them back together. Woman's work is never done.
Stay warm and hopefully your day is a good one. Chris  I just used spell check and I found out I don't know how to spell. Imagine that. LOL