Thursday, October 31, 2013

Court was today it was long

Court over custody lasted over 6hrs. There was so much evidence from my son the Judge was overwhelmed. He postponed a judgement for two weeks. So it just is farther out. Sad to say the wishes of the kids is not considered even though they are old enough to make that decision. Not a good system. Chris

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Isn't she cute!

Quilting has begun

The sewing desk was cleaned off, the machine cleaned and oiled. New needle and then wind bobbins.

The section was layered and pin basted. It was rolled up and ready to start stitching. Am I sure what quilting design I'm doing? NO! Have no clue, but a lot of ditch stitching was done.

I took it out from under the needle several times to get a feel for how it should look when done. After all this is a scrap utility quilt. Right??? Does it need a lot of definition or just the run of the mill 1/4 inch outline stitching. My husband and I talked about it off and on all afternoon. He finally said you will figure it out.

I got up really early this morning and got the last of in the ditch stitching done. Now what do I do? Still don't know that was at 4am. Oh yes I was up at 3:15am and had two cups of coffee by 4:30. I just started out and it is what it is. Right??? Still not sure by 6am if I was on the right track or not.

7am I guess I'm committed at this point. The string part of the blocks are stitched in the shape of diamonds so diamonds in the sashing seemed appropriate. No marking in this part of the quilting. Removing a lot of the pins so the section is getting lighter to handle. I'm trying to stitch as many connecting lines with less starts and stops. About 2/3 of the section has the diamonds done. A few of them I have to go back and stitch only one line of stitching because it is on the outside sashing strips and nothing connected at the corners.
This is a dove gray thread so showing detail, but not a harsh white. Now the next dilemma I have to figure out the quilting in the center of the string blocks. In my mind I think I have it figured out, but not sure it will be balanced enough to not cause distortion.
I think circles in the 6 inch square of the strings will create interest and some texture. Maybe more than one circle also. Yes it is a lot of work for a utility quilt, but it is practice
since I haven't machine quilted for over a year now. I looked at a CD dimension and it does fit inside of the square perfect. I guess any item that makes the image you want. After I get the sashing stitched I will lay it out on the table and do a ton of marking. I need to find the center of the CD and mark 1/4 coordinates for registration points on the block. Then I can make sure it is centered right.
The next couple days are going to be rough for me and my family. Court over custody of the kids is tomorrow morning. Lots of evidence has been brought to light and hopefully the outcome has the best interest of the kids at hand  So you see I'm going to keep busy as best I can.
Hope you have a great sewing day. Chris

Monday, October 28, 2013

Finally got a full 80 blocks made

Got up early 4:15am and decided I would get these finished. Which ten minutes ago was quite a bit of sewing time. It is 1pm.

This is the top of the queen sized bed. So 8X10 6 inch blocks with 2 inch sashing makes the top of this bed totally covered. I plan on machine quilting, but I am doing it in two sections then will sew them together. Then three border edges will be attached and quilted.
So next step is backing and batting sandwiched together and start on the quilting. It is going to be pretty straight forward quilting. With this busy of a top most of it will be stitching in the ditch. I sure used up a lot of scraps.

I cleaned out 5 containers that hold over a gallon of ice cream. And they were packed to overflowing. Patting myself on the back that it looks that great. Now to get it finished. Chris 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Destined to the landfil or a scrap quilt?????

As you know I feel challenged to use up scraps and many small pieces of fabric. I took my string quilt top to my Mother's and she said to me after she told me she really likes the top that think about how much I have kept out of the landfill. So on my way home I thought about it.

My Mother now thinks twice about throwing small pieces out. I have rescued many bags of scraps out of her trash bins. She now asks before she throws anything away.

I have been reading Bonnie Hunter's blog for awhile now and fascinated by her energy and organization skills when it comes to cutting and sewing. Truly many others have great skills to storage and cutting techniques. I start out motivated then get the urge to stitch and never get back to the cutting and sorting.

The amount of fabric that one feels they need to but interests me also. Fat quarters, 1/4 yard, 1/2 yard, and full yard pieces run on the list of the most used. `I look at the facts. 1 yard will get you farther if you really like it, but how many scrap quilts are going to have the same fabric in them.

Other than sashing or backing fabric I haven't bought a 1/4 yard piece in two years. I have tried to slice and dice my piles to make variety and not use to many of the same fabrics in the different quilts that I make close in time.

Hopefully you have a method that keeps you inspired to keep on sewing. Chris  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Look who came to visit me

My son had things
to do today so I got the little one. She isn't so little anymore. "Miss Independent". She is getting closer to 20 lbs. now.
I cut my hair a couple weeks ago and she wasn't sure of me. She figured it out pretty quick. Her hair is coming in thicker and it looks like she is going to have a head full. I can post this now because she is asleep on the floor. Chris

Not a good night for me

I was a bad girl last night. I ate some food that didn't agree with me and I was awake most of the night dealing with the misery. So I'm sure it won't be a real productive day.
Instead of dealing with that basket of scraps I bought some yarn and knitted off and on for two days. My granddaughter said she wanted scarves and she loves blue. I haven't knitted for a couple years so this was a different pace project.  

This was a free pattern on
It was knitted with 10.5 knitting needles. It is about 75 inches long. Hopefully she likes it. The pattern is called Minnie by Annie Lee-Baker.  

While I was out shopping I found this tan on off white print for the Antique Rose Star blocks. I think it will blend well with the colors I have used.

I think I will use a solid for sashing and square up the blocks with the print then use a cream for sashing and then a wider border from the print. It is going to go on a twin bed and the muted colors make it look more antique. As I get farther I will keep you updated. Hope you have a great weekend. Chris

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Project for today

After I get back from doing my big grocery shopping today I need to tackle this bushel basket of scraps. I need to get a handle on what is in this basket and cut and trim to get some organization going. I know I have used some of these fabrics in two or three started tops and it needs to be managed better.  

I have this top done all but four to seven blocks. Need to get them pieced and get borders bought. Will look while I'm out today. I have a piece of fabric in mind, but I used it 5 years ago. So finding it again and enough to make it work isn't an option. Hopefully I can find something better. Can only hope. I still have 7 more string blocks to make.
In getting that basket cut and sorted maybe the string blocks will come together faster. Not getting done by thinking it will go away on it's own. At this point procrastination is a big flaw I have acquired as of late, need to correct that.
Didn't get to watch all the TV shows I like last night so will bring them up on demand today. Hopefully you have a productive day. Chris 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

One more to stitch

 I have 8 complete and decided this would be 9 block top. I am going to look for a tan print fabric to pull it all together. Might be a real dark tan. This block is called Antique Rose Star.
I think I have run out of the color combinations that had enough to make all the pieces. The outside edges of each block look solid, but they are tone-on-tone. Yes Jeff is working a puzzle, but I laid the blocks on top of them to take the picture. I haven't worked as furiously on this block as I have on the EPP blocks. This has seam allowances added to shape and you had to be a little more accurate with the stitching.
What have all of you been stitching on? Chris 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Looks like a feather pillow fight

Can you see the white flakes? Looks like a pillow fight is falling out of the sky. The ground is real warm so it isn't sticking, but bridges and higher points might get a little a slick. The leaves haven't turned color and fallen from the trees yet.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Four letter word in the forecast

Yes you read it right. S.N.O.W. Up to 1/2 inch, but the ground temp is 51 degrees. So it won't last long.

It is windy today and I started out by vacuuming the walls and cabinets in my kitchen. A job I neglect sometimes. When you can see the dust you know it has been to long. The ceiling fan and the floor all got cleaned up to. Really need to take down curtains, but they are getting so faded from the sun just need to make new ones. Maybe in the Spring.

I need to be in the sewing room, but if I get one room a day looking better then I don't feel guilty sewing.

My Mom needs to get out tomorrow and she doesn't feel comfortable driving with her lenses in her glasses not updated since surgery. So tomorrow is taxi day for me. But if she doesn't feel safe then she shouldn't drive. In a couple weeks she will get new glasses.

Stay warm the next few days. Chris

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sure dark out

7:20am Central Standard time and the street lights are still on. There is a bank of clouds coming our way from the West. Suppose to be the last so-so day this week. I guess it is that time of the year.

Hopefully I can get to the sewing room in the next hour and get cutting and sorting done so I can finish the last seven blocks. Many times I get this close and quit.

This time around I need to finish more of what is started so I can work on what is on my To-Do-List. It is endless so who knows if I will ever get to the end or close.

I looked at Wanda's technique for basting a quilt together and I think I'm going to try this. She lays backing, batting and top onto a hard surface. In her case two tables that are moved together. Then take long running stitches with a large needle instead of using pins. I think it will be far less weight to handle especially using a regular sewing machine to do your quilting on.

I think this quilt with the pieces I am going quilt it in two sections so I can manage the bulk of it better. Then add the borders and quilt them after the center is complete. Seems to work better for my set up.

Hopefully your weekend lets you get to some sewing. I plan on it. Chris

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Struggling to find enough different pieces

This is what I'm trying to use up, but I have had to add some strips to make variety. I have 7 more blocks to make and I can't have them all dull.

These are sorta plain so I will work them into other patches that I add more vivid colors to. I need to pull another tub off the shelf and cut away.
I think I have enough tubs with scraps for maybe 7 more quilts. I saw the same method only they were diamond shaped pieces you used for the template to stitch onto. When I get itchy to start something else that takes no thought I will try it. I sure have stitched up a ton of fabric pieces in this quilt. Chris

Still stitching

Still searching in the many piles I have. This is a hand appliqued block for a quilt for my sister.

This is an alternative block to accompany the applique block. Should get this one done to.

This is a sampler top I completed. It is from my cousin. She bought it as a BOM and never started it. Need to get it quilted.

Hexies. Don't know why I made them, but maybe will use the as accents on another top.

I have this one about done. But got bored and set it aside. A couple days of sewing and the top would be done.

This is on going. All hand pieced. Odds and ends of scraps that are not enough to do a whole hexie or to small to use as applique pieces.
I have great plans, but never seem to get it accomplished. But my days are not always my own.
My house looks like I have been sewing because I'm dragging threads through on my socks and the vacuum doesn't get run while I'm sewing. LOL. Chris

Friday, October 18, 2013

What the...........

Frustrated.... Not happy...Disappointed..... Bored.......

I have struggled with old age weight for about 10 years. Mind you my joints from my last job are shot. Menopause and sedimentary life style have paid a huge roll also. So now I pay the price. Not fun!

I have search tried and failed so many different ways to loose the extra weight. I have lost some, but not enough. I think I lost and regained 7lbs 100 times through all this. Frustrating. Now I have to get it under control. I do not to live like this anymore.

My Grandfather use to get weighed at the Dr.'s office. Took off his shoes, emptied his pockets and took off his glasses to make it look like he hadn't gained any. Well I don't go to that extreme. I am guilty of checking my weight to often.

I have tried Atkins, South Beach, Mediterranean, No carb, Vegan, Vegetarian, nothing works for me. Not the right combo of exercise and food.

I guess I'm trying to hard to will it off and need to regroup and keep trying. Hopefully you haven't let yourself go like I have.   Back to the drawing board. Chris

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gray out and sewing like crazy

Half of the blocks are stitched together. Starting to look like something.

As you can see the stitching of these blocks is with pretty small strips. Some were only 5/8 of and inch wide before I stitched them into the squares I was using.

 Chain stitching going on to make all the sashing strips for the connection of all these blocks. Today I need to change direction and get the strips back out and finish the blocks I'm short. Good day to do that because it is raining and very gray outside.
I missed a couple televised programs the last couple days so I was catching up on what I had missed out on. Thank goodness for the laptop.

Well pressed and ready to get going on joining rows. Stay dry and warm today. Cool out there. Chris

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mom was out of surgery in 20 minutes

She did fine and the Dr. said it went really well. She came out of surgery at 9:50am and was at home by 10:30 am. She lives about 5 blocks from hospital.

It was a cloudy and cold day so we went home she ate and took a nap. The eye is clearing up already and now she is reading a book. Chris


We have a wind chill today. 47 degrees with a wind chill of 45. National news this morning said next week there will be lake effect snow. That means about 100 miles from here in Chicago. To close for me.

Cataract surgery day for my Mom. Waiting room here I come. Chris

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Temperature is dropping

Fall has officially arrived. Leaves are falling, the fields are getting picked and kids are wearing jackets in the morning to go to school. I have even made a couple dinners in the oven as of late. The heat of the oven has taken the chill and damp out of the air.

This is the time of year I like. A light sweater or jacket is needed and throw an extra quilt on the foot of the bed.

I use 80/20 batting so there is some weight, but it isn't to warm to cook you out. I haven't tried wool yet, but tempted to get one and hand quilt an applique quilt to see if I like it. Has anyone used wool yet?

So many choices anymore. Poly thread, wool battings what happened to all the traditional stuff? I know times change. Computers and tablets and cellphones have changed our lives forever. What happened to the needle and thread? The treadle machine and cutting out templates from soap boxes with scissors? Are we better off than our grandmothers, aunts and great grandmothers?

Do you sit and reflect on what they did? I know I do. Wondered how long things took to get done. Where they got fabric and supplies. Many has to order from the Sears catalog to get batting and threads, pins and needles. Scissors lasted you for decades to be sharpened on a wet stone. Needles were bent, but the worked way beyond when the should have. Thimbles were bought as a cherished gift and were always close to the seamstress that they maybe would come up missing.

Hand quilting was done at the church in the basement, but the best quilters. They charged by the yards of thread that were used to quilt your top. The first machine quilted quilt I ever saw was sent out to be done and they cost $25 back in the fifties. Nothing fancy grids or cross hatching on the diagonal.

Fabric was 35 inches wide and whole cloths were pieced many times to get a full bed size wide enough. Percale and broadcloth were the terms used to indicate you wanted a quality cotton. Muslin was used a lot with feed sacks to make a contrast. We use silks and denim, flannel, linen and 100% cotton which all cost dearly.

The digital age has us all connected on line or through our devices. We know what you are doing on the other side of the World in seconds. A hand written letter to request fabric from a dry goods store took weeks to arrive. In the hopes you ordered enough to complete what you needed. Now we can print our fabrics out on the printer with our computers.

Times have changed, but our passion to create nice things for our homes has not. My mind wanders to days gone by and times when things were more simple. The only thing that is really the same is Women are creative with what they have to make life more enjoyable. Chris  

Progress yesterday

As you can see stitching going on. Sad part is I cut a few and stitch a few. That way I have to move to finish another row. Method to my madness. 

Here is the reveal. Gray print corner stones and blue sashing. I think it draws it all together. The next string quilt I make will not have sashing. Just butted up together.

This is my $2.97 a yard bargain fabric from the big box store. I think they look pretty good together. In the navy piece there is gray and white. The borders will be navy, white, and gray. Off to stitch some more. Chris 

Ok I'm up

Yesterday was really early like 4:30 am. Today was 5:15am. I got a lot of sewing done yesterday with my early start. Today still sitting here.

Today I have to get a to-go project ready. My Mother has cataract surgery on Wed. So I will be in a waiting room for a couple hours.

It feels like Fall. We don't have much color in our leaves, but today is rain and tomorrow it will be in the 50's for the high. We had frost yesterday in the morning. More frost warnings during the rest of the week.

I will get pictures taken of my progress on sewing yesterday. I need to finish a seam and some pressing before picture taking. I really am pleased with the look of this quilt. It looks like something that will fit anywhere you want it to be. Some quilts have a definite flavor to them. Bedroom, couch or wall hangings are a few examples and the look of them is different from each other.

Today is a turn on the lights day with it rainy. Right now it is 7:10am Central time and it looks like 7pm at night. Going to turn on the lights and turn up the music to see where I get with my sewing. Chris 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Can't count

I started cutting and sewing sashing onto blocks today. I have 7 rows sewn together, but I need to go back to school. I can't count.

I have to go back to sewing string blocks. I am 14 blocks short.
At least the end is near. It should only take about 4 hours to get the rest of the blocks made. I really think this will go together fairly fast after I get enough blocks completed. I really thought I had 80. Chris

Sunday, October 13, 2013

One goal met......

The jacket is complete. Set that goal yesterday and I stuck to it until it was done. Color isn't true in the picture. It is a navy blue corduroy and a white flannel with pink rosebuds and green leaves. Should get her through the Fall winds and dampness.  

I lined the hood and attached a self ruffle to the hood. The draw string is there to draw it up around her head.

The sleeves were long which she may need extra in the Spring with growing so I added an elastic ruffled attachment to the end of the sleeve to draw up the opening so the air doesn't do up the open sleeves. It can be worn with the cuff turned up or down.

One more thing done. The sewing cabinet is cleaned off. All that is there is the string blocks which is next on the agenda. I have to cut connecting strips  and corner stones. The navy print with gray corner stones will pull it all together.  

As you can see there are some pinks and purples in these string blocks, but I think it will work for a guy when all done. I have 80 of these blocks made and I need to get the calculator out and figure sashing sizes and what the finish quilt will be when the top is assembled. Other than the batting and sashing this top cost me nothing. They were strips and pieces leftover from other quilts. My kind of project. No money to speak of. Chris

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Yes this is why I'm overwhelmed. All my fault. I have to get in this room and dig in.

Here is a small portion of the scraps I need to sort, cut and sew up. I have three tops started out of this basket full of scraps. A couple of them were shown in the last post.

This is in the process and it has to get finished. It is a corduroy hooded jacket for the baby. This pattern I used for the other two kids and kept it not knowing I would be making another one. It will have a flannel rosebud lining which is laying there also. May need to tweak the back a little because she is so tiny.

Here is the pile of hand worked blocks made out of scraps. I think I have 7 of them finished. Not sure how many more I will be making. Have to see how far my interest keeps flowing.
Suppose to be gloomy today. I think the few sprinkles are already out of the area according to radar. Good day to stay in and get sewing done. Chris

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Looking at old pictures

These are all started and not finished. I guess I need to get some work done. I know there are more. Lots of scraps have been sewn and yet more need to be sewn. Shame on me. Chris