Saturday, November 30, 2013

Getting closer to a completed top, but still a long ways off

Yesterday in the morning I completed a block I had started. So last night I got the elements put and started another applique block. Here is my slow progress. I should have had more done, but I wasn't feeling the greatest so it is what it is.  

This is the completed block from earlier in the day. Well it needs a center circle and I still haven't decided on the color or the size for this last little part. There are 15 of these blocks when all complete so I will make 15 circles all at one time.

This is a close up of the detail. I try and get all my stitching small enough and buried well enough to the edge of the appliqued shape. After it is washed and pressed I'm pretty sure it will just disappear. You can see a faint press line in the corner of this picture. I press the corner to corner diagonals of the base block for my placement of these elements on the base of this block. That way they are evenly spaces and it is more accurate that eyeballing it. When I wash this block I will place it down on a terry towel face down and press it from behind to get the wrinkles out. I bought this fabric that I used for the base on  clearance rack and my Mother said this is ugly fabric. It was expensive when regular price. It is a tea dyed and wrinkled looking fabric. I think Moda. I got the last of the bolt which was 50 % off regular price and then an addition 25% because it was the end of the bolt. I bought all they had.   

I told you I had a pieced block that alternated with the appliqued block. Well here they are. The same base fabric with the pieced 9 patches and yet I didn't plan right. The pieced block is about 1/2 inch smaller than the appliqued blocks
on all sides so I will have to sash each pieced block with one of the fabrics to make this come put right. I can't cut the applique blocks because they are to close to the edge of the blocks as it is. Just one more hurdle to overcome, but isn't that what we do. We find a solution to problems and sometimes the mistakes make a whole new look to the quilt.

Hopefully if you went shopping yesterday you got all your good buys. Maybe you will find sometime to sew today. Chris

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The meal is done

The dishes are done and put away for this year. We had a simple meal, but it was a lot quieter than last year with 12 here.

Hope everyone had a good day. Chris

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of year for family and friends. We reflect on all the things in our lives to be thankful for.
I'm Thankful for my followers and their encouragement to continue to create and communicate in this busy life. Hoping all of you have a Great And Safe Thanksgiving. Chris

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Started to get it together

Well last night was the night. Three of the TV shows we like to watch were on so I thought why not hand work night. This is the picture I told you I would take for making the centers for the flowers. It is an oval shape and this is how I make them. I cut out the shape with a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance on the outside edge. I then thread a needle and make a running stitch just under the seam allowance. So that the thread will not show. So less than the scant 1/4 inch. Knotted at one end and a pull tail I can draw it up with.

I have the actual shape cut out in Templar plastic that is heat treated and I can use the iron with it and not melt it. I center it in the  center of the shape so the running stitch is visible on all sides.

I take the tail of the thread and draw it up so it pulls the seam allowance around the Templar plastic shape. It might draw the ends up slightly, but push it down. Then spray it with spray starch or sizing. I use the liquid that I dilute and spray it. I then place a hot dry iron over the top and press until dry. Then I can pull out the  Templar template and re snug up the thread until it is the perfect oval shape. This way you can layer the pieces with out the freezer paper behind it and have less fiddling to get the freezer paper out after it is appliqued in place.  

 I had to find another piece of similar fabric because I used up the remainder of the piece I had on something else. I think this will do. For maybe three of the 15 blocks. Close, but who will come after me if I use it????
Well I thought three shows on TV. Good time to hand sew. I would like to get some of this done and get the tops ready to quilt. I am making a pieced block to alternate with this appliqued block.
Which by the way is a flower from a Kim Diehl pattern and I'm
putting my own twist on it. Using two pattern ideas in one quilt. I started stitching and all of a sudden Frosty the Snowman came on. Well the show I wanted to watch wasn't on in the time slot. So I found another one that I normally have to watch on the internet because two of them we watch are on different stations at the same time this year.

I got quite  a bit stitched in between the action. I have 6 more to finish in this series. I emailed Teresa Rawson the other day from and we discussed the size of the background blocks for applique. This is the recommended size for this applique block and I feel it crowds the blocks. Not much wiggle room around the applique for quilting. So after this I think if I'm going to applique I will make my base blocks larger and  create my own sizes for the quilting I want to do later. After all I am the one paying for the fabric and if I want to use more I will.

I know today will be busy for many of you getting  ready for tomorrow. Hope all of you have a Great and safe Thanksgiving. Chris

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Not sure what will be today.

Up early today. Grocery list is made for tomorrow. Plan on being at Walmart by 7am tomorrow to get my monthly shopping done. I hate it when you only get paid once a month. In a few months that will change.

The weather turned snowy yesterday and it is still on the ground. Hopefully we can warm up a little so the snow will not make roads slippery. Several accidents in the area yesterday. Travel in other parts of the country are going to be effected with this Winter storm chasing across the country. Hopefully your travels will all be safe.

I plan on doing bathrooms and run the vacuum today. Maybe a little sewing will happen. I was in getting more of my applique pieces prepped yesterday and found out I am short some of my pieces. Searched for an hour for more of the fabric and I used it up in another project.

I decided it was a scrappy look to parts of it so the remainder of the applique blocks will have a different center for the flowers. I have another small print that had the same color shade and value so a few mixed in will make it look like nature because no two flowers are the same. Thought I was good about getting all the fabric together. Need top plan better next time when multiple pieces are used from the same fabric.  Either that or just cut out all shapes at one time instead of a few here and there. I have the risk of loosing pieces that way too. Can't win. Just not an organized person.

I think after Christmas in the sale aisles I'm looking for small containers that will stack for projects. I use a lot of zippered bags now and sometimes I think I have placed things away to find them scattered. I know that can still happen with storage containers. Maybe I need a manager to keep me in line.

Sometime this next year coming up I need to reorganize all my bad habits. Cleaning better, Eating better, Exercising more and better attitude towards life.  We can only do it for ourselves. No one can do that for you. No I don't believe in New Years Resolutions, but I do think I can try to do better and hopefully I accomplish the task. Hope you have a good day. Stay safe. Chris

Monday, November 25, 2013

Were are in trouble now

See what she is doing. She is pulling herself up to furniture now.

My son is remodeling the house so that is why the plywood floors, but she rules the house for sure. Look out now. Chris

Like paper dolls

Remember the day when you got a new book with paper dolls in it and you couldn't wait to start cutting them out...  Well that is what I thought of when I got these applique shapes all pressed down on the fabric.

Last night while watching Netflix we were sitting here idol so I got the table out and started working on cutting and gluing shapes from an already started project. I want to get something done here soon so I thought I have only 7 more appliqued blocks to finish. I cut out more of the freezer paper shapes last week. Last night I did a batch and this morning I have the second batch ready to glue. I need to make more leaves and also center ovals. Then I do not like the size of the center circle that came with the pattern. So I need to make 15 circles for the centers in a size I like better. The pattern to me didn't look balanced. But that will make it my own because I made it to my tastes.  

 Here are the rough cuts after it cooled. This will finish out the balance of pieces to complete the blocks. As I said I want to get something done. This year seems to be a bust to me because I had such a slump in my efforts. I guess we all get that way sometimes. This part of it I can sit with my husband and watch TV. I can sew at the machine at other times.
Trimming is done now and all the seams are clipped where necessary to glue. I prefer to place the freezer paper on the back of the fabric. I feel I have better control of the edges and their smoothness. Other's place it on top. I know we all have a different method of making these and what ever works for you is the method you should use.
Later on today I will get the leaves and centers made. I do another method for the centers. They are oval shape and I stitch a running stitch around the outside edge and use a Templar template and the iron and spray starch method to make more perfect edges. I will show you the process when I get to it.
Need to start on some cleaning today. Even though it will just be my Mom I feel like I need to get a layer of dust up. She is 85 and keeps her house cleaner than what I do. The only excuse I have is I have more tracking in and out at my house. Not much of and excuse but I like to sew and do hand work. Sun is trying to come up but we can see a dusting of snow this morning. I think Winter has arrived. Chris 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Just a few more days

Yes the big day is coming. Turkey, football and promises of a new diet after we have eaten to much during our big meal with 4000 calories. We all want to be with family and friends to share in this traditional day.

Well our kids are all going to other locations or are staying home this year. We plan on having my Mother come for dinner, but it will be a quiet day here. No extra clean up or cooking going on here.

I plan on a simple meal. My Mom said anything other than hot dogs is a gourmet meal to her so the bar isn't set very high. It won't be that simple, but far less prep than the last few years.

The holidays are not my favorite time of year. My family was away and I wasn't invited to my in-laws. Long story, rather forget. Maybe we can enjoy the quiet and reflect on the day rather than the rush of meal prep and cleanup.

Hopefully you and yours will have a Great and Safe Thanksgiving your way. Chris

Saturday, November 23, 2013


More stitching going on. The small 4 patches are turned to go the right direction and stitched together in 2's.

This is my sample block and I'm glad I had it available because I had one strip of the 4 patch turned the wrong way. Referencing the sample saved a lot of ripping that was just turned wrong.

So now I'm stitching more of these larger 4 patch blocks, but I try to lay them out so no repeats on square that join or turning the small 4 patches wrong when stitching.

Stitching begins and now it goes fast. Then you have a larger block to add to your big layout for your top.

I added a few more blocks this morning and still trying to decide how many more to make. Since this picture I made one more with the small patches so I have 15 of these complete. This is an extra long twin bed. Plan on I think 3 more larger blocks if I use borders, but more if not using borders. Plan on this one for the couch. My husband is over 6ft. tall so I need something to extend long enough.
Stopping to do more laundry and think about how much farther I'm going to go with this top. I have plenty of 2.5 squares cut to make it bigger. May need to cut some blue squares to add to the mix. Definitely a utility quilt, but colorful also. Chris

Friday, November 22, 2013

Some sewing

We have had a slump here. Gray weather and having to stay inside has hit us both.
This is what I started with 2.5 inch square I cut up from scraps.

I pieced them into 9 patches. They were random. As long as they weren't the same print they got sewn together.

As you can see they get cut twice from the 9 patches you have sewn. Also they get stitched back together. I try and lay one block out to make sure I have the section laying in the order for stitching back together. So the more blocks in the 9 patch the more variety you have to sew back together.

 So here is one layout to be sewn back together. See the placement of the smallest pieces. This is the correct order to be sewn back together. Stitch and press seams opposing seams are easier to align up. 
I have some leftover from this sewing session to use when I go back to make a few more.

This is the basic 4 patch. You can see the layout in case you want to start sewing. Big thing is make a sample so you can refer to it. I have gotten ahead of myself and had to stop and rip out. Then four of these 4 patch blocks are sewn together. Maybe I will get a couple of those sewn together later today. I will share when they are done. Chris

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Awful to get old

Remember I told you we moved the living room around. Well my chair now sits on a different side of the room and we did not move the TV center. Well here is where the age thing comes in. I'm looking a different direction to watch TV now. Instead of looking left now right.

I now have a stiff neck looking right. Hey it is stiff and aches. Awful to get to that age that a simple move can cause such a problem.

Cold night ahead then rain tomorrow. Must be a sewing day coming up. Did some last minute outside work today with cleaning up the last of the leaves. Hopefully they blow on through after today. Chris

Monday, November 18, 2013

What a day

Yesterday we sat and watched the horrible wind, rain, and hail we had. We were fortunate. About 75 miles south of us is Washington, Illinois where the worst of the Illinois storms hit. It is a nice little town outside of Peoria, Illinois. Hopefully they can pull their lives together soon.

We got up about the normal time and mid morning decided to clean and rearrange the living room. We haven't moved furniture in about a year. Well we have moved it to clean behind, but not moved it to different locations. We have a fireplace, 4 doors and a hallway and kitchen entrance and a picture window and one of the doors is a French door to work around. Not a lot of normal seating is done because I have a huge table, 6 chairs and a Curio cabinet on the other side of the room. Yes lots of obstacles, but it is home. I need to paint and I keep putting it off because of all the furniture.

Went to the store, fixed supper, did dishes and here I sit. No still don't have the next step in my prep work done for hand work. I know I was doing so good and now side stepped my progress. Chris  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Crazy sewing but still nothing finished

Part of this is the product of cutting for two days. I cut all these 2.5 inch squares and started sewing randomly into 9 patches. As long as the colors are not the same in a block it doesn't matter. 

Because as you can see they are cut apart. Half in the middle both ways. Then it looks totally different. Yes this is the start of the disappearing 9 patch.

Here are 4 quarter squares sewn back together flipped and twisted so they don't look like 9 patches. It looks more like a small pieced 4 patch.

Here are 4 of the disappearing 9 patches sewn into about an 18 inch block. They will now cover a larger area quicker. Not sure how I am going to set these. Maybe just as a total top, but then maybe with sashing or on point. I think it will be a twin size because I think you can get overwhelmed with all the business. But what a way to use up small pieces. 

Here I turned the one bock on point just for a look see.

This is laid on a twin bed and we will see how far this one goes. Lots more cut pieces to see the potential for more blocks. Chris

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Disappearing 9 patch

After cutting for another three hours today I decided to get the machine working and got several 9 patches pieced and pressed.

I need to cut more and lay them out for variety to make the bigger blocks.

They are colorful. The 2.5inch squares is what I used for the nine patches.

I think I'm going to go in and do some more sewing before I start to cut and re stack and sew blocks. Rainy and windy here. Chris

A little cuteness and lots of cutting

This is the face after her first scrambled egg. She thought it was wonderful. She fed herself. 8 1/2 months old and knows she rules the house.

Last night I decided there was no reason why I couldn't be a cutup while TV was on. I have this portable adjustable table I bought for $30 from Menards. I normally keep it beside the sewing cabinet for the pressing board and iron and a small trimming mat. I readjusted it and brought it out to my chair in the living room with a stack of smaller scraps from a laundry basket from the sewing room. I cut for 2 hours last night and an hour this morning.

Here are 2.5 inch squares. Mind you they were empty when I started.

A 2.5 inch strip then can be cut into 1 inch and 1.5 inch strips for string piecing or courthouse steps, log cabin blocks, or small 9 patches or 4 patches.

Here are the 1.5 strips. Just think of using all the small stuff for utility quilts or charity quilts. Hey you paid for it why not use it.

This is the second stack of scraps that are sliced and diced to fill the tubs.

This is an odd piece, but it works for two cuts.

a 1 inch strip and a 2.5 inch square. Not much waste then. I did get to watch the shows I wanted. This morning I need to move the table back in the sewing room, but it is light weight and easy to move again when I need it.

This is getting fuller and when I want to make a split 9 patch or disappearing 9 patch the pieces are cut. There is plenty more to cut and it will be ready when I need to be distracted and do easy sewing. Chris

Friday, November 15, 2013

Did other stuff yesterday

I guess I need to use this motto from now on. I dream all the time and yet it all is just dreams.
Ok onto another subject. I went and did some shopping yesterday, just groceries. The last semi warm day is suppose to be today. Then the temps start falling. Not all the leaves have fallen yet so my husband has been mulching them up so they don't blow everywhere.
We still don't have plans for the holidays. Everything about grandkids is still up in the air. I think due to stress we are just staying home. We will see them, but they need to be with their Dad. Planning to far ahead only causes to much stress for us old folks.
Off to the sewing room to see if I can get a dream to be finished. No promises. Chris   

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Where are these?

I think I made 50 of these 5.5 inch blocks, but where are they?

I think I really need to find these and do something with them. I was going through old pictures and I vaguely remember making then, but after that who knows. HMMMMmmmmmm...... better do some more cleaning. Chris