Sunday, July 31, 2016

Couldn't wait to show you

Here are the girls with their chickens. They have property that they have calves and chickens on. The girls love to be involved. 
A lady in their community had a couple Roosters and they gave them to the girls.They went and got them and they like to hold them. Soon the laying chickens will be starting to lay eggs. So this should be interesting for them. Could wait to show you. My farm girls have their own chore boots they wear to the property to do their chores.


Another find redone and hanging

Several months ago I bought a vintage mirror from a consignment store. It needed to be refinished and I 
knew it would work for a certain place in my house. This is the stamped manufacturers label on the back of the mirror.  It was made and dated Feb. 22, 1935. It was a huge mirror company.

He got the mirror put back in the frame and showed me the label. The finish that was on it was coming off. 

We got it hung up in the master bathroom. We had a cheap mirror in there and it just didn't fit. 

My reflection and the flash showed up, but you can see it is a nice looking mirror now. We know the wood in the frame is walnut and had rich toned to it. I just love it. I paid $20 for the mirror and he finished it today. I keep looking for certain items and when I find them at a good price I jump on the  quick.

Tomorrow I will show you the corner shelf I found at a rummage sale and what it looks like now. I forgot to take pictures before he started.

I just got a nice compliment from my Daughter-in-law. I try and help them out with purchases I see on sale or rummage sale items I know they will use. I also have taught her how to can and freeze food and also to do some major cooking for family and seminars my son holds. She said a huge thanks to me for all my help. She is baking zucchini bread to freeze now and also knows how to grate it and freeze it in the amounts she needs for future use.

I told her I had no one to teach me. I read a lot and also ask questions of others. I learned a lot from cooking shows and PBS has some good programs on different foods and ethnic cooking.

I have more sewing done, but this is like picture overload today with my earlier post. Chris

Finally getting to it--------

I have this pile of quilted crazy/crumb blocks. I told you all I would do a tutorial. Well here is my method of quilting as you go and joining the blocks.  

I trimmed the batting back to the edge of the squared up block and left the backing piece there. 

I am going to use sashing and top stitch it into place. I needed to leave fabric on the back of the block to make a complete backing when stitched. 

On the extra edges I trimmed them to meet the amounts I wanted. My blocks are 9 inches squared. I know I will have seam allowances to stitch the backs together. Also will have to have a 1/4 inch seam allowance on the sashing. I choice to make a seam allowance of 1/4 inch to stitch the backs together.

I put right sides together for the back and stitched my 1/4 inch seams.

As you can see after pressing the seam allowance to one side I turned it over and all you see is the deco stitching and not another color on the back. 

I then measured the space between blocks and remembered to add for the seam allowances and cut strips to match length and width I needed. 

I also cut my batting into strips that will fit inside of the seam allowances when they are pressed over. This is a test sample to see if the stitch width and length work for what I ma doing. Remember your settings so you can go back to it when needed.  

I did a 1/4 inch seam press on the length of each strip and added the batting strips to the inside of the black print. I pinned it to the seam allowances to cover the 1/4 inch seams I am covering on the blocks. This will encase the blocks for no raw edges when stitched down. Hopefully you understand what I am saying. 

I used a blanket stitch in black and stitched along the black sashing strips to secure in place. They are catching the batting which is laying inside of the pressed seam allowances. I then pieced them into rows. The next process will be to make long strips to sew all the seams together. After the pieces are sewn into rows and the rows stitched together the quilting is done. All that will have to happen is binding and I think I will do that by machine also. This will get loved and drugged through the house with little girls. 

In the center of the black strip I do a serpentine stitch to secure the batting. It is hard to see because of the color of the fabric. 

Having stitched all the fabric seams on the blocks with decorator stitches on my machine to do the quilting and using fabric scraps this is a cheap way to make a quilt. I used leftover sections of batting that were alike and used them for the squares. Even pieced a couple of those. The only fabric I had to buy was the black mini dot for the sashing and I bought plenty to make some more sashing with it. 

By tomorrow I will have some of the rows sewn together. I will add the long strips to the rows and stitch them together. Just remember to make sure you have seam allowances added into your cutting of the block backings and sashing. Then cut the batting as actual size so it is not turned under and add bulk. 

Hopefully you can see what I am doing and if you have questions let me know so I can clarify it to you. Chris

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Now I did it

News on baby we still don't know. The heart rate indicates a boy, but we have to wait four more weeks to find out.

Now back to what I have done or not done. I am wore out from having the two little ones overnight. Laundry and dishes and picking up is done so-so. WE still have some picking up to do, but we can walk through without killing ourselves.

I sat in the glider rocker and started looking at sewing rooms Judy Martin the quilter has saved to her pins on Pinterest. I am just sick. Yes you heard me. So many lovely rooms and organized sewists and or quilters out there.

I am really jealous and yet my system is working if I would ever get it all in one room and keep it straightened up. I am not a good picker upper especially after myself.

I see storage plans and ideas that make sense. I see arrangements that are wonderful, but they are much larger spaces than what I have. I guess I need to lock myself in the sewing room and just sew to make space. I haven't sewn much this last week.

I would like to start all over with different cabinets and storage containers, but I don't think I would gain any space maybe even loose some. I will live with what I have and maybe tweak it a little as I get more of it sewn up.  I am emptying some containers up which is a good thing until I start cutting again.

Always room for improvement. I am not a perfectionist and I am not quilting for a living. I don't think I have the dedication to do this for a living. I enjoy the process and that is why I keep doing it.

I have done a couple commissioned quilts and hated the deadlines. I self impose on myself and I get panicky. I need to jump around to keep myself motivated.

Well I am going to get up in the morning after a good nights rest and see if I can make some sense of my mess. Chris

Had visitors

She stood still long enough to take a picture. Her sister didn't stand still. They spent the night and are still sleeping this morning. They both are growing up fast. She will be 2 in October and Autumn is 3 1/2 already.

Last night she got told No over something she was doing. She sat and pouted. I saw her Father's face from 38 years ago. That is a scary thing.

They are staying until their Mom comes for them after her Dr's appointment. Maybe we will find out gender today. Maybe not. She is due the early part of January.

I just plan on going with the flow today. Baths and playing the only agenda for sure. Have a good one. Chris

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why is life so tough?????

Have had a tough time dealing with things of late. Yes probably a little cabin fever with the heat and taking things out on myself. Family issues and things I can't control. So I am picking myself up and going to do a little retail therapy today. Nothing special just monthly shopping for the house and groceries. Slowly as I feel up to it I have been doing some stitching by hand. I am keeping my hands busy even though my mind is stuck in gloom and doom mode. I think today after  my shopping adventure I plan on doing some cutting. I need to get some variety  in my strips I use for these flowers and stars.

I still need to border this one with the tan fabric. I would love to go to the fabric shop and spend $500, but that isn't in my cards. I have fabric and I have been trying to control my urge to feel free to spend, but that isn't me. I try to be practical and other things need doing first.

I am going to go buy school supplies for my Grandkids for the start of school which is just around the corner.  Three high schoolers and they need this and that which is way more than what we needed when we were in school.

The school two of them are in requires you to bring printer paper. Their budgets are so low because of the condition of the budget in our State, {Illinois} It is sad, but it is also hard to not have the things you need to compete at school. The Salvation Army in our area is collecting extra supplies for kids whose parent can't afford all that they need. If you have a good heart and can help ask the schools if they take donations or check the Salvation Army in your areas. Sometimes getting good grades means paper and pencils that the other kids already have and they don't have.

The State of Affairs for this Country is in the news all day long, but we need to help where we can. Our future in our Children and their education is very important to us all. Chris

Sunday, July 24, 2016

75 degrees and 100% humidity already

Another hot one coming up today. I am up early with peace and quiet. We had a storm that lingered for almost three hours last night. It was quite noisy.

I am sure I will be taking a nap later today to catch up. First cup of coffee and I am sitting here typing this post.

The next thing is go in and clear off the cutting table and get the backing of the quilt along trimmed to the size I want. Then I need to get the sashing strips cut to the correct size. Heat up the iron ans get the batting strips cut and do some stitching.

Sounds like a lot, but I think it will go fairly smooth after I get the measurements set. I need to be accurate with the measurements to make this work well.

Stay tuned. I will be back later with a tutorial on getting this done. I do have to cook lunch for my Granddaughter today. She is working close by now and decided to come for lunch. Chris

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I haven't melted yet

I haven't melted yet, but close. We have one more day of this excessive heat. It is 101 heat indexes right now outside at my house. The heat and humidity are oppressive. This is the current star that I am working on. I stitched a couple stars in place along with the connecting flowers today. The little dark thing to the right of the pieces is my thimble. The papers measure 1/2 inch on a side. They are about the size of a nickle. 

Here is a closer look at the thimble with the small hexies. I baste the papers in the hexagon shapes and then I take them out when stitched next to another section. I recycle the hexagon papers until they are to weak to hold the folded seam allowances to the back.

There are bad storms in my area again and we are to get more of the rain and storms tonight shortly. so I wanted to post and not have the computer on during the storm.

I got the sashing fabric for the quilt as you go quilt. Maybe I can stitch some of it up tomorrow and get my pictures taken to show you how I plan on doing it. I am sure others have done this method, but this is the easiest way I think to finish the quilt.

I will take pictures and write a text to go along with it. So stay tuned unless I melt before I get it done. Chris

Friday, July 22, 2016

Nothing was planned today, but........

Yesterday we determined one of the two toilets in the house wasn't working right. After every attempt imaginable we decided to remove it and see if something was caught in it. Couldn't find anything. So it is sitting out in the backyard next to the Lawn of the Month sign and we went to look for a replacement one. One place would not even help us. We left and found one at the small lumber yard in our area. Got it home and it was perfect and lower priced than the big box store was. So that got installed.  The rest of the day we tried to recover. Last night we lost electricity with 99 degree temps. A huge and very noisy storm came through and we got an inch of rain and after 6 hours of no A/C we got electricity at 3:23 this morning. At 1 am I got up and opened a window so I could sleep a little better. It was cooler outside than in. 

We got up to lots of leaves and small limbs all over out yard. So I picked up all that the maintenence guys would pick up and we went shopping. Some people lost trees and in the old Kmart store parking lot was a staging station for the
Electric Co. Lots of service trucks and large trailers with transformers and a trailer with parts. It was still there at 5 pm tonight. 

I sat this afternoon after supper and started stitching on the hexies. I did stitch a larger star flower to the main piece and that takes forever to accomplish. Lots of twists and turns to get that done. I then started on the tan border on this piece and my hands were getting tired and I needed to turn on a light. 

Hopefully tomorrow I can get some more sewing done, but we will see what comes up. This is what happens when you are retired. You have plans and they don't work out or you plan nothing and are super busy. 

Stay cool we have two more days of this extreme heat here. Chris

Thursday, July 21, 2016

S-L-O-W stitching today

Adding some  more to this a little at a time. It was a stay inside day. A few minutes ago the weather showed the heat indexes was 112 degrees. The humidity and the temp are awful They talked about corn sweat today. Corn as it grows produces a sweat that creates heavy humidity. This happens when the temps are really high. We live in the middle of a corn field. 

Lots of slow stitching going on. I haven't wanted to do much at all. I have dishes to do and a pile of laundry and maybe in the morning early I can make myself do it. 

My grandson is employed detassling corn. It is a hot job and they go through the corn fields and pull the tassels off of the corn so it goes to seed for next years crop. It is a job done by teenagers in our area. They can't do it with machinery. They let the kids go home early today because of the heat. 

Tomorrow is another day. Chris

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Stitching some

It is to hot and I have been staying in. Had to run to the store and go back for some supplies for Jeff, but pretty much been staying inside.

The next three days here are suppose to be extreme heat. Planning on trying to keep cool.

Everyone in the heat wave watch for your elderly neighbors, children outside to long and of course animals in the heat without shade or water. This can be deadly. Chris

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Some stitching

This pile of leaders and enders was needing to be pressed and while i was pressing I stitched some of them together. I know it is suppose to be leaders and enders. I need to cut some more of the larger logs.  

The size I am making is 2.5 inches X 5.5 inches with the black squares they are 1.5 inches square. So as I cut strips I just cut the lengths that I needed for this lozenges. 

The black is dramatic against the colors in this section. I am back to cutting pieces for the corners and some variety for the log parts. If you have them cut you can continue the leaders and enders technique.

Not sure how far this one is going to go. I can keep this up for awhile. As long as I have the repeating black triangles it can be stitched none stop. 

This is going to be an ongoing project. Chris


I told you I needed to finish the cleaning of the extra bedroom. Well in the process I found these pages that my Mother made. She would doodle and she didn't always have the money to buy quilting books so she would use paper and colored pencils and make geometric designs for use in making 9-patches. 

She made a sample quilt with the designs she drew in these pages. I have a good design to make another sampler quilt. She made hers out of cranberry reds and also cream color prints. I wonder what it would look like in a colors, but them the designs maybe wouldn't stand out well.

There is 10 pages of these designs. This is the way the quilters did before computers and all the printed patterns. So I will attempt to get fabric lined up for a sample quilt. I think this would be a fun project.

Don't forget pencil and paper for another design element when getting ready for a new quilt. Chris

Got housecleaning done

I made myself get the housecleaning done. Jeff was outside and mowing so perfect time to get the cleaning done. It turned out so hot that we just stayed in the rest of the day. The next few days are just going to be horrible. At 6 am the humidity is 100% today.So small stuff got done over the weekend. We had visitors with little hands so I put most of it up. Pins and needles fascinate my little girls. When they get a little older we will work with sewing, but not yet. 

This picture looks so bright, but it isn't this bright. It is a deep purple and I have been trying to find a coordinating fabric to make this flower larger. This is a slow process and I do not want to buy any fabric for this quilt top. I prefer to make it completely from the fabric I have. 

Today I have to figure out meals and then try and stay cool. I need to go buy some stamps and I just hate the thought of going out. Tomorrow is my errand day and I know I will have to make some stops and I just dread that trip. I think the stamps can wait until then. 

The usual laundry and dishes and then maybe some more sewing will be in order.  I need to measure some fabrics for backs for the tops that are ready to quilt. Maybe I can manage to piece some of those so I can pin baste them for quilting. Always something I can find to do. Chris 

Monday, July 18, 2016

To hot already this morning

I wasn't very productive yesterday. I think I just sat and didn't do much. I did do my dishes, but that was about it until I cooked supper last night.

Today I think I had better get the kitchen floor swept and mopped. I also need to run the vacuum. I have threads all over the carpet after sewing over the last few days.

I really need to get somethings finished up around here. Christmas is getting closer and I have nothing totally finished. I would like to make a statement with everyone getting a quilt. Plus a new baby on the way and we need at least one quilt for him or her.

Today is more politics on the TV. I guess I need to stay busy and watch something else on TV. I have several sources for movies and TV shows other than the Convention. I will be so glad when all of this is over and maybe we can get some normal things going on instead of all this stressful TV.

We are to get storms or the last of storms going through today. We wanted to mow, but it will have to wait. The other thing I have to do today is clean out the coffeemaker. You know how they can get limed up. We have really hard water.

The humidity is up really high already this morning so it will be an inside day. Hope all of you stay cool. Chris

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Found my leaders and enders

I went digging in the mess still left in the extra bedroom and found my tote with the leader and enders I had started. It is lozenges with a twist. I didn't like the look with white and black corners I used several black corners. It gives it a different look. 

When I cut my strips I cut a lot of 2.5 inch strips then I cut them the length I need for the lozenges. I then cut 1.5 inch squares of the black fabric and have them ready to stitch. I had dozens sewn, but not pressed. As you can see the different black corner pieces for these lozenges. The black makes the color just pop when they are all sewn together. 

The tutorial will have to wait on the quilt as you go blocks. I have had a lot of expense this month and the checkbook is a little slim. Maybe next week I can get out and take care of that purchase. 

Going to cook some steaks for supper. Chris 

You asked and I provided

A couple of followers asked for pictures of the flower beds after we did all the work. So the sun was out and I went out and took pictures. This is the back side of my house. It is visible from the incoming road into the park we live in. We live in a manufactured home community. My house is visible from three sides so we have lots of flower beds. 

This is the south side of my garage. It has flower beds on three sides. My husband makes the birdhouses we have in out yard also. 

This is the North side of my shed. Jeff and my Grandson sided it this year to preserve the wood underneath. This is the same siding we have on our house. As the flowers were spent on several of the day lilies we cut them back and allow the leaves to regrow. So if there is a void in the flower beds it is likely that we cut the flowers back and it was easier to mulch some of the areas. 

We were given these limestone pieces several years ago and we turned an area in the yard into a flower bed. We live along the Rock River so the large rocks come from the River bed. We used some of them in the flower beds for focal points. 

This is my East side of the back of my house. We have a French door where the mini deck is. We have a couple benches on the deck and it covers the intense sunlight in the morning. We have Wisteria starting to grow up to the trellis. Many of the plants I have are starts from friends or I found them in the dumpster. Yes in the dumpsters. I then have divided and replanted a lot of them to extend all the flower beds. 

This is the south side of the house. As you can see we have voids. That is where day lilies were and they were spent. To the right of the picture we had two huge Russian Sage plants. We did cut them back. They were full of weeds down in the stems and we had to clean them out. They are starting to grow again. We cut them back every fall and they come out bushier next spring. The Cornflowers are indigenous to the prairies here in Illinois so I made sure  I had some for my flower beds. 

 This is the flower bed in front of my house on the West side.We have Red Penstemon and Blue Columbine, red Coral bell flowers and some ground cover sedums.
This is a new plant we got this year. It is called Archillea not sure if this is just a name or a variety. The flowers are all shades of pink and really unusual green foliage.

This is a lot of flower beds, but we have skirting around our house and weed whackers are hard on the vinyl skirting. so we decided to make flower beds so the solution was flower beds around all sides of the house and garage. Less trimming and the effect is striking. We, as I said, have our house visible  on three sides. So the colors against the white siding were important to me so it wasn't so boring. 

Doesn't that sound like a quilter. Color everywhere. I hope you enjoyed the yard tour. We like to keep our yard trimmed and looking in really good shape. We spend a lot of money on fertilizer and weed killer plus mulch and I think it has paid off. Chris 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ok This is my story

Yes I have a story to tell. I am up and not sure why.

Yesterday I was miserable. The weather was very hot and humid. We did get storms last night coming through, but they were not real strong right here.

If you have ever been a migraine sufferer you know changing weather can cause unrest with your headaches. I really didn't have a headache or migraine, but I was really uneasy.

My arthritus was acting up and I think that is what was going on. When I get that uncomfortable I just sit and can't function well. I tried to hand stitch and the colors I had out didn't work well so I ripped out a bunch of that. I went into the sewing room and found some more color combinations, but it still wasn't my thing to work with them.

I finally went to bed and I just laid their. I couldn't sleep. Golden years aren't so golden sometimes.

Well onto today. I am here, but not sure what the day will bring. I still have a load of laundry to do. I need to run the vacuum and figure out meals. Other than that no plans are made.

I need to get back to machine quilting and getting a tutorial finished on the quilt as you go process. Maybe I can work on that today. I do need to go to the fabric store and find a black mini dot for sashing for the blocks.

Well I hope none of you experience this uneasy feelings like I get. It isn't something that is pleasant to deal with. Normally I am busy on the computer or hand stitching, but nothing worked last night.

Have a Gerat day. Chris  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

More colors

Made a few more rectangle blocks to add to the ones I had yesterday. I think this will be a tummy time quilt. I need to add a little to it and hopefully I can find a back for it and make a quilt quickly. 

This has been a fun project. It moves quickly because I sew on three or four at a time and this way the blocks add up fast. 

Today is suppose to be really warm. We did a little more on the yard yesterday, but we came in before noon and stayed in. 

I need to get back to a routine here in the house again. We have spent so much time outside I have let things go in the house. Laundry needs doing and as always bathrooms need cleaning. Housework never ends even if you are doing something else. 

Stay cool today. Chris

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

2 inch squares and strips

Lots of pictures so get your favorite drink and you can watch this use of 2 inch squares and 2 inch strips.I always have a bucket of 2 inch squares around. That is part of my cutting when I cut down scraps.

This is a bucket of 2 inch strips. I thought  come up with something to use this mess up. 

I stitched 3- 2 inch squares together and pressed the three. 

I then dug in the bucket with the strips. Find a contrast and do some more cutting.

I cut 2 more 2 inch squares of the fabric strip and then 2- 2 inch X 8 1/2 inch strips. Yes the strips are over kill but I wanted to trim to be square on the ends. 

This is what the finished block looks like. It appears a little on the modern side. The block is 5 1/4 inches X 8 1/4 inch blocks. The really neat thing about this block is you can use what ever size squares and strips you want. 

They stitch up quickly. This is about and hours worth of stitching. But remember I have the strips already cut other than the squares from the strips for the outside round of color. 

This is about and hour and 15 minutes of stitching, pressing, and trimming. I can see crib quilts, lap robes and also couch quilts along with whatever size quilt you want. Sometimes we need just a simple and quick quilt pattern to make a quick gratification quilt. 

It is going to be colorful and yet it is using up strips that are just sitting there waiting to be used. Step outside the box and make rectangles for blocks. You could sash this or just sew them together. So many possibilities.

Suppose to rain here today, but it maybe won't come this directions. They say that maybe we will miss it. Because the weather front is fizzling out. So we will wait and see where the front goes from where we are. 

Hope this idea gives you another idea to use up squares and strips you maybe already have setting and waiting for the right idea to strike. Chris