Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cutting fabric

I keep finding piles of fabric. So I started cutting. The tub on the table is 1.5 inch strips. I use this size for several things so all print styles get cut and placed together. If I separate I would have so many tubs and not enough shelves to store them on. As I need pieces I pull them out and use them up, but at least they are cut. 

Also to finish cutting the pieces I started cutting I cut 2 inch and 2.5 inch strips also. These are my main strip sizes. I have a few 1 inch strips and I save them for string blocks. 

Is I need squares I have at least cut the strips. Maybe isn't your method but it works for me. Use the pieces I have cut and add more as I need to. Many times I run into variety issues and have to pull out more colors to cut. 

Today I tried to cut strips to use around the modified log cabin blocks. I have more of them to work up. The bulk of the cutting today was bright colors which I did pick and choose as I pulled fabric out to cut. 

I really like civil war prints, but I am low on them. One of these days I will order some. There is a shop about 60 miles away that carries this style prints, but they want 14-20 dollars a yard. That isn't in my budget right now. 

I will find some down the road. Keepsake Quilting has some and that maybe will be my source where I can get several at a time. 

Today is gloomy and we can get storms from now until,about 9 pm. It is in the 50's right now, but we have the lights on in the house. 

Not sure I want to watch the "President" tonight with his speech to the Congress. So maybe I will try to get some more blocks finished. 

The next thing I need to do it make some more crumb blocks I have a ton of small scraps that need to be tamed. 

Having fun, but pinch me so I can figure it out. Chris

Cleaning up small pieces

The other day when I was making the modified log cabin blocks I was using strips to make the rounds. The cut off pieces I threw into the bucket as you can see by the picture they added up. They are 1.5 inch pieces. I stitched them into strip sets and waited until I had enough variety then cut them into 1.5 2-patches. 

After pressing and stitching into 4-patches them press again I have almost 50 of these stitched together. I didn't waste much. I cut slivers off of them and so they are found pieces in my estimation. I saw an inspiration on  Pinterest of a quilt block using different centers and then border or make a square in a square with strings as the last layer.

I do have to do major cutting in the next few days. My 1.5 inch strips are next to nothing. I have so much fabric so why not cut the stash???

The idea I saw was using all the same colors in the finished blocks I want multi colors to make it dance when looking at it.

Today is run the vac and then make my way into the sewing room to cut. I picked up some clutter and more to do before I start cutting.

While I am handling the smaller pieces I will finish several of the pieces up. I have piles of smaller scraps that are needing to be cut up and just be done of them. I need the space to get some more of the stored fabric out and get used.

I think I told you about printing out very interesting block ideas and quilt ideas. I will probably have to pair down expenses at some point in my life and I want to use this for references. The Internet will be the first to go I am sure. Life will be a change after my husband is gone.

Reality has set in the older I get that we have today, but not guaranteed tomorrow. I think we need to prepare for things to change when we least expect it.

Now what are you doing today? Chris

Monday, February 27, 2017

I Feel Disjointed

We are all torn up again. Meaning we are painting rooms. You know curtains down. Pictures are not on the walls and the room is not usable.

I just have to move things back into a cabinet in the guest bathroom and then onto the guest bedroom. Which is going to be a disaster. I have over flow of the sewing room in there. Yikes!

Last night the pain I live with was kinda bad. The weather is going to change so I sat in the recliner and lurked on Pinterest. I really got lost in the colors and designs of some of these quilts famous and not so famous quilters.

The one person I was fascinated with was Freddy Moran. I have seen her on Simply Quilts years ago and know she has been quilting forever, but the colors she has been using really stood out to me.

I am more of a traditional style quilter, but this put a bee in my bonnet. I looked at pictures of some of her quilts and they were traditional patterns with a twist. The color was the twist.

So after two hours of staring at the computer screen over quilt ideas and all the color and designs I finally got relaxed.

I would say the inspiration from lurking on Pinterest has got the juices flowing again. I dreamt of reds and yellows and lime greens last night. Very vivid for sure.

I have the modified log cabin blocks and decided I would use a red Border on it with all the other colors it should be a bright mood changer when finished.

I guess I need to look at fabric different when I go to buy any. I have been looking for Civil War repro fabric and having trouble with that. I like to touch before I buy. Maybe will have to order some from a fabric company online.

Well hope you all have a good day. Chris  

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Mom had all this cut

This is a shoe storage container full of bright colored 2.5 inch strips my mother had cut over time. Some are the full cut and others the fat quarter cuts. That is what I am using for the center 4-patch on these log blocks. 

I now have 25 of these made. There is so much more I could make, but I will say this they use up the strips. I have cut a few strips of different colors to make variety. I had a bucket full and a partial bucket. I have pretty much gone through most of them. 

I have saved the small cut off pieces and will make some small 4-patches. I want to make some mini quilts. I have a hallway and thought  I would make them to display on the wall. I haven't started any yet so we will see how far I get wanting to and doing it can be two different things. 

I have been on Pinterest to much as of late. I got several ideas and several more thoughts going through my head. I have a bunch of fabric and unless I start cutting and sewing it I will not ever get rid of it all. 

I have started to print out some of the many that I have saved. I think several are doable with the type of fabric I have on hand. 

We haven't gotten the snow as of yet. They said rain first so we wait and see. Only 1-2 inches is predicted and that was a stretch. 

I can sure tell I am really out of shape. Sitting at the sewing machine off and on for about 5 hours today and my upper back is screaming at me. Tomorrow I will have to go at it a little easier at a time. 

I think the longest session was about 1.5 hours and I was up and down through that also. Awful to get old. 

I have been buying fabric off and on from Walmart. Now before you swear I want to tell you it isn't that bad. For a long time they had fabric made by VIP of Cranston which is no longer in business. That use to be the only cotton fabrics for quilting with any quality back in the 70's and 80's. Now they carry solid and prints from Waverly. They have drapery also. Waverly has been an upholstery and drapery fabric company for years. Really decades. 

The fabric holds it's color when washed and it has a good weight to it. I use it a lot for sashings and also for backs of quilts. If you are in Walmart check it out. You might be surprised. The solids are $2.97 a yard. The prints are $3.97 a yard. 

If you do charity quilts this is a better price to be paying than $18-20.00 a yard.


Gray day but bright colors

While cleaning off the sewing desk I found 50 log cabin blocks sitting there. I knew they were there, but haven't taken time to lay them out to get the right layout. The center 4-patch blocks are the ones I worked on this last few days. I made 3 more today so far. I have 20 of them so far. 

The strings I have cut are making more scraps as I sew the strips on. Little leftover are piling up in the container. I will have to trim them and make some smaller 4-patches. Scraps making more scraps is just more sewing. 

At least the colors are bright with such a gray day. We are suppose to get snow, but not like some in Iowa and Wisconsin. Blizzard conditions in Iowa right now. Wisconsin can get up to 18 inches. 60-70 degrees weather one day and two days later it is a blizzard. Mother Nature has it all wrong. Chris

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

No sewing today

She will be 7 weeks old on Friday and she is wearing 3-6 month clothing. Growing like a weed. 

She watches you as you move and turns her head to sounds so all the factors are working good. 

Sitting on sisters lap is all most more than Katie can handle. She has scratched her face. Her nails have been cut each week, but they grow also. 

So five hours of three little girls has done me in for the rest of the day. Toys are everywhere and a sink full of dishes, but it can get taken care of tomorrow. Chris

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Using pieces and strips

I threw these on the floor in a hurry to take this picture. The final trim hasn't happened yet, but they are sure colorful. 

I think these will be finished and used for Great Grandchildren if I ever get any. I am sure in the next couple years that will happen. 

I have three other forms of log cabins in the sewing room ready to be quilted. That is my big issue . Why do I put of quilting????

I know why because I would have to clean the desk off and baste the quilts. The thing I hate to take time to do.

Today I have to do some cleaning. I think I will open doors and windows today to air out the house. Suppose to be 70 degrees today. It will break a record for really warm weather in February. We had a little bit of rain over night and the trees are starting to show buds. But we are to get rain turning to snow on Friday so it is too early for this all to be a good sign of Spring. 

The days are getting longer which pleases me. I really need to get some more cleaning done as I said. The dust and closed in feeling has been overwhelming at times. We are vigilante on changing about changing filters on the furnace and cleaning, but with me sewing and creating more dust plus we are homebodies and constanly living in our house. 

So off to get the vacuum going and see if I can clean up some of the mess. Chris 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Using cut pieces

Squares in 4-patches and 1.5 inch strips are the things I am working with. I had strips cut into 2.5 inches so made 4-patches. Then decided I would add the logs around the 4-patches. 

I think it will be a cute quilt. If nothing else it will be bright. I started it yesterday, but had to rip out several strips because I wasn't paying well enough to the sequence. 

I woke up at 3:30am so I finished up several more after correcting the ones I ripped out. I have several more in the works. I will make as many as the piles of scraps will allow.

Suppose to be in the 60's again today. Then by Saturday we are to expect rain turning to snow. They are predicting how much we will receive so we need to wait until later in the week to hear that much. 

We had two of the girls yesterday and they were pretty good. They played outside and had fun. I had to take them for new shoes. Their feet grow like weeds. 

As we were walking out in the parking lot to get back to the car Autumn's shoe slipped off her feet. I said keep walking to the car and I picked up her shoe. We were holding up cars in the parking lot. A lady walked by and laughed. It was funny because she had to stop and put the shoe back on right there. 

Well going to get some more done. The dishwasher is going and I need to start laundry then more sewing. Chris 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Such a dummy I am

I worked more on stem work last night. going quite well and I thought well this won't be to bad.
I tried to remember what the next set of stems looked like and where would they go. I don't have a light box and I couldn't put it up to the window with light so I looked at the master copy and I did it wrong.

In the master copy the little stems are underneath the bigger stems. So i have to go back and clip stitches and tuck them under and restitch them down. 

I shouldn't have done it without looking at the master. I was trying to divert a great amount of pain I was having at the momment and I was having a good time getting this accomplished. The stitches were perfect and it was going so well. 

The pieces are from Batiks and sometimes they can be stinkers to hand stitch through. I got a #9 Betweens out and it sliced right through the tight weave of the Batik. 

I need to get back into a habit of a couple hours per day of piecing also. I miss the sewing on  the machine. 

We had to go to my son's yesterday so I only had last night to stitch. Today I have an appointment at the bank to go over investments. Also this evening I am having my son's family for supper for his 40th birthday tomorrow. 

So I have to pick up some groceries and do a little cooking. Maybe in between cooking chores I can unstitch the stems and get theat fixed. Chris

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Three little girls came last night

Yesterday was Valentines Day and my Birthday, but we babysat the girls. That is more fun to me then sitting in a noisy restaurant waiting on a meal. Charleigh got to use her new quilt. She really liked sitting with Grandpa. 

She is 6 weeks old and holds her head up to look around all the time. Doesn't want to miss anything. 

This little monster wants to help. She helped Grandpa change a diaper. She will be a good little Mother when she has kids. 

Katie is a free spirit. She loves to tease. Remember the candy necklaces. Well that is what she had around her neck. I didn't think they made them anymore. She has grown up so much. She is almost 2 1/2 now. 

Mom acted like she had fun last night. She and my son don't get to go out to often without kids. 

One of the girls took their Dad's picture so he had to put on a show. In a couple days he will be 40. Where has the time gone. I remember holding him like we did Charleigh last night. 

It was a good Valentines day and Birthday. Today I need to get back into the routine. Chris

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

been over 2 years

It has taken for ever. I got them done to this point. I have 9 of these appliqued to the background fabric. I stitched these while my husband had a health crisis a couple years ago. 

The kite shapes are all hand stitched and cut with template and scissors. I plan to square up the blocks as soon as I get them pressed and then use a sashing and borders to make it larger. 

Well today I am an official Senior Citizen. It is a scary time for me because I keep thinking I have so much to do, but I am slowing down really fast. I want to be productive into the future for quite a while longer. 

I have outlived my Father and all but one of my Grandparents. My Maternal Grandmothr lived to be 84 years old. My Mother lived to be 87 years old. Well can't dewll on that. Need to stay focused and take care of myself. 

Can you tell I am not dealing with this birthday. I had a lot of trouble with my 36th birthday. I knew then that I wouldn't have anymore children. That was hard on me. 

To make up for that I have grandchildren. 

Today will be quiet. I think or was told we maybe would have three little girls this evening while Mom and Dad go out for dinner. Haven't heard any details yet. It maybe will not happen. 

Have a Happy Valentines Day. Chris  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Did a little bit today

I got stems cut and a couple sewn on. Today my husband was finishing up his bathroom. He painted the ceiling and the walls. So I had time to my self to get it started. I did dishes and did laundry so I did get a couple other things done. 

These are the parts for flowers for 4 blocks. Each has five flowers on the block. This took forever to iron down the freezer paper. Next I have to cut out and also get the gluing done on the seam allowances. 

I would have gone outside today with the sun out, but it was so windy. 20-35 mph gusts. I can't wait for 60-70 degree weather. We have only had about 9 inches of snow for the whole Winter. We normally get that in one two week period. I am thinking it is either going to be a wet Spring or dry Summer. 

Hope you had a productive weekend Chris

Friday, February 10, 2017

Some hand work

These have been hand pieced for about 18 months. I had started to applique them on the background and then for what ever reason which I am sure there were many I put it away. I have 9 of these pieced. I am down to working on the last three.

They will make a fairly large top with sashing and borders. They are the kite shape and I did the old fashion way with scissors and templates. Then sat and sewed them together by hand. I thought about hand quilting also. Still debating that. 

My husband has been painting ceilings and a bedroom and a bathroom. He is winding down. Tomorrow he should have the bathroom for the master bedroom painted. Then maybe we can get the things all put back. 

It is called tapestry. It is a raspberry color. It goes with a  lot of the deco things I have in the house. I can move pictures and small things around from other rooms and make it look totally different. 

It is suppose to be warm all week. Chris

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Got the trimming and the gluing got started. I found a glue stick just before I started and it was all dried up. I heard that if you put them in the refrigerator they keep longer. Linda Poole was the appliquist that made that point on Alex Andersen's show Simply Quilts years ago. Might be worth a try. She placed them in a plastic sealable bag and placed them in the cold until she needed them. 

This is from the batiks I washed. So they are all in the works. Several are ready and more to get ready. I have worked on them for 10-15 minutes at  time. I have cooked a meal and done dishes in between starting to glue them. 

Some of the batiks are very stiff. This one was more pliable. So I thought it would be easier to turn the seam allowance to the back with the softer weave. I am sure most of the stiffness is from the dye. 

I have to get into a storage tub to get greens out for stems. I don't have bias bars. I have never used them. I am thinking about getting a set. Have any of you used them. I heard you can burn your hands on the metal ones real easy. I have sewn a seam and press it over to make the bias and I think that is the method I will use for now. 

Sticky fingers are going on here. Chris


I started the pressing of the batiks I washed. Today I pressed the freezer paper pieces to one I pressed. These are leaves for 4 blocks. It took up almost a whole fat quarter.

We had a drastic drop in temps pvernight. It was 54 degrees here yesterday and today is is like 13 degrees out. At least we are not getting all the snow the east coast is getting. 

Well enough of a break I need to get back to the pressing. Chris

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sun finally came out now that I am tired

It was gray all day. Went to the store and did a bunch of picking up thing. I have not touch fabric and thread for a couple days.

No pictures.I think I am just not motivated today. I am making BBQ'd chicken for supper. The buzzer just went off that the oven is heated.

I bought some radishes and cucumber with lettuce and see how that goes over. We don't have a three course meal anymore. I don't need it and he is not able to eat that much.

I have lost 40 lbs. and I still would like to loose some more. Hopefully before the yard work starts.

I would love some tomatoes, but the store bought tomatoes tase like nothing to the homegrown ones we are use to. I miss the garden veggies. Chris

This is an after thought. Did you know WalMart is now selling Waverly fabrics in quilting weight. Prints and solids? I use it for backings or for charity quilts. Check it out.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Between cleaning and cooking and picking up stuff

I forgot to tell you I also did three loads of laundry.
 These are the pieces for the applique that are cut up for the applique pattern. I cut 4 at one time and will now press them onto the back of the fabric. They are freezer paper so they will adhere to the fabric, but pull off easily. I use the glue stick method to turn under the seam allowance.
This is Esther Aliu's pattern she is offering as a BOM. The block that was sent first was the upper right one. That is what all those pieces are for. I wanted to repeat four of them for a center of a quilt for a wall hanging. It is on the blog.

I made a blueberry pie for supper and have scalloped potatoes and ham in the oven now.
Jeff has been painting ceilings in the bathrooms. He is getting ready to paint the walls and the ceilings needed it. It has been about 6-7 years since we painted anything. More than long enough.

54 degrees today, but it is to cool down again. Chris

I found this while looking for stapler

Looks like I forgot to set the date on this. That is the default date on my camera. Tells you how old my camera is. 

When I was looking for pins, stapler and thread I found this storage bag with this in it. I have nine of these Antique Rose hand stitched that needed to be appliqued onto the blocks. They are quite large. 

I used the old fashion method of templates and scissors to cut out the kite shapes to make this block. Then I hand sewed this by hand. I started these when my husband was basically tied to an infusion pump to eat. That was a long stretch to get him through that period. 

I will sash the blocks after they are squared up with an unbleach muslin colored fabric. I have more of the background that I thought I would piece some more of these Antique roses with for a border. 

This block can be EPP'd also. I chose to do the template and scissor method. In fact I used a lid off of a whipped topping container. It was firm and I could mark around it to make my sewing lines all the same. 

I think this one will be hand quilted. It has taken this long to do why not take more time to get it done. 

I had five of these blocks not appliqued so yesterday I got one more done. Today I will get another prepped and ready to hand stitch in the evening.

Hope you have a good day. We are suppose to get to the 50's today. Chris 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Applique prep

I have followed Esther Aliu on her blog for several years. She does some gorgeous applique quilts. This is a BOM she started January 15 and it will go for 7 months. She has a Facebook Group you can be a member of or use the posted patterns. They are in a PDF form. She gives yardage and colors that she will use and variations with different color schemes. The name of the quilt is Diamond Hill

Here are the flower and leaf patterns from this block. I am cutting four freezer paper pieces so I can make a center medallion for a quilt. Other blocks will be coming. 

Since I got the crib quilt done I thought I should quilt this queen size quilt done also. Simple quilting will happen on this one. I need to look for backing for it. 

When I was looking for thread in a box that it came in I found my saftey pins for quilt basting. Also I found the thread I thought I was out of. But I couldn't find my desk stapler. So I went and bought a new one. Now next week I will find that one I have misplaced. 

When we had the house torn up for so long everything got shoved here there and everywhere to empty rooms for carpeting. It is a wonder I haven't misplaced more. 

Now the fun begins I need to pull fabric for the flowers and stems and leaves. I have a cream color for the background and I think I am going to use more traditional colors for this. She used shades of pink and several shades of green for the stems and leaves. 

Esther's blog is here.


Saturday, February 4, 2017


Today I had a goal. Get this done. and I did. Yippee! I used a little pretty print on the back. Figured I have girls so why not. Later on when I make for Great Grandchildren I will have to make some more neutral quilts. 

I couldn't decide about the binding so I had this red sitting there. It needed pressing so that task got done and this is what I used. 

 This is the finished quilt. so glad I have a finish. It has been so long. The couple days in the machine quilting were worth the effort. I think it turned out pretty good. There are a few hiccups in it, but I won't tell you where.
The back is a little purple flower with green leaves. I figure it wouldn't look good on a guy quilt. I got it at a rummage sale with lots of other quilting fabrics. This was a 6 yard piece, but i thought I have another baby quilt top that needs quilting so it won't go to waste. 

Well trying to relax to get ready to go to bed. Sometimes that takes hours. Chris

Almost done

I have about another hour and the machine quilting will be done. got up at 4:30 am and started sewing at about 6 am. Then had to quit because my shoulders were hurting. Sat to long without moving. Stopped to eat something then I will go back. Have to find  a binding fabric. 

I have been prepping for another project. I need to get freezer paper cut now. It is an applique project. 

The other night I went to bed early and decided I would look on You Tube for any videos with Beth Ferrier in them. She is an appliquest. Well I found two with another quilting star, Kay Woods. 

I thought it was funny that I dreamt about fabric and applique all night long after that. You Tube has about everything you can imagine on it. From repairing your washing machine to sewing and quilting. 

Sun is suppose to be out for awhile then clouds and possible rain or snow. That is a maybe since last night it changed. Last night they said we wouldn't get anything. Time will tell. 

I think I am going to get some more sewing done today. I have so many things almost finished. 

The other thing that need to do is cleaning. I have miss placed my container of safety pins for quilting. I set it up so it wouldn't get in my way. Well I put it away to well and now I can't find it. I am not going out to buy more. 

Hope you have a nice weekend. Chris

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I am not so smart

I have some patterns I want to change the size of. They are appliques and I know the percentages for the printer to be changed to. Well I have a scanner on the printer, but can't find how to change the  size of the scanned item.

I don't use it enough to get a handle on this printer. An the manual for the printer is in the form of online. so I can't go through step by step while doing the changes.

I thought it would be as easy as the last one i had. Wrong! I guess I need to really print out the manual. Still not sure I can figure it out. Maybe my daughter-in-law can figure it out.

I can take it to the store and have them to do this, but there is a cost involved, but maybe the only choice I have. I don't have a projector to do it on my own.

Short of buying a new printer and adding it to my system I don't know if I can do it without help.

Smart I am not. I need to read better when I make a purchase. Chris