Friday, October 30, 2009

Little things

I got a lot of little things done today...took care of some family business, got the lawn mowed (finally), trimmed a few bushes, finished a quick little prototype and started sewing half squares together.

I love love love Stitching Lines! I am making half square blocks from pieced blocks, precision is important to the finished block and the Stitching Lines are letting me sew precise straight lines. Best part is they are also very easy to use.

Sorry, I can't show the finished block...this is part of that no peeking I posted about earlier.

And because my Mother called me a pill for not telling her what the first prototype is, here is a picture of the second little prototype I finished today.

After all I have a reputation to live up to. ;o)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No Sewing Today - yet

Jackie over at Canton Village Quilt Works is have a very generous giveaway. Go check it out.

I met the nicest people today as I was doing a little shopping to get ready to make my next prototype (Mom, prototype is a synonym for Christmas gift). Hello Cathy! She is a new quilter who was looking for local quilt shops that carried flannels. It is almost embarrassing all the quilt shops I know in this area, okay in a 200 miles radius of this area. Cathy, I thought of a few others, give me a call.

Whew! Done

It is 1:20 a.m. and I just finished the prototype. The pattern was easy (especially if you follow it), but it is thick, I knew it would be which is why I tried to change it. I broke/bent three needles making it. It looks good for a prototype, and as I said yesterday, I really like the fabric.

IF I make it again, I will change a few things, mainly figure out a way to reduce the bulk. But I think I will try another pattern first. Now I think I need to find my bed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh Boogers

That is my swear word - boogers - used to say something a lot worse but I'm trying to behave.

I decided since I've never made a few of the gifts I'm planning to give that I should do a prototype - get all the awkward new-stuff uglies out of the way. Good thing I did, I screwed it up already. All my own fault, thought it would be too bulking with two layers of batting so just quilted it my own way instead of following the directions...hmmm won't the seams show this way when you put it together? Oooohhhh, that's why two layers of batting...Boogers. Had one piece quilted already and had just started on another. Luckily I have lots of the fabric and I don't have to unquilt anything - there will be just an added layer of fabric. I like the fabric I'm using for the prototype. This is a safe picture to show, quilting grids using my walking foot.

Notice how quickly Siddi makes herself comfortable in my sewing chair.

And in all fairness, my Mom is not as bad as I hinted at yesterday. When we were kids my Mom would sneak peaks at the gifts my brother and I got, but she never peaked at her own. Shook, poked and prodded, but never peaked. Love ya Mom.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

No Peeking

I have been busy, I spend most of yesterday cutting things out and most of today sewing them together. But I can't tell you about it, because it's a Christmas present and I know some people will peek (Mom), and even if I tell them not to peek (Mom), they will be soooo tempted to peek (Mom) that they may ask someone else to peek for them (Ben). What's even worse is I really like what I'm making right now, and I want to show everyone. I have a few Christmas presents to make, so there may be more I won't be able to share until after Christmas.

As always I am waiting until the last minute, is eight weeks before Christmas waiting until the last minute. Nothing I want to make is overly difficult, but they all take time - hopefully not more than eight weeks.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Giveaway

Sue at Blueberry Buckle Quilts needs some help, she has an online quilt shop and is trying make a fabric buying decision. Stop by and share your opinion and you could win a jelly roll.

Friday, October 23, 2009


This quilt is moving from my 2009 list to my UFO list. I didn't stagger the bricks like I originally planned, so the wall may come tumbling down.

Most of the fabrics are from the backs of quilts I've made (I like to put flannel on the back of my quilts, it increases the snuggle factor), and a few are from flannel quilts I've made. Truly a scrap quilt. I haven't decided if I'm going to put flannel on the back of this one. I have a ton of flannels, I was going to make a Turning Twenty quilt with flannels to back this...not sure if I still want to that.

It doesn't look it, but it is roughly 86 inches X 88 inches. I still have enough bricks left over to make a baby quilt.

Nothing fancy, very utilitarian but very soft.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This is more like it

How to get a cat to sit still and pay attention? Open the window blinds and let in lots of sun light.

Then let him take a nap on your sewing table...does that look comfortable?

Huh? I have no idea what was so interesting. Siddi stayed there and look in the waste basket the whole time I was taking pictures of Obba.

Usually when she gets like this there is a bug involved...

Still looking. No bug.

So why you ask am I posting so many cats pictures? Well, says I, I HAVE BEEN SEWING! I don't have anything to show yet. I have ten rows (out of 22) of flannel bricks sewn together. It is not staggered bricks like I originally planned, I'm just sewing bricks together to get the length I want, then I'm make a border of bricks to get the width I want. Hmmm. I just had a thought, I haven't figured out how many bricks I need or counted how many I have...oh oh.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Not what I wanted

I think my cats are adorable and sometimes they sit or pose so cute. But when I try to take their picture I never get what I wanted.

I wanted a picture of my boys sitting nicely together...not alien eyes.

Or this:

The paper bag is not trash on the floor, my cats love love love paper bags, there is almost always a cat sitting on or in the bag. Right after this was taken Fred moved over to lay on the bag.

I wanted a cute picture of Obba sitting on one of my quilts. Not quite right, no handsome face.

This also is not what I wanted:

I need to send my cats to obedience school so they will learn how to sit still and pay attention while I'm taking pictures.

Leaders and Enders

To start, Brenda at Pumpkin Patch Primitives is having a fantastic giveaway. A Fat Quarter Bundle of Red Rooster's Pumpkins & Spice Fabrics by Whimsicals. She has a great online quilt store, so check it out.

Do you follow Bonnie Hunter's leader and ender philosophy? I do, I have baggies and baggies full of half square triangles. I haven't squared any of them up yet, and I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet. But I did see a quilt at PIQS that gave me some inspiration.

This quilt was HUGE. I had to laugh at the quilt name "Oh Holy Nightmare!"

If you can't read the notice, it said: "Based on an antique quilt, this quilt has nearly 11,000 pieces. I worked without a final goal in mind, and enjoyed the process knowing I could stop when I wanted to. This inspired me to keep going for longer than I had otherwise might have!"

11,000 pieces! It was a beautiful and fun quilt but I'm thinking it may be more perspiration than inspiration.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Make or Break It

Over the years I found that the quilting design can make or break a quilt. A few years ago I was at a local quilt show, one of the quilts on display was a hand appliqued quilt. The center was a basket with a large flower arrangement, the border was a vine with flowers...all in very soft pastels. The quilting? An all over pantograph medium size stipple, even over the applique. It was so sad, since the colors were so muted, all of that beautiful appliqueing just disappeared into the quilting.

Below are a couple of pictures I took at PIQS of some quilting (hand and machine) that I thought fit the quilts perfectly. As always, my pictures do not do these quilts justice.

Here are a couple of whole cloth quilts that I thought were beautiful.

I am in Ah of machine and hand quilters who can create such wonderful designs. I think they should be given just as much recognition at quilt shows as quilt designers.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

One tired puppy

My feet may never be the same. The Pacific International Quilt Show at the Santa Clara Convention Center is a large show and Stephanie, Nancy and I checked out every quilt and every vendor booth. There were so many beautiful quilts. I believe the quilt below won the best of show. I wish I'd gotten a close up of the quilting, it was also beautiful.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow. Right now I just want to put my feet up and read through all the patterns I bought. Which one should I make first.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Road Trips

Jayme is taking off tomorrow for Oregon, she probably won't be back in this area for a while. I'm going to miss her, she has been my fellow unemployed buddy the past few months. She has been great about getting me out of the house and not letting me become a job hunting/quilting hermit.

Since today was her last day here, and we were both tired of sitting around the house watching it rain, we took off for Jackson. But we never made it to Jackson. Between here and Jackson are a couple of fun old gold mining towns (Jackson is one also) Drytown, Amador City, and Sutter Creek. We stopped at each, shopped for a bit, had lunch and shopped some more. Our first stop was at a fruit and vegetable stand, so by the time we finished looking around Sutter Creek we were both pooped.

While looking through one antique shop I got a call from a temp agency asking if I was interested in a job. Duh. The antique shop was rearranging things and had a large cleared area near the front of the store, in my attempt for some privacy and quiet I went to the far corner and sat on the floor to talk to the recruiter. I'm sure the shop owner was wondering what in the world I was doing there. LOL Probably should of bought something for the space rent.

Tomorrow I'm heading out also. I'm going to the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara. Stephanie, Nancy and I have been going for the last few years. We are all looking forward to it. There is suppose to be over 800 quilts on display and 300 vendors. Yikes! I need to make sure I leave my credit card at home and bring my camera with me. I really like going to this show every year but it can be a bit overwhelming...there are SO MANY beautiful fabrics and quilts on display, I want to buy it all and make them all.

No new pictures. This quilt is the first one I ever started - over 14 years ago - I just finished it last year. All but two of the block are hand pieced.
I decide if it was ever going to get finished, it would have have to be machine done. I really liked the pieced border. I'm not going to show you where my big boo boo is. Actually there are two boo boos in the border, one I'm not showing you, the other become part of the design...yeah that's it, I designed rectangles into the border, squares would have been boring.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rainy Day

Rain is an understatement - it POURED all day. We also had 40-55 mph winds. These pictures are horrible but there were two little finches sitting under the eves of the house trying to stay out of the rain and wind.

The doves aren't smart enough to get out of the rain...they just sat on the bench getting soaked.

There was no way I was going out in all that. Jayme is back in town for a few days so her and I stamped cards. I made two and helped her make five.

Next to quilting, this is a perfect rainy day activity.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quiet Day

I filled up my neighbor's green bin with more branches and stuff from the bush I chopped down yesterday. There is still a pile of branches left but it will have to wait until after the next green bin pick up. Wish I lived somewhere were I could burn the pile and be done with it, I keep waiting for creepy crawly stuff to jump out at me while I'm dumping the branches in the bins...I really HATE creepy crawly stuff. I've found wasp spray is the best for creepy crawlies, you can be three houses away, shoot that stuff and still hit your target.

I used to backpack, back then we had three rules:
1. Whatever I just brushed off you, it was not a bug.
2. It doesn't hurt.
3. We are having fun...Really. We are.

I think the same rules apply to cutting down big bushes.

Nothing new on the sewing front, so I'll leave with a quilt picture. This is my bugs quilt.
The pattern is Stack n' Whack. These bugs I can handle, butterflies, ladybugs and dragonflies.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What was I thinking

I get these little bees in my bonnet to do something and the next thing you know there are a pile of branches that look like this (there were more, I've already filled up one green bin).

And a bush that now looks like this.

The bush was huge, about 8 ft by 6 ft. I hated that bush, but I really wish someone would have bug sprayed that bee before it got into my bonnet. I am so sore right now I can barely lift my glass of wine.

Earlier this week I found a bunch of stitchery projects that ranged from almost done to just barely started. Don't know why I stopped working on any of them but since I'm in the mood for some handwork I decided to finish them up. This is the one that was almost done, a little sewing sampler.

Footnote: If you are interested I found two tutorials for the coasters. I like this tutorial the best, it is made very similar to the one I posted. Here is another link for the coasters (you have to scroll down a bit), this one shows the hour glass (triangles) design. The second one uses an extra muslin square and batting. I made my first coaster with batting and I thought the coaster was too bulky and you couldn't get sharp corners - I like the fusible interfacing better. Either would make great Thank You or Christmas gifts.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Below is my entry to the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

I played hooky from work one day a few years ago and took a trip to Old Folsom. I also stopped in at the local quilt shop. An older gentleman had come into the shop and left a couple of boxes of fabric and books that were his mother's that he had been storing in his garage for 20 years - he wanted them to go to someone who would use them. The shop could not sell the items and allowed customers to take what ever they wanted. One of the items was a plastic bag full of strip bundles - it looked interesting so I took it home. The woman had begun hand piecing a rail fence square so I decided to continue her pattern. The bundles contained strips she had grouped together in threes, I kept those together also. The fabrics ranged from vintage 30's and 40's fabrics to 60's polyester, silk and upholstery fabrics, I kept all of those in too. The only fabric I added was the sashing and back. I love how it turned out

Click on the link below to to join the Quilt Festival.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Estate Sale

I did a little fabric shopping this afternoon - looking for a border fabric for a stitchery project I just finished (I'll show it tomorrow). While out I stopped at an estate sale. An elderly man is moving to Ohio to live with his daughter. She was clearing out the mobile home he and his wife had lived in for a very long time. One of the items I bought was a little sewing bench - I thought it might be fun to re-cover it. The bench was stuffed with stuff and the lady said I had to take everything that was in it also. When I got it home and started pulling everything out I couldn't believe what had been stuffed into that little bench: 19 patterns (including a men's pattern for a leisure suit), 2 pairs of pants, 1 long petticoat, one blouse, one cotton nightdress, 4 sheer curtain panels, a gold tasselled curtain tie, gold velour piping, 2 fat quarter sized brocade pieces that looked like they were cut off a curtain panel. 4 spools of polyester thread, 2 empty king size pillow casings, fabric and the dressmaker scissors from the movie Play Misty For Me.

I threw out most of the clothing related stuff. You can see some of the sewing related stuff below.

I think all of the patterns and fabric are from the '70s. Below are the three pieces of fabric that were not scraps, and the brocade curtain fabric (kinda pretty). There is about 2.5 yards of the white with bright florals, a yard of the pink stripe and about a yard of the lavender. They are all light weight fabrics, probably blends - I think they were meant to be made into blouses.

I have no use for the fabric. Do you want them? If so, you have to take all the fabric, even the scraps and curtain panels. Leave a comment - make sure there is an email address I can reach you at. If nobody wants them by Sunday, I'll give it to the Goodwill.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I won the boobie prize!

This October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I had my mammogram today. Have you had one recently?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Christmas Ornament Wall Hanging

I wish my camera took better pictures, this is so much prettier in real life. The pattern is called Christmas Ornaments by Ann S. Lainhart. While the pattern is a little intimidating (nine pages) - which is why I signed up for a class, it really isn't that hard. The background fabric is a pale yellow Fairyfrost and all of the ornament fabrics have gold metallic in them, it is really rich it, love it, love it. Do you seen wonky, I don't see wonky.

As I mentioned before I over cut the ornament strips so I'm also making this with a dark background and light ornaments. I can't wait to finish that one.

Monday, October 5, 2009

How do I do it?

I am the queen of wonky quilts. I finished the Christmas Ornament wall hanging today. It is a quilt-as-you-go strip pieced bargello styled quilt. Accurate cutting and 1/4 inch seams are important and I was very very careful about both. So how come this wall hanging is 16 1/2 inches wide at the top and almost 18 inches wide at the bottom? Aarrrggghhhhh....

What did I do? I shut my eyes, added one more strip and squared it up. I'm pretending to be Obba. Obba is very timid, when anyone visits he hides under the covers of my bed. He thinks if he can't see you, you can't see the big lump in the middle of the bed. Using Obba logic if I close my eyes and just square it up the wonkiness goes away. Right? AarrrggGHHHH...

I will post a picture tomorrow after I get the binding on. Even wonky it is still a pretty wall hanging.

As promised, here is a picture of my boys. The picture is a few years old, but it is one of the few I have of the two together where they are not fighting.

Fred is on the left, Obba on the right. As you can tell, I do not have petite boys.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ho Hum

Nothing much going on today. I debated whether or not to post.

Got a little yard work done, my Aunt Roberta trimmed the jasmine and buried the mouse for me. The dead bird disappeared, maybe Moses decided to share his present with someone else. I dead headed the roses and a couple of other plants. One of the best things about living in California is the weather and how well everything grows around here. I should get one more bloom from my roses before I have to trim them down for the winter and the verbena, marigolds and lantanas are still blooming strong. I keep reading blogs about people decorating for fall, but it doesn't feel like fall yet - it was a beautiful sunny day.

I should have another finish by Tuesday, I have about six more strips to add to the light Christmas Ornament wall hanging then the binding. It is a quilt as you go type project - gotta love those. Tough question for the day, do I add a red binding or black and gold stripe? I really like stripes for binding. I miss read the instructions when I started this project, I thought it said cut four strips from each fabric, it actually said cut four strips from each FAT quarter fabric...Oops, mine were all WOF. So I'm making two wall hangings, one with a pale yellow gold background fabric and a second with a dark green back ground. I can't wait to show you all both of them.

So do I close with a quilt picture or a cat picture? I didn't take any pictures today, so it will have to be something old.
This is the Ugly Quilt, so named because I just grabbed four fabrics I didn't like from my stash to make the quilt. I didn't care if the fabrics went together or if there was any contrast, I made the quilt to practice my machine quilting. Here's the back so you can see what I quilted...not too bad for a beginner.

It is only 40 inches square and it is one of my most used quilts. It is perfect for putting over your feet while reading, or across your lap on a cool evening while sewing.

Oh, you wanted a cat picture not a quilt picture? Okay, I'll post a picture of my boys tomorrow.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


... are not always good. The kitty below is Moses, he belongs to my neighbor but since his back yard has two dogs in it he spends a lot of time in my backyard.

Don't ya love those cotton ball cheeks? He acts like a dog, when he sees you he'll stroll over (cats do not run to anyone), roll over on his back and let you rub his belly. Too cute. He also torments my cats to no end. My cats are strictly indoor cats, because he's outside and he knows they can't get at him, he will sit in front of the slider door and watch all three of them bang and hiss at the glass trying to get at him. For good measure every once in a while he will tap on the glass with his paw just to see how much more trouble he can stir up.

Moses spent the good part of the afternoon hunting butterflies in my garden. He couldn't catch a one. What did he catch? A mouse. And a bird. Both dead. Which he left for me.

No thank you Moses.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Good news and good news.

Good news, Suzanne at Just Another Hang Up is having another give away. The cutest little Halloween bag. Check it out.

The last time Suzanne had a give away it was good news, bad news. This time it is good news, good news...or is it? I went to the Auburn Home and Garden show today and since I was in the area I just had to stop by Cabin Fever Quilt Shoppe. I bought fabric...see?

The salmon background is also fabric I bought to go with this set. As always my camera does not do any of the fabrics justice. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but I just had to have them. I also picked up a Bishop's Fan stencil which is perfect for the Retro Chick quilt.

I'm not suppose to be buying fabric, so bad girl, but good news.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


The boo is not because it is October and Halloween is approaching, the boo is because I just finished a really good suspense novel - spoiler alert - the bad guy did it. I finished David Baldacci's Hour Game this evening. I really like his books, they are suspenseful without being all blood and guts. Although this one was a bit more bloody than most of his books. I highly recommend his Camel Club series. Did you hear that creak? I think I need to set the alarm system.

I started piecing a quilt tonight. It is not on my UFO list, but is on my 2009 list and it was already cut out. Nothing fancy - staggered bricks. The bricks are flannel scraps from various quilt backs I made in the past. I tend to make my backs way too big, so I have lots of bricks to sew together. I don't feel too bad about starting a new project since it was on my 2009 list and I did make an appointment at a local quilt shop to pin baste the Retro Chic quilt on Monday.

How do you decide what to design to quilt? The Retro Chic quilt (fun pattern by Artichoke Collections) has curves - I've never quilted anything with curves before. I was thinking of doing a free motion Bishop's Fan and something else, don't know what the else is yet. I've never done fans before so I will definitely have to practice it first.

No pictures of anything new today. Remember the Jacob's Ladder picture I posted a while back? This is the back. It is made from 28 different Fossil Fern colors - I couldn't make up my mind which color I liked best so I bought a yard of all the colors I liked.

The Jacob's Ladder is a BIG quilt, but I still had lots left over. So I used the leftover pieces and parts and made this quilt.

This is going on my bed tonight. It was cold last night.