Sunday, January 31, 2010

This covers it all

Yes, Fred really needs to go on a diet...all four of us do. Fred and Obba have been on prescription food for years. Fred has intestinal issues and Obba is a chronic upchucker. I have been cleaning up one end or the other of each cat for years. Lately they have been doing really well, and I've found a non-prescription food that both boys can tolerate. Their old food will finish up this week and the diet starts once it is all gone. Siddi? She can and does eat anything and everything. Even though I think she is little (compared to the boys) even she is 11 pounds. You'd think I'd be in better shape hefting those cats around - they all like to be picked up and held.

So I pulled out my sampler quilts to get some ideas on quilting my churn and dash block. Note: I did not quilt any of these. They were done by two different long arm quilters.

I told you about this quilt here. There are viny leaves quilted into the sashing and kind of a random leaf quilted into the blocks.

It even has a churn and dash block. But I don't think the quilting here is an option.

This sampler was a BOM at one of my LQS. I got the blocks all done then decided I didn't want to finish it the way the quilt shop had. After a bit I found a sampler quilt in an old magazine that had this offset block. Perfect.

I love how this quilt turned out, put it doesn't photograph very well. The fabrics are Jenny Beyers and for some reason they photograph like a solid.

The blocks are stitched in the ditch and the black has feathers in it. Put on your sunglasses. This is the back, you can really see the quilting.

Again, not really an option. I don't know how to do feathers. Don't think I'm brave enough to try them just yet.

The last sampler is from Terry Atkinson's Lessons from Mama book. I joined a group of quilters that had been meeting for a few years, every year they made a different sampler quilt. Since I wasn't sure I was going to like this quilt I pulled all my "that is so ugly, why in the world did I buy that fabric" from my stash.

I, of course, loved the quilt and all the fabrics once it was done. I recommend everyone make one quilt from all their "I don't like this fabric anymore" stash, you may be surprised.

(Blogger won't let me load the last picture showing a close up of two of the blocks.)

This quilt has viny leaves throughout, and each block has a different quilt pattern covering the block. I think I'm going to do something like this on the single churn and dash block. Mostly because I'd like the practice of marking and following a drawn pattern.

Can you tell I love pieced borders?

I'm almost done piecing the disappearing nine patch...I just have the borders to add. I'll show it when it's done. Then I'm going to quilt both churn and dash wall hangings, and maybe a small lap quilt I finished last year - all quick finishes.

I decided I'm going to make two scrap quilts. Both patterns have a lot of little sub-piecing to them, so I'm going to get them cut out soon and start putting the sub-piecing together as leaders and enders to other UFOs that need finished up also. Being good and bad at the same time (good finishing up UFOs, bad starting two new quilts).

And last but not least:


Friday, January 29, 2010

Did I say fickle?

Do you think about what you are going to write on your blog during the day? Or just wing it when you sit down at the computer? I have mentally written at least three different blogs today. So which should I write about? Sampler Quilts Part I, II, and III? How much I really want to make a new scrap quilt but have FIVE patterns that I love love love so can't make up my mind which to make? Or that I really need to put Fred on a diet?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Five years, Fifth folder, Fifth picture

Pat is being a little nosey. No, no, not nosey, inquisitive. Actually I think the weather is getting to her, I think it's getting to all of us in quilter blogland. Pat wants to know what is in our fifth picture folder from five years ago. Specifically the fifth picture. Sounded like fun, okay Pat here ya go...

Huh? Not a very interesting picture. But it was a very interesting place - the Irish National Stud in Kildare Ireland. This uncooperative horse had been isolated to a pasture in preparation for breeding (lucky guy).

The stud farm was beautiful. Lots of beautiful pastures, a Japanese garden, and Black Abby (my sixth picture, a bit more interesting than the fifth picture).

Good thing Pat didn't ask for the sixth folder six years ago...that could have been embarrassing. Yeah the weather is definitely getting to me also.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Do you machine quilt?

I finished machine quilting my valentine quilt - and got the binding sewn on.

Machine quilting is difficult for me, not because it is hard to do, more in that I don't have experience quilting a lot of different designs. Like the double heart below.

My meander / stipple quilting is pretty good, I've had lots of practice doing it. Stitch in the ditch, not too bad. But those can get boring and don't necessarily add to the quilt. I've been a little adventuresome lately - I've added leaves, flower balls, and now double hearts to the designs I feel comfortable doing. (below is the back of the valentine quilt...don't look at the horrible backing fabric...lots of different quilting here)

What I've found is that if I can draw it, I can quilt it. This is another new design I'm going to try quilting onto the border of the little churn and dash wall hanging I made a few weeks ago.

For me, the most difficult part of machine quilting is determining what to quilt where. I know I want to try the quarter flowers above in the me it looks a little like the fabric pattern. But what should I do in the actual block?
I can stitch in the ditch and maybe free motion stones in the background fabric, the would meet the needs of the batting and I've never quilted stones before...but it wouldn't be very interesting. I have a stencil that would fit the size of the block - that would give me practice marking a quilting top and following a drawn line. I'm kinda so so on that idea. Hmmm, I have a couple of sampler quilts stashed away that were machine quilted for me, I think I'll dig them out to see what was quilted in the them - tomorrow, it's too late tonight.

Maybe I'm not really a machine quilter, maybe I'm just a fickle quilter.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Obba's Girlfriend

Nancy came over to sew today. Nancy is Obba's girlfriend and she loves it. Obba is normally a timid cat, when ever anyone comes over he runs and hides, except if the someone is Nancy. He jumps right up on the table, lays on her fabric waiting for her to pet him.

If he gets too enamored (read obnoxious), all I have to do is lay a towel down, pat it and tell him to lay down over here - and he does.

Look at him, just shamelessly flirting with Nancy. Luckily Nancy's husband isn't the jealous type.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Be still my heart

I have been lost in blog land today. Charming Chatter hosted a Valentine Sewing Party, I went and checked out the projects everyone was working on. There are some very talented, productive quilters out there. I didn't participate, which is a good thing since I didn't get any sewing done today. I did get the border added to my valentine table topper last night. Note only 2 borders were added, it's a long story - late night and lazy - nuff said.

Eeewww Fred! Why are you licking the bathroom floor? Double eeewww Fred! Stop eating the ants. I hate ants! I also spent part of the day cleaning my bathroom floor after I sprayed bug killer everywhere.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Be My Valentine

I did start a new project. But you knew I would didn't you?

Last year I toyed with the idea of making a Valentine table runner or something along that line. Since I didn't start thinking about it until around February 16th I wasn't in a hurry to make it but I did get a few Valentine related fabrics on sale.

So I knew I wanted to make something but what? I went through a bunch of magazines and books trying to find something - nothing that shook my shoes as my friend Terri would say. Started checking blogs, but not to much Valentine stuff out yet, must not be close enough to the holiday. But I read where someone had done a Google search on Valentine quilt patterns and found a few things...hmmm, not a bad idea. I found Sandi's blog Piecemeal Quilts, she has free paper pieced heart patterns...hmmm, that had possibilities. So last night (more like early this morning) I finished piecing all of the hearts. I sashed them and added a pop border this evening. I plan on adding three borders of 2 inch squares.

I still have a bit of the fabrics left over so I may make another small table topper...hmmm, might have to do another Google search.

Monday, January 18, 2010

First Finish of 2010

Today was a rainy, windy, dreary day. The way the wind was blowing, for a bit I thought part of my back fence might go down, between my lemon bush and the neighbor's shrubs as props it's still standing but I have a feeling it may have to be replaced soon. The local news is saying there are two more storms on their way and we will be having rain for the next two weeks...minimum. I'm thinking of investing in a sun lamp or a round trip ticket to Hawaii. At least if there was snow there would be something pretty to look at, something other than brown half dead soaked plants. Okay, gloomy Gus here needs a kick in the pants. On the positive side my daffodils are starting to shoot up.

I finished the Retro Chic quilt this evening...well almost, I still have the binding to hand sew on. Below is sample of the flower ball and leaves I quilted into the border.

Yikes! Curves! Actually this was a fairly easy quilt to make, it was harder to cut the fabric using templates than it was to sew the curves.

I started my blog in August with a UFO list, what is my current UFO status?

Finish piecing: Hot Pocket
Dark Xmas Ornament wall hanging
Disappearing Nine Patch
Blue Paisley
Ribbon Embroidery Mini Baltimore Album
Wool Flower Garden

Start Quilting: Strip quilt
Pink Roses quilt
Kats n' Kuilts quilt
Blue Butterflies
Flannel bricks

So, what should I work on next? Or should I start a new project?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday Night Sewing In - Part II

Isn't he a handsome boy? and he is such a good boy too...Obba wanted to sleep on the quilt I'm working on but I told him no, patted his pillow and told him to go to sleep here... and he did.

I put my jammies on about 6 p.m., ate lots of junk food and finished quilting the center of the Retro Chic quilt, including the loops and leaves in the pop borders.

I normally sew using a Bernina Activa 125 however I quilted this using my old New Home (Janome). My New Home is 25 years old, it is a heavy mechancial sewing machine, no electronics, which is a good thing because I dropped it once about 3 feet on to concrete. The only that broke was the handle - I don't think my Bernina would have survived a drop like that. I like machine quilting with my New Home better than my Bernina, with one exception, the New Home does not have needle up / needle down functionality. I really really like that functionality.

Well you can see how bad my curves and spacing are in the above picture. But the loops and leaves look pretty good.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

I'm planning on participating in Heidi's Friday Night Sew In. I'm in the process of quilting my Retro Chic quilt - the center is about 2/3's done - I'm hoping to finish the center tomorrow night and maybe do something in the pop borders.

So far I really like the design even if my free motion quilting is leaving a lot to be desired. My leaves are getting pretty good but I probably should have drawn the half circles on first to improve my spacing consistency. I know what I want to do in the final border, Leah Day's Flower Ball, only not as a filler. I'll only do about two or three layers of petals and space the flower balls out with loops and leaves. What I'm not sure of is what to put in the two pop borders...should I do more loops and leaves or alternating long and short loops?

I have a couple of movies to watch and an audio book that I'm almost finished with but I think I need munchies of some sort - could be a long night - dark chocolate and red wine? Popcorn? Apples with carmel dipping sauce? Cheese and crackers? All of the above? Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter blues

It has been dreary and cold lately, today it's been rainy. I can hear it pouring outside right now. I don't think the sun has shown for the last two weeks if not longer. So much for sunny California.

The freeze we had here a few weeks ago really did a number on my plants. Sunday I cut back all of the roses (finally), trimmed back all the dead foliage and my poor lemon tree - all the lemons left on it have rotted from the freeze. Now the yard isn't so sad and dead looking, just sad...

...except for one little corner.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Too much fun

Don't you just love love love my new banner! I do. Karen made the mug for me. The "quilt" is my rail fence quilt that I submitted to Park City Girl Quilt Festival Fall 2009. Thank you Karen!

Only one of Karen's kids was able to come over. Karen is a self taught quilter but thought it would be better to have someone else give a beginning quilt class to her kids, something about them never listening to her, and not at her house, something about too many distractions... hmmm I don't understand why she thinks that because Ariana listened very carefully and other than giving Fred a few belly rubs was very attentive. After a quick side trip to one of my local quilt shops, Karen lives way over on the other side of town so we have different local quilt shops, we started with the sewing lesson.

We didn't have enough time to finish our wall hangings but we did get everything cut and all the sub-piecing done. We each laid out our wall hanging to see how they were going to look. I made a wall hanging as I was demonstrating everything.

Karen followed along also... she's still back in Christmas mode. This photo doesn't do her fabrics justice, it is really rich looking in person.

And here is Ari with her's. I think she is pretty pleased with how it looks. Watermelons, she's looking forward to warm weather. She did a really good job.

Karen is going to help Ari finish her wall hanging then we will get together at Karen's for a machine quilting lesson.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quick finish

Sort of...Karen is bringing two of her kids over on Saturday for a beginning quilting lesson. I had thought about having them make this wall hanging, pretty simple block, only about 30 inch square, should be able to make it in one day.

Even as simple as it is, it still took me about 5+ hours to make it. I think that might be pushing everyone's attention span a bit. So Karen and I decided it would be better to have them make one block and border it - they can make a little table topper out of it or maybe a pillow.

I need to figure out how I'm going to quilt this. Don't really want to do just stitch in the ditch...hmmm.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Don't worry Ma, I haven't gone completely over to the wild side. The spare bedroom is a mess, I dumped all the Christmas decorations in there and haven't opened the door since. The last few days have been more cleaning and other more boring things which is why I haven't posted for a few days.

I finally finished the last Bow Tuck Tote last night, most of it was done before Christmas.
After making six of these I think I'm ready for a different tote/purse pattern.

I need help...I'm getting ready to make a small wall hanging, simple pattern, just three fabrics, but I can't decide on the background fabric. I'm trying to use stash and not go buy anything. Which to you like better? This one has both a hint of green and a hint of white maple leaf in it.

Nope, don't think gray fur would look good.

I'm leaning toward this fabric since it's a little darker and has a smaller leaf pattern.

Is it too dark? Too much pattern?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

How did you celebrate the new year? I've gone on a cleaning binge...yup, I'm a real partying kinda gal. I vacuumed, I rearranged the furniture, I even (shocking) cleaned windows. Surprised they didn't arrest me for those wild antics. Did I suffer from a hangover this morning? Ha, the partying continued! I pulled the refrigerate out and vacuumed behind it, I cleaned and oiled all the kitchen cabinets. And to show you what a really wild and wicked woman I am (blush), I cleaned the stove! The shame of it all. I may repent by Sunday.

Wild Woman