Friday, December 31, 2010

Adjusting my life without my sewing machine!

Yesterday I made string blocks to get accustomed to my "other" machine--my trusty Featherweight!  My Bernina has been heating up, slowing down and generally acting like it is rebelling at all the work I've been putting it through.  So now, I've pulled out the Featherweight, cleaned it and started sewing.  I don't like the pedal as well as the Bernina and it sews much slower, but I've found a place for a walking foot and guess I'll order one.  My budget is spent, spent spent, so even repairing the Bernie will have to wait until late January or February.  I do hope it can be repaired.  As it flickered and died it looked like computer stuff to me! 

Breaking up is hard to do!!!

Remember this post Chandler's Quilt  I'm going to take the scraps and make a lap quilt for his best friend who was in a car accident earlier this year and is now home to begin physical therapy.  Need to get crackin'.   I'll put my quilt away for awhile while I get this one done.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Strays Now Corralled into UFO's for 2011

Quite simply--I spent yesterday combing through scraps from projects of 2010 and blocks started yet not completed to make my 2011 UFO List.  Some are folded and ready for quilting in the closet, but with all I have so far counted 23 projects that will take me through 2011 and maybe beyond. 

One particular goal this year is to start some dyeing and try that.  I have a project using batiks in mind that I would like to do for 2011 for myself--a set of wallhangings depicting the moon in various seasonal colors.  Beyond that, I'll work on my UFO's and try to spend less this year than last in quilting.  I have gone through my kitchen cabinets and we are making some food changes this year--mainly no hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils and sugar.  I'm hoping if I can supplement my diet with more veggie juices I'll have less craving for sugar and baked goods.  I've tried eliminating grains from my diet and that is a hard one for me--one who came into this life as a daughter of a baker.  So---I'll just try to increase veggies and hopefully the taste for commercial baked goods and products with the oils mentioned, I'll find that I can naturally decrease the offending foods.  Don't want to go into a lot of that here, since this is a quilting blog, but decreasing clutter whether food or fabric has some basic elements that are similar.

Today, I'm working on my 7" block quilt.
The blocks are set, the strips are pressed, trimmed and ready to add the coordinating panels.  The weather outside is frightful--winds, snow and cold, so I'll be staying in and sewing.  Glad we got the shopping done yesterday!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Comfort-for-the-Masses

This past week, being snowed in for a few days at my mom's house--for me things stopped.  No internet, no newspapers and for two days we stayed indoors.  It was a beautiful quiet stop to the activities I had planned.  Mom still ran around in her Christmas frenzy and for me I again, got the verification of dropping out of that insanity. I loved the quiet and reflection.
                                                #####      #####       #####

In my oppinion when the Twelve Day Cares below are implemented, truly all drummers, pipers, lords and ladies will have something real to drum, pipe, joyfully leap and dance about!

1. A majority of human citizens agree and support in signature that the necessity & basics of life (food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education & prison reform be provided free of charge to All citizens.
2. Majority demands that international laws against poverty be enacted either by popular vote or executive order making homelessness, hunger & starvation etc be illegal and considered crimes against humanity.

3. Governments, use and expand existing social programs and create new ones to provide life's necessities.
4. Technology is used to transform currently vast uninhabitable spaces (example: Las Vegas ) while leaving verdant areas & rain forests undisturbed.

5. Use public parks to grow and maintain fruit trees and build vegetable production courses as easily as golf courses.
6. Organize free clothing distribution outlets fed by personal donation and fashion industry manufacturing excess.
7. Establish worldwide health care insurance (already in place in many small and large countries).
8. Create a life based economy that eliminates the struggles and stress of existence will in turn eliminate crime, civil unrest, hopelessness and war, leaving greater happiness, peace and general equality.

9. Use the vast resources currently spent on war campaigns and other activities to directly benefit a human life based economy.
10. Wipeout & forgive all national debt.
11. Enact international anti-inflationary laws to control the flow and use of money.
12. Give humanity an opportunity to live happier than ever before.

    Make Comfort-for-the-Masses Everyday!
http://wwunited.org

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Into the snow and sleet I go...

The weather is warming up and should melt the snow we received yesterday--could be rain and then another storm behind it, but I'll be soon picking my sister up at the airport and then driving 3.5 hours to visit our mom.  She'll stay for awhile and I may stay for a couple of days, depending on the weather outlook.  I had my 28 blocks ready to take with me and the settings cut for that, but instead I think I'll take my book Great Expectations and read that in any wakeful moments that I seem to have around 3 a.m. or so. 

A little trepedation as I leave, as there is a history with the three of us and never know for sure how things will be...  That said, if I can stay calm, keep my mouth shut and the emotions stable, I think we'll have a great time.  My sis and I talk daily on the phone and laugh a lot--so I'm sure we can continue with our "java talks" in person.  It seems like Mom sometimes wishes for different outcomes for each of our lives--but each lives life the way it is meant to be and as I come to more of that realization, I can allow others the same that I wish for myself:  peace in the journey of life!

I'll be posting again sometime before Christmas.  Happy preparations to you all.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Catching Up

One more quilt that was in my camera.  This was included in a bag of quilts going to Family Connections Center.
This was the stack of quilts taken yesterday to the family connections center.


Three more blocks and I'll have all 28 done for the quilt I'm making.  I may get to them tomorrow, and if not, they'll wait 'til after Christmas.  My sis is coming in on Sunday and I'll be taking her to Mom's and then I'll stay there too for maybe a couple of days before returning.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Playing with Fabric is Just So Much Fun!

I love playing with fabric.  Strings especially are fun as they don't seem to go with the other strings, but when placed in a block they work.  It's just like magic to me.  Then when they are quilted, washed and softened up, I just get excited!  Simple pleasures!!!

I've been trying to get some scraps into some workable quilts to gift to the Family Connections Center.  These are a couple of the string quilts now complete.





Not to foget some of the 2.5 inch squares accumulating--now they are sewn into a quilt!  A little bit more white than I usually use for a donation quilt, as I don't know the kind of care they will receive.  So here's hoping someone will take tender care of this one.

The other day when donating to Freecycle, the gal responding is also working towards making quilts for Family Connections and she offered to quilt this one for me for only $20.  So, of course I took her up on the offer.  So glad to have someone take over that part for me.  However, since moving my quilting table and having more space, the free motion quilting on my machine seemed to go much easier!  I used a walking foot on the bright quilt above and then tried free motion on the darker one.  It was fun to be able to quilt again.  I still have two more quilts to finish up--and a couple of flimsies I may still get to.  Making the backs, however, does slow me up.  I really don't like figuring out what to use for a back, especially when I don't have quite enough fabric!!!

Jammies done and delivered!

Christmas program attended, though a bit too far away for a great picture!


Guess who kept us entertained while waiting for the program to start?!!!  Santa's Helper, indeed!


Monday, December 13, 2010

December and Being Busy!

I've been busy being an elf--not the tree decorating type but the quilt making type.  Nothing to show yet, but it's getting close!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What I've Been Working On

After watching some quilting videos on YouTube, I decided I needed to change my sewing space, so I attacked my bookcase that was just there catching things.  I took the books from the top shelf, sorted through them, and then added them to the bookshelf in the office/computer room.  In their place, I added threads and things that were taking space on the far left of my quilting space.   I wish I had a "before" photo, but I don't.  I don't have lots of magazines now.  I sorted through the ones I liked and tore out all the pictures I won't be using.  I freecycled the leftovers of magazines and how to books that I'm no longer in need of.  I still need to file better the printouts from different pdf's I've saved--and I'll get to that later.  But, for now it's organized and not OVERWHELMING to me any more.  I can only handle so many ideas at once without going nuts, so this should help.  My sewing table is now flush to the wall so that I can machine quilt without the pull on the quilt as I work.  The box you see at the lower left is a box of batting I just recieved from JoAnn's latest sale.  I'm trying some different sizes rather than the roll of 45" wide. 




Progress on my 7" blocks.  I'm staying current on that one--after today I'll be half way through with those blocks.  Yesterday I got sideswiped by doing some string blocks and nearly completed a top that I think I can quilt without doing free motion quilting--that's where my machine slows down.










When DH offered to help me cut out the jammies--I decided I better get crackin'  Thursday is DGD's school program, so I need these finished by then.  Ohhhhh--I've been postponing these too long.  Thank goodness I don't have my home ec teacher watching over my using knives to secure the pattern--she'd have a coronary!!!  But with the fleece and with using the pattern multiple times, it's a godsend.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm a Winner!

Last evening the doorbell rang.  It was after dark and quite late for a delivery, but a delivery it was.  This beautiful box came from Quiltbox as a winning on Quiltimes .
As a participant in Christmas Quilt-a-Long with Sue, I was a winner twice.  I got some quilting done and also won a prize.

Thanks, Sue!

She's having another giveaway of a fun quilting calendar, so hop on over there and sign up--you my just WIN!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'm Done!

My sewing machine is acting a bit squirrely!  After I've quilted for awhile it goes into slow motion, so I'm done quilting for awhile and will just piece.  When the weather cooperates, I'll have to take my machine in for an adjustment--hope that's all it is and is nothing major.  I have been finding blocks and have made them into some quilts to take to the Family Connections Center.
Left from "Eat your Veggies" quilt and extended with borders.


From some string blocks (12) sitting in the drawer and using up some yellow/purple that's been making me feel like it needs to be used!

From a cute panel I spotted in the LQS and decided would make a cute boy's quilt.

The second bricks quilt--maybe there's some twins out there...

The stack, sans the first one in the list today that is currently in the dryer.  These are ready to take to the Family Connections Center.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Updating

More blocks added and the pastel ones are set aside as I comb through my stash looking for fabric small pieces.  It's been an enjoyable process.  No timetable--no rush, just looking, cutting a few pieces and then sewing them together.  I think I'll make it into blocks 6 x 8 and add a border from that.  For now, I'll just look through and see what I can use.

I kept looking at this quilt and admiring it and than thinking I didn't really want to make 7 inch blocks.  But, the draw of the picture kept bringing me in and I decided if I did one block a day in 28 days I'd have the blocks done.  I found a box of some scraps I'd purchased sight unseen and found that I could use some of those.  Don't know if I can do the block a day thing as I comb through my stash I don't want to cut it unless it is a smaller piece.  But, I've got three done already and I'm getting to where the block is easier.  The block is made from 2" squares and 2.5 inch squares cut into HST's.


Each block looks unique and different from the rest, just by the choice of colors.  This is getting to be really fun.  ...and I even fixed the one backwards block in the lower right hand corner...isn't photography wonderful?  One can see a mistake so much easier!!!

A block I made for Block Lotto:


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Off on Another Tangent!

Sunday, I started playing around with some HST's that were in a drawer and I thought to make them into blocks to send to Sunshine Yahoo Group in December.  I still may use those three blue/yellow blocks for that, but then I found some other HST's left from another project and I started playing and making more blocks.  The lighter blue/yellow could be used in a quilt top, but then they could be too different from the other colors I'm finding.  I'll need to make some more 2.5 inch blocks and it seems like I'm finding darker colors.  We'll see how it turns out--maybe another quilt top and maybe just some blocks for Sunshine Lotto.  I have a month to play and no particular timeline or need to finish--just play!!!  Playing indoors is great when a blizzard is forecast for today and tomorrow in my corner of the world.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ready for Santa!


Remember those blocks my granddaughter put together???
Well, they are now a quilt ready to give to Sub for Santa!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Lovin' This Block!!!

Got up this morning and made a few blocks for the Sunshine Yahoo Group Lotto.  The blocks contributed go half into making quilts for Wrap a Smile and other blocks go to the lotto participants. (I'll do four for Sunshine and two for the lotto winner.) These blocks are "sew" easy and they have used up some of my fall stash which was the choice this month.  Hopefully today I'll get the quilt finished for granddaughter that she designed Sunday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Guess Who Found Some Scraps?!

While making these fleece jammy bottoms for Christmas...

















Granddaughter found some nine patches in my scrap drawer...I threw in some 3.5 inch brights I'd been saving and then cut some white 3.5 inch patches and DGD started making blocks--so my cutting table for more jammies was taken and my energy ran out--but here are some we finished:

Right now the house is real quiet and DGD is asleep and I am going to make a cup of coffee and relax a bit before sewing up the blocks she has lined up for me--and yes I need more white squares--and four more pair of jammies--but we have the prototype on that, so if we don't get it done today--it'll wait believe me!

20 blocks done and ready to sew together--Grammy's job!  With a border and quilting it'll become a quilt for sub for Santa.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Christmas Quilt-a-long in November!

It's been a month since the last quilt-a-long and I had some churn dash blocks I wanted to make into a table topper.  Long story short--just didn't get to it last month--due to the recent knee replacement!  refreshing your memory

I had purchased some yellow, red, green and black and was thinking of doing a curling ribbon border or an entwined border from see here

I was recently leafing through this new magazine

and found this idea

problem was my blocks were 12.5 inches, so that would require some adjustment of the pattern.  I fiddled around and did some rough math and adjusted my churn dash blocks into this:

TA DAH!!!

So now it is officially a flimsie and I've been up in the middle of the night, and need to get some sleep, so that when I go get Dear Granddaughter we can make some sleep pants for her friends!   However, I've already had two cups of coffee and maybe I'll sleep and maybe not--but I'm so excited to have my teacup fabric used up--I have two blocks left and will make them into a couple of placemats.  For me this is using up the fabric that I purchased on a girl-quilting buying tour about 5 years ago!!!  Now for the quilting, but for me, the really hard part is DONE!!  There's one block that could use rotation--but in real life it doesn't look too bad--maybe I will and maybe I won't.  LOL

Friday, November 12, 2010

Saturday's Quilt Along

I've made arrangements for Dear Granddaughter to come spend Saturday's Quilt Along with me.  She has some gifts for some friends we (me) will make!  LOL!!!

So, hop on over toChristmas Quilt-a-Long and sign in for a prize!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bricks in Brights!

I had some bricks left from an earlier quilt Apples--HEREand I saw a quilt done one Sunshine Yahoo Group by Linda that I thought I could "copy" and use up my 3.5 x 6.5 inch blocks that I had left--so I added some other colors and the 2 inch strips along the 6.5 inch side and then put 4 together making a 12.5 inch block.  I still have some ready for another quilt, but I just love the looks of the black and the bright colors.  I put a backing on of a bright blue with puppy paws scattered around.  When I had put the blocks together another quilter, Mary, came up with some written instructions See Mary's Instructions HERE   Finished size 40 x 54".

I also added a border to some blocks I'd sewn together from some strings.
This isn't a really big kids quilt, but it'll go to Family Connections Center and I'm sure they can find a use for it--maybe towards Sub For Santa.  Who knows!

I'm totally disgusted with myself--yesterday after finishing the quilts I read the first of a series of books, this one called "Hunger Games" and while reading, I moved to the small loveseat in the office and adjusted the blinds for a really sunny read and when I got up, I realized I'd hyperextended my "good" leg!  So now, I'm back on crutches while this heals.  Dang!!!   Double Dang!!!  Going to Physical Therapy later today--I'm sure they'll be IMPRESSED--NOT!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

From Scrap to This in Two Days!

It just kept getting more fun to make the scraps into this quilt.  I found some batiks that I loved, but hadn't used in anything yet and just add them to the quilt.
I practiced my feathers--still a long way from where I'd like them to be, but they are getting more free in the loops, from my first try a few months ago.
 The backing was from a 4 yard piece that had been in my stash awhile too.  Used Signature "Autumn" for topquilting and Bottom Line for the backing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What You Didn't Know About the War

I just watched a sobering video, I must according to my conscience post.  It isn't about quilting, but about something we all must come to value if we can save humanity and that is human life.

What You Didn't Know About the War

Look What I Found in my Scrap Drawer!

Usually, I put only smaller strips and pieces into a scrap drawer for crumb blocks, but I found these leftover African animal pieces.  I paired them up with crumbs and a bit of batik and at the far right lower corner is another batik that I think I'll border this piece and make it into a small quilt for Family Connections Center.
I dropped these quilts off the other day to the Family Connections Center and they are getting ready for a really big need for Sub for Santa.  Last year they serviced 1500 children and are expecting double that amount this year because of the economy.  I'm wondering how I can now turn my crumbs and other spare blocks into some quick children's quilts, but yesterday I just plain "stalled out".  I was sick of crumbs even though I made quite a stack and I was just a little loopy from lack of sleep from the night before, so I just simply quit sewing.  Today's another day and all I have planned is phyical therapy for about 1 1/2 hours so with a new day and a full night's sleep behind me, I just may make it to the sewing room to complete that top and sandwich it into a quilt.