Monday, July 20, 2009

Problems at the Quilt Shop

Not really, but so far my blocks kind of look like there was an explosive illness at a quilt shop. These are piles of 4 blocks each, and I have 2 more sets of 16 blocks of 4 each to do. I'll end up with 192 blocks, but all the same 16 fabrics. Hopefully, with the different combinations of blocks and the borders and quilting, the quilts will be something that will please boys and young men. If not, I'll give them to them anyway and they can keep them in the closet in case of emergency.
I promise, the picture of the quilt that I saw on the ladies blog was quite pretty. Of course, it was pretty florals and in one basic color scheme. Details, details.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Assembly Line Sewing

I haven't gotten to the sewing part yet, but I have been cutting strips. I decided to make 5 young men quilts for my niece's 2 boys, my nephew, and 1 grandson, 2 grandson's if the other shows any interest, or for me if he doesn't, I really like some of the fabrics. I saw a quilt on a blog that I liked the looks of and that I thought that maybe I could assembly line enough to get them done in a few weeks. I wish that I remembered which blog so that I could ask permission to put the picture on mine, but I can't. It is just 3 different width strips for each block and then they are turned different ways. I plan to put a narrow probably red border and then different larger borders for each one. So they'll be the same but different. They won't be art, but they will be warm and hopefully will turn out cute. Size about 57" x 81", enough to tuck under the toes and under the chin.
I had enough of the fabric left to make a 2 1/2" strip from each fabric to use in my 9 patch quilt from Crazy Mom Quilts sewalong so that is still in the works and I also need to quilt the 2 tops that I have for my niece's two girls so I have plenty to keep me busy.
I may not be able to reach my goals, as I think that my niece is coming the second week of August, but maybe I can get at least her kids and my nephew's done by then if I keep my nose to the grindstone.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mail From Amanda

Amanda had let me know to be on the lookout for a Pay it Forward package, and as soon as I saw this I knew I was in for a treat. I love the "Royal Mail" label.
I tried to get the pictures in the order in which they were removed from the envelope and opened, but sometimes blogger doesn't cooperate so bear with me please.
I have never seen this magazine and I'm saving it for a quiet time when I can really enjoy it. Sometimes it is so nice to be a blogger and to be exposed to other parts of the world. Amanda being a teacher is a great source of information about her part of the world and her blog is always interesting and informative. I'm expecting that this magazine will be the best example of UK quilting information.

This picture is a little busy, but at the top is a wonderful little triangular shaped bag and inside wrapped in pretty gold paper was the little "bracelet" of charms. It's not a real bracelet, but the charms are so cute, I've never seen anything like them before. They say "Hand made with love", and I know they are to enclose with gifts, but I don't know if I'll be able to break up the set, lol.

Of course fat quarters need no introduction and are always a welcome gift.

In the package with the fat quarters was one of Amanda's hand made cards, and it is just as cute in person as I thought that it would be from seeing some of her cards on her blog.

I love anything with little houses, and the bookmark is adorable.

Everything was wrapped in cheerful, feminine pink tissue paper and this package had pretty ribbon.

You can't see the iron holder too well here, but it along with the beautiful wall hanging will soon be on my sewing room wall, and will be something that I can look at each day and enjoy. If you click on it you can see it bigger, it is wonderful.

This last picture is of everything. I think I had one of my best mail days ever. I felt like I was having Christmas in July as I opened each package.

Thank you so much Amanda, you are a wonder and a treasure.

Friday, July 10, 2009

First Shop Hop

The first picture below is my "free" booty from the 4 shop shop-hop that I went on a couple of days ago. It was $5.00 to go and you got the lanyard, then at each shop you got a pin, and if you spent $25.00 you received the free foundation panel. The little notepad was just a bonus from one of the shops.
The last shop of the day had thimbles of all the states which was great as one of the bloggers that I follow, Highland Quilter, has requested to exchange thimbles from different areas. That's why there are 2 Florida's, one for her and one for me.

A few months ago, when I took a class at our local quilt shop, I bought a Creative Grids ruler and it has become my favorite. It's a 24 1/2 by 6 1/2, so at 2 different shops I got a 7 1/2 square and a 12 1/2 by 6 1/2. Sometimes the long one is just too long to work with, and I got the square one with the idea of using a method that I found for quick 9 patches.
I thought that these fabrics would be a good start for some boys quilts. If I go through with my good intentions, I will need 4 or 5 of them to go with the 2 girl quilt tops that I have made. My niece has 4 more children that would like quilts, and if I do those I have a nephew and possibly two grandsons who will feel slighted without one too. They would be simple ones, but that's ok as they would be given no mercy and used a lot.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Vacuum Cleaner

A few months ago I decided I needed a new vacuum my old Kirby was about 25 years old and getting pretty raggedy plus I wanted a canister so that I could get to some things better and have more versatility without having to change back and forth to the Kirby hose. I had had a canister when we were first married and enjoyed it for a short time.
I read all the reviews that I could find, and they were almost all good for the model of my choice, but a few people mentioned that it was "heavy". I thought how heavy can it be it should be fine, and also it had a good dust filter which my Kirby didn't so maybe my house would be less dusty. When I had gotten my first of 2 Kirby's, a friend from our church was starting out selling Electrolux and he wanted to come give us a demonstration for experience. He said he'd wanted to try something so he put the hose on my Kirby and put the 2 hoses together and was quite happy when his vacuum sucked my Kirby bag flat. It must have impressed me too, because I still remember after all these years and decided that if I was getting a canister I'd prefer an Electrolux.
I worked with a lady who always said, "Horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glisten." Well, I guess I'm no lady because when I vacuum with my new machine it sure feels like I'm sweating. I do about 1 room, and it is dripping down my face and off my hair. A rest, and then 2 more rooms and another wet paper towel. So on until I've finished our relatively small home. We keep the air conditioner on too. I told my husband that it is harder work than mowing the yard and I'll use it as long as I'm strong enough because it must be good for me. I do a lot more up and down, getting under and behind, and dusting this and dusting that, so maybe eventually our house will be less dusty and I will only "glisten".
PS Thank goodness for Ibuprofen, because today I'm just a little stiff.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nine Patches

DH has several skin cancers on his arms and so we have been going back and forth to the doctors, about 25 miles each way. In between the doctor and the holidays and just not doing much, I have started my One-A-Day nine patch quilt along with Crazy Mom Quilts. I am supposed to have 70 blocks done, and have 12 done so I am again holding up the end. They are 6 inch blocks, and to be sashed with white.

The other little quilt is leftover blocks from my Strip Twist from Bonnie Hunter. I decided to make a little quilt to put over the breaker box in my family room, but if the new baby coming in the family is a girl, I may finish it as a small baby quilt.

I heard from my niece this morning that she received the baby quilt and 2 little girl quilts that I sent and she seemed happy with them. They live in Iowa and had gotten about 7 inches of rain which caused her cellar to flood so had other things to deal with. The babies were in day care so the rest of the family could clean up without too much extra "help". She has 4 older children, the oldest two teenagers, and she said they were wondering if I sent some for them too. I felt kind of bad that I didn't, but it took me long enough to get these done. Maybe a little later.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Brother's Woodworking

I can't believe that I have hardly posted in the past few months, and now in just 2 days I have posted 3 times. I guess once I get started I can't hush up.
I wanted to share some more of my brothers tables. A few months ago he made me a laptop desk very similar to these, and I guess he liked it too because he has made himself these two. The darker one is walnut and he made it first for a laptop table for himself, and then he made the second from cherry and just finished it in the past few days. He wanted it to hold an old singer sewing machine that he had gotten for himself and uses occasionally, although he is not a quilter. The legs were a little short so he added some ebony wood and it looked nice so he also made an ebony knob and added some little round insets on each side that he made from oak and dyed ebony. Between the three of them, they are similar but a little different from each other and I love all 3. I'm really proud of his skill, he just started a few years ago and is self taught and does really beautiful work. He does almost everything himself except cut down the tree, when he starts it is a big heavy rough board and he goes from there. I think he is quite something.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I've been doing a "little" shopping, some not so "little". I have been wanting to get a new car for several years, and due to something my daughter said, I went ahead and did it. I have some buyers remorse, but hopefully, it will be a good thing. We were talking about a 40 something friend of hers who has shingles and the treatment for it. She said something about her friend being young, but people who are 60ish, as is usual for shingles, only having 10 or 15 years to live (quoting from her friend's doctor). After I got over my initial dismay I decided that hopefully, I have many years more than that, but just in case, what am I waiting for. I want to enjoy my new car while I am able and I feel like having it will hopefully get me out more and keep me a bit more active. The fear of making such a purchase in hard times is giving me my buyer's remorse, but hopefully it wasn't a mistake. I talked myself into thinking I deserved it, lol. We got it the day before Father's day, so my husband likes to tell everyone that he got it for me for his Father's day. It's about the same color as this print. Khaki.
I went to the quilting group that meets in our town last week for the first time, and was shocked to see that there were about 35 people there. This is the slow time too, as in the winter when the snow birds are here they have close to twice as many. One of the ladies had some of their challenge fabric and asked if I'd like it as she didn't plan to use hers and I said yes, thank you. The smallest fabric below is the challenge fabric, and I purchased the others today to go with it. I'm thinking that I'll make one of the little baskets that are on so many blogs courtesy of Pink Penguin.

The fabrics below were on sale for $5.00 a yard, and I needed some neutrals. The wild one just caught my eye, and I was surprised when I got home that my DH really liked it, too.
I also signed up for my first "shop hop", and am looking forward to going around to the different shops. There are only 4, and one is about 5 miles from me, so it should be fairly easy. It goes on for 4 days too.

About a week ago I went to Joann's Fabrics and got a few things that I had been needing, basting spray and invisigrip, and some that I had been wanting the Gingher rotary tools. Unfortunately, after using it about 20 minutes on and off I dropped it on the blade, and now that blade is ruined. Luckily, I got the extra one, and I got them for 50% off, but I had read in one of the groups that one lady had been using hers for a year and hadn't had to change blades yet. I sure didn't get my year.

All Five Little Girl Quilts Finished

These two quilts look a lot like each other, and a lot like the one that I finished a couple of weeks ago. It went to the little girl across the street, and I received a very nice thank you note from Katie and her mother. Katie is 5 and a half. I made them from Quiltmaker's Super Sized Nine Patch pattern and just super sized them a bit more to the size of about 4 feet by 5 feet. They are for 2 of my nieces children who are toddlers about 2 and 4 years old, and the Strippie quilt from Mary's pattern is for her third little girl who was born December 2008. She has older children also, but these are for her 3 little girls who are still home. The older ones are all in school, and not so apt to be needing a quilt for napping. These were mailed off to Iowa yesterday.

The little quilt below is for my granddaughter, Breanna, who will be 4 this summer. It isn't very big, but neither is she, so hopefully she will be able to use it for the next year or two. We will hopefully see at least some of her family this weekend and give it to her then.

Julie was sweet enough to send me some of her hens and chicks and another succulent a while back, and I have actually been able to keep them alive, although something seems to want to eat them up. A couple of days ago I looked on the porch and there was an odd little yellow thing peeping up. A few hours later I looked again and it was about 4 times the size. The next morning it had turned into this mushroom looking growth so I took some pictures. It is on the back porch and we do have mushrooms grow in our yard at times, but they never have looked like this, so I assume that this is the "flower" of one of these plants. I'm still amazed at the speed of growth. It's kind of like an exotic umbrella.
I hope that you are all having a nicer day than us weather wise. We are having rain all day, which we need, but I'd rather have an hour or two and then it's over.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's Me Again

I'm finally back to working on my quilts. This one isn't fancy, but it's a beginning, and it is finished. I wanted to try the Sharon Schamber method of boards for basting, and ended up doing an adaptation of it. I used the boards, but instead of doing the hand basting I spray basted. It worked pretty well and was quick. I don't quite trust the spray 100%, so I pinned around the outside edge and went for it. My free motion is pretty sad, but I did another one today, and it was a little better. I have one more like this put together to quilt, and then 2 more little girl quilts to do. When I finish the bunch, I will take a picture and put it on my blog. The little girls are from one to six years old, so I don't think they will study my stitching too closely.

My daughter has been working long and hard taking college courses while raising six children by herself, and she was beaming when she got her AA degree with honors. She's still deciding if she will take more classes, right now she is just taking a break.

We have our first married grandchild. The next to the oldest, Nathan married his sweetheart Marcy on my birthday. The first picture is the one they used on their announcements and the second was at their reception. It wasn't an expensive wedding, but it was very nice and everyone had a good time. My daughter and her kids, all six of them, danced up a storm.

My daughter came over on the first anniversary of my mother's passing with this rose. It was very thoughtful, and the rose was beautiful.