Sunday, December 1, 2013

Steady as she goes

My directing word this year has been "finish".  It seemed like an overwhelming task, but I must say I can see lots of progress has been made.  I'll continue this word thru 2014 (already made that decision) because I'd like to find myself at a point of having (almost) no unfinished projects. 

Some projects reach their "finished" status by being tossed in the trash, or put in the sale bin. This counts!!! They are off my UFO list. I've not done such a hot job of posting all the pics, but that wasn't the goal, anyway, was it?

So with all that said, here are things I've accomplished over the last few days.

I'm working on a project for a class I'll teach next year using these diamonds. They are quite tedious to make (but so worth it for the result!), so I have myself on a one-a-day schedule until they're all made. I'll probably put the quilt together while I'm on the road (Great Road Trip 2014 starts in mid-January. Stay tuned!) then ship it home so the quilters can work their magic.

I started this log cabin quilt umpteen jillion years ago. I call it the manly-man log cabin. I have such a hard time working in man colors! Again, I'm working on one block a day. I'm down to just two more blocks, then assembly begins. I have this idea for a brick-type border that I hope looks as good in fabric as it does in my head. :) The block is 14" so not many will be needed. I've cut enough sets of strips to make about 50 blocks I think....what in the world was I planning????? It's all those leftover strip sets that I'll use for the border.

Lastly, my half-square triangle (HST) units.  The guild is doing a swap each month for 6 months.  I'll be on the road for 4 of those months, so I'm getting ahead before I leave. I made 336 to turn in this month - 112 of each fabric group (batik, 30s repro, and brights). Why that odd number? We are all using the same papers for the piecing; there are 28 on a page. I made 2 pages of each. Simply answers to a funny number. Once they're sewn and cut apart, there's still the trimming off of the sticky-outie corners and removing the papers. Sewing them was the easy part!

So that's what I've been up to these last few days. I hope your Thanksgiving was all you hoped it would be, and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Small Stuff

A few more art dots got completed this week:

I also am in the midst of exploring the design options for these little wristlets:
So many possibilities, and in such a small space. These are easy to whip out in a couple of hours, and won't they make great gifts?

Here are my two newest favorite things:
A thimble that sticks to my fingertip

And these terrific binder clips from Clover.

 I've used hair clips for years, but was quickly converted when finishing a binding for a friend. She had already clipped the binding down with these, and man! Love them! They work great for the art dot bindings, too. No affiliation - just love the product.

Still  practicing my long arming. None are picture worthy yet.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Big and the Small

I've been doing big things - learning my long arm, and small things - making pincushions.

Practice, practice, practice for the long arm. I have a huge stack of tops for practicing that will be donated once they have their bindings. The machine stitches beautifully, and getting the rhythm is going quite well. (I have a Martelli LaCresta, not computerized).  It's fun to get back into quilting my own quilts again, although it will be a long time until I totally stop supporting my friendly neighborhood long-arming ladies!! 

I'm also making billions and billions of pincushions for a gift swap.  OK, 30 - but it SEEMS like billions. It takes me a full evening to stuff just one (they're chubby little suckers) What was I thinking!

My hand is in that one for perspective.  They still need their little yoyo caps, but they're just the cutest darn things! All from the scrap basket(s).  It's fun to remember the quilts that were made from those fabrics.

Staying busy.  That's a good thing.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Days Get Away From Me

It's kind of amazing, actually, how a week goes by so quickly! But I've not been lazy in my days. A couple more tumbler tops are ready:

 I wasn't able to get a good pic of the purple and green, but it's the one I started at Epworth last weekend. It's quite different.

Sometimes I find a pattern  intrigues me and I want to try it out in lots of different fabrics. This is the case with the tumblers. Also I find that I've been able to use up some of my stash I this quilt pattern. It goes together so quickly! And cutting was a breeze because I used the Accuquilt cutter. Zip,  zip, done!

I've also been working on the binding for the gray & Kaffe tumbler, and I've been stuffing pincushions for gifts at Empty Spools in the spring. Hexies have not been forgotten! Chair work (not requiring sitting at the sewing machine) has many project possibilities!

The weather has finally broken, but it will be back up to 80 by Tuesday. Oh, how I long to live in a cooler climate! But...not in the cards at the moment.

The world continues to be crazy. Violence. Voters suppression laws. Craziness spewing from the mouths of the politicians running this country. People expressing shock that we spy.  That's sort of like that scene in Casablanca where the police chief is shocked, SHOCKED, to find gambling going on at Rick's.  Ah well. The lunatics are running the asylum: what else can we expect? Sometimes I think I need to live in a cave. Instead I turn off the TV and pretend, for a day, that we're not all nuts.

Meanwhile there's fabric to keep me sane. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekend Retreat Day 2

Yea, I sorta missed day 1, but so it goes.

My guild is at Epworth By the Sea in St. Simons Island, GA. 

 I packed some tumbler quilts to work on while I'm here.  I lay out these quilts at home on the design wall then stack the rows for easy sewing when I'm with a group.  Funny thing about the first one ... 

....I got to row 8 and saw that I had forgotten to stack the main color! Whoops! So, put that one aside till I get back home.  But being one to never leave home without waaaay too many projects, I started the second tumbler.  

I got the top finished just in time to call it a day. Lots of good friendship with fellow quilters in a beautiful "old south" environment. What a way to spend a weekend!

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just Hexies

Most of the day was spent getting ready for the Honeybee Guild trip to Epworth. I had cooking to do. I made the first batch of rustic roasted apple sauce for this fall. I'm pretty strict with myself about only eating fruit that is in season, and grown in either the U.S. or Canada: it has flavor because its ripe. So it's apple season now, and time to make Michael Chiarello's delicious applesauce again. Luckily, apple season lasts for a long time!  Other things were made and will be taken on the trip, as well. 

Bottom line: I only had time for a few hexies.
These are 1" hexies. I'm using those little bits of fabric that are left after subcutting strips, which is why you see bright fruity ones and soft pastel-y ones.  No, they aren't going in the same project.  In fact I don't have a project in mind for these. I'm just making them because they're fun.

Now off to the sidewalks for my morning walk.  Stay tuned, and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Day

I've been avoiding the sewing machine for the past 10 days or so. I got back to it today after pushing through the whining wall. Here are my results.

This is one big quilt! I had all the blocks made, and 2 of the rows put together. Now it's ready for quilting (as soon as I make a back). One thing I really like about the current modern quilting movement is that most of the designs don't have borders. I love being finished with the top once the columns and rows are together.

I started the day by re-reading the directions for Judy Niemeyer's Autumn Splendor quilt. (Have you ever done one of Judy's patterns? The instructions are like the Sunday New York Times!!!!) Two years ago I took 3 classes with Judy at Quilting By the Bay in Panama City Florida. I've worked on the parts off and on, but it's been awhile since the last time. It all came back, though, and this part went together quickly and easily after the refresher. I highly recommend taking a class from Judy, or one of her many certified instructors if you can't get to her. You'll be amazed at how easy the cutting and piecing are. I hope to get a part or two done daily now that I've refreshed my brain on the how-to.

I ended the day making a whole passel of half-square triangle blocks. These are 2" (finished). After finishing the quilt top, above, I was still in the mood to sew (it's amazing what happens once your push yourself to just do it).  I did a browse through my project bins and stumbled upon a bunch of fabrics already cut, just waiting to be made into HSTs. My guild just started a HST exchange and I know I'll need more, so....what the heck! I made 102 tonight. Then I quit sewing! 

It was a good day.  Thanks for sharing it with me.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


I read about  how to sew hexies on the machine. What?!?! Knowing I could also use the glue method instead of hand-sewing .... I'm in! 

Ignore that badly scorched pressing board.  I can sit in my chair in the evenings and hexie myself into oblivion.

I finally got this top done and to the quilters.  It sure is big!

Can't wait to see it finished. That's all for now.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Experimental Post

OK even though I'm a techie, I haven't yet tried posting to the blog from any of my mobile devices, so here's my first try.

I really have been quite busy, getting lots of UFOs to the quilters. Here are some of the things that have made it to the next step.

This Drunkards Path uses a 4" block. It was just an experiment. After learning a new way to piece curves with no pins, I whipped this out of the stack and it came together quickly.  Hooray for no pins when curve piecing! 

I can't believe how bad the border looks in this photo! Honestly, it looks much better Than this.

This was sitting in the pile, waiting for some fused appliqué. For five years. Enough already. I made a back & sent it to the quilters.

Just some fun. The rows were put together, so I added the rest of the sashings and called it done. This one is small enough for me to quilt on the Bernina.

So, then, looks like its pretty simple to post from the iPad. Good deal!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bunches of Bindings

Binding day. I got bindings put on these quilts (just the machine part). I have one more that needs it's binding attached, then let the handwork begin!

On another note, I found this critter in my garage when I put out the garbage:

Hard to tell from this angle, but I'm pretty sure it's one of those Cuban tree frogs - an invasive species that eats just about anything, including other Cuban tree frogs.  I have to catch him and freeze him. Ugh.

The hot Florida weather is breaking a bit - finally. Still 90, but the mornings are much cooler.  Walking is almost bearable again.

Onward! Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Few More Tops

I spent the weekend grabbing something out of the UFO stack and just barreling through till the top was finished.  Here are the 3 that are ready for quilting. The fourth one is my Scapolator (see some blocks here), and I'm down to the last border.  Progress!

This is the pattern "Red Onion" from Karla Alexander, Stack a New Deck. I thought it would be interesting to slice the targets in with the blocks. I'm pleased with the way it looks; very noisy, yet calming because it's so blue. I named it "Blue Eggs and Spam". It's about 64"x72"

This is about the 6th or 7th one of these I've made. It's a great donation quilt from a free pattern that was found on the Internet. It's big - 72"x 82",  so is perfect for a bed quilt.

This is from one of the older books for using fat quarters. The pattern is "Ashley". Easy peasy. About 50" x 66" - nice lap size.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I could make excuses

...all the excuses in the world. Fact is, I've been having way too much fun which left me with no time to blog. So. No excuses. Just pictures.

And that's part of what I've been busy doing.  More later!

Monday, August 19, 2013

4 weeks already??

Yea, how does that happen? I write a blog post, then suddenly it's a month later.  I'll try writing BEFORE I take my morning walk now & see if that works any better.

The decluttering is going well.  Lots of things have been either given to others who wanted them or donated to women's shelters or Goodwill. I no longer needed 3 sets of Christmas dishes. When I used to have 32 for Christmas dinner, that was OK. Now I may have 7 for brunch - all those extra dishes can go. Lots of other items have also departed the house. It's like potato chips; hard to stop once you get started.

Weight? Ah, let's not talk about it except to say "not good". Definitely not where I want to be but never, never, never give up.

Sewing: here are a few things I've done in the last few weeks:

I also went here (which explains part of the weight issue):

 (Don't kiss blue people or you'll look like this:)
Time for a little pampering after all that!
I'm also on target for "finishes", even if they were small:
 Lots of my little Art Dots got finished, and they count. :) They are little works that will add a dot of color wherever it's needed. I'll list them on Etsy within the next few days.

And that's what I've been up to. Nothing terribly interesting, but it sure beats having to go to work every day!

Thanks for stopping by.