Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sewing Sunday

I was able to spend hours sewing today, and got a lot done on the Disappearing 9 Patch quilt.  I don't have enough blocks yet, but hopefully I'll have time tomorrow to finish them up.  I'm going to use white sashing, and I have plenty of that, so as soon as I have enough blocks made, I can give you a peek of what the top will look like.
I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I've started a new project.  I've been reading about and looking at pictures of the Dear Jane quilt.  Last night I dove in and made my first block.  I've wanted a hand piecing project, and since each block is so small, it may actually be easiser to do them that way. So this is my first one, but the last for awhile as I have some swap obligations coming due and I'm not ready for them.  This picture looks huge, but of course, the block is only about 4 1/2" square.  I'm using Civil War reproduction fabrics as that was the time period of the original quilt.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More Disappearing 9 Patches

I finally got to work in my sewing room today, and made a lot of progress on the Disappearing 9 Patch quilt top.  The more I work on it the more I like it.  I lay out the 9 squares to go in one block and try to plan how it will look.  When I get it sewn and cut, it's a wonderful surprise to see how it turns out.  I've used fabrics that I thought were horrid, but these patches just have a way of turning those ugly squares into something really pretty.  I still need to make a few more for a qs quilt, and I can't wait to show it to you.

Of course, the colors aren't really true, but these will give you an idea of the variety of fabrics in the patches. 

I've decided that I'm going to make a tree skirt from the piece I showed you a few days ago.  I'll use it to replace the tree skirt under my living room tree.  A couple of years ago, I crocheted a tree skirt for it, but it was a disappointment.  I still need to make a new skirt for my family room tree.  The one I use is just a cheapy that I picked up somewhere, and the tree is just too pretty for it.  I'll have to see what I can come up with. I should also make a new one for the miniature tree.  I've seen some beautiful patterns - somewhere, but I sure can't think where.

Friday, August 28, 2009

There was no time to sew today. What a bummer! We had to make a quick trip out of town, then I had to see the doctor. It took the whole day. (not ill, just routine stuff) Hopefully, I'll have a little time this evening to sew. If not, then I'll make up for it tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sew Thursday

Look what came in the mail today. Isn't it beautiful? It's the August block for the monthly swap I'm in. The colors are so deep and rich, and the off white has stars or snowflakes which give it an even cooler look. Sorry, but this picture just doesn't do it justice. When I have enough blocks, this quilt is going to be simply elegant. I love these colors.

The cute little Friendship Bag for the swap is complete, but not the extra one. Hopefully, I can do it tomorrow so it doesn't become another UFO.

I made 12 more blocks for my Disappearing 9 patch quilt using the leftovers from the little bag project. Since I don't have a design wall, I laid them all out on an empty bed upstairs, and arranged and rearranged to my heart's content. I'm planning to put white sashing between the blocks, but didn't think ahead of time that if I had put a white sheet on the bed, I could have gotten a better idea about it. I think it really needs the sashing because it's the busiest quilt top I've ever made. To make the quilt as large as I want, I need to make 16 more blocks. With the sashing and borders, I'll have a qs quilt.

The Double Wedding Ring is coming right along, and I spent most of the afternoon making arcs and cutting background pieces. I'm now up to 16 circles, but that's only a fraction of what I need. What I should have been doing, though, was going to see my doctor. I completely ran out of all my 'maintenance' medicines, plus I need to see her about all those other new aches and pains that have started since I last saw her. Isn't growing old a joy?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Giveaway

Well, today's is the 20th post, and as I promised, I have a giveaway for one of you. I've put your names in a hat and the winner is Tango of Tango's Trash and Treasure! So, Tango, if you'll email me your snail mail address, I'll get it right out. I hope you like it. I just fell in love with these kits when I saw them at the quilt shop. (and yes, those are my toes; I left them in to show you the pretty flowers that I got at my beach pedicure. Unfortunately, the picture's not clear enough)

Dena asked that I share the UFOs that were started by my grandmother. I didn't find one of them, but found another in the bottom of the box that I had forgotten about. My mother always said she couldn't finish them because she couldn't find silk thread. Well, that's no longer a problem, so eventually, I'll do them. Mother (and yes, we called her Mother, not Mom) said that she thought they were to be pillows. Maybe so, but I think they would have been a little delicate with the silk embroider, painted flowers, and ribbon embroidery. If I ever do finish them, I will frame them. Sorry they're so crushed, but I don't want to iron or steam them until I learn how to properly handle this old fabric. The stamped design is very light and may not show in the picture. I'm not sure how much of the work was actually my grandmother's, or if it was a kit with the flowers completed.

In the second one, there's not much work left to be done, but the fabric is stained. As I said, I'm not going to do anything until I find out how to care for the fabric.
The third one I had completely forgotten about. Again, most of the work is done, but the fabric is stained. I don't know what the fabric is, but it's sort of 'lineny', and the stitching is cotton. I would love to get them complete and be able to display these family treasures.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friendship Bag

It occurred to me this morning that I hadn't been out of the house since we returned from the beach on Saturday. Time to go to the quilt shop. So I went to 2. I 'needed' to get fabric for the Friendship Bag swap, and the 4 Seasons Holiday swap. I found some gorgeous fqs for the bag, and added some Christmas fabric to my stash, as well.

I couldn't wait to start on the bag, and found that by cutting one 1 1/2" strip from each fq, I had enough to make 2 bags. (which I did) Sometimes I'm so dense - of course, a strip that is 21" long is enough to cut four 5" strips. I don't know what I'll do with the second bag, but they sure are pretty. Not done yet, but maybe tonight. Tomorrow's card day, so nothing interferes with that. The color doesn't look very good here, so I hope it shows up better online.

The mailman brought me a pretty block from a swap I'm in. I love it. I'm hoping to eventually make a star quilt with these deep colors. It's a long time in the future, though; so far I only have two blocks.

It's been a great day, though, with lots of time to drool over the beautiful fabrics and patterns at the quilt shop, and still get lots of sewing done.

And for you, tomorrow I'll draw a number to choose one of you to receive this. If you like Halloween, you'll love it! The picture shows only part of it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Funday

I've received my partner's name for the Friendship Bag swap. Now I need to go find some new fabric. I don't want to do this from my stash. I've been through it so much in the last few weeks that nothing in it looks like anything I want to use. Reason enough to go fabric shopping!

What a wonderful day I'm having! It's involved lots of sewing and .......NO HOUSEWORK. Not because my house is all clean. Far from it. But I just decided I wasn't going to do anything else today but sew.

So, here's my progress; 36 more Civil War siggie blocks (which of course means 72 more cute little extra blocks), one more Double Wedding Ring circle, and then I wanted to do something different. And strange as it may seem, I found another UFO which I hadn't seen in months. I had put it all together once and didn't like the way it turned out, so I ripped it apart and promptly put it out of my mind. It was 'new' enough to me to be something different to do, and I got it all put back together. How do you like it?

The pattern was to make either a tree skirt or a table cover. Of course, you can see that I set out to do the latter. Now I can't decide... I'm going to set it out and look at it for a few days before I make up my mind. Not too long, though, or it will still be on the UFO list in January.

It seems the more cleaning out I do, the more unfinished projects I find. I have at least 2 that my mother started (crewel embroidery) and, would you believe, 2 that my grandmother started. It's really pretty embroidery on satin with silk thread, ribbons, and textured paint. They're quite lovely, and if I ever get the courage, I may try to finish them. Does it sound like starting too many projects runs in the genes? I have inherited UFOs.

For all my small group of followers, I will soon publish my 20th post, and I have a great giveaway for one of you. I'll tell you more about it later.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I had a lot of time for sewing today and it was such a treat after so many days away from the sewing machine. I finished up all of the swap blocks for the Civil War Signature block exchange. Now I just have to sign them. I still have plenty of time, though, and they've been good to have to work on when I just can't do another Double Wedding Ring circle.

Before leaving for vacation, I finished up and mailed 2 blocks for a monthly swap, and my 6 packages of Scrappy Christmas blocks. I'm really excited about putting together a Christmas coverlet. I did receive a Christmas block from another swap, and I'm sort of planning to put all of them together on point, with a light alternating block. I'll make a few extra blocks, and the 12 I'm expecting should be enough to make a usable coverlet for the holidays. If not, I have plenty of fabric to make more. The solid blocks will be a good place for some nice quilting.

I'm finishing up my summer mini quilt; put on the binding today, and just have a little embroidery to complete the prpoject. I'll have to wait to show you because it's a surprise exchange, and I don't know anything about my partner. Anyway, it's another project almost finished!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back from the Beach

We left the beach early this morning, and had a great trip back home. My son drove the whole way - what a treat! I would have willingly helped with the driving, but it was so nice to just enjoy the scenery, my novel and/or sudoku the whole way home.

I have very few beach pictures, because I like to go out early before it gets too hot (and the beach gets too crowded), and the rest of the family wants to get up late and go out in the afternoon. By lunchtime, I'm done with the beach - it gets too hot for me. Also, since we went so late in August, it was blazing hot, and they don't have AC in the sand!

I'm too tired to do any sewing this evening, but I'm looking forward to getting back into my sewing

Friday, August 14, 2009

Off to the Beach

Even with laundry, packing and generally getting ready to leave for a week, I did find time to work on my Disappearing 9 Patch blocks today. I want to make it larger than the 40 blocks will make it, so I started looking through my stash and scraps to work on some more. I found a pile of 6 inch charms that I got in a swap a few years ago at a quilt retreat. The fabrics aren't necessarily what I would choose myself, but so what, it's supposed to be scrappy anyway. I made 2 nine patches, which of course adds 8 blocks. I have enough 5" squares to make several more, so I'll complete it when I get back from....
.....The Beach! We're off tomorrow morning, and will return the following Saturday. I'm going to take my laptop, but I don't know what kind of access I'll have. Anyway, I hope to be able to log on and keep up with my daily blog reading. See you soon!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sewing Thursday

Wednesday is the day I spend almost the whole day playing cards. I love it! Anyway, not much sewing got done yesterday. Today, though, I got to sew in the morning and had lunch with some former co-workers. Such fun to see old friends.

I sewed for a couple of hours this afternoon piecing more of the arcs for the Double Wedding Ring quilt. It took me 2 hours to finish and iron 40 arcs. I now have 13 circles finished and need 5 more to have two rows complete. This is really slow progress.

Look what the mailman brought me this afternoon! My 40 Disappearing 9-Patches from Aunt Pitty Pat's swap. (I tried and tried but couldn't get them all in the picture. This makes me really want a design wall.) They're going to make a very colorful quilt. I'm not sure how I'm going to join them, but I do plan to make more of my own so that it will work up into at least a twin size. I'll post it when I have it joined.

My packages for the Scrappy Christmas block swap are ready to go to the Post Office tomorrow. So if I'm on your list, you'll be getting your blocks by next Tuesday or Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to receiving those as well. I've never made a Christmas quilt.

We leave for the beach on Saturday morning, so I won't be posting very often during the next week. I'll try to keep up with the blogs I follow, though; it's a great way to start the day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Not Much Sewing Monday

I had my once-a-month breakfast with other retirees from my former employer. Boy, I love that it's now 'former'! I love retirement! Anyway, meeting with them reminds me of the best thing about work - all the really great people. So, we ate too much, drank too much coffee and had a really good time.

I needed to go buy fabric today! There are 4 quilt shops within a 15 mile drive, but one of them has a wonderful selection of Civil War reproduction fabrics. And Tuesday is Fat Quarter sale day. I'm still planning to do some Dear Jane blocks and see if I have the desire and drive to actually make the whole thing. Unfortunately, they didn't have the background fabric I wanted, so I really can't start it yet. I'll order it and it will be here by the time I come home from the beach. Anyway, this is my selection for the starter blocks.

I made the first block for the second row of the DWR quilt. I know, that's not very far, but it's farther than the first row.

So, I haven't done much actual sewing today, but plan to spend what's left of the evening working on my Summer Mini.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Not much of a sewing day today. We had a terrible storm in the early afternoon and we lost power for a couple of hours. It was even too dark to do any hand sewing. During the power outtage, hubby took 2 small swap packages out to mail for me, but the computers were down at the PO and they couldn't accept my packages. I guess everything runs by computer. Hopefully, the power will stay on the rest of the evening and I can make some progress on my Summer Mini Quilt. I really want to finish it this week before we head off to the beach.

Today, also, I received word that it's time to send my Christmas blocks off to my partners, which of course means that I will be receiving blocks to add another project to my list. Also, Aunt Pitty Pat sent out word that she has mailed out our packages of blocks from the Disappearing 9-patch swap - another project to work on. I'm really excited about them and looking forward to starting work on them after vacation. I need to make a list of the deadlines for all of the swaps I'm in so that I don't accidentally miss one.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quitters and Procrastinators

In cleaning my sewing room this weekend, I realized just how many UFOs I have. I really need to come up with a plan of how to get them completed. I haven't even looked at some of them in years, so they were quite a surprise. Anyway, this is my (far from complete) list: redwork with alternating 9-patch (qs), winning hand (qs), Jacob's Fan (qs), scrappy 9-patch (qs), Tennessee Waltz (qs), numerous seasonal wall hangings. I also have more cross stitch than I can remember. They're easy to carry along, so one goes with me on all trips.

I guess first I want to complete my Double Wedding Ring quilt. I was able to spend a couple of hours on it today, and now have all the circles done for one row! They're not all joined, but when I lay them out I love 'em. At least, now that I'm on the 2nd row, each circle only requires 2 (football? melon?) patches to complete it. Also, since I'm participating in the Civil War Signature block swap, the Scrappy Christmas block swap, 4 Seasons Holiday mini swap, Disappearing 9-patch block swap, Friendship bag swap, I definitely want to get those done. In addition, I want to start a Dear Jane quilt. Do you think I just might be slightly over-extended? One good thing about the swaps is that they have definite deadlines, so that extra pressure is helpful to me, a perennial procrastinator.

I wanted to finish up my Summer Mini Quilt today, but yesterday I broke my right thumbnail (doing housework! another reason not to do it), and had to cut it off really short. Anyway, it's so short it hurts to try to pull the needle through the fabric. Another day or so and it'll be fine.
Nothing new to show you today, so I'll show you what I call my 'nap quilt'. I started it several years ago, almost finished it, then just quit on it. I folded it over the back of my bedroom chair and just left it. I even used it once in awhile since all it really needed was to quilt the last border and bind it. The quilting is only stitch in the ditch and cross hatching, and it only took a few hours to complete. It made me wonder why in the world I hadn't done it sooner. It's made in my favorite colors. The original pattern was for a lap quilt so when I saw how small that actually was, I just kept adding borders until I got it to the size I wanted. It didn't turn out too badly, and even so, it's for me and I like it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Alone

All of my fellas went out of town today, and I got to spend the whole day alone. Those are so rare. I did the things I have to do, housework and laundry (yuk!), and spent the rest of the time sewing and a side trip to the fabric shop. What a nice way to spend the day!

I signed up for the Friendship Bag swap at the Quilters Gallery, and decided to go ahead and make one. I needed a small gift for a friend, and since she's a quilter, I knew she would appreciate it, especially if I included some FQs. What do you think? I don't have the appropriate button for it, but I will before I give it. I know, I made the handles wrong. I didn't notice until I was done, and I'm not taking it apart to change them. Well, what the hey, if the 'quilt police' show up, I'll deny, deny, deny....
Besides, one thing I've learned as I've learned to quilt, is that if you're a perfectionist, this is the wrong craft/passtime. All I can do is the best I can do, and when that's not enough, just accept it.

When the guys got back from their trip, I immediately lost the tv show I was watching to racing (or anything else sports). So, I put "Mama Mia" in the dvd player and retreated to my sewing room. I still needed to make a block for my August swap buddy, so this is the result. The lighting was really bad, so not only is it not clear, but the colors are weird. The center is a floral, with star points in 2 shades of pink, then the rest is 2 shades of green. It's so much prettier than it looks in this picture. I hope she likes it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Quilting Friday

I was able to spend a good bit of the morning sewing, but I have nothing to show for it. I need to make a block for my August swap buddy, but the block was harder than I expected and turned out sooo bad that I threw it away. I don't often do that; usually I can salvage them somehow, but not this one. Oh well, I have plenty of time and plenty of fabric. I'll try again tomorrow.

Took my grandson to the movie, and while I usually enjoy the movies we see together, I could hardly stand this one. I won't say the name, but if a sequel comes along, I'll know better than to see it. All in all, though, I love the time I get to spend with him. We have a good time. He's ten years old now, so it won't be long until it's not cool to spend time with Grandma.

I've also been trying to finish my quilt for the Summer Mini Quilt Swap at the Quilting Gallery. I'll give you a just a peek and will post a full picture of it after I've sent it to my partner. I certainly need to finish it before I get too deeply into the Christmas project, but as you can see, it's still definitely under construction. Sorry for the strange look to the picture; I cropped it to show only a little bit, and this is what happened.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weaver Fever

Today was a day to get some order in some parts of my house. My sewing room is upstairs, but no one lives up there anymore. Of course, the sewing room pretty much stays a mess, and periodically I try to straighten up and actually run the sweeper & dust. I decided that the other rooms were in much worse shape than my sewing room and went to work on them. It looks pretty nice up there now. Cleaning up and remaking the beds reminded me that I did make another QS quilt last year, so I decided to post it as I likely won't get much sewing done today. Please don't pay any attention to the blue bedskirt. This room is used about 5-7 days a year, so there's not much need to do much decorating. Eventually, maybe... The pattern is called 'Weaver Fever' and believe me, it lives up to its name. Because of the complexity of the design, with seams every inch, I knew I wouldn't handquilt it, so I had it machine quilted with an allover design. I found the grape fabric just as I was finishing up the top, and it just brought the whole thing together for me. I hadn't decided on backing fabric, but I knew I wanted a color, and with a green and purple pieced design, I didn't know what to get. The grapes introduced red, which led me to the 1/4" folded border and the quilt back. I'm really pleased with how it came out. Believe me, these colors together are really outside my 'comfort zone' but I like it. The mail brought me a book yesterday, "Dear Jane The Two Hundred Twenty-Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A Stickle Quilt", by Brenda Manges Papadakis. So for two hours before bedtime, I read the book, looked at the drafted blocks, and examined the pictures of the actual blocks. It's an exceptional quilt; it's hard to imagine that one woman did all that work, probably all by hand. I'm going to try to make some of them. They're such small blocks (4 1/2 inches) that I think they'll be perfect to do by hand; something to put in baggie and carry with me. I'm hoping to cut out several and take them to the beach to work on. After seeing pictures of the original, and because the quilt comes from that era, I think I'll make it in Civil War reproductions. I'm sure I won't try to make the whole thing, but the blocks are just fascinating.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wedding Rings and Tea Cups

No sewing - it was cards today. I really enjoy spending the day with some new friends, and having no responsibilities whatsoever. I don't know that I can go the whole day without some sewing, so I'm going to spend the evening in my sewing room, even if it's only to clean it up a little.
I've finally finished enough of my Double Wedding Ring quilt to show you, so here it is. I absolutely love pastels, so these colors fit me to a T. I spent a lot of time looking at other DWR quilts before I started shopping for fabric, and of course, the combinations are endless. And they're all beautiful. I just kept coming back to the pastels. Before this, I've only really used pastels in baby quilts, but I love this look. After I did my 'unsewing' last night, I was able to really get into it and make some progress. What I discovered is that for me, the more pins I use the better and more precise my seams are. There's just no hurrying this pattern.
The mini cup I put in the picture is one from my mini teacup collection. I have all of the months in this set, so I'll show you one each month. It's a Royal Albert miniature, and they're all so cute.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Swap Blocks

Summer has been very unusual this year. So far this year the temperature has been very mild with a lot of rain. In July and August, it's usually in the 90s with the humidity level right up there with the temp - very hot and sticky to be outside. But right now, it's just 80 outside. I don't remember a summer ever being quite like this. It's really pleasant to be outside for a walk in the park.

I finished my Scrappy Christmas swap blocks. I liked making them, but the closer I get to completing something, the more anxious I am to get it done. Now I just wait for instructions for what to do with them next. Sorry the picture's so fuzzy; I just couldn't get it to focus properly.

I worked for a couple of hours on my Double Wedding Ring quilt, and got quite a bit done. However, I rechecked some of the work I did last week when I was trying to catch up with my promise, and I was really shocked at how bad it was. I've decided to officially break my promise to do at least one circle a day, and just work on it when I feel like it. I got a lot done today and found that it gets so much easier when I 'get in the groove' of doing that particular kind of piecing. Now I have to go back and unsew some of what I did last week. It would be a lot better if I did it right the first time, huh.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Woke up to a beautiful morning. I can't believe it's August 1. At this time of the year, we usually have to stay inside with the AC constantly running, but the weather is just so crazy. It's 68 degrees outside, and the humidity level is great. I live in the Ohio River valley where the humidity in the summer is so uncomfortable, and an August morning where we can leave the door open and enjoy the birds, is a wonderful treat.

This is what we see from our back deck. Okay, so I really didn't take this today, but it is just a couple of days old. I don't know if you can tell, but the middle fawn is actually 2 fawns. They had been playing around in the yard, without mama, but this is the only picture I got that included all of them. They're beautiful visitors and we look forward to them, but we do have to be careful that what we plant is 'deer proof'.

The day was too nice to spend much time indoors, but I did get a little sewing done on each project. I made 2 Double Wedding Ring circles, another round on the Christmas swap blocks, and more of the CW Signature blocks. Nothing exciting - just a little progress.