Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wow!  Can't believe it has been over two weeks since I posted.  Let's see...the onco called as I was walking out the door for the funeral.  PET was okay.  She will see me in March.

MIL got out of ICU after 5 days and out of hospital after 12 days.  Everything was caused by gall stones that spiraled out of control.

I did NOT get all of my Christmas sewing done.  Now I have a cold and am back at work.  Will catch up next week.

Hope to post the big fish quilt tomorrow.  It isn't perfect but my husband and sons like it.

Thank you for the prayers and I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  Stay safe over New Years.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick Update

I wanted to give a brief update for those of you that are praying for me.  I so appreciate those thoughts and prayers!

Had PET/CT on Friday.  No real problems.  Took longer than I remember.  No results reported yet.  Sigh...I know the onco isn't in clinic this week.  I think I will call later today, anyway.

Very busy week.  My uncle died Saturday morning.  Funeral today.  My MIL went in hospital on Monday.  She was in very bad shape and ended up in ICU but is starting to do better.

Life is a little overwhelming right now.  I am sewing a little in the background of all this.  This morning I have to cook for the post funeral meal.

I am making loaded potato soup, apple cheese cake, angel cookies and peanut butter cookies or cake.  Haven't decided there, yet.

Thanks for checkin' in!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Old Lady Pants

No pictures at all on this post.  Mostly a whine.

My gyno's office called on Friday.  There was a "significant change" on my MRI.  The radiologist recommended a PET scan.  They were faxing everything to my onco and if I didn't hear anything I should call on Monday.

I did.  Oncologist agrees.   PET/CT scan scheduled for my first day of vacation on Friday.  I had one last year for an unidentified mass on my colon.  Pretty sure that was just what was just what is supposed to be in your colon. I was sure of that before the scan last year.  Not feeling so sure this year.

Anyway....what does this have to do with "old lady pants"?  When you have a scan at the Simon Cancer Center they don't give you gown or scrubs.  They tell you to wear something without zippers.  Umm....I don't own anything other than my pjs without zippers!  I am 46 years old.  I am not firm enough to be running around with everything just a jiggling.

I don't know why I didn't think of it over the weekend but Monday after working 12 hours, I decided to make myself some pants to wear.  I don't remember why but I had 3 yards of navy corduroy.  It wasn't ideal but it would do.  I looked through my patterns.  I needed something fast.   I am working 12 hrs a day Monday -Thursday and I have to leave by 9:00 a.m on Friday to make my appointment.

I finally settled on a pattern for pjs.  I did alter it to make them more tailored.  I also added pockets.  I used a fun blue print for the pockets.  I still have the hem them but I finished them otherwise Tuesday morning.  I put them on and they aren't too bad.  I can go in public in them.

I can't eat before this scan. I plan on eating afterwards. I also plan on some shopping. I wanted to look somewhat decent.  So, I will wear my old lady pants.  If you see me, please don't laugh too hard!

The good news is now I will have something to wear if this comes up again.  Somehow I don't think I am done.  I had hoped to drop back to every other year by now and instead I am having some scan or exam every three months.

Thank God for insurance!

Tonight I hope to finish my pants and work on my Christmas tree skirt.  I did host a block swap party at my house last weekend.  It was fun.  I can post pictures of some of the blocks.  Not all.  Who knew a simple rail fence was so difficult to execute.

What have you sewn this week?

Keep stitchin'!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A New Lady and a Face Lift for a Grand Dame

This week I am working nights.  Around 11:00 a.m. today I heard a honk in my driveway.  I realized it was the mailman.  He was already on the porch by the time I got up.  I didn't go to the door in my pjs.  I am sure he is very glad of that!  He left me a package.  The new drawers for my treadle!

This is my lady

And, her cabinet:

Notice all the damage on the upper left drawer.  A rogue mouse did that during her former life.  She also has paint dripped on her and is in need of a face lift.  That started today.

Sorry for the poor picture.  I couldn't get the lighting right in the bedroom this afternoon and wanted this on here tonight.  My husband is going to make a new piece to go between the drawers.  So, her face lift is under way but not complete.  I will keep you posted!

This is my new lady:

She is a Singer 301A with a long bed.  The deal was supposed to be that my husband would paint her red for me.  I have never been a fan of this color that Singer used.  My husband was home when she arrived.  I could tell she was a little tight but I threaded her anyway.  The bobbin thread just wouldn't pull through consistently.  She needed cleaned so badly.  This is what she looked like an hour later:

My husband got hold of her.  As he dug deeper he kept telling me she had very little sewing time.  He has decided he just can't paint this machine.  He thinks I should find another to paint!  He was really enjoying tinkering with her.  I actually planned to do most of that myself but who am I to ruin a man's fun!  As long as I have one back together and functioning well before I go to a retreat I will be happy.

I did sew a little this afternoon before she arrived.  I am working on two tree skirts from a Thimbleberries pattern. I have to say, I am not a fan of how her patterns are written.  But, I am wading through.  One will be a table topper and one a tree skirt.  They are different and the final decision will be based upon which one turns out worse....that will be the skirt!

I am going to see about a couple more 301s in a week or so.  The lady told me one is only a donor machine.  Be something good for M to practice paining on!

Keep stitchin'!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cyber Monday and Playing with the Treadle

Today has not been the best of days.  I had to go for my annual MRI.  It was very rough this time.  I can't eat for 6 hours before. It was at 1:30 this afternoon and I woke up at 8:00 a.m.  We ate afterward and I got sick within the hour!  Trying to remind myself of the good things of my 48 hours off.

On Saturday I mentioned my version of Cyber Monday - a sale at Connecting Threads.  They were sneaky.  I knew it would be samplers but they changed what they had available.  I also bought some clearance fabric for some projects.  I couldn't remember everything but this is what the email said today:

1 4970 * Batik Vacation Half Yard Sampler
1 4955 * Birchtree Lane Fat Quarter Sampler
1 4961 * Bits & Bobbins Half Yard Sampler
20 2187 * Bristol-Red
2 4949 * Canning Day Fat Quarter Sampler
2 4954 * Canterbury Fat Quarter Sampler
1 4589 * Christmas Cheer Stack
1 4590 * Christmas Cheer Strips
16 2901 * Cozy Indoors-Toffee
1 4599 * Fairytale Charms
1 4688 * Farmhouse Fat Quarter Sampler
1 4582 * Harvest Time Strips
8 2504 * Trees-Hollyberry
8 2505 * Trees-Leaf
1 4594 * Wilderness Strips

My SIL went to JoAnn's for me and got me 22 yards of Warm and Natural Batting.  I think my stash is full enough for most anything right now!  I have to confess when Moda's Cattails and Clovers became available I went to my LQS and bought enough to make a queen size Orion's Star for my DIL.  CT sent me an email that said thread is 40% off and they have added more samplers but I am resisting.  So far....

NO more fabric!  I am grounding myself!  Starting in January I am going to try to monitor my usage and post it here to keep me honest.  Wish me luck!

Now....playing with the treadle.  My treadle is a bit of an odd duck.  She is a Singer 9W7.  She was manufactured between 1910 and 1914.  Singer bought out Wheeler and Wilson but continued to make the same machines badging them as Singers.  That is what I have.

Mine really does look a little rough like that!  It does have the Celtic scroll work on it.  Thanks to my smart husband coming along behind me and jury rigging the problem that stymied me, she now sews!    This is what I did trying to fix her tension after the oiling and repair work:

It took some work but I got her lined out.  I think it might have been easier if Mike hadn't torqued on the tension knob!

After that I did some piecing.

I really need to work on those quarter inch seams!  It pulls the fabric really hard to the right.  I think the feed dogs need cleaned and adjusted.  But, I was happy to be able to say I sewed on her.  I am using these pieces to make place mats and potholders.  Very forgiving and then I am not wasting anything.

This is what her cabinet looks like right now:

She is a little rough!  I can make her beautiful again, I am sure.  In my sewing machine obsession I found two replacement drawers on eBay.  They are a perfect match.  Mike will put a new cross piece between the boards.  We won't have the beading work that was there.  I believe a mouse took care of that!

Someday, I hope she looks like this:

The cabinet, not the machine!

I don't feel the need for another treadle.  I love this one.  It is the first of Singer's full rotary hook bobbins.  I believe they got that technology from Wheeler and Wilson. She is quiet and had a nice stitch despite the fact she is still filthy.  I did find I can't treadle well on the carpet.  Mike made runners for under her and that made treadling easier.  He just called and said the power is out again.  See why I need a working treadle??

Keep stitchin'!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

My "Black Friday" shopping

I am working all weekend.  Tomorrow Connecting Threads is having a sale starting at 0600.  I think I know what it is from the hints they gave on FB.  Same sale as last year.  I preloaded my cart!  All I have to do is log in at 0600 and buy it.  If I am right, my DILs will be very happy and I will be DONE buying fabric for quite some time.

At least I will try.....very hard.

I may have to try harder.  I bid on another sewing machine on eBay.  It was dirt cheap but I forgot about shipping!  Shipping is 2X my current bid!

Have to stop this nonsense!

Keep stitchin'!

Friday, November 25, 2011

My name is Mary and I think I have a problem...

I know.  You all are thinking I have fabric addiction.  I do.  But, that isn't really a "problem" far!  What may be a problem is the sewing machines.  I just bought another.  That makes NINE!!!

See what I mean?  I may have a problem. I am comforting myself that nine isn't the entire truth.  Here is my roll call:

#1.  Twenty five + year old worn out Kenmore: I want to get rid of this one. It was my first machine and when I bought another about 5 years ago I just couldn't part with it for sentimental reasons.  I made all the curtains for more than one house, my sons' clothes and coats for years, my best friend's wedding dress, an untold number of formals for weddings, proms and choirs and all the bed spreads (I hesitate to call them quilts) for the boys' rooms when we built this house.  I also made hundreds of Christmas presents ranging from pot holders to coats on it.  It truly is worn out.  I got it out the other day and played with it and decided it was time for it to go.  Just where? is the question.

#2.  Babylock Ellegante I bought in 2004 to replace #1.  Somehow I decided I needed an embroidery machine.  I go through spells with that.  For the past month it has ran like a train nonstop.  It is a pretty machine and functions beautifully.  I named her Irene.  I actually really like it but I got tired of waiting on it to embroider and wanted to sew simultaneously.  So.....

#3.  Janome Memory Craft 6600P that I call Mae.  I bought her to supplement Irene.  She is a workhorse.  haven't found anything she can't sew and I love that she goes at 1000 spm.

#4.  Janome MyLock 744D serger.  I bought at the same time as #2.  My serger was a throw away from Sam's Club that I had worn out.  It wasn't salvageable.  This one is so much nicer but I still covet a Babylock Imagine with the jet air threading.

#5.  HandiQuilter HQ16.  I was saving my money to buy a quilting machine some day.  Then my grandmother died.  Because my mom had died the year before I inherited a small amount of money.  I decided I would buy a frame to use Mae on.  When I went looking for what I thought I wanted I was offered an amazing deal on this machine.  I ended up taking it and the QuilTable that the frame was on.  I don't regret that at all.  My DILs both use it, too.

#6.  Is a Simplicity something or another that a man at church gave me when he found out I sewed.  It was brand new.  He couldn't make it work because he had put craft thread on it.  I offered it back to him and to show him how but he told me to keep it.  So, I "loaned" it to my sister.  Technically it is mine but I don't intend to ever take it back.

#7.  I then decided I would love to have a treadle machine.  My then future DIL must have decided she liked me because she went to her dad and asked for her grandmother's treadle for me.  Her grandmother's name was Agnes and that is what I call my machine.  She is a pretty little thing and is actually a rather rare model.

#8.  Janome MC3000.  One day this past September I wasn't feeling well and was scanning craigslist just to keep me awake.  I found a listing for a Memory Craft sewing machine.  My son had an eye dr's appointment nearby and I road along and went to look.  I bought this machine and a cabinet and stool for $25.  My plan was to loan it to my DIL and use it for a travel machine for me.  She was so happy with it and said it should count as her birthday present.  So, I don't really have that one anymore either!

#9.  Singer 301A long bed.  I decided I want to go to a quilt retreat.  I don't have a machine in my possession  I could fly with.  After some research I decided I wanted one of these.  My husband is going to refurbish it and paint it for me.  I hate that mocha color Singer used in the 50s through 70s.  He is going to paint it red!  I just bought it on eBay day before yesterday.  I am super excited!  Can't wait!  She only ways 16 pounds. She has retractable feed dogs and a reputation for a great stitch. She can stitch at up to 1500 spm!  My husband is excited because I am getting one I will let him work on. 

I have never been to a retreat before. I think I am going to go meet my aunt in Dallas and we are going to go to one over near Tyler. Should be a blast. I hope my machine is done in January so I have a couple of months to play with her first.  She doesn't have a name yet. 

The more I research old machines the more I want.  I could easily become a collector.  I really want a 201 now.  There is another I want but the model # is slipping my mind.  I want some of the older ones that have style and are so pretty.

I am sick, aren't I?

Keep stitchin'!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Taking a Break from Christmas Gifts

Yesterday I started a Jelly Roll 1600 Quilt.  I have no need for this.  My husband asked me, "Who is that for?" plan.  Just needed a break from the intense projects and this looked fun and simple.  When I got up today - I am working nights this weekend - I went straight to my sewing room.  In less than 30 minutes I was finished.

Isn't it pretty?  But it seems unbalanced to me.  I didn't like that all the pastels ended up clumped together in the middle.  I decided the solution would be some big happy flowers.

I happily sent off a picture to my sister and my aunt asking what they thought.  I don't think they were as delighted as me. 

So, I tried moving the flowers to the other end.  I apologize for the poor picture quality.  Didn't realize it at the time.  I will try to replace it tomorrow.

I think I like the first option best because it fills in the spot where all the pastels are.  I plan to put a blue border on that is a blue polkadot on a lighter blue background.  The binding is bright red gingham.

If you are reading this PLEASE leave me an opinion.  I am going to link up this unfinished item to Sew Darn Crafty Party in hopes it will get some traffic and I can get some opinions.  What do you think?

Keep Stitchin'!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday's Simmerings

Today I had a lot of simmering going on.  I tried to sleep since I am working nights this weekend.  I woke up for good at about 11:00 a.m. but I laid there "thinking"....simmering....planning...

Going back to my first pot: I am still working on the pond quilt.  I actually took some pictures of it today with my camera instead of my phone but they looked worse than what I have.  I have been embroidering on it.  I have added 6 or 7 fish, 3 frogs and some dragon flies.

Those are blue gill for the unknowing.  There is another on the quilt at the other end.

This is a bullfrog on a rock.

Each fish I embroidered had somewhere between 22 and 36 thread changes.  It was nuts!  I am still going to add a rocky border and then a fishing scene border.  I am free handing the quilting so I don't break any needles on those darn fish!

I left that pot simmering since yesterday. I finished up those blue gill as I cleaned my upstairs.  Last night I made a new to me discovery.....1600 Quilt.  Have you seen these?  They are so stinking cute! All it takes is a jelly roll and NO cutting.

The other pot I had simmering is this beauty:

I bought this panel when I went to the neuro on Thursday.  (It is called shopping therapy.  I was STRESSED!).  I thought I could use it to make a wall hanging for my living room but it is a little big.  I think it is going to be a throw.  When I got up I dug through my fabric looking for what I wanted to go with this.    That pot is stewing.

I felt so useless today.  I just couldn't resist.  I decided to start one of those jelly roll 1600 Quilts.  I have all of one jelly roll.  It is Hello Betty by Moda.  I started sewing the strips together.  About strip number 13 I realized I was sewing my miters BACKWARDS!!  I cursed a lot.  At least in my head.  Went down and sat by my napping husband and picked those out.  Back to machine.  This time I got it right.  Took me about 25 minutes to sew all 40 together.

Off to ironing board.  That took another 30 minutes.  I recommend doing this in 5 sections of 8 strips.  Doing the pressing and then connecting the 5 sections.  Much easier to handle than what I did.

I sat down and sewed that first 800 inch seam.  My DIL came in.  It was nearly time for supper.  I am probably 100 inches into the next seam.  I swear I will finish this tomorrow.  But I have decided it needs a huge flower appliqued on it.  I don't do hand work or I would put it on after quilting. I see something red.  It is simmering...

What have you got simmering?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bag Ladies for Finish it Up Friday

Hello, all!  I unintentionally took the same hiatus that Amanda took.  Mine was due to my health, work and slow internet.  I have been busy sewing.  Since she said it isn't done until you blog, I am blogging about my bag ladies.  This the one I made for my sister.

Sorry, if you read this immediately.  I hurried up and linked the post before it was done so I would make it before the deadline.

Anyway, I bought this fabric because I just couldn't resist it but I had no idea what I would do with it.  Then I was looking through a Connecting Threads catalog and saw a couple of what I call "Bag Ladies".  I thought that would be the perfect use for my fabric.  I texted my sister my idea and she said, "Yes, that would look great in my kitchen."  Smart alek!  But, I had enough fabric I thought I could do two.  So I did one for each of us.  The above picture is hers.

Here is mine:

 Very similar but mine uses 30s repro for the ruffle and the band.  Hers uses a fabric that is warmer but not as bright.  I put rick rack on mine and used a decorative stitch around hers.  I actually have buttons to add to mine because I liked what I put on hers.

If you look closely you can see my bag lady has blue bloomers.  That is where the bags are stored.  I just used a fat quarter of fabric for them.  I hemmed the short edge first.  That was another super exciting moment.  I got my rolled hem foot to work perfectly.

I know I did it and it is technically bragging, but I am still amazed.  They look like "store bought"!  The key, I learned, is to cut the corner of your fabric on a 1/4" diagonal and start it in the foot.  Worked like a charm.

So, I did that.  Sewed in some quarter inch elastic about an inch above the hem.  Gathered my apron at the waist and attached it to the "bloomers" about 5 to 6" from each side all the way across.  I CAREFULLY bunched it all together and sewed the seam of the bloomers down the back.  Added the waist band to the top with a little gathering. And a piece of ribbon, rickrack or fabric to hang it by.

In this picture you can see a little bit of the bloomers on Sharri's. 

I essentially used a fat quarter for each apron turned the opposite direction of the bloomers.  I started out with the full fat quarter but eventually cut about 4 inches off because I was adding the ruffle.

My sister was surprised and absolutely loved hers.  Mine looks so much better than the one I have been using for FIFTEEN years.  The elastic was all worn out in it.

That was my finish it up a couple of Fridays ago but I just managed to post about it.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Keep Stitchin'!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Use your imagination....and other advice from my mom

I don't have much in the way of pictures to post.  I do have this picture of the main portion of the quilt I am making.

Ignoring the laundry behind it, use your imagination.  Do you see a pond?  The green is supposed to be a little grassy area or some lily pads.  I am going to embroider some fish and maybe a frog on it.  It is for a 13 year old boy.  How is your imagination working?

My mom used to say to me, "Use your imagination!"  She really shouldn't have....I can imagine a lot of things.  Some of them I told her.  Not my fault!  She said to use my imagination!  One time I climbed a tree because I imagined I was a bird.  Then I couldn't get down.  She had to climb up after me!  Another time I was late for curfew.  I imagined I had been listening to a radio station across the state line (another time zone) and told her I didn't know I was late.  She looked at me and said, "That will work ONE TIME and THIS is it.  Don't use it again."  See....I did use my imagination.

My mom was an interesting woman.  She could sew like a computer but refused to use an iron - NEVER pressed a seam in her life.  I showed up for my sister's wedding and said, "Mom, didn't you press those seams when you made that?"  She says, "Nope!  I don't iron.  If you want it pressed, you do it."  So, I did.  That was a comman theme.  Mom would decide she wasn't doing something and I would end up doing it.

I know I sew because of Mom.  I know I don't have certain skills because of Mom.  A couple of weeks ago I made new pillows.  I put zippers in them.  I am terrible at zippers.  Well, not terrible.  I do have to baste the seam first and then put them in.  My mom never did.  She just sewed them in and they were always right.  If I had something that needed a zipper she just put it in for me.  Now, she couldn't make a buttonhole to save her soul but I can.  Zippers she did.  Buttonholes I did.

Mom would stay up all night making all three of us girls new Easter dresses.  On Easter Sunday we always had new dresses she had made.  Lots of double knit in the 70s!  That is how I learned to change diapers.  I was six when my baby sister was born in January of 1971.  In March Mom was making Easter dresses.  The baby was crying but Mom thought she could wait a few minutes.  I didn't.  I crawled in the crib with her and changed her diaper.  She was happy and so was Mom.  Now I changed diapers.  The baby already preferred me to anyone.  Now I could change her, too!  At six I knew how to diaper, feed, burp, bathe, dress and rock the baby, thanks to Mom just letting me do it.

I learned to cook reading cookbooks and just doing because Mom wasn't.  Now I know she suffered from depression.  She wouldn't cook and would just tell me I could do it when I asked.  By the time I was 9 or 10 I could fix a full meal including making gravy.  I still work off the same formula.  One protein, one starch, two fruits and vegetables.

Mom always told me I could do anything and then was a little surprised at some of what I did.  She told me not to depend upon a man to take care of me.  So, I went to college and got a BS  in Chemistry.  This amazed her because she had been told girls couldn't understand chemistry when she was in high school.

When I was eleven I asked her when I could have my own babies.  She said when I grew up and got married.  So, as soon as I was 18 I got married and started having babies!  29 years later I am still married.  Mom told me that wasn't a surprise because I was so stubborn.

I still miss Mom.  But I have to admit I learned a lot because of her in an unconventional manner.  It never occurred to her I couldn't do most anything because I always had.  She had faith in me and often trusted me with her most prized possessions - my sisters!

She died unexpectedly at 63 three and a half years ago.  If she were still here I am sure she would be working me in such a fashion that I learned something else.   But I do still use my imagination.  How else would I think I could put 24 fabrics together to make a pond???

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday's Simmering

Everyone has cute titles for different posts for different days of the week.  I didn't want to do WIP.   I rarely complete anything but cooking on Saturday.  That is not to say I don't work on things, I just don't complete them.  So, Saturday's Simmering seemed fun and appropriate.  I don't have an image, but I will shortly.  The Good Lord knows I always have pots simmering!

Today I left the fishing quilt simmering in the sewing room. Background information on this quilt....My husband's family draws names every year at Christmas for next year.  We have all year to make our gift for that person.  This past year I drew my nephew's name.  He will be 13 in December.  That boy LOVES fishing.  His mother wants me to make him a t-shirt quilt but I didn't do that for my own kids.  So...

I thought and thunk and allowed those thoughts and thinks to simmer around in my head until one day while looking at an Eleanor Burns Quick Trip Quilts book I had an idea bubble to the surface.

Can you see it there?  No?  Well, I will tell you about it.  I got the bright idea I woud do one of those quilts in batiks (twin size) to make it look like a pond.  I have blues, browns and greens.  I don't know how ponds look in your neck of the woods but they have all those colors here.  My plan is then embroider and applique a few fish into the pond.

I carefully laid out the fabric three or four times until I found an order I liked.  Then I began sewing.  I had the strips laid out on my dining room table on the main floor.  My sewing room is on the second story.  I would carry 4 to 6 sets of strips up at a time being careful to keep the arrangement.  Mmm, hmmm....pretty sure I turned one set around backwards at some point.  Not positive, though.  Discovered after all sewing of strips and cutting was complete.

Here is a small section of it.

I have 10 or 11 of the 24 strips sewn together.  Apparently I can't do a quarter inch seam to save my soul.  The strips don't match in length.  I abandoned my personal rule to alter directions I sew from on this one. I will square it in the end.

I have a border for it that is all fishing scenes.  I want to put a small border between the "pond" and the main border.  My DIL suggested something that looks like stones.  What do you think? The pond actually goes the range from deep green to a beautiful brilliant blue.  My husband almost drools over it.  I can't seem to see the positives when I am working on it.

So, what do you have Simmering this Saturday?

Keep stitchin'!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Little Thing for Finish it up Friday

Hi, Y'all!  I am trying really hard to use all of these wonderful blogs to help keep me on task.  I know I said I was going to work on my fishing quilt this week but I ended up doing things for my BFF's birthday.  I had kind of bad week due to the weather.  MAJOR migraine.  I am pretty dumb when I have a migraine and mine last for days - literally. 

ANYWAY....My best friend - for over thirty years! - always wants the same thing from me.  Potato salad.  She LOVES my potato salad.  But I randomly give her potato salad all year.  If I make it, I call her to come get my leftovers.  We are that kind of friends.  I just made her a quilt a couple of months ago for her new house.  Given all of the circumstances for this week I went with quick and easy.  I made mug rugs.

I don't know how I had missed ever seeing these fun little things but Tuesday morning was the first I had ever seen one and I stumbled on a picture of some over at Quilt in A Day.  I couldn't help myself once I got started.  I think I made 8 of them.  I only have pictures of a few but here are some of them.

I made two of this one and gave one to my SIL yesterday morning when we were at the hospital for my MIL's heart cath.  (everything went well)  The back of this one has a little flag print on it.  My SIL's had dogs.  I used a decorative stitch to quilt them in red.  They were so much fun!

I don't know if you can see the detail, but the fabric on the left has music scores on it.  My friend is a muscian.  She plays in the orchestra and three different bands.  She plays flute and pic.  She is amazing!  This one was UGLY.  I almost trashed it.  Then I decided to add the decorative stitching in a King Tut varigated thread.  It made all the difference.  I love this now and so did she.

Now for some fun ones.  Tee hee hee!

I swear this one is done.  I just don't have a picture of the finished product.  I ended up putting a narrow black sash around the main block.  She and her girls thought this one was great. We all have the same weird sense of humor.

My friend loves the Grinch.  I finished this one up about 10 minutes before I left for her house last night.  It has candy canes on the back.

This one was for my other SIL.  I wish I had capitalized MY.  The star looking fabric is actually magic wands.

None of these are the same size.  I just winged it and cut them to fit what I had on hand.  It was great to use up some of the batting I have trimmed off of quilts.  I also loved playing with all my decorative stitches.  The needle threader on the machine made switching threads a cinch.  I am so glad to have it!

I also made 5 of those tissue holders but didn't take pictures of them.  I gave my sister one when we went shopping.  We ran down to  The Stitching Post in Washington.  I was looking for a specific fabric which they did not have.  But we ended up buying fabric for an I-spy quilt.  Not that many.  She has 4 grandchildren.  I have none but have been wanting to do one and plan to for a birthday gift.  I really wish I had already participated in a fabric swap for this.  She and I are sort of doing our own and begging some fabric from our aunt.

Amanda Jean said that it isn't done until  you blog about it.  I didn't finish sewing until last night and I am on my lunch at work now.  So, I hope this counts.  I am going to link to The Fabric Adict today, too.  Being "cyber friends" helps inspire me.  I really appreciate the opportunity to share through your blogs.  SHOOT!  Just noticed I misspelled Addict.  Sorry 'bout that.

Okay, back to work.  What did you sew today?

Keep Stitchin'!

Mary reading other blogs I found some more to link to.  I hope this is okay!

Finished it Fridays!

Monday, October 17, 2011

No Design on the Wall Monday

Hello!  I really wanted to have something on my "design wall" for today so that I could link up to some more blogs for Design Wall Monday.  Yeah....that didn't happen.  I am working nights this weekend.  Being at work for 12 hours (7p to 7a) puts a real damper on productivity no matter how SLOW it is right now.

Today I got out of bed and went straight to my sewing room.  I didn't even dress.  People that know me would be amazed by that.  I had some big plans but once I was there other WIPs called my name.  So...I made some more pillows.

This is what my couch looks like.

Pretty boring, huh?  I live in a log home so it is always a little dark.  I prefer to think of it as warm and cozy.  The furniture was bought with three sons in mind.   Sons that hunt, fish, run distance and work on a farm.  It does hide dirt well but it is boring.  So, I decided to add some color in pillows.

I pieced this pillow top and embroidered two others.

I used a decorative stitch for a stitch in the ditch quilting effect and here are all three finished pillows.

The red ones have stuffing in them because the pillow forms I had weren't full enough.  The one on the right seems to have a tumor.  I will have to look at that again tomorrow.

Here is a really bad picture of them on my couch.  I like them but I am sure that couch needs a quilt on the back of it.  I am going to make one in the fabrics used in the pieced pillow top.

So, that is what I DID do.   I had other plans this weekend.  One of my sons and his wife came home.  Yesterday I cleaned up in the sewing room (it badly needed it) while she worked on a baby quilt.  In doing so I found some fabric I was gifted.

In the current Quilt magazine there is a pattern for snowman placemats.  I went to their website and could not find it there to link but here is another bad picture of the picture in the magazine.

Here are the fabrics I found yesterday.

My aunt, who LOVES snowmen, brought these to me when she came to visit in August.  Won't these work for those placemats?  Today I looked in my stash and found a red I like.  It isn't seasonal like the print in the magazine but I think it will work fine.

So, that is what would have been on my design wall if I could have managed.  Instead, I made pillows.  Tomorrow I am going back to working on my nephew's quilt that I am making for Christmas.  It will have its own post soon, I hope.

Btw, the red and white four-patch in the background is one my Mammaw made.  Someday I may do a post on the Mammaw's quilts that I have.  I just remembered that today I had the thought to make this post about my mom and what she did and did not (zippers) teach me.  The zippers are in the pillows but I still sweat when I do zippers.  On the other hand, Mom couldn't make a button hole and I can make them in my sleep.

Keep stitchin'!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Table Runner & Pillow

 Amanda Jean is having a linking party for Finish it Up Friday.  Hopefully I will figure out how to get linked to her blog.

I finished up three things this week but I think she would only be interested in two of them.  Still, I am rather happy I finished canning the tomatoes I had on hand!

Last month I made a quilt for a wedding gift.  It was a modified Alabama block.  I will post pictures of it another day but the pictures aren't very good.  My test block was a little small.  I decided I needed new pillows in my living room.  This is what I did with my test block.

I love it.  I used a decorative stitch and a varigated thread to quilt it.  It wasn't quite 16 1/2 inches.  So, it didn't work for a quilt block but looks great as a pillow. Don't you think?

My other project was a fall table runner.  I wanted it done last weekend before my kids came home but I didn't make it.  Here is a picture when I was trying to decide on the layout.

I was just trying to decide which way to rotate the blocks.  And, this is basically what I ended up with.  I frequently take pictures and send to my aunt and my DIL for their opinions.  This was the final product.  The colors are a little washed out in this picture.  The second maple leaf from the left is actually green.  I think the colors are truer in the picture above but I have that nasty glare!

For some reason I thought it would be easier to quilt on the Janome than the HQ16.  I quickly got bored with drawing out the lines and ended up winging it.  The border is cross hatched but the blocks are only diagonals.

I was drawn to this pattern when I saw it two years ago in a magazine.  I live in a log home.  One of my "extra" children is half Canadian and there are a lot of maple leaf references made. The original called for a 9" finished block but I rarely work that small.  So, I enlarged it to a 12" and I love it.  Looks pretty good on my table, too.  Only picture I have right now shows mostly the flowers.  I grew over half of those.  So, they count, too.  Right?

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My first tutorial - Unidentified block

I saw a picture of this block SOMEWHERE but I don't remember where.  Or, I think I did.  I could be imagining the entire thing.  In any event, I made it into a quilt for a dear friend's daughter when she got married last month.

This is the quilt top.  It is an odd size at 66"x81" but I think it works well as a throw.
I do have a picture somewhere of it after I quilted it.  I know it is on Facebook but I am not finding it in Photobucket.  Grr... I can edit later if I find it.

To make these blocks you have two options.  You can use a charm pack and jelly rolls or, do as I did and use scraps.  I prefer strip piecing where applicable and that is what I did for the first seams where I could.

 Using charms you will need 48 charm size (5") squares.  I believe that would require two charm packs.

You will need the same number of 5"x 2.5" strips and 7"x2.5" strips. These can all be cut from the same jelly roll.

 A jelly roll strip will yield seven 5" strips and one 7" strip with essentially no waste. Cut 9 strips this way.

 From the next strip cut three 5" strips and  three 7" strips.  From the next six strips cut six 7" strips.

Stack all of these strips in their respective pile randomly.

Sew one 5" strip down one side of each charm square.

As you prepare to add the 7" strips always orient the already sewn blocks so that the strip is on top and add the 7" strip to the right side as shown below.

As I said earlier, I was using scraps and I trimmed my blocks after each seam.

Press the seam toward the strip.

AAAHHHH....I can't find the next picture which I know I took.  Sew two of these blocks together so that a "long" strip and a "short" strip are on the seam edges.

Back side, but you can see what I mean.

Next sew two of the two block units together making the same matching.

After the quarter sections are constructed you do NOT sew on the 5" square.

Here are a couple of blocks.  The second one was my "test" square.  The bride wanted blues and greens.  So, once I figured it out that is what I gave her.

I think the blocks look fine even if the same fabric appears in more than one quarter. 

For this quilt I squared the blocks to 12.5" but the finished size should be around 13".

I used 3" sashing to join the blocks and cornerstones to force it to be more blue because that is her favorite color.

Found the missing photo.  I used a pattern called Hearts A Flutter to quilt it in a varigated blue.  The bride really seemed to like it and I did to. 

I decided that every quilt I make as a gift from now on will either have red fabric or 30's reproduction in it because those are my loves.  It is my own secret signature.

Hope you enjoyed this.

Keep stitchin'


I linked this post up with Sew Many Ways for her Sew Darn Crafty.  Be sure to check out the other links!

sew many ways