Friday, August 30, 2013

Fun 'n' Done is DONE!!!

Happy Friday, y'all!!

Last Sunday I finished this.

I took it right outside (with some of the ravelings still hanging on it) and took pictures on my church pew.....and a rocking chair...

It looks beautiful out there.  It didn't stay.  I don't trust the dogs, squirrels and chipmunks.  This is the terrible picture I took at 4:45 this morning.

This is probably where it will stay.  It really isn't big enough for my taste but I don't think I can make one of these any larger.  Most of my problems were of my own doing.  I really wanted to use decorative stitching for the top stitching but was strongly advised against it.  I wish I had because I ripped out the seams so many times it would have been faster.  Also, I would have switched from the FW.  I was having problems keeping a straight line with the weight of the quilted blocks on the FW.  Once I set down at the countersunk Janome 6600 all of those problems went away.

Here are some close ups of the blocks.

As you can see, I washed it and I am pleased with how it washed up.  I would do one of these again but I would change some things.  First, I don't use a steam iron.  I would for the batting.  I did part of this at a class at the LQS and they used a steam iron.  I could tell that some of my blocks had shrunken batting and I am guessing that is why.  I had double checked each piece of batting's size after I cut them.

Also, though it would take longer, I still think I want to do one with decorative stitching.  Maybe just a table runner.  I was determined this not become a UFO so I waded through it.  I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had done a little at a time.

I am linking up with

Richard and Tanya
The Fabric Addict

For now.  I may be back to add more as more blogs open up their links.  Thank you for stopping by.  Be sure to check out some other finishes.

Back to my cleaning.  Some of my babies are coming home for the weekend!!  Also, I am on my first day of 16 days off.  Woohoooo!!!!

Keep Stitchin'!!


p.s. Found a new blog to follow and link to.  Check her out here.  You will love her blog.

My Quilt Infatuation

Friday, August 23, 2013

Finish it Up Friday: Little Things Count

Hello, again!  I do NOT have my Fun 'n' Done completed.  I had to give up because I was so tired I couldn't keep my seams straight.  Here is an example.

I will be picking that out again.   I thought I had completed joining one set of rows and had the first seam in the other three sets.  Turns out I missed something.  One set has no seam and I picked out the seam of one.  Grrr!  You see why I finally stopped.

So, my little bitty finish is this.

That is right.  Two dish cloths.  They aren't the same size because I didn't have enough yarn for the last row of the second one.  They are dish rags for crying out loud.  Who cares if they are straight?

I made the first one last week while I waited on my 22  year old to have a colonoscopy.   I was a little embarrassed the it was all I had completed.  So, today it has a little sister and I am posting them.  Hey, I have worked 72 hours on two different shifts in the past seven days.  This is all I have in me!!

If you are new to my blog, go back one post to see the cute owl pin cushions I posted earlier in the week along with a link to the dead simple pattern.

Thanks for stopping by.

Linking up with
Richard and Tanya

For Fiday Finishes.

Keep Stitchin'!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It Just Comes Naturally (or, I am from a family of liars)

Hello, all!  Last night was my BOM meeting for the Civil War Club.  I had my block done.  Woohoo!!!

Yes, I know my points aren't perfect.  I am not sure I care at this point but may later.  Flying geese are not easy for me.  Surely they will get better before I do the 44 I need for next month!! I also have to do another of this block.  So, I will have 48 of them.  I don't cut off the points.  Mine seem not to meet at the bottom.  Working on it.

Our special project was a set of owl pin cushions.

I am not much into owls or pin cushions.  So, I made mine in the colors my SIL wants and am giving them to her.  All of the buttons are from my stash.  The one poor little owl has two different eyes.  His left eye has some deformity.  It is textured!  If you like these owls you can find the free pattern here. It is very simple.  My mama owl is stuffed with lizard litter and a little fiberfill to make closing easier.  The babies have emery sand and fiberfill.  The lady in our club recommended - and I second - that you baste across the fold before stuffing and that you fold over a scant quarter inch of fabric and "hem" it on the opening.  I felt they were easier to stuff if I put my closing thread in before stuffing.  I used embroidery floss.

In our club we get "scrips" that we can use at an auction held at the end of the year.  They are earned by attendance, bringing our journal, having our block done, special projects, show and tell and CW stories. She said from the beginning they could be truth or fiction.  Last night I went with fiction.

I make soap.  I haven't made any for a few years because my family wasn't using it fast enough.  A friend at work wanted to try making some and that got me to thinking about it again. I enjoy it.  I used soap making as the basis for my story last night.

My family is big story tellers.  Some people would call them liars.  They are good at taking a grain of truth and rolling it around in "details" and things they might wish had happened until it is the size of a hush puppy.  I might have inherited a touch of that.

My family tree has been documented back to the 17th century when immigration to the US began.  We settled in Virginia and then down into the Carolinas and back to Kentucky before my branch landed in Indiana.  During the War of Northern Aggression most of my relatives were on the Confederate side.  I have several ancestors that were POWs.  I took this little grain of truth and my knowledge of soap making and created a story for last night.

This from the journal of a female ancestor who also happens to be named Mary.  I kid you not there is at least one in every generation since our arrival in the US.  I am it for my generation in my branch.

Please read with a soft, southern voice.

The boys have been gone for over two years now.  We still get word that Jesse and Andrew are being held in prisons in the North.  I pray this is true.  The Yankees were through last week.  I tried to be civil.  I tried to remember they were some woman’s son.  Some of them made that a trial.  But, I think of my dear friend Abigail in the north.  I know that she is treating all soldiers whether they be northern or southern boys.  I feel I have to do the same. One day it may be her son in my yard.

We fed them what little we had.  I doctored their wounds.  For some reason what they were most interested in was my soap.  They took nearly every bit I had.  We were left with a few old bars from before the war that had turned yellow.  It is good soap and still cleans.

Before they left they burnt the oak grove that Grandaddy had planted when Mama and each of her siblings were born.  There were 15 great oaks.  One for each child.  Now there are none.  Since they took our soap and left us with ashes, I felt the Lord was telling me to make soap.  I needed tallow.  Nothing around here with more grease than a possum.  We set traps and I caught 15 of them.  We needed the meat.  I cooked them up but kept every scrap of fat and today I used that old possum fat and those ashes to make soap.

It kept us busy and warm for a while.  We had to gather up all those ashes.  Then we boiled them in some rain water.  I didn’t have an egg but little Squire, Claude’s boy, found me a nest of robin eggs. I sure hated to take them but I hope Mama Robin understands we are all sacrificing.  I boiled and boiled those ashes and when they started feeling slippery I let them cool.  I was in luck.  I got the egg to float the first try. 

We mixed that lye with the possum tallow and made our soap.  I didn’t have anything but a few mint leaves left to scent it with but it will clean.  It sure isn’t my prettiest soap but it washes.  I wrapped it in the few scraps of butternut flannel I had and I am passing it out to our boys when they come through.  I can’t bear to only be washing the Yankees!

I pray that someone is giving my boys soap in that Yankee prison.

Abigail is the alter ego of one of the women in charge of our group.  She gives us information about life during the CW at each meeting.  She loved it that I tied her into my story.  I gave each of the ladies a bar of my home made soap after my story. NO, I do not make soap with possum tallow.  I suppose it is possible but don't know that I want to try.  I will stick with lard, coconut oil and such.

I hope my story gave you the same sort of chuckle it gave my "little ol' quilting buddies", as my husband calls them.  Back on night shift tonight.  Hope to get my Fun and Done completed and my Jelly Roll 1600 on the quilting machine this week.  That depends on how much sleep I get.  I have a problem giving up sleep to sew. If I can sleep I am going to!

Keep Stitchin'!


p.s.  I decided to link this post to some of the crafting linking parties.  So far I have been to Sew Darn Crafty and Lady Bug Blessings.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Fun and Done....Not so much

Hello, All!  Hope your week is going well.  Because of my crazy schedule this is my "weekend".  It is going good and bad.  The good is I got to start the day keeping our grandson.  No pictures but he was a happy boy.  Standing up to everything.  I fed him his cereal and fixed his Pap pancakes and bacon for breakfast at the same time.  Nice to still be able to do SOMETHING right.

My WIP is a Fun and Done I signed up to take at the LQS.  Mainly I went for the company.  Today was the final day.  Since I had Blaine and the remainder of a migraine I opted out but have been working on it.

I am now joining blocks.  I have two layout options.  Both are still a possibility.

Option one which is what I thought I wanted.

Option two, which I actually like better.  I am glad I laid them out before I had joined anymore blocks.  I am now at the point I can go either way but if I had sewn anymore blocks together it would have either been a commitment or a seam ripper.

I really am not enjoying this any longer.  A little bit of it is fun but 48 blocks are not for me.  I will use the technique for some other things but I doubt I do another of these start to finish like this.  I actually stopped to pay bills and MEND because I was tired of this.

All the trimming is wearing, too.  Look at all this waste and it is only half of it.

I know some people call those crumbs and save them.  I call it trash and that is what I do with it!

I don't want to sound critical of this technique.  I think it would be good for my MIL and SIL.  I will probably make some place mats or table runners with it.  I will be posting pictures of the process in another post so that my aunt and a friend can see how it is done.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Be sure to check out what everyone is working on!

Keep Stitchin'!


Monday, August 12, 2013

The Ugly Sisters and a List

Hello...I am not sure how time gets away from me but it does. Started this post a couple of weeks ago.  Something came up and I didn't finish it.  I have made no progress.  So, I am sharing it now!

A few weeks ago I wanted to sew but didn't feel well enough to risk any "important" (read costly) projects.  I decided to work with some fabric I had bought a few years ago from Connecting Threads.  It had lost its appeal to me.  I thought I would whip out some quick projects and send them to charity.  Thus far I haven't completed them but they are growing on me a bit.  I have been referring to them as The Ugly Sisters.

I know this seems a bit odd.  I had used the strips from the jelly roll for "training" when I was helping my DILs learn to sew. I also used them when we were working on vintage machines.  None of them were perfect.  Maybe I should have called these the Homely Sisters.  I did take some of the 2.5" strips apart and fix them a bit but eventually called it good.  I do think they are a little be like me.  My husband and my parents all agree that I was a homely child but that I grew out of it.  I think these have the potential to grow out of it, too.  I am trying to help them!

The four pieced blocks are my "practice" blocks from last years BOM. I had the thought I could donate these to a nursing home and they would be suitable for a man.

I found another fabric for the other "sister".

I plan to put a narrow sash to frame the "ugly" part.  Then I am going to make a large pieced border out of the other scraps.  I am thinking maybe "bricks" of 4"x6".

As you can see, part of why they are ugly is because they seams don't match well.  I feel a little guilty about giving them away like that but the overall effect isn't too bad.  What do you think?  Too awful for charity?

I have read several blogs where people have lists and comment on their own progress.  I am going to try that.  Because of my oddball schedule I am making mine a five week list.  It takes 5 weeks to get through a full rotation of my schedule.  So, I will be at the same point on Sept 16.  We will be gone to NY state the week before that.  So, this list could have a lot carried over!

1. Finish Fun and Done quilt (would do Wednesday at its class but just asked to babysit my grandson!)
2. Complete Ugly Sister top
3. Quilt at least three quilt tops
4. Final border on 2012 BOM
5. BOM for August and September
6. Owl pin cushions for BOM
7. Use D9P for leaders and enders
8. Earth tones quilt completed to take to NY.

Okay, if you are still reading, what do you call earth tones?  I am just going to do a simple quilt.  Maybe a turning twenty or one of those large block stars.  Our friends asked for a quilt in earth tones (someday).  This year was their 25th wedding anniversary and we are going out to visit them.  I have the week of Labor Day off and plan to get it done then if not before.  I will be honest that earth tones for me are a lot of the fall colors. I am not sure that is what they mean. What do YOU include in earth tones?

Thanks for sticking with me this far! I have to leave for work again in a couple hours.  Better get back to the sweatshop sewing room and get something done or everything will still be on that list next month!!

Keep stitchin'!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Finally, A Friday Finish - or two!

Hello, all!  I am finally going to manage a post.  I have so many pictures uploaded to Photo Bucket for posts that I am surprised it is still available to me.  I will try to limit myself today.


This is a Jelly Roll 1600 that I made from a French General jelly roll.

I drug the darn thing all over the house trying to find a place I could get a good picture but it just wasn't happening. See the fourth strip up?  That is the mauve/pink color in it. It matches the carpet in my bedroom - which was supposed to be "Pale Brick".  Looks pink to me and I hate it.  But, I love red.  It is my favorite color.  I found this piece in my stash.

It isn't perfect but will work for the backing.  I have five yards of it and I am going to piece it with that print border in the picture to make it the correct size.  Binding will be the fabric used for the red border.  Made this all from my stash out of things I have had over a year.  Yay!!!

I am linking up with Sarah, Amanda and Richard.  Be sure to check out the other finishes and COMMENT.  We all love comments.

My other finish isn't sewing but it is for sewing.  This was my sewing room at 1:00 p.m.

I wish I had taken a picture of what was under that table in the corner.  If you enlarge the pictures and zoom n you can see all the crap piled on it and the cutting table.

After two hours I found my missing patterns (two of them), threw away a bunch of little scraps I have no idea why I had kept and laid out all of my "current" projects in a reasonable manner.

In case you are wondering, my ironing board (and more fabric storage) is in the bedroom down the hall.  It helps keep the sewing room cooler (I have halogen lights) and keeps me moving to keep it down there.  I did vacuum and dust in there.  I also put away almost all the thread I had out.  I found a missing pair of scissors, too.  So, hopefully I will get some sewing done!

On another front I also put up 37 jars of green beans and a froze a gallon of peaches.

Now, supper and off to work!

Thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully, I am back and you will come back!

Keep stitchin'!