Saturday, June 26, 2010

Leap of Faith

Now that I have diligently worked on the crazy quilt for at least 4 consecutive days, I am putting it aside so that I can try to finish hq'ing and binding my flannel quilt (approx 55" x 55").  I usually like to sew a continuous binding, it seems so much simplier than sewing little pieces together.  This time I have no choice. This is what I have left of the material I am using in the quilt.  Actually, I am pressing into service the green plaid fabric left over from another flannel quilt. I might need it.

I will be needed approximately 240" of binding.  I really wanted to use the black striping (yes, it does have stripes on it)  by itself, but ...not enough. So I am going to cut all of this into bias strips and hope I will have enough.  Being flannel, I need to cut the strips a little wider than I usually do because of the thickness, which will add to the suspense.  Oh, well, I have some pink pasley and some blue flannel I can add if necessary.  That would really turn heads! 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Quilting weather

Weather is coming......

or not....
Don't you just love to sew and quilt in inclement weather?  I thought I'd have my chance this morning.  As you can see, a humongous weather  cell(s) had been heading this way....NOT!

X marks our spot.  It has taken me about 2 hours to put these two pictures on this thread...thanks to figuring out how to get a picture from the web to here (I know computers and pictures, but probably took the long way around), fixing breakfast, neighborhood coffee katch, etc, etc.  But as of now, the northern part of the cell has shrunk to almost nothing and the rest is going south of us.  It never fails, we must have a weather-resistant fence on the border of our county which lets only the most determined cells through.  Of course, the humidity comes storming in instead!

At any rate, my original thought was how nice it is to work on sewing in this type of  weather.  Perhaps it is because we are temporarily absolved of the outside tasks that need to be done.  We feel cocooned and protected from the elements in our nice and cozy homes.  Before I started quilting I would use these days to snuggle up with a good cup of tea or coffee and a good book.  Unless the weather turned a little noisy and exciting (thunder and lightning) I now feel comfortable with my sewing machine and/or needle and thread.  Nowadays, we just unplug  our computerized machines and if using satellite linkage, as we do, realize the possiblity of being without computer and TV or, goodness gracious, no electricity at all.  But we can still hand sew and dream quilty daydreams.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Books, Magazines, and Stuff

After reading an interesting thread on an online forum, I decided to start "cataloging" my magazines and on-line quilting print-outs.  There are so many good free on-line patterns  that are out there.

  I bought some non-glare sheet protectors and slipped some printed material from various sites on-line that I wanted to keep.  Ideas, (free) patterns, applique ideas, etc.  I do not have many magazines, but I have enough to where it takes me awhile to find whatever I am looking for.  So I hope to eventually add these pages also. 

My system before was just loose/stapled/hole-punched/paper in whatever would hold it.  Needless to say, who knows how much I have lost/thrown away/torn since I started. 

This activity serves two purposes:  1) Hopefully I will organize ideas into a semblance of order so that I can find things easier; and 2) I can work on this when I feel I need a 'thinking break' from sewing. 

Of course I have books on quilting as well as magazines.  Those I love and would not mess with.  I have the first 3 Quilt Lovers Favorites and hope to collect more.  Those by themselves would keep someone much faster than me busier than a bushel basket of ants....okay, I couldn't think of a good "bushel basket" idea...

 BTW, I snuck in another semi-progress on DHs CrazyQuilt.  The blocks (so far) are shown in one of the pictures along with a bolt of material that will be the sashing/backing of the quilt (his choice, again).  This will either be the weirdest quilt in existance, or the most unique.....wait for the next chapter. 

You crazy quilt people, please forgive me for the use/misuse of the term...maybe it should be called scrappy quilt, but DH started with the term, and I haven't the heart to change it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Decisions, which one is first?????

So, it seems forever since I posted...much less posted about quilting...

What have I been doing?  My mind has been thinking, that's what.  On my way home last Thursday from seeing my new GD (Thank you, she and all concerned are doing well..she was lovely to hold and admire, bestest baby girl ever, under 1 year old:::I have 2 older GDs...) ...

Ohh, got sidetracked..anyway, on my way home I stopped at my LQS looking for a project.  I found 3 panels to make into quilts for my DD 2 Ss.  Yes, I plan to make all three of them...easy and quick, something to jump start me into sewing again.  Got home and found that somehow I had gotten one wrong big deal, DH and I went to the "big city" last Saturday and exchanged panels (only a 1 hr drive one way...).  Of course while I was there, I found some sale fabric which I bought. Came home and started on the construction panel (long and narrow).  After sewing the borders around it, I decided that it was too narrow , about 36"...I will remove the outer border, add a simple neutral narrow border and replace the outer border again, eventually making it around 42" or so.

The next panel is emergency/police vehicles and it is wide and narrow.  I decided to cut it in two and make it long and narrow also.  After cutting it, I now wonder if that was a good idea, and am debating on which configuration would be best.  That I am still mulling over. 

The third panel is are tool blocks.  Those will be seen at a later date.  After working on the other two, I decided that my mind is not what it used to be, so I will think about this one. 

So, today I worked on another block for my crazy quilt.  I have to explain about this one.  Several factors need to be explained.

 My DH is somewhat of a non-conformist in his ideas of crazy quilts.   I was told to make it out of his old clothes, the older the better; batting preferred; do not make uniform blocks; very little topstitching or design wanted; he wants it to almost drag the floor when draped over the bed (at least that was my interpretation); and not make it even on the sides.

Cringe, cringe, cringe......

I am making 16" square foundation pieces, putting the pieces on and will wait to cut the sides when I put them together.  Here is the one I made today.

I also should state that I have never made a crazy quilt before and really don't know how....and I will probably still be ignorant of the process when I finish this one!  Maybe I had better finish this one in a hurry....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another small crazy step......

I have finished cutting and separating DHs old clothes.  Have used almost all my drawers (sliding...not wearing!) and some boxes to house them in for the duration. The flat container is all of his bluejeans and pants, the rest are his different shirts, each with their own container.  I really need to get this done so I can have the space back! 
Some BTWs:  Background items: sewing hoop, design wall over window, embroideried pillowcase (by my mother), our "intercom" (old WWII field phone) between the house and DHs barn) so we can turn the crank and call each other.

Also, I will be out of pocket until next Thursday or Friday. Heading to Houston to help with new GC (see earlier posts).  See you then.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mother's Apron


....or it might even be G'ma's Apron...isn't it funny where your memory doesn't go when you want it to? 

All I know is that I received it from Mother long ago and I know it is at least 50 or 60 years old, which is easily within my lifetime, with a few years to spare.

I don't use is too valuable to me.  But I love the way it buttons in back, has a sweetheart bodice, and has the support straps going from the shoulder to the scalloped skirt of the apron. The pocket is a must in an apron, although this one is slightly small.

 A year or so ago, I semi-attempted to measure and draw patterns of the different elements of this apron, but never followed through.  I think I should retry again, but when I start, memories flood in and I get distracted.  I picture Momma in it, working at the table, kneading bread or mixing dough, or just washing dishes after a meal. 

So I think I will place it somewhere in my sewing room, on the wall or hanger.  To be admired and a reminder of things past that are so rare these days.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Celebration - a Two for One Deal, or is it Three?

When my DIL picked out the material and pattern (shown on page 40 of Quilt Sampler Fall/Winter 2008) for this quilt last July, I didn't realize it would take me almost a year to finish.  I did tell her to "expect it when you see it".  She loves red, white and blue colors so naturally I thought of patriotism, waving the flag, (etc.) and this fit right in.

While working on this quilt, I was interrupted by other things....3 or 4 baby quilts, a couple of grandchildren who had to be appeased, and life in general.  There was also the fact that this afforded me the opportunity (?) of working with half-square triangles.  It was a lesson well learned.  I have several extra HSTs now in plastic baggies which ended up too small for this quilt and are awaiting their day in the sun. 

Late last year my SIL helped me lay out  the pieces on my design wall.  By that time, all those HSTs started looking alike.  To my amazement, it looked pretty good.  Realizing that I might actually be able to finish this thing, I decided on the name Celebration, not only for the July 4th feel, but also for struggling through HSTs. 

Fast forward to April of this year...a now pregnant DIL was informed that she would have the honor of quilting around the middle square.  She has sewn on buttons and could thread a needle, but never had quilted a quilt before.  But she sat down and did a good job.  I finished quilting 'in the ditch' around all those HSTs.  This last week I worked on little diamonds in the outer border while waiting in the hospital for my newest grandchild to be born.  I will be giving the finished quilt to her next week when I go back down to visit and help.  So even though this may not have been intended to be a baby quilt,  it could be a Celebration of a new life as well.

Friday, June 4, 2010

One more Grandchild!

I'm back and did very little quilting in the hospital.  My mind couldn't get in the mood.  Leah was born yesterday and all went well.  Visits are on the horizon.....She is my closest grandchild in distance.....1st child of my oldest son....both parents in their early 40s. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New beginnings again

Am on my way to see new GD arrive tomorrow.  See you in a couple of days......