Saturday, January 29, 2011

Something is missing.......

What is missing from this picture?

Yep...My Janome is being serviced, Not as we speak...I took it in yesterday (Friday) afternoon which means that it will be at least Monday before anyone looks at it..Tuesday before they call that it is ready, Wednesday before I can go get it, and Thursday before it can be back with all these and working again.  And that is best case scenario.

But: I have plans to keep myself busy, as described earlier in another post:

I am handquilting the border of the tool belt.  I am lazy, so am using painter's tape to keep my sewing lines approximately the same distance apart.  This roll is 2" wide. I just put it down, sew next to it and continue moving the same piece forward as I sew.  Works for me..

Then I plan to set up a sandwich of this quilt top. 

We bought this black block from Lowe's.  I'm not even sure what it is, I haven't asked DH. It might be something like a water or sewer grate.  At any rate, it is tall enough so that the needle in my basting gun won't hit bottom, and heavy enough not to move easily.  Also, now DH won't have to make me a grid like he was planning. The gun is still on is a cheaper version of another one I may buy, but want to see if it will really work or not with machine quilting..

This, plus some other tasks I have in mind, should keep me busy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's been happening......

There are times when you work really hard and know you are working, but there is nothing really you can show in pictures of how much you are getting done.  So here is a quick rundown on what I have been doing and words.....

1) I have just been handquilting on this:

I have all the blocks done..just need to work on the borders now.

2) I have been trying to get back to my Valentine table you have seen in the last few posts.... and would like to make another one,,different pattern...similar fabric....

3)  I had a pile of giveaway items on my floor and needed to do some straightening up, so I took pictures, will be composing and scheduling posts, and will put them all in mailing packages, ready to be sealed up, addressed and mailed when the time comes.  Can't show you pictures yet..will spoil the anticipation.  Let's just say that I have at least one or two real good ones, depending on your point of view.. I will say to cat lovers and flower lovers:  be on the lookout in the next couple of months. 

4)  I have also just received this: 

I borrowed my neighbors' and basted my tool quilt with it...seems to hold up okay, so I ordered soon as DH makes me a grid to place under my sandwiched quilts, I will try it out again.  Because of reasons that are unimportant, I would rather not use basting spray.

5) I have also been thinking seriously about machine quilting.  This would cause an even slower slowdown of quilts than I really want, but it might work out better in the long run, even if I only machine quilt baby quilts, or smaller quilts...

6) Also,,,,thanks to this: I have more quilts on my plate now...I will be shooting down my no-buy-unless-absolutely-necessary creed that I adopted about 27 days ago....didn't last long, did it.

I am going to start a 365 day quilt, + offered to help my DD, and two DDILs  with their 52 week/365 days quilts.  (they haven't decided what time frame yet). Have to kinda/sorta decide what layout the quilts will be now.  So those are ongoing projects that will get their start soon.  Hopefully I can do the quilt as you go method. Otherwise a year from now, you won't be hearing from me for at least a month!

7)  Sorta finished a draft for my Sew We Quilt (Stash Manicure) post scheduled for March (right now). 'Nuf said about's way in the future..

8) And finally, next month, will be taking my Janome in for regular maintenance.  So will be machineless for a couple of days at least.  I think I can find things to do while she is gone.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Small Progress.....

...on my table runner...

I challenged myself on Amy's One Thing One Challenge to start this Valentine's Table Runner. I have decided to try and make scrappy hearts on the end because as I said in an earlier post, I do not have enough of the red left by itself.  We'll see how it turns out.

There are more giveaways!

Another giveaway - this time it's binding already made by Shelley, the Dread Pirate Rogers....

Here on Shelley's blog.  She has a lot of interesting stuff there, too.

Lila Tueller Designs - another giveaway

Lila Tueller is giving away oodles of goodies at her blog.  You have a week to join..check this one out!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Traveling Giveaway - coming from Ariane's Crafts

Another giveaway has started.  Check out the traveling giveaway at Ariane's Crafts..neat story and neat stuff....

Stray Stitches giveaway - 400+ followers

Linda at Stray Stitches is having a 400+ followers giveaway. Lot of colors and flowers!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dilemma - or Decisions, Decisions..

Nothing earthshattering.... I am making a table runner for Valentine's Day.  I have barely started..

It takes me awhile to absorb directions and chose fabric.  This time the fabric was easy...the directions were easy, once I understood them...

I have three colors, pink, red and white...

The pink fabric will be the border fabric.  No problem.  Red swirls on problem.. White swirls on!

My dilemma was that the fabric I wanted (red) I do not have enough of.  There is another section on each end composed of red diamonds on white and 2 small (red) hearts to go on the middle white fabric.. All that is cut and ready to go.  What I don't have is enough red to make (2) two-sided big valentines that will be attached to the ends once it is sandwiched and quilted.

At the time I was checking over the directions, I realized the lack of red so decided to use it (not white) in the middle and the white as the valentines.  Great idea!  Except...

when I cut, I accidently reverted back to the original wants...

Now,,, what to do...should I just forget the end valentines and just go with the red ones in the middle?

Or stay with my original idea of white valentines on the ends?

Or should I try and make scrappy white/red valentines on the end?  Or red on top and white underneath?

I'm not sure what the backing of this runner will be yet...

Nuts...I think I'll wait until tomorrow to decide, after we go visit my BIL & SIL and their winery... I'm sure I'll come up with a great solution by the time I get back.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I just went to town for some milk and bread.....

.....and look what I came home with!

It even has a leaf to go in the middle! We had been looking for something like this for several months.  Our other set has been through 2 or 3 floods (ala lowlands of  Houston), 2 or 3 recoverings(chairs), and we were just plain tired of it.  A re-sale or antique/junk shop in our small town was going out of business and I bought this at lower than 1/2 price, without DH even being there! I brought 1/2 of it home (not enough room in the car) and took DH back so he could browse around also.  After finding some books (mainly for GC), he encouraged me to also buy this, again at a sale price:

Of course I did not have that in mind when I suggested he leave his "man-cave" in the barn and come with me...... Looks like the previous owners put a wall panel in the back of the top portion.  I plan to have DH take it off and have it open.  To give you an idea of the size, I am 5' tall and cannot see into the top drawers at all.

Oh, BTW, does anyone have a good recipe for a loaf of bread? Guess what I forgot!

Monday, January 17, 2011

another One Thing One Week challege from Amy

Amy is delivering her new challenge this month.  I am answering with this:

I hope to start turning this into a Valentine's Day table runner... I may not use all the different fabric.. the ladybug fabric may or may not be used...I have other plans for it...but most of it will be seen at the end.

Now, another challenge for find the pattern I have stashed somewhere....that may take most of the week!

Mini Giveaway #2 - tablecloth- results

Congratulations to Jennifer over at hoodies and flip-flops! She has won this tablecloth and will be receiving it in the mail soon after I hear from her. Have fun deciding how to use it, Jennifer.

Watch for my next giveaway on Feb 1....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Odds and Ends Mini-Giveaway #2-tablecloth

Those of you who missed my original post on December 12, 2010 can read my "inspiration", "desperation", and/or reasoning behind my giveaways here. Edited version: I am continuing to clean my stash and sewing room, and I want to give anyone a chance to use some quilty/non-quilty items I found. There may be some items that you will pass on, some you will be willing to take a chance on, and some you Sew Want that you can't stand it... Who knows, you may be the only one on the comment list.....

Simple "rules" - just comment if you want to be in the running... be sure I can contact you...Non-Responders, you can put your e-mail address in your comment and/or watch closely for the winner and contact me through my profile page quickly.  My DH will continue to draw names out of a hat (bowl, whatever)

My mini-giveaways will continue to be on the 1st and 15th of each month. 

Now for pictures(click for larger view): 



This came from the same package as the first giveaway.....the pictures seem to have a little more purplish cast to them than they actually are..the dark area is purple, but to me, it is slightly more pickish in color.  The pictures are close, however.

Of course the first thing you think of is "Applique!!!"  For that use, the tablecloth is in good shape.  The colors are clear and soft.  It is approximately 45" x 50"and made of heavy cotton (feels like a tablecloth). I am not very knowledgeable, but I don't think it is linen.  It seems to have been washed several times and is still in good shape.

The flaws:  a hole in the middle, away from the bows and flowers ....maybe it was on a patio table with an umbrella.
Being a tablecloth, it does have a few stains and several spots, mainly concentrated in 1 side quarter (as shown in Picture 2).  It should not really present a problem either. I did not see any discoloration on any of the bows or flowers...

I put my 8.5" and 12.5" templates over the bows to give you an idea of their scale.  As I said, this is a "tablecloth cotton", so bear that in mind.  I have not ventured into the applique arena  as of now, but assume that the weight should be okay on a quilt or whatever.

Or, if you have an umbrella-covered table outside, that's okay too.

This giveaway will close at 10:00AM(CST) on January 17.  I will announce and contact the winner in a separate post hopefully as soon afterwards as possible within the next 24 hours.  Then the winner will have another 24 hours to contact me with their snail mail address.  Again, no contact, no winner,,,and I will have DH draw again....

I hope to continue these giveaways twice a month until I run out of things to will be an ongoing process with an eventual end.


PS:  What's going to be given away on Feb. 1??........

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tips and Thoughts in Sewing Room Part IV

1)  New design thoughts: Roman Numerals ....Your Initials.....Raindrops.....

2)  I found I can cope with sewing long strips together end to end ...unless I end up with a circle.   Deep breath, slowly let out......and continue on....

3)  Learning color values....long way to go.....basic rule? ....dark, then light, then dark, then light,,,,, or.... dark, light, dark, dark light dark...  Humm, medium has to be in there somewhere........

4)  I just realized... I love dots.....................

5)   Something whispered at quilting get-togethers: There are other things than quilts to make sometimes. After working on a big project for a long time, you are allowed to take a break and make a mug rug or two, or a table runner, just to feel a sense of accomplishment. Then get back to the task at hand with a fresher look.

6)  Be sure to keep the top on your ripper and especially on that pointy thing you use to keep the seams under your pressure foot.....Ouch!

7) NEVER eat while sewing....especially popcorn....the buttery kind.

8) Being without internet service during storms is top it off.. lightening and thunder keeps my sewing machine quiet also! (unplug your machine at the wall during storms!)

9)  White fabric solves so many "this won't go with that!" problems!

10) Sometimes staying in your pajamas all day is a wonderful way to feel decadent!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

1 Year Anniversary for Sarah

Sarah Craig at Confessions of a Fabric Addict is celebrating her 1 year anniversary of her blog with a giveaway of a beautiful pillow cover + ????.  Always love a giveaway, especially if I know exactly what to do with what I win!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Big, Big Bad Back - Tool Quilt

I have a phobia-of making a backing too small for my quilts.  So I over-compensate, BIG TIME!

So, when I decided to make my own backing for the tool quilt, using my scraps/stash, I made the top big, (overkill!).  I wanted to make a couple of more borders, but decided not too

I also came very close to just making another quilt top, but then I would have to worry about (sort of) matching the back of two (2,, not 1) quilts.  The 4 blue corners are the "just in case" corners.....they are there if I need them.  Whatever I trim from the sides after quilting, I will use for the binding. 

Now to put these together in a sandwich........

I'll be back.....eventually......

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Young by Design has a Giveaway!

Another great giveaway at young by design.  She's almost giving away the store! Check it out!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mini-Giveaway #1 Results

Sharon from Vrooman's Quilts is now the proud owner of this remnant with possiblities.  Congratulations! I'll be sending it off soon after you contact me.

 See you January 15th for the next giveaway...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Odds and Ends Mini-Giveaway #1 - loose weave remnant

Welcome to my first Odds and Ends mini-giveaway. 

Those of you who missed my original post on December 12, 2010 can read my "inspiration", "desperation", and/or reasoning behind my giveaways here.  Edited version:  I am continuing to clean my stash and sewing room, and I want to give anyone a chance to use some quilty/non-quilty items I found.  There may be some items that you will pass on, some you will be willing to take a chance on, and some you Sew Want that you can't stand it... Who knows, you may be the only one on the comment list.....

I am going to try to schedule 2 giveaways a month. After today, they will be on the 1st and 15th of each month.  The next one will be on January 15, the following will be February 1, and so on.  Right now I have about 6 or 7 items in my giveaway box and ideas regarding more, usually there will be one item at a time, so that gives you a chance to win something for the next 3 months or so...

Now to the rules...there aren't many. If you want it, just comment, and be sure that I can contact you.  You know the routine regarding contact, no winner.  Non-Responders, you may leave your e-mail address in your comment if you wish, or watch closely and e-mail me quickly.  That's all you have to do.

 In 2 days, on January 5, this giveaway will close at  10:00am CST. As with my last giveaway, my DH will have the honor of drawing a name out of a bowl. Sometime within the next 24 hours, hopefully sooner, I will announce and contact the winner in a new post. You will have only another 24 hours to answer or contact me with your mailing address.  Repeating myself, another winner will be announced if I can't get the mailing address of the first one.   I hope to already have the item packaged and ready to be addressed and mailed.


Pictures first:




I found this in a container of fabric I bought at a resale store in New Hampshire on a lovely trip (another story).  It looks as if it was once the bottom part of a vest or jacket, you can see the shape of the armholes in the first and second picture.  The length of the remnant is approximately 49" and the width varies. There are two side seams and two small pockets.

Picture #2 shows the inside black lining.   I put an 8 1/2" x 24 1/2"  ruler on top so you can sort of get the perspective.  The lining is still attached at the armholes, sides (where buttons and buttonholes are) and along the bottom. 

Picture #3 shows a close-up of one of two pockets, as well as the loose weave of the fabric. The fabric feels as if it would stay together if sewn right.  I call it a loose weave in comparison to cotton you would normally use in quilts. Looking at the underside of the fabric, I cannot see through it, but can see some individual strands.  I tried to get a close up of the weave so you could see it..of course you can click on the picture to see a bigger version.   It was a well made garment at one time.

It was mentioned in an earlier comment of a possibility of a purse being made out of this. 

Good luck and hope this finds a new home.


PS:  You want to see what is coming up on Jan 15th??  Well, here's a hint:

Working on Tool Quilt Back

This is my first try at piecing a back for a quilt...humm, I'm not done yet. But wanted to get an idea of how it would look.....

As I said in one of my comments earlier on another blog, it's almost like making two quilts.  The second one is a simplier design, that's all.  So far, the hardest part has been storing the extra fabric from the top somewhere you can find it later.  I also plan to use any "extra, extra" pieces for the binding. Now to put a smaller beige border around this and finish it off in grey. Must remember to make it larger than the top.  Make a note of that, Me.....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

First Quilt of 2011 -Done - PhD Challenge #1

....or is the the last quilt of 2010 - done? 

I finished the binding of this quilt at 3:00AM on 1/1/11 (isn't that a cool date!) but did most of the construction (!) in 2010. It will eventually be sent to my DD and her family....

I say "her family" because she requested that ALL of their names be on the label of the quilt.  Big Label! 5 names + G'ma and 2010(date).... so I decided not to have a label....instead I incorporated all the information into the quilt. 

The back is actually a pale yellow..I just enhanced it so you could see the hand quilting better.  I roughly outlined all the equipment on the front and then just "winged it" on the sides and borders of the pictures.

Little background:  Originally, I sewed the top without the solid blue strips and corner blocks.  After deciding it was really too narrow, I added those and used the yellow as the outside border.  The blue really made it come alive. It measures 41" x 56".
So this is my first completed quilt, and the easiest, in Myra's PhD challenge.  Now onto the next one..!

A Date Oddity and Mini-giveaways....

Happy New Year.....

I am writing this in December and just realized that this year New Year's Day Date can be written 1/1/11......Love it when that happens!

My First Mini-Giveaway will arrive in two days, on 1/3/11 at 10:00AM (CST).  This is a giveaway with no apparent end in sight right for it! You can read about it here where I first mentioned it.