Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Finish

I finished the first of the HST quilts. I have been trying to figure out when I started this quilt and I remember when it was on my design wall in the first room I used for my sewing room in our apartment. If it was on the wall in that room it had to be at least 15 years ago. I remember when I stopped working on it and why. My daughter stopped one day and when she saw it on the wall she couldn't see the overall pattern. I kind of lost interest after that. I left it up on the wall and I didn't sew the blocks together; eventually I took the blocks down and put them away.

Well it is together and finished and I like it. I think the overall pattern shows up well, at least in the photos.

Here is a little bit closer shot. It has been a while since I sewed the blocks together into 3 sections and today as I was looking at the quilt I had a hard time figuring out what the original block was. I looked at the Quilt in EQ7 and colored everything black and white and I could easily see the block and what my block layout was.

 This is a block cropped from a photo of the finished quilt. Every solid square is a dark or medium print and there is a diagonal line of HST's across the center from top right to lower left. The points of the light triangles on both upper and lower corners point toward the center line. The light fabrics are a mixture; some are near solid and some have more pattern and approach being medium value. I remember not giving any attention to trying to color coordinate the individual blocks. the placement is truly random.

 This shows my finished rounded corner.

 I tried to fold the quilt so I could get a shot of all the binding on the back of the quilt but Lucy kept jumping up on the bed and burrowing under the quilt. I finally gave up.

This is the folded quilt showing all the many fabrics used for the prairie points and some of the binding. I used a lot pieces of leftover binding from my binding box. It was all cut 2 1/2 inches wide and turned to the back as a facing; it finished about 7/8 of an inch and added a little color to the all one piece wide backing.

This quilt also has alternate squares and HST' but the value layout is different and many of the blocks were color coordinated.
I plan to layer up this quilt in 2 sections and I have a backing for it that is the same pattern in red and white. I will finish the edges with prairie points and the same kind of binding/facing but I will round of the corners first and this time I will know what to do so there will not be any much ripping of stitches. Unless life gets in the way I am estimating that it will take 2 weeks to finish this.

We'll see!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

WHAT ! The Middle of October?

The middle of October already, WOW! I didn't accomplish much in September. As the saying goes "life happens" and there was a lot of that happening in our family. It wasn't all bad, our grandson got married in Missouri and it was a lovely wedding. Half of our family didn't make it to the wedding because of our great-grandson's ruptured appendix and two separate stays in the hospital. Great grandson is finally doing well.  After coming home with a rash, nausea, and not eating much for 3 days he told his mother that  he felt amazing and couldn't wait to eat scrambled eggs and sausage for dinner.

Just before the end of September, our granddaughter and her 10 year old son moved in; we are now a 4 generation household. We are all in the process of adjusting.

This is a photo or all seven great grand kids; there are 2-10 year olds, 2-11 year olds, 2-13 year olds, and one 14 year old.  Last weekend we had a birthday party for 5 of them.  In the past we were having a birthday party every 2 weeks through September and October and then one more party combined with Thanksgiving.  Maybe next year we will have one party that includes the 2 summer birthdays as well. As they get older it has become increasingly difficult to get them all together at one time.

I did have some time to quilt.

I quilted this quilt in 3 sections and joined them together. It has been a while since I did it this way and I was surprised that the hand sewing on the back at the joined seams went as well as it did. I took my Advil ahead of time and my hands were not so stiff, though it was slow going.

I did not use a border but finished with prairie points. ordinarily that is fairly easy to do but the edges of the quilt were already quilted and I planned to add the prairie points and then the folded binding as a facing. That did not work well at the corners, too much bulk. After much fiddling and fussing, I ripped out the (several layers of) stitching and cut the corners round. I am still working on fixing the next 2 corners before I sew on the rest of the binding/facing.
I will keep this in mind when I work on the other HST quilt.

I sew several stings of prairie points together and adjust the spaces between the strings as necessary when I sew them to the edge of the quilt.
As usual Lucy settled down for a nap on the quilt as I was working. You can see her at the center top of this photo. I wasn't working on the quilt body at this time so I left her there but sometimes I have to remove here from my sewing room and close the door.

She likes to hang out with me and she sometimes watches what I am doing intently
 as though she was learning how to do it herself.
Other times she just settles down and purrs herself to sleep.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

It's been a week!

I did have some time to quilt a bit on the small wall hanging. I quilted in the ditch around the patches and will do some filler quilting and something on the borders.

This has certainly been an eventful week. Our 10 year old great grandson had a ruptured appendix and was admitted to the hospital on Sunday. He was a very sick kid and everyone was worried and frusrated.  He is home now with a drain in his abdomen and a PICC line to administer IV antibiotics for the next 10 days. He is staying here at our daughters house (where we live) as their house in torn up and dusty in the middle of remodelling. He is feeling much better and while he is pretty much stationary, because of the drain apparatus, he is playing games and watching TV.

Our grandson in Missouri is getting married today (in Missouri) and our son and DIL were here last weekend with their dog. They live in Pittsburgh and had errands to run here and then left for Missouri  on Tuesday. Jack and I did not plan going to the wedding because of the distance and health reasons. The rest of the Ohio family was all going to go but those plans were changed  when Ben was hospitalized.
So  from our family only John's parents and his brother and his wife will be at the wedding.

We have Buttons (the dog) here with us; fortunately she gets along well with our dog and cat. That is an adventure in itself. Now we have to keep the cat and our son's dog away from Ben because of the drain and PICC line. Kitty is attracted to anything that dangles and the dog jumps and people at times. Tux, our good old black lab with his perfect manners, is the only one allowed in the room with Ben. We are kept busy shutting one door or another to keep the animals away from Ben or keep Lucy from escaping. Lucy is not allowed to go outside but lays in wait for a chance to slip out any time we let the dogs out. We have to make sure Lucy has access to the basement and her litter box.

Late in the week, I did have some  layer up 3 quilt sections to be quilted then joined.
 This is one section; it is 2 blocks wide by 7 blocks long.

This is a 4 block section showing the overall pattern. This quilt  has been sitting around in 3 sections for a few years. It is a different from the one I have been working on recently.

You can see the difference in the two. the one below is an 8 block section.  This one will be layered up and quilted in 2 sections.

I layered the 3 section quilt first because I had an issue with the batting. Lucy had knocked the batting on the floor and had torn through the bag in several sections and tore out pieces of batting leaving several holes. This was a slightly larger batt because of 2 joining seams instead of one and I wanted to make use it would be usable. All the damage was at one end and I was able to cut away the part with the holes.
I have to keep Lucy away from any exposed batting and we have to keep her away from Ben and we have to keep her away from any doors being opened to the outside. I also have to feed her up in the sink counter in the bathroom so Buttons (son's dog) won't eat her food. After her own family left her this week Buttons had stopped eating her own food until I mixed in some cat food. So..... I also have to make sure Lucy doesn't eat Buttons' food. Tux our Lab gives us no problems but would really like to be petted 24/7, walked around the whole yard and the woods out back at least once a day, and given his ration of treats at the usual time in the evening. All three animals line up for treats about 7:30. They all settle down for the night in our bedroom and they have worked out for themselves who sleeps where. No one sleeps on our bed but Lucy uses it for a jumping off place to the top of Jacks dresser.

Yes, it has been quite a week!  

Lucy taking a rest .

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Changing Over for Fall

When I woke up at 5 AM this morning I knew I would not to back to sleep. I got up but I didn't want to make a lot of noise and wake anyone else. I decided to change out the little quilts on my boards in the sewing room.

This is the shelf and the flannel covered board just above my sewing machine.

 This is the board on the adjacent wall. The pumpkins above and the top harvest quiltlet on the right were both made to fit over one of those 8 x 10 clear plastic standing sign holders.  This year I pinned them up on the boards instead.
The little colorwash is 5 x 7 and made with 35 - 3/4 inch squares. I made several of them years ago when I was playing around with the little squares. The hand was one given to me by my friend Lynn the year I asked all the ladies in the Friendship block exchange to give me a block with their hand traced on fabric. This was an extra hand that she traced and I love looking at the fabric.
The floral square was a piece of fabric that I layered up and free motion quilted around the shapes for practice and later my friend Jan showed me how to apply piping inside the binding. I had won a basket with notions in it and there was a tool for "Piping Hot Binding".
Hanging on the side is a Name tag I made with a little block I designed in EQ and then printed on Fabric. (I did not sew those tiny flying geese in the border). I put it on a ribbon to hang around my neck instead of pinning it on my clothes.

This is what the whole corner looks like. The shelves both extend another 18 inches on the left to the bookcase. Next to my sewing machine table is a 4 foot table along the adjacent wall.  Right now it holds a little waste basket of scraps that need to be sorted by color and added to my scrap stash. The other basket has stuff to put away where it belongs. Right now I have 3 various sized baskets that are similarly filled.
Baskets work well for keeping things together  while I work on something but  putting things away keeps getting put off; I seem to just buy another basket.

I have pretty much accomplished cleaning up  my sewing room and I am ready to get some quilting started.
I hope everyone has a nice Labor Day weekend.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Last 2 Blocks

I finished he final 2  blocks for the HST quilt I have been working on for over a year.

 I had planned on adding  one row of 7 blocks to both sides, to complete the pattern, and to add one row of 4 blocks on the bottom to the 4 blocks by 6 blocks section I had already sewed together. I have a slight change of plans.
Instead I will sew a row of 4 blocks to the bottom but I will sew the other 2 rows of 7 blocks each to together and sew them on one side. I am going to quilt this in two sections; my original plan would have had 3 sections making one more seam to sew. The new plan will still complete the pattern with less work.

I ordered fabric for the backing and it should arrive tomorrow. So.......... in the meantime I am going  to clean up my space which is so bad that I am not even going to show a picture of it.  Then, I am going to get my space set up to quilt. There are the 2 HST bed quilts to quilt and this 24 inch square table topper that is layered up already so I will probably quilt it first.

That's the plan for the next few days but you know what they day about the best laid plans.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Two More HST Blocks

Almost all quilting and sewing has been on hold this past week. When I  wasn't picking produce from the garden or cooking I was shopping with my DIL(clothes) or Jack (chair) or dealing with vertigo.
I did have a nice relaxing time when we went out to lunch on Thursday with Jack's sister and her husband. so I am not feeling sorry for myself.

I still have this quilt up on the wall and it is 6 blocks by 6 blocks. I decided to make 6 more blocks for the bottom edge to complete the pattern. Idon't really care if the pattern is complete at the top as that part will be under the pillow which will have a cover to go with the quilt.

These are the 2 blocks I started and finished today. Only the blue one is sewn together in this photo.

Lucy likes hanging out with her people and I guess it was my turn this morning.
She has to inspect everything and she had a good time hiding behind my small design board and attacking various pieces of fabric, scissors, seam rippers and other objects; she can make a toy out of anything. She will also eat tiny shreds of fabric, causing me to become more careful to clean up small shreds of fabric and string.

Before we went to the sewing room this morning she managed to sneak out the door and she wore herself out tearing around the yard like a streak  of lightning. I caught her when she plopped down to rest.

So here she is ready for a nap. About two minutes after I shot this photo she was out like a light and I was able to sew the block behind her without interference.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Today is Wednesday and this is the post  that I thought I published on Monday. Not sure what happened; nothng much has changed except I decided on the red border and cut the strips in readiness to sew them on at our quilting get together today. I was all prepared to go but woke up late not feeling good. I will probably leave it all  packed up and ready for next week.

Monday, August 14, 2016
I made the rest of the blocks for the little piece I am making with the block of the month project with my small group  of quilting friends.  I finally got 9 blocks finished and sewed together. Making 6 inch blocks from this pattern was a lot  more fussy than fun.

This is the EQ  version that I had planned. After I made the center block I didn't like it. I  played with the layout in EQ using different color placement and combinations.

This is the fabric versions that I decided on. Most of my points are sharp but it wasn't easy and it isn't perfect, however it is acceptable. I will not be making anything again soon that is small and fussy.

I am ready to add 3 inch borders when I decide which fabric I like. Initially, I planned on the green print (on the left) but I am leaning toward the red print (on the right). With 3 inch borders this will be 24 inches.  I like it well enough to keep but I really don't need another table topper or small wall hanging and that is a good size for a gift.

I will put this off until tomorrow when the quilting friends get together. I can get my backing ready and get some feed back before I cut and add the borders. If I get the rest of my stuff together for tomorrow, for once I can be ready to go before the last minute.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Not Much Sewing Going On

There has not been much sewing going on here in the last two weeks.

This 6 inch block is my rather pathetic accomplishment. The small group of ladies I have been sewing with is working on  block of the month.  I am not going to make the BOM quilt but will use some of the blocks for small projects. I bought some red and green fabric and a light background and will make some Christmas things.

These next photos show some components ready to sew. they have bee sitting like this for almost a week.

I am surprised that Lucy has not knocked them on the floor or played with them. When I sew on the machine I have to shut her out of the room. She is very interested in the moving parts and she gets right up on the sewing table to have a close look.

One of the things keeping me busy is the garden. my daughter and SIL planted vegetables this year and everything is growing well. The cucumbers and zucchini are ready to pick, more EVERY DAY. would you believe that we have more cucumbers than zucchini. Daughter and SIL  are  in Montana hiking for 2 weeks and I have been busy, busy, busy keeping up with the garden. Now the peppers and eggplants are becoming ready to pick.
The 24 tomato plants are huge and heavy with tomatoes, that are mostly green yet, but every day there are more and more that are red. The weeds have also been doing well and I did have some help with pulling them. Some of the weeds in the Butternut squash patch are taller than me and not easy to reach. We were ahead of them for a while but we missed a few that were hiding and the squash just keeps growing all over the place and there is no place for me to step. Because I have a balance problem due to Meniere's Syndrome I use a hiking pole for stability on the rough ground when I go out to the garden; I am not the most agile person getting into the squash patch.

For 3 days I worked to clean up the 12 foot diameter flower garden. It was overgrown with weeds. My daughter in law was here over the weekend and she was a big help doing that.  She dug up some yucca plants that keep coming back and we moved some large rocks that outline the flower garden. We moved them in toward the center 1 to  2 feet to shrink the garden circle. We left the crab grass that was growing there, outside the rocks and it got mowed last evening by another grandson in law. We have had grandchildren stopping almost every day for some  reason or another and our son and DIL were here for 4 days over the weekend. I have come to the conclusion that there was some arrangement to keep an eye on us. Probably a good idea but I am not sure I like it.

My agenda for today is making pickled beets and pickled cucumbers. Oh, and doing the laundry; working in the garden has me wearing 2 or three sets of clothes a day.
Maybe some sewing tomorrow.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Two HST Quilts

Because I am already set up for quilting,  I decided to see what I have to layer up the HST quilt that is on my wall.  I have this 4 blocks wide by 6 blocks long section sewed together.  I am going to quilt it in sections.

I have 12 more blocks made that I will sew into 2 strips for either side to complete the pattern. I am going to add the borders to those 2 strips and quilt them in 2 sections for right and left sides. I am thinking about making 8 more blocks for the bottom of the quilt and adding a border to that and quilt that as a section, Can you tell I am making this up as I go along? I have a plan for using this quilt so It may not have borders on all 4 sides.

When I pulled out the basket with batting in it I found another HST flimsy that is in 3 sections all ready to be layered up and quilted in sections. It is a similar layout but the individual HST's are 4 inches finished instead of 3 1/2 inches.

These are  4 block sections showing the pattern of the 2 quilts.
The one on the top is what I came across yesterday. A 4 block section is larger by 4 inches; I am not sure what I will do about borderers for it. I will finish both of them and they can be used in the extra bedroom.

I need to decide on backs for these two so I am going to clean up the sewing room and look through some of the hiding places to see what other UFO's are lurking. I need to make a list of thing that need to be finished or given away and then get it done in some sort of organized way.

Maybe I should make a rule "NO NEW PROJECTS UNTIL ALL THE OLD ONES ARE DONE OR GONE.  I wonder if I could stick to it. Over 15 years ago  I finished all my UFO's when I wouldn't let myself start anything new until I had made/finished 7 Log cabin Christmas quilts for my family. It was a year long project and when I got bored with making log cabin blocks I worked on something that was waiting to be finished.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Finish

I finished the Disappearing Nine Patch today.

I spread it out on my bed for a photo shoot and Jack said, "This is our quilt for the bed for the rest of the summer".  Well......OK; it really does look  good in our bedroom. The white background print lightens up the room.

 I never thought about using it in our bedroom until I put it on the bed and saw how well it goes with the curtains. And, how could I not have thought about how well it would look with the "Red Flowers blog banner" quilt that hangs on the wall above the bed? I have a plain green coverlet on the bed and the quilt will go across the long way and just curve over the edges on the foot and sides. I have a little bit smaller spiral log cabin quilt across the foot of the bed now and I need something different to cover the pillows. I know Jack will say what I have on the pillows works fine. It does NOT so I am rolling it around in my mind.

 This is the back of the quilt. I had 6 blocks left over  and used them in 2 sets of 3 to make the backing longer.

No matter how I angled my camera I wasn't able to get a good photo of the quilting. Maybe it will show up if you click on the picture to enlarge it. It is pretty simple, quilting in the ditch around all the 6 inch blocks and then using the #4 Bernina serpentine stitch across all the squares

I did the binding on the machine; arthritis in my hands makes it a long drawn out and  painful process by hand.
I stitch the binding to the front and press it away from the quilt.  I then pull it around to the back to cover the stitching and press with steam. I use 1/4 inch Stitch Witchery to fuse the binding to hold it in place and stitch in the ditch on the front. When I come to the corner miter I stitch along the edge of the miter fold to the point and back and then continue on down the next side.
These next 3 photos show the binding and stitching. The true color is closer to the corner photos.

Binding - Corner front
Binding -  corner back

Binding - along the edge
I am minus Lucy's company today. She is at the vet's today getting spayed.  I can't say I will miss her "suspicious" behavior. We have had 2 separate weeks of her rolling on the floor making sounds that bordered on singing. Oh, and then there is her unusual posture. One of the 9 year old great grandsons asked his cousin what she was doing, the other 9 year old looked at her and said " She's catching mice". I'm glad he didn't ask Jack!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Quilting the DNP

I rearranged my sewing room for machine quilting on Friday and started quilting the Disappearing Nine Patch. This is the first machine quilting I have done that needed a rearrangement since we relocated some of the furniture. I spent most of the afternoon and early evening fooling around with different configurations. My original plan would have blocked the 3 drawers on the left side of my desk.

This is the arrangement I settled on. I turned my sewing machine around in the table to give me 2 less inches on the left  so I can sit closer to the table and small chest that is supporting the quilt. It is a little more difficult changing the bobbin but all in all it is working well.

Lucy has turned out to be a very self possessed, independent, friendly little cat. Likes to hang out with her people and she seems to have a need to inspect EVERYTHING.

She was fascinated with the moving parts of the machine.

She crawled inside the folded over corner of the DNP quilt I am working on and thought she was going to settle down there. I had to banish her from the sewing room so I could move the quilt around.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pinning and HST Blocks

 I am giving my back a break from pinning the Disappearing Ninepatch quilt.  It is about 1/3 of the way pinned and bending over the table isn't as easy as it used to be.
I  am going to have to do some cleaning up and rearrangement of  furniture to get set up for the quilting.
Wow! I just noticed that the angle  from which I shot  this photo distorted the squares that are flat on the table top. The are really square as in the forefront where they hang off the table.

I have this back up on the design wall again. The six blocks on the right are not sewn on to the rest of  the quilt yet. They are blocks I just made and I have 3 more to put together and then either 3 or 9 more to make. I am mulling it over in my mind; I am not sure how big I want to make this one.

Here's Lucy again. She had a big morning, watching the birds, chasing her shadow,  laying under the bed and grabbing toes as we walk past, tearing around the house like a streak of lightning and slipping out the door when I went out to the garden and I couldn't get the door closed fast enough. I caught her easily because she is more interested in inspecting everything than she is in running away.
I had to shut her in the bedroom while I  spread and layered up the quilt. She thought it was a game. I hope I can get it done before she wakes up and Jack opens the bedroom door.