Sunday, February 12, 2017

Small Accomplishments

Here it is more than a month after my last post and nothing to show for it. The waterproofing project in the basement is finished and all of the necessary equipment is back in place. The next stage of the basement project I think will be the flooring. After that there will be walls to build to separate the space for rooms. I have no idea how long this will all take, no one tells me anything.

In the meantime, my sewing room is not user friendly: it is not exactly a disaster but there is just too much stuff. However, I did a little bit of sewing even though is is not easy.  I have been going through everything that we bought along when we moved and I have been purging. I had some things that the great grand kids used to play with and many games went to someone who would enjoy them. I have a doll bed that I am giving away as it has been a long time since anyone played with it. I am keeping the little quilt I made for it because it has blocks from my great grand daughter's baby quilt. So I needed a quick quilt to go with the bed.











I cut a 9  motif square from a piece I bought at a quilt show and layered it up with some fabric I had left from another project.

I quilted around the kitties and around the "frames" and used some Kona Bone for the binding.



I sewed the binding to the front, turned it to the back and fused it before I stitched the binding on the machine. It doesn't show in the photo but I used the number 4 Bernina stitch using  turquoise thread. It is a bright little quilt that went fast and there is no more mess in my sewing room than there was before I started. That is not to say the room is in any kind of order but I feel better for the small accomplishment.

Tomorrow I plan to give the bed and bedding to my friend. After that, I will deliver 2 shopping bags of non quilting fabric to Goodwill. I have bagged everything up in large Ziplocks with fiber content and yardage. That will be another small accomplishment.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Starting out 2017

Well the trees are down and the ornaments packed up. the Christmas quilts are packed away and my design wall and bulletin boards are clear. However, I am not ready to start any sewing because my sewing room is, not really a mess, but full of stuff that should go to the basement.

Monday will see the start of a big basement waterproofing project. Though the basement has never
had a water/flood problem it is damp and they want to make it damp proof and that involves a very big waterproofing project. After that all the existing walls will be coming  down and everything will be changed. So for awhile I have extra stuff in  my sewing room.  I just can't see myself dealing with moving everything around in order to sew or cut.

I do have a finish, kind of. It really isn't my own project. My granddaughter in law started this tote bag close to 3 years ago. I think it was before they were even engaged.
We were having some quilting lessons and after piecing a few blocks she wanted to make something she would finish and actually use. I'm beleive the lime green batik was her own fabric; she chose the black batik and the cat print from my stash. I came across this when I was putting Christmas things away and it was all finished except for sewing on the straps and the binding around the top. I decided to finish it because we have not had another lesson in all that time and I don't see one in the near (or maybe even distant)future. 

Maybe this is the time to get out my BIG UFO that I started in 2000. I have not worked on it for a very long time because it is hand quilted.  My hands are not really good for hand quilting anymore but most of the quilting inside the borders is finished. If I can get that done I can do the borders on the machine as it is all in the ditch quilting.

There are overlapping circles in the sashings and concentric circles in the center of the blocks but there are not too many of those left to do. 
 It would be so nice to finish this. I am sure it will be slow going and my stitches won't be as small as the ones that are already there. That just doesn't seem so important anymore.

I am pretty sure I know where my Q-Snap frame is and I just now looked to see where the quilt is stashed. I am going to give it a try.








I am quite sure my friend Lucy will be keeping me company.






She likes to get right up on my sewing table and settle down where she can watch what I am doing.




I really don't continue to sew when she gets that close. I know what it feels like to put a machine needle through my  paw finger.





Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Scraps

When I was rummaging through boxes and Ziploc bags and baskets etc, I came across a Ziploc bag with inch these 6 1/2 blocks. They are left over blocks from this baby quilt and there was also a bag of unsorted scraps of the same fabrics
.

I was amazed at the amount of unsorted scraps I had shoved into bags or just shoved into the bottom of  my large laundry basket of scraps. I have decided that I need to tackle that basket by making improve squares. I pulled out an assortment of fabrics that are the same and similar and made a few blocks.

The larger piece on the bottom was intended to be  a larger piece from which I would cut 6 1/2 inch squares. After getting this far I remembered that I really would rather make squares approximately the size I want and trim them. I can use the smaller pieces or fabric (of which I have many many more) and I have more control over how the seams fall on the outside of the squares. I will probably cut a 6 1/2 inch square from this and use what I cut away as the start of another block.
I  am not sure if I will make another baby quilt similar to the one I made first or if I will use these as centers for wonky stars or some other kind of 9 patch block with a large center square. I am in no hurry to finish this so it will be an ongoing project. I need to control the mess in some way so I will probably sort the scraps by colors into shoe boxes. I can put the lids on  the boxes and stack them when I am not working on them.

I plan to take care of that before bedtime and then start tomorrow to put all the Christmas quilts and linens away. When that is done I will take care of taking down the Christmas tree. I know that Jack will call me Mrs. Scrooge, he really loves the Christmas tree and he always complains that I take it down too soon. He should be the one to deal with the cat and her shenanigans with the tree.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ready for Christmas


I really am ready for Christmas. This year I realized that I was not going to be able to get out to Christmas shop.Being house bound for days and Jack's difficulty getting around in inclement weather wiped out the window of time I had counted on. When we finally got out we bought gift cards for most of the people on our list and I took care of the rest of it on the internet.

I finished the pot holders as I had planned to when the weather turned bad again. The finishing was much faster than the piecing because there was no more agonizing over the next fabric to add. They measure 10 inches point to point. I chose  not to add hanging loops because we don't hang our pot holders and they can be used as hot pads or even snack mats.

After I cleaned up my sewing room I hung some of my Christmas wall hangings on my design wall and bulletin boards. I don't have the same number of places to hang them as I did in our apartment. This is our third Christmas here and each year I have done something different. I like to have them up to look at even if there might not be anyone else who comes in my sewing room.

This is on the design wall. The two wall hangings were made different years  but the colors are almost exactly the same shades. The stockings were scraps from many different years and probably were scraps given to me by different people.The two blocks are just block flimsies from my odd block box. I filled in the spaces with left over fussy cut fabric hexagon  motifs that were from my Christmas pot holder project.


 When my mother in law was in a nursing home I made her small mini quilts that slipped over an 8 x 10 plastic stand-up sign holder. This is the Christmas one here with  the Mr and Mrs Santas that I made nearly 20 years ago. The little house was from an ornament exchange at work.This little  vignette sits on top of my printer.








This is the bulletin board and shelf over my sewing machine. The wreath is 22  inches square. I designed it in EQ after I saw something similar. My sister in law had made a Christmas tree quilt for her split level entry way and wanted a small compatible  wallhanging for an adjacent wall at the top of the stairs. I worked it out in fabric as I went along so I could write the instructions. The little mini star quilt was from a Square in a Square class at our guild with Jodi Barrows. Those 4 blocks were all I made. They were too cute to let sit in a box but not cute enough to make me want to make more. I made the 3 angels about 20 some years ago. That is a photo of Jack from 12 or 13 years ago; it sits on the shelf all the time. Once again I filled in with my fussy cut hexagon motifs.

This is a narrow bulletin board on an adjacent wall to the right of the one above. These mini quilts were made with left overs from other projects, one of them is in the photo above of my design wall. Right next to the bulletin board are the high windows above my desk and there is Lucy standing up looking out at the snow.





















Below is the yard she is looking out on. At 10 am the snow was coming down fast and heavy.
It was discouraging but I am getting used to being snowed in and I just went about doing the usual stuff that needs to be done.






And then... about noon I looked out and saw blue sky and shadows.  Much of the heavy snow had fallen off the trees I had a clear view of the barn and a building across the  road. I would be jumping for joy if I could jump.

































Maybe we can get OUT tomorrow. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hexie Potholders

I finished piecing the last set of potholders and I fixed up the ones that I thought looked too much like  swastikas.
This is the way they looked before I fixed them..
I decided they might look better with another color but I didn't want to make them another round larger with 2 inch cut logs.








I trimmed the outer round of logs to 1 inch and added a round of green logs that were cut 1 1/4 inches making the round of logs 3/4 inch when finished.








 I decided that 3 colors look better than 2 so that is what I used for the last set of potholders.

I still have leftover strips but not enough of anything to make this pattern with 2 - 6 inch strips and 2 - 4 inch strips of 3 colors for one pot holder. I am going to make some using up the strips I have. I am not going to add any of these fabrics to my scrap bins.


We are expecting more snow tomorrow and it will be a lot colder so I will be staying in again and I am hoping to get these layered up and quilted and FINISHED by the time this round of snow is finished coming down. I hope that will not be next February.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Snow and More Snow so I Sew

Here in NE Ohio we are blessed with
From our bedroom window looking East toward the street
lake effect snow which started on Thursday and lasted until the area wide snow started. Jack and I  are essentially house bound. Other members of our household come and go but we weigh the consequences of getting stuck in the snow or dealing with a not so well plowed parking lot and we stay home.









From the living room looking west toward the back yard

I tell myself it is beautiful but these are not black and white photos and  to me the landscape just looks bleak,




Lucy doesn't seem to mind. she is napping here on her perch, which is covered ,for Christmas, with a small hand quilted Christmas wall hanging. This is one of her favorite  places to sit and watch the birds at the feeders.
Yesterday she managed to slip out the door and chase some of those birds. She came back after a few minutes and came in like a streak of lightning when I opened the door for her.













While I am housebound, I have been sewing, using up the last of the fabric strips from the Christmas table mats/runners. I have a lot of leftover strips and odds and ends of yardage; some from this year and some from years past. I recently divested myself of  shared a box of Christmas leftover strips and pieces and I am trying not to add more fabric scraps to what I already have.  So..... I am making Log cabin Hexie Potholders from sewcanshe.com.
The 2 at the top are different one has 2 fabrics for the logs and one has 3.
The 2 on the bottom are the same with 2 fabrics for the logs.

I have more strips and centers cut and I m pondering whether of not to use sets of strips that have as much contrast as the red and white. I am afraid they are more like swastikas than pinwheels.




I am not very fast sewing these because I have a helper. This is what I found when I turned back to my machine from the ironing board.
Lucy is not a lap cat, she never sits on my lap. However, she likes to hang out with me and she can often be found on my cutting table or sewing machine or ironing board.


She helps me keep my sewing room clean. It looks much neater than it used to. I have to put things away so she doesn't tear up my batting or eat shreds of fabric or  thread or remove the pins from my pincushion.

She keeps me more organized because there are almost no quick cleanups anymore, just putting things anywhere to get them out of the way. That lead to nothing in its place whereby I spent way to much time looking for things.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Finish

I have a finish; a small finish that made a big mess.


I made these two Christmas table mats to cover my end tables. They go with the runners  for the coffee table and bachelors chest and a little hexagonal mat that I made last year. I wanted something that would pull everything together.

The one below is next to Jack's chair and it will usually be covered by a water glass and/or a coffee cup.






I had my sewing room all cleaned up before I pulled out previously cut  fabric strips and some new fat quarters and from there it was all downhill. Before too long all horizontal surfaces were covered while I auditioned fabric for each strip.
I am still working on putting things away in an orderly way so I can use them again without having such a big mess. I am almost there.


Friday, November 25, 2016

A Finish

I finished sewing the facing on the second HST quilt.

Here are the two quilts laying on my bed side by side. The one I finished today is the one on the right and it is much more graphic;  it is easier to see the block. Both quilts are 16 patch blocks and both have an equal number of HST patches and plain square patches and they are laid out the same way with alternating HST and plain square patches  The quilt on the left does not have any light plain square patches and therefore the block is harder to identify.

























I like them both but I think I like the one on the left better. That is probably because all of the plain squares being dark give the quilt more color. For me, the more color and pattern the better I like it. My guess is that someone who does not like so much busyness would like the other one better.

I ended up with a lot of left over HST's and 3 1/2 inch squares so I will most likely be making another quilt.  I won't be  doing that soon but I am mulling over the design options. I will be playing with it in EQ7 while I work on some other things.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Almost Finished

I was ready to layer up this quilt October 22 and I posted that I thought it would take 2 weeks if all went well. On my October 29, post I showed the 2 sections of the layered quilt folded up on my sewing table all ready to quilt.
Well it is quilted and the sections joined and the prairie points and the facing/binding is sewn on. I have started hand stitching the facing to the back of the quilt. There were a few bumps in the road. Besides Jack being in the hospital 4 days, there was a follow up doctor visit, which took another whole day out of my quilting time. There were leaves to be raked and hauled to the wooded area. We also went shopping for a more comfortable chair for Jack (and a bonus find of a chair for me). That led to time spent rearranging furniture. There were many distractions dealing with Lucy and a few timeouts along the way for me and vertigo episodes. All things considered, I guess that getting it this far in a month isn't too far off the mark.

Here it is spread out across my bed for a photo shoot



 There seems to be a mystery lump here. I wonder what who it might be.













Mystery solved, it's Lucy. One of her favorite things to do is to burrow underneath something. She suddenly appears whenever I make the bed in the morning or when I lay something out on the bed to photograph it or when I dump the laundry basket of clean clothes on the bed to sort and fold them.








Another thing she likes to do is remove the pins from my pincushion and even from the seam that I had pinned on the back of the quilt where the sections are joined. I am now much more diligent about putting the loose pins in the pincushions and putting the pin cushions away.






This photo on the left shows the back of the quilt with the prairie points and binding/facing stitched on but not yet turned.



On the right are the prairie points, shown from the front, after the facing has been turned and stitched.

Below  is the facing stitched on the back at the corner. I used 2 1/2 inch scrap strips, mostly bias, because I wanted bias when going around the rounded corners.

The edge finishing was much easier this time because I knew I would be trimming the corners round. On the last quilt I tried to have square corners but because of a seam at the corner of the block there was too much bulk. It required the use of my seam ripper and there was much frustration.


I have my needle,thread, scissors  and the quilt ready by my chair with my Ott light and I am going to spend the rest of the evening hand stitching the facing.