Saturday, June 10, 2017

Still Here

I'm still alive and kicking moving  slowly but when there isn't much going on, I find it difficult to post anything.There is still not much going on except for a little flower gardening. I backed off of that a bit after Lucy found some snakes to play with. Thankfully,  she did not bring them in the house but my enthusiasm for gardening cooled off for a while.

I have not done much sewing of any kind lately but I enter 3 quilted wall hangings in a small quilt exhibit at the local library. None of them are new but they have not been in any quilt shows or exhibits and they live in my closet most of the time.


This one was part of a series using large scale print squares and Birds in the Air blocks and another block with half square triangles. I think it might be called Northwind.
 I was at the quilt shop for a meeting of something or other and spotted the Laurel Burch fabric and the multicolor spotted fabric side by side. When I said I was going to make something with them, I remember my friend saying "well, that's a no brainer". She was right I didn't have to think twice to know they just belonged together.













The background on this next one was an experiment in black and white ninepatch color wash . I made nine patch blocks starting with the darkest and the lightest 2 fabrics (in the upper right corner) and worked progressively through the values with the next lighter dark fabric  and the next darker light fabric. In the lower left corner the values were the same and the fabrics distinguished only by the pattern.
When I sewed all the blocks together it was clear that the piece need a focal point. I added the cat and the flowers.
That fabric in the upper left is part of the curtain  on the window next to my design wall.





This was a Zentangle inspired wall hanging I entered in the Bloggers Quilt Festival  in 2012. You can see that I used a similar background to the cat quilt above. In fact, I had some left over blocks and some of the fabric from the cat quilt. If you want to read more about this one you can click on the link above.

So, this is the extent of my quilt related activities lately. Well except for changing out my spring quilts or my patriotic quilts for the summer, nothing new there though.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Weeding, Raining, Birds, and not much Sewing

It was raining last weekend and Jack and I put my Christmas present together, it is a Tractor Scoot from Gardeners Supply.  It is basically a tractor seat on a 4 wheel base with a handle to pull it like a wagon. The seat swivels 360 degrees and there is a bucket on the back for weeds and a tray underneath for tools. I think I like it, it is much more comfortable that my kneeler/bench and I have been able to walk after working in the yard. I was able to do some weeding and cleanup in the flowers but then it started raining. It has rained for days and it is cold. Everything is growing; the many shades of green and all the trees blossoming and the spring flowers blooming are wonderful to look at.
Not much sewing going on here but I did get out  to the quilt shop one of the rainy days. I did a little bit of cutting ( and a lot of talking) when I got together with my friends on Wednesday.

These are the fabrics in the fat quarter bundle I bought. I had nothing in mind but they look so springy and cheerful that they called my name .








They called Lucy's name too when I layed them out to photograph them. She always has to curl up on anything that is new.










This is the bird feeder that we see from the window in the living room at the back of the house. The trees all around the sides of the yard and the hemlock trees near the house make it a very attractive place for the birds.    

I noticed 2 pairs of Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks a couple of weeks ago and then didn't see them for a while.

Yesterday they were back and I had eyes on 5 males at one time. One of them was probably immature as it had makings of its head that were more like the female. I'm not sure how many females we have because they were all moving around back and forth, from feeder to tree to bush and back again.

I got this shot of 4 of the males and one little brown sparrow.



We had Nuthatches all winter but this little guy is new to our feeder. When I spotted him I thought he was just another Nuthatch because of his actions. A closer look told me he was different.  I looked him up and identified him as a Red Breasted Nuthatch.

Jack and I and Lucy spend a lot of time watching the birds. I am always excited to see something new at the feeders. I spotted a lone turkey way out in back the past two days and I am pretty sure there were 2 Brown Thrashers just beyond the hemlocks but they moved out of sight before I got my binoculars and bird books.

We use safflower seeds in the feeders and  the squirrels leave them along.  We have a lot of different kinds of squirrels.  We also have many chipmunks who do eat safflower seeds but so far this year they have stayed off the feeders.  Maybe that is because of Lucy. We don't let her outside but she gets out sometimes and one day she left us a dead chipmunk.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Finish or 4 and Lucy


I just finished his group of wall hangings for my bathroom. Before we moved I had a large wall hanging in my bathroom with similar blocks. You can click on the link to see it. I gave that one away when we moved because I would have no space large enough to hang it. I also had a Flimsy the same size with the same kind of blocks, which I came across recently. I have no idea what I originally intend to do with it and it seemed like a good idea to take it apart and make something for my present (colorless) bathroom.
The six block piece is below some shelves that are over the toilet in  little alcove. I quilted in the ditch on all the seams. There was a spot on the light area of the center star in the bottom row, probably from goo on my iron. I found some tiny colored buttons in assorted colors and shapes and put 2 red buttons to cover the spot. It's seemed that the rest of the quilt should have some buttons as well so I added some tiny buttons in some of the larger patches that could have used some quilting.
These three pieces will go on the wall with double sinks. There are mirrors over each sink and the 3 block piece will hang between the mirrors and the 2 block pieces will go on the other side of each mirror. I did not add any buttons to these as my hands were not working well today, maybe later or maybe not. I did add some prairie points to the bottom edges for a little interest. That made it necessary to use a facing on the bottom edge instead of binding because of the bulk. All of the pieces have a mottled yellow binding to go with yellow hand towels on the two towel rings that are just below the two shorter pieces. I hung the 6 block piece with Velcro Command Strips and I will do the same with the rest.

I had a small furry companion while I was working. Sometimes I had to banish her from my sewing room. You see her laying on my machine table here and in my drawer where I keep my sewing machine accessories and seam rippers etc. She delights in burrowing under anything, clothes, paper, throws,blankets etc. We sometimes find a lump in the middle of the bed between the spead and the blanket. Here she decided to burrow under the piece of backing fabric from which I was cutting trying to cut the backing for the six block piece.

Yesterday I had moved my Ott light and had failed to shorted up the cord and tie it and put it out of sight, BIG mistake. I found it in two pieces. Fortunately Jack was able to repair it.
She likes to hang out with me and after she wears herself out she takes a nap in anything she can find to settle into. She likes the basket on my cutting table where I toss odds and ends. She is especially fond of my collapsable laundry basket.




It's a good thing I like her so much. 
It is even better that she likes me so much.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Still Alive and OK

I ran into some friends today in the quilt shop and one of them told me she checks my blog and hasn't seen any action for a while. She told me I should just post that I am still here and OK. With nothing much going on I just haven't had anything to write about but am still here and I'M OK.

After the waterproofing project in the basement things came to a halt and I still have all my Christmas storage boxes taking up space in my sewing room. I took me a while to get things moved around and sorted out before I had any room to sew.

I found several 5 inch charm packs and an overabundance of small pieces left over from the last few quilts. I decided to cut the charms into 2 1/2 inch pieces and make 4 patches and then I sewed the 4 patches together in groups of 6. I am going to put borders around them and make placemats. They are not very exciting but it is something to do until I hit on something that excites me.

I went fabric shopping today for the border fabric. Actually getting out to the quilt shop was pretty exciting for me, especially when I ran into 2 quilting friends.


This is one of the placemats laying on top of the border fabric that I already had. Most of these checkerboard fabrics are from the wedding quilt I made 2 years ago.










This is one of another bunch of placemat centers laying on top of one of the border fabrics I bought today. Most of the small squares are from charm packs with a few squares of leftovers from my leftover bin.










 There are 4 of these placemat rectangles that Have a lot of grey squares from the fabric I used in the wedding quilt. I bought 4 layer cakes of "Fresh Cut" by Moda and I used a small amount of the the gray but I really wasn't fond of it so I had a lot left.










I bought 2 Fat Quarter bundles as well as the placemat fabric today. They were both cheerful and spring like and I am ready for something cheerful and NEW.
This is one of the bundles; I was drawn to the little birds and the pretty colors of the solid looking companion fabrics.

So..... we'll see if I am motivated to finish my placemat project. So far I have no plans for my fat quarters but they are cheerful and they are nice to look at and I like to pet them as well.



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.