Sunday, January 27, 2013

Challenges and Frustrations

We have had a lot of electronic challenges in the past few weeks. It started with a new wireless router. Jack got it all connected and set up and it was working fine for him but I had trouble printing. I couldn't print anything from the internet with my desktop but I could from my laptop. We fussed around with the settings for days and finally got everything working right.

Wednesday our bedroom TV had a rolling picture with little or no color. Jack's computer is in the bedroom and he likes to have the TV on while he is at the computer so it was a really "Big Deal" that it wasn't working. The living room TV was OK but when Jack called the cable company they said it could be a weak signal as the bedroom TV is digital and the other is not and they receive 2 separate signals. They were going to send us a stronger signal, it sounds fishy to me but what do I know about anything. If they did, it didn't help. We didn't have time to go out and shop because we had to meet our great-grandsons school bus. Jack did a lot of research on line and went out Friday and picked up a new flat screen TV with more bells and whistles than the old one. All set up and working fine, everyone is happy.

Last Saturday I couldn't find my cell phone. I thought I had picked it up and we left home and went back for it when I didn't have it and I couldn't find it. I have looked and looked all week, in every purse and inside and under everything, in all the pockets in what I was wearing. Today I got a new phone and Jack spent more tan 2 very frustrating hours getting my number transferred and all of my 3000 minutes. It still bothered me that I couldn't find it as I knew I had it at home and didn't take it anywhere. I looked one more time, this time in the pocket of what I didn't wear last Saturday. Of course I found it, I had changed what I was wearing for something warmer after I had put the phone in my pocket. I would worry about dementia but honestly I have been this way all of my life. I just do things without paying attention to what I am doing and I can't remember where I put something because it didn't register in the first place.

I would tell you about the several frustrating days I have had trying to do something in Picasa but I will bore you with that another time.

I did get my triangle blocks finished and the pairs that have the matching point together and I am ready for the next step after I make some fabric decisions. This became a little tedious but it was not really frustrating.

I am still not ready to sew the borders on this Quilt Camp collaborative quilt. I bought the black fabric on the right and thought a narrow Kona bone border would work between the black multicolor border and the body of the quilt. Now I think the crayon fabric makes it too juvenile. We want it to have a wider appeal as it is going to go in an auction. Then I bought the other fabric on the left.  I don't think I like it. The background color is more a deep coral than either red or orange.I really wanted multicolor spots on black and I have looked several places and all of a sudden no one has any. I have seen some on line but after two mistakes I am not sure I want to order without seeing it and feeling it.
This is frustrating and is likely to result in having to buy larger new clothes.

Friday, January 25, 2013

No Sewing

No sewing going on in my sewing room for a couple of days. The last thing I sewed was Wednesday and that was to stitch 2 rows of very narrow zig zag stitches on either end of my daughter in law's scarf. That took about 5 minutes if I count the time it took to change the thread to match the scarf.

This is what I have been doing. I drew these with a black Pigma or Sharpie pen on white paper. I found that the Sharpie works better on paper than the Pigma though the Pigma is the only one so far that has been satisfactory for drawing on fabric. I scanned my drawings and started to play with them in Picassa.
 I really don't know what I am doing in Picassa. I have used it recently to upload my photos to the drop box when that was the only way I could get my photos into my blog. I don't know how to avoid getting my photos cropped in a way that cuts off part of the picture when I put them  in a collage. What I have here is OK but it is not the collage setting I really want as I have something in mind.
 Melody Johnson mentione4d using Picassa for put frames around photos and I explored a little and found out I could do a lot more things than I thought so maybe I should ready the manual  that I downloaded. If I need to buy a photo program I will but I have to do some homework first to make sure that if I buy something it will work for what I what I want.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snow Days

It is cold and snowing here again today in NE Ohio. We stayed in yesterday and are not going out again today. I just rattled around yesterday not doing much of anything and Jack spent the whole day shredding papers, bank statements and other like stuff that he had kept until he couldn't shut the drawer in his dresser. There are 5 bags of shredded paper to take to the paper collection dumpster at our church along with several bags of magazines and papers that I got together to take.

Today I did a little bit of sewing. I took apart my Jelly roll race quilt in 2 areas that bothered me because they were too bland the way the light and plain fabrics clumped together.

This photo was  taken Saturday right after we finished. You can see two areas that bothered me. 

Rearranged version

I took out a couple of seams and inserted about 5 rows that I had taken out in the middle of six bland rows that I took apart on one end. On the other end I took out 3 rows and added them to the end where I had already turned one section around. I  inserted a red strip where I had removed those rows.  I think that is what I did. I have a bunch of photos but I can't quite make out exactly how I rearranged things. I guess it is better but one end seems to have one big area of more pattern while the other end is more bland.

It is going to stay this way. I will quilt it and put a red binding on it and I will like it well enough. Jellyroll quilts are really fun to make for the race. No one expects them to be a masterpiece. Maybe Judy, our first place Diva will have a masterpiece; she has cut her quilt top up into Diamonds.

This is the other thing I did today. I found a little pack of pieces that were supposed to be for  3 different 6 inch blocks of the same fabrics. I am not sure if these were left over pieces from putting the packs together or what. The strips for the  churn dash blocks were not long enough and there seemed to be parts missing. I put together these from what was in there and I will  put them with like blocks in our church closet and maybe someday one of us will put another baby quilt together using them. That was the idea when I put the packs together but we have only put together 2 or 3 of these quilts.

I have a lot of things I could  be doing but I don't have backs for things that are ready to layer up and as Iam not going to venture out today they will have to wait.
Maybe I will have several "15 minutes of play" session and  make some fabric.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The race

When our son was here for dinner on Wednesday I mentioned that I was participating a race on Saturday. He gave me a rather skeptical look and said O Kaaaay. Jack spoiled it by telling him it was "a quilt thing".

Yesterday was the 2nd Annual Basement Divas Jellyroll Race. I was up early and as I was looking for something in my old posts I noticed that there were 2 comments on January 10. I get so few comments that I knew that there had been only 1 before. My friend Jan asked if I didn't want to fold my Jellyroll in half before I fan folded it and be ready to sew. YES, I do. The thought had skimmed through my mind when I was folding it but I dismissed forgot it. I had plenty of time this morning so I turned the fan folded Jellyroll on its side and put the two free ends right sides together and fan folded it again as I went along putting the strip RST. I still came in dead last.

Here is my flimsy. I was a little  surprised to see how the colors clumped together. With this method you never know for sure what you will get. I think I like it but maybe now as much as last year's race quilt.

Here I am admiring my trophy. there is a long story associated with this topiary. I think it started out as a table decoration at a quilting even about 10 years ago. I am not sure how the original possessor came to have it but it has been passed on again and again to unsuspecting "winners". Everyone alters it in some way before passing it on. I was afraid wondering if I was going to receive it at some time. Well..... now I am the proud possessor of it for a while.  
This quilt is our first  collaborative quilt. When we first got together after a long hiatus we were inspired by the books "Collaborative Quilting" and Collaborate Again", by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston.  
We brought blocks to a meeting and some members worked on making filler blocks and it was worked on now and then and put together over several meetings. We gave it to one member to quilt, Diane, who has a lot going on in her life and I was surprised to see it finished so quickly. Yesterday it showed up and it was won by one lucky member in a drawing by number. She said she has just the spot for it in her office.

Some of us are putting our minds to work and thinking about our
Second Collaborative Quilt.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Some days you get a little bonus

Yesterday, when I was getting dinner ready I came in the living room to say something to Jack and saw this through the window. I got my camera and shot a few pictures from our window.

The second shot  is a minute or two later
 I had a hard time tearing myself away to go back to the kitchen where my dinner was cooking.

In the last shot  the sun was sinking fast and the next time I looked the color had faded.

Our son and grandson were here for dinner and  most of the dinner was in the oven but I was cooking my salt free pork chops, seasoned with orange juice on top of the stove. The rest of the dinner was good but my pork chops were kind of blackened on the bottom. It was worth it to watch the sunset!

The pan did look pretty bad but I dumped in a bunch of baking soda and filled it with water and by the time I got around to washing it you would never know

This is what I was doing today. I cut all the pieces for 36  - 2 inch half square triangles  and all the large and small extra triangles. I finished 2 blocks and sewed them together. I was eager to see if they were going to come out OK.

I have 10 more 6 inch blocks to finish making. I need to sew 3 more sets of two like this where all those points have to come together. These came out pretty good.  It has been a few years since I made a series of 6 or 7 quilts with a variety of layouts using these blocks surrounding pictorial squares of different sizes. I wasn't sure if I had retained my skills. I am feeling pretty confident but I am taking my time and I am not going to think it will be a piece of cake. I am keeping my seam ripper handy.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Taking Inventory

I got the Jellyroll taken care of; it is all fan folded in a nice neat stack and the beginning strip has the first 18 inches cut off . It is ready to roll or unroll or unfold or whatever.....

I looked through my box of items that I no longer want to keep and bagged up a few items. They may end up going to the Jellyroll race ( evil angelic grin on my face).

While I had boxes out of the closet and other boxes more easily accessible I decided I would have a look in my box of blocks. I had sent some to Beth at Love Laugh Quilt but I knew that I had more odd blocks somewhere.
Well, I found them

These are from the first "Quilt Along with Melody" In February 2010. If you are interested in my QAWM quilts, click on 2010, February in the right sidebar. These were left after I put together 2 wall hangings and one large throw.

These are some more blocks I made with some Kaffe charm squares and Jellyroll strips that I ordered online from somewhere. The price was good though the strips were crooked with big dips in the center. No matter, for this they worked out OK. I was going to make some more of the QAWM blocks and cut them in quarters. I decided I needed more light fabrics and I picked up a bunch of light Kaffe fabric at the NQA show but by the time I got around to working with the fabric I had lost interest in these blocks and I used most of the newer fabric for a lot of something else.

These are  2 - 8 inch blocks that I made as examples of the blocks I wanted The Friendship group to make for me. I ordered about 10 yards of Kona black so I could give everyone the black fabric to use (I didn't want a bunch of different black  fabrics in my quilt). the fabric did not come in time so I asked them to make a different block and little by little I used up all that black fabric. by the time the next year rolled around I wasn't interested in this block anymore.

This  bunch has some demo blocks from scrap classes I taught and some demos from our BOM at our church group and some experiments and in the lower left corner there is one Disappearing 9 Patch blocks made with 4 inch squares in the original 9 patches. I have quite a stack of those quarter block sections left as well.

 Most of this next group are log cabin leftovers, some spiral, some from my big king size all floral log cabin quilt and some from the year I made 9 Christmas log cabin quilts for my family.  There are some odds and ends of other things as well.

In this last group are some Disappearing 9 patch quarters that I cut one more time on the diagonal. sometimes you just have to go ahead and try it to find out that the result is not so hot.

Most of these leftovers and odds and ends were in a box labeled "blocks  for quilts". In the box I  had Triple 4 patch blocks from 2 years from the Friendship group and a stack of 12 inch Churn Dash blocks from another year and a bunch of blocks with fused hand prints that go with the favorite blocks of the makers of all the hand prints. Those 3 bunches all destined for quilts but the rest should have gone in a different box. I wish I had found them when I was packing up orphan blocks to send to Beth.

I thought I might do something with some of this, like an anything goes kind of quilt. However, as I sit here thinking about what I really want to do this year I think I should let go of them. For tonight, they are going into Quilters Friends other wise known as zip lock bags.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Goals etc.

I have been thinking about goals instead of New year resolutions for 2013. My personal goals are mostly about health and not very interesting and they are more like resolutions than goals. Enough said about that!!

I do have some quilting goals for 2013.
1. Finish my Big UFO the king size quilt that I am had been hand quilting. It is taking up needed space on my closet shelf.

2. Finish the HST flimsy that is hanging behind the door in my sewing room.

3. Make a T shirt quilt for my son.

4. Make at least 1 Zentangle inspired quilt each month.

That's it for goals.
I think any more than that is setting myself up to fail. It would also set the stage for stagnation. I want to leave room for anything new that I might want to try.

There are other things that are works in progress and I am not listing these here because they are coming along and will be finished. Maybe I should make a UFO list so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment as I cross them off my list.

I have been getting my jelly roll ready for the race. It is all stitched into one long strip with spacers and I am starting to accordion fold it. This is as far as I got.

These are the corners I trimmed off from adding my spacers. That little HST would finish 1 1/4 inch in a quilt. I call them insanity squares. Some possibilities are rolling around in my mind. Hmmmmm.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Well here we are in 2013 and I am wondering how we got here so fast. I am also a bit surprised that here it is Jan 6 and I am writing my first post. I am not sure what I did with my time this past week but the only sewing I did was to oversee my great granddaughter sew. Grace and her brother Ethan came for a while on Friday evening and as soon as they were in the door Gracie wanted to sew. Last time she was here we made doll clothes.              
Right after dinner I got out a design board and a stack of charm squares from Connecting Threads and told her to lay them out they way she wanted them. I think she peeled them off the top and just put them up row by row. After she got the rows sewed together she was tired and wanted to quit so we are saving this for next time, whenever that will be. The kids came from Pittsburgh left right after school (a 3 hour drive) and so it was a long day.
After the sewing we got out some Origami papers and instructions and we all played with that until it was time to go.

Little by little, I have been putting everything back to normal. First I gathered up all the Christmas quilts and folded them and got them ready to put away, then I gathered up all the things that were on tables and shelves etc and my door wreath and put them away. Then I changed out the Christmas dishes in the hutches for the hand painted china. I would have gotten to the tree but put that off till after the kids were gone as that makes the biggest mess and takes the longest to put away.
I want to get to my jelly roll to prepare it for the 2nd Annual Basement Diva Jelly Roll Race. I have it sorted and ready to sew into one long strip and I want to get it done today so it is ready before the last minute.
I no longer make New Years resolutions but I have been reading on other blogs about setting goals for 2013; that sounds good much more positive.
Maybe next time I will post about my goals for 2013.