Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tree Skirt Again

When our church group had our retreat we took some time on Saturday afternoon To visit a couple of quilt shops. i was looking for Christmas charm packs but didn't see any but I saw a kit in one of the shops that included a layer cake Solstice by Kate Spain. I didn't want the kit but that was the only way to buy the layer cake. I guess I could have waited but now that we have move it is not so easy anymore to get out to the quilt shops.

I cut the layer cake into 5 inch squares over the weekend and and on Monday I sorted them into rows of 5 squares to a row in the way I want to sew them together. Here they are on a tray in stacks of 5 squares. Right now they are in order but after I cut wedges with a 9 degree ruler the order will likely change some.

 I made 2 tree skirts using this tutorial from Annie (Freezeframe), It is  good tutorial and not hard to do.The one on the left is the second one that I made.

 I am still quilting the MEH challenge. These blocks are 4 1/2 inches  and I am wishing that I had made smaller blocks;  I am going to have to do some quilting in the negative spaces.
It is not going to be quick!

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Yesterday, Mr Spontaneous decided to put u some shelves here and there, which I have been waiting for. We spent some time in the basement looking for shelf hardware and we moved lots of boxes looking for it. We both got kind of cranky and when Jack sat down to rest I came upstairs to look for the hardware. My daughters friend was here and when they didn't hear Jack making any noise the friend wondered if I did something to him. I think she was joking. Anyway when I got back downstairs he told me that while he was sitting there thinking he remembered where he had put the stuff when he took it out of the box weeks ago.  So the shelves are up and some more things have been put away, which means they are out of the sewing room. I had set up my space for quilting but  I never did get back to the sewing room, except for getting things out of boxes to put away. 

Today I got the thread box out and decided what I want to use and I started quilting my Basement Diva, Mary Ellen Hopkins challenge quilt. I am still not sure exactly how I will quilt everything but I have started quilting in the ditch and I believe I will be changing some things when the pattern changes. Mary Ellen named this Metamorphosis and I think I will keep that in mind as I quilt it. 

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Six of us from the quilt group at church went to our annual retreat at a YMCA camp in NW Pa. We met there on Friday and got settled in our rooms in a nice lodge just across the lawn from our work area. We had a lovely big room to work in,with big windows on 3 sides and enough space for triple the number of people who attended.

 This was the view from the windows at the end of the room.

Most of our meals are in the dining hall right across from our sewing/quilting room.
We have our meals with whoever is camping there that week end. It has usually been the Father/Daughter week end for the the Y Indian Guides and it was again this year. It is nice to just walk across the hall and have our meals without having to cook or go out somewhere. The food is not gourmet but it is adequate and we have no complaints. Friday there is no dinner served so we bring something for a pot luck meal.

Everyone was productive. Betty, Dorine and Cathy are show their with their projects below each of them.

Betty and Cathy each worked pretty steadily on one project, a double 4 patch for Betty and a Judy Neidemier paper piece project for Cathy. Dorine had 4 projects,  2 that were finishes and 2 that she started. This is a T shirt quilt that she started Saturday from her fathers Bald Eagle T shirts. Her Dad passed away this past year and she is making this for her mother.

Elaine, on the left, had more than one project too. She made a baby quilt from a kit and applied binding to another quilt and made these "Take 4" batik placemats.
Kim worked on one project all weekend. She had a lot more blocks in more colors that she finished after I put my camera away.

I layered up my Mary Ellen Hopkins Basement Diva challenge; it was great to have 4 tables pushed together to work on. I made "Take 4" placemats too; I didn't finish them at the retreat but I did finish them today. Somehow, I managed to make one of them 1/2 inch wider even though I trimmed them all very carefully. I know how I did it. I decided they all needed to be just a bit smaller and I was interrupted after the first one and I had not written down the measurement. So..... when I got back to to trimming, I just went ahead and cut without checking.

There is no photo of me but if you look closely I am reflected in the window behind Betty while shooting her photo.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Watermelon Inspiration

Jack's favorite summer fruit is watermelon and we have been eating a lot of it this summer. It seems like as soon as one is all gone we buy another. After the second one I told him that we were not buying another watermelon unless we bought a watermelon knife. As quickly as the words were out of my mouth, he did a quick U turn and went to the aisle where they were located and  picked up a watermelon knife.

So.... I have been cutting up a lot of watermelon. The knife does make it easier and the watermelon this year seems to be especially good  and, though I too like watermelon but I will be happy to see the last of them for a while

Now that we live where there is a compost pile I have not only been cutting up watermelon I have been cutting up the rind so it will compost faster.
This photo shows the rind from the last one that Jack choose. It was the biggest one to date and I told him from now on I will pick the watermelons.
I really took the photo because I thought the color combination was pretty, it would look good in a quilt.

You never know 
from where 
your inspiration 
will come.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Little Quilting

I set up my Q Snap quilting frame yesterday with my BIG UFO and did a little quilting. This quilt has been around  for probably 10 years or more and I get it out every once in a while. The ladies in
The Friendship Group made the blocks one year and the border blocks another year. It was my first year in the Friendship group and I asked for 2 - 12 inch blocks.
I said I would like all the fabrics to be different but it was OK to repeat the neutral fabrics if they needed to. It is a testimony to their good nature that they did not elect to toss me out of the group. Those blocks have 48 pieces. In my defense I did ask the shop owner who was the leader of the group if it was OK to ask for that block and she assured me that it was.

 This is a closeup of one block showing  the sashing which formed another secondary block. Most of the quilting is in the ditch with circles in the block center and 3 overlapping circles in the sashing neutral rectangles. I have decided that when I get the quilting finished in the center of the quilt I am going to machine quilt the borders. The quilting will be in the ditch and I am telling myself it will be OK. I do not want this hanging around unfinished for another 10 or more years.

 I believe that the configuration of this room is more conducive to having the frame left up. I can get around it easily to get at anything and it will easily move to the other side of the room when I set up for machine quilting the MEH Diva challenge quilt.

The photo on the left is where I have my machine and one of my work/cutting tables. The quilt frame is set up at the end of that table.There are still some boxes under the table that are waiting to be unpacked when there re shelves on which to put their contents.

These two are my trainers. They are training me to be a proper companion to them. They have taught me to understand pretty well their oral commands and body language .

When I started to photograph them the cat followed me everywhere I moved and posed for me. The dog moved where I told him to but didn't seem too excited to have his picture taken.

I guess I am working out OK as a companion. The dog was prodding me to get up from the computer last evening and when got up to go to the living room he cat was waiting in the hall and followed me to my chair where she promptly jumped up on my lap and curled up, purring, the minute I sat down.