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.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Life Happens

I said sometimes life gets in the way of our plans. I thought I would get started quilting the other HST quilt but that didn't happen. I no sooner got the last basting pins in than we had a medical emergency and Jack was in the hospital for 4 days. He is home again and after sleeping 12 hours last night he is feeling pretty good.

Here are the 2 sections of the quilt, all folded up and ready to quilt. I had to be sure to fold the quilt sections so no batting was exposed. Lucy will not leave the batting alone. I had to shut her up in another room when I was pin basting so she wouldn't tear pieces out of the exposed batting.








Here she is  on an old quilt on my cutting table, hanging out with me and napping guarding the quilt sections.

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.