Friday, March 30, 2012


I got new glasses this week and  I was  browsing around the mall while we were waiting for the lenses to be  fitted to the frames There is a new kitchen store and I had to have a look. I found this little guy;  he is a 6 inch tall egg masher and he had to come home with me. Jack fixes himself egg salad sandwiches for breakfast and I bought this for him. I had him put away but after Jack used him he washed him off and put him on the kitchen counter. I think he likes him.

 I stopped at Joann's for some quilting thread today and they are moving everything around. I found the thread after a while but I never did find the notion wall where they have sewing machine needles. I still have a few left so I saved that search for another day.
I did some quilting on the T shirt quilt today and got one section quilted, 3 more to go, and then I will  put the sections together. I will be happy to have this one finished. It is kind of boring to  quilt. I usually  enjoy the  quilting and see the interplay of colors and patterns up close; that part is missing in this quilt. I took a break and cleaned my refrigerator and went through my cabinets to make my grocery list. That was more fun. Can you believe I said that?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Caught up

I didn't do much else today but I finished the blocks for my Friendship group. I got behind because I missed 2 months and I couldn't go ahead with them because 3 of the recipients had passed out fabric with their requests and I just got the fabric last Saturday.
The top row is the one I finished yesterday. Sue supplied the black fabric for the blocks in the second row. It was the most time consuming because I agonized forever over all of the other fabric choices.  I have enough 2 1/2 inch squares and matching triangles to make a few more blocks with the fabrics I decided not to use after all. Once I made up my mind about the fabric they went together pretty fast. Sue requested that we not square them up because she wants to do them all herself. Smart Girl!
Maryann gave us the fabric for her blocks and a picture of how to lay them out so it was easy. No decisions at all to make.
For the blocks in the 4th row I  had to choose three different Christmas fabrics. Linda gave us the white fabric and she had marked the diagonal line on the wrong side of the fabric. That was good because it would have been easy to mix up the right and wrong sides as it is white on white.
It is good to get all caught up and now I am ready for our Friendship meeting next week. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Friendship Blocks

This is all the sewing I got finished today. I needed to make 3 blocks with Halloween type fabrics or Halloween colors. I recently gave away all of my Halloween fabric and couldn't find any in the 3 quilt shops I  visited last week. Gwen said that was OK just use the colors that were suggested. I found that old Debbie Mumm fabric in my novelties fabric, it is stripes of those same motifs repeated. It is OLD and I vaguely remember buying it and some other fabric that had boxes around the Halloween motifs. I may make another block to replace that one as it is directional and I am not sure if that will work in the quilt she has planned. I should have thought of that. The triple 4 patch block is one of my favorites and I have made at least 3 quilts using it. I have also made it at least 3 other times for Friendship blocks.

Maybe tomorrow I will get the other 3 sets of blocks done. I got had my room all cleaned up and ready to sew so there is nothing else on the agenda for tomorrow. Maybe I shouldn't have said that......, that is often when some sort of disruption occurs.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Almost ready (again) to Quilt

 I thought I would be all ready to start quilting after I layered up the spiral log cabin and moved my tables to support the quilt. That was before I decided that I needed to put all the 1 1/2 inch strips away in a more orderly fashion. On the right is what my sewing area looked like for 3 days
Here it all is bagged up and ready to put in my plastic box and it will be all ready to take out and spread out on my trays next time I want to use my 1 1/2 inch strips. It feels so good to have this done.
Before I start quilting I am going to make Friendship blocks for the months that I missed.

This is the branch of the Maple tree just outside our window. I have been watching it and taking pictures since there was hardly anything there, like the pic and the right, and today with an overabundance of seeds below. About a week ago I thought those seeds were leaves as they were so small I couldn't  tell  what they were. This morning there was a squirrel  sitting on my window sill eating the maple seeds. I wonder how long it will be until  the seeds fall. They are fun to watch when they spin around like helicopter blades as they drift to the ground.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quilt back flimsy

 Is a pieced back that is ready to  be layered up a flimsy? Well anyway, I finished the rest of the spiral log cabin blocks for the back and put it together.
The color here is not quite right; the yellow is not so bright. I wanted to take a  pic and get it out of the way quickly before Jack came back in the room to watch the news. I had to move his chair a little to lay this out.
 I thought this would be quick to put together but I had a lot of interruptions when I was making those blocks. I got started in the wrong direction on that green one and it spirals in the opposite direction  from the others. Because it was different I kept sewing logs to the  wrong edge as I was chain sewing and then I had to rip them out.  I knew it would spiral different from the others but I really don't care that it is different. It probably wouldn't even be noticeable if they were not all oriented so the light strips on the one edge of the blocks wouldn't be against the yellow. Tomorrow I will layer it up and I will rearrange my tables for quilting.
The next photo is one  I took today during one of my sewing interruption's. We took a drive through the Cleveland Metroparks to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to see the Blue Herons. There are 5 trees and over 100 nests total. The herons were busy building their nests; some of them were just starting a new nest with only a few sticks. Lots of comings and goings as one of the pair would bring a stick to its mate and she(I am guessing it was a she) would take it and arrange it with the other sticks. We watched for about 30-40 minutes and then stopped on the way home for an early supper and I came home and finished my quilt back. 

On the way there we had to take a detour for some road work which took us past the Polka Dot Pincushion quilt shop. We stopped for a quick look and a small purchase before we went on to see the herons. All in all it was a very good day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A few blocks

Monday I layered up the sections for the T shirt quilt and I was going to layer up the Spiral Log cabin quilt but I have to piece the backing. I thought that since I had to piece the backing I would make it more interesting by putting a row of blocks between the 2 sections. So, I got out my strips and started to make 8 blocks, I ended up with 9 just in case I don't like one of them. Maybe I will but the extra block in the border backing. I am going to add the border after the body of the quilt and the borders are quilted. That will make it all more manageable for me.

This is as far as I got today (Tuesday) but there is always tomorrow or the  next day. Jack came home from his motorcycle ride and said that there were tree blooming everywhere since yesterday and we should go back to Holden today. It is amazing what happened since Sunday. I took lots more photos of flowers but these two photos are of a really interesting tree in the Conifer Collection. I got Jack to stop today so I could take some pictures. I don't know what it is because i couldn't find the little sing with the name. It is 6 or 7 feet tall and looks like a fountain or waterfall and the branches on the ground remind me of the water bubbling up at the base of a waterfall. There are 3 of these weeping conifers on the drive near the exit to the arboretum and I love to look at them. I love all the interesting shapes of the trees before the leaves come out too. There are a lot of magnificent weeping trees at Holden and I took a lot of photos today of the bare trees but I won't post them because they are probably not that interesting to most people.
For anyone who is interested in Holden Arboretum click here.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Dwarf Iris March 11

I know spring does not arrive officially till tomorrow but the flowers around here have a head start. Yesterday after church we went to the Holden arboretum and the Daffodils and Forsythias  were blooming everywhere.

Last week we stopped and were surprised to see the little Dwarf Iris about 5-6 inches tall near the parking lot.
This next photo is the same spot yesterday with the miniature Daffodils and the little white flowers. you can see the remains of the dwarf Iris.

March 18 miniature Daffodils and remains of Dwarf Iris

The photo below is the pond where we go 2 or 3  times a week after dinner all summer. It is a riot of color and something new every time we go. I like  to take photos that show the progression through the year.
March 18 Pond at the Butterfly Garden

Lenten rose

In another area we came across a large planing of Lenten roses which are about 12 or so inches tall. the flower heads hang down so you don't see their faces unless you bend down to  the ground. I held my camera at just below knee level to shoot this pic.  A little beyond the Lenten Roses there was  a huge planting of Forsythia and of course the Daffodils  were everywhere and of every variety. 
There was no sewing here yesterday.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Almost ready to quilt etc

I am at a place in my quilting where I can't move on until I shop for some backing, which I intend to do today and take advantage of some sales. I haven't really had a chance to get out and look around, by myself that is. I wasn't driving for a couple of weeks and though Jack is patient I don't feel free to keep him waiting while I shop for something that  "I'll know what I want when I see it".

I have been entangled  in zentangle. While I have been cleaning and cooking and doing laundry, I have been taking short breaks and when I am resting I have been working on a doodle bird. I have been kicking this one around for a long time and finally, I am ready to draw it on fabric. I want it a little bit larger than my drawing and I want it on colored fabric. It will change a little bit in the transition to cloth as it always does. Will it change for the better or worse?

We'll  see!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Back to normal

I have been feeling "back to normal" for over a week and I am counting my blessings. We even got back to the Y for some exercise. I am doing with out my high test coffee and making do with Decaf and it is not so bad. It is much better than herbal tea; I like herbal tea but not for breakfast. The low sodium diet is tolerable and I am experimenting with spices.

I did get something done last week after I got my new printer I was able to work on one of the little zentangle inspired quilts I was making. I wanted to make a turtle and I needed to trace around an oval for the shell and I didn't have anything here I could use . I went to My EQ7 program and drew turtle block on the applique block worktable . I drew the ovals first and centered them and then realized I might just as well add the head and legs.There were many steps along the way where I was tweaking the size and shape and fitting the patches around the shell. The picture on the left shows what it looked like as I was working  on the drawing.
The picture below is the block after I set the block on the EQ quilt worktable and removed the outlines around the patches . When I was satisfied with the drawing and the colors this is the way I printed it on EQ Printable Fabric . 

This last picture is the final quilt with all the final details draw in with a black Pigma pen and all of the lines quilted. It is small, a bit less than the size of a sheet of printer paper. I had to trim it down because in the end I decided not to add something I had planned for the left side. I thought it needed to stand alone.

About 7 1/2  x 10 inches.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Not much going on

Not too much going on here. I have done a little sewing on and off this week but today is the first day I have felt "back to normal". I would sew a little and rest a little and maybe take a nap. I have been really sleepy this week.

I am going to put this one on hold for a while and maybe only make a table topper or wall hanging. I can't seem to get organized to work in any kind of efficient way to do this one. Because every strip might be a different width I have been making the strips I add as I go along and that is slow and messy, for me anyway. I usually find the best way for me to work efficiently after I have make a few  blocks but I think all the stops and starts has kept me from doing that. This is as far as I got all week and that partial block was squared up crooked after the 2 1/2 inch strips and it bothers me enough that I am putting it aside for now. I have some other things  I need to get done first.

One thing I didn't need this week was for both of my printers to quit working.
I had an old black and white laser printer that was a real workhorse but lately I had paper jams every other sheet that printed if I was printing something that had more than one page. Wednesday morning it just quilt working. Wednesday morning my all in one color printer jammed and the ink cartridges just clunkety clunk in place and won't move. Jack spent 2 1/2 days researching printers and we got a new wireless all in one color printer. Jack spent 3 hours getting the wireless connection but all is well now and I am happy to get rid of some of the wires and to free up some shelf space over my desk where I had the second printer.

I need to clean up my space again before I do anything because I shoved everything from my desk on my cutting table. There was a lot of stuff on my desk from trying to troubleshoot my printers and researching low sodium cooking and some of my quilting stuff I am working on. I am not neat and orderly.