Friday, November 29, 2013


Beth over at Love Laugh quilt is hosting the 4th  annual Neighborhood Block Party. This is the 4th year I have participated Maybe this year I will win a set of 12 blocks but even if I don't it is fun to participate.
This is the block I finished Wednesday. Jack thought my door was too small or the window too big, typical of  a nit picky an engineer/compulsive/ perfectionist type or person. I have to admit that sometimes there is a tiny bit of that type in me. I intended to make a wonky block but I found myself measuring very carefully; maybe I will loosen up a bit for the next block. I really like making house blocks and if Beth gets extra blocks she makes charity quilts so I will make one or two more. Maybe  I will use some of my made fabric; that should loosen me up a little.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Made Fabric work

This morning I wanted to clean up my work area a little and I had some pieces and parts all over my cutting area.  Well... I might as well make that one block and add it to the orange and yellow Anvil blocks.

The print that I use for the HST's would have shown up better with a darker fabric for the background but I like it anyway and I had it and the yellow squares cut. That was part of the cleaning up so that's what I made.

I had that large piece of made fabric that I acquired from Fran last Saturday and I cut it up into 6 1/2 inch squares and 4 inch squares to make more anvil blocks. I took the pieces I cut away and sew some of them together and I added some parts I had cut away from previously cut up made fabric. I got  3 - 6 1/2 inch squares ( I already used one 6 1/2 inch square for my blue background block) and 10 -  4 inch squares and a few extra pieces to add to the odds and ends to sew on to something else when I am making fabric again. I still  have to clean up the area a little but I have something accomplished and I didn't have to drag out anything from my bags of scraps, which would have made a lot more to clean up. I am going to need 10 to 15 more blocks and I will  just make them one or 2 at a time when I am taking a break from something or need to clean up the cutting area. If I have a ziplock bag with 4 inch and 3 1/2 inch yellow and orange squares it should be easy to make the blocks I need.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Anvil blocks

Saturday I was given a large piece of "made fabric" by Fran, one of the Basement Divas. She doesn't really like making fabric. I was only too happy to have it.
I cut some 4 inch squares and some 6 inch squares and I made one Anvil block.
This will round up the number of Anvil blocks with blue backgrounds that I am going to send to Victoria (Bumblebeans) for the cancer quilts that she makes. I had the Friendship group make blocks for me in October and I asked for half of them with blue background. I wasn't sure why I had only 11 when there are 12 in the group. Oh.....I had left out myself so I used Fran's fabric to make my block. Most of the Friendship group is in the Basement group and most of the Basement Divas are in the Friendship group. Fran is one of those who is not part of the Friendship group however her fabric worked out very well.

These are the 12 blocks I will be sending after I clean up all the extra threads and shreds. Everyone always does a good job of cleaning up their blocks but they have been in my sewing room a while and on and off the wall where they pick up threads left behind by other things that were on the wall.

Alas! All but a handful of leaves are gone from the tree. This will be the last tree report until spring unless the winter brings some really spectacular snow art to the trees.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The giraffe quilt is almost finished. I could consider it finished but I plan to add a few (very few) embellishments. I consulted with the embellishment maven when the Basement Divas met on Saturday and she gave me  some advice; now I have to do some shopping for embellishments.

I went ahead and finished the binding and the hanging sleeves and buried all the thread tales. I didn't want to end up setting this aside again due to all the odds and end of finishing.  Below are a few close up shots of the quilting.

After I had several rows of echo quilting I didn't like the way it was starting to look and I brought it with me to Friendship group last Tuesday. Laura suggested I use the chevron or zig zag pattern from one of the borders and I tried  it and I liked it. I had to take out some of the echo stitching but I was happy to do that as I didn't like it. On the last border I  used the blind hem stitch sewed in pairs from 2 directions and then the # 4 Bernina stitch between. It doesn't show up a lot but that's fine with me. It flattens out the border and gives a little texture.
It is 34 x 37 inches and hangs nice and flat. All in all I am pleased with it and happy to finally have it finished (almost). It has been hanging there in the back of my mind for a long time.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I finished my Friendship blocks yesterday. Two sets of red and white positive/negative blocks. It is a simple pattern but it requires precision. All it all it went together pretty easily, only a few sessions with the seam ripper. If these are going to be set block to block, I am glad that it will not be me putting them together; a lot of points there to match.

The sun is shining today and the view from my sewing room is cheerful with the yellow leaves against the bright blue sky.  The view from the living room is not quite so colorful; more bare branches on the other side of the tree. All summer we have much more privacy as no one can really see in our windows from the other buildings. The tree also hides the view of the parking lot for the other building in the summer and gives us shade which makes the AC more efficient. The bright side is now there will be much more light in our apartment which will be a nice change in the winter.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rearranging my closet........and

I started going through my closet this morning; I was taking out the summer things and empty hangers, that somehow find themselves between the hanging things, and rearranging everything.

I took everything out and piled on my bed the stuff to fold up or put in a different place. I changed  some things to different kinds of hangers.

When I took this out of my closet it felt heavy. Guess what!

Yes it was my phone. I knew I would find it! Jack just laughed at me and told me I was getting expensive in my old  age. We probably would have waited to get a new phone if  I had been happy with the one I had. There were issues with a few things that were always cumbersome and I complained about it a lot. We took a little more time to do some research before we shopped this time. One thing I need is one that has a high rating for hearing  aids. We also do not have a contract but buy minutes so we don't always have a lot of choices.  

So here we are. My new phone is on the right. Now I have a camera and a touch screen and everything seems easy to use, so far no issues.
In the center is the phone I just found again and on the left is the phone I lost last January and found the very minute Jack got off the phone after transferring my number and my minutes.

 I was absolutely sure I had check every piece of clothing that had a pocket, obviously I did not. I think that I found my phone in the same pocket last time and I must have gone through everything at least 4 or 5 times. I even checked things in the laundry basket. In my defense I must say that I have never put my phone in the washer. I guess I need a system to keep track of things. Maybe I should check my phone, my keys, my hearing aids, etc. every night before I go to bed; I might remember if it wasn't 3 days later. Maybe I should pay attention to what I am doing instead of thinking of the next three things I want to do.
I don't think I am going to change my ways at this stage of my life;
 maybe I should just never turn off my phone.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

No Sewing

I haven't been doing any sewing for a couple of days. I have been busy catching up with things that need to be done. sometimes that is a good thing because while I am doing other things my subconscious mind is busy mulling over the things that I am not sure about in my quilting.

Just so I have something to show, I  am posting a picture of an old fall wall hanging that is hanging from September until the Christmas quilts come out. I made this a long time ago when I was making color wash quilts. Probably 20 some years ago. I keep saying I do not like brown but I guess that is not really true because this is one of my favorite quilts and I do have a fair amount of brown around the place.

I picked out all but one of the fabrics for this quilt on a road trip with our quilt guild. It was October and I am sure I was influenced by all of the glorious fall Ohio foliage.

You would not guess from this shot, taken this morning, of our tree that it is fall in NE Ohio.
The leaves are getting more sparse but still a lot of green on this tree from our window.

What has been keeping me from sewing has to do with my cell phone. I was searching everywhere for it and I made a few phone calls and send an email to my friends to determine if anyone had found it or if it somehow found it's way into someone's things.  I have been complaining about that phone ever since I got it last January 27 when I misplaced my last cell phone (which I found the minute my husband got off the phone setting up my new phone and transferring my minutes). So yesterday we went out and got a new phone and I  have been busy learning how to do everything and entering all my contacts. I have not found my old phone but I expect it will turn up any time now. In case you are wondering, I did try calling my cell phone but I had turned it off in church on Sunday and I am pretty sure I never turned it back on. The bright side is that since the last time we when through this Tracfon has improved the way one communicates with them and it took a few minutes on the computer and a one minute phone call to accomplish the change to the new phone instead of 2 hours and much frustration.
This is a good reminder of how patient Jack is. He doesn't complain when we have to search for my keys or phone. Because I don't always hear well on the phone he has to make all the phone calls to get my phone stuff straightened out. I guess he is just used to resigned to it as I have been this way all my life.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Friendship blocks etc

Friendship group was on Tuesday and it was my turn to receive blocks. I had chosen the Anvil block from "made fabric" and had asked for two 12 inch  blocks, one with a blue background and one with a lighter orange/yellow/gold background.
 I had asked for half of the blocks with blue backgrounds so I could send them to Victoria (Bumblebeans) for the quilts she makes with donated blocks for people recently diagnosed with cancer. I love these blocks. I especially find the block in the upper left corner endearing. It reminds me of myself; I will fix it before I send it. I didn't get blocks from everyone  this month, it was a very busy month for everyone. I will wait to get them all before I send them to Victoria.

Theses are the blocks in the other colorway and I love them just as much. I will  be keeping these to make a throw size quilt. I have one or two of my own somewhere but I didn't look for them because I won't be  putting these together for a while.

I have been quilting the giraffe quilt and it is on hold right now while I decide what I want to do with the background around the giraffes. I am not entirely happy with the echo quilting and I want to add something to it. That may require some unstitching. I took it with me to Friendship Tuesday and asked for suggestions. One of them was to repeat the chevron stitching from the zig zag fabric. I drew a pattern in one corner with my white Sewline Fabric Pencil (I love that pencil). I am still not sure what I will  do.

As I sit here and ponder what to do, this is the view from my sewing room window on this rainy overcast day. In real life the leaves are a bit more yellow. Those blue blurry spots are the raindrops on my window. There is NO blue in the sky today.

 This is the view from the living room of our second floor apartment. That close up view of the green leaves shows the leaves that come up and brush our window when the wind blows. There is much more yellow on the other side of the tree and the other maple trees around are all yellow, it must be the proximity to the building that makes the difference.

 This carpet of leaves under the tree is much thicker that it was earlier when I shot these pictures. It is quite breezy and all the branches are waving and the leaves are coming down like rain. Soon the trees will be bare and the lawn people will come and gather up all the leaves.
I will miss them.

"Peak" color was late this year in our area of NE Ohio. We thought that this year the color would be nice but more subdued, then, last Thursday, everything seemed to burst into glorious color overnight. Who would have expected peak to come the first weekend in November?