Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pink and Blue Nine Patch Pic

I finished the top this morning.  Here's a peek:

I hope the gold color isn't too much pop, but I felt like it needed something to make it have a little zip.  There is some yellow in the blue fabric, so I thought that would be a good choice.  Thanks again, Dora, for the pattern!

I started making pinwheel blocks to go with a pattern in 'Nickel Quilts' by Pat Speth.  The pinwheels I'm making will be enough to make two quilts.  That's a pretty productive way to make tops for the nursing homes! 

I'm trying to make some nicer tops for them this year.  I feel like the past years I just hurriedly put tops together that didn't have as much interest to them as they could have.  With a little extra time this year, I want to make as nice of quilts as I can.

And just because strange things sometimes pop into my head while I'm sewing, I'll leave you with this scenario.  I'm upstairs cutting pieces, and it's real quiet.  Then there's a noise coming from the chair in the corner.  It's the cat.  She's snoring.  All I could think of was that there used to be a song by Prince (or the artist formerly known as Prince) named 'When Doves Cry' and that I could make a song named 'When Cats Snore'.  Yes, I know, I'm strange...  haha.

Three day workweek for me!  Now that I can handle...

Decisions, decisions

I had a pretty productive sewing day yesterday.  Just about finished the pink and blue 9 patch.  I have two more sides of the border to put on it and it's done. 

Now I have to make a decision about what kind of top to make next!  I was browsing through a couple of books and have gotten some ideas.  In between finishing the 9 patch and starting another top, I'll just plug away on one of my many unfinished projects....

Speaking of unfinished projects, I have a quilt top waiting to be quilted that I want to give to my mother in law.  I'll have to pull it out and look at it, but I'm pretty sure it has the borders on it.  If it does, I really should throw that on Gemma and get it quilted up.  Christmas will be here before we know it!

Ev and I worked on the yard and the pool yesterday before it rained.  The biggest part of the yard got cut, but the trimming still needs to be done.  Ev got the pool all put together and chemicals put in it.  Now we have to give them time to work, but I would say by next weekend we will be in the water.  Nick came over and helped pull the cover off of the pool, which was a big deal.  We were real glad he helped because it's impossible for one person to do and I'm not much help because I'm too short!

Friday, June 28, 2013


Yesterday I picked out three colors to use in the nine patch squares for the next lap quilt.  Today when I started sewing the strip sets together I changed my mind about using the third color in the nine patch blocks.  The effect will be a bit different from the design Dora sent me, but with these colors I think it was the right decision. 

Had the carpeting cleaned today.  Sure makes a big difference in how the house looks.  Now if I could just get rid of all the clutter.  Going to work on that.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


After dark I went out and sat on the swing on the front porch tonight.  It was so peaceful sitting there listening to the frogs and watching the stars come out.  The air is real still, no breeze at all.  Temp wise it's still a little bit too warm to be completely comfortable, but it was tolerable.  I was only out there about twenty minutes, but it was enough to just relax me and put me in a mellow mood.

I went upstairs for about an hour tonight.  Finished the second green nine patch top by putting a border on it.  I also chose some fabrics to make another top.  It also has nine patches in it.  I seem to have a theme going here...  haha.  Well, with a dozen or more to make, if a few have the same type of blocks in them it shouldn't be a big deal.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

So cute!

My friend Sandy has a very lucky granddaughter.  Look at this really cute doll outfit she made:

Sandy said her granddaughter picked the materials out of her scraps and the pattern for the outfit, too.  Personally, I think she ought to go into business making doll clothes - this outfit is darling!  Good job, Sandy.

Dora, whose blog is listed on the right rail of this page, sent me a pattern for a quick and easy quilt using nine patch blocks.  I had every intention of going upstairs tonight to start making nine patch blocks when I got home.  Until I sat on the couch.  And fell asleep.  Oh well, there is still a bit of time between now and December.  It is going to be my next quilt top for the nursing homes.  Thanks again, Dora!

Went to the eye doctor today.  I need new glasses and had been putting it off.  Well, a couple hundred bucks later, they are ordered and on their way.  And that was with insurance!  Just crazy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A good way to end the day

Rather appropriate, don't you think?  Just finished up some sewing.  Johanna put the a/c on in her room and left the door open, so the sewing room wasn't horribly hot.  I was able to put together the center for the second 9 patch top.

Here's a few pics of both of them:

This is the border on the first nine patch.  It doesn't match anything in the quilt, but I liked the material.  I guess I liked it a lot when I bought it too, because I have yards and yards of it...

Another view of the top.  I think the material that is in the alternating squares was actually material from a bedsheet.  At one time I was into making waterbed sheets (putting pockets on flat sheets and sewing to another flat sheet).  I miscut one of the flat sheets and just threw it in my stash of material.  Because we all know I don't have much material....

Just a straight on pic of the first top.

This was when I was auditioning fabric for the alternating squares for the second batch of 9 patch blocks.

And here is what I accomplished tonight.  The center of the top is done and I am thinking I'll put a border of that same green as the alternating squares.  I was tossing around the idea of using the other green from the first quilt, but I really think it will look better with this green.  But that's for another day.  Done sewing for tonight.

A good way to start the day

I woke up a little bit earlier than usual today.  Since I was ready for work and had some time before I had to leave, I took advantage of the upstairs being a little cooler and went to do some sewing.  I cut borders for the green nine patch and sewed them on.  The top now measures 50 inches square, so I think that will be big enough for the nursing home recipients.  These are meant to be lap quilts for when they are sitting in a chair.  I discarded the crazy idea to make 13+ full size quilts.

Ordered a new bed today.  It should be in next week.  I'm very excited about it!  Ev and I have had the same bed since we got married, so we were definetely overdue.  We are moving out of the 1980's!  No more waterbed!  We didn't get a headboard, just a frame right now.  We want to look around and get a completely new bedroom suite.  But that takes money and what we want to do is get a decent set, so it will be a while before we do that.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The greens have it

The green nine patch center for the first nursing home quilt is done.  I finished sewing squares and rows together tonight.  It needs a border to make it a bit larger, I think.  I found something in my stash that will work, but it was pretty warm upstairs so I didn't do any cutting.  I was pretty wiped out from working, then going to the gym, cooking supper, and sewing the top together. 

The material I want to use for the border will also work for the alternating squares on the other nine patch.  Maybe the material I used for alternating squares on the first quilt will become the border on the second.  Kind of keep them the same but different.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A start

I'm actually starting to work on the tops for the nursing home quilts at Christmas.  I found enough orphan nine patch blocks in my stash that I can make two lap quilts if I alternate the nine patches with solid material.  This morning I sewed pairs together of a nine patch and solid square for one of the quilts.  The first one has a light green for the solid square as the nine patches are mostly green.  The other half of the nine patch blocks have more tan in them than green, so I don't know for sure what I'll use as the solid square for them.  It may even be a patterned material, just depends on what I have that catches my eye.

I do hope that getting these lap quilts three years in a row isn't overkill for some of the residents.  My thought on the matter is that they are probably washed a lot and pretty threadbare by the time a year has gone by.  And there are some new residents that haven't received one yet.

Will have to comb the stash to see what else might be lurking there to make more of the lap quilts.  Hard to say what I might unearth!  haha.

Had a lot of rain over the weekend, so didn't get as much accomplished outside that we wanted to.  Did get some brush cut down at least.

Friday, June 21, 2013

As Promised...

Not only was he surprised it FINALLY got done, I think he was pretty happy about it, don't you?

If I remember, and these days that's a pretty big if, I will take some pics of the back, label and close up of quilting.  I may actually have posted pics of this before when I finished quilting it, but that's been a long time ago.

I haven't really been counting, but this year I seem to be finishing up quite a few quilts!  Totally loving that.

My plan

Last night after work I got a lot accomplished, I think.  The big thing was that I finished up the binding on Nick's graduation signature quilt.  I'm so happy that is done!  My plan is this:  When he comes to the house next time I'm going to ask him to be one of my quilt holders so I can take a picture of the quilt.  He won't know it's his until it's opened up.  I think he will be pleasantly surprised.  At least I hope so.

I also got the grass mowed inside the fence.  I just used the riding mower.  It still needs the trimming done.  Maybe I will get started on that tonight, but no promises.  Ev says he is going to work on the swimming pool this weekend.  I sure hope so.  It's already getting into the 90's during the day here.

Also got two loads of laundry done last night and put another in the washer this morning before work.  I will only have towels and bed linens to do over the weekend.  That's always nice to get out of the way.

Dinner last night was thick pork chops in onion and mushroom gravy with noodles and zuccini and tomatoes.  Pretty good eats.  I was going to put the chops on the grill while I was mowing the lawn, but it was pretty hot right after work and I really didn't want to mow then, so I made dinner in the house and mowed grass after the sun started to go down.  Finished mowing around 8pm.  Uncle Ray had called right when I was getting ready to go out in the heat and he convinced me I should wait until it cooled down.  Good call!

So now I have to make a game plan for the nursing home quilts.  Would you believe I'm actually considering making twin bed size quilts for each of the residents?  That may or may not happen...  I am also thinking that I'm going to practice making feathers on all of the quilts.  That will give me quite a bit of experience making them.  Now if they turn out good or not will be a different story!  haha.

The next birthday quilt is due late September.  I have the materials ready for it and if I was smart I would get it done and over with.  Also, I need to get Mom's quilt done.  That's her Christmas present - don't tell her, Sarah, if you are reading this!  :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Nick's quilt is done! Pics to follow.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hometown Parade

Last weekend was our little homecoming celebration in town.  Since our kids are older, we don't go out to the fairgrounds much, but I do like to watch the parade.  The only kids in it are my nephew and his girlfriend.  We know many of the adults in it, too.  Here's my nephew in the boat - fishing is a school sponsored sport now and this was the fishing team!
I know it's not much of a picture, but we were sitting farther back from the curb because 1. there was a bench and 2. we had the dog with us. 

My nephew has a pretty little girlfriend who is a cheerleader.  I had to snap a picture of her too!
Ivy did real well at the parade.  Last year she got a little upset when the horses went by, but this year she didn't even notice them.

So tonight I was upstairs sewing for a while.  I sewed the binding strips together and got the binding attached to the back of Nick's quilt.  I started to sew the front down but it was getting pretty warm so I stopped when I ran out of bobbin thread!  I really have to get that fan set up.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Working on languishing projects

My son graduated high school in 2009.  Do you think his signature quilt that I made him for graduation has languished about long enough?  sigh.  Tonight I went upstairs for half an hour and trimmed the sides, made a label and sewed it on, and cut the strips for binding it.  I would have stayed up there longer but it was unbearably hot.  I have a fan up there, just didn't want to bother dragging it out and all that.  I think it's well passed time I get that quilt done and give it to him already.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Like I needed more fabric...

I did need it, honest, I did!  How could I have resisted these cute fabrics? 

I got both of them in San Francisco.  The bears are just so cute.  I couldn't leave them at the shop...  And the town just caught my eye.  So cool!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Home Again!

We are back from San Francisco - tired, but still psyched by the great time we had! 
Is this a majestic sight or what?  The mighty Redwood Trees in Muir Woods were one of the highlights of our trip.  Muir Woods is just breathtaking.  The fact that these trees are hundreds of years old is mind boggling. 
The Golden Gate Bridge!  We traveled over the bay on this American Icon.  Our tour guide (thanks, Uncle!), pointed out the finer points of the bridge, including the tie off cables on either side of the structure for workers to attach themselves to when working on the bridge.  Not a job I think I would want...
Fisherman's Wharf was cool!  Lots and lots of people.  So much to see, I know we only only saw a fraction of it all.
Sea lions at Pier 39 on the floating docks were a kick!  The story goes that the sea lions just showed up and decided these docks were a good place to crash.  While the city of SF was trying to decide how to move them on their merry way, people started flocking to see them.  So SF turned them into a tourist attraction.  This picture was taken off the top area of Pier 39.  The good part was we weren't downwind...  Haha. 
Alcatraz.  I have to admit, I was not at all excited about this part of our trip.  When we got on the ferry to go out to the island, the boat started tossing and turning - I told Ev that if the boat tipped over I was never going to let him forget it!  Visiting Alcatraz was one of the 'must do' things on Ev's list, not mine.  When we first got on the island, all I could think of was that I was at an old prison with hundreds of birds (which we all know I'm not too fond of) and lots of bird poop...  Well, I have to tell you, once we were inside the prison and started the walking tour, with the headphones, hearing all about the details of the place, it just came alive for me.  It really really was interesting!  I'm glad we went.  I'm also glad they didn't keep us...  haha.
This restaurant, Stacks, was within walking distance of my uncle's place.  We ate there for breakfast each morning because the food was so good!  The service was pretty awesome, too.  Really friendly staff.  I had decided that I would eat sourdough bread every day I was out there.  Most of it was eaten at Stacks!  We went out for a steak to another restaurant one night.  It was a nice place, too.  But I liked Stacks best!

We visited more places than this, but for now, I'm going to close.  Still have a little jet lag... haha.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Going AWOL

Going to be gone from the blog a few days.  Heading out for vacation in sunny CA.  So excited!  Been packing and getting ready all day today.

Going to visit a few quilt shops, of course.  Looking forward to that part alot!  What I'm really looking forward to is seeing my uncle who I haven't seen for ages.  Just can't wait!  woohoo!

Be back in a few days!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Past and Present

Here's the pics from the three quilts I finished:
 Stained Glass
 Cascading Colors
Warm Batiks
Back of Warm Batiks.  Persimmon colored thread, loopy loop free motion quilting.
 Back of Cascading Colors.  Varigated thread, loopy loop free motion quilting.
Back of Stained Glass.  Varigated thread, loopy loop free motion quilting.

That's the present.  The past is what I've been working on a little bit last night and today.  Remember Bonnie Hunter's Mystery 'Roll Roll Cotton Boll'?  Well, I have all the pieces cut, they just needed to be assembled into blocks.  I made a few of them and until I figure out what I want to do next, I think when I want to sew, I had better work on RRCB.  It's aged long enough, don't you think?  haha.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Three for Three

Three quilts were finished in the last three days!  Warm Batiks, Cascading Colors, and Stained Glass were all completed.  Right down to the labels!  Woohoo!  I have a bit of a break now between the birthdays, I think.  Next one is in September.  It will sneak up on me, so I better get it done so I don't have to worry about it, right?

I also loaded up three wheelbarrow full of dirt from the front yard and transferred it to the back yard to fill in holes where my precious Ivy had dug.  She insists that the baby bunnies that next under the steps each year have to be 'played' with, consequently the dirt under the steps to the pool has been dug at many times.  At some point the pool steps are going to be crooked and falling down if we don't put more dirt there, and since having the water line dug up earlier in the year provided us with the dirt, why not?  Think I might be pretty sore tomorrow because not only did I move dirt, I used the electric chainsaw to cut down brush behind the garage this morning.

The third three - well, I took three showers!  haha.  One in the morning, again after chopping brush and finally after moving dirt!

I'll post pics of the quilts soon.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A bunch of binding and a bunch of burgers

Kind of an odd combo, but this was what I was up to tonight:
These are the strips that make up the binding for Cascading Colors, all sewn together and ready to go.  I have the label made and ready to attach.  I am binding Stained Glass in black.  I cut them out and sewed them together, and made the label and attached it. 
And here's the bunch of burgers.  Kind of a blurry shot because the plate is covered with plastic wrap, but there are 10 mini double cheeseburgers on that beautiful big purple plate.  Now, why in the world did I make that many?  Johanna isn't going to be home tonight, Nick doesn't live here, and I won't eat more than one.  Ev won't eat 9 burgers!  Well, he will have something yummy to take to lunch tomorrow.

Considering it was a work day, I feel like I got a lot done today in the sewing room.  I spent about two and a half hours sewing.  It was funny because I went upstairs before I made the burgers and did some sewing and left the window open.  I thought I was done for the night, so after I was done cooking I went upstairs to shut the window and ended up staying there another hour!

One of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride, is on t.v. tonight.  I have lost count of how many times I have watched it.  If you have never seen it, you really should.  I know it probably is considered a children's movie, but there's so many adult nuances (not dirty) in it that a person never gets bored.  Great acting, too!

Being productive before work

This morning after I got out of the shower and was dressed, except for my shoes, I went up to the sewing room and did a little bit on warm batiks.  I sewed the binding to three sides of the quilt on the back.  Tonight it shouldn't be a problem getting that quilt completely finished. 

And then hopefully I can get the strips cut for the other two that need binding.  Oh, and I can't forget to get them labelled too!  Poor Nick's signature quilt is still patiently waiting to have the binding put on it!  Maybe, just maybe, I will get around to that sometime soon...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What I accomplished tonight

I didn't get a lot done, but I did get a few things done upstairs.  It was just too humid and hot to stay there for any length of time.  I have a feeling the little Featherweight machine is going to get a lot of use this summer at the kitchen table!

I managed to trim up Cascading Colors and cut binding strips for the warm batiks quilt.  I also sewed the binding strips together and picked out the thread to use.  Oh, and I wrote out a label for it and sewed it to the corner by machine and then the one edge by hand.  I'm real close to having these three done.

There is still a light rain falling.  It's so neat to have the windows open and hear the soft patter of the rain and the chorus of peeper frogs singing.

Why I still feel needed

My darling son ran out of gas.  In the rain.  And called his mom. 

Thread tales continued

So I spent the entire drive to work and then some speaking to a customer service representative at Connecting Threads.  I explained the issue with the spool of thread, about how the color changed and it started breaking and all.  She looked up my last order and saw that it was from 2011 (I really stocked up at that time and have just a few spools left.  I'm waiting for their good sale to come along again!).  The gal then says that's a long time ago and asked how the thread was stored, all that good stuff, and seemed to be trying to tell me it was old thread.  I explained that it was still in the original wrapper as of last week and that it had been stored properly, not exposed to sunlight, etc.

The CT rep then gladly agreed to send me a replacement spool of thread, for which I thanked her.  Then I asked her, since she mentioned that the thread was a couple years old, what CT felt the 'shelf life' of thread should be.  She didn't know.  She put me on hold and when she came back she still didn't know.  She even commented that she had asked 8 different people there and no one could give an answer!  Now, I seriously do not want to dis CT because I love their product, their selection and their prices.  This is the only time I have ever had the tiniest issue with anything from them.  That said, I do feel that they need to educate their customer service department a little better.

I then went on their website and emailed them, explaining the situation and again posing the question "What do you feel is the shelf life of your thread?" to which I got an immediate response that there really is no shelf life as long as it is stored properly!  Something I pretty much figured, but wanted to hear from them just the same.  The person who I was emailing definetely knew their stuff and was extremely knowledgeable and helpful.  They also gave me a $5 credit towards my next order, which I felt was unnecessary but very nice.

Connecting Threads is one of my favorite thread sources.  I will continue to order from them and recommend them to others.  I do hope that they at least send a memo out to their customer service people who answer the phone telling them the answer to a very basic question!  And I really did appreciate the replacement spool of thread and the credit.  Thanks, CT!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A tale of two threads

Tonight I finished quilting the warm batiks quilt, but not without mishap.  It seems that whenever I get to the last pass of the machine, there's a glitch.  I actually thought I was going to avoid that tonight, but it got me.  I had been using the same thread, top and bottom when the top thread started breaking.  I rethreaded the machine and started quilting again only to have it happen two more times.  It seemed like there was a knot in the thread coming off the spool at one point, so I took the spool off the machine to look more closely at it. 

I'm not sure if you can see it in this picture or not, but the thread looks dirty.  It's not, though.  This was a brand new spool of thread with the wrapper on it when I started quilting a few days ago.  It looks like the dye didn't reach parts of the thread and color it properly. 

Luckily, I had wound one too many bobbins.  I was on the very last pass, so I put the extra bobbin on the spool and used it as top thread.  It finished up the quilt nicely and now all it needs is to be labelled and bound.

I'm going to email or call where I got the thread tomorrow and see about getting a replacement or refund.  I do have to say I was relieved that it was the thread and not the machine or anything I was doing.  It amazes me that Gemma can be so sensitive to these issues.

Playing in the tall grass

Last night after work I went to the gym and worked out for a little while.  Then I had to stop and pick up farm eggs.  When I got home my neighbor was mowing his grass.  Well, I took a look at our grass and decided it needed to be cut also.  I jumped on the rider and mowed all of the area outside of our fence!  Ev said he was going to try and mow what was inside the fence before he left for work.  I told him I would try and do the trimming with the push mower when I get home.  I really need him to get the weed wacker running so I can use that for the trimming.

I didn't do any sewing last night, although when I went downstairs I did pet the quilt and machine as I walked by...  haha.  After cutting the grass and making dinner I was ready to sit down for a bit.  Then one of my shows came on t.v. so I was pretty much done for the night.  I have been watching the series "Longmire" on A and E channel.  It's pretty good.  I even read a couple of the books.  I'm also reading the books that go with the show "Game of Thrones".   It's so violent on t.v. but the books really aren't as graphic as the show, which is good.  I'm not into all that blood and gore.  The story line is good.

Just a few more days and we will be on vacation!  Then off to sunny California for a few days in the sunshine!  I'm excited about it.  woohoo!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Doodling Summer

I know it's not much of a drawing, but this is an idea I'm thinking about turning into a wall hanging.  There would be four squares (or maybe not, just everything on one big square).  There are flip flops, a sun hat, the sun, a picnic basket and blanket on the top row.  Stars and sparklers, a beach umbrella, pail and shovel, sand castle and water on the bottom row.

It's just a thought right now.  I think it would be a good opportunity to do some thread play, like for the water and the sparklers.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A motorcycle ride, jeans repair, and some quilting

Dear Hubby is always complaining that I don't fix his jeans.  The fact is, they rip in areas that it's difficult to patch, usually over many of the thick seams.  Well, he was down to one pair of work jeans so I just had to put a patch on a pair.  I'm glad he only wears them to work, because it's not pretty but it is functional and the holes are patched.

I know I have mentioned Beaver Dam State Park before.  It's about 45 minutes from home and there is a restaurant right on the lake that has pretty good food.  Well, I had the bright idea that I would be able to ride on the back of the motorcycle there and we should all go out there today for dinner.  I do not like to be on the back of the bike for very far rides, so this would have been a big deal.  It didn't happen, because of weather, but we did get about a third of the way there.  I am glad because I was chickening out.  bocka bocka.

And I have the warm batik quilt just about quilted.  About one and a half more passes and it will be done.  I could have pushed myself and finished it today, but I was worn out.  Better to do it tomorrow when I'm fresh.  Then I have got to get it off the frame and labelled and bound.  And no, the other two are not bound and labelled.  I'm getting there!!!!  sigh.

So all in all, a productive day. 

Oh, and if anyone is keeping score this year, so far the tally has been as follows:  Ivy 6, Birds 0  and  Ivy 2, Rabbits 0.  Although I'm not real sure that the rabbits didn't score some points when I was walking Ivy because we didn't have the fence fixed.  Those bunnies would tease the daylights out of her!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Top done and back pieced

Last night we had more severe weather and I didn't want to go upstairs to do any sewing.  In fact, I was in the basement for quite a while, during the tornado warning and when the sirens were going off.  It was scary and my nerves were fried by the end of the night.

Today I went to a winery with my friend for an event they were holding.  They had wine tastings, chocolate, a craft fair, all kinds of neat stuff.  Enjoyed myself and was glad the weather held out.

Tonight I was upstairs for a few hours and got the warm batik squares top finished and the material for the backing pieced.  The batiks were those that I bought in Paducah (which got hit yesterday with flooding) and the backing is a cotton that I had bought a bolt of from Miller's Dry Goods in Arthur.

Here it is just hanging over the frame.  I'll get it loaded tomorrow if I can.