Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Piece by piece

I have all the pieces cut and ready to be assembled into the top for the four patch plaid.

I think the muslin is a good choice.  The two patch and four patch blocks are very busy and the plain muslin squares will give the eye somewhere to rest.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A little at a time

I have all the twosies put together in pairs and ready to be sewn into four parches. As of right now I think I will use some muslin squares for the plain neutral squares.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday stuff

The beginnings of quilt number 6 for the nursing homes.  I'm making the pattern four patch and plaid from the Nickel Quilts book.  It takes solid squares, two patches, and four patches.  I have all the two patches cut to size and am working on the four patches.  I also need to pick out a nice neutral to use for the solid squares.  I had a cute material with a tiny bee printed on it, but there wouldn't have been enough.  Again, I'm using all stash.  Little by little I'm whittling down that stash....  haha. 

These pieces were already strip sets that were sewn together.  They were leftovers from my 36 patch quilt. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A not so lazy Sunday

Today was a productive sewing day.  I spent a bit of time in the sewing room and finished up the second pinwheel top.  After sewing the blocks together, it needed a border, so I just put a 2" border of the pinky orange color on it.  I wasn't too fond of that color, but once the top was done, it had grown on me a bit.

In addition to finishing this top. I also grilled some pork chops and zucchini. 

All in all, a good day's work!

Over the weekend, Ev and I did some much needed yard work.  He got the gutters cleaned out, we both cleared weeds and trimmed the yard.  The yard and house look so much nicer now.  It's supposed to rain Monday or Tuesday, so I think before the sun goes down tonight I'll put some more grass seed down.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Blocks done and pressed

Finished assembling the blocks and pressed them.  Also pressed the first top with pinwheels.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get the blocks sewn into rows. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Three more done

Finished three more blocks for the second pinwheel.  I have nine more to go then can put the blocks together.  Hope to get that accomplished this weekend if possible.

What a difference in weather we have this July compared to last July.  It's cool and rainy now, where last year we were in severe drought and had record breaking high temps.  I'll take this any day.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A few good blocks

Spent some time in the morning and in the evening in the sewing room today.  Finished up 8 blocks today.  That brings my total to 13 blocks done.  I only need 25 total, so things are moving right along.

Ev had a tooth pulled today.  Poor guy.  Since he can only eat soft foods, I made a big pot of stroganoff noodles for dinner. 

Bought some tomatoes at a farmstand today.  They were home grown, but still not as good as Grandpa's were.  There's something to be said for tomatoes grown with love (and a healthy dose of cow manure...  hahahaha). 

Sure glad tomorrow's Friday.  Have to go pick up my new glasses Saturday morning.

A beautiful morning

The temperature outside is just wonderful for July!  It's in the low 80's and there's a nice breeze.  It could stay like this all Summer in my opinion.

I put together three more pinwheel two blocks this morning before work.  Last night I took my shower late so I didn't need to take another one this morning.  That gave me a little extra time in the morning to play! 

The amount of three inch spool blocks I need for a king sized quilt is 1023.  I figure in a few years of doing leader ender blocks I might have enough.  Right now, as each block gets completed, a spool block is completed.  It just works out that way.  That helps build the pile of completed blocks.  I have quite a few little sets of block pieces cut and put together.  Yesterday alone I cut and put together over 50 sets.  I paper clip the little bitty pieces to each other!  Found a nice basket in the sewing room to use to put the pieces in while they wait to be sewn into blocks.  From one basket to the sewing machine to another basket!

Yesterday after work and after I had made supper I went outside and did a little maintenance.  Our house and garage gutters sorely needed attention.  I am ashamed to say some of them had little trees growing out of them!  Bad, bad, bad!  I got on the ladder and cleaned out the ones I could reach on the garage and part of the roof.  There are a couple stretches that I think I might be able to reach yet, so I'm going to attempt to get those cleaned out today or tomorrow.  After that, I'm going to need someone to hold the extension ladder while I'm up there.  The ladder I'm using now is just a folding ladder, so there is some stability, but I don't trust the extension ladder unless someone is there to hold the bottom for me.  Of course, whoever is holding it is going to get crudded with all that yuck I throw down from the gutter...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sometimes I wonder

Sometimes I wonder when my son grew into a man.

Isn't he just the most handsome thing?  Of course, I do have a biased opinion.  He cleans up pretty good when he wants to.  I'm so proud of him!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Here's what it looks like with four of the blocks laid next to each other.  That pink is just not my favorite color.  But that doesn't mean someone else won't like it.  It's a graduated color on the piece of fabric so all the pinks don't look the same.  I have five of twenty five blocks made.

So when we went to Arthur over the weekend we went to the dinner and farm tour at an Amish home.  I'm not saying it was bad, because it wasn't, but it just wasn't as good as I thought it would be.  I thought the food would be knock your socks off great.  It was just okay.  I thought there would be more interaction and explanation of things during the meal.  There wasn't.  The farm tour was just walking out to the barn and looking at the horses.  That was neat, and the fellows in the barn were a little more talkative.  I understand they don't normally talk to outsiders.  I just thought since they were opening up their home they might share a little more of their culture.  It was nice, but I don't know that I would do it again.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Something I have no desire to do

I have no desire to hand feed a chicken a cherry tomato.  Apparently my daughter does, though. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A good day

Had a good day in Arthur today with Mary.  Really tired now, so going to bed early.  Will post pics and detail of trip soon.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bobbin bonanza

Remember a couple of posts ago I said I wanted to go online and order more class 15 bobbins?  Well, I did just that and now I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of 100, yes I said 100, class 15 metal bobbins.  I got them on Ebay for $16.  This seems like a pretty good deal.  Let's hope they are as advertised. 

Today I was tired when I came home from work.  Actually laid down and took a nap!  I think this heat just pulls all my energy out of me.  When I got up I made Ev a couple of Monte Cristo sandwiches for when he gets home from work. Made myself some french toast.  Yum.  Did a load of laundry and then went upstairs for about 45 minutes.  I trimmed the side pieces off of quite a few pinwheels.  I still need to sew more side pieces on to the rest of the pinwheels, but after that, the block assembly should go pretty quickly.  Putting these blocks together will be fun.

And then I really need to make that birthday quilt for the end of October because the next birthday is the beginning of November.  Really, I should just make both of them right away and be done with it.  Then I won't have to worry about getting them done in a hurry.

Tomorrow morning I'm leaving early to head over to Arthur.  Mary is meeting me there around 10:30.  We are going to shop a little before we go for the lunch and tour.  I am really looking forward to this. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Second pinwheel

Here's the first block of the second pinwheel quilt from Nickel Quilts.  I'm using all scraps so that pink is not the most perfect material but I think it works alright.  I cut strips and sewed about half of the blocks to strips tonight. 

It is past ten p.m. and the air outside is still hot and humid and not moving at all.  Yuck.  I was in the pool tonight after work.  That was nice.

Sure am glad tomorrow is Friday.


Trimming dog ears on triangle blocks is just not my favorite thing to do.  But it's a necessary evil, I guess.  That's what I did last night, along with cutting more 1-1/2" strips to be subcut into pieces for leader ender spool blocks.  I have no illusions that I will have enough spool blocks anytime soon to make a quilt.  I'm just going to keep making them from shirting scraps and eventually I will have enough.  Or get tired or bored of them and make something else with them. 

It is satisfying to see them pile up quickly.  It's like getting free blocks because they are worked in between other projects.  And in this case, these small pieces and blocks are perfect.  I'm using all scraps for the pieces and don't care what color thread is in the machine.

I've cleared out all of my class 15 bobbins from their odd bits of thread.  Well, all but the one that is still in the machine right now.  I thought I had more of them.  I think I'll go online and see if I can buy a box of them, just to have more bobbins.  When I'm piecing, I generally like to fill up a bunch of bobbins and have them ready to go.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Spool Time

I joined Bonnie Hunter's Leader Ender Spool Challenge a bit late in the year.  I really don't have too many done.  Here they are with the bucket I keep them in and their little pieces all ready to be sewn into blocks.

I've got a grand total of 53 spool blocks made.  Today I figured that I will need over 1000 to make a quilt of just spool blocks to fit a king size bed.  What does it say about being a quilter when 1000+ pieces really doesn't scare me?

Bonnie has moved on to a new block for leader enders this year.  I think I'm going to continue with the spool blocks, though. Check out what everyone else did during the challenge:

Too warm

I went out at lunch time and just about fell over.  This heat and humidity is coming on strong.  I'm not liking it.  I worry about my husband working in the factory with no air conditioning.  Something wrong with the fact that our dog is at home in the house with a/c and Ev's factory can't provide a/c for the employees in the plant.  I'm sure the office has it, though.

Went upstairs before work and was trimming the dog ears off the pinwheel sections for the next quilt.  I just keep moving along here!  I think I'll go ahead and make this next nursing home quilt then make the one for the family birthday in October.

I still have all the pieces ready to go for my mom's quilt.  They are aging gracefully next to the machine.  sigh.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another top done...I think

No picture yet, but I finished putting the pinwheel top together tonight.  It measures about 60" square, which is ten more than I had wanted for the nursing home quilts.  It has sashing and cornerstones all around, so I may just forgo the outer border.  You can all help me decide that one when I post a picture.

This is the fourth top done for the nursing homes.  I should take a little break and make a quilt for the next family birthday which is in October, just to get it done early for a change.  We will see where my creativity takes me.  Down the sensible road or wandering some pathway unknown...  haha.

My friend Mary and I are going to meet in Arthur on Saturday to visit the Amish community.  We are doing something different this time.  I reserved a space for each of us on a tour and meal at an Amish farm.  This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and I'm really looking forward to it.

Row row row your quilt...

The pinwheel quilt is going to stay six blocks by six blocks.  I figured this way I won't really need much in the way of a border on it, if any.  It will shrink up a bit in the quilting, but they all will, really.  Just not going to be real picky about it.  The blocks were made, why not use them.

This morning before work I went upstairs and sewed several blocks into a row and started another row.  It's going together fast now.  I need lots of the little leader ender pieces of spool blocks now because I'm doing the rows one at a time so I don't get things mixed up.  That itself is producing lots of little blocks!  I just keep throwing them in a basket when they are done.  One of these days when the iron is on I should press them all.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Moving right along and a decision to make

Sometimes I wonder where my brain is.  When I started making these blocks I determined I had enough material and a bit to spare.  When it got down to the wire, I ended up piecing one of the areas with scraps of the same material because I ran out.  This confused me but I made it work and kept going.  So now, I'm in the home stretch, sewing the blocks with the sashing and cornerstones into rows.  I have the first row put together and it hits me that the size of the blocks with the sashing is bigger than I thought.  This means, obviously, that the quilt will be bigger than I thought it was going to be. 

So, after I got the first row sewn together I measured the length of the row.  It measures 59".  Now, I know that's not too big for a throw, but I had decided I wanted to keep each of these nursing home quilts to 50" square.  My dilemma is this - go ahead and make the quilt six blocks by six blocks and have it be 59" square or unstitch the one block and make it be five blocks by five blocks.  I'm leaning toward making it five by five and putting one border on it just to tie it together.  Going to have to think about it for a bit.

Here's what the blocks look like with the sashing and cornerstones.  The cornerstones color is a very pale pink but it doesn't show up very well in the picture.

Of course, if I drop it down to five by five, I'm going to have eleven extra blocks.  Sigh.

Sashing and cornerstones

I had some sewing time today and put some of the sashing strips on the pinwheel blocks.  Started on the cornerstones, too.  I went with a very pale pink color for the cornerstones instead of white.

Waited up for Ev to get home from work tonight.  There are so many stars out tonight.  It's a beautiful night to sit outside on the deck.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Remembering the past

Now, before anyone starts thinking that I'm really, really, really old, I'm not!  When I tell this story, though, you are going to think so.  Just keep in mind that I grew up in my Great Grandparent's home, in a very rural setting.

Maybe it's because we had such a large amount of trash to put out for pick up yesterday, but I was reminded of my childhood when we didn't have trash pick up every week.  We didn't even have trash pick up every month.  I think it was more like every 6 months or so someone would come around and pick up the tin cans and glass.  They would put a note in the weekly newspaper that there would be pick up and everyone would drag their barrel to the edge of the yard. 

We burned our trash back then.  There really wasn't much to burn.  I would say the majority of it came from the bathroom because, well, we were on septic, and I'll leave it at that.  And really, there wasn't that much from the bathroom either because we had an outhouse.  Yes, I grew up using an outhouse!  We had indoor plumbing, but why waste the water?

We didn't have much to burn because we didn't buy that much from the store, therefor there wasn't much packaging material.  All our meals were from scratch.  Meat was from the freezer and vegetables were from the garden or from the cellar where the home canned goods were stored.  Those jars were reused year after year, so the only part of it that would go into the tin can barrel was the lid. 

Glass jars from storebought items were reused.  Grandpa would use them in the garage to store nails or he would save seeds in jars.  There weren't too many either.  Grandpa made pickles and Grandma canned fruit, so there weren't too many things bought in cans or jars.  I do remember that Grandma really liked canned plums and would buy them in cans from the grocery store.  I'm pretty fond of them myself...  :)

As far as table scraps or other organic waste from the kitchen, if it was something that the dog could eat, he got it, otherwise the scraps got thrown out behind the shed into the farm field.  There weren't many table scraps, really.  We usually ate everything up and if there were leftovers they were lunch the next day.  Potato peelings might have been one of the biggest scraps thrown out into the field, but honestly, Grandma pretty much just scraped those skins off to leave as much potato as possible! 

So that's my little trip down memory lane today.  I'm going to be 49 years old this year and these memories are from my single digit years and early double digits!  I sure had a great childhood.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Color choices

I've got all the pinwheel blocks for the one quilt.  Now I need to put sashing and cornerstones together with the blocks.  Here's a sample of some sashing material I'm considering using:

I'm thinking if I use this for sashing, I'll use some kind of white for the cornerstones.  There will be two borders.  The first border will be two inches and I'm thinking of making it blue.  The second border is going to be four inches and I'm not sure yet what color to use for it.  Maybe a green or pink.  Any suggestions?

Words of wisdom

My darling son had this to say:

"Just because you think it's going to rain doesn't mean it is going to rain, and you'll feel a lot better when you look out the window and see the bright and shining sun smiling at you with a thumbs up and a scoop of raisins."

He gave permission to use this on the blog, however I can't reveal the context of the conversation it was used in.  Sorry!  :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dog ears

Getting ready to watch some Quiltcam on Bonnie Hunter's site and trim dog ears from those blocks I pressed last night.  Just now sitting down from after work.  I went to the gym right after work, came home and threw a load of laundry in the wash.  Then started dinner for Ev and also made myself some low fat, low cal tortillas with beans and other goodies on them.  Also put away a mountain of laundry that was on my dresser, including sorting it to go to Goodwill and put away for the summer.  All in all, it's been a pretty productive night.

I did get about 8 more sets of pieces for the leader ender spool blocks cut and put together.  I'm ready to rock and roll now!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

More of the same

Tonight I pressed more of the pinwheel blocks.

I need to trim off the dog ears.  Another mundane part of sewing, but one that has to be done.

I also was able to assemble the parts for over twenty leader ender spool blocks today from 1-1/2" strips of shirt material.  When I was putting blocks together I ran out of leader enders and feel that I wasted some valuable opportunities to complete a few spool blocks.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sew fun

After making dinner tonight I went upstairs and worked on the pinwheel quilts for an hour.  I'm at a point now where I can't sew anymore without doing some pressing.  And, since the air conditioner was running upstairs, I didn't want to turn the iron on and blow a fuse, so I called it a night. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A good Sunday

Had a nice day today.  Did some sewing on the pinwheel blocks.  Not finished yet, but making progress.  The guys rode the motorcycles quite a bit today.  Here's a shot just before we all went out to have pizza:

I had had my fill of riding for the day so I followed in the car.  It was an impressive sight to see them all pull away from the house at once.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Busy Day

Dinner.  Yum.

Had a pretty busy day today.  Started by taking three loads of brush to the compost pile.  Mowed the grass, cleaned up the kitchen, did some laundry.  Topped it off by grilling some ribs and having corn on the cob and home made potato salad for dinner.  Oh, and a trip to Dairy Queen for a chocolate malt just made it even sweeter. 

Went upstairs and did some sewing.  Still working on the pinwheel blocks.  I have half of them done, so it won't be long now.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July, Everyone!  We grilled chicken wings, had homemade potato salad, corn on the cob and garlic bread.  Great dinner, then watched fireworks that our neighbors shoot off.  What a good day and evening we have had!

We set up our new bed today.  I'm really liking it!

I do think I need to make a bigger quilt.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I am not a fan of triangles.  Let's just put that out there right off.  They are pretty, though, so I make them.  And grouse about them while doing it.  Here's what I've been working on:

 These are going in the two quilt patterns from Nickel Quilts.  Tonight I pressed them and trimmed dog ears off of half of them.

Monday, July 1, 2013

More rain

Seems like we are in the rainy season around here.  Last year we couldn't get rain for nothing.  Now it seems to rain all the time. 

I worked on the pinwheel blocks for an hour tonight after work.  The most tedious part of making these blocks is having to square them up.  I'm doing it in batches of ten so that helps make it a little more bearable.