Friday, February 28, 2014

Cruising into the weekend

I know the colors look a bit washed out on some of the strips, but this block really didn't turn out half bad.  It was super quick to make.  I made two for my swap.  This was the fifth of twelve pairs.  Now I have to figure out what pattern to make next. 

The weather service is predicting bad weather (again) for Sunday.  Nothing we can do about it, so I am just planning to sew all weekend.  Ev probably has to work Saturday, so we wouldn't be going out.  I have a couple projects that have been languising on the back burner that I could get working on.  Sunday we are supposed to go to dinner at my dad's but that's just in town and won't take up the whole day.

Going to try and drag my hubby into the technological age and have him get a smart phone.  He desperately needs a new cell phone and I think he would really like a smart phone.  I won't like the addition to the bill, but it's only fair if everyone else has one that he have one too.  Maybe I can figure out some way to lower the bill by consolidating data plans.  Not going to stress over it.  Anyway, his old phone isn't working properly and I hope we can pick something out to replace it tomorrow.

Went to Tilley's last night with Nick and had a bite to eat.  That's becoming a regular Thursday night thing for us. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sew much fun

Here's what my Playing with Jacks blocks look like when I set 4 of them together to make a 12" finished block.  Excuse the wrinkles, the block really did look better once everything was sewn together and pressed.  I like it.  It has a lot of 2" half square triangles, but they came together pretty quickly.  I changed things up a bit and have been pressing pieces without steam.  It seems to not distort the pieces as much, so I might just keep doing it.

The Playing with Jacks block is a 6-1/2" unfinished block originally and has many layout options.  It is a free pattern on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website.

So now it's on to the fifth set of blocks.  Not quite sure what pattern I'm going to make this time.  I kind of got sidetracked with this block.  Want to make something in green.

I ordered a couple of jigsaw puzzles from Springbok's website today.  One is 60 pieces and the other is 100 pieces.  I'm hoping Johnathon will want to put them together sometime when he comes over. 

And I had to take my car in for it's scheduled oil change and tire rotation.  The service department just called to tell me I need new back brakes.  I'm not real surprised, considering I have been driving that car since December of 2005 and it has almost 160,000 miles on it and not had the brakes changed.  Gotta love my Ford.  Oh, and this disproves the theory that women ride the brakes, by the way!  haha.  Take that, all you mcp's!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This and that

Old Man Winter still has us in his grips.  It's only 6 degrees F out there and let me tell you, it is COLD.  We have really had quite a winter.  I like winter and I like snow, I won't deny it.  This one has really given me a run for my money.  I think everyone will really appreciate when spring gets here.

I cut the pieces for the next set of blocks to swap with Mary.  I'm going to make the block we made when I went to Peoria to see Bonnie Hunter.  It's called "playing with jacks" and is one of her free patterns on her website.  I have great memories of that trip, especially because I met a new friend there!  Hi Marla!  :)  Isn't it funny how you can meet people and instantly know that they are someone you can trust and you strike up a friendship right away?

I'm doing the block in muted orange and purple.  That probably sounds loud but it's not, really.  The playing with jacks block finishes at 6" so I am putting 4 together to get my 12" squares.  That means I need to make 48 - 2" half square triangle blocks.  I used the Easy Angle Ruler to cut the pieces and have them all ready to feed through the machine.  Maybe tonight I will be able to pry myself off of the couch and get upstairs to sew.

I really didn't have any excuses the last couple nights for not sewing, well except for the fact that one night was Monday and that usually isn't a night I have any energy.  Last night I brought home Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner, so I didn't have to cook or anything.  Tonight I'm making breaded fish patties from a box, so that's pretty much a no brainer.  Probably fry some potatoes and make frozen peas.  Not very creative, but a warm meal.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Meet the newest member of the herd...

Here's my five dollar rummage sale find!  I'm pretty pleased with this addition to my collection.  She's probably a Singer Clone, badged Famous Barr.  The case is a little stained but in otherwise good condition.  There is a knob missing on the lower dial, but it's not too big a deal.  She sews a beautiful stitch.  I opened her up and inside are all metal gears!  Yup, I'm pleased.

I also picked up three more ceramic houses for my village.  You can see them on the table behind the machine to the right.  One is a house, another is a church and the third is a smaller church.  They will be welcome additions to my collection and I look forward to putting them out next season.

I finished the two birds in the air blocks for my swap with Mary in April.  Not sure what pattern I'm going to make next, but I think I'll do the block in different greens this time.  Having a lot of fun with this!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Good night after a lousy day at work

Last night I had a pretty good night.  When I got home from work I didn't have to make dinner or anything because Nick and I were going out to Tilley's after he was done teaching lessons and I was picking up a burger from there for Ev.  Since I had some time before Nick was supposed to get there, I went upstairs and picked out fabric for the next pair of blocks in my swap with Mary.  I decided to do birds in the air for the block pattern in two different muted yellow prints.  I like the way the colors are playing with each other in this block design.  I have all the pieces cut for the block and sewed together the half square triangle blocks.  I need to press them and then can continue with assembly.  That will put me a week ahead on the blocks, but that's okay because we all know that life happens and there may be a week when I can't get one made!

Mary keeps asking sly questions about the blocks, trying to get me to tell her what they look like!  It's a lot of fun, keeping her guessing.  hee hee hee.

Nick showed up earlier than expected, which was a treat, and we were able to go to Tilley's to eat early.  I got the wings, of course, and some onion rings.  Nick got a veggie wrap and we both shared some fried mushrooms.  Brought a lot of goodies home for Ev, including his burger and fries.  I really hope that place stays in business this time!

Although the quilting and Nick time last night were nice, the weather was not.  The reason Nick was early is because the power was out at the studio where he teaches guitar.  We had severe winds in the afternoon and all night yesterday, including thunderstorms.  I'm hearing that quite a few tractor trailer rigs were blown over or jack knived on the high way.  Lots of tree limbs down in town.  When I was upstairs sewing I heard a very loud thump on the roof, which I thought was a branch, but when I went out this morning I didn't see anything up there.  Then in the middle of the night there were repeated loud thumps and bangs on the front porch right outside our bedroom window.  Turns out the swing on the porch was being lifted up and slammed down repeatedly.  Made for a bit of restless sleeping, that's for sure.

All this after a particular lousy day at work yesterday...  I didn't mind, really, because I was home.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Two more blocks done

Last night I spent a couple hours in the sewing room making two more blocks for my swap with Mary in April.  I'm having fun with this, finding new patterns and making the blocks.  This block is the pattern "Fly Foot" although I'm sure it may have other names.  I did it in red.  This quilt is going to have all different colors in it.  I think tying it all together with a neutral sashing will work nicely.

The next block might be a tulip pattern done in yellow.  Will see what strikes my fancy.

The temp today is a lot warmer than it has been in the past.  I'm thinking I might have an opportunity to get the backing pieced and the RRCB quilt loaded on Gemma tonight. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Free Fabric For Life!

Who wouldn't want to win free fabric for life?  Keepsake Quilting is having a contest to win just that.  Here's a link that will take you to the contest and also give me another entry (hee hee hee)

Good luck!

Monday, February 17, 2014


I just finished filing our taxes.  Been at it for four and a half hours, but finally finished.  Did Nick's Federal return but still need to do his State return.  Taking a short break.  Was just going to work on taxes for an hour but ended up longer, obviously.

Too wired to sew now.  Sheesh.  I think I need a drink...  haha.  and I don't drink!  Just going to go relax in front of the t.v. instead.

Three day weekend

I have been relaxing and just enjoying being disconnected for a few days.  Saturday I attended an all day seminar about starting a quilting business.  I did not get very much out of it, unfortunately.  It wasn't a bad day, just not what I thought it would be.

Saturday night Ev and I went out to dinner for Valentine's Day (yes, I know it was a day late, but this was what our schedule allowed).  We were going to go to one of the nicer sit down restaurants in Litchfield, but there was a pretty long wait.  Ended up going to a new pizza place and really enjoyed it.

I got a little sidetracked from my sewing.  Friday night I started a jigsaw puzzle and just couldn't leave it alone until it was finished!  I finished it Sunday afternoon.  This picture isn't the best, but here it is:

I may have to start another puzzle soon... I have the bug!  haha.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


This is how Ivy sits and looks out of the window!  She gets her back legs tucked under her and her front legs folded under her too.  She lays her head on the back of the loveseat and watches the squirrels and rabbits.  That's my doggy!

Yesterday I had the day off of work for Lincoln's Birthday so I got some sewing done.  I made two blocks for the Paducah Trip Swap.  I think they turned out pretty nice.  They are 36 patch blocks done in blues and tan.  When I was stitching them together, I just used my guide for a quarter inch seam that I had put on the base of my machine.  I used the Perfect Piecing Tool where you put the needle down into a hole in the piece of plastic and then build up a fence on the bed of the machine before the feed dogs.  Well, somehow the guide had gotten moved a little and my seams were all too small!  Better too small than too big... 

When I had the blocks assembled and pressed, I used my 12 1/2" square ruler and trimmed them down to size.  No harm, no foul!  Then I adjusted the seam guide so that the seams will be a true quarter inch!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dog Show!

I took a break from watching the Olympics last night to watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.  Every year, for two nights, I am glued to the t.v. for this event.  Tonight is the second night and I'm looking forward to seeing which dog wins Best In Show.  Ivy likes to sit on the couch with me and watch it too!  haha.

My friend Mary and I are both really excited about going to the Quilt Show in Paducah this year.  We counted the weeks and it is 11 weeks away.  To make it fun, we decided to each make two quilt squares a week.  One to keep, one to give away to the other person.  Somewhere in this time we will make an extra two squares so that when it's time for the show, we will have 24 squares.  No peeking in between now and then.  I won't know what pattern or materials she is using and she won't know what I'm using.  Since we are taking our machines to Paducah, I'm hoping we will be able to put the tops together while we are down there.  I'm thinking a nice sashing in between the blocks will help make them into nice size quilts.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fleece sewing in the morning

I have had it in my head for a while now that I wanted to make an 'infinity scarf'.  It's one of those scarves that is a tube sewn into a circle.  I googled instructions for one and this morning, before work, I made one in about 10 minutes! 

I had bought some fleece a long time ago and promptly set it aside.  What took the most time this morning was finding the piece of fleece!  haha.  I am thinking if I make another one I would keep my eyes open for those fleece blankets that go on sale occasionally for a few bucks. 

The piece I had was a little heavier than those blankets, but it worked just fine.  It was already cut to the right size, or rather, I just sewed it up in the size it was and called it good.... 

Very simple to make and wow, did it ever keep me warm on my drive to work!  This is me in the car looking a little silly, but when it's zero degrees fashion goes right out the window!  I could have pulled it farther over my head if I wanted to, but this 'selfie' was just a quick snap to show what it looks like.  (My hair is not that dark, by the way.  Must have been the lighting in my car.)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Roll Roll Cotton Boll top finished

Roll Roll Cotton Boll top is finished!  The unquilted top measures 93"x109".  I added two extra borders - the thin green and wide red ones.  The bottom picture is a fooler, that is the bedskirt under the top, kind of looking like another border.

I'm really glad the top is done.  Now I need to put together a backing for it and then load it on Gemma.  It's pretty cold in the basement right now, so I might wait a bit until I quilt it.  I hope it doesn't shrink up too much in the quilting.  It fits nicely with enough extra overhang to be comfortable on our bed.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

More Snow

No, this is not a black and white's part of my snow covered back yard!  This was taken a couple days ago when it was snowing.  We got about 9 inches that day.  Today it's snowing again and we are supposed to get another inch. 

I love snow.

I really do!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I Fall To Pieces...

Remember that old Patsy Cline song?  It's running through my head right now.  So many pieces!  Here's the triangle portion of the borders for RRCB:
Last night I just had to walk away from the quilt for a while.  I have the two side borders pinned to the top, with the extra 2 pieces hanging off of one end.  I haven't lopped them off yet or started sewing.  Giving it a little time to stew around in my brain and see if I have a revealation about why this doesn't fit.  Most likely, I'm going to go home tonight, pick those two sections off from the main part, and stitch it to the top.  Then we will never speak of this again....  hahaha.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Super Bowl Leftovers

Here's one of the trays I made up for Super Bowl Sunday.  It has, among other things, sliced mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and tomatoes in it.  I also had some celery, carrots, and green onions. 

Last night, I used those ingredients in a chicken stir fry that turned out really really good! 

I have been working on the borders for RRCB (STILL).  I'm at the point where I'm pinning them to the top and they are two units too long on each side!  I don't know if I am putting them on incorrectly or what.  I have been using the instructions that were printed when the mystery ran, so I checked in the book that the pattern was printed in.  They say to join the same number of units.

I then went to Bonnie's website to see if there were corrections for the book.  There aren't any for this pattern.  I'm a little leary of shortening the borders.  I think I'll look at the picture in the book and see if I can count the units to see if I'm right or not. 

After all this work, this quilt is definitely staying home!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

First Quilts

My friend, Mary, just completed quilting her first quilt and is ready to put the binding on it.  She's my age, and has just developed an interest in quilting.  Who am I to discourage her?  haha.  She did a great job on it.

I remember my first quilt.  The year I graduated high school I was in the old department store, Zayre.  Anyone remember Zayre stores?  The one by us was kind of junky, but it was all we had around at the time.  Zayre had a fabric section and on a whim I decided I wanted to make a quilt.  I bought four different fabrics that somewhat coordinated - all of them had a lot of white background.  They each had tiny flowers, one with yellow, one with red, and two different blue ones. 

I decided it was just going to be all squares, randomly set but no two of the same pattern touching.  I made a big graph of the pattern and followed it.  The squares were drawn from a cereal box template and cut with scissors. 

My grandmother and I quilted it by hand, quilting a diamond in each square and along either sides of the seams.  We used hand quilting thread, white in the red and yellow flowered squares and blue in the blue flowered squares.  The batting was polyester and the backing was a light blue sheet.  I put lace, of all things, all around the edges to finish it!

I still have the quilt, although it is so worn you can see through it in places.  It is big enough to cover my king size bed, so it is occasionally used underneath the newer quilts, just for some layered warmth.

Who knew that chance stop at the Zayre fabric counter would lead to a life long love of quilting?  I'd love to hear your story about your first quilt.  Leave a comment if you feel so inclined...  :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

It's a Monday

The temps here are still very cold.  This morning when I went to work it was a frigid 6 degrees F.  My car was fine all the way to work.  When I got to work and tried to close the car door the latch was stuck.  It wouldn't latch closed.  I had to leave the car running with the heater going full blast for about 20 minutes.  After that, the latch moved freely, thankfully.  I did put some penetrating oil on it after it warmed up.

I haven't been able to post many pictures because of the computer issues.  Yesterday Nick had a couple minutes and tried to fix it, but it went right back to doing what it was doing.  So today I brought it with me to work and I'm going to drop it off at Nick's place at lunch time.  He can work on it at his own pace that way.

And to top it off, I have been off the antibiotics for a few days and this lousy flu or whatever it is, is coming back.  I have a call in to the doctor this morning and I'm hoping they can give me another prescription and not make me come back in.  I just don't want to lose more time at work again. 

I really don't have that much left to do on those pieced borders for Roll Roll Cotton Boll.  I have been thinking that after I complete this pieced border I will put a solid border and then see if maybe it could use another pieced border.  I know, it sounds like I have lost my mind.  I just want it to be big enough for my bed and after all the work that has gone into it, I don't want to just slap a huge piece of material all the way around it and call it good.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


My new computer came. And i can't get it to connect to the internet. Argh.