Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Batik Leaves Finished

I finished quilting this batik leaves quilt.  I used leaves in the sashing and inner borders and a feathers on the top and bottom borders.

It finishes out at 62 x 72". The binding is the same fabric as the border and the backing a medium green with purple spots.

Thursday I sewed with Connie and Sally at Cathy's house.  She treated us to a great Chili lunch and cheesecake.  I finished about 12 more scrappy trip blocks.  Then Saturday we had Undercover Bee with pot luck lunch.  Lots of inspiring show and tell. More scrappy trip blocks finished.  I have 40 done.  Halfway point.


 Sunday John and I went to see Emily get an art award at Barton College in Wilson.  She won a gold key award for a computer generated piece.  She won one last year also for a computer piece.
There were some great batik pieces at the show after the award ceremony.  A couple of pictures follow.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Sewing,Sauerkraut and Sorting Books

This morning I finished quilting the leaf motifs in the center of this quilt and then stitched around the borders with the walking foot.  I haven't decided what to do with all those narrow borders and sashing but I don't think it will be straight lines as suggested by the pattern picture.  It looks good but I just don't think I can handle that many straight lines. But that's a decision for another day.

Tom and Sharon, members of our Sunday School Class who hail from Pittsburgh, PA, host a New Years lunch each year at their home.  Bratwurst, Braised pork, Sauerkraut, and Mashed potatoes.  That was their traditional New Years Day meal so they recreate it for us.  Nothing fancy - just a hearty meal.  And we had a simple pound cake and coffee after.  There were 28 of us there today.  Wish I had remembered to take my camera or phone in. It is amazing how they manage to fit us all at tables in their family room.  Fun!

Later, I went by the Woman's Club to help sort the books that had been donated for The Literacy Project.  I think we had about 200 books and as many magazines. The Wendell Chamber of Commerce along with the Woman's Club has held an art exhibit at the Woman's Club for the past 3 years.  We had the doors open for visitors to the exhibit this weekend so it was a convenient time to go through the books. Most will be donated to the  local senior center or assisted living homes.

When I got back home, I had time to sew 4 more scrappy trip blocks.  I have 20 done and about 20 more cut out.  Oops! Looks like I need to workon arrranging.

Tomorrow is our 52nd wedding anniversary! The family is coming over for an impromptu family get together in the evening.  My favorite kind of party  - no planning - just go with the flow.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Baptism Banners

I finished these two banners that will be used in the baptisms of two sweet little sisters next week.
One has the first name of my mother and the other has the first name of one of my great grandmothers on my mother's side of the family.  They are actually the same color but I couldn't figure out how to make them appear that way in these pictures.

Last night was our guild meeting and our annual yard sale or swap meet or whatever.  Everyone brings items that they no longer want. They are laid out on tables with bid sheets.  You can bid in increments of .25 and everyone has at it.  When the time is called you go and gather up what you won and pay for it. The proceeds usually go to the guild library or to charity quilts for supplies. 
I won some used magazines, a copy of Electric Quilt 5, a 15.5"omnigrid ruler, and about 11 yards of various pinks to magenta fabrics. 

I was thinking it would be a good idea to keep the new fabric that I purchased this year out to remind me to restrain myself and use what I already have.  I don't think my plan is working!  The pinks that I got last night are on the left.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spider Web Finished

I finished the binding and threw it in the washer and dryer. All the excess dye washed away and the back looks good.  Yea!  It now measures 52 x 64".

I cut about a hundred strips and started this Scrappy Trip Around the World.  I know I will have to cut many, many more strips. I made 16 blocks and I like that they can be arranged in log cabin designs. 

  This afternoon I started quilting this quilt that I made in May 2011. I got 4 blocks done.  I am starting out by following the quilting ideas shown in the pattern.  There are lots of straight lines in the sashing and borders so we'll see how it goes.  I'm using a variegated purple/green thread that I had on hand.

Probably all the time I'll have for sewing for a couple of days.  Tomorrow I am hostess for Woman's Club.  So I will be providing the lunch and setting up for the meeting.  I'm going to make Connie's Baked Spaghetti, Strawberry Spinach Salad, Rosemary Foccacia and Lemon Bars.  Then I take Em to the Orthodontist and Disciple Class in the evening.  Thursday is my day to work at Food Pantry, a visit with an old friend and then Capitol Quilters Guild in the evening.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quilting Mojo

"Mojo means "finding the magic in what we do". To have "lost your mojo", refers to a loss of inspiration or creative genius; a loss of that special spark.

I'm trying to get my quilting mojo going again.
Monday evening I decided I needed and wanted to quilt the two quilts that I had layered back in June maybe? One is large at least 90 x 90, if I remember right, so I started with the smaller one 58 x 70.  One good decision at least. 
Why would I choose to start quilting a quilt at 9PM?  ..................... I wanted to.
  • I set up my machine, adjusted the tension
  • Did some practice to see if it was right etc.
  • I put a new needle in and put in a full bobbin and for good measure threaded the bobbin  through the extra tension guide. 
  • A friend had given me some spray (Quilt Glide)to slick up the top of the machine and cabinet so I used it too.  I was off and running. 
 About an hour later, 11PM, my thread broke.  It was time for a break anyway so I took out the quilt to admire it before going to bed.  Problems # 1 and 2.

Wrinkle on front = tuck on back
After taking out the block and a half that I had quilted.  See below.
Poor tension on back = needle marks on front
Tuesday, I decided to use a circle in the center of the block instead of the original plan.  Problem # 3.
Very uneven circle
It is very difficult to get an even circle in a 12 in block on a DSM.  Luckily I only did one and part of another before I abandoned this.  More unsewing.  I finished the center Tuesday and Wednesday I did the borders. I used a sliver of soap to trace around a  cable pattern. After I finished the first side before John's appointment so I decided I would remove the remaining soap traces with a wet wash cloth. Problem# 4.
Border fabric bled through to back
The dark blue batik bled through to the backing.  I'm hoping when I get it bound and washed that it will not be permanent.  I have had time to do the binding but as usual other things were calling me first.

Quilting finished

Well that was good practice and most of my problems were of my own making so I surely know how to correct them.  Here's to more practice soon!

Thursday was a fun day of sewing at my house with Connie, Sally and Cathy.  We all got several blocks made in addition to seeing and admiring each others show and tell.  I had my Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt center completed to show them and they were all impressed.  I'm still looking for my fabric for the inner border.  I pieced my other borders so I'm ready to go with it when I find just the right one.  I made a chicken casserole, spinach salad and lemon bars for lunch. 

John and I met with his Pulmonary Doctor Wednesday to discuss the results of his biopsy on Dec. 28th.  We the news is that there really is no news.  They failed to get enough tissue for anything conclusive.  The Dr.suggested a possibility of another procedure (surgery) to remove the lymph node for biopsy.  We said no - but that we would agree to another scan next month and then proceed from there.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6th - Old Christmas!

I took some time this afternoon to cut some blue and tan blocks for a Veteran's Quilt Kit.  It will be nice to have something ready to sew on at Bee meetings, etc.

It is a real simple star design with sashing that I can add as I make the blocks.  I cut enough for 20 blocks that finish at 12" with sashing.  It will make a quilt that is 51" X 63''.

My little hill of shirt fabrics is growing.  John's sister brought me 14 shirts last week.  I have most of them laundered and cut.  She was in Pittsburgh so finding orange shirts was relatively easy!

Got in just a little more sewing on my version of the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt.  I am a little over half way done and I have another row sewn and ready to be pressed.


Christmas is put away  at our house for the most part. John took out the tree today. When I was a child, my family usually took our tree down on Old Christmas!  Of course we didn't put our tree up until the week before Christmas.  January 6 was John's Mom's birthday so we always had a reason to celebrate on Old Christmas while she was living. 

I have been sorting and filing 3 years worth of documents. I usually do this dreaded chore along with the other dreaded chore (TAXES)  each year but I have been pretty slack the past two years.  Time to bite the bullet!  I just have 6 months more to go. Yea!

It has been something to occupy our minds as we have been waiting to hear the results of John's biopsy last week. Looks like we will have to wait a little longer.  Hopefully no news is good news.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mystery Quilt Progress - Step 8 - The Finish!

I got up fairly early yesterday so I could check out the reveal of the Orca Bay Mystery quilt at .  I really love the design and managed to sew part of a row before I went to Chapel Hill with Connie, Sally and Cathy.  I used lots of spray starch to tame all the seams.

We had a great time shopping at the annual sale (I only bought 7yds.) at Thimble Pleasures and then ate a late lunch at the Weathervane over at Southern Seasons. ( Butternut Squash Soup and Chicken Salad  - It was a real treat.)

This morning I sewed a few more blocks and this was the result as I stuck them up on the wall.  Something looked a little off  - I have already sewn two black units wrong. RATS! Time for the seam ripper.  I thought about waiting to do it later but TA DA!
I got a little confused for awhile as I started making rows looking at the actual quilt - then as I looked at the diagram it took me awhile to realize she had her photo bottom side up.  Now I see!
 Even though it is on the wall crooked and I don't show the whole strip, I do have one double row finished.  I left my little year round sewing tree in the picture as it matches with the top being a little curved in the other direction.

No more sewing tonight - I plan to undecorate the big tree.  John took down the outside decorations while I was off gadding yesterday.