Welcome to my blog, we're talking about quilting and other good stuff. I'm glad you stopped by ... look around, add a comment, become a follower if you feel inclined, tell your friends about me, and come back soon!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crumb along #4

Three things to be happy about:
(1) sweet barbecue aromas
(2) colorful stacks of veggies
(3) indulging a guilty pleasure

Is it a subconscious nudge that my three happy things are about food??  Of course, a guilty pleasure could be anything, but this one is about food  ;o)

I had to go to the AT&T phone store in Chevy Chase the other day (I got a new phone by mail and needed some hands-on help... that 197-page pdf file you have to download off the net just wasn't doing the job).  Anyway, it just so happens the AT&T is just down the block from the Cheesecake Factory... in fact I had  to go past the Cheesecake Factory to get to the subway station.  So, what could I do but indulge in a guilty pleasure - I bought a slice of cheesecake!  They have this low-carb cheesecake that's not bad at all... I asked the bakery guy how many carbs DID it have exactly - he checked with the kitchen and they said it was 6 per slice.  SO, I don't feel so guilty about my little pleasure!

This week's crumb along blocks are 9-patch and 4-patch blocks...
This one is sorta okay... I deliberately made the center smaller so I could border it with more than one round... the result?  The center is overpowered by the borders!  The jury is still out on whether or not I'll keep this one.

Now, this 4-patch is a toss-away for sure...

There's simply not enough contrast going on in there.  This is another one where I should have made the center larger... I used two rounds of border but it still looks a bit... mushy? 

I'll have to tackle both blocks again; after all, what's so difficult about making 4-patch and 9-patch blocks! 

Also, I'll make more star blocks and some fillers to use later.

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My little quilt

Three things to be happy about:
(1) fruit butters
(2) the smell of coffee perking
(3) little red wagons

I like that fresh apple butter you can get this time of year when you visit the farmers markets, there's just something so different from the ones you get off the grocer's shelf.  You know it's presevative-free when they tell you to refrigerate after opening, and eat it all up quick!

Remember this project?

I used it as inspiration to make this one for Yetunde:

And this is the one she made for me...

I love it!

Isn't it interesting how two people can be inspired by the same piece, yet each final product is different?  I believe one of the wonderful things about quiltmaking is, each person's work reflects some part of their unique personality.  And at the same time, that unique-ness changes over time.  Who hasn't looked back at their first (or third!) quilt and seen changes between that one and the ones you do today. 

It's all good!

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crumb along progress

Three things to be happy about:
(1) remembering the coupons
(2) ignoring appearances
(3) empathy

I have this pair of yellow shorts, I think they're made of cotton flannel but you can't prove it by me because they're so old the label has washed out.  I think they're about 15-20 years old.  The only drawback is they're so floppy, baggy, saggy and decrepit looking, I can only wear them inside the house.  I really love those shorts because they feel so good on, who cares what they look like!  Some of you know what I mean...

I went to Hancock's on Thursday to get a yard of Kona and decided to pick up a new bottle of Best Prest since I had only about an inch left in my old bottle, I really like that spray!  I saw a large size refill, but it was $11.99 - sheesh!  Well, I didn't have my coupons - forgot em as usual.  The cashier knows me by now; she picked up a flyer from the counter and said "I'm not supposed to and you might make me lose my job, and if I do I'm coming after you, but let's see if we can use this coupon..."   The coupon was for 40% off notions, but the starch wasn't a notion.  Somehow she made it work, and it brought the price down to $7.19.  Bless her!

Now, what does all that have to do with my crumb along project?  Nuttin honey...

I made these three heart blocks that turned out really nice. 
I had to laugh because I kept sewing the little flying geese units at the top together the wrong way - atop each other rather than side by side.

These star blocks are right cute too!
I'm going to make some with a smaller center - I want to use more than one round of border strips.

When I lay all my blocks out in a group they're starting to play really nicely together!  I like the idea of combining plaids/homespuns with African fabrics, I'll explore that a bit more as I go along.

Well that's it for today, sew forth and sew on til later...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Smile

Kirk Franklin - I Smile Lyrics *
I dedicate this song to recession,
depression and unemployment.
This song’s for you.

Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine.
Nothing but clouds, and it’s dark in my heart
and it feels like a cold night.
Today’s a new day, but where are my blue skies.
Where is the love and the joy that you promised me
tell me it’s alright.

(I’ll be honest with you)

I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain,
fell from heaven like a shower now.

(When I think how much better I’m gonna be when this is over)

I smile, even though I hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while
I smile, smile..
It’s so hard to look up when you look down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now.
You look so much better when you smile, so smile.

*You can get the lyrics in their entirety from http://www.songonlyrics.com/kirk-franklin-i-smile-lyrics

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Crumb along

Well, I've finally started on my crumb-along blocks that Jo's doing!  Click on the Crumb Along graphic in the margin to see others.  The first ones are flying geese -

I think they turned out A-okay! 

I like the look of Jo's red with plaids, and I remembered I ordered one of those woven scrap bags from Keepsake Quilting that I'd never used.  So, I dug in and found a few pieces I could use for background.  I 'm also planning to use African fabrics in these blocks ... where will they go?  who knows!

When I made the geese I didn't clip off the little corner of the rectangle as she instructed; the first ones I did were too uneven and off kilter, so I made new ones and left the background corners attached.  Easier to square up that way.  Also, she suggested squaring up at 6" but I did mine 6-1/2" in case I misunderstood; I can always trim them down.

So that takes care of  last  week's blocks... now to tackle this week's assignment!

Sew forth and sew on ...

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm baaaaaaack!

Hello everybody!  I see we have a new follower, hey there Francine!  It's been so long since I've posted ... I was thinking it was 4-5 days but then Renea pointed out to me, it's been almost TWO WEEKS!!  Where does the time go??  Did you miss me?  I missed you!

Lately I've been in a mood or funk or rut or slump... you name it, who knows?  Didn't feel like quilting, didn't feel like blogging - neither hopping nor posting!  Then I had cold/allergy symptoms, and I REALLY didn't want to deal with it!  Well, whatever it was, I was in there for about two weeks.  Then when Charlene told me she goes through the same thing sometime, I felt better - it's a normal thing evidently.  Assuming Char is normal, hehehe!   Just kidding, just kidding!

Anyway, yesterday I "ris up" and felt like sewing - WOOT WOOT!  I sewed 2 blocks of a project I'm working on for November and attached the binding on the back of my Wickedly Easy quilt.  This morning I got up bright and early (8:30 for us retired folks!!) and was machine sewing down the other side when my Singer went kablooey!   The fabric just simply stopped moving under the needle - well darn!

I took it into Hancock Fabrics so Jeff the wizard could look at it (by the way, he's the only person who has EVER worked on my Singer Touch n Sew lo these 40 years) and he told me the gear that moves the feed dogs broke.  He recommended replacing that one and another one, because if one broke, the other one might not be far behind.  I figure after 40 years it was due to break so I told him to go ahead... $95 isn't a bad investment, I plan on keeping the Singer another 40 years!

Now on to pleasant stuff - my Wickedly Easy quilt!
It's done but it still looks like the flimsy I showed a few months ago.  I'm not very good at photographing my stuff - I think I need Madam Samm to orchestrate my layouts!

Above shows part of the backing fabric... I pieced together three different fabrics that had basically the same colors.

I tried to show a closeup of the quilting here.  You can't see the pattern very clearly, but it was beautifully long-arm quilted by Bernerdett, a member of my guild.  She recently added a computer operated doohickey to her long-arm.

Anyway, I need to finish sewing down the binding - don't worry, I can use my Janome!  Then it'll be ready to give to my niece, J'Nai, at her college graduation in December, yaaaaay!

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Quilting acronyms

Thanks for the comments and good wishes for my knee, I know it's going to get better and better!!

We got our 100th follower yesterday, welcome Jeanne!  Everyone, please visit her at Ark Angels Quilting  - she just got a new Janome DC2011 woot woot!

And Cindy weighs in as #101, welcome Cindy!  Visit her at Cindy Quilts (I think!)

I wanted to share this acronyms list I found on J's Quilting Blog, some of them are so appropriate - I have a lot of those 401's!

The list:

•BOM=Block of the Month

•Charms=Small pieces of fabric, usually squares or hexagons, all different fabrics
•Charm packs=package of pre-cut squares
•CQ=Crazy Quilting (traditional quilt pattern with embellisments)
•COC=Cream on Cream

•DJ=Dear Jane (a traditional quilt pattern)
•D4P=Double Four Patch
•DIC=Double Irish Chain
•Dimes=10" squares
•DIY=Do It Yourself
•DSM = Domestic Sewing Machine

•EQ=Electric Quilting software, now EQ5,6, or 7

•F8=Fat 1/8th or 9"x 22"
•FART = Fabric Acquisition Road Trip
•FIU=Finish It Up
•FLIMSY=pieced top
•FQ=Fat Quarter
•Frog Stitching=rip it, rip it....ripping stitches out
•FW=Featherweight (Singer) sewing machine
•FW=Fusible Web (be care to iron this one, sew with the above)

•Giterdone=Get 'er Done! Term most often used for ancient or dreaded projects
•GFG=Grandmother's Flower Garden, a traditional quilt pattern

•HP=Hand Piecing
•HQ=Hand Quilting
•HST=Half-Square Triangle
•HSY=Haven't Started Yet

•Jelly Rolls=pre-cut fabric strips, rolled up and sold in a set

•LA=Long Armer, professional machine quilter
•LAQ=Long Arm Quilting machine
•LQ=Liberated Quiltmaking, free form quilting without striving for precision or perfection
•LQS=Local Quilt Shop

•MAQ=Mid-Arm Quilter

•Nickles=5" squares
•NQR=Not Quilt Related, as in board or group off topic, topic and it's oppostie QR

•OBW=One-Block Wonder
•OSMG=old sewing machine guy, your go-to fellow for repairs

•PFD=fabric that is Prepared For Dying
•PHD=Project Half Done
•PIGS=Projects in Grocery Sacks
•PIM=Project in Mind
•PIPs=Project in Progress
•PITs=Projects in Totes
•PIW=Project in Waiting (not yet a WIP)
•PP=Paper Piecing

•QAYG=Quilt As You Go-A quilting/piecing process which incorporates sewing together a block and quilting it at the same time.
•QUIMM=Quilt In My Mind
•QUTD=Question Of The Day: quilting group or board top for discussion that day
•QR=Quilt Related and NQR: it's opposite
•Quilt Candy=Small charm pieces of fabric, folded up to look like candy
•QST=Quarter Square Triangles

•RR=Round Robin (quilt exchange, passing around a group taking turns with it)

•SABLE=Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
•SAQM=Small Arm Quilting Machine
•SaS=Steam a Seam iron on double faced interfacing/non stitching product
•SEX=Stash Enhancing eXperience (or eXcursion)
•SID=Stitch In (the) Ditch, quilting technique
•Siggies=Squares of fabric with signatures and other info on them
•SnW=Stack 'n Whack, pile them up and cut them all at once block pattern
•SQ=Simply Quilts
•Squishy=Envelopes filled with swap fabric or gifts sent/received in the mail
•STASH=Special Treasures All Secretly Hidden
•SUI=Shopping Under Influence (usually with a friend)
•SWAN=Swap Without a Name

•TBQ=To Be Quilted
•TGIF=Thank Goodness It’s Finished!
•TIC=Triple Irish Chain, a traditional quilt pattern
•TOAD=Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust
•TUFO=Tuesday UFO night, also WUFO etc.

•UFO=UnFinished Object
•USO=UnStarted Object

•VIP=Very Import Project

•WHIM=Work Hidden In Mind
•WHIMM=Work Hidden In My Mind
•WIP=Work In Progress
•WISP=Work In Slow Progress
•WIVSP=Work In Very Slow Progress
•WIWMI=Wish It Would Make Itself
•WOA=Work Of Art
•WOF=Width of Fabric
•WOMBAT=Waste of Money, Batting, and Time
•WOW=White On White
•WWIT=What Was I Thinking

•YBR=Yellow Brick Road, a popular quilting pattern
•YoYo=a circle of fabric, gathered and sewn into a puffy circle; also one who makes them

•401 F=Fabric for Retirement
•401 P= Patterns for retirement

I just realized yesterday was 9-10-11 on the calendar.  Today there are many ceremonies remembering 9/11; whichever way you decide to remember it, have a great day everyone...

Sew forth and sew on til later

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Do overs

Hi everybody!  We have 99 followers ... who will be the 100th?  Will it be you?? or you perhaps???  Hop in, there's room!

Sometimes we can do things over and they turn out all right, better than ever. 

But some things ... you don't exactly get a second chance  :O*(

I woke bright and early this morning around 4:30 and decided to do some sewing, so I hopped out of bed and as I was going into my sewing room I bumped my left knee smack into the edge of the door.  At that point I wished I could have done the previous 5 minutes over because I could not bend my knee without pain ... it was okay straight out, I could walk but if I bent it beyond a certain point oh man the pain was excrutiating!  I had to sit with my leg sticking straight out.

That was almost 3 hours ago and now PRAISE GOD I can sit with the knee bent.  When I stretch the leg out I can hear (and feel) a small pop but the pain is nothing like it was.

My other do-over is a piece I sewed a few months(!?) ago when I was doing a solids swap.  Remember this one?

If you've been reading my blog awhile, you know I tossed this one aside and made another one... you'll see the finished block in my photo slide show on the right (hint: it's between the grey one and the kitty cat, and it looks nothing  like the one above!).  I never liked it just as it was, so I took the middle and bottom seams loose and started playing around with different fabrics. 

My first impression of this was "ho-hum!"  In any case I've got some work to do... all I can see right now is yellow!

I plan to stay with solids rather than introducing patterned fabric at this point, I don't think it would look too great.  The little pieced strip in the middle?  I found it in my "parts department," so I threw it in although there's some marbled fabric in it.  I think it sort of qualifies, don't you? 

Also, I'll stay with a limited color palette -  maybe I'll throw in a deeper blue, some off white, a dark-dark green.  At this point I'm thinking it will be an attractive wall hanging that's not too large, but I've been known to change my mind.

Sew forth and sew on til later - send up prayers for my knee!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A new thing

Hello everybody, especially new followers!  Well I did it - it's been a week since I posted!

What have I been doing since my last post?   'Ount know.

I notice there's a new blogger interface, I tried it and didn't care too much for it, so I switched it back, thank you very much.

And here's another new thing I noticed - a new sew-along! 

Crumb Along!

It's a Crumb Quilt Crumb Along at Jo's Country Junction.  (Try saying that three times fast!  Once, even.) 

It started this week and here's what Jo says:  "Each and every Tuesday for the next ten weeks, I’ll be giving you ideas on fabric requirements, block construction, layouts and the like. You’ll have a week to make 2-10 blocks a week depending on your preference and your schedule..."

Since I do work with crumbs, this should be a good sew along to try (along with my other stuff that I'm not sure what I'm doing)... why don't you all jump in, it looks like fun!

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This and that

Or I should say "this, and that new project."

Is there a secret button you push when you have enough projects??  Does a red light go on and you hear a beeping sound?? 

I didn't think so...

I've decided to join a few friends from my guild and work on Baltimore album blocks (not to be confused with my South of Baltimore blocks!)  from the Rose of Sharon Block Book by Sharon Pederson. 
These block designs are winners of the EQ6 challenge... did any of you enter the challenge?  Your block might be in the book!

We'll each pick the blocks we want to work on, then meet once a month or so to support each other.  I haven't decided which ones I'll do yet, but the book has some pretty interesting choices...

I also haven't decided if I'll do a traditional quilt or a table runner, or something else entirely. 

I'm not normally a hand work person, but it wouldn't hurt to brush up my hand piecing skills.

I haven't posted lately but I've been working on this and that "behind the scenes"... stuff I can't show you yet.  The red and white challenge I'm in will be unveiled in December, there's another project I'll show you next month and another in November.   

Meanwhile, I found this little test block that I did some time ago...

It's been so long that I can't even remember when it was, but chances are really good it's been a few years!

I't a log cabin style block; I like what I started with the colors, except that green batik-ey piece in the top corner.  I may start slicing and dicing my African fabrics (is that yet another project??) and see what turns up.

And then meanwhile, I'm really enjoying being retired!!

Sew forth and sew on til later!