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Saturday, December 31, 2011

A bit of O'Bay seasoning

We're really starting to mix it up now! 

Yesterday Bonnie released Part 7 of the Quiltville Orca Bay Mystery, and it's a doozie!  Crab soup, anyone?

We're using the units we made in the last step, and also the red strings we made in Part 4 to make flying geese blocks which, if you squint your eyes, look like wee crabs!

There's another step to this part which involves cutting more fabric but I'm not in a cutting mood right now.  They're just neutral half-square triangles that we have to combine with the angles from the last Part, but I don't wanna [whine, whine]. 

So - I've stuck with piecing the flying crabs!  I've only done six so far, but I've had fun arranging them in different ways...

Aren't these great?  They're giving me ideas for future quilt layouts!

That's it for now on these, I can't wait to see the final step that Bonnie will release on New Year's day - almost a week early!

As always, take a look at the Monday Mystery Link Up page for more design ideas.

Sew forth and sew on

Friday, December 30, 2011

Four-inch Friday

Three things to be happy about:
(1) an unhurried awakening
(2) red mittens
(3) the Three Stooges

Actually I can't stand the Three Stooges, but they probably still make somebody happy!

It's been 4 weeks since I posted my 4-inch blocks, how did that happen!?

So far I've posted 16, so here's #17 - brown with orange and blue accents

that orange looks more like raspberry sorbet, but it really is orange.  My scanner does funny things with the colors!

Now #18 is a favorite:

I really like this red, white and black!  The colors look "true" in this shot, and I like the wavy design I made in this one.  I was inspired by the solid color challenge quilt I did a few months ago, you can see the finished quilt here...

So that's two more, only 340+ left to go!

Sew forth and sew on

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Count your blessings

I saw this video on Yahoo and had to share it (please bear with the commercial).  We should all count our blessings every day, not just at Christmas time!

Sick teen's video

Handy at half the price

Three things to be happy about:
(1) Christmas lights twinkling
(2) the feel of fleece
(3) hiding under the covers

If you wake up, turn over and snuggle back under the covers for another snooze, does that count as hiding?  I mean, if you're alone??  Never mind, let's not go there!

Yesterday after my doctor's appointment I was on my way to Wheaton Plaza (they renamed it "Westfield Shoppingtown" but to me it'll always be Wheaton Plaza) when I saw a Dollar Tree and decided to stop in and look for one of those 12x18 activity pads.  Now, some of you know Dollar Tree is my favorite dollar store - you can get some really good junk in there! 

They didn't have the pads, but they were  having a half-price sale on their Christmas stuff.  I'm not interested in getting any more Christmas decorations to dump in my basement, so it was easy to pass by that stuff without looking.  However, I did see something that grabbed my interest... cookie canisters!
These are 5 x 7-1/2, a great size to store some of my quilting notions in!  I picked up 4 of them, at 50 cents each. 

Thread fits in there really well; that 2-1/2" depth is perfect for the small spools of Sulky and Mettler.  Now I can use the container they were in for something larger.

I even put some of the triangular blocks from Part 5 of the Orca Bay Mystery in one, to see how they'd fit...

They snuggled right in; that's just 100 blocks, but I know I can get all 350 inside!  However, I have a "feeling" these will have to come back out on Friday... just sayin'.

I was attracted to these canisters because they're compact and can be stacked atop each other, to maximize my storage space

I think of these as another step in putting my sewing space in order.  

Sew forth and sew on

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oh my stars!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a song in your heart
(2) overnight trips
(3) comments from my readers


Every now and again I have a no-sew day, you ever have one of those?  But I've been plugging away at my Orca Bay mystery bits and pieces and I'm making progress - Part 6 is all done! 
28 stars with light backgrounds, and 28 with black backgrounds for a total of 56 stars, waiting for their next step!

Meanwhile, I'm still sewing anglets for Part 5 and I have a bunch more done.  It helps to pay attention, though - this is what can happen when you sew with one eye on the television

the black is against the wrong side of the HST block!

Then you unsew it and sew it on again, repeating the same mistake at least 3 more times...

See what I'm up against?  That's why I say I'm "plugging away" at these, LOL.  I'll be done tomorrow though, in time for the next part.

Well, it's errands for me today, looks like a nice day for it!  Have a great Wednesday everyone.

Sew forth and sew on

Monday, December 26, 2011

Orca Bay progress

Two things to be happy about
(1) (2) Christmas toes!

I like wearing fun socks at Christmas time, I try to get a new pair every year.  Face it, this is the only time of year most of us can were socks like these without getting strange looks!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends!

I got some piecing done yesterday and Saturday on my Orca Bay blocks!  When I was lining them up I thought these looked like party poppers, so I had to get a shot -

aren't they cute?  I can see how the patterns in my black and neutral fabrics are working this design!

I finished all the stars with neutral backgrounds; here are my black ones so far:

It's almost as if the Ohio Star blocks are wearing tuxedos - moving right along!

You can see my other posts on Part 6 here and here.  Also, visit the Mystery Monday link up page to see other quilters' progress, there's lots to see!

I'm also working on the pattern (still!) for my Wonky House swap, I'll share some pictures next time.

Sew forth and sew on

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Evening edition - Radio City Christmas show

I hope Santa was good to you...

I love these toy soldiers, please use the link below to see the video; it kept freezing on this page!


Christmas wishes

Merry Christmas everyone - have a blessed day!

(9:00 pm - edited to remove fireplace video; I think there's too much on the page!)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

updates, updates

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a gift for drawing
(2) baked sweet potato
(3) poppy seed pastries

Actually, I don't care for poppy seeds and I since I was in the drug abuse testing pool at my agency, I try to avoid em whenever I can!  However, I do like baked sweet potatoes and I was very disappointed Thursday when I looked for potatoes at Costco ... and they didn't have any!  No worries, I can get some at Giant  :o)

I'm loving these Ohio stars in the Quiltville Orca Bay mystery!  They're so perky with that spark of red in the center, and I like the mix of colors and patterns I used in the neutrals.

I completed this stack of 15 blocks with the light backgrounds for this step - only 13 more lights to go, then I'll do the black ones!

It's interesting that some of the fabrics I used in the hourglass blocks won't work as well (in my opinion) when I cut them as 2-1/2" squares - for example, the blue on white looked a little too "blue" in the larger size, so I eliminated that fabric in this step.  There was also a white-and-black pattern I wasn't too crazy about in the larger size. 

I still have to finish my winglets in Part 5, I'm sure I can do that before the next part is posted.

And now an update on the construction going on in the house next to mine - I live in a rowhouse so I can hear each hammer thud, especially if it's on the near side of the rooms; it's almost like living in an apartment!

At this point they must have finished all the tearing away they have to do, a container was delivered late yesterday morning to take away the construction debris.   

The shear amount of trash surprises me because the house was remodeled top-to-bottom in 2006... so there should not have been that much stuff to deconstruct in that house.  The asking price for the house was $399,999, and if the new owner is a contractor who plans to flip the house, how much is he willing to put into it before he sells?   I'm sure he didn't pay that much because there was a three-week negotiation period, but still...

Who knows what, anyway?

It took three men almost an hour to load up all the trash (along with a little something I snuck in there after they left Thursday night), then the driver returned and lifted it onto the truck with his hydraulic thingie.

He unrolled a canvas over all the stuff and was on his merry way, talking on his cell the whole time.


I took all the pictures (except the first one) hanging out my second story window, who knows what was flying around in the air?  So now you know all about construction debris being piled up, loaded and hauled away, probably a lot more than you wanted to know!   

As you can see, sometimes it doesn't take much to hold my interest, especially if I need a break from sewing.

Sew forth and sew on

Friday, December 23, 2011

While I was sleeping...

"the Bon" posted the next step in the Orca Bay Mystery!   It was her Christmas present to those of us swimming along in the Orca pod - thanks Bonnie!

I'm not done with Part 5 yet but I wanted to get my feet wet in the new step and I'm glad I did!  In this part we're to cut 2-1/2" squares from reds, blacks, and neutrals, then use them with the hour glass units we made in Part 1 to create Ohio stars.  I went to my 2-1/2" strip bin (as if I were going to find anything in there - hah!  I haven't even been cutting strips on a regular basis) and found only a pitiful few strips in black, and even fewer neutrals...
Oh well... I'll have to use what I've got, then cut some more!

I grabbed some scraps and yardage, and started cutting

just enough to get started.

and the blocks turned out wonderfully! 

aren't they the cutest? 

Now that I've got my fix for the new step, I'll continue with part 5...
I still have a number of little winglets to put on my HST blocks. 

I have no idea how many I did or how many are left to do, I'll just keep going til I finish!

You can check other progress by going to the Mystery Monday linkup on the Orca Bay Mystery page.  Lot's of good eye candy to see on there!

I mentioned before that my neighbors on one side had sold their house... so Monday the workmen started doing renovations over there - around 8 a.m., eeeyowww!  

I had gotten in the habit of sleeping til 9 o'clock unless I felt wide awake or had to get up for a specific reason, for pete's sake!  When I saw one of the men going in there on Tuesday I asked him if he knew how long the renovations would take... between his English and my Spanish, I still don't have a clue.

They're doing some heavy duty stuff, there's a lot of debris being tossed out into the back yard; this is what it looks like so far... and you can't even see what's back in the carport area.

Two doors down (see the deck?) they've also been doing renovations, started sometime in late October.  That deck was put in while I was away in early November.  They just put in a sliding door yesterday and they're working on the den and kitchen, who knows how long it'll take.  Bang! ba-bang bang! all day long...

Someone asked how much I spent on my little jaunt to Hancock's... according to my receipts (yep - I got the fabric then waded back in for the other stuff!) I spent close to $54, and saved $99.  I'll use the Sulky thread for quilting, I like the subtle sheen it gives the quilt. 

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!  Have a great Friday.

Sew forth and sew on

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feeling... 10 percent

You ever have a day that just made you grin?  Me too!

Yesterday I couldn't resist calling the local Hancock Fabrics to see if they were still open, I wasn't sure if they were closed or not ... the person answering the phone said "Yes, but today's the last day!"  So, with me being me, I hopped on over to see what I could see...

I saw "stuff" at 90% off! 

I got the rest of their quilter's between needles, sizes 8, 9 and 10, at 22 cents a package.  A wooden hand presser for 39 cents; an Omnigrid offset square template and two of those ruler handle suction thingies for 69 cents each; three packs of self-adhesive Needle Grip-It dots for 44 cents each! 

And that's just the tip of the iceberg...

Sulky and Mettler threads for 40 cents each...

These books had been marked down to $2.00, so I got them for 20 cents!  Turning Twenty by Tricia Cribbs has been out there awhile but I never made one of her quilts, and I didn't have a book.  I didn't mind paying 20 cents for these three - I got Books 1, 2, and 3 in the series!  And the two snowman books had some cute patterns, so I figured why not.

But the real coup was the fabric; check these out!

I thought these little aliens were so adorable!  I was drawn to the bright colors in it, they'll look great in a child's quilt.  I like words, so the fabric on the bottom had to come home with me!

I don't usually buy Halloween fabric but I got these!  The top and bottom ones can qualify for black if I want to... I like the soft purple shade of the one in the middle, so I had to get it!  The first two are from the M'Liss Halloween Magic line, you can get a closer look at the top one here.  The purple is probably discontinued.

More words!  Patriotic words such as freedom, strength, liberty, USA, honor ... and the softer color has baby words such as adorable, muffin, angel face, sweet thing and little pea pod.  I like the first and third bolts because they're neutrals, I was drawn to that bright blue color of the second one.  The brown one is a child's print and is listed as a novelty with dino words ... big scary teeth, dino land, munch, dinosaur footprint.  It's saying all these things but the little characters are grinning.  Whatever.

Oh, did I mention I purchased these by the bolt?  And that the bolts were $3 each?  Yes!!!

If the bolt didn't have at least 4 yards on it I didn't get it, but believe me it was flying off the shelf!  Some of the fabric, such as the purple Halloween fabric, was originally $8.99 a yard, so I got a really good deal!  Upholstery fabric was going for 50 cents a yard; I don't know what the minimum cut was but some customers were getting the entire bolt.

Now you know why I was grinning about feeling "10 percent!"  If I were a smoker... I swanee I would have rared back, crossed my legs and lit a lonnnnnng cigarette!

I said once before that I wasn't going back to Hancock's because I have enough fabric, but I really mean it this time - it's closed down.

Sew forth and sew on

Monday, December 19, 2011

The wings of an angle

Yep, I meant to say angle, not angel

On Friday Bonnie released Part 5 of the Quiltville Orca Bay mystery, we're moving right along!  This time we're to add half-square triangle "wings" to the white part of the black and neutral half-square triangle units we pieced in Part 3. 

I'm using the Easy Angle ruler to make my cuts, I think I'm friends with it by now!  I cut gobs and gobs of HST's from 2" black strips

neatness doesn't count, thank goodness!

I sewed a few units together to make sure my seams are behaving... they are

It feels really really good when my seams are right and things line up!  Look at how straight that long edge is!  As Barney Fife would say "See how Baby just lies in her cradle!?"

So, since Friday I've done about a dozen blocks, only 338 to go - progress is a good thing!

You can visit the Monday Mystery Link Up on the Quiltville blog to see what everybody else is doing, there are probably hundreds of people working on all parts of the mystery.  Some people are using different color combinations than Bonnie used, there are some very pretty combinations to look at!

Sew forth and sew on

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hallelujah Chorus

Worth seeing again - enjoy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Foto-finish: ribbon

Is it Saturday already??  They say time flies when you're having fun, but I believe it flies whether you're having fun or not!  Not that this week hasn't been fun... I went shopping with a friend, had lunch with another, got to trundle one more time in the Hancock's store, saw a movie and managed to get a little sewing time in!

This morning I was sleeping peacefully when a large truck woke me up just after 8 o'clock - there's an alley behind my house and for some reason he/they chose to go grinding through there.  When I realized today is Foto Finish day, I decided to photograph some ribbon I happen to have in my sewing room upstairs....

I usually buy new Christmas ribbon on sale every year and the ones that don't get used are stored away in a Christmas wrap bin.  But those pretty ones that come in a large bag or on a cardboard?  Somehow they get crushed, and I end up buying more anyway!  I've gotten better at resisting the sales, though. 

Isn't this pink ribbon pretty?  It was given to me earlier this year at Bath & Body Works when I bought some soaps and lotions.  It's not Christmas ribbon but I thought I'd throw it in.

I believe Barbara's weekly themes are always interesting because you never know how the theme will be interpreted.  Go visit her blog at Cat Patches, where you'll see other foto finish links.

Have a great Saturday, I got sewing to do after I finish breffus - sew forth and sew on!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

wonky testing

Three things to be annoyed about:
(1) drivers who sit thru a traffic light then signal for a left turn when it turns green
(2) drivers who slow waaaaaaaay down when approaching a speed camera, then put their foot in the tank after they pass it
(3) [see #2 above]

Yesterday was one of those days when I didn't [really want to] get a lot of sewing done.  Some days are like that! 

I did make a test block for the Wonky House swap though...
I redrafted this pattern but I'm not sure I like making it in the larger size, you use way too much fabric in some spots trying to align it.  I'll call this "1" for counting purposes, but I don't think I'll make another one of these, unless I do something else creative with the size.  We'll see!

I couldn't resist going to Hancock Fabrics just one more time yesterday

I was hoping they'd slashed the prices again, but just barely!  All the Christmas fabrics were gone except for a very few and some Halloween fabrics, there was a bit of fleece and flannel left, mostly in childrens' prints.

If I were into making a lot of bags, I could have gotten a good deal on their upholstery fabrics, what was left of it!  Their notions wall was down to the bare bones too

They sold all their rotary cutter blades except the wavy ones; I've seen those the last two times I went in, I bought one years ago and didn't particularly like it.  You can see some bias tape makers still hanging up there too; hand and sewing machine needles are all gone.  There were a few buttons on another wall.

I was surprised at the amount of Sulky threads left, though.  Lots of metallics as well as rayon, but they were still listed at 60% off.   They need to drop the prices to 75% off, in my opinion.

After buying some more neutral fabric that I liked and a 12-1/2" ruler, I couldn't believe how late it was - I was 'sposed to meet a friend for lunch in Rockville in about 10 minutes, yikes! 

I made it about 20 minutes late, but she was cool with it, I had one of those buy-one-get-one-free coupons.  I got the ribs and decided to try their mashed cauliflower, which I'd never had before.

Well... the ribs were okay but I didn't like the cauliflower!

Have a great Thursday; sew forth and sew on