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!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Binding a quilt

For some reason the binding is my least favorite part of a quilt -- go figure!  You'd think after a lot of piecing, joining, measuring and what have you to make the top, the binding should be a piece of cake.   I found this tutorial by Missouri Star Quilt Co. on YouTube that I want to share... I like the way she makes her binding strips by pressing each one in half before joining.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Solids are nice

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a brand-new day
(2) bobbing a tea bag
(3) guiltless pleasure

My friend Zonia hadn't ever been to the Maryland Live! casino, so a couple days ago we hopped in the car and hustled right along.  Now here's the fun part:  she'd only been inside a casino once, and that was a very long time ago - I had to show her how to insert her card and where to put in the money.  She had beginner's luck almost right away!  I'm talking LUCK!!!   That's all I'm saying...  Zonia is a good solid friend, we've known each other for ... gosh, at least 30 years!   When she won we were both grinning.  After we finished playing, we ate lunch at their excellent buffet - yummy!!

I finished piecing the solid quilt, actually it was done in no time flat because the blocks are so large

it didn't take me long to figure out a border treatment, green is just fine

it only needs one border, I think; this one finishes at 40 x 44. 

I like the play of these solid colors against each other.  I had fun doing this one because I knew any two colors would work well next to each other in a single block.  No thoughts about scale or pattern, there's just something about solids!

I missed the WeeBee meeting last week, so I'll turn it in at the next meeting for my community service project.  I'll have it quilted between now and October 28, no worries.

So now we find ourselves at the end of another month, time flies whether you're having fun or not - have a great Friday!  Sew forth and sew on

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moving right along

Three things to be happy about:
(1) pumpkins in a pile
(2) loading your stapler
(3) cool breezes

Cool breezes?  This morning seems more like frigid breezes, it's in the 40's right now brrrrr!  But thank goodness the weather is turning towards fall, when you start to see fall-ish things... like punkins in a pile and halloween candy!

This is a great morning to have crumpets for breakfast - I found these crumpets at Wegman's and I've fallen in love with them!  They're totally fat-free, with only 80 calories and 18 carbs each.  Before I found these I'd only heard of "tea and crumpets" in British novels and hadn't the faintest idea what they were talking about... la-de-dah. The taste and texture sort of remind me of pancakes; I smear on just a dab of butter and some Polaner sugar-free jelly, and now I can honestly say la-de-yum!!!

I finished my black and white quilt top, I just have to give it a good press and take it to the LA on Thursday, yaaaay!  Meanwhile I've been working on my solid quilt, making great progress, especially since it'll only be set 3 x 3 plus borders - child size.

3" and 2-1/2" pieces

pieced strips measuring 6-1/2 x 12-1/2"
Well, today I get my flu shot, wish me luck - I hate needles! I understand they will have the "short" needle, but to me ... a needle is a needle.  It's a lead-pipe cinch I'd make a poor junkie (thank goodness!)

Keep sewing, slash that stash, have a great day ... sew forth and sew on!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nearly finished and just starting

Three things to be happy about:
(1) the calm after a storm
(2) warm home-made pound cake
(3) a handyman when you need one

A couple weeks ago when my sister was here, my kitchen faucet just plain fell over!  I had noticed "something hard and black" under the sink and if I had gone ahead and cleaned it up, I'd have realized that the plastic locknut broke off one of the faucets.  But I DID notice that the faucet assembly seemed loose, and when Shell turned on the water it sort of flopped down into the sink.  It looked really funny hanging halfway over ... it still worked though.

After they left I arranged for Andrew the handyman to come the next day.
Good as new!

I'm making great progress on my black and white quilt; the entire top is pieced and all the rows except two are attached.  I've also been piecing a back, something that I hardly ever do.  I usually just take two large whopping pieces of fabric and sew them together, but this quilt seems to call for a pieced back.

Had to spread it out on my  bedroom floor!
Those size 12 blocks are great to work with, and I like the sizes I used in the B&W quilt.  I saw a pattern in a McCalls Quilting magazine that inspired me to make another quick, scrappy quilt.

I went to my solids stash and pulled just a few pieces for one or two test blocks, to see if I like my idea.  These blocks will sort of be pieced together using 6" pieces and 2-1/2" and 3" strips to make the 12" block.

The blocks can be turned different ways for variety, I think I may have a winner!  I need to do community service quilts for my guild and bee, and this pattern should work well for a child.

Have a great Monday, we're into Autumn already!  Sew forth and sew on...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Color Purple

I recently downloaded The Color Purple to my iPod.  Although I've seen the movie several times, I've never read (or in this case listened to) the actual book.  I was inspired to share this video - enjoy!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Doing my do

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a relaxing deep sleep
(2) honey roasted peanuts
(3) twirling your umbrella

Have your ever watched "How it's Made" on the Science channel?  They take 3 or 4 items - totally unrelated - and show how each is made.  As I'm writing this they're showcasing ski goggles, tower cranes, porcelain, and diesel engines.  That sort of reminds me of my happy list - things unrelated to each other but all good stuff if you look at them! 

And now, about doing my "do" - or should I say "re-doing my do".  If you've seen my picture, you're used to seeing me like this:

Blackberry picking at Butler's orchard in July!
I decided to try a new do at my loc maintenance salon, but first I had to cut my locs off...

I cut them, leaving my hair (more or less) 2 inches long all over my head!

Anyway, here's one version of my new do:

Does my head look like a cumquat??

Here's what it looks like in real life:
At my guild's jelly roll race in August - somebody needs to update her glasses!

Here's another version I got later with the little hairpiece further down, more towards the center of my head:

I think I like the first version a little better though.  I'll keep it like this til it's long enough for something else... who knows what!

More later, my WeeBee'er meet today - sew forth and sew on!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Silent Sunday

Amazing animated optical illusion - enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Three things to be happy about:
(1) looking at photo albums
(2) an unexpected hug
(3) baked yams

In my blog the other day when I showed some completed blocks, I wished I had more of the red fabric.  This is how much I had left after sewing my blocks:

Yesterday evening I looked in a carton and found a "little bit" more:

I have 5 yards, woot woot!!  I couldn't believe it!  Sometimes when I would see fabric that I really liked, I'd get a lot of it - I really, really like this fabric. This one is called "yarn" by philip de leon for Alexander Henry, 2001. True bliss!  The color looks a bit wonky; the true color is in the scrap above. 

And here's some black and white I found in a bag, forgot I had it:

black and white happiness!   Before my fabric diet I always bought black and white when I saw a new one because ... well just because I like it!  I knew one day I'd need lots of black and white, and I was right.  I got these pieces from Seminole Sampler over two years ago, a-hem.

And last but not least, happiness is spending time with my one and only sister...
Two sexy senior chicks! 

Well, today is a hair day, then a repairman, then shopping.  I needn't worry about hanging over the sink with a wet head, at the mercy of someone who talks and talks and talks and forgets to shampoo your hair - she moved to Florida last month.  

Sew forth and sew on til later!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 3: in which we wait in lines

Oh my, how the time has flown!  Yesterday was the last full day Shell and Curt were here and we spent it visiting the casino.  Actually I think more time was spent going TO the casino than actually being there!  I couldn't believe the line of traffic on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway - what should have taken 45 minutes turned into a 2-hour trip, sheesh!  And parking was another nightmare, we had to park in a restaurant parking lot and cross our fingers.  Yesterday they were having a giveaway promo that brought out the crowds!

But the good news is we made it to the casino, even though the machines were full full full!  And then if you got a chance to play your favorite, the lines to cash in your winnings were off the chart - more waiting!  Shell and Curt liked the place, but they were saying it was very small (it is) and crowded (it was) and a lot of the machines were out of order (they were).  We left there around 3:30 and were back home by 4:15.

And now today *sob* we said our goodbyes and I dropped them at the train station, but not before I gifted Shell with one of my quilts, my Houses of a Different Color
Do you think she likes it?  LOL 

She promises to come back next July with her oldest granddaughter, Elise.

I got a couple more pieces of black and white fabric cut, no sewing this time.  I think this is all I'll share with you til I finish the quilt!  ;o)

Today its errands then back home to do whatever it is I do all day... probably re-clutter my sewing stuff!  Have a great Wednesday  Thursday - sew forth and sew on!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 2: in which we see stuff!

Yesterday was a touristy day for my sister and me - and Curt too! 

It was easier getting around than I thought it would be; we only walked 4 blocks to the Metro, then at Union Station we got tickets to the sightseeing trolley which we caught just outside the doors.

There are a lot of stops along the route, but IMHO at $39 it's a bit pricey.  There are 20 trolley stops in a loop, including a chance to transfer to a different shuttle for the Arlington National Cemetery.  20 stops!!  Come on, who can cover all those places in one day!?  So basically you have to pick and choose which ones you want to visit, then get back on the trolley for the next part of the loop. 

Curt and Michelle at MLK memorial
 Curt was really interested in the King memorial, so we stopped there first.  They were impressed with the layout and the quotes from Dr. King's speeches - Shell says it definitely told a story! 

I visited the memorial just after it opened to the public, before it was scheduled to be dedicated, and it was "standing room only"!  Yesterday, not so much - plenty of room to move around and get close for photo ops.

Shell wanted to see the First Ladies' gowns at the American History Museum, where we also had lunch. (Taste alert!!! They had some chocolate bread pudding in the Stars and Stripes cafeteria that will make your taste buds dance!!) I haven't been to the American History museum for years and years! We didn't have time to go through the whole thing so I'll have to make it a point to go back later.  So much good stuff in there!

Here's a bit of history I wanted to share: when I was born, this is the china service that was being used in the White House!

Then-First Lady Bess Truman had worn this pretty red gown to their inaugural ball.

We didn't have any 9-11 related issues yesterday, it was a great day for doing the touristy thing.  I'm glad Shell and Curt could come at this particular time because a lot of the really hot weather has gone so we all sleep comfortably (I have no central AC). 

I got up this morning (whilst they slept!) and made a few more six-inch blocks; it's coming along nicely!

Shell wants to visit the new casino in Arundel, Md, so today we'll make that short trip among other things.  Enjoy your Wednesday, sew forth and sew on!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

While they were sleeping

Three things to be happy about:
(1) the first day of school, woot woot!
(2) early morning grocery shopping
(3) cinnamon-raisin bagels

Hi everybody, thanks so much for visiting and commenting!  Yesterday my sister and brother-in-law (or should I speak blog-ese and say "BIL") arrived safely and soundly! My sister is a big Pogo Scrabble fan, and she wanted to play after dinner; my BIL is a big TV fan and he wanted to play with the remote. So I figured, Shoot! Why can't I play with my fabrics???

While I was de-cluttering and busting the bunnies a few days ago I found some time to cut some fabrics for another cobblestone quilt, so while they were doing their thing I sneaked upstairs and sewed a few.  When we had the cobblestone workshop at the WeeBee in July, Charlene used black and white for hers and it was so pretty I thought I'd go with black and white for this one...
There's something so classic about black and white!

On the previous two quilts I made, the blocks all finished at six inches.  Six inches is a great size, but I want to make a larger quilt, so I'm going with larger blocks - bust that stash! 

Now here's where this one is different:  to add interest to the quilt, I decided to use blocks in 3 different sizes:  6 x 6, 12 x 12, and 6 x 12.

Also, I'm putting in just a teensy bit of red, just to liven things up!

I wish I had more of that red above; it's an Alexander Henry fabric I think. 

Basically the quilt will be based on a 12 x 12" block configuration, except some of the 12 inches will be made up with 6 x 6 and/or 6 x 12 inch blocks!  Clever, eh???

So, while Shell and Curt were still sleeping this morning I got up and made a couple blocks, itchy fingers and all.  In no particular order, here's what I've done so far:

I'll worry about the layout after I've done a lot more!

Well, today we go out after brekky to visit museums and the MLK monument.  Have a great day everybody... sew forth and sew on til later!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A fine day for a fair!

... until the storms came and we were told to seek immediate cover... then it was a fair day!

Yesterday I went on a bus trip to the York (PA) county fair with my friend Felicia, the Slow Quilter.  What's the best way to start out a bus trip?  Why, you get that photo op - Felicia and I "opted"  each other with self-portraits!  What is it you call someone who writes your autobiograpy for you?  A ghost writer?  On the bus we ghost-auto-photographed each other!

Felicia kept saying "I just have to get one of those polish sausages, a funnel cake, and play "I Got It!", and I'll be satisfied! 

Those funnel cakes are super-delish!  I tried one with peanut butter; even after it got cold it was yummy!  I ate about half of it, and brought the rest home and had it with coffee.

No fair would be complete without the giant pumpkins and the decorated pumpkins and the little pumpkins that you wonder why they're there, but you see the tag that says "second grade" and you sorta know it's to encourage the little guys.
The judges must have had a really hard time, some of these were gorgeous as well as creative.  But I really liked this gourd painted like a duck...

As we were inside waiting out the storms, we got a chance to watch Felicia play with some shoestring licorice, LOL.
Never a dull moment around this lady!

In the handcrafts building there was an interesting demo of wool spinning and weaving...

Nostalgia, anyone?

Anybody remember these detergents - Surf, Rinso, Oxydol, Ivory Flakes, Duz??

We saw the camel and the zebra but we missed the pig races and the circus ...  and we didn't EVEN want to see the giant rat!  Living in the District, why would you PAY to see a rat???  A giant one, even.  Just hie thee away to Dupont Circle and wait a few minutes...

But I came home with this prize - a Helping Handle tool that I won at "I Got It!"

The Helping Handle is sold as a bathtub handle, but as many of you know this handy-dandy tool can be used as a handle on your rulers!  And it only cost me one ticket, which I won at some point while playing 8 games of "I Got It!" (at 50 cents a game).  Basically "I Got It!" is a bingo-like game where you toss little rubber balls into a 15-slot box as the caller calls numbers; first one to get 5 balls in a row wins.  Not a bad deal, I reckon.

I also bought some delicious Honeycrisp apples at the Brown's Farm booth.
I tell you, these apples are so good it makes you want to roll your eyes!  (But I resisted though ...didn't wanna scare anybody!)  Really, they have a slightly-sweet/slightly-tart taste that is indescribably delicious!   I've had a lot of different apples but I don't think I've ever had Honeycrisp apples before.  If you run across them, get some!

We had a great time and of course, as with all great times, we were tired afterwards ... I took a wee nap on the bus coming back home.  All in all, it was a fine day for a fair!

My sister comes tomorrow, so I'll be doing the tourist thing for a few days... sew forth and sew on til later!