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!

Friday, November 30, 2012

New Costco!

Yesterday was a banner day for our city - we now have a Costco conveniently located within the District of Columbia!  This Costco is sooooo much closer to me than any of the 4 that I sometimes visit.

It opened at 8 am, but Charlene and I got there around 10:00, just as most of the dignitaries - Vice President Biden, Mayor Grey (I think), some of the city council members - were leaving.  But there was still lots of good stuff to hold our attention!

Me... expert food taster!
 There were food tastings and product demos, as you find in all Costcos.  Let's see... I sampled kale salad, chicken salad, rotisserie chicken, cocktail weiners, apple crumb struesel, black forest ham, frozen yogurt, frozen latte, dried coconut, and steak - I passed on the smoked salmon and the olive salad!  From the juicer demo stations I sampled carrot-apple juice and warm tortilla soup.  Interesting thing about the juice... I could taste mostly carrots but Charlene tasted mostly apple.  hmmm

The parking lot and warehouse were jam-packed!  I asked, "Shouldn't these people be working this time of day??" Charlene (top) and I ran into fellow WeeBee members Jocelyn (left) and Gwen (right), who was there with her daughter.

The customer below was very  proud of her custom-made, crocheted earrings and she was excitedly describing another pair she had at home...
... that's all I'm saying...

You're probably thinking a Costco is a Costco is a Costco and you're right!  One thing that makes this one a bit different is their alcohol license; I understand they sell it in Virginia but I shop the Maryland warehouses 99.99% of the time and I've never seen it before, so it interested me!  They had lots and lots of ale, beer, wine, tequila...

Everybody seemed to be in a good mood; the warehouse seemed (to me) to have higher ceilings and brighter lights ... but that could just be the newness of it.  It was a beautiful day for an outing, the weather was a bit cold, but sunny - we had a pleasant morning. 

Oh, another great thing about the location?  It's on the way to my guild meeting, so I can stop in there when I need to pick up refreshments! 

Have a great Friday, sew forth and sew on!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sewing on the good foot!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) being remembered by someone
(2) your lucky number
(3) decorating for Christmas

This year for some reason I decided I wanted to have lights outside my house... now mind you, in all the 38 years I've lived in my house, I've never decorated with lights on the outside!  I've had Christmas trees and other decorations inside, a wreath on the door ... but never lights.  A couple days ago I bought a 9-foot LED garland and wrapped it around the rail that goes part way across my front porch... when I looked at it yesterday morning it looked so pitiful!  I said to myself, "I need to get two more of those and wrap them along the side rail..."  After I got the two extra garlands I was thinking "Now, what I really need is some red bows along those garlands!"  I could see the way this monster was going, so I had to shut it down right there, sheesh!  I had already spent a lot for the three garlands... the rest will have to wait for an after-Christmas sale at the Dollar Tree.  I'd rather buy fabric!

I'm still getting used to my new foot control, I have a tendency to curl my big toe but I'm getting there. 

I bought a pair of Christmas slippers with non-slip soles from Target that feel like socks... wearing these makes it easy to drive the control without constantly removing my shoe, so it's a step in the right direction!

More Christmas quilt blocks!  I made this cute little rocking horse block...
I was looking for something to use with this pretty background fabric, and the rocking horse seemed just the thing!  Although it's pretty, it's also rather busy so I had to be choicy about what I put on it.

I pieced these three trees from strings and set them on a super-sized background of teeny-tiny stars.  After combining the trees with the row of geese, I now have a single block that measures 22 x 23... I like big blocks because they can fill up a large amount of space!

My plan is to make a core measuring roughly 60x72 then add enough border blocks to make an 80 x 90 quilt.

I thought I'd show you my penguin and snowman after I outlined them; I used black thread, I wasn't about to use a different color for each part.

I think the black thread makes the characters stand out from that blue background.

Well today I finish the garlands and set the auto timer thingie; it should come on automatically around 5:00 every night (or whenever it gets dark enough) and shut off after 6 hours.  Ditto the LED candles for the windows.

That's all for now, have a great Wednesday!  Sew forth and sew on...

Monday, November 26, 2012

We be blogging!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) rearranging a room
(2) receiving a cool new catalog
(3) good ol' peanut butter and jelly

Peanut butter and jelly are a classic combination and it's usually one you can't mess up.  Have you seen those frozen pbj sandwiches??  In their little containers all decrusted... how long does it take to make a pbj??  And then there's the combination of pbj all in one jar - maybe I was wrong, you really can mess up a classic.  Just saying!

I've enjoyed sharing my bee activities with you so much that we said, "Hey, why don't we create a Bee blog so as many members as want to can share, especially the ones who don't have a blog?"  So that's what we did, and here's the link:  http://weebeequilting.blogspot.com/  I also have it on my blog roll so you can see the latest update.

So pop over and take a look, leave a comment, become a follower, put us on your blogroll, etc. etc. etc  (just doing a bit of horn-tooting!).  But seriously we hope our bee blog will become one of your favorite landing points.

Sew forth and sew on til later!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wee Bee fun!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) cashmere warmth
(2) buttery, syrupy pancakes
(3) the comforting aroma of vanilla

Yesterday's Bee was full of buzzing and creating, stitching and sharing!  Sometimes when I overhear little parts of 10 different conversations at the same time, I have the urge to write a book, LOL.

I got to show off my latest quilt at the bee, it wasn't finished in time for last month's meeting.
Good ole stars and stripes!

Emma is moving right along with her hand-pieced cobblestone quilt, the colors make me hungry! 

Meanwhile Yetunde is diligently working on these cute pincushions.

She showed us an iron caddy, and a small project she practiced her quilting on - they were both pretty!

During our refreshment break Pat had me in stitches!  Carolyn had brought a caramel-apple cake; after one taste, Pat held onto the cake knife to defend the cake - it was delicious! 
But never fear ... when we said "Pleeeeeese!" she let us have a little!

As I said, buzzing and creating, stitching and sharing - I look forward to our monthly meetings!

That's all for now, sew forth and sew on til later!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Quilting gangnam style!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) Thanksgiving leftovers (you may as well be happy about it!)
(2) going out for pizza
(3) baked potatoes with the works

I never cook Thanksgiving dinner, but yesterday I had dinner with the Slow Quilter - it was great as usual!  Then around 6 pm my neighbors across the street had a few neighbors in for coffee and dessert.  Since their dessert was punkin pie and I don't like punkin pie, I just had coffee and choklit.  It was a good day and I was feeling lazy afterwards - thank goodness I did all the sewing I intended to do earlier in the day!

Is this a glorious mess or what??
These are all the blocks I've done for my Christmas quilt so far, laid out on my living room floor.  Some day I'll have my dream sewing studio with an 8-foot design wall, but for now the floor will have to do!  Looking at it now, I do believe that wreath in the middle needs some applique to cover that large center... why did I think it needed to be a 16" block??

On Wednesday I found a new foot control for my Singer at a Brother dealer; he didn't have an entire assembly so he simply cut the cord off my old control and attached it to a new one.  It works fine but do I absolutely love it?  No.  No, I don't.  The new control is more of a vertical shape than the horizontal shape I'm used to; for the first time ever I'm having to sew with my shoe off so I can actually feel what the control is doing!  I think that's something I'll probably have to get used to... other than that, it works just fine.

Now that I have my new control I can go ahead and sew down the applique blocks without fear of the needle galloping off on its own, so that's what I'll be doing today.  Meanwhile, I wanted to at least get a start on sewing groups together, so I sewed these three together:
looking good!  Gene and Jean, I couldn't help it - I had to straighten out that "a!"

That's it for now; have a great Friday whether you shop or not... sew forth and sew on!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone - enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ducks in a row, new blogger in the 'hood

Three things to be happy about:
(1) mini muffins
(2) successful negotiations
(3) Dunkin' Donuts

My sister Faye (deceased) used to live about 4 blocks from a donut shop in Los Angeles, it wasn't Dunkin' but it was well-known in the area.  They would have cars lined up along the street, waiting for the whistle that a new batch of donuts were ready.  It was worth the wait, those were some good melt-in-your-mouth donuts!

I have just one more Christmas quilt picture to share with you today, I'm making little 3" ganders to go with the 6" goose...
I plan to have a line of gander-lettes following the big goose, except one will be gandering off in the wrong direction, looking back.  They're all looking at him going "I wonder where cousin Dabnus is going??"  Other people's kids, you gotta love em!  Is a gander the male version of a goose??

If you were quick yesterday, you got a chance to see a boo-boo I made on my blog!  I was creating a new group blog and somehow the "about me" part was overwritten by the new stuff.  And then when I tried to comment on other people's blogs, I noticed the new blog ID was taking over, yikes!  I had to delete that part entirely from the new blog to make it come out right. 

But now I want to introduce a brand new blogger, a long-distance member of my quilting bee, Wee Bee Quilters.  Her name is Debbra and she lives in California; she's still fine tuning her blog, you know how it goes when you first set up.  But visit her blog, become a follower, comment, show her some quilty love!  She's very talented, especially with hand work - you can find her at Debbee Does Quilting.

Meanwhile, today I need to find a new foot control for my Singer Touch N Sew.  I found a website where I can get one for my model machine but I noticed the same model can be used on a Brother, so I'm going to search locally at a Brother repair place to see if they have it.  I'd rather walk in, get my control and walk out rather than waiting for mail delivery.  Wish me luck!

Have a great Wednesday; if you're travelling today do so safely - sew forth and sew on!

Monday, November 19, 2012

And still they come...

Three things to be happy about:
(1) 3-D movies
(2) opening a mason jar
(3) grinding your own coffee beans

I haven't ground my own coffee beans in a very long time but nothing beats a great cuppa first thing in the morning!  Yesterday morning I got up with a taste for bacon and french toast ... not pancakes or waffles - french toast!  The only bread choices I had were thin bagels or raisin bread or English muffins.  "French" toast from "English" muffins?? - I think not!  I should probably have asked: "French toast from thin bagels??"  Well, yes I did!  Actually it wasn't too bad in a pinch.

I'm still making blocks for my Christmas quilt, and I'm right pleased to share them with you today! 

First up is a silhouette that I'm calling my peace deer, simply because he seems to be just standing there without a worry.  I can't remember where I found this clipart, probably the same place I found the Santa and reindeer that I showed in an earlier post.

Now here are two that are my new favorites:
who can resist hot chocolate and hot cider!  The "a" is a bit wonky; maybe I can pry it up without damage and straighten it out...

One good-sized angel dressed in burgundy:
I think this block is something like 20 inches tall.

And of course no quilt is complete without rejects - here are two of em:
I want at least one house in my quilt, but this isn't the one!  After making this block I remembered the templates I used for the wonky house swap I was in last year (where are those blocks???).  I gave my sister that house quilt, and her granddaughter fell in love with it!  Shell told her she can sleep under it whenever she visits... it's making me rethink the raw-edge drunkard's path quilt I'm making for her.  Whatever.

The basket might do if something were appliqued in the space beneath the handle, but I'm just going to dump it and make another one that I like better, without the handle.  It'll be paper pieced, and I'll embellish with candy canes.

My idea is to make a number of large blocks with medium and small filler blocks scattered here and there.  I've almost reached the point where I can start grouping them together, and decide on either a horizontal or vertical layout. 

Right now it's kinda hard to say where each block will go but I can see a vague outline in my head.  Besides, I have more I want to make! The only real challenge I see is balancing the blocks so I don't have too many of the same backgrounds clumped together.  We'll see!

That's all for now, have a great Monday - sew forth and sew on!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Guild meeting

Three things to be happy about:
(1) the origins of words
(2) wax and varnish scents
(3) a quick flash of deer

That flash of deer is okay if he's not eating your garden, eh Renea?  Keep those veggies coming!  ;o)

Yesterday was our monthly guild meeting, also elections for two offices.  We did it with a minimum of campaigning, absolutely no mud-slinging, and there was no need to count the Florida vote - let's hear it for quilters!!!

I didn't get many photos but I wanted to share some from our one-woman trunk show presented by Gloria, our quilter of the month -
I don't know the pattern name for this one but it was a cut-and-switch type pattern.

Gloria used Christmas themed jelly roll strips for this lap quilt and fleece on the back for extra warmth.  Someone told her it could be done in two afternoons and she wanted to test it out for herself -- yes it could!

This large one is used it on her bed - wool batting makes it really warm.  I've never used wool batting but it's worth looking into if it's important that the quilt be warm.  A few years ago when my sister was going through chemo I made her a quilt using the 80/20 cotton batting; I didn't realize it wasn't going to be warm enough.

This one started out being an Underground Railroad quilt, but morphed beautifully into something else!  Those are Gloria's hands in the yellow block.

And last but not least...dolls!
Gloria also shared some of her bags (I didn't get a picture).  The framed quilt block on the table was the first block she ever made - love it!

That's it for now, have a great Sunday...sew forth and sew on!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Still creating

Three things to be happy about:
(1) Barbie dolls (the original ones!)
(2) a favor done for you
(3) raising one eyebrow

I discovered the other day that I can raise just my left eyebrow, but not the right one ... hmmm...


I've been so busy creating my Christmas quilt masterpieces that I haven't had time to share any more!  I really like this one:
I can't decide which is cuter, the snowman or the penguin!  I still have to stitch it down, then it'll be all finished - the background is from the last piece of a Jan Mullen fabric I've had for awhile, I don't think you can find it any more.

And then there's the three kings following the star; I think they're going the right way, we're just looking at them from a different angle!
I found this pretty piece of Robert Kaufman fabric in my stash and it seemed to be the perfect background for this block.  This one has to be stitched down also; I found the clipart free, on the web.

A few trees from EQ, more filler blocks: churn dash, HST's... 
I just love the freedom you have to resize blocks from EQ, not just square but oblong too!

And here are some of the main blocks all in one place -
That Noel block wasn't straight so I took off the words and recut the main piece.  It's sides are straight now although the tree looks like a Charlie Brown tree - but that's okay!  You can't see it but I put a star in the manger scene, I'll outline it in black thread.

I intend to make angels, at least one basket, more trees... whatever feels right.  Is this all I've done??  I wonder can I finish this by Christmas??

So what are you sewing for Christmas, I'd really like to know!

Have a great Thursday, sew forth and sew on

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...

a Christmas quilt!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a repaid loan
(2) reloading your stapler
(3) a celebration with friends

Thanks everyone for your comments on my last post, I liked the idea of embroidered reins.  Debbra, I wish you could have embroidered them for me... when I tried my fingers were all thumbs so I took the "well phooey on it" way out and slung up some thick reins to hold those deer in check!  Doesn't look too bad though :o)

I've been busy making other Christmas blocks with no rhyme or reason except just because I like em!  Here are a churn dash and a goose -
the goose is right cute but I should have used a different background on the churn dash!  The jury is still out whether or not I'll use it in the final quilt.  I got both patterns from EQ.

I really like this one; it hasn't been stitched down yet but I still wanted to share it up close:

I based this manger scene block on a picture I found online about 2-3 years ago, I think it was a Christmas card. I might embellish it with a couple animals or a stable or a low wall in the background; we'll see.  Or maybe a bright star??

Will this block make my quilt look big???  ;o)

This block measures a whopping 12-1/2 x 26!  The size sort of got away from me, I started with the pot and it was sorta big.

I found the clipart online and adapted it to an applique block - clever, eh?  Actually it was fun making this block, despite the fact that my foot pedal seems to be going bad.  Sometimes I would have it pressed all the way to the floor and the machine would barely move - then all of a sudden it would take off like a race horse!  My baby, my Singer Touch n Sew, is only 41 years old, sheesh!  But I digress - I got the alphabets from Pat Sloan's web site, here (bottom, left).  I could have linked directly to the alphabet page, but I wanted to give you a chance to see all she offers on her great site!

So here are all the blocks that I've done so far...
The little "joy deer" didn't come out so bad!  I was deliberating over using it as a silhouette and if so what color.  I called Felicia, the Slow Quilter to ask her opinion about green and she said "sure, it'll look great!"  I said "okay, but if it comes out looking funny I'll tell everybody you told me to do it!"  Well, as you can see she was right, it looks great!  I just couldn't get the word lined up though, it wanted to twist for some reason.  Oh well.

Coming up soon I see trees, a house or two, more churn dashes, at least one more deer, Sue decorating a tree, more flying geese... all kinds of great stuff!  Stay tuned and see em all  :o)

Today we get to celebrate Pat's birthday a few days early, we're taking her to lunch at the Maryland Live! buffet; it's an international buffet with Italian, American, Asian and seafood, you gotta love it!  Have a great Veteran's Day everyone - sew forth and sew on!