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!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Third anniversary!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) clouds of snowflakes
(2) sunny skies, no clouds
(3) reaching a milestone

Hello everybody - I've reached another milestone!

I had totally forgotten that this is my blog-a-versary month - in fact today is my third anniversary!  How time flies when you're having fun - actually, it flies whether you're having fun or not...

I started my blog by showing you this quilt from my guild's 2010 challenge - "Beautiful African Ladies":

I named it "The No. 1 Ladies' Quilting Society" after the popular HBO show "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" starring Jill Scott.  I still love this quilt and it has a more-or-less permanent place on the wall in my den/computer room where I can look at it every day.

Over the years (do I sound like an ancient??) I've shared a lot of  projects with you that I've worked on, started, stopped, abandoned, tested, tried, completed ...  and I look forward to showing even more!  I've seen new blogs come on board, some blogs retired, and current blogs updated with new banners or background pictures.  I've seen sew-alongs, blog hops, blocks of the month, mystery quilts - are you doing Bonnie's Celtic Solstice mystery?

All in all, I've enjoyed my time as a blogger and I've enjoyed getting to meet other bloggers through their posts, email, and a few in real life also.  I look forward to our continued relationship, thanks for being a constant visitor to my blog, and for being a follower!!

Stay warm, enjoy your Small Business Saturday, sew forth and sew on...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  A version of this picture is on my Norman Rockwell calendar for November, I've always loved his drawings.  

My friend Renea saw this worker yesterday at a local MoM's Organic Market as he was retrieving turkeys from the freezer ... he's really into his job!

Enjoy your day with family and friends

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wee Bee meeting

Three things to be happy about:
(1) the roar of a stadium crowd
(2) being met at the airport
(3) collapsing into sleep

Hi everybody!  None of today's happy things pertain to me, but if they make you happy, go for it!

At Saturday's Wee Bee meeting we celebrated our 10th year, wow!  Our bee was founded in November 2003 with 7 members - Charlene Marshall, Pat King, Felicia Few (Slow Quilter), Carolyn Burgess, Shirley Royal, Loretta Tatum and Marlene Clark (not present).

One of the goals of the bee was to keep the membership small - today we're still going strong with almost 25 members.  Way to go, Wee Bee!

Carolyn (our official cake meister) made two anniversary cakes that were yummy-licious!

We're making Christmas ornaments for the Channel 5 Christmas tree collection... here are a couple:

And here are a few show n tell photos:

Have a great Monday, sew forth and sew on!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Going "mid-string"

Three things to be happy about:
(1) mini muffins
(2) trying a new recipe
(3) a new idea

Remember this quilt?

This is what I was working on a year ago this month, it was so much fun pulling all the blocks together!

I'll have to do another one, but a wall hanging size this time.
I can't decide which blocks were my favorites; I really liked those little geese!

Right now though, I'm pulling my string quilt together, using "Going Mid-String" as a working title - do quilts really need a name??  Do you name your quilts, or do you just go "this is a blue split 9-patch, this is a scrappy monkey wrench..."  I dunno, I think a name is a good thing!   

I've been working on the strips for the border, then I sewed them into groups of  three to make 6-1/2 x 6-1/2" blocks.  They go together fast!  

After I stopped and did the math, I realized I had just about all I need... so I pushed the furniture aside and lay out the center...

The layout is asymmetrical and it took a few false starts before I figured out I needed to start with the center diamond and echo the sides, top and bottom - duh!

I corrected a boo-boo I didn't see at first - thank goodness for digital cameras!

The blocks are laid at 10 across and 12 down... this will be a pretty good sized quilt after the borders are added.

I wish I had goo-gobs of space in my sewing room upstairs!  If I want to see large pieces laid out all at once, I have to do it on the living room floor.   

I've started pinning the vertical rows together and I take them upstairs to the sewing room two rows at a time.  

Three vertical rows are sewn together so far, the first two were the hardest because it kept twisting!  Now they'll be a piece o cake to sew, I'm leaving the threads attached in between.

As I'm typing this post there's a blurb on the news that people are already lining up at the Best Buy store someplace for the Black Friday sales ... how stupid is that???  I remember a few months ago when Apple released a new updated version of iPhone, the new and improved, latest and greatest ... when they opened up the doors there was one guy standing in line.  He must have felt really foolish.

Well that's it for now, have a great Thursday... sew forth and sew on til later!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Guild day

Three things to be happy about:
(1) cooking cranberries
(2) new Christmas ornaments
(3) a warm fuzzy hat

Hi everybody!  Anybody make their own cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving?  I prefer the home made "lumpy" kind over the kind that slides out the can and shakes like jello!

Saturday at guild meeting I didn't get many pictures, but there were beautiful pieces for show n tell, as usual!  Here are a couple:  Sheryl made Christmas cards decorated with felted and sashiko'd art:
isn't that lovely?

Barbara showed a gorgeous Baltimore Album quilt, all hand pieced and hand quilted!

it was a three year project, and the final quilt is worth every minute!

I love log cabin quilts, this one is so pretty!
it was LA'd by another member of our guild, you can't see the quilting but it's wonderful!

Faithful Circle quilters brought their 2014 raffle quilt, "Birds of a Feather Quilt Together:"
I hope I win!!!

This week the news is revisiting the Kennedy assassination in 1963, I'll always remember where I was on that day.  I don't remember what grade I was in, but I can still see my teacher coming into the classroom to give us the news, and she had a pair of house slippers in her hand.  (Back then the teachers all wore high heels in the classroom.)  

I'm listening again to 11/22/63 by Stephen King, it deals with a man who goes back in time to prevent the assassination.  Naturally there are unfortunate consequences - it's a good read!

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

Saturday, November 9, 2013

One of these is not like the other...

Three things to be happy about:
(1) soapy dish water
(2) a lovely sunrise
(3) artisanal hand soap

I like the soaps you get from Bath & Body Works, but Ive also become a fan of "Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day" soap, especially the one named "Christmas" (I think).  Last year about this time I found some at Target, and I liked it so much because it had such a fresh pine-y smell. I'll be keeping my eye open for it; I went to Target yesterday and found some named "Parsley" that I like, but I really want some more of the Christmas scent!

As much as I've been working with the strings, I haven't anything "new" to show ... one page of strips looks suspiciously like another, like another, like another.  But I did come up out of the string box and work on something else for awhile that I think will be fun...

Anybody subscribe to the Quilt Pro block of the day?  You get a block every day for the current year; after that I think they charge for the collection.  Anyway, I had been collecting the blocks that interested me and hadn't done anything with them so I figured - why not!

Here are some I've done:

They'r all paper pieced and they'll finish at 4 inches, a cute size for a small wall hanging.  I think the three blocks with multiple pieces are more attractive than the apple, so I'll probably stick with those.

It looks like a beautiful day outside, I'm still in my jammies with my cuppa although I did catch part of Love of Quilting when I climbed from neath the covers.  Marianne was working on a quilt of valor project today -  
pretty block, and it should go together quickly because the blocks are so humongous!

That's it for now ... tomorrow I go to visit with my sister for a few days, she needs some decompression time about now.  Have a great day, sew forth and sew on til Wednesday or Thursday...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Between the strings

Three things to be happy about:
(1) new-fallen leaves (if you're a kid!)
(2) leaf-collection days (if you're an adult!)
(3) ballots being counted

Well, election day is over, now we can get some relief from all the "he did" and "she didn't do" ads.  We didn't have an election here in the District, we don't have a governor since we're not a state.

I was fooling around with my "mid-string" blocks and I think I found a layout I like -

It will be a 6 x 7 layout to get the size I want before borders - love it!  This can be a bit tricky, I need to be sure which way the pieces will be turned before I start sewing.  Kinda pretty!

Meanwhile I've been busy sewing my strips down on the phone book pages for that piano key border, I have quite a pile of strips ready to be cut down into 2-1/2 x 6-1/2" pieces, plus little bonuses left over for 2-1/2" squares.

Here are two 9 patch test blocks I made so far with the 2-1/2" pieces...gotta pay attention to the combinations though!  For these little guys I know solids will work better than prints, but these are soooo not attractive right now.

That's it for now; today it's laundry, loctitian, and a background check for my neighbor two doors down, who works for the Dept of Interior/Fish and Wildlife Services.  I called her cell last night around 8 pm to let her know and discovered she's on assignment - in South Africa!  I think it would have been something like 2 am there - yikes!  

Have a great Wednesday ... sew forth and sew on!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

More string progress

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a baby's first tooth
(2) potluck dinners
(3) knowing what to overlook

I was thinking about the setting for my string blocks, there are lots of options out there, but one thing I'm sure of is the border ... piano keys!!!

I wanted to make the body of the quilt 60 x 72 then add 6 or 8 inches worth of borders, so I cut some of the 2-1/2" strips into 4-inch length ... I don't like those, they're a bit too "chunky" looking!

I've decided to go with 6 inches for the piano keys plus a 2-inch inner border and 4-inch outer border.  That'll give me 12 more inches on each side, which is a respectable size quilt.

The pieces that I had cut into 4" strips?  I cut them down into 2" squares... I'm thinking I can make 9 patch blocks out of those, maybe using solids.

Looking at the little squares, I can see I need to keep my strings and strips narrower than 2 inches, else they'll overpower the 2" squares!   I decided to learn from that episode, and keep on moving.

Moving right along...

Anybody tried the Keurig coffee maker?  I was tossing away so much coffee that I went ahead and got a Keurig while it was on sale at Costco last month.  I think I like the machine but do you know what I miss the most?  That wonderful smell of coffee perking!  With the Keurig it's just a psssst-gurgle drip drip and you're done ... can't smell a thing.

They give you 60 coffee pods with the machine but they were mostly dark roast, extra bold.  That's a bit stronger than I usually drink my coffee, makes my hair stand on end!  I tried to make myself like them but they're just too darn strong so I start the brew off with a 3 ounce cup of water, then stick in the pod.

The one good thing about Costco though - if you're not happy they'll cheerfully refund your money.  So I'll give it some more time.

That's it for now, have a great Tuesday; if you're voting, let's hope the "right" candidates win!  Sew forth and sew on til later.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Strings and things

Three things to be happy about:
(1) learning a new thing
(2) singing on-key
(3) knowing all the words to a theme song

I just learned a new thing!

I was watching the Today show last week and they did a segment on "things that we don't use correctly."  One thing that caught my attention was about how people use the hole in the handle of their pots... did you know in the front of your mind that you had that??  Most people use them to hang the pots (not me) but the lady said the "real" use was as a spoon holder, and you know what - it works!  I'll be doing that from now on!

In my never-ending scrap adventures, I've been making 2-1/2 x 8-1/2 paper-pieced strips along with Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville.  For that project, each strip is pieced with small scraps so that each one is unique, for random scrappiness.  But I reached the point where I wanted to really wale on those strips! Move more, move em faster faster!

I took some telephone book yellow pages and paper pieced the strips horizontally, then I cross-cut them into 2-1/2" strips on my GO cutter - you gotta love that little doo-hicky!

You can get three strips from each page so you'll end up with three identical strips, but I decided that didn't really matter.  I can spread them out throughout the quilt.

Next I drew a pencil line down the center on the paper side, because I wanted to make a 45-degree cut and I wanted it to be centered as close as possible.

I discovered a really neat feature about that particular ruler - if you cut a block on the diagonal, it tells you the size square you should cut for the setting triangles - kewl!

Anyway, I made a 45-degree cut at each end of the strip, making it 7-1/2" long - my final block is 6-1/2" and this gave me enough wiggle room to square it down!

Adding the wings...

TV time was also remove-the-paper time before I sewed on the setting triangles.

I used white-on-white fabrics from my stash and large scrap bin, it's not all from the same yardage but that's okay!

Wasn't too long before I had a stack of 6-1/2" blocks with the scrappy strip running diagonally across the center!

They went together really fast and guess what - I still have strips!  Got more waling to do!

Have a great Monday - sew forth and sew on!