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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One more for 2014

Three things to be happy about:
(1) closing things out
(2) sunshine in winter
(3) many many colors

Hi everybody!   I started not to do a post for today but then I thought - hey, this is the last day of  the year!

Haven't been up to much, but here are all the letters I've made so far from the Word Play book I'm using!

Chunky chunky chunky!  I want to get the basics down before I get fancy with these, but boy are they chunky!  My least fav to make so far are the angled letters - capital R, N, X and Z.

I can see lots more practice in my future!

Get out that leader-ender project!

This is definitely a project for leader-enders, all those little pieces you have to sew onto another little piece, one at a time!  I'm working in a few stringy log-cabin blocks in between little bits.

Is there an assembly line way to do these, without getting confused??

This B looks so ... wrong!

I didn't choose the best fabric for this one, that design makes it iffy to see what the letter actually is.

The one challenge I'm having with following the book's instructions is that - for me - I'd like to have seen more specific suggestions about the length to cut the pieces, since I'm learning these flat out.  As I get more practice I'll be able to do my own thing, but as a learner I think you need more hand-holding.

So that's what I've been up to ... I awoke in the wee hours this morning and sewed a bit on my spinning star blocks for this project.

Used my last bobbin, so I thought I may as well do a whole bunch ... nothing like winding bobbins with one eye closed, I tell ya!

That's it for now, today my friend Charlene I out will venture out to the Honey Baked Ham store in search of ham bones!

I hope they have some left, I want one to cook with my black-eyed peas for tomorrow - gotta have those black-eyed peas on New Year's day!  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Playing with words

Three things to be happy about:
(1) trying new things
(2) choices
(3) italian sausages

This post should really have been called "out with the old!" because I'm just now bringing out a book I've had for well over a year!  Maybe I'll save that title for when I drag out my UFO's, eh?

For a long time I've admired the free-pieced, liberated letter quilts made by several people including Lynn at The Patchery Menagerie, and Julie at Quiltdivajulie to name a few - they look like such fun!

These are by no means the only liberated letter quilts being done, they are just two that I mentioned.

Anyway, I bought Tonya Ricucci's Word Play Quilts at the Quilters Unlimited show in Virginia last year and tucked it onto my book shelf til just the right time, which happens to be - now!

I carried the book, along with the 1", 1-1/2", 2" and 3" strips called for, to the bee on Saturday and started playing with liberated letters, and you know what?  It's actually fun!

Hey, as an added bonus I can use my pre-cut strips for these letters!

Thanks to Bonnie Hunter's scrap user's system, I smugly gladly pulled from my 1-1/2" strip bin, and I also cut some 2-1/2" strips down into the 1" and 1-1/2" sizes called for!

The book starts you out with easy capital letters; this practice gave me a chance to see what to do differently when I go to create the "real" letters!

I can already see some chunkiness I don't like and that might not work but hey, this is my first practice shot!  Mixing different colored fabrics within the same letter can work but needs to be thought about; in some letters light colors might not work as well on a light background ... and so on.

Right now I just have a "hit cloud" - later they will be a bonified "hit!"

Stay tuned for marvelous creations using these liberated letters - even I can't wait to see what I come up with!

Have a great Tuesday everybody - sew forth and sew on til later...

Monday, December 29, 2014

omg, a fire in the 'hood!

Yesterday the Sunday afternoon quiet in our neighborhood was interrupted by the sound of fire engines responding to a call - just across the street and 4 houses down from my house!

My heart was in my throat as I saw firemen in full gear running down the street past my house, fire axes in their hands.

When you live in a row house as we do, anytime the fire department responds to a call on the street, EVERYBODY pays attention!

Neighbors watching, asking each other questions no one could answer yet...

The owners of the affected house were out of town for the Christmas holiday; unfortunately for them the firemen had to chop down their door, and also break a window in a second floor bedroom to gain entry to the house.

Soon as the door was opened, their poor dog made a run for it, he was so frightened!

At this point the firemen weren't sure where the fire was, so they were also on the roof with others in the alley in back of the house.  They also entered the house next door, no one was home there either.

This was just what I saw on the front of the house, who knows what they had to do at the back!

It turns out the fire started in the basement bathroom, faulty wiring I think; the owners had arranged for someone to feed and walk their dog while they were gone.

Nobody knew how to reach the owners, and by this time the dog sitter had already come and gone for the day.

More than eight fire engines responded to this call, as well as two EMS units and the battalion chief.  Because of their quick response, the actual fire was all contained in the basement with smoke damage in other parts of the house.

Those poor people, having to return from Christmas vacation to this!  But thank God their house is still standing!

Blog at ya later, sew forth and sew on til then...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wee bee closing out the year!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) finishing up
(2) looking forward
(3) friends

Yesterday was my bee's last meeting of the year, and what a gorgeous sunny day it was!  Definitely sweat shirt without a coat weather - loved it!  As always we had a great time with each other, do you agree with me that bees are unique?  They can be so different from a guild - still a wonderful meeting venue, but different!

I like to see what other people are working on...
Emma's chinese coin quilt - pretty!
A short business meeting...
Felicia takes notes on her Christmas gift!

Followed by show n tell...
Cee Cee's disappearing nine patch!

Sandy's table runner
Gwen's on the j-o-b with her new camera!

Another table runner by Sandy!
Time out for refreshments...

Then back to work on our projects - I can't wait to see Emma's quilt when she finishes it!

That bee it for now, have a great Sunday - sew forth and sew on til later!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

My Christmas (quilt) parade

Merry Christmas, everybody!

I have four Christmas quilts I want to share with you today!

For years and years I wanted to make myself a Christmas quilt, but by the time I would think of it, it was always too late for that particular Christmas, so it didn't happen.  Finally in 2012 I jumped right in and made one -
My Christmas quilt
If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know that I made this by creating several blocks that I liked, in the sizes I liked, and arranged the way I liked - then just filled in the empty spaces with more traditional blocks.  You can read about it here; if you want to see all the creative process, search my blog for "Christmas quilt" and you'll find more posts. 

Christmas Pines, 34x34

I made this one in 2002, red and white log cabins create a striped effect in the border - and that was before I discovered Bonnie Hunter's scrappy-licious blog!

Here's a closeup of the quilting:
The only quilting I even attempted to do back then was meandering/stippling!

Another project is a small one:
Christmas candle
I made this little wall hanging a couple years ago and I like it (it looks like there's a yellowish stain, but it's the lighting).

I made scrap yardage from whites and off whites for the background, then appliqued the candle on top of it - you can read about it here and here.  If you want more design process details, search "candle" on my blog. 

Finally, one that's still a flimsy:

I made it when I was teaching a cobblestone workshop at my Bee.  I might make a point to quilt it in time for next Christmas!

That's it for now; I'm joining Bonnie Hunter's Very Merry Happy Holiday Linky party - check out the links, there's some good stuff on there!

May your day be merry and bright - sew forth and sew on til later!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fold and Sew Quilts

Three things to be happy about:
(1) short cuts
(2) sharing
(3) eating leftovers

Hi all - Today I wanted to share this You Tube video I thought you'd enjoy!

Sew forth and sew on til later!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Texas tumbleweeds progress

Three things to be happy about:
(1) lined notebook paper
(2) a lace hanky
(3) a new key chain

Still working on the Texas Tumbleweeds spinning star units ...

A bunch of twosies sewn together!


I like playing the games on Facebook, especially House of Fun... I can collect spins and play on my Kindle while I sew!

And a few tumbling star blocks pieced, just to keep from getting bored...

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

Monday, December 22, 2014

Making friends with my Brother

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a good decision
(2) listening to The Carol of the Bells
(3) a new calendar

Last week I was determined to make friends with my Brother.  What!??  No no no - not the little doodie-head I grew up with - nuh-uh!

We're talking about my Brother LB-6770 computerized sewing and embroidery machine!

I saw this machine at Costco and talked myself out of getting it, then over the next two days I talked myself into getting it, so back I went to Costco.  BUT... just that quick they were all gone, eeek!  Checked Costco online and boy o boy, they had it!  I couldn't wait to get this machine -  the price was good, it did embroidery, it had a gazillion stitches - just HAD to have it!

It came within a couple days, I opened er up, looked at all the shiny new stuff, put er back in the box, and there she sat - since January 2010!

This isn't my first experience with a computerized machine - on each of the quilters' cruises I took we were supplied with really nice Janome machines, and each time it was the latest model, new out the box.

But my go-to machines til now have been my Singer Touch n Sew purchased in 1970, or the Janome Sewist 521 that I use for bee or guild meetings - hardly computerized!

I like being able to set the stitch length on the screen; it took a bit of trial and error but now it's set!  The upper and lower tension is so much easier to fix than on my Singer.

Automatic needle threader - yes!  Accurate quarter-inch seams - saved in memory!

I always had an issue with the quarter-inch seam on the Janome, so I only used it for things where the seam wasn't crucial.

I haven't tried out any of the other 66 stitches yet, for now good ole straight stitch is all I need!

Embroidery isn't something I've ever done before, but that treat will wait til I'm ready.  The main thing is - I made friends with my Brother and I like him a lot!  Why didn't I do this sooner???

And last but not least, here's a timely tip:

If you haven't picked up your calendars for 2015 yet, and if you can wait til New Year's day, you can get nice calendars at half price from Jo-Ann fabrics. 

When I got mine this year they had a pretty good selection left and I was seeing them at this particular store for about a month, so you should be able to find something you like!

That's it for now, have a great Monday, get those Christmas projects finished - sew forth and sew on til later!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Guild fun!

Welcome to the shortest day of the year!  As I understand it, we'll gain one minute more of daylight starting tomorrow, isn't that great?

Yesterday was our guild's annual Christmas party meeting, and as always it was fun with so much going on!

When I left home it was a bit cold, but the atmosphere at the meeting was warm with good cheer, great food, and chatting with friends you only get to see once a month!

We had the drawing for our raffle quilt (won by a lady in Baltimore), gift exchanges, door prizes, an ugly fabric auction - look at some of the uglies that were auctioned off:

somebody got a nice piece of "batik-y" that can be used for a back, for around $3 (I think):

And what would any guild meeting be without a parade of quilts - also known as show n tell:

so much talent in our guild!

And of course lots and LOTS of great food - and these were just some of the leftovers!

Sew much to see and do at guild every month!  Short day today, gotta run - sew forth and sew on til later!