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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Progress, in black and white

Three things to be happy about:
(1) designer eyeglasses
(2) morning sunshine
(3) books that make you laugh

I'm listening to an audible book (The Bone Tree); part of the setting is in the 60's, and they mentioned someone flying from one place to another on Eastern Airlines.  Man, that takes me back!  My first ever ever ever airline flight was on Eastern Airlines, from New Jersey all the way to North Carolina.  I remember when my sister told me I would get a meal and didn't have to pay, I was totally amazed!   Ahh, nostalgia.

I'm making progress on my Passa-whatever quilt!

I decided to concentrate on piecing one unit first, rather than piecing both at the same time.

Since the black and white strips are so boring, I thought I'd go ahead and get those out of the way!

I found a whole bunch of black and white scraps that I had bagged when I was sorting my scraps by color.

It turns out to be a good thing!  Now all I have to do is cut them into 4" pieces at different widths.


Ready to be pieced for the center of the alternate unit.  Did I mention this is the boring part??

For the size quilt I want to make, I figure I need 84 of each unit.  Eighty-four!

Well, I take it back, it's not really that boring, I just take one piece and add to another til I get a strip that's 9" long. a wider piece on each end.

That little pile doesn't look like much, but there are 50 in there, so combined with the ones already pieced and a few in progress on my sewing machine, I have 24 yet to piece!

They do go kinda fast - one strip at a time... steady as she goes...

Sew forth and sew on...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A(nother) little detour

Three things to be happy about:
(1) costume parties
(2) paying it forward
(3) fried apple pies

Looks like my x and plus blocks have been x-d out - again!

It all started as I was tidying up some containers, seeing what could be added to another container... or cut up into usable pieces.

I found this small 12 x 12 container of black and white strips that were left over from something I made some time ago; why did I put them to one side?

I'll either use these now, or put them into my 2-1/2" strip bin!

And look at my bin of black and white fabrics that I've been collecting, I need to use some of these up!

I searched Quilter's Cache for two blocks that could be used together, and was inspired by a 9" block named "Passamaquoddy Trail" that I thought would look great in black-and-white, neutrals, with one more color (Marei, can you guess what that color is??).

The block has a 9 patch unit and ... something else...


I biggie-sized it to a 12" block, so I can make them faster!

I made 9" long rectangles of black-and-white strings and strips for the middle part of the block...

I pieced the strips together side-by-side, then sewed the wings on by using a template drawn onto phone book pages.

My first challenge was sizing that middle strip, so that the edge aligns with that black square on the 9 patch block...

Close, but no cigar; I think it passes the 50 foot test!

So this is what I've done so far, laid out in no particular order.

The 9-patch and alternate units are sewn into pairs, but not into the full 12" blocks yet.

If I hadn't sewn the unit pairs together I'd try a different layout...

...but it's not worth unsewing and fiddling with - I just want to use some of my black and white fabrics!

That's it for now, enjoy this last Thursday in the month - where did October go!!?

Sew forth and sew on til later

Thursday, October 22, 2015

More x and plus

Three things to be happy about:
(1) October sunshine
(2) chicken salad
(3) giant pandas

I've been watching the giant panda Mei Xiang and her cub Bei Bei via web cam off and on, and it's both interesting and boring!

Interesting when she interacts with the cub, boring when they're both sound asleep.  I had to laugh at the way she moves him... she just takes a leg and shoves him around.   I guess that's the way it's done, Bei Bei seems unharmed for the experience.  Boys!

The panda house is closed to the public right now but if you want to watch them, just Google "panda cam, Washington DC" and choose the Smithsonian edu link.

Lately it seems my attention has been foucsed on sewing these x and plus blocks, everything else seems to have been pushed aside - again!

Bits and pieces waiting to be assembled.

I'm still using the 3-1/2" squares I cut using my GO cutter, I think I need to cut some more for variety, adding some lighter squares to all the darkish ones in the stack!

I've decided to make this one a bed size rather than a throw, I like being able to spread my quilts on my bed!

Setting them 9 by 10 should give me a good inner size, the blocks are 8".  

So far I have a little over 60 made, that's a pretty good start on the 90 blocks I need!

What else has been going on since early last month...

 Now you see it...
Now you don't!  

My neighbors got their basement level remodeled into a suite for her mom; they decided to also replace the chain link fence with cedar for more privacy.  

It's funny - when the chain link fence was there I never paid any attention to their back yard, but now that the cedar fence is blocking the view, I get the urge to peek over it!  Looks great though...

That's it for now, get out and enjoy this marvelous October sunshine - shoot, just have a great Thursday!  Sew forth and sew on til later!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Road trip - SewExpo!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) iPods
(2) tea in your favorite mug
(3) background music

While I was MIA from posting on my blog, one thing I did was visit the SewExpo in Fredericksburg, VA with Felicia (the Slow Quilter).  Because SewExpo isn't strictly a "quilt show" as such, you won't see as many quilts on display, but I wanted to share a few of the ones I saw.

I'm not a cat person, but the painted thread work in this piece was so beautiful I wanted to share it!

Totally realistic and well done!

I was impressed and touched by the Breast Pockets display, made as part of a Quilting Arts Magazine challenge honoring our sisters with breast cancer.

Below are two pieces from a "text message" challenge; the early tablet was quite creative.

And now I'll let the others speak for themselves:

That's it for now, I wanted to show a variety of what I saw on display.  Have a great Tuesday, sew forth and sew on til later!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fabric goodies from Lancaster!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) home made chicken soup
(2) a foot massage
(3) mint flavored toothpicks

This is what my shopping cart looked like as I chose fabrics from Sauder's on Friday.  My focus this trip, as it has been for the last two trips, was to beef up my neutrals stash.

As you know I like scrappy quilts and I like a lot of Bonnie Hunter's scrappy patterns, so when I buy neutral fabrics I use her guidelines - anything that has a white, cream, beige or tan background.  Any color or pattern can be printed on the foreground, but if that background reads as a neutral?  it works like a charm!

I found a few pieces on their remnant table that I just had to have!

The pieces on the right are the only exceptions to my neutrals - now take a look at what I got!

The pictures should get biggie sized if you click on them!

Aren't these gorgeous?!

There's a little birdie in there, perched on a musical score - its called Girlie Girl,  by Dana Brooks for Henry Glass & Co.  They also had the birds in pink, but I kinda like the blue.

I like words!

That find-a-word piece is different; I think I've seen it around but I never bought any of it before.

Some fun pieces!  Good morning, good night, wake up and eat!  Is the Kellogg's piece a neutral?  You betcha - the background makes it qualified!

Lots of variety in these pieces...  I like the boldness of the piece on the left; it's called Paper Dolls Around the World  by Sibling Arts Studio for Blue Hill Fabrics.  There was just over a yard left on the bolt, so I took it all!

This piece was from the $2.99 flat fold table at Good's; it's called Garden Romance, by Hoffman.  Pretty!
I like the variety of fabrics I got, I like that they add lots of variety to my neutrals stash.  They have been thoroughly petted and are waiting to be snuggled in next to my other neutrals.  Love it!  Now - how many of these can I use before our trip next October???

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

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Baby amen!

Baby amen!
Teach them to pray!
Posted by 88.3 WAFJ on Friday, August 28, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lancaster trip!

Hello everybody!  I would go through the "it's been a long time, yadda yadda yadda," but you know that already!  Here we are, at this point   ;o)

Yesterday was our annual fabric buying trip to Sauder's, and to Zook's in the Kitchen Kettle area.

What a great, gorgeous, sunny day it was! In October you can't guarantee the weather, but yesterday was all thumbs up!

But first, look at the two photos below... I have a new camera (more about that in a later post) and the first photo was taken with auto flash at around 7:20 am - this is what the morning light looked like to my eye:

But look at this second one, taken a few seconds later without flash:
what a difference, eh?

Our first stop was at Sauder Fabrics... it was sort of a bittersweet occasion for me because their store, that sweet little underground shop, is closing in December!

I understand from someone who heard it from someone else that the farm that owns the property is buying the house, and they have to vacate it.

Who would guess that down those steps, through that anonymous door, you'd find bolts and bolts of name brand fabrics - Timeless Treasures, Moda, Henry Glass, Windham to name a few - at prices well below what you'd see in our area!?

The flat fold table is always loaded with interesting pieces that average about 6 yards, great for backings and projects that need matchy-matchy units.

Meanwhile, they're having a 20% storewide sale, then all their remaining fabric will be transferred to Zook's (their sister store).  Sauder's was my favorite stop on that trip.

Next to Shady Maple Smorgasbord, that is!

Look at these beautiful plants they had at $7 each or 3 for $20, aren't they great?

And the bins with pumpkins and gourds always attract my attention.

Shirley likes them too!

 Shady Maple's decor is always fun to look at too - look at the sweet expression on this little old lady's face!

After a groaning meal - you know the type where you want some of EVERYTHING but you have to pick and choose in order to go the distance - some of us made a quick trip down the hill to Goode's drygoods store and the Shady Maple farm store.

Then on to Lancaster/Intercourse and the Kettle area for more fabric shopping, preserve tasting (you ever tasted sweet potato butter??  Well, don't!) and browsing.

As usual it was a great trip, and I'm looking forward to next year... the word is they'll choose Burkholder's fabrics to replace Sauder's.

Bye bye Sauder's, I've enjoyed buying and petting your fabrics, and I'll miss you dearly!

Sew forth and sew on...