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, January 30, 2016

Back to work!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) pedestal tables
(2) new tweezers
(3) spinach, ham and cheese omelets

Well, the snow is melting and my neighbors are going back to work, so I have no one to hang out with during the day - and no excuse to NOT finish the Allietare quilt top!

I figured if Lynne over at the Patchery Menagerie can cut out and sew a flimsy in one week, while working full time and being supervised by Millie - surely to goodness I can sew ONE diagonal seam and put on two borders!

Well, actually I put on part of the first border... it wasn't any fun trimming the cooties off the setting triangles!

Very uncomfortable, whether I knelt on a pillow or stooped over, LOL.

So here 'tis, with just the sides of the inner border put on.

I like that gold, it was just the right choice for this quilt!

I'll show more progress tomorrow - sew forth and sew on til later...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Am I a slacker?

Three things to be happy about:
(1) remembering when
(2) hard peppermints
(3) great neighbors

This is my progress to date on Allietare - I pushed part of it aside so I can walk through the living room!

So, am I a slacker???

Nah - other things just claimed my attention is all!

Sunday they actually plowed our street, it was like looking down through a canyon.

The only thing is, they pressed a wall of snow against the cars on both sides of the street!

Went out Monday to ransom my car!

Somewhere under here there's a blue 2011 Honda Accord...

Getting there...

That's all I did before stopping, was getting wet feet and starting to sweat!

Yesterday, a pleasant surprise ...

Thanks, Eric!  What great neighbors I have!

And it gets better and better!

My neighbor across the street, Rachel, told me about the great stuff she finds when they take their stuff from the farm to the dump.

There's a little shed where they place things that are still good to use ... she's found fabric, clothing - even a quilt!

I told her to grab the 100% cotton shirts, people pay for those at the Goodwill!

She gave me a whole bunch that I can de-bone and cut into usable yardage.

Not only did she give me shirts, but she also gave me some ground beef from their cattle and tomatoes that she put up last summer.

I tell you, great neighbors are - great!

That's it for now, finish digging out today, help a neighbor out, sew forth and sew on...

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy birthday to me!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) Longaberger baskets
(2) hot coffee
(3) animals playing in the snow

Today is my birthday, I've reach the ripe ole age of 65 - yes!  That means three significant things to me - (1) I'm eligible for a reduction in my DC property taxes - 50%!
(2) I can get the "senior citizen" rate when booking flights, and the most important thing
(3) I got the Birthday Dollar!

This birthday dollar is very important to me, you can read the full story on this post

Yesterday was a snow clean-up party kind of day in my neighborhood!  Some cars got dug out...

and another dig-out of the sidewalks
someone had music playing, you could hear it for a long way... and notice the beer cooling in the snow at the bottom right of this picture!  I like that kind of neighborhood comeraderie!

I didn't participate in the shoveling, but I hung out at my neighbor's for awhile and enjoyed a delicious bowl of 18 bean soup.  I took over some of my quilts for an impromptu show-n-tell, and saw this super cute quilt that 3-month-old Colin's grandmother made for him...
so cute!  She's a self-taught quilter who made her first quilt when she had her first grandchild - three years ago!

Yesterday was a no-sew day for me, just a hang out and watch Netflix kind of day.  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Three things to be happy about:
(1) red delicious apples
(2) quilting magazines
(3) peach cobbler

My sister called me just to make me drool - she was planning to make a peach cobbler for Sunday dinner!  Big sisters - you just gotta love em!

You gotta love neighbors too!

Shortly after I posted yesterday's blog, my neighbor Eric came over and shoveled my sidewalk and steps!

Even the kids got involved; they were having a ball "shoveling" with their dust pans!

I took this picture around 7:30 pm last night, I thought the street lights made such a pretty snow scene...

If you compare the flower pots in this photo with the one above, you get an idea of how much more snow we got.

And finally - Allietare progress!

I got all the rows sewn together except that middle diagonal seam.  Today I'll take care of that and trim the setting triangles; I don't look forward to squatting on the floor doing all that trimming though  :*(

At this point I doubt I'll scallop the outer border - but who knows, that decision is weeks  away!

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

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snowin' and blowin'

Three things to be happy about:
(1) discovering unused VCR tapes - kitsch!
(2) reloading your stapler
(3) hot oatmeal

I'm still happy about hot oatmeal, especially today!

We've had our share of snow, as you can see.

Yesterday the snow started around 1 pm drifting like feathers.  And it never got any harder, just a steady meandering down...

It's funny to see how much of my neighbor Joe's truck is covered up - and that's not a small pickup!

See that car behind the red one to the left, that's almost hidden by the tree?  Dig city!

My car, directly in front of my house, doesn't look too bad at this point, it's only halfway up the wheels.

Nope, not going out yet - it's almost level with the bottom of my storm door!

So, I've had my oatmeal, it's still snowin' and blowin' - now I'm going to get sewin'!

Keep safe, have fun, sew forth and sew on ...

Friday, January 22, 2016

Timing is everything

Three things to be happy about:
(1) opera glasses
(2) Christmas cactusses still blooming
(3) hot oatmeal

Snow!  If you could take the You Tube video I posted two nights ago and rev it up to three times faster, that's the way it would seem now!  So much snow predicted to be coming our way, so many people panicking, with behavior they wouldn't have even glanced at a week ago.  The Federal Government will close early today, with employees who report to work given permission to leave 4 hours early "but no later than 12 noon."  Can you feel the panic?

When a major storm is predicted, the TV news has a way of giving minute by minute "updates" of the problems... "oh look how slow the cars have to drive down this street"  "oh, look at this delivery truck actually sliding out of control" "oh, look how empty the shelves are in this store".

All this "coverage" just makes people panic even more.  I've decided not to participate in it this year because (1) I know snow is coming (2) I know it is expected to be major (3) I know it will last long enough that cleanup will happen Monday, and (4) I know I have enough food, water and meds to take me through it.  Everything else is secondary; I don't need to hear it over and over and over, getting upset!  I won't be watching the coverage.

So that's my soap box opinion, now on to more pleasant things!

Look what came unexpectedly last night!

I want to go forward with making a pinwheel quilt or wall hanging, but it's so tedious to cut so many 2-1/2" squares!  I ordered this die from Amazon on Wednesday the 20th, it was scheduled to be delivered on the 25th - but it came last night, in just one day!

I couldn't wait to start using it!  First thing this morning I dove into some gifted scraps - you know the rules I live by: "OPS's (other people's scraps) are more interesting than your own!"

For this size die, Accuquilt suggests cutting an 8-1/2" piece of fabric and these scraps are such a nice, generous size!

Looking good!

My one concern though, is that one of the blades must be set a bit too high?  Part of the fabric gets wedged tighter in than the other parts, causing the square to fray just a bit when I remove them from the die.

Here we go - a nice pile of 2-1/2" squares, ready to become part of my textured pinwheel quilt!

The die cuts 9 squares, so I have a big plenty to start with.

That's it for now; go safely, carefully and thoughtfully into the storm ...  sew forth and sew on...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Textured Pinwheels - A Tutorial

This tutorial came about when I found a bag of half square triangles I got in a swap that I hadn’t done much with. One day when I wasn’t wearing my glasses I glanced at one of the blocks pinned to my design wall, and I couldn’t really see the muslin background squares individually - bingo!  Rather than cutting dozens of 2-1/2” squares, why not use rectangles?

That thought led to the idea of using a variety of neutrals for the background because - let’s face it - using that muslin throughout block after block after block would be a bit blah!

Here are instructions to make an 8-1/2” textured pinwheel block (8” finished).

Gather a variety of neutral* and colorful fabrics

*If you need guidance on choosing neutrals, Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville has tips on how she chooses her neutrals - it’s a very good guideline that I use all the time. See her instructions here

For each block you will need:
-- eight 2-1/2 x 4-1/2” rectangles from neutral fabrics and
-- eight 2-1/2” squares from medium, dark and bright fabrics. Avoid very light colors, you want a good contrast with the neutral backgrounds.

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on each 2-1/2” square, we’ll use the sew-and-flip method to make two different sets of rectangles!

To make the “inner” set, place a colored square on a neutral rectangle as shown. Sew in the direction indicated, just to the outside of the line, toward the corner that will be cut off after sewing.

Trim off the corner, flip and press - your rectangle should measure 2-1/2” x 4-1/2”.

Make 4!

To make the rectangles for the “outer” edge of the block, place the square as shown and sew in the direction indicated.

Notice that the drawn line goes down from the top left corner this time!

Again, trim off the corner, flip and press.

 Make 4!

And now we'll lay out the block...

I found it so much easier to start with the center and work outwards!

Working in a clockwise direction, start by laying one of the “inner” rectangles horizontally, then place the second one vertically as shown, noses touching…

Add the third, horizontally - keep those noses together ...

And the fourth, vertically!

This forms the center - see that pinwheel?

Now add the “outer” rectangles so that the color corners face outward

Sew together into 4 pairs...

... then sew the 4 pairs together!

There you have it, a textured pinwheel block!

The corners will form a diamond when the blocks are put together. I chose to create totally scrappy corners but as an option you could use one constant fabric, or one color family for that position.

I hope you like the tutorial; if you make the pinwheel I’d love to see what you’ve done with it!

Sew forth and sew on...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


We're getting our first measurable snowfall here in the District, and I'm feeling a bit mellow.  Drifting gently, softly, silently ... enjoy!

Sew forth and sew on...

Monday, January 18, 2016

Showing and sharing at the guild

Three things to be happy about:
(1) sweet potato fries
(2) turkey meatballs
(3) a light snowfall that disappears within minutes

Almost missed that one, I turned around and it was gone!

Our guild had been discussing a move to a better location, and Saturday was our first meeting at our new home... bye-bye Cedar Heights Community Center, hello St. Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church!  I think we're going to like our new location, the meeting room is larger and quieter than the one at the rec center - no wham-whunk! of sports equipment being dropped, no dance class blasting music from just the other side of the divider.

But something at our guild that will never change - a quilt parade by our members!  Better known as show n tell...

Shall we start with Charley's argyle quilt - lovely!

Two from Adrienne:

the one below is from a block exchange with friends:

closeup - scrappiness always works!

Bernerdette's Dr. Seuss...

An applique quilt from Cynthia... 
I bought that pattern from the mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA, about 3 years ago; haven't done it yet, though   :o*(

Dawn's granny square...

A Valentine's day present from Jennifer to her hubby...
this is the back - check out the quilting!

Deb was gifted a mini-quilt mounted on a frame...

I don't remember what Katherine was saying about this piece, but it's pretty!

As usual we had a splendid time getting together for the first time this year; the energy level was really "high," with chatter and laughter being heard all over the room.  That's it for now, enjoy your Monday, sew forth and sew on ...