Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ta Da

At long last, a finish............ My quilted pullover. And not a moment too soon. The other one was getting rather tattered........... The guild meeting is tomorrow night and I will be wearing my new quilt........... Just the thing on a gray winter day.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hourly Progress

Here is the result of hours of pleasure...... Judy does the best directions. I have great results following her patterns. They are easy to follow. She tells you which way to press the seams. She allows for the blocks to be trimmed to size so that you always have the right size to work with. Here are the components of the star blocks, all ready to assemble.

And here is the first two blocks to roll off the assembly line. As you can see, I did the center of my block a bit differently. I did lay out the star on both fabrics, but trust me, this was the right choice. They are turning out so well. Our oldest grandson just moved into his own home and this might be just the thing for him. It seems masculine enough right now but time will tell.

Two More Blocks Completed

Last night I was able to finish another block for my Faye Anderson Quilt. May was kind enough to let me join her challenge to do a block a week. I am a few weeks behind but since I do have enough blocks prepped for the month of February, I have hope of catching up soon.

As I sit and stitch it is as though all the others in the group are sitting with me.

Look What George Brought

George is our mailman. Yesterday he brought me this wonderful gift from a friend. She actually made that bag. I am amazed. It is wonderful. Just the perfect thing for me to keep the ubiquitous sock in. The thimble has a lovely flower, the floss will be put to use on my Faye Anderson blocks as will the hand quilting thread. The wheels in my head are already turning with ideas for quilting that special project.

Lem was not too happy. He only got bills in the mail.

Thank you dear friend for the wonderful gifts.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Little Hats All in a Row

When my sister asked for some baby hats for one of her organizations, I put my socks aside for a bit and picked up a skein of baby blue yarn. While I am watching TV, I knit. Usually it is just socks but I can do that and still watch the program. If there is nothing on to view, I listen to books on tape and do hand work that requires both eyes all the time. In the past weeks I have been working on hats. Here they are. I have already mailed two hats and now these will be sent. I am working on the second gray sock now.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

An Hour A Day

Since I am working on quilting the Carnival top upstairs, I am able to work on the Hour a Day quilt downstairs each morning. I have discovered that it takes me longer to complete the steps than it does others. That just means I am able to savor the time used making that quilt a bit longer.

Judy directions are so easy to follow and it always goes together precisely. This is going to be another winner for me. I even plan to attempt to machine quilt it myself on my little Janome 4623……

Tomorrow is the breakfast club so I will not get to sew in the morning. I really only get four mornings a week to work downstairs because Friday is the breakfast club, and the weekends are spent upstairs with my wonderful spouse. That means that the quilt will have to wait a bit for me to get there again………….

Monday, February 19, 2007

What's Up Next

Here it is........... My fabric for the Hour a Day Quilt. This is going to turn out to look so good. Judy does such wonderful designs and the instructions are clear. I know that I am a wee bit late but I do want this quilt.......... HMMM.... perhaps it will turn into a gift. One never knows.

Look at what I found in the "Draft Portion" of my daily posts........ Seems at though I got the cart before the horse....... That is nothing new.

Here is the update. I finished another Faye Anderson block last night. I have one half of the fabric for the Carnival top quilted and I am half way finished with the other piece. I really want to wear the top to the guild meeting on Thursday so I need to finish that this weekend. I also need to finish my swap block for the guild meeting. I can continue to sew on my Hour a Day quilt in the mornings but in the evenings I will be painting the siggys for the Dear Jane Siggy Swap. Looks like I have things mapped out for several weeks to come.

Carnival Top

That sure is bright and cheerful................ I hope it will become a quilted top by the first of March. I want to wear it to the guild meeting. The pattern is from Back Porch Press
This will be the fourth one I have made. I am wearing the first one, done in purples. It was my first quilt. Now it is starting to wear and I am having to decide if I will patch it or not. What you see is really two pieces. I will layer them tonight and start machine quilting. The pattern calls for flannel to be used as batting. I found such a great fabric for the lining that I am going to try to make this reversible. I even have socks knitted and earrings beaded to go with this top. Two years ago I anticipated finishing this project and purchased some purple velvet to make slacks. Naturally I cannot find that material. It is on the other side of the basement that has not been organized yet. I did find a piece of purple small wale corduroy so I will use it. I know the slacks will not be make by the guild meeting but I do hope the top is.

Saturday Afternoon

I finally got my studio organized. It took all of my free time this weekend but I know it was worth the effort. The shell baskets were on sale last summer and they are perfect to put a project in to keep all the parts together. The laundry basket on the right is my Heartstrings project. I don't think I will empty the basket this month but I am making progress. I plan to do at least two blocks each week till the basket is empty.
This is a view of the cutting table on the opposite wall. Everything is within easy reach.
Behind the curtain on the table is stacks of even more plastic totes with even more unfinished projects. I am looking forward to the day when they are not there any more.
There is my sweet little Duchess. My chair is low so I can get by with using an army field desk for my sewing machine. I did order the plans to make the cabinet the Featherweights go in but I have to wait until my son has time to make it for me. My nine patch leader/ender is right there on the table, close at hand.

The six totes you see there contain my stash. Except for the small stack on the stool, that is all I have. Two large pieces will be used soon as backing for my siggy quilts and that small stack of fabric will fit into the boxes then. I have seen what some others have a stash but I do not think that way. I see a quilt that I want to make and I purchase what I need to make that quilt. Then I take it home and put it in a plastic bag or tote till I get to it. After the quilt is made, the scraps go into my "Simply Charming" tote ........ I hope to do many charm quilts and that take a lot of different pieces of fabric. Occasionally I see a piece that speaks to me. When that happens I buy as much as I can afford when I get home I look for a quilt to use it in.............. Same obsession, just a different way to store the fabrics.

Yup, I am in the basement. It is cold there this time of year. I make every effort to get up by 5:30 am each morning and sew downstairs until 7:30 am. Then I have to go upstairs and fix lunches and dress for work.

Saturday Morning

I finally removed all the Valentines Day decorations from the family room and cleared the way to sit and work on my Baltimore Album....... Since the room that was originally the dining room is now my husband's office, our table is in the family room. I sit there when I am doing cross stitch because I have a table stand. The room is too cool to sit in right now even with the gas logs lit so I have been sitting at the table with a small ceremic heater to keep my toes thawed out.
I am also trying to learn to hand quilt. I am not very good but I am still going to keep trying. This is set up and ready to go so that I can get at least one thread in each day. I like to do more but that is not always possible. Always leave your needle threaded and ready for use so that you are ready to go the next morning.
I even organized my little stack of "stuff" to work on. The basket is the Baltimore album and the stack on the right is the fabrics for my Faye Anderson blocks. Lately I have been knitting more because I can stay warm in bed and watch TV while I knit.
Someone showed their Jan Patek 2006 Mystery Quilt and I knew that one was in my future. I joined the 2007 BOM. I hope to get it started soon.

Promise of Things to Come

Joan brought everyone in the Breakfast Club a little touch of spring. Yes, that is cabbage and parsley with the babys breath and carnations. These were made to adorn the trays of cookies and the Hospital Auxillary Tea last week. After the event they were destined to be tossed but Joan saved a few to share with us. Mine is till looking perky and is so pleasing to the eye at mealtime...................

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day

On my break this morning, I was looking for a picture to post. This little gem crossed my path and it even has some instructions to go with it. It is from Domiknitrix and she has a tutorial on the increases used to make this little heart.

Last week I began spending one hour each morning doing some organization downstairs. I still have many hours to go........ After the first hour, I then begin working on the project at hand. This month it was my Blogging Siggies, the Confetti Top, my Hour A Day quilt and my Heartstrings blocks. The siggies are almost complete. I need to sign the last half of them, trim them and make them charming..... Then they can be mailed off by Friday I hope.

This morning I opened the box containing the Confetti Top. Why did I put that aside. It is so near being completed............... I had planned to begin the Hour A Day quilt but I had left the instructions upstairs and I just did not want to make the trek up again. I have completed 6 Heartstrings blocks from my basket of scraps. I used all the muslin I had on hand. Monday I purchased a couple more yards and if all goes well I can wash it this afternoon. I also need to wash the backing fabric for the quilt Peg and I are going to pin on Friday. I am trying to work up my courage to machine quilt. I have two already pinned to be quilted but I really want to practice on this one first. Progress is being made even if it is slow going.

When I posted the picture of the 18 quilts in plastic totes at the foot of the stairs, little did I know that I would find 18 more in baskets to go on the shelves in the studio. I have uncovered many more still are not listed..... I am going to be busy for quite some time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Beginning for One of Us

Some of you might remember the challenge I entered with Vickie and Rebekah on making a Baltimore Album Quilt. Vickie is the first out of the starting gate....... She chose a black background and wonderful reds and yellows and greens. She brought her first completed block to breakfast last week and it looks much better in real life. My camera just does not do true colors.

Rebekah is still looking for the right background. She might wait until she is here in June so that we can look together.

I have begun my first block but right now it is on hold till I finish my Siggy Swap blocks.

It is still too cold to sit in the living room at the computer but I will be responding to everyone that has been kind enough to say hello very soon.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Mission Accomplished

I have finished my portion of the heart block swap quilt I am doing with my daughter, Rebekah. The idea is from the front of the "Quilts of the Henry Ford" book. It is originally done in two colors but we wanted to use many pink fabrics. She did half of the blocks twice and I did half of the blocks twice. When she comes to visit in June we are going to assemble both quilts and finish them. The fabric they are on is one we are auditioning. It seemed good in the planning stage but seeing them all spread out, perhaps I need to audition a few more fabrics.

I have spent at least one hour 4 days a week working on cleaning and organizing (again) the studio. I am also working on the siggy swap blocks that Cynthia is hosting. As soon as the siggy blocks are done, I can begin my Hour a Day quilt that Judy is sharing with us. I have some great fabrics for that one and I am anxious to start...........

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Breakfast Club

On Friday mornings a group of us meet for breakfast from 8:00 to 9:00. Left to right are Vickie, Nancy, Peg and Joan. We only meet in the winter months as everyone is too busy during the summer. Not to mention that the tourist are here and we have trouble finding a table. Vickie (far left) is the designer and maker of the Snow Scene quilt and Peg (third from left) is the maker of the horse quilt. I am truely blessed with wonderful friends.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Faye Anderson Block Four

Poor thing...... She has issues......... I am repeating my mantra "finished is better than perfect", "finished is better than perfect".

It was mentioned at the last guild meeting that quilting is a process and some of us are farther along the path than others. Keeping this in mind, I will put this block in my finished quilt......... After all, I did learn while making the block.
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Block Three from Faye Anderson

I was surprised to discover that I had not posted this block yet. I finished it last week. There is another one that I need to take a picture of. Currently I am only lagging one week on this project. At least as far as the applique is concerned. I seem to have a picture taking problem.

Wouldn't you know I did not finish my errands yesterday. When that happens, the multiply. This afternoon I will try once again. Lem is going to fix his famous sausage casserole for dinner tonight so I will not have to cook. I do have a needlepoint class and I really don't want to venture forth into the cold. I do however want to finish those adirondak chairs I began several years ago. The end is in sight so I must keep my eye on the prize.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Rat Race or Ferris Wheel?

This year I promised myself that I would enjoy everything I do, even things that were considered chores in the past. I have been holding up until recently when the temperatures dipped into the unmentionable part of the thermometer. This weather is just too much for a Southern Girl like me. I do understand that many of you live in colder climates and like it. I was born and raised in the southeastern part of the United States and I consider 40 degrees a low, not a high.

Yesterday while running errands after work the old mental attitude set in and I felt that I was a rat on a wheel, trying to get things ACCOMPLISHED………… While at the grocery store I noticed someone that had stopped at the Dunkin Donuts counter, purchased a cup of coffee and was leisurely doing her shopping while enjoying her drink.

Today I will do the same. Instead of feeling as though I am a mouse on a wheel. I will be riding a ferris wheel with stops now and then. Moving a bit slower instead of allowing the RUSHED feeling to take hold. I need to stop at the library, two banks, LQS, Curves, butcher shop, thrift shop and grocery store. Dinner will be something I can fix quickly from the frozen food section. Then I will go to bed and snuggle under two quilts while I appliqué until time to turn out the lights.

I am behind already on my Hour a Day quilt. Not concerned at all. I know I will catch up. I will also be rearranging my list of things to do in February to accommodate the Hour a Day quilt. Judy is so good to design these quilts for our enjoyment and her designs are always a pleasure to assemble.

About the quilt from yesterday -- I suppose it just did not look the way I had envisioned it would look. Perhaps when it is quilted it will be more appealing. I am going to attempt to machine quilt this one myself on my Janome. I began the year with the idea of either finishing one quilt or two quilt tops each month. I did finish one quilt this year (picture later) and I have pieced two quilt tops. I have also enjoyed every stitch taken.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Well, it will be warm

But that is just about all I can say about this quilt. Perhaps if I select an attractive backing I can use it with that side up.

This is the New Years Day mystery quilt…………. Probably my last mystery for awhile. There are too many other ones waiting in the studio.

I did spend 30 minutes this morning clearing up some areas before I began sewing. We are getting there – slowly but surely………..

Friday, February 02, 2007

Punxsutawney Phil predicts early spring

Lemuel, has a friend that lives in Punxsutawney, PA and for the past three years she has sent a Punxsutawney Phil Beannie Baby to him. They are limited editions and can only be purchased in Punxsutawney.

It is wonderful to report that he has predicted an early spring this year. It sure will be welcome.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Resistance Is Not Futile

Yesterday I needed to stop at my LQS for buttons and interfacing. I went in, made my purchase and left. I DID NOT make a fabric purchase. I DID keep a scarf wrapped around my head to block my vision.

While I am working on filing and other mundane task here at the office, I am mentally reviewing what I have on the agenda for February. As soon as Blogger allows, I can post my February goals.

The Thread and I

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, Do it with thy might.

Ecclesiastes 9:10