This ‘n That

I am not sure why, but whenever I load pictures into this blog, they get put in out of order. Rather than spend my time fixing that, I will just pretend this is how I meant to do it.

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Just above is a little crazy quilt block that I put together from a bag of goodies I got from a friend right after we moved here. I had to go out and buy some floss so I could start stitching on it since all my threads, flosses, beads, baubles, etc., are in storage in Chattanooga.  I already stitched a little on it; I thought it would be nice to have some hand work to play with now and again.

Here are my Mother’s Day goodies. Raymond got me the flowers and Heath bars. My daughter sent me the sweetest necklace with a tree of life on it and a nice card with some Amazon cash. I am blessed to have such a loving family.

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Now for a little decorating update. We got these spice racks hung on the kitchen wall and I realized that my little Red Rooster quilt would look great with them.  I don’t like a cluttered work-space, so having the spices up on the wall is a perfect solution — keeps everything close at hand and out of the way at the same time.

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My sister sent me some precut hexies and I decided to make them into this I-Spy type of quilt.  Lots of bright colors for some boy or girl.  I used some alphabet fabric on the back, so this quilt is educational as well as fun.

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Here is a little notebook jacket I whipped up one afternoon.  I just grabbed the first fat quarter I saw and used that serpentine stitch on my machine to quilt it.

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That’s all for now. Have a Happy Day!

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Counting Down

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Just checking in after a lovely visit with my daughter and her family.  Here we are at The Egg and I restaurant on Gunbarrel road. Great breakfast fare!

Raymond and I have resumed packing up the house. One short week from tomorrow we will be leaving Chattanooga and heading south to our old stomping grounds in Florida.  A new chapter in our lives and a new adventure begin.

Happy Day!

The Cat Is Out of the Bag!

Well, it wasn’t any secret that we have had our house on the market for almost two years with plans to move back to Florida when it does.  Last month some folks came by, liked the house, made an offer that we accepted and the paperwork began.  Since then Raymond and I have been packing up as fast as we can. I can’t believe all the stuff we have accumulated in these seven short years.

Early in January, we will be heading south to Brevard County, Florida to find the perfect house for this new chapter in our lives.  For me it is a bittersweet event. I am looking forward to living in Florida again, and getting back in touch with my friends there, but I feel like I am leaving a big piece of my heart here.

I am not even going to try to apologize for the lengthy gap in my posts. The AQS quilt show that came to Chattanooga in September was so amazing and fun that I was stumped as to how to describe it in a post. So I put it off again and again and somehow October, November and almost all of December has passed, postless.  Maybe one of these days I will find time to go back and record my quilting adventures of the last few months — for now though let’s just move forward.  I will gather up pictures of this year’s finishes and add a new page soon, and plan on keeping the blog updated with our current adventures. I don’t expect to have much quilting to show you for a few weeks.

In other exciting news, my daughter and her family are coming to visit for a few days over Christmas. We may try to put them to work packing!

Happy March!

Here are the things left over from last month that I couldn’t mention till after the guild meeting so I wouldn’t spoil the surprise.

More mug rugs! I know, one would think I had enough of mug rugs, but here I am making more.  These were inspired by that heart ruler that my sister gave me, a panel of quilting sayings and of course the proximity of Valentine’s day.

I thought it would be fun to make Valentines to hand out at the Chattanooga quilt guild in February  like we use to in grade school. The sayings in the center of the hearts say:

The hand that guides the needle rules the world

Quilting is my passion – chocolate comes in second

Common threads make uncommon quilts

Excess upon occasion is exhilarating

Quilters have loose ends to tie up

Lead me not into temptation except quilt shops

Rx for a healthy stash: daily feedings

Great quilts from little fabrics grow, Quilts – hugs that last a lifetime

With each new project – back to square one

Quilting . . . it’s not a hobby – it’s a lifestyle, Quilter’s budget

Live simply – quilt, Enjoy a trip around the world without leaving home

The whole nine yards

If quilting were a crime I’d be doing time

Quilting measures up

Fabric sale stampede today

Sew and your friends sew with you; rip and you rip alone

Fabric fondlers anonymous acquisition committee

I’ve never met a fabric I didn’t like

A quilter and her money are soon parted

How to invite your friends to a quilters’ day out: textile messaging

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Next is   finish.  Keep in mind that we missed both the January and the February guild meetings because of bad weather. This means I had to have three UFO’s done for the March meeting.  This is my third one, so I am caught up.

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I started this quilt in a workshop at Crazy Quilter’s guild a few years ago that Dawn taught. It is from the book  One-derful 1 Fabric Quilts by Kay Nikols. It was the third quilt I made from this workshop and technically this one doesn’t qualify because of that narrow red border I added. That makes it a two fabric quit, but I just had to add it. It goes perfectly with the red in the flowers and I think it frames up the blocks in a pleasing manner.  The first one fabric quilt that I made is still awaiting quilting and the second one, being smaller,  went to Project Linus. I don’t know if I even got a picture of it. I will have to dig around and see. This one is queen sized, probably the largest quilt I have quilted to date, and I could not have done it at all without my generous friend, Karen who let me use her Sweet 16 quilting machine.

Here is the back. I think I could have used a different green, but technically it matches. Once it is on the bed, though no one will notice.

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Next up is a block of the month that I started making kind of by accident. We were still in Florida then, and one of my neighbors, a sweet lady named Therese, invited me to go with her to Hancock Fabrics to see a demo of their block of the month (BOM)  for that year (I think it started in September of 2003). Mostly, I think she wanted company on the ride all the way to Merritt Island, but I went and got the free instructions.

Usually when you start a block of the month at Hancock Fabrics (at least this is how I understand it), you buy the fabric kit for the first block for $5.  They demo how to make the block and you go home and make it. When you bring back your finished block the next month, you get the kit for the next block free. And so it goes on till the end, when you find you need to buy fabric for sashing, borders and what not.

This time though, the official fabric for the BOM was delayed for two or three months so they couldn’t make up the kits.  As an incentive to keep the group of gals who usually participated coming in to the store, the woman who did the demos offered to demo an additional BOM in the meantime, and designed another 12 block quilt just for that. I thought that was very generous of her.  For this one you just got the free instructions and used your own fabric.  Well, Therese and I liked the idea of the free instructions and we showed up every month to get the new block information.  After a couple of months, the regular BOM got started and the instructor would demo a block from each of the two quilts. Therese joined the regular BOM too, but I just went for the free one.

This is the first quilt that I actually went out and bought fabric for. It required four fabrics: a light, a dark and two mediums. Oh how I agonized over those choices.  I settled on greens because I knew Raymond liked that color and splurged on $2/yard flat folds from a store in Viera called The Rag Shop. It seemed like such an extravagant purchase as I was pretty sure I would get bored with quiltmaking and never finish the quilt.

As it turned out I did pretty well at keeping up with the monthly blocks, but after they were done they went into storage.  After we moved here and I put up a design wall, I dug the blocks out, arranged them and sewed them into a quilt top. Back in the box they went till this year when I decided to try quilting it.  Here it is.

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The original layout had the blocks on point and setting triangles and corners making it queen sized. As my fabric was limited, I decided to go with a smaller version resulting in a smaller, but still useful quilt.

Here is a picture of how I use a folding table to add length to my ironing board for large pieces.  I used the bed risers to lift the table up and just throw a small quilt over it to protect the plastic top from the heat and steam. So far it has been enough.

I like to use fusible batting in my quilts so I layer the back, batting and top on the ironing board. Then starting across the middle, I steam the layers so the fusible stuff sticks. I do the middle section first, then carefully slide the layers so I can get to the sides and keep moving back and forth till it’s all secure. Then I flip it over to make sure no wrinkles got fused in the backing.  Finally, I roll up the raw edges and pin them with quilting pins to keep them from getting in the way and the sandwich is all ready to quilt.

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 Finally, here is another quilt I am working on. It is even bigger than the One-derful one fabric quilt pictured above.  This is a quick but interesting pattern.

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February Accomplishments

Here are a few of the things I have been working on this month.  There are more, but you will have to wait till March to see them. I had some things ready to take for show and tell at the Chattanooga Quilters guild this month, but the bad weather cancelled the meeting.  So after next meeting,  I can share the pics.  For now, this will have to do.

Every month, the Modern Quilt guild has a lottery block challenge.  If you make and turn in one of the designated blocks for that month, you get a chance at winning them all! I really liked this modern twist on the Dresden plate block so I made this version for the lottery.

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Here are the blocks I won!  They are all very different in style and color.  Somehow I have to put them together into a quilt top. I am still thinking about it and it may take a while, but I love them and the challenge.

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This is a picture of my little design wall. The big one is packed away and I am just using the smaller one. My sister gave me this gray checked fitted sheet and I was going to sew it and cut it to fit the PVC pipes that form the frame of my design wall so I could use the lines on the fabric to help make sure the pieces I put on the wall were straight. Turns out I was able to slip it right over the frame without any cutting or sewing.  Cool! I will probably take it down and do the cut and sew thing to straighten the lines a little, but for now, this is working fine.

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February for me is all about Valentine’s day and this year I made new covers for our TV tables. I used leftover pieces from another Valentine quilt and added borders till they was big enough. Then I quilted the dickens out of them, which turns out to be wasted since the fabric is so busy that it doesn’t show well. I left a heart-shaped bit in the center unquilted so it would puff up a little and you can almost see it in this picture.  To finish, I added casings and ran elastic around the edges so they would stay snug on the tables.

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Oh, and I made some changes on my blog pages. I was curious to see just how productive I am during the year, so I went back through my photos and sorted out all the actually finished projects for each year. Instead of making them blog entries, I decided to make a page for each year.   It is interesting to look through the years and see just what got done.

It is also interesting to note that there are fewer and fewer things the further back I look.  Partly that is because I didn’t have access to a digital camera way back then and took few pictures of projects that would need to be developed. Once I got a scanner though and figured out how to use it, I was able to scan smaller things, although the quality of those pictures are not that great. Then again, I started making traditional quilts around 2001 or 2002. Before that (in the early 90s)  it was just crazy quilt projects.  And before that was an assortment of needlework and crafts that I dabbled in for a while.  Nothing has been as captivating and intriguing as quilt making.

I don’t think the pages are complete.  Maybe they never will be. Every time I look through the pictures I have saved on my computer, I notice something out-of-place that I missed, and I add it to the appropriate year’s page.  And I have a few boxes of ‘real’ photos that are packed away.  When I get them out there may be a few more additions to the history pages.

November Accomplishments

Well, it doesn’t seem like I got much done in November.  Here is the finished spiral hexie heart quilt:

Spiral Hexie Hearts

It measures about 30″ at the widest point. We are planning on hanging it on the wall as soon as we figure out how.  I have already started on another one with only three fabrics which should show the spiral and the hearts much better.

One I made a batch of mug rugs to give to some of my quilting friends. A mug rug is a little coaster that is big enough to set your cup or glass on one side and have room to put a cookie or little snack on the other side. Snacks are so important to quilters, you know!

I found a panel with a bunch of sayings about ‘friends’ and used them as the focal of the rugs. I spent a while trying to plan coordinating fabrics and finally settled on a bundle of 2.5″ strips that I got at the new quilt shop, Spool I knew they would all go together.  I marked a hexagonal shape around the sayings and then did some log cabin rounds till they were a good mug rug size.

Mug Rugs

I wrapped them and then randomly chose which one to give to which friend. It was a fun project, and I am sure I will make more.

I finished a pair of socks, I think this is the 20th or 21st pair. Wow!  These are more house slippers than socks because they are made with a worsted weight acrylic yarn which makes them heavier and thicker than socks. This brand is called ‘unforgettable.’ I gave them to my sister. There was almost enough left to make a second pair with short cuffs but I had to get another skein to finish them. I love these vivid colors. I gave this pair to my sister.

Rainbow Socks

I was telling a friend about the bibs I use to make for my grandmother and my mother-in-law out of dish towels, and decided to see if I could remember how before I tried to explain the pattern to her.  I use to call them ‘blouse savers’ when I made them for my mother in law. She liked to look her best all the time and these helped.

Bib

I am nearly done with ‘Pushing Up Spring,’ a block of the month I started two or three years ago. I love these bright colors too. There are sixteen blocks in all and this is block thirteen. Three more to go. Wow!

Pushing Up Spring 13

I worked on a few other things, but this is all that got finished.

PS: as you can see, I changed the look of my blog again. See that pesky little linky thing that shows up there on the left? I put that in a few years ago when I was in a block of the month and it only ever showed up half way and at the bottom of the page. Now I wan’t to remove it and can’t figure out how. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Happy Day!

August Round Up

Wow, I am actually finishing the August photos before the end of the month!

I finished the TV Table Topper and I think it turned out pretty well.  Here are some pictures. First a look at the finished quilt laid out flat:

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Now a view of it on a table:

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Another view showing the pockets.

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The red/orange section on the left is divided into small pockets along the lines of the design. These are perfect for pens and pencils.

The yellow/green section on the left is divided into two pockets that go all the way to the bottom of the side.

The blue/violet section on the right is just one shallow pocket. I think it will be handy for the little post it note tabs I like to use to mark ideas in magazines and books as I read through them.

Finally, there are two bigger pockets on each side along the horizontal line between the top and the side that are plenty big enough for a note pad or grocery list.

The other side is just the same. I used a fusible medium weight interfacing to fortify the pockets.

I also made a large pocket on the back of the center section and put a 12″ floor tile  in it to keep the cloth from slipping from side to side when the weight in the side pockets are uneven. This way it sits sturdily on the table.  I like the bright colors. I put it upstairs on the TV table and it fits just fine. Raymond is pleased with it and we are busy now figuring out how many things we can stuff into the pockets.

That’s about it for this month. I have been working on some hexie ideas and may have something to show you in a few days.  Happy Labor Day. Be safe.