Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sew Frugal, Sew Much Fun!

I followed the directions here. I went through my scrap bin and got out fabrics and ruthlessly cut them up.

If I could, I salvaged a 6" square or two, and a 5" square or two, before cutting the strips called for in the String Quilt directions. I'm going to use the 5" charms to make just a simple charm quilt, one block after the other, and quilted on my short-arm machine. I'm going to take the 6" blocks, make huge nine patch squares, and then make a fractured nine-patch scrappy quilt, and quilt that one on my short-arm also... Stashbusting resulting in two "free" quilts!

But the real fun tonight came after I finished cutting strips. I think I have enough to make two or three of these quilts, at least. That's good, because Karen took one look at this tonight and decided she's making one too!

Here are my strips - varying from 1-1/2" to 2-1/2" in width. A big tangled mess.... but as the author of the directions said, "such potential!"

Here, I've sewn them onto the base 11" square, and it is a bit of a ragged mess.

And here I have squared it up to 10-1/2". Correctly.

And here, I have squared one up incorrectly. Sigh. (notice the point of the white strip is "off".)

But frugal daughter piped up with the idea of squaring it again, smaller, and making a "pillow cover" for a decorative pillow to match the quilt. Since I'm nothing if not persistent in the error of my ways, later tonight I screwed up a second one. Exactly the same way. That time, I figured out what I did wrong during the squaring up process.... but anyhoo, even the screw-ups can be used!

And here are 8 made correctly, turned into two huge four-patches", and laid side by side. You can really see the pattern forming with the white stripe....

This is way too much fun. I have cookies to bake and floors to clean, and typing to do... and all I want to do is go back upstairs and make some more blocks!


The Great Cookie Adventure, 2008

It has begun...

Mr. B. is turning out gingerbread boyz..... my absolute favorite.... I am not able to eat these any more and the smell.... it is driving me batty.... sooooo good!

I'm trying to contribute to the cookie effort too. I managed to get a few Snickerdoodles made so far.

Mexican wedding cookies, and Teatime Tassies are on the list for me to make soon.

And just when I thought we could skip it this year? Two different clients asked me if we were making cookies for them this year!

I played with the new camera for a few minutes today. Took this picture of Mr. B. enjoying a break with the little peoples.....

And these shots of Sadie. Click on these - she's a pretty girl! The detail with the new camera is more evident in these two pix.... Hey Mikie, me likie!!

I've been more productive today... got my work caught up and I reinforced a shelf upstairs in the "flee closet"..... When we have fires or catastrophes, the stuff in the "flee closet" which is marked with orange stickers, goes in one of the "flee vans"... That's our nickname for them. It may seem silly, but having a plan makes all the difference when the reality is upon you! We reloaded that closet today, and now...

I'm off to my sewing room. I started a string quilt last night, and I'm having WAY too much fun busting my stash! Pix later, when I have a few more blocks done!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Editorial Note

I have been informed by the resident pilot in the house that I have an error in my slideshow (about three entries down). I called the water bomber a DC-5 (a direct quote snagged from an apparently misinformed neighbor) is in fact, a DC-10.

There was only one DC-5, apparently...... uno, one single plane of that type. For whatever reason, no more were made and successive models had later numbers.

The discussion brought back memories. When Karen was very young, her pilot daddy taught her how to tell the difference between many types of planes. It always amazed me to hear her say "Look Daddy, it's a 737!" or something along that line.

She's very spacial in how she views things, and for some reason, differences in body types of airplanes were very clear to her! Probably the same talent that she displays with the quilting. There have been many times during the making of my Saturday Sampler quilt that she would find me in the quilting studio with my eyes crossed and steam coming out of my ears. In a flash, she could eyeball the pattern, the pieces, and rearrange things correctly!

Anyway, just keeping things accurate here! It's a DC-10!! I don't care if it's an ABC-42. I'm just grateful it was around this weekend!


A bit of humor....

The sign at our freeway entrance.... If you click on the picture, the ground was still smoking when Karen took it! The right post is missing....

This was a neighborhood we passed in Yorba Linda yesterday.... The slopes were really torched, but the houses in this section were spared.

However, the fire's heat was so intense, the vinyl (resin?) fence melted!

The only thing I have ever thought about with those fences, was how great it would be to not have to paint them, and how they would never rot and fall over in the Santa Ana winds we get around here....

I never thought about heat resistance!

And one last thing..... Michael surprised me with an anniversary gift on Sunday and the pictures today were taken with it.... A new camera! It's so tiny! I love it.... and I spent some time taking random pix getting used to it.

Ummm..... Karen was getting silly trying to explain how easy it was, and posing for me.

While Mr. B gave TuffBoy some attention.....

Thirty years, today! I think we'll try for another thirty!


Two simple heartfelt words...

We are almost back to normal. A few more bins to put back where they belong and life is just settling down to status quo. The air is clearing and there is only the occasional whiff of acrid smoky smell..... Now and then a 'copter goes over the house, which gives us pause, and then we get back to what we were doing.

For so many people, life will never be the same. A lifetime of momentos, tangible evidences of cherished memories, gone! I cannot imagine their loss. I know Mr. B and I joked as we were packing the car, that if we were burned out, we'd just take the insurance money and move on to our forever/ retirement home.... we probably would not take the time or energy to rebuild. We joked, but there was a sad finality to our words. Yes, it was all just "stuff". As I moved through the house, picking up random things my eyes landed on...... a set of bookends my dad made as a young boy, two embroiderred towels my mother stitched for her hope chest probably 55 years ago at least, I was fully aware that it was just "stuff" but it was My Stuff. And I really didn't want to lose it. What a heartbreaking event for so many people to go through.

There have been so many pictures over the past few days. Here are a few that really caught my eye. These were NOT taken by me.

(in Yorba Linda, I think)

(some of the flying we saw in Anaheim Hills was amazing!)

(palm trees in Yorba Linda!)

(Huntington Beach, with the smoke from our fires headed out over the ocean!)
And here are a few pix that Karen and I took. We happened across a staging/debriefing meeting between about a hundred different fire trucks at the Staples parking lot in Savi Ranch. It was overwhelming! I was an emotional puddle anyway, just from the stress of the whole fire experience (and the always present in the background, mind-numbing, Big Sad going on at our house) and I felt like an idiot, but I got pretty soggy while watching all these trucks file into the lot, and line up.

(tail end of the parade headed down to the parking lot)

The men (and a few women) were tired, grubby, and I expect they were about to be reassigned to the west of me....

I wasn't alone. There were other people in front of Staples who were cheering and waving as they left the store and saw the trucks lining up.

They came from all over. The names on the trucks as they rolled by were being chanted by the crowd in front of the Staples store. I was a ways down from that, and I just stood there, feeling inadequate as I said "thank you" to the trucks as they rolled by. Some of the guys waved, some said "you're welcome!", some just grinned.

Two simple, heartfelt words. Thank you.

It's not enough, but I'm glad I had the chance to say it a few times to a few of the crews. I told Mr. B. we needed to make extra cookies this year, and I will take some to the two stations within a mile or so of our home. It's a small gesture, but maybe it will mean something.

I will start a new post, with two humorous fire picture to share... Blogger is getting cranky with me - probably too many pix!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh Yes I Did!!

I fussy cut some accent pieces, just like Janet did, for the sashing corners.

I think they look pretty good.

I got a wild streak going and decided to miter my corners, and I picked a different portion of the border material for my border.... I'm loving it!

And it's done!

Whoo hooo! I learned a lot and I can't wait to make another one!

Good night! Or shall I say, good morning??!!


(1:01 AM)

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Countdown Continues...

First, go here:

I'll wait. I promise.

Go, you will love it! Patti sent it to me today and I've watched it three times. It's short, so scoot! Go watch!




See what I mean? There are more, I presume from as Gin and her master progressed through the competition, but I will have to watch them another day. Tonight... I am Le Tired. But was that not cute?

(Tuffboy and Tuffgirl were overheard critiquing Gin's moves.... they were duly impressed and possibly cooking up a few ideas of their own!)

But in quilty news..... The goal appears closer!!

Tomorrow, the gold sashing and the borders. Not to mention, three hunks of plain material that must be stitched together to make the backing.

I think I just might make it!

*crosses her fingers!*


Sunday, November 09, 2008

All Saturday Sampler, All The Time!

It's gotta be in the Fed Ex box and headed for my long-arm quilter, Cotie, by Wednesday....

This weekend, I finished up the rest of my blocks. I made four that were not in the original plan for the Saturday Sampler... to replace the medallion in the center. I thought Janet's was gorgeous with the medallion,

but I just wanted to have sixteen different blocks... I have had a blast learning how to use the Marty Michell templates. Sew much fun!

Here's one which was called "Greek Cross"... laid out to try to figure out how to put it together... These extra blocks did not have assembly instructions!

And all put together... I kinda like that one!

And here's one that I think was called Lancelot....You will note I have it pretty much all laid out properly....

Oopsie! ...Somehow it did not get sewn together quite so properly.

In fact, not one of those stupid red/gold squares was pointed in the right direction. This resulted in some creative cursing, and also the sound of frogs in the sewing room. (rippit, rippit, rip it out!)

The easy way out was to leave two in backwards, and put the other two in backwards also....resulting in a perfectly acceptable block. At least that's what Karen said. Perfectly acceptable. And did I mention the Fed Ex truck, next Wednesday?!

Moving on...

I had one other unfortunate moment when I had chain pieced about 4,592 triangles together across their hypotenuses.

(Oh my goodness, my math teacher was right! I actually DID use my Mad Math Skillz as an adult. I remembered that the long side of the triangle was the hypotenuse!)

Ahem. Too bad that I should have sewn them together across the short side of the triangles.

I decided to forego ripping out 4,592 hypotenuses.

(hey, I wonder if I can compost 4,592 100% cotton hypotenuses?)

I recut the blasted triangles!

Here's one called Bear Claw....

And here's the last block we got from this year's Saturday Sampler program, last Saturday. I loved this one! It was intriguing and just plain fun!

After I got the blocks done, it was time to tackle the green inner sashes and triangle corners.... Candi from Leah's was able to provide me with the necessary information for the size of those green sashes .... so I did not have to guess.

I owe her....BIG TIME!!

I cut, and I cut and I cut....

And this is ALL I had left when I had enough of them cut. As in, I couldn't have come up with one more, if my life had depended on it. Whew!

Next the little triangles for each corner were to be cut. The instructions mentioned some sort of fancy ruler for triangles which would make triangle that were the perfect size. I glanced up at my wall, because I knew I had a triangle ruler up there that I had bought YEARS ago (in Texas, I think), and I wondered if by chance I could figure out the size and use it as a guide...

Well, I'll be hornswaggled... It was a Marty Michell ruler and the exact size I needed was clearly marked on it.

The sun shined on me, the birds sang, the choirs joined in.... It was one of those "I don't believe it" moments.... That ruler has hung there ever since I bought it, back in the day, swearing "this will come in handy one day, I'm sure!"

So my triangles got cut, and here's the first of the 16 completely finished big blocks.

Fifteen to go, and sashing.....and a border. "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"