Thursday, November 04, 2010

Another block of Safe Haven...

I've been working on Christmas gifts, embroidering a few things, making lists, checking them twice.... you know the drill. :)

While my embroidery machine was working on a tea towel, I was working on a block for Safe Haven.

I knew something was wrong with this block before I pressed this portion.... duh!

This is much better.

And here's the whole block. These blocks are 20 inches square, which seems ginormous after a week's worth of Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks!!

I have lots of left overs each month. This BOM is several years old. Embarrassingly old.... but boy, I love how much fabric they included. Jacque called dibs on my left-overs from this one, and as you can see, she'll likely have enough to make the exact same set of blocks, with only an occasional dip into her stash for anything she's short on.

I have no idea what I am trying to do here, but I'm playing with some of Karen and my favorite cartoon characters.... and I'm having a ball trying to figure it all out.

Isn't that what it's all about!?!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

D1, conquered!

I caught up the rest of row C for my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler this week. This was a fun row for the most part!

And then there was D1 looming on the horizon. Yvette had warned me that this one was a tad difficult.

But with lots of pins.

And scratching the cobwebs of my cranium and recalling the things my Nana and my Mom taught me about stay stitching and easing curves, etc.... And some better luck with my Y-seams....

I got 'er done!

If you click on the oldFROGeyes widget at the top right side of my blog, you can see my progress on my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler (and others). I love being able to see my quilts growing!!

I've peeked at the rest of row D, and I think it's going to be a good row. Challenging in places, but still, quite doable. I noticed that one block at the end involved curves and the book gave both applique templates and piecing instructions. There is a more difficult block, D7, that does not suggest applique, but I think it is a block that would definitely be easier that way. Why not? If it's okay on one block, why not on another?

I will ponder that as I work my way across that row. I have Saturday sampler to catch up, and my Red/White/Blue sampler to work on also, along with some Christmas gifts and some baking/freezing to accomplish.

I think I need a nap, just from thinking about it all! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I was whining to my sister not long ago. (Not that that is anything new, but this was important!) I was telling her I wished there was a template or spreadsheet or something, that I could use to post pictures of my quilt blocks into, so that I could see what I was doing.... without constantly handling and re-handling my blocks, and having to spread them all over the floor, etc.

(Not to mention, having to pick the dog hair and threads off them each and every time because we are oh, so, neat and clean in this house!)

Jacque's daughter 'Elby' just graduated from college this year (summa cum laude!! yay!!) and one of her areas of expertise is web design, etc.... the conversations that were overheard by my niece gradually came around to the idea of a virtual design wall for quilters. And she was off and running with the idea!

If you click on the oleFROGeyes widget on the right side of my blog page, it will take you to MY quilt gallery. I already have three quilts up and I'm having a ball with this website she has designed. (Click on 'select a quilt' or 'view all', etc.)

It took me maybe three pictures, to learn what I needed to learn in order to resize the pix for uploading into the blocks of any quilt I design.

Elby made a cute tutorial with a narrator that I believe is the big green frog himself (and he sounds distinctly like Winston Churchill!) and I quickly figured out how to run the tutorial right beside my pictures as I edited them. After the first three pictures, I had the process down pat. I have not had to use the tutorial since then. I know exactly which values work best in the three areas that changes can be made, and I put eight blocks up tonight in no time!

For any quilt I design on the site, I can decide how many blocks I need, and in what order. Lattice? Cornerstones? Borders? I can add them in any color under the sun!

I have two simple 12-block quilts going in my gallery so far, and one monstrous Sylvia's Bridal Sampler too (140 blocks?!).

I have only been using the site a couple of weeks, but I love it!! I keep my laptop in my sewing room, so when I'm working on my SBS, for example, I am constantly picking out what colors I want the next little block to be. I can see at a glance, on the oleFROGeyes site, what colors are around the block I'm planning, and whether I need to avoid a color that has been used nearby, etc.

I put my Red, White and Blue sampler up on the site tonight, and immediately, I was struck by the fact that I have too much light blue centrally located in the quilt, and I absolutely HATE block 7. It needs more contrast and I made a huge error with one section. I will be making that one over. I'll probably switch one of the remaining blocks with that light blue for another block, such as the #3, or top right block. I can change the quilt blocks on the site and when the time comes to actually sew the blocks together, I can use the gallery picture as a reference so that hopefully it goes together just like I want it to.

All in all, I think this site is well worth the roughly $2.50 a month the membership works out to cost. And I'm not saying it just because she's my awesome niece! It's worth every penny and I'm glad she was nearby that day when I was whining to Jacque!!

P.S. I hear there may be some further modifications to the site! For example, I mentioned I'd love the ability to post blocks on point.... since Yvette, Ellen and I are thinking about doing Farmers Wife next year! (I should be bald by then, from tearing my hair out over SBS, so why not!!)

P.P.S. Look at this pretty quilt Ms. Ellen is working on!!!

I got to see these paper pieced blocks on Saturday when she and I had a fun afternoon stitching away on our projects. They are stunning!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Much better....

Not a single hair was harmed in the making of these four blocks!

It was a productive evening in the sewing room, although the place was a bit trashed after I was done.

Block B10, four half-square triangles and you're done!

Block C1, which I think is called Contrary Husband.

Block C2, the name of which had something to do with a Wedding Ring, so I used the gold for the ring.

And block C3. The name escapes me, and the book is upstairs and I'm downstairs. And lazy. It could be called Easy Peasy!

Again, I am quitting while I'm ahead. C4 is a little more difficult, but not really hard, I don't think. I'll tackle that one later!

Tomorrow, I'm off to Ms. Ellen's for work on my Web Sampler blocks, or perhaps my Saturday Sampler... Yay for a QUILTY WEEKEND!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

B7, B8 and B9

After fixing a pair of drapes for a friend..... (I took one pleated, lined panel of heavy suede-like fabric and made two panels out of it... they were very loooooooooooooooong drapes!), I decided to tackle a few Sylvia blocks.

B7 was not all that difficult, but for some reason, I got kind of wonky results.

But B8 redefined difficult. Challenging. That scream you heard last night, in the distance? That was me. B8 kicked my butt around the sewing room. It's getting to be a habit, coming away from a Sylvia session covered with bruises.

I have only a few hairs left on my head. And they are gray. The name of this block is "Mrs. Cleveland's Choice."

I would like to respectfully suggest that Mrs. Cleveland get her head examined. Or maybe I should. Sigh!

The next block obviously was designed to stress as few of my remaining nerve endings as possible. B9 was a simple Irish Chain.

Whew. I'm going to bed while I'm ahead!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Productive Couple of Days - Woot!

The weekend was full of work for me, both the typing kind, and the household kind. But, in between cleaning, typing and errands, Yvette and I carved out a few hours on Sunday to make a new purse pattern. You can see hers here.

Here's mine....

And if I get tired of so much of the green?

Well, there's this side. It's reversible!

I love this one. The only change I would make is I would add a magnetic closure next time for both the purse body, and the pockets. :)

These purses are addictive. And who can't use another way to use her stash??!!

Because I typed my heart out this weekend (til one in the morning, today!), I had a wide open afternoon. I was bound and determined to get my Irish Chain finished, and get the box (waiting by the door to be shipped to Dad and Mom) taped shut, labeled and over to FedEx!

I was going to cross hatch, but, this is almost a double sized quilt, and by the time I had finished the rows slanting in one direction, it dawned on me that it was quilted every 3 inches. And that is ENOUGH! Yahoo! Done!

I had some problems with the fabric sort of "chevronning" as I stitched first one direction, then the other. I was trying to reduce the amount of torque I'd be putting on it, as I sewed those rows. I used my walking foot, but still got a bit of creepage that resulted in the faint chevronning. Sigh. Hopefully after it washes and is used a bit, it won't be noticable.

I bound it, and it is spinning in the dryer right now... The box of quilts (six, I think?) will be in Wyoming by Friday!!

I'm looking forward to catching up on some BOM's next. I'm only about a month or so behind myself and I want to get current!

Our Ms. Ellen is flinging open the door to her house on Saturday, and I'm hoping to see her, Jenny, and Karene (looks like Yvett can't make it, and Karen has a class, *pout*). Anyway, it will be good to start working on some blocks (and hear what's happening with everyone!). It's been way too long, my friends!

Monday, October 11, 2010

First shot of wheat grass!

Not bad at all!

It was easy to assemble (even having to take time to read a few directions this first time!).

It works just like the extruder I used to use to make my homemade tomato sauces. The spent grass is extruded on one side..... and that is a very dry grass "rope"! This thing really gets the liquid out!

The juice collects here.

Tastes like a salad.... only.... in the words of Mr. Patrick, "Where's the Ranch?"

I think seven little flats like this would give us enough for two or three people to have a shot a day. (And that would be enough, given that Mr. B would sooner swallow a razor blade than anything dark green!) Soon as we finish a flat, we should start a new one. Takes mere seconds to put seeds in a bowl to soak. Takes maybe two minutes to fill the flat with dirt, sprinkle soaked seeds on, and top with a bit more dirt. Watering daily is obviously not going to eat up much time. We'll see. The Great Wheatgrass Experiment will continue.

There are a ton of things this is supposed to do for you. The ones that interest me the most are stabilizing blood sugar and lowering blood pressure. Again, we'll see. There is a LOT of research information out there supporting a lot of claims. There are a few naysayers. My own blood sugar levels and blood pressure readings will be as much of a deciding factor to me as the research done by other institutions.

Oh, and I expect to be leaping tall buildings by noon! :)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Meow! Finished!

Karen took off for parts unknown tonight to see a movie with a friend, so it was just me in the sewing room. I tackled the rest of the kitty quilting and then bound it. Here's a pic of the whole quilt, or as much as I could get in the camera from my perch on the stairs.

The pink binding really set it off!

Look at Karene's little fussy cut corners! Cute!!

And here is the backing that I chose from Ms. Ellen's stash contributions!!

Is that a perfect match for the purples and the overall flavor of the quilt?! I think so! Love it!

Went to the Orange Quilt Bee to get my next block this morning..... dangerous territory. I saw several things I'd just LOVE to make!

This black, white and red quilt has everything! Pretty blocks, the Sunbonnet kids, and even a touch of embroidery, I think!

This is a chicken pattern that was free for the taking! I can't wait to make a few of these!

Karen spied two quilts that use the pattern that she got a kit for at Long Beach. She fell big time, for that quilt, and when she stood up again, she was clutching the quilt kit in one hand and her charge card in the other. She hopes to start it after this semester is done... mid December!

This one is intriguing! I don't know why it appeals to me, but I love it. I think it's the way the flower petals and background reverse on each bloom.

This picture is horrible, but the quilt is gorgeous. Karen sees things very spacially (spaceally? where is spell check on this blog?!). Anyway, she took one quick glance and announced that they had taken a square, cut it up, and used various pieces throughout the quilt. And that they had done that 20 times. She then turned over the pattern, and sure enough, it calls for 20 fat quarters to do the 20 blocks and the applique! I love the combination of the blocks and the applique. I finally tore myself away and we went home. Without the pattern. Because I remembered that if I buy one more thing, my sewing room is going to explode.

This is a picture of the great wheatgrass experiment. Supposedly drinking the juice of this stuff lowers blood pressure and helps stabilize blood sugar, and does a host of other good things. I decided to try growing it.... Tomorrow, we will try making a bit of the juice and we'll see how it goes. If I start mooing at night, instead of snoring.... I may have to rethink the whole thing! (apparently you only have to drink a small shot of it daily to reap all the rewards healthwise......)

And yes, that is an eyeball sitting in the flower pot with the aloe vera plant.

And yes, my windows need washed. Moving on!

You want weirder? I can do weirder! I am growing alfalfa sprouts in my pantry!

I made Morning Glory Muffins ( and stashed some for breakfasts next week and froze some for later on. I hear these can make a morning commute a more peaceful experience. I'll report back on that after Karen grabs one Monday morning on her way out the door. Somewhat healthy, with whole wheat, coconut, shredded carrot, nuts, etc.

And just to keep Michael from thinking I've gone off the deep end, what with the moo grass.... I mean wheat grass, and the healthy muffins, I made some Brownie Cookies for him to munch on this weekend. Got the recipe (and the muffin one) from
MennoniteGirlsCanCook website. He pronounced them a hit when he got home from the Land of Lost Packages today.

That's all! (moo!)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Seeing double...

With our usual sense of good timing, Karen and I waited until the last minute to get our Saturday Sampler block for this month done. Tiger joined us in the sewing room and played her part as our "studio cat".

She is most content lying between our chairs, while we talk and listen to music, with our machines humming.... occasionally muttering to ourselves when the blocks or the machines aren't cooperating.

She eventually wakes up covered with bits of cloth. :)

Here are our blocks, #9 in the series, for Saturday Sampler at the Orange Quilt Bee. I am so loving this quilt. This one is going to stay here at Chez Bury! Mine, mine, mine. :)

And after that one, I went backwards a month to finish the block I missed while I was in Wyoming last month.

Here's #8. Now, I'm caught up on big blocks. I have 6 mini blocks to make up and I'll be right on time. I want to start setting the blocks into the setting triangles too, so that all of that is not left until the end.

I pick up a new block tomorrow morning. :)