Wednesday, June 30, 2010


  • I am Le Tired. But I have things I want to post. I thought bullets might be a fun way to be brief.

  • I finished quilting my black floral. Drumroll!!

  • And then I bound it.

  • I am not fond of loop-de-loops for quilting. I think I prefer/am better at meandering.

  • My sister is a Star! Look at the two quilt tops she sent me this week, to be quilted for the crisis centers in Wyoming. They are right out of the box and not ironed - but I was so excited I just wanted to take pix and get them on the blog. Thank you Sew Much, Jacque!!

  • We are trying to make decisions about redoing our kitchen. Almost 17 years later, my microwave, when it is in the mood to work, is opened and shut with a duct tape handle. My oven is 25-50 degrees off.... in either direction.... My sink has buckets under it that I empty daily. My spigot is wrapped with a terry towel, because otherwise, the person doing dishes (that would be me, usually!) gets a shower from the leak in the joint of the spigot! In other words, it's time! And did I mention I HATE 4 inch white tile counter tops? Because they are broken, and there is not a grout cleaner on the planet that will truely clean grout. I know this. I've bought them all.

  • I met my New Love at an appliance store. I love it. I plan to marry it. We will live happily ever after, eventually. First, we have to take our built-in oven out, and remove the cooktop directly over it. Then, we will (after some minor demolition) have an appropriate hole to slide the Magnificence That Is My New Oven, into its new home. I can't wait. Feast your eyes on this puppy and tell me he doesn't scream "I. Can. Cook. Seriously."

  • I am taking a short break from Crisis Quilts and catching up on some BOMs and perhaps even a Sylvia block or two. :) Then I have FOUR twins to quilt! Yahooo! The Red Hot Sew'n Sews are rocking this project!

  • The end.

Gotta work on that bullet thing. I think centering the pix might have made it look more like I had a clue what I was doing....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Saturday Sampler and more...

At Ellen's house on Sunday, Ellen and I worked on our Saturday Sampler blocks.
Ta Dah!!!!

Yvette worked on her Sylvia's Bridal and she's definitely picking up speed! She zipped on by a few that we need to ponder and think on and she whipped out three blocks before she had to go home... And Jenny worked on a gorgeous chocolate brown and teal quilt... I am loving it - and I should have gotten a picture!

On Monday or Tuesday, I don't know which.... this week is a blur... I finally got around to making
Pioneer-Woman's Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies, which Michael was really hinting that he hoped we'd try. If you read the recipe post about them, they eventually turn into chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches with sprinkles.

My ingredients.....

My mess as Karen and I attempted to assemble them.

One of the wrapped frozen ice cream sandwiches.... Pioneer Woman's turned out prettier, but mine were pronounced a success by The Peanut Gallery!

And tonight I really lit into that first twin quilt.... First I quilted the center pink and blue portion on the short arm frame.... Here's a shot of it hanging off the frame after it was done.

Then I decided to try an experiment and I traced a quilting design onto paper and darkened the lines with a sharpie. This I slipped under the setting triangles all around the quilted portion of the quilt.

I traced the pattern on the quilt top with a water soluble marker.

And then stitched it. I have extremely wonky quilting, because I need lots of P3 (practice, practice, practice) in free motion quilting, but I kind of like it! Here's a view from the back.

I plan to just straight stitch two lines around the outer border of the quilt, about 2 inches apart, and these will overlap in all four corners. After that, it will be bound and boxed up for the Crisis Center. Yay!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A little bit of this....and that....

First off, a big drum roll for Dad! His "Thunderbolt" crib quilt is quilted, and bound!

Don't you just love it?

Whoo hooo!!!

There are FIVE quilts going up this week to Wyoming. A double, and three cribs! I have four twins to quilt next, and I have set up the Handyquilter frame and got Plain Jane (my Janome 1600) all oiled and ready.... I have an entire bolt of batting waiting in the wings. Let the quilting begin!

This morning was Saturday Sampler.... I saw Janet "Sensai" busily blowing up balloons to help celebrate the one year anniversary sale at the Bee. I can't wait til the embroidery class Karene and I are taking from Janet next Friday!

While we were at the Orange Quilt Bee, before we looked at this month's Saturday Sampler block:

Gretchen had a quick "show 'n tell". I wasn't expecting it, and missed getting a picture of the first BEAUTIFUL quilt that was shown. :(

But here is one Gretchen showed us. She wanted to learn how to successfully make the star around the border of this one.... I'd say she nailed it. Sew Pretty! And look a the rest of it - awesome!

And another lady had this to show...

I have no idea of the pattern name, just know that I love it!

And one more lady had some mini's to share.

These are only 1 and 7/8 inch square!!! I thought my 5-inch squares for the Saturday Sampler, and Yvette's "Nearly Insane" blocks were tiny.... These redefine "tiny!" They are so cute! She said each one takes about two hours!

I got a few things done tonight in the sewing room. Little by little, I'm clearing out a few small projects.... such as a pillow case for my "son from another mother", Patrick (the dragon one), and two for a certain someone around this house that is a huge Superman fan (shhhh! he can't have them til Father's Day!).

And I did another batch of squares for that Nine-Patch-Project!

Here's a peek in my 9-patch drawer! Some of these will look familiar to Ms. Ellen because they are from her stash! Thanks Ellen!

Tomorrow I'm headed to Ms. Ellen's for a quilting bee.... I'm going to try to get my Saturday Sampler block for this month and also my Web Sampler block for this month finished. And then I will focus completely on quilting those twins this week!

Happy stitching!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

That Nine-Patch Project

Yep, I started that one too! It just makes sense. I have so many scraps and some of them are just begging to be used together in another quilt!

Here's today's block (of which I made eight, four each of mirror images).

One a day! This is doable!! In August, I believe, there will be pattern suggestions for finishing a quilt with our stacks of 9-patches.

(And take a look at the
tutorial about making two-for-one 9-patches from large squares! Pretty efficient!! Right now, I'm working with left-over strips, so I'm doing it more traditionally, but I think the tutorial shows a method that would really save time!! I will try that also!)

I'm all wound down! G'nite all!

I heard that "hint, hint!"

Yvette hinted that she'd like to see my first block of Sylvia's Bridal Quilt....

I have never done paper piecing before. We will be doing this quilt for the next 4,592 weeks couple years, and Ellen is maybe going to join us when she gets a few projects finished...

(That's what I should be doing, is waiting.... ahem... I was never very good at waiting!)

So Ellen gave me a crash course in paper piecing the last time we were at Orange Quilt Bee for a free sew. Thank you Ellen!

I decided I was going to try a few blocks because this is a big new thing for me to learn and I wanted to get going and see what paper piecing is like! (see "never very good at waiting" above!)

I got almost done, and had to call Yvette with a question or two.

But I got my first block finished.

And then.... I kept going!

So here is A1, A2 and A3. I stopped then, and switched back to Prairie Spools, because my brain was tired. And A4 is a challenging block!

Although I have some ideas about how I'm going to get that one done!


The Second Oldest UFO in my Sewing Room

The oldest UFO in my sewing room is the first quilt I ever made. It was a sampler, and I almost finished it. It was completely hand quilted. I stopped with about two blocks yet to be quilted, and started another quilt just like it, for my Mom for Christmas! Hers got finished, and then I was off and running with another quilt class. 20 years later, I've not finished that quilt!

But I will! It's just a wall hanging, and I want to hand it in my office!

Anyway, the class I went charging off to, after finishing Mom's quilt, was one I took in Texas. It was the very first time I had left the girls alone for an extended period of time. I packed up my sewing stuff, eye'd the sky a bit anxiously as it was not looking pretty, and after going over all the instructions for the girls to follow while I was away, I climbed in the VW van and headed out across the prairie to the little town where my class was.

The sky got worse. Then it got kind of an eerie green. I knew what that meant, so I was looking around for tornados as I drove. The wind and rain picked up and suddenly I was in a hail storm so severe I just KNEW the VW van was going to have sustained damage. I could hear Michael wailing in the background of my mind, over the wind and rain! He loves that car. It wasn't our old decrepit VW, it was the new red/white Vanagan that he adored (and adores still - it has a place of honor in the garage, all these years later!)

I made it to the little quilt store, only to be met by the teachers rushing out to my car, saying, "your daughters are on the phone!"

This was before the days of cell phones, and I hurried into the store with my stuff and stood there dripping, and listened as Karen and Laurie informed me that they were getting a terrific storm now.... The hail was scaring them, and they knew what greenish skies meant, and they were apparently hiding in the bathroom saying "Our Fathers". And calling on the phone they had stretched into the bathroom with them!

As most storms do in Texas, this one passed quickly. I was able to stay and take my class; the girls had a great day building confidence taking care of themselves and our dog. Somehow after the class, the quilt got put away... weeks passed... I never got back to it.

We moved to California, and I just didn't have time for much sewing.... I was running my business and doing the Mom thing, and my sewing consisted of making costumes, prom dresses, and sewing on buttons!

Eventually, I had the good fortune to take a class from Janet - about zipped bags. But she talked about quilting and the class was in a quilt shop.... About two years later, I started seriously trying to quilt again... Karene and I signed up for Janet's class at Leah's and there's been no stopping us since!! During that class we met Yvette and Ellen and Jenny and so many wonderful quilters!

But still, this project remained buried in the chaos that is my sewing room.

Until last week! I was cleaning out yet another bin of fabrics, and I found it.

I wasn't even sure what it was at first.

Strips of fabric, some random triangles....

Then I found a square....

And the "pattern", such as it was! But no template, except for the one drawn on the typed page.

And I immediately sat down to try to see if I could pick up where I left off. After squaring up the few blocks I had completed in class, I was able to figure out what I had been doing.

And I'm making progress on this UFO!! It is called "Prairie Spools" and I think it will be a GREAT addition to the crisis center quilts!! (If I have enough fabric!) I'm going to just keep sewing until I get about 120 blocks. The squares are 6.5 inches, so a set of four is a 12 inch block. 120 blocks will give me a decent twin top, if I put 6 inch borders on it. If I've grossly misjudged how many squares I can make, I for sure will end up with enough for a crib quilt or a toddler bed quilt. So it will get used!!


Crisis Center Quilt Project - Progress!

Lookie!! My dad sent me a quilt top he made for one of the cribs at the crisis center. He made this pattern up himself, fussy-cutting it so that the tractors were carefully included in the blocks.

I am in awe! I could not figure out how he did it, but he said he took a piece of cardboard and made a cut out portion in it that was the size he wanted. He would carefully center it over each block he needed to cut, and then mark it and cut it!

I stitched in the ditch to quilt it, and then put a binding on it. He originally had left me enough fabric on the backing to bring it forward for a quick and easy binding - and I absently snipped right into it when I was trimming away my batting! I recovered my fumble by pulling some black from my stash and I think it goes well with the black in the tractor fabric.

I'm so impressed with it - Dad, you did an AWESOME job!! - this quilt is going to be just the perfect blankie for a little boy to curl up with and rest!

I want to take this quick opportunity to tell you ALL how much I appreciate your help with this project. I am truly touched by how we have all jumped in and helped in so many different ways! From donated fabric stash, to donated blocks that are being repurposed into gorgeous quilt tops, to finished quilts that are so cute, to quilt tops, to shirts with our quilt group name on them, to time and effort helping me sew these quilts.... Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The ladies are going to just LOVE them! I hope we are able to help warm both the bodies and the hearts of those who will use them.

The Red Hot Sew'nSews RULE!

Next up? I'll be quilting Dad's crib quilt that he made from a pattern called "Thunderbolt"!

Didn't he do a great job on this one too?

After that, I have several twin sized quilts to tackle! We're making this happen!!


Memorial Day Weekend

I just found some pictures from Karen, TiJae and Richard's birthday party. They celebrated together over at Patrick and TiJae's place, and Michael and I dropped by so that I could give TiJae her present.

There were decorations.

And more decorations....

And two pretty girls........

And a 30-year-old and a 60-year-old.... There was a 55-year-old there too, but I managed to steer clear of the camera! :)

Cage got to pick the first tomato of the season.

After which he announced he wasn't really crazy about tomatos! :)

And TiJae LOVES cupcake potholders!

On the way home, we passed the cutest apartment complex EVER. It had a sign stating it was the "DEWELLA".

I would love to live there - so cute!

And, it's Jacaranda season again!

Is it just me, or are the years FLYING past!? It seems like just a couple months ago I was admiring the jacarandas!


The Red Hot Sew'nSews Represent!!

While Jenny's Dad/Ellen's hubby was on a recent business trip, he did something Sew Special for us Red Hot Sew'nSews....

He got us SHIRTS!! We were so surprised and quite delighted! We promptly wore them to a Free Sew day at our Orange Quilt Bee! Thank you SO much Paul! I thought that was so sweet of him - What a thoughtful thing to do for us!!

We have two more shirts coming, one for Yvette who is pictured in white.... and one for my sister in S.C.

We had a great sewing session that day! Here's Ellen's finished block! Sew Pretty!

Karen wasn't feeling the love for her block, as you can see. She was getting side tracked, I guess...

Which resulted in the mad face.... She fixed it, only to have it happen again.

Encore on the mad face! But she perservered and her finished block was perfect!

Our S.C. Red Hot Sew'n Sew, Jacque, is about to get order restored in her new basement family room/office/sewing area - so she will be sewing along with us on the Web Sampler again soon. Right now, she's starting her second quilt top for the crisis centers, using the pattern from the Weekend Quilting Wonders book. Can't remember if I posted a picture of my finished top or not, but this is what the pattern looks like.

We thought it was a good quick pattern, and I had a ton of pastel florals, lavenders, yellows, etc. So I bundled them off to her thinking she could do ONE. Apparently, I underestimated - She has enough fabric for TWO. She supplemented with some green of her own for the second one, but we'll have two more great quilts for the crisis centers! Yay! I'll ask her to send us a pic soon!

I have added a few Sunbonnet Sue's to the stack for that quilt top. It occurred to me that rather than making 35 Sues, I could make 19, and that would give me 15 on the top of the bed, and one Sue in each corner, and I could insert a floral border - instead of having Sues go all around the border. They are fun to make, but 35 is a lot! Winter comes early in Wyoming, so I think I'll go with 19!

I'm going to stop here.... I will add another entry. Blogger drives me crazy when I have a lot of pictures!