Thursday, December 29, 2011

I love staycations!

I have been off this week from work and loving every minute of it. I have watched a bunch of court tv (yes, I love watching those judges telling people to grow up and accept responsibility!!), hung with Patrick, yakked a bunch with Hannah, played video games with Joe and hung out in my most awful looking, yet wonderfully comfy, clothes! I planned on getting a lot more sewing done, but will gladly trade that for down time with the family! I have got the top done from those pale blue/white blocks done. First, I want to say to Cheryl...GET OUTTA MY HEAD! lolol The very first thought I had with what to do with these blocks was to applique something on them. Wasn't sure what, but I knew it had to be something childish as there weren't many blocks so this was going to be small. This is what I came up with:
Here is a closer up shot of the balloons:
Now to piece together some batting, get this sandwiched and quilted at some point today. This will make a nice little quilt for donating and it all came from stuff I had here. Lord knows I would never have thought to put these colors together any other time and I am still not sure what the world would think of it, but it'll do for me!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Never go in to your sewing room at 3 am read that right. Last night I couldn't sleep so wandered into the sewing room. Was too unsettled to work on anything, so I started reorganizing a big. My daughter had bought me the perfect size boxes for my projects for Christmas, so I thought I would move the projects from the ugly boxes to the pretty ones. (Notice how I did NOT just fill up the new boxes with new projects!! I was sooooo good!). Well, one of the boxes had leftover blocks and leftover units from other quilts. In the box, I found these that I had bought at Craft Bits and Pieces for $2:
The colors are so pale the blocks aren't very exciting looking. That's will work up quick and will make a nice little donation quilt. So, I didn't really pick a project box, but this will be today's project to work on. Will post updates later!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another box emptied

I canNOt believe it has been 2 weeks since I posted last. Sure doesn't seem like it. Time flew by with the holiday preparations! I had a wonderful, blessed Christmas and hope you did, too! Even though I opened project box #2, I didn't get a chance to work on it at all until yesterday. There was a lot more to finish up than I thought! I did finally get it done today and not a moment too soon. I wanted to make this bigger, but there was just no way my poor elbows could wrestle this heavy quilt any longer. No quilt is worth antagonizing my joints into an RA flare up! I feel like I wrestled an anaconda and lost! lol This quilt finished up at 52"x60". Not sure where it is heading, but I have a feeling it will be to Mercy House. This is going to keep someone VERY warm with how heavy it is!!
And the back:
I really love the design on the back. Can you believe it took 3 of the LARGE spools of thread? I would love to make another one of these someday making more of a color design on the front rather than just the random way I have it now, but that is going to be a looooong time coming. At least until my elbows forget how much this hurt them! lol Tonight I will open project box #3. I hope it is something that will finish up fast. Maybe I can squeeze in one more finish for the year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Box #2

Alrighty..sewing time! Here is the randomly selected project box I picked to work on next:
It's my denim quilt made out the old jeans. Yay! This one was about 3/4 finished when I stopped working on it. Best yet, there will be no sandwiching and quilting on this one to finish it!! Off to make some progress!

Meet Annie

Okay..I am going to have to stop hanging with my pals over on the HomesteadingToday site because they are fueling the start of a bad addiction. A couple of the ladies were sharing some "new" old machines that they purchased and that got me looking. Baaad idea! Well, it is Christmas time, so I bought myself a present. May I introduce Annie to you:
Look at that pretty wooden carrying case! Yes, I know it needs a good cleaning, but this way I will have before and after pics for you! Ready??? Here she is!
Pretty, isn't she??? The back:
Motor curls in for when you put the top on:
The little accessory area:
It even has the original accessory case and accessories:
All I know about her is she is New Home machine made in 1920. I called the Janome number and they were able to date her by the serial number, but that is all they had. I haven't seen any in the wooden carrying cases like this. You can see from the one shot of the back that there is another cord that plugs into the cord to the motor so I can plug her in. So, I don't know if she works or not. She does move freely when I do it by hand, though, so that is a good start. There is a little wear on the gold on the back of the bottom, but the rest looks good...just dirty. Now to head back to my gals at HomesteadingToday for help in cleaning her up without hurting her and maybe where I can find that cord. I am sooooo excited! What pretty eyecandy!! I haven't gotten much done on the sewing front. I made new valances for my kitchen and I got all the swap packages sent out for our Black and Bold swap on Marie Bostwick's site. The blocks are gorgeous! I can't show them all to you now as not all the ladies have received their packages yet, but here is a pic of mine:
I also have made some of the test blocks for 100 blocks magazine, but can't show you :/ Hopefully tonight will be a sewing night and I can finally pull out box #2 and get going on whatever project is in there!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The prettiest sight ever... an empty project box!!
Yay! Boy, do I feel like a big, whiny baby now! It took no time at all to get this top quilted and the binding on. It does help that I did a big, loose, loopy pattern with stars thrown in over the big light areas:
A close up:
The back:
This one will also be gifted to House of Mercy. Hopefully it will have some little boy snuggling in it soon! The work was made much easier with one of my FAVORITE things about Christmas:
I LOVE popping one of these peppermint nougats in my mouth and just letting it melt! My coworkers all laugh at me...they tell me it's "grandma" candy. That's okay..I like'em anywho!! lol Now, I am taking Mary's advice (thanks, hon!!) and rewarding myself with a little piecing. I figure tomorrow is soon enough to grab box #2 and see what is in there for me to finish up!!

Oh, I need this sewing time tonight!!! Work has been awful this week (and we are only 2 days in!!) and I am behind in just about everything housework wise, too. Tonight, though, is for ME. I am going to sew. I NEED to quilt up the Seven Shirt quilt. Remember that I am NOT going to start anything until it gets done?? I want to quilt it, but I want to piece something..anything! lol I thought maybe I would just piece for an hour and then move on to quilting, but I am afraid I won't enjoy the piecing because of the lack of quilting guilt! Does this ever happen to you?? Sigh..I guess I will just quilt the darn thing. It really won't take long because I am only going to do a meander over it. Then I will be able to piece guilt free. No, not really because then I will know I should be pulling box #2 and working on THAT project. I know there is a compromise in here just to find it. The need to piece is fierce...but,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Inch by Inch

I am disappointed in myself for not making more sewing time this week but considering I spent it with the family, it was worth it!! I really thought I would have the Seven Shirts quilt done by now, but it just didn't happen. I did get the last border on and got it all sandwiched and ready to quilt:
I am really glad I made myself put on the last border. It really adds to the whole quilt. That is probably going to be it for tonight. I just don't have it in me to start quilting it, so that will wait until tomorrow. When I was at our retreat in Connecticut, we went out to a lovely lunch. The place was so accomodating to us quilters. Look at the chairs:
The caning was friendship stars! LOL I wonder how many folks have sat on these chairs and it took our little bunch of quilters to see that. Check out the dessert that they treated us on the house:
That is a slice of key lime pie and banoffee pie. They were both amazing, but that banoffee pie is to die for...banana, toffee and chocolate!! Throw in a proprietor with the most lovely Irish accent and a penchant for telling tales and that place has it all. Btw..I think he has a crush on Marie Bostwick, the author and our hostess for the retreat..but then again, who wouldn't???

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Box #1

Okay..after I had a meltdown the other day over the lack of empty boxes in my sewing cave, I decided I would start working my way through them. How to decide what to work on, though? While I obviously like all the projects or I wouldn't have started them and/or kitted them up, they apparently didn't hold my attention very long. So, I decided the only fair way was to grab a box..any box..and finish whatever was in it. And I mean FINISH the end..not to a flimsy...quilt it, bind it and be DONE with it. So, I grabbed box #1 (this was kind of fun because I really had NO idea what was in it!!), opened it and found it filled with the shirts I had pulled for the 7 Shirt Quilt. The link for the tutorial is here. Saturday night I got to it and got all the shirts cut up. I got the back all pieced together:
I also have the center of the top and the first border done:
It is supposed to have piano key borders around it next. I really like the way it looks without it, though. It is small...only about 41 x 53 with only the one border on it. It is going to be donated to House of Mercy and since I just donated a small one for a girl, maybe I should leave it like this to donate for a young boy. Or maybe I should stop trying to talk myself out of the other border and just finish it up properly. That is the whole point of this "almost dones"!! to see if I can get the last border together and on and then maybe I can even get it sandwiched tonight. Oh..the thought of getting one done that was just languishing is intoxicating!! Almost as intoxicating as having an empty box when I am done!!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ruh Roh!

The immortal words of Astro from the Jetsons..ruh roh! I came up to grab a project to bring back down to work on downstairs while sitting with Patrick. Simple enough task. But then I started thinking about my "Gotta Make it NOW" project that I came up with before bed the other night. I do NOT want to start it until I get a few more finishes under my belt, but I decided I could at least pull some of the scraps for it..light yellows, light pinks and browns. ( easily we can let ourselves be deceived..just pull the scraps..yeah..RIGHT!). Then while I was digging through my big box of scraps waiting to get cut down to size, I thought, "why not pull some scraps just in case I decide to do Bonnie Hunter's new mystery? I am digging through the pile, anywho..might as well! (Deception #2 so far..I PROMISED myself I would not consider this now since I have too much going on!)So, now I have a box filling up for my project, 2 boxes filling up for the mystery and I need one more box for strings. What?? No more empty boxes in my sewing room! This is where the big ruh roh comes in. I have boxes...LOTS of boxes for my projects. And they are all filled. Yes, I COULD go down and get another box, but I won't. I can't. I have GOT to empty some of the boxes already here of their projects to claim the box again. This is now at crisis stage with the projects. I think I need an intervention.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Doncha hate...

..when it is almost are done for the are settled in bed...and WHAM! Inspiration strikes! And not just ANY inspiration..THE inspiration that makes you wide awake instantly and the wheels are turning in your head and you want to jump out of bed NOW and start this new project immediately??????!!!!! ARGHHH! I had been flipping through some quilt books earlier in the evening and just when I was ready to doze off tonight, my brain put together a quilt top based on a piece of a quilt I saw in one of those books. I canNOT get started on this now!! I NEED to finish up some of these other things!!! WAHHHH...I am going back to bed not sleep and to be tossing and turning while I try to talk myself out of starting on this right NOW!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Simple Man's Christmas is done!

Today I finished quilting up the borders and got the binding machine attached. Tonight I will handsew the binding while watching the boob tube. Here it is:
I did the borders with alternating holly and Christmas trees:
I will have to wait until I can take a pic in the daylight to show you how cool the back looks with the red thread on the green back. Thanks so much to Sue and Cathy for hosting the quiltalong! I wouldn't have gotten as much done or met as many nice ladies if it weren't for you two!! Today I also got a ton of laundry done and made 2 lasagnes, a shepherd's pie, made and canned 7 quarts of meatball soup and made and canned 7 quarts of chili. Been a productive day and I can't wait to just sit and relax tonight!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Update #2

Yay! I got the center all quilted. Each star was outline quilted with the red thread. I decided that since this is a simple man's quilt, I wanted humble quilting so in the other blocks I just did great big x's. I love the way this is turning out. The back is a homespun green check and the red quilting on it looks great.
Next are the borders. Hope I can get them done. My elbows are killing me but I think I can work through it! Off to see what everyone else is up to!

Christmas quiltalong update #1

Okay..this morning I got the backing pieced and got the quilt sandwiched together. Then, time to get Patrick up, dressed and fed. We started cleaning up the kitchen when I got a call from Hub. He lost his car keys at the golf course! So, off to drop off the spare key for him and then back. Finished cleaning up the kitchen and now I am finally sewing. I got the middle row of stars quilted.
I couldn't get a pic of the whole row where you could see the quilting, so I settled for 1 block. You can't really tell, but I am quilting those in a bright red thread. Should look pretty on the back! Now, off to check the blogs and then back to getting those stars all quilted! Oh, I have Susan Boyle's cd, The Gift, playing. Lord, I love this woman's voice!!

Christmas Quiltalong today..and in review

Sitting here having my coffee and gearing up for today's Christmas quiltalong. I am sad that it is the last one for the year and am already looking forward to next year! I decided to go back and see just what I got accomplished this past year during the Christmas quiltalong. Here they are: February:
I got my ornament table topper done and got my first House of Mercy quilt quilted. March:
Finished up this top made from Christmas swap blocks..still need to quilt it! April:
I got my Partridge in a Pear Tree top made. May:
My Christmas 9 patch was quilted! June: Nothing...wahhh! July:
Partridge in a Pear Tree is all quilted now! August:
4 sets of the blocks done for the Scatty Christmas Stars September:
Scatty Christmas Stars is put together and now is called A Simple Man's Christmas October:
Painted all day and only these cut out for my Bricks and Stepping Stones which is all done now and ready to be mailed out on Monday. Wow...I am so glad I went back and looked. I got a lot done on these Saturdays. Today's plan is to get A Simple Man's Christmas all quilted. That and all the household chores, of course!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Night Quilt League

Well, tonight is the last night of the Thursday Night Quilt League. No, I am not giving up my sewing night, I have just decided that I am going to have to move it to Wednesday nights from now on. The new season of Bones started and it is on at 9 on Thursday nights. Hub and I love to watch this show together and there is no way I am going to miss it. However, that means I don't get to come up to sew until after 10. I do like to sew late at night, but that does take a big chunk of my time away. So, simple solution= move it to Wednesday nights. Works for me! Tonight I was very scattered..nothing unusual for me lately. I pulled out lots of projects and put them back. I finally decided to work on these:
I cut these out at our retreat a few weeks back with my Accuquilt Go. Sue, one of my fellow Cobbled Court Quilt Circle members, brought it for me to try out. Boy, did it make quick work of these units!! Thanks, Sue!!!! Hannah's senior project for school involves the House of Mercy homeless shelter. She and hub made a trip down there yesterday for a meeting she had. I couldn't go, so she delivered some quilts I had completed for them. They were SO grateful. Motivates me to make even more for them!! One of the quilts that was delivered to them was this:
This little beauty was made by my fellow Cobbled Court quilt circle member, Cathy G. She brought it to the retreat and gifted it to me so that I could gift it to House of Mercy!! I was so touched that she would think of me and the shelter. You can bet it is going to THRILL some little girl there. That's it for tonight, I am fading fast. Saturday is the final Christmas quiltalong and I plan on quilting up my Simple Man's Christmas quilt. Lets hope my family likes that idea, too!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On its way to the humane society

I got the Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt all quilted and the binding machine stitched on this week. Tonight I will handsew the binding down and this one will be heading down to Alabama for the humane society fundraiser.
Time was limited to work on this one and I felt badly that I only had time to do a big meander pattern through the middle. So, to personalize it a bit for the humane society, I quilted this on the borders:
woof meow bark and purr. Hope it brings in a little money for them. What a great cause!! Off to do the binding now. Night!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Last post of the night..or is it first of the morning??

Well. It is 1:24 in the morning and I have just reorganized the shelves. I got the new fabric all put away and it is playing nicely with the old fabric. I wish I had taken a pic of how they were before, but I didn't..sigh. Here is what they look like now:
The bins of strips, squares and bricks used to be in the cubbies, but they had to get moved. I don't like them up on top, but this will have to work until I get some new shelves. The homespuns are all separated, the fat quarters are also separated and arranged by color and all the bigger pieces are also. It has been a good night and while I didn't get any sewing done, I feel like I have accomplished a lot and I work better when things are organized. So, with any luck, I will get to sew on Saturday and get to go through all the gifties from the retreat. I have so much more to show you!!!

The Treasure Trove

Well, I have made a start! I put all my old projects and Go! items away. Then, it was time to watch Bones. Since the show finished, I went treasure hunting! First, I started with this box:
Look at all the precut 5 inch squares!!! I think they multiplied just by taking them out of their box. Wow...what a bounty of charm squares!!
My mind can't even BEGIN to imagine all the quilts I am going to be able to make out of these!! They were very happy when I put them in the bins with the 5 inch squares I already had here at home. It was like a family reunion to them. I swear I could hear them squealing, they were so happy to be home!! Next I tackled a big white plastic bag full of goodies. What was I going to find in there???
Ohhhh!! There is a stack of fat quarter sized pieces on the left and anything bigger than that I have folded and stacked in the back. The piece up front is a large piece of flannel. Wooohoooo!! Anything else left in the bag?? Oooops! Sure is! Check out these:
Orphan blocks!! Oooh..and MORE orphan blocks:
Oh, my head is just going to EXPLODE with all the ideas for the goodies I have found in just these 2 packages!! Maybe I better stop right now before I look into anything else. Focus, Reen...focus! Remember you have projects you already have started and need to finish before you start anything new!! This is going to be so dang hard. It was bad enough with my OLD stash and all the projects I wanted to do. Adding all this new stuff is just TORTURE! lol Time to go find a place to put this fabric on the shelves. There will have to be some major overhauling done to get these in there. Hmmm...maybe..just maybe...I should check out the LAST box of fabric first so I know what needs to move where. Okay..I twisted my own arm. Will report back with the goodies in there!! Okay...this box was so well organized it took me no time at all to go through it! Check out the ton of homespuns that was in it!:
We have all the greens:
I just LOVE how they are tied up in bows!! The blues:
The browns:
A pile of novelty ones and Christmas ones:
A pile of assorted small pieces and a Moda pack:
Now, the hard part is deciding whether I should keep the homespuns by themselves or mix them in with my other fabrics according to color. My first thought was to keep them separate, but now I am not so sure. Sigh..I think I am thinking too hard about this! I think I will keep them separate and see how that feels. I can always blend them in later. Oy vey...I don't know! What would you do??