Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tiny Tuesday - Midget Block #95 Album

I have been saying for weeks now that I was going to get back to working on my Midget Blocks and my Dear Jane blocks and finally I have made one. I can't believe that I have not made one of these Midget Blocks since April! I chose a very simple block to get back into the swing of things. It was quite easy to sew- very few pieces and I was able to just cut the pieces and sew it together. I love the fabric that I chose for it but unfortunately I don't have a lot of it - maybe just about a fat quarter. I think it will definitely make an appearance in my Dear Jane blocks as well.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Stringy Day - Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Yesterday was the last Saturday for blue scraps and I made 6 more string blocks. I had pulled out as many blue strings as I could from the bin and started to sew them onto the 8.5" foundation papers. It really was slim pickins'. I couldn't understand why I had so few blue strings in the bin. I made as many blocks as I could from the strings without repeating the fabrics within each block. As I finished up the last block my thoughts were on making a new blue quilt because I need a lot more blue string blocks for the quilt I will be making.

I was out of blue strings but I still wanted to work on something, so I decided to make some 3.5" red crumb blocks. I have some red strings that were the leftover remnants from fabric that my sister, Cheryl, cut for me with her Go Studio dies. I wanted crumb blocks so I just cut off small pieces and started sewing them together. Because the strings were quite straight, I didn't need to use any foundation papers for the blocks. If my plan for my latest quilt design works, then these little crumb squares will become the centers for Ohio Star blocks. I still need to make 18 more and I am hoping for more time today to play in my sewing room.

I knew that these red strings were in a bin all by themselves, so when I went to get them I had a pleasant surprise. Look what I found - I must have been separating the blue strings from the rest in preparation for the blue string blocks and forgot that I had done that - whew - I am glad I have more.

Hop on over to soscrappy's to check out what other participants made with their blue scraps this week.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Little Houses

I started this batch of little houses last week and I finished them up today. I now have 22 houses to add to the ones already made. My goal was to make 10 houses each month and even though I am working on them sporadically instead of monthly I am almost on track to the number I hoped I would have completed by the end of July. I now have 64 made and I think that is fantastic. I am still sewing them with my vintage Singer 301 but I did do a little bit of the sewing from this batch on the Bernina 910 that I just purchased. I couldn't help myself! I didn't work today, so I spent a relaxing day in my sewing room - no power sewing for me - I just had a wonderful, slow day enjoying my sewing time to the fullest.

I have a quilt planned for my nephew Norman that I designed and the fabric is already cut and ready for me to sew but I am rethinking what I want to give him. I spent some time today working on a quilt design using EQ7 but I have to think on it a bit - even though I have his quilt already cut I know I can use those pieces in other quilts if I need to.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blue String Scrap Happy Saturday

We have come to another Scrap Happy Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge -where does the time go? I did manage to make 7 blue string blocks today to add to the others I had made previously. These blue strings, and I think the green ones as well, will be going into a quilt for my nephew Mark. I am not sure what the design is going to be yet so I will just keep making blue and green string blocks until I have made a decision. I am not in a big hurry to make the quilt although I am pretty sure Mark would like to have it sooner rather than later! I have lots of ideas going through my head but I haven't taken the time to actually write anything down or solidify any of my ideas.

My son needed a drive to work today, so I went to my room to change into something presentable and when I looked at the clothes I had left on the chair in my bedroom yesterday I had to take a second look. I immediately got my camera and took a couple pictures. It looked like a face had appeared on the t-shirt that I had worn yesterday. I am glad it was a smiling face! When I took it off I left it inside out on the back of the chair. Do you see the face...kinda freaky don't you think? I thought I would show a picture of the shirt right side out so you could see that it was not the pattern showing through. Hop on over to soscrappy's blog to see some great projects that were worked on this week.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I Was Going to Sew...Really I Was

Last night I made a list of all the sewing projects I was going to work on this weekend. First up on the list was to work on my Little Houses. I did get 22 little houses in production but I was feeling a little tired so I closed up shop for the night. I was going to finish them this morning until this happened....my husband opened a kitchen cupboard and some panko crumbs came showering down...not a good thing. They had been stored in the cupboard in an unopened foil bag.

A couple days ago we had a mouse that was quickly dispatched from the house and everything was cleaned and sanitized. Well, it appears it had some friends...notice the plural. We had set some traps just in case and there was one in it this morning but I also heard one in the cupboard. My son tried to get it but unfortunately it got away! Now my kitchen is torn apart again but I am hesitant to clean and sanitize and put stuff away until the other little bugger is caught. I feel like I need to stand on guard to protect my territory from the enemy! Thankfully, I had been on a mission lately to get everything stored in glass jars so most of our dry goods are secure. Our air conditioner has been on the fritz lately so we have been keeping the patio door open in the evenings to help cool the house. After the cupboard incident this morning, my husband noticed that there is a small hole at the base of the screen door and that must be how they got in. I can assure you that he will be fixing that as soon as he gets home from work tonight. Anyone have a cat I can borrow?

On a happier note - we have cherry tomatoes, not many yet but they have started to ripen. These are the first tomatoes of the year and they were picked on Wednesday. There is nothing like tomatoes that are freshly picked from the garden!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday Stitching - Dishcloth

I wanted to do some handwork of some sort on Sunday so that I could link-up at Kathy's Quilts for Hand Work Sunday and I really needed some new dishcloths - sounds like a win-win situation for me. The state of my dishcloths is quite sad and I need to replace many of them but I didn't pick up the needles until fairly late in the evening and I only got one done. Well, at least it is a start - I think if I leave the yarn and needles on the coffee table in the family room I will get more done over the next few evenings. By the time I got this dishcloth finished it was too late to post so here I am now posting just before I run out the door for work. Have a great day everyone - looks like another hot and muggy one!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's All Over....

Vacation time has come to an end and I am back to work tomorrow...boohoo! I had a couple things on my list to get accomplished today before the day ended and one of them was to go through my reading list and get caught up on my reading and commenting. There is so much that happened over the past week - so many wonderful projects to see and read about. The creativity of you ladies (and gents?) is absolutely amazing!

I have been working on my Earthtones quilt and now I have the top all sewn together. This quilt really challenged me with all of the little pieces. There are 120 8" blocks and each block contains 40 pieces - that is a total of 4800 pieces! When I spread the quilt top out onto the floor, Molly was too lazy to even come out of her kennel to investigate. I leave her kennel door open so she can go in and out whenever she wants to. It is one of her favourite places to sleep. I plan on making the backs for all of the quilt tops I have finished over the past week or so and getting them onto the quilt frame and quilted is my next priority.

My husband and I had a wonderful vacation - we didn't really go anywhere except to the movies a couple times and we went on little side trips that were close to home. On one of the little trips I bought this little number.
My new-to-me Bernina 910
I have been sewing with it and I really do like it - a lot! It doesn't have a table and the sewing surface is quite narrow but eventually my husband will be making me a custom sewing center that will have cutouts to accommodate my sewing machines. So, in the meantime, I am using the sewing extension table from my Janome even though it doesn't fit. I have put a small box to fill in the empty space so that I can have a somewhat flat surface for sewing.

The garden is growing well and it got quite a bit of attention this week. I hope it didn't get too used it! Look what my husband found while he was weeding and trimming the suckers from the tomato plants.

He saw some movement out of the corner of his eye and thought it might be a mouse. Looks like Mommy rabbit decided our garden was a very good place to leave her baby. Don't worry, my husband set it free.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Steady Progress

Last batch of blocks all done!
I am making slow but steady progress on my Earthtones quilt top. Yesterday, I got the last batch of blocks sewn together...whoohoo! I thought I would leave it there for the day but last night I sat back down at my sewing table and started pinning them into pairs. Once I used up all of my pins I sewed the sets together and pressed the seams. I didn't count how many blocks I sewed together but I think I am about half way done. I like to join my blocks together into squares/rectangles instead of long rows. I just find it easier to handle that way and I have very few really long seams to sew together.

Yesterday morning started out in the garden with my husband. It did feel really good to be out there working together. I have a picture in my mind of our future retirement spending time together hanging out and working together instead of both of us always running in two different directions. We did get quite a bit of weeding done and my husband got most of the suckers removed from the tomato plants. I picked some beets, zucchini and our first few beans. We had zucchini, the beet greens and the green beans for supper. I want to try to pickle some of the beets, I really like to add them to salads but I can't seem to locate the book that we use for canning. Ever since my husband started renovating the basement everything has been topsy turvy here. We have stuff from the basement all over the house and other stuff had be shifted to accommodate. I do have to get some chores done around the house today mainly vacuuming and washing floors and there will be time for sewing too. We have someone coming to repair the lock on our patio door (it's still under warranty so it is a job that my husband does not have to take care of!) so I better make sure that it is clean too. I just might spend some time looking for the book as well. I know it is in a box somewhere!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another Sewing Day

This morning I got straight to work on my Earthtones blocks. When I left off yesterday, I had completed all of the tiny 4 patches and had them pressed and ready for some more sewing today. I have now sewn them into 16 patches (they measure only 4.5")  and they are ready to be sewn together with the 4.5"  4 patches that I had made previously. I hope to spend a good part of tomorrow in my sewing room and sewing the last 42 blocks together is my first priority. Who knows, if all goes well, I may even get a start on sewing the top together.

Once I got that last step done I took a little break and worked on my blue blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I plan on making a rainbow quilt with the blocks that I make each month. Last month, I neglected to make my purple blocks but I will be making them soon. In preparation, I did pull out all of the 2.5 purple squares that I have in my bin and it shouldn't take too long to make the blocks. Why not hop on over to SoScrappy's blog and check out what everyone else was working on for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Earthtones is Back in the Line-Up

I thought that I might give this quilt to family friends for Christmas last year but that was not possible so it has languished for a while waiting for me to pick it up again. Well it's time has come! I need to make quite a few 2 patches to be able to finish piecing the blocks, so last night I started cutting more 1/2 inch strips from brown, tan and rust fabrics as well as some neutrals. I had some small pieces of 1/2 inch neutral strips left over from the log cabin quilt top I just finished sewing together so I tried to use up some of those too. This pile of strip sets measures 720" and that isn't quite enough so I sewed more together after I took this picture. The strip sets are all pressed now and I plan to start cutting them tonight. I hope I get them all done so that I can just start sewing them into 4 patches tomorrow but I think that may be a little too optimistic. 

Even though my vacation has started, I still got up early so that I could work in the garden before it got too hot. I had two cups of tea and then headed out by 6:45 this morning. I took a picture of the garden bed that I was working on after I had already started weeding it. This bed has three rows of tomato plants and it should have some space between them. Before I started weeding the rows were absolutely filled with weeds. Our garden is growing fairly well because of the hot weather and even though it hasn't rained a lot we are trying to  keep the vegetables watered - but that means the weeds as well. I have a theory about weeds that grow - well ...like weeds when your back is turned. I think they instinctively know when you are too busy, tired, working, throw in whatever excuse fits, to come out to the garden and weed and they take advantage and multiply like crazy, even more-so than normal. There is a saying that goes something like 'Life happens while you are making other plans' but I have to say that weeds happen when you are making other plans. I worked in the garden for just over two hours before I had to call it quits because of the heat. These plants have not had the suckers taken off the stems and that needs to be done as well - tomorrow is another day! I picked some zucchini today and we had it for supper tonight. There is great satisfaction in growing your own food and picking it fresh from the garden.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I Did It!

I finished the sashing on my Project Linus quilt earlier this evening and it turned out okay. But, the other day while I was sewing it all together I just kept seeing that there was lots of red in the blocks. (Please ignore the corner where the sun was shining through my closed blinds - man it was so hot, hot, hot today.)

I wondered what it would look like with a little narrow border in red and then another blue border. I am glad I added it because I think it turned out quite well. It does make it look a little more special. This quilt is not childish at all and will be big enough for an older child or a young teen. I just need to decide on the backing and binding and it will be ready for quilting.

The company I work for is going on summer shutdown next week so I will have the whole week off. I hope to spend a lot of time in my sewing room getting some tops quilted and also working on some other projects. The garden will have to get some of my time too because it has been way too hot to work in it the past few days and I see that the weeds are threatening to take over in some of the beds. I am looking forward to the time off - it's hard to believe that I have been working for 3 months now.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just Do It!

Molly gave the quilt top her seal of approval - she farted on it!  Whaaat!!!
Oh my gosh, I am getting so much done...in my quilting room that is. If you saw my house you would think I was a lazy sloth!! When looking at the pictures, please do not pay any attention to the dirt that may or may not be on the floor. It could just be your imagination!

 The log cabin quilt top is all done and I couldn't be happier with it. I decided that it didn't need the extra row of blocks and I kind of like it with just the narrow red border to contain it all and to draw the eye to the red center blocks - they are the heart of the home. I already have the binding strips cut and ready and I just need to decide on what to use for the backing.

The next project that I have pulled out of it's bin is this one. I think I am in love with crumb blocks - they make such a pretty, colourful quilt. I wasn't too sure which colour to use for sashing until a reader suggested turquoise and I think she hit it spot on! Today, I put the blocks up on the design wall, ironed the fabric that I want to use as the sashing and started cutting and sewing. I have the sashing attached to one side of the blocks and I hope to make more progress later today.

For now though, I really do have to make some progress with some other bits and pieces that make up our daily lives. Laundry is underway and I really do need to tidy the kitchen and get at making some bread and muffins, and I have been craving magic cookie bars so they just might get made as well. The floors need to be vacuumed and washed and, well, I just don't know how it will all get done. Luckily, today is a holiday and I am going to enjoy it to the fullest. I think the house can wait until tomorrow - I just hope no one drops in for a visit.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dear Jane - Which Points West? (A-10)

Not perfect but it is done!
I started working on this block last week but only got as far as making silly mistakes so I put it away until today. I did change the design of the block a little bit to make it easier to piece. I think it was a bit of a mistake because it did change the final look of the block. I think it would have been better to keep the strong diagonal lines in the corners. But, in the grand scheme of things it really won't make a difference when all of the blocks are sewn together.  I did try something new today and that was sewing the applique down with silk thread. It does have a different feel to it and I do think that my stitches are less noticeable, but that could also be due to the fact that the thread is #100 - very fine.

Prepping the pieces.
I changed the block components.
I still need lots of practice with my applique skills but I have to admit that I really enjoy hand appliqueing. I think that one day, in the future, I just might make one of those gorgeous applique quilts that I see on other blogs.

Glued and ready to applique.

Last week, after I kept making cutting errors and measuring errors I decided that it was probably best to leave it all alone for a couple days. I don't want to make any quilts when I am feeling frustration - I think it shows up in the finished quilt.
Last week's mistakes - I measured wrong or used the wrong fabric!
I am linking up to Kathy's Quilts for her new weekly link up 'Hand stitching on Sunday'. It is a great way to showcase all of our handwork.