Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year and 2015 Finishes

Happy  New Year everyone.

I pray in every way it will be a better year for everyone everywhere.

2015 was not a bad year for us personally. Jack had some health issues but he is doing well.
Two grandson's got married and one became engaged, all happy occasions. Our son and his wife moved 3 hours away, which is not too far and we see them often.
I did some gardening and Jack and I did some yard work this fall, I did the raking of leaves and he drove the tractor to the dumping grounds in the wooded area. We enjoyed all of it. I did have a little setback in the summer after I saw 2 snakes where I was working. However, I never saw them again and I got over being afraid of seeing them.  We'll see how that works in the spring and summer; it is easy to be brave when I don't see the snakes.

I didn't make a lot of quilts in 2015 and I didn't keep track of them very well. I don't even have  a picture of the finished quilt I made as a wedding gift  for my grandson and his wife. It was the biggest project of the year for me.

This photo showing the long arm quilting. is the only I have of the finished quilt.

This collage shows blocks on the design wall, the border on the one corner, and the top and backing ready to go to the long arm quilter.

If anyone is interested in seeing more it is all under Fresh Cut  on the side bar.

If I remember right, after I got it back from the quilter;  due to the size, I wasn't able to get a shot of the whole thing without help. I had to get it wrapped and delivered before anyone to help was available.

These 3 quilts are bed and throw size and were unfinished projects from other years. The flimsy on the right was from a friend; she gave it to me when I admired it.

The two on top here are wall hangings and the two on the bottom are baby quilts. The one on the right is the back;  I can't find a photo of the front.

These below are table runners and toppers, place mats and pot holders.

These are the table runners and mats I finished in December.

So.......... here we are.  It is 2016 and I feel as though I didn't accomplish very much.

I am planning to evaluate the options for making my sewing room more user friendly. When using what worked in a previous space, things don't always work out well. I found I lost interest by the time I moved everything around for each step (like cutting and pressing) of whatever project  on which I was working. I may have to replace some of my storage solutions and maybe even some furniture. If I don't find a satisfactory solution I probably won't be sewing much.
Wish me luck
 I am not ready to quit.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

And One More

I finished one more small table topper for a small round "catchall" table by the front door. I still have some fabric left over from what I bought the day I got out to Quilts and Sew forth quilt shop. I decided the little table needed to be dressed for Christmas and I had some time to make
something fast.
The table is about 19 1/2 inches in diameter and the topper is 19 inches point to point and 16 1/2 across side to side. It is a perfect fit.

I cleaned up my sewing room when I finished this and  I am done sewing until after Christmas.

I hung one more little quilt on the narrow wall at the end of the  bedroom hallway.
Just outside my sewing room door is a little shelf, made by our grandson about 27 years ago  It has 4 pegs where usually we hang sweaters or jackets and I put seasonal things on the shelf. I usually put my snowmen out in January but this year we are kind into the snowman theme so I got them out early

The two tall snow men on the right are wood and I bought them as well as the little guy in front of them (he is holding a little bowl of birdseed). The short guy right next to the tall snow man on the left was also a purchase. I made the rest of them using Warm and Natural batting on the outside.
The guy in the blue hat with the "Think Spring" sign and the snow lady with the red hat and scarf represent Jack and I and they used to be on a wreath on our apartment door. This little vignette cheers up our hallway.

The Christmas dishes are out, all the Christmas quilts are out, and I am  done decorating.  It is a good thing too because I am not finished shopping and and have not even started to wrap.

Friday, December 11, 2015

More Finishes

I finished 3 more mats I probably should count this as one finish as it is really one project.
Using the same fabrics  plus one more (with the red birds)as the one for the coffee table, I made this one for the one for the chest in the living room.

It goes with this one that I finished last week for the coffee table

These 2 go on hutches in the dining room and to them I added a few strips from years past to the fabrics I used in the other 2.
 In my sewing room I hung Christmas wall hangings and set out decorations from other years, some decorations that I made and some that were gifts. I like to use what I have from the past because I like to remember  where they came from and who gave them to me. I have one or two things from my preteen years. (They are really old.)

For many years we had a small tree that hung on the wall above Jack's dresser.  Over the years I changed the decorations several times; I added lights and decorated it with small ornaments.  Jack loved it and we kept it up after we took the other tree down. He always called me Scrooge when I  retired it for the year.
Last year when we moved I threw it away.  Well............. he wasn't real happy about that. After we got the tree up last week he started talking about "his tree" again. So, I started looking for a small tree that could hang on the wall, I don't think I ever saw another one over the years that was like the one we had; I had been looking. We were at Walmart last week and I looked at the small trees; we ruled out a fiber optic tree and chose a prelit tree that was displayed on a very high shelf. I thought is was 30 inches, which was taller than I wanted, but we had someone get a box down for us and we took it anyway as the box didn't seem too long. There 2  parts that fit together and it turned out to be 48 inches. I thought we would return it as it was too tall for Jacks chest of drawers but he was already attached to it. We set it on my dresser and I decorated it with a few shiny ornaments and some of the ornaments from friends and grandchildren and great grand children and children from the preschool room at church. I got to use a lot of personal things that didn't fit so well  on the slimmer living room tree we bought 2 years ago.

Jack is happy and I'm happy. He can look at it when he is sitting at his desk and we leave it on for a while every night before we go to sleep.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A finish

I may not be making anything very large but I am getting around to making things that I want to use for Christmas.
I needed some color in the living room and I wanted something to cover the top of the coffee table.

This  18 x 36  piece started with a block that I made with the intention of making a whole quilt, each block done in different fabrics. After one block I decided it as going to require more fabric shopping and more time than I wanted to spend on another Christmas quilt. The block  went into my odd block box until this week. I finally got out to the quilt shop and came home with 5 one yard pieces to add to the block for a table runner.It adds some needed color to the living room.

 I am making another runner this size for the top of a bachelor chest for the same room. The second piece will not have a block, just strips of the same 3 fabrics that are on the right and  sides of the block. I have another fabric with red birds of which I am adding  wider random width strips. I hope I can get it finished today.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Finish

I have finished my Triple 4 Patch, binding and all.  I had long strips of the floral striped fabric from cutting the borders from the length of the fabric. I decided to use the lighter blue stripes for the binding.
 It looks darker here but I think you can get the idea. The lighter stripes were about 2 inches wide so I laid the edge of my ruler at the
edge of the lighter strip and cut 1/2 inch into the darker stripe for 2 1/2 inch strips. So my strips were like this on the left.

I folded it in half and pressed it and laid the strip on the edge on the quilt front with the raw edge of the darker fabric face up on the raw edge of the quilt.

After I stitched the binding all around I pressed it away from the quilt. You can see it in this photo
before I pressed it around to the back with only the lighter fabric showing.  I wrapped the binding to the back and pressed it down and secured it with thin strips of fusible web (for me this works so much better than pins); I stitched with the #4 Bernina stitch from the front.

 This is how it looks on the front. I didn't care to have the entire width of the stitches on the binding because it is already stitched on.

I wanted to have the entire width of the stitching on the binding on the back of the quilt, both for appearance and so the edge would be flat and secure. I used variegated thread  so it may be hard to see unless you enlarge the photo.

I couldn't get a shot of the full quilt today because there is no space to spread it out. I got all the the Christmas  quilts and wall hangings and linens out the they were are still all over my bed.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Almost a Finish

I finally had a day to sew all day; they are rare anymore for some reason. I machine quilted the Triple Four Patch quilt and all I have left to do is trim away the excess and sew on the binding. I am contemplating what to do about the binding. I have a lot of leftover binding pieces from years of quilting and I could add some more strips and make a scrappy binding. Another option would be to cut strips of something and make a one fabric binding.

I laid the quilt out on my bed for the photos because it is the best place for lighting and the best for this size quilt.
I also get photos that are pretty much true color.

I used off white/cream thread to quilt through the light colored squares and a multicolor  thread to quilt through the 4 inch squares. I echoed the lines of the light chains.

I used the same multicolor thread with the number 4 Bernina stitch and followed the edges of the floral stripes in the border.
I never noticed this one small 4 patch that is turned sideways until I was quilting through it. At first I thought I was stitching in the wrong direction and when I stopped to look at it I managed to get a bobble in my stitching line.
I thought at first I should fix the stitching because it shows up really well in the dark purple patch. It will be my "humility patch". Keeping it real, I never need to deliberately add a humility patch; there are always plenty of them to be found.

This is the back; I included my hand to show the scale of the print. The colors are brighter in the photo than they really are. I'm not sure why they show up brighter when the other fabric were pretty much true in the photos.

I will probably finish the binding tomorrow and then do some Christmas sewing. I need a few more small pieces for the end tables etc.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Triple Four Patch

I just finished layering and pin basting this triple 4 patch quilt. I must admit IT IS ABOUT TIME!  This has been hanging around for a while in various states of completion. The blocks were made by members of the Friendship  block swap group. I think I requested the blocks 2 different years, maybe 3. I had them in a box and every so often I would make one or two more. I finally put them together  2 or 3 years ago and in January 2014  I added the borders. You can see a shot of the whole flimsy here.

This is the third time I have made a quilt with 8 inch triple 4 patch blocks and each quilt has been a different layout. It is one of my favorite scrap patterns because it is easy to cut all the main fabric patches from leftovers. I can cut them and save them and make a bunch of little dark and light 4 patches and save them and when I feel like putting them together it all goes together fast.

I won't get to the quilting before Thanksgiving but maybe soon after.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Salon

No quilting to show today, just this bit of fun.
My daughter in law and my daughter were touching up their hair and dying their eyebrows. They asked if I wanted my eyebrows dyed too.
So....... here we are

From left to right it is my DIL Ruth, my daughter Marty, and me; all of us have dye on our eyebrows.  It was really hard to keep  a straight face for the photo shot and even harder when we saw the photos.
We should have taken an "after" shot. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

An Autumn Flimsy

I bought the fabrics in this table runner last month. I had a vague idea about how I wanted to use them; it was so vague I don't remember what it was. I was in Pa. helping my daughter in law after their move and we visited a quilt shop about a block or so from their apartment.

The striped border fabric caught my eye and I bought a yard of it and then picked out 4 fat quarters to go with it.

I have not shopped yet for fabric for the wall hanging I want to make and I don't have the yardage requirements figured out yet. I decided to use this fabric to make a test piece to determine how large I want the blocks. I also wanted to see how easy or difficult 9 Patch diamond blocks would be to work with. I strip pieced these and it went together easily. The flimsy is about 16 x 34. I cut my strips 2 inches wide and offset them about 1/2 inch to reduce waste. I cut 2 inch slices from the strip set by using the 60 degree line on my long 6 x 24 ruler. I did pin at the intersections when I made the 9 patch blocks and sewed the blocks together. I was really surprised that all my intersections came together with points that are as close to perfect as they can be.(I hate to say they are perfect but if they are not I can't tell.) Still this is only 7 blocks the wall hanging has about 74, although not all of them will be 9 patches. That doesn't include all the 60 degree triangles around the perimeter. That will be a lot of intersections.
Maybe I should make my strips a bit larger; I'm not sure that will save me much work. I am not going to rush into this without giving it some more thought. I don't want to come up short on the fabric if I change my mind about the size of the components.  I've been there and done that and it was troublesome enough when I could jump in the car and run over to the local quilt shop in 5 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Finish

I finished this on Friday. It is Hidden Wells, a Mary Ellen Hopkins pattern. My friend Lynn made the top and gave it to me after I admired it. I am not sure why she didn't keep it; it really is beautiful.
I quilted it in the ditch around the squares and quilted free motion feathers in the border. Of course, they do not show up because I used black thread. I probably should have just quilted straight lines because it was really hard to see where I was stitching. I worked on it in the afternoon when the natural light was good in my sewing room.

This is the backing, a small scale print that I ordered on line. The color does not look as vibrant here as tan is really brighter, more like gold.
I used black Kona solid for the binding and it looks good on both sides.

I have not even started on the diamond 9 patch color wash. I don't want to order fabric on line for it because I need to see the changes in value from one fabric to the next. Getting out to a quilt shop is a big issue for me and I am pretty sure I will have to find what I want in more than one shop. Jack was having some problems with eyes and it took a while to get his eyeglass prescription right after a post cataract laser treatment. Until he got his new glasses he didn't want to drive very far. Since he got his glasses it has been one thing or another to keep me from shopping.

Until I can get out to shop I will have to be content to spend my time raking up prickly chestnut hulls and black walnuts and hauling them out to the woods to dump them (there is an over abundance of both). There is also an over abundance of leaves to rake. I am cleaning up the flower beds around the house as well, preparing for winter and next spring.
I am not complaining, and neither is the dog. We are both enjoying being outside in the crisp fall weather. When he sees me change my shoes he is ecstatic, running in circles and jumping for joy. He doesn't seem to like to venture far from the house by himself but he loves to run all over when I am outside with him. When we walk around the back yard and the woods he goes exploring but comes quickly when I call him. He is not like the cat was but a very good companion nevertheless.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Playing with EQ

I have not been posting much because I keep having problems getting my photos into the computer; I think I have that worked out. Today I spent a good part of the day trying to get an image of an EQ project saved as a jpeg file so I could upload it to Picasa.
I have been playing with EQ7 working on a plan for a large wall hanging. I have wanted to make a new one to hang above the sofa for a long time.  I fooled around with different ideas from time to time but nothing ever really inspired me to follow through and actually make something.

This week Lynn Tyler posted a photo of a flimsy on her blog The Patchery Menagerie  and it fired up my muse. Hers is beautiful and though mine will be nothing like it, seeing how beautiful her quilt turned out gave me the idea to use diamond patches. It was just the inspiration I needed.

This is the EQ7 version and I am sure the quilt  will not be exactly like this. This is a starting point and I am excited to get going on it.