Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Big Birthday

Today was another one of those milestone birthdays, the big 8 - 0. It was a family day and my kids, grand kids, and great grand kids were all here with the exception of one grandson who lives out of town.  It was a nice day and though I have been unseated as the family Scrabble champion I had a great time.
We got a four generation picture of women in the family me, my daughter and her daughter, and my grandsons daughter. We missed my daughters other daughter who had to leave early and we didn't get my daughter in law in the photo. We  didn't get  photos of any of the men. Maybe we will do better Christmas Eve.

W e did get a shot of me with the great grand kids and the birthday cake; their ages are from 8 -12. It is not easy to get a picture with everyone looking good but this one turned out pretty good.
That is the celebration tablecloth on the table. I had dyed fabric at a guild workshop 20 + years ago and I was going to throw it away recently because it ran when I washed it. However, I fished it out of the waste basket and made 16 patch checkerboard blocks and added a  bright border. I thought if the colors  ran "so what". Some of them did run when it was washed and you can see it on the solid yellow back but the front looks OK and it think it makes a nice family tradition to put it on the cake table.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Decorating

Two days ago Jack set up the tree and today we bought the decorations up from the basement and I decorated the tree, He helped by getting some of the ornaments unwrapped and he put new hooks on the ones that needed it. It took a few hours to get the tree done and right after I arranged the tree skirt Miss Mona, the princess cat, settled herself on the tree skirt for a nap.
She really has very pretty green eyes but I think this glowing kind of demon look is the feline equivalent of "red eye".
No amount of coaxing or gentle prodding would convince her to leave her new napping quilt. I might as well give in because she will do whatever she wants as soon as I leave the room.

Over the last few days I also hung Christmas quilts in my sewing room. I replaced the quilts from my last post with Christmas quilts. I don't have the places to hang them that I used to have so I am working out new arrangements. I do believe that the gray flannel I use on my bulletin boards has made the colors in my photos come out true to life.

The quilt on the lower right is hung sideways and I will have to change that and I need to clean up the shelf under the wreath quilt. I found that I have 20 mug mats so I hung some of them with my 12 days of Christmas cheater smart panel.

I have some larger quilts and I am not sure what to do with them. Well..... one is on my bed and two are one the backs of chairs but I have 3 that have no place to go yet. Maybe they will find a new home.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Not much sewing going on

It seems like I have been doing everything but quilting and that means I've had nothing much to post.
I finished the tree skirt and don't have a photo of it and I already gave it away. I did finish my bedroom window curtains too.
About a month ago Jack hung my 2 bulletin boards in my sewing room, They used to be on either side of my window in my old sewing room now they are side by side like one board. I also covered some foam core panels with gray flannel and hung up 3 small bulletin boards where I hung some small pieces. I have been starving for color as there is a lot of white and brown here. There are 2 shelves above my sewing machine; the top one is about 6 ft. high and the other 24 inches below it. I put one board there with some of my small zentangle quilts. I was going to hang something more colorful  but decided to hang my tangle quilts for a while.

The shelves butt up against the bookcase in the corner,  around on the corner on the next wall I hung the next skinny bulletin board with a few small things. Next to the bulletin board is the window above my desk and on the other side I hung another small bulletin board above a tall narrow chest. A 24 inch square cat quilt hangs there. Just around the corner, above my quilt rack on the next wall, is my Diva quilt; it is 45 inches square so you can see the quilts in this collage are not to scale.

I am feeling more at home now with some of my own favorite colors around me.

When the weather turned cold this fall I put my plaid quilt on the bed but it has a lot of black in it and though it has a lot of other colors it isn't colorful enough. It is also in need of repair again as some of the patches are wearing out. I exchanged the plaid quilt for an all floral log cabin quilt, which is too heavy to sleep under. I keep it folded across the foot of the bed and only open it up if we have company (so I can show off). I quilted it in sections and used florals on the back and I like the back as well as the front.
Last Wednesday Jack hung my Red Flowers quilt over our bed.

The Red Flowers will stay where it is but I will be getting out all of the Christmas quilts this week and the rest will all be changed soon.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tree Skirt

I am back to working on the tree skirt. I cut the remaining 5 inch squares into quarters to fold for prairie points. I also had to cut into some yardage for more red squares. then I had to find something in my stash to make up for not enough blue.
I am stitching strings of prairie points together getting ready to sew them on the tree skirt.

This is fabric for my other project, window coverings for our bedroom. I almost bought something geometric and neutral but Jack came looking for me and changed my mind. He said "get something colorful that you really like"; so I did.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I really wouldn't want to live in a place that didn't have 4 seasons I just wish winter did not have to include SNOW.
When I got up this morning there was a light covering of snow and there was fine snow coming down....... and it came down all day long. I think it stopped around 5 PM but I am not sure as it is dark now.This is what it looked like at 4 o'clock, looking toward the street. Hmmmm .....these photos look like they are black and white but they are color photos. It seems to me that the first snow of the season should be a light one not something like this.

This is on the other side of the house looking out the living room window, same view from a slightly different angle. We stayed home all day and I only ventured out once to fill the bird feeder.

 I did what I usually do when I am snowed in, I cleaned and did laundry. I did a little sewing as well. I started some improv blocks for another kitty quilt. I have a bag of unsorted scraps and I looked up some cat fabric. Here are a  few of them on my sewing machine table. If I make 12 - 8 inch blocks that should be about the size I want.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kitty Quilts

Kitty likes to sit on my lap in the evening and she likes to sit on my sewing chair when I am at the desk. At any time of day or night she likes to curl up on the sewing chair or on the couch. I put a folded quilt on the couch for her and I put a quilt on my lap when she sits on my lap. She seems to prefer the quilts to the fleece throw that I have folded on a foot stool.

So........ I made a small quilt today for the sewing chair. I found and old cheater panel and layered it up and did some quilting around the cat and flowers and border, just enough to hold the layers together. I used Bernina #4 serpentine stitch close to the edge and trimmed it leaving the batting exposed. If it doesn't hold up after washing I will stitch over the edge again.

I considered piecing 2 smallish quilts one for the couch and one for my lap when she sits there, something that can be more easily washed. Instead, I am going to cut up the quilt that is on the couch and make smaller ones.  It is an old quilt  that has seen a lot of use and it has worn places. It is one that I made from block swap blocks and while I have always liked, it it holds no sentimental value. It is still  colorful and kitty seems to like it so I think that it is a good use for it.

I picked her up to put her quilt on the chair and here she is, thinking it over. I thought maybe she would be unhappy with being disturbed but she seemed to accept it OK. She used to be a cranky cat but in her old age (almost 14) she is really sweet.

I think she likes it. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tree Skirt - Getting There

I am slowly making progress on the tree skirt. I had all the wedges laid out in the order I wanted to sew them in pairs. after all the pairs are sewed together there is always some adjusting to be done when something shows up that didn't before sewing. I kept everything in order pretty well but then when I sewed the pairs into 4's I got the order mixed up and I had to lay everything out again on my bed (no design wall yet). Every time I sewed a few more seams I checked to see how it looked and made some more adjustments. I finally sewed the last seam and I see that there are a couple of places that have two patches of the same color next to each other. They are not the same prints so it will stay the way it is.  After all "Random is Random" and after all my arranging and rearranging and getting things out of order it sure is random.

This is half of it pinned to a design board. Behind it is one of my bulletin boards, foam core covered with gray flannel. I covered my boards with gray because a couple bloggers, who seem knowledgeable about photography, said that if you have some gray pinned to the design wall or photographing area the colors are more true. My photos with the gray behind the tree skirt look more like the real thing than the photos without the gray.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tree Skirt

I am back to working on the tree skirt. The 9 degree wedge ruler I ad ordered from Amazon came yesterday; it took a long time to get here partly due to being sent to my old address. I cut all my wedges in the afternoon and arranged them in the order I want.I had arranged the strips of charm squares the way I wanted them but after they were cut in wedges there were narrow wedges that needed to be placed where they look the best.

Here is  the stack all ready to sew in pairs. that little pile of trimmings is about 1/2 of all I have left. Using Annie's tutorial,  You get 1 wide wedge and one narrow wedge that are used in the tree skirt and one very narrow wedge that is scrap. Last year I used those narrow scraps as a gag prize for the Basement Divas annual Jellyroll Race ( they were probably thrown in the trash). This time I took off the narrowest 2 pieces and sewed the rest together. This piece is 22 x 13 after trimming I will layer it up and quilt it and probably just add binding or or maybe turn it pillowcase style and then quilt it.
It might be good as a large hot pad for the table. LOL, when I showed it to Jack he said "what is that hodge podge." He is usually far more diplomatic than that.

Yesterday when I posted a photo collage of the Mary Ellen Hopkins tribute I did miss some quilts and I am sorry to say I do not have photos of them. I missed 2 of Kathy's and one of Lynn's. I even remember talking about one of them and for some reason I didn't get a photo. If I get photos from someone I will post them.
I'm so sorry Kathy and Lynn.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

MEH Tribute/Challenge

The Wildwood Quilt guild in Mentor, Ohio had their annual quilt show on Sunday. It has always been a very nice show and it was again this year. Several of the Basement Diva group are members of the guild and though not all of the Divas are members of Wildwood, our tribute to Mary Ellen Hopkins was hung at the show. Mary Huey, the owner of the quilt shop where we all took the "It's OK if You Sit on my Quilt" classes and continued with the "It's OK Neighborhood meetings, was also invited to hang her Mary Ellen quilts with the rest of the challenge.

This was the first chance I had to get a photo of my quilt after it was quilted.

Below is a collage of the rest of the MEH quilts. I think we all learned a lot from Mary Ellen and probably there are a large number of us who would not be quilting today it it were not for her. We also owe a lot to Mary Huey.

Here is a collage of the rest of the MEH tribute quilts; I think I got them all.  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival

 It's time the fall Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side.
This is one of the few quilts I finished this year; getting ready to move took up a lot of my time.  It i entered in the Scrappy Quilt category
This quilt is make from blocks that my friends in the Friendship block exchange group made for me.  I asked for Anvil blocks made with "made fabric"for the center square and the half square triangles could be made fabric or not. I asked for yellow or orange for the backgrounds.  Victoria (Bumblebeans) had requested that her followers make  anvil blocks with a blue background which she makes into quilts for people recently diagnosed with cancer. My friends made one block with the blue background and one block for me with yellow/orange background to make a quilt for myself.  I think I sent 12 blocks to Victoria and I had 12 blocks for my quilt from my friends and I made the rest.
The blocks are 12 inches and the half square triangles in the borders are 3 inches.

 I used one anvil block and some "made fabric" squares along with a piece of floral fabric that I had to stretch the backing fabric of which I had not enough.

Below are 2 close up shots showing the all over quilting with rows of the Bernina # 4 stitch. This was the first time I used this stitch for spaced rows and I like the look and I will use it again.

If you want to know more you can click on "anvil blocks".
Be sure to check out the other quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival and be sure to visit all the categories.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tree Skirt Progress

I am making progress on the tree skirt. All of the sections of 5 charm squares are sewed together and ready to be cut in wedges. I have them pinned in order on a design board. I had sorted the charms and laid them out in the order that  I thought I would lay out the large wedges and then I will place the narrow wedges where they look best.  I will make changes as I go along but this is a starting point. Annie from Freezeframe has a nice tutorial explaining how to get two 9 degree wedges from a 5 inch strip of charm squares. This is the third tree skirt from her tutorial and it goes together easily.

The only problem I had this morning was with these two.  When I got up to pin a strip on the design board the cat came in and sat on my our sewing chair. I moved her off, under protest, and when I turned my back she got back, not once but twice more. I gave up and moved the chair over and took the design board off the other chair where it was propped. While I was doing that the dog came in and plopped down under my sewing table. We finally got ourselves sorted out and I was able to finish the strips.

The animals sure make life interesting; 
Jack says they own me.
Who would have thought it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I an linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday It is a monthly linkup of scrap quilts, old or new or in progress.You can read about it by clicking on the link and view the quilts and if you want link up your own scrap quilt.

I admire quilts with 2 colors or 2 fabrics or a limited number of fabrics  but it is hard for me to stick with that kind of quilt if it is of any size. For me there can never be too many colors or fabrics.

My quilt is from 2005 and I made it as an "in progress" sample for a quilt in sections class I was teaching.
I worked out a method for randomizing my scraps so each colored strip appeared on the opposite side of the braid each time it was used. I used an odd number of color families, 5 for this quilt,  and I made stacks of each fabric. I had stacks everywhere in the sewing room. They were all lined up on my sewing tables, desk, ironing boards and every horizontal surface. Then I went around the room and I picked them up in order of red, blue, green, yellow, and orange to make working stacks. I also had a stack of "wild card strips, fabrics that didn't fit a color category to add at times when the next fabric on the stack didn't have enough contrast.  Working this way I did not have to make choices for each strip. I worked on 3 chevron strips at a time to avoid getting up to press after each addition.

My borders and vertical are not pieced but are irregular striped fabric. The binding was pieced and I rounded the corners of the quilt to avoid seams falling at the corners.

Be sure and check out the other scrap quilts, better yet, link up to one of your own and join the fun.