Friday, February 29, 2008

Quiltathon Starts Early

I knew I had a few things to do tomorrow that would interfere with my Quiltathon, so I started a bit early. Here's what I did today to start my sewing weekend off!

I put the nine patch and hour glass top together. I thought I had plenty of dark blue reproduction fabric, but I don't. So, I'm at a standstill until I can make a run to the quilt shop and find just the right piece for the border. Not a problem....I also need to pick up some reproduction greens, since I don't have enough for the appliqué leaves in the border! Unless there is someone out there who wants to swap some 3 inch green reproduction squares for some of my many colored 3 inch squares!!!! Any takers????

I cut out, pieced, hand-quilted and put the binding on this little quilt. This is for a friend's birthday next week. It was fun to make....don't you just LOVE small projects that can be done in a day???

I used a flower stencil for the blocks...this was the first time I used my pounce! Very nice and FAST!

I finished the top on this table runner and I hope to start quilting it this weekend.

I completed the quilting on the border of Dear Niece's last baby quilt. Just have to put the binding on and the label. No pictures until my Sister and niece gets to see it!

I'm enjoying all the time in the sewing room (and the livingroom doing handwork!) Thanks to Judy for encouraging us to join the "Quiltathon".

Here's to getting more finished up! Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I took the plunge....actually, Dear Younger Son did and I followed his lead. He started working on the garage today and I couldn't let him suffer alone. It took about 2 hours and I'm afraid we aren't done yet!

A little background on our garage. It's more of a storage building right now. We moved here, to my mom's house in June, to help her out for about a year or so. We hope to move in the fall sometime and take her with us.

So, we left our 2500 sq. ft. house, fully furnished and completely decorated (read - full of stuff) and moved into her 1500 sq. ft. house, fully furnished and completely decorated (read - also full of stuff). We gave away 4 mini van loads full of stuff to a needy family, hauled off 1600 lbs. of junk, and have a storage rental that is 10x10. So, the garage got the leftover furniture and kitchen stuff that we can live without until we get a bigger house.

Then, Christmas happened. Everything was in storage and two of my children picked it up from the storage place, decorated and returned the empty Rubbermaid containers to storage. I was out of town when they decided that they were going to undecorate. Since I had the storage key and grandma forgot she had one, they just put all the Christmas decorations in cardboard boxes, laundry baskets and even an empty laundry hamper. THAT was the mess we had in the garage!

So, today, I played with Christmas decorations! And now, Dear Younger Daughter and I have to go through several other baskets of old toys and craft supplies that "SOMEHOW" got dumped out in the garage too! That's a job for another day! Yikes!

Otherwise, as far as sewing goes, I cut out a table runner for a dear friend who moved away. I put a bit of it together today too! It was supposed to be done about 2 months ago, so I'm right on schedule (at least for me!) I sewed some more on my nine patch and hour glass top. It's coming along nicely. I've got 16 blocks sewn together and just have to put the rows together now.

I added a few things to my blog also today. Notice the Quiltathon button as well as the Four Seasons Quilt Swap - Spring Swap button. I'm participating in both. There seems to be a lot of excitement about both of these in blogland!

I'm hoping your Wednesday was more quilty than mine, for sure! Have a great day and Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 25, 2008

And so, she sews!

Ever had a job you didn't want to do? Ever have 30 jobs you didn't want to do???? LOL I have so many things I should be doing, things I could be doing, but just don't want to do!

My garage needs to be organized. It's not awful (but don't expect any pictures!), but it needs some reorganizing. It would only take about 2 hours at the most, but I really don't want to do it!

My sewing area needs to be straightened up. It would probably only take about 45 minutes to put everything back where it needs to be, but I really don't want to do it!

My closet is rather interesting right now. I've been in a hurry and clothes haven't been put away properly, shoes left on the floor instead of placed back on the shelves and when I changed purses, I sat the other one right next to the shoes...on the floor. It would take about 30 minutes to straighten it up, but I really don't want to do it!

And so, she sews!

Somedays, the things that should be done can take a back seat until what I really WANT to do gets done. After all, if you can't take a REAL vacation from your work, why not take a "break"? And that is why I am sewing on a project that has no deadline, one that I wasn't intending to make this month, one that has no "real" purpose other than to make me happy to be doing it! Ah.....I love quilting!

Here are pictures of the Nine Patch and Hourglass quilt I'm working on. Just laying out a few rows to see if I like it! What do you think??

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Four Seasons Quilt Swap- Spring Swap


The time is now to sign up for the second season of the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. We will be making & swapping a mini-quilt under the “spring” theme. Visit the Four Seasons Quilt Swap blog for more information.

Friday, February 22, 2008

You guessed it!

Once you saw the book, you knew! I suppose many of us own this one! Who'd a thunk it? There are a lot of scrap quilt lover's out there, aren't there?

Yesterday and this morning, I've been working on the hourglass blocks for this lovely quilt. Lots of fun. I wasn't looking forward to making them. I think I thought they would go too slowly. But, it looks like the nine patches were slower!

I can't believe that after all those years of talking about wanting to make this quilt, I'm finally doing it. I'm still undecided about the border, but I'll think about that tomorrow! (AKA Scarlett!)

I have a tendency to take a quilt I like and make it bigger....hence, the Bargello that went Zig Zag, but not this time. I get tired of looking at the same fabrics and so this time, I've decided, I will make the quilt the size it is in the book, 62 inches square. And I think I will use it on my table.....if I ever get it quilted! LOL

I know me! Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Today finds me sitting in the sewing room continuing the ongoing "Block Party". Right now, I'm hooked on making those little 3 inch Nine Patches. I spent part of yesterday and this morning working on them...and the count is up to 92! Yippee! I need 128 of them. The are all cut out, so the sewing part goes pretty fast. I decided what I am going to make, but I'm not telling right'll have to wait and see. Here's a hint: The pattern is in this book...

I have been quilting away on Dear Niece's last baby quilt "Heart to Heart". I got to go see her yesterday and she's as wonderful as I remember. I have just 4 blocks left to quilt and then I can bind it, label it and give it to her! I work on her quilt in the evenings while Dear Hubby and I watch movies,, fun, fun. It's turning out nicely. Isn't it amazing the changes that take place as you are quilting it? I love it more and more!!!! Can't wait to give it to her.

I am still working on hand piecing Dear Younger Son's Double Four Patches. I planned on sewing at least one a day, and I really haven't done that. So, I try to make up for it by sewing a couple here and there. Does that count? he he

So, that's how my Wednesday is looking! How about yours??? Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Bargello that went Zig Zag!

Stewpot asked: Do you know how many fabrics are represented? So, I counted.

Exactly 250! And the count will rise, when someday, I add the scrappy
10 1/2 inch square backing and the scrappy binding!!

Yippee! It's done! I was so tempted to post a picture yesterday, but I controlled myself and waited until this morning. Taking a picture of this quilt was a hoot. First, I had Dear Younger Son and Dear Younger Daughter hold it up in the dining area. The two foot difference in their height made that just plain funny, even with Younger Daughter Standing in a chair. Then, I kept getting the table, with folded laundry all over it, in the picture. Still didn't look good. So, Dear Mother and Dear Son took the quilt outside and Dear Mother stood in a chair! That was too funny!

So, here you go, the Bargello that went Zig Zag! It measures 78x 98 inches! A nice BIG quilt!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Here I am!

I've received some e-mails from Dear Blogging Friends asking, "Where are you?" I am here, just really all know how that goes.

Valentine's Day, Dear Hubby and I (and Younger Daughter) went for a van ride. You remember, my husband is disabled and moving about is difficult. Loading and unloading a 250 lb. wheelchair is not my idea of fun! So, we try to take car rides here and there, and often grab a bite to eat as we sit in the van and visit. So, that is what we did for Valentine's Day this year. Since everyone else had plans, we took Younger Daughter with us and I hesitate to tell you what we actually did. But, here goes....

Dear Hubby reminded me that we really needed to pick up a part for our wheel barrow since Spring is coming and we have lots of yard stuff to do. (read - Grandma and Younger Son have a lot of yard work to do! They both enjoy working outside!) He wanted to go to an old hardware store in a nearby town and mentioned, "Plus, the quilt shop is just across the street and you might need some fabric." (What a sweetie!)

So, we drove to a small town about 25 minutes away, and visited a hardware store that was once owned by my Pastor's family for about 80 years. (I believe that is the story, I talked to his mother this week and got some details.) I picked up an axle for our wheel barrow. (rather exciting, huh???) Then, I drove across the street and picked up these five 1 yd. cuts. Not a big investment, don't want to take advantage of my Dear Hubby's generosity! I cut a bit off of two of them to share with my Bee Ladies. (We swap 3 1/2 inch strips once a month, 2 different pieces.) The others, I'm selfishly keeping. I'm adding greens to my stash, because someday, I hope to make a green quilt. I'm thinking about trees.....hmmm.

Let's see....we left there, and drove to Chipotle and picked up a couple of the world's largest burritos! I shared mine with Dear Younger Daughter and Dear Husband brought part of his home for later. (We never can eat the whole thing, but they sure are good.)

As we were leaving the parking lot, we saw, or did Younger Daughter see, the Nestle Toll House Cookie Store. Dear Younger Daughter got 2 scoops of Dark Chocolate Ice Cream and Dear Husband and I had a cookie. (We bought extras to share with the family, too!)

When we got home, most of the family were back and I received in the mail something I'd ordered about 2 weeks ago. This book! I was so excited, I almost couldn't wait to sit down and look through all the pictures. This book has patterns for 17 different small quilts and I think I love every one of them. I'm thinking that my 100th post is coming up and I may have to make one of them as a give away! What do you think?

So, all in all, Valentine's Day was a lot of fun! (If just a bit different from the average American Valentine's Day!) But, then, we've never been an Average American Family!

Since then, I've been working on organizing my stash, cutting up strips and generally cleaning up my messes (in the sewing area of life). I found a new way to fold fabric pieces that are as small as 1/3 yd. up to 10 yds. It looks so organized.... Here are some before and after pics....and no, I really don't have a large stash. But you don't see what is under those cabinets in Rubbermaid containers. Novelties, 30's, Civil War Fabrics, hand dyed, quilt kits, etc. Plus, don't forget those 6 buckets of strips.

Dear Mother helped iron fabric so that I could empty out the laundry basket of "uglies" and "too small to store" bits of fabrics. Everything that needed to be stripped is done and waits in strip buckets for inspiration to hit.

Do you realize the self control it takes to have all your fabric cut into strips, receive a book of new small quilts and NOT make one? I am forcing myself to finish up my Bargello before I do another new project! And who can forget all the UFO's calling my name? And, the baby quilt which is getting closer to being done also?

Maybe I have too many projects going at once???? He he....oh, the life of a quilter!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Happy Quilting!!!!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

May you receive the gift you've dreamed of!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Here's what I am working on THIS week! (still)

Added more borders, 5 more to go and this Bargello will be done.

Hand quilted Dear Niece's Heart to Heart Quilt. Almost done, a few more blocks quilted and it will need binding.

Made this cute little Happy Scrappy House for Bonnie. See this post at Lazy Gal Quilting, for more info.

Most importantly, I got a pedicure today, so all in all, it's been a GREAT day!

Happy Quilting!!!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bargello Borders

Yes, I am still working on the Bargello from Super Bowl Sunday! I wonder, will this top never end???? I have been having a great time working on it, really. Today, I added all the narrow green borders all around the quilt and decided what to do for the next border. I pulled out my 4 inch strip bucket and literally just used anything that wasn't already in the quilt. I joined the pieces with 45 degree angles and I'm adding them around the outside for the second border. I will finish the last border repeating the 2 inch green strip all around. Then, I'll call it Bargello Done!

I also worked on the Heart to Heart quilt for my Dear Niece. I got 7 of the 16 blocks completely quilted, so I'm feeling really good about that. The only problem? My wrist is hurting a bit, so I think I'll lay off the handquilting and sew on the machine for a while....maybe I'll keep on that Bargello and finish the top bit by bit!

It's warm and raining here and I'm certainly not an outdoor person, so I'm grateful for a dry house, warm food, great family and quilting!

Happy Quilting Friends!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Block Party

WOW! What a week! It's been so busy around here. We've had a baby born (my new niece), Grandma's car trouble, Dear Older Son in town, birthdays (three this week), plumber visit, trips to the hospital, cleaning Dear Sister's car, Mother in Law visit and I can't even remember what else.

Needless to say, but I'm saying it anyway, I haven't done alot of sewing. I did work on my Block Party! These blocks include Dear Younger Son's Double Four Patches, Off Centered Log Cabin Blocks and 3 Inch Nine Patches. All I got to this week was hand piecing 4 Double Four Patches. Oh well, at least I'm making a little progress. Here is a pic of the blocks I made.

Tonight, I'm pulling out the last of Dear Niece's baby quilts and I'm going to try to get it quilted and bound within the next two weeks. She's really going to NEED this last quilt, I can tell!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Today, my sweet niece was born! After blood pressure issues continued, she was delivered by C-Section. Mother and baby are doing well.

Hannah Grace is 7 lb. 2 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long. She has a head full of dark hair and is a most beautiful baby!

Congratulations to my Dear Sister and her Dear Hubby, now known as Mommy and Daddy for the first time in their lives! YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!

WIP Wednesday.....posted on Thursday!

Here is what I am working on this week!

I finished the four panels on my Bargello and Diane and I decided that it wasn't big enough....I know, the directions were for a lap sized quilt, but do you think I really "read" directions and understood that? I mean, I know what lap sized meant, but it was too small! Anyway, I made three more panels and turned the Bargello on it's side to make the quilt larger. It changes the look a bit, but I think I like it. I finally got all the panels on yesterday and one skinny border on one side. It's not a great picture, but you can see a bit of how it's going to look. And a close up of the skinny border.

Diane laughed at me when I told her that I needed to clean up my sewing room this week. She said, "poor thing, you only have a sewing room, I have a sewing house!" Well, after moving all my stuff out into the dining room so we could both sew, I had a sewing house too! But, today everything is back in the sewing a big pile, it's a mess.

The pressure is on to clean it up, since Dear Mother in Law is coming over tonight. Because my husband is disabled and its difficult for him to leave the house, she is coming here and making his birthday meal for him (MY mother made his dinner last night)! Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and I'm making Cafeteria Eggplant. Chocolate and Coconut pies are for dessert!

Really, my Mother in law is a dear and wouldn't mind my mess at all! As a matter of fact, I'm sure she's hoping that when she comes, there will be a big mess of HER placemats all over my sewing room! I have got to run the OTHER direction at some point to my other favorite quilt shop and pick up that walking foot!

The plumber is here to check our overflow pipe from the A/C unit. It keeps backing up. (Yes, we're running our A/C, because we live in southwest Texas!) Actually today is cooler, but it still needs to be checked. And, I'm off to the grocery store! Fun, fun, fun! I probably won't be able to get much sewing in today! But, at least my "Block Party" block totals are going up!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Forrest!

Today is my Dear Hubby's birthday! Yippee! If the truth be known, he's not much into celebrating birthdays, especially his own! Not that he's afraid of getting older, he loves that (and the fact that he's graying and looking so distinguished). He just doesn't think it's a big deal when you "just get a year older". But, it's all in the way you look at it.

Thoughts about my husband's birthday....

The day he was born, his mom and dad could not know how this one little baby boy would affect so many lives.

1. He became a little brother to a little boy who needed a playmate. A young man that even an older brother could look up to!

2. The son his dad loved and admired, and spoke of with such pride, his buttons were in danger of popping! The child he trained to be a man, to love sports, love life, and work hard. The child his mother loved and care for. The child she taught to care for the women in his life and to be responsible.

3. He was a grandson that Grandpas and Grandmas would brag about.

4. He was a friend that young men and women loved to be with and looked up to. These teens grew up and now, men and women in their late 40's, they have fond memories of when Forrest did "this" and "that" and all the great times they had together.

5. He was a high school quarterback, the freshman who defeated Humble by a score of 8-0 to remain undefeated! The fighting Panthers opened their 1977 season with a come from behind 13-7 victory. And the papers read, "Outstanding on offense were quarterbacks Ronnie (his best and dearest friend) and Forrest"! He was the Senior quarterback who took his team to the District Playoffs and WON! The high jumper who set the District record! The athlete who helped raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.

6. He was the young man who learned of his need for Christ in college and when he accepted Christ, it changed his life.

7. He was the dynamic (and handsome) man I met and fell in love with. The man I had dreamed of all my life...the man I married 24 years ago.

8. He became the father of 8 children, four of which we will see in heaven someday, and four who are impacting the world around them.

9. He is the man who became a preacher, and led many to Christ. The man that has led many to love Jesus Christ.

10. He is the man that I will spend the rest of my days loving and admiring!

So, honey, when you think a birthday is no big deal, remember that the fact that you were born CHANGED THE WORLD!

I love you and I'm so proud to be called your wife. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Someone's Been Shoppin' with Dina

Title sung to the tune of "Someone's in the Kitchen with Dina".....

Linda, Dina (aka Diane) and I went on a mini Shop Hop. We hit two Local Quilt Shops and found some great deals we couldn't pass up. I picked up these fat quarters. Six of them were $1.00, two were $1.25, and one was $1.50. So, 2 1/4 yards for $10.00. Not bad. And, five are Civil War Reproductions and the other four are 30's! Yeah for me! Diane loaded up on quite a few herself.

We also found a great deal on these Civil War Reproduction fabrics, most of which are purples. Something we've both had a difficult time finding. The best part? These fabrics were marked down 35% off. I think one or two were 50% off. When we got to the register, the lady behind the counter ended up giving us 50% off all of them. The hitch? We had to buy a yard of each, so Diane and I split them and now we both own 1/2 yard cuts of these lovelies..... Eight 1/2 yd. cuts for $20! That's $5 a yd. any way you slice it!

I love shopping with this lady! She likes everything I like and she likes to share. Linda (who is not a quilter but a sewer, as in clothing) was great at reminding Diane, "Whatever you buy you have to move!" My Dear Brother would have been proud of her. But, I'm not moving, so..... LOL And Linda, what self control! She didn't buy anything....but she did find one Christmas ornament on sale! None of us could decide if it was a good thing or not!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bargellos Everywhere

It was a crazy and fun time! Bargello Sunday wasn't what we thought it would be, but we've learned to roll with the punches, take the moments as they come and have a great time in spite of it all!

It started out with Diane packing all her stuff into her car to drive over from her Linda's home....just five minutes away. Gas station funny and forgotten sewing machine, trip back to Linda's and finally, she arrives at my house around 10:30. We begin by sorting strips and cutting them down to approx. 16 inches.

I got a call from Dear Sister, who is very pregnant...and home from the hospital after another blood pressure spike, requesting Lentil Soup. I told her 4 days earlier I would make it for her, but did I have lentils on hand? No, that would have been too easy! Diane and I load up and make a run to calls from family on the way, and our list grows. $100 later, and we're home, just in time for lunch.

Grandma made a big pot of Chicken and Dumplings and cornbread. Everyone sits down to enjoy and take a break....and we don't have one strip sewn together! But, we're cutting up and having a great time.

After lunch, we finally begin sewing amid trips to the kitchen to make Lentil Soup. By 2:30, the soup is done and we make plans to take the soup to Dear Sister around 7:00 pm. 2:30, this is when the sewing begins in earnest.

My, you should have seen us. "How are we doing this? Just grab a strip and sew? Yes, close your eyes, pick a strip, now pick another and sew!" We did it, just making sure two reds weren't next to another. I used odds and ends found in my strip bucket and Diane used her hand dyed leftovers, some she says were her first attempts at dying! They are beautiful! We are sewing and are so impressed with how easy the pattern is. Sew, sew, sew.

"OK, now what? Sew the top to the bottom and press. How do I press? Just back and forth, opposites. Are you sure? Let's read the instructions again. The printed version doesn't say. Go online and figure it out. Oh, that's let me show you. Oh, that....yeah, that makes sense."

"OH NO! What???? I have to cut the fabric now and I'm scared! How do I do this? I don't know, read the instructions. Uh oh...what? Don't mess up, there's not alot of room for error here. I know. Well....(zip) I just cut it. Oh my! Nothing like jumping in with both feet, head first. Hey, I've got more fabric.....I'm not worried. (voice shaking.....) Hey, it worked! Whew! Let me try!"

Sew, sew, sew...."Wow! That's awesome. It's so pretty! I know, we did it! Yeah for us!"

Phone call from sister amid sewing. She needs some items from the grocery store...uh oh, another trip to Walmart! LOL....sounds like us anyway! We had to wait for Dear Younger Son to make it home to take care of Dear Hubby, Dear Younger Son is the secondary caregiver, and all the women load up into the van for the 20 minute drive to Dear Sister's house.

Aunt Diane brings the baby a beautiful handmade diaper bag, full of goodies, Grandma brings her finished quilt (pics to follow in another post). And what do I have to share? A pot of Lentil soup, frozen homemade Chicken Spaghetti and leftover Chicken and Dumplings. Dear Sister is on bed rest!

Dear Older Daughter and I run to Walmart and pick up needed items. Get a call to pick up two more items on the way to the store and I promptly forget said items! Dear Older Daughter and Aunt Diane make another run to pick up said items. We hug and kiss Dear Sister rub the belly and leave them in peace. Back over the big bridge to our home, back to sewing....

Sew, sew, sew...."I'm exhausted. What time is it? 2:00 am....Oh my. This is my last seam, then I'm leaving. Yeah, I'm going to bed. I'm leaving all my stuff right here, I'll be back in the morning to collect it all. Don't come early, I'm sleeping late. Don't worry!" Hugs and giggles, smiles over our progress, prayers for Dear Sister and we hit the hay!

Whew! This Super Bargello Sunday was insane, but oh, so much fun.....

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bargello Sunday

The morning has started. I am about to set up the sewing area in the dining room on the big table. That way, we will have more room to move around and Diane and I can sew together. I am thinking that she will be here somewhere around 9:00 am and so, I need to get my strips cut down to 16 inches. Most are the full 42 inch strips.

This is going to be a fun day, spending time with my sister in law, doing something we both love.

So, here we go. I'm hoping that I will be able to post pictures today....we'll see!

Yipee! Pictures posted! I thought I'd show you the fabrics I am starting with. I'll try to post progress here and there throughout the day!

Happy Quilting!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Block Party

The past few days, I've been working on blocks. It's been nice not to be cutting! I still have more to cut, but I just couldn't stand it....I had to pull out the blocks and sew.

Here's the count and pictures:

Dear Younger Son's Double Four Patch
- 72 of 100 done!

Off Centered Log Cabin - 41 of 168 done!

3 Inch Nine Patches - 58 of 128 done!

Diane will be here tomorrow and we'll be starting, and hopefully, finishing our lap sized Scrappy Bargello tops! Should be fun.....we've never done something like this before and it will be interesting to see the differences in our tops.

Happy Quilting everyone!