Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blocks of the month

I love the Civil War reproduction fabrics!  I have high hopes of making a quilt to resemble the Underground Railroad quilts that helped the runaway slaves find shelter in friendly places during the Civil War.  Next year is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.  Keepsake Quilting is having a block of the month kit made up just for this event.  I ordered the BOM's (blocks of the month) and have received two of them so far. Check out the picture:  civil war block of the month

Now to only get started on that one before the 200th anniversary of the Civil War.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NEWS ALERT: I don't do buttons!

Why is it that when people know that you like to quilt, they want you to hem pants or sew on buttons?  Listen up people: I  DON'T DO BUTTONS OR HEM UP PANTS/DRAPES/SKIRTS!!

There, I got that out of my system....I have a pair of my DH's pants waiting to be hemmed hiding somewhere under a pile of UFO's. They have been there for so long I bet he forgot about them being there. (I sure have) I even have a shirt of his that needs buttons sewn back on.  If my family really needs to have something altered, they should take it to the cleaners and have them do it.  I might take a few days, months or even years to get the article altered.  It might not ever happen.   

Don't buy a dress that is too big just because you really like the color and then expect me to fix it for you.  Don't buy pants that are too long and hand them to me to shorten them up so you can wear them to the dance this weekend.  When you lose 30 pounds don't even think about asking me to take in all your clothes.  

My son bought some curtains that were WAY too long for his apartment. "Mom, can you hem these up?" Silly me, I agreed to do them.  Last night he called and said "You have had the drapes for three weeks now...when are they going to get done?"  UGH!  ungrateful child.

I bought some fabric tape and used that so I wouldn't have to sew them up.  I will finish them up later but for now that will suffice!

If you want a quilt for a friend's baby, or for another loved one, I can do that.  I would love to do that!  I just won't sew on any buttons....


Monday, June 21, 2010

Adding to my pile of UFO's....

This weekend I started quilting the Sunflower Quilt that is on the frame. I only quilted two rows then got called off to help with other things around the house.

On top of it all, I started cutting up fabric to make a kit for another scrap quilt.  It is made using 2.5 inch squares and rectangles.  I am planning to use "fall" colors only.  I don't know why I started this one....just needed something to do.  I could sew the four patches together at the Sunday sew in. It will take 200 of those little guys sewn into four patch to make 50 units. They will be bordered by a light fabric with the corners "snowballed" with dark squares (200 squares needed here...)  Plus the alternate block is a little like the Chinese Coins with a strip of light fabric going down the middle.  It is very pretty and will use almost all of my 2.5 strip I have in my stash!YAy for me

Friday, June 18, 2010

Scrap Teacher

Last night at the quilt group meeting I gave a "schoolhouse" demo on my scrap system and how I sort them all.  It went well and next Sunday I will be organizing the Sunday Sew-in and highlight the strip-py cocktail quilt pattern.  (you can see the top below in a previous post).  It should go well.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Buying pre cut fabric on ebay

Awhile back I thought it would help speed things up if I bought pre-cut fabric from people on eBay.  I bought two "kits" of the kaleidoscope pattern (see below for the "Egyptian" top), some pinwheels, and a Carpenter's Wheel.  It has been so long since I bought the last one that I forgot what the pattern looked like.  No picture or instructions were included with the pieces that were die-cut and labeled "E white" or "D floral".  See picture above. There are enough pieces for 12 blocks.

 This is what the carpenter's wheel block looks like.  There are so many half square triangle units! UGH!  This will take me a LONG time to put together. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I must have ADD!

So the Focus on Four went by the wayside. I started cutting up fabric for a wall-hangings last night. It is one of my UFO's, the Cat Nap kit.  My dear husband remarked, "what about those 43 UFO's you have?"  I defended myself by telling him that this was one of those and I need something to do while watching the SF Giants lose to the O's!  (that is another story)  I ended up knitting some of the beanie that I am working on. 

Ok, ok I will get back to the four I should focus on and leave the others to when I have finished a project first. 


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Focus on Four

Now that Tuesday is here, I look at what I have to focus on. Some of you have mentioned "focus on four" and I really like this idea: Four projects to focus on at one time. O.K. So now I need to pick the four...Of course there is the Scrappy Crossroads (1) and the Sunflower Sampler (2).  The other two would be quilting the flag table topper (3) and hemming the drapes for the house (4).  This way I won't feel overwhelmed and start to panic when I read the list of all my UFO's!  Thank you for that great idea!  Once I get a project finished then I can take that project off and add another to the "focus on four" list.

Sunday, my daughter, Natasha (27 years old) is coming over so I can help her quilt the baby quilt she made for a friend of hers.  Quilt in a Day's Eleanor Burns has a method of making two quilts a t a time.  We used this method to make the quilts for Luna, the baby.  I make the "twin" to Natasha's quilt.  I hand quilted moons on it.  Here is the picture of my quilt.

Natasha wants to learn how to quilt, and she has some great ideas.  But, she is very busy with her own life. I was like that, too.  I waited until my youngest child was about 9 before I started seriously quilting.  I had some sewing experience from making clothes in high school.  Natasha does not have much sewing experience at all!  She didn't even take home economics!  I started teaching her to sew about 5 years ago.  She left her machine at my house so I know she is not practicing on the machine!  I think once the estate settlement is completed she can slow down enough to enjoy quilting. 

It would be so nice to have a daughter that I can go on shop hops with and share the ups & downs of a certain pattern...maybe that is what friends are for, not daughters.  And, I have some amazing "quilt-y" friends!! Especially when they tell me that I need to stay focused on the four projects at hand!

 close up the whole moon

close up of the crescent moon

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday blues.....

As Monday gets on its way to being a very busy week, I think about what I have done this last weekend.  I sewed minimally and didn't accomplish much.  I am making progress on the "1.5 inch square" (3 rows of them) border for the Arkansas Scrappy Road. I should be done with the border by the next millennium!  775 squares to sew up...why oh why did I pick this border?

Once I get a day that I can dedicate at least 8 hours, I will be quilting that sampler on the frame.

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pictures are the proof I have way too much to do...

I took pictures of some of the finished tops I have. Two of them I did not take pictures of because the cats would not get off the bed and they were too big for the "design wall" I created using my curtains in the bedroom....The first one (above) is Antique Tile in the rows.  I have a white that is consistent in all the blocks. For the corners I cut up one of the blocks into four equal parts.  The second quilt top (right) is scraps of Asian print fabric in the pattern called County Lines.  It went together very easily, and looks great!

I took a class on a new approach to making the Ohio Star. The teacher explained how to make two stars at a time.  I really like the colors in this top.  I bought the border fabric and then I matched the star fabric to it.  Not the usual way to make a quilt top, but it worked for me. 

I purchased some "kits" online and one was this.. The fabric is a Michael Miller design with Egyptian cats, cut into the kaleidoscope pattern.  I even bought fabric to to match and made some pillow cases for this top. (those ARE finished)

I belong to a Yahoo! Group that was having a row-robin where the main fabric color is purple. I didn't think I had enough purple in my stash until I actually sorted through the fabric...I had plenty!  So I joined and this is what I ended up with.

I saw this pattern and really thought I would use up a lot of my scraps. It uses two-inch squares and two-inch strips.  It hardly put a dent in my scrap stash It is called Strip Cocktail

I "won" a windmill template at my quilting group meeting.  I used it to make this scrappy quilt, using animal prints.  Be careful when you use this template that you be consistent with the way you cut the fabric, otherwise you will end up doing what I did and cut some going right and some going left. (Look at the blocks in the border-they are spinning differently that those in the middle section.)

Lastly for today's pictures:

This was from another Yahoo! group I belong to and it started with 6 "happy blocks" and progressed from there as a round robin.

Happy sewing!

Friday, June 11, 2010

TGIF getting ready for the weekend

This weekend I probably will not get to sew much. Work on Saturday will keep me busy until 1pm or so, then back home and do more yard work. Those pesky weeds will not stop growing!

Sunday I will helping out at the San Mateo County Fair selling opportunity tickets to win a quilt the Pacifica Quilters Group has created. Shannon and I will probably spend most of the day at the fair.

Of course I will do my 15 minutes of sewing in the mornings, as always. This morning I sewed the 5 blocks I owe to Shirley for wining the lottery. They turned out very nice! I just need to press them and mail them off.

This weekend I will get photos of the UFO's I have waiting for completion and post them. Not much else going on today. Just glad it is Friday finally and the weekend is almost here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Adding to the pile of UFO's

Last night I remembered that I did not list a few more projects.

One is a project that I sewed together before I really learned how to make corners match and not cut off points. I ripped out all the sewing and stuffed it into a bag and left it. That was over 10 years ago. It is being stored with my orphan blocks. Another 10 projects in that bin....shhhh don't tell anyone!

Then I remembered that I have some fabric that has US flags on it and I was going to make a table topper out of it for 4th of July, which is fast approaching. So I sandwiched and basted that little feller and will be getting it quilted this week (or maybe next).

I also have a landscape quilt that is still on the "design wall" (fabric I brought to the class that the pieces are rolled up in). I need to piece that guy together. It was a fun class just not enough time to get it all sewn together.

I knew that if I left them alone for too long they would multiply! UGH!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

My helpers....

Last night, while watching the San Francisco Giants win another game, I loaded the Sunflower quilt top on the Grace frame. Actually, I only loaded the back end of the top, the backing and the batting. It will stay that way until I am ready to quilt the whole quilt in one “sitting”. If I leave the quilt on the frame half way through the quilting, my cats seem to think I have given them a new hammock. They don’t care if the recipient is allergic to cats or not, nor do they care that when my 22 pound cat sits on the “hammock” it stretches the fabric so out of whack that I will need to take the quilt off the frame and re-load it! They just want to have a nice, snuggly place to snooze.

Speaking of my 22 pound cat, have you ever seen a cat sit in a cardboard box? Well I remember once when my cat, Jake, tried to fit his 22 pound body into a very small 6x6 inch box. It was so funny; I could hardly stop laughing to take the pictures. Jake will also take any straight pins he finds and put them into his food bowl. I have to hide my pin cushion! He has an obsession with plants, too. He will eat up my bamboo knitting needles, rubber stopper and all.

Cats seem to want to help with every aspect of my hobbies. If there is a 2-inch square of fabric on the floor, they will sit on it to guard it from running away (this is my perception at least). When I lay blocks out to see if I like the setting, the cats (all four of them) are there to “help” me decide how I like them. Sometimes the kittens (kittens?? They are now 3 years old) will romp around and scatter the blocks so they are nowhere near what I had planned. Thank you, Stella and Stanley.

Then there is the dog. Myka will leave her toys around the house and make it look like we have a two year old toddler living here. I must first clean up her toys before I can lay out the blocks. Then once the blocks are laid out the way I feel is pleasing to the eye, she will want to play with her ball and drop it right where I am working. Needless to say, I try to do the layout while Myka is on a walk with my DH.

Animals bring such love and laughter to us all. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Except, maybe the slobber on the ball. I need a design wall....honey, can I use the family room walls for a permanent design wall? Please? (;

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Being accountable for my addiction......

When I was a child, I had many stuffed animals. At night I had to sleep with each and every one of them. I would stretch my arms straight out while laying in bed. My mom would lay each stuffed animal on my arms. I loved those stuffed animals/friends! When it came time to "grow up" and get rid of these stuffed animals I cried for days. I couldn't get rid of all of them. I still have one or two....I am nearing 50 and I still have some of those stuffed animals.... I guess I have turned my need to have my "friends" near me to the quilt tops that keep accumulating in my UFO pile. I have realized (this morning in the wee hours) that I know that if (& when) I finish these up and get them quilted I will probably give them away or sell them and that is why I can't get myself to finish them up. What an epiphany! This makes me sad....

I received a lot of encouragement from yesterday's post. Most women are in awe that I have that many UFO's, and some even confessed to having more UFO's than I do! WOW. Some suggestions are to post pictures of the progress of the UFO's. I will take some pics this weekend.

Another suggestion was not to cut myself off of new projects completely, but give myself a reward for finishing up, say 5, quilts, then I get to start a new quilt. This might work, but I really think that I will modify it by saying if I finish 5 quilts (quilted, bound and labeled) I get to work on one of the kits I have laying around. I just can't justify buying more fabric when I have those kits just sitting there. I will feel a lot better about getting these UFO's finished!

Today I spent 20 minutes sewing 1.5 inch squares together to make the border for my Scrappy Crossroads top. I will need 775 1.5 inch square for the border....this is very boring for me so I have to be diligent in my efforts to finish this up. I just zone out and go to my virtual vacation spot and just sew. It is sometimes better than meditation.

Off to work now.......

Monday, June 07, 2010

My UFO list

Sit down when you read this because the list is very long. I think I shall stop calling myself a quilter and start telling people I am a "piecer". I just can't get through the final step of quilting the tops! I get to a point in the project where I am easily distracted with other projects. Ones that are prettier, faster, or I want to learn a new technique.

The list is broken down into categories: almost done (minimal work to be done before adding label), tops done, tops almost done, in-progress as "leaders & enders", kits (either purchased or made by me), PIGS (projects in grocery sacks), & WHIMM's (work hidden in my mind).

Almost Done:
Scrappy Irish Chain. I need to finish machine quilting a few more of the squares in the ditch, add the binding and add a label.

Tops Done:
Antique Tile
Purple Row Robin
Reversible Sport Nut
County Lines (a)
Strip Cocktail
Card Trick
Star Round Robin
Color Explosion
Christmas Mountain Majesties
Boxed in
Poppy's baby quilt.

Tops Almost Done:
Scrappy Cross Roads
Gordian Knot
Jungle Kaleidoscope

In Progress:
Blue Ridge Beauty
Whacky Waves
Asian nightmare

maple leaf
town square
wine country
medallion stars
Simply Strips
County Lines (b)
Yukata Cut it
Bento Box in Batiks
carpenter's wheel

Christmas Mystery
Baby 9patch pizzaz

native american panel

OMG!! That is waaaaaay too many projects for one person. If you would like to help me get these down to a manageable stack, let me know.... I propbably will be donating some of the tops to our quilting group for charity. Even if I finished one quilt every other month, that would take me almost eight years! Repeat after not buy any more fabric for a new project
do not buy any more fabric for a new project
do not buy any more fabric for a new project
do not buy any more fabric for a new project

really?? but I wannnaaaaa.

off to get the top on the frame for quilting. We are having a quilt show in August and I should have something to show.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Project UFO 2010

Wow the last post was in 2006...ok so for 2010 YES I said 2010 I will list all my UFO's (unfinished Objects) going from tops to "kits" I have cut up and stored for the last eon. Stay tuned for the list....