Sunday, March 30, 2014

PROJECTS

Ive been  working almost every day on something.. mostly the same things because they are taking so long.
I made a new bag using a couple of fat quarters, one from Lunn with faces, the other called Zombie apocalypse which is a Riley Blake design .  I used the Pink Sand Beach 'Barbados' bag and put the front pocket on both sides.

I have been working on a couple of miniature quilts that you can read about in my other blog if you want to.  After having to rip and start almost from scratch on the little lone star, I finally finished up the top at 15".  I have to do a couple more applique things on the red and white vortex and that will be finished at about 18"
The Blue vortex was one of the four samples that I made while trying to get what I actually wanted. It is the only sample that I finished.  The pickle dish is one block from a quilt that I have been kind of working on for years, but probably won't continue, and the red and white at the bottom is a mini that my friend Nancy made that I am going to quilt.

My Son and his new wife moved out of state last month.  They were going to take their cat Maxi, but when they decided to drive instead of fly, they had to leave him with me.  So far they plan to come back and get him.  He's a doll.  I will miss him. 
I'm not a great cat lover.  I don't love them enough to put up with the ones that have 'issues'.  But I have had a couple in my life that I truly loved. Maybe because they were more like dogs.  Maxi is one of them.  I'm going to hate to see him go home. Although the litter has proved to be too much for me.  Too heavy to handle.  I have seen some lighter weight litters, I can try those, but then I might want to talk my son into letting him stay, and I'm trying not to do that because I know that he loves him too. 
I decided to start a hand project. A first I thought I would just make a scrappy quilt with little six pointed stars, but when making a sample out of a stack of red fat quarters, I decided to go with a Seven Sisters in all reds and some sort of black print background.
Seven sisters looks like this, depending on what kind of setting you decide to put it in.  That is something that I will figure out in ten years if I am finished.. 

I hope that your spring is nice.. ours is normal, snow storm one day and sixty degrees and sunny the next. Oh well, good thing I'm an 'indoor girl'..

 

Saturday, January 04, 2014

SIGNATURE QUILT

I made up a bunch of these 2" blocks, and took them with me to quilt shows  and to classes and would ask quilt instructors to sign them.  My intent was to make a 20"  miniature signature quilt with the blocks.  The blocks laid around for years, until a few months when I came across them and decided that it was time to finally put them all together.
  In the meantime, I had another project with old photos on fabric that I thought of using with this small quilt.   Kind of like killing two birds with one stone.  But, I couldn't come up with any brilliant ideas for the design so I made about 100 more blocks and put the embroidered saying that I was going to use with this other project into this one. 

Since this saying focuses on female quilters, I took out the two male quilt instructor signatures that I had collected .  When I got the top sewn together, before I could give instructions, it was passed around guild and signed.  Not necessarily a problem, only a couple of the signatures were upside down, and I had to take them out and re-orient them.  Wouldn't have been a big deal but they were, of course, towards the center of the quilt and not on the edge.  And I am just too much of a perfectionist to stand seeing two signatures upside down.

 Anyway, here it is so far.  I'm going to let it hang and 'talk to me' for a while.  I still have a few ideas spinning around in my head about what I can do with this. It will probably end up with a border, and maybe a little more. I still may incorporate the photos with this.  Or maybe I will just leave well enough alone and just finish it.

Signature quilt 28" x 30"


Detail of the embroidery

RICE BAGS

I made 25 Rice bags for Christmas gifts this year.  They always seem to be a favorite, especially to non-sewers.  I used this pattern LAZY GIRL RICE BAG .   I have made it several times before, always intending to make the zipper bag, but I never got that far.
The first bags I made a few years ago had muslin for the inner liner and cotton fabric for the outer.  This year I decided to dive into my huge flannel stash and make all of them out of a double layer of flannel, which seems to retain the heat and are more snuggly.

I will admit that it took me 24 bags to get the idea of just layering the two fabrics and sewing them together as one unit.  Doing it this way saves an entire step.  I also printed out use labels onto printer fabric and zig zag stitched it 1" in on one corner of the outer bag before I sewed them.  I think that most people know how to use rice bags, but you never know.  I marked the outer bag every 2.5" with a chalk pencil and filled each section with 1/3 cup of rice.

I got 25 pound bags of rice at Sams club for less than 10 dollars.  All in all a nice, economical gift that people seem to really like.   Just an idea if you want to get started early for next year!

Keep warm!
Teri

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SLACKER AT THE END OF AN OLD YEAR

I was looking back through my posts and realize that I have only posted SIX times in 2012!!  This post makes seven.  Pretty pathetic from someone who used to be so prolific.  So what has changed?  I've pretty much given up sitting at the computer for long stretches of time reading political stuff, I seldom turn on the news anymore.  I just decided that I don't need a constant barrage of bad news.  And I decided that I would wait to blog when I felt I could do so without putting my total disappointment and cynicism out for the world to see.

Let's see, how do I sum up my year in one post?  I mostly can say that nothing exciting happens around here.  I got a new car.  A car with all wheel drive, and for the first time I realized that I wasn't scared to death driving on un -plowed roads on my way to work in the morning.  My son got married the whole first in last out applies.  He and I were always close and I miss him being around.

Did I set any goals?  Nope.  I probably won't meet them anyway.  But New Year is one of my favorite holidays because I always get a feeling that I am getting another chance to 'get it right'. 

I finished two full size quilts, and one miniature, and a lap quilt for a Christmas gift.  At the beginning of the year I hoped that I would finish my UFO's.  Mostly I re-evaluated what it is that I really want to make.  And I am going to make an effort to do so this year.  I did get some knitwear finished.  I can do that sitting in my chair with my feet up which is why I get more knitting done.  Plus, unlike quilting, it is easy to tote along and work on in the car.

As of tomorrow, a hospital that has been around more than 100 years will be no more.  This hospital has been so much a part of my life.  I was a volunteer there all through high school putting in more than 1000 hours. I had my son there.  And all-together will have worked there nearly 25 years.  It took one political party's control of congress for one session to make it so bad for healthcare that it was either sell out or close doors.  Yes.  I'm bitter.  I may be even more bitter if the new place decides they don't need us around anymore.

As far as my goals for the next year goes, I will play it by ear.  I have several (15) kits put together for quilts.  I had an idea for a red and white miniature display at a summer quilt show.. So I have to get started and make something.  Half a sleeve to go and my pullover sweater will be finished.  Other than this, I want to spend more time with my family and friends because they are all that counts in this life.

I wish for you and yours a very Happy New Year.  I hope that you have a roof over your head, food on your table, good health and lots of love!

Teri

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CHANGING HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

It seems that the older that I get, the more things change for me.  I have never been one to accept change easily. Although eventually I come around.  When I was a kid, we had enough family around that we had loud festive holidays.  Then as a teen, my father died, and as a young mother my mother died.  A couple of years later my brother and his family moved several states away, then my husbands parents and sister and family moved several states away in the other direction.  That move made Christmas hard at least for me.  But at least I had my kids and my husband so we made our own traditions.  But I got too comfortable in those traditions, because my kids grew up.  One is in the military, and this is her second Christmas in a row away from home. She has missed 5 all together in the past 8 years or so.  Now there are jobs that interfere. In laws to share with. 

My oldest was the last to leave the nest.  Although he has lived on his own for a couple of years, I could always count on him to be here on weekends and holidays especially if I told him I'd cook. ;)
But now he is also married, so this is another holiday I am having to learn to adapt.

Maybe if they all knew how desperate I was sometimes to get a little bit of what I've lost back, they wouldn't roll their eyes when I verbally wish for grandchildren.  But these days, having a grand child is no guarantee that their parents won't decide to take them half the country away chasing careers.  I truthfully don't think I could stand to have to adapt to that loss so maybe it is better that there aren't any. 

Oh well.. Christmas.  Bah Humbug. 

Tomorrow will be better.  I will get to spend it with my kids and their spouses.  And I will hug and kiss them and think about the times when I was all they had.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

THE TRAGEDY OF BEING IN THE MILITARY AT CHRISTMAS TIME.

My daughter, who is stationed in Japan, is missing her second Christmas.  It costs a lot to fly from Japan. But she doesn't look like she is suffering too much.

I'm glad that I got the blog book idea.  It will give me the push that I need to write a little something about what is going on.  Little things that don't mean a whole lot at the time, become a lot more interesting 8 years later.

And I know that none of my family ever look at my blog.  Since I'm not much of a talker, maybe they will get more of an insight about me as far as my creative streak goes.

I have a stack of rice bags calling my name. "Step away from the computer... there are only 13 days until Christmas!!!!"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

IN THE MEANTIME......

I should be sewing.  I have a bunch of rice bags to make for Christmas gifts, not to mention the actual nice, time consuming stuff that I would like to make for my friends.. I think that they will be getting them in January.  This evening, I read one of my favorite blogs TOMMY THE MATERIAL GIRL  I found Tommy through Melody Johnson's blog a LONG time ago.  She posted about how she gets books made every year of her blog posts.  I've thought about doing it for a long time.  So I got one made with all of the posts on my Miniature quilting blog.  Then I decided to look on this blog starting in July of 2005 to the end of that year.  So many things happened that year.  My husband was ill, I went to the AQS show in Paducah I think for the first time, I entered my first quilt shows, I showed step by step how I was working on a show quilt ( I don't do that any more, live and learn)  So, I got a book made with that years posts.  Better than a diary AND with photos!  It's funny, I never write a diary because I always thought it was a bad idea to put my thoughts into writing.. and here I am for the world to see for the past NINE years putting my thoughts in writing.  Of course, I'm not totally crazy. Although there are maybe too many things that I DID put into writing.. like back when I gave a crap about politics, but I have finally got past being vocal about that stuff, and hopefully, have deleted most of those posts.  I will be slowly be weeding out posts that I wouldn't want in a book.  But for the most part, it is kind of cool to see my thoughts on movies at the time, on different things that were going on in my life.  I'm really glad that Tommy has such good ideas!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

I'M BACK!!

No excuses here, Just lost the need to blog.  I wasn't really doing any quilting, so I had nothing to blog about.  But I have a friend that started inviting me out to her home to sew with her.  One or two days a month gave me the motivation that I needed to get back behind my sewing machine.
Let's see.... I will show you some of the things I have made and some of the ideas I have had since the many months that I have been here.

 

 
This is my to go box with my second set of quilting supplies.  I got the box at JoAnn's.  There are two kinds, this is the deeper of the two. I have just about everything I would ever need when I am sewing, and what I don't have, I have a pad of post it notes so I can remind myself to put the missing notion in my box for the next time.  The best thing is, having a friend who has an extra machine that is almost exactly like mine.  She has a Bernina that she works on, but she was lucky enough to win a nice Pfaff at the AQS show raffle one year, and I only have to take my project and this box, and I don't have to drag along my machine.
I finished this quilt, made with a line of Moda Fabrics called "Iced Mocha".  The pattern that came with the kit was similar, except it called for these kind of ugly windmill blocks.  I changed them to sawtooth stars. 

I finally used some of my charm collection to make this quilt. I saw something like it hanging behind someone on a quilt video, and I got out my graph paper and worked up a pattern.  I love it, although the one thing I would do different is be careful of the placement of black prints in the corners of the sixteen patch blocks because they mess up the look of the star points in those areas.  But not a big deal,  though.
I finished a couple of others, but they will be gifts, I am making rice bags right now for gifts, as always, have all year, but waited until the last minute.  Although I am farther ahead than I was last year at this point.  Hopefully, I will be spending more time updating, I hope that you will stop in sometime! 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SEWING ON A SUNNY DAY

After a very long winter it was nice to wake up to a sunny day.  I spent my morning at my sewing machine working on some ideas for quilts that I have been thinking about for some time.  I wanted to make a bow tie quilt with 4" blocks.  I have planned all along to make dimensional bow tie blocks, so I looked up a tutorial about how to do it. After making a few,I finally decided against it . 
I
At the top of the photo are the dimensional blocks sewn together.  They are okay, but they are a hard to trim to look nice, my ruler just rocks back and forth.  they are a little to fiddly for my liking.  
Enter the easy cheater bow tie .  Really easy.  Basically a 4 patch, where a small triangle is made in the corner of the two background blocks.  I guess that if you quilted a square around the center it would look fine.  
I decided to go the traditional route. I printed out templates on EQ that would make a template that was about 1/4"  larger than I wanted my block to be.  That way, I could trim to exactly 4.5". These take a little more time. set in seams, 8 steps for each block, but it has the look that I want. Plus, I can make a block out of one charm square.  I have a bunch of those, so it will be a very lively quilt. 
I am also putting an I Spy quilt together.  I have a weakness for novelty fabrics.  Admittedly, there aren't a whole lot of things you can do with them once you buy them, but I have been cutting out hexagons for a while to make an I Spy.. Yes, I know that there are easier ways to make an ISpy, but this looks really nice.  I am putting polka dot fabrics on the end of the rows that the block is trimmed.  I didn't want to trim an image that could be 'spied'.  I envision this a future child or grandchild's 'Sick Day' quilt.  Nothing would brighten a day more than a quilt with lots of things to look at. 
Finally, this year is a decade birthday for me.  I've always wanted to make myself a letter T quilt.  I decided to make mine all polka dots.  And just so you don't think that everything I do has a black background, a neutral is being used.  Although.. I DID plan on also making this a black background. When I get started really working on this I will change the thread in my machine to match the fabric.  I was just to lazy to do it for this block.  All of this to avoid quilting this miniature for an upcoming guild show.
 

  





Friday, January 25, 2013

HARRIS TWEED MINI IPAD COVER

I used this idea GADGET COVER and a Harris Tweed jacket I found at a thrift shop and made a sleeve for my mini ipad.
 I had this handmade thistle button in my button jar which was perfect.

 I put the label on the front
This was the first one that I put together.  I like the drop in the top sleeves.  I put a protective cover on the back of my ipad and just the smart cover.  I don't like adding a lot of bulk and weight to the ipad.  Kind of defeats the purpose.  A nice padded sleeve protects my ipad in my purse, and makes it easily accessible.