Monday, December 24, 2007

I know, I know!

It has been FOREVER since I posted but I have been crazy busy! I finished my part of the quilt for my mother, finished the quilt for my daughter-in-law and nearly finished my parent's quilt. It is sandwiched and ready to be quilted. Thankfully, I am not celebrating Christmas with them until 12/29 so I have a few days left to complete that.

I am in Virginia staying with my youngest son's family. When I arrived here I discovered that my darling daughter-in-law has a wonderful antique quilt on my bed sewn by her great-great grandmother when she was 12. It is made of feed sacks, shirting material and goodness only knows what else! It was pieced by machine and then quilted by a child. She signed it in pencil on on one of the squares. It is so charming and not perfect! As soon as I can lay my hands on a camera I will post a photo of it.

Anyway, this is a quick post because I am feeling guilty. I know that everyone else has lots to do and they still manage to blog so what the heck is my excuse?!

Off and running...still more shopping to do! Merry Christmas Eve!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

My building did not explode...still here. I don't smell the gas odor any longer so perhaps I AM crazy?!? Someone in my office suggested that it might have been caused by a blockage of the stack for the sewer. I don't know. I just know that I was finally able to sleep and, for that, I am extremely thankful.

I have a couple of photos here. Two are the newest blocks for the quilt along. When I put all of the squares up on the design wall I can see that the colors are really muddy. I am going to frame them all in one of the pink fabrics and hope it looks ok when I am finished. One real plus to doing this quilt is that I have discovered some new blocks that I really like. Thanks, "Crazy Mom"!

Big snow is coming this weekend. I have to go to the family cookie exchange on Saturday morning and then I am chaining myself to my sewing machine. So much to do and I am leaving for Virginia next Saturday! (Can it really be true that Christmas is only 11 days away ?!?)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I am not crazy!

It's almost 3:30am and I have been up for an hour. It wouldn't be such a bad thing if I had gotten a few more hours sleep. I went to bed at 11 after a harrowing evening. About 6pm or so, I went into my storage room to get my big cutting mat. Usually I cut over there but I have Christmas decoration boxes sitting all over my cutting table and I was too lazy to organize anything. So...I pulled the mat out from under the boxes and then realized that I smelled gas. I IMMEDIATELY freaked out! I ran upstairs to my neighbor's and asked if he had the landlord's phone number. He couldn't find it so I ran back downstairs and basically just ran in circles. A few minutes later, the GFUS brought down the number that he found. I called my landlord, told him what I smelled and he said he would be right over. There is only one place in the building where there is a gas line and that is in the boiler room next to my storage room. All of the apartments are totally electric. The GFUS brought down the key to the boiler room and we both went in sniffing. Nothing...nada...zilch. So I dragged him into my storage room and said, "Smell it?" Nope, he didn't but then he is damned near 80 and his nose probably doesn't work as well as it used to. Then my landlord arrived and he went into the boiler room and then I also dragged him into the storage room. "Smell it?" Nope. He sniffed and wandered around and I kept sniffing and would say "I smell it right here!" and he would come over, sniff and tell me he didn't smell anything. I am not crazy, people! He assured me that everything was OK, there were no lines running over or around my storage room and then he hugged me and asked if I was ok. I told him I was sorry that I dragged him out of his home for nothing. He told me to call any time I had a concern.

I STILL smell gas and I periodically smell it now in my apartment. Just a little waft. I don't know what to do so I guess I will just open up the storage room, prop open a couple of doors that lead outdoors and let the gas dissipate when the smell gets too strong. I did call my mom and tell her about the problem. I figured if the building blows up in the middle of the night, at least my mom will know why it happened and then sue the crap out of somebody!

Bottom line...I cut out the fabric for the quilt along and started sewing. I was too keyed up to sleep so I woke up after about 3 hours and turned on my sewing machine. I know there isn't any point in trying to go back to bed even though my eyes are burning. I just put on a pot of coffee so my day really begins now.

They are going to love me at work today...sleepy and cranky!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Catching up

Just a quick post to catch up on what I have been doing for the past week...

I made a wall hanging to match the new table runner, made a strip pieced Christmas stocking for my son, decorated for Christmas, started quilting on the penguins and was the hostess for my quilting group (Society of Sexy Sewing Sisters) this past Sunday for our Christmas tea.

By the end of this week I will have finished my parent's Christmas quilt, made 2 table runners for my co-workers and, hopefully, will be caught up with my block production for Amanda Jean's quilt along!

Just so no one thinks I have been laying around eating bon-bons!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Insomnia pays off...

About 3pm on Sunday, I discovered that I didn't have a Christmas table runner. I hated the way my "hidden wells" quilt top was turning out so I pulled it apart and used one of the panels to make a table runner. I woke up at 2:30am on Monday morning, started quilting it and finally finished hand stitching the binding on this morning. I joined together 4 squares from the destroyed quilt top and am going to make that a table mat for my large coffee table. I have a theme going here! I love this fabric, 3 Sisters for Moda - Mistletoe Manor. If I can just come up with a wall hanging to go with this theme, I will be a happy girl. I have a Christmas quilt that I bought in Seattle (before I knew any better!) and I have been hanging that one for many years but it really isn't my taste any longer and I can quilt WAY better than whomever quilted it for Costco!

This morning (at 3:00am) I started quilting Sally's wall hanging. The wall hanging for my mother is clipped on a hanger in my studio. I feel like the penguins are looking over my shoulder so I have got to get that one quilted and sent back to my sister for the binding application. I love tandem quilting...I do the stuff that I like and she does the handwork. I think we need to do more projects together!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Really reluctant!

I have two quilt tops basted and ready to quilt but for the life of me, I just can't get started. I have been flitting around from one thing to another all morning. Maybe just too much caffeine! I started packing up all of the autumn decor, got distracted by a box in the storage room and now I am at the computer. This may be one of my ADD days...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ta Da!

I accomplished my goal of finishing the last two blocks in Amanda's quilt along. I cut the pieces before bed last night, woke up at 1:30 and pieced the first block and then finished the other block when I woke up at 4:30. Do I need a life or what?!? I don't know if it is related to my age or my thyroid but at least when I wake up in the middle of the night I am trying to be productive.

This morning I also cut the inner border for Emily's (oldest granddaughter) quilt. I hate pieced borders on solid fabric so I cut the fabric length-wise. The only efficient way I could do it was by folding the fabric in quarters so I put a new blade in my rotary cutter and it cut beautifully. I hope it is at least reasonably straight! The last quilty thing I did this morning was cut the backing fabric for my mother's wall hanging. This is a collaborative effort for Julie and me. My mother is a penguin freak so we think she will love it. I will post photos when I have quilted it.

All this before 5:30am!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The past week is a blur...lots of preparation for the arrival of my sons and their families, lots of cooking, lots of eating and lots of shopping! It was wonderful having all of them here with me. My grandchildren are beautiful and brilliant and such a joy.

One of the things I was determined to do was finish the Pumpkin Glen wall hanging and I completed the last stitches of the binding on Wednesday morning. I am so pleased with the result. I decided to really free form quilt the panel and it honestly looks like the entire thing was pieced. Here's the completed panel and then a shot of my quilting. (Boy - do I need a decent camera or what?!?)

I am now so far behind with the "quilt along" but I am determined to cut and sew two squares tonight in order to catch up. I am feeling pretty intimidated by the number of projects I need to finish by Christmas. I think I will resolve to set aside time every month next year to work on Chrismas related projects so that I don't end up with a huge stack of things left to complete at year end. My problem is that I get distracted by something new and then I end up with 20 WIPs and I start to panic. I really wish I had some kind of self control!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quilt Along...

I'm doing the "quilt along" on Crazy Mom Quilts and finally did my block for last week (now that she has posted the block for this week!) I am using the yellow fabric as my neutral. I have had this fabric in my closet for about 2 years so I figured this would be a great way to motivate myself to do something with it!

I am anxious now to do the next square and see how that turns out!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Busy Friday & Saturday!

Here is the first of the two wall hangings from the Pumpkin Glen panel that I purchased. I am really pleased with this little one and it fits beautifully on the wall under my photo shelves. I am in the midst of thread painting the larger one and I hope to have that ready to bind by this evening.

I am trying so hard to get everything ready before the Thanksgiving feast at my place. My parents and both of my sons with their families will be here. I have a menu, recipes, a list of what food goes into which piece of china, etc. Yes, entertaining brings out the OCD in me! I want to have everything (with the exception of the turkey) prepared in advance and ready to just be re-heated on Thursday. I really would like to be able to relax and enjoy my family and not be scurrying around like a nut!

I need to get dressed, pick up my sister and head out for our mini-Shop Hop. The rest of our group is going to be running for about 8 hours to get to as many shops as they can. Since Julie is recovering from her knee surgery, we are only going to try to get to 3 shops and get her back home before she is too worn out. I am such a good big sister!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The best laid plans...

Julie and I only managed to get to two shops on Wednesday but we had a great time. I love evey opportunity I have to spend time with my sister. She is creative, talented, funny and just about the best friend anyone could ever have. Of course, I think she is damned lucky to have me, too! Anyway, this was just supposed to be a little jaunt, find a couple of fabrics to coordinate with some quilted purses she is working on and I was just going to get my Shop Hop squares and be happy with that. So much for plans! Julie found gorgeous fabrics that we had never seen and purchased fabrics that she was initially looking for but also enough to make at least 4 additional purses. She ended up getting so much that she had to reach into her wallet twice for more cash! I didn't spend quite that much but between the two shops a Ben Franklin disappeared. I swear if I find fabric that I like I just cannot tell myself "no". I am sure there is a 12-step program somewhere that I should be attending!

I saw this on a couple of other sites and I thought it was a hoot. I have the quilter's horoscope for me below:

Taurus - April 21 to May 20 - Taurus is the quilterwho always finishes a project, as they are persistent and determined. Has anyone ever SEEN my UFO pile?! When attending workshops or using a pattern they will follow every instruction to the letter. Never! They can be greedy when it comes to their stash, as they know the value of material. Got me there! They save every bit of scrap. Nope - I am a tosser of small pieces However, they are warmhearted and loving to such a degree that they have given away nearly every quilt they have ever made. I hate to part with quilts! They are gifted artists, excelling at sewing, patchwork and quilting. OK, I am pretty good with sewing machine The stitching in their quilts is of such high quality that their quilts will endure for eons. That's the goal!

You can find the rest of the quilter's horoscope here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Need a little help from my friends...

I made a little wall hanging last weekend and quilted all but the border. I want to do a leaf pattern with a vine connecting the leaves. I know that SOMEWHERE I have seen how to do know point A to B, continuous, machine stitched. I cannot for the life of me find the example. I have been drawing on paper but I know exactly what I want and I cannot draw it correctly so I know I won't be able to sew it correctly. Does anyone know where I might have seen this pattern? I have a Shirley Thompson book with quilting patterns but it isn't in there. I have been digging though magazines that I have. Not there, either. With my luck, it was in something that I borrowed from the library and returned!

I have decided not to do the shop hop this weekend. I am going to take my sister to 3 or 4 shops this afternoon (half a day off from the office - whooeee!) and then just send money with my quilting pals to pick up squares at the shops they go to on Sunday. I would not have made it to all 18 quilt shops on the hop anyway so I would be out of the running for the Janome 6600 (which I covet!)

If anyone knows the pattern that I am talking about, please let me know. I really want to finish this wall hanging and the border is crying out to be quilted!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Top complete!

I made a lot of progress on my little panel quilt. Especially considering that I ran out of fabric for the last border last night. I HAD to go look for fabric this morning :) Actually, my sister and I wanted to get started on the Eastern Pennsylvania Shop Hop and we were already a week behind so we went to a couple of shops this morning. I am going to take off half a day this week and we will be able to get to a few more. Julie has surgery scheduled for her knee next Friday so she won't be able to do the big "hop" with the rest of our quilting group next Sunday.

I managed to get away with only a few fat quarters, 1/2 a yard of fabric to finish my border and my shop hop squares so I have no guilt about my purchases today. I really am completing a lot of projects. Unfortunately, none of the ones I need for Christmas are finished. I need to stop quilting for myself and get my gifts completed...or started even!

Here's a sneak peak at the wall hanging. I know that the pieced border isn't exactly right but to do it precisely I would have had to do a lot of math and something like this doesn't warrant making my head hurt!
I think this panel is sweet and I am really looking forward to quilting it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Two more to go

I completed the table runner made from fabrics that I got in a bundle of fat quarters from Joann's. I think I like it. Finding something in my stash to use as a border was a bit of a challenge. Most of my green yardage is "sage-ish". (I make up my own words whenever necessary!) I had this piece left from the border of the quilt I did on retreat in August.

I am about half way through the Pumpkin Glen wall hanging. I pieced one of the borders and attached that yesterday morning. I am going to put another skinny border this morning before work. My plan (and you know what always seems to happen to plans) is to finish it this weekend. Originally they were calling for snow tomorrow which I would LOVE but now it looks like just rain. Either way I am going to stay in the house, make a pot of soup and a couple loaves of bread and sew...unless someone calls and needs me to go along shopping at Ladyfingers!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


I am finally back at my sewing machine again. I have had a case of the serious "blues" for a couple of weeks and I am feeling like myself again. I really wanted to sew but I just couldn't make myself do it!

Part of my "therapy" is always shopping so I picked up an inexpensive bundle of coordinating fall color fat quarters at Joann's and thought I would try the disappearing 9-patch that I read about on Helen's blog: It was fun to do and has kind of a "Yellow Brick Road" feel to it. The squares went together quickly and I now have a table runner up on my design wall. Yesterday I picked up a couple more fabrics for the borders on my harvest cheater panel (Pumpkin Glen by Kim Schaefer for Andover Fabrics). I really like the panel but I take issue with the way Andover printed it on the fabric. The cutting line for the panel is right up against a portion of the panel that is meant to be sewn. When you attach a border, it takes up part of the panel design and looks really dumb. I looked on Andover's website and they show the panel in its entirety with a border so that means that the panel was cut outside the lines. I guess you can do that when you are the working for the manufacturer but quilt shops are not going to give up portions of the panel on either side. So, I just cut the panel into sections and I will use only bits and pieces. It's annoying but it is the best solution I can find. I will have the largest portion finished tomorrow so I will post that when it is ready to be quilted.

Gotta run...I want to finish the table runner while I am on a roll!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

No quilting for me...

It's been an entire week since I posted and I have done absolutely NO QUILTING! I know, hard to believe since I have been on such a roll lately.

Biggest accomplishment in the past week? We finally got Julie's APQS Freedom SR all set up. What a task! It came in 7 big boxes that broke down to about another 8 boxes and two manuals, one of which had bad labels on the photos so that was an adventure! The table takes up nearly the length of the spring house and we moved it over to one side so that there was access across the room and there is a place where Julie can sit and relax or even still throw down her yoga mat when she needs to stretch. Probably the best part of putting it all together was that WE did it! No men were involved. Thankfully I have a nice tool box from when I was rehabbing houses out in Washington and that really came in handy. Our BFF, Pam, helped with the initial table set up and then Julie and I did the rest. This project took roughly 8 hours start to finish. APQS charges $500 for setup but the rep suggested that Julie save the money and use it to buy fabric because it wasn't that big a deal to put together. OK - maybe if you have put one together several times taking it to quilt shows and the like it isn't a biggie. For us, it was a major undertaking and we are feeling really good about ourselves and our collective mechanical ability!

I am going over there shortly to put a quilt on the rollers and give it a whirl. Julie's class is tomorrow so she will need to know if it works before she goes! Gosh, I hope it works 'cause I don't want to have to take anything apart. I told her after we had it all together that she can never move or she would have to make the long arm a part of the deal!

I am determined to finish my ugly tablemat today and put the bindings on Emily's quilt. Hope you have a productive (or at least a fun) day!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Glorious day!

I know this is supposed to be my "quilt blog" but this morning is so absolutely gorgeous that I can't begin to quilt or talk about quiting! Autumn is my favorite season. I love the colors of leaves, the smell of firewood burning, the crunch of crisp apples, and the little bit of nip in the air. This morning the sky is that incredible shade of blue that occurs when a high pressure front comes through. This is my "God color". It is the color that my mind goes to when I meditate and just looking at the sky this morning lifts my heart.

I am going for a walk up to my sister's farm and just "be". I hope you enjoy your day wherever you are!

Friday, October 12, 2007

To use or not to use?

In an effort to use up some stash, I decided to make a little table mat that would have a "fall" feeling. In a grab bag of fabric that was labeled as neutrals, I received a couple of pieces from a collection of fabric that is supposed to look like a sampler of needlework. These are not fabrics that I would choose to use for anything. However, they were here, the colors are ok and I wanted to use what I had. This may have been a complete waste of time as I really do not like the outcome. Maybe after I quilt it I will be able to stand it but right now - ick! I will probably practice some free motion feathers in the border and practice is always a good thing.

If it turns out less hideous than I think at this point, I may post a photo. If not, it may become a mat under the cat's bowl. She isn't terribly picky!

Monday, October 8, 2007

How cute is this panel? This is the first time that I bought a "cheater quilt" panel but I had to get it for my daughter-in-law (Maywood Studios fabric). They have two cats and I knew she would love it. I bought the panel back in July and just picked up the other fabrics for the borders a couple of weeks ago. Each of the border fabrics was from a different vendor but they all have a "dotted" feeling to them. I pieced the outer border while watching several movies yesterday afternoon. I am going to get really "jiggy" with the machine quilting on this one. This may be the perfect practice piece on the long arm. I'll just say a little prayer, hold my breath and let 'er rip!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I got up at 4 this morning thinking I would get an early start on the Hidden Well. Well....I made coffee, sat down at the computer to check my email, started reading blog posts and here I am nearly 2 (!!) hours later. I starting checking out other's favorite blogs and I swear it is addictive. I read the blogs of some incredibly talented women and can only dream of attaining some level of competency with my own works. I can either be intimidated, go back to bed and pull the covers over my head or get off my fanny and do something.

Off I go....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My "Happy Jack" is done. Thank goodness!

I went shopping today with a couple of the women in my quilting group. Nothing like a sale to get the blood pumping! I confessed that I had been to the quilt shop the day that the sale started so this was really a second trip but certainly worth the time. I found backing and borders for a wall hanging, added a couple of batiks to my growing collection and picked up a lovely Nativity pattern that I saw when I was scanning their website a couple of weeks ago. I am not foolish enough to think I will get that done before Christmas this year but it will certainly be a goal for next year.

I am anticipating a really quiet day tomorrow so I think I will finish the Hidden Well quilt top and put the first border on Emily's quilt. I would really like to have that one finished when she gets here at Thanksgiving. So much to do and so little time!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I'm Trying...Really!

Lest someone think I have been goofing off...I am working on "Happy Jack", a Halloween wall hanging (Pieces from My Heart). I used mostly fabric from my stash (took a couple from my sister's stash) and did my own thing. I didn't like the way the pattern showed the mouth as it looked kind of sinister to me and not happy at all. I added a couple of leaves for a little more interest and free motion embroidered some vines. I am never one to use a pattern as I find it. All was going well until I started machine quilting a loopy meander just outside the pumpkin. I broke two needles in about five minutes and cannot figure out what's causing it to happen. If I had more energy I would go get "the big dog" and try quilting on that machine. I am going to try again tomorrow morning and see what happens. If I break another needle I will use my ancient, trusty Singer.

And some people wonder why I need 4 sewing machines!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I think I am going to run to three or four quilt shops today. I need a piece of fabric to finish my mom's Christmas quilt, one more batik for the table runner I am teaching (!) at the next meeting of S4 and I need fabric to work on Sally's Christmas wall hanging. I am going to do a small inner border on that and then piece the outer border. I really should wait until next week to shop since Quilter's Palette is having a monster sale next week. Maybe I will hold off on the batik until then. They have a fabulous assortment of Hoffman Bali's (my favorites).

I really am in the mood to sew but not in the mood to cut. I need to find someone who really likes to rotary cut and trade a service. Anyone want to cut and I'll bake you bread?!

Friday, September 28, 2007


I zipped over to Joann Fabric after work and picked up a walking foot (gotta use that 40% coupon!) so that I could finish the wall hanging, a variation of a McCall's pattern M5202. Thankfully, all of my sewing machines have a short shank so it is easy to get feet that will fit everything across the board.

I used a couple of different variegated threads which I think shows up in the photo. I love the one I used on the border. It has all the colors of fall leaves. I did a fairly tight stipple around the appliques and in the frames. I did a loopy meander on the portion surrounding the embroidered lettering and also on the border.

I decided I wasn't going to bed last night until it was finished so I am dragging this morning. I was really hoping that Julie would call and cancel on going to the gym but no such luck! Gotta go get my shoes on!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm Gonna Snap...

Two broken needles later, I discovered that my walking foot is broken. Grrrr! I tried anchoring the inner borders using my regular foot and it looks like crap. I really wanted to get this little stinking wall hanging done early this morning. Since I signed up for some crazy challenge at my sister's gym I am getting up now at 3:30am (!) so that I have time to sew before I meet her at 5:30. What the hell was I thinking?

To make matters worse, the compressor for my central air conditioning just conked out, the temperature is going to be close to 90 today and HUMID and my sewing studio already is starting to feel very "sauna-ish". (When necessary I make up my own words!) Oh, yeah - throw a couple of hot flashes in there because I am stressed.

Would a shot of Kalua in my coffee this morning really be wrong?...

Monday, September 24, 2007

It is what it is...

Jen (, gave me an idea on how to hide the irregularity in my little green points on the Hidden Wells quilt but I decided to take my sister's suggestion instead. I am sashing between the long rows with the green fabric to match the points. If it really looks crappy this quilt will become a tree skirt. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. To quote my friend and fellow quilter, Wendy, "it is what it is". I'll post a photo when I finally get around to working on it again.

I missed a day of work feeling under the weather today so I did some handwork on a little wall hanging I started about a year ago. I have it sandwiched and have started machine quilting it. I have a wall space where I hang small seasonal quilts and I needed something for the fall. I hope to finish it tonight and then I will post a photo.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I managed to get all of my squares sewn together into strips. My points are damned close to perfect, I love the pattern and the colors are, well, they are "my" colors. Anyway, when I started to put the strip sets together I was not a happy gal. The points on the larger strips match up really nicely but where the smallest ones touch they look horrible. I am going to rip it out and try again but if I cannot get it lined up I think I may end up sashing. I hate to do that to the design but everytime I look at the green points my head starts to hurt!

Now, where will I find more of the pink fabric? I really hope someone locally has it...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Quilting Today with S4!

The fabric that I ordered to finish the Hidden Wells quilt arrived on Friday so after work I started on the last block. As I was hanging it on the design wall, I had an "ah ha!" moment and realized that I had been putting every other block together incorrectly. The wells were all there but the outlying territory was wrong! Thank goodness I saw the error of my ways before I started sewing the blocks together! Saturday morning I was up at the crack of dawn and started sewing. About mid-way through the morning I ran my nephew up to the high school for football practice and as I was turning the corner, my car cut off. My first thought was that I was out of fuel but the info screen said I had enough for another 63 miles of driving. Long story short, I left my car (on which my warranty expired only a few months ago) and the dealership will give me an estimate on Monday. I am afraid I will not be buying any fabric again for a while!

Needless to say, the car ordeal took up a lot of my time so I didn't get as much done on the quilt as I wanted but it is a perfect project to take along today. I don't remember anyone else in the group doing this pattern so I am sure there will be lots of questions. I have several things for "show and tell" since I have been sewing so much. Usually I feel like such a slacker!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Late Night Quilting??

I have been sewing like a crazy woman which necessitates that I have to do some cutting. I am working on a quilt using the "Hidden Well" pattern. I think I will actually turn this into my Christmas tree skirt but that completely depends on how pretty this thing turns out. If it is really beautiful I will probably display it for the holidays. Anyway, I cut and sewed the strip sets, spray starched them so that they wouldn't distort too much during cutting and then started cutting. The first cut is 9.5" so I had to use two rulers to make accurate cuts. Things were going along really well until the last strip. I evened up the strip, laid out my ruler and cut. Something didn't look right. Yep, I cut it at 8.5.

"Ok, don't panic", I thought. I have enough fabric to make another strip set except for one piece. (I am using a Moda holiday fabric from last year, Mistletoe Manor. I bought the fabric on sale in Maryland about six months ago but I thought that surely someone somewhere would have a piece I could buy.) So, off to the internet. There is ONE shop that had the paisley berry colored fabric and they only had one yard left. I paid a freaking fortune for a yard but at least I know I will be able to finish.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I have made a bad cut late at night. Lesson learned...cut in the morning, sew at night.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Word to the Wise

I have been sewing nearly non-stop since Friday night. I don't know what came over me but I think it might have a lot to do with the sheer volume of stuff I want to finish before Christmas. Anyway, with all the sewing and piecing and quilting, I have found myself in front of the ironing board many times. You will note that above I said I have been sewing non-stop. That means that as soon as I got up or got out of the shower, I was back in front of either the sewing machine or the ironing board. Here's the "word to the wise" - DO NOT (I repeat) DO NOT iron naked! 'Nuff said...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Last night I stitched the binding onto the tablerunner that I made for my sister's cabin, Bear Hollow. The piece is only about 40" x 14" but it took me nearly two hours to put the binding on. Because of the arthritis in my left thumb every 5 or 6 stitches I have to stop, stretch my hand and then pick up the project again. Drives me crazy! Anyway, the important thing is that another project is completely finished. Yay!! I think I will start on one of my many Christmas projects when I get home from work tonight.

My sister and I went to the new quilt shop on Saturday. The shop is very tiny and the quilt fabric selection is limited. I wasn't surprised by this as I know start up costs in opening a shop are pretty high, however, I am not sure why there are at least 20 bolts (taking up a lot of space) of polar fleece in the shop. You can pick up fleece at Joann Fabric. I like independent quilt shops because they generally carry a "better" line of fabric. The owner and helpers were relatively friendly but I certainly did not get a warm and fuzzy feeling of welcome. I registered for the door prize drawings. When I got home from work on Tuesday I saw that someone from the shop had called me twice. I can only assume that I won a prize. It was too late to get someone at the shop so I called, left a message on their answering machine and left my cell number so that they could call me on Wednesday. phone call to the cell and no phone call to my house. Now I am annoyed. If no one calls by today, I am going to put this shop on the bottom of my list!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I am just so pleased with myself! Not only did I finish the quilt top, I also cut out, quilted and bound a table runner for my Mom's birthday.

I love to make this table runner. It is perfect if you need to take a hostess gift somewhere or need a gift in a hurry. I use a focus fabric for the center, add narrow borders of a coordinating fabric and then put on an outside border. Sometimes I leave it rectangular and other times I have trimmed it into a point at either end as I did this one. Because it goes together so quickly, I can take a little time and do some decent machine quilting. I meadered the center and outer border and did a tight stipple on the black borders. I wish now I had pressed it before I took a photo. The edges really are not rippled but look that way in the photo.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

OMG! I sat down last night with quilt top and borders in hand, attached two strips and began pinning the top border. Suddenly, I realized that the strip in hand wasn't long enough. OK, deep breath...I can just put corner blocks into the mix. Nope...can't do that. I gave away my left over pinwheels! Next thought, make 4 more pinwheels with my own fabric. Great idea! Slight problem...I need a special angle tool to cut the rectangles that are part of the pinwheel and I don't have that angle template. Bottom line is that the quilt top STILL isn't done. There is only one thing left to do. Shop!

There is a new quilt shop opening just down the highway today. My sister and I were planning on going there anyway to check it out so now I will actually have a real reason to stop in. It will just be my luck that they won't have the piece of fabric that I need so I will end up at Burkholder's anyway.

I do need to make a gift for my mother's birthday so that will be my project this morning. I need to dig through my stash to complete that project. Wanna bet I won't have just the right fabric?!

Friday, August 31, 2007

I lied. I didn't finish the quilt top last night. I ended up ripping out stitches repeatedly. I love sharing fabric with the gals in the Society of Sexy Sewing Sisters but I am not crazy about sharing sown blocks. Strangely, not everyone apparently measures 1/4" seam the same way! Because I sashed the blocks, the grid had to line up at least reasonably closely so it took FOREVER to get everything straight. I got the first outer border on and the second is cut and sitting by my machine. When I get home tonight I will put on the last border and start pinning. I really want to have this thing totally finished by Sunday. I still have to make something for my mother's birthday on Monday. Nothing like a little pressure to keep the blood pumping!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I am determined today to finish the quilt top from the retreat at Bear Hollow this past weekend. We shared blocks at the retreat and the original plan was to turn them into a quilt using the "Barn Raising" pattern. Never one to leave well enough alone, I turned mine into pinwheels and then sashed them. I ran out of fabric (I know! How can that be?!) so I had to wait until I returned home to get some that matched the sashing. I cut strips last night and started sewing but still have a long way to go. Since we used "fall" colors for the exchange, I also found a beautiful piece of fabric at Burkholder's for the border. Instead of blogging, I should have cut that this morning. If I really rush, I can get ready for work and still have time to drag out the rotary cutter and mat.

I will post a photo of the FINISHED quilt top tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I am contemplating the condition of my quilting studio...I think the whole fabric stash thing in here is totally out of control. It will take me YEARS to sew all the fabric that I have collected so far and I just keeping adding to the stash. What is it about fabric that makes every bit of sense I have fly out the window when I see a bolt with colors or design that attract me? I love the feel of fabric. I love the way it smells. I love looking at a piece of fabric and imagining it in a quilt. My goal this week is to finish the quilt top from the retreat by Friday and start quilting over the weekend. I am going to exhibit some semblance of self-control and refuse to purchase any additional fabric until I have the quilt bound and complete. The big quilt show is Harrisburg is next weekend. More fabric, more quilts for inspiration...
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