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?!
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