Friday, April 30, 2010

Quilting Marathon, anyone?

I have been able to sneak in a little bit of quilting Wed. and Thurs. evening this week---Deer Camp (March's UFO task) WILL see a finish either tonight or tomorrow.

...with loads of quilts awaiting borders and quilting right behind it.....

Therefore---I have decided NOT to travel down to my parent's this weekend for the annual "Rummage around Stratford" weekend; 100's of garage sales around the town my parents live in.

Instead---I'm devoting my weekend (or MOST of it) to quilting!!!! Anyone up to the same this weekend??? Wanna join me???

Another project screaming at me from the back burner is Hannah's Rotation. Award's Day is looming closer and closer, and I'm not sure this baby is gonna make it on time.... Boy, I need a magic wand for this one!

And as badly as I want to jump right into yet ANOTHER new project....I just C-A-N-N-O-T!
But here is a snapshot of the pattern my SIL choose for her "floofy" quilt....
and the fabric selection....

I feel so lazy right now though---I don't know if I'll get downstairs to some quilting tonight.

And have you seen!?!!?!? Amanda Jean (CrazyMomQuilts) is back! Talkin' about a motivator!!! I don't know how she does it all!

Okay---the girls just put in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" {{Cassie ADORES the "original"---specially the Oompa-Loompas}}, so I either need to mosey downstairs right away, or I'll be 'sucked' into the movie!!!

Happy Friday!

9:30 pm update
I was doing SO WELL with the Deer Camp quilting. Then......brown thread ran out. I am completely EMPTY of any shade of brown.....
I guess I need to make a quick run to town tomorrow so I can finish it up and get it off the frame. In the meantime, I cut some borders for American Classic, which will be the next quilt to be loaded in the frame.

Again, Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time needs to slow down!

It's Wednesday night already!
Monday was shot with unpacking from the long weekend...
Last night was terrible because a nasty head cold took over my body and I felt like doing NOTHING...
Tonight---I sure hope to see some quilting time

I'm trying to not allow Angela to "get to me"---yeah, she's already gloating at the three weeks (THREE WEEKS!!!!) that she has left of the school year. WOW! Where has this school year gone???

We'll be there soon enough----5 weeks for us (3 for seniors)


Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday morning ramblings...

Gosh, for a day I could actually sleep in, I was up at 5:40 a.m. wide awake. I've been out catching up on everyone's weekend and figured I might as well drop in a few words myself.

I finished sorting through my magazines; ended up keeping 5 magazines and 42 patterns that were torn out and placed in page protectors in a binder. I will be giving the magazines with patterns torn out to my MIL, maybe later today after the funeral.

I haven't mentioned yet the reason I'm staying at my parents through today (Monday.) My grandmother ('real' Dad's mother) passed away last week. I hadn't seen her in a long time, and I think Dad was quite surprised when I said I would be there, but she's Grandma.

My Dad comes from a family of 18; (my Mom from a family of 16). They divorced when I was 2 years old, and as I grew older, I would often joke about "golly--imagine if we were to put together a reunion involving both my 'real' parents---it'd be half the town!"

I usually don't care to read too many obituaries; too blah and boring and factual--rare is it when an obituary gets written like this one: Grandma. I just found it more personable; almost as if you didnt' know her, you truly got a sense of what type of person she was. Of her 18 children, 14 are still live, with 46 grandchilden, 62 great-grandchildren and 20 great-great-grandchildren. With numbers like that, I'm sure you can well imagine the scene at last night's wake. At one point, many of us joked about needing name tags with the family-tree written on it (ie: Amy, youngest daughter of Ron, 3rd oldest boy of Mary(Grandma))

So---the household is waking up, and I suppose I can hand the laptop over to hubby to check out his online game status (I think it's called Evony??). {{I think he's going through withdrawal}} LOL

Happy Monday everyone

Sunday, April 25, 2010

At the Parent's

Hanging out at the parent's house this weekend; we're up and at'em, watching Sunday morning cartoons rigt now; Candace cuddled in next to me in "Grandpa's recliner" and Grandpa is stuck over in "Grandma's glider" while Grandma is on the couch cuddled next to Caitlyn. DH is also on the couch; cuddling with no one :0)

I didn't bring a quilting project, per se. I kinda sorta did, though.
Before leaving the house, I packed up every quilting magazine I could find in a box and threw 'em in the car. Two big boxes full. Yesterday, I started sifting through one box; going through each magazine; ripping out patterns that I HOPE to someday make and organizing them into a binder with sheet protectors (small purchase while shopping at Walmart yesterday). So far, I have gone through one box; half of the magazines are on the "toss" pile (since patterns were removed from them), while they other half are on the "sell on ebay?" pile (since I didn't take a single pattern from it). OH---there are only THREE so far that I have kept whole and will be keeping for myself because they have more than 2 patterns in them that I would be interested in making. LOL. Thank goodness I'm young and have YEARS ahead of me to make all these projects!!! I bought the smaller package of sheet protectors (50), so I DO have a limit.....

On the ride down to my parents, I worked on the May BOM files. I can promise you one thing: all three blocks are nice-n-easy this month!!! Watch for them Thursday or Friday evening....

Yesterday, I also dragged my SIL to Hancock Fabrics because she has requested a quilt in blues and browns. We all know how many blue hues there are, right??! I wan't about to try to figure out her colors, so she needed to come and pick them out. Sorry, but pics will need to wait until I'm back home because I don't want to tinker to try to a) uploads pics to Dad's computer, and b) I don't want to WAIT for the pic to upload to Blogger {{my parents SERIOUSLY have to get something other than dial-up!}}

Then, when we arrived back "home," I had her sift through my quilting magazines to see if she saw a pattern she liked. That poor girl! She's not a quilter, and so when she started seeing all the cutting and piecing, etc... she commented "Gosh--I've never really observed patterns before. I just want something 'floofy'."

Well--THAT comment helped me immensely! She will not want cotton batting---too heavy. She will not want a fancy pattern with lots of seam---too heavy. She will not want lots of quilting done---to stiff and heavy.

SO---we found a LOVELY simply pattern; big square blocks with some smaller strips of sashing...{{again, pic to come later}}'s almost 8:00 am, coffee is done and the powdered-sugar donuts are calling my name!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Yup---she's a keeper!

Some ladies name their machines and frames----that isn't quite up my alley. "she" fits just fine for my frame....
and one thing is for sure....

I LOVE HER! {{even if I need to 'jimmy' 'er up a lil' bit}}
I don't even know what this thing is---I think it was a piece from Cassie's weave/loom thingy for making pot holders. Together with a little painter's tape, and I had a make-shift stylus. I DO think I'll be ordering the laser-light from Grace.....{{shrug}}....we'll see....

Leapin' Lizards sees a finish, and is the first official quilt to be completed on my new setup.
I am becoming very fond of "unique" backings! This was a fun lil' back to piece using some of the extra 'cut off' pieces from the top.

Going from memory (my book is downstairs)...I think this panto is called "yoyo."

Family and I are heading out for my parent's tomorrow AM for the weekend, through Monday, frame-time for me this weekend. I am thinking of packing up a project or two, however....

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My first panto...

I'm in love...

Just remember my comment the other day....
"quilting is an art, and I'm no artist"....


Give me a pattern to follow with a jimmied-up stylus (pic will come tomorrow of that rig--LOL), and I'm feeling like I can actually make some nice looking designs.... I can't remember the name of this panto---it was in a quilting book from Cheryl Barnes of

I feel like I'm ready for a "real" quilt---one that won't go much further than family members :0) And then....maybe the Quilts for Kids???

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

She's up-n-running and has seen the 'virgin stitch'

Oh boy
Please repeat after me....

First of all....I only needed to spend about another hour to hour-n-half setting up the frame and carriage for a total of 5.5-6 hours of assembly. Not bad, I guess......
There were some frustrating parts...
a) the hardware sent for the "carriage upgrade" didn't match the directions. It appears they substituted in similar hardware, which I figured out after scratching my head for ten minutes wondering what to do. It was too late to get to town, NOR did I want to run to town to get some 10mm screws of some sort.
b) the base of the carriage (a plastic part) is cracked something fierce ;0( I shrugged it off for now because if still seemed functional, but I will have to contact the company about getting a replacement.
c) the new carriage upgrade doesn't have a stylus like the original did!! :0( I went online and see they have a $50 laser for the newer upgrades.....hmpf....not sure if I'm okay with them no longer including some form of stylus yet or not.
d) installing the leaders. Thank GOODNESS I had done my research prior to the arrival of the frame; I made my leaders last week. But it appears that the first time the fabri-fast system is used, it needs to get "broken in." {{kinda like a new pair of sandles---it takes awhile to get them fitting just right}} My thumb and fore-finger are still tender trying to struggle, fight, force, coerce the plastic tube into place.

But, finally, a finished product.

Then it came time to play....
which lead to a few other minor frustrations...
a) The initial turning-on of machine using the Speed Control. I didn't realize it was set to full-bore, by the time I got to the "kill switch", I had an annoying nest of thread under the plate that didn't want to BUDGE! It probably took a good 15 minutes to fight all the thread in the nooks and crannies in, around, under the plate.
b) the little sampler I loaded on the frame had too small of a backing, so I kept "bumping" into the side clamps... Lesson learned: at LEAST 2" of backing extra on each side {{JUST like all LA'ers are always requesting}}.
c) and, of course, tension. But......even though this isn't the best picture, if you zoom into the right side the pic, the tension finally got figured out. My side clamps were too tight.

I am very much looking forward to a full night of play and learning tomorrow night. Some of you keep joking about the illness you all think will suddenly succumb me {{cough-cough}}, but this has been one weird week and I really need to be in my classroom. I contemplated taking a personal day of Friday, but haven't 100% decided either way. It WOULD be an easy day for a sub; working on a project and tests, but......I just took a personal day last week. So....I can make it. Besides, I need to head to my parent's this weekend, so.....{{shrug}}....I am learning patience. :0)

Motto: "Change is always hard."
This will be my motto for the next month; I can't say anything bad yet about the frame and Juki combo because I haven't had anywhere near enough time to break it in. I have to jump on the band-wagon of other quilters who say..."it will take practice before it becomes comfortable and 2nd nature." As bad as I want to simply snap my fingers and I'll be an amazing quilter that makes you drool with envy......LOL....yeah.....Ain't happening yet!!!!

And's 11:00, and I'm beat. My back is sore and I'm exhausted.
looking forward to playing again tomorrow evening.

Happy Wednesday

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

11:00 pm---ummm....takin' a break?

....allllllll the pieces......
....inventoried, and ready to start!

....a little progress, but slow going.....

....even more "putzy" slow going..... I think I know why they say 2-5 hours!!!!! If I ONLY would have set this up at crib size, it wouldn't have been so bad----but....psht! Ya GOTTA go the whole King-size set up right away!!!

HEY! A productive hour!!!

....and I spoke too soon! I hit the "coupler" step and hit a stand still. Seriously---each rail (that'd be four) needs 12 screws for each segment (so that's 48), BUT....then repeat all that again for the 2nd coupler to go from Queen to King...... 96 screws!!!!
It's getting late, am I will make a smart choice! I'm going to bed and will finish this tomorrow night. I think the rails alone will take an hour; then they need to be mounted, then the carriage needs piecing......

........maybe another two hours??? (that would be 6 total hours)....

well, that's my goal anyway.

'nite everyone.

5:40 PM----it's here!!!

Yeah---our UPS guy delivers late....'s here
{{no comment on those sexy boots of DH's}}

PERFECT TIMING! Dinner is finished and table is cleaned up....

Ice cream cones are almost eaten....
{{yeah, B-U-Ti-FUL out today!!!!! The brown-shorts came out}}

Taking my last bites of ice cream as I type----and then....I'm off!!!!
The paperwork says 2-4 hours of assembly...
I'll keep you posted....


Oh no....

I WILL stay optimistic
I WILL stay optimistic

6:40 AM

no "Out for Delivery" comment like last time....

I WILL stay optimistic
I WILL stay optimistic

Monday, April 19, 2010

Very observant Linda & Candace :0)

Yes ladies---you both guessed correctly. Those pieces are for the Ohio Star block.

Linda, you even took it to the next level by searching through the exact book I listed....
{{for those of you with the book, I snuck another hint to Linda by saying the other two blocks for May are shown on the very first page of patterns}} ;0)

The Ohio Star block we will be creating is what **I** know as the traditional Ohio Star....

But here's a tidbit of information....Do a GOOGLE of "Ohio Star," and you'll see pics of this type of Ohio Star as well (which is the Ohio Star listed in Maggie Malone's book)

Then again, you could always have some fun with a variation of the traditional Ohio Star block as well.....

That one actually looks kinda fun....'s 7:10; almost time to shoosh the girls off to bed. Then......quilting??? Hmmm...I suppose I could try to tackle another Hannah's Rotation block ((crinkling nose)). Hmmm....I IS a "Castle" night at 9:00.....
Okay---for those of you who watch the show.....who is that blonde in the picture?!?!??????? I have NO idea and don't remember seeing her.

OH!!!! AND!!!!!!............ is showing my package in the southern part of the state. It should be arriving safely tomorrow!!!!! And DH will be home with the day off, so....PERFECT!!!!!
{{I told him NOT to start putting it together}}! LOL

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quilting is an art----{{am I'm NO artist!!!}}

You have my permission to crinkle your nose, shake your head, or even giggle (which is what I'm doing)

I was tired of piecing with the Bernina---so tired....
so, I plugged in the Juki and played.
HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She's FAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTT! I only played with her quilting-wise last week, but tonight, I tried piecing with her. HOLY BUCKETS! Now I guess I know what 1500 stitches-per-minute mean! I wonder what the Bernina does. {{no where NEAR 1500! That's for sure!}}

Well, I needed another bag-holder-stuffer thing: {{Moda Grocery Bag dispenser pattern}} So, I pulled out some blah-blah fabrics and speed-pieced this thing!

Then I played with the quilting...
I have been watching LOTS and LOTS of Youtube videos, waiting patiently for the blessed delivery of the GMQ-PRO (Tuesday is getting closer!!!) Anyway....I tinkered.....

...ummmmmm....yeah......feathers look A LOT easier to make than what they actually are......

....But I guess if there is ONE piece of advice that I WILL NOT {{NOT, NOT, NOT}} FORGET.....

Quilting is like writing.....

Look at a Kindergartner's writing vs. a Senior in high school (or even a 3rd grader)....

It takes practice for it to become 2nd nature and looking good....

So.....tonight was fun....
but ....

...definitely NOT pretty! :0)

Happy Sunday Night!

BOM guess? Jade's Hearts & Hannah's Rotation; Stash Report 4/12 - 4/18

May is right around the corner, so I spent the morning today piecing together and taking pics of the three May BOM's. All of the blocks come from Maggie Malone's book...
{{see that green $1.00 price tag??? LOVELY garage sale find!!!!}} ...I'll share more information (copyright, etc) once the May blocks are posted. ALL of the May blocks are easy-peasy :0) Whew......(only one is kinda putzy)

Wanna play a guessing game?...
...These are the pieces for one of the May blocks. Dare to take a gander at what the block is??? [[4 white squares, 1 blue square, and 8 each of red and white QST's]]

I also laid out the blocks from January - April...
...(I snapped a pic of the progress from January - May too, but I can't give away the guessing game) ;0)

Hannah's Rotation saw some machine time today after being guilted into it this past week. I informed Hannah that I realllly didn't know if this quilt was going to get finished in time, but she looked at me and said..."do you know how long it took me to color that?" **sigh** She's right! She put the time in to create a beautiful design---I can put the time in to make it come to life. I have decided to move it to the Leader-Ender task---these blocks are soooo putzy! I have another full month before I need to worry about having the top pieced in order for me to have time to quilt it before the "big reveal" at the end of May. The good news: because of the rotational symmetry, I'm making two blocks at a time, both identical to each other. So, even though it only looks like 6 blocks are pictured, there are actually 12.

Jade's Hearts also saw some progress. The quilt is half complete, but these "heart" units are going to take some time because of all the pieces. I've decided to complete them one row at a time...
...the top row of the 9 remaining blocks are currently chained under the foot right now.

As bad as I wanted to burn through some border fabric of Steppin' Out, Pineapple Blossom, American Classic and Shades of Green to make this week's Stash Report look better, it simply didn't happen. Oh well----next week???

Stash Report: April 12 - April 18
Used this week: 5.916 yards
Purchased this week: 27.5 yards (mostly border fabrics)
Used-to-date 2010: 103.272 yards
Purchased-to-date 2010: 113.75 yards
Net used: -10.478 yards
{{uh-oh! Back in the red}}

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sat. morning update...

First----Paul caught me "studying" online the other night and snapped a picture. I didn't even realize it until I uploaded pics to the computer.... Anyone dare to guess what I was "studying" on YouTube??? ;0)

Last night, I pulled out my Shades of Green top that was started LAST March! I had intentions of finishing it by quilting it in sections, but .... that I'll have a frame (how far away is TUESDAY!?!?!?!), I pulled out the three sections and started piecing them together.
I needed to halt when getting to the borders, because I didn't have my original-planned border fabric anymore, so I needed to go shopping. {{yeah, Helper-Caitlyn couldn't resist posing}}

Since I needed fabrics for Black/Red Pineapple Blossoms and Steppin' Out and American Classic, and now Shades of Green, it was time to go shopping!!!

I choose THREE fabrics to use as a triple border for Shades of Green, bought some red for Pineapple Blossoms, some different "starry" red for American Classic,, an AMAZING fosil-fern (sp??) fabric for Steppin' Out, and OF COURSE....a few odds-n-ends in the form of FQ's ("shirtings" and some red/blues for the BOM). I also picked up some lovely double-pinks and pink paisley, in addition to a blue (reminds me of civil wars, but not quite sure since I've never really researched them)....And to finish it off, 10 yards of white (not pictured). I just LOVE LOVE LOVE quilts that use white in the background-----ANY color matches!

The only sewing I've accomplished so far is so put together a pillow for Cassie's horse latch-hook that she finished up last weekend. Simple pleasures..........she hasn't stopped hugging it.

So---we've had an early lunch and I'm back off to downstairs.
The house is a mess
Laundry is piled
Dishes are piled....

I sense a huge multi-task frenzy......but not now.

Maybe tomorrow?????

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A quilt-TOP-in-a-day {{almost}}; Stash Report

The day started rather normal; browse around internet to catch up on blogs.....
And seeing Alycia's blog update this morning, I was {{sorta}} guilted motivated into digging into my box of 2" red/blue/white strips I've been collecting for the past couple of months. Afterall, I DID have a goal in JANUARY to get a top/quilt made for Alycia's No Soldier Forgotten 2010 challenge. Almost eight hours later---a top {{minus one more little border}}. I need it just a wee bit larger; currently it's 56"x76". Name: American Classic

Update from yesterday... Steppin' Out rows were sewn together and now awaits a shopping spree; I simply don't have ANYTHING in my stash that is batik-ish enough to use for borders.

I kind of looked around the sewing space to see what to work on next. TRUST ME---I have plenty of projects lying around....

I pulled out Deer Camp {{which, BTW, was finished last month and will await my frame for quilting}}. I dug around to see if I had some appropriate fabric to use as a backing. Lo-n-behold, I found JUUUUUST enough of this brown to use {{see it hiding behind the top???}} It will be tight!!! There's barely 1-2" hang-over on each side, 'cept the top.

Mid-day yesterday, Cassie came marching down the stairs and said "here ya go Mom! Surprise!" I guess she had drawn up a "plan" for a chair and asked Dad if he would be willing to help her make it. Graciously, he did. And as in most designs, plans were altered; the back-rest was left off; the chair seat was prettily "sculpted". And of course, as any proud mama, I accepted it with hugs. I'm actually thinking of doing a simply upholstering to it for the girls to have a little "bench: to sit on when hanging downstairs with me. I actually considered using it as a little pressing table for next to my sewing table, but it's just too short :0(

I did not report my stash last week {{yet again!}}, so I'll report both weeks right now...
Stash Report: March 29 - April 4
Used this week: 2.431 yards
Purchased this week: 0 yards
Used-to-date 2010: 89.512 yards
Purchased-to-date 2010: 86.25 yards
Net used: 3.262 yards

Stash Report: April 5 - 11
Used this week: 7.844 yards
Purchased this week: 0 yards
Used-to-date 2010: 97.356 yards
Purchased-to-date 2010: 86.25 yards
Net used: 11.106 yards

Saturday, April 10, 2010

WIP and UFO morning

I need floor space-----

therefore, the Black/Red Pineapple Blossom, which is taking up ALL my floor space, needed my attention this morning
Some of us have admitted to NOT being "border people." I typically place myself in that category, but... this border just seemed to keep evolving and I kept adding another piece and another strip.....
The quilt top is too large to really get a good shot from my sewing's NOT completely done, but will have to be set aside until I find time to get to town and buy some black fabric for the final "put-the-finishing-touch-on" border.

And you'll notice---it's all sewn together----not in pieces! I will NOT be quilting this in sections----I'm still very much looking forward to the arrival of my quilting frame and keeping myself busy until the final blessed day arrives.

Then my Steppin' Out - dyed came to the forefront----why? Because I need shelf space too!!! These blocks have kept the dust off my shelf for the past year; it's about time they see some action...
My 16-patch blocks were pieced this morning; the "arrow" blocks were already complete from awhile ago...

As I began laying out blocks, I sadly realized-----"POOP! I made a mistake!!!"
My directions say I need 18 of these "diagonal" half-blocks, all the same.


I need 9 each of these "MIRROR IMAGE DIAGONAL" blocks. After a few moments of seam-ripping and resewing, back to the layout I went. Sometime later today I'll have to update my tutorial, fixing this mistake!!!

Two rows have been sewn, then I needed to take a break to get lunch buzzer just dinged. Lunch is ready------I'll update later on tonight....