Sunday, November 30, 2008


I'm sitting here, stuffed again, feeling sluggish, and wondering why I ate so much! My ham is pretty much used up, except for the bone, wisely put in the freezer for potato soup another day, and I have beans and ham simmering on the stove, and have made corn bread for supper. Life is good.

Incidently, the beans were a gift from my LQS! Hey, the farmers grow beans around here! It's nice to live in such a friendly community.

Shirt Quilt #2 -- Yeah - DONE, and I can start another project. This is all washed (to eliminate water soluble basting thread) and crinkly, complete with my label, and YES, I like it as well as Shirt Quilt #1. Amazing how friendly those old shirt plaids are. This one is about 65" x 75" - a generous lap/nap size. I left the pocket unquilted.

I left the sashing unquilted until after all the blocks were quilted, and ran into some problems with puckers and pleats. Next time I will be sure to quilt them at the same time as the block quilting. However, no one is going to find them -- I just know they exist.

Below is what I thought was the perfect plan for quilting the blocks, but no matter what I did, I could NOT follow this! Practiced on paper, practiced on my MagnaDoodle, drew arrows on the stencil to help my brain, and even drew it out on the block, but the drawing got more complicated because I had to draw in both blue and in chalk. Finally gave it up and will attribute failure to a Senior Brain. Almost every block is quilted with a different pattern - good practice. Most of them are 'O.K', there is one ringer, and a couple are done brilliantly!

Saturday I visited my LQS and came home with this book. Hey, they give me a nice discount - I gotta buy something as a visit is worth a therapy session (so I've heard!) The author gives numerous practical drawings/quilting designs, where to start, where to end, etc. I'm enjoying this book, and have already figured out one previously confusing pattern.
It's good to be sewing again!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Still quilting along

This is STILL my same project, Mission Shirt Quilt #2, and it is as pleasant to make as Mission Shirt Quilt #1. I only purchased the sashing fabric - the rest is from scraps from shirts I've made, or Mission Store Shirts purchased at 50 cents each. Yes, that's a shirt label in the first photo. I had the backing fabric already, a green/tan small check that hides stitches very well.
It's difficult (for me) to come up with an all-over quilting design, when you have blocks and sashing and side and corner setting triangles, so ... in my infinite wisdom (actually, it's my inability to concentrate on ONE thing!) I decided to use A LOT of designs! Almost every block is different, as are the side setting triangles. I did feathers, and wispy weeds, swirls, stipples, water, leaves, teardrops, and vines/hearts. Great practice! I'm working on sashing now ... what to quilt? what to quilt? Probably a leaf on a vine but ... time will tell. The Flying Geese border is almost done and now I need to find the binding fabric around here somewhere. (My lost Flying Geese never appeared.)

Any odd almost-straight lines you see are my water-soluble basting thread stitches that will wash out. It's going to crinkle and pucker up just perfectly and will hide imperfect stitches! 8-)

These are 9-inch blocks on point, and the quilt is finishing to about 65"x78" - a perfect TV watching size.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More quilts

Our local Quiltmakers group is making this quilt to be raffled for a local organization, with a chunk not yet made. There is also a narrow border, then a wide plain border with applique in the corners, similar to what is in the pillow area. The piecing is easy, but laying it out on the diagonal with a number of helpers, over a period of 3-4 months is the trickiest part! That's why some of the gals are sitting at their machines, waiting for assignments. It's going to be just beautiful!
Sue and Anita are waiting for work! They both are using their featherweights.

The quilt on the wall was a gift we made for the Assisted Living Facility, which has been giving us a place to sew each month, and even bringing us refreshments. Occasionally, one of the residents will peek in and tell us about their quilts.

Ah ha, finally, here's work! (below). Jacci is also sewing, and Jody loves to do the applique!

Below is one of Jody's many quilts - I believe it's called Stars and Rails, a pattern from She also added that some of the fabrics were purchased in Galveston, just days before Galveston suffered terrible hurricane amage and the shops are no longer in existance.
Below is another recent scrappy quilt (Tobacco Road?) by Jody (aka Jody Goddess) from the same location. She said she is going to add a border of small flying geese.

And from Pasha, an environmentally friendly quilt. Pasha is dedicated to "recycling" and used all GREENs. She said she used fleece as batting and found it slipped a bit, when doing machine quilting in-the-ditch, but the price was right!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Last month, the Quilt Guild Ardis Wannabes (artist want-to-be's) pulled the word "Q U I L T" out of the bag, and those who wish to participate were to make some art-y type 'thing' based on the word. The important aspect of the project/thing is that is must be DONE by the next month. The goal is to help us stretch our imagination, try something new and not get overwhelmed with such broad terms as saving humanity, the search for truth ... NOT!!!

This isn't my idea of "arty" but it IS something different for me. First, it's paper piecing, so I had to actually USE a computer program (Foundation Factory) that I've had for at least 5 years, then one will discover (after they are sewn together!) that alphabet letters need to be spaced differently than just say .. a standard 1 inch between letters. So one must UNSEW!!! them carefully (remember? they are paper pieced?), and the very most important part is when you resew them, they still must say Q U I L T S, and not Q U L I S T! Oh yes, I can hear you guffawing out there, thinking, "how can anyone get them in the wrong order?" Hey, Q U L I S T happens!

So, in my search on this journey to thinking more artistically, I am learning to stay calm, don't throw it out, and go back and fix it, no matter how disgusted one gets. Chances are, when finished, it will be OK. And I like it.

I wanted something to put on the wall that says, "A quilter lives here". Again, I used what I had, adequately machine quilted, there are several prairie points pointing inward (for interest) and bound with single fold straight of grain binding, hand sewn.

Tomorrow is Quilt Guild day. I wonder what the new Ardis Wannabe word will be?

Sunday, November 09, 2008


2008 Fabric IN - 149.00 yds
2008 Fabric USED - 129.00 yds
2008 $ spent for sewing supplies, books, DVDs, retreats - $1,579.66

Fabric IN would have been not been so great had not some generous soul given me about 50-60 yds of his mother's fabric after she moved. I have every intention of using it though!

Fabric USED is doing pretty good, but USED is not the same as "out the door."
OK - one more disclosure. For the past few days, I've been collecting all my quilt-related books from under and next to the bed, those my friends have, a few in my car, those in the upstairs bookcase that I like a LOT, and those in the downstairs bookcase that I don't like so much but can't bear to give away, and the totally out-of-control PILE next to my TV-watching chair, from which I hardly watch TV any more because DH is clicking away on the TV remote control and driving me crazy! (breath) The disorder was depressing! It's been a job, trudging upstairs and downstairs, carrying books, logging them on the computer Excel spreadsheet, and sorting them into various categories - the only way I can begin to get them organized. I only had ONE duplicate book.

Total number of books .... drum roll please ... 320!

Soooooo, I've admitted my weakness -- how about you? Are you Stashbusting? Are you brave enough to track your costs, or your fabric use? I am guaging my age, vs. how many quilts I can make in a year and let me tell you, there's going to be a lot left over when I leave this earth, even without bringing any more INTO this house!

Shirt Quilt #2, Top Done, and Good Tools

#2, Ohio Star Mission Shirt Quilt top is DONE, bordered, and ready for sandwiching. Yeah, it looks a LOT like the previous one seen here! LOL My lost geese never materialized -- one of those mysteries. In the meantime, I wanted to get this DONE, so I used up MORE of the shirtings with the Flying Geese. There is something warm and inviting about these plaids, that made it most pleasurable to sew. And I felt very frugal and sensible. Only the sashing was purchased - less than a yard, and I'll use the leftover sashing for binding.
There's the pocket (below). The pens are there temporarily so you can see it! I will leave that area unquilted. DH and I BOTH love the pocket! I also sewed some labels on the front. Isn't that orange fabric just wonderful? I don't think that orange shirt was ever used.

I recently purchased this Creative Grids ruler (below) and LIKE it, because of it's size -- 2 1/2 in. x 12 1/2 in. - a size we use very often. I found using just that size was less stressful on my eyes. The non-slip dots on the back ??? uhhh, I'm not impressed.

This quilt took a LOT of Flying Geese. I've made them many ways, but my favorite is still Eleanor Burns method, and using her ruler. My next favorite is the No Waste method - I made a few of those also, and I DID buy the ruler, but once you know the formula, you don't need that ruler. My least favorite method was cutting a 2 1/2 in. x 4 1/2 in. rectangle and sewing squares diagonally to the corner, trim, press, then sew a square to the other corner, trim press. It works OK, but for me, is not as accurate. However, when you just have small pieces to use, it's OK but needs care not to stretch or distort with the iron. Some of my geese were made from pieced bits. (Yes, Mom, I have learned to be frugal and "Make Do".) And some of my geese values are reversed - hey I already had them!

I broke down and purchased the Blade Sharpener, on sale. So far, I used it just once on a dull blade that had a small nick in it, and voila! not like new, but MUCH better and the nick is gone -- a good purchase.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Physical Exam for my MC Janome 6500

My Janome MC6500 is either 3 or 4 years old and I've not had it serviced (Knock on wood). I sew a LOT! The bobbin area is cleaned religiously each new project, but I'm always wondering what is below that! Tonight I was brave. I unplugged her, lifted her out of the sewing table, found a pillow to rest her on and removed the 5 screws on the bottom. Piece of cake! (kinda like a gynecology exam? sorry, I can't get past THAT thought ... )mmmm, there's a lot of lint in the bottom and 2 broken needles, but frankly, it's not as bad as I expected. And the bobbin area, from underneath is the least linty of all the areas. (bottom photo)

All back together again, I cleaned out the table (more lint), washed off my personal notes I write on the table top, and voila -- DONE. I can hear that Helen Reddy song ... "I am woman, hear me roar!" My Dad would be very proud of me. 8-))))

Snowy photos, western Nebraska

The wind was so fierce, it kept me awake much of the night. I-80 (the major route across the entire state) was closed. Huge gates swing across the access roads, and you cannot get ON the Interstate. This was quite the storm. Farther north, they measured the snow in FEET, not inches.

This was an almost-dawn photo. I love how the camera catches the flakes of snow.

I think the photo (below) is in the right direction. The branches are not in their usual configuration leaving me wondering. These are the kinds of photos where you needed to be THERE! 8-) The odor is so lovely.
This huge evergree tree has had the lower branches trimmed away in order to park a vehicle under it for protection from hail if needed. The snow/ice was heavy and weighed the branches down - walking under it was like walking into a secret hidey hole. It's NICE under here!



Thank goodness it is not terribly cold - just VERY windy and snowy. The wind kept me awake last night, and by 8:00 am, I had already done some of my shoveling. I LOVE the first snow of winter. 8-)

Photo to come later today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How long does it take you to vote?

Someone complained that in their large community, they had to stand in line, and it took 2 hours to vote!

Hmphhhfff - not here, in our small town. We walk right in, no lines, visit with the ladies at the table, "how's your Mom?", "congratulations that your son won the game", etc., vote, and then get to visit more of your friends for 2 hours!

There are wonderful advantages to living in a small town. 8-)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Shirt Quilt Number 2

If you are new to my site, I will repeat myself, and am posting my finished Shirt Quilt, finished several weeks ago, made mostly of leftover scraps from shirts I've made for DH #1 and DH #2. And being frugal, I've also used Mission Store shirts purchased for the amazing sum of 50 cents each! Some of these shirts are brand new -- what a bargain - so the quilt was practically FREE. And while I CAN afford NEW fabric (sorta), it seems appropriate for 'these times' to learn how to 'make do' as my Mom would say. Since the first quilt turned out even nicer than expected, I'm making a second one, an Ohio Star, using same type fabrics, with only small amounts of new fabric.

The original idea of using Mission Store shirts came from Bonnie at Quiltville. I want to be Bonnie in my next life.

My 'lost' flying geese border pieces have not materialized. I'm trying to come up with another type border, but somehow, I think it calls for yet another Flying Geese. Quarter Square Triangles are too wimpy, IMHO. I'll work on that.
And yes, I am including a few labels on the FRONT of the quilt, for added interest. And doesn't that orange perk it up? Oh my, NOW, (too late) I'm seeing two light stars too close together ... how did THAT happen? Rows are not yet sewn. I had to add new fabric for 5 of the side setting triangles. One is pieced from used fabric.

However, to carry the theme of 'thriftiness' over the top, I've included the pocket in the side triangle (below). It seemed a shame to waste that big piece of fabric just because it had a pocket sewn there! Whatever will end up in that pocket? LOL
The last photo (below) is one more shirt that needs to be washed and cut apart, but it has a unique collar. The label says "Expandable Collar" and there is a little tab with the button on it, that can be pulled out of the collar to give more room. Funny - it's not a dress shirt, and I don't ever remember that men wore collars buttoned to the neck.