Saturday, July 31, 2010

Having a bad day -- probably a bad week!

Drat - computer virus! I'm at the library posting this.

FYI - If you get a sensible-looking window that says something like "You are being attacked" .. it's probably too late. The windows look a LOT like Official Window, or official AVG, which is what I use for virus protection. Last time, my Geek, said even the best systems get viruses, or malware or ... you can't get rid of the windows, can't do system restore, can't actually GET anywhere to fix anything.

My gosh, I feel I have lot a limb, without my computer. I cannot even do my in-house work, like Excel, or word processing, or e-mail, and I have personal business to take care of. Looks like it's back to the GeeK on Monday. Wish me luck.

Do computer viruses work with wireless communication? Oh great, I ask a question, and how can I receive your answers?

I AM finishing up my Pineapple Blossoms - the quilting that is. Hot work, with temps in the mid-90s.

Guess I should find a few books, and then go home and eat worms ... 8-(((

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Batting, Hobbs Cotton Natural

Not too much new here - sometimes I am just posting for my own journaling.

Those diagonal lines are where I quilted the HStriangles.

Usually I use an 80/20 blend that comes off the roll at my LQS which I LOVE because it's firm, doesn't pull apart, and is of a consistent firm density. (Don't remember what the brand name is.) This Hobbs product was on sale so I tried it. It is lighter in density, a bit more fussy to baste/sandwich as the density is not as consistent. It also rippled a bit during the sandwiching, and I had to redo some areas.

However, now that I'm quilting it, it DOES have a soft, lighter feel. It's easier to smoosh through the machine bed, being not so dense. And it has a different "look" about it - I think I like it.

Very Important Lesson #1 -- Quilting guide lines drawn with a disappearing pen disappear much too quickly in a 90 degree house!

Very Important Lesson #2 -- When your backing fabric is 2 inches too short on the end of your quilt, you should not forget and quilt the whole end from the top, without turning it over and checking the back.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Picket Fence

Of course, a fence has vines climbing all over. Excuse that my fence is facing downward. Looks like it needs some birds or butterflies in that unquilted space.

I couldn't WAIT to get started on this one! THis quilt turned out to be about 84" x 98" -- MUCH larger than planned but ... kinda like a garden - you make one bigger each year until the garden is in control! LOL

Saturday, July 24, 2010

HOT trip

Last Friday I went to North Platte with a friend for the State Guild Convention. Most gals were there for classes and vendors. We were there for Vendors.

We left home at 5:30 am - long drive! My tire was low so DH offered his vehicle. OK, no problem.

Temps are expected to reach upper 90s today. No traffic out this way, no problem. A.C. had been blasting us out, so that got turned down a bit -- uhhh, actually it's NO LONGER blasting us out??? it's kinda tepid -- well it's early in the morning and still fairly cool. We're tough -- we can manage -- roll down the windows!

By the time we arrived at our North Platte destination, it's about 90 degrees and we don't have A.C. But the Convention Center was cool, we had one great time, helped the economy a LOT, got back in the vehicle (HOT) and went to lunch at Applebys - life is good. We called an A.C. repair shop and soon were heading back home in delicious air conditioning - how did we ever live without A.C.?

The bank sign now said 99 degrees.

20 miles into the homeward trip, A.C. went out again! This is no joke -- we're both NOT looking ahead to returning across HOT, wide open spaces, no people, no rest stops, no gas stations, with NO A.C. This has now become a serious issue -- we have consumed our iced tea.

(Photo below is indicative of the REAL geography/landscape, but the road was not quite THIS remote!)
Two hours with no A.C., and 60 miles to go, we are both drenched in perspiration -- we've removed our jewelry, loosed clothing, pinned hair up, NOT concerned about our bedraggled appearance, and we finally come to a Stop Sign which meant "60 miles to go." --- it kinda sneaked up on me and I stopped with a non-approved jerk, and off we go again. Guess what, the A.C. came back on. But how did that happen???

Another 10 miles and off it went again. OK, what's happening??? Just for the heck of it, I'm going to stop on the road, with a jerk, and see what happens. Yep, it turned back on! Logical, no? but it worked. This went on for 7 stops!!! Every single time it quit after 10-15 miles, stopping with a jerk caused it to start again.

DH insisted we were making it up! He won't let me go with him to explain the issue at the air conditioning repair shop!

Picket Fence on Pineapple Blossom Quilt

This lovely project created in a class with our famous Bonnie Hunter of has been languishing since late winter, because it was not quite large enough for a double bed. I added another 2 inches of little interest, to each side. My solution to the head and foot was adding this 7 inch picket fence, using the scraps I already had. At first I had it all drafted out with crossbars/spacers, background and my plan was over-the-top tedious. This simplified version gets the idea across much better. I am a happy camper!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Three quilts on the deck

Goin' to a quilt show, goin' to a quilt show...

Ten years ago I NEVER would have dared to even THINK I could make these quilts! You've seen them all before - I just like looking at them! I don't have a clothes line, but they needed to smell fresh before Nebraska State Quilt Convention. They are not in competition, but I was asked to display 3 of mine.

Kaleidoscope #1 (left) was made following a class I took at Nebraska State Quilt Convention in 2006 (?), taught by M'liss Rae Hawley. If you've been to this blog, you KNOW how much fun I've had with that idea. I quilted it on my DSM.

The second, "Light" is based on Strips that Sizzle, taught by Margaret Miller and greatly encouraged by Wanda Hanson, of Exuberant Color, who continues to amaze us in Blogland with her use of color. Quilted with Innies and Outies on my DSM. You can't see from here, but even my binding perfectly matches with the color changes of the border. Yep - if there were 3 diagonally sewn border strips, there were 3 perfectly matching bindings. (I must have been on a caffeine high!)

The third is a Log Cabin variation. I've been asked to teach this technique at Guild. I have LOVED this scrappy quilt from it's beginning to the wrap-around border made of inch squares. That border idea came from Sometimes the simplest idea, a scrappy bargello block, works up into an amazing technique. It was machine quilted by Judy Woodworth, a Guild member with incredible long-arm quilting skills. I added tiny blue beads on each corner, to represent underseas bubbles.
When you have a quilt professionally quilted by an artist, you have a ready-made bunch of samples to try out yourself!
I'll be attending the Convention for only one day. The Convention is in North Platte, Nebraska, about 3 hours from my house, and a friend and I must leave at 6:00 am.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The time has come

Today I am feeling very brave, showing you all my horrible downstairs room. My decorating talents are lack-luster, and I'm lacking in confidence. Despite all the HGTV programs, I am scared to death it might not all come together but ... here's hoping for the best. These photos are all several days old, and since then, progress has happened.

This basement 'bedroom' must NOT exist any longer in it's present condition. Someone built an ugly closet INTO the room - out it comes. Out with the nasty carpet, but look at the red and green tiles!
OUT with the precariously hanging ceiling tiles. But, the biggest reason this room is horrible, and defied decorating attention is that the furnace vents are visible so THAT ISSUE is being framed in.
I've painted the walls a light spring green, the electrician has added 3 new outlets, moved an electrical switch that was IN THE ROOM, instead of IN the wall, and I found a new ceiling light that my Grandma would have loved! I've ordered carpet, a friend is making a bedskirt, and I've purchased a chest of drawers, an old brass-like headboard is being sand blasted, and today I picked up a Penney's catalog for drapery ideas.
It's a small, cool, too-dark room, but just fine for a quilt-covered bed, chest of drawers, maybe a small chair, and just possibly, a TV. I just LOVE to make changes to unpleasant areas and see how wonderful they can become.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Friday's temperature.

Today, Saturday, is our Quilt Show and expected to be hotter. We will be in an unairconditioned church - I have to find the fans! Hope all us Senior Citizen quilting ladies make it through our work schedule. Hope the visitors come by.

While the subject of this post is the HEAT, look at all those lovely lines and shadows in my photo -- I love 'em!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bricks and Steppingstones, DONE

YEAH - DONE! It still needs to be blocked -- Blocking/dampening it should enhance the texture I was aiming at with all that "Innies and Outies" Someone also called the quilting pattern, "Puddles" -- I like that name. It certainly turned out "graphic"!

Oh great - the quilting on the 4th border had to be removed and redone, along with the binding as the tension was crummy - apparently I was so much "on a roll" I also wasn't looking closely. Dang it - and my binding? I try hard to make it snug, but snugged it too much -- by half an inch, causing pucker/pleat when I sewed it down so had to insert another piece of binding, and trim it more carefully this time.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quilting the Border

I keep copies of dozens of free samples from in a notebook. Most of them I've tried, and saved my samples in that notebook. It is amazing, how often I cannot think of a quilting pattern until I open my sample work. On the left of the notebook is the paper printout and on the right is my practice piece, in a plastic page protector. Geeky, yes, but it works for me! For this quilt (Bricks and Steppingstones, from I wanted something earthy, guy-type, NOT feathers, but also wanted something where I could start at one corner and quilt one entire side without stopping. This is my viney/weedy pattern. I LOVE thinking of those wild growing vines one sees in wild spaces.

I drew an implied guideline with chalk to keep me near target -- not worried that my 'spine' is not solid. My design has leaves, swirls, curlycues, narrow leaves and wide leaves - whatever filled the space. Additionally, every variety of leaf gives me more experience. I started at the bottom of the implied vine, and machine quilted to the top, finishing it off at the top with one large leaf. My fabric is almost black so I chose a grey thread, for some visibility.

YOU can do this!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Finally, Quilting!

Finally - I got to my basting and quilting!
I quilt on a domestic sewing machine (DSM), no stitch regulator. Yes, not all my stitches are exact - that's OK with me. I really like the flexibility I have doing things myself, my way, not paying someone else. Stubborn me!

This pattern (Bricks and Steppingstones) needs a little blending with a pale gold thread. This quilt is masculine in nature and I'm quilting squarish innies and outies, a pattern I like that adds a lot of texture. It looks alot like mapping, and one of the easiest I do. And yes, I learned this from one of my DVDs from

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Fess up time, and trying to upgrade a room

Despite my recent posts on leaks, ceilings, roofs, squirrels, storm warnings, I really AM sewing! Tonight I'm working on the backing of Bricks and Steppingstones and was planning on basting it in the garage. However, our weather alert system has gone off again, with tornado warnings, strong storms, hail, etc, so I'm in the basement/downstairs trying to use my time wisely. Ugh - I had energy to DO that basting job -- ya can't just do it in a few minutes, and I didn't want my car outside with hail heading this way.

When quilters discuss, "What is the best way to store your fabric?", my response to myself is, "Best way is NOT to store it -- best way is to USE it!"

OK, so here is my rough estimate/best calculation of Fabric IN, OUT, and dollars spent. I am spending slower than last year. You might consider tracking your costs - it helped me zero in on using my stash. I KNOW there will always be MORE fabric, MORE sales, MORE donations, etc.

2010 Fabric in (yards) 73.50
2010 Fabric used (yards) -63.50
2010 $ spent for sewing supplies $882.00

Tonight I painted a downstairs room - the plan is to have a construction guy install/update it with a new ceiling, demolition of an ugly closet, and adding additional electrical outlets BEFORE paint, so I've done the painting anyway, and will probably have to paint more later. I'll put in something decent on the floor, and bring back the furniture, one of these days!

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Those little bugger squirrels can drive ya nuts!!!
It worked for several months anyway.

Just LOOK at that! All the little green spat-out crumbles are on the hump of ground under the feeder - the hump made up of pounds of discarded seeds, looking very unkempt.

Pa Kettle to the rescue, using the finest of materials (lol). We had an unused vinyl newel post (hopefully slippery) in the garage. He drilled a hole in the pointy end so we could slip the top of the feeder post down, and match up with the piece in the ground. First effort to leave the pointy end up did not work -- couldn't see. Next, we turned in upside down, oh right - pointy end down - SMART, right?? -- and threaded it on the metal post that was already in the ground, then put the vinyl post over the metal post, then carefully slipped the upright metal post on that peg. Not easy, especially as we are laughing all the while, hoping no neighbor sees us struggle!

OK, now the vinyl post tilts. OK, wedge a short 2 x 4 between the metal post and the vinyl post to wedge it straight -- oops, it slipped down into the botton. (I had already given my dutiful wifely advice "don't let it drop"!) This is one of these projects that the more stupid and ugly it becomes, the more stupid and ugly it gets. I think this kind of thing happens when a man retires!
It will be interesting to see what the next plan of attack is by Mr. Squirrel.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wake up !!! the Roofers are here!

At 7:00 am, roofers showed up - this truck and 3 other pickups, full of stuff and men. We were both in our jammies, although we DID expect them, just not so early. We never had a new roof before and didn't know what to expect. In no time at all, 8-10 men were on our house and garage roof, skittering here and there, climbing, flinging tools to one another, ladders everywhere, shingles flying, although a lot flew directly into 2 large dumpsters. And what a racket from inside the house - this will drive me bonkers! They were all moving around here and there, we never DID get an accurate count of how many guys there were! Holy smokes, did they ever work! And it wat HOT today -- poor things!

I was lucky to avoid some of the mayhem and go to work, then went directly for a haircut, only to learn from my hairdresser, who lives across the street, what the latest progress was on my house! Neighbors stopped, drove slowly by, two requested an estimate also. There has been a lot of hail damage so many need new roofs.
Here is just one pile of shingles.
and here is another pile.

By noon, all the shingles were off and they were putting on that black paper. These guys did not even stop for lunch.

The landfill fee for shingles is $31.00/ton. Just something I liearned today. I don't know how many tons = 3 layers of shingles from a house and garage.

It's starting to look pretty good!

... and shingles are going on the garage - we think the house is done already!

The job was completed by 7:00 pm. Lawn and gardens had been swept with a magnet to pick up nails, the walks had been swept and blown clean, the debris was picked up and the place looked good! I'm sure we'll be finding nails - don't know if that can be avoided but they did an excellent job. One minor issue is that in the process our auto fan on the roof was damaged in the process so that will need to be ordered. I don't have much of a flower garden but they avoided damaging my hostas just fine.

BTW, the sky looks stormy and we hear thunder - Whew - new roof just in time. Next we have some interior repairs - not sure when we'll start that but for now, one huge job DONE!

Tomorrow, I'm sewing!