Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bottled water?

I have had a long-time dislike of bottled water, because it is wasteful, expensive, and is an industry that causes more pollution than needed. Paying for this convenience is terribly expensive, in more ways than the cost of the bottle at $2.00.

Your tap water is monitored, regulated and checked. Bottled water frequently has less regulation, but then a good portion of bottled water comes from the tap, anyway.

Do you know where your bottled water comes from? Do you realize where your plastic bottles end up? Do you know what it costs to make the bottles, fill the bottles, transport the bottles, advertise the product, etc? Watch this video if you have been thinking about any of this.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quilt Content

Baptist Fans quilting designs seem to have eluded me -- perhaps I was trying too hard, and perhaps "free form" is more my style. I was just fooling around, aiming in that direction and look what happened! Something clicked and I finally had the lines and directions. I LIKE it! My version needs to stay small to fit in my working space (9 inches)on my machine. I still need more practice but it's possible now. (Funny about that "practice" thing!) This will make a great textured background.
I basted this big Double Delight outside, in the garage. Frankly, it's kinda nice out there. This quilt is 86" x 104" - definitely a chore. It took me about 1 hr. 45 minutes. I've posted my set-up before, but there are always new people dropping by this blog. No more on-the-floor-knee issues, or cramped space issues. I WILL have snow and cold issues in a few weeks but for now, it works wonderfully. The PVC pipes were a simple solution to raise the table. It takes 5 minutes to set them up, or take them down. Tables were $114.00 for two and great for other projects or picnics as well. Each measures 30" x 72". I've used them for quilt basting at least 10 times. Radio is on, lawn chairs are available, birds singing, etc.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Books, DVD, Double Dutch, Quilt Show

I'm including a photo of 2 books by Pat Speth, using Charm Packs (5 inch squares) but the patterns can also be made traditionally with yardage. The books caught my eye, when I was feeling particularly weak, but I DO enjoy fondling my quilt books. But, what really caught my eye on the cover was "260 border blocks" and WOW (below) does she go all out with simple yet do-able units!!!
Next, I investigated a site called, to check out a quilting DVD. There are several new DVDs from well-known quilters and some included a 6 minute YouTube that might entice you. Even if you only look, it's entertaining.

I pushed my mouse button for Jackie Robinson's Slash and Stash -- I also looked at another DVD, but it was coupled with a lot of EQ, which I seldom use.

This Quiltville Mystery quilt top (Double Dutch) was made over a year ago,and I decided it's TIME to get finished! I have the backing, cotton batting and tomorrow is the sandwiching day! While scribbling today, I accidentally learned how to fake a Baptist Fan kind of quilting design. For the longest time, the pattern eluded my brain.

I made a hurried trip to my LQS waaaay out in the country, taking my camera in case I saw wildlife and this is what I saw at her shop! They were having their own Quilt Show to Celebrate 35 years of business.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pistachio Green, and Square in a Square

I've had this old timey headboard for years, not using it, needing some paint and then it dawned on me, it's the perfect headboard for my newly improved bedroom, but it needed to be GREEN. This is the second "GREEN" I tried - first one was too 'baby poopy' colored (pardon me) but this one was perfect. 2 cans of Krylon Indoor/Outdoor named "Pistachio" is just perfect. The evening was warm, no wind, the paint dried quickly, was thick enough to cover the imperfect edges on the metal, and I painted it in all one hour - both sides - no runs. The paint is good! (That's a plastic drape over a back fence.)

Different subject: Have any of you tried Jody Barrow's Square in a Square methods (below)? She has some great ideas, and I LOVE her ruler. Some people say her method uses too much fabric, and it does, but there are ways around it that work well. And ... uhhhh... aren't some of us trying to figure out ways to use more fabrics? 8-)) So, I'm playing here. Here is a completed SnS unit. Notice some of the corners are blunted and some not. Blunted areas will be cut through, leaving a seam allowance. This is also a small block.

Here it is sliced through the middle. If you sewed straight, it works wonderfully!

(Below) Here it is all together. That corner HST finishes up at 1.25 inches, too small to do in the 'normal' way. I use stray starch as several of the units have bias edges. I left the cutter there so you can see how small the block is, and ... OK, I'll also admit I'm hiding an imperfect seam allowance.

I've made some intricate very small blocks using her technique. Her method is almost easier for a new quilter as I had a hard time changing the way I thought! I believe all methods have value, whether you like them or not. Just thought I'd mention it - give it a try just so you know what it is. You might like it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

... and that's when the fight began

We were boating -- in his power boat -- not yet married so both of us were trying to be especially 'diplomatic' and 'courteous' to each other. I was in a leg cast from a broken ankle which put me in a not-best physical condition and it definitely slowed my movements down a lot but I WAS making an effort to stay in good humor, despite discomfort.

I had spent over 20 years as a pleasure sailor (sailboats), confidently knowledgeable, while 'that man' was a power boater (they are called stink potters), and it seemed to me that it was a male characteristic to imply they are more knowledgeable than members of the other gender. We did each have a different approach to water crafts but again, were both trying to avoid opportunity for disagreement.

We motored into the slip and I began to tie the boat to the dock cleats, using proper knots and technique, but knowing he was closely watching me. I was feeling very insecure with him watching.

As I was carefully and skillfully tying his boat to the dock, I heard him say "You're not so great!" ... huh? HUH!!! He said I wasn't so great???? and he expects I'm going to marry him, that good for nothing so and so ... and that's when the fight began!

About 3 days later, he explained ... what he said was "Your knots are great!"

It's funny now and a good lesson! Wasn't funny at the time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Maverick Stars DONE, and Batik Order Arrived

Whew - this Maverick Stars is done and I LIKE it! Cozy, huh? It's about 60' x 70' - a good nappy size. I changed from my original quilting pattern because 1) I needed more practice on the other plan, and 2) this swirly thing was more youthful and this quilt will probably be a Linus Quilt. It still needs blocking. Note that the BLOCK is made of ONE color, and the sashing stars are scrappy, so a person can tell one from the other - I became confused a time or two. The original idea is from Bonnie, and also but also one recently posted by Jo at Thanks gals!

A few weeks ago I jumped in and ordered 1/4 linear yard of the entire line of Batiks shown in the last catalog of Connecting Threads - all 29 of them, and they arrived Friday! They are beautiful! Brighter than my photo, and the patterns are 'watery' meaning the colors in each look like paints in water - I suppose there is a name. But they don't look 'printed' like we normally expect from batiks. They came with a little stick-on tag showing the name of that fabric, bar code, etc. In preparation for rinsing them for colorfastness, I pulled the tag off that included the fabric name. So, if I reorder, I won't really know what to reorder -- many of them look similar. So, keep that tag closely related to the fabric. Only one of the fabrics, a purpley red, left a slight pink in the water -- none of the others left any color. The fabric is thinner than $10.95/yd fabric - just fine for me. It sews lovely. Some of the pieces were not cut straight on one side and since I am cutting narrow logs, that might make a difference, but when measuring them, each is WIDER than the required 9 inches, so I'm actually getting MORE than a linear yard.

Look Mom, see what I made today!

Another version, just turning them. Only 105 more to make - I make 6 at a time to keep my sanity!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Can you hear me now?

Dear Paula the Quilter -- I think I did it! Transferred by blog reader to Google Reader. Wow, that Paula gives good instructions.

More later ... I hope!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Oh no!!!

This was my message when I wanted to post today.

"As you may have heard, we are sorry to share that Bloglines will officially shut down on October 1, 2010. "

Panic - even though they give me instructions to do something -- my eyes are all glazing over!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Maverick Stars top done, and a quilting pattern

This went together fairly quickly, once I focused --it was started MONTHS ago! The original inspiration is from It's 60 x 68 inches, and I'm searching through piles of fabric looking for a backing. My photo is a little murky - it's brighter in person. Despite all the little pieces, when it was finished I was only 1/8 in. off along the top/bottom. That's a record for me!

Mary of Heartstring Quilts posted this MQ pattern that gives good texture for busy quilts and I wanted to give it a try.
This was a "quick and dirty" quilting effort on my take-to-class machine, so the stitches are not good, but the texture is interesting. This might be the pattern I do on the Maverick Stars.
It's 95 degrees today, and tomorrow the HIGH is supposed to be 65! My word!