Friday, December 31, 2010

Blizzard - I shoulda stayed home!

We had plenty warning - our NOAA weather alert went off 2 days ago that we were going to get "hammered"! Paula, the Quilter, who lives west of me, in Colorado, also sent me a warning e-mail! 8-))) Yesterday, I stopped for bread and milk, but the store was well-picked over and nearly OUT of milk!

Last night the wind picked up and by this morning, it was zero degrees outside, wind of about 35 mph, and snowing, blowing, with about 8-12 inches on the ground, with huge drifts. Uhhh, ok, I'm Swedish, I can take this. Get the fireplace going to take the morning chill off the house. (God bless the makers of Electric Blankets!)

I still have work at my office that must be done - uhhh, my car was purchased when I lived in a warm clime and it doesn't function on snow -- too low, too light. No problem, DH has 4 wheel drive, except this morning, it won't start, expressing itself with bizarre noises from under the hood!

This is the view from my front door.

OK, now we have a problem. DH insists he has to do the snow blowing. Hey, we've been senior citizens for several years, the weather is frightful, it's easy to get disoriented, drifts can hamper normal balance, and we can't get anyone to the Dr. or hospital if there could be an injury - let's rethink that snow-blowing thing.

After much nagging, he promised to NOT haul that machinery out.

OK, I have to get to my office, really only blocks from my house, so I can walk. Bundled up, wind was at my back, had my cell phone and promised to call home the minute I made the 15 minute walk, only this time it took 25 minutes - husband was getting ready to call Emergency to find me, thinking I'd gotten lost under a drift. (I didn't tell him I really DID fall down in a drift!), but managed to arrive in one cold piece. It's hard to SEE your footing during a blizzard, when you can't tell the road from the curb, or yards. The roads were terrible -- forget using sidewalks! There is no one at my office - it's ME this week! The door was drifted shut and I could barely get in, which made me question my decision making ability.

There had been no auto-rescues for my husband's vehicle at home, so when I was ready to leave to walk back home I called him to watch for me, just in case. This time, the wind is in front of me, and a person gets very cold very quickly! When I covered up my face with my scarf, the condensation from my breathing fogged my glasses so I was nearly blind. Whiteout conditions did not make things easier. I was hoping someone would pick me up, but oddly, no one offered! By the time I walked the entire 3 blocks (yes, that's all!), and trudged through the drifts in my own front yard, I was totally exhausted, and DAZED, mentally confused and had a horrible headache. I truly did not know what day it was!!! How did people ever live in this weather -- however did the native Indians manage as well as the early settlers? Remember, this is the climate with not many trees for firewood!

I'm glad to be safe and sound and even found some chicken and noodles in the freezer.

We are still a little concerned about no usable transportation/cars at all - this is a new experience! Kinda scarey!

"Hey, babe, turn on the Electric Blanket!!!"

Separate subject -- 53 Pineapple Blocks on the Floor. Guess I am staying home for a few days and going to sew. A kind Anonymous neighbor snow-blew the entire block so that issue is taken care. of. 8-))

Happy New Year 2011 Everyone - thanks for all your kindnesses, advice, visual stimulation and friendships! 8-))))))

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Forty-Two Pineapple Blocks on the Floor, Forty-two Pineapple Blocks

I added quick corners on the blocks - they seemed to be a bit too dark. The melon/green helps (IMHO) to coordinate the overabundance of fabrics. Adding the corners means 37 pieces per block. I'm liking it! My original border idea was to make Lazy Gal words in a wide border, but I'm rethinking - maybe something curvy, roundish would be better after all these sharp angles. Speak to me, quilt!

The top row, that is not all in the photo, is already sewn together - I couldn't wait to see what it looked like!

42 pineapple blocks on the floor
42 pineapple blocks
Sew the strips, sew some more
43 pineapple blocks on the floor

(Corny, but I can't stop singing it!)

"Detours" - Done

Yesterday, Christmas Day, I finished this Split 9-Patch. It's named "Detours" -- you never know where a detour will lead you. Sometimes you like the side trip, sometimes you don't. The colors are more vivid in person. I LOVE this simple Split 9-patch block - - the possibilities of settings seem limitless.

Hope you can see the slim red "flange" - is that what it's called? against the binding. One problem I had with this quilt is that the black inner border, raveled, and while I thought the white border was thick enough to hide the possible black threads, it did not. Then, I tried pinking sheers (thanks Colleen) to try and eliminate the ravelings - that didn't work either and offered opportunity to cut something I didn't want cutting. I did the best I could with that problem, and left it unquilted, hoping the poof you see would slightly camouflage the frequent threads. The black was thicker in weight and would NOT press the other way. Live and learn!

As you see, we don't have any snow - in fact it's been unusually mild.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

29 Pineapple Blocks on the floor, and a great book

My bunch of pineapple blocks is growing - I still wonder how many I should make in order to make ... uhhh ... something.

Now, the reason for the basket (one of 4 nested baskets, made by the Amish Troyer family in Iowa) on the quilt is .... ta ta ...! It is empty!!! That was just ONE place I had been hoarding scraps - digging down, it went back over a year, but they are gone. Notice the area where the basket meets the handle - another kind of log cabin configuration.

Trimming the pineapple blocks means that most of the scraps actually get cut OFF and finally go into the trash - NO, I am not resurrecting any of them.

Twenty-nine pineapple blocks on the floor,
Twenty-nine pineapple blocks,
Light and dark strips, piece some more,
Thirty-one pineapple blocks on the floor!

Thanks Vivian for that little ditty that I plan to change each few days! (yes, I have 2 more on my machine, not shown, for those bloggers who actually count! LOL )

As my quilting skills have improved, I AM purchasing fewer and fewer books and had passed this one up many times - yawn, "same ole, same ole" I said to myself, but one day, I bit, only to discover it's a great find. There are NO patterns, only log cabin AND ....PINEAPPLE BLOCKS IN MANY VARIETIES AND CONFIGURATIONS!!! 4 SIDED, 5 SIDED, 6, AND 8 SIDED -- numerous examples of turning the blocks producing amazing new patterns and settings. It's been out many years, so you may be able to find it discounted. This was just one more inspirational incentive to get started with MY pineapple blocks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Twenty-Two PP Pineapple Blocks, On Point

This is not speed sewing! 22 made so far, and in this photo, I set them on point. I have no idea how many are needed nor for what purpose. Oops, photos is a bit crooked. These finish at 6 inches.

The corners are kinda drab. mmm maybe some bright quick corners? I'm brightening up the blocks themselves with pale yellow, blue, green, melon -- the needed some 'sparkle.' The centers are alternate red or dark.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Paper Pieced Pineapple Blocks, and MQ on R/W/B

Friday, I dashed home after work, full of energy and inspiration, and dove into sewing Pineapple Blocks - little ones - these finish at 6 inches. Paper had not been removed in this photo. What will I do with them? LOL It took me about 40 minutes per block, and after doing 5, (with breaks between) I cleaned up the mess on the floor, then started again on Saturday, then ..., and by Sunday I had 15. Once again, it's just left-over strips. Of course, there is no diminishing of stash amount that I can tell. Guess I'll keep working on more. The turquoise blue perks up the sedate fabrics.

I had gotten bored with machine quilting on this red/white/black quilt and needed a break. But, here is an example of one area I quilted, with a scroll-y design.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Christmas Tree Skirt - Done

Instead of a binding around the center circle, I chose to add a fused facing. After panicking for a few hours, I realized this is just like the facings I used to put around collars, back in the days of garment sewing. I dug out my 'professional' compass and marked the line, then remarked it bigger, then smaller! LOL Then I sewed - I seem to remember the term "staystitching"-- the line in preparation for cutting out the circle.

(Oh crud - I added these photos using a new method and they don't leave me room under the photos for text. I know you can figure it out but it's a little confusing.)

I opted to make a slit in the skirt, as opposed to a center hole only, but that DID leave a very acute angle to bind, something I've not done before. However, a bit of fiddling, and some hand holding by fellow quilters, sent me in the right direction which ended up with satisfactory, pointy points.

Done, and ready to mail - with optional ties. It's about 54 inches on widest points. No pattern, I just made it up, starting with a basic star block. Any blocks with a single diagonal line can be made log cabin style. That left it square, and I wanted to have 8 sides, so I added the 4 Log Cabin sides (with triangles in center along seam line.)