Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How can a person resist these bargains?

OMGosh - I was just reading an excellent tutorial blog for applique by Carol at Quilting Adventure. That's the FIRST excellent happening, but she also mentions a book by Harriet Hargrave, on Applique, so I clicked on THAT link, which took me to Amazon.com. Now, I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon.com, because I am a sucker for more books, but I glanced over the ad, and then, wonder of wonder, alongside my Amazon window pops up a separate window called a "Shopper's Report" giving me 5 other places to buy the book and all of them for LESS than the already discounted cost at Amazon.com. Competition!!! These bargains are getting near impossible to resist!

Maybe I should just concentrate on Carol's tutorial. First I need a round tuit ...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Clever little unit!

Saturday mornings, for me, are reserved for watching Fons and Porter Love of Quilting on our Public TV station.

Recently they worked on this little unit, even making a mistake, right on national TV, but that only humanized them. I would be careful to not make the mistake. (You can guess the rest of THAT story!) Look what a difference it makes to simply turn the units.

But the goal of making these units is this clever border. I'd seen this in Judy Laquidara's "Nine Patch Extravaganza" and had bookmarked one of her patterns, but hadn't looked into how it was made, thinking it looked complicated. NOT. It's exactly the same unit as what I started with - a version of a quarter square triangle.

This little 4-Patch and Furrows started with a "Just hafta sew something" and a visit to www.quiltville.com. I tried very hard to make it in scraps of browns, tans, civil war looking fabrics, but the blues, garden-y fabrics won out. Not bad for scraps! I DID purchase 1/2 yd. of the border dark blue in the border. I made the unit size half of my block size and will add a white inner border of half (3 inches) of the block size. It will turn the corner very nicely.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My town

This is a Google Earth image of my home town (center). The white rectangle is where I had the town name and then tried to take it out, taking out all the color with it! And I don't remember what the bright blue blobs are - something I asked Google Earth to show at the time. Now you can tell how NOT-fluent I am editing graphics.

When I first moved here, I was confused by the frequent mention of the word "Pivots". Well, see all those circles? Those are irrigation pivots in the center of each circle. The entire irrigation contraption revolves on wheels, inching around that center point. We don't get much rain here - average is less than 13 inches, and some years it's been only 7 inches. Yes, crops are grown successfully, thanks to the Oglalla Aquifer, deep under the earth crust. But there is serious concern as to how long it can last.

Because of drought, many lakes have dropped so low, we could no longer get our boat into the water, and we sold it. And, this area is NOT known for bass fishing, so Goodbye, Bass Boat!

Maybe you would like to post a Google Earth of YOUR home or town??? I don't remember how I did it (screen capture?), but many of you are brilliant at graphics.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Another one bites the dust!

This one is DONE! Well, it needs a label, and one corner needs about 15 quilting stitches. Tomorrow is Quilt Guild Day and it's going to be "Showed and Telled".

Here's a close up (wow, REALLY close up), closer than I'd like, of the quilting. It's doesn't look so great from here close up. Oh well, the eye Dr. said I need cataract surgery, so THAT's an excellent excuse for not good stitches! BTW, I'm going to put THAT off for ... a while, anyway.

(Blogger is not playing well today - hope this makes it!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Going to town

Today was the day for the dreaded Mammogram. Dreaded only because I hate it, but grateful that for me, it's a routine procedure. Ladies, don't put it off!

The receptionist asked too many questions, where do I work, what do I do, etc., and my patience was finally at it's limit and I asked, "just why do you ask all these unrelated questions?" She replied, "In case someone steals your identity!" Duhhhh, like if someone stole my identity, they would have a mammogram? ROTFL !!!!!

While I was waiting in 'the room' with that equipment, I glanced at the stack of magazines, and what do you think I found? TWO quilt books! Turns out the technician was a newbie quilter, her mother-in-law is an acquaintance in my quilt guild, and when I left, she gave me a present of blank x-ray film for applique design! That dreaded event turned out unexpectedly pleasant!

Going to town is a 120 mile round trip. I worked in the morning, and I am definitely a Senior Citizen, and I missed my nap so it's a big deal to do all the doctoring, shopping, etc, and make it home before dark (in case deer are on the road - CRASH, you know) -- I'm worn to a frazzle, and didn't even stop at the Quilt Shop! I found this new set of dishes -- they make me so happy, I want to make new yellow and white checked kitchen curtains!

I stopped at K-Mart, wanting to look at a humidifier,and was surprised that they didn't sell humidifiers, they sold Humidificators! Just spelling that silly word makes me laugh. I told DH, and we spent the evening coming up with new words, the thermostaticator, refrigicator, dishwashicator ... where do these new words come from?

Back to my sewing machine and binding a quilt for Show and Tell Saturday at Quilt Guild. Photo soon of the Spools Quilt.

Hope you all have a lovely quilt-y weekend.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On the other side of the Studio (#3)

Twice previously, I've posted a photo of what happens on the other side of our/my studio, which in reality, is a very small bedroom. DH works on one corner, me in the other. If we both roll our chairs back at the same time, we bump into each other. Despite this small space, we DO a get a lot of work done. Early in our marriage, we found pleasure in working together; even if we don't speak, we're together. He has threads in his boats, I have wood splinters in my sewing. We deal with it.

DH loves thinking, dreaming, imagining, wishing for working boats, and has, in a previous life, owned several. Now, he must be content to build them in scale. He knows where all the parts go, redesigns as he pleases, and keeps things proper, accurate, etc. Some of them have taken up to 300 hours, much longer than I'll ever spend on one quilt. He is NOT a patient man, so these finished masterpieces are indeed quite incredible!

This is a Nordic design fishing boat, circa 1900, named "Sarah", after a niece. 19' x 8' x 2'6", in real life. This was not a major project this time. You can also get a good look at HIS work space. In reality, it looks about as messy as mine!

This quilter made part of the sail, added the reef points, and if you look hard, you can also see a little fishing net, that I sewed, realizing I'm all thumbs with little items.

Now, I'm almost finished with my Easy Peasy Scrappy Spools Quilt, and tonight, I'm cutting the binding. I think all the hand quilting is done. I'll post it soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Valuable Photo !!!

"Woman sells photo of many George Washingtons for $1,000,000"!!! (Or is that John Hancock?) Ha, I could buy more quilting stuff!

Hope this is our last spring snowfall! We had a lot of blowing snow, most of going towards Iowa.

There have been several gals making Bonnie's "Star Struck" and I realized mine has not been posted when quilted, so voila, here it is. I used stash, including the back, and made full use of the little triangles that many consider waste. I still have a bunch of tiny red HST all ready for another project. I DID have to make more of the blue HST to go all around the quilt. And yes, it's laying out on the snow.

Here is the back.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Being Busy Busy

Three bloggers have e-mailed me to see if I'm still alive - yeppers! Just sewing a lot, and then 'life' kinda kicked in for a while.

I've been working along on this interesting pattern (above) and have made about half of the required blocks for a lap quilt. As the pattern suggested, putting a little yo-yo in the center where the 'flowers' meet seems like a good idea. I've pressed the blocks with a bit of starch to tidy them up. My 'real' colors are more subtle than this photo.

My sewing has included a lot of hand quilting, and I have a very sore thumb. It's not sore from hand quilting - it's dry and cracked from handling fabric, and I cannot even pick up my pins! Poor me. 8-(

I'm making good progress with hand quilting my Easy Peasy Scrappy Spool Quilt (whew!, what a name!). The entire center is quilted, the triangle setting triangles are done with hearts, and most of the first border is done with "egg and dart" pattern, and about one side of the squares-on-point are quilted. My hand quilting is nothing to write home about, just routine and utilitarian on this quilt, about 6 stitches to the inch, but the process is restful and keeps me from getting impatient with DH during episodes of remote-control-clickamania.

And look at the backing! Isn't it just perfect?

These are my hand quilting needles - the best I've ever used. Before finding these, I was sold on English needles, named something like James, but they bent right away. These Japanese needles are VERY sharp, and they do NOT bend. They DO break, but I've only used ONE NEEDLE on this Spool Quilt. A previous quilt required about 8 needles as they broke, but the package is not expensive. I use size 8 or 9. There are so many variances with hand quilting; fabric, needle size, thread, batting, my own attitude, humidity, and most of all, patience and determination. I lapse on the last two requirements.