Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This was HARD!!!!!

I have joined the Barbara Brackman new BOM.  There is a person who has been a member of her group of BOMers for a while, and is using ticking for the blocks (his name is Dustin).  I love the modern look of it and decided to give it a try.  Oh my goodness, was this ever hard!!!!  I have been quilting for years but couldn't seem to get my mind around this.  I used probably a quarter yard trying to make this "baby".  The Civil War Era is not my favorite time in history, but I must say that Barbara Brackman does a good job in adding humanity in the stories she tells in association with the blocks.  Go over to her Civil War Blog and read the latest story about President George Washington's wife's slave Ona and how she escaped.    Let's hope the other blocks are not as hard!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Checking In!!

Life's responsibilities have gotten in the way and kept me from blogging as often as I really wanted.  Really, my blogging subject (quilting) has been going a little slowly so I guess it was just as well I didn't blog.

I got a little bored with the shirt quilt, and so put it aside to do some fast invigorating quilting.  Another co-worker had twin grandbabies.  They were very medically fragile a (born too early) and so I delayed making her anything until their conditions had stabilized.  They are now at home---a boy and a girl and doing much better....still fragile, but improving daily.  Since these are first children of a couple and family who could (and probably have) get them a LOT---I asked her first if her daughter-in-law would appreciate a homemade quilt.  She assured me that she would, that she loved things not mass produced---so I got to work.  I wanted to make simple quilts---something they could roll around on and love, and what could become their "special" blankie and something I could make fast without a lot of stress.   I kept my promise to myself and shopped my stash first and came up with some appropriate charm packs----

This is for Baby Girl---the backing is a soft minkie (I had in my stash, purchased as a remnant) and although the top is "traditional" baby girl, I think the back makes it more modern.  Quilted with a simple meander---not too tight so it is nice and cuddly!  In looking at the picture, I can see the pale yellow thread I used on the back, but oh-well, it will be okay.

This the one for Baby Boy.  The prezzie print can be a little weird on the eyes, but hopefully it will be okay.  I think it is cute though and if I were a new mom I would like this quilt.  I purchased a soft colored turquoise minkie for the back (I had to purchase this---I had flannel, but I really wanted minkie on the back of both).  I will quilt it this week-end, bind them both and have them ready for gifting on Tuesday when I return to school.

Now for the other news-----I have also decided I am going to enter a quilt in the AQS Chattanooga show!!!!  I made a quilt with just this in mind (dyed the fabric myself) and completed it this fall.  I have just been so hesitate to begin to quilt it, fearing it will not turn out well.  When I look at the other quilts in the show, they are so very perfect and I know mine will not be.  It also will not be "bejeweled" and is probably rather plain, but it represents what many quilters are doing.   I decided  to try to enter, not to win, but for the experience.  I loaded it---started quilting (I am playing it safe and using a panto) and of course, I had problems.  The quilting isn't as uniform as I would like (I don't have a stitch regulator), but it doesn't look really bad.  The thread blends well, so hopefully unless you look really close you will not see my "oops"!  I am going to complete it and go for it.  I am going to try to get a really good picture and hopefully, it will make the cut.  No picture--don't want to jinx myself.

Well---lots of work to do today so I will "see" you later!!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014


Just a short note:

It occurred to me that my blog readers may be thinking my latest quilt is my original.  Just want to clarify that I found this pattern in a book by Elsie Campbell entitled "String Quilts".  In fact it is on the cover.   Although my quilt is from this pattern, I have increased the size, (the blocks are smaller though in mine based on the size of my GO! die) and of course am using my own shirts, so from that perspective I have made it my "own".   I just wanted to clarify since I find it so unfair (and unethical) to not give credit where appropriate to the creative genius of others.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Not sure why it is sideways---but this is four rows.  I guess this way you get the idea though.   Four down 6 more to go and then the borders.

The beginnings of the next two rows with some good contrast.  I found another box of darks to add some variety.  It is "Spirit Week" at my Grandson's school next week with a 'theme" for each day.  The focus on Monday is "cartoon character".  He wants to be the "Joker" so we have a trip to Goodwin this afternoon to look for a purple blazer (yea right).  While there, I am going to look at the shirts and get a light and a dark to add some variety to the blocks.  No more than two though and in the "color" tag of the day, so I could possibly get a XXL or larger for $1.50!  I am too proud of myself---not saving little scraps--throwing them away!

More later!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Slow but Steady!

I have been working daily on this UFO.  I am trying very hard to resist the urge to start something else.  Doing so would probably leaving this UFO for another day.  I really don't want to though, that has happened too many times.  I had originally said I wasn't going to cut up any more shirts, but unfortunately, I am having to "de-bone" some light shirts.  After I complete that process, I will begin making blocks again.  This is how far I have gotten:

It looks crooked because of the way it is placed on the design wall, but I am anticipating once it is really put together, it will be straighter.  My challenge though is keeping those edges straight.  The shirts have been washed quite a few times and so are easily stretched.

My other task that has been keeping me busy is "juicing".  Like most people, I always have a resolution to lose weight and eat better.  Since there is only three people consistently in the house and one is a very picky eater, I really don't cook like I once did.  When I do, I always cook too much and so end up eating the same thing for days.  I still work, and so in addition, I am often really worn out when I come home.  It is certainly much easier to stop for "take-out".  To address the lack of fruits and veggies in our diet, I am now "juicing".  My husband bought a juicer as a house gift for Christmas.  I must say, it is fun to mix fruit and veggies.  My grandchildren enjoy it as well and are so surprised to hear what is "really" in the juice.

The makings for my "breakfast juice".  Apples, oranges, carrots and ginger.  

Isn't it pretty?  and it taste great!  The only drawback is what to do with the pulp.  I am investigating making muffins and adding it to the batter.  I think it would make a pretty good muffin, particularly the breakfast blend.  I am going to find a simple recipe and try it.  If all fails, it will make great compose.

At any rate, I do not intend to have a "juice" only diet, but certainly, although not perfect, it is "better than nothing" in adding nutrients to our diet.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Status Update!

Looking good!  The "wonkiness" doesn't seem to matter!  I don't have a whole lot of variety, but I really don't have more shirts to cut up, and I am not sure I really want to.  Rather than create more "stash", I really am into using what I have.  The lack of variety though, doesn't seem to matter as long as I am careful in my placement.  Plus, I am trying to "sorta" recreate" an antique, and there sure wasn't as much variety available then either---so---onward!

Have a great day and stay warm!

Friday, January 3, 2014

So Far--So Good!!!!

I completed quilting one of the quilts on my 2014 "To Do" list--- one of three quilts that belong to Diane:

I used a edge to edge pattern board.  It turned out  nicely I think----the thread matches so closely you really can't see the stitches on the back.    I hope she likes it---when washed, it should crinkle nicely.

I also started working on one of my UFO's from 2013:

Last year (and the year before as well), I got into this "old shirt" kick.  I purchased plaid cotton shirts from Goodwill and cut them up (ala' Bonnie Hunter).  I also purchased a Drunkard Path Go! Cutter die and started a quilt using the plaids and the die.  I put it aside after a couple of blocks, not really sure why.  It is my hope to finish a new quilt for my Grandson.  The pieces look sorta wonky----I like that, and I have to be careful when pressing since the fabrics are easily stretched, but it should be nice once finished.  The die results in a 7 inch finished block so together, the entire block is 28 inches.   I have to be careful as I lay the pieced strata on the die for cutting since I need some going horizontal and vertical.  I like the circle that appears once the four are sewn together.  Hopefully I can maintain the energy.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!!!  My husband I are were talking over coffee this morning and remembering when we thought 1960 was really a "long way away".  Wow---2014----I never even imagined this far ahead when I was younger.  We also discussed all the changes we have observed in our lifetime thus far---WOW!  For example, my husband got a watch phone for Christmas.  Doesn't that sound like Dick Tracy or Star Trek :)  Now it is a everyday thing.  We had an absolutely wonderful Christmas Holiday---all five of our adult children were here with 6 of the 7 grandchildren.  Such fun!

We brought in the New Year as we have done for at least 20 years!  At home, watching TV.  We had dips and chips, and toasted the New Year in with a small glass of wine.  No partying, no giant crowds, just giving thanks for having seen another year.

Like everyone else, I do make resolutions---often the same ones carry over year to year.  This year I resolve to:
  1. Lose 15 lbs.  To do that I will---
    1. Eat better
    2. Exercise
    3. Use my juicer
  2. Shop my stash before buying fabric
  3. Quilt the 10 quilts I have waiting (before I start another quilt)
    1. 3 of Diane's
    2. 1 that belongs to Roz
    3. 6 that belong to me
  4. Complete my UFO's (I think I have a total of 5 in the Que).
  5. Enjoy life as it comes
  6. Not take myself (or anyone else) seriously (unless a life is involved).
  7. Blog more regularly
This is my beginning list----I may add (or delete) as I go along. 

I did well in making quilts in 2013---a total of 22 with 11 donation quilts.  Several though are among the 6 I need to quilt.  I did decide to end the year by making a quilt though.  I small one that will be gifted to someone or become one of my donation quilts.

It is a Disappearing Nine Patch.  The center square was a solid white, the remainder from two different charm packs.  I made a nice size crib quilt---perfect as I said, for either gifting a new baby or as a baby donation.  I also made a quilt for a fellow nursing professor who just had her first Great-grandbaby.

It looks very much like the first quilt---but is a little more "scrappy" in appearance.  It also was made with charms---the same group as the first quit (I guess that is why they look similar to me).  It is all quilted (with a backing of yellow minkie), bound and I will give it to her when we go back to school next week.

I hope your New Year began well and the day is a great one.  I am busy cooking the traditional dinner (for my family), Black-eyed Peas (for luck); cabbage (for money) and ham.  I am adding homemade rolls and rice.  No homemade dessert though, we have leftover "purchased" pies my daughter brought.  I plan to getting started on quilting those quilts.  Have a great day!