Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kona snow Bowties and Batik bonanza

In addition to making the Cheddar Bow Tie quilt ala' Bonnie Hunter, I decided to also make a more traditional one with Kona Snow. I dug into my "charm" collection to begin this quilt. One 5" square is more than enough to make a Bow Tie unit with a nice rectangle left over. I will use the leftovers as a Piano Key border. WhoooHOOO!

 We swapped out all our old hollow wood doors inside the house to white 6 panel solid doors. What a difference it makes. Anyway...I had to move a large stack of plastic containers to allow DH to get to hinges. I came across 4 huge bags of Batik scraps. All wrinkled and smushed and unusable.
 I started pressing and sorting by size yesterday. The above is just the beginning. I soon had to switch to a larger plastic container to hold all the scraps. The teeny ones are in the small container for string piecing.
 Here is the end result. All pressed and sorted...but not sorted by color yet. But all pressed.
 I am in Batik heaven...what to make ...what to make...
 Batik envy anyone???
 I wore out my poor old ironing board cover. Sigh! I am so hard on irons and covers.
 I bet this weighs 20#'s...all deliciously clean and straight and all the same fabrics together. I am thinking of taking them all out and do a color sort while I am in the obsessive mood. There are times that being OCD is a blessing. This is one of those times......
Any suggestions? I have an urge to just make some Peaky and  Spike units and some 4-patches and some HST and some Pinwheels and some Ohio Stars....
Am I going crazy????
BTW...I am almost done with the repair of the Butteryfly quilt. Just a tiny bit of hand quilting. I am so very proud of getting it actually repaired when I had been dreading even starting the fix.

I am going to a Kaye England lecture this Friday. She is such an awesome speaker. Some of the LQS's are doing a Shop Hop that involves NO driving. All 20 shops will be under one roof. We can just go to booth to booth. I have been saving some money...It will be all gone before the end of the hop.
I am taking my old/new friend Victoria to meet Kaye. She is a tailor who has been bitten by the quilting bug via me!!!!!!!!! We have been apart for 30 years. We cannot remember why we stopped seeing each other. I guess life got in our way. We are tight again. I do love her so very much. It is like looking in a mirror sometimes. We are both Pisces...we are both the same age...we both played violin in school...we both crochet...we both sew clothes...we both love Laurel Burch designs...we both love cats.
There is a whole lot more of what we both have...but what we both have right now is each other!
I love you Victoria! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Paper Piecing butterfly blocks

 I am still working on the Butterfly quilt. I have replaced nearly all the sashings and border fabrics. I did this by stitching fabric directly over the old fabric. The quilt already was heavy. (111X103) It is a big quilt. Now with double the fabric it is HUMOGEOUS! Or at least feels like it as I wrestle it through the machine.
I am also adding lots more quilting. I had hand quilted this quilt and left lots of bare areas. The hand quilting is still strong. But I will be adding much more quilting to keep it lasting another 10+ years!
 I love my Janome6600P. I work it to death and it has never failed me. I have considered the new Horizon 7700. But the chatter about weird glitches on this new machine has made me wait.
 I have been digging through some very old fabric. I found all the butterfly fabric that I used in the original quilt. I did have to buy a couple yards from my favorite E-Bay seller: Morningdove. Her shipping prices are the best around and she ships so fast. I swear she must make a late night run to the post office when I order. 2 days tops and I have my purchase!
 All new borders in Kona Snow and all new sashings sewn down.  Today I cut off the old binding...it was shredded and thread worn. I added new binding and am now ready to tackle the embroidered  blocks. I may hand quilt them. Just so I can cuddle under this quilt one more time! 
Look at this beautiful bunch of swap fabrics!
This is just one swappers contribution.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Quilt repair!

This quilt was the second large quilt I have ever made. It lives on my daughter's King size bed. Each of those paper-pieced butterflies were tiny works of art. I dug into my precious Jinny Beyer pallet collection to piece these. I also used some fabrics from my deceased sister-in-law. My oldest daughter loved her Auntie Margie very much. Using some of these fabrics made this quilt special for both of us.
 I have learned the value of good quality fabric the hard way. The end result is fabric disintergrating before your eyes! Much to my daughter's dismay the quilt started falling apart.
 If I had quilted it heavier I think it would have been in better shape. But with small children hurling and assorted kittens and puppies, this quilt has seen a lot of washing.
 My goodness my hand looks old! Yikes when did that happen??????? Anyway, the seam is still there but the fabric isn't! DH said I should applique something over these large areas. The backing fabric has large realistic butterflies. And I know I have a piece of it SOMEWHERE in my vast stash. I have never appliqued before. But I guess this is the way to learn...
 I have been keeping this repair project at the end of my list of things to do. I was dreading the close examination that was going to be needed to fix this quilt. This morning I simply replaced to inner borders by sewing some on my GOOD quality Kona Snow over the poor worn out white butterfly fabric that was too thin and fragile from the beginning. It had just turned to dust practically in my hands. The angst I felt was silly. It took all day, but now the large areas are totally fixed. And it was easy!!!! I am also going to add LOTS more quilting before I return the quilt to my daughter.
 See the two fresh new inner borders? Boy do I ever love working with this Kona Snow.
 Here is the report from the neutral string block event. I have 185 all made. I took them to club tonight and worked on tearing off the paper. I think I disturb some of the quilters with the paper rustling. So tonight I sat at a back table so I would not disturb their delicate constitutions.
I just had to buy this. I LOVE titanium sewing machine needles. They last a very long time and I feel they are worth the extra cost. I buy them by the 100's on a Yahoo group called "needlecoop". 

So I figured that a Fiskar titanium rotary cutter blade should last the same way. We will see. I will put her to work as soon as this blade in my old favorite Fiskar cutter wears out. I am a good rotary cutter wielder/driver. I keep the blade clean of fuzz and rarely nick any ruler edges. I make them last a long time.
I do not miss work since retiring but I do miss the good ole' Tool & Die men. They kept my blades (and their wives' blades) sharpened. Sometimes too sharp! Once the resharpened blade that I used for the first time completely cut through a cutting mat. And I just happened to have the mat on my new oak dining room table. Talk about regret!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A "DUH!" moment...

I have 72 4 1/2" neutral string blocks made. I decided to just cut the remainder papers needed so I would "know" when I was done. But who wants to count phonebook pages? Then I had a "duh!" moment...the pages are numbered! WHOOOHOOO! I ended up using every single page in that phone book. I have 10 extra pages left over. How satisfying to have an empty phonebook cover!

Have any of you ever used an entire phonebook up? I am sure Bonnie has. Hummmm.....makes me wonder if she ever takes pages from phonebooks in her motel rooms. HA! We will have to ask her!!!!!

The fabric in the background is scraps waiting to become strings and corner triangles.
 A few hours later and I have:

 A bagillion strings and corner finishing triangles cut and another BIG stack of 2 1/2" strips cut for the HST in Jamestown Landing. I still need to use the Easy Angle on those strips. But right now I am in string piecing mode. These 4 1/2" string blocks finish so fast compared to the 8 1/2" neutral string blocks I made over 200+ of! I made 36 yesterday. All trimmed and the paper torn off!
 Tomorrow I need to grocery shop then will spend the rest of the day sewing! WHOOOHOOOO!
We have been getting small tomatoes and cherry tomatoes for weeks now. We are finally getting the large meaty ones. Oh they taste soooo good. I told DH that he needs to write down what kind they are and buy them again. Despite the terrible heat and NO RAIN for the last month the tomatoes are doing fine. DH keeps them watered and they do not get the hot afternoon sun.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Pet Beds and MUSIC!

These were all made by me, Subee. 100% machine wash and dry.

Made with quality quilt fabrics, batting, fleece and polyester fiberfill.

 Basket Cats/camel fleece
 Basket Cats pad
 Black-white dog/black fleece
 Cougar/camel fleece
 Gray dog/gray fleece
 Kitty City/brown fleece
 Kitty City dk pawprint/brown fleece
 City Kitty lt pawprint/camel fleece
 Gray dog/lt gray fleece
 Red dog/red pawprint fleece
 Red dog/black fleece
 Smokey kitties/black fleece
 Hunting dogs/camel fleece

                         Yellow pawprint/black fleece
I am asking $30 + FREE shipping for these beds. Leave me a comment and/or an e-mail and I will e-mail you in return.
None of these have been "test driven" by my cats.
I did not allow them to try much to their chagrin!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Grandma's Bricks & Stepping Stones

Grandma Iole's shirts have produced another quilt. I harvested enough "bricks" to make Bonnie Hunter's Bricks and Stepping Stones pattern on http://www.quiltville.com/
It is one of her free patterns. She is the most generous designer!

 I still need to decide on border fabric. I will leave it up on the wall for awhile.
Everyone has been complaining that I have had nothing on my design wall for weeks.
That is so true. I have been making pet beds. I plan on listing them on E-Bay soon.
My Floribunda is now my sewing chair cover.  I get to touch it everyday! WHOOHOOO! Those are all my 4-patches for the B&SS. I watched the Brickyard 400 and make all the units!

This is the cat bed I mailed to Bonnie last week. She said she got it but has not said if Chloe or Emmy Lou like it. I can barely get a bed through the machine before the kitties are trying to test drive them!
 I have gone through four 5# boxes of polyester batting. I used up every single piece of leftover batting that I have been saving. I also made a severe dent in my fleece supply too. The fabrics above are from the "Kitty City" line. I have a bolt of each of these fabrics. I will not be able to use them in my next life. I need to use them up NOW! And that meant crawling around in the attic above my cutting room.
It is HOT up there!
 One super special and LARGE dog bed for my DD Lisa's precious dog. She asked for one for her neighbor who has been so nice to GD Arika during her recovery from losing her father. Lisa loved the bed so much I made her one too. I channel quilted the bottom layer. There are 3 layers of batting, a cotton backing and white fleece. My Janome 6600P just performed like a champ. She never bogged down. I did this all without marking...just eyeballed it!
 This bed is 93" in circumfrence. I do not want to make too many of these unless I can get my money's worth back. The beds are totally machine wash and dry. They are so comfy!
 Just ask MaggieMae. She is so much happier without all that fur. She got her Lion Cut last Thursday. The groomer says she is an angel. I am so glad. I do not want to stress either of them! HA!
Macy trying out a STACK of beds. See what I mean? They test drive them all unless I get them in to the plastic bags as soon as I get them done!
Baby is in the bed and Bess is on the wood. They are half sisters. (same feral mother) Baby is short haired and Bess is long haired. Their marks are all mirror imaged too. Says something for genetics!

 I decided to just straight line quilt this little beauty and mounted it on the wall at the doorway. Once the air gets shut off the passerbys will be able to see the quilt. Just 9-patches and hourglass blocks. So simple!
 I have started my Cheddar Bow Ties. My goal is to not repeat any fabric.
I will now use them as Leaders and Enders. But I could not resist making just a few to see if I liked the process and the color. Cheddar is brand new to my stash. But I did buy 8+ yards. Anyone need some????