Sunday, November 27, 2011

Orca Bay Clue #2-blue strings

I had so much fun sorting my strings. I was amazed that I had so many blue strings. And I did not even open my Pineapple block container that has a few pounds of strings!
These blocks are so tiny and sweet!
I press my strings before sewing them to the foundation paper. Then a good finger pressing is all that is needed before trimming. The paper is still on these blocks.

 My Sony Wega TV died last week. It did not go quietly. It was very scary. I am glad I was in the room when it happened. Electricity and I do not mix well. I have a very healthy respect for it's dangers.

Hubby did some searching for me and he found a 46" Sony Bravia LCD on clearance! I went and bought it immediately. Not only is it 10" larger than the old TV. It is 30 pounds lighter and is nearly totally flat. It fits so nice on my corner stand.
There is now a ledge for my TV watching MaggieMae to sit on. She used to have to watch it from the end table.
 She knows there will be a flash and always shuts her eyes. Smart kitty!
 She is watching her favorite channel. Animal planet of course. I also have a DVD called "A Cat Sitter". All kinds of little creatures making small sounds and moving around so she can chase them across the screen. The only issue I have is that her little body does block the remote control's signal.
My cats are not spoiled at all! HA!
 I love sewing with Presencia thread. I use 50 weight on top and the 60 weight for bobbins. I have matching colors in both weights. They do make a 40 weight but I am in love with King Tut for the top quilting thread. I have emptied one of the 50 weight cones. That is a lot of thread! This thread is 100% cotton and there is almost no lint.
I had been using SO FINE! by John Flynn for bobbin threads. But I have been having issues with it. It sews wonderfully and is great for piecing until I noticed that if I use a good hot iron (and who doesn't) it MELTS AWAY!  It is a polyester thread. The seams then open like a zipper. So I will only use it for quilting now not for piecing. Bummer!
I have all my reds cut up for the Quiltvilleswap exchange. I could not resist making a few red string blocks. But then I decided I had better stop making them as we do not know the size for the Orca Bay red string blocks yet!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Orca Bay progress

My Orca Bay units from clue#1 are all done and counted out.
As usual I made way too many. But I also slipped in some grays and neutrals.
I am playing with the idea of making a second quilt using pinks/grays.

 All ready for sewing...remember I said I was done and I am all finished.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why I bought/buy bolts of fabric

My precious DH and my first Greatgrandson, Drew. Music is in their blood!
A blogger friend had asked me where and why I bought bolts of fabric. I sent her an e-mail. She wrote back that I should make a blog of my e-mail. So I did a copy and paste and the e-mail is below.
"Then I found an EBay seller that sold bolts of fabric. (they are gone now) Granted they were old lines of fabric. But 1st quality...starting bid was always $24.95 for 15-20 yard bolts. I could not stop! But some bolts I just had to have and spent maybe $70 for a bolt. But that was still cheaper than stores. I was working. I had a Union job that paid very well. I spent it on fabric for retirement time. I made many BORING quilts and never made a dent in my bolts!

I am not stretching the truth when I say I have over 300 bolts of fabric in this house. Ask my husband. Ask the UPS man who thought I was hiding my fabric obsession from DH. That is a funny story! Ask Bonnie Hunter. She has been to my home. She has seen it. She says quilters tend to fill up all available space. This was after I told her I needed a bigger house.

Then I discovered scrap quilting and never looked back. I have gone through each bolt I own twice now, ripping off a yard hunk. Then I cut them into Bonnie’s Scrap User System.

I also inherited my sister-in-laws stash of fabric when she passed away. She bought fabric but never sewed anything. She was buying ahead too. Lots of 70’s calicos....some were only 36” wide. And that type of fabric was not what I had been collecting.

I bought Jinny Beyer, Fossil Fern, all kinds of batiks and cat fabric of course. So her fabric filled in a missing spot in my collections. Then I went nuts for 30’s fabric and bought 200 1/2 yd. cuts. (Ebay again)

Then I discovered fabric samples with cardboard headers....perfect for scrap quilting. I had bagillions of those too but have cut most of them up in to the SU System. You can still get those...sometimes I buy fabric scraps by the pound too. But I generate so many scraps myself that that is kinda silly.

I have sold lots of fabric and sewing machines on E-Bay. But that takes so much work. I guess if I were less of a sewer and more of an entrepreneur I could open an EBay store or even sell from my home like a garage sale that would never stop. HA!"
My cutting is all done for clue#1. I have them all in little baskets waiting for sewing. Another sleepless night. I got up at 2:00 a.m. Nice and quiet house and I am content for a while.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Orca Bay beginnings

I love mysteries. I love mystery quilts even more. And to try to explain that to someone who has never done a mystery is hard. They have trouble "jumping" in and trusting the designer to lead them down a successful path to a great quilt!
We all know that Our Bonnie Hunter (
is a quilt designer we can trust to take us beyond our own boundries and give us so much quality sewing time.
I have been making a huge effort to not be stingy with myself when I even out fabric edges. That way I can generate more strings for me! And I throw them into this lovely basket. It does fill up fast too!

 You need to make saving scraps easy to do for yourself. I love containers and baskets and use them to help me keep things organized.
I went through all the bolts of neutrals on the cutting table. I cut 8  11/2" strips from each one. Way more than what I need for Orca Bay. I am on a Log Cabin block marathon too. This is the size strips I am using for the Log Cabin blocks. And since that last post of the black/white Log Cabin blocks I have made I want to make another quilt with another color family. Have not decided what color yet, so I am just cutting to feed the bins.

 This container is FULL! WHOOOHOOOO!
 This is the leftover from the Log Cabin quilt. They play right in to Bonnie's color scheme!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pressing issues-Rebuilt Log Cabin blocks

I love pressing. I love ironing. I must own 10 irons. Most are still in their boxes...I do not want to be without an iron if one were to die. I have three ironing boards too. OCD...remember?

I know the importance of pressing as you sew. Rule of thumb is never cross a seam with another seam until that previous seam is pressed. I finger press. I have good strong nails. It is ALMOST as good as pressing with an iron. It works for most blocks. It has almost always worked for me.

But unfortunately not for the blocks shown below.
 And the first 16 blocks (right block) were sewn on another sewing machine. Says something for seam allowances that can vary from machine to machine although they are both Janomes. And I do feel I know what I am doing!!!!!!
At least those 16 blocks are exactly to same size. That was one manic day of sewing.

The next 38 blocks were sewn on my main machine. That took 2 days. And I also pressed each log as I went around. The ironing board is sooooo handy in this room. I had the first 16 blocks on the design wall and as I added more and more rows I realized that my next 38 were going to be bigger than the first 16.
 So, I threw caution to the wind and decided to use my blogging friend's,
Rebuilt Log Cabin technique to resew those first 16 blocks.
I cautiously cut one block. See below
 And I loved the effect. Sorry, the next photo is out of order and I did not feel like moving them around. I wanted to get this post made so I could get back to sewing today.
 Here they are in their glory...still untrimmed but ready for assembly.
 We had our first bit of snow last Thursday afternoon.
It came down hard and fluffy and then melted away.
If you click on the photo you can see the flakes.
This my 300th post!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Learning to love Cheddar

I have always loved Laurel Burch fabrics. I have oddles of the ORIGINAL fabrics from long ago. When she passed away I even sold some of my collection on E-Bay. There was an insane demand for the older fabrics then.

Now there still seems to be an abundance of Laurel Burch fabrics being produced. I have not bought any. I still have lots to use up.

I was sharing a bit of this cat face fabric with a friend and I tossed the bolt on top of my shelf of bolts. It landed near my bolt of Cheddar. And I was so intrigued that I made this small baby quilt with my newest love, cheddar, and some of Laurel Burch fabrics. It looks very nice in person. I do not know if you can see how nice they play together.

I have my third Great Grandson. Theo was born early and is at the NICU but is doing great and will be home much sooner than we thought. I have given two afghans and several small quilts to his Mommie to take up to the hospital. This one is next to go up there.
 I love getting packages in the mail. Not all of them are internet purchases. This package is one from one of the Yahoo groups I host. She wins the "First to arrive" prize!
 I simply HAD to go to my LQS and stock up on Fat Quarters. Buy ten get 2 free works for me. Check out my red inventory now! WHOOHOOO!
And I also hit the clearance rack and bought that great looking green. It is so nice.

And I bought a new book entitled The Civil War Sewing Circle authored by Katheen Tracy.
I also took my Smith Mountain Morning quilt to be displayed on their walls. Sigh! I will miss it while it is gone.....but if I can help Bonnie's sale of her books anyway I can, I will do it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Zoey's birthday quilt is done!

I love using Minkee as a backing on a quilt. And my Grand daughters all request at least one Minkee quilt a year. I try to oblige if I have the right color on hand. My GD Zoey loves purple. I made her a fun 9-patch purple cat quilt and the Minkee I had goes perfect with it!
I just did simple straight line quilting on the quilt. And the back is so yummy I just want to pet it!
And I also made three Project Linus quilts exactly like Zoey's quilt. They will be turned in next Monday at Quilt Club meeting. I used up lots of fabric. And that was my goal! Shop the stash!

 I found another use for those pencil boxes. My bolts tend to slide/lean when I remove one for cutting. Then I had a lightbulb moment and slid an empty box to hold the place on the shelf. It worked great!
And here is just one view of my fabric cutting room. My wonderful DH made me shelving that spans the entire room . And this is just one view of the cutting room. I will take some more pics soon.
I am so amped up waiting for the first cutting/sewing clue from Our Bonnie Hunter. Once again she is generously doing another Mystery Quilt for her fans. The title is Orca Bay. You can see it at her blogspot. (
Colors are reds, blues,blacks and neutrals.
So, I added a quick swap to the Yahoo group "quiltvilleswap". I am doing a washed fabric black/white swap due on December 1st. I am thinking these swappers could all use some reds too if they are planning on doing Bonnie's Mystery.
I am crossing my fingers here in beautiful Indiana!!!!