Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lots more string blocks made!!!!!

I know I usually have many more photos to show you. I do not know why I did not click more pictures. But I am totally happy with this week's sewing results. That almost dull Organ Titanium needle actually made it through all these string blocks. It is now just starting that dreaded "ticking" sound.
I really need to get the King of Greens quilt sewn together. DD#1's BD is at the end of July. I have all the quilting done. That was the hard part. But I could not stop making these string blocks.
They are such an addictive block. It warms my frugal heart. I made these blocks from fabric that some quilters throw away!!!

 I now have 45 brown string blocks made. That huge bag of strips is totally empty. I did raid my stash for corner squares. And I also used some of the fabric strips gifted to me from my new Alaska friend, Diane.
So total amount of string blocks made this week is 70!!!
45 browns
15 greens
10 yellows
All are 8 1/2". I used this size because of the size of my phone book pages. I can always cut them down to another size. But it would be very hard to make them bigger! HA!
I cannot wait to get Bonnie Hunter's newest book entitled String Fling.
It is due out in July 2012.

This is all that is left of my scrap strings. And these are the thicker ones. I know it is tempting to use thicker cut strips to get the sewing over faster. But believe me you want a good amount of really slender strips to add variety to your blocks. Most of my blocks have 17 or more strips per block.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A gift of scraps from Alaska

My newest best friend, Diane,who lives in Alaska, sent me this box of scraps. She is moving and could not make room for the scraps.
The new Happy Postman brought the box to my door and set it inside for me. "It is heavy" he says to me! I say it is all fabric scraps. He just chuckles and walks out.

 I could not resist opening the box even though I was only midway through my next set of 10 brown string blocks. Then I think, I just grab some browns out and continue sewing.

 Well, that did not happen because I could not stop. I did start sorting while sitting on the floor but my body began protesting. So DH moved the box out to the dining room table and here below is the result of just a couple hours sorting!

Lots of blues
Lots of greens
Lots of blacks
Lots of children prints
Some yellows
Some reds
Some pinks
Some purples
Some neutrals
Some browns
Some golds
Some florals
I hope she doesn't want them back now that they are sorted! HA! And these are not tiny pieces. I guess you can call them scraps but BIG HUNKS would describe them better. I cannot thank Diane enough for this bonus addition for my string blocks. It is going to take me MONTHS to translate these into blocks.

And some sad news. My spool of brown So Fine has been emptied. 3,280 yards all used up. Sigh! That means I get to open the plastic on my new favorite brown So Fine thread called "Cat Tail". WHoooHOOO!
3,280 more yards to sew with!!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

String Fling-Day3

After another day of sewing yesterday I have 10 brown string blocks made.

But as you can see I have a very large bag full of brown strings.

 I hardly made a dent in that bag. My strings are so skinny that there are 17-20 strips per block. That is a lot of sewing!!!!

 On Sunday I sorted my personal supply of strings. I found a few more green and yellow strips but they went into the "odd" string baggie for now.

 I got up at 5:00a.m. this morning and got the washed purple strips all swapped out. I just piled them on the chair then....
 I packed up the bags for carrying to the Post Office. It is easier for me to carry things with straps as opposed to crates with handles.

 I set the baskets outside today with a thank you card to my new Happy Postman.

The infamous baskets....I use them for everything sewing related. I think I bought 40 from Big Lots a long time ago. ($1 each then) they cost much more now! Go figure...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

String Fling-Day2

After two days of sewing I have 15 green string blocks and 10 yellow string blocks. I squared them down to 8 1/2". And I have used up all my green and yellow strings. Zero inventory on these two color of strings.

 All cleaned up and now packed safely in plastic. I have the count on a slip of paper on the back of the baggies. They will go into a hopper for future use.

 Here is the beginnings of day #2 with yellow strings. I feel I have such good results sewing strings because of my prep work. I get no cupping or waving of the blocks. I feel this is because I stretch and press the strips BEFORE any sewing gets done. The end result does not need any pressing before squaring up.

 My sewing gets MaggieMae's approval of course. It does not matter that she was sleeping most of the day and only woke up for the cleanup.

 My used needle is still going strong despite all the paper sewing. But paper sewing does generate lint. I usually clean the lint every two full bobbins. But I was using up partial bobbins too.
See the little stubby screwdriver? I just love this little tool. It has a nice solid tip and is short enough to fit in every place I need it. Some of my guild members tried it at the retreat this April. They liked it so much that they bought some as favors for the June picnic. I bought mine from Clotilde.  (  Item#518843

So after one solid day I sewing I cleaned the bobbin area. There was not very much lint. But the machine really "sounds" happier with any lint removal I do.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

String Fling- beginnings

What do you do when you are in a sewing mood and the Log Cabin blocks are all made but you do NOT feel like making those bigger units up? And your wonderful Organ Titanium needle that lasts and lasts is just beginning to get dull???
Why you just start sewing up some string blocks. The size does not matter to me at this moment.

 MaggieMae in her customary spot and I begin making some green string blocks. I put a couple through at a time and then switch out the strings and add a couple more. This keeps the variety going and making more than one block at a time is much more efficient!!!

 I decided on green string blocks because I knew I had a small container with just green strings in it from cutting for the green 2 1/2" strip swap over at Quiltvilleswap on the Yahoo group. I also grabbed a couple baggies with full size strips in them to cut the corner pieces. At least when I get that far...

 I cut up an entire phone book into 8 1/2" square foundation sheets.

This stack gets me almost as excited as a stack of fabrics waiting to be sewn.
I know, I am a cheap date and easily thrilled. Simple minded and happy.
I am also saving the receipt papers from the Post Office when I mail the swaps out. They are 3" wide and several feet long when I am done at the counter. That way I can use up the shorter strips too for a piano key type unit.

 And as I was digging for the green strings I unearthed my massive collection of strings. All by color of course...they do not fit in that big container. At least not while they are in their baggies. I may have to remove the baggies and just make piles in the container...someday. But right now I am sewing!!!
 This was Monday's delivery loot. I have a new Postman. He is happy and knowledgeable about quilting!!! Today he brought five more packages and I gave him a BIG slice of freshly baked banana/cranberry bread.
I want to keep this guy happy!!!!! 
I hope he is our new regular Postman now.

And here are my purples all cut and bagged up. I am just waiting for a few more packages and I can begin the swapping out. We have 20 swappers this time. What a great variety of purples are just waiting to be dug in to!!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cutting hints for the EZ Angle & Companion Angle rulers

When I need some Companion Angle ruler cuts, I first prepare the cutting edge using the EZ Angle ruler. I have no plans for that first cut but it avoids wasted fabric and sets up the perfect angle for the Companion Angle.

 I have so many non slip dots on my rulers. But they do NOT slip!!!!

 And here is the end result from 1/4 of a WOF strip. A few squares a few HST and a few QST!!! WhOOOHooooo! Fill those bins!!!

 And as I was searching for crumb fabrics I came across this container of Bonus HST from my Batik Star Struck quilt.. I went through just a few while watching the news. I cut the dog ears off and they went into that small container on the left and then gave the HST a quick press. I have no idea what I will do with these. But they are precious to me anyway!

 Here is MaggieMae loving on her new catnip mouse that was sent to me from Victoria P. She is in the Yahoo groups swap and knows how I spoil my kitties. Even though Victoria had this packed in three different layers of plastic, MaggieMae still knew she wanted in that package real bad!!! Otherwise the cats ignore the swap packages that come through the house.

 She is my sewing helper kitty too. Just lays there and watches the row of units as they slide across the table top. And yes, she always seems to forget she has her tongue out. Does she not care? Or does she not know?

I broke down and bought a new feeder for right outside my picture window. The other one had to be 20 years old at least. And the critters keep knocking it over during the night time hours. I need some kind of pole or stake instead of having it balanced on an old barrel.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My self haircut 0r What was I thinking?????


A few nights ago I had an issue with my below butt length hair. I decided that it would be really easy to braid up what I wanted cut off and the end result would be a free haircut.
Boy was I ever wrong.
I meant to remove 10" or so.
But...I removed 20+"!!! 
That was having no glasses on and hanging my head upside down...middle of the night. What can I say? It was crooked and uneven and my straight across hair was now layered!!!! How did that happen I wonder?????
I can cut fabric straight but not hair!!!!
Tonight is my guild's last meeting with a catered dinner. 
Well after another hair wash and using the dreaded hot rollers I am thinking my self haircut does not look so bad!!!
But boy am I gray!!!!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The freedom of designing your own creation!

I had a designing moment in the middle of sewing the huge Log Cabin quilt. Since I needed to make 29 more dark/light blocks before continuing I decided to make a few 4" Log Cabin between them. As a result I created two real small quilt tops.

I had these leftover cat border units from a pillow top fabric from eons ago. It fit this little Log Cabin top perfectly. Well...after I added some spacer strips to it. The selvages on the stripe fabric will get cut off. And I made 4 little brown string blocks for the corner. I love string blocks!!!
Do you all know that Our Bonnie Hunter of has another great book coming out in July 2012? It is called String Fling. Right up my alley!!!!
I pre-ordered it already and I advise you all to do the same!!!

 I have not decided on a border yet for this little mini. I have been watching the Harry Potter DVD's as I have been sewing. Somehow I need to link that memory to these little minis. They will be for my precious kitties to use of course!!!

 Here is my diagram for the big Log Cabin quilt. I have to credit Edyta Sitar for the coloring of my blocks. It seems I have been collecting all her colors most of my quilting life!!!!
I am checking off each unit as I make them. It is gonna be a long haul. I will never be able to quilt this one on my own. I will have to have Lisa Olinger (my long armer) quilt this giant. And I will also have to piece the batting for the length.
Sigh! But the result will be fantastic!!!

 I bought all the stuff to make my own stiletto. But did find my porcupine quill stiletto from my dress making days. It works great!!!! I cannot imagine what this creature would look like closeup with these heavy quills!!!!

 One of my Mom's bowls that I use for small pieces. That way she is sewing with me even though she has passed away. I have the little 1" Log Cabin centers in the bowl.

 And here they are stretching across the sewing table. I cannot imagine ever sewing in the cramped sewing room I used to use. This table has spoiled me. It is the small Quilters' Dream table. It is on wheels and very easy to move around.

 My Macy Gray loves to watch her world upside down. She has it so rough!!!!

 And every time I get up from the sewing machine for a stretch Bess plops herself down on my chair. I am thinking it is the kitty version of Our Bonnie Hunter's Florabunda that she loves.

And MaggieMae's fur is growing out sooooo fast. I must schedule a cut for her soon BEFORE she begins to tangle. Getting an appointment at the groomers is worse than getting a doctor's appointment. She is a good groomer and is booked out a long way!!!! Maybe she could fix my own haircut I tried to do......