Saturday, October 27, 2012

290 blocks should be enough!

OKAY...I see I have the wrong date on my slip of paper. But I was blown away when I did a final count on the Roman stripe blocks. 290 of these beauties!!! I must have forgotten to double the quantities when I cut them in half.
I hang my head in shame. But they are all pinned into groups of ten per Our Bonnie Hunter. I will decide what I am making with them some time in the future.

My Log Cabin quilt came home yesterday. Lisa Olinger did a magnificent job quilting feathers in both the light and the dark areas. The feathers go in opposite directions too. Lisa also told me that this was the largest quilt she has ever done. It measures 144" X 115". And I also have the correct amount of Log Cabin blocks to make another one equally as big. I know I am an overachiever.

I have a bunch of that black popcorn. It is called Black Pearl I think. Anyway...I do not care for it and have 4 bags in the freezer. DH used his air popper and we filled these three bags. I assumed the squirrels and birds would like air popped popcorn. No salt...
No one wants it. A few squirrels have nibbled on it. The Blue Jays lit and then flew away. The Sparrows just stare at me through the window...geezzz...maybe when the snow is a foot deep they will learn to like it.
They are spoiled with raw peanuts and black oil sunflower seeds.

We could not have wished for better weather for the final open stage at New Haven's Schnelker Park Gazebo. It was 78 and sunny. But the wind was really strong. We had a fair turnout. There were two hot food trucks there. And face painting and toss games for the children.
Part of me is giddy with joy of not having to be there every week. And another part of me is sad because I really enjoyed the time spent with James.
I will really miss this beautiful tree...I will have to come and visit it at the park.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Basket of many is enough?

My basket is nearly full. Guesstimate is 96 blocks. So I think I need to keep on sewing on these.  Good thing they are FUN to make!!!!!!

And yes, I also save the dog ears from clipping the corners. As I add them to the jar, it becomes like a sand painting. Each little layer has it's own color and memory.

Making these Roman Stripe blocks has finished off one of those smaller phonebooks. And the frugal me also had to cut the covers and heavier pages into little hexagons. This is the cutter that Our Bonnie Hunter uses. It is for scrapbookers but works great for this application too.

I have not started anything with this size yet as I have a mission of mercy to do. I was unable to say "no" to a friend of an old friend who has an older Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt that needs finished. Some sewing together and then quilting and binding. Why can I not say no? This feels like such a burden to me that I feel guilty sewing on anything else by hand. So I sew on nothing by hand....promises made are promises fulfilled here in Subeeland. I promise myself that I will work on it soon.

Our MaggieMae is shaved again. YEA!!!!!! She stayed awake all day yesterday playing with string and jumping around.
And the tongue out pose is the way she always seems to be. I guess her tongue is too long for her little lower jaw.

Side view. She feels like velvet. And looks like a Russian gal in gray fur boots.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Efficiently string piecing

Efficiently string piecing is very easy if you plan ahead. Why cut up WOF strings to fit smaller blocks? I use those long strings to make larger (8 1/2") blocks and then use the shorter lengths to make the smaller (4 1/2") blocks. That way the repeat of fabric is reduced and those big blocks do get sewn, if slowly.

I am very pleased with the result of another two partial days of sewing.
I have five red 8 1/2" string blocks and fiftysix 4 1/2" red string blocks made.

I did not slice them on the diagonal as I did the brown string blocks. I do not know what I am going to use these in so they will simply go into the blocks storage bin.

You kinda need to make a bit of a mess with string piecing. That is OKAY!

Check out the right upper corner of the picture above...see the squirrels?
It is a momma and her baby. She brought him here yesterday. She stayed with him while he found all the feeding areas. That took a few hours. Then she deserted him.

He is solo today. Please excuse the dirty windows. The critters leave pawprints and whatever else daily. I am hoping that white streak is some flying bird do-do and not a scent marking from a raccoon.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Using up my strings for Scrappy Roman Stripe blocks

PHEW!!! In only 2 partial days of sewing I have 100 of these blocks made. I am using up my teeny tiny strings from eons ago. I now make sure I am generous to myself when evening up the end of a piece of fabric. That way I get a more usable string. But I do love the effect of inserting the narrower strings in. They rock!!!

The neutral squares at the rear of this photo are actually 6 1/2". No problem, I just add the pieced triangle to the corner and cut between them. It produces a nice sized neutral string in the process!!!
String piecing never seems to reduce the supply!!

I am wondering how many of the Janome users have purchased these pink bobbins. Although they do make it a bit harder to see the amount of thread left while sewing. I feel they are a superior bobbin to the clear plastic ones. They seem a bit heavier in weight and are a lot quieter.

I bought four Quilters' Dream Puff batting to give it a good try. I really prefer all their other products to other batting manufacturers. So, I am sure I will fall in love with this product. If it passes the "Subee" test I may order an entire roll.

Here is the last look of MaggieMae's long fur. She gets a shave this coming Tuesday. I do brush her daily. All the fur goes outside for the squirrels to put in their winter nests. Yet she gets her tongue stuck on her chest hair...too funny and sad at the same time. And she is getting really matted under her legs. She is a much more affectionate kitty after the cut. But she is still the sweetest kitty I have ever owned. Good thing because her fur is a constant battle here.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Many more quilts made & another mitered border!!

Here is Tulip Fields designed by Our Bonnie Hunter (

I sure enjoyed sewing on this string pieced quilt.

Here is a little "quickie" baby quilt I made for Theo's birthday. (Oct 23)
It is so mind blowing to know he is a year old already! And he started out 3 months would never know it. He is Great Grandson #3.

My niece, Leslie, is pregnant and it is a boy. Her hubby coaches girls softball. So I thought a baseball themed quilt would work well. I had some leftover blocks in my stash and only had to make a few more to get this 65" square beauty!
I am going to get some Quilters' Dream Puff. I love all their other products so I want to try this super fluffy batting.

Being a bit OCD about sorting colors I sort all the 1,250 squares I get every 4 months from the Postage Stamp swap I also hostess.
There is a method to my madness...

So many colors and not enough space...

I have 60 blocks made and my little box is almost empty!!! Good thing there is another swap due this month! WHOOPIE!!!!

Love those full spectrum bulbs. They sure help to match colors.

I made two of these little pumpkin quilts in one day. They are placemat panels.
I wanted a Fall theme quilt at my door this year!!

I bought a "Knucklehead" pumpkin. It was harvested before it turned orange. But that is fine with me as green is my favorite color after pink, brown, neutrals...etc.

Here is my youngest daughter, Laura. And her daughter, my granddaughter Zoey.
They have made every single play date at the New Haven park on Thursday nights. It was so cold and windy last week that we only stayed 90 minutes. And this Thursday is supposed  to be even cooler and rainy to boot. We will have to play it by ear....

Friday, October 12, 2012

A mitered quilt and a Disappearing 9-patch

Two of our guild members presented a program on some very different piecing/cutting ideas. They called the technique "disappearing 9-patch".
One of the results is a sweet little pinwheel showing up in the middle.
Don't ask how I did it as I do not remember now. But I did sew it the day after the meeting. It was very much a liberating day. But that was 12 days ago and lots of fabric has been through my sewing machine since then.

I was digging through my backing supply and ran across this border fabric that I had been saving hoarding. Darn it! I am going to use it. And I did!

I love how a mitered border adds so much more drama than a plain border. Don't get me wrong...I do plain borders a lot. But this Medallion Edtya Sitar inspired topper needed a BEAUTIFUL border. There is not very much pink in the quilt but the border still compliments it just right.

Here it is before quilting. I really enjoyed making this design. I can see myself making another one in a more controlled pallet. Almost an explosion of color from the center out a colorwash. Hubby likes to help arrange those type of designs. He has such an artistic eye.

Everyone I have ever gifted a quilt to has also received a quilt with a Minkee backing. But I have never made one for me.
It is all quilted now and just waiting for me to have a spare moment so I can lie under it. But where are the spare moments???

I have lots more photos on the camera...I will post more soon!

I am loving this cooler weather...a couple good freezes and the bugs are almost gone!!!! WHOOOHOOO!