Sunday, May 30, 2010

2" drawer is overflowing! Spray starch contest

The starch on the right has been my FAVORITE for a few years now. I can find it only at a Meijer's store here in town.
Then last week the starch on the left made an appearance on the shelves at my local Walmart.
It is really nice smelling. (they are both lavender flavored) I do not like the spray...too defined..not a wide gentle spray. But the results are fantastic if you like very stiff fabrics. So my good cottons will get the one from the right and the cottons that need more body will get the new starch.

Here are my 2" 4- patches ready for sewing.
I joined a swap for these little beauties.
I made 200 4-patches.
And I love and recommend these straight pins from Clotilde. Very fine and sharp. They will bend but not break. I had them in white but a fellow quilter says the "redhead" pins show up easier on fabrics.
So I bought some!
They are 1 3/8" silk pins.
Kinda pricey at $8 for 200.
But they will last a long time.

This was the drawer of 2" strips that I raided for that swap. After playing with them they no longer fit back into the drawer. So I dumped them all out and sorted light/darks and folded them back into the drawer. Now the drawer is nice and neat and I can see what I have!

I am hosting a swap on a Yahoo group called Postagestampquilts.
We are swapping 1 1/2" squares.
Each swapper sends in 25 sets of 50 different fabrics. When I swap them out they will get 25 sets back (not their own of course)
I used my last ones in the Crabapple quilt.
This book was gifted to me from one of the swappers. And it was one I did not have! Love the quilts in there.
Aren't quilters generous?????

ragged Squirrel's progress

My vet would not give me any meds for that poor mangy squirrel. She said it could be fleas or mange and could not dispense meds for wild animals.
Despite that the fur seems to be coming back in.
She is way too tame now. She climbs my front screen door to ask for more peanuts. Tries to dash in the house when I open the door. What a mess that would be. Me here inside with five cats chasing a mangy squirrel around.

I have not seen her today. But I am sure she is doing fine. Cross your fingers for this precious wild creature.

Maggie Mae's "Lion Cut"

Here is my LONG haired cat named Maggie Mae. She was gifted to me. I would never have bought such a long haired obligation.
Her personality makes up for all the grooming she needs. But her fur got the better of both of us.

A hurried trip to regular vet for a "sanitary cut" around her bottom. Then a hatchet job on her matts. She looked terrible!

So I made an appointment for a groomer to get her shaved into what is called a Lion Cut. They are harder to get into than a doctor or a good hair stylist! But the result was so worth the wait!
She weighed 9#'s before the shaving. They did not weigh her after. She feels like velvet now. She is loving her look too. She has been touching skin that I am sure, she has never been able to get to. I was tickled that the "tortie points" are skin deep.

I think I will have them shave the tail a real lion...just some at the tip!
And she is playing like a kitten again. I bet all the matts were keeping her from stretching while running/playing.

She looks beautiful to me now. There is no pile of fur wherever she lies down. And she has changed where she sleeps. She used to lie on any wood or tile floor she could find. Guess she was warm. Now she is finding softer warm places.

Like my chair! With her head on a pillow. Too cute!
I made another appointment with the groomer for August. We plan on keeping her trimmed now. And she is loving getting more tangles!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shirt stash and tea dye sucess

As most of my regular followers know, my ex-mother-in-law passed away last November.
I was allowed to remove her cotton shirts from the closet. Such a sad task. I hope she was watching to know I did it with respect.

This stack has 23 shirts. I washed them all today. I am not up to disassembling them yet.

You know some of these are really old as they have sewn in shoulder pads! In a little cotton shirt! And a couple are a cotton/poly blend but I will still use them. I need to pick one of Bonnie Hunter's designs ( for these beauties.

One of my best internet friends
blogged about tea dyeing fabric so I gave it a try. I loved the print on these two fabrics but the white background made them not play nice with my other Dear Jane fabrics. The difference is subtle but worth the effort. They now reside in my Dear Jane block collection. I have 60 blocks made and so far I show no sign of being tired of making them. So yes, they must be addicting.
I tried coffee and tea for staining the fabrics. Tea worked best I think.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My internet is broken, Dear Jane -29 blocks done!

Comcast has been broken here in the small town of New Haven Indiana. I have not had e-mail/internet since Sunday last. They keep telling me they are trying to fix it but whaaaaaa!!!!! it is not fixed yet. I am using neighbor's Verizon account to let you all know what's going on. I had 164 messages in just one e-mail account!Maybe it is time to switch from Comcast...they have us by the scruff of the neck and no say in anything.

The tech they sent yesterday made me cry. He was angry and rude to me. I have not cried since last November. I am not the crying type.

He was angry about the jumble of cords behind my desk...

he was angry when the mouse fell on his head and when he THREW it it bounced back and hit him again...

he was angry about the contortion he had to do to access the wall outlet.

Not their best "people person" tech...I did not call and complain but when they called last night I asked for another tech guy. I said this one and I had a personality conflict. Hubby did come home from work and have a talk with the man. No apology from him though...he thought he did nothing wrong. But I am still without internet!

On the good side...I now have 29 Dear Jane blocks completed. They are getting easier but not faster. But then that is the joy of these blocks...testing your sewing expertise!

And the sewing machine place called and my embroidery machine is done and they only charged me for the "tune-up". YEA!!!!!!!!!!!! But I will bring all the stuff and try it before I leave that place. It is a long drive for me and the traffic is terrible there. No place to park and they are so BUSY!!!!!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Crabapple, irises & my Dear Jane start

I figured out what I did wrong in making the units for the checkerboard border on the Crabapple quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter (

I was thinking the bigger units that start with a LDL was UnitA and the dark finished 9-patch was a unitB....wrong...the sub units that make up these two larger units were the ones I needed to make. So I made like 5 times more than what I needed.

But hey! Now I have a checkerboard border ready for another scrappy quilt which will likely be Bonnie's Scrappily Irish in her new book "Adventures with Leaders & Enders".
She used 2" squares. I will use 1 1/2" squares.

Our irises are blooming and these smell sooooooooo good. I want to pick them to bring in but decided to allow them to live outside and I can visit them from time to time.

Spring and all it's glory hides an evil face at times....hate these maple seeds. Hubby calls them helicopters. I tired to sweep them yesterday but the wind was blowing more down as I was sweeping. I gave up.

I have 6 Dear Jane blocks done. I am so very proud of myself. Last week I was ready to burn the program or cut my head off. Nothing was going right with these blocks.
But yesterday I was very calm and was able to make 6 blocks in a short afternoon of sewing.
Now I feel a sense of excitement and pleasure. I was going to make them in gray/pink combinations but this Eco muslin and a fabric sampler w/ a cardboard header seem to play so nice together that I will use the pink/gray in something else.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More Crabapple quilt progress

Checkerboard border is on. I had no problems making it all fit.
I did not cut the first border at 1 3/4" as Bonnie had in her book. I cut mine at 2". Easier math for me and it worked perfectly. Now I need to pick a fabric for the final border. But I have a large dilemma....
I followed Bonnie's instructions but I may have not understood them right...I made 112 Unit A's and 112 Unit B's...but I only needed 1/4 of what I made. No wonder it took me so VERY long to make the checkerboard the dilemma is I could add a small border and then add another checkerboard border on. Geezzz...I have all these made up!
What's a quilter to do???????????????

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Back to Crabapple Quilt...FINALLY!

Finally back to sewing on my Crabtree quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter ( The pattern is in her newest book titled Adventures with Leaders & Enders. It is a wonderful book and I recommend it to all you scrappy quilters.

My 112 Unit A's are grouped in 10's with a safety pin (Bonnie's idea) and my Unit B's are waiting on the machine's throat. I so missed working on this quilt but I had obligations to finish first. This morning I was able to get back to Bonnie's pattern!
She sent me her tutorial block and a nice note card that I will treasure FOREVER!
The block she sent me will be the label on the back.

My sewing space...bird feeders right outside the picture window and I am watching the Science channel on TV. A hot cup of coffee and sunshine are my companions.

I added two small borders to daughter Laura's BD quilt this morning first thing. This has been in the UFO stage for a couple months. And wouldn't you know it I did make the backing and it is really too close in size to the finished 64" square top. I will have to pin it up and then see how the top fits it. Her BD is May 28th. So I am right on time.

Here is a closeup of the block. I really enjoyed piecing this block. It looks complicated finished but is made in easy units and is a surprise when finished that it was so easy. This pattern is in the book "Loose Change".

I have a sick squirrel. I went to a Wild Bird store and the clerk says I can get meds for this poor little lady at my vet's office. Maggie Mae has an appointment this Thursday so I will ask then. I guess it is a syringe that you inject into food. Will be no problem getting this little lady to eat it as she takes peanuts from me quite easily.
This picture is of Macy doing her bed stealing routine. Macy is on the right. Baby is on the left and Baby was there first. Check out Macy's you see they are back? She is not sleeping. She is leaning on poor Baby until she pushes her right out of Baby's bed. Macy does this to all the cats here. She is a major heat seeker.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I broke my embroidery machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I broke my Singer 1000 embroidery machine this morning. It was not operator error. For some reason it did not tell me the design I picked was too big for the hoop. I was watching it get closer and closer to the edge and I did not stop it soon enough. And when I put a fresh needle in it the shaft is out of whack and I am not sure if I got all the needle pieces out too. So I packed her all up to go to the sewing machine doctor tomorrow. I sandwiched the 2 needle pieces in Scotch tape and put them in an envelope to show the repair man.
I had only 4 squares to finish pseudo quilting in my French Farmhouse quilt. I was using quilt designs from a card. I have a feeling this repair will be costly.......

On a lighter note, I finished another small quilt yesterday. This one is for the Downy "Touch of Comfort". I heard about this through Bingo Bonnie's blog site. This is the second one I have made for them.
Bright colors are not my thing but this quilt rocks!