Monday, October 28, 2013

Swaps all mailed out and the tile floor is done!

The tiling is all done except for sealing and trying to find the transition thingies for the tile to the carpet. We need a four foot and a six foot piece. We have not been able to find them at Lowes, Menards or our hometown carpet dealer's storefront.

Despite all the construction going on I managed to complete three swaps. Here is the back of my Explorer all loaded up with 46 packages. What you cannot see are the Priority boxes behind the row of totes.

I swapped red 2 1/2" strips, 1 1/2" squares and recycled sleeves this week.
WHEW!!! Talk about job security for the Post Office.
I was a real courteous customer and had the clerk total me out 4 times so the lines did not get too long. Small good deeds will always come back to me. Another reason I did that was I could not carry it all in at the same time! HA!!

It felt so good to get my kitchen back yesterday that I made a real nice pork chop dinner for my Hubby. I also made some whole wheat bread and a double batch of banana bread (with the new mixer). And then I had to do four loads of laundry! Construction can sure make a lot of dirty clothes and towels.


Friday, October 18, 2013

More than 1,552 2 1/2" neutral squares cut now!

Yes, you read the title correctly. I have cut more than 1,500 squares in the last two nights. I did this because I "thought" I had exhausted my supply of neutral 2 1/2" squares. I found the remainder AFTER I had these two massive cutting sessions. They were hiding safely in the brown container. That was the last time I used them to make the Shaded 9-patch Leaders & Enders per Our Bonnie Hunter.

This is the result. I am so OCD. But there are really plus sides to being a control freak. All the squares are with their sisters. And as I use them I move them to another container so I get a good random selection. So there is truly a method to my madness.

And as I was harvesting my neutrals I cut 33 1/2 yard cuts of neutral to gift to my quilting friend Vicki. She is building her stash up slowly. I have been giving her boxes and bags of my scraps. She gets to keep the container too. I am making elbow room by doing this. Plus it makes me feel good. She will call and say what she gleaned from these gifties. They do not remain idle at her home!!!

I really like these type of containers. They stack well and the lids are very secure. And I also love the lime green handles!

I made these stars as "return from the hostess gifts" when I do the sleeve swap on the Yahoo group Quiltvilleswap. Most swappers include gifts to me and I love returning the favor.

See the method to my madness? Lots of control. But I have a very determined kitten who loves to play with my stacks of units. ARRRRGGGG!!!!
I have been training her to be a "good girl" which is her laying down and asking for the play
and then rewarding her with laser play. She does it over and over until she tires of the game and starts to really torment me at the sewing machine. Then I have to stop sewing.

My small sleeve cuttings for Ohio Stars. I am waiting for the swap to be over so I can add more variety before I sew too many.

Here is the little monster in a seldom seen position. Sound asleep and being an angel kitty. She is also tormenting James back in the family room. She KNOWS that climbing the screen door is a no no. So she runs and bounces off it before James can grab the water bottle. She is so defiant!! But that is the joy of Siamese cats. They have such strong personalities.

To give me more sewing time I bought this laser toy. It has a timer and many speeds. She has it figured out though. She will just lay down and grab at the light as it turns by. Smart kitty!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Playing with the shirtings I have to use the Blue and Gray pattern book.

I bought this book a couple weeks ago when the Yahoo group decided we wanted to swap Civil War fabrics in January 2014.

This was the pattern that drew my eye. I am thinking because of the 16 patch blocks using 1 1/2" squares. You all know how I love that size of patch!

But before I ever commit myself to a quilt, I do what I call "cut as I go". This saves a lot of heartache down the road. Believe me when I say I have cut out an entire quilt and then found my error! GRR!!

It does make for a messy sewing session. But I found my first mistake. I faithfully use the EZ Angle  and Companion Angle rulers. There is a learning curve to change someone's cutting instructions to work with these great rulers.

I was converting a 3 1/4" square cut on the diagonal twice to using a 1 1/2" strip and the Companion Angle. But the instructions from one side of my brain to the other was garbled. I was cutting with the EZ Angle ruler not the Companion ruler as I wanted. I soon learned my mistake. So see what I mean? Sample cutting and sewing is a good habit to have.

One 6 1/2" block made...despite all of Lucky's help. I have been distracting her with a laser light. But she eventually decides that messing with the sewing machine is more fun. I am sure she will grow out of this dangerous habit. So I put everything away and give her my undivided attention.

The pattern only calls for 18 star blocks. I did make 19. Then decided I wanted to use some of the shirt fabrics I had prepared for the current swap. Back to the cutting room.

And then another memory of a shirting swatch card I had bought eons ago on E-Bay. But where have I stashed it? Two days later as I was searching for something else and I found them!!!! 5" X 9"...enough fabric to cut one block!!! WHOOHOOO!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October is a busy swap month!

I am a hostess on two Yahoo swap groups.
There are times when the two groups' swaps come due on the same date.
This month three (3) swaps arrive at the same time.
I have my 1,250 1 1/2" postage stamp squares all ready.
I have my sixty (60) sleeves all ready.
I am washing my reds today. They will be pressed, cut and packaged by the day's end.
With all these packages coming due to mail back at the same time, my DH will have to help me get them to the Post Office! I will also call ahead and make sure they have two clerks at the desk so I do not hog the whole little Post Office.

Dh went to a garage sale and brought back two nice dressers. One is living in the garage and the other made it to under my design wall. It sure looks nicer than a bagillion plastic containers!!!

I gifted to myself a new mixer. I bought a KitchenAid Pro 600. The thing is massive. It makes my old mixer look like a child's toy.

And then I needed a new mixer cover. this fabric was languishing in the bottom of a container. It took three (3) bobbins worth of thread to pre-quilt it. Then only a short hour to assemble the cover.  I even made a small mat to put under the darn thing so I can move it around the countertop.
Life is good!

Friday, October 4, 2013

I am back!!!! Shirts galore!

I am the hostess on Yahoo's Quiltvilleswap.
We are swapping shirt sleeves from 100% cotton mens shirts.
I was not playing as I already have a large stash of fabrics.
I was sure I did not need to start a collection of cotton shirts.
But after half of the players' packages arriving, and me drooling over the wonderful variety, I had to play a little.
So, I bought 10 shirts and packed them up to play.

Then Lynn D.'s package arrived with 60 sleeves...oh my such beautiful fabrics...
So I went back to Goodwill today and bought 20 more shirts.
And here are all 30 shirts totally "de-boned". The sleeves are all packaged for the swap.

I made sure I only picked browns, grays and rust colors as it seems the majority of the sleeves arriving have been in the blue family.

But I did buy a wild blue paisley shirt that reminded me of John Travolta. HA!

I have the cuffs all gathered in a separate bag. The collars all together and the plackets all together.

The collars were in a nice pile before I took the picture. But Lucky wanted to play in the fabrics so I let her plow through the collar pile. She is so fabric oriented. But then so am I and she is my constant companion. I guess some of it is bound to rub off on this newest addition to our kitty family.

In my spare time when I am not sewing and not knitting I turn to my favorite thread hobby. Crochet...this doily is almost done. Just need to weave in the thread ends.