Just my musings about life, quilting, my family and my dog.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Design Wall Monday 8/29/11

This is what I worked on ALL DAY Saturday.  It is Done Done except the label because, I'm embarrassed to admit, I can't remember what I named it.  That shouldn't be a big deal, I could just name it something else.  Except, I entered this in a show and I put the name on the entry form.  Luckily it's not a juried show, so I won't get shot if I name it something else.

Every so often, I enter a show to give myself a deadline, otherwise I fear this behemoth would have languished while I got up the courage to tackle all those miles of binding.  It's hard to judge from the photo but this thing is a beast.  Blogger insists on putting the picture sideways but my spouse is standing on the 7th step to get it off the ground.  I do have a dilemma with it. I washed it and the batting shrank up a LOT more than I expected.  As a consequence, it looks ... a little bunchy.  I'm thinking of washing and drying it again to see if it softens up.  My sister thinks I should steam it.  I like the look of washed, wrinkled quilts but for the show I'm thinking the unwashed look would have been better.   Do any of you have any ideas?

Here's the backing.  I like to make backs a little interesting.  At least Blogger is consistent and is also putting this one in sideways.

Here's a little closeup of the quilting.  It's still a little hard to see.

I had a lot of fun making this quilt.  It was a mystery on Bonnie Hunter's blog.  Because of this quilt, I am no longer intimidated by quilts requiring hundreds of 1/2 square triangles.  Seriously, this quilt has 600 1/2 square triangles.

Check out the other design walls at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I had a bad day

I was so proud of myself two weeks ago for organizing my sewing room.  I found a place to keep books, magazines and my giant jug of distilled water for my fabulous steam iron.  My boys have moved out - mostly.  Those of you who think you are empty-nesters know exactly what I mean: Their bodies are gone but most of their stuff still resides right where they left it.  SO.  I went into their room and emptied out a bookshelf and dragged it into my sewing room.  I stacked up some of my favorite quilting books, some magazines, and my jug of distilled water.

Very nice!  The water is off the floor, the spigot is easy to reach and these books are off my cutting table.  Win, win, win.

Alas!  Look carefully at the book on the far left.  See how wrinkly and bulgy it looks?  Imagine seeing EIGHT books  looking like that.  Imagine trying to figure out when you had read all of them in the steamy bathtub and failed to notice.  Imagine noticing, finally, that the floor is a bit damp and the WATER JUG IS EMPTY!!!  What you don't see is that where the cute, glass bottle stands, there used to be a flat pile of all my latest magazines.  When I picked the pile up, it weighed at least ten pounds.  The books weighed another five because they were farther away on the shelf and not all of them were soaked.  Imagine the previously full water jug now weighed NOTHING.  I did not want to throw all the books away.  Some I hadn't read yet.  Imagine, I had quilting books I'd never read!  You don't have that situation, do you?

DH suggested, when I could finally hear him over my wailing, that I put them outside in the sun.  We live in San Diego, Man, there is only sun about 5 hours a day this month and the other hours are rather damp.  I considered my dehydrator but the one I have has a central stem.  AHH, the oven.  I have two so I could put all the shelves in one oven.   The books went in, I set it to low and crossed my fingers.  That was Sunday night, 8/14/2011.  I checked every day, I turned them, I rotated them, I opened them flat.  I paid more attention to them than I gave to either of my children.  FINALLY, on 8/23/2011 the last book was dry.

This is what formerly soaked, dried in the oven, favorite quilting books look like after 9 days.

I spent an entire evening peeling apart pages. They did not cooperate very well.  Some did better than others.  My glorious, modern Japanese quilting book might have been thrown across the room in frustration on it's way to the recycling bin.  It was late. I don't remember.

I thought that ironing might help.  It takes a REALLY long time to iron a book.  The one on the left in this photo is the result of ironing.  I'm not sure I can face that for the rest of them.

Nope, not a good day.  I did learn, however, that I am NEVER going to buy distilled water in a 2.5 gallon jug again.  The spigot didn't leak, a seam on the bottom developed a tiny pin hole that must have slowly leaked out over a few days.  Dang!

The worth of a book is to be measured 
by what you can carry away from it.  
                              ~James Bryce

Monday, August 22, 2011

Design Wall Monday 8/22/11

I am pretty please with what I accomplished this weekend.

I got all the blocks made for my niece's quilt. I still have some rearranging to do but, as I hoped, the darker red squares do not bother me as much now that I have more shades of rose in there.  The actual quilt is much darker than this photo suggests.  I like it but I am not at all certain it is what she had in mind.  If I could redo it, I would reverse the light and dark greens, making it a much lighter quilt and making the two diagonals more obvious.   I really thought the larger, light stars would make it a lighter quilt overall but not so much.

It was a really simple quilt to make and I am thinking of making it again in the reverse order.  This time, though, I will go very scrappy, using any and all very light lights and two contrasting darks of whatever I have the most of in my scrap stash.

I also got the binding 3/4 sewn onto my show quilt.  It was late and I was tired and I should have stopped sooner because I ended up stitching the hanging sleeve to the front of the quilt.  SIGH.  Aren't seam rippers just the best invention?

You should hop over to Judy's blog to see what others have on their design walls.

If something is worth doing, it's worth doing well.
                                           -Bill Zimmer

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Night Sew In

I had very high hopes for myself for this FNSI. I worked and worked and worked. And I have darn little to show for it. My original plan was to cut and sew the bindings onto a HUGE quilt I just made. What I forgot was that I went to a retreat this weekend and I had not yet unpacked (lazy girl!).  I had a very clean sewing table but a very messy ironing table and no sewing machine or tools in sight.  WAH!

Here is what I did get done:

Binding cut:

A gazillion bonus triangles paired up and sorted:

And several alternate blocks made for my niece's quilt:

Those dark red/rose squares are bugging me.  I may need to pick them out and put in some calmer ones.  I'll make a few more with a broader range of reds and see how I like them.

Click on the Friday Night Sew In button on the right side or click here to see what everyone else accomplished last night.

Where's Chris?

I can't believe it's been TEN days since I posted anything.  I have been busy, just not with my blog.  Two weeks ago I was happily working out at my bootcamp, doing a few pushups (Yes! Can you believe that?) when I felt something go "TWANG" in my back next to my shoulder blade.  Aiy yai yai!  It hurt like the devil.  I just had to leave class because I knew what the next few hours were going to be like.  I iced and heated.  Then I went to acupuncture!

That was totally new to me and not at all unpleasant.  It gave me quite a bit of relief but I still had to baby myself.  In fact, I took a week and a half off from boot camp.  Izzy and I still walked but it sure wasn't the same.  I am happy to report that I did LOTS of pushups today with nary a twinge.

In the midst of my laziness recovery I was lucky enough to attend a very fun retreat in Palm Springs.  Monica and Cindy of Desert Quilting Retreats put on a great Mystery Quilt retreat.  There are games, good food and a fab quilt designed each year by Debbie McCaffrey.  Each year they have a theme.This year it was "Midnight at the Oasis."  The group I go with decided to get some outrageous costumes to go along with it.

We were quite a hit!!

Here is Patti's quilt almost completed.  They all turned out great.  I'll post mine when I get the borders on. I like to spread out when I do borders.

What have you been up to?

Monday, August 8, 2011


Do any of you have a "problem" with eBay.  I know that I don't -- until I go there!!
I used to have a horrible fountain pen addiction.  If I'm honest, I still do, I'm just refraining from buying any new-to-me antique ones.
My son and I were talking about eating healthier and the topic of blenders came up.  You know where this is going.  Yup, right to eBay.

I won an auction on a used Vitamix for slightly more than I wanted to spend but still a great deal compared to new ones which are over $500.00.  The saddest part of this story is that I sold the EXACT model about 15 years ago at a garage sale for $25.00  BIG FAT SIGH.


Design Wall Monday 8/8/11

It seems I am only really good at posting on Mondays.   I am struggling with making this a quilting blog or rambling more about my life and my thoughts (of which I have precious few).

Until I decide, I am sharing what I worked on all weekend when I should have been binding my quilt for the San Diego Quilt show which is in less than a month!!!  No one else waits till the last minute do they?

Many years ago I decided to make each of my nieces and nephews a high school graduation quilt.  I did well for the first three but number four has dragged on now for 2 years.  A few months ago my older son chastised me by saying "it is unconscionable that you have not yet finished Katrina's quilt when you have made so many others in the last 2 years."  HARSH!  but true and, yes, he really speaks like that! 

So, the last time I saw Katrina I showed her several finished quilts and fabric groupings and asked her to pick one.  I was really hoping she'd pick a finished quilt but she chose a lovely grouping of dark and pale sage greens and a nice rose fabric.  I could not find a decent 5-fabric pattern that I liked so I added a bunch of pieces from my stash that worked well and then found a nice 3-color pattern that I hope she'll like.

Here is what I got done yesterday.  To the far right are the strips already cut for three of the borders: the floral, dark green, and the rose fabrics.  No doubt next week I'll have the alternate blocks ready to show you.

Go check what others have on their design walls at Judy's blog.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Design Wall Monday 8/1/11


This is how I spent my Saturday AND Sunday. I've been a little intimidated by this quilt. It is a Roll Roll Cotton Boll from Bonnie Hunter's Mystery. This pattern is no longer on her blog, BUT, it will be in her next book due out in 2012.

I didn't want to do an all over design but couldn't think what I wanted to do. Finally, at the Long Beach show this week, I found a template that I thought might be perfect for the large blocks. I'm pretty happy with it. I free-handed just the clumps of three leaves around the border. I thought after quilting the entire center I would have enough muscle memory to replicate the leaves. Not so much! They look excellent from a galloping horse so I am leaving them as is.

Check out Judy's blog to see what everyone else is up to.

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