Thursday, January 31, 2008


The Ducky top is coming along nicely. I didn't get as much done yesterday as I'd like to have, but it's together and the inner side borders are on.

It will probably be Friday before I get back to it.

Today I have my usual Thursday errands to run and bee meeting this morning. Maybe when I get home this afternoon, I can quilt some on the big sister quilt. I did get it on the frame yesterday afternoon. The machine is threaded and bobbins are wound. So, no excuse now for not quilting it. I really need to relax and enjoy the quilting process. Guess I'm frustrated because I'm so limited on what designs I can quilt with my set up. Or I'm not creative enough to think of designs that will work. I really need a different machine or learn to love meandering.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

So Far This Week

The I Spy quilt is quilted! Now on to the big sister quilt. Hope I can get it on the frame today or tomorrow. I want to take advantage of Dora not popping in today to work on her ducky quilt some more. I've nearly gotten all the blocks sewn into rows, just one more to finish. Then I can start on the borders. I'd also like to put it on the design wall so I can see what it looks like. It reminds me of Christmas tree ornaments. The pattern was supposed to be done in Asian fabrics and look like Japanese lanterns. I may be sorry I used that pattern, but I didn't want to do the usual snowball block alternated with 9-patches, so this was a little different. I wanted a large square to show case the pirate duckies and couldn't think of anything that would be a little different than I've already done. I kept seeing ads for the Asian quilt kit in my quilting magazines and thought it was a different take on the snow ball/9-patch combo. I'm making the top from the picture in the magazine, so I had to figure out my own measurements. The only other pattern I could think of was one of the Turning Twenty patterns, but she doesn't like those patterns. She doesn't care for that random look. Too many different fabrics I guess. She must not have heard of using less fabrics and planning the lay out. The funny things is, she did approve the "Turning Twenty Around the Block" pattern for her boy friends quilt.

I'm thinking about taking a sewing machine repair class. It is March 3, 4 & 5 and will be in Tennessee, not far from Knoxville. Hope the class doesn't fill up before I get a chance to register. There is a $100 deposit required at registration. The 3 day class costs $375 if you register early. It would be worth it just to be able to service my machines and not have to pay the $89 to have someone else do it. My Bernina is the only one I get serviced about every 12 - 18 months. It really should have a good cleaning and oiling every 6 months, as much as I use it. My other machines are inexpensive machines and aren't worth the cost of having them serviced. This way I could do it myself and may be prolong their life.

The day is wasting. I'd better get to quilting.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Big Sister Top Complete

The last border went on the big sister top this morning. I even got the backing ready and washed. Just need to get it in the dryer.

Big Sister Quilt is made from a pattern, "Rainbow Sherbet" from an issue of Quick Quilts. I used the butterfly fabric for the outer border, rather than the pieced border the pattern called for. I think it turned out very well and think the nine year old girl that will receive it, will like it too.

Now it is time to get the I Spy quilt on the frame and quilt it. Guess I'll do that today. Dora is here, so can't work on her pirate ducky quilt. Besides, I'd hate to have to quilt three quilts back to back, especially when one of them is a queen size. I'm not that fond of quilting; I enjoy piecing the tops more.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Last Round Robin Finds It's Way Home

The Paradise Piecers Bee met this morning and Barbara's round robin was given to her.

Barbara with her round robin. I think it turned out very nice. I like it as much as I do mine.

EVQG is having a retreat in February. Some of our bee members are going to attend. They were telling the rest of us about the project that they will be doing. Barbara and Rae have gotten a head start and showed us what they had done so far. It sounds like an easy and fun project that will turn out to be a very pretty quilt.

The 2 - 9-patch blocks on the left, top row are what barb started with to make the blocks in the bottom row. The top right is one of Rae's blocks. They cut the 9-patch blocks in half vertically and horizontally and then rearranged them and sewed them back together. There are several ways they can be arranged. If I can find time, I'd like to make one.

This years Queen Bee for the Paradise Piecers. As you can see the job has gone to her head! She is garbed in her royal purple robes and wearing her crown.

I did get to sew this evening and started sewing the blocks together for the big sister quilt. I have the bottom half together, plus two rows in the upper half. It is going together quick and I hope to have the top done this week-end. Dora saw the blocks on the design wall and thought it was cute. I managed to make a few more 9-patch blocks for the quiltsville mystery.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bag Class

Yesterday I attended a bag class sponsored by AQG. I made two bags. I think they turned out nice. I'm thinking of making sets, this size and a larger size and giving them as Christmas gifts.

These are the two I made.

After the class I went to JoAnn's and found the companion ruler. Now I will have it when I need it, which will probably be about six months from now at the rate I'm going. So far, I've only completed about 25 of the 100 9-patches in part 2 of the mystery.

I got a lot of sewing time in today! I got all the blocks made for the big sister quilt and up on the design wall. I think it is adorable, very, very busy and definitely girlish.

I couldn't visualize how it would look and was worried. I think it is going to be cute.

I also got the 1st part of the EVQG mystery done today. It was really easy. Just made four each of three different strip sets. I don't imagine the rest of the steps will be as quick and easy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Not Much Sewing Today

Sunday I did get the outer border on the I spy quilt. This morning I got the backing ready and UPS showed up with my thread and color charts. So now it is ready to go on the frame when I can get to it.

Fixing the backing was the only sewing I did today. I swept floors and did laundry. This afternoon I cut the strips to make 4-patch blocks and rail fence blocks for the big sister quilt. I also cut the strips for the 1st part of the mystery EVQG is doing this year. I don't know when I'll get all those strips sewn into strip sets. I doubt that I get to work on them tomorrow. I'll be gone most of the day.

AQG is having a class tomorrow morning that I want to go to. Afterwards I may go to JoAnn's and look for that EZ Companion ruler. Hope I don't over sleep in the morning. I have to get my sewing machine and supplies packed up. I didn't get around to it today. Technically it is tomorrow. It is 1:12 in the morning.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Saturday

The I Spy top is going together nicely. I now have the inner border on. With any luck maybe I will get the outer border on and the backing ready tomorrow.

It snowed again today, not much though. Now that everything is wet, it is supposed to get down in the 20's tonight.

It is hard to see, but it is snowing in this picture.

This is all the snow we got. It is gone now. We had a little sleet after the snow, but I think it has stopped now.

We are leaving in a little bit to go get movies and food. It is movie night.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Progress, Finally!

I have five of the ten rows of the I Spy top put together. I began to think I was never going to get to that stage of the process.

With some luck, maybe I can finish the top this weekend. I ordered thread to quilt it with and I'm waiting on it to arrive. I have some flannel novelty print fabric that I'm planning to use for the back.

My Thursday morning bee was cancelled. A few snow flakes on Wednesday and the girls panic. With no bee, you'd think I would have had the whole day to sew, but no. I still had my usual Thursday errands to run, plus I went to Hobby Lobby to look for the companion ruler, no luck. But I had that 25% off coupon and it seemed like a shame not to use it, so I got a quilting book, "Strip Happy" by Donna Kinsey Of course, I had to check out their clearance fabrics and found two that I hope will work in the big sister quilt that goes with the I Spy. One I'm hoping will work as the inner border and the other is to replace the yellow butterfly pint that I pulled from my stash. It was really too light of a yellow to go with the bright yellow that I bought for the quilt. The one I got to day also has butterflies in it and is a brighter yellow that I hope will work better. So now I think I have all the fabric for it.

Then I went to Wal Mart and they didn't have the ruler either. I couldn't resist looking through the $5 DVDs. They had several I wanted and narrowed it down to two Adam Sandler movies. So, came home with "Big Daddy" and "Anger Management".

AQG is having a class Tuesday morning that I want to attend, so afterwards I think I'll go on down to JoAnns and see if they have the companion ruler. Maybe I'll get lucky. I sure haven't been so far.

Finally I decided on fabrics for the mystery that EVQG is doing.

Right or wrong, for better or worse, these are the fabrics I finally decided on. The black floral will be the border fabric. I had to make up my mind. I want to start washing the fabrics for the big sister quilt and thought I'd wash these at the same time.

I checked out and thankfully she hasn't posted the next step (step 6) of that mystery. I'm still trying to make my way through step 2 with the 100-3" 9-patch blocks. That will take me awhile sewing them as my beginners and enders.

I hate it when I wake up in the middle of the night and remember something I forgot to do. This time it was that I had forgotten to charge my cell phone battery and it was nearly dead. Nothing would do, but I get up and plug it in. Well maybe now I can go back to sleep. I'm good and sleepy again.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Mystery

Just how many mysteries am I going to get myself involved in at one time!? Last night at the EVQG meeting, a mystery was passed out. We will receive a new installment each month, and are to bring our completed installment from the previous month. I'm currently working on a mystery that is posted on-line. AQG is doing a mystery at redtop retreat that I'd like to do if it will also be posted on the guild web site. I don't think I will be able to go to retreat this year. If I'm not mistaken, I think AQG is going to start a new mystery in March.

I spent this morning trying to pick out fabrics for the EVQG mystery. I've got several possibilities. But now I'm rethinking it again. I still need a dark. Here are the fabrics I've been considering. The black floral is the fabric that I pulled the colors from and had planned to use it for the dark, but now feel it might better serve as the border.

I had decided on this combo, but now feel the print in the med. fabric (2nd from right) doesn't really fit with the florals.

I thought about the darker burgundy, but that makes for two darks and two lights, instead of light, med, med. dark and dark. Although, the green print fits in better now.

I thought about using a solid green or the green stripe fabric. I'm afraid the stripe reads more light than medium. The directions say, "The fabric's color is not as important as its value. " Upon contemplating those wise words of wisdom, I'm now wondering if the black floral is a good choice. Will it still read dark when I start dicing it up into smaller pieces to make the blocks? Guess I need to think on this some more.

I didn't get much sewing done yesterday. I only got one row done on the mystery quilt and a few of the mystery part two strips sewn for the 9-patch blocks. This mystery calls for the EZ Companion ruler. I thought I had one. I have so many of their rulers, tri tool & recs tool, Easy Angle 6-1/2", 3-1/2"x9-1/2", 6-1/2"x13-1/2", Easy Circle Cut, and the Tri-Mate. The last one must have been the one I thought was the companion ruler. Guess I'll go to Hobby Lobby tomorrow with my coupon and look for one. And what's with just 25% off any one item for this week, anyway.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Spy and Mystery Progress

Sunday I assembled two more rows of the I spy quilt and completed part 1 of the mystery quilt.

Part 1: Rail Fence blocks for mystery quilt

Yesterday wasn't a good quilting day. I slept in and when I might have been able to sew for a little while, I had to go get Paul from work and take him to get a new radiator hose for his truck. The hose burst on his way to work. I did stop by the Dollar General store on the way home and stock up on candy. Some progress was made on the mystery though. I've got all the strips for parts 2 and 3 sorted and pressed, ready to get started on. I did have to cut a few more strips of green to go with the full length strips of lights and more lights. I didn't have enough of the blue strips to do the whole quilt, so I've decided to use a different color for each part of the mystery, but keep the red so as not to loose the design. Using the strips I already had cut was how I justified starting a new project. So I'm trying to keep cutting more strips to a minimum. Today I want to get the strips I'll need for part 4 sorted and pressed, so I can put my left over strips back in the basket and out of the way. Part 5 calls for 2" strips. I hope the final part doesn't get posted before I get at least parts 2 and 3 completed. I got way behind trying to come up with good reasons why it was OK to do it. I've got too many quilts with dead lines I'm committed to, to start a new project with no specific reason for making it.

The Paradise Piecers Bee that I belong to meets every Thursday at a local church. The pastors birthday is in February, so January 31st, we are going to have a surprise birthday dinner for him and give him a lap quilt made from blocks that we have made.

This is the top. Denise is going to quilt it and Jan will bind it. Wennell donated the fabric for the backing.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Weekend

I guess my week-end starts on Friday. Friday morning the Needle Turners Bee met. There are six of us in the Bee. It is small, but a nice group of ladies, and I enjoy getting together with them once a month. It was started has a hand applique bee, but we occasionally work on other hand projects.

After the bee meeting, Sandra and I went to Hancock's in Rome. I got all the fabric that I needed to fulfill my obligation to the AQG birthday club for the entire year. I found a really pretty Oriental fabric and a batik that I like for those that have specified those fabrics. Hope they won't mind all getting the same fabric. I found a small novelty print on a yellow back ground for another quilt project that I will be starting as soon as I complete the I Spy quilt. It is a big sister quilt to go with the baby quilt. I also got six zippers to make mesh bags for my Needle Turners bee members for next Christmas. That is, if something doesn't happen between now and then to change my mind. I thought I did very good on my shopping trip, didn't get carried away and spend more money than I had in my wallet to pay for it and actually stuck to my list for a change. Believe me, that was hard to do, they have a good inventory reduction sale going on and there were lots of pretty fabrics I would have like to have gotten.

I wish I could go back to Hancock's this week, I still have a 40% off coupon that starts on the 15th. I did use my coupons for the 11th. I've been thinking I may have to re-think one of my fabric choices for the big sister quilt. I really needed a blue, pink, purple and green for the rail fence blocks, but instead of the green, I choice a print on a light background that had mostly purple with some green and blue. I'm thinking that will be too much purple. I was thinking I could use my 40% off fabric for that or they had some cute horse prints that would work for the back. Purple and pink, butterflies and horses, is what I have to build a quilt from. There are no horses in the top, butterflies, yes. I found a cute pattern in the May 2007 issue of Quick Quilts that I'm going to use.

I think I'll start making lists to keep on track. I hate lists! Whenever I've made them before, they end up being so long that it is frustrating and I get so overwhelmed that I end up abandoning the list. This time I'm going to try shorter daily lists and also start lists for two or three days out. That way I will only put on any one list only what I can reasonably accomplish in one day, things that are a lower priority can go on a list for another day or on the master list that I hate so much. The master list will help me remember important projects and dead lines and I can use it to compile, and prioritize the items on the daily lists. The problem that I have, is whatever project I happen to be thinking about at the moment becomes the most important, even though I may have other things that really need to be completed first. I made my first list yesterday and it went really well, I got to everything on the list except one, and I rolled it over till today, which is OK as long as it isn't more than one or two. The only disappointing part was, that by the time I did the other things on my list, I didn't get to work on the I Spy quilt as much as I'd liked to have. I only got two rows of blocks sewn together. That will be on by list daily until it is done.

Against my better judgement, I decided to start a new, low priority project. I've justified it by:

1. The project calls for 1-1/2" and 2" strips and 3-1/2" squares. Well I just happen to have these laying around waiting for a project to use them in. Duh, here is a project, a mystery quilt, and I love mysteries.

2. I will piece this project as beginners and enders while working on more important projects. I will totally ignore the fact that I will most likely spend more time sewing the beginners and enders than the actual project that I'm supposed to be working on and the fact that it will take me three times as long to complete my real project.

I do beginners and enders now. I piece scrap blocks and keep a tub of 8-1/2" long strips beside me for this.

Here are some of the scrap blocks that I have pieced as beginner and enders.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Round Robins Come Home

The Paradise Piecers Bee met yesterday and we received our round robins. We started the round robin, I think, in June 2006. So they have been traveling from bee member to bee member for over a year and a half. We reveled them one at a time and read the journals that went with each one. It was fun to hear what each person wrote in the journals.

This one is mine and is by far the most beautiful of them all. I was very pleased with the out come.

This one is Denise's and was the most challenging to us to think outside our comfort zone. The center block is the "Friendship Pond" and the top tells a story of the eight Paradise Piecer's members having a quilting bee at the pond. You really need to read the journal for it to make sense.

This is Jan's "Snowman Jake". Jake is very popular and has many snowmen and snow women friends, plus some bird and cat friends.

This is Rae's. She wanted a wall hanging for her bedroom. I think she will need a new, much larger bedroom to accommodate this wall hanging.

This is Sandra's. She wanted everyone to think "Spring" and "Pastel Colors" She almost got her wish. It definitely feels like spring, but pastel fell by the wayside.

This is Sandy's. She wanted sunflowers and birdhouses and a red and white checked border. She got her wish, but also got a scarecrow and a crow for it to scar off.

This is Wennell and her "Wild Thing". Well, we tried, but I think our wild days are long gone and the memories are a little faded.

One round robin top is still trying to find its way home and we hope it will make it next Thursday. We are all anxiously waiting in expectation of its arrival.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sewing and Movie Watching

I watched three of my movies this week while I completed the blocks for the I Spy quilt. I woke up at 4:30 this morning worrying about what I had done with some butterfly fabric I had bought at Hobby Lobby two weeks ago: then I had the most horrible thought. Some of the fabric I'm using for the I Spy blocks has a red background and it hasn't been washed! What if it fades all over the quilt when it is washed. I bought a couple of 6" and 10" kid print charm packs to use in the quilt and some of the backgrounds are red, and because they were charm patches, it never even dawned on me to try to wash them. I also bought some UGA fabric with a red background and was in such a hurry to cut the two squares out for the blocks that I didn't take time to wash it first. I will wash it before I use it for the borders, but I just didn't stop to realize small pieces of red can also bleed and ruin a quilt. I guess I will do a very narrow zig zag stitch around the edges of the red blocks, remove the paper and hand wash them and hope they don't shrink so much that they wont match up right with the other blocks. And if they do, I'll just have to make some replacement blocks.

Here is a picture of the first I Spy quilt I made.

I was in an I Spy block swap in 2002 with an on-line group that I used to be a member of. I had to make additional blocks to go with the swap blocks and decided it still wasn't the size I wanted so added more novelty prints in the border. I noticed that I used some of the same fabrics in the quilt I'm making now.

I still haven't looked for the butterfly fabric. I really need to get more organized and keep all the fabric and patterns for each project together. I've run out of "project space", unfortunately, all that space is being taken up by UFOs.

I've got a bee meeting this morning. Our round robins are returning home! I'm so excited to be getting mine back. It has been almost two years!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I Spy Quilt

I think I finally got the paper piecing pattern figured out. I pieced two rows and they look like they will go together ok.

This is a big relief! Now I am excited about making this quilt again. Hopefully tomorrow I can settle in with one of the movies I got this week-end and piece the rest of the blocks. I need 120 full blocks and 20 partial blocks for the top and bottom of each row. I also need to go to Hobby Lobby and get the UGA fabric with my 40% off coupon. Hope they haven't sold it all. I want to use it for a couple of the blocks and either as the inner or outer border. Guess I'll do that before I start sewing.

We rent movies on Saturday nights from Video Warehouse and they have been having a sale on their previously viewed movies. Buy two movies and get one free. So last week I got three, last night I got three and than today, when I returned the movies we rented, I got three more.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Wasted Day

It's not that I didn't do anything. The day was wasted because I threw away what I did! I'm attempting to make an "I Spy" quilt from a paper pieced pattern. I made one years ago and it goes together very easy. I don't know if I still have the pattern or where it would be at if I do. So a few weeks ago I drew a pattern in EQ. I didn't quite get the portions of the hexagon correct, or the two star points. I spent the morning piecing those and when I put them on the design wall, they just didn't go together quite the way they should have and didn't look right. I've redrawn the pattern and it looks better. I'm printing them out now. I've also started cutting more novelty fabric. Thank goodness I have a nice stash of novelty prints, although it is dwindling down now. Hopefully this time things will turn out better. If not, I'm just going to give up and make a different pattern. My daughter asked me to make the quilt. Her boss and his wife are expecting a little boy in February. She also wants me to make a quilt for his big sister too. On the up side, I did get to watch two movies on my new TV.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Last Round Robin Top

I finally finished the last round robin top yesterday. They will go back to their owners next Thursday at our bee meeting. Eight people in a round robin is just to many! Most of them will be bed sized. The more rounds that were added, the harder it was to come up with ideas that would work in with what was already done. It will be a long while before I join another rr and definitely it will have to be a smaller group. Of course, I still have the last round to but on my roosting robin, but that is because it took me six months to find fabric that I liked.

Here is a picture of the RR before I added the last border.

I felt that it needed light blue to go with the light blue in the 3rd round and Dora said it needed red to tie it all together. She also thought I should do a pieced border, but I just wasn't up to that. Dora planned the border for me using fabric we got from Hobby Lobby. I'm not 100% pleased with it, but it will have to due. Here is the result.

It brightens/lightens it up, but I'm just not real happy with the snowman print. I think a bigger print would have been better for the final border.