Monday, October 31, 2016

October review and planning ahead

   What a month of  busy things......quite a change for me.  I began the month with the display at the guild quilt show.  Along the way I completed a long table runner/door banner with plumes,  stitched together circles for my Therapy Quilt, and made a machine cover/mat for the Featherweight, and......threw together the finish for Let's Book It.

   I took stock of the different stacks/piles in the sewing room.  It is like multiple people are working in here.  No plan or organization, just bits of lots of projects.  And therein lies my challenge.  I did not set a plan last month.....I was not fully functioning then.  Those B-12 shots have done wonders for my energy level, and thought processes, so plans are to be made.

  For November:

  •   The circle Therapy Quilt is to be pinned and quilted.
  •   The forgotten Bow Tie color wash flimsy also needs to be pinned and    quilted.
  •   Make labels for both of these quilts.
  •   Pineapple Blossom blocks.....need about 12 more.  Let's Book It project.
  •   Make flying geese blocks as leader/ender project.
  •   Finish cutting batiks into 2 1/2'' squares for future color wash project.

And I must stop rule of three to keep things under control is being dragged out of mothballs.  Three quilts in the works at one time in the sewing room----with small projects allowed, but no other starts until something is finished.    It works for me to keep me focused and on track.....and doesn't let UFOs accumulate.

  Thinking time.....I need to decide on a word/phrase for next year.  And set up list of projects to do.....including the color wash of batiks, and a basket quilt for next year.  
It is so good to be back.....happy stitching.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A banner for Let's Book It

    I thought I would step out of my usual box to make a small project for Let's Book It---hosted by Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts.  The Pineapple Blossom quilt is on-going--a couple of months now---and I just needed a finish :)

   Actually, it's a dual duty project...... I combined my leaf blocks and pumpkins from the Autumn Jubilee from Carole at From my Carolina Home.

  I had some extra squares, and HSTs and rather than toss them into the scrap bin, I strung them together for a border of sorts.   Neither side matches, and the colors are light mixed with bold......very unplanned. Another "waste not" project. I lightly stipple quilted between the blocks and on the border.  No binding either, I did a stitch and turn  edge finish.

Scrappy goodness!  This could be a runner for the side table, or banner over the fireplace.  Size is 12'' by 37''.  My token project for fall.  Thanks to Sharon and Carole for motivating and spurring me on:)
Happy stitching.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pineapple Blossoms growing

Earlier this month I did a post about these blocks.  I thought the light/dark contrast was too great on some of the blocks.  Miss Pat commented I needed to make a few more before I tossed them out.

  So I kept on, adding a couple of blocks every few days......and not going as light--more medium values thrown in.  So I have a light blossom in the center  with darker ones around it.

  I need to cut more strips to length before I make any more blocks.  My gaggle of geese blocks is growing as leader and enders  while working on the blossom blocks.

    I find my mind wandering as I you do that?  I am pondering a basket quilt.  A blossom quilt, a flying geese quilt, and a basket I crazy, or making up for lost time?   Naturally I started a new Pinterest board for basket quilts :)  At least I can accumulate some ideas before I begin.

    I also have a colorwash of batiks that I am getting organized to begin playing with.  I snagged a batik kit from Wanda at Exuberant Color last week, and I hope to be able to mix in batiks from my stash.    All this sounds like plans for the rest of the year....I think I will hold off on the baskets until January!
Enjoy your weekend stitching.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Miss Jean's legacy

   I found a small table topper in the cabinet when I was putting away the stack of quilts from the quilt show display.  It brought back some sweet memories from about 20-25 years ago.

  Jean was a friend and guild member who was a prolific quilter, full of fun, grew beautiful irises, and always had a smile on her face.  Her signature "take and go project" was  usually in her tote to keep her hands occupied.  She taught her technique many times over the years at workshops and meetings.

  What made this special is that it is reversible.....the back is the same as the front.  The corner is flipped over in this photo.  And it is suppose to be stitched together by hand.  Unfortunately, not mine, although it do have some hand quilting in the muslin areas.  I used  the machine buttonhole stitch to join the finished hourglass units.

 I no longer have the instructions for the technique but I have the special memory of Jean teaching us how to create these blocks.    This little topper is going on my thread cabinet...sweet and cherished.

  We lost Miss Jean a couple of years ago.  She left a legacy among those who knew her.   Fabric and thread  bind lives and loves together.
Happy stitching.
UPDATE:   Thanks to Vivian who let me know the name as shown in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine 1998.  It is called Reversible Quilt as you Go block.  Thanks, Vivian.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

News and such

Some good news, and some not so good news.

   First, the good news.    Only 2 more weeks of PT and they will graduate me!  The third evaluation this week was good, and no falls/grabs/or tilts in the dreaded balance box!!   My vestibular system-----the sensory system that contributes to the sense of balance and spatial orientation---- is almost back to normal.  That is big good news as it was not working 2 months ago!  I will have exercises to do at home and have the option to return after the first of the year if problems develop or I want more training for balance.

   Second good news from the nerve conduction damage in legs/feet found.  I still have the numbness from feet to waist, but can expect to someday have some feeling return.  I know those are big "ifs/unknowns", yet it gives me hope for some semblance of normal.

  The not so good news was also from the nerve conduction study.  I almost lost it when Dr. Jain said surgery for my hands......carpel tunnel with muscle loss in the right hand is severe.  The left hand is moderate.  So here comes another round of referrals and visits.  If the surgery can be done as out patient with local anesthesia, I will consider it.  I don't relish it, but have taken a couple days to get my mind around it.  

On to sewing news.....
I decided to border the small quilt of circles after all.  A narrow dark blue strip with a tonal beige print will finish it up for quilting.  Unless I decide to add applique to the border....still thinking on that.

  A couple more pineapple blossom blocks were finished too.

Sir Old Man brought the begonia in last night as the temps dropped to 42 degrees.  The photo is not great, but it is a beautiful salmon color.  Robin and his cleaning crew gifted it to me in August when I returned home.  It has been a prolific bloomer and I home to keep it going this winter.

   Not to be out done are the mums brought to me by Becky and family.  This  is almost 24''  across and the blooms are just beginning to fade.

  Sir Old Man took me to the J store for flannel.    I have some sewing to do for Becky's daughter.....mastectomy pillows.   She is only 26 and carries the genetic gene for a very bad breast cancer.  My heart breaks for this wonderful family, so I jumped at the chance to help with pillows.  If you care to send prayers, they would be gratefully appreciated.

  Enough for now.....I need some machine time today.  Happy stitching.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Finds.....October style

From Pat Sloan

   Pumpkins are on the vine, and all over the place right now.  
Pat Sloan is offering this cute block pattern...she made her's white.  The post is here for this Splendid Sampler block.    My idea for it was as a mug rug, or on the ends of a table topper/runner.  It is simple enough to enlarge the pattern and mix up beautiful fall colors.

Martingale - Top Your Table (Print version + eBook bundle):

 This is a Kim Diehl pattern from book published by Martingale, Top Your Table.    The book is on sale right now :)
  You can't go wrong with her designs or patterns, and the colors are always so special.  

Hill Country Quilter: Quilting Aids:
From Hill Country Quilter

   This tip was stolen/borrowed from  special blogging friend,  from Mary at Hill Country Quilter.
  Mary shared her tip to keep quilts from falling off the edge of the table and causing drag......dreaded drag that weights down your stitching movement.  She uses a sit down machine like I do, but with a set of bookends (from the thrift store) attached via large binder clips to the table edge.  Brilliant!!!  
I am sure I have a set of those bookends somewhere.
  Be sure to read the whole post.....if you need a needle threader.  I hit the grocery store and found the GUM product for threading dental works great as a needle threader.  With my vision changing, I need help to thread the Featherweight.  The floss threaders work perfectly.  Thanks Mary for these ideas. 

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler...cake on the top, hot caramel sauce on the bottom!! Fall dessert central.

One more pumpkin pin.......a sweet treat/recipe for the season.  Pumpkin pecan cobbler sounds yummy and looks so good.  I am glad I picked up pumpkin puree at the store this week because this is on my to do list for the weekend.    This recipe is what my mother used to call  a pudding cake.

  As always, please pin from the original source.
Cooler weather this weekend.....finally.  Happy stitching.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall blocks

  What says fall better than colorful leaves, pumpkins and geese!

   Pumpkin blocks to go with the leaves from Carole at From My Carolina  Home .  Another couple of leaf blocks were finished too.

And geese......colorful geese.  If you have been following my Pinterest boards, you probably noticed all the flying geese quilts I have been pinning.    I caught Bonnie's quilt-cam yesterday afternoon and did some cutting of scraps.  Then I sewed a few test units to see how they looked.

   So in an hour I whipped out this huge stack of geese parts.....large and small.  And if I get tired of geese they can become HSTs in two sizes.
 I am debating on the design layout....
I have two I am wrestling with.  Of course, I might have enough scraps for both of them.

   Oh, yeah.....I did not use the rotary cutter for these.  Life is too short for dull blades, and aching hands.  I broke down and claimed an early birthday present.   Sir Old Man did the initial test drive and proclaimed it safe and easy enough for me to use.    (Just wait until the apple peeler gets here that I ordered......he will get to crank that one.)

  I probably won't get much done this week in the sewing room.  I have another PT evaluation this week, as well as the nerve conductivity test on Friday.  The results came back from the neurologist that I have the antibody against the intrinsic factor for B-12......that means this condition is permanent and B-12 shots are forever due to the auto-immune disorder of pernicious anemia.  I expected as much, and accept what is to be.  So if an Accuquilt ---or any other tool----makes it easier for me.....go for it.

  In January, I claimed "Enjoy" as my word for the year.  This small  banner hangs on the design wall right in front of me as I sew.  I enjoy every minute in there.....and every minute of life.    I have some finds to share on Friday......till then, happy stitching.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Finished runner

  I finished up the runner.....quilted and bound with pieced together leftover binding strips.  I like using up those pieces.  I call it a waste not technique.
   As a matter of fact, the plumes were cut from mostly left over fusible backed leftovers too.  With all the patterns and fabrics used in the center strips, I did not have to worry if anything matched.

   You may remember the full quilt I made for a friend that I called Plume Crazy.   This is a smaller version of that quilt.

 For me it's a good size to practice my FMQ skills, and have a finished project.

   This one can be a great table runner, or a door banner.   I like that option.   The finished size is 62'' by 16''.

   There is something about finishing up a project that satisfies the quilter in me.  Seeing the completed project makes me smile.  It's a feel good thing. And no UFO to worry about.

    Do you have UFOs to finish?  Do you dislike those blocks/parts now?    It could be time for a UFO Assault!  Here's my find of the week.......
Read the ideas that Mary at Quilting thru Rose colored trifocals shares.   She has some ultimate recycle type finishes for UFO Assault.

Now attack those UFO, send them into completion, or give them away.  Make room for new ideas and fabric.
 I am....happy stitching.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pillow cases

   A new set of sheets, and  a pair of pillow cases arrived here recently.  Only problem the pillow cases are for standard pillows and we have queen pillows.   The cases need about 4 '' more to cover the pillow.  Since I have a shelf full of unused standard cases, I took a cue from the Pillowcase Challenge and re-made a few.

   For this set, I removed the band.  I cut a 4'' strip of favorite fabric.  Sewed the short ends together to form a continuous length.    Stitched it first to the body of the cases and then reattached the band.  I added top stitching, and was done.

Usable cases that I did not have to pay huge $$$ for!

Happy stitching.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Blocks to make

   I spotted a sew along for Fall at From my Carolina Home blog.  Each Friday Carole will post a one or all.  She gives a good tutorial on making the leaf block, too.      Here are my first two, done very scrappy with what I found  already cut in the scrap boxes.   I need to dig some more and cut more background pieces.  Good practice for me.

    I added two more blocks to the Let's Book  It project.   On the wall they look good....but here they look too light (bottom right).    
  Studying this block, I can see that color/value placement really affects things down the road in assembly.  I like the light value strips mixed in, but now see that  I can do better in placing them toward the center of block.  I will try again.

Note:  Take photos of your project.  Then view them on the computer screen.  It is easy to spot potential problems that way.
I am willing to show the "good, bad, and the ugly" as a learning tool......but know it is not required.

Quilting is more fun than HouseworkCynthia is hosting a linky party for scrap projects at Quilting is more fun than Housework .  Check it out for inspiration.

 Happy stitching.   

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Re-learning FMQ

  We stopped by the quilt shop where I had taught FMQ.  I wanted to apologize for leaving them in the lurch when I got sick.  They had been updated by Susan, or "Sarge" as sir Old Man calls her, and knew what was going on.  Marietta said, "2017......go home and practice".   So I took her at her word, and gave Hot Legs, my Tiara, my attention today.

  I had this table runner ready to stitch.  Just like I teach in my classes, start with the basics.  It got a medium meander stitch through the center.   Finding my rhythm and coordinated movement for the meander was not bad.....the first section looks a bit jerky, but is passable.  Then I just did some outline stitching around the plumes.  Not in total control in the beginning, but better as I stitched.
  While I would love to do feathers in the border, I will simply progress to the next motif in my classes----the meander with loops.  Again that one has a rhythm I need to practice.   The teacher did not think she would have to re-learn to do free motion quilting.

   I put together a modified machine cover and sewing mat for my featherweight.
 Sir Old Man's worn out/used up (he thought) denim shirt provided the  base fabric....recycled to live another day.  A few scraps, and a leftover 9 patch make up the attached pockets.   I did straight stitching on this for the quilting.  Putting on the binding was good therapy---and practice.

  Just finishing a quick project felt good, even if it took me most of the day yesterday.    I fight every day to learn/re-learn skills I had.
 I fight today to live to fight another day.  I am refusing to quit trying.....even in PT.   The current challenge is to be able to stand on one leg, with eyes open and eyes closed.   Thursday was rough.  After almost getting sick  standing on the left leg with eyes closed, the therapist said we would not do the right leg.  Oh, yes, we will......I stood up and said hang on to me.  It was not pretty but I managed 30 seconds.
   Happy stitching.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Quilt show pics

I spent most of my time at the show talking.....but I did get a few pics of quilt that talked to me!

Recently I have been eyeing basket quilts, so naturally I noticed this one.
This basket quilt was quilted by one of my favorite people, Fannie.  The fabric was inherited from a storage building by one of her quilting groups.  This is the result.

 A winner here, by Susan P.  I heard mention that this one had been in the works for several years :)  Who cares, it is done and beautiful.  Soothing colors and stars and log cabins...perfect combinations.

   I am a sucker for landscape quilts.  And this one is great.  I love that Pat shared/showed the photo she took that was the basis for this quilt of memories.

  Who could not love these giant dogwood blossoms?  Again I liked the color combo used by Janet in this quilt.

One last  entry......
Joan's jacket....just beautiful.  I love the colors used here, too.  So striking.  Figure Flattering Quiltwear is Joan's website  for her other patterns/classes etc.

And it's a wrap for another year.
Happy stitching.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Watercolor display and more

  Sir Old Man out did himself setting up the display quilts.......with a good bit of help from Donna, a faithful and tall guild member.   The wall of my projects was striking with the smaller wall hangings pinned onto the black fabric.  It was hard to get an overall photo  but we did the best to give everyone an idea of how it looked.

 The World is a Garden started the display, with the jaw dropping Wonder of Color pinned to black fabric.

In front of this we placed a short display stand that Sir Old Man crafted for me. He made sturdy bases, with 2x4 uprights.  Then he drilled a hole for the metal pole.  I love the effect, like a porch railing.   Over it I hung 4 small quilts done in traditional patterns.

  The center 2 panels were filled with small wall hangings.   It was interesting to hear comments  about their favorite, as each one seemed to strike a different chord with  the viewer.  The thread painted appliques caught a lot of attention.

We ended the wall with Summer Potpourri---the half log cabin block--- and Higher Hope, the braid on black.  I was continually asked about the stories behind each one, which I love to share :)

I was pretty exhausted and over  I really enjoyed meeting new people, even one blog follower drove an hour to
see the show.  It was great to meet her :)  And seeing old friends and getting to visit was such an emotional treat for me.

But an even bigger delight......three students completed their watercolor projects from the spring workshop to enter in the show.  Hold on to your hats......all three won ribbons!!!  I was probably as excited as they were.
   This was Pat's.  She added the black inset border to her basic design.  It beautifully framed the teapot and cup applique, to be entered into the Show Theme Challenge.  I absolutely love what she did with this.

  Another student, Patty,  reworked her class project and added a lot to it. The narrow purple accent strip just pulls out the favorite color of mine.  The addition of applique enlivens this wall hanging.  Note the embroidered  sentiment she added, too.

  And then Miss Joan's wall hanging, which I know I have shown before.  But now she has a ribbon on it.   I do love the flow of dark into the border on this one.

One class and three different versions as a result.  Each student found a different voice in their fabrics.  Congratulations to all of you.

I have a few more photos to share from the show....hopefully tomorrow.  Off to the dentist for now.
Happy stitching.
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