October 31, 2008

Halloweenie Quilting

Humm, where have I been? Not quilt blogging apparently, probably because there has been no forward movement to show on either the candlewicking blocks or the Kudzu quilt. I haven't found the perfect thread for the outer border leaves in the candlewick project but I do have about 14 blocks finished except for that so 1/2 way along! I'm really enjoying the change of pace and think I must have gotten really lucky to find the block kit on Ebay, I've not seen a single one since. I have about 5 more blocks to appliqué before I can finish the borders on Kudzu so that one is getting really close to calling finished.

I have narrowed down what I intend to make for the reverse side of Kudzu though. I inherited a LOT of Jinny Beyer stripe fabrics, and my husband bought me some stunning hydrangea yardage a few years ago so I think either one of these books would have something different yet quick which is always what I'm looking for as a change of pace after a complicated top is finished. This will also be my first full size quilt to be machine quilted on my home machine but I know my Janome 6600P will be up to the job. My back...I'm not so sure. But I am woman hear me roar, right?

Another oddball project that I both dread and relish is related to something I see on many blogs, an official UFO list. They are usually on a side bar, some make me so tired just to look at and others, even though the blogger is a perfect stranger I give a cheer because they are marking their progress and making head way. Good for them and more power to those quilters!! I always thought I only had 3 projects in progress at any one time, but we got new carpet in the quilt room year before last so in the process of moving everything in and out I organized my UFO's. Ouch. There were 14 quilts in progress. We can make ourselves believe anything can't we?

Anyway, I have another blog set up, unused as of yet, that I'm going to use as my yardstick of progress. I'm going to photograph every single project and date it, and then I can add photos of my progress. I doubt I make it a public blog, but it will be a nice journal. There were also a couple that I dumped, like the blooming 9 patch I started for my nephew, cute kids fabrics all around...and he graduates this year. Blush. Anyway, that's all the news that's fit to print as they say.

Halloween memories~
The medic I met at Halloween horror movies in 1967 who later died in 'Nam.
The year we were much too old to trick or treat and went with pillowcases anyway.
My former neighbor Betty who loved to costume up for the evening and got more pleasure from the trick or treaters than most people get from Christmas, now gone too but not forgotten.

October 26, 2008

Seen Any Good Faery's Lately?

Trust me, I'm not a fairy and angel person, all that sugar pretty much gives me a toothache in the brain. But I'm entranced with the idea of Fairy Doors. This is a little naturescape on the dresser top by my office computer that seems to have a life of it's own. See the wings just slipping out of sight? (click on the image to see a larger view) Do you have a fairy door? I think perhaps these Fae are a lot more interesting and a lot less sticky sweet...

Sunday Thanksmas:
Home made pizza
Carpet cleaner
Our boys and girls in service, doing the jobs of men and women around the world. Bring 'em home please

October 22, 2008

Antique machines

A few days ago I was blog hopping and found some great ones sharing vintage sewing images, do you think I can remember where I was? So many great blogs so little time. This is a pretty one I just saw on my own computer when I was downloading images of our new little Doxie companions.

I have a New Home Treadle in my front entry, I keep saying on a snow day (everything stops here when we get snow, people freak out) I'll clean it up and sew with it. In the 19 years since I bought it that hasn't happened, but I'm not dead yet so there is always the anticipation to look forward to.

My Grandma Ruth had a treadle in the corner window of her big dining room. I can't remember ever seeing her sewing on it but when I'd get bored I'd go over and see how fast I could get the foot dealie going. I don't remember getting in trouble for it so it must not hurt the machine? But then that Grandma had 13 children plus an endless (sad) parade of foster children so one grandchild being quiet in the corner was probably beneath her radar.

Mid-week Beatitudes:
Autumn color
The sun on my face as I run with my dogs
The laughter on my dogs faces as they run with me

October 17, 2008

Quilter's Shorthand Acronyms

In the olden days, pre-computer, texting, and short-speak, the only Acronyms we might meet in a day would probably be in the newspaper; NATO, USPS, or USA and USSR...but the internet has spawned a whole host of short-write. The following are often seen when quilters are doing the writing. I'm quite sure fishermen and dog handlers and any other speciality group have an equally long list.

BOM Block Of the Month
DSM Domestic Sewing Machine as in home sewing machine, not longarm
EQ Electric Quilt, marvelous software (also seen as EQ5 or EQ6)
FART Fabric Acquisition Road Trip
FLIMSY Finished top, not quilted
LA LongArmer, professional machine quilter
LQS Local Quilt Shop
PIG Project In a Grocery Sack
SABLE Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
SEX Stash Enhancing eXperience
STASH Special Treasure, All Secretly Hidden
TGIF Thank Goodness It’s Finished
UFO UnFinished Object
WHIMM Work Hidden In My Mind
WIP Work In Progress
WOMBAT Waste Of Material, Batting, And Time

HST Half-Square Triangle
QST Quarter Square Triangle
DWR Double Wedding Ring (quilt pattern)
GFG--Grandmother's Flower Garden
MAM Mile-A-Minute, modern version of crazy quilt block
SBS--Sunbonnet Sue

The following are general short-write seen everywhere, plus the ones that start with D, as in DH dear husband, DD dear daughter, and so on.
HTH Hope That Helps
IMHO In My Humble Opinion
IMO In My Opinion
LOL Lots Of Laughter, Laugh Out Loud
OTOH On The Other Hand
ROFL Rolling On the Floor Laughing
ROFLOL Roll On the Floor Laughing Out Loud
TY Thank You

Friday Gratitudes:
Little Lost Dogs, will work for food
Once again, the kindness of strangers
My Rob, and his kindness and generousity

October 14, 2008

Small Space Quilting ~ A Begining

We have a 38 foot 5th Wheel parked at my in-laws, for those days or weeks I need to be there to assist them. My father-in-law is 90, mother-in-law is 87 and I kid them about the RV being parked there so they can take care of me... for the most part they are very active, he still maintains a fully functioning farm, she walks 2-7 miles most days. That is where my chickens are who have now started laying little pullet sized eggs. My F-I-L and I are arguing the point about garlic. I say my giving garlic cloves to the ladies is why they started laying, he says garlic cloves will make the eggs taste like garlic. :-) Anyway, the ladies loved it!

Knowing there will eventually be times when I am there at length I've been working out a system for accommodating my passion for quilts and quilting. The first hurdle was making a space for machine sewing. I slung one of the easy chairs to the donation center and currently have a Featherweight table set up in that corner with lots of natural light and a nice view. I use the starch and press method of appliqué preparation and this is where a lot of the handles for my Kudzu quilt were prepared. I'm on the lookout now for a student type desk that I can convert into a drop in sewing machine table for my Janome MC9000 which I want to move up there.
This weekend I'm going to put my working wall ideas into action...Stay tuned. That one is tricky in a small space where everything is designed for utility.

Mixed Blessings:
Christopher Columbus
Halloween Candy
Internet shopping

Note the little footstool under the table...I looked all over, new and old for a reasonable footstool and came up empty handed. So I bought a 12 pack of cheap sale soda, covered it with batt and fabric and there is sits in splendor. Nice and heavy, a perfect solution.

October 10, 2008

Kudzu Basket Progress

I'm out to working on the border ideas, have tried and discarded at least 8 different options so far. The usual story with me and the working wall and then the right combination hits and things fly together. I keep looking at the viney stripe and it keeps reminding me of the plague on the South, Kudzu. I certainly had no plan of putting something that strong into this quilt when I was appliquéing all those basket blocks, and here it is in the end practically the focus fabric. So I've rechristened this Kudzu Quilt. I'm close enough to the end to be thinking on what kind of pieced back I might put on this.

I'm also thinking about using this batt made from recycled plastic bottles. One queen batt is 20 bottles not in a landfill. That has to be a good thing!

Friday Joys:
Gorgeous crisp fall weather
Butternut and Pumpkins awaiting harvest
The dog's bark was not much worse than it's bite

October 8, 2008

Useless Gadget or Cool New Tool?

Other than to replace a ruler, mat, or rotary blade I don't think I've bought a tool, useless or otherwise in seven years. (Thank you FlyLady). But my small Rowenta Latitude iron is now residing in our 5th wheel and as I've been making the quilt behind this little jewel I've missed it terribly. It is also the iron I use for my starch and press method of appliqué.

So...there I was standing in front of the iron display at Fabric Depot (danger danger) and here were these little bitty things. Humm, what to do what to do. Spend $40+ dollars on the proven tool or spend $15.00 on the Bohin? I absolutely love Bohin appliqué needles. I'm about to find out if this little slice of memory from my childhood gets hot enough to do the job I want it to do. Looks just like my toy iron from this Christmas...

Midweek Gratitudes:
Nice memories

edited after use: Ok if it is the only iron you have, perhaps traveling. It has a smooth plate, no steam holes to catch the end of a piece and wrinkle it, and it does get warm enough to press a seam and dry the starch on appliqué pieces. But, the cord is the major problem, Way too short, it was the loser in the overall design. The handle folds flat so the cord can't come out the end, it comes out the left hand side and combined with it's shortness it is Always in the way. I'll box it up, take it back and fork over the $$ for the Latitude...the only Rowenta on the planet that doesn't leak.

October 6, 2008

Traveling with nice machines

That's an exciting is the photo, almost up to par with the exciting foot pedal holder below! I was trying to explain what I use when I transport my sewing machine and decided a photo was worth a 1000 words, as always.

I appreciate how lovely the Tutto case is but I have no desire to spend my $$ on that when fabric calls my name! This is a $20.00 luggage carrier I've used for 20 years or more. I cut a board 19.5 inch X 10 inch. drilled 2 holes in it over each bottom support and used plastic zip ties to lash it to the bottom of the carrier securely. The bungees are already part of the carrier, it has a second shelf and I can load an incredible amount of stuff on top of my machine and get in and out of any building I've been to easily. Just a thought for a cost effective solution to traveling with our machines.

Monday Blessings:
Seeing old friends at Fran's Memorial Service
Pickle and Cheese Samiches
Stewart Kaplan, President of US Games Systems

October 1, 2008

Tweak Tweak

I've been using my quilt room for 19 years this September and it's had a lot of tweaking over those years. But sometimes you just have to wonder "why didn't I think of this sooner?". I've been machine sewing since I was 14, and have been chasing my power foot around the floor for all those years. Gulp, nearly half a century... The other day I saw a FOURTEEN DOLLAR widget to hold the foot stationary. Ding! Well duh, in less than 5 minutes I had my own power foot holder creation.

In this incredibly bland photo you see before you a freebie Glad sandwich meat holder with one side trimmed out and two nails holding it to the floor. Hokey Smokes it works great!
What will I wake up and notice on the morrow?

Daily Gratitudes:
The little doe fawn that seems to live in our goat paddock
Fresh ground coffee
Lint rollers