Productivity at Last!

Well, I do think my non-productive years are over!  This week I have finished 5 quilting projects – and yes they are small, but I have not touched the long arm for almost 2 years.  WOW!  My goal was to have the bindings on and ready for hand work, but alas, those unforeseen requirements and interruptions.

These are two placements that I appliqued for friends for Xmas (I am a little late).  The second photo is the backside of each placement.  I do not like how my photos  using my iPhone – I am going back to my good ole’ floppy disk camera – it takes better pictures!  The quilting does not show up well, I did a meandering pattern with circles.  My HQ is not computer type so all my quilting is free motion quilting.

placemats-for-doug-and-jean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a pattern from Pat Sloan – I made it in Batiks.  It is needle turn applique and this is the first time I have quilted one on the long arm.  I do a meandering pattern in different variations.

pat-sloans-sewing-machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, here is Circa 2016 – Modified.

modified-circa-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This a mini-quilt that I made with my 9 Dear Jane Blocks.  YUP – no more photos from iPhone – this one really looks wonky!

completed-mini-dear-jane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are not large projects, but I am so happy to have finished them.

I did receive my Postural Extension Orthosis brace yesterday afternoon and what a difference.  It supports my upper torso and is going to really help me be able to do more and more!!!!  The two bulging discs are in such a bad spot – they are the ones that connect the rib cage and lumbar area of the back and fusions are iffy because of the critical location – connecting the upper and lower frame.  I finally have the answer on the differences in bulging, herniated, ruptured or crushed discs.  Bulging is where it is beginning to go, herniated is not fun, ruptured or crushed means that surgery is definitely required.  I am blessed because I did not wait any longer to get an updated MRI and now I can protect my back with my brace, TENS unit, and RF treatments.  Modern medicine has really come a long way.  I just hope that I can make it until the end of my life without having to go through the intense “fix” for a situation like mine.

OK enough of the spine lesson.  Today I am going to try to work on the bindings on my completed quilt projects – and that will really make me happy to get all the little projects completely finished!  I am going to load Threads of Memory quilt from a 2014 Barbara Brackman BOM and work on it in the next week.  It is a larger project and now that I have “practiced” and have the cobwebs off the HQ (not to mention the new back brace so I will not get so tired when I quilt) I want to take more time in quilting the larger quilts.

Next I will be working on preparing applique blocks and making a final decision on a pieced project.  There are so many projects that I would love to do this will be a difficult decision, but I will only do one at a time.  I am soooo far behind on my applique projects I feel I will never catch up.

Have a great Friday the 13th!  They have always been lucky for me – so much better than the black cat crossing my path.  Hubby always laughs at me, but the other day at the grocery store one of the Checkers told me that if she leaves the house and forgets something and returns back home, when she leaves again she takes another way out of her sub-division!!!!!  I told her I would need to add that to my list of “to do’s” when that happens.  Of course Hubby really said she was “nuttier” than I am about a poor pretty black cat!  Too funny!

The Ladies Quilt is Completed!

Greetings from lovely Hotsville, Texas.  I am getting somewhat used to it as long as I do not have to go anywhere after 11 AM. (LOL).

I have finally finished Wanda’s Ladies quilt.  It is an older pattern but one that was fun to applique.  I used fabrics from the Connecting Threads Charleston collection about 2 years ago – maybe a little longer.  I am very pleased as to how it turned out.  I love the piano keys border.   The fabrics are coordinating and rather than just sewing the ladies together, I put a corresponding fabric around each block that matched the dresses and umbrellas.   Of course the piano keys are made from the same for coordinating fabrics.   The ribbons on the top of the umbrellas are embroidered.

Ladies Quilt for Wanda 1

 

Now on to putting the Threads of Memory (think that was a 2014 project by Barbara Brackman).  I have not had a “vision” of how to set the blocks, so it will take me a few days to think it over.  I really feels good to finally finish a project, albeit a small quilt.  Have a great evening and sewing day tomorrow.

Making Progress on Projects – S-L-O-W-L-Y

Greetings from a Sunny mild South Texas Day!  FINALLY!  What a winter we have had and those in the North East have really suffered.  Maybe  stable Spring weather will arrive by April and stay with us for awhile.  Of course Spring time brings out the “let’s get with the Spring Cleaning Program”…… OK – done enough of that!  Darryl is still with us and on Good Friday –  3 April – Hubby Clay will have surgery to fuse 2 herniated discs that are pressing on his spinal cord in his neck.  He will be fine.  ME?  I am back up and running at 100% (well maybe a little pain every now and then) but I am walking my 2 miles each day plus more and cleaning the house – so I consider my Radio Frequency treatments, new braces, and correcting the 1/2” difference between my right and left leg a resounding success!  Nurse Nanny will be up and running for the recovery time for Clay.

Then we have wonderful Daylight Savings Time (DST) – something that I have deep negative feelings for.  I am trying to adjust, but it still takes me about a week or so before I do.  I wish Texas would opt out of it.  I have a friend who loves it but then she still teaches so I do not blame her for not wanting to come home in the dark!  I just want to stay on Mother Nature’s time-table.  When we go to Sierra Vista AZ for the winter, we stay on Texas time so the body clock doesn’t become confused.  It is a hoot because we go by 2 clocks since Arizona does not do DST.  If we arrive in October – we go to bed at 8PM and get up at 4AM – according to our body clocks and Clay can talk to his Ham Radio guys – Texas Time!  Then in November we are only 1 hour ahead of Arizona and we get to go to bed at 9PM and get up at 5AM AZ time.  Funny Funny Funny – what nuts we are sometimes.

OK – here we go on quilting projects.  I have moved things around in the main room of my Studio to make room for a 1950’s Singer 401a sewing machine – yup – figured if Uncle Sam needs some money, I wanted to spend some.  I have been monitoring the Vintage machines for sale on Ebay, but yesterday I stumbled on to Etsy and found a great Pristine Singer 401a machine and after 6 hours of debating I bit the bullet and purchased it.  I blame this acquisition on Bonnie Hunter.  I began following her Blog for the last month and one day she showed an extension table for my Singer Featherweight.  That started me on this journey.  I purchased the Sew Steady Table from Furniss Sewing (www.sew4ever.com).  It is an 18″ x 18″ made to fit perfectly with the Featherweight 221.   I spoke with Mitch about the  Singer 301a and the 401a.  He told me that the 401a was a workhorse and one of the great Singers.  So based on this discussion and the information obtained from the Internet – I was sold!  Here is a picture of the machine – I am going to call her Bonnie Brown….

Bonnie Brown - 1950 Singer 401a

Bonnie Brown – Singer 1950’s 401a Slant Stitch with Decorative Stitches

I also have a 2003 Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 and have been using it for the last 2 years.  Today I decided that I had ignored my Husqvarna Sapphire long enough and give the Designer a rest.  Of the two, I really love my Designer 1.  The Sapphire is a little more noisy than the D1 but still a very good machine with built-in stitches.

HV Sapphire

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire

Of course, I cannot forget my 1952 221 Featherweight.  This one has been in the closet for 3 years and when I set it up this morning it is purring like a kitty cat (it will be the only purring around here since our ex-cat gave me cat scratch fever in 2013 and I almost died – on a pet diet – NONE)

1952 Singer Featherweight

My 221 Featherweight with the new 18 x 18 table extension

OK – enough of this.  I have been able to work on my projects since the last posting.  Here are some blocks that I have ready for my Happy Scrappy.  I made some 6 inch blocks and will put them together (maybe) and make 12″ blocks for the 12 x 56 inch side borders I need to have to finish the quilt (not going for a large one this time), or I may spread them out as 6 inch blocks.

Log Cabin for HS

Log Cabin Blocks

HS 12 inch Block 2

More of the Same for Happy Scrappy

 

Card Block for HS

My Favorite – Card Deck Blocks

HS 12 inch Block

More 6 inch Blocks for Happy Scrappy

Here is another block I am working on for my Happy Scrappy.  I started making 6 inch blocks from Jane Austin and ended up putting the block on point and I think that they will be the 12″ blocks in the outer block border.

6 Inch HS block

6 Inch Block for Happy Scrappy

12 Inch HS Block

12 Inch Block for Happy Scrappy

I finally have finished my last 2 blocks for Threads of Memory.  I am not sure that I like the green one – but if it looks good after I decide on my setting it may still be around – otherwise I will re-do it!

Threads of Memory Block 11

Block 11. St Charles Star for Louisa Alexander

Threads of Memory Block 12

Block 12 – Rochester Star for Amy Post and Harriet Jacobs

 

I have also started another project in the evenings and when I could not “motivate”.  The blocks are from a pattern called, “Stars over Texas”.  The Designer is Diana Pelton from Wisteria Quilting Designs 2005.  There are 12 Blocks all embroidery depicting landmarks in Texas.  After 3  years of  this project sitting and ready to be worked on,  I have finished 2 blocks.   The Texas Block needs the “X’s” to make it look like barbed wire!   This is an easy and fun project.   I used Moda Primitive background fabric and Presensia Embroidery Variegated Brown, Gold, Beige thread.  I really like how it is turning out.  I will design a different setting than the pattern.  But I still give the Designer all the credit for the pattern!

Stars Across Texas Block 1

Block 1 – Texas

 

Stars Across Texas Blk 2

The Alamo – San Antonio, Texas

Oh – you ask about my Dear Jane project?  I will be starting this month’s blocks this week-end.  Dear Jane is my challenge project and we know how challenges go… Have great week and enjoy quilting.

 

Happy Scrappy and 2014! On to 2015!

I hope all had a great New Year and that the year is starting off in a positive manner for everyone.  Mine still has a few hiccups but things have settled down for us a little bit.  I look back at the year and realize that I did not produce as much as I have in the past with my quilting.  I do not know if it is age, Darryl’s illness, the stress of losing him, the extreme dampness this winter, or if I have really done something to my back to cause me so many problems with my Fibromylagia and Sciatica – whichever it is – I am not a happy camper when it comes to physical slow downs.  I definitely am not going into my 70s gracefully!  My mind says I can but the body is balking!  We will see who wins!  LOL  But life does get in the way sometimes and we must remain as positive as we can and move forward.

–I was so ready to do all of the selected projects that I found on line – Barbara Brackman, Pat Sloan, Ester – Love Entwined, etc, when I started my Blog.  I love keeping up with all of my favorite Bloggers now.    Looking back over the year here is my progress (or no progress)

–I did make 2 quilt tops for the San Antonio Show this year and they are ready to be quilted.  One of the tops was from Pat Sloan’s Globetrotting.

–I started on the Austen Family quilt, but had issues with time and interruptions and problems with reducing the block size to 6 inch blocks.

–Threads of Memory is almost completed with only 2 blocks to finish and then I can decide on a setting for the quilt.

–I still have one more block to finish on Wanda’s Antebellum Ladies Quilt and only one (1) bird to finish on Block Number 1 of The Lost Boy Quilt!

–Rosemary Young’s Happy Scrappy BOM was to be a challenge quilt and for me to work on my desire to develop quilt designing skills.  This project has taken me longer than I thought it would.

–I finished one wall hanging for the Baltimore Applique Society On-Line Auction and that was very satisfying to be a part of the fund raiser for BAS.

–Darryl’s quilt – Sylvester’s Bean Pot

— Sentimental Scraps – that one needs to be finished – almost forgot about Edyta Sitar project.

++On the negative side of positive –  I did not get the bindings done from left over “ready to be finished” quilts from 2013.  Maybe I will get in the mood soon to get those done.

This year I made a decision that before I would start any major new project that I would try to finish the projects that are begging to be completed from 2014, BUT I now find out that decisions and plans sometimes need to be changed!  Here I am already changing that decision on not starting a new project!

The Austin, Texas Guild has a Dear Jane Bee and I joined it.  We do 4 blocks a month (hum… wonder if I will be able to maintain this challenge)  The Bee will meet in Austin quarterly on a Saturday for a sew in and I am so looking forward to this.  Today I downloaded the 4 blocks for the month (will see where I am in February – they are “due” to be completed (if possible) by the 19th of February – this will be interesting.  I have the book, rulers, and the EQ Dear Jane.  I am thinking that I am going to hand piece each block.  I printed out the templates on the 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of freezer paper and this will cut down some of the time in preparation work.  Next decision on this project will be the fabrics.  I miss working with my batiks, but think that might be a bit challenging for hand piecing and take away from the original time frame of the quilt.  I sincerely hope that I will be able to complete this project as I had purchased everything (less fabric) for a Dear Jane in 2009!!!!  Where has time gone?

The other project is Ester’s Oma’s Blue Quilt.  What a beautiful quilt in Blue.  I am thinking that this one would be beautiful in my Batiks and either in Blues, Reds, or Purples.  Decisions Decisions Decisions!  I will probably shoot for a March start date on this one if life permits.

— Oh yes – and then there is Di Ford’s 2014 Quiltmania Mystery Quilt………….yup still in the drawer along with a lot of my money that I spent on Dutch Chintz fabric.  WOW – where have I been?

So here we are and I am so happy because I have completed the top and bottom “block rows” of my Happy Scrappy quilt.  I am pleased with it so far.  Next I will begin to design the side panels from there – who knows.

Happy Scrappy Top and Bottom Block Borders

Here is a picture of my Lost Boy Quilt (also Civil War Bride) Block 1. – One little brown bird to finish!  I am using Batiks for this quilt.  I miss working with them, especially when I am working on an applique project!

Block 1 Lost Boy Quilt

I am grateful to have completed the projects that I did and the one’s that I am trying to finish.  Life is good to Clay and I even with the impending heartache that is coming sooner than later.  I just hope that we can make it through the rough times.  Quilting has really saved my sanity many times over.  I have missed working on special projects for my Show Quilts, but if God allows it, there is next year.

Have a blessed day and enjoy all that you can.   I am thinking that next winter Sierra Vista, AZ would be a good place to be.

Threads of Memory – The remake of the Oberlin Star Block!

I have enjoyed working on Threads of Memory and have received so many great comments on my blocks.  Thx to all who have commented and to Barbara Brackman who put this Block on her Blog.

Block 5

Madison Star – Block 5

I had some problems with the Oberlin Star block 7 for August.  Templates were provided with the block and I made sure that Template A marked 4″ was accurate and printed away.  What I did NOT do was check was templates B and F (I assumed they were accurate because it did not indicate to check that one) (Duh).  So I made the block and decided to applique the corners rather than mess with the curve.  This  was the good thing to do – following the Templates was the wrong technique to follow!  Here is what happened on that first try!

MVC-279S

Block made with Templates B and F

The block should depict the illusion that the star is on sitting on the top of a completed layer of fabric….. Notice the little piece of light fabric that is not centered – it is too small.

MVC-275S

“The Problem”

So I grabbed a ruler and tried to figure out why the center sections were too large!  Well, the long side of the template was 4 1/8″  not 4″. This is a picture of how the 2 templates looked from the back – WRONG –  Notice the dark blue and small white portion….. It did not work!

 

MVC-276S

Problem with Templates B and F

 

I decided I would have to go  back to the drawing board and decided to apply some math to figure out how to cut the pieces with rotary cutting.  I used Templates A and C to make the corner squares (I hand appliqued the circle onto a square).

MVC-287S

Appliqued Corner

For D I cut 4 each 5 1/4″ squares and sub cut into 8 triangles for the Star Points and Center Triangles.  The cutting for E was accurate at 4 1/2″ square for the Center Square.  For F – I cut a 3 1/4″ square and sub cut it into 4 triangles.  To make the “wonky” Triangle NOT using the templates, I measured 1 3/4″ from the bottom of each triangle cut from the 3 1/2″ square and used the 4 small triangles from the 3 1/4″ square that was sub cut into 4 small triangles for the top.  CLEAR AS MUD – right?   Well, here is how it came out – absolutely perfect.  The only difference in the way I made the block is that my “wonky” little piece of  F and B are a little larger than the template.

MVC-288S

Rotary Cut Star Point Section – Notice my small piece on the top is a little larger than the Template

Notice that the block now looks as it should.  It was time-consuming to have to take the time figure out a way to achieve an accurate block, but it was fun to do and a great challenge to do the math and finish with an accurate block!

MVC-286S

Oberlin Star – Block 7

Lesson learned on this one – CHECK ALL TEMPLATES BEFORE CUTTING!

Have a great day.  I am hoping for rain here in our are someday – and a cold wet winter – would not bother me a bit!

 

Where Does the Time Go?

Anyone who is still in the active workforce knows that time passes so s-l-o-w… Well, let me tell you – Retirement times passes so FAST that even when one wakes up at 4:30 thinking that they will be in their Studio quilting by 9:30 AM has another thought coming!  How can a quick run to the store, bank, and pick up tacos at a drive in window take over an hour and a half?  Especially when one lives about 5 miles from a small town!   Well believe me it does and it threw my schedule off about 3 hours.  So my dream of being in the Studio cutting out a new quilt today has not really gone as planned.  I guess I knew that it was not a “good brain day” after I had pressed my block for Baltimore Applique Society (BAS) donation, cut the batting and backing, then realized – OH do I have to add a BORDER????   Well, needless to say, back to the cutting table….. At least I did not mess up the block!  Whew!

I did finish the border on my for the Baltimore Applique Society donation quilt without anymore stupid things happening and it is now ready for quilting.  This particular block is from the Elizabeth MacCullough Hervey Quilt Pattern, Block D3.  BAS is such a great group to be a part of.  They are located in an area where they go to the Museums and actually copy the Baltimore quilt pattern from the original quilt.  I really regret that when I lived in the Northern Virginia area that I was not a quilter.  I had always wanted to learn how to quilt since the 1970’s, but there was not time with a full-time career.  So I jumped into the quilting world two years after I retired.  The first technique I tried was needleturn applique and I feel in love with the it!  This was before glue! (I am a Traditional needle turn appliquer.)

BAS will be hosting a “Bits of Baltimore Online Auction” to be held October 1st through the 15th and October 20th – November 3rd.  I will post more information on the Auction in another post.  Now on to the hand quilting.   I am pleased with the outcome.  At first I had some issues with the fabric I had selected, but things began to take hold and now it is finished (oops except the quilting!)

BAS Hervey Block

 

I have decided that I will continue to save the Austen Family Quilt BOW, but will not be working on it this year.  I am going to complete the Globetrotting, Threads of Memory, and Happy Scrappy Quilt.  I have received my fabrics that I was lucky enough to find to add to my stash for Happy Scrappy.  The fabric line is Ruby’s Flower Garden and Summers Basket of Flowers!    So it is now time for me to get serious on getting things done.  I have also decided to do Sentimental Scraps by Edyta Sitar for Laundry Basket Quilts.  The pattern is in the Quiltmania magazine Number 99, page 81.   My friend Jaydee has already completed her quilt and she did a wonderful job.  I hope mine comes out as pretty.  I purchased the border fabric along with some other pieces from the Hope Chest Collection.  Here is a picture of Jaydee’s beautiful Sentimental Scraps quilt.

 

Jaydee Quilt Mania Scrappy Quilt

Jaydee’s Sentimental Scraps

I will be posting my progress as I go along with Happy Scrappy and Sentimental Scraps.  SS has 130 3″ nine patches and I will have to make more as this will go on a California King Bed…… Oh boy – more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

Have a blessed day – Enjoy!

Happy 4th of July!!!!!

I hope that all are enjoying your family and/or friends for a great celebration of the United States of America.  Our wonderful Country is having some hard times now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!!!!

Darryl is doing well with the Chemo and we are enjoying spending time with him here, at his home, and a lot of phone conversations.  We have decided that Darryl and I are two peas in a pod – we laughed about that last night on one of our 2 hour phone calls.  He is an absolute Hoot!  So funny and both of us are the Perfectionists and Big Worry Warts and absolutely hate taking medicine!  We cherish all the minutes that we have with him!

Now back to my quilting progress.  This last Monday I had the feeling that this was going to be a great week and it has been.  I have kept my promise of doing my 1.5 miles each morning – yes here in South Texas we get to walk even in the 90+ degree weather with about the same for humidity.  Hoping that this summer brings us tons of rain.  I believe that this just may be the year that we get a Hurricane in the Gulf and that it will be South of us and we will get out of this horrible drought.  Terrible to have to want that….

I have now caught up with Barbara Brackman’s Threads of Memory, Pat Sloan’s Globetrotting, and so excited about Rosemary Youngs Happy Scrappy BOM!  Austen Family and I are still debating what to do.  That debate and struggle will start in the morning, or may be Sunday as we have company coming tomorrow.

Of course all my favorite shops are having 4th of July sales – Sylvia Pippin,  Hancock’s of Paducah, and Paper Pieces.  They now have my money. (LOL).

My creative streak has finally returned.  AND,  I have finally figured how to make sure a block comes out to the EXACT unfinished size!  Below is a picture of the center star of Block 6 of Threads of Memory.   When I cut out the star points I added 1/16″ to the cutting measurements and GUESS WHAT —— A PERFECT 6 1/2″ SQUARE STAR………….. Now it is not easy to get that measurement if you do not like math, but being the one who loves math, I finally figured out how to make a 12 1/2″ block come out square also!

 

Center Star for BB BOM Block 6

Center Star for BB BOM Block 6

 

Block 6 Threads of Memory

Final Block 6 – This is one of my favorites – Heck – the are all my favorites!

Here is a “group picture” of my finished Blocks for Threads of Memory:

B 1-6 Threads of Memory

Threads of Memory – Blocks 1 through 6

Now on to Pat Sloan’s Globetrotting BOM.  I am probably repeating myself, but Pat is one after my own quilting heart because she allows for that extra fabric when making Half Square Triangles ( HSTs!) By doing this in her directions, making her blocks are a sure thing when having the block come out to the 10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″  No time wasted here!   Thx Pat!

Block 7  - Globetrotting BOM

Block 7 – Pat Sloan’s Globetrotting BOM for 2014

How about let’s go to Rosemary Young’s Happy Scrappy BOM.  I am learning so much from Rosemary.  She has really challenged me by taking on all of my projects and through working on her Happy Scrappy.  My design and creativity potential is coming out with this project.   I selected some fabrics that I had in my stash from 2009.  It was a Moda fabric line called Ruby’s Flower Garden and Summer Flower Garden.  Of course, as always, I had another project in mind when I purchased it.  I was going to do an applique project with the fabric, so I only purchased 1/3 of a yard of the fabric line.  I  did purchase 2 yards of the focus fabric and that was a good thing.  Here is how I started with my Center Medallion:

Happy Scrappy Fabric Selection

Happy Scrappy Fabric Selection – 26 June 2014

Next, I made the Medallion Center Block.  When I started with the cutting, I decided I would do the 1/16″ extra bit….. but I think on Thursday the 26th it was not my best math day – I cut it 1/8″ bigger……Slight mistake and correctable, but not the perfection I wanted.  But I knew that I was short on fabric and could not waste any.  So I dealt with it!  This is how I figured out that adding 1/8″ to cutting instructions would not work.  Because the first border was plain, I got away with it.  I could trim the extra 1/8″ and come out at 18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″… See, I am learning all the “secrets” that all the other quilters know about – THE HARD WAY!  Now on to the Center Block:

Happy Scrappy Center Block

Happy Scrappy Center Block

Here is the First Border:

Happy Scrappy Border 1

Now to Border 2.  I changed my border – I turned the HSTs, in a different way that Rosemary had done hers.  I am hoping this works.   I have a great idea for Border 3, BUT I am waiting for my favorite shop – Martha’s Quilting Corner – to send me 3 scraps so I can compare (they are Crackle’s by Moda) with the fabric I am using.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Happy Scrappy Borders One and Two

I am now caught up on 3 projects (at least until fabric arrives next week for Happy Scrappy).  Poor Di Ford is just “hanging around” and my center medallion is still begging to be appliqued.  I need to finish up on my Baltimore Applique project and get it turned in for their Auction in October.  I will post more about that soon.   Then there is a Pam Buda project, but am thinking I might use those blocks in my Happy Scrappy quilt and kill  “two birds with one stone” as they say.   I am also doing some knitting and now I feel like I can start on playing with my Sashiko in the evenings.  Ahhhhhhhh  life is good…… Quilting is so relaxing and fulfilling.  I hope that all are finding the time to enjoy your hobby.  It feels good to be back in my Studio everyday – just playing.  Remember – Life is Short!  So much to do and so little time.

Until next posting.  Have a Blessed Life.

Nanette