Praise !

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear....Psalm 27 1-3
Psalm 31: 7, 8
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy; for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a large room.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Goodbye JUNE !

Well, I guess this year is half over now...........wow, time sure flies when you're ........ gettin' old !

Anyway, time for a progress report
PINWHEEL QUILT---day two:






I got up and got right to work, after morning coffee, Bible reading, and bed-making, that is.  I laid out yesterday's squares to be cut in half diagonally.  I found that placing five per row, in two rows, made it quick to cut apart.......or so I thought.  Later, when piecing other sets, I cut all cuts without moving anything........cutting on all marked pencil lines (after the stitching, I mean) .  Then I picked up the triangles and pressed them open.  I also changed my trimming up procedure.








For these red pinwheels, I trimmed all of my half-squares on all four sides, and then pieced the pinwheel blocks. 
For these yellow ones, I trimmed the two sides of the half-square that are caught in the seams, and then after piecing the block, I trimmed that finished block's outside edges, to make a neat 6 1/2 inch block.  I think I liked that method better.  Look at the photo of the yellow blocks being pieced......it's funny.....the pattern calls for some of the blocks to purposely have one odd background triangle. 
The quilt pattern also actually called for the alternate blocks in the design to be pinwheels, pieced from two very similar background fabrics........Jodie and I discussed it and said, "what's the point of doing all that piecing for no contrast?"  So this top will have whole alternate blocks using some of one fabric and some of the other.























Anyway, what I started to say was that as soon as I started working on half-squares, I remembered that I had missed "APRON TUESDAY", so I had to stop and make atleast a couple of aprons.   I got out these two pieces of fabric, and made vicey-versey aprons.  There is a married couple at the home that share a room, and I may just give these two aprons to them.....thought it would be easy on the launderer, realizing that the matching aprons go to the same room.

Now, a little bit more comment about irons.  I was a little bit embarrassed yesterday to show that I had bought such an inexpensive iron, but hey, let's get real.........I've always been a Black and Decker kind of girl !  Actually, my favorite irons are those old black and chrome General Electric HEAVY irons, but you have to get lucky and run across one of them at an estate sale. 
But I bought the second cheapest iron that Wallyworld had, the cheapest not having a non-stick soleplate.
Let me tell you, I REALLY LIKE THIS IRON.  I had not used the steam feature on an iron in awhile, because I don't like to take the chance of distorting my patchwork, but I found steam to be a very good friend while making the aprons.  I double-turn all the edges for hemming, and I like to iron them in place before I stitch the whole thing at once.   Usually, the pressing comes out before I get to the stitching part, but thanks to the steam, I was really set today !

And I realized, finally, why my iron is always toppling to the floor !   It used to be blamed on my other cat, Mimi Louise, jumping from the ironing board, but China doesn't do that.  But this ironing board was here when I moved in, and I think that it's from the 50's or something. ........... funny, but it's made by Procter-Silex,

too, just like my new iron !  But,MAN,  IT WOBBLES.......TERRIBLY ! 

Today, I got smart, once I realized the problem, and parked it against a wall, with a prop under one foot for stabilization.  BECAUSE.........I can't use my silicone thingy the way I intended (to let the iron lay on it).......the booklet that came with the iron tells you to always set the iron upright on it's end, even when storing !  But I CAN definitely use it for traveling back and forth to quilting days, and I won't have to wrap the hot iron in a towel.......just place the silicone thingy in the iron's box before putting the hot iron in there.
So, well, I still am really pleased with my new purchases AND today's progress.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The BIG quilt top has been started !

This is the quilt top that I will be piecing for sweetie "anonymous" commenter, my quiltie girl, JodieAnn.
It's called "Vineyard Seasons", color-multi, and it was designed by Susan Branch.  You can get the free pattern here.
The pattern makes a quilt that measures 86" wide x 92", long but she wants hers to be 92" wide, also, so that it will cover the mattress on her sleigh bed.  No problem, just another row of pinwheels and alternate blocks down the side, and a few more half-square triangles for the sawtooth border. 
This is me before my iron fell off the ironing board one too many times.  Time for a trip to WalMart........LORD, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the fact that I CAN DRIVE AGAIN !
Yes, I've been hacking on my hair again.....it's a good lesson in humility !
Whacks the vanity plumb out of you !

I got a start on the quilt-top today after trying my hand at piecing triangles with the 'thangle' method. 
I decided to make a sample block just to see how the method worked, and how true my quarter inch marking was.
 But I'm not using 'thangles'.........I'm just drawing the half-squares out, and doing it by that method, where you sew 1/4 inch on  each side of the diagonal lines and then cut apart.  This way I don't have to feed 156 pairs of triangles through the machine, one at a time, to make that border.  I'll probably not do the pinwheels that way, but then again, we'll see.  The accuracy is wonderful.......
......of course, you make them oversized, and then trim them down after pressing open, but I would have been doing that anyway........ONE SET AT A TIME.  This method is much more pleasing to me........I like it ! 
And, when I had to take a break to run and buy the new iron, I realized that all the extra cars parked at the Senior Center meant that today was Quilt Meeting DAY !

Hoorah !   I stopped in to ask what they were working on today.  When they said that everyone was doing their own thing, I bought my iron,











(Note the silicone thingy to put it on.....hopefully now this one won't fall over and off of the ironing board !)


and rushed home to pack up my gear and join the ladies !
I stayed from around 2 p.m. until about 4:30 and got alot of triangles sewn.  It was fun sewing with ladies again, even if they're not MY girls !

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sittin' and knittin'

Just a little bit of knitting to keep my hand in.........literally !

It cooled down finally yesterday evening, with some thunder-boomers around, so I took a little time to sit on the porch and knit.  I had picked up a skein of this green, yellow and white Lily cotton (Sugar 'n Cream twists) while I was shopping for tan fabric.  I've needed new dishcloths, and nothing I can buy is the right size.
 I like a small cloth that just fits in my hand, not wrapping around it in the water.
So, here are the two patterns  I knitted. 
The first one is a Feather and Fan cloth........I had a pattern, but changed the stitch count to make it smaller.  I've tried to track down the pattern online for you, but it seems to have been removed.   I just did one set of rippling, with 4 stitches on each side border, and 4 rows of garter-stitch to begin and to end.....26 stitches.
This photo is courtesy of eLoomanator's notebook on Ravelry.
The second cloth is eLoomanator's Diagonal Knit Dishcloth in pdf form.  I knitted until I had 37 stitches on the needle, rather than the 55 seen in her sample.   My cloth turned out to be about 6 1/2 inches square, I'm guessing, and I used size 7 needles.   If I had kept up my knitting, I would have been able to quickly figure out how to make the border knitting smaller and the center larger, but alas, I just wanted something quick to knit without involving the old noodle.  It's a really pretty pattern when it's balanced, like in her example.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's my turn !

So many times I've read blog posts talking about how the everyday jobs around the house take up all of our time and we can't get to the good stuff........like sewing, and quilting, and knitting,....... and reading about sewing and quilting and knitting..........

This time it's my turn........I'm trying to get into the sewing room to cut out and piece the baby quilt for my Michigan client, but life keeps stepping inbetween.  I don't mind though. 
Like today, my brother, Jeff, called to tell me that he had gotten a flat tire on his pickup truck yesterday and had to leave it at work.  He wanted me to take him out there to refill the tire temporarily and then follow him to the tire place for repair.  HAPPY TO DO IT !  For all those years, 32 in total, I couldn't even DRIVE, let alone help my brother........'cuz he didn't even know where I was !

  Praise the Lord for the mundane little things that are taken for granted !   You just can't imagine what your life would be like without them !

It's MY TURN !

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

EDITED -- Tuesday is "APRON (making) DAY"

This week I found an interesting African-inspired print in my drawer of black fabrics........quite an eye-catching apron this made, don't you think ! ? !

This one used what little bit I had left of the tea-bag fabric.......remember it, Jodie?  We used it on the quilts that Kelley made for the soldiers for Christmas of 2005.
On the gardening front, my Oklahoma Marigolds have finally come into their own this year.  There are Gold, Orange, and Red/Orange.  I save the seed from them every year and it's nice to look at them here, and know that they came from my Oklahoma yard. 
I got in on a nice pricing-accident at WalMart the other evening. 
They had these Mandevillas priced at $4.00 when they are usually $10.00.  The man said that the sign was for the hanging baskets, but I saw that the sign was nestled right in the middle of these pots.  The other day one had blown off of the display into the parking lot, and I returned it to it's place, longingly wishing that I could afford one.  

A little piece had broken off, so I took it and tried to root it in water (I think it's working).  The LORD decided to favor me with a misplaced price sign, and the young man said that he was anxious to get rid of some inventory, so he let me have my TWO for $4.00 each ! 
So here's a shot of my little front deck.  The LORD is blessing us everyday as we settle a little more firmly into our temporary home.
Here is the stack of six aprons for Wednesday's visit.
And check out my cousin !   She made an AWESOME apron of her OWN design this past weekend !
Don't we look alike a bit?





Monday, June 21, 2010

Life does intervene.....

...we had an impromptu yardsale and rid ourselves of a big pile of things taking up room in here.  It was a lot of work and the weather was VERY hot, but I'm just glad we did it and it's all OVER !
I guess I'm still recovering from the extra activity, because we went to Columbia today to buy the fabric for a project, and after touring BigLots, Dollar General, KFC, HobbyLobby and SuperWalmart (minus the fabric ! ! !  how can that be SUPER ! ? ! )........I'm worn out. 

But I did get some fabric that will work.   My cousin presented the baby quilt

(photo posted on Flick'r's site)
 from me at the baby shower in May and one of the guests wanted my phone number.  After being allowed to contact me, she requested that I make a quilt EXACTLY LIKE THAT ONE, except TAN, for her first grandson, due in late October of this year.  I didn't even write down anywhere what the finished measurements of the quilt were, but I think I can come pretty close to the same size.   I searched for pretty tan fabrics here and online, but didn't have any luck.  The ones I bought are not as similar in color hue as I would have liked, (like the first quilt), but I think it could turn out really rich-looking.  There's a big stencil at the local fabric store that I would like to have another look at before marking this quilt.  I don't think she'll mind if the quilting motif is just a little different from the first quilt.

I also received a HUGE commission from my favorite anonymous commentor, JodieAnn.    As soon as I get the baby quilt to the hand-quilting stage, I hope to start cutting and piecing a queen-sized-plus pinwheel quilt-top for her.  Beautiful fabric is going to make it a pleasure to work on.  Plus she threw some goodies (RobynPandolph fabrics)  into the package to be the carrot dangled before me while I work !

So, life goes on in the heat.........let's Praise our Heavenly Father for the invention and ability to afford air-conditioning.........can I get a big "AMEN" ?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Don't CHEAP OUT !

Every quilt that you make is going to take a certain amount of time.......even if it's machine-quilted, you are going to invest the same amount of time, no matter the materials.   So my advice is, do it right ! 
I spent the entire day on Monday, cutting out and piecing the top and back to this little dolly quilt.  It may look simple, but I debate every size decision, every fabric choice, every placement. 
When I finished the top and back, I was pleased enough with the outcome.  My one disappointment then was that I had made a ruffle for it, (in fact, the entire choice of fabrics was based on the ruffle that I made before even beginning) but I only had a tiny bit of fabric left from Autumn's Awesome Polka Spots quilt, and I didn't realize that the automatic ruffler attachment made the ruffle come out too short for the approximately 20 inch square quilt that I was designing.
Anyway, the cheap part comes in when I decide NOT to use my little bit of remaining cotton batting because I  realize that I could save it, and with other future scraps, actually piece together a baby-quilt-sized batting.  So, I used polyester.   Now this polyester was great for hand-quilting.......I used it on Aunt Edith's Flowers and the golden baby quilt, ....... but I do much better with cotton batting when it comes to quilting by machine.
The quilt is wobbley/wavy, and the edges are distorted rather than square (I sewed the quilt inside out and birthed it just like I would have done if the ruffle hadn't been TOO SHORT !)  I pressed the entire quilt before I  quilted it, thereby rendering it flat rather than poofy.

Oh, well, long-story,short, here's the finished quilt........I do not like it.........and it may remain here in my house as a small table topper .
Of course, this would be the quilt where I got smart and made the label BEFORE I quilted it, remembering to piece it into the back so that I wouldn't have to hand-applique it later !

The best thing to come out of this is learning that I love this pattern of bricks and would like to make it in a bigger quilt some time.,........one quilted with COTTON BATTING, of course !

Monday, June 14, 2010

Big thanks !

I so appreciate all the sweet and positive feedback I've received on my latest little treasure (quilt). 

But I forgot to mention one very important fact.........

REALLY BIG THANKS
to JodieAnn (also often known here as "anonymous", in my comments)

Looking at this quilt finished, I realized that EVERY BIT of the fabrics in it, front and back, are from a care package that she sent me when I moved here to Tennessee a year ago !  
I told her that I'm trying to use up my stash now, but I didn't realize that I'm using REALLY RECENT stash !

Ha !   Thank you so very much, Jodie !   You're SO responsible for a really great quilt that I almost dread giving up !

Friday, June 11, 2010

Autumn's Awesome Polka Spots




Glory Hallelujah and praise to the LORD above, this quilt has been SAVED ! (no pun intended)  You  can just barely make out a little distortion in the stripes on back, IF you know what you're looking for.   I took out the straight-stitching, and just meandered the whole quilt.  
 I was disappointed to do so, as I really thought that I wanted to mix the two quilting types, but now that I see the finished and washed quilt, I don't see how I could  have liked it any better with straight-stitching ! 
Autumn came over today for a couple of hours and we played together in the floor, doing 'Ring around the Rosie', and feeding the dolly, with the dolly quilt wrapped around it, of course.  I'm thinking, now, that I'd better get busy making a dolly quilt for Autumn to take home with her too !   It'll be fun to give her the two quilts together on her birthday.................. Oh, dear, such a CHORE, having to make ALL these quilts..............................glee, glee, gleeeeeeeeeeee.
Anyway, for now, I know I'll sleep alot better tonight than I did LAST night !   Hooray !   Hooray !
Autumn's Awesome Polka Spots measures approximately 39" x 41".




EDITED....the quilt's in the dryer ! Anybody notice changes in Blogger today?

At first, I was very upset, because I couldn't figure out how to get to my gadgets for changing my background.........I mean, that's MAJOR playtime for me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But then, I figured out that at the top of the page that comes up when you click on "design", is a button labeled "back to blogger".  That took me where I wanted to go and all is well again. 

Just wish they wouldn't mess around with stuff without asking me !

Hee !

Thursday, June 10, 2010

YIKES ! ! ! Major machine-quilting malfunction......

Oh my goodness............I'm so disappointed.  I
 finished Autumn Taylor's quilt-top,











made a back that I LOVED,

(I know....to my old quilting buddies in Oklahoma, it must just look like I took all the pieces I had left over and simply threw them together, rather than piece a design.  But I LIKE this look now.......simplicity, and yet quirkiness.)

I then basted the quilt on my dining room floor,
just to be SURE it was flat
 and I thought that everything was good.
  But I basted all vertically, the way I'm quilting,
 and none horizontally ............ I didn't think I needed to !
   Where was my head?  How long have I been a quilter? 
Granted, I haven't machine-quilted that much,
but I should have known better. 

What's the big deal, you say?
THIS.......
                                                                                 and THIS !  There's no dimension to these photos, so it just looks like the quilt is lying on something puffy, but it's FLAT, and the stripes DIP UP AND DOWN.
The back of the quilt, (and the front

 to a small extent), is "traveling" as I quilt. 
Now a GOOD walking foot should have prevented a lot of this, but
#1. this ain't a good walking foot !.....and
#2.  you still have to baste right !

So..........I guess I've got a lot of "unquilting" to do.  I don't want to, but what choice do I have?  That meandering is going to be FUN to take out, since some of it is loose stitches and some of it tight !   I hope it doesn't leave stitching marks.   

Ugh......I dread this.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's nearly after noon.......

.........and I've hardly started my day !
I don't mean that I'm just getting up.......oh no, I got up around 7 a.m., when hubby couldn't wait any longer for me to go outside and sit with him.  He wakes up before 6 and tries not to wake me  until he just can't stand it any longer.........I think it's sweet !

So, I get up and we go right back out to where we ended yesterday's evening, only this time we have our coffee and Bible reading.  Sitting in the driveway, listening to the birds, (going to roost last night, after swooping down to catch lightning bugs) flying about in the fruit trees looking for breakfast this morning.  Piper runs and chases the squirrels that come to rob the bird feeders in the neighbor's yard. 

When Piper lights, she wants a chair of her own, or to sit in Papa's lap.......not mine !
It's so pleasant, though !  In the evening, the kids gather 'round and talk to us between rounds up and down the hill on their bikes.  The daddy next door brought a sugar dispenser jar to catch lightning bugs for his little boy and girl. 
In the morning, we can wave people off to work,  watch to see if the mailman brings us anything........and, like this morning, I can get a little mowing done while it's still cool. 

No, I just mean that I haven't gotten much accomplished this morning, compared to yesterday where it seemed like I was doing SOMETHING, nonstop.








My flowers that I put out (from WalMart) aren't growing very much, but the ones I gather on our morning or evening walk are such fun. 














This morning I found these, and I don't know what they are. 













They broke off when I tried to pull them up with roots, but I'm hoping that they will re-root (is that a word?)  I put two into the garden and one into a glass of water, hoping something will survive.
I've been pulling wild Daisies, and even brought home a Queen Anne's lace this morning, as I really want some tall flowers to cover and disguise the tongue of this trailer. 

These may not be everyone's choice, but it's fun to just see what I can get to grow here.

Well, I think I'll finish my lunch dishes and see what I can get into in the sewing room.  I hope you all have time to stop and sit and hear the birds tonight.......maybe hubby and I will be out there again, too !

Monday, June 7, 2010

I found GIVEAWAYs you might like to get in on.........

This one was supposed to be over already, but  has been extended another 2 days due to the big response !

You can read about the prize yourself.




And, this one's prize

 is a jellyroll AND a $20.00 gift certificate to a new online quilt store ........you can read the details here.