Remember how I was so disappointed the other day that my local WalMart store wouldn't honor their online price of $39.00 for the 6 ft. folding table? I went ahead and paid $44.88 to be sure that I got the model that I wanted while I could find it? $5.00 extra........doesn't sound like a lot, but with the limited "fun budget" that I allow myself, it's quite a nudge.
Well,.................today's ad in our local paper announced a ROLL BACK on that table. It now sells for $34.88 ! That's right ! $10.00 LESS than I paid. I took my receipt out there and they refunded $10.95 to me ! Woo Hoo, glory HALLELUJAH !
I sat down later to start hand-quilting the zigzag quilt. Uh.....it's been awhile, and I don't love it so much as I used to ! Hand-quilting that is ! Actually, I never loved DOING IT, just the after product. Now, I just keep thinking .......hmmm...I could have this baby done in 2 days if I went to the machine !
EDIT: Wait, wait, now I'm getting my groove. I switched to a big needle and a bigger stitch, and I'm a happy camper again. I'm planning on using this quilt a lot, and didn't see any use in killing myself for tiny stitches. I don't know......like I said the other day, then was then and now is now, and I'm actually enjoying this, quilting it this way, so, as someone said the other day........WA-LAH !
Well, last post I established how old I am, and let me say that in all of those years, I don't remember EVER seeing this type of beauty from a snowfall !
When we went to bed, it was raining, in fact it had rained ALL DAY. This morning, looking out my window, I found that every tree, limb, crack, crevice, surface had been covered by this beautiful, wet, clumpy snow.
I mean, it is BEAUTIFUL !
There's not a LOT of it, so that driving shouldn't be too awful, although most of the towns around us, and this one too, are out of salt because of this banner year of snowfalls. The snowplow JUST went up our hill, in fact. But I dread the sun melting it, it's just that magical !
This photo looks a little unreal.
I want to say a special thank you to those of you who prayed for safe travel for yesterday's evaluation. We clocked 200 miles in gentle, constant rain, and there was NOT ONE problem all day. Favor is upon us, and I appreciate your prayers. Praise the LORD !
Gone are the days when I could set up a big basting frame and thread-baste for 3 hours straight and still walk upright when I'm through.
I also do not have room at home to set up such a frame except when the weather is nice and I can do it in the yard.
I cannot conveniently make bed-sized quilts right now......I just don't have the room to lay them out OR baste them. So, I am going to make the quilts I WANT to make, that fit my current situation........until I can no longer do THAT.
So......having mulled all of this over, today I treated myself to this little beauty. (Big Thanks Cheryl J. for the pingpong table inspiration !)
I have spent DAYS not quilting because I couldn't baste and didn't want to start something new until I had reached a point of quilting with the zigzag top. I really like it and want it to be my next quilt . I also really like the flannel that I bought for the back of it, and I think that I am going to hand-quilt it. We'll see when I get time to try it and see........this polyfil 80/20 batting feels kind of stiff, so it might be a nightmare to do by hand.
Anyway, back to my new 'helper'
I searched online for a 6-foot folding table, and found a price of $39.00 at Wally World. It showed that my local store, surprise of surprises, had one in stock.......I didn't notice that the site said that store prices MAY VARY. In store, it was $44.99. I argued the point, but lost. I decided to go ahead and pay the extra, though, as they have changed the table and the newer ones that they also had did not include the carry-strap/handle, and did not lock closed on the end.
They only had one of this older style and I like those features enough for it to be worth it to pay the markup.
I bought silly little plastic clamps that are really too small, but they were the best buy I could make locally today. I lay the quilt out and wondered how well it would go, but I'm pleased with the finished results. I think it actually came out better than if I had put it in the frame or if I had clamped it tight, as the flannel tends to stretch so easily. Tonight's work seems to have come out just right for THIS job.
I even basted the backing over the edges
incase I DO hand-quilt, as I suspect it'll take awhile and I'll want to snooze under it now and then when I nap. Hubby uses the flannel quilt that Jodie ann made for us when he had his first stroke.......in fact, we almost fight over it (nicely, of course), so finishing this one will be just in time. It still won't be a snuggly as the all-flannel one, but it'll do.
I did get one bit of sewing done a couple of days ago, when I was just going MAD for a little pieceing in my life (thankfully, I do have PEACE from the LORD).
Anyway, my bathroom in this trailer has a clothes dryer placed beside the toilet, and a shelf above the toilet. I have to put the hubby's shower bench on top of the dryer and I hate how it looks, so I took lots of my old browns and blacks and pieced up a nice long curtain to match my jungle-animal decor and hide the uglies.
Tomorrow we drive back for another 2-hour evaluation for the hubster. Blessedly the snow that was forecast for Tuesday has slowed down in it's track and we're supposed to have rain and 46degrees tomorrow, with the 1 to 3 inches of snow coming in tomorrow NIGHT, after we are back safely home. I praise the LORD for this HUGE BLESSING, and yet, still would not object to a prayer or two offered up for our safe travel for tomorrow. Thanks for that !
I was thinking today about all the numerically 'special' dates that have occurred recently, like January 1 and January 11 of 2011. The reason I was reminded was that I spied evidence of the first time I remember commemorating such a date.
I was quilting this quilt one day, and it occurred to me that the day's date was 01-02-03 !
I had seen many old quilts that had interesting things quilted into them, where people didn't notice until their eye accidentally fell on that particular spot. I decided that I just had to include that day's date into that day's quilting. Blessedly, I was quilting the borders, so it worked out perfectly to include the date at one end of the quilt.
I finished this quilt shortly thereafter, in 2003, and yet, until today, it had held it's pencil markings throughout several washes. Today, I washed it to remove likely dust from it having hung on my living room wall all summer, and SURPRISE..........among all the lovely, cottony crinkles, the pencil marks are GONE ! Oh, I'm so glad of that !
The center of the quilt was all hand-pieced, one of those many-year projects that you keep in a little box and pick up and put down for 'lap work'. When it reached a size big enough for a throw, I wanted to quilt and bind it, but I stumbled across some odd borders that I had pieced years before, and miraculously, they fit it. So I added them by machine (they had been machine-pieced), and I hand-quilted it.
For the back, I used 3 toile fabrics that I had been hoarding and couldn't bear to cut into little pieces. Since the borders were three different color-families, I felt that it gave me 'license' to use the three colors on the back (this was long before I used multi-fabric backings as a general rule ).
So, it turned out to be a favorite quilt, front AND back, and now it's truly wonderful with it's CLEAN new look.
This whole thing has me thinking about the quilt I'd like to be working on on November 11th of this year ! Think about it -- 11-11-11
Oh, and a little edit here........I made this today.
I know, I know, it's small and kindof useless, but it kept my mind and my hands busy, so it was definitely not worthless. I had 10 or 11 little blocks leftover from the zigzag top and when I lay them together on my cutting board, I took one look, and then another, and then I said, "oh, why not just sew them together just like that?" They fit a little pillow that I had lying around, probably 9 inches square or so, and give it a fresh look. The hubby called it pretty, so I'm calling it a success.
......is like a day without sunshine. Blessedly, today I had plenty of each.
While the snow continued to melt, outside, I wanted to play, inside, without committing to a big project; so, I decided to try some string blocks. I cut 4 squares from typing paper, 8 1/2 inches square, and used a gently striped fabric for the center diagonal strip. Then I just kept adding strips on each side, using the scrap bag containing leftovers from Judy's cross quilt, and MaryLee's Diagonal Gardens quilt.
I trimmed them up, put them together to make a square on point in the middle, and quilted them free-motion. I backed them to make a pillow for my glider-rocker........I bought a pillow from the second-hand store a couple of months ago and forgot all about making a cover for it. I guess today was the day !
And since no quilt is complete without a cat giving her approval, I present China, nesting.
This serves as a welcome and a shout-out to my newest follower, Annie, whose kitten slept in a basket on her sewing table the entire time she 'played'.
China usually sleeps in the sewing room, but she's recently discovered the down comforter on my bed, and has started spending her days there. This is quite a compliment for my quilt, as there was plenty of comforter left for her to sleep on, but she still chose the quilt !
She measures approximately 46 inches square, and was free-motion quilted on my Singer model 15-91.
I channel-quilted in alternating directions for connecting plus 'blocks'.
For the border, I drew the curvy line using a stencil, and then free-hand quilted in the leaves as I went around the quilt.
The backing is a combination of pieces pulled from my old stash of fabrics. It mainly consists of 'picture fabrics', which can be hard to fit into the average piecing of a scrap quilt. I really like the back, and managed to create one last 'plus' out of the giraffe print.
With the snow melting today, I just had to grab a few photos with this winter backdrop. After all, when I grew up in Tennessee, snow staying around this long was unheard of !
Thanks again for the fabrics, Jodie Ann.........including many (if not all) that are on the back !
NOTE : I was tagged on Jessica's blog today as being one of her favorite small blogs for people to check out. I so appreciate the notice, but just couldn't pick my favorite little blogs, so I'm going to suggest that you check out some of the many blogs along my sidebar. They're fascinating to look in on, and have followings of ALL sizes !
Thank goodness for pieces of batting that can be pieced together......backs too ! (I'm not revealing the back until I'm all done!)
Here's an in-progress photo......the center is all quilted. I need to figure out what I want in the rust border, and then quilt it and the little pieced outer border. As you can see, I still feel safer with thread-basting, and I was able to move things around enough in the living room today to set up the basting frame.
I'm liking how this is quilted. I just looked all over Flickr for plus quilts, and many of them are quilted the same, it seems........a quarter-inch in from the edge of the block, with the centers left empty. Not to pat myself on the back, but I like this look much better........plus, I got a REALLY GOODupper body workout out of it at the same time ! Love that free-motion quilting .
The potato soup was wonderful for lunch, topped with chopped red onion and crumbled bacon, served with a buttery slice of cornbread ! Ah, so good ! Thank you, Jesus !
I had fun going around sweeping the snow from my jeep and my front steps, but I am antsy, wanting to baste that zig zag or that plus quilt top. I don't like anything that I have for the back of the zigzag, really wanting to BUY some yummy flannels from Fabric.com !
I might be able to find something suitable for the plus top......I guess I should go do some digging around. Feeling lazy with a full belly and the hubby snoozin' in the recliner !
EDIT: That old clock ticking down works on me almost every time !
Fabric.com was warning that this was the last day.......midnight limit......to order the flannel that I wanted for $3.98 per yard, so I went for it. Rather than piece a back, I finally decided that I wanted all the lusciousness of pure aqua on the back of the zigzaggy, so I just ordered 3 yards of the ONE fabric. Doesn't it look snuggly? Can't you just feel it? Ahhhhhhhhhhhh
Well........it was MEANT to flow like a river. There seems to be a boulder or two standing in the middle of the stream !
I love the look of stained glass here when it was hanging in the window partially pieced.
Here it is hanging above the couch, which already sports a zigzag (better known as ripple) afghan on the bottom portion. The afghan was purchased at a yard sale. I thought that it would be fun to add the zigzag quilt across the back top of the couch.
In this photo, I'm pointing out the fabrics that I had the most trouble placing. I wanted a good smooth flow from light to dark through the middle of the quilt, but the color changes between greens, blue-greens, and blues was very difficult. I settled on what I thought was a good value flow, ignoring the color, but I now see that the two blues stick out. I tried placing them after the blue-greens, but when placed next to the blues down there, they wanted to appear purply. Of course, when I tried to move them into the purple section, they appeared to be BLUE.
So, this is it. The band of turquoise/blue-greens is a bit overwhelming compared to the other color bands, but in person, it's lively and pretty. Overall, I'm pleased with the top, and may just want to hand-quilt this one. I'm undecided on that yet. I dread cutting off the points, but I'll probably draw a straight line around the top first, stay-stitch along it, and THEN trim the points. If I had a little wavy stitch on any of my sewing machines, I would machine-quilt it like this quilt on Flickr .......it's AWESOME !
By the way, I basically used this method of cutting and assembly, but with 2 1/2 inch strips, thereby subcutting to 4 1/4 inch squares.
Connecting Threads has offered to send a replacement set of strips, but I don't want them to bother. There were 3 strips that were really badly cut, but I made them work, so I'm just happy to hear them say that this is not their normal quality, but just a quirk. Be aware, though, if you have trouble with yours, that they will make it right.
And is it just me, or does fabric ravel more than it used to ? That's probably a quality issue too, I guess, but wow, some of the fabrics I've worked with in the last year........including some that were quite expensive.........have been a real mess of threads after the normal amount of handling necessary to piece a top !
EDIT: Connecting Threads has sent me a replacement set of strips without even waiting on my response to their email.......very good customer service !
All the components are made......the squares all cut, and sewn into rows, and most of the rows pieced to each other. The zigzag top is in 5 pieces right now, which means that I lack 4 long seams.
I had part of the top on my bed and part on the ironing board, as it grew too big to keep together in the sewing room..........and that caused a problem ! Somehow, I got squares placement off just a bit, and had to do a little bit of unstitching and restitching as I started to put the final rows together.
So, no photo tonight,.........but, hopefully, SOON !
I had a nice afternoon with Allyssia, and then got right back to work......actually, I even snuck in a little piecing while she was here, she is so sweet. Her mama told me not to bother giving her a bath right away, as she hadn't finished her lunch yet.......she was covered in chocolate, and I was handed a ziploc baggy of pizza pockets ! I told hubby that that meant that I couldn't get any pictures when she headed straight for my dollies, babbling "babby!" But, I couldn't resist, and snapped a few anyway..........hey, it's been a long time since I could document some good ol' PIG-MOOCHIES. And don't think I didn't grab me some, too, Kelley !
Back to the quilt-piecing.....
working on the diagonal like this, as I piece the squares into diagonal rows, some rows are completed before others, starting at the upper right hand corner. So, each time a row is completed, I add it to the previous finished ones, thereby piecing the long row seams as I go. This way, I won't have a gazillion rows to sew together at the finishing of the quilt-top.
I came across two turquoises that were SO CLOSE in hue that they may be indistinguishable in the finished top. It may look like I made one double row of the same color through the middle of the quilt. I'll just have to wait and see. I didn't dare remove that near-color set of strips, as the quilt-top is already pretty limited in size.
According to my count, I've now pieced 17 out of 27 rows. I did 9 yesterday, so that's not bad, getting another 8 done today. I think that it's because I've worked out a nice rhythm to my method now !
I tried to post this last night, and it wouldn't let me do anything but a title !
I worked on the zigzag top yesterday, which by the way, doesn't seem to be wanting to be wonky at all.......we'll see when the entire thing is pieced. Sometimes diagonal piecing in itself comes out wonky !
Anyway, here's a shot of how I lay out my strips, after I had decided on the color arrangement that I wanted. I'm having purple and blue at one end, going through aqua, up to greens at the other end, with a few out of place pieces wherever they seemed to fit. The strips seem to look different-colored within a zigzag row, but that is just the way the light hits the nap of the fabric.
For the zig zags, I need to make one set of strips, with say, the dark green and the medium dark green,......then the next strip needs to be the same medium-dark green with a medium green. So I had to have two of each strip color. They are laid out here on the ironing board ready for piecing.
At the end of the day, I had about 1/3 of the strip-sets done, as I am piecing a set, subcutting them into squares, and adding them to the previous set's squares, creating diagonal rows. I preferred this idea to piecing and cutting all of the squares at once, and then trying to lay them all out and traipse back and forth from my bed (design wall, LOL) at one end of the trailer, to the sewing machine at the other end. Before going to bed, I pictured what it would be like to wake up to find that the cats, who are closed up in the sewing room at night, had gotten into the strips and mixed up the order. So, I promptly stowed them away, in order, in a basket with something placed on top to discourage any curiosity !
Here's the progress from yesterday's piecing. It almost seems to shimmer a bit, huh? Cool !
I don't expect to get much done on it today, as I am watching Allyssia this afternoon, and this morning seems to be flying by at warp speed with household duties.
This is going to be an odd-sized quilt, as I am making it to the size that these two stripsets will allow. It should work out to be a very good size for the back of the couch, which I keep covered against pethair.