Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween all Year Swap

I have so much when it comes to Hallows decor that I was delighted to join a monthly Swap Bot exchange based on the song, The 13 Days of Halloween by Bryant Oden. Guess I am not the only one who likes celebrating all year long. 

This month is Zombie Eyes. The first thing I did was to make an Apothecary Jar, filled it with 4 bloody eyeballs, with gauze, and found a label for it. Then I found a recipe to make PB Zombie Eyes cookies, also found a blank recipe card and printed and glued it on the card. Then I had a scrap of fabric that has 3 sets of eyes. The black with white polka dot was perfect and its backed and bound with more black. I think it makes the perfect swap.

Happy Hallows!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Row 4 is Posted

Well dang. Row 4 of this month's Seasons Row Along Quilt is the Flying Geese block. As I worked on piecing those little 2.5" blocks for the first border, the thought came to me that it is so much easier for me to be accountable and have a monthly deadline. All that is true.

With a mystery quilt, however, one must step into the challenges it provides such as working with a block pattern I might not have chosen. This month's Flying Geese is not one I wanted to work with because of the HST (half square triangles). I wanted to stick with squares and rectangles and no longer struggle with those pointy pieces. Here I am, doing what I didn't want to do. I like seeing how others choose to put theirs together so I have options. Already between the two choices, I am leaning toward having one color for the background and scrapping the geese. I have learned over time that too many scraps make the quilt look chaotic and that there needs to be somewhere for the eyes to rest.

This morning I spent time at the machine with the 2.5" piecing and all the while thinking about all sorts of things from my health, the apps I set onto my phone, to people in my life that I don't see or hear from on a regular basis.

My studio floor is filling up with shipping boxes as I get ready to ship things out in a couple of weeks. Soon enough, everything will be gone and there will be spaces for more.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Row by Row BOM

With all the holiday projects I had going, I kept putting off the Block of the Month / ROW of the Month project. That was not smart. It made me realize that there are a lot of things I do that are really avoidance activities.

This month has 3 blocks that are machine appliquéd. The process is that you draw the patterns onto fusible fabric, then press it onto the the colors for the overall pattern, cut them out to press onto the background and then machine appliqué them on. 

I laid out what was finished on the previous rows to keep the colors in mind. Clearly, this is a WIP (work in process).

Another part of that project is to make a first border, which is going to be from three 2.5" squares joined across and around the circumference. The original pattern calls for two squares, but I want this quilt to be a little larger and plan to do another border or two beyond.

It means emptying out the stash bin before the quilt is even finished. It is an absolutely wonderful use of these squares and the time it took for me to cut them out of leftover projects. And there are always more. If the shoebox shown here is depleted of its resources, then its time for me to cut more as I go. Every once in awhile, I will take a day and simply cut. 

The ROM quilt is called 'Seasons' which leads me to think that there will be four larger rows at 12" and eight smaller ones at 6" making the length 96" and the width 36", not counting the first border. That is odd in my mind. Some women added a 4th block already. However, this is a mystery quilt, so its risky to make changes at this stage. I am not attaching the side borders yet. I also know that it is ok to add inches to extend the quilt in either direction; top to bottom or side to side.

This is the mark of an Intermediate quilter, to be able to make changes to the pattern. Right now, I am going along with the process with a wait-n-see attitude. 

Well, off to Los Angeles!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday, Waiting for Saturday

When one lives in a small town, it is important not to have a small heart. It rained here, soaking the ground and relieving me of my duty to go outside and water the new plants. I need to take out the pond and dig its hole a little deeper, plus set in half a container of the Woolly Thyme.

I picked up a couple of boxes to ship the table runners out to my Aunties later in November, and found bells so one of them could go on the toe of the Grinchmas Stocking.

The quilting work here is detail stuff, not really the grand finish worthy of a photo. I am loving the reds and greens for everything, yet do not feel like the transition to Winter Solstice. 

I am still in the Hallows mood and will attend the LA Day of the Dead at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This is huge and exhausting to drive there, spend most of the day into the night and drive home. Luckily it is Saturday, and the celebration here in town is on Monday.

Meanwhile, I am keeping a low key on all else I do just to keep my energy for both events.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Advent Calendar Tea Wrappers

My friend Rex is such a creative inspiration for me. She is hosting a series of Journal Pages and participating in an Advent Calender Tea exchange. I did the page with the focus of Ancestors. Of course I didn't take a photo of it.

However, I love Advent Calendars, and although I missed the first round, there was enough paper left from what I did make to cut more out, and keep them. Mine, in this pic, are the top row of 1-5 in traditional wraps. The ones I made for the swap are the teapots, numbered 6-10. They do seem a perfect size. I found Advent Calendar numbers to print and use for them, printing off the full 24, so I will need the number 25 to complete the grouping. The numbers give it the holiday look. I was able to cut another set from this paper group and will wait to make sure I don't get the same partner for the 11-15 swap.

And as for my quilting projects, well, they are all WIPs or works in progress. I am making the Prayer Flag for the Dark Mother Archetype, and a mug rug for a Zombie Eyes swap. And then I think I can move on to my sidebar To-Do list.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bouncing From One to the Other

Nothing is really completed. Yet, everything moved along and is getting closer. And I feel good about all the projects.

My godSon's Holiday stocking just needs something for the raw edge of the cuff. I might replace the entire cuff with something a little wider. I followed the pattern but it narrows at the end and, in my eyes, it looks a little odd. I stuffed the toe with tissue paper as there were no instructions about it. Turning was difficult too and I want to find a big bell to sew on the end.

Then I am still working on the binding for the tablerunners. I love these fabrics, and the photo doesn't do them justice. Isn't that a clichéd phrase? Well, usually its true. The eye can see more layers of color than is often seen in the more inexpensive camera like mine. That focus fabric is stunning, making the runner reversible. I am a sucker for black accented fabric.

And this last red/green project is a scrappy Yule altar cloth that needs the two red side borders, and then a focus fabric, batting and backing. As I look at it in the photo, it is almost an optical illusion of varying heights. All material in this one will be leftovers from other projects.

There is so much fabric left in my closet that I wonder, first of all how I will use it and secondly, how it will work as the supply dwindles. I've been using my thread creatively too. If one looks close enough at the tablerunner, one can see red quilting thread. Its not visible on the stocking seams, but there as well. I have a big spool of red thread, so it will be used in this altar cloth too and any other place that works. Looking at my to-do list, there is less call of it for awhile. However, there is some unopened neutrals that come out for many of them.

One of the larger bins holds both Hallows and Solstice fabrics. Most are scraps and some are larger pieces. There are no plans for any of it. Another bin holds those cut squares and strips, and I really want to get on with something soon. The third bin holds bags of colorized pieces from small to larger. Then there are smaller bins.

On the other side of the closet are projects. Two bins hold finished quilts. One of those are the bird quilts for the Grands waiting for the last one to be finished. The other bin of finished quilts will be emptied by November for the year end holiday. Then, stacked in the corner are bins of projects either as unfinished or not even started. It is my goal for 2017 to move the unfinished ones to their next stages, and MAYBE start one of the new-for-me projects. I want to do my very best not to buy any fabric unless it is used to finish up something.

It will help my sorting to get the finished ones shipped out. Everything is jammed together pretty tightly and that makes it hard to see what I have.

I do not have any family quilts going out for awhile. Soon enough new people will join. However, I think it doesn't hurt for them to live with what they have for awhile. I'll keep quilting but many of the things on my sidebar to-do list are for my own comfort and joy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mug Rugs Finished

Ten more mug rugs are ready to go out. 

I received a box from someone who evidently knows me and is obviously a quilter. In it was a note saying that she was sending on things she no longer wanted nor could use. I was to take what I wanted and pass on the remainder in the box to someone else. That is such a good idea.

Receiving love-gifts is unsettling for a person who gives. We are taught it is better to give than receive as if receiving were a bad thing. Yet, because of that, I felt somewhat vulnerable and realized that I was, again, becoming a stranger to the wisdom that receiving is the deepest form of giving. 

I have a list of Facebook friends who wanted one and the rest will go to folks I swap with. They are really quite simple ones, using the fabric and 'fussy' cutting around the images that were leftover scraps. It was simple and simply done. All that red and green. There are more scraps left after cutting out the holiday stocking and they are in a bag, just in case I want to make more. I think its over doing it right now, so there are not any plans for more.

I am working on the two table runners and the stocking all in red and green, with one more table topper to go. Then I think that its enough of those colors for awhile. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Grinchmas Stocking

With still a couple of good size scraps from the Grinchmas fabric, I was able to manipulate the pattern for the holiday stocking over what was left, cutting out both sides of the stocking. Luckily, the pattern calls for a cuff or there wouldn't have been enough length to either scrap. 

Its like the old saying that says: We cannot control all our experiences, yet we can control our responses.

This is the outside, the cuff and heel, as well as the lining. All scraps. When I think of all the projects I got out of those two kits I bought, it was a find. It was an introductory offer and now the price for kits has doubled. It makes it worth it for me. This particular project will go together fast. The heels will be machine embroidered first, then the sandwich with some simple echo stitching to hold it together. Once this is done, it can be sewed right sides together and turned so the inside seam is enclosed. OH, and a sturdy hanging ribbon. He is a guy and may leave this out all year. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Double-sided TableRunners

Patience and persistence have become my most recent quilting tools as undramatic as they seem. I have gone the way of exhaustion and 'the push' for too long, and using these new tools will get the job done, perhaps even more efficiently for me.

It is still October and my plan is to ship all the holiday projects out on November 22, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. That gives everyone an opportunity to use up the Fall colors and Harvest themes on their tables and beds. Tops on the runners are done, the batting and backs cut. I decided to echo quilt the squares with red thread. I worked on the first one and it is more work than I realized. Red thread disappears on the back and on the red side strips and looks good on the white. 

I woke with a lot of energy this morning. The ground is quite wet yet the rest of the plants need to go in before it gets much colder. The only things left to do is convert the sprinklers to those drip line watering and to resink the pond so the edges of it are flush with the surrounding ground. There are two zones to the sprinklers, one to the South and against the house watering the trees, and the other to the North which will cover the herbs and what is against the rocks. The pond is almost empty and will be easy to lift up and dig down a few more inches. For now, its wooly thyme. The rest of it could wait until Spring if the weather goes cold.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Holiday Table Runners

There are many things we do not remember from our childhood. Adults remember the child we were. Sometimes its about the feeling I get that warms me when I think of the elders in my family. With only a few exceptions, I love / loved my Uncles and Aunties, and those I simply like. Sometimes I remember certain experiences, but most of the times it is only the feeling. Most of my elders are gone now. Two Uncles left. Five Aunties, and two of the Aunties inaccessible because their health has failed, and they wait a final step away from this good green Earth.

I think the ones I do not remember fondly were simply those who I did not spend time with. I come from a very loving family, all of whom love the children in it.

The third round of piecing is completed on the Holiday Table Runners. This round pieced small blocks into rows. They need pressing and then joining the three rows into what becomes the center. Here, the red strips frame two sides of the white.

There is a full square of wooly thyme outside sitting near the short rock wall that I want to plant today as soon as the weather warms. It won't take me more than an hour and it will be muddy out there in the clay after the sprinklers went off. Sunshine is warming the area right now.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Finished up the apron by sewing on the buttons, top stitching around it and sewing on the pocket.

Vince Lombardi was a famous football player and coach. Among the many quotes attributed to him is: "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." And I think that is what I've been dealing with this week. I used to be able to go-go-go-go so its hard for me to pull back and rest awhile. I have too high of expectations for myself.

The apron is what it is, a tone-on-tone for the front and a small print that reads fairly solid for the back and trim. I found two of the antique buttons that were the same for the pocket and flap. It is lovely. I guess that without having size measurements for my partner, this apron will either work for her or not. If not, I hope she passes it along. 

Last year my parter was literally dying and may not have even opened what I sent. This year, my partner seems to have everything. Yet, everything I got last year from that other partner was so deeply appreciated. I am open to receive and think that makes the difference when things come.

And while the first cuts have been made on the two holiday table runners, the first seams are also done and pressed open. Now for the second cuts so that the blocks can be made. I did finish one of the Grinchmas Mug Rugs, so 9 to go. Some of these will go with various exchanges in Swapbot.

I've been looking for a holiday stocking pattern and was sure I had some somewhere. That is my next project.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Having Lost Momentum

It is clearly a seasonal change outside. Leaves turn color differently here than they do in the Midwest where I am from, so I cling to the sight of reds wherever they present. Winds push them around and soon will detach them from their source. I am grateful that I got outside earlier because it is getting too cold already (with the winds) to enjoy it.

And clearly things are different for me. Arthritis gets worse in my hands all the time, along with those Essential Tremors. I used to take great pleasure in evening hand work and now only want to cuddle under my quilts. And my eyes do not want the strain. I wonder how others manage various issues. It also makes me try to come up with different ways of doing those things. 

I set my goal on the sidebar for 2017 to move all those recognized UFO's to the next steps. They do not have to be finished, just something done on them. I feel quite happy that everyone in the family has a quilt from me, and do not plan to set hard deadlines for anything in the future.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hooray for Mickie's Halloween Party

It was a sweet vacation, with that party on Monday night and then a leisurely day in Downtown Disneyland on Tuesday. I baked chocolate chip cookies today for 3 of my Grandkids, and added 8 chocolate legs to a chip facing out to make spiders. Then of course, cooled them, wrapped and shipped them off.

I finished up the closures on the Advent Calendar Markers and top stitched the apron after adding the ties. Now to cut a few loose threads and those projects are ready. I cut pieces for the two holiday table runners and just plan to rest the day away. It rained just enough so that the new plants outside are ok and I don't need to do more for now. There is always tomorrow.

Monday, October 17, 2016


"Further" Versus "Farther" The quick and dirty tip is to use “farther” for physical distance and “further” for metaphorical, or figurative, distance. It's easy to remember because “farther” has the word “far” in it, and “far” obviously relates to physical distance.

Taking Them a Step Further

Is it further or farther? I always forget. Either way, I did find time to work on a few of my current projects. All my life, I have been a workaholic, a Personality Type A. Whatever. I know that as long as I keep busy, I don't feel the little aches and pains in my body. And yes, there are some.

The 12 Days swap needs to be shipped by November 22. That's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and I try to get things out by that week anyway. More than likely, my ship date will be the week before. This is the body of the apron for Day 12. It needs the neck and waist ties, plus buttons on the pocket and neck for decoration. My partner wanted fabric that reads solid and these do. I've pinned the ties and will sew them on Wednesday when I get back from Disneyland. I have one flat box and hope it will fit in it.

Then I got the mug rugs cleaned up and put wonder clips on them for handsewing binding. There are 10 and honestly, I don't know how that happened. Some folks will get two. There is enough fabric left to make a holiday stocking for my godSon, so that is a new project. I am glad to use up the fabric. It is cute but needs a destination.

I found poly batting to stuff the Grinchmas Advent Calendar markers. They are double sided and just are the cutest! So they complete gifts for two families on my list. I think they need to be mailed off with instructions for how to use them as markers in the calendars. I am not sure if people understand marking off time to a big event. They make like them or not.

It does make me feel good to have brought these projects all that much closer to completion. I know it seems ridiculous to some folks to be thinking about end of the year holidays when Halloween hasn't even happened. However, its all about making what I make, and having it shipped on time. It really surprised me when I realized this is October. 

I do have to wait until the stores put out their holiday wrapping paper for the final step in giving what I made to people I love.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Grinch Mug Rugs

When I offered to make Grinchmas Mug Rugs, I thought was going to make 6 of them, and now have less names. I hope I made a list but can only account for 4 people. Maybe I was making two for some. I also contacted one of my godSons who had expressed great joy at the thought but hadn't asked for one. So I asked him and he was delighted.

Making these mug rugs is giving me a chance to use up scraps. Scraps of batting, scraps of fabric and scraps of the Grinchmas fabric. First, The sandwiches went together, then I did an echo machine quilting stitch, trimmed them and got them ready to bind.

The binding also let me use up scraps. I wasn't wildly creative here and just went with green stripe with red trees on it. Now, they just need threads clipped and binding rolled for hand stitching. They are perfect projects for down time.

I am working on the final gift for the 12 Days swap, which is an apron, and spent time wrapping the first 11 gifts. I did find a box big enough yet it is almost too big, so I plan to look for one just a smidge smaller. The apron will lay flat and not take up a lot of room. I have all the pieces for it cut.

Interesting that both projects use dark green with trees.

Thing is, I leave for a two-day trip to Disneyland in the afternoon. Gates open for the party at 3 pm, and the non-party people have to leave by 5 pm, which is a perfect time to come. They are driving out so parking is closer, and everything a little less crowded. I've also got a private room through AirB&B and plan to stay the night and then go into Downtown Disneyland on Tuesday, leaving for home around 2 pm to miss the traffic. I've been trying to take it easy today, but do plan to bake cutout cookies for 2 of my Grandkids.

The Square Foot Garden forms were set up, the stakes, weed barrier and container gardening soil set in. AND THEN, winter veggies have been planted. It is looking so nice, and I really love the Labyrinth. 

I do not expect to quilt nor will I be posting for a couple of days while I am gone. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Grinch Envelope Pillows

Once again, stymied by written instructions, I went onto You Tube where I found many tutorials. Most were for square pillows and most gave measurements for any size. My forms are rectangular and I used directional print. I was confused, still or yet again, over written instructions. I cut according to the written directions and then couldn't get to the next step.

It wasn't hard once I watched everyone on You Tube. Every quilter has her own method and mine seems to combine bits from what I see. I must have watched everyone who posted a DIY. I got it. 

These pillows and envelope cases are going to my eldest Granddaughter for the holidays. I wanted to make cases so she could wash them if she so chose. One tut claimed that using 100% would not be as sturdy as outside chair fabric. Well, this is 100% cotton. Another suggested reinforcing the straight line seam with a zig-zag. That is what I did. Because there are two pillows, it made sense to play with the four pieces that would make up two backs to have them look as much as one piece as I could.

Once the seams were in, it was a matter of clipping corners and threads, turning it right sides out and pressing the seams. They both say MERRY GRINCHMAS on one side and have the print pattern on the other, so there are endless ways they can set them out. I'll send a care note with them so if they need to be washed, they should hold up to it in cold water. Done.

Then I put together fronts, backs, batting and binding for the Grinchmas Mug Rugs. Its a great way to use up scraps. They are ready at the machine to stitch them up. I have more than the 6 promised so will tuck the extras into exchanges on Swap Bot. 

Eleven of the 12 Days Swap are ready to wrap and I've found boxes where needed and have a shipping box to hold them all. I've started cutting the pieces to the apron. So the next couple of days will be easy breezy to get them all done.

Friday, October 14, 2016

More Holiday Projects Added

I am overjoyed that the last quilt of the year is in its new home and quite well received. There was a sense of satisfaction and a sigh of relief. 

And then. And then. And then I added more projects to my sidebar that included Grinch Advent Calendars, two Grinchmas Pillows and at least 6 Grinch Mug Rugs. Add to that list, Holiday Tablerunners, some little Mittens I will use for the Grands to tuck money into this year, an Apron for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap, plus a few more items that will get exchanged on Swap Bot.


And oh yes, I went out and bought three trays of ground cover plants to tuck between the stepping stones outside, and two more round stones to lay in front of the pond. Lots and lots of work to go out there before it gets too cold for me to work easily.

So no pictures today. Oh wait. 

 Here's one of me that I printed off to take to my next appointment.  Thing is, I am ready for a new look. My hair has grown out a bit since the last cut, so I am looking for new options. Well, out into the garden I go!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Its All Mud

Got outside to sink the Jasmine and a couple of shade plants. Then I noticed the underground sprinkler heads were getting buried by mud, so dug them out. Its not pretty out there right now. Will be. Just not now.

The plan for the re-do is well designed and as things get put in, I realize there are spaces unaccounted for that should not lay bare because the neighborhood cats already think they have a new litter box. Plants will grow to 2-3 feet wide and in the meanwhile nothing else should be planted near them. Hmm. There is a rubber mulch product and the downside is the smell of rubber tires when it is hot. Now I am wondering if that will compromise the Jasmine scent.

My hands hurt last evening so I did not work on the binding project. What I DID do was to sort fabrics (yet again) and restacked my bins. I also measured batting scraps for future projects. I was what I could do. And of course my hands hurt from this morning's work outside. Hurt and are very dry from the mud, so I will be putting lotion on them and not touching fabric. I need to put a movie on and let the lotion sink in.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Once the Labyrinth was laid, my next task was to set in some of the ground cover plants. Of course, I needed to clean up the small rock wall, so used the leaf blower, and then reset in the stepping stones near that arbor (need to order the new one). I dug up sod in front of the stones, then watered what I put in. This is a pic before starting the work. Its always bothered me that the previous owner didn't stake those trees and let them grow with the pressure of the Western winds, so they lean into the house. They were cut as good as possible with how they grow.

The work I did was around the top of the pic. Perspective is hard with this. I can stretch my arm out to the tree trunk as I pass. Blocks are 16" square. As the stones were overturned and rearranged, numerous Black Widow Spiders scampered around. Time for me to quit. I worked outside until almost noon:thirty, took a shower and had some lunch. 

I finished one of the Grinch Advent Calendars. The triangles make a great sleeve alternative that allows mini quilt to be hung. I am thinking I might include a ribbon that works to hang it over a doorknob or over an existing nail in a wall.

Obviously a lot of my time is taken up with the gardens because soon enough it will get too cold to be out there. My quilting projects are all holiday gifts that will go out in November. No one expects them, so if my time got out of my control and I could not finish them, then its ok.  I will keep working on them as my energy holds.

Monday, October 10, 2016


I love how it turned out. I love how it put me through many challenges and that facing those challenges pushed me forward one by one. I like the horizontal machine stitches. I like the same sizes of the border around the edges. I like it all.

The photo shows the pattern and even the borders, but it is really hard to see white on white quilting and how the binding blends. The top is the same as the back. It is a taller quilt as I am standing as tall as I am able, and reaching out as far as I am able to stretch. It will be a nice lap quilt for more than one person at a time under it. I reinforced the edge seams at the sides and learned that next time, I will quilt to the raw edges.

And now, onto the holiday projects. I've listed them on the sidebar here, giving some double billing. I want to concentrate, first, on an apron for the 12th Day of the 12 Days Swap. I need to shop for the outside fabric for the apron, plus two half yard pieces for one of the Days. I got shades of purple only to SEE on her application, that she doesn't like purple. 

Now I have purple. I am thinking about a kit project in my closet that wanted to use purples in the hearts of the pattern. It will not go to waste.

Secondly, I want to work on all the Grinch projects that include 6 mug rugs, two pillows, and two Advent calendars.

And to finish up my holiday projects for this year, I bought fabrics for red poinsettia themed table runners for two of my dear Aunties. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Days and Days

Yes, it took several long days of straightline quilting and one of the lines needs to be re-done, which I will do as soon as I finish the post. I shopped several stores to find the right green for the binding, washed it to test the color and should have it cut, pressed and on the quilt. The next step is to clip it for hand sewing and then finish the binding. I had a goal of Tuesday but am willing to go until Wednesday to get it boxed and shipped.

I fell pretty peaceful about this quilt now, and how it evolved. It wasn't the case as I worked on it. Even the lines tested my sense of order because they were relatively parallel but had waves. Yet the finish of the quilt is quite nice. Will they like it? In one way, I don't care because its not up to me to care. Once it leaves my hands and ships across the country, it is their quilt to like or not, to keep or not, to use or not. 

This represents a lot of freedom and of course, this is what I feel right here and now. It doesn't mean that the next project will elicit the same feelings from me. This one does. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Straightline Quilting

It has been a true adventure with this process. First of all I watched several videos and then, in my storage bin, found unused attachments to the machine that are geared towards machine quilting. Duh. I just never knew what they were for or how to use them.

Then, I have misplaced my camera. I can remember using it yesterday but it is not in the usual places. It may have dropped into a wastebasket for all I know.

So, using the spare camera, I got pictures of what I am doing on the machine. It can be difficult to see the white thread on the white fabric, and here, it looks a bit bunched, but lays out beautifully on both sides. I am quite pleased with how this is turning out. I elected to stitch horizontally over a fairly long quilt, and will do the borders following the circumference. This kind of quilting with these machine tools takes longer because the guide on my machine lifts up, making me stop, pull it down and shift the fabric. That is most likely a good thing for someone such as myself who needs that sort of discipline.

I plan a trip up to Bakersfield this afternoon and will take a piece of the MN WILD print fabric with me to get some fabric for the binding. My goal is to get this one finished and ship it out next week. I am about half done with the machine quilting.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Watching Tutorials

My quilting is slower paced these days because of the yard work. I took to washing the two windows in my studio, which became almost a comedy routine. It should take two people doing it so the streaks can be handled without going outside and coming in again, over and over. Jeeze.

One of the videos I found on You Tube demonstrated a different way to hang the Grinch Advent CalendarsCorner triangles for wallhanging ease   This pic is an example I found that shows the corner triangles. 

I will need to modify the first GAC because the binding is already on it. It can be hand stitched, and the second one can be machine stitched along the corner seams before the hand stitched binding is finished. I've marked the two dowels and will take them back to Home Depot for cutting. A dowel fits horizontally into the corner triangles, & then can hang on a nail.

I got onto one of the video loops, and so spent lots of time watching tutorials on the topic. Evidently, if one brings their quilt to a show, it is expected that a sleeve be a certain size for the rods to hang it. They must have enough give to them so the quilt hangs properly. I've also purchased hardware and given that with the mini quilts. However, in both cases, they were not used. I think this is an option they may choose to take or not.

Its interesting that I am in a learning stage again. While it doesn't seem productive and I have no photos to share, it is an important part of the quilting process. What? Sitting on the loveseat watching videos? Yes. What? Washing windows? Yes.

I have the MN WILD quilt basted and at my machine. Obviously, it is next to finish and must go out soon. My goal was to ship it next week.

Its not having photos. Its not being able to use this computer system the way I did the Mac. I think that life has a way of presenting itself that doesn't always work the way I want it. We want it. Ah life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Advent Calendars

The first of two Grinch Advent Calendars are almost done. I am going to Home Depot today to buy dowels for both of them and will make the sleeves and they will be done.

I found a tutorial on You Tube for quilting parallel lines and discovered I have some of the machine tools to make it happen. Of course the person in the tut has a different machine and her tools are a bit more than the simple ones that came with my Brother, but will work. I want to watch it again just to make sure I know what I am doing.  I was impressed with how many different options there are and want to give it a go on my next projects.

The MN WILD quilt is the last of the quilts I am doing for this season, though there are many more to come. Keeping with the Grinch theme and using up some of that fabric, I plan to make two throw pillows and have at least 6 mug rugs planned. These projects should go quickly and be ready to ship out in November.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Out & IN

Whew, Monday was spent more in the yard. First of all the arborists came and trimmed the heck out of the three trees, much to my satisfaction. So much sun is coming through the windows enlightening the studio. Of course that also means those fierce Western winds will bring on the chill. Hmmm.

Then, the guys came to give an estimate for laying stepping stones for the Infinity Labyrinth around two trees. They will pick up materials, dig the trench, lay out leveling sand and the stepping stones for $200 plus the cost of materials. It will be absorbed by the grant.

I cleaned out the underground sprinklers so they can go off and today checked to see how the ones against the house spray. Another cost and job is for the microsprayers. There are only two sections of how it works and with the microsprayers, water has to be on for hours to get the driplines to work. It is an all or nothing sort of set up.

The grass removal is going along and needs to be done before the Labyrinth is built. Of course, after that, the planting can start. Its a time consuming project that is going to be easier done when weather is decent, and here in the mountain valley, one never knows. Meanwhile, it is essential to get the plants in containers watered.

Inside, I spent time checking seams and clipping threads on the MN WILD quilt. I aligned edges and borders up almost exactly. There is no overlay, and as of right now, I am not sure what I will do on it. First things first. I am really glad to have halved this very large quilt top. This pic shows the borders a bit and the entire quilt will look the same on the top and bottom so whatever quilting I do on it has to disregard the seams, but be close enough to reinforce them. This one has the smallest ones I have ever done.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Green Witch of Hallows

I've set up a couple of exchanges on SwapBot for the Witch stereotype of seeing her as green, toothless, haggard. Its a cliche that means for us to forget what really happened. 

Anyway, one project I made was a prayer flag to the Crone. I found this great black fabric with gold 'skeleton' keys on it. I haven't written my commentary about it for my partner. I sewed an empty gold fabric bag on it. It might mean how little she needs to walk in the world and that to pass through the Gates, we have to release everything that holds us back. And the keys are about opening the door between the worlds.

The other one of the projects is a tablerunner made from all the green, and black  5" charms & black with green Halloween prints I could cut to 5" to go along with it. I made it 3 wide for the power of three and 13 long just because that is her number.

Then I pieced the back from some black with white webs on it for the back. And further pieced a Halloween fabric stripe used for the binding. Its good for a tablerunner but will also lay across a sofa or at the foot of a bed. Its not maximizing the torture of women through out the ages, but the recipient will know my intention.

And now I am turning back to the MN WILD quilt. I have an appointment to baste on Tuesday. And I am also finishing up the Grinch Advent Calendars. The pillow forms came for the other Grinch project I want to do, so I have enough to work on for awhile.