Thursday, June 30, 2016

Border Solution

What I thought about as I woke this morning is the saying that 'the race is not to the swift but to those who keep on running'.

Without enough to finish off the top and bottom border, I took a chance by making a 9-patch for each corner. I had more blue stripe but not enough pink to make it happen. I ripped some pieces and then had enough small squares of the pink for the 9-patches. I know that if I stop going on a project and put it away, that when I take it out again, it will frustrate me even more than when I left it.

This is going to be one wild quilt, living up to its name of Wild Cats. It took a bit of planning to get it to come out ok because I do not have a pattern to follow. I did decide to buy more of the black with white dot for binding just to carry it through. And I have no idea how the back will work and must wait until the top is done and has a final measurement. 

Personally, I like the bright, bright colors and appreciate that I had two pieces of Kaffe Fasset to use in it. I bought some to use in that 12 Days of Christmas swap I was in last year and had to make a minimum purchase, so kept the extra fabric that didn't go in the swap. The other piece I have is a floral in those colors that is planned for the final border. 

Tomorrow is First Friday and one of the fabric stores offers FQs at half price. I also have a $20 punch card that must be redeemed at one time, so I can shop away. Rolling my eyes, because I just spent $80-some dollars online this morning to get batting and some fabric for a holiday project. Quilting is not cheap.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Intermediate Quilter

According to popular opinion, an Intermediate Quilter is one who can take a pattern and make it work with what she has. It could be changing colors, fabrics and even design.

So here I am, going for the big prize with this Wild Cat quilt. I have extended the panel to measure 32.5" wide, then found a pattern that suggested the next border as scrappy, and then made a small coordinating (black with white dot) frame. I made the third border out of a 3-piece stripe. I am halted now. I used up all the pink. However it was my plan to make a corner block from that 3-piece strip, and if I cut into the top and bottom pieces, there may not be enough. There is no pink left. None. Nadda.

I have the aqua blues left, and a smidge of the black with white dots (not enough of it to make anything more). The aqua print will add a final border making the quilt about 74x84. I cannot even think about the back just now.

It is set aside for the night so I can think about it and do some measuring of the 3-piece strips against the top section. My intuition tells me it will work, and my logic tells me not to cut anything just yet.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Yule Gift From Rex

My friend Rex injured her back and had a hard time working on her projects. Yet, I received one of them, a cape, just yesterday. 

Her PS in the note said it is made from yarn she spun and is Estonian Lace. I am not a spinner nor a knitter, yet appreciate the work and love that went into this cape. It has a weight about it and fits perfectly over my shoulders without falling off. Stunning. The photo doesn't do it justice because it isn't showing the laciness in the pattern. It is so beautiful. I feel mighty lucky to be the recipient.

I continued working on the Wild Cats quilt. Just piecing, pressing, trimming and piecing again. This is the border and it is putzie but will look nice.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Learning Curves

While on vacation, my old cell phone fell into the toilet as I leaned over to flush. I had purchased an IPhone from my Granddaughter and was seeing her the next day. I made several stops into an AT&T store to get it programed to my account, and learn tips on how it works. Well. Today I went into the local store, bought a case for it and had her set up a few things. I am still confused and plan to go back tomorrow. All that takes time. I am a kinesthetic learner which means I need someone to show me. I have a hellava time trying to read instructions and patterns. YouTube videos rock my world.

The swaps have started again. In one, I received a large piece of burlap with spiders stamped on it and cut out two 'grab bags' for a swap I am to send out. It's a Hallows theme too, so the five items inside are to have about a $5 value. I guess burlap is a hot item right now, however, I was glad to have a use for it. Sews easily and ravels as it should.

The other thing I worked on is a quilt that was in a bundle of fabrics from a local estate sale. Cats, and lots of color. Selvage information gave me a place to start looking for a pattern. It's a panel. And it was 'older' fabric (2011) so the panel pattern for the fabric was not found, and I was on a hunt to find one that would work. There was a lot of fabric in what I received, but no pattern. What was she thinking?

Most patterns I found use a panel that is larger or quite different than what I had, and all of them recommended adding a border to make up the difference. I did that. Then I cut the suggested squares and rectangles for the borders. No size was given for the finished quilt, so its one of those a quilter has to make as she quilts. I want to make it a good sized lap quilt. The fabric bundle has two large coordinating pieces and possibly enough for the back if it is needed.

This one is going to my younger Son, so that all three of them in his household get one for Winter Solstice this year. Pictures to follow as I ship things out. Let's hope I have figured out the phone photos and can send them here. Gahhh. I am simply getting pushed and pulled into the electronic era. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Return, Return, Return

While I am back from my trip physically, there are endless things to do here to really be back. The first day I spent just touching my home base again. As good as it is to see people I love, it is good to be home in my own bed, walking my own rooms and just being here.

There was a lot of road work going on so a lot of detours and blocks to navigate. Familiar fabric stores had closed, yet I found a JoAnn's and bought three pieces to remake a Bird Quilt. I am keeping the badly wrinkled one and this one is in grays and has a pink focus. I also bought a new seam ripper. Those blades get mighty dull.

It was fun seeing most of my family members and some friends. Two weeks went speeding by and for as much time as I spent with people, it seemed not enough.

My phone dropped into the toilet, yet the SIM card was ok to get off saved numbers. I am still learning the new IPhone and need to get into ATT&T for more instructions. I have a list.

And so I bought some thank you notecards and have started addressing/stamping the envelopes. 

My Grandson asked for a dream pillow. He wants the Lavender inside with stuffing so it smells good. This is PinkSheep, which is a Lego-related product in something called Minecraft. It is a popular item for those 10-year-old boys. Needless to say it is a challenge to create in the soft 'furry' pink fabric. I will do what I can and he will probably love it.

I did learn that he 'needs' more quilts. Everyone steals his when he is not looking. AND he had me label the one I sent last year with the name 'Kevin' on it. It has a Cardinal focus. Kevin is a multi-colored bird that is hunted in a movie called UP. Kids. You never know. It took me a little conversation with him to find out who Kevin was. They had the movie, so he sat me down to watch it so I could understand. Ohhhhhh.

So from this young boy, I learned about PinkSheep, about Kevin, and that this youngster NEEDS another quilt.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Two-Week Vacation

I will be on my way to MN and be gone for two weeks. No quilting, no blogging. See you when I return. I hope your days and nights are colorful and stressfree.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Patriotic Mug Rugs for Hostess Gifts

I finished three of the five I want to take to use as thank you gifts. The 4th of July comes and goes quickly. It is fun to have an accent around.

I have a few towels with the red/white/blue theme but not much else, so I will keep the mini quilts that don't quite muster up to my gift standards and set them out this year.

These are three that did work out. The single 6" square goes to my friend who accepted the Graduation quilt I shipped back. She is always there whenever I need help with my trips back home. Sometimes I stay with her, sometimes she picks me up at the airport. It is a mug rug and not a pot holder. As I made this, I realized that I have been given a lot of scraps, and I do mean scraps, of Insulbrite, which is a heat protection. That might go on my list of projects to make and use in some day. (Potholders, oven mits, table protectors.)

The other two are meant to go to my Brother and Sister-in-Law for inviting me to lunch and for the good, good care they facilitate for our Mother who is in a nursing home near them.

I like the idea of mini quilts whether they are used for mug rugs, candle mats, or just a table accent. I am thinking that this is a good concept to do for those off holidays. Thing is, they have to go out a month before, because if my loved people are anything like me, the thing would get lost in a drawer or closet and forgotten.

My trip is a day off, so this morning, I cleaned up after the carport/yard sale, put the rest of the leftovers in the trunk, laid out another bag of topsoil over the stepping stones in the yard, and am starting to gather what I need for the trip.

I want to finish the binding on the Bird Quilt and get a label done for it. Then the rest of the day will be spent cleaning. Two weeks is a long time, a short time, time.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Batting Dust Bunnies

OMGoddess! Batting Dust Bunnies gather so often that it is hard to keep ahead of them. I washed the floor in here, swept, and vacumned. 

And admittedly, I stash so much (papers to file, patterns, magazines, etc.) in baskets and shelves that also get out of hand. So, while I am hand sewing binding, I decided not to really start anything new nor move what I have to another stage. This is it before my flight to MN. It will be wonderful to come home to a clean studio and be ready to start up with a sense of renewal.

And not starting anything new lasted for that NY second. I was a sucker for the house mug rug pattern, and made two more of them in patriotic colors. Hmm. I am not sure I like them as much as the chevron mug rug pattern I made for my Aunties. I've got two of that style cut out in a patriotic theme. It is all about the fabric choices. Few people decorate for the 4th of July.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Brainstorming Goals

As I finish the last of the Bird Quilts for my Grandchildren, and am in the final stage for the last quilt made for my descendents, I realize that these two quilts represent quilting goals I made when I first started quilting. Oh sure, I have a few projects listed on the sidebar that were made into 'kits' so I could shop my closet, but knowing myself, I realize that I need to have a more formal idea of the kinds of quilts I want to make next. I want to finish those kits listed on my blog sidebar, it is true.

I need a goal.

Over the years, I gathered house block patterns. I made two house block quilts, and am very enchanted by them. I have a pattern for a mug rug house, patterns for embroidering haunted houses in blackwork, patterns for blocks, ideas for quilts, bed runners, and table toppers.

If I make house blocks, they can be done by shopping from my closet. HOWEVER, most of them are made with those nasty HST or triangles.  Not today. Or tomorrow. I get stressed with the matching part even with tutorials. Life is too short to do anything stressful.

I had forgotten that I wanted to make Scrappy Log Cabin quilts. They really are wonderful and can take on very different personalities through color/fabric choices or through the final layout. 

So. I am going to finish the 'kits' in the closet and turn my attention to making Log Cabin Quilts. The primary goal is to shop from my closet and be creative with what is there.

As I finished the machine quilting on those last Bird Quilts, some of the stitches puckered and had to be ripped. Because I use my quilting experience as life lessons, then I see that there are a lot of factors to consider. Bottom line is that I want to keep living to the fullest, yet am choosing to walk away from things that do not serve my greater good.

That's it. That is my goal. As long as it is fun, then it works for me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Batting Leftovers

I had a good size piece leftover from one of the Bird Quilts I just basted. It was long, however, too narrow to work on any other projects going, so it had to be pieced.
It felt to me like gathering energy. Most times, one source is just not enough to get the work done. As I age, I find that what used to work for me in gathering energy no longer serves. I have to be quite creative.

I really enjoy using the resources I find within... well, within my closet for quilting projects, within my cupboards for unusual meals (healthy), and using the resources I find online for just about everything. It is a fact that my answers are found within and that inner space echos with smart choices, rich experiences and an understanding how to get what I need.

My sewing machine is acting up. The last time I went in for service on the Singer, the guy told me that the machines are made quite cheaply now and that a person has to look at how much it costs for service vs. buying a new one. That shocked me he would say it, but more shocking is the fact that we do live in a disposable culture. He said that nothing is made to last beyond 5 years, even our major appliances.

And when I replaced a stove last year, the service guy also told me that if/when my washer-dryer- or refrigerator goes, that they cannot even be fixed beyond the first year because parts are no longer produced. What bites is that my computer and my car are both considered old.

Back to my sewing machine. It is doing all sorts of screwy things, from sewing backwards, to not doing what it should when buttons are pushed to losing tension. I want to finish this last Bird Quilt before leaving on my trip and then spend time cleaning in here so it is clean when I return in a couple of weeks.