Saturday, September 29, 2007

another sleep over!

Lucky us! Alice came over for another visit tonight. She got to try out her new chair set up- down at floor level...she had her green beans pureed first then on to some spinach enchiladas (she eats mostly what we eat and that is what I had picked up from our favorite Mexican place for dinner) rice and beans with apple and blueberry sauce for the final course. Then cookie and milk for you can see-she savored that cookie! Some play time and Zoe time and then bath time. It's a baby's life...she really enjoyed the wind up toys much more this time around and then it was on to that last bottle of the evening and story/snuggle time. Note those curls...just like her daddy's at that age!


step 1 york beauty

step one consists of choosing fabrics, preparing them as you wish, and cutting the right sizes for one block. They say cut squares for A, B, and C- I enlarged what size they suggested. So, I cut (1) 6.5 inch square, (1) 10.5 by 11 inch square and (6) 2 inch by 5 inch rectangles of one color and (5) 2.5 by 5 inch rectangles of a second color plus another 2 inch by 5 inch of the second color for a total of 7 rectangles. I show them with the foundation pieces they go with.

It also includes cutting apart one blocks worth of components. That would be the A, B, and C mentioned above.

pretty easy so far!


Friday, September 28, 2007

a done deal

Here is Carols completed quilt. I like these colors a lot-and look forward to making something else using them, another time. Heartstrings has come up with Pink for October-and I have been collecting pinks for a while for a special quilt for a special family member. No, not Alice. She has a gorgeous pink quilt. A family member that does not have a quilt of her own yet. So, in addition to the New York Beauty, I will work on that as my leader/ender project. (also making strings to use for the October string blocks) I did enough clearing up/ tidying up to be able to have a usable sewing table and have been cutting fabric. Rain came last night sounding like the heavens dumping buckets of water -loud! It is still sounding loud this morning and not very inviting to take a dog out in. I am so glad it's Friday and I can look forward to playing some more in the sewing room tonight!


Friday, September 21, 2007

only Alice photos...

I was asked to come play with Alice after work yesterday-what's a Nonna to do? I did not take my camera but my dil expressed a desire for photos of Alice and I emailed her a few and thought I would also share them here...according to my son he comes to check my blog for Alice photos too! Well, it's clear I have been falling down on that job lately. all of which meant no progress on the string quilt-but tonight for sure.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

another check in

Life is good! I took some time off yesterday and after doing the errand that motivated the time off, I tackled the backyard weeding project/ get ready for winter coming. I plan on throwing what daylight after work time I can manage into this project until it is done-then it is move to the front and more of the same. Once I get close-I am having yards of what I call the winter compost delivered. My neighbor will probably get in on some of that good stuff. I do not want the mess I had to deal with this last spring. And, I have to say we had a pretty disappointing crop of the little I planted. I have ideas on improving that result for next time. Meanwhile, once the light is gone and supper over-it's quilting time here. Last night I trimmed and cut binding. This morning I stitched the binding together, pressed, and applied to the quilt. This is not as easy without batting in the least I find it so. I mean, the stitching itself is easy enough, it just doesn't FEEL right...ya know? However, the binding is all ready now to be hand stitched down tonight. woohoo!
The labels will be stitched on next-also by hand-first though I will run a machine stitch along the bottom where I attached the binding-that way it's anchored nice and firmly. Also done this morning...what a gift it is to have time off this morning (yes, another appointment) before heading into the work day. And, I have been making time to read blogs - gosh, it feels like I have caught up with so many of my favorite quilters! It's a tad easier to stay current too.
Hope your day proves to be all you could wish for...


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

quilting done

I finished ripping out the "bad" quilting-and decided to quilt a few rows before calling it done for the night. An hour or so and the quilt is done being quilted. I got into a flow and it just was too much fun to stop. I am so happy to have this part done and look forward to cutting and attaching binding once the quilt is totally finished. The New York Beauty will wait until this quilt is done...I am giving it to our friend on Sunday. And I do not want to be up late Saturday night working on it, besides we have a concert to go to that night anyway.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

ugh, ugh!

It's so bad, I am not sharing a photo of the two rows of quilting I did on the string top. Plans changed and I am now doing the quilting-and I thought a heart in each block would look good. I had the perfect size cookie cutter to draw around and machine quilted two rows. It looks awful.
terrible. dreadful...and so....yes, I am going to rip it all out. I have a better idea and will tackle that once I have these hearts (or what are supposed to be hearts) ripped out. Good thing there is a game on tomorrow to watch while I am ripping out. Oh well....I tried something new and it didn't work will go better next time I know. And, at least I spent some quilty time today!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

progress on current project

Just a fast check in to say I pulled fabrics, washed, dried, and pressed them - ready for cutting when I am ready to tackle cutting. I find I can spend about 15 to 30 minutes each morning getting something quilty done. Those baby steps have enabled me to finish several recent quilts and before I know it, I have a top done. Yesterday morning I had some extra time and finished putting the back together for the yellow string top-it's pressed and ready to be given to my friend for quilting on Saturday. I have a retreat coming up in October-of course I am thinking what do I want to take and work on? There is no lack of stash to play from and projects to choose from either. I probably will wait until the end of this month to really buckle down and pull what I want to take. And, on a final note: I sketched out the idea and decided it was not a good idea to actually DO...but, I am not giving up on the idea of playing around on paper with future inspirations. I did come up with another approach on the first I think I will be working on that as the leader/ender to this nyb project.


Monday, September 10, 2007

here's the plan

My new york beauty plan: as you can see, foundation by the yard pretty much walks you through the block making process. I am going to make 12 blocks and with a few borders it will be baby size. I promised Laurie Ann (sorry no link) I will put up photos as I work on these. So, this is how it starts...I will raid the stash and see what I come up with. Meanwhile driving home I thought of a new project...and it was so exciting I am going to pull out paper and sketch it as soon as I get done with this post..I am inspired to keep a running journal dedicated to my quilting-I have always kept a written journal in general...but I like the idea of diving in and getting these thoughts and drawings down on paper. And a thank you to Linda for coming to my aid and sending me the right size paper piecing stuff so I can tackle that block.


weekend efforts

I spent Sunday catching up on some odds and ends of quilty things. These swaddling blankets are wrapped and ready to pass along to their new owners. One has flannel on the back-the yellow hearts one, and the other is plain yellow cotton fabric. One is being mailed off to a two month old baby girl and the other is a shower gift for another baby girl expected in about a month. On the string top, I printed my labels that I have been putting off and now need to do some wordsmithing and they will be done. Of course they will need to be stitched into the backing-probably tonight. That left blocks to be done. I pulled fabrics and made up one and it's being mailed off today. I will let that lucky person post a photo should they chose to. The last block I really, really do not want to make and I am struggling with myself over whether it is ok not to. Our guild always asks its members to make a block of the chairperson's choice as a going out of office gift. This outgoing person is really a lovely lady and a gifted quilt maker. She chose the North Wind block and so templates were handed out. The wrong size templates. I am not thrilled with working with triangles nor with templates-add into the mix knowing the templates are useless and I am not a happy camper. I pulled my books out to find another example of this block-however, none are in a nine inch finished size....argh! So, I pulled my graph paper out. I think I will draw it out and do my best. Or maybe I can ask my pal Linda to do it for I can not seem to convince myself it would be ok to not make one. It's due at our September meeting a few weeks from now. I also decided to start working on a ufo a choice I made weeks ago. I have to pull fabrics for it, which I am looking forward to-choosing colors is one of my favorite parts of planning a quilt. This is a foundation new york beauty- a class I think I was going to take probably back in 2000 and then did not.
I like this pattern and think I can have a lot of fun playing with it. At least it is something new and for me. I have had so many different ideas swirling around I finally just decided on this one.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

in between sleeps....

adorable Alice spent the night-once she was in bed-I put the binding on this quilt. I am sending Finn a copy of the photo as this qualifies as an orphan quilt. The center part-that includes the black was a donation to our charity group. Too small-it sat around until I came up with the idea and the perfect stash fabric to enlarge it. A volunteer longarm gal just quilted it and returned it to me last Sunday. I figure that was a very large orphan block I rescued and turned into a snuggly quilt- into the box it went. Today during Alice naps, I have trimmed a donated queen size quilted quilt-ready to put binding on , stitched up one swaddling blanket for a baby shower gift for a co-worker I need to have done by this coming week, and took off binding on a 20 by 24 "quilt" so I can rescue the yellow log cabin blocks and turn them into something larger-again, suitable for a charity quilt. She is still napping, so blog reading and updating seemed the next thing to accomplish. Her parents called and said they would be picking her up late- and of course my response was, she is welcome to spend another night. After all, she has been a delightful angel for me. She and Zoe are wonderful together-the giggling on her part and the tail wagging on Zoe's part just make me laugh too. We have graduated to taking stroller dog walks nowadays...with a stop at the playground swing of course.

Anyway- I have been reading various blogs and seeing fantastic quilting going on! You all are doing some great work and having such fun and poor me, I am still trying to finish up other commitments before I allow myself play time for me. I am such a meanie to we all know it is our choice how we spend our time in the quilting department-but I feel stronger about keeping these promises than indulging myself. I am the queen of delayed gratification. I can wait to open a gift given to me today, until Christmas if it is supposed to be a Christmas gift.
However, I am going to make sure I finish stuff up tonight as tomorrow I am determined to do some playing for myself! And, I have so many ideas, I have no clue which one will win ...when I wake up I will decide.
I also have been inspired to start boxing up some of the many projects around here so I can more easily find them when I am ready to work on them. The lack of organization is making it a lot less fun to play at quilting recently.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

something quilty

Anita is a member of our Portland Piecers group- or the PP'ers and the most amazing and talented quilter-she often designs quilts for us to fit our 40 inches by 60 inches size requirement. At our last meeting she brought in 3 finished quilts-here are 2 of them. She does a fabulous job using scraps, often from donated fabric given to us and can pull together and come up with wonderful, wonderful quilts. I was very taken with the curved quilting she did on the X quilt. She uses a modified Handiquilter set up-and boy, does she do a terrific job! I am sending off a box to headquarters today , with another box waiting for the last quilt on my table to be bound. So, that is what I have been doing in the quilty vein this week-gathering up these quilts and giving them a once over to be sure they are ready for children to snuggle under. Ellen has put out a call for 200 or more quilts to specifically go to Afghanistan by the end of September. Betty Rollins will be taking them over. I am sending 10 quilts-so that is a small help. A dear friend who recently retired and decided to become a quilter joined our group and finished her very first quilt last Sunday. She will be giving us 6 finished quilts-what a kick off to quilting she has accomplished. I am so thrilled to be helping her learn to quilt and at the same time add to our efforts in giving to children in need.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

wrapping up the day on a quilty note

I have enjoyed this day and decided to get the last borders on the string top before calling it a night. Tomorrow is dedicated to working on charity quilts and gathering all the bits and pieces I need to take over to the lqs. I will take it along and use the large tables for layering it and pin basting it so I can start quilting soon. I won't use any batting, just a nice snuggly flannel backing. That should make it just the right weight. I have a nice variegated yellow thread which I think will work well. I fit in staining half a section of fencing in our backyard after supper and walking Zoe-it was cool enough and at the half way point I was losing light too fast to see what I was doing, a good stopping point as my arms were at the stage of feeling like lead weights! I felt I earned my dessert after that work out- and Zoe had her treats for being such a good supervisor.


a little of this, a lttle of that

It is a perfect day- sunny lovely weather and a breeze. Every window/skylight is open and things are humming along. My energy has returned - I feel recharged and full of that happy zest for living. I met a new quilter who donated many tops for our charity group to turn into lovely quilts and I bought only 2 yards of fabric! (we met at one of my favorite shops.)
I found a very old gift certificate at a great local bookshop, and they said it was still good-guilt free book shopping! The dog is happily napping out on the front deck and I am about to cut the second border for the string top. The first border is stitched on. I have a few promise blocks to make plus repairing a strap for a neighbor - then, I hope to stitch that second border on and layer the top for quilting. I will walk around the neighborhood later handing out the remainder of the invitations to a backyard party on Monday. One nieghbor will wheel down his bbq and a second will bring hers if necessary- it's a casual style party-my most favorite kind to throw. I need to go retrieve the big umbrella and break out those patio fun lights I bought in the spring. Summer is winding down around here and the time has flown without nearly enough celebrations in our 'hood.

Quilting and house cleaning and music and stopping to enjoy the light-what could be a better day?