Wednesday, June 21, 2017

sum-sum summertime!

though it's already been summer here in maryland for a bit, now it's official with temps in the high 80s every day...spent tuesday doing more of my secret sewing, but last night during quilt-cam got the binding cut and applied on this little wallhanging i'll be sending off to my mum for her door. 


if you recall, the patchwork block looked wonky because of the pattern in one of the fabrics, so i pulled it out and replaced it with this, which is better.  *** today's task is to finish the borders on the 9-patch flimsy, maybe do some baking, maybe more laundry. organizing bug into overdrive so cleaned out the laptop of any extraneous files, went thru recipe book and did likewise, next up is my box of documents.  plus there's dusting (still) and more secret sewing...who knew not working was so busy?  hoping to clear out one more UFO drawer before June is gone....and it's another gorgeous day to sew!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"she folded her napkin"

i love that line from the movie "the miracle worker" when annie sullivan's efforts resulted in improved table manners and helen's mother exclaims, "she folded her napkin!"  it's one of my favorite movies and truly defines the word 'handicap'...if anyone had reason for a life-long pity party, helen keller did, but her challenges never held her back.  anyway i digress.....monday was definitely housework day....tackled vacuuming, laundry, floors, plus sundry other cleaning tasks...and the sewing area was not exempt....she finally cleaned off the sewing table (to paraphrase)...


doesn't it look user friendly now?  i also removed the risers off the ironing table for ease of use.  since my new chair has no wheels, it works better and easier to have the table lower, since i can't wheel over to iron...i also moved the old viking to the edge of its table and created a sewing L, which also gives me more mat space.  will try it out, but think it'll be more conducive to sewing productivity...and first task is to tackle that 2nd border of triangles....i think i have enough fabric left for the outer border fix, at least on one side....it'll never be a silk purse quilt, but hopefully can elevate it from sow's ear status....then have to move on to more secret sewing and also a new little project from some orange mod waste triangles.   ***  today is dusting day and perhaps a bit more laundry too...something about a clean space that energizes me....and did i mention?  it's a beautiful summer morning!

Monday, June 19, 2017

lessons learned

spent sunday finishing borders on this flimsy.  after completed, took a photo and was not too happy....even though i followed instructions for cutting the triangles, the bias edges ended up top and bottom of the inner border and created havoc.

as you can see, the side borders aren't too wonky, but top and bottom horrific!  nothing else to do but recut making sure bias edges not at top or bottom where the border attached to squares and 2nd border.  decided to leave the sides since although not great, not nearly as bad.  so, after recutting triangles, resewing and reattaching top border, found another problem...


the top redone is better but still not great.  realized some of the issue had to be the way the borders were cut.  now, i usually always cut across the width of fabric....never been an issue until today.  went and checked the leftover yardage and it appears that while the lengthwise grain is firm, the width is a bit stretchy.  i never checked before cutting the borders....i never really have before this.  had no problem with the blocks construction.  i could remove the outer borders and replace with another fabric BUT that means disturbing the side border triangles that DO have bias edges.  either way am afraid it'll possibly be worse off than it is now.  it was going to be donated, but perhaps i'll just tie it and tuck it away for a beach blanket....no way can i simply toss all that effort and fabric.  there is a use for it somehow....but pretty sure it's the last time i cut borders across the width and not down the length....thankfully no real harm done....i've done pieced borders before, even sawtooth ones, without this much disaster....so must be the outer borders causing most of the trouble...as i have often told my daughter, live and learn!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

side job

spent friday morning doing more of my secret sewing, but then dug out a piece of fabric for a chair seat cover...


this was found at the recent free yard sale.  it just needed a quick cleanup and a new seat cover.   thanks to my trusty staple gun!   i know, it's a 50s chair with a civil war cover but it works... i would like to paint it, but don't want to take time now to sand, etc.  ***  in addition to the secret sewing, pulled out a nearly flimsy and began adding the borders  so it can be moved to the ever-growing finish pile.  it, too, will be a donation quilt at some point.  ***  summer heat is here in force and sooo thankful for my cozy apartment and having my sewing stuff at hand.  making good progress on my summer goals so far and, despite numerous temptations from quilty peeps on the 'net, have ignored and avoided even brief sew along temptations...am behind on my DWR challenge but there was no deadline and it's at hand when time is available....nothing to do but keep cool and quilt on!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

it's flag day and....

today would have been my dad's 92nd birthday....and who knew, he shares this day with (gulp) president trump!!!!   have no idea what my dad would have thought about that...lol!  he's been gone now 15 years...time does fly....a WW II  veteran of utah beach in july of 1944, he talked very little about his war experiences....we had a gazillion photos of GIs, none of whom he could name.  he only talked about being in Paris and seeing bing crosby, not bob hope...and of course, at mealtime we often got reminded of children rummaging thru garbage to get enough to eat.  as kids we just rolled our eyes trying to imagine anyone rummaging thru garbage to eat lima beans or brussel sprouts... 


he only liked 2 kinds of pie--hot and cold!  on his birthday, my mom would make his favorite dessert, a plain cake layered with strawberries and whipped cream...he was our family photographer/ videographer and he drove us crazy taking pictures/movies all the time, but now we are so happy he did.  he taught me how to drive a standard shift car, which obviously hastened his too-early demise...


he was a simple, uncomplicated, country boy, a godly man and a true hero....happy birthday dad!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

getting ready

to celebrate a huge anniversary in our country's history...it's the 240th of flag day...tomorrow...and in preparation, sewed up another little RWB pin cushion or tuffet...


thanks to a quilty pal who shared her stars fabric with me....and here they all are!


pretty darn cute i think...and very festive....already this morning we're closing in on 90 degrees and more humid today than yesterday...no matter at all...so much better than icy roads, snowy cars and frozen fingers....made a huge dent in scraps pile that was on the floor...nearly gone and repurposed into squares and strips.  still have the full basket for another day....today it's more sewing, of course!

Monday, June 12, 2017

monday flimsy

in addition to binge watching "the keepers" on netflix, this weekend finished this flimsy that'll be added to the baste/quilt pile.  one of these days, will have another basting day to prep several things for eventual quilting.   this is a low priority finish, though.  opting for some lighter value fabrics really improved this pattern....



thinking red is the obvious and best choice for the binding....next up is to make blocks from the circus print fabrics....and then some secret sewing for a special event....there's a clue in the left side column....the heat is on for a few days, so perhaps will attack the scrap pile and chop up into strips and squares to relieve the floor from still another pile...good day all!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

a definite improvement

spent entire friday morning rummaging and sorting and pulling out smaller pieces destined for the scrap basket...only problem is, they don't exactly fit in the scrap basket....so they have made their own little mountain, now waiting for the rotary cutter


ending up with these is the result of this.....a new and improved bookcase of yardage, mostly FQs and half yards, but there were more pieces of 2 yards or more than i had realized....looks better for sure!


and while i thought another bookcase like this would be needed, it appears as though that would be too much space.  thinking more clear shoeboxes would work better and be less expensive as well...a real plus!   here is what the overflow looks like; am thinking 12-15 clear shoeboxes readily available at ye olde dollar store


feel quite confident there is most certainly less fabric than when originally unpacked over a year ago.  while poring over nearly each piece, a gazillion projects came to mind, one a scrappy christmas cracker quilt, another a 5" churn dash in reds, a di ford or petra prins style medallion to name a few.  before those, some must-do finishes come first.   ***  scooted out this morning before extreme heat arrives to a local church that was having a free yard sale (oxymoronic?)....everything had been donated and apparently once a year the public is invited to come and freely take anything that is needed.  even though i arrived early, there was already a line of course.  i had a list with me and was able to find a desk chair and these vintage-y items, which were needed.  it's a great idea and a wonderful benefit for those of us who are monetarily challenged. 


now back to regularly scheduled sewing!

Friday, June 9, 2017

space wars

as i've trolled the 'net, this is not just my challenge....fabric and quilty do-dads take up space!  but how to keep them neat and close at hand?  with hot hot days ahead, want to get some real sewing done, but first some tidying up is in order.  since the demise of the 2nd bookcase, piles of fabric have hampered my vacuuming efforts....getting errant strings caught in the power nozzle is not a good thing.  and with a tight budget, have not been able to replace the bookcase as of yet.  so, on to plan B, a temporary resolution.  first up, the shelving unit.  placing books on the side with spine facing out freed up some space, for which i used the plaids and stripes piles.  that's them on next to bottom on the left.


next, was able to eliminate the pile of tans and some browns in front of the treadle by using my spare clear shoeboxes...


am thinking this would be the least expensive route to go for the rest...very easy to see what's available this way.  course, would need something eventually for all the shoeboxes, but maybe not.  the remaining task is this pile...


a working stash is often a messy stash.   must tackle this and see what can be done about clearing more floor space.  after having my fabric available since moving a year plus ago, i do believe i can see a reduction in the amount of fabric i have....and this is good.  just going thru the tans again, re-found some gorgeous fabrics waiting for my inspiration.   once this is completed and the floor is clear again, pretty sure i'll be more inspired to vacuum....LOL!   next up is to make my sewing to-do list for the summer.   have already prepped some travel projects for when i'll be on the go.  more sewing means more flimsies-in-waiting for quilting.  and i've been assigned a special project for mid-july, details of which i'll share later.  ***  with breakfast over, time to dress and make today's list....bye for now!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

birthday girl!

no quilting today...celebrating a special day with my dear daughter....she is the absolute best a mom could hope for!


one of her favorite pals from days gone by....our beloved pooch, penuche...so named for her color...whom we nearly lost her during her inquisitive pup days when she swallowed a brillo pad and was quite ill until the diagnosis was made....she loved miss B when she fed her treats!  happy birthday my sweet!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

almost....

a flimsy!  that would be this throw-size civil war commemorative project.  have to admit, would never have chosen this particular pattern but pretty satisfied with the result so far. 


once again, the pattern photo shows it made with much darker fabrics, but using more lights has made it less foreboding and more eye catching, i think.  the square sashing is this brown with a white pinstripe, which i never thought i'd use but it works well for this and even managed to use it all...good indeed!  all the pieces are cut for the remaining 12 blocks, then it's on to the next thing which is this...


this circus theme fabric was also gifted to me 2 years ago. i fussy cut a lot of the animals and some of the border sections and then found this popcorn fabric at marden's for background.   the fussy cut squares are all different sizes so first have to make them uniform size and then plan the top.  i love these colorful clowns but am wondering if they are too scary for children.  it'll be my homage to ringling bros when finished...who ever thought circus would fold?   not me certainly.....  appreciate your thoughts about the clowns....

summer isn't even here and making good progress on the oodles of planned projects.  the basting/quilting pile has grown but it was inevitable.  made a trip to the dollar store for paper stuff and found this...a pool noodle. way better than cardboard tubes for rolling applique projects and practically free at $1...if you applique, it's a very handy item...already hacked cut mine up for a couple of projects that'll be traveling this summer.


 the skies have cleared for the moment...things to do and places to go...have a terrific day!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

funny thing happened....

while sewing up the border blocks on the civil war quilt.  was fishing thru my scrap basket for small pieces to use and stopped to organize the pile a bit...once again came across some leftover cheddar triangles that i'll confess were cut wrong by me.  too pretty to toss of course, but use for what?  went to the stash and did some auditioning and voila!  now there's a halloween project in the works.


all that's left to do now is come up with a pattern for this project that uses these units...talk about putting the horse before the cart.  ideas are swirling while i'm sewing up more civil war blocks.  there is more cheddar and of the pumpkins fabric as well, plus a black print might be useful and maybe some white....at least the cheddar triangles are no longer lonely...LOL...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

civil war marches on...

but this was no battle for sure...once again, put off a bit by the pattern photo but the actual project came out much more appealing to me.  as mentioned, this pattern and some fabrics for it were gifted to me about 2 years ago and have to admit, wasn't really drawn to finishing it.  been languishing in the stash all this time.  my resolve to vanquish UFOs brought it immediately to mind and, with house of cards on netflix, decided could get it done even without a huge amount of mojo.  after seeing the hourglass blocks attached--fabrics chosen at random--my mojo perked up and the 2nd red border sent it into overdrive.  i believe those few blue hourglass blocks really helped it a lot cohesive-wise. 


included in the packet were some really nice eagle and lincoln portrait nickels but alas, not quite large enough for those corner squares, for which i used a print of words that describe lincoln.  the final border is some large patchwork squares that are in process now.  the impetus to finish this to flimsy stage is high and, because it has no real destination, low priority for basting and quilting.  so just call me pleasantly surprised once more!  i hope the gifter sees and likes this....thank you!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

monday sewing

this was the kind of holiday weekend of which i had long dreamed....of course, missed not getting together with family...that comes later...but no real big plans, plenty of quilty ideas and mojo...just meander through the 3 days and do what the fates prompted....and as janet had requested....


finished the braid doll quilt flimsy...a large quilt from this pattern was on my wish list, now crossed off...all those bias edges are fussy!   this satisfied my piecing curiosity....have some indigo/white plaid binding all ready for it too...and what's left from the FQ bundle?  this much...


not too, too much but enough for another little quilt?  quite possibly....and dug into my orphan blocks and found this, which will soon have company.  the flash washed it out but you get the idea.


i think the FQ bundle originally had about 3-4 yards total, so after this one, the remains will go into the scrap basket and could even use it all up...wouldn't that be a feat!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

from every mountainside....

let freedom ring!   and we owe our freedoms to so many who gave so much....they will never be forgotten....proud to be the descendant of a revolutionary captain, a war of 1812 captain, a WWI soldier and a WW2 soldier...


and in homage to all the brave souls throughout the centuries....i finished my RWB pin cushions....


i really love the RWB combo...so crisp, so soul-stirring, so patriotic....this is a holiday monday so rules say no housework today...LOL....but raining so no cookout either...guess it's another sew day?  yep!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

a bargain!

lovely applique book with lots of baltimore patterns....now out of print, sacrificing mine (never used) for $30 plus media mail shipping....went thru my bookshelf recently and realized have too many applique projects and UFOs waiting for me.....


Friday, May 26, 2017

three cheers!

for the red, white and blue, of course....can't recall at all when this pattern was purchased, at least 5 or more years ago, and today was the day shopped the stash for some patriotic fabrics to finally sew some up.


thought these would look ideal in a basket.   mine aren't quite finished, but they should be by weekend's end....so here they are so far



i think they'll add a real festive touch to the apartment.  *** and did you say rain?  we had a real gully washer yesterday and i happened to be on the highway....lots of heavy rain, the kind that nearly completely obliterates visibility, plus lots of lightning and thunder.  by the time i arrived home, it had stopped, of course, and today is a beautiful early summer day.  got to spend 2 full days with my amazing, beautiful and intelligent daughter....but i'm not bragging at all...lol!   no real plans for the weekend as usual...just relax and enjoy!

Monday, May 22, 2017

monday design wall

it's a warm and rainy day in my neck of the woods today...great for sewing of course! sunday was a puttering type of day but did get started on my civil war project....


the next round is of hourglass blocks, which are in process...then another red border, then a wider border of more patchwork blocks....and was remiss in giving credit for the new england sampler quilt pattern....it is a brandywine design...


did get the pieces all basted down and rolled it up for traveling, so it's ready to go.  it'll be a convenient beach project but not this week--won't be up to 80 until next weekend.   it seems our moderate winter is continuing into moderate early summer.  so it's monday..let the sewing begin!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

it's about time...

recall that old TV show?  it's about time, it's about space, it's about *** and the human race, or so went the opening theme...well, last week somebody on quilting classifieds, a selling site, posted a pattern that tweaked my conscience...so nothing else to do but dig it out and take stock....and look what happened!


the bottom and final panel is ready to baste so it can be appliqued....this is new england sampler, a pattern i bought back in the 1980s--yes, 1980s--but perfection fear kept me from working on it long before this...i took some applique classes and tackled the flower blocks and the house panel, but oh those vines...severe vine phobia!  a month or so ago hung this on my design wall to "remind" me and today got out my bias bars and found the vines weren't so scary after all.  am now determined to finish this in 2017.   there's a narrow inner border then a sorta wide muslin border with more flowers and vines and then about a 3" final border.  it isn't bed size but rather a largish wall piece. once basted it'll be rolled up for portability.  after this, there are just a few really old UFOs on my list....recall the civil war diary?? 

3 for 3...

lap robes for the guild, that is...i belong to two guilds and already made 3 for one guild and now 3 for the second...except for the QOV, taking summer hiatus from charity sewing...


the top fabric was a jelly roll from the guild, but the backing, batting and binding came from my stash...haven't quite finished sewing down that binding, but today should do it...no pattern and no rhyme or reason to blocks, just made a bunch of blocks and put 'em together....the gold fabric has some metallic in it and i would choose this one if it was up to me... ***  as you can see, i've put up the folding table again and have to say, love having an extra, spacious work surface.  also got some basting done of both UFO flimsies and some applique.  ***  our mini heat wave has abated for now with comfortable temps into next week, but now that may's end is here, it's only a matter of time until the summer muggies arrive to stay.   time just flies by like crazy, doesn't it?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

what's in the box?

well, this is what WAS in the box yesterday morning....with an entire day ahead, thought perhaps could wipe out this box of batik scraps...


and by late wednesday night, this is what was left....


the trash was full of colorful itty bitty trimmings and this was on the design wall....finally...


once complete, it'll fit perfectly on the inside of my apartment door...i think i should call it 'lifesavers'....and the vacuuming?  it did get finished but you can hardly tell now....threads and snips all over the place.  having and taking an entire day is a terrific way to stay on task and make real headway into finishing these UFOs....i've another one already lined up for another such day which could be saturday or sunday.  try it, you'll like it!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

this and that

monday awoke with every good intention to tackle some housework....only takes a couple of hours and wanted to get it done for the week....but my quilty mojo had other ideas.  while tidying up to vacuum, spied this stack of leftovers of cheddar and indigo and wondered what i could use them for....recently saw a doll quilt done in a braid and decided to try it...


yep, these will do nicely and should almost bust this little pile, but back to vacuum....before could pull out the machine, checked email and once again saw my stickie note about "wild turkeys"....plus ads for christmas fabrics...yikes, christmas already?  better get my turkeys done first....so located the templates i had prepared and went to the stash for fabrics....found these nice plaids and some fallish cottons and next thing i know, here they are ready to applique....but back to the vacuum....finally! 


by evening after supper AND vacuuming was done, sat for some TV with this project...the senior center's QOV.   this quilt was in the frame when i arrived last year with the intent of everyone doing the quilting, which didn't happen.  before you could say "red white and blue" i volunteered to finish the quilting, so it's my early summer project.  have a good head start, and we are hoping for maybe a july 4th presentation or veterans' day if not....


today's plan is to finish up the housework--honestly it is--and then more sewing of some sort...so nice to have plenty of choices!

Monday, May 15, 2017

monday finish

it's the rambling rose wallhanging now ready to hang up in my apartment!  the institutional everything beige walls will set this off nicely....when i used the dark brown for the geese, i thought they were too dark in comparison to other shades in this layer cake.  but once the green border was on, they toned down nicely and i'm glad i chose to use that color sparingly.  i'm a fan of fabric designer sandy gervais and her color combos and this is no exception....


looks like summer is headed our way this week with temps at 90 on the horizon.  and hope your mother's day was as awesome as mine....just being able to be with my daughter and SIL was priceless!  no real plans for monday except household stuff and probably sew...how good is that?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

worthy....

of all my love and honor today and every day....


since i was the first, aka the 'trainee' child, she'll tell you she was more strict with me than the sibs, and even now at age 90, she'll point out her mothering faults....but i've got no complaints whatsoever.  in fact, as we grow older together, i see more and more of her unconditional and unfailing love and devotion, wisdom and compassion.  as we honor our moms today, can't forget there are those for whom today is a heartbreak for absent mothers, for mothering dreams unfulfilled....makes me feel just a tad guilty for still being able to talk, chat, laugh and send blessings to mine....

Saturday, May 13, 2017

easy peasy?

not by a long shot....the book describes this as a long-term project, not to be rushed, and after getting just one row done, i can see why.  it's probably made more so by how fabrics are placed.  and while i was ho-hum about this after a couple of blocks, am now starting to get more interested and can't wait to see row 2 finished when the first 2 gray/white accent designs will be complete. 


even tho pattern came from the book "modern neutrals," this in no way describes my version.  am already thinking about how it will look after quilting is done...again many thanks go to stashbuster pals who so generously shared their orange scraps with me; just wondering now if i have enough!!  will know better after another couple of rows are done.  now you know how i'll be spending part of my summer vacation....

Friday, May 12, 2017

sew along progress?

not sure progress is the right word...here we are nearly halfway into the year and only these measly arcs done...i keep them next to the machine for leaders/enders but also use whatever project i'm working on, so not many arcs get done. 


nice and scrappy as i'd hoped...have white for the background; maybe this weekend can get some centers and melons cut and start assembling blocks.  ***  the rambling rose piece is nearly ready to bind.  the orange mod is on deck.   that's enough for this weekend anyway.   can't believe friday has rolled around again...when i worked, the weeks flew by and i thought it was the job....nope!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

bargain basement

pattern by bonnie hunter, fabric selection and construction by me!  have never seen this pattern made by anyone else on the net, but it drew me in, partly because of the name...who doesn't love a bargain!  many years ago in quincy, massachusetts, was a delightful shopping place called the bargain center...and it was chock full of bargains galore. my mother got my baby sister's entire layette there and it was always the first stop for back to school.   then there was filene's bargain basement, also a haven for the thrifty....prices there got marked down every 7 days and every item had a tag showing the date of the last markdown and the ever-decreasing price.  those were the days...both places now just memories.  as for THIS bargain, finally got to dive into my plaid stash and am really happy with the outcome.  the use of very lights and mediums give it a lighter look than bonnie's in her book, but it sure does brighten up a room.


this project was on my summer wish list and it now gets crossed off--and it isn't even officially summer yet!  the next 2 projects (in addition to more potholders) are the orange mod seen earlier this week and finish the amish style ocean waves flimsy.  or, maybe i'll tackle some little quilts from jo morton's club?  oh, and finish the rambling rose wallhanging too....the list keeps going, and going, going, and going.... ***  recently discovered the old viking's inability to zig-zag and am pondering how to proceed with this nearly 40-year-old machine.  aside from that function, works like new but do require the zig-zag and its partner, the buttonholer, from time to time.  parts are scarce and funds to repair even more so.  will do some research and maybe find the solution.  hopefully a fix can be found, keeping her from a new life as a boat anchor....

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

whoooo's birthday is today?



that would be brother #1....one of the smartest, funniest, sensitive, talented and occasionally rigid and annoying people about whom i care very deeply....we were built-in childhood playmates. like most of us, he's made some whopper mistakes in his life and also suffered terribly at times, but through it all we've kept him close and made sure he knows he's loved beyond words no matter what--that's our definition of family.  he's been there for me during some of my own incredible boo-boos and for that i'm always thankful.  wishing him a fantastic day, birthday or not.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

this and that

how wonderful it is to have no sewing that HAS to be done and to just be able to pick up whatever feel like sewing....first up was these potholders....


my shoebox full of selvedges was overflowing so naturally potholders came to mind....will make great little gifties at some point....and then i spied this that has been waiting so long for some attention....


just one more block, but it whetted my mojo to make lots more.....


leaving me with these tiny waste triangles for some future fun..... today, though, it's finish the 'bargain basement' flimsy first and there is that vacuuming too.  quilting continues on the rambling rose project....plus have a stack of books waiting....and for those of you who enjoy the British mystery series "Vera," would like to recommend "Shetland" based on books by the same author.   The series has that same sort of eerie marsh atmosphere found in the "Vera" episodes and excellent quality mystery stories as well...now off to fire up the old viking!