Tuesday, October 18, 2016

scrappy eclectic butterfly quilt

Finally!  This quilt has sat in the laundry for two weeks, finished, waiting on me to wash it so I could take pictures.  Plus, all the time it sat on the sewing machine or the ironing board waiting on me to figure out what I wanted to do next and would what I wanted to do work.

Scrappy eclectic butterfly quilt – Which is what I'm calling it.  There was a rummage through the scraps plus some of those pre-printed blocks.  Sister Suzy called it eclectic.  I think she was trying to be diplomatic.  It doesn't have a lot of wow factor for me, too random.
I spent a lot of time just figuring out how I wanted the pre-printed blocks placed. This is what I decided would be the best bet.  Then I spied the block I had put together from the scraps from the floating hexagon quilt.   I removed the hexagons and it fit perfectly.  While I was digging in a drawer of fabric I came across a piece of gingham that someone had embroidered seven butterflies on. (Where Mom got the fabric, I don't know.)
I squared them up and used the three smaller ones in the body of the quilt and the four larger ones as cornerstones in the border.  I quilted each section/block separately and used Marguerita's Quilt As You Go Method to set it together.  I bound the quilt in the same fabric I used to set the quilted blocks together with, hoping it would help tie everything together, add some continuity to the quilt and tone down the randomness of it all.  The borders are a total of 6-inches wide, the pre-printed blocks are 17-an-a-half-inches square and the scrappy blocks are 13 1/2" x 17 1/2".
The finished size is 48" x 72".  The backing was what ever scrap backing Mother had leftover.
The little heart was to take care of a spot where I didn't catch the backing into the seam allowance. And I didn't want to go to the heartburn of picking everything out to fix it.  So I fused a heart on it!
Well the label is on.
So it is time for me to get the next one finished and to wish that all of you have a good day.

Monday, August 29, 2016

pop, my take

I was cruising the web a while ago and was on Fons and Porter's You-Tube site, Quilting Quickly. I saw a quilt they called Pop and immediately thought; this would be a good scrap quilt.
The blocks are 8-inches square, finished.  Four 4 1/2" by 2 1/2" scrap strips and two 8 1/2" by 2 1/2" background (white) strips.  I used black for the two borders.  To make the inside border that is black and white you need some 8 1/2" strips of white and black; the corners will need four 10 1/2" strips of black.
The two borders make the center look like it is floating.  I used about 2/3 yards of black, 1 2/3 yards of white, 1 1/3 yards of assorted prints, 1/2 yard of binding fabric and 2 1/2 yards of backing fabric. 
I used stitch-in-the-ditch for the body of the quilt and a back-n-forth-boxy look for the border. You know I just realized this makes the third quilt; I have used a boxy look for the fill-in quilting.  I must be channeling some Cubist or something!  I used the blue seersucker again for the backing.  I had some trouble with puckers on the back this time. I had to do some picking and re-smooth the fabric to get it to lay flat. Blah!
I made my standard 48" by 72" quilt.  I dug around in the binding drawer and found an off-white from Mother's stash that was just the right length.  I had twelve inches of excess leftover.  Yeah!
I had trouble with the bobbin thread breaking.  I think I replaced that one corner three or four times!  I quit when it looked this good even though I should of picked it out, again, and tried to hit the previous stitching better.  Maybe, next time!

Well the label is on.  I hope everybody is having a great day!


Sunday, August 14, 2016

hearts and baskets quilt

This quilt is one out of my 'I'm so frustrated, I don't know what to do with it' tub.  I was rooting around through the tubs-n-dressers of fabric, looking for an idea for a wedding quilt and found a bunch of pre-printed blocks.  I found large ones, small one and some borders.  I sorted out the large ones and started to quilt them up as individual blocks all the while ruminating about what to do with the smaller blocks.  As I was quilting the larger blocks in this quilt, I had an epiphany.
The basket border strips had the same colors as the basket blocks.  Plus, the hearts-n-Dresden plate block had the same background and colors as the basket blocks.  And, what do you know, the grays in the house block match the other three.  Look at that, the colors in those little heart blocks match everything.  If I put them all together, they would make a nice looking little quilt.

So, I started measuring the layout and setting little blocks together, sewing chunks there and strips here, adding them to the already quilted blocks.  All the time trying to figure out how I was going to add the center strip.  I quilted the strips on the right side.  I didn't like how I quilted them, couldn't think of good, easy way to add the center strip if I quilted the left side.  So I threw the whole thing in the tub and walked away to let it simmer a while.  Like over a year-n-a-half!

Well, I got real tired of looking at that tub of unfinished projects setting on that dresser so I pulled out the easiest one (the half-hexie one) and finished it.  This quilt was the next one.

What to do, what to do?  The most prudent thing to do was get the seam ripper out and start picking. Sigh!  I picked the quilting out of the Dresden block did some fancy pinning-n-sewing and got the rest of top and backing added on.  I tried a new idea for quilting the strips of baskets and hearts on the left side.  I liked it so well; I cheerfully picked all the quilting for the strips of baskets and hearts on the right side, out and re-quilted them.
I went through Mother's stash of leftover bindings and found a couple of pieces I though would work for this quilt.  In hindsight, I think the pink gingham looks the best on this quilt.  The little floral print would have looked better if I had added a border of some sort, because there is not enough contrast between the background fabric and the floral binding.  Based on the measurement of this quilt (43"x68") that was probably the original game plan, because I like these little quilts to be 48"x72".

I finished using up all my scrap pieces of batting in this quilt so the next quilt will be with one big piece of batting. Yeah!
Well the label is on.

I hope each of you is having a good day!


Sunday, August 7, 2016

floating half-hexagon quilt, my take

Remember this quilt top?
I finally finished it!  This idea for a quilt came from the Missouri Star Quilt You-Tube Channel.  I'm always looking for ideas to use my closet/dressers full of fabric.

The finished block measures 5.75” x 4", sashing strips are 1.5" and cornerstones are 1.5 square.  The quilt is my usual 48" x 72" afghan/lap quilt/toddler bed quilt. I made 72 blocks, 8 across, and 9 down.  I could have made the quilt 10 down but I decided I wanted more border.  So, I eliminated one row, split the top and bottom borders with a half-inch wide strip of color in the middle.

I didn't have a half-hexagon ruler to cut the hexi block pieces with.  I dug through some quilting templates from Mother's stash, marked one with some tape and used it.
I didn't use 5" charm packs but scrapes from another projects.  It takes two, 2 1/2" x 9" strips to make a block. After you cut the background fabric into half-hexies; then cut the half-hexies in half (quarter-hexies?).  Sew the background pieces to the colored prints and then sew the two halves together.
I choose to stitch in the ditch and then triangles in the centers of the hexagons. The extra quilting was two-fold.  I thought it would look good and I used scrap batting.  When you use scraps of batting you, want the quilting closer together so the edges don't shift as you wash it.  I used straight line quilting about 3/4" apart for the borders.
One of the reasons this quilt took so long to finish was because I couldn't decide what I wanted to use for the backing.  I dug around in the fabric stable (It's too big to be a stash!) and found a huge piece of blue seersucker I forgot I had.  After washing the quilt, this seersucker is as soft as flannel against your skin.  I am going to keep that in mind when doing baby quilts.
I used what I had of that shade of yellow for the binding and had just barely enough.  Yeah!
Well the label is on, so it is time to hit the publish button!

I hope everyone is having a good day.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

coming home from my sister's

Coming home from my sister's at the end of May, Sister Suzy wanted to take a different route home than the ones we have taken in the past, to see something new.  After consulting the Trucker's/Motor Carrier's Road Atlas, I decided that a route across Southern Colorado might work.  If we stayed on US-160, it would dump us at Tuba City, AZ. Then you take US-89 into Flagstaff catch I-17 to Phoenix.  Or we could head south out of Cortez, CO or Durango, CO and head down to I-40 and across.

I really wanted to head to Globe, AZ and spend the night.  Then head over to Roosevelt Lake and down the Apache Trail but Sister Suzy and my sister weren't feeling well after spending 2 nights in Durango, Co. So, we stayed on US-160 as we left Durango, came across the Navajo Nation, into Flag and on into Phoenix.

I think it was the altitude, because after a night here at the apartment they were both raring to go, again.  We went up the Apache Trail to Tortilla Flats to the souvenir shop, had Prickly Pear Ice Cream while we were there shopping for trinkets for my sister to take back with her to Wichita.  I ask my sister if she wanted to go the rest of the way up to Roosevelt Lake.  She said she had seen enough of the Apache Trail and wasn't interested in the windy-ass dirt road above Tortilla Flats. Wuss! We did stop on the way back to the apartment at The Fry Bread House for Navajo tacos.  Yum!

Since my battery charger for the camera was acting up, I only got a few pictures of our ride on the Durango to Silverton steam train.
Some of the curves are tight enough that you can see the engine from where you sit.  We choose to sit in one of the refurbished passenger cars because we weren't sure how cold it would be.  Come to find out, if you sit in one of the gondola cars (open air) you will be covered in smoke-n-soot and could be hit with sparks. We were very glad we were in an enclosed car!
 This is the train after they have turned it around and we are ready to go back down to Durango.  Interesting fact: the conductor told us it takes 5 tons of coal to make the climb from Durango to Silverton and only a half-ton for the trip back down.  We stopped going up and coming back down for day-hikers and people rafting the Animas River.  My sister and I want to ride the train up to the drop off point for hikers.  Wonder off a ways, whip out our folding chairs, sit in nature for a few hours, then get back on the train and ride back to Durango.
It was interesting to look at the valley that Silverton sets in.  We were huffing and puffing at that elevation (9300').  If we had had a vehicle, we could have been a lot higher (13,500').

I would recommend if you want to go across Southern Colorado the week-end before or around Memorial Day to make any room reservation well in advance. The desk clerks told us that everybody graduates that weekend, which explains why there were very few (if any) rooms available at the inn.

I hope everyone is having a lovely day.


Friday, July 29, 2016

cameras and battery chargers

I had planned on posting some pictures of the quilts I finished over the last couple of weeks out of my 'I screwed-up; I don't know or have the will to fix it' bin.  But, I can't get the battery charger to charge the camera battery.

It looks like the flux capacitor (a circuit board) on my battery charger has died.  The battery charger gives me a green light although the camera says the battery is low.  I dismantled the battery charger.  I used a screwdriver to test for current at each junction.  When I get to the last set of contacts all I get is the green light, so I need to get a new charger and while I'm at it a new battery, too.

Hope your day is going better than mine is.


Edit:  WaHoo!  I took the battery charger apart again, wiggled around some wires and the red light came on!  We are charging the battery, I think, hope, pray.  Won't know until the green light comes back on and try it out.  Jude

Alright! the battery is charged expect a blog post with pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


I like putting puzzles together but I don't want boxes of them setting around.  You put the puzzle together once and I'm ready to move on to the next one.  I wonder if they have puzzle exchanges.  You know, like, game exchanges where you take in your x-box/PlayStation games you are tired of and exchange them for something different.  In a city, the size of Phoenix you would think so.  I guess I need to do an Internet search out of curiosity.

So, while I was stuck sitting in my chair because moving set the back muscles to spasming, I found a puzzle site out on the web.  The site is called Jigidi and at a price, I can afford.  Free!  I'm having a lot of fun zoning out and putting the puzzles together.  My favorites are landscapes and doors, of all things.
This puzzle was created by jayelldolls and the link to the puzzle is http://www.jigidi.com/puzzle.php?id=614Y0VWL.  I have noticed it takes me about twice as long as the slowest time shown.  I don't know if I'm slowing up in my old age, have trouble with shape and color placement, or I'm taking the time to really enjoy putting them together.

Well, I have some more puzzles bookmarked, so I'm going to dive back in and avoid the housekeeping for a while longer. 

Y'all have a good day, hear!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

a public service announcement

When one is drinking a cup of tea at your computer, DO NOT try to kill a bug you let in.  If you want a new keyboard and mouse, just go get one.

This ends this public service announcement.

Have a good day!


EDIT:  I discovered I get to purchase 2 new lamp shades, also.  One is for the lamp shade that now has a tear in it and the second one is so I continue to have matching  lamp shades.  Sigh!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Decisions...decisions...I can't decide whether to use this in the backing or save it for another project.
These are all the scraps left over from making this quilt top.
The block I built with the scraps left over from the quilt top is 24" by 18".  I can't decide if I want to use the rest of the flocked material to built  the block out to 72" by 48" or use some other fabric to get it to the right size.  But, what fabric or fabrics would I use?  Would it look okay scrappy or do I want the fabric to blend in somehow with the block?  Nor do I want the backing to show through to the front.  So would the scrappy block be real obvious from the front if I used it?

I think I'm going to set the whole project aside and let it ferment until I get a bright idea.  I.e. when my Muse comes back for a visit and whispers an idea in my ear.

Think I will get busy on my sister's sweater I'm knitting for her.  I actually have the body knitted and I'm trying to pick up the right number of stitches for the sleeves.

I hope everybody is having a good day!


Saturday, February 13, 2016

that was interesting

That was interesting!  I was bringing up a heavy load of groceries and coughed at the same time.  I threw out a rib on the right side.  Holy-moly! I couldn't breathe, couldn't sleep, couldn't raise my arms, stoop, walk, type...nothing.

After several trips to the Chiropractor I can now breathe...function.  I'm hooked up to my TENS unit so when the muscles feel like they are tightening up I can zap the nerves and keep the spasms from pulling the rib back out of place.  I'm still not back a 100% but being able to take a deep breath is so wonderful.  This has brought home the point quite forcefully, again, that breathing is optional not a given.

It is interesting that the lower back and neck are considered easy to get back into place and stay in place.  While the thoracic area isn't because of the complexity of the ribs, muscles and shoulder blades and their supporting muscles.  So, basically, I'm waiting for the muscles to give up or be retrained to leave the ribs where they belong.  And I am ready!

Which brings me to...my Muse came to visit before all this started and I was so excited to be able to play and create with her.  Why is your Muse always feminine?  Could there be a masculine Muse?

Did you know that using a rotary cutter, ironing and sitting at a sewing machine all use muscles in your thoracic area?  I finally got the top together and I hope I get it quilted in the next week or two to show to you.

Got some other thing I want to show you too; so until I get some photos taken I hope everyone is having a good day.