Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fabric on sale....oh boy!

I just can't pass up a good sale, and these were all just $2.00 a yard!  Sheesh!  You just can't beat it!

I guess I was in my "golden/brown" mood at that moment!  Aren't they beautiful!  I don't have anything in mind for them, but they'll look good in something one day!

I could have bought more, but when 8 bolts are stacked up on the cutting table, and your friend is only getting 1, was making me look a little greedy!  Besides, she and I are going to the thrift store on Saturday, and I'm hoping there will be a bunch of men's shirts for cutting up.

Not much progress on the spiderweb quilt yet (so no pic), but I was at an even number of posts (16), and couldn't let the year end on that!  I love prime numbers (I always play those in the lottery....of course, I never win....hmmmm!) so to have 17 posts in 2010 feels 'right' to me!  Is it superstitious, quirky, or am I just weird?  I don't know!  But I'm sticking with it!

Have a safe and Happy New Years!

See ya in 2011!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Been Thinking On It!

Yep.....been thinking on that border all night long!  And then I saw the pic again, and realized it just wasn't doing it for me!  NEW PLAN!

I played with some of the pieces of border I had made, and THIS IS IT!!!  I LOVE IT!

It is very haphazard, but then.....that's what the spider webs are I think it compliments it perfectly.  The other border was way too rigid.....and it didn't fit the look!

I will be piecing the rest of this in the next couple of days.....hopefully to finish by the the 31st!

I realized with the two xmas quilts I did, that I work VERY well under a deadline!  Otherwise, I can put ANYTHING off until tomorrow.....that's probably why I have so many UFO's!

My friend, Brenda, and I will be going to the slots casino tomorrow.....woohoo!  Wish me luck!


Monday, December 27, 2010

It's a Blizzard!

For those of you in New England, or for that matter, the Eastern know what we're dealing with!  It will be snowing all day here in Maine, but I know it has stopped already in New we know we are not far behind.

My son cut his visit a day short, and drove out yesterday before the snow started up here, but it was already several inches deep in Virginia, where he was headed!  So he took it nice and slow, and stayed overnight in Deleware, and has finally reached home in VA, and now I can breathe again!

This is a pic standing in our dining room (I'm not going out there!), looking through the glass, through the screened porch and out to our neighbors house!....The sky is just slightly darker than 1:45 in the afternoon!  The snow is blowing sideways.....and swirling like mad!  It's angry snow!

So, IT'S A PERFECT SEWING DAY!!!!  Yippee!  I spent most of yesterday on the cheddar spiderweb quilt, and am working the borders still.  When I had realized a few weeks ago that I didn't quite have enough of the cheddar, and I went to get more, well......they didn't have the EXACT cheddar I had used.  Close, but no!  And there is no way you can combine two different ones in one quilt without it looking like you goofed!  Not at this stage.....maybe several shades and pieced in from the beginning.....but not now!  So I am making due with what I have!  And it's not much!

My original plan was to have the borders meet in the middle of each side, and then do something with the cheddar there, not like an arrow pointing in, but something of sorts.  Pieced with a block, or something.  But now I don't have a smidge of cheddar to spare, so I am connecting the side borders to each other, and it will give an arrow point of the right side of the pic.  These borders still need to be trimmed down quite a bit, so they will not be that wide when completed, cuz I think they are overpowering right now!  But I do like the look.

If my math is right (oh boy, measure 6 times, cut once, right?  HA!), then I can get a 3 inch inside border and a 2 inch outside of the cheddar. JUST occurred to me that the outside borders are longer than the inside, because of the pieced border!  SHEESH!  Measure 7 times, cut once!  Good grief!  So, scrap that idea, and this thing's getting the inside cheddar border, the pieced border, and the binding!  THERE!  (My life is fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, so why should my quilting be any different!)

My binding will be scrappy strips of the shirtings, so now I can use all that cheddar for the one border!  Cool!

Do you ever have moments like that, when you've been thinking and thinking on something, and you think you have the answer absolutely figured out......and the whole time you didn't realize you were thinking totally wonky about it!  Like trying to carry 46 things into the house from the car, and doing a major balancing act, including using your chin to hold the stuff up, and then realizing you don't have a free hand to open the dang door!?!  Sheesh!

Is is just me?  Probably not, but do you dare admit it???  (Not when hubby's around, right!)

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On a Major Sugar High!

I've been munching on cookies all day, and I'm a bit punchy!  Can't seem to sit still, so I thought I'd get the guest room ready for our son's arrival tomorrow.  And as I was clearing out some stuff that got put in there, I saw the quilt stand with my antique red and green basket quilt on it and just knew I had to share it!

I've seen so many wonderful red and green quilts lately in the blogs, and I totally forgot that I had one!  When things are out of my sight, they are totally out of my mind!  Sheesh!

I acquired this sweet little quilt at the local quilt shop, when the owner was having a garage sale a few years back.  She had it in a big ball in the corner, and I saw it and asked if she was selling it.  She said it's really torn up, but what about $5?  I said GREAT!  Can you believe it!?!  I'm never that lucky.....never!

This little baby came home with me, and has been on the quilt rack ever since.  It IS very torn up, but it is still a beauty in my eyes!

There are some (to me) really amazing aspects of it......first, the green basket bottoms are a trapazoid, so there are funky angles to piece, not just the usual triangle bottom with right angles.  Second, the border with pieced red end blocks was put on in circular fashion, not the usual both sides on and then the top and bottom.  So with the circular fashion, you go round and round, and you get to the end and EEEK....a set in seam!

The basket handles are appliqued on, but she could have more easily pieced them.....but no.....she appliqued!  I love that!  It just seems that so much extra effort was given to the piecing of it.  It's also hand quilted, in a 1/2 inch grid that is fairly random in placement, and doesn't follow the same direction from block to block.

Yep, it's very worn and torn, and I think that makes it extra special to me!  It looks fabulous on the quilt rack, and when I put it back in my sewing will be my inspiration piece!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finally Finished! Yippee!

I finished the two quilts going to Massachusetts last night!  Got them wrapped, boxed, and off to UPS this morning!  Whew!  It was a real struggle to get enough time in on them, since these last two weeks have been crazy at work, and I've been working more than the normal shifts!  Sheesh!

But here they are, in all their glory!

The front....

 and the back.....

I did an all over swirly quilting design on the blue one....the top thread is an ocean blue, and the bobbin was a lilac!  (I only had one spool of each color, and I didn't want to run out at the last minute....hence, two different colors!)  You can only really tell the color on the light colored fabrics, and that's ok.....I love it!  I might have to do that again!  I did a chain of swirls in the inside border....that was fun, but it took a little planning to get the corners to come out right.....consistency is key!

I did an arched square in the 9 patches, and the alternates got a swirled feather concoction!  It was a combination of some designs I'd seen, and it seemed to fill the square quite well.  I did the same swirly design in the border that I did on the blue one.....I needed something that could cover it to the edge, because I really didn't want to do a little strip of something in that last inch and a half of brown!  It was quilted with a dark pink thread....which shows up A LOT in the brown squares, but blends really well with all the lights on the back and in the 9 patches.  I used the extra 9 patch blocks on the pieced back.  Love it!

As I was quilting the brown squares, I thought it was going to look awful....and was really worried, but didn't have the time to pick out the ones I'd done and start I just kept going, and I really like it now, after doing the triangles on the edge....they seem to pull it together, and it's not so 'in your face' quilting!  You know what I mean?  I kindof like machine quilting to be in the background, and not such a focus, but with a big blank square, what can you do?

I just realized that in the pics, you can see the pile of thrift shop shirts on the couch, waiting to be cut up.....what a mess!  Sorry!

I'm busily baking right now, typing between 9 minute batches of cookies!  And I've done something to my thumb, so the drop cookies are taking a bit longer than usual.  Good thing the rest of the cookies aren't drop-type.  Of course, I'm sure it didn't help my thumb any to bind two queen sized quilts in a 48 hour span!  Sheesh!

We just got word that our middle son (who lives in Virginia) is going to join us for Christmas!  Woohoo!  I can't wait to see him!

Oh, and this last pic is of the blue quilt, but with no flash!  I love that the camera can pull colors out like that!  I really love the look of all those browns it's inspired me to do another quilt, all in browns!  Maybe not that exact pattern, but something with lots of bits!  Sweet!

Ya know, I love everything about winter.....the frozen lakes, the icy grey skies, having to bundle up, the bare trees.....everything!......except....... getting shocked every time I touch ANYTHING!  Thank goodness hubby and I are really good at remembering to 'ground' ourselves before we kiss....there is nothing worse than being shocked on the lips!

Have a really peaceful holiday, and eat lots of cookies!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Two quilts by Christmas! Oy!

I can't believe it's been over a week since I blogged.....AND I haven't raved about my new machine yet!  Sheesh!  My new Juki is AMAZING!  It is so fast, and so smooth, and hubby says it's totally quiet (I've been sewing into the wee hours while he sleeps) and I just love EVERYTHING about it!  Yay Juki!

I think it was the night I got the machine, my hubby and I were trying to figure out gifts for our dear friends in Massachusetts.  We've known them for over a dozen years, and before she was able to speak English (she's Lithuanian).  Her parents are here visiting (have come over several times since the Visa difficulties were remedied) and we just love them all so much!  They are lovely people, so caring and generous, but they have everything, so what do you get them!?!

So, silly me says "Ya know, I have so many quilt tops already made, I could make them one, and her parents one, too!  That way, they have something from America to have with them when they go home."

I don't know what came over me when I decided to do it, but that's the plan!  And I need to get them in the mail by the 17th!  That's my deadline!  Just do it, right!?!

Incidentally, we don't do gifts with anyone else but these folks!  My hubby and I decided many (20+) years ago that we had all we needed, and we didn't need to do gifts for each other, for xmas, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  It was always such a struggle to come up with something, and the money was tight then, too, so we've just always done it that way.  Takes ALL the pressure from the celebration.  We do a nice meal out, or for the holidays, the usual feast, but no gifts.  A few years ago, we got the kids and spouses on it too, as we said "This way, you can save your money and visit more!"  And it's worked out very nicely!  Of course, our grandson still gets gifts, because kids should!

Ok, back to quilts....

So, I had one of Bonnie Hunter's tops I'd done a few months back, all in blues, and I also had the pieced back done for it, so this one was the 'quickie'!  It's not bound yet, but I finished the quilting on it last night (2:00 am)!

The one for her parents is just a top right now, so I will be piecing a back tonight (after I get home from work at 10:30 pm) and will hope to get it sandwiched tomorrow before I go to work, and then can start the quilting on it!  It's loaded with calicos, but it has a nice vintage look to it, and it's very calm in colors, so I think it will suit her parents very nicely.....they are VERY quiet people! 

These are both queen sized quilts!  Oy!  But my Juki had NO problem dealing with the bulk!  LOVE IT!

The spiderweb, needless to say, will sit on the bookcase until the 18th!  And then it's back to work on that border!

Have a great day!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Waiting for the UPS Man!

All morning I've been waiting for the UPS Man!  He is bringing me my new sewing machine, and I am determined NOT to miss him!  The unfortunate thing house is totally, I don't know.....but it is!  So, I am forced to be on the first floor, and my sewing room is on the, I can't even sew while I'm waiting, or I'll never hear him!

So, I've cleaned!  And cleaned and cleaned!  And I hate cleaning!  We never do it, unless we know someone is coming over!  And I was just telling my hubby the other day, "I'm really wanting to start keeping the house nice!  I hate that when someone comes over unexpected, I am totally embarrassed by what the place looks like!  So, we're gonna start doing it, and keeping it clean!"  And he agreed with me, but not very enthusiastically!  Hmmmm!

Well, while waiting this morning, I started doing it, and it really is more clutter than dirty!  We just never put anything away!  And I'm thinking it's because we don't really have a designated place for anything!  It all just gets 'put' somewhere, and when we need it.....the search begins!  I feel like we are both loaded with Alzheimers every time we go to find something!  Sheesh!  It's so annoying!

On the other hand, my sewing room is totally organized!  Go figure!

Anyway, the UPS man is still not here, and I've.....done dishes, swept the kitchen and entry out, beat out the rugs, cleaned the microwave, swept the front porch, spread out the last of the mulch from the tarp outside, cleaned the tarp and hung to dry, 4 loads of laundry, made a pot of coffee, and now I'm sitting down (finally) with my coffee and will read all of my blogs while I continue to wait!

Oh, and the machine he is bringing me is the Juki TL98Q!  I'm so excited!  Can't wait to get my hands on it!

I'm working on the spiderweb border now, and have realized I need more of the cheddar fabric.....not a lot more, but as soon as UPS comes, I am off to Portland to get more.

I played with several borders, and was not happy with any of them.  I even tried an applique vine.....but that took too much attention....and I really want the webs to be the focus.

See what I mean.....the vines becomes the focus.  By the way.....I use construction paper pieces when 'auditioning' can cut them really fast, place them with a pin on the design wall, and move them around really easy, and I haven't wasted any fabric in the process.  Plus, it comes in lots of colors, so I can get an idea of what it will look like.  I cut this vine VERY primitively, but it really gave me the idea, and verified that I would NOT want it on this quilt.  But I do like it's in my head for something else one day!  Cool!

Anyway, I'm doing a scrappy stripe at an angle so it doesn't take away from the webs.  I'll angle it in towards the side centers and do something with the orange there....I don't know what yet.  I'm foundation piecing the borders, and you can see my phone book pages peaking out!

Ok.....UPS just arrived, I have my machine looks perfect, and now I'm heading off to Portland, so I can get fabric, get home, and try my new machine!!!!  Sweet!

Have a great day!

regan  :o)