Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Schmaturday

There's really been nothing going on the last couple of days.  

I want to thank all those who commented on my last couple of posts even though I didn't get back to you personally, getting a quilt finished was big for me, and though Fanner has been gone over a year now, it was a sad day for me remembering her birthday.

I have three days to start my April NewFO project.  And three days to decide what I want to add to Get It Done 2013 for May.  

My back's been bothering me again, only this time it's a nerve pain generating from mid-back, at bra-level and radiating to the left and around to my side.  Feels like how sciatic pain does but obviously it's not in the sciatic region. Seems after all the MRIs the "back doctors" only say nothing's bad enough for surgery (fine by me) and want to give cortisone injections - prescriptions haven't been of much help. Maybe other alternatives just aren't there. This growing 'old' stuff is definitely not for sissy's. Can't we just be healed the way they did in the Sci-Fi flicks? Wave a hand-held gadget over us for awhile and we're just like new.  I will have a new body one day, but until then, I live with it and grumble now and then.  Sitting at the computer has been aggravating it too.

Our temps have reached the 90+ range...not ready for those, but am so very thankful for shorts, bare feet, and A/C.  How on earth did I live without the latter for so long? I lived here for a couple decades before even having A/C in my cars!

Back to watching Doctor Who. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013



I'm still missing this sweet kitty.  We loved her probably more than any animal ever.  She was our special needs kitty with a condition called liver shunts.  Today would have been her 9th birthday.

She had the sweetest disposition, the softest fur, and who could not love that pink nose and those extra toes!  She loved to be held and would crawl under the blankets all the way to my feet when it was cold.  

Love, love, loved this kitty.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

UFO Progress

Judy's having us link up on our UFO progress this week, and if you've kept up with my few posts this week, you'll know that I was almost finished with Cumberland Mountain, a quilt I started in Sept 2006 and had last worked on in Jan 2009.  I am very happy to report it is finished.  Here now are some photos of the finished UFO quilt :)

Getting a true daylight sunlit photo with my wonderful helpers, Marty and Nick.

Laid out on a double-bed for size reference.  It works as either a coverlet, a large lap blanket, or something to drape over the sofa.

Mom, what? This wasn't made for me? 
It feels so very good to have a finish.  I've updated my Gallery, my 2012 UFO List, and my UFO Parade tabs to reflect my finish.  I didn't list it in my Get It Done 2013 tab so no update there.  Now, what to work on next?  I'm really dragging my feet on that one because I really, really want to work on some of my newer UFO's or start more new projects (I need an April NewFO, still time!), but I still have at least a half-dozen  other 2006 starts that need to be finished. I haven't sewn since I finished Cumberland Mountain, so really need to get moving.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring Pretties

When I went out to take photos of my finally-finished-UFO (pictures later), I looked across the yard and noticed that my irises had bloomed....and I missed the first two blooms.  I plucked the withered blossoms off and took a photo of each, not the best, but a photo nonetheless.  I've had these irises since the '80s and have never had a lot of success with them, some years they didn't bloom at all.  They probably aren't getting enough sunlight, or water, or fertilizer.  I make no claims as to having a green thumb, so I'm pretty stoked whenever anything blooms.  The epiphylum is beginning to bloom too and it looks like it'll be a good year.  The photo from it is one from a past year because I'm too lazy to put the memory card back in the camera and go back downstairs to go out and take a photo, etc.

This one is this pretty lavender color with a rust-colored throat.

This one appears to be the traditional purple Iris, but since I didn't see the first blossom opened I can't say for sure...I do believe this is the first time it's bloomed!

I'm sorry you have to turn your head to see them, I don't know why Blogger auto-turns some photos, I'd not turned the camera, so it makes no sense to me, and I don't know how to correct it :(  Any ideas?

These grow along the lines of a Christmas Cactus but are much bigger.  The stem-branches are very long as shown in the photo below.  Each blossom is the size of a dessert plate. 
The plant is in either a 15" or 18" pot, they love to be pot-bound.  The whole plant would look better if we raised the pot off the ground as the stem-branches grow long and drape over the sides of the pot and produce multiple flowers along both sides. They are native of Central & South America typically growing in trees (where debris collects where branches divide) and rock crevices. This picture is from 2010 and the plant is easily twice the size now.  To start this plant, I had only a very withered stem-branch that I'd received from a friend, and stuck it in a pot of soil.  Of course, I always take pictures BEFORE cleanup, lol!  It needs to be pruned back to really look better too.

Stash Report - Week 16

FINALLY, I have a finish this week (month, year, decade, lol).  OK, decade is probably a bit of an overstatement, but let's face it, it has been a very long time since I've had an all-the-way-done FINISH.  

When my friend Lois gave me all the fabric she no longer wanted from her years of clothing and what-not projects, I'd laundered it all, fiber tested and tallied up the yardage and pieces and it equated to over 52 yards!  That's a lot of fabric to give away, so I decided I'd make her a quilt.  That was in September 2006.  It only took me 6.5 years to get it done.  Yikes!

We've been friends since the early to mid-90's and have spent many hours (in the past) hiking, back-packing, camping, camp-cooking and enjoying God's Creation on numerous outings.  Many of the fabrics depict the outdoors so it makes a great memory quilt for her.  These days, she still gets out more than I do for these outings.  Lois also house and pet sits for us if Marty and I are gone any part of the summer at the same time. 

Used This Week: 10.25 yards
Used Year to Date: 10.25 yards
Added This Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 14.625 yards
Net Used for 2013: -4.375 yards 

Head over to Patchwork Times and how others have done this week. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gettin' Close

To having a finish!  And here's the proof:

Since both Marty and my camera were at hand, I had Marty snap a shot of me working on the quilt I'm finishing up for my friend Lois.  My fingers are so out of shape and are a bit sore.  I use these in lieu of a thimble:

I really like them as they do help keep my middle fingertip from getting tender from the eye end of the needle as I push it through the fabric.  Mostly sore is my thumb and index finger from gripping the needle to pull it through.

I'm guessing I have about an hour's worth of hand-stitching and I can call it finished, which means, I WILL have something to report as 'stash out' in tomorrow's stash report.  I haven't yet added a label, and will have to think of what I want to write on it for my friend, something like 'better late than never....' maybe?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Progressing On The UFOs

Those of us joining in on the UFO Parade and making an attempt to finish them, were asked if we had a plan, perhaps better would be to ask if we have a method to our madness, in getting the list of UFOs whittled down.  I can definitively say: "NO", I do not have a specific plan, nor any specific method of enticing or coercing myself to get them done, other than the mere fact of knowing that so many of them are as old as they are and that at least a few of them were started to be given as gifts. 

That being the case, I got to work on the one I posted about on Monday (here), which I last worked on  four years ago - it seems it was no more than a year or two ago but my records don't lie!  So yesterday I got my act together and resumed the quilting process.  My quilting is all straight line following either the zig-zag pattern of the blocks or the straight lines of the rows and columns stitching 1/4" on each side of the seams.  I've extended those straight lines into the borders, and am thinking I'll run another set of double straight lines down the middle of all the borders too. 
I've not developed free-motion skills adequate enough to do what I once considered doing in the borders and at this point really want to get "a finish" so will persist with what I am capable of and practice on the side.

When I was working on this yesterday in my not-so-well lit dining room, I noticed after about an hour of stitching that the stitching wasn't looking quite right in a few spots. Very loose and easily pulled up in loops.  Well, it was more than a few spots, it was all of the stitching I'd done for that hour, so yep, you guessed it, I spent the next hour removing all those stitches and redoing all my work.  Before resuming, I checked my bobbin & thread, checked the tension, and ultimately just re-threaded my machine.   It appears that the re-threading fixed whatever the problem was.

Also before continuing, I moved a floor lamp next to my work surface and now I can actually see my stitches as I work.  For the initial quilting along the zig-zag paths, I used a plain dark green thread.  Now that I'm doing the straight lines, I've switched to a multi-colored variegated thread for both top and bottom.  I'm guessing I have at most another 2 hours of quilting to do on this and then I'm ready for the binding.  It will feel really nice to have this finished.  And THAT just might be enough motivation to get some of those other UFOs done!

Monday, April 15, 2013

UFO Parade

Patchwork Times' Judy has invited us to post a parade of our UnFinished Objects.  

I have added a tab at the top of the blog where I'll track mine.  Most have a link to where I posted earlier progress reports on them. I'll add a few notes here too though.

For this first Parade post I'll list them all here:

  • 1.  #010 - Country Charms/Dragonfly  This is my oldest, and I can't believe it's been 10 years and 6 days since I started it!  It's pinned and ready to quilt.
  • 2.  #015 - Feathered Star   This is a flimsy, was paper pieced and started in Feb. 2006.
  • 3.  #016a - bricks, vertical  This, and #016b, are both flimsies.  They started as one quilt but I realized I'd made more blocks than what I wanted or needed for the original size, so decided to divide them up and make it two quilts.  They both still need borders, and they were started...hmmm, my chart says 1905, uh, I think I need to fix that error, probably 2005.  I was probably working genealogy at the same time I was piecing ;p
  • 4.  #016b - bricks, horizontal
  • 5.  #017 - Lighthouse Farm  This is a small needle-turn applique project, not something I'm fond of, it may take a lonnnggg while to get this one off the UFO list.  It's pieces are cut, but I don't remember if I'd done any more than that.  Now that I've discovered fusible web, it may play a part in the process.
  • 6.  #018 - Mystery Quilt:The Case of The Mysterious Voter  Here, I took a mystery class with Billie Lauder.  It's finished to the flimsy stage
  • 7.  #019 - Asher's Quilt This name will likely change - it's the name of the pattern in the magazine.  Borders need to be added.  It was originally planned to be a missionary quilt but that group has been disbanded so not sure where it'll end up.
  • 8.  #020 - Churn Dash/Hidden Spools  This is ready to be quilted, all pinned and ready to go.
  • 9.  #021 - The Puzzler  We have another flimsy here, and it turned out really pretty.
  • 10. #022 - Cumberland Mountain   And of course I just wrote about this one, it's partially quilted, and will be worked on in the days ahead.
  • 11. #023 - Rooster  My All-By-Hand project, still in the blocks-need-to-be-finished stage.
  • 12. #024 - Thank You For Our Bounty  Assigned, and needlepoint 'medallion' is finished, some fabrics are pulled, still considering a design.
  • 13. #025 - Pumpkin Frost  The link explains it's still in the 'gathering' stage.
  • 14. #026 - Victoria's wedding quilt I began this for my daughter in 2008, for a wedding gift to her and her then fiance'.  They were married in the Fall of 2009, and it still requires borders.
  • 15. #031 - Valentine wall hanging  Began in late 2009, it is also pinned and ready to be quilted.
  • 16. #032 - Bella Luce  From here on, are my more recent quilts, this one is a flimsy.
  • 17. #033 - Stairstepper  I have only assigned and kitted this one, no sewing, let alone cutting, has happened here.
  • 18. #034 - Storm At Sea aka "Poseidon Loses"  I love, love, love this one, but did not love the process so much, read all about through the link.
  • 19. #035 - Easy Street Mystery  Who doesn't know about Easy Street?  Through the link, scroll down the posting to see the image of mine in a different colorway than Bonnie Hunter used.  I've tucked it away for now as a flimsy, but haven't decided whether to add borders or not - it's already a fairly large piece.
  • 20. #036 - Circle of Light  Another one where I posted about more than one quilt project, so via the link, you'll then have to scroll down to item 2 of the post to see a design wall initial layout - the blocks currently reside in a bin in the stash closet...not forgotten, just waiting on the back burner.
  • 21. #037 - I Spy  This is really on assigned and pattern chosen, not a real UFO yet, but will be.
  • 22. #038 - O Christmas Tree  This is another very recent project, now a flimsy, waiting for that quilting pin process.
  • 23. #039 - Simple Tribute #2  I've also just recently assigned this one and cut and designated the logs for it.  It's a patriotic log-cabin and this will be the second one I will have made.  The first can be seen here and is shown as quilt #029.
  • 24. #040 Pyramids
I have not included as UFO's the quilts I expect to make from all the spool sets, bow ties, and tumbler pieces I've recently cut as they are Leader/Ender projects.  Well, maybe the tumblers will become a 'regular' project, but for now, it's an L/E.  When I have sufficient blocks to make a quilt, then I'll add to the UFO list.  

The names may eventually change on some of these, but the #xxx number will always remain the same.  I've tracked my quilts since I began quilting around 1999.  Obviously, I'm not as prolific as are some, but I'm working on that :)

Design Wall Monday and other Activities

(Quilty stuff at bottom)

CHORES:  It's Monday and up until fixing my lunch, which consisted of only putting my leftover Panda Express meal from last night's dinner into a bowl and then into the microwave, I've done nothing but chores today.  Gathering, sorting, washing/drying, folding, hanging and putting away laundry - 4 loads so far!, picking a chicken carcass for home made chicken soup, putting a beef roast into the crock pot for dinner - either tonight's or tomorrow's, as yet undecided.  I've cleaned the cats' litter box, reviewed my pantry inventory, and of course took Nick to school before any of that. 

NEWS: As I sat eating my lunch, I turned the TV on and of course, learned about the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  Yet another sad day for our country.  My prayers go to the Lord on behalf of those suffering directly from this incident. 

GENEALOGY:  I've mostly taken a break from all things quilty the last couple of days and have instead worked on some genealogy - I am paying for that membership, so NEED to be using it more than I have been lately.  I once was invited to attend a focus group, and for doing so, received a full 1-year membership for free, but sadly that was a year I didn't get as much time in as I should have on the branches that would have benefitted, especially for the databases included in their world membership level.  

The branch I'm currently working on is my great-great-grandmother through my mother's father's side of the family.  Her maiden name was Lind.  I uncovered a whole lot of info - this computer age makes it so relatively easy to find out information even on younger, living individuals.  Sometimes it's almost scary knowing what can be found about people (now you know why I prefer to keep my true name hidden here on the blog where one never knows who may be viewing).   I uncovered a 3rd cousin-once removed, who lives here in my same town but on the other side.  Who knows whether we may have crossed paths somewhere over the last ump-teen years of my living here. 

QUILTY:  I'm thinking I really need to get this quilt finished. 

"Cumberland Mountain" pattern from Fons & Porter's For The Love Of Quilting pp10-13

Some of the quilting - 1/4" from seam lines, straight lines echoing zigzags - it's that line that crosses the vertical rows I'm not gung-ho about.

Not the best shot, but shows from the back how I started with straight lines the length of the quilt and then started following the zig-zags.  AND, the backing doesn't look very smooth in some spots - they WERE/ARE pinned, maybe not closely enough
My friend Lois had given me 'tons' of fabric from her years of making her own clothing - yardage and scraps - back in September 2006, and as a thank you to her, I started this quilt using many of those fabrics just two weeks later.  I worked on it off and on in 2006/2007, sandwiched it in 2008, and started the quilting in January of 2009.  At the time, I wasn't pleased with how I was quilting it, so stopped and put it away.  I'm embarrassed at how long ago that was and yet amazed at how much time has slipped away - doesn't give me much hope in getting all the quilts I WANT to do DONE in my lifetime!  I think at this point, I need to just press on and get it done so she can have and enjoy it!  Head over to Patchwork Times for more Design Wall reports.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cat Tails #10

Raven.  Keeping an eye on me as I cut scraps.

Raven.  Pretending to be a dog sleeping nearby my chair.

Flame.  She's keeping an eye on my cutting as well.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tumbling Along

OK, so last week I posted about all the scraps I'd cut up for bow tie block sets.  I decided on a solid black for the background and have those pieces all cut as well, hopefully enough to make a fair-sized quilt.

This week, I've been busy cutting more scraps into tumblers using a 3" (finished size) acrylic template.  I had a number of 3.5" strips and squares so I sorted through them for the color values and patterns I wanted.  That gave me just under 500 tumblers.  If I calculated correctly (math is not my best ability), I need somewhere around 900 tumblers for a single quilt that would barely fit as a coverlet for a double bed, so I also raided my 'less than .25 yard' stash bin and spent yesterday pressing the fabric and cutting to 3.5" strips so that I could use the template.  I seem to have more blues than any other color, with tans/creams a close second so those will be the primary colors but there will also be reds, pinks, greens, purples, golds, and a small smattering of black or gray background prints.  

Most of my scrap quilts will have a lot of the same fabrics since those pieces were originally cut into varying sizes.  Most fabrics are more subdued, but others are just bright enough to add a little 'pop' and interest here and there.  I will most likely cut well over the 900 and that will give me lots of variation.  While I probably have over 900 individual fabrics in my scraps and stash, this will not be done as a charm quilt, there will be a lot a repeats throughout.

Raw cut at 3.5" heighth tumblers

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Stash Report Week 14: 07 April 2013

Whoa ! Where'd the week go?  This was Easter vacation from school week for Nick.  So Marty took two days off work and took Nick and his best friend Tino up to the mountains for an overnight for snow-boarding.  They left the house at 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday and got back around 10:00 p.m. on Thursday.  Joining them for this trip was his other friend, Jay and his dad but they went in a separate vehicle.  Two adult men and three teenagers plus all their gear and snowboards just won't fit in one vehicle and it's about a 4.5 hour drive each way.  They had a fine time, and no injuries - praise God for that!

I didn't do a whole lot differently while they were gone.  A few chores, played with the cats, and played with a lot of fabric, fixed a roast in the crockpot, and got caught up on Doctor Who episodes.

There were no changes to my stash reportNothing in, nothing out which means nothing finished.   (My stash is not counted as out until a quilt is finished.)  Linking up at Patchwork Times.
Used This Week: 0 yards
Used Year to Date: 0 yards
Added This Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 14.625 yards
Net Used for 2013: -14.625 yards 

I finished the piecing on the O Christmas Tree quilt.  It took 2.5 hours to remove all the paper, and even though paper piecing is said to be more accurate, I seem to have a few spots where things are a little wonky - not bad wonky, but still - wonky!  I'm sure most of that can be quilted out when I get to that point.  It will have to wait as I don't have any available pins for basting!  I would still like to have it finished to display by Christmas, so that means I have to get something else quilted!

Over all, I'm very pleased with it, and I'm very appreciative of all the kind comments about it on my last post.

I also worked on specific cutting of fabric in my scrap bins.  Bonnie Hunter had a leader/ender project a year or two ago using bow tie blocks so I thought I'd alternate that with my spool leader/enders.  Not in the same quilt mind you, but as a change of pace.  While doing the Tree quilt, I managed to make quite a few spools, but realize I will need a lot of them for even a lap-size quilt; same with the bow ties.  I'm trying to decide what color I want to use as a background for the bow ties - I don't want to use cheddar, as B.H. did.  Maybe black, or a dark blue which only means that some of my darker bow ties will not be used, but they can go into one with a lighter background.

There are approximately 540 matched sets in this plastic tub.  I still have to choose a background and cut it though.  I have a few more strips on my table to cut as well so will probably end up with over 600.  I'm sure that's more than enough for a single quilt, so maybe two or more depending on the size I make.

I also kitted a patriotic colored log cabin quilt, logs all cut and ready! I've done this one before for a military family at church and really liked it so want one now for myself.   Now I have plenty to start sewing on, but have reached that point of indecision/overwhelmedness as to what exactly I want to start with.  You'll notice I haven't added my April "Get It Done" goals, and I had nothing listed for March! (see tab at the top of the blog).  I have lots to finish, so need to work on a lot of those projects.

Have a blessed may take me that long to get another post posted, lol. 
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