Sunday, October 31, 2010

Working on a t-shirt quilt for DD

It's early Sunday morning and I don't know where the weekend went!  I've been pedal to the metal working on Nikki's t-shirt quilt so that I can give it to her when I see her in mid Nov.  Nikki wears an XXS (extra extra small) most of the time, sometimes and XS.  That said, you can imagine how little her shirts are.  Try and make a quilt out of that.  So I had to get creative.  Thank goodness she gave me a nice full sack of shirts.  The pictures show how I had to back the neckline to get anything out of the shirt.

Later on today I will try to get the shirts into some sort of layout.  She also gave me some of her old jeans, they are teeny too, but I was hoping to get the border out of strips of jeans.  I'm hoping.....I really haven't taken a good look at them.  I was going to put the seat/pocket part of the jeans in the quilt, but it makes it too bulky in my opinion, I'd rather keep the entire quilt as soft and squishy as possible.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday checklist

  1. water aerobics Done!
  2. customer quilt
  3. work on daughter's t-shirt quilt
And the usual household stuff.  On Fridays, I usually change sheets and clean some for the weekend.

I remember my Mom had a strict schedule, Monday was washday no matter what, tuesday was ironing and baking, etc   These days I don't think that holds true as much, we try to fit things in wherever there is a sliver of time. 

The picture above is a group of quilt tops and blocks for Heartstrings Quilt Project.  I need to do the quilting on these and then they can be donated.  The blocks are for me to put together in a setting of my choice.  If you don't know about Heartstrings Quilt Project here is the link.  You might also find some wonderful patterns to make lovely quilts for any occasion, but especially charity quilts at link here

And here is a peek at the customer quilt for today by Pat T.

Buried in customer quilts!

You know that is a very good thing.  But by the time Friday rolls around I'm tired, and I really don't want to go to water aerobics, which is unusual for me.  I also have some personal projects to finish by mid november, one of them is my daughter's t-shirt quilt.  So I'm in a quandry, should I go to water aerobics or not?  I think it would be a good stress reliever for sure.  hummm....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Have you had your mammogram?

It is October, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I had my mammogram today. Since October is my birthday month, I usually have my yearly tests done during this month.  Good to have all that finished for another year. 

You know it's 84 degrees out while I am writing this, can you believe it?  And it is still hurricane season.  While other parts of the country are getting ready for cooler weather, we are still dealing with warmth, however much less humidity, yippee!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Early post today

I'm up early as usual, the dogs get me up early.  It is stormy out, thunder and lightning, which the dogs hate.  I have fasting blood work today, so I'm trying not to think about breakfast which I usually eat early too.  Test isn't until 8:30am so it seems like such a long time to wait.

I worked on the t-shirt quilt for my daughter yesterday while watching football, and made more progress than I thought I would.

 I have also been researching  how to wash feather/down pillows.  I inherited all of the feather pillows in our family when my grandmother, and then mom passed away.  Some of them are looking pretty bad, and not smelling too good either.  Many places recommend washing them in a front loader, which means I'd have to go to the laundromat.  My home washer is a top loader.  Even though I'd check for weak spots in the pillow ticking and put on a pillow cover, I'd be so afraid to lose all the feathers in someone's commercial washer if something were to happen.  I'm going to do more research while I wait for some good weather again.  I know that drying them thoroughly is important, and I'd like to hang them outside when we have few good dry days. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Company has gone, back to the old routine

Our company left Saturday morning, sheets are washed and back on the bed, towels are washed and hanging back up in the bathroom.  Back to the normal routine but with good memories to look back on.  I'm currently working on a T-shirt quilt for my daughter.  Hamburger Vegetable soup is in the crock pot.  It's raining here today, after a long spell without. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bellingrath Gardens

My sister-in-law and I went to Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, AL.  The weather was perfect.  There was still plenty in bloom, and workers were busy stringing Christmas lights about the gardens in preparation for their Christmas lights show which begins the day after Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Blues

My daughter has gone home, the weekend went by way too fast.  And oh do I miss her.  With a lump in my throat I am going about the day's activities.  The good thing is that my sister-in-law & her hubby are coming in from San Diego for a visit, so I'm keeping myself busy.  They will arrive this evening. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Owie Owie & Goodie Goodie

As luck would have it I did something to my lower back on Wednesday.  I've been flinging things to drop off at Goodwill, so it's no wonder.  I really thought that water aerobics would help me on Thursday, and while I was in the water I was feeling rather good.  Got out and it was another story...By Friday morning I was in the hurt locker.  Couldn't stand, couldn't sit.  I got in to see the chiropractor yesterday morning and found relief for about 8-9 hours before it all started to flare up again.  (owie)

My daughter Nikki came in last night from Missouri!!  (goodie) She is in town for a wedding today.  I thought we could go to Zumba together this morning, but that's out of the question, still having back issues and just don't want to take any chances as more company is coming in on Monday.  Of course the nursing school decided to give a test next week, so Nikki is going to be studying during her free time anyway, so best laid will be a quick weekend with her anyway as she has to fly back to MO tomorrow. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Where did the week go?

I've been busy with customers, getting some cleaning done, and no personal quilting at all.  My plan this weekend is to finish straightening the sewing room.  I have so many projects that I want to finish before the end of the year, which when I think about it, will be here before I know it.  Yikes!!  My hubby did help me hang some quilts in the bedroom that I just painted. 
Bed quilt, I think this was one of the Turning Twenty patterns

Original wallhanging using some of the fabrics from the bed quilt in the room

This quilt reminds me of the mountains of Colorado where we once lived.
Quilt is called Garden Gate by Rosemary Walker from the book called Bright Quilts From Downunder, 13 color-charged projects

This quilt was purchased at a store in Estes Park Colorado.  It is handquilted and made by an Amish woman

Table runner called Spicy Spiral Table Runner from School House Quilts
This was made with bridal fabrics, just for fun because I thought it would make a nice dresser scarf.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The valance pattern is from Simplicity #9566

Finally something to show for my efforts!

I spent the weekend getting some odds and ends finished in the bedroom that I just painted.  I have some quilts to hang on the walls, but I did get a lined valance finished.

This took a lot of fabric, it called for 4 yards of main fabric and 4 yards of lining.  There was some waste but it sure busted a bunch of stash fabric.  I am a member of Stashbuster and have been participating in the 100 yard dash from the stash for this year.  To date I have used over 179 yards of fabric.  Can you believe it?  That's a lot of fabric.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

yummy stuffed squash

The first link with the stuffed squash recipe in my last post was so good.  I didn't have currants so I used dried cranberries, craisins.  This recipe would be good in acorn squash too. 

Sweet Dumpling Squash

We were at the produce stand on Thursday and I bought some squash I had never seen before called sweet dumpling squash:

Sweet dumpling squash

I found 2 links for recipes:

Sweet Dumpling Squash

The first link sounds good for a main meal so I may try it tonight.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Not much quilting this week

I started to tackle the guest bedroom on Wednesday.  Painting is done, carpet is cleaned.  Today DH and I moved the furniture back in.  I still have to hang the blinds back up, and I need to make a curtain, or some kind of window treatment.  I did buy some new rugs for the room.  I'm going to hang some of my small quilts on the walls, I might as well use them.  I will post pics when I get my window curtain finished.  So glad that we didn't have the problems that we had in the bathroom.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New crop of strings

Does it ever end?

I did get all of my unruly scraps cut into nice stacks, but you know it generated a whole bunch of strings!  That's not bad, it refreshes my string and crumb collection, giving it new life.  But it never ceases to amaze me how far one piece of fabric goes, even a fat quarter!  I've never followed & documented the life of a fabric in my possession but wouldn't that be interesting?

New crop of strings and crumbs
These strings are more generously sized than normal, truth is, I was getting tired of cutting and just wanted to finish.  But I have found in the past that some fatter strings are nice to have.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Scraps are project-ready

It took me a couple of days but I was able to get that pile of scraps cut into nice stacks of 10" squares, 5" squares and a nice bunch of 2.5" strips.  Now I can get out my pattern books and think of which pattern to make with these goodies.



Monday, October 4, 2010

Some goals for the week...

I sometimes hesitate to list goals because life takes different turns and I'm always adjusting to get through the day.  But things do seem to be piling up and there has to be some control! 

My committment to a healthier lifestyle is a major part of my day/week.  Making it to the YMCA for workouts and then eating healthy can really take up some time.  My quilting business is a major focus and I try to keep customer quilts moving and finished on time.  Then there is the usual household stuff, laundry, grocery shopping, blah blah.  I also hope to get a bedroom painted this week, clean the carpet in that room, and find a new curtain, hang up pictures, etc.  I hope this endeavor goes better than the bathroom "sprucing up". 

And then there is this:

 My fabric stash is huge, I'll admit to that.  But the yardage is all arranged nice and neat on shelves by color.  Fat quarters and half yard pieces are all organized in bins, 2.5" strips, smaller strips and smaller blocks are all tucked away, but for some reason I always have two bins full of what I call chunks.  That is anything smaller than a fat quarter, or a regular 1/4 yd.  And it includes all the trimming from my backings after I finish one of my personal quilts or charity quilts.  And it grows and grows. 

The problem is that I usually hesitate to cut scraps up until I know what I'm going to need them for, but after a while it gets out of hand.  So my thought for this week's, down and relaxation time, is to cut 10" squares like layer cakes, and 5" charms from this unruly pile.  What is left can be cut in 2.5" strips, which I use a lot.  After that the small stuff goes into my string and crumb bins, which are all sorted by colors.  I'd really like to get all of the above into packages like this:

Here is the the result of a couple of hours yesterday, cutting into 10", 5" squares and 2.5" strips.  Since I have a fair amount of quilting books that use cake layers and charms in the patterns, I'm hoping that I can get a handle on this mess.  That little bag of neatly trimmed squares sure looks better than the piles.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Some potholders finished!

Since I went on and on about the potholders earlier I figured I'd better get some posted for you all to see.

These are going to get put away for Christmas gifts.  And as you can see, I used crumbs and strings.  Yards and yards of pretty fabric, and I have to play with scraps, but I can't help myself.

Pot holders, Potholders, Hot Pads...Oven mitts...What do you call them?

My Sunday is going to be a quiet one.  DH will be sleeping most of the day, he worked last night.  I'm looking forward to watching some football, but you know I can't just watch TV, I have to be working on something "fabricky".  I thought I'd make a few potholders, hot pads, whatever you call them.  I like to have some items ready to gift for the Christimas season.  Yesterday I did a search for free patterns but nothing really got me all that excited...I guess maybe potholders are not all that exciting...but they could be.  I did find a few patterns from my searches which I will share a bit later.

Oven mitts are fairly straight forward in my opinion, an oversize shape of a hand, make two sandwiches, sew them together and turn inside out.  Trim with bias tape, Got it.

I like oven mitts but I prefer the flat hot pad with a pocket for your hand and no thumbs.  One of my favorite purchased patterns is from Calico Moon Handcrafts and the pattern is called Too Hot To Handle.  It features 5 different patterns with a common theme of a rectangle or square shape with a pocket.  Hence the Five Pocket Potholders.  The pattern is written with such humor that one can't resist the impulse to sit down and make a few right then and there. 

The pattern on the left is another of my favorites.  Handy Heart Potholders by Classic Crafts, Eva Holen, 425-827-2313 and has an email address but you can find it here on Lisa Moore's website, Quilts With A Twist, Lisa Moore from Sitka Alaska.  I use this pattern if I'm being fancy shmancy.

I did find some free patterns in my search yesterday, I promised I'd share with you.  The first one is from Moda Bake Shop and it's a Chenille Hot Pad  and there is another free pattern on Moda Bake Shop called Quilted Hot Pads by Bonnie from Cotton Way.  Both are worthy of a try.  The third and favorite free pattern I found is Retro Fun: Quilted Mitt Pot Holders from  Be sure to check this one out because it is cute, cute cute!!

If my creative juices are flowing I can come up with a few of my own creations and I like to start with a sandwich that I do on my longarm machine.  This one pictured is a layer of that silvery stuff, a layer of Insul-Bright, a layer of cotton batting and a layer of terry cloth (100% cotton).  I make the sandwich about 36" long by about 20-22 inches wide, or as wide as a chunk of Insul-Bright (by Warm Company).  Then I quilt the whole thing in a few quick swipes and I have the base of a hot pad.

From here I slice the size I want and add a top pocket of whatever I choose.  Remember those Halloween pot holders;

I flipped the terry cloth side facing up of course and added a pocket inspired from the Too Hot To Handle Pattern.  BUT I should have rounded the corners on these, and I will on my next ones.

I'm not a huge fan of that silvery stuff, but I purchased 2 yards of it (what was I thinking?) and it is taking me forever to use it up.  If I don't want to use good fabric on the side of the hot pad that will get hot, I like to use a heavier fabric, and that old fashioned pillow ticking works good.  But a heavy cotton twill or duck cloth would work, I'd think.  I've heard of people using old blue jeans too. 

There's a big discussion in cyber space about what to fill hot pads with.  All agree that cotton batting is the safest, polyester batting will melt with the heat.  But how many layers, whether to use the Insul-Bright, and how about old bath towels as a padding inside, sure why not?  I say, keep safety in mind at all times, but use what you have on hand.  Back in the day there was no such thing as Insul-Bright.  And as for the outer fabric, heck use from your stash, scraps, strings, use it up, make it scrappy or make it fancy shmancy, after all they are just hot pads? pot holders?  mitts?

Friday, October 1, 2010

TGIF Got my car back

I'm glad that it's Friday, I finally got my car back today after going without for the week.  It wasn't that bad being down to one vehicle, but my husband's truck is so big and I have trouble parking it, backing it up...I remember my parent's only having one car for many many years.   We didn't just hop in the car on a whimm, everything was planned as we did our errands & shopping.  And I think I turned out okay.

I still managed to make it to my water aerobics  all this week.  And it was nice to be home more than I usually am.  I worked on a customer quilt today and finished it.  Tomorrow is Zumba!