Monday, February 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 02/28/2011

Mix Master Brights is finally a flimsy.  I had to hang it side ways to get it on my design wall, and because my arms couldn’t reach over a table to straighten it on the right side, it looks wonky where it isn’t.  It measures 78 X 56 inches.  The colors in the photograph don't do justice to the outer border, which is much brighter than it appears.  As soon as the back is pieced and my order of thread arrives, it will be ready for quilting. 

Someday maybe I’ll purchase a specialized quilting software.  In the interim, I sometimes use a spreadsheet application to help me figure border and sashing calculations.

Check out Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are up to this week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tote Bags

This is a busy time of year for my husband.  Last week he was out of pocket quite a bit doing AARP tax volunteer work and making a quick trip to the ranch to check for freeze damage.  I found myself wanting some mindless stitching therapy and decided to stitch up the tote bags I had kitted the prior week.  One of items on my Active Projects for 2011 was to finish 6 tote bags using remnants from my stash to restock my gift drawer.  I've met that goal. 

I also used the time to get acquainted with my new Kindle.  I received an Amazon gift certificate for Christmas that was burning a hole in my pocket so finally made the plunge.  So far, I’ve only downloaded some of the free books available, but I can see why the device is so popular.  It’s easy to read, lightweight, compact, and just has a nice feel to it.  I’ve started tucking it into my purse when I anticipate wait-time during the day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 02/21/2011

Saturday was the first opportunity I have had in several months to attend the Dear Jane Club at our local quilt shop.  My good friend, Jeanette, can whip out these little blocks at near blinding speed, but I struggled to get just these three done:  I-1, Ralph & Nelda’s Wedding; J-6, Granny Weaver; and K-12, Doris’s Dilemma.  The quilt center consists of 139 blocks, plus a gazillion border triangles.  These blocks bring me to a total of 39 completed blocks.  I haven’t decided whether I’ll attempt the triangles and scalloped edge.  I would really love to, but my progress has been incredibly slow.

Many of the blocks require appliqué, and I will be attending a workshop on appliqué techniques in March. 

And for a moment of personal indulgence…. 

My dogs, Harley and Chloe, like each other and play together endlessly, but they rarely share personal space like a bed.  So, I was pleased to see this scene last week, even if it only lasted a few moments.

Be sure and visit Judy’s  Patchwork Times and see what other quilters are up to.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 2/13/2011

I've done a lot of cutting since last week's post trying to kit up remnants for tote bags and pot holders, so little has changed on my design wall other than the completion of my last big block for this quilt.  Several appealing catalogs have arrived in the past few weeks and I'm really struggling to stick to my goal of reducing my scrap stash and backlog of projects before investing in anything other than what's needed to finish WIPs.  I did order fabric to sash and border the quilt pictured above, so I'm not counting that!

Stop by Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are up to.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day -- Tomorrow!

It only seemed appropriate that I have something with hearts in my blog today, in honor of Valentine's Day tomorrow.

I had only been quilting about a year when I came across this book at our local quilt store.  I decided to learn how to paper piece because I was so impressed with the results my friends were getting with this technique.  This mini-quilt hangs in my sewing room. 

Like much of the country, we have had an unusually cold winter for our area.  Frozen rain chains, snow and icy streets may be all too familiar to some who read this blog, but they are an unpleasant novelty to me.  I count myself blessed that I did not have to venture out in the elements.  This week we are expecting temperatures in the 70s.  What a very welcome change!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 2/7/2011

Another big block done….and one more left to do.  Hopefull,y I will finish the last one later this week when I join friends for some sewing fellowship.   Then I will need to make a decision on how to set the blocks with sashing and borders.

Check out what others are up to on Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Getting Ready to Sew

My favorite place to cut out projects is on my kitchen island.  It’s just the right height and has great lighting.  Unfortunately, it only works for smallish cuts.  Anything of substantial size, like trimming a quilt so binding can be attached requires that I break out my cutting table.  That’s a bit of a chore since it is tucked away in the laundry room and can only be set up in the middle of our family/dining room.  Bob doesn’t complain, but it is a bit of a nuisance.  So once I’ve moved it in place I try to do as much project cutting as possible.  My first chore this weekend was trimming my newly quilted “Scraps Have Value” quilt.    That will be my project during the Super Bowl this evening.  Since one of my goals for 2011 was to restock my supply of tote bags and pot holders for my gift drawer.  I delved into my supply of fabrics that I’m ready to move out of my stash and went to town.  I also have a kit that I want to cut out before putting up the table.  It will probably be my take along project for a quilting retreat this spring.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, I usually don’t follow pro-football, but I am married to a man who was raised in Wisconsin and we have lots of relatives there.  So, this year I guess I better pay attention to more than just the commercials, unless, of course, I want to be kicked out of the family.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My First Knitted Pair of Socks

I finished knitting the second sock last night.  Since I was having trouble getting warm, I decided to wear them to bed, and they really felt good.  Hopefully the next pair won’t have quite so many flaws.

It was 14 degrees this morning, cold by any standard, especially for a town in Central Texas.…and look at the flag on the golf green behind our house.  It’s windy, but it’s not flapping.  The greens were heavily watered last night in order to protect the grass.  This is how the flag froze.