Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Civil War Chronicles is Bound, Labeled, Done!

I finally finished the last bit of handwork on the Civil War Chronicles quilt this morning, just in time to call it a finish for February; good thing it is a Leap Year!  I may try using this quilt on our guest bed.  I think it could work as a bedspread if I used bed risers to raise the height about 2 inches. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jacob's Ladder is is Flimsy

If I am going to continue making large quilts, I really need to get a bigger design wall.  This top ended up being 72 X 91 inches, much larger than I thought when I began the project.  I used an existing pattern that was based on 1 ½ inch strips and I was working with 2 inch strips.  This photograph doesn’t really show the outer border.  I have so many other projects pulling at me that I am glad I got to this point.  It isn’t finished until it has been quilted and bound, of course, but at least it’s a top.

Monday, February 27, 2012

At Work on Dear Jane® Blocks and Wall Quilt

Once I started working on Dear Jane® blocks last week, I decided to keep on going.  If you use the numbering method in Brenda Papadakis’ book these are B-10, Jud’s Trophy; B-12, Starflower; B-8, Water Lily; and B-11, Melissa’s Cross.   I confess I have given myself permission to cheat on some of these blocks so as to get better results.  Jane Stickle’s Water Lily block was pieced with lots of inset seams.  I elected to applique the entire block.

I still have lots of batik scraps from the bag that was gifted to me.  So, maybe I’ll have more to check off my totals soon.

My Hearts Abloom wall quilt is now a flimsy.  I’m debating how to quilt it.  Right now my intention is to do it on my Janome rather than make a trip to the ranch.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Thanks to Debbie at Stitchin' Therapy for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  I am always blown away by the friendliness and generosity of members of the quilting blogging community and greatly flattered that she chose me. 

This award is given to favorite blogs with under 200 followers.
 The Liebster Rules are:
1. Post about your win on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
3. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that have less than 200 followers that 
you think deserve  to be recognized.
5. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

And here are my nominations:

1.  Michelle at Daisy Hill Quilts – My blogging friend from Australia fills her posts with quilting activity reports and tidbits from the world around her including daily egg counts from her “girls”.

2.  Denise at Count it All Joy!! – has given her blog a very appropriate name.  She is a most upbeat person and her posts always lift my spirits.

3.  Kim at Pokeytown Kim – is truly a prolific and talented quilter with diverse projects going all the time.

4.  Annie at  Annie's Quilt Orts – posts frequently and on many subjects.  Her blog is another that lifts my spirits and contributes to a sense of community.

5.  Kathryn at Needles and Pins  -- posts on lots of crafty projects in addition to her love of quilting.  As busy as she is in her many endeavors I am convinced there is no room for boredom in either her life or her blog.

Please visit the blogs of all these talented quilters!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Not My Original Plan for the Day

As I post this I am supposed to be at our local guild’s quilt show working as a volunteer and enjoying the company of many of my quilting friends.  When I got home after my shift yesterday, however, it was abundantly clear that what I hoped was a case of mild seasonal allergies has blossomed into a full blown sloppy cold.  I begged off my duties today and stayed home.  Bummer, all I had time for yesterday was a very quick once-over of the displays and vendor booths.  It was my intention to take checkbook and camera in hand for a nice long visit today. 

Fortunately, the day is not a total quilting loss.  While Bob is out of pocket this morning doing his volunteer tax work for AARP, I have delved into my Jane Stickle (a.k.a. Dear Jane®) project. 

A Sit ‘N Sew friend who is a very prolific quilter has been promising me some of her batik scraps and she brought them with her Tuesday.  Look at this beautiful pile of glorious fabric!  So far I’ve kitted up two blocks and completed a third. 

Here is the block I’ve completed:  B-13, Four Corner Press. 

The good news is we have had two days of glorious rain!  Did I mention it almost always rains when our guild has a quilt show?  The water level has even reached the spillway for the pond near our house, and it looks like the watershed area to our north that feeds our lakes is also getting some decent rain.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Homemade Stitch Caddy

Once in a while I’ll get an idea that just won’t let go of me.  Recently I’ve been doing more handwork.  It seemed like my needle was forever disappearing into a pin cushion or the project.  My spool of thread was constantly unraveling and tangling in the bottom of my basket, my needle threader was never handy and my scissors were always just out of reach.  I had seen a quilting friend’s little stitch caddy made out of wood that conveniently organized all her handwork tools.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find one locally or on-line.  It may still be available, but I wasn’t quite sure what I should call it when I did my searches.  So, I decided to make my own.

I found this cute little tin at, where else, our local library thrift store for 35 cents.  The spool holder is one of my husband’s golf tees.  The magnet that holds my needle when it’s not in use came from some kind of toy that my grandsons have outgrown.  And the scissors holder is an empty spool.  Everything except the magnet which adheres by itself is glued to the tin’s lid.  When it’s not in use, the lid is put back in place and everything is stored together. 

This may not be an idea that helps anyone else, but I’m certainly enjoying it.  I'm linking up with Connie's site today.  Be sure and check it out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Design Wall Monday -- 02/13/2012

The center of my Jacob’s Ladder quilt is complete and now I am ready to consider whether or not to move forward with my original plan to add borders.  Sometimes, I prefer omitting them.  My collection of blue and neutral scraps is a lot lighter than it used to be.

We made a last minute decision to go to the ranch for two days last week.  When you spend time in the country, you expect to see wildlife.  Over the years we’ve seen exotic game from nearby ranches including a fallow deer.  Several years ago a pair of emus visited us before moving on.  It is quite common to spot raccoons, skunks, bobcats, feral hogs, and the native white tail deer. 

Last week we were visited by this group of goats that found a way through the fence that divides our property from a neighbor.  They are relatively tame and hung around the house for several hours.  We have been in conversation with the neighbor.  As the goats have access to food and water and apparently go back and forth easily, we are not under a lot of pressure to round them up immediately.  It will take some coordination to get them home before fence repairs can be made.

I didn’t have a project ready for the quilter so it was a perfect opportunity to continue going through the boxes of stored items we have not used since our move to Texas.  Several weeks ago we packed a pickup truck load of items for a charity garage sale.  At that time I discovered some boxes had water damage.  Fortunately, the boxes of photographs were okay and we moved them to what we think is a more protected area. 

Judy Laquidara’s Design Wall Monday post at Patchwork Times is loaded with inspiration for quilters.  Be sure and check it out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Design Wall Monday -- 02/06/2012

Here’s what I’m kitting up for Sit ‘N Sew tomorrow.  Several months ago I talked about doing a project using the technique explained in Margaret Miller’s book:  Strips That Sizzle.  I put it off when I realized that I needed to add more selections to my greens and teals. 

My greens are cut and ready to be stitched into panels.  As long as I keep them in correct sequence, it should be an easy thing to work on despite the distractions of chatting with my friends tomorrow.  Hand work is great for those days, but I am so ready for a change of pace.

Strips that Sizzle projects require two color families.  Here are my purples and lavenders which I will hopefully cut into strips later today or sometime this week.  A couple of the fabrics were actually purchased at a quilt store in Alaska last summer.  I love it when a project brings back happy memories.

The fabric on top is something of a puzzle.  When you set it next to the greens is looks like a very pale lavender.  When you put it by the purples, it looks green, so I may not be able to use it in this project.

Wanda Hanson at Exuberant Color has made several gorgeous quilts using this technique.  You can see some of them by clicking on the “Strips That Sizzle” label on her side board.

My design wall today is empty as I continue work on my Jacob’s Ladder quilt and the hand binding and applique projects I’ve posted about recently, but as usual on Monday, I am linking up with Judy Laquidara’s Design Wall Monday posts at  Patchwork Times.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Binding, Binding ...

This is my favoriate spot to do handwork.  We bought this glider for me shortly after moving back to Texas and soon added a good floor lamp.  There is a small television close at hand.  I love this cozy little sanctuary.

The Civil War Chronicles quilt is so bulky and heavy however, that I have moved my work location to our kitchen table.  This is a comfortable arrangement, but has two disadvantages…not only can I not watch a television while I’m working, I must listen to whatever Bob is watching.  I’m just not into guns, military history, dangerous wild critters and other such manly topics.  And of course, the constant channel hopping makes for some interesting dialog.  Oh well, I’m a little over half way done on this project so maybe we’ll get through it soon.

Around midnight last night we woke to a very heavy thunderstorm.  It was pretty much isolated to our area, but the rains came fast and hard and there was enough run off to fill the pond near our house.  This is the fullest it has been in at least 18 months.  Unfortunately, the water shed area that feeds the lakes and our water systems got almost nothing and remains at record lows.  The gauge at our ranch 25 miles from here also did not register any rain.  For the moment, at least, we are celebrating what we did get.

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Acquisition for Sewing Room

During a visit to our local library thrift store earlier this week, I spied this little oak end table that is in remarkably good used condition.  I have been trying to decide how to make more efficient use of a little nook between a sewing cabinet and my design wall.  Whatever I used had to be less than 26 inches tall so the sewing cabinet's work surface could be opened.  This little piece fit the space limitations perfectly.  It even has a little cut out that is just large enough for the Craftsman Tote that I use to transport my sewing implements for Sit ‘N Sew Days and retreats. The top is big enough for my audio disk player and the piece is light enough to relocate to the family room when I need extra side tables for gatherings.  I didn’t buy it on my first visit, but waited a few days to think about it.  When I went back and it wasn’t where I had seen it, I was sure I had missed my chance.  Fortunately, I eventually found where it had been moved.  I’m so glad it was still available.