Friday, December 16, 2011

Seasons Greetings!

It is December 16th. My birthday is Saturday. We bought a real Christmas Tree this year. It has been a very rough year for most of my family. I would like to end this year with "Good Cheer" and "Happy Memories".

We have one daughter home with us and a wonderful grandson here as well. Louis will be 2 years old in January. Its been a few years since we decorated the house. I think that is just what we need, some Christmas decorating to make everything festive! Maybe even bake some cookies to get the holiday smell into our home!

First we are going to need a few Christmas stockings for my daughter and grandson. Hopefully he will learn to recognize his name! Wouldn't that be a plus. Next we need to clean up the living room and get cracking with the decorations! There are a lot of very old ornaments I have not seen for a while. We will have to make a few for the Grandbaby!

So decorating the tree is full swing. Baby Louis is thrilled at looking at the lights and the ornaments. His mom is working hard putting up the lights and ornaments, Christmas music playing softly. It will be a very special Christmas this year!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Orca Bay Part 2 Pretty in Pink

Sewed a little yesterday. Love the way the pink strings are coming out. Looks like candy! They sew up very fast. Have 40 done. Will probably get them all done today! I am using painters paper as foundation. Very thin and cheap. It looks like brown wrap and is 15 " x 180 ft for 4 bucks. I had bought it to do Roll Roll Cotton Boll. Still have not started that one. 

I made all my blocks with the center string the same. I figured if there is a specific direction in placement, this will create a secondary design element. Not sure I like the one piece that is brown and pink. My daughter does. It has attitude! I guess a little attitude never hurt anyone. LOL!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Orca Bay Part 2!

So I finished the 224 HGU plus 12 more just in case some are wonky. Still have to trim and square up but the sewing is done.

Now to start sorting strings and getting my paper piecing tissue to start sewing. I decided to look through my ancient clothing patterns and use one of those. Should rip off easily.

I found one that is my mothers from the 60's she never even used. 
It reminds me of something Donna Reed would wear. Fitted and don't forget the Pearls!!
The cost of the pattern in 1960's  was 60 cents!  The next one was a Kaftan I must have made 10 times in the 70's. Cost of pattern $1.00!  The kid pattern $2.25 circa 1982  and the Baptism outfit pattern also 1982 is $3.00. Try to buy that pattern now for under 10.00!

Well the ladies in the Forum are telling me that I should not cut up vintage patterns that have never been used. May be able to sell them on eBay.  Okay, okay, will rethink it.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter.

I changed my color selection 3 times already. I had to really think of the person that will be using this quilt. I decided on my youngest Daughter. Her favorite colors are brown, pink, and teal.  So time to get cracking.

So far I have made a dozen HGU. All of them are short a hair. So I am stopping and starting over. I checked my 1/4 in seam and it is good. This only leaves my cutting. Time to cut more strips!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Christmas Pineapple

I have not been able to post for a while. Was in car accident in end of October. No broken bones but lots of discomfort. No sewing for 2 weeks, boy was that sad. My mental therapy has always been to sew or make something creative just to get my mind off what ails me.

In that vain I signed up for a Quick Doll Quilt Swap.  Cutting the strips was an exhausting ordeal. I did over cut as we all do. Then had to take a nap! I am not a napper. Two hours later, I came back to try and sew something. It was a challenge just to sew for 15 to 20 minutes. One little block done.
It is coming along nicely. The theme is Christmas or Wintery. So we are trying to get them done for the Holidays. Time to rest again.

About a week before the accident I received in the mail my Pineapple Ruler and book "Trash to Treasure Pineapple Quilts" by Gyleen Fitzgerald !  Love the book and ruler. I have always wanted to make a pineapple quilt but did not want to do it paper pieced because I tend to break stitches getting out the paper. The first block did take me about one hour. Slow and steady with 2 sessions of sewing. Once I had my sample block it did go faster because I knew exactly the placement for each round. I made 6 blocks, 4 for the doll swap, one for AAQI and one for me, that I will turn into a new mini for my work cubicle. The beauty of this method is that you don't have to control the placement. You can design on the fly or do it more controlled. I will be using the remainder of the strips to do a totally scrappy placement and see what evolves!

In posting the picture, I can see that two of the blocks are sewn in reverse to what my intention was. I am going to leave it the way it is. Concussion confusion! I have been staring at it for 2 days trying to see what was odd. The odd was me! LOL!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whats in a Name?

This is the story of Sophia's Quilt.
My husbands good friend had given birth to a lovely little girl around 2004. I told him that I would make a quilt. Time past and I completely forgot about it. My husband lost touch with his friends for several years. One day last year (2010) he received an email from them. Dear husband reminded me about the quilt. I was busy making quilts for our daughters, friends, AAQI, and assorted online swaps. I kept putting him off because I just didn't have the time. He bugged me so much that I went online and ordered a special selection of  fabrics for Sophia's Quilt. Something girlie. We have three daughters but none of them are especially fond of pastels, flowers, or bows. You get the idea.

I found a great pattern called Arrowhead by Anita Grossman Solomon in a Quilt Magazine. Loved it. I cut everything out,  sewed and sewed and after several weeks I had all the blocks made. Pinned them up on my design wall and was happy with blocks. My husband not so much. Anyway I sewed the middle blocks together and ordered more fabric for the borders. While I was waiting for the fabric to arrive, I started a Fun and Done quilt. You quilt it as you go. So when you get to the last block you are done!

  Last year the living room had been very cold due to the tile floors so I thought FUN and Done would be an easy way to make a few dog/cat blankets and throws for us to use.  I had been in an Obnoxious Fabric Swap and had gotten 53 - 10" inch blocks back of some crazy fabrics. Lots of them were bright big prints. It was around February and the online hostess suggested a Superbowl String quilt block sew in. Everyone would sew while the Superbowl was on TV. I got everything cut but didn't get to sewing for a couple more weeks. Months went by and I worked on all kinds of stuff and my husband kept asking  about Sohpia's quilt. I was working on the Fun and Done quilt one day when he came in. I told him I would get to it. He asked me if this was Sophia's quilt. I said no it is for us. He then told me that he liked it better than the one I was doing  and wanted it to be for Sophia instead. FINE! So now I had to make it bigger than I planned. I cut out an additional 24 blocks.

It is now 10 months later. I have finished the quilt. Label and all. It is ready to mail and he does not have an address for them. Apparently they got caught up in the hurricanes that hit NY, NJ a few months back and got flooded out.  So I am waiting for an address. AH it gets better! My husband shows me the last email he received from them . They are a lovely family. I'm reading over his shoulder and I see a pretty little girl named Sonya. Who is Sonya? Why, that is the girl you have been making the quilt for, he states innocently. WHAT!
 Are You Kidding Me! For 10 months he has been asking me about Sophia's quilt. The label says SOPHIA!!!!. AGRHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
It could have been worst. I was short some backing fabric and kept toying with the idea of making blocks that spelled out Sophia. I would have surely been a arrested for assault if I had to rip out six blocks and replace them. He is a lucky man that after 39 years I love him enough not to knock him out with a frying pan!

Sonya's Quilt.

 P.S. Package on the way!   Quilt  has been received! They love it! Happy dance here! ;o}

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hearts /upon Squares

This is the little quilt I made for AAQI for August. I had mailed it without photographing it or writing down the quilt number. I sifted through hundreds of quilts until I found it.
The background was on my sewing table for months. I just couldn't think of anything to finish it with. The whole month was going badly. I finally said to myself, "What does this quilt need to finish it?" A hug! So that is what I did. I added hearts. Actually, I am the one that needed the hug. It came out nice in the end.

So while I was sewing the baby was playing with the plastic tub of scraps.I thought this was great!

Then I started to think about the 20 plus tubs that I have sorted into sizes using the the Bonnie Hunter method for leaders and enders, Will I find them in a heap one day. UGH! Could very well happen and it would be my own fault! LOL!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

September already?

Time really flew by. August was a rough month for us. My youngest daughter came back home with her 1 1/2 yr old son. What a cute little guy. Always smiling. He runs around the house doing about 25 mph. It is funny and exhausting to watch.

It has been about 4 yrs since we've had a toddler in our home. We had 24 hours to baby proof the house, and still we missed a lot of areas. Spend 2 more days moving furniture and bedrooms around.  In the end they have their own space and privacy.

We live in Florida. It is still warm during the day, but the nights are starting to get cooler. I didn't realize he didn't have a blanket his size with him. So Grandma made a emergency blanket from a baby top that I had in my UFO bucket. It took 2 hours. He now has a blanket. It was an I spy gone wrong....but he loves it and we have a great time looking at all the critters on it.

 It is harder to sew with a little one following you around. Finally I found things in my sewing room that he can play with. Some stuff animals and a plastic bin of scraps. He had a blast. In the meantime I am realizing that I have to put the rotary cutter, scissors, and pins back in the drawer just about every time I put them down.  I keep remember when I was a kid, my mother stepped on a pin and it went through her toe. Ouch!
Been going totally pinless! Glue seams where I can. It worked well on splicing binding together. Actually made it easier to sew them accurately. 

I did finish my Two Color Doll Swap Quilt. It came out just the way I envisioned it! That never happens! I hope that "_________" likes it as much as I do. I did not use a pattern. I just made blocks and took it from there. This is the year I promised myself I would create things that I see in my head instead of following a pattern. This one is called Blooming Friendships.

I was also working on a little quilt for Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative.  They are going to Houston and want to bring 1500 little quilts to sell to raise money for a cure. I think it came out cute. I used some of the fabrics from my Doll Quilt for the roof and background.The house is made from the fabric I used on the back of the quilt. Last month I did make one with hearts and 4 patches but I forgot to photograph it before I mailed it. Oh well at least I mailed it. It is really fun. You can make anything you want. only rule is the size. 9 x 12 Priority Envelope size. I called it Seminole Fall because of the way I did the roof and fall because of the pumpkins by the door. I was thinking about fall starting this month, pumpkin pie, turning leaves and crisp clean air. Well the crisp clean air would apply if I was up north. Still a steam bath during the day here in FL.

Going to take a day off from sewing and vacuum the sewing room. My daughter decided she wanted to make a quilt. She has been in my sewing room all week in the wee hours. We took turns because it is a very small room. She  shopped my stash and we bought a couple 1/2 yards at JoAnn's. She is not using a pattern either. It is coming out really well. She learn to quilt when she was 8 yrs old. Even entered a quilt in a quilt show that year in the Kids category. She hasn't sewn in years but the bug bit her to do something creative. I can't wait to see it finished.!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sunbonnet Sue

Well it is July already. Where did June go? It was my 38th Wedding Anniversary! We celebrated  by going to a little hole in the wall restaurant just about 4 miles up the road. We really don't dine out much. Homebodies! It was really a treat to get some homemade Italian food that I didn't make myself. 

I have been working on Sunbonnet Sue. The theme this time is State Sues. I picked NY. Since I lived in NYC a million years ago (1965) I chose NYC. I only have a week left to finish my Sues! I am short four Sues and don't want to purchase anymore fabric so I have to get more creative for the last four. The fabric is from City Quilters in NYC. They have a line of NY fabric that they created. This one is of Time Square. So Sue is on an adventure in NYC!

When I finish my Sues, I will start working on my July Alzheimer's Quilt. The theme is Christmas or Holiday. I will have to see where my scraps lead me....or the giant rubbermaid tub of holiday prints I have, just waiting for that special quilt!

Monday, June 20, 2011


This was a nice vacation. Didn't go anywhere but got a lot of stuff sorted and put away. Dropped off a trunk full of stuff to Salvation Army. It was also my 38th Wedding Anniversary. We went out to diner in a little whole in the wall restaurant my daughter found. Good Italian food with Frank Sinatra singing in the background. So much food, got a doggie bag for the leftovers.

Finished my Alzheimer's quilt for June. Came out really sweet. My challenge was to use an orphan block that had been sitting around on my ironing board for 3 months. It was left over from my first Small quilt swap. What should I do with it. After looking at it for a while I decided that I either wanted to create a story or make a scene. But what? While looking out my sewing room window, I kept thinking about the rotten caterpillars that ate all my pepper plants last year.  And so a theme was born! I call it:
Midnight Snack

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Amish we will go!

The Doll Swap XII is Amish style quilt. Easy peasy, right?  Wrong! Boy did I struggle with this. I started with a nine patch but I made the blocks 3 1/2 inches so one 9 patch ended up 9 inches. Too big.. Then I decided to make small 4 patches and alternate them with something but what was the something. I just couldn't get over the solid colors. I was trying to avoid using black but that was a big mistake. The dullness of the solids screamed for black. I went to about a dozen Amish websites and then researched the Pennsylvania Dutch. That just confused me more. I kept thinking, keep it simple. Don't over think it.

In the end I did use black, gold , red and blue. I ran out of red 2 inches from the end of the binding and had to scrounge for two little slivers, pieced together to finish it off.

June Bug

Well it has been a very long May. I am glad it is over. My middle daughter move back home, from
Seattle WA, after being gone for 5 years. It is quite an adjustment having someone underfoot after all these years. Quite a lot of head banging while we get use to each other again. Lots of tension and stress. Hoping that it is a short stay as it is time for her to get on with her life. The economy and job search being to bad made this move necessary.

So we had to clean out the back room for her and now I have tubs of stuff to find new hiding places for. I tried real hard not to mess up my sewing room after all that work cleaning it up in April. I only ended up with four tubs on the floor in there. They have to go because I can not sandwich my quilts on the drafting table, since I can't move it to the center of the room.  The room is only 10 x 10 ft.

None the less I have made a Alzheimer's Art quilt. I am starting to enjoy the small quilt projects. They don't take up to much time or space and it is a good way to use scraps and raise money for Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. I feel that one day I will go down that path and maybe there will be hope for me to atleast recognize my loved ones.
This one was a challenge to myself to just use the scraps that were on top of my cutting table. I keep it pretty clean because of Puddy, the quilt inspector. She is a curious cat that likes to eat thread if she can get her paws on it.
After I finished this one, started on my Amish Doll quilt for the swap on quilters forum. Nice bunch of ladies. Hopefully I will get to meet some of them one day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Alzheimers Art Quilt initiative

Well it has been a rough couple of weeks.
I finally finished the little quilt I made for Alzheimers. Mailed it out last week, just waiting to see when it is posted.  I followed the directions from a "Super Mini Quilter" named Martha Wolfersberger. She posted a pattern called Cranberry Relish. Mine was a bit off so I called it Wonky Relish. If you get a chance to look at all the Priority quilts, your jaw will drop when you see hers!  Look for them under the $1000 Promise.
Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative

I struggled with those 1 inch pieces and gave up. The 4 patch finishes at a 1/2 inch! I didn't even do the secondary block, which actually would have been easier than the star. Also being left handed my star spins counter clockwise. OOPS!

I was going to throw it away, but then remembered that Ami Sims mother continued to make her paint stencils even after being so affected by the disease. I thought to myself, "Would I stop creating and sewing if I were afflicted and my work was not quite perfect"? NO! I would continue to sew and quilt until I could no longer sew on my machine, hold a scissor or a needle. It is my joy and my bliss.

Will start a new one today. Had a wisdom tooth pull yesterday and can't really go anywhere. Good excuse to sew! Do I really need an excuse?? LOL
Happy Quilting

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Time for a change

I spend the last few weeks staring at my fabric stash trying to figure out what I have, how long I have had some of those fabrics, and what can I do to organize it. I can't keep buying fabric! Or can I!!! LOL! My space is limited. The room is 10x10 but the shelves are only 36 inches long and 18 inches deep and 8 feet high. The size of a hall closet. I have over spill in my hallway in six drawer organizer full to exploding. Instead of rummaging through my stash I buy more.  I have spend a week sorting and putting the colors into clear plastic tubs. Now I don't have enough shelves but at least i can grab the colors I need without an avalanche of fabric falling to the ground! I have more fabric than I could  possibly use in what is left of my lifetime. Hopefully will get to quilt more when I retire in 5 yrs.

My stash is a history of my past life in fabric. I  know that some of that fabric is from the mid 90's all the way up to the present. The reason there is nothing earlier is because I moved from NJ to Upstate NY in 1995 and left all my fabric behind. I have been sewing since I was 8 yrs old. I never made a quilt, always clothing.  In 1995 I met an artist, her name was Kit. I told her that I was interested in making a quilt but was fearful that I would not be able to do it correctly. She said "Just do it" and the rest is history.

Many of my fabrics are remanents of old projects that I don't even remember. Wasn't big on doing a photo history then. Others, I don't know what I was thinking when I bought it, or if I was the one that actually bought that mauve floral fat quarter.  Still I can't seem to part with the "uglies" in the stash. I found cheddar colored fabric in my stash. I keep trying to get fat quarters of this hard to find color as soon as I see it. Apparently I have done this several times and forgotten. It is one of those colors that makes things pop but too much is overkill....and there it was all the time hiding under a mountain of yellow and gold.

Why do I want to get organized now? Simply put, I want to create my own designs. So many ideas floating in my head but have only tried to do my own thing a few times. I follow patterns like everyone else then change them half way through because that is not really what I wanted it to look like in the first place. So getting my palette ready was my first duty.

Here is a Church that I designed for a hospice patient I was taking care of 1998. She was a preachers wife and was in her 90's. We had decided to move to Florida and I wanted to give her something that would be special to her and that she would want to keep.  It was approximately 14 x 14 machine pieced and quilted.

It was a labor of love. I did the the fences and vines with specialty stitches on my sewing machine.  Her vision was poor. I was afraid that she would not be able to see it well. She touched everything in the quilt and describe the details back to me. Later she asked if it was okay to frame it. I was very happy that she loved it as much as I loved making it.