Monday, December 22, 2014

Even a Tiny Space

Even a tiny space can give me joy.

Daughter's Family move into my 13 x 15 sewing space. Moved my things back into tiny sewing area. About 7 feet of space. Have not been able to sew much due to rotator cuff surgery. Christmas is almost here. So many things I wanted to make for gifts. Yesterday I made 2 pillowcases. Louis decided he wanted to sew with Grandma. I let him put the pins in the pin cushion and cut my threads with his own scissors.  He was in heaven. It felt good to share my love of sewing with him. Future quilter? Maybe!

I have not accomplished all the things I wanted to do this year, but I am blessed with family and friends that watch over me. They pick me up when I am down. Give me a hug when I need one. What better gift can there be. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my Sisters of the Cloth!  

Love Aileen in Florida

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sometimes we just need a little help

As many of you know, I visited my daughter Shara in Seattle in July. I had a terrific time. I got to enjoy her company and see the sites with her.

Last week she was involved in a car rollover accident. With the grace of God she survived. Shara is single and in need of help to get to work and pay the medical bills from this accident. If you would like to help please go to GoFundME

Thank you for your love and support!

Aileen in FL

Sunday, October 12, 2014

World Blog Hop. Show & Share

Around the World Blog Hop! 

I have been tagged by a Quilting Forum Friend Mary Jane Cardwell who was tagged by a friend Ami Krenzel. Two wonderful ladies with a passion for quilting. Check out their blogs.

Around the World Blog Hop. What fun!  I wonder all the time what everyone is working. Why that project? Sometimes life just sends you on a quest. For me the quest has been on going. Quilting is a passion and also the best therapy for my soul and my mind.

These passed two years, I have had several surgeries. Last one was 6 weeks ago on my left rotator cuff. Since I am left handed this made me very sad. No sewing for weeks. What is a girl to do. My hand is super shaky. Pain is rough.

So what do you do when you are a one arm bandit.....Clean drawers! Sewing room drawers. The ones you always promise yourself you will get to.

1. What am I working on??? I am about to try piecing today with  the knee attachment for my Janome. I am left handed and my rotary cuff surgery was on my left shoulder. Still typing with only a few fingers otherwise it becomes a ice bag day when the pain escalates to the "you have been bad" point.  I managed to starch some neutral fabric last night and will see if I can use my AccuQuilter to cut some strips. My son-in-law drew lines on the templates for me so I can sub cut squares. I have a bunch of squares in dozens of colors but no neutrals. These are all from scraps using Bonnie Hunter scrap system. Perfect time to make some 4 patches and nine patches. If I screw them up, well my seam ripper and I will get reacquainted.

Sizes 1.5, 2, and 2.5 inches

I have been buzzing through 2 inch scraps. I currently have 90 Nine Patch blocks to use to make Sister's Choice in a 2 inch size strip instead of 2 1/2 inch size strip. I can do 8 to 10 a day before I get to tired.  We Can Sew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so ecstatic! I also tried Bonnie Hunter Carolina Chain blocks. It is kind of a nine patch. Made 6 of these so far. In the background you see my Chinese food containers in a bin. That is where my Leaders and Enders Spools are stored. I have 100 in each of  3 containers. Another hundred paired up ready to sew in the open container. 

To my left is my TV and another mat. I have the contents of my 2 plastic shoes boxes of 2 inch strips sorted by color. The aluminum pan has all the neutral strips and the green strips for the the star points of Sisters Choice. More than I need but a good mix.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I get an idea and start piecing. Not really knowing where it is going. I don't draw it, I just think about it for a while.  These two quilts are an example of this. Amber needed a new quilt but she is short, he is tall, The battle of the blanket has been ongoing. Someone always ended up with a corner. So I decided to make 2 quilts for their bed. I decided on Bento blocks but when Amber saw the pieced block before I cut them, she wanted both types. I did manage to finish Amber's quilts prior to surgery. Two identical looking quilts. Some fabrics are the same in both. Did Wesleys binding  in red and Ambers in teal. I used every piece of skull fabric. Leftovers are on the back of the quilts.

Then my niece came to visit and says." I love skulls, can you make me one.!" Ha. So I will be collecting some as I go. If I had know that, I could have used the 20 blocks on the quilt backs. It was enough for a third quilt. Oh well, live and learn.

This is their bed made up with both quilts.

Most of the skull fabric was donated to me by Quilters forum friends. What a great bunch of ladies. Always willing to help you. Online sisterhood of the quilt. There are some men too.
I named the quilts Skullduggery 1 & Skullduggery 2. Each quilt measures 80 x 110 inches. No more fighting over covers! LOL!

Amber's Quilts

Wesley's Quilt

I also had to have pulmonary testing in order to be released for surgery. Ended up with a Cpap. So I am now know as "Grandma Borg". Quite a site when I am in bed for the night. A sling and a face mask! Can you tell I am a Trekkie. I have entertained myself by watching a lot of SyFi movies. Second best form of therapy after quilting for me.

3. Why do I create what I do. THERAPY and JOY. I have always made something. I have tried many crafts. Sewing has always been a passion. I love art quilts as well. I had made 23 mini art quilts for Alzheimer's Art Initiative. They were a joy to make and really pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Today I plan to do a few more 9 patches and sub-cut some strips. I sew two 9 inch strips together then cut one single 2 inch square to finish the block. I take the strips after ironing and lay them on the AccuQuilter overlapping, using the drawn lines  and sub-cut into 2 block units. Takes seconds to do. I can cut about 10 strip sets in a few seconds and go on quilting. I may be able to make 15 or 20 today before I get tired.

4. How does my creative process work.  I get ideas every where. From pictures of quilts, gardens, flowers, billboard signs, kids playing in the street. And that really inspiring statement "What IF?" I love to see what happens when you combine fabrics. I do make traditional quilts, but I love art quilts best. I am a machine quilter. I do not have the patience for hand quilting or applique, so "What If" is a very creative statement for me. It leads me into the unknown and fusible web is my best friend.

I have signed up to do the Nesting Round Robin on the Quilt Forum. I just have to find the perfect block! I see this as a opportunity to use a UFO and create something beautiful from a once abandon block. What if....?

Happy Quilting

Aileen in FL.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sept Ouchy!

It has been a while since I blogged. Went to Seattle in July. Had a wonderful time with my daughter Shara. Took me a few weeks to recover time difference.

I am typing with one finger so bare with me on typos and not so great grammar. Friday, I finally had the rotator cuff surgery.  All I can say is thank goodness they only made 4 little holes. The pain is strong but don't even want to think how much more pain there would be if they had to cut more tissue and muscle like in the olden days. Sleep is a joke. Mostly pass out for minutes at a time. I am getting better at dodge the grandchildren! Those little darlings are fast and still think grandma is a ladder. They want to lay claim to my lap and get some grandma hugs. Still they make me smile and I really need to.

August was a blur. I finished Ambers quilts. I also made her husband a vest with 8 inside pockets, front and back. He works outside and though it is in the 90,s work wants him to wear long pants. His office has no AC so there is no relief from the heat. I made the pockets so he could insert some homemade ice bags that stay pliable. Amber found a recipe online for making them with rubbing alcohol and dish soap. She used soft soap instead because it was cheaper. I made Velcro closures in the front and a slots on the sides so he could tighten and loosen vest to accommodate bags. This way he can fit vest to hug his torso. Works great.

I managed to get one Row by Row sown this week, It is from The Quilting Loft in Seattle WA. 
I love it. I do want to modify it and add the Space Needle.

It was fun and fast, The kit has enough to do a second skyline..

Well time to jump back in bed for a nap. I am hoping that I can sew again real soon.

Happy Quilting
Aileen in Florida

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Seattle Fun

I made it safely to Seattle. My daughter met me at baggage about 2 minutes after I got there. It was late night but the town was still alive with activity.

Next morning we were off to Pikes Place Market. What a great place. At the entrance was a big brass pig with a slot in it just like a piggy bank. It is suppose to be good luck to feed this pig!

 Directly behind Miss Piggy was a fish stand. The fish mongers were throwing large fish and yelling what seem to be a familiar chant to the crowd. Everyone yelled back. Who would have thought that fish throwing would be so entertaining. There were food vendors, fruit stands, jerky, spice, jams, local honey, fresh made mini donuts, flowers and art for sale. Loved those Rainer Cherries! Across the way, eateries in abundance and the original Starbucks with a line of about 30 people waiting for their java. Street musicians, artists and a beautiful view of Puget Sound. People laying on the lawn enjoying the view.

We stopped to eat at Turkish Delight. We had the Chicken Kabob Special! Yummy!

Next stop, the ferry heading for Bainbridge. What a beautiful ride. So calming. On the way back we could see the Seattle Space Needle, Pikes Place Market and the Ferris wheel on the shore line. We passed many sail boats cruising the waters.

So calming!
Windy and chilly for this Floridian.


The next day we went Row by Row Quilt shop hopping. Stopped at The Quilting Loft on Market Street in Seattle WA. What a great shop. The ladies were so helpful. Their Row by Row really captured Seattle skyline for me. I can't wait to get started on it!

Next we headed down the road to Keepsake Cottage. A nice fabric store in Country Village in Bothell WA. We got there when they were closing. They were nice enough to let us get the Row by Row and some owl fabric. Wish I had more time to browse. Country Village closed at 6 pm, but I will come back and visit on my next trip. So many nice shops to see.


Next two days I rested while Shara went to work. Spent the day looking at the view from her apartment and petting my fabrics.

Monday July 21 was Shara's 31st birthday! We visited the Seattle Library. Holy Moly! What a library! I think if I lived in Seattle I would spend a large amount of time in this library. You can see the city on every floor on every side. What a view.

 On the ground floor the flooring has quotes in every language in mirror image. So beautiful.

 Reading areas abound on every floor except the 4th floor which is painted in several shades of red and houses the conference rooms.

This is the reading area on the top floor. Very relaxing. Just sat there and looked at the view for a while.

After visiting the Seattle library, we were off to celebrate Shara;s birthday at her favorite restaurant. The Old Spaghetti Factory in Seattle has a Trolley inside. It was fun eating in the Trolley. Food was delicious! Shara was in heaven! Happy Birthday!!

Stain glass windows in the lobby.

We went home and watch some movies!.

 On July 22 we met up with a Quilt Forum friend named Misha at Pacific Fabrics. Did a little damage to the credit card and when next door to Star Bucks to chat a while.

It was wonderful to meet Misha in person. We have chatted online for several years. I hope to see her again when I come back to Seattle.

Shara and I decided at the last minute to go up to Issaquah WA and hit on Gossypium Quilt Shop for one more Row by Row pattern. What a great pattern. I just love this store. This was my second visit. Very friendly owners and staff!

On the way back down to Seattle we stopped at Garlic Crush for dinner. I enjoyed it so much on my first visit to Seattle that I had to visit it again. Tiny place with a lot of foot traffic.  It was as good as it looks.

We did manage to stop at 2 JoAnn fabric shops for supplies. Cutting mat and rotary cutter for Shara. Of course more fabric.

The next day I showed Shara how to make pillowcases! She made 2 owl pillowcases. I hope this is the beginning of a lot of sewing for her.

I had a wonderful time in Seattle with Shara. I hope to visit again next year with my husband in tow!

Aileen in Florida

Monday, July 28, 2014

July is FLY

Hi everyone. July is here and I am flying off to Seattle to see my daughter Shara. Very excited to go on vacation but a bit nervous about flying. So I have been trying really hard to finish those 2 quilts you guys are probably sick of hearing about.  Do want to leave unfinished business behind.

My sister-in-law and daughter came to visit this week. Apparently Jesse likes the quilts. She to is a Skull person. So I promised to add her to my bucket list of quilts to be made. If I had know that in advance I would not have sewn ALL the extra skull fabric into the back of the quilts. LOL! There really was enough for a third quilt in double/queen size...To late. Sigh. I would not want to make the same quilt 3 times anyway. I have  an idea for a wall hanging for her....SHHHHHHHHHHH

Louie is doing great in day care. He is very happy and loves to go. Could we ask for more. I miss having him around.  He met his Great Aunt and second cousin for the first time this week and got on wonderfully with them .  They all went to the beach.  See that happy face! Thumbs Up!


I am taking fabric with me to sew while I am in Seattle. I had hoped to have it all cut out but that never happened because, I could not make up my mind what quilt I wanted to make.  I will figure it out while I am there.

Aileen in FL

Sunday, July 6, 2014

June Adventures

I am starting this post today because I am very excited. My oldest daughter is sewing up a storm! Pillows, curtains and she has started her first wall hanging. Quilt Pox have been spread at last! She says she hates it but has been sewing all month. She has shopped my stash a few times as well. She likes a lot of what I like. Often as she is grabbing fabric, my brain is saying OUCH! I rather she sew than I sit on the fabric.

Today I finished quilting her quilt. Only have to trim and bind it. Her husbands flimsy is all together, sandwiched and ready for quilting!


Tough month for me. Left arm just not working right but I will push on! Made a little pillow for Grandsons new there are 2 kitties. He loves them!

Also made a carry bag for Louis. Everyday he brings his toys in a bag. He has worn out the bottom of several bags. The bags are bigger than he is and he drags them along. I bought some vinyl upholstery fabric and a canvas remnant. I made him a bag with his name on it. I didn't follow a pattern so it came out quite wonky, but he loves it just the same. I will be happy if it lasts him the summer!

 He dragged it all over the house after filling it with his cars and stuff.


Louis started Day Care this week. He really likes it. Always smiling.

Made myself a house dress. I am having rotator cuff surgery soon and need some loose fitting clothes. I made this with bits of fabric from my celestial collection. Was fun to make. Very comfortable. I need to make the next one with a Velcro on left shoulder for ease of dressing the first week.


 I spent the rest of that week cleaning and rearranging bedroom furniture. I don't know how I am going to be able to sleep comfortably after surgery so prepped for all possible scenarios. Removed stuff I trip over or bang into. Spring cleaning and purging stuff. Shredded 7 boxes of tax papers!

 Found a UFO of snowman lying around. I did some FMQ with regular foot. It needs green and red stuff appliqued to it. This was a prototype that I didn't like, so I started over. For finished second version click here. Scroll to bottom. It was from a picture I found on the web. Don't know who designed it. If you do, let me know so I can give credit to artist.  It was just the head on a white background and green boarder.  

Finish Daughters quilts.
Cut out fabric for next quilt to take with me to Seattle.
Make house dress with Velcro shoulder
Piece the sampler quilt. 

Happy Quilting
Aileen in Florida

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

May M&M and Tomatoes

May seems to have flown by quite rapidly. I can't believe Mother's Day and Memorial Day has come and gone. Was great seeing all the flags flying high and proud.

Slow starts this month. Worked on DD quilt. It is mostly quilted but had to set it aside to make curtains for grandson #1. He turned 10 this year. My how time does fly.

I made Logan the quilt last year, days before they arrived from upstate NY. If you look real hard you can see him in bed playing with his iPad mini. That wall color is hard on my brain, but I don't live in that room! LOL!

So my GREEN for RSC14 is the  Pennants. I made 48 of them to use on the curtains. Have 8 left to put his name on.

Today, the last day of the month, I was able to piece the flimsy of my SIL matching  skull quilt. Can't wait to get these finished and go back to making "Smalls"!

Target date is June 25th. Would like this finished for their 11th Anniversary. I had intended this to be done for their 10th. Oh well, better late than never.

Other things on the burner this month :.

I made a Doll Swap Quilt and mailed it out to my partner Lynn. She said she really like it! So glad. The theme was "Modern", but after four attempts, I chucked it and did my own thing. I just could not getting something I like in miniature in the "Modern" flavor. Everything I tried looked better in full size.

Lynn in turn sent me a terrific Modern Quilt. I just love it! It is hanging in my dining room!

My grandson Louis spends a lot of time with me. He is 4 and sometimes hard to entertain. We have been growing tomatoes. I keep telling him is a good farmer. He informed me the other day that he is not a farmer, he is a gardener! LOL! He is too!

He also informed me that they are his tomatoes. He loves veggies, so I know he will enjoy eating his bounty.

This is Louie with cat ears, admiring the first tomato to sprout!

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Friday, May 2, 2014

April Showers??? NewFO

Well April is  over and there was one really ugly week of rain but on the whole April was a mix of cold and hot with just a few showers. To wear a jacket or not to.  So much confusing weather and I was not much better.

What to work on. What to set aside..... What to do for birthdays and holidays this month. My mind is a terrible thing to loose in my sewing room. Felt like a Magpie. The bird that gets distract when it sees something shiny. Me!

I pieced the back of my daughters quilt. It is big and I didn't have enough fabric. I was hoping to get it done this weekend. After pin basting it for hours. I discovered a big fold. Unpinned and repined it again. Flip it completely over. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH. There was a massive fold in the very middle. I use to have those old wooden folding tables but I no longer had them. I'd basted it on the dinning room table with two mismatched folding tables. Why did I bother! After a massive anxiety attack, I went to Lowes and bought a 5 ft folding table to match the one I have and butted everything to dinning room table. I had to duck tape (Man Tool) the tables so they wouldn't slip and also cover the middle with cardboard and more duck tape to fill in the 5 inch gap. Took a quick trip to Harbor freight to get 20 nylon clamps that open  1 3/4 inches @ 99 cents each, to replace the office clamps I had. The new folding tales are much thicker than the old wood ones. After 2 1/2 hours of unpinning I was able to set it up and will pin baste tomorrow. It is very flat and looks so inviting!

BASTING IS DONE! It took 4 1/2 hours. I feel better. Quilting it very soon. Then I have to sew the second one!

Back of Quilt


I finished my Doll Swap Quilt. Came out cute. I hope my swap partner likes it.

The quilt block is an Judy Martin design.
This month was also my youngest daughters birthday. She love mustaches. When I was visiting Seattle last year I picked up some Mustache fabric. I didn't get enough so I had to order more from Gossypium Quilt Shop. I just loved that store.  They are having a sale this month to get ready for Christmas!

Here is a picture of her pillow cases accompanied by her Orca bay quilt!. Fun Fun!
The beginning of the month I spent time cutting up scraps and bagging strings by color family. I worked on RSC2014 for April which was purple. I got quite a few string pieced blocks done.
Then there some of  this.
I mended my Grandsons pants. I have not mended kid pants in a very long time. He loves cars so why not a checkered flag. I think he liked it. He wears them often!
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