Monday, July 26, 2010

More quilts using the Quiltazoid patterns

The Quiltazoid continuous template patterns are so easy and quick to use that you have to be careful. you have to be careful not to zone out and just quilt off the top (not that i would actually do that you understand...LOL). but these tops each got quilted in mere hours. i am so in love with Quiltazoid. next week i am going to be ordering more templates.

Here is the Brain Tease pattern. it goes super fast. they are like giant "E"s..laying up and over...kind of reminds me of brickwork. i think i need a better picture of that back.  oops!

This one is the Maze. very cool and hypnotizing. quick and easy to do.

And i am getting tops quilted out of the cabinet at an alarming rate...yipee!!

On the un-quilting front....we are STILL working on demolishing the first tree that was taken down by the house. who knew it would take weeks to get rid of a tree. but it has been SO hot that we have not worked on it every day. but last night i had a huge pile in the large trailer again to be put through the chipper/shredder. dear hubby was inquiring when i would finish that up as he intended to add even more to the pile the next day. so, i got up from my sewing machine...where i was having a lovely time piecing selvage blocks....and went out to do my duty. siiggghh!!   it took me 3 hours to chip up all the trailer load and i got 3 more trash cans full of mulch. he is we speak....out there filling up the trailer again.

When i put the mulch down for the last bed in front of the shed at the studio i injured my back....i expect from hauling trash cans of too heavy mulch. so i hobbled around for a few days with heating pads and ibuprofen. then the grass simply HAD to be mowed. so i thought i would do as much as i could. our ground is very uneven...due to creatures digging out there and men (no names mentioned) driving trucks over the grass. so i spent a couple hours bouncing around on the mower. and....when i got back didn't hurt. i believe i found a new home remedy..LOL....kind of like my own chiropractor. i guess the bouncing around got me all shifted back in place. amazing.    so 2 nights ago i mowed again with a sore back and came back a couple hours later a new woman. but i don't know what i will do in the winter when there is no grass to cut to cure my aching back.

I have gotten a couple customer quilts done this last week, too. and today am going to load another of mine to play with. it will be a baptist fan template. the Quiltazoid people say you can use other brands with their systems also, so i am putting that to the test. i'll let you know how it goes. then i have a lovely pink baby quilt for a customer to do.

On Wednesday i am off for a long weekend at my sister's. there is a huge book sale at the high school scheduled for thursday and thrift shopping for friday. on saturday we might go out to her house so i can check out her progress. she has had rocks delivered for her driveway and has been spreading. and i have more firewood to bring home from her place. I'll check back in with you next week.

Have a lovely weekend...try and stay cool....and happy quilting.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lightning strikes

It has been a bit crazy here the last couple days. we had a huge thunder and lightning storm for over 5 hours on monday night. i was sitting in the living room and heard a loud POP and saw a bright white light outside the deck. i figured something very close got hit. that something was US. LOL

I looked out the deck doors and swore i could smell smoke but figured it was my imagination. but the next morning the barn doors would not open. the lightning took them out. they will be fixed tomorrow.

Then the internet wouldn't work. that wasn't a huge concern because when we gets LOTS of rain sometimes it is unworkable for a few hours. but apparantly the lightning got it, too. the phone company had to come out and replace parts and the router. there was a burned it got zapped.

And the studio got zapped, too. luckily i had the longarm unplugged. but when i came over the embroidery machine wouldn't work and both computers were out. plus some of the electric plugs wouldn't work. the good news is that it just tripped the breakers and didn't fry anything thank goodness. lightning is scary.

Today it seems like we are all operational once again. i hope it stays that way for a while. it is sad how much you miss the internet when you can't get there. i need to remember to unplug things when i leave at the end of the day....might need to write myself a note....a large note...and put it on the door. LOL

Hope you are safe from storms.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A successful week

I feel like i got something accomplished this week.

I finished this quilt from class 3 weeks ago. i used the Enchanted Garden templates from the Quiltazoid people. lots of fun. and the quilt top went together really quick.

And i just finished quilting this UFO that has been sitting around for years. i believe the pattern is called Delectable Mountains. i seem to do a lot of scrap quilts....trying to use up all those bits and parts. it has a flannel backing and was quilted with the spiral template from Quiltazoid. i love the spiral...i put it in each block and then went back and put it again in the space between the blocks. and quilted lines in the little spaces an asterik.

And i had 3 friends come by to bring me quilts to do for them. so, as long as they were here they went through my fabric stash that i am trying to get rid of. they are making I Spy quilts for their grandkids...i think 6 of them. so they got lots of kid fabric and things that would work for them in the I Spy world. 3 packed boxes of fabrics left with them....i am estimating 50 yards. i am so happy. i can still pack 6 or 7 boxes with fabric that is left. i need more quilting friends to come help me stashbust.

I am packing a box for a friend who couldn't make it to the free for all. i will deliver it to her at class next week. her guild is making kid donation quilts so it will be put to good use. probably another 20 yards. i'm gonna get rid of all that old stash yet.

This morning i went out about 7 and helped Jim cut fire wood. i was holding the wood on the sawhorse while he cut. we did a LOT. stacked 5 wheelbarrows full into the woodshed...and there is still a couple wheelbarrows full on the ground. i got tired....we worked about 2 hours. that is hot, sweaty, dirty work.

I am looking for a flat file cabinet and not having much luck. the kind that has skinny drawers...about 2" tall. architects store blueprints in them and artists store canvases. i found one at Ikea that i like but shipping is outrageous. what's with those people?  i find metal ones at office supply stores for $500-$600...yikes. and wooden ones go even higher. i want to keep my Quiltazoid templates in there. i need 26" wide and 18" deep. about 6 drawers. you would think it wouldn't be that hard to find...but it is. but the search is still on. i am off to my sister's tomorrow in the big, bad city so i will check there.

Gonna go make some tuna salad for lunch. Stay cool and have fun....till next time.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tree mulch used

Ta Da!!  Finally!!!

A flower bed at the front of the little finished.

Here is the before...full of grass and weeds. and, yes, i know the 'edging' is different kinds but it is what i had to work with.

And here it is after....much improved. i spent 2 mornings digging out all the grass. and it took 4 trash carts of mulch to cover it..about 4" deep. i sure hope that keeps the grass and weeds out. and, yes, i still have to paint the window's on the 'to do' list. and it would have been easier had i painted the window first...but when have i ever done anything the easy way...besides i was in flower bed mode.

There are 6 plants in there right now. the 3 in front that are growing and leafing out are Rose of Sharon bushes...i'm pretty sure. LOL   i put them in there last year. they came from the Arbor Day people as little sticks and are doing pretty well. it's interesting that the smallest is on the left and the tallest is on the right. i don't know if that is how the sun hits them or what. it doesn't get sunny there till about 1:30. this one on the right is about 18" tall. i have some at the house that are about 5' tall so i hope these get that large and fill the space.

In the back are 3 little sticks that got planted a few months ago....also from the Arbor Day people...i like those folks. for a small donation of $15 you get 10 trees or bushes of various kinds. i know these sticks are some sort of flowering bush but not sure what. i pretty much just plant what they send me and get surprised at what it turns out to be. no stress planting. LOL

This is the next area of beautification. it is at the studio also. these huge round posts were there when i bought the building...right out in front. have no idea why. but i planted a butterfly bush in the middle and 2 more Arbor Day sticks on either side (in the tomato i don't mow over them until they get big enough to see well). I used to have a butterfly bush in Illinois that got HUGE...about 10 foot tall and at least that wide. i hope this one gets that big, also. the butterflies love it already.

It was getting challenging (and dizzy) to keep mowing around and around these things so i decided they needed a rectangular bed to make my life easier. at least easier AFTER i get the bed dug out of grass and find something for an edging and fill it with mulch. and, yes, i need to mow the grass, too. it has been raining for a couple days so things have to dry out a bit.

In this bed i believe i will also plant some day lilies and perhaps some other things. i need to thin some stuff out at the house.

Have a wonderful day...maybe go plant something or clean out a flower bed. It will be pretty and you'll thank me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What if...

What if you had a bajillion orange selvages....

What if you cut them into 10" strips....and sewed them together...

What if you trimmed them into 9.5" squares....

What if you put all those blocks together and made an orange quilt.

Let's see how many blocks i can make from a bejillion orange selvages. then i will decide if the quilt will be all orange or if i have to add other colors with it.  i don't have a LOT of orange.

But i do have a LOT of blue and green...enough to make quilts to cover Texas.

What if you slept at night instead of dreaming of selvages.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Locust tree progress

After a few days of sawing and sweating and chipping and sweating here is where we stand.

To be cut further and split:

To be split..this is about half of them. the rest are by the woodshed. then we got smarter and decided to leave them here until they are split instead of killing ourselves trying to move these giant pieces:

To be cut further:

To be run through the chipper/shredder...a 6'x12' trailer FULL:

After 1.5 hours of putting through the chipper/shredder...about half done:

Results of 1.5 hours sweating over chipper/shredder...pretty mulch:

Total mulch for half a trailer of branches....3 containers plumb full of mulch. (covered in case it rains).

The only casualty was i hit my knee on the trailer and cut it and now there is a pretty bruise and it hurts like hell. so i will take a day or 2 off from manual labor. i'm getting too old for this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


It was tree cutting time at the homestead. there was a monster oak tree with multiple trunks in the middle of the yard that had died and a very tall locust tree, also with multiple trunks, up by the house where we park our vehicles that was on its last leg. in front of the studio was a 3 story tall sycamore that had been dropping branches for a year and was rather lopsided without a lot of leaves and it had to go, too.

We got a recommendation from our local logging company of a tree cutting service that was reliable and who knew what he was doing. he showed up and gave us a very reasonable price for taking down 3 trees and said he could do it in about 3 hours. i was a bit sceptical about the time frame but loved the price.

He came last Friday evening and started with the sycamore and indeed did have it down in a hour. he had a huge truck with one of those buckets on the end of a pipe that took him up into the tree. this tree was easy since it wasn't near any wires or buildings or anything else. he worked from the top down and just dropped it all. it was fascinating to watch him work his way down the tree. we agreed to cut it up ourselves so all he had to do was put the tree on the ground.

 Then he proceeded to the huge oak in the middle of the yard. it was near electric wires...which may have contributed to its demise....since the electric company regularly came out and whacked off the side of the tree that would interfere with the wires if there were an ice storm and branches fell. but, again, in an hour he had it stripped of its branches and most of the tree on the ground. he left the multiple trunks...about 15 feet of them....for the next day. the main trunk measured 39" across when it came down.

I loved watching this man work. he used the bucket to push the branches how he wanted them to fall. sometimes he put a pulley around the branch and held it as he cut it loose and then moved it where he wanted it to fall. the man knew what he was doing.

On saturday he showed up early and finished up the oak in the middle of the yard. and then moved up to the house to tackle the locust. this tree was the problem child. not only were there electric wires going to the house, but it grew on the very edge of a dropoff of about 8 foot. and there was a propane tank close by. this tree took 2 hours to get down but he managed to get it down without hurting the cedar tree growing next to it that i wanted to save; without killing a tomato plant that i had planted nearby; and dealing with chicken wire that was attached to the tree by a previous owner for vines to grow on. The man was very professional and knew his business. makes me want to have more trees for him to cut so i can watch him work. LOL

Here he is using what he called a stick saw to cut the branches away from the electric wires...a little bit at a time.

But, alas, now the work just begins for us. the last 2 days have been spent in turning the fallen tree trunks and branches on the ground into firewood and mulch. we have worked the locust at the house first since that is where we park our vehicles. i have taken the smaller branches and sticks and filled a large trailer for the chipper...the mulching process starts tonight if it doesn't rain.

The smaller trailer was filled numerous times with managable size logs and then moved closer to the woodshed. they will be cut into stove size pieces over the next several days and stacked in the woodshed. then we have to move to the other side of the dropoff and pick up all that stuff that fell down the hill and do it all over again.

I think we will tackle the sycamore at the studio next. jim has gone to town to buy longer blades for the chain saws. the trunk on this one is 27" across at the bottom. not sure if we can cut that and get it split. may have to find someone who wants it. there is a piece about 10' long.

But eventually, it will all be in the woodshed and awaiting the cold winter weather to keep us toasty warm.

My hands ache and i have been sweating up a storm. we work the early morning and later in the evening. in the daytime i take a nap. hahahahaha


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quilts quilted with the Quiltazoid continuous templates

I meant to show you my quilts that were done with the QZ templates. i think that is the most awesome toy i own...i am loving it.

here is the clamshell template. i have to learn to stay to the side when i go back up after the point so i don't hit the point and wobble. but they are so could never do these this well by hand or with a circle template. Quiltazoid Rocks!!

And here is the baptist fan template. this one goes really quickly. i like it because there are no intersecting lines and you can't get on the wrong track. just follow the lines all the way across and then back across the other way. it lines up beautifully. this quilt was 72x96 and was quilted in a day...fantastic.

OK..back to work.

Tangles and Quilts

Hello again....sorry for my week's absence. i've been in painting mode and have finished up the cellar window, door and wall at the house. and about half done with my studio windows on the south side. today i am taking a painting break. these windows are sad...every set of windows takes 2 tubes of caulk and a can of wasp spray. then a coat of primer and 2 coats of paint. each set takes 2 days if i keep to schedule of getting out there early each morning and late each evening....the only time there is shade there. but i only have 1 more set of windows to go. Should be all done by monday. then it's down to the basement to paint walls down there.

And my late nights are spent tangling. since i have discovered Zentangles nothing is safe from me. i have practiced some....

That's sort of a crooked egg.

And i tangled a little box. i think i will cut some paper this shape and keep my practice pieces in this box. i got a couple books from Amazon and was practicing some of the things i found in the book.

Then i tried a tiny, bitty egg gourd. it's round instead of egg shaped and about 2" across. i think it was the runt of the litter but i wanted to use him as my practice piece and see if it worked. i have more gourds to tangle. woopee!!  i painted it with silver paint first. i think future gourds will have to be sanded first to get a smoother finish.

Nothing is sacred....i even started tangling my crocs. still have to finish the left marker ran out of ink.

And on the quilty side, i pieced this little cute top. we learned the pattern in class on monday and i have the top done already...perhaps a first for me. LOL  i used up some yellows and purples in my stash and already have plans for another one....only larger. this one is good baby size..about 50x60.

So that is what i have been up to this week.

Have a tshirt quilt on the frame that i hope to finish in a couple days. Near future plans are some partait fabric dyeing, more playing with the Quiltazoid and, of course, more tangling. i need more hours in my days.

Oh, and my birthday is next Thursday...wonder what i should do. any ideas for me?

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend. our little town is having a 'do' on saturday and we will go and eat, visit vendors, listen to music and smooze with friends.

Have fun, stay cool and be careful.

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