Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let's go tear up stuff

Even though we still have a bit of snow on the ground...it was 40 something degress today and a lot of it is gone. and it is supposed to be in the 50s for thursday and friday. so my sis and i decided it would be a good time to go to the beast and the ugly duckling (UD) and do a little work.

So tomorrow i head for Illinois for a little demolition. i just love playing with pry bars and crow bars. tearing up stuff is FUN. we plan on tearing out the covering over the back door that leads to the garage. the former owner had closed it up so the renters could not get into the garage. which was a good thing seeing as how they trashed the house.

And we will probably take at least part of the wood fence down so we can get to the garage without going around the block. there is a bunch of old furniture and crap stuck in a cubbyhole by the back door so we will drag that out to the garage and store it out there till i can get a dumpster to haul it all off.

We will spend thursday night at the beast and on friday scrape off more wallpaper there. scraping wallpaper is really the pits....but what you gonna do...it's got to come off.

And i'm going to put bigger padlocks on the doors...the ones on there are tiny. i need to go by the home center to look at doors and make arrangements to have them all replaced.

I'll post some pictures of destruction on saturday or sunday once i get back home. if you have no plans for the next couple days...bring your gloves and work boots and a pry bar and come and have fun with us. there's plenty of work to go around.

Scraps Ahoy!

What do you do with red, white and blue fabrics? why, you make Judy Laquidara's pattern...Scraps Ahoy!

I found this on her blog  www.patchworktimes.com    in August, 2008. i pulled my fabrics and made 1 block and put it in a box to marinate. a few days ago i pulled out that box and took it to the house. i made lots of little quarter log cabin blocks...chain stitching away...and then starched, ironed and trimmed to 4.5".  then made more little scrappy HST blocks and repeated the whole process. and this block was born.  Isn't it cute?

After making a couple dozen i set them up on my kitchen design wall and tried different configurations. i tried putting all the dark blue corners in the same spot....too busy looking.  then i tried switching from blue to red in the same spot....nah...didn't work. then i put the blue blocks together in the middles. yes...i liked that. and...when you put a few together then the red crosses come out, too.  i believe this will be my setting. i just want to be sure that none of the same scrappy HSTs meet each other and make a square. hubby was seeing the 'arrows' and wanted me to emphasize those. i didn't even see them until he pointed them out...but they will just be a happy coincidence. 

When i put them on the wall....one blue cross and one red cross....i liked the blue better and hubby liked the red better. this way....both show up. win/win situation. thanks, JudyL....your site is an inspiration to me and i LOVE your patterns. gotta go make more little blocks.

It might be done and quilted by the 4th of July. LOL

Monday, December 27, 2010

Selvage sunflowers in green

I believe i mentioned that i had an idea the other day to use my green selvages. well, i COULDN'T WAIT. i HAD to try it and see how it looked. i cut about 80 triangles with my AccuQuilt cutter. and cut 10" muslin blocks. put the triangles in the middle of the muslin and stitched green selvages around the edges.

My first thought was just some green fabric for the middle and i was looking to see what i had enough of. then i spied the sunflower fabric. perfect, i thought. i have LOTS of sunflower fabric...don't ask me why. it's been here forever.

So i cut up a medium print for the triangles and tried a block. i put the triangle parallel to a corner and stitched the selvages around and around the triangle...and got this.

It was ok but didn't excite me.

So i tried another block. this time i set the triangle into the middle without lining it up with anything. while adding the selvages i did all one side first and then moved to the other sides....one side at a time. and got this...

I like that much better. so now i only have to do 78 more. LOL  but they go really fast.

I think these 2 sunflower fabrics will be the borders.

And if i do sashings...it will probably be one of these.

I believe these fabrics are pretty old. they feel rather stiff and not soft like today's fabrics are. but most of it will be out of the stash once this quilt is done. i hope whoever gets it likes sunflowers.

Tangled Gourd

I've been messing with this gourd lately. i had it sitting at the house for a week or so. finally got it cleaned  up. then it sat another week or so before i finally painted it. i am soooo slow.

But over the last several nights i have done a little with it. i haven't tangled in a while and am a bit rusty. i can't seem to do it in a large area. it always seems to turn out small.

Here is the whole thing.

And some close ups.

I grew these in my garden some years ago. i have a whole feed bag full of them in the barn. so there are more in my future.

Here are the next volunteers.

 Wonder how many weeks it will take these to get cleaned and painted?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quilting (piecing) progress

I have not been in the studio for a week. i had a Christmas party to attend and then was out of town for a couple days. then Thursday it snowed and i decided to just stay home for a bit and save the propane usage at the studio. it takes FOREVER to heat those tall-ceilinged rooms.

I dug out a couple projects in boxes to take to the house and work on. i got quite a bit accomplished in 3 days.

This 9 patch had most of the blocks finished. all the pieces were cut...i just had to piece about a dozen 9 patch blocks. then used some green scraps for a border and found a striped border to add also. it's not the most beautiful top but it got more stash out of the studio. it will be a donation quilt when it is quilted. i used my AccuQuilt machine to cut the blocks using scraps.

This top already had the columns all finished. it just needed trimming and adding the sashings and border. it was pieced with 30s fabrics. not my usual thing....but i like it.  it is called Cobblestones (or Garden Path) from the book Open a Can of Worms by Debbie Caffrey. her book shows quilts made from 2.5" strips. lots of cool stuff in that book. i recommend it.

My sister bought a huge stack of cross stitch books at a book sale. i was looking through some of them and found an Amish picture that i liked. actually there were 3 pictures...in 3 separate magazines. thankfully, she had managed to get all the parts so i abscounded with them so i could stitch them. i started the first one on december 17. my plan is to stitch from 9pm until i go to sleep...usually 1 or 2 am.  one night i stayed up till 2:45.  this really is addictive. i started with the picture of Hanging the Quilts.

and this is how much i have finished by December 25. it is slow going. i notice i sort of cut off the top of the picture ... i also have stitched that top border row. and i only has to un-stitch 3 times and only a few stitches. i am really, really trying to keep this correct.

I shall try and remember to show you how much i have advanced every month or so. if i forget...feel free to remind me.

And i don't think i have shown you the blue selvage quilt top. it is all pieced and ready for quilting. that one took a while since i would work on it for a while and then stop and do something else. but it is finally ready for quilting. i think the next selvage top will be with green selvages. i got an inspiration the other day while i was piecing something else and drew out the picture of what i wanted to do. i shall try a block and see if it works and then will be on another selvage journey.

Now that i think about it...i don't think i have actually started any new tops this year. i have been pretty religious about getting rid of UFOs and working with the selvages. it is all good.

Busted stash this year is pretty close to 500 yards. if i can do that again in 2011 i might actually be in control of this studio. i am joining Judy Laquidera in 2011 for her UFO Challenge  ( http://www.patchworktimes.com/ ) ...which will get 12 more quilts out of the studio. cross your fingers for me that it all works out. come join us if you have a mind to. we'll cover the world in quilts together in 2011.

Christmas dinner

Jim is all about the food. when he woke up his first words were....it's Christmas...have you started cooking yet? LOL  earlier in the week, when i asked what he wanted for Christmas his reply was 'food is always good'.

So, i obliged him and 'made' him a Honey Baked Ham. actually i guess 'made' is stretching it since i only had to pop it in the oven for a bit. and yes, it went in the oven already half gone. we had gotten it the week before and snacked on it for a couple days before i stuck it in the freezer to save for Christmas dinner. we only buy these at Christmas since the price is really high....but they are oh so delicious.

We had one lonely sweet potato so i threw that in there, too. i found a recipe in an old cookbook that puts apple butter and orange peel on the top with a bit of cinnamon sprinkled on...it was delicious.

As far as i am concerned you cannot have ham without potato salad and baked beans...so we had that as well.

And a few deviled eggs because Jim likes them.

As far as Jim is concerned no meal is complete without rolls...and butter. i can take them or leave them. but since it was Jim's meal....we took them.

I was a bit slow in taking pictures...Jim had already filled his plate to maximum overload. he said i could take a picture of him and his plate but i told him that he would scare people. LOL

Later that afternoon i baked an apple pie also.

Jim ate at noon and then went to his recliner for a rest and some tv time and came back at 5 and did it all over again. it was a good day for him.

This is the first year in i don't know how long that i didn't make cookies. usually there are 3 or 4 different kinds. i kept thinking about it but somehow never go around to actually making them. oh, well, that is just one less thing that i ate...a few thousand calories saved.

So we will be eating the leftovers for a day or so. the rest of the ham will be put into the freezer in smaller packages for another meal and the hambone will make its way into a pot of beans in the future. i guess the price of the ham isn't that much when you consider how many meals that you get from it.

My son and DIL and her mother went out for Chinese food for Christmas dinner. then the next day they had Mexican food at her dad's house. no cooking for her....smart girl.

What did you have for your Christmas dinner?  i'll bet it was delicious.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Here it is....Christmas Eve. i woke up to about 3 inches of snow and it is still coming down. went out to throw some wood in the furnace after sweeping off the snow to get there. the flakes were coming down and covered the path almost as soon as i swept it off. when it quits later i will go out and sweep the snow off the deck. this is wet, heavy snow and i don't want to lose the deck.

I am staying at the house for a few days to conserve propane usage at the studio. yesterday i finished putting on the last border on the blue selvage quilt and it is now percolating in the 'to be quilted' pile. now i am putting together 56 9"  9 patch blocks of browns, greens and a few yellows. it is half done so it will be together today. i forgot to bring over some fabric for the borders so i will only get the middle done.

The next project will either be working on some crazy quilt blocks or another project i brought over from the studio. there is a push this year to get all these partially finished projects at least pieced together and ready to quilt.

Hope your holidays are wonderful...full of fun and love. i'll be popping a ham in the oven tomorrow that will carry us over for 2 or 3 days...along with potato salad, beans and warm rolls. we'll be laying around like slugs. LOL

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers.
See you soon

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I wish i had my camera at the house yesterday

Just yesterday i learned a very valuable lesson. i believe all of us can benefit from it.

DO NOT attempt to cook while talking. perhaps talking to yourself might be ok.

My husband wanted brownies....with nuts. i had a box of brownie mix (which is how they get made around here), so while he was eating a sandwich i was at the table, mixing brownies and chatting with him. the directions call for water, oil, eggs and the mix. i turn on the oven, get the bowl, put in the water and oil and mix and stir it all up, throw in some chopped nuts, and put it in the pan and then into the oven.....the instructions say for an 8" pan to bake for 52-56 minutes. seemed like a long time....but i usually use a 13x9 pan.

Set the timer, go sit in my recliner to read for a bit. the house is smelling heavenly. about 6 more minutes left on the timer....think i'll just go peek at them and see how they are doing. get the oven mitt...open the oven door.....OMG.....WTH is THAT? there is a mud pit in the pan with oil BUBBLING on the top. it looked like some science experiment. as soon as i saw it.....i realized....i forgot the EGGS. what an ungodly mess.

I set the whole mess on the top of the stove to cool some. taking a fork i dig into it.....it still smells great but it is really, really oily and greasy. it seemed to be stuck to the sides of the pan pretty good. so i thought...let it sit for a while....then i'll dig it all out and throw it away. when i came back about 30 minutes later....it was stuck to the pan like concrete...i mean STUCK. super glue couldn't have done a better job. even the "brownie" that was on the fork was stuck....i could not get it off.

I put dish detergent and hot water in the pan and let it sit overnight. this morning i got a bit more of it off....there is STILL some stuck to the fork and most of it still stuck in the pan. i am thinking i will have to throw away the glass pan and the fork.

My goodness...baking is my THING.....how did i do this? do i now have Altzeimers? sheesh!! i'm probably going to lose a glass baking pan and a fork.

So....remember....always, always remember to put the eggs in the brownies. i'm going to try it again this morning....with eggs. LOL

Do you have any clue as to what to use to get this mess out of my pan?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Back in the studio again

I am finally back in the studio after about a week. we had an ice storm last saturday night that put a coating on everything. our house is on a hill and the driveway is treacherous when that happens. so we stayed in the house and fed the woodstove. 

We did consider that we might want to buy some skis to get down the hill when bad weather hits...but since we don't ski...we would probably just break something. don't have a sled. so we just stay in till it all goes away.

But during my forced hibernation i did manage to finish the selvage neutrals top and it is ready for quilting. i started with a plastic grocery bag of selvages and was surprised that i still had half of them left when i finished this top. it is truly amazing how few selvages make a quilt top. this one is about 82" square. i used muslin for a foundation for the block squares and the selvage border.

And then we got out yesterday to go to town and drop my truck off for repairs and drive about an hour away to Washington for some Christmas shopping. as my gift this year i chose that we go to washington and shop at thrift stores and Michaels and eat at our favorite place there...Miller's Grill.

The Goodwill in Washington was a little disappointing because we didn't find the recliner that we were looking for. but i did score 4 more men's shirts to be cut up for quilts. i am collecting stripes and plaids/checks.

And i found 2 books....one for me and one for Jim.

And these adorable little picture frames. my plan is to do a cross stitch picture for each month to put in the frame. the space is 4"x6"..then put them on the stand in my entryway in the studio each month.

Then we went to Michael's craft store. i have a triptych of Amish pictures that i want to cross stitch. so i found some Aida cloth and all but 4 of the colors of embroidery floss that i need. i started it last night. i worked on it for 4 hours. i think my cross stitch time will be 9pm each night that i can...and perhaps in about 14 years i'll be done with the pictures. LOL

And topped off the day with a trip to Miller's Grill for their fabulous bbq baby back ribs and a baked potato. oh, yum!!  when we used to live in washington we would go there about once a month. now we have to drive an hour to enjoy it. but sometimes you just gotta go there.

While we were gone we had to leave Suzy in the house since it was only about 20 degrees outside and too cold for her to stay outside all day. Here is what she looked like when we left....and when we got back. tough life for that dog. LOL  she has her own couch, her own quilt, her own pillows, and she is laying right in front of the vent from the woodstove. tough life.

Now i have to go do some quilting and try and finish up my Tokyo Subway Map quilt that has been on the frame forever it seems like. and do some more baltimore embroidery blocks for my sister.

Tuesday i go for the closing on my rehab house in Illinois. so say a little prayer to the weather gods for me that we don't get more ice....i appreciate it.

Merry Christmas


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

UFOs committed for 2011 UFO Challenge with Judy Laquidera

OK...i am committed.        quit laughing...you know what i mean.

I quilted up a LOT of my tops in 2010 and busted hundreds of yards of fabric from my stash. but i need to do it all over again....even more.

So, i am committed to the 2011 UFO Challenge with Judy L. at http://www.patchworktimes.blogspot.com/    She gets so much accomplished in a day that she is an inspiration. sometimes it seems to me that i do a lot, too...but sometimes i feel like a slug compared to Judy.

The idea is to pull out 12 UFOs and number them 1 through 12. at the beginning of each month Judy will pull a number out of her hat...LOL....it may be 4...it may be 9...whatever. whatever number she pulls...that is the numbered quilt that you will finish for the month. i hope she doesn't pull 7 first....i am not liking that top any more....and it is KING size.

I have 7 tops just needing quilting and 5 more projects that are in various stages of stitching. here is my list for the challenge.

1. Blue embroidered blocks. these were embroidered by machine a few years ago and just never got quilted. it is probably queen size. i'm not liking it too much anymore and after quilting it will be a donation.

2. Black and red selvage top...just finished putting together a few days ago. it is a new top but i will quilt spirals on it...i think. should be fun. pick #2 Judy. hahahaha

3.  Carpenter's Star yellow and blue. i bought this top with yellow backing from a lady on MQR a few years back. i love it...just never got it quilted. in 2011 it will be done. thanks, Sharon.

4.  Class row quilt..Our Town. i like this one, too. but after i quilted about 5 of these for other ladies i lost interest to do my own. it's time has come.

5.  In Memory of Sarah..another class quilt from a couple years ago. i like this one, too but, also, quilted a bunch of them and never did my own. is that like the cobbler's kids have holes in their shoes?  LOL

6.  Metamorphosis....this is one i designed. the idea was for the blocks to change across the rows and down along the quilt. the end block is nothing like the first block. it has been percolating for quite some time so it is time to quilt it up and find it a home.

7.  King size pink embroidered blocks. this is at least 5 or 6 years old. i guess i was into embroidery then. LOL  it also has pillowcases. i really don't like it anymore either. funny how our tastes change. my intention was to put it on our bed but that is not going to happen. someone else is going to have to love it.

8.  4 patch posie. i like this a lot and don't know why it never got finished. it deserves better.

9.  North Pole Village.  this was sooo much fun to embroider on my machine...they are applique. it will be fun to get these together.

10. String Blocks. i have a couple hundred of these done...just have to put them together. plus i have enough strings to make about a thousand more. (let's not go there right now...ok?) i am a mess.

11. Take 5 top only needs borders and quilting. it's been hanging in the quilting closet for about 9 months now. i think it needs to be born.

12.  Another Take 5....of yellow, green and purple. but it is only cut out. but they really don't take long to stitch up so it will be good month for this one.

Now, please God....let me stay on target and finish these up.  after all...i am committed. LOL

After reading all my rambling...doesn't it make you want to jump on over to Judy's blog and sign up, too. it will be so much fun to work together during the year. i KNOW you have at least 12 UFOs hanging around somewhere... look in your closet...on that shelf...you know where they are. drag them out...number them...and play along. your UFOs don't have to be quilts...they could be table runners...pillows...whatever project you have that is not finished.

As your mother would say....it'll be good for you.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Patchwork Times 2011 UFO Challenge

Come join Judy L and me (and the rest of the world..LOL) in her UFO Challenge for 2011. it will be fun. tomorrow i will list my 12 UFOs with pics to be finished in 2011.

Go on over to her site and check it out.

You can click the button at the top of my blog to get there.

See you there.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Felize Navidad ???

NO....Felize NaviDOG....LOL

My sister is at it again. she cannot resist the cuties at embroidery library. in the last few days i have done these dogs for her....have to admit...they are cute.

I love the little guy with the laced up boots.

Next up for her are the Baltimore Quilt blocks from Anita Goodesign. they quilt up nice. there are 20 of them and they take an hour each...so it will be a few days to get all those done. here is the first one.

And in MY corner..the Tokyo Subway Map quilt is on the frame. i really thought it would go faster. i think that EVERY time...i need to quit that. LOL  i have gone around all the tracks and am now doing the background in a square meander type thing. there are LOTS of stops and starts and thread burying. i was going to quilt the tracks with thread to match each one but have now decided to just do them all in gray to save time and what's left of my sanity.

And i am definitely on a selvage kick these days. the newest brainstorm involves the box of neutrals. i cut 10" blocks and will do half of it with selvages. the difference this time is that i am going to use all of the same selvage on each block...as far as i can. i have 36 blocks cut out...that will make it somewhat 60ish inches square. then i will see if i go larger or just add borders. i know i have enough selvages for about 32,597 blocks. siiggghh!!

OK. break is over...back to work. it is now raining and the weatherman promises snow for tonight and tomorrow. not looking forward to that. i hope to get to Illinois tomorrow for a funeral...we'll see.

Stay dry and warm.

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