Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pink Cats and Geisha Girls

I've been absent a few days....but i've been busy....playing with pink, cats and geisha girls.

I have had this Geisha Girls fabric for a while...thinking it would make a good 4 patch posy quilt.

It's maybe not the BEST for the job...but i got some cool blocks. over several days i made many, many blocks....about 100 of them.  there's these....

And these...

And these and these....

Don't worry....i won't show you all of them...LOL   but i think it will be ok. i have to find my 4 Patch Posy book...i believe there should be a strip around the blocks. have to figure out how to use them. i also embroidered about a dozen 8" blocks of Japanese designs in redwork style on a pale orange fabric. i was thinking they would be in the border...but now i am leaning toward the design in the middle and these little blocks around the edges. don't know yet...still thinking.

And the Cabin Cats saga continues. in case you have lost count...i am on #6..Boxed Squares. pattern courtesy of Mary Johnson at (I think)     that might not be quite right....but the site is on the other computer at the house.

So far i have done 2 blocks...a dark and a light. i have 80 blocks worth cut out so that will be the focus of next week's night second shift. LOL  they will be 6" finished.

And in between all that...i am working on some pink crazy quilt blocks a bit. i dyed some lace and rickrack and things hot pink. they all came out different shades of pink. rickrack hardly holds dye at all....i thought it would. love those little froggies. i had more pink scraps than i thought i did.

So now you are caught up with my crazy life at the farm. once warmer weather hits i will be into yard projects....i have a list.

Tomorrow i head to the Duck for serious wall demolition and bathroom madness. i shall be back on Tuesday with pictures (i hope) and tales of destruction.

In the meantime, carry on without me. be safe

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I am NOT a designer.....hahahahahaha

I really like the concept of the jelly roll quilts....with sewing all the strips together into one and then folding and stitching them....that goes so fast.  i wanted to do i got out the neutral fabrics left over from the wedding quilt and threw in a few more fabrics. not all of them were width of fabric pieces. where i could...i cut WOF....otherwise i just cut what i could. i still cut approximately 40 strips....just some of them might be 2 smaller pieces to make up the whole strip. when i put it all together...this is what i got.

It turned out ok...but...all the 'darker' neutrals seem to have landed on the right hand side....don't know HOW that happened.  and seams are closer together than i like. i guess that is what you get when you don't use a true jelly roll or cut all your fabrics to WOF.

I still pretty much like it...but learned a lesson about cutting strips. i used this wild stripe that i had for a border and it seemed to work out really well. it has some shiny gold in there. LOL i am piecing this neutral top i got to thinking....not always a good thing with me.     what if i cut out more fabrics and use a bunch of kid fabrics.....just mix them all up.....but maybe cut them 4 inches instead of 2.5".  wonder what would happen.

So i looked on the shelves for kid fabric....most of it was baby stuff and different colors and different values. but i seemed to have more blues and pinks than other stuff. so i separated the blues and pinks and decided to cut the pinks. well,  i only really had 4 different pink kid fabrics. another lesson learned  .... (that i really KNEW....just sort of ignored) need MORE than 4 different fabrics.

Again...i sort of ignored the WOF rule and cut willy-nilly. but all the same kind sort of wound up together....which i guess is what you get when you only have 4 fabrics. and when i was done stitching it together it was like 54"x86"....not a good size.

So i decided to cut that part in me 2 pieces at 43x54....better. then i put carousel horses on for has pink and the other has white. don't know why i have all these carousel horses.

So, i think i may be done with this technique for a while...LOL   you almost have to cut need LOTS of different fabrics. or just buy a damn jelly roll and don't be so cheap. (but i gotta stashbust.....talking to myself here.)

So, there i am....2 more kid donation quilts. hell, they aren't even cute. i hope i don't scar some poor kid for life.

They may have to marinate in the 'to be quilted' cabinet for a long, long time.

After all this madness i went back to quilting on the customer quilt that is on the frame. i finally figured out what to do and it is looking good. will probably just work on that tomorrow and stay out of trouble.

So, time to go back to the house and have dinner...i'm hungry. then another evening of cross-stitching on that Amish picture. it is coming along slowly.

Have you tried the jelly roll technique? did you like it?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cabin Cats V

Another quickly pieced top for the Cabin Cats...this is #5...i call it Stairsteps. i decided to put the blocks in some sort of pattern and .... my took me about 3 hours to figure out a pattern that i liked. i started in EQ and wound up with a paper and pencil.

Getting a bit tired of these fabrics but there are 2 or 3 more quilts left to do. now i have to come up with another pattern.

This one is 64x74 inches and used 5 yards of fabrics. i am running short of 2 or 3 fabrics so who knows what the next couple tops will look like.

And here's a sneak peek at something else i tried this morning. i look at a lot of blogs and when i see something i like i just have to stop and give it a try. i should try these things as smaller quilts but it seems a waste to me to have a small quilt....what do i do with it. my walls don't have empty spaces any more and it's hard to donate a small wallhanging. so i just make it least kid size...and use up more stash....which is a good thing. this is just the first step.

I am really tired...i stayed up till 3am last night....this morning?....i was cross stitching and got sucked into a movie that didn't end till 3. i had to watch it to see how it ended. LOL   so now i think i might go to the house and crash on the couch for a while till dinner is ready. maybe tomorrow, too. i can lay around and watch soap operas. hahahahahahahaa  are those still on tv?  as the world turns....the guiding light.....those are the only 2 i can think of. my aunt sophie watched soap operas continuously. she could tell you every detail of what was happening with them....just like they were her own family. the only thing i watched that was comparable was years ago i followed Dallas.....did you ever watch that? gotta love to hate that JR. LOL

We got rain and sleet throughout the day today so it is yucky and sunshiney-less. so a good time for a nap.

See you when i wake up.

Friday, March 25, 2011

2 quilted and 1 pieced

Yesterday at the studio i dug in the 'to be quilted' closet and came out with 2 tops that had marinated long enough and needed to be quilted.

Then i dug on the FatBack shelve and found a red backing for them. i buy the end of bolt backings from Wilma at   so i measured to see if i had enough to do both at once. they wouldn't fit lengthwise....the way i would load them usually....but it would be ok if i loaded them the long after the other.

The first one to be quilted was this bright red, white and blue that i call the 4th of July (how imaginative..LOL)  if i remember correctly, it was a Judy Laquidera pattern from last year.   i love her stuff and read her blog daily to laugh at her adventures with her chickens and her husband, Vince...the man in the green shirt. LOL

Here is a closer shot

I probably should have played with it a bit more to get more imaginative in the setting....but i liked the blue and red crosses.

Here is the is really a dark red but i lightened it up so you could see the quilting stitches. i just did a circular thing...all over...crossing over the circles....using many different sizes....all freehand.

Then i loaded these playful puppies. i had cut these out probably a year or so ago and pieced it in January.

They are embroidered blocks and i like them a lot. some little child will enjoy snuggling with them.

The puppies are just full of mischief.

I used a large meander on it and used up batting scraps...there are probably 20 pieces of batting in this quilt. i spray basted the backing and just laid down the batting a jigsaw puzzle. i made sure to quilt a lot over the edges to keep them all down nice and sturdy.

Here is the backing...the same as the other quilt.

Remember i said i was to load them sideways so they fit on the guessed it...i loaded the puppies the way i usually do and got to the bottom of the quilt and need about 2 more inches of backing. well...shoot....bad word....stupid...bad word...woman....bad word .... brain.... siggghhh!!

So, i had to unload the whole damn thing....cut the 2 quilts apart....add another piece of backing to the bottom...luckily i had enough on the sides. then add a piece of muslin to the top so i could reload it. had i done it planned...the first time... i would have been done an hour earlier. i seem to like making my life harder than it needs to be. i need to make myself some signs that say THINK and hang them around the studio. LOL

A few days ago i found some cut pieces in a clue when i cut them....didn't even recognize most of the fabrics...who knows how long they were in there. but there were lots of rectangles and border fabrics so i pieced it together and this is what i got.

The rectangles were 3.5 x 6.5" so putting them together gave me a 6" block (after piecing). i paired a red and a green and alternated direction of stitching. i chain pieced them all together in an hour or so. they remind me of HS i think i shall call them HS Blocks. LOL

I realize that i could have stairstepped them and got a pattern but i like the randomness better. there are actually a couple of places with 'steps'... had i noticed this while piecing i would have changed it. This was  a great quilt pattern so i have already cut out more HSs out of the Cabin Cats fabric for Cabin Cats V. 

Now this one has to go in the cabinet to be quilted. BUT i took 2 out and only put 1 back i am making progress in the right direction.

Since my plans to go to the Duck for demolition today were foiled by Mother Nature...we got some sleet this morning...and they say snow tomorrow....i shall load a customer quilt today and work on that. the Duck can wait till next week. i can't work with cold fingers.

Piece and quilt....piece and quilt...a vicious cycle.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Typing and Shorthand

Ah...the good old days.

I was thinking the other day of how much longer it takes me to type something than it used to. i can type fast....real fast....but the brain can't keep up. i left the rest of this message un-edited so you can see what i mean. normally i would go back and fix all the red spots. for i left them.

In another life...and another time...far, far away....i was a great typist and shorthand person.

Those of you aold enough remember taking shorthand...right? i can still write shorthand...but not quickly. it drives my dh crazy if i write a knote using shorthand...usually it is comething i don't want him to know about. LOL  do bosses still give their secretaries letters to type up using shorthand? or is that a dead art?

I worked for a temporary agency for a few years and was sent to different places for various lengths of time to woek. they have you typing and shorthand tests. i remember having a pin that said i could take shorthand at 120 wpm (that's works per minute). and i could type almost 100 words per minute. and that's with the OLD were slinging that carriage bar over every line. electric typewriters made life a bit easier.

And there was no 'delete' key.....there was WhiteOut. and heaven help you if yuo wre making copies...that entailed carbon paper. try kaming copies with crbon paper without getting smudges. it's a wonder any of us survived that or ever got a raise at work. i don't remember...did we not have copy machines back then to make tohose stupid copies?

Todays kisd have no idea of the wonders of computers...delet e keys....backspace keys.....editing is soooo much easier.

And getting older doesn't help at all .... the barin takes much longer to get the message down to your fingers to hit the correct keys in the correct sequence.  and there are patches of fog in the brain that require you to stop and 'ermember' how to spell a word... like sequence.

Computers do come with their own set of problems, too. i do most of my banking online. to access the banks' website i have to insert a 12 digit number. i have remembered that number from day one...don't know why. it's not anything in sequence or easy to remember...i just do. my fingers just seem to input it automatically. but they make you change your password every 90 days...and you cannot use the same password that you used the last 3 times....or any variation of that passowrd. well, i cannot remember the damn passwords. if i can't use the same one for everyting i am just stuck. i have a little book that i keep next to the computer with site names and passwords. great security, huh?  i have had to call them numerous times when i try 3 times and fail and get locked out and they have to reset me. so embarrassing. the last time i wrote it in the book and STILL got it wrong. LOL

Ah, the good old days....i need my brain from the good old days.

Yesterday revisited

Ahhh...yesterday.  today it is just a distant memory....well, almost. i DO remember how tired i was. LOL

But i did you a disservice by not sharing pictures of what i had i have come to apologize for that and make it up to you with pics today of the fruits of my labor.

I quilted 2 of these small quilts together with pottery blocks and Indian women fabric on top and bottom

They are about 45x60....the backing looks like this....binding will be the backing fabric.

Then i did another with the same pottery blocks but put a different Indian fabric on the top and bottom and it got a bit larger.

The backing on this one is a salmon colored fabric with bits of color that reminds me of an aztec type design.

Then there was a beach was larger...with more blocks..about 50x70.  this one has the same backing as the one above...they were quilted together.

There were Victorian Santas that i never figured out what to do they all stayed together and became a kids quilt.

It was about 50x60 and the back was just a red that i had on hand...nothing whatsoever to do with santas. and this one got quilted by itself.

Country kids like here is one for them.

Quite a bright green in those corners....but it matches the grass inside the blocks. the back of this one got a flannel with camping signs...seemed appropriate.

That one got quilted by itself, too. there didn't seem to be anything else to go with it that i could quilt 2 at a time. and i couldn't resist this for the binding. LOL

And, finally, 2 of these kitties...both just alike...quilted together.  about 40x50

The backs are a green partial FatBack from Wilma at  

So, there you are....proof that i actually worked yesterday. LOL but now the binding pile is huge once again. well, they won't get any binding on them today. i have other plans for today.

These were all quilted with a large meander that went very quickly. from the time i got them loaded till i took them off was about an hour for each set. it took longer to load than it did to quilt. and i used lots of batting sections, too. between the tops, backs and bindings i used up 20.5 yards of fabric....not bad for a day's work.

On to more much fun as the law allows.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mission Accomplished....and then some!

Today i had a 'free' day...nothing planned. hubby was gone so i was on my own. i decided to quilt up some more donation kid quilts. i had found another pile of them in the cabinet. i thought 6 was a managable goal. well, i exceeded expectations.....i did 8....woohoo!!   

I quilted 2 at a time so backings and thread were the same for 2 at a time. and i pieced a lot of batting...using up lots of that.....and pieced a couple of backs....using up more fabric. but now the binding pile is high again....and i just finished binding all those last ones. sigghhh!! 

I started at 8:30am and quit at 6pm. i took a small break for lunch and traveled across the road to the house twice to let the dog out. was nose to the grindstone. and i'm here to tell ya....i am back is sore and my feet hurt. i'm going to the house and sit in my recliner with my heating pad and do nothing for 30 minutes. then i'll watch Survivor. by 8 i should be ready for the second shift and piece some blocks i have at the house. wonder how many of those i'll get done tonight.

What do you do on your 'free' days? i might do something different on my next one.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Playing catch up and giving the washer a spa treatment

When you work on multiple projects at a time....there comes a time when a lot of them are almost finished so you have to have a spurt of productivity to catch up and finish them you can start new stuff. LOL

I've been sort of neglecting the Amish cross stitching lately (bad girl)...but, gosh, there are SOOO many things i want to do and there are only so many hours in a day. and i have been bad and sucked into computer games at night for a to get off those. and i read 3 books and perused about a dozen rehab magazines. But as of last night...this is how far i have gotten. that little black blob in the middle is going to be a horse pulling that buggy.

In the last month or so i have quilted up a lot of panels that i have here and made them into donation kid quilts. sometimes i had 2 of a kind and could load them both together and quilt up 2 at a time. these are usually just done with a large meander or a Quiltazoid pattern. they were piling up in the 'to have binding' pile.....there were 9 of them.

So, over the last 3 days i have made a point of getting the binding on one of them first thing when i come to the studio and another the last thing before i leave for the day. wanna see?  I have 2 of these John Deere tractor quilts. quick Quiltazoid pattern and Wilma's fatbacks for backing. ignore those flying geese under there....that's just another quilt. i was just laying these over the ledge to photo.

A cute little animal train with a pale yellow backing.

The baby Disney cute. this one was quilted at the same time as the animal they both have the same backing and pattern.

There's a wolf and owl panel....i guess that better be for little older kids....don't want to scare the little kiddies.  it has a striped back...which in its former life was a sheet.

And these beach birds was another case of being quilted at the same time as the wolf...same backing and pattern. if fact, i use this pattern a lot for kid donation quilts. sometimes it sits on my table for weeks at a time. when i have time between other quilts i can do up one or 2 of these in a couple hours.

Here is a beach scene with cute boats on the back. i will add fabric borders to make it the size i want it. the top and bottom of this is white with tiny sea shells. i try to get these about 45 x 60...  or somewhere in that neighborhood.

And i have 2 of these also....cartoon sports. i think some kids are gonna be lovin on these. should have shown the other one....the backing on it is of bright colored life savers....also a sheet in its former life.

I have several more panels pieced together and awaiting quilting and then we shall repeat this binding cycle all over again.

So between all this and some crazy quilt blocks and dying lace and trim....that is what's kept me busy for a few days. oh, and quilting up the wedding is almost finished...should be done today.

And .... on the home front....yesterday my dh tells me that the washer is acting up. it is not draining properly and has issues. it's maybe 7 years of those fancy-dancy front loaders that sort of tells you how it wants to wash your stuff. LOL

Our water here is hard and we are constantly running vinegar through the coffee pot and soaking the shower head. the toilet bowls continually have crud built up on them. just the other day, i was thinking of the washer and wondering when it would act up....i really need to STOP THINKING of appliances if that is going to make them misbehave. anyway, this morning we pulled the washer and dryer out from their cubbyhole and cleaned up years of dust and dirt back there. and dh took off the offending part that was clogged up and is out in search of a replacement part. hopefully the appliance store in town has the part or can order it promptly.

Now i am off to finish up that wedding quilt and get it off the frame and the binding put on it. and then make my to-do list for tomorrow.

What's on your to-do list?  do you even HAVE a to-do list?  i seem to work better with a list.

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