Wednesday, February 29, 2012

8 hours + AccuCut = ?

Today was a 'free' day. nothing on the to-do list. so i decided to play with the AccuCut machine. i really don't use it enough.

With the last I Spy quilt that i made i decided i needed to do that again. it was so quick and easy. so i dug out all the scrap boxes and starting cutting.

The AccuCut machine will cut 6  3.5" squares at a time....i need an 8x12" piece of fabric to do that. so i dug through the boxes and cut everything in there to get as many 8x12" pieces of fabric that i could. i wound up with 345 pieces. whew!!   there was a lot of stuff in those scrap boxes.

I figured out 15 of those pieces used 1 yard of i busted 23 yards of scrap fabrics today. woohoo!! who knew there was that much in those boxes. and, trust me, there is still a LOT more in the boxes.....they are now just pieces smaller than 8x12.

I ironed them all up and then....10 at a time...ran them through the cutter. it has taken me all day to accomplish this. i now have 2,070  3.5" squares......105 different fabrics.

It takes 165 squares to make a kid size donation quilt with these in the pattern that i am i can make 12 donation quilts. with all these blocks. of course, i need some sashing fabric, too....but i have lots of that on the shelves.

A few of the fabrics i only have 6 pieces...but most of them i have multiples. this is going to be fun. in the pattern....the middle row is 3 squares i am going to make some 9 patches to go in there...rather than just 3 rows of different blocks. i figured that out when i made the last quilt. there were some blocks there were next to each other that really looked good together. you can see at the top middle of the pic that there are some squares laying on other squares. those are the far....that i will use for the 9 patches.

Not that i usually have any time to sit around and twiddle my thumbs and wonder what i will do....but if i do....i can get these blocks out and do some mindless stitching.

You know.....i just thought of something....if i had a sewing day here at the studio.....i could have a few friends over.....and we could sew all these blocks up in a day.....dontcha think?   hahahahaha 

I imagine if i called people with my idea they would say.....sure....we'll be right there.....


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Home and Harvest finished

My first hand applique project for 2012 is finished. this pattern was in Quiltmaker magazine in 2005

This is called Home and Harvest and is 40" square. i worked on it mostly in the evenings when i was working at the Duck.

I used wool felt for the applique pieces and the background.

I put 2 battings so the applique would be poofy.

I used a dark gray thread to go around all the applique pieces and then a black thread for the background echoing.

There were lots of tiny pieces in this quilt but i like it a lot. when i quilted around the vines in the border i stayed about 1/8" away from the vine. you can't see it in the pics but i like the quilting lines that are on either side of the vine.

Here is a shot of it laying on the table... i was trying to show you how poofy the pieces are.

The back has a bright floral. the binding is a dark gray. it will have a place of honor hanging in the studio.

Now i am working on my next applique project....a queen size quilt....hand applique with wool felt on flannel background. i am doing My Tweets.....a BOM project that was online in 2011.

Now i have all my February to-dos done. actually, this one was on the March list. LOL  i'm going to quit for the day....go back to the house and chill out for a while. there is a creamsicle in the freezer calling my name.

To see what else i might find to do...check with me


I Spy .... sort of

I saw this I Spy quilt on Riel Nason's blog.  she does some cool stuff.....go check her out.  

Sometimes i just see something and have to go do it myself. LOL   so Sunday i got out the AccuQuilt machine and cut some squares. Riel's were 4"...but mine were 3.5"...that part doesn't really matter. and she put 12 across and i used 13.....just using up the squares that i had cut.

This went together so was amazing. i stitched the rows of blocks together last night...

And put the rows together this morning. the rows are 2.5" wide and the border is 6" wide. her design is simple but eye catching.

This turned out to be  50"x60". perfect donation kid size. i am going to make a few more. for now this will marinate in the to-be-quilted cabinet.


I just got these squares out of my scrap boxes. i am going to go through again and cut squares out of everything. i'm going to see if i can make one with all the squares different. that's about 150 i can do it.

But before i get into that...i have to go finish quilting the Home and Harvest top. i will be done with the quilting today except for the background. and i'll probably make a good dent in the background, too. gonna try and have it finished by tomorrow.

So, back to to ya


Monday, February 27, 2012

I went calf wrangling today

We have some sweet neighbors down the road...they are in their 80s. both in poor health with heart problems. the guy can hardly walk. the woman still gets out on her 4 wheeler.

Their son lives there on the farm, too. he and his wife went out of town for a few days and we were appointed as 'guardians' if they needed anything. this has happened before and we have never been needed.

Until today

We got the call about 6pm.  i need some help....i need to get a calf back to the house in a corral and i need to do it before dark. we figure we have about 30 minutes before full dark. problem...we'll be right there. i told Jim...i hope this is a SMALL calf. i have been head butted by a teenage was not fun.

So, we all go out in the pickup....through some pasture....through a gate....through some more pasture.....around the pond. there are about a dozen or more pregnant cows out there. we see 2 babies....but they are close to their mommas...that is not the one we want. the neighbor says there were 3 babies out there just a few minutes ago and one was bawling his head off .... wanting his momma and some milk.

We want the calf that was bawling his head off just a few minutes ago...looking for his momma. we think momma had twins this time and when she moved the momma....only one baby got moved with her. so we were there to find the calf and take it back to his momma.

We drove all over that pasture. trying to look for a black calf in daylight that was quickly fading. finally got out of the truck and walked the fence line. i don't much like to turn my back on momma cows....they get all protective. 

Finally, we find the baby....all the way by the fence....laying in some brush....just as quiet as can be. we just happened to see him when she shined the flashlight and it caught his eyes.  so the 3 of us surround him and drag him out of the brush. then we have the problem of getting him up into the back of the pickup. jim finally just picks him up and gets him up there. our neighbor crawls in with him and holds down 2 feet and sort of lays on his head. the calf is kicking and squirming like the devil is after him.  this woman is 80 years old.....i figure i better get up there and help her. 

So, i get the back end and 2 legs and she had the head and 2 legs. jim is driving the pickup to take us back to the house. the pasture is full of ruts and rocks and who knows what. although we are going slow....every little bump seems to put a bruise on me. you don't know how tough you are until you try to hold down a 60 pound calf in the back of a bouncing pickup truck. i only have 2 arms and he had 4 legs. every good bounce and he was trying to jump up. i was trying not to get kicked in the head. here we are....2 women laying on this calf and he is bucking us off. LOL i don't know what we would have done if he had been any larger.

Finally we get him back to the house and get him out of the pickup and into the corral. then he starts bawling his head off. by now it is full dark and i am really glad we found him. my neighbor went to get him a bottle and said she would feed him tonight and tomorrow will try and find his momma. she thinks she knows which one it is.

I'm glad i'm not in the cattle business. LOL

We told her....if you need anything else....just give us a call. 

I was traumatized....i came home and made chocolate chip cookies....and ate 6 of them. LOL

I have to go rest....and count my bruises....i'll check in with you


April Crazy Quilt section

As promised, here is the completed April section for my crazy quilt. a few browns and blues mixed with the greens.

Block 1 .. some cone flowers for the center...some tiny pale green rickrack for the left side and some dyed green lace for the right. and a small lace round floral at the bottom.

Block 2 .. this center was rescued from a thrift store. it is hand embroidered and trapuntoed. 2 beautiful birds feeding their babies. it was in a wooden circular frame when i found it. there is some dark brown lace clusters at the top...look like grapes to me. LOL  and a brown wired ribbon bow at the bottom with a tiny metal heart over the 'knot'.

Block 3 .. this little basket of flowers in the middle was a piece of fabric that i had in the stash. Some tan rickrack at the top..a pale green ribbon on the bottom left and a dyed light green lace on the bottom right.

Block 4 ... another scenic piece of fabric from the stash. light green rickrack above the picture... wide black velvet rick rack on the right...and some green see through lace on the left..over a piece of velvet fabric.

Block 5 ... the middle crazy block. I think the birds in the middle inspired the birds in the other blocks. did you notice that cute little black cat..down at the my initials. you can't have birds without a cat. hahahaha

Block 6 .. fishing lures in the middle..LOL...wide dyed green cotton ribbon at the top, with dark green embroidery french knots holding it down. some dark green lace trim on the bottom left and a piece of white satin ribbon on the right..that really shines here.

Block 7 ... look at this cool bird i got on a piece of fabric from a friend. love that feather tail. some dark green picot lace at the trim to the left...and a bit of light green lace at the bottom right.

Block 8 ... had to include that cute little donkey with the hat. LOL  notice the piece of camo fabric above that. the upper left corner got a piece of dyed doily...tacked down in various places with dark green embroidery thread. and under that a piece of brown velvet ribbon. and a piece of brown and red trim at the bottom right.

Block 9 ... the sunflower block. more fabric from the stash. actually..this was from an Aunt Sophie piece of fabric. and the lovely tasselled trim at the top. this is the same piece as is on the middle block...i just left the tassels on this one. some green dyed lace under the sunflowers and some pale green lace on the bottom left.

So, there you have it. April is done...and February isn't over yet. i love that i am so far ahead of schedule. of course, about July i might be that far behind schedule. LOL

It takes about as long to sew down the trims as it does to construct the blocks. i have to go and dig out all the various colors from various sources throughout the house and studio. and then put them all back when i am finished. i have stuff everywhere. i like to think i am organized....but i can do better.

I am going to the big bad city on Thursday...with a visit to JoAnns...and some time at the Duck . i hope to find some organizational boxes at Joanns to help me out with my plethora of goodies. and, weather permitting, get a dumpster delivered so i can empty all the demolition crap out of my garage...for the second time. i believe there will be 1 more dumpster load to go before it is all said and done. it's amazing how much stuff you tear out when you are taking a house down to the studs.

If i do anything exciting before I leave on Thursday..i'll be sure and show you. otherwise, you'll probably hear from me again ... when i am back from the Duck...


Sunday, February 26, 2012

CQJP for April

I have finished my block for April's entry into the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.

This one doesn't seem to have as much embroidery on the seams...but i did do some waste canvas stitching in the sections. i like this one a lot. i actually wound up taking some stuff off after i looked at it...and switching to something else. LOL as you can see...this is the green section.

I found these birds with flowers and thought it would make a nice middle. they were colorful on their own and didn't need my help.

The coral colored half suns is a waste canvas design. it seemed really bright until i put those blue french knots in there...that calmed it right down. another waste canvas design is the variegated blues at the bottom with the dark green stitches crossing at the corners. i really liked doing that one. i also added my initials and the date to this block.

The leaves on these flowers is some trim that i found and just cut it down for individual leaves. the flowers are silk ribbon. to the left is a little green hand button with a heart. on the right is tan rick rack couched down with a brown thread...and pink silk ribbon buds and dark green leaves. the green ribbon flower in the middle is something i found online.

Yet another waste canvas stitching here with pale green silk ribbon...2mm.  then i added little pink french knots and pink straight stitches. perhaps i need a flower or something on the top of those straight stitches. that's probably what i was going to do and forgot. LOL  i'll probably go back and add to that. funny how you don't notice things until you take a pic of them.

Over this velvet corner is a heavy green braid and a pile of buttons. the braid actually had tassels hanging but they kind of got in the way and seemed superfulous so i got rid of them. i like it better without the tassels. but i have another piece of this and will add it ...with the a piece in the April section.

I like the little flower garden under that....a pink silk rose in the middle...a pink feather flower on the right (i made that up..hahaah)  and some blue french knots in the sprigs of grass on the left.

Wow...i really love waste canvas...this little pink triangle was made from silk ribbon. the dragonfly seems at home there.

This blue piece had that flower stitched into the fabric....i just over stitched it with embroidery thread...and then added the button caterpillar. i love him.

A closer look at the initials and the stitching on the bottom.

And a closer look at my little garden. the rose even has thorns.

I already have the 8 blocks finished that will surround this one. just need to add some trims to them and piece the section together. i expect to have it finished tonight...and i'll show you


Saturday, February 25, 2012

#1 UFO Challenge for February

February's challenge quilt is done for the month. this was not an older project at all. i actually started it just a few weeks before the first of the year. quilted with lime green Glide on top and So Fine dark green in bobbin. it's about 70x90"

This was done by tube piecing. sew the 3 strips together into a tube and cut the blocks. i saw this on someone's blog and had to give it a try myself. i really need to quit starting new projects on a whim or i'll never get all those UFOs finished.

You get 2 blocks with each cut...mirror images. it was hard to decide on a design to set this with. i used EQ to decide.

The back was 5 different fabrics pieced to fit. these are the main 2 fabrics. they were all dark green. good for stashbusting.

I quilted around each block and across the middle seam. large Xs in the 2 smaller borders... to match the size of the blocks. and in the final border i went down the center of the fronds. sometimes just once...sometimes back and forth...depending which side i was trying to get to.

This will be a donation quilt. nothing too exciting about it....but it is rather bright.

Now to take my last few days of the month to do a few other projects so i'll be ready for March's number when Judy pulls it.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Neutral crazy quilt update

When i was at class last week, Mary asked me how my neutral crazy quilt was coming along. oops!!  i had to admit it was sitting in a box. so, when i got home i guiltily took it out of the box..... and realized i had not worked on it since christmas. sigh!!   too many projects.

So i made it a priority for the last few days and got another round on it...just for you, Mary.

It is now 48" square. in the whole scheme of things....that's about 1/4 of the total quilt finished. not bad if i think of it that way.

But, i need 28 more blocks to add another row around it. that sounds like a lot. since i only needed 20 blocks to add this round.

I am loving all the lacy bits that i am finding online. all these things are being added by machine. the only hand sewing was the center heart and the blocks directly around it.

I have discovered a new (to me) crazy quilt magazine and have been visiting all of the vendors advertised. (and buying)

The ecru colored lace in the left pic above this sentence has cool lace. in person it looks like paper...but is lace. i like it a lot

And i have found a lot of lace designs like this one, too.

This is a little crocheted flower. it makes me wonder how those folks can take the time to crochet these and then sell them for about a dollar each. but i'm glad they do. that rust colored fabric in the pic is painted batting by the way.

Another crocheted flower. i am making etsy shop owners happy with my purchases. LOL

Hopefully this project won't lay in the box another 2 months before i get to it again. it would be nice to get it finished this year also. but i was wondering if i can do something with the design rather than just the 8" square blocks. wheels are turning in the brain.

Stay tuned


Slashing update

I finally got my 1/2" lines all cut on my slashing project. and i only cut through the back once...LOL...about 2 inches. i'll sew that back problem. i put it through the washer and dryer with a couple towels.

Here is the result so far

This piece is rather heavy. it will make a cool bag one day.

I really like how there are all different colors all along the rows....unlike chenille where you layer whole pieces of fabric and cut. in this you layer strips of different colors and fabrics...much better in my opinion.

i cut 4 of the little squares and sewed them down like she demonstrated. i like that effect, too. depending how many layers you peel back and stitch down determines what color shows up. and depending how i cut the slashing .... the design will change. with this i cut the outside 2 edges around all 4 blocks. then you pull back and stitch down in the middle and it kinds looks like a flower.

The narrower lines were stitched a bit under 1/4" i had trouble cutting through them. some of the top fabric came off....and pieces of inside fabrics fell out....hahahaha....but i like that. it will be very bohemian.

The top fabric is some kind of satiny it is ravelling like crazy...also a plus in my estimation. some day i will cut the rest of the blocks and stitch them down. and run it through the washer and dryer again. and i think it will become a bag in its future life. this is very labor all that work will not happen anytime soon. perhaps i shall take it to the Duck with me to work on in the evenings. what a plan!

See ya


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