Sunday, March 31, 2013

Bugs on the Bookcase

I pieced my bugs in jars blocks finally. it's rather difficult to press a top that has vinyl all over it. i'm thinking the iron would either stick to it or just melt it. so it only got a spotty pressing. i'm thinking i could turn it over and press from the back side before quilting.

Don't know if i succeded in making it look like shelves on a bookcase. hhmmm!!

I do like all the little bugs in the jars.

Don't know how that fish got in a 'bugs' design pack ... designers are sometimes strange. LOL

The frog might be my favorite one.

What if .... when i quilt it....i quilt in some 'books' standing between the jars. with titles like A Bugs Life, Collecting Bugs, etc. I tried to find embroidery designs of books standing on a shelf but wasn't successful. perhaps i can applique some books on the shelves and embroidery book titles on them. food for thought.

This top is a bit heavier than normal ... due to the vinyl pieces. wonder if/how that will survive a washer and dryer. should test that, i guess.

But, it's another pieced UFO moving to the to-be-quilted UFO cabinet.

Got to go work on a customer quilt for a bit. can it be done by ....


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Animals on Wheels

Another collection of machine embroidery blocks is now a pieced top. these are called Animals on Wheels. they are having some free-wheeling fun. LOL  i added some alternate blocks of animals that came from a piece of Noah's Ark fabric. that was in my truckload of fabrics that i bought recently. it was pieces cut out to make a vest. that was never going to happen so the vest was sacrificed for the quilt top.

The background is a white with different green dots. and red dots was something from the stash, too.

Sashing was more of the Noah's Ark previous vest

Most of the Noah's animals were also in the vehicles, so i think that worked out ok.

The most tedious was putting those red corners on each block.

Last border was an army green with dots. lots of dots in this one.

Love that all the animals have their heads hanging out and their ears blowing in the wind. LOL

So, that is another one out of the to be pieced UFO pile and into the to be quilted UFO pile. progress is being made...even though the actual UFO numbers are not changing.

Next three projects up are those numbered 4. already cut out the pieces for the Twelve Friends Go West top. another top will be the bugs in jars top. and a spiderman panel. might have to work on Spiderman....


Monday, March 25, 2013

You guessed how many???!!!

In the last post i asked you to guess how many inches of bindings i would have when i sewed them all into 1 long strip. did you think about it? do you have a number in your head?

Was it 1000 inches?

Here they are ... all pooled on the floor...ready to measure...

I pulled them across the  cutting table to the 50 inch mark .... was it 1500 inches?

Quite a few strips there ... maybe 2000 inches?

Does it help to see that i got 7 rolls of them?    My empty spools are at the house, so i rolled on a toilet paper roll, a packaging tape roll, a large empty thread spool , and then found a heavier cardboard roll from some stabilizer that i cut down.

So, how many inches did i have?    drum roll, please ....  3,732 inches.  Holy Cow!!

That's probably enough binding for another 8 or 9 quilts. i better get crackin' 

I still have some strips to process ... iron, trim and roll .... they are at the house. i might work on those tonight .... if those computer games don't call me too hard. LOL  I kind of got into this and enjoyed seeing how many rolls i could make. some might say that was just a wasted 2 days that i could have been quilting .... but, hey, there's always .....


Strings into Bindings

I mentioned the other day about all the leftover pieces of bindings and huge wide strips in the strip box. when i was making the strip blocks, i was constantly having to cut those wide strips down to use them.

Well, i did something about that. first, i dug around .... and around... and around .... and pulled out all the leftover pieces of bindings. i am going to sew those all together into 1 long strip and have some binding all ready for the next scrappy quilt. since i make a lot of scrappy quilts, it won't take long to use that up.

Then i pulled out all the pieces that were over 2" wide. i took a packed bag of them over to the house. in the evening i ironed them all up and trimmed them down to 2" strips. the lengths are anywhere from 6" to 20". i sewed them all together into 1 large strip and wound them up on empty spools. yesterday it snowed all day so i stayed at the house and alternated between making these binding rolls and playing games on the computer. LOL

The first one i did .... the extra large one with the white strip outside....i just pulled a bunch of strips. that one took forever. there is probably enough on that roll for 2 quilts. the next ones i sort of roughly measured the strips as i pulled them out and got about 500 inches to a roll. the third time i got smart enough to tape the beginning of the strip to the spool so i could pull them tight as i rolled.

I'm glad i kept those empty spools...they are just right for rolling the strips.

And now the strip box shows some improvement. probably down about 5".

New Rule:  only put strips in box that are under 2" in width. LOL  will keep the leftover bindings separately and sew them together as i get them and roll them up. another organizational step. see, old dogs can learn new tricks. LOL

So, my first chore of the day is to sew all those bindings that i pulled out into 1 large strip. how many inches do you think i'll have? i'll let you know...


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vickie's Fans is quilted

This quilt is named after Vickie Welsh. She has luscious hand dyed fabrics that she sells on Etsy. you can follow her blog at  i won a prize that was given by Vickie and chose scraps from her fabrics. I found a paper pieced fan pattern on EQ and was all set. i made 48 fan blocks and used up every piece of fabric that i got.

The pink and red fabrics are something that i had in my stash. i put the blocks together by 4s.

Thank you, Vickie, for your lovely scraps. it made a colorful quilt.

The back is a piece that i got from Wilma at one of her end of bolt sales. you can find Wilma at  she has fabulous sales on wide fabrics.

I got some new pantos so i think that is why i needed to pull out a top and get it quilted. the panto is called Bauhaus Baby (what does that mean?). digitized by Patricia Ritter.

It goes quick and looks good. almost like a square spiral. i like it.

So, thanks to Vickie, Wilma and me .... a quilt got finished today. LOL   who knows ... perhaps another one will get finished ...


Easter Grass

While at the grocery store the other day i saw the coolest thing....edible Easter grass.

Whoever thought of that was genius.  because that fake grass got all stuck in your marshmallow eggs and Peeps.

It looked like long strings of coconut...all different colors.

Makes me wish i had kids to make a basket for.

Maybe i'll just go make a basket for ME. LOL

What a cool idea.

Maybe that's not new ... but i've never seen it before. i need to get out more...


Re-purpose paper

I seem to go through a lot of paper. i am forever buying printer ink cartridges. occasionally, something doesn't print right .... the color cartridge is running out of ink.

Or, i print out something .... and don't need the last page

I save all those pages .... pile up 5 or 6 of them and whack them with the rotary cutter. in half one way and then the other way. no measuring...just zip and done.

Then i have a nice pile of note papers. they go in the drawer at the house that holds, pens, paper clips, scissors, and all that other 'stuff'.

They get stuck on the front of the frig with a magnet and there you have it .... grocery list.

Or ... Walmart list
Or... List of things to take to the Duck
Or... List of things to take to my sister's
Or ... List of things to do

You get the idea. i don't think i'll ever run out of lists ... but probably won't run out of paper, either. i like to think i'm like Grandma .... she never threw much away.

Talk to you ...


March Git 'er Done Challenge .. finished

I am playing along with the monthly Git 'er Done Challenge that JudyL is hosting at  i am finished with my list of 4 for March.

1.  Bobby's quilt ...quilted and picked up last week. his grandma, i believe, sewed this together....some hand stitched and some machine stitched. it was quilted with clamshells.

2.  Nursery Rhymes II is now a flimsy and ready for quilting

3. Batting pieces sewed together into 4 usable battings.

4. Wanted to get 100 string blocks finished.  so far i have done 110...

60 of the How Does Your Garden Grow blocks that are 6.5" square .... and..

50 of the Mass Confusion blocks that are 10.5" square.

I will be continuing on with the string quilt blocks. those 2 stacks are only about half of what i need to make a quilt the size that i want. not surprisingly, even after 110 blocks....the string tub hardly seems to be missing any fabrics. i should keep track of how many blocks i make from this tub .... it will number in the thousands. sigh!!  anyone want some strings?

While i was working in the string boxes .... i noticed a LOT of pieces of bindings in there....leftovers from dozens of quilts. i started pulling out the binding strips...some of them are quite long....maybe 20 or 30 inches. and they are already all sized and ironed in half. so i plan on sewing all those binding strips together into one long string and use it to bind the mass confusion quilt. might as well have a scrappy binding, too.

My list for April includes:

1.  Quilt the Spiderman top

2.  Piece I Spy blocks into top

3.  Make 50 more brown scrappy strip blocks

4.  Finish piecing orange Japanese quilt with embroidered blocks and 4 patch posy borders. only have 3 blocks left to finish piecing and then put them all together. just Git 'er Done!!  already. LOL

I have one of my quilts on the machine today ... about half done. i am now going to go institute my new rule of doing something i really don't want to do .... work on that quilt... before doing something else i am itching to work on....artsy boxes.  so, i will set the timer for 1 hour and go quilt....then i can play again.... till..


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A bit of garage demolition

When i was at the Duck last week sometimes it was kind of boring. the guys were hanging drywall .... it seemed like all over the house. my job was to clean up after them and just stay out of the way. LOL  i did have some furniture in the my job also was to move it out of the room they were working in and leave space for them to move around.

A couple of times i left for a while. went back to my sister's at the Beast for lunch. warmed up a bit, ate some lunch, then after an hour or so, went back to the Duck. i wanted warmer weather so i could go outside and do things. i did manage to pick up 4 trash bags worth of mulch but it got too windy and cold to finish that job.

So, i wandered out to the garage and tried to find something to do. the previous owners had put those cardboard type ceiling tiles up in there. the ones that sit in the metal grid. i hate that stuff. so i decided to do away with it. the guys were using all the ladders so at first i was using a broom handle and knocking them down. when they were done for the day, i absconded with a ladder and finished the job properly.

This is the section that has the 2 bays. all the tiles are down except for about 3 or 4 on a far wall that are over a stack of lumber and i couldn't reach them.

There was a lot of crap ..... er, stuff....up there, too. more ceiling tiles....4 large pieces of foam, that i think i might use for chair cushions .... a lot of metal pieces ..... some wood....some insulation...and,...

a huge piece of ductwork.

There is still a metal light fixture up there that i couldn't get down by myself. it is very long and heavy. need guy muscle for that. i have the tiles all lined up pretty .... ready for the trash. i took a truckload of them to my sister's and put them in her dumpster.

I'll get rid of more of them as i go over there to work. there are more of these ceiling tiles in the office part of the garage, and a back storage room, and a bathroom. so i am not through with them yet.

And the lights in the garage are currently hanging in the metal gridwork that held those tiles, so i have to figure out how to hang the lights differently so i can get rid of the grids. 

I considered storing the pieces of lumber that i am saving up in the garage rafters .... which was another reason to get rid of that horrid ceiling. but, i discovered that they did not use a full length board in the rafters. they used 2 boards and cobbled them together in the middle. so, that kills any idea of using the rafters to store anything with any weight to it. idiots!

The back bay of the garage plus the back section has a different kind of ceiling. it is a silver colored something. large sheets. i hope they aren't heavy. but right now i have birds living up in that area. so, in the summer when babies are all gone, i will take that ceiling down and get the birds all evicted and close up the holes so they can't get back in. they didn't put soffit or facia around the garage, just stuffed insulation in the rafters, so that is where the birds are coming in. that will be a nasty job, i'm sure.

But the next time i go down i have to finish installing the wall insulation so i can be ready for drywall for the walls. although we are doing plumbing i have a little bit of time. but insulation installation sucks .... just saying. the black mark on my thumbnail that i hit with the hammer stapler last year during insulation work still has not all grown out. i certainly hope i don't repeat that performance. 

I also have a pile of woodwork that i saved during demolition ... hoping to re-use it. so i also went in the office where it was piled and separated it out by type. some of it i wrote on so i would know where it came from. so that is all ready for some paint stripper. see, i told you i was bored. LOL

Today is the first day of Spring .... yeah, right....temps will be 19 degrees tonight. hahahahaha   i'll probably go back in about 3 weeks, so perhaps by then Spring will really be here and i can work outside some. 

For now, i just need to make lists, save money, and plan .... for 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Duck has ceilings

After 3 days, 30 sheets of 5/8" 4x12 foot sheets of drywall, and a few curse words, the Duck has drywall ceilings in all 10 rooms.


My man, Rick, worked hard.

His helper on this project was Drew

And all ceilings are finished. renting one of those things that holds the drywall up for you is crucial in this situation.

I have to finish my wall insulation so the walls can get drywall. but Rick tells me that stubbing in plumbing is next. because some of it will go in the walls. so, next trip will be plumbing parts. plumbing is always always wind up going back to the store about a zillion times for 1 more part ... or another.

I have been bringing pieces of furniture into the house that i find here or there at thrift stores and such. so i was going around moving furniture from one room to another so they could get in there to work. and then when they were all finished....moving it all back where i wanted it. and i can do it all over again when we work on walls. but i didn't want to leave it all out in the garage. i wanted to see what kind of space i was using and how it might look

While they were working ceilings, i cleaned up behind them and messed around here and there. i was out in the garage sorting out all the trim and baseboards that i had pulled out and saved to use again. some things i marked where it came out of ... some not. i'm gonna get some paint stripper and see how it looks after getting the layers of paint off and see how much i can re-use.

I also have 3 more doors ordered, so those will be in in about a week. so, next trip down i hope to have doors installed and plumbing installed. got to go shop for toilets and sinks and such. perhaps...


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Is this progress???

This morning i decided to count. i don't know why i do this to myself....but sometimes you just have to KNOW. you know??  LOL

In the studio as of right now there are....

50 tops in the to-be-quilted cabinet. 11 of those tops are still from Aunt Sophie.

98 UFO projects. in various stages of done-ness.  some not even started....some close to completion. and everywhere in between.

I have put together an incredible amount of tops this year so i feel i AM making progress. but by the time all those UFOs get into the to be quilted piles .... i'm not sure how i'll handle that. but the good thing is that most of them will be pantos or quick all overs.

Plus i'll be using fabric stash to piece backs for them. and use up a lot of thread stash.

There has to be a bright spot in there somewhere ... right? 

Think of all the quilts that will be for sale. hahahahahaha

I better get to piecing .... so i can get to quilting. daylight savings time gives me more hours in my day ... right?

My new motto ....   Do it all today .... because you don't know if there will be a ....


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mary Todd Lincoln Mourning Quilt

Our quilt for this year in quilt class is going to be spectacular. i don't know if we will get it done in one year. Marilea may have outdone herself this time.

We are making a Mary Lincoln Mourning Quilt ... to celebrate Mary Lincoln's life and devastation with the death of her children. will be interesting. it will be Baltimore Album style ... something i have always wanted to do.

The middle block will be a Victorian cemetary basket filled with flowers, a flag, and who knows what else. Marilea sort of designs as she goes. LOL

So far, I am this far.

The basket is very narrow fabric strips. i couldn't turn mine that narrow, so i simply sewed them wrong sides together and put the seam on the bottom .... problem solved. you probably can't see ... but the lines of the basket are woven ... over and under. cool.

I made the outside of my basket with 2 pieces of rickrack, folded together.

I made my handle of  2 rows of the same rickrack trim as the outside of the basket.

We also were to make ruched flowers for our homework this time. i have my fabric ruched, but need to curl them into flowers tonight and stitch them onto a circle of fabric so they will be ready to add to the basket. usually i do my 'homework' as soon as i get home from class, but this time i procrastinated until the 11th hour. i was stitching that rickrack down last night.

But, ssshhh!  don't tell Marilea.

Next lesson is more flowers, some leaves and a pieced block ....


Gone Fishin'

I had a kit that i got at a quilt show some time back ... that seems to be a recurring theme, doesn't at a show .... put away for years. LOL

Anyway, there were 8 fat quarters ... 3 of them with fishing scenes: fish, lures, and objects related to fishing. it was time to do something with them. so this is what i have.

Simple 5" squares turned into 4 patch blocks.

I arranged and re-arranged to get some kind of 'pattern' that was easier on the eyes than just a jumbled mess.

Finally decided on putting the pics diagonally and then moving the plain blocks around till i thought they looked ok.

Hindsight always being 20/20 .... had i laid it all out first ... with the 5" might have made more sense. i wanted the browns and greens to go diagonally the other direction but that didn't happen with what i had after i had made the 4 patches. so, it is what it is. the border fabric came from my stash.

I think i have a fish panto somewhere ... that might be the quilting choice that it gets. but...



I found these small blocks in my Aunt Sophie stash from years ago. i thought they were cute ... they show the front and the back of the snowmen. they have army, marines, firemen, police. i wasn't really sure what to do with them but figured it was time to do SOMETHING.

So, i just put them togeher in a small quilt top.

The red, white, and blue sashing strips were in the last truckload of fabrics that i bought.

It takes a minute to realize that these are snowmen.

So, this will be the back of the small quilt ... or wallhanging

I wish there would have been more of them.

It would have made a cute kid's quilt

It is pretty small, but i am thinking that i might send it with my husband the next time he goes to his VA appointment. perhaps they would like to hang it in the VA clinic. brighten some veteran's day.

I have seen a tutorial on how to make a sleeve that goes in the middle of a quilt and i'll have to do it that way so it can be hung in an opening .... where both sides can be seen.

It's now in the to-be-quilted cabinet, but it won't be done ...


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