At Plum Loco Ranch, Door County, WI.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving shopping (stash report week 48)

(channeling Minnie Pearl, Tonya over at Hillbilly Handiworks has me remembering my childhood by watching HeeHaw reruns on Sunday evenings - lol)

Hope ya'll had a Happy Thanksgiving.  We had a nice, uneventful road trip and DS had fun playing games with "Papa and the two grammies," as he calls my mom, grandma and step dad.  Even Ruby had a good time running at top speed around Grandma's house - it's a big yard.

It was nice to get home and sleep in our own beds.  And DH and I both went to the gym yesterday. That is after I went to Joanns and picked up a few things.

Sorry for the pix quality - very cloudy here today.

I am making a pillow from the blocks that quilty friend Joyce gave me -  may even bind it to give it that extra pizzazz!  So I got a pillow form and 1 yard of waffle weave muslin, which I've not worked with before, for the back. 

Then, I got the two rulers that Bonnie Hunter swears by for working with strips - the Easy Angle and the Companion Angle.

There's also 10 yds of fusbile interfacing and a bit of  wonder under.  All at 50% off, thanks to the flyer and my iPod app, plus 25% off the eligible total.

I didn't feel the need to brave any stores on Friday. Especially after my mom shared some of her buys with me Thursday.  At an estate sale she picked up 2 bundles of fabric with mostly  huge cuts.  None of them are quilt shop quality and one was really bad, but most of them are okay - they're from the box stores - even some old sheets like that blue floral on the right.

The pink floral I thought would make two nice panels for charity kids quilts.  I'm sorry that you see the colors well.  The polka dot is navy. and the solid on the left is dark green.  The burgundy in the middle is a good backing candidate while the light  will probably be cut p into strips for scrap quilts.

With everything I've brought into my house this year, there just isn't much that I needed.  Some of the pieces had been cut lengthwise so there's was this great long piece about 18" wide by 10 feet!  I really don't know what my mom will do with it.  She mentioned that there's a group in the county that makes quilts for the homeless so she may take it there.

These are some pieces I took for bags.  The red, white, and blue is ugly but it's already cut to about shopping bag size.  All I have to do is stitch up the sides and cut a couple strips for the handles - voila!

The green and gold isn't all cotton.  It was the longest piece of the day!  Maybe it was used to make drapes.  I thought it would also make nice Green Bag Lady shopping bags.

The brown floral was practically an entire bolt.  I took about 1 yard. 

Not to be outdone, my grandma gave me some blocks that her sister had embroidered.  Aunt Caroline passed away over 15 years ago and these were with my Aunt Mary for some years.  Then Aunt Mary gave them to Grandma. 

Anyway, they were quite brown and bit musty so I soaked them on OxiClean.  That brightened them up but there are still some spots.

I may some simple sashing and cornerstones so they can finally be finished.

Oh - and my mom is always picking up quilting books.  Doesn't matter what they are as long as they aren't torn, musty, or falling apart. They are still fun to look at.

Yesterday was a busy day!  The crockpot is working overtime this weekend and will be for the next 2 weeks while I clean and maybe sew before I have to dismantle my sewing corner to make way for the Christmas tree and guests.  I made some cranberry relish and put it in the freezer.  Also made some bread dough that will eventually go to the freezer.  I really do like my freezer!!  Love planning ahead and being able to take some action rather than just think about it, you know what I mean?

Oh - here are some things I worked on while we were away.

First, I finally started embroidering the pocket for the Clover & Violet tote sew along.  Got a lot done while DS watched "Horton Hears a Who" Thursday night.

Then I did hexies, of course, while in the car.

However, I had only two white centers.  Sew, I did lots of basting.

The larger one uses pieces leftover from making flowers for the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap a couple months ago.

Well, the numbers took a big hit and on some of these pieces I am guess-timating, on the low side, of course. LOL!!!

Used this Week: 0
Used year to Date: 65.42
Added this Week: 20
Added Year to Date: 135.57
Net Used for 2011:   -70.15
Check out more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times

Have a great week!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Best wishes for a safe holiday

Sending good thoughts out to you all for a Happy Thanksgiving!  

We are celebrating at my grandma's this year and I thought I would take along a few books I picked up at last night's guild meeting.  The price was right - they were on the "Free" table!

The Jinny Beyer book is from 1979 but she deconstructs the blocks so you can make your own patterns.  I love that - I love understanding how my quilts go together.

Look what I found in the scrap book - a possibility for my hexie flowers. While I love doing the flowers, I have never kidded myself about making a traditional grandmother's flower garden - too many white pieces for me!  Plus, it's always nice to be a little bit different.

This book is from 1985 but it actually a book with text - a product of the author's research - a bit of history.  I may leave this one with Grandma 'til Christmas so she can read it.

How many of you are braving the crowds to hit Joanns doorbuster sales?  There's nothing on their list that cannot wait til later in the day for me.

Have a great holiday!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nell's New World and my space (stash report week 47)

Here's what I've done this week:

approx 12x15 inches

It's called Nell's New World and it is based on the first book we read (Lover's Knot by Clare O'Donahue) at the Quilters, Books, and Bindings blog.  You can read more details here.

It isn't finished.  Still needs quilting and some embellishing but with our holiday schedule, well, things may not get done 'til New Year's. To keep my sanity this holiday season, I will be making more trips to the gym rather than sitting on my duff at the sewing machine trying to meet deadlines that I've made up in my head.

Why Blogger?  It is saved in the correct orientation!!
Speaking of the holidays, we are expecting my husband's family. Our closest relatives are two states away. They will all be here together for 2 nights about 3 days before Christmas - 5 adults and 2 kiddos under 8 - in our 3 bedroom ranch.  We go from having no visitors to being filled to the rafters!

To make it easier, well to make life easier, we got a chest freezer this week.  I mentioned cleaning the basement in anticipation of it s deliver last week. It has arrived! It holds a turkey and a ham and soon will have a couple trays of lasagna that I can pull out when we are filled with guests.

That is all I have accomplished this week.  Yesterday was DH's birthday so I made him a chocolate cake from scratch.  I once thought "from scratch" meant it was difficult.  I have everything here to make a cake from scratch. When was the last time you read the ingredients on a cake mix box?  I couldn't find one without partially hydrogenated oil, i.e. trans fat, in it.  Unless of course, it was organic and cost from $4 to $7 - then we're back to using what's already in the pantry.

We went out Friday night to a steak dinner and a comedy club with friends.  So, after our fun and paying the babysitter, a cake from scratch made sense - LOL!!

Here's why I won't be getting anything done as the holidays approach, in addition to just being busy cleaning and planning DS's birthday party and fretting (yes, a visit from my MIL does that to me - can we say "Marie Baronne?").  My sewing space is a corner of our basement family room.  I have two machines set up, the 2nd one is under the dresden plate that I had to move from the design wall.

To make room for the Christmas tree, which we put down here so we can set up my 6 foot table upstairs for family meals, I have to condense all this stuff.  The old computer armoire that makes a great storage cabinet must be closed, the ironing board comes down and gets tucked away, the machine in the cabinet gets closed and pushed under the window, and the table gets pushed in front of it.  The machine on the table will be stored in the armoire in the space where the CPU sat, bottom right. Oh and the design wall will be taken down.

This is the view from the design wall.  The tree goes where the train table is - who knows where that will go.  Maybe the loveseat will be put in front of my smushed sewing table so the train table can be pushed toward the patio door.

There's my 6 foot table all folded up behind the loveseat.  Even when I have it up, it's in the way!

When I started sewing down here the space was just right.  Now that I've become addicted, well, it's a little cramped.  It doesn't help that when the machine cabinet is open, I cannot walk around the table from the ironing board to the armoire - about 4 steps.  Instead I walk around the other side of the table.  Hhhmm...will have to come up with a s lightly better arrangement for the New Year.

On to the numbers - no change for me!  I would like to increase the "out" column but keeping the "in" column from growing is a good reason to celebrate as well.

Used this Week: 0
Used year to Date: 65.42
Added this Week: 0
Added Year to Date: 115.57
Net Used for 2011:   -50.15
Check out more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times

Have a great week!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's bird weather (stash report week 46)

The winter bird feeders are out and the birds are all over our back yard.  We had one cold, rainy day last week that even brought bluebirds (our state bird) to our backyard.  We have a wooded ravine behind our house so we don't usually get bluebirds as they prefer open spaces.  The red berries on the Nandina seemed to be their reason for paying us a visit.

See that Cardinal in the background
 waiting his turn?
With all this temperate weather, my allergies are ever present.  A constant, dull headache greets me each morning - uggh.  Each morning except Friday morning, when we woke to temps below 30 and frost on the ground.  I felt great!! I love winter!!

Today we are back in the 60s.  So, after a dose of Advil, I headed out to clean out pots, fill the compost bins, and and arrange things in the shed for the winter.  Cleaning the plants led me to cleaning the basement so I would have a place to put the plants for the next 4-5 months.

We are also cleaning the basement for the delivery of a small chest freezer.  Never thought I would be excited about a chest freezer.  We're expecting 5 adults and 2 kids for a few days before Christmas and I hope to do some cooking ahead of their arrival.  Need to make room and the unfinished portion of the basement really needed a general cleaning, reorganization, and vacuuming with the shop vac.

So, no sewing or quilting today.

However, quilty friend Charla hosted us for a sew day at her house yesterday because she is an "opening-weekend-of-deer-season" widow.  I think we all ate way too much but had a great time!

Here's the archives quilt with the binding on.  Love the back with the Etchings map, handwriting, and architectural drawings!!

I got my Civil War blocks done for this month's guild meeting.

It's called Lincoln's Platform, but I call it a churn dash variation.  Hopefully next month's block will be as easy - love 9 patches!

At retreat last month, I got my "Be Merry" Christmas BOM blocks done and laid out in sections.  Last night I got 5 of the 7 sections together.

Oops - there's a little more work to do on the church.  The blue applique needs to be stitched down.

On the hexie front, I made two this week but they are for the Inchy Hexagon Flower swap and I don't want to ruin the surprise.

I've been basting lots of polka dot petals so maybe next week I will have one or two to show.

DH brought home some more Boulevard boxes so I can use the last of the black polka dot that I bought last week!

Next - to make some muslin linings so I can use them to store sewing projects.

And - I did not add anything to my stash this week!  I didn't use up anything either, but that's ok!

Used this Week: 0
Used year to Date: 65.42
Added this Week: 0
Added Year to Date: 115.57
Net Used for 2011:   -50.15
Check out more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New project - the Ruby Tote

Have you heard about the new sew along at Clover & Violet?

Here are my FQs - monaluna fabrics and a 12" square of green polka dot.  Help me decide which side of the green I should use - the polka dot side or the wrong side?  The green is the fabric for the embroidery design.
Still need to pull out my threads to see if I need some new colors for this project.

I wish I could figure out how to load a page from my new My Memories album.  I won the software from Jess at Quilty Habit.  All those pix that I showed you Sunday are now in a digital album!  Love it!  Even bought it over the weekend for my sister-in-law - what a great gift!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bindings are on!! (stash report week 45)

Our week here started out very lovely.  On Monday DS and I went to the pumpkin patch/farmer's market for the last time.  All through the month of October they open "Fort Spooky" for the kids.  It's quite a destination for field trip for the smaller kids.  Most of it is geared toward the under 10 age bracket.  There's a little corn maze, a haunted house, an old fashioned metal slide (which DS loved), a big wooden playground set with 4 slides.

On Tuesday, the Magic House (St. Louis' Children's Museum) offered free admission to anyone wearing red to celebrate the Cardinals' World Series win.  Can't pass up free!  So, after a morning at preschool, DS and I made our way there.

We had only been there on weekends, especially for the Target Free Family nights, and it was always packed to the rafters.  Well, Tuesday it was not crowded at all. DS had a great time doing anything he wanted to do without waiting (and then having some impolite kid run in front if him).

Usually, the "bubble room" is so full you cannot turn around. Tuesday, we were in there alone!  Even I got to do the bubble curtain - lol.

The Magic House is in an old Victorian house to which multiple additions have been added over the years.  Here is a shot of one corner of the house section, complete with a 3 story slide.

After two hours and a full morning of preschool, DS was worn out and fell asleep on our 15 minute ride home!

So, there's two days that I didn't get to my sewing corner in the basement.

However I did get the bindings on two quilts and will count them in the "out" column - they're just not on all the way!  I will finish those today so that I can move on to other projects with a clear conscience.

Speaking of bindings, check out this tutorial at The BunkHouse for using a fleece binding.

I did one, lone little hexie this week.

Then, I got distracted a bit - had that kind of week - my mind was racing everywhere thinking about the in-laws coming for the holidays.  And of all weeks, I missed my Wednesday yoga class so I made some time to hit the gym Thursday and yesterday.  When I'm all over the place, I need to workout and find my balance again.

One of the things distracting me is the pile of boxes that I've saved for some mod podge projects.  So, Wednesday evening, before the cold front moved in I did a bit of Christmas shopping and ran to Joann's to get black fabric for some more beer boxes. Fabric is so much easier to work with than paper.

One yard covered these 4 boxes with one strip left over which will cover another small box.  It won't be long before DH brings home another 6 pack of Boulevard.  The lids of the little boxes actually close together completely (can you see it on the 2nd box from the left?) - awesome!

To use these as quilting project boxes I will have to line them with some muslin.

One more package arrived in the mail.  I won a book at Blushing Rose.  Clare O'Donohue's books are fun, cozy mysteries set around a group of quilters in a small town.  I don't buy many books to keep as DS and I make weekly trips to the library, but I do buy hers and this is her most recent.

Look at the pretty book mark and cute notecard.  When I was younger I loved to receive pretty little notecards like these in the mail.

Here are a couple additions from the LQS that I had forgotten to show you.  I picked up the smallest twister by Primitive Gatherings thinking it would be a great way use left over jelly roll tails and binding ends.

The YLI soft touch was 50% off - can't beat that.  I love to use soft touch when I'm doing blocks with lots of seams like log cabins or pineapples or such.

Finally, something significant in the used column!  Here are the numbers:
Used this Week: 16
Used year to Date: 65.42
Added this Week: 1
Added Year to Date: 115.57
Net Used for 2011:   -50.15
Check out more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fixin' this and fixin' that

Oh what a morning! Are you ever just not in the mood to do what needs to be done to finish a project?  Happens to me all the time. That's probably why I have so many UFO's.

Since I wasn't in the mood to put binding on, I decided to do some odds n ends.  Completely unrelated to sewing was the bathroom sink.  DS unscrewed the knob so many times that it finally stopped going back together.

It's been this way for weeks.  DH said he didn't know where to find my glue. This was our "suitcase."  If anyone ever watched "Everybody Loves Raymond," you know what I mean - Debra and Raymond each thought the other should put the suitcase sitting on the staircase away so it sat for weeks. Since watching that episode, DH and I recognize our "suitcases" more easily now.

Then, DS showed me his shoe - the sole was coming off! Well, while I had the glue out, right?

Here it is in the vice!  Like that thing!

Then, still in repair mode - here's my mending projects.  Guess what!  They're all mine - LOL!

For some company I turned on Pat Sloan's radio show and listend to Bonnie Hunter, who introduced her new scrappy mystery quilt today.

A pair of jeans that's needed the knee reinforced since spring.  Why so long? Well, it was soon shorts weather and, well, I hate mending!
ack a thread - how long will it take me to get that cut?

This one gets me where I live - my workout capris. That industrial seam came loose on the inseam in several places.  That one really called to me b/c I wear these at the gym and the exposure possibilities were kinda high!
Of course, my mending "ain't purty," but it's done!

While I had a machine set up for piecing, I decided to finish my Dresden plate from the QAL at Lily's Quilts from the spring.  It's looked like this on my design wall for months and months.

Sunday afternoon I put the color border on and today I got out the GO! Baby and cut four 2.5" strips to put on the outer border. 

Love it!  I think it will go in our guild's quilt show next spring.

Here's my Archives Quilt all quilted.  I did simple line quilting, keeping it modern.

I also didn't want to distort the backing too much - ya'll know how much I love the backing fabric.  So, the map, handwriting, and architectural drawings are still legible.

And then, while clicking pix for this post, I went upstairs just before I left the bread in the oven too long.  WHEWWEE - disaster averted because that's gonna be part of my lunch!

Have a great day!!