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Showing posts from September, 2012

September UFO Update

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No finishes for me, but I came pretty close!  The UFO pick of the month I switched out for my Any Witch Way quilts that have made so many appearances this month (pattern from Quiltmaker magazine, Sept/Oct 2009). Quilt sandwich stage for #1.  This one I have offered to my daughter Elaine--she has a new house to decorate, after all!  It needs quilting and binding. The second quilt top is complete as far as sewing is concerned, but the lady witches need their eyebrows and eyelashes.  I had misplaced--in the mess that is my sewing room--the eyebrow stencil I had used, but found it again.  The backing and binding strips are ready to sew but I haven't touched my machine for two days since we have been busy painting.  Both quilts I am determined to finish ASAP! Judy picked #6 for the October UFO, which is a bit ironic for me since I was going to switch any other number picked for #6!  I had already decided that October is going to be a "quilting only" month, since

Fluttering

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Though I'm mostly unemployed I've been busy, really I have, but it seems to be in a peculiarly fluttering, mostly unproductive way, landing here and there for a moment or two and then acting on whatever else comes to mind.  There have been a few successes, however. This tablerunner is destined for sale at the Seniors Craft Shoppe.  It is about 18-20" wide and maybe 50something long.  Haven't measured it! Machine appliqued flowers and leaves and a little designing of my own from some purchased kits. These clearanced block kits I picked up several years ago when the JoAnn's store in town was closing. I had no idea what I might do with them but they were $4 apiece, included precut pieces, and all the instructions.  The two kits on the left were for much wider sections than the pieced block kits but some MATH and just plain cutting down made them suitable for the tablerunner.  The above kits will be a near twin to the one I've already sewn.  I think

What I'm Working On Wednesday

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My foray into the retail world with the senior's craft shop began last week with a training session shift.  I had made four small cuddle quilts to start with, received instruction in how to label them for sale, and they were put out on the shelf right away.  All the other rules and guidelines were detailed and I was put to vacuuming, opening the security door and turning on the door alarm, and learning all the other ins and outs of the biz.  The shop has been in existence for over 30 years in the same location, a true success!  Though we only sold one item during the 3.5 hour shift, I was responsible for writing it up and taking the money.  Meanwhile, I got to know the two older ladies training me, and as is often the case among people who live in a town for a long time, it is a small world.  Both ladies were former teachers, and one worked at the elementary school I attended, though a few years after I had passed through.   We reminisced about all the teachers there, good and bad,

Design Wall Monday--Sept 24, 2012

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On my design floor today is the second of two ongoing UFOs for the month.  Yesterday I spent about four hours working on this Any Witch Way quilt (pattern from Quiltmaker magazine, Sept/Oct 2009).  Are you guys getting tired of seeing these yet? The last two names were put together but I ended up having to adjust Pagel because having the drop-down "g" made the name an inch taller than the other names, meaning when I added them to the quilt top the sides would not be equal.  Luckily, it was a fairly quick fix.  Having only made free-pieced letters once before, I'm pretty slow at this, but love the result.  Next time I'll work smarter along the way and be a lot faster at it! All the witches now have their names and I'm overall really pleased with the way they look.  I'll add another small strip of the black for a final border--luckily I do have just enough of the Dimples fabric left--and then move on to the backing, quilting and binding.  Only a week l

For the Marrieds

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Daughter Elaine and her husband Chris are new homeowners and are ready to move into their place this weekend.  They have been renting a small one bedroom in a 1920's Spanish style bungalow duplex with no yard or garage, and are moving into a late 1970's era, 1700 square foot, 3 bedroom plus den, 2 bath unit with a two car garage, and a nice sized yard with pool and jacuzzi, in a complex not too far away from us.  They have been working so hard--especially Chris--to get it all beautifully fixed up and we are so excited for them!  In anticipation of their move, they made a Craigslist score of a patio table and four chairs for $50. The woven fabric of the chairs was stained, so they asked me to make some thin cushions to cover them up--I showed cutting the foam for those earlier in the week.   I love the fabric they picked out.  The background is really a bright citron/chartreuse and the birds and flowers so pretty, but very modern looking in their neutral tones. If

Tuesday's Orts

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Orts--bits and scraps of thoughts and events that land here semi-regularly. Can someone explain to me why the daily horoscopes start with Aries (March)?  I've always wondered.   The Sunday Crossword puzzle can send me to a dictionary, which I don't mind; I love words and learning their meanings.  However, it seems backwards to me when the definition includes the very word you're looking up.  Or, more often, other words you don't know so you have to look them up too. Elder scams are a big topic lately in the news.  Someone we know was a recent victim of criminals on the phone posing as their young adult loved one, in trouble in a foreign country and in need of money, and requesting they wire the money but keep the trouble "just between them until they returned home".  They had all kinds of personal details that seemed real enough, but were no doubt gleaned from unwittingly volunteered information during the call. Don't believe it!   Hang up and  CALL y

Design Wall Monday--Sept 17, 2012

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On my design wall is the UFO of the month--in my case I swapped out #11 for my two Any Witch Way quilts.  I'm working on the second one now, adding free-pieced names. Kachan's name is finished, now that I added spacers between the letters and trimmed to final size.  These witches have not yet received their eyebrows and eyelashes, but I'll do their makeup before basting the quilt sandwich. Jerryl is in a different font.  I had fun changing up the style for each witch.  Going clockwise, Rafilda is next, and lastly, Pagel.  The name Rafilda I first saw in Harry Potter, but Kachan, Jerryl and Pagel were real names from my transcription work.  I made a list of unique names over the course of about a year.  I don't have a lot of the Dimples fabric left so I need to be very conservative with my leftovers so I can fill out the borders.  It has been fun to play with these letters. Method is from Tonya Riccuci's Word Play Quilts book.   See more design w

Night Work

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The heat was oppressive these last few days, so much of my sewing time was at night.  While making items to sell at the craft shop more Picnic blocks have appeared. Finished blocks now total 49, just a bit under half of the amount I'm making for my slightly larger version of this quilt (from the Scrap Basket Surprises book by Kim Brackett).  I have about 20 more block sets already cut and will determine when they are completed how many more of each colorway I desire.  I like seeing these piles grow! For the UFO of the month, the two Any Witch Way quilts, the first has been basted for quilting.  While I am ignoring pondering quilting that one, I've started working on the names for the second quilt.  Here I have added background fabric to make all the letters the same height.  Hmm, the "h" is going to need some at the bottom too or I'll lose the legs.  Next, spacers between the letters, then trimming to even height.  I think I'll wait until all the nam

Tuesday's Orts--on Thursday again

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Orts--bits and scraps of thoughts and events that land here semi-regularly. Staying home a lot has been good for my gas tank.  And my wallet. I don't watch any reality TV regularly, but the Long Island Medium show on TLC catches my attention now and again.  Maybe because she is such a positive person who seems to genuinely want to help people, versus those Housewives shows that are full of drinking, fighting, and feminine spite.  Ugh. Fall decorating is on hold--it is too hot and humid for pumpkins and witches. Traffic Rant:  Sitting in my parked car on Main Street, I gasped from a near sideswiping by a male driver in a big pickup whose only concern was pulling over to check open hours on a storefront.  If my car had had a bigger bumper he would have sheered it off, I swear. My cat, Mini, has lost her meow.  Since the weekend, she opens her mouth but barely any sound comes out.  I never knew cats could get laryngitis.  It looks hilarious, but I don't know if I should be c

What I'm Working On Wednesday

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I'm having a lot of fun playing with leftovers, scraps, and ideas from the pages of magazines. When I made Kitchen Sink last year (Kim Brackett's Scrap Basket Surprises), I cut a lot of extra pieces since I was considering making it larger than the pattern required.  In the end, I simply added a wider border.  With the leftovers, a 9 paddle wheel layout was my choice and, serendipitously, I had just the right amount of leftover cut print pieces and exactly enough triangles to fit the setting I had decided on.  Gotta love that!  This is about 24 inches square--no borders on this one.  I've got the backing there and already picked out prints from the 2.5" strip bin for a scrappy binding.  Leftover orange and blue squares from a Quilts for Kids project, a few bright Aussie prints from a 6" precut pack I bought on my trip to Queensland, some leftover flannel, and a small cuddle quilt is born.  I will sell this at the crafter's shoppe.  These

Design Wall Monday--Sept 10, 2012

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Monday again already!  On my design surface is the ongoing UFO of the month, the witches quilt. The pattern only called for eyelashes--false ones sewn on--but I felt drawing them made more sense.  But they needed eyebrows!  I remembered an old Mary Kay eyebrow kit a friend had given me that had stencils.  That worked out great. Now the dilemma is the lack of a nose.  I'm not certain I can draw well enough to give the suggestion of a nose--which are remarkably hard to draw straight on.  Pondering...  I've been throwing the triangle cutoffs from the Picnic quilt into this wonderful old pressed glass vanity dish that belonged to my mother in law.  They are now sewn together and on their way into a mug rug or mini quilt for sale.  I signed up with a local Senior Craft Shoppe to sell my wares there--when I went to the organization's meeting to show my crafts, one lady joked that I might need to be carded.  Though I was definitely the youngest person in the room, I vo

Moo, GenerationQ, and Old is New

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Squishy mail is best, right?  Last month I was the lucky winner in Nancy, Near Philadelphia's 1500th post giveaway.  She offered a mug rug and I requested a bovine theme, since on occasion I have adopted her C.O.W. ranting (Crabby Old Woman).   Love my generously sized Cow mug rug with its cow border print.  Thanks, Nancy!  I had completely forgotten a magazine was also part of the prize. Generation Q magazine is a new publication and our local paper had a writeup on it recently since it is written and the product reviews tested right here in Ventura County!  Jake Finch is the publisher--she teaches classes at Cotton and Chocolate Quilt Company in Thousand Oaks.  My favorite article of the debut issue was on a stash and UFO resale shop called Fabric Recycles in Overland Park, Kansas. They are "clamoring " for submissions to the magazine:  go to generationqmagazine.com  if you have a design or article for consideration.  Love their motto of Quilt. Sew. Live. Breat

X's and O's

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A self-imposed deadline for finishing this small quilt was just the right impetus to get done what little was left to do.  "Puzzle piece" quilting and and binding went on in a matter of a few hours.  Pattern from American Patchwork & Quilting, June 2011.  These pink 9 patches were from Julie's swap of a couple years ago.  Normally I am not that fond of pink, but mixed with brown, I really like them. The tan and cream ones were leftovers I had put together for the swap.  I enjoyed working with the Tri-Recs ruler to make these stars.  The pattern provided a template but using the ruler was fast and easy to cut the pairs. A simple pieced back from fat quarters, and these hugs and kisses are on their way to Arizona as a housewarming gift.  My brother and sister in law and family are finally getting to move into their new home, four months after they originally hoped to.  Happy Days!

What I'm Working on Wednesday

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Witches...that goes with the W theme :) The outer border has been attached.  Dimples fabrics are textured solids and I think that goes just fine with my "lighter" black inner border and the hats. Piecing was necessary for the backing, but I like a pieced back! Here is the beginning of quilting on the X's and O's wall hanging/tablerunner.  It should be quick to finish once the jigsaw puzzle quilting is complete; I've already made the binding.  I have a deadline for this quilt and those are always good for me!  What are you working on? 

Design Wall Monday--September 3, 2012

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Happy Labor Day!  On my design wall today is the UFO Challenge pick of the month (I swapped #11 for this one), two Any Witch Way quilts.  Since I don't have enough of the black print I used in the hats and inner border, this is getting a black Dimples final border and then will be backed with the orange print and quilted.  The pattern (Quiltmaker magazine, Sept/Oct 2009) called for false eyelashes to be tacked to the faces, but I think I may just draw the eyelashes on--I'm pretty sure falsies won't survive a run through the washing machine!  Once this one is complete, I'll work on the other Any Witch Way, adding free-pieced names that I made all of the letters for last year--when I also worked on the witches for the UFO Challenge in September! Otherwise, I need to make a run to the grocery store today.  In an ode to our usual method of menu planning, my husband wrote "Dinner Stuff" on the list.  Guess I'll wander about and think of something!  S

UFO Challenge Update

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The Zig Zag 9 Patch is a completed top, which was my goal for the month.  A day late but I have excuses.  Mostly about MATH.   Trimming and squaring the top seemed to go just fine. But the border measuring didn't!  I decided to go with a narrow 1.5" border of the brown print (thanks for the input Janet and Joy!) and then a wider 5.5" border of the cheddar.  MATH again.  So there was cutting and adding on to the cheddar border.  Then I decided to sew the borders together before attaching.  Anyone catching on to what is happening yet?  I didn't, at first---I was too busy with the next MATH problem. Since I cut all the cheddar lengths before deciding to add the narrow border, the top and bottom pieces were then too short once the side borders were attached.  So there was more cutting and adding of cheddar.  Once the right length, the borders went on easily. I had no plan to make this large of a quilt, it just happened!  Grant is behind this Californ