December 29, 2008

Ever Have A Day Like This?

Have you ever had a day where things seem to take way longer then they should to complete? How about when you finally felt like you were making progress you ended up stopping in your tracks because of a big goof? I have been working on this wall hanging off and on for quite a while. This story behind this wall hanging is a post in itself and I won't go into detail about it here. I was machine quilting a little while ago and look what happened!

I had just repositioned the quilt under the machine and thought it sounded different as I was sewing. I thought I had better stop and check it out. Yikes! This is a first for me - sewing a quilting template to the back of a quilt! For non quilting readers this is a heavy piece of plastic that has slits cut through it so a quilting design can be marked on a quilt prior to quilting. After I found my new design addition I decided it was time for a blogging break before I took the stitching out and started over. Quilting through a stencil is a first for me, and I hope a last!

In my last post I mentioned that my Father had open heart surgery. He is doing well now and is home recovering. The weather cooperated enough to allow my Hubby and I to travel down to see my Father. It was a snowy, icy drive, but we made it safe and sound. My Father was able to go home the day after we arrived and we were able to help my Mother settle him in at home to start the recovery process. Thanks to all who prayed for my Father. We so appreciate it! One thing that helped pass the time in the car and while sitting at the hospital was the scarf that I am knitting. I have about two thirds of it finished. I am using a Debbie Mumm yarn that I bought at Joann's. I like the way the colors flow into each other, but I do not enjoy using the yarn. The best way to describe the problem is that there seems to be a center core and the outside part kinks up. It comes off the skein kinked and that makes it difficult to work with. It will also kink while working with it. I doubt very much if I ever buy any more of this type of yarn again. I have found it easier to work with the yarn after I rolled it into a ball (as I was able to work some of the kinks out of it while winding). I will be taking one skein back to the store because I ran across three knots put in the yarn by the manufacturer. After the third large knot I quit winding and decided that I would be taking it back to the store. I don't want a knot in the middle of the piece and the color sections were completely off by the new yarn tied to the old. Ugh! I am glad I bought extra yarn as I was able to put out a fourth skein to work with, but I will be taking any of the unused yarn back as I don't want to make anything else with it. I stopped at Hobby Lobby on the way back home Saturday and bought some yarn to make a pair of socks with...I hope it is easier to work with!

I guess I should go and "unstitch" my machine quilting now and put the quilting stencil in a safe place before I begin quilting again!

December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I know this is a little early, but I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year a little early! Just when I think life is returning to "normal" I find that circumstances have changed. I enjoyed my week with Stephanie last week. We had a lot of fun decorating cookies, trimming the Christmas tree, going to see the movie Bolt and shopping for Christmas presents. We had planned on our family getting together this past Saturday to celebrate Christmas but that didn't happen. My Father had heart surgery this past Tuesday so all of our plans changed quickly. He is doing well tonight, and we hope that he will be able to go home from the hospital tomorrow. It was very difficult not being able to be with my parents during the past week. The surgery happened so quickly and the weather didn't cooperate to allow me to make the trip down to where my Father was. I will be going down to my parents house soon, so I must say once again if you don't see posts from me for the next week or so you will know that I am fine, I am just helping with my Father's care. I know many of you believe in God's healing powers and his care for us. Please say a prayer or two for a speedy recovery for my Father. Thanks!

#4 Challenge

Paula has tagged me with the #4 Challenge. Here are the rules:*Go to the fourth photo file on your computer
*Choose the fourth picture in that file
*post it and explain
*tag four people to do the same

Here is my photo:

This is a photo of a couple of tote bags I made this past Spring. The darker one in the background is one I use all the time and is made with Civil War reproduction fabrics. The pastel one in the front is the gift I gave my Mother for Mother's Day. I posted about them here. This was a fun challenge. Let's see, I am going to follow Paula's example and pick four people who commented on my last post. I am tagging the first four. So...Jane, Bren, Rose Marie and Myra consider yourself tagged for the #4 Challenge! Can't wait to see your photo!

December 12, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Well, after an unexpected break from blogging I am back. I have missed reading the blogs I follow let alone posting on my own. Life just got a little, no make it a lot crazy at times. I came down with some type of a 24 hour stomach virus a day before we left to spend four days with family for Thanksgiving. By the time we left I was feeling better, but it had been difficult to get ready for the trip. I did get some quilting done on "The Monster" because that is all I felt like doing. Here is the latest photo of "The Monster" aka "The Monster In The Living Room". Even though this quilt in progress isn't in the middle of the living room I still consider it to be "The Monster". I have a repair to make on this quilt before I can consider it smooth sailing. I will share about that another day! All I can say is Ugh!!!!!

Life has seemed to be at a run or at least a jog ever since we got back from visiting with family. I laid down my quilting needle to pick up the knitting needles after what I have figured to be at least a twenty two year hiatus. I knitted a baby sweater set for my nephew and just never picked up the knitting needles again. Can't say for sure why, but that is what happened. I have had the desire to knit a pair of socks for a while. I have no clue where that desire came from, but it did. Dear sweet Hubby said, "Don't you even think about learning how to knit socks until the Monster is out of the living room." I thought that was a reasonable request. Well, the Monster has been out for a while now and the desire to knit socks has not gone away. I decided that I had better brush up on my knitting skills again before I even attempted knitting socks. I am surprised at how much I remember, and what I didn't or wasn't sure of I found tutorials online that answered my questions. I decided to knit some dish cloths and give a few away for Christmas presents. Yeah, right! The knitting has been going fine but there hasn't been time to do much knitting! I have finished two dish cloths and am working on number three. I was hoping to have at least six finished and now I am not so sure this will happen. If it doesn't, it won't be the end of the world, but oh I would like it to happen! By the way - can anyone recommend a great sock pattern/book that I can be on the look out for?

This past week I have been working on getting my house ready for the holidays. Yikes! I have never enjoyed cleaning, and I probably never will. Of course it is great when the house is tip top shape, but to be really honest that doesn't happen too often. I would rather be quilting or doing other things then cleaning any day! The Christmas tree is up, the garland on, but no ornaments to speak of. Why? Because I have a special helper when it comes to decorating my tree, and I have been saving this event for next week. Why put off decorating the tree? My special helper will be coming here to stay with us for a week while her parents are off celebrating their 25th Anniversary. Yes, I will be the "Mom In Charge" of a 15 year old teenager for a week! I am looking forward to having Stephanie here. I am sure we will have many adventures and share in lots of laughter. She is very special to me, and I am looking forward to her visit! We sure have a long list of places that she has to be, but there are down times too that we will fill with shopping, cookie baking, present wrapping, playing computer games, oh the list could go on and on. I will do my very best to not let it be such a long time again between posts, but if that happens I know you will understand why!

November 22, 2008

I've Hopped On The Shirttail Wagon

Okay, it is official. I have hopped on to what I call the Shirttail Wagon. As I dropped off two big bags of clothing to the Bible Thrift store yesterday (This thrift store uses it's profits to buy Bibles for Missions) I went inside and bought four men's shirts to cut up for quilts. I bought Bonnie Hunter's new book while I was on vacation. At first I had no real intentions of buying men's shirts to add to my quilting stash. After all, I have a fabric stash to pull from right now. But the more I read through the book the more I changed my mind. I was thrifty and just looked at the larger and Xlarge shirts - after all I wanted the most bang for my buck! I also found some fabric yardage that called my name. I believe it is an older Thimbleberries fabric. I got 1 1/2 yards for 90 cents. Cool! I did feel a little funny as I was checking out though. The nice lady at the register said more then once, "These are really nice shirts!". I thought about telling her I was going to go home and cut them up for a quilt but I just couldn't do that.

Ready for some more vacation photos? We once again visited the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. It is a very small zoo, but so much fun to visit.

Of course there is the Reptile building. What zoo would be complete without snakes. This is the first time we were there that these big snakes were actually moving around. I won't bore you with the other photos we took of the snakes, but I thought this one was a little funny.

This year they had an added feature. You could buy a cup of "Zoo Puffs" for $2.00 to feed many of the animals with. Hubby asked if I wanted one, I said no. Why did I want to feed the animals? Well, you know how it goes. We were standing in front of some sheep and goats and I reached down to pick up one of the pieces of food that was in the middle of the sidewalk. I gave it to the sheep, or is that lamb? Boy that animal had big teeth! That was fun. I reached down and picked up another zoo puff (I think that is such a funny name) and did it again. Okay, I was having fun. Hubby got a kick out of me having so much fun. A cute little girl walked up to me and asked if I would like the rest of her zoo food. She was leaving the zoo and still had about half of a cup of food left. Of course I thanked her and said sure!
I sure had fun with the zoo puffs! I don't remember what this little animal is called but it looked like a little deer but of course it wasn't. I fed a swan that wanted to eat my fingers as he took the zoo puffs and many other animals. Next year I plan on buying my own cup of zoo puffs and having double the fun!

My weight watching plan went out of the window quite a few times during our trip. We stopped by a little place called Pattie Cake in Foley, AL. Oh boy!!! We ate a half of a sandwich so we would have room for dessert. I enjoyed bread pudding that was made from their cinnamon rolls and Hubby had a piece of coconut cream pie that had tons of meringue on top.
We took a two day old pie home (they were half price and just as yummy) with us. This was a chocolate cream pie. Check out that meringue! The pies are made from scratch and talk about wonderful. I have a feeling we will go back there in future trips. I am so glad I don't live close to this place. I would have a very hard time ignoring it.

Don't you wish there was a way to eat goodies like this and never gain a pound? I sure do!!!!

November 19, 2008

What's New

Well, I think things are back to normal around here, or for at least a while anyway! Hubby and I went on a wonderful vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama. It is one of our favorite places to go and have a relaxation vacation. Think about this: the ocean with it's beautiful waves crashing on the beach. Watching the dolphins and stingrays swim by and jump up and out of the ocean every once in a while. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets. A fresh ocean breeze wafting over you as you take a nap in the afternoon. The sounds of the waves as you go to sleep at night. I could go on and on, but I had better quit. It just makes me want to go and jump back in the car and forget about the snow flurries that met us as we came home! Ugh! Here is one of the sunsets that we enjoyed.
I am not a fisherman (or is that fisher woman?) by any means, but I did reel in a couple of fish this time around. I even have a story of the big one that got away! Hubby had a great time fishing this year and I kept him company a few times and gave him encouragement to catch some big ones - and he did!
We stay at the same condo each year. It has a fantastic place for me to set up my Featherweight machine and sew away when the weather doesn't permit beach combing or I am just in the mood to sew. I can sew and look out at the waves and the people walking along the beach. Sometimes I spend more time watching the waves then I do sewing. Oh well! I have shared about my sewing space last year in this post if you want to check it out. I shared in my previous post the photo of the scrappy Diamond Dazzler that I made to give the pattern a try before I cut into the jelly rolls I bought. After I made the first top I was able to make the wedding quilt top (also known as Diamond Dazzler 2).

I like the way the top turned out. I like it soooo much I have thought about buying more jelly rolls so I can make one for me! I was asked to share more info about this quilt top. The pattern "Diamond Dazzler" is from the "On A Roll Again" book by Heather Mulder Peterson. The inside cover says to check out the authors patterns and books you can visit her website at

I visited three quilt shops and came away with this:
I love those reproduction fabrics! I was also able to purchase Bonnie Hunter's new book "Scraps & Shirttails: Reuse, Re-purpose, Recycle! The Art of "Quilting Green"" It has been fun looking through this book and trying to decide which quilt I want to make first!

I will be sharing more photos from my vacation, but right now I must try to catch up on a few more blogs and finish unpacking!

November 9, 2008

Diamond Dazzler 1

I have been able to get some sewing time in this past week! I worked on my scrappy Diamond Dazzler. I am working with the pattern from the book "On A Roll Again" and it states that this is not a beginner pattern. I agree. This is one pattern though where the bias edges seem to be your friend not foe. That is always good news! I am making a wedding gift with this pattern, but before I cut into the jelly rolls I wanted to do a dry run so to speak with some fabrics from my stash. I was worried about cutting into the jelly rolls because I had never bought jelly rolls before and the local quilt shop does not carry this fabric line. (Just in case you don't know, a jelly roll is a precut roll of fabric that is 2 1/2" wide. It usually consists of one of the fabric lines that a company puts out. The Moda rolls I bought had 40 different fabrics in each roll.) If I goofed up I would be one upset gal because I couldn't run out and easily replace fabric! I am glad I did this as I got confused a little in a couple of places, but all came out well in the end.

I have started the wedding gift quilt and so far so good. I goofed a little bit with a set of dark strips, but it was not a difficult fix - thanks to my making of the first quilt top I knew just what to do. I combined two fabric lines from Moda as I thought it would add interest to the quilt and one jelly roll wouldn't have been enough to make the quilt. I used the Portobello Market and the Heritage Collection For A Cause fabric lines. Since I am such a reproduction fabric fan I have loved working with the Heritage line. It is reproductions from 1846 and Moda is donating funds for Ovarian Cancer research from the sale of this fabric line. I think of this as "Two, two, two mints in one!" Remember the old commercial that had that saying? It seems like it was for Wrigley's Double Mint gum. There were two twins each holding gum in their hands and they bumped the gum together while they said the two, two, two mints in one thing. Okay I guess I just told everyone how old I was...if you remember the commercial too fess up! Anyway, when I get to work with reproduction fabrics and support a great cause at the same time that is double fun for me. I thought I would show a photo to explain a little better how this quilt goes together.

In a nut shell, you sew strip sets together, cut goofy triangle shapes and then sew them together to make a rectangle block. The tricky part is that there are mirror image shapes going on here and you must stay organized in your cutting and piecing or you are lost and can come up with some pretty weird looking blocks that won't work at all. When I saw this book I thought, cool, I will use the precut jelly rolls and that will save a lot of cutting time. I found that not to be true with this quilt. You must take the 2 1/2" strips and cut them down to 2 1/4" widths to make this pattern work. Okay, it was a little easier then cutting into yardage, but it still made extra cutting time. I also bought some fourth yard cuts of some light backgrounds and a couple of darks where I bought the jelly rolls just in case there were not enough lights or darks in the jelly rolls to suit me. I was glad I did, as I cut into each of the extra fabrics that I bought. Did I absolutely need to add to the jelly roll? I did for the lights but I could have gotten away with the dark fabrics in the jelly rolls if I had to. The wedding is in March, but I would prefer to give this gift at the shower. Time will tell if this will be a shower gift or a gift at the wedding itself!

October 30, 2008

What's Been Going On

It has been a crazy week around here. I know all of you have weeks like that too! I was able to send out my PIF (Pay It Forward) gifts. I first talked about it here. I was able to send Julie's gift off to her, but my friend Char was close by. I was able to deliver hers in person. My other friend Jessica is no longer blogging, but her gift is waiting for her. She should be getting hers soon. As you can see the gift was a fabric basket and a little pillow. I will admit that I did not make the pillow - but I did make the basket! I saw the pillows at the store and since they were so cute they just had to be tucked inside the baskets. Thanks girls for being part of my PIF! It was fun!

I haven't had much time lately to sew. Last week I taught a Beginning Machine Quilting class and a Hand Applique class. That was a lot of fun. I really enjoy teaching and I always come away learning something new too! I was able to do a little sewing Sunday afternoon. I started to work on this scrappy quilt, Diamond Dazzler. I talked about this quilt in an earlier post here.

I bought a couple of jelly rolls to make a quilt for a wedding gift but I wanted to try out the pattern before I cut into them. I took some precut 2 1/2" strips that I had and made some of the blocks. I figured I would rather play around with my scrap fabrics and make sure the directions and measurements were correct before I cut into the jelly rolls. I liked the way the blocks are turning out. I am going to make a quilt top with my strips and then cut into the jelly rolls. This quilt doesn't seem like it will be hard to make, but you have to be very careful how you press those seams so they land where they are supposed to.

As I have mentioned in an earlier post I am the Program Committee Chairman for my guild. I have been working hard on lining up speakers & teachers. I am so excited because it looks like my guild will be able to host Bonnie Hunter (from ) in 2010. Yippee! I guess you could say I am just a little excited! If you are not familiar with Bonnie and you are a quilter you must go and check out her web site. The wealth of free patterns is amazing and she is so generous with her quilting knowledge.

There will be a lot going on in the next couple of weeks so I don't know how much I will be able to post. I will try to keep up with the blogs I follow. Sheesh! I am already behind in reading them! Big sigh! When I sign off here I am heading over to my Google Reader to see if I can catch up. I will try to post now and again, but if you don't hear from me in the next couple of weeks please know that I am returning soon!

October 17, 2008

Mmmm Good!

My dear Hubby came home from a business trip to Belgium and brought many goodies home for me.

I had given him two requests. Since he had a layover in London I asked that he bring me something that said London on it. I have always wanted to travel to London and take in the sights and I was a little jealous that I couldn't go. My second request was that he bring me back some Belgium chocolates. What sane chocolate loving gal wouldn't love some Belgium chocolate? This is what was in the packages!
From London (really the airport) he brought me an ink pen that has the flag of England on it and a tin that looks like the red buses that travel around London. The tin "says" London on it so he fulfilled my request! The tin is filled with yummy English Toffees. Someday I hope to really ride in one of those red buses in London. From Belgium he brought me chocolate all right! A box of assorted chocolates, a jar of yummy chocolate sauce and a dark chocolate bar. Yummy does not describe the taste of these beautiful chocolates! I am savoring each one. I have limited myself to one a day. If it is a big piece of wonderful mouth melting chocolate I cut it in half to even make my chocolate bounty last longer. I have been known to share with Hubby too. Honest! I haven't broken into the chocolate bar yet but I have tasted the sauce. Mmmmmm! Are you laughing at me yet? It's really ok if you are. I am! As much as I love the things he brought home to me I love having him back home more!

Look What I Received In The Mail!

Marlene from Stitching By The Lake celebrated her birthday with a giveaway. Look what I received in the mail! Thank you so much Marlene! It is a very special book as it contains her story of her Mother. Of course, I had to read the chapter written by Marlene first! I am looking forward to the reading of the rest of the book. Thanks again Marlene!

October 15, 2008

The Fall Into Fall Winner!

I used a random number generator to find the winner of my Fall Into Fall Quilter's Blog Giveaway. The winner is......Myra of Gr8dame's Place! Congratulations Myra! This has been a fun giveaway. I have enjoyed visiting many of the commenter's blogs, and I still have many more to visit. Wow! I did not expect this many comments. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to leave a comment!

October 14, 2008

Monster Report!

If you haven't read my blog before, no the monster isn't a Halloween monster. I had a ivory, pink and green monster in my living room for 18 months. Yep, that is a looooong time. My second post when I entered the blogging world was about the Monster. You can read about it here if you wish. I won't go into great detail again on this post. In a nut shell, it is a reproduction of a Marie Webster quilt. The era is 1930's. I hand appliqued it, and am in the process of hand quilting it.

Well...guess what!

This is what my living room looks like now!!! Yippee! I have to admit that I did a little happy dance when I was able to take the quilt out of the frame last Friday night at 12:30 a.m. I even yelled Yippee a couple of times. Not only was I excited that the Monster was out of the living room but that my Hubby was coming home after a two week business trip the next day. Getting the Monster out of the living room before he came home had been a goal of mine. I thought that it would make a perfect surprise welcome home present for him, and it was! He was not only happy to be home, but to be able to sit down on the couch was an added bonus. I had quilted my "fingers to the bone" to get the quilt out of the frame and it paid off. Now I just have to finish up some of the cross hatching lines at the edge and then quilt around the applique motifs. This can be done in front of the television, not in the middle of the living room. Can I say it again? Yippee!!

I will be posting soon about the goodies that hubby brought home for me and the neat giveaway prize that I received in the mail recently. So much fun!

A Giveaway!

Michelle at "Michelle's Quilts and Stuff" is having a giveaway to celebrate her birthday. Happy Birthday Michelle! Check out her blog and wish her a Happy Birthday. Tell her I sent you!

October 9, 2008

How Does He Do That?

Today I took a little trip over to Shipshewana, IN. Talk about great quilt stores! Hubby is out of town on a business trip (he will be home soon - Yippee!). He told me to do something fun while he was gone. Was that a wrong thing for him to tell me? Not in my book! I really needed some popcorn. There is a great bulk food store there that has great popcorn. I can't buy popcorn like that in the local grocery store... honest! I also like to stock up on frozen meat from Yoder's Meat Market too. My ground beef was running low. Why do I like to buy it there and then put it in a cooler to keep it from thawing before I can get it home? It is hormone free and the price and quality is great. Besides, it is much more fun to do a popcorn/meat run to Shipshewana then the local grocery stores. The local grocery store does not have a quilt stores near it! I have posted before about Shipshewana. You can find one of my posts here if you would like to read it.

I found a lot of neat fabrics today! There were many new fabrics in the reproduction section at Yoder's Department Store. I found most of what I bought today there. My dear Hubby is always very patient when he goes to a quilt store with me on our trips. He will wait in the car and sleep or read a book. At Yoder's Dept. Store there is a big hallway between the different stores with rockers that hubbys can sit in a wait for their wives. My Hubby can be there snoozing or in the car but the minute I take the credit card out of my purse he appears right by my side. How does that happen? How does he know I am ready to leave? I have often wondered. In the post I mentioned earlier I wondered if there was an alarm that goes ding ding when the credit card is removed. When I walked up to the register today I thought, "Ha! Hubby can't come up and see how much I have spent today!" With a smile on my face I handed the sales clerk my credit card. Ring! Ring! My cell phone starts ringing. I open it up. It was Hubby! How does he do that????? To make matters even more funny, he is in Belgium. There is a 7 hour time difference! When I told him where I was he said, "I figured!" He knew I was going to Shipshewana, but of course he didn't know when I was going to be ready to pay for my fabric. Or did he? How does he do that?

This is the fabric I bought for my stash today.

Of course I took this photo when I got home tonight on my diningroom table so the colors don't show to their true beauty.

I also found a pattern and fabric today that I will be using to make a wedding present with. I had been looking for the right quilt to make the happy couple but hadn't found it. Today I found it and the fabrics. I am using two different jelly roll fabric lines for the quilt. I haven't used jelly rolls before. I was worried that I didn't have enough lights or browns so I bought a little bit of yardage just to make sure.
The pattern is called "Diamond Dazzler" and it is from the book "On A Roll Again" by Heather Mulder Peterson. I have a project that needs attention before I start a new quilt. I sure want to start it though!

I have been working and working on "The Monster In The Livingroom". I will be posting about that soon!

September 30, 2008

October 1st Giveaway

On Wednesday, October 1st I will be participating in the Fall Into Fall Quilter's Blog Giveaway. I will be giving away this fabric basket that I made and the three Jo Morton fat quarters that you see tucked inside of it.

To enter my Giveaway leave me a comment on or after October 1st (not before)about your favorite thing concerning the Fall Season. Any comments that do not include this requirement will not be counted. If you do not have a blog you may still enter this Giveaway, but you must leave your email address with your comment so that I may contact you if you are the winner.

A list of all participants in the Fall Into Fall Quilter's Blog Giveaway are listed here. Make sure to visit them all and enter each of the drawings!

I will be drawing a winner on October 15th!

P.S. You can find a tutorial on how to make your own fabric basket here . Thanks Pink Penguin!

September 26, 2008

Decisions And Being Self Centered

Today I had to sit at the car dealer to have what they call "Major Service" done to my car and have new tires put on it. (Basically it was draining fluids, replacing them etc. but when they call it major service they can charge major prices!) What was I going to do for three hours? I didn't have a hand project that was easy to take along right now, so I took my laptop and worked on a quilt design. I have the EQ5 quilting program that I have always meant to learn it, and be able to use it well. I have done a few quilts on it, but that has been about it. That program is not easy for me to learn or execute. I'm not saying the program is in anyway bad, it just doesn't always make sense to me. I took along a reference book that I bought to go along with the program and decided that I would work on the layout for the log cabin quilt that I have been making blocks for. I couldn't figure out how to draw my blocks in it so I used some that were already in the program that were close to mine. This gave me a good idea of what my finished quilt could look like. If I knew how, I would post a couple of designs that I like, but as of right now, I don't know how. I know it is possible, but not for me today! The log cabin blocks finish up at 4 1/2" square. I played with using even smaller blocks in the border. I like the idea of using off center log cabin blocks to make a curved illusion. Well, the blocks would have to be 2.25" square to do what I had in mind. Yikes! That is a small block! Since I had spent so much time working on the quilt layout this morning I had to try a small log cabin block to see if I even liked it and to see if it was a workable design. I have never made such small block with such small pieces before. Well, I tried it and I think I like it. Talk about some itty bitty pieces! I was able to use some of my very small scraps in those itty bitty places so that of course made me happy. Now to decide what I really want to do with the border. The pattern I am using doesn't call for borders, but it just seems to me that one is needed. So, border or no border that is the question!
I did find a way to speed up the process of foundation paper piecing the other day. I was doing quite a few blocks of the same design. I use to do one whole block at a time. That means after each seam I was trimming up the seam allowance, picking up the iron, ironing the seam, setting the iron down and then do it over and over until the block was finished. This could take quite a bit of time. I found that I could do more of an assembly line while doing multiple blocks. I now sew the seam and while the scissors are still in my hand from cutting the thread away I trim the seam allowance. Setting that block aside I sew the next seam, trim the allowance etc. After I have all the blocks stacked up I pick up the iron and iron all of them at one time. This seems to save a lot of time in the long run. This especially works when doing a log cabin block and you have to stop to think, hmmm light or dark fabric next? I found I made less mistakes to as far as putting a dark fabric where a light one was supposed to go. Are there other quilters out there who do this and I just didn't know about it?

My sewing in the Summer Palace might be at an end for this season. While the weather is still warm enough to be outside, there seem to be enough mosquitoes to suck a person dry of their blood in minutes! You see a couple of weeks ago we had a huge rain fall that gave us about 10 inches of rain over the weekend. My friend Char blogged about this so if you want more details just look here. A river reached record heights and flooded many neighborhoods. The devastation in some areas is just so sad. This morning I heard on the news that a neighboring town has 500 homes that are uninhabitable. My heart goes out to them, and I have helped in ways that I could. All of the water that sat around gave the mosquito population a boost that just isn't funny. It is to cool down in a few days so maybe the mosquitoes population will go back to normal levels. At first I was upset that my sewing days outside might be over and then I remembered the families that can't live in their own houses and have lost all of their possessions. How can I complain about stupid bugs! I felt so convicted and asked God for forgiveness for being so self centered. I have been blessed not to have water damage and because of that I can help those who have.

September 16, 2008

Guild Day

Once again today was Guild day. I had remembered to take a box of flannel fabrics that my Mother had given me to be used with our "Kid's Quilts" projects. I had remembered! I had gotten a box out of the basement! Picture me patting myself on the back. Now, picture me bringing home the fabrics you see in the bag. There might not be as much in the bag as I took, but I still brought fabric back. You see, our guild makes quilts for children who are in group homes, children who are ill etc. We call it "Kid's Quilts". Today was Kid's Quilt day in which after the regular meeting some of us stay and work on quilts. My friends and I were going to work on string blocks. We were told that there were strings and foundations ready to be sewn. Okay, that that was in May. Things have changed since then I guess because we couldn't find them and the gal who is in charge of Kid's Quilts was out of town today. Hmmmm...what do do? I ended up going through some of the fabrics that have been donated to the guild and pulled out small pieces that I will cut into strings and fabric that will be used for the foundations. I will cut strings and foundations and have them ready the next time we get together to sew Kid's Quilts. My friends are doing the same so we should have a nice assortment of strings to work with. Another guild member told me she has saved a bag of strings and told me to come by and pick it at her house. I guess we are in business!

Speaking of my quilting guild, I am the new Program Chairman (or is that Chairwoman?). I have some fantastic fellow members who are going to be on this committee with me, so I will not be doing everything by myself. While I have lined up speakers for church functions before, I haven't done anything like this for the guild. I am sure I am going to learn a lot!

I did stop by the local Quilt Shop today and I have a really good reason! There was a coupon for a free fat quarter if you purchased at least $10 worth of merchandise. Well, that isn't hard to do. I found this neat pattern for a tote bag - boy did I need that! I also found some fabric that called my name. It said, "Buy a half of a yard of me - you need more cheddar color for your stash!" The second fat quarter was free too! The local Quilt Shop is celebrating their 11th year and they gave a free fat quarter to everyone at the guild meeting today. Fun! So, I guess in the long run I took more fabric to guild today then I brought home, so there shouldn't be any guilt there - just a pat on the back!

September 8, 2008

Another Turn On The Quilt Frame

Yippee! I was able to turn the "Monster In The Living Room" down in the frame last night! I am soooo happy! Can you tell? I see the end sight, I will be able to get the Monster out of the living room soon! I don't remember how long of a heading I sewed onto the edge, so I don't know if I will be able to do all of the cross hatching on the frame, but it will be close. I plan on marking the rest of the lines today - oh the end is in sight!
I have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we have had lately. I have sewn in my Summer Palace as much as possible. The Fall season will be upon us soon and the Palace will be coming down, but until then I try to take advantage of my favorite sewing place. As you can see I have been busy. I am working on a log cabin paper foundation piecing project and slipping in Civil War Diary blocks from time to time. I love the way the yellow and black CWD block turned out! I haven't trimmed down the log cabin blocks yet, so they will look better when I do. I am doing the log cabin blocks in Civil War reproduction fabrics. It has been great using up some scraps that I can never seem to throw away.

September 2, 2008

Unexpected & Expected Purchases

Today was my first guild meeting for '08-'09. We always take a Summer brake off from regular meetings. A guild member passed away over the summer and her family was selling a lot of her quilting supplies and fabric. I had been wanting to add to my homespun stash and look what I picked up! The price tag for this was $13.00. I can handle that! That was an unexpected purchase.
There is a quilting store in the same town that my guild meets. I hadn't been there all Summer so I decided that I needed to go there to see what was new. I also wanted to pick up a few autumn type fabrics. Well, I found the fabrics I wanted (the expected purchases) and I also found a book that seemed to call my name. It wasn't an autumn inspired book, but a Winter/Christmas book. Well, it was over 90 degrees outside today and the snowman was really nice to look at. The book had to come home with me too. My unexpected purchase. Come Winter I may wish for the Summer weather again, but today cold sounded good!

August 30, 2008

And The Winner Is...

I want to thank everyone who left comments and sent emails for my 100th post celebration drawing! Hubby assisted in the drawing. I have enjoyed meeting new bloggers, reading comments from those who do not have blogs and emails I have received. If your blog is new to me and I haven't visited yet, I will be soon! So, I guess you want to know who has won the little quilt? Ok!!
It is Lori (Mountain Woman At Heart)! Congratulations! Lori send me your mailing information please! Once again I would like to thank everyone who took the time to leave a comment or send an email. It is so much fun to read all of them. I try to email a comment back but if you have the noreply setting of course that is impossible! I did write quite a few emails and hit the send button to only realize then there was a noreply setting in place. Yikes!

August 28, 2008

Born Free!

Yes, the critter has been set free! When Hubby got home tonight from work he got right to work getting this raccoon ready for transport.

We drove for over a half an hour to the perfect wooded area for this critter to roam free. Hubby used long boards to open up the trap. I stayed in the truck and took the photos...someone had to stay in the safety of the truck!

The critter is seeing it's first glimpse of freedom. Boy did it take of fast! I couldn't get a photo of him taking off out of the trap.

If you look closely at the middle of this photo you will see the striped tail. I was able to get a photo of the raccoon waddling off into the woods! As the raccoon disappeared from view Hubby and I sang "Born Free!" If you are old enough to remember the movie about the lions you will know what we were talking or guess I should say singing about! Hubby is setting the trap again tonight just in case the raccoon had a buddy!

The Critter has been found!

Look what was in the live trap this morning!

Hubby had been putting peanut butter and marshmallows out at night and in the morning the bait would be gone but the trap not sprung. We didn't know which kind of critter was enjoying it's nightly feast, but something needed to change! I had so many fellow bloggers offer baiting ideas to catch this critter but A Simple Quilter actually did a little research and found a list of foods that attract different kinds of critters. It seems that the spice Anise has a very strong pull for raccoons but not for skunks or other furry pets. Hmmmmm...sounded good to me. I bought some yesterday and look what happened! Hubby also worked on getting the trap to spring a little easier, so I guess the two combined did the trick! The raccoon is now sleeping away the day under the tree where it will be in shade all day. Tonight after Hubby gets home from work we will be relocating this critter to a wooded area where it will be much happier. I will be too!

Don't forget about my 100th post give-a-way that I mentioned in my earlier post!