Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where Has January Gone?

I guess keeping busy is the key to time passing quickly! We've enjoyed a couple of "warm" days - up into the mid 40's. We escaped the house to run errands, get groceries and go pick up quilts from a nearby town.

Also have enjoyed visits with family in Mississippi and Wisconsin. And I have pictures to share of
the Wisconsin G'kids. Amanda is holding a quilt made from Carol Doak's paper foundation piecing book, State Stars. Those blocks are real beauties and it took up to three hours to make some of them! But it was well worth the time! Caroline, a long arm quilter in Rushville, quilted this quilt and as usual, did a great job with it.

And Paul is smiling behind the sampler quilt. This was a Block of the Month quilt from Kaye England's shop, Quilt Quarters in Indianapolis. Each month I received patterns for one 12" and two 6" blocks. The backgrounds are different black prints. This was my first BOM and first time for using such a variety of bright colors. Judy Wilson, a gal in Texas has a long arm quilting business and she quilted it using a variegated primary colors thread. She did a super job, lots of swirls and feathers and anything else she could think of. She asked for permission to play and I said okay - and it's just super. Perhaps you can see some of her work if you click on the photo to enlarge it. (Doesn't Paul look just like his father?)

Now I'll bet your wondering just what this mess is in the next picture! Well - I picked up two quilts from Caroline yesterday and this "mess" is the binding being sewn on. This quilt measures approximately 82" square and created a real wrestling match while sewing on the binding! But it's now sewn on and I can sit in my recliner and hand stitch the binding to the back while watching Desperate Housewives this evening. I may sit and stitch all night - it's always so cozy under a quilt. The blocks are all made of a different plaid fabrics and the sashings and borders are a burgundy color. The block has several different names, I got the pattern from Bonnie Hunter's book, Scraps and Shirttails. She called it "Swing Your Partner" - mine isn't quite like hers - she had half square triangles where I have solid fabrics for the sashing. I started to make the half square triangles and gave up after about a hundred of them! The backing is a brushed cotton - not quite as heavy as flannel.

The "pretties" shown below are something I just had to make! Gals were talking about doing these fabric baskets in my fabric-stash chat room and also on Stashbusters, a Yahoo Group! The blue and yellow basket will go to a little girl in Mississippi who is having a birthday soon. I plan to find a few goodies to put in it! The polka-dot basket is for the Mississippi Grandson - can't send a gift for one and not the other! Right?

Wouldn't these be cute for coworkers B'days and holiday gifts? Ah - so many ideas and so little time!

Nearing lunch time for me and Chet is due home soon so I guess I'd best go rattle some pots and pans.

Till next week - - have a good one!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Blocks Sunday

We are having a rather dark dreary day today - looks cold out and I think it is - I'm not sticking my nose out of the door!
And I can't think of anything better to be doing than sewing Happy Blocks. I have been going through my novelty - kiddie print scraps and cutting them into squares (2 1/2" squares) . . . then I made them into four patch blocks ( 4 1/2" unfinished size). Next I cut strips ( 2 1/2" wide) from each of my new polka dot fabrics - all 11 of them! And the photo on the bottom is the result - for now. These blocks are them trimmed to 8" square and will finish at 7 1/2" square. I estimate I'll need 30 blocks to make a child size quilt. . . if you "click" on the photos, they should enlarge for you. Now remember - these are all scraps, except for the polka dot fabrics which I bought for this project. I will continue to cut strips and sew up the stack of blocks! Oh - I sure do have fun with my sewing! (And I don't want to hear anyone say 'she's come undone")

Family is fine - had an email from the Wisconsin G'daughter - they were out of school for two days due to the bitter cold. Tracy is enjoying warmer temps than we are but did say it was cooler there than usual. Nate called to see if we were alright (and we were) but he really wanted Tracy's phone number - he keeps losing it! I called Mark to see if he was alright and he said he was trying to stay warm. Nate's work hours have been cut back and Mark said the plant has cut back, but his hours haven't changed. Mark also said the new Honda plant in town is shutting down four days this month. Chet is still here, too - doing alright. He isn't back from church yet - his buddy lost his wife the 1st of the year and poor Chet was just as upset as the buddy was. This gal was not able to do anything for months.

Time to sign off for today - lunch time and Chet will be home soon - licking his lips and sniffing around for food!

Till next time - - take care

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New York Beauty Class

On Monday, eleven gals from my quilt guild took a class on making the New York Beauty quilt block. A gal from the Columbus, IN guild gave the lesson. We started at 9:30 and went on into the day - until we had to leave to feed a dog or take a nap!

Photos are of gals working on their blocks - Rita, Sue K. and Dotty.

Shots of Sue W. and myself - with our finished blocks.

I made two more blocks on Tuesday morning and made another block this morning - set them together with black sashing strips, dug up some batting and backing and made the binding - and now it's ready for someone to quilt!

This is also a NYB piece I made a couple of years ago, using Asian inspired fabrics - daughter Tracy is holding it.

Till next time - stay well and warm. . . and quilt, if you can!

P.S. Dates on photos above are wrong - camera glich? Or Joan glich? (The latter, I fear!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Afternoon

Oh my goodness, it is definitely Winter! But I'm not complaining about it today.
I'm having a hard time with my memory this week. I signed up to take a quilting class and wanted to use a packet of black/white and white/black fabrics - but I can't find them. I just saw them last week.
Okay - explain this - Chet is flipping channels and stopping occasionally (no football yet, I guess). He likes old movies and stopped for a moment on a channel showing the Barefoot Countessa. Now get this - I remember seeing the movie with Chet, sister Amy and her date - I won't mention his name to save her embarrassment (my gosh girl, what were you thinking when you were dating him?) And I'm not sure - but think it was at the Flying Cloud Drive-In theater. . . Amy, ringing any bells! But where is my bundle of black/white & white/black fabrics? I'm trying so hard to clean up this house, specially my sewing things. We got a new TV and stand for C'mas and had to dispose of a collection of sewing and quilting videos. We bagged them up and put them on the sofa in the living room. Today I finally went through them, sorting them because there were kids' videos, proms, weddings, etc. Video for my bread machine and the riding lawn mower (what a combination, eh?). Children's videos - and even a Barney movie!
I've got them bagged up and will contact a quilter friend to see if she wants them - when I tossed out boxes of old magazines she was upset with me, so will offer them to her or pitch them. I also put away the last of the C'mas decorations from the piano. . about time, I guess!
The pictures below are my attempts at lightening the fabric stash. The first one quilt has fabric in the smaller squares from a dress I did for Amanda when she was about 4 years old. The out fabrics are leftovers from pillowcases I did for G'kids a couple of years ago. This piece needs to be quilted and hope to finish it this week.
This is another "leftovers project" - the wavy stripe is from a project Tracy did as a gift for a friend (I think) and the outer strips are again leftovers. I did buy the backing for this quilt just recently, on sale of course, at a quilt shop that is closing. These are donation quilts to be given locally.

While sewing in my bedroom, I "listen" to the TV. Love the old game shows - Let's Make A Deal and the cars for $5,000 - - - did you know that the Statue of Liberty was created using Isabelle Singer of the Singer sewing machine people? (Old Jeopardy Show) and who knows that Liberace's first name was Walter? Hey - these old shows beat QVC and Soap Operas!
I expect my adult children and their families are fine - we've not heard from them in a week. I think I'll call them and prattle on and on and aggravate them.
Till next week - everyone who is ailing - please follow your doctor's orders (you know who you are), stay warm and well.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

Hello from Greensburg. We are having kind of a dreary day - mind you, I'm not complaining because we don't have one flake of snow on the ground. In fact, we've not had a "measurable snowfall" this winter! However, there are three months of winter yet to come!

We are well and hope everyone is doing well, too. Brother seems to be recuperating well and getting a bit feisty following his surgery on the 31st. . . Boy had best take it easy!

Chet is a bit sad - Colts lost last night! But I'm sure there's another football game on today that may perk him up! He's been watching the auto auctions on the Speed Channels - surprising how much some of those cars are going for - hard to believe there is an economic crunch! (Grinning here!)

Belated B'day wishes go to Sister Mona - I have taken a photo of your gift - I will mail it tomorrow. We have a gazillion steps to climb to get into the post office and I avoid going there as much as possible. (I even buy my postage stamps at the grocery store.) I really do have a gift for you - see - it's the Pot Of Flowers, I do hope you can find a spot for it in your home. And of course I'll toss in a surprise, too!

My sewing is keeping me occupied - I ended the year by starting another project. Gotta get that stash used up soon and I'm proud to say, it really is going down. I can get the covers on most of the Rubbermaid containers now! I finished this Pioneer Braid quilt on New Years Day. It is a fairly good size quilt, about 60 x 80. My latest project is making "Happy Blocks" for donation quilts - problem is, I'm not too happy with mine. So I need to do some rethinking and see if I can come up with some happier blocks!

Tori & Tia spent a week at Mark's house and we visited and had supper with them on Thursday. Mark made a lasagna and Texas toast - pretty good fixings for a bachelor! He had a pot of chili that he was tired of eating, so sent a couple of meals home with us. That too, was pretty tasty. The girls are growing into such beautiful young ladies. Tori is a senior and Tia is a sophomore - both say they are "good students"! (And I'm sure they are!)
Chatted with our out of state kids over the holidays. Tracy's two are in Florida with their father for a week. Not sure but I think Mitch and family visited with Di's family for the holidays - her siblings are in Cincinnati and Louisville - hope they had decent travels.
This week will be kind of busy for me. We lost a friend and will go to her visitation and then I'm visiting a quilt guild in a neighboring city Wednesday; this group goes out to lunch and then we will "visit" a quilt shop. Should be an interesting day.
Till next week - take care now.