Search This Blog

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wall Hanging

Finished quilting the wall hanging:  I made this small quilt hanging 36x36 in a few hours (right photo).  Like most if not all quilters we never throw away scraps from other quilts.  Last November I had made a quilt for my daughter Stacy.(see above photo)   This quilt was done On Point, so  for the wall hanging I used the cut off point ends.  Sashed with extra batik material used on yet another quilt.

Simple looping stitch on the sashing and large swirl pattern on each of the squares.  I think this turned out quite pretty.  Still have to sew on the binding, but that wont take long at all.

Next week, June 3rd, going to visit brother and sister-in-law.  Donna (Two Red Threads) has requested quilting a whole cloth as she has an idea, fabric painting on pre quilted material.  I finished the whole cloth using various free hand quilt designs, and I am looking forward to playing with her new idea.

I will report on how this all turns out when I return.  In the meantime, have no new projects to work on, just sew bindings on the 4 patch and this wall hanging.  I will be taking them with me to do the hand sewing.  Even on vacation, I like to keep my hands busy. There will be time when I will be sitting around with nothing to do, so I always take some small projects along, just in case.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Idle Hands

I have not been working on any new projects physically, but mentally I have so many things going on in my little brain.  Still have not finished the wall hanging, but there is hope to do so by end of this week.

Wayne and I are going on a mini vacation to White Lake, WI, near Antigo.  My brother, Bill and his wife Donna, live there and we are going for a visit.  Wayne's plan, fishing, fishing and fishing with Bill.  My plans to pick the brain of my sister-in-law Donna.  She is a fiber artist - blog "Two Red Threads"  Bill also has a business and blog - "Twisted Branch".  They are both so creative and artistic (must run in the family).  Donna will keep me busy and filling my head with all sorts of things.  She has asked me to quilt a whole cloth, she has an idea about painting on quilted fabric, so will get this whole cloth done before heading out Thursday.

Yesterday our granddaughter Brittany and  great grandson Tayvn, soon to be 3 on June 1st came for a visit.  We had a good visit, and then I took them to lunch at Pizza Hut. Where else would you take a 3 year old for lunch.  He is such a little clown.  Love watching him do his thing.  The facial expressions are priceless.

Today, tackling more weeds.  I manage to get a few pulled everyday, and I've almost got them all.  Ha, darn weeds, I'm gaining on you.  After weeding, shopping for the materials I need to complete wall hanging and doing the whole cloth.  Anxious to see what ideas Donna has come up with for the whole cloth.  Whatever it is, I know it will be terrific.  I will take photos and post for you.

Time to get done blogging, and get busy doing what has to be done so I can get back to quilting and sharing with you.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finished 4 Patch Mint Chip

Finally finished the stitching/quilting of this quilt.  I used a landscape design. This is like a meandering, however, using long flat lines, rather than the all over puzzle pieces normally used in meandering.  This also look like water in a stream.  I used a bright green backing, really shows the stitching off.

After loading this quilt on my quilting table, looked at it over and over, and in my mind just couldn't decide which design to use.  Finally I thought there was already so much pattern in the quilt wanted to do something simply, so as not to take away from the different material patterns.

Let me know what you think.

Finished this quilt yesterday morning, early, as we had plans for the day and I just didn't want to leave it unfinished.

We went on a motorcycle ride with  4 of our friends.  One of the ladies that rides with us is also a quilter, and of course before we jump on the bikes with our husbands, have to show her all that I have been doing.  She really liked this quilt and the landscape stitching. She agreed the photos really don't show how beautiful the colors are in this quilt.

It was a great day. I was a little concerned about how my new knee would handle the ride, but it was no problem.  So excited now that things are getting some what back to normal.  Yesterday was the first bike ride I have taken and now that I know it is not going to be a problem for my leg, we can plan on going more often.

It was a short ride, but long enough for first trip out.  Wayne said we rode a little over 100 miles.  His back was starting to hurt him, so we cut it short and headed for home.   Before going on our trip, Wayne wanted a photo of his bike, he luvs it so much. So here it is and here is Wayne.

Now back to quilting, working on a small wall hanging. Just started this morning, and ready to quilt, but have to purchase more batting.  Waiting for sale at local fabric store before buying anymore batting.

Now that I have put in 3 hours in sewing room, time to do some (ugh) housework.

I will show you how the wall hanging turns out as soon as I finish it.

Lets Quilt.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kinky Curls

As you know, lost my hair before Xmas last year because of the chemo treatment. Its growing back, but its coming in all kinky curly, cant do a thing with it. Been trying to gel it down with some gel products, but that doesn't seem to work, so decided to go with the grow.   I actually had to have some of it trimmed, thanks Sarah, it got so bushy on the sides and back, really looked nasty. 

Went to lunch yesterday with my new curly style, and my bff said she actually liked it. I said it looked like a bad perm, but she disagreed.  I then went to fabric store to pick up the backing and batting needed to finish the quilt.  I am there quite often and some of the clerks know me by name.  One of them commented on the "new" hair cut.  I explained why it was so short and she said she also liked it.  So I guess I have to get used to this new look, until it changes again, which will be next week.  Each week it grows a little more or fills in a little more and then I have a whole new look.

I complain about how my hair looks, but compared to last year (bald) I really should not complain at all.  At least Wayne helps, he makes me laugh about myself.  When I was bald, he called me fuzzy and smiled, because I had little fuzzy hairs sticking up all over.  Now he calls me kinky. He is not making fun of me but with me.  He really has been a big help to me and lifts my spirits when I get low.  When you live with someone for 45 years you sometimes take them for granted and even get a little annoyed at some of their habits.  But after last year, Wayne really showed me how much we really do love each other. 

I have to say, even with all that has happened, I am a very lucky and grateful gal.  You know the old saying, If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  That's what Wayne and I are doing making lemonade.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I recently sent a photo to Leah Day  of the Scrappy Tear Drop Tree Quilt, using her Tear Drop Tree design.  I am so pleased, she like it so much, done in a larger pattern, she posted the photo to her website.

Its is so much fun sharing new ideas with other people who are as excited about quilting as I am. 

I spend a lot of time on my computer checking out other websites to give me new ideas for my quilting/stitching. 

Today my plan is to purchase the batting and backing I need to finish the quilt I started on this blog. Hopefully, I will be able to start the stitching on this quilt by tomorrow.

I wont know until I have a quilt on the long arm table which design I will use.  I never have a plan until I see the quilt stretched out and ready for quilting.

Since giving up on PT, I feel so motivated about my quilting, and just doing normal everyday things.  Don't know why, but just knowing I had to go to PT, put me in a depressed mood.  I know it did me good to go, and was necessary, but now I feel I will progress on my own.  Not being one to just sit and let things happen, I will push myself to get back to where I need to be.  I don't have anymore time for Poor Me Pity Party. 

Lets get going, and lets get quilting.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No more PT

Yesterday I made the decision not to go to Phys Therapy anymore.  They did help me in the beginning, but now it seems, it takes 2 or 3 days to recover from the phys therapy treatments.  I have been doing the exercises at home. So I cancelled future appointments.  This is the best I have felt in months.  I did my knee exercises and then took a short walk.  I had the best day ever, baked a banana bread and felt wonderful all day long. 

Didn't do any quilting or sewing but it was a good day anyway.

Today I spent 2 hours practicing some new stitch designs on a practice piece.  Some designs I used from Leah Day, and a couple I made up as I went along.  I have a few quilts coming up to do for myself and for others and thought today would be a good time to try something new before actually using any of these designs on a real quilt.

I have not been able to stitch the quilt I did for this blog, as I need to go shopping for more batting.  Cant believe how fast I run out of batting, but when I went to my stash, found did not have enough to do this big quilt.  So, tomorrow off to fabric store and then lunch with best friend Nettie.  She is also a quilter and we spend hours either talking, shopping or actually making quilts.  In addition of course of talking about our husbands, kids and grand kids.  We have been friends since grade school and she has helped me through some rough times this past year.  Don't know what I would ever do without her. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about.  That ONE friend who you can always turn to for good times and bad.

Looking forward to lunch and shopping tomorrow.

I will be ready to load the quilt and get it stitched.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Scrappy tear drop

Finished the stitching on the Scrappy Quilt.  I used a pattern from Leah Day 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs ---Tear Drop Tree.  I did a looping design on the sashing and was able to do continuous stitch from end to end.

This is the scrappy I did before going into hospital. It is one of my favorite scrappy patterns, and so easy to do.

This still needs to have the hand sewing done on binding, which I will be working on this evening. Total size of this quilt is 55" x 85", nice lap quilt. 

For as many quilts as I have made, you would be surprised at how few I have kept for myself.  This is going to be my lap quilt for those cool evenings come winter.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Good Morning Sunday

Been doing a few things around here since last wrote.

I have actually loaded a quilt onto the quilting table.  No its not the one I just did on blog, but  a scrappy quilt finished before going into the hosp for the knee operation.  It took some time as I had to take a few rests in between each process. 

This one is taking a little more time than usual.  Finished the first 15" pass and then had to quite, and since then I have been busy (for a change) doing other things. I will post some photos as soon as I can.  Trying out a new free motion design I learned from Leah Day blog.  While I have been sitting around resting my leg, I view several of my favorite quilt sites and blogs and Leah has a new design every day, she is working on a free motion design for 365 days.  This is a new design for me so I like to do all practicing on my own quilts, rather than a paying customer, just in case.

On Friday evening, hubby and I watching TV (what else is new) and I mentioned to him there was a dim line across the top of screen and I betcha the TV is finally going to give out.  We have had that TV for 20 or more years. Cant say that about too many appliances anymore.  Saturday, poof screen goes to black.

Now remember both of us have had recent operations, his back, my knee, so we aren't in any condition to set up a new TV and remove the big old clunker.  So, we went to a local small business TV shop.  Purchased just what we wanted and for the price I was expecting.  It was delivered to our home within 15 min. from time of purchase, hooked up and ready to go.  I always try to shop small local shops instead of those big box stores.  You get so much more service, plus if something goes wrong, you can always call them.  Cant do that with Walmart, Target etc.  We do have to purchase a new stand for the new flat screen as does not fit into our old TV center. You know what I'm talking about that huge piece of furniture, that takes up 3/4 of a wall to house your TV and knick knacks.  The new 32" wont fit in the space provided.  Awe, I was well aware of that when went shopping for the new TV.  I hate that TV center.  Poor Wayne, didn't even see it coming when we purchased the new TV.  But I think he is happy with the flat screen and is looking forward to freeing up some space once we get the new smaller stand.  Anyway, talk about service.  The man that sold us the TV and delivered (no charge) said to call him back after we have the new stand, and he will return and again set up on new stand and remove the old clunker.  You cant get that kind of service but from small local stores. Love it.

Besides buying a new TV on Saturday, had a full day.  Our 9 year old granddaughter Kylee came for the day.  She went grocery shopping with Gma.  While I'm riding around in the electric cart, she is helping me get things off shelves.  Believe me, she was a huge help.

Later that day we took a trip to Rio.  To see our other granddaughters dance recital.  Emma age 6 and Brooklynn age 10.  We took Kylee with us.  It was wonderful.  You have to be a mom or grandma to really appreciate these recitals (or grandpa). It was so cute. I especially love watching the littler ones, ages 4, 5.  They are so adorable.  We truly enjoyed the recital.  After, we went out to eat with the rest of the family, Ken (son) Deena (daughter-in-law) and grandson Luke age 5.  That was also enjoyable.  We haven't been able to spend much time with Ken and his family since or old age ailments. But hopefully that will change soon.   On the way home we dropped Kylee off at her dads and headed for home.  All in all it was a pretty good day.

I promise you and myself, tomorrow I'm back in quilting room and finishing the scrappy quilt stitching

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Im on hold

Really need something to get me motivated.  Haven't felt up to doing anything since I finished the quilt top.

Today I have PT again, and that usually puts me down and resting for the remainder of day.  I hope not.  I feel like I'm on hold.  These rainy, gloomy days don't help my attitude.  I've really got to push myself and get going on my quilting again.

While resting, I have been on my computer and looking up many different quilt sites. From these I have gotten several free motion ideas and am so anxious to try these designs.  I have been doodling on paper some of the designs and have been actually doodling some of my ideas for a new free hand design.  I really prefer doing a free hand as compared to panogram or stencil.  Photo of free hand design on a raffle quilt I did for the Edgerton Quilt show.  I did a rosette in each square and a double diamond in center of each square with a looping design on the border.

There are now 2 quilts in my sewing room ready to be loaded and quilted on my long arm.  I am thinking of several different free motion designs I could use on each of them.

Lets hope today is the beginning of a new week of quilting.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Final Steps

Now that I have completed sewing all the rows together, its time for final steps.

I added a 2.5" inner border and 6.5" outer border.  Finished size is 85" x 115".

The quilt top is completed, and ready to be quilted. I'm hoping to do this next week.

Will post the photos of the quilt after I have quilted on my Tin Lizzie. Still haven't decided on what stitch I will use.  It usually comes to me once I have the quilt loaded onto the machine and ready for quilting.

Wish my camera took better pictures as this quilt is much brighter colored than appears in photos.

Its another gloomy day, so I think I will spend the rest of the day resting a little and then making a pie.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Good News

Last month I made a quilt and donated to Mercy Hosp Benefit Ball.  Mercy holds a Benefit Ball each year and hold a silent auction for items donated.

The quilt I donated to the silent auction went for $1200.00.  I was so happy to hear it brought in this much money for the benefit  This year all monies raised will used to help the homeless shelter in Janesville WI.

The pattern I used was "Turning Twenty" and I stitched each individual piece separately in each block, did not use a running stitch.  The pictures don't really do it justice on how beautiful it turned out.

I have found out when you are in a business, you get  many requests for donations. I cant possibly honor all of these requests, but I have done a few donations for a good  cause and people I know personally.

Not sure if I will be sewing again today. Still have a few aches and pains that I am dealing with this morning. But if I do, I will certainly post what I do.

It's such a gloomy rain day today, I might just sort through some materials and maybe plan my next project. I'm hoping I will be able to actually do some quilting on the Tin Lizzie by next week. We will just have to see how I am feeling by then. 

I have so many stitch patterns running through my head, can't hardly wait to get back to my quilting machine.  It has been almost a month since I did my last quilt, it's like going through a with drawl. 

Even though it is a gloomy day, I wish you a good day and keep on quilting

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Not today

Sorry wont be doing any sewing today.  I awoke this morning around 4am, and woke with the worst back ache Ive ever had in my life.  Didn't think I could even get out of bed, but nature was calling and had to push myself. Hurt like crazy, even had to use my walker to make it to the bathroom and back.  I must have slept funny or maybe did too much yesterday.  All's I know is I wont be doing any sewing today.

Went to PT this morning and I'm feeling better, both knee and back, but just not up to doing anything today.

After PT, went to visit a friend.  She lives in the country and it was such a beautiful day we sat out on her deck and had a nice visit.  She baked me choc chip cookies. What a good friend.

Going to spend the rest of the day resting, hope tomorrows a better day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beautiful Day

What an absolutely beautiful day.  Kinda windy, but temp wise, perfect. I love it when its a little windy. The lilacs are blooming and with wind blowing them around can smell them all around the house.  I for one would rather have this kind of weather rather than the cold of winter and or the heat of summer.  Dont get me wrong, I like summer too, but like most people, spring and fall in Wisconsin is the best.

I worked on quilt this morning.  All the singel rows are sewing together, and now ready to put the rows together.  You will need to cut 12 2.5" strips and then sew the strips so you have 6, 2.5" x 69".  Sew strips together with a miter seam. (photo)

Sew these strips between your rows.

When adding second row to first strip, be sure you match up the sashing between blocks from 1 row to next and pin to keep in place. Sew together with 1/4" Seam and press away from you. Do this for all 7 rows.

I have now completed the center of the quilt. 

Met my best friend at Loose Threads quilt shop and purchased additional material for the inner and outer borders for this quilt.  After shopping went to lunch with her and then home.

 Like I said its a beautiful day.  Sat outside on front porch and enjoyed the wonderful weather.

Dont get so involved in sewing you forget to leave your sewing room and go outside. Take a walk or just sit and breath in the fresh air.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 3 adding sashing

Finished all by 4 patch squares. Next step cut 10, 2.5 " strips, sub cut  into 28, 12.5 " x 2.5 " strips.

Sew a 12.5 x 2.5 " strip between the 12.5x12.5" 4 patch blocks, Again 5 blocks across.

I chose a chocolate brown moda, for my sashing, its your choice of color you would like to use for sashing.

Because I spend so much time placing my blocks in each row, I mark each row at beginning patch with the row number using a piece of masking tape and marking the row number on the tape. This way I don't mix up the patches.  Do this for all 7 rows.

That's all I could do for today. Icing down my knee and giving it a full rest before I do anymore.

You can choose not to add sashing and just sew your blocks together side by side. (see photos and you can decide for yourself)  I prefer adding the sashing as it breaks apart the patches and you can see them better, also will give you a larger quilt.  I am making this one large enough for full size bed.

Wayne has his day planned today, he had the garden rota tilled and is planting tomato plants today.  I think its a little early, but he thinks he will be fine. If not he will be covering the garden at night to keep away any frost.  A friend or ours is going to share our garden this year, so the two of them are out there playing in the garden.

After I finish resting my leg, I am going to go outside and enjoy the warm weather. Maybe pull some more weeds, (darn weeds) and clean flower pots to get ready to plant new flowers.  Not sure when I should plant my flowers, weather keeps changing and still gets pretty cold at night. Don't want to lose any new flowers to a frost.

Monday, May 3, 2010

View from my dining room

I am still working on sewing together my 4patches from the 6.5 squares. I'm about 1/2 way through. Worked for a few hours this morning but had to call it quits for a while. The squares are looking good. You will use only 35 of the 39, 12.5 squares. Keep the extra 4 and make pillows from them.  When you have all 36 squares finished, you will have 5 squares across and 7 rows down.  Hopefully I will have all finished by tomorrow and can take you to the next step.

While doing dishes I looked out my dining room patio door and saw the goldfinch feeding.  Besides loving to quilt, my hubby and I are bird watchers. We have several feeders around our home for various birds to come and feed. During the winter months, we kept the thistle feeder out and the goldfinch came everyday. I had not realized they stayed around all winter, until I looked it up on Net. I discovered the males loose their bright yellow colors and look just like the females all winter. I know now to watch for their color change to tell me spring is coming.

We are waiting for the hummingbirds to arrive.  I have put out the feeder, they should be coming any day now.  They arrive around end of April and middle of May.  I will have to be quick to get a photo of them.

Today is another phys therapy day, not looking forward to it, but must do what I have to do.  Actually feeling pretty good today, and knee is bending better and better.

Have a good day, and happy quilting.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Birthday Girl

I just realized today is May 2nd, our granddaughter Emma Jean is 6 today.  Unfortunately we wont be able to spend time with her today. She is having a birthday party at her other gmas in Wisconsin Rapids. But I am thinking of her and wishing her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY anyway.  Called her a few minutes ago, she is pretty excited she was playing with her new Zhu Zhu pet. Looks like I will be shopping for Zhu Zhu, she is collecting these and has a few already. Hopefully we will see her in a week or two and spend time with her and the rest of her family.

Its a shame we are all so busy just doing our daily things that we miss the time we could and should be spending with our loved ones. 
Wayne and I are both retired (forced retirement for me) and still we don't seem to find the time to do all the things we want to do.  Between the 2 of us we have spent more time seeing doctors than our family.  He had back surgery on March 5th and is still recovering from that. Not completely healed yet, but getting better than he was.

This darn knee has prevented me from doing a lot of things, but I'm going to make up for it as soon as possible. 

I did manage to pull a few weeds today, darn creeping Jennie, almost smothered my rose bushes. But I got them before they could. Tomorrow I will attack some more. Have to do little at a time. Just hope I can get ahead of them before they take over all of my flowering plants

Day 2 quilting

I have been down in my sewing room already this morning. Started about 6:00am and finished around 8:00am. Told you I was an early bird and like to start right in.  I usually get more done in that time, but still favoring my left knee and when I do this I put pressure on my right leg, which then causes hip and back to start hurting. 

Day 2 of quilting, you will cut your 3strip groups into 6 1/2 in squares. You will get 6 squares out of each 3 piece strip. With a total of 156, 6.5 x 6.5 in squares.

After cutting all of your squares. Take 4 squares and sew together, but turning the squares one horizontal and the next vertical, second row of 4 patch one vertical and one horizontal.  I have posted photos of how they should look. 

I have a quilt design board I use to lay out my squares so I can put the colors together that I like for each square.  Your 4 patch square will measure 12.5 in x 12.5 inch. When you have sewn all of your 6.5squares into 4 patch 12.5 squares, you will have 39 total 12.5 x 12.5 squares.

I made my own quilt design board, and I made it portable because I don't have the wall room to keep it on one wall.  Let me know if you would like to learn how to make the quilt design board.

That's all for today, have to go and do my wifely chores, dishes, pick up house etc etc etc, boring things but have to be done.  I am doing well enough that Wayne does not have to help me with these chores anymore. He has been a big help but now I really dont mind doing these chores myself.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blogging is like keeping a journal, so I'm going to include recent activities along with things in the past. Today I posted the making of a new quilt. I will take you through the entire process of making this quilt.

Thought some of you might like to see my workshop where all the fun begins and ends. This is the lower level of our bi level home. I have taken over the entire downstairs for my quilting/sewing room. This room is not only functional but also therapeutic.  When I want to take my mind off of everything else, here is where I go.  I sometimes just go and sort materials, or look through quilt books and patterns and plan and my next project. 

The big machine  you see is a Tin Lizzie18 and sits on a 10ft table. This is the machine I use to quilt the designs on completed quilt tops. Quilting consists of sandwiching , starting with the backing material, batting in the middle and your quilt top on the top of these layers. Then I stitch a design through all 3 layers using my Tin Lizzie, which holds it all together. When finished you have a beautiful quilt.

I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

New Quilt Beginning to End

I thought I would take you along on a journey of making a quilt from beginning to end.  I am calling this one 4 Patch Mint Chip. 

To start I purchased 2 Bali Pops. Bali Pops are pre packaged 2 1/2" strips of Batik material. Each package has 40 colors of 2 1/2" pre cut strips.

From 78 strips sew in groups of 3 strips using 1/4" seam allowance, press seams away from you. You will have total of 26, 3 strip groups.  Each strip will be 6 1/2" wide by appx 42" length.  Photo of some of the 3 strip groups.