Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy National Quilting Day!

I didn't even realize this was National Quilting Day until I started reading Facebook after I got home from work this afternoon!  So I can't say I celebrated it much except I worked for a while at cutting some scraps into 2" squares....not planned for anything in particular, just something to sew into four patches when I feel like sewing. So many of the quilt patterns I like and might want to make start with four patches. I also cut some 1 1/2" X 3 1/2" rectangles for little spool blocks. Another "when I feel like it" project.

This is a picture of the latest quilt I quilted. There were some challenges, but it came out OK in the end.

Anyone know the name of the pattern?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Finished and Confused

First of all, the finish...

Orca Bay.....a former mystery pattern designed by Bonnie Hunter from her book, String Fling: Scrappy, Happy and Loving It! It only took me four years to get it done. :)

And this is a friend's quilt I quilted for her:

Very colorful. The outer border is a deep purple and the lime green inner border sets it off perfectly.

Now for the confused....  Today at our quilt group meeting our project was a paper pieced star...a really cute pattern. But, I have to tell you, my brain just doesn't get along with paper piecing. I got one section of the star done correctly. The second section...not so good. :)  Maybe I'll be better able to concentrate at home and do it right. I made extra copies of the foundation papers just in case. LOL

Enjoying the beautiful Spring weather. Hope it lasts, though the Northeast is due for more winter-like weather again this weekend. They have had such a bad winter!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Big Talk & Rotary Cutters

Today was the day for Big Talk From Small Libraries, a webinar series hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission. If I remember correctly this was the fourth year I participated in this.  They last all day from about 9am to 5pm with some short breaks. Very inspiring, but that's a long time to be glued to the computer, so yes, I  was the one cutting quilt pieces for itty, bitty Spool blocks. I say itty bitty because four of these will make a 6" finished block. My laptop was on the cutting table next to me so I could listen & watch while I wielded the rotary cutters.

The presentations lasted until 5pm  and by 4pm I had cut up all the strips and had my container, a bread pan, about filled up with kitted up block pieces. Now when I feel like it I can just sew, sew, sew.

It was a good way to spend a cold day. Now, I wonder what we're having for supper.......

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Scrap Sorting & Pressing....

.....ready to cut into pieces the right sizes to make beautiful quilts. It's a very quiet Sunday, perfectly suitable for this sort of activity.

Fabric has gotten so expensive that it just makes good sense to try to use up the scraps...ala Bonnie Hunter.  I have a couple quilts in mind so I will cut for them as I go through these.  This box has been on a shelf in the basement storage area for quite a while. I'm finding old favorites from the days in the 1980s to the mid-1990s when I sewed for craft fairs.  Brings back memories!  The smallest pieces that I save are 2" squares. Some of the patterns I like use 1 1/2" squares but if I actually make them I'll start out with strips that size...much easier to handle.  Anything smaller than the 2" size finally goes in the trash....and then Hubby digs through them to find the ones usable as gun cleaning patches! Seems like the usefulness of this old fabric never ends. :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

To All

Happy Friday the 13th!!

And we get another one next month!!  I'm not superstitious so it's just another day. My day will be happy if the sewer line gets routered out yet today. I have calls in to two different guys. Whoever gets here first gets the job. I WILL be nice enough to call the one that doesn't......

Today, besides waiting for the sewer guy, I'm just cutting down some scraps into 2" and 2 1/2" inch squares for future quilts. I don't keep anything smaller than that. There IS a quilt pattern that I want to make that calls for 1 1/2" squares, but I think I'll start with strips sewed together, then cut in segments and made into four patches. I'm really itching to start something new, but I still have three quilts of my own to get quilted. Will I be able to hold out?

This quilt was started as a project at our January Orchard Quilters meeting. We held a Jelly Roll Race for the center part and the challenge was to bring it back finished to the February meeting. Or, at least finished into a top. I managed to get mine quilted and bound so it's in the FINISHED pile.

It's made from a Bonnie and Camille Miss Kate jelly roll from Moda, along with some yardage for borders and binding.  I just squeaked by on fabric for the binding because I had used the same fabric for my daughter's quilt at Christmas and I had only bought a yard...had something like an inch left over. I'm keeping this one and it will live on the back of my couch this summer. It's such a bright, cheerful quilt.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Here's To Short-Lived Resolutions

I've only ordered a yard & a half of fabric this year so far for a border on a top I've had put together for at least three years...maybe more.  Got it out with the intention of  making backing & piecing batting for it and decided I REALLY didn't like the border on it and ripped it off.  Hope I like the new fabric better.

As a side note....I'm ready for Spring.  This cold weather is getting very old!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

You Would Think.....

...that since I haven't left the house since Monday afternoon that I would have gotten a lot of sewing done.

Not so.

The phone rang a lot....can I blame my lack of accomplishment on that???  

Didn't think so!!!

Yesterday I sewed up 24 quilt blocks for a block drive (that ended at the end of Nov.).

Today I pieced together four border strips, packaged up those 24 blocks and a baby gift to go in the mail on Saturday.

See, I don't plan to leave the house tomorrow either.  :)  My plan for tomorrow is to put borders on Orca Bay. I may or may not get them all on, but I at least want to get the inside border and the pieced borders on. I want the quilt a little larger so I'll probably put on another border out of the same fabric as the inside border and then bind in black. That should look OK.

Unless I change my mind.

I REALLY have to do better this year than I did over the past week!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Got Some Sewing Done Today

Finally, today I got to get back to my sewing machine and do some sewing that wasn't rush, rush for some specific deadline. I didn't do anything fantastic, just a set of blocks for a block drive for Alycia Carmin's QOV project. Actually the deadline for getting blocks in was the end of November, while I was embroiled in Christmas sewing. It's OK, I know they can still use the blocks for making QOV quilts at her group's sew days.

The pattern is very simple...go the the link above for the full directions. These blocks are in patriotic colors, but it would make a great scrappy quilt. It really does need the side strip to be one color or color family for contrast.

Now I'm off to bed.

Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas---Lots Of Pictures

Count your blessings...these are only a few of what I took.  Click them to biggy-size.

Frank Sinatra hat--Daddy is a Frank fan.

Our cutest little Christmas elf!

The feast.

Let's get these presents opened.

On to the next ones!

Ooohhhh, we love these!

Her very own grocery cart.

Grandson's sports themed quilt with the Pittsburgh Steelers fabric on the back.

I think she likes it!

See what I got, Grandpa?

That thick, fleece lined stocking hat is coming in handy about now.

Daughter's throw-sized Jelly Roll Race bright colors, as requested.

Always some silliness going on!

Cookie break! Ollie is hoping they drop some.

More silliness.

Pie break!
We had a great day. It was so much fun to watch the two little ones enjoy their first real Christmas. Last year they were present, but at three months old they weren't doing much.  Hope you all enjoyed your Christmas too.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Another One For The History Books

Another Christmas Day is about over. It goes all too fast. We spend hours upon hours shopping, creating, decorating, cleaning cooking....and in just a few hours it's over. It was fun though. Watching 15 month old twins tear into their presents and then play and play is great entertainment. It seemed everyone else liked their gifts too. I made quilts for Daughter and Oldest Grandson and now that they have them I can share pictures.

Daughter showed me a picture of a raggy type quilt that looked a lot like this, but was a lot more fussy work than I like to do, so a Jelly Roll Race quilt it was. She requested bright colors and this jelly roll was about the brightest I could find.

Oldest Grandson and I had talked about a quilt for his room at Easter. He wanted blue and a sports theme and this is the result. The back is a Pittsburgh Steelers fabric and exactly matches the wallpaper border in his room. He's a great Steelers fan!

I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and now we can look forward to the New Year....a new start.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Playing Along

Bonnie Hunter announced today that she would be hosting a Christmas Eve Linky Party tomorrow where we can share pictures of our favorite quilty Christmas projects. The Linky will go live at 5am.....needless to say my link to this blog post will be posted later.  :)  I'm not a morning person and make no apologies for it.

Anyway, here are two of my favorite Christmasy projects:

Christmas table topper started at an Orchard Quilter's meeting probably 9 or 10 years ago. I've used it every year since.

Roll, Roll Cotton Boll made from a Bonnie Hunter mystery pattern. It's the closest I come to having a Christmas quilt.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Frosty Morning

Our frosty morning after the heavy fog we had yesterday and last night.

It would have been so much prettier with some sunshine.....which we haven't seen for well over a week now.

Monday, December 15, 2014

How Do They Know???

Today I'm just about finished quilting the last gift quilt for Christmas. It's not very big and the machine is stitching perfectly. Yesterday was a whole other story!

How do machines know when you want to get something finished and time is running short? I got the quilt loaded, the machine was oiled, the bobbins were wound, put in a new needle. The first row or two went pretty good but I noticed some little loopies on the back so tightened up the upper tension---a couple of times. That didn't do any good so I switched bobbins. Nope. Re-threaded the machine. Nope. Switched top thread from Perma-Core to Maxi-Lock. Better but now we have skipped stitches. Finally consulted the troubleshooting section of the manual and it suggested a larger size needle. Switched them out and.....wait for it.......SUCCESS!!!  The last two and a half rows of the quilt look really great. :)  Oh,'s going to an 11-yr. old non-quilter so I doubt he'll ever notice that the back isn't quite perfect. No pictures yet, but I'll be sure to get some before the quilts get wrapped.

Are you ready for Christmas?? I'm resigned to the fact that not everything that I would like to get done will get done. But, there will be presents and food and what doesn't get done can wait until later. There's no sense half-killing myself over things nobody else will notice and there's no sense being too exhausted to enjoy the day with the family.

And, I forgot to was a SNOW DAY!!! Nothing better than a snow day. It's kind of a bonus day and I look forward to them like a little kid. Rain, snow, wind, but I didn't have to go out in's all good.

Now, back to that last quilt.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Prep

Have you done yours?

I'm thankful I don't have to sew on the kitchen table. I don't have a dining room or dining room table so that's not a problem either. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Super Heroes

Our little Halloween Super Heroes.

Bat Girl is moving so fast she's just a blur!!

Cute little capes.
Hope you all had a fun Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quilt of Valor Block Drive

Alycia Carmin in Colorado is running a block drive for Quilts of Valor from now till the end of November. Click here for the full scoop --

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What Quilt Do You Have On Your Bed?

That's the question Jo over at Jo's Country Junction has asked. Bonnie Hunter's "Jamestown Landing" is the quilt on my bed.

It's the only quilt I've finished in the last couple of years that I have kept.  As soon as I saw a picture of it I knew I wanted make it....the process just took a couple of years.

Now it's your turn to show what's on your bed and share it on Jo's blog.

Friday, October 3, 2014

It'll Be Here Soon.....Halloween, That Is

This year I'm ready.....

A Halloween quilt for the back of the couch, made using my Twister ruler.

And a table-topper for my table. I have a weakness for Halloween fabric and had built up quite a collection.  These two projects at least made a dent in it.  I'm thinking it might be fun to make a Spiderweb quilt since about all that's left of some pieces is strips.

Came home from work yesterday with some sort of bug.....upset tummy, fever, aches & pains, totally tired.  Took some ibuprofen when I got home  and soon after that crawled into bed and went to sleep.  If anyone had a "library emergency" last night I hope they dealt with it somehow.  Hubby had orders to tell anyone who called that I was sick and sleeping. With two ballgames, in two different towns, in two different directions, I imagine the library would have been a pretty lonely place anyway. I feel considerably better today, not 100%, but better.  Just tired and draggy.

Speaking of the library, go to the homepage at  and notice the tab marked "OverDrive".  YES!! E-books and audio books can now be checked out & downloaded online.  Patrons can log in with their complete 8-digit library number and a PIN.  Check with the library on these. This has been a few years coming and we hope that library patrons who joined other libraries in order to download will "come back home" and download via our library. We haven't had any training in using the process yet, so just click on the "Help" link once logged in. We'll be learning right along with you using the same link.  I did notice that they have some pretty good videos explaining how things work, a list of compatible devices and any software you might need to download.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Let Them Eat Cake!

Our twin grandchildren were one year old on the 19th and celebrated their birthday Sunday in their new house. They moved in on Saturday and had a birthday party on Sunday for a whole bunch of people. Mom & Dad looked a little tired on Sunday. :) Of course, we had the required birthday-cake-all-over-the-face pictures....

Holden wasn't really into it...he'd just had supper and he was tired...missed the afternoon nap. Hayden, on the other hand, got right down to business stuffing that piece of cake into her mouth. And then looked around for more. It really was good cake....the other grandma baked & decorated it.

And here's their new house:

I think they are going to miss their acreage, but this house has so much more room & it's in a nice quiet part of town where they won't have all the noisy truck traffic that developed on their road after a big grain handling facility was built to the south.  And hey, you can see by the piles of shingles that it got a new roof just before they bought it.

As for me, I've been working on some Fall projects that I will post later and celebrating National Sewing Month by cruising the online fabric stores and buying fabric. I added up the amount and realized I may have gone a bit overboard. Most of it has a planned purpose and like I always say, fabric is an investment, and the price isn't likely to go down.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pears 'n Apples

The harvest is good this year.

Hanging in clusters, like grapes....really big grapes.  :)

More were added after I took this picture.
Last of the McIntosh apples...they're really nice this year.

Some serious canning and dehydrating work here.  The Golden Delicious apples are my preference for dehydrating and they're ready to pick too.  Tomatoes are about done, red bell peppers are getting ripe, squash is about ready to eat. The sweet corn didn't produce as much this year for the amount planted, but all in all the garden did well this year.

Pretty soon we'll be eating a lot of Pear Pie and Squash, Potato & Sausage Casserole. We look forward to it all year.