Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Judy L. drew for NOVEMBER UFO already! 

For me that means the Charm Around - which means a whole bunch of blocks of various materials (sadly not all are cotton) will be used to make Square in a Square (adding some of my own - Scrappy Style) and displaying the blocks that are signed!  I've had these charms since 1999 - it's about time I get them used, doncha think?  Plus it will have a lot of positive memories attached to it!  A lap quilt, I think!, maybe a throw - who knows!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy - still Pre-Hurricane - but it's windy out there!

You can't see anything?  That's because it isn't THERE anymore!  I was at the computer and saw my greenhouse (plastic - easy to put together/easy to move) go sailing past my window - end over end..... - and dashed outside. 

Caught it before it went up and over the side fence and to the street!!  And took it apart!  I was lucky - only a dab of cool and rainy breeze while the trees sounded like a major rushing torrent!  It wsa amazing how little time it actually took and how easy it was to take the whole thing apart.  Plastic part off first - and carted to the house - currently dripping water inside on the back steps! - tenants have been warned!  I'll pack it away in a bit and clean off those steps!  Then wing nuts off - and hopefully all saved along with the bolts, - had a jacket with pockets by then!) and framework taken apart in sections and tossed down the bulkhead in back (that's another job for shortly - to get that stuff inside and re-stacked decently). 

Was aggravated though by the tenants who believe in leaving bulkhead doors wide open to snakes, inclement weather and what all - but then that's what they try to do to the front door as well.

Design Wall for October 29, 2012

First of all, I had class yesterday - had forgotten that there was a layer cake (10" squares) waiting for me!  So this will go on stash report for next week (and yes, it was HARD but I DID resist getting matching fabric for borders - so far!)  There were 42 blocks - but I'm only using 36! (so I have a 6 block GAIN?!!!!????)

This is for a new quilt - called Twister - which is VERY easy to do! (TG that I don't have to count new templates!!!!)

Actually - with one hour of intensive sewing - I'm ready to slice and dice - and then it is putting it all back together again and sewing everything up!  And I'm trying HARD to leave the rest of this for NEXT time - but already know that won't happen - which is why I'm featuring it on my blog for THIS week!

Before then I need to finish up THESE doo-dads!  A little zig zag on the coin purse, and straight sewing on the grab bag and the apron and that's that!  Something for today during Sandy weather (and hope I keep my power!)

This one will take longer - hopefully not TOO much longer!  However batting and backing mean quilting - and I'm thinking swirly pattern here maybe in black????  to simulate the wind? (COULD put Hurricane Sandy in letters across the bottom????)
This is getting temporarily tabled - mostly because I'm royally mad at it - has to do with the blocks falling apart AFTER I sew together the sashing!  Ugh!  However - when I do put it together - I'll do the embroidery on it first!  NOT last like I was planning!
CP for this month - also tabled - found what I want - drool drool -  And I REALLY want to make this quilt!  Would be nice if I had the applique skills!  So - guess what - I'm going to see if I can locate the pattern - and put that together with my "someday" list! (And THIS time I"m putting an END date on it!)
What I DO plan on doing this week (last part of Halloween and first part of November) is sewing up those outfits! Hopefully!
AND (ta ta ta DAH! - horns blaring here)
Walking foot:

And there ya have it!
(Guarantees this will happen dependent on electricity, Sandy, Exhaustion, and just plain whether I decide to do this or not!)

Hurricane Sandy - the pre-Sandy part

Yesterday I was in a quilting class - it's the 4th quarter of the class and therefore starting another new quilt - and definitely a favorite! By now I know most of the people and we banter back and forth as we supposedly quilt - but in reality do a LITTLE quilting and gossip, trade funny and not so funny stories back and forth. It's also a time of show and tell and I showed off my 2 newest "flimsys" (quilts that are pieced or appliqued but don't have the batting or backing as of yet).

Have been getting in a bit of trouble recently - have joined up for a lecture series - missed the first one (one I wanted the MOST to see!) - and have joined with a writer's workshop for writers/poets (aren't poets writers also???) that meets weekly! Had to be interviewed before I was allowed to join - to see if I was "serious" enough! Hmmmm!
Back home, saw Nathan (son) who was zipping between here and his home in Sturbridge, MA - about 30 miles away. Talked to Wendy (in Drummond, New Brunswick, Canada) and counted my candles. 

 Friend Peggy called late last night - and again this AM and was quite worried about Sandy. As far as that goes - I'm not overjoyed about Sandy either - however - I DO have candles. And as of maybe a half hour ago, I have charcoal briquets. I have one of those round tower things to pile charcoal in, etc. - and LOTS of cast-iron fry pans - including one deep one I plan on using for holding the burning charcoal. Cast iron doesn't burn. and I can set a round grill on top and use my skillets and cooking pot (all cast iron) to cook with. IF we lose power here. Hopefully we won't because I haven't quite figured out heat alternative yet - because although the charcoal cooking would put out heat - it also puts out a LOT of carbon monoxide and smoke. So - cooking REALLY needs to be done outside - which I am NOT thrilled about - particularly if it gets cold - however the other alternative is to go visit McDonald's - they have a generator - and open 24/7 - LOL - was told - and don't believe it - just bring sleeping bag - and probably money! LOL Last emergency outage they provided free coffee to anyone who wanted/needed it. They were the ONLY place in town with that. One of the groceries was open - with VERY limited (canned) foods!
Re foods - having lived on a farm - I have this thing about going into winter where you have NO idea what to expect weather wise - and being prepared - probably for a 2 year long winter! LOL At present I have lots of veggies - most are dried, some are frozen and therefore on use first list. Some are canned and the most are dried. Not a lot of fruit - which is a treat anyway. Lots of powdered milk (non-instant and the only kind I ever use), powdered eggs, alternative protein sources (beans, fake chicken and beef), grains -
like oats, wheat, rice - both whole grain and what I've already ground into flour, cereal or whatever. So foods - am fine! And since I also figured on Lynn and Nathan and possibly Wendy and Vince as well as myself - definitely fine. Critters are relatively ok too.
When I was out briefly this AM (picked up my meds I had forgotten about!) I saw several folks putting up hurricane shutters on store windows - which was alarming! Esp since I realize the amount of effort and time those guys were using! I think that when I can I may see about some type of shutter for my windows as well!

(My greenhouse - which I HOPE will still be where it is right now!  I want to move it - but NOT this way!)
Re weather right now - at times a bit breezy - mostly overcase and HUMID!!!!!! Springfield, MA is 57 degrees - but I swear it FEELS like maybe 75 outside. Breeze feels nice - except that the sky is so overcast - and we know what the weather forecast is! Re predict what Sandy is doing/going to do - I swear MA residents are strange! They are an odd combination of major WUSS and "toughing it out" kind of folk. Hard to say. Many think that there won't be much of anything - at least as far inland as I am. Boston area is probably a different story. Same for mid state - where Nathan and Lynn are. However - the BIGGEST thing I can think of is NOT the rain - but flooding that may occur from way upstream - and definitely the wind. All of which will hit our trees - which are super full of leaves and standing on ground that in the past weeks has been saturated with rain. So power outages are a definite possibility. So are trees down/uprooted/causing damage against houses (hopefully not any of mine), electricity, etc. Re that - one of the advantages of living on the street I'm on is the proximity to the fire station - and being on the same power line as the fire station - and probably police station as well. Those will probably be among the first back up and running - although LAST storm we were told it would be several weeks before that happened (however Big Y grocery was back up and running - and as it turned out MY side of the street was almost immediately thereafter - the other side of the street - no! But I didn't know that - and after 2 days of no heat went to Nathan's house and slept on their couch!)

(Wind is picking up a bit - very gusty!  Still not as horrendous as what it could be and what I hope it WON'T be!)

(you can see that we are having a dab of rain - not a lot - and not that hard driving rain - but it's there!)
I will try to keep you all posted - as things go on here, as long as I have electric - so far just overcast and a bit breezy. They ARE forecasting gusty winds (we have breezes so far) from 25 - 85 mph. And I can see that. However that sTILL sounds like IL during some of the hurricanes that traveled up the old Miss! So we'll see.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stash Report for Week 43 - 10-28-12

Completed this week: (1) Apple Cider flimsy - 3.75 yards total (was more - blocks vanished - this is what's left), 0.33333 yard brown border, 1.6 yards border (green - this is only 36 inches wide!!!!!!) = 5.683333 yards Used!
(2) Grandma's Scrap Bag - sans 2 rows sashing, and one row - these MIGHT be added later - but not really needed. - 6 yards total plus 4 1/4 yards background = 10 1/4 yards.

Also I purchased double wide batting, 2 yards double wide fabric for backing for Nicole's Couch Quilt (will figure as 4 yards regular wide backing - HOWEVER,, although I am counting this - the entirety will be used as soon as I work up the courage to do some quilting!)  0.5 yards of a pink fabric for sashing that I hope will make my UFO look terrific -

Used This Week:  15.93 yards (according to the directions! AFTER adjustments for unused fabric was made!)
Used This Month: 15.93 yards for October
Used Year to Date: 113.945 yards
Added This Week: 4.5 yards
Added This Month: 4.5 yards for October
Added Year to Date: 48.93 yards
Net Used for 2012: 65.955 yards

(and this doesn't count what was freecycled! - but then THAT wasn't quilting fabric!)

To see how others are busting their stash, visit Patchwork Times

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Picture Story of October UFO

What I started with (this was from my first quilt - which was part of a swap that didn't happen).  I ended with 24-25 BORING 12" blocks that I didn't like and that were NOT all the same size, nor all going the same direction - NO idea what all to do with them, and a mountain of fabric - most of which was from messups I had made.  Half was hand sewn (at that time I thought ALL quilts had to be handsewn!  Not Machine sewn!  And we are talking about a hand-sewing challenged person here!) and the other half machine sewn - sometimes in the same block!

First I went through and determined what HAD to be re-done for sure!  And in the process discovered one whole rown needed to come off!

Next step...
Well, lopsided is NOT the answer!  Wasn't before - and it still isn't!  So off comes the one purple block and use the slicer to hack off the other two so that I can even things up a bit!

That's better!  Actually I think THIS block is a variation of the 9 patch - uneven though it is!  Maybe called the Greek Cross or some such?  I don't want to research the name at this point!
Colors in the center square (which WILL have something done to it) include not only the purple, but also yellow (too light for what I want), pink and green.  Of course the color choice depends on who the quilt is for - adults, teens or littles!

I love the block against the pink! Makes what would otherwise be a ho-hum quilt into something with verve!  Exciting!  So now I have my sashing - essentially.....
Maybe with green diamonds between blocks???  Hmm - have to think on this - I think it could be really cute and quite effective - sort of like dressing it up!
But - before then - have to think in terms of setting - straight or diagonal like above?

Usually I really like the straight setting (alright - I'm lazy! and straight involves fewer steps, etc. etc.!)  However a straight setting on THIS quilt only emphasizes the SQUARENESS of it all!
So - I think I will go with Diagonal setting!
Besides - Diagonal will look so much more fun to a little!  Not sure why - but it will!  At least in THIS instance!

Now - Green "diamonds" or not?  And how wide should the sashing be?  Since this is diagonal - AND since I am trying to break up some of the squareness - I am thinking maybe 1.5" unfinished. 

Hmmm - Found ANOTHER anomaly - these rectangles are NOT 2.5 Unfinished (though they COULD be) - nor are they 3.0 unfinished but end up something like 1.75 unfinished!  Wonder where my measuring tape was!

And the center is 5". 

Easiest (hah!) thing to do is to trim the purple borders down to a solid 2.5 inches all the way around (which means the blocks will be smaller yet!  Hmmmm!!!!  I'll lose 0.5" a block across and the same down!)

Sashing can then be either 2.5" or 2.0" or 1.5"  or even 1.0" (sigh!)  Ugh!  Have to think on this for a bit!

Once I have the Sashing width figured out - then figure out whether or not I went cornerstones - and whether they will be purple or the polka dot fabric (probably the dotty stuff!) - and then whether or not I will put in the "gems" (which I'll do a la square in a square!) - 2 - 3 should be enough for that!

So - decision time - and while I'm thinking -  I have all this lovely Halloween stuff and a machine that I need to learn to Zig Zag on!

So - at least for now - until my daughter calls - I'll work on the Change purse, grab bag (to hold Halloween stuff to give out), Halloween Hanging 1 and 2, and a Halloween apron!  (My son wants to know when did I start celebrating Halloween!  Answer is - when I "inherited" some Halloween fabrics!)

More later!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wow! And a SECOND Flimsy!!!!!

This one doesn't really get borders.  It DOES still have 1 leftover row - but the directions shorted me out on the scrap pieces for the border - I'm close but no cigar!

At any rate - I'm looking for 6 - 12 more pieces that will fit with the theme - then I may add the sashing plus the other border (actually there are TWO sashing rows missing - but one would do it!)

However it is plenty big enough as it is - especially since it is supposed to be MY couch quilt!

Oh - and the reason the bed is so lumpy is because there are 2 kitties hidden beneath the flimsy!  They are sooooooooo patient with me!

Yee haw! Another Flimsy Finish!!!!

This is a quilt I began when I first moved to Westfield.  My daughter saw it in its infancy and really wanted it.  She still wants something that I made - but she has made so many beautiful and gorgeous quilts by now that this one would get lost in the shuffle!

About a year or so ago, I realized this was NOT getting done - so I moved it to Leader-Ender Status - and only a few small weeks ago (before I got distracted!) I realized that I just might be able to finish it this month!  So - guess what!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stash Report for Week 42 10-24-12

It's a bunch!  And that's a HUGE tub!!!!  Unfortunately NONE of it counts towards stash removal - of the quilting fabrics that is!  This is all fabrics that are NOT for quilts - a lot of yardage, some scraps - but a lot of yardage in there!  And all of it stuff I DON'T like!  Most of which was "wished off" on me - by friends, some given me by family, some I purchased eons ago and didn't like even then!

This is what I spent most of my last week working on.  Very little actual sewing done - in part because my sewing table (also machine table and every flat surface in there) was covered with fabrics! 

But now that is done - and while I still DO have to go through the rest of the quilting scraps, and the patterns - at least I can see my sewing shelves and quilting fabrics again!

In the process I realized that my NEXT quilts are already chosen for me =- at least the colors are - I have a LOT of blues!  And greens - but mostly Blues (the reds are non-quilting clothing fabrics).  Which is just fine - blue is like snow, winter skies, ice - all that stuff!

Now - this report is as of Sunday!  Not today - not after I completed another flimsy (picture later) and nearly done with another and purchased some fabric!  THAT information goes on next weeks!

Used This Week: 0
Used This Month: 0 yards for October

Used Year to Date: 98.015 yards
Added This Week: 0 yards
Added This Month: 0 yards for October
Added Year to Date: 44.43 yards
Net Used for 2012: 43.45 yards

Monday, October 15, 2012

Design Wall for Week 41, 10-15-12

I'm re-submitting my Design Wall for last week since I didn't finish anything - except for the triangle project for October - and that one doesn't count until I get ALL my triangles back and work them into the project I have in mind!
Also - I've added to the entire mess, the newest of the Halloween projects (which I MUST MUST finish this week!  And will re-home the REST of that fabric - does it count if that is gone from my stash even though I re-homed it?)
Also - have a "new" L-E project (actually one I've used before in this regard - and expect to elevate it to a regular project either later this week - or next) - my Lilacs!
STILL no truly firm idea about the October project - although I'm gathering together the stuff I intend to use with it.  Will be working on THAT one by the weekend!  Debating whether it will be a charity quilt or a baby blanket (very possible - except I have sooooooooooo many squares!) - with the idea I have a glimmer of - it could be a terrific baby blanket!
First - the machine quilting (right after I complete the other two I worked on the quiltathon - and the triangles, of course!)

Quilting Sampler - walking foot - and no, definitely needs more!!!

Threadhead Sampler - Stitch in the Ditch with just a little FMQ in the borders (which I will save for next week!)

Baby quilt - THOUGHT I was done with the walking foot!
Boy was I mistaken! Anyway - walking foot until all done to the borders which will be FMQ
next week!

Baby quilt - Walking foot - am thinking all the way - making Octagons out of the Squares and grid in the borders??? Am thinking this. Probably will change my mind!
And now for the piecing.....

And here are the Granny Squares!
Actually - only 4 rows worth! And the sashing and granny square strips are NOT sewn together as yet! Plus I need to make more sashing! It wasn't enough! Drat it! So - I have approximately several days work ahead of me - BUT I'm doing other things FIRST!

And this was the surprise (to me, anyway!) This is the Sweet and Sassy quilt designed by Evelyn Sloppy - the one my dd calls her Apple Cider quilt!

Here is another picture of it! Yup - the top row isn't attached to the rest - and for that matter, the bottom row has to be sewn into a strip then attached. Then a good press and trimming and LOTS of big wide borders!
It is a little smaller than what Evelyn called for (one of the first ones I ever did - and I couldn't slice and dice worth a dern! Still have problems, ftm! So I sized everything down 1/2 inch.)
[Note here: my dd Wendy suggested that I set this up as a lap quilt - with fair to middling sized borders - I am thinking several borders - first one to be maybe that green - about 1.5 in wide (finished) and then 3" wide burgundy brown on the next with a narrow strip of something or other and another 3" wide of the burgundy brown.  Although I think that the 2nd border will probably bew 2" wide - then the narrow about an inch finished (I don't really want the green but think that is probably what I will use - since at THAT point the gold may detract rather than add!) and then maybe the last border at 3.5 inches finished.  Maybe (or not) one of the large pinwheels in each of the corners!   Thinking on that!]

CTS Sampler! This is the Manor House (by Denise) - as you can see - I am NOT caught up on this Sampler. So I want to spend part of each day working on these. First is the Manor House!

Then the 3 Trees!

I haven't figured out the color schemes completely for the pretty little bird in a heart, and need to pull together Judy's lovely block! Will decide on these later!
Applique -
In my spare moments (the ones I'm supposed to be sleeping - and can't!) I'm also working on
A Halloween themed change Bag (purse) - to be zigzagged

Haunted House peekaboo mini wall hanging - which is STILL hanging about!

A big ol' grab bag (will have bats and other things on it flying across the pumpkin back - zigzag foot!)

Halloween Apron with black patch pocket
Halloween mini hanging
Sewing clothing -
I'm thinking of cutting out the rest of the dark brown items - and hopefully finishing up the already started trousers!  Hopefully!
And now that I've outlined my stuff for the week (along with teaching, mind you!), I also intend to do away with World Hunger, Create worldwide peace and other such pipe dreams!  LOL