Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I Like Thursday #81

Welcome to my 81st installment of I Like Thursday.  A huge thank you, and virtual hug to LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color for encouraging a few intrepid bloggers to find something to like/love during the week and share. 

Occasionally I will wander a wee bit away from home.  Last Friday I took a quick trip to Milan, Michigan to visit the quilt shop Textile.  I needed some fabric to finish up my Chi-Chi pillow, and the fabric which I made my pillow from I won at Fat Quarter Bingo there.  It was a lovely drive even though it was overcast. The little town has a "hometown" feel with a downtown full of brick storefront buildings, there are new shops coming in such as a quilt shop, knitting and yarn shop, a cute bakery, home decor and many others.  The public parking is in the back of all the shops and has a neat walkway, maybe a little scary in the dark, but pretty during the day.  They do have very pretty lighting fixtures all along the path.

The welcoming archway to the walkway to Main Street.

I thought this old building looks neat.  I think it may have been a barn looking at the cupola on the top.  Now it is covered with ivy.

I like how someone planted all these gorgeous bright mums in an old cast iron light base.

After finding some fabric I headed back to the car, and passed Life is Sweet Bakery and so of course I had to stop. 

I bought a creme brulee' muffin top.  It had fresh raspberries and blueberries in it and was fabulous.

I got a chuckle out of this junk yard's Halloween decorations.  I wish I could have stopped to take a better picture.

The side of the car says 'Til Death Do Us Part'. 

I like that I seem to be getting a lot of stuff done even though it doesn't feel like it. 

My dining room table where I sew the most, you can actually see some wood!  I only have 3 projects sitting on it instead of 20. 

I need to get into the habit of trimming up my scraps when I am working on my projects, instead of waiting until I have an unmanageable pile.  I do trim up my HST now though as I go.  I have 3 shoe boxes on my table with 1 1/2, 2, and 2 1/2 HST, all trimmed and waiting for a someday project. 

I like this fabric I bought for my Chi-chi throw pillow by Ruby Star Society.

Isn't this an awesome saying?!?

Speaking of using shoe boxes these two are holding my scraps that need to be cut up. 
*sigh*  I like study shoe boxes that can lead a 2nd life holding my scraps and HST. 

The white tote has 2 1/2 inch strips for guild, and the kitty litter bucket holds my strips for string quilts.  Empty kitty litter buckets are awesome. I have one sitting by my cutting table for strings, another sitting for scraps for dog beds, and one under the table for garbage like thread bits, paper, broken pins, and needles. 

I like these white marking pens for doing HST.  I like to do the line, I have tried other ways and they just don't work great for me. 

Funny story the reason why the table got cleaned off was I was looking for the two marking pencils above.  I had the original dark red one.  I lost it, so I bought the same pencil, but they now make it in that funky pink/white.  I couldn't find that one either.  So I ordered 2 more off of Amazon.  Um guess what I found?   I found the pink/white one, in my tool holder by my machine.  I forgot they changed the look--so it wasn't really lost  (insert scrunchy face that is blushing).  The other one?  I found under my recliner, which got moved today because I dropped a fork and it bounced under there.  Now I have 4 white pencils and 3 refill packs!  I can mark dark fabrics f o r e v e r!!!  Or......until I lose all 4. 

I like this pencil it is a Bic with a .9 mm lead which is awesome for marking on fabric.   Yep it even shows up on dark fabrics. 

I like these fork pins.  If you are matching a ton of point and you always end up with a wee bit of movement when using straight pins, these work awesome.

Since it is almost Halloween it was time to drag out an old favorite movie.  Hocus Pocus

Can you believe this was made in 1993?  Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Gary Marshall, Penny Marshall....Always makes me laugh out loud. 

My books for the week were The Lost by Claire McGowan which is set in Ireland.   Not all who are missing are lost.  Magdalene Laundries, the tensions which were between the Irish Catholics and Protestants, Travelers.... a captivating read. 
 The 6th in the Dewberry Farm Mysteries called Wicked Harvest by Karen MacInerney.  I love these books, the characters and they are a fun read. 

Thanks for visiting, I hope I gave you a chuckle, now head over to LeeAnna's at Not Afraid of Color to visit the other I Like Thursday bloggers. 

Have a Delightfully Scary Halloween!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Drudge Work

Is there any part of quilting that you just hate?  I know a lot of people don't like to bind.  I love to bind, it is so relaxing.  The part I dislike the most is putting on borders.  I like cutting, piecing, but setting blocks, sashing and borders are soooo boring.

I decided to put my big girl panties on and get some things moved along a bit.

I shared about this quilt and some of the others in my post called Chasing Squirrels. I finished the red and white strips, sewed the stars on and decided it needed to be a wee bit bigger so I added a 2 inch red border and a 5 inch blue border.   I am sure there is something I can use for backing in the charity boxes since it is for guild. 

I added the green strips to the lone star I was making for the bag lady quilt, and started piecing it together.  This will be a center medallion for the quilt.

Still not having much success trying to make signature blocks unfortunately to match this quilt.  I have had 3 failures so far.  I will try again this next week.  

I have been pinning the rows together on my saw tooth square.  Lots of points matching going on.

 I have only 3 more rows left to add, but they are all sewn together.  That is what I call drudge work. 

Since I had white thread in my machine I grabbed the BOM from my Tuesday sewing group and made it up quickly. 

 I finished step 1 of the Butterfly Threads Seeing Stars Sew Along.

Then whipped up step 2.

I am all ready for when step 3 is published in November.

I am kind of leaning toward the thought I finished a quilt, and have another almost to the flimsy stage, I think I can start a new project or two, but also pull out a couple more UFO's and get to work on them. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I Like Thursday #80

Welcome to my 80th post for I Like Thursday.  Each Thursday LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color encourages us to share things that we like for the week.  Throw a little positive out into the universe.

I like that my daughter and her boyfriend installed a new light for my bedroom.  I actually feel a little girly.

I was afraid to take the old light out, old house fear is real! (That is a whole other blog post!!!)  The ceiling is plaster and I learned recently that they used to cover the plaster in muslin.  When it cracked they would just put up a strip to cover it.  My bedroom ceiling is scary.

Here it is lit.  I love how bright it makes my bedroom.

I planted Zinnias.  I had a couple show up.  Imagine my surprise as I wandered to the back of the house to put up water hoses for the winter and I spied all these flowers.

We have had a couple of light frosts enough to knock some of the color out of the spent blooms.

There were only a couple of weeds to pull in this bed.  I bent over to look and spied something bright ruby red.

Wild strawberries growing!  Isn't that a sweet surprise?

I saw an article recently about Lost Words.  Per Amazon:

In 2007, when a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary ― widely used in schools around the world ― was published, a sharp-eyed reader soon noticed that around forty common words concerning nature had been dropped. Apparently they were no longer being used enough by children to merit their place in the dictionary. The list of these “lost words” included acorn, adder, bluebell, dandelion, fern, heron, kingfisher, newt, otter, and willow. Among the words taking their place were attachment, blog, broadband, bullet-point, cut-and-paste, and voice-mail. The news of these substitutions ― the outdoor and natural being displaced by the indoor and virtual ― became seen by many as a powerful sign of the growing gulf between childhood and the natural world.
Ten years later, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris set out to make a “spell book” that will conjure back twenty of these lost words, and the beings they name, from acorn to wren. By the magic of word and paint, they sought to summon these words again into the voices, stories, and dreams of children and adults alike, and to celebrate the wonder and importance of everyday nature. The Lost Words is that book ― a work that has already cast its extraordinary spell on hundreds of thousands of people and begun a grass-roots movement to re-wild childhood across Britain, Europe, and North America.

I bought the book for a grandson for Christmas.

You can learn more here.  Lost Words
Finally my book recommendation for the week is Deadly Grind by Victoria Hamilton.  Now I may be a bit biased because it takes place in a fictional town in Michigan.  Victoria Hamilton has a couple of other books that I have read, and each series is new, exciting, and different.
Now head over to LeeAnna's and check out the other I Like Thursday posts.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

I Like Thursday #79

I went to bed last night and woke up this morning with the list of things I needed to get done.  Bobbin to the vet, print out coupons for the car service, library, grocery shopping, putting things in the yard away, feed store for the chooks, get gas, take a quilt apart, post office.

I settled in this morning with a cup of coffee and a quilt on my lap to take apart and decide to read some blogs along the way.  I see Diane of Little Penguin Quilts posted an "I Like Thursday" Post.  Dang its Thursday and I haven't written a post.  But!  I do have a few things to share.

1.  Bobbin doesn't have much hair on her chest and neck and she gets abrasions from the nylon collars.  A friend I sew with, her DIL started making fabric covered dog collars.  I thought maybe they would work better.

OK I will admit definite dirty dog.  Ignore my dining room table with the pile of projects.  It actually has gotten worse in the couple of day.  But anyway see her cute little chest?  No abrasions or sores.  The collars are super cute and have all the hardware and are put together nicely. 

I finished my Chi-Chi Chihuahua and since I made her with fat quarters I needed some fabrics to finish her up into a pillow for the couch.  

IMHO I think Bobbin kind of resembles Chi-Chi.

Finally it turned cold, not terribly cold but enough that I think my short are going to get put away for the winter.  My flowers are giving it one more show though.

Petunias and Lantana

Lantana from where I weeded have really started blooming.  Yep more thistle that need to be evicted.

Petunias and geraniums

Another Marigold has made a appearance after the chookzilla stomping.
 I love this Lantan it really burst out again.
I have been reading 3 books.  Usually I have a couple going but I thought these 3 are worth the share.

I have really got sucked into this one.  A look at the battles of the Revolution, giving a face and persona to the people who made our country the America that we love.  Perhaps made more

real with my recent travels.  I see lots of good reviews for this book on Goodreads. 

This is the 4th book in the series.  I will admit I am one of those people who will slog through a whole series.  Sometimes because I have become engaged with the characters or the story line.

I will admit this one I am a wee bit disappointed with.  I find the main character very selfish, self centered and I am only 1/2 way through this book.  Unfortunately I bought the next 2 so maybe in a few months I will read those too.

The final book we are reading at our Wednesday night group.  I find it very interesting, there are stories and anecdotes scattered throughout the book, as well as reference materials and in just a couple of chapters I am very intrigued.

Now head over to LeeAnna's at Not Afraid of Color to check out the other I Like Thursday Posts. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Chasing Squirrels

I have been doing some sewing and have lots to share.

I won a drawing from Pennsylvania Piecemaker!  Such a fun package arrived.  Two charm packs of  Fairy Frost, a cute pinny, a lipstick needle holder with needles, and some pretty floral cards. 

Every year our guild does a challenge.  The challenge this year was to use a fabric and it had to travel some way from right to left.  It could be side to side, or corner to corner.  I had an idea and started working on it in June.  I finished my quilt on Thursday, October 10, at 3:49pm.  The quilt had to be turned in at the guild meeting by 7pm. 

I started with a New York Beauty blocks from Tobacco Shed Quilts.  The blue was a batik ombre' and I enjoyed using it with the different tones.  Next I decided my sky needed something else and I decided some flying geese.  I chose Goose Chase by Jeli Quilts.

Next I needed some mountains.  I chose Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties using the blue batik ombre, and some purple batiks.  Then I needed some trees.  I found a pattern called Evergreens by Quilt Patterns & More.  I don't know what I was thinking because I calculated I would need to make 4 panels and each panel had 114 pieces.  

I used different colors of light lavender/blue lavender for the sky.  When I finished piecing my trees it was October 5.  I spent that Saturday evening removing all the paper from all of my quilt sections.
I then just created some strata using meadow looking fabric, rock looking fabric, and the challenge fabric, which was blue.  Monday I sandwiched the quilt and was ready to quilt.  But first I had to move the charity quilt off the frame.

I had upgraded my quilter from a HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen sit down machine to a Simply Sixteen on a Little Foot Frame in August.  I had done one pass on the quilt and then shut the machine down.  For some reason I was very reticent about quilting with the machine. I decided to just jump in and go for it, and when I got to quilting on it, I managed to finish the whole quilt with simple interlocking type squares in only 30 minutes.  That included moving the quilt up for 4 more passes.  Currently I have the quilt binding sewn on, and I am working at finishing it by hand. 

I then loaded my challenge quilt.

I outlined the sun and it's rays, with swirls through the rays.  Then I proceeded to make clouds, I outlined the mountains, then outlined the trees.  I quilted scribble grass, then made pebbles in the rocks, wavy swirls in the water, back to pebbles, and more scribble grass.  I finished it up with a dark blue batik, and the ombre blue batik using Pat Broe's and Suzy's Magic Binding methods.  While not prefect it is done, and I was kind of pleased with it even if the quilting is a bit sketchy.

Yes the quilting took me a few days between doing some charity work, just house work, and there was some un- quilting that took place several times.

The next quilt to go on the quilter will be another charity quilt.  Then one of mine that is waiting to be quilted.   I figure that way charity quilts will get completed as well as mine. 

The other quilt that had me scrambling was a quilt for the VFW Raffle for guild.  There seemed to be some confusion about who was making the quilt for 2019.  One lady volunteered, but then someone interfered and told her we already had a quilt, so she thought we were using a different quilt.  I reminded them that we had used that quilt last year and showed them where we presented it to the VFW.  Then someone else said they had a quilt that they had taken from my gurney quilts that they enlarged and turned in.  Why would you turn in a quilt into my charity pile?  More than likely it got turned into the VFW to be sent overseas.  Anyway by that time I decided to just throw a quilt together.  I used this pattern from Missouri Star Quilts and a 2 1/2 inch strip pack and background.

I have the stars made and part of the stripes.  I then had to set it aside.  If you every by a 40 Karat Gem pack, be prepared that it only has 40 strips instead of 42 like in a jelly roll, I was 2 white strips short.  I had to order another Gem pack, and I also decided I wanted to make the quilt a bit bigger so I managed to find fabric on sale.  Finishing up this baby is on my short list.  Oh and the 1st lady that had volunteered she donated a quilt after all the confusion was sorted while I was away.  So this quilt can go for 2020 to the VFW or it can be donated somewhere else.

In January of this year the group that I sew with on Tuesdays decided to do a bag lady exchange.  Each person chooses their fabrics and a quilt block.  You make a block with your fabric, and then each month the bag is passed to a different person, and you make your block from their fabric.  Seven 12 inch blocks don't go far.  But if I made some signature block (which just don't seem to want to work out right no matter what) I would have 14 to make a decent size quilt I decided to make a center medallion.  I found a couple tutorials and started cutting.

You can see my star.  It needs to have a solid band sewn onto it and then to put it together.  Then back to working on the signature blocks.

Butterfly Threads has a QAL going, it is nice and slow and is made up of panels.  So depending on the size of the quilt you want to make determines the number of panels you need.  Here is my fabric pull and part of my blocks cut for the 1st step.

I don't know if you can see far to the right the pretty zinnia fabric and the butterflies! 

I purchased and started cutting on the finishing kit for the Kaleidoscope BOM from the LQS and I made my September and October blocks.

 I have the finishing kit cut and sew on that every now and then.  When the BOM is done maybe I will have the quilt close to finished and just have to put the blocks together. 

These are just some of the things I have been working on.  

Friday I was exhausted after the death march to finish my challenge quilt.  I had invited a girlfriend to go to a quilt show in Dearborn and I had plans to clean up after all of my sewing when I returned home.  When I was squaring up my challenge quilt on Thursday the pile of crap stuff on my cutting table was knocked to the floor.  I have boxes of scraps sitting around that need to be either cut up, or folded and put away. I had been working on it quite a bit lately and have made a small dent, but all the fabric from the challenge quilt has been added to the turmoil. 

Plans change though.  Early Friday morning my sump pump was making a weird noise.  It was not supposed to rain so I figured I could at least unplug it until I got home from the quilt show.  Lord knows this isn't my first rodeo fixing a sump.  On my way home from the quilt show the rain started and we had a deluge for a few hours.  Then the fun began.  I grabbed a small submersible pump that I use to drain the water off of my pool cover, ran a hose to it and out a basement window(you can read all about my basement block window fix here), placed it into the sump and nothing.  The pump would not come on.  I also realize the back up sump pump was not working.  I ran upstairs and started to look for a pump similar to the one for the pool, and also a new back up pump for the sump online.  The only store that had either was in Taylor which is about 20 miles away.  I ordered, and paid for the items so they would be ready when I got there and I would just show my purchase receipt and go.  Headed out and picked up my items and back home I went.

Hooked up the new submersible pump, and it didn't work either!  I tried a different outlet, but nothing.  I really did not want to go back to Taylor so I jumped in the car and headed to Monroe which is just 12 miles away to Lowe's.  I found a submersible pump, and grabbed a hose too. Back home, trip 50 up and down the basement stairs (at least it felt like it),  I undid the hose and the went to put the new hose through the window and it wouldn't fit!  The end to the hose I purchased was heavy duty and too big to go through the hole.  I couldn't locate a little saw.  I tried to drill it, nope that wouldn't work. Then I remembered there was a dremel type tool.  I located it and quickly sanded the hole a bit bigger.  Got the hose out hooked it up to the new submersible pump, and dumped it into the sump.

Once the water was low enough I decided that the pit needed a good clean.  So rubber gloves, plastic grocery bags and my handy dandy sump cleaning tool and I got most of the gunk out.  I also realized the gunk was preventing the float on the pump from moving.  I did a cursory gunk scrape so the float would move plugged the sump in and it worked.  Hallelujah!!!  By now it was 9:30 pm.  I ran outside pulled the hose out of the window and sealed the hole so no varmints could get in, cleaned up and fell into bed.

Saturday morning after fortifying myself with 3 cups of coffee I attacked the sump.  I pulled one, cleaned it, and nothing.  I am going to say that it is most definitely dead.  I pulled the 2nd one and cleaned and washed it put it back together and it is working great now.  Now either I am slow or I spent a lot of time cleaning that pump, but by the time I went upstairs to grab the other pump it was after noon and I needed to eat.  So I cleaned up and decided that I was not going to fight with the new pump today and that I deserved an opportunity to sew.

I saw a pattern called Chi-Chi-Chihuahua by Unicorn Hearts Patterns and it reminded me of Bobbin and so I purchased it some time back. I had seen a cute fabric at Fat Quarter Bingo a couple of weeks ago, and armed with a 15% off coupon I had purchased 2 fat quarters--little did I know it is a line by Basic Gray called Hallo-Harvest.  I also threw in a yummy mustard yellow grunge that has sparkles. A dark chocolate brown, and a teeny tiny piece of Alison Glass Sunprint Bike Path in white from the stash, and for the inside of the ears I will be using Michael Miller Fairy Frost in Creamsicle which was in the charm packs that I won! 

Eye See You!

I got the 3rd section done and realized I needed a background.  I had a fat quarter I had won at Fat Quarter Bingo, so laid it out behind my partial chi.

I wasn't too sure about it.  I went to look for the floral fabric and to see if there were any suggestions as to solids, only to discover that the background fabric is part of the Hallo-Harvest line too.  I guess that is it then!

I recently finished cross sitching the stocking top for my niece Violet.

I am currently working on the top for my grand daughter Karena.

I have been amassing projects.  Pat Broe of Life in the Scrapatch posted that Fat Quarter Shop was having a Pumpkin Patch Pick Your Favorite SAL.  You chose a pattern and made a pumpkin quilt.  The patterns were on sale, and after seeing Jocelyn's beautiful pumpkins knew I would love to make something similar.   The Pumpkins Quilt by Laundry Basket Quilts pattern was on sale, so I purchased it and the accompanying stencil.  Then I chose some layer cakes for background and pumpkins.

I have it all kitted up I still need some browns/greens for stems but it is ready when I need a new project.

Finally I had purchased 2 rolling clothing racks I was going to use then to create a suspension system for my quilter before the upgrade.  I decided instead to organize my panels and quilt tops that need to be quilted.

I have also been amassing fabric for the Bat Quilt which was made by Allison of Cluck, Cluck, Sew.

I need to buckle down and finish some things, and get my scraps under control before I start anything new.  At least that is what I keep telling myself.