Friday, July 20, 2007

starting them young...

It's never too early to get those grandkidlets started quilting for me--after all, they need to earn all the goodies I spoil them with! LOL just kidding--I really don't spoil them with 'things', in fact, can be a bit Scrooge like with them, preferring to spoil them with my time. As I'm on my quest to get tops done, my granddaughter's quilt was on top of the list. And since she was visiting me, I figured she should do it herself! I set up a platform in front of the machine and since she had to hold the handles, it was pretty safe for her. I stood by them the whole time, so nothing could happen to the machine. Of course, little brother wanted in on the act--so they both quilted her quilt (well, he did a few places and the bottom row-which he recognized!). It won't win awards at the quilt show, but it will always be special to her. Next is to bind it--and we will work on that next. Never too young to get them going....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hummingbird? Well, we were pretty sure it was a baby ruby-throated hummingbird that we saw in our garden last night. That is until we started talking to some other people today. Seems they, too, saw what appeared to be a baby hummingbird, but it was a bit weird. Like it was an overgrown insect. I didn't have my glasses on, but when I got closer, it did look pretty much like a hummingbird. It's wings fluttered so fast you couldn't see them, it hummed like a hummer, flitted from flower to flower, feeding on the nectar. And you know what they say, if it sounds like it, looks like it, acts like must be one! Curiosity got the best of me though and I looked it up and one blogger (who is a birdwatcher) mentioned it in a blog last year, that most people are confused about it. It turns out it is a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth! Well, looking at still pictures, you can tell it's not really a bird. Totally fascinating! Picture above is from Wikipedia, but there were a lot more out there that show this interesting little critter!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Outta Control!

AAARRRGGGHHH!! Working on my Leaf One Hour quilt--as usual, I decided to make it 'my own'. No, I just couldn't follow Judy's directions, I had to add my own touch. I was thrilled when she initially did the Challenge in that I found a bunch of leaf blocks in the RIGHT size for it. I never got around to finishing that quilt, so I was well on my way, right? I just had to add a few more leaves. No problem. And that little window in between the blocks? How cool would it be to put pictures or appliques of real leaves? Well, now I finally decide to get that done and that tub of unfinished blocks off my worktable! I had pressed the leaves in a book last fall, so I dug them out and since we need 5 1/2" squares--I could fit two on a page--which was great since that computer fabric is a bit pricey. After a few practice tries, I decided that I liked the look of a fabric background rather than white, so I taped my leaves to the fabric and then copied them. The colors of the fabric weren't quite the same, but they look similar and that was good enough. I followed the directions to heat set the ink, rinse in cold water and then let damp dry and then iron. So far so good!
NOW here was the problem--did you know that the computer fabric by June Tailor shrinks? Almost an ich! So, now I can't cut my 5 1/2" squares, I was down to 5 inches. Problem--big problem! Everything else was cut for the quilt and a 5 1/2" square HAD to go in there. Problem #2--since I copied the leaves on fabric--I would need to have more of that print! So, I pieced together all the little pieces of computer fabric leftover to get 1" strips to add to the blocks. Sheesh! What an ordeal--some of the blocks now have 2 seams in them! Oh well. It's the best I can do without wasting all that computer fabric.

I also did slightly different borders than Judy because I had a lot of HST's leftover (remember these were leftover from another abandoned quilt project) and I wanted to use them. So I figured out what size my borders had to be so I could use these HST's. Used up the last of my fabric and got all my borders cut. Started sewing them on--and when I get to the HST borders, they don't fit--by a couple of inches! Well, it turns out that borders #1 OR #2 should have been a little wider. Now what? And since there was an odd number of HST--adding a 'filler' would be a little obvious. But I reallly couldn't think of what else to do, so added the filler anyway. I couldn't take the other borders off and fix them, because I was out of fabric. What a pickle I was in! I was way beyond frustration--so I decided to go do something in which I had CONTROL!
And that was my pantry--sorry didn't take before pictures--but believe me, it was bad! I totally emptied all the shelves, bought containers to control the loose things and totally re-organized the whole thing. As I was putting things away, I thought I should have painted--but it was only a fleeting thought! And now I know I don't need any more corn--I have 12 cans!!
and after immersing myself in the pantry for a day and a half--I was able to calm down and go out and sew again. So, it's not perfect--that added filler strip is obvious to me--off center and I thought of a few other ways I could have solved the problem (but not until after it was done naturally!). But the top is done and I was planning on donating this one too. Hopefully whoever gets it won't be disturbed by all the boo-boos! Boy, it's been a while since I've done all that!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

Dad says he's the luckiest guy around--the whole country celebrates his birthday in a HUGE way each year--4th of July. When I was little, I believed him--heck, I still do! :) Here's to ya, Dad! (My daughter was down in SC visiting him--so thanks to them for the picture).
And while they were playing, I was back home sewing away. I'm trying to get samples done for the fall classes (my Open House/Quilt show is at the end of August)'s some of what I've been working on...I FINALLY got the binding on my Grandma's Double Wedding Ring quilt. This is a top I finally talked her into giving me..I had it quilted by my Amish friend and then stalled for quite a while (I'm taking the 5th on this one! LOL) and decided since it's about my oldest UFO--I should get it done. and it finally is..hallelujah!

I'm playing around with my HQ16, aka Zoe, and am doing a modified Baptist Fan. Still working out the kinks, but it looks pretty good to me--and it's another DONE quilt! I'm donating this one to a local charity that supplies foster kids with basic neccessities and their very own quilt.Finally got the Tennessee Waltz quilt done--I named it "Vintage Paradise"--after the fabric by that name. It actually was leftover fabric from another project I was doing that got changed and I had a lot left. It's now almost gone! A great stashbuster for sure!