Friday, May 31, 2013

Donation step closer!

The final applique block for the center of my guild's next donation quilt came in the mail yesterday!  Can finally get the middle together and start work on the inner borders...

I think this will be a fun quilt and will raise some funds for Camp Rainbow - a camp run by a local hospital for children with cancer and other illnesses that require medical supervision.

Tomorrow I go to Atlanta for a wool applique class on Saturday.  It is just a bit too far to drive there and back in one day.  Besides it gives me an excuse to visit some fabric stores!

I played with wools and buttons a bit this week.  Needed a quiet project that didn't involve running to the sewing machine or ironing board.  I'm going to do a bit more stitching on this and then maybe make a small wall hanging.  The photo peeking out on the right (what to add to plain shortbread if butter and sugar isn't good enough!)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Long weekend....

Usually on Memorial Day I would help serve breakfast at the local VFW.  This year my legs are a bit unpredictable so instead I'm taking the day off and staying safely in my sewing-room.  (The last thing I need to be is around hot stoves and breakable items!)

The past few days I've moved more supplies back into the rearranged sewing room.  I am sort of amazed at just how much thread I've found!  I mean I'm used to dealing with my fabric stash but a thread stash?  Who knew...

in tin containers...

in drawers...

project bags...

on shelves...

and even in some containers made to hold thread....

I must buy thread every time I go into a fabric store!  So I am rounding it all up and putting it the new drawers in the sewing room.  Now it will be as easy to find it at home as in the store!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Anne Orr stitching patterns

Still doing lots of binding, sleeves and labels.  Doesn't make for the most exciting of stitching nor of blog-posts!

Did stop by my guild bee today to take some photos for the paper.  There were lots of fun projects going on including and almost finished Easy Street done in Madi Gra Colors...(perhaps she could call it Bourbon Street...Canal Street...lots of options!)

Also, a quilter was cleaning out some of her Mom's fabric and patterns.  It was mainly needlepoint and embroidery patterns from the 1900's to the 1930's.  This envelope caught my eye...Anne Orr.

This is the same Anne Orr who designed many quilt patterns.  Many of her quilt designs reflect her background in needlepoint designs.   She ran a successful pattern mail-order business from Nashville, TN and published in many magazines.

 Unfortunately all of the patterns were already claimed but when I explained what they were I was given one to keep with the quilt history papers!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Antique quilt top...

So difficult to watch all the coverage of the tornado damage out in Oklahoma.  Thoughts and prayers go out to all.  I made our donation to the Red Cross.  Still feel a bit helpless...

On the quilt front I got this antique/vintage quilt top in the mail yesterday.  It as an impulse purchase on Ebay...think if I saw it in real life I would not have gotten it.

The fabrics are interesting but it just isn't speaking to me...I'll put it away for a few weeks and try again later. If not then I'll give it to AQSG for their silent auction this fall...

In the sewing room I pulled out another quilt that just needed some binding...

I put this Halloween quilt on the table and tossed fabrics at it...not very scientific but I found one I like!  I'm making the binding this afternoon.  Now I know this quilt isn't on my 2013 but it is sooo close to being finished!  Also, I think I just forgot about when I was making the list...

On the pet front...Brownie is taking advantage of her bind sick and is staying in the sewing studio.  I think she  likes being the only cat in the space!  Mac is doing a bit better.  It is however getting more and more difficult to get him to take his pill.  He no longer trusts turkey sausage, tuna, peanut butter, or cheese.  I had to go out and get a rotisserie chicken today...after that I may be out of options!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Disappearing 9-patch

A neighbor came by yesterday wanting to know how to do a disappearing 9-patch.  How often does that happen!

She is a new quilter and had watched an online video but hesitant to go it now I have another UFO!  It is a very fun method and quick...this table runner only took a couple hours to make.  (Would have been faster if I wasn't talking someone through the that saying, "if it will take one quilter one hour then it will take two quilters two hours..."  Basically to do this you make a 9-patch (my squares are 5 inches unfinished) then slice the 9-patch through the center block giving you sashing and cornerstones.

I wanted to get a picture of hers before she left - she used cat fabrics!  I think I'll finish up this Christmas one today before it gets lost in the UFO pile...(it measures 34-1/2 by 15 finished)

Update on the pets...Brownie is doing fine.  Macbeth is having problems with stairs and still sleeps most of the day.  Last night he had a panic attach (don't know what else to call it.)  We ended up sleeping on the floor in the living room for most of the was the only way to keep him calm.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Guild Challenge....

This morning I made myself sit down and put the last border on my guild's challenge for the show this October.

Now don't get the wrong impression that I finish things on schedule...or even more misleading - ahead of schedule!  We were given the instructions/guidelines for the challenge back in September.  For this challenge we pulled three crayons from a paper bag and had to make a piece no smaller than 24 inches on one side that included the crayon colors plus white and gray.  We had to use at least three of a long list of techniques (I am using piecing, mitered borders and embellishments.)

My first step was to go through the stash and the scraps to find these colors.  A lot of them came from the scrap bags and the 2-1/2 inch square bins were some of the oldest bits of my quilting fabric live.

This mauve-y pink, gray-blue and dark green are not my usual color combination least not in this decade!  Most of the fabrics in those colors are circa 1990!  Though there are a few from as last as 2009)  So with this stack of scraps I had to work on it quickly or the scraps would disappear again...though I am fairly sure not in other projects!  These are the types of quilts designed to drive quilt historians crazy in 100 years...and just to be really difficult I tossed in a scrap of circa 1900 double pink...

The saying in the center is on of my favorites.  Until a few weeks ago it was on my favorite coffee mug...which is now coffee mug shards.  (a victim of a cat chase that went over the couch and across the coffee is what happens when you have three cats!)

It isn't my best but it will meet the specs and best of all it stands a good chance of being finished in time!  Finished is good.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two very different finishes...

Can you believe it...two finishes this week!  First, I took my last stitch on the binding on my "Scrappy Obsession" Quilt (yes folks, it finally has a name.)  The pattern for this was in the second Material Obsession book hence the name of the quilt!

I am really happy with how this one came out.  Very bright and cheery!  And I decided I love check bindings!  Today I just have to make up a sleeve and a label.  (I'll get better pictures when I have the sleeve DH isn't tall enough to hold all this quilt up on his own!)

My other finish was a quick one.  I made this top back in the mid 90's (anyone else remember these Laura Ashley fabrics!) has been in the "to be quilted pile for a long, long time.  So it has moved on to the "to be donated" pile...It will make a nice quilt for the Ronald McDonald house here in Augusta...

A pet update - Brownie is doing well and has stolen multiple tumbler blocks from the design wall and put them in her own fabric stash behind the sofa.  Macbeth isn't responding as well to the meds...still sleeping a lot and needs to have the mat under him changed every few hours.  I was hoping that would be under control today...keep you fingers crossed....

Friday, May 17, 2013


Today I brought both Brownie and Macbeth to the Vet.  Surprisingly they are more comfortable when the other is with them (otherwise Macbeth has to borrow one of the office cats to keep him company...)  The bad news it isn't like I planned it this way.

We are waiting on test results to come back on Brownie but though she hasn't been eating she has only lost a couple ounces.  She is back on picky cat food...(for that read expensive....)  She is so tiny even a few ounces makes a difference (6 pounds 2 ounces...)

Mac was put on antibiotics for a bladder infection.  We are also waiting on some more test results as he seems to be in a lot of pain and is really lethargic.

So I'm letting them both in the sewing room today.  Brownie has new basket near the window and Mac is sleeping on a quilt under the desk...that trip the vet has worn us all out.  (Except Dobby who just brought me a big live cricket...just what I needed!)

Feeling a bit too worn out to sew so instead I'm mindlessly cutting some Halloween fabric into tumblers.  I just got this tumbler template and the Halloween bin wouldn't close so....think if I take a row off of each fabric then they should fit.  Of course that means I'll have a shoe box full of Halloween tumblers to use as leaders and enders...bonus!!  Also I've made quite a little pile of 1-inch strips/strings to send Tonya for her stalled project...added bonus!

I sort of like how is coming along.  Think I need to add some more I looked at this I wonder - how did I end up with so many spider fabrics?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Southern food wonderings

One of the things I love about springtime in the south are the roadside farm stands!

We have had local strawberries for almost a month but the ones out now are really sweet...ate a dozen on the ride home yesterday!  The asparagus is also local and as close to the 'gras I had from the village farm in the Cotswolds as I've found here in the U.S.

Also out now is rhubarb.  I tried grilled rhubarb last night for the first time.  Sounds crazy but it was wonderful! (I heard about it on NPR as I was driving into the farm-stand ..kismet!)  I just wiped the rhubarb with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled with a bit of sugar and put it on the grill with the  plank salmon.   Served it with a spinach salad with strawberries, spiced pecans and feta.

But this blog is supposed to be about quilts not food!  Last night I sewed the binding on my front side of my Material Obsessions quilt.  Today I have already hand sewn one side down to the back.  Only three more sides to go!

Question...when you make a quilt from a book or a pattern do you use the name of the quilt from the book or pattern or do you give it its own name?  Not sure which I will do with the quilt.  It isn't as if a name jumped out at me while I was making it....have to figure it out before I can make a label!

And here is a photo of a new addition to the livingroom couch...a min-Macbeth!  This pillow is made in Edinburgh by Crafty Things using Harris wool.  So far the cats have left it alone (though I did catch Dobby eyeing it suspiciously yesterday!)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sorting tops...

At any given time I have 40 plus quilt-tops waiting to be quilted.  One of my goals this year was to get that under 30.  I'm doing that through a combination of donating and finishing...and of course not starting any new projects (ok...fewer projects!)

As part of the finish effort I've been making backings and matching them to quilt in the "to finish pile."  After getting a backing they move into one of three piles: send off a long arm quilter; machine quilt myself'; or hand quilt.  Obviously I'm being very selective what goes in the third pile as they one takes the longest!

When fabric goes on sale is when I buy backings for my quilts.  Rarely do I buy a specific back for a specific quilt so there is a lot of sorting matching go on!  Last week during a local "mother's day sale" I found some great fabric for less than $5 a yard!

I also found a special case...I brought my Charleston Baskets to the long-armer to have it basted!  Then it goes into my hand quilt pile.  I don't like pins when I quilt in the floor hoop but my left arm isn't strong enough right now to baste (and who want to use all that great hand sewing time for basting!)  So when I was reading Bonnine H's blog the other day it reminded me that she bastes on her I'm giving it a try.  It may mean that the C.B. isn't ready for the October show but it is more important that the quilt turns out the way I want it to.  As far as backing for this quilt...I thought I wanted a red and black fabric...instead I ended up with a red, yellow, black, green and blue fabric with lots of leaves.  Some things just can't be planned!

I did drop off two others to be long arm quilted.  It is a little nerve racking to hand off a top to someone else but I am sure she is going to do a wonderful job!
                                                                        Carnival Corn
                                                       Ribbon Candy (in-process...)
So both Ribbon Candy (B.H.'s Smith Mountain) and Carnival Corn are out the door.  I hope I get to put binding on them this least before the show in October...and hopefully not the night before they quilts get turned in for the show!

Now off to work on machine quilting another around the world quilt....