Wednesday, March 27, 2013


This was the first idea.
Typical layout and piecing design

 I have always loved this pattern, so don't ask me why I didn't think of it first. I like the pattern, but don't like set in seams. So I redrew it in EQ to make it easier to piece. Then I recolored it.

Same layout, no inset seems.
I like this a LOT better. Then sometimes I look at it and I'm not sure. do the four light pieces jump out at you like headlights? I like the simple applique on the border. Does it look too dainty for as bold as the pattern is? I guess proportion is what I mean.

I made a sample and put it on the cork board so I can look at it. Maybe I should change some of the placements? I have already changed my mind about the cone/handle piece. It will be a lighter green since I don't want 25 green cones being the first thing you see. Also the green leaves will be darker. They need to be as strong as the flowers.

I originally thought about making it in my CW repro fabrics, but have changed my mind. So I am working from my stash which isn't wonderful since I have mainly bought CW fabrics for the past who knows how long. Maybe I should go buy some FQs while I am in Mobile. There are several places to shop in Pensacola and in Mississippi all being about an hour away.

Since I woke up so late this afternoon I think I will probably sew all night, which will mess with my sleep schedule even more. Oh well, if it isn't one thing it's another.

Tell me what you think of the block and the layout. I need hints since I am the only female in the house and I don't know any quilters here. This is when I miss my Mobile ladies all the more.



Sleep glorious sleep and wedding quilt maddness

Sleep, wonderful sleep. I finally got some last night...this morning..whenever it was.
I have been averaging about 4 hours for the past week or so and I am a 8-9 hours a night kinda gal. I HAVE to have sleep. Ray can live on 5-6 and function just fine. Not me!
Last night as I was looking at the clock and wishing my eyes would close I decided to listen to a book I have listened to many times. I thought it is such a comforting story and I love the narrator so I might could be lulled to sleep. BINGO! I don't know what time I fell asleep, but I slept until 1:30 PM!!! My day is shot, but who cares! It would be shot anyway if I walked around bleary eyed anyway.

Prior to not sleeping Ray and I were discussing the wedding quilt. Well I was whining and he was ignoring me. Finally out of desperation and fear that I would never shut up he asked me what I was whining about.

Me:  I can't find "THE" pattern. I know I keep jumping around and I have made a dozen sample blocks but they are not right. None of them. I don't like any of them!
Him:  You have a thousand books, a million magazines and EQ and can't find ONE pattern that you like?
Me: I haven't looked at Blockbase or my magazines...I have looked at the books and have played around EQ.
Him: Try your magazines.

 This wasn't the exact conversation, but close enough for the G-rated blog post. Basically I whined and ranted and wailed about no one ever caring about all my stress and inability to create beautiful quilts. No one listens to me when I have a problem. Me asking how he can sit there working on his computer while I am in tears. Him looking at me as if to ask, "Are you talking to me?
That is when I stalked off and grabbed a handful of old magazines and sat in the floor mumbling under my breath.

I have magazines all over the floor in the hall (that is where the bookshelves are), in my sewing room floor, all over my foot stool which is the size of a small bed, and there are even some in the kitchen.

I found a couple I liked...made MORE sample blocks...narrowed it down more... reworked a design in EQ...maybe...maybe...oh I like this...
Pulled fabric from my stash. Measured. Measured again. I have everything I need, except background fabric. isn't that always the case? You always need to buy something! I got online and found a solid online for way less money than I could buy local. Like half the price. Since I needed 8 yards I bought it online. Yep, 8 yards. Large quilt.
I went ahead and cut as much as I could so when the fabric arrives I can wash, iron and cut quickly and start sewing. I still need to decide on greens. The pattern has, sashing, large piece in each block and applique vine and leaves and binding that are greens. I can't decide if I should use 3 different or if I should combine two of them. The blocks will be scrappy, the background one fabric, and so I need to decide so I can get busy making a thousand miles of vines.

Enough babbling...there is work to be done!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I should have known

Just when I think I can get a few things accomplished....

It has taken me all day to get this one measly block made. It is setting on top of the floral fabric that I used to pick the colors. I still like the block, is probably the colors, or the fact I need more blocks or something but it looks very choppy the four dark pink squares are popping out at me.

Maybe it is the size of the block. This block finishes at 12" and I am used to working with smaller sizes. Maybe it is just too large.

On to the next block.


Decisions must be made

JFF Jr is getting married in July. He asked me for a quilt. I love this boy young man. He has been so dear to me and my family since he was in grade school. If there is any way possible I WILL have a quilt for him on his wedding day.
I had thought about just giving him the pineapple quilt since surely I was going to whip it right out. When I came to my senses I rethought and decided I needed a plan B. Plan Bs are always good.
The first design reminds me of the wedding ring pattern. I don't really want the quilt to be a "wedding" quilt. I want it to be a quilt that was given to them for their wedding. This may not make the cut, but who knows yet.
From Kim Brackett's book Scrap Basket Beauties
 This is very interesting and I like the stars. It can be made with more muted colors and be sweet or like it is but with one fabric for the background to be more planned.

"Generations" from Scrap Basket Beauties

I really like this one a lot. The name of the quilt is appropriate, but I have loved this pattern for years. I loved it since I saw it online but had never made a "Mary's triangle" before so I didn't know how to make the block. I have made that block many times now and think it would be pretty doable, especially in the time frame. If I had asked how much time I had to make the quilt before promising it I might have told him he could have one for his first anniversary!
Sally Schneider's book Scrap Quilts Fit for a Queen or a King, Twin, or Lap!
I'm leaning towards the last picture, but I'm not in love with the finished look. I think the border needs help. Why do I always have to change stuff?  Anyway I am gonna make a practise block of each one and see which one I love to make  the most and I will know more.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Books

This is what Linda says at least.
I believe her. After over 30 years of friendship I don't think she will start telling lies now. Plus why would the great Dr lead me and my non-sagging THWAGG down the wrong road?

I ordered some books and they just arrived this morning. The excitement is too much so I will be perusing them asap!
Kim Brackett is such a sweet lady and I had such a great time at a retreat with her a couple of years ago. I already know of one pattern I want to make, but that was just a quick glance at the book. When I take time and look at every page I know there will be more.

I love Sally Schneider designs and I am always in need of a large bed quilt. It seems like everyone I know has a king size bed. You can't always just make a quilt larger and it look good. Most of the time I have to do a whole remake on EQ and sometimes I'm still not completely happy. I think I am going to love this book.

This is an older book, but I always seem to be drawn to it. While at Amazon the other day I saw it was less than $12 and it retails for $30 so I thought I would go ahead and get it. Every time I think about my Silver Jubilee quilt I think of applique so I will be studying this I'm sure.

An interest of mine. I would like to make a bracelet. If I love the process I wouldn't mind having a chain necklace. I bought some pretty and inexpensive jump rings the other day on sale and now I have the book. I hope I love it.

Last but not least:
Two of the gifts from Kari. They both smell wonderful! She bought me a lip balm and hand lotion that are out of this world good too.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pineapple block discovery and birthday celebration

I did some sewing, of course. What is a birthday weekend without sewing? Nothing!
I did some planning. I want to do a 50 year or Silver Jubilee quilt for myself. I have no idea if I will get it done, but I want to. More on that as it blossoms. I know I should have had it all ready to start by now, but you know me and dates and time. Never prepared!

You know how I talked about how long it took to make one pineapple block? Well I haven't timed it again to know for sure if it is any faster, but I think it is. I sorted all of the scraps I had out for the blocks. I sorted them by size and colors. I measured each section so I knew which stack to look through. Then I started piecing 10 blocks at a time, just working on the same size strips at a time. The first round was the 1 1/2" strips. I would lay them all out by colors and piece all 10 blocks light and dark rounds. Then I would move to the 2" strips light and dark, then 2 1/2", 3", etc to the end. It might just be that it feels more organized, but I really think it is faster because I'm not constantly looking for a piece that will fit. I'm sure everyone I know would have done this from the start but I am a slow learner. I always have to learn the slow, hard way.

3 inch strips laid out ready to use

2.5" and 3.5" waiting to the side to be needed
 I celebrated all weekend. We went to Yoder's a fantastic Amish restaurant in Sarasota for early dinner on Friday. You have to go early if you plan on being able to sleep as the portions are HUGE. I brought home more than 1/2 of my meal.
Saturday we didn't do a lot but that is what I like. I like staying home and piddling. Sunday I was going to go to Lakeland to the Sewing Expo. I misread the flyer. It ended Saturday afternoon. :(
Oh well, that makes me sad. SHOOT!
Last night Ray and I had dinner with Kari and Scott. It was fabulous! Stonewood Grill, YUM! I got flowers and presents from Kari. Too sweet! She bought me the only perfume that I have ever loved. Happy by Clinique. I am not a fancy, dress up, perfume, jewelry kind of person. But I do like Happy.

I plan on a quiet day today. I have dinner planned. It will take 15 minutes to cook. I will do the few light chores I have on my list and head to the sewing room and dare the phone to ring, unless it's Linda.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Craftsy Customer Service

     Have you heard of Craftsy?  I found it several months ago and signed up for a couple of the free classes to see if I would like it. I did like the classes and so I signed up for a bread making class. That class was wonderful! For the first time I made bread and it actually tasted like it was supposed to instead of a brick. Light, fluffy, yummy clover rolls made by my hands were on the menu Christmas. They were perfect.
     Since that class and the results were so good I decided to take another. The next class was a machine quilting class. I'm not really good at machine quilting yet, but I did learn enough to call that class a success also. Just her tips were worth the price of the class, but there was so much more.
     That leads me to class three. I took a gardening class. That class just wasn't my cup of tea. I tried it again thinking I was tired, or distracted or something. Nope, nothing. That is when my eye went to the Service Guarantee. I emailed them, told them I hated to ask for a refund, but I just didn't like the class. In just a few minutes I received a form email giving me a ticket number.  In less than 3 hours I got a response saying they had refunded the purchase price to my credit card and hoped I would give them a try again.
I will definitely be taking more classes from them. It's a win-win situation. Sit in my comfy chair all barefooted, in my sleep pants drinking a Coke with no fear of wasting money on a class that doesn't teach me anything. How can you beat that?
     The next class on my list is Beth Ferrier's machine applique class. I have her book and have wanted for years to go to a class with her but she was never teaching near me. Now she will be in my living room. Happy dance. :)


Sorting and organizing helps

Do you have one of these wonderful little lights? I got mine about 15 years ago and have used it almost constantly. I don't think I have even changed the buld, but if I have it has only been once. I have a floor model of the same color and I have changed the bulb in it.
After a while the light that flips up can get a little loose and not want to stand up. For the longest I didn't know if anything could be done so I would just readjust and go on with my work. Today while trying to clean and organize my work space I had a light bulb moment. Kinda cool since I was looking at a light. Get it? Light bulb moment? Light? Oh never mind I guess you had to be there.
Anyway I noticed the slits and thought, hmmm I think a nickel will fit in there. Sure enough it did and my light now stands at attention! Woo hoo! Happy me!


I realized last night I was spending way too much time digging for the right size pieces. I decided it might make my life easier if I organized myself instead of constantly shuffling through the huge pile of scraps.
messy & oh that nasty ironing board

What a dump! Said with Betty Davis voice.
So I set to work! I don't think there is a thing that will keep the floor from getting so messy but I can organize my pieces by size and I won't have to tunnel through each time I need a piece.

First I measured and marked the sizes needed

Measured and marked
Laid out the sizes
Of course that is just the border tray, but I did the same with the pineapple tray and papers. The goal is to shave a bit of time off of the making of each block. An hour is a long time so every few seconds I shave off by not having to sort and dig will help.

These blocks have been a great stress reliever. Moma hurt her shoulder the other day helping Daddy sit up. So after an ER visit, an MRI and shots, she can't go see Daddy at all for a while. It's just too tempting for her to reach out and try to stop him from falling and then she would be really hurt. So sadly Daddy is at the nursing home alone and Mom is at home, and I am here too far away to help. My sisters do all they can, but they have jobs and children at home. Life gets hard.

Back to the sewing room.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What am I reading?

I did a lot of "reading" this last week. I listened to the rest of Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens. A very good book.
A proud father wants a son to join him in the family business. He has a daughter that he doesn't even look at or speak to. She is the mother's child.  The wife dies hours after giving birth to a son, and that is where the story starts.
The daughter who just wants to be loved, and the son who is born sickly and loved dearly by his sister. The proud arrogant father who remarries to a proud woman. How love, deceit, and pride affects everyone.

If you have never read any Dickens books I would recommend you give one a try. He has great characters and you can get really into the story.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Design wall...or cutting table

This is what I have to show...doesn't seem like much does it?
Fifty 5 1/2" pineapples. I normally don't love paper piecing, but I am enjoying making these. I will keep at it until I am tired of them. I guess I will know the size of the quilt when I get sick of making pineapples. Right now I can envision this on one of the beds, so I hope I can last that long. I have a twin, queen and a king in the house so fingers crossed. :)

With Ray home I am not getting hours of uninterrupted sewing, but I am getting about an hour so I can get a block a day. I'll take it!

Housework calls.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Quilt show!

Warning: Very Photo Heavy

I cropped and reduced the photo sizes so I hope they load ok.

I went to the Friendship Knot Quilt show in Sarasota this morning. I was so pleased to see so many traditional quilts. So many of the shows I have been to here in Florida are mostly art quilts. I have nothing against art quilts, they just aren't my cup of tea.

This pattern was reduced in size. She loves to do small work.

This reminded me so much of Mrs. Louise Acker, a dear lady I knew in Mobile.

I haven't seen this pattern before and loved the cute houses!


I love the solids.

Love the colors chosen.

Love the colors

Someone loves or loved making yo-yos.

Ever since I took a workshop on clam shells at a retreat I have loved this pattern. I want to make a large quilt one day.

Not a lot of hand applique at this show. This one was lovely.

I really liked this one. I read the description and liked it even more.

Very cute!

I failed to get description...:(

This I also failed to get description.
I had a great time looking at all of the beautiful quilts. There are so many very talented quilters in this area.
Now I am inspired to do more piecing. :)