Wednesday, May 27, 2009

not exactly quilt related but it will be





We have lots of trees in the neighborhood. Many are Monterey Pines and some are oaks. Unfortunately, the root systems are shallow here and the Monterey Pines are vunerable to a disease that makes them not the strongest forest. We also have many tall power poles that tend to get knocked down during windy storms. This can leave us without power for hours or days and it gets old. We built our home about 8 years ago and planned for a back up generator. Money ran out, of course, and we have had to wait on finishing the project.

So this is the week we are finishing. The generator will power the house with electricity by gas rather than the usual electricity.
Tony, the handsome builder (on the left) helped put the generator in place yesterday. Today, the electrician Mark (on the right) is starting the process of hooking it all up. Kindly, he is doing the prep work today and the finishing on Friday....all so I can still sew today :-) and not miss a stitch since I'm working on Friday.
I saw the top off the generator and thought...boy, we should have photos of this while it's all nice and clean. No dog hair sneaking in the air vents yet.
So when we the electric power goes out next time, all the food in our frig will be saved, I can still blow dry my hair when I need to shower and get ready to work and/or I can still sew :-)

Monday, May 25, 2009

finally a finish



Finished sewing the binding on this Bento Box batik quilt for my niece last night and decided to photograph 'the old fashioned way' with fingers shown holding it up and legs down below it... the DH quilt stand.

I think this is the first batik quilt that I have made. It is so different from what I usually choose to do and I think there is a new learning curve here. Was diverted from the previous planned pantograph for the quilting and the pattern proved to be a bit boring on this quilt. oh well, I think I might try again with this quilt in a second version and see if I like it better.



So today, I have been shopping on Ebay for fabric with roosters on it. Friend, Tonya, is remodeling her kitchen and wants placemats with roosters. Found some I like but got a little bleary-eyed trying to choose. So I will go back after a break and see what I like best. The actual pattern for the placemat is still in progress. Would love any suggestions.
In the meantime, I'm sewing blocks together for this little quilt of Peace on Earth fabrics. The block pattern is a Schnibbles called Imagine. I have messed with the block placement though and think I like this better.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Not much energy here to accomplish anything after a busy weekend at work, but I am browsing many quilter blogs and seeing some lovely pictures of completed projects and am getting re-energized. The mail lady brought fabric yesterday so that I can put the binding on my batik quilt again. Next on the list is to continue the Peace On Earth blocks...and to prep fabric to make more diamonds. In the meantime, I played with my blog page a little...hope you like the changes...and am trying to add some gadgets that I like to it. Still learning computer skills here.

For pictures, I thought I would add some previous completed projects since I'm currently kind of slow getting new ones done.
One of my favorite designers is Sarah Sporrer http://www.homespun-peddler.com/cat_ij/ij-0000.htm and I have made 2 of her small wallhanging quilts so far.


The lighthouse one is a favorite..the sailboat a learning lesson in fabric choices.

I hope to make some of her BOM quilts soon.

I also hope to learn how to put links in with a name without showing the whole web address. Anyone have info on how to do that? I would love to know.

Sew, thank you for checking out my blog post today.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Diamonds

Upon seeing some of the lovely DJ blocks posted lately, I wanted to share some pics of hand pieced blocks that I put together awhile back. I heard about Linda Franz' Quilted Diamonds while watching the beginning broadcasts of QNN. Her diamond blocks are named after characters or phrases from Jane Austen books. Coupled with music from Mozart that was playing in the background, I was entranced. I joined a Yahoo group that has quilters chatting about their DJ and QD blocks and got to work learning to handpiece. I put all my practice blocks into this little pink and green wallhanging.


After that, I started more blocks in this blue and white fabric that I happened upon at Walmart of all places. It was on the $2 table and I bought all 17 yards of it. The feel of this cotton fabric is wonderful and I felt like I was 'stealing' it as I paid for it. So here are some pics of the blocks I have started with in the blue and white.
The one on the left is QD 131 Know your own happiness. The one on the right is QD 130 A letter from a niece.


These 2 are QD 49 She is a standing lesson of how to be happy, and QD 178 Such an evening!


I have pieced some more but haven't photographed them yet. I also haven't sewn them for awhile but have a trip coming up that may offer some time for hand piecing.

Hope you all have some time for stitching this weekend. I'm headed to work the next 3 days and I'll be thinking of you and daydreamin' of stitchin'.













Monday, May 11, 2009

a step forward and a step back

My BFF Bernina is home again and keeping me happy. I promise to keep her better cleaned and oiled...although I thought I was already doing a pretty good. The extra noise showed up briefly but I think it may have been connected to the bobbin thread being about to run out....not sure, but it hasn't come back since. I love this machine.

I finished the quilting on the batik...pics later...

then found I was about 2 ft short of the fabric I wanted to use for the binding. I was in kind of a funk and didn't want to wait for an excuse to drive the 27 miles to my quilt store to buy more...if they still had it...so I chose another from the stash. Sewed it on, looked at it for 2 days and came to my right mind and seam ripped it right off. I've never done that before and hope to never do it again. But it just looked awful. So I'll be more patient and find the right fabric when I can go to the store again and get it right.


In the meantime, my helpers...you can barely see Elinor (black fur ball) sleeping on the plastic bag...are helping me with a Schnibbles pattern using Peace on Earth fabrics from Moda. Marianne is pressing the backing for me.



The bottom right block pieces actually yield half the larger block after you put one on top of the other, sew 2 lines through the middle of it and then cut it diagonally between the stitched lines. It seemed like a clever but odd way to avoid having any bias edges to work with but once I actually followed the pressing instructions, it took on a new level of accuracy. I'm kind of impressed with how little fabric is wasted...like slivers less about 1/8th inch.





Tuesday, May 5, 2009

yesterday and today




















Had low expectations for my to do list yesterday but I actually finished the 3 things on the list:

Vacuum off the cat hair :-) from completed Evening Star quilt and get it hung by the front door.













Get the batik quilt on the frame so I can quilt it.

And auditon some pantographs...






























Today, get DH's vote for pantograph and quilt it :-)

Monday, May 4, 2009

made it through the weekend :-)

It has been one busy week and with the flu scare this weekend was feared to be overwhelming in the ER where I work. I am so greatful that it didn't turn out as bad as anticipated. Some sick patients coming in but I don't think we actually had one case of the flu. My 'experienced nurse' body felt beat up by the end of the long day yesterday. I'm also greatful for Ibuprofen!



I think the last sewing accomplished here was actually last Sunday helping my friend start her very first quilt! Sorry, no pictures...which is a shame because I am really excited about this turn of events. She loves Snowmen and found a kit just calling out to her at the quilt show last weekend. I don't get to see her often but will hopefully be able to encourage her long distance.





What we are getting ready for around here at my house is....getting a relatively new member, Mosley,

trained to exercise on a treadmill made for dogs. I take the dogs for long walks about 4 days a week when I'm not working but Mr Mosley here could use more. The treadmill doesn't get here for a couple of weeks and then we are waiting for a dog trainer to help us be successful with getting him to use it. We tried a 'people' treadmill but it wasn't new and smooth and we didn't get anywhere.
Mosley is actually a happy member of the family but is a little hyper and also has some food guarding issues we are not fond of...We are hoping to learn to be better 'pack leaders' and spare some dog bites.

So hoping to share this future event of dog treadmilling..I played with my little camera to see if I could use the video function. I'm trying to post the video clip here but am getting an error message. I'll have research that further. If anyone has any tips for posting AVI form here..let me know. Seeing Mosley on a treadmill is going to be worth the effort!


As for today, I hope to get a wall hanging up so I can share some actual quilting progress.
Stay healthy, ya'll.





video Well, thank you Blogger help...reading directions, what a concept!