A place for me to journal and post pictures about my quilting adventures.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Design wall Monday 11/30/09







The holiday has taken a toll on the design wall. The king-size of last week is down for "security reasons", and we are off in another direction. I finished the red, black, and white quilt top that I posted about last week. It, along with others, is waiting for a turn at the long-arm machine. Last Friday, I did indeed have a sew-in for the grands and cousins. The first picture is of them with their pillowcases. The length of the picture does not show that 3 of them made the second pillowcase for body pillows. This was a full day/evening adventure, and they were very proud of their accomplishments. Note the color of the pillowcases on the far left (she's not asleep, I just can't take good pictures). This is the Gniece this quilt top was being made for. The pillowcases were made to match the colors in her room! I asked a lot of questions, and ended up finding out that she doesn't like pink, her sister likes pink. I just wish I could keep the two of them straight! Now I need to make a non-pink quilt! That's the reason for this week's design wall - a pattern called Celebration from Judy Martin's Scraps book. The colors are poor in the top right picture; they should be closer to the ones in the pillowcases. I've debated back and forth between this pattern and JudyL's Freeze Frame, but decided this one would be quicker. I really want to make the Freeze Frame, but I am running out of time.
Time Sponges My time has been taken up by this little imp, DGD#2. My DD's school football team had an undefeated season, so went Saturday to St. Louis for the State Finals. DSIL isn't that great at babysitting his own child, so she came here on Saturday overnight until Sunday afternoon. Then today I took her and her mother up to the hospital so little one could have ear-tubes inserted. She's spending the day here as DD is very sick, but still needs to show up for at least part of the day at school to finish up the newspaper (she teaches it). They were waiting on the results of state - they lost. She had no business going to St. Louis as sick as she was, but that's what journalism teachers do to help students with the photography. She rented a huge camera / lens to photograph with in the Dome - nothing they had at school would work there. She also chaperoned the cheer leaders. Back to DDG#2 - she will be here again Thursday and Friday as she has eye surgery scheduled on Thursday, again early in the am. DD's not working those days, but needs my support. Santa's workshop is really running late with all this happening. I have visions of quilts without binding being given for Christmas presents!
Happy Quilting,
Becky

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Monday, November 23, 2009

design wall monday

Ugly fabric quilt progress
The Sunshine Ugly Fabric Stashbuster Challenge quilt has now grown too big for the design wall. The first plain 6" border is on, and two sides of the 6" block borders are on. Someone asked what my Ugly fabric was - It is the "fireworks" found in the center of many of the blocks. I picked it for the challenge as I don't work well with grayed (toned) fabrics, and I wanted to gain some skills with that. The Challenge also involved using a bit of orange and/or yellow in each block, also colors I don't use much. I have learned that most quilts need a touch of yellow to put the "sun" in them, but I don't pick it as a main color, which I have done in this quilt. I'm sure hoping the couple I'm giving it to for Christmas like these colors. They've wanted a large quilt from me for a long time (they have a large lap quilt, denim quilt, and lap Christmas quilts), but not one for their bed.

The other two borders are still on the design wall ready to sew together. It is so delightful, the first pieced border actually fit without a lot of easing. I also have the 12" blocks to do as well, but there isn't room for them on the wall right now.

Mile a Minute Blocks

When I was cleaning up all the scraps that accumulate when doing a sampler quilt, I decided to try MAM (Mile a Minute) blocks. I used some templates (Marti Michell) to cut out as many shapes as I could, then put them together with the various leftover small strips. After making these blocks, I only have a 8 x 8" piece of the grayed blue, and about a quarter yard of the second orange fabric left. I had hoped to make this quilt all from stash, but when I cut those 120" final borders, I knew I didn't have enough of the green to make all three plain borders the same, as well as I still needed the spacers for the block borders. I went with some other quilting friends Friday over to the Kansas Farm quilt shop, and found a compatible green (after checking that I had nothing in my stash to work).

Pink-eye, it's not just for kids
I came back with something more than I purchased - a case of pink-eye. Farm doorknobs carry a lot of bacteria, is what I guess was the problem. It started within hours of returning home, where the 2 DGDs were having a slumber party with Grandma. I had them sleep in the living room, instead of with me in the bed, and I practiced really good handwashing, and neither of them has come down with it yet. They were going to spend Saturday with GMa, but after I reported to their mothers what the eye doctor said, the moms quickly made other arrangements.


New Quilt started
While their mothers were here, we discussed Christmas presents. DD requested a "blanket" that could take a lot of washing. DGD#2 is the ladybug bedroom, so I found some fat quarters of Red, White, and Black, and started a Stashbuster quick quilt with them. I'm doing 20 blocks, so it should be big enough for her twin bed. I may have to add a bit more to the length, so it will cover DSIL's feet (6'4") when he reads books to her in her bed. I'm making it as a reward to myself. Every time I finish putting on a border on the king-size quilt, I sew a seam on these twenty blocks. It keeps me from "giving up" on the borders of this giant. I had planned some long-arm quilting today, but I don't think Rose would like me to "contaminate" her house and the quilting machine with pink-eye germs.

Happy Quilting,
Becky
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Circle Lord zig-zag templates arrived

Wow, I LOVE these giant templates. If I could quilt like some of you (Mary), I wouldn't need the templates, but with them, I think this quilting is so neat! The quilt above is laying flat; the hills and valleys are a result of the quilting and the tangential light streaming in the window. It was really nice when I walked in the "studio" and saw this. It's ready for trimming and binding. It's not a Christmas gift, so I will put the binding on the front, and save the turning to the back for something to do while elevating my knee in January.
Happy Quilting,
Becky

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunshine "ugly " fabric challenge blocks finished



All the blocks for the king size quilt I'm making from the Stashbuster Ugly Fabric Challenge are finished. I made 36 - 6" blocks, and 28 - 12" blocks. I'm tired of making blocks from this group of fabrics. The EQ drawing at the top is similar to the set I'm using. I haven't figured out how to make sashing in the borders in EQ. I decided I didn't want to have to deal with pressing points back with so many of them in this quilt. I'm putting about 1-1/2" sashing between each block in both borders, so I'm using one less block than it shows. I'm so ready to stop working on this. However, I'm going to persevere as this is a Christmas present.
Giant Templates - Our giant zig-zag templates for the Circle Lord arrived late yesterday! I'm planning on playing with them this afternoon. They are my Christmas present, but I need to finish other Christmas presents with them so I didn't wait until the 25th to open them. I hope I like them as well as I do the spirals. I really want to be inspired about using the long arm machine so I don't think about the discomfort in my feet and legs. I really want to be able to do this. I'm so inspired by others' quilting, and know I can do some of it if I just make myself practice. PPP - that's what it takes.
Happy quilting,
Becky

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Another big star center finished





















I must have Big Stars on the brain. Today I finished the center of the Stashbuster Ugly fabric Challenge quilt. This will be a king-size Christmas present. The center is 48" square. The other picture is of the finished blocks to surround the center. It will have a plain border, a border of 6" blocks, another plain border, then a border of 12" blocks. I need to sew a lot, as I still need about 12 more blocks of each size.

I did go down to the long-arm and loaded the two charity quilts that were on the design wall last Monday. My friend wanted to try a pantograph on something before she tried to do it on a snowman quilt top she made. The first pass was a bit rocky. I left it for her to practice. I hope she finishes them soon, as I have 4 tops waiting that need to be finished by Christmas. I really wish I was better at the long-arm, but it takes constant practice, and I don't do that right now. Even just loading and helping her get started was rough on my joints. I really wish I could have retired sooner, but I can't go back. Oh, well, at least I can still cut and piece tops to my heart's content.
Happy Quilting,
Becky
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Shredded carrots - never again

Oh, the innocent-appearing shredded carrot. The restaurant I ate at (not for long) last evening garnishes their garden salad with them. Do you see how they curl a bit on the end? If you get a piece with that curly end down in your windpipe, it gets stuck! You, of course, have to cough, and cough, and cough, but every time you try to take a breath that thing gets pulled further into your lungs. The patrons of the (nice) restaurant look at you with wide eyes, the manager and wait staff come running, your daughter tries a Heimlich but you push her away because you've taught CPR so many years and you keep thinking no Heimlich if "they" are still moving air past the obstruction. You now understand about panic! When you finally cough that now nasty carrot and other contents up in your hand, no one wants you to go to the bathroom alone to wash - and an old OR nurse can't stand "contaminated" hands!

After everyone sits back down, your 3-year-old DGD crawls under the table to your side and asks "Dramma all right?" She then demonstrates how to cover her mouth when you cough like they do in preschool. The manager offers you ice cream, on the house, to try and "ease" your throat; DGD has to have a bite, and says "nasty" - they have a bit of nutmeg in their vanilla. Wait staff, and manager, come back several times as things are starting to swell, and wheezing accompanies the coughing. Take-home boxes appear, DD makes an appeal for an expedited check, the manager walks you out and helps you in the car, and everyone goes down the street to the local ER.

The security guard at the door tells you to put on a mask (NOT) since you are coughing, wheezing, unable to talk - DD is parking the car. The desk clerk pushes a button and in what seems like an hour, but was probably about a minute, an (excellent) nurse appears with a wheelchair, takes you straight back into a room, calls for a respiratory therapist, helps the admitting nurse takes vitals, and says he'll have the doctor write the order when the chart gets into the computer. Good, good triage nurse. DGD has to be up on the bed with you to make sure they are taking care of Dramma okay. The dinner out was a "treat" for her as she "survived" allergy skin tests earlier in the afternoon. She stands right next to the nurse and watches when she puts that plastic tube in Dramma's hand.

The rest is like you've done before: breathing treatment, an IV line "just in case", chest x-ray to check for remaining particles, an indirect laryngoscopy to look for damage (man does that Cetacaine taste bad), a bit of steroid for the road after feeling comes back to your throat. When Dramma stands up, DGD sits up on the bed, lays the BP cuff and O2 saturation monitor on her hand and says "my turn" and throws a fit when she doesn't get a "tiger" bandaide. This girl has no fear of hospital things - they've been a part of her life since birth weighing 2.7 lbs. By 8:30 PM you are at home, assuring everyone you are fine, and can really be alone - with the phone by your side - as DH is out of town playing with trains, again.

Oh, the manager at Longhorn - very nice man - gave DD his work and cell number, and wanted her to call when things were settled. (I did apologize for making them have to fill out an incident report.) DD did call, and next Tuesday, Wed, or Thursday, we will receive a free dinner, on him. I finished my steak about 1:30 this morning, with small bites, and it really tasted good. I think, however, that I will check for alternatives to salad for a while.

Hopefully tomorrow we can do some
Happy quilting,
Becky
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Quilts for kids tops finished- My design wall

Yesterday I started and finished the quilt kit for Quilts for Kids. They ask that you send another quilt made from your stash. I had this Disappearing 9 Patch cut out, so today I finished it. If I ever make it down to the quilting machine, they can be loaded together on one backing for quilting. It is much faster that way. I'll either send back their backing, or use it on another charity project.

I haven't been quilting on the big machine, other than the small quilt for the railroad symposium. My stamina and pain tolerance aren't what they used to be, and one quilt on the long-arm usually costs me an additional day of rest (rather than doing the things I want). I only work 2-3 hours in a day, with a rest time each hour, but it still is a problem. I'm having my second total knee the end of the year, and I'm hoping things will be better. I think we have found the problem, and fixed it, that created the slow, and incomplete recovery with the first knee. I feel as if I've let down the Heartstrings Quilt Project, because I have more tops here to finish, but it is taking a long time. I WILL finish them, later if not sooner. Right now I'm trying to finish up Christmas presents, as I will have have to stop some medications mid-December, so need to finish soon.
Happy Quilting,
Becky
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