Friday, May 22, 2009

Bleary eyes make mistakes!

We've all done it . . . the "I'll just do one more thing" syndrome. Last night, I was preparing to sub-cut my strips for three-inch nine-patches for Baskets of Flowers. Thirty 9-patches are needed, fifteen of each of two colorways. I cut one strip set making 29 units, and I need 30. I was tired, and I thought I need to make another complete strip set to cut just one unit. Fortunately, I went to bed then. This morning, as I thought about it, I realized I just need one green 1 1/2 square to alter an opposite strip set, making the one remaining unit necessary. Did that for each of the two colorways, and I should be able to complete the nine-patches easily today. Then, press the sashing sets, and cut to size, and the quilt top will be ready to assemble, sans borders. So, now I can concentrate on the friendship phrase I want to place around the border. This is my current favorite:

"Sew a seed of friendship,
Reap a bouquet of happiness." Lois L. Kaufman

Received notification that the fabric has shipped that will become that border, so perhaps I can get my lettering ready, and by the time that is done, the fabric will have arrived. Maybe this will be the first quilt that Viki will quilt for me on her long-arm machine!

I'm going to keep going with piecing projects while I've got the "fever". Still have Bonnie Hunter's Old Tobacco Roads to complete, as well as a completely cut Double Delight. Truth be known, I'll never run out of projects!

Hope to put some of this long weekend to good use at the machine. Also, in the never QUITE completed task, should plow the studio. It was a mess, but with the window incident, it's even worse. Nothing to do but yank everything out and put it back properly. What a drudge, but it will be more inspiring to have a nice neat sewing space again.

Happy weekend to all!

Monday, May 18, 2009


As you probably have surmised, I succumbed to the offer from Hancock's for Mary Engelbreit's Basket of Flowers kit by Moda. It arrived on Wednesday, and I held off all the way until Thursday to start cutting it! By Saturday morning, it was all cut, and several blossoms assembled. I have made some adaptations to personalize it. First, I cut flowers from a matching jelly roll, so every flower is different. I woke up Sunday morning with the idea of adding buttons to the center of each blossom, once it is quilted. Since my dear friend, Laura, has launched me on my "words on quilts" program, I've decided to add a border, and a phrase about friendship. Haven't stumbled over a phrase that entices me yet, but I'll keep working on it. Last night, I finished all the red blooms, and have only five pink blossoms to stitch before assembling some nine-patch cornerstones, and three-strip sashings. Whatever the phrase is, I think I want it to be as "scrappy" as my flowers, so I might have to choose a light outer border. Because I prefer to cut the exact size and shape of each piece, I have plenty of fabric left over from the kit. I cut my triangles with an EZ Angle, instead of using the corner square technique . . . can't bring myself to throw away 40% of a square.

On Thursday, my E-bay bargain Shangri-la kit arrived. I read through all the instructions, and fondled the little 2" swatch patch packet attached to the pattern. There were enough swatches to make 12 little four-patches, so stiched them up to make a pillow. Found a remnant of one of the fabrics on-line to make the setting squares, and backing of the pillow. This morning's awakening inspiration was the idea of piping around each of the four-patches, so I went scouting for a little piece of one of the companion fabrics. It's so much fun with the old brain cooperates with inspiration without much perspiration!

Another inspiration was the idea to make throw pillows for Christmas gifts this year. Every other year, we spend Christmas in Virginia, with our eldest son, his family, and in-laws. They just make us a part of the family, too. The idea is that the pillow tops can be made up, and packed in a small box for the trip to Virginia, and I can purchase pillow forms once I arrive there.

Dh had his annual spring garage sale last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He was kind enough to share some of the proceeds. He cleared out lots of stuff that had been "bonus" purchases at auctions where we wanted just one or two things from a box. He said this morning that he thinks he made about 5% on his investment. I told him that is fantastic in this economic time. And, he also made the front page of today's Lafayette Journal and Courier, in an article about garage sales. He said the writer didn't use some of his best lines . . . I told him, the writer was probably jealous.

We had one catastrophe early in the week last week. Some neighbor kids were playing ball in our side lot . . . they had permission from DH. At some point, someone gave them a hardball instead of the plastic ball they had been using previously. Double-pane window in my studio was lost. The kids came to the front door immediately to tell us. DH was crabby, but I tried to keep him from scaring them too much. I bought them a sack full of wiffle balls on Friday night, and tough guy located a wiffle bat yesterday. We're going to show them the location of the bases when our boys played ball in the yard. That will move them more toward the back of the lot, and away from windows! It's nice to hear the children's voices in the yard again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Temptation is a terrible thing to waste!

It happens every year. While I'm in Paducah, I can't wait to get home to work on my projects because I am so inspired by new fabrics, and patterns, and tools, and techniques. Once I'm home again, I can't settle down enough to actually get the flow going. In the interim, I've been working on socks for Viki and Mary J. I'm telling myself, there are several tops close to completion, and I SHOULD work on those. Meanwhile, my mind continues to whizz, giggle, jolt, and veer to newer horizons. Then, this morning, I got a sale e-mail from Hancock's of Paducah, and it included a half-price kit for a quilt that I have been considering using Mary Engelbreit's Basket of Flowers line. How is a person supposed to resist that kind of enticement?

Then, when peeking around in E-Bay, there was another Moda fabrics kit on clearance. I could justify making a low bid on it, with the thought that the bid was so low, someone else would surely out-bid me . . . amazingly, I made the ONLY bid! I can't decide if I was lucky or not in this case, since the price was about one-fourth of the price of the original kit from one of last year's lines! This kit is packaged in a matching tote-bag . . . Did I mention, FREE SHIPPING?

Finally, there was another Moda kit for which we saw the finished quilt on display at Hancock's. It uses the Aviary line by Three Sisters, and comes packaged in a back-pack. It was $129.00 at Hancock's. I walked away easily . . . found the pattern on the Moda fabrics website, and thought I would put it away for a later project. Bought a jelly roll of those fabrics before going to Paducah, and thought I could fill in with some of the backgrounds to make my own kit for it. At the current prices, the additional fabrics to build my own kit would add up to about $100, but that wouldn't include the "free" back-pack or binding. Of course, I stumbled over a kit for $99. So far, I've resisted the siren call, but if I look at that kit again, and see that the distributor has only one left, I confess to considering a mad dash for the last one in stock!

Retirement can't come too soon for me . . . and I'll have plenty of projects to keep me busy!