30 June 2008

Kyle's Bday; colour plots n schemes

Today, Kyle turned 13 years old .. wow .. it just seems like yesterday that he was born - where does the bloody time go ..

My dad came over and we grilled burgers on the grill and then had cake for his bday .. he was still feeling a bit off today so no ice cream as I keep him off dairy when he's like this, but then we opened his presents .. he LOVED his boom box and his game .. Reg and him put his box together then he vanished for a bit to listen to CDs .. we need to get the adaptor for his iPod still - we forgot that in the running around yesterday and then he played his game for a bit .. this one is harder than last years .. the pitching is different .. but he's going to have fun with it and the look on his face when he opened his presents was priceless :) .. he even said to me "mum I had a really good day today .. Thank you .. " .. l was like .. you're welcome .. with my mouth was hanging open ..

So far not a lot done quilt-wise .. did quality family time instead and consider myself coming out ahead ..

I'm going to cut the rest of the fabric for the Double X blocks and get those sections together .. then I might work on the simplex stars .. I've ideas / plots n plans in my head for colours, but it might be a good idea to continue working from the middle out block / colour wise - that way I can make the necessary colour adjustments as needed .. I KNOW that I want the simplex stars to be greens and blues .. the middle sisters will be purple; I and doing the Double X in reds .. now the outer sisters will be blue .. the blocks that i will have to be careful with colourwise will be the Ohio Stars and the outer sisters ..

I would really like the outer sisters to be blue and if I go that route, i have a paisley that is blue on pink that would work very well for the Ohio Star .. heh .. this quilt is very much flying by the seat of my pants ..

I'm not sure if I'm going to leave the corners as the solid Underground RR or use the other ones that have the split background .. I'll just have to put them next to the blocks and make my mind up then.

Well off to cut then - will post pics later maybe ....

28 June 2008

I've a teenager **GASP**; sisters; gutters

It's been a quiet few days .. quilt wise .. I've let this layout take seed in my mind and I do rather like it .. It has been suggested"switching the brown RR blocks with the blue sisters blocks or maybe the pinwheel type blocks?" - I rather like the idea of maybe doing a double frame with the Underground RR blocks surrounding the purple sisters blocks tho .. altho this does push the blue sisters blocks off the edge of the quilt and will be draping off the edges of the quilt .. this one I have to think about .. Reg really liked the sisters blocks .. that's the only block he picked. BUT I do have the whole center of the quilt for that block .. **thinks n plots**

Tomorrow is Kyle's bday Oh my Lord .. my baby's going to be 13(!!) I'm to bloody young for this LOL. We got him MLB 2K8 for the Xbox 360 and a boombox that will allow his mp3 player to be attached and he can use it for speakers. I think he's going to like it .. he's not feeling too well today at all but is not running a fever .. so here's hoping that he'll throw off what's ailing him and can enjoy tomorrow .. wow 13

I've spent the past few days battling Mother Nature and my rain gutters .. I'm thinking that this gutter system originally had a downspout in the middle of the gutter - which is no longer there .. I unearthed the hole when I cleaned the gutters and plugged it. But cleaning the gutters didn't stop the waterfall going into my flowering shrub. I fixed the waterfall spot by using a hammer and a piece of board to whack it back into shape - the drainage went back to going to the middle spout which isn't there anymore. The water then decided to go over the top of the gutter as it's not meant to be side draining. I ended up with a nasty waterfall hitting my flower beds during the deluge of yesterday and was absolutely besides myself with watching. In the afternoon after i had 'fixed' the gutter, i was balancing on the rail with the hammer and board trying to bang them up so they would drain down the sides during the worst deluge we've had all summer .. i was beyond soaked by the time i gave up. Again it rained and at 1am i'm having kittens on my porch watching my flowers swim underwater - my poor neighbour has been helping me plot with ways to correct this and she pounced on me when we got home from shopping with an idea and we just fine-tuned it from there and i think it's going to work!!

We took a 45° tubing joint and a piece of pvc to have it drain but not into my garden, but over the garden into the grass ... I can always get a decorative stone to put there or a birdbath if it creates a hole in my lawn .. now I really do need new gutters, but since I rent, I'm not likely to pay for this myself and I know my landlord won't do it .. so a stop-gap measure will work :) I've already placed bricks there as it had dripped there already.

27 June 2008

Underground RR ... again :S; updated layout

Not sure how i feel about all that brown .. it looks to me like there's going to be a brown blob in the middle edges of my quilt - while the rest of it will be more colourful ..

After I finished the middle section the other day, I brought all the sections to my bedroom and laid them out on the bed .. nope I just didn't like it .. just tooo much ... brown splat - framing this bright center .. the design of the Underground RR block is great - I just love that look I got, but not with that ..

I've been looking at it and looking at it and I'm just not sure I want to keep the Underground RR sections like they are - I am thinking of frogging the sections apart and using them instead for the outer blocks around the quilt - more like a frame and keep the rest of the colours more in the middle .. I'm just not liking it as it looks right now ..

Again, picking colours is my clue .. can't decide on red or blue and both would work just fine - but it's not a matter of it looking fine or okay . .but do **I** like it .. and i'm not sure i do .. it's a GREAT design and look for those blocks, but does it really fit well with the look i want?? I'm thinking not more and more .. might be part of the reason that I've been dragging my feet on this .. (besides batting issues :D) - batting issues wouldn't stop me from putting the top together .. i'm just hemming and hawing at it ..

So, i'll boot up quiltpro again and fiddle around with it some more .. the more i think about it, the more I like the idea of having this quilt framed by these blocks at the edges .. and these edges are the ones that will be part of my drape off the bed .. and use more sisters blocks, ohio star, simplex star and the double X blocks .. yup - I think I like that better .. and if I need more of the Underground, I do have more of the brown vines fabric that I can make it with and use reds for the inner colours :D or creams or lighter browns that i have :D


With fidding a few things around - I came up with one layout with 2 different looks dependng on if i 'spread' the colours out that I used for the center section - For the Simplex Star I would use a darker / different background so that creates a frame .. I like this so much better .. only question would be if I wanted to keep the outer sisters blocks with the same background as the inner blocks.

Comments, suggestions, praises, criticisms?? Please comment and let me know :) And if you want a response back from me, please do not leave it as no-reply@blogger.com .. rather hard to reply back to that address ;) Thanx

26 June 2008

Crippled Internet

I've been totally beside myself without my internet .. amazing how much that becomes part of your day-to-day life .. been restless and prowling around bouncing off the walls ... unable to settle long enough to work on anything for any length of time - I've driven myself to total distraction.

While my internet was gone, I took a vaca from my 1800 quilt - I was rather disgusted with myself for flipping that row around and also for the way the other block finished up.

I'm not sure what I thought I was doing / thinking (??), but my cuts on that one block were 1/8 - ½" larger than they needed to be :S .. bah .. so what this meant was, I needed to check and square up those HSTs :S - well it could be worse .. this could have been 12 blocks instead of the 5 blocks for the inner section. Actually they weren't all that bad .. just the little bit that i normally leave extra to allow me 'flubbing' during sewing. My machine pulls a wee bit and I've found that cutting a smidge more gives me some leeway .. boty did I have lee way

I did manage to get them squared and my block ended up - are you ready for this 11 x 11½" - bah .. so squaring that one up made things interesting .. I'm not going to have sharp points on part of that block, but I'm not sure I want to cut more pieces out .. I'm just going to be super careful doing the rest of the blocks :D

I've two whole cloth quilts and I'm half entertaining the idea of basting them to do and have some hand work to do .. There's a LOT of work to do there and I'm sure it'll keep my busy for a LONG time. I have 2 kits by American Heritage Quilt Collection - a wallhanging; 40 x 40" (left image - Victorian Garden), and a throw; 54 x 69" (right image - Grape Wreath) .. what's nice about these is that the top, backing and pre-cut bias are included and the quilting design is stamped, washes out in cold water .. so all i have to do is supply the batting, thread and the quilting :) When I got these, my plan was to use coloured thread, and i'm still going to use coloured .. just what colour and exactly how much thread to one of these use?? would hate to run out of thread while i'm doing and not being able to get close to the colour - we all know about dye lots :S

This looks much better in person - I'm still thinking i got wayyy to much brown .. but ah well - I'm sure I won't be using brown for a while - a LONG WHILE ..

I would have preferred to do the star points in darker greens .. I just didn't have any that were large enough without having to use 3 or 4 different colours - this quilt is going to be 'colourful' enough as it is :)

I've managed to get the 5 sisters blocks done and my center section. :) I'm thinking the Double X blocks next .. :)

No Internet To-do

  1. Center Section

  2. Fix upsdown section in Underground RR

  3. Double X's Section

  4. start quilting kitty quilt

  5. baste wall hanging - maybe

WOOT WOOT .. i'm back ... but bloody well crippled .. blasted dial-up GRRRRRRRRRRR

19 June 2008

Sister; meet froggy .. Then things in gutters

I wish I knew what I did wrong here .. the only thing that would make sense is that my HSTs weren't the right size .. I've not done a block like this since I was a rookie quilter

So needless to say, this one gets frogged, and the blocks trimmed down to the right size ..

Esh .. what a mess .. I did this last nite and was just to bloody tired to try and figure it out .. or even mess with it .. and totally disgusted with myself too ..

Got up today with a headache and went promptly back to sleep ... then up again to clean out my gutters - well the weight and crap that had been up there bent the gutters down so that when it rained, i still have a waterfall coming down .. but at least the 3" x 2" hole that I covered with metal tape worked .. so up i go again tomorrow to try and bend the gutters back with pliers, a board and a hammer ..

Would you believe that I pulled out from the gutter
  • a shoe

  • 3 balls

  • patio torch

  • hose nozzle

  • monkey wrench

  • all in the one gutter .. esh!!!

    18 June 2008

    Underground RR revisited, berries

    You know what i just noticed .. I flipped a row on that last underground RR section .. (groan) .. that I have to take out .. no choice in the matter .. I was just looking at it and my fabrics last nite when I noticed it .. I'm like .. are you kidding me .. for crying out loud!!!! bah!!! On a good note .. all I have to do is frog stitch just that section, flip it over and re-sew it .. so it's not like it's the whole section and lucky (yeah right) for me, it was at the edges .. holybiblebatman! twittwittwit - I am TRYING to be positive about this .. yeah right .. **grumbling .. **

    I'm working on the centerpiece now .. I pulled out my green (pathetic amount that I have) and started to measure them for the Ohio Star points .. the two dark colours that I wanted to use were only 11½, and I needed 11¾ - course it's short .. soooo I'm using a light green and medium green .. I'll use the darker green in the smaller Ohio star blocks .. will be using purple foregrounds for the sisters star blocks for the middle .. I have the Ohio Star points done and am going to start cutting the sisters blocks just after I post this or find something else to stall with :D

    On a GOOD note, I did get my kitty quilt basted and it did take less time that I actually thought to finish it .. cat hork not withstanding .. I was invaded by my dad .. (yup AGAIN - well it didn't turn into a visit, more like a drive by and he did bring milk :D) while I was basting it and he was looking at it and oh that's pretty .. I'm like ... pretty?? (@@) .. thanx .. (dry sarcastic tone) .. he goes .. why's it all wet .. I'm like wet??? where .. and I look .. my darling little Shadow(Pixel leaves bigger offerings) decided to leave a soggy splotch on the quilt .. I'm like .. the truth comes out on how she really feels about it .. good thing it wasn't food or a hairball .. quick dabbing with paper towels and then a damp cloth cleaned it right up .. I think I would have rather had her chase my thimble around the house .. **sigh**

    It's a mulberry tree :D .. Thanx to all the ladies that sent me emails telling me what tree this is .. Thank you everyone!!

    What are these berries???
    I noticed the other day that there were squirrels and birds having a feast in my tree in the back yard .. and then I look closer and see .. berries ..does anyone have any idea what these are .. I thought this was the same tree that my dad had, but his doesn't produce fruit .. then again, he scalps his every year and it just doesn't .. I tasted it, not overly sweet nor tart .. just mild .. can you leave a comment in my blog (as that's emailed to me) or email me directly if you have my email address - thanx .. I really do appreciate it .. I know they aren't poisonous as the birds and squirrels don't fall out the tree and the dogs even eating them .. crazy dog!

    Now as for the dog .. I'm going to tie her tail to her whiskers she starts digging again in the backyard .. she started to go to town yesterday just under this tree, and then again this AM ..

    You know .. my animals are going to look really funny with them all running around with their whiskers and tails tied together .. and yes even Pix ..

    17 June 2008

    Quilts n Grass n Bagels!!

    Yesterday was a busy day for me .. I had gotten no sleep overnite ..I hate when that happens .. and was waiting on a few phone calls that I didn't want to miss, so I decided to stay up as I was afraid I would not hear the phone .. course they called .. in the afternoon :S

    I had a whack of things to do yesterday .. cutting the backyard, making bagels, doing the laundry and I needed a break from all the browns in the repro quilt, so I decided to baste my kitty quilt.

    The backyard looks GREAT .. maybe one more cutting and Kyle can do that one .. he's gonna love that lol .. I just want to be sure that the latest seed I laid catches and it looks like it's doing just that .. just have to combat all the weeds back there .. they are all on one side of the yard heheh .. I'll pull them slowly and surely .. by labour day they should all be gone - heheheheh

    I did that early in the AM so that I could do the bagels, laundry and basting at the same time .. breadmakers are wonderful things :D .. it does all the mixing and all i have to do is shape them, proof them, boil them (secrets in the boiling time .. the longer they boil, the larger and lighter they get), and then bake them .. voila!!! bagels .. I'm doing better at them too .. this is likely my 4th batch and I've finally got the knack of them .. reg actually said he thought they were store bought :D. I like the recipe I found, it uses both whole wheat and white flour - anything with whole wheat is good in this house. I had tested a few and this one won.

    I'm still using Sharon Schambers method and like everything - practice practice practice .. i'm about 2/3 done and it shouldn't take me more than 2 hours to finish it .. baring interruptions. I could have finished yesterday, but I wanted to spend time with Reg and I was WHACKED!

    Normally I don't leave stuff like that out .. i use the kitchen table for this and it's right under a HUGE window - and any window in a house with cats is THEIR territory .. it wasn't so much them sitting on it ... - they do that all the time .. I was more worried about the needle and my thimble - My darling Shadow loves to bat things around .. (remember my seam ripper - that was her work) Pix is more likely to go after fabric and batting strips. But it's all there .. first thing I checked when I got up this AM.

    I'm still trying to decide what sections to do next for my repro quilt .. i've not heard back from the people i had emailed about the calico fabric or the simplex star block. I might just do the middle Ohio with the sisters blocks, or work on the Double X sections .. I am thinking I might want a quick section to finish and that would likely be the Ohio / Sisters - I'm also rather stuck on colours .. what to use .. The Double X uses more yardage and would like to have them as close as possible .. so I might have to do them next to ensure that .. I'm not worried about the background fabric .. I have enough of that .. but the foreground .. I would like to do greens and purples in the middle (Reg and I's favourite colours) and they do compliment each other nicely - hen maybe reds and blues for the Double X .. (will only combine those if I don't have enough of one colour) .. heh .. will have to check my math I guess .. :)

    16 June 2008

    I WAS almost finished ...

    On Saturday I was invaded by my dad .. no call no nothing .. AGAIN .. that made 5 days running .. must have been Father's Week - not Father's Day .. ah well .. I didn't quite trust myself to sew, but I did cut the rest of my sections out .. good thing too .. as I was looking at the fabric i had left for the background .. i'm thinking to myself .. there is no way that's enough .. well you know what .. it wasn't .. i would hav been 1/8" short for the width on the final strip and i would have been short on the other piece one (you're reading this right) ONE - 4 3/8" square for the HST .. short ONE .. i'm like .. are you bloody well kidding me!?!?!?!?!? I triple checked and yup i was short .. not a big deal, I have the brown vines which I could swap with .. well I'm wishing i had done this way all through .. all my squares were the vine fabric and then my HSTs were the chocolate brown .. it really looks NICE. Rather makes the path through the blocks pop more - but i am not going to rip the rest of them apart to do that to them .. nope - not gonna happen!

    Here I was thinking I was being slick .. and I WAS rather pleased with myself too .. until I saw that I had flipped my middle squares .. I had caught it everytime up until NOW - and wouldn't you figure .. it's the LAST section .. bah .. I'm glad that I have an old seam ripper, but it really isn't very good .. mine is still MIA .. I guess with all this ripping to do (3 blocks have to be totally undone - and not it's not all together .. 3 seams away from it), I would rather use my good one .. so I'll tear the living room apart to see is Shadow batted it under the couch or table or something .. I can only pray .. yeah i think I would rather do that then frog stitch all that - UGH .. twittwittwit ..

    Ah well it will get done today .. Good thing too .. I'm getting tired of brown .. I think the next section will be the middle section that's a sisters star in an Ohio Star ..

    Seam Ripper Update
    AHA .. found my seam ripper .. I had it on the table next to the couch when I was doing the english paper piecing .. Good thing .. now my frog stitch will go that much faster now :D :D :D

    Finally got it done .. feels GREAT to finish this part .. mind you .. i ended up flipping a 4 patch the wrong way again .. and course this was on the last block and i just said to heck with it .. I knew if I messed with it anymore, I would end up wrecking it or hating it .. so it stays .. who knows .. it might end up making the quilt??? **shrug .. never know ;)

    I think that i'm going to take a wee bit of a break from this .. I've been wanting to work on my kitty quilt and baste it .. maybe i'll get that done today .. and in the back of my mind ... plot my next steps ...

    14 June 2008

    Pix is a LOLCAT

    I can't remember if I posted this when it happened, and it's not findable by search - but I submitted two pics of Pixel to LOLCATS back when i was at the old house .. they finally approved him about 2 months ago .. these are the pics that I used:

    Yup, it was Friday the 13th

    That's not to say it was a totally horrific day .. just a challenging one .. I slept late for one, then when I got up there was a whole whack of stuff that had to be done RIGHT THEN .. I didn't even have an uninterrupted cup of coffee all day ..

    Things finally settle down a bit and I go over my math to see what i need to finish cutting for this section, then the kid wants attention :S .. Just get him calmed down then my dad stops by .. no reason .. just stopped by - when i realized there was nothing life threatening, I start to go over my math again .. then my dad leaves - 3 mins later - reg is home :\ ... we walk to the store .. (which I had already been to with Kyle earlier .. )

    Okay .. things settle again .. and I finally get to go over the figures again ... one strip is a smidge off after all is said and done and there's not a bloody thing I can do about it but deal with it and stretch and smidge .. which rather did turn out alright .. I can see the places - but I know they're there ....

    The actual time spent wasn't long at all .. and if it wasn't 3:15am - i would likely do another section .. tomorrow's another day :D

    I figure that with the size of this quilt, I'm going to do quilt as you go .. I found 2 places that have great tutorials for them .. one is at Quilters Cache (Quilt as you Go) and another one that has no hand sewing for the back .. Quilt as you go - No hand sewing. The idea of no hand sewing really appeals to me, but with the size of this, it would be just as bad and quiltling the thing whole .. So I'll do the quilter's cache method for this and save the other for double size quilts and smaller.

    My seam ripper is missing in action .. i think that my 10lb four legged black furry wonder is the culprit (Shadow) - these sort of antics are her specialty

    But on a good note - all my cherry tomato plants have flowers on them :D

    13 June 2008

    The Research cat QUITS!

    If I've not lost my mind .. I'm sure it's a short matter of time .. i wanted to confirm that all of the blocks I am using were in existence and USED in the 1800s .. I found all of them but one .. the simplex star (or ... friendship star, milkyway variation, windmill (bout 4 variations of this name). I KNOW I found it one .. on an antique quilt that someone had someWHERE .. chances are, it was at a quilt brokers or online store and it was sold ..

    The blocks these ladies made were pretty elaborate and I am just stunned .. some of these were made with just needle and thread. . none of the modern conveniences we have .. least the ones that have made from the 1800s .. most utilitarian quilts I'm sure are dust .. i did run over a reference to it (this one was for the version name friendship star - but it was the same) "This is a very old pattern; definitely easy to stitch, and able to be interpreted in many different fabrics. It's appeared in quilts for hundreds of years...I know I've seen it featured in some quilts said to date from the 1700s. But it was also one of those blocks (like Album or Chimney Sweep) that people made up for 'farewell' quilts to friends or relatives moving."

    I wish I could find this history of this block .. even showing in a quilt that is confirmed to have been made prior to 1900 - i might not touch this subject for a few days .. altho there are barns in Ohio (Clothesline of Quilts) that feature quilt blocks on them .. and this block was confirmed to have been from the 1800s "An 1885-1930 periodical identified this pattern as Simplex Star. In 1939 it was published as Lost Goslin." Those two references along with me knowing i've seen it will just have to be enough .. I've lost my patience with this . it's not very often that I have such issues searching for AND finding what I want ..

    On anther note .. I did mention that I would put the pics of my yard :) .. well today I went out with the camera and took some pics to get away from the puter ..

    The bush on the right and the 3 lily plants I rescued from my plant murdering dad .. well I rescued the lilies and after I gave him whatfor for just digging them out . when he dug out the bush (Goldmound speria) he put it in a bucket and brought it here for me to keep .. heh .. mine's thriving and flourishing .. and his is anemic .. I told him it's because yours thinks you killed it's brother LOLOLOL .. My lilies (well mum's lilies actually) are going to bloom soon .. I see flower stalks coming up .. I have 2 types of flowers in there also that I started from seed - 1 type didn't even peek it's head out ... but since it looks like a weed that is very common here, I might have actually pulled them ..

    And of course my grass :) .. Orion is enjoying it ..

    My dwarf asters have barely grown here too .. but out of 12 4'oclocks that I planted, 5 came up and there are 4 or 5 in the front already ..

    12 June 2008

    1800s Reproduction Quilt .. Plans / Thoughts

    I love reproduction fabric from the 1800s ... always have since I first saw it about 10 years ago .. I've wanted to do a quilt with just these fabrics and also with blocks that were popular at the time .. My first fabric that I purchased for this was 4 yards and that would have been sufficient for a lap quilt .. I was very new to quilting at the time and anything larger was just to overwhelming for me .. by the time I decided that I wanted to do a bed quilt, the fabric was discontinuted. So I have to make do with 4 yards. And I no longer have a double bed, but a king :O

    My only requirements for this quilt .. Reproduction fabrics from the 1800s .. (that's why that one calico question is so important to me), and popular blocks of the time as well .. oh and it has to fit our bed.

    Over the years I've picked up a yard here and yard there .. FQs - quite a few of them .. and then I got lucky and did a HUGE fabric trade with Judi Kern for a whole whack of fabric .. this trade enabled me to maybe have enough fabric to get moving on this quilt .. with the size of our bed, it might have been ready for our retirement ;)

    In keeping with the way quilts were made in the 1800s, his quilt is going to be scrappy ... I am going to try and have each 'section' have as much of the same fabric as possible - if that doesn't happen .. at least the same colour family or as close as possible. I've already started that with the Underground Railroad Block Sections . the first one was made with 2 different FQs for the foreground colour, but the background is going to be the same for all sections. If not, I did have a backup of monochrome brown vines ..

    The next section after the underground RR is the Double X blocks (16 of them) that will have the same background, but will be in various fabrics of whatever I have that fits the bill yardage wise. None of it will be the same, but it will be all purples or blues or greens or reds .. you see where I'm going here. Then the sisters block - the center one will have the same background and again, the same color family for the foreground .. I've not even decided what colours the big Ohio Star will be yet .. it's all going to depend on what looks good with the chocolate brown and the rusty reds that I have.

    I'm not 100% sure on the Ohio Star, but it is a traditional block, that one is iffy on the time frame .. Might have been early 1900s .. But not positive .. But the rest are from then :) Short of buying a book, online references mostly talk about 8 blocks; basic 9 patch, chimney sweep (not even sure what that one is), churn dash, Georgetown circle, underground railroad, jacob's lader, North Star and Slave chain (no clue about this one either). I've managed to view a few antique quilts online that have these other blocks in them - and i've patterned them off the way they looked at the time. I found some actual blocks (so they say) from that time period in a webshots album .. these pictures allowed me to cut a LOT of my research down and move forward from there. Civil War blocks. Now I did read that finding stacks of blocks not put into a quilt was common .. as the ladies didn't have the pattern books that we do or even current newspapers if they were in the back country, they would quickly stitch up a block when they visit (trading patterns .. so things never change) and THAT would be their pattern ... One can easily see how this is how so many blocks would have been found in this condition .. hid away for years somewhere ..

    AHA - I've found my proof at The Quilt Index - specifically this search page - Ohio Star Search - the first quilt is from 1850 - 1875 - I do have to be careful as the Ohio Star and variable star were two names given to the same block .. **wonder if I can see any calico print in these images .... **

    So basically this quilt with the exception of the actual layout isn't really planned .. I've never done a quilt like this before .. usually I have it planned down to the inch .. heh .. can we say STRESS .. lol .. just kidding ..

    it's definitely going to be big enough .. 94½ x 94½ before borders. An idea that has tripped across my mind is to have one smaller border - the outer blocks will be a nice 'border' for the center designs already .. and I can likely do alternating darks and lights for background or what have you .. I've not even really looked at what the borders looked like on the quilts I did find online .. I was to interested in the blocks.

    But it is going to be fun to put together and plot and plan as I go along . I've never quite done this with a quilt before .. I usually have the colours picked right to the binding .. I still have some research to do and more plotting than I can even think straight about .. but it'll all come together .. it's rather fun to have no 'plan' or instructions and just go with what i have ..

    11 June 2008

    I did this to my blog ;)

    Today as you can see I was busy with the look of my blog .. I was tired of the templates that blogger offers .. they have a good selection, but it's limited .. They idea actually came to me when I saw, I think it was Cissy's Quilts blog, and really liked it .. well i had been wanting to do play with the layout and look to make it more "ME" .. but with this that and the other thing .. plus I'm not all that conversant on xml .. but it's a LOT like CSS so that part was okay .. just no clue on how to structure a document .. So I googled blogger templates and got a mess of hits .. well after frittering thru the results for about 2 hours I was getting frustrated .. all I wanted was a clean simple design that reflected me in some way .. cats, purple, blue, quilting, whatever .. nothing .. then I did find one that I really liked .. it was a reversed shadow of a lily - all i had to do was use their generator to change the text and colours and boom, copy and paste it .. well I generated it, previewed and copy and pasted it over .. then I get a message that it's going to delete all my widgets .. (those are those neat lists and links that i have off to the side .. ) I'm like NO way .. so I try to alter the code .. well it didn't like what i was doing, which was basically replacing one sidebar coding with another .. tried for a few more times and started to search again .. I was about to give up when I found this one .. :D :D :D

    I spent the next several hours learning to read the code so I could change it more to my tastes - bullets on the side, blockquotes standing out from regular text, the post footers more of a definitive separator between my posts, the text colour and size and the actual text itself ..

    So I learned a lot today .. next attempt (when I'm sick enough of this one) is to make my own :D

    I ended up going over to my dad's to deadhead his roses, grab the other hanger for my box planter, borrow a saw to take off a tree limb - etc etc etc etc ..

    On a quilty note, I cut out the strips and hsts for the next underground rr block .. I might even sew that one up tonite .. but if I have to start .. I will have to keep going .. Pix has been taking to attacking fabric and batting pieces left 'lying around' .. yeah right .. he pulls the scrap batting out of the bags, and my strips for string quilts out of bags .. and pulls fabric strips off the cutting table .. I swear I'm going to tie his whiskers to tail one of these days .. crazy cat!!

    During daylight I will HAVE to remember to take picks of my front flower bed, and the GRASS in my backyard as well as the planting that I have done .. You've all heard about it .. but not seen it ;) soon ..

    One Underground Railroad Section done :)

    I'm glad that I decided to work this quilt in sections .. it's my first king size for one, and for 2 it will allow me to remember the math quirks that I trip over - Specially since I had to do new math for using FQs instead of ½ yd measures .. This wasn't to bad to do once I got over the fact that I didn't have enough of the fabric I really wanted to use .. and i was lucky that I had another FQ that was complimentary to this one .. **whew**

    All in all this didn't take that long to do .. longer than I expected to do the fabric shortage, but not as long as I feared. Went rather smooth and I only had to tear apart 1 row of one block ;) ..

    That's enough for now, I don't want to make any serious mistakes other than sewing blocks together upside down or backwards ;)

    Oh My .. that's not a ½ yard, that's an fq :\

    I decided to start on the my smallest yardage for the foreground colour for the underground rr sections .. good thing, as when i went to open it up, i discovered that it wasn't a ½ yard, but an FQ - oh my .. but i was pretty lucky as I had another FQ that went well with this one .. good thing!!!!

    I went over my math again and to see how much I could get out of the FQs .. I had an idea and thought that I would try to make it fit as best I could .. I wanted to have the middle sections of the blocks all the same fabric and then the outer 4 patches could be the other FQ .. It worked, BUT, I would be about 6 blocks short .. which actually worked out as I managed to get a pretty cool design element in with the other FQ. I had the second FQ be the outside 4 patches and also the end of one of the arms in my 'circle'.

    I'm being VERY careful as I sew these pieces together . normally i would take all the HST pieces and just zip along with them .. but I'm doing them block by block right now .. I'm 'numb' enough at this point that I am being SUPER careful, and I really want to preserve this design element ..

    I'm back to piecing this part together .. I just wanted to take a break and share this with you ..

    Oh - I KNEW that wasn't a ½ yard .. just blocked it out for some reason .. but I think this is going to look just GREAT!!!!

    10 June 2008

    Underground Railroad sections

    Okay .. Now I'm getting excited .. oh Lordy 4:30am this time :S .. I redid the math and according to my numbers, I can use all the chocolate brown for my background in the underground rr section along with the fabrics that looked stunning on their own .. each of these is a ½ yd measure and I need just under that .. my cutting had BETTER be perfect .. I guess this will be measure 4 times, cut once and no tears :)

    I used photoshop to set this up by section .. now the patterns are NOT to scale, but the colours are spot on .. that was one thing that I did make sure of .. I was not that adventurous in my frustration last nite when I scanned them all in .. I just wanted them in at that time .. but these are going to look great .. better than I anticipated :D

    The pattern in the bottom right image is MUCH smaller than is show .. the scale is wayyy off in these, but I was more interested in the actual colour 'feel' than pattern scales being on .. with the exception of this one, you get a good feel for the colours and look in these sections ..

    Another good thing is that if i make mistakes, there is still my monochrone brown with vines that I can use as a backup for these as it looks pretty close ..

    Oh boy .. Now I feel like I can cut and am actually getting somewhere .. I'm off to bed .. and of course I'll be thinking about these blocks as i'm trying to fall asleep :D

    This poor quilt ...

    I've changed my mind again .. this poor quilt .. I could almost feel sorry for it .. but at this point, it's not feeling *MY* pain and frustration ... ;)

    I started to look at the layout pic I did again this am when I finally got up .. and i realized that the sections with the underground railroad that I'm having such kittens over, won't even been seen when it's on the bed for crying out loud (!!) You'll see part of it .. but not all .. I'm like .. "Grace, you're a twit!!" .. so I shifted the sections over towards the big Ohio Star all around and rather liked that .. it did disrupt the sister's hearth variation I drew up, but at least it would be visible .. and of course I've not measured our bed .. every time I go to think of it .. Reg's sleeping in it .. he might not appreciate a tape measure across his nose ;)

    Then I looked at it again and the flow seemed to stop abruptly, I put the split background underground RR back in the corners. I moved the grouping of 4 Double X for the same reason the underground RR got moved .. so that pushed my simplex stars and sisters off to the edges, where most of them won't be seen again .. (@@) (<- rolling eyes .. ). Reg LIKED that sisters hearth .. that is the ONLY block he picked .. so i took the simplex star out of the edge and center blocks in the big Ohio and put them in there ..

    I do like this layout - (heh .. I liked the last one too :S) .. but with the shifting around, I have the 'big' blocks in the middle and then framed by the smaller blocks .. which means I'll be able to get away with a more simplistic border as well, since I will already have the middle of the quilt framed ..

    I'll let this gel in my mind again .. I'm off to work on the math for this - I might even start cutting .. heh .. I had better cut soon before I change my mind again ..

    09 June 2008

    Changes again ...

    For some reason this time I wasn't able to look at fabrics tossed willy nilly on the table and pick them out for my blocks - (which should have been my first clue) .. so here i was scanning all my fabrics in to do them in photoshop .. well i started with one colour, then decided to do the rest as I KNEW that I would just have to add more ..

    Long and short of it - found some fabrics that really worked out well, but then it dawns on me .. this isn't going to be scrappy; this was gonna look crappy!! Not enough of this or to much of that and the colours that I have just weren't working together .. I really want to have the underground railroad in this quilt as it really shows motion and was a popular block at the time - but i'm still not sure of it .. I suppose I could use Crocket Cabin (slightly earlier period) or jacob's ladder - there's also buffalo ridge too .. this layout might not stay at this point either .. It could just be because i've used the default colours for the blocks and not used other's that are closer to what i have available .. that green for the ohio star .. blech!! At any rate ..

    I do like this one better .. I have cut down the number of railroad blocks that i'm using and that will mean that I can likely use an FQ for each section .. that's not set in stone yet .. heh .. i have to do my math all over again :S .. **SIGH** But I trust my math now, and it'll be a snap to get it going .. altho I do have rather have to start from scratch with block meaurements etc ..

    The basket blocks just seemed to make it to busy to me as well .. plus i figure i'm going to have enough qst and hst with the other blocks .. I used simpler blocks - more simplex star, added the double X to replace the basket block (and used them so they look like an Amish Star ;)) - Kept the one block that reg loved and picked out for the quilt .. the one block he picks - I guess I had better keep it, and used more ohio stars .. that i think is a nice compliment to the center block being an Ohio star block ..

    Okay i've been fussing with this since 11pm or so and it's now 3:50 am .. I'm off to bed .. where did the bloody time go!?!?!?!?!

    08 June 2008

    Do I or Don't I??

    I've a minor quandry on my hands .. The fabric on the left is a reproduction fabric - the fabric on the right .. i'm not sure about ...

    I've done some research and had some ladies help me with research as well regarding calico's in the 1800's and civil war era .. well the calico of the time, is our muslin of today .. so doing a search by 'calico' wasn't going to work .. i've gotten more search terms and am hunting them down now .. if i find one that comes close the one on the right, i'll be using that :D .. might even use it for my wide border .. i think that would offset the other colours nicely .. but again .. do I or don't I???

    I'm just not sure as it doesn't really have the 'look' about it as fabric of the time did .. the hunt begins .. if anyone has a link to a reproduction fabric that is similar, please shoot me the link please ;)

    Underground Railroad Block with the browns

    I decided to scan in the material that I was thinking for the background of the Underground Railroad block and 'play' with it as it were. I'm rather impressed with it .. the brown for the inner block looks rather darker than actual .. looks almost black .. but it's a deep chocolate brown .. I didn't adjust it - for one, I didn't think of it, and two, the blues and yellows are actually pretty spot on .. but the monochrome vines is almost actual .. doesn't look to bad .. Altho, the more I look at it .. I might just scan in a whole bunch of the fabrics so I can get a better idea instead of using the filler colours ..

    I'll have to look at this for a bit before I decide totally .. but I rather do like it :D The two browns together with the bernatex background fabric work well together

    Odd colour combination .. but it seems to work .. !!

    And I've gotten lucky again .. it was suggested to me that I do my math with 40" as the newer fabrics aren't as wide as what I grew up with .. Since my fabrics were older, I decided to check them as this appears to be new ..

    All of my yardage is 44 - 45" wide :D :D :D .. so that means my math is good and my fabrics are good to go ..

    oh Lordy .. that means I have to commit to cutting this stuff out now :\ ..

    07 June 2008

    trees, yard(age), I'm whacked!!

    Good news on my quilt math :D :D :D .. I'm right - thankyou everyone that downloaded my pdf file and checked it for me ... it has been suggested to change the usable width to 40" as the newer fabrics aren't as wide anymore .. what's up with that .. they increase the price per yard and give us less .. BAH! .. A lot of my yardage is older, but that is great advise and I will measure my widths just to be sure.

    With checking my math, I've realized that I don't have enough yardage to do the background all the same .. what I can do is have the inner blocks one background and the outer blocks a different one .. I do have more than enough for that .. And I think that it would look great too and I have enough to do the backgrounds all the same this way. For the inner ring and the Underground Railroad ring, I really want these backgrounds to be the same. The foregrounds I've already decided will be scrappy - quilts back then were made from scraps of this and that, so this would be more to the period - i have some nice yellows and reds that would be perfect for the foreground for this ring .. and ½ yards of each colour, so getting 4 - 5 blocks per piece won't be an isssue ..

    I am bloody tired today! I woke up to my dad knocking on the door (the man has a cell phone, he could call (@@)), and he asked for my help with shopping for a tree for him and doing the plot at my mum's gravesite ... we spent all day it seems running around going here and there .. didn't get the plot done .. needs to have some maintenace done on the ground there first, but we did buy a hanging basket to hang on the shepards crook he had already bought at the gravesite, so that was really good .. and it looks really great too .. I think that mum will like it.

    We ended up coming back here to get the dog and then go to his place to cook supper. We made a beef stir fry together that was pretty good!! .. We were missing a few things that makes it just perfect like fresh ginger and broccoli, but we made up for it in other ways with garlic and lots of other veggies ..

    I got home and finally got a chance to beat the snot out of the weeds that have been growing in my backyard. In mid to late April, we dug up, leveled, raked, rolled and planted grass seed in our back yard. Well the grass was finally long enough for me to cut it. I wanted to do this earlier this week, but Monday I was busy with other stuff and it's rained just about every day since then. Well I could have done it yesterday, but Kyle broke my weedwhacker so I needed to fix it before I could use it. Didn't bother .. got a new Black & decker one today at Home Depot for like $15 :) .. so it was late when I got home, but nice and cool. Took me bout 30 - 45 mins to whack thru all the weeds in the back .. they were half my height and I'm a shorty ;) .. then to cut the grass. I went over it twice and am pretty pleased with the result. I'm happy enough with it that I finally let Orion out the backyard for the first time since we did all that work :) .. she was pretty happy too. But now I'm pretty bloody whacked .. being outdoors today in nurseries and at home depot then at the gravesite twice, THEN doing my backyard .. Yup I'm tired. I'll have Kyle rake up the weeds and grass tomorrow, then toss some more seed out there and we should be good to go .. all I need to do out there now is to hang my box planters, lay some stone next to the deck and move the old bbq off the deck - just basically rearrange some stuff.

    06 June 2008

    I've gone stark raving mad (!)

    I think that I've gone mad .. truly and totally mad!!

    Yesterday I pulled out all my reproduction fabrics to pick the ones I wanted for my quilt. Well the background for the lighter parts is a definite - I just needed to find a darker fabric that I had enough of for the background for the Underground Railroad Blocks .. according to quilt pro I needed like 5 1/2 yds of this stuff .. i'm like .. that can't be right .. so I set it up again and redid the yardage calculations - I ended up with 2 different totals :S .. I don't expect the foreground of the railroad blocks to be the same .. I just want the background the same - the rest of it can scrappy .. I just want the backgrounds of each block to be the same. Then I decided - "Okay .. I can have the backgrounds of each 'set' of 10 blocks to be the same .. I can live with that .. so I do the math for a set .. I end up with needing ¼ for the background for the sets, but when I did another calculation I got ½ yd. I need to redo my calculations again. I've done them all the long way instead of counting on quiltpro as it doesn't seem to be able to make up it's mind ..

    I thought I would be slick and use excel to do the math for me quick like .. and I got another total .. I ended up with 1 5/8 yards needed for the whole background for that block .. that is 'consistent' with needed about ¼ yd per set of 10, and 2 yards for all 40 blocks .. but I'm not sure .. will do the math again and see.

    As you can see, I don't have a HUGE amount of yardage - I have quite a few choices, but not yards and yards of anything but the background fabric for the lighter ring - I think that using the browns or dark blues would be GREAT for the Underground RR ring - those are the ones where I have yards of material .. just not enough to do it all one colour - I have a lot of ½ yd measures and FQs. If these numbers I did last nite are correct, then I will have enough of a brown vine pattern to do for the background - but just barely .. that means NO cutting errors .. no pressure at all .. BAH!

    when i did the math by hand last nite, i was so tired that I'm sure that I made TONS of mistakes, so I'll redo it all from scratch again .. but am likely going to wait until after the kid and reg go tonite so I can have some quiet to do this in .. All I need is to get the same measurement twice and I'm good to go ;) ..

    I hope ....

    Math Wizardess ;)
    Woot Woot .. I finally got my numbers to agree :D :D :D .. happy days!!! now .. do i have the confidence in my numbers to start cutting heheheehheheheheh .. i might do a test strip with some other material i have here just to see ..

    Thank God that my numbers worked out this time .. i was really beginning to REALLY doubt math for quilting .. and while math isn't my strongest suit .. I am pretty accurate with quilt math

    05 June 2008

    3 quilts done :| WOW

    Here I was thought I was being slick and ready by getting bindings on the doll quilt, Seascapes, and my Spats Kitty quilt to have hand work ready so I can watch baseball or any TV. What i didn't count on was sitting down to watch a movie and being on a stitching tear that I got it all done :S .. well that's good as I have now have 3 quilts off my projects list, but I don't have hand work .. well I do, those little hex coasters that I'm doing by hand - but just not in that mode last nite. Don't get me wrong, I am sooo happy to have these little things done, but now what am I going to do when I watch tv???

    This quilt is one that Joy made for me. It measures approximatly 24 x 24" and is the cutest thing. We had been talking about sea critter quilt blocks so that inspired me for the quilting on this one. I quilted in fish, seaweed, shells and waves in this one. I originally planned to a pieced binding for this, but the idea of seams in my corners had really put me off .. (I got that with the other 2 I finished yesterday), so I dove into my stash and came up with a dark blue with purple flowers and green leaves motif fabric and it accented it just right.

    This is a panel that I can't even remember where I found it at or even if I bought it, I've had this in the works that long. Measures 14 x 17". What I did with this one was use a thin low loft quilt batting and hand quilted it with pink thread. Originally this was supposed to be a gift for a friends little girl for her dolls, but we fell out of touch YEARS ago .. i didn't really do anything special with this one, just outlined the 'boxes' and the borders. I did a single-fold binding on this and the binding is finished by hand. The binding and the backing are the same material; pink "stitch" lines on the diagonal, with country pastel stars with buttons sewn into the middle of them. Can't remember where I got it from, but it does match the quilt colours almost perfectly. I think that I'm going to sell this on my website - even tho it's small .. it is 100% cotton and hand quilted and finished .. so not sure on the price - maybe $15 - $20????

    This is my first attempt at watercolour quilting .. I did this before I had any wc stash to speak of so the effect isn't quite what I envisioned. I had kitty fabric (shock suprise) that had a cat that looked almost like my Spats!! I cut out the kitty head and appliqued it down with roses near the bottom. I first named this quilt Kitties, Bugs, n Bears Oh My, but as I was working on it, it took the name Spats Kitty Quilt in my mind .. It's a nice memorial to him me thinks. I hand quilted this with butterflies, flowers and a cable design in the border with peach coloured thread. I used fabric that I had hand-dyed for the borders.

    I almost had a serious issue with this quilt that nearly devasted me. I have kids markers that I use for quilt marking as they are all water soluable, but this quilt had been marked 8 years ago! Well yesterday my washer finally got fixed and when the guy hooked it back up, he got the hot and cold water hoses mixed up (not his fault - plumbing here is interesting to say the least), and before I realized that it was HOT water in the drum, the quilt was already soaked thru - the lines came off a bit in the first washing, but I think that can be attributed to the fact that water doesn't come out hot instantly. I washed it 3 more times and the lines had faded a LOT, but I could still see them. What I did was soak it over nite in a bucket of cold water with an oxidizer and that seemed to fade the lines a LOT more. I ran it thru the washer one more time and while I can still see the lines, they aren't near as bad as they were, and only in 2 or 3 spots, not the whole quilt.

    You can see in the close up the kitty the lines I am talking about. Those are the worse lines in the whole quilt - just wished that it wasn't in the spot it was ..

    Ah well .. now to figure out what to do for hand work while watching tv, but before i do that .. I'm off to pick my fabrics for our civil war quilt :D

    03 June 2008

    Basket and sisters hearth variation test blocks

    Cleaning the rest of my sewing room went MUCH quicker than I had originally anticipated :D - Only took about 45 mins to finish up. Amazing how wanting to get a spot to work can motivate you to do an icky task ;).

    I went digging thru my scraps to find enough material to do my 2 test blocks. I needed to test these as these were originally 5 patch blocks and they didn't translate well into 10 ½" finished blocks at all .. 10", but not 10 ½". So I had some really wonky measurements on my HSTs.

    The first one I did was the Sister's Hearth variation .. It dawned on me AFTER I had the pieces cut out and I had started to sew, that all I needed to do to 'test' my HST measurements, was to cut that and measure it up on the square .. bah .. ah well ..I got it all cut out and it was the wrong size .. I placed the smaller pieces as centered as I could just to see if it would finish up to 10½". I got lucky and it did finish up to that size .. then I made an adjustment .. I cut 31/8", sewed the HST together and it was larger .. so I did a 3" and voila! it was perfect ;) ... now if I had down the basket block first I would have known that as my HST squres there were 3" :S

    I wasn't even going to bother with the basket one, but figured better safe than sorry .. knowing me and my luck it would be off if I didn't .. this worked out like a charm and the blocks that I had to fidge measurements and directions with are now no worries and are ready to go :D

    I'm going to work on the last border of my WC kitty wallhanging while watching the Tigers play tonite .. let's hope they beat Oakland tonite as they sure didn't last nite ..

    Let's go Tigers!!

    I started to look at my civil war quilt again and thought that it would look much better with the other background fabric creating a 'ring' around the central center block(s). If i do this as opposed to what I was planning originally, I will have more than enough fabric for my oops factor. And I like the way this flows better - makes the Sisters hearth and Ohio center blocks stand out just that much more. I'm really looking forward to getting started on this .. I have my yardage by block figured out (thank God for quilt pro) and all I have to do measure my fabrics and see what goes where :) .. I'm really looking forward to this and am happy to be quilting for ME again ..

    So on my short term ToDo list I only have;
  • finish hand quilting the kitty wallhanging

  • binding for doll quilt

  • Michigan Left
  • Yard work, other needle work, quilting again ;)

    Things have been interesting to say the least. There's been a lot going on, but on the other hand .. there's not been much going on .. i know .. sounds rather ambivalent doesn't it?

    Shortly after my last post, we got super busy with yard work - spring clean up outside and the like - just not here, but at my dad's too .. Reg, scalped a tree for my dad, and he and Kyle did a lot of weeding and whatnot there. Then the next day, my neighbour decided to scalp his lawn as he was putting in sod and needed to remove the grass. In previous posts, I've mentioned the lake / moat / swamp that my back yard becomes when it rains - well waiting for the landlord to get us some dirt was getting irksome .. my neighbour offered the top layer of dirt from his front yard and we gladly accepted. What followed was 3 days of Reg digging up our yard by hand and me leveling the dirt after that with a rake .. then rolling it and then laying seed and rolling it again. 2 months later, I'm about ready to cut the grass .. I've more seed on hand now for the patches that will need it .. there are a few spots that didn't take so well - but that's only because I didn't water those enough .. those spots got sun most of the day and needed more water .. course you don't see that immediately .. but after the fact.

    I've since gone back to my dad's to weed out my mum's herb garden . (3 years of weeds there, but not to bad) and just last Sunday I did her rose bushes .. now THAT was bad .. the grass had taken such deep root that it was waist high on me and very very thick .. my hands STILL hurt from that - that was another 3 years of weeds. My mum was to sick to do anything with her gardens before she died. But it now looks a LOT better and it'll be easier work when I'm there to keep it up for him. I did some yard work here as well ... planting some cucumber, tomato plants and some seeds for flowers. Since I don't have an actual vegetable garden set up, it was mostly hauling bags of dirt to the box planters. But after doing 4+ hours of weeding at my dad's, my plantings might as well have been a whole bloody acre LOL

    I've not done much (read any) quilting until a few days ago .. I was feeling rather disenchanted by my lack of success - altho the scrunchies did do okay considering the crowd at the last table I had - I had 8 hours notice to get ready and stayed up most of the night to prepare them .. I hadn't done the dishcloths yet (I have them now) or the mini coasters. While I working on them over several weeks, I kept having in my head, "why am I bothering .. it's not like i can get a table right now and even if I had one, how much of this would sell???" so I was pretty discouraged, but I did get a stack of knitted dishcloths done - bout 14 of them .. I'm thinking of selling these $3 each or 2 for $5 ... I'll have to let you know how that works out .. altho my aunt and cousin were here the other day and they both just raved about them .. i did take a few of my earlier ones and use them in the house as i hadn't knitted in over 8 years and my tension was a wee bit wonky at first .. but that worked out in short order. I even got adventurous and 'drafted' my own patterns .. They turned out quite nicely, but by that time, I had knitted about 18 cloths and had had enough .. I was more than willing and beyond ready to move onto the coasters.

    My dad picked me up the Summer 2008 issue of Quilts and More, and here are a ton of cute projects in there that look like they make up super quick .. They have these english paper piecing coasters that I just had to try .. they made up super quick and are cute. Of course I made a few changes in the directions .. the sizes they offered the templates for were either to large or to small .. so I adjusted the templates for a size that is just right .. they also wanted you to blind stitch down the hex flower to the circle base; to me, that just seemed so unnecessary when you could appliquilt it down all the same time .. so I did that instead .. what is really nice about these is that it's very quick hand work .. I did one with batting and said no more for that(!) .. with all the seams, it was just to hard on my hands to quilt thru all those layers .. I really do like the affect that doing it this way has as well as the adjusted size.

    Reg has been talking about how warm it is at nite and I'm kicking myself for not getting started on our summer bed quilt .. the one I had been plotting to do with the reproduction fabrics - I've designed my quilt and have made my notes for how many pieces to cut for it - My issue is that I don't have enough of one fabric to use as the whole background; so what I've done is created a 'ring' so to speak and looks like I'll have enough to do it with that .. I've several different types of fabric in minimal yard lengths so that while I do have enough fabric to do my quilt, I don't have enough to make it all of say 2 or 3 different fabrics .. but that's alright actually .. in civil war days, quilts were made with odd bits and pieces anyways, so this will be more true to the time .. I've picked out 5 blocks from that era that I'm going to use .. Ohio Star, Simple Star, Underground Railway, Basket and a version of the weathervane .. Reg saw that block and said he liked THAT one .. so after the railroad block, this one became the 'focus' of my layout. The colours that I used in my layout were more to create the pattern and the separation of the sections .. I have a lot of blues and greens - which is great .. our favourite colours and our room has dark blue trim in it .. I need to do my test blocks and then i should be ready to go.

    I've almost got my sewing room set back to rights .. it had gotten to the point where a bomb going off would have been a great improvement .. with getting ready for the shows and not having an interest due to my sense of failure . .I've not done much in here but check email .. even then .. very little of that .. so once that's done . .in the next day or two, I'll be doing the test blocks .. the basket and the weathervane block ..

    Next planned steps
  • finish cleaning sewing room

  • test blocks

  • baste kyle's quilt; kitty quilt

  • finish handquilting border on small wallhanging

  • binding on doll quilt

  • finish Michigan left

  • etc etc etc ...