Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wonky pinwheels

I started photographing my pinwheels.  I didn't get to finish because the camera batteries died.  I have replaced the batteries, but, I haven't had much time to get back up there to continue photographing.  Sigh.
I did, however, get up there yesterday and tried to sew some more pinwheels.  I don't get much done before the dogs start bugging me about wanting to go out, or come downstairs, or eat, or whatever.  I think I spent 45 mins or an hour up there.  Not enough time for sure.

The pinwheels are coming out pretty wonky.  I don't know exactly what I'm doing wrong.  I like the pinwheels, but I'm going to have to go thru and square up each and every one of them....not going to be fun.  So now, I'm wondering, do I want to keep going?  I have the rest of them all sewn together in squares....I really don't want to tear the rest out.  A decision I'm going to have to make.  Use the pinwheels I have, and mix in the regular squares along with them.  Its a thought.  Or, maybe I'll keep going just to figure out where I'm going wrong.  At any rate, I have realized I'd rather applique than to cut big pieces of fabric up, then have to sew the tiny pieces of fabric together. Anything smaller than 5" to work with makes me a little crazy! 

So we'll see.....I'll work on the photographs and start a Pinwheel subject that will take me thru the process.  Maybe someone can explain to me what I'm doing wrong!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Now that my Black Eyed Susan quilt is done, I wanted to move on.  My next project is the Precious Moments Noahs Ark Quilt panel.  I thought it would be easy to quilt.  Unfortunately, its proving to be a challenge.  So, I have deicded to hand quilt it.  Now, that would be great...but I'm not using the correct thread.  I'm using a machine quilting thread.  I wonder if this is going to cause an issue in the end?  The only thing it's causing me now is heartburn - using anything but hand-quilting thread is NOT fun.  It tangles easily and gets caught up in knots.  What a pain in the butt.  

Tomorrow I'm going to a quilt shop - I'll check there for thread, and if they don't have it, maybe I can check at the local WM to see if they have some hand-quilting thread that will match what I've been using.  I want this quilt to be special and to be together for years, so I guess I should be doing it correctly.  

As I mentioned, I'm going to a local quilt shop and I'm going to take some of my recent completed projects.  This is because they do a show and tell.  We'll see how that works out.....

Anyway, thats my update for now.  I need to take photos of the quilt so I can show it in photos to come!

Off to get dinner ready. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Finally!  My Black Eyed Susan quilt is complete!  I'm really proud of it.  It's not perfect.  It could not be entered in a show - it has a few boo boos, but I don't care.  Its mine, I did it all myself, and it's done!  Whew.  And from the mistakes....I learn what to do, or not to do, next time.  :-)

I am going to try to download a photo here from Flickr.  Don't know if I can do this or not.  Wish I had a photo editing program on my computer that was easy and fast and just mine - not some public site - so if anyone is reading this and knows of a good (inexpensive hopefully?) program to buy and install on my computer, let me know in the comments, please!

This is laying on my couch, so its a strange angle.
This is the back of the quilt.  I cut out and appliqued by hand, after the quilt was quilted.  I used 2 different batiks; one was the one I cut the petals of the flowers out of that are on the front.  The other, matches the binding which is also a companion fabric to the petal batik.  The store didn't have anymore of the petal batik when I went back to get more (it figures - lesson learned there too - if I love a fabric, buy all I can).

This is the petal batik, same as the front.  This is a close up of a heart I appliqued.

This is one of the hearts from the companion batik fabric that I also love!

This is a close up of the free motion quilting I did on the Tin Lizzie Long Arm that is located at our local quilt shop called, "That Little Quilt Shop" in Madison, VA.  I used variegated thread, which I have officially fallen in love with and will probably use for everything from now on!

Here is a close up of one of the blocks, with the fmq. 

So this quilt has a sleeve in the back.  I placed it on the long end, which in hindsight, might not have been the smartest way to do it.  The weight will probably make whatever I use to hang it, sag.  But we'll see.  I also don't know how large a bar I'll have to use in order for it not to sag....and therefore, what size will I have to put on the wall - and since I wanted it to hang above the couch, I don't know if I want to place a large bar there or not.  I might just keep this as a "using" quilt and keep it on the back of the chair, so that whenever I want to snuggle under it, I can.  Afterall, that's what it's for!  :-)

I hope you enjoy the photos.  The next project I will have more of a step by step going on with it and it will be easier to see the progress. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Almost there....

I'm almost there....the Black Eyed Susan quilt is almost finished.  I have to do the binding, but I realized that I was doing it incorrectly.  Gosh, I'll be glad when I am experienced enough to do this stuff without looking at my quilting bible....someday!

For now, its a good thing I got hung up - because in my rush to get her done, I almost forgot a couple of things I want to incorporate when I do my binding.  I want to put a hanging sleeve on - not a large one, just one that will allow me to hang her above my couch.  She is going to brighten up the room.  But, I want to be able to slide her down when I want to use her to snuggle under.  :-)  I dunno if that will happen tho.  I have a feeling that this is going to be my pride and joy, and that I will make something else to snuggle under!  lol

I also have to remember to incorporate a small label since I'm really proud of this quilt.  I don't want it to be a large label - just something that puts the basic info so in case anyone else likes it down the road, when I'm long gone, that they know who was the creator.  

Off I go to get her done!  Then, on to other projects.......hopefully they won't take as long as I've taken with her.....because I was so afraid of messing her up, I really took my time.  So from now on, less procrastination and more production!  

Friday, July 16, 2010


My knitting has been a test of my patience.  It's been really hard on my hands, arms and brain.  I'm almost done with my little project.....I had to get help at the beginning, and I did the middles by myself, and had help at the end, thanks to my friend Rita.

Then, she tells me, I did the incorrect stitch throughout.  LOL.  Yeah, well, it still looks fine!  So it's going to be finished as is.  I'm proud of my little piece of work.  I'm going to have to give my hands and arms a I'll be sewing once I get one more row done on the knitting.  Back to my quilting!  YAY!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beginnings, Middles and Ends...........

I've always been good at beginnings....middles are ok but get boring.  Ends...well, unless its something really quick.  If I can get it started and finished all in one fell swoop, I'm good!

Yesterday, I had several things I wanted to get DONE.  Well, that's not exactly what happened.  I am closer than I was, but still, not much got completed.

My list went like this:
Finish the sweater I'm knitting
Get the butterflies and hearts cut out of the batik to put on the Black Eyed Susan quilt.
Get the butterflies and hearts sewn ON the quilt.
Get the binding on the quilt.
Get the new phones set up and working.

The only thing I did get accomplished was the phones.  I now have a cordless phone in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, one in the living room, and, ta da! one upstairs in the craft room!  Yay.  Now I don't have to try to remember to take one up, and I don't have to kill myself getting down stairs to answer the phone when it rings.

Knitting the sweater.  Well, I had the pieces sewn on, - the two fronts to the back, and the 2 sleeves.....except the night before last as I was sewing the second sleeve on, I realized, it was on upside down!  Grrrr.  I was NOT happy - it was my worst nightmare because the yarn is difficult to distinguish due to the type of yarn.  I was afraid if I had to tear it apart, I'd end up cutting a part of the knitting, instead of just a sewing stitch.  But I stuck to it, got it taken apart safely, and got it put back together the direction it was supposed to be.  Whew.

Then, I had to pick up the stitches to do the little edging that goes around the front of the sweater.  I had to read my little book to figure out how to pick up the stitches.  It shows you, and it says what to do - but it doesn't say how to do the very first stitch - so I just put on 134 stitches and did my best.  But that first stitch still isn't knotted or anything, so I'm sure I'm going to have to do something about that.

By about 8:00 last night, my hands were cramping up, my thumbs were killing me, and I couldn't hold the needles anymore.  I had 2 rows done.  I have one more to do and then have to figure out the button holes.  I will work on this again today, because I just want to get it done.  

I know I haven't sewn it together the correct way.  I hope it doesn't cause a problem - I sewed it and the little seams inside are kinda bulky.  I know that's not the way the pieces should have been joined.  Oh well.............
O, and the size?  Well, it looks much larger than it should, but I followed the directions exactly.  So who knows?

I did get the butterflies and hearts cut out and ironed onto the quilt.  One gave me some issues tho, I'm not sure if I had it flipped upside down or what.  The iron on part didn't stick.  I may decide to cut another, just to be on the safe side.  I don't want the thing to just depend on my stitching to hold it down.  

I did not get to stitch the appliques on.  

I also did not get my binding on.  Which I want to do after the hand stitching of the appliques is done.

So once my knitting is complete, and the Black Eyed Susan is complete, I can then continue on to my easy pinwheels quilt.  I used 2 charm packs, different sets, to make the pinwheels.  I think maybe it would have come out better (?) or at least differently, if I'd cut up some neutral fabric for the other half of the pinwheels.  But I wanted to use these two charm square packs up and see how it worked.  One is generally darker than the other.  So I used the one that isn't so dark, and used those as the "neutral" part of the pinwheel.  There will be photos to follow - but just as I was doing the photography, the battery in the camera died.  I just haven't had the opportunity to get back up there and continue.

I really need to manage my time better.  Does anyone else have that problem?

I also need to get some cleaning done around here.............sigh.........the hairballs are floating around and the dust bunnies are chasing the hairballs!!!!  I try to ignore.....but can't when they are attacking me going up and down stairs and in the corners of all the rooms.  

Today is volunteer day with Evan at hospital, so today will consist of getting him groomed up and getting us there, but when I come back, I WILL get at least ONE project completed. This is my mission..............

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Photography......more to share.......

K, so I have some more photography to share.  This weekend has been a non-sewing weekend, although, I did get some things accomplished - decisions!  The decision on how to quilt the baby quilt has been made.  Thank goodness!  And it won't be difficult (I hope).  I'll do it on my home sewing machine.  I'll try turning my machine like I've heard people talk about doing, and try it from the end instead of in front of the machine (like normal).

Ok, so here are a few pics - I went out on the porch to try to catch more hummingbird photos.  Those little buggers are quick! LoL.   But, the "traffic" got too much out there - the dogs were out and wouldn't go out into the yard, so they kept running back and forth on the porch.  Then Jenn came out, but she sat down and was still, and the birds tried to come back............then Tony came out on the porch.  It was a lost cause by then.  We all came into the house, and don'tcha know, as soon as I sat down at the computer, the birds were back at the feeder.  Oh well............

I don't understand why my hummers are so dull in color - wish mine were the colorful ones.....but I don't seem to have those in MY yard. 

I only got one more photo and basically it's the same.  I'm going to try again tomorrow morning - maybe leave the dogs inside.  Tony works tomorrow, and Jenn has gone back home..........sigh..............

I did get a couple of nice photos of the flowers -- now if I could just remember what camera setting I used to get them....

And of course, I had to get a butterfly......but it didn't come out so well.  I guess if I put some effort into reading my instruction manual for the camera, I might get some better photos....

Can you spot the butterfly?  It is sitting on the flower right in the center of the photo.  Not one of the better photos, but hey.....

Tonight, we are having tomato and mozzarella paninis - Yum.  :-) 

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More of the Black Eyed Susan quilt saga.....

So the story of the BES quilt begins at our local quilt shop called, That Little Quilt Shop.  I walked in one day, and I saw this lap size quilt hanging on the wall.  It was made with purples and batiks.  I love purple.  I love batik.  My quilt is not purple (although it does show up in there).  I have NO idea why it's not purple since I loved the one I saw and I love purple.  Who knows why I do what I do????

Ok, so I found out that the quilt was made with Quilt Smart innerfacing, found here:
I couldn't find directions, but I got directions from Roselle at the store. Thank you Roselle!  :-)  I used fat quarters I had in my stash for the back ground.  I was iffy as to whether the way I was going about doing it was sensible, but I went with my heart.  I don't have a computer program to set up my quilt designs.  So I just use my imagination and I go with my heart.

As I said before, I fell in love with the batik.  Unfortunately, I did not buy more of it and can no longer find it.

In a previous post, I posted the quilt before it had outside borders on it.
Here are some photos of the quilt now that it's been sandwiched and quilted on the Long Arm Tin Lizzie machine at TLQS (the store mentioned above).  I did the fmq myself, and have only practiced on the machine one other time, during the class.     
This is the top.

And this is the back.

You can see the fmq in the back, along with the gap with no quilting on it.  This is where I plan on appliqueing the butterflies.   I call my fmq pattern "loopy lasso."  Hehe.

Here is a close up of the fmq.  My loopy lasso!

Now my decision has to be what to use for my binding, whether to use some of the new fabric I bought.....

Or, use the left over fabric from the backing............I'm really leaning toward the backing fabric....I love the batik above sooooo much - its a partner to the batik I used on the petals of the flowers.

I have some other photos, but they will go in another post.  Its after 8 and I'm going to go knit..........

Black Eyed Susan quilt

So, I think I've talked about my black eyed susan quilt before........but if not, here is the top before I put outside borders on it, and before it's been sandwiched and quilted.

I have since added the black outside borders but don't have a picture of that yet.

I took a class at a local quilt shop to learn to use the Tin Lizzie, Long Arm quilting machine there.  I signed up to use the machine to quilt this quilt, and I was quite nervous about doing so.  It's not something I've done before.  I used this batik in the quilt that I can't get anymore.  I really didn't want to mess this quilt up.  It's not like I'm going to enter it in a show - it's not well enough done for that.  This is MY quilt.  For me.  It is really only the second quilt I've made. 
Luckily a friend of mine went to the class with me, then kept me company on the day of quilting.  She knew more and remembered more of the class than I did, so together, we struggled thru getting the backing onto the machine, and after doing it incorrectly and having to un-pin everything and start again, we got it together.  We did ok.  Till I ended up sewing the bottom front leader cloth, which we weren't using, caught up in between the batting and the backing..........and I ended up sewing it into my quilt!  Holy cow!!!!!

So we ended up spending at least 45 minutes tearing it out.  Thank God again for Jinnie being there.  We worked together.

I'm pretty happy with the quilting.  I have decided that I am going to applique some butterflies onto the backing - I didn't quilt on the flowers, so on the backing there are large bare spots.  It looks kinda strange so I want to fill those in.  I was able to find a companion batik fabric to the one I used on the top, so I'm going to cut the butteflies out of that and some of the little bit of left over of what I used on the front, and they will be really pretty on the back.  I'm going to iron them on, then hand stitch around them to ensure they stay there.  I just hope that works.

So this is my work in progress.  I'm excited that it's now quilted.  Now, I just need some days at home to get all the excess batting and backing cut off, and get those butterflies cut out and appliqued on, and then sewn.  Then, the binding.  I think I'll cut out the binding from the batik fabric before I start cutting butterflies, to ensure I have enuf! 


Monday, July 5, 2010

Long Arm Quilting

So tomorrow (tues) I go to That Little Quilt Shop in Madison VA, to use the long arm quilting machine on my Black Eyed Susan quilt.  I'm hoping I don't mess it up.  Something makes me want to hand quilt it.  But really I need to just go use the machine.  It'll be good for me.  I also keep thinking, do it at home on the little sewing machine.  But no, I NEED to go use the long arm.  I took the class, I have the date set aside, and I NEED to go do this.

It doesn't help that it is hot hot hot out today.  I can't believe this weather.  102 here at the farm today.  On the outside thermometer.  I hate this heat.  I can't do anything in it and it overwhelms me.  I only went outside a couple of times today.  Tony took the dogs out twice for me.  He also did the farrier visit today too.  Thank GOD he was home today...........

So, wish me luck on the LAQ tomorrow............I'll be back with pics....good or bad.