Friday, October 31, 2014

A Quickie Update

I was able to get a good bit of quilting done in the last couple of days.  I’ve only got a couple more blocks to quilt before I can start on the borders.  It’s been a little while since I shared a photo of my progress, so without further ado:FullSizeRender
FullSizeRender (1)The bottom picture is a full shot (mostly) of the back … but the color is off … the middle photo gives a more accurate (but not perfect … it’s a darker blue/navy Moda Marbles).  The borders look all wavy on the picture of the front ... but only because I didn't take the time to smooth them out when I took the picture ... I guess I was too anxious to get back to quilting.  ha!  I’m quilting down the middle of each log.  Usually I use 1.5” (finished) logs, but in order to give this quilt a little more of a modern feel, I chose to make these logs 2” (finished).  I much prefer the 1.5” logs.  Winking smile

The nearby small city has a parade on Halloween … it’s quite a draw, so we were expecting some trick or treaters last night.  We got none, so I’m hoping that we’ll get some tonight … in spite of the parade and the cold temperatures.  At least I thought to purchase candy that I don’t really care for all that much.  Winking smile

I did get a photo of the Ts all decked out.IMG_0961

The cold front appears to be moving in … we’ve already reached the forecast high and temps are dropping, it’s overcast, and the wind has really picked up … just looking outside makes me cold.  Brrrrrr

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday’s This-n-That

It took me a full 6 hours, but I got the laptop set up Tuesday … although I did have to do a little more work yesterday and again this morning.  Wow … I sure didn’t remember it taking this long last time.  I certainly don’t remember encountering as many problems last time as I did this time.  Surprised smile  And I certainly didn’t expect to encounter problems installing some programs on my new laptop … programs that run perfectly well on my old laptop encountered problems (installed with very limited functionality or wouldn't install at all) on the new one (both operate with Windows 7).  I had to upgrade my email program ($$$) … because the old program was no longer supported by Microsoft, all attachments were blocked (for security).  What good is an email program if I can’t open attachments?  Surprised smile 

By the time I finished setting up the laptop, I was worn out … DH brought home carry-out and we watched the hockey game (flipping over to the World Series during the intermissions). 

Thankfully I was rested enough yesterday to get in plenty of time with my needle and thread.  Just in time as my callous was about to disappear.  I’m almost halfway done with the final row of outer-row blocks on T#1’s spiral log cabin.  I’m hoping to get that row finished today so I can start on the border.  I was hoping to get this quilt finished and gifted before we leave for “paradise”, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. 

The forecasted low for Friday evening keeps getting revised … lower!  Now we may well get temps in the lower 20s!  Surprised smile  Definitely time to break down the garden.  The advantage to having not gotten around to potting some annuals this summer is that I don’t have to bother with cleaning them up this fall.  Winking smile

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

More Tuesday Trivialities


I was planning to post a Weekend Wrap-up, but enough time has passed that I’m not sure that I remember enough to put together a respectable WW.  Let’s just say that nothing turned out like I had planned, it was a beautiful wedding in a gorgeous setting, and there was considerable time spent behind the wheel.  I’m still trying to recover.  Winking smile



I finally broke down and ordered a new laptop last Thursday.  Mine has been giving me fits for about a year now … and it’s really been unreliable the last couple of weeks.  Rather than risk it dying and taking all my data with it (I do back up my data, but you and I both know that it would die right several days after my last back up).  Since I keep our financial records (including tax returns) on my laptop, I didn’t want to take that risk … besides, it’s still possible to purchase a PC/laptop with Windows 7, which was enough to compel me to replace that laptop sooner rather than later.  It should be delivered some time today. 



We used our GPS while away this past weekend as we were in a new (to us) area … I need to figure out how to change its settings as it directed DH a good third of the 450 miles before finally directing him to the interstate.  Surprised smile



Yesterday was a “play day” at DD’s … I think we both needed a little break from our normal routines.  That meant I didn’t get any time with my needle and thread … and with today being spent setting up my new laptop, I may not get much needle and thread time today. 



We’ve got cold weather coming this weekend, with a possibility of a hard freeze … time to get out and pick the last of the green beans and tomatoes before breaking down the garden.  And maybe time to put the flannel sheets on the bed?



Conversation at Cracker Barrel when we stopped for dinner on our way home Sunday:

T#3: I don't believe in Rudolph. Reindeer can't fly.
Mama: Well, how does Santa get around?
T#3: He walks. (Complete with an exasperated look on his face)
T#4: Yes they do. (Pointing to the deer mounted over the hearth)



I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!

Monday, October 27, 2014

It’s Show Time!
Once again, it’s time for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  And I’m excited to participate again … with my chevron quilt.  If you remember, there was a bit of an uproar last spring when originally there wasn’t going to be a Hand Quilting category … since I had been one (of many) who’d beseeched Amy to include a Hand Quilting category, I felt a bit of an obligation to participate … and even though we were on vacation and even though I had limited number of photographs to include, I did.  I didn’t win anything (I didn’t expect to), but I enjoyed the process so much that I’m entering the Fall Festival. 

photo (1)

I expected to hate this quilt.  After all, I don’t do gray, I don’t do solids, there were a couple of last minute design changes, and I had nothing but trouble with this quilt:  broken and skipped stitches during the piecing, triangle points that wouldn’t cooperate, a whole lot of frog stitching, extra-wide backing fabric that shrank 10% and had to be pieced (not to mention a wait for the replacement backing fabric).  Had this quilt not been for my daughter and son-in-law, I’m not sure that I wouldn’t have just scrapped it all in frustration!  But when I was done, I was surprised to see how much I loved this quilt … no, it’ll never be a favorite (after all, I don’t do gray or solids Winking smile), but I ended up being especially pleased with how it turned out.

DD chose two shades of Kona gray (Steel and Silver) for a herringbone quilt she pinned on Pinterest.  Here’s the inspiration.
In order to make the quilt large enough to fit their large queen-sized bed, I knew I’d have to cut a lot of HSTs.  I chose to make them 6” finished so that I could use my cutter.  Even with large HSTs, I still had to cut 512 HSTs … can you imagine cutting 512 HSTs with a rotary cutter?  Surprised smile 

After I’d cut the HSTs, DD decided that she wanted a chevron quilt, instead of the herringbone.  Thankfully, she decided while I was piecing the HSTs into squares which meant that all I had to do was change the setting from herringbone to chevron.  She also asked for borders, so I chose Kona Pepper for the small inner border and finished with a wider border in the Kona Steel used to make the chevrons.

I’d never been so glad to get a top ready to sandwich and baste as I was this quilt … of course, it was large enough that I had to get a third folding table to be able to lay it out properly for basting.  It took me 11 weeks to reach that stage … but in my defense, I had a two-week vacation, a four-day retreat, and plenty of swim meets/time with my favorite people in those 11 weeks.  Winking smilephoto (2)

And then came the fun part … the hand quilting.  DD wanted a simple quilting design, something that would accentuate the geometric pattern.  I used YLI 40/3 hand quilting thread in a medium gray.

photo 2

It took me 4 weeks to quilt this … I didn’t realize, until just now, that it took me almost three times as long to piece this as it did to quilt it.  Granted, there were plenty of road blocks to the piecing … while the hand quilting went fairly quickly since hand quilting is my favorite part of quiltmaking … and the quilting pattern was 3
photo 4
photo 3

Finished size: 99”x99”
Fabrics: Kona Steel, Kona Silver and Kona Pepper (top); Moda Bella Gray 108” (backing)
Thread: YLI 40/3 Gray
Machine pieced and hand quilted
Time: April 27, 2014 – August 19, 2014
Category: Hand Quilted

Thursday, October 23, 2014

This-n-That on Thursday

I did it! I booked a condo for a week next month for DH's birthday! Thankfully there was a two-week period between swim meets where nothing special was planned. We'll leave a couple of days before his birthday, which means our first full day in "paradise" will be spent celebrating his birthday.

I'm continuing to make good progress on T#1's spiral log cabin quilt. I'm close to having quilted three out of the four outer edges (blocks) ... one more side and then the borders. I'm hoping to be able to gift this quilt before we leave for "paradise".

I was able to restitch that third wreath ornament.
I got started on the fourth ornament.  They go up pretty quickly.

Am I the only one who likes to rearrange furniture periodically? I love how it gives a fresh perspective on a room and how it makes the room feel brand new. Alas, with an open floor plan (and lots of 6' windows), we don't have a lot of options for furniture placement. With large closets and more 6' windows, I can't even rearrange furniture in the bedrooms.

I shared my fall color photos a little too early ... the colors are even more vivid now than they were a couple of days ago. On the local news tonight, the weather woman reported that the fall colors are at their peak right now.

2014 seems to be a good year for eclipses. There's a solar eclipse this afternoon ... here in SW Illinois, it'll be a partial eclipse. Here's a website to determine when and how much of an eclipse you'll see in your part of the world.  Don't forget to wear protective eyewear if you want to see it live ... I'll settle for news reports and pictures online. ;-) It's supposed to be too cloudy here tomorrow afternoon to see it anyway.

I don't know how much stitching I'll get done today ... we're leaving tomorrow morning for an out-of-town wedding, and I have plenty to do to get ready. I'll be taking my Martha Washington's Flower Garden hexies with me ... and I'm thinking that we should have time Saturday morning, before the wedding, to see a few sites (including a quilt shop or two).

Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I thought of a couple of things I wanted to mention in this totally random post ... I told myself that I should get up and at least write them down so I wouldn't forget them, but I was just so tired (only 3.5 hours of sleep the night before will do that - ha!).  And of course, I cannot remember what I wanted to say.  Grrrr  I hate when that happens.

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Is Here

Four weeks ago, the calendar declared the start of autumn ... and finally reality has caught up with the calendar.

Temperatures have dropped, and fall colors are popping up!

I love fall ... the vivid colors, getting to wear my sweatshirts and sweaters, quilting without breaking into a sweat ... I love fall. But I'd love it even more if it didn't mean that in another month we'll be in the grips of winter!

I've been spending time with my needle and thread ... but not all of that time has been productive. While watching the hockey game Sunday evening, I was piecing the third ornament ... here's my "finished" wreath.
Ooops! As I was putting in the last stitches, I realized I was sewing the two right sides together! :-o Obviously, I spent the rest of the game frog stitching.

At least my quilting has been productive.
I am almost done with the outer blocks on two of the four sides.

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

I can't believe that it's been a month since I last linked up to Kathy's SSS!

I'm now quilting the outer blocks of T#1's spiral log cabin ... while that means I'm getting closer to finishing this quilt, I'm not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel just yet ... I have 27 out of the 30 outer blocks still to quilt and when they've been quilted, I have the borders to quilt as well. It's looking like an early November finish for this quilt.
There won't be a baseball game to entertain me while quilting, but there will be a hockey game this evening.  And I've got a couple of movies I can pop into the DVD player for my afternoon quilting.

I also plan to work some more on my Christmas ornaments. I've got two completed except for the ribbon loop and bell. I really need to see if I have enough red ribbon and to stop in at Michaels to pick up some small jingle bells.

I hope to be able to make some good headway on the quilt and the ornaments this week as there shouldn't be too many distractions this week ... DD and family are out of town this week, so other than stopping by to check on their kitties, I don't have a lot on my calendar for this coming week. Maybe I will get that quilt finished by the end of the month. ;-)

DH has a birthday coming up next month ... I wonder if he'd be interested in celebrating it on the beach?  It won't be quite as warm as I'd like (but it should be warmer than it would be here in Illinois) ... and it's the beach!

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!