Saturday, October 18, 2014

Christmas Treats

Remember all that Christmas fabric I got a good deal on after Christmas.  Well something has to be done with it.  Not sure where I found this pattern, but it is easy and looks so cool.  I still have to do the quilting part, but here is the first of this quilt.

I cut three fabrics into several 2 1/2 inch strips. Then sewed one of each fabric strip together, keeping them in the same order. I then cut them into blocks the same length as they were wide. This is what one block looked like.

By alternating the blocks first horizontally then vertically, I got a zigzag pattern.

Another view. 
Stitching the blocks together.

One row at a time.
The rows sewn together. Jack is watching everything I do and follows me from one room to the next.

A better view.  I love how the white zigzag just pops out and the red makes it look 3-dimensional.

At this point, I put the quilt top away.  I was not sure how I wanted to finish it, it looked like it needed something else. 
Well, between moving, machines breaking down, and changing work schedules, I was not able to pull this out until after I finished Wanda's quilt.  This long period of time also allowed me to think on what to do next.  

The quilt top I made my husband's aunt had no borders so it was pretty small, but big enough for her to lay across her lap.  The Christmas in Paris top, I did add a border, so it made it a little bigger.  I was still not happy with the size.  I don't want to do huge quilts, like my daughter's, again, as it is too much for me to handle.  The size I made for Wanda, was a nice size, small enough for me to handle, but big enough for her to cuddle under. 

So I started adding a border, then another, and another, and one more just to be sure.

First a green border. The plain green will be used in the back as well as the main print fabrics.

Then with the leftover strips (I cut a lot!) I did a border of each of the main fabrics, keeping them in the order I did when making the blocks.

Added my initials to the green border.  Also I started adding the year it was made.

Playing around with my sewing machine, I made a label to put on the back once it is complete.  It looks kind of sloppy right now because I have not removed all the extra threads.

I'm putting this away for now, got to get going on Christmas presents. I have several things in mind to make this year, so need to get going on them.  

Check back to see what I do with this fabric. 

Happy Reading! 


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Christmas in Paris

After Christmas I searched for marked down Christmas fabrics.  I got some good deals on some pretty and fun fabrics. I was really motivated since doing the lap quilt for my husband's aunt. See the Last Minute Gift. The quilt was easy and quick to do, so I took some of the fabric I purchased and made another lap quilt.

These are some of the fabrics I got at a reduced price. The one on the far left has pictures of the Eiffle Tower, hence the name Christmas in Paris. Each print is cut into strips with three different widths.  For this quilt I used these measurements: 2", 3" and 4 1/2".  Then the mixing the fabrics, they are sewed together so each set of strips has one of each width.  Then they are cut into blocks the same measurement as the three strips are wide.  (I'm learning that I need to take more pictures to demonstrate the process.) 

After the blocks are cut, I alternated the blocks horizontally then vertically.  These are then sewn together one row at a time, then the rows are sewn together.  Notice the panel on the edge with the Eiffel Tower. 

The sewn blocks and the backing.  I try to get some of the backing on the front, so there are some in the blocks and is the border around the quilt.  I also used this for the binding.  I must have gotten a really good deal on this.

Close up of the back.  I love paisley.

The finished quilt top.  Measures about 36" x 37", I'm still learning how to make 1/4" seams and square up before adding the backing, however if it looks good I'm not going to stress whether it is exact or not.

And of course my initials on the front. 
 The next project I did is Christmas Treats.  Watch for an update.

Happy Reading! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sister-in-Law quilt

Back in April my husband's brother (Denny) and wife (Wanda) came to town.  The guys enjoyed going to the NRA convention, and us gals went to Connor Prairie.  I really enjoyed the time we spent together and wanted to show her my appreciation.  So I made her a Zipper quilt.   I found a pattern in the magazine BLOCK by Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It was easy and quick to put together, which is good for me as I am just learning.  Check out the pictures of my progress through this quilt.  

I chose blue and yellow fabrics from what I had on hand. I knew Wanda liked blue.  I have always like the way blue and yellow looked on a quilt. I started with 5 inch squares and 2 1/2 inch yellow strips.

Sewing the squares to the yellow strips.  I like how this went together, FAST.
Sewn together in one long strip and they stacked on their own.

Then I cut them in half.
Next, I laid out the pieces so the yellow piece alternated on each side, making a zipper look.  I tried to make sure that there were no two pieces the same together, or too many yellow prints in one area.

5 rows of 'zippers' sewn together.

One zipper.

Then I added a yellow strip between each 'zipper'

Added yellow fabric down each side to show off the zippers.

A nice wide printed yellow border around the yellow. 

For the back I sewed extra pieces of the front fabrics together.  The binding I made out of the same blue on the backing.

The finished quilt.  It took me some time to quilt this as we moved and my sewing machine broke in the process.  Once we were settled in and I got my machine back from being repaired, I was able to finish the quilt in time to give it to Wanda in September when they came for a visit.
Adding my initials makes me feel like I have accomplished something.   I also made a tag to put on the back, but forgot to take a picture of it. 

The finished back.
Just the right size for cuddling under with a good book or movie. 

Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sister's Quilts

Back in 2004 one of my five sisters thought it would be a good idea to do a round robin with the six of us.  We all agreed.  Little did we know it would take us a full year plus to finish these quilt tops.  

For those who are not familiar with  round robin quilting, I'll attempt to explain.  Each of us made a quilt block.  We then passed it down to the next youngest sister to add onto it, with the exception of the youngest sister who passed it up to the oldest sister.  We did this until all sisters had a hand in sewing on the quilt top. 

Our talents with sewing range from extremely experienced quilter, garment sewer, 'I'll try any kind of sewing' to 'took sewing in high school, don't own a machine'.  With the help of the experienced quilter, everyone was able to complete their portions of the quilts.

We started these at All Girls Weekend in July 2004 and presented each sister with their quilt top at our Family Reunion in August 2005.  

This little adventure was the start of me wanting to quilt.  I have sewed in the past, making clothing for myself and my daughters, doll clothes, aprons, appliance covers, even made the diaper bag I used for both of my children.  I really enjoyed piecing the quilts when I was doing this and it has started me wanting to do more.  And I really love the look and feel of the finished products.

Here are the pictures from our 2004 Sister Quilt project. 

This is my first block.

My finished quilt top.

Barb's quilt block.

Barb's finished quilt top.

Donna's quilt block.

Donna's finished quilt top.

Emily's quilt block.

Pat's quilt block.

Pat's finished quilt top.

Sally's quilt block.

Sally's finished quilt top. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In my abscence

Hello, I have been very busy the last few months.  

We moved at the end of June, but it took me May and all of June to pack.  Two days to move with just me and my husband, my feet hurt so bad that even my toes ached.  We did not get a garage right away at our new apartment, so we were traveling those 11 miles back if we wanted to go riding on the motorcycle. Finally after we were here a month, we were able to get a garage down the street, so now we would be walking a block to get the cycle.  Then last month we got a garage right across the street from our building. 2 moves for the garage stuff.  NICE.  

It still is taking us time to unpack everything we have.  I have most of the apartment done, the garage still needs to be organized.  We also had to deal with a bad dishwasher when we moved in.  Of course after washing all the dishes and china it decided to show its ugly side.  I opened it one night after washing the dinner dishes only to find little black pieces of garbage all over the dishes and inside of the washer, and because of the heat cycle, they were baked on.  It took me several hours and a lot of elbow grease to wash all those dishes again.  After several attempts to get the machine clean (by us and the complex), we wanted a new dishwasher and got it.  One thing down, now if I could find time to wash all that china again.

My husband hooked up the washing machine, I turned it on and went about my business.  Suddenly I heard a gush of water, opened the laundry door only to see water spraying everywhere.  The drain hose was busted, in several places.   We couldn't find the part anywhere, so we ordered a new washer.  Not in our plans to spend another $450 after just moving.  I took one more look online and found that a local supplier had one of the hoses on hand.  We drove to the north of the city that night and picked it up, then cancelled our new washer. My husband put the hose on and we saved $438.  

While I was working on a project in May, my new sewing machine suddenly stopped.  QUIT!.  We went to the local Singer repair shop to be told they no longer work on Singers.  What a disappointment, but I did see several machines I would like to get.  I was able to locate a shop in Louisville, KY who still did work on the Singers.  When I called, the guy knew exactly what was wrong with it.  So after the move, I shipped it to him and got it back a couple weeks later. I did have to pay about $50 for shipping to and from, however because I used a Mastercard to purchase it, I was able to get the labor cost back through the extended warranty.  YEAH!  
It is now working like a charm and I was able to finish the project and gave it to my sister-in-law this morning.  

When we moved 4 years ago, my cutting table was chipped on one of the corners.  During this move, it broke off completely.  My husband, the handyman, was able to fix it, which it is hard to fix press wood.   Besides the color being off (looks like someone put some paint on that corner) you can't tell that it was ever broken.

So now that the move, broken appliances, and sewing machine episodes are over with, I'm planning on writing more.  

A look at the start of my sister-in-law's gift.

Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Conner Prairie

Back in April my brother and sister -in-laws came up for a visit.  The NRA convention was in town and my husband and his brother went to it, while my sister-in-law and I went to Conner Prairie. I have lived in Indiana for 33 years and this was the first time I have been there, and it is not that far from where I live. 

I really enjoyed my time with my sister-in-law.  I think the most memorable time was when we went into the doctor's home where a gentleman had just sat at the old piano.  He played a tune for us. Then as we walked around the home, he would pop up next to us and start a conversation.  He even showed my sister-in-law how to properly put a hat on so it would not hide her face.  

Here are some of the pictures from our visit.  

Sister-in-law checking out the Hoosier Cabinet

Box weaving...gave me ideas to do this with fabric.



One of the many homes on the property.

Shearing the sheep.

That is a lot of wool.

Different kinds of sheep.  Some have already met with the Shearer.

Lama.  They were not cooperating with getting their pictures taken.

Someone opened a gate and these goats and sheep came running out.

What a cutie.

This is the fireplace in the kitchen of the house above. 

Inside the brick home.  The guide was very knowledgeable about the home.

The rug was woven right on the property by volunteers.  We were told they did it in 4 sections because it is so big and it took over a year to make.

I thought this was a really bad linoleum job.  It was actually painted canvas.  I like the marble effect they did. This was also done by a volunteer.

Some of the old dishes that can be seen throughout Conner Prairie.

One of the many looms.

A work in progress.  I love the blue and white.  Many of the loom projects are sold in the gift store.

One of the spinning wheels, with a basket of the wool that came from one of the sheep on the property.

Candle making.  The pot of beeswax smelled good.

Cute little babies that were running around in the field.

The Doctor's House.

A picture in the doctor's home.

More of the fine china.

Instead of wall paper, the walls were painted.

The local store.

FABRIC!!!  The blue cones on top are sugar.  It was easier to ship in a solid form, as granule sugar could shift and cause accidents.

More china.

A wooden barrel with wooden straps.

The gentleman who played the piano for us.  His sister sitting on the settee.

Having a conversation with us.

Hand quilting.

A bud vase.

A pretty pot.

More china.  Love the blue and white.

A secretary desk.   It was missing it's fold down desk.

Rowena did a good job on her sampler in 1790.
This is for making skeins of yarn so it can then be dipped into dye.

Pottery Shelves.   I thought this would be a neat way to do a pantry.

Cracking the flax.

This lad was spinning flax. 

Wash bowl and pitcher.  I have always wanted to have a set of these. 

More of the blue and white china.

Some of the chickens that roamed. 

If you are ever in the Indianapolis area, I would recommend checking Conner Prairie out.  Especially if you have children, lots of on-hand activities. 

Happy Reading!