Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Butterfly Embroidery Mystery Quilt Flimsy is Done!

I can't tell you how good it feels to be able to write this post's title! I feel like I'm getting back to myself. 
After I got the center of the quilt top assembled-which was handling a bit more weight than just blocks and I had no trouble-I had to think about what I wanted for the border and I knew I would have to rotary cut fabric. LOL! doesn't sound like it should stop me but I was a bit apprehensive-would my left arm be strong enough to hold that ruler straight! I decided I would cut 4 layers of fabric and not 8 as I formerly would have and it worked! So I cut the borders from the white fabric and then squares from the strips that were left over from the center.

I pieced the top/bottom and sides because I had the idea of a 9-patch for the corners...

But once I laid it out on the bed, I didn't like it-I thought there was no point to that being the corner. So I just reworked it-as a sort of 9-patch variant...

But I didn't use 3 little squares for the outside-I cut 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles...so with a  few extra seams the border looks like I added each border separately (and I must say this way was much faster and much easier to fit that pieced border in.)

I wish I could now just layer this up and see how I do with machine quilting but...we're off to the US on Thursday! Yippee, we'll see our older kids and our sweet little granddaughters! We'll be gone a month so I'll be back in 2013!  (I must say this has been a year with little blogging by me-hope next year goes smoother.) I'm not taking my netbook-I have to worry about how much I'm carrying as it all has to be done with my right arm-so I'll only be able to post from my iPod. 

Happy Hanuka (I've been eating too many jelly doughnuts this week).

A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Progress on the embroidered mystery quilt

I've made some progress on the embroidered mystery quilt. I finished sewing all the setting squares and put them up with the embroidered squares on my - rather clever I think - make shift design wall...I don't know what happened to the flannel I used to use (I think I cut it up for something) so I took a twin sized flannel flat sheet, folded it in half wrong side out and taped it to the wall. 

When I designed the mystery quilt, it was with this layout.

If you squint, can you see the stars? It was a great layout for a mystery quilt with the surprise secondary pattern and the Redwork club participants really liked how their quilts came out. I didn't finish mine because that was just when I got sick with the CMV virus...in fact, I missed the last session and had to e-mail Barbie the layout.

Well, I just couldn't resist moving squares around...

and I've decided that I'm actually going to use this layout instead. (Don't tell on me! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

More exercising going on than sewing

I've been trying to get some sewing done but it hasn't been going that well. My biggest problem is pinning...I'm alright sewing on the sewing machine but pinning is tough. Crazy, huh?

I spend a lot of time exercising. I go to Physical Therapy at least once, sometimes twice a week plus I now go to Hydrotherapy as well. Do you know what that is? I didn't...essentially I just do exercises with a physical therapist in a warm swimming pool. I told Dan I'll feel I've passed if I can actually swim the crawl again-breast stroke wouldn't count. So far, there's been no swimming at all-my feet are always firmly on the bottom.

I also exercise three times a day at home-every day though the exercises change. Thought you might like to see my exercise aids-no Nautilus here.

This is my pulley system...now don't laugh-it actually works. When I first sat in this chair I could barely pull my left arm up to the bottom of the picture frame on the wall. When I reached the top of the picture frame I was ecstatic. Now my arm goes straight up all the way and I do this just as a stretch warm up.

Here's the rest of my high tech equipment. The towel and little swooshy ball are for my elbow and hand really...when I started I told Dan-gee, in the states these balls are soft and swooshy but this is hard. Then I squeezed it with my right hand-ah, swooshy ball-weak hand. My shoulder rests on the towel so my elbow is off the bed as I bend my elbow and squeeze the ball...simple but effective but the pinning problem tells me I'm not stopping this one soon. 
The big green ball also is for my hand (wrist) and elbow-I just roll it on the kitchen table back and forth to straighten the elbow and flex the wrist and then I roll it side to side to turn the wrist in the both directions. I also use it now with my only real exercise equipment -the little 2 kilo (2.2 lb.) weights. I stand against the wall with the ball in the small of my back and raise the weights above my head -the ball keeps me just enough away from the wall to move and still be supported. Other weight exercises-I lift the weight from the kitchen counter and put it on the bottom cabinet shelf...I'm telling you, it is not easy but its working! 

Aren't these physical therapists clever? Here's a shout out to all PTs. Thank you!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Article: Occupy Wall Street Has An Ambitious Plan To Buy Distressed Consumer Debt And Forgive It

Check this out! It's a great idea and may just help out someone you know.
Occupy Wall Street Has An Ambitious Plan To Buy Distressed Consumer Debt And Forgive It

Sent via Flipboard

Sent from my iPod

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I'm Back and I'm starting to sew!

After sitting around for six weeks with my arm in a sling, I thought when the sling came off (at least in the house), I'd be able to do something...not quite. My elbow, wrist and hand were so swollen from being immobilized in the sling (through no fault of their own-after all I'd broken my shoulder) I really couldn't do anything. I do however have a great physical therapist so while most of the sessions are spent on my shoulder (it will take about a year of PT and even then I probably will not have 100% range of motion) he gave me exercises for my elbow, wrist and hand. 

I faithfully do all my home exercises 3 times a day and voila! Shoulder wise things are improving all the time (I can now raise arm and actually put on deodorant the normal way instead of kind of sneaking into my underarm from underneath -probably more than you wanted to know:) I'm even starting to sew this week!!

I have the setting blocks for the last embroidered mystery quilt to sew

into blocks

so that's what I'm going to do...an easy way to get started and let's see how I do. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bad News - Broken Arm

I can't believe how stupid I am. I fell in my kitchen and broke my arm at the shoulder. No cast, just a sling, which in a way is even worse because I have to keep my arm immobilized. 
Not sure how long this is gonna take to heal, but when this happened to my daughter it took 6 weeks - so it looks like I'll be out of commission for a while. 
So glad I got the free donkey pattern post up before the calamity.

No more postings until I'm up and running.

Note: This was typed under threat of force by DS.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Free Pattern - Donkey Block

I paired the 12" x 12" Donkey blocks with a 12"x12" 9-patch block (you could pair it up with any 12"x12" block - I just took the easy route).

Here's a closeup of the finished Donkey block. Here's the link to the FREE pattern for making this Donkey block!

Hope you have fun making it!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Donkeys...real and fabric

You've probably been wondering if I've been sewing at all. Well, I have been-a little bit. It's still very hot in my sewing room so I brought a cutting board into the living room where the air conditioner is strongest. 

A few months ago, I was sitting outside and saw our neighbors had some visitors. (We live on a hill so these neighbors are below us-the light green shrubbery is ours.)

Two donkeys and some sheep!

He's just so cute! I got inspired to try my hand at designing a donkey block (along the lines of my elephant block.) So I got out some graph paper and...

and some fabric...

So now I'm working on a donkey quilt!  Hmmm, I guess lambs are next! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Swimming in the Sea of Galilee

This is the view from our house-that's the Sea of Galilee. I just heard a very Ewww report on the news: the FBI investigated and the House of Representatives reprimanded a group of US Congressmen for skinny dipping in the the Sea of Galilee! And DH and I went swimming the other day.

Perhaps Rep. Yoder (R-KS) should have listened to this song.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Iris Quilt Flimsy Finished

I finished the Iris Quilt flimsy. I first added an inner border to the sides of the quilt.

In the original 30s pattern, the applique was done on elongated hexagon blocks (think Japanese lanterns-a popular 30s shape) rather than on rectangle blocks. I didn't see the point of that but I did want to "reference" the original so I decided that I'd create a border that gave the silhouette of a lantern shape.

I just went with a brighter yellow for the outer border. Excuse the photo-the quilt top is straight but it doesn't look it in this pix! :)

The quilt top finishes at 50" x 60".  Its a 6" border...is it looking a little heavy in this pix? Should I think about cutting down the border? LOL! I didn't think it looked heavy until I saw this pix.

I pinned back the side borders to about 3"...

Not sure I like it better. Ugh! I hate when indecision rears its ugly head.

I'm linking to Sarah and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop! -stop by and see what people have been up to this week. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Iris applique blocks finished

I finished the iris applique blocks and decided on the setting. My idea was to use 8 blocks and stagger the middle row of blocks. I first tried it like this:

But I thought the middle row was a little too squashy looking so I spread them out more evenly and rearranged the color placement too.

I like it much better. So now its just to cut the setting pieces for the middle row and sew up the rows...and plan the border-I've got an idea for that too. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Two more Iris applique blocks finished

The block on the left is the one I posted when I was still working on it...this is the first time I've posted the yellow iris.
I've done most of two more blocks-I haven't finished one petal on each as I'm using them for demonstration purposes in the class I'm teaching on Sunday. The first lesson was the straight leaves and now we'll do the curved petals. The third and last lesson will be on appliqueing the stem and putting the blocks together with a border treatment that includes inner Vs so all major "shapes" will be covered.
The start of this class was postponed so many times because of my illness, I'm so glad we're finally having it! Can't wait to see how they did on those narrow leaf points. I have some leaves appliqued just up to the point-I told them if they had a problem to just sew to that point-so we can do them together if they had problem.
I'm linking to Sarah for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop ...stop by and see what  people have been up to this week.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

Hope you're having a great 4th of July. Stay cool!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Basted Iris Applique blocks

I've been busy this week basting applique blocks. I'm not quite ready to stand and rotary cut for a long time or sew at the machine (so work on the postage stamp quilt is still on hold) but sitting and basting blocks has been perfect. It feels so good to be working on a project again.
If you look closely at the middle yellow flower, you can see that I use a drawn line when I do needleturn applique. :)

On this basted block, I've even made some applique progress...the leaves, stem and bottom right petal are done and as you can see by my needle, I'm working on the top right petal. These blocks go pretty fast...the stem is really the most "trouble".

Friday, June 22, 2012

Have you ever had mono?

Well I didn't have mono but I had something similar that knocked me on my back just like mono. Its called CMV and its a viral infection in the liver rather than the spleen like mono. It started with a high fever and head ache (probably from the fever). General lab tests showed ssomething not quite right with liver. Specific lab test showed it was not anything more serious (all the different hepitits(es) were eliminated (thank goodness). This is just one of those viral things that many people get and they get it so mild that they don't even know they've had it. But not me...oh no. I've been running a steadily decreasing fever for over 6 weeks. I barely did anything...if I started watching a TV show, I'd fall asleep in the middle and the same with reading. I don't think I ever slept so much. Dan was amazed that I could sleep so much during the day and still sleep at night.

I'm finally starting to feel like myself. I've been reading blogs through Google Reader-my son put Flipboard on my iPod touch which was wonderful-it gave me access to news, blogs, etc. without trying to sit up at the computer or even my netbook.

Now I'm even going to start basting another applique block...Yeah!

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Applique Project

I've started a new applique project.

Its an old Mountain Mist design-you know, one of the designs that was originally on the inside of the quilt batt wrapper- although I am not using the original setting. I've done one block so far-I'm planning on 9-and it will be for a class that starts next month so I better get going. I think its a great design for teaching needle turn applique-it has curves and points, etc.-its just missing inner points but I'll cover that in my border design.

I have one more block basted up but that's it. Lots to do...I'll try to remember to take pix as I go so I can share my process too.

What do you have up on your design wall? I'm linking to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. Hop over-I peeked and there are lots of wonderful and even some funky fun stuff to see.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Baby Quilt

I finished this little baby quilt this week and its already off to its owner...I was lucky to get this one pix before the battery died on my camera.

When I designed the scalloped edge I was thinking I would make some green bias binding but then I had enough blue left over from the double wedding ring...lol! saved myself some work there. I like the blue (plus the commission was for a boy's quilt! :)

I'm linking to Finish It Up Friday at crazy mom quilts (its the last one for the summer so be sure and check out all the finishes!) and Sew and Tell at amylouwho (lots of nice finishes there too.) Have fun and maybe you'll get as revved up and inspired as I do seeing finished projects!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The double wedding ring quilt is getting a binding

My idea of trying to use a fold over from the back binding was very wrong headed and I quickly saw it was not going to work ( I trimmed and tried it out only a small bit where I knew it might be problematic-and it was!) So I've made some bias binding...quite a bit actually.

 I had some wonderful Brooklyn Dodger's blue and I cut a 27" square to start for the tube. You can find really good instructions here from the Oregon Coastal Quilters Organization. I don't make bias binding very often and found their pictures helped me to remember what to do. I do do one thing differently-I mark a 1/4" line (see the bottom edge)

 so when I pin the two marked edges together I can put the pin through the X

 and then I find the lines of each section match perfectly after sewing.

And now the binding is sewn on and pinned and ready to be finished by hand!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Its been a month since my last post!

I can't believe its been a month since my last post...everything has been fine here just busy, busy, busy with work, holidays, kids and grandkids visiting (We all had fun at the playground :),

and allergies and the one thing that I couldn't keep up with was my usual computer time. 

Before things got so crazy, I finished hand quilting the double wedding ring quilt and took it off the frame...but I haven't done anything about finishing the edge yet. I'm thinking I'll first try doing the binding from the back (I left enough fabric all around when I put it in the frame).

I did a little embroidery as a sample for the Redwork Club-we had a special project this month-kitchenalia-as some club members knew they would be too busy to come because of the Passover holiday and  I didn't want them to miss a month of the mystery quilt. 

I have been visiting around when I could get a few minutes on the computer-I'm hoping to do a lot more visiting now that things have calmed down :) and maybe even comment!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bonnet Girl Quilt Update

I've been machine quilting on the Bonnet Girl Quilt-after I quilted the straight lines on the embroidered bars, I marked and quilted the cable in the green floral bars. Then I had to decide what I wanted in the blue floral border. I decided I wanted a cable there too but I didn't have anything that fit-so I designed a cable. Using this cable that I had designed years ago ( you can see it used on this quilt here)...
I designed this...

 and marked it with my 100% graphite marker (which is easy to see while machine quilting and which washes out completely.)

Oops, sorry the flash is a little bright there. 
I started quilting and here's what it looks like from the back (the front had the same flash problem.)

I really like what's happening where the cables meet...this design is a keeper!

BTW, quilting cables is really fast and easy-I use my walking foot!

I think I deserve a Whoop! Whoop! (even though I haven't finished!). Hop on over to Sarah's blog and see more Whoop! Whoopiness. There's a new format there so click on "links to this post" to see all the goodies.)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I've been quilting

I'm still not totally done with jet lag...I can't believe it is taking me this long but I'm hoping that I broke it completely today. Its not just the unusual sleep patterns-I just don't seem to have the same energy level. I have however managed to do some quilting.

I had rolled the Double Wedding Ring quilt in the frame before we left and I'm now here...

and I've already completed half of this roll.

I've also been doing some machine quilting...I had basted the embroidered Bonnet Girl quilt before leaving but hadn't started the quilting at all. I've done the straight lines on the embroidered bars and I'm thinking I'll put a cable in the narrow green floral bars.

 You can see I'm just sewing right over the embroidery...looks fine to me! :) and easy too!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Antique Bow Tie Quilt

Our trip wasn't just spending time with our grandkids-there was quilting too. We met up with some old friends for a visit to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell (don't miss that if you're in the area). On the way back to Boston, we stopped off in Concord for a nice walk on the bridge (you know, the Shot Heard Round the World on the first day of the American Revolution) and then to the lovely town of Concord. Lo and behold-an antique shop! and a second one-which held this beauty that just had to come home with me.

It's twin size and just lovely, hand quilted in diagonal lines with about 8 stitches (one side) to the inch. The fabrics are just scrumptious.

There's one stain-you just see it on the upper right above. I will wash the quilt-I don't know if I'm brave or stupid but I will wash it.
LOL! I think part of the appeal of this quilt for me is its actually quite like a quilt I would make (even the hand quilting looks like mine-I too quilt about 8 stitches to the inch (one side) and yet its quite different. I don't think I would  use the proportions she did for the bow tie-I just love that-its like a peek into another's quilty sensibilities.
I'm linking to Vintage Thursday Thingie at Coloradolady (boy, its been a long time since I had something to share there). Stop by-there are always wonderful things to see.

Monday, February 27, 2012

We're home again

Birthday Girl Mika

Birthday Girl Ella                      

Well, we're back home...definitely with mixed feelings. It was wonderful spending time with our lovely little granddaughters. We had a great time at the birthday party: just family but all three of our kids managed to be there from different geographical points-something which hasn't happened for over 3 years. We all see each other fairly frequently just not all of us at the same time!