Saturday, July 20, 2013

{Post 1,210} Stop Me Now!!

Rachel had a piano recital today.  The recitals are in a nursing home.  I don't know why.  I have never asked.  Anyway...she did swimmingly, as usual.  She did the arrangement herself.  That means that it is a published song, but she added flourishes.  I tried to upload the video here, but it didn't work.  User error, I'm sure.

I started another mini.  It's half finished already.  I am so tired from my 3:30 awakening that I can't machine quilt any more tonight.  I'm exhausted.  

Memory fails me (so what else is new?) about where I saw this template, but it came in the mail a couple days ago.  I wondered if I could cut pieces from 2" squares.  Guess what?  I can.  So I zipped up 3 rows to see how big the finished product would be.  I think I'm just going to add 3-4 more rows and call it finished.  The template is 2" tall.  

In case you can't see the laser printing on it, it's by  I got mine on Etsy.  Great service!

This little piece measures 5" x 9":

{Post 1,209} Shooting Star Quilting Started

This next paragraph might seem disjointed, but bear with me!

Last night I was finishing up some piecing and was still plugging away at my new leader/ender project (501).  I had so many 2" red squares cut out from long ago that I thought I could spare a few for this first item pictured.  I am making some mini quilts for a quilt wall.  I don't know if it will be in my bedroom or sewing room.  Maybe one in each.  Anyway, I pieced and basted this last night (for future hand quilting).  It is 14-1/2" square.  Mostly Thimbleberries.  A few oddball creams thrown in.  It is a charming quilt, meaning the same red was not used twice.

I went round and round with quilting ideas for the Shooting Star quilt.  I am not as accomplished at custom quilting as I would like.  I wanted to do something outstanding since it will be our guest room quilt, but not spend a lifetime on it, you know?  I have an amazing binding treatment I am going to use.  You will just have to wait for that.

Although I was eager to get this started, I had some self control.  Last night I went to bed determined not to start any quilting until I had cleaned out our kitchen desk area.  Six upper cabinet doors that hid a plethora of junk plus four drawers beneath.  Intimidating, but I wanted to do it before my son (who has been visiting at his aunt's this week) got back (tonight).  That is his school desk and where he uses the computer.  Weeeeeell, I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at...wait for it...3:30 AM!!  I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't.  I hate it when that happens.  But then I stopped hating and got busy.  Not only did I finish the desk/counter, but I also scrubbed the wood around all our countertops.    The messy build-up and grunge happen so gradually, you know?  I didn't realize how nasty it was until I had cleaned a small portion.  

I ironed my quilt back, so pleased with how it turned out.  Then I loaded this monster.  It. is. so big.

Here is a picture from the front (on the 10" wide black border) and one from the underside.

Friday, July 19, 2013

{Post 1,208} Shooting Stars Back Surprisingly Finished

Much to my surprise, the backing for my quilt is finished.  I just sewed like-width pieces together in 100" lengths, then sewed them to each other in rows.  When I tossed it up and over the design wall to see how big it is, voila!  It was a little too wide, but that is the seed for my next back!  Amazing!!  It's not pretty, but it's functional!  The second picture is when it was in strips on the floor.  Very difficult to judge size there!  I only had a few small pieces of what I had already cut left over.  So satisfying.

A bonus is that I have 60/180 five-inch squares cut for a future shirt quilt as well as a basket of 1-1/2" strips (for log cabins) and lots of pieces for my Shirts Abound coming up (and already under production).

Here is the before and after of my shirt stash.  The 5 shirts on the shelf (which I mistakenly thought were 4 in my previous post) are back there.  I haven't completely deboned them.  I took a sleeve off of each for Shirts Abound.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

{Post 1,207} Shooting Star Quilt Top Finished

Here is my whole Shooting Stars quilt top, finished!  It is huge...108" x 94".  Should cover the bed quite nicely.

The black border is 10" wide.  I am debating about how to quilt it now.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

{Post 1,206} Shirt Scraps Being Tamed!

I have been cutting aforementioned shirt pieces for nearly 2 hours.  Sooooo much progress.  In fairness, the top 4 shirts in the basket were just set aside.  But I have made a lot of headway towards the 180 5" squares needed, the borders for my Shooting Star blocks, and heavens, the pieces for the quilt back!  They abound!!  My scrap/string box also overfloweth.

I ended up cutting 3 widths of strips for the quilt back.  18", 11-1/2", and 6".  The 11-1/2" was selected because it's the width of two 6" strips sewn side-by-side.  

Here's before, after, and in the basket after (a different view):

{Post 1,205} Shooting Star Blocks Added

This AM I sewed the last 5 Shooting Star block centers.  I took a couple pics in progress for a new e-friend who asked for directions.  I double sew the squares so I have a little HST block for my future pinwheel quilt.

The thing to notice in the picture is that the square is 1/4" away from one edge of the rectangle.  This lets the stars "float" a little inside the black so no points are cut off.

Here is the finished star block center:

Here is the quilt with the new blocks laid out beside it, all ready for borders on them:

After lunch I will be doing much pressing and cutting of shirts.  I am going to make a 9-patch on point in the future with shirts as the alternate blocks, and I will need 180 five-inch blocks for that.  I am going to use up non-favorite shirts for the back of the Shooting Star quilt.  I will use the biggest squares possible, plus rectangles.  I am going to make rows of blocks for the back, not necessarily the same size, but the largest I can to utilize the biggest chunks of fabric.  I figure while I'm handling the fabric, I might as well cut for all of these.  Naturally, all else goes into my scrap bin for half hexagons or string quilts/borders.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

{Post 1,204} Really on a Roll Today!

Yes--it's me posting AGAIN!!

I started this new quilt this AM because they are my leader/enders and I wanted to see how the blue looked with them.  I like.  I like much.  Below my design wall pic is a pic from the book by Carrie Nelson.

{Post 1,203} Pumpkin Patch Needs Bound!

Got up fairly early this AM.  Did my grooming and reading.  Then I started machine quilting this beauty:

I used black thread for the center squares and border.  The thin side borders just have two straight lines quilted about 1/2" apart.  The center squares are cross hatched, every other row.  Close-up of quilting on and around pumpkins (done in "honey" colored thread):

Here is a view from the back of the feathers I quilted in each of the end borders:

After measuring the Shooting Star quilt top this AM, I decided I need to add one more row of blocks and a 10" black border all around.    *sigh*  I was so close to being finished!

Monday, July 15, 2013

{Post 1,202} Shooting Star Blocks United

I finished sewing this center together just a few minutes ago.  It measures 73" square.  Now to decide if this is it, or if it needs to be enlarged.

The little contraption in the bottom right corner is the arm for my sewing machine where one feeds a cone's thread through.  I had to stand as far back as I could to get the whole quilt in the picture!

{Post 1,201} Shooting Stars Coming Along

So far on my Shooting Star quilt, I have 3 rows entirely pieced and sewn together.  After supper (baked fish, baked potatoes, and steamed broccoli), I am going to sew some more while my husband is off working out and then while he watches a movie with the kids.  I only sewed for about 45 minutes today, but it was the one thing I really wanted to do.  Where does the time go?

The "disappearing" block is shown as a close-up after the picture of the first 3 rows.  This measures 73" across and the quilt will be 73" square when finished.  I might enlarge it so that it can be used in our guest bedroom as a bed quilt.  We have a double-sized mattress wallbed in there, but no quilts just right to fit it (except one that I think was taken by one of my children).  Probably should check on that as we are having guests in August.

{Post 1,200} Necklace Possibility and Jewelry Organizer

I am not completely sold on this necklace idea.  It reminds me of a picture I saw of Michael Phelps displaying all his gold medals way back when.

Here it is so far, but rearrangements might be in the future:

Micheal with his (from Sports Illustrated):

I know--we're like twins, right?  Mine are silver, although they look gold in the picture.

Here is a jewelry hanger I made from simple stuff that my husband hung for me (because I can't use a drill).  I made it to suit my meager jewelry needs.  Just a couple months ago I started wearing necklaces.  Amazing, but true.  I made this using a 12" x 5" bulletin board (chosen because it had a wooden frame around the outside edge into which I could hammer the tacks), two pieces of black window screen, a few staples, and small black tacks.  It works for me.  These are ALL my earrings except for the pair I wear nearly every day, which are in the top drawer of my bathroom (this beauty lives in my closet).

{Post 1,199} Necklace in the Works

I am not a big jewelry fan.  But I did see a few "mother's" necklaces I like.  So, combining the styles I like, I am making my own.  Last year I got my sister (that I just saw in Ohio this past weekend) a metal stamping block.  I knew she had the stamps (except for Q and Z which is another story altogether).  So I ordered some blank 1/2" wide disks in silver and took them with me to Ohio.

My mom used to make bead jewelry, and she let me raid her stash for most of the stones.  I only had to buy the "emerals" on the first two (for my husband and eldest son).  Keith added the first March birthday to our family.

Here are the stamped discs.  I did the first initial of all my children, then in afterthought did my husband, SIL, and grandson.  

I accidentally left my camera at the party.  My husband asked me if it was mine upon finding it.  So I stamped myself a camera tag as well and attached it to the bead that was on the handle already.  The scratches aren't as obvious when it is viewed as a 1/2"-wide disc.  Here it is:

Just bought what I hope is the perfect chain for these at Walmart.  I will add a jump ring to each to attach it to the chain and put silver beads between each one.  I will take a pic when I am finished with the whole thing.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

{Post 1,198} Trip Project

We left for Ohio Thursday AM and got back tonight.

Here are the first 5 blocks of my half hexagon project.  The bottom right one is not sewn to the rest.  This is about 7-1/2" x 10-1/2".  I like the way it's turning out.  I don't have a plan for it, as usual with my quilts.

I surprised my sister with her Charming Stars quilt, but I forgot to get a picture.  I was deeply burdened about something the day before we left for the trip, and it overshadowed most of my thoughts for the past few days.  It's a wonder I didn't forget more things!

My sister's oldest daughter's graduation was the reason for our trip.  I spent most of Friday afternoon and evening making many chocolate-covered pretzels and 3 batches of strawberry-pretzel salad.  Mmm-mmm.  Saturday AM I baked two Texas Sheet Cakes and decorated one.  A woman at the Kingsville, OH Wal-mart bakery saved the day by scrounging up one last graduation cap with which I could decorate the top.  The picture is not great, but there are white, lime green, and hot pink sprinkles under the cap (those were the colors she requested).  

I also finished a whole Grandmother's Flower Garden block on the way back today.  My dear husband drove all but the last hour, bless his heart ;)

Picture of that tomorrow.