Thursday, March 28, 2013

Good News

I don't usually post about the everyday events, but Judy's post at Patchwork Times made me think today about how blessed I am.  Her post is titled good news Thursday. 

Tomorrow we will have some good friends coming to visit for the weekend.  That is good news.  I received 8 customer quilts in the past 3 days and none of them have an immediate deadline.  That is good news.  Yesterday I did something I have been wanting to do for several years.  I bought some chicks and ducks!  I used to have chickens and ducks, but after they were all gone, I didn't replace them because our work schedule didn't leave me much extra time to give them the proper care they needed.  Now that I'm home more I'm excited to have my little flock.  That is good news!  This good news doesn't come without a little sad news though.  When I got home from town, I left my little birds in the car while I went to prepare their new home.  DH got some supplies out of the back and didn't shut the door.  Our little miniature pinscher jumped in and killed 3 of the chicks before I got back from the hen house.  This morning DH told me that "Penny the min-pin" had communicated to him that she only did that because she didn't think those chicks were supposed to be in our car.  It is hard to be mad at an animal that just thinks she is doing her job.  Since this horrible event I have made it abundantly clear to her that these birds belong here and although she isn't happy about it she seems resigned to accept these feathered intruders.  (at least while the humans are watching)    I had to put wire on top because the ducks were trying to jump out of the pool.

Aren't they adorable?  I'm trying to teach them to get along because the ducks seem to think they are better than the chicks.  They seem to be responding well to my quacking.

With Easter almost here I have to say that I am grateful to live in a country where I enjoy so many freedoms and especially grateful for our religious freedom!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Block of the month X 3

I caught up on my blocks this month.  Each block is 16 1/2" and seems more like a mini-quilt when finished!  I had a very large collection of pink, green, brown and neutral scraps left over from making Bonnie Hunter's "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" mystery.  I figured there was plenty to do lots of blocks and I needed to use up this collection.  Today I will go to a meeting and get the pattern for the block of the month for April!  Check out other BOM's at What a Hoot! Quilts

What I'm Reading

I'm right in the middle of this home crafting mystery.  So far I'm really enjoying this book.  Heaven Preserve Us is #2 for this series and now I'm thinking I might have to read #1 (Lye In Wait)  It looks like there are 5 more in the series.  Sophie Mae answers a crisis hot line at night and makes soaps and preserves during the day.  The mystery involves the death of Sophie Mae's boss at the crisis hot line center, but it never gets gory or crude.  So far I'm enjoying this book.  You might want to go here to see what others are reading.

Monday, March 25, 2013

String piecing on paper

I won these blocks at a quilt guild meeting.  Half of them were sewn with the points to the center and the rest were sewn with the points out.  My first task was to determine whether to sew them together as they were or to take half of them apart and sew them back together so that they all matched.  I was too lazy to redo them so this is the layout I came up with.

This post is linked up to Judy Laquidara's Design Wall.  You should go check it out!

Now I remember why I don't like using a paper foundation!

This is not a very large quilt, but it seemed like it took forever getting all that paper off!  What a mess!

After all my complaining... I admit that I do love string pieced quilts... just not on paper!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A few more orange scrap blocks

They are not all orange, but I mangaged to finish 13 more blocks (1 isn't in the picture).  I'm linking up to Scraphappy's Rainbow Scrap Challenge and you should go check out all the orange scrap projects that are posted there!

Mark B Gone is not so gone

This is my off the wall design wall post and is linked to Connie's freemotion by the river linky party Tuesday.  I had another learning experience recently and I'm trying to salvage what might have been a pretty quilt.  This is the what unexpectedly happened when I went to use a popular marking pen.  I had this quilt on the frame and I used a Mark B Gone pen in several places just for basic registration marks for the quilting.  The whole edge of the quilt was marked and then quilted.  Then I sprayed it with water and it seemed that all the marks were disappearing, but to my amazement and dissappointment, the marks came back on the dark pink as you see in the picture.  I used a chalk line for the rest of the quilting and hurried to finish.  As soon as I was able to get it off the frame I went on the computer to find out if anyone had any "magic" to get rid of these dark greyish colored lines.  I tried the blue line eraser.  Someone suggested vinegar and so I tried that.  No luck getting it out.  I then washed the entire quilt in cold water and draped it over a counter to air dry.  The lines were just as dark as ever.  I showed it to several quilter friends who tried to convince me that it didn't really look that bad.  It was suggested that I do the other edge the same and so I put more blue lines on and sprayed it.  This was intended to make it look like I did this on purpose.  You can see in the picture where I drew more lines on, then I sprayed it and it appears to be disappearing.

In the next picture it is still damp and here comes the lines.  I used the marker in several different places on the different fabrics in surrounding areas.  It came out of all the other fabrics. It's a good thing this is my quilt.  I can't imagine what I would do if this ever happened to a customers quilt.  I will never use one of these markers again unless I am able to check to make sure it will come out and I will wait until it is totally dry to make sure it does not come back!
The picture on the left was taken of a corner that had never been marked, but had been washed in cold water and air dried.  The other pictures are of the same corner after marking.
I am still sick about the blue lines that I could not remove from this quilt, but many of my quilting friends told me that it's not a problem and said things like "it looks like it's supposed to be that way".  I think our quilting friends are just incapable of saying mean things about our quilts.  It does look better outdoors (and farther away).  sigh........ 

Friday, March 22, 2013

March progress on Back to Square One and trouble with red fabric!


I had a little problem with my Back to square one mystery quilt.  After I finished step two, I was pressing the pieces when I misted with a bottle of water.  I noticed on one of the seams where the #1 muslin colored fabric had turned pink.  The intense red color of the neighboring fabric was bleeding.   OH NO!  So it was time to retreive the seam ripper!  After unsewing my seams that were attached to the red offender, I cut new pieces from my next choice.  I had originally debated whether to use the dark red tone on tone or the orangey red with the leaf pattern.

You can see the pink on the edge of the seam in the picture to the right and it was odd to find that there was a little red transfer as it was stitched which caused a dotted line.
I have had my fair share of problems with fabrics bleeding and blue line markers not coming out like they're supposed to in the recent months!
So after taking it apart and putting it back together, I went on to finish the clue for March and I think it is looking really pretty!  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

flying geese in a circle

Today while playing on pinterest, I found a site with a free pattern to make flying geese in a circle.  It looks difficult, but I thought maybe I would try it.  If you are interested, check out this link to Bryerpatch Studio fine art quilts by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry. Make sure you have a few minutes to watch the little picture show of her amazing art quilts found on the bottom right hand corner of her home page!  Happy Saint Patricks day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

What's on the needles!

I looked everywhere I could think of to find orange and black yarn to make this scarf.  My friend found it for me!  She just gave it to me yesterday and I had to start knitting this morning.  This is our high school colors and I want to be able to wear it to football games this year as I cheer for my Grandson!  It can serve dual purpose when the month of October rolls around!  It is Ice yarns Salsa.  Check out Judy Laquidara's link to find out what others have on their needles.

You also need to check out Handmade Harbour to see what crafty things have been made! I finished this ruffled scarf a few days ago.  Can you see the shamrock?  The more I worked with this yarn, the easier it got. 

I'm still working on the February Lady Sweater.  It's going quickly now that I'm on the sleeves.  I don't feel as pressured now that February has come and gone, but I will finish it by next February, for sure!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oranges and some other colors

This is orange month over at SoScrappy's Rainbow scrap challenge.  I always have to dig pretty deep to find orange in my scraps.  Yesterday I not only found the color orange, but I found this fabric with pictured oranges!  Slowly but surely I'm making progress on these blocks.  They are 4 and 3/4 inch squares.  I only need 270 more until I can put them all together.  Good thing I'm in no hurry!

Piles of  cracker jack blocks!  There are now 131 of them!  I love those little grape tomatoes from Costco and the containers are perfect for storing these blocks.  One box will hold 100 of these squares.  Check out what others are working on over at Connies Freemotion by the River-linky Tuesday! 

Don't you just love how inspiration is just a click away!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Progress on the sweater!

I haven't finished the sweater yet, but things are going quickly now that I am done with the seemingly unending rows of the body and on to the sleeves!  I will have to recruit my knowledgeable friends to help me with the blocking.  After working so hard on my first large project, I want to make sure that I do it right.  You might want to go to Patchwork Times to see what others have on their needles!  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Guest guild at HMQS

These two mini quilts were in a recent post.  They are 2 of the 5 quilts I will have on display at HMQS this year.  The next one is a Pam Bono pattern I made in 1996.  The girls have rag hair ties and are all dolled up with fancy buttons, lace, ribbons and jewelry.  It was a fun quilt to make and a bit adventurous for a beginner (if I do say so myself)

The Fantasy Castle Blues quilt was made in 1993.  It is an original design.  The entire front is made from old denim.  Each piece was carefully chosen from a huge stack of old jeans to contrast with the pieces next to it so that it would all come together to form a picture.  It includes hand and machine quilting.

Raggedy's Anniversary was a round robin project that was started in 1996 and completed in 1997.  It was started as a challenge to add borders with different qualifications surrounding a central theme block.  Four quilters participated in this challenge, each bringing their own talents and styles together to form this memorable quilt.  The quilt center is an original design that I created.  Applique is not my forte, so I was challenging myself with this design.  The pinwheel trees were designed and added by Lebbie Martin.  Her border was supposed to include triangles.  The edges are 3-D representing the leaves.  The next border was appliqued flowers by Bonnie K. Hunter of Quiltville.  The last border was supposed to include curved piecing.  Carol June Anderson designed the little fans for this border!  Now I need to prepare these 3 quilts for display by making sure that the sleeves are large enough, temporary labels are added with the necessary information and some other requirements are finished.  This post is linked to Freemotion by the River.  Check it out to see what others are working on.