Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Applique

I finished the two birds. I redesigned the vine and leaves some. I didn't realize how close in color the leaves and vine were but they are OK. The pattern called for some round berries but I don't know if I will add them or not. The second pic can also be horizontal. I also used my own idea on how to arrange the leaves. It too is suppose to have some berries.

Even with the frost last night, the tulips in my yard are standing proudly today. So nice to see.

The bottom pic is the field across the road from my house. It has winter wheat and looks so green - just like the grass in my yard. For any who don't know, winter wheat is planted in the fall and grows a few inches, then dies down for the winter. In the spring it has a root system and begins growing just like grass does. It allows for a crop much earlier than spring wheat, which can't be planted yet.

Hope everything is growing where you are, too.
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Friday, April 25, 2008

My Little Corner of the World

I've shown pics of my sewing room, why not share my computer work area? This is it as of this morning. The dogs are Kipper, hiding my shoes and socks under the table, and one of my son's dogs named Betsy. I'm keeping two of my son's dogs for a couple months while he is trying to sell his house in AL. He and his family will be moving back to MI. Hurrah! Okay, back to my room. At the left of the first pic is an air cleaner. Works well. The small table is an old sewing machine and among other things, my pin cushion and hand cream have landed there. Love those lamps that swing to give light directly over my work areas. I also love that roller plastic drawer thing. I have one like it in FL and I just move the contents back and forth as I migrate. Also notice the Hawaii Quilt on the couch is ready for a cover up when it gets cool.

In the second pic you can see I have my comfy rocking chair and my back rest. I found these at AAA in FL last winter and just love them. Great for the car too. The ones I have are made by Tavelon. They are really comfy for the back and are let air circulate when the weather is hot.

Let's see what else is about me. The "house" my dad made and holds tissues. The clip holds papers to type on my computer. I actually hold my lap top on my lap when I use it. I love my lap top. If anyone is thinking of getting one, the one thing I would recommend is also buying an air blower to set it on. This plugs into a port (never have too many of them) and when I turn the computer on, it begins blowing air on to the bottom of the computer. It keeps my the computer from getting hot and my lap too. Best $29 I ever spent. Okay, what else? A printer, scanner, clock, timer, cup and lint brush (remember there are three dogs here now), lots of pens and such under the papers. Actually they are organized with boxes and silverware dividers. One of them has hand sewing equipment. On the lower level are phone books, stapler, hole punch, back scratcher and a thing with a long handle that holds cream to dispense and rub on my back. Another great gadget. Of course there are lots papers, files, and what is all that other stuff? Right now I am sorting and scanning pictures so have a sack for recycle paper, milk crate with files, waste paper basket and paper shredder sitting on the floor between my chair and the armour. Oh, I see the TV remove on the top of my computer. And my mouse. I prefer it to the internal one on the laptop.

So what do you think of work area?
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rows Done

All my western theme orphans and fabric bits are sewn into rows. My sewing room floor sure need a good sweeping. I'm not looking forward to sewing the rows together as some of them are a bit wobbly. I like to do this type of creative sewing.

Old Block

When I visited my aunt last week, she gave me some blocks and cut fabric that were in my grandma's trunk. There is only one of this design. It is sewn by hand and doesn't fit together to lie flat. The diameter varies from 11 to 11.5 inches. I want to put some of these blocks together some way. What should I do about this one? I can fix the center either with additional stitching or by adding a round piece. I hate to remove her stitching. Should I just do some ironing to roll the edges of some pieces over? Maybe tack the roll-over down in a few places? How would I decide where to iron? It probably would help to have the pattern. I can't see any way I can save the outside points. Maybe I should remove the stitchng or some of it and start over. No one will see the stitiching after it is quilted anyway. I'd like to make a small quilt to put on a table and give it back to my aunt. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Flash From The Past

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with two of my cousins and my Aunt Mary. We shared old pictures. This one includes my great grandfather Daniel who my mother said was in the Civil War. He lied about being only 16 years old and joined near the end of the war. There doesn't seem to be any proof of this story but maybe... I know the pic was taken in 1919 as the baby died in 1920 when she was two years old. My mother is seated in front of her grandfather. She would have been seven years old. Her brother is beside her and four years old. The woman was not their grandmother but was the third wife of their grandfather. Daniel is the fourth generation of my family who first came from Germany to America in 1753. This first generation American and two of his sons served in the War of Revolution (as the documents called it). Now I have lots more pics to look through and write about. I'm determined to get my stories about my ancestors done this summer.

Have you ever eaten huckleberry pie? My Aunt Mary found one in her freezer that she had made last fall. You can't believe how delicious it was. She still picks the berries every fall. They grow wild on her land. Huckleberries are smaller than blueberries but taste so much better. Why is that true of wild berries? Now days I can find only a few wild strawberries which I immediately eat. So many of our berries are now grown because they have the ability to travel well. A lot of taste is lost when that is the primary criteria as to which variety to grow. Anyway, I shared a wonderful meal with all the pickles, applesauce, raw veggie tray, fruit/nut bread, corn, squash, mashed potatoes, baked beans, and roast pork. I'm sure I forgot some of the foods but anyway, I ate some of all of them. Everything was so good but the pie was absolutely heavenly!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

What's New?

I have made a couple more rows to my orphan quilt. That red and blue row may not stay. Bits of the red and blue would have been good throughout the blocks. I have enough bits and tiny orphans to make another row and then I'll decide what to do next.

A couple weeks ago I went by my LQS and while there, I signed up for an applique
class. Last Friday I went to the first class. It meets once a month and there are six classes. It is from a book called Birds of a Feather. The instructor has enlarged the patterns for us. I should have put a ruler in the pic. Anyway, each bird is about 5 inches. This instructor does the most perfect applique. I took a class from her several years ago too. That was before I had hand surgery and at that time, I was having trouble gripping the needle and also holding the fabric. Now I'm able to do these things, so I wanted to try again. The instructor has so many great hints and gives each student a needle and so much more. She also lets us use her glue, thread, scissors, etc. Most of all she is very nice and allows for individual likes and dislikes.

After looking through my stash (I think I can't really see it unless it is pulled out and thrown about some.), I decided to use a purple theme. The instructor teaches the needle turn method although she has also taught the spray starch one. Her edges are so smooth and you get the feel that the applique is printed on the background. I tried to do some of this but I really like a 3D feel better. I actually like wrinkles. Although I like to add batting under my piece, I didn't do this on either bird. I did sew the wing on the left bird by sewing all the way around two layers of right- side-together fabric, then slicing the back and turning. That way I just tacked the wing down. I should have left the front end of the wing open and turned it from there and then appliqued it down. Around the birds, are a lot of vine. The instructor makes hers by just eye balling the turning and ironing of 3/4 inch bias strips. She showed us some other ways too. I had this Clover bias tape maker and hadn't used it. It works wonderfully! The end of the strips get a little off but other than that, it really works.
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Friday, April 11, 2008

Looks Good

Guess what I made from those apples in my last post. LOL When blog reading, I've been seeing such yummy looking foods lately. Today I ate lunch at a place where I hadn't eaten before. They are known for their fish and pie - well not together. The fried cod was the best I've had from a restaurant in a long time. And this piece of pie came home for my supper. It was no sugar added and yup, I ate it al a mode. Very good. It is on a salad plate. That's how big one piece was.

I made two more rows putting orphans together. Now I have a 12 inch block ready to run through the sewing machine. Not sure when that will be.
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Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I made a visit to my LQS last week. I found the apples fabric on the discount shelf. Just had to have it. Almost four yards. How would it look in a four posy patch? Have you ever made a table cloth? How do you do it? Just like any other quilt? What kind of batting?

I also dumped out the bag of orphans I had started in Florida. I tried to do some
arranging on my big ironing board. I just don't know. I guess I need to get out my improvised design wall and put it up. Then I saw how Finn was making rows of orphans. Hey, would that work? I made two rows. They are about 40 inches long and 4/1/2 inches wide. I thought they would be set horizontally but I like the looks of them vertically. I enjoy making orphans but find it hard to figure out what to make to put them together. Any ideas?

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Back to Quilting

I saw this block on one of your sites and loved it. So I grabbed a couple fabrics and started sewing. Whoops. I need to adjust my MI sewing machine. Where does the needle go for that perfect scant 1/4 inch? And where is my favorite 1/4 inch foot? Oh, just do it. No ironing, no trimming - just sew. The result is the top pic which can't even be ironed into shape. Next I got the machine adjusted and me used to using it again. Every time this machine is turned off, it goes back to a set stitch length. My one in FL stays where it was last set. Now I'm not complaining about having two sewing machines in my two homes, just commenting on how I get used to how a machine works and how hard it is to remember how another one works. I blame it on old age. Hey, getting older has to be good for something. I remembered to clean and oil my FL sewing machine the day before I left. And to remove my favorite 1/4 inch foot. I put it in an empty pill bottle and packed it. But where? I had emptied both suitcases. After sleeping on it, I finally found my foot in Kipper's plastic shoe box - the box where I keep all his things to carry on our migrations. Hey, doesn't it make sense to put the most important things together? How dump that I was looking with my other sewing things I had brought back! So with the iron heated and the machine adjusted, I buzzed right along. Oh, no. I put the HST together wrong. The last pic is the correct block in progress. How did that other bit of stitching get in that pic? The correct block is now done and in the orphan box.

I also visited my LQS and will tell you about that soon.
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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ball Thrower

I just got around to emptying my camera onto my computer. Here is a Florida flashback. Kipper got one of these ball throwers for Christmas several years ago. It broke two years ago and thanks for DD1 and family, he got another one this year. But it was back ordered. Then when it arrived it threw one ball and quit so I had to make phone calls. They finally sent another. It throws balls automatically. I have it set on every 7 seconds, still Kipper gets impatient and will paw at it. I put it on a chair to prevent him doing this and breaking it. Kipper comes close to it and stares at it, as the machine makes a noise that changes. He knows exactly when to bolt for the catch. The third pic is of a catch. Click on the movie. Whoops, he forgot to open his mouth, so the ball bounced off his nose and he had to run after it. He sure loves this thing. It had to stay in Florida. In case you are wondering about the metal post, it is the base of my clothes line which had been put away in the shed.

Today I actually cut some fabric and ran my MI sewing machine. I can't find my favorite 1/4 inch foot. I know I put it in an empty pill bottle and packed it somewhere. Hummm. Where?
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