Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm really having a good time with my grandchildren. So is Kipper. He loves those belly scratches. We have been going places every day. Yesterday was a park. We have several near us. Notice that I'm getting my picture taken. At home, the books and games are the favorites. The favorite books are Star Wars, Avalon and The Baily School Kids. All of them are a series of books. Favorite breakfast is Dinosaur Eggs. It is packets of oatmeal with brown sugar in little eggs. Neat idea and very nutritious. Favorite stop when out is A&W with root beer floats. The weather has been nice - cool nights and hot sunny days but it rained last night and is very hot and humid today. I think we'll go get some prints of pics and make some scrapbooks today. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer days.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008


On Monday I went to Put-In Bay which is an island in Lake Erie. They had a nice butterfly house. Just as nice was the wooden carving out front of it. If you held still, a butterfly might land on you and that was suppose to bring you good luck. The children are not my grandchildren but they sure had the luck.

I am currently keeping my three younger grandchildren ages 11, 9 and 7. And the dogs Tess and Betsy are still here. They are good kids and we are having a good time. Grandma has different rules and one is that they are on vacation while here so some rules about how much TV, video and game time is extended. They also help me with things and then we went to the river path for some exercise. The older ones have wave boards. If you haven't seen a kid use one of them, you really must. The youngest one has a scooter that he really can move with. Yup, they do use helmets.

It is always interesting to see them experience what a different home is like. They have been living in AL for the last two years so they haven't been here for a while. One of them told me she really liked my "cool" ice cube things and the way I popped them out. Oh me, she has only seen refrigerators with ice makers. Really, I'd like one of the automatic ones.

I remember one time a few years ago when I took a basket of clothes out to my clothes line to hang up. It included sheets. My young grandson watched intently and then asked if I was making a fort. "S"

I'm busy enjoying my grandchildren but hope to get back to some sewing and blogging next week.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Applique Update

I finished another block in my Birds of a Feather theme. I like this one, probably because I changed what I didn't like about the pattern. It has some very odd looking berries at the end of the stems. I almost left the berries off altogether but decided on these small ones. The author had two of them coming off where the bird is sitting on the branch and they looked like the bird was straddling the branch and her feet were hanging down. I needle turn the edges. I like the 3D look so I bend and twist the piece as I applique. It gives a unique natural look that I like. I stitched this bird on the machine with right side together with cotton batting. Then I cut the batting very close to the stitching, sliced thru the middle of the batting an turned it., I use a curticle wood stick when turning. It has a flat yet sharp edge but not the point end. I pick the beak out with a pin from the right side. Then I iron and attached by needle turn. The wing is two pieces of the same fabric sewn the same way. I do a bigger turn where the wing attaches to the body and then stitich the rest lightly down. The outer edge is fastened on with a running stitch. Maybe you can see better if you click.

I should take pics of how the author designed the block and compare it to my alterations. I had a lot of trouble with the blue background block because of the symetry of the design. The pattern had the branches and leaves absolutely symetral and I moved it some. It's that crossing of the branches right in the center of it that I really don't like. I do love the birds and follow the pattern for them. Lots of fun picking out fabric too.

I have a chair with arms to support my elbows while doing hand sewing but I learned a suggestion at the class I'm taking. Put a pillow on your lap and rest your arms on it. I also have a lamp with an arm that pulls around to shine directly over my hands. It also have a three way built-in bulb and turn it up. And I have a pair of large bifocal glasses (my regular ones are trifocal) made to focus at the distance where my hands are.

It is hard to see but these are some of my favorite helpers when appliquing. The needles are Mary Arden #10. I just learned the best way to thread a needle. Rather than move the hand with the thread, keep it still and move the needle to the thread. Really, it works. Try it. Lots of people use silk thread but I have trouble with it so I use all purpose cotton covered poly thread. I do like Thread Heaven thread conditioner and protectant but I don't use it all the time. I also like Glue-Baste-It but I also do some pinning, especially when auditioning my alterations for the design. I use the finest pins I can buy. Years ago I had some smaller (in diamater) than the extra fine ones I can get now. Does any one know what number or brand they might be?

Have a happy quilty day.

Oh, I see the spell checker isn't working again. Sorry.
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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Rest of the Story

I've been having problems posting. Keep reading and you will find the story about these pics.

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Tiger Lilies

At least this is what I call them. I've also heard them called ditch lilies. Oh well, they grow prolifically and I think they are very pretty. The dog ran by just as I as taking the pic. Her name is Betsy and she belongs to my son. I've been keeping her and his other dog Tess since March. My son and family are moving from AL back to MI. They have sold their Al house and bought one in MI. The MI house was just built. Actually it is being finished for them to move into at the end of the July. It will sure be nice to be able to drive just a couple hours to visit them.

I've been sewing and wrote a post about it but blogger wouldn't take it and I lost it. If this one goes through, I'll show you what I'm doing.
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Monday, July 07, 2008

Katie is Quilting

I have completed one more of my birds applique blocks. I'm not doing them very fast but am enjoying do them. The blue background (click for better view) is hard to work with. It is necessary to use very light or dark to contrast with the medium tone or shade or whatever it is. I liked the white but then decided that they needed veins and outlined. I gave the bird black legs but disliked them so changed to brown and like them better.

I was at the quilt shop and saw this fabric on the discount rack. I heard 4 patch calling me. When I got it washed and some of it cut out, I started the fun part of making designs. Hum... I decided to use the back of the fabric to tone it down a little. Well, I see the pic I just had here is now gone so I'll have to post is separately. I don't know why this is happening but wonder if when I use the backspace key to wipe out what I have just type, if it also erases one of the pics. I must be more careful.

I laid out my four patches on my big ironing board but first I put down a large bath towel. The patches cling to it and don't easily get messed up. Then I scoot the board close to my sewing machine and sew two together and then sew these together to make the four patch. When the first row is done, I just pull the towel down close to me and sew that one. By pulling the towel along the patches are easy to reach and don't get mixed up.

Nice to be back at my sewing machine.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Our flag is flying everywhere on this our country's birthday. Long may she wave.

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