Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bow Tie Calculating

In July of 2013, I began my Bow Tie leaders & enders project ala Bonnie Hunter - Quiltville.  I last wrote about it January 2016, you can catch up (as I did) with this post.   I still have at most a couple dozen sets to sew into blocks.  I have 156 unique fabric blocks.  I have, if I counted correctly, an additional 203 blocks.  Of those repeat blocks, quantities are mostly 1 to 5 of each, but one of them has 18 more just like it!  
Black Tie Party, Project #043

I've calculated that the 156 uniques can be laid out, in the above pattern, at 13 rows by 12 columns, which finished will give a 39" x 36" unit.  I'm thinking I will add a 3" black border all around it.  That would bring it to 45" x 42".  Still just a bit small in my thinking, so perhaps another round of bow tie units (I obviously have no shortage of blocks), which then would bring it up to 51" x 48".  I could leave it at that, or add yet another two rows all around, maybe alternating the direction of the blocks.  I would have to cut and construct 3 additional blocks though...again, all depending on if my initial count, and calculations are accurate.  I'm not known for counting accurately!

Saturday, October 7, 2017


I last worked on Quiltville's 2016 Mystery Quilt, En Provence, all the way back in April, nearly six months ago to the day.  I haven't worked on any other quilting projects during that time either.  I need to review the process to mentally catch up on where I left off.
I unearthed the components shown above, and my project sheet where I keep track of fabrics, and time spent sewing.
I also unearthed this bin with part of the components, and those brown bags have other to just remember where I left off.  I'm contemplating diving back in and working on it some more.  I know the 2017 Mystery Quilt will kick off with colors and fabric requirements in just a few weeks, though I will have to decide if I want to participate this year or just save and print the instructions and vicariously follow along.  

When I say I "unearthed" these, you would have to see this room to understand.  I've been spending more time on genealogy, and I have papers everywhere and beyond.  Additionally, with the passing of Marty's father, I've been scanning photos to send to his brother who is planning to put together a picture-video memorial.  I need a bigger house (said tongue-in-cheek) where I can have dedicated rooms for my individual hobbies.  Regardless of which I'm doing, I have to pick/clean it up in order to work on the other.  

And I still have that grandson's quilt to quilt and bind, and then get started on the granddaughter's!  I really need to get my head back in the game.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Quilt Show

I went to a quilt show yesterday with my friend Panda, and another friend of hers whom I met for the first time.  We had a very nice time overall.

In the past, this quilt show was held near the Burbank (aka Bob Hope) Airport.  A few years ago, it moved to Pasadena.  Last year the show did not occur at all as a different, big craft show had just been at the new venue within weeks of its regular time, which was always in March.  There may have been other reasons too, of which I'm not aware.  This year, it was scheduled for September.  We had great expectations that it would be the same as in the past, though we knew it was only being held over two days, where in the past it was three or four days.  Sadly, there seemed to be far fewer vendors, and maybe even a smaller number of quilts than in past years.  

The boutique had an impressive amount of boxes of fabric sorted by color fabric for $2/pound.  To my eyes, it was all maybe 1980s-90s fabrics or older, perhaps stuff that had been donated to the guild by deceased members or members who just wanted to clear old stuff from their stashes.  We didn't take the time to go through any of it - our own stashes perhaps need to be down-sized!!

We enjoyed what quilts were there and I'll now post the few pictures of some I especially enjoyed. The following photos were all taken at the 2017 Glendale Quilt Show.


#108 statement


#107 statement


#013 statement


#100 statement


#135 statement


#084 statement

My only purchase at the show aside from admission and parking, was for a half-yard of this fabric:

The selvedge reads: Place of Origin: Division of RJR Fabrics, Designer: Sarah Watts/Wattsalot, Collection Name and Description: Cat Lady meow-meow-meow-meow-meow-meow, Season: Fall 2015 and made in Japan
Will have to see where this ends up in the future...maybe in a Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt?  Wonder if she'll use any pink this year.  I think it makes a good neutral with an added pop of pink.  Maybe it'll fit into a quilt for my granddaughter.

After the show we went to the Bear Pit BBQ.  I'd never been there before, and I enjoy BBQ.  It was a nice meal, and tasted great!  Then we headed home, Panda dropped me off and I took a nap.  I was tired, having ridden in a car for 10 hours the day before.  I sure slept well last night!  I developed an eye problem while in Arizona and think that is tiring me some as well.  I saw an eye doc while in AZ and he diagnosed it as posterior vitreous detachment - it will heal eventually.  Very thankful it wasn't a related tear or retinal detachment, that would have been more serious.  I do have an annoying small dark floater which I hope eventually disappears or lightens.  It's like looking at a gnat with your peripheral vision :/

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Not a Lick

I've not sewn a stitch, cut a strip, nor fondled a piece of fabric in quite awhile, though I may have shuffled a bit of fabric once or twice, and straightened up a stack or two in my stash closet after a kitty decided to take a nap and readjust her 'nest'.
Flame, knowing Mom's not happy with her location choice for a nap.
Clearly, I'm taking a break from all things quilty, and bloggy, though it was not a purposed break.  It will probably be this way for awhile yet.

In a couple weeks, Nick and I will be headed in one direction for a two or three week trip which will take us to an area where we should see the eclipse fully though that's not our purpose, but rather it's where family lives, and Marty will be taking a week's time and heading to a different state specifically for that purpose with his photog buddies.  Oregon is warning of huge numbers of tourists bombarding the state, so I'm not looking forward to the actual drive up.  Nick wants to take the coastal route, though it'll take two or three days...we may be sleeping in the car.

Several decades ago, I was an Artcraft Concepts party demonstrator.  I didn't do many parties, but I sure managed to purchase plenty of kits.  I've worked on sorting through those that I still have and am trying to disconnect from my attachments to them.  Some projects are in original packaging, some opened but not worked on, some partially worked on, some completed with leftover instructions and materials. Here's a sampling:
counted cross stitch
'quilted' purse and eyeglass case
soft-sculpture Godfrey Gobler Thanksgiving decor (pattern and leftover materials).  Hmm, I wonder where Godfrey is stored?
Pumpkin Pals - soft-sculpture pumpkins (partially done)
Plastic Canvas & yarn... instructions only
macrame towel holder (ivory) [barely started]
veggie refrigerator magnets, plastic canvas is missing
I have a Santa's Village that was yarn and plastic canvas too.  I'd cut out all the pieces in readiness to stitch, some are stitched (it's 3-dimensional), and then decided I no longer wanted to display Santa-related items, so boxed it all up and there it has remained except for the once a decade or so attempt at sorting through the kits.  I liked their kits, they were almost all better quality than the store-bought kits.  Unfortunately, the company is out of business.  I wrote a bit about Artcraft and the Magi embroidery kit back in 2011 on my DOOW blog.  You can read about it here.  That project is finally close to being finished...I ran out of the darkest red thread and needed to located something close...with just a 3" section left to finish!  Had they still been in business, I'd have only had to contact them, and they'd have sent more at no charge.  Oh well, time passes and little remains the same.  I think I'm ready to pass these on.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


That's not what you think!  I haven't been drinking!

I've been inventorying some things lately.  I started on my quilt books yesterday, and today I was flipping through one and saw the image of a hammer with the striking area covered with fabric.  

What? We use hammers in our quilting?  The book is Reversible Quilts by Anita Murphy and was published in 1991.  The excerpt reads:

"After all your blocks are joined sew rows together with connecting strips in same manner.  Trim batting.  If you still have a lot of bulkiness at the intersections, cover a small hammer with a bit of fabric and batting, Fig 7 [that's the hammer image], then give the intersection a tap with the hammer.  It should help eliminate a lot of bulkiness to allow you to handstitch the connecting strip."

There you have it.  Add a hammer to your quilting supplies and when you have too much intersection bulk, give it a whack tap.  

Have a blessed Sunday!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Oh Who's Counting?

Well, how do you like that? It's been nearly another month since I've posted.  And I don't have anything to show that's been done during that time, so I'll just leave it at that.  I'm still alive and kickin' as they say, just otherwise pre-occupied.

I got out on Saturday to a quilt show in a valley not too far away, only took one photo and it's on my phone..somewhere.  My friend Panda went with me, well, actually I suppose it would be more correct to say I went with her since she drove, but it was my idea to go ;p  We had a great time together, even if my lower back decided to start barking joining the chorus of my feet's complaints.  It didn't help that I discovered my shoe's sole was coming apart.  Better than my soul coming apart!  

Oh! I did buy some fabric.  I bought a charm pack of Moda's Bee Inspired line, and a charm pack (gift for my daughter) of Moda's Sugar Plum Christmas line because it had gingerbread boys on the top fabric and we've had this gingerbread boy thing going on since she was a little girl.

Nick's graduation is coming up on the 1st, along with my daughter and family coming in from Texas the week prior, and I've no place to put them!  So you likely won't see me on here for another month while I figure out where and how to rearrange.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bobbin, Bobbin

Do you have a least favorite aspect of this whole process we refer to as quilting?  I think my least favorite is having to rewind bobbins.  

Here's where the bobbins get wound on my Pfaff.  At the far right, that piece with the screw in it was originally set slightly more to the left - think clockwise - but wasn't filling the bobbin very full so I took it to the dealer (shortly after purchase) and asked if that could be adjusted.  He adjusted it and it now gives me full bobbins.
The bobbin sits on the peg and will be wound according to that diagram embedded in the plastic.
To start the bobbin, I have to manually wind a little bit of thread onto it, then slide the peg loaded with the bobbin to the right before running the machine to wind the bobbin.  More often than not, it takes several attempts before the thread actually catches and starts filling.  That is a very frustrating aspect of winding bobbins.  Now someone, I'm sure, will school me on how to poke the end of the thread through that little hole in the bobbin first.  Maybe I'll try that the next time I fill bobbins. 

I'd like to think some bright engineer could come up (or should have by now) with a system where when you add your spool of thread, you add an identical spool of thread that runs through an area that functions like a bobbin...and ideally both would run out of thread at the same time.  You'd know that when the top spool is low, that the 'bobbin' one is also low.  No more filling little plastic/metal bobbins that run out on you at inconvenient before you sewed those dozen or so units without thread :/

But, until that brilliant engineer develops the machine of my dreams, I'll continue to wind bobbins the 'old-fashioned way', and experience the frustrations and aggravations of so doing each time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Wait, What?

Sometimes I can only laugh at myself.  While watching The Voice I was busily pinning the block rows together and it suddenly dawned on me that something just didn't look right.  It isn't that all four of the yellows weren't matching because I was sifting through and grabbing the right one as I went, but...where are the center neutral 4-Patches, and that's not where things belong?

Just not right!
Somewhere along the line I got all discombobulated and had things sitting in wrong piles, having pinned about half, I then ended up having to un-pin and sort out my mess.  When all was done, I found I wasn't in such bad shape as I thought and only had to un-SEW one long seam and then lay them in their correct places so that they could be pinned and sewn correctly.  Sure glad I caught that before I'd pinned and sewn them all!
Correct layout
I'm getting a lot of mileage from this photo - this is now the third post with it - which shows the correct layout, which is how I sewed the individual units from, so once that was done, they were pressed, I have no idea how I managed to get the rows all twisted around - perhaps being distracted with the TV?  Or maybe just tired!

It's a shopping day at the big warehouse store that opens in under an hour so I'd better get myself together and get scootin'.   Have a great day!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Design Wall Monday - Week 15, 2017

I haven't had anything to post to Design Wall Monday in quite awhile, but I got busy on En Provence over the last few days.  On Saturday, I put in a full EIGHT hours of piecing time! Yesterday was only three, and I haven't done any yet today...maybe after my afternoon nap which will be right after this post. 

En Provence block layout
 I posted the above pic a few days ago but thought I'd repost it as a reminder.
Putting two units together, chain piecing all the way through the stacks.
 I had pinned a number as to row & column on the top piece of each unit in the layout.  That helped greatly in keeping things in order as I chained through rows 1 through 5 and columns 1 - 4.  The 5th column will be included in the next round, and the sashing strip (those with the pinks) were treated as a 6th row.
This is not a basket!
 As I chain pieced, I just let the units fall off the back of my Sew-Ezi table.  When I was done, this is what I saw.  The units naturally formed a 'bowl' as they landed round and round.  I thought that was pretty cool.
4/5ths of a row
 Getting ready to sew the 5th-column pieces to the respective rows.
Sashing unit pairs
 The sashing units didn't land in quite the same attractive bowl shape but they still circled into a pile of sorts.
En Provence block rows
The five rows are now ready to be sewn into blocks.  I have started the process, but didn't photograph yet.

As long as it's been since I've posted a Design Wall Monday post, it's been as equally long since I've looked to see what others have been doing.  I'm sure everyone else is far more up-to-date than I am with what everyone else has been doing, but I'm going to go have peak....and then take my nap.

Linking up to Patchwork Times!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Who's Been Missing?

I suppose I have been missing, for a very long time.  I make no promises to be better at blogging.  In my mind of course, I do very well, but when it comes to getting things done, well, not so much.

Today marks the first day I've done any sewing since mid-January.  I suppose I just needed a break.  I played a little with some re-organization of fabric, got a little genealogy done, puttered around with some personal record-keeping, and along with Marty, resolved a non-pipe leak issue in a bathroom, along with all the normal household activities and chores.

My sewing was a continuance of the En Provence mystery quilt.  I still had some elements I hadn't completed the full number of, and still need to sew about a dozen of the purple/lavender 4-patches.  I'll do those tonight.  And, I laid out all the pieces in order for making the blocks, and their scrappiness will hit where it hits...I'd go crazy trying to juggle pieces around to keep from having too many of the same in close proximity. 

En Provence main blocks and sashing blocks components all stacked in place.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Final En Provence Link-up

Bonnie Hunter is having her En Provence link-up finale today.  There are so many beautiful renditions being posted.  Also, there are some that are not completed, such is the case with mine.  I've done nothing on mine in a month or more; portions remain on the design wall, and in it's assigned bin, exactly as it did the last time I posted about it.

Nonetheless, I'll post this 'progress' with intent to getting back to work on it in the near future.

Link-up here a Quiltville.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Catch-up

My aunt arrived on Wednesday the 18th, and left before noon yesterday.  The time passed all too quickly.

We went to Road to California (quilt show/expo) the day after she arrived.  It had been several years since I'd been to the show, and she had never been.  In some ways we were quite disappointed.  We are both traditional style quilters, and there were few of those, and of those that were there, they were hanging high up from the rafters in the entry hall, so hard to look at closely (or by those of us with vertigo).  There were a gazillion vendors, but neither of us were inclined to spend much time with them, so we only spent a couple hours there, jostling elbows with the rest of the opening day crowd.

I will say, the Lord gave us great days on which to travel - in both directions, Thursday & then Saturday - in between nasty rain storms as we traveled on to San Diego straight from R2C and then back home.  We had a nice visit with my cousin and his wife in the San Diego area.

Most of our time was spent just hanging out and chatting at home, but we did go to one museum, and a large quilt store.  She had never been to a Hobby Lobby and since we had one open in Oct/Nov, we spent a chunk of time perusing every aisle there along with a trip to Walmart to do some grocery shopping.

During my aunt's visit, I spent no time at all in my Creation Station, but dug out all of my quilt tops and WIPs and gave her a private showing at her request.  Now I need to refold a few to fit back in their respective boxes, and lug them all back upstairs to the closet they hibernate in.  There are also a few household chores to get caught up.  

In part, she came down from the Northwest to get away from the snow, rain, ice & cold, and what happens, we have lots of rain, and cold (though still a good 20ยบ warmer than her home), and our furnace decided to go on the fritz for a couple days and it was considerably cool in the house.  We used the fireplace, and Marty went out and bought a couple space heaters, and we layered up.  Now, if some of my quilt tops were quilted, we really could have been warm!

Apologies for no photos, but I only took two at R2C, and I don't think I got any of my aunt while she was here, though I had intended to.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Clutter to Chaos

So this past week, in light of my aunt's arrival, I went into my guest room to try to clear the clutter.  I started with several boxes of craft supplies, accumulated over the last 40+ years including my brief stint as an in-home sales consultant for Artcraft Concepts (needlepoint kits).  The intent was to cull out as much as possible, realizing that from this point on, my two hobbies of quilting and genealogy would take precedence over anything else, and that 'anything else' stuff may as well be tossed, given away, what-have-you.  

This is the chaos that ensued.
It stayed that way for the better part of the week, and while I did cull some of it, at this point, all too much of it has just been shoved back into the boxes and lids and set aside - in total chaos.  Of course, my helpers weren't really helpers at all.  Having left it like this the first night, in the morning I went back in to work, and found beloved kitties had added to the chaos by bringing their stuffed mousies and other toys and placing them in the boxes, and dragging lace, ribbon and other items throughout the room and hallway.

I found some treasures though, or at least some fond memories.  It's been a number of years since I've looked in these boxes.  I also realized that it's much harder to part with some things than others!

Floss/yarn holder
 I have several of these floss/yarn organizers - from Artcraft.
There are also several of these yarn threaders.
Oh so many souvenir patches.  My intent was to sew them to my jacket but that obviously never happened.  I may now sew them to a wall quilt.
Barbie outfits
One year, for Christmas, I decided to make Barbie clothes for my daughter.  I was going to use my cabinet model Kenmore sewing machine.  It wouldn't work, and I didn't have the money for repairs, nor the time to get it fixed, so I sewed them entirely by hand.  Apparently I didn't make all those I'd intended to.  If I remember correctly, many of these outfits were cut from cast-off clothing I had too.  There was no surplus money in those days!
Ready to be assembled!
My daughter now has a little girl (about 20 months), so maybe I'll sew them up for her...on a machine this time!!

Then there were patterns, all the way back to the late 1960s!
Made for my 21st birthday from a slick, polyester!
High school Home-Ec project.
High School Home-Ec project also.
Mid-1970s project. Bell bottomed, one piece, made from denim.  Still tucked away - couldn't part with it.
Mid-1970s project, also made from denim that had a tie-dye look.
Yet another High School Home-Ec project.
Also H.S. Home-Ec project.
8th grade graduation dresses
Aunt Irene made my sister's and my 8th grade graduation dresses.  My sister and I were in the same grade from shortly after I started school until we graduated.  My dress was the one on the left except that I had it in a pastel-ish blue; my sister's was the one on the right and she had it in pink but lighter, and the sleeve was changed to not have the cutouts, nor did she have the little bow.
First Home-Ec Project
That brings me to the last pattern I'll show, though there were many others.  Growing up in the cold winters of the Pacific Northwest, back in the days when the house was heated only by a single wood-burning stove that, for reasons that should be obvious, was not burning at night, one way of staying warm while sleeping was by wearing long-sleeved, long flannel nightgowns.  I made mine as shown in the center style.  The only thing I recall not liking about it was the lace around the cuffs - it was scratchy.  Please don't laugh, but I still have this nightgown, tucked away in a chest, threadbare and well-worn, and certainly too small.  It was my first real sewing project, and I did well on it, and I loved that nightgown!

The last picture I'll show today from the craft-box chaos, are the yarns.  I wonder if there's enough there to make a pair of scrappy slippers.  I don't knit but can crochet, and have made slippers.  In fact, the first slippers I ever crocheted were again, in Home-Ec in high school.  They were dark brown soles, and a pretty, light aqua-blue/green upper, and looked like boots including laced up ties.  I don't know whatever happened to the pattern for them, but sure would like to find one.  The tangerine yarn, is from the late 1970s when I crocheted my patchwork bed blanket that I still use.  I forget what the other two balls were used on, but the two remaining skeins came from my grandmother's sewing stuff.  I think the blue/green variegated could date back easily to before the 1950s, but I'm no yarn expert, so maybe not.  

Maybe tomorrow I'll post some photos of some of those Artcraft projects. 
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