Saturday, August 31, 2013

End of one month, beginning of another...

This month’s free pattern was one I made in 2005 for a block swap called Floating Churn Dash and the pattern for the Floating Churn Dash can be found here

Friday, August 30, 2013


Another finish.  This one is Area 52 which was one of the projects from last year’s fall retreats.  I love the colors in this one. 

I'll probably sell this one too, any offers?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Can I

I started 2013 with 41 UFOs and I intend to end the year with less than that.  In order for me to achieve that miracle, I need to finish a few bindings and/or my current WIP before I start anything new.  I’ve finished three bindings this month so far, knocking three UFOs off the list… can I manage to finish a few more before I start something new? 

Time will tell….

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On a roll…

Another finish.  These were scraps (all batiks) donated to me by a friend.  I added a few of my own scraps and came up with this quilt.  Even the back was scraps… well left over backing from another quilt.  And now it is officially finished. 

It measures about 48 inches square and is looking for a new home.  Make me an offer. 


This is what I want to make for my 500th quilt.  Not these colors of course, but this design.  I want to make it with scraps, totally scraps, every single piece in the front scraps.  For back I’ll have to buy a 108 inch wide backing.  But the rest will be scraps, mine and anyone else’s who wants to contribute.  I’m going to make it all with batiks. 

I need to make a test block first, I think my darks will be 2 1/2 inches and the lights 1 1/4 inches.  I think…. 
But first I need to finish another UFO and my current WIP, a strings block for Bob’s.  And then there are # 498 and 499… wonder what they will be?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

And another finish

I’m on a roll really, trying to get some UFOs finished before I start more and before I hit the magic #500.  This is Puss Plus which was Mystery #31 on the Mysteries For Relay group.  I’ll happily sell this one if anyone is interested; it’s about 55 inches square and made of top quality cottons.  (Money will of course go to Relay For Life!)  The pattern is not for sale yet. 

This morning while I was working on finishing the binding a friend called me from Chicago and asked me what I was doing.  I told her I’d post a photo of facebook and I did, along with the finished quilt.  It was nice talking to her ear to ear rather than email.  Maybe one of these days we’ll meet in person.   

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Another finish

This was a quickie quilt I put together to use up some batik scraps, and then because I liked my sample so much, I made it a Mystery For Relay quilt, and I think the ladies liked it too.  It really is very easy and I think makes a great quilt… and I plan to make a few more like it. 

I’m making quilts for Bob’s Blankie Brigade and want to give them at least a few finished quilts.  I know she’s willing to take tops too, but that takes her time to finish them before she can donate them.  As long as it’s small enough that I can quilt it myself, I will.  But it’s nice to know that I have a home for samples I make but can’t quilt myself.  (And there isn't enough $ for me to pay to have them all quilted!)

A while ago someone asked me why I make quilts and then just give them away… well I enjoy making quilts, seeing what I can do with fabric, and how my ideas look when I’m done sewing them.  But I can only use so many quilts here at home, after all there are just two of us, and one of use sleeps under a sheet most of the time (dang hot flashes)  As is I have a pretty good collection of “favorite” quilts, over 200.  Plus the 40some UFOs, and I won’t even try to figure out how many more quilts are left to make in my stash! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Upcoming numbers

I don’t pay much attention to numbers, but all of a sudden some significant numbers are showing up in my world. 

As I finished this latest quilt top and entered it on to the spreadsheet that keeps track of my quilts I realized I was almost at an important milestone.  I started keeping track a few years ago to get my UFOs under control.  While making up the list of UnFinished Objects I decided it would be a good time to make a list of ALL of my quilts, finished or not. 
It took a bit of work, lots of research in photo albums, on hard drives, in class lists and everywhere else I had any records of my quilting. Ever since I started that list I’ve done OK at keeping track of my quilts, when I started them, when I finished them and where they are. 

At the beginning of this year I started sharing my history in photos on my web site, at least the photos I have.  As of the end of July I’ve shared up to quilt #291, a miniature Speedy Strips made of Christmas fabrics. 
The quilt I finished the top of today is quilt number 496, just four away from 500. 

The other significant number is 65 but I’m not talking about that one!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Busy weekend and Monday dilemma

We had company on Saturday.  Mike and Kelly and Grandpup Roscoe came for a short visit.  Mike and Kelly had some business to take care of, so while they were occupied with that, we happily took care of Roscoe.  Poor pup lives in an apartment in the city, so he loves coming to visit our yard and run around and play, chasing birds and barking at the resident groundhog.  Fortunately the yard is partially fenced so he can’t get that groundhog.

While he was here I made a disappearing nine patch.  They were all the rage for a while and I didn’t get into it, but I had this fabric I wanted to make a charity quilt with and that seemed like a good idea.  (Yes Bonnie, that was the something new coming from my creative mind, sorry to disappoint you.)  I started and finished it too, and even put together a backing for it.  It will go to Bob’s Blankie Brigade. 

Somewhere in the last few days I saw another nine patch quilt and knew that the fabric I had was perfect for it.  I diagrammed it in EQ and started cutting Saturday afternoon, and even put together a few blocks before I ran out of energy.  Yesterday I finished making the nine patches and started cutting the rest of the blocks and sashing, and that’s what I’ve been working on today.

Now here’s my dilemma… in my bedroom I have a queen size bed, design bed and laundry folding bed.  As you can imagine it can only be used as one of those things at a time.  Monday is laundry day, and I’ve been sewing.  Except… no folding bed since it is covered in blocks.  First load was easy, I folded it on the washer.  Second load not so easy, so it’s sitting in the dryer until I pin and mark all the blocks so I can pick them up and finish them later.  (Don’t tell John I had pins on the bed, that’s a big no no.) 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Finish UFO or start new one?

I went into the sewing room to decide if I should start a new project or work on a UFO.  I saw a bag of fabric and kind of remembered what I was making with it.  So I decided I would finish that project next. 

I put all the other projects away and cleaned off the cutting table, organizing my batik scraps as I went.  I neatly folded the three quilts that need binding sewn on my machine into a pile, put away all the kits I’ve made to do in the future, all the time thinking about that bright project I was going to be working on. 

I kind of remembered starting it at the fall retreats last year….  I opened up the bag to figure out where I was on that project… and… well I hadn’t started it at all… it was just fabric.  Not even a pattern. 

So I’m going to sew binding on a smaller quilt to get that out of the sewing room (and on to my quilts waiting hand work pile) And then I’ll start that project, which won’t be anything like I was remembering because now I have an even better idea for that fabric!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

How to get patterns

I was asked if I would be selling the patterns for the fall retreats projects.  I will add them to the Patterns For Relay page sometime in 2014.  But in the meantime, both fall retreats patterns will be shared with the Mysteries For Relay Group in October same time as the retreat. (Monday October 28) A $5 donation will get you both patterns on that group. 

OR you can make a $30 donation now and get a mystery on Labor Day weekend, AND the two retreat patterns AND a year's worth of patterns and mysteries.  Donations can be made at

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fall Retreats projects

The retreat ladies have been asking what we’re doing for projects at this year’s fall retreats.  I had several ideas really, but couldn’t decide.  Then I realized two had similarities and decided to go with them.  One the quilt was finished and already at the quilters, and the other… well the blocks were done.  I needed to square them and finish the center, and that’s what I did.  I’ll decide on borders if any later, I might just keep it as a lap quilt. 
So here are the two fall retreat projects for this year, Snap Crackle Pop on the left and and Charmed Pops on the right. 
Of couse I'll be sharing these with the Mysteries For Relay members also!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Kathy asked me what I did all day today, she’s basically nosey, LOL!  Actually she was bragging that she’d finished a quilt and wanted to know what I sewed today.  I had to tell her I never even set foot in the office or fabric room.  No real quilting today, but I did work on retreat work all day. 

Along with her nosey email were two emails from retreaters asking me if I’d decided on the fall retreats yet.  Actually I have one retreat sample finished; it’s at the quilters now.  And the second one is almost finished.. the blocks are all done and I just need the finishing finished. 
So today I worked on the patterns and the web sites and more… 

No quilting, but it sure was quilt related!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Someone missed me…

Well actually two someones, thanks Kathy and Ginny.  I’m OK, just kind of forgot to blog about the mundane things happening here.  Not much really.

Let’s see… Monday was phone change day.  Long story short, Verizon wanted to upgrade our phone lines to fiber-optic, but that would mean no phone when power went out.  Which is why we’ve kept the house phone, we live in a dead zone cell phone wise and needed something in an emergency when power went out.  But since they “had to” upgrade us, I decided I wasn’t paying $60 a month for a phone that I can’t use when the power goes out, so we switched to digital phone from our cable company, saving us over $30 a month.  (Yes I know that won’t work when power goes out either, but I’m saving over $30 a month and we’ve been told our new cell phones will work better, so it was a win win for us)
Tuesday I went down state to visit with two dear friends, Denny and Joan.  We had planned on sewing, but you know how we quilters are… all we did was talk and talk and talk and eat and talk and talk some more.  It was a great day, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. 

Wednesday I had a Drs appointment with my rheumatologist; good news I can reduce my prednisone to 5mg daily!  Hopefully this time it will reduce with no flare ups.  After my appointment I went with Joan to pick up quilts from the quilter, and drop off three.  Two HUGE quilts picked up, 86 inches square and 98 by 92.  These will take forever to get the bindings on. 
Thursday when I took my shower I felt something funny while scrubbing my back.  My scrubber sort of got hung up on something, and then it seems to fall away.  I looked but whatever it was washed down the drain.  When I’d dried off I looked best I could at my back and could only see a small red circle…   With my recent history of infections I decided I’d better get it checked out, I was thinking tick and I wanted to make sure it was all gone. 

So another trip to the Doc’s office.  It was clean, nothing there but a red rash circle, so we’re assuming it was a tick and now I am on antibiotics.  Again… third time this summer. 
Thursday I had posted a photo on facebook of my Aunt Grace Zig Zag which was of one of the biggies I had picked up.  I stated clearly that it wasn’t for sale.  This morning I had a private message from someone I don’t know asking me how much for my Aunt Grace Zig Zag.  I replied it is not for sale.  He said “Come on, everything is for sale.”   So I replied that I wanted $1 for every piece of fabric in it plus the quilting.  He asked “So how much?”  Wow, maybe he was really interested in buying it.  But I’m not interested in making another one, and I want this one for my own bed.  But hey, I could use some extra money for Relay, and to pay for all the quilting that needs to be done…

So I replied….  Let’s see…  guesstimating here, there are about 1150 pieces of prints, plus 154 solid squares and the quilting makes it about $1504… and you have to put the binding on yourself!.  

No reply yet… 

Sunday, August 04, 2013


I’m working on a new (I hope) design and am doing some experimenting as I go.  The block starts with 5 inch squares.  If you’ve shopped any fabric stores or on line you probably know that you can buy pre-cut squares in almost any size these days. 

And that’s what you get, almost any size.  Despite what the package says on the outside, inside you get almost any size.  As an experiment I’ve bought pre-cut squares from eight different sources.  I have Hoffman, Tonga, Kaufman, and two other’s I can’t remember the name of right now, plus pre-cuts from three different on line shops.

I have pinked edges, wavy edges, supposedly straight edges and a few that look like they were chewed on.  I measured ten of each pre-cut package and got sizes running from 4 3/4 inches to 5 1/8 inches. 

If they had all been bigger I could have cut them back to size, but if I was going to do that, I could have just cut 5 inch squares from my own stash. 

If they all had straight edges it would be easier to measure them, but I do understand why manufacturers and shops cut with fancy cutters (matter of opinion really). 
With the wavy and pinked edges, if you sew with the very tip of the point or wave matching the edge of what you are sewing it to, are you getting a true 1/4 inch seam allowance?  That would depend on how well they were cut and how deep the pinking blade was.  In one case it was almost too deep, so those squares lost 1/4 inch on each side even before being sewn.  (And they won’t get used in this current project, but saved for a 4 1/2 inch square project instead.) 

So what does my experiment tell me…
First I should just go ahead and cut my own if my stash permits. 
Second, don’t depend on what the label says to be true, apparently 5 inches varies in different areas. 
Third, measure even the pre-cuts and be prepared not to use half of them as what they said they were. 
And lastly it would be worth it to just go ahead and cut my own. 
And if I don’t have the right colors, go shopping, it’s a good excuse to add to the stash!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Sewing day

Today was a sewing day.  John was home all day and on the computer a lot.  He wasn’t “working” all the time, and since it is Saturday and he’s not supposed to be “working” anyway, I made him put up with my talking to myself.  And I learned that I really do bother him when I do it.

I started a brand new (I hope) project and it took a lot of running back and forth to the computer and lots of talking to myself, and the sewing machine, and the rotary cutter too.  I got four blocks done and I really like it so far. 

And you know what… he mumbles to himself, which is really annoying.  I can’t understand what he’s saying and when I ask him what he said he says he wasn’t talking to me…. I guess he’s talking to his pen or keyboard.  Surely he doesn’t talk to himself.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Not telling

I am not telling about the giveaway going on at Cat Patches... nope, I am not telling you. That might better my chances to win.


It all started when I woke up at 4:30 AM yesterday morning to visit the bathroom. I could hear water running, but knew at that time of day nothing should be on.  I looked out the window to check the hoses, but it was raining so that didn’t do me any good at all.  I checked the upstairs bathroom, it was OK, and the downstairs bathroom seemed to be OK too. 

But I still heard water running.

It bothered me so much I couldn’t go back to sleep, but I didn’t want to wake John up at that hour, he had a busy day ahead of him and needed his sleep.  When he finally got up at 6:30 I told him about our problem, and he said he didn’t hear it…  After he’d had his morning shave and shower he said that maybe I was right…  He crawled under the house and sure enough, I was right.. imagine that!

The line running to the refrigerator had sprung a leak, small yes but still a leak.  And he was on his way out of town and couldn’t fix it, so it was up to me.  Well you know dang well I’m not a plumber and I’m certainly not crawling under the house to fix anything, so we turned the pump off. 

After he’d left I made a few phone calls, of course our regular plumber was out of town.  He had another number we could call for service in his away message but I wasn’t calling them.  We’d dealt with that company another time and l’ll just say I will not deal with them again and leave it with that. 

I remembered that Jon and Steph had a lot of work done on their new house by a very very reliable guy so asked them to please send me his phone number.  When I called him he said he’d happily help us out and could be here first thing in the morning.  And as promised, he’s here now. 
But it’s been a long waterless period between then and now…  every time you go to the bathroom you automatically flush… no can do when pump is turned off.  You also wash your hands… no water no wash.  And while you are fixing dinner how many times do you turn on your water…  And brush your teeth before you go to bed at night?  Let’s just say I am very happy to hear voices coming from under my house and can’t wait to hear that water running again!

Water is back on and all is back to our normal.