explaining my MIA

I got a bit busy with charity quilting,, then I just ran out of things to talk about.. It would just be a repetition of what I’ve already shared here if I did do a daily report of my activities.  And doing the same thing day after day isn’t very interesting, is it?

So I just stopped taking pictures and thinking of new ways to say the same ol things..   Energy level has been down, then up, then back down so I use that as another excuse.

I am keeping busy with quilting and often I just don’t do any sewing for days.  I got into pc games and spend a lot of my time just goofin around.   DD#2 keeps asking if I am alright.  and I  really am doing well.     Just a quiet period in my life for now.      So don’t you worry about my absence ,  It just me, being ME..

Maybe when the weather gets too cold to play outside, I’ll get back here with ya all.    Granny

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Art & intertainment

DSCN7314 I loved the Shen Yun program of 5 thousand years of Chinese dance & music.   We headed over to Normal, Il around 2 pm to get there by 3.. rainy and gloomy skies greeted us, but we (dd#2 and I)  got there in plenty of time while our Driver  DD#2’s hubby headed off to the Harley place.

I was enthralled with the music and dance… The costumes were amazing. A good  2hours worth of cultural enlightenment…..  And we even saw some Friends there!!   Small world!!

 

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Playin outside

DSCN7308Isn’t she Purdy??  all done last fall, but didn’t get her photographed til now.   I blame all that freezing, snow blowing, miserable weather..

cut bushThis bush was climbing over the roof last Fall, And today it got trimmed back to a manageable height.  DD#2 thinks I have Killed it.. Nope, there are plenty of suckers running along the ground.. If anything it is spreading.

DSCN7302My first go at crocheting a rope into a rug.. or maybe something smaller,  Don’t know how much rope I have to cover.. But it is interesting to delve into something new and doesn’t take much attention or brain power to work on.

DSCN7304Putting some scraps together for a HST quilt.   I like it with the black and bright colors….

When the weather gets warm, I try to spend some time outside each day.. This week end we will go back into some cold weather (40’s & 30’s)  Then warm back up After Monday.   I’m sure I’ll find plenty of fabric to play with and hopefully finish a UFO…  ? ?

 

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tooting my own horn

smlCatQuiltBeing ill has me looking at all my projects and making some decisions on colors and numbers.. checking my stashes and looking to fill in the gaps.   First let me say what my concerns for the year 2014 are.  I pick a local club or organization and donate to it.   Not every year is the same recipient of my “generosity”.. some are just a one time donation… but I try to make it personal and meaningful for that recipient.

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This year I am making quilts, throw size or larger to our local shelter for battered and abused women.    So far I have 3 completed quilts and 7 more tops ready to be quilted.  By Christmas I hope to have at least 10 or more quilts to donate to them.NoteWtruck

Second area of interest is finding a good placement for all the cards I have been making..  A family member suggested the Hospital Gift Shop.. Since she works there I just have to get them to her and she will happily deliver them.   Now to decide how many would be needed each month.    And I have a ton of stamps already,, but now I also have an excuse to purchase more .. the appropriate “good feeling” types and verses, quotes and sayings to match.    I have already donated a few ( less than 10) and the peeps like them.

And with DD#2 staying home to take care of me, we found time to discuss what crafty little items she would like to give out as Christmas Gifts at work.    Yes, I make at least a dozen little gems for DD’s Christmas list of employees and friends.    Giving is the name and happiness is the game.   Spread the love, people.

Sharing your talents with others is so rewarding.  I hope this will encourage you to do some volunteering of your time or talent.. It is always appreciated.

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sick days

BugI have to apologize for ignoring this blog.. Just letting ya know I have some sort of stomach  bug and haven’t felt up to doing anything except hold my head in my hands and moan… in between rushing to the bathroom.    Today is the 3rd day and I’ve had some improvement with rushing off to the bathroom.. so maybe I’m gonna get better sooner than I expected.   Thankfully DD#2 has stayed home to hold my hand and “nurse” her mommy.     (Hugs, DD#2)

I don’t get anything accomplished when feeling this poorly.  Make too many mistakes and waste material and my time.. so I will put off any sewing, cooking, stamping or yarn work til this thing has passed…   Maybe by Monday I’ll be back to my mean ol self…    I hope.    (where’s my chicken and noodle soup?)

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slow progress

This phase of putting together a Dresden block is really slow going, so don’t plan on getting all your blocks done in a couple of days.  I allow myself a day to get just a couple of blocks done.  Remember we are quilting as we go.. on each block.   It’s all stitch in the ditch or on each seam and edge of the Dresden.

2 days of cutting backing and batting and I am stacked up and ready to put some blocks together.. DSCN7296First we need to iron those Dresden’s flat.  They won’t be perfectly round,, there is just no way of making something like fabric behave and stay put.  So do the best you can and Flatten while ironing to the dark side.

DSCN7292USE PLENTY OF SPRAY STARCH ON FRONT & BACK.  Do Not stretch or pull on your fabric .. it only distorts and makes it worse.. DSCN7294

Center your Dresden on the Dark Blue fabric – you  iron the dark blue lengthwise and width wise to find the center, then lay your Dresden center on top, lining up the seams.. ME? well I’m just not into being so precise and didn’t pay much attention to the alignment..   Pin, Pin Pin.. as you tuck under a 1/4 inch rough/ raw  edge.. All around the outside edge, keeping the rounded look on each pedal.. and in the center.   DSCN7299

Now comes the sandwiching all the blocks together..*** If you pin thru all 4 layers you are going to distort the back fabric and have a mess.. ***  You will use 4 or more pins to hold it all together..so beware of making the back lay flat at this stage.  First the back: with wrong side facing up.. then your batting, and then the “pinned to the dark blue Dresden” front layer..

I set aside 2 blocks and will spend another day just sewing 2 of these “beauties” together..  and with 48 blocks to do, it will be awhile before I can get to the next step of putting them all together.   REMEMBER:  I warned you this is not a fast or easy process..  BUT so worth it in the end..

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10 quilting tips

Surfing pinterest and found MY favorite quilting site and utube extrodinaire Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company.   For a reminder to all the quilters out there and esp for the New Quilters..  Enjoy and head over to join the forum @ http://forum.missouriquiltco.com/forum.php   A friendly group of quilters..

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Whether you’re a pro or you’re just getting started, here are ten tips for modern quilting, courtesy of Jenny Doan–the gifted quilter, instructor, YouTube celebrity, and owner of Missouri Star Quilt Company.

  1. Always keep your sewing machine in good condition. Clean it regularly, and have it serviced when needed.
  2. It is important to have a sharp rotary blade, as this will prevent cutting accidents. Keep extra blades, needles and thread in your stash.
  3. Use quality fabrics. When you use good quality fabric, you can rest assured that your quilts will stand the test of time (and toddlers, pets, sunshine, washing machines, etc.).
  4. Press to the dark side if possible. That being said, if anyone opens your quilt to check which direction you pressed your seams, they are not your friend! The most important thing is that your quilt is pressed and your top is flat.
  5. Always use a ¼ inch seam when quilting. Remember that your ¼ inch is unique to you. Don’t worry if your seams are bigger or smaller than your neighbors, the key is consistency. If your seams are all the same size, your quilt will be perfectly beautiful!
  6. Never pre-wash your pre-cuts. They will end up a frayed mess! Fabrics have improved in quality so much that we don’t need to worry about shrinkage or fading like we used to.
  7. The bias is your friend. Bias allows us to work in pieces that may not fit exactly. Take your time, pin at seam intersections, and try not to pull your fabric.
  8. Quilting should be fun! Enjoy the journey and remember that if you make a mistake it could just be a whole new pattern! Patterns are more like guidelines for creativity rather than strict regulations.
  9. Take advantage of YouTube tutorials. They have great tips and tricks you might never have thought of!
  10. One more thing…never eat Cheetos while quilting, unless you have orange fabric!

(Image credits: ‘Zitronenfalter’ by Ulrike Kittel ; Craftsy)

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