Monday, December 11, 2017

{Post 1,563} Will the Christmas Quilt Piecing Ever End?

I wanted to put a small pinecone/red flower print on green flannel on the back of my 2017 Christmas quilt. Wouldn't you know, I was 8" short??  I knew I'd need 5" more than two widths of fabric also. <sigh> So back to my well-loved red and green shirts. Here is a shot of the back after washing and drying. Flannel will shrink more than 100% cotton fabric, especially upcycled shirts that have been washed many, many times. For that reason, I always prewash my flannel backs. I have never had a problem with the seams raveling. 

I started machine quilting a customer quilt tonight. I have done 3 passes. It is a huge quilt (95" x 108"), so I will be stitching on it when I can. 

Here's my quilt back...


Monday, December 4, 2017

{Post 1,562} A Tiny Bit of Hand Quilting Progress

I finished the piecing of this quilt in record time. Now it has languished for over 9 years, waiting to be finished. The pattern is called Mennonite Mosaic. I saw it on someone else's blog and then happened upon the pattern. I tried to sell it as a top several times, and eventually I started hand-quilting it. You can see some of the diagonal quilting lines in the photo. It measures 88" square.


I moved it out to the kitchen. I am using a Hera marker for marking the lines. I think it's over halfway quilted,but it's hard to tell. None of the border is finished. Why did I bring it to the kitchen? I like to mark the lines using the table, then I quilt w/o a hoop, just hold it in my lap. I've made a lot of progress in the past week or so. It is relaxing to me to hand-quilt.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

{Post 1,561} ...and More Painting

I am detailing all this painting for my mother, who I hope gets to read it all. After the foyer and hall (and all the doors and trim in THERE), we started on my youngest son's room. The walls were in such bad condition that we decided to put new drywall up. We also removed the popcorn ceiling (this means more painting). My husband did such wonderful work on all the trim as well as putting in a new floor and light fixture. That room looks 100% better.

Before:


In progress:


Finished except putting furniture back in!

 


{Post 1,560} Next Painting Phase

After my daughter's room was brilliant Dover White instead of Grape Popsicle, I tackled the kitchen. It was formerly Cut Ruby. My husband agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to let me paint over it as long as I left the working side of the kitchen red. He went away on business for nearly two days, and I was determined to finish it before he got home. I just made it. I painted all the trim, baseboard,and crown molding as well. I was pooped when it was finished. Two coats of Kilz and two coats of DW. Whew. But what a transformation. Our kitchen is huge.

Same corner, before and after. By the time I got the 2nd coat of paint on it, it was dusk.



Here's part of the whole room in a collage. I hadn't put all the stuff away yet. I was just excited to have the painting finished.


It has been interesting to see and hear people's reactions. While the red was well loved, I like the DW better. The furniture and decor just pop. I love it. So glad it is finished. I am lobbying to do the rest of the room that is red, but one battle at a time.

{Post 1,559} Lots More Painting Was Goin' On

I recently shared my bathroom cabinet pictures. I am also going to paint all my kitchen cabinets. That's a job that will take eons. We have a desk in the kitchen with 3 drawers and 8 doors in it. The island has 4 doors and 12 drawers. The normal kitchen part has 18 doors and 6 drawers. Do I have anyone's sympathy yet??  I will do it in stages. The bathroom turned out sooooo great that I cannot wait to start the kitchen. There are all the faces to do as well. Baby steps, grasshopper.

This whole painting marathon started with my foyer and then my daughter's formerly grape popsicle room. yes. That was the color. But she lives in the dorm at college during the school year now, so I decided to dive in and paint her room Dover White. Same color as the foyer and hall upstairs. I l-o-v-e that color. Her room is paneled. The first picture is of the panel grooves painted with Kilz.


This is after one coat of Kilz. That grape popsicle just shines through. 

The wall on the right after the second coat of Kilz. Fortunately, by the time I painted 2 coats of Dover White, all was well. My MIL came and helped me. She is a painting ninja. So helpful. We tag teamed so she did not over do it. 


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

{Post 1,558} Parker 2017 Christmas Quilt Top Near Completion

This is patterned after a quilt I saw online somewhere that I liked. Honestly, I don't remember when or where. I drafted my own pattern, and I am quite pleased with how it looks. Tonight I added the first two sides of the outer pieced border. Here is a shot of 1/4 of the quilt top.


I have been busier than a bee lately with painting projects in our house. Most recently, I sanded down and repainted out main bathroom cabinets. I did not take a before of the whole thing (trust me, it was uglier than sin). Multiple coats of paint, some of which had worn down or chipped off, gouges, scratches, and general yuck. The hardware had been right in the center of each door. I filled those holes in with wood putty and got new hardware pulls.  Here is a tiny bit of the before and after. 


I owe a great debt of gratitude to my 3rd daughter who sold me on the beauty of the before and after shots. Here is the after with the glowing bright white paint...


Thankfully, on Thanksgiving Day, one of our guests broke one of the faucets in this bathroom. I say thankfully because ever since we bought this house the double-sink vanity has had two ugly and mismatched faucets. A couple days ago, we went and bought new ones. Miraculously, a few days later, they were installed by my dear husband. This bathroom looks the best it has since we moved in.

On to the next project!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

{Post 1,557} Now the Cozy

I realized after I published my last post that I neglected to post a picture of my coffee collar/cozy/ice insulator. I am one of those (I suppose) rare people that do not like hot drinks. I might have a hot cocoa once or twice a year. Homemade icees and smoothies are my go-to drinks. Every beverage (even water) should have LOTS of ice. I bought a Magic Bullet to make THM drinks. The cups are single layers of plastic. So when I am enjoying my beverage, I am not enjoying the frosty fingers. Last night I was inspired (since my grandchildren were all home) to make sort of a coffee collar, but to keep from getting frostbite, not burns. This was my first one. I made a second an inch and half longer so that the ends of the collar overlap. I think it turned out well. The band is a covered elastic for ponytails.


The circumference of the cup is huge. It holds 40 oz. I think this will help grip the cup better, too. I could pour it into another glass or cup, but that would mean another thing to wash.

{Post 1,556} Cup Cozy and Grands

I have had 3 of my grandchildren for the past 9 days. One left Thursday night to go home, and the other 2 left yesterday AM. It was an act of love to give 2 of my daughters breaks from their normal responsibility and routine. I hope they enjoyed it, because I. Am. Worn. Out.

My husband and I took them to a "ranch" Thursday. It was fun. And exhausting. Like everything I did all week.




{1,554} Another New Quilt Underway and Catchup

My blog has been neglected for too long...again.   Here is a project I started this AM. It requires a specialty ruler. I made my own revolving cutting mat to make trimming easier. 

The two left rows are sewn together. The others are just stuck on the design wall. I see a couple that need to be moved. The blocks finish at 5" square.


Years ago a man who did remodeling on our house was moving, and I got this Lazy Susan from his wife. Her mother had made it. I have never, ever used it, although I thought it would be so cute for SOMEthing!! Once the blocks are assembled, one uses this ruler to trim them down. All four sides need to be trimmed, and moving the ruler just took so much time. Hence my innovation. I cut a square off a dying cutting mat for the center. It works splendidly.

The quilt was started as a result of seeing that I had a bunch of watercolor fabric strings that were just taking up space. I had seen a quilt made from this ruler in a quilt show last month and made a note of it. I waffled on buying the ruler because they just cost so much (to me). Finally broke down and started it. I like it.

I am catching up as I look back at my pictures. Next up...grandchildren!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

{Post, 1,553} New Quilt Underway & A-maz-ing Light

I am going to a wedding in September about 10 hours away for a young man I sorta adopted while he was in college. He is marrying a girl I only met once through him. So I decided to make them a scrappy throw for a wedding gift. I wanted something easy but impressive. 

I saw the Pecking Order quilt tutorial from Missouri Star Quilts and knew that was the one. I don't know their colors or style, but how could I go wrong with this? This is 96/210 blocks. About 45%.

The blocks are 5" square unfinished.


This light made this nighttime picture possible. I got it at a rescue mission thrift store for $10, less than the cost of the 2 daylight bulbs that came in it!! Although it is orange (probably not a highly sought-after color),  my room has orange in the curtains and the wreath, so it is a winner.


The design wall is pushed into the corner, so that explains the odd angle of the wreath.

Hope you enjoyed something you love today.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

{Post 1,553} Machine Quilting the Mountains

It took a couple days to piece the back (because it involved washing brushed cotton) and loading it onto my frame, but I am finally machine quilting my Scrappy Mountains Majesty quilt.  It took less than a month to piece, but the quilting has taken a while. I actually am making it for my daughter's boyfriend. They have had a "committed friendship" which in everyday language means they have been dating exclusively. He was my friend and sign language apprentice before they started dating, so I semi-claim him. Anyway, it was an awkward time to give him a quilt, but now all is well.

Here is a picture before I started the quilting. I also added 2 rows of rectangles of shirt fabric at the top for a pillow tuck that are not in the picture. I am doing swirls in the border and wavy lines in the mountains. Hope you can see that in the pictures.



The quilt is about 108" long by 79" wide.



{Post 1,552} Soup Bowl Cozy

I made this little soup bowl cozy a couple days ago, and I've used it at least once a day since. I put my leftovers in the bowl, then transfer it to the cozy, putting the whole thing in the microwave. Since there are 2 layers of batting, one can put the bowl right in her hand w/o getting burned. Since I usually eat alone back in my sewing room several times a day, this makes it easy to carry.

The pin for the pattern is here - - https://happyhourstitches.com/2016/12/19/soup-bowl-cozy-pattern/amp/. Very quick and easy. Make sure you use 100% cotton batting as the poly stuff might melt or even catch fire!



Saturday, July 29, 2017

{Post 1,551} New I Spy

I am going to teach a friend to piece quilts. We were supposed to get together yesterday. She has never sewn. 

One of my girls gave me back a sewing machine I had bought for her, so I am giving it to my young friend (early 20's). She has a nearly 2-year-old and is pregnant with a second child. She has had rough morning sickness, so I did not get to go. 

While I was looking through my I Spy prints to taken them with me (I'm letting her pull from my stash), I found that I had a large stack of 3-1/2" squares. Usually I use 4-1/2" squares. I found myself thinking, "There are a LOT of these! I wonder if I could make a quilt top from just this size?" I pulled 144 of them, and this center was pieced this AM. I debated about framing each 4-patch, but I ended up just joining them right next to each other. I laid them out in a color wash, dark upper right corner down to light lower left. I will add a border or two and call it finished.


The picture is just the squares laid out, but the top center is pieced. I have my 3-year-old grandson this weekend. He is napping right now, but once he is up, I am all his. He got a haircut on his way over. Cute as can be!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

{Post 1,550} I Spy Quilted

I taught a woman in my church to quilt. She has made many things already. Once I showed her an I Spy quilt, she jumped right in and planned three! Here is her first one. I like how there are "solid" colors going one way and novelty prints the other. I quilted it with white thread with loops. It measures about 38" square.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

{Post 1,549} Box Bag, Take Two!

Since I changed phones, my phone charger is larger than before. I have a small travel bag I used to put my phone and iPad chargers in (two different ones). Same story as the toiletries bag...it was slightly too small. It was done in a piece of fabric I covered with selvages, so I went to work making a charger bag before I forgot how to sew them!

Here is my little charger storage bag. It is 4-1/2" long, 3" tall, and 3-1/4" wide.


{Post 1,548} Box Bag

My husband and I just did a two-day trip to Virginia. Our daughter is touring with a music/drama team this summer. That is the closest she would be for the rest of the tour. It was a delightful trip. Every time I pack up for somewhere, I think to myself that I sure could use a slightly bigger toiletries bag. I was exhausted yesterday. But I did finish this little gem. I looked at some boxed bags on Pinterest, and came up with this. It is 9" long, 4-1/2" wide and 4-1/2" tall.



I used one of my favorite Thimbleberries prints for the outside. The accent stripes and hexagons are made from the lining fabric. I thought they added some nice detail. I used fusible batting. I like the way it turned out! The accent strips were not supposed to meet at the top. I just sewed them down on opposite corners of my flat piece before construction of the bag.

True confessions...I had the zipper completely sewn in and then realized I had put it in upside down. The pull was on the lining side. I just cut off the stopper on the end and flipped the pull over. Worked perfectly. That could have stopped this project in its tracks if it had not worked!

I am having a hard time finding zippers locally.  Anyone have a good online source?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

{Post 1,547} Happy Hubby

My husband has rarely asked me to sew him something. But he wanted a travel bag for his beloved Aeropress coffee maker. It is a cross between a French press and a pour-over coffee making system for you coffee affectionados. I have had 3 sips of coffee in close to 55 years, and it has been more then enough. In retrospect, I should not have taken the 2nd or 3rd. But he loves his coffee.

I was out yesterday and picked up this fabric. It is darker in person.


I made a drawstring bag with a boxed bottom. I could not find a notion to buy that would allow me to use one drawstring and keep it from opening on its own, so I made two drawstrings so they could be pulled to the opposite sides of the bag, and they would stay closed. I just cut a slit in the non-seam side of the bag and zigzagged it on the edges, then turned it under a little bit and topstitched it. I have made bags for game pieces this way.


Lastly, I boxed the bottom edge and gave it a trial run with the Aeropress parts in it...success!


Our youngest daughter is traveling with the Merrill Evangelistic Team this summer. She was in our hometown several weeks ago. Now she is going to a church that is 4 hours away. We are leaving tomorrow early afternoon and will see her tomorrow night at 6. Then she will stay overnight with us in a hotel and we have to have her back by 4 the next afternoon. We will come home after that. Good thing the Aeropress is ready to travel.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

{Post 1,546} Those Spots

Do you have "spots" at your house that make you smile? This is one of mine. It is right outside my front door. 


I LOVE houseplants. I have always wanted a spider plant, but cannot keep them alive. I admired one of my friend's, and she had her husband pot one for me. I got the plant stand at a local thrift store. I love it. When it gets too cold outside for the spider plant, I'll bring it right inside the door. I hope it makes it through the winter.

The planter with the geranium in it right in front of the basket was my mother's. I went to see her in May. I had been looking for a plant display just like this one. She had it in a "to be discarded" place, so I asked if I could have it. The geranium has lovely salmon/peach colored flowers. The most recent blooms just withered. Maybe time for one more set of new blooms this summer?

While I was in Arizona, the long-awaited black steel railings were installed.They are sleek, sturdy, and beautiful. We custom-ordered them, and they are lovely. We have lived here over 11 years, and I have anticipated them all that time! I am already thinking about decorating them for Christmas.


Monday, July 17, 2017

{Post 1,545} Side Trip

I had mailed my DIL a box containing a baby quilt for her 6-month-old and a few special things for her. When she called to thank me, I asked her "What's new?" She said she had broken her arm. My son is deployed overseas right now, and she is caring for the 6- and 22-month old children alone (think about giving baths, changing diapers, putting in car seats, etc. alone with one working arm). To make a long story short, I flew out 2 days later to spend a week with her. She had a check up and is mostly fine right now. Turns out the break was too small to see on an x-ray, and now she is splint and sling-free and does not have much pain at all.


It is a Pioneer Braid with red squares marching down the rows. All Thimbleberries fabrics. Before trimming and binding...


Here is one picture of my older grandson. He endlessly babbles. I know his clear words are coming!!


I started the Christmas ornaments for the 6/8 of my children who still want them. Here is a picture of the one I actually stitched to completion and a picture of the kit insert so you can see the rest of them.



I will be making some for my grandchildren as well. The same idea, but green or red felt for the background of the mitten and a complimentary color for the cuff.  I will have 6 grandchildren by Christmas this year, Lord willing.

Now to get my own house in order. Laundry, meals, weeds. They just never go away. Good thing I enjoy quilting/sewing projectsto keep me going.


Monday, July 3, 2017

{Post 1,544} A Little More Piecing Finished

I started a Hand Me Downs quilt some time ago, just for fun. My son Ben has claimed it. I have 2 border sections on. I plan to finish the piecing and then machine quilt it tomorrow.

Here it is so far. It will be 90" square when finished.


Update:  I just added the other two side borders. Ready to start the machine quilting in the AM. I am home alone, so I can do whatever I like, and I would like to do all the machine quilting on this. Purchased a 108" wide backing this past week, so I am ready to go! There will be enough left over to bind it as well.

Here is a picture from last night. I got to keep my nearly-3-year-old grandson this past weekend. When we sit on the loveseat to watch TV, he usually wants to hold my hand. Let night he did so and said, "Grammy Jo, I need to hold your hand. And we need a quilt." Two sentences that never fail to warm my heart.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

{Post 1,543} Grandmother's Flower Garden Update

I have sewn a lot on this beauty the past couple of weeks. Here is what I have finished so far (the blocks on the left are partially pieced). Several need to be attached to the mother ship. The top measures about 60" x 77" right now. I want it large enough to cover the top of my queen-sized bed mattress with enough for a pillow tuck.


In the past few days, I also pieced and machine quilted this baby quilt for one of my AZ grandsons (hi, Samuel!). He was born about 6 weeks early, and I think my thoughts about making him a newborn/baby quilt were derailed at that point. I used the Pajama Quilter's Fern Ziggle pattern to quilt this. I love it.

All the pieces were cut (I had made a queen sized quilt and pillow shams from this same pattern years ago). The red squares were already sewn to the creams, so it was sit and sew. 

It measures about 55" square.


This will be labeled, bound, and washed, then mailed to AZ soon. I have enough of the red fabric for binding.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

{Post 1,542} 4,000-Mile Round Trip

My husband and I just did a whirlwind trip to visit our son and his family in Arizona. I feel like I'm still in the whirlwind. Here are a few pictures from the trip. They don't need much explanation. 

They moved the day we arrived, but we found them anyway!!  I was able to unpack and organize my DIL's kitchen. For some strange reason, that is a process I greatly enjoy doing. Wes stained a storage box organizer my son had built some time ago. I gave my grandson a haircut. Baby to little man in 15 minutes. I remember doing that with my boys. 






I sewed the 4 hours there on the plane and in odd times in the hotel. The 3-hour time difference tore me up. That, and old age!