Saturday, December 28, 2013

{Post 1,293} More Nine-Patch Goodness

Here is what I got put together this AM and a tiny bit yesterday.  I am cutting more squares as I go.  Also cutting side triangles.  I always have so many projects going that my cutting table doesn't have much room for cutting.  I will straighten that all up soon.  

From the top left corner to the end of the triangle in the sewn-together part, this measures about 45".

More company coming tomorrow, some more on Monday, and some leaving Monday.  It will all be back to normal within a week!  I've enjoyed all the guests.  Working on some new normals around the Parker ranchero.

{Post 1,292} Nine-Patch Update

This is a little shot of my nine-patch shirt quilt in process.  I have not sewn for so long!  All the units measure five inches square.  The same blue and cream are used throughout.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

{Post 1,291} Little Project Today

I asked my husband if he would please put up our baby gate brackets today.  They are going to be on the walls at "this" end of the ladder.  He agreed.  Then I got this hairbrained idea to paint the stairwell to match the living room before he put them up.  The gate is essential to my sanity.  Not only is my grandson coming later this month (and he is in the toddler/just learning to walk phase), but I can't relax when we have company with toddlers because I am sure they are going to tumble down the steps to their death.  We opted for wooden strips that are shaped on both edges like a fancy trim.  We painted them to match the walls and drilled holes for the gate bumpers to fit into to give it extra stability.

Here is a very recent picture of the pseudo intellectual.  He is only 9 months old.  He has always looked older than his age:

Wes rigged the ladder in the bottom picture and told me not to bounce around a lot while I did the cutting in along the ceiling edge and in the corners.  The piece of wood is only being held in place by the ladder.  There was not a whole lot of incline.  But the drop would only be about 12 feet.

I went out a couple ladder rungs, but then I couldn't do it.  You know how you hear people say "don't look down" when they are trying to get someone down from a height?  I looked down!  I froze.  I was the only one upstairs.  I literally could not move.  So I sweetly asked my dear husband to do the cutting in.  Here it is when he was finished.  You can see the color better here.

The back wall is two stories high.  That is NOT the same ladder as in the top pictures.  So I found our extension handle for the roller and away I went.  The top picture is the finished product.  I LOVE this color.

Now I'm off to paint the inside of my soon-to-move-in-with-us daughter's closet and wallbed cubby.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

{Post 1,290} Quilt Finished ~ Buckeye Queen

Here is Buckeye Queen.  I like this sooo much.  It's a large throw size.  I made it for a friend who has been such an encouragement to me.  Hope she likes it!  It's washed and dried and ready for delivery.

In honor of the quilt, I made buckeyes this AM.  They are peanut butter, confectioner's sugar and graham cracker crumbs mixed then shaped and frozen, then dipped in milk chocolate.  What's not to like?

Since I was going to be in the kitchen so long, I made a couple batches of these as well.

Monday, December 2, 2013

{Post 1,289} Secret Project

I have a large secret project that I finished the machine quilting on tonight.  Email me for the URL if you don't have it.

{Post 1,288} Little Quilt Finished ~ Big Quilt Started

This is a pattern from a magazine.  I don't remember which one off the top of my head.  I made and quilted it for a customer.  This is the first time I did the swirly stitching you see in the snowman.  I broke 4 needles.  I think the problem was with the invisible thread, not the machine.  So frustrating.

But now the sleeve is in place, and it is finished.  Will be mailed in the AM.  It's about 16" x 20".  Just a guess.

I also started machine quilting a large quilt on my HandiQuilter.  It's going great, but it's a Christmas surprise.  I'll post some pics on my secret blog when I have them.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

{Post 1,287} Mantle 2013

If you've been reading very long, you know I recently painted the bricks around my fireplace.  I could barely wait for time to decorate for Christmas.  Here is my 2013 mantle.  I just finished moving the garland up on the top of it instead of hanging down in front and ADDED WHITE LIGHTS.  I love it.

Here's last year:

{Post 1,286} Christmas Decorations...Something New

Some new outdoor decorations.  Our front door is recessed.  I have had these lighted snowflakes for years and never had a good place to put them.  Here is Rachel (who I've had even longer than the snowflakes) modeling our new front door look.  I like how the colored lights are reflected in the side lights of the front door as well.

{Post 1,285} Turkeys

I love our Good News Club on Tuesdays.  Last week we were talking about our upcoming Thanksgiving week club.  I promised each of the kids I would bring them a turkey if they would come.  A lot of the kids skip that week because they are going out of town for the holiday.  Here are the turkeys I made them.

They are a double-stuffed Oreo dipped in almond bark, then edible eyeballs and a piece of candy corn for the beak.  The "feathers" are stuck in just as the almond bark is almost hard.  I waited too long on one batch and nearly smashed the point of the candy corn into oblivion.  I hope they like them.  Sugar dunked in sugar and decorated with sugar.  What is not to like?

Monday, November 18, 2013

{Post 1,284} Christmas Ornaments

Here are some ornaments I made tonight to sell at a Christian bookstore in town.  I am making 20 of them.  Mostly finished!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

{Post 1,283} Found It!!

My new BFF, Christine, found the pattern for me!  Glory day!  I know what I'll be working on as soon as my other Christmas projects are finished.

Here's the link for the pattern block I showed on the last post:

I saw one other pattern in the same block pattern but a different size.  But, honestly, their directions were so difficult to follow.  I couldn't even imagine changing the block size.  This one is nice and easy.

Monday, November 11, 2013

{Post 1,282} Block Instructions, Please!

Years ago I started the above blocks for a Christmas quilt.  I made two and lost the directions.  I believe I printed them off a web site (maybe AP & Q).  This is a 12-inch block.  It had a snowman motif in the center in the original instructions.  Does anyone have these or know where I can get them?

Friday, November 8, 2013

{Post 1,281} A Little of This...

...and a little of that...and a teeny tiny bit of something else.

This is the sewing I've been up to the past couple of days.  

I found a few bags of odd-sized HSTs amongst my sewing supplies.  I had seen the top quilt in a picture of mini quilts.  Yes--I am still making some for my sewing room wall.  Will they ever be hung is the question.  Since I had all the HSTs already sewn, that mini quilt was sewn up in a jiffy.  It will eventually have a small border.

Pinterest is to blame for the next two blocks.  A slew of my HSTs were 2-1/4" square...then I happened upon a large stack of ones that were 2-1/2" square, so I trimmed them down to add to the mix.

The last teeny tiny quilt is a tree ornament that measures 2-1/2" square (notice how large the thread looks).  I made a set of 3 for a friend for Christmas (all in different purples--her favorite color) and am wondering what to add for a hanger.  They are paper pieced.

Now I'm going to pin sets of 22 HSTs together to see how many blocks I can make with what I have already of the second quilt down.  How would you set these very pointy blocks?  I don't want to set them side by side as the points will touch each other and add even more thickness to a block that is already loaded with crowded intersections.  All ideas welcome.  I have one, naturally, but want to see what you all suggest.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

{Post 1,280} Snowman Hanging for Sale on Etsy

This wittle fella got sewn today and is in my Etsy shop.  ShelbyStitcher is my store.  It is 14-1/2" x 24-1/2".  It's a top, not a quilt.

Monday, November 4, 2013

{Post 1,279} Finished Chest of Drawers

Here is the finished chest of drawers.  These are the original handles.  I used left over wall paint to paint the drawers.  The wicker-looking finish of the drawer fronts sorta scared me, but I guess once one paints brick, the sky is the limit.  I was really careful to avoid drips.  The parts of the chest I did not paint match the trim paint and the closet doors (to the left in the room) really well.  Definitely a good $30 investment.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

{Post 1,278} Project of the Day

Project of the day is upgrading a chest of drawers I bought yesterday.  We are giving Isaac's room an update, and he has never had a chest of drawers.  

This was cream with mint green drawer fronts when I started.  I am looking for different drawer hardware as this is hard to grab.

All drawers are painted now.  Off to get stuff to line them and possibly new drawer pulls.  Finished picture later.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

{Post 1,277} Nothing on This Blog

I am all in on a secret project I am working on.  Check it out on my secret blog.  If you need the URL, email me at

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

{Post 1,276} Quilts for Sale

These 3 quilts were listed by me on eBay this AM.  Check them out if you'd like to help feed the hungry children of Shelby.  :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

{Post 1,275} Two Long-Term Projects Finished


This quilt is washed and dried, and ready for the next time we see Emily.

Here is the finally finished living room.  The new quilt is on a new hanger (a decorative curtain rod with faceted glass finials on the ends).  The quilt measures about 44" square.  Wes is going to trim down the weighted bar in the bottom sleeve.  Patience, patience!

Our fireplace works like new since it's been cleaned, the screen has been cleaned, and it looks mah-vel-ous!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

{Post 1,274} Four Pics of Finished Machine Quilting

The machine quilting is finished.  The binding is sewn end-to-end and ironed in half.  Tomorrow I will try to trim the top and put the binding on.  I am going to sew it to the back by machine (it is a bed quilt after all), so there is a good chance I could get it finished tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

{Post 1,273} Adding Batting

I am a little over halfway with adding the extra batting.  Since this has been such a time-heavy project ALREADY, I want to do this just right.  The top and backing fabrics are so thin...I didn't want to chance a bumpy seam being highlighted and ruining the look of the quilt.  So I am meticulously hand stitching the thin batting (strong resemblance to cobwebs) so that there is no bump.  I find I have to take frequent breaks as this is very hard on my shoulder and elbow for some reason.

I am doing about 3 inches of stitches (about 3/8" apart) then tying a knot, just for some added stability.

Monday, October 21, 2013

{Post 1,272} Emily's Quilt...Machine Quilting

Emily's quilt is well underway.  I just realized today that the batting is about 22" too short.  So I got a smaller package and will work on that some tomorrow.  That is going to add a lot of time to getting this finished, but such is life.

I am quilting a large wonky feathers pattern all over.  So far, so good.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

{Post 1,271} 4:30 PM Green Update

The new look (well, except for the fireplace logs and screen!  I like it!!  I will probably post one more pic of everything back in its place.  I am going to paint the inside of the fireplace yet.  I got two walls finished with trimming and rolling and am going to keep going!  Rachel is preparing the walls by wiping them down and taping.  I'm spackling, sanding, trimming, and rolling.  Teamwork rules!!

{Post 1,270} 1:40 PM Bricks

Now to start on the walls on both sides...and beyond!

{Post 1,269} Progress at 10:45 AM

This is going so much faster than the primer!  In the latest progress shot (the second one), I have everything under the mantle painted.  That does not include the hearth.  That's a sitting down job, and I won't easily recover from it.  My ancient hip bones can't take the sitting down for long.  I'll just paint as fast as I can.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

{Post 1,267} Fireplace Progress At Noon

This project has been a humdinger.  Moving along v-e-r-y slowly, but it is getting done.  Decided this morning to paint the inside of the fireplace with heat-resistant paint while I have the logs out and all.  Will also clean the gas-log fire tube.  It has a lot of sand around it, so I'll clean it gently and vacuum it.  Hopefully if we use it ONCE this winter, it will fire better.  

I am doing laundry today, watching two children, and have to leave in 90 minutes for Good News Club, so my time is limited on this project.  But so far, so good.

I've surprisingly had a lot of questions about doing this from readers that have lurked heretofore.  How funny!

There was much to read online about "how" to paint a fire place or interior brick.  I was wondering how it would go for me because I chose the least aggressive approach.

Here's what I emailed a reader this AM:  I have changed my perspective on things.  I used to be go, go, go until it’s finished (which I paid for later with aching muscles and joints, etc.).  Last night I probably kept it up longer than I should have, but I wanted to work until a certain time.  I still left time enough for clean-up of brush, etc.  This is a very long-term project.  The color I’ll be painting the fireplace and rest of the room is a new one for the room.  It is also the color of our foyer, hallway, area going down steps, and part of the kitchen.  But I realized last night that I don’t need to keep going until all of that is finished.  I can just do the fireplace and living room.  There are no continuous walls between there and any other part of the house.  Then I can tackle the other rooms one section at a time.  I hope I can keep to that mindset.  This is a huge job, and no one else is going to be helping, unless I can rope my daughter, Rachel, into wielding a brush soon.  We’ll see.

On the positive side, I was unsure if what I was doing was going to work.  I had read so many different approaches to doing this.  I just scrubbed the bricks with a dry scrub brush, paying special attention to the top “ledge” of each brick.  I brushed off a ton of sandy debris (probably brick and mortar crumbles from over 40 years).  I am using the cheapest primer I could find, and it seems to be covering and sticking extremely well.  In fact, I don’t think I’m going to need to use another coat of primer, and one coat of paint should be fine!

Well, it's back to the paintbrush for me!  Going to get in another good hour of work at least.  TTFN!