Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Your Fabric Or Your Life!

When a mugger asked Jack Benny, "Your money or your life!," Benny replied, "I'm thinking, I'm thinking!"
And so it went this past weekend for me. On early Friday morning, I traveled the hour-long drive up north to Keepsake Quilting's retail store for their Fat Quarter Sale. I forgot the camera at home but I took these pictures later. This is what my rear passenger-side tire looked like after the blowout!

So I say it was a case of "Your fabric or your life!" The tire blew out with a force that rocked my big heavy car but I just held on and drove until there appeared a safe place to pull over on Route 11.

I called home using the cell phone of a kind landscaper working at a nearby home and Felix and Matthew were there within 15 minutes! I was so blessed; once to be okay, twice to be rescued, thrice that the weather was sunny and mild!
As for the fabric, yes these Mothership sale pretties came home with me unscathed, LOL!

There are a few repeats, especially of the reds, which I love!

I spent some time noodling around with some old trimmings that were off of the backing of last year's quilt show boutique raffle quilt. This was the front of that quilt, a simple rail fence.

The backing was just odd green fat quarters sewn together. The backing was way oversized, so the trimmings were wide strips.

They are perfectly good fabric! Since I wanted to make up some "cat pads" for the shelter that helped me get my feral kittens spayed/neutered, I figured that this would be a good use for the strips of greens. Here are the first two that I made.

They are about 16" X 20" and I used high loft polyester batting scraps held temporarily in place with June Tailor basting spray.

I used up tiny batting scraps this way!

The shelter uses these as a pad inside the cat carriers where a cat may need to be for an hour or so during transport to and from the clinic and waiting to be seen by the veterinarian. The poly is perfect for easy wash and wear, LOL!

These are not bound, just the inside-out birthing envelope method and they are great practice quilting too.
In addition to those, I did a "people" quilt, too, that I'm proud of for the quilting that I did on my old trusty circa 1949 White sewing machine.

 Here I sewed on the binding above.

This is a nice throw-sized quilt made from a couple of charm packs by Moda's Kansas Troubles Favorites II.
I'm in love with the tea-bag tans in this collection!

My quilting is still a little herky-jerky as I go but it is improving and this is soooooooo much larger than my potholders, LOL!

The two borders and the binding came from my stash and the binding fabric thrilled me because it matched so well!

Those were nice beefy cottons by Marcus Brothers, and I put a well washed/dried Joann's sale flannel on the back for the extra cuddle factor.

I also did a few of my signature, imported from Canada catnip, mice for the shelter, too. Those shelter cats demand the very best, right?

Happy quilting!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Strings

This pretty little unassuming building is my favorite Friday night restaurant in Laconia, New Hampshire!

It is The Water Street Cafe and we love their All-You-Can-Eat fried clam plate on Fridays, and yes, those are fresh whole-belly clams!

Felix polished off three portions on clams but I had the 16 ounce prime rib. We loved the side dishes of butternut squash, and red bliss mashed potatoes with the rib, cole slaw and French fries with the clams. They have a full liquor license but we opted for iced tea this time. Our total was $47 before the tip and the service was excellent. We can't do this all the time but it was a great treat!

On a quilty note, I put together some waste or bonus triangles and made this 12 1/2" square. I love it but I have no stinkin' ideas of exactly what I'll do with it yet, LOL!

The high winds and rains have finally subsided enough to allow me to use the clothesline for photographing quilts in the good outdoor light. Here's that two year old UFO all finished except for it's label.

That was back before I was doing my own quilting and this was quilted very professionally by Tracy Szanto of Dreamland Machine Quilting. Tracy did an overall meander that has lots of loft due to the old fashioned 1980's high loft polyester batting.

It's great to use on string quilts because the extra layer of muslin from the foundation piecing gets kinda heavy, but the poly is very lightweight. She did such a super job! Thanks, Tracy!

The backing on this quilt was purple flannel spliced with a section of hummingbirds and bluebirds.

It was difficult to come up with a purple flannel that was not juvenile.

The bird fabric was a cotton woven and thank you Tracy for centering it on the back. I'm so glad to have this one done!

Hope that now in the Spring you are finding satisfaction in a few of your own goals completed.

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

All The Old Familiar Places

One familiar place mentioned in the title was that I spent some time in my own Quilt Cave down cellar to get my 2" greens swap ready to mail out.

These are ten stacks of ten different HWOF (Half Width Of Fabric) 2" strips.

It felt good to get them "bagged & tagged" and in the mail long before the May 15th deadline. If you are interested in playing the swaps, head on over to Quiltville Swap. Each month is a different colorway and you may sign up or not, if you choose to skip a color.

On Monday, I popped into The Golden Gese Quilt shop in Concord, New Hampshire for a little fun with their sit'n'sew group.

I was working on a two year old UFO that is going to be a special gift for a friend.

Then, on Tuesday, which is the new scheduled day for The Sunshine Club at the Alton Senior Center, we had a roaring cheer that went out to Sue. Sue finished her Purple tumblers top!!!!

It is fabulous! Way to go, Sue!

We chomped on chocolate and sewed and laughed with each other.

My purple strings quilt was quilted professionally by Tracy Szanto of Dreamland Machine Quilting. She did a great job with an edge-to-edge medium meander and only charged me $60 for this generous throw of 56"X 74".

The other swaps that come due in the merry month of May are the 4-patches and the HST's with the sub-group of Stashbusters that is called Blockswappers. I hope to do some soon.

Pauline from The Sunshine Club mentioned wanting to do a Jacob's Ladder and I am in!!!! Here are my first scrappy blocks made up from the past swap units that I had on hand.

To celebrate Earth Day I planted a pinch of marigold seeds that I harvested myself last fall. I started them indoors for fear of a late frost. The old saying around here is to wait until traditional Memorial Day, May 30th, to be safe.

Happy quilting!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Although I forgot to bring the camera, I celebrated an outdoor magnificent sunrise service where the birds flew over as we praised, sang, and prayed.

Felix and Matthew celebrated Saint Mattress, LOL! Here is Miss Emma celebrating her tennis ball.

Oh well, to each their own. However you perceive God, I hope you will feel connected to your higher power today.

Wednesday I took some advance notice fliers for the quilt show in October down to Footprints Quilt Shop in East Rochester, New Hampshire.

The owner, Kelly, took my picture for me and cut me a little of the newest Moda Barbara Brackman line, "Ladies' Album."

I just love that tea bag tan with the warm turkey red.

Footprints had a good selection of rolled eighths for .75 cents, so I was able to get ten nice ones for the princely sum of $7.50 and feel very rich!

Being a completely material girl, I was very happy to see my sales loot arrive from Hancock's of Paducah, too.

These above are Sienna & Bordeaux, Red Bobbers by Pam Buda's Pin money line, and a lusciously well-saturated indigo of Paula Barnes' line Tavern Blues by Marcus Brothers.

The bundle of 12 fat quarters is also Pin Money by Pam Buda.

So that's what's new in my life as I work on the 2" green strips swap due for May 15th. Green, indeed! Yeay, Spring!

Happy sewing everybody!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Celebrating Spring!

We enjoyed a wonderful sewing session on Friday at The Sunshine Club in Alton, New Hampshire. It was especially fun to welcome a new member, Mary, who brought a big happy bunch of potholders to work on.

She says she needs 40 done by Christmas, so she's starting early. Way to go, Mary!

Pauline almost has all her collected blocks for the North Barnstead Community Church sampler quilt. One of her friends had made lots of birdhouse blocks for it. They looked so colorful! The block that Pauline is holding up is a spring basket with an embellished ribbon bow attached to it. Nice!

You can see Sue, there, too and she's still working on her purple tumblers. Margorie is crocheting up her baby blanket and managed to wear a coordinating blouse to match!

As for me, I was celebrating Spring by bringing in my Scotland-made Featherweight, "Scottie." It has not been since November that I have machine sewed at The Sunshine Club, as it became too difficult to haul Scottie in and out of the car between the snow drifts and iced in parking lots.

Another small celebration of Spring came when I asked Husband Wonderful, Felix, to please change the blade on my big rotary cutter. Wheeeeeee! Now it glides rather than drags. I keep a small sticker on the back of my blade holder to record the date we changed it last. I usually get 2 or 3 months out of a blade.

As for Palm Sunday, not being very churchy myself, I went to Ellen Peters' Cat's Whiskers Quilting Studio.

I had another full sized 5" tumblers top to be quilted. I had thought that it was going to be too short, so I added two more rows to it. But I must've mis-measured something.

The quilt top was too long for both the backing and the batting! Holy Carp!
But my good teacher, Ellen, did not panic like I did. We scooted in an extra length of batting and we used a seam ripper to remove one row of the tumblers and then everything came out fine!

The quilting took me about two hours. I outlined each tumbler by doing a sort of a "W" pattern across the quilt. You go down, across the bottom of the tumbler and then up the other side and then across the top of the next tumbler. When you do the next row, the order reverses to catch the bottoms that get skipped in the second tumbler in from the row above. It sounds complicated in words but it's really easy when you see it. You just need to pay attention, LOL!
I told Ellen that I might name the quilt, "Rescue Me" because it has so many mistakes in it, LOL!
When things go awry, persevere and it will all be okay in the end.

Happy quilting!

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