Karen on July 10th, 2014

I was fairly busy as always – I’m not one to sit still unless I am reading a book which I think y’all know by now Smile So I accomplished:

A fairly clean sewing room at the beginning of the morning

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100+ hexies cut and stacked and added to the Diamonds are Forever box – as you can see I really need a new rotating 12 x 12 cutting mat badly – I have cuts scored deep into this baby, I don’t even remember how old it is – a must do when we get back from the trip – do you put off buying things like this?

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3 – 16 patch blocks done and added to the wall for the scrappy “postage stamp” quilt

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Found everything that goes with the sock loom and put it aside to have ready for the trip –

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And I bought the pretty tan color yarn today and found a couple balls of blue in the work baskets – the tan color might be too thick but my feet do get very cold in the winter so maybe it will be ok? – I guess I will find out and y’all can laugh along with me as I teach myself how to use a knitting loom to make a pair of socks – yes it is going in the camper with me.

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Tuesday nights efforts at the quilting frame on “Insanity Revisited”

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So what are you up to?

Don’t forget to check out Craftsy now and then – some classes and fabric are always on sale and some new classes have been added.

Continue reading about What Did You Do Yesterday?

Karen on April 6th, 2014

Even with a clamp light on one section of the quilting frame and another soon to come (ordered) I could tell the light wasn’t going to be good enough for the quilting frame – I could tell I would have eye strain so Mike put up two florescent lights underneath the fabric shelves.  I will still have two clamp lights also just in case I need all of them – my eyes are getting older LOL,  what can I say – I have always worn glasses and they get worse in dim light the older you get I think.  The florescent furthest away in the photo I need to trade out the light bulb for a day light bulb the one that is in it now cast a yellowish color it was an old one that we had – the other has a new bulb that I purchased yesterday.

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I was busy yesterday making more templates for the final set of 4 flowers and leaves.  The fabric on the corner of the table is what I will use I think – the green is for the leaves and stem – I might change out the color of the flowers I’m not sure and I will look at it more today.

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The flowers that I will be preparing are on the border in the photo – the one on the right side- of the lower border.  I am linking to Kathy’s Quilts today for Slow Stitch Productivity.

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I have had several questions lately about basting quilts and getting them on the quilting frame.  When you use a 3 roller quilting frame you do not baste your quilt – I have a tutorial on the side bar that shows how I load a quilt on to my quilting frame so you can see how it is done if you want look.  It is similar I believe to how you use a long arm frame but I’m not sure how close it is to how you do a hand quilting 3 roller frame.   I also have a square Grace frame that is on a stand but I haven’t used it in years and it is set aside for now – I had bought it to use in the camper when we had a large camper but then we traded in for a smaller one and I had no room for it – I haven’t found a comfortable spot in the house to use it – maybe one day?  –  you would need to baste your quilt before you use it as I do with the smaller round frame that I have that I quilt baby quilts and table toppers with.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Continue reading about More Lights

Karen on April 5th, 2014

My sewing room was a disaster Friday morning – things tossed here and there hanging over the quilting frame as though it was a clothes rack.  I am working on too many things at once!  I did get the seam ripper out and picked the border off of the quilt – stitched the white sashing to it as I should have done to begin with and got it all put back together again by early afternoon.

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Even the table had begun to overflow as I had been working on the applique over there!  The humidity left overnight as Thursday night when we went to bed it had been 75 in the house – 64 outside – we left the windows open as the storm passed us by and woke up to 42 outside and 66 in the house – what a difference an evening made.  The freezer paper cooperated with lower humidity and progress was made on the applique.  Weather is back to normal now – low 60’s daytime and 40’s at night.  The trees are beginning to leaf out and the dogwood tree is covered in buds but not open.

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The deck dried out ( we didn’t really get much rain) and though it was windy I was able to get a photo of the 3rd border on Granny’s Got Style– the quilt measures 105 inch square (well be when the 4th border gets added on.  Plenty of room in the corners to add some more circles to finish off that area – maybe a scattering?  Not sure.  Maybe a big circle with one on each side of it the same size as the rest are – well play with it and see – shade over one corner but couldn’t be helped.

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Four sets of the blue flowers and leaves are now pinned temporally somewhat in place on Floral Fantasy.  They will be glue basted in place when I get the next set of 4 flowers ready to join them.  Some of you might just baste one flower set at a time or individual pieces and stitch and add more – I like to get them all on and get my spacing right as I “guesstamate” and do not use a plastic overlay.  I will lay this out on my kitchen table and put a cutting mat underneath the fabric so no glue gets on the table and then I glue baste .  While I’m working if I think something needs to be moved it gets moved – if my chalk marks rub off and I need them again I just draw them back on – my applique is not precise.

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Patches of the Crosses is now ready to be rolled down again.  Thursday night I worked for awhile until I finished that area.  I have already washed that ironing board cover once since I got it and it is all stained up again!  next to impossible to get it clean it seems.

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Here it is last night ready to quilt the aqua sashing and begin on the 5th row of the 7 rows of Crosses.  Granny’s Got Style is folded nicely over the edge of the quilting frame once again after the mess it began the day with.  I have too many things on the frame still – I was looking for fabric to use for the back of the red/black checkerboard table topper and found that I have almost enough red but not enough, but I had some of the black print left over too so I will put a strip of black on each side and have a pieced backing.  And yes I never did get around to cleaning under the quilting frame when I was going to at the beginning of the year!

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So how was your Friday? As busy as mine?  LOL – needless to say I was home all day and did not do any yard work.  Have a great weekend – me I will try to be lazy and do nothing but I can tell you right now it isn’t going to happen – I can not sit around and do nothing!! :)

Continue reading about Started with a Mess

Karen on April 3rd, 2014

On Tuesday night I got all my circles appliqued to the 3rd border of the Granny’s Got Style quilt and last night for awhile I worked on sewing the buttons to that border–almost done with it but not quite.

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I did like my massage yesterday afternoon – she worked the muscles over really well in the upper back/shoulder/neck area like I asked for.  I also made an appointment for next week to do it all over again – way too tight and it needs to be worked out so I’m not in pain.  This lady is licensed and has been in business for over 20 years and knows her stuff!  I have gone to her off and on the last 3 –4 years when the neck gets too tight from all this quilting.  Think about it – our positions that we hold, and hunched over hand stitching, sewing machines, quilting frames and computers really does a number on our neck and shoulders.  I try to sit straight but I just don’t all the time.

What I mainly worked on yesterday though was prep work for the Floral Fantasy quilt!!  It has been awhile since I worked on this one and really need to get busy on it and finish!  I want to get this one done before I get back to work on the all applique quilt of Love Entwined.  I shopped from my stash for applique fabric and was delighted to so far find every thing I need – well no matter what — I have to – it is my goal this year to shop from the stash unless I really, really have to buy.  Pinned up to the design wall so I can see what colors are used and what will look good for the rest of the border.  I want to finish up the leaf sets for the blue flowers and then get the other flower (4 of them) cut out and pinned in place as well.  The leaf sets look the same for all of them.  I’m not sure what color that flower will be.

This much done – all needle turn applique.

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Started to add the flowers – each side has the same flowers on it– one of two designs – this is what I added so far – these are just pinned to the top – I need to pull the blue flowers a little in so that I can move the green set of leaves higher, they ended up too close to the edge.    I do not do plastic overlay most of the time – I normally just lay it on the table and measure a bit for the center ect and lay it out.  Right now it was just my intention to put in place to see what it would look like – then I will take it off of the design wall and back to my table for glue basting.  At that time I will fiddle with correct placement.  I have three more sets of leaves to make – these are two colors and will have reverse applique in them. (keep in mind seam allowance is added so they are bigger than they will be finished.)

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The leafs with the cutout for the reverse applique for the veins.

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The two colors I am using.

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My little room gets a little cramped at times and yesterday while working on the wall design I knocked my standing lamp that I keep at the quilting frame over and broke it. (it is in one of the photos above as well as the clamping light on the shelf that I talk about)  I have had such trouble with that lamp!  I had to have Mike take the lamp that I had clamped to the corner shelve over to the quilting frame so I could work last night and I ordered two more – this one will get put back to the corner shelf as it is dark in that corner and has to have a light.  The clamp lamps are very hard for me to move – my hands are not real strong and these clamps are very hard to open.  I will have one lamp on each side of the frame so they can stay in place without me moving them and I will have the goose-neck notion holder in the middle.  My arms are long and I can reach what I need and half the time while I am working things just sit on the quilt anyhow – as you can see in the photo – that is from Monday night and they are still sitting there!  I will show the new set up when I get the lights – I think the new ones I ordered are a different color so I will put two the same color on the frame.  I just noticed I need to move the cord so it is not dragging like that – love photos – they show you things you do not notice.

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I have several readers from Chile & the Los Angeles area of the US – I hope the earthquakes did you no damage!

Oh well, I have chatted long enough!  I need to get back to quilting!!

Continue reading about Floral Fantasy

Karen on February 3rd, 2014

So much for the big winter weather storm warning – we had less than an inch of snow yesterday, mixed with ice and rain and sleet!  this is what we ended up with.  Not much – although there is some ice on the trees it is a thin layer and traffic is still moving on the highway out front of us.  Not that we ever have much traffic but it is moving Smile

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The birds feasting

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It was time to move the quilt blocks on the wall to have more room – the plan was to move the cutting table out of the way when I needed to but having it right up next to the wall wasn’t working out well – as normally only two sides of the table is available and it is difficult to cut long pieces on the right side as my arm kept knocking the wall and I don’t want to keep moving the table constantly.  I had to pull it out to get moving on redoing the blocks  on the wall and it got me to thinking –

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Why not move the table in the middle – the two lights combined (one under each of those lower shelves) give me enough light to work and the small table with the ironing board is much easier to move out of the way when needed and gives me three sides of the table with easier access.  I’m going to try it this way for awhile.

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these are the two blocks I did today – arrangement on the wall is changed from what you last saw – still in no particular order – just stuck up there to see what I have.  I do have room for one more going down but the quilt frame will block most of them so that area will be filled in last.

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Yesterday while I was making the two granny blocks I kept on with the leaders and enders and started to put them into four patches and pressed and trimmed the blocks also – I have a lot of “2 inch” blocks in that box but a lot of them were cut rather messy and I am trimming all the blocks to 3 inches square unfinished to get them all the same – I am not the best “cutter” around but they always work in the end!  Maybe that is why I don’t worry about entering shows – I don’t want the stress of perfection!  I find I like working on two sewing machine projects at once – it is such a nice feeling to be using up these scraps!!

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This is going to be a scrappy year!  Well I have a birthday cake to get made this morning – happy 62 to Mike – Melanie will be over later today to help eat it!  Nice to have her closer now.

Continue reading about Winter Weather and Re-Organizing Again!

Karen on January 27th, 2014

Finally I am pretty much finished – I still of course have to iron all those scraps on the ironing board and cut to fit in my boxes – but I have my shelves pretty much organized now.  I need to pick up a couple more photo storage boxes and that is it!!  I am glad to get this all done.

I had seen these pretty boxes at Dollar General the other day so I went back yesterday to pick some up – the larger 2 were $2.50 each and the skinnier one is $1.50 I’m sure all Dollar Generals do not carry all the same things but if you like them you might want to check them out – the top closes on the side with a piece of velcro.  They had boxes of larger sizes there as well all pretty like these and prices range from $1.50 to $10.00

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I wanted to use these two boxes for fabric and to put these things in to the boxes that I just bought in above photo.  Needless to say I was sure some of this stuff would get tossed out – would you believe that I found at least 4 wrenches or screwdrivers in here that I didn’t even know I had – I have not a clue what they belong to but I kept them just in case!

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Odd and ends and junk in one – never know if you will need it you know Smile

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Things I know I will use – iron on batting tape, glue stick refills ect. Hand quilting supplies

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Marking tools in another

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Fabric on comic book boards – all of these pieces are at least 1/3 yard to 3 or 4 yards.

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the boxes on the top with the purples/red/pink well be replaced with photo storage boxes this week – someone mentioned that if the box covered with the wrapping paper get wet it might bleed, I hadn’t thought of that.

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These two bolts on the end need to be placed on top of the others at the other end of the shelf and that will leave room for more of the photo boxes.  I will take the lightest colors out of the brown/orange/yellow box (too crowded) and have them share a box with the pinks – just separate stacks.  I have one baby quilt folded on the shelf – that will be going to donation of something – I’m not sure which one – I might be moving that last box that has the black in it to the top shelve as well as it doesn’t quit fit there and is hanging off the end.

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This shelve is the one above the cutting table.  These are all my bought on sale pre-cuts that I have – the two long thin boxes hold what Mike got me at Christmas time from a Craftsy sale – one has Robert Kaufmann 1 yard cuts (14 of them) they shimmer just a little bit and the other box has 50 Free Spirit fat quarters – a variety mix. (these are the boxes they came in, I folded the top back over the box and it all stays folded good in them)

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this shelf above the ironing board/sewing machine area has my scrap boxes and the shelf below it has a variety of fat quarters – one on the right side is a Craftsy sale bundle I got called Russian Traditions ( I have a quilt in mind for it) the others well still get moved into boxes on this shelf but I need to get more boxes!   They will all be separated by color also mixing in with the boxes on the other shelves.  At least these aren’t all tipping over so they can wait.  I have one more box to put on the end of the upper shelf it has my 2 1/2 inch squares in it that I am still going through for the Granny Squares.

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Little labels go in each of these boxes telling me what size squares are in them.

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Nice and neat!!  I do have a small step stool that I use if I need to – but I have long arms and this is a short ceiling room and I’m tall enough that most times I don’t need a stool.

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I’m sure you all are as tired of my organizing as I am :) so glad to get it in order though – it is something I bet most of us have to do now and then.

Continue reading about More Organizing