Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Heaven, I'm in heaven

Yesterday we left Provo, UT where it was 10 degrees. It looked something like this....only darker. This picture was taken the night before.

We drove 10 hours and arrived at my parents home in Mesa, AZ. This morning the sun is shinning and it is so lovely and warm. 

The house is built in a former orange orchard and a lot of the orange trees were kept. Let me tell you, it is heaven to walk out and pick a tree ripened orange. They are so sweet and yummy. I plan on taking several large boxes of oranges to get me through the winter.

Yes, this is paradise found.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How Block Labels Work

I am not sure how to go back and edit an older post. I know there is an edit button for it, but if I edit it and then push the publish post button will it leave it in the same order as published (date wise) or will it move it up to the date I edited it? Still trying to figure this out.

Anyway......Debbie wanted to see how the labels actually work. So I took a picture. Basically you pin the label to the block with the pin going in and out of the hole that is punched. You want to use a longer pin so the label won't slip off the pin. Can you see?

The colors in this block are really better than they look. It was overexposed and after tweeking it the colors are different, but you can see the pin....hopefully.

Stash Report: Week 52

Fabric purchased this week: 13 yds 
Fabric purchased YTD: 105.75 yds

Fabric used this week: 15 yds
Fabric used YTD: 201.5 yds

Total fabric blown out of here: + 95.75 yds

This week I found I had time for quilting. I was able to quilt up a twin size charity quilt. I have a friend who pieces the quilts and then I quilt them. It is quilted with a panto called Fantasia.

Then I cut out my next quilt. It is called Grandmothers Diamond Ring and is from Judy Martin's Creative Pattern book. It consists of hexagons, 60 degree diamonds and equilateral triangles. I was looking for a challenge and I believe that I found one.

I think I actually used more fabric than listed because I kept messing up while cutting, especially on the large hexagons. You would think after almost 30 years of quilting I could read the ruler right. Maybe I can blame it on my eyes or the fact I was up very early. Either one works for me. It always amazes me that a queen size quilt can fit in a very small space such as a shoebox or this case flat.

This year I kept track of the fabric purchased and what project it was for. I also kept track of the fabric used and what project it was for. I thought it was interesting to note that of the 105.75 yards bought I have already used 60 yds. Of those 60 yards 40 yards were used for backings. My stash consists of smaller pieces so when I go to quilt the tops I need to buy the backing. The 13 yards that I bought this week are for backs. One for the Diamond Ring quilt (see above) and one for the Christmas tree quilt. At 50% off I thought it was a good deal.

If you would like to see how others did with their stash check out Judy's blog. It is highly entertaining.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Quilting Year in Review

I wanted to take a look back at the quilts I finished in 2009.
For large quilts I finished:
1. Cabin in the Cotton

2. Buds in a Basket

3. Merry Go Round

4. Scrappy Pineapple

5. Petite Fleurs

For lap quilts I finished:
4 of the same basket quilt

For doll quilt swap I did:
1. Winter Solstice

2. Spring Baskets

3. Mini Merry Go Round

4. Autumn Days

I finished 3 quilt tops that need to be quilted (obviously) and I hope to be able to get them finished in 2010.. I also quilted 20 quilts that were not mine. Some were for charity and some were for friends.  Overall I'd say it was a pretty good year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stash Report: Week 51

Fabric purchased this week: 2.5 yds 
Fabric purchased YTD: 92.75 yds

Fabric used this week: 0 yds
Fabric used YTD: 186.75 yds

Total fabric blown out of here: + 94 yds

I have figured out how I am going to  make my Christmas Trees quilt and realized that I needed more background yardage. When I went back to the store they had just the amount I needed on the bolt. How often does that happen? Usually it is just under what is needed. I know I will add more yardage before the year is out. While visiting with the clerk she indicated all  Christmas fabric was going to be 50% off just after Christmas. They have some wonderful yardage that I want to use as the backing for the tree quilt. But I am really on the plus side for fabric usage.

If you want to see how others are doing check out Judy's blog.

I don't anticipate getting much sewing done in the coming week. I did get Almond Toffee and some Caramels made yesterday. I have a few more presents to pick up tomorrow then I need to think about the real food. Sometimes I wonder if all the work is worth it but I keep reminding myself that if I don't make it special it won't be special.

Have a great week and I really hope you get some happy stitching in.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Gift to my Quilt Buds

I have a quilt group that meets once a week. We have been getting together for over 20 years. There are 14 of us but not all are usually there. We love to sew, chat, laugh, eat, share and in general have a good time. Most of us consider it our therapy time. Every year at Christmas time we trade gifts. They are usually something quilty but not always. We really look forward to it because these are gifts given by people who understand and know what is liked.

This year I decided to give a set of quilt block labels after watching one friend use masking tape on her quilt to indicate row and block number. First in my word processor I made up sets indicating row and block number. I figured that 20 blocks across for each row would be sufficient and then have 20 rows.

I then photocopied the labels onto card stock with each row having a different color. Then I laminated the printed pages.

After cutting out the strips I punched a 5/8" hole (I picked up the puncher at a scrapbooking store) in each label. I had bazillions of those little dots end up all around the house.

Then I cut the strips into individual labels and put them in numerical order and loaded them on a binder ring. Since each set had 400 labels I had to use two of the 2" rings. Rows 1-10 were on one ring and rows 11-20 were on the other.

When they were all done they were so colorful. It really did take a lot of time doing so many sets but luckily DH decided that he would help and I was sooooo grateful.

To see how the labels are used look at this post.

Today was the party and the ladies really loved them, especially the one who had used masking tape. All in all it was a gift that was very well received.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stash Report Week 50

Fabric purchased this week: 0 yds 
Fabric purchased YTD: 90.25 yds

Fabric used this week: 14.5 yds
Fabric used YTD: 186.75 yds

Total fabric blown out of here: + 96.5 yds

I finished my Flowers Forever! It became my obsession for the week. DH thinks I should start doing something about Christmas. Hey, I have two weeks. Why rush it? Anyway I am so glad to finish this top as parts and pieces have been hanging around my sewing room for over two years.

Now I need to machine quilt two charity quilts this week. I am sure they would be greatly appreciated. I also need to get some quilty gifts together. I will explain that later and show what I am up doing. Overall it was a great week for me. On to Christmas......

Want to see how others are doing with their stash? Check out Judy's blog.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Stash Report - Week .....whatever

Fabric purchased this week: 0 yds (Yeah me!)
Fabric purchased YTD: 90.25 yds

Fabric used this week: 7 yds
Fabric used YTD: 172.25 yds

Total fabric blown out of here: + 82 yds

I was able to get the backing for my Triple Irish Chain sewn together. As soon as I quilt up two charity quilts I think that one will go on the machine next.

Since I can't have a post with out any pictures I was able to get my two Christmas quilts hung. One is a small Nativity quilt. One year I made 5 of these. The pattern is from paperpanache. The other one is a Whig Rose quilt. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted. It makes me smile when I see it. I tried to post a link but couldn't get it to work. It is in my webshots in the file called quilts.

Hope everyone has a wonderful stitching week.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Season's Greetings....

About mid-November DH had his hours cut in half. He is a PhD. civil engineer who contracts all of his time with a defense contractor. Our house is paid for, our cars are paid for, and the only debt we have is our Costco AMX card which we use as a checking account and pay it off every month. Hey, if they are going to give me money back I'll take it. With this slash in income DH says it is a great time to see if we can live on what he now makes because that is the amount he planned on retiring on. OK, but does that mean I have to cut my quilt budget in half? This may be painful.

But that is not the reason I am telling you all of this. Today someone hit our car in a parking lot and then left no information. Our insurance has a $500 deductible and the total repair will be about $750. Nice time to be forking out 500 smackers. Speaking of which I would love to smack the other driver. Not really, but I can dream can't I?

Sometimes a girl just needs to sew

I have spent the last several days prepping the applique pieces. I do the spray starch method and then sew them down by machine. I admit it, I have a personal relationship with my machine. When we don't get to spend anytime together I get cranky, very cranky. I really think my Bernina 1230 is my BFF. She has never done my wrong. Just some dusting, oiling and she keeps humming along. Today I hit my limit. I needed some sewing time. So I sat down and started piecing on the sashing. I need 105 of the square in a square. I figure that if I do 10 a day when I am finished with the applique the sashing will be ready. I now have 20 done.

The other great news is that I finished all of the applique prep....except for the border but that can wait awhile. I was able to glue up one block. I didn't sew any on it but I did eight of the flowers that have multiple circles on them. I have another set of eight to do and then the four center  flowers. Then I will start sewing on the block. Boy it sure did feel good to have some one on one time with my sewing machine. Ahhhhhhhh.