WIP’s lots of works in progress!

 

Well hello followers!  This post brings good health.  Yes that’s right.  I am feeling more normal, but still have a ways to go.  In the recent past my hobby suffered much.  All my energy had to be focused on bare minimums of bathing, working, and cooking, with much sighs and saying to myself….I think I can.

The last two weekends I have managed three jelly roll race quilts, and during my work week, I pulled off one more baby quilt top.  Due to the grandmother of the recipient of this quilt reading this blog, I will show pictures after I have gifted.

Last Thursday, I took the day off and went to my local longarmer.  I do not usually go this route, but I have good momentum and don’t want Fmq to slow me down.  I took a jelly roll quilt and my velvet squares quilt top to be sandwiched and quilted.  Monday I got a call that she had already finished.  Usually I have a three week wait.

So tonight I am binding the jelly roll race and am halfway done hand stitching.  Tomorrow I plan to sandwich the secret quilt and start quilting on it.  I am also going to start batting shopping as my roll may have enough to finish a few more.  I always wait until it is 50 percent off.

My list of whips:

 

I have not not worked much on my leader ender.  The postage sheet quilt I am giving an interfacing demonstration next week to our local charity sewing group and using it as part of the demonstration..  I think I am going to look into wool for the batting.  Work is piling up at my machine and it feels so good!

Oajra Quilt Top

Oajra (pronounced OHAHJRAH) is an anagram I made up today while figuring out what to call the photo of my latest quilt top.  It stands for “On A Jelly Roll Again”.  Here it is, with one weeks time and I have made three quilt tops.  My health is making me smile again.  Feeling good transcends into my hobby flourishing as you can see.

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The two quilts below were dropped off at the longarmers to be made into a quilt sandwich.

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This week, I have realized I need my eye glasses with me at all times.  I do not like wearing them while its hot because they make me sweat and pinch the top of my nose, and the elm allergen count right now has aggravated this girl’s nose with fits of sneezing in the morning and in the evening when the pollen counts are highest.  I am ready for rain.  In lieu of needing glasses at hand, I made a new quilted eye glass case.

And speaking of trees, for the past three years each August we have had a tree problem.  Three years ago, it was due to a neighbors tree that had died in the drought of 2011 and a big August thunderstorm came and lasted about 30 minutes causing a dead tree to break.  The limb that broke hung over our house as a widow maker branch weighing who knows how much for months until said neighbor paid to have it removed.  Last August our largest silver leaf poplar fell.  If someone would have cut this tree down they could not have laid it down any better than mother nature did.  It missed the power lines, the shed and all three fences.  As no surprise this tree had hollowed out over the years.  Three adults could barely hold hands circling the base of this tree….it was huge.  I was a tad sad when it fell.  It provided shade and compost with its leaves, and homes for the bats and birds.

On August 17th of this year, the silver leaf poplar on the property line decided to fall.  This year we have had a lot of rain.  This tree had leaned for the full 23 plus years that I have lived here, and just a week before wished I would have taken a measurement to see how far the tree was from the fence at it’s closest spot.  Perhaps my subconscious saw the tree leaned a tad more than before, and 4 days later it fell.  It fell into the neighbors yard.  It knocked out their power and took down the chain link fence, but thankfully missed their shed as well as their back porch.  We paid for someone to remove both trees this week.  Here is a picture of my latest dead tree.  I did not measure the tree, but I know I could not have hugged the tree and put my arms all the way around it.  Another sad day, as all the oxygen it has given me through years, took in carbon dioxide and converted to clean air just ended abruptly.

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These two trees died of what I call heart attacks.  Their heart wood started rotting, and the gasses from decay built up inside the tree.  On a hot day, it aggravated these gasses, excited them.  And that pressure in the heart caused the tree to blow out on the weakest side and topple over.  I have two more poplars that need to come down as they I suspect have a similar issue.  The outside of the tree appears perfectly healthy green, no dead limbs, and then all of a sudden they are gone.  Similar to the blood pressure and silent heart attack killer of adults.

The moral of this story is:  Be thankful for now and today, as tomorrow may never come.  My trees have been teaching me this lesson, am I listening?

 

On a Jelly Roll

Drum roll please!  Yesterday was National Sew a Jelly Roll Day, and I was a participant.  A very satisfying, easy sew day.  You can read and see more about that here.

So today I unstacked my scrap filled totes and boxes, and decided to take my own advice and sew another jelly roll today.  This was a home made jelly roll with scrappy goodness.  I received a bunch of free fabric a while back from my boss’s wife.  There were lots of oranges so I decided to make that color the anchor point and add some other coordinating colors to this one.  Very scrappy and it says to me “I am a happy quilt, full of sunshine”.

For years I never understood why anyone wanted to make one of these quilts with all it’s simplicity, it never really called my name.  And then I made one, and it was a satisfying sew session.  I encourage all to make one of these.  We have a quilting duty, to keep quilting alive and if that means do something we really don’t want to, chances are, you will end up enjoying the process and the final result.

Since I am on a roll, this week, with this being my second quilt top in two days, I am feeling a Jelly Drum Roll.

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Thanks for stopping by to have a look!

Sew a Jelly Roll day!

Yesterday was National Sew a Jelly Roll Day!  This should be an observed holiday!  Easy, no-nonsense sewing for about 3 hours.

I have three co-workers that are expecting babies.  I have three pink jelly rolls and one blue one.  All of these jelly rolls were made from binding and scraps from my stash.  I even cut up the smaller less than a yard cuts about a year ago to make room for some free fabric that was given to me.  I rolled the 2 1/2 inch strips after separating them into blues, pinks, and I think I even have an orange one.  So, by sewing the blue one, one of my coworkers is bound to have a boy right?  Odds are 50/50.

These jelly rolls are made from my stash.  This process turned out 4 rolls many moons ago, just waiting to be made for someone.

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I like the ufo fabric in the center as it gives this movement!  A great way to spend an afternoon!

I probably should have worked on my jelly roll wrong quilt pictured below, as I still have a bit of quilting to do.  I have renamed that quilt “Just Smurfy” as the word smurfy used by the smurfs can have a meaning of derogatory or wonderful.  For any of you who grew up watching the smurfs you know exactly what I am talking about.  And life events lately can sum up the word Smurfy just beautifully!

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Since I may have a change of hitting the boy or girl target by 50%, perhaps I should nail it with another 50% and sew one of the pink ones for a 66% probability of being right twice?!.  Probably not today, but soon.

Have a great weekend!

Riding the Kitten Express

In Texas, our summer has been almost non-existant.  We had a very long spring, with lots of rain in the summer months.  Normally in August you pray for rain and are done mowing the grass in late June because everything turns brown and dries up from lack of water.  You can easily twist an ankle with the crevices that open up, but not this year.  Spring lasted and lasted and lasted.  Temperature low, dewy grass, an uncharacteristic summer for my region of Texas.

This past week things have finally dried up and the grasses have turned to straw.  So what comes with a long spring?  Lots of the bird and the bees.  I have three female cats that I keep around because they are good mousers and there are known rats in this neighborhood and they have even been known to kill and squirrel, very good little huntresses.  This long spring, cause much ruckus in August, as I have three batches of kittens born, one batch on the second (the numbers are unknown as they are living outside in the hollowed out tree, I think there are two or three), and then the oldest cat had one.  Previously we thought she had stolen one from the other mama cat, but that kitten was hers.  We brought her in with the litter of one.  And then after these kittens were born our third female had 7 one died.  These kittens are so tiny, but full of vim and vigor.  They are three weeks old and fight and play, very advanced in their kitten wisdom.  Usually this does not happen until week 4.

So, this week, could not find one kitten in the house and as small as they are, there are oodles of places to hide.  We finally found them all in a priority mail box.  I dumped them out, 7 were cozy inside, all “dog” piled in.  Moments like these are what it is all about.  Slowing down to get a good inhale of our long spring.  Anyone want a kitten?

I told my mom just yesterday I know the perfect place for them.  I would have to travel more than 600 miles to deliver them and the drive would be long.  I know my Aunt loves kitties, my uncle would be happy for my aunt and laugh at whatever demise they would suffer from (the kittens that is).  So Aunt (and Uncle), would you like some Kitten Express.  When they are old enough I can feed them peanut butter and put them in a box and drive and take a mini vacation, just me, showing up at your door with a breath of Texas spring!  Whadya say?

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Every quilter should have a cat.  A great companion at the ironing board, or at the foot pedal, just waiting for a piece of string to move or not move for the attack to ensue.  Cat’s are perfect beings and are low maintenance.  If you have a high maintenance cat, you are doing something wrong, LOL.

The weekend is upon us.  And in store for my other blog, I will be making baked apples.  So please check back soon for a recipe on apples.  Have a great weekend!

Postage Sheet Quilt

Boy howdy!  I am on the final strips for this monster squared to the nth power.  I have made three sides of corners stones.  Here is the interfacing strip piecing firming up those vintage sheets as well as getting an accurate grid.

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After trimming these down, they are easily sewn to the perimeter of the quilt, placing this strip of squares on point making them appear they are floating while cornering two corners of the quilt.  This strip as well as another pink sashing all the way around is all I lack from having this baby ready to sandwich.

I am debating using my good cotton batting or taking this to the longarmers and having them use their poly batting.  The longevity of the quilt is affected by poly batting.  It gives a quilt great puff and lift, but at the same time through the years acts as an abrasive to the cotton on top slowing scrubbing it away.  I always thought my older quilts were oxidizing, but oxidation is something that happens on old quilts.  I recently read an article by Bonnie Hunter who explained my phenomenon best.  On the referenced article above, if you scroll down to the “T” block quilt, she starts talking about the use of polyester threads and batting.  This explains much for me.   Since most of these fabrics are poly blend and I plan on using a poly blend vintage sheet for the backing as well, I am on the fence about batting.

Here is the floating cornerstone.

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And here is a closeup.

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Sorry ’bout the wrinkly appearance.  Notice how the interfacing part is not wrinkled?  This is another reason to use this stuff, you only have to iron it once!

While sewing the last strip sets for the postage sheet quilt, I have also been sewing on my tumblers leader/ender.  I actually counted how many pieces I have cut which are all sewn now in pairs or quads.  I have lost count of how many I sewed this past weekend.  I have 596 cut.  The quilt will probably by about 24 tumblers by 24.  That means I will be digging in my stash again and fishing out suitable prints, plaids, neutrals, and solids to make up the extra 350 blocks.

This is what I did get accomplished last weekend on the leader ender project, as the pieced blocks are sewn into a 4 tumbler strip set.  This tumbler thing is growing on me.  And I am not out any extra time for its creation as I always leave a pair of tumblers under my sewing machine foot (and getting my stash used to boot).  As I piece a part of the quilt above, I start sewing another tumbler.  The thread savings is fantastic as you are putting your thread tails to use instead of cutting them away and discarding them.

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Next post this weekend is apple pie on my other blog, the cook book project.  And stay tuned as next weekend I aim to have the postage sheet quilt top completed and pictures posted.  Have fun with your projects and explore all your options!  🙂

 

Field of Cotton, a bale of quilts

This is the time of year in the south you start seeing snow in the fields.  Cotton is a big crop and this year with all the rains, the cotton bloomed until two weeks ago.  I don’t ever recall such a long cotton blooming season and I do not know if the crop will be a bumper crop or a poor one.  However, normally you do not start seeing cotton until later in September and then as the stalks die off in October, snow appears with nice clumps of cotton balls.

As I drive by this fields each day I wonder to myself how many quilts are waiting to be sewn in that field?  So I researched my question.  Even though it never defined how much per field as they vary in size and bushels per acre, there is a definition per Bale.  Raw cotton is picked and a huge mass of rectangle is dumped and spray painted with a lot number waiting for it to be processed at the gin.  After it is cleaned, it is baled.  A cotton bale yields the following:

60391367

215 Jeans
249 Bed Sheets
409 Men’s Sport Shirts
690 Terry Bath Towels
765 Men’s Dress Shirts
1,217 Men’s T-Shirts
1,256 Pillowcases
2,104 Boxer Shorts
2,419 Men’s Briefs
3,085 Diapers
4,321 Mid-Calf Socks
6,436 Women’s Knit Briefs
21,960 Women’s Handkerchiefs
313,600 $100 Bills

Incidentally one bale of cotton weights 480 pounds.

Interesting how many $100 bills can be made!  How many quilts has not been answered but, the yardage for bed sheets is probably a clue.  I wonder how many cotton balls pictured below I will actually touch after it has been combed, cleaned, and processed into cloth or batting or even clothing that I wear.

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So next time you pet some fabric and sew a project that uses cotton, think about how far it came.  It was seed, planted, nourished by the sun and rain and soil, grown, bloomed, picked, cleaned, combed, processed, shipped and made into _________________ fill in the blank and shipped again and again.  I wonder how many people actually have to move it around and how many times before it is delivered into my sack at the cloth store?  No wonder it can cost $12 per yard!

A QUILTY Caturday

Holiday weekends for me involve more sewing than most weekends.  Most two day weekends are dedicated to cleaning, cooking, mowing, and whatever else can be fit in.  So this extra day has me excited!

I have counted my seams once again.  Even though I have worked overtime this past week, I have managed to complete just as many seams as last week, 53 to be exact.  I am really liking my leaders/enders piecing as I finish a seam, I can stitch two tumbler blocks together.  Sewing 2 quilts at once, which is saving time on cutting thread tails as well as getting more done with very little effort.

The postage stamp quilt has all 4 sides stitched with squares as well as a solid trip around that world.  I am now working on a very small strip/corner stone for all 4 sides but two corners.  I hope to have this revealed on Monday.  I will be making another pie this weekend and have determined it to be american as apple pie.  You will be able to read all about that post soon visiting my other blog TheCookBookProject.

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And now about Caturday…….Today is Saturday and I have cats.  Cats self propagate, but I must share a weird story with you.  Right now I have a momma cat outside and by counting boob-age probably has 3 kittens.  The indoor cat has had SIX…..egads!!!! and they are just 2 weeks old.  I have an older momma cat that currently does not have a litter, but her need to be a momma cat is very strong.  So strong in fact, she stole the outside momma cat’s kitten.  In the rhelm of time, this kitten is probably around a month old.  So we allowed her in and brought this baby kitten in with her.  Oh she sits there so proud and cleans that kitten and has fully adopted it.  This cat has now been inside with her, trying to suckle her and by golly somehow it is managing nutrition.  I checked this kitten repeatedly to make sure it was not dehydrated.  This cat is actually getting milk from this adopted mother.  How in the world is this possible?  She will not let the other momma cat who is inside even glance at this kitten without trying to raise a ruckus and protect it’s adoptee.  Has anyone ever heard of this caturday phenomenon?  Can milk production just begin without the pregnancy hormones?  Is this feat a miracle?  In all the cats I have had in my lifetime, this is a first.  And this cat’s wisdom has taught me something.  The jury is still out on what exactly that is.

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