The Brick Road of 2019

We are not psychic.  We never know what is coming around the corner.  We all have good intentions.  Our stash represents our quilting dreams and intentions.  Loaded up on caffeine and sugar in our society makes it hard to focus on just one thing (children have certainly taught us a thing or to about sugar eh?).  So we start a new project with new excitement and new attitude with the best of intentions.  We resolve to be better at whatever it is we want to resolve once and for all.

As a blogger, who wants traffic to frequent this site, I blow and go, switching gears faster than my hands can work.  My processor speed is still full throttle, but the body does not keep that pace.  Pinterest does not help, rather is a time succubus that I use for more than reference.  Like attending a quilt show every day with something I have never seen before.  Pinterest interferes with quilting time.  Resolving to use it as a reference, not something to scroll through daily.

In blogland, it makes me smile to read about other bloggers UFOs and their completion.  I smile at the obtainable goals set.  With the new year freshly underway, blogland is full of people wanting to purge their UFO piles, to organize, to simplify.

I usually don’t have a quilt plan, improv seems to be the way I lean.  But this year I am resolving to tame the stash.  In order for this to happen, the scraps will have to be tamed first.  This will free up one tote.  That tote will be where I start sewing from first.  I will then venture out after I bankrupt what I can from there.  My stash is generous, but many have far more than I.  I do not want to go to “paralyzed by the stash” land.

So I am resolving the situation this new year by going through my scrap tote and purging what I deem to be trash.  There was a point I was keeping crumbs.  NOT ANYMORE.  Not once in the last 10 years have I cared to touch this crumby part of my stash.  Gone, sianara, adios, axrrivaderchi.  Kudos to all that utilize to the nth degree.  This no longer fits my plan for fabric and its storage.

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Gone are the scraps of 50/50.  These were pieces I came across while going through my freebie fabrics given to me.  Not keeping, giving to waste management to deploy at the dump.

What remains is an un-homoginized mess of strings?  When I look at the bucket because they are just thrown in, they are wrinkled and not for use within the moment.  Kinda defeats the purpose of the strings if you cannot use them as needed.  So, I am ironing the wrinkles.  Then on the larger strings of 2.5 or greater strips, they are being trimmed to make bricks.  A new Leader Ender project has come about during this re-org.  I have made great progress.  I still have not even made a dent.

I need to formulate a plan on making sure my scraps do not end up an unraveled mess of wrinkled bits.  It will probably involve a clothes drying rack to stay erected in my sewing space all the time.  Currently I only use this while getting my fabrics starched/pressed for mystery quilting.  This is my new plan, and will continue to deploy the plan as I improv along.

Baggies seem to encapsulate the work I have done fine, so you can now define me as a bag lady LOL.

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On the brick road to fabric storage/use success!
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Stacked nice and neatly until I have enough for a gallon storage bag.
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Baggies to the rescue!
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Brick leader ender now a nice straight pile ready for sewing.  With some bonus 2 1/2 inch squares trimmed ready for purpose.
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Bag lady title, here i come!  The amount of space this takes up is a whole lot less, done in the bag lady fashion.

Scraps equal free quilts.  No cost to me and my pocketbook.  In winter it allows the thermostat to be lower, sew even more savings. Scrap quilts are quite the humble experience.  Humble is good, scraps equal simplicity.  It is all good!

This new system will allow me to work smarter not harder.  A lower labor plan sounds wonderful as well, so I am on board one wrinkle in time.

After I obtain tote perfection, I will have to move onto the larger scrap drawer I have which are fat quarters and larger pieces that have no rhyme or reason for how they exist in that drawer.  It will be next in my plan, for now…the tote will keep me busy for quite a while.

May your resolution plan for 2019 be forever and unbroken!

Happy New Year and thanks you for reading my blog!

 

Cluster of Events With Good Fortune

Friday has come and gone.  My son now is officially titled with an associate degree from college.  We had quite a travel to get there, but my parents did not want to drive and my cars as you recall are gimping along.  So, I agreed to drive in downtown Dallas traffic in their automobile.

A few years back my youngest who was just 14 months old when she got sick, was very sick and so for several months, the longest stay was three and a half weeks, we would travel to Children’s Hospital in Dallas sometimes daily.  Either one of us would stay down there during her healing process.  I learned then (scared to death) to  maneuver Dallas traffic in the downtown area.

There were days we would only be 10 minutes away and Woodall Rodgers would be bumper to bumper and those couple of miles traveling under Clyde Warren Park tunnel, would take an hour and a half.  Nerve wracking, but now behind me.  My child forced me to learn something when she was sick.  Among being a nurse for her condition and learning medical procedures I learned the way to get through downtown.  Without those days of illness and mastering the art of driving in that area, I would have missed my son’s graduation or probably figured out the long way to take to avoid driving in that traffic.

Friday was a rainy day, but the rain did hold off for the downtown excursion.  As we finally got onto 35E South (yeah a road with an East in it’s name actually travels south), the rain started.

My father made the comment that he could never drive down here, I assume his butthole was puckered and his knuckles white, to whatever he was choosing the grasp.  The further we got the more relaxed the driving, even though I was still in unfamiliar territory it was just the interstate, pretty much a straight shot to Waco.

My dad also reveled in the gas mileage his car was getting.  In retrospect, the wind was behind our sail and so that is probably the reason for 31 MPG on the way down.  The way back was less by about 4 MPG.

Just as we made our last turn into the apartment complex my Son lived in for the last year and a half, we were rear ended.  My parents car was a Kia Soul, the truck that ran into us was an F250 with some kind of hook knobbies sticking out of the bumper.  She hit us on the driver’s side rear corner.

She admitted fault as her son had dropped his bottle and she reached back to pick it up and in that instant did not see us in time to maneuver a better plan.  Because I had my foot on the brake and was turning, it caused the Kia to be pushed violently in a jerky movement in the driveway of the apartment complex.  I could tell we had been rear ended because of the noise and the jolt of my hair.  The noise was the back glass breaking out of the Kia.  (Yeah away from home, raining, and now no back glass).  My hair is very thick and long.  I assume I could go on a hair diet and loose about 5 lbs if I cut it.  Instead I just twist it up into a bun and put some major hair clips within which does the trick and usually by the end of the day, the hair clips are still in the right spot, maintaining my hair.  But during the wreck the G-force knocked them almost all the way out of my hair.  My neck did hurt in that instant, but it went away.  I can only assume the adrenaline happening was some kind of pain blocker.

My parents both in their 70s seemed physically to only have bruises from their watches jarring either the back of their hand, or their wrist.  My mom’s pinky fingernail was bleeding, not sure how that happened.

So for Friday so far we are in a major wreck, and are awaiting a graduation ceremony to attend.  My sons fraternal grandfather wanted to move him back home on the same day, so for this day it will be an accident, a move, a graduation, rain, quite the cluster of a disorganized mess.

I felt sorry for my son as my ex in-laws were very hard on him.  I no longer wanted to drive in the town of Waco, and he offered to carry me to walmart to get some plastic for the back window and some duct tape.  I also purchased paper towels to wipe the wet car off and a nice pair of scissors.  My parents and I had not eaten, and he also carried me to the local drive in called Sonic to get each of us a hamburger to tide us over.

The accident occurred at 2:00.  Not sure when the officer left but it seemed like forever.  And then dealing with christmas traffic on the streets as well as the store, we did not get back until 3:30.  That time flew by.

When my son and I got back to the apartment, parents now being fed, he was chewed out by my ex in-laws and I quote “I am not sure if college made him smarter, or lazier, as he is not here to move his stuff”.  What they were not understanding is he was helping his other grandparents and me by doing what he did.  I believe he did the right thing, the rest of it was just stuff and totally an agenda can be disrupted by an accident, I mean come on people.

Why would they want to move him on the day he graduates?  I figured it was to get christmas money with the deposit money coming back.  But it should have waited until the weekend.

The idiots that they are even packed up the toilet paper, so you could not use the restroom.  There was food in the fridge, and we all know how expensive groceries are.  Some frozen chicken breasts, but they opted that would go bad and not be any good for the graduation ceremony and travel home.  Since it was only highs in the 40s and now in late afternoon the chicken would have been fine.  They opted to pack and keep the 1/2 eaten box of cereal.  A box of knock of fruity pebbles. ???? Another reason I know I chose better, as they make horrible choices.

This day was reassurance to me repeatedly that I am glad to be disconnected to my ex and his family.  The family talk bad about women in general, and after the separation from the state of marriage, I realize they were masters of disguise.  You see they would flag someone in the family and ride their but about something really unimportant.  As removed as I am from them, I can see it clearly now as they run someone down, because it keeps the family from talking bad about them.  A gang up routine, were the men pick a woman and talk bad about her, run her down.  In essence controlling the rest of the family from saying anything bad about the men.  Strength in numbers and very misbehaved people.  I am still sad for my son as he will have to deal with their mentality.

Instead of them realizing that perhaps that was not the best choice to move on another day, they would not admit that they were in error therefore running my son down, for helping out someone who ACTUALLY needed help.

The cluster of Friday is behind us.  He has graduated.  The pain will subside.  As expected my parents who seemed fine Friday, the ache of the G-force….they are feeling it.  From my shoulders down, I have no pain.  My neck however is very tender.  I have free movement but everything is sore to the touch.  There is the front right side I have no pain and tis fine, I am assuming this is the side my chin and head rotated to for the jarring.  The left side of my throat hurts, but only if I touch it.  If I pick up my youngest child, I feel the muscles in my neck begging me for a different course of action.  I assume I have whiplash.  I am taking aleeve, and will mend.  Tomorrow if my symptoms are worse, I will head to the doc.  But today I am more stiff in the neck than sore.

Yesterday I took it easy and wanted to quilt so bad, but wanted to mend and was afraid to do anything too strenuous.  So I decided to bind my second machined quilt.jrr10

This is now sandwiched and quilted.  Glad I managed to sneak this one in a couple of weeks back for the sandwiching.  Perfect for a day like today.  Mending the body, stitching is somewhat mending eh?  I did hand stitch the binding.  Binding is now finished this afternoon.

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The fabric strips were by Moda and was a collection for a cause that was sale priced at nancysnotions.com for only 17.99.  I snatched that up in a heart beat.  The backing is also from a collection for a cause by the owner of Moda, but of years past that I picked up at a quilt shop when it was closing and purchased that yardage cheap.  The two collections meld wonderfully together.  I did piece the back with the dust rose color which is in the color scheme of things.  This was very inexpensive to make and wonderful to practice stitching on since I am new to my longarm.

Even though Friday was a cluster, I still have Good Fortune!  We all do!  And today I sat down and tried Bonnie Hunter’s method of drawing the line and attempting to get my spare HSTs with that method for the mystery quilt called Good Fortune.  It worked, I do not like the scant seam allowance.  And I am not going to make very many of these.  I was not fond of these in On Ringo Lake.  I thought they took away from the block with too much busy-ness and they were directional for one block and opposite for the next.  Here are mine.  Remember, my blacks are my neutrals and my yellow is my green.  A nice contrast and we will see next week what unfolds for the mystery.

 

I am off to do oodles of laundry.  I am linking up for the Monday Link up of GOOD FORTUNE.  Have you checked out other peoples fabrics and progress?  It is fun to see the masses all going down the same path with such variety of fabrics and colors.  Click here to check those past linkups.

Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!

Amalgamation Complete

The homemade jelly roll of scraps and left overs from other peoples quilts through the years has come together with a few stitches, an amalgamation representing sew many memories.

Jelly Roll Race quilts are fun and quick.  I estimate without binding that this quilt I probably have less than 5 hours in it, including the quilting.

To dissect this quilt visually for me brings back so many memories.  I see part of the

  • Tree of Life,  I see
  • Green Lemonade,  
  • Star Capella,  
  • garlic knot Marinara
  • Baby Booties
  • Butter And Eggs
  • Farm Fresh II
  • My Aunt’s Memory Quilt of preserves made from my Grandpa’s clothes and my Grandma’s fabric.
  • The binding is made from a cheater quilt that was my first free motion experiment, and is now made into a car seat.  I rather like this binding as it is scrappy looking without any extra effort (note to self great use of panels that I have no use for!)
  • I see quilts that have not been quilted yet just ready for the next step in this quilt, the memories are waiting lol.

I highly recommend each time you are at the cutting table.  Cut a strip for your project you are making now, and cut a spare to be tucked away until you have a roll of 40-45 strips, and let the sewing commence.  You do not have to match a thing, scrappy is home around here.  This quilt was meant to be, it is just right for us.  I am glad the little effort I put into it, will go many years or a long way.  I have named this Amalgum, short for amalgamation.

Tomorrow is graduation, my son is graduating from college.  He is my best example of the wonderful child.  A sweet boy, who is now grown into a man.  A lovely girlfriend, and his whole life ahead of him with so many choices.  So far, he has such a level head on his shoulders, he surprises me.  Even  more level headed than me.  He is already making the right choices, and I hope it continues for years.  I am sad, but a whole lot more happy than sad.  I love ya son!

I will try to get some sewing done for Good Fortune, but the thread I ordered for the long arm came in and I hope to do that first.  I have another jelly roll race to quilt up, this one is in pinkish hues and am looking forward to the needle punctures and design to be determined.  Hopefully I will get a bit of stitching done this weekend.

Toodles!  And thank you for reading my blog!

Good Fortune!

It is mystery quilt time!  I would like to thank Bonnie Hunter for going above and beyond and helping us out with another great mystery project.  Thank you Bonnie!  This is something great that I look forward to every year!

Because I have changed my colors I am going slow this year.  The Good Fortune mystery is priority but at the same time is on the back burner.  You are probably wondering how can this make sense?

My long arm is scheduled for delivery and set up on MONDAY!!!!!  I am getting a 20 inch Nolting in lavender.  I have already though of the name of my new machine.  So Monday I have the day off.  I have about 10 quilts to quilt.  (Mom mentioned she has another 10)  It is obvious I will not complete 10 quilts in a day because there is a huge learning curve.  Also, I will be doing all stuff free motion, no computerization (yet).

So Monday I will have a great story and will post for the link up party that Bonnie is hosting.  This is Good Fortune times 2.  I have worked hard with my hobby.  Quilting with a 6 inch throat space on queen size quilts is quite the trapezes muscle work out.  My neck looks like I lift weights and am very fit, but the rest of me is more couch potato, non-athletic physique.

About the name of my quilting machine…..I went to a baby names website.  I was looking for an old fashioned name and found the perfect one.  She will be hailed Ursa.  Yes, named after the little dipper.  Ursa in the constellation scheme of the things translates to bear.  Here at the house we all refer to one another as bears.  I am Momma Bear, and then there is Papa Bear.  My youngest’s name is Tully, so we call her Tully Bear….and so on.  A perfect name for this Teddy bearish family.

My color scheme for the good fortune mystery is different.  My blue is blue, but a lighter shade, orange is cheddar, red is neutrals, neutrals is black, and I think I have some yellow in there somewhere.

With the small pieces for this mystery, I am finding that prints with largeness may not work for the smaller scale.  So I have done a few, and will do a few more, but will not be doing the total count.  The goodness is, the black and neutrals that I sub’d go well together, and in her video about color theory stated contrast is key for this years mystery.

I have quite a variety going on here, using up the small pieces first.  Good to get rid of some of those.  Why some of these fabrics are in about 5 quilts, so let them be gone!  I see UFO fabric.  That is on the back of my Green Lemonade quilt as well as it is incorporated into Garlic Knots Marinara.  Now it is forever in what will become good fortune….huh….that sounds like a fortune cookie to me!

Are you interested in joining in the fun?  It is free and you can find the introductions to colors and clues here.  Free in the quilting realm is priceless!

Have a great weekend!  And thank you for reading my blog.

Postage Sheet Final Post

This fall we have had gobs of rain.  As promised, with a break in the weather, a photo op happened.  This quilt was made from vintage sheets.  The pink fabric was yardage I picked up at the thrift store.  This is a very pastel quilt and turned out soft on the eyes.  This was quilted in the Forget Me Not pattern, true symbolism for those around me who will receive it.  One day I will not be here anymore.  I expect this quilt will last longer than I, hence the pattern I chose the forget me not.  I named this Postage Sheet because it is in the postage stamp design and the vintage sheets used in its making.

The back I used a linen sheet that goes from white to floral which was perfect for this pastel quilt.  At the same estate sale that I purchased the vintage sheet back, they also had matching pillow cases.  When it is upon the bed, it will be a matched set.  Nothing in my house matches as my style is a bit eclectic, but there is a first for everything.

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Math is not my strong suit, it is a suit that frustrates me sometimes.  So instead of doing math with measuring I just set some squares on point and floated that in two corners.  It turned out ok, even without math!postagesheet3

And the back….postagesheet4

And a close up of the florals on the back.postagesheet5

Not a stitch has been sewn this week.  My anxiety is high awaiting my quilting machine.  I just do not want to get in the middle of a project (which I am already) only to delve deeply in my quilting machine learning curve.  I am ready to master yet another quilt task, and just do not want to piece.

I have been enjoying knitting this past week.  I managed to find some round looms at the thrift store for only $3 for the set.  I snagged those up as well as some rake looms which I probably did not need.  I may pass these onto my mother, and if she does not want them, ask her to find a home for them.

My first hat….and now I wish I would have doubled the hat knotting it on each end tucking one into the other.  Ah well, I do like the odd yarn that I chose as it hides my stitches were are pretty imperfect.  I see some mittens to match in my looms near future.

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I also made a scrubby for the kitchen as yarn is was on sale this week.

I managed to make a cranberry pie for the first time in my life.  The recipe I used was from the TV show Andy Griffin.  Those of you who frequent pinterest have probably seen the recipe cards created by Aunt Bea.  The recipe I used was from Otis Campbell.  You may remember him as the town drunk.  Friendly fellow on the grain alcohol made in someone’s still.  This pie had 1/2 c of brandy in it.  I just happened to have some nice brandy that was not getting drank and used it in the pie and then carried this pie to work to feed my coworkers as they are great guinea pigs and give great thumbs up or thumbs down.  I was told it was delicious.  Be looking for the recipe that I tweaked on my other blog the cookbook project.wordpress.com this weekend.  I have an adaptation if you do not care to use booze.

Well, next week it will be Thanksgiving, my my my.  The time has just flown by.  This year is gearing up to come to a close soon.  Have you met all your goals this year?  I have not entirely.  But some goals made is better than none.

I am looking forward to family and cooking, and time to decompress for the important things in life.  After that is all done, I am really looking forward to kicking up my feet and slowing down to my own pace with no time crunches, just time to pass as it does all too quickly.

Happy Trails!  And thank you for reading my blog!

Mystery Quilt Announced!

Bonnie Hunter is graciously designed another mystery quilt.  She announced colors and yardage requirements yesterday.  I started blindly planning for this quilt back in August. I will be deviating from her colors somewhat.  I am going with cheddar for my oranges and blacks for the neutrals.  A skyish blue for blue.  Yellow in place of red, and neutrals for green.  All of these contrast greatly and have already starched/ironed the fabric I know I will be using.  If you are interested in colors and mystery quilt building I highly recommend going to her blog at quiltville.blogspot.com or by clicking this link directly to go to the details of the mystery quilt. This year’s mystery will be different for me.

With the upcomming delivery of my new longarm, I am itching for this process and have lots of tops to finish.  The mystery will be on the back burner ready to start after the reveal.  Because I have deviated to my own color scheme, I want to make sure I like the end result.  Last years On Ringo Lake mystery quilt is still only partially quilted waiting for me to quit being lazy and get going.  It is hard to quilt on a 6 inch throat space.  It really builds up your trapezes muscles, the muscles between your shoulders and your neck.  In much quilting my neck looks like that of a body builder.  (Too bad the rest of me us a gelatinous mess, ha!)

For the neutrals my plan is to go black.  The great thing about planing a quilt like this is photography.  What looks great to the human eye, may not look as great on camera.  Some of these may not make the cut.  These were taken from a layer cake called Harvest Moon.

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For orange I am going cheddar!

For the blue I am going my hue of blue.

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For red I will go yellow.  Will need to pull more from the stash or make a trip to the quilt shop.  I may shop my mothers stash.  🙂

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I Think for the greens I will go neutrals!

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I can’t wait to see how this unfolds!  I am dreaming of a mystery pineapple in blacks with colors in the corners.  I have the larger version of the folded corners ruler and I am finding I really like this ruler.  I can straight cut my smaller pieces of fabric with it as well as snowball the corners.  I have even used this as a binding tool and have emailed Doug Leko the creator of the tool and told him as such.  I am hoping that planted a seed and he teamed up with Bonnie for a dramatic mystery quilt event.  If you are having a hard time ordering this tool, last year I just ordered straight from him at Antler Designs.  This is Doug’s website, and he even signed my receipt and thanked me for my purchase.  Since is he is such a youngster I imagine his inventions as they come will take the quilting industry by storm in the future.  This ruler really makes you work smarter not harder!  For those of you curious about this implement, click here to see how you use it.  Bonnie is also demonstrating the larger version here.  A word of caution.  Using this tool, your 1/4 inch seam allowance needs to be a couple of  threads in so when you fold the fiber over the thread stitching, it will press out to the perfect dimension.  Something I learned during On Ringo Lake, my machine was waaaaaaay off for the seam allowance.  Quite frustrating if you do not know what is going on.  This makes beautiful flying geese without having to draw the line on the fabric then trim, then press.  It skips the tedious step of drawing the line.  The cut is accurate and the seam presses out perfectly to the right dimension.

If you have never followed along on a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, no matter what your experience YOU will LEARN more in a few weeks, than the lifetime you have been doing it!  I promise!  It will improve your piecing and accuracy in all things quilty.  You will get lessons on color and value, and if I am not mistaken there will be an upcoming video where Bonnie and Holly Anne Knight of String and Story discuss switching up the colors and how you know what direction to take.  I am curious about this and you will probably find mention of it here soon.

This week I have rather abandoned the sewing machine.  The temps in the house rose to an uncomfortable level and I refuse to run the AC.  It will be there, and guess what it cooled off just yesterday so I will be back at foot pedaling my way through fabric.  For now I have gotten out my knitting loom and with a hodgepodge of yarn have came a ways on a cuddle blanket.  I am playing with stitches and have attempted a trellis stitch, as well as just a knitting stitch.  I will attempting other stitches and will reveal this work one day when quilty things have slowed down.

So are you participating in this years Mystery Quilt?  I look forward to hearing your comments!  And thank you for reading my blog!

RDP ~HOME

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Aren’t these photos a great inspiration to create a quilt color scheme?  Finding inspiration at HOME!

Expanding vocabulary and todays word is home.  While reading the ragtag daily prmpt today, it immediately made me think of an old country song by Joe Diffie, simply called HOME.

Home means all kinds of different things to different people.  In the objective view of the word, it is where I gravitate from in the mornings and gravitate to in the evenings.  It is comfort and something in a state of chaos.  Home is a job, something that has many chores daily, with no pay.  Home is full of neccessary evils, that procrastination causes pile ups.  Home is where I cherrish my family and their relationships.  Home’s list of honey do’s is staggering.  A house is not neccessarily a home.  A house is a monetary representation of status and clout.  The home part is free of these things.

Home is where I clean.  Home is where I create quilt art.  Home shelters me better than just any ole’ house.  Home is the hearth.  It is the amalgamation of sticks and stones and the hard work keeping their placement.  Home is family and friends, togetherness with invisible bonds that last a lifetime.  Home is memories, Home makes memories.

Home is a thing of the past, present, and future.  Thanks Joe Diffie for a song tbat says HOME so elloquently!

 

 

Fleeking Periwinkle

After reading a daily word prompt blog, and the daily word being fleek, I just had to look up the meaning.  It is slang and means “on point.”. Of all daily prompts, this one is so perfect, a quilters catch phrase this should be!

The periwinkle blocks I have slowly been working with paperless piecing , I now have a nice grouping for a photo op, but not enough for a quilt.  So from this point foward the periwinkle quilt I am working on is formally named Fleeking Periwinkle!  Interested in expanding your vocabulary and writting about it?  You can click here for RDP which stands for Rag Tag Daily Prompt and follow along.  It will drive traffic into your virtual blogspace, win win!

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Wouldn’t it be fun to come up with a new word of the day for others to use in their blog? I am suprised there is no such linky party.  Gotta love the quilty linky parties!

I am a thrift store comber.  Weekly I drop by at least one store to see if there is something that I would use or need.  This week I was lucky enough to find 3/8 inch bias.  Bias of this nature is perfect for making a chenille quilt.  This pink stuff will be turned into a flower motif on a quilt top one of these days.  I cannot remember if I found 5 or 6 rolls. Brand new these sold in the 70s for 6 bucks.  Today If I were to buy this it would cost me closer to 15 for one roll.  And no I did not spend $2 a piece on them, that is still too high considering their age.  A buck each was the magic number. The pattern on the back tells you how many are needed to crochet into a sweater.  Neat concept, but will never do that.

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Not much to write about on the home front.  The days are getting shorter, and signs of autumn are in the leaves.  The dryer is finally fixed.  The tire pressure monitors installed, they now read the correct air pressure.

I suppose I do have some news, I lost a hubcap yesterday.  I heard the pastic lugnut go (2days ago there were only two lugnuts holding on the hubcap) and then the plastic hubcap I am positive it made a noise when it exited the ride.  I will look for it Monday in my commute as I made a mental note of the noise and where I was when it occurred, I was in the boonies before the sun was up.  My car will probably start nickle and diming me as it is now more than 12 years old.  But it beats a car payment.  I always said I would drive it till the wheels fall off, do hubcaps count?

 

 

Dew Point ~ And pressing on a wool mat with starch

SUNSHINE!  They rays are beautiful today.  And it’s about time for mother nature to cooperate on a Saturday!  Still no completed photos of Postage Sheet.  The ground is so spongey that it would make a mess of the quilt let alone tracking in more wetness into the house.  More than 4 weeks of torential rains, it raining every day for the past 2 weeks, this is a much needed respit.  Photos will come.  I need to seek out a photo opp on concrete.

 

Imagine you have a wash rag hanging on the clothes line, and it rains and rains and rains.  Because the volume of water the wash rag can hold, no matter how many inches of rain, it will dry in the same amount of time if it only rained an inch.  The ground is different.  My house is definately different that a wash rag in size and volume.

My home was built during WWII.  It was housing to shelter the United States Air Force Trainees in our little bitty town.  So if you do the math, my house is old, made of wood on a pier and beam foundation.  Because of rations at that time, the center from stud to stud is Greater than 16 inches….close to 20.  Anyway, the wood, as old as it is likes to suck up moisture.  The pier and beam foundation also sucks up water.  Today the temperature in the house vs. outside was significantly different.  So, the moisture level is becoming dew in the house.  Mainly on the floors.  When you walk, your feet are wet if you are barefoot.  If wearing sneakers, they squeek with every step.  This probably happens every morning, but not to this severity.  The floor was just as wet inside as the concrete on the porch outside.  The house reached its dewpoint.  Thankfully it is not raining in my house, as this used to happen at my dad’s shop.  Humid weather, dry cold air mass hitting warmth, it would rain from the ceiling on the prettiest blue sky days.  I suppose it would be called a dense fog at foot level.  The windows and doors are open.  The fans are running even though it is not hot.  Hopefully be the end of the day, enough moisture will burn off for this not to happen again short term.  I refuse to look at the weather forcast.  If the rock is wet, it is raining.  If it is white, it is snowing.

I have put away the jacks chain circles project.  The table I work from is not big enough to work the top and the coming together of the blocks.  It will happen, just not now.

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I have been enjoying a couple blocks worth of stitching each night on the periwinkle blocks.

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If you are interested in this block, it is not hard.  I have a free tutorial on my last post, check that out here.  In the pressing of each 1/4 of the block, the first seam press towards solid.  The next seam press towards the print.  Make sure when you feed the blocks through your machine, the wrong side that is up, the seam should be pressed towards the needle.  The other half of the block, the seam will not fight the feed dogs and will be pressed towards you.  This enables nested seams that will NOT scootch causing points/seams not to match.  The photo above is one snapped in a “Non-cheese fabric play moment”.  I am wiser now.

I had a stack to carry to the ironing mat this morning.  I did not prestarch my fabrics.  They are all fingerpressed at this point, but flimsy with no starch support.  I think of starch as a good stiff bra.  You wish you could go with naught, or with lacey and flimsy, but at the end of the day, this would be exhausting.  Going with stiffness/firmness helps hug ‘em all day keeping your energy and attitude better, more even keel with less wrinkles in life, ya know?

So I misted all my finger pressed blocks with starch.  Make sure not to do this step on your mat.  I recommend doing that on the ironing board.  I am one of those people who is just too impatient to wait for the starch to dry.  I press while wet.  I did not want to lay wet blocks on my expensive wool mat.  I have seen what starch does to my ironing board cover.  It carmelizes the starch.  I do not want to cook sugar on my pressing mat as there is no way to wash.  So instead, I laid a paper towel on my mat, placed the wet/starched block on mat, and pressed my block.  If any starch seeped, it was into the paper towel, not the mat.

I have a Rowenta iron.  OMG……it is now 12 years old.  The skid plate is made out of a chrome like plated piece of metal.  When clean it glides over fabric like there is nothing there.  When it is dirty, it drags and does not have good heat transfer.  How do I clean my iron?  Simple.  When the iron is off and cool to the touch, I carry it over to the kitchen counter, near the edge of the sink, and using a damp Magic Eraser (found in the cleaning aisle at the grocery store), I gently rub the brown starch carmelization away.  It probably takes less than 2 minutes.  Would this work with all irons?  No.  If you have a teflon or coated skid plate, all the carmelization is left in your fabric (which is kind of icky, but we quilters make do with what we have).  If you can see built up on your iron, it is probably time to clean your iron, it will now do a better job too.

On a completely different, but natural note, this area has been hit hard by the twig girdler bug.  I know, I had never heard of this before.  When the rains started, we had army worms, and I noticed in my driving around it looked like a storm had come through some areas.  Noticeably, it was small limbs down under trees.  At first I thought it was squirrels gathering branches for nests.  But all the limbs were the same size, almost perfectly.  In listening to a local radio program, the county extension agent said it was called the twig girdler bug.  Upon these fallen branches, if you pick up the limb and it is rounded off instead of broken off from the tree, you have these bugs.  These bugs lay eggs on the portion of the branch that falls for these to remain close by until the next breakout.  It was warned to burn the branches to ensure proper eradication, but in all likely hood they were still in the trees.  I was excited that I learned something knew, and came home to look it up on the internet.  These bugs perfectly lumberjack their way and saw off the branches very cleanly.  Nature is amazing, and you cannot believe how many trees I have seen with this problem.  I doubt the owners of these trees even could dream this up, and it will probably never be questioned, other than wind or storms.  Curious what the heck I am talking about?  Go here to wikipedia and learn more.  A picture is worth a thousand words, so here you are.

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This picture is compliments of a 4H resources and here is the actual link with more details.

In summary, I have given a link with good instructions to make the periwinkle or hummingbird block.  I have also discussed a pressing issue (HA) of wet starch on a wool mat.   I have given you a hint on cleaning your iron.  And lastly, I have even introduced you to a local pest, though fascinating, still a nuisance.  My goal here is knowledge.  Passing on what I know to those who may not.  Knowledge is power, even if it is in the hobby room!

May your weekend be in stitches!  And thank you for reading my blog!

Periwinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

I received a gift a while back.  It was dropped in my order from MSQC.  A small template that I had no notion of using, but I hung on to it.  I started brainstorming on this device and vowed I would never foundation piece the block, but how would I accomplish the same results.  I have the mini wacky web template, but you could also do this with the larger version.  You will have to upsize your cuts.

The first thing I did was compare the mini wacky web template to a regular square.  Such a funny angle, and I am angle-ly challenged.  So after doing so I realized that one corner of this is a 90 degrees, a corner of a square.  measurement1

I broke open a long over due jelly roll strip set by Kaffe Fasset to play with this idea.

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You will either need 2 1/2 strips or 2 1/2 mini charms to proceed with this part of the periwinkle.

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Next I chose a solid jelly roll which was an earth tone that would go with these prints.  You will cut your fabric into strips 2 1/2 inches by length of fabric and then trim those sections to 3 1/4 inches.  For each print periwinkle, you will need two solids.

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Then with right sides together, stitch periwinkle to solid.  Notice there is over hang on the larger edge.  This is crucial for an accurate block.  Also notice the smallest part of the periwinkle and how it is situated on the solid.

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Finger press (I am still working out how to press the seams)  It is best to press the seams open.  For this tutorial, I pressed outward toward the solid.

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Repeat for the second side.

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Crucial to finger press again, this time pressing towards the print.  Finger pressing is optimal because you have funny angles and bias edges.  After finger pressing, I wait until the entire block is finished before I press my iron on it.  I do not iron it, I press.

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Here we have 1/4 of the block finished minus the trimming.  This is the same concept as their paper method without the paper.  Notice the periwinkle print nests perfectly into the 90 degree corner of the square.  Carefully align to that corner and trim the solid overhang.

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Now isn’t this an odd shaped critter?  One more cut to make.  Here is where you will use the angle built into your ruler.  Align the 45 degree lines that bisect over the periwinkle 90 degree corner.  See below?

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How does this work.  A straight line is 180 degrees.  A corner of a square is 90.  Two 90 degrees make 180 if you add them.  So if you have two 45 degree lines, those added together equal 90 degrees.  Too much math, ignore that last couple of sentences and just study the picture.  Now on the two solids that are overhanging the ruler, you will trim that with the straight edge.

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You will need to make 3 more blocks just like this shape.  Prints/solids may vary as you are creating your own quilt.

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Using a pair of periwinkles, stitch, nesting seams and matching raw edges  It may be helpful to pin!

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Finger press your seams as you go.  This block is almost done.  Now stitch your pair of pieces together.  And voila…..a periwinkle block.  Trim your dogs ears from the 4 solid corners.  Treat this as a 4 patch block.  Open your seams and spin them, with finger pressing first, iron pressing last.

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Notice that my seams are not matching perfectly. This block was my first.  I figured out pressing after this snapshot.    Also, because of weird angles, you want to use an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance.  This means, find your 1/4 inch mark, and go a thread shallower.  When pressed, the thickness of the thread will achieve the perfect 1/4 inch.  Now is where I carry this to my ironing board and press.  If you have a pressing mat, that is perfect after finger pressing.  You will be amazed at the non-distortion and accuracy in all your blocks.

Have questions?  Did I leave something out?  Did I leave something vague?  Comment and I will gladly edit/add/comment on what is needed to help you through achieving the periwinkle block with no foundation papers!

I hope this inspires you to use some of the precuts/scraps in your stash!

Did you catch my post on the other blog?  If not click here to visit, or click here for the recipe of pumpkin pancakes.

Linking up with the 2018 Tips and Tricks tutorial festival.

Enjoy your week!  Sew on!