Archive for December, 2009

Boxed Squares finished

You can find instructions for making Boxed Squares on my MaryQuilts.com site. It’s quick and easy to make from 2 and 1/2 inch strips. I used a Jelly Roll for the first one and this one is from stash.

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On my Design Wall

It was empty Monday so I didn’t show it to you but I got up at 2AM and after piecing my batting leftovers, I put this Boxed Squares back on the design wall.

When I put this away, I had assembled a section as large as my design wall 72 x 72 and I needed to add an additional 3 rows.

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I finished the additional 36 blocks I needed.

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I’ve already sewn these rows together and the top is done but I need to wait until it’s light outside to take a photo of the full top.

Originally I was going to add borders to make this bed size for Adam but since he’s chosen to have the other quilt as a wedding quilt, I’m going to stop at this point with the top being 72 x 90.

Piecing batting by machine

Piecing batting is one of my least favorite things to do but I’m frugal enough that I do it. Sometimes I grab a couple larger sections and piece these by hand downstairs in the longarm room but when I’m going to piece multiple battings, it’s quickest to do them by machine.

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I start with reasonably straight edges and setting my machine on the widest zig-zag possible, I feed two pieces through stopping frequently to adjust them so I don’t stretch them out of shape.

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You might need to click on this next photo to see the seam.

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Here I’m adding a 3rd piece and notice I always sew with the narrowest piece under the arm of the machine.

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In just about an hour and a half, I’ve got 5 battings pieced – all of them 74-80 inches long. You can see the the top batting is thinner — that’s pieced from Warm and Natural.  When I’m piecing, I do make sure I piece the same type of batting together. The bottom four are Hobbs 80/20 which is the batting I use most frequently.

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I tend to buy my batting on the roll rather than by the package and I think that makes it easier to use almost every bit of it. For those of you doing charity quilts you might want to check with some longarm quilters in your area to see if they’d be willing to save batting leftovers for you.

Keith is finally home

It’s been a long, long few weeks and I’m happy that he won’t be traveling again before Christmas. He didn’t get the Christmas lights put up outside on the deck yet and I’m wondering at this point is it worth doing. We don’t have a tree up either and we’re leaving on the 28th to see the boys.

At least the neighborhood looks festive since others have put up lights.

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I told you my memory was bad

One of the instruction sheets on my MaryQuilts.com site was recreated from memory because I’d lost the photos I had of this quilt which I made in 2001. I was very surprised to come across my photo on a group site where I’d posted it back then and to see I hadn’t remember the quilt as well as I thought I had.

The original quilt

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My design 6+ years later – I’m shocked that those stars are friendship stars rather than sawtooth stars and I didn’t remember putting the star border on the bottom either (but I can understand not remembering which order I placed the colors in the rails). I was also surprised to read that I was  sharing the instructions for quilts I’d created myself that long ago.

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The instructions for the Patriotic Rail Fence quilt are on my MaryQuilts.com site.

I quilted today

It’s been about 2 weeks since I quilted anything — where does the time go?

This top was pieced by Tamera and sent to me to quilt and donate as a part of our HeartStrings project.DSC_9370

It’s quilted with the pantograph WildFlower by Willow Leaf Studio and I’m not sure I’m that crazy about it. It’s the first time I used it and it’s a little slow quilting on the flowers – short sections with frequent changes in direction.

It looks better close up than in the above photo I think.

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And here’s a portion of the back. All the photos will enlarge some if you click on them.

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Do you send Christmas cards?

Some years I do and some I don’t. This year the only ones I’m sending are these 6 postcards to the family members who do the monthly postcard exchange with me.

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And when I walked out just now to put them in the mailbox it was snowing again! They’re calling for another 2-4 inches tonight and tomorrow.

Other than finishing the postcards the only other quilty thing I’ve done today is to piece a backing for a donated quilt. If I finish up on the computer and still feel motivated, I might just get a top loaded on the longarm before going to bed.

I was excited today to read the newest prompt for my Journal Your Christmas class and another one of my pages from last year was used as an example. It doesn’t take much to make me happy sometimes! Now I need to go do my pages from yesterday and today.

Journal your Christmas - dec 13 - 09

Finally done

I decided tonight I’d been messing with these blocks way too long and finally finished up the top.  Not the best photo but it’s hard to get one that’s any better at night in my hallway.

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Playing with buttons

I’d set aside the selvages when I cut out my Applecore quilt to use for postcards and started sewing them today. I thought they needed a little something so I went playing in my buttons. The ones in this bag were mostly red and green and I’d forgotten I’d bought them last year after Christmas but they’re just what I wanted tonight.

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They may not be the most artistic postcards you’ve seen but I’m having fun.

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I’ve got more to button up and then I’ll have to back them and finish the edges.

Working…

I’m puttering around assembling the HeartStrings top, hand piecing the Applecore blocks, reading, and setting up and meeting with a couple contractors to repair the ceiling.

I’ve got some postcards to make for our family exchange and quilts to get washed so I can get them donated but I don’t have many goals for this month and am working at a very relaxed pace.

I’m reading the new Sue Grafton book — U is for Undertow.

On my design wall

Well it’s not Monday but I hadn’t made any progress so it wasn’t worth showing you then. Today however I’ve finished the blocks for this HeartStrings quilt and now I just have to assemble them.

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I don’t have any real goals for this month except finishing this top and one other and doing a bit of quilting. I also don’t have much planned around here for the holidays. No company is expected and we might even go out to dinner Christmas rather than cooking.

We will be going to GA to visit the boys the week between Christmas and New Year’s so I do have something to look forward to.

So proud of myself

I didn’t want to delay Chesty’s appointment because he’s already a couple days late due to scheduling challenges and my travel and I was afraid the stitches would hurt coming out if they were too overgrown. If Keith had been home to hold him, I probably would have taken them out myself!

The plows came through last night around 2AM but it continued to snow so the roads were messy but I drove slow and I made it to the University and back safely and then promptly bundled up and walked over to the coffee shop. It was minus 10 with wind chill ( and it’s windy!) but I’d rather walk than drive.

The sun tried to come out for a minute but it was a losing battle.

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A few other photos from my walk.

I took over the living room again

I decided to set the table up tonight to give me a surface for working on my Applecore blocks.

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The snow continues to come down and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get Chesty to the Vet tomorrow. You know I don’t do well driving in snow and so far I haven’t heard the snowplows out yet – usually you can hear the beeping all night. Now it’s time for bed so I can get up in the morning.

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Journal Your Christmas

I am participating again in the Journal Your Christmas class this year and how fun to open today’s prompt and find one of my pages from last Christmas shared as an example.  I did give permission last year but didn’t really expect that my pages would be *good enough* to be used. The top example is mine!

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Chesty update

For those of you asking, Chesty’s doing well. He’ll get his stitches out tomorrow and then we’ll be able to leave the cone off of him for good. During the day he usually sits up on the back of the sofa so he can see outside, can you tell he wanted me to turn the fire on this afternoon?

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This may be why he wanted the fire on — the snow has started  although they say the heaviest snow will come after 9PM tonight.

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I’ve been working on getting quotes to repair the ceiling — it’s not going to be cheap thanks to that darn textured ceiling.

I believe that luck runs in spells and right now we’re in a run of bad luck — the leak at the GA condo, two family issues, Chesty’s surgery, and now another leak here at home. I think it’s time for my luck to change back to good don’t you?

I’m home

I’m home thanks to on time flights and the winter storm heading this way is holding off until tomorrow when I can enjoy the snow! Chesty was very happy to have me home but I wasn’t happy to see the hole in my ceiling (Keith did call me yesterday to tell me we had a leak.)

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Keith had a plumber out last night and it’s not leaking anymore BUT now I have to get the ceiling fixed.

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What is it with us and leaks? We finally got the ceiling repair completed at the Georgia condo where our neighbors A/C unit leaked through our ceiling and now this.

No work tonight, I’m cuddling with Chesty on the sofa with the fire going.

Finished top

Mom and I worked on finishing a top during this visit. It was a block of the month that I’d never assembled but we need a gift quilt and this one was quick to finish up. Of course – it still needs quilting and it’s another big one (about 90 x 100) but I have plenty of time to get it done.

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Some pre-birthday fun

Mom’s trying out an early birthday present. Luckily her local quilt shop carries the GO cutter and dies as I was debating whether or not she’d like one and didn’t decide until yesterday that yes, she would.

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Of course, the fact that it will make life easier for me when I come to visit and am cutting out quilts for her didn’t enter my mind at all 🙂

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This is a little awkward

I mentioned cutting out blocks for an Apple Core quilt the other day. Well my plan is to hand piece these and while it feels very awkward now, I’m hoping that it will feel more natural as I go along. I’m also hoping this doesn’t end up in my never to be completed UFO pile!

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Journal your Christmas

Another journal project — this one was fun last year but I wasn’t sure I was in the mood as I’m not feeling very festive yet but I decided I’d keep it simple and already I’m glad I decided to do it.

The class comes with a series of daily prompts and once you *pay* one year, you can follow along in subsequent years for free. This will be my second one.

My Christmas Journal 2009

If you’re interested, you can find the class at Shimelle.com

Walking
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