I’m sewing

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on I’m sewing

Still not feeling very energetic but I’m spending time in the sewing room. At this point, it’s obvious that there won’t be many goals met this month but as long as I’m sewing and making progress I won’t worry about it. I do have just two things that have to be done before we leave for Big Canoe next month – piecing a back for Becky’s quilt and putting borders on Mom’s Log Cabin quilt but I’ve got plenty of time to get to those. 

Yesterday I wandered around in the sewing room again debating what to work on. Rejected quilting either of the two small tops pinned and ready and decided to start a new top. Pulled a kit – you know I have a bunch of them bought at clearance prices – decided I did NOT want to make the pattern that came with the fabric. Looked at my GO dies and started cutting and piecing Ohio Star blocks. After a couple false starts, I decided I needed to do some math to see how far my fabric would go and decide what size the quilt was going to be.  Should have started with this step!

Not sure what I’m going to do with the border yet – I don’t intend to just put a plain blue one on but my choices will be limited due to the fabric that I have. It’s times like that that I miss having the stash here! The stars are pieced and I’ve got the sashing started. 

Did you notice I was fussy cutting some of the star centers? The orange blocks have a tree centered in them. The others have a bird or part of a bird. I didn’t want to use up too much of the border fabric when I hadn’t decided what I was doing yet and fussy cutting uses more fabric. 

I’m using the GO Ohio Star die but I have to say I shouldn’t have bothered to buy it. There’s one square and the quarter square triangles on the die. It’s easier to rotary cut the squares for the blocks and I have another die that has the quarter square triangles. I think I’ll pass this die along to Mom as she doesn’t have a quarter square triangle die and she likes Ohio Stars. 


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Vices

I admit I love playing slot machines although I probably only do it every 5-6 years … Keith thought it might be fun for me to get out and play some slots to celebrate my birthday. We didn’t go out last night because I ended up not feeling well enough but we did go out for a few hours this afternoon to the Hard Rock Casino. 

Of course it didn’t take long to lose my money but I had fun. I sat down to feed the last 3 dollars in the machine and won $10 … moved on to another machine and won a little more …. picked a 3rd machine and ended up winning a little more – I won $43 with that last $3. Enough to buy Adam a Hard Rock Tampa shirt!

Still miserable

Published / by Mary / 23 Comments on Still miserable

I just can’t seem to shake this congestion and cough and now I want to feel sorry for myself because it’s my birthday and it’s raining. Instead, i decided to head for the sewing room.

After aimlessly wandering around in the room for 30 minutes trying to decide what to start, I realized a Strippie would be perfect – no real concentration needed and I could piece it from start to finish today. I’ve had this fabric forever and I guess I liked it so much I was saving it – now I know just where this little Strippie is going be gifted in 6 months and it’s even better that Gram started making it on her birthday!

Another positive ….. in addition to being my birthday it’s National Donut Day! Thanks Keith for helping me celebrate!

I’m going stir crazy after hanging around the house for the last couple weeks so I have no idea what we’ll do later but rain or shine it will be something that doesn’t involve staying home!

A certain size

Published / by Mary / 16 Comments on A certain size

Over the years I’ve found that certain size quilts work best for me – most of my quilts are donated and I tend to stick close to two sizes for those donation quilts. The larger sofa size tends to be about 54 x 72 and the smaller ones about 40 x 54 and these I quilt in FL on the regular sewing machine. I don’t worry about staying exactly at these measurements as I’m designing and piecing a quilt but most tend to be close to this size. 

I knew I wanted to quilt this HeartStrings top I’m working on here – there’s already a backlog of tops to be quilted in GA so I decided 20 blocks would work – our HeartStrings blocks are 9 inches finished (9.5 with seam allowances). 

Next up, a little quilt math – 2 inch finished sashing would give me a quilt that is 42 x 53. I can get 4 sashing strips from each WOF strip and I need 31 sashing pieces. 31 divided by 4 is 7.75 so I need 8 strips cut 2.5 inches = 20 inches of fabric. That means this black star fabric with 22 inches will work just fine although I’ll need to bind it in a solid black or maybe a pieced binding – we’ll see. 

And in spite of being sick, I actually have something to show for the week!

And Chris had something to show me – he picked up my kayak today! I hate I won’t get to use it until July but I’m looking forward to enjoying it at Big Canoe. 

Veteran Quilts

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Veteran Quilts

Alycia is spreading inspiration by having a link up party and I thought I’d join in. I try to do a couple veteran quilts each year and I’m a little behind (no surprise). One of the fun things about my quilt photos is that I can place the quilts in a specific time frame just by where they’ve been photographed. We’re coming up on our 2nd anniversary here in the Tampa house the end of June and  in that time, 4 tops have been pieced but only one has been finished and sent off for donation. I hope to have at least a couple quilted this summer at Big Canoe and who knows #4 might just get done in December – we’ll be spending Christmas at Big Canoe since the new baby is due in December. 

So you’ve seen these all before but maybe they’ll inspire you to make and gift a quilt to a veteran. 

My Double 4 patch is the one that’s been finished and donated. 

The next two were inspired by vintage quilts. The RWB rectangles. 

The Chevron Rail Fence

and my 3rd Patriotic Rail Fence – this one with Ohio Stars. 

If none of these inspire you, maybe one of the others on my website will. Take a look at these quilts for veterans. 

Virtual quilting

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Virtual quilting

I like big block quilts – a star where one block plus some borders becomes the entire quilt. In this case, I started with this block.

I put 4 together and added borders to make it throw size. Did you notice I change the bottom right corner to make a square in a square block where they all came together?

I love this little vintage friendship star and nine patch from eBay too … I’m saving it for inspiration.

Lost days

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Lost days

In case you were wondering why it’s been so quiet here, I’ve been sick. It started as a simple cold but for some reason knocked me on my butt! After 5 days I think I’m finally starting to feel a little better. There’s been a little activity around here between naps … I finished pin basting the small rectangle top and am ready to start quilting it, some knitting, some hand quilting but mostly just quiet activities … genealogy research, photo organization, reading, and cuddling with Finn. 

Remembering our Dads

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Remembering our Dads

Both my Dad and Keith’s Dad served in the military and we remember them and all those who served today. 

My dad, Patrick Joseph McLaughlin, served in the Navy right out of high school which was during the Korean War – luckily he was on a ship in the Mediterranean.

Kevin, Mom, and I visited Dad’s grave a couple weeks ago. He died 28 years ago. 

Keith’s dad, Bruce Alan Johnson, also entered the military right out of high school. 

He served in the Marines in Korea during the war, in the Army in Vietnam during the war, and remained in the Army until he was eligible for retirement. He’s interred at Arlington National Cemetery along with Keith’s Mom. We haven’t been to Arlington to visit since Shirl’s funeral in July 2015 but my nephew Ben who lives in the D.C. Area sent us a photo last year and this year after visiting the site. Bruce died 12 years ago. 

Time with Finn

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Time with Finn

Finn’s still getting used to being back home so I spent a good amount of time with him today. I love our little park and he’s starting to like romping there although always on the leash. 

I also worked on the washcloths – the crochet ones go way, way faster than the knit ones but I admit I like the knit one best – that’s the blue one that’s just half way done. I’ll make some of both to send off with the scarves I’m going to donate. 

I’m working these from a couple books I have but KnitPicks has a bunch of free patterns and I’ll try some of those too