Friday, November 30, 2007

The Ruler Game

This ruler is a Bias Rectangle - part of Kaye England's Cut for the Cure line of rulers. I bought it a few years ago and... well, I've never used it - can you see - it's still wrapped up. You can see the Cut for the Cure rulers on Kaye's website here - . I also have the kaleidoscope ruler - I used it to make my Octagon Flowers quilt last year. Love that ruler and have plans to use it again. So, now I want to try my hand at this Bias Rectangle ruler - thanks to -

Laurie (aka Quilter gone WILD) recently posted about her collection of un-used rulers. She picked one, read the directions and got busy and is now making some lovely pineapple blocks. You can check out her progress here -

I wanted to play - so I picked Bias Rectangle. Except - I couldn't find any directions, shoot I couldn't even find the ruler anywhere on the internet. Ah well, it is a Kaye England ruler so I looked up her site, got her e-mail address and fired off a question - how do I use this ruler? Don't you know, she answered, within an hour no less, with very detailed directions. Turns out my ruler was discontinued and made into 2 seperate rulers, but with Kaye's instructions I can figure out how to use it. This is the 2nd time I've e-mailed Kaye England with a question about a ruler and I must say, I am super impressed with her immediate answers and detailed information!

Instructions in hand I now know how to flip the thing around to cut what I want to cut. And lookie there - those 2 units are the very same shape as Judy L's Tri-Recs rulers she has been using on her pink quilt ( !!! Which means, I can make Judy's quilt without buying new rulers!!!

Sooo - who else wants to play The Ruler Game in December? Go on - go pick one!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

About those segments...

Those fancy dancy new blocks I posted about the other day.... they are just 6.5" 9 patch blocks sliced in half 2X... see?

All of mine have either blue or purple for the outside pieces and yellow for the inside 4. There are lots of different ways to lay these little segments together.

Why do I have stacks of these segments? Did I have an original plan? Hummm - interesting questions... My ORIGINAL intent was to make Sister's Choice from Bonnie Hunter's site and I had a fair amount of 9 patch blocks made before I got carried away with my rotary cutter! Actually, I was a bit annoyed because my seams weren't coming together perfectly (the dangers of switching sewing machines during the same project) so I thought if I cut everything down smaller it would be less obvious. Of course, about 1/8" is not very obvious anyway so I am not so sure why I thought that bit of a smidge off was so glaring in the first place! I guess it doesn't really matter anymore because almost every single 9 patch is already sliced and I do really like the resulting new blocks. I think it would be fun to make starting out with a bigger 9 patch block too - the 6.5" size cuts down to some small pieces. But back to the project in hand/in progress/started and needing to be finished - I figure that I should have enough segments to make 12 of those 12" blocks I like so much. With wide sashing, cornerstones, double borders - should bring it up to a nice sized bed quilt.
I got the idea for cutting the 9 patches into 4's from a post of Nine's from last November - Don't ask me how I remembered this idea months later or even who posted it, for that matter, but one day - it popped into my head as the perfect solution for my abandoned start on Sister's Choice.
I would like to make Siser's Choice someday... I just won't switch sewing machines mid-project!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Blocks!

I've been wondering what to do with these "segments" for awhile now ... so for the past few days I've left them out and have played around with them some - this is what I've come up with... I need 16 little segments to make a 12" block. I've already started to piece 4 segments together to make 1/4 of the block - just have to piece those units together into blocks now that I've made a decision! And, I have stacks of these segments. Stacks. Oh yes, it is good to come up with a plan for something I already have on hand!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Unexpected Surprise!

My son was very surprised - and thrilled - to see Santa this past weekend! He has a preferred item on his list that he asked for (he even remembered to say please and thank-you), but he also gave Santa some options... just in case Santa can't get his first choice. "You know Momma, it is good to have a back-up plan and Santa probably likes options." He cracks me up.
Just look at his sweet, excited face!!! What more can I say? A picture is worth one thousand words!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Stashbusting Sunday

I made some progress on my Purple Strings - Little Boy wanted the 4" anchor block to be added - so there it is (bottom right). I can't tell you how happy that made him! I even cut a few strips from those 2 fat quarters I got at Marden's to add - a little snippet of new fabric mixed in with this collection of scrap bin strips! Of course, no one else except for me would ever know which fabric is which, but I "know" all my fabric, so it makes a difference to me!

The top is laid out on top of another - bigger quilt for size reference - and the ripples you see are some stray building blocks... And, it was not until today that I realized something... I ALWAYS put my quilts on my bed the OTHER way. ALWAYS. My bed has beautiful head and foot boards and is extra high - so if I rotate the quilt - it fits perfectly - no squishing the quilt down into the footboard and a nice overhang on the sides. And, I don't do a pillowtuck because I usually have at least 3 pillows on each side - and how do you tuck all those? SOOO - this quilt needs a bit of re-orgnization... meaning - time to rip.

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you will know that I hardly ever, ever rip - a wonky block - leave it be, a piece of fabric sewn wrong side up - leave it be. I put it all down to sewing with a young one underfoot. But this - well, this affects the entire, entire quilt. So, better to rip now and get it rotated... because I really want the strips to go up and down on my bed, not across. Right now, if I add another 12" length (6" top and bottom borders) it will come out at 100" - the exact size I wanted - except I really wanted it 100" wide, not long. Ooops! So - those long rows need to become a little bit shorter and the extra length moved over into another row. Then the top will be wider than long. Why haven't I ever noticed before that I put a quilt on my bed like that? I guess because with most of my quilts it doesn't really matter - the design pretty much stays the same either way you turn it.

Stashbusting wise this past week - I've also cut out the fabrics I bought at Marden's for the borders for Bargello and for Grandmother's Choice. NOT a whole lot of sewing going on right now, but I figure if it is at least cut - well, it is 1 step in the right direction anyway.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Knit knee-sock slippers

NO, I did not knit these, they were a gift to me from a knitter.

You see, I know someone who had the pattern, she bought the yarn, she could NOT find the needles anywhere! And no, I have no idea about her pattern source. So, I told her I would look for the needles for her when I was in the states. Very hard to find - I think it was super sized dpn's, but I can't remember exactly anymore. Anyway, the local yarn shop ordered them for me after making sure, sure that I really did want such large needles because who knits socks on such large needles? And maybe I was confused because Canada actually has a different knitting needle size than the rest of the world. Who knew? But anyway - the jumbo needles were ordered and when they came in I mailed them off so the happy knitter could knit her socks/slippers. And as a thank you, she not only paid me back for the needles and postage BUT she also made me my very own pair!!!
Aren't they GREAT? And warm too! I have warm, happy feet!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Persistent and determined...

My Quilter's horoscope says that the Taurus quilter is persistent and determined and always finishes a project... ( It also says something about giving lots of quilts away, etc. etc.

SOOOO - Just for fun, I started to scroll though my 2006 projects (2007 isn't done yet, so doesn't count!). Take a look at all the photos below... What do you think....???? Persistent and determined - through 3 countries with a Little Boy, yup that is me - I love to finish a project!!! NOT that I always love the project when I am working on it - sometimes it takes shear grit and determination to keep at it, but I keep my eye on the prize - I love the finish! Didn't I just say that? Even if I don't immediately finish a project, I keep going back to it, time and time again - until it is finished. Some tops take me years to make, others I complete within a month. But eventually, I get them all done. And guess what? Sometimes it is my "ugly duckling" quilt that I end up loving the most.

You would think that all I do is SEW, but NOT so! Our days are jammed packed full of activities, business, cooking, traveling, visiting, play dates, etc., etc., so I am not quiet so sure how I got all this done. It is actually a bit of a surprise to myself! BUT - sewing is how I relax - or destress. I am not sure if I was really stressed in 2006 and as a result - did a lot of sewing OR if I was super relaxed because of all the sewing! LOL!!! Let's just say - sewing "balances" me.

Actually, I've been so busy this past week that I did this post in segments - a little bit each night. I didn't realize it was so long until I got to the end... So - here goes -

January 2006 - Austria - I was working on: Cot quilt, Grandmother's Choice Blocks and Octagon Flowers. I also knit a scarf.

February 2006 - Austria - 1st FINISH for the year - Cot quilt! I was working on Cars and Stars and Desperado. I knit 2 scarfs and pieced a little doll quilt.

March 2006 - Austria and Cape Cod- I completely pieced my huge Bars quilt! Cars & Stars has an inner border, I started on Mitre Box Squares and Desperado is finished. (2nd and 3rd finishes for the year!). Desperado was made for one of my niece's - for her Teepee!

Also in March, I gave this quilt to one of my Grand-nieces - it is made from left-over log cabin strips - using only the light pastel colors. I made this last year and just had gotten it back from the quilter.

April 2006 - Cape Cod and Canada - A border month! I added borders to Whirly Gig, Broken Dishes and 2 baby quilts - all these quilts were made prior to 2006! I also quilted an I Spy top (pieced several years earlier). And, I finished off 2 small flanned quilts for Little Boy. I started a scrappy blues square quilt. I sewed Little Boy a sunhat and made a girlfriend a top. Up to TEN finishes now!

May 2006 - Canada

Mitre Box squares is done! Scrappy Blue squares is done! I am working on green Ocean Waves. Twelve finishes!

I also mail a comfort quilt to my Nana's cousin. For some unexplained reason - s
he did not receive this quilt until right before Christmas!

June 2006 - Canada and Cape Cod

Put final borders on my heart swap quilt - 13th finish. Blocks were swapped YEARS ago. I made the connector blocks and additional heart blocks in summer of 2005. Continue to work on my green Ocean Waves... I am also working on a Country Wife top and checkerboard borders for an old log cabin top.

July 2006 - Cape Cod and Canada

I KEEP working on Green Ocean Waves and Country Wife. Also, I am working on a plaid Ocean Waves (it is now in Austria so no recent progress, but here is a photo anyway!). Little Boy got a small cuddle quilt (#14 finish). I also made him his 1st pair of hand-made flannel PJ's - he loved them so much that ever since I've made all his PJ's.

I also gave my adult niece this quilt - the main setting squares are made from her kindergarten dress! This quilt was made previously, but I just got it back from the quilter. Oh, and I made my girlfriend a tank top.

August 2006 - Cape Cod and Canada
We are up to the borders on Octagon Flowers! I am also working on my checkerboard border for my log cabin. I made my sister some valances and knit 2 booga bags.

September 2006
Some finishes! Green Ocean waves and Octagon Flowers (Up to 16 now)!!! I am working on a seashell table runner that I started in 2003 (still not finished!), continue to work on Country Wife and my Checkerboard log cabin, plus I am knitting a shell scarf (still on needles!). Oh, and Little Boy up-ended my scrap bin and on the bottom were a bunch of wonky hearts, so I made more.


October 2006 - Canada and Cape Cod

Finish #17! Cars & Stars is done with a final border!

Little Boy gets MORE PJ's and a fleece robe.! I KEEP working on Country Wife. Whirly Gig is back from being quilted and I give it to my Dad (see April for photo).


November 2006 - Cape Cod

FINALLY - Country Wife is finished (#18)!!! This quilt was a big challenge for me to finish, but I am not sure why! I started it in the summer of 2005 and am thrilled with the final top. I am making fleece mittens and American Girl doll clothes for Christmas presents. Little Boy is wearing his new fleece robe that I made him last month.


December 2006 - Cape Cod and Austria

I was working on Grandmother's Choice blocks, got Shakespear completely pieced, but not sewn altogether (that would take several more months! and started Judy's Gratitudes block... Most of my Grandmother's Choice blocks and the Gratitudes are still in Austria - I think I will ask DH to send them to me!

Quilts that I gave away this year: 2 for nieces, 1 to a grand-niece, 1 to my Dad and 1 to my Nana's cousin. Little Boy, of course, gets his fair share of quilts! Shakespear was pieced for my DH's niece. Broken Dishes will go to a sister and Stars & Cars will go to a nephew when they come back from the quilters this year. I might have also given a queen scrap Road to St. Louis to another sister, but that could have been the year before. I do like to give some quilts away, but I also love to keep my own BIG bed quilts and rotate them around!


I do NOT remember making each and every single one of these quilts and when... but by reading old blog posts and sorting my digital photos by date, I was able to piece it together. And we are talking only 2006 here! A lesson learned - I really need to LABEL all my quilts as soon as they are made - even if I think I will never ever forget. I really like my digital camera and sorting photos by date!


2007 will be a bit harder for me to track because I have my photos spread out between THREE different computers right now. I've had a very hard time switching over to Vista and my Canon software hasn't been upgraded to Vista yet. My favorite computer doesn't have Vista though, BUT for some reason that computer has stopped reading the Canon card! And, then I usually put photos on my laptop when I travel. Hopefully by the end of December I will have all my photos merged onto 1 computer and backed up for good measure! I wonder what I accomplished sewing wise in 2007? How do I bust my stash and create beautiful quilts? By being persistant and determined!