Monday, February 15, 2010


While the snow is falling here and the rain is coming down in Vancouver, I am doing the dreaded "A", working on blocks for my grandaughter.  She is obsessed with Swimsuits. When tiny it was her uniform of choice.  She even wore one to breakfast.  I believe she would have slept in one if Mom had let her.  Living in Florida makes the obsession a little bit more understandable. 

While the Olympics continue so shall I, Keep watching for more bikinis. 

Each of the blocks are 6" X 9".  The pattern, I believe, is a Pat sloan one.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Tomorrow I take hunny for his colonoscopy.  It is just a base line; he'll be seventy years old this year.  I will need to sit and wait while the procedure is done.  We will arrive at eight AM and the proceedure won't start until nine.  I have no idea how long I will have to wait.  It was nescessary to find something to do.  For me, reading is out of the question in these situations.

I happened to be in a non quilting closet and saw a box I didn't remember what was in it.  When I opened it it was a UFO.  I had cut out the block pieces and even started to assemble one of them.  I was thrilled with the idea of working on it.  Delving deeper in the box I realized the pattern was there (I usually put patterns in the box with my "pigs".  This was a free pattern I had found on the internet. I figured I could go back and find it.  NOT!  I couldn't even remember the site where it had been.   I queeried my internet friends if they remembered it; so far I have had no one respond.  I decided to take the already cut out pieces and scan them.  It worked.  I have now made my templates so I can make more blocks.  right now I only have 7 blocks cut out.  To make a nice wall hanging I need at least 8 possibly 10.  It will be acording to how I decide to lay out the blocks and what I pick for a center block and the borders.

The applique on these blocks is to be needle turn. 

The picture at the beginning of the blog is the block I started  3 years ago.  As I work on each block I will post it. 

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I have been busy lately trying to find something to send to the grands each month.  Three years ago I sent them pillow slips each month for their travel  pillows. Each was made in the theme of the month.  When Halloween came around I was able to find some glow in the dark star fabric.   They loved those.  The following year I made them place mats to use each month.  Last year I made full size pillow slips.  This year I hadn't found anything I thought would be something they could use until I came across a blog where someone had made mailbox covers.  These were weather proof.  I don't have fabrics available right now in the weather proof line and I am not where I can get the exact fit for the box so I am winging it.  My Grandson will be 9 this month so I thought I would give this idea a trial run.  I asked my daugther to take time and measure the box for me.  Why is it like pulling eye teeh to get our kids to do something?  It was a week before she got back to me with the measurements.  They are always so busy.  It a cinch I couldn't go measure it.  She's a Thousand plus miles away.

A trip to the stash to find the appropriate fabrics was the next thing to do.  I found this great Denim fabric that is canvas weight.  I figured it would be heavy enough the wind wouldn't blow it around.  Then I searched for my "stitch witchery".  It has been so long since I did any iron-on that I knew it was buried under other "material things".  In fact I usually stay away from iron on.  I am a little bit of a snob when it comes to iron on stuff.  I would rather hand applique.  I decided since it wasn't going to be a cover to stay out in the weather for a month that I would also make the appliques out of felt.  I would be able to use the little bits and pieces that had been migrating around in the stash. 

The first thing I did was to cut the canvas 3 inches wider and 3 inches longer than I needed.  Then I hemmed the sides so the fabric was to be the length of the box   Then I measured for over the hump of the box and pressed a fold that would be the part that would go under the box.  After that was done I hemmed the one side with a rolled hem.  With the heaviness of the fabric I had to press the first fold and stitch it down with a basting stitch on the machine.  Then go back and press another fold and stitch again.  I could have serged it but my serger and I are always at war and I was not in the mood for a frustrating fight.

The next step was to place the hole for the flag and the slice so the flag could slip in. I drew it on the fabric and proceeded to heavily zig zagged the area.  Then I clipped out the hole  and zig zagged some more before I clipped the slice for the flag.

Now for the design.  I didn't want to obsess over this, I just wanted to get it done and in the mail before the birthday was over and gone.  I didn't even make patterns for the pieces.  I just cut them out and set them on the fabric.  On the first side I used the stitch witchery clipped in little bits to hold the pieces on.  I will tell you this, it was a pain in the "A" to iron the pieces.  I just wanted them to hold on till I could widely zig zag around the pieces.  On the opposite side I thought why not glue stick them on.  It won't be washed.  Wow did that make life easier. The glue stick worked to hold the felts pieces while I stitched them on.

 The stars you see on the other side are made from silver lame' that I had already used iron on stabilizer on (from an astronaught halloween costume).  I placed stitch witchery on a piece of freezer paper and then placed the stabilized lame on top and pressed it.  This put the  stitch witchery on the back of the lame'.  I then cut out the stars and peeled off the freezer paper and then ironed them onto the canvas.  It is harder to iron on to canvas than other materials.  You have to heat it longer and for sure don't move it till it's cold.

Voila, I have a mail box cover.  To display it I used a box with an aluminum pan on it and then my sweat hirt to round the top. (You can see it peeking out frm the mail box flag hole.) I also used two yard sticks to support the cover.  As you can see I don't have the straps on it yet.  I think I will use wide elastic with those large flat snaps.  This way it will pull nice and tight on the box.

I figured the flag will hide the cake on the one side so I will tell DD to put it up and put a party hat on it to hide the flag.  Or use the flag to tie balloons from and put a bow over the flag so the postman won't think there is mail in the box.

 New Article on my blog: 
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind
Other blog sites by me:
Where I have stories of my cats and other pets
a blog about my courtship with my husband,
and a blog about my most embarrassing moment.
A "Soap box" blog where I do air my opinions.
blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures
Blog about an endangered beneficial beetle
New Blog:
All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Or should I say I piece and sometimes they get quilted.  This is the story of a UFO.  

Three years ago I decided to raid the stash to make a quilt for my brother.  I had no idea what pattern I would use.  I just knew the colors I needed to look for.  I also knew the pattern I picked needed to blend with a house decorated in the craftsman style (with a modern edge).  This quilt is the size of a large couch throw (appx. 58 X 48)  I found several fabrics that worked well with one another.  There was plentiful yardage in each of the fabrics. 

That is a big problem with using from the stash.  If you pick a pattern that requires a smidgen more than what you have.  I have been known to piece scraps of the fabric that are not big enough to sneeze at to make a 2 inch square to complete a block. 

My brother's home has lots of angular shapes.  I knew a busy pattern wouldn't work.  I also wanted to complete it quickly. the pattern needed to be effective but simple.  The fabrics I pulled were graduated colors of the same type theme.  They were from several manufactuers.  Some of the fabrics had been laying around for 6 years.  The graduated colors had me looking for patterns that would use that to my advantage.  One of the first patterns I came to was the rail fence.  The more I looked I kept coming back to the rail fence.  It is a very easy strip pieced quilt that goes very fast. 

I began the quilt and life got in the way.  It was put in a box and forgotten about.  About 18 months ago I got it back out and finished the center of the quilt.  It went back in the box again.  My internet friend gave me the inspiration to get it out again.  Yesterday I retrieved the quilt and proceeded to pull some border fabrics from the stash and finish the top. 

The above picture is the finished top.  I will need to clean the quilt machine table off before I can quilt it (It has become a depository for magazines, sewing notions, and even yardagages that I haven't washed yet.)  This tells you how long it has been since it has been used. 

The top picture is an enlargement of the corner.  I decided to give the quiltlet a more formal look I would miter the corners. 

The next enlargement  is of the body of the quilt so you could see the fabrics. 

I will post a pix of the finished quilt as soon as I can.  Hopefully very soon.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Finally a picture of one of the thirteen.  This is the kitten we held back, the one who went to a new home and returned.  She is in her favorite place, on the stair landing with the plants.  We put a doll bed out there for her and she loves it.  "Spirit" used to be totally white, as you can see she is changing colors. 

The cactus bloomed The last of october and started blooming again the first week in January.  It seems to like the light there.  The pink celotex is in the window to keep the extreme cold from falling on the musa plant.  It has been below zero night temps for about a month now.