Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Finishes

Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them. 
Joseph Joubert

January is winding down.  It just flew by but I HAVE BEEN PRODUCTIVE!  Yeah!
Want to see what I did?

1. Got the binding on this quilt:

2. Finished this wall quilt for the In Your Words Hop:

3. Made this mysterious object:

4. Made this one too:

5. Got the binding on this Charity Quilt:

All Bound

 I didn't make the top so I'm not showing it.  Here's a look at the quilting.

Quilting Close Up
Butterfly Quilting in Border

6.  Finished the Christmas Tumblers Top:

Christmas Tumblers

7.  Made this mysterious object too:

8. Bound this Debbie Mumm Bunny Quilt which was one of my oldest UFOs:

Done is better than perfect!

Bunny Close Up

I like the checkerboard borders!

Backing and Binding

I didn't publish a list of what I was going to work on in January because I didn't know what I would be doing other than the Blog Hop quilt.  I should have just written down what I had managed to get moved upstairs to work on.  Duh!  I really made a dent in that pile.

February's list is going to be to continue to get to the bottom of it.  Here are my goals for the month:
  1. Blog Hop Quilt for It's all about me
  2. Bind a Bed sized Mystery Quilt
  3. Get Borders on a Kid's Quilt
  4. Finish Sewing Orange and Blue Tumbler Top Together
  5. Flannel Baby Blanket 

I'll have more on the 3 mystery projects I finished soon. 
**Edit:  Mystery is revealed HERE!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I'm Reading

Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors. 
Joseph Addison

Judy over at Patchwork Times is starting a new linky party on Tuesdays called Whatcha Reading.  I'm not sure that I have mentioned here what a Bibliophile I am.  I've been an avid reader since grammar school.  For many years of my life I read nearly a book a day (this might explain why I was not an all A's student).  I have worked at public libraries twice in my life which did much in putting more books in my hands.

I am always amazed by people who never read books.  I don't read as many as I once did because I spend a lot of time reading blogs... that is still reading.  I have a Kindle that I got a little over a year ago for my birthday.  I have been listening to more books than I have read in paper for several years now.  I can sew and quilt while doing this and I don't get as tired although sometimes I find myself just listening and not sewing when the story is really interesting.  It does make me move around to change the CD about once and hour too.  My husband and I both listen to books in the car also.  It really makes the miles speed by on long trips or when stuck in traffic.

Several years ago I began writing down the titles and authors of all the books I read, in whatever form, each year.  Here is my totals for last year:

Bound Books - 7
Audio Books - 34
Kindle Books - 57

This doesn't include the numerous magazines which I read either.  I try to record everything but if I missed just a couple that puts the total at 100.  I was a little shocked that the bound book total was so low.  I know for a long time I read between 10 - 25 books a month.  When do I find time to do so much reading?  Well, let's just say I've never been addicted to housework. LOL

I've been totally amazed at how many books I've read on the Kindle.  I've downloaded around 500 and only paid for a couple.  If you know where to look you can get a nice variety for FREE!  Amy over at Blogging with Amy had the link that I use on Amazon.  If you type in Free eBooks or Kindle books you can pull up a list of some but this is the best list.  It is updated hourly so if you are using it it can change and the ones you had just looked at may be moved around a bit.  You can also select best fiction, non fiction or genres.  Here is the link: 

Now if you are thinking you don't have a Kindle, don't despair.  There is a free app that you can use on your computer and probably one for tablets, phones, etc.  Just look for it.  I try to go to the link about once a month.  This week I zapped about 50 new ones into my Kindle.

Now what have I been reading?  January has been a Reacher month for me and my husband.  We went to see the movie Jack Reacher.  We liked it although we agreed with the critics that Tom Cruise is about a foot short and a hundred pounds too light to be impressive as a fighter.
We both listened to 61 Hours and read the hardback Worth Dying For.  DH is about halfway through it and I read the whole thing Monday.  Did I mention I can read fast?  Lee Child is a prolific writer and holds your attention without boring you with details.  Some things are just left unexplained which adds to the mystery of who Reacher is.  If you like thrillers you will like his books but they may be a little too bloody for some.

Don't be thinking that I only read one genre, I enjoy many.  A few but not all of the genres I read are Fantasy, Sci Fi, Mystery, Love stories, and have found several Young Adult authors that I like.  One of them is Robin McKinley.  She, as well as several other authors, has been rewriting fairy tales.  This one is about Sleeping Beauty.  I've read a couple of her others too.  I'm just a few chapters into this one.  I'll have to let you know how I like it.

I also have about 4 or 5 that I'm reading on the Kindle.  Maybe I'll tell you about them next week.  There is a least one that I probably won't bother to finish.

So are you a reader?  What do you like and how do you read it?

I'll get back to quilting tomorrow.  I want to tell you about my January finishes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Design Wall Catch Up

Contrary to popular belief an artist is never ahead of his time, but most people are far behind theirs. 
Edward Varese

I have been having a productive month!  I will share some of my finishes in a day or two.  If I have been absent from the blog it is because I have been having to adjust my weeks to going to physical therapy twice a week.  I am making progress, my legs are getting stronger and I don't have much pain unless you count the sore muscles. ;-)

Spring is coming!

More daffodils are blooming each day.  There are several clumps opening up.  Some years they all bloom together but it doesn't look like that will happen this year.

Last week this tumbler quilt was on my 'new' design wall.  No. I still haven't made a dent in my Christmas fabrics even though this is the 3rd of 4th Christmas quilt I've done in the last few years.  This is my first time making a tumbler quilt.

Finished Top on 'New' Design Wall

With my knee problem it was hard for me to get in our high bed so we removed the box springs, replaced them with plywood.  The box springs were just leaning against the wall in the spare room.  We haven't made a decision yet about whether or not we are keeping the mattress set we have or getting another one that would be lower.  Since I am sewing upstairs the box springs seemed like the perfect thing to use for a design wall.  It's working very well!

Close up of Tumbler Quilt

This is the tumbler quilt that I cut out with the Marti Michell template.  I posted about the template here.  It went together easily.  The top is finished but not pressed at all.  I didn't do any pressing because the iron is downstairs.  Sometimes a little fingerpressing is all that is needed anyway.  It worked fine this time for sure.  The seams all matched up great!  I didn't redo any of them except for one piece I swapped out for a different color.

Edge of  Tumbler Quilt

When I was cutting it out I sometimes could not get a whole tumbler from the piece at the end of the strip I was cutting from.  If I could get a half tumbler I cut one so they could be used at the edges.  I will trim this off evenly after I get it pressed.

Accuquilt die cut tumblers

This is what is on my design wall this week.  I cut this out in December at the charity quilting group using the Accuquilt tumbler die.  I hung it up vertically after doing the other one I figured out it might be easier to do it that way.

Better color in this picture

This is made with a group of Moda homespuns.  The blues and oranges together are making it a very happy quilt.  I'm almost ready to sew the rows together.

Misty in a favorite spot

Misty, my miniature Schnauzer, was very sick after the holidays.  She may have eaten some people food which doesn't agree with her.  She is all better now and back to sleeping the day away waiting for my husband to get home so she can pester him to take her out.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winning Words

Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning.  
Benjamin Franklin

Today I used to select a Winner for the Giveaway in the In Your Words blog hop post.  The number that was selected was number 70.

Congratulations to Deb who wrote: 

"Beautiful projects and very good words to live by~"

She was excited when I contacted her and is looking forward to her prize.

I found another 'Wordy' project from a few years ago.  This tote is made with black screening.
Don't you love the Laurel Burch fabrics?

I have finished a few things this week but I haven't taken any pictures yet.  I have one more to finish up tonight and I want to show pictures of all of the projects together.  These involve a lot of hand sewing so it has been a change for me.  I haven't done much hand work in quite a while.
This is some things I've been using in my projects.  Can you guess what it is?

I've also been sewing on my Christmas tumblers quilt.  I'm arranging the rows on a temporary design wall trying to keep prints and colors from touching each other.  I have plenty of extra pieces to add here and there to do this.

We might be getting either ice or snow tonight - or both.  Last I counted there was four or five daffodils blooming.  No pictures because it was rainy and gray all day.  It's not uncommon for us to have snow when daffodils bloom here in Georgia.  If we get snow it is usually in January, February or March.  Here's a picture from a few years ago.  If you look close you'll see the yellow blooms.

Snow and Daffodils February 2008

That's Misty my Miniature Schnauzer trying to find her way in the snow.  I'll have some new photos to share soon!

Linking with Really Random Thursday

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More Words

To know the true reality of yourself, you must be aware not only of your conscious thoughts, but also of your unconscious prejudices, bias and habits. 

Today is the last day of the In Your Words blog hop.  If you haven't checked out all the posts you need to get hopping.  There have been some great projects shared.  You can find the whole schedule at  Buzzing and Bumbling.  Thanks to Linda and Madame Samm for such a nice event.

I have sign on board for another blog hop coming up next month.  It is going to be  a really fun one.  Do you think I should make it a self portrait or just the funny old quilter?

There may still be room for you to sign on too if you hurry!

I'm making progress on several projects this week.  I have another couple of finishes.  I'll share pictures soon.  I may get some more finished tomorrow.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Faux Binding

A picture is a poem without words. 


Look what popped up in my yard yesterday.  Looks like we've had our 2 weeks of winter, although there might be a little more coming soon.  We've had a few days on 70's in the last week or so.  The trees will start blooming soon if this keeps up.

Spring is Coming 

Other bulbs are coming up too.

Close up of Faux Binding

In my previous post I mentioned using Faux Binding on the small wall quilts.  This is a really simple and fast technique.  It works very well on small quilts and I have used it on crib quilts.  The larger quilts can be more problematic because it is harder to use the 'pillowcase' technique  on them and not get tucks when adding quilting to them.

One thing that is helpful with this technique is to just stitch the backing and top together leaving the opening for turning.   Then go back and restitch adding the batting.  It is an extra step but it is much easier to get the two cloth layers flat and even without the batting.  I don't think it really adds much time because you eliminate the time spent wrestling with the batting.  If the cloth layers are aligned and stitched down already you know it will be the same size.  I leave the batting slightly larger, just about an inch or two, then trim it even after stitching.

The last border added becomes the 'binding'.  You can make it any size you like.  I will say that the smaller you make it the more obvious any wobbles in your seaming will be.  The one in the Santa quilt above finished at about one inch wide.  After the quilt is turned right side out, stitch up the opening left for turning.  Then you need to stitch in the ditch at the seam to create the binding's appearance.

This embroidered wall quilt below has a faux binding that finished at 3/4 inch. 


A Peak at a Finish for 2013 

Back View and Wide Binding

I finally hid all the dangling threads and stitched down the corners of the wide binding on the quilt so I can claim it FINISHED.  It's not mine so I will not be sharing a front view.  It was a bit of a challenge to work on since it was a hand pieced top of double knit elongated hexagons.  I added a really wide binding to make sure the hand pieced edges were secure.  

My other Finish of the Week

My SECOND FINISH of the year was the quilt in the previous In Your Words post.  I have added a couple more pictures to that post.  I also added the date of the drawing and a picture of the quilt label I am giving away.

What am I working on now?

Here is a glimpse of what I'm working on now.  I had hoped to get it done this past week since it had words on it but that didn't happen.  It is a neat project that I think you will like.  Maybe I can get it finished today.

Linking with Design Wall Maonday and Linky Tuesday

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In Your Words

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Turn Around
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Touch the Ground
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Don't Fall Down
Children's Jump Rope Rhyme


Today's my day on the In Your Words blog hop.  Thanks to Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt and Linda at Buzzing and Bumbling for being the great cheerleaders for this great hop.

If you haven't been here to my blog before I hope that you will take a look around and get to know me a little.  It won't take you long to see how much I like WORDS.  I try to start all my posts with a quote that fits in with what I have to say.

I've had to be a little creative with what I was going to share today.  Since I have had limited access to my studio for the last month I was not able to spend a lot of time down there working on new things. The good news is that my knee is much better.  Next week I start some physical therapy so maybe the stairs will be doable again in the near future.  The great news was that the surgery word didn't come all!

First of all I thought I would share the Teddy Bear quilt that I made my daughter a few years ago.  She had always loved teddy bears so I collected teddy bear fabric for quite a few years.  When the Yellow Brick Road Pattern by Teri Atikinson come out I thought it would be a good one to use with all the prints,  The words in the rhyme above are some of the words I quilted into the quilt;  I also put in teddy bear hugs and teddy bear kisses.  I used a teddy bear cookie cutter to make an outline to use in the quilting.  It's hard to see the words because the prints are so busy.  By the way she is now in her late 30's and still love teddy bears!

It was too long to get the whole front in the picture 

All kinds of teddy bear fabric

Don't you love the leather jacket?

I have collected Santas for many years.  This is a small Santa Applique Wall Quilt that has his names on it.  It always makes me smile to see it.

Santa's Close Up

Last but not least I did get to my machine this week to finish this.  It is a small stitchery that I had someone make.  I had never finished it so I added the faux binding and a little stitch in the ditch.  I love the saying!  It's one that I still have to remind myself to live by from time to time.

A Closer View of the Stitching

I explain Faux Binding in My Next Post.  Be sure to check it out.

A Straighter Picture

If you want to see what the other bloggers are having to say today here is the list.

Jane's Fabrics (Jane R.)
Jane's Quilting (Jane C.)
Nuts 4 Redwork (Heide W.)
Bits and Pieces (Martha R.)
Life in Every Breath (Jennifer B.)
Quilting Lines (Patricia L.) you are here
Meadowbrook (Kristen K.)
Count It All Joy! (Denise P.)
Sophie Junction (Sophie W.)

I'm having a little giveaway for the quilt care label above and a fat quarter of your color choice from my stash.  Drawing will be held January 17th.

To enter leave a comment of one of your favorite quotes.

My followers, old or new, can leave a second comment for an extra chance to win.

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