Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby quilt progress

Finished sewing the strata together, and then the border strips went on.
Found a large enough piece of flannel for the back, and layered with the batting. Pinned it all together.
Began quilting down the seams.
Quilted down some more seams.
Currently I'm half done with the quilting.
Art La Flamme received 132 IBOL bundles today
Good exercise class
Conversation with Blue Cross

Sunday, August 30, 2009

IBOL and Baby quilt

Two more boxes going to Iraq. I filled them up Friday and Saturday. Now they are in the back seat of my car ready to take to the P.O. after exercise class tomorrow. This IBOL project is such a heart warmer!
This afternoon I started a bargello baby quilt for Matthew and Collette's baby girl. The shower is next Sunday, so I have one week to pull this together. Shouldn't be a problem. I'm using a "Mint" batik jelly roll and have added a couple of coral strips to make it a little more "girlie". And I will also use that color for a border.
Sun finally shone today
BLT sandwiches for supper
Dogs were hilarious during bocce game

Thursday, August 27, 2009


So my Wednesday breakfast group told me that the place to go for the IBOL sewing tools was....Dollar Tree. I stopped there and found these little sewing kits for a dollar each. I know the scissors is crummy, but it has needles and 12 colors of thread, a couple of buttons, a needle threader and a plastic thimble. I also bought a package of 200 safety pins for a dollar and I'm adding 20 to each kit, as well as some of my straight pins.

So now I am just waiting for my bundle of 10 APO flat rate bhoxes to be delivered by USPS. The Post Offices around here were all OUT of them, so I ordered over the internet, and they are free.

A couple of years ago I thought I was going to use a lot of plaid flannel--and now it doesn't look like it is ever going to happen. So I can now "use" that fabric strategically in this "surge" of sewing materials to Iraq. Good deal all around!



Art LaFlamme for setting this up!

Dollar Tree

Lawn mower repaired, the grass is waving!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Doll Swap Quilt finished

Today I turned the binding a new way, one demonstrated by Judy Liquidara. After sewing the binding on the front of your quilt, you turn it to the back using lots of pins and being sure that the fold MORE than covers the sewing line on the back.

With great care you sew again on the RIGHT side, in the ditch. And hopefully you catch the binding on the back while you do this!

Well, it worked PRETTY well, I had to re-do a few places. But now I have a better idea of just how far over the sewing line I have to turn it in the back. Should be easier the next time.

Then I added a final line of embroidery to the wide border, then washed and dried the quil--so it has lots of nice bumps.

Here's the back, with some more leftover batik pieces from the long-ago Spoolspinners' raffle quilt.

And here is a close-up of the corner so you can see the shrinkage "bumps" better.

I think it is OK to send to my secret partner now. She lives in TX, and hasn't done much blogging for a while herself, so I don't know much about her.
This project ready for the mail tomorrow
Iraqi Bundles of Joy doing very well [ ]
Zeke giving me company while Charlie is away

Friday, August 21, 2009

More on the Doll Quilt

I began the quilting on my contribution to the Doll Quilt Swap #7. First I did some simple quarter-inch-away-from-the-seamline quilting on the colored blocks. Then I outlined the corner triangles the same way, and then the very thin border.
After much consideration, and a break for dinner, I keyed in one of the decorative stitches on my machine. It resembles the pattern on the background fabric. I added two squares in the varigated thread I had been using.
And that's it for tonight. Binding next.


My eye was rough and scratchy yesterday evening, and I was afraid to fall asleep because I might rub it (though they had not warned me against this). However, this morning my eye feels like normal--no pain, no irritation. Now three days of antibiotic drops, and that's all.

We celebrated my continued ability to see by going to the movie "Julie and Julia". Very enjoyable.



Eye is comfortable

Clean house

Salmon and fresh green beans

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Your Way Progress + IBOL

This is the current state of the mystery for me. I put all the largest blocks on the bottom to weighit down, or look like things are "settling". Now I think that they run together and don't hold their individual shape. Maybe I'll have to put in some more coping bars.

I showed this at our SpoolSpinners bee meeting tonight. And I also got seven of them to take flat rate postal boxes to send to the Iraqi Bundles of Love project []. Everyone agreed that it is a very small box compared to their stash! Hope any readers will look into this project too.


I had a serious optical scare today, My opthalmologist sent me straight over to a retinologist because I had developed "wet" macular degeneration in my right eye. This expert said it was like I had had a heart attack, and there was no time to "consider" what treatment to take, just DO IT. This meant that he inserted a hypodermic needle into my eyeball and injected medicine into the back of my retina. And this will have to be done every four weeks for an indeterminate future to hopefully save my eyesight.

I was shocked and immensly aware of how precious my sight is.

Why am I not more attentive to the beauties before me?

Why should I spend any time looking at and working on frugal projects if they are ugly?



The time I still have to look at this beautiful world.

The calmness of a competent doctor and all his helpers

That I drove home safely

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Sunshine in August

Time for me to walk around the garden and check out what's going on.

Portulaca -- Moss rose


Rudbecia--Black eyed Susan



Flute, piano and guitar music in church

Storm with buckets of rain

Joe Pye getting ready to bloom

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Last "Your Way" blocks

I did manage to finish my last "Your Way Mystery" blocks today. And I managed to get a little more WHITE space into some of them.

I made two "on point" small blocks and one slightly tilted. Does this look intentional, or just poor workmanship?

I'll have to see if this looks right when I get them ALL laid out together. Our Bee meets this Thursday, and I think that will be the time to lay our blocks out.



Didn't run out of white fabric yet
Kept mostly cool on a hot day
"Survivor" party for Larry for supper

Friday, August 14, 2009

Oh yes, the kitchen

With the chaos surrounding our return from vacation (grandkids, camp, kitchen refurbishment) I forgot to show the kitchen improvements.

MY favorite is the refinished wood floor. It was very scraped under the stools, which now have felt "footies" on the bottom of the legs. The floor is now sooo smooth!

[And, yes, that is a painting hanging three inches from the floor. My mother had it for years and hung it that low because it portrays birds feeding on the ground inwinter. Therefore, you should be looking DOWN at it.]
I am also glad to have the old cabinet doors, which were "alligatoring" as the laminate glue let go of the laminate surface, replaced with new SMOOTH doors. They also have that architectural indentation, so they look more interesting in angled light.

I always buy white appliances, given a choice, as you can see in the toaster and cooffee maker.

And since I was taking photos of the kitchen, here is the current quilt hanging:

This center square is about the only hand applique I have ever done, and it was enough to convince that I never wanted to do it again. I put it into a Round Robin and got back this delightful wall quilt. Makes me think of 40's/50's kitchens. [The hanging place is on the wall behind the kitchen stools.]



Six packages of pesto in the freezer

Tigers won last night!

First local tomatoes with dinner.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More "Your Way" blocks

Yes, I'm still making more. Not so very many, but they are taking longer than I remembered.

We all were to make 15 big blocks for a 3 x 5 setting. I have made five more for a 4 x 5 block set. Now I am in the process of making four more so I will have a 4 x 6 set. I want to make it large enough for a twin sized quilt.

And we celebrated Charlie's 65th birthday at a downtown restaurant last evening. Here he is with our DDIL Lynne.
Charlie says he is now participating in a large government health insurance program (Medicare), and so far, so good! Why not trust a new program as well?

Reaching 65 in good health!
Leftover birthday cake after exercise class
Another beautiful afternoon at the beach

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Knitting baby sox

Despite all the activity with the grandkids, etc. I have been getting SOME craft work done.

Since I have been knitting socks with the self-striping yarn, I have also created LEFTOVER yarn. Recently I discovered a pattern for making baby socks--and there seems to be enough of the leftover yard to make a pair of those small socks. And then there is STILL yarn left!

As we have been driving to and from camp, and to and from St. Louis, I have been following the directions. Now I have finished two pairs. This is good because I have a baby shower at the beginning of Sept.
Extra blocks for the "your Way" mystery
Rook's Landscaping workers clearing windfalls and wild grapevines
Attic fan brings in cool evening air

End of Camp

We went to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp to see the junior camp presentations from their"minor" subjects on Saturday.
SaraRachel was in Drama and John was in Jazz (on the violin).
They had one more night of camp.

We had a birthday dinner with Peter and Lynne at their property, Squirrelbane, near Lake Michigan,
and slept in their pop-up camper with them through a very entertaining couple of thunderstorms. However, we did stay dry. In the morning our wineglasses, left on the picnic table were FULL of water.

Then up and over to BLFAC in the morning to pick up all the gear and attend the Final Concert for their session. The band and the orchestra shared the stage.

SaraRachel and John "happened" to have seats right next to each other!
Here they are before the concert started,

After the concert we drove the kids home to St. Louis, MO, arriving about 8:00 pm our time, nine hours together.
They were glad to see their parents!

kids made new friends at camp
Safe travel both ways
Tasty fried chicken lunch made for us by Kate

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lake Michigan beach

For those of you who do not know what it is like to "go to Lake Michigan", here are some pictures of where we settled by the lake and then our walk along the beach yesterday.

We enjoy the places where there are not very many people.

So you see,we have an extensive sand beach, in fact it extends for almost the whole length of the east side of Lake Michigan. If you can get to the waterline, then you have a puyblic right to walk within six feet of the water.

When you are tired of walking, you can play in the water, or simply sit and enjoy looking at and hearing the waves. [And there is no salt in the water!]
The wonder of this Great Lake
FRESH corn on the cob again for dinner!
Car muffler fix only took 45 minutes of my tiime and $60

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Your Way" laid out

I finished sewing the large blocks together yesterday.
This morning I made a trial run at laying them out on my bed.Add Image

To my eye the blocks run together. I think I need some more "space" between the Shoofly blocks, at least more space in a few areas. So I am thinking about some basckground sashing/coping bars, not all around the blocks, but maybe one in each row and in each column.
This also looks like a pretty small quilt to me. I always think "bed" when I think quilt. One more column would make it 48" X 60", which is a good size for a middle before borders.
Charlie and I are going over to Lake Michigan this afternoon, and this time I hope I can remember to take some photos! This is a part of retirement that I really like--able to take off on a nice day and go where we want to go.



The Church Pension Fund (Episcopal)
Sun in the garden
Planning for August birthday celebrations

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back to "Your Way" Mystery

Our bee, the SpoolSpinners, finished the instructions for making the blocks of the "Your Way" mystery last month. Above you see the four sizes of blocks we have made so far. I made a lot of mine while Charlie and I were in Florida in March.
Now we are to sew the smaller three variously together into BIGGER blocks-- 12.5". We will end with 15 of the large blocks.

The method is to place all the small pieces needed for each block onto a paper plate, stack them up, and then sew those pieces together, one plate full at a time.

Some plates have the same combination of pieces. Here are two different ways of putting together one 9.5" block, three 3.5" blocks and two spacers of background fabric. The instructions, as usual, are to do this "your way". Or your choice about how to place them to make a 12.5" block.

I chose the Shoofly block in red with a black center. And they have gotten more "wonky" or wacky the further I go.



Breakfast with Cursillo friends

Love working with black, white and RED

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Doll Quilt continued

Pretty much finished the Doll Quilt top today. I put the thin line around the inner border because I wanted a little POP of color ouside the blue blocks. Now I wonder if it would better have been wider, and not so close in.

Once it was "finished" I measured it, and it was TOO large. Therefore I chopped off an inch from each side of the last border. And though I liked it bigger, I also like it this size.

I'm not real pleased with in in total. Maybe I will make another one with little batik blocks and see if I like that one better. There's time left, since these are not due until mid-September.
Walk through the meadow, seeing liatris in bloom
Sunday drive through town
Fresh corn on the cob!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Doll Quilt start

I have joined the Doll Quilt Swap #7 and I have been assigned a partner. No, a giftee, we don't EXCHANGE with each other. Everybody makes a quilt and receives a quilt, but not with the same person. [No side greater than 24".]

Anyway I am putting together a top from batik scraps. I've made little strippy blocks of the little scraps and am finding a way to set them together.

Other than that I have been knitting on two separate pairs of socks when ever I need "hand" work, which is mostly in the car travelling or sitting at the beach.


Fireflies at dusk
Shrimp for dinner
Progress on the doll quilt, not due until Sept.