Monday Goals

Sunday, November 29, 2009
Goal setting time! The cutoff date for customer quilts is December 15th, so they have to be high on the list.

  1. Quilt the tan 9 patches
  2. Work on the customer quilts
  3. Bind the red Heartstrings and the Pink baby quilt

I know that will keep me busy this week. My friend Sally would like to have a "girls day out", Ken is finishing up the last of harvest and would be very happy if "Annie and I" did some fall tillage for him. We really don't do "presents" on either side of the family, so no real shopping involved. The rest of the "kids" are all to the age that money is the best fit! And I know Mason doesn't need any more toys!

When Laura Beth was little, on holidays and her birthday she often received savings bonds as gifts from the grandparents and relatives. By the time she was out of college and married, they had added up. I think that is a good thing, and hope to do the same with Mason.

And I forgot to add one thing on my stash report yesterday, next week I will have to remember to add a yard of fabric I bought to bind the 9 patches. I had three crooked pieces left when I made the border and the backing--not enough to make binding.

So I bought this for binding

Right now the weather is nice, I am going to hang the last of the outside lights, and then I'm going to sew! Everyone have a great week!

Sunday Stash Report

Not very many weeks left, but that's OK! I busted a bit of fabric this week. I thought I had forgotten what a finish felt like. First, I finished a quilt using some of my FAVORITE brother in law Paul's mother's stash. I think I will name this quilt "Gingersnaps" because it has the cutest binding--it was a stripe I made on the bias so it winds along the edge like a barber pole.

You will recognize this quilt as Judy's pattern--Bears in the Farmhouse. Her's had quite a bit more for borders, but I was scraping the bottom when I was digging in Paul's mother's box for anything big enough to make borders. So I quit! I'd say this used about 6 yards, my sister bought the fleece on the back. Here is Paul with his quilt, now he has two and has to share with my sister! I like that Paul and Kathy can use the quilt and think of Paul's mother. More nostalgia!

And the other day I finished a "Happy Blocks" top, the only fabric I used of mine was the binding--so that used about 1/2 yd.

So now I am only -53.5 yds! But remember, I have at least three quilts ready to be finished, I may break even yet! Except for the bag of fabric I found yesterday (and can't for the life of me remember what it was for??!) I am happy with my purchases and what I've used. Wait, I almost forgot, I gifted some blocks from a swap--that used up at least another two yards. So now I'm -51.5 yds.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving--we ate, played cards, and had lots of fun! Tomorrow will be another day "for me"--I would like to string my Christmas lights, and load another quilt.

Saturday Silly

Saturday, November 28, 2009
I tried to slip it past everyone, but Henrietta let it out of the bag. Yes, yesterday was my birthday. I'm trying to handle it like Maxine--

And my friend Henrietta calls, she had sent me a package ages ago and I was to wait until my birthday to open it. (Actually, she called at 11:45PM!) I opened the box and this was in it--

Only a REAL friend would send you a lighted magnifying mirror so I can find those "stray" dark whiskers on my face! Unfortunately, in looking at my face I can really see the wrinkles too!

My sister Kathy and I exchanged "unsigned" birthday cards--so we can reuse them next year!

Tonight I was searching in my sewing room, and although I never found what I was looking for, I found a sack with fabric in it. Now I remember buying it, it was borders and backing for a quilt. But for the life of me I can't remember what top it was to go on!! Oh dear--I'm forgetting stuff already!! Fear not, I have plenty of tops that need a border and backing, so I'm sure this will be used! I found at least 4 sets of quilt blocks (enough to make at LEAST full size tops). I can see what I will be doing in 2010~!

PS--think how fabric finishing those block sets would bust!!

Motivation Friday

Friday, November 27, 2009
I hope all who have celebrated Thanksgiving already had a great day. Tonight we go to Ken's side of the family, tomorrow we have mine. My food is almost complete for both days. Tonight I am taking sweet potatoes cooked in caramel sauce with nutmeg and chocolate mousse. Tomorrow I will take the desserts (pumpkin pie bars, pecan bars, and chocolate mousse) a broccoli casserole and more of the sweet potatoes. My sister Kathy and my FAVORITE brother in law Paul are providing the house (hardest item to get ready!) the turkey, dressing, and potatoes. The rest of us will provide the other food. I'm pretty sure my dad provided the turkey--but at almost 90 yo he won't cook it! Thanks dad!

My goals went well this week. Since there was nothing planned for yesterday, I sewed. I completed a top I took home from the MN Heartstrings sew in, it's very cute. For fun I quilted it with a variegated thread in yellows--I just thought it looked like it would go!

I finished the binding on the rosy red fleece quilt, but a picture of it will have to wait--it's a present! I went and separated my projects into current stacks.

Left to right it's two finished quilts, then two quilts to bind, and then three tops with backing ready to quilt. We won't even talk about the flimsies stacked up waiting their turn. And of course there are customer quilts, they go to the top of the list!

But it's been a very productive week, I'm happy. And although the busts this week will be small, there will be busts!

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday Surprise

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Had a bit of time last night, so pieced backing for the mystery quilt, put the last borders on the 9 patches and pieced that backing. My hand is still too sore to do any more binding on the rosy red, but its GONNA BE finished by the end of the week. I even loaded a Heartstrings Happy Top that was set together at the MN sew in. Since we're not doing anything on Turkey day, I plan to spend it sewing. Shouldn't take me more than a couple of hours to quilt the happy top. I now have divided the piles into those ready to quilt, and those waiting for binding. I'm getting a good feeling about those piles!
Hope you all have happy plans for Thanksgiving! Us, I am hoping to drag Ken to the local eatery for their Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday Goals

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Almost forgot about Monday goals. It will be a short week with Thanksgiving.

  1. Finish binding the rosy red top
  2. Finish last border on 9 patch top
  3. Piece the mystery quilt backing and the 9 patch backing

That will be plenty, I know I will have a busy week.

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Stash Report. How the good times just keep rolling around! I'm still at -60 yds, but I am hand sewing a binding down. So I'm SO CLOSE to a finish. But no whining, I'm still having a good year, getting lots done. Good luck to everyone in the next week! I love reading everyone's stash reports, seeing what they've done in the last week!

Working on Saturday

Saturday, November 21, 2009

First I thawed a 23# frozen turkey. (Turkeys are on sale here for .47 @ lb. with a coupon!) Then I cooked it in my pressure cooker for 30 minutes. I did this late Friday night, and set the whole thing outside until this morning. (it was 32F last night)

I deboned and cut it up--turning it into this---

Which I turned into this---

Its a bit depressing that a 23# turkey only filled 10 pints! But that's only a bit over $1 a pint for cooked boneless ready to cook with turkey. I plan to cook 4-5 more big turkeys. My whole family saved their coupons for me!

And I'm keeping busy quilting, maybe by tomorrow I'll have a finish. Last night I made this--
Yes, I finally made some binding!

Motivation Friday

Friday, November 20, 2009
Time to check my goals. I've gotten a lot done this week, but they weren't quilty things. Hired someone to rake/mow my lawn the last time, Ken and I just haven't the time right now. Monday my sister and I were able to receive our H1N1 shots. Not near as important for me as for my sister, she's the local librarian and has lots of public contact. I had my 3 month check up, and my numbers were all good, I'm pleased. Whew!

  1. I have the rosy red top quilted, it's now moved to the binding pile
  2. I'm still measuring and planning on my friend's quilt
  3. I loaded a BEAUTIFUL top for a lady, I hope she'll let me show you when it's done.
  4. Haven't pieced the mystery quilt back
  5. No binding made yet either.

But, I'm pleased so far with my progress, lots of life happening around me! Harvesting is moving at a snails pace. Not sure what tomorrow will bring. Tonight I baked a batch of cookies I had chilling in the fridge. Gingersnaps! They end up in the lunch boxes taken in the tractors.

What I Did On Thursday

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Ken hooking up chain to combine

I think our lives are in a "rut"

Is there really a tire down there somewhere?

Not much room under there for more mud

Ken hooking up the now broken chain....

I guess you can figure out what I did today. sigh

PS--Ken suggested some very obscene things about people who show up with cameras and take pictures at times like these!

How to Make a Primitive Rag Rug

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I thought you might like to see one of my rag rugs. This is entirely recycled material, (except for the thread) 3-1/2 pairs of my husband's jeans and about 1/4 of an old flannel twin sheet. The backing is a denim tote bag I made to schlep my sewing machine which hadn't been used in many years (the bag not the machine) so I unpicked it. It is approx 20 x 30

These rugs are neither complex or difficult to make and there are many ways to do it. THIS one was made by cutting the dead jeans into 3" squares and folding them in half diagonally to make a triangle shape. Discard seams etc. You don't have to use denim, I do because what else are you going to do with ripped and stained jeans?

You can make rugs with old tee shirts using at least two squares or mens shirts which you can pick up for pennies at thrift shops. The thinner the material, the
more squares you should layer, this is the 'pile' of the rug. If you don't want to mess with squares layer several strips cut or torn to more or less the same width and stitch straight down the center. Make your rows closer when using strips, think 'chenille' without the fuss of snipping it all apart. 1-1/2" strips sewn approximately 1/2" apart will use a lot of ugly fabric and make a thick rug.

Decide what size you want your rug to be, bearing in mind that the bigger the rug the heavier to lift out of the washer when wet. You will need a sturdy piece of backing material, you can get 60"+ wide denim very inexpensively in the flat fold fabric section. I usually buy new for the backing since that is what holds the whole shebang together. Never skimp on thread quality.

Fold the backing so it is doubled in thickness and stitch about 1/2" in from the edge all around the perimeter. Don't worry about the raw edges. Next draw lines with a ballpoint as a sewing guide. 1-1/2" is the maximum spacing for denim squares, it feels lumpy to me if you go further apart than that. My method is to take the length of the mat and divide it by 1.5". If it comes out to an odd number move the lines closer, the mat will be denser.

It is easiest to stitch the rows by stitching the center row first, then the rows on either side, working evenly to the ends of your rug. You will also have less bulk to wodge under the sewing machine arm as you progress from the middle to the edges.

Fold your fabric squares in half as you are ready to slide them under the presser foot. Go slowly at first, taking your foot off the pedal as you add a new folded square until you pick up the rhythm.

Now start stitching! Place your folded fabric triangle with the folded edge on the edge of the backing and the point on the guide line pointing at you. Stitch about 1/2 way down the triangle and place the folded edge of the next triangle on top in the same way, stitch, place, stitch until your row is done. It comes out to about one square folded into triangle per lineal inch in the row.

Neatness does not count.

For each row I start the stitching and after about 1/4" reverse and back-stitch over at the beginning and end of every row. Makes things stronger.

On THIS mat I changed the direction of the triangles on each row. I don't always do it that way, do whatever turns you on. When I was done the mat felt a bit lumpy so I stitched strips of flannel sheet (4 layers) between the rows.

Next to the washer. Denim and flannel will fray like crazy, other fabrics not quite as bad, might want to take it to the laundromat. Then the dryer to fluff. Clean the lint trap every ten minutes or so. It WILL clog up fast.

This mat will outlive me. As a bedside or bath mat they more or less last for ever. As a front door mat inside, they get to looking grungy in my house after about ten years. I wash them frequently and will use a package of RIT dye as the whim takes me.

Tuesday Thoughts

Often when I read other blogs, I see so many artistic people out there. People who make things OTHER than quilts! Henrietta and I were talking, and she mentioned she had a rug stored here, it was made out of double knit cut into VERY SMALL SQUARES that were folded and sew onto a backing. Here it is--the butterfly rug. It is soft and squishy and washes beautifully. All out of the 60's polyester. Except that the thread may wear out eventually, I think it is almost indestructible!

It's a soft pale green and is about 28" long and 24" wide, perfect for in your bathroom. The squares of poly are about 1.5" square, and are folded diagonally and stitched down. When you run your hand over it it reminds me of alligator or fish scales, very tightly fit.

About the same time Henrietta bought the butterfly on a estate auction, I had bought a bunch of loomed rag rugs (another estate auction). Very hard to find good loomed rag rugs nowadays. Do you remember winding the strips of scrap fabric into balls to be taken and made into rugs? I do! This is one of my favorites, I love the purple with red/black stripes on the ends, and it is made with red and green Christmas strings!

I haven't sold any of those rugs, that was my intention, but I like them all so much I may have to start using them!

Monday Goals

Monday, November 16, 2009
Every week I have to look back and review what last week's goals were. I've been sewing a lot, have many projects in the works. This afternoon I took a few pictures, my blog has been rather boring! The 9 patches are sewn into a top, next will be borders.

  1. Quilt the rosy red fleece backed top (fleece goes on top when quilting
  2. Check and add borders to my friend's top
  3. Load friend's top on long arm
  4. Piece backing for mystery quilt
  5. Start making bindings
Here are my piles of "things to finish". There are quilts needing bindings and finished tops needing quilting stacked on that roll of batting. In the corner is a folding quilt rack that holds finished quilts--made by Henrietta and I out of scraps from a broken wooden pallet.

Okay, I think those will keep me busy this week. We are still harvesting, Ken was stuck with the combine the other day. sigh I hope the weather holds until he is done. I have all my neighbor's leaves on my lawn, I gave up and called the lawn care fellow, he can do the last mowing and suck up all those leaves and haul them away. Today my sister and I went and received our H1N1 vaccination. Yes, we are both in a high risk category.

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, November 15, 2009
Ah, the stash report!! Nothing bought, nothing finished! Still -60 yards. But I am going to be making some progress! Today I hope to load a top on the long arm and start quilting it. I've made progress on all my goals this week.

My sister picked out some rose fleece to back a quilt top (this is the extra wide 90" fleece)--

I found the exact color green I needed to finish my friend's quilt--

I know the picture is washed out, but, it is exactly the right color for a small border and binding!

And here are my 9 patches, I think I have 3 rows left to sew together. My stash report doesn't show it, but I am working away! I hope to have finishes rolling in before the end of the year!

Motivation Friday

Friday, November 13, 2009
Time to check on my goals.

  1. Work on quilt for a friend. Yes, I'm working on it, need to run to the fabric store and look for a piece of accent fabric. None in my stash that will work.
  2. Baby quilt is waiting for it's binding along with the heartstrings quilt.
  3. Load another quilt top. My sister has to pick out the backing, so I'm waiting until we go shopping on Monday.
  4. I AM sewing the 9 patches into a top, only a few rows left!
  5. Pull out a UFO. I did, I added borders, and it's the top I'm waiting for my sister to pick out the backing for!
I worked on a "mystery quilt" (it's a present so I can't show it here). I have the top all pieced and it's in the queue for quilting.

I haven't any pictures today, the day is overcast and gray, I think it's working itself up to rain--again.

Veteran's Day

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday Goals

Sunday, November 8, 2009
Goals for next week are--

  1. Work on quilt for a friend
  2. Bind baby quilt
  3. Load another top on long arm
  4. Sew 9 patches into a top
  5. Pull out a UFO
There are plenty of items on that list to keep me busy. Yesterday I quilted a Heartstrings top that came home with me from the Kasson MN sew in. It will wait with the pink baby quilt until I have a binding making session. I also finished the borders and backing on the navy blue/white bricks and stepping stones quilt, so that is another top all ready to quilt. Gradually I am getting tops closer to being done!

My purple striped malva are still blooming. Didn't they feel the frost? The snow and ice a few weeks ago? Guess not!

Have any of your thought about next year yet? I have! Yes, I have "a plan". I am going to make a quilt "for me" out of "NOT ME" colors. And not scrappy. Does anyone want to join me in an "out of the box" experience?

Sunday Stash Report

I'm still -60 yds. But I am nearing some finishes. Saturday was "B&B" day. Borders and Backings. I put a border around a Heartstrings top, found some backing and seamed it, and loaded it on the long arm. Whew! That is a project ready to quilt. Next I pulled out the navy blue/white bricks and stepping stones. I have the first border on, and the second border cut. Today I hope to get those sewn on, and the backing ready. Then I can set it aside--ready to go.

I miss Mason, Laura Beth and Nick. I wished they lived closer. I miss those little arms being held up with that "pick me up, grandma" look. The weather was beautiful on Friday and Saturday, 60's and 70's. Now if it would just dry off a bit.

Motivation Friday

Friday, November 6, 2009
We're not really going to check on my goals. I spent the last week in Mankato with Mason, Laura Beth and Nick, so there was no sewing! But I got to play with Mason a lot, and although I haven't gotten him to say "grandma or grandpa" yet, I worked on it! My house is so quiet without him here to hold his arms up to me. Or play in the bathtub. Or read a book to. He even listens closely when I sing, no matter what! This is one of the last pictures I took before I left.

I love to shop at thrift and junk stores. I look for old dishes, especially old Pyrex. I bought this one, it goes with a set of smaller ones in different colors. This is a 1.5 liter casserole dish. The little "ears" on the sides make them easy to lift while hot.

Also found some flat flannel sheets I am going to try and use as batting on heartstrings quilts. With lots of seams and foundation fabric, they sometimes get quite heavy when you add batting too. And, I found Ken six more shirts. He wants button down the front, button down collar, with a front pocket, in conservative colors! Nothing like being picky! These will either become work shirts (and they don't have to be new--just clean and cared for) or farm shirts (where anything goes!)

The weather is beautiful today, the thermometer says 75 degrees, and I hear kids playing and lawn mowers going. Sure beats snow! I have my doors and windows open. Ah, fresh air!

I hope you're enjoying nice weather where you are too!

PS--check the previous post, that wildly striped afghan Mason is laying on I found in a thrift store for $5!!! I had to buy it, my grandmother made that pattern a lot and I didn't have one. I have great memories of her making them.