Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WiP Wednesday - Adding to the List

I'm sorry to report that fellow quilter Gerry Largay, missing from the Appalachian Trail in Maine, has still not been located.  Please click here to see the most recent details and visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page for updates.  Please continue to share across social media channels...and pray.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Yesterday The Pit Boss treated Mom and me to a fantastic lunch at Marietta Fish Market before we headed over to Sew Main Street to pick out the fabrics for Batman's quilt.  Yes, my brother and sister-in-law - or should I say my niece and nephew - have nicknamed the new baby Batman. 

Since they are tormenting us by honoring the family tradition of not finding out the baby's sex until all is revealed in the delivery room, we were walking that fine line between not wanting anything too girlish or boyish and not wanting a boring old yellow and green quilt.  No offense if you like yellow and green.

We're doing the scrappy version of the Star Surround in the scrappy version of the 3x3 layout of 16" blocks that will end up being a 48" square - one of the options galore so helpfully provided by Melissa over at Happy Quilting - so we needed nine fat quarters.

It was tough, but we finally came up with these fun fabrics.

I do think it is a little boyish, and will probably go into a fit of pink if Batman turns out to be Batgirl, but I'm really thinking boy right now.  I was wrong the last two times, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day, am I right?

Because the Star Surround is so fabulous, and because I'll be doing the piecing for Batman's quilt, Mom got a little envious.  She then proceeded to talk herself into doing a QUEEN SIZED Star Surround for a friend's granddaughter and walked out with something like twelve yards of fabric for that quilt!

I was very restrained, even though I only get over to Woodstock about once a year, and only bought two spools of Auriful thread that I needed.  No really, this is all that's left of my white spool.

I know, I know.  I should get a big cone.  But I never think of it in time and then I need it NOW and also the quilt shops around here don't sell those so I need to order it and that takes, like, 

The last thing I picked up was this pattern for the most perfect little tote for my hexagons.  It is Carolyn Friedlander's Social Tote that has three compartments and an optional pin cushion that fits into one of the compartments.  I should have taken a picture of how it was displayed at the shop with the hexies in one small section, the pin cushion in the other, and fabric/templates in the big section.  Plus scissors attached with a cute ribbon pinned into the cushion.  Perfection!  Just grab and go whenever I need a hand sewing project.

I guess technically they aren't WiPs until I start cutting.  Hopefully I'll get to that today. 

Yes, I know I'm supposed to be finishing more than starting.  Shut up.

Oh, but in other exciting news, I used my Rainy Day Bag and they noticed it and liked it and thought I could sell them!  (But who has time for that?  I have a long list of stuff that has got to get done!)

What are you working on?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Star Surround Quilt Along - Half Square Triangles

First things first. I'm sorry to report that fellow quilter Gerry Largay, missing from the Appalachian Trail in Maine, has still not been located.  Please click here to see the most recent details and visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page for updates.  Please continue to share across social media channels...and pray.

It's time to start sewing our Star Surround blocks and  I'm so excited!

I love when you first start assembling blocks and get the first glimpse of how the fabrics will play together. 

One other thing I have found today is that, since the steps are so small (at least for the 40" single block) and so spread apart, that I'm taking my time and enjoying the moment more.  Process over product, right?

I even took the unusual unheard of step of pressing my seams open as Melissa suggests for the Fabric #1/Fabric #2 squares.

Crazy, right?

If you want to see more of these quilts as they come together, visit the Flickr group.  Better yet, join us!  It's not too late to start.

I'd love to see yours!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - It Ain't Over Til It's Over

First things first. I'm sorry to report that fellow quilter Gerry Largay, missing from the Appalachian Trail in Maine, has still not been located.  Please click here to see the interview with her wonderful husband, George, and here and here for more updates.  Please continue to share updates across social media channels...and pray.

It's the last Menu Plan Monday for July, and the new school year is steadily approaching.  As usual, I'm not ready for it to end.  Some parents start, about this time, getting back on schedule, waking their kids a little earlier, and moving dinner back to a civilized hour.  I tend more towards relishing every sweet minute of the unstructured days and leaving the first day of school alarm clock problem for future me.

In that vein, we're grilling out, eating late, sleeping later, and just chilling this week.  Next week we can worry about routines and bedtimes.    

My user name on My Fitness Pal is QJ2013 if you want to be friends.

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

  • Sunday -Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Burgers we skipped Saturday night when TPB made tri-tip again for Mom' birthday dinner, along with all the leftover sides
  • Monday - Many Cloves Garlic Chicken, thanks to this jar from Trader Joe's that my MIL brought us the other day; brown rice and asparagus
  • Tuesday - Whatever looks good at Kathleen's Catch, quinoa and grilled veggies.  Last week we had the Hawaiian Garlic Salmon and cooked it on cedar planks.  It was heavenly!
  • Wednesday - Sweet and Fiery Pork, Brown Coconut Rice with Cilantro, oven roasted green beans
  • Thursday - Leftover buffet
  • Friday -grilled chicken and vegetable kabobs, quinoa 
  • Saturday - Dinner with the grands

What's your style?

    Friday, July 26, 2013

    MISSING! Gerry Largay, Quilter, Missing from Appalachian Trail

    One of our own is missing. Please share this information on whatever social media channels you can.

    Gerry Largay, the Prayer Ministry quilter for whom we made the Bear Paw quilt in January, has not been seen since Tuesday, July 23 and has not contacted her husband since Monday, July22.

    The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page has all the details:
    UPDATE: SEARCH FOR GERALDINE LARGAY – July 26, 2013: This morning, approximately 60 searchers to include game wardens and searchers associated with Maine Association of Search and Rescue (MASAR see below) are looking for Geraldine Largay. A Maine Forest Service helicopter is also being utilized today. Maine Warden Service fixed-wing aircraft are not being used today due to low cloud cover. A command post has been established at the Sugarloaf Mountain Resort. Search efforts are concentrated on the AT north of the Spaulding lean-to in Mount Abram TWP toward the Route 27 crossing in Wyman TWP. Between those two points are numerous overlapping roads and trails. Wardens continue to seek more information as to the identity of the female hiker who reported staying at the Spaulding lean-to with Geraldine Tuesday night.

    Geraldine Anita Largay started her hike on the AT in April at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Her destination was Baxter State Park. Her husband George keeps track of her along the way and makes pre-determined stops to resupply her. On Sunday morning, she departed from the Route 4 AT crossing in Sandy River Plantation near Rangeley. Later that day she texted her husband and advised she was on top of Saddleback Mountain. Her plan was to stay at the Poplar Ridge lean-to in Redington TWP Sunday night. On Monday morning she texted again indicating she was headed north on the AT. Her next stop would have been the Spaulding Mountain lean-to. Largay is an experienced hiker who was prepared with supplies. She had no previous incidents up to this point on her hike.

    Yesterday, wardens learned that an unidentified female hiker called the Stratton Motel on Wednesday, July 24. The caller indicated she was travelling south (opposite direction of Geraldine) on the Appalachian Trail and spent Tuesday night (23rd) with Geraldine Largay at the Spaulding lean-to. Rain was heavy on Tuesday so it is suspected that Geraldine waited out the rain in the Spaulding lean-to for the day. It is believed she continued on her way north Wednesday morning.

    The Maine Warden Service needs to talk with the unknown female hiker about this incident. Anyone with information regarding either Geraldine or the unknown female hiker is asked to call Augusta Public Safety Dispatch at 1-800-452-4664.

    (The Maine Association for Search and Rescue (MASAR) is a non-profit organization that promotes and develops search and rescue resources for the state of Maine. MASAR provides training and certification for search and rescue volunteers using nationally-recognized standards. See for more information.)
    If you pray, please remember Gerry and her family in your prayers.  If you don't pray, please send positive thoughts, good vibes, or just cross your fingers that Gerry will be found safe. 

    FMQ and Finished Friday - Christmas Star Table Topper

    Free Motion Quilting Friday

    Today is Free Motion Quilting Friday over at Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project.

    The rules are simple:
    1. Link up with a post that features something about Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). 
    2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back to Leah's site, or you can just post the FMQF button in your sidebar. 
    3. Comment on at least a few of the other FMQF links. Share your love of free motion quilting and make this weekly link up a fun way to connect!  

    Sunday night during Dexter I finally finished stitching down the binding on this very old UFO.  You are all probably as glad to see it finished as I am, since I'm sure you're sick of looking at it!  For a quilt that gave me so much angst, I am truly happy with it and proud of it and excited to put it out on my big square kitchen table the day after Thanksgiving.

    For the skinny border, I decided just to stitch in the ditch.  I thought about doing the string of pearls type quilting, but the people I've asked all say they mark the bajillion tiny circles and, quite frankly, I don't have it in me to look at this thing for that much longer.  I suppose I could always go back and add them.

    For the last border, I did my new favorite cursive L design.  (I really need to look up the actual name for that one!).

    Thanks so much for your encouraging words and for cheering me on while I dragged this quilt across the finish line.  I couldn't wouldn't have done it without you!

    Details: This pattern is LoneStar Tree Skirt #109 by Helen Thorn, 1993. This is a PineTree Lodge Design.

    Linking up today with lots of awesome bloggers, including Finish It Up Friday with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts, Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday and, for the pure fun of it, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

      Thursday, July 25, 2013

      More Fun With Laminated Cotton

      After I made my Rainy Day Bag, I had lots of laminate left over and I couldn't wait to play.  Luckily Deuce has his first real girlfriend, and she was considerate enough to have a birthday, so I had an excuse.

      This little pouch with a pocket for your ID (or picture of your favorite guy!) is something I carry everywhere and have been wanting to duplicate for a long time.  Gracie and I stopped by JoAnn's on Sunday and picked up some clear vinyl.  It's in the back of the upholstery section at our store, just in case you don't feel like wandering aimlessly or trying to track down someone who actually works there. 

      There are a few things I would adjust, but in general I'm happy with it.  Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures - I forgot to take any and had to sneak a couple with my phone after I had already given it to her.  Whoops!

      She seemed to like it, and I think it's perfect for the girl who frequently misplaces keys, purse, etc.  Hopefully this will be useful at college so she can just tuck her student ID in the pocket and clip it to a lanyard or belt loop.

      Wednesday, July 24, 2013

      WiP Wednesday - Pondering the To Do List

      WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

      I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

      This week I've been clickety clacking along like the little engine that could - or is it the tortoise from the race with the hare? - making slow and steady progress on a couple of projects.

      I've finished quilting the large white crosses and squares on the family ties quilt and have moved on to the partial ones along the edge.  Then I have to decide what to do about the pink and purple sections and the blocks with the little girls.  Baby Reagan is now 3 months old, so I'm pushing forward on this one.

      Whenever I get a few minutes that aren't really long enough to set up for FMQing, I like to add a few quick strings to my spider web blocks.  This quilt makes me so happy whenever I lay out the blocks.  I may have to set my design wall back up just so I can look at them all the time for inspiration.

      But the real work in progress this week has been my to-do list.  I have always thought I was a good multi-tasker - isn't that a requirement for motherhood? - but it has been brought to my attention that I actually pretty much stink at it.  When I am writing a blog post or checking Facebook or working and someone asks me a question, I stall with an "Ummmm..." until I'm done with what I'm doing.  I think I can keep working when someone calls, but they can tell I'm not really paying attention.  And when I'm focused on eating healthy and exercising, the house doesn't stay as organized and I forget to turn on my sewing machine.  If I'm reading a really good book, dinner might not get made. 

      I am not, after all, good at multi-tasking.  I'm sorry.  I have a one track mind, and I like to think about what I'm thinking about and everyone else please leave me alone. 

      Except that's not how life works. 

      So I've been listening closely to the people who get a lot done and trying to mimic them a bit.  I've always been a list maker, but something Brye used to talk about and Pam mentioned a long time ago and I'm sure is totally obvious to the rest of you is that writing FINISH QUILT or CLEAN HOUSE on a list doesn't exactly inspire progress.  It's overwhelming.  What these people who accomplish things seem to do is to break the task down into small steps, maybe even little baby steps for people like me who are just getting the hang of it.  That way, if you have five minutes, you don't look at the list and think, "Nope, no time for that!" but instead think, "I could sew three more strings onto my spider web block." or "Let me just pull the chicken out of the freezer for dinner."

      This week I'm working on my to do list, keeping it right in front of me, making the items very simple, and I have to say it's working.  I've gotten more quilting done this week but it isn't to the exclusion of everything else.  I'm on track for my work hours and managed to put fresh sheets on the bed and do laundry.  I've written several blog posts, but also caught up with some nagging errands that have been put off.  I've even gotten back on the elliptical. 

      I'm not saying any of this to brag about my three decent days or fishing for compliments.  I'm certainly not claiming this is an original concept.  I say this because, as plain as it is to some of you, I think there are other people like me for whom this does not come naturally. I know that once school starts it is going to get even crazier, and I have to be ready.  Also, I'm hoping that when I veer off track again - and I'm sure it will happen - future me will be looking for something and find this blog post and be inspired to pull it all together again.

       If you've stuck with me this far, thanks!  For the rest of you, back to our regular programming tomorrow.  Seriously.  I've already written it and scheduled it to post. 

      Tuesday, July 23, 2013

      Star Surround Quilt Along - Cutting

      It's time to cut up our fabrics for the Star Surround Quilt Along over at the Happy Quilting blog.

      After some mulling and a bit of advice over in the Flickr group, I decided to make the green and purple polka dot fabrics my star, the black and white fabric the surround, and my white on white check as the background. 

      I'm going to make a 40" single star layout so I won't have to piece the back.  I also think this is a nice size for a baby quilt. 

      You would be so proud of me.  After cutting my pieces - including my binding! - I cut my scraps into my standard sizes and put them all away.  What a concept!

      It's not too late to jump in and join the fun! 

      Monday, July 22, 2013

      Menu Plan Monday - In the Heat of the Night

      It's Menu Plan Monday and, after a rainy overcast summer, it finally feels like Atlanta in July again.  That is to say, hot and humid.  This calls for grilling or crock potting - anything that won't make the kitchen any hotter.

      Also, my freezer is overfull from those nights when I had planned a meal but we ended up having other plans, so I'm trying to use that stuff up first.
      • Sunday - tossed salad with leftover grilled chicken
      • Monday - Crock Pot Italian Sloppy Joe with a tossed salad
      • Tuesday - Grilled Pollo Sabroso, yellow rice, and asparagus that I never made last week.
      • Wednesday - Whatever looks good at Kathleen's Catch, brown rice and grilled veggies.
      • Thursday - Leftover buffet
      • Friday -grilled chicken and vegetable kabobs, quinoa (this is quickly becoming our traditional night-before-weigh-in meal!)
      • Saturday - Hamburgers, slaw, potato salad
      I never made it back to my workout routine last week, so my progress stalled a bit.  I'm trying to get motivated to get back to it.  Of course, the longer I wait, the harder it is.  

      My user name on My Fitness Pal is QJ2013 if you want to be friends.

      MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

      Sunday, July 21, 2013

      Texts From My Teenager - Where Did That Come From?

      Now that I have a third teenager in my house, Gracie is doing her part to revive these blog posts.

      I have to set the scene for you:  I was sewing one night last week while The Pit Boss read his book and the boys were in the basement jamming when I got a text message that made me double check which child it came from.

      No, it wasn't from my college bound boy, already thinking about graduate school.  It wasn't from my rising junior, recently deluged with mail from colleges near and far.  It was from my newly minted thirteen year old girl, soon to be in the seventh grade.

      Yes, my little girl has been browsing About.Com for college admission information, cross referencing veterinary schools with lacrosse rankings.

      Just like Deuce's math skills and The Bear's musical talent, this is one of those personality traits that make me scratch my head and wonder, "Where did this kid come from?"  We are procrastinators at heart and my girl is such a planner.  She has calendars and to-do lists and even a bucket list already!  Amazing how they can be so alike and yet so different.

      For the record, Cornell is definitely too far away. 

      Saturday, July 20, 2013

      Star Surround Quilt Along

      Have you seen this beautiful quilt and the quilt-a-long?  Pam sucker punched me by posting a link to it on Facebook, and I'm in love!

      I need another project like a hole in the head, but people around me keep making new people, so I'm going to simplify my life and make this fabulous Star Surround instead of trying to design a whole new quilt with interesting colors and secondary designs that will just get pushed to the side and not done til the last minute.

      What, I didn't tell you?  My kids are going to have a brand new cousin!  We are beyond excited, especially since this is a bonus surprise extra cousin.  Those are the best!  My sister-in-law is due with baby #3 in the beginning of December, so I've convinced myself that this quilt along is more of an exercise in preparation and proper planning and less of a "Squirrel!" moment.

      I think I'm going to make the 3 x 3 scrappy layout for the new cousin, but I have to wait for Mom to come home from visiting them to pick out fabric.  In the spirit of the quilt along, I've decided to make a single 16" or 24" block to make into a pillow and blog it on that schedule. 

      I pulled these fabrics today and am trying to decide if it is over the top or modern and fun.

      What do you think?

      Are you joining this quilt along?  I can't wait to see everyone's pictures!

      Friday, July 19, 2013

      FMQ Friday - Like Riding a Bike

      Free Motion Quilting Friday

      Today is Free Motion Quilting Friday over at Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project.

      The rules are simple:
      1. Link up with a post that features something about Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). 
      2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back to Leah's site, or you can just post the FMQF button in your sidebar. 
      3. Comment on at least a few of the other FMQF links. Share your love of free motion quilting and make this weekly link up a fun way to connect!  
      Are you stunned to see this many posts from me in one week?  Me too!

      Yes, it's FMQ Friday and I've actually done some FMQing this week.  I really should be working on the Family Ties quilt, but I wanted to really get the feel for it back before I worked on something where the quilting shows so much.  This Christmas table topper has been mocking me for far too long, and at this point I care more about it being done than perfect, so that's what I decided to work on.

      I had a little breakthrough from my mental block on this one while looking at quilts from the Blogger's Quilt Festival.   Heidi's quilt, Imagination, from the blog Buttons and Butterflies, made me feel like a light bulb went on over my head. At first I thought I'd do the swags around the star points, but then I realized how much texture the clamshell design provided.  These were not nearly as hard as I thought - much like the feathers, it's a matter of practice and getting into a rhythm.

      I love how these look, and now I just have the borders to go.  I think I already know what I'm going to do there, so I hope that by next FMQ Friday this will be on the FINISHED list.  I'm starting to consider the possibility that I might get all three of my Q3 FAL projects done before October.  I wonder what that would be like!

      What are you quilting today?

      Thursday, July 18, 2013

      FINISHED! My Rainy Day Bag

      Sunday's sewing got me looking at my list for the Finish Along, and I decided to pull out the Rainy Day Tote.  This is a bag I designed myself after failing to find a pattern for a bag like the one that was stolen out of my car a few years ago.  It was a wonderful mini backpack made from a perfect blue microfiber that I carried to Disney World, the beach, in planes, trains, and automobiles, and just around the block to run errands.  It was perfect, and I was as sad about the loss of this bag as I was about my camera and wallet.

      I simply drew a rough outline of the shape as I remembered it, and added the details I had loved most - an outside pocket with a magnetic closure, and an inside pocket for things that don't need to get jostled around or which I might need to find quickly instead of digging through the main compartment.

      I had never added a magnetic closure before, and it wasn't hard at all.  The first piece, on the flap, was simply a matter of stitching in the ridge on my machine; the piece on the pocket had to be hand stitched because the magnet kept sticking to my machine.  I know that magnets aren't good for digital machines, so I hope the attempt didn't cause any damage.  On the outside of the pocket flap, I added a white fabric button from my grandmother's button box. 

      I  finally feel confident about zippers and linings.  This isn't perfect by any stretch, and you'd never mistake it for a commercially produced bag, but it is exactly what I was looking for with minimal ripping of stitches. 

      It helped that I made a demo before I cut up my laminate.  Gracie quickly appropriated that one, even though it has plenty of mistakes.  Since I have laminate left over, maybe I'll make another one for her and take pictures and notes along the way. 

      In the meantime, I'm glad to have found my sewing mojo again.  Where do you look when you lose yours?

      Wednesday, July 17, 2013

      WiP Wednesday - Now With Actual Progress!

      WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

      I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

      It's true, I have done some actual sewing AND quilting this week!  Oooh!  Aaah!!

      After our conversation lat week, The Pit Boss encouraged me to spend some time on Sunday getting back into the sewing room.  I really needed to finish up the little quilt that I had donated to the school auction.  I delivered it to the buyer yesterday and she seemed genuinely appreciative and excited to see this special college graduation gift for her daughter.  I blurred her kids' faces so you could see how I put it together. 

      And that was enough to get me moving again.  While I was working on that piece, I was using my Spider Web blocks as leaders and enders and actually finished three more sections.  I love how this is turning out.  I'm up to 16 sections, which equal four blocks - only 16 blocks left.  I will need to step it up if I'm really going to finish this quilt for my guild challenge.

      I kept going after that.  Tomorrow I'm going to show you another FINISH!  Yes, I pulled out my Rainy Day bag and it is just about done.  Two finished projects in one week...I'm on a tear!

      What are you working on?

      Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...