Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Days!

A rare site! Snow way down here in Alabama! The schools here (even the university) have been closed for 3 days. Tomorrow everything will be melted, schools will be open, and life will get back to normal. Though we really enjoyed the break - hubby couldn't get to work so we had a nice little time around here. He worked from home, taking breaks to help me with a few things. And we've watched a LOT of Breaking Bad.

This was Cooper's first snow. He LOVED it! He ran and pranced and slid like mad.

Mickey didn't want to get his feet in it, preferring the patio.

Prince didn't even want to go out, preferring a pouf by the fire.

I played around with the BH blocks again. Here are two more choices for the bottom block. The jury is still out on this.

Meanwhile, I'm working on yet another project. As many projects as I have going at once, I guess that's not surprising! This one is full of hexies - today I will applique them - in front of the TV, more Breaking Bad probably....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


My routine (since I've been able to get upstairs again) has been to work in my studio every morning. My sewing room is on the east side of the house so it gets fantastic morning light. I put Cooper in his crate for a couple of hours with a safe toy and away I go.

Yesterday I finished the four patches for Celtic Solstice. Only one more set of little blocks to go!

I have to make 244 of these little things (finishes at only 3 inches).  I cut all the navy triangles this morning and began to cut the little neutral triangles. The yellow/orange half square triangles were made in an earlier clue. I made four of these units just so I could sew a couple of blocks together.

There are two different blocks in the quilt. I've seen some photos where some quilters are arranging the bottom block differently. Bonnie's pattern calls for it to be like this-

But I've seen a few quilters arrange the bottom block like this:

I haven't decided which I'll do yet, so I haven't sewn the bottom block together yet. Hmmm. I like the original. But I worked SO SO hard on those little chevron units and I think they show up better in the bottom example. Hmmm. I need to sleep on it.

I'm still clamming in the early mornings and evenings. I'm going to make it a bit bigger to be the center of a quilt. I'm thinking of pulling out all those basket blocks I made last year to use in this quilt. And maybe some hexies? Happy quilt!

And here's my leader/ender project - growing bit by bit!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I started something new this weekend - like a need another project! - but I couldn't resist! I ordered the new clamshell die from Accuquilt while at Houston last fall. This the the smaller of the two dies they have available.

Curved piecing is not my forte, especially these tiny little things. So I've always thought these would make a great hand piecing project. So I pulled out some Kaffe and some Kona solids.

Tiny stitches while we watched TV this weekend. We finally got on the Breaking Bad wagon on Netflix. We're hooked. You can sew a lot of clamshells while watching hours of Breaking Bad.

So I think I've established that my two favorite fabric lines of ALL TIME are Kaffe Fassett anything and Kona Cotton Solids by Robert Kaufman.

Do you have a favorite fabric line or designer? Share!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Four Patches!

Today was the day to start Clue 4 of Celtic Solstice - four patches! This clue is different from the previous clues in that the first 3 told us exactly how many triangles, squares, rectangles, etc., to cut. But because we are making these four patches from strips and because we're working from our stash, this isn't possible here. So I'm just cutting strips for awhile, then sewing for awhile. Then I count four patches. I made about 75 of these today (out of 300). At this rate I'll be working on this clue for 3 more days. Not too bad!

I've substituted teal for Bonnie's green, as you can see. All was going well until I started running low on orange fabric - oh no! I dug through my stash and found this thrift store men's shirt that I bought about a year ago - I had washed it before stashing it away. So I just cut the backside off and got tons more strips from it!

I decided I needed a leader/ender project to work on while sewing today. I found this box of triangles that I'd cut last year with my Accuquilt. I'd been planning to use them as a border fro one of my book quilts, but it didn't work out.

I'm sewing them together in rows - this will be a happy quilt, indeed! Haven't decided which arrangement I like the best.

Any thoughts? I don't have to decide any time soon - just sewing rows now!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sewing Goodness

I made it safely up to my studio yesterday (finally!) to sew. So good to be working at an ergonomically correct table and chair! My back didn't like sewing at the dining room table. I finished making the half square triangles for the Celtic Solstice quilt and started sewing them together to make pinwheels.

I don't know why, but I'm not a fan of the pinwheel block. But I'm sticking to the instructions because I know they'll look great in the finished quilt. I think I'll finish these today and will be ready to cut Clue 4.

I also spent some time cutting some circles from some pretty pinks, orchids, and purples. When you cut circles you end up with some odd scraps. Instead of throwing them in the scrap bin, I started trimming and sewing them together. I'm doing my best to keep the seams perpendicular to give them a bit of linear continuity. I think I'll keep doing this throughout the year with my scraps. It's great for stash busting and maybe I can figure out an cool design to make from them.

I let Cooper take a nap (and chew on an old shoe) in his crate while I worked upstairs. He was quite happy and I didn't have to worry about him.

The Great Closet Clean Out continues. That upper rack was previously stuffed with clothes! I've gotten rid of almost half my wardrobe - can you believe it!? I have a few more hanging clothes to sort through and then I'll be arranging the remaining clothes on both the top and bottom rack. Everything will have some breathing room! Once that is done, I'll move on to drawers and shelves. Making progress!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Day 3 of The Great Closet Clean Out: Yesterday's one hour in the closet found me installing a hook to hang my scarf organizer.

Here you can see where it is in relationship to the hooks I hung a couple of days prior.

Next I stapled some plastic hardware cloth over a printer's tray to make an earring holder.

And here is the first pair hanging in place. This has got to be my favorite project so far! I'll be able to see my earrings in a quick glance and find the pair I want.

And now for the "two steps back": Cooper chewed up my glasses while I took a nap in the afternoon. Grrrr. He even removed the lenses and chewed them up in little pieces. I'm wearing an old pair....again....

I was hoping to pull fabric to go with my ugly shirt project, but never made it upstairs. My foot was swollen all afternoon so I tried to stay off it.  Maybe today?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Quilty Challenge from the Great Closet Clean Out!

I put my hour in cleaning the closet yesterday. I went through about a fifth of my hanging clothes, getting rid of these two bags worth of stuff I never wear - they'll go to Goodwill as soon as I'm done. But there were a few things I won't wear again that I kept.

These colorful t-shirts will be save either to make t-shirt yarn or to make a colorful vest.

A pile of old jeans: Flavin Glover is teaching a denim class later this year so these will come in handy.

This shirt! I loved the print in the store, but it looks horrendous on me! I now realize why I bought it; it's all about the fabric and the colors and the print. I would never put these colors together, but somehow they work! Click on the picture to see it up close - see what I mean?

So here's the challenge. I'm going to pull some fabric from my stash to go with it. Then I'm going to cut the shirt up and make a quilt. Going back to my "green" roots!

Want to join me? Go through your closet. Find an ugly shirt, or just a shirt, skirt, scarf (anything!) that you don't want anymore. And make something with it!!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Great Closet Clean Out

This is something I've been putting off for a long time...1.5 years....since we moved in to the house. Yup, the movers hung the clothes in the closet and I haven't done a darn thing since. Hubby organized his clothing within the first week. Not me. I was more interested in getting my sewing room set up.

I've decided to tackle it one hour at a time. One hour per day. Today was the day I started. Our closet is big. It wraps around the backside of our bathroom. My end is at the very back.

The first step was to pick up all the stuff from the floor at the far end. A lot of floor stuff. I put it all on our bed.

Another view. Yup, a lot of stuff on the floor.

Once the floor was clear, I hung some hooks on the wall. I bought these soon after we moved in. These will be used for long necklaces. Maybe I'll even sort the jewelry by color.

Hooks hung. Floor clean. 45 minutes gone. I had to work 30 more minutes to clear off the bed. What was in the floor:

1. Clothes that needed to be hung (I put them in the washing machine).
2. Clothes and shoes that needed to be donated (bagged and ready to donate).
3. Assorted tangled jewelry (placed in a box to sort through later).
4. A pile of assorted totes (many will be donated).
5. A few scarfs (hung across from the new hooks).
6. Some cardboard and other trash (thrown away).

I was forced to work 15 minutes over my 1 hour deadline because I want to sleep in the bed tonight. :) The bed is now clear again.

After Cooper chewed up TWO computer cords and ONE IPad/IPhone cord, I knew something had to give. I'm smart like that. :)

So I googled "Dog Chew Toy Aggressive Chewer." I ordered one of these. Yes, it's a real antler (elk or deer). He loves it! The only problem is the doxies are also obsessed with it. So I pull it out on occasion when he's in a chewing mood. I may need to order a few more of these so they all can have one.

I'm making hexies right and left these days, and also working on Celtic Solstice Clue 3. Getting there...

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Special Day

Do you know that feeling you get when you wake up on Christmas morning? The feeling that it is a special day? It just FEELS special! 

Today is a very special day for a few reasons. Number One: I threaded my new Bernina and took the first stitches!

Let me just say, it's like going from driving a 12 year old car with 117,000 miles to switching to a Mercedes! This baby hums! It's so quiet compared to my old machine. I feel like I'm more in control than ever. No wonder I was such a bad piecer! I'm getting much better results now - yippee!

Mickey and I are learning together - you know he has to be in my lap...

Yesterday I FINALLY finished step 2 of Bonnie Hunter's mystery - whew! 240 of these bugger bears!

And in the process I made 960 of these little bitty half square triangles - love these little things! I'll have to figure out something fun to do with them...  :)

Lots of teeny half square triangles! The rest of the quilt will be made on the new machine.

The other reason that today is special is that tonight Auburn plays in the BCS Championship game! Our daughters are in Pasadena for a few days for the game. Happy Birthday to Elizabeth! War Eagle to both of you! We'll be watching from home!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope the New Year finds you happy and healthy! I'm not making any resolutions or goals this year, just taking it all as it comes. I do plan to make LOTS of quilts! And I'm looking forward to not being under a deadline for a book like I was in the last two years.

Lots of quilters are showing all the quilts they made in 2012, but most of mine were book projects that I can't show! Oh well.

I did cook a pork butt, blackeyed peas, greens, and cornbread for good luck. The girls came over to eat with us yesterday; SIL is in Pasadena for the National Championship game. Our girls are leaving tomorrow for their first leg of their trip to California. Hubby and I are holding down the fort here in Auburn. We'll watch the game here and take care of all the four legged family members. 

Speaking of which, here was Mickey this morning heading out to the vet for a bit of surgery.

He had a melanoma on his head (top of his left ear) as seen below while Cooper is photo bombing. He's back home this afternoon with a few stitches, clean teeth, and trimmed nails, sleeping it off happily in hubby's lap.

I took a little road trip this morning to Columbus, GA, which is only about 30 miles from here. My new sewing machine came in! Yippee!!! It's still in the car, but I'll get hubby to help me get it out later. Can't wait to learn all about it.

This was my first long drive by myself since I tore the ligaments in my driving foot. It's so good to be driving again! I still have pain in my foot and limp a bit and I have only one pair of shoes that I can wear for any length of time. But at least I'm getting back to normal! Progress is good!!!

I'm still poking along through Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt. Still on step 2. One reason I'm so slow is because in this step there are 4 pairs of little triangles leftover from trimming each of the 240 blocks. I couldn't bear to waste them, so I'm sewing them together to make TINY half square triangle units as I go. Once I FINALLY get done with step 2, I'll have almost 1000 of these little half square triangles to use in another project. Is anyone else doing this, or am I the only fabric hoarder around here?

You might want to check out The Hexie Blog. We're having lots of fun over there with The 2014 Hexie Block of the Month.