Thursday, August 31, 2006

Better day

Hey! I just noticed that this is gonna be my 100th post. Not bad. :)

Today was muuuuuuuuuch better! I'm feeling like myself again. I did get a later start on the day, but still did want I hoped to do. No, no laundry put away. :P

Here's the bread. I bet I'm gonna have sore arms tomorrow from kneading, but it's nice to know that you don't really lose your ability to make bread after taking a three-month break.

I also like how the swirl turned out - half of the times it looks like some butt cheeks. :P I promptly sliced a piece for my husband, spread butter and honey on it and he likes it! :)

While I was waiting for the bread to rise, I got my mail and paid rent... and there was a package from Sarah!

Yup, I had bidded on one of her eBay auctions and now I'm a proud owner of a total of 12 magazines in my entire collection. ;) And she was really nice, she sent off the magazines before I had even written the check. I hope she gets the check soon... Labor Day might slow mail down. :/

Also in the mail were some tickets to the Live concert we're going to in October. My husband has been a faithful fan of theirs for at least 10 years. He tries to go to any of their concerts within 300 miles. So I'm glad he's getting to go... and I just tag along for the fun of it! :) (Cuz no, I can't make out the words when they sing, but there's sure a lot of interesting energy at concerts!)

I also made pizza using the pizza stone for the first time. I didn't use the recipe Dorothy suggusted, cuz I was tired from bread making. But the pizza turned out great and my husband loves the extra "firmness" of the crust that the stone heated. Always makes me feel good to get closer to what he was wanting. :)

My quilty hour consisted of ripping out a few rows of stitches while watching CSI.

The blocks were from a swap done Spring 2005. I stitched in the ditch a few rows... then it got put aside for ohh... a year? Definately a UFO. But this morning when I was watching Simply Quilts, I got cold and had to drag my bed quilt to the couch and I realize that I want to finish this quilt and put it on the couch. I bet I'll finish it just in time for fall! :D

Yup, one of the blocks on the bottom left has a boo-boo, square corners, instead of being angled off. We can always pretend that a seed from another flower fell into the packet of tulips. ;)


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sick days

Well, I went from icky to worse. So no quilting yesterday or today. But starting this evening, I've been feeling sooooooo much better. Hoping to get back into the normal swing of life tomorrow. :)

I ordered a gallon of Raspberry Blossom Honey from eBay. It's not raspberry flavored honey, but rather bees collecting the nectar from raspberry bushes. So it's a very slight taste, but good! I slipped a taste of regular store honey after swiping my finger on the raspberry blossom honey and the store stuff tasted so sugary! :P The downside was that it took 9 days for the priority package to make it to my apartment. And the tracking number she gave me wasn't updated until after it was delivered. But I realize that it was out of her hands and I'm just to have it now. :)

I did pour some of the honey into a smaller container... can you imagine trying to use it out of a gallon jar and not contaminate it? Not me! :) I had some wild raspberry tea and what's better to flavor it with than my new honey? :) Plus my throat appreciated it.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to make some bread in the morning (yeah, another excuse to use up the honey!) and hope to do another hour of quilting tomorrow. And I'm thinking about making pizza for dinner, using the pizza stone I recently got. Nothing like telling everybody your plans and then feeling accountable for them. Should I tell you that I need to put away the laundry too? ;)


Monday, August 28, 2006

More on bindings

Andrea asked how long it took me to hand sew down the binding: 3 hours and 40 minutes. :) The quilt measures 43x56 inches. Not bad timing, given the fact that I was distracted here and there.

Paula mentioned that she always trimmed the quilt before attaching the binding, and does it make it easier not to trim it beforehand? I'd like to think so. Below is a picture of a quilt binding that I trimmed before sewing, and before I knew about the .5 extra.

You can see a little waviness and it doesn't hold so straight. Also can see a little indenting due to no filler/extra batting puff.

Now below is the side of my aunt's quilt and you can see that it's much straighter looking (I haven't washed or blocked or anything with the quilt yet).

I also think it's better to trim the binding after you sew it on because I would imagine there's some stretch/shifting in the fabric (even after it's been quilted) and not trimming ahead of time will help prevent undue stress to the edge. This theory applies to borders - if you're going to measure borders, measure the center of the quilt because the edges will stretch out a little bit. Bonnie shows and explains what happens when you use the edges to measure for a border - every long armer's nightmare! So if that can happen to borders... what's preventing it from happening to bindings?

And the picture below shows why you gotta fold down the right side of the binding before the left - this one is crooked, of centered and unpleasing to the eye.

Below is a nicely mitered corner, straight edges with pleasing "plump" to them and a long ways from my first binding days! :)

Note to self: email my mom or have my aunt email me so I can make a label for the quilt and mail it off before the baby is due! :P

Still fighting my cold here. I have it way worse than my husband - lots of sneezing and some coughing. All he did was sniffle and whine. ;) Actually he hates whining. But at least I never get the flu/throw up... so I guess bad colds are a good thing? Just hoping I don't end up giving the cold right back to my husband! :)


Sunday, August 27, 2006

How Leah Binds, Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

Now I start hand sewing down the binding. You will need to fold the extra .5" of batting when you fold the binding down. It should be completely hidden behind the binding, but if some is still showing, just tuck or fold again.

Here shows the first few stitches. My stitches gap about a quarter-inch. You can't see any of the extra batting edge. :)

Here we come to a corner. It's much trickier for lefties. First you need to fold down the right side of the binding - which I've pinned in place. Then bring down the left side and continue to sew.

Obviously if you're right handed, this isn't going to be an issue, since you'll have sewn down the right side first.

I "torture" myself this way so I can have nice even mitered corners.

Continue to hand sew all around the quilt, and then you're done with the binding!

I hope it all makes sense - take what you want, dump what information you don't need. :)


How Leah Binds, Part 2

To read Part 1, go here.

So after you've sewn your diagonal line, open it up and line it up to the side of your quilt, to make sure it's the right length.

Looks like we're good to go! Trim away the excess fabric and sew down the gap. You're all done with the machine sewing part now. :)

When trimming away the excess batting, I used to cut right to the edge of the binding. A friend explained that doing it that way creates less-than-full bindings and can knock of points if you're showing your quilt.

To make the binding more fuller, you need to cut half an inch away from the edge of the quilt/binding. This half an inch number only works for 2.5" bindings. If you have a 2" binding, I think you need to cut only a quarter-inch away from the edge.

I trim half an inch from the binding all around the quilt.

To prevent bulky corners, you need cut it away at a 45* degree angle.

To read Part 3, go here.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

How Leah Binds, Part 1

Well, as hard as I tried, I couldn't get blogger to allow SEVENTEEN pictures at once! So here's the first 10. Would you believe that I took over 150 pictures of all the steps? I did delete about 50 of them right off the bat for being blury or washed out.

I use 2.5" strips for my bindings. Below is a picture of two strips with right-sides-together, at a right angle.

I sew across from corner to corner, trim off the excess and dog ears. I also iron all the seams open.

I fold it in half and iron the strip. I'm left-handed, so most of the stuff are going to be from a lefty's perspective. :)

I also trim both ends so they're straight.

I bring my binding strip to the quilt and start sewing it down about 10 inches from the start of the strip. I've demonstrated my starting point with a pin.

I don't pin my binding in place - used to though! I sew a quarter inch from the edge of the quilt with my quarter-inch foot, but I imagine some people would do well with a walking foot. I'm afraid the walking foot and I got off to a bad start and I haven't used it since. :P

I sew all the way down to a quarter-inch from the edge of the quilt.

Then WITHOUT cutting the thread, just merely pulling it away 2-3 inches, I turn the quilt to the next side that I need to sew the binding on.

I bring the binding up so it forms a mitered corner, basically aligning the strip with the side of the quilt.

Then I bring the strip down and the edge should align with the top and sides should meet.

I continue sewing down the binding until all four corners are done.

Now for the last side - same side you started on, you need to leave about a foot-long gap between the beginning and end.

Straighten the binding to the edge of the quilt. You need to overlap by the amount of your binding's width. My binding was 2.5" wide, so I need to overlap by 2.5".

I've marked the overlap amount with a pin. I've learned the hard way not to cut the binding just yet, because I did short myself once and it wasn't worth it. :P

Now I iron a diagonal line across my short end of the binding (the purple one in the above picture).

I opened up the other end of the binding and pinned the spot I've pinned earlier, 2.5" beyond where the ends meet.

Then I line up the two pieces to form another right angle. If the pin was still on the binding, it would be on the left side of the yellow/peach fabric.

I sew across the diagonal line I've ironed. You do need to make sure that you've lined up the pieces correctly so that when they open, they'll form a contineous binding, instead of a boo-boo, like I almost did. :)

Now I'm afraid the binding joining stuff isn't going to make the best sense. I couldn't understand it until a lady showed me in person. But here's another website that shows the exact same method I'm using.

Continue to Part Two here.
Part Three.

Friday, August 25, 2006

All quilted up

Yay! I got to post my pictures directly to blogger and not have to go through Picasa. The problem with Picasa was that it seemed to resize my photos and I know how much quilters enjoy close up of stuff. :)

Anyhow, I'm officially all done with the free-motion quilting for my aunt's quilt. Right on schedule. :)

Here's a close up of one block. I free-handed the hearts. I like how they're all a little bit unique, but give off a feeling of love. :)

Now it's onward to the binding! Mustn't forget to take step-by-step photos - it's so nice when I see quilting methods explained with pictures, that's what I understand the best. And anytime there's a newbie on the Yahoo groups asking how to do bindings, I can just point to them to my page and hope that it adds to their understanding.

Today I woke up with a sore throat. Bleh. You can blame my husband. And he'll blame a student. :P I'm still hopeful that it won't turn into sniffles too. Gotta love the internet - I'm free to interact, post and chat with everybody and nobody's going "eww... I hope I don't get her sore throat..." :)

Hrmm. Start the binding or get some ice cream? Not a hard one... ;)


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Progress and why I quilt

Just a note: Judy of Sunshine Quilts is back online, via a new, but hopefully not permanent blog.

Today I ripped out the boo-boo spot (and the power blinked and restarted my computer) and started to quilt again. Several inches later I ran out of bobbin thread! At least I had some prewound, so that was a quick change. A little later I wanted a few pins to help hold the edges flat... and I couldn't find my box of pins. Then it hit me "ohh! Is THAT what I knocked over in the dark yesterday?"... sure enough, most of the pins had fallen onto my thread rack. Onto my knees I went to pick them up and I promptly pricked a finger. I was starting to feel a little cursed... ;)

But afterwards it was pretty smooth sailing. I'm all done with meandering the blue thread. I got a little pink it in, and I'll finish that tomorrow. And hopefully start some of the binding. I'm pretty pleased with it. :)

Patti asked why do we quilt. Certainly a question to ponder on...

I quilt because I don't like to sew clothes. I have tried and they test my patience. And most of the time, the item doesn't fit me correctly in the end, and it's very frustrating for all the work to be for naught. With quilting, no matter how much or how little is done, it still can be used, one way or another. Where do you think all those "orphan" quilts came from? ;)

I quilt because I like the sewing machine. I remember being 5 years old and sitting at the kitchen table, sewing up and down two pieces of fabric and having so much fun. My mom was pretty brave to let me do that! And no, 18 years later I haven't sewn through any fingers yet. :P

I quilt because I love making blankets. My mom showed me how to crochet when I was 7 and knit when I was 8. I like crocheting much better! I still do it now and then because it's a great car trip item. My husband doesn't have to worry about being stabbed by me either. ;)

I quilt because I love to work with my hands. It just doesn't feel right not to have my hands do something. This extends far beyond quilting - cooking, bread making, gardening, sign language, some piano, typing, eating, writing in my diary and letters... I feel good and useful when I use my hands.

I quilt because it lets me play with lots of colors... and not worry so much about matching or having the right color play. I live by "in scrappy, anything goes!" Sure, you'll see two or three fabric quilts, and yes, they're pretty and attractive, but most of the time these quilts are testing out a pattern more than trying to be creative and random. No matter the colors, I love having a quilt top done and feeling a sense of accomplishment. :)

I quilt because I enjoy the thought of the person receiving the quilt using it. It's important to me that people use the quilt I give them. I think scrappy helps people feel more free to use them. A new 2 color-quilt can look pristine and picture perfect and quite a few people will end up hanging it on the wall... which is NOT what I want. I want my quilts to be used and loved. I want people to wrap themselves up in the quilts. I don't worry if a baby has a spit up or worse, I intend for my quilts to be "abused" and they're always washable. :)

I quilt because I have weak artistic talent in other areas. Don't ask me to draw anything. Or paint! ;) I think I also quilt because quite a few crafty items aren't any "useful" - they can only be displayed on a shelf or a table or a wall. They add a nice visual, but they don't provide much usefulness. I like being useful. :) (And can you tell that I have very little knicknacks?)

I quilt because it (usually) relaxes me. It makes me smile. I think about it all the time. A new pattern, fabric I recently bought, thread colors, new free-motioning designs. It's a neverending hobby.

I quilt because I like math. :) I like math more than English. Math is never changing or adding new rules. 2 + 2 is always going to equal 4. This might make me a little weird, but I enjoy working out the math in my head. I like to look at blocks and try to figure out the measurement of the pieces. It gives me a nice satisfaction when I get it right. And this is why I'll never write a book, I'd get stressed out trying to make sure I have the proper grammar. :P

Leah Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Winners and Boo-boo's

Well, the obvious thread winner was blue. But when I sat myself down to figure out exactly what my quilting path was going to be, I caved and decided to do blue on the green-blue fabric. Then I'll quilt the Geese Tracks with pink. That works. :)

The first few minutes of free-motioning are always nerve wracking, because I'm not into a "flow" yet, even I practice ahead of time on two sandwiched FQs. But after a little bit, I start to relax, I know what I'm doing, I know where I'm going. Thankfully it's usually easy going from that point on.

Just a few minutes ago I discovered a boo-boo! :( Time to stop sewing before I make things worse.

I'm grateful that it's not like half of the quilt or something that bad. And that I discovered it just inches later. Gotta get friendly with the seam ripper! :P

I didn't even do any sewing yesterday. It made me realize that I need to mentally plan ahead what I'll do for each day, or else I'll be scratching my head and end up not doing anything at all. But yesterday I was also busy doing the happy dance because I paid my credit card in full!! That feels so good, to finally be free of that debt after dealing with it for 2.5 years. Hopefully from this point on, we'll be able to pay the balance in full every month. I can hope! ;)

As I was getting into my car to mail the payment... I discovered that my driver's side mirror had fallen out of its casing/holder. Ugh! It's cracked in a corner, hanging by 2 wires and I need to find a way to fix it before I can legally drive the car. I tried to tape it, but that didn't work so well. :P Maybe I should use duct tape instead of masking tape... ;)

So if I think about it hard enough tomorrow, I'll go out and fix it. But the perk of having an undriveable car is that I'm not tempted to go anywhere and spend money. And with that newly paid off credit card, that's a good thing! :D

Other plans for tomorrow are to finish quilting the quilt with the blue thread. Maybe I'll get lucky and get started on the pink too. If not, that can wait til Friday. Saturday I'll do the binding - I'm thinking about taking step-by-step photos of how I do bindings. I know quilters are always looking for helpful tips and hints, and who knows, maybe I'll be able to show you something new. :) And Sunday I'll start handsewing down the binding, and plan to have it mailed off next week.

Whew, hopefully that list will keep me on the hour-a-day plan. :)

Leah Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 21, 2006

Almost Didn't

I almost didn't do my quilty hour today. I just wasn't feeling a "kick" to do it. But after reading several blogs with new postings, I felt myself getting interested and figured might as well! :)

So the quilt is all pinned and ready for free-motioning. I've already figured out what design I'm gonna use - small meandering, wiggles and hearts. It should look pretty cute. :) You can read a little bit more about making the quilt here.

My husband wanted to get his ice cream while I was pinning and he treats quilts like if they're a map, and the pins are landmines! He walks very carefully around them. I just smile and tell him it's ok to step on it, I don't leave the pins open. He politely declines. :)

Now my problem is that I can't decide what color thread to use! I will be using only one color, all over the quilt. And it'll be the same thread in the bobbin too. So I took two photos and would appreciate your input.

I'm already pretty sure that I'm not going to use the pink thread on the right, it doesn't match correctly.

The plan is small meandering in the blue/green fabric, outlining the geese' "foots" with wiggles and a heart in the square. My mind just keeps thinking "blue would be pretty nice... no wait, green might be better. But isn't the pink perfect? Wait.........!" So you tell me. ;)

Today we were gonna BBQ some steak, but it kept raining. :P Back up plan was homemade pizza. I'm still fooling around with crusts, just can't seem to find one that we both love. But it was still perfectly edible and the leftovers always get eaten. :)

Leah Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A new week

This week's goal is to have my aunt's granddaughter's quilt done. The baby is due in September and I'm determined to have this mailed out by the end of August. Sticking to committing an hour a day towards quilting should do the trick! :)

But does your hour of the day count if you spend half of it looking for the fabric that you swore you had? I knew I had at least a yard of the pink gold crackle batik... but I also knew that I hadn't seen it since we moved. I gave a hunt through 3 boxes and my closet of stash with no luck. I took a nap and when I woke up, I started to rethink when I last saw the fabric... I knew I had it on the table at the old apartment... so it probably didn't get packed with the stash... I didn't put it in any drawers... so it must be in the box... especially the box of stuff that I basically swiped the table into... and found it! I guess I didn't look hard enough the first time. :)

I also found the batik of yellow and Xs from my stash and I'm like "that's a perfect backing!" I also got that fabric at a steal from a Hancocks that was closing, I'm pretty sure for $1/yard. Tomorrow's plan will be to vacuum the living room and pin it. I'm guessing that'll take an hour at least. :)

It's that time of the month for me and my emotions have been all over the place! At least I'm wearing a shirt that fits the sitution: Kiss Me, I'm Grumpy. And it shows the picture of the Grumpy Drawf from Snow White, with a big red kiss on his forehead. I'd take a picture... but my mood has also put me on a sugar crave, and therefore a little bloating. At least I compromise by buying sugar free French Vanilla ice cream and mashing fresh raspberries into it. Yum! :)

Now it's 10:36 and I really need to go to bed, cuz DH has to work. :P

Leah Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Happy Dance Time!

I'm all done! Just a little over 7 hours. Whoohoo! :)

I had trouble deciding which way to point the HSTs in the border. So I laid 2 of them with the purple pointing in, and 2 of them with the purple pointing out. Then I asked my husband which corners he liked better. He takes a look... and then looks harder. Glances at me. Looks again. Then gives me a look that says "what? they're the same." I just smiled and he looked again... ohh! Now he saw the difference. :) But he voted to have the purple pointing in, and that's what I went with. Sometimes my brain feels like it'll explode if I try to figure out small stuff like that. :P

I'm thrilled with how straight the borders are looking too. I'm so lazy, I don't measure my borders. I have heard quite a few tricks... smile and just keep on sewing my borders without any aids. :) And honestly, I figured why does it matter when I'll be the one quilting it (sooner or later) and if it's a little wonky, there's only me to blame. I'll risk it. ;)

Today's shopping was semi-successful. We get to Tucson and my husband is driving in the right direction... he passes JoAnn's and I figured he wanted to go to Costco first. Then he passes Costco. Ohh. Maybe he wanted to go to Trader Joe's, which was further down. Passes Trader Joe's. Starts looking more and more grumpy... finally I ask, where are you going? He tells me he's looking for JoAnn's! Oh man, I felt so bad explaining to him that I only took advantage of going to JoAnn's today because it was on the way to Costco. So logically, it wouldn't have been out of the way for us to drive to. Whoops! :P

But I think today was my fastest trip in and out of Costco - less than 15 minutes and I managed to spend $136. We got ground beef, chicken, fish, bacon, 2 types of cheeses, butter, bottled water, raspberries, cereal and extra virgin olive oil that set us back by $25! But it'll last us a long time, since we don't use it as a deep frying oil, but a flavoring oil.

JoAnn's was ok - I dragged my husband in to get me a bolt of White on White, but there were no full bolts. :( In the end I got 7 yards total and 15 quilting needles for about $20. Works for me. :)

After JoAnn's, we rushed over to my husband's sister's house, for a BBQ. Stayed about 2 hours and it started getting awkward when all of his sister's fiance's family started coming over - over 30 people and I didn't have a clue who was related to whom. :P At least the kids were very amusing to watch. :)

We were the first to leave and my mother-in-law asked us to check on the dog at their house and take her out. I headed over there to do that. I also took a moment to cuddle with the cat. Well, she heard some weird noise from the street and started to scrabble up me. OUCH! Her claws got caught on the lace at my shirt's collar and it took me a minute to detangle myself from her. The damage was a small scratch on my arm and three claws raked down the right side of my chest, below the collarbone. That hurt soooooooo much! I ended up washing it, popping some Tylenol, placing a baggie of ice on it, taking a hot shower and napping for an hour before I started to feel better. At least she's an indoor cat, so I'm not worried about weird stray germs. And hey, it's getting me some extra attention from my husband. ;)

Leah Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 18, 2006

End in sight!

Thanks to Linda who suggested that I try Picasa to upload photos. Looks like I'll actually have my photos without going through Flickr. :)

While hunting for some more white fabric to do my 6th hour, a whole bunch of quilt tops were getting in my way. So I stacked them up, just to see how many I had. :)

I think there's a least a dozen. There's one still in blocks cuz I haven't decided if I should make 1 or 2 quilts with it and there's one still in rows cuz I hate pinning... probably more than anything. I'd rather have mismatched points that pin.

Not too much added to the quilt top, only a white border all around it. It was a little slow sewing those borders on because I needed to watch which way the 2" block's seam folded so I wouldn't have twisted seams.

But I did get all the borders ironed and cut. Next will be green with purple HSTs corners, and then a purple border. I've also cut out enough green for a binding. I really expect to see the completed top tomorrow. :)

Tonight for dinner we BBQ'ed a London Broil... eh, and it didn't turn out the best. But lucky me, I got it on sale, so it was only $6, instead of $17. Including the potatoes, it comes down to $3.25 per person, still cheaper than eating out. :)

Tomorrow we're going to Tucson. We'll go to Costco (we need to stock up soooooooo bad! We're almost all out of meats) and we'll swing by JoAnn's cuz I have three 50% off coupons! Since my husband is with me this time, hopefully I'll get at least 2 bolts of background fabric. Or maybe I'll get lucky and not run into that drill sergeant lady and get to use up all my coupons. :P Oh! Mustn't forget to grab some 90/14 Schmetz needles for free-motioning, they're 50% off. :)

Can you tell I'm a sucker for deals? ;)

Leah Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 17, 2006

5th Hour done

Well, I went a little beyond my 1-hour time today, but I just really wanted to get the blocks into one top tonight. :)
Top with sashing
I'm loving how this is turning out - a just perfect baby/lap quilt. And there's fun stuff to look for - watermelon, ladybugs and even a cat. :)

Tomorrow it's borders!


Forth Hour

Yikes! I've been having a horrible time trying to upload pictures onto blogger. I'm starting to suspect it was some automatic Windows update that happened yesterday. Don't know how to get around it yet, or if it's just blogger itself... So I resorted to uploading through Flickr, please tell me if it causes my sidebar to do wonky things.

Below is the accomplishments of Wednesday's 1-hour sewing. I didn't get any sashing cut, but still pleased with my progress. :)
Hour a day block
So today's plans will be to do the sashing and sew that on. Tomorrow should be borders... and dare I hope to have a quilt top? At the worse, I'll have a quilt top Saturday, which will be my 7th hour.

I really wanna thank Judy for inspiring us to do at least an hour a day. I plan to keep up with this even after I'm done with this quilt - whether it be my own projects or if Judy entices us with another one. This has been so much fun and I get to go to bed feeling productive everyday! :)

I also wanna give a shout-out to Bloglines. It's totally free and you don't even need to have a blog to use it. You add the blogs you enjoy reading and then it will check them for you. I'm loving it because I have litterally cut hours off of my computer time by not needing to search every blog by hand... only to find that they haven't updated. I currently have 98 blogs on my list! :P And the extra hours also give me more time to comment on other people's blogs, which I'm sure they don't mind. ;)

Just wondering, has anybody been doing their sew-for-an-hour-a-day in the mornings? I'm just not interested in turning my sewing machine on before noon and usually find myself doing my hour between 5 and 8 in the evenings. I like to hear about what works for each quilter, never can get enough ideas and tips! :)


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday's Results

Whoops! I was planning to post last night, but after my husband got home from Open House at the school, we ended up talking for about 2 hours straight. I love talking with him and it was getting a little sporadic with the stress of school starting - but I did expect that. So it's nice to get back into the routine of just chatting with him. :)

At the sew-in yesterday I worked on my acrylic paint blocks. I got the stencils from WalMart and I'm hoping to make about a twin sized quilt.

While I was working on the bottom right block, my friend and I were discussing that it seemed to be a little faded around the edges. Another friend was coloring some blocks with fabric markers, so we "stole" one of hers and outlined the fish. Wow! I love the results, it makes the fish look completed. Now I wanna buy all the markers (21 colors I think). My friend said she'll order them for me, but it might not be for another month or so. In the meantime I'll keep making more sea-related blocks. :)

Of course I did my third hour - don't wanna get behind! ;) I completed the center blocks and started to add the scrappy squares around it.

Today it looks like I'll be adding the other two sides of squares and dare I hope to get some sashing cut?! We'll have to see! :)

Ok, confession time... I'm cheating, a little. No, not time-wise. But ever since I grasp the concept of Bonnie's Leaders & Enders, I've been pairing green and purple squares together. At first I made a bunch of 4-patches and they went into this quilt. Then using the leftover 4-patches, I started another one. I still had a ton of green and purple squares attached to each other... so I started to make them into a row so I could do this project.

I'm sure you're getting the point now... after a year of sewing green and purple squares together, I have a ton at my disposal and only had to iron some open to start attaching them to the block's sides. I am going to have to attach green on both ends to finish the strip and make it the right size for sewing to the block. I was able to squeeze in a few green ends so I'd be able to add it to the photo. :)

So am I cheating? Or merely being resorceful? ;)


Monday, August 14, 2006

Day Two, Hour Two

I did Hour Two from 6-7:05. The five extra minutes because I didn't want to stop in the middle of ironing. I only show 2 blocks, but I have all 12 of them like this.

Looks like tomorrow I'll have the center part of the blocks done and then will start on scrappy green and purple blocks for around the center blocks. It'll be very scrappy there. :)

Today I've been feeling kinda wiped out. I know I certainly tackled this hour with less energy than I did last night. My head has been feeling dull and woozy all day, but not really a headache. I don't think I'm coming down with something though, below my head feels fine. :) Maybe I feel this way cuz I skipped breakfast. Well, I won't do that tomorrow! I grabbed plenty of yogurt from the store today so if I need a quick bite, it's there.

Tomorrow is the bi-monthly Tuesday Sew-In. I'm likely gonna go, unless there's a big downpour. I also need to change the oil in my car and have them replace my wipers. They really stink! And of course, you only notice when you're trying to drive in the rain. :P

Perhaps a hot shower will ease the woozy feeling. :/


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Downpour and Hour 1

This morning my husband and I woke up to rain outside. I didn't think too much of it and started my usual routine of checking messages and blogs. Then there was a camera-like flash in my sewing room with a heartrending BOOM! There was absolutely no pause between the time the lighting flashed and the thunder hit. My heart pounded so hard. I immediately turned off my computer and unplug that and the sewing machine. Not interested in frying my toys! :P

Then I grabbed the camera and stood on the covered front porch just watching the rain come down, down, down.

Nice river eh? ;)

And here's a matching pond. :)

This poor bird was trying to take refuge on our back deck.

Worse... we had to go down those stairs, wade through the water with laundry baskets in our hands and headed to the in-laws. I was wearing my Teva sandals and a skirt, so I didn't get so bothered by my wet feet. But my poor husband soaked his tennis and jean cuffs. But we just HAD to do laundry and were on the verge of having no more clean underwear. :P

I even teased my mother-in-law that they had added value to their property by the (rain-made) swimming pool in their backyard. The funny thing is that ALL the water is gone now. It may rain hard and heavy during the monsoon, but it sure doesn't hang around for long!

I'm sure many of you quilters know the 1-hour-a-day challenge that Judy's offering. Well, when she put up this post I just HAD to get started right there, right then. :)

I made an orderly list of things I hoped to accomplished in an hour and from 7 to 8 I steadily worked. Nope, didn't get everything done, but I'm pleased with my progress. I have the inside block parts cut, I have the HSTs ready to iron open. I am doing 12 blocks opposed to 20 like Judy though.

But I was really pleased at how easy it was to stick to working on the quilt for one hour straight. The list was a big help too - I didn't stop and puzzle about what would be best to do next. I didn't try to take breaks and lose my concentration. And it's fun to cross stuff out! :)

I'm hoping to see various progress through quilty-blogland tomorrow! :)