Monday, September 25, 2017

Another Block...And a Dress?


I finished this block yesterday. I like it! I cut out the templates and fabric for the next block - it's ready to go!


A while back I decided to try my hand at rooting some African Violets. I don't even know why I'm doing this...why not just buy more violets? I guess it's just fun to try. I bought the little pots at the dollar store. I bought African Violet soil at Walmart. And I followed some directions I found on Pinterest.  As you can see I lost a couple.

When we left for the beach I moved these out to the screened porch - I was afraid they'd get too much sun, but figured I didn't have much to lose.


When we came home I was happy to see they LOVED the sun! I have little baby violets!


This is fun!



Yesterday afternoon I got to thinking about a huge piece of fabric in my closet. It was meant for a quilt back. But I also have a dress pattern that has been sitting in a closet for a long time. Hmmm....

Okay, I'm in! I have the pieces almost cut out. We'll see how this turns out...


Last night I attempted to copy a shrimp dish we had at the beach - Firecracker Shrimp. It was good! Not like it was fresh from the ocean, but really good!

Have a fun day!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Saturday Stitching


We watched a lot of football yesterday - so I got out my Bring Me Flowers supplies and worked on another block. The parts of the flowers that are not stitched down yet (see them?) are where the stems will get tucked under.

I'll machine stitch these little blocks together today and prepare the stems.

We are supposed to have a cool front coming through this week - and we are so glad! It's been really hot still - just like summer. It will be nice to walk Cooper without melting.

Wishing you a happy day!


Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Hexie Love Curved Hexagon Ruler



I've gotten SO MANY questions over on Hexie Love Open Studios about my ruler. So I decided to go over how it works again today. As you see above, it has various markings. Some are marked with an 'S' and some are marked with a 'P'. 


The ruler is designed to work with 2" hexie papers. 

The purpose of the ruler is to mark and cut your own hexie papers into a huge variety of curved pieces. The 'P' markings on the ruler are lined up with a point on the hexagon paper.


The 'S' markings on the ruler are lined up with a side on the hexagon paper. P for POINT and S for SIDE. Easy easy. 

I like to mark my papers and carefully cut them apart with paper scissors.



 There are so many different combinations of curved pieced hexagons you can make from this! You can combine 'P's' and 'S's' on the same hexie paper.

Under the tabs at the top of the blog you will find FREE old issues of Hexie Love magazine - there you will find the pattern for Bliss which uses this ruler.

I typically don't link my blog on Hexie Love Open Studio, but today I will.

I do have some rulers left - you can only get them from me. They are $24 with free shipping with in the US. If you are out of the country, you will have to pay for shipping. If you want one...please email me - juliacwood@mac.com - and provide your Paypal email so I can invoice you.

Have a great weekend!



Friday, September 22, 2017

A Little Beach Vacation


 We're back home after a few days at the beach. Ahhh. We live only 3.5 hours from the shore. But we have never gone much, primarily because we've always vacationed at the family lake house - a different kind of water. But Hubby and I decided a beach getaway would be fun and it was!

The sunsets were glorious!


We stayed a little off the beaten track where it wasn't crowded. Another ahhh.... We didn't have to sidestep around lots of people to find a spot in the sand.


From Hubby's perspective...


And from mine... yes...hex on the beach!




 For us, a trip to the coast means lots of fresh seafood. Oysters and crab cakes.


Firecracker shrimp.

Grilled amberjack sandwich. Not to mention the crab claws. And flounder.  And fried shrimp. Yes, we ate our way though our trip. Yes, I've gained a few pounds. Time to get back on track, but oh, it was fun to splurge!

This morning I already have the laundry going. I have a small meeting with a friend at 9:30 and then coffee with other friends at 10:30. Nothing like coming home to a full schedule! Haha! But I do hope to hexie this afternoon.

By the way, over on Facebook LOTS of people have been joining Hexie Love Open Studio! Yay! We're over 1100 member now! If you've asked to join and have not been accepted yet, please try again. I think I hit the 'Ignore' button for one or two people accidentally instead of the desired 'Accept' button - my bad!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Slow Day


I sat on my bum yesterday. Whenever I'm machine quilting a project, I hit it hard. So this past week was hard! Haha- as hard as it gets for me anyway. Which is not very...

Yesterday I didn't do much at all. Okay, one load of laundry. But little else. I read a bunch though - does that count for anything? And a tiny bit of hexie sewing. Tiny bit.

What are your plans for the week? I'm thinking it will be a hexie week for me. Lots of hexies, I hope!

Stay tuned - tomorrow I should have a fun picture to share...


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ain't No Sunshine is DONE!


I'd planned to finish this while watching college football. But I finished it BEFORE football even started!


And I have to admit...even though I don't like the color purple, I do love the quilt!


I'll be throwing it in the wash to soften it up and make it nice and crinkly. And it will go in my new cabinet, on display. This one might be gifted to someone who needs a pick-me-up. I like to have some quilts on hand for gifts. I have no idea who will get this one, but it's nice to have it done. It looks pretty in the backyard, doesn't it?

Since this was complete....I worked on hexies during the games. After I went to bed I had an idea. Do you have your best ideas while falling asleep? I do! So according to my falling-asleep-idea...I need to take apart the individual hexies and sew them in a different configuration. Okay, I will!

Have a nice day, everyone!





Saturday, September 16, 2017

That Final Corner


Yesterday morning I finished quilting the final corner. Then I trimmed it and stitched the binding around the corner. And last night and hand stitched approximately half the binding down on the backside. This baby might be finished today!


This is what I had handy when I wanted to make a grocery list - a used curved hexie paper - haha! Groceries were bought, laundry done, dishes put away. Plus the corner of the quilt was completed. All before lunch!

Today will not be so busy. I'm glad.

Have a relaxing day!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Quilting, Quilting, Quilting....


I hit it hard yesterday! I just kept going and going and going on the machine quilting. I pushed myself longer and harder than I had intended. Finally I knew I needed to just stop for the day.

But I wanted to work on the quilt a bit longer. I realized I only had one little corner left to quilt. What to do?

I decided to put off the final bit of quilting (my shoulder blade was a bit sore), BUT I did go ahead and trim all the sides of the quilt except for that final corner. Then I decided to make the binding. I sewed the strip together, pressed them in half....hmmm, why not go ahead and stitch them around the trimmed quilt (except for that corner). BOOM!

So now today I can machine quilt that little corner, trim that little corner, and then stitch the binding to that little corner. I'll be ready to work on hand stitching the binding in my recliner on Saturday while watching FOOTBALL! Boom!

I think after this one is done I'll take a little break from machine quilting. I still have more top that need quilting, but I've done the ones that were the highest priority. Yay!

We may go to the lake today to make sure there was no storm damage there. We'll see...

Have a fun day!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

My New Acquisition


Forgive the dark photo. I bought this a few days ago from our local Facebook yard sale group. Love it! This glass and metal piece is from Ikea and is PER-FECT for storing many of my completed quilts. Now they can be seen and admired without being stuffed in a closet. Yay! And the best part was that it was already assembled! Happy Dance!

I didn't do any machine sewing yesterday, but today I'm ready to attack the machine quilting again. Hope I can get another chunk of it done today.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Curved Hexies!



If you've been to Hexie Love Open Studio, you've already seen my recent hexie play. I love my Curved Hexagon Ruler! I was planning to work on this more yesterday, but I couldn't make a decision on what to do next. I'll think on it a bit more...


I'm putting this together a bit differently. It's a combination of English Paper Piecing AND Hand Piecing AND Appliqué. That center piece - I turned the edges to the back side of the paper and stitch basted them. Then I lined up the side pieces, taped them in place on the backside, and then hand stitched/appliquéd them on the front side. No glue. No machine stitching. Easy peasy. Before I removed the papers I marked the seam lines on the back - that allowed me to do hand piecing to stitch the hexagons together along the lines.

I'm using Cherrywood fabrics - I have lots of it on hand. I bought bunches of Cherrywood Scrap Bags once for my students back when I was teaching. I have plenty of them leftover with which to play. I'm using my own version of Fall colors. Having fun!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Machine Quilting Tip


The worst of Irma has left us. Yay for that! We had about 4 inches of rain yesterday and lots of wind, but no damage to our home except for a few slipped shingles on the roof. One tree in the backyard looks windblown - we may need to tie it up to straighten it. Lots of trees down in town including a few on houses, roads blocked, and 14,000 were without power around here at the peak. But we never lost our electricity.

I've been meandering around on my Ain't No Sunshine (En Provence) quilt again. This is a big, BIG meander. When I'm doing my own machine quilting, I always want to avoid bulky intersections - you know...those spots where lots of seams meet? But it's the worst thing to do! Avoiding stitching over these bulky spots will make them stick up like sore thumbs!


So my tip is: AIM FOR THE INTERSECTIONS! Above you can see there is one coming up where SEVEN seams meet in one spot! I'm aiming for it!


BOOM! Went right through it! And now it will lay flat.


Here's another - not so bad... only four seams meeting - but still, quilting right through it will tame it nicely.

I'm about 1/4 done with the quilting, just doing a bit every day.

Check out Hexie Love Open Studios on Facebook - I've been playing a bit...


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma Prep


I haven't done much sewing the last couple of days, but I did finish this block (Bring Me Flowers). I also started machine quilting Ain't No Sunshine (En Provence). I've only done a small part and it's not my greatest machine quilting, but it will be done in a week or so.

We've been prepping for Irma - she's headed directly toward us. If you look at the maps they are showing, we live in Alabama very near the Georgia border - right in the path of the hurricane. We'll be under a Tropical Storm Warning all day tomorrow - expecting winds 30-50 mph with gusts up to 70 mph.

We've brought all our outdoor furniture inside or tied down on the carport. All outdoor cushions are now inside. Our bicycles are on the screened porch, along with a fire pit, outdoor heater, and anything else that would fit. Our hanging baskets are down, too. We even filled our cars with outdoor stuff.

We're a bit worried about all the scraps of wood across the street at a construction site - let's hope they don't become airborne.

We have plenty of water and food and a full tank of gas. We are as prepared as we can be.

Lots of Florida residents came here to escape their homes - all hotels here are full and many gas stations have run out of gas.

For now we will hunker down and wait it out.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Marmalade: DONE!


Another finish! A friend quilted this on her longarm and I got it back earlier this week.

When I was finishing Allietare earlier this year I made WAY too much orange binding. Well, it came in handy here. And I still have enough orange binding for another quilt or two.


This is a smaller quilt, but I love it. The backing is Tula Pink. I'm knocking quilts off my list!

We are watching Hurricane Irma. As it finishes with Florida, it will be headed our way. Luckily we are on the 'good' side, but still we're expecting heavy winds - probably Monday night.

Stay safe!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Binding Tip!




As I promised myself - I finished the charity quilt yesterday! I even put the binding on.



Here's one more shot of the quilting. Hubby said he like the flowers I quilting - I told them I didn't think of them as flowers. I thought of them as saggy boobs and the echo around them is the bra. Lots of saggy boobs in this quilting!



I tried a new binding tip I saw on Craftsy. I've been having issue with bulky, crooked mitered corners.  This is such a simple thing, but made a HUGE difference in my corners.

In the photo above is the top side of the quilt. Notice how the left side of the miter is folded over on top of the right side. Important!





Now when you flip to the back side, make sure the RIGHT side of the miter is the one folded on top. It makes the mitered corners nest together and creates less bulk. I hope you understand what I'm trying to explain. It's such a simple thing and I don't know why I never thought of it before!

Before I hand stitched the binding, I did the folding of all four corners and made sure they are pinned or held with Wonder Clips. Then I did the stitching. FOUR PERFECT CORNERS!

Yippee!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

More Quilting...


Boring post...more quilting...and more quilting.... and more quilting.

I'm going to finish this today (for sure!) and get the binding stitched on. Almost done, thank goodness!

I don't know why I don't enjoy machine quilting - I guess it gets mundane and repetitive after a bit. I get bored easily. But it has to be done. And I'm getting much better at it. And so it goes. Maybe if I got more creative with my pattern I'd enjoy it more? My En Provence (Ain't No Sunshine) is up next - I need to research easy free motion patterns that are more fun for me!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Machine Quilting Charity Quilt


I pulled out my BERNINA Stitch Regulator yesterday and set up my machine for some free motion quilting. My Stitch Regulator is the BOMB! I have improved my free motion quilting by leaps and bounds by using this tool. I don't have to worry about how fast or slow I move my quilt sandwich - the stitches are always the same. One less thing to think about!


In about an hour I had quilted approximately 1/4 of the charity quilt. Yay! At this rate I'll be stitching on the binding by the weekend.

All Craftsy classes were free yesterday. I watched parts of one class that focused on quilt binding. I learned a couple of tricks that should help me in the future. Sometimes my mitered corners are not as good as I'd like them to be...

This morning I want to do more of the machine quilting - ready to get the one DONE!

Hope you have a wonderful day!!!


Monday, September 4, 2017

Doggy Weekend



Daughter 2 and SIL2 and Sammy were here for the weekend. Cooper and Sammy played NONSTOP! Oh, they had fun! We all had a fun weekend.


I didn't sew much, but I did start another Bring Me Flowers block. I've finally learned something important about making these blocks. The instructions call for you to make the three little flower blocks, then the flower pot block, and then add the stems...picking out stitches in each flower for the stems to go under. But that leaves unsecured seams. And duplicate work.

So I'm now leaving a small part of the flowers unstitched where the stem will go. And then after the block is assembled and the stems stitches down I can go back and finish the flower stitching. Make sense?

This week I'd like to cut the strips for the alternating blocks and machine stitch the straight seams, ready to hand stitch the curved pieces. You'll see what I mean soon...

I'd also like to get the quilting done on the charity quilt, or at least get a good start on it. And maybe, just maybe....I'll start a new quilt!

Did you see my Hexie Love Facebook post? I'm thinking about doing another free hexie block-of-the-month project. I need to see if there is interest- would you like this? Let me know! And I need to start designing.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Pumpkin Quilt



I quilted my little pumpkin quilt and sewed the binding yesterday: another finish! Okay, it's little, but still it's a finish!



I also finished another Bring Me Flowers block.

This morning we are waiting for the Directv people to come fix our system. They're supposed to be here by noon. And I'm going to make a broccoli salad. Family (D2 and SIL2) are arriving tonight for the first football game of the season this weekend.

I hope to do some hand stitching, also. Hope you have a fabulous FRIDAY!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Basting and Basting



Yesterday afternoon I did something I've been putting off for too long. I basted this charity quilt. No, I didn't make the top. Our guild here in Auburn has us participate in the collection of charity quilts in a variety of way. We can donate a finished top or a finished quilt. We can donate fabric to be put together in kits for tops. We can take a kit and make a quilt top. Or we can quilt a prepared top as I am doing. I was given the top, the backing, the batting, and even the binding.

I've had this in my hands for several months. It's due in November. All the quilts are gathered to be donated to a local charity in December. It's time to finish this project! So this will be the next machine quilting project under my needle.


And while I was in a basting mood (and while the dining room table was still clear) I decided to baste my En Provence, or as I call it, 'Ain't No Sunshine' because I left out the yellow. I'll quilt this one after the donation quilt.

I'm not sure what I'll work on today. But I'll be inside on this rainy day. Lightening struck either our TV or our Directv box early this morning - we'll have to get that fixed or replace before the weekend (college football!) That will be a Hubby chore. 

Have a great day!






Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Tiny Bit of Sewing



I didn't get a lot done sewing-wise yesterday, but I did make the flower pot for this block. Today I'll sew the four pieces together. I also need to make more bias strips for the stems.

My primary mission was my hair cut and color. And a trip to Sam's Club. And a trip to drop off donations at the thrift store. Missions accomplished.

I've had a few readers from out of the USA email me to see if we are close to where Harvey hit. No, we are not. I feel so bad for Texas - so much devastation. We are getting the outskirts of rain from Harvey starting today and going on for the next few days. But it will be nothing like Texas got. 

Have a nice day, everyone!