Thursday, January 28, 2021

Background for Color My World


Well, I went with simple. I decided this gridded fabric would work the best and not  compete with the houses. Now I can really get going with the January instructions. They have already sent out the February instructions, so I feel behind. But I'm not. I'm sure I'll get caught up.

Here is my first official finish of the year. I made the quilt top years ago and had it quilted in December. Finally, I got the binding stitched down. I love spiderweb quilts; this one is a lap size, perfect for little Mickey.

I used Kaffe fabric with a fun color of grunge.

As I've been working on Winter Blues, I've been pulling some fun white based neutrals to use. I pulled this one yesterday - isn't it adorable??? I love it! Don't ask me details - there was no selvage on it. I think I bought it in Houston, a fun place to collect white neutrals.

Look how much progress I've made! This is coming together quickly. I thought it would take much longer. I'm not sure how big I'll make it, but I think I'm about 2/3 done with the size I want.

Our little dachshund, Mickey, is getting old. At over 13 years old, he has not been sleeping well, which means we have not been sleeping well. The vet prescribed him sleeping/anxiety pills. From a description of his behavior (incessant barking if he's not held constantly), the vet says he most likely has a severe case of separation anxiety and dementia. The pills are helping some. I also bought him a pet heating pad - he's learning to be happy on it when I want to sew. Slowly he's making progress. 

Stay safe!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Winter Blues


I have to admit I didn't sew much this week. But this morning I wanted to make some of the alternate blocks for Winter Blues. Done. Then I cut some of the sashing pieces and put some blocks on my design wall to see how this was going to look. Happily, I LOVE IT! I have made over 40 of the navy 16-patch blocks. I cut more of everything this am so now even if I only have 15 minutes during the week, I can make progress.

In case you're wondering, I'm still making slow progress on Cheddar Bow Ties, but I put away my green/gray lozenge project for now. Still working on my Sue Spargo wool bird blocks, too.  

Remember these houses for Color My World? guessed. I don't like the background sky fabric for this use. It's a bit too dark. So I went on a search.

I found this and ordered it. I like that it is light and the grid lines give it movement. I have a local friend who is making this, too. I told her I was not changing my mind again. She showed me (via internet) what she was going to use. Well, that sent me down another rabbit hole. I found this:

This is not what my friend is using, but I happened on it and loved it. It mimics the busy-ness of the fabric used in the original Color My World, but I like that it's black/white/gray so my houses will stand out.  Yes, I ordered this one, too. 

So now I'm in a fabric waiting game. I hope it will be here before long and I can make my FINAL decision. They will be releasing the next step on February 1 and I haven't even decided on fabric yet! I'll get caught up, I'm sure.

In other updates, I finished my diamond painting. The photo doesn't do it justice. It really is pretty and sparkly. I'll frame it and put it away for next Christmas. 

Our little Sadie is 10 months old today! The months are flying by! 

Stay safe!

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Houses Being Built!


I've started making these tiny houses from the Missouri Star Company - my local friends and I will be making and swapping them later this year. These are easy and fun - but it will take a LOT of them to make a quilt.

And here we go! These are my first houses for Color My World, the BOM this year for The Quilt Show. I finally realized I'm NOT going to receive the background fabric that is called for in the pattern. Apparently it's fabric from a few years ago and it's simple no longer available. I think I'm going to use the sunset fabric as seen above. It reminds me of the sunsets we often have here. And the background fabric is the sky, after all. So I think it will work. 

One reason I wanted to make this quilt is that it teaches paper piecing with freezer paper. No sewing through the paper!!!! You simply fold the paper and sew right beside the fold. I wish I'd learned this years ago. This will change forever the way I do paper piecing. 

I bought freezer paper that is precut to run through the printer - 8.5x11.  There is enough wax on the freezer paper to reuse a pattern pieces several times (look closely at the photo above and you'll see the paper has already been used a few times). Game changer!!!!  

I'm happy to report that my blood pressure is improving! I talked with my doctor a few weeks ago. She gave me one month to get more serious about it. Keep walking. Improve diet. NO SALT! So I immediately went back on Whole30, which I've done in the past a few times. And I don't add salt to anything. I've taken a break from bacon - full of sodium. I've also weaned myself from coffee. I know - that's a hard one. But now I don't miss it. I do have a cup of hot tea each morning.

The downside is I have to focus more on real cooking. I have to plan a bit more. Last night I made Greek Lemon Chicken   with potatoes and broccoli. It was very good! Tonight we'll have grilled salmon, baked sweet potatoes, and fresh collards. 

Getting more serious about my diet has done the trick with the BP. It's almost normal. I'm thrilled. It's nice to be able to control something in life when so many things seem out of control. 

Stay safe!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Chugging Along

 Slowly, but surely. I've sewn several strip sets for my blue and white quilt. Many more sets to go. I've sub-cut these into little units, ready to sew back together in sets of 4. I will get there eventually. I don't know if I've already mentioned it, but this quilt will be for our master bedroom. I'm doing some redecorating in this room over the year. I'm planning to recover the headboard, put wallpaper on the wall behind the bed, and add this quilt to the foot of the bed.

I've been waiting for some items to arrive before I really get into the Color My World quilt. The printable freezer paper finally arrived yesterday. I'm still waiting on the background fabric. Again, no rush. I had trouble making up my mind - I have 5 yards of three different fabrics coming. I know, a bit crazy. One will get used on the back of the quilt. One will be the background on the front. And one will be saved for something else!

Monday I had to go to UAB for my breast check up - I go every 6 months. All is well with that!

I haven't been able to walk much lately because it's been pretty cold. But tomorrow will be a good walking day - can't wait!

Stay safe!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

A New House?


Did I get your attention? NO, we're not moving again. We LOVE our new home! But....I'm going to build some fabric houses. Above you see 16 houses all cut out. They are two different houses. I think I'm going down a rabbit hole.

Yes, I'm only days into this new year and I'm already starting ANOTHER quilt. What is wrong with me? I'm a quilter who loves to start new projects! Guilty. 

This will be Color My World - the BOM quilt on The Quilt Show.

I did finish the last bird. And I've started the next one.

So I think I have my quilting mojo back after the holidays. Yay!

Stay safe!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Curtain Rod for Hanging Quilts


Dotty emailed to ask for details about the curtain rod I am using to hang quilts. I thought more of you would be interested in the details, so I'm answering her here.

The first thing I considered is the size of the quilts. What's the biggest quilt I might hang? I knew it was the one you see above, which is 84" x 84". So my curtain rod needed to be longer than 84" to give room for the rod finials plus a bit extra.

This is what I ordered: curtain rod. (from Amazon)

The rod was perfect, except... I didn't realize it was a double rod. Two rods. I decided to make it work. I'll save one rod for a window at our lake home. BUT, now I'd need new brackets, because it came with brackets to hold two curtain rods. I had to then order single brackets (I had to order two sets of two - I needed 3 so I'd have support in the middle.

I ordered these curtain ring clips. Even though many of my quilts have hanging sleeves, I'm using clips to hang them because of the center support on the rod. The quilt would be able to slide all way across with its sleeve. Make sense? I hope so. 

Be sure to hang the rod high enough so your longest quilt will not hit the floor. 

I know, this is very convoluted. Don't do what I did and order a double rod! (Though I will end up using the double brackets and extra rod at the lake.) Simply get a curtain rod that matches your decor that is about 10" longer than the width of the biggest quilt you plan to hang. AND mount a center bracket for the rod or you will have sagging. 

Dotty, I hope that answers your question.

Stay safe!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

I Started a New Quilt!

I've been wanting to make a blue and white quilt - blue, but leaning toward navy. When I saw Bonnie Hunter's new pattern, Winter Blues, I thought it would fit the bill. I have a love/hate relationship with Bonnie Hunter quilts. The pieces are so SMALL! But in the end, I always love these quilts. My favorite quilt I finished in 2020 is Pfeffernusse. Lots of tiny pieces. But all those seam allowances make for a nice, heavy quilt which I find comforting. 

So what you see above is the start I made today at cutting the pieces. I pulled out all my blues that I thought would work and began to cut 1.5" strips. I have a bit more cutting to do. And yes, I did order a bit more navy fabric from Whittles Fabric today, but just a few pieces.

I had a wonderful walk this morning - 2.2 miles! I try to go a bit further each day as long as my feet are cooperating. You know I had a bad fall several years ago and tore up the ligaments in my right foot. Sometimes that foot or ankle 'talks to me,' and not in a good way. My new shoes came this afternoon and I love them.  I have also ordered an ankle sleeve for more support, too. It should be here soon.

If anything hurts, I stop. And I might take a day or two off from walking. But I've mostly been fine. My new Apple Watch? I LOVE, LOVE it! It keeps me motivated! I love the way I've been feeling since I've increased my walking. My blood pressure is still a bit high, but my doctor will help me with that.

That's it from here. 

Stay safe!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!

So I did a little bit of sewing. I have the wool pieces appliqued for the next bird. I'll start embellishing it today. I also hand pieced a tiny star block for Stars Upon Stars. 

Yes, we'll be having greens (collards) and black eyed peas tonight. I used  THIS RECIPE  for a different kind of black eye pea dish, with cornbread, sausage, cheese - it's good and has quite the kick. This recipe is by Plain Chicken - I love her recipes! Always good! 

I'm luckier than most in that our 2020 was not as bad as some people's. No one in our family has gotten Covid. No one in our family has lost their job. Our kids live in the same town we do and we feel comfortable seeing them. Of course, Sadie made this year a very happy one for all of us. We finished building our new home, moved in, and love it. After the initial shock of staying home all the time, we've adjusted well. 

I don't make resolutions for the new year, but I do make goals. I looked backed at my 2020 goals and I did pretty well with them. 

My goals for 2021 are pretty simple.

1. Selfcare. I will continue my walking that I started a few weeks ago. I'll continue to eat healthy (MOST of the time). I'll keep monitoring my blood pressure.

2. Read. I need some improvement here. I read each evening before I go to sleep, but not long enough. I've passed the halfway point of Jane Eyre, but the old me would have been finished weeks ago. After I finish reading Jane, I'm thinking I'll splurge on an Audible membership. I can listen to books WHILE I WALK. I think that will be a game changer for me. I plan to continue to read classics this year.

3. Wallpaper. So this is rather specific, isn't it? I want to buy some of the peel-off wallpaper for a few areas of our house. I love the idea of being able to peel it off easily when I get tired of it. 

4. Write. Years and years ago I wrote a novel. Our kids were young. I was a stay-at-home mom and needed things to entertain myself. I started writing, I started quilting, and I entered cooking contests. The novel was a cozy mystery. It was good enough to get a New York agent to represent me, but it was never picked up by a publisher. That brings me back to my goal. I want to pull the novel out and modernize and tweak it. I will probably add more quilting in it - there is already just a bit, as I was beginning to learn quilting as I wrote it. Anyway, it will be entertaining for me, and who knows? Maybe it will get picked up. Nothing to lose here.

5. Quilt. I want to quilt my Marshal top myself. That will be fun and there's no rush. I want to make a blue and white quilt. Other than that I'll keep working on UFO's. And I'm sure I'll start some new projects here and there, including another curved hexie quilt. 

I'm pleased with my goals. They are doable. I'm looking forward to lots more time with Sadie as she learns to walk and talk this year. Yes, we have a stroller, so she'll be joining me on walks, too! I know it will likely be months before I'm able get the Covid vaccine. So I'll keep staying home and staying busy.

Happy New Year!

Stay safe!