Monday, June 30, 2008

Cindy had a little blog giveaway last week. I really, really wanted the "b" brooch. Cindy was having fun making these brooches that she decided to make everyone who commented a winner.
That is OK by me. But wait, not only did she send me the brooch, she included some fabric strings. Way cool, huh?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

String Blocks

A few months back, I signed up for a CYOC (choose your own color) string block swap at the HGTV message board. The ideas was to make each participant 2 - 6" string blocks in the color selection of their choice. There were 23 signed up. This turned out to be a really fun swap for several reasons. For one thing the blocks were super easy to make. Because they are string blocks, there were no twisted seams and seam allowances are not important. You know I get bored easily, so only making 2 blocks in a variety of colors kept my interest. I had lots of strings left over for Heartstring quilts. For the first time ever, I received all the blocks from all the swappers on time.

I chose a dark green center string, with fall colors on the remaining strings. I think I will need to make more blocks to make this a more substantial size, but I really like the results so far.

Another CYOC swap was just started up at HGTV, so of course I have signed up again. This time only 12 swappers have signed up, so we all decided to make 4 blocks instead 2. I thought it might be a good idea this time to show you the blocks as I make them. It is interesting to see the different colors and maybe it might inspire someone to make some of their own. The deadline for this swap is way off at the end of October. I won't show you the ones I receive until I receive them all (it would be rather boring don't ya think).

Jeanclaire of California (also the swap hostess) requested a white on white center string with citrus colors of yellow, lime and orange.

Janae from West Virginia wants a white on white center with bright purple strings.

Sandie in Washington state asked for a black on black center with autumn colors strings.

Friday, June 27, 2008

More Orchids

This tiny little flower has a sweet delicate fragrance that you can only smell when the sun come up or the sun goes down.

This very odd orchid is one that was given to me many years ago. It has never bloomed before so it is quite a surprise. The petals are a pale, pale green color with spots. There are several blooms and they look like spiders.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Irksome phrases

There are certain phrases that Americans have been using lately, that are annoying. One of the most common ones is the use of the word like. "It's like raining out". Well, is it raining or isn't it?
Then there is "ya know?" "It's like, ya know, raining out". No I don't know, tell me about it.
But the one that seems to be in every sentance is the word basically. (I don't think I need to put that in a sentance for you). When did this word become such an important part of our everyday speech.
If you don't believe me, just watch Judge Judy or The Peoples Court and count how many times they use these words.
Have you noticed a word or expression that has creeped into our language and just annoys the beejeebees out of you?

Hurry, Hurry

There's a new etsy shop opening up with some outrageous fabric for sale. Randi is having an opening day giveaway. So hurry up and leave her a comment as the contest is over tonight at 6PM

Baby Quilt Update

I got the border on this baby quilt. It looks a bit wavy but that will come out in the quilting. The next time I show you a picture of this quilt, I promise to take it in natural sunlight. Even with all the lights on and the camera flash, the photo is still faded.

Here is a closeup of the machine button hole stitch that I think is rather sweet on a baby quilt. I used all those threads that I purchased from Connecting Threads a few months ago (can't find the darn post).

Correction: I just found the thread post. Here are the threads I used on the border. They match the fabrics perfectly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Birthday Block Swap

The first time I ever saw an online Birthday Block Swap was about 6 years ago. I swore I would never sign up for one. I just knew the swap would start in July and my birthday is in June. It has "rip me off" written all over it.

So what made me change my mind and sign up for the Birthday Block Swap 2? Insanity is one good reason but not the only one. This swap is being hosted by Kate. One of the sign-up requirements was that you had to have been in some sort of swap before and she would ask for references. I joined group 2 which was supposed to be easy. And, lastly because the swap was to start in June.

It goes without saying that I read it wrong. The swap starts in July, with the sign-ups closing in June. Also, some of the blocks that the girls are requesting are a bit on the difficult side.

But it's not all that bad, I do not have to wait a whole year to receive my blocks. Kate has assigned birthday months and my month is December. I only have to make one block a month, so I can screw up a few times before I get it right.

So here is my first block. Lil Deb has requested a 6-9" star block in pastel colors with a black on black background, then add enough black to make the star float. This block is a Marcia Hohn pattern called Star Lane and I hope it meets with Deb's approval.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Completed tops

Remember all those fabrics I received for charity quilts? I had finished a few tops and sent them to Mary. She has finished three so far and WOW she sure has made them look good.

Cable Companys

I have finished the border on the baby quilt. I have joined two more swaps. There are more orchids in bloom. But I can't show you pictures of any of them. Why? Because my cable is out, and I can't post pictures from my computer at work. The cable powers my home phone, cable TV (but we also have a Dish) and my internet connection. It went out on Saturday afternoon when a nasty thunderstorm hit my area. There was a generic message when you called about what areas were out and that they were working on it. By Monday, it had been fixed but not at my house. So we called for service. They were to come today between 8 and 11 AM. HA! My husband stayed home and decided to call to confirm the appointment. They said "It was cancelled by the IVR" (interactive voice response). Good grief, you have got to be kidding, why would either of us cancel?

So he demanded that they send someone pronto. He plans on calling every half an hour until someone shows up.

We shall see what happens.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I was making string blocks, and crumb blocks out of all the small pieces of fabric that was donated to me. I get bored easily. So I decided to make something for me. I thought I would use the small stash of precut squares that Ann sent me. Everywhere I looked on the net, I keep seeing the double 4 patch being made. The pattern... the squares.... what a good idea. I was trying to decide what to do about the border when I found out that my next door neighbor (and BTW, one of the best neighbors I have had in many years) is going to have a baby in September.

Shift gears again.............................

Obviously, they know it's a boy. I have always liked the Boston Commons pattern and this is my take on it. I will be adding a 6" white border. I plan on some vines and circle type flowers which will add a touch of green to the mix. I have not yet decided on whether or not I will hand quilt it. Surely I have plenty of time, but I get so sidetracked that I might not finish it. Besides, I just found out that a dear friend of my husbands is also having her first child. DH says I MUST make her a baby quilt. This baby is due December 25, yes Christmas day. Fortunately for me, we don't know yet if it is a boy or girl or I would most likely start that quilt too.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Some more of natures beautiful colors......................enjoy.................

Friday, June 13, 2008

Poinciana Tree

This tree is just across the street from my house. I love when it is in bloom. It is the most wonderfully vibrant red color. When they were digging up the street, there was some concern that it's root system would be damaged. As you can see, she has come back strong.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Zizzt-Dot Swap #11

Dotti wanted something that says "Summer". To me, it is a time of the year that is far too hot. Not just hot, but a steamy, humid hot. Here is my card.

Dotti said she really like the colors of summer. It looks like she really likes those hot fix jewels. That's cool because I do too. Here is her card.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What's in a name?

Well, I'm not so sure about the high energy part.................................

What Barbara Means

You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.

You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.

Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Two at a time Preemie Quilts - Part Two

Now that the body of the quilt is complete, your should take a large square ruler and square it up. The two pieces should measure 14 1/2" but that is an approximate. It is more important that it is perfectly square.

First Border......................................................

It is at this point that most instructions say to measure here and measure there, and find the center, blah, blah, blah, but this is a very small quilt and is supposed to be quick. So I simply take the light 1 1/2" strip and lay it right side up. Put the central piece, with the right side down on top of the strip ( this prevents stretching) and sew.

Trim the strips at the ends and press out towards the border.


Take the 1" strip and fold it in half lengthwise, pressing it flat. I have heard this called unfilled piping. You could also use filled piping, ric-rac or lace but the unfilled piping is something you can make easily from something in your stash. It is just an accent piece which can add a little pizazz.

Line up the raw edge of the piping with the raw edge of the quilt. Increase the stitch length and baste the piping close to the edge.

Second Border.....................................................................

Lay this piece right sides together and stitch it down. Press it out towards the 2nd border.

This is where the instructions usually say "Quilt as desired" and end the conversation. So I will give you a few of my personal tips. I prefer to use a very flat type of batting like Hobbs Theremore or Warm and Natural. Flat, flat, flat. If you have any friends who are longarmers for hire, they might have some 22" scraps they could save for you.

I do not use pins or tacks to baste, but rather a small amount of 501 Spray holds the whole thing together well.

I am not very good at free motion quilting but I feel it would overwhelm these little beauties anyway. So I do simple diagonal lines on every other square and in the ditch on both borders.

There should be 4 strips left and these are for the binding. No, I am not going to type instructions for that. And..........................................