Friday, January 31, 2014

Progress on the quilt and swag

Yesterday we had company meeting all day. They feed us breakfast and lunch plus snacks.

They feed us breakfast and lunch plus snacks. The food was very good. I managed to get a shot of my cookie before I ate it all. I took my own tea bag since now I am totally spoiled drinking Tazo.

To keep my hands busy I brought some knitting. Here is what I took with me

Here is what it looked like by the afternoon. I would have done more but I knitted up the only skein I had brought with me. I could not believe I went thru that whole skin!

We got swag bags this year. Can you guess what was in them?

If you guessed safety glasses, gloves, purell, and ear plugs you are right!

Here is my progress on the quilt. My goal is to get this one done this weekend.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Progress on the sample quilt

I made a bit of progress.

It is still very cold. Here is this morning's temp

The good news is that the sun is shinning again and it will supposedly warm up to

The forecast is calling for it to warm up into the low 20's this weekend. That will seem like a heat wave!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quilting, tea, and cold

I had taped the Grammy's so I tried to watch that while I wound bobbins with quilting thread and got started on quilting one of the sample quilts. The problem was there were so many commercials I had to keep stopping to fast forward the tape. I think the whole event would have lasted about 2 hours if you took out all the commercials! Here is how I am quilting the quilt

The snow plows came last night and clean out the snow - yeah! I managed to get out yesterday and get back home, but since there is more snow on the way it would be even more difficult getting thru the deep snow in my car. I went out this morning and cleared away the bit of snow they left at the bottom of the driveway.

The security light came on in the back so I opened the door to see if the deer were out there. Here you can see their tracks. When they close to the house the light will turn on.

When I headed out today even though it was
the wind was hardly blowing. I can judge the wind with the prayer flags I have in the front yard. They look pretty against the snow

The high today
but with the sun shining it doesn't seem so bad!

Yesterday one of the fellows at work brought me some tea. His dad works someplace and they get tea. Tazo is an expensive tea and he brought me two flavors - Lotus, a green tea, and Wild Sweet Orange, which tastes like orange soda.

So I am sitting here this morning with a hot cup of Lotus wishing I was here

Keep warm and safe!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Great progress on the sample quilts

What a weekend! I only went outside on Sunday afternoon to shovel all the snow we got on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning. Total accumulation - between 7 and 10 inches. The city had not come by as of 7 this morning to plow my street, but I shoveled the cul-de-sac far enough out from my driveway I was able back the car out and get moving down the street to drive to work this morning - I was going to walk.
The wind is just a howling. The schools are closed today and probably tomorrow since it is suppose to be below zero tomorrow. Here is today's forecast. Right now the sun has peaked out thru the clouds which is nice to see even for a little bit.

So I stayed indoors and worked on the two sample quilts. I got both tops pieced and one of them pin basted.

Hope everyone it staying warm!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Blocks are sewn together

Next is the trimming and sewing the rows together. This top is going together quickly.

I may end up changing the orientation of this quilt to this

As I said yesterday, these are samples for my workshop and they will demonstrate different ways to cut the sewn together these double cut units. I have cut out another set of blocks using the same fabric, but the size of the cuts are different from the first quilt. The first quilt the pieces are very similar in size. This next quilt the pieces are thick and thin. Here are the first pieces laid out ready to sew together and the stacks of pieces for the rest of the blocks. I will get this put together this weekend and hopefully have both pin basted.

I have so many idea running thru my head I wish I had a "it's too cold so I can stay home day" like the schools. They have gone to school only 9 days this month and they are quickly running out of calamity days. Here is what the weather channel showed this morning

But look at the forecast - yes that is a -14 next Tuesday! It will be interesting to see if that really happens. I always say a weatherperson is the only job in the world where you can be wrong all the time and still have a job.

I did get a new iron. I was not getting along with my Oliso. The Oliso was great when it was new, but as time went on it just wasn't hot enough and the auto shut off (which is a feature I hate - I wish I could find an iron that didn't have that!) was turning off the iron constantly. I had a B&D digital advantage iron before and I really liked it. Lots of steam and it go nice and hot. They are not expensive so I got this one on ebay for a good deal. I plugged it in to press the blocks and it works great!

I am ready for the weekend. I plan on staying home all weekend in the studio. Have a wonderful weekend and stay warm!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Workshop samples

I want to play around and make up some baby quilt sized quilt samples for my workshop in February. Even if no one signs up for the workshop at least I will have the quilts for my lecture in April. I want to use up some of the fabric in my stash and I have a nice collection of this soft pink fabric. Pair it with white and I think it is pretty. My goal with this exercise besides showing my double cut technique, is that I am going to make two similar quilts. When I sew the blocks together I will use a ruler to straighten the rows of blocks on one quilt and on the other I will improv the pieces together. I think it will be an interesting comparison to see what the finish product looks like. Here are the blocks on the design wall that I have sewn together so far.

I have four more blocks to make. Here are two laid out and ready to sew with the stack of pieces for the last block. I like the text fabric!

This morning I got up early and did my grocery shopping before work. It is 10 degrees and lightly snowing here. Right now I would say we got a heavy dusting of snow. Here is a shot of our parking lot.

Have a productive day and stay warm unless you are on the west coast then you stay cool!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2nd finish for 2014

Yeah! Another quilt done before the baby is born - now that is an accomplishment! LOL!

The next project on the list is to work on some sample quilts for my workshop at the art museum next month. If you go to this link then click on the Printmaking Demonstrations you can see the information for the workshop.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Binding is on

I got the binding machine sewn on the other music quilt last evening and I also did my sewn mitered corners. I got up this morning and before I went to work I trimmed the excess backing and batting, pressed the binding, and got one of the four sides hand stitched down.

I will have the rest of the binding hand sewn on tonight and hopefully have enough time to make the labels for both quilts.

Monday, January 20, 2014

1st finish of 2014

Here it is finally! My first finish of 2014.

I did do a bit more detailed quilting on this piece so the back would not be so boring.

I will get a label on it and get it shipped to the parents. My brother will not have time to take care of mailing it which would mean I would have to ship it to Los Angles and then he would mail it to its final location. Since he is headed to South Africa this week for a 6 week tour with Bruce, I will take care of the mailing. They are also going to Australia and New Zealand.

He did send me a picture of the baby on the quilt that was my last finish for 2013. Too cute!

I did get the other music quilt quilted also. I will work on the binding tonight.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Progress on the music quilt and toasted chick peas

The music quilt is coming along nicely. I am over half done and it will be done this weekend. Maybe I will have enough time to start on the other music quilt.

Yesterday I found a recipe for toasted chick peas to for a healthy snack. I had chick peas in the cupboard so I tried it out. The receipe is on After the peas were done I just sprinkled a little salt and paprika on them. They are nice and crispy out of the oven. I let them cool and put them in a storage container. This morning I tried them and they did lose the crispness, but they were still tasty. So easy to make: drain peas, lay on a paper towel to get any excess moisture, mix the peas with a little olive oil, spread on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes or so at 400 degrees. I put mine in for 10 minutes then tossed them around a bit and continued to toast. When they are hot out of the oven sprinkle with any seasonings or herbs you want.

Life is starting to get busy for me. I needed a way to keep me on track so I found a small three ring binder. In it I have my calendar and to do list. Then I also have information for projects I am involved in. I have a horrible habit of writing stuff on random pieces of paper then losing those papers and missing dates.

I did get news that the art museum is still going to sponsor me teaching an improvisational piecing workshop in February! We are working out the details for the workshop requirements. The museum is launch a new website and the workshop will be on it plus they will do an email blast. I am excited about this and I need to put my nose to the grid stone to get prepared for this.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Progress on two fronts

Here is where I am at on the baby quilt. I finished quilting the upper part, quilted the red and white triangles with line quilting, and got started on quilting the lower part of the piece. I should have this done this weekend.
Here is a shot of the back so you can see the triangles. I like the extra detail and interest this adds.

The second front - the new garage door opener had been installed! I am so happy!!! The fellow, Tim, was upset at what a horrible job the person did when the old opener was installed years ago. The bracket holding the rail (that the part the chain runs along from the motor) had only one bolt holding it to the wall - there needs to be two - and the bold was not tight. I guess that is why the rail would flex so much when I opened the door! And then the one spring had no tension on it at all so the door would not stay open as far up as it should. It took about an hour and 45 minutes to get the work done. I helped by holding a trouble light, cleaning up the empty boxes and packaging, and handing Tim tools. He thanked me for having such a clean garage. He had just come from a job where he replaced the opener and the door and the garage was full of junk that was in his way. Here are the springs I am talking about.

He said the old opener was a piece of junk even when it was installed - a very cheap opener. So here it is on the floor.

And here is my new one. I now have sensors so if the door is coming down and you walk under the door, the door will stop. My old one didn't have that. So when I sell this place to a family some day, that will be a good safety feature for them.

I am very happy camper!