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lesmel in 2017

This topic was continued by lesmel in 2018.


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Edited: Dec 26, 2017, 9:21pm Top

The current plan is a monthly wall hanging project. I have October finished from 2016. Now to tackle the other 11 months.

Jan - NYE?
Feb - Mardi Gras
Mar - Go Texan - Texas Independence Day is March 2
Apr - umbrella
May - flowers
Jun - Ladybugs
Jul - American flag
Aug - camping under the stars
Sep - acorns! (WIP)
Oct - (2016) Under the hunter's moon
Nov - reversible: sugar skulls and turkey?
Dec - the Dresden Plate of Christmas

Edited: Jul 10, 2017, 9:09am Top

I think I have my inspiration for the January wall hanging:


Jan 3, 2017, 6:56am Top

12 wall hangings. Sounds ambitious. Our December here certainly was a winter landscape, but normally I'd save those for January & February (although some years those landscapes drag into March and April!) Will look forward to seeing what you come up with. Any other projects on the To-Do list?

Jan 3, 2017, 7:25am Top

>2 lesmel: ooh yes! I can't wait to see your interpretation.

Jan 3, 2017, 8:31am Top

I'll be interested to see how this inspiration turns into your wall hanging.

Jan 3, 2017, 10:06am Top

>3 avaland: I have a few projects sort of floating in the ether. I'm using a crafting journal this year to help with the ideas. I have this habit of just thinking of something and then a few days later I can't remember what it was. Or I see something online, so I have 15 safari windows open on my phone and then safari updates and I lose all my "saved" ideas. Ha. Saved my patootie. I know better. This weekend, I'll probably whip out a cat blanket. This last trip to the kennel, I didn't get home with either blanket I sent with my cat. Both were ratty and needing replacing. I have fleece in blue and dayglo orange...so, quick cat blanket for Her Majesty.

Jan 4, 2017, 11:27am Top

>6 lesmel: a photo of Her Majesty would be wonderful. It's very important so we can visualize both cat and blanket, lol. Also because you have a dog as your LT profile pic and the cat is probably jealous. :)

Jan 4, 2017, 11:53am Top

Her name is Isis or Princess Cinnamon Boots...either way, she's definitely Her Majesty:

This is how my sewing projects usually end up if she's in the area:

My dog is Crickett. Crickett is regularly pressed into service while I'm crafting:

Jan 4, 2017, 12:24pm Top

What a beautiful cat! She deserves the most wonderful, comfiest, blanket ever made. Cricket is also a cutie and I love the way he helps you out!

Jan 5, 2017, 11:54am Top

Aw, Isis and Cricket are adorable!

Jan 7, 2017, 1:26pm Top

Lovely to see your critters! Tortoiseshell cats are still my favorites, though I haven't owned one since my very first cat. My cat is currently confused by my new sewing activities. She actually sat on the couch without me (not too common) and kept a close eye on me while I was cutting out fabric.

Jan 7, 2017, 3:14pm Top

>11 mabith: Ha! Who are you & what have you done with my slave human.

PCB (as I call Her Majesty) kept trying to insist I go to bed last night. She would hop up on my lap, knead on me for 30 seconds, & then race off for the bedroom. I was movie binging until 2am. She wasn't impressed! lol

Jan 7, 2017, 4:52pm Top

She usually hides when I bring out the iron, so this sewing business is bad news for her... (I have no idea why the iron sets her off, I don't remember any iron related trauma in her life, the ironing board doesn't bother her, the sewing machine doesn't, just the iron.) Even if I don't comply, I do find them trying to lead us to bed so adorable. Best is when mine has slept with me all night and then in the morning also leads me to the couch for more snuggling. I am a sucker.

Jan 7, 2017, 6:38pm Top

Cat hairs just make a nice blending fiber!

Jan 8, 2017, 5:51pm Top

I swear my cat, while trying to get me to go to bed, said, in English, "Now!" Hahah. Sounded like it!

Jan 12, 2017, 3:07pm Top

I got my living room all set up for sewing. Just need to buckle down and work on things. Instead, I've been reading, cooking (I have a new Instant Pot), and fridge shopping. This weekend will be marathon cooking, I think. After that, I'll settle down for sewing. Maybe even find some time over the long weekend here in the US.

Jan 12, 2017, 5:11pm Top

>16 lesmel: I had to look up Instant Pot, but now, oh man, I want one! Especially since my pressure cooker seems to have given up the ghost...

Jan 12, 2017, 10:51pm Top

>17 scaifea: You really want to convince yourself? Go watch some IP cooking videos on youtube!! Some are better than others; but the variety of foods coming out of these pots is stunning. No different from any pressure cooker, really...the variety, I mean. Just less tending.

Since Jan 1, I've made:

Black-Eyed Peas (x2) -- 35 min
Oxtail Stew -- 35 min
Meatloaf -- 20 min
Whole Chicken -- 25 min

Coming up is lemon marmalade & yogurt.

Jan 13, 2017, 10:14am Top

>18 lesmel: I've already put one on my Amazon wishlist... I already have a slow-cooker, but my rice cooker is on its last legs and that pressure cooker needs replacing - I can't live without any of them!

Jan 13, 2017, 11:32am Top

I wasn't at all tempted by the Instant Pot until I learned about being able to saute the onions and seal the meat and such in it. It's so annoying to have to get another dish dirty for a slow cooker recipe but I feel strongly about browning onions. Moot point since I just don't have the room for it, but still...

Jan 31, 2017, 12:50pm Top

Well. It's the last day of January and I haven't made the first wall hanging. I would be discouraged in this except I've been cooking up a storm in my new Kitchen Overlord Instant Pot.

Maybe on Friday while I'm waiting for the floor cleaning guy and the fence company guy to give me quotes, I'll work on the January wall hanging. I should look at what fabric I have in the stash that I can use for January. Hmm.

Edited: Jan 31, 2017, 2:58pm Top

For anyone curious about what I've been making in the IP:

Lemon Marmalade -- not worth the effort. Maybe 20 minutes saved compared to stovetop. Although, possibly, this could have been shorter if I hadn't added water to the lemons for pressure cooking. I hindsight, there was plenty of liquid from the super juicy lemons I was using.

Yogurt -- first time came out great, but loose. I could have strained it; but I liked the super mild flavor. Second time was a total flop b/c I cooled the milk too much and didn't correct the mistake by just re-scalding the milk. Third time was overnight Sunday to Monday. I'm going to try some tonight. I used more starter; and I incubated for 12 hours instead of 8 hours. Hopefully, it will have the texture I want without being super soury-tangy.

Beef Barley Soup -- possibly the best recipe I've ever had, hands down

Whole chicken -- I've done this twice now. Once for the chicken itself for chicken salad and once for the Avgolemono. Hands down, the most tender and super moist chicken.

Sweet Potato & Turkey Sausage Not Hash -- I was supposed to cook out the the liquid, but it's so tasty like it is!

Avgolemono -- I think I should have used about two cups less stock than I did...and salt. Needs salt.

Lentil Sloppy Joes -- I skipped the sugar and made this more like Lentil Chili.

Navy Beans & Eggplant -- It's good; but the eggplant cooks to mush and that's just a questionable texture for me. Also, I don't think I needed as much broth as it called for. This could be because I double the recipe and it just doesn't need that much liquid.

Jan 31, 2017, 2:46pm Top

Yum. I've got a couple of bags of lentils in the pantry, Lentil sloppy joes sounds interesting. Is this a no-meat or combo meat & lentils?

I have my mother's New England baked bean recipe if you would like it. She always cooked a huge pot of red kidney beans and a beanpot of navy beans most Saturday nights....

Jan 31, 2017, 2:58pm Top

>23 avaland: The recipe is straight vegetarian; but could be adapted. It came from The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book. I can post it tonight...with the recommendation that if you have a pressure cooker or will have a pressure cooker...this is definitely a book to own. It calls for green lentils. I was doubling the recipe and ended up short 3/4 cups and decided to use red lentils for the shortfall even though I knew they would be mush. I don't regret that decision, either. lol

Jan 31, 2017, 3:04pm Top

>19 scaifea: I made the most beautiful rice ever with the Instant Pot. 20 minutes tops from closing the lid to pressurizing/cooking to opening the lid. Granted, the pot was already hot from cooking other things; but the rice was perfect.

Jan 31, 2017, 3:06pm Top

>20 mabith: I can testify that the IP DEFINITELY sautees like a dream. In fact, sometimes, I have to turn the thing off while it's on the sautee function. And I browned all the beef for the beef barley soup.

Feb 5, 2017, 10:57pm Top

Started on the Jan wall hanging -- it was Super Bowl Sunday, after all. Saturday night, I dug through my scrap box looking for background fabric. I found a really great blue galaxy-ish print with gold speckles. There wasn't enough for the wall hanging, but I dug through my entire stash & considered alternative designs.

Unhappy with the prospects, I decided I needed to find more fabric. I walked out of Joann's with the two yards I needed...and 1 yard (or there abouts) each of 16 other fabrics. I now have the wall hanging projects for Feb, Mar, & Jun plus cat & dog blankets.

All I managed to get done on the Jan quilt was the background. I decided to piece in based on the 4.5 inch wide strips I already had. To make it all the more fun, I pieced in a diagonal. I'll post a pic tomorrow; but there's not much to see yet.

I have book club tomorrow, so I won't get anything accomplished tomorrow night. Still, it was nice working on a project again!

Feb 6, 2017, 9:35am Top

Here's the start:

Like I said, not much there.

Edited: Feb 7, 2017, 5:00pm Top

Ok. I'm having a crisis of design. I'm really not digging my take on the Jan inspiration. Right now, I'm just pinning a bunch of stuff to the background and playing with the design. I don't really care for anything except the background...so now I'm stuck at the "what now" stage.

I may try some orange and purple fabrics instead of the pinks. I can stick a few more circles of orange and some of purple 1/2" squares on the background.

Some random thoughts as I look at the photo.

* I could offset the green zigzag. It won't have the tail, no matter where it goes.
* I could set the pinks to come in from the bottom edge instead of disappearing off the top edge.
* I could shorten the pinks to not disappear at all.
* More 1/2" pieces to look like already exploded fireworks.
* I could try the confetti method for scattering the 1/2" bits.

Thoughts, anyone?

Feb 7, 2017, 5:25pm Top

When I look at your inspiration piece, it appears to me to be three layers. I see the blue scattered pieces as a second layer and the bright colors as the top layer. I also notice that some of the orange strips seems to have another layer of red under them that makes the orange kind of pop. Maybe adding a little more busy stuff?

Feb 8, 2017, 9:01am Top

>30 dudes22: Thanks. I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that I'm actually working on a Summer wall hanging and not a January wall hanging. Something with a campfire and smoke and millions of stars in the sky.

Still fiddling...

As I said, I have a sneaking suspicion I'm really working on a Summer wall hanging. What says Summer better than a family vacation camping under the stars and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows? At least, that was Summer for me when I was still in early grade school. Yeah, I'm pretty sure the fabric is having it's way with me and this is the August wall hanging. Something just feels right about that blue starry fabric and campfires.

Feb 8, 2017, 1:29pm Top

I loved the pink strips shooting through the circle. I kind of like the idea of those going edge to edge.

Feb 8, 2017, 7:39pm Top

I dig the background! and I like the little "exploded" bits. What about adding some shiny bits around them...little glass beads or sequins? Did I miss what you said the green rickrack bit is? I think the pink strips are intriguing, yes, perhaps end to end. Maybe with some quilting lines as echoes in coordinating pinks or a bit of metallic? Keep at it. Close your eyes and see it. Use the force.

If I were doing a January one, it would just be white, with a dead stalk coming through the snow. LOL.

Feb 9, 2017, 12:31pm Top

The blue galaxy fabric was DEFINITELY being stubborn. I cleared the board, so to speak, and started over. I've almost got the new design laid out already. I'm trying to decide between campfire and tent or just campfire.

Mom had the brilliant idea to add rice lights to make fireflies. I need to find a small battery powered set of LEDs. Oh good knight. I could do the same for a fireworks quilt. HA! That January wall hanging is gonna get made, one way or another.

I'll post pics tonight of the two layout versions I'm working with.

Feb 10, 2017, 12:25am Top

And now, you get to see some of my thought process...

Last night, I got this much done:

Tonight, I tried this one:

The tents are totally the wrong scale for the fire, but I'm not cutting fabric until I know what the heck I'm doing.

And then this one:

I actually like the last one the most; but I think it's missing an element. I have an idea, but it's late and I'm off tomorrow. I may need another layer of green (or brownish) ground if I manage to pull off my idea.

Feb 10, 2017, 6:46pm Top

Oh the plans of mice and men. Had another complete redo of the design; but I like it a lot more. I am trying to focus on the background fabric. Summer means stargazing to me. Or, it used to. And fireflies. Does anyone even see fireflies any more? I saw a quick clip from NatGeo about the fireflies in Tennessee. Makes me want to hop in my car and take a road trip just for fireflies.

Here's where everything stands:

God bless Scotch tape and a good sized wall that isn't covered in artwork already!

I'm going to add a third tree. Then, I'm going to get the whole thing sandwiched and quilted. No idea on the quilting just yet. And then...AND THEN!!!!! LEDs in green. I'm so stinkin' excited to try this. My LEDs are supposed to be here tomorrow. I can't wait!!

Feb 10, 2017, 7:48pm Top

>36 lesmel: I like this *so* much better than the pink and green and orange that you'd started with. The trees are wonderful, and the little campfire and tent are very clever. It'll be very pretty when you're done with it.

I think that fireflies are only on the east side of the country. I've never seen them in any western state, no matter how rural.

Feb 10, 2017, 9:08pm Top

LOVE the switch to a camping scene!!

Edited: Feb 11, 2017, 12:37pm Top

>37 Lyndatrue: Interesting tidbit: fireflies live all over the US. However, the Western varieties only glow as larva (larvae?) and not adults. Most adult-glowing varieties are east of Kansas.

Feb 11, 2017, 4:55am Top

I like this a lot. I'll be interested in how the lights go in/on the quilt.

>39 lesmel: - That is interesting.

Edited: Feb 11, 2017, 1:00pm Top

And here is the final design...I'll be fusing and doing some raw edge applique today.

I also have a totally nerdy idea for the quilting that probably is over the top and I should stop while I'm ahead! I found a site that will show you constellations (I did mention I'm a star nerd, right?) at the horizon for any date/time in places all over the world. https://www.fourmilab.ch/yoursky/#Horizon

Here's an example:

I'm just nerdy enough that I can input my Lat/Long and my exact date and time of birth and see what was in the sky above the hospital I was born in. Yeah, I'm that nerdy; but am I nerdy enough to put the constellations as the appear this year about my house on my birthday? Yes. Yes I am. I can at least try.

I'm gonna need silver thread. Or maybe a gray. I can a few ways with this idea. Do one or two constellations that are easily recognizable: Orion, Big Dipper...or go with something that displays one section of the sky. I'm inclined to keep it simple and stick to a couple well known constellations. Even though the nerd in me is jumping up and down screaming: ALL THE THINGS!!! And yes, I'm going to test the constellations on some scrap before I actually do it on the wall hanging. I'm learning my lessons. Heh

Feb 11, 2017, 1:59pm Top

I really love your final design. I dunno about the quilting, but maybe doing the constellations over it? That would be very cool.

Feb 11, 2017, 7:18pm Top

Here's my constellation idea with ribbon.

I think quilting with silver thread would be a lot more subtle. I think I have to decide between the fireflies and the constellations. I can't have both for fear of overwhelming the entire concept of emphasizing the background fabric.

Edited: Feb 12, 2017, 6:32am Top

I like the new camping design! I agree that silver thread would be more subtle and also agree that you should decide between the fireflies and the constellations; including both would be quite busy.

Feb 12, 2017, 12:35pm Top

Really enjoying following this planning process. I love the idea of silver thread. What if you had tiny beads to indicate the fireflies? They don't fly that far into the sky, so wouldn't mingle too much with the constellations except at the horizon. It is one of those things that probably either works or really doesn't.

Feb 12, 2017, 9:14pm Top

>42 Lyndatrue: I'll know more tomorrow as far as the constellations. I am going to test one on a scrap strip of the background.

>44 avaland: & >45 SassyLassy: Thanks!

>45 SassyLassy: I have to look in my beading. Maybe if I had some super tiny seed beads, I could add a few under the trees.

I didn't work on the wall hanging at all today. We went to the dog park, then I went to grocery shop. Then it was a 6 hour cooking marathon. I made

Beef Barley Soup - awesome as always!

Hunger Games Stew - this didn't actually work as well in the Instant Pot as I wanted it to. Normally, I make this on the stove or in the slow cooker with beef, pork, or lamb. Today, I tried oxtails. There about three times as much liquid as there should be. I decided to thaw some pork & I will cook that in the liquid tomorrow.

Szechuan Style Orange Chicken - I have no idea what makes this "Szechuan Style;" but I am always on the hunt for a great Orange Chicken recipe. I would just about give my left kidney for the Orange Chicken at my old take out place...nearly 1200 miles away from me.

Sweet Potato/Sausage Hash thing - as good as the last time!

Feb 14, 2017, 6:54am Top

Oh gosh, that's adorable! I love the constellations idea, too! For our first anniversary, I gave Tomm a framed picture of the night sky over Columbus the day we were married...

Feb 17, 2017, 7:36am Top

Nothing happening with the wall hanging. I have been tired or in a lecture until yesterday when I was admitted to the hospital for unexpected but not emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder. Fun times, people! I don't even know my surgeon & my parents are all driving in some time today. Talk about best laid plans of mice & men!!! Maybe Mom & I can figure out how to finish the wall hanging.

Feb 17, 2017, 8:55am Top

OH no! Hope you heal soon!

Feb 17, 2017, 10:52am Top

>48 lesmel: I had my gall bladder (which had never given me any trouble, at all, until it did) removed in 2008. Best thing ever. Before, all sorts of foods gave me severe indigestion. Now? I can eat all sorts of unhealthy things. :-}

Seriously, though... Be well, and I'm glad to hear that it was quick, and now over. XXOO

Feb 17, 2017, 12:01pm Top

>48 lesmel: I had my gall bladder removed last summer. I encountered the same relief on foods that used to give me indigestion. Now I can eat anything again! The surgery went really well, and I recovered really quickly. Hope you do too!

Feb 18, 2017, 6:25am Top

>48 lesmel: I hope your recovery goes well and this is a mere blimp in your plans. I fully expect to be on the list of those without GBs in the near future, as I am the only 1 of 5 siblings who still has hers (and has been having problems I would definitely attribute to it).

Feb 18, 2017, 11:43am Top

>52 avaland: Please go get rid of it at your earliest convenient opportunity. It's an annoyance that can turn life threatening almost without warning. It's a body part even more vestigial than the appendix, and having it taken out as a non-emergency surgery will be ever so much better than a trip to the emergency room.

Feb 18, 2017, 4:53pm Top

>53 Lyndatrue: It's on the list!

Edited: Mar 13, 2017, 7:25pm Top

>53 Lyndatrue: The gall bladder isn't vestigial. It produces bile to help break down food as it enters the colon small intestine. This is why some people cannot tolerate fat in their diets after a cholecystectomy & others take digestive enzymes. There is also research still being done that may prove the appendix isn't vestigial.

Surgery was a success. Stayed laproscopic with only three port wounds closed up with glue. I am sore today whereas yesterday I had gas pains enough that I wanted meds.

Still in hospital. Should be going home today. The doc never did rounds yesterday after my surgery. Which irritates me to no end.

Feb 19, 2017, 9:13am Top

My step-daughter had hers out recently. She has found that she now has no head for alcohol. Hope you have a good recovery.

Feb 19, 2017, 12:33pm Top

Yep, had mine out the summer before getting pregnant with Charlie. I don't miss the thing one bit.
Recovery time is an excellent excuse for laying round and reading...

Feb 19, 2017, 5:31pm Top

>55 lesmel: Glad all went well and you will be going home soon! This sounds like a Needlearts group membership requirement.....

Feb 21, 2017, 12:16pm Top

Back at work today. I'm improving exponentially and it's sort of stunning. Mom and I didn't find time to look over the wall hanging; but I think I'm skipping the lights idea and moving on to the silver thread for constellations. I have a feeling I won't be doing much work on the wall hanging until this weekend.

Feb 21, 2017, 6:17pm Top

>59 lesmel: You may find that the break was good and you look at it afresh when you do get back to it.

Mar 13, 2017, 7:23pm Top

I worked on the August/campfire over the weekend. After several weeks of inattention, I've decided to go simple and skip the quilting. The biggest decision I have now is the binding.

Mar 27, 2017, 9:04am Top

FINALLY! I got the August wall hanging done!

You will notice that I skipped all the fancy stuff I had thought up. I just really like the simplicity of the wall hanging.

I started in on my Mardi Gras wall hanging last night. It seems, the wall hangings are telling what they want to look like instead of the other way around. My Mardi Gras wall hanging was going to be harlequin diamonds using MG fabrics; but I started cutting a few diamonds and suddenly I was sewing a 6 point star. This should be interesting.

Mar 27, 2017, 11:17am Top

Oh, very nice! I like it simple and think it turned out fabulously.

Mar 27, 2017, 12:10pm Top

>62 lesmel: I really love it this way. The blue fabric has just enough pattern and texture to seem like a star field, and the inside of the tent seems inhabited (yes, I know it's really a flower, but I have a good imagination). It's just very pretty. Congratulations! I look forward to Mardi Gras. :-}

Mar 27, 2017, 2:24pm Top

>64 Lyndatrue: The blue fabric has just enough pattern and texture to seem like a star field,
Ooh, yes! That's a nice effect.

And I didn't even notice the flower until you mentioned it.

It's lovely.

Mar 27, 2017, 7:18pm Top

That was such a good way to showcase that gorgeous blue fabric

Mar 27, 2017, 9:06pm Top

>62 lesmel: oh, I do like the simplicity you went with. I agree with everyone about the blue fabric.

Mar 29, 2017, 10:32am Top

Yesterday was a really long day; but I was a little too keyed up to go to bed as soon as I got home. Instead, I dug through my stash looking for some background-y fabric for the Mardi Gras star.

The current plan in my head is to cut diamonds for around the star. God help me...Y-seams. If I'd actually planned a little more, I wouldn't have had Y-seams to worry about; but I've decided to go with the flow when the wall hangings are telling me what to do.

Hrm. I think I need to find a good tutorial on Tumbling Blocks. It might help me figure out how to piece the rest of this monster!

Apr 4, 2017, 11:40am Top

Almost got the Mardi Gras wall hanging done yesterday. Totally screwed up the sandwiching part; but didn't know it until I'd already quilted the damn thing. I'll work on fixing the backing (thankfully that's the only problem) and binding tonight. This will probably be slightly smaller than the rest because 6.5" 60-degree diamonds are only 12" long finished...which makes that a 24" wall hanging and not a 25" wall hanging. Math in hindsight. You would think I would learn to plan better. Or give in and buy the EQ software.

Edited: Apr 5, 2017, 8:06am Top

I rarely have a project that goes smoothly start to finish, so I sympathize. But then, aren't the challenges (and mistakes) all a part of the creative and learning processes? I like to think "fudging" is an essential art (perfectionism is overrated).

It's going to be lovely. Looking forward to see it finished.

Apr 5, 2017, 9:50am Top

If a mark of intelligence is lots of mistakes, I'm an effing genius. This wall hanging was totally a lesson in patience and planning. I screwed up the binding...but saved it (yay!) from being a total disaster. Turns out, I like this wall hanging without the binding edge anyhow!

>70 avaland: I agree, the challenges and mistakes are a HUGE part of the process. What's the point of doing something perfectly on the first try?

Ok. Now the photo. I'll have to get a better one this afternoon once. Also, I still need to tack the binding at the back.

Apr 6, 2017, 6:45am Top

I don't think I've made even one project without using my seam-ripper at least once. Yoicks.

>71 lesmel: Oooh, that's very cool! I love it!

Apr 6, 2017, 9:39am Top

>72 scaifea: Oh, the seam ripper is just part of the process. I don't even consider those "mistakes" any more. But when I sew the binding on backwards or sew the corners down opposite or can't be bothered to do math to confirm my design is actually going to be the right size...those are all Mistakes.

Apr 6, 2017, 9:40am Top

A better photo of the Mardi Gras wall hanging:

Apr 6, 2017, 9:51am Top

I immediately started in on the Texas Independence wall hanging. I got the top cut and pieced after some serious brain melting math fits. I know math. I'm not good at it in regards to being able to do it in my head or fast; but diligence goes a long way to me actually getting my math right.

It took about an hour or more of calculations and staring at the fractions to decimals chart and double checking my math before I was willing to make the first cut. All that agony was worth it. My pieced top is exactly 1/4" larger than my cutting mat (which is my template for finished size).

Again with the crappy lighting. I need to take one of those flame-like bulbs with me to the store and buy daylight CFLs. In fact, I really need to change out the bulbs all over the house for daylight bulbs. I feel like I'm living in the dark while I'm sewing.

Apr 6, 2017, 10:18am Top

Very festive! And the Y-seams look great from here in New Hampshire!

(if you only knew the number of times I redid seams in those batik blocks...we are all f'ing geniuses!)

Edited: Apr 6, 2017, 1:22pm Top

>75 lesmel: I went over to Flickr so that I could see it larger. I cannot resist pointing out that you might want to revisit your spelling (take a look, it says "Indepence"). So nice to see I'm not the only one that has unintentional shorthand. Don't hurt me, it's early for me, and I'm still drinking coffee.

It's a striking piece.

You do such interesting work. I await the Ladybugs, which is already my favorite, before you even start. :-}

ETA: While I'm thinking about it, the light is one of the reasons I'm grateful to be a Luddite. When they said they were going to take away the incandescent bulbs, I went to the store and bought ALL the 60 Watt, Made in the GE Plant in Ohio, bulbs they had left. I bought a bunch of three-ways, too, and a few 150 Watt ones for when I run out of the three-way ones. Proper light is important.

The Autumnal Equinox used to be known as Harvest Home (back when harvests were life or death situations, and where the first harvest was in August, around the 5th or so. It's even in a lovely old hymn (sometimes called "Come, ye thankful people come"). I have a beautiful throw with wheat sheaves, and I'm a bad person, because I prefer it to the Van Gogh seen here:


Edited: Apr 6, 2017, 4:56pm Top

>77 Lyndatrue: Oh, I did that last night about 10:30. I was like. Hmm, that word isn't right. Took me about 2 minutes to figure out why it didn't look right. Fixed it and 30 seconds later I turned out the light. LOL

RE: Light -- I'd kill to have an Ott Light in every room. Also, I read a weird factoid that 60 yr olds need twice as much light as 30 yr olds. This leads me to wonder if 40 yr olds need twice as much light as 20 yr olds. Because I KNOW I didn't used to be this way. In fact, one of my mother's biggest complaints when she comes in my house is "why is it always so DARK in here" and walks through the house hitting every switch. I, in the meantime, would prefer to use ambiance lighting for everything...except sewing and reading.

CFLs have changed a lot in the last few years. They used to take a long time to warm up or whatever. Also, the colors were never true. Now, the brilliance is almost instantaneous, there are a variety of color temperatures (included daylight). Now they have the LED lights, too.

RE: Van Gogh -- Oddly enough, I picked up a piece of Starry Night as the backing for the April wall hanging. I'm sort of excite for the April piece. It's going to be maybe the most unique piece I've made.

Apr 6, 2017, 4:30pm Top

I have two OTT lights bought long, long ago. I do love them. The more utility-looking model with the tube bulb has lasted more than 10 years (I bought an extra bulb when I bought the lamp and have yet to use it). The more decorative style that looks more like a reading lamp (and indeed I do use it for that), broke (the cross piece broke off), and the original bulb did not fit well. I had to tape it to get it to do so. Of course, eventually it fell out and I was able to find a replacement bulb via Amazon (of course, Joann's no longer carried them). The newer bulb fit better. I have vowed not to buy any lamp again that can't use standard fittings.

It's my understanding that Ott Lite are just full-spectrum bulbs, equivalent to "grow" lights one uses for plants. So, one might try that and skip the OTT...save the $

When I was putting together the studio and needed overhead lighting, I discussed LEDs with the electrician, who eventually talked me into a "new fluorescent" -- no warm-up, no noise, and a better color spectrum than the old tube fluorescents (as Lesmel above notes). I was skeptical but took his advice. I've been using it quite a while now and would highly recommend it. I still have the OTT light over the machine, though.

(gosh, that was kind of a boring light story)

Apr 6, 2017, 5:02pm Top

>79 avaland: I have two OTT lights. One I bought on clearance when one of the Super Joann's was closing in IL. It's a grey thing that is clamshell style and tabletop. Super portable. It is starting to make buzzing noises once the light has been on for about 10 minutes. The other if a desktop lamp that I saved from the trash when a co-worker retired. I was so stunned when I realized it was an OTT light. What the heck!? The poodles pulled the desktop lamp off my side table one night. Shattered the bulb into about 90 pieces, I think. I had to do some serious Google-Fu to find the correct replacement and then bought it on Amazon. Mom has at least one OTT light floor lamp. It has the magnifier on it.

Apr 6, 2017, 6:28pm Top

>78 lesmel: Briefly. As our eyes age, certain of us discover that we need MORE light, please. This is partly due to cataracts, which are more likely with certain eye colors than others (as is macular degeneration). It's just one of the things that shows us that we should value what we have, while we have it.

I'm excited for your April piece, too, now that you've mentioned Starry Night. Heck, I was excited before. :-}

Apr 6, 2017, 10:53pm Top

>80 lesmel: I almost forgot that the one I have next to the sewing machine, I've hardly used that feature since since some Victorian crazy quilting about 10 or 11 years ago. Maybe I should go back to some of that ....

Apr 7, 2017, 7:02pm Top

>82 avaland: The stitching on crazy quilts sounds like a great thing for your upcoming knee replacement recuperation.

No one has mentioned another benefit of Ott lights; they give off wonderful heat. If you are lucky enough to have a floor model (I'm not) it's feels wonderful on your shoulders.

Apr 8, 2017, 8:02am Top

Just popping in a little belatedly to admire the Marie Gras wall hanging. I love the colors and the design is very festive.

Apr 8, 2017, 6:49pm Top

Haven't been on LT too much lately but wanted to say I like your Marde Gras hanging. I think I have some of those fabrics (or close).

Apr 9, 2017, 9:43am Top

>83 SassyLassy: I'm not sure I've noticed the heat on either model I have. Hmmmm....

Apr 9, 2017, 12:51pm Top

>83 SassyLassy: Neither of my lamps are really big enough to put off so much heat I want to bask in the glow like a lizard.

Apr 9, 2017, 6:44pm Top

Finished the Texas Independence wall hanging!

This one was a whole lot faster and easier than I'd anticipated.

Apr 9, 2017, 11:34pm Top

>88 lesmel: As usual, you are amazing! I love the accent fabric on the backing (that *is* what I'm seeing, right?).

Apr 10, 2017, 8:38am Top

That's lovely! I like the backing, too.

Apr 10, 2017, 10:52am Top

>89 Lyndatrue: That is the backing. I've had that fabric probably 5+ years jut waiting for an appropriate project. I think I bought 4 yards. There's plenty left for at least one more large project!

I am still considering an outline of the Alamo on the wall hanging. Otherwise, this is "just" a Texas flag. I'm trying to find the example I saw. Or course, it's nowhere to be found now.

Apr 10, 2017, 1:44pm Top

>88 lesmel: That is quite nice!

Apr 10, 2017, 3:31pm Top

I keep meaning to mention this. I bought a second-hand machine from a garage sale ($25) on Saturday. I've been told it works fine; the owner just doesn't have time to sew. It's a Singer...and have forgotten the model number. Should be interesting trying to hunt down a manual. It's nothing spectacular; but it looked so sad heating up in the sun while holding down theater movie posters...

Apr 10, 2017, 3:49pm Top

p.s. I got sucked down the rabbit hole on ebay looking at Singer machines. That 500 series, Rocketeer style machine and the Featherweights. OMG. I totally want.

Apr 10, 2017, 4:20pm Top

Are you looking at older or newer models? I bought a Singer before I bought the Elna I have now (before that I used a basic Kenmore for 25 years. I had bought it in '78 with an unemployment check. LOL). I was working off an old idea that Singers were something superior. It was the worst $800 I ever spent. It was a lot of plastic, and then it turned out the needle plate was warped and couldn't be replaced....(or something else was warped and this is why it couldn't be replaced). I can't remember exactly when I bought it, maybe around 2005 or so? I traded it in for the Elna, which I love, love, love.

Apr 10, 2017, 4:33pm Top

The mardi gras hanging looks great, and the points on that Texas star astound me!

Apr 10, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>95 avaland: I'm not really looking for machines. I have my Bernina 440EQ which I love love love!! I also have a portable Elna that I love and need serviced. This Singer I hope isn't a dud so when someone says "i wish I had a machine..." I can totally pull a "tell them what they've woooooon, Johnny!!!!" moment.

>95 avaland: The star on the Texas flag is appliqued. As for the six-point star, diamonds are a girl's piecer's best friend. I never would have gotten such crisp points without my 60-degree diamond template!!

Apr 10, 2017, 6:25pm Top

Like the flag and the backing fabric is great! I have a Bernina 440EQ too and I love it too. I also bought an older used Bernina to use as my "lug-to-class" machine since it's not as heavy. I learned sewing on my mother's White (or Brother - I can't remember) and when I left home and bought my own machine, I started with a Kenmore. Then I bought a Janome and then my Bernina.

Apr 10, 2017, 8:18pm Top

>98 dudes22: I learned on my mother's Bernina (which scares the crap out of me b/c it is a WORKHORSE) & the Singers at school. I think they were Singers. They were all mechanical. I kinda miss those machines.

Apr 10, 2017, 8:47pm Top

I've had a number of different machines, but learned most of my sewing on my mother's Elna. When I was 19 or 20, my mother bought a machine off a truck that was headed into a charity shop. She paid a dollar for it, and she wanted it for the wooden frame it was in. When she checked to see what was wrong with the machine, it turned out to be a broken needle. She gave me the machine (a New Home), and I spent many years sewing on it, including all my daughter's clothing, and most of mine. I bought a new machine in the late 1980s (another new Home), and was happy with it for years. I bought a new Elna in 2008 or 2009 (or so), and it's nice.

I just don't sew much, nowadays, more's the pity.

Apr 10, 2017, 9:46pm Top

>93 lesmel: I had good luck finding a manual online with the Singer model number. The machine was probably more than twenty years old. Good luck!

Apr 10, 2017, 10:07pm Top

The machine:

It's a 6105. >101 SassyLassy: Sure enough. With the model number, I had the manual in about 30 seconds!

Apr 11, 2017, 2:01am Top

I just dropped off an old Singer at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It was a 1950s or 1960s model, in a pretty nice cabinet. I couldn't make it work, but kept the cabinet as it sits at the perfect height for my craft storage shelves. I'll put a board over the whole and my new sewing machine can sit there.

Apr 11, 2017, 6:39am Top

Aw, yay for rescuing the sewing machine!!

I've heard nasty things about Singers, but I have two (a very old one and then a 20-year-old one that my mom bought for me as my first machine), and I've never had any problems with either one. My two Viking/Husqvarna machines are my favorites, though.

Apr 12, 2017, 10:44am Top

I spent some time working on the design for the April wall hanging. I took looking at the fabrics to get the original idea back in my head. I can't draw worth crap. Once upon a time, I could get scale and perspective. And I could draw general shapes. Oh well, practice, practice, practice! And templates. I may cheat and buy some of those plastic templates with the various shapes. I loved those things as a kid.

These are the fabrics I'm going to use for the front:

Apr 14, 2017, 11:47pm Top

One word; no, two: graph paper! I have pads of graph paper and scribble in them all the time. You can get steno pads of graph paper at Staples and also 8.5x11. I went to an art store and found some larger pads but one has to watch the scale and grid (squares per inch).

>105 lesmel: I think I have may have some of that fabric on the left, and perhaps something similar to the fabric on the right also (maybe a different color though)

Apr 15, 2017, 4:37pm Top

And I'm pretty sure I used that fabric in the middle on a quilt back.

Apr 15, 2017, 8:40pm Top

>106 avaland: I have graph paper. It is awesome; but I am also trying to improve my sketching ability but not getting stuck with my preferred tidy little squares. lol

Apr 15, 2017, 11:34pm Top

I absolutely adore that fabric on the left!

Apr 23, 2017, 10:37pm Top

I can't remember if I mentioned that I paused the wall hangings to work on a quilt. Last weekend, I cut the pieces and got most of it pieced. This weekend, I finished piecing and nearing got the whole thing quilted.

My quilting skills (for straight stitch) are getting better. So are my piecing skills. Hallelujah! Let's hear it for smaller projects that keep me working on my sewing skills!

Here's my progress so far on Lily's Diamonds:

I have three lines of quilting left and then I can bind it. I'm trying another binding technique where you use the backing at the binding. I've no idea if this is even going to work. Well, I KNOW the technique works. I just don't know if I can make it work. LOL

In other news, I fell while walking the dog late last night. I have new shoes and I misjudged where the toe of the shoe was and tripped myself. I was walking fairly fast so I ended up launching myself forward. I had just enough time to realize I didn't want to skin my knees and took the brunt of the fall on the heels of my hands and rolled.

So, I should pause here and explain that I actually have perfected my falling technique after years and years of quarterly falls. I'm not kidding. I actually can name every fall I had for at least 6 years -- each one was quarterly. It's like I was the butt of some cosmic joke.

Back to last night. I rolled to my right into the grassy hellstrip. I just laid there until the dog stuck her face in my face like "Hi! What are we doing? Should I do something? Maybe stare at you. Yeah. Staring at you is good."

This was about 11 last night. Yes. Yes. I know. What am I doing walking at that hour. My neighborhood is fairly safe. I'm more worried about coyotes than I am muggers. This is all to say that no one was around when I went down, so laying in the grass wasn't humiliating.

I was a little worried I'd broken my arm. It was throbbing in time with my heart at first. And ached. OMG. It wasn't until I was getting up that I realized my ribs were also bruised. I haven't a clue what hit where. I just know I ache. And sneezing. OMG. Sneezing is a REALLY bad idea.

I'm kinda lucky I didn't take the dog out at the same time. She was right there. She's got better reflexes than me!

p.s. If there are typos, I might get to them. I've misspelled about every third word so far. Tired! It's bed time!

Apr 24, 2017, 12:15am Top

>110 lesmel: Whoa! First off, sorry about ribs (which might just be bruised, but are ALWAYS painful, bruised or cracked or broken). I'm sorry to hear about the fall in general, as well. I'm pretty good at falling myself (I've had years of practice), and am so glad to hear you had a friend along who would have raised a ruckus if you hadn't responded (at least I hope so).

Sleep well tonight; stay in bed tomorrow, if you need to.

In other news, that's going to be a lovely quilt; I'll be glad to see it finished.

Apr 24, 2017, 7:50am Top

Sorry about your fall. Sounds like one I took a few months ago. Fell out a door carrying a box of books and took out the knee of my favorite jeans. Then as it was starting to heal I fell again and ripped the cab off. I still have a crater there.

About using the back for the binding - I saw a good tutorial online somewhere about how to do this. Try to find one because the corners are where it gets tricky.

Apr 24, 2017, 10:58am Top

>111 Lyndatrue: Thanks! Sadly, I don't get to stay home today. But that's ok. I'd drive myself batty if I had to stay home without my work computer. We have a server migration this week. I need to be "in the know" even if I'm not actively involved in the migration process.

>112 dudes22: Cluck Cluck Sew has a good tutorial. I'm sure I'm going to be staring at that blog post about 18 times before I get started. LOL

Apr 27, 2017, 8:07am Top

Oh, sorry to hear of your fall. Take the time to take care of yourself, if you can.

I once did a binding like that, although "they" tell us the binding is best separate because it is the first thing to wear out. The diamond quilt is lovely.

Apr 27, 2017, 10:56am Top

Finished on Monday night! I had to wait until yesterday to get a good picture of it.

This is the backing fabric:

Apr 27, 2017, 11:19am Top

>115 lesmel: Lovely! Interesting choice for backing, too.

Apr 27, 2017, 2:32pm Top

That turned out beautifully! I love the backing fabric.

Apr 27, 2017, 8:02pm Top

Looks great. I love the quilting just inside the blocks. I might need to try that sometime. How did the binding go?

Apr 27, 2017, 8:59pm Top

>115 lesmel: that's really pretty! I'm amazed how quickly you are able to make these pieces.

Edited: Apr 28, 2017, 11:08am Top

>114 avaland: Thx! I am doing better. Yesterday was horrible. Today is a lot better. RE: binding -- if it wears out, I guess I can always rebind the whole thing the "right" way.

>116 Lyndatrue: & >117 mabith: The backing was sort of a last minute decision. The giftee is about 11 but I want her to be able to take her quilt to college & beyond if she wants. I went with something a little more sophisticated than I had considered.

>118 dudes22: The binding was a TOTAL pain. I think that will be the very last time I do that style of binding. Even for small projects.

>119 lauralkeet: HA! Wait until I post about my new project: a book quilt. This sucker is going to take forever b/c I am insane.

Apr 28, 2017, 11:08am Top

Started on the next quilt. It's a book quilt from Moda Bake Shop called "Read with Me." I've been trying to adapt it to fit the size I want; but I don't think that's going to happen. The finished RwM quilt is 58 x 73. I really wanted all three of the girls to have quilts of roughly the same size: 48 x 66.

I'm going with the pattern as written. Which is totally not my norm. I'm usually just stubborn enough to figure out the modification. I still have not decided. I'm beginning to feel ornery about this quilt size. The biggest issue with sizing is the blocks are 12 x 12 already. It's perfectly scaled to show off the fabric "spines." Also, the appliqued quote I'm going to add needs the sashing to be 5" finished.

I'm tempted to applique the tilted books instead of piecing the block. I guess it will depend on how much fabric I need.

So, here is the insane part. There are 96 "spines." I have been digging through my fabric stash looking for anything at least 3" wide and 7" long that will work for one of the fabrics. That's right. I'm looking to use 96 different fabrics for the books. I'm currently at 34 fabrics with this stack to go through...

I wasn't planning on going through my entire collection; but now it's interesting to see if I actually remember/recognize some of the stuff. Also, I'm not sure I have 62 more fabrics in that stack...or even in the house...that would be something to use in the quilt.

To add to all this fun, I really don't have much time this weekend to work on this quilt. Saturday is full of vet visit, car check up, pre-opera nap if possible, and opera (which is five hours long with three intermissions -- thus the nap).

Apr 28, 2017, 4:34pm Top

>121 lesmel: okay yeah, maybe you ARE insane. LOL!

Apr 28, 2017, 8:52pm Top

>121 lesmel: That sent me to the internet to find the quilt. I love it! There are so many colour possibilities there and possible quotes. I will be following with interest.

Edited: Apr 29, 2017, 8:03am Top

I counted! I have 99 unique pieces! I have to seam rip some remainder from the flag quilt I made last year for Dad; but I have enough!

Now if I could just make this process efficient for cutting all the book spine pieces. Not to mention all the background pieces!

Apr 29, 2017, 6:11am Top

That's a cute quilt to do! And yay for having that many unique pieces. Happy quilting!

May 1, 2017, 2:48pm Top

I have 10 more colorful strips to cut before I tackle the background rectangles and then the border and sashing strips.

This is what I had to walk away from last night *sighs* *grumbles*

I'm now a little worried I don't have enough fabric for the background rectangles and the letters; but I have a solution for that! I have a really great green fabric that I can use.

May 1, 2017, 8:19pm Top

that's going to be amazing!

May 2, 2017, 9:46am Top

About 105 strips ready for layout design!

I cut the 2 1/2" strips of background last night just before bed. I'll trim them to the correct rectangle size and work on layout tonight.

P.S. Yes, that is Elvis fabric on the far right. I had another Elvis fabric; but I like this one more.

May 2, 2017, 7:00pm Top

I have lots of 2 1/2 inch strips if you are looking for donations. Might be able to find some 3 inch ones, too. Just give your color/pattern parameters and your address and I'll send some right down. Honestly, I like sharing :-)

May 5, 2017, 9:46am Top

I've been stuck doing other things (like a mad dash of surface cleaning) instead of working on the quilt. I was right though. I'm not going to have enough background fabric for the letters. Green it is! Here's the latest:

I won't get any of it worked on tonight -- I have family coming in town. I might get some worked on tomorrow while said family is watching my niece get her white coat. Then said family will be back in town until Tuesday -- which means not working on it again. *sighs* I wanted to have it finished by Monday since I won't be able to work on it at all next week due to work obligations. I'm ready to be done with the project. Maybe Mom will help me decide on the layout of the strips.

>129 avaland: That's a very sweet offer; but I'm set!

May 8, 2017, 3:30pm Top

As predicted, I didn't get much done on the quilt. Mom did help me with the color layout. She said I was overthinking the project; I had to stop trying so hard on over-designing it. I got one block (of sixteen) completely pieced.

See the other block colors here

May 17, 2017, 1:00pm Top

I'm four blocks from finishing the main part of the quilt. That leaves letters (which is gonna take forever and a day), borders, and sashing before batting, backing, sandwich, and binding. I'm not going to get this done by Thursday night unless I stay up really long hours. My deadline is self-imposed. I am on leave for two weeks starting on Friday. Mom will be in town that entire time. I really wanted to work on other projects while she's in town...like her jacket she's been hoarding away for years and years and years.

Note to self: Reconsider making a bookshelf quilt for yourself. Or make it a lot simpler.

May 18, 2017, 7:39am Top

Sounds like you will be busy. Good luck finishing it!

I love the look of your bookshelf. It is beautifully bright. I would also like to make one of these quilts. One day . .

May 18, 2017, 9:55am Top

Here's where I stand as of 1-ish AM...

You can't see the fourth row because it doesn't fit on my table. I have letters to cut. I've given up the pipe dream of getting this done by tonight. Still, I think I can get it finished before Sunday evening.

P.S. Those angled blocks? Total PITA to piece. I feel like there has to be a better way to piece that portion of the block. Maybe paper piecing?

May 18, 2017, 10:19am Top

>134 lesmel: It's really astonishing to look at! I know you called it a "bookshelf" quilt, but it's quite different to see it all set out, and with such detail. The angled books, no matter how difficult to piece, are what truly set it apart.

Sleep is important too, though.

May 18, 2017, 11:39am Top

>135 Lyndatrue: As soon as I get the sashing cut and pieced, it will start to look more like books on shelves.

Also, I'm not super thrilled with my choice in background fabric right now; but there is a theme to this quilt. The recipient's favorite book is Watership Down and she loves to read. It seemed fitting that the last line before the epilogue is "Underground, the story continued."

May 18, 2017, 2:34pm Top

Wow, that came together so quickly! I absolutely love the look of it.

Edited: May 21, 2017, 9:21am Top

(knock wood) I am going to get the top done this morning! (knock wood) I MIGHT get the sandwiching and quilting done today! If I didn't have chores and a couple errands, I might actually finish the whole thing. Hmm, I need to find the backing fabric. It's been awhile since I bought the fabric and can't even remember what I bought. HA!

I KNEW the darker brown would make the lighter tan finally stand out! Yay! Overall, the quilt was a pain to put together because I made it complicated -- the unique fabrics -- but it was totally worth it.

I could see someone doing a "color wheel" theme. Also, it's really easy to stick to just one or two styles of blocks. This pattern offers the maker a LOT of flexibility.

May 23, 2017, 7:07pm Top

You were right. The darker brown looks perfect. Amazing what a little bit of contrast can do.

Jun 6, 2017, 12:08pm Top

This is where I'm at now (have been for two weeks):

I had family in town. Family included these two hooligans:

Edited: Jun 6, 2017, 8:14pm Top

>140 lesmel: That quilt design is astonishing! I love watching all the quilting folks here on LT, because you so often come up with things I would never even think about, but this one is exceptional, even so. The green for the lettering is perfect, too, just enough vague pattern in the cloth to be interesting, and yet not distracting.

Jun 6, 2017, 12:43pm Top

That's really looking good. Did you machine applique the letters? Did you use an interfacing for them?

Jun 6, 2017, 2:25pm Top

>140 lesmel: Nice quilt!

Jun 6, 2017, 2:51pm Top

>142 dudes22: Right now, they are mostly ironed on with heat'n'bond. Soon to be straight stitch appliqued (b/c I stink at any other applique stitch).

>141 Lyndatrue: & >143 thornton37814: Thanks!

Jun 6, 2017, 7:58pm Top

Wow, that quilt looks amazing. And I love the hooligans, too!

Jun 6, 2017, 11:14pm Top

I just love the way the dark brown border strips make the quilt look like a bookcase.

Jun 7, 2017, 7:39am Top

>144 lesmel: - Oooo..straight stitching curves must take some time. I've tried a few applique stitches on my machine but the pieces were fairly large and I'm not that good.

Jun 7, 2017, 8:49am Top

The bookshelf quilt looks great! And I love your mom's advice about overthinking. Well done!

I just saw a bookshelf quilt pattern in the latest Keepsake Quilting catalog

Jun 13, 2017, 10:50am Top

Finished the Rabbit Reading quilt! Delivered both quilts this morning!

I free motion appliqued the letters before sandwiching the whole thing.

The more I piece and quilt, the more I REALLY want a mid-arm quilter. Spray baste is a GREAT invention; but it's so much nicer when the fabrics and batting don't have any wrinkles

Jun 13, 2017, 12:33pm Top

>149 lesmel: That's such a lovely quilt. Yes, I know I already said that, but I'm saying it again. It's probably one of my favorites of all time.

Jun 14, 2017, 4:49pm Top

A note for me to remember September idea....covered bridge...

Jun 15, 2017, 10:01pm Top

Started back up the wall hangings. Finally settled on an April design. Of course, I don't have enough background fabric. Shucks, fabric shopping on a Friday!

Maybe tomorrow I will luck out and find fabrics for the May, Sept, and Nov wall hangings.

Anyone done strip pieced landscape quilts? I am considering that style for either May or Sept.

Jun 16, 2017, 9:48am Top

Finally found an inspiration piece that has some elements I love for the April wall hanging.

Only got to here last night:

I need more background fabric. Plus it was 8pm and that's my current cut-off time for weekday sewing. Otherwise, I'll look up and it's 3am.

I'll stop at Joann Fabrics on my way home today (actually, it's totally opposite from home but we won't tell). I like that blue green fabric; but I'd like to look for something a little more subtle...maybe in greyish tones.

Jun 16, 2017, 1:27pm Top

Love your inspiration picture! That's going to be wonderful.

Jun 16, 2017, 4:34pm Top

It's Spring Rain by Erté

I love Art Deco, so this calls to me. Hrm. I hadn't really considered making the whole piece -- copyright, doncha know -- but I might. It's derivative. I'm not selling it. I'm not going to claim it as my own artwork.

Jun 16, 2017, 5:13pm Top

>155 lesmel: It's an homage, not a copy. I really look forward to your finished work. Art Deco is one of my favorite eras, in everything from architecture to jewelry.

Jun 16, 2017, 5:58pm Top

I love Erte. I had some fabric in my stash somewhere that was a pale blue with white rain drops that would do for the background. But I think you're right - a gray with a subtle white/cream strip would give the impression of rain.

BTW - I have no idea how to get the accent on the "e" or I would have done it. Apparently, because my keyboard doesn't have a separate number keypad, I can't use the "alt" way of doing it. I'm going to write this down for the next time I go to a Cyber Senior session.

Jun 16, 2017, 8:01pm Top

Love the inspiration picture. Hope to see a picture of your work when it is finished!

Jun 18, 2017, 7:03pm Top

I've spent nearly the entire weekend working on the April wall hanging. Still not done. I think I can get the flowers cut for the umbrella. And the little umbrella knobbly things. I'm pretty sure I'm leaving the funky little bushes off the wall hanging. If I can get the pieces ironed on today, that leaves this week for appliqué!

It may take the entire week for the appliqué b/c I'm going to have to change thread for nearly every single bit I'm appliquéing.

Eyes = black
Nose = grey
Lips = dark red
Hair = orange
Ruffles = purple
Hat = purple
Flowers on umbrella = grey (most likely)
Umbrella stem and top knob = black
Umbrella knobblies = black

Jun 18, 2017, 8:40pm Top

Wow!! that looks amazing!

Jun 18, 2017, 11:45pm Top

Looking so good!

Jun 19, 2017, 7:06am Top

Wow, that's incredible!

Jun 19, 2017, 7:52am Top

That's really coming along great. And you do them so quickly!

Jun 19, 2017, 8:59am Top

>160 mabith: - >163 dudes22: Thanks!

>163 dudes22: I'm sort of surprised by how quickly some of these projects come together. I'm blessed to have tons of time to do anything (or nothing) I want.

Jun 23, 2017, 5:34pm Top

Very nice! I really like that one!

Jun 24, 2017, 10:48pm Top

More progress on the Spring Rain homage. This is where I was about 4:45pm:

Five hours later, I'm here:

Jun 25, 2017, 12:32am Top

>166 lesmel: It's lovely. Truly.

Jun 25, 2017, 6:44am Top

Oh, wow. It's really beautiful. And I love seeing it close up in the first photo, it gives me an appreciation of what's involved in making this. Impressive!

Jun 25, 2017, 7:11am Top

Your appliqué is fabulous. The closeup gives me a better idea of the background fabric too.

Jun 25, 2017, 1:44pm Top


Jun 25, 2017, 3:08pm Top

You're such a speed demon! I absolutely adore how you've done the hat.

Jun 26, 2017, 8:43am Top

I've since gotten the rest of the appliqué stitched. Then I spent a couple hours working on prepping for quilting....

I'm hoping this Press 'n' Seal method works. Otherwise, I have no freaking clue how to transfer the quilting pattern that won't take forever or leave a giant mess for me to hope washes out.

Jun 26, 2017, 6:51pm Top

Wow! Machine or hand quilting?

Jun 26, 2017, 7:38pm Top

>173 judylou: Machine. I do not have the hand skills for hand quilting. Maybe if I have learned a hand-needle skill first or developed a secondary hobby!

Jun 26, 2017, 10:59pm Top

Well, I'm impressed either way. I am only capable of doing straight line quilting. I would love to be able to manage something as beautiful as that pattern. One day I will try it, but I think it will be a steep learning curve!

Jun 26, 2017, 11:43pm Top

>175 judylou: After this year of projects, I would say...with practice anything is possible. Part of the reason I picked wall hangings is so I could try new things in a small, contained area. This quilting pattern is a first for me. Surprisingly, it is easier than expected. Partly, I think that is because I traced the pattern so many times. I know what the pattern feels like.

I want to work on free motion quilting next year. I'm already contemplating how to develop the steady, smooth movement needed for FMQ. When I learned to sew, my mother made all of us practice sewing lines on paper long before we were allowed fabric. I can't tell you the number of pages of notebook paper I went through. Or the sheets of shapes & spirals!! That will be part of my process.

Jun 27, 2017, 1:40am Top

In all the posts and videos online I have read while trying to get the courage to FMQ, I have never heard about trying it on paper first. If it works, it would be good for me. Part of my problem is that fabric is so expensive in Australia that I don't want to waste it on practice pieces. Hmmm, I just might have a go sooner than I thought I would.

Jun 28, 2017, 7:57am Top

I'm really interested in how this works out. I'm assuming you stitch right through the plastic and then peal it off later. Am I right that you pressed it to paper first to draw your pattern and then take it off the paper and put it on the fabric? I tend to use some of the "golden threads quilting paper" for my patterns, but it can take some time to get it off. So I'm curious.

Edited: Oct 12, 2017, 3:40pm Top

>178 dudes22: It's exactly like that! I started by cutting a small strip of the PnS. I figured out that three sheets of PnS cover the wall hanging nearly perfectly for my needs. Then I printed the design and cut the correct length of PnS. It took me one try tracing to realize I needed more paper design, so I had to sort of Frankenstein the pattern some. Then I pressed the PnS to the paper -- and a tiny bit to my countertop to keep it in place. Getting the PnS off the paper without it clinging to me (static) or itself was the biggest challenge.

I will say that it works well. The needle isn't gummed up at all. However, it takes nearly as long to get the PnS off the fabric as it does to quilt the project. I only did 1/3 of the wall hanging the other night. Last night I had other obligations, so I will be back at it tonight for another 1/3.

I'm tempted to try the freezer paper method. Maybe it's easier? An alternative to this PnS method is to try perforating the PnS with a tracing wheel before I quilt...but that might also work for freezer paper.

Leah Day did a comparison of tissue paper vs Golden Threads paper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPMhzHTQRrw

Something that seems like a pain with Golden Threads paper is the recommendation that you run the pattern through your machine without a needle thread first to perforate and then stitch...making the paper even easier to come apart at the end. Although, that process is pretty awesome for making copies of the quilting pattern. You can see that idea here: https://youtu.be/FbYtRJ_Xyas?t=17m31s

Edited for clarity (b/c I can't stop myself)

Jun 28, 2017, 9:41pm Top

I don't run the GT paper thru the machine first. I don't think it's too terrible to take off. It rips off in big pieces and then I use a pair of tweezers to get any small pieces near the stitching line. The hardest part is when multiple stitching lines come together. Like at the top of your "teardrop" or the middle of your curve. It also depends on what size stitch your are using. I usually use around a "3" on my machine (a Bernina) so. A little bit bigger than I use for piecing. I was wondering about getting it to lie flat without it sticking to itself. I think I'll probably stick to GT paper, but I do like being able to see how it looks on the fabric.

Jun 29, 2017, 9:19am Top

>180 dudes22: I think if I were doing a lot more fussy quilting, I wouldn't use the PnS. You are right, the tight intersections are a pain to clean up. Still, this is a lot better than trying to freehand the design or chalk it. Chalking never seems to work for me. Between handling the piece and running it through the machine over and over, I wipe the chalk out.

I still haven't gotten back to the wall hanging. I don't sew when I'm tired...and the last couple nights I've been really tired from lack of sleep. I'm hoping I can get the quilting done tonight.

Jun 30, 2017, 9:54am Top

2/3 quilted. I had a near meltdown last night while trying to quilt over the hat portion. I had to rip out a crapton of stitching and start over in that one section. I plan on finishing this project tonight. Don't care if I stay up all night to do it. I may even listen to Moana (for a third time) while finishing tonight.

Jun 30, 2017, 8:32pm Top

Hope it is working out for you now . . .

Jul 1, 2017, 3:21am Top

I declare temporary defeat in finishing. It's 2am and I'm too tired to fuss with the binding...but it's QUILTED!!

Jul 1, 2017, 10:17am Top

>184 lesmel: It isn't a defeat, it's a postponement. Sleep is good. Rest is good. It's such a beautiful thing, your quilt. I know you long to finish it, and I'm excited to see the finished work as well.

Jul 2, 2017, 2:43pm Top


The back:

I have a project in mind for the rest of the Starry Night fabric. It will have to wait though. I've already moved to the May wall hanging. I think, as soon as I get the June wall hanging done, I'm going to pause and lay all the projects out. I need to decide if they need sleeves or not. I also want to see them all spread out and find a place to hang them.

Jul 2, 2017, 3:24pm Top

>186 lesmel: Congratulations on finishing, and it's every bit as lovely as we'd all expected it to be. You have a real talent for these.

Jul 2, 2017, 4:54pm Top

>186 lesmel: that is fabulous. Beautiful work!

Jul 2, 2017, 7:08pm Top

That is wonderful! Great quilting! Did you use invisible thread? Seems like the light is light and the dark is dark.

Jul 2, 2017, 7:55pm Top

Looks so good!

Jul 3, 2017, 9:15am Top

>189 dudes22: I used this really great multicolored metallic thread. I'll get a closer shot of the quilting so you can see.

>187 Lyndatrue: - >190 judylou: Thanks for all the compliments and congrats!

Jul 4, 2017, 2:13pm Top

Metallic thread - another thing I'm afraid to try.

Jul 4, 2017, 11:04pm Top

>192 dudes22: Reminded me to get detail pics!

It's "metallic effect" thread...which is probably about 1 trillion times easier to sew with.

Jul 5, 2017, 2:35am Top

And it looks so pretty!

Jul 5, 2017, 8:41am Top

Wonderful quilting design for your wall hanging! It's a lovely piece!

Just to add my 2¢ to the machine quilting discussion. I have used the Golden tissue paper as noted above by dudes22 . I sandwich a lot of pieces together with one piece that has the design on top and stitch through all layers (no thread) in a medium small stitching. I then have umpteen pieces that I can then pin or tape to the quilt. I have also done it with freezer paper and can just press those pieces onto the quilt.

Jul 5, 2017, 9:14am Top

This week's project -- May Flowers. I am so close to finishing!

I'm trying a simplified landscape quilting technique. I would probably try this again, but in solids. Also, I need access to a larger spectrum of solids if I did this ago. Joann Fabrics is my go-to store. I like local quilt shops; but none are convenient. Also, oddly enough, quilt shops tend to be clannish. Maybe that's just me? Anyone see this when they go into a new shop?

Jul 5, 2017, 6:49pm Top

>193 lesmel: - that's a great thread. At least from your first picture, the light isn't too obvious on the dark and vice-versa on the light. ILl have to check about that "metallic effect" thread.

>194 judylou: - I never thought about putting multiple pieces together. That way you don't have to pin them on until you need them. I'm going to give that a try next time I quilt with quilting threads paper.

Jul 10, 2017, 9:06am Top

May Flowers is done:

It's not what was in my head, but that's ok. I've learned this year that what is in my head is almost never what the fabric wants.

Jul 10, 2017, 7:40pm Top


Jul 11, 2017, 8:43am Top

Wonderful colors!

Jul 11, 2017, 2:04pm Top

Simple yet so pretty!

Jul 14, 2017, 9:04am Top

Note to self: Science Fair Hexies...maybe?

Jul 27, 2017, 9:35pm Top

Thanks to Lois' sharp eye (https://www.librarything.com/topic/259836#6112927), I am the proud owner of the Quilting Essentials Great Courses thingie. 30 units on fabric arts. Heather Thomas is the lecturer. I am slightly put out with her flippant attitude for "boring" (traditional) blocks and her occasional snotty attitude toward piecing methods she thinks are inferior (like template cutting).

In other news, I am still ignoring the ladybug wall hanging. I have been ho-hum about the solid background. I finally figured out what I want to do to shake that up! This means I will probably spend most of Friday evening cutting until my fingers fall off. I'm excited to get back to it!

I may pause the wall hangings again to work on a lap quilt for my office. I have been intentionally losing weight since October 2016. That has unintentionally turned me into a popsicle while in the office. I'm really tempted to make a quilted, zippered house coat; but that might be a wee extreme. Not to mention I would never dress work appropriately ever again if I had an "office coat." HA!

Huh. This makes me wonder if Mom still has her UFO blanket jacket. Hmmmm.

Jul 31, 2017, 9:48am Top

Note to self: 80s tees?

Jul 31, 2017, 12:11pm Top

The June wall hanging is done! I'm a little stunned by how quickly (~20 hours) this came together.

I want to try those ladybugs again. Maybe my office lap quilt will be a ladybug quilt.

Jul 31, 2017, 1:53pm Top

>205 lesmel: ...and another lovely quilt enters the world. Clever backing, too, all very summery.

Jul 31, 2017, 2:33pm Top


Aug 1, 2017, 7:10pm Top

That's so cute! Love the watermelon fabric.

Aug 1, 2017, 9:28pm Top

I love the June wall hanging! Those ladybugs and the watermelon are so summery, it really fits the month.

Edited: Aug 4, 2017, 12:58pm Top

For the July wall hanging, I want to use HSTs. Only, HSTs scare the living crap out of me because I'm not exactly the most talented of cutters/piecers. Perfect is not my middle name.

Then I spotted the tutorials for speed cutting HSTs from Jenny at MSQC.


Then I had to hunt down the math for figuring out cutting size from finished or unfinished HST size. (The short answer: finished HST divided by 0.64 = cutting size if you are doing the 4-in-1 method)

http://www.corasquilts.com/4-at-a-time/ -- Actually explains the math (Pythagoras would be pleased)

There's also this for super-speed cutting:

Then I had to test it last night. Ooops! I cut and pressed (fyi, aerosol hairspray is an EXCELLENT starch alternative) 1/3 of a project in less than 30 minutes of practice.

HSTs no longer scary!

Aug 7, 2017, 5:01am Top

I love the versatility and the look of HSTs. But I just hate trimming all the little buggers!

Aug 7, 2017, 8:44am Top

>211 judylou: I had to trim everything to make it all tidy; but for the most part, this speed cutting method is dead on accurate. Although, I did have two duds. Something happened and they are significantly smaller than the rest of the HSTs...nearly 1/2" smaller.

Edited: Aug 7, 2017, 1:23pm Top

I think the thing that bothers me about this method is the bias edges. I think I'll stick to 2 at a time with straight edges. I just know I'd end up stretching the bias edges.

ETA: I think I saw a way somewhere where you put two strips together and then cut the HSTs from the row using the 45 line on your ruler. But also bias edges.

Aug 11, 2017, 11:20am Top

Finished the Texas Tech lap quilt! I brought it into the office, but I should take it home and wash it.

Aug 11, 2017, 1:44pm Top

I'm glad the course is working out!

The ladybug quilt is absolutely adorable!

You are doing well with the half square triangles. I seem to have done a fair number of HST quilts in the last few years. It's so versatile.

Aug 11, 2017, 6:47pm Top

Looks good!

Aug 12, 2017, 6:41am Top

>214 lesmel: that looks fabulous! The triangles turned out great. I enjoyed reading about HSTs in >210 lesmel:; I knew nothing about the technique and had no idea it was so challenging. The finished results are totally worth it.

Aug 28, 2017, 9:52am Top

I had grand plans for the weekend...getting the July wall hanging done and a gift for my mother. Instead, Harvey rudely interrupted. I've spent two days on my bum on the couch watching all the weather coverage. My street and small section of the larger neighborhood was built at a much higher elevation. So far, so good. Even my backyard seems to be coping better than the last two major rain events. I did get some water on the patio during the absolute worst parts of the raining; but it quickly drained into the yard. I'm still worried about the water easements. The three closest to me are extremely high and the larger neighborhood does have street flooding. It would not take much to cause some flooding in the two closest sections to me.

I did venture out yesterday looking at the easements. That was sort of foolish because I never stopped to think I might be able to get out but not back in. I had to drive the long way back home and turn around twice before I could find a dry way home. About 1.5 miles from home, I rescued two black labs that were running loose. They were crazy hyper and filthy. Not to mention, big dogs are BIG. My dog is 22 pounds. These two are easily 40-50 pounds each. They also seem to have no manners or gratitude. They've tried to destroy my patio table and did destroy one of the cushions on one of my patio benches. I'm hoping to drop them off at my vet's today. *fingers crossed*

It is still raining here. In fact, it's pouring at the moment. It will probably rain until late tomorrow; possibly Wednesday. MPOW is closed today. I'm hoping they decide to close tomorrow and maybe Wednesday.

Aug 28, 2017, 12:15pm Top

>218 lesmel: I'm selfishly grateful that you've checked in. There are so many people that I know that live in the path, or the periphery, that I feel a constant underlying panic. Please stay safe, and check back in again tomorrow (at least), so we'll all know you are safe and okay.

Aug 28, 2017, 1:45pm Top

Thank you so much for checking in; I didn't realize you were in the storm region. I'm glad you are okay.

It was very kind of you to rescue those labs. I have to admit, as "mom" to two labs myself, your comment about their size made me laugh out loud! If they are fully grown, they could be 70 lbs or more. Big, but goofy and very sweet. I'm sure some of their behavior was due to the stress of the storm itself. I hope you've been able to find a place for them to stay.

Aug 28, 2017, 9:30pm Top

Watching the reports from here, it is looking bad. I hope your home continues to stay dry. Take care.

Edited: Aug 29, 2017, 7:20pm Top

All is still well. I still have the labs. I'm pretty sure I'm stuck with the Labs until Thursday when the Humane Society opens.

I attempted to let the Labs have some freedom in the house. I moved everything out of the kitchen and set up some barriers to keep them on the tile. Turns out, these little buggers are smart. After two tries to get under my bar chairs, they both figured it out. Then I had to chase them both through the house. The female CRACKS ME UP. The second I touch her collar she throws herself on the ground belly up. I got smart and used my leather lead to get her back outside. Then I had to chase the male down. He's wiley. We played ring-round-the-rosy in the living room until I cornered him.

After that fun, I mopped the kitchen/breakfast area. That took at least an hour because I had to sweep, vacuum, apply the cleaner, then mop up the dirty water/debris. As it is, I ran out of cleaner just as I was finishing up.

Next was my trip to Costco. I needed dog food, cat litter, beef roast, milk (of all things), tile floor cleaner, and popsicles. I was really nervous to go out because of the wind. We have had some hard gusts. Plus there was no guarantee that Costco would be open. I had a 1 hr 45 min wait in the wind/rain. Then there was the madness to get milk on the milk/egg aisle. People were CRAZY. Some intentionally blocking the doors and aisles with carts. Some running over others. Mad. House. There wasn't any beef roast (not surprising). And I was so flustered by the crazies that I forgot the floor cleaner and popsicles.

The trip home was easy. Since then, I've been mostly parked on the couch watching the evacuations and rescues. Supposedly, we should get SUN tomorrow. The next few week will be horrid. Once the storm blows out and the sun comes out, we are going to have a ravening horde of mosquitoes. I feel awful for the people that have been displaced and those that have to clean up in the upcoming conditions.

Aug 30, 2017, 12:15am Top

>222 lesmel: Thank you for checking in, again. You have a kind heart, and the labs are very lucky you found them. Costco horrifies me on regular days (I still go, but it takes a few days of gathering my nerves, first).

Stay well.

Aug 30, 2017, 7:04am Top

>222 lesmel: It's good to hear from you again. You are such a kind soul, caring for those dogs. I don't mean to ignore or diminish the human problems, which I know are horrific. It's just heartening to see a shred of good news.

Aug 30, 2017, 7:46am Top

Glad to hear you are well and safe. My husband's cousin's daughter is in Houston and she had to evacuate. You are so kind to take in those dogs - I saw a news report about a shelter and how over capacity it was. I hope the dogs you rescued had tags so they can get back to their owners eventually.

Aug 30, 2017, 9:10pm Top

There was sun today. Like actual fiery ball in the sky, sun. For us, Harvey is over. That isn't to say there aren't more effects. There's still flooding and reservoir releases. There will be weeks and weeks and months of cleanup. Also, Harvey has now impacted Beaumont, Port Arthur, and most of Louisiana (b/c it is heading in a northeasterly direction straight across the state). Harvey seems to be crazy slow and everyone in a diagonal-ish line from Houston to Memphis will have some impact. Looking at the radar right now, it looks like the freakish outer band that nailed Houston, most of southeastern Louisiana, and a good chunk of Mississippi is now nailing Alabama. I'm not really sure though. I haven't watched TV at all today. I have reached my capacity on storm coverage.

In the Lab Saga (I totally need to trademark that), I finally got them to the vet. The male was chipped. The female either wasn't or her chip has migrated. The vet clinic called the owner. It took three calls and almost all freaking day for him to respond. *I will not judge.*I will not judge.*I will not judge.* I'm judging. So sue me.

The man doesn't seem interested in getting the dogs back. That in itself breaks my heart. It's worse that I think he actually turned these dogs out in a storm. Here's what I know based on what he said -- and I'm only posting it here because I am trying to keep it clear in my head:

Man owns dogs he adopted from rescue or shelter. (questionable)
Man has property in nearby neighborhood. (questionable)
Man's parents live on property with goats and horse and dogs. (believable)
Parents called freaked out over storm. (believable)
The water was rising. (unlikely)
Parents penned the animals and left. (questionable)

Here's why I question much of this:

Man won't give me the name of his vet.
Man wont give me address the dogs were at.
Man outright said "they {the dogs} are brats and are always disobedient."
Man never asked if they were ok.
Man never asked where I found them.
Man never seemed concerned to retrieve them.
Man grudgingly said he would call his brother to come get them; but that wouldn't happen today.

Here's what I think happened:

Man adopts two lab siblings that are half grown or full grown for his parents. Parents are "elderly" (he said 70s but age is incredibly relative, right?) and can't really handle a bonded pair of rambunctious labs. Hurricane Harvey shows up. Man tells parents to either A) let the dogs loose or B) leave them penned with a gate open.

I am about 99% sure the water never came up in the neighborhood. Maybe the parents were worried it would; but I doubt it ever did. I live just northeast of the neighborhood he said they are located.

I'm suspicious that he won't give me an address or a vet name. And I'm SUPER suspicious that he never once asked if they were ok.

I have been told I have three options here since the man is the legal owner (supposedly) of the dogs. I'm suspicious there, too. I think the parents might be the legal owners.

1. Give the dogs back (which has been my plan all along).

2. Ask if he really wants the dogs. If not, get his email address and a rescue can send him a release form. Then someone from the rescue will come get the pups.

3. Tell the man he needs to pick up the pups by X date. If he doesn't the pups go to the pound/county shelter/whatever. I need to get the intake IDs on the dogs and provide them to the rescue. The rescue will pull them after three days.

Aug 31, 2017, 8:15am Top

Well first of all, I'm glad Harvey has left your immediate area and that you were spared relative to other areas.

Second of all, what a saga. Heartbreaking. The man's behavior is suspicious for sure. It sounds like the dogs were in a bad situation even before the storm. Poor dog behavior is often caused by human behavior and/or inability to give the dogs what they need (i.e., exercise). It sounds like the parents can't handle them and the dogs would be better off elsewhere. You're a good person for tending to this.

Aug 31, 2017, 3:35pm Top

That's really sad about the dogs. And the story makes me really mad too. And I can totally see it happening because that's the way we ended up with our dog. A friend's daughter bought a 3 month old border collie for her grandfather who was 85. Who - guess what - didn't want her. Anyway - it was wonderful for us. It's always sad in any kind of disaster that the animals have to get left in many cases.

Aug 31, 2017, 4:40pm Top

As I'd said, yesterday, on your gardening thread:

>226 lesmel: I just came from Flickr, where I'd seen the photos you'd taken of the labs. There's a special place in hell for people like that guy. Pity you can't check with the parents (who might actually want the dogs back, and are unaware they've been found). You really have a good heart.

Stay well.

Aug 31, 2017, 8:17pm Top

*sigh* some people are just unbelievable.

You are doing a good thing caring for the two labs. I well understand the difficulties having two dogs like those. We had two brothers - border collie / labradors - very smart dogs; well trained . . . when alone . . . together was another story. They drove us crazy. Sadly, Bender died in an accident. But the good thing that came from that was that Billy became a much happier and more content family dog. Anyway, lets hope they end up in a loving family!

Sep 1, 2017, 12:00am Top

Never underestimate the power of a librarian/amateur genealogist. We got mad skillz. I did some Facebook stalking trying to narrow down who the owner of The Labs might be. I found one likely candidate based on his phone area code, the location in the chip registry, (which I wasn't even supposed to know), and his name. I confirmed my information today about the man. He works in television in his current city.

I then took some wild leaps of deductive reasoning to narrow down where The Labs escaped from. I am about 95% sure I know where the property is based on surname, general area, land use (they have some livestock), and where I found The Labs. I drove by the property today. Looks like someone was home AND it looks like there was a horse on the property.

Then I came home and the LabSaga took a weird turn. About 3pm, I noticed my A/C wasn't making a sound. And it was hot in the house. Thinking maybe it was frozen, I shut everything off for two hours. Still no blowing air. No fan. Nada.

I called an HVAC company. Shockingly, they said they could stop by about 7. Thirty minutes later, they said they would be there in 30. Sure enough, the tech was Johnny on the spot. He worked for nearly two hours. About halfway through his visit, he said part of the problem was one of The Labs jumped on the wires between the outside A/C unit & the house causing them to short out. Which made the transformer in the inside unit go belly up. He also notice there was insulation in the blower fan. And the final problem was my fritzy thermostat (which I knew was a problem to start with).

You can bet I called that idiot owner. At no time today did the man call me. These are his dogs, right? So. what the hell?? I told him flat out he had to pick up the dogs tonight. He was as unconcerned about the dogs today as he was yesterday. He asked if his brother had called me. Uh. No.

We hung up with him promising to call me back. He didn't. He texted instead. And that's when I suggested he just release the dogs for rehomimg. He agreed that was the best solution. Now I am waiting for the rescue to send me the document.

Unfortunately, I will have to take The Labs to the Humane Society tomorrow if the form doesn't show up in the morning. I can't afford another A/C repair bill. Especially since I am sure the owner isn't going to reimburse me.

We will just have to use option 3 to get these two in a new home.

Sep 1, 2017, 7:07am Top

Okay, first off I am totally impressed with your research! But that owner is well and truly an a**hole. I'm sorry you're having to go through all this, and at such personal expense.

Sep 1, 2017, 11:09am Top

Ha. I scare even myself. I was dead right about the property address. Maybe I need to be a private investigator.

Sep 3, 2017, 1:35am Top

The Lab Saga has reached the end. I ended up turning them over to a totally different group that was set up 30 miles northwest of me. A friend went with me. Then I came home and scrubbed the kitchen floor for two hours. It still needs another scrubbing to clear the rest of the dirt.

Sep 3, 2017, 2:48am Top

You did good :O)

Sep 3, 2017, 7:09am Top

Indeed you did!

Sep 5, 2017, 10:20am Top

>234 lesmel: At least scrubbing the floor gets rid of some of those pent-up feelings about the whole thing! What a saga.

Sep 15, 2017, 1:01pm Top

Post-Harvey, post-TheLabs, post-sinus infection...it's TIME TO SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWW!!

Plans for the weekend:

* Stop at JoAnn's for new foam and new oilcloth to replace bench covers The Labs destroyed
* See if I can repair damage to patio table inflicted by The Labs
* Start/Finish the *@#$%&%* July wall hanging that is beginning to mock me
* Start the horsey quilt for my boss (who has NO CLUE) I'm making her a quilt (she's Horse Mad. owns a Halflinger)
* Plan the September wall hanging
* Do some more coloring in my Bob Ross coloring book!

Sep 15, 2017, 6:50pm Top

>238 lesmel: Happy to hear that the sinus infection is better, and even happier to hear that you are happy again. :-}

Sep 28, 2017, 1:49am Top

I'm glad you survived all the horrors of the past months. Can't wait to see your next creations.

Oct 11, 2017, 2:20pm Top

I'm with Judy, I'm glad the horrors are behind you. Looking forward to your next projects.

Oct 12, 2017, 10:06am Top

I was jazzed last night from running endorphins. Spent an hour or so working on the July wall hanging finally!

I could finish the top tonight if I will stick with it!

Edited: Oct 12, 2017, 11:13am Top

>242 lesmel: I'm going to be in love with this one, I can tell already. I've owned at least one, maybe two shirts with a pattern very similar to that red you've got pictured there. I may still have some of the fabric somewhere in my fabric drawers. That blue is also familiar.

Endorphins are good, too. :-}

Oct 12, 2017, 4:25pm Top

I like those fabrics. I've been meaning to get to a patriotic quilt and even have the pattern I want to use, just other quilts seem to push their way in front.

Oct 13, 2017, 10:33am Top

Made a little more progress on the wall hanging. Just realized I sewed all the stripes together when I need them in two sets. So, I'll be seam ripping tonight before I do anything else.

Anything else will include cutting & sewing the HSTs. I need to figure out what I'm doing for the Sept wall hanging. I think I know what I'm doing with the November. At least, one side of it. November's wall hanging is going to be reversible.

Oct 18, 2017, 8:15am Top

Very nice! I love your choice of the red fabric; it gives your piece some movement; less static, if you know what I mean.

Oct 25, 2017, 4:26pm Top

Bought myself a standing desk topper thing and standing mat...both for my work office. I've only used it today; and already and wondering if I can buy one for my sewing machine. I'm not sure a topper would work well b/c it does shake while I type. A sewing machine would make the whole thing jump around, I'm sure. Maybe I will try raising my cutting table. Although, I'm not sure the table raises enough.

Funny thing. I don't stand still. At. All. Which makes me remember just how much I used to fidget in grade school. My fidgeting was quickly suppressed by teachers and my parents. I think there's now research about how children actually retain information when there's physical activity incorporated with learning. See. I was ahead of my time!

Oct 25, 2017, 9:18pm Top

>247 lesmel: I thought about using one of those toppers when I was investigating standing while sewing. I'm not sure they are shaped in a beneficial way for sewing, and it seems it would only handle a lighter weight machine. I ended up buying a tall, metal table, although I have not really used it yet as I have done very little sewing these 7 months. I will be interested to hear/see what you decide.

Nov 2, 2017, 8:30am Top

I am working feverishly on a birthday gift that I thought I would have another week to make (read: procrastinate). It is a table topper wreath like I made last year. All I have left to do is hand stitch (God help me) 12 sets of points together. I may wait until tomorrow evening and machine stitch the points.

Also, I finally seam ripped the stripes in my July wall hanging. Not all of them. Just the 7th & 8th stripes. I still have HST to cut and sew together. That is my plan for tomorrow. Although, now that the World Series is over (GO ‘STROS!!), I need a new sport to use as background noise while I craft.

Nov 3, 2017, 10:45am Top

Got the topper done. However, I wanted to sit and cry night before last. I started this project when I was tired. I KNOW better. I forgot to add the 1/2" seam allowance while cutting. The whole project is smaller by 1/2" per square. That meant when it came time to stitch the squares together, I had to figure out how to make the correct angle. Thank God for the template that I cut down some and used to trace a stitch line. Turns out that accidental shrinkage didn't ruin the project all together. I'll post a pic after I give it to Mom tonight/tomorrow.

I the meantime, I took advantage of my sewing mojo and worked a bit on the July wall hanging.

This wall hanging is a hot mess. I can't even with this stupid thing. One whole section of stripes isn't long enough, so now I have a SEAM in my stripes. I didn't manage to flip and sew while doing the stripes so the stripes are slightly wonky. Then my idea for the HST tanked last night.

I'm mostly pleased with the results, despite (in spite of?) the making of a disaster. I hope to God the September wall hanging is less of a disaster.

Nov 3, 2017, 2:20pm Top

That's great!!

Nov 3, 2017, 4:04pm Top

I’ve done that before (forget the 1/2 inch). As I recall, mine didn’t have a happy ending. I’m thinking ball of falbric in the trash. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Nov 5, 2017, 8:46pm Top

Sandwiched and ready for quilting. I can't decide what I want for binding. I'm really tempted to try piping; but I'm not sure I have patience for that.

Nov 6, 2017, 6:59am Top

>253 lesmel: that looks fabulous! A perfect rescue operation. I really like the fabric you used for the blue section, serving as stars while evoking familiar July 4 celebrations. An inspired choice.

Nov 6, 2017, 9:20am Top

>253 lesmel: That is really nice.

Nov 7, 2017, 9:51am Top


I did use piping and really like it! I should get a close-up of the piping...and the back. The background fabric is really lovely.

Next up is September. I've decided on acorns and oak leaves. Mom asked me if I was going to add a squirrel. Ha. Ha. She is NOT funny. I hate squirrels. They are evil guerilla soldiers of the animal kingdom. No one seems to believe me. They are "cute" and "fluffy." Uh huh. Cute and fluffy can still kill you. Rats with fluffy tails and better PR.

Nov 7, 2017, 10:30am Top

>256 lesmel: It's just amazing! I really love it with the piping, and you did well to go to the effort. You always amaze me with your efforts, but this one really stands out. I await your photos of the back.

On the subject of squirrels; just remind your mother that squirrels eat bird eggs, and are native to almost nowhere. They are a predatory and invasive species, no different than Kudzu or Virginia Creeper or the Russian Olive tree. There are two walnut trees (at least) in the neighborhood, and it really makes for a heavy population. I hate squirrels.

Oak leaves are one of my favorites. Let me know if you need any extras; it's that time of year. :-}

Nov 7, 2017, 3:42pm Top

>256 lesmel: - That came out really good!

My husband hates squirrels too. He used to trap them in a have-a-heart and then transport them to a park and let them go. The dog was pretty good at keeping them out of the yard too.

Nov 7, 2017, 11:52pm Top

The table topper:

Also, my first attempt at block drafting that involves actually figuring out the piecing and sizing.

Normally, I use a published pattern or draft a really simple pattern (like the US flag or the TX flag) or don't need to worry about the pattern b/c it's squares and applique (like the ladybug quilt). I based the block on Acorn Dance from Fig Tree Quilts. I am pretty damn impressed with myself. Although, I just realized I somehow lost my 1/2 inch seam allowance. And I was so damn careful with my measurements. I think it started with my 8 inch base square. Hrm. Well, that's for tomorrow. It's well past my bedtime.

Nov 10, 2017, 5:28pm Top

The flag came out lovely and the piping was a nice touch.

Good job with the drafting. I have found that I enjoy the "figuring out" process. I think that's why I'v enjoying picking blocks from the Jinny Beyer Encyclopedia....

Nov 14, 2017, 12:21pm Top

The backing from the Flag wall hanging:

It was Nutcracker Market weekend and had family in town...so no sewing. Instead, mostly this all day Friday:

Mom and I started out like this:

I forgot to get a post-shopping picture...but imagine two very tired women dragging to the car.

Now I have the hellions at the house again.

This was most of my night last night: https://flic.kr/p/21uaxJJ (you need sound to fully appreciate the evening's antics...).

My poor dog. She spent most of the night like this:

And then finally this:

Nov 14, 2017, 2:49pm Top

>261 lesmel: I've never seen a clearer "WTF?" on a face than your poor pup.

Nice shot of the two of you. :-}

Nov 14, 2017, 4:46pm Top

Great quilt back...would love to go to that market. I'd probably get all my Christmas shopping done. Your poor puppy.

Nov 14, 2017, 9:22pm Top

Love all the photos! It's always fun to put a face with a name, and the quilt backing is beautiful.

Nov 21, 2017, 5:02pm Top

Great photo of you and your mom (well, I guess I don't know what is a bad picture of the two of you....); sounds like you had a fun, if not exhausting, time. So, is the Nutcracker market a craft fair or something different?

Nov 22, 2017, 8:24am Top

>265 avaland: Nutcracker Market is the annual fundraiser for Houston Ballet. It's vendors from all over that come and sell everything from tchotchkes to home decor to clothes to jewelry to makeup to toys. It is insane. It's four days plus if you buy special tickets you can go to the fashion show luncheons. I've gone seven times of the nine years I've lived here. This was the first year we went on a Friday. Ugh. TOO MANY PEOPLE. I won't even consider a Saturday. The ladies TAILGATE all day and shop all day. Uh uh. That's just. No. Too much.

Nov 22, 2017, 7:32pm Top

So we should plan to come to Houston for the Quilt show and then just stay til the Nutcracker Market? My husband's cousin's kids live in Houston (and she may be moving there from Alabama) so I might just do that some year.

Nov 22, 2017, 10:50pm Top

>267 dudes22: They are back to back weekends every year! Every year, I seem to convince one or two people to try the market. I have a friend that insists I should have some sort of guide service for Market. LOL

Nov 23, 2017, 9:01am Top

This is now definitely on my radar for a trip.

Dec 15, 2017, 5:50pm Top

>266 lesmel: Tailgate? Can you please explain what that means. I'm guessing it is a different meaning to tailgating in Australia - at least I hope it is :O)

Meanwhile, you did a great job with that flag quilt. I admire your perseverance! I'm looking forward to seeing your next one, with squirrels or without! BTW first time I saw a squirrel was in London in 2012. We thought they were so cute that we took about a million photos. But I guess not everyone feels the same LOL!

I laughed out loud at your poor dog's face. I can almost feel his pain!

Dec 15, 2017, 11:18pm Top

>270 judylou: The most "American" of the definitions probably: gather in a parking lot of an event...at the tailgate of a truck (usually)...drink, eat, be merry, etc. American football fans like to do it even in the dead of winter. I call them crazy. lol

Do Canadians tailgate? Anyone?

Edited: Dec 16, 2017, 10:18am Top

>271 lesmel: Do Canadians tailgate Although bilingual Canadians of the Canadian/American English bilingual variety understand the meaning of the American tailgate, it has a different meaning when used here. Tailgating here is travelling far too close to the vehicle in front of you on the highway, as in when looking in the rear view mirror, saying "I really wish that guy would stop tailgating me".

I suspect the reason for the lack of tailgating in the American sense is that municipal parking lots do not allow drinking and are far too tightly packed for fans to toss a ball. Also, trucks are not really a thing in Canadian cities. That's one way to tell you have reached the outskirts; suddenly trucks start appearing. Football is also not really a national sport. Now hockey...! There does seem to be some tailgating appearing in rural areas for outdoor hockey games and sometimes soccer, but drinking is minimal. The rules here on drinking and driving are strict and the beer is stronger!

>270 judylou: I can only speculate on the Australian meaning!

Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 3:28pm Top

I am assuming “driving too close” = tailgating is nearly universal for most English language countries. Most, not all. Am sure Brits have a much more interesting phrase.

Tailgating can also be when one person crowds another to get through a turnstile.

Dec 17, 2017, 3:32pm Top

>272 SassyLassy: There are some parking lots in the US that have strict bans on alcohol @ tailgate parties. I’d love to see bans on alcohol at all sporting events b/c people are TSTL once they are drunk & have no idea when to quit.

Dec 17, 2017, 3:49pm Top

>272 SassyLassy: Canada and Australia have so much in common. Everything you wrote is spot on for Australia (that is if we substitute Footy (AFL or Rugby) for hockey). Tailgating has the same meaning; our trucks are used to carry goods from one city to another and drinking and driving is never acceptable. We tend to have picnics on the ground - but not in car parks.

I love hearing about these small points of difference between countries!

Dec 26, 2017, 9:31pm Top

I have four wall hangings to complete for my 2017 project. What are the chances I can beat the clock at the 11th hour?!?! And do I care?

I already know what I'm doing for September's WH - acorns. I just need to make sure I have enough fabric (and like it). I'm not sure I have the fabric for November or January. I think I have everything for December.

I should probably check the fabric piles.

This topic was continued by lesmel in 2018.

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