Monday, December 05, 2011

Scrappy Strips.......

Nothing sparks my interest than something new. Oh pfffttt. I just do NOT like following directions nor a pattern.

Scrappy strip blocks. What a great way to use scraps (and who doesn't have a few - ahem - bags of scraps?!?!). In the retreat room (aka sewing area which I share with Riley), I've whipped up over 50 of these babies. Four 5 1/2 strip square blocks sewn together and then trimmed to 10". Seems like I could whip up a quilt in no time.

I jest and surely you do too.

Not being one with the mathematical mind (other than balancing the checkbook), I used 2 inches of a beautiful mottled gray blender in between each block. I do believe we quilters call that "sashing". When I become a quilter with terminology, I'll let you know.

At any rate, put a few together - threw it on the bed and nope, not quite wide enough. Added a few more blocks. Threw it on the bed. Nope, not quite wide enough. Finally at 7 blocks, it's wide enough. I think. That's what borders are for .....

This latest project is so much fun! I put the 4 blocks together and each one is a "oh my - isn't that striking". I love it when I feel so quilty.

Hallelujah!!! I'm quilting!!!!


Sunday, December 04, 2011

WIPs Need their Rest

I am convinced.

Works in Progress need to be set aside for an unspecified time. Translation: Oh my - when did I put THAT together?!?!?! And how long has it been in that box (bag, underneath the table, in the closet...)?!?!?!

There is much to be said for WIPs...UFOs...PIGs..(which I still have problems remembering what PIG stands for)....Especially if one is tired of working on the project. I stopped just short of trashing (horrors) this particular quilt top. I'm so pleased I didn't.

Now it will become a rescued lap quilt for someone for Christmas.

I have no shame. I don't put together a quilt with someone in mind...unless you count myself. Seems a bit shallow to admit but there you have it. I figure a good friend, member of the family or a passing acquaintance worth their salt would be thrilled to receive something handmade. No matter how badly it was put together.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

In the meantime, I quilt.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Belonging to several yahoo quilting groups, I read almost all the posts (averaging 50 a day) and was struck by one post in particular.

There are times when we all leap out in faith and post photos of our work. I'd like to think we do this with some sort of trepidation, looking for some sort of feedback. Never have I witnessed other than pure kindness when comments are posted in response to a completed project or perhaps just a block. However, this one post brought out something I didn't give much thought to until several days later..

The author pointed out a simple lack of courtesy that prevails among us all. Someone takes the leap - posts a photo of a current project and not one comment was posted.

Looking back over several postings and indeed, there were several noticeable lack of comments after one brave soul posted a photo. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. The author of the post simply asked - what does it take of your time to simply post "great job" or "love the colors you chose" or "thanks for sharing".

Two or three words in response. We spend time posting about the weather - or how little incentive there seems to be to do a little quilting today.....

And I am guilty as charged. I look, I smile and ponder why those three colors look so well together. I move on. Nary a post in response.

We were all created by God to serve many purposes....and high on that list is to simply love one another. Encouraging is high on that list - and it takes so little to say "job well done" or "I like it".

Off the soapbox for now and on to resting. I managed to pick up a particularly nasty virus which resulted in laryngitis and it has decided to reside with me longer than I had expected.

So please post those photos of those beautiful blocks - those beautiful quilt tops - and know that at least one person will comment.

Oh yes - the quilt block. Paper pieced! I resisted paper piecing for so many years and now find that they're challenging and wonderful for using up those bits and pieces of fabric I've hoarded for so many months. Slowly but surely I will be working through a wonderful book of paper pieced blocks - "101 Log Cabin Blocks"....just the 7 inch blocks!

I quilt.


Monday, September 12, 2011

There are days...and then there are days.....

...and that about sums it up.

Spent the weekend at a womens' retreat. My third retreat. Each one has brought about a hmmm moment - or moments. This one was the most intense. Health wise - all in order. Emotional wise - not so in order.

Work has a tendency to define us...or so I've believed for years. When you meet an individual for the first time, the top five questions will always include "so..... what do you do?" - no need to add "for a living" - it's just assumed this is exactly what you're inquiring. It's usually good for a good two minute monolog.

Fast forward 32 years and then the big R hits. Retirement. So....what do I do? And then it hits. I do? I maintain a house (okay, an apartment); I cook (okay, so maybe on a rare occasion); I clean (don't go there) and I quilt. Sometimes quilt. Sometimes less than more.

I make breakfast for my dear husband and me every morning. I pack a lunch for him. I shop for groceries. We walk. What is missing here?

I finally realized the defining of me is not the job I used to have. The defining of me is much more than the 9 to 5 job I held for many years. Part of that job was serving others....completing a project....starting a project...encouraging others to finish a project that was so undesireable to even tackle in the first place....

Serving. What Jesus did on an every hour basis. Serving. A word that means so much more than saying.

Self examining one's life can be very uncomfortable - or it can be challenging.

I choose challenging (she types with trembling fingers).

Not sure where this will take me and my dear husband (as he is always part of the equation) but I do know this ... we all need to serve in some capacity.

It's now just the matter of what God has in store for me.

In the meantime, I think I shall quilt.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Project Underway

Ahhh - it is the 22nd of April....and I finally tackled a new project.

While at a local LQS (not shopping - honestly - not shopping!!!) (uh huh - sure), I saw the neatest table runner - made of a shape called TUMBLERS. Googled it later and found a very, very nice pattern courtesy of Quilters' Cache. If you don't know this site, find it and immediately bookmark it. It is a TREASURE of blocks and patterns. Love it.

I digress (love that word). For several years I have received birthday fabric from my quilting buddies who belong to an online yahoo group. Size of the fabric ranged from F8 to some not-known sizes. After a good seasoning (all quilting fabric must season for awhile - it's a known fact), I took them out the other day and thought...ahhh ha! Eureka. I had an ah ha moment.

And promptly started cutting.....and cutting...and cutting.

First off - very important prep. STARCH your fabric pieces first. It really does make it easier to cut out the shapes. Rotary cutter, yes. Can do. But I like using scissors for this particular shape. Decided not to add 1/4 inch border around as suggested. Who am I kidding? I promptly cut out the shape and cut at least 30 before I read the directions...add 1/4 inch border before cutting. Sigh. Really lovely to sit down in front of my computer and watch "Lie to Me" episodes via Netflix. It's the little things.

And so now I've got 3 bags of these lovely tumblers. One bag for lights, one bag for mediums and one bag for darks. My definition of lights/mediums/darks. Yours may be a whole lot different (smile).

And so now ready to sew.

Stay tuned.....!

I do quilt.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finally Back to Quilting

It is the 19th of April. Taxes completed and already the meager refund has been deposited in our checking account.

Moving takes a lot out of one. And then there's the settling in. And then there's the discovery of a roof drain pipe that leaks - and of course, it extends the full length of the building. Translation: when it rains, it leaks. When it leaks, it leaks on to the floor of the lower level. Further translation: it leaks on to the carpet. And one more translation: this is where the chess players play in the tournaments we hold. We're praying our multi-talented contractor comes back from Florida very, very soon to replace that last bit of iron roof drain pipe. The part that leaks. The part that makes me grit my teeth.

My, my, my. Of course, those are not the words I'm using nonverbally when it's 3am and I'm using an old carpet shampooer to suck up water. Drought in Texas and Oklahoma and Dayton, Ohio has enough water coming down to make one wonder where in the heck are those plans for the ark. I've had thoughts of somehow diverting the water from the drain pipe on the roof....maybe clear to Texas and/or Oklahoma. Alas - cannot be done. However, with bits of plastic sheeting and containers to hold water leaking from the pipes - it is quite a sight to behold.

In the meantime (when it's not raining), I finally finished a quilt. A UFO bites the dust. Oh yes. The lovely appliqued blocks were from a online swap of long ago. I think one of those blocks are mine...but I shall never reveal which one. Also quilted it using my trusty Brothers machine, aka Brothers DSM. DSM=Domestic Sewing Machine. Oh I love those acryonyms. And I have just enough muslin to finish two more UFOs and then on to wide backings of whatever I can find - as long as it's not muslin. Muslin is so unforgiving when one is FMQing (free motion quilting).

Add a dose of severe sinus problems and eyes that hurt quite a bit of the day along with rain duty, and you can understand why I haven't dragged my body into the retreat room to sew. Oh yes - retreat room. That's the room Riley & I share. Can't call it the sewing room. Never have seen Riley in that room with needle in hand. Maybe one stuck in his foot - but never holding one in his hand.

So yes, I do quilt...when the rain stops.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Moving...and Moving...And Moving

This is the entrance to our soon-to-be new home. It is now February 13, 2011.

Early December 2010, we took the plunge to renovate/rehab the mezzanine - now known as "Riley & Sharon's Treehouse". Over ten years ago, we bought a 3 story business building with a lower level in the heart of downtown Dayton. Whether or not it really resides in the "heart" of downtown Dayton is left to those scoffers. Within a year of rehabbing it (the building has quite an interesting history), the former mezzanine was torn down and a new one built for a "" company. Eight months later the company went bankrupt. It sat vacant for quite awhile...very sad.

Riley & I started talking about renovating it for living space. Why not. The space is quite unusual....spans the entire length of the building...100 feet roughly by 16 feet...and split up in business room fashion. Whatever that means.

The conference room was tagged to be the sewing/study room. A long rectangle space is now the kitchen/dining room area. The room adjacent to it is the master bedroom. Adjacent to the master bedroom is the master bathroom. Walking up the stairs to the Treehouse, you open the door and that's the living room with 2nd bathroom discretely (we hope) against the wall - walled off of course.

I've documented the rehabbing of our new living space on Flickr:

And so the end of living in a 2 bedroom high rise apartment (6th floor) is coming to an end this month.

With aching muscles and tired feet, we are slowly moving our life into the Treehouse....and for that I am most pleased. It will be exciting and it's ours - even if it is cold there right now. A slight glitch: while the gas line for the furnace was run, the hookup was not. But all is well - the process for that will begin this week.

In the meantime, I look forward to quilting once again!