Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Row Robin Quilt from Guild & My Cool Wallet Win!

I am so pleased to say I finished this quilt this month! Thanks to WQFC, on HGTV quilt message board, I am participating in a UFO challenge over the next 6 months. We all signed on, 6 projects that need to be completed on our lists. On the first of the month she picks a number and we must finish the quilt on our list that corresponds with that number~! This month was number guild's RRRR that I ran last Fall.

My fellow row makers are:
 #1) Connie used Virginia Findlay Wolfe's 15 Minutes of Play concept to create the top row of cool and crazy blocks! Love!
#2)  Me. One of the 2 extra blocks I made for the quilt. A checkerboard.
#3)  Dodie paper pieced these wonderful blocks! Vivid and perfect!!
#4)  My original row to kick start the quilt. I chose the cool swirly purple-y fabric as focus. I love the "+" quilts all over the web so modified one to work.
#5)  My dear friend Tracy J, upon request duress, appliqued this row of precious blocks! She has become a proficient applique quilter and I am happy to have her handiwork in my quilt.
#6)  Me. The second row I made to make my quilt larger. Wonky stars, one of my favorite blocks.
#7)  Elaine's square in a square rendition for my RRRR.
I love each and every stitch my friends put into their rows for me.
A pieced back using the rest of some fabrics from my rows.
Since I had to finish this by January 31st, I didn't have time to employ a long arm quilter. I meander quilted this on my machine, wrestling and taming it as I progressed. My quilty friends know how much I dislike this part. I was channeling a couple of them as I worked through it! It is acceptable. What I covet is a sit down quilting machine. They are pricey. I really, really want one.
Thank you to those that participated in my Row Robin and to those that contributed to my treasure!
And it sure feels good to finish a UFO!

I am the very happy winner of Thearica's wallet give-away!! My wallet came today. I LOVE it!! Thank you Q! I will use and treasure it...and think of you each and every day as I use it. I feel fortunate to have such giving, caring friends. Thearica is the quintessential southern lady.

Tell me that isn't spectacular?!!.

I could not resist the urge to show you the accompanying card. Thearica collects pigs. How awesome is this!?

I have learned:

  1. I have joined a gym. A quaint little gym down the road. We use a swipe card to get in 24/7. It is a fraction of the cost of the YMCA or other gym in Batavia.What a brilliant idea.  I will succeed. Encourage me.
  2. Darcy, my little love, my niece. turns 15 on Sunday. Seems only a short time ago she was sleeping on me, frantically holding onto to Baby.
  3. Pregnant Jenn, my DIL, had to have one of her wisdom teeth pulled today. Murphy's Law.
  4. Cheryl Doodie has completed the hand quilting on my Wonky Penny's quilt! Pics as soon as I get it from her.
  5. Christina Aguilera and One Big World. Love this simple tune. "Say Something"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Spring Clean Up Will Be a B*#$^

If you look closely at this picture, you will see the damage done by the ice storm of a month ago. I decided to take a gander when the snow was melted a couple of weeks ago. I could not believe the many limbs that broke off of these pine trees. Some were as large as 18"-22" around. A major mess to clean up in the Spring. If my kindly neighbor, Gerry, doesn't want to cut it for heating wood, I will be dragging and burning for weeks.

This view is from what we affectionately caledl the "poop zone". Dean,  my deceased Greyhound, would make his messes in this area. I wouldn't have to pick it up over here! The white building is my garage and the grey building to the left is my old homey house!

My laptop is still unwell. I cannot retrieve my pics...know they are in there somewhere. It is all too much for me to figure out on my own. Help!

I have learned:

  1. I CAN use my domestic machine to free motion quilt! I watched a couple of youtube video's on the subject. I meandered my way through my guild's RRRR quilt today. Meandering does go quickly. The result isn't great. It is simply useful. I must have binding sewn on by Friday to meet this month's UFO deadline. 
  2. Fell on black ice at work while shoveling the walkway Tuesday. Sprained wrist. Strained shoulder. ugh
  3. "Luther"... worth a  second watch. 
  4. Mela is 6  months old tomorrow.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Annual Challenge for Guild..."That Was Then"

My guild's annual challenge was "That Was Then", the year of your birth. This was plan "B". Plan "A" was to use a x-stitch pattern of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. I  made over 100 1/4" hexi's before I started to make some units of the pattern. Well, a x-stitch pattern is linear.....hexi's are not! I will do something with them for sure though.
So plan "B"....Kennedy. He was inaugurated in January, 1961. His speech is a part of history. My grandmother, Katherine, loved the Kennedy's.(we are Irish Catholics, which resonated with her) I remember her reading every book that came out about that family. It left an impression on me at a very young age. First time I heard the word "Camelot".
Found some images online of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy....used to manipulate them into pop art (popular at that time)...printed them with my cheap Kodak printer onto Jacquard cotton fabric printer sheets....sewed together....machine quilted...hand stitched and faced. Happy with the result.
Why. Why. Why do we wait til the last minute (8:33 AM today) to wrap up a challenge that we have known about since last February??
The quilts will be judged, but also voted on by our fellow guild members AND viewers choice as they hang in the library the entire month of February.
My fav is Cynda's!
I love her work. She is a re user. An innovator. Her pieces always reflect who she is.
This is her guild challenge.
It is the story of the day she was born in Niagara Falls, NY, in a blizzard. It's wonderful. I look at this and know something about her.It is a true work of art. It is a spectacular scarf. Apropos for the weather that day of course!

Tuesday I was notified along with many other quilters that my "Ice Crystals" quilt has been juried into the AQS Lancaster PA quilt show! I am pleased. This piece is one of my favorites. I truly enjoyed every step in the making of this quilt. A road trip is planned with good friends!
Click here to see post from last year!

Tomorrow I will work on my guild UFO RRRR. I have signed up on HGTV message board to finish a UFO for the next six months. This is my first assignment! The rows are made and sewn together...needs a 1/2" snot-green gold border, then a 4" border of my focus fabric. I must complete this quilt by the end of the month! Quilted. Bound. Labelled. Determined!

Mela will be 6  months old on the 27th. She is such a contented, active little sweetheart! After union meeting Friday, I went to Melissa's for gramma night. We played. Before I left for home, I fed her a bottle and put her to bed. I love her much. She is so precious. So sweet. So adorable.

I have learned:

  1. My laptop took a dive this week  Not sure what is up but the default system was on my desktop and my icons were gone. My IT friend, Jody, has given me very specific instructions to try to get things on track again. I need a very clear, well rested mind to follow them. 
  2. Tom Hardy. I know I mentioned him before. Checking out where else to find him on film. 
  3. 2 years and 4 weeks til retirement! 
  4. Bruce released a new CD this week. I love him. 
  5. Sherlock. Excellent. 
  6. Jenn & Michael are 11 weeks PG! The zygote is officially an embryo!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cool Stitching

We played a bit in my Fiberista fiber art group last Saturday, with our fancy stitches on our machines. This is the buttonhole stitch done back to back while varying the width and length as I sewed. I love it! I see great potential in this. We have committed to making a 6" X 6" block of each technique we learn this year. Part of the 6" x 6" idea is to donate to the ROCO  project if we chose. The possibilities of this stitch are exciting. It's so cool in this dark gray thread on canvas!

Sophia spent the night with me Friday! We had a great time! She wanted me to show her how to stitch, but what she ended up doing was snipping bits of floss and threads and silk ribbons. That's okay, anything to get a little one to just like fibers is fine by me. She found some of this dingle berry trim and wanted it to be her crown! Sweetness. The Gramma thing is so darn awesome. We went to Sally Ann's and every time she called me Gramma Kassie, I melted.

The view from my kitchen window this past week. The freezing temperatures formed the frozen trails on the window. We were at zero for a bit last week. Today it was almost 50 degrees though. The usual weather highs and lows in western NY.

I am working on my annual guild challenge today. The challenge is "That Was Then"...the year of your birth.
While searching the web I learned much about the year I was born. 1961. Of  course the challenge was announced last February. A lot of us wait til the last month to make our piece. I am liking where mine is going, so that's a good thing. I can't show it yet....wait til Saturday.

I have learned:

  1. "The Take", a Netflix DVD, starring Tom Hardy is a good watch. Tom Hardy is compelling. Something about him....bad teeth and all. 
  2. "Little Bee". A good read. Well written.
  3. Don't try to extricate an off road vehicle with a chain and tow strap. A work truck, that should not have been on the road last week, drove off the road in a white out. While trying to get the truck out of the field, the tow strap snapped which made in turn caused the chain to  ricochet off the windshield, smashing it in the process. If there were a body in the line of that fire, it would have been deadly. 
  4. Bruce's new CD due out Tuesday!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons etc.

Kaffe Fassett shot cottons...on sale at I have coveted shot cottons since seeing my friend, Beth's, a year ago. She had ordered hers from England I believe. Craftsy had a sale on these....34 fat quarters for $59.99. Less than 2$ a fat quarter. This is the Dark assortment...they also have a light, pastel assortment. I am very pleased. Fast delivery too. Now. What. To. Do.!?

Today Fiberista's met at the very nice Gate's Library. We had a nice room, free of charge, to have our meeting and sew. Frances was in charge of the January activity. She had us take a good look at our decorative stitches on our machines. While I was not very interested in creating a stitch book, I was inspired by Frances' demo. She used the buttonhole stitch, laying row against row. Wow! It was so cool! I threaded up a charcoal gray thread, slipped a piece of canvas under the needle and had at it. I am to thrilled with the result. By simply changing the length and width as I stitched, I came up with this bit of "fabric".
I just love this. Very simple lines. Interesting. Useful. We have decided as a group, to make 6" x 6" squares for each month's activity. Right now I want to embroider over it in red....a real heart image. Not sure that is the way I will go....but I'm interested. I never would have thought to play with the fancy stitches on my machine. Glad we did this. Good group of ladies.

Ta-da! My cutting station in my workroom. My little favorite at work, Ted, likes to keep busy while on stand-by for the week. I had the old drafting table top and  he built the base to accommodate it, from scrap wood he had lying around. The shelf is a bonus! I think I will paint it white like the rest of the room. Cutting has already commenced! Love.
My workroom is coming along. I have a bit more to do before a reveal. So happy with it though. I foresee many hours spent in there. I am seeking small area rugs. I have four in there now. The cold floor will be a patchwork of carpet....perfect.

I am still trying to ward off a sickness. My chest is rattly each morning....not feeling 100%. Tired. Could attribute to the frigid temps and older age. Hope the upswing starts soon.

I have involved myself in many an HGTV project for 2014. Need to get back to my people and fun. I have a few things in the works.

1. Redwork Snowman quilt BOM. I am stitching in cream on oatmeal linen's, with brown to beige fabrics for the sewn blocks.
2. CQ challenge. We each get the same fabrics/embellishments to create a 12" block.
3. UFO challenge. Each month we are assigned a number quilt to work on. We all made out a list of 6 UFO's. This month is #3. That means I have to complete my guild's RRRR that I ran last year. ok!
4. UGLY fabric challenge. Thearica buys what she thinks is ugly fabric, sends each participant a half yard cut to make anything they want. I knew I'd love the UGLY fabric!!

Feels good to be back with my old pals online. I have actually met most of these women at retreats. Good people. Fun.

And of course my guild's annual challenge is due in a couple weeks! The "That Was Then" challenge. Make a piece depicting anything from the year you were born. Anything! 1961 was a good year.  I best get a move on with that one! Have a plan and played with some I need to get it together.

I have learned:

  1. Shared this video on FB, of the "It's Raining Cats & Dogs" exhibit at Houston International show. My dog quilt, "Live Free" is closer to the end. My friend Julie Brandon's quilt is nearer the beginning. Nice to have a visual.
  2. Sophia just called me. How nice it is to hear her little 3 1/2 year old voice on the phone. I think she was looking for consolation....she had just thrown a tantrum in Target....uh oh, 'Issa was mad!
  3. "White Collar" is my newest binge watching fest on Netflix. Like.
  4. My friend, Janet, sent my these instructions for easy Flying Geese. What would be easy is if both squares were the same I did....which is NOT right...that would have been easy!
  5. 2014. 6 new weeks of vacation. 13 minus 2 days of Holiday's. (took Thursday and Friday off this 2 floater holidays) It's just not enough time.
  6. Mela's eyes are the color of blueberries.