Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Trouble With Bindings

I’m really dragging my feet on getting these bindings made and on the quilts.  As you can see, there are five quilts waiting for these:

I really need to get these quilts sent off in the mail, so that is Job 1 for today (I know I said that every day this past week …).  I’ve been having computer problems and have spent WAY too much time trying to fix something I know nothing about.  The message keeps saying “cable unplugged” but that’s not the problem.  It comes back on whether you touch the cables or not.  A new version of AOL was downloaded and I blame it on them – I think it is a firewall or cache-size issue.  Very vexing.

I did finish up two more NICU quilts from cheater fabric (pre-quilted).  And I did get the bindings on these.  A lot of times preemies are twins so I did one bound in green and one bound in red.  The print is cute and they are very soft.

So I’ll see if I can get this blog updated and then it’s back to bindings!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ice Cream Cone Quilt

In 1984, President Ronald Regan declared the whole month of July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday (today) as National Ice Cream Day.   I’ve never much craved ice cream, but I’m definitely partial to a small scoop on a piece of chocolate cake!  In the meantime, here’s a cute ice cream cone quilt I saw on the Web:

I found it at:

It's cute but I'm not likely to make it since the cones are paper-pieced and I don't do that very well.  Maybe someday I'll make it as appliques ...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lottery Blocks and Thunder

My on-line group, Sunshine Quilt Guild, focuses on making donation quilts for children and we also have a monthly block lottery.  Participants make blocks in sets of two (or more) – one block goes to make a Sunshine Quilt by a member that volunteers to do that and one goes into the *pot* for that month’s winner – the pot is winner-take-all.  The theme for this month is *novelties* - and that’s my favorite month!

I’ve been making these half-log cabin blocks:

Detail of Novelty Fabrics

But I had to stop because of another thunderstorm.  I always unplug my machines during lightning.  Hopefully, it will end soon.

This is a photo that I took yesterday of a nearby field that is usually dry.  The dark area near the egret is not a shadow, it’s standing water that the egret intends to fish in.  Good luck with that, little birdie … I'm betting you'll find lots of bugs, lizards and froggies that will be pretty tasty!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quilting Today

I finally managed to get some quilting done today.  My frame has been fixed since the day after I found an issue with it.  My sweet husband took the rails off and re-aligned and tightened the screws and it’s just fine now.  These are the three for Quilts for Kids that I just need to get bound tomorrow – then it’s a quick wash and out the door they go:

While I’ve been really trying to use up my stash and scraps, occasionally I can’t pass up a sale.  These are the fabrics that I bought in a kit from Joann’s that was 50% off (the solids are from my stash):

Considering the discount, the amount of fabric included in the kit averaged about $4.25/yd for higher quality fabric.  I’m sometimes willing to spring for paying that much for fabric for my donation quilts, but I’d have to drastically cut back if I had to pay $10.00/yd.  Can’t see that happening, so I keep trying to find bargains.

Don’t know what I’ll be working up with these fabrics – I don’t feel constrained to make what the kit offered (simple squares), but I hope to post a picture of something special soon since I really like the colors.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What's So Odd About Today?

Do you feel odd today?  Well, you certainly have justification.  Today’s date is three consecutive odd numbers:  7-9-11

And what’s even odder is that there are only six days each century that three consecutive odd numbers make up the date!

The odd sequence that began on Jan 3rd 2005 (1-3-05) was followed by Mar 5th 2007 (3-5-07) and then May 7th 2009 (5-7-09).  Other than today, there will only be two more odd days for the next 100 years:  Sep 11th 2013 (9-11-13) and Nov 13th 2015 (11-13-15).

Check out this *oddly* beautiful quilt made from unusual materials:

Transparent Metal Star “Quilt”
Meena Schaldenbrand
, MI
8 1/2” X 11”
Top :
Aluminum Wireform background, Aluminum Windowscreen doors,
Fiberglass Windowscreen Star, beads, lace and trims. Brass Wireform star center & metal fringe.
    Border 1:
    Brass Wiremesh, Hardware Cloth
    Border 2:
    Copper Wiremesh, Gutterguard,
Batting :
Fiberglass Windowscreen.
Backing:Aluminum Windowscreen.

See more of these lovely oddities in quilting at:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

QFK Top and BooBoo

I finished up the Quilt for Kids top that came in a kit from the organization.  They neglected to include enough strips of the dark green in the kit for the 4-patches and I didn’t have any fabric remotely close to that color so I substituted some orange that I think goes with the dinosaurs focus fabric and the purple and green provided.  The green was three blocks short, but that was odd when I just made that many substitute blocks (no pun intended) so I made a few extra.  I hope I’ve made a pleasing arrangement of the various color blocks.  This is the competed top:

But then I had this issue arise with my quilt frame:

I’d say when it rains, it pours, but I hope this isn’t a trend of problems. My husband I plan to correct the issue with the rails of my frame tomorrow – it looks like a screw just vibrated loose over time where the rails connect and is an easy fix.  Crossed fingers everybody!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Here in the United States of America, July 4th has a special significance as the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

As we celebrate with picnics and fireworks, we might remember this quote from Adlai Stephenson, an American politician and diplomat:

America is much more than a geographical fact.  It is a political and moral fact – the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.”

I must admit, I really like bluegrass and country music.  I think one of the best patriotic songs in country music is *God Bless the USA* written and sung by Lee Greenwood.  And one of the best lines from that song is:
   "I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today/
  'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land/
   God bless the USA".

Though Greenwood wrote this song in 1983, it didn't become a big hit until Desert Storm in 1991, when radio stations embraced it to help boost patriotism. The song re-entered the country charts in 2001 after 9/11.

I usually make children’s quilts for donation, but once I had an opportunity to make  a patriotic quilt – that was shortly after 9/11 when a co-worker’s church group wanted me to teach them how to make a quilt to send to the heroic firefighters.  I really regret that I never got a picture of that finished quilt or the wonderful group of ladies that made it.

If you are thinking of making a patriotic quilt, here is a great link with free patterns and suggestions:

I hope you and yours enjoy this Independence Day Holiday and spare a thought for those who fought to ensure our country remains free.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quilts for Kids

My kit from Quilts for Kids came in the mail today!  The makers of Downy fabric softener are still affiliated with this great group and sending out a free kit for a child-size quilt for the asking.  They request that you make up their kit and also make up a quilt from your own fabric and send them both back to them to be distributed to hospitals associated with the Children’s Miracle Network.  Of course, if you have a local chapter of Quilts for Kids, your quilts will remain in your local community.

This is the fabric I received:

And this is the teen-girl’s quilt top that I finished and will send back with my finished kit. 

I’ll also send the teen-boy’s quilt (with USAF airplanes fabric) that I have posted about earlier.  These quilts are only about 38” x 45” so they don’t take that long to make … it’s the quilting itself that holds me up.  But knowing that a child in the hospital will be cheered up by receiving one of these quilts will spur me on.

My dog (just off to the left in this photo) found a friend in the garden today.  She stuck her nose right up to this Giant Swallowtail and it didn’t faze it a bit.  It just fluttered from flower to flower, as happy as could be.  Those purple flowers must be tasty!

And how do I know it was a Giant Swallowtail?  I looked it up, of course!  This is one of my favorite sites for identifying butterflies:
There’s also a page there to tell you what butterflies you can attract to your garden by entering your zip code for your part of the country.  Happy planting to attract butterflies!