Monday, April 20, 2009

Borders On

I did get the other borders on this miniature but not sure about the outside one yet. I do want to quilt a pretty design (I think) in the cream color so that is why I made it this wide but am going to think about it a while before I layer it for quilting. May trim it down some to get better proportions.
The next photos are what I am thinking of doing for the binding and another flange of either the bright pink or the burgundy just inside. Have a photo of each with two different green fabrics. What is your opinion on all - border size and binding choices?

I will not be posting for about a week as I am going to Paducah with my two sisters and a friend. Same as last year we are staying with the friend's mother in law, a sweet, sweet lady. You can read about my trip last year on this blog. Have heard that the dogwoods may not be still blooming like last year - boo, hoo, hoo. They were so beautiful and wonderful to see. We don't have dogwood trees here in Nebraska as it is too cold for them. Will have lots of beautiful quilts to see and shopping to do though.

Have my shopping list and my camera ready but don't have my suitcase packed so guess I had better get that done as today seems to be slipping by and I leave here in the morning.

Until later,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mini Light Box

Have you ever needed a quick light box? I have come up with what works for me and is no trouble to set up.

First I purchased a cheap florescent light and took the plastic cover off and threw it away. This light measures 18" long and I think it was originally made to attach under counters as there are holes for screws but that is not how I use it.
I place it under the Plexiglas surround on the shelf that holds my sewing machine. I only have a 7 1/2" width to work with but that is more than enough for the miniature I am working on or other smaller things that I need a light box for.

The next photo shows the light turned on and the quilt I am working on laid on top of the design. I know you can't see the design under the quilt top but I can see it really well. Works for placement of appliques and marking quilting lines. When I am done using it I just slide it out and set it on the floor under my sewing table - easy to reach when I need it again.

I use this same light for a larger light box also using my sewing machine table. Check out how in this blog entry.

Enough time away from the machine for this computer break so back to sewing. We have our quilt guild meeting tonight and if possible I want to get the top all pieced and appliqued so I can show it at the meeting.

Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Second Borders Attached

I just finished stitching the second border and tiny flange (folded strip on the inside of this border). I figured out I needed to attach this border before I pressed my flowers to the corners of the quilt. Will be much easier to get them placed into the correct position this way.

I did get the flowers and leaves ready to go and this morning will get them pressed on so I can stitch the buttonhole around them later today if possible. To keep the petals in position I lay the pattern under the pressing sheet so I can see the pattern through it. I place the petals down with tweezers then press to keep them all together. I can peel them off the pressing sheet and apply them to the fabric. This pressing sheet is really handy to pre-construct sections before attaching them to the fabric.

You can see one of the large flowers getting the center added in the photo below. If I use my fingers I seem to have trouble placing them exactly where they should go. Also use the stiletto to maneuver them into place.

Don't think I will be keeping the green border that wide but will trim it down after I stitch the next border to it. I know it is kind of backwards but have been using Elmer's School Glue and the method I describe in this tutorial to get my borders placed exactly where I want them and keep the width very even and when working with borders and flanges this small stitching them on in the traditional way is so much harder to do. A variance of just a few threads on a seam line can seem large when looking at miniatures.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Updated Quilt Plan

This is the plan for the corners - disregard the pieced oval as that part got changed. I have been doing the drawing for this quilt on EQ6 and printed out the oval and rectangle the size it will be but didn't want to take the time to remove all the lines of the block to make it just the appliqued ovals. I am better at drawing the flower and leaf shapes by hand so printed out the quilt plan then did corner drawings.

I will be appliqueing the corners like I did on the basket block and am starting on it today. Don't know if I can get all four corners done today or not since it is noon already.

No cooking this noon as we are still eating Easter left overs - Yay!

Back to work....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Miniature Quilt First Borders

Today I got started working on one of my miniature flower basket quilts again. I had originally planned to put a pieced ring around the basket using two green fabrics but did some rough figuring and decided I didn't have enough fabric to do that and piece an outer border with the same kind of points. The lack of enough fabric forced me to re-plan the setting for this basket block.

Decided to simplify the oval border and and make it from the two colors of the green fabrics. I cut the oval shapes from freezer paper, pressed them to the back of the two greens. Trimmed the seam allowances of two ovals down to 1/8" then used a glue stick to glue those seam allowances over the back of the freezer paper. Glued the two ovals together then positioned them over the basket block and glued them down.

I did the stitching on this double oval with clear polyester thread on top and DMC machine embroidery thread for the bobbin. I chose a neutral color for the bobbin thread to match the background fabric.

I selected the buttonhole stitch on the machine and my settings were .5 width and 1.0 length. I stitched around the inside first then the outside of the ring. At this point I cut a slit around the entire oval on the back to be able to access the freezer paper. Using a stiletto I loosened the glue on the tiny dark green ring and pulled that paper out.

Next I stitched the two rings together using the same stitch but this time I selected a dark gray for my bobbin thread. The reason I changed bobbin thread is that once in a while a bit shows on the right side and a dark gray will blend more with the green fabric and not be as noticeable.

When the stitching was finished I loosened the paper on the larger of the two rings and removed it. Just got this last part done so that is it for tonight. Stay tuned to see what's next.

Know this explanation makes no sense without step by step photos - maybe if I have time soon I can get a proper tutorial done on how I do this kind of machine applique, sometimes called Mock Hand Applique.

This afternoon I took a break from sewing for a few hours to take some photos for my friend that is starting Chemo Therapy on Wed. (She was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy a few weeks ago.) She has really long, thick hair and was going to cut it to shoulder length later today and wanted some photos of what she looked like before the hair cut. She donated the length she had cut off to Locks of Love.

We had a great time traipsing over the farm to find different locations to take a few photos. We got to giggling a few times during the process and agreed I was not a professional photographer and she wasn't a professional model but think we did well in combination.

Happy Quilting,

Easter Egg Cakes

Look at all the bright Easter Egg cakes! I baked the little egg shaped cakes in a small cupcake like pan and the large one in halves then put them together to make the egg. I made and froze the cakes earlier in the week before S and the boys came then we decorated them on Friday before Easter.

What fun! S. and I put the base frosting on then we let the boys ages 3 and 6 decorate. We had to help a little and M the 3 yr. old had trouble squeezing the decorating tubes but we did finally get them all "pretty" as the boys said. John even came into the kitchen and helped a little.

They were enjoyed by the guests we had on Saturday for dinner but we did have a few left over so I sent them home with S and her family. That is the last thing I need right now is temptation to eat more sweets. I am trying to loose some weight and have little or no will power so need all the good stuff out of the house.

Am starting to get excited because my two sisters and another friend are going to the AQS show in Paducah in about a week. I have been making my shopping list for several months and when I would think of something I would write it on my list on the bulletin board. Most of my list is notions I can't get here and different kinds of threads. Can't wait to see all the beautiful quilts - it is almost sensory overload!

This week has just got to be devoted to getting the one auction quilt done. I would like to have it done by the time I leave if I can. The Nebraska Cattlemen's Ball is the first part of June and they would like to get it as soon as possible to get it photographed. The other auction quilt needs to be done by June 1 so will work on it next and save the one I am making for myself to last.

Happy Quilting

Saturday, April 11, 2009

They Are Open!

The flowers are fully open this morning - what perfect timing! Have dinner guests coming in a few hours so better get the last minute stuff done. Not too much hard cooking this morning though.
Happy Easter to you all!

Friday, April 10, 2009

One More Day - Almost Open

Yay! I do think two of the blossoms on my Amaryllis will be open by the end of today. What do you think?

Now I need to figure out where I can put it tomorrow so my guests can see the flowers but where it will not be in the way or get bumped. The flower stem is 22" tall but it has grown very straight. Don't think that has anything to me rotating the pot every hour the last week do you?

Today will be busy as we get ready for our company tomorrow. S. and the two grandsons came yesterday and this morning we are going to decorate egg shaped cakes for dessert, color real eggs for Easter Egg hunting and work on some curtains S. wants to make for her boys bedrooms. I have a little last minute cleaning to do too.

It is a clear day and should be nice out today so maybe we can get some playing outside as well.

Listening to the news this morning to see how bad the damage is from the wild fires in Oklahoma and Texas. We have relatives in the Midwest City, Oklahoma area and are anxious to hear that they are OK. One is a fireman so worry especially about him.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Amaryllis Watch

I think, I think, I think it just might make it by Easter. Look how much that Amaryllis bud opened yesterday and overnight.

There are two flowers that will be opening right away and two smaller ones inside. I am so happy this bulb is blooming again. I didn't really have it in the best spot last summer - rhubarb leaves ended up growing over it so it was blocked from the sun. This year I must put it in a more sunny location and fertilize it more often and maybe I will get more blossoms next year.

After I took the photo yesterday I really looked at the photo - really like the window screen in the background so did the same thing this morning.

We almost had a catastrophe last night though. John was lowering the mini blinds on the window where this plant sits and stopped just in time so the blinds wouldn't hit the bud. He knew I had been watching this bud like a hawk so held on to the blind cord and asked me to come help him. Got the plant moved out of the way but it is back in the window this morning.

Made dinner rolls yesterday for our dinner on Saturday and they turned out great! That is a real important statement for me as I never make rolls. Actually I don't like taking the time to cook most of the time even though I know how and am a pretty good cook when I do it. I would rather be playing with my sewing machine or computer instead of spending time in the kitchen.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Baby Calves

Taking another break from house cleaning and cooking for company. I had to go for a little walk outside a while ago as it is so beautiful and warm today and NO WIND. The wind we had last week is gone, hopefully for a while anyway.

Took my camera with me and got a few photos of the cows and calves while I was out walking around.

Notice the cow and calf in the background, that is not her calf but the calf of the cow in the foreground. Sometimes the calves look like their mothers and sometimes not. I know that the calf in the photo above and photo below belongs to that cow as she doesn't have any ear tag with a number on it in her left ear and neither does the calf. John has to scan the button tag she has to find out her number and give her a new tag. Sometimes they loose their numbered tag so it has to be replaced with a new tag with the same number. The electronic button tag the cows all have does not show as it is small, the tag you see is one put in last year before she went to pasture to help keep the flies off her face.

Each cow has a number we assign her and write on a tag that gets put in her left ear as well as an electronic tag that we can read with a reader (duh). This numbered tag also has our name, town and state written on the back to help if she gets out and lost to help identify her. When a cow has a calf it gets a numbered tag with the same number as it's mother. Makes keeping track of which calves go with which mothers as well as keeping data for our records. We like to know how that calf performed, did the cow have enough milk, are her genetics good, etc.
You might think the cow and calf in the photo below belong together, right? Click on the photo and read the numbered tags in their ears. The black calf belongs to the cow that is sniffing the calf in the first photo. Told you they could be different colors. That baby has not figured out which mama is it's yet but the cows sure know which calves are theirs. That black calf was just born yesterday.
Guess break time is over...back to work.


Bud Watching

Have been watching this bud very closely - will it be open by Saturday when we have our Easter company for dinner? I don't think it will - that is only two and a half days until dinner time. Will keep you updated.....know you are on pins and needles just waiting for it to burst into bloom too!

Calf update - we have 62 calves now. They are so cute running around, some of their mommas sure don't want them out of their sight so the cows run around bawling for their calves to come back and the calves pay no attention until they are hungry - just like humans I guess.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Window Plants

This is what I have sitting in the bow window of my sewing room. From the left, a Gloxinia that is just starting to grow after it's dormancy period, two Amaryllis plants and a Violet.

I have had the Gloxinia for several years now and it blooms so nicely every year for me. If you have ever had one and wondered how to make it bloom again here is what I do - learned it from my mother many years ago. After it is finished blooming I let it grow for a while with no flowers. After a while - don't have a specific time but usually when I get tired of looking at it I cut the stem off at the base next to the dirt and put it in a dark closet for several months. I do water it once in a while, maybe every 6 weeks or so and then just a little. When I want it to start leafing out again I take it out of the closet and start watering and fertilizing it on a regular basis and sit it in a bright window. Seems like a miracle but pretty soon it shoots up a new stem and it will eventually have flowers on it. They are so beautiful and the plant is usually covered with the bright pink flowers.

You can start new plants very easily to share with your friends too. After flowering just pinch off a leaf and suspend it in a glass of water. The end of the leaf stem becomes enlarged and roots will grow out of it. Plant the entire thing, leaf, stem, tuber and roots and treat it just like you do the other plant. The leaf will eventually rot away and you won't see much for a while but a plant will emerge from the soil eventually.

Just found this web page that tells how to get lots of blooms and healthy plants. I am not quite as specific as these instructions but get good results too. Scroll down to find the instructions on the web page.
Did you notice the one Amaryllis has a long flower spike? I put both of these bulbs in my garden last summer and hoped I could get them both to bloom this year. The one with out the flower spike didn't bloom last year either, boo hoo!

I didn't get them fertilized as much as I should out in the garden and wonder if that is why I only have one flower spike on one and none on the other. Last year I had two flower spikes on it. I dug them up last fall before it froze and kept them in my insulated garage so they didn't freeze.

Since I knew we were going on this trip in Feb. I didn't plant the bulbs and start watering them until the week before we left. I sure didn't want it to bloom while we were gone. My hope is that this bud will open and bloom by this weekend when we are having so much company. Not sure it is far enough along but am watching it closely. I posted a photo of it blooming in my very first blog last March.

Guess I had better get back to preparing for my company. S. and the boys are coming on Friday so know after they come I will get nothing done. I just like to play with the boys and not work when they are here.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tape To Remove Threads

I like to keep the threads clipped on the back of my applique as I work. Silk thread used on the top and Bottom Line thread by Superior Threads on the bottom are both very fine. I manage to get them clipped but have a time getting them picked off my block. The other day I came up with this idea and it seems to work for me.

I clip the threads then lightly press a piece of masking tape over where I clipped them and the threads stick to the tape. It is so much easier and contains all those thread tails that get scattered all over the sewing table and floor. I can use it over and over until it is covered with thread before I toss it in the trash.

Happy Quilting!

Three Baskets

Well, I finally got the last of the stitching done on this third basket. Like the way it turned out with the dark purple I chose for the basket. Again I did use YLI silk thread for the stitching.
Here is a close up of the flowers and the buttonhole stitching that is pretty true to color at least on my monitor. Felt like I was going blind by the time I got done with all the buttonhole. Was watching the needle through the magnifying lens on the machine and used the #20 foot and running my Bernina, very, very very slowly to manage the small shapes..

I took a photo of all three basket blocks with my paper copy of the ruler under them to give you an idea of their actual size. Taking photos with flash with the actual ruler just doesn't work as the flash bounces off the plastic of the ruler so you can't see any of the markings. The blocks all look so different from each other. I can't put off figuring out how I want to set them any longer now can I?

You may want to click on the photo to see the blocks better as they are pretty tiny right now. I started out with the same pattern but each block is a little different from the rest. Since they are going to each be in a separate quilt I didn't have to keep them exactly alike.
Weather wise - the wind was strong and blew in a quick rain storm this afternoon but we are supposed to get snow tonight. The strong winds were from the east this morning now they are from the south with a little time between direction changes with little or no wind. That was heavenly - the sound of the wind can drive me crazy after so many hours of it like today. Some years we have a spring with out much wind then others it seems like it wants to blow everything to the next state, one direction one day and another the next.

Need to do some cleaning, organizing and cooking this week as I am having a big family dinner next Saturday noon. Since some have a several hour drive we decided Saturday would work better for everyone. Right now I have 18 extra coming for dinner that day. There might be a couple more so we will have quite a few people around the tables.

Needless to say, I may not get too much sewing done this week - maybe I can use that time to get my plans for these quilts figured out. I really don't know for sure how I want to set the baskets and how big I want them to be when finished yet.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Tulips Before The Snow

Snapped some photos of the first tulips blooming in my flower bed. The flowers are really short on this variety, only about 3" off the ground. Sure hope they don't get covered with snow this weekend. Snow always flattens everything, especially if it is heavy. A snow storm is predicted to blow through here Saturday and Sunday and could dump quite a bit of the white stuff.
Think I will get outside this afternoon and run the riding lawn mower over our grass. We didn't get it mowed the final time last fall so it was longer over winter than I usually leave it. Now the green grass is trying to grow through the brown and it looks really ugly. I want to have it done before the storm so it won't be a bigger mess.


Just took a look at my title bar and realized the quilt blocks on the quilt are actually larger (at least on my computer monitor) than the real quilt. The "real" quilt has blocks that are 2 7/8" square.

I will miss this quilt after it is gone. I am donating it to our guild's small quilt auction April 21 so it has a couple more weeks here. It has been done for a while and hanging on my flannel wall so I have had a chance to enjoy it before it finds another home.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Title Picture

It took me over an hour to get my title bar changed. First I had to decide which quilt I wanted to use, took more photos of said quilt, sized and fiddled with them in Photoshop Elements, added the words, cropped and saved.

Of course I didn't just do it with one quilt....I photographed several quilts and played with them a while, tried them out on my blog before I made my final selection. I also wanted the name Nebraska Views under the quilt so did that in Photoshop too. There is probably a way to do it in Blogger but I couldn't figure it out.

Guess I had better get to stitching instead of playing on the computer.

Hope this new title bar brightens up my Blog - the other one has been up for a year. Yes, it has been a year since I started blogging. I wondered when I started if I would have anything to say but guess I am chatty enough.

Happy Quilting,


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...