Friday, January 29, 2010

Quilting the UFO - Part 3

This 2" square was the hardest quilting design to come up with. I have since thought of something better but have most of those spiraling circles done and do not want to rip them. (The design I thought of later, too late to do of course was to take the center star design from the flower wreath I quilted in the larger spaces.)

OK, back to those spiral circles....I marked them with one of my circle templates and the white Clover marker then stitched around part of the circle then stitched back out in a spiral so I wouldn't have to tie off each design.

I have several circle templates I have collected over the years. This green one I purchased in the drafting area at Hobby Lobby. It has several sizes of circles and registration marks to help with placement. These circle templates can be used for any number of applications. I have used them for applique and quilting. I find it is much easier to find a circle near the size I want on one of my circle templates and draw around it than to cut a perfect circle out and trace around it.

This next one was also purchased in Hobby Lobby and has other shapes besides circles. Once I used it to make hexagons for a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt in miniature that by the way is still not completely hand quilted yet.

This last one has really small circles and I got it in the tool department of some store - don't remember which one now. It's intended use is to size drill bits but works for the little circles I sometimes need.

Drafting and hardware stores are great for finding items that might be useful in quilting so don't overlook those kinds of stores for those invaluable finds. Besides it makes you feel good to find a new useful tool there.

Until Later,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quilting the UFO - Part 2

The lattice strips are being quilted with an undulating feather design. So far I am getting them all going in the right direction so the same lattice strips have all the feathers pointing in the same direction.

The only thing I am marking on these strips is the center spine. I drew the curve I wanted on paper then cut it out of template plastic so I could just use the white marker along the side and easily mark all the spines.

I find it is so much easier for me to stitch feathers with as few markings as possible. I like that the feathers are different sizes too so doing it free hand works for me. I do however have to have some kind of center marking or I really get them wonky and this center line keeps them looking somewhat alike even tho each individual feather is different from the next one.

Back to my old editor and this is working so much better for me.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quilting The UFO - Part 1

This is the design that was used for the trapunto areas on the UFO I am working on. I traced the design from the quilt top and made a stencel to mark other areas of the quilt with the same design.

I cut the centers out leaving just a little of the plastic to hold it together. Added some registrations marks to help with lining it up on the quilt.

Here is one of the designs marked on a non-trapunto area using the Clover white marking pen that can be erased with water. The pen is a ball point version so you can get a pretty fine line using it. It is a little tricky in that you can't see the marks right away but they do show up after a minute or so. It is easy to keep marking until they show up but that isn't necessary - patience will to the trick.

Whoa....I switched to the newer updated editor and am finding it a big pain so far. There is no spell check which is really bad for me since I am a notoriously bad speller, plus I am having trouble getting a cursor to show up below my photos so I can compose more of my message. After clicking and clicking where there should be a cursor I finally got one to show up. The new editor has some good features such as the ability to insert photos where ever you want in the text instead of all at the top but I have worked out a method to deal with that problem so think I will switch back until Blogger gets some of these things fixed or improved. (My method if you are curious is to load all the photos before I begin typing the text and to load them in a backwards order since they load that way into my blog. The last photo loaded will be at the top of the blog. I type my text between the photos and work my way down the post.)


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quilting One UFO

I have had this UFO basted and ready to quilt for some time now. A few days ago I pulled it out of the closet and decided to get to work on it. I think I basted it for quilting at least a year ago using the Sharon Schamber method.

This quilt top was made many years ago....don't even remember when I made it but it was a LONG, LONG time ago. I do remember where I got the pattern though. It is from this Trudy Hughes book "Template-Free Quiltmaking" published in 1986 and the pattern is called Around the Twist.

I used this quilt top several years after I made it to demonstrate to my guild how to do machine trapunto using a water soluble thread and a heavier batting under the design. The excess heavy batting is trimmed away after the design is stitched with this water soluble thread then the quilt is layered like usual and quilted. The trapunto designs stand out more than the other quilting of course as they have more batting under the designs.

Here is the design I stitched with the water soluble thread years ago and amazingly it was still all there holding the extra batting to the backside of the quilt top. I thought it might have dissolved while it was folded up with the rest of my UFOs since we do get high humidity at times. Did test it to make sure it will dissolve when I finish the quilting and indeed it does so won't have to worry about that possible problem.

I really don't know what I will do with the quilt once I get it finished as it is not quite the colors I decorate with anymore. Maybe it will have to be a donation lap quilt.

Until Later,

Monday, January 25, 2010

One Beaded Pill Keeper Finished

The first pill keeper is finished.  I added a little design to the top and stripes to the side of the lid.  The reason....for the person using it to know which end was the lid of course!

The two photos below are side views of the pill keeper - one with the lid off and one with the lid on.  I used a two part epoxy glue to stick the beaded sections to the wood.  Just put a tiny amount on the very bottom and a few tiny dots of the glue around the top edge to hold it all in place.  The lid especially wanted to slide off so this hopefully will keep it together so none of the beaded parts get lost.

Am trying to ignore a job I have to do today - ripping some machine quilting out.  There isn't that much to do but it is oh so tedious.  I have found lots of other things to keep me busy up until now but still don't want to tackle that job.

Maybe I should just sit down and do some more beading so at least I can say I got something done today!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beaded Pill Keeper

I have been working on beading in the evenings as I can do it sitting in my chair with a lapboard and watch my favorite TV shows. I am working on covering a squatty wooden container with beads and am calling it a pill keeper for carrying in a purse. I wanted to use the same dogwood design I used in the needle cases I made previously but the problem is that this wooden case has a larger diameter and is shorter than the dogwood design I used on the needle case so the pattern needed to be adjusted.

One of the things I discovered when Googling beading websites was beading graph paper for several different beading stitches that I could print out and color in with the design of my choice. Used the peyote design paper and the dogwood flower design and figured out the pattern for the size I needed. Of course I needed to string some beads and see how many I would need to go around the pill keeper, keeping an even count of beads, and estimate how many rows tall it needed to be then I was all set to space my flowers on the graph paper.

The penciled diagonal line and the small tick marks and small circle marks are added to help me keep track of the rows as I bead. I have a tendency to get lost and can jump up or down a row if I am not careful.

So far I have most of the bottom beaded but have not beaded the end yet. I do need to make sure I have beads right up the edge of the lid so I don't have a gap so when the lid is beaded I will add more rows to the bottom if needed then finish the very end.

The container isn't real big and will hold a few aspirin but I'm thinking it will be a lot of fun to carry in a purse.

The two photos below show the finished needle case and the unfinished pill keeper so you can see the difference in size.

Writing this later than I usually stay up but John and I went to the local cattlemen's meeting tonight and we didn't get home until 10 pm. It was the annual business meeting but one of the really good things about going to cattlemen's meetings is that we always have a wonderful dinner. They do have programs of interest to the members and keep on top of legislation that will affect our business so it is a worthwhile organization but the is always so good. Tonight it was a prime rib dinner....ummmm it was delish! I have my quilting organizations and John is involved in cattlemen's organizations on the local and state levels so we both have groups to keep us active and up to date on what is important to us.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Quilting Ideas Needed Please!

The borders are finished now on my Scrapaholic quilt as I decided to not put the other two borders on that I was originally planning. When I laid them out next to the quilt as it is now the border section just overpowered the center. The quilt now measures 79" x 90" - that's it! I really do like the red pieced border as it pulls the red color from the blocks. The red fabrics on the top have some bright ones there too but the photo just doesn't show them. I tried to distribute the different reds all around the quilt.

I just don't have a big enough wall to photograph the quilt so pushed the living room furniture back and laid it out on the carpet. I stood on a chair and held the camera up as far as I could, almost was at the ceiling, but the quilt is still quite distorted. At least you get the idea.

OK everyone....I need ideas on how to quilt it. The blocks are 12" (5 blocks x 6 blocks). Each of the little half square units are 2" - each 12" block has 48 pieces. The light blue border is 3 1/2" wide and the red is 5 1/2" wide finished. There is so much piecing with so much color in the blocks I just don't know what to do to quilt it. The border isn't as hard since I could do some kind of feathers there.

I will give you some help....I like to quilt feathers and most any other designs and can draw any design to fit if only I have the ideas. Am hoping some of you can suggest some ideas for me.....please.

I really think I am going to try to machine quilt this myself on my Bernina - that is the plan now anyway. I will baste it using Sharon Schamber's method using the boards. If you have not heard of her check out her website for a free video of this and lots of other free videos. As you know I am a big fan of her work and her videos are great.

OK...get your thinking caps on.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

EID, VID, Injections....Oh My

This afternoon we worked our last years calves in readiness to sell them this week. We ran them all through the chute and gave them another ear tag. When the calves are born we tag them with one similar to the blue one and write the cow's number on her calf's tag. This makes it easy to sort the pairs when taking them to the pasture and other times when we need to know who belongs to who. The tags are kind of like getting your ears pierced. This tag is called a VID tag, meaning a visual identity tag. You look at it and read the number...right!

Today we added another tag to the same ear of all the yearling calves - an EID tag. It looks like the white tag above and this is a special tag with a number that can be read with an electronic reader (the same number printed on the outside) and will identify this animal for it's entire life to our farm, the date it was born and it's sex. EID means electronic identity tag.

This isn't our calf but you can see both kinds of tags in this calf's ears. Besides the new ear tag the calves got a booster pneumonia shot.

My job for this process was to record the tag numbers, EID and VID and the sex of the animal in the Excel spread sheet on the laptop computer. I also recorded the information on paper too as a double check. It is very important that this information is correct as it will go to a national registry.

I did get to sit in the pickup (truck) with the window rolled down next to the chute and John would let me know the numbers and other info for every calf. I did get a little chilly by the time we were done since I was just sitting even though the temp. were in the mid 40s today. We had the help of our part time hired man and his high school son. With the sorting system we have it worked pretty well and we got them all done in a couple hours.

Did some beading this evening and hopefully some stitching tomorrow.

Until later,

Mr. Cat Keeps His Toes Warm

This is one of our farm cats by the name of Mr. Cat. I know it is not a very imaginative name but he got his name when we were working on the remodeling here before we moved in. Our granddaughters (aged 4 and 5 at the time) and their mother were with us in the pickup truck coming here to see the progress on the house. When we drove in the yard this cat walked across the yard and the little girls asked John what it's name was. Very quickly John just said "Ah....Ah....Mr. Cat" so that has been his name ever since. He had another name given to him by my in-laws when they lived here but guess he probably doesn't mind the new one too much.

Here he is sharpening his claws on the split rail fence. I took these photos last week and there was still snow and ice everywhere. The sidewalks were covered with ice even after the snow was removed so this fence was a nice place to hang out, survey his world and keep his feet dry.

Mr. Cat is not a young cat, we are not sure how old he is but has to be between 10 and 12 yrs. old. That is pretty old for a farm cat but part of the reason he is still here is that he was neutered when he was a year old so he doesn't get the urge to roam. When I say farm cat I mean he lives outside and sleeps in the farm shop or the barn. Most farm cats don't live real long lives or they decide to leave and go live at another farm so they just are only around a few years at the most. Mr. Cat is a great hunter too as we see him carrying his catch quite often.

All the grandkids love him but he doesn't like to be carried, he will allow them to pet him a little though then he is off on one of his cat adventures. Up until last summer he was the top cat on the farm but now Olivia, a long haired black cat, rules the farm. It doesn't bother Mr. Cat as he just stays out of her way and spends a lot of time on the deck or checking that things are OK around the shop or around the backside of the house.


Friday, January 15, 2010


I finally am getting the Scrapaholic quilt finished. Maybe I should say I am finally getting some borders on it. I have stitched the light blue 3 1/2" border on and preparing the next red border.

This red border is going to be finished at 5 1/2". As you can see it is made up of lots of strips of different reds. Some are bright, some are dull, some are dark and some are more orangie reds. I once was told that if you think the reds you selected don't go together just add more and they will look great together. That has been my theory to use with lots of colors. The more you add the more the colors go together.

I plan to add two more borders after these get stitched on then I will have to decide if I am going to machine quilt it myself or send it to a local machine quilter. Hopefully I can get them done right away but I sure have been sidetracked with other things around here since before Christmas.

Until later...

Beads for Boys

Our grandsons wanted a beaded bead too after they saw the ones I made for the girls at Christmas. I didn't think they would want one but since they do I am using the blue and silver one you saw earlier for the older 7 yr. old boy and made a black and red one for the 4 yr. old. They are both made with seed beads.

I have not had a chance to get the beads to them but hope they like them. Their mother (our daughter) assured me that they each had a chain that would work to put them on. Will see them in a couple of weeks so will present them to them at that time.

The temperature outside has really risen this last week and it feels wonderful after the sub-zero temps. we had for several weeks. We have had temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s for several days - whoo hooo a heat wave! The snow piles have shrunk a little but you sure wouldn't know unless you measured them. We still feel like we are living in a white mountain range with all the piled up snow everywhere though.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beaded Beads

It is time to take down my Christmas tree in the house as well as move the Christmas posts down the list on my blog with something new. We did have a great time with our family last weekend for our postponed celebration. It is always so much fun to watch and listen to the 4 grand kids play. They don't get to see each other very often and really enjoy playing together.

The week we were snowed in here before and during Christmas I spent some of that time making more beaded beads. These 4 below are the twisted kind using several sizes of beads and an uneven peyote stitch.

These next three are made using an even peyote stitch and the same size beads. I let my daughters choose the bead they wanted and they each chose one of these rather than the twisted ones.

I also made these pastel small ones for the two granddaughters. When the two grandsons saw them they said they would like one too so I will be making a blue and white one and a red and black one for them. Their mother said they have a chain they wear once in a while so the bead could be put on that to wear.

One of the things I have started doing to the latest beads I have made is to do the beading over a plastic drinking straw and when it is finished I cut a piece of the straw to keep inside the bead. I draw up the beads on each end with my beading thread which makes the ends smaller so the straw section will not fall out and you can't see it. The straw keeps the bead from collapsing and it is easier to run a chain or cord through also. The beads are quick and fun to do so expect to see more in the future.

We are experiencing another blizzard today. The snow started coming down this morning and started blowing by noon. The winds are blowing 20-30 miles per hour with gusts up to 35-45 so the snow is building up again into new drifts or making the ones we have even larger. Thursday it is supposed to continue to snow and blow plus be really cold with the high for the day not getting over 0 degrees F. with wind chills of -30 F. Burrr! I am so tired of this weather we have had this winter. We still have a lot of winter left to go so hope we don't continue to keep having these horrible storms as we are not used to winters like this. Most years we get some snow and some cold but not the heavy snows and blowing like we have this year. A lot of times we don't get any snow until January so we already have had a month of this and I do believe we have had our share.

No question about it though, tomorrow I stay in and sew and can watch the snow storm through my sewing room window.



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