Tuesday, January 31, 2006

QUILT PIXIE asked how I make the m-a-m(mile-a-minute) blocks. So here's my method...friend Betsy had seen this idea years and years ago in a quilt magazine. They are basically the same as Bonnie's "crumbs". Get out the box, bag or basket with your trimmings and small scraps. You can work with bigger scraps, but small is fun. The purple witch is 2.5" high and about 1 .75" wide. The polka dot is a 1.25" strip I cut to make a house yesterday. Position one scrap on top of another in any configuration you like. Could be more slanty or across the top, or on two sides..it's up to you. NO RULES..and you CAN'T do it wrong. I'm shooting for a 6.5" block..it's a size I like to work with. You get lots of variety across the quilt top. You can sew in ribbon, bias tape, printed words from sewing instructions..almost anything. I've seen quilts make from just selvadges..tedious, I'd think, but original. You know...all those names and colored dots along the edge? So here we go...sew, flip, and press. Posted by Picasa

Now they are sewn together and pressed...whack off the tail hanging down..you can use it later..*G* Posted by Picasa

OK..we've begun. Time to add something that isn't a strip. If you want to...or another straight strip works just fine. These blocks can be as simple or complex as you choose to make them. Posted by Picasa

So three are sewn together, time for a new piece. Find one you like, or close your eyes and be surprised at what you pull out. Positiion is the desired place..no right or wrong to this..you can even sew it in wrong side up if you like..*G* Posted by Picasa

Sew it down and whack off what you didn't want..then press the piece over Posted by Picasa

Moving right along...if I had my actual basket of scraps at hand, this would be less Halloween-ie. I'm using what was laying around the ironing board. I put in any piece I happen to grab..if I like it..LOL Posted by Picasa

See that little open space by the bats? I need to cover that one way or another. Same with the odd angle at the top of the brown triangle. This is one way to get "fractures" and add more interest to the block. Posted by Picasa

Almost anything could go anyplace here now, but I'll add this 2.5" leftover triangle..ancient fabric from Ben Franklin Posted by Picasa

Moving right along....whacking tool handy Posted by Picasa

By this point the block is about 4.5" and I've used 10 scraps of fabric. And I'm sure you can see how you get to the size block you want. For me, that is 6.5". When I think it's big enough I size it with my 6.5" ruler. Sometimes they are a tat small, so just add another strip of scrap and re-size. Posted by Picasa

You gals who have gotten to know me, know that I love the leftovers..LOL. And that I recently completed the star quilt for baby Grant. My DD and her friend bought flannel for backing and several 1/4 yd cuts for the quilt they wanted. No background of course, except 3 or 4 quarter yards. Not enough to make the quilt. So those are leftover plus bits and pieces of the 1/4 yds that I fussy cut. The friend involved in the buying adventure is Little Sam's mommy. She told me to keep the scraps. It happens that Sam will be 10 in May..*G* And his mommy really bought stuff she would have liked for Sam. And now you SEE where this is going...right?? Yup, Sam will get a star quilt, similar to baby Grant's...but using the few pieces of background the girls bought instead of the all yellow I used for Grant's. I'm just making a block in odd moments as for me this isn't a high priority project, altho it makes me smile to think about it. And it means I can get more stash and more scraps used up....it's alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll good ! Posted by Picasa

And this makes 5 bocks finished so far..*S* Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 30, 2006

I've just been over at Dawn's blog, Quilts and Pieces, and she has wonderful pictures from Gwen Marston's lecture and class. There were the first pictures I have seen of Gwen's liberated Amish log cabin quilts. They are wonderful, but it struck me how little difference there is between "that" and the mile a minute blocks I have been making for years now. Great minds, maybe *VBG*? She does create more "fractures" and "splinters" than I feel I need to do. My free form blocks are already way too liberated for most of the gals I know here in WI. They look at Betsy and I as if we were demented...LOL. No perfect points? No matchy-matchy seams? NO Thimblesberries?? Oh my!!! Anyway, this is a twin size(72"' X 90") that I pieced while living in Betsy's guest house that 6 weeks in 2002. Waiting for an apt to open for me, before winter. There are 180 6.5" blocks, straight set, no borders. It's utility quilted in a zig-zag across the width and a few circles tossed in for good measure. It's the 4th m-a-m I've made working out of my scrap bag. I have another nearly finished piecing..but couch size this time. I hope anyone inspired by Gwen's will try this. If you want more a fractured look, just whack the block in half or quarter at any point and piece across the whack. This also is a great place to stick orphan blocks or parts of blocks..whack those too!!! Posted by Picasa

One of my favorite blocks, this one with the Hershey's candy, red, blues and gold and green set off by black star fabric. The penguins are the backing. This one is utility quilted and I sleep under it every night..it's an old friend. Posted by Picasa

There really is NO rhyme or reason to how the scraps, bits and pieces are put together..no rules, no extra cutting or measuring. Posted by Picasa

Can you tell where on 6.5" block leaves off and the next begins? Posted by Picasa

Following Tonya's lessons at Lazy Gal Quilting(sorry can't see to link it yet) a new house has sprung up in my kooky neighborhood. I'd heard rumors that Jack Spratt was moving in, but I'd think this might be his wife's house instead...definitely not tall and lean..LOL. But "eye"d say it fits pretty well in the neighborhood...pun intended..*G* Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Popping back in because I can see to do that today..*VBS* Norma, from British Columbia asked what *VBS* means. It stands for "very big smile" Norma, and *VBG* stands for "ver big grin". I'm sharing my Tigger with you this time, curled up in my recliner, his favorite place to nap. He spent his kittenhood with me, but hated being a totally "house" cat. Our village has a leash law and cats do NOT roam freely. At a year I gave in and found a country friend to take him so he could be outside and explore. He was a sweetie. One of his favorite tricks was to steal my leather thimbles from the thread basket and carry them to the kitchen and drop them in the dogs water pail. Then he'd play with them in the water. He was totally facinated by water. Hard to brush your teeth with a kitten checking out where that water was coming from and standing in the sink..LOL. He also carried off balls of perle cotton and dropped them in the water pail..great fun to see bright blue bobbing around in the water. Didn't impress the dog at all. Posted by Picasa

Good Morning Friends, *VBS*, I'm still somewhat "fogged" but its coming. Tonya had wondered about the BIG E vision. That corrected and with glasses that I can see the BIG E only..*G*. Probably could see it without glasses too, LOL. But I'm not complaining because it helps balance what the right eye sees. I didn't take a picture of the completed Sawtooth Star for my DD#1 and her friend. But bless them, they sent me pictures of Baby Grant on his new quilt. He was due to arrive mid January, so that's what I aimed for. He snuck in just before midnight on Christmas Eve..*VBS*..so he's pretty small. He's just past 6 #'s in this picture, taken the 26th of January. I tied the quilt at the intersections of the lattice, and quilted the center squares in the ditch with yellow sewing thread. Turned out pretty well. The white ties are not too noticeable, I think. Anyway, the gals loved it and apparently so did the mom and baby Grant..*VBS* Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Good Morning all, I'm in the Land of Workable Vision today..and so happy to report I'm only slightly "fogged" in my right eye. It's been a battle, but daily trips to the cornea specialist, 3 and then 4 types of eye drops to combat the infection, and I'm doing better. As of yesterday, he feels that I WILL keep the transplanted cornea I have..thank goodness! I'm not out of the woods yet, but I can see daylight, and quite abit more. Actually can read printing again. Oh Joy!!

I've come through 7 eyes surgeries between Nov.1997 and August 2000. And I've beat the odds, with no infection or rejection. And now, with all the stitches finally OUT of my right eye(they've been in there since Dec'98)a buried suture knot decided to raise Cain, and Abel too, for that matter..LOL. Luckily I have prety good health, and the cornea was healthy. The infection is contained and the cornea is busy making new cells.
If you've read all this, I may as well tell you also, that I only have vision in my right eye. The left eye only sees 20/300, which means "just the BIG E". It's good backup for the right eye, which does all the work. It's very scary to have any problem at all with my right eye. Count your blessings and take care of your eyes!!! Hard to quilt otherwise...LOL *VBS* Thanks for all your good wishes amd prayers...Hugs for all, Finn

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

See Finn. See Finn quilt. Quilt Finn Quilt. Pretty Candles in the Cabin quilt, Finn. Candles all finished and packed away til next Christmas. See Finn smile. Smile Finn Smile. Oh...not today??? Poor Finn. Poor Broken Finn. What can the matter be?? Infected stitch stump in right eye..oh my. Poor Finn. Finn can't see to read her comments section. Finn can't see to read your wonderful blogs today. Poor Finn, on antibotic drops in her right eye every our for 24 hrs. Hope Finn Hope. Hope for no rejection of the new cornea in that eye. Finn has two of those new corneas...and a few other eye surgeries behind her. Finn would like to keep it that way. No more eye surgery for Finn...hope, hope, hope....and Finn should be good as new by tomorrow. Hugs, from Finn Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Well, it's taken the better part of two weeks, but I "sort of" back in the saddle on what needs finishing. I can raise my hand and swear an oath, that I am the world BEST begginer, and WORST finisher of projects! This is a wedding quilt for someone who got married in 2001. Can you believe I'm still snail pacing along on it??? Yup..should be ashamed of myself..and I am(very red faced grin). I have packed up ALL of UFO's but 5. They are stuck out of sight and out of mind til I finish up the first 5 on the list. I managed to get 5 done that way in Nov. into Dec...hope it will work for this whole year. Discipline...I'm sadly lacking in that. Anyway, got 12 more of these blocks made yesterday and more 2" strips cut for it. I'm headed for queen size and I have a ways to go. If I get the daily quota done, I can play in something else..*VBG* I'm hoping this one can go for longarm quilting by summer. Hope you all are having a great day! Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 23, 2006

Pieces to piece and miles to go before I sleep...Happy Monday everyone..*S* Sunshine in WI..hurray!! And I want to wish Bonnie at Quiltville a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! *VBS* It's Monday today and I must go back to my regularily scheduled piecing. Time to put the weird little boxes aside and make progress on those autumn log cabin blocks. BUT..before they disappear, someone asked "what" I have challenged friend Betsy with in exchange for those blue and white checked centers? Well, dear Betsy has a deep love affair with "words", printed words, words in quilts. She has NOT however, made them herself...so, sly gal that I am....very tongue in cheek, I directed her to Tonya's new tutorial on letters at Quiltville...*VBG* Seems I have the upper hand now, as she's wandering around mumbling about the letters she's piecing...*VBG* "Only the Shadow knows what evil lurking in the hearts of men....."(few of you will remember that line from an old radio show..*G*) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I was so goooood yesterday, got my top mailed out for quilting, finished a dolly quilt, and machine quilted a small wall hanging. I liked the WH too much to "toss it", but not enough to hand quilt it..*G*..I'm making progress. But then, best of all, I got to play. These are the beginnings. Betsy and I often feel the need to drive each other NUTS...knowing how we both dislike the "Aunt Gracies look", she gave me 30 (or probably 31, knowing her) of these blue and white checked centers, left from a snuggle quilt. "So what can you do with these?"LOL..and I rise to the challenge. I doubt this is what she is expecting me to have done. Gotta get more orange and purple and red in there tho... Posted by Picasa

Hmmmmmm..??? Not sure I like the wide areas in the blue one or the aisan one...luckily I'm just a "chop" away from changing what I don't like..*G* Posted by Picasa

The jury is still out on these..feel like I need to make ALL of them, get some warmer colors in there and see what I've got. I think I'll end up with 25 to 30 of them and could set them 5 X 5 or 5 X 6...we'll see *G* Posted by Picasa