Thursday, January 13, 2011

My "Dieter Quilt" UFO

Here is a photo of my "Dieter Quilt".  I need to be working on it!  I finished sewing all the blocks together in May 2007.  I added a narrow black border to it (it's the same size as the sashing separating the blocks), and that was the last time I worked on it.  I just can't decide what to do with the next border!  The pattern calls for narrow strips that almost look like piano keys (except a little fatter).  For some reason, I don't like the looks of that border, and I've been wanting to try something else.  My thoughts always come back to flying geese.  Solid-colored flying geese.  Smart of me considering I have very few solids in my stash.  Yeah, real smart.  I just can't figure out how tall or how wide I should make the flying geese.  And I don't want to get to the end of the border and find out the flying geese are the wrong size and I have to cut one in pieces (how depressing would that be?).  I don't know how to do the math to figure out what size to make those flying geese.  And I wonder if paper-pieced pineapple quilt blocks would look good as the cornerstones?  I am such a "visual" person, and have prayed and prayed that the "visual" side of my brain would eventually morph into a "vision" side.  That way instead of having to see "exactly" what is being sewn, in exactly what colors, maybe I can start having the "vision" needed to be able to pick out a pattern and fabrics and know instinctively what the finished quilt will look like.  I need to finish this baby up.  My "Dieter Quilt" was my favorite quilt when I started it, and I want to finish it.  It has turned out to be a pain in the patootie to me. 

I'll be posting more info about my "Dieter Quilt" on this blog,.  How it got it's name, how long it took to pick out the fabrics, to sew the blocks, to press, to sew.  It felt like a lifetime to me.  And it's the UFO that has been finished the most that has been with me the longest.  I've got so many quilts I started on when I went to classes.  I'd work on them in the class, and then once I got home, I'd put them in the closet and never touch them again.  How stupid is that??

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Yes, ice, ice baby. got it.   We have ice everywhere.  Slippery, hazardous ice.  If it was just snow, we'd be okay.  But all of us here in the South - we're not used to getting all this.  Snow is fine.  But start throwing ice in the equation, and we're up the creek.  Without a paddle.  Without a life jacket.

I've had the TV on all day, and it was so strange watching all of the interstates that were closed, or only had one lane operating, all the exit ramps that were closed, all the 18-wheelers that had jack-knifed and slid into other cars and 18-wheelers.  All the empty shelves in the grocery stores.  All the people stranded at the bus stations and airport.

This is the third day I haven't had to go to work.  Hubby is about to go crazy cooped up inside, but I'm as content as can be.  I haven't even walked into the sewing room, much less picked up one of my UFOs to make some much-needed progress.  The office "encouraged" us to work from home, so I did.  It was very, very, very DULL at times because it seemed like I was the only one working.  I found plenty of work to occupy my time today, and actually worked later than my normal hours.  I could get used to this!   And was work for the office.

You know?  I'm still finding it awkward to write these posts.  I'm not sure when it's going to get easier.  Will it be when I actually have someone that reads them and makes comments?  Will it be when I get over the awkward feeling that I'm out in public with my underwear showing?  I'm not writing a blog to talk about my quilting (mainly because I never seem to do any quilting), to make friends (although that would be great), to keep from being bored (I am NEVER bored), to "escape" (from what???), so can't really figure out why I want to blog.  Maybe it's more to keep up with ME.  Me and my thoughts.  Me and my ramblings.  Me capturing the moments of my life that I want to remember down the road.  I hope I fiigure out what I'm wanting from this blog and can start to feel comfortable.   Cuz it really feels weird right now.

In the meantime, I'm content to sit here, watch all those crazies out on the interstate battling Mother Nature and the ice she has dropped here in our corner of the world, and thank the Good Lord I don't have to worry about driving to work.  I can sit here with my favorite friend (Mr. Dell Laptop) and converse with nobody while I'm trying to get comfortable with my new blog.  Thank you again, Cheryll.  For at least letting me spread my wings and try this.  I'm not sure if I'll continue with this, but at least you've given me the opportunity to explore my options.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How-To Videos for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Quilters

Stay tuned...this is something to watch for in the near future.  Madame Samm has lined up not one, but two companies who will supply these How-To Videos.  I'm such a "visual" person, this will be a huge help to me!  How about you?

Giveaway at Projektownia Jednoiglec‏ (Ends Jan 15)

Pop over and enter this giveaway and send a Birthday Wish to a fellow quilter in Poland. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Giveaway for Amanda's 100th post

Hopefully this will work.  I'm still new to all of this.  But Amanda at "I Love Cloth Dolls and Cloth Crafts" is having a 100th post giveaway.

You have until the end of January to enter.  Go give a holler to Amanda and while you're there, enter her giveaway.  She'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back - will I ever finish this quilt???

I was anxious to get home today to work on the quilt blocks for my daughter's lap-size calendar quilt.  I started digging through the scrap bin so I could replace some of the fabric strips framing the paper-pieced item.  The finished width of the strips for the frame is 1", so I needed to ensure I had them at least 1.25" wide.  That way, once I sew the sashing to the "frame", it will be the required 1".  This was a learning experience since I had never done a paper-pieced project before, and my learning curve was at times similar to a row of volcanoes - up, down, up, down.  I could a block right one day, and then the next, I messed up everything I touched.  I ripped out, taped the paper, sewed again, then ripped out again.  Quite a few times, I was ready to throw my hands up and say "Forget it!", but I persisted.  And as time went on, I gradually got better.  Twelve blocks, one for each month of the year.  Each one consisting of approximately 15-20 pieces.  You'd think I'd be an expert by the time I got finished.  And truth by told, I was getting better.  And feeling pretty proud about it.  And then...and then...I realized that since I had enlarged those 3"X5" wall hanging blocks to 8.5"X11" blocks, I could no longer do the embellishments as embroidery like it was originally intended.  My daughter is really particular about what she wants, so I was at the quilt shop for 2 hours begging for assistance from the experts there.  I bought cording for the veins in the leaf for July.  I bought felt for the snowman nose and the stem on the pumpkin.  I bought gold metallic soutache for the tinsel on the Christmas tree, and buttons for the snowman eyes.  And out of all that, the only thing she approved of was the buttons for the snowman eyes.  Yikes!  What the heck??? 

Since nothing met her approval, what to do?  What to do?  So I came out here to you, my bloggy friends, and I make comments on blogs where I can, and I read all tips and tutorials, and I google for more help, and finally, FINALLY I find something that may work.  It's applique, something ELSE outside my comfort zone.  Are you seeing a common thread here that my "comfort zone" is really miniscule?  Yessirreee, it sure is! to get back to what I was saying before I got sidetracked...I was anxious to get home today to work on the quilt blocks for my daughter's lap-size calendar quilt.  Did I get anything done?  Sorta-kinda.  I repalced two strips on two separate blocks because once I measured the blocks, these strips weren't wide enough to finish up as 1" once they were sewn to the sashing.  So that involved ripping out threads, taping the paper, then sewing the replacement strips to the blocks.  I need to go back to the Carol Doak DVD and see if I measure and square the blocks with the paper attached or without the paper attached. 

I was hoping to cut the fabric for the frame of the School Days block.  I found some adorable fabric to use for that frame, but for some reason, I freeze up each time I try to measure and cut.  I need to get that block completed so I can mail it to my daughter along with the applique samples I made of the snowman arms and nose and the umbrella handle.  If my daughter approves of those, I'll be ready to applique.  But I need the School Days block completed so she can mail it to her MIL so she can embroider the words Reading, Writing and Arithmetic on the books.

Okay, this doesn't seem to be working out today....I feel like I'm keeping a journal, but not a journal that anybody other than me would want to read. 

Maybe I need a fresh start tomorrow.  Todays post is the pits.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Now I've had the time of my life

No need to ask you to name that tune...who doesn't know it?  And even though it's written as a love song, those were the words that came to mind when I started to write this post. 

"Now I've had the time of my life
No I never felt like this before
Yes I swear it's the truth
and I owe it all to you."

I just spent time on the telephone with a new blogger friend.  My very first new blogger friend.  I met Cheryll of after I left a comment on her blog January 3rd, 2011 (just yesterday).  She e-mailed me back to thank me for stopping by and said "I tried to get your blog but there is nothing there but your profile.  Are you working on a new blog?"   She couldn't see me as I threw my head back and laughed like a banshee.  Am I working on a new blog???  Too-too funny!!  I'm chuckling now as I type this.  The blog title she was directed to was created over four years ago.  FOUR years ago!  I'm such a dummy.  Every time I said I was going to be brave and learn something about blogging, I'd freeze up and pull my Scarlett O'Hara act "Tomorrow I'll think of some way...after all, tomorrow is another day".   Well, Lord have mercy, my new blogger friend, Cheryll, when I told her I was a bit intimidated about blogging, she said, " looks complicated but it really isn't.  I would be glad to help you with it if you want...just say the word and we'll get it fixed up for you."  And looky here, just a few short hours later, and I'm already a blogger.  She got me a new blog set up, we talked on the telephone and she walked me through all these tabs and pretty colors, and made me feel like I wasn't bothering her at all.  And while talking, we found out we had a pretty good many things in common.  So here I am - trying to figure out how one goes about blogging.  Because to tell the truth, I feel pretty much like an idiot sitting here typing something that nobody will probably ever read, and yet I feel like I'm out in public and my underwear is showing or something.  What's up with that???  I can feel my heart racing, and it's almost like I've got my most private feelings out on display.  I just don't understand that at all.  Oh well...I'm sure it will get easier over time.  And if I can just find time to come out here on a regular basis and type something, the awkwardness will eventually disappear.  Won't it?  Yep, I'm sure it will.  I just need to remember....once I get this thing up and going...I need to keep my posts short and to the point.  Just because I can type as fast as my mind can form words doesn't mean I have to type a darn novel.  Okay, check.  Got that.  'Cept right now, I'm just trying to get comfortable doing this.  But I need to learn to keep this short.  I don't like reading long, boring posts that go on and on, cuz I've had plenty of experience at reading blogs.  I just need to put all that reading I've been doing into action so I can have a good blog of my own.  So - thanks Cheryll, I owe you girlfriend.  Thanks a million!  I'm only 4 days into the New Year, and I've already accomplished the resolution I made to learn to either blog, tweet or facebook.  Now, Cheryl and I can work together on a healthy eating lifestyle.  Just wished I liked to cook.  Maybe I can make another resolution to start cooking.  Nah, I don't think so.

This is my 2nd post

Okay Cheryll, this is it.  My 1st post all on my own.  Even though it's my 2nd post.

Test Post

This is a test post.  Hopefully I can figure out what I'm doing.