Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bow Tie Blocks

I have been cutting and cutting and cutting strips of fabric for a couple different quilts.  Now I am sewing, sewing and sewing.  And its a good day to sew as temps have dropped to real fall temps and the wind is blowing from the north.  A good day to stay in and sew and I'll share my method for sewing bow ties.

 Cut 4 inch strips into 4 inch squares and cut one corner off using  the easy angle, line it up like shown, bottom edge on the fabric edge and the 2 inch line on the fabric edge and cut.  Cut a 2 3/4 inch square for the center of the bow tie.

I tried every possible way of sewing this block together including sewing the 4 bias edges to the center square then sewing the Y seam. That works nice if you mark 1/4 inch from the edge for the stopping point. All those short seams and no way to chain piece.  I'm a speed demon on the sewing machine; this is my no marks, no pinning method and can be chain sewn so I can sew faster!!!!
First sew opposite sides to the center square  either the tie fabric or the background but always in pairs.  They can be chain sewn!!!
Press the seams to the center I tried pressing them out.  In worked better.
Line up the edges
Sew the seam.  I hold a pin where I can feel the seam.  Then stop!
Lift the foot, check the seam turn and pivot.  I slide my finger between the fabric to get the little kink out then put the foot down.
Line up the bias edge with the square edge, slide your finger between the fabrics to get the kink out and sew the seam, again feel for the seam with the pin.
Stop! Lift foot, check seam, turn and pivot, slide finger.
Line up the edges, put the foot down and sew.  Repeat with the next set of block parts. I can chain sew!!!

Repeat on the other side.  
Doesn't that look nice!?!   
I'm making progress but I need to cut some more I need some purples to transition the reds to the blues and there will be a lot or rearranging with these blocks.  Its a good day to sew.--Ann--

Friday, October 23, 2015

On the Needles

 There has been some progress on everything that is on the needles.  The top socks are in my to go bag and I have only worked on those when I am the passenger in the car.  Bright or light colored yarn is best for the car between sitting in a shadow and sunglasses I cannot see dark colored yarn well enough in the car to knit. So fun yarns for fun trips.  And more reading mitts..... I've got that pattern memorized.  I just need to finish the thumbs.
We have had an exceptionally beautiful fall here on the prairie.  The leaves have been hanging onto the trees,  my maple tree really showed her glorious colors this year.  She was the size of a broomstick when we planted her  now her trunk is the size of a quart jar.  The next time the wind blows all her leaves will fall.  Happy knitting and linking to Judy's OTN.--Ann--

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bow Tie Quilt

My work space was clear last week as I started this bow tie quilt. Then I got ideas in my head for a couple other quilts using the same fabrics so I began cutting more strips for those quilts, why cut pieces for one when I can cut pieces for 2 or 3 at one time which put me in the if you give a mouse a cookie scenario.  Once I started pulling fabric out of the stash the piles started falling over and out of the closet.  Putting my stash in order is something I really need to do every couple years,  I found some really wonderful fabrics that I had forgotten about and some quilt parts I need to finish.  It just takes to much time to fold and pet each piece of fabric then stack it by theme and color.  I have brights in a stack and plaids in a stack, a really big stack, and pastels in a stack or two and a stack of background fabrics and stacks of longer yardages for backs and borders, and hand dyed and batik stacks and blue stacks and green stacks and brown stacks and mostly moda stacks and all the other color stacks. I'm up to my ears in stacks. And I can't even see the top of my table there are so many stacks.  Maybe tomorrow I can cut fabric again but easily distracted by this summer like weather here on the prairie.  --Ann--

Friday, October 9, 2015

On and off the needles

One pair of Christmas socks are finished! One pair of re knit legs for son with skinny legs are finished.  He looked at them and said "how skinny do you think my legs are!?!"  "Skinny" they were a bit snug to pull over his foot but they fit and will stay up.  I ripped the second pair and am knitting with size 1 needles in a 2 x 2 ribbing.  I needed some fun yarn after these guy socks so reading mitts in bright colors and soft yarn and bigger needles.  Lots more Christmas knitting to do.  Linking to Judy's OTN.  --Ann--

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ta Da Done

Basted,  quilted,  bound,  signed and labeled.  The flow of the words said binded but proper English said bound and the computer typed bonded.  That almost made me cringe as much as hearing weaved when  wove or woven should be used.  The last thing to do is make the folio for the recipient.  ta da done!!! it feels so good to say it,  "ta done!!!!!"--Ann--

Friday, October 2, 2015

Off the Needles

       I finished this the other day and just in time too, it is chilly out this morning.  Its time to wear long pants and wool socks and try to put off starting the furnace for another week or so if possible.  
        I had a lovely day yesterday for my birthday,  an unplanned trip to have lunch with daughter and retrieve my car after a week in the shop to find and fix an oil leak.  The drive in the loaner car was long and annoying; these new cars with all their safety features and too many  buttons!  I needed a lesson in buttons before hitting the road.  Every time I got too close to the center line it bee bee beeped and I didn't know what was making the beep, was it my phone? was it an engine warning? and it didn't just beep once it had to beep twice.  I finally figured it out there was a thumbnail sized rear view of a car between two dotted lines on the dash and if you got too close to either line it beeped and if you passed a car with out using your turn indicator it beeped some more.  I couldn't figure out how to set the cruise control or even where it was so I drove all the way and sometimes too fast.  Its easy to go fast on long straight flat roads with little traffic and no cruise control.  DD and I had a leisurely lunch, did a little shopping  and I came home.  It was a lovely drive home with no beeps.   The leaves of the ash trees are turning yellow, the ginnala maples were bright red, and the harvest is in full swing.  There were combines with banners of dust in all the fields.  Hubby has been helping a farmer by driving his grain cart I  wondered if the tractor he was driving was as big as those I was seeing in the fields.  Hubby came home early and took me out for supper,  all I had to do was put my breakfast dishes in the dishwasher.   --Ann--   Linking to Judy's OTN

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Its my birthday

My zinnias and calendulas are still blooming strong, I should have picked a bouquet the day I took these pics because the wind came and is forever blowing away the summer.

       Birthday reflection: how many quilts have I sewn since I started quilting at 30 something? Oh  wait I can look back at my quilt documentation.........I was 31. I took my first quilt class on October 12, 1987,  Columbus Day or whatever the state is calling that day now.  Oh thats good documentation.  I have been quilting for almost half my life is that possible!??!  I have completed 264 quilts.  I think I have 15 in various stages of incomplete.  That seems like a lot but a couple are baggage that I really need to let them go.  There are five ready to be machine quilted and two in need of hand quilting because I started hand quilting,  I have to finish hand quilting them.  There are two or three quilt tops in need of borders or appliqué, there are a couple stacks of blocks or parts of blocks that might be considered baggage.  When I break it down like that it doesn't seem like that many.  However,  there may be a couple more hiding in my stash.  
       I have 3 knitting projects on the needles,  that is reasonable.  I have books by my favorite chair.   I can pick up a project for whatever mood I am in or to suit my attention span at a particular moment.  
       It has been a great year.  Hubby and I have traveled, he has retired we are still learning the new normal, he is learning to love leftovers.  I'm learning to put things in the dishwasher after every meal unless he beats me to it.  I used to leave things in the sink and deal with them when I was starting the next meal, by then things were soaked and slide right off the dish.  He's eating left overs,  I'm improving my habits.  Those are big changes for each of us.  Celebrating the little things in life because life is good! --Ann--