Friday, December 30, 2011

Assembling "My Tweets"

I've been working on the satin stitching of "My Tweets" so I could get blocks done and work on the last couple of blocks.  Erin put up the finishing directions and I realized I'm going to have to make some big changes.

1.  My center panel isn't 30 inches.  It's 26.  I think the original pattern had it at 24 but I can't find it to make sure.  I wish she had said something.

2.  She has the blocks at 15 inches and while mine are larger so I could cut them down, I'm not sure how to make it work with a 26 inch inch block.

3.  If I understand the borders right, they are cut at 10.5x90 inches with them mitered.

I did play in EQ7 but couldn't find the right setup and if you did a custom design, it wasn't working very well.

So, do I:

Cut out the borders (they are appliquéd and I really don't want to resize) and make the rest of the blocks fit with sashing?  I just can't figure out the math for some reason.  From the 90 inches, I'd take out 20 inches (10 on each side) leaving me with 70 inches square to work with?

However; when I take the four blocks that she has cut out at 15 inches (14.5 inches finished?) and the 5 inches of sashing I come up with 63 inches, not 70.

I put a post up in her Yahoo! group.

I haven't taped up the border blocks yet to check the distance to see what it really is.  I guess I should.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Getting There

I started going through stuff.  I'm one of those crazy people that organize fabric via specific color.  It's not just "red" or "blue" or "yellow"  It's gold-yellow, yellow, red, red-orange, orange and so on.  I pin the color on the fabric and then put in bins according to the color wheel.  Then you run into the problem of re-arranging fabrics when you add new fabrics in.

I do this because some fabric colors aren't what they seem.  When you see "red" and it's really more "orange", it doesn't work with it's opposite, a green.  Oranges and blues are opposite and once you put that fabric in with the blues, it works perfectly.  Your quilts become more colorful, vibrant and blend better when you know it's true color.

It's still a mess with sorting fabric.  Then I thought about what my DH would say if I asked him what to do.  His advice would be, "You know, no one is going to see your stash or care how meticulously you organize it.  It's just going to get messed up every time you raid it.  If you want to match a color, wait for your project, take out your book and do it then."  Translated in man language that would mean, "Stuff it all in bins and don't worry about it".

You know what color each fabric is.  Don't obsess over it.  So I just stuffed everything in bins and figure when I go looking for fabric for a new project, I'll still be good.  I dumped out some fabric and feel better.  Plus, it's an excuse to go buy more fabric that's not 10 years old.

If you are wondering why I'm doing this on Christmas Eve instead of doing some celebration, it's because there isn't anything to celebrate.  I have no family close by.  I'm a hermit with anxiety problems.  Having anyone over would give me a massive heart attack.  It's just been a nice quiet day.

After organizing DH and I started watching a 1978 Japanese series called "Monkey" that was broadcast in England when he was a kid.  I despise dubbing and Japanese/Chinese movies are the worst.  Once I got over the terrible dubbing, it's a pretty good series.  If you lived in England during that time period it was a very popular show.

Now he's watching "633 Squadron" that I found for 5 bucks on Amazon.UK.  It was on the Military Channel about a week or so ago and screamed "widescreen" the entire movie to enjoy the planes.  US version was overpriced and crappy copies.  It came today and with his region free DVD player he's enthralled.  If you or your loved one loves WWII movies, this is a great one.  They haven't put classic WWII movies on Blu-ray yet so I'm glad I could find this DVD for him.
I have a problem.  It's bad.  I had no idea how bad things were until my daughter asked for some drawers to stash her crafting supplies.  It's been ten years in the making of this problem and it's not going to get better.  I need intervention like that one show about hoarders so I can fall apart while someone else goes through my stuff.  

I admit it.  I'm a fabric hoarder.  I'm a book hoarder.  I hoard thread.  I buy patterns knowing I'll never use them but can't resist.  I've got quilt stencils I've only used once.  Homemade stencils of patterns I've designed but will never get around to making.

I fell for the knitting fad and have stuff in the hopes of making a pair of socks.  Anyone want to make me socks?  I have really, really, really nice yarn.  Even knitting needles and the books to make them.  I just don't have the ability to count.

I can't bear to part with any of it.  It's the "I Might Need That Someday" syndrome.  I have A.D. projects.  You know, the "After I'm Dead" project my kids will never finish.  If you don't believe me:

That's only ONE drawer of scraps in trying to do Bonnie's way of organizing.  I'm not about to spend hours cutting all sizes of strips and squares.  I don't even think my Go! Cutter would make that easier.

Surprisingly I only have a small stash of magazines.


So, some questions:

1.  If you really aren't going to use the little scraps are you allowed to toss them?

2.  If I put some of this stuff up for sell via my blog or (gasp) Ebetray would they sell?

3.  How do you know what toss or keep?  Some of this stuff is 10 years old.

4.  Will it really be emotionally okay to give it away, sell it, or toss it?

Back to the basement to help my daughter.




Thursday, December 22, 2011


Still working on my "Red Christmas".  It's looking better and a little easier as I've done more of it.  It's going to take awhile since it's slow going.  

I got out my Cougar cutter as I wanted to do this project:

Things got busy and I realized I may not have enough paper to do it.  It's actually about 9-10 inches tall.

So I tried a free download with my Cougar and got this:

Yeah.  It's pretty bad.  How did my Cougar totally screw that up?  (It's actually been a pain all week)  I put the box together anyway just to see how it looked.  LOL.

I got out my Cricut to see if it would work better and it ate another box project from the same file.  Uggh.  The paper was destroyed.   I got out a different kind of paper and tried again.  Wow! Talk about pretty!  DD and I put M&Ms in them and will take them to some friends.

I really need to work on "My Tweets" blocks.  I just haven't felt like it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

WINE And Applique

I'm not sure I'm liking this appliqué pattern.  It's a pain trying to do the the slender points and I suspected it would be rather boring doing the same pieces over and over.  It's not looking very pretty either given my ugly stitches.  It's not terrible, just looks very amateurish.  The fabric frays badly.  So..keep it up or give up?  

I've been playing with computer programs as well.  I installed Lion for my computer in hopes I could use WINE (not the drinking kind) to work with Windows via the Mac side of my computer.  The WINE software works but not with most of the programs I have.  It doesn't recognize USB ports so I can't use my cutters or my embroidery machine with my windows software.  If I was a computer programmer I can see tons of opportunities with the program.  It just took most of the weekend to install and play with the program to find all of this out.  The joys of being to lazy to boot over to the Windows side of my Mac computer.  LOL.

However; MTC (Make The Cut) software is coming out with a Mac version soon so I'm very excited.

I should be working on my "My Tweets" blocks but haven't felt like it.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Freezer Paper Issues?

First off, are there ads when you come to my blog because I didn't put them there.  If so, how do I get them off.  I don't have "monetize" on nor have I ever enabled it.  Has Google started doing this w/o our permission?  Not happy about this.

On to the blog post.....

Did the people who make freezer paper change their formula?  When I iron the paper onto the fabric it doesn't stick and if you spray starch the whole piece practically falls apart.  It's driving me nuts.  I used to be able to press the freezer paper with ease and use the same piece over and over despite using starch.

The brilliant plan was to cut out all the applique shapes on freezer paper with my Cougar cutter for the "Red December" quilt.  Then use my iron/starch to press the fabric over.  Instead it's just making a gooey mess.

The other plan is to cut out the pieces on plastic templates, but if I starch the piece, all it does is make the template slippery and ruins the design.

Of course, the original plan of just doing it by hand works, it's just slower.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

"Red December" Quilt

I've been working on my "Red December" quilt.  Just like glue, those dang points are killing me.  The fabric is similar to Kona Cotton.  It frays and it's bulky when you get to the points.  The color is so beautiful though.  It didn't even run when I washed it.  A red that doesn't bleed!

I may have to call it quits on the back basting and use templates to get those points nice and sharp with some starch.  It is really pretty despite my bulky points.  Even DH likes the pattern.

Hmm..going to JoAnn's is more and more appealing.  I can drive since I'm not taking the pain med anymore.


I hate glue.  Part of me wants to head to Lincoln, hit JoAnn's and find some scrapbooking glue.  Or glue that doesn't take 10 hours to dry or warps my project.  That entails filling my my car @50 bucks, using half of it for the trip just to spend a few dollars.  Ughh. 

I've spent hours making this box.  Oh, cutting it out was easy.  Press "cut" on the software and you are done.  It took me forever to figure out the inside part of the book.  The YouTube video kept stopping on me before it hit the box and there are no written instructions in the downloaded file that I could find.

The front isn't so bad.  I love the front part of the book.  It needs some berries and twigs that I seem to have lost.  Even the box that fits into the book looks great. I allowed to use Roxanne's basting glue for these?  Or would any form of moisture dissolve the glue?  That stuff is amazing.  I even caught DH using it to glue up the corners of his DVD box sets awhile back.  You know, he's actually been very well behaved.  Something is up.

I used my Cougar cutter for the oval with the circles in it.  Every one of those circles is a circle.  Not kidding.  Those are not hand punched.  I cut out the book cover with my Cricut and it totally messed up the four corner circles.  Now that I've figured out my Cougar cutter, it's been worth every penny.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Spent last Sunday night in the ER.  I'd been feeling sick since Thursday but chalked it up to the "just not feeling good" theory.  By Sunday night around 11:30pm I started cramping over in pain.  My first thought was my appendix and headed to the ER.

ER is 1/2 mile down the road and by the time I was there, I was really doubled over.  It felt like labor pains and that scared me.  I'm not pregnant.  I can't get pregnant unless there's some kind of miracle and if I was having a miscarriage I'd be bleeding.  Other thought was ectopic pregnancy but again, I can't get pregnant. All kinds of thoughts race through your mind when you start thinking about what's going on.  It would kill me to find out somehow I had gotten pregnant and lost a baby.

The nice part about rural hospitals is that there's never anyone there so I got in right away.  The bad part is that there isn't anyone there.  Doc said I needed a CT scan.  However; they had to call in the guy that does the CT scan.  Then they wanted to use a dye to see better and had to set that up.  One glass, wait 45 minutes, another glass and wait 45 minutes before they can do the scan.

Nurse gave me some morphine and DH and I waited until I could do the CT scan.  Umm.  Can't they just use an ultrasound machine to figure this out?  The nurse said they don't have an ultrasound machine and then they'd have to hire a tech to use it.  Yet, you somehow have a CT scanning machine and can pay that guy?  It's a conspiracy as you'd make more money off the CT scanner right?  I could have been out of the ER within an hour or so with the ultrasound machine, but kept me ALL friggin' night for the CT scan.  You can charge more for the time as well.  

The guy comes to do the CT scan.  It has to go to Lincoln.  They have to wake someone up on their end to read it and send back the results.  Geesh.

Why can't this happen during a WEEKDAY so I can hit a regular doc, get an ultrasound and go home?

4am comes along and the final verdict is that an ovarian cyst ruptured and that they found another one.  I get handed some pain meds and they send me home all nice and drugged out.  I'm told I can't drive under Vicodin (duh) as it would be considered a DUI.

Good news after seeing a regular doc is that it's all good and there's no sign of cancer.  Just keep an eye on it and go from there.

Can't wait to get the bill for this.  I shouldn't complain too much.  If it was a big city hospital, it would have been 4am by the time I was even seen.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Red Fabric For Applique Project

I found some red fabric!  Turkey red and it's beautiful!  I cut out one 20 inch square of red fabric and backbasted it to the white foundation fabric.  The red fabric is on the bottom so you can see where I basted from behind.

Then you cut around the design to 1/4 of an inch to start your hand applique.

I've started on the outside and plan to work inwards.  Here's a close up of where I've been working:

Friday, December 02, 2011

"Red December" Quilt

Esther over at Esther's Blog has an amazing red/white quilt pattern for her readers called "Red December" and it's truly gorgeous!  Sigh.  The last thing I need is another beautiful quilt to drool over.

So..I quit drooling and went and bought fabric.  I'm not doing red but browns and pink.  However; I'm torn on what I want to do.  If I do more than one color, will I lose the simpleness of it?  Should I just keep to one color?  The dark brown, the medium or the print?

There are four blocks shown on point with triangles that have part of the design on it.  I know the best idea is to cut out several pieces and play around.  I worry about losing the pink flowers in the design and it comes out just one mottled mess.  The dark brown is truly beautiful and would probably make a stunning allover quilt.  If I use all 3 will the contrast lose the entire pattern that one color does?

I plan on hand appliquéing since the design is gentle curves and circles.  I have no desire to satin stitch around all of that.  I can't stand raw edges so hand applique would do just fine.  I'd just back baste everything.

Or, just go buy red fabric and make it look like the quilt she has shown?  I had looked at several stores and couldn't find that "perfect" red and liked the idea of brown.