Four community service quilts ready for binding!

I'm a production line.....

First I set my goal.  I'm the boss of this sweat shop so I can do that!    In this case, the goal was how many community service quilts I want to make for the North Louisiana Quilters Guild next year.  (the 2012 quilts have already been donated.)  I've decided on 12.  I've also set that goal for the Piney Hills Quilt Guild which I am a member of....but that's another story!

Next I gather my fabrics and cut........yes, for all 12.  One at a time, they go up on my design wall and the plan begins. 

Moving on down the production line, or is it the assembly line? Sewing, sewing, sewing, head 'em up, move 'em out.....I sew up the tops of all twelve quilts.  If I can find the backing, I get it ready and store together with the quilt top in my big plastic bin.   They aren't huge quilts. I don't do huge. I do normal-for-me-size.  The size that I can quilt myself on my home sewing machine. 

Then, when time permits I pull out two or three or four and quilt them up. 

And, finally, I trim and square the quilt and prep it to stitch on the binding.  Today is a perfect day for's been raining for the past 24 hours.  I'm lovin' it!  Can you see the rain out my sewing room window?  Can you see the batting I trimmed off these quilts?  Can you see the binding waiting to be sewn down?

I like this method of getting the job done.  It keeps me organized and on goal and at a glance, I can see if I need to beg, borrow or steal more batting or backing and binding fabric. 

Here's strawberry girl - I like the modern look of this one -  quilted and bound and ready to be donated.  Community service keeps me pumped! 

and, as what is that singer's name ?  said, "rain drops keep falling on my head!" 


I got a little caught up in my hydrangea love today!

Even in late summer/early autumn, they continue to have the largest mop heads.....hydrangea my garden...prompted the "lyrics to live by" thought of the day.  I continue to rush head strong in my garden every day knowing that the season is almost over. 

Am I telling my age when I say that I remember this tune sung by Billy Eckstine and Doris Day....not to mention Frank Sinatra, oh and the mellow voice of Brook Benton, then Ricky Nelson and who could forget the Elvis Presley rendition of Fools Rush In.   Lyrics by the infamous Johnny Mercer/music by Rube Bloom (who also wrote the music to I Can't Face the Music sung by Billie Holiday and later Ella Fitzgerald. 


Let it be, let it be....simple words of wisdom: Let it Be!

I had reason today to reflect ~
On beating a dead horse 

Beating a dead horse is to bring up an issue that has already been concluded! The idiom " beating a dead horse" might be used to express the futility of continuing the discussion.
Raising a question: 
why would someone beat a horse, let alone a dead one? I mean really, if they're dead, they can no longer feel any pain; such beatings would be completely pointless!

Continuing to research relative to my thoughts today:

Reflecting on lyrics in the Beatles' song, Come Together....each of the four verses references one of the Beatles. Verse #4, I read, is clearly about Paul, but what puzzled me was what did he one mojo filter mean

Verse #4:

After googling the meaning of the lyrics of this song, I found:

'Mojo filter' refers to Paul's habit of 'spin doctoring' information to the others and manipulating their perceptions so as to ultimately get his way.
Well, my gosh....I didn't know that about Paul! But you know, Paul's not the only one who does that mojo filtering stuff. With that being said, my musings for the afternoon are done!
I have a design wall and there's a quilt on it ready to be completed, so I'm off to the races
and hope I won't be running into any dead horses!
and taking the advise of Mother Mary, let it be!



Not another 1600 Quilt!

By now I should know better than to say I'm not gonna!

Just last week, I said out loud that I wasn't going to make another 1600 quilt.  While they are quick and easy, the sewing is so boring.  However, as I rummaged through my fabric this morning in another attempt to rid myself of old so I can add new, I decided that I had enough of the pink and rose colored scraps, when added to the muslin strips, to make a nice quilt.  It took me a while to gather and count inches since I didn't have the full width of fabrics....but now that it's finished, I am glad I changed my mind about not making another 1600 quilt!    The asymmetrical (unbalanced) placement of the pink strips  makes me like it even more. 

I'm not going to make another 1600 quilt (at least for a while). 

But,  in case you want to, just get yourself  a jelly roll (or cut fabric you have on your shelf into 2 1/2" strips), watch this video then punch that sewing speed up a notch! 


Having the time of your life........

I can't get this picture of Pat's little paper-pieced Christmas trees out of my head!  And, the music of ABBA was swinging around in my head this, putting the two thoughts together.....a continuation of my "lyrics to live by" series.   Hope your day started as wonderfully as mine. 


Going, going, gone

for the next few days, I'll be with a bunch of quilting friends...where none of us cooks, washes clothes or dishes and certainly no one plugs in the vacuum.....we call this a retreat.  I'll take pictures, but there will be very little (if any) time for a telephone and even less time for the computer. 

and certainly won't be watching the clock.  I'll be back when it's time to be be back and not a minute before: 



Are You A "No-Reply" Blogger?

It was a complete surprise to me several months ago when a blogger friend emailed me to say....with shock and an exclamation point......I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ARE A NO-REPLY BLOGGER!

I was shocked too to get this, Marty In Motion, the photographer with Reflections Unfurling....Marty's Fiber Musings!  A No-Reply person!  But, truly I was....when I went to my Blogger profile and found sure enough, not knowing how or when or who did this to me, in my face, my settings were set for a NO-REPLY. 

simply square button
The more I asked around, the more  bloggers I found, like myself, that weren't aware what this means....but what it means, is that it cuts a part of us off from the blogging community.  And that's why I blog!  To be a part of the blogging community.  How about you?   
Now, having said that, click the button to read how Pleasant Home tells us how to correct the NO-REPLY blogger problem, while answering questions and debunking a lot of myths about going public with an email address.    My thought after reading this post:  WOW....I didn't know that.  
 The more I know, the more I grow.....

I have nothing against June Tailor

making money off me; however, after checking the prices of a new June Tailor pressing board, and not to mention that I couldn't find the 18" x 24" size I wanted, I decided to cover my extremely over-used and grungy, but still very useful and full of life pressing board....using pre-washed blue denim.


Measure width of pressing board (short side to short side) and add 3 inches.  Cut this dimension on the width of fabric.  Fold in half, selvage edge toward selvage edge,  with right sides together, stitch up one side.  I used a generous 1/2" seam allowance.  Now, insert your pressing board and adjust very snugly and mark the second stitching line.  Remove presssing board and stitch along marked line.   Now, you've made a fabric envelope. 

Check to see that the pressing board fits snugly inside the envelope.  If not snug enough, just stitch again inside the previous stitching line until you get just the right fit.    

Now fold in the corners, fold the fabric back over the hard side of the pressing board and staple.  I frighten easily, so elicited the help of the electric tool man of the house to finish the job for me.   

My width of fabric was 44", so I didn't have enough excess to trim....I just folded and stapled, leaving the selvages on so there will be no frayed or raveling edges.  This envelope style cover requires the least amount of stapling.   I like it!  Hmmmmmm fresh as sunshine. 





Bluestorm Agapanthus in Fiesta Vase

The Bluestorm just made it to a real gardener's attention.  Lisa Hutchurson, a news contributor to Tesselaar, emailed me the other day asking if it was okay to use one of my pictures for an upcoming news release.  What?  Of course, it's okay!  Could there have been any other response! 

And it's now officially included in the latest Tesselaar News Release.  Both the agaphanthus and I are very proud to help answer the question....what's the next big garden trend?   Experts are betting  it's gonna be cutting gardens!   Cutting gardens aren't new to this novice gardener.   I've been supplying flowers to weddings, bridal showers, birthday parties and luncheon tables since the early 1970's.  As a young gardener, I just enjoyed the pleasure of any kind of flower and did my darnedest to get just about any kind of flower to grow in this Louisiana heat and humidity.   I've since narrowed my scope to the ones that require less toil and trouble.   What a resource Tesselaar would have been to me way back then. 


Agapanthus aka Lily of the Nile are a scrumptious way to wow the neighborhood as a stay-in-the-garden flower spike or as a take-me-inside cut flower.  On long stalks, they can accommodate a very large vase or  as I've photographed, a very small, skinny one as displayed in my vintage blue Fiesta vase. 

Blue flowers are not the most common flower color so when I found these at my local gardener's, I decided they would make a nice statement and blend wonderfully in my cutting garden.   They delight me for at least two months each spring into summer.  And  the hummingbirds and butterflies and bees all sing their praises as they frolic in and out of the blue. 

While it's not the easiest job in the world to dig, agapanthus love to be shared.  As a matter of fact,  they thrive when I dig a cluster, split into two or more sections and share either in another part of my garden or with friend gardeners.   Down here in the south, we call them pass-along plants....and I've definitely passed along my fair share of these delightful Bluestorm agapanthus. 

And another blue favorite to add color to a bouquet or share with friends is my liriope muscari 'variegata'.  It's an almost foolproof plant that endures heat, drought, full sun or shade.  Just remember not to overlook the most unassuming blue floral. 

If life must be blue, then let it be filled with blue from your cutting garden.


Excerpts worth mentioning ~

from a book I just put down:  Kerry Greenwood's  Earthly Delights

A quote and thoughts from Corinna Chapman, the main character in Earthly Delights,  on weighing heavy ~

"My mantra is that I am fat because I am fat and there is not a lot I can do about it.  We are famine survivors, we fat women, and ought to be valued for it.  We must have been very useful when everyone else collapsed with starvation.  We would have been able to sow the crop, feed the babies and keep the tribe alive until spring came.  If you breed us out, what will you do when the bad times come again?  At the very least, you could always eat us.  I reckon I'd feed a family of six for a month.  Properly pickled, salted and cooked, of course." 

and another thing:

"There was a reason why the oldest depiction of a human is the Venue of Willendors, a huge fat woman.  We were genetically designed to keep our tribe alive so that the thin people could be born.  So be nice.  Or at least shut up about it.  Every time I turn on a TV I see (1) a car ad and then (2) some simpering female telling me how wonderful she feels now she's thinner, just send lots of money.  Then I snort and turn on cable.  If you want to believe some lies, believe the one about how getting a new car will make you a fantastic driver and instantly attractive to tall willowy women in bikinis.  It's probably more true."

Earthly Delights.....about a bakery in The City of Melbourne and its owner. Corinna Chapman gave up her accounting job to open her bakery where she is happily making and selling her doughy delights.

This book is a work of fiction, so why am I gaining weight just thinking about the aroma of her breads and muffins she's about to pop out of her oven?

.....and another thing, just to clear the air, like Sue Ellen's girl,  I'm not fat, I just weigh heavy.  But that's another story for another day when we visit with Louisiana author Shellie Tomlinson

.....and now that I've licked my plate clean and they've taken it away,
 I can get on with my day!


Why do we want what we don't have?

I want to be a great have a blog post every day, but time just won't always let me get my way, so today I dug back into my archieves and brought forward one of particular interest (to me). 

Hope you enjoy thoughts from my past....definitely a mixed bag!

I'm a FOX CBS or NBC or CNN for me. While I don't want to use my blog to discuss news channel choice probably gives you a huge hint as to my conservative vs liberal position.  And, a hint that I like to be more entertained while listening to the news rather than learn from the news. 

But this is not about politics's about why do we want what we don't have?

Caesar AKA The Dog Whisperer was on Fox and Friends this morning and was taking questions from the viewers. One viewer had a dog that barked when someone came near the house and wanted to know how to stop the dog from barking. The next viewer's question dealt with a dog who never barked and the owner wanted his dog to provide a warning bark when someone was on his property.

I often have the same dilemma - well, not about a barking dog or a cat's meow, but about my hair color. If it has a red tint, I think I need to go more brown. Now that it's more brown, I think it is too dark so need to get some blond highlights in it. My hairdresser says my card has more color changes than any of his other patrons. Dissatisfaction with what I am is beginning to get expensive.

Good news. I got a custom quilt order yesterday. While I profess NEVER to do custom - I think I can do this one. My problem with making a special request quilt is that I'm afraid the payee and the sewee aren't envisioning the same quilt. What if I make a quilt to the payee's instructions and it's not exactly what they envision. What if it is too dark or too light....too bright or too dull. What if payee pays the sewee, but then puts the word out that the sewee's work is not satisfactory. Word-of-mouth advertising is a great way to promote a shop...but it can also be a killer. Anyway, I really think the payee and sewee are seeing the same quilt. Not a big job, so I'll take a chance that our visions mesh.

Which bring me to another dilemma...I have only one design wall and it normally has a work in progress on it. Well, this morning I had all my little 4-patch quilt blocks on the wall but I wanted to start work on the custom. I've spent several hours getting the 4-patches in just the right place. So, what's a sewee to do??? Yep, you got blog post has been delayed today. I've been sewing up the quilt on my design wall. I did correct the turned 4 patch in the top right corner!! Hey, the best of both worlds....I have a finished quilt top and can now start the one I wanted to start last night!

On the design wall....

Wanna be on the design wall....