Saturday, July 30, 2011

Binding shortcut anyone?

I am sending off the batik quilt to the young girl recently diagnosed with leukemia who is undergoing treatment in Houston.  The binding hadn't been put on yet so I set to it last night.  As I've told you before, I'm a lazy quilter, always looking for a shortcut.  Adding on bindings is no exception. It's also not my favorite thing to do as I am really a piecer at heart.  My binding shortcut is to sew them down with the machine! TA DA!!

So I cut my strips at 2-1/2", sew them all together, press in half and sew onto the right side of the fabric using a 3/8" seam.  This is where my ingenuity comes into play.  I like to sew my bindings down BY MACHINE! Matching thread, of course, to the binding.  I choose a decorative stitch that's not too intricate---usually an elongated "S", or lazy "S", I guess.  I load the same thread in the top and bottom so I can sew it on from the back. That way I won't have to worry about whether I'm catching the entire binding on the back.  Here's what it looks like:

Or you can also sew it on from the front, pulling the binding around to the back:

And when it's all done and the quilt is washed, I don't think you can tell the difference.  Now I know that some people disagree and want their bindings to poof out rather than lie flat. I personally don't think anyone will care. I also like that I don't have to worry about the stitches coming out if I've sewn it down by hand.  It takes so much less time. So for me, it's how I do bindings.  What are your feelings on the subject??

Have a great Sunday. We are going to spend the day with my darling grandson (and his parents...vbg)...all my kids and my husband so there will be no sewing for me tomorrow.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A day with the darling grandson

Good morning bloggers! Have you found a way to move your bodies for 30 minutes today? How about skipping the blogs for a day and walking instead?? VBG.

I am off to pick up my grandson this afternoon and we always go for a long walk---pushing him in the stroller adds to the workout, too!

I want to hear about your walk!! Oh and sewing projects are good, too!
Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Healing quilt

Hi Everyone,
I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted. See, I'm not really a very good blogger. I'm trying. I think part of the problem is that my sewing time isn't nearly as much as when we were retreating in Sunriver.

A friend of mine told me about a very young 22 yr old girl who was just diagnosed with leukemia. I have made it a habit of sending quilts to total strangers when I hear of an illness and I'm proud to report that just about every single person I've sent a quilt to has completely recovered!  So I decided that this girl needs a quilt. I have this batik I put together earlier this year from a ufo that was a mystery I never finished. Sound familiar?  I just decided it required toooo many flying geese on another outside border and made it smaller, added the stars in the corners (you can never have too many stars, IMHO! VBG) and called it good. I hope it will make her chemo appointments a little more bearable.
 And the ocean waves continues along, very slowly.  I'm happy to report that I finished another row and am now up to 8x9 (72 blocks).  That means I only (yeah, right!!) need 50 more. WOOHOO!! OMG. I'm almost out of the hsts I made. So I'm back to the leaders/enders method again, needing to refill my bag with finished hsts... Thanks for all the encouragement. I'm excited and determined to get it done this summer!!~

On a totally different topic of fitness, I want to share my challenge to myself. I decided I just have to shed some of this FAT (*grin*) so I am determined to walk every single day, even if it's just a half hour. Anybody want to join me in this personal challenge??

Have a great Wednesday!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Small Ball in quilting

Do any of you watch baseball or know anything about it? My son played baseball all through high school and college so we learned a LOT (more than I thought I needed to know!) about baseball. There's a concept called "small ball" which basically means that you can win, not by hitting home runs, but by just being happy with small, incremental advances. Like bunts. or walks.  SO, the point of this is that I'm going to get my ocean waves quilt done (aiming for king size) in small increments! So today I added ONE more row...oh, you say, what's the big deal? Well, it's now 8x8 (64 down,  meaning 57 left, which is LESS than half).  SEE, small ball!! vbg.
I promised I'd pick a winner for my Licorice Allsorts quilt pattern based on requests for it: so tonight's big winner is:
Please email me your address so I can mail it off to you. 
This is the quilt I made from that pattern, on my floor in Sunriver, with Bonnie figuring out an easier way to piece it! No, Bonnie does not come with the quilt pattern! VBG

And I told you that I went to see my darling grandbaby on my way back from Sunriver on Friday. Never a visit goes by that I don't snap some photos of him.  Today's picture is him playing with a toy which we call Buzz Lightyear. It's a Toy Story 3 ride-along with a little compartment in the seat. I have a few sets of "keys" in there for him to play with.  In fact, my car was SO packed when I took Bonnie to the airport, that Buzz Lightyear kept falling over onto her, and the keys kept falling out! VBG  Anyway, here's Ryan playing with the keys. He put them in, then took them out. Only about 25 times.  Oh, and did I tell you that his favorite expression is, "THIIIIIIS?" Especially around trash cans!! 

Have a great Monday. I have my very old and dear bookgroup friends coming to my house for dinner tomorrow night so I'll be busy and probably won't do any sewing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Back to reality

I hated putting Bonnie on a plane yesterday but life goes on and our little annual retreat has come to an end.  We had a wonderful week and got so much done. This was our work area, the dining table! Eating? We don't starve, I'll tell ya! We take turns fixing meals and enjoyed eating on the back patio each evening.  Lori and Bonnie are great friends and we always have such a great time.
After giving the ocean waves a rest, I turned to left-over hsts made from a black/30s top I did finally finish, from a pattern called Licorice Allsorts. I was using STRINGS, another Bonnie Hunter creation.  It is very forgiving and, after making a zillion hsts (I even had a dream about them last night) I was ready for some brainless quick sewing.  So this is my latest project. What do you think? Oh, and my sewing room is a DISASTER. Can anyone relate?? vbg

GIVE AWAY!!! I'd like to offer this pattern to anyone who thinks they might be interested in making this quilt. It's by The Rabbit Factory finishing at 87x87.  I will pick a name so if you're interested in this, please send me a comment by Sunday evening and I'll draw a name.

I also did get to see the Darling Grandbaby Ryan, having stopped at my daughter's on the way back home last night. In just 2 weeks, he'd already changed so much. I'll post another picture tomorrow!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I need a break!!

I have been sewing hsts for days now on my ocean waves and I can't do it anymore. I need a break!! So I'm going to share some photos.
First we have the ocean waves, with 56 blocks completed. OMG. It's overwhelming. I don't know what kind of system you guys use but I'm the kind of quilter who needs to do a little bit at a time, sew it together, ADMIRE MY WORK, and then sew some more. I can't do all the pieces at one time and then sew them all together. UGH. I'd go crazy. Like I said, instant gratification. I plan to use a toile I bought in Paris for the main border, but I have another 50+ blocks to make so I'm getting ahead of myself! vbg.

As Lori said, I have a sweet golden retriever named Max. We also have an old lab named Jake. Here they are together on our back porch in Sunriver, enjoying the sun. Yes, I was brushing them after they'd been swimming in the river and got filthy!

Which leads me to the pictures of the river. The Deschutes River flows through Sunriver (no, not Sun River) and it's beautiful. You can rent canoes, kayaks or floats and just lazy down the river to this spot.  We hiked over there yesterday, hoping to find the Benham Falls, which didn't quite pan out. It was a beautiful hike, though.

Then there's my darling grandson, Ryan, Here's a picture I took of him 2 weeks ago, where he was playing miniature golf (well, sort of) while my car was being washed.  All of you know what I speak of when I mention the adoration we feel for our grandchildren. It's difficult to describe. I just can't get enough of him!!

So hopefully tomorrow I can get back to the ocean waves. Or not!! May have to start something else! Or work on a ufo (which I have plenty of!).

Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Follow the "Leaders and Enders" Leader!!

For those of you who know Bonnie Hunter, you'll know that she's (in my opinion) the inventor of the concept Leaders and Enders. It's impossible to be around her for any length of time and not be drawn into the concept. So last year (or maybe the year before that), I decided that the red/white Ocean Waves quilt I wanted to make would be easier to make if I did all the zillions of half square triangles via the Leaders and Enders system. I'm the kind of quilter that wants INSTANT GRATIFICATION. I cannot sew hsts together for days before sewing them into a block. So this was a perfect way for me to get the quilt done painlessly!!

So I started cutting random triangles and stuffed them into a bag near my machine. I used anything that could be called "red" and "light" and made quite a pile. I'd grab a light/dark piece before and after sewing anything else and then throw the finished hst into another bag at the back of my machine, to be pressed and squared up later.
In preparation for our annual retreat during the Sisters Quilt show I typically agonized over WHAT projects should I sew (forget about worrying about packing my's the FABRICS I worry about!! LOL). I decided that 2011 was going to be the year I made my Ocean Waves quilt. So I pulled the pack of finished hsts and actually counted (roughly) how many I had...I stopped counting at 750 (or lost track, more likely)!!! That's a LOT of hsts! And just from leaders/enders. Amazing, hunh?

This is the pile of unpressed, unsized-up hsts ready for sewing! All 750+ of them!!

Finally I was ready to put them together, although I also agonized over WHICH pattern to follow, because, in case you don't know it, there are a dozen different methods to constructing this block. Personally, being the lazy and not-so-accurate quilter, I wanted the easiest method. Once again, I turned to Bonnie for her system. I also found a similar idea in a magazine done with the absolutely gorgeous French General fabrics. Hence my idea to make the large solid pieces random (I'm the quintessential scrapper, ladies! I get bored really easily). So, voila! This is what I've got so far!
Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

No longer Blogless!

I have joined the blogging world thanks to Bonnie Hunter ( and Lori DeJarnett ( I was feeling very left out.

This is my darling grandson Ryan who occupies much of my free time! He's 18 months old and lives 90 miles away from us. He's just adorable. And the sweetest thing ever.

I'm spending the week in Sunriver, Oregon, retreating with Bonnie and Lori as we do each year around the Sisters Quilt Show. I'm working on many ufos this week, hoping to finally finish my red/white Ocean Waves quilt which I've been wanting to make for years. Watch for pictures of its progress.