Saturday, June 27, 2009

Quilt History Butterfly Block

Today was my NewQuiltingClub's Anniversary Party. I got up early (well early for me when I am not working) and chatted and posted most of the day. We played bingo, had trivia games, etc. It was fun and the only one I "won" had two winners and when they drew--wouldn't you know it I didn't win. I don't have the best luck with that sort of stuff.
I have entered to win on various blogs and so far nothing. You would think in time I would randomly win! Anyway I guess if that is all I have to complain about life is good.
I sewed a bit on four patches today and this Butterfly Block for Quilt History (I am AHEAD now, we don't meet until July 30th this time!). This one gave me some issues...the size just didn't all want to line up and I was patient and ripped and tried again (and I won't dwell on the fact that I sewed the wings on backwards the first time despite doublechecking and thinking I had them right!). I then hand stitched the wings on. Not great, but better than the last two month's blocks. I am supposed to present next month for a bit on the Lockport Batting Company so yesterday I researched that and came up with this:

Lockport Cotton Batting Company History

1870 Lockport Cotton Batting Company was established by George W. Hamlin east of Buffalo, NY. They made cotton and wool batts and added other items as the years progressed

Succeeded by Levan and Gritman

1894 Niagara Cotton Batting Company

1902 Three batting companies in Lockport (Niagara, Lockport and New York)
Operated out of two buildings in its heyday

1938 8 page publication “Land O’ Nod, the Monthly Magazine for Quilters,
Vol. 1, No. 1 was published by Land ‘O Nod publishing company which
has the same address as the Lockport Cotton Batting Company. The
editor was Mrs. Scioto Imhoff Danner (biography said she is a prolific
quilter who sold her patterns and traveled with her quilts), Had a “new”
appliqué pattern “Climbing Rose” and an article by Dr. W.R. Dunton
“How I Became A Quilt Fan” as well as a Q & A column

No evidence that the second edition was printed though it was to have an
article about the Genesee Valley Quilt Club of Rochester, NY

The old cotton batting company building was adjacent to Vine Street and
had a pond in front of it with polliwogs, Barbara Thurston Petty was
forbidden to go there

1935 Sold cotton building insulation “Lo-K” used in U.S. homes 1935-1950

1940 Niagara Cotton Batting Company and Lockport Cotton Batting Company
Merged, Large and thriving industry at this time

1942 Lockport Quilt Pattern Book, Replicas of Quilts Old & New, 1942
published with “Climbing Rose” pattern again in it

1944 19 page booklet “Lockport Quilt Pattern Book-Anne Orr Quilts” (were
two), a few pages in it explained about available battings, included “An
Initialed Quilt” typical cross stitch style and “Jonquil Quilt,” “Garland
Quilt,” and Strawberry Quilt” appliqué type quilt patterns also a line of
“Colonial Quilting Patterns” with perforated paper patterns in it

1967 Lockport Cotton Batting Company quit operation, no buildings are
standing presently
If you happen to know anything else I should include (you never know, lol) let me know!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shooting Star for Quilt History, Bricks and Stepping-Stones

I pieced together this shooting star for my quilt history block. I am now supposed to hand or machine applique it which I am no good at! I pinned it down, picked out matching thread and that is as far as I have made it.

Also threw together some Bricks and Stepping-Stones ( for pattern). I plan to make some doggie size quilts with this pattern. Kathy helped cut out lots of bricks--from my leftover odds and ends so some are on the ugly side from wherever, but the dogs won't mind!
I am also crocheting away on CJ's blanket. I figured I better sew something though or I might forget how! Also did some ironing, had a great afternoon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crochet Cottage Bag Completed!

I managed to get all the parts to my bag completed before crochet class tonight and the teacher showed me how to put it together. I came home and finished putting the handles on and viola it is done! It is huge. It doesn't stand up on its own so I loaded it with a bunch of three ring binders for the photo and I have to say it can hold alot! I think this will be my crochet class bag...I like a bag for everything and everything in its bag. The pattern is the "Lily Sugar N Cream Cottage Bag" and is available on their website after you sign in. I really learned alot and am happy with my crochet progress.
Now I haven't sewn anything in what seems like forever, so hopefully I will get back to that soon too!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vote for the WIP I Should Complete!

The Nimble Thimbles Quilt Guild I belong to is having a cool meeting on July 7th. I am not going to make it to that meeting since I signed up for a knitting class that night. However, they blogged and told us to bring in three WIP's or UFO's, etc. and show them to the members and have the members vote on which one we should strive to complete in the next year. I don't have near as many UFO's or WIP's as most, but I do have a few bothering me to get done. So I am going to show you three of them here (you may have seen me work on them previously!) and tell you what is holding me up from completing them, then you can vote and tell me which one you think I should get to completing! So even though I can't go to the meeting, I will take the challenge and do the one my readers (all six of you, lol) think I should do!

This first one is called "A Walk in the Park" and was in Quilter's Home. I love this quilt and put lots of work in it to date, but I have not mastered machine (or hand) applique enough to work on the flower blocks. Once I get that done, it will be a snap to get this put together!

The second one is "Bargello Seasons" which I made while taking a Quilt University class. I love how these turned out, and my challenge is that they are different sizes and so I haven't figured out a good way to sash and connect them into one quilt. I could complete all individually and change them out on my wall, but I like the idea of having them in one quilt. Again, I am stalled very near the end of this one.

The last choice is my "Stars" quilt. I made all these last year in the star block challenge in my NewQuiltingClub yahoo group. I used whatever I had to make them and learned a few things about points and value in the process. I have one block that I never finished because I couldn't master the inset seams on it (I have done a few here and there but this one nope!). Again, the blocks are all of different sizes and being a pattern gal I have been unable to figure out how to group them and sash them so they will all look great together.

I will count the votes on July 7th and the one with the most votes will be the one I focus my attention on finishing. I would love any suggestions you have or tutorials I should watch or whatever to help me complete these three quilts. I believe these are my only three true UFO's...I am actively working on other things and so I would like to get all of them off my list of to do's!

Thanks for your help! If anyone else wants to do this challenge too let me know, I would be happy to vote on your UFO's too! Andee in AZ

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Crochet Progress, Take Two

I have the front and back of the bag done and even figured out both handles on my own! You can't see it in this picture, but I have started on the sides (way on the left part shows) and bottom all as one continual piece I think (our own change). I am hoping to get all pieces done by next Tuesday so I can learn how to put it together. I have to decide between going to the last class (next Thursday) and going to my Quilt History Group which I love! So if I can get the end instructions early I will skip out on the last official class. These two pieces are roughly the same size too, the angle of my photo doesn't make it look like it, but they are!
You can also see a clear tote in the background. I took a couponing class yesterday morning and am now a member of Coupon Sense. Looks like a great program, easier than what I normally do and I should start saving money on groceries big time once I get going. I love a good deal!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crochet Progress

I picked out some fabric for mystery quilts yesterday, but didn't have all I needed for anything, got discouraged and didn't take any pics. So I will get back to that later when I am in a better frame of mind. Good news, I got another job! I will be interpreting for Sorenson Communications starting in July. For those of you who don't know what that is, I will be the sign language link between a hearing person's phone call and a Deaf person's video phone call. I am excited to be trained and experience this kind of interpreting since I think this is just about all I haven't done! Well, there are other things, but not a lot. I am also working for a college here but won't get or know my schedule for Fall until a week or two before the semester starts. I am covering one summer class. And I work for an agency too--used to be I ran my own business, but most people in AZ work for an agency, so I put my name in for that too. With any luck there will be plenty of work to pay the bills and have some left over for fabric!
Meanwhile, my crochet class went well last night. This is the cotton yarn I chose for the bag I am doing. It is done with two strands which I have never done, so that took some getting used to. I ripped it all out once in class to try to crochet looser and then again when I got home to try to crochet looser again. It is better, but alot different than some of the gals who don't pull as tight as I do. This piece will be one side of the bag and has a few more inches to grow. I am supposed to manage to keep 40 stitches in each row, and for the love of Pete that isn't as easy as it sounds. So my edges aren't straight and I am adjusting. My trouble comes in on the ends. I will have Michelle (our teacher) work with me specifically on my ends since that is really my only problem. We will be working on the sides of the bag on is a big bag, and I have a way to go!

This piece was a small aqua green square that my Deaf friend Rachel taught me how to do many years ago. Turns out it is a granny square and is double crocheted with a single chain in between. I had completely forgotten how to do this, but now have it and have added on leftover yarn that I had here. I am turning this into an afghan for CJ since I think it was he who wore out the first one. He likes blankets. This one is so relaxing to do since there is very little counting and so it doesn't stress me out!
Well dinner has arrived so I am going to eat before I go to work.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fabric, Bags and Crochet, Oh My!

I have had this Denyse Schmidt fabric on my list ever since I first saw it. I finally ordered and got 3 yards of it! I want to use it for the back of something I make with the Denyse Schmidt squares I have...I can just look at it if nothing else, it is really cool cheater fabric.
This is Michael Miller's Birds of Norway fabric. Well, you know I love birds and Norway by now right, so how could I resist? I plan to make a Bow Tucks purse from this and then use the rest in a mystery quilt I think. I love all those colors and I got two yards so it will go to good use!

Today I cut and sewed two (seems easier to do things like this in twos for me, then I feel like I really accomplished something!) of these Carry It All Tote's from Liberty Star by Renee Plains. I wanted to make a Christmas gift for Tiffany using this pattern and though I like it, I think I would like it more with different fabric. I thought this jeans look would go with most anything and hold up to everyday use. The second one (only difference is the lining) may go to Rachel in Norway for Christmas, not sure yet. I liked the pattern though I didn't put the stencil stuff on the pocket (may try a contrasting pocket next time) and I gave up on doing the handles the way the pattern wanted. I HATE turning out long skinny things and after twenty minutes and only half success on ONE handle I decided to use the bias tape maker (that has more than been worth its cost by now) to make the handles. They turn out nice enough and whip up in a lot less time. So two more down for Christmas, man I love that!
Kathy sat with me a bit and cut 3.5 by 6.5 inch bricks so that I can make some doggie quilts from them along with the four patches I have been making. It is a Bonnie K. Hunter pattern--Bricks and Stones I think it is called.
We are using our sunny yellow dishcloth, and I gave my sister the other one yesterday!
Went to Suli's housewarming party last night and gave her these. I have another potholder for her but ran out of yarn. I will be picking some up soon. Interesting though I followed the same pattern and it came out so much better and had these little lines going all around. I think I figured out what I didn't do the first time, but decided it would still work as a potholder regardless! We also gave Suli and Diego a bench like the one my great gpa Tony used to make. She was excited and said she will paint it.

I think I mentioned before that my crochet class decided to add four more meetings (two this week and two next week!) and today the teacher sent us info on what we will be making. It is the Lily Sugar N Cream Cottage Bag (available for free on their website after you register with them). So I will be picking up some pretty yarn to make that in too. I have been working on a granny square type blanket that I started years ago and then forgot how to I get it and have been using yarn that I have here and just going round and round on it. So relaxing, and I am sure CJ won't mind another afghan.
I have to work in a bit, but feeling quite content with all I am crafting. I am still waiting on my fabric order so that I can cut and work on the rest of clue one in the Holiday Lights mystery. Good thing I have two months until the next clue!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Imperial Beach!

Yesterday we drove about six hours to Imperial Beach, CA! I practiced my crochet pretty much the whole way there and some of the way back! This is my first attempt at following a pattern. It is for a round potholder. I used the same yarn to make two dishrags. I am planning to give them to Suli and Diego for their housewarming party tomorrow. She has a lime colored kitchen so it will work. Hopefully she doesn't mind that they are early attempts and "unique" lol.

Here Mac (my 16 year old son) and I are at a rest stop. It is close to or in Mexico which Mac had never been to thus the picture. Oh, here are my new glasses with the transition lenses clearly working!

This is me on the pier with the ocean behind me. Randy and Mac are standing in the background too.
Kathy and I on the pier. She has been here several times, and for the past almost four years she has been telling me we NEED to come. I am glad we did. The hotel we stayed in is being demolisthed in Sept. and a new one put up. It is right on the beach (off to the left of the pier, I think you see the corner of it in the pic). We will most definately go back!And of course I brought this quilt, used it in the cool evening air since I had no coat and slept with it and in the morning spread it on the beach and watched the ocean from it.
I am thinking about making an Ocean Waves quilt in some gorgeous blues...maybe just a little wallhanging to always remember this first trip to the Pacific. The ocean is absolutely awe inspiring, and my soul is replenished!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Working Ahead on Christmas Gifts!

Finished the last four bags for Chrstmas gifts for the nieces and nephews. I am feeling way ahead of schedule! Sure is a nice feeling. The first few I forgot to cut the handles in half so they are really long and then I had to find some other fabric to make handles for the others. No biggy, they are now easier to tell apart. These are a nice simple bag...pattern from Denyse Schmidt's book. I have made about 10 of these bags I think! Zoey is trying to get in the picture I see. Well, off to work for tonight.

Bow Tucks Bag Done!

Went back to June's today and she helped me finish this bag. I love it. I ordered some Birds of Norway fabric and think I will be making another of this pattern with that fabric. I love it, thanks again June!
Have started on my four patches for Holiday they are as two's.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A few Simpler Bags

Finshed these simple bags from Denyse Schmidt's book for early Christmas presents. Kathy's great nephews are going to Ohio to stay with their grandfather since Kathy's niece is not really their mom and has left their dad. Sad story all around. We stuffed the bags with color books, crayons, a photo albulm with pictures of them and us all, glow bracelets and a Pez dispenser and candy. I am hoping they can bring the bags on the plane and it will all help entertain them. We will miss Mikey and Critter and hope to see them again in the future.
I am working on a second crochet washcloth, I have the hang of it! Also finished reading "The Suspicions of Mr. Wicher" by Kate Summerscale. It was pretty good and we are discussing it on my online BookiesToo group. I have been with that group since the beginning of the Oprah Book club craze and that was our original name...somewhere along the line we had to change our name since we weren't officially connected to Oprah but we continued to read her pics whenever she announces one.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bow Tucks Tote in Progress!

Whoo hoo! I went over to my new online friend June's house and she helped me make 3/4's of my Bow Tucks bag! She has been making different bag patterns (she has several hanging on her sewing room door) and so I thought why not see if she will help me decifier this pattern? I emailed her and she was happy to! I had so much fun and it all went together quite well (with her help, lol). This next pic is the inside of it...we haven't finished the bottom or sewing the lining opening (for turning) closed. The bottom is a little tricky if you ask me, but I have no doubt it will work out.
I am in love with this bag and all the inner pockets, can't wait to complete it. The hardest part so far was the outside pocket...I truly don't think the directions can be right, and neither of us could figure out how to attach the pocket following the directions. We took a guess at it and it didn't quite work out, and have another guess to try with bag number two, but neither guess was anything close to the pattern's plan.

The side ties are made, but not attached yet, I just set them there to give you some idea. I got to use June's machine and it has an automatic thread cutter. I am in love with that! Thanks June, you made my day! (heck maybe my week!).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Crochet, What an Improvement a Day (and a Class) Makes!

In 1999 or 2000 my best Deaf friend Rachel taught me how to crochet. She showed me a granny square type thing and was very patient with me so that I could get the idea. My great grandma Myrt had also shown me numerous times before she passed on when I was twenty. It never stuck. Even after doing an entire granny square blanket with Rachel helping every time I got confused I could never really just do it on my own. Make that I could do the rows but needed help turning corners, starting, etc.

She tried teaching me another stitch which I should humor you with a photo of...I still have one of my attempts and just took it out to use as dog blanket! It looks more like a triangle because I had issues with dropping or adding stitches! Apparently this is common, which makes me feel better. HAHA!

Anyway I signed up for a Parks and Rec class for crochet in June (and knitting in July!) and took the first class last night. You can see what I accomplished from the pic above. I took some notes and really tried to pay attention to what I was doing when so that I could do it on my own. Then a few hours later I pulled out another ball of yarn and started all over on my own (do you hear the squeals here?) and just a few minutes ago I completed my very own dishcloth! It isn't perfect and I didn't count (I promise to try to count the next one as reccommended) but I am overjoyed with it. It is all sunshiny yellow too!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two Quilts for my Cousin's Kids

My cousin Flo just had a little guy (Elliot) in Oregon and I decided I should send her a baby quilt for him. I got to thinking that when her daughter was born I intended to send her a quilt for her but never did so I am sending one for each of them now. Better late than never. I have had the nine patch one done for some time now (I made three awhile back and the other two found homes right away) and just today finished tying the streak of sunshine quilt with yellow floss.

Our new dog Zoe posed on the quilt and as I was shooing her off I realized it would make a cute picture so the pic stays, but Zoe will not be mailed off to Oregon! I put a label on the back of each of these and after I get them hand sewn on they will be wrapped and ready to go. I hope the kids like them.

Choices, Choices

I am feeling really overwhelmed today for a variety of reasons, and my migraine doesn't help. Sigh. I took my triptan and it is somewhat tamed, but I just feel like going back to bed. Sigh.
I should be excited because my online NewQuiltingClub group is celebrating four years of being around though I haven't been with them that long by having an online party which I am participating in the end of June. They are going to do a mystery wallhanging together that I hope to join in on.
Ann M. Smith is doing another summer mystery soon too. I have the fabric requirements for that and would like to do it if possible. I have done several of her mysteries and am always happy with the results. I may just do a crib size or at most a lap size on that.

And of course Bonnie K. Hunter is doing a mystery (in Quiltmaker magazine July/August issue) in three parts that I absolutely must do. This one is a lap size and the first clue has us making five different units. I am hoping to use my already cut strips for most of it since there aren't much funds for fabric shopping for now.

Seems like a big undertaking to make all three of these mysteries. I guess the timing will determine which gets made, but I will start with Bonnie's and go from there. Anyone else doing any of these projects?
My youngest son is coming for at least the summer this Friday. We are excited to have him here and hope to take him on a few fun, creative, inexpensive ventures.
Hopefully when the migraine goes my mood will improve...ugh!