Monday, July 27, 2009


Recently I have become very interested in aprons, even bought a Cindy Taylor Oates book of vintage apron patterns.

Aren't they sweet? However, most of these require a lot of fabric around 2 yds & more- I think that's a lot of fabric for an apron!
But I am a messy sort of cook, I tend to end up with food splattered on my clothing & have a bad habit of wanting to wipe my hands on my clothes if I don't have a towel tucked into my waist. Wearing an apron therefore is a wise notion for me preferably a full length design!

Yesterday I sewed up this one that requires no pattern & took a total of 5/8 yd. of fabric, much more reasonable in my view.

Here is the basic lay out-I added a 4" wide strip WOF [width of fabric] of the coordinating fabric gathered onto the bottom. I ignored the full width pocket instructions-it wiukld have made the apron too short. I think it turned out very cute, I love these retro fabrics they sew up nicely for an effective combination in this quick & easy project. I'm wondering, should I add a pocket in the same fabric as the frill?
I plan to give it to my Secret Sister in my CO. quilting guild. Perhaps she is not as messy as I am!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Baby Boy Quilt

I needed to make another baby boy quilt [& one for a girl too, but she isn't due for a few weeks] & decided to try & use up some of the leftovers from the past couple of years of baby boy quilts. Searching for a design idea D9P-Disappearing 9 Patch- was my choice.
I decided to make it "controlled scrappy" meaning that my fabrics would be color controlled but still scrappy. I had a lot of similar greens & blues, a few reds, couple of yellows that all added up to plenty of fabric for a nice sized baby quilt.
What follows in this post will be old hat for most quilters but for non & newer-quilters it may provide a peek into the wonderful world of quilting!

This is a basic 9 patch.

To make the D9p I slice it once through the center in each direction....

rotate two opposing pieces......

and sew them back together!

Voila! D9p! This little sample block I made with 2.5" squares. This little patch is perfectly square, really, I double-triple checked with my square ruler but it photographs a little wonky! Weird! One of the beautiful things about Nine Patches is that I can choose the size of the original squares to fit my desired dimensions, the larger the square the larger the quilt & faster to construct.

I chose 5" squares for my block as above, for the baby quilt I needed 12 of them to get the right size. Because it's scrappy I had more of some fabrics than others so now I had an OCD issue, how to make it balanced enough to suit me. It took a couple of tries & some un-sewing to get there. While I'm on the "unsewing" subject I have a handy-dandy little tool for this task[ commonly called"frogging"-ripit-ripit! ]

These are really "eyebrow trimmers" & come in a pack of three for $2.99 from the drugstore.

There is a little serrated blade on the end that efficiently cuts through the smallest stitching without damaging fabric. I love these things, just don't ever let the manufacturers know they are used for sewing tools or the price will rise exponentially! Until a few months ago they were only $1.99, so I suspect that the word is getting out!
Back to the D9P quilt-

can you see my dilemma? I have an issue with the position of the blocks with the dominant red stripe, & I also have a problem with the other red blocks because one block has the stripes going horizontal rather than vertical! AAAARGHHHH! Maybe OCD's shouldn't try to make scrap quilts? It's not supposed to have order, & I'm not supposed to care! Next time I will just scatter those dominant blocks any old place.

Finally after several experiments I managed to settle on this solution. It is said that if you have a flaw it should go in the lower left corner because that is where the eyes are less likely to notice it-now that I have shared my "secret" will you always be looking at the lower left corner of my quilts to see if I have messed up?

To use up some more of these leftover fabrics I decided to make a scrappy border so the quilt is now about 44x60" a generous size for a baby.
Next week I will quilt it when we are in AZ & post a finished picture.
I found this very cool pic. of a B&W&red D9P in webshots
Isn't it smashing? This is what can happen when you use planned fabrics-I have a B&W&R fabric collection so I need to whip up one of these, I even recognize some of the fabrics,LOL..........
So come on & make a D9P & send me your pics! I'll post them here along with the BW&R one I will make......very soon.... after the baby girl quilt..... I promise, it's next up on my WHIMM list!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday

I always love Thursdays & don't like to miss out on one of the most interesting days of the week in Blogland, VTT. You will find lots more fascinating objects through our host coloradolady, I learn something new about "the old days" every week.

One of my favorite pieces of furniture is this antique victrola cabinet. I was at an auction in San Angelo TX in the early '80's & this piece was going for $25 so I jumped up & yelled "$27.50" & the auctioneer said "sold"! I bought several antique items over time in this same manner for this same price,LOL! It worked well for me. I have a particular affinity for old Gramaphones because I remember vacations in a cabin at Newport Beach in Australia when we danced to "Five foot two, eyes of blue" played on an old wind up Gramaphone! We used to giggle when it went fast at the start & groan when it slowed down & needed rewinding!

My collection of vintage records from the early 60's on, occupies the bottom of the cabinet. Perhaps I will show some more of them another day, some are really rare because the groups no longer exist.

Much to my sorrow the original Gramaphone has been removed but I did find a vintage solution!
A Sansui Automatic stereo turntable from eBay for, wait for it.......... $27.50! No shipping because the seller was just a few miles from our home.

You can see the Parker Gramaphone logo but I would love to find any brand from the period to put in my cabinet. Of course I would then need to purchase some old style records, hmmmmm..........
Meantime DH hooked up the stereo & I can play my records any time I want & oh the sound is marvellous, brings back so many memories.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Paint The Deck!

This is my major occupation for the week. All day, every day, except for Wednesday when I will go into town for the "Huggy Bunch's" quilting day- I think I deserve one day off from the painting, don't you?! I actually rather enjoy painting, making things look fresh & new, but it's messy work & physically much more demanding than sewing!

DH has had to dismantle our deck- well, he has more than half of it torn up, the rest will be disassembled in like fashion after he finishes repairing these areas.

It appears that the builder failed to use "treated" timber for the joists that cantilever to the deck & they are rotting! Arrrggghhh, what a huge job this is & one that will take a month or more- maybe most of the summer. DH has to remove all the rotted timber from the 2x10 joists [cutting down 3" into the full length of each support ] treat the remainder with a preservative & then bolt on replacement planks of new treated wood. The Trex planks are all immune from rotting so they have been piled up on the corner of the deck awaiting re-installation.

It has of course rendered our deck pretty much unusable in this wonderful summer weather in the mountains. No sitting out in the evenings with adult beverage enjoying the view, the wildlife, the sunset, the stars .............arrggghhhh!
The railings were due for painting anyway so that's what I am doing while they are all removed from the upper deck & easier to paint.
So far yesterday & today I have painted all of these......

and this one, plus a few more pieces not shown, but they all require a second coat.

Tomorrow I plan to finish up a first application on the last three sections .......
& begin a second coat on all the rest!

This is a partial view from below, pretty sad eh?

This work is hard on the body-at least it is on this senior citizen body of mine-my back & my arm were really sore from yesterday, so today I wore one of those back support thingies & an armband & it has helped, I'm not feeling so bad. I did look a sight though & I was wondering if the UPS man might be too scared to get out of his truck!
And here's a photo of my new little embroidery machine -I would much rather be playing with it than painting.
By week's end I hope I will be back to what I love & do best-the wonderful world of sewing & quilting.

Friday, July 17, 2009


July 11th. 1968-July 17th. 2006

"More and more each day we miss you

Friends may think the wound has healed

But they little know the sorrow lies within our hearts concealed.

Ever-present the silent heartache, always the silent tears

But also the beautiful memories of one we love so dear."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thanks for the Memories

For all the years that have been.......

and all that are to come.
Thanks. To the love of my life.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Puppy Love!

The Kaleidoscope UFO

Yippee, this is an oldie! Maybe 20 yrs. have passed since I pieced this quilt top. I had made one of these designs that had too little contrast in the fabrics & it turned out, to my disappointment, very "muddy" looking. I promptly donated it to the GF of one of my sons.
In my tendency for over-reaction I went the other direction & constructed this one with high contrast. A couple of decades later I have no idea what I was thinking then but suffice to say that these would not be my current fabric choices. It does have contrast, that I will admit & I still have in my stash enough of the border fabric for binding-I guess that tells you that my preferences in fabric/color/design have changed in a couple of decades & this quilt no longer fits with my current lifestyle!
This said, I will be pleased to have one more older fabric out of my collection, not to mention another quilt off my UFO list!

I quilted feathers on it because that seemed the most fitting.
Now what on earth am I to do with this kaleidoscope quilt?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quilting In The City

When I am in AZ. during the summer, brief visits usually, I try to get as many tops quilted as I can. Then when I return to the mountains I bind them & work on design & piecing more.
This time around in the city I quilted two of the vintage tops I got on eBay & a small UFO top that looks like rain forest to me. Three more quilts almost complete!

This first vintage bow tie quilt is very thin fabrics, mostly feed sack I suspect, so I decided to quilt it with an all-over meander, couldn't think of any other very simple design that would be age appropriate. I haven't all-over meandered a quilt since the very early days with my longarm, it's mindless quilting & allows for a lot of stabilizing of the hand-pieced seams. Oh yes, both of these are hand-pieced. There is a stain down the left side but the quilt hasn't yet been laundered & I'm thinking/hoping, a dose of Oxyclean will take out the stain.

The second is a different setting of a very scrappy bow tie, more colorful & sturdier, possibly a later vintage? I had a bit of an issue with the wavy borders, one in particular I decided I couldn't live with. I removed most of that side border & took out a couple of inches of excess fabric & re-attached the border. Both my Pfaffs are in CO. so I pulled out the trusty little pale green 40's Featherweight. I quilted this one with a freehand Baptist Fan design, goes fast & is very appropriate for the era I think. It's another design that helps to strengthen the hand sewn seams.

And here's a close up, you can see the freehand Baptist Fan design.
Both of these old quilts have a traditional [wide] bleached muslin for backing.

This is the little quilt that reminds me of a rain forest so I quilted the center with leaves & lizard type critters & the borders just with leaves.

I have at least another day with my LA so I'm trying to decide which quilt is next, I have plenty from which to choose!