Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mirror, Mirror

Thank you, Dora!  Dora sent me pictures of her longarm set up with mirrors on the table so that she can see the underside of the quilt without having to be a contortionist.  She has put two long and narrow door mirrors on the bed of her longarm table, where pantographs would be taped, in order to see what is going on underneath the quilt.  These mirrors are less than five bucks each and are thin enough that the machine rides right over them easily.  What a great idea!  I bought two of them yesterday and put them right downstairs on the longarm table.  Can't wait to get the next quilt loaded so I can use them!

Since they aren't permenantly attached, if I wanted to do pantograph's, all I would have to do would be lift them up and set them aside.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

While grilling chicken breasts for dinner, I noticed a haze in the air and could smell wood smoke.  I mentioned this to a friend of mine, via text, and really didn't think much of it anymore.  That is, until my husband came home from work and asked me if I knew why it was so hazy.  I told him I just thought someone was burning brush.  He said the local news had a story that we may be seeing smoke from the wild fires in Canada!  That just seems so far fetched, but it is possible, I guess.  I went online and sure enough, there was a path of the smoke on NOAA's webpage and we were in it!

Just like when hurricane Isaac happened and we were getting rain from it, you just never know what's going to happen.  Who would have thought of wild fire smoke or hurricane winds and rain in Illinois?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Waxing Poetic

Recently I opened a new jar of strawberry jelly that I had bought from the store.  This, in itself, is not a remarkable event, but it did spark a memory.

Like many people in rural areas, my great grandmother made jelly.  Mostly, she made grape jelly because that is what we had.  Sometimes there would be rhubarb, peach or strawberry, but most of the times it was grape.  I learned how to make jelly from her and from a kindly neighbor lady across the street after Mammy passed.

When the jelly was done, it was usually put in recycled jars from just about anything.  As long as there was a lid that met up with the jar (and there wasn't any odor that would affect the taste of the jelly lingering on the lid) it was fair game.

After the jelly was put in these jars, a layer of parafin wax was put over the jelly to seal it.  I still remember this wax came in a box about the size of a pound of butter.  There were sheets of wax about a half inch thick in it.  Gulf was one of the brands.  Mammy would melt that wax in an old tin can on real low heat on the stove, then carefully pour over the jelly.

Down to the root cellar those jars would go and all winter we had jelly!  

These days, that's not the way we seal jelly.  A much safer way to do it, using a hot water bath canner or a pressure cooker, is the only way to go now.  I don't want anyone to think I'm suggesting they seal jelly in that manner.  I am not.

Funny how those memories just pop into your head sometimes.  When I opened that jar of jelly, for a very brief second I halfway expected to see wax on top!

Monday, June 29, 2015


My sweet puppy, Addy, has a birthday tomorrow!  She will be one year old!  She has sure grown into a big dog.  And just like Ivy, she has really taken up the sport of catching birds.  Today she caught two, and over the weekend she took out two more!  Not sure what her total is up to for the year, but it's rivalling her predecessor, that's for sure.

Still got a lot of pup in her.  You would never know that she had that leg broke by the way she runs all over the place.  I noticed, just in the past couple weeks, that when she is running around the yard she just leaps and jumps as much as she can.  She thoroughly enjoys being outside.  Sometimes it's hard to get her to come inside, because she just loves laying out in the sunshine or running around.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Off The Frame!

Paducah 2014 Swap Quilt is off the frame!

I'm so happy!  I can't wait to get the label and binding on it.  It's going with me to the retreat in a few weeks.  There's messy quilting on it, and mistakes, but I absolutely love it!  Such great memories of that trip with my friends that I love.  Brings back all those good feelings when I see this quilt. 

Now, what should I bind it with?  Maybe that purple that is in the cornerstones if I have any more...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Map It Out

In order to keep a continuous line of quilting (this is of course depending on if the thread cooperates and doesn't break...) a little mapping was necessary.

If I start in the upper left corner, and make sure I cross over to the bottom left after the top half is done, I can quilt this block in one pass with no stops.

Really hope that I don't have those thread breaking issues when I work on this again.  That is so frustrating.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cutting It Close

This is a birds eye view of the end of the quilt on the frame.  The very left part is the bar.  Then you can see a piece of muslin seamed up to the backing.  It's a little hard to tell because it's the underside of the backing.  Then a bit of batting and then the bottom edge of the quilt top.

I was really cutting it close with that material for the backing and knew it was going to be tight.  I decided before I even put it on the frame to seam an extra piece of muslin to the backing in case it wasn't enough.  I'm glad I did, because it would have been very difficult to quilt that bottom edge!

Here's another pic at the corner, just to give you a different view.

All's well that ends well.

Decisions, Decisions

These are the kind of decisions I like to make!  What should I quilt in these blocks?

My idea for the green stripe one is to do a squiggly line in each stripe.

For the spool blocks, I was thinking of mimicking thread on the spool body and then outlining the rest of the spool.

Not sure what is going to go in this nine patch.  The blocks are big enough I could even write in them and the thought has crossed my mind to write Paducah 2014 and other things we related to that year's quilt show trip.  It's in the bottom corner of the quilt, so that could even serve as the label of sorts.

Haven't decided what to put in this pretty block yet, but I'm sure something will come to mind!

I really am ready to have this one off the frame and get it bound.  I'd like to take it to the retreat in July and show it off!

Dusty Sewing

When I went downstairs last night to sew, there was dust and grit on my quilt on the frame and on Gemma!  I knew right away what happened and could just kick myself.  I should have covered everything because Gemma is set up right below our bedroom, where we were putting in new flooring.  All that pounding must have shook all kinds of dust and yuck from the ceiling of the basement onto my quilt and machine!

I got it all cleaned up and all is well.  Was able to sew for a little over an hour and get the quilt turned to the very last row!

Now to decide what to quilt...  :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I'm a bit tired today.  Last night, about the time that I usually go to bed, I got a notion to start clearing out my dresser drawers.  I had a big plastic tub that I put clothes that were out of season in and clothes I probably won't be wearing in.  The next step will be to clear out the tubs...  haha.

Even though it pushed my bedtime back a bit, it was worth it.  I'm glad it's done and the dresser is somewhat organized.  Somewhat.  Organized.

I grilled some cheeseburgers and some veggie burgers for dinner.  Nick came over and we ate together and he told me about his weekend.  Tomorrow he goes to the doctor, hopefully for the last time, about his collarbone.  It looks like it has healed really nicely.