Monday, May 30, 2011

How I am getting around Blogger's current problem...maybe it will work for you!

Well, my husband and I have been trying to figure out Blogger's problem (since Blogger can't seem to...).   I was able to leave comments as a "signed in" person on many of my friends' blogs in the USA, but no one in Canada, Germany, Australia or New Zealand.  The only International one that recognized me as "signed in" was Jane in Wales.

The weird thing is that my own damn page didn't recognize me!  I could post, but then couldn't leave comments on my own page!  Totally F.U.B.A.R. (hopefully some of you know what that means so I don't have to type it out, LOL!).

Anyway, clear "cookies" and "cache," re-start your browser, and then when you sign in on the Google sign-in page, put your email address and password, but "UN-CHECK" the box that says "remember my password?"  It's brilliant!  Now everything is OK and every site I've tried knows I'm signed in, thus I can now leave comments!

So now I will go back to the "help" page and tell them that there must be something wrong with their "remember my password?" link.

At first I wondered if it was some strange homeland security thing that would not let me comment on foreign blogs, but then when I couldn't comment on my own blog I decided that was dumb (unless I am on a watch list that I don't know about...).  Ha-ha.

Anyway, this helped me...maybe it will help you too!

So, other than solving Blogger's problems this holiday weekend, I caught up on 3 blocks for the Bee Balm bee that I belong to online.  Here are two of them...

Two people wanted blocks with the same pattern, I think it is called a double Ohio star.  It was fun, especially trying to do it in two color ways.
I've also been on a quest to tame my out-of-control scrap situation, pressing, cutting and feeding SEVERAL scrap quilt projects.  Once I get pieces gathered, I will have plenty of fodder for leaders and enders, and for mindless chain piecing when I only have 15 minutes to sew.  Sewing time has been rare lately, and I needed something simple for the times when only 10-15 minutes was possible.

I love this little number.  It is a Bonnie Hunter design that I found in Quiltmaker Magazine (she has had a scrappy feature every issue for a while where she shares a great scrappy block).  I think this one was called something like "Positive/Negative).  Each little square quartet will finish 9 inches square.  I have a container to hold all pieces, finished blocks, and 2-inch strips that will be sub-cut into the pieces needed.
I enclose a card that reminds me what and how I cut the pieces, and a pressing diagram (so I only have to figure it out once!).
There are MANY other Bonnie Hunter scrappy quilts I want to do from both of her Scraps and Shirt Tails books.  This one...
 And this one...

And this one...

And this one...
Also tons of 1.25 and 1.5 inch strips for log cabin type quilts and lots of strings for crazy blocks, like the ones needed in the quilt above.  Applique quilts are calling, but I really need to finish taming my scrap stash.
So in closing, please know I have been reading many of your blogs, just unable to comment and tell you that I have been.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quilts for Joplin Tornado Victims...

I just got an email from the Ackfeld Manufacturing Co. of Reeds Spring, MO.  They are collecting quilts to give to victims of the recent devastating tornado in Joplin, MO.  (check out their web site at this address http://www.ackfeldwire.com/)


They are a company that makes quilt hangers, especially featured in Nancy Halvorsen books like the one pictured above, and they are located in Missouri as well.  If you have an extra quilt of any kind, or an extra top that you could turn into a quilt, any donation would be welcomed and distributed.  They are asking that quilts be labeled or signed so that the recipient will know who made it and where the love and hugs came from.  Check out their site for more details.  Quilts can be sent to:

Peggy Ackfeld
Ackfeld Manufacturing
360 Reeds Spring, MO  65737
(888) 272-3135

As most of my family is in Alabama, if anyone knows a similar effort for victims of that storm a month ago, I would love to know of it.  I'd like to support that effort with a quilt as well.

Also, my cyber sister, Mary Lou of Cheaper Than Therapy Quilting lost her 17-year-old son this week.  Please keep her family along with all these storm victims in your thoughts and prayers.  There are a lot of people in a whole lot of pain right now.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Scraps are taking over!

Just a quick post...mostly to get rid of the picture of the lady with the zippered mouth.  I've heard from some of you saying she was a little creepy.

I've been holding on to my new Stars and Sprigs pattern for months now while finishing other projects.  That has the appearance of being disciplined, but really I've been having a hard time deciding how to proceed with this pattern.  I've been trying to decide between brights and reproduction fabrics. 

I FINALLY decided to experiment with some brights, maybe because it is spring and all the lovely flowers and new tree leaves have been influencing me.
I've cut out and glue stick prepped about 10 blocks worth of applique.  Each pattern and the prepped pieces are in a separate sheet pocket protector until I can get to them.  After glue basting the shapes from one of the blocks to the background, I'm thinking I need to make some of the more leaf looking pieces other colors than bright greens.  There are so many leaves in the whole project that I need to loosen up and stretch my definition of leaf color, or the quilt is going to read too green.

I've had to put this project on hold while I deal with my scraps...they are taking over the quilt cave!  The containers I sort scraps into are near to bursting, which means the piles of unsorted scraps have been growing because there is no place to sort and store them.  I've been looking for a block that I misplaced and I keep bumping into scrap piles!  It is insane! 
I have to stop and feed some of the scrap quilt projects I want to do to clean this clutter up!  This involves pressing each scrap and then processing it into strips, squares, rectangles, and strings.  I've been needing to do this for several months, but I didn't want to stop the applique and quilting projects I was working on to do it.
Once I've done this, I'll have oodles of space to sort and store NEW scraps.  And I will have endless leaders and enders ready to go while sewing on other projects.  All these scrap quilts are long term projects...but I will soon have quite a few processed bits to chain piece together.
As I process the scraps, I save the tiny bits for small applique shapes and crumb quilting.  I sort those into 4 bins...WARM (red, yellow, orange, pink), COOL (blue, green, purple), BROWN/BLACK and NEUTRAL. 

Next post I will show the 8-9 scrap projects I am currently feeding...and maybe by then I will find the missing block that prompted all this stash maintenance.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Friday, May 13, 2011

I've been quiet this week because I've been kitting a BOM for the shop and writing patterns.  This picture is not me...I think I would look a little more "mental" if someone had sewn a zipper to my face...

I've been working on the kitting/writing at home in the quilt cave, which is good, but I have not had time to do any sewing for myself this week, and that is BAD.  All work and no play makes Teresa a cranky quilter!  I've been cutting, folding and counting what seems like thousands of little rectangles, and them counting and recounting again to get the kits absolutely right.  I sure love the look of a scrappy quilt, but it makes kitting a small nightmare.

This is the quilt, called "Most Wonderful," that the fearless threesome (Mary J, Ola and I) came up with using the calendar blocks and letters featured in Nancy Halvorsen's book, "Count On It."  We launch it in the morning!



Since I have not decided on what to work on next, I'm going to share a couple of things that my friend Kathy F (no blog) has been working on.  Pictures were taken at our Friday morning Sit & Stitch group by Judy T and MaryLiz...thanks girls!  First, Kathy got her "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" quilt back from the quilter (our buddy, Marilyn Lange).  Marilyn does FABULOUS feathers!

Kathy is also making these fabulous hexagons...


And then one Friday when I wasn't there, she wowed everyone with THIS...


Good thing I wasn't there...I would have grabbed it and RUN!  Blue is my favorite color.

What's up with Blogger today?!?  Is it a "Friday the 13th" thing?  It seems to be back and working for me...I hope everyone else's issues are better as well.

Next week I look forward to catching up on Bee blocks and a few other projects.  Then I hope to stop spinning and decide what to start next.  That won't be easy as there are so many things on my bucket list!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


Monday, May 9, 2011

Last of the show...more detail of my quilts...

To address a couple of emails (and to appease my far flung family) I am posting more details of the two quilts I entered into the Sauder Village 2011 Quilt Show in Archbold, Ohio...then I promise, off to other things in the next post!! This quilt was just too big to get a good picture of it the way it was hung at the show, but here are more pictures of "Wickedly Liberated," about 93 inches square.  The space was cramped and it was hung a little crooked (downhill!), but it was my best opportunity for pictures.  This quilt was never supposed to get this big, and there's no way to photograph it in my house and get all of it in the frame.
I did a liberated lady block swap with 16 of my closest quilting friends.  Mary J made witches for some of her blocks, and I was lucky to get one in my set.  With a 13-yr-old daughter who is ga-ga over the musical "Wicked" and the movie "The Wizard of Oz," I knew I had to come up with a quilt putting all that together, with the witch in the middle of it all.  This represented my first attempt at Tonya's free pieced letters (Lazy Gal Quilting)...they are so much fun to make!
Each person in the swap made 17 ladies, then we swapped.  I received some additional ladies and decided to make the liberated doggies...the quilt just got bigger and bigger.  I decided it needed a house that had fallen on a witch.  I had a tub of small-scale bright florals that I decided to use because Oz had such pretty flowers in the movie (I even had some poppies!).
Marilyn Lange of Ypsilanti, Michigan (who also participated in the swap) machine quilted it for me.  I love how she quilted "bow wow" next to the dog shown below.  Using a Pigma pen, I wrote the name of every person next to the legs of their offered block so I could always remember their beloved contribution.  I sew with some fantastic women, and it is nice to have a quilt containing their blocks.
Even though I wanted it to appear random, I worked in five rows, using fabric and free pieced trees to fill needed spaces.  All the lady blocks were different sizes.  Everything came out of my stash except for the background used in the word border (and the backing).

I entered this quilt because it was original, fun and different...I never dreamed I would receive a second place ribbon in the Bed Quilts: Large Pieced-Machine Quilted category.

"All Around the Town' (pattern by Sue Garmon) was hung on point, but I tried to get some "square" pictures...it wasn't easy!  (made me dizzy!)
After all that effort to get this sucker absolutely flat and perfectly square, the Sauder folks hung it on point, so it looked a little tortured.  LOL!!  I guess that is good for my perfectionism and teaches me not to take things too seriously!  It is a light-hearted quilt, after all.

I'm not sure the redneck block played very well to a northwest Ohio crowd.   I'm not sure they "got" the vehicle up on blocks and the bra, boxers, and overalls on the clothesline.  My folks down south would get it...they'd think it was a hoot!


It was fun lurking near my quilt and watching people discover various things...especially the ones trying to read the skinny border where I quilted, in order, every street, town and state I've ever lived.









I was surprised and delighted to receive the Best of Show Wall Hanging award for this quilt.  It was fun to make and allowed me to let my hair down and have fun.  Now to sew on four sleeves and get it on the wall (I intend to rotate it from time to time, revealing a new "up" each time.

Now I promise, on to other quilts and projects...

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)