New Tools, New Gadgets

Happy Birthday Paul.

Hello all.

Stars Upon Stars is done.

I made the big push to finish Stars and get them sewn together. It took me two days to assemble the pieces into a quilt top and with a sigh of relief it is complete. I am thoughtfully considering my quilting design. Each block has 300 pieces so in the ditch quilting is not a consideration. I am pondering ideas from Cindy Needham’s video utilizing old hand quilting stencils. I have an idea percolating and many old hand quilting stencils stored away just waiting to make a come back.

I have moved onto the next project on my “To Do” list for 2022 which is Afternoon Delight a pattern by Sue Garman. I had started this about the same time as Friends of Baltimore but had to put it aside to concentrate solely on Friends. My thought was to try to use up as much of my collection of feed sack reproductions as possible. Sadly I am not even making a dent. I do have future projects that will use those fabrics so there is hope yet. I believe this will be my next quilt to quilt. I already have ideas rolling around and am considering which threads to use. I had planned on a July 4th completion date but now am eyeing June 15th, if all goes well.

My Saturday Sampler group met yesterday in Springfield and our assignment last month was making 3 x 6 flying geese. There is of course the Bloc Loc ruler made specifically for that size. However, I did happen to run across a Creative Grids ruler at out local quilt shop in Lebanon, Buckles, Bobbins and Bolts made for various sizes of flying geese using a “no fabric waste” technique. I now have a new gadget. Yes, I’m a gadget girl. Love new tools. I have to say I am very impressed with this ruler and see myself utilizing more so than the Bloc Loc ruler. This is just my personal opinion. The creative grids ruler is more costly than the bloc loc version but I believe it is worth the extra expense. Also the instructions are very easy to follow.

Last year I purchased an apple tree and planted it into a planter to be placed on my deck. This year I have two apples. Success!!!!!

I recently had a visit from my sister’s chickens. Apparently they like my deck.

Happy stitches everyone and hope your June is filled with the joys that fill you.

Sissy


Spring and all it’s Beauty

It’s been a while since I have visited. Where to begin. Went to Omaha with a friend to visit her daughter and son-in-law and delivered a quilt I made for her.

While traveling I finished sewing the hand portion of a binding for my practice piece of applying piping before putting on binding.

I learned a great deal, basically, I need more practice before I put piping on my Baltimore Album quilt. I will be watching another video today.

Here it is piping attached and of course the Quality Assurance Inspector is giving it the once over.

also decided upon the label. I reduced the peacock in one of the blocks by 50 percent and hand appliqued that for my label. The reduced size made a 5” bird.

I quilted two quilts for a friend and put on two flange bindings for finishing. Pleased with how they turned out.

Hopefully she will be too.

Got my Saturday Sampler block made so ready to go there. Getting all my little to do list checked off. It’s time to quit procrastinating and get busy on finishing my Baltimore Album.

It’s turkey hunting season here in the Ozarks. I am really missing my brother today. For 20 plus years he came for a week or two turkey hunting and always got his bird/s. It seems very strange for him not to be here even though he’s been gone for 3 ½ years. The redbuds are in bloom and the dogwoods are starting to pop out. This always reminds me of my brother.

I was surprised this week by my friend Christine who made me the loveliest quilt for my camper. I am totally obsessed with it and feel especially special that she made it for me.

Work is progressing on the Stars Upon Stars quilt. I have completed 14 of the 15 star blocks. Each was always a surprise. I would lay out the 9 fabrics to make the spokes in what I presumed to be a pleasing arrangement and was always surprised with how they actually turned out. For some reason I am just not able to visualize the outcome. I suppose in a way that’s the novelty of it and why I am enjoying making these blocks. It started out as a challenge working with “Y” seams of which now I am a professional (haha) and now its more of how are those fabrics are going to translate into a block?

There is the hope of completing this quilt tip by end of this month.

I will end today with photos of my second passion spring in bloom. These are taken from my beautiful flowers and shrubs this spring. Enjoy the eye candy.

The dwarf korean lilac. Oh the perfum it puts out and it is in full force right now just below my sewing room window.

Beautiful Iris I stopped and acquired from the roadside last year and look how lovely it has bloomed.

L ook at those snowballs. I had been struggling with this shrub producing snowballs. Last year it only had a couple so I decided not to trim the bush last summer and have left it au natural and just look at the result. It’s fabulous.

This is the year of surprises. This white bleeding heart was planted in my garden about 6 years ago and just this year has decided to bloom. Such a slow grower.

Then there is my reliable pink bleeding heart and it is stunning as ever this year.

It is spring in the ozarks which translates to flash flooding. Here are some during and after photos:

Hope all is well and off I go to work on Star # 15.

Have a wonderful day.

Sissy


Successful First Camping Trip

Back home after my first solo camping trip to the AQS Quilt Show in Branson, MO. My trip was definitely an affirmation on “You Can Do This”. I had been nervous about going solo in a travel trailer but wow oh wow did I knock it out of the park. Towing was no problem, GPS delivered me directly to the campground in Branson, check in was a breeze, had a beautiful spot looking right at the lake with a pull thru site (I know I cheated). I did not have to stress about backing up the camper. Set up had it’s challenges. I have since ordered a couple of items that would have made setting up easier. I had a bit of a leak in my water hook up so have ordered a click easy hook up. Hopefully that will solve the problem. I had a difficult time due to my hand injury tightening everything, even with a wrench. Hopefully the quick thingy will help. The people I met were very nice, the campground was clean the bathhouse was clean and had a coded entry. There was even a free Trolley available to the convention center that was 5 blocks away. The nights were high 30’s and the days were high 40’s. My Alde heat system performed beautifully kept me a toasty 70 degrees inside and had hot water. I have to say I am much more confident in my ability to handle my camper on any trip I choose to take. Girl Power!

I did realize I took waaaay toooooo much stuff. It was quite claustraphic inside until I started removing items and putting them in the back of the FJ. When I got home I went thru EVERYTHING and boxed up stuff and put in the storage shed. I have a sleek pared down camping system ready for my next adventure. I have also made a list of must haves so hopefully the next trip I won’t forget my power cord and foot peddle like I did this time.

Take a look thru that kitchen window. Notice that beautiful bridge? Well that was my view.

Max took the trip with me. I was worried about being in an all day class and not being able to take him outside (no room for a crate) so I put peepee pads down. Amazingly, he held himself until I took him out the whole trip. Yay. But he did get in the garbage one day and also knocked his water bowl over in the process. Thankfully the water was obsorbed and did not ruin the floor.

All in all a very successful trip for me.

AQS quilt show. I took a beginner machine quilting class from Cindy Seitz-Krug. I learned some of her valuable tips on machine quilting. What I enjoy is taking these classes from different instructors and pulling their techniques and compile them into my use and skillset. I have to say I was a bit bored in the morning session it was a bit tooo beginner, but the afternoon session was well worth the cost of the class. I assumed the class was to be a project that was pictured as the description of the class. Nope. But I learned I have the skillset to create my own.

These are Cindy’s quilts she hung in the class:

I also volunteered thru the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild to assist Bonnie Browning with her lecture. What a highlight for me. I have admired her work for many years with AQS. She is such an inspiration, afterall she is in charge of putting on all of the AQS quilt shows.

Shopping:

Oh Yeah what fun. I am currently working on a civil war type quilt and will have lots of left over fabric. What to do, what to do? I found a fun quilt pattern that will be perfect to use those left over fabrics.

While in the process of designing a beginning applique project to teach at our local quilt shop Buckles, Bobbins and Bolts, thinking it will be made with traditional fabrics to display to advertise the class. Then when in the class I will bring out the razzamatazz sample of the same pattern to show how to step out of the box. Found these wonderfull pieces to play with for that project.

This is the quilt that took Best of Show – it was incredible.

Happy Stitches Everyone

Sissy Malone


Stars Upon Stars, Branson AQS, Camping

February 28th, 2022 Monday

Busy, busy, busy. So many options of tasks from which to choose. Recently took a trip to Rogers, Arkansas where I picked up my beautiful Baltimore Album style quilt from April Wells, SewDarnCuteQuilting.com It is so very stunning. It is amazing to me that I made this beautiful quilt. But I know I did because it took me 3 years. The excitement has subsided a bit and reality is here and I have much to do to complete this quilt. Piping, binding, blocking and label. Tadda then it’s ready for show season.

March 21, 2022

Where has the month gone? Spending time with friends, squeezing in some quilting sewing, enjoying the sunshine on the crazy 70 degree days, getting in some exercise via walking intermittently (commitment issues there I think) oh and I did finish the closet project. That’s where my time has gone.

I did squeeze in a trip to Springfield to Bass Pro Shops with my sister and brother in law.

Speaking of the closet, I am very pleased with my innovation ideas to fit the space I have as well as address my personal needs within the space. Revamping the original idea (closet kit) challenged my carpentry skills but I successfully met and went beyond my expectations of myself.

I did give myself a no sewing

moratorium while the closet project was underway. If I had not I would have gotten side tracked and procrastinated on finishing the closet when the challenge got tough.

With the closet project behind me I am able to give my full attention back to the Stars Upon Stars quilt. I have to say I have developed a system on these blocks that has improved my “y” seam skills and made the making of the blocks enjoyable. Enjoyable because my OCD is appeased because those 8 pointed stars do not have “D” cups. They actually lie/lay flat.

I have ziplock baggies marked with ½ and whole where I store the larger star diamonds made from 9 different fabrics. I then choose the fabrics for the small stars and ½ stars that create the connecting squares and triangles for the 12” blocks and add to each back. I pick a bag at random and complete the block. I have 8 whole 12” star blocks completed of 15 and 5- half star blocks completed of 11.

As I have said before, I am always surprised of the end result. This one I found pleasing.

I have a new Ott light and Baby Kitty seems to think it’s her personal heat lamp. She likes it. I think she has odd behavior but she is a cat.

The big news is I am heading to Branson, MO tomorrow on my maiden camping trip to attend the AQS Branson Quilt Show. Pulling my cute little camper I bought 2 years ago specifically for use in retirement to attend the long distance quilting events. Then Covid hit. Tomorrow is the beginning of hopefully many adventures and of course it’s supposed to storm and rain for my 2 hour drive. I’m a big girl. I can handle it. I have signed up for a class with Cindy Seitz-Krug for beginner machine quilting. Hoping to add some new techniques and skills to my limited abilities. Plus I want to view all those beautiful artistic quilts.

Today’s adventure is packing and getting ready to hit the road.

Hope everyone has a fabulous day.

Sissy Malone


Baltimore Album Quilts, Stars Upon Stars

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2022

Suffering some sort of sinus infection that is effecting my teeth. Yikes the pain has been unbelievable and no help from the dentist. What a waste of my time and insurance money. It seems to be subsiding for which I am very thankful, again no thanks to the dentist. Rant over about dentists.

I am actually feeling better and am building up my motivation to work on my Stars Upon Stars quilt. There are many components to this quilt and I am breaking it down and working on one component at a time. There are 42 sashings required and I have made 31 and have put them aside. I am now putting together fabrics for the 15 star blocks. My plan is to make 5-6 star block diamonds this week and next week make the corresponding setting mini stars and half stars. With what I have already made that will put in at the halfway mark. Progress. This is a very challenging quilt for me. I am honing that “Y” seam 8 pointed star technique and I am also working with fabrics I am not naturally drawn. These are civil war reproductions and are darker fabrics. I am usually working with bright vibrant fabrics. Yes, it’s a challenge to shift gears. I keep wanting to throw in a spicy bright fabric. I am also challenged by the kaleidoscope feel of the stars. My thoughts wander to how am I going to quilt this? Toying with ideas. Need more practice in this area.

There are still patches of snow and ice in the shadowy areas that remind us we are still technically in the winter season. Yesterday we reached temps of almost 60. So nice. Rain in the forecast later in the week. That will take care of lingering snow and ice.

Friday February 18, 2022

Wooo chilly morning with a bit of snow/sleet accumulation. When I lived up north this would have been called a skiff. Just a dusting on the ground. Some trees have some ice on the branches. The ice had the appearance of tear drops. So very pretty in the sunlight. Good news is supposed to get close to 50 today. Here today, gone tomorrow is my motto for this crazy weather. I’m considering walking in this crazy mess today. To be determined.

I had the opportunity to participate in an awesome Zoom presentation on Baltimore Album Quilts while it was live. It has now been uploaded to You Tube. I highly recommend this presentation. So informative on the historical origins and the impact it continues to have with today’s quilters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i00oWzdphug Textile Talks – Quilt Alliance

I learned much more than I had thought. I thought I knew the history behind them. So much more has been uncovered. The panelists were Debby Cooney, Nancy Kerns, Ronda Harrell McAllen and Mimi Dietrich all very accomplished and informed ladies.

My head was swimming with this new information and I was an absolute sponge trying to absorb and formulate this information into my brain. A question came up, Why did this style of quilt fall out of favor? Different opinions were discussed, invention of sewing machine 1854, political unrest (civil war on horizon) ; major participants left the area. Too bad we are not able to time travel to get those answers. Quiltfolk magazine # 21 Maryland is dedicated to covering these quilts and has interviews recorded. I ordered my issue right away. When the presentation concluded I sat mulling over what I had heard and I realized that I am now a member of this very special sisterhood as I have completed my own Baltimore Album style quilt. It is a very humbling notion that I am associated with all the talented ladies who have come before me and who are now actively working on and teaching this style of quilting.

I am still working on Edyta Sitar’s Stars Upon Stars pattern. I am focusing on the 8 pointed star segments for the 12” block at this time. I am planning, imagining and discarding layouts. It’s like a kaleidoscope and difficult for me to imagine the finished product. So each one is a surprise for me as it is nothing like I had imagined it. There are 15 whole stars in the project. 4 completed and 5-6 works in progress so that will leave 5 to make. It does require fussy sewing (precision). A challenge for sure. Today I am hopeful of completing this compartmentalization of work and get a total of 6 completed. I have 2 ½ left. Totally doable today.

Have an awesome day.

Sissy Malone


Finishing Projects, Stars Upon Stars

February 7, 2022 Monday

It’s been an emotional week. My sister has taken ill with pancreatitis and possibly a perforated ulcer (we had no idea she had an ulcer). I took her to the ER on Friday and on Saturday she was transported to Springfield where personnel are trained to treat her condition. As of yesterday they were taking another CAT scan to better determine what’s going on in her tummy. Hopefully today we will have answers and a course of action. It’s been an emotional roller coaster.

We had a winter storm and were blessed with a bit of ice/sleet and 5-6 inches of snow. Pretty much everything shut down. I have 4-wheel drive so I was able to navigate without any problems. They just plowed our road yesterday 5 days after storm.

I have not had the opportunity to walk and I am struggling with my weight loss. I have lost 30 pounds but am having a problem getting past that. The good news is I am down a size in clothing and have started the process of going through my closet and weeding out those items that are too big. Very nice feeling. I feel better, look better and have more energy. My goal is 60 pounds in 1 year. I’ll keep at it.

Not sure where I was when life got crazy but I finished the Savannah quilt and made the label. I am very pleased with the results. I had taken a machine applique class with Jody at Merrily We Quilt Along in Springfield, MO. I have been s self taught machine appliquer but needed to learn some finer tips on points and curves etc. I also learned about some of the uses of fusibles. I translated those lessons into my label for the Savannah quilt. I found a cute Orangutan print on Pinterest and translated it into my label. I hope I am not breaking any copyright laws by doing that.

I had planned on taking it for show and tell at our Saturday Sampler group but that got canceled and rescheduled for next Saturday. I will take it then.

Now its on to the next quilt on my list which is a BOM from Homestead Hearth Quilts, Stars upon Stars by Edyta Sitar. It is a very challenging 8 pointed star quilt. Very tiny pieces. I think that’s what attracted it to me was the challenge. I wish I could be appliqueing but my hand has not quite healed yet from being crushed by a window dropping on it. Still don’t have full range of motion with first finger. X-rays say not broken so soft tissue injury and they do take time to heal. In the meantime I am having fun with my quilting machine and sewing machine.

When I have been receiving my BOM packets in the mail I have been breaking them down into 1 12” star block; 1 3” corner block; 1 half star block. Now that I have several months of fabric and 3 month’s behind I am at a place where I can make multiples. I need 42 sashings for this quilt. I am focusing right now on making as many of those as I can so I can set them aside. The center of each sashing is a civil war pink color. I will use up what I have and wait for more pink fabrics to come. I have cut strips for 22 sashings. That is my project now. Mindless strip sewing. Good practice for accurate ¼” seam allowance.

AQS is coming to Branson in March. I have signed up to work 1 day through the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild. I have also signed up for a machine quilting class with Cindy Sietz-Krug. Excited to learn anything new for my Q16 and any new designs. I am taking my cute little camper and have reserved my site.

AQS Paducah my absolute favorite quilt show is in April and I have signed up for a sit down machine quilting class and am on the wait list for Susan Cleveland’s Piping Hot Binding class. I also have my reservations for a campsite. This time I am going Sunday thru Sunday. Very excited about that.

April sent an updated photo of the border quilting on my Missouri Splendor quilt. The finish is heading our way. It’s beautiful.

Praying every one is safe, healthy and happy.

Sissy Malone


Savannah Quilt Finished

January 26, 2022

Rip, rip and more ripping. Somehow my thread got messed up on my Q16 and one whole ear of my wildebeest had a mangled mess on the bottom side of the quilting. I know when I start to get tired I need to quit sewing. I know better. Stubborn is my best guess or on a positive note a drive to complete. I was so frustrated that I had to put it away and wait for the morning to finish ripping. On a positive note June the owner of Buckles, Bobbins & Bolts our local quilt shop in Lebanon, MO recommended to me a new product she had gotten called The Gypsy Quilter Ultra-Fin EZ TWEEZY, a precision detail tweezer. I found these to be excellent when I was ripping out quilting stitches and pulling up to teeny loose threads, it also works well for pulling up the bobbin thread. I like gadgets that simplify my life and I’ve just added this to my collection of gadgets. Love it! Just look at those nice fine tips for grabbing thread!

Wildebeest, Rhino and Lion blocks are all that are left to quilt. Then onto background filler. I have made up my practice sandwich to teach myself the geometric background. It actually looks like it will be fun.

Walked a bit yesterday with my new walking shoes. Yes, it was cold and windy but it’s winter. I was really interested in seeing how my bunion surgery foot would perform in the new shoes. They did pretty well. I’ll try again today and add about ¼ mile, work myself up again without getting shin splints and injurying my foot.

Busy quilting this a.m. Finished all detail quilting on animal faces and have started background filler. It’s a geometric design but free motion. I’m actually enjoying it.

Needed a break so headed out for a walk on this sunny chilly day. Took a little walk with Jesus and had a nice conversation. Decided to study sunshine and shadow as I walked and how light played on shadows.

Really noticed what a brilliant blue the sky is compared to the dead tree. I expected to see an eagle or a hawk perched on one of those branches.

Then I came across an old loafing shed that time has forgotten. As I study the colors in this photo I notice how calm and soothing they are. There are taupes, tans and a hint of brownish orange.

Blue seems to be my color of the day. My eyes were directed to the cedar trees and the beautiful seeds being displayed.

This one is my favorite.

January 29, 2022 – Saturday

It is finished! Savannah quilt is quilted, binding machine sewed on. Today hand sewing to complete. Woohoo. I’m pleased with the results. This quilt was made for someone who works at a zoo. Their primary interest is primates. They have not been able to secure a position in that area being it has more interest and is difficult to obtain. They are still working with animals they love. I decided I would try to make the label with an Orangutan on it as that is her first love. I found this on Pinterest and am going to translate it into a label. At first I was simply going to hand applique it and then, ding, ding, ding, I remembered I am taking a machine applique class on Monday so why not practice what I learn in that class. Now I am holding off making the label until after I take the class.

Walked again yesterday, 3 days in a row. It was pretty chilly the wind coming out of the north but not too bad as I was bundled for it. Did not see anything that caught my eye, good thing as I left my phone at home. Once I got home in the yard was a hummingbird nest from last year that had gotten blown out of the cedar tree. They really are tiny little nests.

Have an awesome day.

Sissy Malone


Savannah Quilt Project

January 18, 2022

I had a great birthday. We had 3” of snow for my special day. Many well wishes from friends and family. I felt special.

My niece sent me a video of Connor and his dump truck quilt that is just too precious. For some strange reason I am unable to add it to this page but it can be found on my instagram account. https://www.instagram.com/116malone/

Weight loss is slow but that digital number (no longer a pointing compass needle) is lowering by mere points. But a loss is a loss. X-rays of my hand have come back no fracture. There is something obviously going on with it as it is healing very slowly. I am seeing improvement but it is still painful at times.

I have moved on to my next project the Savannah quilt. I had most of the animal blocks pieced with only one left to piece and to put it all together. I have that completed after ripping out the background frames I had added because I did not properly read the pattern and resewing it all together. I have started the leaves that go across the top and bottom. Funny thing I thought they were feathers. I’m finding my basic math skills have flown away. I used to revel in math problem solving. Not so much now. I looked at the pattern and counted the number of leaves/feathers determined I needed 4 fabrics 4 feathers/leaves each which would be 16. Ironically I need 24 total. 12 across the top and 12 across the bottom. Yep basic math skills gone, gone gone. The first set I pieced I accidentally made 8 so decided to use 3 combinations instead of 4. While piecing the last set of 8 I forgot a step and today Jack and I are friends again today. Ay Ay Ay. For someone with so much experience I am sure making some beginner mistakes. Hoping to finish piecing this top today then the quilting adventure begins.

January 22, 2022

Today is Lasagna Soup day. I have three homemade soups I like to make. The first is a variation of my grandmother’s vegtable beef soup that I call Grannie’s Soup, the second is Lasagna Soup and the other is Ham and White Bean Soup. I have found that as I have grown older I really enjoy a good hearty soup for a meal. At some point I will post a recipe for Grannie’s Soup, it’s just that I throw it all together and have never written it down. The Lasagna Soup recipe I use can be found at www.spendwithpennies.com/lasagna-soup/ I do have to note that I did add sautee’d portabella mushroom. The Ham and White Bean soup recipe can be found at www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/white_bean_and_ham_soup/. I was introduced to a new spice in this soup and really like it’s flavoring , Herbs de Provence. I had never heard of it before nor used it. I’m a fan now.

I have also discovered HyVee’s (a local grocery store in Springfield, MO) Roasted Garlic Sour Dough Bread. I have them slice it and I freeze it once home and pull out a slice at a time and toast it to go with my soup. I usually make a pot of soup and freeze it insingle serving portions. Makes it convenient to pull out one portion and a slice of yummy bread to go with it for an awesome meal. Although I do want a peanut butter sandwich to go with Grannie’s Soup. This is a throwback to my childhood school days. The school cafeteria would serve a soup similar to my grandmother’s along with a peanut butter sandwich. I loved it. So to my way of thinking Grannie’s soup is not complete without a peanut butter sandwich to go with it.

Today I am basting the Savannah quilt. Progress, yes . Really looking forward to the challenge of quilting it.

Signed up for Craftsy for one year. Awesome videos. I have been watching machine quilting videos. Much to learn but so inspiring.

I discovered I have passed the novelty of staying in my PJ’s. When I was working sometimes I would have a Pajama Saturday. It was very liberating to stay in my PJ’s all day. But inevitably a neighbor would knock on my door and there I would be 2 .m. in my pj’s and that would cause them concern. Now that I am retired staying in my pj’s just makes me feel slovenly. Not how I want to feel for the day. So I get up and get dressed. Life has funny evolutions.

April has posted more photos. Excitement!!!! https://www.instagram.com/aprilwells.sewdarncutequilting/

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Busy day yesterday. Got the Savannah quilt basted. Lots of crawling around on the floor. Thank goodness I purchased a decent pair of knee pads. They are surely knee savers. I was able to navigate the quilt on the floor without any problems. Now that it is basted my mind travels to HOW DO I QUILT IT? My confidence level at quilting has quadrupled since I began attempting to quilt my own quilts. I have to admit I was woefully inadequate in that skill set. I have been practicing and taking video classes and my skills improve with every quilt now. I just finished watching a couple of classes of Cindy Needham’s Design It, Quilt It series. Inspired now to try a couple of different techniques on this quilt.

I also realized that I have not made my block for Saturday Sampler for February’s Meeting. That is my first project for today. Second project is to start in the ditch of the seams of the animals of the quilt, then some much needed household duties, i.e. a little cleaning and straightening up of the house. Those are the YUCK factors of life. I wish I had a housekeeper other than myself. In my mind I think of her as Gladys and she is wonderful. Too bad she is imaginary but I still like the idea of her.

Monday January 24, 2022

Good morning. Coffee in hand, already watched a video on geometric background quilting and getting ready to start my day.

Yesterday I managed to quilt the in the ditch of all the animal faces. I started out trying to match the thread to the fabric then switched to a smokey nylon see thru thread and evolved into the clear nylon thread. Winner, winner, chicken dinner that is the one I like the best. Today I hope to get the leaves/feathers in the ditch completed. Then I will treat each animal face differently and quilt different designs on each to emphasize the animals characteristics. Still like the idea of eye lashes on the zebra just for giggles. Hoping to end with the geometric background design. That part won’t be finished today.

I also made my Saturday Sampler block for February’s meeting. I am looking forward to challenging myself to quilt it using Cindy Needham’s ideas. I also believe I need to order more clear nylon thread for in the ditch quilting.

It seems that Buttercup has decided to take another walkabout. He ate his breakfast yesterday morning and that was the last I saw of him for the day. This morning he was not at my backdoor waiting for his breakfast nor did he come when I called out to him yesterday afternoon. I hope he doesn’t stay away too long this time. I worry about him. Still thinking about getting him a pet cam camera just to check out his adventures. I believe he is leading a double life and has another family somewhere.

I have completed the feathers in the ditch quilting and have begun the detail on the animal faces. Almost finished with the elephant. It’s coming along nicely. We’ll see how much I get completed tomorrow.

I have decided on a name for my Baltimore Album quilt. I believe I will call it Ozark Splendor. I had sent an email to Sue Garman’s daughters to get permission to exhibit my quilt made from her pattern Friends of Baltimore. Last night I received a return email giving me that permission. Woohoo!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Feeling accomplished today. Slept in (for me) till 6 a.m. yay! Caught up with an old friend last night on the phone so nice to touch base again. For me it’s a nice feeling to wander down the hall with coffee cup in hand and peak into my quilting room and have a quilt laying on the quilting table. What inspiration for the day. I am realizing just how much I am enjoying the challenge of machine quilting. I had shied away from it for about 40 years thinking it was NOT for me. I had other things I wanted to learn about, mainly applique. Back in the day, there seemed to me to have too many rules regarding machine quilting. Like what was acceptable. Today I’m not seeing so much rigidity. Maybe it’s because I have achieved what I wanted to achieve with applique that I am able to open myself up to learning something new. New adventures.

Today is guild meeting day. I have belonged for several years now but have never been to a meeting. Before it was because I was working. Now retired, I have more freedom. Still I’m hesitant to consider going. In my mind I say there’s next month. Excuses. Plus it’s an hour’s drive away. More excuses. That never stopped me from going to the one up north I belonged and eventually became President to the group. I have to make up my mind by 8 a.m. today.

Buttercup came home last night. I let him know I had been worried about him to which he promptly fell asleep all snuggled up in my arms in the recliner. He comes in occasionally to the house which upsets Scooter greatly because Scooter usually sits in my lap in the recliner and he does not like being supplanted. Buttercup did have a scratch on his head which appeared as if he got into some altercation while he was away. Buttercup rules!

Today quilting goal is to get as many of the animal faces quilted that I can. I also need to re-watch the video on geometric background quilting and make me a practice sample before I attempt it on my quilt.

The process of emptying out my closet in order to paint it and install the new closet system is moving along at a snail’s pace. I manage a bit every day. I wish I had a hanging rack for my clothes. I have over the door hangers and am filling those on all doors. Yikes it’s a mess but will be oh so worth it.


Life as I See It

Sissy’s Diary

January 4th, 2022

Well, here it is another year. It has been 3 years since Roger passed. I am still very saddened at losing him but time does ease some of the pain. It is not so heart wrenching as it once was. I will be 68 in 2 weeks and 2022 marks my 50th anniversary of graduating high school. I am hopeful of another 15-20 years if God so chooses. I figure I can get all those quilt projects finished. That will be my legacy to my nieces and nephews.

So to start the year off I have just finished my Quilt Challenge class by Angela Walters. It was a 16 class project learning how to machine quilt. It is so terrible in places but the finale was worth it. I really did learn quite a lot taking those classes and I am proud of the finished product. So on to the next QIW (quilt in waiting)

Currently under my needle is an adorable heavy equipment quilt that any 2 year old boy would love. I finally received the sashing fabric I had ordered and for some reason I started second guessing my choice. I really detest that waffling indecision period of time while the idea is percolating, but when the resolve sets in and a decision is made I am usually pleased with the outcome. It’s a process. So now that the decision has been made to go with the original idea it’s time to cut fabric and get sewing. I have also decided to add Connor’s name to the bottom of the quilt in random colors and fabric designs just to give it a little personalization. My original goal was to have it completed this week. Did I hear a raucous laugh in the background. I guess I’m confusing myself with super woman, yet again. But I will give it my best shot. So off to the cutting table I go for now.

January 6th, 2022

Good morning world. I’m here another day. Isn’t that wonderful. I spent most of yesterday taking a friend who has cancer to her doctor’s appointment after her very intensive surgery and is unable to drive. Afterwards, she felt well enough to make a quick trip to the fabric story, i.e. our local quilt shop. I had a couple of coupons that would expire this month and I wanted to use them. I found backing fabrics for 2 of my projects and used one of the coupons and received my batting for free. Now that’s a bargain I really like. I was so excited about finding just the right fabric to accentuate each quilt top (unmade at this point, but fabrics at the ready). That is one of the things I like to do is make the back compliment what’s going on in the front. Sort of like following a theme or as in decorating complimenting each other. Not sure why I was so giddy about those fabrics but I really liked them. And yes, I like pink.

Before I headed off to pick of up my friend I did manage to finish adding the borders to Connor’s work truck quilt. I almost talked myself out of adding his name to the last border. I was having a challenging time with fabric choice. In the end it is a go for putting his name on the quilt and of course I chose polka dot fabric, my favorite print for the letters instead of a mixture of fabrics. My thought was the quilt top was vibrant enought. I did get them made and ironed on. Today I plan on zigzagging the letters , basting (sandwiching) the quilt together then I get to play with my Q16 again.

It’s supposed to snow today and the temp drop down to single digits. My wayward outdoor kitty was AWOL again yesterday but when I opened the door this morning to put out kitty food, there he was and promptly walked into my laundry room. So I have kidnapped him for the day as it is going to be way too cold for that baby to be outside. We’ll see how much protest he puts up on being held prisoner.

January 7, 2022

I did get the I Love Dirt quilt basted and one of the squares quilted. I am being meticulous and not just higglty pigglty with my quilting. It’s a matter of me slowing down and being careful. The squiggle lines are using ruler work. Now that’s a challenge. That darn ruler wants to slip a bit at times so I am really being careful. I’m liking the results.

My niece posted a picture of baby Olivia and her paper doll quilt I made her on facebook, so I copied the photo for my files. Isn’t she adorable.

Last July I decided to take control of my life again and began the process of getting my A1C on track and losing some weight. I find out how successful I have been with the A1C on the 13th when I have my 6 month visit with my doctor. As for the weight I have lost 25 pounds. Very pleased with that. I am struggling at the moment with my momentum at losing. So I’m thinking I need to get creative and change something again with my diet to keep going. I’m finding I’m a snacker so I need to think of satisfying snacks that are low cal and low carb. Working on that idea for now. I also removed all sugar from my diet for a year. So far that’s not a problem. This is my christmas photo for this year at 25 pounds down.

Today, not sure how many blocks I can get quilted but I would like to try and get them all quilted. Wish me luck.

April Wells is the quilter I chose to quilt my Baltimore Album quilt. I know I chose the right person. Just look at her incredible work.

heart goes pitty pat just looking at the photo she posted. I can hardly wait to see the final result. I could just stare at it all day. She is so very talented.

January 10, 2022

The dump truck quilt is finished. I had all but the outer border quilted by Saturday a.m. I needed the right color blue thread which did not happen to be in my assorted colors. I took it anyway to Saturday Sampler group and showed it off as well as my pink and white quilt challenge. I wish I could bottle the feelings of accomplishment, pride and all those other feel good feelings to apply when one is down. I was very happy with the response from the group of 50 ladies and the compliments I received. My friends are biased and think I’m uber talented but the ladies of the group who do the same thing can give you feedback. That part I love. It helps me to grow as a quilter. So once home from Saturday Sampler group I loaded up the Q16 with the correct color thread and finished quilting the dump truck quilt for Connor. I have to admit I am very pleased and my skill set is increasing. Yesterday I added the binding and originally thought I would machine sew it from front to back for finishing. Well that didn’t work so well. Jack and I spent some quality time together taking it all out which means I hand sewed it. I smashed my right hand last October and I still have trouble doing things with it. So by the time I was finished hand sewing the binding I was in a great deal of pain and I had to take something stronger than Aleve, which I still have a few pain pills left from my bunion surgery last fall, so I took one of those. Today it’s not in pain but it is swollen and stiff. I guess I need to finally see a doctor about it. I will take a photo of the finished quilt before I send it off to Amanda. Today I plan on making the label and hand sewing it to the back.

Next up on my list is the Savannah quilt. It is Savannah animals, Elephant, Zebra, Rhino, etc. All I have left on it is the Rhino block and the feathers at the top and bottom of quilt. Maybe I can get it done this week and next week get it quilted. That would complete my list for 2021. Then I can begin my 2022 list. I have 5 quilts on that list and several smaller items. Anxious to get started on that list

Okay, so now label sewn on and note written to include with quilt. Swiping my hands in job well done completed. Woohoo. I have also cleaned (straightened) my sewing room. A ritual I have once I finish a project and am about to work on the next project. Such a good feeling. I will probably ship the quilt on Thursday as that is when I go into town for my doctor’s appointment.

I received a notification that my closet system I ordered from Wayfair should arrive today. Guess I better get busy emptying my closet to start that project. I do want to paint the closet also before I install and modify the system. I scored on this system it was on clearance. It is regularly priced at $659.00 and I got it for $196.00 Yay for me.

It is designed for a children’s closet but I plan to modify it for my closet by adding shelving above the hanging rack and across the top as well as adding side walls to it. Plus I need to go to Hobby Lobby and get a drawer pull. Thinking some sort of girly glass pull. I’m soothing my inner little girl.

January 11th, 2022

Yesterday was exhausting. I posted on Facebook to the group Friends of Baltimore the most recent photos I had received from April Wells, my long arm quilter. Boy did it ever send off a bevy of activity. Replying to everyone all day truly exhausted me. It was exhilirating but exhausting. Then last night she posted another photo. Her work truly takes my breath away.

I signed up for a class in Springfield to properly learn how to machine applique. I have tried to teach myself but would really like to learn how to execute proper points and turns and different stitches. This morning I have put a tub together to take to class with all the items on the supply list. The class is January 31st. A bit anxious I guess. I will need to call the Quilt Shop and cancel an order for the # 10 pressor foot as I discovered I already have it. Bonus for me.

Today is blood drawn day. Today I discover whether I have lowered my A1C. I’m dying for coffee right now. In an hour I get to have caffeine. Today I also start working again on the Savannah quilt. Just the Rhino block to make then assembly of the whole quilt. Maybe I can get it finished this week and quilt it next week. Now that would be an accomplishment. But I’ll try.

January 13, 2022

Yesterday I went with a friend to her Doctor’s appointment in Springfield. On the way home we stopped at The Quilt Sampler and I found the most fabulous piece of fabric that will go into my Stars & Sprigs quilt that is on the list to make in 2023. I am in process of collecting fabrics for that quilt. I am in love with Tilda fabrics and I also fell in love with this fabric. So many possibilities.

This morning I began construction on the Savannah quilt and found I have over pieced the blocks. Is that possible? Anyway, I am rip, rip ripping and am worried that I will now not have enough background fabric to piece the top together. Im hoping I purchased it at my local quilt shop Buckles Bobbins & Bolts in Lebanon. I have to go to Lebanon today so I will take a swatch with me and hope upon hope that she has it. I may not have purchased it there but I believe I did. All this ripping will slow down my projected timeline of finishing the top. Argh.

I have my doctor’s appointment this morning to review the results of my blood work. The good news is I have gone from A1C of 8.2 to 6.4. I am awesome! So back to ripping before I head to Lebanon.


Waiting for Fabric

I had a wonderful Christmas holiday and am now settling into wrapping up projects for 2021. Currently working on an adorable heavy equipment quilt. I have machine appliqued all the blocks but am waiting for the setting fabric to arrive from Missouri Star.

So…. while I wait I did finish 2 more online classes from Angela Walters. Got to the last class in the series and decided yes, I would like that ruler. I have ordered it and am now waiting for that to also arrive. Seems like a lot of waiting going on around here. I recognize that I need more patience while learning ruler work and need to slow down a bit. With this piece being a tutorial/practice I’ve allowed myself mistakes and learning curve.

The good news is my wandering yellow kitty has returned home after being gone almost 2 weeks this time. He has gone on walkabout a couple of times before. I’m starting to believe he is leading a double life. He was hungry when he arrived but he did not look as if he had missed too many meals over that 2 week period. Really confused as to where he goes. I’ve thought about putting a little webcam on him just to check out his adventures. I live in the country and neighbors are just not that close. Funny thing when I noticed he was back home, I was outside putting out cat food, as I have other indoor/outdoor kitties, and I heard a faint mew. I thought it was Junior my senior kitty as he was walking towards the porch but it wasn’t. I heard a mew again and looked around there was my yellow Buttercup being tentative about his homecoming. Once he saw I had noticed him he went into full, “Honey I’m Home” mode, running onto the porch, talking like crazy and rubbing against my legs, knowing full well I’m putting out food. I got to thinking his behavior is a lot like other males of other species, go off, come back sheepish, wanting forgiveness, wanting to be loved on and fed then will go off again. I think Garth Brooks writes songs about that behavior. Anyway the wanderer is temporarily home again. He’s a cutie.

I have my list put together for my quilting goals of 2022. For the first time EVER I am trying to be realistic about what I might be able to accomplish. Feeling excited about the prospect of actually accomplishing everything on the list for once.

  1. Stars Upon Stars by Edyta Sitar
  2. Afternoon Delight by Sue Garman
  3. Pickle Dish pattern, a challenge with curved piecing and paper pieced segments
  4. Golden Days by Jen Kingwell
  5. Savannah Quilt
  6. Finish Moda Blockheads 3 quilt
  7. A couple of holiday themed table runners
  8. My second machine quilting challenge with Angela Walters
  9. Machine quilting project with videos of Judi Madsen
  10. Bind Baltimore Album quilt once it gets back from quilter.
  11. Make new lined drapes for living room (haha waiting for lining fabric from Hancock’s of Paducah)

Plus quilting them all myself since I have my new Bernina Q16. I am realizing how much I enjoy quilting on my Q16. I wish I was more accomplished, but working on that skillset.

Happy New Year to Everyone, be safe and healthy.

Happy Stitches

Sissy


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