Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Christmas Table Runner Finished!

The other day I was working on a table runner for our LQG Christmas meeting.  I had always wanted to do a quilt project using the tumblers block shape. 

There are several if not a dozen or so different rulers for this.  If you don't like any of those already out there, you can make a template pretty easily by drawing a rectangle and angling one of the sides.  Then you 'mirror image' that shape.

I have a couple of rulers.  I bought the Easy Dresden so many years ago I don't even remember when... that's the one I used for my table runner.

I also bought The Crumbler from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company last year.  That was before Carrie Nelson closed down her shop and went to work for Moda.  But you can still get the Crumbler and the other tiny version on Amazon.

 So using my bin of 2 1/2 inch strips, I cut up a lot of Christmas colors and filled the bottom of a bin.

I sat down in the kitchen with the Princess's Baby Lock and started randomly stitching pieces into pairs, and then pairs into quads, etc.  Because these pieces are so small (I mean, you can see how skinny they are!! The finished 'fat' end is only an inch wide!), I pressed the seams open. 
Well, yes, I did press eventually, but for most of the process I used my Little Wooden Iron.  Those little bits of lumber are awesome!!
I use my Little Wooden Iron all the time for small seams until I can take a big batch over to the ironing board.

The seams on the lower one were pressed down with the LWI, the top ones were pressed with the Big Metal and Plastic Iron.

Once I had fours I laid them out on my table and tried to figure out how big the table runner would be.  I had about a quarter of my table covered in width, so that was about 26-28 inches.  Of course there are a million seams to something when there are this many pieces, so it turned out much smaller.

Then I sewed them into rows, and pressed again, then sewed the rows to each other.  The edges were of course wonky because of the shape of the pieces.  If you're working with larger pieces it might be OK to precut the end pieces in half, but for these, no way.

After a final press I simply cut off the wonky edges with a long ruler, squaring them up to the straighter long edges.

I found a piece of batting that was just the right size, and a nice red and green print for the back.  With the application of a striped binding and a little channel quilting between the rows, it was done!

It ended up approximately 14 1/2 inches by 20 inches. I like how it turned out.  It was a fun little project.  I hope whoever wins it at the LCQG holiday party enjoys it.

Sew on...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Swearing Off PR AGAIN!

Warning, there are no pictures in this post.  The subject deserves none.

We switched from the local cable company to another television provider this week, to bundle our phone, internet and TV and save a bunch of money.

DH asked me whether I'd be upset if any of the things I'd recorded to watch later were gone so as to know how to schedule the install.  I was a little sad about the Jeopardy episodes, but what the hey, they'll rerun on Saturdays. 

BUT there were some other things I did want to watch, so I did a marathon on Sunday and watched all the episodes I'd missed of Blue Bloods and Miss Fisher's Mysteries and some other things.

I did not watch the Project Runways.  It turns out I didn't miss anything... in fact it's probably for the best that I did not watch, as the winner was once again someone whose collection was totally inappropriate for all but the very most Betsy Johnson-like among us.

UGH!! is all I can say.  If you want a true and honest review, you can go to Threads Magazine and read the one from "sews 4 fun" at the bottom of the list.  Or read Rita Farro's column, link at lower right of this blog.

Poor Ashley, she's been duped into thinking she did something good.  Hopefully her collection will die a natural death, as it deserves. 

Judges, seriously??  Take a step back and think about it.  Maybe this was one season where NOBODY deserved to win because none of them met the challenge or qualified as fashion.

Shame on you, Heidi and Nina.  Would you wear anything from the winning collection?  You would not be caught dead in it, even if it fit better.  So don't expect any of us big girls to do so either.

And officially I am done watching.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.

Sew on...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day is Not for Happy

I heard at least a dozen people today say "Happy Veteran's Day".  IMHO, it's not about happy.  It's about honoring those who have served honorably to keep freedoms of all kinds in this country.

So free speech, free choice, freedom of religion and freedom from it, if that's what you want... that's everyone's right if they're a citizen of this country in good standing.

I honor all the military men and women in this country today, and specifically the ones in my family.  My uncles for their service in World War II and after, my brothers and my sister for their service in peacetime, my cousins and their children for their service now, and my husband for his service during the Vietnam era.  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

And everyone who ever supported a military person, as it's been said, they also serve who stand and wait.  And pray for safe returns from service.

Those freedoms that were so hard-won include the freedom to be either right or wrong, to be smart or not so smart, to have your opinion as long as you don't try to force it on me, and to say and do whatever you want within the laws of this country and as long as you are willing to bear the consequences of your actions.

God bless America and all her protectors, today and every day.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stop the Presses!!! Alert The Media!!!

DH finally broke down and got a new phone!

This photo came from a Wikipedia article on the 'evolution of the phone' I think this was from about 2000... and what DH had was a number 3.  No iPhones here!!

It was a good phone at one time.  It did what he wanted it to do: he got calls, he made calls.  He hates having his picture taken so there's no reason he would want to take anyone else's I guess.  He will not text, although he could receive and read them.

But the Phone Company informed him months ago that they were going to stop supporting that technology at the end of 2016.

Me:  You should get a better phone.
DH:  Why?  This one still works.
Me:  I know, but you've had it forever.  Maybe it's time to get a nicer one.
DH:  I'm going to make them support me until the end of next year.

Hmmm.  OK then!

This past week I called him on his cell twice, and left messages.  On Saturday I was out with a friend at Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee, and called him to say I'd be later than I expected.

When I got home at 6:00 p.m. he said "I thought you were going to be home at 5".  I said "I called you and left a message!"

He looked at his phone.  No bars.  Well maybe half a bar.  And no message waiting signal.  He called his voicemail, sure enough, there's a message!

Daughter and granddaughters also encouraged getting a new phone.  He finally broke down and got one this Monday.

Here's how far we have progressed:
Rock on!  Not exactly the latest and greatest, but maybe it's the best that can be expected.  And the 14 year old can help him set it up.  LOL!

P.S.  Laura, the UPS man should be bringing you a little package soon... congratulations, hope you like it!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I read all of the comments on my post about doll clothes for the 18 inch dolls.  Thank you for the kind words.  Princess A read them too and picked the winner.  We put the commenter's names into a hat and she drew out the name of LauraJJ.  Congratulations Laura!  I will email you for your address and mail your prize on Monday!

Sew on...

Cutting Edge

Yesterday I was remembering my maternal grandparents in a particularly sentimental way... my grandmother was a homemaker who gave birth to 13 children and raised 11 to adulthood.  My mother was fourth from youngest, so my gram was already 'older' when I was born.  Mom's oldest brother was married before she was born, and I had several cousins who already had children of their own.

My grandmother passed away in 1968 and my grandfather in 1975.

My grandmother doing a crossword puzzle in her sunroom.

What made me nostalgic this time was a pair of dull scissors.


Yes. Dull scissors. 

Now I would NEVER let a pair of scissors get this bad!  Although I have seen a few pairs like this sitting around shops or garages.  It makes me shudder.

I had given Princess E a sewing kit including a nice pair of Kai sheers, or what I thought was a nice pair, but it turned out that they were dull and had a little nick in the lower blade.  (I'm not even guessing how that could have happened...)  Just last month I had seen an ad for scissors sharpening at the Ben Franklin near me, but the timing was totally off.  You never see the ad BEFORE you discover the dire need...

Which brought me around to my grandparent.  My gramps was a master carpenter, and he had his own little shop after he retired, in a converted garage behind their house.  He sharpened knives and scissors and saws in addition to building lawn furniture and picnic tables.  He believed that sharp tools worked better and were safer.  He would have fixed up my scissors in no time flat.

I gave the Princess a different pair of scissors and took back the dull ones.  I'm watching for the ad again.

It's not like I actually NEED them... how many pairs of scissors do I have anyway?  Well, how many do YOU have???  LOL!

I have Gingers (two pairs), Kai (two, including the dull ones), Fiskars (three large, two small), applique scissor (two), curved and straight small scissors of various manufactures, and about a half dozen pairs of the one dollar and two dollar kinds you get at the hardware store.  Not counting pinking shears, buttonhole scissors and those cute little stork scissors.  To say nothing of nippers, clippers, and seam rippers!

I think I'm well equipped in the cutting department!

I even have one pair of Fiskars that was used to cut floor tile, but that is a story for another post!

Sew on...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Doll Outfit Giveaway!

Don't forget to comment on my October 27 post if you want a chance at an American Girl sized doll outfit!

Sew on...

Wisconsin in the Fall

We're having some crazy weather this week.  Yesterday the high was in the upper 60s and low 70s. Yeah, in WISCONSIN in NOVEMBER!! 
Although the weather has been warm, there are signs of fall in the air.  Pumpkins are sitting everywhere.  These are on our front porch.
The leaves are turning colors, or have turned and then fallen to the ground.  This rooster is called The Donald.  Can you see why?? 

Everyone's wearing Blaze Orange.
The geese are flying north. 
Today was the perfect day to take a walk around the campus here at work, stretch my legs a little.  The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze.  I'm hoping it's not the last nice day this year.  I think they call this Indian Summer and I am enjoying today!
The only bad thing is that now that Daylight Savings time has ended, it's dark very soon after I get home, and by the beginning of next week it will be dark before I leave the office.  It's one of the reasons we look forward to spring...
But the time is right for staying indoors and sewing.  I was going to post a picture of my latest project but it turns out I used my tablet for those shots. And the darned thing doesn't charge itself.
Sew on...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sewing Fridays

Normally on Friday nights I go to one of the aunties' houses for sewing night.  It's a lot of fun, good girlfriend bonding with the cousins and aunts.  We do some work, or not as the case may be.  Last week we put together a pastel pink and blue 'bricks' top.  This one will go to a church group of ladies that like to hand quilt, in old fashioned quilting bee style.

I guess it's fitting because that's how we sewed it together, in quilting bee style.  Each one of us had a job, mine was cutting.  Everyone did the layout.  Nancy sewed, with Allyson and Amy arranging the piles to take next and Aunt Zel doing the pressing.

This weekend some of them went to a quilt retreat in Reedsburg WI and doubtless are having a whale of a time working on the project... possibly staying up until all hours of the night, possibly playing 'strip poker' -- quilter's style, with jelly roll strips, not the other kind!
They'll also be having lunch with some cousins who live up there.  I think Chinese food is probably going to be on the menu.
So any sewing happening tonight in MY family will have to have to happen in my own sewing room.
Hmmm.  What to do?  Maybe I'll start quilting the Lily Quilt.
Sew on...