Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rectangles Sampler Quilt

Here is the completed Rectangles Sampler quilt.

And a picture of the back too because I always like to see the back of quilts.

My family and I will be going out of town this weekend so I may not be able or willing to post again until next week. We are going to Durango, CO for a family reunion (husband's mother's side of the family). I've only briefly met three people (not including my husband's mother who won't be attending) from this side of the family and that was over 10 years ago. So I'm not sure that it qualifies as a "reunion" for us. However, it should be fun.

At the very least, we will get a break from our bat situation. By the way, just one bat got in the house last night. We stood outside as they started coming out for the night and saw one spot along our roof where a few came out. My husband had a can of Great Stuff in the garage and he sprayed that in the hole and in all similar holes he could reach without climbing onto the roof. It was raining and I didn't want him to get up on the roof last night because the rain might make our metal roof too slick.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rectangles Quilting motifs 3

Today I'll show you the last four rectangles of my Rectangles Sampler Quilt. All of these quilting designs came directly from Leah Day's website/blog.

Bubble Chain

Flowing Glass

Lollipop Chains

Trailing Spirals

When will this end?

Two more bats in the house tonight! That makes 6 bats in four nights. I am really over this! The two tonight must be ones that didn't make it out last night. The newspaper seemed to keep them out last night. This afternoon Tony got back on the roof to inspect and reinforced a few places with duct tape. Our research said that bats can live no more than a week without getting out to feed, but if I have to live through another week of this I'll be batty (pun intended).

We've called a few roofing companies about replacing the roof and installing proper anti-bat devices. So far one is coming next week to give us an estimate. We do not want to replace the roof until the bats have left for the season. Now that we've kicked them out we don't want to rip off the roof and risk having them all move in again before the new roof is installed.

Actually, just a properly installed roof will prevent bats from moving in. We found out today from a neighbor that the previous owner installed this roof himself using a discarded old roof. Many of the modifications and alterations he made the this house are ... how shall I put this? ... questionable, at best. Now that I know he installed this roof himself, it is definitely coming off. Ugh, I see dollar signs attached to this project.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rectangles Quilting motifs 2

This is the next installment of detail shots of the quilting motifs I used in my rectangles quilt.

Echo Path


Modern Art

Mosaic Tiles

The second and third designs are directly from Leah Day's website/blog. The last one was inspired by the applique fabric on the rectangle and the first one is just an echo of a line of stitching. I just stitched one curving line and then echoed it on either side to fill the rectangle. Leah has a couple of designs that use this echo technique. So I guess the idea is hers but the design is mine. 

The Morning After

We had no more bats in the house last night after we went to bed - two was two too many. At times I felt like we were under siege. The bats were trying to get in by flying at the windows. We could see and hear them trying to get in along the roof where Tony put the newspaper.

They managed to pull out some of it but we can't hear them upstairs under this point of the roof so fingers crossed that they moved somewhere else. Hopefully, to an entirely new address and not just somewhere else at our house.

One of the two bats that did get in the house is laying dead (as a warning to other bats) in the road in front of our house.

We didn't intentionally try to harm him. I was standing on the front porch holding the door open and Tony was trying to herd him toward the open door, but he wouldn't fly out! Tony had to catch him in the net and he didn't survive the experience. I don't mind having them in the area because they eat mosquitoes, but the living room is a bit too close for comfort!

Bat Update

The newspaper along the ridge line of the roof is working! We've been outside several times tonight to check and the little guys are trying unsuccessfully to get back in. Unfortunately, a few individuals were late risers this evening and got trapped. Two found other ways out through the kitchen into the living room. Two bats in the house in less than 30 minutes is unnerving to say the least!

If I wasn't so scared and freaked out by this it would be funny. I am "barricaded" in the guest room (door shut and quilt on the floor blocking the space under the door), sleeping with a badminton racket and one of our house phones downstairs. My husband is upstairs in our bedroom (right under the bat zone) with the other phone and another racket. We've closed the hallway door that separates the living room, dining room and kitchen from the bedrooms and upstairs tonight and I put a towel on the floor blocking the space under the door.

At about 2 am last night I went to the bathroom and I saw a bat flying in the hallway. By the time I worked up the nerve to reopen the door, I couldn't see the bat. I had to be really brave and go upstairs to get my husband up. We looked for an hour but could not find the bat. My sweet husband was so tired last night (and didn't believe I had really seen a bat since we couldn't find it) but he looked high and low throughout the house for it. We even woke up Parker checking his room. Tonight, I've got my racket to defend myself and a phone to call for back-up. This is war!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rectangles Quilting motifs 1

I am working on the binding and label for my rectangles quilt. It is all quilted. I've taken photos of each rectangle to show you the quilting motif I used. I opted to just stipple the border and sashing.

Here are the first four rectangles.

Bed of Roses

Cucumber Vine

Daisy Chain


Some of these motifs I got from Leah Day's filler design project and some are my own design or popular designs. I'll show you more tomorrow.

In other news: We had another bat in the house on Saturday night and my husband was not home!!!! I ended up getting a neighbor to come help me get the bat out of the house. We are at our wit's end with this problem. We've made numerous calls to the local Animal Control Department and Department of Wildlife. They either won't help or won't return our calls for help. This does not meet the fire code but at this point I don't care. It is not a permanent solution.

My "bat man" is stuffing newspaper in the holes. He did most of the ridge line today but left places for them to get out tonight. After the bats have left this evening he plans to get back on the roof and fill in the rest of the gaps. You can see the sorry state of the paint on this roofing in the photo. When the roofers come to repaint/repair/replace the roof, we will have them install a proper filler to keep out the bats. Until then, I hope this works!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cub Scout Quilt Finished!

I finished sewing on the binding on the Cub Scout Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt last night! Here is a photo of the back.

The large camping print on the back is the original planned size of the quilt! As you can see, it grew quite a bit once I got started making it.

Here are detail images of the quilting both from the back and front.

I used my variation of the Cucumber Vine pattern from Leah Day for the center. I think my tendrils are not as curvy as Leah's. I just did a row of circles in the small green border. For the half-square triangle border I quilted stars down the zig-zag and echoed the triangle shape created along the outside of the zig-zag.

Here it is on the bed.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Making Progress on the Rectangles Quilt

I have made some progress quilting on this one. I am quilting each rectangle with a different filler design. Some are exact designs from Leah Day's Designs. Some are variations of her designs or my own creations. I had hoped to get all the rectangles quilted today but as you can see I still have one to go. I promised Parker we would watch The Sorcerer's Stone this afternoon since we finished the book last night. I held him off as long as I could but at 3 pm he could not wait another minute to watch the movie or risk certain death from anticipation. So I stopped, made popcorn, and we watched.

The last rectangle will have to wait for another day but this will hopefully be finished soon. There were hints of another camping trip next week. If that happens this will be first on my list of project to work on.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Working Hard and Hardly Working

I have not dropped off the face of the Earth. Lately, every time I think about sitting down at the computer I realize that I could be sewing. So I sew instead. I am almost finished with the Cub Scout quilt - all that is left is sewing the binding down on the back - WHEW! I've got about half of my "modern rectangles" quilt quilted. This one

I've decided to quilt each rectangle using a different motif with the matching threads I bought.

It will add nice texture but the quilting lines will not be too distracting and interfere with the modern look I'm going for.

Tomorrow I am spending the day at my LQS sewing a quilt for my guild which will be used as our next raffle quilt. It's a bit of long story but the quilt top we were planning to use for next year's raffle can not be finished in time to sell tickets on it at an upcoming show. Someone, who shall remain nameless since I can't remember exactly who anyway, said that it would not be possible to create another quilt and have it ready in time so we would just have to miss the opportunity. One of my friends took that as a personal challenge and we are meeting to hopefully get the top pieced tomorrow. Her goal is to have the quilt completely finished by the next guild meeting in August (Aug. 21st to be precise). If we can get the top pieced or mostly pieced tomorrow then I don't see any reason it won't be ready by the August meeting. We met on Tuesday to finalize a pattern and pick/purchase fabrics. It's going to be really pretty!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My New Favorite Thing

I got a pair of these gloves for machine quilting today and I absolutely love them. I've tried gloves for quilting in the past without good success. They either didn't work any better than my bare hands, they were too hot, or I got frustrated because I had to take them off to do anything else like snip threads or pull out pins. I had none of those problems with these. If you want to try free-motion quilting or you are struggling with free-motion quilting, invest in a pair of these. They aren't that expensive. I got mine for $8.00 and that is a really good price. Most places are selling them for around $10, but they are worth it.

Another tool I'm using is the Free-Motion Slider. I bought it several years ago and wasn't impressed. I didn't have a large enough table for my sewing machine and didn't want to cut it to size because I had read people had trouble once they cut it. However, now that I have a larger flat surface for my machine I can tell a difference when I use it and when I don't. Now they are selling the Supreme Slider, but it looks just like an improved version of what I have.

My only complaint, and it really isn't the slider's fault, is that I have to remove it to change bobbins because of where the bobbin compartment is on my sewing machine. However, I think I have finally figured out how to tape it down securely so that I can just lift up the edge to access my bobbin compartment. These are a bit pricey, well, more than my impulse-spending limit. I paid $20 for my slider about 8 years ago but the Supreme Slider is selling for about $30.

I wouldn't say that the slider is a necessity for free-motion quilting, unlike the gloves, but it is really nice to have and does make a noticeable difference in the ease of movement of the quilt under the needle.

So, run out and buy a pair of Machingers Quilting Gloves right now. If you have the money, get the slider too.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Waves of Blue and Green Finished

Today was the first day in almost two weeks that I was able to spend any time in my sewing room. I finished this some time ago, but couldn't get a picture until this morning. The vertical orientation was the winner of the poll. Thank you to all who responded!

I wasn't sure I would like the mix of hand stitching and machine stitching, but it turned out well - if I do say so myself.

I spent time this morning quilting the Cub Scout quilt. I am now officially half finished quilting the center portion and I have decided how I want to quilt the borders. I'm almost out of the thread I am using but just got a call from my LQS that they got more of the thread in stock and are holding what I need for me behind the counter. I'll go get it tomorrow and hopefully get to quilt on it some more too.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Inspiration from Mother Nature

Doesn't the red in the center of the petals look like it was done with a paint brush?

Monday, July 12, 2010


My next door neighbors have beautiful flowers in their yard. I let myself into their backyard recently and took some photos of their flowers. (They don't mind and weren't home to ask anyway) This ganzia caught my eye. There are little gold lines around the center that look like stitches to me.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Trying to Make Some Money

For some reason Parker has decided that he needs to earn some extra money. He has been asking me for several weeks if we can have a yard sale. I don't want to have a yard sale. It's too much work for very little reward. I'd rather just load up the stuff in my car and donate it to charity.

Yesterday Parker decided to have his own "kid yard sale."

He did about as well as I expected. His dad was his only customer!

Today he decided to try a lemonade stand, well actually kool-aid stand.

He did really well! He went through 2 1/2 pitchers of kool-aid and made $10.46! He probably actually earned about $10 because I put a few coins in his till so that he could make change. I didn't count what I gave him. I just dumped all the coins out of my wallet into his till.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Busy Summer

I've had very little time to play on the computer lately and I haven't done any sewing in a week. These are keeping me busy

As are these

There are no camping trips planned for the immediate future so I don't anticipate having any sewing time soon. However, Cub Scout Day Camp is coming up next week on Thursday and Friday. I'm going to do my best to get all my chores done and errands run so that I can sew on Thursday and Friday.

Monday, July 5, 2010


I tried out the fireworks setting on my camera last night. It worked surprisingly well.

It would have been helpful to have a tripod, especially since I was taking these from the back of our pickup sitting next to a wiggly 8 year old. Maybe I will add a tripod to my Wish List.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Small Town Fourth of July

The parade starts with the color guard. The parade judges, the mayor, a county commissioner and the head of the hospital, sit on the grandstand with the parade MC in front of JC Penney.

The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are next. Parker is dress as Flash and Tony is walking next to Parker.

And then the local brewery giving out samples? I didn't get one but a friend did and she said it was root beer.
What parade would be complete without square dancers?

Then kids on bicycles (remember this is a small town). But notice the quilts hanging in the store front in the background.

An old truck with campaign signs. If you are running for any kind of political office in the Valley it must be a requirement that you march in the parade because they all do.

Got to have the beauty queens.

There were several old vehicles. This is my friend Charlotte in her cute little car.

More horses.

A farming float.

The end of the parade. The fire trucks always bring up the rear. And they are loud!!

Hope you have a great July 4th where ever you live!