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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The wife's ten commandments


These are the new commandments ten;
which wives now create for married men

1.  Remember that I am thy wife; whom thou must cherish all thy life.
2.  Thou shalt not stay out late at night; when lodges, friends, or clubs invite.
3.  Thou shalt not smoke indoor our out; or chew tobacco round about.
4.  Thou shalt with prise receive my pies; nor pastry made by me dispise.
5.  My mother thou shalt strive to please; and let her live with us in ease.
6.  Remember 'tis thy duty clear; to dress me well throughout the year.
7.  Thou shalt not be a drinking man; but live on the prohibition plan.
8.  Thou shalt in manner mild and meek; give me thy wages every week.
9.  Thou shalt not flirt, but must allow; thy wife such freedom anyhow
10.  Thou shalt get up when the baby cries; and try the child to tranquilize.

These my commands from day to day; implicitly thou shalt obey! 

What is this

It's totally unrelated to quilting but what kind of creature would create this type of nest?  Anyone know?  I'm afraid to find out.  It has what appears to be a hole dug into the wood of my house.  It also has webs in a tunnel shape.  Spiders don't dig holes in wood do they?  Wood digging creatures don't usually make webs do they?  It's very strange.  I'm afraid to disturb it because this type of creature might run faster than me.  I may not be able to get away fast enough.  I'm going to buy some all purpose bug killer with a long range spray.  Spray it and run like crazy. 

It's been too difficult to get onto my computer the last few days.  The quilt I was working on is down to the last border of quilting.  I think I posted that it had 5 borders but that's not true.  It has only 4.  Another "DUH" mistake on my part.  One border is a fool your eyes border.  A stripe fabric that my eyes see as two borders even when I know it's only one piece of fabric.  I've had several of those "DUH" mistakes the last few days. 

Now that the fair is over, my life usually settles down into a regular routine for the rest of the year.  The fair is a sort of mental signal that my summer activities are over and it's time for preparing to hunker down for the winter.  I'm hoping life settles for me again this year too.  Never know though.  Just when I think everything is ok and going smoothly.... something happens. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to the fair

Sooooo many things to see, so little time.  I took over 300 pictures and now I don't know how to show them to my readers who would like to see what the KY state fair is like.  I guess I'll have to put them on either Webshots or Picasa and add a link on my blog?  That's gonna take some time though.  So I'll post a just one or two for now.

This is the one that got the blue ribbon for the category my bathing lady quilt was entered.  It also got the LAFTA ribbon this year.  You can read the name, I think, if you click the picture to make it larger.

Can you guess what this sculpture is?  It's in the recycled materials art category.  No? 

Well think burned marshmallow on a stick.  Yup, it's a smore.

I saw a group of men just having loads of fun over this quilt.  They loved that it was made out of denim and had jean labels on the squares.  I really like the quilt; but, I had more fun standing and watching the guys get excited finding labels of jeans they owned.  One guy commented that he wished he could make quilts because he had tons of pairs of jeans.  All agreed that a quilt can be made out of just about anything.  I sooo agree with them.  Before I moved on I told the guys to check with the textile department desk for a list of places to learn how to make quilts.  I later saw the men standing at the desk talking to one of the volunteers.  Hmm.... I wonder if I'll see any of their work next year?

I really like this quilt too.  It's by Barbara Rogers.  I missed it at first because it is near the very last row of textile items.  I hadn't gone down that isle but when I saw Barbara she asked me if I had seen it.  She told me where it was and I made a point of going back to find it.  I like it because she does thread drawing on her quilts too. 

Here's a close up of some of the stitching.  Sorry about the blurry picture.  My camera does that when I can't quite keep it steady.

Here's another close up of the stitching.  Hmm... maybe I should be taking lessons from Barbara? 

I would post more pictures but right now I really need to get off the computer and get that quilt done.  I hadn't intended to go back to the fair.  I got a phone call asking permission for my mother to go with a group of nursing home residents to the fair.  I decided to catch a bus and meet up with them.  Didn't happen.  I must have missed their arrival and it was impossible to find anyone in that crowd.

Strange comment

I received a comment for moderation that I'm not quite sure about.  The comment included a link to a blog that I don't quite understand.  It appears to be a search engine blog of some type.  It could be legit but my security software warns me it could be a phishing site. 

Before I actually allow the comment to be included would that person please let me know you are a "real" person who actually visits my blog.  The name given on the comment was called "glowing" and your comment reply was turned off.  If you are a real person then I'm sorry but I'd rather risk getting someone mad at me than allow suspicious sites to be on my blog. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The next quilt

Whew!  It's stabilized.  I finished that part this morning.  It took lots of time fiddling with the top in order to keep it as square as possible.  There are 5 borders and on point settings in the center area.  No matter how perfect the top is sewn and pressed;  all those things can cause problems IF a machine quilter doesn't take extra care while getting it ready to quilt.  A slight over tug on the center at any place and all the borders become very friendly.  (wave alot)  It can also start to grow a tiny waist too.  (hourglass slipping)   

About every couple of hours I would need to take a break from the slow, careful SID work.  I decided to test out my new toys.  Both bought from the discount table.  This is actually my Xmas present from my daughter who decided she best give it to me before I bought one for myself.  She knew I was planning to get one on my next shopping trip.  Did I teach her right or what?  Love that she buys things from discount tables. 

I made and cooked these little meatballs to put into the freezer.  Now that Ladybug is going to be staying with me while Mommie goes to school, I wanted some quick fix things I can rely on if I don't want to cook.  A little sauce of some kind, a vegetable & biscuits (also in the freezer), and the meal is done in just a few minutes.

Well I couldn't stop with just those.  I also made these.  I call them KFC biscuits because the flavor is the same.  This batch is just not as fluffy as KFC biscuits.   I can improve the fluff when I get buttermilk.  I only had fat free in the fridge.  No powdered or canned milk either. 

Now that I have the quilt stabilized.... what will I quilt on it?  I haven't a clue right at this minute.  It's gonna require a little stand and stare time.  If I can get this one done, I've still got 3 more days (chances) to get back out to the fair.  I still want to look at the quilts more closely with no hurry to get back home.  Yes, yes, I know I can take a day off for fun if I want because I am semi-retired..... but I like to keep my word.  A promise is a promise.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This quilt finished

I have another quilt done.  I had hoped to return to the fair but a promise is a promise.  I had promised this customer I would do my best to have her quilts done by the end of August.  I let time get away from me because I under estimated the amount of time required to get them finished.  I have two more to get done too.  One is on the machine waiting to be stabilized today.

I did a line dancing on the squares.  It looks kind of like an agitated star because of the inside points.  I hope you can see it clearly.

I did footballs and loops on the border.

I did more loops on the inside border to carry on the design.

I did an outline around the machine embroidery designs and meandering in the background.

College classes start for my daughter in a few days.  Looks like Ladybug will be staying with me 4 nights a week for awhile.  My daughter will pick her up from daycare, bring her here, and head for class.  Class is over at 10 and it would be around 10:30 by the time my daughter could get here to pick up Ladybug.  Around 11 when they arrive home.  It's better if Ladybug is left to get a good night's sleep and shorten the time it takes my daughter to arrive home so late at night. 

This means I have some things to get finished before classes start.  I'm so used to "doing my own thing" in the late evening now.  I need to rearrange my working times.  I can do a lot of my own stuff on the weekends when I'm alone.  Hmm.... I should get some prepared foods made and put into the freezer. 

I did get back to the fair on Saturday when I went with my daughter and Ladybug.  I didn't get anywhere near the quilts.  We did things for little kids.  Went the the baby animal section, looked at fish in tanks, ate junk food, went to the Kidz shows, looked at doll houses, ate junk food, let Ladybug ride the rides, went fishing with plastic hooks to catch plastic fish, ate junk food, watched a group of kids perform dances, ate junk food, talked with Freddy (fair character), ate more junk food, and really had a great time watching Ladybug take in all the sights, sounds, and tastes of the fair. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Did I win?

Yes, I did win a couple of ribbons.  My rose quilt got third place.

This quilt got second place.  I think you can read the person's name if you enlarge the picture.  I'm trying to figure out what the design is?  Is it a bug?  An animal?  I really do like it though.

This quilt got the first in the same category as well as best of show in all the quilt categories.  This is the second or third year in a row this person won best of show for his textile art.

I know it's hard to see from the glare of the glass.  It's a 3D textile art piece with lots of open areas.  It was entered in the original design category where "innovative design is encouraged".  He certainly does that with this piece.  Its a beautiful piece of textile art. 

It has layers of quilted fabric elements with open areas in between.  The white fabric you see is actually the back of the other quilt in the glass case, seen through those open areas of this quilt (art).  This swirl thing stands up about 5 inches from the flat part of the art piece.

This quilt is done by a guy who is a local artist.  I don't think he started out doing textile art.  I can't seem to remember his name either.  I did write it down and now I can't find the paper I wrote it on.  I'll try to get it again next time I go to the fair.

There were a lot of people talking about that quilt and how it should not be entered as a quilt.  Well, hmm.... it does meet all the criteria for being an innovative original design quilt.  I'm not upset that it won best of show.  However; the average, everyday quilt maker doesn't stand a chance of winning the big ribbon as long as the textile artist's works are in the same department.  That includes any original design art quilts I enter too.  Art and quilts can't really compete against each other.  It's like comparing delicious layer cake to plain flat bread.  Both are good in different ways but there's nothing alike about them. 

How can this problem be fixed?  I'm glad you asked.  It's my opinion the "innovative, original design, textile art quilts" should be moved to the fine art department.  Leave the category of original design quilt in the textile department for those who come up with "an original pieced or applique quilt consisting of three complete layers recognizable as an actual quilt for a bed or a wall".  Hmm.... the description wording could be improved but I think you get the idea.  The problem of separating textile art from actual quilt is a growing problem for many quilt shows and fairs.  Until someone comes up with the perfect wording for a description to separate the two; it's going to continue being a problem between quilt makers and textile artists. 

One of my customers won a blue ribbon in the two person quilt category.  This is the quilt you can see from the back behind the art quilt.  I won a ribbon for best machine quilting on a bed size quilt.  I had told this customer last fall that it was a good quilt to enter the fair and I was right.  Some quilts just stand out for me after the quilting is finished.  Not that I don't put my heart into all the quilts... it's just that some turn out much better than others.  Everything goes perfect and turn out better than expected.

My quilt with the nude bathing lady and the log cabin quilt didn't win any ribbons. My rug got a second place ribbon.

This rug got first in the category.

This rug got best of show.  It's beautiful!  This person has me wanting to make one like it.

I just have to show you this doll that got a blue ribbon.  I love, love, love it!  A little old lady with her walker complete with tennis balls, her beehive hairdo, her comfortable shoes, her hand made jewelry and thrift store clothes, her quilted jacket, the rear view mirror on her walker, and she's....

headed for the bingo with a grin on her face.  Don't you just love her too? 

That's how I'm gonna look in a few years only I'll be headed for a quilt show.  What really got me to giggling is her shoes.  Look at her fuzzy flip flops..... and now take a look at what I wear everywhere I go. 

Hee, hee, hee..... you laughed too.  I have fuzzy flip flops in different colors. 

I wanted to take lots of pictures of the quilts and other crafts.  Well that didn't happen because I forgot to put fresh batteries in the camera and didn't carry any extra with me.   I'll take more photos the next time I go. 

I also saw something at the fair that really upset me and I don't know what to do about it.  First let me explain about winning ribbons at the fair.  No one knows if they won a ribbon until they actually go to the fair and look.  The ribbons are left on the items until the end of the fair.  The ribbons are given to the people when the items are picked up.  So, if a ribbon disappears before someone knows they won it... there's no way to know about it.  For example if a person enters something and it wins a ribbon.  Say that person can't get to the fair until the weekend before the fair ends and the ribbon is gone from the item.  That person won't know they won anything until a check for a few dollars arrives in the mail weeks later.  Much too late to get the actual ribbon. 

Well, I saw a couple of older ladies with some ribbons quickly hiding them in a bag.  I don't know which department the ribbons came from.  My SIL and I were sitting outside the building on a bench taking a break at the time I saw these two ladies with the ribbons.  My SIL said maybe the ladies won the ribbons but asked to take them home instead of leaving them.  Maybe she's right although I seriously doubt it.  I don't even know who to tell about what I saw because where the ribbons came from could have been anywhere in the fair.   

I haven't a clue why someone would want to steal ribbons.  There's no fun in owning a fair ribbon unless there is some pride in winning it.  You can't sell them.  You can't even make a quilt from the ribbons because the ink will wash off.   Displaying a bunch of ribbons won't have any meaning unless those ladies are trying to fool someone into believing a craft they create is ribbon winning skill. 

My only hope is the ribbons those ladies stole did not come from an entry done by a child.  How heart breaking it would be for a child to find out weeks after the fair they really won a ribbon but doesn't have an actual ribbon to show their friends.  Oooo.... another horrible thought.... I hope those ladies don't go to big quilt shows!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's fair day

I did get this quilt finished.  I had a hard time coming up with a design for it until I realized K.I.S.S. is sometimes best.  It's for a guy and guys don't always like froo froo designs.  It's baseball theme which also means no froo froo feathers or curly, flowery designs.

What I did was a faux flying geese around the border to represent the direction of running from base to base and a simple line design on the inside border to represent a path in the dirt.

The nine patch block were done with line dancing.

The snowball blocks were done with crosshatching to represent looking through a chain link fence at a ball game going on.

The back is a busy fabric so the stitching doesn't show up in a photo.  I'm happy with it.... hope the customer is too. 

I'm headed out to the fairgrounds to have breakfast with the govenor, mayor, and other big whigs.  It's the kickoff breakfast that I attend every year.  I like talking with the people who have their farm animals here for a few days.  Sometimes I get to see people from the small town where I spent a lot of time as a child.

I'll be at the door when they are opened for the crafts section. 

I'm anxious to see if the rose quilt got a ribbon or if they guy I'm trying to beat got it instead.  I don't know the guy, just his work.  He really is a fantastic textile artist.  I think of it as a little friendly competition between us to get the ribbon.  If I'm lucky, maybe I'll get to meet him. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Adding borders after quilting

I want to add borders to this quilt.  It's a wall hanging that needs more oomph.  A bright color border might help.  As you can see, it's already quilted.  So how do I add borders to a quilt that's already quilted?  Duh, one piece at a time.  Just kidding but basically that's true.  The backing is added, then the border, then the batting. 

 I'm adding a 5 inch border to this one.  I thought I could add an 8 inch border but there wasn't enough of the fabric I wanted to use.  So 5 inch became the size.

Lay the quilt upside down like this and measure the end.

Get some backing fabric and cut it to the size you want to add.   For this quilt I'm making the backing fabric 10 inches wide.  I need extra backing fabric because I plan to put it back onto my quilting machine to do the border quilting.

Pin the backing to the back of the quilt and sew it down with a quarter inch seam as usual.

I'm always in a hurry so I tend to pin on two opposite sides before sewing.

Here the two sides of the backing fabric are sewn on and opened up.

Now measure the remaining sides (including the previous border fabric) and cut backing pieces to fit them. 

Again, I tend to pin the two opposites sides before sewing.

Now open those two sides and you can see the backing fabric has been added. 

Can you see this little area where I sewed across the previous seam?  I frog stitch (pick out) the seam allowance only. 

That's so I can fold the backing fabric completely out of the way like this. 

Pin on a border fabric and then stitch it on.  Oops!  I skipped taking a couple of pictures.  Hmm.... I could have sworn I took those photos but can't figure out where they went.  Anyway, you are going to fold back the backing and add a border piece to all four sides. 

The only place where you will encounter a problem is when adding a border piece to where one has already been added.  At the corners.  You should sew just to the seam line.  Remove the needle and cut the thread.  Fold back the other backing fabric out of the way and sew just the two pieces of the border fabric.  Do not catch the backing in the stitching. 

Here are the 4 borders added to the quilt.

Now it's time to add the batting.  You want the batting to be the same type as you have used in the quilt.  Cut a piece of batting larger than the added border.  You will butt the new batting up to the old batting without over lapping.  If you overlap you will get a lump at the seam. 

Usually I use a spray baste to hold the added batting.  Hmm... my spray baste seems to have ran away and hid from me or else the quilt gremlins got it.  I used a glue stick so I could finish this post.  A little glue next to where the two batting pieces will butt up against each other is all I need.  Later I can add a strip of iron in stabilizer if it needs more hold.

Open the new border onto the new batting and backing then pin to hold it all in place temporarily.

Go to the border on the opposite side and do the same thing.  Repeat for the rest of the sides.

Be sure to either use a spray baste or a glue stick to hold the batting together really well in this area too.  This is where the batting of one side meets the batting of the adjacent side. 

See how I just butted them together where the two side pieces meet?  See how the batting just butts up to the old batting along the seam line?  There won't be any lumps here.

Here all four borders, backing, and batting have been added.  I can keep adding more borders if I want using the same technique.

There have been times when I've sewn both a backing piece and a border piece on at the same time.  I almost always have a problem with one or the other when doing them that way.  It almost always requires a bunch of frog stitching.  I do each one individually these days to avoid those headaches.  I hate frog stitching.

I know this post was done hastily so if anyone doesn't understand the process please let me know.  I'll see if I can  redo the explanations.