Sunday, September 30, 2012

Barrister's Block Blog Sow-A-Long

Say that five times fast!

My first three blocks. Numbers four and five (Contrary Wife and Big Dipper) are ready to be pieced tonight. To my surprise these blocks are coming out to measure 6.5 inches. I usually doubt my ability to make blocks this size and smaller. But if you piece precisely and measure, measure, measure, it seems as if you can be successful.

I am looking forward to making more of these smaller blocks from "The Farmer's Wife" Series.
This and That (Not sewn together yet - looks better this way!)

Ok not so good on the first block - Gentlemen's Fancy - two good sides and too sides need a little TLC!  The picture is gone from the blog and even though the block measured 6.5", the block is in the repair pile.  The points need to meet a little bit closer on one side than it did.  Only when I took the picture did I realize how terrible it looked!

See what I mean about tiny blocks and in my world 6" is SMALL!!!

Have a great night!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Autumn on the Deck

I was originally going to call this post "Fall on the Deck" but that sounded a bit ominous so now we have "Autumn on the Deck"
While taking a break from cutting some strips into blocks which will be sewn into blocks (that's another story ), I came out on the deck for a bit of fresh air. As I looked around it occurred to me that some of the leaves have seriously begun to change color and fall to the ground. I know I have not sat out here for a few days but the process seems to have happened overnight!
I have taken a few shots of the Magnolia trees.

Too bad they are not more colorful. But maybe that is how this fall will be.

I did try to get a shot of this tree across the cove.
One side is turning a bright red.
So maybe not all is lost for the color this season.

Time to return to the cutting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


There was an avalanche in my house this morning. It wasn't the first and I doubt if it will be the last.

But let me explain.

Just after sunrise as I was enjoying my first cup of coffee and watching said sunrise, DH comes into the kitchen and calmly announces as he heads for the fridge, "There's a fabric avalanche upstairs. Did you get the paper?"

Now a man who has NOT lived with a quilter for close to thirty years would never understand his nonchalance. But fortunately thirty years of an obsession numbs those around you and in the case of my husband causes him to just walk around my piles of fabric even when he stubs his foot (shoe clad of course -it is VERY dangerous to go around barefoot in our house, although I have been getting brave lately in this area) on the pile of fabric.

BTW, pile just got changed to puke by the spell check - puke of fabric? Hmmm somewhat appropriate. You see the pile (or puke) was about three feet high under my ironing board. It consisted of donated fabric, fabric collections bought because it was on sale and collections bought for projects long forgotten or for I just can't decide what to do with this but I like/need/ the color/print. Also known as the miscellaneous stash.

So anyway, he comes downstairs to tell me that there was a fabric avalanche upstairs and calmly fixes his bowl of cereal. I respond that I guess that is the next area to clean today.

The avalanche is now spread out on my design bed.  It is going to take some serious maneuvering to find places for all of it since I have decided it cannot returned under the ironing board.

I know! Move it to the basement to be washed and deal with it another day.

But hmmm, this grouping goes nicely together and I have the perfect pattern to go with it. Move it to the cutting board (aka the dining room table) where I can cut it this afternoon after I return from the fabric store where there is a 30% off sale. And of course, I need more fabric to match the miscellaneous stash!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 24, 2012


DH just returned to ask when I would be ready to go with him.  Go with him? Where?  Oh yes, the bank!  Now everything will go on hold until we return from this very important errand.

Monday Morning?  Just do it? 

Not right now!  But I still like the pink!

Monday Morning or Just Do It!

Paul is home today so my style has been severely cramped. Not that he has interfered or anything, after all he has been outside cutting the grass. But I doubt that he would understand the thinking processes that happen when I spread out the various projects in various states of completion to audition another border or a different setting or another fabric to include in the collection. He won't say anything but I can tell by the look on his face that he doesn't quite get it.

Take this star quilt for example.

I have always thought a piano key border would work well.

 But what color and size does the accent piece need to be? This pink dot seems to work well.

What about the backing? Do I use the multitude of yardage of the blue I originally bought because it was the end of the bolt and a good price? Or do I reassign it to another project?

And what about the binding? This print or that mottled blue?

It is all spread out on my "design wall", aka my bed.

Paul just came in, approved my choices, gave me a look that said "What's the problem? Just do it !". Then Mr. Nike Man walked out of the room to get some lunch. Is it the male, accountant mind or just me?

A friend says that sometimes we just over think it and that is why little of what we are capable of gets accomplished (or was that my husband).

Well lunch is over for DH. He has left to pursue some other important activity. The house is quiet again. I think I will piece that piano key border, iron out another of the three bindings sitting on my ironing board and decide which accent piece, which binding and which backing need to be put onto this quilt.

Paul doesn't know everything! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thread Games

I usually piece with a lighter colored beige or off white thread. But I have a few darker colored bobbins in the bobbin tray that really need to be used. So today I have decided to only piece darker colored projects.

Call it being practical if you want or say it really does not matter what color the thread is because if the stitches are the proper tension they won't show.

But I prefer to call it playing a game with my thread. Keeps life interesting!

So here's to playing thread games on a Thursday in September.

Let the Games begin!

Black binding, Thangles in dark blue and green batiks, center block in the 90" x 100" quilt from Laurie Shifrin Designs, called "Ripples and Reflections".  All UFO's in my project stash.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Block 4 Finished

Need I say more ...

Block 4

Jamestown Block 4 laid out and ready to be cut. Uses Set A and Set C of Marti Michell's Perfect Patchwork Templates.

I will post a picture of the finished block later today.

Enjoy the rain!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Today's 15 Minutes

Well it will probably stretch into an hour at least, considering that after I square up the pieces I will want to assemble the blocks. But, however long it does take, I will know that I have had some good sewing time today.
This is the stack on the cutting mat needing to be squared up.

Needle and thread time will be tonight and in between somewhere today will be some pressing time. Here is the binding I am currently working on - only one more side to finish!

I truly do like having this blog to keep me on track.
Enjoy your day!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Piecing the Geese

I have this box of future flying geese that have been pinned and are ready to be pieced. Kind of mindless work on a Sunday morning. I have already done some of them and put them on the bottom of the stack. Since I don't remember how many I have pieced or how many I originally set up to be sewn, it will be interesting to see how many I can get done this morning in the hour I can devote to this project. Wish me luck!

File this post under UFO Stash!

PS. The Pfaff has returned and is sewing very nicely. Thank you, John!


Saturday, September 15, 2012


A neighbor gives me her old drapery and upholstery sample books. She just leaves them on my deck so I can find them when I come home or go out. At the beginning of the summer she left a dozen. I have finally deconstructed some. Warning! This is an outside on the deck activity! There were threads everywhere!
Thanks to DH for pulling out the staples. I just don't seem to have the strength for that anymore.
Here's to another enjoyable afternoon on the deck deconstructing fabric sample books. Enjoy them while we still can!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Another Saturday Night

I have that song playing in my head - but I cannot remember who sang it. Elton John? Cat Stevens? Probably dating myself with that one. Anyway,... The black and white quilt pictures were going to be on this post, but the pictures are not coming out right. So instead I will show you a picture of my first tomato of 2012.
Of course showing its best side! Enjoy the rain!

A Hard Day's Work

I had a very productive day today even though I often felt like I was jumping from one project to another. Guess what? I really was! But here's to progress and a hard day's work. I definitely feel like I accomplished a lot today.

Here is a picture of one of the quilts going to the long armer tomorrow. It is a "Blooming 9 - Patch" top that I finished some time ago. I have finally realized I will never finish quilting all of the tops I have made. That is why Long Arm Quilters were made - to finish the tops of this world. So here is that top hanging on the clothes line in the back yard.
And here is the one for the following week.

Two down and who knows how many more to go!

And, finally, I will soon post a picture of the black and white quilt whose blocks you saw on the sewing hiatus post. I am really pleased with this one. It needed a black sashing - everything seemed to run into each other without it. Maybe this one will go to Sharon next month. But maybe I can get my hands on a Bernina stitch regulator and try some free motion motifs on this one myself. Or maybe not. Stay tuned to see what ends up happening with this quilt!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Newest Knitting Project

It just occurred to me that I have not been keeping you up to date on my knitting projects. I have been plodding along with my knitting even when my quilting has been been on hold. (Unfortunately, two funerals in one week, with one out of state, can severely hamper your quilting time - but at least I will continue to have quilting time in the future)

But any way...

The newest project was actually purchased at least a year ago at Eneri, the yarn shop in The Oak Hill Plaza in Exeter, RI. I am having fun with it so far and I have no reason not to expect the fun to continue.

Enjoy yourself this Labor Day weekend. The unofficial end of summer is upon us and the weather is still cooperating. Make the most of it - I know I intend to!