Posts Tagged ‘Easy Street’

Winter storm Saturn snow day!

March 6, 2013

This is the kind of snow day I can get behind. Work cancelled and very little snow.

Unlike many, I dread big snow storms because I live alone and I have to shovel the snow. I live in a townhouse without a garage so I have to shovel out my car as well as the steps and walkway. The forecast was for a foot or more of snow, depending on how far west you were from I-95. Work was closed for the day. It’s now afternoon and there is very little accumulation, the grass isn’t even all covered in my back yard. It’s warm enough that it’s raining instead of snowing now so nothing to shovel! Yeah!

Even if work hadn’t been closed, I’d have taken the day off because that’s what we do out here when it snows. I grew up in Illinois where you didn’t let snow stop you from doing what needed to be done, unless it was a blizzard but I’ve lived on the east coast since December 1981. While talking to a friend back home in Illinois a while back, I said something about not going to work when it snowed. She looked at me like I had two heads. I told her she just didn’t understand what it was like out here. People out here drive crazy. They follow too closely and drive too fast. It’s safer just to stay off the road in snow. 

I had 3 rows of Easy Street assembled so I sewed them together. Then I did some cutting for the 30s string star. Doesn’t sound like much but I felt like I got a lot accomplished.

Back on Easy Street

January 8, 2013

It’s dismaying to see so many Easy Street Quilts finished when I’m so far behind. The day after clue 5 was published I went out of town for the holidays so I was only able to do a little cutting for that clue before I left.

Clue 6 was published while I was gone. Clue 7 was published Dec 31, the morning after the night I got back. So, there I was 3 clues behind and clue 8, the finish, was published on Jan 1. Clues 7 and 8 were BIG! Lots of sewing!

New Year’s Day I sewed with my friend Linda at her quilt shop. I got a late start, around 11 am by the time I got there and got the store’s Janome Jem set up for use. My Jem was at a different shop for maintenance. I was supposed to pick it up on the 31st but they didn’t seem to be open. Linda let me use the shop’s machine so I didn’t have to drag my heavy Bernina to the store. I got some work done on the steps 5 – 7 but not as much as I would have liked. I tried not to look at blogs with spoilers until after I got at least some of clue 7 done but it was tough.

Piles of Easy Street parts ready for assembly!

Piles of Easy Street parts ready for assembly!

Back when I started quilting in the 1990s, Mary Ellen Hopkins was a well-known quilt teacher and author. I’ve always been under the impression that the connector corner technique was her invention. She always threatened to send her squad of knee-cappers out to get you if you cut off the bottom part of the square you were sewing to. She maintained that only the middle layer – the bottom of the top square being sewn onto the bottom square – should be cut out. That way you always had a square to sew to the adjoining pieces even if your triangle didn’t exactly match the edges. Here’s a picture showing why she was so insistent:

See how the edges of the purple triangle don't meet the edges of the turquoise square? By not cutting out the turquoise, I still have a correct edge to match to the next piece.

See how the edges of the purple triangle don’t meet the edges of the turquoise square? By not cutting out the turquoise, I still have a correct edge to match to the next piece.

So far I’ve sewed all the triangles and 2.5 of the B blocks. I was anxious to start using the piles of parts so the A blocks will have to wait because they need purple squares cut for the middle piece. It’s going to take a while to get this finished now that I’m back at work – I was on vacation for the holidays. Plus, I have to help my parents who live 700 miles away move to an apartment and empty the house. I was doing so well at keeping up before the holidays.

The 4 corners done.

The 4 corners done.

See other quilters’ strolls down Easy Street here.

Easy Street Detour

December 31, 2012

I was able to keep up with Easy Street until Clue 5. The day it was published I was getting ready to go away for the holidays. I did get some pieces cut but nothing sewed. While I was away, clue 6 was published. Of course, I’ve done nothing on that because I was away. I got home last night and this morning clue 7 was released. Tomorrow, the last clue will be released – at least, I think she said it’s the last clue. I’ll be sewing tomorrow with my friend Linda and I’m still on vacation the rest of the week so I hope to get caught up soon.

I went to Illinois to spend Christmas with my elderly parents and my brother. I drove Mom and Dad up to Chicago to spend a few days with my brother. Unfortunately, on Christmas day Dad (89 years old) had an altercation with the small, evil one. He lost.

The small, evil one.

Missy, the small, evil one.

The small, evil one (as my mother and I think of her) or Missy (as my brother prefers) is a 12 year old miniature Schnauzer. She is the smallest of his current pack of 3 minis. I think he said she weighs about 6 pounds. She is an aggressive dog. As my brother described her, she bites first and asks questions later.

Dad was sitting in the small, evil one’s place on the couch so she curled up next to him. I guess he forgot she was there and when he pushed himself up off the couch he must have dug his elbow into her side. She flew into a rage and bit him on the hand. Of course,  it was his dominant hand.

My brother was upstairs in the shower so while I was looking for bandages, Dad went to  rinse off his hand. I told him to wash it with soap. He didn’t because he said he didn’t know where the soap was but he didn’t tell me that until the next day. He’s legally blind so he didn’t realize the soap was right on the sink.

The next day we noticed that his hand was swollen, red and hot. He’s on blood thinner and kept flexing his hand which kept opening the wound and making it bleed. We kept telling him not to do that. So we had a fun-filled afternoon at the walk-in clinic. I learned that they don’t stitch animal bites because of the likelihood of infection. Stitches make the infection worse. His hand looked a lot better after a couple of days on the antibiotic.

Mom called the doctor’s office for an appointment after we got home from Chicago. When the nurse asked where he was bitten, she said “at my son’s house in Chicago”.  Then the nurse rephrased the question. I bet you thought that was just an old joke.

Easy Street Part 4

December 19, 2012

More flying geese. It seems I have not yet mastered the ability to make flying geese the right size in the required size except with paper piecing.

What happened here?

What happened here?

When I first started quilting I had an early 1970s Kenmore sewing machine. I decided I wanted a new machine and had decided on Bernina but wasn’t ready to spend that much money. While talking to my mother, who is not a needlewoman, said, “Machines are probably pretty expensive now. I bet that’s going to cost $400-500.” I told her it was more like $3000. She said I didn’t need a machine that expensive.

I was complaining at a sew-in for a mystery quilt that had flying geese in it that the Kenmore was pushing the fabric off the feed dogs. Kathy came over and said, “Let me see that”. She sat down and sewed a bit, then said, “I’ve sewn on a lot of machines in my day. This machine is a piece of crap!”

That afternoon she wanted to go to Fabric Chest in Glen Burnie (sadly no longer in business). I don’t remember the motivation for going but Linda and I hadn’t been so we went, too. Fabric Chest was a Bernina dealer. As soon as we set foot in the door, Kathy asked if they had any used machines. They had a 10 year old 1230. Well, Kathy and Linda were so excited to show it to me that the sales clerk couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I think Kathy would have made me walk home if I hadn’t bought the 1230.

I haven’t been sewing Easy Street on my Bernina because it had to go to the hospital. My workhorse Janome Gem Gold has been doing all the work. Using Bonnie’s method of making the geese, some of mine turned out right and some didn’t. What I don’t understand is why the ones with the turquoise wings were a little smaller than the ones with the white wings. I ended up trimming most of my blocks. But, they are done.

Flying Geese squares done!

Flying Geese squares done!

Next time I have to do flying geese, I’m using Deb Tucker’s Wing Clipper ruler. It uses the make-it-bigger-then-cut-it-to-size technique.

I finally got the white bricks cut. And, I cut some of the green squares. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to work on Easy Street again until New Year’s Day. I thought I might be able to do a little work on it Friday while I’m getting ready to travel but I learned today that a member of my guild died so I’ll probably be going to the funeral home for the visitation.

Tip: Use a nylon scrubby to clean the trimming schmutz off the cutting mat.

Tip: Use a nylon scrubby to clean the trimming schmutz off the cutting mat.

See what others are doing on Easy Street.

Easy Street Part 3

December 10, 2012

Wasn’t sure I’d get this step finished on time since I usually don’t get home from work until 6:30 or later on Friday. Saturday was taken up with Saturday Sampler at 9:15 and a haircut at 10:15. From there I headed on down to Virginia for Jinny Beyer club at 1 pm.

On the way home stopped at Ikea and wasted an hour and a half. They’re on my shit list now. Don’t believe Ikea’s website when they say the item you want is available at the store. They did have what I wanted but not on the shelf and not as many as the website said and they had no intention of putting it on the shelf until the next day. This is after I tried to find the light bulb for a lamp I wanted to get in the marketplace area. So, I put the lamp back. Around the next corner I saw an employee and asked for help. She just looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Finally she said I needed to find someone in the lighting department to help me. I didn’t say what I was thinking which was, “If there had been someone in lighting to ask I wouldn’t be asking you for help”. I just said, “never mind” and kept heading toward the self-service area where I thought I would be getting what I came for. No concept of what customer service means. Didn’t get home till close to 6 pm. Sorry for the whining but I could have been sewing on Easy Street instead.

Almost done. Four units laid out. The finished ones are in piles of ten at the top of the picture.

Almost done. Four units laid out. I like to see progress so I do a few at time instead of sewing all of the right sides, then all of the left sides, then all of the triangles. The finished units are in piles of ten at the top of the picture.

This little guy in the bottom right looks like he escaped from the Baxtertoons in Cathi's blog.

This little guy in the bottom right looks like he might have escaped from the Baxtertoons in Cathi’s blog.

I hope Cathi agrees. Her blog is Quilt Obsession.

I finally finished all 64 blocks Sunday evening. I have lots of purple squares and some turquoise triangles left over. I still need to cut the white bricks Bonnie told us about in step 2.

See what everyone else is doing on Easy Street.

Easy Street Part 2

December 5, 2012
Linda, my local quilt shop owner, gave me this fabric to use in Easy Street.

Linda, my local quilt shop owner, gave me this fabric to use in Easy Street.

Finished 4 patches

Finished 4 patches

Finishing the 4 patches last week was quick because I had the day after Thanksgiving off from work. The flying geese took longer because I had to work on Friday. Saturday I had to go spring my Bernina from the hospital. The dealer is an hour and a half away so we didn’t get back to town until after noon. I went to JoAnn’s to get the companion ruler with my 50% off coupon.

Parts for the flying geese laid out for sewing. Some finished geese are in the container.

Parts for the flying geese laid out for sewing. Some finished geese are in the container.

Enough finished geese and leftover triangles.

Enough finished geese and leftover triangles.

I had way more purple triangles than I needed, so I cut more white parts and kept sewing. Figured some of my pieces might not be quite the right size because I had a few cutting issues. Whatever’s left can go on the back. Wouldn’t you know I screwed up cutting the white triangles and cut left ones when I was trying to cut right ones so now I have a few extra left triangles. Oh, well.

See what everyone else is doing here.

Easy Street Part 1

November 26, 2012

I decided to do the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt this year. I “knew” I didn’t have a 2 yard piece of grey in my stash for what she calls the constant fabric because I usually only buy a half yard or at most a yard. I love fairy frost and my local quilt shop had a bolt of grey so I bought it.

4-patches in progress

Here are the twosies laid out for sewing. The white thing they’re laying on is a piece of table cloth padding (not sure that’s what it’s called). It’s vinyl on one side and flannel on the other. I want my scrappy things to be as scrappy as possible. I took the biggest pile and worked my way through, matching it up with one from each of the little piles until I ran out. Then I started with the next biggest pile and so on. The little pink thing on the second pile from the left on the top is a bobbin keeper that I was using to keep track of where I had picked up from last.

Finished sewing my 4-patches on Saturday afternoon.

Remember that I said above I KNEW I didn’t have a piece of grey to use? Sunday I still had the urge to sew and on the way down to the sewing room I saw a stack of fabric and noticed purple and thought “I can use that in the mystery quilt”.  So, I picked up the pile to get the purple and what did I see? A 2 yard piece of grey the right color for the mystery. 2 yards, really? Who would have thought it? I never buy 2 yards of tone on tone. Sigh. You have to understand I have more fabric than any 3 people could use in a lifetime so I shouldn’t be buying anything. But, I still love my fairy frost!

See what everyone else did here.