Sunday, May 31, 2009

In Love With My Foot

WALKING foot, that is.

The quilt is quilted......

the binding is on. Just have to hand-stitch it to the back. I made the binding from the vintage sheet I used for the back, and I'm loving it so much! I managed to get one side stitched on the back, then stood up, and realized somehow I pulled a muscle in my chest. Time for a break!
I love this machine. I love that I can do a needle-down with the push of a button, and it will stay until I push the button again. And when I stop with needle down, the presser foot automatically raises. Pivoting? No problem. I love the push button thread cutting. And I love the wavy stitch that I always seem to use on quilts - this one matches some wavy lines in the fabric, and I never noticed til I was done! And I really, really love that I don't need to oil it - I never could get the hang of that. With my old Singer, I always got the oil in the wrong spot.
What are your favorite feet and features on your machine?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sooo Busy

I've been having a fun week. I've been working on a set of stitcheries I created that I want to share - got the first one finished, here's a sneak peek:

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And I've decided to use a jelly roll for my Wonky Houses instead of the Snippets, mostly because I feel the Snippets deserve a bigger project and I'm marinating a few ideas.

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But I can't do that today. Can't do my Shabby Roses either.

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The sheet behind this block will be the sashing for the Shabby Roses quilt.

Nope, I have to do this.

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This is for my friend Kathy No Blog. I adore the vintage sheet I found for the backing, it's like it was made to go with the fabrics in the quilt. I usually always use a vintage sheet for backing - about a dollar at the thrift store, and I don't have to piece them. I love pieced backs but I'm really too lazy. And I use thrifted flannel sheets for the batting. I love thin quilts, and flannel won't shift - you don't have to quilt it closely, but it looks great if you do. If I had unlimited funds, I would buy everything from the quilt shop, but I have to take it where I find it!

I always pin baste using a table. I have severe spinal arthritis and can't do it on the floor anymore. I was very glad to find this method. I center the quilt on the table, letting the overflow hang down. The weight of the layers holds everything in place. As I finish one section, I leave the pins open, and slide to the next section to pin. I don't close my pins until the last one is in. Closing the pins will cause things underneath to shift, and you end up with puckers.

I'll probably quilt it using straight lines. Hopefully I'll be putting the binding on tomorrow, and then I can play with my stitcheries some more!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Birthday Boy

Well, I made the cake. And it turned out FINE, we're all still here, lol! I made it in a bundt pan and, while it wasn't all that pretty, it was fully cooked and came out of the pan with hardly any effort. I nuked the frosting and it went on very easy. No pictures - it wasn't worthy.

After dinner, we went outside and my boys played lawn darts - it was very sunny, and my mom's backyard has lots of trees, so that means lots of shadows and my camera gets confused. Or maybe the camera is fine and the operator is confused. Anyway, the pics I took of my boys turned out AWFUL. This pic is our family friend Pam on the left, my mom, and my brother standing.


My baby brother.


I was an only child for 11 years. Being an only child was VERY nice. I had everyone's undivided attention whenever I wanted it and at Christmas all the gifts were for me. Yes, I was spoiled rotten. And I loved it. Then my mom had my brother, and suddenly I was the built-in babysitter! But oh how I doted on him. Our dad died when he was 6 and I was 17 - some very rough times followed, but now we're close again and I love the man he's become. He reminds me a lot of our dad - he's a very gentle, caring and resourceful man.

And now for some other news. Kelly at Charming Chatter is having a quilt show, I told you...and there's an UPDATE! You can now enter two quilts! And boy check out the first place prize - any fat quarter bundle from the shop OR one of the jelly cakes she picked up from Spring Quilt Market! They're not available in stores yet, even! There are some truly gorgeous quilts entered, but not very many of them, so your odds are good to win! Here's the other quilt I'm going to enter....

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Hurry, go enter! You have until May 31st!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Entered, Have You?

I sent my entry photo off to Kelly at Charming Chatter, for the Charming Threads First Annual Spring Quilt Show. You can win some awfully nice prizes! I would love to see more people enter this, so take a pic of one of your quilts and send it off to Kelly! There's a link on my sidebar too. Here's the quilt I entered:

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Can you tell I named my blog after this quilt? *G*

I can't believe it took me so long to create this post. I had installed IE 8 last night, and suddenly couldn't copy and paste into my blog. I upload pics to Flickr, then copy and paste the url into my post. But it wasn't working after the "upgrade". I had to uninstall it back to IE7 to get it to work! Crazy. SOMEDAY I'll have a Mac, lol.

Today I worked on prepping my fabric for my Shabby Roses blocks. Tomorrow is my brother's birthday, so I need something to take over there to keep my hands busy. It drives me NUTS to just sit. I have to bake a chocolate cake for him - usually hubby does that, but he's working, so I hope I don't kill us all. I am not a cook. I can open cans and thaw frozen stuff, but that's the extent of my interest in the craft. I do like to eat, though. Especially chocolate cake.

What's that old saying? I only have a kitchen because it came with the house. Well, that's me. I could get rid of the pots and pans and store fabric there instead!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day, everyone!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Hug From Down Under

I woke up crying this morning. I needed a hug. God is good - He saw that I got one.

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Shortly after I woke up, the mailman came. It was my package from Jenny at Elefantz - her Wonky House Give-Away! Jenny is just the sweetest, most caring person. Look at the beautiful ribbon on the package, and the card with a ROSE on it -

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And inside? Oh my.

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This absolutely gorgeous wall-hanging, stitched by Jenny's own sweet hands:

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And this fabulous fabric with Australian wildflowers! Isn't this pretty! I'm going to turn this into something really special, and it will always remind me of Jenny.

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And look at this. This took my breath away. A Shabby Rose block with MY NAME in it. How special is THAT????

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Jenny, you sure know how to make someone feel better. Thank you dear one!

I felt so much better after that hug, I decided to finish the binding on my quilt for Italy. But first I took a couple of pictures:

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It's now completely done and will hopefully be mailed this coming week. I have to tell you - I had just finished stitching the birds on, and hubby walked in and looked at them, and said "Nice baby seals". I could've kicked him. Do they really look like baby seals??? EEK!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I'm going to be missing in action for a few days. A very, very good friend, who I've known since 6th grade and called "Pa", died today. On his wife's birthday. These were like my adopted parents. I remember when my dad died, when I was 17 - and Bob hugged me and told me to call him Pa, and I did from that day forward. I am going to miss him so much.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Deep Breaths.....Deeeeep Breaths....

Why Mr. Postman, what could this be????


Hm...I recognize the name, the excitement is building....


and building.....





Kelly from Charming Chatter had a give-away and I won! Any fat quarter bundle from her shop, Cotton Charm Quilts. I picked Snippets. I think it might be starting to sink in that I won - although I'll have you know it took me almost two days to untie that ribbon. This is the panel:


and these are the [blurry, sorry] fat quarters.


She also put in a little pack of 1" squares of the new Glace line. I may have to make a mini-quilt with those. Thank you Kelly, I still cannot believe your generosity! I'm going to do my Wonky Houses wallhanging with the Snippets, and maybe a girlie messenger bag. And, even though I said I was done with biggish quilts, how can I NOT do a quilt with Snippets???

Yesterday I basted my quilt for Italy


and today I quilted it. But would it be an Allie quilt without an Oops? No, I say. As I was quilting the white sashing, I came across three spots where I had missed some dark threads on the batting. No way could I get in there to get them out. So this quilt will have some bright birds appliqued on it in strategic places. And will probably be all the better for it.

That's all for now - I must go pet some Snippets.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Don't walk, RUN over to Charming Chatter and enter the quilt show! Kelly says your quilt can be any size or style. You can enter until midnight May 31, and winners will be selected on June 2nd. The prizes are wonderful, and the quilt show will be too - I dearly love seeing all your creative works. While you're there, browse around her blog, it's great - and so is her shop. Not to mention she's one of the nicest people you'll meet on the internet!


Go see what Jenny of Elefantz is up to now!!!! She has a new design set called Oopsie Daisies and it is ABSOLUTELY DARLING! I tell ya, the girl has so much talent - how exciting to be in at the beginning of a fab new designer. I can picture these designs everywhere - pillows, wall-hangings, a little girl's clothing, anywhere you need some cheerful goodness. And she is just as sweet as her designs!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Won! I Won!

And there's a reason I said it twice! First, let me say I NEVER WIN ANYTHING. It's the story of my life. Seriously. So on Mother's Day, when I came home and started reading my blogs, I got to Charming Chatter and Kelly had posted the results of her give-away. I saw my name, and thought gee, that's odd, there must be another Allie in MI. Then I read my comment that she posted, and it dawned on me that HEY, that's me! It was a good thing I was sitting down. The prize was any fat quarter bundle from her shop, Cotton Charm Quilts! I picked the Snippets line, which I adore....being the only girl in the house here, I love retro girly stuff. I'm going to use some on my Wonky House blocks!

But that's not all.

I got offline and watched a movie. Before I shut down, I thought I would check my email one last time. And lo and behold, Jenny from Elefantz had emailed me - I had won HER give-away! The sweetest Wonky House block wallhanging stitched by the incredibly talented Jenny! My cup runneth over!

I told her that it was so special to get something made by someone else, because as you know, we quilters and stitchers tend to give folks a lot of ourselves, but rarely recieve anything made by someone else. I will treasure this forever! This was surely a Mother's Day to remember!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Beyond Frustrated

Today was a very bad no good terrible horrible quilting day. I did finish off two quilt tops, almost with my sanity intact...but it was a close one. First, I finished up this one:


My friend Kathy had picked out these fabrics for a charm quilt, and I cut everything 4 inches. Blocks, sashing, everything. I quilted everything on the same machine with the same 1/4" foot. So tell me - WHY didn't those border blocks line up? WHY were they a half inch off on either end? I used to be able to piece! Maybe it's time to hang up the rotary cutter! I fudged it best I could and hacked off the excess.

Then, since I was on a finishing roll, I decided to square up the quilt for Italy. Has to be 48x60. No problem, I knew it was way long enough. Until I went to square it up, and it was two inches short. So I hollered at the boys to make dinner and added another row.

They're both done now, and I just have to get backing and batting. Since the boys did dinner, I went ahead and cut all the binding for the quilts. I am so done with biggish quilts - I lost count of how many I've made since last October. Maybe not a lot for some of you, but a lot for me!

On a happier note, my son Sam is playing with photography. He went out in the yard yesterday and took some pics of the yard. All the pink you see is the petals coming off the tree. Petals everywhere!

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Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wonky House Give-Away!

My block finished for the Wonky House Give-Away from Jenny!


To enter, you must have completed at least one block, post it on your blog, and link back to hers. The sweetest little wall-hanging of a wonky house block, stitched by the talented Jenny, is the prize. I'm very excited that block number 4 is coming out on May 9th, I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Here's a picture of my blocks for the rail fence:


Not sure if you can tell from the pic, but there's a difference in size between horizontal and vertical. Enough of a difference that I'm not comfortable trying to fudge it. So, I'm doing this:


One of my favorite patterns, Chinese Coins. They'll be sashed with white and I think this will be colorful enough for any child. Well, a girl child - apparently I have no boy fabrics at ALL. Which is good, it keeps my boys out of my stash.

I finished coloring my Wonky Houses and I don't like the crayoning.


Or rather, I do like it, but you really have to color it before embroidering. The crayon got all over the floss and I couldn't get a nice edge close to the floss. Markers may have worked a lot better. So, I'm starting over! I have a nice new stack of Murder She Wrote to watch while I work. My toe is still swelling so I HAVE to sit, right? *G*

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I have irrefutable proof that housework is hazardous to your health. I was in the kitchen, doing the wifely, momly chore of dishes and cleaning off the counter, when an ALMOST EMPTY bottle of Hershey's syrup fell off the counter onto my pinky toe. My pinky toe that was encased in memory foam slippers. My pinky toe that has a pin in it from surgery, and now tries to cross over my foot to buddy up with my big toe. And now my poor, mishapen pinky toe is broken. At least I think it is - it sure hurts and I'm using crutches and my sewing chair to get around.

Now, we all know that chocolate is not hazardous to your health, in fact it's a vital part of any diet, so I therefore conclude it was the housework. And I should have stayed in the sewing room. Along with this lump

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who has taken charge of my ironing table and WILL NOT MOVE for any sewing crisis. Those specks you see are catnip. She ain't leaving, my friends.

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The girl's got mouse.

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This table is right under the window which is right by a tree that has interesting critters in it. It's one of her favorite spots. The fact that mom has to use it to iron on is just icing on the cake.

I sewed strips together today, using the rail fence pattern. The cutting instructions were to cut strips, 2 1/2" x 6 1/2". They should match, right? When you turn them to make a rail fence? Well, suprise, they don't. I'm not sure what to do next. I'm going to think about it for, oh, maybe a week. Maybe I'll just put a thin white sashing in between them all and forget about things like matching up seams and shaving blocks. I just love thin white sashing. It's so forgiving.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Yay - Secret Project is Done!

Well, almost - just need to add a hanging sleeve. Can't show you yet, not til it's recieved, but here's a sneak peek:

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This is the first time I've ever quilted something so much, and I'm really disappointed. It got very distorted. I had added the borders before quilting, and spray-basted it together as it's small, and also used a few pins. Crooked as all get-out but I hope she likes it anyway. I'll let you know.

Today I started cutting squares for a quilt for a friend - started at 12:30pm. Got that finished pretty quick, picked out all my bright colors for the quilt for Italy [see post below] and ironed them all. IRONED THEM ALL. [Wipes brow].

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And then I did this.

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And I did not stop until midnight, and every single one was cut into a 2 1/2" strip. This wee little pile? Got 10 times bigger. And turned into TWO piles. I have to find a safe place to put them so the cat doesn't try to nest in them.

And now, I'm going to go finish my last Wonky House

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while watching these.

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