Saturday, June 30, 2012

SewCalGal - FMQ Challenge - June 2012

Directions: Draw a doodle then fill the sections in with FMQing!

JuneCindy Needham

 This was a clever challenge - combining zendoodle with FMQing!

I used scrap batting and material for this piece - I have too many other projects in progress and was  afraid to cut into the new batting for fear I'd mess up the calculations made when purchasing the batting.  I join this with some of my other practice pieces to make a nice lap quilt!

I can tell I have improved as I did not break a needle or jam up the thread while doing this.

Next time I would plan ahead so I could travel to the different sections - I will use this idea again.  It was fun!


You too can join up with the 2012 SewCalGal's Free-Motion Quilt Challenge now to become a better free motion quilter and have the chance to win fabulous prizes!!  

 To enter the June drawing:
1. Write blog entry or post a photo on Flicker. Copy and save the URL.
2. Then go to
3. Click on the June link - you'll go to the screen with information about the challenge for June. The direct link is:
4. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and add the link to your site.

I'm #125 on this list! I'm coding all my entries about this project with SewCalGalFMQ2012 so clicking on that will show the most recent post on top.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Idea: Tube Quilting

I'm taking a cooking class - the teacher is always showing us how to make dipping sauces.  She tells us it's better to make it ourselves, than to have a lot of bottle of stuff that we buy and only use a few times. And doesn't that make sense?

Missouri Star Quilts shows how to make the tube quilting blocks with out needing a special ruler....

I don't make a lot of blocks, so appreciate knowing how to make these without forking out more money, and having yet another thing to store,  misplace, and then have to waste time searching around to try and find when I need it!

For more inspiration on what to do with the blocks - or to get the real ruler go to

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Days - Fabric and Other Things

Even though I did not touch a sewing machine this week, I'm linking to:


Tuesday - June 19 - Nothing with fabric
Wednesday - June 20 - Nothing with fabric
Thursday - June 21 - Nothing with fabric
Friday - June 22 - Nothing with fabric
Saturday - June 23 - Nothing with fabric
Sunday - June 24 - Nothing with fabric
Monday - June 25 - Nothing with fabric

Other - Too Much Information

Tuesday - June 19 - Took mom to exercise.  Called the beauty college but they did not have anyone there to do her nails, so instead just parked at the store and walked mom back to her place.  She made comments about the cars and how nice the day was.  Chatted a little with Tessie, she is growing tomatoes and chilies in the back patio.  I'll need to take a photo - it's very impressive what she has going in such a small planter!

Wednesday - June 20 - Made lemonade out of lemons - well, not really.  But DH had said yesterday that he was going to go to campus early in the morning so I had been looking forward to one of my productive days where I do paperwork, laundry, clean and watch TV!  But since he was here I had to keep quiet.  After a bit I took shower and went to beautiful Point Loma - to the redone seafood restaurant.  So I had a lobster roll over looking the boats - saw seagulls, pelicans, and a sea lion!  Then I went to IKEA and looked around.  They have some nice little sinks that might be good in the guest bathroom - and they had mugs in the grey color that our plates are so bought some.  I also got some dinner from the IKEA cafe and brought home the frozen potatoes and meatballs so I could make a meal later on.

Thursday - June 21 - DH left early this AM - so I sort of was able to do some of my 'stuff'.  DS came over to take mom to exercise and the beauty college.  It took a long time for that - he wasn't back until after 5!  I told him that if it takes too long to just tell them I have to take her back now and that would be that.  Sometimes the new students take forever to do anything - they need to know they have to work to get their speed up.  I went thru all the envelopes - there was only one action needed.  Now I need to file the contents of the envelopes.  Took a while to get connected to the printer - have to remember to turn it off, wait, then on again.  I wasted time fiddling with servers and unplugging things first.  We had the IDEA frozen food for dinner.  I want to spend some time to plan the meals for next week - make shopping list so the food is here, etc.  Jose emailed that he had time to come tomorrow to finish things up - at first I said that wouldn't be good as DH and DS are prepping for conference, but then DH said it would be okay as he is going to campus so Jose will come in the afternoon.

I need to get information and pricing for new windows - and make decisions on flooring, the bathroom and the kitchen.  On the outside need to decide on what to grow in front, the drains needed (and be sure to tie into to the gutter downspouts.  I'm way behind on where I wanted to be for the bookkeeping - just need some time alone in the house then it's easy to get caught up.  There is always a dance of being caught up or behind - right now I'm more behind than I feel comfortable with....

I looked at Leah Day's site - the new project will be fun - and I have so many pre-cut strips and squares that I may just need to sew instead of cut!  I can use beige thread so the FMQing part stands out....

Friday - June 22 - Went to cooking class with my son - today was molded sushi - lots of fun - the class was not as crowded as last week - but still not organized into teams ahead of time so had to see where we could get hands on.  We went to buy more vegetables to plant at Home Depot together. Then at home had long chat with the contractor - with new ideas for money to be spent.  Now he is suggesting more cement be put around the front and side of the house - to protect from rain and to make it easier to walk around.  At first he said $1K - but then he emailed that he had forgotten the fee for making the forms and it got upped to $1800 - I have to think.  Especially since the new cement he put down a few weeks ago is starting to have cracks....

Saturday - June 23 - DH left so I was able to work at going thru more envelopes and get ready to file away.

Sunday - June 24 - DH left early!  I finished most of the filing.  Did some cleaning and laundry.  Did some emails for my organization - finished the reinvoicing for groups and vendors - asked for the list of all checks received so I know which individuals to reinvoice!  I still have more bookkeeping to do - but I think tomorrow I will sew a bit - I miss that.

Monday - June 25 - Today was the big presentation at conference for DH and DS.  There was much preparation going on so I did not sew as I didn't want to disturb their work.  I did make a tasty salad for lunch - adding canned beans, avocado, tomato, turnip, celery, mint, celantro, carrot and cucumber together with salt and pepper and sugar.  I put that on lettuce tossed with my dressing.  It was very good.  I was able to get a free registration (I am officer in a local affiliate of the organization).  The presentation went very well.  DH did most of the talking - DS had a bit in the middle - the audience gave him applause after he did his bit.  Teachers can be so nice.  Had nice time with DS walking around the convention center while husband was at an invited social event, then we all went out for dinner.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Days - Fabric and Other Things

I'm linking to:


Tuesday - June 12 - Nothing with fabric
Wednesday - June 13 - Nothing with fabric
Thursday - June 14 - Nothing with fabric
Friday - June 15 - Nothing with fabric
Saturday - June 16 -- Nothing with fabric
Sunday - June 17 - Nothing with fabric
Monday - June 18 - Nothing with fabric

Too Much Information

Tuesday - June 12 - Today was totally a spurge day.  I paid bills, then picked my mom up to take her to exercise.  Walked back and forth to the main campus to get the parking card and chatted a little with the new director of the program. The student said my mom did well - but I forgot to verify she was doing foot flexibility work.  Then took mom to beauty school where she had a manicure and pedicure, while I had a new haircut.  Turns out my student was very new - so I really got a haircut by her and then a correction haircut by the instructor.  Sweet.  I walked mom back and got her set up with hot tea...  I walked back and went to the post office to mail my blocklotto blocks off.  Then I went to the other manicurist and had a pedicure and manicure - but not just a regular one - she has new spa chairs so I had a spa pedicure, with sugar rub and parafin - and then hot oil manicure - and then I had both toes and finger nails buffed - so they look quite nice.  The nails were cut really short as I'm going to be working in the yard and painting still.  So it was quite a spurge day!

Wednesday - June 13 - I cleaned today.  That meant picking up, dusting, moving furniture, vacuuming. I did the downstairs.

Thursday - June 14 - Stayed home so I could be here while Jose installed the UC Verde plugs.  He had one guy with a pick to make the holes, his son dipped each plug and put it in the hole, and his Dad set the plug so it was straight - smoothed the soil and pushed it around the plug.  He showed me how to change the timer for the sprinklers - I feel so empowered.  Last minute cleaning before Barb arrived.  B and I watched movie "Paul" - pretty funny while waiting for Barb to get here.  Barb got here sort of late, but we stayed up and chatted a while before heading off to bed.

Friday - June 15 - Went to cooking class - then my friend used the van to drive to see other people.  The subject for the class to day was sushi.  My son met me there (we drove back home together afterwards.)  Lots of fun, and a ton of people.  Too many really.  Neither my son nor I got to roll any sushi, but it was nice to see the others work at it.  We got to taste at the end - delicious.

Back at home Jose had put the plugs in the center part of the front - and had cleaned up the side - but had not planted anything.  He also had stuccoed around the door and put up frame on the inside and did several other things.

After discussion we decided to plant in a little design so it wouldn't look like we ran out of plugs...  I just realized tonight that he didn't dip the plugs so not sure if they will survive. We have a section of this side yard without any plugs - so I will either move rocks or plant some ground cover.

Unfortunately we didn't think about putting irrigation in this side area, so I will be hand watering it.  We can have a water pipe put on the top back edge of the new cement then have it go under grand once it hits dirt - Then the line would go off when the sprinkler go for the side of the back yard.  I couldn't decide whether we should do this or not (cost around $150).

I'm waiting for Steve, who gave the talk on irrigation at the Cuyamaca Water Conservation Garden to write back with the information on the lawn drip system that his professor developed so I can buy that.  I really want to not have traditional sprinklers in the front yard and am willing to hand water to establish the lawn so it can go to a drip system once established.

 So nice to have an in-person friend to hang-out with for a while!  DH did not cancel the garage sale so helped him a little with cleaning stuff out.

Cuyamaca Water Conservation Garden - Event Calendar Entry - Date: 06/09/2012  

10:00 am - 12:00 pm:


AND DIVE into DRIP--FREE FOR MEMBERS! Steve Jacobs of Nature Designs, Landscape for Life, teaches you how to tune up your existing irrigation to make it more Water Smart. Tips for Water Smart retrofitting, how to set your time clock, and when and how long to water your landscape and time to ask your irrigation questions included. Steve will introduce you to drip irrigation, share the appropriate application for drip, share the pros and cons, and demonstrate how to install a basic drip system. Great for the irrigation challenged! NOT A MEMBER? Join at the class and receive a full refund on your class fee! WOW! Members please register online if you plan to attend this FREE class. Thank you. 

Saturday - June 16 - I watered the new lawn in front, the Barb got up and we went to store to get coins for DH to have change at the garage sale.  There wasn't time to walk to breakfast the way I had hoped...  By the time we got back DH was up and the table of things was on the driveway - there were a few people who stopped by.  In the end he closed up at 10 and sold 4 or 5 things, he packed up the rest and took to good will so it's out of the garage now so that is good.  Barb and I went to Balboa Park for the Master Gardener sale - I bought different tomato and cucumber plants - then we got Mexican and brought it home to eat with DH.  Then time for a nap - can't believe how tired I was!  Then Barb and I met another of her Japanese friend at market and she showed us the brands of stuff she buys for sushi - Barb and I bought some of the stuff.  They had a new yellow kiwi to sample taste - delicious!  I like it much better than the green kind.  After that we sat and chatted while the TV was on.  It was so nice to have the company!  I remembered an email blast I needed to send out for my organization - and when I returned from that Barb was in her bedroom ready to sleep so I went back upstairs and did that too.

Sunday - June 17 - Got up early to water the lawn in front - then read blogs and articles.  Very interesting articles on making iced coffee: Pioneer Woman - Imbibe & Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps & Framed Recipes & How to Kill Bermuda Grass: Lazy Gardens - UC Verde - or at least they were interesting to me!  Then had breakfast with my friend (we drove) - then she had to leave to see another friend and go home.  She had a great idea for project for me to make though - a quilted headboard for the bed in the sewing room - and a quilted box cover over the window! Sounds like a good project.  Then I could make for our master bedroom too!  After she left I took a nap.  When I woke my husband said our son and his friend were coming over for a BBQ.  So made salad for that.  We had a nice chat and ate hot dogs, salad, stuffed mushrooms and asparagus for dinner.  Had shrimp with cocktail sauce and veggie tray as appetizer.

Monday - June 18 - UC Verde Lawn rep wrote and said not to worry about not dipping the plugs in the front that as long as I keep watered should be okay.  She asked where I lived before answering my question about water use of native vs UC Verde lawn.  That answer will help me decide what to do with the front yard area.  Right now I'm feeling very uncreative and am very interested in just having something in place so I don't have to think about it more.  I guess I should ask her about the lawn drip irrigation system - she might know something about that!  Looking forward to finishing the bookkeeping and being able to restart sewing in my rotation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Expense: Mailing BlockLotto

Went to Post Office to mail my BlockLotto blocks to North Dakota - 65 cents!

My Days - Fabric and Other Things

I'm linking to:


Tuesday - June 5 - Nothing with fabric
Wednesday - June 6 - Nothing with fabric
Thursday - June 7 - Nothing with fabric
Friday - June 8 - Nothing with fabric
Saturday - June 9 -- Nothing with fabric
Sunday - June 10 - Nothing with fabric
Monday - June 11 - Watched Leah Day tutorial and sewed sample on polar fleece

Too Much Information

Tuesday June 5 - Took mom for her exercise - we were a little late as had to talk to VLM about general stuff.  Mom did great.  The new student asked me to stay so I missed out on the walk I have gotten used to doing. Took mom to have her manicure and pedicure - then I went to store to get stuff for B who was making dinner for Al and his friends.  We were supposed to be seeing the transit of Venus, but B couldn't find the viewing glasses so Al and An tried to make different old fashioned viewing devices - they didn't really work.  The dinner was nice: stuffed peppers wrapped in bacon, steak, asparagus and A and I made a spring roll salad (we didn't have time to make spring rolls so just put in salad format).  We chatted a bit outside as we ate, the came inside for a little TV and ice cream drum sticks.

Wednesday June 6 - B & I were going to paint again, but Jo called and said he really wanted to bring the mulch over on Thursday  - a whole week earlier than I thought he would be coming.  B didn't feel great - and I got sucked into working on my organization event stuff - but didn't finish anything really. A man came by to give us estimates for the rain gutters - told me about something called rainchains, and recommended for water collection and rain barrels.  His plan has five or six downspouts - sounded like we could have rainchains in most or all of the spots.  I hope the estimate will include some more details than his diagram as it was a little unclear.  I like the idea of having a little cup rainchain by the front door and have the double chains at the other places.

Thursday June 7 - Jo came to work on the yard - he moved the rocks and the blocks to the side and front, graded the back yard again, dug up the dirt around the fig tree, put down 3 yards of mulch in the back yard after spraying with round up, and dug trench to put the line for the irrigation for the planters.  Whew!  I asked him if he could replace the little triangle board by the garage that I could see had termite damage and he said sure - and then pointed out that we were missing a bunch of extra support under the over hang - and how the facia board was going crooked.  So I got price for him to fix all that - he said he'd paint it too if we had the paint. Decided to do that.  He was going to also paint the fence and gates but when I saw A he said he wanted to do that with us so I cancelled that part of the deal.  Because of the talking with Jo I was late in getting my mom and meeting A - a bit of miscommunication as A had texted me but without my glasses on I didn't see...  It worked out okay. My mom was fine - A and I had lunch together - and chatted - then I drove home to do paperwork and A took mom to have her hair done.  Then a little chatting at home and he left and B and I went to dinner and show with a meetup group.  It was nice.  The Avengers was pretty loud - the special effects were great though. Looking forward to trying out the new FMQing  'assignment' from Leah Day - Circuit board!

Friday June 8 - Today was delightful.  Started with the workers putting the little triangle sort of pieces of wood under the overhang.  It feels good to have those all secure - how unfortunate that the Home Depot roofers did not do that when they were replacing the facia board and roof.  how unfortunate that the painters did not point out to us that these pieces were something that should be there!  Another man came to give estimate on the new rain gutters.  I liked the way he explained things.  He said it was important to have the downshoots as far as possible away from the foundation -so with his plan we would only have one rainchain in the front.  There would be one downspout at the left (with a diverter to catch the second story water so it goes in this one. Later if we wanted to have a rain collection point this would be a good place to do it. There would be one downspout at the left rear with a diverter to catch the water from the second story and the regular roof line - then the water would be directed to go in the new drain.  He had a little display of the different designs of gutters and downspouts too.  His price was $900 - the estimate from the first business came in at $1400. J is associated with the first guy so he said he could meet the second guys price and could do his ideas.  But it was up  to us who we used.  I guess I have to figure out which locations we need. The second guy said for every inch of rainfall I think it was 650 gallons of water came down - so that's a lot of water that is being wasted.  But the rain barrels are so large and so expensive.  I think we need to start with a smaller one to see how we like it and use it.....

Saturday June 9 - Went to Water Conservation Garden for irrigation workshop.  Summary: We are okay with the sprinklers we have now as will need to water alot to establish the new grass.  Will need to schedule for one minute then wait an hour and schedule another minute - repeat as needed until the grass is established.  We will need to learn how to replace sprinkler heads - we can put different types on the same line so for example the trees would be on bubbler that lets more water out but the grass would get less.  I think J should have put the trees on a different line, but hopefully swapping out the heads will make it all right.  For the front yard I will draw diagram of the sprinklers - I don't really like the way J laid the lines out - do not understand the decisions he made.  But they were already made by the time I saw diagram - there was no discussion with him - he just did it.  Which in other places that has been okay - just not here - as we are really trying to conserve water.....

Sunday June 10 - In a funk all day - so barely did anything.

Monday June 11 - In the AM the third rain gutter company came to give estimate.  He came up with a different plan, but it was still around $900.  He had five down spouts - we are thinking two would be rain chains - can best put them on spots where the chain is away from the house.  I liked the way he showed us the gutters, discussed how it would be installed, and the materials.  Spent the day cleaning downstairs - with lots of breaks. In the late evening felt like I had done enough so watched the Leah Day tutorial for this week (Circuit Board) and sewed a sample on polar fleece.  I hadn't remembered that I needed to make more practice sandwiches, and in my cleaning had moved things around so I couldn't find them easily.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Quilt Along #17: Circuit Board


Leah is back to the weekly challenges and tutorials!  This week she guided us to do a variation on stippling.  This time with right corners - very nice looking design.

It really helps me when she breaks the design down into steps and shows each one.  So this one started with a row of U shapes, then L and Y, backwards and forward, upside down, F shape and H shape - then finally all combined. 

Front of Circuit Board on polar fleece
Back of Circuit Board on polar fleece
I wanted to post my entry to the site - since I had cleaned the sewing room up though I couldn't find my sandwiches so did my sample on a piece of polar fleece that I found.  It was different but doable to sew on stretchy material.  I stopped when I realized that I didn't really have plan for how to join different pieces of polar fleece together.  In one of my online groups a lady made a pram quilt - just 28 x 32 inches - I have enough polar fleece scraps to do that - but am not sure how to hide the threads properly. For this sample, I tied a knot then put the clover needle inbetween the fabric - it shows in several pieces as the fabric is not really thick...

I'm a little out of order for Leah's site, but I haven't really done any quilting or sewing the past few weeks over the holiday so this is the only thing I can share now.  I intend to do a bigger sample and to do the Challenge #16 as I did not post that on the site at all.

But as I was working on this I really could realize how much I have learned in these challenges.  The first time I spent so much time breaking thread or/and needles and was so hesitant.  I have much more confidence now.

I've linked up to Leah's site: I'm #14!

I am doing this as part of Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Project. The directions to this (and much more) are there for you to learn. To help support the project I have purchased some of my supplies from the Day Styles Design Quilt Shop. For many items the prices end up being lower or the same as buying in a local or online store that is not providing free training and help with free motion quilting. Go Leah!

If you want to bump up your FMQing - please join in Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Project

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Days - Fabric and Other Things

I'm hooking up with:


Tuesday - May 29 - Cut a slash start and starting piecing one together

Wednesday - May 30 - Sewed the second star together.  Set up a little ironing center using a typing table and hand towel.

Thursday - May 31 -Nothing with fabric

Friday - June 1 -Nothing with fabric

Saturday - June 2 -Only cut fabric - no sewing.

Sunday - June 3 -Nothing with fabric

Monday - June 4 -Nothing with fabric

Way Too Much Information - On My Week

Tuesday - May 29 - The work on the house - at least this round of it is winding down.  The worker has a few things to finish up - then it's just round up and order the grass and install the plugs (then a lot of weeding I suspect).  I picked out a bright red and put it with b&w dots to make another slash star block.  The designs haven't been appealing to me and didn't see like something I'd learn from, but this one was a design technique I had previously bookmarked as something to try so I made and posted the blocks for the drawing.

Wednesday - May 30 - Today I actually sewed and trimmed - it was nice.  I posted my two blocks on the BlockLotto site.  The workers were here to make the planter boxes for B, to add texture to the patches, mount the speaker under the TV, and fix the side gate.  Unfortunately when they fixed the gate the nail or screw or whatever came into the living room and pierced the floor to ceiling mirror.  It looks like someone had shot a bullet into the wall - but then the worker figured out what it was.  We told him not to worry - that we were either going to replace that mirror take it down anyway.  He was sad it had been broken kept offering to get a new mirror and to mount it, etc.  In the afternoon I had meeting with the new group preregistration lady - will be great to pretty much have that off my plate.

Thursday - May 31- Day was planned around a meeting for the event- it was a pass off meeting between the guy who has been helping for many years to the lady who will be taking it over.  It was very organized - went very well.  On the way back B & I went to 99 Ranch to get food so A and I could make spring rolls for the potluck tomorrow.  It was fun to make them with A.

Friday - June 1 - Today was the last cooking class of the term. (There is just one week off, then a three week class - then it's off until September.)  So instead of class, it was a potluck.  Our spring rolls were received well. The food made was good - I think A and I were the only ones to make a recipe from the class though.

Saturday - June 2 - I went to quilting class.  There was already a line for the Accuquilter- so I spent time ironing my fabric and asking teacher for advice on which colors to use.  Decided on 4 yellows and 4 blues - my plan was to make six blocks of each - but it ended up some of my pieces were not long enough so I only did three blocks of each.  This was just to be a leader and ender project - so I can get started anytime I want.  I can cut the rest by hand or in September.

Sunday - June 3 -Woke late - but did spend three hours painting outside- I did the left side and B did the right side.  It was fun to work on that together.

Monday - June 4 - Woke late - but had a list made of things to do and did get prescription for toothpaste put into CVS so I should be able to pick it up tomorrow. Then to Home Depot to order the side door - it will arrive in around 2 weeks.  They happen to be having a sale so the price was lowered by $84!  Good deal.  The dentist visit was okay - she suggested I use a sonic care brush as it has a timer - so I will brush longer.  A had left his at home - I wrote him to see if I could use it.  Then I went to Walmart to get supplies for mom - and shopped a little.  B likes the nuts so got him that.  I went to a new Thai restaurant - but it ended up it was a second restaurant and we have been to the first one - but brought food home.  Then B and I went to Home Depot to get the door handles, dead bolt - and new sprayer for round up.  It was too late when we returned so will do that first thing tomorrow.  Also tomorrow and for the rest of the summer, my mom's two times a week sessions start up again.