Saturday, December 31, 2011

Details Of The Summer Quilt

This summer quilt will measure 86" x 86" without a border when assembled.  There will be 41 squares with the 2" color squares surrounding a white square, alternating with 40 (10" x 10") white squares.  There are 656 (2 1/2" x 2 1/2") squares of color printed fabric.  Thank goodness for strip piecing.

I had forgotten how hard it is on ones back to cut fabric strips with a cutting mat and a rotary cutter.  I think I will cut some (4) PVC pipe pieces to extend the table legs, making the table taller.  This way I won't have to lean over as much and kill my back.  The PVC pipe pieces will fit over the table legs at their bottoms.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Attempting To "Rebalance" My Life!

Oh boy!  Where do I start?  I sure as heck haven't been active with this blog.  I do have several other blogs that have been taking up my spare time.  And, I'll confess that I haven't touched my Featherweight for ages.  But that is changing.  I have been co-teaching a beginners quilting class at the senior center.  I also started to make a new summer quilt.

This sample (first) block is ten inches by ten inches.  The two inch squares surround a six inch white square.  These squares will alternate with plain white ten inch by ten inch squares.  I selected this quilt as a way to get back into using the Featherweight and quilting in general, because it's kind of easy.  It's amazing how rusty one can get.  My ol' Featherweight isn't rusty, but the lubrication kind of thickened and had to be cleaned and redone for the machine to operate correctly.  This quilt will be a full sized quilt when completed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Need to Make A Quilt!

Dang, both Featherweights are covered with dust...My balanced life is out of balance...Too much wood carving....This should change....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back To Whittling & Carving With The Girls

The weather has cooled off a bit and the girls are back at learning some new skills.  The first photo shows Zinnia with her carving knife working on a little Penguin.  She's wearing her Kevlar carving glove, as she always does.

In this photo Zinnia is finishing up another 5 minute Owl.

I couldn't resist adding this photo of Zinnia.  I'd say she is concentrating.

Here's what Zinnia has completed so far.  This after three 20 minute sessions.

Now it's Dahlia's turn!

Dahlia is carving soap.  We thought she was a wee bit young to handle a razor sharp carving knife.  She never complained about her older sister being allowed to use a real knife.  I like to think it's because she is using a real knife instead of a plastic knife or worse yet a Popsicle stick.  However Dahlia's knife has a dull blade - it just cannot cut her.

I hope you can recognize that Dahlia has carved a Bear.  In fact she said it's a Grizzly Bear.  I think she's happy with her results.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Really wanted to get the girls back to whittling and carving, but it's just too dang hot.  We do the work outside on the patio.  The heat index today is supposed to be somewhere around 110 degrees.  Maybe we can do the whittling in the pool.  But the soap carving might prove to be a problem.....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dahlia's Soap Carving

Soon on I realized that I could not begin teaching Zinnia to whittle without her little sister Dahlia learning too.  So, the "Flower" girls are both off and running.  Well not running, but whittling and carving.  I started Dahlia with some soap carving.  Carving soap involves the same knife cuts as wood carving and
whittling, but the knife does not need to be sharp.                                     

Dahlia's first project is a Polar Bear.  And I think it came out real well.  And Zinnia's Whammie Doodle and owl came out real well too.   Our next soap carving will be a PIG.  Zinnia will keep on whittling a few of the little Owls.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Long Time - But back!

Its been a while, but I am back with some current adventures with the Flower girls from next door.  Whittling and soap carving.
This is a "Whammie Doodle".  This little ol' time toy is what I have selected to start Zinnia (Flower girl neighbor) with as she learns to whittle.  Zinnie is 9 now, and has been asking me to teach her to whittle.  Zinnie already has her moms old Swiss Army knife, and is real good at putting points on sticks. 
 I decided to start Zinnie out with a good carving knife.  The knife has a 1 inch blade and seems to fit her hand just fine.  A carving glove is quite another story.  I am still trying to find a kids garden glove that I can "beef up" for her to use.  But until then (Zinnie can't wait) we'll use a combination of Vet Wrap and masking tape on the thumb and fingers.  After a bit of discussion about sharp knives and how to make a "Thumb Push" Cut to a Stop Cut, we were ready to start.  The Whammie Doodle was selected for several reasons.  It involves lots of the same simple Thumb Push cuts, can be done quickly, and results in a fun little toy.
And as you can see here, it works. 

Zinnia had a blast, and wants to learn more.  In fact as she left she asked me what time I get up in the morning.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

March Carving!

I spent the month of March in Florida, in the beach house. Yep, those are my feet sitting on the front porch of the beach house. This was most conducive to carving. I got lots done. Here's an example of one for the Christmas season.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Rain + Puddle!

A spring downpour, and a fairly deep puddle are hard for kids to resist.

What you cannot see in the photos is that both girls have boots on. The blue shirted is the older flower girl from next door. The photos are blurry because the girls were in constant motion. The blurriness may be good, given the neighbor flower girl nearly lost her pants in the bottom photo. To be a kid again.......

Sunday, February 27, 2011


When the Flower Girls came over to get us to go to the movie they brought me a present - a table place mat. Will I use it? You bet I will.

The Flower Girls (Zinnia and Dahlia), their dad, my wife and I all went to see GNOMEO AND JULIET in 3D yet. An exciting afternoon. After all, the last movie I went to was Dances With Wolves or something like that. Its been a while. And believe me, the "sticker shock" at the costs was extreme. The tickets were $57, with the senior discount. The flower Girls dad paid for those, since we were their "Date". I bought the popcorn. Lets just say that I could have filled up the gas tank on the van for what the popcorn cost. But it was worth it. The movie was in 3D and it was fun. Fun even though it was basically a kid movie. Near the end my wife must have got something in her eye, as she had her hankie out, and using it. It was also a great success, because the youngest of the Flower Girls stayed awake for the whole movie. Yep! a fun afternoon.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tomorrows The Day

Tomorrows the day! Gnomeo and Juliet with the Flower Girls.....Report to come.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snack Time!

Dang! This can get expensive. Sun Flower seeds at $18 for 50#. I think there's 5 deer in the photo that you may be able to see, but there were 3 more out in the trees.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gnomey Is Getting a Puppy!

Decided to whittle Gnomey a little puppy. Puppy is 3/4 inch long. The next puppy will be whittled "cleaner". The first whittle of something is always rough for me. But whittling small things lets me do them over and over until I get it down.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crate Training For Children - Really!

This is not Quilting nor Carving related, but it's fun!
One of the fellows that I eat breakfast with has a really neat 12 year old boy. However, being like most 12 year old boys, he ocassionaly agrivates his dad. His dad has been sharing some of his concerns with us fellows. Well one day a few weeks ago he brought his son to breakfast with him due to a snow day at school. One of the guys asked the son, "what's this I hear about your dad and you"? The young boy looked up to his dad and asked, " can I say the word"? Dad answered, "OK"! The boy answered by stating, "dad said he'd whip my ass if I didn't straighten up". After most of us snorted coffee out our noses, and stopped laughing, someone mentioned how lucky he was that was all his dad did. Someone else asked how much the boy weighed. The lad responded 70 pounds. The fellow next said that his dog weighed 85 pounds, and whenever he screwed up he locked him in a cage/crate, to learn a lesson. He went on to say that kids could be put into a crate/cage. Well at this the young lad said, "no way, that's against the law". I piped up that back when my kids were his age we were allowed to "crate" them to teach them a lesson. He said, "no way", but I think he was beginning to wonder.

The next day I give this photo and the Permit to crate a child to the dad to show his son. I'd say the boy may have some serious doubts now. In fact his dad says his son has the beginnings of a new attitude. (If you click on the permit, you can read it)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Movie Date - Gnomeo and Juliet

NO! I will not wear a tall pointed hat....period.

Monday, February 14, 2011

And The Winner Is------!

In this little scene, the BLUE HAT! Course, if I ever get the others painted they too might be Blue Hats.......Yesh, I hate painting......

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Have a Big Date Coming Up!

I was just invited on a date by two of the most beautiful girls. Two mind you! The "flower girls" invited me to go to the "picture show" (movies) with them to see GNOMEO AND JULIET. We're excited......I am carving small carvings of Gnomeo for each of them.......

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Gnomes Are Coming

Gnomeo and Juliet the movie will open soon, and as soon as these are detailed and finished; they'll be ready.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Quilting Fun!

I still co-teach a quilting class at the senior center in town. Last year this class was a beginner class. We have about a dozen ladies who have been participating. And you had better believe that they're good. We've got the basics down pretty good, and are making some really nice quilts. In fact, we are beginning to expand and challenging ourselves somewhat. We decided in addition to making our own projects that we would all make LOG CABIN squares and assemble them into a quilt to be auctioned off for the center. Some of the class have discovered that a 1/4 inch seam means different things to different folks. We have discovered that while the finished log cabin square should all measure the same, they don't. But since I said I'd assemble the quilt these adjustments will be my responsibility. I have a lot of practice in assembling my quilt squares that are not all the same measurements. This may be the first quilt that has 12 corners squares.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

More "Proof" That Gnomes Live Here

Our kitchen table is directly in front of large sliding glass patio doors. This morning while having coffee there was a loud thump. Looking up I noticed that a bird had flown into the door and was laying still in the snow. Within 10 minutes another bird landed beside the fallen bird, investigated, and then flew off. We have hawks and more than a few stray cats around the place, and thought that a hawk or a cat might have a free lunch. That's natures way. Some 20 minutes passed while we were not noticing the still little bird in the snow, nor anything else on the patio. When next we looked, the little bird was gone. The snow around where it had been laying was not disturbed. No hawk or cat got a free meal.

Given that Gnomes are protectors of nature and all; it's not out of the question that one visited the little bird and either brought it around, or carried it off to mend it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

30's Log Cabin Getting a Binding

2 1/2 inch binding strips cut and sewn together, ready to be folded and pressed; then attached with my trusty Featherweight....A fun afternoon planned.