Monday, December 31, 2007
I've slowly been designing or drawing blocks and tris, taking pictures and saving them, on my computer. I now have quite a few done up. You'll notice that some of them, I've added "dotted" lines - that's where I've added extra seams, to help with paper piecing. Here's the list, so far:
A-11 = Pebble's Protest
B-6 = Wild Goose Chase
B-10 = Jud's Trophy
C-7 = Megan's Mountain Laurel
G-12 = Gloriae
L-10 = Nan's Naiad
TR-B-3 = Attic Window
TR-B-8 = Thunderhead
TR-R-2 - Cherokee Lee
While I'm certainly NOT the expert on these blocks and tris, I thought I'd share with you how I "attacked" them. *s* And as I'm a visual person... I have difficulty wrapping my brain around written instructions. LOL
Now, here's the deal. If you want me to email you a copy of a block or a tri, PLEASE send me an email and I would be happy to share. If there's a block or tri that you're having problems with, PLEASE send me an email and I'll try to do it up for you, and others.
My email addy is:
As I have more tris and blocks to add on, I'll be editing this blog.
FIRST of all - DO A BACKUP!!! It's not once you've lost your important pictures, data, favorite recipes and special links, etc, that you kick yourself in the butt, with regrets... it's too late, by then. :-(
Second, get yourself an external HD (Hard Drive). These babies are relatively cheap and easy to use... and there's TONS of space on them, too!
And third of all, Gilbert, my DH (dear husband) does a lot of research, on the net. During this past year, we have been using "Cloneur Expert" for our backups. This does an EXACT copy of your computer - your operating system, etc. It's like a "mirror image" of your computer. When you do get a computer crash, no need to re-install your Windows system, your anti-virus system, work on all your personal settings, etc, etc. This can be time consuming... trust me, Gilbert and I both know!
The English version to this program is called "Acronis True Image". Do a google search for it, read up what others have to say about it... trust me, it's well worth all your pennies! *s*
All this being said, even if you DO have an external HD and even IF you get a program to help with backups.... you still need to FAITHFULLY do your backups!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
One more possible solution to snoring is a dental appliance called "the silencer" available from your dentist - cost $1400 or so. It fits snugly over all your teeth, pulls your bottom teeth forward, opening your airway. There is no more snoring and it doesn't bother you much at night - just for the first couple weeks it seems weird. Then it seems weird to sleep without it. Easy to travel with.
My parents have bought us a couple "contour" pillows, for Christmas. These seem to work rather well. We'll give it a try. *grin*
Last year, Gilbert had cut up a bunch of thin, 2" X 2" pieces of wood and sanded them, for me.
Last Friday morning, I decided to paint a few DJ blocks. I put the final coats of varnish on them, late yesterday evening and I thought I'd share with you, the results. *s*
I think they turned out pretty good. *grin*
Here's a picture of the center ones:
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sometimes, it's the simple things in life that make you happy inside. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about.
For the month of November, my SP (Secret Pal) sent me a whole bunch of beautiful and useful items, but I think the thing that I cherish the most and that makes me feel "beautiful" is a couple of bead necklaces that she had picked up in New Orleans... and she shared with me. *VBG*
There's just plastic beads... I don't think they cost very much but their colors are so pretty and they're shiny and they make me feel "happy" inside. *GRIN*
In fact, I kinda feel like I'm playing "dress up" again. *s*
Thank you, SP, for making me feel SOOOOO special!
And I've been wearing them around the house, with my old house clothes and I feel "special". Silly, eh? LOL
Got Gilbert to take a couple pictures of me, with the beads on...
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
So, I thought I would post here a compilation of suggestions.
Move to another room - Can't. We no longer have a spare bedroom and DH wouldn't like that. *s*
Wear earplugs - I suggested that he does that. He thought I was joking when I first suggested it. Needless to say, he wasn't interested.
Elevate head with either a 2nd pillow or a special (contoured?) one - When I suggested this, he said, "You know, our pillows are rather old and have become flat. We'll pick up a couple more this weekend." Possible solution.
A sip of whiskey before bedtime - Well, we have a drinky poo, during the weekend. DH loves his martinis. Me, I varie... sometimes it's a Bloody Caesar or a fruity drink, or a smoothie. Not always the same drink for me. Anyhow, this doesn't help. *grin*
Loose weight - Apparently that's an issue, with respect to snoring. Unfortunately, it's an issue with me, too. LOL
Strips (like band aides) worn on the nose - Apparently it works for some but not everyone. Possible solution.
A special spray to help loosen up the mucus in the back of the throat - Possible solution. I promised myself to go ask my pharmacist what she recommends AFTER I've seen my family doctor. ETV (Estimated time of visit)? I'll probably call up for an appointment after the holidays.
Sleep apnea test - Once again, I'll go see my doctor, after the holidays. But asked DH if I stop breathing while I'm snoring and he said "no". I also don't wake up with a headache, nor do I feel tired in the morning. Asked my Mom about "sleep apnea", as Dad has one of those machines. She said chances are that I don't have it, but it would certainly stop (or help) me from snoring.
NOTE: Most suggested this test and stressed how important it was.
Anyhow, that's about it. I think DH only poked and prodded me one evening, this week, because of my snoring. Either he was sleeping too profoundly and I didn't wake him up.... or, I've simmered down on the noise level. *grin*
Thanks to all of those that sent me emails. I've tried to reply to everyone. If I haven't, I appologize. *s*
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Finally finished appliqué'ing my poppy quilt. Yes, I know... it's only 12" but I will be hand quilting this block and adding a hanging sleeve - I believe that's what it's called... and hanging it in my office, at work. *grin*
It was fun and not so much of a challenge - pieces were a lot bigger than the DJ blocks! *grin*
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Here are a few pictures of my first blocks. Pretty horrendous, eh? LOL
As you can see in this one, I wasn't even trimming to 1/4". I figured if I lopped off a piece, it would be okay. *s*
During my last 30 or so blocks, I've perfected my technique. Mind you, everyone has their own technique. I think I should add that I've never really taken any courses, before. I've received a ca-zillion hints, advice, tips and tricks from the DJ group and from my Secret Pal (2006) and friend, Jo Spindle. Once again, thanks, Jo! *s*
First of all, I believe in BIG pieces, when you're PP'ing. Once you start re-assembling these pieces, these huge chunks of fabric are difficult to manipulate. Once again, live and learn. LOL
I started trimming to 1/2" ALL my pieces, on ALL sides. Easier to handle. Only AFTER one section was sewn to the other, did I trim the piece to 1/4". That helped me to have more "control" over my block.
Second, while PP'ing, if I had a "floppy" piece - you know the kind of section that has a big triangle and the paper is flopping around and it's difficult to find the tip of the triangle, to pin it to the other piece? Well, I had tried pinning it down and somehow, the pin distorted things. My trick? Change the stitch on your sewing machine to the longest one available and (temporarily) BASTE the sucker down! That helped me to get more accurate sized blocks.
Those are my 2 little tricks.... and while I received LOTS of advice, I only wish that I had done this on my first blocks. (see above pictures) *grin*
My SP (Secret Pal) sent me the most wonderful kit, at a super time in my quilting world - A mini Poppy quilt. Not sure if she realized that I work with a Veteran's association and the poppy is very close to my heart. *s*
I had problems with the "stems", as this was the first time I had ever done them... hopefully not the last. *s*
I thought that I would share with you, my progress.
The reason that the kit arrived at a super time in my quilting world ... is that I've finally finished all of my DJ blocks, tris and kites. I will be sashing and piecing them together, but this is done on my sewing machine, and I've always liked to "do something", in the evening while watching TV. Now, I have my Poppy Quilt, to work on!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Anyhow, I've been sewing those little blocks, like crazy!
I now have 1 block that only needs a little "pie piece" appliqué'd to it, and then I attack "Papa's Star", for the 7th or 8th or 9th time... And hopefully, it will be the LAST time! LOL
Mind you, I haven't bothered sashing the blocks, yet, and I know I'll live to regret it, but oh well... *shrugs shoulders*
Plus, there are at least 3 blocks that should be re-done. I think I'll start sashing and piecing together and as I get to those little "darlings", I'll re-do them, then. *s*
Haven't taken the time to take pics. I think that will be a full evening job.
Wish me luck! Will save Papa's Star for Friday evening or this weekend.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
My first thoughts, when I received the DJ book,
"Wow!!! It arrived!" At that point, I would have jumped up and down, but
was home recuperating from an operation. *s*
*ripped off the package*
Opened the package, and as I'm quickly flipping through the book, SEVERAL
times, my 2nd thoughts were,
"OH MY GOD!" said VERY slowly....
"There's no instructions in this book. Where's the 1/4 inch and
I had "heard" the word "paper piecing" and kinda had the basic idea on
4th set of thoughts:
"How will I EVER do this, with no instructions or measurements?!??"
At the time, I had forgotten about Brenda's instructions. Today, I know
they're there, but am really BAD when it comes to reading instructions - I
need pictures. Anyhow....
I quickly found some "look-a-like" fabric for my first "block". What did I
pick? Rosemary's Rainbow - a triangle! LOL
Ohhhh... Newbie me! LOL
What calmed my beating heart, when I first started making blocks and
triangles (as I'm usual VERY frugal), was....
"Heck, Rosa, if it don't work - I'm not wasting THAT much fabric!" LOL
Sooooooo, 130 blocks, 48 triangles, 4 kites and 3728 pieces later...
And as the cigarette commercial says, "You've come a long way, Baby!" LOL
In the back of my head, at the time, I was thinking, "Well, these might just
end up being practice blocks." *grin*
I've since re-done Rosemary's Rainbow, only because there was a REAL bad
twist to it and you could see the pencil marks (see my DJ Bloopers).
And there's another block... Can't remember the name, but at the time, since
I had a very small fabric stash, I used some funky tapestry fabric, for it.
I'll be re-doing that one, too. Other than than, I'm quite sure the other
blocks will remain... As it not only is/was a fun journey but a "learning"
one, as well. *s*
Good luck - take a deep breath and JUMP IN! These blocks have often been
compared to potato chips - you've just can't stop at one!
Therefore, if you don't OPEN up the bag of chips, and dig right in, you'll
never see the bottom of the bag! *grin*
NOTE: As of today, I now have 157 blocks, 52 triangles (all done), 4 kites (all done), with a total of 4494 pieces - so far. *grin*
Okay, waaaay back in the winter of 2004/2005 (unsure when), I was bored and
surfing the net for quilt patterns. You know what it's like... Click here,
click there?... Can't remember where you first starting clicking, but all of
a sudden, I stumbled across the main Dear Jane Web Site.
225 DIFFERENT - 4.5" X 4.5" - blocks?!??.... A total of 5602 PIECES?!?!? I
remember, at the time, thinking, "These gals are REALLY nuts!!!". Read a bit
more, still chuckling to myself, and then "clicked" myself off to another
page. I think I even went to bed, that night, still giggling to myself,
thinking of those blocks!! LOL
May 2005, once more, I was "clicking" here and there and stumbled across
some quilts, made by some Janiacs. I remembered thinking, "Oh yah. That's
the quilt that a few nutbars made, out there." LOL
Anyhow, THIS time my interest was tweaked. "Hmmmm.... What DOES this book
and it's patterns look like, ANYHOW?!?"
Well, I spent about 1 solid month (evenings), surfing the web and trying to
find SOMEWHERE... Where SOMEONE would have posted pics of the INSIDE of that
book. Would you believe, Brenda P... You have a VERY loyal group of
Couldn't locate ANYTHING... Mind you, now I understand - but at the time, I
was getting rather frustrated.
Anyhow, by then, I was at my witts' end. I had downloaded Brenda's
instruction and tried A-1 (see my DJ Blooper Page).
DH was getting frustrated with MY mutterings on, every evening. "Is it the
book that you want?!?!", he asked. "I'll get you the darn book!!!!"
At that point, I remember staring in his eyes - you know the
"Aaaah.. Okay. Gee, that's nice of you." And I never told him, but I did
"gulp", thinking "Gosh. That means I really have to DO this quilt, now.
He'd never let me live if down, if I never finish it."
Who knows? At the time, I might have made a quick rush to the bathroom - I
do that, when I get worked up, too much. LOL
Last year, I did almost every BOW and TOW, faithfully. I'm now at:
120 blocks, 48 triangles and 3 kites - totaling 3425 pieces.
Friends and family now think that "I'M" the nutbar! LOL
DH now recognizes other DJ quilts. Or, he'll even recognize DJ blocks in
other quilts (ex.: Field of Dreams).
I've made LOTS of good friends - you know who your are! *smile*
And my skills have increased tremendously! I was first doing my appliqués
with a blanket stitch, using QUILTING thread! LOL
Thread was thread - my opinion at the time, and I thought that quilting
thread would CERTAINLY hold those suckers down! LOL
And no, I don't plan on replacing them, either. That only shows how far I've
come, in my DJ journey!
Only 1 block will get re-done - it sticks in my head too much. I made it
with some kind of weird tapestry fabric. At the time, fabric was fabric and
anything would do. *grin*
Soooo, that's my long story. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!
Friday, November 23, 2007
What I "was" doing was cutting up tiny little blocks of my fabric and scotch taping it to the appropriate grid, in the DJ book. To be honest, it was starting to look like crap! LOL
Anyhow, Jo suggested that I make up a separate cardboardish grid. So, I then drew the grid on a sturdy cardboard and glue-sticked the pieces of fabric (see picture), in each appropriate grid. This helps me, with a quick glance, to see if I've already used a specific fabric. NOTE: Even with all this, a few months ago, I noticed that I had used the same pink, twice. *groan*
Then, she suggested that I start journaling these blocks, for which I will be forever grateful for Jo, to suggest this. At least now, I know, without a doubt, that I would never, EVER want to get into scrap booking! LOL
Anyhow, printed out one of the DJ journal pages and got a whole bunch of those copied. Started journaling, as per Jo's suggestion. I'm doing it faithfully, as per Jo's suggestion, and I know that someday I'll sit and re-read these notes and comments and enjoy them, but for now... let's just say that it's a pain you-know-where. *grin*
I've added 2 pictures to show you what it looks like - in case you haven't done that, yet.
I also scotch tape a piece of fabric, in my DJ book, once I've completed the block.
At the very beginning, I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep these beauties organized. So, I went out and bought two 3-ringed binders... added those transparent page protectors. Blocks are safe and dust-free.
Blocks or triangles are put away only AFTER I've taken their picture and uploaded them to my DJ web page.
I have 2 big containers with future DJ fabric. Once I've used this fabric, I then put them away in my other plastic containers that are labeled "pink", "blue", "brown", etc, etc. At this point, my container with brown fabric is overflowing and the cover is loose, on the top of that pile. *grin*
So, I think that's about it. As of this evening, I now have (only) 11-1/2 more blocks to do. I have an almost finished block, downstairs in my sewing room.... waiting for me to complete it. *grin*
Hope this helps! Of course, if you have any questions, give me a hollar! *s*
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Okay, a while back, I had posted in the DJ forum about the light box that Gilbert had made for me. Someone asked that I send them a picture.
Once again, I can't remember who it was. Seems to happen a lot, lately.
Anyhow, here's a few pictures of the lightbox. I would suggest that you make the surface, bigger.... At least to fit an 8-1/2 X 11 page, on the top.