Thursday, November 11, 2010


The yard looks bare without all the Hallowe'en stuff in it.

 All that's left are the two wheat straw bales with some pumpkins on top, the little skeleton who is also perched on it and waving to passersby, and the spiderweb on the house that I can't quite get to behind the bales.

 I spent most of last Tues. and Wed. pulling everything down, as it was supposed to rain, and then spent Thurs. and Fri. in continuing education classes. Then it was time to go back to work, so lots of items are piled on the back porch for now, waiting to be sorted into the various storage bins.

For years, I managed to miss working the fall time change night--a 13-hr shift--because it fell on the last Sunday in October, and that was usually close enough to Hallowe'en to be included in my "vacation" time.  Now that they've extended it an extra week, it ain't happening. Drats.  Then, to my pleased surprise, census dropped on Saturday and I was put on call--and didn't have to come in. Dodged another one! I used the time to cut open some of those pumpkins that never got carved, and tried a couple of  recipes using the seeds: both found on Delia's blog. Still haven't found a recipe I really like--and there are probably 8-9 pumpkins left out there.  I hate for them to go to waste, so maybe I should just clean and dry the seeds and toss them out for the wildlife. Do critters eat the insides of the pumpkins, too? I know Tandi was trying to get at one.

The weather's been mild this week, with highs in the mid 60s, though it has been windy. Tandi and I spent a lot of time outdoors on Tues, futilely raking leaves off the bushes and out of the flower beds.  Our friend the Mower Man has a mulching attachment on his riding mower, which saves me from having to fill bag after bag with leaves.  The Bradford Pears are always the last to drop their leaves, and they are holding on mightily. Last week's cold snap killed off the last of the coleus, celosia and herbs, and the Mexican heather is about to give up the ghost. The tipsy pots came down and are stored in the crawl space until spring.

This is the one plant in it that hasn't died yet.  I believe it was the only perennial in the pots, and I'm not sure if I should at least put it on the back porch, or in the house, or ust leave it outdoors to renew itself in the spring.

It's supposed to stay mild through the weekend, so I may have one last chance to get some spring bulbs into the ground. Even the rose bush is still blooming. 

 It was warm enough that when I got tired, I just plopped into the hammock, which is up for just a few days longer. With a light quilt, it would have been easy to take a nap out there.

I'm really itching to get into the sewing room, which is in a critical state of havoc right now.

There are UFOs in there, pleading to be finished, not the least of which is the string quilt I started for DD 2 years ago. 

 I got stuck when it came time to sandwich it, and I'm still not sure what to do. The strings are sewn onto muslin, of course, making them a double layer already, so they only need a fabric backing.  But the border is only a single layer, so do I try to cut a thin batting for the already attached border and then baste the whole thing to a fabric batting?  Or do I just quilt the border more densely, giving it the weight it needs to hold up to the string center? 

No one has had answers for me so far. I wish I hadn't put a border on it, but I ran out of the fabric I was using for the center string, so couldn't make any more squares, and adding a border was the only way to make it large enough for a sofa quilt. 
If you've got any suggestions for me, I'd appreciate it, because I'd really like to get this finished and off to her so she can enjoy it before spring gets here again!


Mary said...

You don't need to do anything special to this, trust me I've quilted a bunch of these with borders. Just use your regular batting and quilt the same as you do the shouldn't even be able to tell when you're done.

audreypawdrey said...

I have never quilted one like this with a different weight in the middle form the border, but my postage stamp quilt had fusible interfacing underneath all the colored squares. It was definitely thicker than the white borders, and I quilted it all the same. In some places because of the pieced backing with a strip of squares it had two sides of little squares with all those seams and two layers of the interfacing. It was harder to quilt through all the layers. Once it was finished you couldn't tell that one section was thicker than another, so I say just go for it!:)

Finn said...

Good post Stephanie, but hard to see the changes as they happen. November seems like such a "final" chapter for the year.
We've been lucky enough to have been matching you temperture wise. Nice to have those 60 degree days up here in WI in Nov.
From the looks of it, your last plant looks like a succulent, like Hen and Chicks and so many others. I believe it will come back from the roots by itself in the spring if it is. Even with the deep below zero weather up here, my H & C and sedems all came back. So it's dealer choice on that one.
I have no experience with string quilts, am just tackling the same problem here with mine. Border or no border? Hugs, Finn

MightyMom said...

can't wait to see it quilted!!

didn't I send you the recipe I used for the seeds? waaaay yummy!!

Libby said...

I would have plopped in the hammock, too. Love it - reminds me of something Grandma would have had *s*

julieQ said...

Your strings are wonderful! I have sent one out to be quilted that had different weights for the border than the turned out OK. Isn't it fun to be called off...once in a while?

Gill - That British Woman said...

gosh you are a busy bee. I have a good recipe tha tuses pumpkin on my blog, for cupcakes or a sheet cake.

Gill in Canada

Karen said...

Hi Stephanie :) I was wondering if you still have the skeleton up. How did he enjoy Thanksgiving?

I agree with what others have said, I would not add extra weight to the borders. You could use flannel instead of batting, since your quilt top has already got some heft. I think the idea of a little more quilting in the border sounds like a good idea. Maybe you've got a fancy feather or something that you've been wanting to try?

Anyway, I hope you are doing well and enjoying the end of November :D