Monday, August 29, 2011

It Ain't Finished Yet (but it is getting close!)

This past weekend was a great one.  I'll give you some details which does include some quilting fun.  Friday night as I posted I got quite a bit of work done on the girl's quilts.  Saturday morning I woke up before everyone else, I started writing the blog post.  The kids start waking up, so the blog post gets shortened a bit.  I make a quick breakfast and discuss plans for the day.  Amazing to me J. agrees to go to Greenfield and have lunch at the Bread Ladies.  This is a bit of a drive for lunch.  I'm also hoping we can go for a short walk on the Pennsy Trail.  The kids are in really bad moods at this point, really it is just the girls.  They were crying about nearly everything, fought me over what shoes to wear and we left the house without girl 1 brushing/combing her hair.  It was just a battle I didn't feel was worth fighting.  I did let the kids use the camera for a bit so here is a picture each one of them took.
First one the little man (age 3) took.

Next is the picture girl 2 (age 4) took.
And finally the picture girl 1 (age 5)took.

While the fun and fighting were going on J. calls his parents and they agree to join us for lunch.  We drive down to their house and find out J's aunt will join us as well.  This is turning out to be one pretty big outing, so I'm really hoping the kids behave well.  Guess what the kids mood did improve.  Lunch went really well.  After a nice walk around Greenfield we went for ice cream and then headed home.  All 3 of the kids took short naps on the drive home.  After dinner we watch a movie, the kids went to bed, I finished a book and then I went to bed.  What started as day I felt we could get nothing done without a fight turned out to be one very pleasant day.  

Sunday morning we had a lazy start.  We all slept in a bit.  I made some pancakes, drank some tea and just took my time.  Around 10:00 or so I went outside, pulled some weeds from the flower bed and started mowing the grass. I let J. take over mowing once I get the front yard done.  I took a nap while watching Quilting Celebrations by Patrick Lose.  I really want to make the table runner he made, so I did love the show.  I'm not completely sure why but every quilting show I watch seems to put me to sleep.  Some reasons could include I usually watch these while the kids are napping so the house is quiet and as it turns out it is nap time.  I wake up just before girl 1 comes downstairs.  Once she gets down here I start thinking I should be working on the Christmas quilt.  I go up to the sewing room and get to work.  I get three more rows completed and then we go to the library.  Once dinner is over I head back to the sewing room.  I get the rest of the rows completed fairly quickly.  I think to myself I have some time, I should be able to get this top completed tonight.  With the quilt girl 1 is making we are working on sewing long strips of fabric.  I find sewing these long bits of fabric difficult  so I know it must be hard for her as well.  I try pinning them for her but she doesn't like having the pins.  They rub against her legs and make her nervous.  While reading some blogs I find many people don't seem to like sewing long seams.  One lady responds that she finds it much easier to use her walking foot.  Why not give it a try I think, but I should try it myself before I have girl 1 try it.  Now is the perfect time.  I put on the walking foot and start getting the top finished.  The first row I don't pin.  The corners match pretty well, some are a bit off but nothing too bad.  The next set I pin.  I guess I must have sewed quicker or something.  This one was much worse that the first.  This is just a quilt to use around the house so I don't worry about everything not being perfect.  One difference I noticed about piecing with the walking foot is the top fabric is pulled quicker than my bottom fabric.  I start pinning the ends to try and make sure the edges of the quilt all line up.  Overall I do think using the walking foot helps but it is still not perfectly easy.  I guess with some practice my skills will improve but for now these long strips cause me some stress.  
Here's a look at the completed top.

I hope in the next few days to get the borders on the girls quilt - more long strips to sew!  I might as well keep the walking foot on because after those borders go on it's on to machine quilting!  I hope everyone else had a nice weekend as well.  If you have any tips on piecing long strips or machine quilting I would certainly benefit.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

(Still a) Weirdo

I don't think I could change the lyrics in this song and make it work any better for me.  I skipped FNSI last week due to a very nice surprise of going to a NFL preseason game.  Last night, once dinner was done, I went up to the sewing room and got to work.  I cut a new center for the girls quilt.  I decided on a cupcake since they picked some really cute cupcake fabric for the border.  I cut the stashing stripes and started sewing.  I worked on girl 2's quilt first, it was on top.  I am getting quicker with sewing but I still go pretty slow.  I bring the quilt top downstairs to show it off and really girl 2 eyes light up.  She got quite excited and ran over to hug the top.  She laid it out, threw it around, etc.  Then the questions started on how the girls would be able to tell their quilts apart.  I'm sure you will be able to see some difference and quite a few similarities.  Here's a look a girl 2's top.

I stayed downstairs for a bit, had a cup of tea and watched the kick off to the Colts game.  The kids finished getting baths and the little man in the house (age 3) came down and got angry with me, he gave me a quick but stern lecture that I should be in the sewing room.  Once the kids were down to bed I started sewing again.  Girl 1's top did seem to go a bit quicker.  Here's a look at her top.
I also got 2 more rows done on the Christmas quilt.  I need to get borders on both girl's top and get the rest of the Christmas quilt top finished and I have 5 days.  It seems like I might be able to complete another goal.  Nothing like waiting until last minute.  As the song says, I don't always get it right but a thousand different ways and I just might.

Happy Quilting

Friday, August 26, 2011

FNSI one week late

I completely have my heart set on getting some sewing done tonight.  If I don't the chances I will get those 3 quilt tops finished by the end of the month will be next to impossible.  The weather is amazing today or at least that is how it looks from the window at work.  Once work is over I hope for a quick dinner, maybe a nice walk and while the Colts play football I will sew. 

Last night I had a wonderful dinner with my quilting bee.  One of the ladies husband joined us for dinner and then once quilt talk started he headed out.  It was nice having him around to vary up the conversation a bit.  Once dinner and a bit of chatting was over I headed home, gave quick good night kisses to the kids and went to the sewing room.  Kids certainly were not asleep when I started and did come interrupt a few times.  I did get the rest of the purple kids quilt blocks put together and one row complete on the Christmas quilt.  Hopefully tonight I can get even more done since I will have some extra time.  I'll come back tomorrow with the good, bad and ugly from tonight's sewing adventure. 

Happy Quilting

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I didn't do it

I woke up Friday morning quite excited to sew that night.  I thought I could get at least one top put together and since I want to get 3 completed by the end of the month it would be a huge help to getting that goal complete.  I go to work and after about 2 hours one of the ladies come in and asks would I like her Colts tickets for the game Friday night.  How much are you wanting for these I ask?  They're  free she says!  Sure I want them then.  At this point I completely forget about sewing and was completely thinking football.  I call J and see if he what his plans for tonight are.  He says washing white cloths and I say what if that waits until tomorrow and we go to the Colts game?  Neither of us had been to the new Lucas Oil Stadium and even being a pre-season game normal ticket prices are more than we would spend.  I was quite excited to go,  I rush home from work, change out of my work cloths and we head downtown.  We get there just as the game starts and while there seemed to be no chance the Colts were trying to win this game it was still quite fun.  We got home pretty late and no sewing happened.  I felt bad I didn't sew but really what are the chances I will be getting free Colts tickets ever again.

Earlier in the week I did get a little bit done on the girls quilts.  These are really cute and fun.  It shouldn't be too long and I will be putting the  borders on these two!  Here's a look at what I got done I still have 2 more purple 4 patch in a 4 patch sets to do.

Happy Quilting

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm sensitive

Recently I have discovered I can no longer eat mussels.  I have tried it 3 times in the past 1 1/2 years and every time they make me one super sick lady late in the middle of the night.  I've blamed everything I can but the common link in all of these is the mussels.  I used to eat an entire pot by myself and have no problems, the other night I only had 5 or 6 and still my body rejected them.  Now on Sunday night I'm working on the wonky Christmas quilt.  This quilt has lots of unwashed fabric, for some reason I didn't wash the Christmas fabric and so I just continued on and the background fabric wasn't washed either.  My eyes got pretty dry with sewing and I must have at some point rubbed my eyelid.  While getting ready for bed I notice my right eyelid is quite itchy, as I look closer it is also blistered.  The only thing I did different that day was work with unwashed fabric so my eyelid skin must be very sensitive to the chemicals used.  Lesson learned quickly this time, unlike my mussel experience.  I will wash fabric as soon as I bring it home from now on.  I'm hoping to get a bit of sewing done tonight but thought I would share how my body seems to be turning against me ;)

Happy Quilting

Sunday, August 14, 2011

FNSI sign up are ready!

Today worked out well.  I worked on cutting out the "background" for the wonky Christmas quilt.  I figured if I got all this cutting done I would be ready to go for Friday Night Sew In.  Once done cutting, setting out the block to take a look and take a few pictures, I decide to get ready for my post.  I come to my blog a decide why not check and see if sign ups for FNSI are ready and low and behold they were.  If you have time this Friday (the 19th) to sew you should join in on the fun.  Go to Heidi's blog for the sign ups.

It was great getting back in the sewing room today.  I have no idea how addicted I am to sewing until I can't do it.  All week I have been thinking about new quilts and projects.  I do plan to keep working on my BOM and do the billboard quit along.  I really want to try some of my own machine quilting so I've been watching some videos and reading Mary Mashuta's book Foolproof Machine Quilting.  I have loved it so far and I'm certainly excited to give this a try.

Now for a look at the quilt.  I think it is actually pretty nice and seems like it should make a great Christmas quilt.

Here is the great backing fabric.  Once I ordered this I started putting more blues in the blocks hoping it would work and I think it will.

Happy Quilting

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I have a winner!

Once again I want to think everyone who takes some time and reads my blog.  The winner is bethanndodd!  She has a great blog you should definitely check out Beth Ann please email me at cdcquiltinggal at gmail dot com with your address and I will place the order for the fabulous Tango Dazzle!

Happy Quilting

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Suddenly I See

This is what I wanna do.  Suddenly I see. What the next few months of quilting should be. (Okay KT Tunstall probably won't like those lyrics but I'm going to stick with it )  Yesterday morning work was a bit slower than normal, one of the doctors is on vacation and one patient did not show for their appointment which left a 45 minute gap.  I spent that time planning out a quilting to do list.  I pick out 5 projects I want to finish before the end of the year.  This will push me a bit since there are two things about making quilts that stops me in my tracks and has left nearly everything I start unfinished.

Number 1 Borders.  While making my 1st quilt I messed up an inside border, we had to rip it out and I made a new one. Then while still making this 1st quilt, I chat with a quite famous long arm quilter in the area and her main advice, which I'm sure is great advice, was to make sure the borders are the correct size and line up correctly.  And finally while still making this quilt I take the class for Grandma's Quilt, one of the ladies talks about how she doesn't like cornerstones on quilt border since they never come out straight for her.  That was 3 border issues while making my 1st quilt and plenty enough reasons for me to decide I really like quilts without borders.  That is one issue I plan to tackle before the end of the year.

Number 2 Quilting.  How can I be a quilter if I don't quilt?  Well I have quilted mug rugs so I do quilt small things.  I'm even thinking I should make some postcard quilts.  What can I say I have short arms ;) But seriously I have some questions.  If I pin baste how far apart do I place the pins?  I really am a person who will poke herself quite often.  I've seen people use a spoon to help them close all those safety pins but I can not seem to get my head around using a spoon to close a pin.  Plus T. says she starches until the top is super stiff.  Is using that much starch safe, should I wear a mask?  What about spray basting - does it work, is it safe  and again should I wear a mask?  Hopefully all my time playing thread tension pays off because I'm going to find the band aids, get a mask and give this a try. 

My 5 projects are the wonky Christmas quilt, the kids quilts, some placemats I started during my 1st quilt, Town Square and the table runner.  Both the kids quilt and the wonky quilt are very close to having the tops finish, so I think by the end of the month I can have both tops ready.  Both of the girl's quilts will have me tackle borders!  So by early September I'm planning to start quilting.  I will move up from mug rugs to placemats, where I will try pin basting and spray basting.  I will then move onto Town Square, which is a nice wall hanging so should be a good size to try next.  By this point I should know if I want to send the kids quilts out to a long arm quilter or do it myself.  I really want to do the wonky Christmas quilt  I have been watching some free motion quilting videos I have some really cute ideas and things I would like to try.  I hope to have this finished by December 1. And finally, I would like to complete the table runner by December 25.  Here's to hoping with a full time job and 3 kids, 5 projects can be completed and 2 fears overcome!

Happy Quilting

Sunday, August 7, 2011

So much fun stuff going on

First off I did it!  I got all the blocks made for my Christmas quilt.  It is looking pretty country right now so at this point it is my crazy wonky Christmas quilt.  Hopefully the background choices from Sweetwater's Countdown to Christmas will help make it a bit more modern.  If not I think it should still be a pretty fun Christmas quilt and if not the front, the back is a great piece from Kate Spain's 12 days of Christmas line, which I got for a great price at Fat Quarter Shop recent sale.  It was 5 yards of moda fabric for I think 28.50, it was fabric from the designer's mystery quilt 2010.  I love it and if nothing else it will be a great quilt on the backside.  Here's a look at the blocks laid out on the floor, I still need to cut out the 8 inch background squares.  

I have decided to join another quilt along!  This one is sounds like a ton of fun, making a billboard quilt.  You should definitely check it out here billboard-quilt-along I'm trying to think of some fun 3 word phrases to put on my quilt so far I'm thinking of choosing one of these DREAM, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE or MAKE IT WORK or ENJOY YOUR DAY.  The first is very nice and strong, the second is fun and would be great for the sewing room and the last is nice, simple, and sweet.  Do any of you have any thoughts as to which they would make or have something even better?

Also check out my give away in the post below, I picked out some fun fabrics someone will win.  

Happy Quilting

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One of my favorite numbers 25!

Hello everyone.  I've been thinking about what to do for my 25th post.  Since my birthday is on the 25, 7/25/77 to be exact 7 and 25 are my favorite numbers.  I wanted to celebrate with all of you.  Of course my blog is still quite new and I'm trying to get in the habit of posting more.  I've been working hard to sew more often, which will help me improve my skills and also give me something to post about on a quilting blog.  Posting on the blog also helps motivate me to sew more so this has been a win, win.  I want to thank all of you that have stopped by to read about what I have and what all I have not been doing, making comments and helping me out along this fabulous journey.
I looked around at quite a few fabric sites, wow I have so many choices of great online shops.  Once I decided on the Fat Quarter Shop in Texas.  My brother did just move to Texas for a new job so Texas was on the brain and the Fat Quarter Shop has been great the few times I have ordered something from them.  Then it was on to pick a fabric gift for one of you to win.  That is overwhelming.  There are so many choices and really I wish I could choose them all, my budget certainly won't allow that.  So I narrow it down to just a few.  It's really not easy to pick just one my mind keeps racing around going between 6 of them.  My modern side really loves Melissa Averinos of yummygoods, she has developed another great line Dazzle.  My choice is you get to choose either Tango Dazzle or Samba Dazzle fat quarter bundle.  Just leave me a comment of which you choose and one lucky winner will have their choice shipped to their home.  It seems Fat Quarter Shop has international shipping so anyone is welcome to join in.  I'll draw one winner on Thursday August 11, 2011! 
Here's a quick look at the two choices.

Let me say Thank You again to everyone who has stopped by over the past few months.  And an update on 8/11/2011 a winner was picked ;)

Happy Quilting

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Beginning to Look alot Like Christmas.

Okay really that is just true in the sewing room ;)  It's summer hot outside and while the grass is an awful shade of brown, due to the lack of rain, it's a shade even winter doesn't normally bring.  Some of the flowers, especially the wonderfully hardy purple coneflowers are looking alright and with some watering the garden is coming along.

Last night I was perusing some wonderful blogs and one mentioned that on July 25 Christmas is just 5 months away.  That idea enters my brain without me really ever thinking just a few moments later I will be in the sewing room working on a wonderful wonkey Christmas quilt.  As I'm reading through some of the blogs of the very fun ladies in the Indianapolis modern quilt guild I see one has made or is making a fabulous orange wonkey nine patch and there is a link to the tutorial.  As much as I wanter to learn all the fabulous traditional techniques, I love the look of wonkey quilts.  This could be due to my first quilt which had a bit of wonkey, due to lack of experience, and I still find it quite charming. 

After making dinner, I start thinking I really want to make one of those wonkey nine patches and surely I have 27 fabrics in my stash I would want to put together.  I go up to the sewing room knowing I do not have any where close to 27 orange fabrics, but I am pretty sure I can do a great purple/blue combo.  Once in the sewing room I see the girls have pulled out the Christmas fabrics I got in an after Christmas sell, late 2009 or early 2010.  Why not do a Christmas quilt?  I mean Christmas is only 5 months away.  I find as it turns out 27 Christmas/winter fabrics I liked putting together.  Now at the time of sewing last night I thought I only had 18 and needed 9 more.  I pick out 9 to put together in the first set and get to work.

The blocks, at least these 1st 9, came together very quickly.  One thing I didn't do but should have is press the seams open, or maybe at lease alternate pressing sides.  When you turn the fabric 90 degrees, it was hard to cut through all the seams piled up on one side.  Also as I write this I have J going to Joann's for me to get a larger rotary cutter and hopefully that will help me get through all those seams. 

This morning, while taking a shower thinking that I need 9 more fabrics ;), a lesson from T. bounces around in my head.  I need purple and green in this quilt.  Of course this Christmas quilt has green but only a little bit of a bright green, that will pop.  I go in the sewing room and find a fabulous purple with "sparkly" green stars.  I throw in some fun hand dyes, purple and batiks and left for work feeling pretty excited to see how this scrappy wonkey quilt will turn out.

So I am really hoping tonight to get 9 more made, then 9 Tuesday and now those last 9 Wednesday to give me a total of 36.  Thursday I need to get the sewing room cleaned up so it can be a guest room on Friday!  Here's a look at the 1st 9.
Happy Quilting