Sunday, November 30, 2008

Friday Night Quilting

I went to the cutting table and started cutting fabric for my FILs quilt. It is one of the quilts in the "7 Day Quilts" book. I cut and I cut and I cut some more. I cut out almost 500 3" squares in addition to all the other pieces needed for this quilt. I am very frustrated with this quilt and pattern so far. The cutting directions are too meager and assume you have a nice full 44" cut of fabric. I ended up cutting extra strips to get all the pieces I needed. At one point I even calculated the number of pieces just to make sure that their count was correct. Luckily the yardage was generous although I still have a small amount of cutting to do for the borders. I quit cutting as I started making mistakes and wanted to stop the bleeding, so to speak.

Saturday Fun

I can't recall how I found Linda's blog. She had posted something about an event at Richardson civic center which made me ask a question since I work in Richardson. I wondered if it was in the same town since the state was not mentioned. It turns out it was. Linda and I exchanged a few emails and realized we had met at Quilter's Connection. She remember me better than I did her. I felt a tad guilty about that since I usually remember people a lot better. She even remembered my dd and dd's friend.

We talked about meeting but made no specific plan. Then last week I saw her talking about her Thanksgiving plans and asked her if she wanted to meet up. She suggested Saturday. We started at Stitchin' Memories. She got lots of goodies and I came away with a "free" apron pattern and some fabric to make that apron. You will see shortly why I say "free". It turns out all the fabric was 25% that day so it was nice to save a few bucks.

From there we went to Quiltworks. It wasn't planned but we had to drive past there to our ultimate destination so what the heck, right? While there I bought some Christmas fabric to make two more aprons from that "free" pattern. Are you getting the idea now why I am using quotes. Their Christmas fabric was 30% off and I was not complaining. I also bought a jacket pattern that I had seen in their newsletter. They did not have a model but I was just too curious. I have other jackets planned. I need to bite the bullet and get one made.

Our final destination was Blue Ribbon Quilt Shoppe. This is a relatively new shop. They had lots of variety and fabrics that you don't see at other shops. If for no other reason that is a good reason to check it out. Her notions wall had a wide variety as well. A friend of mine uses a Hera marker. They had them on their notions wall so I picked one up. I also got one of those Cotton Picker mitts. They say to use them to get thread off your fabric and clothes. My intent was to use it on my cutting matt to clean up the threads. It works great for that!

Linda and I went to a little shop across the street and I picked up a few items. She got more of her Christmas shopping done. She made a huge dent in her list from what I saw ;). We then went down the road to a restaurant that she had heard great things about. I had a bacon, mushroom, onion cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. Yes it was on the heart healthy menu! It was good. Peach tea that I could sweeten myself. Yum! They gave us a sweet potato and raisin muffin afterwords. Maybe it was pumpkin. Delic'!

We made our way home. We talked about guilds, quilting friends and family. Linda is a sweety and we really seem to hit it off. I look forward to spending more time with her. She has already invited me for a sewing date!

Saturday and Sunday Sewing

I started sewing the pieces for FILs quilt. There are two block sets that are mirror images of one another. I have made 64 of one set and am over half way through the other 64. I plan to finish sewing those tonight and hopefully get the 64 HSTs sewn together as well. This pattern is very wasteful but for a beginner it is probably easier. To make the sets I mention above I sew across the diagonal of 2 3" squares onto a 3 x 5 1/2" brick. Once I do this I then have to trim the seam to a 1/4". I am already thinking I will just sew those pieces together to make smaller HSTs. The HSTs are the same way. Sew through the diagonal of two 3" squares and trim the seam. Think about this....500 3" squares. Plus I had to draw a diagonal through all those little boogers too for a sewing line!

Ah well...I am considering writing this publisher to share my observations on this quilt.

Hope you all had a quilty weekend!

Friday, November 28, 2008

DD's Booties

I knit these on a round loom. She rolled one and left the other so you can see the options.



Thanksgiving Pics
Mark and his Dad, Jim.


Pawpaw and the grandkids.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Drama

*note this post is not meant to seem ungrateful in any way.

Several weeks ago my dh got the great idea that I should cook Thanksgiving dinner......at his dad's house. This man is a 73 year old single man and just moved into an apartment. I have no idea what he has in his kitchen to prepare dinner with. I put my thinking cap on and figure out how to make almost everything at my house so I just have to carry it over there.

Saturday a.m. 11/22 I go to the grocery store and buy everything for dinner getting the needed extras to pull off my plan. I put the turkey in the fridge to thaw.

Wednesday night I plan to bake my pies and make my fruit salad. My disposal has not been working so I decide to look and see if I can see what has it jammed. There is a fork half way down the side. How the heck did that happen? I decided to see if I could pull it out with pliers and cannot ask dh to try. The next thing I know he is taking the disposal apart from the sink. If you have ever tried to install a disposal it is not easy. Imagine us lying on the floor trying to lift this thing back up after not being able to get the fork out. We had to get the car jack to help us lift it into place. It took us until 9 p.m. to get this back in place. I managed to cook dinner around all this mess. I was up until after 11 while my pie baked. Thankfully dd helped. We even watched a movie to try to keep me awake.

Thursday a.m. 7:30 a.m. I was waiting for the alarm to go off. It was awfully light out so I asked what time it was. I asked if the alarm didn't go off. DH said yes it went off I turned it off. Argh! Here it is 8:00 a.m. so I look for my roasting pan. Gone. I find an alternative and take the turkey out of the fridge. Remember the one that has been thawing since Saturday a.m.?? It is still partially frozen. What?!?!?! So I have it in the microwave trying to defrost it complete. Unbelievable!

Here it is 3 p.m. and we have eaten. I only forgot one thing, sharp cheddar. No big deal. Everyone ate and seemed to like everything. I have cleaned up almost everything. Just have to wrap up the leftovers and run the dishwasher. The worst is over. It wasn't as bad as my imagination led me to think!

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

So What Did I Accomplish over the Weekend?

Not a darn thing on that list. I did finish knitting dd's and dh's socks. Hers are done done and his just need the toes sewn shut and the tails woven in. I just did not feel like sewing at all.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quilting Marathon This Weekend.....I Hope!

This weekend I plan to:

  1. piece 4 backings
  2. add borders to 2 quilts
  3. cut fabric for FILs quilt
  4. baste 4 quilts (fuschia, golf and 2 OU quilts)
  5. start piecing FILs quilt
  6. start quilting on the fuschia and/or golf quilt

Won't you join me?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Are You a Multi-Crafter?

I am. Big time! What else do I do?

  • loom knitting
  • crocheting
  • thread crocheting
  • craft sewing
  • cross stitching
  • rubber stamping
  • beading

Of those things listed above the ones I have done most recenty are the loom knitting, craft sewing and both types of crocheting. I have a stash for all of these things. I have begung to think about whether I should give up some of these crafts but I really do want to work on them. While I was finishing UFOs this year I thought that I ought to rotate project types and still think that is a good idea.

Here is my plan.

  1. Find all non-quilty UFOs and decide if I want to finish them
  2. Create a fab 4 similar to what I do for my quilting
  3. Get all the materials necessary for the project and "kit it up"
  4. Keep the projects handy for t.v. watching time
  5. FINISH!!

I have been loom knitting socks. While I was waiting for dd's foot to become available I started looking for my spare loom so I could start another sock. In doing so I came across a loom knit UFO. It is a plastic bag holder made from strata (self striping) yarn. I only had to remove it (cast off) from the loom and then sew the end over to make a cuff. The casting off technique was new to me but I managed to get that done while making supper. I also cuffed that edge as well. Now I have to locate some elastic and sew it into the cuffs. I will then have a completed object. I measured dd's foot and finished knitting her first sock. I have to learn a new finishing technique for the sock to finish it and plan to do that tonight.

Tell me about your other crafty interests and UFOs. Do you plan to finish them?


Monday, November 17, 2008

Stashbuster Virtual Retreat Was This Past Weekend

I had big plans but did not accomplish as much as I had hoped. I pieced another baby quilt. I chose a quilt pattern for FIL and bought and washed the fabric for it. I had sleep issues Saturday night and spent Sunday trying to get straightened out in that department. I napped or loom knit throughout the day. I am making socks for dd. They look like booties and are made from yarn called Frosting. It is very spongy and feels wonderful. The first pair is a yellow and a blue held together. I have plans for 2 more pair after this. Great t.v. watching project.

I was talking to a friend about progress. How frustrating it can be to put a lot of effort into something and not really have much to show for it. She used to do demolition so and knows exactly where I am at. She relayed to me "Look at that empty lot. I did that." See what I mean? You know there was a lot of effort in tearing down and clearing away but what is there to show for the effort? Quilting is the same way. It is nice to look at the stack of fabric. But there is a good bit of work to go into that fabric before you have someting to show for it. I guess I am feeling a little daunted with the prep work I am about to put into FIL's quilt before I can actually start piecing it.

Pictures soon!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Piecing 8th quilt since mid-September

When I finished my UFOs in September I went to my quilting line-up and jumped right in. I pieced a long overdue baby quilt only to find out that the baby (now 2) has a baby brother. I looked at the leftovers from that quilt and decided to piece a quick 6" block top using leftovers of the first top. I had to go out and buy another yard of the focus fabric yesterday and have already cut it up. I will start piecing it and have it ready for basting this weekend. I already bought the backing a few weeks ago. I will post a pic of both of these tops soon.

I also pieced 3 super sized ninepatch tops from some fabric I bought at the big Golden D'Or shopping trip earlier this year. I will probably leave these tops to quilt as needed or if I want to practice my freemotion skills. I bought the backing fabric when I bought the rest of the fabric. I think I neglected to post pictures of these as well so I will take some and post these soon as well.

Finally, I pieced three lap quilts. One was using some golf themed fabric that I have had in my stash for what seems like forever. I know it has been at least 10 years. Babs saw me working on it and gave me some golf ball fabric that I plan to use to bind the quilt with. The other two are the floral chevron quilts I pictured this week. I bought this fabric in March of 2007 at the Dallas quilt show. I also have backing fabric fabric for all three of these.

4 of these quilts are gifts that I want to give for or near Christmas. My plan is to baste all four of them this weekend and then begin the quilting. I have batting for all of them. The only thing I have to make sure I have is the thread. I need a red (always hard to match), pale yellow and navy.

Finally, my father in law is going through some tough life changes right now. My hubby asked me to put a quilt together for him in time for Christmas. This sort of puts a wrench in my plans of getting everything done early. Because he is local I should be able to pull it off as I will be able to work on it until the last minute and hand deliver it. The hard part at the moment is that dh reads the bylines of some of the quilts books I have and thinks I can just whip up a double quilt in a week because that is what the book says. 7 day quilts. Hey! You can do that right? That is what the book says. Wish us luck on finding that right pattern and fabric and that we both survive the event!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Progress

I will add borders this weekend.



Monday, November 10, 2008

2009 is the Year of Stashbusting

In 2008 I worked hard to complete all of my UFOs and succeeded. Now I am concentrating on using up my stash. I bought the fabric with the intention to use it so now I need to get a plan for it. If you remember in an earlier post I mentioned that I made up kits. I am working through those at a good pace and hope to have all of them topped early in 2009.

As I have been working in my sewing room I see a piece of fabric that I have no specific plan for. I start to think about it and what sort of pattern I would like to use it with. I will start kitting up these projects as well as other projects that I have come across and shoot for having another 12 kits by the end of the year.

I am not going to be No Buy in 2009 but I will be selective buy. If I come across a fabric that I absolutely love I will make note of it and see if the shine goes away with time. If not I will buy that fabric later in the year. This was the case with the Fresh Squeezed line. I hungered for that fabric all year long and finally bought it in Houston.

If you have been doing the math I have talked about 24 kits so far. My plan is to end 2009 with no UFOs. I am not going to make many bed size quilts so I hope I can get these quilted up myself and not let them languish in a stack.

My ultimate goal is to make some decisions about fabric that I have had in my stash for a really long time and that has gone untouched. I need to decide if I will use it and how. This will be my opportunity to get rid of some of the sleeze as well. I would like to make my stash as current as possible so that I can turn new purchases over within a decent amount of time. I am thinking 5 years but that may be too aggressive. Definitely a work in progress.

What are you going to do to bust your stash in 2009?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Yesterday I Went to My Sewin at tirane's house. I saw Babs and Mimi. I went with a mission to cut a stripe fabric that is key to two tops I am making. I have put this off for a long time. And as a result I have not really worked on anything for probably two weeks. So after procrast....er...enjoying my coffee....then a glass of water I setup everything to start cutting. Once I was setup I had to checkout everyone else's work. Tirane was binding a table runner, Bab's was cutting fabric for some small gift items she is making for a craft fair and Mimi managed to bind a lap quilt. I finally asked tirane to come listen to how I planned to cut this fabric. She listened and confirmed my plan and I put cutter to fabric.

I cut...and I cut...and cut some more. After 4 hours of cutting I managed to cut the fabric for borders for both quilts. I also cut the strips for the sashing for one of the quilts but still had more cutting to do. I was so hungry I decided to go home. Once I fed myself I went straight back to cutting. I probably cut for another hour and had the sashing strips cut for one of the tops. I still had to subcut them.

After completing other necessary items I subcut the sashing strips and began sewing. I amnot sure how long it took me but I finally have all the blocks done on my fuschia quilt. I will probably assemble the top on that one and finish cutting the fabric for the daisy quilt.

I am so happy to finally be over the hump and sewing again!
Here is the center. Now to add the borders.

Friday, November 07, 2008

And the Winners Are.....



I picked Leah S who wrote:

"My stashbusting plans are to fold up my fabric neatly, and to make more simple quilts.By folding up all the fabric I own into a uniform size, it'll give me a sense of order, knowledge of what exactly I own, and make it easier to be organized. My personal goal is to have all my fabric folded by the time I move next May.By encouraging myself to do more simple quilts, I'll be able to feel like I'm actually accomplishing stuff, opposed to just adding another quilt to the UFO pile. Stuff with big blocks, easy to cut pieces and flexible patterns can bust out several yards. They'll also make great quick gifts when the occasions arise. "

And the winner of the draw is Lorene who does not have a blog. Congratulations ladies. I will email you for your snail mail address. You will each get an "Easy Quilts" magazine winter issue and a choice of one of the books.

Thanks for playing everyone.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Another Houston Story

Do you know that I speak French? I studied for 8 years and went to college for one semester in Neuchatel, Switzerland. My courses were all taught in French. That was the last year that I formally studied French (1983). To this day I will string sentences together in French to keep the practice and try to remember my vocabulary. I am always listening for folks with a French accent or that are speaking in French when I am in a public place. Depending on the moment I may attempt to use my French.

While in Houston I was standing in line waiting to pay for a few paper pieced patterns. I overheard the lady in line behind me speaking to the store owner and detected that French accent. When they finished their conversation I started making small talk about the show which led to my revelation that I spoke French at which point I began speaking to her in French. She complimented me on my French and my accent which only encouraged me to continue on. Another wonderful moment for me in Houston. I had two other opportunities but my nerve was lacking.

A Prize

I won a prize from this giveaway. It is a basket filled with lots of goodies that she also shared with her retreat friends. There are fabrics, pieces of wool, patterns, tea light and holder, candles, lotion and several baggies of Halloween treats including fudge, candy and tea bags. This was all contained inside a lovely basket.




Thanks for my prize Sandi. I love it!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Houston Haul



From back to front, left to right. Needlecase pattern, zip bind tools and dvd, 3 1/2 yard cuts of Lorelei dogs. One is a panel the other two are all over dog patterns. My fabric eraser and needs from Bohin, 2 paper piece patterns (4 designs in all) with a small fabric bundle to make the designs, 31 FQs from the Fresh Squeezed line, 9 FQs (the psychedelic cow will be used to make the needle case), and 5 1 yard cuts of batiks.

Story from Houston In quiltchat I call Irene (jemo) momma and her daughter Shirley (doddlingdora) sis. When we met we hit it off right away. I was hugging on them and sat next to Irene the most so hugged her the most. The first day we shopped all afternoon together. The next day we got together at lunch and someone made the comment that Shirley said I stole her mom and that she was jealous. Later we were shopping and I lost track of them. Irene saw me looking and started to wave. Shirley said to her, "You HAD to wave at her didn't ya!". I thought it was pretty funny. I chatted with them last night and Shirley called me a mommy stealer. LOL! Don't worry Shirley. I love Irene but I got my own Mommy :).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Houston Highlights

I rode to Houston with a friend on Thursday. The trip was uneventful which is a good thing. Sometimes you worry whether you will be comfortable with another persons driving but there was absolutely no issue there. I didn't even think there would in this case as I trust her on so many other fronts.

We arrived at our hotel around 9 p.m. We stayed at the Embassy Suites and what a find to see there was a pair of live swans that lived in the fountain in the hotel lobby. I meant to get a picture but did not. We joked that they had their own pool boy as we watched a hotel employee scrub their fountain in the morning.

We were offered free board to stay with a friend, Leann that I know from quiltchat. Her hubby had points and got the room for free for her. We also had another quiltchat friend, Robyn, that came over from Victoria Australia that stayed in the room. In fact Leann moved over to stay with her hubby who was also in Houston on business. We had two double beds and a pull out couch at our disposal. Very nice accomodations although tirane found the couch too hard and opted to sleep on the floor in her sleeping bag.

Friday a.m. we were up and at the show in pleny of time for the doors to open. I chose to start in the quilts and at the very far right. This was the Hoffman challenge. There were many pretty quilts there. In fact I will load them to my picture site and post the link in another post. I chose to share this quilt you for one reason only. This lady is from my home town. I am always happy to see those connections. I don't know her but am still proud of her. In fact I said something outloud and a lady said "Oh I am from Syracuse" which is just 30 minutes north. I walked over and shook her hand and said nice to meet you. That moment made me smile.




I spent the first two hours of the show looking at as many quilts as I could. At noon I headed over to the cafeteria area to meet my friends from quiltchat. This picture is actually from the second day but shows everyone that I eventually met.




Back row: Me (swooze), Sharon (purplefiend), Ellen (scooter), Pat (Chutem), Leann (skipper)
Front row: Lorraine (Lorraine), Irene (Jemo), Shirley (doddlingdora), Robyn (romika)

I had met Sharon, Ellen and Leann before. So it was fun for me to meet all the other ladies in person. After we ate I went to the vendor area with Irene and Shirley. There were so many vendors. I don't think I made it half way through them in the 3 or 4 hours I spent there that afternoon. My happiest find came as I was leaving the building to go to dinner with some other friends. I found FQs from the Fresh Squeezed line at $2 each. I asked for all they had in that line and they found 31 FQs. Ooops, a few more than I had planned to get but I will put them to good use. I have my plans for them already!

After leaving the show I met up with Dorothy Young. She is the mystery designer on the yahoogroup A Pocket Full of Mysteries. I failed to take a picture. There was 6 of us in all. The other five knew one another from before but I seemed to fit in fine. They took me out to a chinese restaurant and we ate family style. Good food and lots of it. One of the ladies, Leslie, gave everyone 3 pieces of Sees candy and a little "sign". I chose the one that said "Housework whenever, Quilting forever". What a nice little surprise. Dorothy took me back to my hotel and we said our good byes. Another highlight for me to get to meet Dorothy.

Houston Day 2

On the second day I decided I would make a list of vendors that I really wanted to see as we planned to leave at 2 p.m. We went into the Hilton across the street to have coffee and wait for the show to open. The Hilton had beautiful lighting fixtures and carpet that had what I considered quilt blocks in the design. I wondered how old that carpeting was and thought how appropriate for the event taking place across the street in the convention center. I will see how my friends pictures turned out and post a link to them in another post.

I finished looking at the quilts and was surprised how few were left to see. The part I looked at last were all marked as "No Photography Allowed" so I was able to get through them pretty quickly. Every once in awhile I would pop back to rows that I had been though before as a quilt here or there caught my eye and I had not recalled seeing them before.

When I finished there I went to see Sharon Schamberg. I got to shake her hand and thank her for her generous sharing of her techniques. She was very nice to anyone that spoke to her. Her winning quilt was gorgeous. I then went to see Eleanor Burns. She was teaching class that day so I missed her. My loss. I meant to go see Marie Osmond but I think I forgot to go to the Janome booth. Just too much to do.

I went and met with the quiltchat gals for lunch again and then hurried to finish up my shopping. I will close with two more stories and then share more in other posts as I am sure I have lost most of you by now.

I saw Alex Anderson Friday but decided to not stop and say hello. I had an impression that she might be a little snobby and chose to not find out. On Saturday she was talking to two people and stepped around the corner to hug them. I said to her "Seeing how you are handing out hugs I will take one". She gave me one of the nicest and most sincere hugs that I have ever received from a stranger. I asked her how the show was going for her and she replied. She then asked me how I was enjoying it. In fact as I responded she asked more questions. What a genuinely nice sweet lady! I was so pleasantly surprised. I walked away smiling over that one.

Another booth I was interested in going to was the Bohin booth. My initial interest was because they are a French company and I hoped to hear them speaking French and possibly participate. When I got there I realized that I owned many of their products and how much I loved them. One of the items I own is the mechanical marking pencil that has half white chalk and half colored chalk that you can interchange. I had used the orange and was unable to remove it from the quilt. I asked the man there how to remove the colored chalk and he asked if I had tried the fabric eraser. I said I had not as I did not own one. He apologized to me for my trouble and handed me an eraser and said for you, free of charge. Another happy event.

I called my friend around 2:30 and we met to leave. We got on the road and made it home in good time with nothing eventful occuring on the way. I will go back but allow myself a little more time. I may sign up for classes as well. I am glad that I went because when other friends come to the show I know what the layout is and will be able to hostess them for their first visit.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Reflections on October. Looking Forward to November

October was not a very productive month for me. I got sick and didn't feel like doing much. Then when I was better I froze up when it came time to fussy cut the stripe fabric in my fuschia and daisy quilt. I think I am ready to cut it. Once I do I will be on a roll again.

October Accomplishments
  • knit and mailed the chemo caps by October 6th
  • finished my ugly tote by October 6th
  • pieced the OU quilt
  • pieced the baby quilts - supersized ninepatch
  • pieced the golf
  • partially pieced the fuschia and daisy quilt
  • knit two more chemo caps. Need to finish off

November Goals

  • piece another OU quilt
  • finish piecing the fuschia and daisy quilt
  • quilt the 2 OU quilts, golf quilt and fuschia quilt
  • finish the RRs I receive