Sunday, December 28, 2014

Filler Post #2

FH, Gus, and I are on the way back home from spending the holidays with family down south. I hope everyone had a safe and happy time with their families and friends!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Filler Post #1

Today is the Winter Solstice, and therefore I'm celebrating our wedding anniversary with FH. Seven years together and going strong.  According to the Julian calendar, our anniversary is tomorrow, but we decided to celebrate on both days, because why not? ;-)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Of Sewing and Strep

The past week has been interesting to say the least. Mr. P moved back to his bachelor pad, which means he was finally strong and healthy enough to live on his own again. Then I came down with strep throat. The timing was irritating, but I caught it fast (Thursday) and am already starting to feel normal again.

I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped in terms of cleaning, decorating, and projects but given the circumstances, I'll take what I've got.

I finished the cleanup work on these eight autumn napkins. I love the contrast of these too fabrics. The picture doesn't do them justice.
 The placemats are "pillowcased," trimmed, trimmed, turned, and pressed. They still need the side opening slip stitched closed and quilted. However I'm tabling them until after I get my holiday gift sewing done. I'm thinking about quilting them with autumn designs and that will take longer than I have time for currently.
 And whilst I was cleaning I unearthed these 6 1930's reproduction prints that I'd purchased to make quilt shop bolts from, so I got them cut last night. Like the other 59 from last weekend, I haven't cut the individual fat quarters yet. None of these particularly appeal to me for more use in miniature, so the remaining fabric will get put in my life-size quilting stash.

I finally found where I'd stuck this picture. I took it back in June. It's the quilt shop bolts I'd made to date, organized by color or collection. I need to get an accurate count at some point. There was one, but apparently the note was "put in a safe place." Plus I think I finished a few more bolts since then, not to mention the 65 bolts ready to be completed.
The hard part will be resisting the urge to buy more fabrics until I can get my custom shelves cut and assembled. That's actually going to be an issue for a few months. My friend who built a laser cutter sold it. He wants to build a larger one and needed the capitol to start the project. It will be a while before a new one is finished. I was also going to have him cut the other windows I need for the 1930's Nursery roombox. So that project is on hold for a while.

Now that I have access to the actual Patchwork Peach building again, I will likely start in on painting, flooring, and interior accents after the holidays. Perhaps by then I'll have found someone else with a laser cutter in the area who would like to help me out.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

59 More Bolts Prepped

What you see below is 59 more pieces of fabric cut and pressed in preparation to make into miniature quilt bolts for the Patchwork Peach Quilt Shop. I've had lots of remnants and fat quarters for the project laying around the dining room since I hurt my shoulder in July and since I want to decorate for the holidays, I needed to put them away.

So instead of shoving the fabric into a box and putting it "in a safe place" for a bit, I went ahead and cut my strips from everything and pressed them. I haven't cut my mini fat quarters from all these yet. I'm holding off on those. I am putting the readied bolt sections in the same box as the soon-to-be fat quarters though. But at least I'll hopefully have a better idea of what I'm doing when I get the box out again.

I'm still waiting on access to a laser cutter to make the shelving for the Peach. Hopefully in the coming year I will be able to get my hands on one. I'm also waiting on Mr. P to be sound enough to be able to return home so I can actually work on the interior of the Peach... the building is located in our guest room.

That's all for this week. I'm hoping I will have the dining room tidied up and decorations up by next week. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, December 1, 2014

ThanksgivingThat's Finishes

I'm a day late thanks to traveling for the holiday, but it was lovely.

These are the gifts I made for my SIL's birthday and first wedding anniversary. She'll be hosting Christmas at her house this year and I wanted her to have something elegant to enjoy.

I finally finished hand sewing the binding on my little runner. I'm not overly happy with this one, but it's finished.

That's all I've gotten done this past week. I'm hoping to finish up a few more things so I can start cleaning up all my sewing and decorate for the winter holidays.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Napkins, runners, pieces, and a baby quilt

In contrast to last week when I didn't have much to show, many things were worked on this week. First up are my fruit basket napkins. I've had two of the fabrics (blueberry and blackberry) for a couple of years and finally picked the basketweave and other fruits this summer. However they were sidelined in favor for doing projects for other people. 

 I also finished piecing the "Holiday Mystery Runner" from a Facebook group I belong to.
 It still needs sandwiched for quilting.
This runner took a front seat as it's an anniversary gift for a family member that we'll be seeing at Thanksgiving.
 There are also coordinating napkins that I started Friday, but I'm waiting on more of the silver leaf fabric to arrive.  None of the local quilt shops still had any in stock, so I had to order it online. These are the eight I've cut and started sewing already. They need trimmed, turned, and top-stitched still.
I also started some autumn napkins for myself. They're currently in the same state as the napkins pictured above.
There will be a runner like the black and red one too, but I forgot to get a picture of the cut pieces. I do have a picture of the coordinating placemats that I pieced. There are two of each.
A couple of years ago I designed a quilt top to sew for my dad. I finally figured out how I am going to do the background and cut the fabric for it. One hundred and eighty 5.5" squares in white-on-white tonal fabrics. I still need to cut the pieces for the main blocks.
Finally here is the quilt top a friend and I finished Saturday night. A mutual friend is expecting a baby girl in January and we wanted to make something for them. The mother-to-be likes deer and the nursery is going to be green. We've got a matching diaper bag in the works too. 
We're going to sandwich this quilt and another one later today. The plan for the deer quilt is I'll do the quilting and my friend will do the hand sewing on the binding. We both worked on the piecing Saturday. I made the blocks and put them in rows, then she sewed the sashing and borders. We also managed to get the center of a quilt she's been working on pieced on Saturday and some rows added to a second one she's been slowly piecing. Not sure if we're going to work on either of them again today or not.

Hopefully next week I'll have pictures of the quilting on several pieces to show you. Until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful week and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Running Late, But Still Here

After the misfortune my right shoulder caused me last weekend, I've been taking it easy all week. Mostly I've been reading. The pain finally subsided enough for me to start working on the Mystery Runner again.
 It's not much to look at yet, but I think I'm happy with the way it's turning out.

Pixel and Gus seem to be getting along better... at least when Pixel is asleep. She forgot he was on the couch too and actually snuggled him in her sleep.

That's everything I've got for this week. Hopefully next weekend I'll have something more substantial.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Forth Time's the Charm?

I tried three times to post this yesterday and I kept getting error messages when I tried to add photos.

Last Tuesday I cut the pieces for the Holiday Mystery Table Runner and put together the first clue, i.e. the sashing.

Wednesday I made myself finally start piecing yet another baby quilt that's been cut and ready to go since August. I've been dragging my feet because I'm both tired of this pattern and irritated by the poorly written instructions. But soon it won't matter anymore because I'll be finished.
 The top is done and ready to be sandwiched and quilted. I'm hoping to start that today. It will be bound in the dark brown, which will frame it nicely.

Saturday I decided I'd had enough of my windows being filthy and started cleaning them. Not a smart move whilst recovering from a torn rotator cuff. I've been in pain ever since. I've also been resting since then, but I will try to work on the baby quilt today and/or tomorrow. The next clue for the table runner comes out today so I can always play with that if the baby quilt is too heavy to work on without FH's help.

See you next week, hopefully without the technical issues!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting There, Almost and Finished

As the title alludes, I've worked on three projects this week. First up is the Mystery Quilt's top, now with borders and waiting for me to have help sandwiching the layers. FH is holding it up for the picture since it's too heavy for me at the moment.
 I did get the binding on my little runner too. Just need to sew it to the back by hand.
 Here's a close up of the quilting so you can see the variegated thread colors.
 And finally a set of eight placemats for a Christmas gift.
Next project goals are a baby quilt that is already cut and waiting to be pieced, finishing the binding on the little runner, and I'm doing another Mystery project. This time it's a table runner. We've already been given cutting instructions for our fabrics and get the next clue tomorrow. I haven't cut my pieces yet as my fabric is still in the wash, otherwise I'd be showing them off too.

Until next week!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mystery Quilt - Two Thirds Done

This is late thanks to life happening, but better late than never. I'm part of a Facebook group for quilters and one of the latest projects was a mystery quilt. It's a mystery since you only start with specific yardages in light, medium, and dark fabrics and get a new "clue" (block design) each week. The title is "X Marks the Dot" and was designed by Joie Holcomb of Lamb Creek Farm Quilts and Fabrics.

Clue 1: Contrary Wife blocks

Clue 2: Eccentric Star blocks

Clue 3: 9 Patch with three fabrics

Clue 4: 9 Patch with two fabrics

Clue 5: Sashing and cornerstones.

Clue 6 is the borders and that's what I'm working on now. I still need to cut the outermost border pieces and attach them. The lighter green fabric will be the outer border. That was my project for today, but life got in the way of play time.

Then I'll piece my backing, sandwich the layers, quilt, and bind. I'm honestly not sure I can sandwich and quilt this one on my own with my shoulder still healing. I'll have to wait for a quilting friend to be free to help me before I can finish this one.

I've also fixed the batting issue with my diamond runner and quilted it. It's trimmed up and ready for binding.
That's all for this week. Hopefully next Sunday I'll have the runner bound and the mystery quilt top finished, even if it's not sandwiched/quilted. Ttfn!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Playing Around

For my birthday FH took me to the local quilt show and I picked up some fun goodies. One was a new pattern for placemats that uses fat quarters. I played with it last week after I remembered four holiday themed fat quarters and matching yardage that was just laying around in my stash.
 The cutting directions rely on the fat quarters being squared up to the same size so you can stack and whack all the pieces. Then it's simply rearranging the order of the stacks in a certain way. The pattern instructions come with a total of five variations of the design. I played with the simplest as my fabrics were fairly busy.
 I started the quilting on this runner and I'm sort of happy with it. I'm thinking about going back and putting in a thicker batting. The stitching doesn't look bad as is, but I think I'd prefer more definition.
 I know I'm going to take this one apart and put in thicker batting. Stitching in the ditch isn't even visible so nothing looks quilted. Kind of irritating, but live and learn.
 I've also done some utilitarian sewing this past week. We have a good friend, P, staying with us as he recuperates from a bad motorcycle accident. He almost lost his left foot, but doctors managed to save it. Currently the dressings leave his toes exposed and since it's getting chilly out, I made him some toe covers that fit just over the bandages without squeezing toes, cutting off circulation, or touching his heel where the skin graft is healing.
He'll be with us on and off for a couple of weeks... basically when he's not expected at one of the doctors' offices back in the city where he lives. His family all lives in this area, but none of them have first floor bathrooms or they have stairs everywhere. Eventually he'll get to go back to his apartment 100 miles or so away, but for right now he's comfortable here.

That's all for now. I've got to go up and see if P needs anything. Take care!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Friendship Star Quilt

One of the ladies in my stitching guild moved to Florida this year. She was the editor of our newsletter (for so many years) and very active in the quilting interest group. We, the interest group, decided to make her a gift and invited the guild at-large to participate if they wished. We weren't sure if we'd end up with a wall quilt, a bed runner, a lap quilt, or even a queen-sized.

The rules were simple:
* make a 9.5 inch Friendship Star block (9 inches finished)
* use purple in the quilt block somewhere
* sign your name and/or personalize the block with embellishments of your choice

If someone wanted to participate but didn't know how to or have the time to sew, then if they provided fabric one of us would make their block. I personally sewed eighteen of the blocks. The one below is my block. I cut the tulip applique from a piece of fabric another member purchased for her block. She told me to keep the rest in exchange for sewing it.

The organization of patterns, instructions, etc and getting blocks made/collected was largely my project. After I tore up my back and shoulder in July, the piecing, quilting, and binding fell to the interest group's chairperson. I think she did a lovely job. I've blotted out faces to protect identities, but the lady on the left in pink and black is the recipient. She was back visiting at the last General Meeting and we presented her with the fruits of our labor. The lady in the right in green is the talented chairperson of our quilters' group and did the lion's share of work on the quilt itself.

As you can see, a couple of people missed the part where we were using a specific block pattern and did their own thing. We chalked that up to "personalizing their blocks" and rolled with it. Another lady used the pattern instructions, but arranged the pieces to create a "disappearing" or deconstructed star instead. I'm not sure if that was intended to be different for the sake of being different or represent our friend moving away, but either way I think it's lovely.

There were four blocks left over from piecing the top. By this time I'd recovered enough to turn them into pillows that match. Here'e the fronts and backs after quilting and before I finished the pillows. They happen to be four of the blocks I made. Two blocks (top and bottom right) were done for ladies who wanted to participate but had severe health issues. The other two (top and bottom left) were done in memory of two members we lost within the year.

After I'd pieced the pillow sections it dawned on me I didn't know how the quilting on the quilt was done or what color thread was used, but after a phonecall I was in business. Meandering and lavender were the keys, so I let my mind drift whilst my machine did the work. Apparently I was thinking about my time in university because the quilting ended up looking a lot like topographic maps! ;-)

Each stupid zipper had issues... that took about three hours per zipper to contend with. The results were worth it though. Incidentally, the fabric used in between the light purple solid and the white tone on tone is the quilt backing.

This project was a lot of work and a long time in progress, but it was full of love and the look on our friend's face was totally worth it.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Classes and Quilts

Last week I taught two miniature workshops on polymer clay foods. Thursday night was breads and Saturday morning/afternoon was candies and cookies.

Everyone had fun and they've hinted strongly at doing more food classes in the near future. For many of them this was their first experience making canes.

I've also recently finished a couple of baby quilts for some friends. The first had to be gender-neutral, contain earth tones, and be cutesy for a baby.

 The second's nursery colors are orange and grey, so I chose a recent fabric that fit the bill perfectly.
I goofed and forgot to get a picture of the back though.

That's all for this week. I have to get back to sewing samples for one of the local quilt shops. Take care!