Sunday, November 30, 2008

family time and quilting time

In and around family holiday time, Alice time, and into the weekend-quilting has been going on.
I am in the binding stage of the queen size quilt (the hand part, one side done) and the machine binding of a ufo that will be donated to wraptheminlove. Of course, when Alice spends the night, photo opportunities abound. I was pinning a doll size quilt top when Alice wandered in and decided to help me. We were still in our jammies, being a very relaxed morning of playing and so on.
As she concentrated on picking out pins and sticking them in (a cluster in one corner) it was the perfect photo opt. One day I hope when she is much, much older she can claim she started quilting at two! In the meanwhile we will keep taking baby steps towards that goal. She is ready for the large yarn (dull point) needles, yarn and pu
nched cards or canvas to play with next I believe-as she was quite entranced with watching me stitch binding. My love of hand crafts was encouraged by my grandma (on my moms side) teaching me to knit and crochet at an early age. She did not sew , nor did my other nonna. My mother could sew but was not inspired to do any beyond a dress she made for me and something for my sister. I took over her machine as soon as I learned how to run one in home ec class and used it to death until graduating from high school.
all photos will enlarge by clicking... note Zoe close by supervising Alice-by the time Alice goes home, Zoe is exhausted! While Alice naps, Zoe will frequently check the closed door-looking at me as though to ask, are you sure she's ok? I hate not being able to go check up close!

Ok- back to all that binding! The queen quilt needs mailing out on Wednesday and I only have one side done thus far. I also promised myself to have the charity quilt done before midnight tonight. It's a ufo and I want a November finish. If I stay away from the computer-it's an easy task to complete.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

two quilted tops

I just took the last stitch in quilting the 4 Kindness top. (it is click-able to enlarge) I am very happy with how it turned out- and decided to share it at the not totally done stage...but all quilted stage at least. I also finished quilting the queen size quilt a few days ago, trimming it up Monday night. No photo of the queen until I get the binding on it. Besides baking pies tonight, I will be stitching binding on as well.
I also need to empty out Alice's crib and have it ready for her spending Thursday night with us.
We head over to their home for an early dinner at 1 pm-ish and will bring her back home with us when she gets up from her nap I suspect.

Guild last night was fun. We presented our chairperson with her guild member blocks and actually rendered her speechless! no small feat-and something she had actually sketched out and wanted to make-how cool was that! Members took turns sharing why they are thankful - and the show and share of quilts at the end were fabulous.
We are a small but very friendly guild in Beaverton and it was nice to spend time with them.
I know I give thanks for discovering my passion for quilting and so appreciate all my quilting friends both online and off! Thank you to each and every person that takes the time to read what I have to share, whether you leave a comment or not. You never know who you will reach out and touch when you have a blog and I am always pleased to hear from everyone.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

the half way mark

I just hit the half way mark on quilting the queen size D9P top. I chose to do straight line quilting and that means it goes fairly fast. I don't have to mark anything, I just sew along the seam lines about 1/8 to 1/4 inch away. A simple grid system and then on to the binding. I have that made and waiting to be stitched on. We are not supposed to give away our names in the giving of these gifts, so I am going to merely put my initials on the label and leave it at that. It's a quilt meant to be used up - not an heirloom and I hope they find warmth and comfort in the use of it.

Thursday I went up to a quilting/craft show and did a little shopping. There were bundles of Cherrywood hand dyes at one booth-but I left them there. Instead, I bought a hand dye kit for beginners. I have been wanting to try my hand at this dyeing business and this looked to be uncomplicated and very portable-not a huge investment either. I think I can set the small containers in my bathtub , thereby keeping everything I need in the bucket which is, 9 yards of fabric prepared for dyeing, the dyes and the small containers in this bucket, the size of a three pound laundry soap container. How's that for not taking up a lot of room?

We are selling tickets for the guild opportunity quilt at this show, so I am headed up there again today. There is a booth with large cutting mats at a decent price I may decide to buy. My table size mat needs replacing and this might be perfect- otherwise there isn't anything else to tempt me. I will be taking along my hand quilting-with several hours of sitting and encouraging folks to buy a chance at winning a truly gorgeous quilt-I just may get to the end of the K is for Kindness.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday-almost the weekend

This week has been a blur. I am slowly recovering from this cold/cough bug. I have taken on being the chairperson of our guild raffle ticket sales. I have 7,000 tickets to sell by April 4, 2009. Naturally I am not doing this by myself! We have a large guild and the expectation is everyone will buy 10 tickets and can then sell them or keep them. If everyone actually pays for their 10 tickets, I will still have 2,000 to sell to the public. Of course I do not think every member will actually follow through, and with helpers we are coming up with other ways of selling these tickets. My main task was to sort tickets into bundles of ten and put them with the name of each guild member.
Now that was quite the job that took hours and hours longer than I expected. We have state gambling rules to follow so there is much more detail record keeping to do than simply handing out tickets and taking money. I have to account for every numbered ticket and at the end send in a detailed accounting to the state. I am an accountant for my day job, so doing more spreadsheets was not such a big deal. We had a decent kick off last night, at our guild meeting, but even with two helpers, it got very hectic! I reaped the benefit of having all those bundles in abc order and record sheets at the ready.
My sweetie has also come down with this lovely bug and so it is survival mode at our house. If I can muster the energy I am spending the weekend getting the house back to some state of order and finishing up several piles of things dumped for dealing with "later". I am longing to play with the latest idea I have for some new house blocks-I even have some new fabric for it sitting on the table-under one of those piles! Bring on the weekend!


Friday, November 07, 2008

making progress

Tuesday proved to be the beginning of what has become a yucky cold-the cough and the stuffy nose is so annoying. I probably am at the end of it, though still coughing and so on. I wanted to show progress on this large quilt I am working on. I have most of my end wall as my design wall.
At this size it won't totally fit when I get to the last third- but this shows how I am working in sections and checking to be sure the row above works with the row below and on the side. This will be six rows by six rows. I dropped having a seven row long quilt top. There will be a three inch border instead - color still to be determined. I have had no luck in auditioning or searching for the teal green color to go with the print shading I wanted to highlight. Probably a medium purple will be the most likely border choice of color.
We are off to another concert tonight. David Grisman and Jon Sebastion...what a duo! I did a little stitching this morning and will no doubt do more later tonight. No concrete plans for the weekend, other than to hammer a bit on this project. I have other life stuff going on that will be sucking up a lot of time next week.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

starter blocks completed

got to love bonus days off. Neither of my quilter friends were available today-so I ran my morning errand and got home in a timely fashion, only one stop at a quilt shop to look for more of a batik that would work as a border for the D9P variation quilt-no luck but I picked up a few possibles and a yard or two of some new fabric that will be put to use very soon. I finished making the rest of what I call starter blocks for this quilt. (see previous post...a third of the top already put together). D9P is all about making nine patches and then slicing them into fourths. My design idea was to keep the center block the same color fabric and mix up the other two colors in all possible ways. Here are most of the examples I came up with. I may have come up with a few more, but, I can't remember at this point. Next up- square them and slice them.
Then arrange on the design wall and stitch back together. This is what I am going to be working on as the election results are being reported tonight. I won't actually be watching the tv, but, it probably will be on in the other room and I can listen when I want to check in. Usually I listen to music while I stitch. Some folks love books on tape, podcasts, etc...I prefer my ipod shuffle.
It's 2 pm now, I can spend at least 2 hours slicing up and stitching before I need to finish making chicken tortilla soup for supper. I have a slight cold and this sounded tasty to me. There was some sunshine for a while earlier today and it was quite pretty driving out and about. The rain has started in and it's a sky filled with various shades of grey now. So many leaves hitting the ground and fading to brown.. yet so gorgeous in their red,gold, and orangy glory on the trees.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

November kick off quilt

you can click to enlarge

this is 12 blocks measuring 87 inches across and about 30 inches long right now(6 by 2). I have another 30 blocks to get to the size of 87 by 101-ish -queen size-ish. This will be for the adopted family we do gifts for every Christmas instead of exchanging gifts on M's side of the family. We drew the mom and dad this year and I knew immediately I wanted to make them a quilt. This is my variation of the disappearing nine patch block-limited to three colors. I am pleased it is all from my stash-there is enough of the vine fabric to make the backing and binding, should I chose. I bought this fabric many years ago and still really like it, I think because green and purple are a favorite combination currently for me. I thought I would get further than this considering I spent much of the day and evening working on it. However, the flannel (that would be the purple) has a way of stretching that has meant a bit of ripping and re-doing to get it to play nice with the other fabrics.
And, I have to stop and cut more fabric as I run out of pieces to stitch up. The disappearing nine patch block calls for making a nine patch and then cutting it into fourths-and stitching the fourths all back together. This takes longer to make the block too, as I play with the fourths and get them arranged to my liking. When I ran out of bobbin thread, I took the time not only to wind another four bobbins,( I had only used about a bobbin and a half before running out) but to thoroughly clean out around the bobbin area and add a drop of oil to the trace. That, and putting a new blade in my rotary cutter has made the cutting and stitching efforts go smoothly.
I am pleased with how it is looking. I will be quilting this on my regular sewing machine. I have a few ideas already for how I want to quilt it. I am considering quilting it in fourths and then putting them together ala quilt as you go method. It's been quite a while since I quilted such a large quilt and smaller sections might be a lot easier to deal with. The second quilt I am going to make will be simpler than this one and smaller thank goodness.