Monday, September 28, 2009

finally a flimsey finish

I finally buckled down this morning and did the last joining seam to have this top be finished- or as my pals say, finished to a flimsey. I am going to piece together some leftover batting and see if it will work to sandwich with this top. I will use various fabrics from this top and piece a back for it as well. This was my version of the strip twist pattern we all did in August at our FABS + 2 retreat.

I love that it all came from stash/scraps and my dil gave me a wonderful compliment about how serene it feels to her.

I am flying out October 14th and want this in the hands of the person I made it for. I can't even remember the last quilt I made this year- surely a charity quilt for WrapThemInLove. I added a link for this charity - I have been a group leader in my area since 2000 making and sending off quilts for wrap'm as we say.

And here is a photo of Alice, from a recent spending the night with us. She enjoyed her ducklings so much in the bathtub, th
ey had to get dried off and come play in the living room with, she is getting so grown up at nearly three point five. Time is surely speeding by!

I am flying to Texas where I will visit my other son and his wife, and he and I will spend two days doing the Houston Quilt Festival...this will be my first time to enjoy the venue, and I am thrilled my son wanted to come along and do the show with me. I have the very best boys!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

back in the blogging groove too

Yesterday we returned a new office chair I was test sitting and brought home another one. A new chair was urgent (I gave away the old one it was too painful for me to sit on anymore!) and my aunt decided to make it a gift to us. The first one the guy said his wife used and she quilted and it was the best chair - well, it did inspire me to use my sewing machine, but, no way was it great for me sitting at my machine and back it went.

The new chair is more comfortable, but, I haven't sewn sitting in it yet. Nope. Last night, I got off the computer and back out to the garage. I set the timer for an hour. I may be a grown up, but I find motivating myself to do certain tasks daunting some days. M had the house filled with moved furniture as she was vacuuming everywhere...sheessh...she was home all day except for our lunch/chair break and she had to do that when I came home from work? anyway.....

I escaped to the garage where I had made a giant mess while she was gone. I had big plans to do so much in those two weeks..but of course various other things interrupted that train.

I cleaned/cleared enough for her van to fit back in on her side of the garage. I realigned various boxes/bins/stuff up on my side set of labels so I actually know what is in the top most ones too. I only added 25 additional minutes too. It is truly amazing how much you can get done when you set a time limit.

I went through the paint can collection and resorted-more to the collection to take out to the special disposal site. That reminds me...there is a huge bucket container of something I need to ask M the 10+ years I have lived's never been used. Surely it can go too?
Maybe I will just take it away and not ask.

Every year I go through parts of the of the most helpful tricks I have employed is dating each container that houses "stuff"-it makes me think when it's labeled what inside really needed? if I haven't opened it that long?

It is always good to sort through and purge and reorganize- it is just such a time sucking task.

Of course I love the results, which is why I put in the time. When the cold and the rains arrive I don't want to be out in the garage still putting stuff away. It's going to take a few more sessions though to finish up what is left.

Another good habit I have returned to is reading through the Liberated Quilters Ring during my morning coffee time. Nice to catch up with fellow bloggers/quilters and be inspired by what they have done or are doing. Talented, creative, and fun stuff!

yikes...I am going to be late chatting here so long...!
have a joyful day


Monday, September 14, 2009

coming up one month from today...

My son called to remind me I had not sent the address for here. I leave October 14th for Texas.
I will be visiting my younger son and his bride of two years now-and he and I will be attending the International Quilt Festival/Houston for two days. I know it's a huge show, but, I think two days will be plenty for him to keep up with me as I will try and see it all !!

They live in Killen-close enough to Houston to make it drive-able. I have put him in charge of finding a hotel/motel room for Friday night. He thought he needed an address for "the quilt show"-to get an idea of what would be "nearby". Details, details.

I am pretty excited about seeing him and the quilt show is truly a bonus on top of that.

That's 30 sleeps away from tonight.


strip twist blocks done

Last night I stitched the last section on the remaining blocks and then realized the light strip was too wide. drats! I ripped them apart and cut down and restitched. After pressing, I called it a night.

This morning I zipped them together, put them up on the design wall, rearranging as much as I could. This quilt put together as is, will come out about 45 inches by 60 inches. Large enough for an adult to snuggle under on the sofa.

That was my adult size snuggle quilt.

I could add borders, but, as I don't need it larger, and I really want to get it finished and given away I will just stitch the blocks together and let the binding add a final color touch on the edge.

I am thinking about quilting designs....probably something with curves..

Time to get out of here and to the day is joyful


Saturday, September 12, 2009

ending the evening on a sewing note

Alice's visit today was so short, I failed to get any photos! We managed to get to the park and I pushed her in the swing until I was sure my arms were going to fall off :-) that girl loves to swing!
higher, higher she sings....and with her infectious laugh, well, you can't help but keep her going.

I put her down for her nap and while she settles down I am in the next room with an ear tuned in.
There were the usual sounds and small fussing and pretty soon, quiet. When we got her up ( her momma arrived while she was still sleeping) I realized she had gotten up to find "her" pillow. She cracks me up...I made a flannel pillow case for a small size pillow when she was old enough to use it in her porta crib...I guess a regular pillow just won't do now! There was the regular pillow tossed on the floor and her small flannel covered pillow on the bed...and her frogs still clutched in each hand.

M called to say the Folk Music Festival in Sisters was so much fun she was spending another night so she could spend all day enjoying the music. That meant I did not have to push to get the garage back in order - and as I had already picked up the house for Alice's visit-plus did laundry and changed the sheets on the bed- grocery shopped after Alice left- well...the evening was mine to do as I wished. I cleared the sewing table of odds and ends dumped on it from Alice's bed and finished up all the blocks that were almost done. I now have 36 blocks up on the design wall- with another 12 left to do. The strip sets ran short, so I need to make up the last side for these blocks. I have the fabric cut and ready to work on in the morning.

I am happy to make some progress on this project-it doesn't have a deadline as such, I just want to get it finished so I can hand it over to the person it's meant for.

And, it's only Saturday night- a whole day tomorrow to find some time to finish the last twelve blocks and start putting them together. Once it's a top, I will post a photo.

happy weekend everyone


Thursday, September 10, 2009

ready to string together and mail tomorrow

Meeting a swap deadline by the last possible day- again. oh least they are going out and in return I will get the same amount back -totally different fabrics I hope *vbs*.

The red box holds the extra square I cut for myself and is a running review of what I have already sent out in the past. Last swap I pulled and cut from my Hoffman florals.

the stack in front needs a thread pulled through to hold it together and it's ready to mail..the rest as you can see just need the small stack added to the one on the left and then they need to be threaded up. I noticed someone last time had used small just right sized plastic bags...slick! As I have no idea where they found those bags..thread will do the job-just a bit more labor involved.

From previous experience of mailing these, I know a priority envelope will fit it all as one layer just right. This time I am going to remember to pop something extra for the swap hostess...she is the best and most kind/patient gal ever to work with. I have two other packages to send back to a business so one visit is going to really take care of two things needing to get out of here.

M called, she is over in Eastern Oregon headed towards Bend on Hwy 7...not sure how far she will get before camping for the night. At least I know Baker and the road - she plans to show up home sometime on Saturday. The time has flown in some ways...and not so much in others.
This year I did not make any real big plans to get anything major done. I still have to wrap up the garage and keep weeding..I nailed my guy down about a date for the load of soil to come and we may work some deal out to help me with the weeding. What two grown men could do in 4 hours would take me ...goodness knows how long! Of course I am a very thorough weeder...I dig out root systems and do some pruning too along the way. I love working in my it's easy to spend hours and not have so much done to show for all the time spent.

However, I need to come up with a new plan..there is no way to keep up with the weeding with my day job - so I am going to have to reduce all that available vacant dirt by putting down landscape cloth and using rock. I will put down a heavy mulch for the winter and see how it goes next spring. I think a neighbor and I are going to do some veggie growing partnership thing. She doesn't get enough sun and I don't have enough shade...and in the back..with plenty of sun I will grow the squash that was overwhelming in the front box this year. (plus next year I want to add pumpkin).

It's a lot like quilting- you can buy lots of fabric and have plenty of ideas/patterns..but it still takes much more time to actually make a quilt than you think. I don't mind a stash of fabric-within my space limits, but, too large of a garden quickly gets out of control weed wise and that is a stash that I really do not enjoy!

Well, these stacks are not going to thread themselves-time to get to it and off the keyboard.
I will read blogs while I am working with my needle however.

It's been a great day for me...hope it has been for you as well.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

cutting trumps sewing

I am in the same pickle as last swap time: cutting under a pressure deadline. I promised myself I would NOT do this to myself is always such a surprise when I allow a deadline to be a month longer away than it is in reality!

Clearly I need to put these swaps in my daily calendar! So I switched from sewing , and started cutting seriously last night.

As I am currently on my own in the house, the kitchen table is cutting station number one and a portion of a kitchen counter is cutting station number two. The narrow cutting board is now the stacking station using half the stove top/counter space. I am not planning on sharing photos of this arrangement- I am sure you can mentally "see" how I have taken over other spaces to give myself enough elbow room.

I am 2/5's through cutting as of last night. I need 780 more 1.5 inch cut squares and then consider whether I should cut extras.

Yes, I am cutting 1.5 inch squares for a postage stamp swap we do on a quarterly basis. No, I have not done anything beyond collect these lovely little stacks that I receive and have added to as I cut for the swaps.
I have been seriously considering hand stitching them together. only briefly however. but recurringly. it could happen. maybe...

I had cut three stacks from the strip twist quilt project-my starter set. I pulled leftover fabrics from the small green pail next , once those fabrics were exhausted I moved on to the bag of scraps next to it. This is stash busting on a small scale when you are cutting a couple of 1.5 inch strips from leftover pieces of fabric. I have a few more scrap containers in the house before I would need to go hit the scrap bins out in the garage.

They will end up being 50 fabric squares in 25 stacks. plus a stack for myself. They have to be mailed off this Friday.

No problem. No meetings and visiting Alice tonight to cut into, well, cutting fabric time.

Yes, last night I had a meeting two blocks from Alice and handed over 3 binders of guild job notes (3 years worth) woohoo! More paperwork finished and out of here.

Naturally I had to swing by and say hello to Alice and her parents. We set Saturday as my day to have her while they do other grown up things. She won't spend the night, but, we will have tons of fun until her mommy comes and takes her back home. I find being a grandma to be every bit as fun as I always imagined it would be- in fact, way more.

Alice is my gardening helper and we should have no interruptions Saturday to having fun in the dirt- unless it rains too hard. You never know at this time of year...FALL seems to be wanting to come right now...and I really wish it would hold off...another month please.

Anyway...I do have 6 completed blocks up on the design wall and will share once I have a few more up - plus I noticed I seemed to have not cut enough strip sets despite cutting "extra" I thought. So, I will have to do additional cutting and sewing to have enough blocks for the quilt size I want.

It's nice to be back in the quilty groove again and the blogging groove as well. I have slowly been working my way around the Liberated Quilters and catching up a bit.

So much fun stuff to look at and read!!!

The clock is ticking away and it's time to get off the computer and ready to head out the door to the day job.
What a joyful day I plan on having- hope you do the same!


Saturday, September 05, 2009

checking in

I hit the halfway mark tonight working on my FAB retreat blocks. Over the last few months it seems I have done everything and anything but sew/quilt. It still took me until 9 pm to sit down at the machine and really get sewing.
Tomorrow my group (only two of us able to attend) will be working on charity quilts at a local quilt shop. I have that project cut out and ready to work on. It will be a set of string blocks and a change of pace from what I am currently working on.
With the heavy rain this morning it signaled a break from working outside taming the weeds and gave me a chance to run a few errands before heading over to Ikea with my dil. A shopping expedition and my dil was very successful in finding the perfect lamp for their living room, plus a wonderful curio glass cabinet for my son and some other odds and ends. I went to check out office chairs and work tables. I did not find a chair that suited me and will have to think some more about what table configuation will work best for what I have in my mind. I did do some shopping as they always have some amazing deals. I found a set of wine glasses that were just right, for example. My wagon worked perfectly to load up the larger stuff and haul it home. We realized however that the glass cabinet would not fit in her car, so as I am headed their way tomorrow anyway, we left it in my car.
Tomorrow after sewing at the shop my son is doing a turkey in his bbq and I will make mashed potatoes and the vegatable. This is how I managed to declutter my freezer of a turkey gift from Christmas! M has been gone for over a week and has another 10 days before coming back home.
It's going to be nice to sit down with family for a meal together. Alice is now sleeping in her big girl bed at home and has gorgeous butterfly sheets she chose on it, along with all her assorted quilts/blankets/stuffed animals. Her mom and I are plotting a room make over to go along with the bed change-and found a few things at Ikea that will work. Being a mom of boys, it is so delightful to have a little girl to buy and make things for...I am always finding something Alice must have.
It's getting late and Zoe long ago headed off to bed. I suppose it would be a good idea - I find it nice to stay up late and enjoy the peace and quiet time. I think a little blog reading sounds good.
I recently read this book, as my boss listened to it on cd and wanted someone to discuss it with-and I had to tell her I was not happy with the ending. It made sense, but, I still did not agree with it. I do feel however, it was a beautifully written book.

Off to read what you have been up to...