Thursday, June 30, 2011

I finally did it!!

First of all, Thank you all for the gracious comments about the walker bag!  After this weekend, I "get" to make another one...which is an entirely different story from today's post.

Yes, sir, I finally did it! "What?" you say.....I completed a baby quilt before the baby was born!!!  A long time friend of mine ( since college , her husband and I were in first grade together ) has a daughter my son's age.  The kids grew up together as all of the other children in the families.  The grown-ups (?) became honorary aunts and uncles.  The oldest daughter had her baby on June 28th.  All I had to do was put the child's name and other info on the label and sew it on. The new grandparents are supposed to be in town for a short time before they head up to the new baby.  The quilt is all ready to go!!!! First time ever!!!

The baby's parents are Anna Beth and Andy....hence the Raggedy Ann and Andy fabric.

I also made a burp cloth out of the same flannel as the quilt.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sidetracked....again !

In my last post I said something about hoping to post some of the things that I had worked on while I was without my computer.  Well....things didn't quite work out that way.  Everything that I had "prepped" for working on was put on the back burner so I could work on a project for my neighbor.  Long story short, she fell and broke her hip.  While the doctors were examining her, they found out that she had also had a heart attack and a mild stroke.  Thankfully, she is doing better with very little damage because of the heart and stroke issue.  When I found out what had  happened, I began looking for a pattern, searching for the fabric in my stash, and of course "tweaking" the pattern for a tote for her walker.  It took a bit but this is what I came up with......

We do not know yet exactly when she is to come home from the hospital but her son told me to give it to her when she came home.....too big of a chance for it to "disappear".  I hope that she will like it....but at least she an use it.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Orange Scottie

Today has been one of those days in my sewing room.  I've got a lot of things weighing heavily on my mind and thought, I'll just go ahead and make my block for Theresa's project over at Confessions of a Craftaholic.  Sewing always helps, right?  I found the Scottie Dog pattern by Sindy Rodenmayer online.  Love this Scottie Dog block, well, I just love Scottie dogs! All was going good, got my fabric, ironed on my fusible, started cutting him out, when I realized two things.  First, I forgot to reverse him.  That's ok, it's just one block; I can live with him facing left. Second, as I'm cutting out my fabric, I see that I placed the pattern so that the plaid is straight when I meant to place it on the bias.  Drats.  Ok,...not happy, but I can live with that too.  I finished cutting him out, place him on the background, being so careful to make sure I get him on there straight.  Iron him down, looking good.  Do all my blanket stitch around, flip the block over to check out my stitching, and then see that I have put the Scottie dog on the wrong side of the fabric!  Are you kidding me?!  How did I not notice that?!  Several things went through my mind which I cannot put here.  What is it I need?  Oh, yeah, a deep cleansing breath to calm down.  Tell myself I am not doing this block over, it's ok, it still looks fine, you've used the wrong side of fabric on purpose for other projects, it's ok.  By now, I'm afraid to square up the block.  Thought maybe I shouldn't cut today because of all the things that have gone wrong and I seemed to have misplaced my rotary cutter, know, like it's a sign.  But I found it.  Took another breath, and very carefully, squared the block, and I didn't mess up!  Here he is:

He'll be on his way to Theresa soon!  I think I'm going to go read a book.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some Silliness Out of Boredom

It's pretty boring deconstructing uniforms.  You know how some people can peel an apple in one long string?  Guess what?!  I can do the same thing with the seams on the uniform!  Anything to help the process, right?  The main thing is I got all the green uniforms in one tub and all the desert ones in their tub!  Deconstructing saves space!  Yeah!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Army Quilt and Farmer's Wife

As part of the retirement process, my husband had to go through all his Army stuff to turn some things back in.  He found more old uniforms to add to my collection of army uniforms/fabric.  Several years ago I made a quilt out of his uniforms using the colors of his unit.  This is the Split Nine Patch pattern from the book 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts by Judy Hopkins and Nancy J. Martin.  The solid green in this quilt is from my dad's uniforms from the 1950's.

After making this quilt, I still had several uniforms left and just added them to my stash with the intention of making more Army quilts.  I have all of them in a nice purple tub.  Now the problem is with these "new" uniforms, I don't have room in the tub and I don't have room for another tub!  So I'm deconstructing them to get rid of the bulk and parts I don't need.  Hopefully, this will make enough room in the tub.  Here's how much room I have left in the tub:

The deconstruction leftovers so far:

More uniforms to deconstruct: (I hope they all will fit in the tub!)

In addition to these, I have another tub of his desert uniforms!  I have great plans (and fabric!) for maybe someday!

On a different subject, I've been seeing several bloggers doing the Farmer's Wife quilt-alongs.  The pictures I've seen are so pretty that I decided to buy the book. (Can you say sale at JoAnn's?!)  I won't be officially joining the quilt alongs, but will do what I can when I can.  (I know it's silly, but I can't really handle any more stress right now and the pressure of having to make blocks when I have so much to do for our move would just be too much!)  But I'm really looking forward to using my stash to make these blocks!  Since my closet has spilled its guts for me to get to the Army tub, I've been looking at my fabric and getting excited about shopping it for these blocks!  I think it will be a fun thing to do with Diana, maybe our own little quilt along for later!

And, best of all, today I got my favorite sewing machine back from the repairman!  I feel so much better!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A First for Me!

Today was my first day riding with my husband on his motorcycle!  He has been riding for almost a year now and when we bought the bike, I told him I wouldn't ride with him until he had a year's experience.  Not thinking how fast a year goes by!  Yikes!  We went to the motorcycle dealer yesterday and bought a helmet and gloves for me.  This morning, before it got too hot, he took me for a ride around post.  It is so weird not being buckled on the road!  We rode around for maybe an hour and I can tell already, I need more padding on my rear!  But it was fun!  Once I got over the initial nerves, it was very enjoyable. 

Here we are just before heading out.  And look, Tony has his "retirement facial hair"!  (That sure didn't take long!)

We just rode around post so our speed didn't get up as fast as it will outside.  He has to get used to me on the back; braking and curves handle a little differently with extra weight.  He said it was no problem though.  I see more rides in my future!

I finished the polka dot quilt, finally.  Geez, it only took twice as long on my old Bernette!  But it is done and I'm pleased with it.  Just have to make the label.

I used a Pringles lid for marking the smaller circles and a coffee cup for the larger ones.  I love circles!

My favorite sewing machine is still in the shop, but the diagnosis has been made.  Hopefully, the part will be in this week.  Is it wrong to have such an attachment to a sewing machine?!!  I can't wait to get it back!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Quilt of Love

Quilting used to be a practical, yet creative, hobby that only our grandmothers and great-grandmothers did.  I can remember being told, "You're too young to quilt!" (Funny, I haven't heard that in a while!) My how times have changed!  People of all ages are learning how to make a quilt.  I'm so thankful for the next generation of quilters who are keeping our art alive and fresh!  I love seeing the young faces at the shows and the talent among these quilters is amazing! 

Recently I came across a new young blogger, Theresa at Confessions of a Craftaholic.  She has decided to put her talents to a good cause.   She is a young person who doesn't just want to talk about doing something, she is making it happen!  Her enthusiasm and desire to "do something" is contagious!  She wants to help comfort a child at the Children's Cancer Center in Houston, Texas with a quilt of love.  Please head on over to her blog and check out her plans!


Friday, June 3, 2011

Batting Stash

Even though I wasn't able to shop my stash for this little quilt, I was able to use some of my leftover batting pieces.  I know most of you already know this, but I thought I would talk about this for those that might not know.  I'm always learning something new, even though I've been quilting for a long time!

I save nearly all my batting pieces that are leftover from a quilt.  You never know when you might need a small piece for a mug rug, a wall hanging, a small bag, or even an ornament.  I had some big pieces leftover from when I had to buy a larger size batting because the shop was out of the size I needed. So to use these leftover pieces, I take my two pieces of batting and lay them side by side.

In order to piece them together, overlap the batting edges just enough to give you room to cut.  Usually just an inch or so will do, depending on how straight the edge is.

Next, cut through the layers with your rotary cutter.  The good part is this doesn't have to be straight!  In fact, a gentle curve is best. 

After you have cut through the layers you will be left with two narrow pieces of batting.  I toss these, but they would make good stuffing for doggie beds. 

Butt the edges of your batting pieces, no overlap, cut edge to cut edge.

Sew with a wide zigzag stitch. Or, there is now a fusible web tape that you can iron on the batting to join the pieces together.

The zigzag stitches won't show and won't be noticeable at all once your quilt is completed.  Only you will know that you pieced the batting!  You shopped your stash!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Just Needs Quilting!

Since my favorite sewing machine is in the shop (I'm having withdrawal!), I had to drag out my old sewing machine.  This machine has been with me since the early 90's when I bought it used from a Bernina dealer.  It's the bottom of the line, a Bernette.

Over the years I have made a lot of big quilts on this machine, including the quilting.  Here's two of my favorite quilts that I did on this machine:

A wedding/anniversary quilt for my nephew and his wife from the book, "Say It With Quilts".  It was because of this quilt that I got my new sewing machine! This quilt just about did it in!

High school graduation quilt for my son at our apartment in Germany, enlarged from a pattern by Robbi Joy Eklow:

I did a lot of dense free motion quilting that is shown here on the back of the guitar quilt:

This old machine was used a lot!  I have it now as my backup sewing machine; I just can't get rid of it!  Years ago I would have said this machine was a workhorse; I could do just about anything on it.  But it is so different from my new machine! The power and the speed differences are so noticeable now.  The quilting space seems so small.  And after making this quilt top today, instead of a workhorse, I would say it is like a sullen teenager!  I had to coax it over the seams, it sewed slow, it was stubborn.  Oh, it got the job done, but the attitude I could have done without! 

I sure do hope my favorite sewing machine is out of the shop soon!  But it looks like I'll have to do the quilting on this old machine!  I hope it is up to the challenge!  At least the quilt is not big and I have a simple design planned.  I'm going to give it some oil and let it rest overnight and see how it goes tomorrow!

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