Archive for September 2009

It’s been a little quiet

September 28, 2009

…On the blog front that is.  I’ve been doing a lot at home.  I’ve been doing a lot of sewing, actually, which seems to cut into the blog time.  And it’s been so cloudy everytime I have a chance to take pictures that I just haven’t posted anything.  The pictures just are not turning out.

Maybe there’s some sunlight in the future.  More than a few hours worth.  Then I will have things to show.

I will tell you all I’ve been working on though, so you have a little something to look forward to….

  • I made an ottoman using this pattern.  I’ve had the pattern for a long time, but was afraid of it.
  • I’m working on quilting the Far Far Away quilt disaster.
  • I’ve made a small baby quilt of wonky stars, using this tutorial.  (These things are great, by the way).
  • I made a pillow cover for the living room.

We’re slowly but surely redecorating the living room.  I’m waiting for my honeycomb shades from next day blinds.  They should be installed on Saturday.  They will look so much better than the poorly rigged up curtains that are currently defacing the window.  We got a new to us loveseat, and a new cover to go on it.  I somewhat impulsively bought a treadmill.  I’m calling it a birthday present.  I’ve been using it so far, and hopefully will continue to use it.

Oh, and I had a birthday Sunday.  29.  I feel like I grew up all of a sudden.  But at the same time I don’t feel grown up at all.  What’s that about?

Things coming up (once I post about all those other goodies): more wonky stars, more pillow covers, and Christmas gifts, which will probably need to remain pretty secret for now.  I also need to get work on the next quilting bee block.  Little houses.  Not quite sure how that will work out, but I’ll be sure to let you know!

I also bought a roll of printable fabric with a 50% off coupon from Joann’s.  I want to make some labels, and saw some decent reviews of the stuff. 

I have a shameful, shameful secret, too, one my mother might kill me over. 

I bought yarn.  Lots (sort of) of yarn.  About 12 skiens of yarn.  Shh.  Don’t tell her.  (I have a bad history with yarn.  The kind of history where I buy a bunch of it, knit or crochet for a brief period of time, and then abandon projects.  Then start over again.)  I DO have plans for this though, and have some confidence that they will come to fruition.

Wish me luck!

Making Old Things New

September 17, 2009

As you may or may not know, I’ve been aquiring furniture and other cast offs from my parents’ former home.  They have moved into a new house, fully furnished, and with the means to buy whatever new stuff they want, so I’m taking the things they no longer want and are too nice to just let go.  One of these acquisitions is the dining room table and chairs that used to belong to my great grandmother.  It was in her house for many years, and then my parents took it and it was our family dinner table for quite a while.

 

DSCN1399It does not suit their new home so much, but really couldn’t be let go, so we took it on here.  The chairs were in need of some tlc, as you can see  here in this picture.  A while ago we got some samples and picked out some new fabric to cover them with, and it’s been sitting in the closet ever since.  I’ve been scared of the project.  It was intimidating to me.  But, as it turns out, it isn’t so hard.  The to-do list today consisted of seeing if I had the proper supplies (batting) to make it happen.  I found a large scrap, and started cutting.  And I just kept going.  I have no idea if i did these correctly, or if they’ll last, or what, but it worked out.  

All I did was cut a piece of batting the size of the seat top, and a piece of fabric about 2 inches wider/longer than the seat, and started stapling.  Corners were slightly tricky, but they don’t even really show, so whatever.  Aside from a glitch with finding extra staples, it went rather quickly, and I was able to do 5 chairs in about one and a half hours.  

I’m very happy with them.  What do you think?

DSCN1398

(by the way, fabric is Vicki Payne For Your Home Foliage Cherry…. It’s looking kinda orange here to me, but it’s definitely more red)

Scraptacular fun, a pictorial addendum

September 15, 2009

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Scraptacular fun and finding forgotten things!

September 15, 2009

So, one day last week, I was stuck at home waiting for a delivery.  Which allowed me ample time to get a whole lot of not very much accomplished.  However, I did somewhat organize clear some floor and table space in my sewing room.  As I was dissembling the massive piles, I came across a few thing that had been started and never finished.  So, I figured maybe instead of boring you all with one massive post, I’ll write a few over the next few days.

This post relates to the scrappy strip paper piecing I had been working on a while back.  I hadn’t really forgotten about this project, because who can forget about scraps, but the actually project had been abandoned a while ago.  So I dragged three containers of various sizes out to the dining room table along with the sewing machine (that had been removed from said table for dinner guests the other night). 

Piecing together these scraps is challenging for me.  I (curiously enough) crave order and patterns even in messiness, and it’s really hard for me to go the totally random route and just grab whatever I grab.  And even when I try to do this, I tend to pull from my favorite pieces more often.  This makes all the blocks look similar.  Once I put on some music, and just let myself get to it though, it is such a relaxing, freeing process. 

I made some more progress on it over the weekend, and even pieced together a few squares.  I’ve got 5 ready. They really look cool (I’ll post pictures soon), and I think it will make a nice throw quilt to just have lying around. By my calculations, this will end up being about 60″ square, which means 5 rows of 5.  Which means I only have…too many squares left to think about! 

 I’d like to think that this project will make a dent in my scraps, but this pile seems never ending.  And ever growing.  Just like my fabric pile.  Ever growing.  Never ending. 

Nevertheless, I like having something that I can just pick up for a few minutes here and there.  Something that I can stop at any point without worrying that I’ll lose my place or screw it up.  And something that makes me be ok with not being perfect.  It stays relaxing instead of becoming a chore, and I need that right now!

Holiday Weekend Goings On.

September 7, 2009

I had a rather nice holiday weekend.  I stuck to the whole doing what I want idea, and got a few things done.  Of course, now that I’m sitting on the other side of that, I’m wishing I had done more housework.  Oh well!

I finished the zig zag quilt.  It turned out rather nicely, I think.  I think you can kind of see the stitching.  I think I mentioned it before, but as a recap, I stitched in the ditch diagonally in one direction, and then stitched straight lines on both sides of that the width of the walking foot.  I really like the straight lines, and they work really well with the pattern.

zig zag

I also worked on the quilting bee block.  I’m not sure how I feel about it entirely.  It ended up being really tricky.  I’m inclined to just send it off, but I’m thinking that since it’s still a bit early and I have some time, I’m gonna think on it a little more.  Here is a picture of it in all it’s glory.  Meagan asked for a 12.5×12.5 block of squares, none larger than 3 inches.  

september bee block

What do you think?  I really love the colors, and this really challenged me.  I also made some mistakes in construction as it turns out, though I didn’t realize/discover those until too late.  I might go to quilter prison if anyone finds out!  Ha.  Anyway, I’m hanging onto it for a little while just to make sure I’m comfortable with it….

That’s it for now.  

Progress, plans.

September 4, 2009

I’ve got the binding sewn onto the front of the zig zag quilt, and have started the hand sewing on the back.  Hopefully the long weekend will provide some stretches of TV time so I can finish it up and show it to you by the end of the weekend!  I was going to give it away, but I like it, so I think I’ll hold on to it for a while.  Maybe one day I’ll have use for it.  Or know when the time is right to give it away.

As part of my getting better mentally and physically plan, I’m going to try and do a lot more sewing.  I’ve ordered some more Michael Miller Funky Christmas so I can make some Christmas stockings for myself and Jack (and maybe the cats, or is that too weird?), and maybe a tree skirt if I can find or figure out a pattern for a round one.  I also want to make some napkins  for the annual Christmas Eve dinner at my house, so I need to pick out some solid fabrics for that.  I think I’m going to stop in to G-Street fabrics when I’m in Rockville this weekend to see if they have something suitable.

I’m also going to work on the sewing bee block this weekend.  I think I’ve finally got it figured out. 

I’m going to pick out fabrics this weekend (for reals!) for the manly quilts, and hopefully something will appeal to me for the grandmother quilt as well. 

I’m ALSO going to start on my embroidery.  I don’t know what the best fabric is for this sort of thing, but figure I will do my trial run on some regular old white cotton I have.  No sense in ruining the good stuff.  Then maybe I’ll have a feel for what would work best.  The plan is to frame these things I’m embroidering, so if you have any suggestions, they will be greatly appreciated.

I’ve also got to work on the pattern for my sister’s bag.  I think I’m almost there, but I’ve made such a horrible mess of my sewing room that I haven’t had a good working space lately.  I guess I should get to that this weekend too.

There are tons of things that need to be done around the house, but since it’s a holiday weekend, I’m going to act like I’m on vacation (mostly) and just not worry about it.  Maybe if I’m lucky (or if Jack is, ha!) I’ll do some laundry and go to the grocery store.

My mother and I are also going to check out some store for window coverings for our huge bay window.  Once upon a time I was going to make these, but the project is just too big and too overwhelming.  Wish me luck in finding something that a. works and b. I like, oh, and c. doesn’t cost me my life savings!

And because I have nothing else to offer, a picture of Spike sleeping on the quilt I’m trying to sew.  He refuses to get on the new sofa, or in my lap on the sofa, but as soon as that quilt showed up he was all about it.  What’s up with that?

spike on quilt

p.s.  The picture is not great because it comes from the iPhone which has a craptastic camera.  And that blurry thing on top there, attached the gray body is Shelby, who is trying to furiously lick his brother’s face.

p.p.s.  Have a lovely holiday weekend!

Almost finished

September 2, 2009

I’m almost finished quilting the zig zag quilt.  The straight lines have proven not too difficult.  Basically, I “stitched in the ditch” and then made lines on either side the width of the walking foot.  I was going to go back and do the diagonals the opposite way as well, but I think I’m going to stick with what I’ve got.  Another direction would be too busy, and the front is already busy enough I think.  As far as my thoughts on the straight line quilting: I really like it a lot.  It requires a little more precision than the free motion, and that is sometimes hard for me.  I know my lines aren’t perfect either, but I’m deliberately not inspecting them closely.  I give them a quick check to make sure something isn’t glaringly off, and then move on.  Otherwise I’d never get it finished.  I will definitely be doing it again.

Hopefully I’ll finish up the quilting tonight, which means I can get the binding on tonight.  I bought a bias tape maker at Joann’s the other day.  I’m not sure why.  Oh.  Because I’m tired of always burning my fingers and stuff, and hope that maybe this will be helpful.  I got the 1″ one.  I’m not sure that it’ll be wide enough, but the other one was surely TOO wide.  Maybe by this weekend I’ll have a finished quilt!  It’s been a while.  April to be exact.

In other news, I see a fabric buying spree in the near future.  See, my husband has decided to take a motorcycle course and is planning on paying for it out of the savings.  So, it’s only fair I dip in a little bit too, right?  Ha. 

Seriously though, I’ve seen some sales floating around and I want to get a move on some Christmas projects.  I’ve decided, for the fathers and grandfather I am going to make them quilts.  Throw-sized.  Solid colors, biggish solid blocks.  Straight line quilting (more masculine than stippling, yes?) Not sure of the exact patterns yet, but that’s what I’m going to go with.  Do you think that’s a good idea?  I’m already second guessing myself.  But, you know, if they aren’t going to appreciate something that I’ve made for them, well, they can shove it!  How about that?

So, this week, I’m going to pull out my kona color card and make some decisions.  And just go with it.  Because no matter what, even if their quilts are ugly, they’ll still love me.

I’m also finilizing plans for my quilting bee block.  I think I’m almost there.  I keep coming up with ideas, and then realizing I’m missing something, but I think I’ve got a plan, and I’m just going to go for it.  Maybe that’ll happen over the (long!) weekend.