Maybe I’m not a Total Idiot

Posted January 24, 2010 by Theresa
Categories: General

I discovered something this afternoon.  I was working on a block my quilting bee quilt.  And my block was not coming out to the 12.5″ it was supposed to be when finished.  And this doesn’t make sense to me because I KNOW I cut everything perfectly.  I was even being super duper extra careful with my cuts and calculations.  Now, this has happened before, that I’ve cut things properly and they didn’t finish up the correct size, but I just blamed it on myself for being a lazy cutter and assumed that this is where the error had been made.

Today though, I learned that while I can be a lazy cutter, this is not always the case.  It seems that those times that I’ve blamed things on my lazy cutting or bad math when I was sure I did everything correctly?  Well, maybe I WAS cutting things correctly.

Now, what I’m about to tell you is still my fault, but it isn’t really entirely my fault.     My 1/4″ quilting foot is the culprit.  The quilting foot that is not really 1/4″.  Or, it is, but it isn’t when it’s on my machine with my needle!  And this is why I am typically coming up 1/4″ short on things.  It’s almost a perfect 1/8″ off.  This is really frustrating!  This is also, in a way, pleasing, because it obviously means that my cutting isn’t always so bad.  And yes, I should have noticed this before.  And yes, this is still my fault.  Except not entirely.  And yes, it is still due to my laziness seeing as how I never investigated things further.  But at least I can stop being so hard on my cutting skills.

So, my solution?  Get a new machine AND a new foot!  Ha.  Just kidding.  I wish.  My solution is to follow the little notch that is there on the plate (why I’ve been ignoring it is beyond me).  And maybe just abandoning the quilting foot now.  What’s the point if it isn’t helping me with measuring my seams, right?

In other news, I’ve got all the fabrics packed up and ready to go off to be made into beautiful blocks by other people.  They’ll be going in the mail tomorrow.  It’s about time, right?  I can’t wait to see what comes back!

I’d show you a picture, but I still don’t have a battery charger for my stupid camera.  This is the downfall of rechargeable batteries, right?  If I did, I’d also show you a picture of the block I’ve made up for this quilting bee quilt.  I think that’s what I’ll be piddling around with for a while.  What I wouldn’t show you though, is a picture of a top secret project I’m working on!  You’ll all have to wait for that.  So don’t go asking any questions!

My Sister’s Quilt

Posted January 20, 2010 by Theresa
Categories: General

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Here are a few pictures of the quilt for my sister.  I used my collection of Heather Ross Mendocino, and Kona cotton in Azure.  Basically I just cut strips the width of the fabric, sewed them together and put on a border in the solid.  For the back I just used leftover pieces to make up the back.  I chose a simple design so that it would sew up quickly (the top at least!) and to showcase the designs.  For the binding I used some dots from Heather Ross’  Lightening bugs line.  She loves it, and apparently her pup does too!

And speaking of pups, here is a gratuitous shot of ours:

And a Bee update:  All the fabrics are in.  I’m working on cutting them.  I’ve got 3 solids, plus the eight patterned fabrics.  I had picked out a fourth solid, but it isn’t working for me now.  The cutting plan is to cut each fabric into strips of about 6-10 inches wide and 18 or so inches long, and then give everyone an assortment of fabrics.  This should everyone ample fabric to make a block.  I’m gonna leave it up to the girls to make whatever sizes they want, just ask that whatever they make finishes at 12.5″.  How does that sound?  So that would be the equivalent of 16 3.5″ blocks, 4 6.5″ blocks, or 1 12.5″ block.  Or, any combination of those.  So.  That’s the plan.  Of course, I’m nervous that I’ve screwed up somewhere and there won’t be enough fabric, but I think it will be ok.  And if it’s not, hopefully I’ll be forgiven!

A Finish!

Posted January 19, 2010 by Theresa
Categories: General

I actually finished something.  It’s a miracle!  No, seriously, it is a miracle.  The puppy has put a serious dent in my in front of the TV sewing binding time.  Basically, he’s made it impossible.  Unless I can feel not guilty about leaving him in the crate for the duration of a movie (and can convince the Mr. to watch one with me!).  I may have mentioned way back when a quilt I was making for my dear sister.  I had finally cut into my Heather Ross Mendocino fabrics, and came up with a pretty simple design.  By her birthday (at Thanksgiving time) I had it all put together and quilted, and just need to finish up the hand sewing part.  Which I just finished Saturday while watching (500) Days of Summer.  So, the quilt is off to her, and I didn’t take any pictures because I can’t find the charger for my camera battery and just wanted it gone already.  Hopefully she gets a chance to take some so I can post them here soon.  Until then, you’ll just have to forgive the lack of pictures. 

In other news, the Hope Valley has arrived and it is even better in person.  I’ve been practicing some block construction on some different fabrics so I can estimate how much fabric to send each girl in the Bee.  I don’t want to under do it, but I don’t want to over do it either.  This block within blocks (or whatever you want to call it), Is not hard to do.  In fact, it is rather easy.  Until you come to the part where you’re doing your last border and you keep cutting everything 1/4″ too short.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.  I think it’s because I’m trying to be stingy with the fabric I’m using because I don’t have too much of it.  But because I keep making mistakes, I’m not really saving myself any trouble, or fabric, so, I need to just loosen it up! 

I’ll have those fabrics out by the end of the week.  If the solids haven’t come in in the next day or so, we’ll just do without for this portion of the project. 

In other news, unrelated to sewing, check out Hotspur.  Up and coming DC area band.  Catchy tunes.  Fun to listen to.  Talented guys.  Nice, too, from what I hear.  They’re playing a few shows coming up, including the 9:30 Club on February 5.  Which is cool.  Really cool.  I love the 9:30 club.  I’ve spent a lot of time there in my youth, and even now when I go and I’m the oldest person there except for the parents hanging around, I love it.  But anyway.  Hotspur.  Check them out.  Support local music!  Or, if you aren’t local, support DC music!

Quilting Bee Fabric

Posted January 12, 2010 by Theresa
Categories: General

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So, as we probably all know, January is my month for the Quilter Bees.  I, being the poor planner that I am thought that the end of December would be the perfect time for me to take care of getting my fabric and planning my quilt, and sending out packages.  Alas, it was not quite meant to be, due to other things that I have recently discussed. 

So, in the way of an update (at least I am moving forward a bit):

 I bought this fabric for my month–

 

It is Denise Schmidt, Hope Valley in the New Day color way.  I bought it from Fabricworm on Etsy.  It should be here shortly.  And then I will pick out a few solids to match.  I was going to order, but I don’t want to take anymore time, so I’m just gonna work with what JoAnn’s has.  I’m sure I’ll find something to work!  And then I’ll get it cut and mail it off.  As soon as I settle on, and figure out a design that is.  Which will be by the time the fabric is here, I promise.  I’m thinking of something Log Cabinish, or something that is squares in squares…Have you seen this quilt along?  Obviously my plan isn’t for the paintbox idea specifically, but I like the block layouts.  Or maybe different sized squares inspired by the Kaffe Fassett Jewel Squares pattern.  Here is a picture of what I’m talking about.  What do you think?  I’m open to suggestions.  I just can’t wrap my mind around this right now for some reason!

DC Modern

Posted January 12, 2010 by Theresa
Categories: General

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It looks like there is a quilting group getting together in DC.  I’ll refer you to Natalie’s post if you’re interested.

I’m getting on board, and am really excited to connect with some other quilters in my area in person!

Twenty Ten

Posted January 4, 2010 by Theresa
Categories: General

Happy New Year!

I’ve been missing.  Missing from the blog, missing from sewing, missing from life, really.  I sorta checked out for a while, mentally, emotionally, physically even.  But I think I’m back.  I had the last almost 2 weeks off, and spent time relaxing-something I’m not really super good at.  I mean, sure, I’m good at sitting around watching tv and doing nothing, but I’m not really relaxing.  I’m always obsessing over the things I meant to do, need to do, should be doing.  Which leads to what seems like laziness, but is really just paralysis.  I get overwhelmed and can’t move.

So.  I decided, after Christmas, after all the family obligation business was over, that I was just going to take the week to do nothing, or at least, whatever I felt like doing, and if what i felt like doing ended up being nothing, well, that would be ok.  And you know, I’ve gone almost a whole week without crying.  I feel happy.  I feel optimistic.  I’m glad to be back at work, glad to get back to a routine.  I am keeping my plans for the new year small, simple.  I’m hopeful that these small, simple goals will lead to bigger things, but for now, I just want to be happy. 

So, my goals, if you want to hear them, are these: to spend less money on unnecessary things; to cook at home; to eat more healthy; to be more healthy.  I know if I can accomplish these things, I will be able to move forward happily.

As for sewing, I haven’t done much.  I haven’t felt inspired.  My dear mother in law bought me two books for Christmas though, One Yard Wonders and Applique Your Way and yesterday I broke out some of the Amy Butler Love fabric to make a bag from the first.  It’s going together slowly (mostly because I am not good with following actual patterns) but I think it will turn out nicely.  It felt good to get in there and do a little sewing!  I might even work on it some more tonight!  And if I can find my stupid battery charger for my stupid camera, I might even have some pictures to show.

Our Little Adventure

Posted November 11, 2009 by Theresa
Categories: General

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Meet Murphy!

DSCN1580

Picture quality = poo.  I don’t have any great pictures of him.  When it was light enough out this weekend, I was too exhausted to find the camera, and he just moves too much to take a decent picture inside.  And since it’s dark by the time we get home (and raining now, to boot), no good pictures.  Maybe this weekend.  So.

I’ve been utterly exhausted the last few days.  The getting him was tiring, to say the least.  Here’s how it went:

We were told that they would be arriving in the parking lot at 7:30pm Friday.  We planned to get dinner with our friends (who also adopted) at 6pm close by so that we would be able to just walk right on over.  So, we left here at 5pm.  Got to dinner, as we were finishing up, around 6:30, we get a call that they have been delayed, and will be arriving closer to 9:30.  So, we have 3 hours to kill.  We went to a few stores, and just hung out.  At 9:15, we are in the parking lot, and get told they have been delayed yet again and will be arriving closer to 10:35 or 10:45.  We fill out our paper work and sit in the car.  When all was said and done, we had the pups in our arms around 11:45.  Then, wrapped in towels, we made our way home. 

If I’m being honest, it was sorta gross.  These guys had been in a crate together (their other 2 siblings were also being adopted) for however long it takes to travel from South Carolina to DC.  I’ve made that drive.  It’s long.  You can imagine what sort of state they were in, and because they are so young (read: haven’t had their last set of shots), they weren’t allowed to touch the ground.  So.  We got home, and immediately had to give him a bath.  He wasn’t in the crate until 2am.  At 5:30, he woke up, and I let him out, and because I had dragged my husband on this journey, and he had to go to a training class at 7am, I stayed up with Murphy to keep him quiet.

I am not a napper.  I tried, I really did, but it just didn’t happen.  So I was up from 5:30 until about 11 or midnight Saturday.  Saturday night, Murphy woke up every.two.hours.  And out we’d go, and then in we’d go, and then we’d have pitiful barking for about 20 minutes.  Sunday night was much better (6 hours of quiet!), and Monday was even better. 

Now that we’re back to our regular routine, things seem  to be working better.  He complains much less about the crate, and seems to be getting the hang of going outside to do his business.  He’s mostly sleeping through the night, and we’re all adjusting. 

The cats aren’t quite sure what to do.  They’ve taken refuge in the basement, but have been making appearances here and there.  Murphy alternately chases them or doesn’t notice them.  And he won’t run down the steps after them either (at this point), so I guess that’s something.  I’m sure they’ll work it out!

Anyway, that’s been my life for the last 5 days.  I’m starting to feel more normal again, catching up on sleep and getting on my normal schedule.

I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. 

Also.  My father said that he didn’t look very Irish.  However, we’ve determined that because of the fighting he did with his sister, and his intense interest in beer (see below) he is as Irish as they come!* 

mmm

*please don’t take offense at that blatant stereotyping.  I have a healthy dose of Irish in me, as does my husband, both our families (obviously) and many of our friends and neighbors.  It’s all in good fun, people!