Thursday, September 27, 2007

It is ready!

I have been working for about 2 weeks trying to get the sewing room closer to a guest room than it has been in preparation for a visit from my brother and sister-in-law. They arrive sometime yet tonight and I did it. I turned this or something much worse than this:into this (please note the two handmade quilts on the bed (there is one more hiding underneath those two also):I am quite pleased with the results. This is the most tidy it has ever been for guests in the four years it has been my sewing room. It still has a ways to go but once I get rid of some of the boxes of fabric for Lutheran World Relief quilts and Project Linus quilts it will be much better.

I haven't really gotten much done sewing-wise. I have just been working on the hand quilting on my row by row quilt. I am happy with what I have done on it so far but there is a long way to go yet!I also took three sewing machines in to be cleaned, oiled, checked over and adjusted where necessary. My two Singer 301's and this old beast...My other project that last few days has been getting things together to take to my quilt retreat next weekend. With company in the sewing room I wanted to get a head start on the packing up.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A different kind of project

In my last post I talked about getting sidetracked constantly in my quest for a cleaner sewing room. Today I got sidetracked by a different kind of project. I had a bin in my sewing room of pictures and things to hang on my walls that I just haven't gotten up yet. I decided that needed to be tackled so I sorted through them and found all the one with black or silver toned frames and thought they would work well on my hallway wall. I laid them all out and then started looking for a couple more old photos to frame and put up also.

That got me started scanning lots of old family pictures that I have been storing for several years since we emptied my mom's house when she moved to a nursing home. Luckily, technology has advanced as it is wont to do, so I am now able to scan these pictures myself instead of having to pay someone else to do it.

This is one of those pictures - A shot of my mother and father in 1944 before they were married. It was lots of fun looking at all these pictures again and seeing my parents and grandparents likenesses in my sister, brothers, nieces and nephews faces.

I still have many more pictures to scan and I was afraid that it was going to be drudgery to do but I have found that I enjoy it and can easily get lost in doing it - almost as easily as I get lost in quilting!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another off the list

I am slowly getting the sewing room cleaned out. It is slow going because instead of just putting things in a cabinet or in the attic I keep thinking "It will only take a short while to just finish that and then it can be put where it really belongs" (wherever that might be).

These pictures are of one such project. At first I was just going to get it pin basted so I could quilt it at my upcoming retreat but then I started the quilting and I was hooked. This doll quilt is a 'slashed fat quarter' that I used for a tutorial for my friends with whom I might be doing a Slash the Fat Quarter Round Robin.

Another project that I just decided to finish was a Tom & Jerry panel that I quilted poorly, long ago that just needed a binding. I just have to finish the hand sewing on the binding and that can go off to Project Linus instead of taking up space in the sewing room.

I started getting things together to take to the quilt retreat and I think I am going to take a lot less than I usually do, at least I am going to try to! Most of the time I take way more projects that I could ever get done in a week, let alone a weekend. I am trying to be a bit more practical this time. Though it is important to bring more than one project just in case you aren't in the right mood or you need something to work on when you are sleep deprived that you can't ruin!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

James Martin's Quilt Ready to Go

I got the label on this baby quilt for my new great-nephew, James Martin. He was born last Saturday in Maryland. His Grandma and Grandpa will be here next week for a visit and they will take it home to him when they go back. My brother will be here for his 40th high school reunion.

These are the two doll quilts I made from the leftover blocks from the wall quilts. I got them quilted and bound and washed to see which method of quilting is going to look best. Before washing I like the stipple in the larger of the two over the diagonal quilting in the smaller one.

After washing I reversed my feelings. After it was washed the focus squares in the stippled quilt were puffy and I am sure the wall quilts will need washing since they will be in a preschool classroom! I also don't think that the diagonal lines through the focus squares detract that much from the fabric so I think I will go with that for the bigger quilts. Let me know your thoughts. I probably won't get around to quilting them for a week or so because of company coming and needing my sewing room for sleeping!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I know, I should really be in bed but I was having trouble going to sleep - too much thinking going on! So instead I came to my sewing room to finish up a couple of things. But first, an recap of my day in the sewing room:
I had the first wall quilt top put together by 9 this morning and the second by 10. I think I will still add a black border on them just to frame them. That will be decided tomorrow or Friday since tomorrow may be a bit hectic. This afternoon I managed to get both of the doll quilts quilted.

I mentioned the Cathedral Window quilt that I sort of started several years ago in a previous blog. The other day after seeing a CW quilt on Flickr I decided I needed to do a little work on that. After much thought, I decided the best thing to do was rip out the little I had already done and start over. I think I will go totally hand sewn for this one. I was almost done with the ripping when I went to bed so the first thing I worked on when I got back up was that. I finished the frog stitch and got the squares repressed, ready to go soon.

After that I got the bindings on the two doll quilts - scrappy from leftover bindings from earlier projects. Now I have some hand work to do while at the doctor's office with my son on Friday.

I may try to get the borders on the wall quilts before my brother arrives next week but that might just wait until after I am home from my quilt retreat - or maybe I will take them along and get those borders on there!

Well, I think I will now be able to sleep. Good night or good morning!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Here are the leftovers

I did the layout of the two wall quilts and had enough energy to put the leftovers together into two doll quilts. I hope to get the rest put together tomorrow.

What can I do with this?

Here is a shot of all the blocks finished and trimmed. Next I will need to lay them all out into two wall quilts. My legs are tired however from standing and cutting the rest of the strips and then standing and trimming all the blocks so I might not get the next step done this evening.

Now what can I make out of this??????
Just kidding - I draw the line at scraps less than 1"! I just thought the pile in my trash basket was too pretty to pass up.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's a Start

Here are the first 113 blocks for the two wall quilts I am making for our church's daycare/
preschool. I think I will use a total of 144 blocks but I am making some extras so I can get as nice a layout as possible. The rest will become a Project Linus quilt or a couple of doll quilts probably.

I am using my old 301 machine for the sewing and it has a wide 1/4" seam allowance so I am going to have to trim the blocks a little so they are all nice and square. I think I will have to invest in a 1/4" foot for this machine sometime soon if I want to continue using it for piecing!

This is going to be a fun quilt when it is all put together! Tomorrow I need to cut out the rest of the strips to go around the rest of the center blocks and maybe I can get them all finished so I can take them to Sally's to put on the design wall for layout.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

5 backs, 1 top

Thursday I got backs put together out of flannel I had on hand for the 5 crazy quilt tops that I finished this week and I got started on 16 blocks using a kelly green strip diagonally down the middle of each block then used strips to fill in the sides.

Yesterday was spent running around doing all the errands that I saved up over the course of the week so I didn't get much sewing done so...

This morning I finished up the squares. I used up all of the kelly green for the diagonals so I found some forest green strips left over from the sides of backs from Christmas quilts several years ago to make the lattice and the borders. I like regular crazy quilt blocks but this is a bit faster and easier and is fun to arrange with that center strip.

Also today, I have been tearing up construction paper into little pieces so my little boy can make a poster for school (did I mention that he is 17 and a senior?). I am willing to help out because he has a rather heavy load this trimester with 4 history classes and English because he needs to get all his required classes in before he heads of for a year as an exchange student to New Zealand! He will be leaving somewhere around the end of January/beginning of February.

Now my husband is working on taking out one of the windows in my sewing room to replace it so it matches the rest of the windows on that side of the house. Hopefully he doesn't have to rip out the trim in the inside but that might happen and I will have to do a lot of rearranging in here so we can get to the window area.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

4 Quilts In A Day

OK, it was just 4 tops and the blocks were mostly all ready to go but still...
I did another with purple strips...then I switched over to thinner green strips with a wider border...
then a different size block with the thin green strips...
and then yet another different size block with the green strips...I have now used up all of my crazy quilt pieces except for one 8 1/2" square. Tomorrow I will start making more blocks. I am thinking about going with some 8" blocks so they get finished faster!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kinda Crazy

I haven't been doing much sewing on the machine recently because I have found that using a foot pedal is much like driving a car, in that it is hard on my plantar faciitis. Yesterday I suddenly remembered that I have at least 3 sewing machines that have a lever so you can sew using pressure from your leg. I moved my "husband's" Singer 301 (which is housed in my mother's 301 cabinet) into my sewing room and started sewing with that. It seems to work out well.

I decided to do some work on crazy quilt blocks since I didn't have any other project out handy and got 9 more completed. Then I got to thinking that since I had 56 10 1/2" blocks I should maybe start putting some together. I used purple sashing to put the blocks together into a child's play quilt. Because I use pieces of an old sheet as a foundation for the blocks I think I will just put a flannel back on it and do an overall stipple type machine quilting and it will be a good weight for cuddling, making tents, and other imaginative uses. I have enough of the purple to do another this size and then I will need to make some more blocks. I recently found some other crazy quilt blocks that I had made that are other sizes so I want to make enough of any size to make a quilt and then I will go back to just one size to keep it simple.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mine is done too!

I got my little fall quilt done today. It is similar to the one for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. The main difference is the flowers in the triangles. It also has an extra green border and the binding is a different color since I didn't have enough of the brown. (Click to see it larger.) We are having beautiful late summer weather so I took my pictures outside. You can see Lucy peeping through the fence in the lower left corner of this shot.

It looks like have will be making a quilt (or two) for the wall of one of the classrooms at our church. It is used by the day care and is very echo-y. It will be bright colors and novelty fabrics, sort of an I Spy quilt. They will each be about 4 1/2 X 5 feet or so. Need to get approval for the hanging of them yet but I don't think that will be a problem.

I also have a couple of other larger quilt projects in mind. One of which is an Ohio Star quilt for my sister-in-law. She is leaving the colors up to me. I am thinking scrappy but not sure if each star will be various colors or just various fabrics of one color. I think I need to make some samples so I can get that figured out!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Swap Quiltlet Ready to Mail

Here is the finished product! I am rather pleased with it all in all though for some reason the corners of the binding just didn't turn out quite the way I wanted them too. I have not finished the second one for myself but it shouldn't take too long. I think I will embroider the flowers on mine just for a little difference but we shall see what I think when I get to that point. Though, as I think about it, if I want to embroider them it would be smart to do it before I do the quilting - much easier to hide the knots!The label ended up being the scraps I had left over from the borders that I used as part of my backing. It works.Well, for better or worse, this should be in the mail later today. I just hope my swap partner likes it as well as I do!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I got the label for the baby auction quilt finished last night and about half an hour later the owner called to see if it was done so she could stop by and pick it up! When she got here we discovered that I made a mistake on the weight; 9 oz. instead of 12! So Carol went home without her quilt and I had to pick out the 9 and get 12 in its place. It turned out very well and Carol will come by this morning to pick it up for real!

This picture shows a little serendipity. When I chose the font to use for the label (I print the info on paper and then trace it onto the fabric) I was looking for a fun font that would be easy to embroider. When I had the label ready to go on the quilt I laid it on the front and discovered that I had chosen the exact font that the preprinted blocks were done in and I had done the embroidery in green just like the blocks!

I have just a few more minutes of quilting to do on my fall swap quilt and then I can work on the embellishments and decide if they are a good idea or not!

I really need to tidy the sewing room soon because my brother and his wife are coming at the end of September for a visit and they deserve a decent guest room. I am guessing I will put some stuff in the attic to get it out of the way. I just need to bring it all back down when they are gone and get with cleaning that stuff out! Before they arrive I also need to make some decisions about what to take to the quilt retreat at the beginning of next month. Once I get the cleanup and decision making done I will chose one project to work on so I don't make a big mess again. Maybe crazy quilt blocks!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fairly Productive Weekend

Had a great visit with our daughter, son-in-law and adorable grandson this weekend. Layden had a bit of a cold but that didn't deter him from playing with all the cool new stuff Grammy and Grandpa brought in their car! Most of the toys were for outside - his favorite place to be, especially if it involves dirt and lots of it! He even got to help Grandpa and Daddy do work with TOOLS! His favorite is the cordless screwdriver. He tends to use up most of the battery power so it is tough for Daddy to get a project done!

Meanwhile, his mom and I did some quilting. Chelsea finished a top for Project Linus and got it sandwiched, basted, quilted and even got the binding machine sewn on. She is currently working on the hand sewing. Chelsea has been very busy the last few weeks. She made 4 'quiltlets' and I got to choose my favorite that she will finish for me. She also has three cute little doll quilt tops made. Her neighbor, Gail, came over for a little quilting tutorial on Saturday also. She is doing pretty well and is very enthusiastic. I think she has her top all done and is working on the quilting already and she just started cutting on Saturday!

We also did some jam making (we got nectarines from the farmer's market) and canning (pears we bought on our way over and applesauce made from apples we brought from home).

I finished the bindings on the two baby quilts that I quilted last week so that is two more items to the finished column! Awesome! I also made this little sample 'quiltlet' when I helping Gail and Chelsea that I will either finish off as is, with some borders or enlarge into a lap quilt. This evening I will probably finish the label for the auction baby quilt and either work on my fall swap quilt or work on the design for an idea I got while at Chelsea's. Either way, I will be sitting in my recliner with my feet up. I got to drive the second leg of our trip home today across Snoqualmie Pass - about 140 miles in 4 hours! Larry did the first leg of 150 miles in about 2 hours! So not fair!