Friday, February 29, 2008

What a week!

This has been quite the week around our house. Both daughters have been here and the grandson so we have been having so much fun, laughter, etc. This does keep me away from my computer (partly because the girls were both using it for uploading photos and checking email and surfing the net). This is my excuse for not posting since last Saturday.

I also haven't really been doing any sewing though the machine was not idle. The daughter from Alaska made herself a three-tiered skirt out of a pretty batik (I got to keep the extra fabric). We also laid out all of the t-shirts I have been saving for her and some she brought with her as a start for her college graduation quilt. Now I need to finish ironing on some stabilizer and then get them all cut to size and get it all graphed out so I can put it together. It should really go together pretty quickly once I get going on it.

But first, I need to do my Spring Fling Round Robin center block.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Border Redo

I know I showed you a picture of my SIL's quilt with all the borders on it but I just wasn't happy with them. They were somewhat ripply. So I took them all off again and started over. Today I got them all back on and now i am happy with them. I also got more of the backing fabric for the wedding quilt and got it pre-washed. I think it will be going to my sister with the back needing to be put together as it needs to be ready to go with my daughter at the end of this week and I need to spend tomorrow getting the sewing room ready for guests - probably both daughters and the grandson will be sleeping in here.

I am getting excited that both my girls will be home. We haven't all been together since last January! So things should be hopping around here this week!

Next project is going to be the my center block for the Spring Fling Round Robin. I am thinking paper piecing but I haven't really gotten started with the plan yet.

I took one of my two main sewing machines in for a cleaning this week. I picked it up today and will take the other one in after the girls leave again. I used the one I picked up for the borders and it was amazing! It was like using a brand new machine it was so quiet. I am so lucky to have good solid machines to use for my hobby. They take a licking and keep on sewing as long as you take them in for a cleaning every so often!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Four lovely miters!

I had hoped to have these borders finished yesterday but there was a delay because the husband needed my direction reading skills. Like most men, he is unable to read them himself and these didn't have words - only pictures! So today after all the running of errands that needed to be done I sat down and got started. I got all four borders on and then decided to plunge on in and miter those corners and it worked!

So now I need to measure the top and figure out how much more of the backing fabric I need to get and then get that pieced together or maybe I will leave that for my sister to do! I will buy the fabric at least and get it prewashed though. I am looking for opinions on whether the binding should be the red border/backing fabric or the brown border/9-patch fabric. In this picture you can see both options so let me know.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pictures tonight!

I got my quilts onto the design wall to get some pictures. So here they are:
This is the wedding quilt that my sister and I did together. We started it Friday morning and got the blocks done before we went to bed that night. I will add some borders and then I will get it back to her and her daughter will quilt it on the long arm and my sister will do the binding and label and it will be ready to gift.
This one is for my sister-in-law. It was my first project to get started on at about 1 pm on Thursday. I had all the pieces for the center of the top done before I went to bed at 1 am. I got all those pieces together before I started helping with the wedding quilt and then on Saturday morning I got started on the borders.
This is what I worked on after I got the borders on my SIL's quilt. It will be one of two quilts I donate for auctions or drawings this spring. Obviously, the same pattern as the wedding quilt but all scrappy. No to 'arrows' are the same. I will add a border of some kind to this and might also add a couple more rows to make it a bit bigger. I need to measure it and then see what seems like a good size to make it.

Pictures tomorrow!

What a great week!

I left last Wednesday morning and drove straight through for 5 hours to my daughter's house. She and The Grandbaby were outside getting some fresh air. The smile on his face was worth the 5 hours and more! We had a good visit including his first ride through the grocery store in one of those 'car-carts'. He thought it was awesome and was very upset when he had to get out to go home!

Thursday morning I headed up to camp. The roads were fine until the road into camp and it wasn't bad for driving. Luckily it was clear outside the Sunset room where we would be sewing so unpacking was a breeze. I got started sewing at about 1. Thursday night there were just 6 of us and we got a lot done. I decided I would stay up until I got the blocks for my SIL's quilt done but then I laid them out and still wasn't sure about it so I was up until 1 AM finishing the setting triangles together. I was sure I wouldn't be able to sleep if I wasn't sure it was going to look good.

In the morning as I was finishing with dressing after my shower my sister arrived. While she was getting situated I got the quilt top together other than the borders. Then we got started on the wedding quilt. Karla did the 9-patch part and I added the triangles. We had the top together before we went to bed that night. It still needed borders which we got fabric for on the way home.

Saturday I finished the borders on the SIL quilt and then started on blocks like those in the wedding quilt for a scrap quilt for an auction in April. I got 56 blocks together on Sunday before we packed up to leave.

The food was awesome - not your average camp food! The company was fun.

Sunday I was back with the grandbaby and his parents. Oli made a beautiful steak and asparagus dinner for Chelsea and me (he is vegetarian). The little one enjoyed the steak also even though he choked on it (before we could do anything, he reached his hand in his mouth and pulled the steak back out and finished chewing!) He is a hoot!

My boys seemed happy to have me home and Lucy was ecstatic! Today it is business as usual! Tonight I will take pictures of all the quilt tops at Craft Night on Sally's design wall.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Almost back online

I had a great time at my retreat. The trip over was fine. A little snow as I crossed the pass but it didn't slow me down at all. At camp there was quite a bit of snow when I arrived but the weather warmed and lots melted except of course in the treacherous parking lot.

There were only 13 of us this time which was quite fun. We all managed to get a lot done. Unfortunately, all the batteries I had for my camera were dead so no pictures of everyone else's stuff but I will take pictures of what I got done.

One of the best parts of my trip was the evening spent with my little grandson last Wednesday and another night with him tonight.

Tomorrow morning I will do the cross state trip, get some laundry done and get things put away. I also need to look at getting my sewing machine in for a good cleaning. It was sounding very tired as I was sewing the last few seams. I was a little worried that it would give up the ghost on the retreat and this was the first time in several years that I didn't bring a second machine!

Monday, February 11, 2008

block mock up

Yesterday afternoon and this morning I worked on cutting out the pieces for my SIL's quilt. I finished and laid out the some of the pieces to see what one block will look like. Here is that picture. The pattern is from Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting and is called Victorian Stars. I think it is going to turn out very nicely.

Now it is time to turn my energy to figuring out what I am bringing along. There are the obvious items: sewing machine, scissors, rotary cutter, rulers, mats, thread, needles, rippers, extra light bulbs, etc. I also have all the pieces I have been cutting out recently - which means I have enough to make 3-4 quilt tops over the weekend. I will probably also bring along some more fabric just in case I get bored with the other projects.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What I've been up to

So here are all the pieces I've cut for the wedding quilt and also for some other quilts from the same pattern. I know I cut about 120 sets of the reds, oranges and pinks for the wedding quilt but I have no idea how many of the other colors. The brown squares are for the wedding quilt also. I should have a picture of at least one top in a week or so when I am home from the retreat.

I think I will be driving to the retreat by way of Portland to avoid the snowy pass completely. The bonus of that plan is that I get to spend a little time with my daughter and the grandbaby on the way there and on the way back.

Update: I straightened up my piles of pieces and counted 272 sets of various colors and 135 in the red, oranges and pinks while we watched a couple of episodes of JAG.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Beginning of the end

My baby got his driver's license yesterday and today he drove himself to school and then to an appointment in Tacoma. Yes, he drove across the Narrow's all by his little self! I really can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today he is driving, soon he will turn 18, graduate from high school and head off to college. I am starting to practice the happy dance! It shocks some people when I talk about finally having the kids out of the house and how great that will be but I have done my time and I am ready to love them all from a little further away and to move further into the Grammy phase. And maybe we will get a chance to do some traveling.

I have been busy cutting fabric for quilts. I am just going through all my fabrics and cutting a block or two worth of pieces to mix and match into several quilts besides the wedding quilt. Somehow it just doesn't seem like the bins are much emptier though! I am really looking forward to my trip across the state next week though I could do without so much snow. I think I will need to buy myself some boots before I head out so I have appropriate footwear for several feet of the white stuff!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's Snowing!

As our Ash Wednesday service was ending this evening it was announced that we would only sing four verses of "Just As I Am" because the snow was coming down pretty hard. On my way home I discovered the one thing about my new car that I don't like - driving when it is snowing at night. The headlights are too good and light up the snow coming at the windshield so it is hard to see where you are going. Luckily I only drive on two roads to get home and they are both very straight!

I finished a project today for the church. I dyed about 7 yards of pale pine burlap to a nice purple and then cut it to make six banners to hang in our sanctuary for Lent. I did the dying on Sunday using the daycare's washer since I don't have a top loading washer here at home. I also got it cut into 6 pieces on Sunday and left it to finish drying since it just wasn't working in one piece in the dryer! You should have seen all the purple fluff! Today I got the six pieces turned into banners and got them hung up and they look pretty good. I was going to bring my camera tonight to take a picture of them but, I forgot, what a surprise!

Now I need to get more work done on cutting the pieces for the wedding quilt and maybe get some other cutting done to.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

New stuff!

The drive to Portland and points east was grueling but well worth it! I got to go to Fabric Depot, I got to see my grandson (and yes, he is still the cutest thing! and yes, I did see his parents and other set of grandparents too) and when I got home this was waiting for me! Isn't it just awesome? It is one I was drooling (not literally folks!) over in the Four Seasons Quilt Swap Flickr photostream and IT CAME TO MY HOUSE!!!

My shopping at FD was successful. I got these great pieces for my SIL for whom I have promised a quilt. It will be a Victorian sort of deal with sort of Ohio stars in it. I hope she likes the fabrics I have chosen and the pattern too! I hope to have it cut out before my retreat so it is available for sewing if I have the time. Because of the over abundance of snow in Spokane I might have to either fly across the state (plane, not broom) or take the train. The cost would be about the same but it might be easier to bring a sewing machine on the train. Something to think about.

I also picked up a brown for the quilt I will make with the packet of fabrics I got from my crafting friends for my birthday and a brown for the wedding quilt we are making along with 8 reds/oranges/pinks for that one. I am now working on getting all my new fabrics pre-washed so I can get started cutting so I am ready to sew!

Today I 'got' to take the boy into Tacoma for a haircut and met my niece Katie to give her the mail that has accumulated here at our house. I was telling her that I got my swap quilt and she said that she is in the swap too! I never knew and since I haven't been so good about checking out everyone's blogs this round, I didn't see her name on the list! She was sure she told me and I am sure she didn't and we just really haven't had a chance for a long chat for a long time! Rather funny, I think!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Quick Note

Just a quick one today. I woke up early this morning and will soon head to the shower. I am heading down to Portland and Fabric Depot today. I will also be seeing my daughter to drop off a different sewing machine (her regular one is giving her tension problems) so she can keep working on quilts and things. This means I might get to see my little grandson and (not-so-little) son-in-law. They are about an hour east of Portland visiting SIL's parents. His dad had a stroke this week so I will visit him at the hospital also. He is doing well - harassing the nurses and doctors - so he must be doing pretty well!

I will write more tomorrow and add pictures of my purchases.