Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finishes and Flowers

We will start with the flowers. Right now I have Shasta Daisies blooming all over. I wish they were well-behaved daisies that weren't over-achievers but instead, I have crazy daisies! Mine grow to be 3-5 feet tall which means they have trouble standing up! This first clump is fenced in with the three little trees that my niece and I planted on the hill last summer. You can actually see some of each of the trees in this picture along with our yard art potato planter.
This next picture shows just how persistent these daisies are - when my grandson was here over July 4th he decided that my daisies would make a nice soft bed. When I went up a few days later to cut them off and hope for next year I discovered that the flowers had just started growing up a bit so they are now about 6-12" high in a 3' circle around the little tree they were protecting from the deer. 
Here is the first finish for the weekend. I got it quilted on Friday morning and finished up the binding last night and today I took it up to our neighbor's house as a good-bye gift as they are in the process of moving out and we have enjoyed them as neighbors. My grandson will miss 'his girls'! It will be interesting to see what the new renters will be like. 
Another finish is this quilt top. This is the quilt top made from the blocks the kids at the daycare made this past week. I ended up with 21 blocks from them (the ones with the white) but that wasn't enough to make a decent sized quilt so I made some more and got them put together with sashing. All of the fabrics are 'scrubs' fabric that was donated to me. In the next week or so we will be tying this with the kids and then we are going to sell drawing tickets for the quilt and the proceeds will go to LWR for freight costs. 
The quilt for our church's summer fun nights is coming along nicely. Two sections are done so far and sewn together. I need to get the next section done tomorrow morning so I am ready for Wednesday evening. I am picking up my niece at the train station at around noon and she will be helping me with some yard/garden work so I don't know if I will have time after that. I am anxious to see how it all turns out!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Awesome Deal!

So what is the least you have paid for quilting fabric? $2/yard? $1/yard? That was about as good as it had ever gotten for me before Friday. But on Friday, I got so lucky!

I was checking out some local garage sales after dropping the dog off at the groomer and at one, I saw a Fiskar's cutting mat in it's package. I asked how much and was told $3 and that she didn't think she had even used it. I went for it since many of my mats are getting a bit sketchy.

The lady asked if I wanted her sewing machine and I explained that I have several machines already and she asked what kind of sewing I do. I answered with "mostly quilting" and she said she was sure she had some fabric in the piles somewhere so she went hunting. She found a plastic bin full of fabric and said she wanted $5 for all of it including the bin! I took the deal and loaded my car.

When I got home with all my treasures I looked at the mat and discovered that it had been used some but not too much and in the package were two rulers! An Omnigrid 6"X12" and a Fiskars 6"X24" which still had the protective film on the bottom! Many of my rulers are getting a bit sketchy also so I was jazzed!

I didn't really look at the fabric until Sunday and on Monday I got the serger out and got the fabric in the washer. It is all washed, pressed and folded now and the final tally is:

8 fat quarters
23 - 1/2 yard pieces
1 - 2/3 yard pieces
6 - 1 yard pieces
2 - 1.5 yard pieces

for a total of 23 yards and on top of that there were 8 yards of one white on cream so 31 yards of fabric for $5! There was also some drapery/decorating fabric. I have used part of that to make one LWR quilt top and have enough for probably half of another top!

Today was the first day of sewing with the big kids at our church's daycare. We had fun for two hours helping 12 kids each make one block for a LWR quilt top and one block to be made into a mini quilt for them to take home. I think there will be 7 more kids on Thursday to help and then hopefully we can get all the mini quilts finished too. We will have the kids help tie the quilt when we have our regular LWR quilt tying day.

I used some of the 8 yard piece of fabric to finish off my 1.5" squares. I got the top done this afternoon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Biting off more than I can chew?

I hope not! I am feeling a little stressed but I think it is just that there are so many projects hanging over my head. I am prepared but there are a lot of unknowns involved.

On Monday our son returned from his trip to South Korea to visit his girlfriend. It sounds like he had a good time but since he is here and his computer is at his apartment on the other side of the state we will have to wait for pictures until he can do some downloading and editing. 

His girlfriend's mom sent these beautiful fabrics for me. I am not sure what exactly I will make with them but I am toying with making a wallhanging for me and a matching one for her to thank her for taking such good care of the boy. She also sent this cute little bag that she made (look at those cute little prairie points).

My son brought me this beautiful sample of traditional Korean handwork made from silk. I am hoping my husband will make a frame for me so I can hang it on the wall.

Silly me, I volunteered to make a quilt for our church's 'VBS' program this year. We are doing it on 5 Wednesday evenings and as part of the adult class I am having people help me make a quilt. My niece, Katie, designed a quilt in 5 parts and I get to figure out how to make it work in fabric. This was last night's section which is very loosely based on the story of Moses in the basket in the river.
Today I got next week's section ready to go since I volunteered for another project. This one is making a quilt with our church's older day care kids. I got all the pieces cut out from donated fabric and the goal is that each child will make a 4-patch block which will be put together to make a LWR quilt top and they will help tie it. I also cut out pieces so they can each make a little 8.5" 'quilt' to take home if we have enough time. We will work with them for 2 hours each on Tuesday and Thursday next week.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Comfort Quilts

Here are my first two comfort quilts for church.
They turned out great. They are from the book Scrap-Basket Surprises. I might change how the border is done if I make more from this pattern but otherwise, it is a great pattern for scraps. I also realized when I wanted to get a picture of the quilts that I found another benefit of my clothes lines! It is a great way to hang tops since they don't do well in the quilt hangers I use on the deck. It is a grey day and there were a few sprinkles but I quickly wiped off the line and hung them and got the shots without getting too wet!

My husband has been working furiously on the garage so we can get the new garage door installed this summer but this afternoon he will get a little break when we go see the Harry Potter movie. 

Piles of fabric

Someone dropped off three huge garbage bags of fabric at church for the quilting ladies. It was pretty decent fabric so I proposed that I take it home and use it to make some nicer quilts that could be used for baptisms, graduations, comfort quilts, etc. and I would donate some of my larger pieces of fabric to be used for LWR quilts and backs. The proposal was accepted to I schlepped the bags home and on Sunday afternoon I went through all the fabric. I took out some of the larger pieces or pieces that I didn't feel I would use in a quilt and put them on the LWR pile and also cleaned out some of my larger pieces and ended up with about 2 huge garbage bags to give back! I sorted through the fabric some more and divided it into some different groups of colors or styles.
The biggest piles was florals. Now, these are not my favorite type of fabric so I don't buy much but there are a lot of patterns that work well with a variety of florals so I pulled those out first and cut some of the 'darker' ones up for two quilt tops. I now have the two tops almost put together, just need to sew the borders on, which I hope to do tomorrow. (I originally wrote this post on Saturday but didn't end up posting it until today so the two quilts are done but I don't have the pictures ready yet.)

Thursday afternoon, my niece, Brita, and three of her friends arrived for a visit to Washington. We had a nice dinner and a good visit that evening. In the morning after blueberry muffins and raspberries and strawberries I dropped them off at the ferry for a day in Seattle. Yesterday evening we picked them up after dinner and came home and watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 so we will be ready for Part 2 at the theater! This morning the girls were up and out of the house by 6 heading up to the San Juans. I didn't wake up until 8 which is pretty amazing for me!

Brita's sister, Katie, was here also and she and I got some sewing done. She quilted a baby quilt yesterday and then today quilted two little paper-pieced wall-hangings and got the bindings on those ready for hand sewing. We also went to the local farmer's market to check it out. I figure if you live less than a mile from something you should go at least once! I ended up getting a nice Hosta for my yard and a little Lion's Head Japanese Acer tree. On our way to pick up the girls at the ferry we stopped and got some border fabric for a couple quilts that need finishing and also a pot to replant the tree so I have another project!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Where have the days gone?

It has been two weeks since my last post and I am not sure I can tell you why!

I suppose part of it is that the weather has improved and I have spent a good bit of time working outside. The beds out there are looking better but still not great for the most part. Last year's onions, this year's carrots, chives and kohl rabi are growing well along with some volunteer pansies and tomatoes. I also have acorn squash, pumpkins, zucchini and green beans up.

The strawberries are giving us a few berries which is good considering they were just transplanted a few weeks ago. The raspberries will give us a few berries also. I am hoping they will do better next year after I get them transplanted. The gooseberries are ripening and the blueberries seem to be doing well.

As for work in the sewing room, there has been some of that. I got the main part of the quilt for my neighbor for our quilt exchange. It still needs borders and quilting but that can wait as the quilt doesn't have to be done until November 1.

The original plan for the 4th of July weekend was for my niece to come over so we could play in the sewing room while my husband ripped the garage apart for a new and larger garage door. It changed when my daughter realized she had a 4-day weekend which meant she could come over for a visit with the kids. She hadn't been home since last fall sometime though the kids have been here several times on their own. They arrived on Friday and both kids and the dog were so happy to get out of the car and run!

Chelsea helped her dad with the garage project and Katie and I had fun with the kids and took care of the meals. We did get some sewing in but not much. The kids got in a trip to the local beach on Puget Sound and even got an ice cream treat from the little store there. This is a tradition that was started when I was little girl and my great-uncle would take us down there for treats. There was also running through the sprinkler, riding bikes and 'helping' in the kitchen and with the garage work.
Chelsea and the kids headed back home on Monday morning and Katie and I got to work in the sewing room. Our project - the scrappy Geese Atop Your Cabin with black geese. We finished up the first 32 blocks and decided to head to JoAnn's to find some outdoor fabric to recover a chair my husband got at a garage sale this weekend. We got some brown that wouldn't have been my first choice but was the best available and it was on sale! We also got a kid's swimming pool for the grandkids' next visit. We even let my husband tag along since he had a sore thumb and couldn't work on the garage.

Tuesday morning we were back in the sewing room and got another 58 blocks done. By evening I had the top put together
and Katie had my remaining 1.5" scraps sorted and cut into either 1.5", 2", 2.5" or 4.5" pieces. As we worked we had come up with plans for all the pieces so that basket would be empty for at least a short while.

Katie headed home so she could be ready for giving piano lessons in the morning and I headed over for craft night. While there I was able to finish off the last of the owl hats I had made. I now have 8 on hand but 4 of those were made to order and I need to contact the 'orderees'.

Wednesday I got the 2.5" pieces sewn together into this little top
and then spent some time outside working.

Yesterday, I needed to get a skirt made for my little granddaughter who turns 3 on Sunday. I had gotten Figgy's Bubble Skirt Pattern at Fabric Depot back in April and got the corduroy to make two skirts but hadn't gotten around to it until now. I made the first one and it just looked too big so I made another smaller one. Hopefully one will be right for her! Then I ran to Target for a t-shirt to go with them and Costco for a swimsuit for her (we have been looking for one that has a UV protecting shirt to go with it) as last year's suit is allowing an awful lot of tummy to hang out! Stopped at the post office on the way home and got the package in the mail so hopefully she will have it by Monday, if not Saturday.

I also added 2 borders to the the little scrap quilt I started on Wednesday.
The first was a light neutral fabric followed by most of the 1.5" X 2" pieces sewn together. I am thinking I will add another neutral, probably a darker one, and a row using the 1.5" X 4.5" pieces.

Oh, I almost forgot! On Friday evening, we got my clotheslines up! It was so great to be able to hang the laundry outside this weekend and the sheets and towels after the company was gone!

This has been a little long-winded but I hope you stayed to the bitter end! I keep thinking I will be better about getting posts written but somehow...