Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I've Been Busy

Now that the kids are back at school (a week already!) and things seem to be settling down, I've been pretty busy working on things.  Some sewing, lots of FLL.  

I successfully free hand quilted a quilt from the front of the machine using something other than loopy meandering.  I'm about 2/3 done binding it.  Fabric is Windermere by Brenda Riddle for Moda along with some Kona Snow.  Pattern is all HST.
I quilted and bound my Thimbleblossoms Vintage mini using Bonnie & Camille's Handmade line of fabric.  It's about 15" square.  This pattern was a lot harder than it looked!
I made a pieced backing out of some of the leftover charm squares and trimmings from the blocks.  I got some weird ripples.  I think I may need a new walking foot.  How do you tell if it's gone bad?
I've been slowly working on a Kate Spain Paradiso quilt made using Carlene Westburg's Labyrinth pattern.  This pattern uses charm squares and is really easy to sew.  I used five charm packs for the version I am working on.  I made one several years ago using B&C Bliss and finished it last year. I feel like this is a good pattern for making a quilt that you know you will use a lot but not feel bad or worried about using because it goes together so quickly.  Anyone else scared to use their "favorite" quilts--ones that took FOR-EV-ER or ones with a super special fabric?
Anyway, I'm actually almost done--half of it is completely sewn (as pictured in this really poorly lit and poor color-representation laundry room picture) and the other half needs to be pressed and rows joined.  I have been working on this in bits and pieces since January, one charm pack at a time, in between projects or when I needed a break.  I had my daughter choose the fabric pairings for the last pack since I did the last two at the same time.  This strategy worked really well because I did not find any blocks that came out the same!  My daughter also did the majority of the layout with a few tweaks from me.  Mostly I just left it. I have four leftover blocks that I think I'm going to use to make a pillow.

We took the plunge and ordered new living room furniture over the weekend--a navy couch, navy/turquoise nubbly fabric for two chairs and an ottoman, and a recliner in a pattern called "very cherry" which is actually a dark fuchsia pattern.  I'm hoping that the Paradiso quilt will kinda blend with the furniture colors.  And I really hope I like the furniture in person because I will be in debt for some time and it had better last the next 20 years at least!  

I've been busy prepping for our upcoming FLL season.  We are starting on Friday.  I'm not really ready yet.  I still don't really understand the programming, so I'll be learning that as my husband teaches the kids.  My part is more teaching Core Values and supervising their project progress. And discipline and assigning homework.  It's a pretty intense program for elementary kids and for us adult volunteers as well, what with all the prep and stuff.  If you know someone who is a coach or a participant, please recognize all the hours they put in.

I got my Juki dampening kit last week.  We have opened the box but have not gotten it installed yet.  I'm planning to wait to quilt anything else until it's on.  Once we get installed I plan to share photos of what's in the box, the installation, and my opinion of the change.

And finally, I've officially broken the 20 pounds lost point.  I'm now back to pre-babies weight, but would still like to lose another 15-20, taking me closer to my wedding weight.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."--Martin Luther King,Jr.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

First Day of School!

It's the first day of school for my kids.  We didn't get off to the best start--my daughter's bus was over 1/2 hour late and I almost forgot to take a picture of my son, amongst other things.  I hope things work out okay for them during the day.

I haven't really had much sewing time lately.  My birthday was a few weeks ago and my husband and I spent a good chunk of time that day putting insulation in my future sewing room.  I totally felt like I was shoving pieces of Chewbacca into the walls.  And I learned that insulating ceilings is the worst.

We have a bit more cleaning up and more insulating out in the main part of the basement and then we are ready for drywall.  That will be the half-way point.  Man, I can't wait!

In sewing news, I have my B&C Vintage pattern mini ready for quilting.
I had to take a break from trimming all the Fishline HST because it is so incredibly boring.  Plus, the trimmings are coming off in little tiny chunks, which makes clean up frustrating.
So, I cut up my Tasha Noel Pixie Noel fabric over the weekend.  I am going to make her Winter Wonderland pattern with it.

I got a few more stitches into the blue bird cross stitch.  I really should be working on the never-ending house cross stitch instead.

I need to get going on quilting Windermere #2.  It's been hanging on the frame for two or three weeks now.  Oh, that reminds me...I ordered the dampener plate for my machine and it is in.  Theoretically I should receive it by the end of the weekend.  All the more reason to get this quilt done.

Unfortunately, I think cleaning will have to take precedence over all of these things.  I need to vacuum and the kitchen desperately needs a good cleaning.  And if I am really good, I should do some weeding & clean up in the gardens.  Probably not gonna be that good though!  :)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Blocks

I have finished up all my #SewcialBeeSampler blocks and am considering what to do as far as making a top.  

The pattern calls for sashing between the blocks.  My original plan was to use a pale aquamarine for the sashing and then something with the aqua/orange print that was my original color inspiration.  Now that all the blocks are done and I'm reminded how much orange is not really my color, I'm rethinking the aquamarine sashing.  I just don't think it would look that good.  In fact, I'm considering leaving out the sashing entirely!  Or maybe seeing if I have enough of the white polka dot left over to make the sashing.  

I don't know.  I don't love it anyway, so we'll see how long it sits here undone.  I made this with pretty much only what I had on hand; I added a few fat quarters from JoAnn to it, but mostly all from stash.  And, sadly, it barely made a dent in most of the fabric.  Check out the hashtag on Instagram though, because I love everyone else's but mine!  So many wonderful quilts!

In other news, things have been rather busy around here.  We've been insulating the spaces in the basement.  We're just about at drywall time!  At that point, you're basically half done with the job.  But I'm halfway to a dedicated sewing room, so it's all good.  

I've also been looking at new furniture for my living room.  The timing is not wonderful, but I am so over my 15 year old plaid sofas and 20 year old recliner whose second fabric covering has giant holes in it.  It's pretty embarrassing, especially since it's the first thing you see when you enter our house.

And we're deep into preparations for our upcoming FLL season.

Trimming a few of these HST is the only sewing I've gotten done lately.  I haven't even pressed most of them yet.  This is going to be a lengthy process!!!!
I had quite a bit of car time in the last week, so I've added a lot more stitches to the bluebird cross stitch.
Ooh, I've forgotten to mention something exciting:  I finally got someone to help me with getting the dampener plates for my long arm.  While I didn't get them for free (tired of fighting for that), I did get them for about half the cost I expected to pay.  We'll see how long it takes for them to come in.  They should make a huge difference with the vibration!
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Weekly Updates--Quilts, Cross Stitch, & Clothes

I didn't do too badly, all things considered.  I finished one of the tanks I was working on for my daughter.  I need to do a little seam ripping on the other in order to fix it.  Speaking of my daughter, she is a really super fast seam ripper and ripped out a ton of quilting for me on a quilt I made more than 10 years ago.  I had started quilting it on my domestic machine at the time and had two large tucks in the backing.  Stopped working on it, there it sat, etc.  So now I have that one ready to re-quilt.

I did get the Windermere #2 onto the frame last night and am planning to work from the front of the machine to quilt it.  I also have a call in to the store where I bought my long arm in an attempt to order some dampener plates to help with the massive vibrations my Juki has.  I was kinda rolling my eyes when the first guy I talked to said it's really hard to get parts from Juki.  Big surprise there.  Anyway, we'll see what happens.

I finished the cross stitch I needed to have done last Friday and we even got it framed.  It hasn't made its way to its new owner yet, but hopefully she will like it once it gets delivered.  This was a free pattern I found on the Internet.  It's well traveled since I worked on it on our trip this summer.

I had a lot of car time over the weekend, so I worked a little more on the bluebird cross stitch. It's a kit from Bucilla.

I even put in a very small amount of stitches on the never-ending project.
I put together my little Thimbleblossoms Vintage mini.  I used B&C Handmade for this one. 
I'm going to use some of the leftover charm squares and partials for the backing.
I also finished up all of my Sewcial Bee Sampler blocks.  Not sure what I'm doing with those as far as setting or finishing yet.

I've cut just a few of the Fishline quilt HST.

I added a picture of the pink and brown Valentine quilt to my 2017 finishes.

Until next week...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What I'm Trying to Work On & Row by Row Junior

I feel like I have a million things I should be doing right now.  And I've given myself all these abitrary mental deadlines on them.  Then I beat myself up when I don't get stuff done.  I've had the same group of stuff on my to-do list for three weeks.  :(  Both my kids have day camps this week.  I'm spending about three hours a day driving them because they start and end at different times.  Not much is getting done.  Frustration mounts.  Luckily I haven't had jury duty yet, but it looks like I could get called in next week.  Sigh.

Here are some of the things I'm planning on for the week, although most of the week is gone. Even bigger sigh.
I'm working on a B&C mini for myself.  I need to sew these HST that were trimmings.
I'm three weeks behind on #SewcialBeeSampler.😩
I need to remake this tank for my daughter since I made the dumb mistake of serging
before having her try it on.
I also have to fix another tank we made her.
I need to cut all of these into HST and trim them all.
There are currently 140ish squares, so 520 HST.
Fabric is Fishline by Kristen Berger for Maywood Studio.
This is ready to get onto the frame and get quilted.
Fabric is Windermere by Brenda Riddle for Moda.  And Kona Snow.
This will be a gift.  I really need to get this one done today.  Probably won't happen.  :(
My daughter participated in the Row by Row Junior this year.  We picked up a pattern at Crimson Tate and she worked diligently on it.  She selected the fabrics from my stash.  I did the cutting and part of the pressing.  She did the sewing.  Then she decided she wanted to make the row into a pillow, so I marked quilting lines for her and she quilted it.  We figured out how to make an envelope pillow.  She also made the pillow form.  The first try was stuffed way too firmly, so she opened it back up and took some of the stuffing out.  Still too big.  So we made it smaller and she redid it a third time.  It took some doing, but we did manage to finally get the form into the pillow cover.  It may never come out again!  Then we made a trip back to the store so she could claim her ribbon.  They made a big deal about it, made her feel good, and posted her picture on social media.  She was just thrilled!
Fabrics L-R are Moda Bella, Cotton + Steel, Dear Stella, Moda, Dear Stella, and C+S.
Background is a Lizzy House print.

Crimson Tate embellished their Row by Row ribbons--Nicole of Modern Handcraft made the fancy parts.
The print is Heather Givans' (Crimson Tate's owner) fabric.
In other news,  I watched a baby red headed woodpecker learn how to come in to the feeder and eat.  There was an adult who came in with him and waited until he figured out how to land on the suet cage before flying to a nearby tree to watch over him.  In case you aren't a bird aficionado, it's the bird on the left that I'm talking about.  
Have a great week!
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bonnie & Camille Barn Quilt Swap 4 Reveal

I received the cutest mini for the B&C Barn Quilt swap from Kristen (@heartfullyhandmade).  This was one I'd had my eye on and I was so happy she made it for me!  I brought the package in and told my husband I had a good one (before I'd even opened it!).

I made my mini for Ally (@Woodberry_way).  I couldn't decide between two she had in her mosaic, so I made both.

The first one is a traditional Eight Hands Around block. I will be offering this pattern as a free download soon.  This is a 6" finished block.
The second is a paper pieced butterfly.  This is the Gidget design from Lillyella available here.  It finished at 5".  I had to laugh when I got done quilting, because all I see in the echoing above the butterfly's head is the Wonder Woman symbol!

So another B&C Barn Quilt swap has wrapped.  The hashtags for these are always so inspirational--lots of great work happens in these swaps.  I'm looking forward to the next one.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Shopping Sprees!

I've gone way over budget (I don't really have one) on fabric purchases lately.  😮  I just HAD to get  a FQ bundle of Lori Holt's new line, Bee Basics.  Then I purchased some random novelty prints from JoAnn's.  And since I was near a quilt shop, I thought I should stop in.  Lots of old Bonnie & Camille came home with me.  Then I decided I wanted to sew some quilts for Christmas, so I needed the extra fabric for the border, binding, and backing and Fabric Shack so kindly sent me an email flier and the fabric I needed was on sale.  Plus I could get a random Moda patch free with purchase.  Then I got a bee in my bonnet that I should make a Row by Row quilt and I simply must go to Crimson Tate when I was in Indianapolis for an appointment.  I truly was only going for the pattern and a fabric license plate and came home with way too many goodies.  Someone take away my credit cards!

Here is some of my haul and sewing over the past week or so.  😳
The Crimson Tate haul.  The bottom leaf fabric is knit and will be a shirt for my daughter.
This one is made mostly from leftovers from a quilt I made my aunt last Christmas.
I have four more rows to sew (hence the opening where two rows have been removed for sewing).
This is on my design wall in the laundry room.  It has poor lighting for photography.
I already had the pattern and the three charm packs.  Bought fabric for binding, border, and backing.
Still need to cut the white background, but I already had that too.
The free patch Fabric Shack sent with my order.  They got me pretty well!  LOL
This is my first scheduled week of jury duty.  Luckily I don't have to report at all this week.  I have to check in again Sunday night.  

I mailed my B&C barn quilt mini swap Monday, so hopefully I can share what I made next week.

In the meantime, I have plenty of sewing to do!!!