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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Picture time!

Update on the design wall contents...

Here's a better pic of the disappear nine-patch that still occupies one of my walls. It doesn't need to be there, since it's all sewn together, but I like to look at it. I also just noticed a boo-boo in the bottom row. Oh well, it's going to be quilted like that! :)



On my other wall, there's my Kaffe Fassett. Only the rows are sewn together, because this dummy needs to buy more white for sashing. ::smacks forehead:: I'm a little concerned about the orange being too bright for 2 or 3 of the squares, but maybe the white will help to tone it down a bit. Have I ever mentioned orange is like a neutral to me? I love it.



On a non-quilting note, here's a knit dress I finished. Originally it was going to be for a friend's baby, but since the baby's here now, it doesn't fit her personality. :) So I'm selling it.



I've had to put my pretty/crazy quilt on hold for a bit to work on a hockey blankie for a present. My middle finger looks like a pincushion, even with a band-aid for protection. I finally modified a leather thimble to work, but it's still slow going. ::sigh:: The things you do for family...or just to make something hockey related. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

::sigh::

These are the days I wish I could afford to send *all* of my flimsies to a longarmer.
Having to piece a backing because it's 3" too short widthwise.
Batting is about 2" too short widthwise.
Batting is some pretty thick 8oz stuff from JoAnn's, because neither store near me had the 4oz batting that was on sale.
I ran out of safety pins to baste the layers together.
I decided to try out my idea of basting on a wall so I could work without my dog helping. :) Worked pretty well, except I needed a chair to work near the top. Oh, and the backing needs to be less than 84" or so, otherwise it's touching the floor. Where the dog hair is.
I'm straight line quilting this baby...I could quilt the batt down, but I think I might kill myself first.
My machine's bobbins hate me. They always run out of thread at the worst times.

The big positive to what I'm working on is that I *love* the quilt I'm working on, super thick batt and all. It's orange, green, pink, purple, and teal, it's crazy and has gingham and stripes and circles...it's all mine. This is the quilt that my sister thought was going to be crazy when she saw my fabric combination, but wanted it for herself when she saw the flimsy put together. Thinking about it, this is the 3rd top she's wanted that she thought was going to be ugly or weird. ;)


Friday, November 13, 2009

Some completed projects!

I finally have pics from the Disappearing Nine-Patch quilt I finished a few weeks ago. It's small, about 30x30 inches, so I decided to give it to the cat. :) These are cell phone pics, so they're not great, but I think he likes it.





It has a lot of burgundy and dark red in the top, so I backed it with dark green fleece and quilted it on my machine. It's finished with a green and white gingham binding. He's slept on it every afternoon/evening since he received it while he waits for my sister to get home from work. He's a cute little old man, isn't he? This was my cat who liked to pee on fabrics when he would "assist" my sewing. Luckily, he didn't get many of them!

Before my sister surprised me with a trip to Denver (at the end of January), I finished this flannel and fleece blanket for our annual trip to the Texas Rangers' Fan Fest. If the Rangers have it scheduled for the last week of January, technically we can still go, but it might not happen. Last year was *so* cold and windy, and I wanted to be prepared this year with something warmer than a thermal and jersey! It's based on this Piece 'N Quilt design. Instead of using jelly roll strips, I used 18 3" wide strips from 9 different flannels, a lengthwise strip of light green striped flannel, and green mottled flannel for borders. All from the stash--awesome. I still want to applique some stars or flowers in the lengthwise strip, but I'm going to have to steal it from my mom--she's been using it as an extra blanket at night. The backing is teal, purple, and lime green fleece pieced together, and the binding is pink gingham flannel. (I love gingham--can you tell?)



While looking for a book today, I came across these glass ornaments--the type you decorate yourself. I decided to put those slivers of fabric from squaring up blocks and dog ears to some good use.



Both contain scraps from my Kaffe quilt--the left one from the teal bordered blocks and the right one from the orange bordered blocks. There's also some scrap batting in there to help poof them up a little. I've finished another one with snippets from my kaleidoscope quilt I've started, and started a fourth one with slivers and dog ears from my sister's birthday quilt. (I've finally decided on a design and completed 2 of 20 blocks--pics soon)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Challenge completed!

I finally finished my One Charm Pack Doll Quilt...



Here's the closeup of the hand quilting...sorry about the lighting. It was either no flash and the pic a bit darker or the flash whiting it out--not a good thing when you want to show detail!



I made it with a Mill House Inn charm pack. I was really surprised how hard it was to find charm packs around here. My original plan was to go to a quilt shop about 5 minutes away to buy one (I've been there 3 times in 10+ years-rude, rude people) since I had a gift certificate to use. After getting no help, I finally found one pack--I don't remember the name of it, but it looked like Civil War repros and had 25 squares for $10. Seeing as this girl is on a tight budget, that just wouldn't do. :) So I used my gift certificate on some scrap bags, and wandered over to another shop about 20 minutes away. I wasn't sure if they had charm packs, but since they're on the Fab Shop Hop, I thought they might. Whereas the other store had about 6 different jelly rolls and the 1 charm pack, this store only had 1 charm pack, 1 type of jelly roll (Wicasset?), and the Rouenneries pack. Seeing as this charm pack had 42 squares for $9, I was much happier. Nevermind that I could have used my GC at the other shop and saved gas and cash getting the charms from the other shop...

This shop (Sew Contempo) had much nicer employees, and that counts a lot on where I spend my money. Maybe because the ladies were closer to my age? I'm not sure. I went to the first QS when I was about 20 and they first opened up--I got followed around, asked a half dozen times if someone could help me (not in a polite way either!), and when I settled on getting some pieces from the scrap bin, the lady checking me out was very dismissive ("Oh, I see you've settled on some scraps...") I went back several weeks later with my sister to see if it was just my imagination. She looked more "conventional" than I did at the time (I had blue streaks in my hair, eyebrow piercing, 3 piercings in each ear, band shirts, platform boots...you get the idea. She was more soccer-mom-in-the-making) so if they were rude to her too, I wasn't going to go back ever. We bought 2 or 3 yards of fabric, and when we left, she asked if they were always that b****y. Nice to know that 10 years later, they're still the same. ::eyeroll:: They've opened a 2nd location closer to me here in The Woodlands, and I'm tempted to check it out. The only reason I went to the original location is because I was visiting my mom that day.

Ugh, I didn't want this to turn into a rant on the evil store. This is a good example of why chain stores get more money from younger sewers though. I can walk into JoAnn's or Hancock's, get my fabric, not be followed around as I browse, and not pay through the nose in the end. I'm trying to buy more from the independent quilt shops, but I'm not going to patronize one that has that snooty attitude. The ones I've dealt with online have been awesome, and hopefully, I'll be able to visit the actual store someday and not get a bad feeling when I go. I'm always polite and smile, even when someone is rude to my face (my mama taught me right!), but I don't like having to take rudeness just to get some Amy Butler or Kaffe Fassett fabric. ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rescue complete!

Today, I just needed a break. I've been working on my One Pack Doll Quilt for Vickie's giveaway, for about 2 days now (I can't believe how hard it was to find a Moda charm square pack around here!) and my finger's a bit sore from the quilting. Granted, it's my own fault to do more hand quilting than necessary, but I figure I need the practice. :)

So I went to the library, looked for some new ideas for my sister's Christmas gift (she's been asking for a new quilt for about 3 years now?), was disappointed that the copy machine was out of order so I couldn't copy a layout from Kaffe Fassett's Glorious Patchwork...

On my way back home, I noticed the resale shop that I thought was closed was actually open! (They're open 3 days a week, but sometimes closed on days they're supposed to be open--it's a little church-run store). Wandering inside, I looked at men's shirts for some cute patterns to cut up. Not really finding anything useful, I wandered to other parts of the shop. I found an Astros giveaway bag that would be cute to use next season instead of my purse for game days, and then made my way over to the bedding area of the shop, hoping to find an old blanket to use as batting. I found something much, much better...



Take a look as this double-knit beauty! It's a full sized coverlet, with foundation-pieced blocks and the pinkish-salmon double knit to hang down the sides. Whoever made this also embroidered along some of the strips different designs--feather stitching, stars, etc. Some of the floss needs to be restitched, and it needs a proper backing, but this is going to be my outdoor baseball game blankie! When we travel up to Round Rock, I like the berm seating, and last time, my sister and I took some lap quilts to sit on. I think this little lady will handle a dirty ground just fine.

Since she doesn't have a backing, I'm going to take the pink off the sides to piece together a back, and tack quilt it in place. My fingers will probably hurt (I've tried 5 different thimbles with no success!), but it will be worth it in the end. :) I love the patterns and colors, and this little lady just grabbed me and said "take me home!" The price had already been marked down from $7.50 to $3.00, so I guess it was just good timing. I know some people wouldn't even consider buying a double-knit quilt, but she's got a purpose now.

If I had more cash on me, I also would have picked up a hand appliqued fall leaf wall hanging. I'm not big on wall hangings, but I do like to "rescue" someone else's handwork. I had to become very picky on baby afghans, because there are a lot of those floating around, but the quilts aren't too common at this shop.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quickie post...

My Kaffe blocks are back on the design wall, and they're in the process of getting solid borders and white sashings...I love the look so far! I've run out of teal (got 3 of 5 rows complete), so 1 row will definitely be orange, but what about the 4th row? Maybe brown? I really don't want to head out to Hobby Lobby again and try to find more of the orange. :/

Another concern I just thought of--can I keep a quilt with this much white clean? :) Pretty much all of my finished quilts have very little white in them, just because I don't want them to "show" they're not perfectly clean. I'm guessing Oxyclean will be an addition to washings from now on--3 of my UFOs on my "git 'em done!" list have large white areas.

I've been cleaning out the room that used to be my sewing room--when my sister moved out, I claimed her bedroom as my new room. :) At least I can sew at night now! Anyways...I'm clearing out the room to use as a 2nd sewing room/studio. I've already put up a new design wall, and it provides me floor space to baste quilts without too much help from the dog. :) He's cute, but when he sees fabric on the floor, he thinks it's for him to sleep on!

The other benefit to this room--the long desk that I can use for quilting! I can't move it to the other room because of angles and stuff, so if I can get a 2nd machine fully operational, I'll be able to piece in one room and quilt in the other!

So much for a quickie...here's another giveaway that's going on--Sweet Home Quilt Co is cleaning out too! I'm sad I missed out on last week--I added them to my blogroll, but forgot to leave comments! Ooh, and Sunflower Quilts is celebrating her first blogiversary with a giveaway, so go by and say hello!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Giveaway alert

Jaybird is hosting a giveaway to commemorate her 100th blog post! Since I think this is #14 for me, 100 sounds awesome!