Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Graduation, Snow College, oh my!

Life has been busy, shall we just say that?  Time passes hastily it seems.

We've had some excitement here.  We traded in our family van for a BMW which promptly blew its transmission.  It went downhill from there and a month later we bought a used Toyota Venza, which my husband loved.  We had that about a month (one payment exactly) and my husband was in a wreck and that car was declared a total loss.  It protected him and got him home though!!!  Thank goodness for GAP insurance (which still hasn't paid everything off but will.)  Now we're back to being right-side-up in a third vehicle and praying for no nefarious incidents.

Yeah.  I haven't really been in the mood to write.

My son, however, got home from his church mission.  Yay!!!  He liked his room and quilt.  Double yay!

My daughter, my baby, just graduated from high school with honors.  We found a school with an AFA in Theater (specifically backstage) that she is interested in pursuing at Snow College.  Two scholarships later and one summer job, and we think she has her finances squared up for next year.

2,000 miles away from home.

So my method for dealing with the stress of having my daughter leave is by sewing and quilting.  Here are my latest creations:

Made these placemats for the 4th of July.

An apron from one of my sons.

And another apron for my other son.  Maybe I should make one for my daughter too?

A sewing machine organizer for my daughter's sewing machine.

A wallet. It fits my smart phone but doesn't have pockets for a credit card, license, etc.  I've been carrying it around and like it to a point but I'm still looking for one that really fits what I need.  The Online Fabric Store offers a free pattern for the wristlet (I skipped the wristlet part.)  https://www.onlinefabricstore.net/makersmill/how-to-make-a-phone-wristlet/

 The wallet folded over.  I played with magnetic snaps, and they're a little powerful for cotton even when it's reinforced.

Another set of 2-sided placemats for friends.

A makeup bag for my daughter to take with her to Snow.  Sewing around corners is tricky and downright hard!  This bag is from Denise Clason's book, Quilted Bags and Totes.  There are some corrections to the book online at http://www.deniseclason.com/p/instruction-fix-its.html

I really like the inside.  The anchors are cute, but the dots are so much fun!  I found these Waverly fat quarters at Walmart and fell in love with the anchors fabric and the mango shade polka dots!  It's as close as I can get my daughter to pink.

I've started playing with a pack of 10-inch squares for an Around the World quilt too, but that process has just begun.  In case you're wondering, I've stalled out on the Row by Row quilt because I'm taking Angela Walter's free motion quilting challenge that you can find here:  https://quilting-is-my-therapy.myshopify.com/collections/free-motion-challenge-quilting-along.  Most of the above projects were practice projects for FMQ!

So what should I do next?  A bag?  A messenger bag?  A better wallet that's lighter than the one I'm hauling around now?  A new apron for my daughter?  I wonder if I could find fabric with books and pencils on it?  I'm only halfway through the first FMQ challenge, and Angela Walters is filming the third one now.  The fabric is sitting there!  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Wow! Catch up post!

Wow!  It feels like a lifetime ago when I last posted!  I've completed a lot of projects so I'm just going to scrapbook them here.

My perennial cross stitch project:

A completed quilt top:

A completed quilt:

A Valentine's Day table topper:

A new dog, rescued from the local animal shelter.  She's a sweetie and getting healthier.  We've gone the rounds with skin issues!

My daughter played Alice in Alice in Wonderland:

Christmas placemats (8 of them):

Removed a darling wall mural with lots of sanding and priming to transform a little boy room to a 22-year-old's room:

Added the quilt that I raced to finish for my son's homecoming.  He has been gone for 2 years, serving a church mission.  He's the one in the suit and tie!

The finished product:

That quilt?  That's the one with 22 Rapid Fire LeMoyne Stars that I was pretty sure I would NEVER finish!

I finished the top sign (Welcome) last night for my 2016 Row by Row quilt.  Just a few more to go before I'll add sashings and put it all together!

Wish me luck as I pursue going back to the workforce, hopefully at a fabric store.  I think that would be a lot of fun to see the neat things other people make.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Even though I haven't been showing any sewing, I have been productively engaged in quilt making.

Some time ago, I began piecing quilt blocks from the Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month.  It's a free course taught by Amy Gibson of Stitchery, Dickery, Dock, and I learned a number of new-to-me techniques.  I have decided I much prefer watching videos showing how to construct something and then referring to directions for specifics.  I guess that means I'm primarily a visual learner.  Anyone else like me out there?

My daughter held up the quilt top but my phone was slow to take the pictures.  After several tries, I actually got one of the whole quilt held up straight, but I much preferred this one.

Missouri Star Quilt Company had directions for an inside out block and I had the plastic template so I tried this too.  It isn't quilted yet but I found the dark purple outside fabric at JoAnn Fabrics so that will be the back and binding. 

Originally I planned to donate this quilt to Camp Acheaway for youthful arthritis sufferers, but I kept thinking of someone as I made it so I suspect it will eventually make its way to her.  Instead, I bought fleece on a 60% off sale at JoAnn's for fleece blankets to donate:

I didn't take a finished picture but here is the raw product.  The top two fabrics were coupled together and the bottom two made the second blanket.  I love the abstract design and colors!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hospital and stress relieving sewing

So much has happened but I've not blogged about any of it.  

First, the major event taking my time had nothing to do with quilting but everything to do with family.  My husband had a bad case of cellulitis, or beta hemolytic streptococcus group A infection in his right calf.  They put him in the hospital for 2 weeks until they began seeing serious progress.  He is still battling the infection but he is home now.  He is also trying to build up his strength.  Two weeks in bed has serious implications for muscle tone!  

This is what it looked like when he was able to come home:

It looks more red now because he has been up and around on it, but hopefully it will continue to progress.

On the quilting front, I received my very first Sew Sampler box from the Fat Quarter Shop a couple of weeks ago.  Here's the tin with appropriate wisdom for the week!

And the contents:

I'm quite excited to make the mini quilt with the 2.5" squares and pattern that came with it and to start the BOM for the next year.  I think I'll make the medium sized quilt since I already have a 12 1/2" square ruler that I can use in squaring up the blocks!   Underneath all of that, you can see my new Easter/spring tablecloth.  I've long eyed that fabric in my stash and been hesitant to cut it up so I turned it into a pretty table.

Another quick project while my husband was in the hospital was a baby blanket for my niece.  It was a nice stress reliever even if I STILL haven't gotten it in the mail!  A few years ago, I went through a serious fox fixation, buying a bunch of fabric, a fox cookie jar (a gift from my daughter), and fox salt and pepper shakers.  I love the colors of this fabric, but alas, it's all gone now.

One reason I haven't been sewing much (beyond the obvious reason being that I've been at the hospital with Jim), is that my walking foot went kaput.  Apparently I use it a ton!  The baby blanket was harder to stitch because I made do with the regular foot which doesn't have anything to make sure that both the top and bottom layers feed evenly.  I finally bit the bullet and ordered a new one this week.  I'll be making another (albeit different) baby blanket for the Young Women at my church to auction off next Saturday.  It's all cut out, squared up, and pinned, but not sewn or topstitched.  Hopefully the walking foot will arrive in time to sew it before Saturday or I'll be carefully sewing it together.  I love the cute little owls!!!

I think it's safe to say that the only sewing I've actually tackled in the last three weeks has been strictly stress relieving.  I've been really quite frightened for my husband's prospects so it was good to have an activity that helps me receive to the peace that has been coming to me.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Knights and Vikings

Wow.  It has been awhile since I last blogged.  I have been quilting, but I've been making gifts which means I don't want to blog the projects until after they have been gifted.  I have been much better about posting pictures to Instagram!  

Here's a sneak peak of the biggest project that I've been working on for a few months.  I made a tiny, but critical, mistake that caused me to have to seam rip the whole quilt apart and basically start assembling it all over again so really, this quilt should count as two!  I panicked thinking I wouldn't be able to fix it so I hurried to buy a second kit that is now extra.  So if anyone wants a quilt kit, I purchased it for about $80 from Craft Time Fabrics and would be happy to sell the unopened kit!

It's off to the long-arm quilter now and then my son will receive it.  Shhh!!!  I have tried really hard to keep this one quiet and nearly invisible to him.

He and I also went to see the Vikings Exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum.  It was a lot of fun especially since he specifically asked to go see it!

Just one picture:  His name in Norse, I believe.  This is how it would have been spelled by the Vikings.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Valentine quilt completed

We're coming up to Valentine's Day and I just finished the Valentine tabletopper quilt for someone who gives of her heart.  Can't say who because she has no idea it is coming!  So happy with how it looks and it will be even more personal after it's autographed by pertinent parties.

Here's the back of it.  I think it looks really nice!!!

I recently got the reminder that I canNOT pull the fabric at all when sewing because the stitches pull too tight and don't hold.  Not good especially if the quilt will ever need to be washed.  All those raw edges will fray and come out from underneath the binding.  I don't want to think about what would happen if it was in the middle of the quilt.  So if you start noticing skipped stitches:

1)  Change needles and make sure you have the right kind in the machine.
2)  Make sure the thread is properly threaded through the machine.  This should probably be number one.
3)  Use a lighter touch and don't pull the fabric back from the machine while sewing at all.

For some reason today I could not remember how to measure the binding for an invisible seam between the beginning and ending.  Normally I refer to the Missouri Star Quilt Company's BLOCK magazine for their directions, but it wasn't computing today.  I needed a video tutorial so I found Made By Marzipan's directions here:  https://youtu.be/2egganTi2us  It's now on my sidebar.