Monday, March 31, 2008

You know you're a quilter if....

Well, I get some sewing in this weekend (YAY!). I decided to put a few quilts in my guild’s show that’s coming up next week. I usually don’t because (a) I don’t generally have anything around home that I’ve actually completed, and (b) I am usually not able to help out since it’s a one-day show on a weekday in a different county, and I hate to just have them display my stuff without contributing to the show. However, I got an email last week looking for more quilts. So I decided on my mystery quilt (previously shown, [picture below), the quilt I made for my Mom (picture below), and a Quilt Pink quilt I bought last year. I didn’t make it, but it’s a nice story and for a good cause, and it’s in my possession. ;-) I asked Mom if I could borrow her quilt for the show, and she was more than happy to oblige. She’s so excited that I get to be in a show. ;-)

The mystery quilt had a permanent sleeve, so I only had to make two sleeves. I got them made and one sewn on yesterday. This was around spending the better part of two hours pressing fabric that I washed for the baby quilt Mom and I are making. Yes, my back hurt. ;-) I was doing the hand-sewing while we were playing cards. I still have one more sleeve to hand sew on (but at least the sleeve is made)... have I mentioned how I hate hand sewing?????

Thursday I have a “Girl’s Night Out” sew time, and I have to get some fabric pressed and cut for that, and I’ll probably take the Janome because I want to do the whole project on one machine (I have a cheaper machine that I take to sew days to cut down on the computerized innards getting jostled around). My Janome and I got along quite well on Sunday, so that’s good news. I haven’t tried anything fancier than a straight stitch and winding a few bobbins, but I was successful at those, so that helped. I also love my new sewing cabinet insert – I’ve never been able to sew flush before! I’m really looking forward to doing a larger project to see how it works with that. I also was able to do a “proof of concept” of my sewing room. The lighting is awful (which I knew). I’m waiting until I’m sure on how I want things arranged before we start installing track lighting. I also had Mom sewing with me, so I got to try out more than one person in the room plus having the ironing board and cutting table set up. Needs a little more thought, but we’re making progress.

Oh, speaking of ironing boards... you know you’re a quilter when you go to Costco and your impulse purchase is an ironing board! :-p I didn’t actually buy it, but I was CLOSE! I have a spiffy space-age cover thing for the one I have now that I don’t think would fit on the new one (which is bigger), but it would be great to have a bigger board... still thinking.

That’s all the rambling I have for now... tasks for the week – a sleeve and pressing and cutting for the sew party on Thursday night! WOO HOO!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter

We had our first overnight guests (my parents) this weekend. :-) Mom and David came up Saturday and Mom and I went to sew day and Bill and David hung ceiling fixtures (bless their hearts!).

Sometime in the last couple of weeks, I came to the realization that this would be the first time since 1995 that I've spent Easter with my Mom and stepfather. (For those of you who don't know, I moved from NY to WA in 1996 and Mom and David moved from NY to WA in 2007.) I was glad that didn't set the bar too high on the expectation scale. I've gotten to a point in my life where I'd rather spend time with guests (particularly family) than to fuss over a dinner that will (hopefully) really impress them. Nevertheless, we got out the china (which Bill and I would have done even if we hadn't had guests) , and used Grandma's silver that I received after she passed away.

There was no real fanfare on Sunday - Bill and I went to church, and when we got home the four of us played cards for a while, Mom and I did a couple light sewing projects (thanks for the fingertip towels!) while Bill called his family. We had a dinner of pork chops and some sides, and later a pumpkin pie Mom had made for dessert. It was really nice to kick back and have so much of the day to just hang out and enjoy the family time. Sure, we do that now and then anyway, but still... there's that holiday factor. :-) We had a lot of laughs and just a great time together.

Just wanted to share how wonderful it was to have a family Easter and christen the china.




Monday, March 24, 2008

Sew Saturday!

Once a month, my quilt guild has an open sew on a Saturday. It's a great time to get to know people a little better and see what everyone is working on. This time I think I did more ripping than sewing - but that was the plan. ;-)

First, I made my three tissue box covers that I wanted to - two floral and one with pandas (I have a half-room that's a panda palace). The two in front (shamrocks and love) Mom made for me - the other 5 I've done (with her help, of course, since I never write down ANY instructions).

After that, I was ripping some 12x12 blocks so I would have some 6x12 pieces, plus sewing a couple 6x6 blocks together. I'm planning on making reusable grocery bags with those if I can get my serger to be a dove and cooperate. Lastly, I continued ripping some appliqué out of the Round Robin I received. Thank goodness it wasn't a satin stitch, but it was some reverse zigzag that was really a challenge in some places. There were four small motifs and I probably spent 2 hours on each one. Actually, that's not true. Mom ripped out one of them for me, so I only have about 6 hours invested. But they're GONE! There's still some residue from the fusible web and of course the needlemarks, but they're gone. Now (are you ready for this) I'd really like to rework the center block - the one I did - because it doesn't make sense to me with the rest of the quilt! It's an easy fix (just flipping a couple things around), but it is in the center of a king-size quilt top. My friend Wendy says that she can show me how to rip the quilt into four parts and sew it all back so I don't have to do inset seams. We're going to try it on something smaller first to see how badly I really want to do this. ;-)

Here's a photo of the quilt with everyone (minus one) who worked on it. It's pretty much symmetrical, so you can derive what the whole quilt looks like by what you can see. I thought I had a picture handy of just the quilt, but I can't find it.


Okay, I think that's all the news for now. :-) Just wanted to report that I actually got to move something from my "In work" list to my "Projects completed in 2008" list! YAY! Let's hear the roar of applause for the three more tissue box covers!!! (Hey, you have to celebrate each victory, right?)

Monday, March 17, 2008

QA Quilt Show and other inspirations

Saturday we went to the Quilters Anonymous quilt show for two reasons:
1. Because we could
2. Because my name was in the program
Having said that, I'm pretty happy with what II worked on a Round Robin quilt a couple years ago, and the owner got it quilted and bound and it was on display! WOO HOO!!! It was really cool to see it hanging - I'd only ever seen it completed laying on the floor. I did the orca scene, the vertical columns with the daffodils and tulips, and then the three clusters on the top (grapes, cherries and berries, lilacs). The theme was the natural beauty of Washington State. She even quilted the names of all 39 counties into the quilt!

There's a label on the back with a picture of the finished top and everyone who worked on it.

Everyone did an amazing job, and I really feel like I was the least talented of this group. Having said that, I'm actually pretty pleased with most of the work I did on this quilt - especially the orcas!!! ;-)



I also got some photos to keep for inspiration for other quilts, and stuff that was just darn cool. Like I need more "ideas." One thing I saw that I may do is a Log Cabin block with animal prints... I've got a bunch of animal prints that I've been trying to figure out a layout for for over 3 years!


I also have wanted to do a black and white, and though the one I saw there wasn't terribly inspiring (well done, but I'm not going to do a Trip Around the World), I did get an idea later that has already morphed into another idea. AND... there were a couple Convergence quilts there. I did a class on that about, oh, 4 years ago and still have the pieces. I didn't know what I was going to do for it because I was making a wall hanging for someone who is no longer in my life (and he picked out the fabrics). But maybe I'll finish it up and do some appliqué on it to mix the media a little bit. I'll have to look to see how far I got and what the fabrics looks like (since the only thing I've done with it in four years is move it twice).

So, again, more projects than motivation, but at least a couple of them are small so I don't feel like I have to finish this whole big thing. I got the embroidered blocks back from Mom Saturday, but haven't taken pictures yet. We've agreed on sashing color and style, so I'll be able to start that soon, too. YAY! There's a guild sew day this Saturday, and then I'm having a friend over to sew on Sunday the 30th, so I'll have at least those two days for people to keep me on task. :-)

Well, I think that's all the excitement for now. I have a sew day on Saturday, so I'll hopefully have something to report after that. :-)