Friday, November 30, 2007

Quilty Accomplishments in November

Here's my monthly recap for November.

  1. Assembled top, added borders, quilted, bound, labeled, made pillow case for and gave Kassidy's Yellow Brick Road Quilt

  2. Bordered, quilted, bound Green & Tan Batik Pineapple Wallhanging.

  3. Made a quilting lady wallhanging top - gave it to my mom as hers to finish.

  4. Made the first 2 blocks for my Friday Night block of the Month Group

  5. Made Block #10 for my Moda U BOM

  6. Made 2 Holly Jolly Table runners - pieced, quilted & appliqued & bound them.

  7. Made 2 of the March Celestial Migraine Blocks for their BOM.

  8. Layered, quilted, bound and labeled my oval-ish blue & yellow pineapple table topper.

  9. Stippled the borders of my Yellow and Blue pineapple quilt and bound it.

  10. Put binding on 15 Project Linus Quilts, added borders to 4.

  11. Quilted a quilt top for my Cousin Jean

  12. Made 2 baby quilts from start to finish for Mackenzie.

  13. Assembled a Lap Size Yellow Brick Road Quilt

  14. Made 2 pairs of fleece pants and a dog toy for Holly.

  15. Quilted a twin sized 4-Patch flip quilt for my Mom

  16. Quilted my Mom's Watermelon 9-patch 84" x 123".

  17. Made the top of a table runner for a Christmas Gift.

  18. Made the top of a Gold & Purple Batik Wallhanging and started to quilt it.

  19. Started a Miranda Daybag.
  20. Made 11 Quilty Name Tags for Myself, Friends & Family

Wow...that's a lot. I just about made myself dizzy typing it all up!!

A Quilters 12 Days of Christmas as Written by Cre8tive Quilter

On the First day of Christmas my true love gave to me a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Third day of Christmas my true love gave to me Three Fat Quarters, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Four cutting mats, three fat quarters, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five rotary blades, four cutting mats, thee fat quarters, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six pairs of scissors, five rotary blades, four cutting mats, three fat quarters, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven yards of batting, six pairs of scissors, five rotary blades, four cutting mats, three fat quarter, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight sewing needles, seven yards of batting, six pairs of scissors, five rotary blades, four cutting mats, three fat quarters, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine yards of Moda, eight sewing needles, seven yards of batting, six pairs of scissors, five rotary blades, four cutting mats, three fat quarters, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten types of rulers, nine yards of Moda, eight sewing needles, seven yards of batting, six pairs of scissors, five rotary blades, four four cutting mats, three fat quarters, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven quilters quilting, ten types of rulers, nine yards of Moda, eight sewing needles, seven yards of batting, six pairs of scissors, five rotary blades, four cutting mats, three fat quarters, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.

On the Twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve Finished UFO's, eleven quilters quilting, ten types of rulers, nine yards of Moda, eight sewing needles, seven yards of batting, six pairs of scissors, five rotary blades, four ironing boards, three fat quarters, two spools of thread and a paper pieced pattern of a tree.


I wonder what my 12 days of Christmas costs?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My trip to Bigsby's Sewing Center

Today I recieved an email from my friend Karen, we were talking about Miranda and purse handles and she said that Bigsby's Sewing Center had a great selection. I've lived in this area my whole life, I'm not sure how it happened that I never went to Bibsby's before. I guess I just assumed that they were only a sewing machine dealer and since I bought my machine's at Frank's Sewing Center I just knocked it out of my mind.

Now, I should have known. Does Frank's just carry machines? No, the carry LOTS of things as does Bigsby's. I went there straight from work and was just blown away at all the different things that they carried. I felt like I was cheating on my Mom since I was there without her so I left and ran home to get her.

They have a nice stock of thread. While it's not as diverse as Frank's, for the most part it's completely different thread than Frank's carries. I don't think there's much duplication between the two stores. The only thread that stuck out as duplication was Bottom Line.

I bought a beautiful YLI thread called Variations in the color of Ocean. It's a 2-ply trilobal polyester. Actually the whole line of thread drew me in and then I stood there looking at each color wondering what I had at home that I could use it for. Finally I remembered that I have an Ocean Waves quilt that I'm dying to start. This thread will be perfect to use for it's quilting.

What's better, I just figured out what I'm going to use my 40% off coupon for at Patched Works after I finish up my coupon book. I need about 6 yards of white or off white for ocean waves. I'm going to go and buy myself a really nice fabric!!

Notions...man, did they have the notions! Not necessiarly things I hadn't seen before, but things I hadn't seen locally. Since I'm a gadget girl, this really speaks to me. I DID buy the 12" long PINK Add-A-Quarter ruler. I know what you're thinking Mike, that I bought yet another gizmo just because it was pink. No, not the case. The regular Add A Quarter rulers are dangerous enough...I feel like my fingers are just too close to the edge. Well try being that close and having to slide your ruler to cut at the same time. I'm a clutz, we know this...I needed the longer ruler for my saftey.

Purse handles...wow. These aren't your average Clover purse handles. Although, there's nothing wrong with those either because I do lust after some of the ones I've seen online. These are actual, thick, beautiful, leather purse handles from an actual cow...not a synthetic one! I bought a brown pair and I can't wait to get my Miranda finished up and these handles on. Hmmm, how do I describe them? They're the color of dark brown shoe leather, really dark like you just pulled out the shoe polish and polished them.

Wow, shoe polish, does anyone use that anymore? I used to polish work shoes all the time but now that I'm a crocs wearer I haven't had to polish. Although I do have Croc Butter so that I can keep my Crocs nice and shiny, looking like new. I'll admit it, I was probably a shoe polishing junkie. I pilfered my dad's shoe shining kit probably about 15 years ago. I wonder if he has any idea that I have it?? Giggle. Of all the things to pilfer from ones parents...I take a shoe shining kit. Yeah, we all knew I was special.

What's more fun is that Bigsby's also carries fabric. Lots of beautiful batiks and prints that I haven't seen elsewhere. I fell in love with a few fabrics. I have a blue pansy fabric in my stash that I want to use as a focal fabric. I've been collecting some lime greens, blues and purples to go with it. I know I need a few more so I'll dig those out one of these days and head over there to get a few things that match. It's funny becasue I always forget which color I need more of. I would have guessed green but it's the purple now that I look at this picture. Now that I look at this fabric, the Oceans thread would look smashing with this quilt too.


The two ladies who were working (I'm assuming the owners) were very nice. I had emailed earlier in the day to be a part of their mailing list. They remembered my name when I handed over my debit card. My mom was looking for sewing machine oil so that she can oil her scissors. They had some and kept it behind the counter and before they handed it over they asked what kind of machine so that they could advise on if it really should be oiled or not or if that was the proper oil or if it should be greased instead. I was impressed by that. It's not like they were just out to make a buck.


The only bad part about the store was that something in there made my mom's hands swell. She went from "Normal to Shrek" hands really quick. So much so that I had even taken a double take of her hands before she said anything about them swelling. I thought it was just my imagination when I saw them. She was thinking some kind of dye, I'm thinking maybe some wool because my throat started to get a little phlemmy by the time we left too. Next time I'll just pop an allergy pill before hand.


My point is, it's never too late to go to a store that you've either never been to or haven't been to in years. It's been years and their store focus might have changed and it's good to know what's in your area.

For my local Quilting friends, if you've never been, now is the time to go and explore. It's on 124th & North in the strip mall with Sendick's and Kohl's Department Store.

And Karen...we'll have to get you out to Frank's one of these days. =)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

26 Days of Holiday Sewing to go

Just as I was typing up a spreadsheet this morning listing out the gifts that I need to make yet I got the SewThankful Newsletter and noticed that Tracy had Christmas sewing listed as 3 more weekends. OMG, are you kidding me? I was having a heart attack, I was sure of it! Flipping frantically through my calendar I realized that WHEW there's 4. Wait, who am I kidding? I haven't even really STARTED sewing for Christmas Yet. I think I've got one or two gifts...KINDA started. Man, I have got to get my ass in gear!


Ok, so at least I got my organization down pat. My spreadsheet is in order. I know what needs to be done and I'm good at quilting under pressure. Ok, those around me may disagree but it's my thing. I'm insane but come on, this blog isn't called the INSANE RAMBLINGS OF A CRE8TIVE QUILTER for nothing right? RIGHT??

Sew, breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out.

(I'm looking around the desk hoping to hell I don't see another centipede.)

I think the coast is clear.

Seriously, I think it's time to get a flea bomb. We got a puppy when I was in high school from the Humane Society. His name was Sherman Tank and he came with FLEAS! OMG. OMG. OMG!! Stupid fleas. The flea crawled out onto his forehead and waved to my mom. Needless to say he was dipped and we let off some bombs. By some I mean overkill of course. They were good for 1000 square feet each. My mom bought one for every single room AND a couple for the basement. Talk about some bug free living for YEARS!! No spiders, no nothing.

Now, I've got to tell you all about my Sherman. His full given name was Sherman Tank because I figured he'd grow big and he didn't dissapoint. He answered to Shermy, Shermy Wormy, Mo, Shermo, Along Came Sherman the Worm, Shermy-pottmus and I'm sure hundreds of other names that I've since forgotton. Although I grew up with dogs and probably have only been without a dog for a total of 6 months in my almost 31 years, he was the first dog that was MINE. I loved him dearly. When I moved into my apartment, he came with me. Unfortunately, not long after he was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer. So, we lost my Grandpa on the 22nd of November and I lost my Mo (Shermo) on November 30th of the same year. Ok, let's break while everyone goes off to scratch their fur kids' ears.


Egadds, did I have bad hair. Why didn't anyone tell me how craptastic I looked in longer hair?!? Geeze, I suppose it was 1999. Hey, Mom's hair was a great color. Maybe I should shoot for that color. I need to ditch my blonde highlights soon, they seem to scream at me when I look in the mirror.

Sherman LOVED to swim. He saw Mike in the middle of a lake once and decided he was going to swim out to him. Yeah, that was interesting. Giggle. He also was a big fan of talking kids toys. He beat the crap out of a Talking Elmo and yet walk over to you and push his belly once and out of 5 sayings it would always say, "Elmo Loves You" when he put it in your lap.



Wow, talk about getting off topic. Dee dee dee, where was I going? Oh yeah, Christmas Sewing. I didn't get anything done tonight. Mike and I went out bumming. In my family bumming is shopping, or window shopping. If you're my Grandma it's Bummin. =) We looked at Target and Office Max at desks. The computer desk we have now is just too flipping large. It might literally get the ax. My mom doesn't want it, my dad doesn't want it...I'm stuck with it. I've hated it since day one....and that was when I was about 10. Then we hit Ace Hardware. That's never a place we can go into quickly. Mike worked at Ace all through High School and College. So he knows everyone, at everyone of the local stores. Many of the guys have worked there on an off for 20+ years. I suppose it's the equivalent of me walking into a quilting store. So while he chatted it up, I got sewing items. Plastic tubing to cut into pieces and put over bobbins to keep them from coming undone, Velcro straps to tie up the cords on my frame, PVC pipe to make quilt block roll ups, heavy duty magnets with hooks that I can put on my cutting table to hang my rulers from. Yeah, I was busy! The whole hardware store trip was sewing related. We went in there for a tap so that he can re-tap the holes on the bottom of my sewing machine table so that I can put Mighty Mounts that I bought at work on the bottom of my sewing table to cut the vibration. If they're good enough for heavy duty machines, they're good enough for my sewing table. I can't wait till they're on so I can take a picture. It will make my co-workers giggle, that's for sure.



Here's the description of them: Mighty Mounts™ are ideal for drill presses, grinders, CNC machines, die casting machines, punch presses, saws, and injection molding equipment. High level of shock and vibration isolation for extended machinery life, reduces noise levels. Sturdy, reliable construction and safety yellow finish. Full inch of elastomer padding is oil resistant. Meets OSHA anchoring standards.


Aren't you all just on the edge of your seats wondering what the heck they look like? Yeah, I know you're probably not.



By the time we got home I just wasn't feeling crafty so I read my new Quilters Home Magazine. I bought it even though I subscribed. I'm just not sure which issue will be the first one in my mail box.



Ohh, I forgot to mention that I bought the Josh Grobin Christmas CD. I'm a Christmas Music Junkie. But over the last few years I try to limit myself to one new CD a year. Right now on our computer I have 468 different versions of Christmas Songs. I'm sure that's trivia you could have done without.

Hmmm, hmmmm, hmmmm. I think that might be all I've got for right now.
Nope, I remembered one more thing. It was time today to change Holly out of her Thanksgiving bandana and put on her Christmas Holly one. I realized that just about every bandana in her bag was dirty so I threw them all in the wash. She's been wearing bandana's for about 3 years now...I didn't realize how many she had accumulated until I laid them out. But, they're so quick to make and you just need a 12-1/2 inch square for a large dog so why not? I sense a tutorial coming. My fur kid has more clothing than Mike and I combined!! Wow, I just counted them. She has 41. I only need 11 more and she can have a different one each week. Shaking my head. You know, now if we take them off of her she gets pissy until you put a new one on.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Batik Club

Tonight as I was waiting to go to Batik Club I was typing away on the computer and I saw a GIANT centipede run across my desk. Ok, that's just a little too close to home for this bugaphobe. Sure there's probably a better term but like I can remember that. Whatever, all I know is that this sucker was huge and running a little too close to home if you know what I mean. Ok, floors...I don't like them there either but NOT ON MY FRIGGING DESK, and not mere centimeters from my keyboard!! This is the first one I've seen in about 6 months so that's a good thing but jeeze louise. I don't need to see them, not now, not ever. And no mom, it wasn't comforting to hear you say that if I had centipedes I didn't have any other kind of bugs. I want NO bugs. Mike immediately started making fun of me. I told him by the time I got back from Batik Club I wanted to see the dead body. He claims he found it and killed it but I know he was just saying that to pacify me.


Mom, Maureen and I met at Bakers Square for dinner and then we were on our way to Batik Club at Patched Works. The selections of fabric this time around are called Ocean Jewels. They're awesome! I think I can work a previously purchased batik into this selection.




Julie introduced a pattern called City Scapes by Sharon Hultgren. Julie did hers using 6 fabrics and she was challenging us to use 12 different fabrics. Yeah, you all know what happens when I get challenged! LOL. You know this means, GAME ON. It's funny because I hate competitive games, but I love challenges. I have the 1/4 yard pack of fabric and if I get desparate and need more, Mom said that I can play with her pack. =) So I have two months....I've got to get Christmas Gifts out of the way and then I can play.


Of course, afterwards we went to Bakers Square for pie...because it seems that we can't do Patched Works without the Pie!

Monday, November 26, 2007

What Was I Thinking?!?

For those of you that follow mine and my Mom's blogs you may know that my Mom jokes that she is my House Elf, Peony. House Elves are in the Harry Potter book series. Your house elf can only be freed if you give them an article of clothing.



How did she get this title? Well a while back she was over and decided to vacuum because she loves to vacuum and the joke just grew bigger and bigger from there. We found a Harry Potter site where you could get a house elf name and thus, Peony was born.



A few weeks ago we were in Jo-Ann fabrics and I found this awesome Debbie Mumm fleece that I decided I had to have for pants. Mom started looking at a Gingerbread print when I told her that I could just picture that Gingerbread Man being stretched across one of our asses and it just wasn't a pretty picture. So we stood there laughing and she started fondling my fleece so I decided I'd make her a pair too....never realizing that this would release my House Elf.



So I made her pants tonight. She was over for dinner so I had her go put them on so I could adjust the elastic and then we decided if they were the right length to hem the pants. They wern't even on for two minutes and she was dancing around like a fool telling me she was free. Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty Peony is Free at Last.



I've got one thought for you my dear Peony...you can to one of two ways. You can choose to be ever loyal like Dobby; so greatful for being freed that you'd still do anything OR you can be like Creature. Your choice Peony, your choice... =)


What was I thinking? Giving my house elf clothing. Sigh. Bummersville. But, at least we have cute, matching, fuzzy fleece pants!!


Peony also quilted a wallhanging on my Gracie. This was the first thing she's quilted on my frame. It turned out sooooo cute!!



There are days...

when I'm just not so smart.....

I started to make my Lazy Girl Miranda Day Bag this evening. Sometimes Lazy must translate in my head as "doesn't need to read directions properly." On the back cover of the pattern book there's a supplies list. Batting is listed right above Fusible Interfacing. You know what this translated to in my head? Fusible Batting. Ahh Ha! I thought, I actually have some fusible batting. (Never mind that I DO have the Fusible Interfacing already pulled out for this project)

So, in the first step you take your cover and your batting and you quilt it. Well, still having fusible batting in my head I cut my batting out, walk directly over to the ironing board, place batting on ironing board, cover fabric on top and proceed to steam away. You know what's coming right?

I fused the freaking batting to my ironing board. Exactly WHY did I think that was going to work? Momentary lapse of thought and reason I suppose. Sigh. Now I have glue and poly batting chunks stuck to my ironing board cover.

The good thing I suppose is that it forces me to replace mine. It's pretty burnt and ugly looking. In order to continue ironing I'll peel it off and use the cover below that came with the ironing board but was too ugly to ever see the light of day.

Who exactly decides the fabric patterns and colors for ironing board covers? Some nerd from the mail room? Someone who is color blind? Why aren't nice looking ironing board covers for sale in our quilting and crafting stores? Big box stores, fine but the others? COME ON PEOPLE, this isn't rocket science.

I've been Googling to find directions to make my own ironing board cover because I'll be darned if I'm going to buy yet another hideous cover. So ok, I need cotton. I need some padding. I'm guessing insul-brite or something similar? Anyone have any tips? I'm sure I can make a pattern from the craptastically designed one that is currently on my ironing board.

In my Google search I read an article that claimed that the average ironer purchases 4 covers per year. FOUR COVERS PER YEAR??? Who are these people who buy 4 covers per year because I've never met one. If this by some stretch of the imagination is some valid number then these covers are flying off store shelves and it's no wonder we've got hideous choices. They keep making more of the same ugly stuff!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Quilters Amaryllis Growing Contest

Ok, I'm putting up a challenge to anyone who would like to join in the Amaryllis growing contest.

Family quilters, if you have a plant for the family competition you can either use the same entry or a separate entry.

Rules
  1. You must be a quilter.
  2. Buy a boxed amaryllis plant & plant. Anything planted prior to 11/24 can not be an official entry.
  3. To enter the competition you must either comment on this blog entry OR send me an email with your name and email address and blog if you've got one. Entry Deadline is December 1st.

Two winning categories:

  1. First to bloom.
  2. Tallest plant by 12/25.

Prizes

  • There will be prizes for first and second place. I don't have those worked out yet but they will be quilting related and probably will be homemade.

Please share pictures along the way!!


Game ON!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

More sewing on saturday

Yikes! It turns out that since I had all of this batting in my hands and Mike had the bolts of fabric, we forgot the bag with my scissors and needles at Joann's! So I called and they said they had it and would put my name on it. By the time we got there the bag was no where to be found. After a 25 minute wait I just ended up going to pull identical items off the shelf and off the door we went. Unbelievable.


Mike made us some fantastic steaks for dinner and we paired that with our homemade stuffing. I straightened up the sewing room because Mike made a comment about me sewing in the living room and being loud. In the end we decided to watch a movie so I stayed out in the living room set up.


During the movie I finished my fleece pants. They're SOOOOOO soft! I think I'll sew in them all day tomorrow. It'll be like a PJ day only I'll shower and everything and then put the pants back on! I think they turned out really cute. I always put a button on the front because I can never tell front from back on these.


Then I started my wallhanging that we got the pattern for last month at Batik Club. It's more of an artsy piece but I think it will look great on my cubicle wall at work. I've got all of the zig zagging done around the circles and I started quilting the circle patterns. I used my Pounce Pad for the first time and I pulled out a Coluzzle template from scrapbooking to get my circles. I'll be ok until I have to do the large circle. Then I'm not sure what I'll do. Just use my 1/4 inch foot maybe. I don't know. Any ideas?


Not sure what I'll work on tomorrow. But, I did so much sewing for others this week that tomorrow I'm only going to work on stuff for me.

Amaryllis Growing Competition

For the last few years my family has had an Amaryllis Growing Competition. It's just for bragging rights but it's a lot of fun. You need to be the first to bloom and if there is a tie then it goes on to tallest plant.


Mike and I each have one. His is in the red pot and will stay at home. Mine is in the white pot and it will go to work with me on Monday.



Wow, it's really hard to photograph with these shiny pots. I didn't even have the flash on. I opted for the ceramic pots this year because every other year we've had plastic pots and they always fall over. I'm hopefull these can stay upright.


You'll probably all get tired of seeing pictures of these stupid things but hopefully my mom will blog about hers as well.



Saturday the 24th was our official planting day. Our bulb kits were purchased at Target.

Frame Modifications

Today Mike made some modifications to my Little Gracie II Quilting Frame.


I had a bracket towards the rear of my machine carriage that was just too wide. I couldn't get my thread path to work well so I removed it. But removing it wasn't a good answer, just temporary. Mike added a threaded rod a little higher up to help hold the back end together.


Before

After

He also added a wing nut to make my thread guide more stable and a plastic cap on the end so that my threads don't get caught.

This set of legs was missing a brace. Mike put a threaded rod between them to stabilize it and keep them together.


The other night we put the little "Moving Men" sliders on the bottom of the legs so that I can slide my frame out easier when I go to use it. When it's not in use I have it pushed against the wall.


Hopefully tomorrow I can get Mike to hang a quilt rack that I have on the wall. I'll put my Bargello there for the time being. I'm also going to have him drill two little holes in my big cutting mat. Then I can hang the mat on the wall behind the quilt/rack when I'm not using it so that it doesn't warp.


Mike also picked me up two toolboxes from Ace. One has all of my extra frame parts and the other has my scissors, needles, seam ripper, bobbins, etc. that I need when I use my frame.

Vacation Day #8 The Watermelon Quilt

I've been working on another one of my Mom's quilts today. The Watermelon Quilt is huge! It's about 90 inches wide and maybe 115-120 long. (It's been measured now, it's 84 X 123) Definitely the largest quilt I've done so far on my frame. I think it took me about 7-8 hours to do. I'm kicking myself now because I didn't take a picture of it all rolled up on the frame. I had NO room left in the harp. At one point I almost unrolled it and re-rolled it from the other direction. This quilt was actually basted first with basting tacks. I think my mom basted it sometime last year and it sat in a bag ever since. Instead of taking them all out I thought it was worth a try to put it on the frame as is and it worked fine. It's not my first choice for doing a quilt but since it already was that way, no big deal.

I ended up using white thread because I didn't have a pink or a lime that matched. Actually I think the white was a great complimentary color. This quilt looks fantastic!! I can't wait to run it over to her. She can put her binding on and maybe be sleeping under it right away.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Vacation Day #7 Black Friday Shopping

Mike and I went out this morning to a few stores. From the ads, we were after NOTHING which was a bummer. He did find a tool chest that he wanted for his Brother for Christmas so there we were at 5 to 5 in a line at Walmart. No drama...it was kind of a bummer. Usually in the first store of the morning I like to buy some everyday stuff just to make the check out clerks roll their eyes. Today it was face lotion & body soap.



We hit McDonalds for breakfast and then went to Target. They had a HUGE line so we were going to kill some time with Office Max only to find that they didn't open until 7. Forget that. We sat in the car for a while and then once the doors opened at Target and went inside. We picked up a few cheap movies, some of those moving men discs for under things, a roll of paper towels and a few books for a birthday party I'm going to tomorrow.



Then we were done so, Mike offered to go to Jo-Ann's with me. Ummm ok, we've gone there before on Black Friday but never to have anything cut at the cutting table. I'm NEVER GOING TO DO THAT AGAIN. Explain to me this....why are the ladies with two and three carts full of bolts of fabric needing to be cut the bitchiest people on the planet? I think on sale days like that Joann's should dedicate one or two cutters to these people with large orders and have the rest of the people cutting for the normal shoppers. Or, they should have a person or two just for say 10 bolts or less. I wish I would have had my camera with me so you could all see the nonsense that we endured. I wish I could say I was exaggerating a bit on the amount of carts people had but I'm not. I watched one lady almost get smacked down for thinking that the three carts full another woman had was just fabric headed back to be shelved. I think "snuggle flannel" was on sale for 99 cents a yard. Seriously when I was getting cut, there was a woman with a stack of cut fabric that had to be about 3 feet high. Probably nothing over 2 yards. She asked what she was up to. $80. OMG, that poor cutter!! She still had like a full cart to go. At one point I almost bought the entire bolt of Warm & Natural just to make my life easier. I even had that ticket in my hand because a lady brought the slip back to me since I had told her where the Warm and Natural bolts were hiding. So there I was calculating things out on my phone thinking it was a 30 yard bolt. At 50% off with another 20% off it still would have come out to $20 more expensive than I can get online WITH shipping. But, then the bolt turned out to be 40 yards so I nixed that idea without evening calculating it. Just not at all worth it so I decided that 15 yards should get me through the holidays and I continued to wait. I turned Mike loose and he went down to Sports Authority. Then I saw the register line getting longer and longer and longer and the people were getting uglier and uglier and uglier. So when I had about 5 numbers in front of me yet for cutting I called Mike and asked him to come back and stand in the register line. I finally get done being cut and the women behind me at the cutting table are all jeering about how I just think I'm done and now they think it's funny because I still have to go wait in the long register line. I couldn't help myself. I turned around and said something about my husband and team work and that he was only 2 people from the register at that point and went on my merry way. Honestly, had that been my mom and I, we would have done the same darn thing, we wouldn't both have stood in the same line. Why other people don't do that is beyond me.

Once we were on the road, I noticed that my receipt wasn't quite right, thankfully in my favor. On a normal day, I would have gone back but since being at that cutting counter I had seen what a few people had to go through to get things corrected. They were actually making them pull a new number and wait in line. Ok, I was number 88 and I know that there were a few people sitting up at number 55 to be cut. Can you imagine having to wait in line again behind people with carts full of flannel to be cut just so you can have Joann's rectify something they screwed up on? I'd leave my stuff behind first. It's just not worth it. They do this to themselves though...why would you put out flannel for 99 cents a yard and not put a limit on how much you can get cut per transaction? Make these 3 cart people wait a little longer.

I ended up with 15 yards of warm and natural batting - 90" wide, a 15 yard sealed bolt of 90" wide muslin, a 10 yard sealed bolt of white flannel ($9.90 for the bolt!!), 4 pairs of Fiskars scissors, some styles of sewing machine needles that I didn't currently have in my stash and I spent WELL UNDER $100. I think I might frame my receipt and put it on the wall behind my quilt frame.

I had planned to go over to Patched Works but they didn't open until 10 and we were home at 8:30. Patched Works would have required me taking a shower and you know...that couch and a quilt were just calling my name so I took one heck of a nap. Now I think it's time to do some sewing. I'm going to throw another one of my mom's quilts on the frame.

Oh, and last night we were in bed and I decided that Holly needed a pillow for her head so I pulled one up from the floor for her. I think she liked it because she fell fast asleep very quickly and started to snore. It was soooo freaking hilarious. She's a cute little snore-er.

Sigh

Yesterday was a complete fiasco. My mom called yesterday as I was printing out directions to my Aunt Diane's house saying Grandmas blood pressure was high. Sigh, of COURSE it was high, I'd really wonder if it would have been low. She has anxiety and it was the anniversary of my Grandpa's death. So I told her to go on without me, I'd be there in a few mintues. I waited for the printer to be done and I needed to slap some foil on my pumpkin bars and I was out the door.

Grandma didn't want to go to Cedarburg because it was so far from the hospital which I completely understand. Then we got invited to another Aunt's house which was a lot closer and Grandma didn't want to go there either. My mom suggested going and getting take out Turkey meals from the Greek Resturant. I said I'd pass, she told me not to be like that and it all went down hill from there. I could not stop the tears from running down my face. Probably about 2-1/2 hours worth.

Then we discovered her inhaler was empty. Can I just say that there's a good reason for Walgreens being open 24 hours a day? Ok, so empty inhaler, well where do pharmacies put the label? On the outside of the box. What do you do with the box? You toss it. (I have this gripe with my epi pen too...why not put it on the PEN instead of the outer container where it's just going to rub off??!?) Her pharmacy was closed. The only way to get it filled was to call the doctor and ask them to call a prescription in. So, I run to Walgreens only to find that I don't have the right medical cards and go back to get the right ones and back again.

All I wanted from going to my Aunt Diane's was the chance of one "normal" Thanksgiving like we used to have in the old days when my Grandpa was alive. Granted, our family is nothing normal but I just really, really, really was craving those odd traditions and odd people.

By the time I got back from Walgreens it was after 5 so I told my mom that I might as well just go do Murphy's insulin for her. Then we got into a huge fight. Who would have thought it could go more downhill from there, but it did.

So there I was, standing in my Mom's kitchen with my face soaking wet giving Murphy his insulin when my Aunt Kitty called me and told me they were holding dinner until I got there. Man...she's good at getting people to do what she wants, it's kind of frightening!!! So ok, I let the dog out and then I went over there. I did have a really nice time. My cousin Keri was there who had just gotten released from the hospital with the baby only a few hours before. So it was just nice and low key. Kassidy's already adopted one of Mackenzie's baby quilts which we KNEW was going to happen. LOL.

All in all, I think I need to be done celebrating Thanksgiving. The holiday has just been jinxed with bad juju since my Grandpa died. It was his favorite holiday. I think I just need to accept that nothing is ever going to be what it was and nothing can compare to it so I think I just need to give that holiday up.

I just miss holiday traditions in general. I have none anymore and it just hurts really badly. My parents got divorced, my grandpa died all in the same time frame and nothing ever returned to any sense of normality where holidays are concerned. We've yet to fall into any groove of any new traditions and it's been almost 10 years. I don't like that. I just want holidays to have some sense of specialness (I really don't care that specialness isn't a word...) and anything I ever try to do to create that just blows up in my face. We're not even talking about having lots of people in my immediate family here, it's me, my mom & Mike. With my dad it's him, his wife, she's got a son my age that is married and then Mike and I. Yet in the 2 years my dad and I have been talking again there's still no traditions there either. It just kills me. This year was supposed to be the year that they were going to be home for Christmas and nope, they're going out to see his wife's son again for the second year in a row. I suppose that's supposed to be my fault though because we didn't talk for so many years. I'm an only child for cripes sake, should it be so hard for me to get some traditions going? Something to count on?

Holidays suck and I'm done trying to do anything special to celebrate them. I'm giving up completely on Thanksgiving. It's one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't and at least if I don't I'll come out less heartbroken. I think next year I'm off to work in a soup kitchen.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

*&$&((*&(*^&%^^#S$#%^S&*P)+(&*&*%^#$@#$

Above...that's every swear word in "the book."

Ever work on a project and have it almost completed? Ever have really grand plans for a project to then have someone else come along and use your work? Your hours and hours of work and then give it as a gift to one of the people that your project was for?

I wish I could say that I feel better for getting that out, but I don't. My feelings are hurt in a huge way.

Happy F-ing Thanksgiving.

I swear, I'll post a nicer post later when I'm less infuriated and feeling more "thankful."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

That was one heck of a project!!

But yea!! the quilt is quilted. Mom just came over to watch me take the final row of stitches and watch as it came off the frame. I decided to just give it to her right away. She can then put the binding on it and start using it. She knows the gift is the batting, backing and quilting so why wait? I'm so bad when it comes to quilted gifts, I just want to give them right away. This is a quilt she finished this summer. I had her feel the thread and she agrees (we know so much now after our thread lecture) that it feels funny. It's King Tut but it feels like how black thread feels. Did you know that on some of the lesser quality brands of thread black thread is actually screw ups of different colors that they re-dye black? Anyway, this thread feels like that in the blue areas. It's almost like it was dyed yellow and then the blue was dyed over that. LOL, one thread lecture and we think we know...HA HA. I had more problems with this thread than I've had with my Star thread. And Star they suggested to not use on the frame. Sure, it's linty but I haven't had problems. I have quite a bit of it and it's too thick for piecing now that I've fallen in love with Aurifill and Signature for piecing so I'll just use it up for quilting since it's not a problem on my machine.

So, without further ado, here's mom's Sunshine 4-patch Flip:





And, just like a little kid, my mom laid down on the floor on her new quilty. =)

Now we're headed over to my Uncles for a Thanksgiving Eve party. I'll tell you all about that later; it's quite the tradition in our family that we're trying to revive.

Vacation Day #5 - Thread that is NOT my friend

I'm using a Yellow and Blue varigated thread to quilt my Mom's Sunshine 4-patch flip and I've got to say, King Tut varigated is very quickly losing my vote for being a nice thread. It actually feels stiff. Like dyed stiff. It keeps shreading and breaking in the take up lever. It's getting so frustrating. If I knew I could go out right this minute and find an alternate yellow and blue varigated thread I'd do it. But since I can't be guaranteed I don't want to waste more time.

I'm doing this for my mom for Christmas. Since she was home when I went to steal quilts she already knows about it so I guess it's ok to post about it! I bought the batting and backing and I'm quilting it. I guess now I'll just give them back to her as they're done. Sigh, so much for that surprise.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Snowflake Table Runner

I've been working on a table runner for my friend Diane for Christmas. I was going to put the Snowflakes right next to each other but that really did nothing for it. So I tried them on point. Of course, I've never put something on point without a pattern so I ended up with triangles a little two small and some points are lopped off. But it still looks pretty. I think I'll use the lighter blue for the binding. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to quilt this one.






Vacation Day #4

Didn't get too much sewing done today. =( I started out getting my hair cut. Then Mike and I had lunch. My Grandma called and she was crying and told me how she thought Keri had named her baby after her. The baby's name is Mackenzie Mae. Mae is my Grandma's middle name. She wasn't sure if it was named for her or not. I told her that of course it was. Grandma didn't know we even knew her middle name. I said, well we all do and that I was 99.9% positive that was what Keri had in mind when naming her. I took Grandma grocery shopping and then we went to see the baby. WOW, she's such a cutie! Really tiny compared to Ruth's kids. Keri LOVED the quilts. That makes me happy.


I stopped by my mom's house while she was supposed to be at a movie. I was going to take two of her quilts to quilt for Christmas. Well, she was there. Sigh. So much for a surprise. So I just had her dig them out for me. I headed to Jo-Ann's to pick up some batting and backing. Now tonight I'll get one of them loaded onto the frame for quilting tomorrow.
I spent the rest of the evening working on a Christmas gift for a friend. It turned out good; just not how I expected. Oh well...what do you expect when you make up a pattern as you go.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Vacation Day #3

What a day, what a day, what a day. I started out this morning quilting a baby quilt on my frame. Once that was done I had to get ready to go to a Funeral. My Grandma's sister Marian died. I've gotta admit, I'm really surprised at how well my Grandma is doing with all of this. My Grandpa died on November 22nd, 1999. So Thanksgiving week is never a good week for our family.


I hate to say it, but funerals with my Mom's family always prove to be entertaining. My Uncle Bob...boy, where do I start? He's a fantastic story teller. His wife died earlier this year. He's joined all of these widow/widower groups, yoga class and a bunch of other activities. He likes the 5 minute hugs from the younger women in the w/w group. The yoga, well he likes the back row so he can check out women's butts. Then he's telling us how he fell out of a yoga position one day and cracked his head against the wall. So the following week he went with a bike helmet on just to get a reaction out of everyone. His son and daughter got him a cell phone. Half way through the funeral a phone starts ringing. My Uncle Bob doesn't realize it's him, my Uncle Ray is sitting on the other side of him and feels it ring/vibrate through Bob's pocket so now they're trying to get it out to turn it off. Our whole row just loses composure. It stops. Then it starts ringing again and he just stares at it. I ripped it out of his hand and whispered comically, "Are you 12?!?!" and turned it off. Afterwards our group went back to his house for lunch. I swear, he pulled everything odd out of his fridge and we all just dug in. You'd mention something you liked and out he'd come with it. My mom mentioned carmel corn, he had carmel to dip apples in. We mentioned olives, the next thing he came out with was stuffed garlic and stuffed blue cheese olives. It was just hilarious. Everytime I see him, he reminds me more and more of my randpa. Everything is an adventure.


When I got home I put the binding on the two baby quilts. Mackenzie was born around 8am. I was going to go to the hospital but I decided I needed a nap. The brighter of the two was the one I quilted in the morning. For the binding I cut one strip of each color that is in the quilt.


When I woke up, I just couldn't get focused on ONE project. I sewed on the fleece pants. Which by the way I'm not going to be able to give to my mom. If I give her a piece of clothing that releases her as my House Elf. That just can't happen! =) I cut out applique pieces for a Christmas Gift and started to applique them.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Vacation Day #2

Today as soon as I got up I cut a baby quilt out of a panel and added borders to it. In no time it was ready. I think it turned out pretty cute. My Aunt Kitty made Cafe Curtains last weekend with another variation of the same fabric. I still have extra blocks so I will cut them apart and put sashing between them and it will be a matching wallhanging for the baby's bedroom.



Mom and I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics. They didn't have anything that we were after on sale. I did buy us some winter/snowflake fleece in blue and I will make her and I fleece pants. First she was looking at this really cute Gingerbread man fleece. All I could picture was this Gingerbread Man stretched out across one of our asses. Needless to say, we ended up with the blue!! I checked for some more of the fabric that Moneik is looking for but they didn't have it. That's ok, I still have 2 more JO-Ann's that are in the neighborhood.



When we came back my mom just wasn't having luck in her projects. Then it turns out that there is a kit she bought last year at Homespun Creations which has now gone out of business. Turns out it didn't have the main panel that she bought the kit for. How ridiculous!!! I hopped on ebay and found one so I've got that on order for her. As soon as it gets here she can put that together.

I put together one of my Yellow Brick Road quilt tops. Now it just needs borders.




I traced some things for a Christmas Gift onto Heat and Bond, ironed it to my fabric and got those pieces cut out. I'll post about that project in a post to be added after Christmas.

I loaded the baby quilt that I had made in the morning onto my frame and got it quilted. It turned out sooo nice. The backing has flannel and now that it's quilted the top feels like flannel.



I was having a a hard time just staying on ONE project. I ended up cutting out the fleece pants for mom and I. I'll probably get them sewn sometime tomorrow. I had some scrap fleece left so I tied a knot at the top of a few pieces, braided it and then knotted the bottom. Instant dog toy!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Sewful Saturday - Vacation Day #1

Today was a good day! Mom and I started out this morning at Bits & Pieces for our block of the month. It looks like a pretty easy block so I'll probably get it put together tomorrow. I bought a little bit of fabric to make a Christmas gift for a friend. Probably will work on that tomorrow too. We picked up my Grandma afterwards and headed back to my house to sew.


When my cousin Jean arrived I was working on winding some bobbins and cleaning my machine so that as soon as she had her borders on her quilt I could get it thrown on the quilter. Today is the first time I've used my frame that I haven't had any significant problems. I even tried a new way of loading everything that went much smoother. Here's what I did:


  1. Attached the quilt top to the 3rd rail with pins and rolled up.


  2. Attached backing to the 1st rail with pins and rolled up.


  3. Attached backing to the 2nd rail with pins and rolled it taunt.


  4. Brought up batting and laid it across backing.


  5. Pulled quilt top up and laid it across the batting and backing.


  6. Using basting gun I secured the top and batting to the backing.


This went so much quicker. There was no swearing. Per the Gracie instructions you start out by attching the backing. That's great and all but then you end up dragging the quilt top across fabric instead of bare rails. Doing it in the order I did it, it became a one person job instead of trying to direct another person to hold the quilt top up in the right way to keep the stress off of it.



Before I even put my machine on the frame I brought out a practice piece so that I could get my tension down. Once I was loaded I just had to make a few minor adjustments and then I had no further problems! I used Bottom Line thead in my bobbin and a Robinson Anton verigated thread in the top with a 100/16 top stitch needle. The verigated thread went really well with her quilt but it was kind of hard to see where I was going and where I had been. It blended in a little too well.


The quilt that I quilted for Jean was her first quilt. So in the last two weeks, my two students have completed their first projects. =) The quilt that she made is for her friend Pam who is currently battling breast cancer. Once I was done quilting it, we taught Jean how to put her binding on. It really turned out nicely.


While Jean and I were working on that, my Mom and Aunt Kitty worked on their block of the month blocks.



I began cutting for one of the baby quilts that I'm making this weekend for Baby X (really just not named yet and due on Monday). I realized that I really needed one more color to make the quilt work so Jean and I made an emergency trip over to the Patched Works. The quilt that I made went together so easily and was very quick. The fabric that I had purchased was called Little Blessings. It looked like it was a border print. I knew it was pretty but wasn't sure what to do with it so I googled the fabric line to find that they had a free pattern to go with it which is what I ended up using. I think it turned out just adorable. I even mitered my corners!!


Of course, while at Patched Works buying my fabric I found two other pieces of fabric that I HAD to have!!


Jean, her husband Tony, Mike and I all sat down to watch the movie Transformers and have a pizza. The movie was a lot different that I anticipated. I actually really liked the movie.



Just before they left we remembered we hadn't made the quilt label yet so we quickly printed it out onto muslin and I attached non-woven fusible interfacing to the back so it is now ironed onto her quilt. Now she'll just need to hand sew around the edges and then it can be delivered.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thread Lecture

Tonight we went to a thread lecture at Frank's Sewing Center given by Brad the owner. WOW, talk about informative! We learned about all the different types of thread and how they're made and how they're spun and wow, my head was spinning! There's this really cool thread called Hemingway that I thought was just pretty but more for embroidery than anything else. Well, it turns out I can use it for free motion quilting on my frame too. Wooo hooo!! Yeah, needless to say I bought a few spools of it! This thread lecture was worth it's weight in gold. It was $10 and we got a spool of the Hemingway thread, a spool of Lana thread and a U-Sew? mug!


In the mail today I also got an awesome postcard from my friend Moneik! Isn't it fantastic????


Do you have any idea how fast you type?

Today while at work one of my bosses asked me if I had any idea how fast I type. It's been years since I've taken a test so I just used my last known score which was 90 words per minute. His response was, "Seriously?" I said, "Yep, I'm a freak." Then we were discussing how fast another co-worker was and I figured she had to be the same or a little quicker. He was trying to decide on a words per minute for some candidates that he was interviewing. Now of course my co-worker and I were curious so we sought out an online test. I just sat down now and tried it and the first one out of the gate was 98. I did it a bunch of times earlier and scored anywhere from 84 to 104.







free typing test (c) CalculatorCat.com


Then we thought we'd find a 10 Key test to try. I scored on this one anywhere from 7000 keystrokes per hour to 11000 keystrokes per hour.

So, where do you rate?

Heat

When I was growing up we always tried to see how long we could go before we turned the heat on. Of course, this didn't happen when I was a little kid because that would have just been cruel. Mom's "rule" was always October first...never before. Over the years we'd "push" it to see if we could make it to November first. We've done that for many years now. Last year I pushed it all the way to December first.

Now, before you all reel in horror. It's just done in fun with the idea of, throw another quilt on you we have enough. It's the funny competition of who is going to give in first. I'm also adding that we live in an upper apartment so we do benefit from the heat being used downstairs. In fact, there's a lot of time during winter that we end up having the patio door cracked open because it's too hot. Since our apartment is only 1000 square feet, we can literally do some laundry and run the dryer to warm things up. The dishwasher does it's part too!

Mike and I made it to November First but now the heat got turned on this morning. It was just a little too chilly. Last night while sewing my hands were getting stiff so it was time. We'll probably put the plastic on the windows in the bedroom but will wait to put it on the patio door until we're done grilling for the year.

So, do you have any funny Heat rules in your house?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Project Linus Binding Marathon

I need to turn all the Project Linus stuff that I have outstanding on Saturday when I see Kelly so I was in a rush to make sure it all got done tonight. I bound 14 quilts and put borders on 4 tops.

I've even become quite adept at making binding and then sewing it on without ironing it in half first! LOL.

But wow...the four tops that I put borders on were tops that my Grandma put together and they were quite challenging. Since the tops come to us in kits, the borders are pre-cut. The tops are supposed to be 6 blocks by 7. You put the borders on the sides first and have just enough. You put the borders across the top and the bottom and have just enough. Unfortunately all 4 of my Grandma's she managed to put them together 5 across and 8 down. How she managed this I have no idea. All I know is I had to do some ridiculous stuff to make the borders work with the fabric that I had. I also had to do a LOT of repairs which took me longer than if I would have just sewn the tops myself. I love her dearly but I can't keep allowing her to make the tops in this manner. These are going to kids, they're going to be washed alot and even with the quilting on them they're going to start self destructing, fixing them only does so much. No matter what we say, she just rushes through them and all of a sudden she's adopted the attitude of "what's the difference, someone will fix them." I haven't had the heart to say that someone is ME. It's a charity quilt, if you don't want to do them for the charity, just don't do them. Unfortunately she has another 11 kits at her house that she's been working on. We keep trying to tell her that we only gave them to her because she wanted something to sew, if she no longer wants to do them, that's fine she doesn't have to feel obligated. Once I fix these current ones, that's it. I'm just going to tell her the project is complete. If she wants to sew, maybe she'll sew slower if it's fabric that she's purchased. I just don't want to cause a rift with her because of it so for that sake I think it's just better for her to not do them.

I still have a huge bag of bindings that really should be sewn together and ironed in half before turning in. But, you know what no one else does and I end up doing them before I put them on the quilts anyway so I might as well just do them the next time I get quilts back to bind. I'm one person, I can only do so much.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Discussing Quilting with Non-Quilting People

I was over at my Dad's tonight to go over what I want for Christmas. What's one of the things on my list?

A ROLL of batting. Ok, that raised some eye brows. You want what? Ok, seriously I want a roll of batting. It's only 30 yards, that can be used in no time. You figure at 90" wide, that's at best 15 quilts. To a quilter, this makes sense....to a non-quilter...I can see where this could be considered excessive! You're going to store it where? In my storage unit. I can stop on my way home from work, cut my piece and be on my way again. Won't that get funky? No, it's an indoor climate controlled unit. This required a lot of web surfing. One to the page that I found the best deal on, one to another page so I could show a picture of the bolt of batting, one to the page that has our storage unit on it.

The explaination of the quilting frame I have...that raised more eye brows. You do what? That works how? I thought it was more of a quilt rack thing. I think Cre8tive Quilter's quilt studio will have to have a demonstration for non-quilters so they can have that ah-ha moment. Onto the Grace web site to show how you can quilt from one side with pantograph or the other side to free motion quilt. So to learn you went to Michelle's in Iowa? But doesn't she have a different frame? Well sure she does. Is one better than the other? No, just the same but different. Huh? Onto the Hinterberg site.

I took a quilting magazine over with me. Dad's seen the Rotary Cutter/Mat/Ruler thing but his wife hasn't so that took a little explaining. Doesn't it get boring cutting 60 pieces? This one quilt has 60 pieces of one shape. Do you have special scissors? Nope, it goes really quick. Picture a pizza cutter and a ruler. That just seems like it should take a long time. Well this just raised more questions of how things get put together. Dad launched into this geometry lecture about how it's just angles. We both sat their with our eyes glazed over waiting for the lecture to end.

Showed them my bargello and tried to explain how it started out as strips...not cutting tons of teeny tiny squares and rectangles. I should have pulled up the webpage on this one!

I didn't even try to explain paper piecing. I think that has to be show and tell too!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Always Busy With Something

Tonight Mom and I went over to Maureen's for a Lia Sophia party. I've got to say this is the first time I've ever gone to one of those parties and nothing spoke to me. There were a lot of things in the catalog that were pretty but the bottom line is, the ones I liked were things that I could make. At that point I'd rather wear my own creation. So Hrmph.

I've been working on binding Project Linus quilts the last few nights. I want to get them all caught up so that I can deliver them to Kelly when we go to Bits & Pieces on Saturday for Block of the Month.

I'm getting discouraged by my new downstairs neighbors. Every time I sew they tap on their ceiling. How is it that I went 8 years without a complaint and now everyone seems to be bothered by my sewing machine? Mike keeps telling me I have every right to sew but it's just so frustrating. I got home last night at 9:30 and I figured well...why bother sewing when I'm just going to have to quit at 10. What the heck kind of fit are they going to throw when I put my machine on my quilt frame?

Dryer Sheet Book Marks

A few weeks ago my friend Nancy shared a tutorial on how to make dryer sheet bookmarks. I commented that they were cool and that I was going to have to drum up some dryer sheets since I don't have any - we use these "dryer ball" things instead.

Well....I got some exciting squishy mail this week. Now mind you, she sent these from Canada to the US and had emailed me saying that if an envelope came from her "postage due" not to go get it because it wasn't worth anything more than a joke. Ok, so I go and get the mail and it's squishy. I open it up and it was....are you ready for this...DRYER SHEETS!!! I was laughing so hard I almost wet myself. I think I've shown them to just about everyone I know because it's sooo funny!

Now I'll have to make myself some book marks. She even sent me little scraps to make them from! I think that will be on my to-do list next week.

Falling Star

I just wanted to mention an Alzheimer's quilt made by my friend Maureen that is currently up for auction on Ami Simms' Website. Her quilt is currently going for $100 and the bidding ends in 7 days. I think it's really exciting!!


Proceeds benefit Alzheimer's Research

Monday, November 12, 2007

That SUCKS!!

Our vacuum stopped sucking right before the quilt retreat. I wanted to get the carpeting vacuumed before I moved the couch back into place and then Holly got sick so we needed to steam clean the carpets. So Mike runs over to my mom's this afternoon to borrow her steam cleaner. Before starting we took the vacuum apart to see if we could find the clog. No luck. We could see through all the poles. I ran to my Mom's to get hers (Gotta Love Oreck's - they're only 8 pounds!) and sent Mike over to the Oreck dealer to drop off our vacuum. So I went on my way vacuuming and carpet cleaning and Mike walks back in with our vacuum.

Apparantly I managed to suck up a small pad of post-it notes. They had to have been in there for quite some time because I actually have been looking for them! I like to mark things that I like in quilt magazines with them.

The Oreck dealer was only going to charge us $.10 because he also pulled out a dime but Mike bought some pet cleaner to make his digging worth his while.

I really love our Oreck.

Quilt Retreat - Day Two

I just finished taking my last stitches of the day and boy what a busy day it was! Today it was just my Mom and I.

I got going around 10am and started with laundry and such. Then I started sewing. My first things were 2 blocks for the Celestial Migraine Block of the Month. I started about 7 months into it so I'm just working at it on my own pace. These are the "March" blocks.


Once Mom was ready to sew we ran to Patched Works and Bits & Pieces. At Patched Works I picked up the binding material for my Yellow & Blue Pineapple Table Topper and the two Holly Jolly Table Runners. I also got a Shangrala Charm Pack because I liked my Mom's so much. I got the Winter Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Magazine because there are a few really cute and quick ideas in there that I'd like to make. At Bits & Pieces I got 9 more fat quarters to go in my Pink, Black & White quilt that I'm planning to make and a red print with silly looking dogs. I'll make Murphy & Holly some spiffy new bandannas.


While at Bits & Pieces, Karen told us that Homespun Creations recently went out of business. They were a quilt shop in the area that was actually back in an industrial park and shared space with her sisters carpet store. They had a better location at one time and since the move to the industrial park things have been a bit sketchy. I don't know if anyone remembers, but that is the store we were having our Project Linus meetings at. The last two meetings before summer break she just failed to show to have the store open in the evening and never returned any ones calls. Their hours were pretty whacked too. It was something screwy like two days a week 12-3 and then some Saturdays. While I hate to see a quilt store go out of business; especially one of my local shops, to me this had been coming for quite some time. You just can't expect to be able to run a business like that. I know for myself I hadn't tried to shop there in months just because the hours were SOOOO ridiculous. I also didn't like that I all of a sudden started receiving solicitation in the mail for the carpet store just because her sister decided both mailing lists should be hers. Just not a good way to do business if you ask me.


Then it was back to sewing. I stippled my Pineapple Table Topper using a yellow and blue variegated King Tut thread. I also got it's binding put on. It's supposed to be 8 sided. The white triangles are supposed to be 60 degree angels and we goofed that up. Since it had a peak in the center I decided just to take one big tuck down the center and it turned into a 6 sided topper. No big deal because I wasn't that fond of it anyway. I made it earlier this year because my Mom wanted to make one. If I remember right, hers still has it's peak. We had said if only a tree skirt for a Christmas Tree could be blue and yellow I could have cut out the center and it would have made a great tree skirt!




Next it was time to put the binding on the two Holly Jolly table runners. These were both made out of one charm pack each.



It was only 8pm....I just Couldn't Be DONE sewing!! I have this yellow and blue Pineapple quilt that I made in the summer of 2006. I started basting it earlier this year. I got halfway done and folded it up. I pulled it back out about 6 months later, finished the basting and did all the quilting on the top. I was then going to quilt cables in the borders. I started putting on the Borders on a Roll and then I got bored with that so I folded it back up where it's been for the last 4 months or so. Finally I decided to night that I was going to pull off the paper border templates and just stipple the borders with the same Yellow and Blue King Tut Variegated thread. Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, the Pineapple Table Topper & the Pineapple Quilt are both out of the same fabrics. I made the quilt first and then the scraps for the table topper months later. I was done with the stippling around 10 and decided that I just had to put the binding on. It was a good thing that I've had it prepared for the last few months! I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I do have a few tension issues on the back. The thread and I just couldn't get along no matter how much I putzed with it. But I decided it's better to have it done. If I would rip it out I'd probably wait another 6 months to finish it again!!

The only bad part about this quilt is that there are TONS of teeny tiny basting tacks that need to be removed and thousands of threads that need to be trimmed from the quilting that I did. Oh well...it'll get done sooner or later!

I'm just thrilled with all that I got accomplished this weekend. I hope to have a very quilty week and then starting Friday afternoon at 4:30 I am on vacation until 8am on November 26th!! There's NINE days in a row that I can get sewing done in!!!! I'll be dangerous with all I hope to accomplish. Hopefully I can get some Christmas Presents whipped out and maybe even knock another UFO off my list. I'm dangerously close to having them all completed. I told my mom that I should try to get them all done so that I can start out 2008 with a clean slate. She pretty much told me I was nuts.