Sunday, November 30, 2008

When you need comfort....quilt

And that's exactly what I did. For me it was a little too erie that Murphy was in the ER on the same date that Sherman had to be put to sleep 9 years ago. I bet he was looking over Murphy keeping him safe. The whole thing just really threw me for a loop and made me sad. So while we waited, I sewed.

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I don't know what happened but it looks like I missed the picture for one of them!! Oh well. I do have 9.

To get the names on the blocks I pulled my sewing machine out of my table. Put an acrylic ruler over the hole and placed my ott lamp under the hole. I put the paper with the names on it, fabric on top of that and traced. I then sewed over the names with the machine using my triple stitch. No hand stitching for this chicky on this project!!! Ok, I'll hand sew the binding.

Tomorrow night I'll assemble the top.

Drama Free Thanksgiving...

Really wasn't drama free afterall. =( We tried!!

Just as Mike and I were mixing the stuffing, getting ready to pull the turkey out of the fridge and get him stuffed my Mom called. Her dog Murphy collapsed and was shaking. Mike and I ran to her house we put him in my Mom's car and Mom and I ran him out to the 24 hour emergency vet in Waukesha. Thank God for my new GPS that still needs a name because we had perfect directions without worrying we were going in the wrong direction.

Murphy is Diabetic and is insulin dependant. For whatever reason his sugar was way off. He's supposed to be around 170-180. His sugar was down around 35. They immediately tested his blood and got him on a glucose IV. Since we didn't know what was going to go on with him we had to postpone our Turkey dinner for 18. The new date is still TBD. We checked the butterball website and it was ok to re-freeze our turkey. Mike decided to throw the smaller one of the two on the grill. We baked part of the stuffing and part of the mashed potatoes so that the three of us would still have something to eat for dinner but beyond that the rest will have to be frozen. I'm not even sure if it will taste good after being frozen so we'll have to be prepared to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch when the time comes. We waited around all day for news on Murphy thinking he'd get to come home but he ended up spending the night. Currently his sugar is around 450 which is much too high. We'll be going to get him after work tomorrow and then we'll see what our regular vet has to say.

Check out the georgeous color that Mike got on his first ever grilled turkey:


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It tasted even better than it looked. It was beyond fabulous!!!!!!!!!

In addition to the Murphy ER visit, Mike went to sit on our couch and a piece of wood within our recliner couch snapped. He flipped it upside down to see if he could remove it and replace it but it's not going to happen. We'll now be replacing our couch. Ok since it's 9-1/2 years old but it definitely wasn't on the list of things to do this year.

It's always something isn't it??

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fusible and a dirty iron

I really don't know how it got this bad!! My iron that is. Check out the bottom of it.


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Thank God for Dritz Iron Cleaner it's back to looking like this:


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I was able to get my antlers and holly leaves fused to the Reindeer blocks. I used up scraps of this and that in the way of fusible. Now that I've managed to use them all together I can really tell the difference. I think I'll be making myself up a fusible example sheet.

I also started to applique around the pieces. I was using a blanket stitch which I made to be really small. I used an embroidery 90/14 needle and I changed it twice within these 9 blocks. The fusible must really dull your needle quick. I could tell it was time for a change when the fabric started getting pulled down into the needle hole. I was also using a 12 weight (really thick) black wool thread that I had in my stash. To the untrained eye it could almost look as if I hand stitched it...AS IF!!!


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Looks prety good if I do say so myself!!

Can I just note that I hate my new ironing board pad. It's far too squishy. I really don't know what to do to remedy that fact.




Friday, November 28, 2008

Reindeer!!

Aren't they cute??

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There are actually 9 blocks, they're all put together. Next I need to applique their antlers and holly leaves on them and applique their names. Then I can assemble them into a quilt top.



We hit the Black Friday Sales this morning. First up was Walmart when they opened at 5am. Mike was after a Shop Vac and at the last minute I decided to grab a Garmin GPS that was on sale. Our second stop was Kohl's Department store where we bought cheap pillows to put into the pillow shams that I'll be making for our bed. Our last stop was Ace hardware so Mike could buy a set for his Dremel Tool.

My GPS is going to need a name. I've already outfitted it with an Elf voice and a Reindeer icon with a blue lit nose to light my way.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Need Peppermint & Holly Berries Help!!

Has anyone out there in blogland made the Reindeer Games quilt out of the Peppermint & Holly Berries Art to Heart book? Or does anyone have the book that can take a look at it and help me out?

Mike won't humor me. I realize the man isn't a quilter but it's math. It's just math and directions. You'd think he could help me out. Sigh.

Anyway...I'm on page 4. I'm at step 4 under the heading Quilt Top. The second part of step 4

It reads: Place a #O rectangle at the right end of the #G and stitch diagonally across the rectangle as shown. Trim 1/4" past the stitching.

G rectangle is 8-1/2" x 3-1/2 inches.
O Rectangle is 4-1/2" x 3-1/2 inches.

Sooo, if you draw the little line and sew on the diagonal as shown it looks ok until you go to iron it back.




What the hck am I missing here???? Like should I just change the 3-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch rectangle into a 3-1/2 x 3-1/2" square, sew on that diagonal and call it a day? It's probably not going to work with the rest of the block if I do that.

Ugghh, this is already NOT A GOOD EXPERIENCE. It's really no wonder why I've owned the fabric for so long and didn't cut it for 3 years. Then I had to totally work up my own cutting skematic just to not waste tons of fabric. Oh yeah...I did double check my measurements on the fabrics to make sure I'm not just using the wrong pieces.

HELP!! I feel like an idiot.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful

It's a day early but I wanted to start the day off by saying I'm thankful. I'm thankful to HEATHER for serving in the Navy. I'm thankful she's back on US soil and back from deployment.

Our Prolific Online Quilters group made her a quilt which was put together and quilted by Moneik. My block is third row, second block. My mom's is first row, third block.


September Quilts 005


THANK YOU HEATHER FOR PROTECTING OUR FREEDOM!!!



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Finished Objects

I quilted two more of my mom's UFO's today. Two more Christmas gifts!! I've already sent them home with her for binding.

The first one is a Christmas Wreath. She doesn't remember how long ago she made it. It's probably about 15 years old.



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The second one is a table runner. This I think she made about 10 years ago.




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I started hand sewing my rick rack onto my Smores quilt. I hope to take this to my dad's tomorrow to sew on while they watch football. Watching football games that just don't matter in my world make me want to tear my hair out. It's like having needles in your eyes while you're watching paint dry.

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The hand sewing of the rick rack is going much quicker than I anticipated. I'm sewing down one side until I run out of thread. Then I go back with the next thread and sew down the other side. It's way quicker than binding but it's hurting my wrist so I think I'll have to wear a wrist brace to finish it.






Monday, November 24, 2008

I've been a little busy

The other night when we were at my Mom's I decided to take a few of her unfinished quilt tops home with me to quilt for her for Christmas. I was originally taking 2 that I bought backings for but the rest of these; I just couldn't stand seeing them go unquilted for another year. Today I quilted the following:


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This one is for my front door once my Harvest hanging comes down:


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This one will be given to my Grandma as a decoration for her apartment:


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I got the binding sewn onto my Smores quilt. Wow..it really looks busy in the picture. It's not like that in person. Now I need to decide how to attach the rick rack.


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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shade Cascade has been hung!!!

A sneak peek from the living room:



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Here's a sneak peak from the bottom of the stair case:


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From the top of the stairs looking back down:

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I'll admit, every time I pass it on the stair well I reach out to touch it. I love the texture of this quilt!!

So, I've either got a great start on a kick ass quilt gallery going on in my house or I'm just a big freaking dork after all...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Had a Very Shiny Nose...

I finally after 2 years of owning the fabric and the pattern for the reindeer quilt I want to make I finally cut it up and I'm ready to go.


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Of course it took a lot of work to get to the point of being able to cut it out. This is one of those patterns where each block is supposed to contain different colors. 9 different backgrounds, 9 different hats, 9 different reindeer colors; etc. I broke it down and decided to do three choices for each. Of course when the pattern cutting instructions look like this:


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And since I need to multiply it by three it causes me to create this:

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And of course cut this:


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And yet; I still have this (It's a 12 x 12 box that is approximately 2-1/2 inches tall) left over:


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It's been a long time since I've pieced something this crazy. It ought to be interesting considering I really would like to get the top together in the next two weeks or so.

That's how I spent my Saturday night, how about you?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Smores!!

After work I ran out to Frank's with Bud (My Babylock QCP Machine). Brad just shook his head. He's probably thinkin I'm crazy. Oh wait...he knows that I am. All is good with the world. He didn't have the spring in stock that I needed but is going to order it. In the mean time he removed my feed dogs since I'm not using them anyway and that will allow me to use my machine without the missing spring. It will just go clickey clack in the mean time.

Back to the house, load the machine and the quilt back onto the frame. Quilted the rest of the quilt without any problems. Then it happened, it dawned on me where the spring might be. I swear there are days I'm just a dumb ass!! My frame has a few little holes in it's top. I think they are there for the wooden pantographs that were originally out to use with the frame. Now a few months back I posted about these drawer units that I placed under my frame to hold all of my scraps. Well duh, the spring fell through a hole and onto the top of a drawer unit. I looked everywhere BUT there. So I re-attached the spring and went on with life.

Here's a teeny picture of the smores. I'm hand sewing the binding on it and Mike's not around to hold it up for me to snap a shot.



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Once the binding is done then I still need to add the rick rack to it. I'll get into that in a post when I get to that point.

Let's talk about binding for a second. My friend Regina pointed out something that I'm sure is common knowledge to all of you but it wasn't to me and now that I think about it I'm pretty sure it's because I'm left handed and go the reverse way from a right handed person when putting my binding on. But in the event that I'm not the only person to realize this, I'll throw in some pictures. So when you get to a corner, if the fold is on one side on the front, it needs to be on the other side in the back. I looked at a lot of my quilts and some are this way and some are not. I guess this never dawned on me. Now it makes so much sense that I feel like an idiot for not noticing this in the past 10 years that I've been quilting. Oh well, you never stop learning!!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Springs and Shams

I loaded my Smore's quilt onto the frame tonight and I was just about done when I ran out of bobbin thread. It was all going so well and it all ended so horribly.

I had some threads stuck. I couldn't get them lose. I removed all removable parts including a spring. I cleaned it out. I went to put the spring back on and it was missing. I totally blamed Mike and I shouldn't have. But, in the mean time I'm springless and can't use my frame. =( I can't finish my quilt. =(

I'll have to take the machine to Frank's tomorrow after work to see if he has a spring.

I'd like to get the pillow shams for my bed made. I went to reference my post from when I made them the last time. I had found this awesome tutorial. Only now...it's GONE. No tutorial and I have no idea what size to make my shams. Can anyone out there in blog land do me a favor and measure a pillow sham that you have as well as the size that the actual pillow part should be?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Compliments

Thank you all so much for your compliments on Shade Cascade. I can't wait to get the binding done. The further I get the more excited I get about the quilt. It turned out so much cooler than I ever anticipated. I still haven't decided if I want to hang it above the closet in Quilt Studio West where the ceiling is vaulted or at the very top of the stairs on the second floor. At the moment I'm leaning on the top of the stairs since it will be easier to hang it at that location. Some day when I make a wall hanging specifically for the top of the stairs I can then hang Shade Cascade in the sewing room.

Hopefully I'll be done with the binding and hanging sleeves in the next day or two!!

When I mentioned that I had used 5 or 6 bobbins of Bottom Line I never realized that would be so commented on. I was making note of it because I knew the quilting was rather dense but 5-6 bobbins surprised me. I compared it to the same type of thread that I've used on other projects. The key here is the SAME thread and SAME size bobbins.

Bottom Line is a very thin thread. I believe it's labeled as 60 weight. It's also important to note that it is a 60 weight thread based on Superior Threads standards. Each thread manufacturer has their own method of grading thread weight. There is no industry standard when it comes to thread although it does sound like there is one.

Looking back at my spreadsheet I found the following:

2304 Square inches of quilt for my Shade Cascade used 5-6 bobbins of Bottomline Thread.
10,404 Square inches of quilt for my Turning Twenty again quilt used 6 bobbins.
10,230 Square inches of quilt for the Snapshots quilt also used 6 bobbins.

Now, if I wanted to compare thicker threads to Bottom Line, that would be comparing Apples to Oranges instead of Apples to Apples. Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up.

I'm off to sew binding!!