Think about this.....

...the only thing scarier then reaching out to the unknown is settling for that with which we are comfortable.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Craftsy Rocks!

It would probably be a dream of mine to actually be an instructor for Craftsy! I love the platform they have created for learning and teaching alike. It's a win-win situation and I haven't had a class yet that I didn't absolutely love...and that says a lot really since I am a teacher myself.

My third ragg quilt is in the works. Most of the weekend was spent running around with my amazing husband and visiting with two of our boys. We enjoyed a leisurely day of shopping, eating, relaxing, and visiting. The weather seemed nice from the inside, but outside our warmer temps are fighting to come back. I did get a little cutting done on some jean material and all the cotton squares cut for this next quilt. I will keep this one for our sunporch and will be making two pillows to go with for the futon out there.

I should be able to finish those up today so we may see you back here yet this evening if I can get pics before I lose the sun. Happy creating!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Country Ragg Quilt

This one has a country appeal to it and I find the colors rather soothing. The animals particularly like this quilt for some reason. I had to shoo the cat off of it twice last night while trying to fluff out the seams and then today, while shooting pics for here, I no sooner grabbed the camera and found the dog on top of it. At least somebody appreciates all my hard work. ;-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pic Tomorrow

Despite having a plethora of other stuff to do today I was able to complete the Ragg Quilt. It is still, as we speak, down in the first dryer phase getting the threads out. This is a recommendation that Ginger from Two Sisters fabric store suggest I do. The reason is to reduce the number of threads into the washer and it's link trap. It's much easier cleaning a dryer lint trap then mucking up the washer's.

Because it's so late at night I'll shoot pics of the quilt tomorrow, provided I don't head over to Wyoming to this really big estate sale with my mom. Apparently there is a LOT of fabric and other quilting items over there. The sale actually started today, but circumstances being what they were/are, we decided to head over tomorrow instead.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another Ragg Quilt

I had to do at least one more ragg quilt! This one is going to be made out of jeans and country cottons. Yesterday I cut all the jeans material out (thank you Goodwill for your cheap jeans-$1.69 per pair) as well as the cotton materials. I am starting them at 7" and will make the quilt 9 x 9 squares.

Tonight I sewed the backs and fronts together and then laid them all out to see what we had and I think this is going to work out well.

The problem is that despite my having purchased a special needle for my machine (100/16) to accommodate the heavier fabrics Laura is making some crunching noises. I don't think it's her necessarily but rather the needle trying not to break. Another problem that may be up and coming is the fact I'll have to put four layers of fabric through the machine tomorrow to piece the quilt together. Cross your fingers!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Project Completed

Here is my little wall hanging creation. It certainly brightens up the darkly trimmed kitchen and it's something different then what I usually create. I find that it's nice to be able to divert off into another realm rather then sticking to the worn-out route on occasion.

Overdoing during the weekend left me back on the couch for most of Sunday and part of yesterday. But then I picked myself up, dusted off my ever widening backside and got on with life. A cold can only keep me down for so long. If only I wasn't so dizzy with this one!

After I finally shook the cobwebs out of my head and started to function as a normal human again, I found the pattern for the Converse tennis shoes from the my last issue of Quiltmaker and started on my first square set. There are two squares in each set; one for a side view and the other square is a front view of each pair of tennies. They are foundation paper pieced and seemed to go together with just a little difficulty. I will try to complete a pair at least every other day or so.

I started cutting out the jeans material from the 17 pairs of jeans Jim and I picked up on Friday. Because of the size limitation and not wanting to waste much material, I'm making the squares 7" to start. I know this will end up into a smaller finished size, but I had so many pairs of jeans that would not yield an 8" square. It's a rag quilt so I don't think there are too many does and don'ts in them which is nice to begin with.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sick, sick, sick

Okay, so I haven't been that sick, but still, sick is sick when you don't feel your usual self. I'm more of the suck-it-up and you'll-get-through-it type. However, when a pattern for a quilt is sick or my machine is sick, that's another story.

I purchased a lighthouse wallhanging pattern through and am disappointed in it. The directions are sketchy and very wordy and I'm having a hard time getting all the little tiny pieces to work. I think this is one for the scrap heap and I'll try to find a different lighthouse pattern somewhere else. I should have known better and did some more research before jumping in to purchase...but the price was right, yada, yada, yada. Today's motto: Live and learn.

The yo-yo's are coming along well. I used to work corporate and we used to use these little hole reinforcer thingies-they looked like little white donuts and they were used when a three-hole punched punch became ripped. In corporate we used to call them paper assholes. I have come to the conclusion that yo-yo's look like fabric assholes. See for yourself.

When the yo-yo's are made into a coverlet you don't see the little pucker-y end. That side goes down. But I'm making an eclectic wall hanging and some of these will be displayed with the pucker side out. I think I shall name the piece "Bear your best side". No? It's being done in purples and yellows in honor of my best friend in Arizona. This way she and I will be "together" when we can no longer be together.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cold Today!

It's kind of hard to work on the sunporch when the outside temps are hovering at around 40. This means the sunporch is hovering only a few degrees warmer making it hard to sew anything. I did manage to grab a few minutes out there sewing my second Craftsy BOM flower and bumblebee down. I hand sewed the honeycomb because I wanted it to actually puff up a bit making it appear more 3D-ish.

I don't know if I mentioned that I purchased a pattern for a lighthouse wallhanging a few months previously. I had a PayPal balance I needed to use and the lighthouse will fit perfectly in our bathroom. I began reading the instructions for it and started to make a few foundation paper patterns. The pattern actually wants me to freezer paper the design, but I would like to be consistent throughout and so will try a few blocks with the foundation method to check for accuracy.

I also cut out several more circles for my yo-yo wallhanging and then sewed six of them together while on the phone with Jim, who is on his way to Chicago today.

I also took a looksie at a Converse Shoe quilt pattern. This is also a foundation paper pieced design and thought of Ben right away (he nearly lives in his Chucks), but know that I can not make any more quilts for family members. I have to start selling these things...don't I? Maybe for his graduation gift if it doesn't sell in the next year? I know he'd love, love, love it!

For now, I'll head down to my fabric stash and start picking fabrics out for the lighthouse wall hanging. I should also take a look and plan my May Sunbonnet Sue while I'm down there. Hopefully tomorrow will bring warmer temps and a forward progression towards sewing.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Weekend

Didn't do much quilting on Friday since food shopping and preparations needed to be completed. After those tasks were indeed done as far as they could be until tomorrow, and before our son and my father arrived, I was able to get a Craftsy BOM block completed.

This month we utilized a method called English Paper Piecing. I have never attempted this previously, but truly enjoyed doing it! However, it is very time consuming. There is a lot of hand stitching done which I'm not very good at, but am getting better.

The second block is a challenge block, meaning our instructor, Amy, challenged us to come up with a block more in alignment with our quilt "theme". I am trying to get my head around something to do with bees. I think maybe I'll make a honeycomb (since honeycombs have six sides to them) and I'll applique a bee or two onto the rest of the block. creative juices are starting to gurgle. This could be dangerous.

After Jim leaves tomorrow for his weekly work week, I'll be able to get back into my normal routine. Last week was a bit chunky since Caleb was on spring break, but it was great having him around to help out with fires and such (our temps have gotten back down to normal-50's in the daytime, 30's at night).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

First Rag Quilt

So, here it is. It turned out really cute and will make a nice baby quilt for somebody. Probably more towards a girl then a boy, but there are all those cute baby colors within it.

Completed my first of two Craftsy BOMs. We used hexagon shapes today and did a lot of hand stitching. I don't traditionally like to hand stitch anything because I'm not very good at it, but actually found this block enjoyable. It was very time consuming but it was worth it.

Also completed two pillow cases for our guild. We are donating them to the Eaton and Barry county CPS folks who currently pick up kids' toys and belongings in black plastic trash bags. The kids are traumatized enough and when they see the trash bags, feel like their belongings are being tossed away. The CPS department will be providing pillow cases to replace the trash bags. I'll take pics tomorrow and show you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Craftsy Rocks!

I have mentioned in previous posts about a web site called! Love, love, love it! I am taking a class with Jenny from Missouri Star Quilt Company through this site and she introduced a class that makes traditionally tough quilts into not-to-tough to make pieces. She is giving us about 10 quilts to complete throughout the class.

I started her class yesterday and my first nearly finished quilt is in the dryer "as we speak". I'll take pics tomorrow when I have daylight. The quilt is a Rag Quilt and can be done in flannels, denim, homespun fabrics, or anything else you have the desire to make look raggy. The first quilt I completed was done with what flannel fabrics I could come up with out of my stash. After sorting out pastels and brights, found that I was the least short in the pastels and needed to only purchase another three yards to make a complete quilt.

Since last night was guild night I thought it prudent to patronize the Hastings local fabric stores. They have two that I know of for sure, but Google says there are four. Two Sisters fabric shop had the three pastels colors I needed (mint green, light blue, and a light yellow) to make the quilt interesting and offered a 20% discount to guild members, which I did not even know. So bonus there!

The blocks are larger in size; 10 inches to start. A larger seam is taken because after piecing the top together you snip 1/2" cuts about 3/4" apart and then wash and dry the quilt to fray the edges of the unfinished seams. The quilt sure is soft, and like always, haven't really taken a look at it closely yet until photos are taken tomorrow. We shall see...stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Guild Day Today

Tonight is my quilt guild meeting and today during the day I think I'm going to take an on-line class from one of the Missouri Star Quilting Shop owners via Quilters Club of America. I also have my BOM from Craftsy and that's always fun to watch.

As I promised yesterday, here are my April wallhangings.

Monday, April 2, 2012

QM First Block

With the weather and Jim's new bizarre schedule it's been difficult to get some quilting in, but I think I have a handle on this. Maybe?

Received my first Quiltmaker test block for their 100 Blocks Volume 6 book assignment today and was able to squeeze that in. I can't publish any pics here because we are sworn to secrecy...well not really sworn, but kindly reminded not to share until the book is published next year.

But I can show you my April Sunbonnet Sue and fireplace wallhangings. I'll do that tomorrow. Don't you hate it when people keep you in suspense? Something like when people say, "I know something you don't know," and then they don't tell you. Ugh! Actually, the pics I got today aren't really that great since I forgot to snap them prior to hanging them up, so I'll wait for some good light tomorrow and get better ones.