Think about this.....

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Too Much is Better Then Not Enough

Apparently when I ordered the backing for the Christmas Triangles I got a little carried away. This appears to be way too much fabric!

Backing for Christmas Triangles
It runs the entire length of DW and I'm fairly certain the quilt top is not that big. I'll know more in a few hours.

While working on the backing yesterday, I started re-formulating/creating the guild wall hanging challenge piece in my head. I layed down a piece of fabric and then drew out some hoof prints. I drew an outline of a grandma and this is where I ended last night while Jim was mudding nail holes in the drywall already hung downstairs.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
I want this (like my Leading a Horse to Water wallhanging) to be kind of minimalistic. Since it will eventually end up in my studio, I'm trying to stay away from too much detail since I already have a lot of visual stimulation in here.

I'll load Christmas Triangles today and get started on it. I'm kind of in a hurry to get it done since it won't be on our bed too awful long as Thanksgiving was so late this year. I'm wondering if I can push two thread through the needle of my long arm at once?!? It would be so cool to quilt this piece with both silver and gold thread in each of the trees. I think I need to research this!

I'll work on the wallhanging as well and gear up for tomorrow's BOM releases since I'll be tackling those in the upcoming week. I think I've decided not to do the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt this year. Or...maybe I'll work it later since I feel like this holiday needs to be a little simpler.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mom's are the Best!

My mom doesn't Facebook or blog or really do much on the internet. She can barely traverse her iPhone. She won't see this post, but perhaps somebody who knows her will share my thoughts/feelings about what an amazing woman she truly is.

Yesterday, while the guys were out picking up drywall with moms truck (since mine is no longer here), she hung out here with me in the studio. I wanted to give her a fun project to do while I was working on the Pepto quilt. I know she loves to work with colors and while she is so not a textile person, she is very artistic and her use of colors is amazing.

I showed her this.

My next large project after all my BOM's for 2015 are completed.
I said, "Mom, I love the colors the author used in the cover pic, but I would rather do a black background since Katie already did it with white." (And we all know how much I love to work in black).

She asked a few questions. She looked briefly looked through the book and within an hour she had all the fabrics selected.

Moms fabric selection
And, if I know my mother at all, she'll remember what exactly she did today and will find other fabrics for me during her holiday shopping excursions to add to the pile even more. She remembers colors well and I'm surprised just how spot-on she is without having anything to go on other then her memory.

Pepto is done! I didn't snap a pic of it completed because I couldn't get it out of here fast enough!

After the game, the boys decided to start hanging all the drywall they picked up before the game. I would have felt guilty sitting in the family room playing on my device while they were working so I decided to start in on the borders for Christmas Triangles.

Before we all stopped last night, the guys had one wall hung downstairs, and I had all the borders on the top. I still need to pre-wash the backing fabric (which I'll do once my daily load of laundry is done) and get the quilt loaded before we have to return the little kid back to school later today.

Christmas Triangles hanging out waiting to get loaded (with Pepto in the background). 
We did run to The Hen House yesterday and I have finally obtained a backing fabric for my Stitcher's Garden. I'm so glad because I'm sick of shifting this top around from room to room to make sure it doesn't get folded until it's quilted.

Today is Sunday and I should probably start working on my Christmas wall hanging for the guild party. I came up with an idea in my tiny little head, but for some reason it's just not fully lighting my fire. Maybe I need to research this some more this morning and see what else I come up with?

I got a late start blogging this morning because Connecting Threads is having a huge sale on notions today. I shopped for an hour (or more) and found some really useful things on my wish list for at least half off. Jim gave me the green light to add them all to my cart (including 505 at $6.05 a can). Must get busy doing something productive and less chatty out here in cyber land.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pepto

OMG...that quilt on the frame is about blinding! I'm using an Omni Peoni Pink thread in the top resulting in my having to use my side light when quilting. Without any light at all the top is bright, but with any other additional lighting, it almost makes you dizzy.

I have about half of it done. I had to get away from it after a few hours!

This is what I did for the remainder of yesterday.

Christmas Wall Hanging
Diane (the creator of the original design) called this Tiny Baubles. I've modified the original design quite a bit because of the fabric I had available left over from the Christmas Triangles.

I'm debating on whether to quilt this on the long arm or just stick it under Mike. It only measures  about 29 x 34 1/2" and I think sticking it under the long arm may be overkill...but it sure would be faster!

Our local quilt shops are having sales to promote shopping small business Saturday. I want to run into The Hen House to see what they have going on and maybe hit Bee's if I have time. I'll work on Margaret's quilt when I get home while the guys are yelling at Spartan football on the TV--game time: 3:00.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Holly-Days

It's time to get out the Christmas decorations. We generally make it a family affair the evening of Thanksgiving and the day after. This year followed suit with Christmas music playing in the background and willing boys to help move the living room around to accommodate the upcoming festivities.

While I was preparing our Thanksgiving feast on Wednesday, I was able to sneak in here intermittently and prepare two more blocks for our guilds' block contribution during the quilt show. I did three blocks in all (I have so many other things I want to do right now so three was my limit). Want to see them?

There they are. All Three!
That's mean not to show them in their entirety. I didn't show them yet because they are all packed up nicely and ready to deliver at next weeks meeting. Before I leave for the meeting I'll spread them out and get a pic.

This morning, after decorating the house for Christmas, I started loading Margarets third quilt. I just finished loading (lunch break wedged its way in there) and here's what DW is wearing today.


Margaret's third Strip Therapy quilt.
Pink. Not my favorite color so I want to get this on and off quickly. Looks like a giant bottle of Pepto hanging around in the studio.

The backing fabric arrived today for our Christmas Triangles top. I took a look at it and it will definitely need prewashing prior to getting it under the long arm. I'll work on that while I'm quilting "pinky" here.

I've decided the wall hanging that pairs with our current bed quilt will not work well with the Christmas Triangles quilt. I need to make a wall hanging to match. I rummaged around my magazines from previous months/years and found a nice ornament one that would work nicely. It's designed by Diane Harris (QM Interactive Editor) whom I've worked with in the past, which explains why I like the design.

I have enough left over fabric from the triangle construction to incorporate into the wall hanging. So Yeah!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's Thanksgiving Week!

Even with the holiday on its way, I still find the need to spend time in my happy place. I know I have lots to do around here in the cleaning/cooking arena, but can't resist finishing up some projects and enjoying my sewing solitude.

Here is Margaret's first quilt completed.

Green!
This one turned out very well and I'm pretty happy with it!

I loaded her second one yesterday morning with Jims help. It sure goes faster when you have four sets of arms and hands.

Margaret's Second Quilt
I found some new motifs in my ProStitcher and incorporated those in the borders. As long as I had the computer on, I checked out other new motifs that were downloaded when I did an update last week. I found some really cute meandering butterflies and started working with those in the body of the quilt. Before I knew it I was at the end of the quilt and here it is completed last night.

Purple!
While DW was stitching along yesterday I chipped away at my Grinch Advent Calendar. Since the quilt above finished so quickly (although not easily since we were having some tension issues), I was able to also finish the Grinch.

Here he is.

Grinch Advent Calendar
If you look in the #1 date above, you'll see a little Grinch sticking out of the pocket. I have to pick up stuffing for him today since I'm plumb empty of fiber fill.

Yes, today is errand day. I have to run and pick up the little kid for the holiday weekend, and while I'm in town, have a list of other stuff to obtain. Mom is going to join me around noon and we're taking off after that so I only have a few hours in here this morning to "play".

Maybe I'll work on some blocks for Carol S. for the library display in February and March. I've picked out a dozen or so patterns I want to use and I have to pull additional fabrics to make them all work.

I will not load Margaret's last quilt until Friday. I'm really weird about cooking smells (and other smells for that matter) with customer quilts. I'll tuck her last quilt in the closet and close the doors so turkey and other Thanksgiving smells don't permeate her fabric while it would otherwise be hanging out on the frame.

I may get a little sewing time in tomorrow. I have to clean the house and prepare for Thursday. The rest of the kids (minus the Ohio gang) are going to be here tomorrow afternoon so probably won't be back until at least Friday.

Monday, November 23, 2015

I Couldn't Resist

I had to run out and shoot some pics with the beautiful snow before it leaves us in a few days.

From the back deck

Further from the back deck

From the studio window facing SE

From the other studio window looking almost due east
I actually did get quite a bit done yesterday.

1) Margarets first quilt is quilted! I'll include pics of that tomorrow since I began writing this morning prior to getting it off the frame.

2) The table runner is completed.

Green Tea!
3) My homework is done for December's Stitchers Garden class.

4) I began my Grinch Advent Calendar and got a good start on it prior to closing down at 8:30 last night.

5) I put an order in at Connecting Threads for backing fabric for the Christmas Triangles. I was going to purchase from the shops in Charlotte, but at $11.49 a yard for wide backed fabric, I couldn't resist the savings.

Plus, I ordered the book Katie was working with this weekend (Farmer's Girl Vintage...or something like that) for a later project that I think would be nice to get into the fair. Maybe for our newly planned winter retreat some of the girls are working on?

Today I'll load Margaret's second quilt and, depending on Jim's work schedule, may try to get it done yet this evening. I'll continue on with the Grinch too and see where we end up with time.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Not Enough

As if sewing with my friends most of yesterday wasn't enough, I came home and parked myself in front of Mike and started quilting the Green Tea table runner. By the time the game was over and MSU declared the winner over Ohio State (miracle) I just about had the table runner done.

A few trims and squaring up and here it is.

Green Tea Table Runner
As you can see, I still have to attach the binding, but this turned out so cute! Easy as pie to construct and it'll look good on our Thanksgiving table this year.

It's Sunday, but this is actually our Monday. Jim has to work today and I have to as well. Christmas projects are flying in from all directions (all of a sudden) and I feel like I had a great nights sleep with the highway being very quiet from the storm yesterday. A total of 10" of snow was measured this morning on our back deck. It certainly is pretty in the sunshine this morning!

I'll start the day with some long arming and boogie on from there.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Winter is Here

This is what I woke up to this morning.

Snowy start to the day!
Margaret doesn't find this very offensive and so I asked if I could ride in with her. I'm glad I did because this stuff kept coming down throughout our sewing day.

Coming along
Andrew's t-shirt quilt is coming along nicely. I have all the shirts framed now and have cut the sashing strips to put in between the blocks.

Margaret's sewing machine
I had to add this pic. This is Margarets little 221 Featherweight. Yes, it is purple! Isn't it cute? Sews like a dream and she's having a great time with it since acquiring it in Paducah last spring.

After I got the t-shirt quilt framed in, I decided I'd had enough of that. I took out another project I started here at the house on Thursday night called Green Tea. While the game is on TV I'll finish it here at home (now that we're back safe and sound). But first, I have to finish unpacking from our weekend and get settled back in.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Fri, Fri, Friday!

Sew-In Day!

I love sew-in day. It would actually be easier for me to just stay here and sew without having to lug everything to a new sewing place, but the friendships and bonding with all the other ladies is definitely priceless and so worth the effort!!!!

Here I am this morning getting ready.

Sew-In Project for today
As much as I really want to attend tomorrows sew-in, it probably won't happen. The weather is totally influencing all of this and unless I can convince Jim to run me in and fetch me later tomorrow afternoon (football interrupt-tus) I don't know if I'll be there.

Margaret stopped by yesterday morning and dropped these off.

Three quilts...all in a row.
After working on my Christmas Triangles some more, I loaded Margarets's first quilt top. Here's what DW is wearing for the next few days.

Not a very good pic, but you get the idea.
I was going to free motion these quilts, but after Margaret brought in her other quilt she had Linda B. quilt for her (and everybody ooohhhhddd and aaaahhhhddd about the quilting, which she did with her computer BTW) I'm rethinking that idea.

And...I did get the Christmas Triangles top done.

Christmas Triangles
BUT, it's not big enough (63"x85"). I knew it would be a smaller top; just enough to cover our mattress, and while it looks great the way it sits, I'm thinking I need a couple of borders on here. Ideas?

Must finish getting packed up. I have another little project I'm going to take along in case I get bored or frustrated with the t-shirts. I need to pull fabric for that and get outta here. Ta ta.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

You'd Think I'd Learn

Have we seen something like this before?

Whoops!
Despite my having measured (twice), I came up short on the #$%^&*( fabric. UGH!!! I think I lost some of this after washing. So frustrating!

Pinning the batting/top back to prepare for unloading.

Unloading carefully.

Adding the new backing piece on.

Reloading

Making sure it's going to work this time.
And here's the two year project finally finished! It was worth it. The quilt is large and will keep Jim and I warm and cheerful during the doldrum months of January through March. This is Celtic Solstice done in the colors of Ireland. I quilted clovers all over the top to tie in with the theme.

Celtic Solstice Completed!
This was finally completed yesterday afternoon. Afterward, I moved along to putting my Christmas triangle rows together since I need my design wall for Andrew's t-shirt quilt design. Or...maybe I'll take it to sew-in tomorrow. AND...

...my plans for Saturday (both of them) have fallen through (thanks to the snow we're supposed to get) so I get to attend sew-in BOTH days!!!!!! So happy!!!!!! With lots of floor space to work with and an encouraging group of ladies to assist, I think working on the t-shirt quilt there seems like the right thing to do.

I have three quilt tops coming later this morning for quilting. These are due the week before Christmas and so I'll load one of those next onto DW.

And from now on, (note to self), measure the backing fabric one more time after pre-washing!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Busy Day

Christmas Triangles
Here they are on the design wall. I don't know if I'll get to them today, but it's fun having stuff up there to brighten up the room.

I was able to get these up and worked out because I decided to let DW's computer quilt out Celtic Solstice. I had a design in mind, practiced it out a few dozen times and felt comfortable with the muscle memory. At the last minute (literally, while I was pulling up my first bobbin thread), I decided to check the computer to see if there was something similar to use. And, there was!

When DW quilts out the quilt, I still have to stay in the room. I have to monitor what he's up to (puckers, thread messes), keep an eye on those bobbin threads, and be mindful of each of the sides when he gets close to them. But, I can still work in here while doing so.

After getting the Christmas Triangles on the wall, I started messing around with Andrew's t-shirts. I decided these were going to be about 20" square and started framing in a few to get started.

Framing the beginning pieces
I know I don't need to totally frame all of them, but if I become too obsessed with these things, I over think it. I got the first four completely framed and will work the partials from there when the design wall becomes available again.

Between projects, I took a video of DW quilting with the computer, but decided it was too boring and ended up deleting it. I thought I would be able to get all the quilting done yesterday, but this was not to be the case; I still have two rows to go. I'm quilting in two row sections and know that it takes about an hour and a half for each section. I didn't want to stay in here until 10:00 last night, so I shut him down and will start there first thing this morning.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Deer Hunting

The hunting season around here is similar to a holiday. We have lots of people in and out of the place, there's a sense of togetherness (whether you hunt or are the spouse of a hunter), and there's lots of food.

Jim got his buck, Ben did not, and I got a lot done (since the DIL was "sick" on the couch with her new pregnancy).

This took all morning to load! It's 102" square and the backing needed pre-washing before getting it on the frame (it's a bright kelly green and I was concerned about bleeding later on). I figured I had better get one of these Bonnie Hunter quilts completed before I again attempt this years mystery quilt.

2013 Mystery Quilt-Celtic Solstice
I'm debating on whether to set the computer loose on this thing and just let it run, or to just free motion the bugger myself. I have a few minutes to decide this while I'm finishing my blog.

After getting this loaded I wanted to get the piece below completed and out of the way. It's not actually "finished" yet 'cause I have to mount it onto foam core board, but it's temporarily hung where it's going to live permanently. Do you see the mini dresden and the embellishments I added to the right side of the piece? Neutrals are so fun to work with and are so forgiving!

First attempt at embroidery
I enjoyed doing the hand work and have already started my second one.

After the embroidery piece was completed, I dove into my triangles for our Christmas quilt. I sewed, and checked for deer. Sewed some more, and kept checking for deer (to let Ben know if any were headed his way). I talked on the phone while sewing and before I knew it, all the triangles were framed in.

Ready for the wall
Before Jim and I took off for the store to replenish all the food we consumed over the weekend, I pressed these out and am now ready to play on the design wall after I long arm a bit this morning.

Andrew's t-shirt quilt has been ignored for some time. I should probably start planning it out since the sashing fabric arrived last week. I also have some homework to do for next months Stitchers Garden AND I have yet to start pulling fabrics for the next Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. Let us not forget the challenge quilt for our guild too. I finally have an idea bouncing around in my head and will think on this for another day or so before drawing it out. Apparently Carol already has hers done so I'm feeling like a big, fat Santa slacker!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Grandson Interrupt-ish

This blog has recently experienced several interruptions with the latest being our cute little grandson, Tristan. He arrived Thursday night and stayed with us until yesterday evening. I've learned a few things about babysitting grandsons but the biggest is that you can bake/cook with a grandson but quilting is nearly impossible.

NOTHING was done this weekend in here. By the time he left with mom and dad last night, I was too pooped to even wander into the studio.

I shouldn't say nothing was done. My long-time girlfriend and old neighbor came over to drop off grand baby clothes for me to make a memory quilt for her daughter. The granddaughter passed away when she was only five months old and mom would like her clothes put into a quilt. Jane and I came in here to work on design details.

Thursday last week, I did get my Stitchers Garden block all completed. Here's that.

November Stitchers Garden
Since my embroidery piece is embroidered...

Embroidery
...it's time to make it more atheistically pleasing. Borders and embellishments need to be added. I picked up a few patterns at The Hen House after class Thursday, and wanted to work on one of them for small project Sunday today, but I think I need to tackle some of these "in progress" projects.

DW is STILL naked and I can't stand it! I have to get something on him, and fast! I have a few backs in the closet and need to pair them up with their tops. I have those two BOM tops from the guild sitting there I could throw on but I don't have a clue how I'm going to quilt them yet?!? Perhaps Celtic Solstice will finally make it on?

Carol and I threw out a challenge Thursday night at guild and I've chosen "Grandma got run over by a Reindeer" as my Christmas song. I have to design a wallhanging for that, but I'm still in the "in my head" phase yet.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Windy!

It is really, really windy today and I'm hoping we don't lose electricity with all the gusts we are experiencing, especially with all the kids starting to show up tonight and throughout the weekend. 

Stitcher's Garden is later today. I'll head over at noon time. I can't seem to get an answer from Margaret (???) and she was my Stitchers Garden buddy for this year. I hope all is okay her way!

I finished moms quilt yesterday. Hope she likes it. 

Moms Lap Quilt
DW is now naked. I keep him naked or nearly so until I attend our guild meeting. I never know if somebody is going to want me to throw something on him so I like to keep my options open.

After I finished this yesterday morning I started working on more triangles. I finished the background-framed-in-fabrics set.

1/2 of Chopsticks
I had enough fabric to start the other half of the triangles, which are the printed fabric framed in the background color.

Starting the other half
They look like little party hats waiting to go to a celebration.

I didn't press these out yet and won't until I pick up the needed fabric today for the remainder of the frames. 

I think after class today I'll head to The Hen House and hang out there with my embroidery until our meeting later tonight. I did finish embroidering my one piece while we were in Ohio last weekend. I'll search through my stash and see what I can come up with for neutrals here and purchase any missing colors I need while I'm there this afternoon. 

Business meeting at guild tonight and my little pea brain thought we had sew-in this weekend. I'm glad we don't since all the ruckus of visitors coming would prevent me from coming anyway. I've already made plans for the following weekend so I'll only be able to sew next Friday, which is a bummer. But hey, some is better then none, right?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Curtains

My day was cut short yesterday for two reasons. One: We needed to run errands since we weren't home last weekend to do so. Once we returned home, I did start making some triangles, but then the second reason came into play. One of the things Jim was doing after our return home was hanging curtains in our guest bedroom.

I. HATE. CURTAINS!

Without going into a lot of detail about my past (and this is what drives my belief), curtains to me say: "Keep out". "Not welcome here". "Gloom". "Dank". "Depressing". Others like curtains. Others can't seem to be in a house without curtains. I'm just the opposite. I love the natural light from not only the sun, but the evening moonbeams as well. And, quite honestly, who the hell is going to look in my windows anyway? The deer? We live in the fricken country where the only people who would care to even look into the windows go screaming by my house so fast they really couldn't see anything if they wanted to.

Why did we hang curtains then? Because some of the quilts waiting to be quilted get put on the spare bed. The light shines through that south facing window and sunlight and cotton fabrics are evil enemies. And, our guests have requested them. So, there you go.

Soapbox end.

I did get half of moms quilt quilted before leaving yesterday. I'm putting a wandering paisley and hook into the piece to soften the sharp angles of the blocks.

Moms quilting
Here's the triangle project laid out while I'm constructing it. I need to remember to pick up another yard or so of Fairy Frost by Robert Kauffman tomorrow in Portland because I'm using it as the background fabric.

Christmas Triangles
Didn't I just talk about the sun and cotton fabrics? Thankfully, the sun isn't out much this time of year to really do that much damage, AND, these don't hang out in this spot for more then a week anyway.

Today I hope to finish mom's quilt and plug away at more triangles. Since I'm taking another year of the Stitchers Garden class I have to round everything up for tomorrow. So excited to be going back to Portland!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Back in the Saddle

Once Jim left for work yesterday, I started getting back into my groove.

I took my t-shirt quilt off DW and completed it with a colorful binding. Here it is!

My T-Shirt Quilt
You can't see the quilting, but I love what I put into the quilt. It's called questionable question marks and I think this will be my go-to quilting motif when doing a t-shirt quilt.

About 10 years or so ago, I made a raggy flannel quilt for Andrew and his then finance, Horseyface. When they separated (thank goodness) the quilt was one of the few items she gave back to Andrew in the "divorce". It has been loved and used extensively since then and because of it's use, needed some hole repair done to it. I brought it back from Ohio with us last weekend and worked on fixing the 28 holes. Here it is after its repairs were completed.

Andrew's Rag Quilt
From there I started looking for a backing for mom's birthday quilt. My thoughts are when the batting finally gets here (which should be today) I can get just lay it out and start quilting it.

While prewashing the backing I selected for moms quilt, I started putting together our Christmas quilt. Katie gave me a pattern called Chopsticks a while ago and I'm converting it to a Christmas themed quilt for our bed. I don't know how many triangles I actually got done last night, but here's a few of them waiting for the next step.

Christmas Trees
I'll press, piece, and load moms back today, hope the batting arrives, continue with the Christmas Tree triangles, and jam to Pandora all while enjoying a cloudy day here in the studio.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Quilting Time

I seem to be lacking in my quilting time of late. The trip to Arizona set me back a few, the class with Sue Patten set me back some more, and then this trip to Ohio pushed me back even further. Not that I'm on any crazy deadlines, but hey, it's quilting time, right?

Autumn is the unofficial beginning of quilting season and I seem to be missing it. I. don't. like. that!

We have a crazy busy weekend coming up (again) and it'll take me even further away from working in here. .

But, I was able to get a few things done prior to our Ohio trip. I would have posted all these up before leaving but our computer modem took a tank (we thought it was a mouse in the phone house down the road). Here's the Faux Double Wedding Ring table runner.

Faux Double Wedding Ring Table Runner
This is what is currently on DW.

My T-Shirt Quilt
It's actually all quilted out now (I finished it up Thursday afternoon), but I haven't pulled it off the frame yet.

While I was quilting last week, we had a rush of storms run through the area. After a few days, the skies cleared and became so very blue. During the afternoon, while filling my bobbin, I noticed one small, lone cloud scootch across the sky and I thought it pretty.

Pretty
Today was moms birthday. The Row by Row quilt needed to be picked up, Jim had a dentist appointment, and then we got to take mom out to lunch and to do some shopping, I am finally back home for a few days. Yeah.

I picked up a few more projects for this winter, some wide backing for the king-sized tops sitting in the closet, and have the Christmas Triangle quilt I started cutting out before we left to start piecing.  I'm waiting for the batting to arrive for mom's birthday quilt (she picked out the pattern and fabric) and once it gets here (tomorrow???) I'll get that on the frame next. The T-Shirt quilt needs to come off and get bound and the basement bedroom needs to be painted (oh wait, that's not a quilting function. Why did I even mention that?) Much to work on this week.