Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Back from a very productive vacation

I've been on vacation for the last 5 days.  I left with a heavy heart believing that I was going to miss the deadline I had committed to for H2H.  I have 2 completed quilts due by June 2.  I had the tops done when I left but no time to get the quilting done.

We have a retirement home in Florida, since we're not ready to retire yet we have not done much in the way of furnishing.  Currently we have blow up beds, blow up chairs, blow up love seats and a patio set doing service as a kitchen table and chairs.  Oh yeah, we have tall chairs for sitting at the kitchen counter.

What we do have is plenty of floor space.  But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

I packed the 2 tops, who knew what kind of time I would find to do my thing.  For Valentines day MJ offered to get me a sewing machine just for the house in Florida.  He pulled up machines on Amazon and said pick one.  No fool am I, I picked a small Brothers with 72 or so built in stitches and several feet and best of all it was light weight.  While I was at it I ordered a Fiskars  Mat, ruler and rotatory cutter, some aurifil thread and a couple of pair of scissors.  No time like the present to see if the toys would work.

We landed on Friday and Saturday morning I was at Joanns getting batting and then Target to get a sheet set for backing.

Now over the years I have envied all of you who sandwich quilts on the floor.  I have never had a floor to do that on. In Florida I have lots of empty tile floor.  It worked out wonderfully until I tried to get up. I couldn't walk right or sit down properly for 3 days.  But I did sandwich both tops.

Next challenge was where to use the sewing machine.  Remember I don't have a real table.

I quilted the first top at the table on the right,  The chair was way to low to work from but I already hurt all over so I just plowed through what was a little more pain in my neck and shoulders. Top 2 needed to be worked at a better angle.  So I planted the machine on the raised counter but the foot pedal didn't make it to the floor. 

One thing we have plenty of is boxes, so I dragged one in and made great use of it. I know that you are supposed to wear your shoes when sewing but I didn't want to muck up the new walls. Electrocution or a dirty wall.  Priorities!

Got this top quilted too.  The only disappointing part of the whole thing was lack of access to my stash.  I ended up using the left over backing for the binding.  It looks fine if just a little boring.

I started hand sewing down the binding on the first quilt last night before bed.  Before putting it away I threaded a bunch of needles  and on the flight home I finished the entire thing.  
When I was young I used to commute into the city and was always amazed at the way people could read the news paper without bothering the person sitting next to them. It was all in how it was folded.  I managed to fold the quilt into a square approximately 18 x 18 and then just kept refolding. Pretty good if I do say so myself.

So here is quilt number 1 completed.  Tonight I will start to hand sew the binding on quilt 2.  I see it being done in plenty of time to beat the deal line.  Big Whoop for me. and especially the H2H project.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Great shirt(s)

After spending Saturday working on the woven quilt, Sunday I just wasn't in the mood to sew. So Sunday afternoon I sat down and skipped around the blog world checking out what everyone was up to.

I came across the blog       with this wonderful idea for refashioned tee shirts.

Monday lunch hour I spent shopping for tee shirts. Tuesday evening I spent just under an hour cutting and putting back together 2 new shirts.  It would have taken less time if I hadn't been soooo excited about the project that I missed the fact that 3 inches into the second shirt my bobbin ran dry.  I noticed it at the end after having sewn completely around the top and having removed every single pin.

If you look closely you can see the rain on the orange part of the shirt. So we got no picture of the other one you know I'm just a little too old to do the wet tee shirt thing ; }  Also, the seam does lay flat if I wasn't in such a hurry to beat the rain, I didn't bother to check in the mirror and my photographer didn't want to get wet either. The other shirt has the beige top and orange bottom, just in case you didn't guess that part.

I went into this project thinking I would use them as nite shirts if they didn't turn out. So happy it was a complete success. I love the way they turned out.  I live in tee shirts in my free time.  This shirt, I actually wore to work.  I spent $5.99 for each shirt.

Have a great week.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another Hands 2 Help top done

Last Saturday I was checking my quilting committment calander and discovered that I am wofully behind on my promise of 2 quilts for the Hands 2 Help Challenge for 2013.  I have one top finished and several ideas started but no second quilt top finished.

I came across the pattern Simply Woven by Jessica Kelly over at the Moda Bakeshop.  I fell in love with it at first sight. Very scrappy and made primarily of 2 1/2 inch strips, my favorite size of fabric to work with.

Have you ever fallen head over heals for a quilt and found out that you really hated making the blocks. I spent last Sunday evening cutting the strips from my scrap box from the last 6 - 9 months. Plenty of 2 1/2 inch tidbits. Monday night I started to make blocks, the finished block is a 12 1/2 inch square.

I sew in the evening after working all day to relax. I am one of those people who loves to chain piece. When I started these blocks I thought they would be a great Chain piecing project.  Not So Much.  You sew a little, you iron a little, you cut a little and start again to get the woven effect.

2 nights this week I went to my sewing room and put things away because I just couldn't work on the blocks. No sewing at all.  At least I did accomplish some movement on the other 3 nights.  So today (I'm writnig this late Saturday night) I buckled down because I am approaching a dead line.  I finished the 20 blocks I needed and but them together. 

I really do like the outcome as much as I hoped I would. I'm holding off posting this until tomorrow in hopes of getting a decent picture.  The quilt is a wonderful scrap buster.

             (I waited and I guess raining is better than dark, but you can see how happy a quilt it is.)

 All of the fabric with color is as I mentioned scrap from the last few months projects.  I did cut the white from my stash.

I would  recommend this quilt to others. It really was easy to do, just not what I like to do. A personal preference.

Now that I have the 2 tops done I will  need to get my act together and get them both quilted. I think I have 2 weeks which would not be bad with the exception of a trip tossed in to chew up a few days.  I do love a challenge.

Have a great week.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's for the Birds

This is a very fun hop.  The postings so far have been terrific and I have no doubt that the ones to follow will be just as wonderful and creative.
When this Hop was first posted I knew exactly what I was going to make.  I had made my sister and my niece quilts with birds on them several years back and I swore that when I got some time I would make one for me.  A perfect opportunity.  We all know about the best laid plans.
In the mean time I participated in the “It’s All About Me” hop in late February.  I was one of the extremely lucky winners of the Amy Bradley patterns and fabrics.  Well one of the patterns is “Meet The Tweets”.  Definitely love at first sight.  Here are a couple of the little guys.

If you have never used an Amy Bradley pattern, you must.  I have done fusible appliqué before but her step by baby step walk through and tips and wonderful pattern pieces made the whole process speedy and seamless. I managed to whip up this top in under a week and I work full time.

Wed night I pulled fabric from the stash and I traced all the pieces onto fusible and ironed them onto their fabric.  Thur night I cut them all out and stacked them on their background squares ready to be put together.  Friday night and on and off Saturday I ironed the pieces to the background and did the detail stitching.  Sunday I put the blocks together and viola, the top was done.  Good thing because on Wednesday I left on a trip and I needed Monday and Tuesday night to pack.

The only place I deviated from the instructions was the eyes.  The eyes  were supposed to be tiny little buttons.  Since my quilt will be going to a 5 month old I thought that was a bad idea.  My dilemma was how I was going to get that beady eyed look.   I ended up using  little paper lifesavers, you know the kind you used as a kid in a loose leaf book so the pages didn’t pull out.   I stuck them to the face, really mashing them into the fabric the best I could and then filled in the hole with a black pigma pen. I gave it a few minutes to dry and then removed the life saver.  My fear was that, that much ink would run, but as you can see, it didn’t.

I have done just very basic quilting in the ditch so far. I plan on going back and doing some echo quilting  around the boys in the very near future, as soon as I have some free time and can decide if I can do it by machine vs. by hand.

Isn't this just the perfect backing for the guys.

Now I want to thank Madame Samm and Mary for the great jobs they have done in setting up and running this wonderful hop.  I also want to thank Amy Bradley for the wonderful pattern.

You now need to fly off and visit all of the other contributors for today.  For your continued convienence I have them listed below
Wednesday, May 8