Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not Sure Where the Time's Gone

It seems like from last Wednesday, I blinked and it was Saturday. Then Saturday was a really full day, and it seems like I blinked again, and here we are into a new week. It's been a whirlwind, and I couldn't tell you what I've been doing, but I know for sure I've been busy.

I did manage to finish a pair of socks for my DH last evening. He's happy with them, and I'm really happy that they're done.

I love the blues in this yarn, but the pinks were really annoying me. It seemed like the project that wouldn't end, for quite some time. I've cast on toes for "leftover" socks with the remainder of the yarn. They'll have crazy feet and conservative, one-color legs.

Today, I've got to find some time to sew! Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quilter's Accountability Report, October 19

Well, it's been a great week, and I've gotten a lot done, but not necessarily anything from my QA list from last week.

Let's see how I did....

1. Continue to work on Mom's jacket, and finish it if possible. I finished the quilting. I still need to do the binding/partial lining of the sleeves, embellish it, and do the assembly and bind the front and bottom edges.

2. Quilt Oak Leaves and Reel. (This has been loaded on the HQ16 for quite some time now, and just needs to be done!) I was glad I hadn't gotten to this one yet, as I found a better thread color at the show. I've started the quilting on this, and hope to finish it by the weekend.

3. Quilt Sugar and Spice. I didn't get to this one at all.

4. Quilt Thimbleberries Goose in the Pond. I didn't get to this one at all, either.

So, what else did I get done? Well, I've been posting as I went along about my class projects last week. But to recap, I got the center (before borders) of a one-block Mariner's Compass made, the center of a Storm at Sea quilt (35" square at the moment) made, a few blocks started for my Improvisational Adventure quilt, a number of shapes bound up to be used as mug rugs from my binding class, an eyeglass case, also from the binding class, made two pins from two vintage hankies, got a hand-pieced Amish style block (17" square) made, and made a wrap (Suzanne wrap). Oh yes, and I also made 3 ready-to-fuse-on turkeys, and the other night I prewashed the towels and fused them into place, though they're not stitched down yet. You can see pictures in this post, this post, this post, this post and this post.

For next week, I'm going to keep some of my list the same, and change some of it. Here goes:

1. Finish mom's jacket, and get it sent off to her.
I've really been procrastinating on this, but I want it done and outta here! And the weather's finally getting cool, so she'd actually be able to wear it.

2. Finish quilting Oak Leaves and Reel, and bind it.

3. Quilt, bind, and add a label and sleeve to "Big Bang Theory," which MUST be finished by the first week in November for a challenge. This is actually going to be my first priority this week!

4. Pull fabric and do the precutting for the class I'm taking at Quilt Escape the first weekend in November.

Beyond that, I'll just quilt as many tops as I can get to, which may be none, and may be several. It all depends on how the week shapes up. My friend Renae and I are planning a "binding marathon/party" for some time after Thanksgiving or in early December, so I need to start getting some stuff quilted! Plus, I need to get that UFO count down out of triple digits this year! I'm close, but still need to kick it into high gear if I'm going to get there.

Check out Bari's blog, and see how others have done this week. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday's Happenings

Today I'm making a quick trip to Ohio, to check on things and take some shelving units back there, so I can organize my UFOs. I hope to do a little sorting while I'm there, but it's going to be a quick trip, so I don't know for sure what I'll get to.

Here's what I did yesterday -- I cut out the background for the Mariner's Compass I started in class last week, pieced those pieces to the arcs, appliqued the center in place, and got the quilt center made. I also cut the strips for the borders, but haven't yet added them.

And I added the outer borders to my hand-piecing class project. This is now either a finished top, or a center of a medallion quilt, or (most likely) an orphan block that will find its way into an orphan sampler at some point.

The color's still off a bit on that photo -- the outer borders are a hunter green, rather than the charcoal gray that they appear on my monitor.

I was also trying to get some laundry done and get settled yesterday, so that's really all the sewing I did. I did a bit of knitting, but there's not enough progress to really show that yet.

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday, October 17

I got home yesterday, and was pretty tired. I wasn't up to much last evening, I just knitted for a while, had a nap, took a really long bath, knitted a while more, and went to bed. Wild party animal, that's me ;-)

Today my design wall is sporting the two blocks I got started on from the Improvisational Adventure Quilt class I took on Friday. I'm not sure how much I'll work on these this week, but I'm leaving them up on the design wall because I enjoy looking at them and pondering what comes next.

Check out Judy's blog, to see what other quilters have on their design walls. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Recap of the Show, and Shopping Results

So, have you been wondering what I bought at the show? Well, I'll tell you. And show you. Here's a fabric panel I bought, about how quilters think:

And here's one about cats:

Here are the rest of the things I bought on Thursday -- the towels I'll put my turkey appliques on, a book, several stitchery patterns, a jacket pattern, a purse pattern, a small foundation piecing pattern and several quilt patterns. Also several of the Pilot Frixion pens for marking on fabric, and some polish for the machine bed and extension table, to make the surface slick for machine quilting:

I also ordered a giant Sew Steady table to use with my Juki. The table measures 24"x32", and gives a really great size of work surface, while still being able to fit easily on a 4 foot long folding table.

I haven't done any garment sewing for a long time now, but there was a vendor there -- the Wool House, from Toronto -- who had some amazing garment fabrics. I've been bitten by the bug, and got these fabrics, which will become jackets and/or slacks and/or skirts:

It seemed like the show was a bit smaller than last year, although that might have been my imagination. Lots of interesting vendors -- sewing machine dealers, quilt shops, machine embroidery enthusiasts, fashion sewing folks (including Vogue fabrics), and a few odd things like the woman with jewelry and the Bra Lady.

I only got to see one stage presentation, it was about jackets using a sweatshirt as a base. This was done by Connie Spurlock, and had a lot of good information. This is where the concept for my mother's jacket came from, because I took a workshop from Connie, in which I made my jacket, some years back. Their most recent version of the technique is using strips and fabric texturized with Texture Magic. Here are two photos of the sample she showed:

I'm home now, and getting settled back in. I had a great time, but it's good to be home. The cats really missed me, and after snubbing me for a while, have been sticking close. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friday's and Saturday's Projects

I only slept for about 2 hours on Thursday night, so Friday evening I wasn't up to writing a post. So now I'll share what I did the last two days of the show.

In my Mariner's Compass class, I got the arcs pieced (the round part is in quarters) and the center circle applique prepared. I still need to cut the background and piece the arcs into it, then applique the center into place, add borders, and then it'll be a quilt top:

In the Improvisational Adventure Quilt class, we started some log cabin variation blocks. I got a good start on two blocks, and made some other units, but didn't get pictures of them yet. I'll post them later -- maybe on Monday for Design Wall Monday ;-)

This next thing seems like a cross between a poncho and a shawl -- a ponchawl? a shawncho? The teacher/designer called it the Suzanne Wrap, which may be the easiest way to refer to it. So, here's my Suzanne Wrap:

The color's off on that -- it's actually a pretty sage green color, not gray as it seems in the photo.

Yesterday I had one class scheduled in the morning, and one in the afternoon. The morning class was another class with Debby Kratovil, called "Sugarloaf Jewels." Unfortunately, I overslept and missed it. I woke up just in time to throw on clothes, rush over to the Expo Center and pick up my kit. So that picture will be coming later.

In the afternoon, I had a class with Connie Spurlock called "Don't Get Caught in a Bind," which was about different ways to bind and otherwise finish your quilts. This class was hands-on, and first we learned how to do straight-of-grain binding on right angles:

then on angles greater than 90 degrees:

then we learned how to do ruffles:

and Prairie Points:

and bias binding, and how to apply it to a round shape:

and finally, I used bias binding to make this eyeglass holder:

I did one make-it-and-take-it at the show, at the Sew Artfully Yours booth. I silkscreened a leaf on one end of this hand-dyed silk scarf, and needlepunched assorted fibers on the other end:

Right now, I'm getting ready to head for home. Thanks for coming by to play. Come back again soon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Here Are Thursday's Class Projects!

In the morning, I took a class from a woman named Barb Callahan. We each got two vintage hankies, to make two "flower" pins. She had a lot of floral and other print hankies, but I chose simpler ones -- one a white linen with a pretty green crocheted edging, and the other a white linen with a subtle tone-on-tone embroidery motif in the corners, and hemstitching along the sides. I made these pins:

Then in the afternoon, in a class taught by Debbie Kratovil and starting from a precut kit, I got this far on my Storm at Sea quilt:

As you may be able to tell, the blocks and units are joined in rows, but I haven't gotten the rows sewn together. It'll also get a border. The center will finish to about 35" square, and then it'll get roughly 4" finished borders.

Last evening, I learned about hand piecing. The instructor, a woman named Marty Moon, called the class "Portable Piecing." Here's what I got done:

The color's really off on this -- the center square is purple solid, the triangles are a raspberry solid, the border strips are navy solid, and the cornerstones are a pretty teal solid. There are still outer border strips, in a dark green solid, which I haven't gotten to yet. I seem to recall that this will finish to something like 17" square, but don't quote me. Anyhow, it's around that size.

It was a full and enjoyable day -- three good classes, and some time to shop and enjoy the show.

Today's classes are going to be fun, too. I'm taking two quilting classes from Debby Kratovil, who also taught the Storm at Sea class. The first is Mariner's Compass. I've made several of these before, but I'm always up for learning new techniques, and I really like Debby and the classroom environment she fosters, so I'm looking forward to this! Then in the afternoon, Debby will be teaching an Improvisational Adventure Quilt. I took her "No Sneaky-Peeky Improvisational Quilt" class last year, and enjoyed the whole process quite a bit. This time the class is sort of a follow-up to that one, with different techniques. I'm really, really looking forward to that one as well! Debby is the designer who has been patterning the Gee's Bend quilts for Wyndham Fabrics. Then in the evening, I'm taking a class from Emma Seabrooke called "The Suzanne Wrap." It starts with two rectangles of fabric, and its serged. I don't know what to think about this one, but I'm looking forward to it because it seems like it's based on a clever concept, and I always love to learn more clever concepts! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More the Day Before

Greetings from Kansas City, MO! Yesterday I took two classes, both of which were for table runners. That's a bit ironic, as I normally never make table runners, because it's something neither I nor anyone I know uses. I signed up for the classes, hoping to simply end up with blocks that I could use in a different way than as a table runner.

In the morning, I took a class from a woman named Kim Montagnese, from Amherst Ohio, called "Flashing Fins." I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, so I'm pacing myself a bit, and during this morning's class, I just listened, read through the pattern, and made sure I understood the concepts. Then I went back to my room and took a nap. So at the moment, I have nothing of my own to show, but here are her blocks that she had in class:

Our kit is to make two blocks, and I'm planning to either make more blocks to make a quilt, or use those two blocks as sort of "orphan blocks," and set them together in a sampler or random kind of quilt. I'm sure you'll be seeing those pictures eventually. Back in my room in the evening, I did trace the shapes I needed onto Do-Sew, but I want to do the sewing at home, in my own space.

Then in the afternoon, I took a class from Connie Spurlock, of Coeur d'Alene, ID, called Turkey Trot. Here's a picture of the sample of the class project:

I got my turkey appliques made, and I've decided I'm going to applique them to tea towels when I get home. So for now, they're as far along as I can get them. Aren't they cute?:

I'll post pictures again when these turn into actual finished projects. For now, they can stay as they are. Today the show opens -- I have a little time in the morning, and a few hours in the afternoon when I'll be able to shop and/or do make-it-and-take-it projects. Today's classes are a bit of a mixed bag -- I'll be making a beaded flower pin from a hankie, working on a Storm at Sea quilt (from a precut kit, yay!), and learning hand piecing. Pictures of the results of those classes tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quilter's Accountability Report for October 12

Well, I was sick last week, and whatever it was that I had lingered longer than I thought it would.

Here's my list from last week, with my comments:

1. Continue to work on Mom's jacket, and finish it if possible. I made some progress on this on Sunday evening -- see this post. I hope to finish it up this week, but I didn't bring it with me to Kansas City, so it'll be Sunday before I can work on it again.

2. Quilt Oak Leaves and Reel. (This has been loaded on the HQ16 for quite some time now, and just needs to be done!) I never got to any quilting this week at all.

3. Quilt Sugar and Spice. Like I said in #2 above, I never got to any quilting this week at all.

4. Quilt Thimbleberries Goose in the Pond. And again, I never got to any quilting this week at all.

This week, I'm at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Kansas City, MO. I'm taking a number of classes, so I'll come home with some things that may be getting my attention more than UFOs. Also, I'm not sure whether or not I'll be home for long -- I may need to go to Ohio on Monday. So it doesn't seem likely that I'll get to much if any actual quilting this week. I may be able to do some piecing or other sewing "stuff," so I'll just leave my list stand again for this week, and hope that I can at least finish up my mother's jacket so I have something to show as finished next week. Anything else will just be a bonus at this point. After I get back from Ohio (assuming I go), I'm going to have to really get busy and get some tops quilted. A friend and I are planning a "binding party" over Thanksgiving, or around then, so I'll need to have some quilts quilted and ready to bind.

Check out Bari's blog, to see what other quilters have been accomplishing this week. Sorry I didn't have any pictures to show you today -- but the next few days, I'll be showing pictures of my class projects, so stay tuned! Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday -- Packing, and Another Pair of Socks

I finished up these socks yesterday. I love the colors -- they're fun, and it makes me happy to look at them. The picture's colors aren't completely true -- what looks gray here is a sort of sage-y, lime-y soft green.

I'm packing and getting ready for my time in Kansas City this week, at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. I'm taking some fun classes, or at least I expect they'll be fun. I'll post pictures of the class projects here, though they may very well not be in a finished state this week.

I'm off to check my list one more time, to make sure I don't forget anything. Gotta remember to pack my newest pair of socks! Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Design Wall Monday, October 10

This is a project I've been "working on" for some time now. I made myself a jacket like this in a workshop, and when my mother saw it, she wanted one "just like it." It's using a sweatshirt as a base, with fabrics fairly randomly applied onto the surface:

And here are the sleeves (ignore the corner of the jacket body in the lower left corner):

I really hate to make the same thing a second time, so this has languished for quite a while. Now I'm in the mode of wanting to finish things and get them moved on to their final homes. Since my mother's birthday is Thursday, I had some motivation to pull it out and finish it up. It won't be done in time to get to her for her birthday (since I also have to mail it), but it'll be a late birthday gift for this year. I can't remember when I made my jacket, but I think it's been at least 5 years ago now.

Last night I finished all the stitching around the various fabrics, and did the quilting on the sleeves. I need to quilt the jacket body, embellish it a bit (that will involve couching down some decorative yarns and/or trims, and adding some Swarovski crystals), and assemble it. Then I'll bind the sleeve edges, the front and bottom edges, and it'll be done. I don't know if I'll finish it in this upcoming week, but I'll try. I'm going to be at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Kansas City, MO from Wednesday through Saturday, and I'm taking quite a few classes there. But maybe I can finish it up in my room in the evenings, or on Sunday when I get back. Watch this space for class project photos as well ;-)

Check out Judy's blog to see what's on other folks' design walls today. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again any time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Not a Good Year for Tires in Our House...

So, you might remember this post, when I blew out a tire on my truck. Well, not to be outdone, DH blew out both driver's side tires on his van this week. Monday, or it might have been Tuesday morning. I've been sick, and sleeping a lot, so I've sorta lost track of the days of the week a bit. He was getting ready to go to bed (he works nights, and sleeps during the day) in the morning, and went out to get something for me. He must have been sleepier than he realized, and apparently hit a curb or something as he was making a U-turn to get to our street. He had to ride on the rims to get to the house. I didn't think to take pictures of it, but it was ugly.

Because nothing is ever straightforward with us, and (mostly) because DH really, really likes to do everything himself if he can, he decided not to do what I suggested -- get a flatbed truck to tow it to the dealership, where he could get two new tires put on two new rims, get them mounted on the front (and the remaining sound front tire moved to the left rear), and get it aligned. No, he thought he'd "keep things simpler" (yes, he actually used that expression with a straight face!) and do it this way: get new rims from the dealer, go to a local tire/service place and get tires and get them mounted on the rims, replace the tires in the right places on the van himself, then drive the van to the dealer to get an alignment. Where I'd have to pick him up, and then drive him back to the dealership when the alignment was done. Yes, definitely simpler that way, right? Well, proving the old adage that the best laid plans of mice and men, etc., it didn't work out like that. He called the dealer, and they only had one rim in. The second one would be in today. So today he went and picked up the two rims, drove to the place where he was going to buy the tires, chose what he wanted, and left the rims. Well, they called back to say that there were pressure sensors in the tires, and they couldn't put the new tires on the rims without them. He didn't think his vehicle had them, but he went out and looked, and sure enough, it did. But our driveway's on a bit of an incline, and he didn't think it would be stable enough to jack the van up, and leave it jacked up, so he could remove the old rims and get to the sensors to take them in. As if to prove that point, the van slid off the jack and rolled out into the street. Sigh! So I proposed that maybe now the most sensible thing was to go with my original suggestion. He got the rims back from the other place where he'd left them, and I called AAA to get a flat-bed tow truck dispatched. They should have it done tomorrow -- but it could have been done and back here already if we'd gone this route to start. Still, we learn to pick our battles, don't we?

I don't have any pictures of that whole debacle to share, but here's a picture of Max, who's annoyed because he was sleeping until he heard the camera, and got disturbed. That's his "don't bother me, I'm sleeping" glare ;-)

I'm hoping to do some knitting and/or quilting tonight, so maybe there'll be progress to show tomorrow. Thanks for coming by to play. Come back again soon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quilter's Accountability Report for October 5, 2011

After I came home from my spring quilting retreat on May 15, I didn't do much sewing at all, other than a few project bags and a couple of tote bags. Last week, of course, I was at another retreat, and I got quite a lot done.

Here's my last QA list from back some time in June I think:

1. Continue to work on Mom's jacket, and finish it if possible. I still haven't touched this. Her birthday is next week, so maybe I should make this a priority...

2. Quilt Oak Leaves and Reel. (This has been loaded on the HQ16 for quite some time now, and just needs to be done!) This is still sitting on the machine, but I'm determined to quilt it this weekend.

3. Quilt Sugar and Spice. I did some ditch quilting on this at retreat, and still want to add some free-motion quilting to it. But, there's been some progress...

4. Quilt Thimbleberries Goose in the Pond. I'll load this after I quilt Oak Leaves & Reel. Soon!

5. Add borders to Wolf Quilt. I got this done at retreat.

6. Add borders to As Time Goes By Quilt. Got this done some time ago. I'm really happy with this top. Hope to quilt it soon, too. I thought I had a picture of this one on the hard drive, but don't seem to. I'll take a picture when I quilt and bind it.

For next week, I'll let the remaining things on this list stand, and try to get to them. That should be more than enough to fill any available sewing time. Stop by Bari's blog, and see how other folks did with their lists.

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

More Finished Socks

When I got home from retreat on Sunday afternoon, I felt pretty lousy. I pretty much went right to bed, and slept for a few hours. When I got back up, I felt a little better -- just being home in my own bed and my own environment helps some. I didn't feel up to unloading the truck, or doing any sewing, or even any knitting that required any thought. But I did feel able to finish up this pair of plain vanilla socks, which are for my friend Renae:

They're bright and happy, and I hope she'll enjoy wearing them.

I also had a knitting project at retreat with me, and worked on it a little bit each morning. It's a great way for me to ease into the day and get my brain in gear. Friday morning, I had so little left to do on these that I spent the extra hour to finish them up and weave in the ends. These are for DH, and he's already happily sporting them:

On Saturday, I was already feeling pretty bad and didn't really feel up to any more sewing. So I cast on the toes for a new pair of socks which will also be for DH. But this will be a project that will just live in his vehicle, so if we're out somewhere and I've forgotten to bring any knitting with me, I'll work on them. So it'll likely be quite some time before they're finished, but they have no deadline, so that's fine.

I'm feeling better today, though the cold became pretty nasty and I also developed laryngitis. I slept quite a bit yesterday, and that and time have seemed to help some.

Later today, I'll have a Quilter's Accountability post -- I haven't done one in months, but I really want to get back in that habit. I'm planning to do a lot of quilting and finishing things up in this last quarter of the year, so I hope to have lots of good stuff to post here.

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Retreat Progress Days 5 & 6

Well, on Friday I started to think I was coming down with a cold. I was sneezy, blowing my nose a lot, coughing, and my throat was quite sore. I wasn't nearly as productive as I had been earlier, but I did get all the strip sets made for a Strip Club project from some years back called "Triple Chain," but couldn't make the blocks, because I came away without the rectangles of background fabric. But, the strip sets are all made, some of them are already cut into segments, and the rest are ready to be cut.

Then, I've already shown this top, which I put together earlier in the week:But, when I posted the blocks earlier, I said I'd take closeup pictures of them. So I did that for you now. And here they all are, for your perusal:

By Saturday, it was completely obvious that I did, indeed, have a cold. I didn't do any sewing at all that day, but knitted a bit, and mostly just chatted and hung out with everyone. The last day is always a bit sad. We'll head for home today just after lunch. It's been a lot of fun, and I've gotten a lot done, but I'll be really glad to be home with my kitties and sleeping in my own bed again!

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.