Monday, October 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday - Halloween

Happy Halloween, are you ready for all the little gremlins to come tonight!!

A couple of works in progress on my design wall. The first is another runner I am making from the hidden spools blocks blocks from the Bonnie Hunter workshop

These are fun blocks to make and I intend on making a quilt using this technique in the future, I will just use a litter wider strips to make it.

For the last three April's our local area has had a Fiber Arts Retreat. The last two years I have given a presentation on tips to prepare your quilt to go to a longarm quilter. I didn't want to do that for a 3rd time so am thinking about doing a workshop making fused wreaths using small pieces of fabric and fussy cut motifs. This is a fall example I have been working on.

Hope to get borders on it and quilted in the next few weeks and then start on another example, either a Christmas or spring wreath.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Stash Report - October 30, 2011

No quilt pictures today, had been working on customer quilts a lot of the week and the rest of the time my daughter had the camera for homecoming week.

I did use a fair amount of fabric this week as I quilted up several table runners for my upcoming craft shows. I also purchased some backing fabric at JoAnns that was on sale. My stats are:

Fabric used this week: 7 yards
Fabric used YTD: 257.25 yards
Fabric purchased this week: 5 yards
Fabric purchased YTD: 188.50
Net fabric used in 2011: 68.75 yards

Here are pictures of lasts nights homecoming, sounds like they had a great time.

Have a great week.


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Yesterday's theme for homecoming week was Pinktober. Mandy has lots of pink shirts but nothing else to go with it so was very low key. She said even a lot of the guys were wearing pink and some had spray painted their hair pink. I would have like to have seen that.

I did get the customer t-shirt quilt finished yesterday. Here is a pic of just a piece of it.....

There were a few of the t-shirts that had a lot of surface paint on them and that made the machine bog down so had to go very slow in those places. One shirt the paint was so thick that the needle actually put little cracks in the paint.

I can see where preparation of the shirts properly has to be done to have any success at all. All of the t-shirts were adhered to whatever type of iron on stabilizer/interfacing she used.

Two blocks seemed like parts of the shirt were not fully stuck to the stabilizer and when I quilted those sections the top shirt moved around some and caused problems. 90% of the quilt is nice and flat but those two blocks had some slight puffy areas because of the movement but I really don't think anyone else would notice unless you point them out.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rulers and Such

I had several people ask about what ruler I used on the table runner and the purple blocks. It was a Quilt in a Day 45 degree triangular ruler. I am in no way affiliated with Quilt in a Day but if you decide to buy one of these rulers I recommend theirs. At the workshop I took in April there were several ladies that had ordered rulers of other brands and they were off so nothing was fitting together.

Yesterday was back in time (WAY back to the 80's, gee I feel old) for spirit week. I think Mandy was going for the flash dance or Olivia Newton-John look with the slouched socks and the shirt with the neck cut off and the bottom chopped way off. Thank goodness for a Michael's $2.99 shirt!!!

I spent some time with a friend yesterday helping her laying out some blocks so didn't get any customer quilting done. I did quilt up two table runners and got the bindings put on them by machine so accomplished somethiing at least in addition to some household chores.

Today I need to get a t-shirt loaded and quilted. I hear that they are a bear to quilt so wish me luck.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday - October 24, 2011

At the retreat last week Julia refreshed my memory on how to make these blocks (had only one complete at the time) so I completed the other 8 last week. Takes a lot of time with having to make up all the strip sets. Here they all are ready to trim and sew together.

I liked the look and the ruler I used for these but figured I wouldn't want to do anymore of them for awhile untill I found a stripe Christmas fabric in my stash and quickly made up these blocks for a table runner

I liked the look so much last night I made up another set of blocks, trimmed them up and complete two table runner tops.

Lastly and not design wall or sewing related at all but this is Homecoming week at my daughter's high school and today is wacky tacky day. I think she definitely looks way wacky!!!

Mandy's last high school homecoming week, hope she enjoys it all!!!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Stash Report - October 23, 2011

Since I was at a two day retreat this week I spent a lot of time sewing. Hubby was also on travel so I spent extra time in the evenings working on my projects.

I did purchase several yards of on sale Christmas fabric but still sewing more than I purchased:

Fabric used this week: 9 yards
Fabric used YTD: 250.25 yards
Fabric purchased this week: 6 yards
Fabric purchased YTD: 183.50
Net Fabric used in 2011: 66.75 yards

As I know I will be purchasing more Christmas fabric as it goes on sale I am hoping for a net of 75 yards by the end of the year.

At the end of the retreat my Singer 301 sewing machine started acting up and I sent a text to my husband so he would know I would need him to work on it when he got back from travel. Well......... he stopped by a thrift store and picked up this New Home Jem sewing machine for $20 (very much like the Janome Jem). It is very small and light and he thought it would be perfect to take to retreats and workshops. It is missing a spool pin but everything else seems to be in working order.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Retreat was Great

Our two day retreat was great. We sew at a little building at the Navy Rec Center right on the water. The first day was sunny and warm and we were even able to sit outside for lunch, nice.

Second day was cooler and raining but no one cared as it was great sewing weather.

Lots of talking, laughing, eating and oh yes sewing. Some of the ladies were doing handwork, several were making spikey paper pieced borders that was learned at last months meeting. Several were making hidden nine patch quilts (from workshop a couple of months ago) and two ladies participated in a jelly roll race quilt. I love seeing all the different project in process and checking out everyone fabrics.

I finished all the hidden spool blocks from my bonnie hunter class and then switched to this project. I took a workshop back in April at a Fiber Arts Conference. I made one block, put it away and promptly forgot how to do it. Wednesday I got some help and made the two additional blocks shown here and then yesterday made three more.

The one on the right the center looks perfect but the others don't. For the class we were told the strips could be a variety of sizes as long as each strip set added up to the same width. Well that is what I did The "perfect" block had all the strips the same width. The others didn't which makes the centers look off. You have two center points of one size and two of another.

At least I have learned the technique and I am keeping this quilt for myself so its ok. When this one is done I am anxious to try another one, but this time with a striped fabric and not with all those strip sets.

This will probably still be on my design wall for monday as I have several other projects to work on so will probably be doing one block at a time till its done.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday - October 17, 2011

I had these tumber pieces partially done for at least 2 or 3 weeks. Yesterday finally got them together, the cream sewn on the ends and the motifs fused down. All I need to do now is stitch around the holly and poinsettias and they will be ready to quilt.

My customer quilting job for the day is just a couple of runners so once those are knocked out hope to get a couple of mine on the frame.

Tomorrow is my day 1 of my guild's twice yearly 2 day retreat (day time only) so will be spending some time today getting all my supplies ready. I have more projects picked out than I can possibly work on but it is nice to have a choice once you get there.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Stash Report - October 16, 2011

This was a stash enhancement week again. MOST of it was fabric that I needed so thats ok.

Here is the pile. I needed some fabric to back some fall runners so found the Halloween fabric on sale at Joanns. One of the pieces has already been used.

The one Christmas fabric I needed (several yards) to make backing for runners, also found that at 50% off at JoAnns.

The rest of the fabric was purchased at my local quilt shop, have to support them right? Anyway they had a 25% off sale on friday so picked up a couple cute Christmas fabrics there.

I am sure a lot of people are doing just like I am these days, only buying when you can hit a sale. I am sure that isn't good for businesses but have to cut back where you can.

Here are my current stats:

Fabric used this week: 5 yards
Fabric used YTD: 241.25 yards
Fabric purchased this week: 12 yards
Fabric purchased YTD: 177.5 yards
Net fabric used in 2011: 63.75

Most of the fabric I used this week was for backings for table runners as most of the time in the sewing room was spent on customer quilts. Think I will load the next customer quilt today but might not work on it until tomorrow.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Quilting and College

It has been a busy week so don't have any pictures to show of my own quilting but this is the customer quilt that was on the frame yesterday...

It was an oversized lap quilt/not quite twin sized quilt. I love doing this size.

I also put a label on this quilt (shown below) so that it can be stowed away for the next hospice quilt delivery. I delivered 7 quilts to hospice last friday, 5 from my evening guild and 2 from my day time guild. Probably won't be taking any more until the beginning of the year so this will be the first quilt for 2012. It was made by Ann and Jane out of donated batik fabrics, I then quilted it and it went off to the binding fairies.

Lastly, the college application process continued last night. Spent an hour or so proofing the latest college application and helping (credit card assistance) getting it submitted. This was a common application so it got submitted to both Towson and Salisbury at the same time. Now a couple of weeks break and then I will be nudging her to start applying for scholorships.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On the Frame

This was what was on the frame yesterday, this bright cheery customer quilt. Bright and sunny and nice and flat so it was a pleasure to quilt. I think I spent to many hours at the frame though with not enough breaks and my knee and foot are protesting this morning.

I am going to spend less time at the frame today. I have several errands I need to run and a few things to do around the house and then I am going to quilt a couple of craft show table runners before getting the next quilt loaded and ready to go.

Tonight is a meeting at the library on "Paying for College". Don't you just right a check for everything in your account and thats how you pay for college!!! lol Anyway think the hubby and I will go hoping that maybe part of the presentation will be on how to find scholorships etc.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Design Wall Monday and Bonnie Hunter

Well what is on my design wall is the few blocks I have made from Bonnie Hunter's hidden spools class yesterday. Since you make it in quarters I have tons of 1/4 blocks done but only these completed blocks.

I am leaning towards making a couple of table runners out of all the blocks instead of a lap quilt.

The class was a lot of fun and it was nice to see Bonnie again.

Some of the ladies brought "Bonnie" quilts with them for show and tell.

It was a fun time for everyone.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Stash Report - October 9, 2011

I just about had to report nothing in and nothing out this week but I did end up making the block of the month for October (due tomorrow night) yesterday so was able to count that fabric. Also on the design wall is a tumbler table runner in process, I will be counting that fabric next week.

My current stats are:
Fabric used this week: 1/4 yards
Fabric used YTD: 236.50 yards
Fabric purchased this week: 0
Fabric purchased YTD: 165.5 yards
Net fabric used in 2011: 81

Most of my sewing time this week was spent on charity and customer quilts and working on getting some bindings done. Here is a charity quilt that I quilted yesterday.

This is an exciting morning, in about an hour I will be off to an all day Bonnie Hunter class. This one is called hidden spools and looking forward to seeing Bonnie again and to spending the day sewing with friends. My husband asked me how long I was going for as I have so much stuff staged in the living room ready to load in the car.

Hope to have pictures tomorrow of what I accomplished in the class as my design wall monday.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Project of the Day

This is a the quilt I was working on today. It is made out of shirts and maybe pants also as some of the fabric is thicker, maybe like a docker type of fabric.

This is the quilt that I had to baste the pockets closed. Customer wanted a few of them not quilted so they could be open which I did but............ I had forgot to baste one of them closed and the longarm foot caught in it and I broke TWO seam rippers trying to get the threads cut and the foot disengaged from the pocket.

Finally managed to free it with no holes in the pocket but it took some time.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Midweek Update

Today was my day time guild meeting. Fun as usual but I am tired. We take turns making a luncheon for everyone (4 to 5 people do it every month) and it was our turn in the barrel. So after setting up, cooking and cleaning up I am tired. I am glad I have left overs so I don't have to cook tonight.

Quilted a small charity quilt yesterday and started loading another customer quilt on the frame today. This quilt has pockets on it so I had to baste all of them closed so the machine wouldn't catch on them.

Between other projects I am working at getting some bindings done on several runners and crystals fused on for centers of poinsettias and also as ornaments on Christmas tree runners.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Design Wall Monday - October 3, 2011

I did not even set foot in my sewing room yesterday but this was the last thing on my design "frame". This is a backing for the hidden 9 patch Christmas quilt I made during a workshop last month. Can't wait to get that one quilted but will have to put it off a bit as I have several customer quilts waiting.

The reason I have spent little time in the sewing room this weekend was due to mom duties. Yesterday we went to the mall and after visiting SEVERAL stores had luck finding a homecoming dress, shoes and matching earrings for the big dance the end of the month. In addition to that last night Mandy's first college application was submitted online so I was doing a final proofing of that.

It was cute and funny at the same time, as she was getting ready to hit the submit button she got all hyper and stressed out. I can fully understand as this is the university she really hopes to get into and it is the hardest to be accepted at of the three she is going to apply to.

Though it isn't the school that I would pick for her (I like one that is much smaller and yes less expensive also) I wish her a tremendous amount of luck as she has worked hard for this and has her heart set on the University of Maryland.

Now to get applications #2 and #3 finished and submitted.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Stash Report - October 2, 2011

I made good progress on stash reduction this week. I stayed away from JoAnns and the quilt shop (the only advantage of having a cold) and used up fabrics for backings including the backing for all these runners I quilted on friday.

My current stats are:

Fabric used this week: 10 yards
Fabric used YTD: 236.25 yards
Fabric purchased this week: 0
Fabric purchased YTD: 165.5 yards
Net fabric used in 2011: 80.75

I might just make the magic 100 yard stash reduction for the year even though that isn't really my goal. My goal was to use up some of my older fabrics, freshen my stash and end up with purchasing less than I used and I am on track for all of that.