Friday, December 31, 2010

Another finished quilt and other madness

Tuesday I got my nose to the grindstone and got to work. Here is the 2009 xmas family quilt - DONE finally. It took about 4.5 to 5 hours of machine quilting to finish it. I also altered a t-shirt for a nephew from an adult M to a youth small, took in a vest, and took in a skirt.

Wednesday morning I headed over to my brother's to let the guys in who would be installing a new furnace. My brother left to go back to California the day before. I did a little hand sewing and some messing on the computer, but I just had to get out of there for some lunch and to get warm. I sat there from 8 am to 1:20 in 46 degrees. I had brought my electric blanket (thank goodness!), but my feet were so cold. I met up with an x-cousin for lunch and to give her the alterations I had done for her. They finally were done with the installation at 3:30. My brother told me that it would only take 4 hours - wrong! After the furnace guys left, I was close to the tire shop and they weren't busy so I had my leaking rim fixed and they rotated the tires. I went home and tried to get warm! I was so tired I could hardly stay awake. I told my brother he owes me big time to shooting a day's vacation! I did get the tricot pillowcases that someone had requested done despite being tired. They didn't take as long to make as I thought they would and I was just glad to finally get them done.
Old furnace

New furnace

I left the house Thursday morning at 6:30 to head 50 miles south in freezing rain for a follow up eye doctor appointment. On my hand is the list I had of other errands that I needed to take care of. My brother (a different brother than the furnace one), his wife and son came over to the library and helped me take down my quilts - thank goodness. With their help it only took about 20 minutes to take everything down and get it packed.
I decided since I bought the zipper at JoAnn's on my trip, I decided to go ahead and put it in this jacket last night even though I was tired. I am glad I did because that is one more thing done.

I am not sure what the next three days will bring. I am going over to my brother's house on Sunday and his son is going to help me post my quilts and books on ebay. Monday, Jan. 3, is a holiday for me so I am going to try and make the most of the time.

Monday, December 27, 2010


I finished the family xmas quilt! Ok, so I was a couple of days late. I quilted for 5 hours on Sunday, put on the label, and now it is done! My brother from S.C. won so now I will have to mail it to him, but I may leave it hanging in the living room for awhile so I can enjoy it awhile before I send it off to it's new home. I forgot to measure it, but the blocks are 8 3/4" square and so that comes to about 70" x 87.5". I used two whole spools of Essentials Cornsilk thread plus part of another spool - about 2800 yards - for the top and bobbin. I need to start thinking about next year's quilt so I have it done well in advance. I will have to look at my inspiration pictures and come up with an idea.

One of my brothers needed a quilt for a friend who just had another daughter. Her name is Wren. I put this together on xmas day - my family has xmas on xmas eve. I only had to hand sew about 3 feet of binding and put on the label on Sunday. My brother is headed back to California on Tuesday so I wanted to get it to him before he left. Since Wren's father is in the music business like my brother, I used some of my black and white fabrics with musical notes, etc. for some of the blocks.

I used Prairie Gothic on the back - I thinks it looks nice and I just didn't feel like piecing the back.

I am taking vacation the next three days. Items on the agenda - altering a t-shirt for my nephew, finishing the 2008 Xmas quilt (I won it so there was no pressure to get it done), straighten out my fabric storage room, clean up the laundry/dyeing/utility room, and straighen out piles of paperwork. My house is a wreck/"hot mess" (from Clean House) so there is no shortage of things to do. I have been so busy sewing that I have had no time to clean. I can't hardly stand the mess anymore.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The continuing xmas quilt saga

I quilted last night and 62% of the quilting is now done. Since I know I won't get it all quilted by tomorrow, I wanted to get the binding on it so it will look more done. I was up at 4:45 this morning and rocked that binding. Tonight I will work on hand stitching it while I mult-task baking pies and cookies - well, at least that's the plan which it more than likely overambitious - ya think?!!

I will be posting inconsistently during the holidays.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some serious quilting going on

I got started quilting last evening at 5:30. I had thrown a load of bath towels in the washer -I had used the last one that morning. I started quilting and after 5 minutes I stopped to look at the back, something just didn't feel quite right. Well the bobbin thread was all boogered up. So for 5 minutes of quilting it took me 45 minutes to rip it out. Then I got hungry so I had a little bit of dinner then went back to quilting. I figure I got maybe two hours total in.

This morning I woke up at 4:30 a.m. so I decided to quilt for an hour before I had to get ready for work. I needed to wind some bobbins first. I got in about 45 minutes of actual quilting and I am now 50% done. I am planning for things to go smoother tonight - positive thoughts! I need to wind bobbins first and then I will get to it. I have used 1200 yards of thread so far and it takes me about 8 - 9 minutes to run thru a bobbin of thread. I have gone thru 35 bobbins so far.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I think I am in trouble

I worked really hard these past three days, but I am not where I need to be. I made 8 pillowcases for my nieces and nephews. They are now wrapped.

I hemmed 7 pairs of pants and took in the waist on 3 of those pairs.

I ended up helping to load up the equipment after my nephew's band played Saturday night. We were done loading at 1:15 am. I was so tired Sunday it was hard to think and work, but I muttled thru.

I quilted a lot yesterday, but not as much as I would have liked. My x-cousin was going to come an pick up her pants I fixed so I had to do a little clean up. I also needed to cut some t-shirts up for her. She needed t-shirt fabric to make a scarf. I had a bunch of t-shirts that I am going to make a quilt out of for a lady at the local rec center. The t-shirts are leftover from previous t-ball teams. So yestday I spend 2 to 3 hours sorting a huge box of t-shirts and cutting them apart. That cut into my quilting the xmas quilt. I have 32% of the xmas quilt quilted. I have gone thru about 800-900 yards of thread already. It is a good thing I stocked up last winter on Essentials quilting thread when they had it on sale. I am in trouble though because I doublt that I can get the quilt finished in time for xmas eve. I have tonight to quilt for 3 - 4 hours and the same for Wednesday night. Forget about doing the dishes - they will just have to wait! Thrusday they will probably let us out of work early so I can get started on the pies and cookies and work on the quilt in-between. If I get the binding on I can sit xmas eve at my dad's and do the handstitching. It won't be the first time I have done that! Wish me luck!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rockin' that quilt!

Right after work I ran up to the Akron Art museum for their annual art Mart. We were very busy between 5:30 and 7:30. Here is Justin who works in the museum gift shop. He is the most interesting fellow. He will graduate from U of Akron with two master degrees one being in fashion. He made the shirt he is wearing. Everyone who came to the register complimented him on it. It was beautiful. He even makes all his own patterns. It was nice to work with someone that spoke the language of sewing! The biggest selling items were one artist's necklaces, wonky men and clocks made from printing blocks, cigar boxes, and other found objects, and handmade cards. I felt bad for the artists that did not sell much. Been there done that - check out my posts from this time last year. I have no idea how to link to them - sorry!

I woke up at 4 a.m., got up at 4:15 and started quilting. I Have 93% of the quilting on the baby quilt done! Here is the picture of the area I have left to quilt. I will have this quilt done tonight for delivery tomorrow!

We have our annual company luncheon in the maintenance garage. The menu is tenderlion of beef, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans almondine along with salad and homemade cookies. The head of the maintenance does all the cooking and its always good. I am guessing there will be a couple of hundred people to eat. After work I have to run over to the other side of town and pick up my brother's mail at the post office and his house. He is coming home from California on Tuesday so I will have to make another trip to turn on the heat, hot water heater and water so the house is warm and he can take a shower as soon as he gets home.

This weekend is another full one. Tomorrow I deliver the quilt, get my hair cut, sew all afternoon on alterations, then head over to the sports bar where my nephew's band, Retro, is playing. Sunday will be finishing up alterations and start to quilt the xmas quilt. Oh, I have four stocking to make plus the pillowcases to get started. I am taking off Monday so I will report on Tuesday what I managed to get done. I might even wash dishes and bake a few cookies in my spare time (ha! ha!). Have a great productive weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Making great progres on the baby quilt

Last evening I managed to get the quilt pin basted and started quilting. This morning I woke up at 4:50 am so I decided to get up and quilt instead of laying there in my nice warm bed. As of this morning I have 50% of the quilting done! I used the Meadow colored thread. I did have a problem with the thread breaking. The first time - I thought it was a fluke. The second time it broke - I was getting frustrated. The third time - well, it was time the change the needle. Maybe there was a microscopic burr that was catching the thread. It wasn't that the needle was too small - I am using a 110 size 16 topstitching needle. I am really happy with the way the quilting looks.

Tonight I am volunteering at the Akron Art Museum's Art Mart. This is the event I tried to sell my baby quilts at last year. I get the job as the wrapper. I like this job because I get to see up close what everyone buys.

Have a great and productive day!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The best layed plans...

I planned on getting home right after work, but I saw one of my older neighbors shoveling snow so I decided I would help her. She had already gone inside, but I went and cleaned up a bit and widen the path. Then another neighbor, who HATES the snow, pull in. We got talking and the next thing I know he handed me some money and salt and thought I would be a great idea for me to shovel his front steps up to the house. He smiled told me he loved me and I told him that I loved him to then got to work. I got to my house about 5:30 and went to work on the baby quilt. That will be a few more dollars toward the car payment. I got up at 5:10 this morning to finish the top. We got less than 1/2" of snow overnight so no shoveling this morning. YEAH!

This is the fabric I plan on using for the backing. I haven't decided if I am going to use Connecting Threads' Moss or Meadow for the quilting. I am leaning toward Meadow - the darker green.

After work I have to stop at the library to be introduced to the Open House crowd and then it is to the house, pin baste the quilt, and hopefully start quilting it. I don't think I will have enough time to get it done for delivery on Saturday unless I take a 1/2 day vacation.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The snow saga

I know somebody got 5"-10" of snow that was predicted, but as of right now where I am at is in good shape. I got about 1 1/2" yesterday and less than 1/2" overnight. The city streets are terrible though - snow covered and very slippery.

Last evening with the wind blowing 20 - 30 mph, I had to stop at the library and move one of my pieces that was hanging away from the wall. It would be in the way for the open house on Wednesday. So there I am trying to pull a ladder out of the car while I am holding up my hatch. I don't know what they are called - those parts that hold open the hatch - but I need to get new ones. They just don't work well any more when it is cold. So I got the piece moved and then one of the libraians was gushing over my work. We talked for awhile so I did not get to the house until 6 p.m. Before I pull the car in the driveway I had to shovel. Next was finishing that jacket. I ended up having to rip out part of the hem so I could fix a seam in the lining that was missed when the jacket was made. Next I decided to start laying out some of the blocks for the quilt I need to have done Saturday. I looked at the clock and shoot! It's 9 p.m.! It had been a long day and I was tired so I called it quits for the evening. I think I will have to take a day off on Thursday in order to get the quilt and pillowcases done. I have 5 days that I have to use before the end of the year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The shows, snow, and sewing

My meet the artist was not well attended due to the library not advertizing the event. I had about a dozen people come - four of those were family members that came to support me. It was not a total waste - had brought my lap top and downloaded music. Here are a couple of shots. I pushed the tables together to lay out a large piece and I got the six black and white 9" x 12" pieces done. I had four more of those Command hook left so I hung up four of the b&w pieces. After my "show" I went to a local sports bar where my 13 year old nephew's band, Retro, was playing Saturday night. They really sounded good and have already been asked back to play again. My poor brother - he was there at 11 am to get all the sound and mics set up, and then packed up everything with the help from a couple of the other fathers, and got home at 1:30 am. The beautiful thing is that his son, my nephew, truly appreciates all that his dad does for him.

I got started on sewing the blocks together for a baby quilt I need to have done on Saturday morning. I only need 20 blocks and they go together quickly so I am confident that I can make it happen even with the possiblity of shoveling a lot of snow this week.

On Sunday I did get a pair of lined pants hemmed for a neighbor and started on her lined jacket. The sleeves are 1/2" too long, but I could not hem them because they had a detail at the cuff. So I ripped out the sleeves and trimmed off the 1/2" from the sleeve cap and sewed the sleeves back in. What was fun about the whole process was using the skills I honed when I work at the custom western horse clothing shop. Wow, memories came flooding back. I must say I think the one sleeve I have done looks better than it did from the factory. I will finish the other sleeve tonight and get it out of the house! I didn't get as much done on Sunday as my brain had planned. I just could not get moving!

I rained from Friday night until Sunday at 1 PM when it turned to snow. I can't imagine how much snow we would have if all that rain would be snow instead! The rain made most of the snow disappear. This morning I got up at 4:30 a.m. because I knew I had some shoveling to do before work. There was about 2" and it was light and fluffy so it was easy to shovel. We are suppost to get 5" - 10" today.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sewing and watching ballet

I decided I wanted to have a few more of these small pieces done for my Meet the Artist event tomorrow. I have the black parts quilted and even with my new LED stick on light on my machine, it was still hard to see black on black. Tonight I will paint the sides of the mounting canvas, quilt the white and yellow parts, bind, and get them mounted. This is all fabric left over from Stage 17 and Stage 12.

I have been watching five different interpertations of "The Nutcracker" (one each evening this week) on Ovation. I have DISH Network. It is hard to watch ballet and sew at the same time. I have only seen the first hour of each, because I get tired and go to bed. Of course the music is the same, just the dancing is different. There has been classical interpretations - Berlin and the Bolshoe Ballet companies - and then there was a very strange contemporary one that I didn't get at all. Tonight is a French version and it is more contemporary also. Maybe I will stay up and see the whole thing.

So this weekend is the Meet the Artist, alterations, and possibly shoveling snow. Have a good one!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Moving forward

I finished pinning the xmas quilt last night, picked out the fabric for the binding, and debated on what color of quilting thread to use. I am going to use Connecting Threads' Essential in either Natural or Corn Silk. The Corn Silk has a yellow cast to it which really is noticable in the picture. I think I will unwind a piece of each and lay them down on the quilt, and then decide.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pining progress

I didn't have to shovel too much last night - just a little clean up here and there - so I had the time and strength to layout the xmas quilt. I got about 3/4 of it pinned while I watched "That Metal Show" on VH1. Slash was a guest and they had been trying to get him for a long time to appear.

The city came by last night and plowed the cul-de-sac. YEAH! I was suprised they came so soon. I wasn't expecting them until late today or maybe tomorrow. The snow accumulation has slowed down although it is still spitting out there for just a dusting.

My brain is spinning with what I will need to take with me to my "Meet the Artist" at the library this Saturday. Unfortunely it won't be advertized in the library newletters - I really don't understand why, but it is what it is. The woman that wanted me to hang the show went on vacation and the communication broke down. Oh well. I guess I will just make sure I bring enough to keep my hands busy in between people that do show up. The show is at the Northwest Branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, 1720 Shatto Ave., Akron, OHio from 12-4. Feel free to pass this info along. I will take pictures and post them next week. One nice thing the library is doing is at their annual open house on the 15th, they want me to come and will introduce me to the crowd. At the open house there will be a choir and a band performing so there will be lots of people there.

Stay warm!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Woman vs. snow

In today's epic battle with the snow - woman won! Gear needed to fight such a battle includes: Yak Trax (these are rubber and wire - they go on the soles of my boots and keep me from slipping), boots, gloves, polar fleece ear warmers, my son's ND Starter jacket he had when he was in high school, my Road ID in case I keel over dead so they can identify the remains when they find them in the spring, my cell phone, and a shovel. Let the battle begin!

There was 3" when I got to the house after work which equaled 45 minutes of shoveling. This morning there was another 3" so more shoveling. The good news was that the snow was so light and fluffy that as soon as you started moving it around, it just collasped. I was so tired last night that I did not get started on pinning together the xmas quilt.

I know a foot of snow is no big deal for a lot of you out there, but it is causing quite a mess northern Ohio. The streets are bad!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Top is done and damn snow

Yeah! the top is done. I washed and pressed the backing late yesterday, so tonight I will start pin basting after I get everything layered.

I am not in the mood for snow. I had to get up at 4:30 this morning to shovel 5" out of the driveway. We are suppose to get 3"-6" more today. If we get 3" I will be ok and will be able to get home ok. If we get 4"-6" I will be in trouble. The city will not plow the cul-de-sac where I live until all the other streets are done and the streets right now are a total mess. I have an Eclipse and it sits low to the ground so if the snow is deeper than 8" I will be in trouble. Of cours it will help with people driving in and out all day so I am hoping for the best.

Friday, December 3, 2010

One down, seventy-nine to go

Here is the first block for the xmas quilt. As I was making this block my mind started running with ideas of what else I could do with this block colorwise. I can't wait to get the xmas quilt done so I can start playing with this.

I didn't get anymore neutrals cut out last evening. I was downloading music and had a neighbor come over with a pair of pants and a jacket that need hemmed. I pinned the pants and jacket and will hem them this weekend.

So this weekend is all about the xmas quilt and alterations. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More pieces cut

I cut out the two neutral pieces for 28 more blocks while I downloaded music and watched the Biggest Loser that I had taped. How's that for multi-tasking!

I went to then put the new music on my iPod and found I did not unlock it, so all the music on the iPod was gone. I kept getting a message that I needed to restore my iPod to the factory setting. I don't have internet at home so I had to wait until I got to work. We have a unsecured line so the music is now being downloaded. I don't start work until 7:30 so I came to work early as usual to get this done.

I was doing a little math in my head last night as I was getting ready for bed to figure out how many block I will need to make and right now I am way short! I thought the 40 blocks I have cut out would be good, but unless I want to make a lap quilt I am not close. 80 blocks would make a quilt 72" x 90" - my blocks are 9". That will be the size I am aiming for. Looks like I will be cutting out neutrals again tonight. I was digging around in my fabric storage room and found a few more. I may have to go digging again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Dec. 1 already!

As promised, here is the list of items I took with me when I went to hand my quilts. I didn't use everything on the list, but some things I thought would be just a good idea to have just in case.

the quilts
the hanging rods
measuring tape
fishing line for hanging the pieces from the ceiling grid
a level
blue painters tape
lint roller
straight pins
iron, towels, and water
Command reusable tabs and I should have had the Command hooks too
poster board showing the process for making the TDF piece
grid hooks

I quilted a bit last night again on this piece since I needed some mindless down time. While I was working I thought I ought to start pulling out my neutral fabric and start cutting out the pieces I will need for the family xmas quilt instead of working on this piece.

Here are about a dozen units I cut out. It's a start. As usual, I don't have a plan - I haven't figured out how many blocks I will need - I just start cutting and will fill in the blanks as I go. I will continue tonight to dig thru my neutrals and cut out more pieces. Tomorrow evening I will rummage thru my Mom's stash and cut out the remaining piece I need for this block. The only plan I have is to start putting together the blocks this weekend.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back to the library

I went back to the library yesterday to add the five pieces I needed the Command hooks for. While I was there I moved the large green piece on the right up higher just to make sure that the sun did not shine on it. Tomorrow I will post my list of stuff I needed to take to hang the quilts. It will be helpful to me in the future since I will know where the list is and maybe it will be helpful to someone out there in blogland.

I added three 9" x 12" pieces on the posts by the windows. I still don't like where the far right piece is hanging, but there is no other place to hang it in the room.

I added a piece to the left above the fire extinguisher and one by the door. It like playing where's Waldo! I need to make and hang labels for the five small pieces yet.

I was looking for some mindless sewing last night and so I went into the UFO pile and pulled out this piece. I had done some hand quilting on it (that's why it is thread basted), but I am going to finish it with machine quilting. I don't plan on pin basting - I will just remove the thread basting as I go along. I will probably double check areas that all the thread basting is gone by the edges before I quilt them just in case.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Show is hung

Thanksgiving was all about finishing up all the odds and ends for Friday's installation. Here are the hanging rods drying in the garage. I took a long scrap of wood, pounded in some nails, numbered the nails, and hung the rods after I put in the screw eyes and painted them. It worked out great.

Friday morning I was up early to get to JoAnn's. All I really wanted was a bolt of batting. I was at JoAnn's about 5:40 am and as we walked into the store at 5:50 am (yes, they opened early!) they handed out $5.00 gift cards. I got my batting, some linen with a half price coupon, some crayons and markers for little gifts, and some Command reusable mounting squared and got the heck out of there. It really wasn't bad execpt JoAnn's clogged up the aisles with extra racks with the flannel that was on special which made it really hard to get around. I got this bad boy of 40 yards for 50% off plus the extra 20% off my total purchase.

I loaded up the car and headed to the library about 11 am. I had to make a quick trip back to the house to get a taller ladder. The 5' step ladder was way too short for me to reach the ceiling. I was required to hang everything from the ceiling gridwork except for the front wall of the meeting room which is one big tackboard. I bought some nifty hooks made for hanging stuff from gridwork and they worked great. The hooks were kind of expensive (100 for $47.00!) and I had to buy 100 of them which I will never use them all. If anyone is interested let me know and I will sell you some for $.50 each.

I had all the pieces hung up by 4:30 except for the five pieces I had mounted on canvas. It took me a little longer than I had planned - several people stopped to look as I was hanging and they were asking questions. The comments I have received so far were all wonderful. The lady at the library said it was ok to use the Scotch Command products on the walls so I will have to go back to JoAnn's (they have them on sale 30% off plus the 20% on your total purchase) Saturday morning and get some hooks. Here are some pictures of the pieces hung. The first pictures are in the entrance and the hallway heading to the community room where all the rest of the pieces are hung. I tried to group the pieces together that had a similar look to them and it turned out pretty good.

Saturday I ran again to JoAnn's at 7:00 am to get those Command hooks and the crowd was very small. I was in and out in a flash! I threw together a pumpkin pie (I didn't make my own crust this year), put it in the oven along with some sweet potatoes, and did dishes while it baked. I had a short visit from an x-cousin then I headed out to see my son. Somehow I ended up at The Material Girl quilt shop which is near my son's place. They were having a 40% off inventory reduction moving sale. I tried not to buy too much, but I needed pinks and I scored some great deals. Several of the Praire Gothic prints from Free Spirit were only $3.00 a yard with the discount!
I just love this piece.

Sunday mission was to not leave the house. I needed to clean up my sewing table and get prepared for the projects I have to get done for Christmas. Here is the before and after of the table. The pile of clothes in the back corner are alterations I need to get done.

My goals for December are:
1. Pillowcases for the nieces and nephews
2. The family xmas quilt - I have a simple block already in mind that will incorporate the scraps I still have from my Mom's stash
3. A flannel quilt for my son
4. A baby quilt for a woman at the hair salon I go to (needs done by Dec. 18)

I can't think of anything else right now - this is enough, but I am sure something else will come up!