Friday, May 30, 2014

Machine quilting cows

I made great progress machine quilting the cow quilt. I am halfway done!

The agenda for the weekend is finishing this cow quilt, working on the ocean quilt, and getting the master bedroom painted. If I have enough energy and time I need to start the studio renovation. My brother is coming over to do some work and I would like him to help me install the new lights I bought months and months ago. I need to paint the ceiling before the lights go in. Before painting the ceiling I need to remove some butt ugly striped wallpaper off the walls - see how one thing leads into another? The first thing I will have to do is take down one of the design walls and remove anything I can from the room while still leaving what I need so I can still sew. I figure I will be updating half the room at a time in order to keep the sewing space functional.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

MQG meeting and progress on the rain forest/jungle

Before I headed out the door to the MQG meeting I sewed together a few more units for the rain forest/jungle. This morning I was thinking I needed a few more pieces for the rain forest and went digging in my stash again to see what I could find. I came up with three more pieces in my quick search and then a few more ideas popped into my head so I will be digging again tonight. In the meantime this is how the piece looks right now. I will take a couple of close up shots of some of the fabric I used in the rain forest. I think you will be surprised!

Now many of you may be thinking that despite using many novelty prints in this piece, there is still a lot of open area or blank space. You will just have to wait and see what I plan on adding.

There were five of us at the meeting last night. It was full of wonderful conversation and show and tell. One of the ladies went to Quilt Market! We were all oohing and awing and asking her a million questions about the experience. She showed us the guide she received and all the promotional materials she collected.

She also attended another event - Fiber something - and showed two pieces of fabric she bought. Gorgeous stuff!

Another lady needs a baby quilt for someone. She brought a top that she thought about using, but decided it was too big. It is a cool piece.

She had this magazine

and a jelly roll so she made this top. SO CUTE!

I showed the ladies my pin basted cow quilt since I need to get it done right now and handed off before our next meeting.
I shared that I was going to QUILTCON in February and they were all excited for me.

I was tickled that one of the ladies was headed to a retreat this summer and she is planning on taking the workbook I gave out with my improv techniques so she could a quilt using the same method I did for the cow quilt. I can't wait to see what she makes!

I gathered a few stems of lily of the valley to show a young fellow at work. He didn't know what it was. It had rained last night and the grass was very wet, but took the trek out to the backyard I broke off some for him. Yes, my feet are now a little wet. Here is what my patch looks like. I need to dig some up and transplant it. It has gone wild!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rain forest and snow

I worked on the rain forest part of the piece I have been working on for the last couple of weeks. I have a few more pieces to sew together into units before I start sewing the beach and rain forest into rows.

Last night I watched Stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia which went thru the Italian Alps. It was raining on the lower slopes, but as the riders climbed higher it was snowing. Those poor fellows looked miserable!

Look how deep the snow was near the top! See the street sign in the center between the riders? You can just see the top half sticking out of the snow.

Over the mountain and the sun was shinning!

Nairo Quintana from Columbia won the stage and the leader's jersey for a brilliant ride over those mountains!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Four days of hard work

I spent the majority of my four day weekend working on the house although I did get some sewing done. I needed to clean up the piles of paperwork I had in several locations. I came up with a pile for shredding, one for recycling, and filed what was left. Here is my shredding pile. I was glad to get that job done.

Since my brother is coming over in a couple of weeks to help me do some house things I can't do my myself it was time for me to prepare for that. There are things I can do that need done before he comes. I got the drywall mud bucket out and patched up several areas
Here is the entry into the master bedroom that needed mudded

Here it is after three coats of mud. I will sand it down and fill in any areas if need be.

There was a crack in the bedroom so I taped and mudded it after I put a final coat of paint on the crown molding, window trim, and door trim. After sanding and priming I can finally put a finish coat of paint on the walls.

Then I moved the mud bucket to the living room. Taping and mudding done. Sanding and priming next then I can finally finish painting the living room

Meantime I was cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I also filled in nail holes in trim in the living room, sorted out my tools that were scattered in the living room, sealed the floor grout in the master bathroom, and vacuumed the house. I now have a list (the one on the left) of things I need to get done before Mike comes and the list on the right of things for him to help me with. I am going to be busy.

When I was cleaning I found a sewing machine cover that was my Mom's. I threw it in the was and it is now on my machine.

I did get the ocean sewn together and all the rows attached. I then sewed together the units for the beach.

Here is a close up shot so you can see some of the novelty fabric I used for the beach - yes there are lobsters, clams, flamingos, surf boards, footprints in the sand and more.

Throw in mowing grass, grocery shopping, and a trip to the home improvement store and I was tired, but was happy I got so much done.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sewing those long seams

I got three rows of the ocean attached to the sky.

Now I will show you my process. I first laid the ocean and the sky out on my big table.

Next I laid the ocean over the sky as close as possible to the edge of the sky so I don't cut too much of the sky off. The ocean edge is straighter because it is the top edge of the units. The sky is the bottom edge where I didn't need to have the pieces match at the bottom. I smoothed out the ocean and sky sections and squared them up by eyeball with the edges of the table.

I then nipped (there's that nipping again Glen!)off the sky to match the ocean so once I flipped the sky section on top of the ocean I knew where to start sewing since they were now the same length.

Next I trimmed the sky to match the edge of the ocean.

Here I flipped back the ocean so you could see the sky that was trimmed off.

Since I don't have cutting mat for the entire length of my table, I had to pull the sections together and get the rest of the fabric on the mat for trimming. I carefully lined the sections up again and trimmed.

I took the sections to the sewing machine and sewed the eight foot long sections together. I don't pin; I just match the edges as I sew.

I am taking a day of vacation tomorrow so I will have a four day weekend. I plan on getting this top finished and do some work around the house that I need to get done before my brother comes to help me. He is coming in a couple of weeks to help me with some jobs that takes two people, a job I don't have the skill to perform, and I need his extension ladder to paint an area that I cannot reach.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

More progress on the ocean

I got the other five rows of units sewn together into rows. Now I need to sew the rows together.

Since I improv pieced the units, in order to sew the units into rows I have to recut each time I sew on a new unit. Here is how I did it to get straighter rows.

First I line up two units using the lines on my cutting mats.

You can see the one end has selvage so I decided to overlap the right piece over the selvage.

I then traced the edge of the right unit with my rotary cutter.

I also nipped the top of the cut to make sure the pieces were the same length. That way when I flip the right piece on top of the left piece to sew together there is no question in matching up the two pieces.

I moved the right piece over and here you can see the selvage piece that was trimmed off when I traced cut.

See how the two pieces match up? They are ready to be sewn.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Progress on the ocean

I only managed to get the top two rows of units sewn together. I still need to sew the rows together.

I spent some time last evening going for a long walk and watering my seedlings so not as much sewing happened. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to spend it outside.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sky is done; Ocean next

I spent the majority of my time this weekend working on this quilt. It will slowly be revealed to you! I got the sky rows sewn together and started on the ocean. As I sewed the units I stuck them on the design wall.

The fabrics for the ocean have turtles, flamingoes, whales, sharks, coral, dolphins, and manatee. Here is a couple of detail shots.

I also cut the sets of fabric for the beach and the jungle.

It finally quit raining on Saturday so by Sunday I had no choice but to mow. I had never mowed the back yet this year because it was so wet or it was raining. What a mess! Here is what it looked like after a few passes. You can see how high the grass/weeds are! I still need to do some serious weed wacking in the back. I couldn't mow as far down the hill as I normally mow since the grass was still damp and slippery so I will need to weed wack it instead.