Friday, September 30, 2016

The first

Since I cannot post any pictures of the progress on the secret project I thought I would post a picture of the first t-shirt quilt I made. It was for myself and I sleep under it every night. I forgot to look at the date of when I made this, but I know it was at least 14 or 15 years ago.

The secret project will be my 18th piece or quilt I have made with t-shirts.

The other first I will show you is my first flannel quilt I made in 1999.
I had worked at the quilt shop in Charm and saw all these wonderful plaid flannels. I brought some home and threw it in the washer as soon as I got home. It took me 10 hours to put the center section and some of the border for this quilt. I sewed all 13 strips of flannel together into two sets with the strips stepped back kind of like this

I then cut the strips at a 45 degree angle

Then I sewed the cut strips into chevron pairs. The stripes don't exactly match in my sketch, but you get the idea. One thing I had to be careful of was that flannel, which is already stretchy, really is stretchy when cut on the bias! I mean I would pick up a strip and it would grow in front of my eyes if I didn't support the unit.

Here is a detail shot

The plaid I used for the outside border was red and white, but I dyed it. I thought the red was too bright and the white just glared. Overdyeing it with gray toned it down. I did cut the binding on the bias and used the same fabric as the outer border.

I have now made 10 flannel quilts that I can think of off the top of my head. I know I have enough flannel yardage and 9 patch units to make 5 or 6 more including the one I already have on the design wall.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Almost done

I almost have all the lettering backstitched on the 4th t-shirt for the secret project. So close! My plan is to finish the lettering tonight and stitch the border.

I did get some patches I ordered yesterday. They are not for the secret project. They are original R.E.M. patches and I could not pass them up. The price was super cheap! I will sew at least one on my hoodie.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Found another patch

I was thinking yesterday that I may have another patch for my AC/DC hoodie. I went looking and I found it! I have been to Canada several times and have always enjoyed my visits so this patch is going on my hoodie. I also have another one just like it still in the package! These were in my Grandmother's sewing box.

I went for a walk before the Cleveland Indians ball game and found two cents! I then proceeded to stitch on the secret project a bit while I watched the game. I also received one of the three patches I ordered for this piece. Of course, I can't show it to you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

More progess and patches

I now have 3 out of the 6 t-shirts embroidered. Yeah! I got started on the 4th one too. I so wish I could show you the front! I figure I will have this done in another week, add in mailing time, and the person should receive this around Oct. 10.

I bought this hoodie to wear to the Akron Art Prize meet and greet for the artists. Of course I didn't get to go because of that screw in my tire.

In the meantime I have been adding patches to the hoodie. I had this Chief Wahoo for years and years so he is going on the hoodie. The Flyers emblem will remind me of the chance meeting with Jakub Vorachek at the Springsteen concert.

On the back there is plenty of room for more patches. I had bought a group of AC/DC Back in Black patches. I think there were 7 that I bought. One went on the AC/DC piece, one on this hoodie, one will go on my t-shirt piece I made last year that is shown in my header, so I have these left.

I may take them to the closing of the Art Prize and if anyone comes up to me while I am standing by my piece and proceeds to gush about it, I may give them a patch. I have some other patches that I found in my Grandmother's converted treadle sewing machine drawers. My Grandmother worked at a sporting goods store in her later years. Grandma sewed patches and lettering on jackets, jerseys, etc. The store also screen printed t-shirts. Grandma would collect at the mistakes and send us a big box at Xmas with the mistake t-shirts, jerseys, and socks. It was great fun going thru the box and finding the craziest t-shirt.

None of these patches reflect anything about me so I won't be sewing any of them on - at least right now. I like patches. I am going to have to find a few more to add to my hoodie.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Progress equals fun!

I made some great of progress on the hand stitching on the secret project. There is a lot of letters on this shirt and I have 41% of them backstitched. I needed a change of pace so I then started on the border stitching. You can see to the top of the picture a line of stitching that will be the first step to stitching the border. For the border I decided to use this variegated dark orange to light yellow floss.

Have a great weekend! My plans are working on the secret project, sew together more of the flannel quilt, and probably mow.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Secret project progress

What I will tell you is that this project is made from t-shirts. In the past when I free motion machine quilt t-shirts, I machine quilt around the lettering and any designs. This makes it sometimes difficult to then backstitch around the lettering. For the first shirt I quilted last night I decided just to meander stitch the background and not machine stitch around the lettering. Since I am experimenting, I only did one shirt before I got out the embroidery floss to start the handwork. I don't have enough backstitching done to make a decision yet. Here is the back right now with the floss I am using for this shirt. You can just see the meander stitching a bit - hard to see with that busy fabric - and the backstitching.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Secret project

I worked on the secret project last night. I found some backing and pin basted it. This is some of my African Dutch Wax fabric.

I also wound bobbins last night so I will be already to free motion machine quilt this piece.

It is still too hot here to go out and walk. It was 91 yesterday when I left work. The weather from the time I moved to this god-forsaken place is lousy. There is no spring or fall, only summer and winter. I can't wait to move to a safe place with better weather and four seasons.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A lovely note

Remember the Harley t-shirt quilt I made for the poker run fundraiser?

Well, here is the thank you note I received for making and donating the quilt

I spent last evening doing laundry and working on a new project. I can't show you the picture of the project because it is for someone who reads my blog. I will be splitting my time between the flannel quilt and this new project. The flannel quilt is not for anyone in particular so I needed a project that was for a specific goal.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Progress on the flannel quilt

I stayed in the house all weekend. I worked on the flannel quilt. I have the left side all sewn together. I trimmed the blocks two at a time as I sewed the rows together. Here is what the top looks like now with the right side still needing sewn together. This quilt will be a wonderful warm everyday quilt for someone.

I had sewn together 71 blocks while watching the Cleveland Indians play on Sunday. 55 of those blocks are shown to make up the right side of the quilt. I had 16 blocks left.

I still have 60 blocks that need sewn together

I also spent some time cleaning out kitchen cupboards removing items I no longer use, want, need, or have bad memories attached to them. I have a pile of items that may come in handy when I decide to dye fabric again so those will go downstairs to the laundry/utility/dye studio

and I have a group of items that will go to the Habitat for Humanity Resale Store.

I know I still have too many bowls and glass measuring cups. For some reason I have collected quite a few of both of these items. Many of my glass measuring cups came from auctions and are vintage.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What a day

Well let me tell you about my day yesterday. At work I was asked a question by one of the contractors which was "can we submit our draft Operation and Maintenance Manual electronically?" I said "No," He says, "but it will be 17 binders." I said "No" again and offered a bunch of binders that we have accumulated to him. The O&M have always been submitted in hard copy and three hard copies have to be submitted once they are approved. This is stated in the specifications manual for the project and it the way the school system has request them. Then the project manager jumps in and says he doesn't see why they couldn't be submitted electronically like a regular submittal. I said I don't have control over the movement and be able to keep track of who has them. He said "yes you can" I said "no I can't" he said again "yes you can" again I said "no I can't" then he said "Eric can". Well, it is not Eric's job! Then the architect chimed in and said electronic was fine with him and the school rep when against there own policy and said he didn't have a problem with it. So 4 men jumped in, change procedure, interfered with the way I do my job, and none of them had any business doing that. I was pissed. I am responsible for tracking all closeout documents for the jobs. Now what else are they going to tell a contractor that it is ok to change procedure? I have to answer to where the documents are at any point in time and now I will not be able to. My boss showed up and I told him what happened. I said if the project manager wants to take over closeout then send me to another job.

Then I didn't get to go to the meet and greet for artists at the Akron Art Prize because the pig contractors leave giant screws for us to drive over. That is a concrete screw left by the sitework contractors. I was pulling out of the driveway and hear a clicking sound. I thought it was a rock. I got out and saw this

So I had to wait two hours for AAA to show up to put the doughnut on. He was not in his normal truck and there was no air compressor on the truck. How do you come to a call without air? Thank goodness I have an air compressor or I would have had to wait at least another hour for him to go get one and them come back. So now I have this ugly doughnut. I am going to the tire shop this morning to see if they can fix the tire. I have hazardous protection so it shouldn't cost me anything, but gas, my time, and my tolerance for contractors.

So how was your day?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Trimming trees

Yes, that is what I did last evening after work. Not fun. I got out my pole saw and it took me a half hour to figure out how to attach the pole to the saw. I bought this years ago but have never used it.

The neighbor's trees were hanging over my garage roof and I wanted the trees cut back to make it harder for critters to get on my roof. Also, since it is very shady, there is a lot of stuff that grows on the garage siding.

Here is what I was left to pick up.

The biggest limb was this one about 12 - 13 feet long. It was a bugger to get down. There are vines intertwined in the trees and the vines were keeping the limb from falling. I had to slowing yank the branch to get it down.

This was a miserable job. It was 70 out, but the humidity was high and the sweat was pouring off of me. Then the sawdust was sticking to my sweat and yuck. Not fun. I could not extend the pole out enough to be able to get some of really high limbs or even control it. The weight distribution is awkward to use a pole saw. I will either have to try from the garage roof or try to get my brother over to give me a hand. He is a foot taller than me and that would make a huge different on what could be reached. Here you can see my after.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Professional Picture AC/DC piece

I received the picture from the photographer who photographed all the art pieces for the Akron Art Prize. He did a good job cropping out the big tent that was behind my piece. I tried to make this my new picture in my banner, but I can't figure out how.

I spent last evening mowing grass. The grass in my backyard is very high so I just have to make passes that are only half the width of the mower. I didn't get it all done. I just was too hot and sweating horribly. I couldn't stand it anymore.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Where have I been?

I worked on the flannel 9 patch blocks and now have enough three patch units to made another 46 blocks. This is all the flannel scraps I have left.

I still have some yardage and I didn't cut up my shirt yet. I will just keep working away on the flannel and try to get it made up into quilts.

Sunday I drove 50 miles to Dover pick up my son and I then drove to Pittsburgh to see my brother and the Springsteen concert. It was good to see my brother as he travels so much touring and now lives on the west coast. Another brother, his wife, and son were there too! Good times!

We had tickets and wrist bands for the floor. My son went to get a beer and ran into Jakub Vorachek who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers. Note: we were in Pittsburgh. My son said hello and told Jakub what a fan he was of the Flyers. They took a selfie and my son was absolutely estatic! He had the biggest grin on his face!

Jakub had a floor wrist band in the same section as us. He and Jakub ran into each other again at the concession stand and as the night continued Jakub asked my son if he would like to party with him so they ended up hanging out together the rest of the evening drinking beer, dancing, singing, and taking videos of themselves together singing.
I got to meet Jakub too. My son told him he was at the concert with his Mom and he said 'Cool'. He they are together having a good time. My son is in the blue shirt with the orange and Jakub has the reddish beard to the right of my son wearing a ball cap and the gray t-shirt.

We also got to meet Ondrej Pauelec the goalie for the Winnipeg Jets. He had a seat beside Jakub, but didn't come down to the floor. Ondrej is a good looking fellow!

I stood right beside the railing and Bruce ran by three times. I got some good pictures the first time he came by, and the third time I held my hand out as far as I could and he took hold of it for a second.

Here is my brother working. He is the one just right of that yellow pole.

Getting out of downtown Pittsburgh is not an easy task. Thank goodness my son has an app that the lady gives you directions. We ended up going east to go west to get out of the traffic. It didn't take us very far out of our way and it was better than wasting time sitting in traffic. There must have been an accident because we sat in the west line for a half hour. I took him home and then got to my house at 3:30 a.m. Monday morning. It was a three hour drive.

I took a day off of work on Monday so it was a day to get some rest and drive back to Dover to go to the dentist. My dentist was all smiles too because they just had the 40th reunion for the 1976 Champion University of Pittsburg football team. My dentist was the quarterback and handed the ball off to Tony Dorsett. The team was honored at the first game of the season so they all got to walk on to the field in front of a cheering crowd. He said the ceremony was touching.

So I am just full of stories today! Now it is back to reality, but I still cannot wipe the smile from my face. It gave me such joy to see my son meet Jakub. I guess the stars were lined up for this to happen.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The flannel mission continues

I got another 23 units sewn and cut last evening.

I am getting down to the point where I trim scraps into 3" x 3" squares, match them up, and will sew them together into blocks. I have very little of the plaids left where I can sew strips together. I have enough for seven blocks laid out by the sewing machine with one being strips.

So with these 7 blocks I have 82 blocks of which 50 are needed for the flannel quilt on the design wall. 32 blocks are not enough to do much with so I went digging and hunting again for more plaid flannels. I have this red plaid flannel which I love. The piece is 64" wide and 2 yards long. Yes, that is correct 64" wide! Married up to a solid, I could get 7 blocks from one strip! I may have to cut a couple of those.

Then I have this yellow plaid piece that I love too. I have a yard and a third of it. Looks like I will cut a couple strips from it.

I found these scraps buried in the pink flannels. I will get maybe 10 blocks out of them!

There was also this small piece of pink and yellow windowpane check.

I remembered I made myself a flannel shirt years and years ago. I found it and since I probably will never be thin enough to wear it again I am going to cut it up. I will get lots of blocks out of it!

Now that I have found more plaids, my solids are dwindling and I won't have enough of those to marry up to the plaids.

I have this piece that was for a back, but I needed to make the quilt that it was earmarked for bigger so this back would not work and got set aside. I will cut the solid sides into strips and cut a few strips of plaid too.

But I am going to need more solids! Well, then I thought I will just take the white and off white pieces of flannel and dye them! There is also a piece of white with pale blue stars that will get dyed too.

Lastly, I will go thru my scrap bins to see if there is any flannel scraps in them.

Have a great weekend!