Tuesday, October 31, 2017

16th finish for 2017

Yes, I got the wool quilt done last evening! Here is the front which turned out 62" x 90". I didn't hang it up to take a picture of it, because it was getting late and the lighting is terrible so the picture would be dark.

Now you see on the back on the left where the tan army blanket is attached to the gray wool? The line is not straight because I was cutting around the holes at the edge of the blanket as I was trying to save as much of the blanket as I could. Those inprov skills I have honed over the years came in handy!

I fixed the holes in the blanket in different ways. Here I cut a freezer paper circle, pressed back the blanket raw edge, put the teal wool over the hole and stitched it on the machine.

For the long hole in this spot I just cut a piece of the teal wool, pressed under a seam allowance, and machine blanket stitched the patch on.

For all the small holes I just used embroidery floss and satin stitched over the holes. The blanket didn't fray so I just needed to make sure the hole didn't get any bigger.

There were two spots that had holes too big to satin stitch but were too small for a machine sewn patch. I just cut a small piece of the teal wool and hand stitched a patch on them.

Remember that small hole on the front I showed yesterday?

I decided to make lemonade out of this lemon and embroidered a little flower. I satin stitched over the hole in yellow and added some blue petals.

The label has been attached so this is done. It was not a fun quilt to make. The materials and the wool batting tried my patience. I just hope it is nice and warm for my brother.

Now that this is done, what next I said to myself? I need to make some baby quilts for my stash. I only have 3 or 4 on hand so that is what I will be doing next.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Quilted, but not done

Once I got home from work on Friday I did not leave the house all weekend. I didn't even go out and get the mail. I did manage to get the wool quilt quilted and bound.

But the quilt is not done. When I was quilting it I found a small hole I missed cutting off. This hole was made when the fabric was put in the sample book. I will have to put a little patch over it.

The back is a different story. The army blanket had a lot of wear and holes in it. I patched the two biggest ones before I quilted it, but there are numerous smaller holes that will have to be repaired. Here is the back. You might be able to see all the safety pins that mark holes that need repaired. Some of the holes just need a few stitches to close up the hole while others will need a patch.

The of course I will have to put a label on it too. I need to have it done by Thursday and I will make that deadline without any problems.

I slept a lot this weekend and I am feeling better. I still have a few lingering symptoms, but nothing that can't be managed by over the counter drugs. I have to get my new office area straightened out today. I need to get the boxes off the floor and stuff put away so I can access it. I will only be at this office for 4 - 6 weeks. I have no idea where I will be headed next.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Busy, busy, busy

I am late posting today because I have been so busy getting the job site trailer emptied, taking care of getting things disconnected, running after contractors, and moving into my new digs in an office in the school. Here is the trailer this morning with a few big items still left to move. Two guys from my home office came and got the copier, so I had them take a few more items I just needed to get rid of. They were very helpful! The trailer is now empty except for the two wheel dolly that I will get out of there in the morning and take back to the home office.

I have not had time to put things away in my new digs, but here is where I will call home for the next 4 to 6 weeks. The PTA uses the room for storing stuff and for my needs it will work just fine.

After work yesterday I decided I had better do something with at least the front yard. I can't remember the last time I mowed. So I trimmed, mowed, sprayed weeds - mostly thistle, and spread weed and feed. That took 2 hours and I was a bit tired after that. Here is the yard before and after

I did sit down and quilt a bit. I have almost all the main stitch in the ditch lines sewn so now I want to go back and stitch down the center stripe. Here is what the back looks like with the first row (the row on the right) completely done.

This is what the front looks like with the row on the left all stitched.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Utility wool quilt

I am in the process of making a wool quilt for my brother. He tours with rock bands and depending on who he with, he either flies to each show or they take buses. He now is with Ray LaMontagne and they are using buses. In the past, my brother said how cold the buses can get traveling between shows so he wanted a wool quilt.

I dug out the wool quilt I had started for him several years ago. He hadn't needed the quilt since he had been flying. Now that he is back on buses, I got to work and finished the top, pin basted it, and started quilting on it.

The top is an extra long twin made from wool suiting samples that I got from a tailor years and years ago. I decided on a simple block and sewed a lighter strip in the center of two darker strips. The blocks finished 7".

The backing is a mix of an old army blanket and wool that I had in my stash. The wool blanket is sentimental to my brother as it had come from our Mom's father. The blanket had some holes in it which I patched the bigger ones. The smaller ones I will patch once the quilt is quilted. The wool blanket is under the package of batting.

The binding will be the wool from a pair of our Dad's trousers. Dad passed away in March of 2015. and I saved a pair of wool pants just for this quilt.

I am free motion stitch in the ditch quilting this quilt. It is a heavy quilt with the wool backing, fluffy wool batting and the wool top. I have about half the quilting done.

I need to have this quilt done by November 2. My plan is to get this done this coming weekend. My brother will be in Toledo on the 3rd and I may get to go and see him. If not I will pass it off to another brother who will be going. Since the weather is now turning cold I am sure my brother will be glad to get this nice heavy, warm quilt for his bunk on the bus.

Taking a night off

I have been working hard moving out of the job trailer and I was tired when I got home. I still have more to move, but I am getting down to the last of the files and furniture. Today the IT guy is coming to move my computer over to the school where my office will be for a month or two, Thursday the electrician will be here to disconnect the electricity, guys from the home office to move out the copier, and the alarm company will be here to remove their equipment, and Friday the trailer company will pull the trailer out. Somewhere in between the port-a-john company will be here to pickup their unit and that should take care of everything.

So to fill in my evening I spent some time talking to my sister and looking at this new book I borrowed from the library

I like old quilts and the quilts shown were beautiful. There were appliqued quilts

Pieced and appliqued

And lots of pieced quilts from more complex to simple.

The book was written as if a woman from the time period that the quilts were made had written this book in first person. I am not into fiction so the writing wasn't my cup of tea. The photography was beautiful.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Plan B

Plan A was to do a large meander on the wool quilt. That did not work. Why? The quilt is just too heavy and thick to maneuver.

Plan B that was suggested by several of you worked better and that plan is to stitch in the ditch. I decided to free motion stich in the ditch rather than use a walking foot. Why? Because of the thickness of the wool backing and battting. I got all the lengthwise rows stitched and half the width wide rows done last evening. The blocks are still puffy and I think I may go back and stitch in the ditch around the center stripe of each block. I did that for one block so far and it doesn't take very long. Here you can see how it looks on the back.

I was asked by one reader if I get a flu shot. No, I don't believe in them. I haven't had the flu since I was a kid. Yes, I get colds, but flu shots will not prevent a cold. Nothing prevents a cold 100%. A cold is viral and nothing will cure it or prevent it.

My cold is better today. I still have a bit of coughing and nose blowing going on, but once I get moving I can deal with that. I still can't smell anything. As long as I can keep my sinuses cleared enough that I can breath thru my nose, I can function. As soon as my head gets clogged up I am miserable.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Progress on the wool quilt

I still feel awful. I have been able to manage the symptoms, but that's about it. Saturday I spend the day cleaning my messy laundry room. I tried to be brutal and got rid of a lot of stuff. I found a few items for donation. I also cleaned up the studio which was a mess too. I can now walk thru both rooms without tripping on stuff.

Sunday I worked on the wool quilt. It took some real work to get the back put together. The wool blanket did not lay flat at the edges and I had two large holes I needed to patch. I had to add to the length and the width of the blanket with wool yardage I had to get the back big enough. The quilt is now pin basted, bobbins are wound, and the sewing machine is all ready to go to free motion quilt it. I think I will just use a large meander.

I also got the binding cut out.

I have 10 days to get this done.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thank you

for all your get well wishes. I still don't feel great, but I do feel a bit better. I have felt so bad I have not had the strength to do anything except look at a few magazines I borrowed from the library.
I went to work yesterday because we had a progress meeting at 8 a.m. then after the meeting I went home to bed. I did manage to roast a butternut squash so I would have something to eat for lunch today and I thawed out and drank some homemade chicken bone broth.

Being sick has put me way behind on getting the wool quilt done. I now have 14 days to get it finish and I am also behind on moving out of the trailer at work. I am just going to have to pace myself carefully and do what I can.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

15th finish for 2017

I went home sick yesterday. I sat in front of my electric heater and fell asleep for a couple hours. I didn't have the energy to work on the back for the wool quilt so I figured I could sit and at least finish sewing the binding on the linen quilt. So my 15th finish is the linen quilt. It turned out 40" x 51.5". The back is also linen.

I still don't feel great. I have the typical cold symptoms: a cough and, runny and stuffy nose. I really didn't need this to slow me down. I now only have 16 days to get the wool quilt done.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Wool quilt top and what a party

I got the top sewn together for the wool quilt.

I still have a stack of wool pieces leftover, but the stack is much smaller!

The blanket for the backing is smaller than the top. I found two pieces of gray wool yardage in my stash. I gently washed and dried them. I will use them to add on to the blanket to make it big enough for the back.

I fixed two of my nephew's amp covers and a t-shirt.
I headed over to their house on Sunday afternoon to go to a birthday party/gig. A fellow rents the Kent Stage every year and throws himself a big birthday party with bands playing and lots of food and drink. People bring food and beverages too. Here is my nephew's band performing.

I feel lousy with this head cold. I tried to be careful not to contaminate anyone.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cutting away for the wool quilt

I was very tired when I got home from work last evening. I was up later than usual on Wednesday night visiting with a brother from out of town so yesterday was tough. I eventually got myself moving to start sorting out the pieces and parts I have had squirreled away for this quilt to see where I left off. I found 7 blocks ready to go. Here they are on the top row and one at the side. I am laying out the quilt with the length of the quilt being horizontal. It will be 9 blocks wide by 13 7" blocks long.

To cut pieces out of the men's suiting samples I just stacked them. There are holes at one end of each piece and some glue residue at one of the bottom corners where the paper labels were so I have to cut the strips out of the center. Here is the pile I have cut

and here is the pile I have left to work with

I have no idea how many strips I have cut, but I do know I need to make 62 more blocks. With three strips in a block I need 186 strips. I don't think I have that many cut yet so I will cut a bunch more before I start sewing them together.

I did see this beautiful little fellow looking for bugs in my rotten deck last evening. I think it is a woodpecker, but I am not sure. He was only looking around for a few minutes, but he was sure fun to watch.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Time to catch up

I was not in the mood to post yesterday so today's post will be kind of long.

I got pictures of the two cute tote bags I made the other day.

I got the binding on the linen quilt and have started hand stitching it on.

I went over to my brother's house for dinner last evening and to visit with another brother who was in town. I had taken my R.E.M. piece over so he could see it in person. He thought I had done a great job on it and reminisced as he looked at the shirts. While I was there my SIL gave me new t-shirts to wear for my job at the merchandise booth. Since we sold out all the shirts in September, Michael had to order more. The blue has a design on one side and the black one has a designed on both sides. We have a gig on Sunday so I need to be wearing the new design.

My brother who was in town had asked me at least 5 years ago to make a wool quilt for his bunk on the bus when he travels with different bands. For the last four years he would fly to each show, but the fellow he is with now will be using buses. After looking and looking, I finally found the top I had started years ago and is on my UFO list. The majority of the wool is lightweight men's suiting samples. I had taken the sample books apart and washed the pieces. The blocks finish at 7". Here is the top so far

He finally told me what size to make so now I have to get this done. I hope to get to go to the show in Toledo on November 3 and I can then hand it over to him. I found the wool bat and the backing which is an old wool hospital military blanket. We didn't have much money growing up and my grandfather, who worked as a civilian at the Great Lakes Naval Base, would bring up discarded blankets - the green ones as well as the white ones that were used in the hospital. Of course over the years the blanket is no longer white and it has a hole or two in it , but it is very sentimental to my brother and now it will have a use. I also saved a couple pairs of our Dad's wool pants when we were cleaning out his home after he died two and a half years ago. I wanted to incorporate some of that wool in this quilt. I will be using that wool for the binding. So I will be dropping everything to get this quilt done in the next 21 days.

I made a batch of cookie dough before I went over to my brother's and put it in the fridge. I was up early and baked the cookies this morning for the guys at work. We have a big day today on site and I thought this would help give them a bit of a boost. They taste really good if I say so myself!

This morning we have some visitors to the site - Canada goose. There must be at least 20 of them. You can also see the slight bit of green which means the grass seed they planted last Thursday is growing!