Thursday, October 16, 2014


On the plus side, I finished daughter's Halloween table runner....all 83 inches of it. Of course it's not labeled, if I had to wait for me to get around to making a label, Halloween would be over. I'll get it back after the holiday. It was a simple project, I just cut out a bunch of random width strips from half yards of fabrics (you could use FQs, as I wound up with a FQ leftover from each, since I cut my WOF in half). I sewed them together narrow in the center out to widest. When finished, I cut three 2"  strips off of the sides of my 72" long strip set. I added the black border and then I sewed the strips I had cut to that, being careful not to match them up to the center. I call this my FAUX BINDING. (Genius move on my part). Once I had the top together I just laid the back down right sides together,  laid the batting on top, sewed it together, leaving an opening for turning, and wah-lah...DONE! (Except for quilting). 'What?! No binding?!' say the quilt police.  It's a table runner, get over it--I did.

After a spendy little jaunt to the local quilt shop,  I was able to cut out everything I need to make a Dresden tree skirt for my daughter. Not that she asked for one, mind you, but there's a few ladies that would like to make one this year, so I'm having them over for a little quilt-in, Since someone needs to lead by example, I needed to make another skirt.

Here's the one I made last year, in a photo from the County Fair. (yes, that would be a Grand Champion ribbon, I'm flaunting....thanks for asking. )

And because one can never make enough trips to the local quilt shop, I'll probably be back there later today to fill in the fabrics I need for the upcoming Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion Mystery that starts the Friday after Thanksgiving that a couple of my Facebook friends sucked me into.

I'm not a big fan of mystery quilts, but I researched the ones that Bonnie has done over the years and they are simply stunning, and appear to require major work (and obviously a lot of fabric....if you add up her numbers, for the 88" square quilt top alone she's asking you to gather 12-3/4 yards of various fabrics). Because this is a mystery, and I still have trouble committing to something sight unseen, for purposes of cost control, I'm using mostly fabric from my stash, I need to replace the yellow (the one in the photo is for the Jingle flange) and I may replace one of the green and turquoise prints, and add in a black or two.

I changed out Bonnie's suggested pink for a couple of oranges and a salmon-y color. I'm not a fan of bright pink, have none in my stash, and preferred the orange with the green and the turquoise (that top orange fabric will probably be eliminated, but for now it kind of works)

Then, last night,  I took a break from the quilt studio to move into the art studio...not my workroom, but someone else's real art studio--trading fabric for paper. The idea was to create 'pop art' (remember that?)

At the hubs' request, Tucker became the subject matter for this endeavor.  Let's just say that while not quite an epic fail, the results are definitely not 'frame-worthy'.

But, on the bright side, I learned a new technique that I could recreate in my own workroom without having to buy a single supply for. (Thanks to the acetate transparency sheets discarded by the hubs' office--which is what I traced onto, using a Sharpie, from the photograph--that I held on to a few of when I gave boxes of them to my quilt guild to use as templates). I might try this at home with some 'people' photographs. A trip to Ikea for some frames, and I could have some pretty cool one of a kind Christmas gifts.  Sure, let me add that to my to-do list.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That

On Saturday morning I took a Cathedral Window workshop at Jinny Beyer's Studio in Great Falls, VA. For some strange reason, I was totally in the dark on cathedral windows until this past Spring, so when Jinny's newsletter mentioned a hand sewing class for 3 hours, I thought 'what have I got to lose? sign me up'.

 Let me tell you what I liked about the class....we all made this one block in class. Everyone finished it. And that was it.....Brilliant!  If I have the urge to continue on to a wall hanging, or a pillow, or a queen size quilt, I can add on to this.  If I just want a mug rug, I'm golden. I learned something, I finished something, and I don't feel obligated to continue. Best of all, I don't have another UFO to add to the growing pile of unfinished class projects.  All classes should be like this...a mini-project that you can finish before the end of the class.

And because I was all the way out at Jinny Beyer's (seriously, it takes me like 35 minutes to drive there), I HAD to purchase fabric. That orange print really grabbed me, so I picked up it's brother from another mother to go with it. And all through class I was staring at this fabulous tote bag made from a Bali Pop, so I had to have the pattern to make one for myself.

Okay, so with that out of my system, I came home and sewed a bunch of varied-width strips together for Jenifer's 72" Halloween table runner. I was thinking maybe cutting off  a couple of strips, sewing on a border and then reattaching the strips. I'll figure something out tomorrow.

Instead of returning to that project today, I gave some thought to the jelly roll quilt I'm going to make with my sister and her quilting friend. We were going to do the Jelly Roll Race quilt but that is just so gosh darn boring, so now I've decided to do the 3 Dudes jelly roll quilt. Of course, there's no explicit instructions for this one regarding yardage and finished size and cutting borders, so I think I'm going to have to pretty much make the pieced top in advance so I can tell them what they need to purchase for borders and binding.
My sister and I had Jinny Beyer pixie strip rolls tor this, so of course I had to obsess over which strips to sew together, so I probably spent an hour laying strips next to each other to come up with little 4-packs to work with. Once I had those sorted, they went back in the basket and I switched gears.

 I pulled out the basket with Gyleen Fitzgerald's Summer Camp quilt that I started back in June or July.

  And I sewed together all those little squares that I hadn't done before I left for Portland
And then, because I was feeling a little claustrophobic last week and took the design wall down, I tried to lay it all on the floor to figure out how I was going to put it all together (and yes, Gyleen had a plan for assembly, but I'm not enamored with the layout or the finished size, so I'm trying to apply some alterations.)
And that's my quilting life for the past couple days...scattered, as usual. How's your project progress? Are you on the straight and narrow?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Get More Sewing Done at Work Than I Do At Home

I had to go in to my office today to attend a meeting his afternoon. Since I wouldn't have time to run out at lunch, I brought a salad and some sewing to amuse myself.

The Jingle quilt has been up on the design wall for a few weeks now, and I've had a lot of time to scrutinize every little stitch and applique piece.

This is the center medallion.  See the little leaves on the pomegranates? Notice how they kiss each other?

 Well, I must have been sucking down frozen drinks on the cruise ship....or maybe it was the martinis in my hotel room in Portland....or it could have possibly been the vodka rocks on the plane ride home where those fool asphalt salesmen were throwing a party in the row behind me and up and down the any rate, look at how far apart the leaves are on this area.

It was quite obvious that half the leaves had been sewn on properly, the other half...well, not so much.

So during my lunch break on Monday I picked out stitches and managed to resew those leaves to make everything close together and uniform.

Yay me! Another accomplishment. I also managed to get my mailbox all straightened out now, really was a productive day at work. I should go in to the office on Monday more often (Not!).

Moving right along...I wonder what will be a good Tuesday project? Maybe you've got a handwork project that you could chip away at during your lunchbreak too.