Monday, March 24, 2014

Off On A Tangent -- In a Good Way

Late last week, while on a mission to catch up on things that have gotten out of control, I decided to clean out the mending basket that I had stashed in my sewing armoire. Hand sew hooks on a couple of bras (those front load washers have a way of mangling bra hooks--maybe if I hooked them together before I threw them in the wash I wouldn't need to run out and buy pkgs of hooks and eyes every time JoAnn has notions on sale) button on husband's corduroys from last winter....see if I can mend the little tiny holes in one of my favorite Coldwater Creek shirts that Paco inevitably puts in every one of my knit shirts when he jumps on me with his razor sharp talons (he'd have to be sedated to clip his claws, so we live with it).....

After I sewed on the hooks and returned the bras to their rightful place on top of their matching panties in my lingerie drawer, I found a suitable 'manly' button for the hubs' cords (trust me, I did consider how funny it would be if he went to put on his pants and found a butterfly or an elephant or a frog where the manly steel stud used to be). And then I tossed my favorite Coldwater Creek 'swiss cheese' shirt into the trash can in my studio and sat back, pleased with myself that I had cleaned out the mending basket.

But wait......there was something else inside.

Yep, it was the table quilt I began making for my daughter's basement coffee table, only to have her tell me that the colors were wrong, and that she did not like the backing, once I had sandwiched the sucker. So I guess I must have let out a heavy sigh, folded it up, and tossed it in the mending basket.

That would have been in June.......2010!

So out it came, and I spent the weekend (and about 8 solid hours over 2 days) quilting death.

And now I'm halfway around it working on a 'show quality binding'...perfect mitered corners, totally straight, no gaps, edges tight to the sandwich. 

I'm calling this one 'Learning Curve'. Sounds better than 'Quilt That Lived In The Mending Basket For Four Years'.


Friday, March 21, 2014

How Did You Spend the FIrst Day of Spring?

I spent my day working on a CHRISTMAS quilt. Seriously, I figure if I work on it in March it's got a better chance of being ready come December. This was the very last small applique block. All that's left in the applique department is the large center medallion which I'll start on the next time I'm looking for handwork.

I was able to knock out 3 of the 4 remaining pieced blocks before dinner. It helped that I had cut out the basic squares and 'kitted' everything in Ziplocs months ago.

And here is the final pieced block. Done!

Before I stashed it all in a plastic bag to hibernate for a time, while I work on the center, I laid them out on the floor to get an idea of how well they will play together.
Not bad. Lots of red and green setting triangles and a border or two (and maybe some prairie points) and I really should be able to finish this up in time for Christmas 2014.

Don't you love it when a quilt comes together?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

Happy Spring! (Today, my needlebook is the perfect accessory)

Where does the time go? And why do I never seem to have time to blog? (Or sew, or craft, or order lampshades, or call the appliance repair guy......)

While I did finish the Drunken Irishman St. Patrick's Day table quilt the day before St. Patrick's Day
I'm not thrilled with it. It was an experiment in 'made fabric', and in order to get it on the table before the 17th, the binding is machine sewn (oh, the horror!). No stellar quilting (shamrocks on the blocks and ditch-stitched), but it got finished, so that's one for the plus side.

And as soon as that puppy hit the washing machine, I began
DEAR JANE!!!!!!! Now, I'm especially pleased with those blocks because I dusted off my math skills and measured everything out of the book, down to the 1/8".

And, as usual, there was a red-headed stepchild among the bunch
HATE IT! Not sure if redoing the center applique square-edged circle will help it,  or if I shouldn't waste my time and sacrifice this one to the Gods of Lost Cause and start over with a different print (and a better job of appliqueing). I've got 2 years to figure it out, so it just got tossed into the box.

I was able to score a reasonably priced copy of this
off of the Sew Its For Sale Yahoo Group. The lovely lady who sold it to me also went to the trouble to transfer the registration to me with EQ. It's a little daunting (but you know how I have this fear of my EQ7 software), but I think I'll be able to quickly figure out how to print out paper piecing templates and the cutting instructions for the more complicated blocks. If not, there's a lesson plan in the book that I will just have to slog through (after I call to have the icemaker fixed, and order the shades for the kitchen pendant lights).

I also used that group (Sew Its For Sale) to put out a call for more Kaffe Fassett fabrics to supplement my dwindling stash
I was hoping I could get a lot done with that jelly roll of 40 different prints, but I've quickly learned that a lot of the cutting for these 4.5" blocks requires pieces that measure 2-3/4" wide (aarrggh!!!). In the meantime, I've won a couple of eBay auctions for FQs and we'll see what I turn up from my ISO ad.

And, as always, because of my short attention span, I've managed to work on a couple other 'rogue' projects since the weekend.
I caught up on Pat Sloan's Globetrotter BOMs. Pictured are February and March. This finished quilt will be my first Quilt of Valor, hence the patriotic theme. Not that I've got a lot of patriotic fabrics, but I'll muddle through (and my sister offered a raid on her red/white/blue stash since it's going to Quilts of Valor--thanks Sandy!)

And since I am ADDICTED to all things missing Malaysian 'Triple 7'--I watch CNN until 3 am, and have also been known to scan satellite images on Tomnod until the wee hours--I've picked up my Jingle Applique quilt (that did not make it to a finish for Christmas 2013). Hoping I have it done for this Christmas.
This is the last small applique block. I just need to do the bird heads. Then the huge center medallion applique and 4 pieced blocks and it's ready to put together. Another project for my spare time.

I'll be back working on some more 'Jane' this weekend, so check in on me to see how I'm doing.

Happy First Day of Spring!