Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 13 - The Last Day!

Sis and BIL are home! However, I'm holding off on going home until tomorrow morning so that I can time it right to visit a quilt shop. Also, so that she can harvest stuff like cucumbers in less heat (it was pretty hot by the time they got here).

So, what did I do today? I did the continuous binding for the Pirate Quilt. My sister's counter is so much easier to do the layout and cutting on, that I couldn't miss that opportunity. I wrapped it on a toilet paper roll so that it feeds out nicely when I am sewing. While visiting a blog, one blogger suggested NOT pressing the binding, but folding as you go. This is because one side needs more fabric than the other because of the 'edge'. Make sense. So, I'm going to try it.

My sister found my other sister an old Kenmore for $5 at a sale. While she took it apart, cleaned and oiled it and adjusted the settings, I worked on more HSTs. Hundreds of HST's and the box still looks pretty full, so plenty more to be sewn.

On the left are sewn, but not pressed HSTs that I made this evening. On the right are pressed and dog ear trimmed HSTs. In the center is about 12 yards of bias binding on a roll.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 7 - A Trip To Sortof Local Quilt Shops

Today was a change of pace. Picked up my bro and went to Brainerd to visit quilt shops. That's about 45 miles away from where I'm housesitting. You will be impressed on how much I limited my purchases, but it was hard. I still got a few things not on the list with the excuse that I could use it in this quilt or that quilt, but really, I just bought it cuz I wanted it.

So, what did I get? Well, the first 3 pieces are for the kitty cat wallhangings I'm doing. The two marbles are 1/8 inch cuts for inner borders. The polka dot is for the border of one wallhanging. Then we have the popcorn and Dr. Suess pieces. Largest is 1/2 yard, so reasonable. Didn't need them, but they will go into the quilt "My Favorite Things". The kitty cats at a scary movie - No idea what I will use that for. On the bottom is a rooflike fabric for my planned wonky house quilt. Ok.. go ahead and laugh. Get that out of your system. EVERY quilter should one day try to do at least a single house quilt block. If you don't get to it, you don't, but the thought should be there. The last 3 pieces (one doesn't show in the photo) are fat quarters from the new Stonehenge collection from Northcott fabrics. WONDERFUL stuff. I can see buying yards of this stuff for several projects, but I promise - not until I have the project planned out.

Here is my helper Huff. He keeps the chair warm if I get up. Even if all I'm doing is threading the machine and need to get up to move something. Yep. Right there, keeping it warm. He knows he's not allowed in the kitchen chairs. My sister and BIL put stuff in the chairs deliberately to keep him out of them, so that they can sit down without getting their rumps covered in fur. However, he was recovering from a thunderstorm last night, so after taking this photo, I gave him the other chair to sit in. He was much happier. When there isn't a chair for him to sit in, he scoots over and lies on my foot. Yes, the foot that is operating the sewing machine pedal. Huff excels at hampering.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 5 - Pirate Quilt Top Done

Yeppers, I finished it. :) I tried to get a closer photo, but had to do everything quick because of the skeeters. They love me. This is my version of what to do with a can't cut it fabric. The size is about 74x96 inches including those 2 inch borders.
Closeup of Fabrics - I bought them at Hancock Fabrics maybe 2 years ago. All 3 were part of the same line and as close to Pirates of the Caribbean as they could get without getting into trouble for licensing. It's called Doom of the Sea by Fabri-Quilt. I still have to make binding. Leftovers? Maybe a pillow? Maybe a tote bag? Knitting needle bag? Pincushion. We'll know soon.

Totally unrelated to my quilting vacation, here's your chance to see the little Vikings pincushion I made with leftovers from the Vikings/Tree quilt I made for sis and BIL a couple years back. Just a simple box pincushion. It lives here at my sister's house. :)
Ok.. so now I'm back to making HSTs. The plan is to work on Bambi quilt all tomorrow. Maybe I'll get that done before it becomes a UFO?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Disgusted with Mistake

Didn't post yesterday because I was mad at myself. This is like a beginner mistake. Didn't realize that ALL the fabrics I had for the Pirate Quilt were directional until they were sewed. So, I spent hours and hours yesterday and today taking those stitches out. I left one strip backwards because you can't tell when 5 feet away. Anyway, getting these sewn tonight, so a photo tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I'll be back to HSTs. I can't do the back of the pirate quilt because I'm missing some fabrics as well as having no light fusible, so I'll fold those up, put them away and move on to other projects. I plan to work all day on the Bambi quilt starting first thing Tuesday a.m. I have a lot of space to lay it out in the correct order, making the sewing WAY easier.

Oh, and good news! I'm going to be the owner of a Bernina 440QE in mid-September! Happy dance, happy dance. Expensive and likely the last machine I will own, but I'm thrilled. Every time I think...gosh, maybe I shouldn't have spent so much, I remind myself that Consumer Reports even considered this a best buy. Bernina is replacing this model with another one that is more than $1,000 more with features I don't really want, thus the push to get a machine. The ONLY negatives I have heard about this machine involve the embroidery module and since I'm not getting that, it's a nonproblem.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 2 - Thunderstorms

Almost couldn't post today due to thunderstorms. I will make this short. I've continued making HSTs. I also pressed fabric and started sewing on the pirate quilt top. This will be a reversible quilt, one side has pirate fabrics, the other will have jungle birds and diagonal strip blocks. I will be able to cut and sew the strips together, but have to get some lightweight fusible before I can cut them into squares since they are cut on the diagonal.

This photo shows you the mess I made in order to completely mix up all the finished sets of apple cores. Flip, flip, flip.

All neat now and ready to sew into rows!! The storage container is one of those packages of baby spinach you buy at Sam's Club. They are kindof flimsy containers but fine for storing a project of completed pieces. The Kitty Cat Quilt is the one I made for Sis and BIL several years ago.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quilting Vacation Day 1

I am on a quilting vacation that is disguised as housesitting! The goal is to try to post every single day while I am on a mission to complete my tasks. I've managed to get all my stations more or less in order: Sewing, cutting, project bags. I'll be sewing at this spot in the kitchen. While the round table is sometimes a challenge, it works well. What is especially good is that there is a bright, hanging light directly over the table making a well lit work area. Yes, I know - part of my machine is missing. Not a problem - just mislaid it at home and wasn't going to scrounge for it too long.


Today, I went for simple and am making endless half square triangles (HSTs). My 2 7/8 in square box from scraps is FULL. So, I have 2 HST projects. The first is an HST project I saw in an issue of Fons and Porter (Sept/Oct 2011 edition) that I just received the other day. I will give more info on that as I progress. I actually stopped at a quilt store on the way here to get the black fabric I needed. In addition, I'm making a Lady of the Lake quilt. I could not decide on the fabrics to use for the large blocks, but it needs a LOT of HSTs.


No quilting holiday is complete without quilting helpers. I have 3. They are Spitty, Huff and Ptolemy. Spitty (beautiful , but very shy girl cat) has stayed out of the way, but the boys have been helping. Ptolemy lays in the middle of the floor forcing one to walk around him (cat hampering technique), and Huff sleeps on my foot pedal (supervision, apparently).

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Jammies are Done!

Finally finished my first pair of jammies for my Mom. I know she thinks the pattern of the fabric is a tad wild, but she's so desperate for jammies, she doesn't care. The fabric is Moda one that I think was called Italian Renaissance. Simple pattern taken from taking apart her old, well loved jammies. I had to follow a shirt pattern instructions to get the top done in the correct order. It's also my first more complicated project using my new-to-me serger. I have to make her 3 more pairs, 2 with full sleeves and then I will make some for myself as well as making flannel bottoms for the top I have already completed.

Shortsleeve jammies with pocket in both pants and shirt.

Knitting, yes KNITTING!! Ok.. well, this is the cat bed now that the knitting is completed. Alice is my model (she is the blanket cat - loves being under blankets and fighting under blankets). This is pictured before the felting. I plan to felt tomorrow and hopefully, it will be all dried by Saturday or Sunday. I've done a little bit of knitting and still having a bit of trouble with the tennis elbow (yes, 10 MONTHS later!), but I'm going to try some sock knitting soon to see how that goes.

I'm looking at buying a Bernina 440. This model is being discontinued and replaced with a model that is over $4000. I have to clarify the financing issue. If it really is zero percent interest for 12 months, I will be a Bernina owner this month. If not, well, we'll see what's in store. I hate, hate, hate quilting on my current machine. It sews fine, but the quilting, well, I think you have an idea that I am not that happy with the results. If I do buy the Bernina, I will have to very seriously stop buying fabric for a year because my budget will go for the payments.