Friday, August 28, 2009

A give away at twiddletails!

Anina at twiddletails is giving away a really cute organizer with lots of compartments. (I am a sucker for anything that I think might help me to get organized!) Zip over to comment on her blog and get entered in the drawing. If you win I will be very disappointed because I want it!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quick update

I am such a slacker! We got back from retreat on Sunday afternoon and I have been totally overwhelmed with stuff to do. I totally forgot my camera. I know, I know! Someone else has a photo of most of us in front of the farmhouse so I will post that as soon as she gets back from her vacation.

I did get all of my quilt top done on retreat with the exceptions of the borders. I need to find some fabric for those. I didn't like anything I had on hand. I have also cranked out 7 bags in the past 4 days, cleaned house in preparation for a visit from my son and his family and managed to go to work every day. I get tired just thinking about it!

After the crew leaves on Sunday, I will post with photos and a give away. My blogoversary is in 2 days!!

Friday, August 21, 2009


We are off on retreat this weekend – the Society of Sexy Sewing Sisters.  This is our annual trip to Potter County.  We stay at my sister’s farm, eat too much, laugh a lot and sew until we are too tired to stay awake!  This year we are making the braided quilt that I made several months ago.  It is from Moda designers Basic Gray.  This is a link to the free patterns page at Moda.  Everyone except my sister is using batiks.  Julie is making one to use as a Christmas gift for my niece so her fabric choices reflect the colors in her daughter’s living room.  Everyone else bought Bali Pops.  I have so many pieces of batik that I cut up scraps and yardage from my collection.  It was a lot of cutting but I am sure it will be worth the effort. 

I still have to organize and pack for the trip.  (Nothing like waiting until the last minute!)  I also have to make lasagna for tonight’s dinner. I am going to make my recipe that uses uncooked lasagna noodles and lots of wine.  It will be pre-assembled so that all I have to do when we get on the mountain is pop it in the oven.  There will also be a simple salad, bread stuffed with Greek olives and dessert is Strawberry Daiquiris on the porch (thanks, Pam!).  Wonder how much sewing we will get done tonight?

At the farm, my bedroom is a little one at the top of the stairs on the second floor.  It is cute and tiny and has a wonderful old brass bed with the most fabulous mattress you can imagine.  Since I have not been sleeping particularly well at home, I am hoping to get some seriously good sleep in that bed.  I am also hoping that the coyotes are not howling behind the house again like they did last year!

I am taking my camera.  I may even take a couple of photos!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Off the frame

I finished quilting the batik quilt last night.  It was a hard fought battle but I won!  I used the information I gathered and I only had one thread break.  I loosened the tension on the quilt which I imagine relaxed the fibers a bit.  I also slowed down…way, way down.  That was really difficult for me.  I am used to quilting at a standard (for me) pace.  What I discovered was that in slowing down, I lost rhythm and making circles is much easier for me at a higher rate of speed.  My loops took on a more ovoid shape than I wanted but at least it is finished.  I am disappointed because it is not my best work and I really wanted this to be perfect.  Though the quilt would never go with my decor, it is one that I really loved making and it will still be difficult to give away! 

I had my camera with me and should have taken photos as I was taking it off the frame.  I would have done that if I had REMEMBERED I had the camera with me.  It was late, I was tired and I just wanted to go home.  As soon as it is bound (probably not until next week) I will post photos.  Thanks to all of you who commented words of encouragement!

I am making bags this morning and I guess every morning until November.  I have 5 orders for right now and I still have another 75 to make for the show.  Originally I was going to only take 60 but I was told they have around 2,500 people come through over the weekend and I don’t want to run out of inventory on the first day.  I just hope I don’t come home with 50 of them in the car.  Now THAT would hurt my feelings!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Batik woes

I just read something that has scared the willies outta me! Turns out that when you quilt a batik the needle actually punctures the fabric rather than having the fabric weave move aside for the needle. Basically, you are punching holes in the fabric and generally those holes remain in the fabric if you have to remove stitches. Additionally, the holes have abrasive edges so that the thread breaks easily as is is being "shredded" by the hole edges.

I love this quilt. The fabric I chose is perfect for my son and daughter-in-law. I am going to be so upset if it turns into a rag because of the quilting.

The suggestion was to slow down with the long arm and loosen the fabric tension. If y'all hear a lot of screaming coming from the East Coast later today, that will be me.


See these pretty stitches?IMG_7154

See these ugly stitches?IMG_7152

See what I have been doing? 


All the way across this quilt I have been removing stitches.I know that quilting with batiks can be challenging but this is crazy.  On the first 8 inches across, the stitches looked fine.  I always go under the quilt and check for tension and thread issues.  There was a thread break so I re-threaded and started across the quilt.  About 3 inches from the other side the thread broke again and it looked “funny”.  On the underside the thread tension is on again, off again.IMG_7156

I ripped for 2 hours and gave up.  Hopefully I will get the last stitches out this evening and start over.  I really wanted to get this one done before I left for retreat.

On a happier note, the other quilt I loaded this past weekend is finished…including the binding!  As soon as it is washed and “crinkled” I will show you a photo.  I tried binding on the machine and it worked out great.  No aching thumbs!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I love weekends!!

I got up at 4 this morning and still haven't been near a sewing machine. I put a new belt on my upstairs vacuum cleaner. In order to do that, I had to take the entire bottom of the vacuum apart. I have never seen anything so convoluted in my life. All the bits and pieces came off easily until it got to the point where I had to put the belt onto the brush. An HOUR later I finally got the brush out and put everything back together. Yes, it works! I think today will be a good day to do all those things I keep putting off - like hanging a new door to the basement (I have some MAD carpentry skills!), rewiring one of the lamps in my living room, cleaning the refrigerator (bummer) and re-potting some plants.

Tomorrow is a day with the long arm. I think I am going to quilt the spider web quilt and also the braided quilt. If all goes well, I will have photos tomorrow.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

You know you are getting old when

you can tell the weather by how your body feels!  Yesterday I started with a low backache.  I had not done anything out of the ordinary so I knew it wasn’t a back strain.  Then my toes started aching.  I knew what that meant…BIG rain on the horizon.  This morning it is absolutely pouring here.  Goodness knows we can use the rain so I am not complaining.  I just wish my back wasn’t!

I made a quick trip up the road to a quilt shop yesterday looking for some lining fabric for a purse.  I found exactly what I was looking for on the flat fold table.  I love the flat folds at Martin’s ($2.98 a yard).  There is some junky fabric there so you have to dig a little but they always have Kona Bay, P&B Textiles and Marcus Brothers.  I found something I had never seen on the table – MODA!!  Whoo hoo!!  IMG_7149

It’s from an old line, Country Paths, and I think it will be gorgeous in a quilt or in a large tote bag.  (I am so ready for fall.)

I sent out my blocks for the 9-patch swap priority mail so that they would get to Sammamish, Washington by Tuesday or Wednesday.  I can’t wait to see what I get back in the mail.  I sashed all the blocks that I have so far and I think the quilt is going to be really pretty.  Any kind of scrap quilt is a little scary for me but I am learning to adapt.  I love reading other quilter’s blogs and seeing what they are doing with scraps and scrap quilts.  I always thought they looked great when someone else did them but had no confidence on my own.  I think that is why I love doing fabric exchanges on retreat with S4.  It makes me a little uneasy when we start but I am always so happy with the results!

After my sister gets back from “late church” this morning we are going to run out to Joann’s and take advantage of some of the Founder’s Day specials.  BOGO on fusible interfacing?  I am there!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grammy is sad...

My sweet girl left this morning and I miss her already. I told her mama it was like having a 40 year old woman here. Mercy, that girl loves to dish the dirt! We never did get around to making that Happy Jack wall hanging. That will have to be a project for another time. She did learn how to strip piece a tote bag and made a skirt in her sewing class. She is very proud of the tote bag!

I am so far behind on my own projects. I am late sewing and mailing my blocks for the 9 patch swap. I will have to get those cut and sewn tonight and early tomorrow morning. They totally slipped my mind. (July just wasn't long enough!)

Lots going on in these parts. Last Saturday was my niece's graduation/send off to law school party and Sunday my great nephew was christened. This upcoming weekend is my nephew's graduation/send off to F&M party. (Thank goodness for bag sales - extra monies in the coffer! ) August 21st I head off for retreat with S4 in the wilds of Potter County. The foll0wing week my oldest son and his family arrive. I have some quilting I really need to do but I don't know when to find the time!

Hope you are having a wonderful week!!

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