Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tuesday Try IT

Today is Try it on Tuesday over at Jo's  And I had something in mind to do but it took all day to get to it.  Mostly because it required some help from DH and he was quite busy at work today, not about to drop everything and come running.

Some time ago I watched a Youtube video by a quilter where she showed how she basted her quilts on her wall.  It stuck in my mind. I can't always take over the dining room table (well actually I can but I shouldn't) and leaning over the table is a pain.
So I got DH to dig out an old cardboard box we had put aside, a huge box - this was the new tub surround we installed two years ago. He cut it down and taped it  for me and we propped it up in the upstairs hallway

 Straight pins holding the back to the cardboard while we size the batting.
(DH is trying to get out of the picture and still hold the fabric)
And the crayon box is basted
 The duct tape in the centre is like a hinge and it can fold up so we can carry it back to the garage until needed again.

Ta Da ! A Basting Wall.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Mystery Monday #1

Monday is here already and what have I gotten done? The mystery started Friday and I was ready to go to it, having a day off and the fabrics pulled/purchased. Had to purchase some greys as it isn't a colour I've done much with before. Before long I was unsatisfied with my grey and wanting more variety. Luckily the local chain fabric store was having sale so I dashed right over.
(several hours later, ...)
I was using the stips and foursies as leaders and enders while I finished the Story-time Stars. Sneaking in time before and after work, I managed to get 60 sets of four done and the Stars finished.

That was the tally first thing this morning. Since then I've added another 40 to a grand total of 100. And enough checkerboard squares to finish the sashing all around the outside. I've dragged myself away long enough to post this and link up with Bonnie's easy-street-monday-link-up.  Now to throw a batch of chili in the crockpot and get back to sewing.
Ooops, just noticed I didn't post a picture of the fabrics I've selected

Friday, 23 November 2012

Working the UFO pile

Finally after a week of work that seemed to never end, I had a day to focus on sewing.  My main goal was to get a work in progress finished. After all the cutting I'd been doing I wanted to just sew. The closest to a finish is the Crayon Box that has been languishing for months. The last hurdle was the border, I just couldn't decide what to do. So I grabbed a sold blue and hacked off 2.5 stips and slapped them on.

For the back I cut up more 10.5 square of all sorts of boy fabrics. I was trying for a sort of light /dark effect but messed it up somewhere betweent the layout and sewing machine. As my leaders and enders I was piecing this new project I cut out the other day. Another Story-time star with some new batiks I ordered from Keepsake. There are alot brighter colours than I had when I did this pattern in spring. And this time I am piecing the checkerboard sashing.
But all this ground to a halt when I bent my needle on a pin and tried to replace it. The featherweight can be a great machine but then can turn on me and get really fusy when I change anything.  It can take ages to get it back to running right.  So... I just pulled out another machine and kept on sewing.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Cutting Shirts

Haven't been sewing for the past few days. Instead I have been focusing on cutting the box of shirt backs I bought. I've set up a cutting station on the corner of my featherweight table and after a few hiccups have an efficient system worked out. The hiccups were minor; finding my 9.5" square ruler (that exercise ended with me refolding and stacking all the fabric on the shelf then finding it somewhere else altogether) and dropping my rotary cutter. I didn't cut my foot but I did bend the blade. Only to discover it was the last blade in the house, necessitating a trip for more.
Each shirt back is providing at least two 8.5' square for the Scrappy Mountain Majesties block, a 2.5" , a 2" and a 1.5" strip, some strings for the bin and some chunks for the scrap basket. Whatever is left after I cut those, I'm putting back in the red basket for later consideration.
String bin, 2.5" , 2", 8.5", 1.5"
Already it looks like I'm going to have to get a bigger container for the 2" strips.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

It's Tuesday

So if it is Tuesday, it is "Try It" day over at Jo's .
 Boy, am I excited. I have expanded my horizons, thought outside the box, all that cliche stuff.

Therefore I have something to share. It started with the call for quilt donations for Sandy relief efforts.  I really wanted to do something but what. Timing is important, they need them now. So what would be fastest? One of the many panels I have in the stash. Quickest backing? My sister swears by flannel, not something I've done before. However my dear FIL had gifted me with several yards of the sweetest yellow flannel some time back. So here it is:
And my sis is right, it is so soft you don't want to let it go.  Somehow I had the idea it would be difficult to work with but it wasn't, and having to vacuum the sewing machine afterwards isn't that big a deal.

Another trial of a new to me technique: invisible thread. I didn't want the quilting on the dinosaur panel to detract from the cuteness of the Dino's so I found a spool of invisible thread (also in the stash) and tried that out.
Dinos outlined

The third item I tried was not a smashing success, at least I don't think so. In order to speed thing up a bit, I tried the none binding edge, pillowcase style, envelope whatever it is called. Where you sew the edges of the top and backing right sides together with the batting then turn them right sides out like a pillowcase.

It was fast, but I wasn't sure how much quilting I could do with the edges already sewn and it is more like a comforter than a quilt.
So that's what I've tried out. And now that these are done and boxed to mail out, my reward is here.
The box of shirt backs from the yard sale last Saturday is here already.  The only thing keeping me from digging through it right now is writing this post.
 Hey, I'm outta here, there's fabric calling me.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Donation Quilt

For the past week, when I haven't been working at the nursing home I've been working on a couple of quilts to donate to the Sandy relief efforts. I figured the fasted way to get one done and in the mail was to use one of the panels I have in the stash. And to speed it up even more I backed it with some flannel that my FIL had given me a while back. Thus no piecing, just quilting. Here is the second one done, I was really pleased with the free motion quilting on this. I outlined all around the dinos, the tree , moon and stars using an invisible thread.
Then I found a fabric for the border that had dinos on it also. All done and labeled. Feeling so proud of my work, I went to the website of the group asking for kid quilts and found in the list of requirements that mono-filament thread not be used. Dang. Basic 101 lesson - always read through the whole instructions before begining the exam.
But those stars are so awesome...
who could resist.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A little sewing time

I squeezed in a little sewing time today while organizing the new sewing room. Yesterday we got enough done to bring up my featherweight from the basement.
So I had to make some of the disappearing nine patches that have been tempting me for days.
Here is the nine patch

And this is what it becomes. Not sure about the scrappy lights, maybe I should have stayed with a constant. But I am enjoying making them.
I'm also working on a pieced back for the crayon box top. Hung a piece of batting to use as a design wall, but it didn't last long, the sticky patches weren't sticky enough. I cut a stack of 10.5" blocks from all my juvenile boys fabrics and was playing around with them trying to get a pleasing arrangement until it ended up like this.

And then like this...

 Back to square one. Tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Back to normal, whatever that is...

After a day of work and a day of housework, I am ready for some sewing time. However before we left on our adventure, DH and I moved as much of my sewing as we could into what will be my new sewing room (previously my DS's bedroom). Therefore in order to do any sewing I have to spend some time organizing the room and the fabric. So that is my goal for today, get this room whipped into shape and maybe attach some fabric to some other fabric.
Here is the before picture, or at least after a half hour of moving and sorting. And yes I know the fabric on the shelf with the sun shinning on it is not a very good idea. The idea is for the shelf to be in the closet on the other side of the room, now occupied by clothes that didn't get moved yet.
Yikes, I better get working, that is a mess.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Last day of traveling

Today we leave from an overnight visit with a favorite cousin in MA. And should arrive home after dinner.