Wednesday, October 29, 2008

slow going

Family problems, emotional week, it makes for slow progress. I am determined to get that fleece jacket finished tonight, no matter how long it takes to do it. I'm a little more than half done. I did manage to get my Stars and Stripes quilt delivered to my SIL. She liked it. I managed to get a little mending done, some of which has been sitting for over a year. I made my husband a little bag to carry his mints in (he has a Starlight mint habit). I also started deconstructing my thrift store shirts to make quilts out of them. I haven't had a chance to cut any strips yet, but now I have several more scrub shirts to make. I've ditched almost all of my ideas for Christmas, and I'm going to try to get all these things I'm currently working on done so I can get to some quilt therapy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cutting, cutting, and more cutting

I have spent all weekend cutting out new projects, and I'm not even done yet! I have cut out 30 or so luggage tags, 7 steering wheel covers, several scrub tops, and a jacket. My scrap basket, which had been 6" below the top, is now overflowing and in desperate need of taming. I plan on making several other garments before Christmas, which will add to my scrap basket. I was hoping to hold off scrap cutting until January, but if I do that, there will not be room for the Christmas tree in the living room. I guess I'm going to have to go back to cutting scraps one day a week, and hope I can keep up. One great thing about all the scraps is, once I get them cut into usable sizes, I'll be all ready to start some quilts!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Racing quilt done

I finished the second t-shirt quilt I was working on. This one quite obviously has a racing theme, and I'm happy with how it turned out. I learned a lot from making the first t-shirt quilt, and that helped this one go together better. I guess the t-shirt quilts are being shown around, and others are saying they want one. We'll see what happens.
    My next projects include making that fleece jacket for Karen, more luggage tags, steering wheel covers, and  more scrub tops, all for others. I am supposed to be making my daughters some clothes to go under the tree at Christmas, and making a couple scrub tops for my husband as well. I guess I'll use all my "free" time to get that done.
    Another project I'm working on is recipe cards for everyone who is constantly asking for my recipes. I'm trying to type up a recipe or two every day, and hopefully by Christmas I'll have a good selection to give. I figured with recipe cards, I could add a few every year, and not be overwhelmed trying to do a recipe book all at once. The hardest part of this project is I've made up so many recipes, and I rarely measure, so trying to guesstimate amounts is tough. Even on baking, I tend to bake until it's the right color, not for a certain amount of time, but that would make for lousy directions. I'm doing my best.
     I don't think I'll have any time to quilt in the very near future, which is a shame, because I was just given a HUGE box of quilting books from my husband's grandmother. I will take time during breaks to look through them and mark a few patterns to make when I do have time. I already found one pattern I had just seen online, and admired. It is a snake quilt, perfect for  little boy. I'm thinking Project Linus here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two more finishes

     I've finished my first t-shirt quilt! This was my first t-shirt quilt ever. It has all rock band t-shirts. I had some problems with stretching, even after adding interfacing, so I started sewing with the t-shirt against the feed dogs and had much better results. Hopefully I'll have an easier time with the next one. No better teacher than experience, right?
    The second two pictures are of the Stars and Stripes quilt for my SIL. I think it came out really cute, and I love the way the striped binding looks. I added a close-up picture of one corner so you could get a good look at the border and binding. Hopefully others will like it too, and she can raise some money for her booster club.
    My finger is on the mend, so I'm having a little easier time sewing now. I think I'm still going to take it easy for a couple of days, but I did already start cutting up the t-shirts for the other quilt I need to finish this month. I bought some new fabric I'm anxious to get into, but I have so many projects to do first, it's a little frustrating. I already have enough projects in my head to keep me busy for years!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Top done and help acquired

    I did indeed finish the star quilt top, but I haven't taken any pictures yet. My sister was very sweet, and came and pinned my two quilts for me. Unfortunately, my finger is not healing as fast as I'd like, so there are some things I'm really having problems with, pinning being one of them. I should have started quilting today, since they are both pinned now, but I didn't. I also had my sister cut my binding for the t-shirt quilt top, and I just sewed those strips together, so I probably will try to get it all ironed tonight. The binding for the star quilt I got ready last night. If I actually get around to quilting tomorrow, the binding will be ready to go on both of those quilts. I am debating on taking a week off to let my finger heal before tackling my other projects. I feel bad about doing things late, but I hadn't planned on getting hurt. Babying one hand is hurting my accuracy, so I think a week off may be worth it in the long run. When I get these two quilts together, I will defnitely post pictures of them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

more stars

Here is a medium and a large star. I thought about posting just a large star, but I realized the medium gets a little lost in the large, so I showed both. Since these stars are all made with star fabric, I'm getting a little starry-eyed, but I think it will be cute in the end. I have all my stars done, so I'm working on the borders, and I need to iron the striped binding. Tomorrow will hopefully be assembly day.
    Aren't these the cutest little stars? At this point the are 4 1/2 inches, so they'll finish at 4". These are for my SIL Stars and Stripes quilt. I actually have more done on this project now, but things are moving slow because I accidently cut the tip of my ring finger off while chopping onions, and I'm hurting and taking frequent breaks.
     These little stars are the centers of the medium stars, which are the center of the largest stars. I have all the medium stars done, and I'm just two seams away from having all the large stars done. After that, I can start quilt top assembly. That will mean two tops done, waiting to be pinned, which I'm not sure I can do very easily while babying one hand. We'll see, but right now I'm just going to concentrate on getting this top done. Maybe I can recruit help for the pinning.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A couple of finishes

OK, so I've done little blogging, but lots of sewing. I finished two quilts, these pictures showing one of them. The other is a Christmas gift, so I can't post any pics yet. I also finished one of the T-shirt quilt tops, but I haven't taken a picture yet. I cut out another quilt that got added to my list. My sister-in-law needs it for a gymnastics meet. They are raffling it off to raise money for their booster club. The only problem is, I need to get the two t-shirt quilts I'm making, the gymnastics Stars and Stripes quilt, and a jacket that was recently ordered all completed by November 1st. Three weeks to make three quilts and a jacket-hmmmm, I think we'll be eating a lot of fish sticks in the next couple of weeks. I am really wishing I had the quilting machine I was wanting, but it will have to wait, and these things won't. I am having fun making all of these things, but admittedly, a wee bit stressed with the time crunch.
    I did make one big purchase this week. I bought two rolls of cotton batting. One queen-sized, and one crib-sized. I have made so many quilts this year, and I'm so tired of running to the store for batting, that it seemed to make sense. Joann's had the rolls of Warm and Natural for 40% off without a coupon, so I jumped at that, and got both sizes I wanted. This way I got all cotton batting for less than I've been paying for polyester. I think it will serve me well in the long run, now just to find a place to store it. I was joking with my husband about adding on a quilting studio to the house. It sounds like a good idea, although very unlikely.
     I have not sewn at all today, but I did a thrift store run to buy some fabric and some men's shirts now that I have Bonnie Hunter's new book, Scraps and Shirttails. I use a lot of thrift store fabric in my charity quilts. There is usually a pretty decent collection of 100% cotton fabric at a thrift store, and paying less lets me make more quilts. Bonnie's new book shows ideas using 100% cotton men's shirts to make quilts. I love plaids, and I want to make at least half the quilts in her book. I bought about 8 shirts, so now I just need to cut them up, but I may not get to that until after Christmas. I will probably look for shirts a few more times before I have a huge rotary cutting time in January. My scrap basket is full of scraps again as well, thanks to my newer quilt finishes. I will just have to work on cutting them all up into usable sizes when I have the time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

pinning and pining

I am pinning my double sized quilt, but pining over the mid arm machine I saw at the quilting show today. It was a NewJoy Crystal quilting machine with a Magic frame. I am going to try to find out more info about it, but I am really hoping to be able to buy a mid/long arm someday. I tried out three different machines, and this is the one I liked best. I loved the fact you could put it against a wall, and not have to have the frame in the center of a room! Very efficient design. Now if I can just come up with the money someday, I'll be able to finish quilts as fast as I piece them.