Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Optical Illusion Dress

Here is my latest finish. This fabric is wild! I was hoping the black velour would tame it down a bit, and give the eyes a place to rest. I have one more item I MUST get done before the weekend. I'll start it in just a bit, but I won't work on it tomorrow, because it's my birthday, and I have other plans. Hopefully between Thursday and Friday, I'll be able to finish it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Two shirts and tension frustrations

Here are the two shirts I finished today for DD#3. She loves all things Japanese or Asian in nature, so I'm using a lot of Asian fabrics for her clothes. I doubt you can tell unless you click on the picture to make it bigger, but the black top has colorful Kanji (Asian writing) on it.

I didn't have a black zipper the right size, and I didn't want to go buy one, so I used gray. It is an invisible zipper, and the fabric in the back overlaps, so I doubt anyone will be able to tell. I haven't put in that many zippers, so I had to dig out my sewing machine manual to refresh my memory! I should be putting in a lot more zippers. I bought a lot of 100 zippers on ebay for $20 a while back. They were all new, but different sizes and colors. I used several at Christmastime making skirts for DD#2, and now I used two more. If I had only bought the zippers I've already used, but bought them at the store, I would probably have spent $20 by now, so I figure the zippers I have left were free.

Today is Friday, and I promised myself to work on my quilt that's been on the frame for a while now. After three frustrating hours, in which I got the tension greatly improved, but not perfect, I decided to give quilting the quilt another try. The tension was pretty good on my sample piece, but when I tried to do the quilt, it looped on the back every three inches or so. I was so frustrated after working so hard to fix the problem, that I just unloaded the quilt. I think the backing fabric may have some polyester in it, and the top is flannel. They are just not playing well together at all. After I rip out my latest attempt at quilting this, I'm just going to pin baste it and quilt it on my DSM. It's only a baby quilt, so it won't take long to do some simple quilting on it. Next Friday I'll try a different quilt on the frame, one that is just all regular cottons.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I meant to post this quite a while back, but, ah, life gets in the way sometimes. Since the only sewing type thing I've done the past few days is cutting out garments, which makes for lousy posts, this is a good time.
When my DH went to Ecuador, he brought me home 25 roses, one for each year we've been married. I had no idea Ecuador was the world's leading exporter of roses.

The colors were just incredible!

The funny thing about being obsessed with a hobby, is that the people around you start to notice things relating to your hobby as well. For instance, I spotted the first scooter in Hawaii, even though I joke my husband has "scooter vision". Well, in Ecuador, DH took a few pictures for me.

The floor in his hotel. This would make a fun quilt!

A quilt hanging out to dry. Of course, I also noticed the great pattern on the bottom of the plastic table. I may get out some graph paper one of these days and figure that layout for a quilt.

Check out the doors. If you skip the center circle, you've got a square in a square on point, with rail blocks cut diagonally around that. This would be so doable in a quilt!

I was glad I knew for sure he was thinking of me while he was gone. Vacations just aren't the same as a quilter, or as a quilter's spouse I guess. You just start seeing patterns everywhere!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I'm finished the kilt/skirts for DD#3. She already had two, a red plaid and a tan plaid, and now she has four more! The sparkly blue camo is definitely not Scottish, and the bright green Celtic knot fabric works OK, I guess. They are cute skirts for her at any rate. The blue camo is denim, and believe it or not, I got it at a thrift store for about $4! I have enough left to make a couple of grocery totes, and some scraps to put into a denim quilt. I definitely got my money's worth out of it.

It's a funny thing about making garments. I have a horrible time trying to motivate myself to do it, but I'm always so surprised at how fast it goes. Of course, these were not that hard. The most difficult thing was simply cutting them out because of how long the fabric is.When you have five yards of length, and the kitchen table is only six feet, well, cutting these out is an adventure!
Tomorrow there are some errands that need to be done. DH has the next six days off, so I don't know how much sewing I'll do. If I get a chance to do anything sewing related tomorrow, I'll either be cutting out more garments, or machine quilting with my Juki on the frame. I picked Fridays for machine quilting, TGIF, Thank God it's Frame-day. I've already got a quilt loaded on the frame, but I was having tension issues on this one, so I've been procrastinating. I left it there for a couple weeks, and it hasn't quilted itself, so I suppose I should give it another try =)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday's projects

I had someone who wanted 20 luggage tags, and I finished them all today. I started on them yesterday. I've made so many of these I already had the interfacing and clear vinyl cut to size, which saved me a lot of time.

I also got DD#3's garter made for the wedding. Thanks to my mother sharing her stash, I had plenty of lace for DD to choose from. Actually, I think the ribbon was my mother's too. Thanks, Mom!

I also got another cherry pit pad finished today. I only stuff them when I'm sitting around not doing anything else, which doesn't happen that often. DD#3 was watching me and wanted to try putting the cherry pits in, so she finished stuffing the one I had started. I hand sewed the opening closed when she was finished.
Tomorrow's goal- start sewing on the four kilt/skirts I cut out for DD#3. I know kilts are men's clothing (DH has a couple of them), but she likes the look, so I adjusted a kilt pattern to suit her. I had already made her two a while back, and she wears them a lot, so now she'll get four new ones.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Seat covers

This is DH's scooter. I made him one seat cover a while back, and he wore it out. I just finished four more, so now he should be good to go for a while. He loves cows, so this seat cover is his favorite. One of the other ones is a tan snakeskin, and there are two sheepskin type covers.

Since I got the seat covers done, I worked on string blocks last night. I actually ran out of shirt strings! That was my goal. I don't mind letting the blocks sit there until I have time to work with them, but I wanted to get the mess of having the shirt strings divided into darks and lights out of my way, without getting them all mixed up again or having to iron them all again. Best way to do that was to make blocks. I still have some pieces for crumb blocks, but they all fit in a plastic container, so I'm happy with my progress on that.
Today's goal is to get some garments for DD#3 cut out. I have quite a few things set aside to make her, and I'd like to do as many as possible before the wedding; kind of like a homemade trousseau, but all casual clothes. I'm trying to set daily goals, and if I get that done, then I'm allowing myself some time to work on my projects. Playtime if my work is done mentality. I have some luggage tags I need to get made too. I have had so many people ask me if I'm bored at home, and I just laugh! I can't find time to do all I want to work on now, I am NEVER bored!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Remember the Flying Geese quilt?

Remember a while back I made a Flying Geese quilt top out of men's shirts? I had all those bonus HST's and this is what became of them.

I had a couple of plaids that didn't quite read as a dark or a light, they looked out of place in either spot, but I used them anyway, and I think the design still shows up OK. Now that I've used this same border fabric on a couple of quilts, I have very little of it left. I might just cut the rest into narrower strips and throw it in my strip drawers.
Now I'm at a loss on what to do next. I haven't finished sewing my shirt strings up into blocks, but I'm close. I have nine finished quilt tops that need quilting, and several garments that need to be made, along with a couple of scooter seat covers, and some luggage tags. I really need to get to work on the non-quilty projects, so I can get back to the quilty ones, like starting DD#2's moving out quilt, and DD#3's wedding quilt. I think I might give one more day to the shirt strings, then pack whatever is left up for another time.
I'm thinking of trying to set aside one day of the week as a quilting-on-the-frame day. I can get a lap sized quilt quilted and bound in a day, if I don't have a bunch of tension issues and all goes well. With nine lap quilts waiting for quilting, it would take a while to catch up, but even longer if I wait until I have a week or more free to quilt.
I am excited about something I ordered online today. Simplicity has a rotary cutting machine out, and I asked DH about getting it for my birthday. He said to go ahead and order it, since my birthday is in a couple of weeks. I found it for $55 at www.fabricshack.com It only cuts strips, not multiple shapes like the Go cutters. On the other hand, it cuts multiple sized strips without having to buy a bunch of templates. I'm looking forward to trying it. DD#3's wedding quilt is all strip pieced, and since the strips are so narrow, it is a LOT of cutting. If I can cut the strips with this cutter, I won't mind sub-cutting the rest with a ruler and rotary cutter. When I get it and try it out, I'll post and let you know how I like it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Another string quilt top

   Here is my latest quilt top. For this one I used all darker strings. I like this look better than the first one of these I made. 

    I have only been able to quilt in short stints, because of so much going on with DD#3's wedding coming up and such. I have several non-quilting projects I really need to start, so after I finish up one more top, it's onto other projects for a while. If I really feel the need to do something quilty, I could always work on quilting some of these tops on my frame. I've really been longing for the ability to have two machines always set up, one with a neutral cotton thread for piecing, and one with whatever thread I need for non quilt projects. That way, even if I was working on a garment with poly thread, I could still steal 15 minutes a day to do some quick piecing on the other machine loaded with cotton thread. I just think a set-up like that would be ideal! Of course, I already have a huge quilting frame in my living room, and a devoted room for sewing, so I am already blessed. I guess I just always want more. For years I sewed on the kitchen table, and what I have now is so much better than that! I should just be content, and most of the time, I am. At times like these when so many projects are in the works, I get a little crazy, and need my quilting fix.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Spare Parts

    I had spare parts left over from the Big Busted Mystery quilt. They were already sewn into groups of four, and I didn't want to unsew things, so this is what I came up with from the parts I had.

     I was hoping to have several tops done by now, but I have been busy working on DD#3's wedding. I have another top up on the design wall that I'm hoping to get together today. I'll post it if I get it done. Wedding plans are in the works for today too, so we'll see.