Friday, July 31, 2009

Thrift store haul

DD#2 and I went to Savers again to split my other July coupon. That 'get $100 worth of stuff for $50' was just too good for us to waste it. She picked another $50 worth of clothes, and I got $50 worth of fabric. I really loved paying $25 for it too =)

On the left are the upholstery fabrics. There are 8 yards of upholstery fabric in total. Fabric grocery sacks are one of my Christmas projects and I think this fabric will hold up well. On the right are cottons for quilting. The purple, green, and black print on top is just stunning in person! Some of these fabrics are large enough to use as quilt backings. I got at least 30 yards of fabric for my $25. I only measured the upholstery fabrics so I'm guessing, but if anything I'm underestimating.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wedding quilt progress

I finished all the blocks for DD#3's wedding quilt today. There are nine different blocks and here are the piles of each.

I have no place in the house large enough to spread out all the blocks to show you the pattern.

Here is one quarter of the design. If you can just imagine three more quarters, you'll get an idea of what it will look like.

Here are the fat quarters my secret sister sent me. Thank you so much! They are valuable additions to my stash!

I am still working on snail trail blocks for the Mardi Gras quilt. It got me thinking about making a completely scrappy snail trail quilt, only dividing by darks and lights. It's definitely becoming a WHIMM, because the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. I have a feeling I will need several wedding quilts in the near future, and if I make a couple of scrappy ones, if one sneaks up on me, it will have so many colors in it, that it will match anything. Yup! I'm liking this idea :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's a boy!

My daughter Hannah, otherwise known as DD#1, had her baby today. Zachary weighed 7lbs. 14oz. I am so excited to go see them next week!

Here is the new family, my son-in-law, Raoul, Hannah, and baby Zachary. I'm so glad he is healthy, and Hannah is doing well. Thank you, Jesus!

I am also thankful for the internet, that allowed me to see pictures of my grandson so soon, even though he is on the other side of the world. Technology can be so cool!

On a quilty note, I'm almost done the blocks for DD#3's wedding quilt, and my secret sister sent me a birthday gift! I post of picture of it later.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A few more blocks....

I now have 8 blocks done for the Mardi Gras quilt. I am making good progress on DD#3's wedding quilt as well. I'd love to be able to get all the center blocks done on both quilts before I leave town next week, but I'm not counting on it. I'll do what I can before I leave, go enjoy my grandbaby, daughter, and son-in-law, and deal with what I haven't finished when I get back. I am not going to stress myself out over it.

I am happy with how this one is looking so far, which makes me feel pretty good about life in general. It's always good when a project is coming together well. DD#3's wedding quilt still doesn't look like anything. I have over 20 blocks finished for it, but until all of the blocks are done, it won't look like much. When I get some of each block finished, I'll take a picture, but for now, it's really not impressive. It will be beautiful when I'm done though!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mardi Gras progress

I got four blocks of the Mardi Gras quilt done. DD#3 and I spent a lot of the day working on invitations. I'm piecing her wedding quilt as leaders and enders while the Mardi Gras quilt is my main project. I'm too tired to do any more tonight, but this is what I've got done.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chunk 3

I finished Chunk 3 of the Celtic Mystery today. I didn't get any other sewing done. I meant to get this done early, and switch to a darker piecing thread so I could start the Mardi Gras quilt and DD#3's wedding quilt. Instead, I got this done late this evening, and just changed the thread color a few minutes ago.

I was busy all day, just not sewing. I had to pay bills, do laundry, and start thinking about what to pack to go to South Africa. DD#2 is having her baby next week, and could use some extra help, so at the last minute we decided I'd try to go out there. I'm excited to go, but now I'm trying to figure out what needs to be done before I go.

First thing on my list was getting the invitations for DD#3's reception in October done. I don't know how long I'll be gone, I'm just seeing how things go, and if the invitations are finished, someone else can drop them in the mail at the right time, if I'm not back yet. I spent lots of time today manually feeding vellum and cardstock to the printer. I've never had a good experience with the printer auto feeding fancy papers. Everything is now printed, so tomorrow is assembly day for the invitations.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Beginnings

Here are my new quilt beginnings:

I just finished cutting out DD#3's wedding quilt. Here are the pieces for their Celtic Knot quilt. It an easy quilt to cut out, everything is on the 1/2 inch. The pattern is from the book Celtic Pieced Illusions by Karen Combs. If you are interested in Celtic knot quilt designs, I highly recommend the book. This will be my second quilt from it, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Just remember as I post my progress on it, that it starts like this, mostly squares and a couple of rectangles.

Here is the Mardi Gras quilt all cut out. It was not an easy quilt to cut out. Lots of pieces on the 1/8 inch marks, and all kinds of bias cuts. I made a few mistakes, but I decided it will work out OK. I had extra fabric to cut more pieces, done correctly for this quilt, and I figured I'd use my goofs to make a four patch and furrow quilt. I have lots of scrappy four patches waiting for me to do something with them, and now I have lots of greens and gold I can sew into HST's for the furrows. The Mardi Gras quilt will be a snail trail quilt, and I knew it was hard to cut, but the results are always worth it. Note that this quilt starts with a few squares, but mostly triangles.

Yesterday I worked on my Celtic Mystery quilt. I got step 2 done. I was working on my Double Delight as leaders and enders, and got all the sub-units for the extra center blocks completed. I trimmed all the square in a square blocks to size while I was cutting out the new quilts.

I cut all of these out with my new Martelli rotary cutter, and I am REALLY liking it. I bought the 60mm and the 45mm, but I've only used the 60mm so far. I've never had a 60mm rotary cutter before, so I was more curious about it. It really will cut through 30 layers of fabric as advertised, but I had better luck cutting squares with that many layers than triangles. It cuts just fine on either shape, I just found my accuracy was better on the triangles with fewer layers of fabric. I'm sure it is my accuracy and not the cutter that was the problem.

I am debating whether to work on the Celtic mystery while assembling the Double Delight blocks next, or jump ahead and work on my new quilts. I might bounce back and forth, but I decided the rest of the garments are on the back burner for now. I might take tomorrow off of sewing altogether. DH actually has a day off, and I'd like to spend some time with him!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Well, it wasn't on the frame, but.....

It's Friday, the day I said I would quilt on the frame. I didn't feel like moving the frame today, I have to push it against the wall when I'm not using it and pull it away from the wall to use it. The room is just not big enough to have it stay in the middle. Anyway, I think it should still count, because although I didn't quilt on the frame, I did quilt this little baby quilt on my DSM.

I finished this baby quilt top a couple of months ago, and just hadn't gotten around to quilting it. That's OK, because now it is quilted, bound, and washed. This is the quilt I pulled off the frame in frustration because I was having all kinds of tension issues with it. I quilted a simple grid on it with my DSM and had no troubles.

This lap quilt is what I quilted on the frame last Friday. I had to make the binding, but I got it bound today too, so I have two finishes for the day! I washed it and it got that great crinkly look. When I started to write my finishes in a notebook I keep all my notes in, I realized I hadn't had a quilt finish since May. If I hadn't stayed so busy I'd say I was a slacker. I know I'm not a slacker though, I'm over 92 yards of fabric used so far this year, and that is just in completed projects, nothing in progress. I should be over 100 yards by next weekend. I'm working on scrubs now, I finished one scrub top today, and will hopefully complete another one tonight. No sewing tomorrow though, it's DS the Elders birthday dinner, and I'll be cooking all day!

I've been busy!

I have been flitting from project to project, trying not to do the same activity too long. I have tendinitis in my wrists and I'm trying to get it to calm down. My right wrist seems to be much better, and my left wrist a little better. I think I'm going to continue rotating through cutting, sewing, ironing and such until the pain is gone.

I made a few more maple leaf blocks.

I finished step one of the Celtic mystery.

I got a nice pile of 3 1/2 inch nine patches done for the extra blocks I need to make for Double Delight. I finished some of the square in a square blocks too, I just forgot to take a picture.

I also got a great surprise in my mailbox! I got a package from my secret sister in one of my Yahoo groups. It is a panel that actually has eight different scenes with quilters on it. It is a hoot!

The fabric next to the panel I had in my stash. It is a queen of quilts print. The greens match very well, so I think this is definitely a quilt in the making. Thank you Secret Sister!

Monday, July 13, 2009

My rotary cutter broke!

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised with how much use it's gotten, but my rotary cutter broke today. This is my first rotary cutter and I've used it for 3 or 4 years, so I suppose it had a good run. I've been wanting a Martelli rotary cutter, and I splurged and ordered 2, the 45mm and the 60mm. Since I couldn't cut any more quilt pieces out, I cut out scrubs instead. I've cut out 13 since yesterday. Tomorrow I'll work on cutting out tops for DD#3. I still haven't finished her stuff, and other things have come up on my to do list.

See this box. It has all of the pieces for the Celtic mystery quilt, about 2000 squares. I haven't sewn any yet, but now that they are all cut, I should be able to catch up quickly. It scares me how little space these pieces take up. If I can fit all the pieces for a full sized quilt in a shoe box, exactly how many quilts can I make with my stash? A lot! I mean really a lot!

If any of you remember the Double Delight mystery I was working on in January, you'll remember I stalled on it. Well, I'm working on it again. I started cutting out the maple leaf blocks for the border I want on mine. The one on the left is all sewn together, the one on the right isn't. I also started working on the extra blocks I need to straight set it, but I didn't get enough pieces cut out before my rotary cutter broke to start sewing on them. I do have a couple more maple leaf blocks cut out that I can sew. Of course, I can also sew on the Celtic mystery, or work on the scrub tops I have cut out too. I haven't gotten any of the Mardi Gras quilt cut yet, but I will get there once I get my new rotary cutters.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weddings and such

On Monday our daughter, Abigail, also known as DD#3 got married in Las Vegas! Lots of people were shocked that she chose a black dress, but I think she looks beautiful! One of my nieces that lives in Vegas came to see us before the wedding, and I'm so glad she did.

From left to right is DS the Elder- Nathan, DS the Younger-Joshua, my niece Michelle,
DD#3-Abigail, and DD#2, Harmony

Here is the happy couple, Javier and Abigail.

It is tradition in our family that when you go on a trip, you have to get a Christmas ornament. All of my kids get them for me in their travels, but since I was in Vegas too, I picked this one out myself. We went to the four-story m&m store and I got this one dressed as Elvis. Isn't he cute?

On a quilty note, I will be starting a new quilt with a Mardi Gras theme. These are the fabrics I decided on. I love the mask fabric and it will be the border. The purple, green and gold will be for the Snail's Trail blocks. I wanted a quilt with a lot of movement, and Snail's Trail fit the bill. I'm cutting out pieces for a couple of other quilts as well.
I used the time in the car ride to Vegas to figure out the cutting plan for the Mardi Gras quilt, and the blocks I need to finish my Double Delight Mystery quilt from January. I got all the fabrics out today, so hopefully I will get it all cut on the weekend. I did finish cutting out all the pieces for the Celtic mystery quilt today, but I haven't sewn a stitch of that yet. Tomorrow is Friday, so I'm going to try to get a quilt on the frame, and get it quilted. We'll see how that goes, I've really lost momentum on the quilting part.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

DD#3 in her new kimono

This is the most confusing pattern I have ever made! I kept hoping it would make sense as I got to each step, but, alas, it was still not clear. No matter, it is now done. This kimono is very heavy, it took 5 yards of brocade and another 5 yards of lining fabric. I have only the smallest scraps left. I was up until three this morning trying to finish, because I had promised my daughter it would be done before her wedding on Monday. I still need to make the belt to go with it, and an Obi (a wide sash that goes under the belt). The belt I'll make in a few minutes, the obi will have to wait until we get back from Vegas.
It is a seven hour drive to Vegas for us, so I'm bringing some quilting directions and a notebook so I can figure out cutting requirements for my next few quilts. If I can get all the yardages, numbers of each piece and such figured out, I can cut them out more quickly when I get back. I did spend two days cutting for quilts this week. I have all the strips cut for the Celtic Mystery, but it's not all cut into squares yet. I was cutting strips for several other quilts as well. I believe I cut up about 60 yards of fabric. I know I went through 3 cans of starch! I have several quilts in the works obviously, as well as a few more garments to make. Surely if I stay this busy I will stay out of trouble ;c)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

You gotta love thrift stores!

DD#2 and I went running errands today. I had a couple places I needed to go, and she wanted to go to Savers, a thrift store. I'm always up for a Savers run, because they are one of the only thrift stores in this area that sell fabric. Their prices on men's shirts are a bit high, but for fabric you can get some great deals. Check out my latest find.

Isn't this great? Donkeys pulling cannon, broccoli looking trees, castles, toy soldiers, and airplanes, all on the same piece of fabric! I just love it. The tag is still on this on the left hand side. I paid 99 cents, and it's over a yard. I don't want to cut this, so I think it will end up as part of the backing for a boy's quilt.

I originally only had a few pieces of fabric in my cart at Savers. I checked what coupons I had after I made my selections, and I changed my mind. I had a $50 off a $100 purchase coupon good for July. I did not want to spend $50, even for $100 worth of stuff. Now $25 on the other hand, I could handle. Since it was DD#2's idea to go to Savers in the first place, and she was looking for clothes, I showed her the coupon, and asked if she wanted to use it with me. It worked out great! We each picked about $50 worth of stuff, but we each paid just over $25. I added a couple of other pieces of fabric I had debated on, a few men's shirts, and a skirt for myself. Yes, I bought a skirt to actually wear, not cut up and use in a quilt. I've been repurposing so many things from thrift stores I sometimes forget that you can just wear the clothes!

What fun to have a half price shopping spree at a place that is inexpensive to start with! I think DD#2 got 4 outfits including a pair of hiking boots. I got the coupon out of the Savers calendar they sell every December in case anyone was wondering. The funny thing is, I always buy two calendars, so I can have extra coupons. That means I should still have another July one in my purse. I may have to go back later this month with one of my other kids!