Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Unexpected Week

This past week has not gone at all like I planned. I know it happens to everyone, so I'm not surprised, just stating the facts. We had a very sad event this week, and a few worried moments, as well as some pure frustration. It wasn't all bad, and I got to throw a birthday dinner for one of DS the Younger's friends whose mother is out of town, and DD#2 finished her second sewing project. I wish I had thought to take a picture. The only sewing I managed to do, was making three scrub tops for DH.

Here he is, ready to go to work in the ER today. I had been looking for this fabric for ages, it's the Universal Monsters print, and it's been out of print so everything I found was sky high in price. I finally found a reasonable deal on ebay. I love really graphic novelty prints for his scrubs. I figure it takes the patients mind off the pain for a bit, and he gets lots of comments on his scrubs.

Here are two new Christmas scrub tops. I know we don't live anywhere near the ocean, but I am always on the lookout for warm weather Christmas prints. It has taken me a while to get used to southern Arizona Christmas'. I grew up looking forward to snow and sledding on Christmas, and here we typically have cool mornings but warm afternoons on Christmas. We've actually had to open the windows on Christmas Day before.

I am hoping to get the rest of his scrub tops sewn up today. We'll see how that goes. I really need to get back to quilting, but everyone once in a while, I need to let DH know I haven't forgotten him ;-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One More Finish and Lots of Changes

Here is the girly frog D9P all finished. I packed up the donation quilts for this year, my goal was 12 and I have 14, so yeah me! Ten quilts are going to Project Linus, 4 to the Veterans Hospital. Last year I made more for the veterans, so maybe it evens out? Next year I have no idea how many donation quilts I'll be able to get done, if I get any done that would be a win.

The past few days have been crazy. I cut backings for the next four quilts, but I've only pieced two of those. I do have those two layered and pinbasted. I have tendinitis in my wrists again, so I decided to take a break from pinbasting, I've done a lot of that in the past couple of weeks. None of these four are donation quilts, two are gifts and two I will actually keep! I got 5 scrub tops cut out for DH, but nothing else sewing related done. Well, with the exception of staying up until 2 in the morning last night rearranging my sewing room yet again!

I turned my sewing cabinet 90 degrees, and now I can have the Brother set up in the sewing room too. I also fit this old microwave stand in there, which gives me a bit more storage. I don't know if you can tell, but there is an Asian print on top of the microwave stand, and that will be a maternity top for DD#3. She is making it herself. Since DD's #2 & 3 are both learning to sew, I really needed the Brother set back up. It's pretty crowded in the sewing room now, but it is still functional, all the stations are accessible, and there is just (barely) enough room to move around.

I think the Brother cs6000i is a great beginner machine. It has some idiot proof features that other machines don't have. It will not sew if you have the presser foot up, it won't sew if you have the wrong foot for the stitch you selected (how it knows which foot you have on, I have no idea, I can't see any computerized components on the foot or where you attach it.) It is easy to thread, and has multiple error messages that tells you exactly what is wrong. Most importantly for a beginner, the markings on the faceplate are easy to read, the 5/8 inch seam mark is very well marked. I think it is the better machine for the girls to learn on, so now that it's set up they can sew whenever they have a chance.

The bathroom downstairs is now gutted. Evidently the drain from the bathtub has been broken for years, and the drain underground had completely filled with dirt. Whenever a bath or shower was taken in there, it was draining all the water under our house instead of down the drain. Not a good thing, but now since everything is torn up, it will be fixed and all will be well. There was no way for us to know that was happening, as the problem was under our basement, and the water did not back up into the tub. In fact, the damage may be from before we even bought the house. I have to go to Home Depot again tomorrow and buy more paint and get the medicine cabinet we forgot the other day. The new bathtub is in my backyard, the new vanity in the family room, a toilet in the nursery. Boy, will I be glad to have the bathroom done and things put back in their place!

DS the Younger decided to paint his new bedroom after all, and thankfully, he wanted to do it by himself ;-) He picked a dark brown, which I like better than I thought I would. It is very masculine and warm looking. Most of my kids pick pretty dark colors when given free rein. The plus to the brown is the new burgundy curtains I had purchased for that room when it was the guest room will still match pretty well, so at least that works.

You know, I didn't think I had that much stuff stored in the guest room, but since I had to find new places to store everything, I realized there was actually quite a bit in there. I had the mailing supplies and gift wrap in the guest room closet, and now they are in my bedroom closet. I had to rearrange most of my closet to get those things to fit. I had been storing the donation quilts in the guest closet until I got ready to turn them in, which is why they are now packed and being dropped off this week. The closet was by no means full, which is why I didn't think there was much in there, but I had to do a lot of fiddling to store the stuff elsewhere. Since I will now have no bed for guests set up, I had to rearrange the linen closet to fit the extra linens that were on that bed. We are looking for a shed to store the bed itself in, as well as DD#3's kitchen stuff. We don't have a garage or any large storage areas, so it's either buy a shed, rent a storage area, or get rid of everything we want stored. We are getting rid of quite a bit, I have a pile to go to the thrift store, but to get rid of everything would be foolish, as we will need some of this when DD#3 and DSIL move on. Their kitchen stuff certainly should be stored as it would be very expensive to replace.

Home remodeling and people moving in or out always has the domino factor involved. To do this, you must first do these few things, and then since you did that, you must also do x, y, and z. It never seems to be simple or straightforward. Ah well, at least life is interesting!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three More

I got three more quilts finished in my quilting marathon. This top quilt was made from orphan HST's and some four patches I had made as leaders and enders with no plan.

Here is the one of the quilt tops I made from my flannel busting spree. This one was the only grown up quilt I made from flannel.

This D9P frog quilt is finished too. I'm up to 7 quilts finished so far this month. I have one more quilt pin-basted, another frog D9P, but a girly one. I am hoping to get it quilted tomorrow.

I'm having to take things one day at a time. Plans have been changing daily, so I'm trying to stay flexible. The downstairs bathroom remodel starts tomorrow. DS the Younger wants to move his room this weekend so he can be close to a functioning bathroom, so although I had planned on a serious quilting weekend while DH is at a scooter rally, I guess I will be moving furniture instead. It had to be done sooner or later anyway, since DS the Younger is giving up his room for DD#3 and DSIL to move in. In the grand scheme of things, this weekend is as good as any.

I am quilting whenever I get a chance. Hopefully I will find time to piece some more backings so I can pin-baste the next batch of quilts. I may change the order I had been planning to get the next few done, to better reflect when they need to be done. I had been saving the ones with deadlines, knowing I'd get more done if I did the others first, but it may be time to bump those up to the head of the line. I am so glad I bought more basting pins, because for me, I do better basting several quilts then quilting them all, as opposed to basting-quilting-basting-quilting. Everyone has different things that work for them, and this seems to be working for me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Taking Advice from Larry the Cable Guy

Git R Done, Larry the Cable Guy says that all the time. That is what I am trying to do, finish up as many quilts as I can before the house gets turned upside down with changes.

^I've had this top done a while, and now it's quilted and done. I use this pattern a lot for donation quilts. It is an easy pattern to do as leaders and enders, and I can go completely scrappy like this one, or keep it color controlled.

^I just finished another top just like this one a couple weeks ago. This is indeed a different quilt though.

^Here is another quilt where the top has been finished a while. A lot of these tops are from when I cleaned out my orphan box and made quilt tops out of the four patches I had been making, along with extra HST's from various projects. The border fabric has musical instruments all over it, and as a joke, I decided to put this chair fabric on the back.

I have no idea who will end up in with this donation quilt, but if they are musically oriented, they may know that the best player of each instrument in the symphony gets first chair.

I have four more quilts pin basted and ready to quilt. I have bobbins wound for the next couple of quilt tops. I have finished four quilts this week, and with the four more that are basted, you might think I'd be catching up. The thing is, I have five more quilt tops finished that aren't basted yet, plus I have at least six quilt tops that are close to be being completed. Now I also have quilt tops started that aren't that close to being finished. I think I actually had about 25 projects going at once!

Well, at least four quilts are off of my list and done. Tomorrow is a sewing lesson with DD#2 (she's making a cape), and then she and I are going to the U of A to see their production of Dracula. Friday is DH's day off, and I'd like to go to Home Depot to finalize my choices for the downstairs bathroom remodel before I go there with the contractor next week to buy everything. Friday night several of us are going to the movies together. Saturday DH and I are planning on going up to Phoenix for the State Fair, and Sunday is sewing lesson with DD#3 who will be making a maternity shirt. I might get bits of time here and there to do a bit of quilting, but I doubt I'll have another finish until next week.

My goal for this month is to get at least all the quilt tops that are done quilted and bound. That would be at least 13 finishes for this month, which is crazy. If I can do it, it will cut my current project list in half. I'm not overthinking any of these quilts on the quilting. Mostly I am meandering, which I'm getting pretty quick at. I might crosshatch a few, might not. I'm not debating endlessly which color thread to use, nor I am I going to buy any new thread for any of these. I am simply going to finish them and get them into a usable form. They aren't doing anyone any good as quilt tops.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Tide Is In!

Here is the sea quilt, completely finished and bound! I did an allover meander on it, yes even over all the sea critters. After all, if you are looking at the animals through water, you would have distortion anyway. My real reasoning for the allover meander is that I think it will hold up in the wash better and being that this is for a 6 year old, I'm sure it will have several washings.

Here is a close up of my jellyfish.

Octopus anyone?

This is my food chain element. The angler fish luring in the little striped fish with her glowing ball. It's a 'Come towards the light so I can eat you', type of thing.

I love this fabric for the starfish. The variegated thread was a plus, I didn't know I had that color, it came in a sampler pack. I just had to have the starfish go into the border, as a whimsical touch.

I am so happy to have this quilt finished. My plan for the next couple weeks is to see how many quilt tops I can get quilted. I might just have a quilting spree until the end of October. I'm sure I'll work on some piecing too, but only on quilts that have already been started. I really want to make a dent in this pile of quilt tops I've accumulated before I start on all the grandbaby quilts.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sea Quilt Top Done

I just finished the sea quilt top a few minutes ago. I wasn't sure if I'd finish the top today or not, but I'm glad I did! Maybe I can even get the back pieced today, and lay it out overnight with the batting and get it pinbasted tomorrow morning. I'm not sure that will happen, but hey, a girl can dream can't she?

Tomorrow afternoon is spa day with DD#3. She is going to dye my hair and give me a trim, and I will cut her hair. I have no idea what she wants as far as a haircut goes, and it is always a surprise with her :-) I learned how to cut hair from a book, (the way I learned most of my skills), and the kids are constantly stretching my skills by asking for different cuts. I thought it was very funny when I went to South Africa last time and DD#1 had me bring my hair cutting scissors and do her hair while I was there. I left a pair of shears there, so I can do it again next time, and not worry about forgetting to bring them. DD#2 needs a haircut too, but I'm not sure when that will happen, she's in and out a lot, and doesn't always remember to ask me to cut it.

I'm about 2/3 done quilting a quilt on the Juki, so as soon as that one is done, the sea quilt should be ready to quilt right after. I've got the Bernina set up for piecing again now that I'm finished appliqueing on the sea quilt, so maybe I'll use a few spare minutes here and there and get some other quilt tops finished. I have a couple in assembly stage and two ready for borders.

It looks like DD#3 and DSIL will be moving in with us, but I'm not sure when. I think before the twins are born will be easier. Lots of rearranging to do, but I like to rearrange so not a problem. I thought it was very funny when I realized that we will be back to 7 people in the house, which is what we had when all five kids were at home. Reminds me of that old saying, 'The more things change, the more they stay the same'.

The room we will turn into a nursery used to be DD#3's bedroom. We've tried to let the kids pick their own paint colors to make the rooms their own, and when we moved in this house, she picked a very bright lime green. I mean a VERY bright lime green. We never did repaint the room, so it's still this shocking color. I told her she should choose another color, one that won't keep her babies awake ;-)

DS the Younger is willing to give up his room for his sister and her husband, which is really sweet of him. The room he'll be giving up is the same size as our bedroom, and he'll be moving into a much smaller room. I always thought it odd that there are basically two master bedrooms in this house. Our room has a private bathroom, and the other has a walk in closet. I don't have a lot of clothes (I'd rather buy fabric), so I picked the one with the private bathroom. The people we purchased this house from used the other one as their master bedroom. Now that there will be two couples living here, the two master bedrooms are really perfect.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another quilt top, another GRANDBABY!

It's been so long since I posted, and so much has happened since then, that I had to read my last couple of posts to know where I left off! I rearranged the stuff on the sea quilt, and I started working on machine appliqueing (sp?) it today. I was a bit concerned because I am appliqueing over a bunch of pieced seams, but I'll tell you what, the Bernina doesn't miss a beat, and I can't even tell where the seams are by the way she's sewing.

I did re-think the border on the sea quilt, and the fabric I thought I had a yard of, I only had a half yard of :-( Of course, as luck would have it, the half yard I had, had no information on the selvages, and when I checked the online site I had ordered it from, they had sold out and did not have any listed, or any information about it. After 6 hours of online searching, I finally found the fabric in a different color, but it had all the fabric info, so I pretty easily found the right color after that. Actually, I had the fabric in a greenish-blue, and I ordered the green not knowing if I really had the green or blue. Turns out I had the blue, but the green matches the center much better, and since I'm adding an inner border, which will separate the similar colors, I am thrilled with the change.

I wanted to include a picture and I haven't done much in the sewing room in the last few days, but I did finish this D9P quilt top made from some of my 6 inch squares. I have several other quilt tops close to being finished, but now that I am appliqueing, no leader and ender projects are being worked on.

I got my Juki all set up again this morning. I had to close up the cabinet because of the big scooter function we had at the house on Sunday. The scooter quilt was raffled off, and although I had been told the scooter quilt was too yellow by some, the person who won it was thrilled, because her favorite color is yellow! Don't you just love it when things work out that way?

I'm glad the Juki is all ready to go again, because any time that I have time to sew, If I don't want to piece or applique, I need to quilt. I've lost count of how many quilts are in the pile to be quilted, and I am running out of time for everything! I want to get my current quilts finished, and it would be nice if I can do something for Christmas, but I'm not sure that will happen.

I was going to wait until after Christmas to start making the quilts for DD#3's baby (she's due in February) but now that I know she's having twins, I know they may come early. I bought a pattern to make crib sheets and such, and I'll make the babies quilts, and I'll make their new cousin a quilt too, because we found out DD#1 is pregnant again too! DD#1 is due in May, so hopefully a trip to SA then, depending on what's going on here with everyone else. DS the Younger graduates from high school in May too, so it's going to be hopping around here!

So, my new thinking is, try to get as many current projects as possible finished, start working on all the baby things, for all three new grandbabies on the way (Well, at least three, wouldn't it be crazy if both girls were having twins?) and if I can do all that before Christmas, then I will see about Christmas presents. See why I'm doubting I'll get anything done for Christmas? I have no idea how much quilting time I will have between the time the twins are born, and the baby in SA is born, it all depends on how much help DD#3 needs with the twins. I know I may have little time to quilt, and so I'd like to have the quilts for all three(?) babies done before the twins make their grand entrance.

Life is crazy, but blessings abound!