Sunday, November 30, 2014

Quiltmaker Magazine Test Blocks

I was a tester for Quiltmaker Magazine's 100 Blocks, Volumes 3 and 4. I just saw Volume 10 was out, so these test blocks have been sitting around for a while. A few of the blocks I tested, I made whole quilts from, making far more blocks than the one I was required to make. Some I only made one of, but I did have the foresight to use a common color scheme for the blocks I didn't plan on using for a whole quilt. I used a black background with brights. I am not a fan of sampler quilts, so I wanted something to unify the blocks more than color, so I decided on a more complicated sashing and cornerstone pattern.  I am happy to say, that sampler quilt is finally FINISHED! It's going to be a Christmas present, but here it is, since the recipient is just little and can't read at all, never mind go on my blog.

I am completely out of the bright green in the sashing, but I managed to find something close to that to use for the binding. I actually finished the quilt top last year, and pin-basted it last year too, I had just never gotten around to quilting it. Now it is done and off my UFO list.
Thanksgiving was an adventure, we ended up with 23 people who ate, a couple more who just stopped by, and DD#3 who never ate that day, because she was horribly sick. The twins have been sick too, there is a stomach bug and a cold going around, and one caught the cold, while the other had the stomach bug. I'll be relieved when everyone is well again.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

One More Time!

Another transportation quilt is completely finished! This was the top I had actually finished first. I didn't do an inner border on this one, since my outer border had a black background, but maybe I should have??? Oh well, finished is better than perfect! The transportation quilt I finished first was laid out by color in diagonal lines, and this one is random color placement. I don't know that I have a preference, they are just different. I do love the race car border in this quilt, but I only had just enough of this fabric to border this one quilt. So two quilts are finished that are alike, but still different.
I started quilting the last twin sized quilt that I need to finish before Christmas. I was going to do fancier quilting on it than these last few with just meandering, but DD#3 starts her new job tomorrow, so my sewing time is dwindling significantly. I decided to just keep going with the "finished is better than perfect" mantra, and I'm meandering on it too. These quilts are going to be drag around, blanket fort type of quilts anyway, used hard, so fancy quilting may not be worth the time it would take. Now that I'm back to full time childcare, I simply don't have the time to put forth for that, especially with a Christmas deadline.
We put up our Christmas decorations early this year. The twins kept asking for the tree to be up, since they are seeing Christmas trees every time we go out. We decided it was not a big deal to indulge them on that. We don't do the Santa thing, we do the Jesus thing, so an extra week or so of the twins talking about Jesus's birthday is OK with me.
I've been doing some cleaning out and reorganizing. That I can do with little ones underfoot more easily than sewing. DD#3 and I went through the twins old clothes, and donated a bunch. I decided our winter stash of gloves, hats, scarves needed a better place to live, so I'll be dealing with that tomorrow. Sometimes it does get cold here in Southern Arizona, and we also can go sledding as soon as it snows on the mountain, so we still need cold weather gear, even though most of the year is hot. I'm thinking there is a good chance what I'm tackling on the cleaning front tomorrow is going to turn into a tackling the entire front closet, but we'll see. It wouldn't be a bad idea to tackle the whole front closet, if I can motivate myself to do so.
I'm doing a little reorganizing in my sewing room too, because I got my Christmas present from DH early!
I found this set of drawers at Hobby Lobby when DD#3 went to put in a job application. I thought it looked perfect for thread storage, better than the plastic drawers I have been storing thread in. Today DH and I went back to Hobby Lobby, and I brought along an empty spool of Aurifil, and an empty cone from a 6,000m quilting thread. I thought the drawers were shallower than they actually are, and they are exactly the correct height for a spool of Aurifil to stand up. The bottom two drawers that are deeper, easily hold the big quilting cones. I think I can get all of my thread into these drawers, including what I currently have on thread racks on the wall. I've been debating getting rid of the thread racks because of dust, and this will work perfectly for all my thread. There are enough shallow drawers, I can divide my Aurifil by which weight thread it is, plus have my variegated threads together, and have my poly garment threads in their own drawers.
DH asked if they had any more of these cabinets, but this was the last one. He noticed some cosmetic and minor damage to the cabinet, and talked to the manager about it, so he ended up getting it for half price! One of the places it was damaged, he repaired as soon as we got home, and the cosmetic stuff we can fix later, or not at all, I'm not too picky. I told him I was willing to wait for Christmas for it, but he said it would be in the way anywhere besides where it is going, so I may as well have it now. I am one spoiled lady!
Oh, those plastic drawers I had my thread in? Guess what's being repurposed to hold the winter gear in the front closet? Funny how things work out, isn't it?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quilting Like a Madwoman

The clock is ticking....can you hear it??? 2014 is running out, and I'm feeling a little frantic.

DD#3 has been out of work a couple months, but it looks like she has a new job to start next week. That's good, not great, a job in welding would be great, but this is retail. Still, it's a start, and her start is also my start, of back to full-time care giving of the twins. My sewing time will be greatly diminished once she's back to work, but thankfully, not gone altogether.

I have every intention of doing Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt this year, so I'm trying to get as much as I can done before Thanksgiving. Now, I have a lot to get done! I have one wedding queen sized quilt, three twin sized quilts, and one doll quilt that all have to be finished in 2014! Fancy quilting is great, but not really an option in this time crunch, so I'm going with "Finished is Better Than Perfect".

Here's what I finished this week-

One queen sized quilt, quilted and bound. In case anyone in interested, the pattern for this is here, although I made it into Film at Six, instead of Film at Five. I used this pattern for a baby quilt a while ago too, done three x three blocks instead.

One twin sized quilt, quilted and bound.  I used this same pattern for DS the Elder's Aussie quilt, but I thought the pattern worked well for transportation fabrics, since Matchbox cars or Hot Wheels would go well on the black "roads". I got the pattern from here. I liked this pattern so well, I made two transportation quilts, and the second one is next in the quilting queue. Both of these transportation quilts will be Christmas presents for little ones in my life.
Now that I've gotten two quilts down, I only have three to go, and one of those is a doll quilt and can be finished in an afternoon. I am very relieved the wedding quilt is done, since the wedding is in three weeks.
This weekend I am hoping to finish the other transportation quilt, and I will be thrilled if I can do it! If I don't get it finished this weekend, I think I should be able to get it finished next week at any rate.
I have a few things I'd like to get sewn for Christmas that are not quilt related, but we'll see what happens. The past couple years I've not managed to get much, if anything, done in the realm of Christmas sewing. Last year I managed a few potholders, but that was it. We'll see what I have time for, I can only do what I can do, and I will not beat myself up about it.
As a sidebar, I have a request of everyone reading this. If you drive, PLEASE keep your eyes out for two-wheeled vehicles! I know DH has had many, many close calls with cars while riding his motor scooters, and when he was cycling. Unfortunately, DS the Younger has had more than close calls, he got hit by a car this week, while riding his bike home from work. He is sore, some road rash, has a wrist and a finger wrapped, rib pain, kidney area pain, and we are thankful, because it could have been so much worse. His bike is un-rideable. The driver that hit him did not stop, and neither did anyone else. My son was hit by a car and NO ONE STOPPED!!! You know what else? This is the THIRD time DS the Younger has been hit by a car while riding his bike. Both of the first two drivers were on their cell phones while driving. My kids know the rules of road, DH made sure they were doing things safely, whether riding their bikes or driving, and all three times my son was hit it was the driver's fault, not his. You know what my dad told my sister the first time she drove? He told her she was now in control of a 2,000 pound weapon. She's never forgotten that, and she's a careful driver. Next time you get behind the wheel, remember, it's a 2,000 pound weapon, and people's lives are at stake, the phone can wait.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Back to Reality

I haven't posted for a couple weeks, because I was out of town for nine days. DH and I went to New England to see my parents, and we had a great visit! I got to catch up with several relatives, as well as my best friend from high school. We spent one day in Boston sight-seeing, and that was fun too. It was just really a great trip all the way around.

A few photos from our trip


Right before we left on our trip, I had something exciting happen. DH sent me this photo message.

He asked, "Is this a featherweight?"
I said, "Yes."
Then I got this photo.

Hmm. Singer Model 68 cabinet, this is getting interesting!

A centennial badge!

More goodies! Hmm... Did I need another sewing machine? Of course not! But guess what came home with DH? I tell you, he is a keeper!
I'm thrilled to have the new featherweight, but I have decided to thin the herd a little, and I'll be listing three machines on ebay shortly.
When I got back from our visit, the package with the last of the fabrics for Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery quilt had arrived. I let DD#1 choose the colors, since the quilt will be hers. Here are her choices... (not all of which are new purchases)
...and here is my cheat sheet so I don't get confused!
I love doing Bonnie's mystery quilts, but I do prefer using a different color scheme than hers, even when I really like her choices. I just don't want a quilt that looks like hundreds of other quilts. Since DD#1 chose the colors, I had to buy fabrics because I didn't have the shades she wanted. Usually I make all mystery quilts from stash, but this time it wasn't happening. No worries, I'm not on no-buy yet, that's for 2015.
I have started my quilting spree, I'm about 1/4 done the wedding quilt I'm working on.