Thursday, September 29, 2016

Looking Better

My last post, everything was just a mess, and I had hurt my shoulder. Well, thanks to some excellent advice I received, my shoulder is much better, all the baby quilts are done, aside from food and last minute cleaning I'm ready for the baby shower, and most of the places that are being rearranged are looking better.

The room that will belong to grandsons #1 and #4 now looks like this-

I still need to move out my cutting table, but at least it's disassembled. Everything else in this pic is staying in here. The shelves will house toys, the bed linens are on them now, plus a stuffed animal for each of the grandkids moving in. The cardboard boxes hold the bunk beds, which I'm hoping to assemble tomorrow.

The "guest room" is now cleaned up enough for DD#2 and DSIL to sleep here Saturday night.

I've still got a lot to do in here, but it's going to have to wait. I'm going home with DD#2 and DSIL after the baby shower on Sunday, so I can help them with the packing and unpacking since they are moving. I'll be gone over a week, so I'll leave a honey-do list for DH and DD#3, so hopefully a few things will get done while I'm gone.

I'm hoping to make quite a bit of progress on the room for my grandsons tomorrow, The weekend is pretty booked, with preparations for the baby shower, and make DD#2's birthday dinner. Her birthday is Saturday, her baby shower Sunday. I'll have a week after I get back to get the last of the rearranging done before DD#1 arrives with her 3 kids. Time is just flying!

Today my big project was to consolidate two sets of shelves into one, and move the other set out, so we are one step closer to being ready for the addition.

  I was forced to finish culling my cookbooks, because I had to get rid of quite a bit to have two sets of shelves go down to one. I think this is fairly workable. The white shelves next to these are leaving the house, a friend is taking them. I've got them empty except for some things for the baby shower, which will be moved on Sunday. The other thing that needs to be done in this area before building starts, is DH's tool cabinet needs to be moved right next to these brown shelves, where the white shelves currently are. Well, I'm hoping that happens while I'm gone! I know the tool cabinet is too heavy for me to move. I'm also hoping construction starts while I'm gone.

The grandson on the way will be named Lincoln, and DH has already decided to call him Hot Rod, after the old song Hot Rod Lincoln. As a result of that, I'm doing a Hot Rod themed shower.

I spent a good part of a day tracing these arrow shapes and cutting them out. Any guess what they are?

They folded into envelopes for a baby shower Jeopardy game! This game took me much longer than I bargained for to put together and come up with questions. There are a couple ready made ones available online, but I couldn't find one I was completely happy with, so a couple of the categories I mostly used questions from those, but mostly I did a bunch of internet research and came up with my own questions.

I've got the favors done (chocolate, can't go wrong with chocolate, right?), and overall I'm feeling pretty confident about the shower.

Just in case you didn't feel like that was enough to get done, I also finished all three baby quilts!

This is Lincoln's quilt. His nursery is Legend of Zelda themed (it's a video game).  am going to tell him Nana played on his quilt before he did, because I tried some new quilting designs on it.




Clouds and Wind, I need more practice on this one, but I was making it up as I went along, so it's passable.

I needed the backing to be just a bit wider than WOF, so I hit the orphan block box, and added some Flying Geese to make it wide enough.

This baby quilt is going to a friend of a friend, who is a huge New England Patriots fan. It's my childhood home team, so I was happy to make it. 

This one is going to my best friend's daughter. She's doing a Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin themed nursery, and I happened to have two different fall themed Peanuts fabrics in my stash. I designed the quilt myself, no pattern. 

This quilt was just a little too wide for WOF too, so the orphan bin came to the rescue again!

Lest you think I am totally a whirlwind and have everything on schedule, here is my current downfall.

This is what got dumped in my bedroom while cleaning out the other rooms! This is not something I can live with, especially in my bedroom, so I'm already working on a couple solutions. I am hoping within a couple weeks after I'm back, I will have this in a much more organized, cleaner looking situation. I ordered new white totes to go on the wire shelves, which will fit two totes to a shelf. Eliminating all the mismatched containers should make it more visibly relaxing. The stacked bins will be moved out, the cardboard boxes as well. I know I can't peacefully live in a bedroom this chaotic, so it will be my first priority after I get the rooms ready for DD#1's family. I'm just really pressed for time right now, so it needed to get dumped here temporarily, but I don't intend to leave it like this. 

As I come up with storage solutions for quilting without a sewing room, I'll show them, so maybe it will help someone else. One of the things I have the stuff to do, but haven't had a chance to do yet, is I bought Command hooks, with the no damage removable sticky pads. I plan to hang my most used quilting rulers along the inside walls of my sewing cabinet, where my legs go. They won't be in my way hanging along the sides, but they'll be more handy than digging through a drawer for them. When I get a sewing room back, I'll go back to hanging my rulers on pegboard, which I really like, but for now, this will help.

Friday, September 23, 2016


How I wish sorting a house was as easy as putting on a sorting hat that tells you if you're in Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin. (Harry Potter reference for those scratching their heads)

A couple months ago, I went from a huge sewing room, to a tiny one, and now I'm switching to none at all. When I went from the big room to the small room, I weeded out all I wanted to pass on, and so this time, it's much harder. I had everything very organized, and one thing I've done to consolidate things is to un-organize it. For example, all of my pre-cuts are now sharing containers, where before they were sorted by size. I've got sewing things stored in every nook and cranny in the house. I should have made myself a map as I was putting things in random closets. It could be an adventure finding things I need.

Here is what will be a room for two of my grandsons. The two machine cabinet is gone, all the batting is stored elsewhere, aside from these batting scraps. The empty set of bookshelves might stay in here, I haven't decided. I have lots of misc. things to rehome, and I need to disassemble my cutting table, which I'll be storing elsewhere. I've actually moved a LOT out of here already, it's just still a disaster.

Some of my sewing supplies got moved into my bedroom. A few more things will be moved in there too, since my only space to sew is my bedroom. I'm being very particular about what stays easily accessible, and what goes into hiding. My quilting goals for the next year or so will be finishing UFO's and using pre-cuts and strings. I think the most discouraging thing about moving things into my bedroom, is knowing I'm going to have to move it all again when the addition is done. I'm thrilled about the addition, but moving my sewing room three times in one year is excessive! The addition is a master suite, but it will still be my only sewing spot for a while.

This was my original sewing room, and my big fabric cabinets are staying right where they are. Most of the boxes are things to make this room and the last one into bedrooms for DD#1's family. I know it's going to keep looking a mess for a few more days, then it should come together quickly.

As I was moving a bunch of furniture on Wednesday, I hurt my left shoulder. I hurt it bad enough that I haven't been able to lift my arm, so moving any more was out of the question.

Since the rearrange was stalled, I decided to work on the baby quilts that needed to be quilted. It still hurt my shoulder to quilt, but it was easier than moving furniture! I wouldn't have attempted quilting a big quilt with a hurt shoulder, but a baby quilt I can deal with.

I finished the baby quilt for DD#2's baby yesterday, and I finished another one today. I still have one more baby quilt to quilt, then I'll need to pin-baste the bed sized quilt for my youngest granddaughter. I haven't taken pics of the finished baby quilts yet, they are currently being washed.

Tomorrow I'll play by ear. If my shoulder is better, I'll move some of the lighter things that need to be moved. If it's not, I'll work on quilting that last baby quilt. I also need to work on DD#2's baby shower. Only 9 more days until the shower, and I've been putting things off!

Monday, September 19, 2016


My niece's bridal shower was yesterday, and her wedding quilt was a hit!

Some of the pics I've taken of this quilt are too pink, this one is too blue. DH took this pic, and he should have had DD#3 lower her side, because she's a lot taller than me, so the quilt looks crooked. It's only crooked because she's 5 inches taller than me, with much longer arms ;-)

My niece asked for a purple and silver quilt, and she's a modern type of girl, so when I googled purple quilt images, and one similar to this came up, I decided this was the quilt for her. I'm sure there is a pattern out there somewhere, but I had no pattern name, nor anything to go by. It is all half rectangle triangles, and it wasn't hard for me to figure out how it was set. I did buy a half rectangle triangle ruler, which made it much easier to figure out how to line up the triangles. The ruler had you cut off pieces within the seam allowance that helped you keep things lined up correctly.

All of my girls loved this quilt, so I'm not sure I won't be making more in this pattern. I'm sure I'll at least be making more purple quilts.

Life is racing along. We have the funding for the house addition sorted, so we'll be getting building permits and such for that. Hopefully building will start in October.

DD#2's baby shower is October 2nd, and I've still got quite a bit of planning to do on that. I also need to finish the baby's quilt, but the quilting is half done!

DD#1 and her three kids arrive October 21st, and we bought her boys bunk beds today. Of course, we can't set up the bunk beds until I finish emptying my sewing room, which will become their room. So much to do, but lots of things are becoming realities!

I'm sure the remaining days of September will fly by for me, I'll be so busy.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sneak Peak

My niece's wedding quilt is now finished, but I can't show it until after it's gifted on Sunday. I can, however, give you a sneak peak.

Here is a view of the quilt back, where you can see the type of quilting I did on it. This quilt was quite a change for me, but it was fun, and I'm happy with how it turned out. All the straight-line quilting I did was done with the thread I picked up at Goodwill. I'm already using that thread!

I'm working on my grandson-on-the-way quilt now. I've decided I get to play on his quilt before he does, so instead of doing something easy or fast, I'm trying out new patterns on it. I decided to ignore the piecing all together, and divide the quilt into sections, with a different fill in each section. Baby quilts are great to play on, because you aren't committed to days of stitching a pattern you may not like doing.

Here you can see my dividing lines. I've been wanting to try a strings of pearls for a while now, and I decided to just go for it, and I went for a ribbon look too. You can see my stitches are far from perfect, but for a first attempt, I'm satisfied. I've always had trouble with backtracking, but I'm getting better. I had to slow WAY down, I was quilting too fast for my backtracking to come out well.

I've been spending all my time quilting, and really have fallen behind getting the house ready for my DD#1's family to move in. Tomorrow I hope to tackle a few areas of the house I've been avoiding dealing with.

DD#2 and DSIL bought their first house! My first kid to become a homeowner! Now when that grandson makes his appearance in a couple months, he'll have a place in their new house :-)

Not much else going on right now. Quilting and rearranging things pretty much covers it all!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Quilting Spree

It's been longer since my last post than I thought! I've since pin-basted all three baby quilts, and my niece's wedding quilt. I'm quilting on the wedding quilt now, and by the time I go to bed tonight, I'm hoping to be at the halfway point! Her bridal shower is in just over a week, so I'm cutting it close!

I've been so busy sewing, I haven't been working on the house at all.  DH is on a trip this week, so it's the perfect time for long sewing days.

Did you ever find a deal that you just couldn't pass up, because you knew you'd regret it later if you did? I had one of those come up. I was at a thrift store, looking for some linens for the extra beds we are getting. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find something else.

I saw bags and bags of thread cones bundled by color, for $6.99 a bag. I noticed them immediately, but wasn't that close to them, and assumed it was serger thread. After a bit of looking around, I went back and looked more closely at the thread. It wasn't serger thread after all. It was Madiera 40 wt poly on 5,500 yd cones, suitable for embroidery and quilting. Now, I always piece with cotton thread, but for quilting, I've fudged it when I had a more suitable color in poly. Those quilts have lasted just fine. I know a lot of longarm quilters prefer poly, because it has less lint, and sometimes less thread breakage. Madiera is a good German thread, and here it was, at $6.99 for a bag of cones, instead of $8-12 per cone. Would you have left it? I didn't, I bought it all!

I ended up with 84 cones of thread, some full, most at least 2/3 full, and about 5 that were under halfway full. I paid $70 total, for several hundred dollars worth of thread. I knew if I left it, I'd be kicking myself later. You know what? I'm already using some of that new thread, quilting my niece's wedding quilt. I'll be using it to quilt my granddaughter's star quilt too, because that bit of shine poly has is perfect for that quilt!

Of course, now I need to find someplace to store the thread too, my thread cabinet is full already. No regrets on buying it though, I go through miles of thread per year, and now I'm set for a long time!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Three Seams Away

I am just three seams away from having my five remaining deadline quilts for this year into quilt tops!

I finished this baby quilt top today, and I'm pretty happy with it. I think by the time I'm finished quilting it, it will look more like pumpkins.

I finished the fourth quarter of my niece's quilt top today, so once I sew the quarters into halves, then the halves together, I will have five quilt tops ready to quilt! No pics of my niece's quilt until it's gifted. Her bridal shower is on the 18th, and my goal is to have it done by then. Just over two weeks to get a 108" square quilt quilted and bound! Not to mention all the other things I have going on. Life sure is an adventure these days!

I am feeling a lot more confident that I can get these quilts done now that the tops are finished.

I have completely dropped DS the Elder's wedding quilt off this year's list. It's just not going to happen, and I know that. They do have a quilt I made on their bed, so it's all good, and their wedding quilt will be one of my first projects for 2017. With that addition to my 2017 list, I already have six quilts on my list for next year! Two of those are wedding quilts, and must be done, four of those I could skip if I don't have the time, though I would like to do at least a fast pattern and do something for the four kids of one of the couples getting married.

I'm not sure how chaotic things will be with three families here. I'm sure it won't be calm, but how wild it will seem is unknown. I tend to think that after an adjustment period, the cousins will bond and learn to get along, and so will all the adults. I need to rewatch the movie Pollyanna, because I am trying my best to play the glad game, and think of all the wonderful things the future has in store. Watching our grandkids grow, and getting a chance to bond with two we've never even seen is such a blessing! I know there are challenges ahead, but I'm believing the blessings will outweigh them.