Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Making My Own Rules

Now that I'm back in sewing mode, I'm trying to stick with my finishing one UFO for each deadline finish. The only quilt I've finished this year is the night fairy quilt for my youngest granddaughter, and technically, it was a UFO, but I'm counting it as a deadline quilt. 

I had cut out 11 placemats back in October, and I never got them finished. No piecing was needed, just quilt and bind, and it was more than I could do. Since I'm making my own rules, I decided to count those placemats as one UFO.

TA-DA! All finished, and there are 11, because there are two of the beach cats in the lower right corner. I have SO many novelty fabrics in my stash from my scrub top making days, and I'm always looking for ways to use them. I back a lot of kids quilts with novelty fabrics, and that's gets rid of the bigger pieces, but it gets trickier as the pieces get smaller. I make kids placemats 12"x18", so a twelve inch WOF piece easily makes one placemat, and I strip the remaining bit for my scrap user system. I do save 6.5 and 4.5 inch novelty squares for I Spy quilts, but I normally don't cut those squares until I'm dealing with scraps. I could probably make two dozen I Spy quilts from what I already have cut! I can whip up an I Spy quilt really fast if I need to, and I have!

Next project on my docket is making towel bibs for Mr. LJ. I routinely check thrift stores for hand towels in good shape. I have nine I purchased a while back that are in boyish colors.

The printed towels are really fast to make up, because I don't bother doing any applique on them. The solids will all end up with something added to make them more fun. I plan to cut the holes and ribbing today, so I can sew them up later this week. Sometimes, if I find a great sale, I'll buy new towels, but honestly, you can find some almost new hand towels at thrift stores really easily, and they cost a lot less. They are just going to be covered in food, so is having a new towel really necessary? Towels make great bibs, wash up great, and the hand towel size is my favorite, because it covers almost the whole baby, protecting their clothes much better. I always use the clean side of the towel to wipe the baby up afterwards, and it just works great!

We've got company coming for a week or so, but after that, and after I get the bibs done, I can start a QUILT!!! It's been so long since I pieced anything, I am beyond excited!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Sewing is Happening Finally!

As usual, it's been busy around here. We had the birthday party that had been postponed, and there were approximately 50+ people here! I honestly didn't have time to count, and since I didn't know a lot of the people here, it's hard to figure out. Now that we've got so much family in town, we decided to buy three picnic tables for the backyard, giving us enough seating for the family in town, and we'll only have to set up tables and chairs for any extras.

Since we were actually having this party, it gave me the incentive I needed to finish up the house redo. It took me quite a while to get the kitchen looking decent again, and again, stuff got stuck in our bedroom to deal with later. :-(

Today was LATER! I was planning on sewing first thing this morning, but I looked around the bedroom, which is where I sew now, and I just couldn't take the mess anymore. I decided no sewing until I tackled the mess. That meant going through mail, sorting through piles of stuff that had been dumped in here during the flooring install and hadn't been put away yet, and some *gasp* DUSTING! 

Sometimes things look worse than they are, and after a couple hours, my bedroom was back to rights again! I feel SO much better now that the bedroom is tidied up, and I know DH will be too when he sees it. 

Before any quilting gets done around here, I have a few projects to finish first. Today I finished piecing the batting I started piecing a while back. Now I am ready to quilt those placemats I cut out in OCTOBER!!! 

Once those are finished, I'll be making baby bibs for Mr. LJ, who is now eating solids and really could have used them before now. I also managed to mend a few things I found during my cleaning spree. 

My goal is to have at least the placemats, but hopefully both the placemats and the bibs done before next Friday, when DS the Elder, DDIL, and Mr. A arrive for a visit. 

Everyone keeps asking me how I like my quiet house, and while it is certainly quieter most of the time, it's still a busy place. I am enjoying not having to be busy every minute of every day, even if there is still lots to do. Life is calming down, and that's a good thing! 

I have been thinking about quilting, and since I only have one of the wedding quilts I need to make cut out right now, I spent yesterday getting a different leader/ender project ready to sew. I had a bunch of scraps cut into 2.5 x 4.5 bricks already, and I found a block that only uses that size, so no cutting required. I did have to sort out which scraps I wanted together for the blocks, so I pinned the bricks for each block together yesterday. 

Some will be color controlled, some completely scrappy, but still arranged by value. With each block pinned, it should be an easy leader/ender project. Depending on how much I like how it's coming out, I may dig into my 2.5" strips and cut some more blocks. The color controlled set should make a decent sized throw quilt, but the completely scrappy ones would only make a baby quilt, and I'm not sure I want it to be a baby quilt. No worries, scrappy quilts are easy to add to, and I can cut more blocks if I decide to make it bigger. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Looking Up

Things are starting to look up around here! I am still not all the way well, but better than last week. I've been working on getting the house organized as I have energy. I finished the living room today, so one room is done! 

The corner of the living room that had DH's office shoved into it is now open and airy. My grandmother's treadle is in the corner next to the quilt rack.

My wall of fabric is now a corner of fabric in the family room. These are Billy bookshelves from Ikea, and I bought one extra set of shelves and some corner hardware, and now all my quilting books are with the fabric. The family room is becoming a family room once again, though it's had many purposes over the years. DS the Younger and DDIL put together a new TV stand for me in here, and instead of standard furniture, I ordered Fuf bean bag style couches for in here. The grandkids should love it! They don't arrive until next week.

The storage room is coming along. My plastic drawers with fat quarter to one yard pieces ended up in here for now. My vintage machines are in here now too, except for the treadles. I have several more things to move into here, but I'm moving slowly these days. I'm glad this room got painted before the carpet went in. I was really tired of it being blue and purple. 

My bedroom is almost back to normal, which is great! My kitchen is a disaster area, and that I hope to tackle next week. Tomorrow I'm hoping to work in the guest room and kids guest room. The twin sized beds for the kids guest room arrived today, and I bought sheets and pillows for those beds today. If I can sweet talk DS the Younger into assembling the bed frames for me, I can make those beds, and have that room looking like a real room again. 

I've been sorting out what things I needed to buy after the mass exodus, and it's a lot, but I have a handle on it now. I'm trying hard not to overbuy, but still have the guest rooms be practical. I opted to not buy any dressers, I don't see why a short term guest would need one, but I did make sure I have lamps, linens, and towels for anyone who comes to stay. My walls are pretty barren, and I might look for something to put on the walls in the adult guest room at least. All in all, I've successfully repurposed a lot of things, and I've managed to purchase what we needed for less than we allotted for it, so I'm happy. I doubt I'll be sewing for a couple weeks yet, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel! Sewing time is coming! 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Flooring, Failing, and Flu

Have you ever heard the saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans"? I hope He's getting a chuckle out of this, because I overplanned, and I'm failing at them all.

That bridal shower I talked about in the last post, yeah, that didn't happen. It was cancelled due to influenza Type A. My grandson tested positive for it at the emergency room, surprising the doctor who said flu season had passed. I guess we missed that memo. DD#3 was next to get sick, followed by me, and next her new husband. Nothing says welcome to the family like germ-sharing, right?

We needed new flooring installed in our house. It was supposed to take 2.5 days. It took four (after we found out they did drywall too and we added to their workload). This is day five, and the stairs we had refinished are still wet, so 2/3 of the house is off limits. DH is hopeful the stairs will be dry by tomorrow, but I'm guessing Sunday, which is when the birthday party was supposed to be.

I'm sick with something, though I'm not sure it's influenza. No sore throat, which is a main symptom, and I had about 24 hours of major mucus drainage which is not a symptom of influenza. I do know I've run low grade fevers off and on, I'm coughing, achy, and mainly I have NO energy. DH and I went to Target to get some things, as I woke up thinking I was better, and when we got back I went straight to bed for a nap. OK, maybe better was too optimistic.

Now the birthday party is postponed two weeks, my house is still a disaster, and MY DDIL and DS the Younger arrive Monday with their two dogs. DDIL is such a sweetheart, and I am so happy she'll be staying with us while DS the Younger is deployed.

Did I mention my house was a disaster?

My new bedroom looks like this.

Dining Area

Living Room

Not to mention every tub and shower in the house is loaded with stuff, the furniture still left upstairs and downstairs is all in the wrong places, and until the stairs dry, there isn't a thing I can do to fix that.

Not that I particularly feel up to sewing anyway, but with my sewing cabinet buried that wasn't going to happen anyway. I did start de-boning some of the men's shirts I bought on that thrift store shopping spree. Shirts take up so much less space with the seams all cut off. I won't get them done right now, I've got almost 100 shirts to cut up, but you have to start someplace. 

Here is the new flooring in the pantry, the only new flooring on the main floor of the house. DH put in new baseboard today, so I can start putting stuff back in here now. This same flooring went in the downstairs bathroom. I knew there were two layers of flooring on top of each other in the downstairs bath, and I warned the flooring guy accordingly. The thing is, there were FOUR layers of flooring on top of each other, and I had no idea! Now there is only one layer of flooring in the downstairs bath. I still haven't even seen the downstairs bath, I was too sick to drag myself downstairs to look before they started refinishing the stairs. 

If it weren't for the addition, we'd have to stay in a hotel. With the stairs out of commission until they are dry, without the addition we'd have no bathroom or bedroom.  As inconvenient as having 2/3 of our house off limits is, and as inconvenient everyone being sick and cancelling/postponing two parties is, it still could have been worse. On the bright side, once everything is put to rights, it should stay that way for about a year, which around here, is a long time!