Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Final Countdown - Second Task

Prairie Moon Quilts is having a 2010 Final Countdown to get ready for 2011. Today is the first day I have been in my sewing room in over 2 weeks, other than to grab something quick or deposit something on a flat surface. As a result, my sewing room has gotten pretty messy. So the second task seemed appropriate for today. It is to clean off a flat surface. You only had to do one, but did two because they both really needed it.

cutting table before

cutting table after

 ironing table before

ironing table after

That black and blue pile of fabric is my husband's academic regalia (graduation gown). Adams State College requires all faculty to attend both Fall and Spring graduation ceremonies in full regalia. He wore it a few weeks ago and some how tore the lining from the sleeve in one place. It was waiting to be mended, which was my first task this morning to get things cleaned up. See, I didn't just move everything and take a picture of a clean surface. I really dealt with each item in whatever way was appropriate. I left the pile of fabrics on my cutting table because they are going to turn into bags. I started making up some bags before I got sick but only got one done and a few pieces cut out for others. These are on my list for this weekend, which brings me to some exciting news.

I'm home alone until Monday!!!! The husband took the boy to visit relatives and do some skiing for the weekend before the boy must return to school on Tuesday. So ... finally ... I get some time to sew. I have a list of things I'd like to do which is longer than is practical, so I'll just be showing you what I actually accomplish. So far I have done the above cleaning, I've mended the gown, I've got the binding, sleeve and label ready for hand sewing on the nine patch strata and I've got my machine cleaned and ready to continue quilting a wall hanging I was working on before the holidays began. My refrigerator and pantry are stocked with meals and snacks so I'm set!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Desk and Closet are In

The carpentry work was completed yesterday on son's new desk and closet. He was so excited!

There is obviously still some painting that needs to occur. I'm going to do that next week after he goes back to school. His closet has two rods with shelves above, one on either side of the door. We still need to put back all of his stuff that we took out for the construction. It is all piled in the guest room right now. I hope to be able to go through some of the things and get rid of some stuff before finding new homes for things in his room.

I also finished the quilting on my nine patch strata yesterday.

It needs to be pressed still and then I have to decide on the binding.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nine Patch Strata

I haven't been doing very much sewing over the holiday. It is so hard for me to get involved in a project with everyone home. And even harder when my husband is away skiing and I'm a single parent. However, I have found some time to do some hand quilting while movie watching with the boy.

I decided to hand quilt my nine patch strata that I made in my art group the last couple of months. I'm not finished yet but this is suppose to be a quilting blog so I wanted to show you something quilt related today.

The desk and closet in son's room is mostly finished. The carpentry work should be finished today. I'll finish the painting next week after school resumes for the son.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Long Awaited Day Here

Two years ago we had our main bathroom remodeled. It desperately needed to be renovated! In the process, my son lost his bedroom closet to the new bathroom. It was amazing how much difference about 10 square additional feet made to the bathroom! However, son has been without a closet ever since - until today. I commissioned a local carpenter to make him a built-in closet and desk. It is going to go here.

I painted most of the pieces ahead of time. Here they are in our garage.

Installation began this morning. It is quite loud but will be worth it when it is finished. Son is having a hard time waiting for it to be done.

And here is a Goldie shot.

This fruit roll-up box was brought home for Goldie several months ago. I get really frustrated when trash is brought home to be repurposed because it usually stays trash and on the floor! However, Goldie has really enjoyed this box, but I think she needs a new one!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I may take a short break from blogging, but then again, something may happen that I just want to share with you. So don't be surprised if you don't hear from me until after Christmas (and don't be surprised if you do).

In either case, I hope you have an enjoyable holiday however you choose to celebrate.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snow Hats

I learned the hard way not to cut back all my plants in the front yard when they die back for the year. I lost several things the first year due to my ignorance. The dead flowers are a very interesting perch for snow, another reason not to cut things back.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Henry Glass Hop Win

I did the Henry Glass Hop earlier this month and won something from one of the designers giveaways. It arrived yesterday.

From Jill Finley of Jillily Studio, I won a jelly roll of one of her current fabric lines and a book!!

The book is called Stitched Together and is about group quilting, like retreats, with projects and ideas. I have only had a chance to flip through it, but it looks like a very nice book. My guild is having another retreat in February and I have volunteered to do the "mystery project" for the retreat. I had something in mind when I volunteered, but maybe this book will have a better idea. I'll let you know.

The jelly roll (actually it says Jilly roll, how cute!) is Jill's fabric line Elizabeth's letters - very pretty. I see another jelly/jilly roll quilt in my future. For right now though, it's too pretty to open and I'll just let it decorate my sewing room.

Thank you Jill for the wonderful goodies! The box was the highlight of my week. I became a follower of Jill's blog during the hop and have been enjoying it. Check it out if you are not familiar with Jill's work.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Finally, we got some snow at our house. Despite still being sick, I couldn't resist walking around (well bundled) with my camera for a few minutes. I snapped a few photos from the neighborhood and on campus.

I just love how snow can transform the mundane into something interesting.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Bag

Well, I'm sick. Grrrrr.... It started this weekend and yesterday I finally accepted the fact that I have a very bad cold. After giving my final exam in the morning. I came home and just got in bed. I thought about sewing in the afternoon, but I just didn't feel like it. So that is how I know that I am really sick!

I do have something sewing related to share with you though. I made a Morsbag last week. Click on the link to go to their site for the pattern. It is really fast to make. My mom sent me an old fabric swatch sample she got from the free table at her guild. It was the perfect size to make one of these bag with and follows their philosophy of making these bags from recycled fabric.

I didn't order any labels from them because they would be shipped from the UK. I figured that printing my own would be more "green" than having them shipped to me. I just copied their logo, sized it myself to fit two across on a piece of prepared for printing fabric, and printed them. I think I got 10, maybe 12, labels on one sheet of fabric. I've only made one bag so far, but I have more thrifted fabric that I can use to make more later. I'm thinking about making these to take as door prizes to my guild meetings.

I also came across this little bag pattern last week. I haven't had a chance to make one yet (because I'm sick!) but I like the idea of taking fabric bags for your produce to the grocery store. I feel somewhat hypocritical taking fabric bags to put my groceries in but still using the little plastic produce bags provided in the produce section. I've seen other patterns that use organza type fabric and just a simple drawstring. I thought these were more stylish. Because they need to be stylish enough to go with my stylish grocery bags! LOL! I may not be the most stylishly dressed person in the store, but my bags are stylish! I get complements on them almost every time I use them which always makes a person feel good.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Great Giveaway Going On

p.s. i quilt is having a great giveaway today.


 Click on the link below the picture to go check it out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hawaiian Hug Done!

I finished the binding on Hawaiian Hug yesterday, despite Goldie's "help."

Surprisingly, she laid nicely on my lap, underneath the quilt, while I watched movies and sewed on the binding. We were both very toasty warm!

Here it is all done and ready to be mailed.

Goldie had to check out the box to make sure it was safe for the quilt to ride in to it's new home.

It passed inspection. It's a good thing she is so cute, because she sure can be frustrating sometimes!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hawaiian Hug, Binding stage

Here are the photos I promised yesterday. The wind cooperated this morning and the lighting is very good. The colors are true in these photos.

the front

the back

I really like the back. I pieced the label into the long pieced area between the green strips. First time I have done that. Well, first time I have thought to do that while I was making the back of a quilt.

side view

block/border close-up

I am really proud of the quilting I did on this. It was difficult to quilt the center two blocks, but I didn't have that much trouble with the rest. My new quilting set-up is really working quite well. It will be better when I move my sewing room to the larger guest room. Currently, when I have my machine set-up in quilting mode, it is very hard to do anything else. I can't even easily access my fabric because I have to push my ironing table all the way up against my fabric bins.

I have the binding hand-sewn to one of the short sides, right hand side in the first photo. Binding is my plan for today. You can click on any of the above photos to see an enlarged version.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How did I do that?!

I'm still shaking my head about this one, but the crisis is now over. I finished quilting Hawaiian Hug late this morning. But check out what I found inside the quilt!!

I circled it on the photo in an attempt to make it more noticeable. (click on the photo to see it larger) Yup! That's a straight pin sticking out of one of the blocks on the front of the quilt. I found it by getting stuck while I was quilting. When I discovered this I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I put scotch tape around the end so it wouldn't go all the way in between the layers and so I would stop sticking myself with it. Here is a photo of the pin with tape around the end.

And it is one of the larger plastic pin head straight pins too! I finished quilting it then called my LQS to see if the Kona Navy fabric is in yet. Bummer, it's not. So I'm going to have to just use the Indigo I have in my stash. When you hold the two fabrics next to each other they are definitely different. But the two fabrics will not be next to each other in the quilt so I think it will be fine.

While I had my LQS on the phone, I explained my pin problem. I ended up driving my quilt over to the store so they could see the problem in person. It took a little doing, but we got it out through the back by spreading apart the weave of one of the more loosely woven fabrics and pulling it out. I will put a little fray check on the spot then I have a small piece of the fabric that I plan to fuse and hand applique over the spot. It shouldn't be too noticeable when I'm done. Whew! I was really freaking out at first.

I tried to take a photo of the finished quilting but I'm not able to get far enough back inside and it is very windy here today so I can't hang it on the clothesline. If the weather cooperates, I'll take one tomorrow.

I better get back to my sewing room. I heard from my husband a little while ago. Both husband and son are okay, but the guy they went with hurt his knee shortly after lunch today. So they are already at the hotel and don't know if he will be able to ski tomorrow. They may be back earlier than planned. He probably should not ski tomorrow regardless, but he and my husband are a bit ski-crazy. Husband broke his wrist last April skiing. Ski patrol would not treat him if he was going to continue skiing, so the two of them just taped up his wrist and continued for the rest of the day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Plodding Along on Hawaiian Hug

I finally got back to quilting Hawaiian Hug today. I just have the outer border left to do. I decided to use the Ocean Current pattern by Leah Day. If you haven't checked out her site, click on the link in the previous sentence! She has done a lot of work recently organizing her designs to make it easier to find the right kind of design for your project. You can search by design type, texture, difficulty level and design number. It is awesome! Great work Leah!! Thank you!!

So here is what it looks like after I have done all of the foundational swirls on my first side and a little bit of echoing.

And this is what the finished side looks like.

Not a great picture but it got dark before I remembered to take a picture for you. I'll take more tomorrow. I hope to finish this up tomorrow. I have one of the long side borders already done and most of one of the short sides finished. The husband is taking the boy skiing for the weekend!!! (doing the happy dance vigorously!) So I should have plenty of time to finish the quilting on this and be able to send it off to the recipient next week.

I learned while doing the first side that it helps to sew off the edge of the quilt every foot or so when doing your foundational swirls. This gives you a good "stopping" place for echo quilting so you don't have to echo the entire length of the quilt. It just made it much easier for me to manage this almost twin size quilt in my domestic machine. I am also getting quite a bit of practice at stopping and starting smoothly on this project. I can't say that I am an expert yet, but I am getting much better.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holly Jolly Blog Bingo

I'm playing Holly Jolly Bingo. Want to join me?

Go over to their blog before Midnight (PST), choose your words and email them in so you can play too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Still Working on Hawaiian Hug

All the blocks are quilted, the block sashing is quilted and two borders are quilted. All I have left to quilt is the outermost border.

I know what motif I would like to use on the outer border, but it isn't one I have done before so I need to practice it first. I hope to be binding it this weekend so that it can go in the mail next week.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trying to Be Green this Year

I'm making a real effort to use as little wrapping paper this year as I can. So last week sometime I made up these little bags.

These will go to my P.E.O. sisters at our next meeting. I am the president of our chapter this year and I have observed that the president usually gives a small gift to each chapter member at Christmas. I made a whole basket full and inserted a small gift in about an hour and a half!

I didn't do french seams or anything fancy. But I did use up a few of my smaller bits of Christmas prints and some left over ribbon pieces too short for larger gift bags but too long to throw away!

Yesterday, before school got out, I managed to get all of the blocks quilted on Hawaiian Hug and a few sashing pieces quilted too. I don't have any pictures because I was trying to get as much done as I could before 3:15 yesterday. The husband is away again this weekend skiing, so I probably won't get any more chunks of sewing time long enough for quilting until next week.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Good Mail Day

Today, all the mail was for me. I received my paycheck, a contract for the courses I will teach next semester and a gift from Anne of the Greenstitch podcast.

I won the book in a giveaway on her podcast. I plan to move my sewing space to another room in the future and this book looks like it has lots of great tips and ideas for setting up a sewing space. For example, I know that you should have a work triangle in your kitchen between the sink, stove and refrigerator. But never thought to translate that into my sewing space between the sewing machine, cutting area and ironing table! She also included a morsbag with the book. Thank you Anne!

If you enjoy listening to podcasts you should check out Anne's. She talks about all kinds of sewing with an emphasis on projects using recycled materials (like shirts or curtains), refashioning and using your sewing skills to make things instead of purchasing disposable products, such as the morsbag.

I have begun quilting Hawaiian Hug. I'm doing a sun design on each block.



Goldie is feeling better today after her surgery on Tuesday. 

She thinks the safety pins I baste with are very interesting. They make an enticing sound as they scrape along the table. She couldn't resist giving them a closer look. Unfortunately, it is impossible to quilt with a cat on your project!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good Day for me, not so much for Goldie

I was finally able to get into my sewing room today! I didn't do that much sewing, but I was able to organize a bit. I also got Hawaiian Hug basted, finally!

Poor Goldie was spayed today. Last week she started giving the signs to male cats that she was "available." It got so bad on Thanksgiving Day that Parker was really freaked out. He came to me in a panic, "Mom, there is something really wrong with Goldie!" Thank goodness he has been studying life cycles of plants and animals at school because "mating" was a term he was familiar with. We explained that Goldie was ready to mate and were able to leave it at that. I didn't expect to have to do this until January, based on the age information we got from the woman who gave us Goldie. Either the woman was a little off in her birthday calculations, or Goldie matured a little faster than most cats. We picked her up a little while ago and she has hunkered down in safe place.

Poor baby! I know it hurts. I paid extra so she could have the post-surgery pain medication. They said it would last for at least 36 hours. I know she appreciates it.

I have made a little progress on this recently.

I have some beads and cording set aside for embellishments. I also got some white buttons, but I don't think they will work for this. They are "too new." Maybe I will be able to find some old white buttons that will work. If not, I'll just use something else!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ski Season has begun

We had a nice Thanksgiving. I hope you did too. I cooked all day Wednesday and Thursday. I enjoy cooking and it is fun to do a big meal every once in a while. Bright and early Friday morning my husband left for two days of skiing. He got back late Saturday night and slept all day Sunday. I tell you this so that you know why I haven't gotten very much done over the Thanksgiving holiday. I sure was glad things were back to normal today. However, I didn't get any sewing done today either because of all the errands, grocery shopping and dinner making.

On Friday, in little spurts, I was able to make a few gift bags. Parker had a friend over for the afternoon. They played very nicely and left me alone for the most part. I made these two birthday bags as a gift for a friend.

Then I made a few Christmas gift bags. I made two each of these.

Once I get on a roll with these they are very fast to make. You can go to my pattern/tutorial for the bags I make by clicking here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Raffle Quilt Leftovers

I served on my guild's raffle quilt committee recently. I do not have a picture of the actual raffle quilt yet. We won't start selling tickets on it until next year. However, we grossly overestimated how many half-square triangle units we would need for the quilt and had a lot left over. So one of our members, Peg Collins, made this little quilt.



It is a generous crib size quilt. We plan to raffle it off among guild members. I sewed the binding and label on which is why I currently have the quilt.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More Satin Edge Blankies

I finished up the last two satin edge blankies (aka boppies) yesterday afternoon.

Click the link to read my first post about boppies. These will be mailed to Jean at the Quilted Cupcake for her Project Night Night quilt challenge. The links will take you to Jean's blog and her Project Night Night pages, respectively.

I was going to direct you to the tutorial I published about how I do the satin edge binding on these. However, I took a bunch of pictures for a tutorial, but apparently never wrote the tutorial! Maybe I will be able to get that done over the Thanksgiving holiday, but don't count on it. Unlike some folks who have extra time to sew during holiday breaks, I have less time.

Now for a few Goldie pictures. I got out a flat rate box to see if I could get all of the boppies I made into one before assembling it. Goldie was "helping" me.