Thursday, February 28, 2013

There Has To Be a Better Way

This morning I started cutting out the neck wallets.  There are 8 pattern pieces.  I have them printed on copy paper, and so I thought it would be quick and easy to just lay them on the fabric and cut them out with my rotary cutter and ruler.  I didn't want to use pins since they change the set of the ruler.  But it was a slow process, and I really need to find a quicker way.

So, I guess it's back to the old way.  I'm going to trace these pieces off onto pattern paper, and use the old pin and cut with scissors routine.  I think it would be prudent for me to cut out eight or ten wallets at a time, and then sew them assembly line fashion.

I am really excited about the modifications and additions that I've made to my design.  Photos coming next week.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What's Next??

I've finished the pot pinchers I was making. This is the pattern that I used.  I really love them, and will definitely be making some for myself.  They weren't difficult, and are just the perfect size for sticking in the drawer next to the stove.

 Tomorrow, I hope to finish the apron I'm making.  I'm using the same pattern that I used for the girls' aprons, I love it and they seem to like them too.  The aprons are reversible, and I only make the single slanted pockets.

So now what to do???  One of my friends from high school just opened an etsy store.  I had messaged her a few questions, and after receiving her replies, I have decided it's time to get busy with getting some items made to put in my own store.  I will certainly let you know when it's up and running.

The first items I will be working on are my little "Companion" neck wallets.  These are two of the ones that I made for our family to use while in Walt Disney World.  I have made some changes, and have added a couple of things, and hopefully will start working on the final products this weekend.

Have a Sew Happy Week!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

And That's That!

Yeah, I finished Krissy's quilt yesterday.  I have a table set up in the living room, so that I can sew while keeping an eye on the kids.  Since it's the room they're accustomed to watching TV in, they don't care about the machine.  It's a great compromise. Tomorrow I will cut and sew their pillowcases and then their quilt sets will all be finished.

I really need to find my Photodraw disc.  Normally I would have cropped this, but without the Photodraw program, I'm lost.

Pat had requested in her comment that I post a picture of Bubby with his quilt.  So, here you go, Pat.

Monday, February 18, 2013

And Then There Was One. . .

I finally finished Bubby's Mario Brothers quilt over the weekend.  He will see it this evening when he comes for one of his favorite dinners - sausage and Pappy's Famous Flapjacks.  He has been telling his teachers all about the Mario quilt that his grammy was making, so it wouldn't surprise me if the quilt doesn't go to school one day.  I don't know the first thing about video games, but these were the characters that his mom and dad told me to use.  He has seen pictures as it progressed, and heartily approved, so I guess I did OK.  And then there was one. . . today I'm hoping to finish up Krissy's Vinylmation quilt.

And then it's on to another project - an apron and pot holders for my niece for her bridal shower.  She loves  her morning coffee, and so I chose a coffee print.  I have to tell you, the photo doesn't do it justice - the fabric is such a beautiful deep brown.  And as a companion, I chose another fabric from the All About Coffee line by Exclusively Quilters - they call it Multi Dots on Latte Tan.  The apron pattern that I use is reversible, and I think this will look great.  Have a great day.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Wrap-Up

This has been a really great week for me.  I finally feel like I'm accomplishing something.  Wednesday, I finally finished Jake's Bubble Guppies Quilt.  I have a Janome Memory Craft 6600 sewing machine, and it is a dream to quilt with.  I love free motion quilting, although it took a lot of practice before I felt comfortable with this technique.  I love to quilt loop-de-loops and that's what I used on Jake's quilt.  The picture leaves a little to be desired, but there it is.  He was so excited to see Mr. Grumpfish (who was probably the easiest applique to do), but loved the quilt.

And yesterday, I finished Izzy's Princess quilt.  I used a basic stipple design on this one.  I love to stipple, but if I don't think about what I'm doing, the design seems to change (it begins to resemble little boy parts)  I don't know what that says about my brain, but there it is - right out there.

Izzy was glad to get her quilt.  She was fascinated by the whole quilting process.  She questioned what all the different feet were for, why I wore gloves, and it eventually turned into a great teaching opportunity.  I let her feel the feed dogs in up and down positions, and then explained the walking and darning feet.  I showed her how the darning foot allows me to move the fabric, whereas the 1/4" foot does not.  And I showed her the different stitches. I've never tried to teach someone else to sew, but it may be in my future.  Surprisingly, this morning her oldest sister private messaged me about wanting to learn to sew.

I started to sew at age 9, when I joined 4-H, and as I got older, gave up other classes in school to take Home Ec.  Sewing is a passion for me - I can never get enough.  I have made all the curtains in my house (a huge savings), I have made leisure suits (am I showing my age?), I have made wedding gowns, christening gowns, First Communion dresses, purses, aprons, wallets, and of course, quilts.  Rod jokes that if he needed a tuxedo by Sunday, I could have it done; but that sewing on a button takes years!  He just doesn't realize that mending and sewing aren't the same thing!  Hope your weekend is SEW nice.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Dance

Today, I'm doing a happy dance.  And I have so much to be dancing for:

1.  The sun is shining!!
2.  The ice is melted off the driveway, and it is no longer treacherous.
3.  All four of the kids' quilts are pinned and ready to be quilted.
4.  My fasting blood sugar is in a good range - 111! It's number I have        not seen for quite some time.
5.  I have lost three pounds.  Not much to some, a minor victory for me.

If you have a few spare moments, come on and dance with me.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Twins!

33 years ago, I gave birth to a set of twins 11-1/2 weeks early.  That night they were given a 10% chance of survival.  And today they turn 33.  Raising twins has been a really great experience.  To see two little ones who were so alike, and yet so different.  They cut their first teeth on the same day and walked within 20 minutes of each other. This picture was right after they came home.  They had finally reached 4 pounds.

This was the day of their baptism and they were already 7 months old. Pam is on the left and has the fuller face.  But they were gaining weight and were quite healthy.

And here they are today at their favorite place on earth.

Happy Birthday, Pat and Pam.  Hope you celebrate many, many more.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What to Buy

photo from Amazon
When my girls were little, birthday gifts were no problem.  But now that they are older, I have a horrible time deciding what to buy for birthdays. The twins will be 33 on Friday, and I had no idea what to get them.  But, at dinner the other night they mentioned that they needed to buy a bathrobe before our next trip to Disney so that they could cover up when leaving the hot tub.  So, I went in search of bathrobes.  This is the robe I chose since I liked the look and the price was right.

But I felt it needed something.  Pam and Pat aren't fancy people, so flowers were out.  But they love their dogs.  Pam has a black lab and Pat has a chocolate lab.  So I went in search of a really nice machine embroidery design for a lab. At Embroidery, I found a beautiful lab.  

My sample 
When I stitched my sample of this design, I didn't have the picture of the design in front of me (big mistake)  nor did I have the color list (another mistake).  I didn't care for the result.  So when I put the design on the bathrobe, I will use a darker grey and keep the website open so that I can see their colors.  And I need to figure out which colors to use to make this design into a chocolate lab.  Again, I think it's in my best interest to do a sample before putting it onto the bathrobe just to be sure that I like the colors.  I don't have the kids tomorrow morning, so I'm hoping to get them finished in time for their birthdays.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Christmas Quilts

The grand kids' Christmas quilts are finally ready to sandwich.  I finished Bubby's yesterday, and it was a relief to know that I finally accomplished something constructive.

This is Kristina's vinylmation quilt.  She collects Vinylmation figures from Disney, and I used a basic shape and various Disney fabrics to put this one together.  She has seen it and loves it.

This is Izzy's Princess Quilt. It is very similar to the other princess quilt that I did, except I took out Tinkerbell (who was very tiny) and added Rapunzel from Tangled, and Merida from Brave.  Izzy is anxious to be able to use it.

Next up is Jake's Bubble Guppies Quilt.  He saw it for the first time last night, and cried because he couldn't cover up with it.

And last, but certainly not least, is Bubby's Mario Brothers quilt.  I was so reluctant to even start it.  I don't know much about the game, but did my best and Bubby loves it. Thanks to my hubby for being my quilt holder so that I could snap the photos.

Today I finished cutting all the bindings.  I have two to put together and then I will iron the bindings and give the quilts a final press before pinning them to the fleece.  Judging from their reactions to the quilts, I better get busy finishing them.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mario Brothers

I finally feel like doing something besides sleeping, and started working on the kids' Christmas quilts. Bubby's quilt was the only top that wasn't put together.  And, this morning I made up my mind that it would be by the end of the day.  It's another one of my appliqued character quilts.  Bubby loves Mario Brothers games for the Wii, and this is my adaptation of the major players.  I couldn't find any Mario fabric in the United States, but by searching eBay, I was able to find this fabric available from someone in the Phillipines.  Shipping was free, and it arrived quickly.  Wonder if the kids appreciate how much thought as well as effort go into these quilts.  No matter, I do.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Wrap Up The Week

After feeling poorly for what seems like an eternity, I am finally feeling like myself.  After learning that my stomach pain was the result of gall stones, the doctor has put me back on Victoza and my blood sugar numbers are returning to normal.  This alone makes me feel so much better.  I did have a bad gall bladder attack on Monday night, which was most definitely a wake up call.  I had it into my head that I could control my problems with diet, but I now know that if the doctor says it comes out, it is going to come out!  And I've been watching my diet much closer, which is a good thing for me.

I'm planning on spending tomorrow in the sewing room.  But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men!  I have so much that I want to do, and I'm so relieved to finally feel like beginning again.

The Saddle Up is approaching in May, and I've been considering what quilts I want to make.  It is possible that this will be the last one since the coordinator is starting the feel his age (don't we all!)  and so I'm trying to come up with ideas that will use up some of the western fabric I have accumulated over the years.  I've found one that I can cut with my AccuQuilt GO cutter.  It was a major investment, and I have to admit that I've never really given it a chance to be a major part of my sewing experience.  That needs to change, and there's no time better than the present.

I've recently joined an online community called Craftsy, where they offer online classes in various crafts.  They are offering a class on quilting a large quilt on your home machine.  The class is $30, but if I can learn how to quilt Mary's king size batik quilt myself, it will save me the $200 which I would spend to send it to a longarm quilter.  So I think it's probably a no-brainer.

Have a great weekend, and stay warm.